Hello from the Colorado, Colorado Springs Mission

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Colorado Springs is Amazing!

Hello from the Colorado, Colorado Springs Mission

Colorado Springs is Amazing!

  Even though I haven't been on my mission for very long, it still feels like these weeks are just blowing by really fast! We're so busy all the time! This last P-day we spent with a less-active member of the church and our investigator (his friend). We had lunch with them and spent the afternoon playing this interesting card/board game called Munchkin. The game wasn't my favorite, but we had a really good time telling
jokes, eating, and laughing together. It made it worthwhile.

Garden of the Gods
  My companion just hit his half way mark (12 months for guys, 9 months for girls) and he got to go to the Temple for a day. It is a tradition, they spend the entire day at the temple and their companions go on exchanges for the day. It sounds awesome, but the down side was that his year mark was on my birthday; I wasn't excited about spending my birthday with someone I had never met. Luckily, my companion's group was so large (32 missionaries), that they had to make separate trips to fit everyone. So he got to go on the 18th instead. My companion for the day was Elder Kettlewell from Independence, Missouri.  He was supposed to go to Brazil, but is still waiting for his visa (14 months into his mission). A couple of our appointments cancelled, so we ended up doing a lot of knocking on doors.  The whole day could have gone a lot better, but I was glad when it was over.

Thanks for the birthday packages, I needed the coat. So I have some really good news. We have a baptism this Saturday!  It's for a girl we've been teaching and she want's me to be the one to baptize her! I'm really excited!  Also, to add more good news, we have another baptism scheduled next Friday for our investigator who we helped quit smoking. Also, the following Saturday we have our 3rd baptism scheduled with the another investigator. That's 3 baptisms in 3 weeks! The Ward is so happy with us! They have had only 1convert baptism in the last 5 years.  The work is really picking up here and I'm so glad that I get to be a part of this so early in my mission. It is really encouraging to start off in a good direction. I know that the Lord's influence is here and it's changing lives. It's so cool to be a part of it.

5 things this week that made me smile:

1. Our district leader has a new companion that is really out there. We feel like he might have Asperger's but no one has asked. He's funny, but really weird. He started singing a hymn really loud while we are having a discussion during district meeting.

2. While at a members house, I sat down in a chair, then they said "WAIT!!! Don't sit there! I just doused it in febreeze!" and I reeked of fresh kitchen apples the rest of the day.

3. Tuesday nights we get to play volleyball with our ward and the Mountain Shadows Ward, and this week I got nailed in the face with the ball by someone who played for BYU. My face was red for at least an

4. We went to a dinner appointment with a less-active member this week and they forgot that they had signed up. They drove us over to McDonald's to order from the $1 menu, but he left his card at home, so
I paid for dinner.

5. We picked apples as a service project for some members and we picked over 600 apples. I was on a ladder picking them and got so scraped up from the branches, but the funny part was that one of the sister missionaries got attacked by a neighborhood cat. It snuck up behind her and clawed her leg. She bled and had to have at least 4 band-aids.  Not fun for her, but we all had a good laugh.

God is Great!

Elder Gillingwater

Monday, September 22, 2014

Snow in September

Snow in Colorado Springs
Another great week has passed,
I got to spend a lot of time working with our investigators this week teaching lessons about the Restoration of the Gospel, the Law of Chastity, Word of Wisdom, Fasting and paying Tithing. They all are really excited about what we teach and are more than willing to follow those commandments. It's so great to see the work of the Lord in progress and his influence in the people here. One experience is when we were teaching the Word of Wisdom to a young man who has a problem with smoking; he handed me his lighter and we disposed of the rest of his cigarettes, and he has been doing great since.  He is an avid reader of the Book of Mormon and is a lot of fun to be around. 
Light Dusting of Snow
So... It SNOWED this week!!!! [Those are not excited exclamation points] One day the high was in the upper 40's and it was just freezing and overcast all day.  It's only mid September, this shouldn't be happening. Luckily, the next day the weather was back up to the 70's and sunny; which was perfect because we did service all day. I'm not looking forward to future snow days, but at least I'm a little prepared. Some members here gave me a pair of awesomely warm snow boots for when it gets cold. We cleaned up their shed and backyard and they gave me boots!
So we have some pretty exciting news! Our area is notorious for being the largest and most difficult biking area in the entire mission. That's definitely not the exciting part, nor am I really happy about that. There are some parts of our area that we haven't even been to yet, because it's so difficult to get there on bike and would take all day (and we only have 1 or 2 less active members in those areas each). We don't usually make the trip because it is just really inconvenient. Well, the two sister missionaries in our district live literally right next to the area we never visit (a block or two away) and we talked to them about possibly working in that area. We had kind of said it in a jokingly manner but they called the mission president and he approved them working in our ward effective immediately. So we now have sister missionaries in our ward. They've really been a big help so far and we are excited about the prospects of getting more work done. It helps make our job a little easier and they're excited because they don't have enough people to teach in their ward. The work is going to be incredible in our ward, we can't wait!
Sorry, I have to cut this short, I'm going to get kicked off the computer in the Library. I will write some more details and pictures next week. I love you all so much!!! 

