Monday, May 16, 2016

5/9-5/15/2016: Enlisted in the service

Aren't I just so photogenic?

"May we maintain the courage to defy the consensus. May we ever choose
the harder right instead of the easier wrong." (President Thomas S
Monson, Choices, April 2016 General Conference)

Choosing the right is ever so much harder than choosing the wrong. How
easy is it to give up and give in to temptation? How easy is it to
choose the wrong thing to do rather than the right thing to do? When I
read this and talked about it in church this week, I compared it to
doing a math problem. When we have a problem like 70/4984 how easy is
it to just write down an answer and get it wrong? How much effort does
that take? How much harder would it be to write it down and go out and
do the math, to somehow find the answer? The effort that we put forth
makes getting the RIGHT answer harder, but getting the WRONG answer a
whole lot easier.
So why would we choose to put forth effort to do the right, to get the
right answer? Because if we don't pass the test, than we don't get the
rewards that come from a passing score. The rewards from the math test
is a passing grade in the class. The rewards from "passing" life's
test are a little different though.
The point of this life is that we may be "[proven] herewith, to see if
[we] might do all things which [the lord] has commanded [us]" we are
here to take a test of life (of a sort). What happens if we put forth
the effort to choose the harder right? The Lord rains down blessings
on our head. He showers us with his love, with his kindness, and with
those things that we have been praying earnestly for! How wonderful
are the benefits that we receive when we make the decision to choose

Transfers this week.... (Or I guess just transfer calls... But whatever)
We did A TON of service this week!
Another example of the "zoo" zone..... My last zone pic :(

Had a super packed preparation day! It was super sweet! We started
with some bowling at a new place that the sisters in 5th Ward had
found and made some reservations for us. It was super sweet- it was
brand new so the lanes were all super oiled and so the balls didn't
really spin much, they just rolled right down the lane to the pins.
Made my life great, because the only reason I ever lose is because I
can't freakin get the ball to go straight! Haha so I wrecked everyone
(except for the last game, where Elder Hansen did pretty good.) and it
was fun because we played with the YSA sisters, and we definitely did
our fair share of smack talk.
It was intense.
New high(er) score in bowling! Heck yeah I'm beating everyone! I got a
300, and it only took me 3 games! Haha

After that we went to the church- we were throwing a surprise party
for Elder Delimata and Sister Freeman whose birthdays were Tuesday and
Wednesday. We set up one of the Seminary rooms with a bunch of
streamers and balloons and stuff, and we had hats and a cake; the
whole 9 yards. It was cool to see the surprise on their faces. Half
faked half real. I think that we were way to loud for it to be too
much of a surprise, but it was a surprise in how much we had done. We
all gave them presents, and with it we had some cake. 

We played
podball as a zone right after that, which is always intensely awesome,
and then after that we played some soccer. It was super rough to play
because 1) I'm SUPER out of shape. 2)I was wearing jeans.... JEANS. So
just running the short distance from one end of the gym to the other
was killer. Our team started off winning (I think....we don't exactly
keep score) but because two of the three of us were wearing jeans, we
quickly died and I'm sure that the other team win (plus they had 4
people and we had 3... That definitely helped)
After that we made our normal visit to Brother Gowey, and we talked a
lot about the restoration of the priesthood, and how the priesthood
that we have comes directly from Jesus Christ. I showed him my line of
authority, which was SUPER cool for him to see. It really smacked him
hard when he saw Christ's name at the end of the list. It hit him hard
that the things that I was doing (missionary work), I had direct
authority from Christ to be doing such things. Brother Gowey's super
great and he is really growing to just love the restored gospel!
Tuesday was super slow. We had a hard time waking up in the morning,
as the activities from the day previous absolutely tired us out. Plus,
waking up late always kind of puts a negative spin on the rest of the
day's activities, so we knew from the get go that it was going to be a
rough day.
We were able to go help Sue out some more in her home, changing things
around and making some room for some of her stuff. It's always nice to
help her, but she always has the TV on while we work, and even worse-
it's on a Si-Fi movie channel that she watches all the time. So we
tried hard to just work and not bother with that, though sometimes
just hearing it in the background was hard haha. We were able to get a
bunch done and help her out a good amount, which was cool.
After Sue's we had some open time to wander, so we wandered around the
neighborhood and tried to find some people to teach, without any sort
of avail. Tracting seems to be super ineffective lately, and it's
starting to make me wonder why it's happening, if maybe it's some form
of our fault. Either way, imma keep doin it, and I'm going to find
some way to make it start working better!
For dinner we went to the Egberts out in Beavertail, which is always a
fun thing. Those children are fireballs and they are always a mess to
try to keep occupied while we talk with their parents. I tripped and
hit the floor part way through our lesson, as I was walking from
washing my hands in the kitchen to going back to sit down and keep
going the with lesson, and apparently that warranted my becoming a dad
horse and a trampoline for the kids. I'm glad I have at least an OKAY
back, because those kids would have ruined me for life if I didn't.
Teaching families is GREAT.
Apparently... When you trip at the Egbert house it means you have
become a horse.... And a trampoline

