Monday, August 17, 2015

August 17th - Devil's Tower, Exchanges, and Transfers

Family and Friends,

Hola! It's been another great week. I think I'm going to start to try to organize my emails a bit more by day instead of just a couple of big things that happen. Then I'll maybe not miss out on stuff that happened throughout the week. Also, next week I'm going to start sending out this weekly email myself instead of having my parents do it. They're going to send me a list of everyone they send it to right now and I'll make sure it gets sent. If you know anyone that wants to get my emails feel free to send me their emails, have them email me or contact my parents. we go!


We drove from Newcastle to Moorcroft, where we have our District Meetings, it's about 40 minutes away. There we met up with Elder Johnson and Elder Burnham and the DeGraw family. We drove to Devil's Tower! It's the first declared National Monument in America. It's the only land mass in the entire state of Wyoming that's classified as a mountain haha! So that's just a little different than living on the Wasatch front. It was super fun and we got some cool pictures! When we were done we went on exchanges, leaving Elder Clark with Elder Burnham and taking Elder Johnson with us back down to Newcastle.


Today was fun! We spent a lot of time today proselyting on Facebook. While you're on Facebook messenger there isn't much to do while you wait for people to respond, so I've started practicing piano. I took piano lessons forever ago and definitely don't consider myself skilled on it. But I've been spending a lot of down time learning, very slowly, the hymns! On Facebook I met a girl named Courtnie. At first it was a little awkward talking to her and I wanted to stop because there's a point where you don't think you're going to get much further, but I kept going and I felt I needed to talk to her, eventually she mentioned that she's actually Mormon! She's been inactive for quite a while and was a convert baptism just over a year ago. The ward council has been trying to get in touch with her for a while but they haven't been able to, hopefully now we'll be able to find time to meet with her and help her come back to church. We also taught a lesson to Mikey, about a week ago we were having dinner with his parents and he was there and out of the blue he says "you're mormons, right? I've been thinking about joining your church for a while and I think I want to get baptized." WHAT?! That was our reaction, that's a missionaries dream! He's been going to church for 8-11 years he says, both of his parents are members and he's just never been baptized or met with missionaries. We're now teaching him and he's doing great! We also taught Cooper, he's the Senior from Newcastle High that I met over Facebook. He has so much faith in Christ and actively participates in the Lutheran Church. We're not entirely sure yet if he's wanting to possible join the church but he has a lot of questions and wants to learn more about Mormonism. We hope that the spirit works on him over time!


Less happened today because we spent most of the day at District Meeting. I was able to contact Connor's brother through Facebook because Connor hasn't been answering me, so hopefully we'll be able to meet with them soon. Elder Clark really likes to skateboard and was sponsored before his mission and he definitely uses that skill to his advantage out here. There's a group of kids that are always out skating and we'll usually stop and talk with them and sometimes Elder Clark borrows a board and skates with them. We were skating with one of them and his mom came out and we talked with her about what a mission is and what we do as missionaries and she seemed very accepting and was very nice.


This morning we went and got wood. Bro Erickson and Bro Moody came and picked us up and we drove out to a wood pile in the forest nearby. The two of them chopped of logs with chainsaws and the 3 of us stacked them into the trailer. 3-4 hours of lifting big logs later I had a pretty nice burn on my neck and was sufficiently sore haha! We had dinner with them and got to know Bro Moody better. He's the older one with the chainsaw in the pictures I'll send. He's been a member for most of his life and didn't really have religious beliefs as a child. Then he joined the church and he told us about when he was called to be a member of the seventy! We was a seventy for a couple of months but then he was called into the Bishopric in his home ward. He's super cool and knows so much about the Gospel! After dinner we drove about an hour to a different part of our area, Sundance, where they have another department. We took a wrong turn and almost ended up in South Dakota haha! So we stopped at the state sign and took pictures and Elder Clark accidentally found a well hidden Geocache and he's never even heard of Geocaching before haha!


Not much happened today. We were able to get hold of an investigator that they haven't seen since before I got here and we set up an appointment that will work.We also stayed in Sundance and all day and met some of the members. Sundance is a small branch.


Today was slow starting because Elder Clark was pretty sick again. We spent a lot of time practicing tracting in our apartment and studying. We met a kid that works at the gas station, he's a mormon and he has a bunch of tattoos and piercings. He was super nice and he's an Art major at a college nearby. He said that next time we were in Sundance we should stop by and say hi!


Sundays are always great! The topic for sacrament was about strengthening families. Families are so important, take the time to pray for each other. Have family scripture study and prayer, study the Family Proclamation together. Have regular FHE. All of that really helps build the most sacred institution that God has established. We taught primary as well! The 3 of us pretended that we lived back when Christ was alive and told the stories of some of his miracles as if we were there! It was so much fun but the kids were a tough crowd haha! They wouldn't believe that I was 2018 years old!!! Hahaha it was a great time! Also Elder Clark said goodbye to a lot of people because he's getting mid-transferred on Thursday. So as of Thursday it's going to be just Elder Hatton and I! Then on the 30th we'll find out if either of us get transferred as well. Bro Willadson, the recent convert with the really awesome motorcycle, got in a pretty big crash on Saturday. He's doing really well and had a blessing, he said he's never felt the spirit as strongly as he did during the blessing, not even when he was baptized in December! Priesthood blessings have very real power. We got to visit him in the Hospital and I've never seen someone with an attitude as positive as his! Ever since he joined the church he goes to the church almost every single day to clean it. No one really asks him to, it's just a way he tries to help out. He was in the Hospital and didn't complain at all, he just asked us to stop by the church and make sure the diapers are taken out and that nothing was too dirty. He's a trooper.

Hopefully this wasn't too long, I'll get a hold of the whole emailing thing sooner or later!

Elder Tippetts

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