Tuesday, May 24, 2011

May 24, 2011

Well, I am glad to see that you have all survived the end of the world that was supposed to happen on Saturday. I don't know about you guys but nothing really happened here. This week was actually a great week. I have had a lot of fun being back in Calgary and being in a YSA Ward. Wednesday we didn't get to do much. I was on a transfer van from 10 in the morning until about four in the afternoon. Not actually on the bus the whole time, but that's how long it took to get up to Calgary after a stop in Lethbridge and a stop in Claresholm for chicken. Then we went and had a dinner with a recent convert and her boyfriend. I have a feeling like I am going to get a lot of pasta here. haha. Then we went shopping and that was pretty much the end of the day. Then Thursday was pretty busy. We had weekly planning which is always confusing on your first week in an area. You are trying to learn everything about everyone and you only have three hours to do it and then you have to try to remember it all! haha. Then we had a couple lessons with people. A recent convert who just moved from Montreal and a Ward Missionary who wants to know what she can do to help and our Ward Mission leader who talked a lot about mission stories. We had dinner with the Stake President. That was amazing steak. Probably won't get that too often anymore. Then we had a meeting with the Stake President. We meet with him every Thursday night to talk about missionary work in the stake. The Zone leaders used to do that with him, but then they combined this zone with the south zone so there used to be zone leaders in our area but now there isn't. It's us. So we go and talk to him about missionary work... intimidating. haha. Sometimes the Spanish missionaries come as well, but they didn't this week. Friday we had a meeting with a guy named Chris Mcleur. You'll probably hear about him a lot. Apparently we meet with him twice a week. He is a recent convert and is a little less accountable, but really spiritual at times. We are helping him with a lot of things and so it should be fun to see how that goes. We had a couple other lessons as well.

OK, so then Saturday. Oh my. We had a district meeting in the morning and we were talking about Jesus Christ and focusing more on him and in the middle of it all this classic homeless man walks in and asks to use the bathroom. So we let him and then we talk to him for a while and he tells us he was beat up 12-24 hours ago and he doesn't remember anything about his life before he thought he had some cracked ribs and a broken jaw bone. So we asked if he wanted an ambulance but he didn't so we asked if he wanted some doctors to come and he said sure... then we called an ambulance. haha. He didn't seem to quite be all the way there. When we told him there was an ambulance coming he said he would go outside for a smoke so my companion followed him and that meant so did I. Then he got outside and complained about an ambulance coming and how they scared him and he kept walking away so my companion followed him across this busy street so I did too. Then we called the ambulance back and said he was leaving but they were already almost there so they kept coming. Now I will tell you the rest from the perspective of a member who was coming to clean the church. They were driving up to the church and said oh cool a fire truck... oh cool an ambulance.... look they are pulling into the church.... oh look. There are two missionaries running across the street towards the church... that must be one intense zone conference! haha!! Anyway, when we got there we told the people what he looked like and stuff but they said if he didn't want help there was nothing they could do. So they left. This is also when I found out that firemen also have to stand behind the truck and back their partners out! They look a little cooler then missionaries though. haha. That was my exciting thing for the week. haha.

Then the spiritual highlight was after church on Sunday we went to this house of these two guys who decided on their own that they wanted to come back to church. So they have been for the last couple of weeks. It was awesome. They live in this little apartment in the middle of the industrial park. It was amazing though. We had a lesson and the Spirit was so strong and we even told them that. That the Spirit was amazing in their house. Then they started to tell us how they have been working so hard to get it so the Spirit could be there. We had no idea what that meant to them and then they thanked us for being missionaries and being such a great example. It was awesome. It is experiences like that make me so happy to be on a mission. It's so amazing what the church can do for people. It brings so much happiness and joy into our lives and most of us don't even realize it until we have an experience where we lose parts of it. I love the church I really do. And I love being on a mission and I think I will grow to love being in a YSA Ward. I have enjoyed it so far. Thanks for everything you all do for me! I love you all so much! I hope you have all had an amazing week!

