Monday, July 25, 2016

7/4-7/10 2016: Getting to know the area

We have to forgo some good things in order to chose others that are better or best." -Elder Dallin H Oaks 

There are a lot of good things in this earth.... So often times we have to chose between a few. Are you choking the BEST things to do? Playing football and being shape are GOOD, but wouldn't the BEST thing be to visit a sick relative or friend? Think about your choices this week, and chose the BEST! :) 

Being the 4th, there were a bunch of cool things happening in town. First off, there was a parade! We got to go wander around downtown Kalispell for a bit looking for a place to stand/sit, all the while getting some of the dirtiest looks I've ever received on my mission. It kind of makes me realize how much the world really hates what I'm doing..... Serving the lord.... But, I guess these people just don't really understand what I'm doing! 

So we eventually found some members to go and sit with to watch the parade. It was a cool show, almost an hour and a half long!  It started at 10 and didn't get finished until just after 11:20! Lots of really cool old cars driving down the road. Something about Kalispell- there are a ton of people that have REALLY nice cars. Like........... A TON. 
After the parade we got a call from the zone leaders- well our little plan to have the day be a proselyting day instead of a preparation day was shot down by president Wadsworth. He called them and said that it would be in our best interest to have preparation day like normal. So....... That's what we had to do! So we went home and started typing emails, doing laundry, then we went shopping, etc. All the normal pday stuff. After all the normal stuff was done, we went over to the zone leaders place (the members they live with have a HUGE house and yard to go with it) and played some rugby, soccer, football, foosball, and anything else we could fit in the short time we had. 
We had a barbecue with a family in K3 for dinner, which was cool. Had a bunch of nonmember friends over, so we were able to talk with them for a good time. The members seemed super cool, and everyone was super happy to have us over. All the members in Kalispell seem to just be flippin AWESOME! They all are super missionary minded, and they all have a desire to do the work!!
After that we headed over to the Newtons, to hang out with them for the night and to watch some fireworks. We were allowed to stay out until 10:30, but we had to be with members. Not going to lie, it did feel weird being at one persons house for 2 hours, but it is one of few times that we can do that and have it be okay! We had a great time there, plus we got to talk with one of the nonmember kids that was there (they are working on adopting him.... Long story short) so that was legit! 
Let me tell you- fireworks in Montana are DUMB! Everyone seems to just go all out in buying and using as much pyrotechnics as they can! It doesn't help that for like that past month there have been fireworks stands on every street corner! 
Trying to get to know the area is proving to be a bit more difficult than we thought. With both of us being brand new to the area, and with there being no other missionaries in the main city of Kalispell, we are kind of on our own! With that fact in mind, we spent a majority of the morning kind of wandering around Kalispell slowly figuring out the area. We spent a good amount of time on Main Street, with all the shops and sights to see. We wandered through the mall, all through the neighborhoods, and basically just began to get our bearings of where to go! Well, as we were walking around we got a call from the Zone Leaders- apparently, Elder Sedig popped one of his tires while they were riding their bikes. Well, problem #2- they were almost 15 miles away from home. So, they gave us a call and asked us to come find them and help them out. So we ran back home and then drove out to go get them. By the time we went and got them, brought them back home to get their truck and bike rack (apparently the last elders broke our rack.....) and then made sure they were all good with their bikes, it was time for dinner! (Took up more time than we thought! Haha) 

We dinner with this really awesome engaged couple in K1. Elder Nuffer, the other zone leader, has made comments that they are his favorite couple he has ever encountered on his mission (which is about 22 months at this point...). They were pretty cool, and then to add onto that, we played some FARKLE after dinner. Sister Mower (well.... Soon to be mower) won both games that we played, but it was super fun anyway!
Every Wednesday morning we have correlation meetings with Bishop Cahoon and Brother Casaan (WML) from K1 at 6:30. So we planned on waking up at 5:40 to start getting ready. Well apparently, my alarm decided it didn't want to go off, so I woke up to Elder Bishop desperately exclaiming- 
"Elder! Get up! It's 6:15!"
Well dang......... 
Needless to say, we RUSHED to get ready, unfortunately skipping showers, and then out the door to get to the meeting on time. The meeting was good, even though Elder Bishop and I were zombies. At the end of the meeting and breakfast, we went back home to shower and do a little bit of studies. 
After that we went to district meeting (showed up a little late for that.... Oops!) and had a super cool meeting. Elder Kimball, the district leader, sounds like he's going to be a lot of fun, and that he's not really goin to let district meetings be boring at all. Makes me excited for this transfer!!! 
After district meeting we went and gave some service- we went and helped some people in an apartment complex move back in (the complex burnt down like six months ago or something like that and is just now livable again... I guess). All I know is that it was the easiest move I've ever done. With 6 of us there, there was no more than one box a person for every person that showed up. It was super easy..... Most of the time was actually spent just kinda sitting around waiting for someone else to show up, so yeah it was kinda boring. But, I love giving service and it was super good to help people out that needed it!! 
We biked out to dinner, which was about a 40 minute ride. We stopped counting miles, and we just kinda are going with whatever happens. We are trying our best to not use the car at all. The weather here is super nice- usually hangs around the 60s or so for most of the day. So biking is just kinda PERFECT right now. It also feel good to get some cardio in. Loosin some o dat weight that I've gained on my mission. It feels good to at least sort of be back in some form of shape! Haha 
We ate dinner with this super cool couple that just finished serving a mission in Korea, under Army relations or something like that. They had some super cool stories, and the diner was pretty cool as well. Good food. 
We had to bike home, and just for our luck- it started POURING right as we started biking. We got about a mile into it and had to stop because our bikes were slipping too much in the rain! Neither of us had raincoats with us, and so we were both just soaked to the bone! It was fun though! :D 