I had a role play for this last district meeting of the transfer,
about using the Book of Mormon to answer questions of the soul. For
some reason Elder Bozue gave me a lot to do in district meetings this
transfer, and oddly Hansen did nothing......... Makes ya wonder.
ANYWAY! So I planned a cool little game role play thing where everyone
had to put their PMGs and iPads away, and using nothing but a blank
copy of the Book of Mormon and their Schema (I actually used that
word. Everyone looked so confused. Only really my family, and possibly
only my father will understand why that is funny). But we turned it
into a cool little scripture chase where the two teams (ELDERS V.
SISTERS) had to race to find an answer to either my or Sister
Hodgson's concerns, using nothing but the Book of Mormon. It was fun
because I brought my HUGE bag of Jolly Ranchers and the team that
sufficiently answered the concern got to stick their hand into the bag
and pull out a few. Everyone said they loved it, so I suppose that is
somewhat of a success on my part!
Just before district meeting we got a phone call from Brother Gowey-
he sounded super stressed out and nervous about something. After
calming him down a bit and talking with him, we found out that he was
being evicted from his house, and that he wanted us to come over so he
could talk about it, and so we could help him pack some before he had
to be out (he was only given like 4 days!). So we talked with the 2nd
ward Elders and scheduled with them for us to go over to Brother
Gowey's house right after district meeting. It made me laugh when we
got there because like a year ago Elder Hatton went on an exchange
with the Clinton Elders and he slept in this house that Brother Gowey
is currently in (the missionaries were in it at that point, of
Our WONDERFUL packing job with Brother Gowey