Elder Townsend

The Fort Macleod ZoneThe Halls and Rob Frost
Brighton and Me

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

May 17, 2011

Well this week was amazing! I actually had a lot of fun. It was a great week to be my last in Pincher Creek. yep. I'm getting transferred. I am going back up to Calgary. I'm going to a Young Single Adult ward in downtown Calgary. Edworthy Park YSA. It should be fun. I am excited to go back up to the city, but I have decided that it will be sad to leave this ward. There are great members here. I don't know how I feel about going to a YSA ward. I like family wards too much. Maybe they won't feed us as much and I can loose some weight before I get home. haha. I'm going to be with Elder Hepworth. He came out with me and he was in my district when I was in Cochrane. So that should be interesting. He is a funny guy. Funny as in humorous AND funny as in kind of weird. So I will let you know how that is going next week. I am going back to the south zone. This will be the third time I have been in that zone. I never thought I would go back but I am excited to do it. I love that zone.

Anyway, so back to my awesome week. Tuesday was alright. After emails we went and helped a family, the Ludwig's, with some yard work. It was fun. I got a little burned though. haha. Then that night we had a lesson with Rob. That was sweet. Rob is amazing. I'm really sad that I am leaving him. He actually just got the priesthood on Sunday and he was going to pass the sacrament in two weeks. That would have been cool to see, but I am glad that he is progressing so well still. We are trying to get the Elders Quorum more involved with him though. He's mostly just friends with the high priests now. It was a really good lesson. He really knows a lot. It's awesome. Then Wednesday we did service at the museum. That was fun. We tore apart this old chicken coup. It was kind of nasty with poop and stuff everywhere! It was fun though. Then we built this huge wood rack thing. A place they can put their lumber without it being on the ground. That was fun. Then that night we had a really good dinner with the Ball family. They are sweet. She works at Walmart, he is an umpire and they have a bunch of little kids. I love going over there. She made us Navajo tacos. I've decided that those are delicious! haha. Then Thursday my comps stomach was hurting him again so we didn't do much in the morning. Then we got a call from Bro Piepgrass and he took us to the Vanloons house. They are a less active native family. Well it's a grandma and two granddaughters, who are like 14 and 15, living in town. She wanted a blessing and a blessing on her home and when we got there she had her two grandchildren there and a sister and they all wanted blessings so we spent a while doing that. It was really good though. Then this Sunday the whole family showed up to church. So that was awesome. I hope they continue to come. They are a really nice family. Friday was good too. We had a couple lessons with the older people in our ward and we had a lesson with Scott and Sheryl Cameron, but they weren't home... sad... I don't really know what to do with them two. Luckily, I don't have to worry about that because I am leaving but I hope that they do come around sometime. Then we had a dinner with the Malmberg's. They are sweet. We helped them a lot last week with their yard so they had us for dinner. They are hilarious.

Then Saturday, oh what a day. So we got a call Friday night from Bro Westrup who owns a farm outside of Pincher. He asked us if we wanted to help him brand his calves.... HECK YES I DO! So Saturday morning we drove out there. It was so much fun! We had to separate the moms from the calves which was an interesting experience. They like their moms and as soon as we did that from then on none of them would shut up. haha. Then we chased the calves into a squeeze chute and then into this little gadget thing that had a bar you squeeze their neck in and one for their stomach and then you tied a rope to one of their back legs so it couldn't kick you then you flipped it onto it's side (which was actually before you tied its leg) then Bro Westrup stuck three hot irons onto the cows butt. It was fun. Smelled horrible though. Like burning hair. Then if they had horns we had to cut them off. They said they usually did that earlier but it was too cold before. That was pretty nasty at times. Some of them wouldn't stop bleeding. This one was quite literally squirting everywhere! It was nasty! They had this chemical stuff that was supposed to burn it and this powder stuff that was supposed to clot it, but that didn't work so Bro Westrup eventually just stuck his branding iron on it. It was pretty event. Then after we had done all of those (there were over 100 of them) we had to chase them into the fields and chase the moms into the squeeze chute to get some anti flea stuff. That was exciting and scary at times. When a bunch of huge cows are barreling toward you, your life flashes before your eyes. haha. It was a lot of fun though. We basically spent all day chasing cows around and getting manure and blood all over us. haha. I really enjoyed it. If there is anyone in Tucson that needs some help when they are branding cattle. I would love to! haha.

