Hello from the Colorado, Colorado Springs Mission

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Rescuing Shopping Carts and Souls - Week #39

Rescued Shopping Carts!

So, I have a funny story to share with you guys.  We were invited by our Zone Leaders to attend a Just Serve service project at Bear Creek Park in Colorado Springs.  It was a community wide project and we were in charge of picking up litter along one of the jogging trails right beside a Wal-Mart.  There was so much trash it was really sad.  It's one of the poorer areas of town and there are a lot of homeless people that live in that park.  One of the volunteers heading our group asked us if we would be interested pulling shopping carts out of the creek since joggers had been complaining about them.  Since that sounded like more fun than picking up cigarette butts, beer bottles, and Styrofoam we accepted the challenge.  We had no idea how intense of a project we had just taken on.  We walked down the path looking down in the creek for shopping carts and after a couple hundred yards hadn't seen any yet.  We went through a tunnel and looked to our right and to our astonishment we saw a barricade of shopping carts in the creek.  Overall we pulled 25 shopping carts out of the creek.  It was pretty gross, most of them were buried deep into the mud and were a pain to pull out.  I ended up ruining my workout shoes from it, but many of the homeless people were excited to see us work.  It was fun though!  I sent a picture of the shopping carts we pulled out.  Some of the really gross ones are at the front of the line so they're hard to see, but they're covered in moss and slime!

On Monday night, we offered to teach the Family Home Evening lesson and activity for our YSA ward.  We decided to teach the Plan of Salvation life-size using the whole church building.  We started outside (no jackets) to resemble Pre-Earth life and as they entered "The Womb" they were able to put their jackets on (representing our bodies).  They had to crawl out of the womb in a tunnel we had made which was really funny.  We entered the Garden of Eden to discuss the fall and had pulled all of the plants in the building into one room making it look like a forest.  We moved on to our earthly life where each person was given a slip of paper describing their life on this earth and what they had done.  Based on that slip it was decided whether they would enter Spirit Paradise or Spirit Prison.  Then we had an activity where those who were in Spirit Paradise helped convert and bring over those who were in prison.  After that they went through judgment and went to the appropriate rooms representing the 3 Kingdoms of Glory.  Luckily most had made it to the Celestial Kingdom!  Everyone loved the lesson and the Bishop was really impressed with the job we had done!

So this week we had Specialized Training and it was a great meeting.  We met with our Mission President who discussed with us more on how to be a Consecrated Missionary.

Great news, we finally have an investigator!  We met with her at the Air Force Academy on Saturday and we had a really great lesson on the Restoration of the Gospel.  She asked really great questions and accepted a Book of Mormon and even offered the closing prayer asking during her prayer to come to the knowledge that the Book of Mormon is true.  I'm so glad we have someone we're teaching now.  It's been a while, but it's a really great feeling.

On Sunday we had a New Member Fireside in Colorado Springs for members who recently joined the church or recently came back to activity.  There's always some great testimonies shared there.  My companion went up and bore his testimony explaining how he's still a recent convert but how much he loves this Gospel.  It was such a great meeting!  You could really feel the Spirit there.

This week we also had a Spring Cleaning at our church building which was a great opportunity for members to invite their friends to an activity.  There were so many people there.  It was a lot of fun and we got to talk to quite a few people about the Church. 

I love you all so much!  Thanks for being so supportive!  You're all an example to me and help keep me focused on the work!  I am so excited to Skype home next week for Mother's Day!  I will talk to all of you soon!

5 Things That Made Me Smile:

1. Elder Parker's jacket for the Plan of Salvation activity was a banana suit which helped liven the activity.

2. One of the Bishopric members (who is an anesthesiologist) when exiting the womb said, "I'm a breech baby!" and went feet first.

3. A drunk homeless man was trying to help us with pulling the shopping carts out of the creek but he was so drunk he just kept falling over.

4. We have a grill at our new apartment and we've been grilling so many foods like steak, pork, chicken, rabbit, avocados, oranges, pineapple, watermelon, and carrots.  They're all great!  Except the carrots, they were kind of gross.

5. I got to visit with the Mission President's wife and for some reason she just really likes me.  I guess she talks about me a lot to other missionaries.  At least they're good things!

God is Great!

Elder Gillingwater

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