Monday, April 25, 2016

It's official! I'm contagious

Family and friends,

So once upon a time today I found out I have Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease. Nothing too serious but it means these next couple days can be a little uncomfortable. I got really sick on Friday and then Saturday and Sunday everything went away except for a sore throat and now today I'm getting the little sores on my hands and feet that characterize it. So Elder Childers (he's a practicing Doctor here in Powell that is also a medical coordinator for our mission) told me to have lots of chocolate milk, ice cream, Tylenol and cough drops this week. It is moderately contagious but only through saliva and mucous and other bodily fluids so we'll still be doing some teaching.

Anyways, on to the rest of the week. Last preparation was probably the best one ever! We went out to the George's dairy farm with the Zone Leaders. Bro George is a member of the bishopric here and all the rest of his family lives in Cody and it's their family dairy! We spent 3 hours out there and he gave us a really in depth tour. They forever disprove the idea that farmers are dumb, I never knew that taking care of a farm and dairy took so much work. He showed us how they milk the cows (it's all automated and pretty hi-tech) and how they feed the cows (the cows get a more balanced and regulated diet than any human probably does). They even showed us the breeding barn and walked us through the process of artificial insemination. Sorry if that weirds you out. The best part though was the baby cows. They all had their own individual giant do house (the igloo style ones) with a little wire fence around them. They were in there just hopping around and bellowing and having a good time. Then brother George showed us that if you stick your fingers in front of their face they'll just latch on and start sucking. It was a really weird sensation but all of us thought it was hilarious to see the baby cows put our hands in their mouths. They only have their bottom teeth half formed and no top teeth, so there's no danger of them biting off your hand.

We did A LOT of service this past week. Tuesday Morning we spent 2 hours sweeping some outdoor patios at The Manor, it's an assisted living place here in town. We didn't even get halfway through that stuff and there's more stuff to do after that. We were able to talk to some of the people living there, some of them are less active members. And the lady at the front desk (non-member) was so appreciative and we talked to her a bit about our beliefs about service and what it means to be on a mission, it was a great experience. We met an older guy that wanted some help moving some water heaters so we went back on Thursday and he wasn't home. We were walking back and his neighbor was outside so we offered some service and ended up trimming her hedges for a couple hours and she told us about her life and all the trees and other plants she has. We had to get going so we went back on Saturday and finished up and she had baked cookies for us! She was a great friend to find, not particularly interested in learning about the gospel but really kind. We also did more service at one of the thrift shops in Powell again! For any of you that don't know, my love for Thrift Shops is immense. We vacuumed some more, fixed another vacuum and steamed the wrinkles out of some clothes.

Last service we did was we found Clarence, the older guy with the water heaters, on Saturday. He already got those taken care of so we helped him clean out one of his tomato gardens. We were walking up and he was looking at us weird so we called out, "don't you recognize us without our ties on?" And he laughed and yelled back "Oh look! I thought it was them Mormon Boys!" He offered us a cool beer for our help too many times to count, we finally got him to settle on a cold water bottle. After cleaning out the garden he showed us his animal shed. He has a full body Elk Mount that took second place in the World Taxidermy Competition! He also had a giant trophy Moose head, a bunch of deer and my favorite thing he had was a wolf! It was really majestic and so realistic. I was expecting it to start snarling and eat my face off.

Anyways, last thing is an update on one of the miracles I shared last week. It just keeps getting better. This is about Kyle, he's the less active member we met by mixing up the address we were looking for. So we taught him and it was really awesome! We read out of the Book of Mormon and Brother Spomer kept testifying of how the gospel has changed his life since he started coming back to church in the past year. The spirit was super strong. But wait, there's more. He told us that his family stopped going to church when he was 6 or 7. SIX OR SEVEN. Do you see what we were excited about? So we nonchalantly asked him if he was ever baptized, or at least as nonchalantly as a missionary can ask at the prospect of a potential baptism. He said that he doesn't know if he's ever been baptized and that over the past couple of years he's been really wondering if he has been. We asked if he'd want to get baptized if he found out that he never was and he said, "Sure, I've always liked the Mormon religion." So we talked to the bishop of the Ward he used to live in over in Cody and got his records transferred over and he's not baptized! Moral of the story is we're super excited to keep working with him! The main hurdle we'll need to get over with him is that his work schedule won't currently allow him to come to church...prayers would be appreciated!

I love you all! Have a grand week!

Elder Tippetts

607 Avenue E

Powell, Wyoming 82435

1. The Wyoming West Zone for this transfer
2. Us next to a bunch of cows
3. Me in a John Deere tractor
4. A baby cow sucking on my fingers! This cow was my favorite because it doesn't have ears.

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