We also had a lesson with Bro Yellowhorn that afternoon so we left branding for a bit and went out there but he wasn't home. We stopped by a couple more people but they weren't home either. So we went back to branding. It was a good day. I think my neck and arms are getting a little tan again. haha.

Then Sunday was good. Church and Rob getting the priesthood. Then we had lunch with the Oliver's and then dinner with the Hall's. It was a pretty good day. A lot of food though. Then Monday we didn't have much to do so we drove out to the pass. That was fun. We ate 7-11 chicken for lunch, delicious and we stopped by a couple of families. We actually got in with two less actives and one active family. Which was awesome. That was more than we ever saw when we spent two days out there. Then we stopped by the guy who is kind of in charge of us going out there. Self appointed to be so at least. I think he's pretty frustrated that we haven't gone out there at all this transfer. It wasn't our fault though. We always had training or zone conference when we were planning on going out there. I don't really know what to do with the pass. There isn't much to do out there. Especially now that Dani isn't talking to us. But they get really mad and complain to the stake when we don't come. Luckily, I don't have to deal with that anymore either. haha.

So that was my week. It was pretty darn eventful for a week in Pincher and it was a great way to end my time here. I think I will miss being here, but I am excited to go somewhere else. Hopefully with more missionary work in the area. I'll let you know next week how that is going. Thank you so much for everything! I love you all!

Elder Townsend

The dinglehopper
Mountain sheep in the pass
The pass

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

May 10, 2011

Happy Mother's Day to all you mothers and future mothers out there! How was everyone's week? Our's was good here. I just wrote on Thursday so there weren't too many days between then and now so not much really happened. But it was still a good couple of days. Thursday after we emailed we had a lesson with Scott and Sheryl. That went ok. We started to teach about the plan of salvation and were trying to emphasize families but it was a little awkward and then Scott asked us a question that was something like, "Why can't we as a church group take away the power that one of our members had? And I was really confused. Scott is a little not all there. But we figured out that he was having some legal issues with a member of the church in Raymond which is why they moved back here. They wanted to get away from all of that. Now he isn't sure if he wants to join the church that that guy belongs to. So we tried talking to him a little bit about it, but I don't think it helped him at all. So I don't really know what else to tell him. We are meeting with them again this Friday so we will see what we can come up with before then. Sheryl is pretty solid though. She is always really happy to see us and knows a lot about the church and is wanting to learn more. She hasn't come to church since she has been back though. So I don't know what is up with that. I hope that we can continue to work with them. I think the church could really help them in their lives.

That was pretty much the highlight of the week missionary work wise. Friday was good as well. We went and helped a younger couple with some yard work which was a lot of fun. I helped trimmed this giant tree. I don't think I've ever trimmed a tree before but they said it looked pretty good. haha. Then we went on exchanges. The mission just came out with 24 hour exchanges again. They haven't happened since I have been on my mission. So this is the first one I've been on. It was good. I was with Elder Hansen who took Elder Fowler's spot last week. We had a good dinner that night with the Sheens. They are a little crazy, but pretty fun to be around. Then we stopped by a couple more people. Saturday we went and helped Bishop Oliver move his non member parents into the ward. That was fun. They didn't have much to move, but hopefully we will be able to get in and meet with them sometime. They said they would have us over for lunch or something since we helped them so that would be sweet. Then we went back to the Malmbergs. The couple we helped with yard work the day before and helped clean up the mess we made the day before. Then we exchanged back. It was pretty fun and a nice break from the normal life here in Pincher.