After a long a gruesome uphill ride home, we decided that with the amount of mud and water that had soaked into our clothes, a change was necessary. So we quickly changed clothes and then we rushed over to the Perertsons, the people we gave service to last Wednesday when we first got to Kalispell. She's a really cool less active member, and he is a nonmember. They both are super cool. And we had a great discussion about keeping our standards in the crazy world of today, and about working hard to follow God. We also got to play a fun game of keep away with one of their dogs, only the dog was the one keeping away from all of us. It made us laugh pretty hard. 
We spent the first part of the morning in the public library working on figuring some stuff out for the area. Computers are great........ I miss having one easily assessable... Oh well. I'll live. 
After a boring while there, we went to the church to being planning. Planning was a little rough, and we really didn't get a ton done. But I mean, what else comes from not knowing the area, right? 
4 hours and many breaks later, we decided it was time to be done planning, so we biked over to the WML's house for K1 to get our pictures taken for the ward bulletin. It's cool that they post our pictures and then some stuff about us for the ward to see. I guess the stake president had a goal that every member will have a posted picture of their missionaries in their home. It feels kinda weird, but I get the point behind it so imma just have to deal, I guess. 
We had dinner that night with a really cool family. The husband is a programmer, an avid scouter and a cancer fighter. They are a super cool couple, and they invited us over to give them some service, so we area excited for that!!
We had a sweet lesson with the Newtons after that, about balancing your life with scripture study, prayer, and church attendance. We showed them this really cool physics trick with three knives and three cups about balancing any weight on a sturdy enough structure. It was super cool to be able to show off my nerdy-ness. I only got made fun of a little for it, so it was okay. (I'll include pictures).

We gave service to that family first thing in the morning. (The Bahrs are their name). We sanded down some stairs for them so that they could be repainted and redone. We had a belt sander and a paint scraper, so it was a good amount of work to be able to get it all done. It felt good to help them though, as Brother Bahr is too sick to be able to do any of it on his own, and sister Bahr didn't want to do it without help. So it was nice to help!
When we were done with that, we realized that we had no idea where the phone was. Well, then I realized that I left it on top of the car..... As we drove away. So we walked the streets for like an hour searching for the phone sadly, without success. 
We went to the church to make some calls after that, and then we went to the library to do some online proselyting. We then went and visited a couple investigators we have on date, a 13 year-old boy and a 12 year-old girl. They are both super solid, and really just waiting for an interview to get baptized! Makes us super excited!!!!! 
We had to rush to dinner after that, and we had dinner with a couple where the husband actually grew up in Chandler! (Phoenix) So we got to talk about stuff at home for a while, which was pretty cool! 
After that, we had to rush to the church to have a missionary game night that we planned with K2. We invited all the youth to come, and about 8 showed up. We had tons of fun playing basketball, football, and then a little bit of Ultimate Frisbee. We had a ton of fun, plus we got to share a nice spiritual message after we got all done. We are hoping that we will have more kids show up next week!!!! 

The phone was found! Haha apparently our neighbor saw the phone in the street and then called a bunch of people to find out who's it was. So when we woke up he had brought it over!! It was a legit miracle!!! 
As we started our studies we got a call from the high priests group leader to come help with a move. SWEET! So we got over there and we had to move this lady out who fit more stuff into a small apartment than I have seen in most large houses. It was nuts! We didn't know when it would end! But, it was awesome to be able to help!! 
We wen to the library a again after that to get some music and other things offline. We then biked to dinner- another gruesome 10 miles uphill. It was "fun" though! 

At least that's what I'm convincing myself

After dinner we went around the church to just kinda meet as many members as we could. We met a lot of cool people. Another testimony to me that the members here in Kalispell are just LEGIT!!!
I went to both ward councils.... One with my companion and one without. Both. Very. Boring. Not much about missionary work discussed, and so I just kinda felt....... Out of place. Like I didn't need to be there. Oh well, Se la vi. 
We spoke in K1, which is always fun to do. As I was sitting in the stand before the meeting I noticed a familiar face in the crowd- Brother Strang?! So I made my way over to him and asked what he was doing here? He looked back and me and said that he heard I was speaking so he came to watch. Man....... Not gonna lie I really am starting to miss Helena 2. There were some awesome people there! Brother Strang has probably been one of my more legit WMLs during my mission, even if I only was with him for 6 weeks. 

I found out after church that Elder Bishop is almost as at napping as Elder Hansen........


But yeah. So I just kinda hung out and studied a bit. President had challenged us missionaries to begin reading through the BOM again as a mission, looking for attributes of Christ. So I started again..... Time #4 on my mission!! Hahah I'm loving that though! Lots of Book of Mormon study!!! 
After a nap, we went over to visit a less active couple that wanted us to come over. So we went and visited them and they are also pretty cool. I'm really lovin the area!!
We had dinner with a family out in Kila. They kinda reminded me of life back home. They are all computer savvy, and also VERY musically inclined. When they heard I also did music stuff they immediately started asking me to sing musicals songs with them... And as a Wallgren family member I wanted to, but as a missionary I was conflicted. Luckily, mom came to the rescue and said that a missionary should not really be singing songs from Les Mis. Thank you, Mom! Haha 
I had to practice a little bit of the piano for district meeting after that, then we went finding for a bit, then we went home!!

Elder Braden R Wallgren
Montana Billings Mission
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints

What's the worst thing about ancient history class?

The teachers tend to Babylon

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