Monday, February 15, 2016

February 8, 2016: Antarctic Shift and a Deer Hit

I don't know how well you can see it... But it's the biggest icicle
I've seen in my life so far. If I had to guess, I'd say it was 6.5-7
feet tall!

"To add further sorrow and complexity to their circumstance, their
transgression had spiritual consequences as well, cutting them off
from the presence of God forever. Because we were then born into that
fallen world and because we too would transgress the laws of God, we
also were sentenced to the same penalties that Adam and Eve faced.
What a plight! The entire human race in free fall--every man, woman,
and child in it physically tumbling toward permanent death,
spiritually plunging toward eternal anguish. Is that what life was
meant to be? Is this the grand finale of the human experience? Are we
all just hanging in a cold canyon somewhere in an indifferent
universe, each of us searching for a toehold, each of us seeking for
something to grip--with nothing but the feeling of sand sliding under
our fingers, nothing to save us, nothing to hold on to, much less
anything to hold on to us? Is our only purpose in life an empty
existential exercise--simply to leap as high as we can, hang on for
our prescribed three score years and ten, then fail and fall, and keep
falling forever?
The answer to those questions is an unequivocal and eternal no! With
prophets ancient and modern, I testify that “all things have been done
in the wisdom of him who knoweth all things.” Thus, from the moment
those first parents stepped out of the Garden of Eden, the God and
Father of us all, anticipating Adam and Eve’s decision, dispatched the
very angels of heaven to declare to them--and down through time to
us--that this entire sequence was designed for our eternal happiness.
It was part of His divine plan, which provided for a Savior, the very
Son of God Himself--another “Adam,” the Apostle Paul would call
Him--who would come in the meridian of time to atone for the first
Adam’s transgression. That Atonement would achieve complete victory
over physical death, unconditionally granting resurrection to every
person who has been born or ever will be born into this world.
Mercifully it would also provide forgiveness for the personal sins of
all, from Adam to the end of the world, conditioned upon repentance
and obedience to divine commandments" (Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, Where
Justice, Love, and Mercy Meet, April 2015 General Conference)

Even though Adam fell into the world with sin and all the ups and
downs that come with it, we are happy. In fact, it is BECAUSE Adam
fell that we might be happy. All we have to do is do our best to
follow Christ and be forgiven of our sins through repentance. It is a
hard thing to do all the time everyday, but if we do the best we
possibly can and consistently try to get better as we slug along this

Sorry for not sending the email last week..... And Sorry if this email
stinks...... I've been super sick and out of it for most of the week,
so I honestly just forgot to send it, and I wasn't able to type much
each night cause I was just ready to fall asleep....

Had a fun preparation day- got all the specifics we needed to get done
for it to be a successful day; shopping, washing the car, cleaning,
laundry, etc. We played podball at the church for probably 2
hours...... Non stop. Holy goodness I was tired at the end of the day
haha. As we started to head home there was a small blizzard- about 8-9
inches of snow in about 45 minutes. I say small blizzard because it
really wasn't snowing that hard... But it was definitely snowing A
LOT. It was pretty sketchy because we had to go all the way to the end
of Clinton to get to a lesson, so we drove for most of the 45 minutes
through the snow piles haha. But we has some good lessons with some
less actives, so it was for sure worth it!
So we lost our gas card.... Apparently I'm not good at holding onto
things. As such, we wanted to save as much gas as possible- we are
walking..... EVERYWHERE! We walked all around west Riverside, Bonner,
and Miltown. I couldn't guess how far we walked, but it was a lot. We
taught some pretty cool lessons to people as we passed them in the
road, and some kind of odd ones. We taught a lesson to a guy with an
Irish accent, and we were pretty sure he was drunk out of his mind.
Fun stuff happening in Montana! With the snow the day before, we
walked around with our shovels and gave a lot of service helping
people shovel their snow. I'm slowly getting better and better at it;
by the time I get home I will be able to shovel circles around all of
you... ALL OF YOU.
Pretty good district meeting. I'm getting better and better at being
able to play hymns without a ton of practice. I'm really starting to
see that the Lord is blessing me and helping me learn by pushing me
way out of my comfort zone... Hmmm sounds familiar. But besides that
district meeting was cool. Some awesome role plays and councils from
other missionaries and our district leader. But holy crud Elder
Crockett brought Mike and Ikes- A 3LB BAG OF THEM! Mike and Ikes are
BE GOOD. Hahah I don't know why but I love em!
A book of hymns that I saw a member's house.... I want it....