Then Sunday was sweet. We went to church and Rob Frost came, it was supposed to be his week to work, but he came anyway... I don't know how. But he was sustained?... as a Priest in Sacrament meeting. I think he might have had to leave before he could actually be given the priesthood. It was still cool though. We had two less actives in church, Bro Yellowhorn. Remember him? We were going out there pretty regularly for a while but he went on a trip to the Ukraine and we hadn't seen him since. Then this other couple I hadn't met before. So that was sweet! We are going out to the reserve to teach Bro Yellowhorn this Saturday. So that will be cool.

Then we went back to our apartment and had our phone calls home! whoo hoo. It was really nice to hear your voices Mom and Dad! Thanks for all the love and encouragement! It's weird to think that it was my last phone call home. But don't worry. I'm not getting trunky. I'm still out here working hard! haha. That was pretty much our week though. I hope your week was good as well! Thanks again for everything! I can't wait to talk to you guys next week and let you know what is going on with transfers! Love you all!

Elder Townsend

Cardston temple

Sunday, May 8, 2011

May 5, 2011

Hey everyone! Sorry I'm a couple days late! Long story but here it goes. So this week was pretty decent. Nothing too special missionary work wise. We had a new member lesson with Rob Frost and that went really well. We taught about the priesthood because he should be getting it the next time he can come to church. So that should be cool to see. He really is a great guy. I have really enjoyed teaching him and watching him grow. It has been quite the experience. We also have had an old investigator move back into town. Scott and Sheryl. They were taking the lessons but then moved to Raymond where she got baptized and he didn't but they moved back because he was having health problems that started up again two days before his baptism. So we are having a lesson with him this afternoon. So that should be interesting. I hope all goes well there as well.

The exciting thing that happened this week is that last Thursday I hit my 18 month mark. Anyone know what that means?... it means I get to burn some pants! haha. Don't worry mom. I didn't burn any of the expensive pants I have out here. Well. I was going to do it tomorrow because I was going to go on exchanges with Elder Fowler and he turned 18 last transfer and hadn't burned his yet, but Friday night Elder Fowler told me he was getting special transferred up to Calgary so we had to move it up a little bit so we did it this week. It was sweet. We did it in the back yard of the member they live with in Ft Macleod. So yea! I'm 18 months! haha.

Then this last Monday we had Pday which was kind of fun. There wasn't much to do which was kind of sad though. My companion started not to feel so good that night though so we couldn't go out and do stuff that night. Then Tuesday we woke up early and went to zone conference in Lethbridge. That was fun. It was our zone, Lethbridge zone and Medicine Hat zone. So it was fun to see all those missionaries and the training was pretty good too. They are trying to teach us a new way of thinking and teaching during our lessons and it's really confusing. I'm not very good at it yet. But it will come with time. Towards the end my companion's stomach was really acting up so Sis Archibald sent us to the doctor and he put my comp on some drugs that reduce the amount of acid his stomach is producing. I think that's been helping which is good. Then we went back to the church right as the zone conference was ending. Then we drove back here and then it was evening and we had a lesson with Rob. So that meant that we didn't have time to email that day. Then yesterday we went and helped at the museum and we raked more leaves and helped build a couple more walls and then when we were done with that we went over to the library to email and it was closed... I don't know why... so we are emailing today... after weekly planning. So sorry for the mix up.

That is pretty much my week here though. This next week should be short since it's Thursday already. haha. We have a phone call home on Sunday so that should be fun. It will be my last phone call home which will be weird. Thanks for everything though! I love you all so much!

Elder Townsend

Me and Fowler with our pants
burn baby burn!I'm so happy :')


Ya... that's all I took pictures of this week...

Monday, May 2, 2011

"On a number of occasions we have had the honour of having your son in our home for suppers and lessons. We feel a great spirit and the love of the gospel when he and his companion are with us.
Thank you for your sacrifice you have made in sending your son to serve a mission for our Savior Jesus Christ.
We love the missionaries,
Joanne and Wayne Oliver

This photo was taken in our back yard. Welcome to Alberta Canada.
Your son, Elder Brighton and my husband, Bishop Oliver.
Enjoy the picture. My son on his mission does not send me enough!"

Elder Byington, Elder Townsend and Bishop Oliver
Pincher Creek, Alberta, Canada
March 25, 2011