After an hour or two there we had packed all that we could fit into
the few boxes that he had, and then placed them in a place that was
easy to get to so that the elders quorum could get it super easy when
they came to move him. As we were leaving to get back to the apartment
to take our lunch/dinner break, Elder Hansen and I came to the stark
realization that we had no food in the apartment.... None. With the
want to actually eat overcoming our desire to be lazy and just not
eat, we ran into Missoula super fast to go to Walmart and get some
foodstuffs for us to munch on haha. So we spent a good amount of time
in driving to and from Missoula, and then the rest of the time eating
and napping! It was a nice break.
We finished the Isaiah chapters of 2 Nephi with the Goerge's, which
they thought was super cool. It felt pretty good to help them keep
moving through the book, and it was even cooler when we asked them how
reading the book on a regular basis was helping their lives. Sister
George said that she knew that the book was helping invite the spirit
into her life. Brother George said that he couldn't quite put his
finger on it, but something about his life while reading the book was
making his life better, happier even. He said that he didn't know how
a little book like the Book of Mormon could do something like make
someone's life easier, but it was, so he said he wasn't going to
complain! It was super cool to see their testimonies of the Book of
Mormon growing, and to see the progress that they are making in the
We did the final piece of the gross Apartment remodeling today! We
finally were able to put to carpet pads down, getting ready for the
new carpet and new floors to go in! It was super exciting to see the
difference in the apartment from when we first got there to take
almost 3 TONS of garbage to the dump to this final piece of putting in
the new floors. The walls had been painted, the counters re-done, the
windows re-framed, the doors sanded down and repainted- oh I know it
sounds a little egotistical, but man it felt good to say that we did
the work to be able to get the place from where it was to where it is
now! Sister Freeman and Sister Hodgson were super happy to see the
place progress as well, but I don't think they know the extent of
when we had to do before they got there to tear up carpet and pull
staples out of the wall. Brother Yule says that he is super happy to
have our help, and that he is never going to forget the things that we
did for him. He says that as soon as I get off my mission, he will
give me some free kayaking lessons!!! FREE KAYAKING LESSONS!!!!!!!!
All I have to do is come up to Montana. Let me tell you- even though
Brother Yule is in his late 60s, he still wins kayaking races all the
time- against college students!!! Cleaning that gross apartment was so
worth it. Kayaking is the best.
After that Brother Yule took the four of us out to lunch, and then
Elder Hansen and I had to rush to get to Sue's. When we got there she
was a little down, and after a little bit of discussion we found out
that she recently went to he doctor's for her 3 month check up from
her cancer... And the doctors think that the cancer may be back to get
her. We were so shocked! We tried hard to tell her that things would
be okay, but we didn't know so we couldn't say it. We had planned to
talk about the plan of salvation that day, but we ended up spending
almost an hour and a half talking about how the Atonement of Jesus
Christ can and will help her through this trial, all she has to do is
accept the help. We discussed that atonement super in-depth, and by
the end I could tell that she was a lot less worried about this trial,
ready to take it by the horns! Sue is a super strong sister, and I am
super happy to know her!
We had dinner with Sister Nichols, and we took the whole hour long
walk to East Missoula to make sure we could have a good appetite! Haha
she made this cool spaghetti casserole thingy, with "Aunt Albertsons"
famous garlic bread haha. It was super good, plus all her cats started
gathering around the table, expecting to get some food. We assumed it
was not okay to feed the cats so we ignored them, but then Sister
Nichols started throwing them some food, putting some of the hamburger
meat on the ground for the cats to fight over. After she did that we
knew it was okay so we tried to start feeding the cats too. I don't
think they trusted me because they would eat stuff from Elder Hansen
and from Sister Nichols, but wouldn't eat anything from me..... Oh
well, I'm not a cat person anyway! 
Sister Nichols's 16 year old cat was not amused with me trying to feed
it spaghetti... It just laid there and looked at me like that the
whole time I was there...

