820 miles and 13 hours and 7 minutes later I'm back in Billings.
Oh what a busy week! As you can see from above that's the amount of miles and travel time we covered this week. We took off Wed. with the Iveses (the senior couple over cars/housing) and headed off in the big mission van to Missoula. We stopped in Bozeman and they took us to Applebees which was nice of them and then we rolled (hold on I just got a letter from Grandpa Gwynn..reading) ok I'm back now. Thank you grandpa for the letter. Ok back to the travels, so we got into Drummond (just outside Missoula) about 9:00 and spent the night with the Elders there. Drummond is a small town that's up in the mountains. It's pretty up there. Pine trees all over.
The next morning we headed into Missoula (for the first time on my mission) and had zone conference. We then ran into some complications when we realized we had somehow forgotten the flash drive back in Billings and President couldn't find his computer cord. Luckily after some prayers we were able to get into the family history center and download it and then President found his cord. feew! After that things went great! The zone conference went really well and it was great to be able to see a lot of Elders and Sisters that I served around in Kalispell and then others in Missoula like Elders Mower, Wells, Holbrook, Ika, and Sister Mace to name a few. News from Kalispell the 9 year old M got baptized on the 6th! Also 80+ year old T has stopped drinking coffee and has a testimony of the Book of Mormon now! Everyone kept telling me Kalispell wasn't the same as when I was there which was good to hear I'm missed. haha
After zone conferences ended we booked it over to Townsend. Pres. gave us permission to go out to the M's and stay out there. We got out there about 8 and ate some food that they had prepared for the less active/investigator dinner they do at their house every Thurs. It was great to talk to Brother M (who is the new ward mission leader) and Sister M about life in Townsend and how excited they are to keep helping with the missionary efforts. Especially W. He's really excited to get things rollin' and I'm excited to see what he can do. They had an update for me on Sister D. They said she's doing better and is eating on her own now so that was good to hear.
So after staying at the M's we went into Helena Fri. morning and were able to see some more missionaries that I look up to and love. Namely Elder Butler who has been my district leader and zone leader in the past. He's leaving after this transfer and it's going to be tough to not have him around. The zone conference there went great too and it is always good to be back in Helena. Our presentation went really well at both zone conferences and we are really excited to see if we can get online proselyting to a new level with all of it.
We then left Helena and headed down to Butte where Elder Garcia had served. We ate dinner with a family there and then went and visited his old ward mission leader who owns an ice cream place. I was able to try a fried ice cream which I don't think I've ever had before. It was pretty good. After that we made the long trek back to Billings and got back at about 11. Needless to say my mission has trained me to be able to travel long distances. It's not that bad especially when you get to see so much of the pretty country of Montana.
So I don't know if I had mentioned last week but K, J, and another girl from Kalispell were coming down to do baptisms for the dead this weekend. It worked out to be the day for the rest of Billings to go to the temple too so Elder Garcia and Elder Handcock went to a session while Elder Miner, who baptized K, and I went to do baptisms with K and J. The Billings Temple is so pretty especially in the summer time. It was really neat to see J get to come into the temple. You could tell she was nervous but after a while that was gone and she seemed really calm like a veteran. Those temple workers do such a great job of being very nice and showing you everything though so that I'm sure helped. She even got asked to do some more names after we were already done because a lady had just brought more in so she got to do 20 names. I wasn't able to baptize her because she is a female and I'm a missionary which is weird because Elder Lanham said he was able to go with the Heffelfingers and baptize all of them. Oh well. It was just good to be there. I did get to do confirmations though and was able to confirm her. There is a part of the temple where you can sit right as you walk in and there is a big sky light that looks right up to the spire and the angel Moroni. Pretty cool stuff! I'm sure most of you saw the pictures we took on Facebook. If not go check them out.
Ok now to the missionary work work. We found a new investigator named D. He really wants to be baptized and he likes the fact that we really prepare people for it instead of just throwing them in the water. He's recently made some changes to his life thanks to some encouragement of a member friend. We set a baptism date with him for Sep. 10th. He was at church this week and we'll see tomorrow night how he liked it.
Sister M was also at church for the third time. I think we're getting really close to setting a date with her and hopefully we can help her son to see that he can make some changes and things will work out for the best.
We also had a good lesson with Brother W. He knows he needs to come to church but is really nervous. We're going to do a church tour with him this week to help calm his nerves.
Overall a slow week though but not too bad considering the amount of time we were out of our area. We're really looking forward to this week and getting some really good work done because this is a week we don't have any other extra stuff taking us away from the area. We want to get a good start into this next transfer too. I can't believe transfer calls come this Friday. Things will probably be hectic around here but I don't anticipate anything happening to us.
Good to hear everyone is doing good. Good to hear you're making it to a BYU football game! How come when I was at home Mom and the girls would never go and now that I'm gone everyone goes? haha I told the senior office couple, the Karlinseys who are big BYU fans that you were going and they said oh man without you? I said yep. They said oh sad well we'll watch it for you! haha I want to be a senior couple someday so that I can be on a mission and serve the Lord but still get to watch BYU football. hahahah.
As far as the future of online work Salt Lake seems to be committed to this but just want all of the bugs and kinks worked out for the most part before they let it really go. It really has a lot of good advantages and I just hope we can continue to work and find out how best to use it.
Well I better get going now. I hope all of you have a great week! Also Thanks to those that emailed me. God Bless! And cheer for the Billings, Montana team in the little league world series!
PS I'm attaching a picture Elder Mower just sent me of the chicken in that house we taught at in Kalispell. It doesn't look quite as dirty as when I was there. Hopefully the smells not as bad either.