Did a lot more shoveling today. It snows some nights, and because of
such there seems to be often days that we have opportunities to serve
and to show others the love of the lord.
We walked around a lot more again today, staying in most of East
Missoula and visiting less actives and tracting all along the way. We
were getting pretty discouraged because no one was coming to the door,
and then we got to the last 30 minutes of the day.
First, we knocked on a potential investigator's house. Oh boy... We
talked (he talked at us) for probably about 30 minutes about a range
of topics- from God shifting the earth 12 degrees in order for it to
be flooded to Muslims taking over Missoula. Oh man...sometimes its very

interesting to be here in Montana, because there are more people than
you would care to think of here that are like that. And they get
together... AND COUNCIL.
After that we had good experience! We tracted into a younger sister
who was very receptive to our message! We went into her home and she
told us that she was happy to have us over, and that she needed a good
pick-me-up for the day! We ran into her literally at 8:50, right before
we decided we wanted to go home-good lesson to learn for me! (As a
side note.... The YSA Sisters stopped by her home today (2/8) and it
turns out that even though she did like having us over, and she
thought she might want to keep meeting us, at the moment she is very
uninterested. Oh well, Se la vi.)
Weekly planning didn't take nearly as long as it has taken us in the
past few weeks- doesn't make it any more pleasant, but it was better!
Besides that we spent most of the day visiting people in Clinton,
finding more people to teach, and then at the end of the day we helped
Brother Gowey set up a account and link his parents
to him in order to start looking at his history. I didn't know some
people really liked family history that much, but it is a really,
really cool thing that can really help us grow closer to the past. He
tried to ask us how to add a wife and find his wife; however, never
having done that for myself for anyone else I really had no idea what
I was doing haha!
We had lunch with Brother G, our ward mission leader in Clinton,
today. He took us to the only place that is within our area boundaries-
which just so happened to be a bar. So we ate lunch at a bar.
Interesting experience. Luckily, it was like noon and no one is
getting drunk at noon- not even in Montana haha.
We spent another day walking around East Missoula visiting less
actives, tracting, and finding potential investigators. Lots of fun,
and my knees aren't hurting near as bad as they should be, which is
good. I hope it doesn't catch up to me at some point though haha.
We had dinner with Sister N (cat lady) and her family, as well
as the YSA Sisters. The Sisters are teaching an investigator that lives
in Sister N's home.... I don't know if they are related, but
there is like 10 people that live in that home, so who knows?!
Anyway... It was pretty awkward at times- the Sisters are about the
same age we are and it became very apparent that there were moments
when the conversation got too......... Too...... Personal. We tried
our best to keep it professional and appropriate but it is still
pretty hard haha! After that we walked around east Missoula some more,
and we ended up running into this lady who was so where in between
91-95. She had a memory problem and she told the same 3 stories in the
hour that we were there, each changing a bit every time she told it
Exchange today with Elder Kennedy- the last one of his mission! He is
headed home next week and is super excited for it. I tried my best to
make it as good as possible, but it was hard because we needed to go
to Seeley Lake for the W girls' baptismal interviews. We had
some fun trying to find our way around... But we did a good enough job
and were able to get some good stuff done! We had a lesson with Sister
O, the less active younger sister who is married to a Jehovah's
Witness.. We had a good lesson though, we read the 10 commandments out
of the bible, and he brought in his JW bible and read them with us. It
was a good lesson!
At the baptismal interview N (one of the girls) asked me to baptize
her! Super exiting! I am very happy that she asked me, but most of all
I am super excited that I get to see her be baptized and grow closer
to the lord!
Had a pretty sweet jam session with Elder Kennedy on our way out of
Seeley Lake- sang to all the sky we possibly could in the hour it
takes to get home- awesome way to end the exchange!
Spent Sunday in Drummond- fast and testimony meeting in a branch is
odd. Small amount of people to talks means everyone has to talk haha.
It was good though! On our way out of church though, we saw a lady
hit a deer!!! We pulled off to the side of the road, and tried to help
her figure out what is going on- we gave her water and helped her calm
down, helped her get in touch with the proper authorities, and most of
all we took pictures haha. The car and the lady were okay, aside from
a little damage to the headlight. After talking with the lady for a
bit we found out that she was from the Netherlands, and had only been
in the US for like a month! Haha welcome to America.. I guess! She was
really an awesome woman though, and we were able to give her a Book of
Mormon and a restoration pamphlet and she said because we pulled right
over to help and make sure was okay she would read the whole book and
talk to missionaries in her area! The lord works in mysterious ways!
Besides that we had some good lessons with the less actives in the
area, and we taught an awesome lesson to Dan inside of some member's
homes. Good lesson, and we can see that the spirit is really helping
him in his life!

The deer that was hit.... My companion was brave enough to touch it
but I couldn't bring myself to do it!!!

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