After that we went to Brother Gowey's and we watched the Joseph Smith
movie with him. It was able to answer a lot of questions that he had,
and able to really show him the kind of person that the prophet was.
Brother Gowey said he would love to meet the man someday, and that he
is honored to belong to a church that could have been started by such
a person. We knew what he meant so we didn't correct him, but it was
cool to hear Brother Gowey's testimony about the restoration of the
We spent the first part of the morning helping Brother Gowey finally
finish packing. He got more boxes and so we spent a good hour or so
helping hum take all the loose stuff left around the house and
throwing it in a somewhat organized manner into boxes to be moved.
Sad to see him go, I've worked so hard with him to get him to where he
is now, and it has been a SUPER long journey to get him there. I love
that guy!
After Brother Gowey we rushed out to Clinton for some more service, at
the Lemons this time. They just needed some help moving some stuff
around so we went and used our "muscles" to help them move what needed
to be moved. It was cool to be able to help them! They told us at the
end that they really did love us and having us over, which coming from
them means a lot. It was cool to see their appreciation for us and for
the church at least start to grow!
Since we were busy helping at the gross apartment on Thursday, we
needed to plan for the coming week so that we didn't have a blank area
book. So we went to the church and started planning (after making some
brownies, of course). It went well... As well as planning can go I
guess haha.
We walked from the church to the Weavers after a while of planning,
about 2 miles, for dinner. They are super cool and they made a new
dish I had never had before- they called it Doritos Dinner. It was
Doritos with rice and then some hamburger mixed with Tomato soup. It
sounds super weird... I know. But it was SUPER GOOD! Definitely going
into my recipe book!!!
After dinner we walked to the Johns, another 3 or so miles down the
road. It is a super nice walk because it's flat, yet the mountains are
on either side of you and it just is super pretty. Montana Is great.
We had a cool little visit with the Johns family (and then some of the
granddaughters friends came over) even though it started out weird.
The granddaughter said she knew all the states and capitals, so being
the nerd that I am and knowing most of them myself I started asking
her a bunch of them. Well that turned into a trivia fest because Elder
Hansen didn't know any of the capitols so he started shouting random
history questions that he knew to see if any of us did. So we went
around in a circle the whole bunch of us just asking a ton of random
trivia questions for like an hour. Then we realized we should probably
teach at least some form of a lesson, so we tried to relate it to the
gospel. Talked something about the trivial things in life, and how we
need to focus, but it was mostly a lost cause. It was a good visit
though. Then we walked the good 5 miles or so back to the church and
drove home very..... Hastily be cause it was like 9:25 when we got in
the car!
We had a carwash planned for the day today, and then as we were
getting ready we got a call from the 2nd ward Elders telling us that
they needed some help moving! So we hastily dressed and went to help
the elders move someone in their ward. It was a good thing we came
too, because if it was just going to be the elders and the members it
would have taken them probably like 4 hours. With all the missionaries
there we were almost moving stuff faster than they could tell us where
to put it haha. It was great!
We did another carwash! This one wasn't as good as the last one, for
some reason. More planning went to this one than the last one, but for
some reason was less successful. It was still a lot of fun, and I
didn't even get that badly sunburned this time! Hahah
After the carwash we had to rush to Seeley Lake, so we were in a super
big hurry. Well, amongst the hurry, I misplaced my iPad! (Don't worry
I have it now). So we tried to find that but we ran out
of time and we had to leave to Seeley. Interesting.
All our plans cancelled in Seeley, so we spent the night kind of
wandering, until, we got frustrated and went to the church and spent
some time organizing the music on my USB. It's all good now, but it
took a while haha.
We spoke in church on Sunday in Seeley, but the talk I had prepared was
on my iPad.... Which was nowhere to be seen.., so I gave the high
councilman a little bit of long time to speak as I just kind of spoke
in what I could remember that I had written. I felt kinda bad but
everyone said I did good, so whatever I suppose!
We got our transfer calls during lunch, which was weird because it was
just like right after we walked in so we took the call and then
couldn't tell thee members what was happening haha.
Oh what's happening? We are, sadly, both leaving the area. Elder
Hansen is going to a Butte 1st ward, and I am going to Helena 2nd
Ward/Lincoln Branch. I get to be the Jr companion to the district
leader!!! -_- I'm so excited
After that we went to the Daniels Snider Whitman family and visited
with them. The older brother has recently been having an obsession
with water-related things, so we walked in in the middle of a water
balloon and water gun fight. Fun? Heck yeah. We got soaked, then spent
like 30 minutes drying off during a lesson, then we took pictures with
them, because we're both leaving and want to have some sort of
The Snider/Whitman/Daniels clan all in one picture... It took like 30
minutes and 400 pictures to find one good one hahahah

After a few mor appointments we had to rush back to Clinton for a
dinner with the Lohmans. Still weird that people not that much older
than me are married, living alone, and adulting. I don't wanna.
That night was spent with Elder Hansen updating the area book like
crazy and me doing a little bit of packing. I have too much stuff
But in all reality, after 6 months here I really am going to miss all
the people, the places, and the missionaries. However, Helena is about
to get hit with a Wallgren Bomb.
Look out Helena.. Here I come!

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