God is Great!
Elder Gillingwater

Sunday, September 14, 2014

My Mission September 14, 2014

Amazing Wildlife Everywhere!

I feel like a lot more happened at home this week than what happened here in Colorado Springs! It sounds like Kaley's wedding went really well! Except for the cake in the hair thing.  So this week we got another investigator to commit to baptism! He has a date for Oct. 3rd and we are really excited for him, but I think he's even more excited! We've been spending a lot of time with him and teaching him so he will feel ready.
Last week was the first transfers and my companion and I will stay together for at least one more transfer. After that, We are getting a lot of work done in our area which is pretty exciting. My companion said he's never had this many investigators before.  The last two Sunday's we've been fasting for our investigators. The first time was for an investigator who we were trying to help him receive his answer about modern day prophets and that he would be able to find a job. He promised to go a week without breaking the Word of Wisdom and on the 7th day of his commitment, he got an interview with a company for a job. We were pretty excited for him! He still hasn't received his answer about prophets, and didn't really make the connection between following the Word of Wisdom and the blessing he received, but we're working on it!
We also learned a cool visual way to teach the 10 Commandments using your hands and it is really an effective way to help children learn the commandments.
On Thursday we had our Ward Mission Leader drive us to visit some potential investigators to introduce ourselves and to start teaching them the lessons. Our first stop was with a single mom (Filipino) who works night shift so she can spend the day with her kids. She's really excited about the lessons.

Later that same day we stopped by the family we helped move in a few weeks back to check in on them. The wife was home and we got to help her get a few things organized.  Note to everyone, don't ask me or my companion to help program your garage door openers.  We couldn't get all 3 doors to be programmed correctly. At one point if you pushed a button, all 3 doors moved. It actually looked like a fun house with all the doors going up and down!  After 2 hours of trying to get it programmed, we had our 5:30 dinner appointment calling us because he was waiting to pick us up. We asked if he could come help us out, so we didn't leave her in a worse position than when we got there. We finally got things working and ended up starting dinner at 7:30.  His wife was not very happy serving dinner two hours later; hahaha.

Our District Photo

Yesterday we had a fireside for recent converts, investigators, or newly returning less-active members. The speakers were people who recently joined or came back to church and were sharing their stories. It was a really cool experience and it makes you really appreciate how blessed we are to have the gospel in our lives.
I love you all so much! I hope everything is going well and you're all enjoying life now that it's a little less hectic.

God is Great!
Elder Gillingwater

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Pikes Peak P Day

 Hello from the Colorado, Colorado Springs Mission

It's seems like every week is so crazy! We're always busy doing something, but we're always having a lot of fun. It's been great to have members in our ward who are so willing to help us out. They offer to go with us to lessons, help fellowship members when they come to church, and feed us a lot! We have rescheduled one of our  investigator's baptismal date for the 20th of this month so we can make sure that she gets to church enough times, and has adequately learned what she can from the lessons we've been teaching her. Our newest investigator has become a really good friend of ours and told us on Sunday that he got his answer, he knew our church was true and want's to get baptized. Hopefully in a few months we will be able to do just that. We're still working with our other investigator, but he hasn't made any progress in the last 3 weeks. But he's really close!  I've been out for almost 2 months and it seems to be flying by pretty fast. There hasn't ever been a dull moment, and I'm really enjoying the people here.

I was able to do a lot of cool things this week that I've never done, or seen before. I got to go to a Hot Air Balloon Festival this last weekend. Over 25 different hot air balloons were inflated and hover above the crowd in the park downtown. It was super cool to go to. The only bummer was that both days it was too windy for the balloons to take off.

Today we went to Pikes Peak! We didn't hike it because it's at least an 8 hour hike and we just don't have the time. So we drove up the race course to the top. The road is crazy steep and really windy!

14,110 feet is really high and it is super cold and windy.  They check your brakes on the way down (about half way down the mountain) and if they're too hot they make you park and wait for 30 min or you might wreck your car.
We had to stop and wait so we got to see this really cool reservoir.

 5 things that made me smile this week:

1. We went to one of the YSA activities and bumped into Genysie Van Duren who went to the YSA ward in Chico.

2. We played capture the flag on our last P Day, it poured rain and we got soaked, but it made the game so much more intense!

3. We had Zone Conference this last week and I got to visit with a ton of missionaries in the Colorado Springs Zone, and the Fountain Zone.

4. When we were on our way up Pikes Peak, I decided to get a drink of water out of the bottle you sent me in the care package. When we were almost to the top, and still driving in the car, I flipped the lid and because of the air pressure in the bottle it shot water all over the sister missionaries sitting in front of us in the car. We just busted up laughing for about 10 minutes.

5. We're getting the youth in the Ward excited about missionary work. They love to help us out and constantly invite their friends to church activities.

Have a great week.

God is Great!