Monday, August 10, 2015

August 3 Sorry...this one's pretty long!

Family and friends,

This week has been pretty awesome! Crazy, sad, happy, hot. So many different emotions and temperatures haha! I'll get the sad stuff out of the way really quick. Remember last week how I was super excited about the convert baptism that was happening? He ended up canceling due to some second thoughts about it. It was really sad but I guess it's just not the time for him and we're just praying that the right time comes soon, the work just keeps moving forward! The other bad thing was a little less sad, but maybe a bit harder. When I got to Montana I got hit with what I thought was really bad allergies, they didn't go away for a while and my companions ended up getting sick too. So we ended up having a couple of really long days with really stuffed noses and really bad coughs. But we still got quite a bit of work done! We just had to go to the bathroom to blow our noses a lot haha! But don't worry! Even when hard things happen, the Lord provides amazing things to make up for it! It's up to us to look for the silver lining in all things and to 'press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men' (2 Nephi 31:20) I know that trusting in God and having hope through the Atonement softens all sorrows and lifts all burdens!

I'll explain a bit more about Newcastle. It's a small town in east Wyoming. The population sign out front says ~3500 people live here. It's a really cool town! We also take in the nearby towns of Upton and Sundance, which are even smaller than Newcastle. We have a church building and it's beautiful but small, the chapel is about half the size of our chapel in my home ward. It's amazing to see even in a small town that God loves everyone so much. There are so many amazing and righteous members here that are so cool! So many people are so nice! On Sunday I got up and bore my testimony how God loves all of his children so much. Even though I don't know most of these people I have been working in seeing them like our Heavenly Father does. As I've prayed for help with that I've seen some pretty immediate results and have a strong desire to help everyone here to the best of my abilities! Man, I just love it here so much! Another thing about Newcastle, for just more than the past week they've had a big fair going on! It's so great. They have a bunch of rodeo events from a horse trailer relays to mud bogging to truck pulls to steer wrestling! Sadly we weren't there the day the chased greased pigs, that would have been really entertaining to see! It's so fun to watch and it's been a great way for us to get out in the public and meet people!

Something else cool that's been happening over the last week is Sturgis! In case you don't know, it's the biggest motorcycle rally and I think it's held up in North Dakota. It's a really horrible place, very immoral and just a bunch of not good things happen there. We're not particularly close to Sturgis at all but we're on the route to get there! We see HUNDREDS of people driving motorcycles through town on their way to Sturgis EVERY day! I've never really been one for motorcycles but it's quite the sight! There are so many sick bikes and we've met a couple of the bikers and it's just really cool haha! Bro Willardson in the ward is a convert of ~8 months and used to go to Sturgis when he was younger. He has a limited edition Harley Davidson from their 110th anniversary I think. It's so nice and we got to sit on it! Haha it was cool!

Facebook. We are an iPad and Facebook mission. It's so amazing how technology can be utilized in missionary work now! You can find me on Facebook under Elder Garian Tippetts, just make sure it's not my normal Facebook account! My parents will be disabling my 'civilian' account soon. If you go to my page click the follow button. I'm not allowed to be Facebook friends with anyone outside of the immediate area I'm serving but you are allowed to 'follow' me and then you'll get whatever I post on your feed. Also, my address is 351 East Wentworth Newcastle, WY 82701. So feel free to send letters! I love hearing from my friends and family! Hopefully I'll respond as soon as possible haha!

Last thing. We came to a roadblock in the work, basically that all of the investigators that Newcastle has had over the last couple of weeks have all been baptized or moved out of town and are meeting with other missionaries. Sounds like a good problem to have right? So we didn't really have any one to teach so we've been tracting a lot and teaching less active members a lot. Now we're trying to get more new investigators in different ways, because tracting isn't always the most efficient way, but it still is necessary. We found 2 new investigators yesterday and met with a lady that's interested in our church! Now we're trying to do a lot more member missionary work in addition to tracting. We're going to start meeting with members in the ward as often as possible and show them the great blessings that come from missionary work. The idea is that when they see that missionary work isn't actually as scary as it seems people will feel more comfortable and even excited to invite their friends and family to meet with us. It seems like people are a lot more accepting of their friends inviting them than a couple of missionaries knocking on their doors. So we're going to be coordinating a lot more of our efforts through the Bishop and ward mission leader (our ward mission leader, bro. Erickson, sings barbershop and plays the piano. I love him SO much!) and the ward council! I can't wait to see what miracles the Lord has in store for us! All of you should invite the missionaries into your homes and invite friends and family over to hear their message. Members are so very important in this work! I know all of you can receive so many blessings from helping out in this great work that our God has for us!

Elder Tippetts

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