Hello from the Colorado, Colorado Springs Mission

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Got to go to the Temple Twice in 24 hours - Week #45

Editor’s Note: The Church Missionary Department informed Kyle on Wednesday that he was being honorably released from his mission due to medical reasons.  This is a result of his need to take medication not allowed while serving as a missionary.  Unfortunately, this will be his last blog post.  He appreciates all the emails, letters, packages, and support everyone has provided him these past eleven months. 

Good afternoon, this week was awesome!  We had our dinner appointment on Tuesday night (the one that was going to bring an investigator) and he brought three.  The member and I went to order food as my companion made light conversation with the others at our table and when I returned he was already halfway through the restoration lesson.  They were all really impressed and one of them came to church on Sunday.  I'm so glad that things worked out so well.  More than we had planned!

Friday evening we took one of our recent converts to the Temple to do baptisms for the first time. She really enjoyed it.  She was really excited to have taken one of her own family’s names to do the work for them.  My companion and I helped out with the Confirmations.  We spent the whole time in that room.  My companion is terrible at pronouncing names, so it was interesting to see what names he'd come up with!  It was a really great experience.  We took pictures but none of them turned out too well.  I'll send one anyways though!

Saturday morning we took our other recent convert to the Temple so she could do baptisms for the first time.  She couldn't stop mentioning how much she felt the Spirit and was in tears the entire time.  This time we got to do baptisms and confirmations.  I baptized my companion in the font and then we switched places and he baptized me.  It made me think about Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery baptizing each other after receiving the Aaronic Priesthood.  It was a very neat experience.  Not too many missionaries in our mission get to go to the temple other than their year marks.  I had the privilege to go twice in 24 hours. It's a great motivation to see how much the Gospel can change people and bless their lives.  It makes you want to work even harder.  

Tomorrow is my 11 month mark which means next month I will get to go to the Temple again.  I wish I could go more often, it's such a Spiritual place.  I love you all so much!  I hope you have a wonderful week and I will hear from all of you soon.

God is Great!

Elder Gillingwater

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

A Great Week and Dinner at Momma Pearl's - Week #44

Crawfish at Momma Pearl's
So this week has been great!  We have a date scheduled to take our newly baptized member to the temple this week.  Hopefully she has a wonderful experience.  We also have a recent convert that we've been helping find a name to take to the temple so she can do a family name for her first time.  So, we might get to go to the temple twice this week.  That would be so cool!  I finally got a picture of our recent converts baptism.  It was such a wonderful day!

Baptismal Photo
This week we met with a new investigator who has a Pagan background.  He's a really solid guy, but has hangups with praying.  It's against his religion to pray to a God.  Hopefully has he reads the Book of Mormon that will change.  We have been inviting members to bring their friends to lessons with us and it seems like this upcoming week that's going to happen.  We had one member ask us if it was alright if 3 of his friends came to our next lesson or if we just wanted one. Obviously, we wanted as many friends as he could get.  We also have another member bringing 2 friends to our next lesson with him.  That's 5 potentially new investigators this week.  We have so much to look forward to!
Frog Legs at Momma Pearl's

This week my companion had us go to a restaurant here in town called "Momma Pearl's"; it's a traditional Louisiana style place.  Since he is from Louisiana he wanted to go to their crawfish boil and see how it matched up with back home.  I ate crawfish for the first time... along with alligator and frog legs.  The crawfish was really weird to eat but we cleaned a whole platter, only to have the chef come over and refill it, "on the house," so I had to go back and eat more. The alligator was good too, really chewy.  Frog legs were weird, but we had a great time!

I'm excited to tell you all about my adventures this week.  Thanks for all your emails and I hope to hear from you all soon.  Have a great week!

God is Great!

Elder Gillingwater

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Excited About the Work - Week #43

Good Morning everyone!  It's so great to read all of your emails.  We had a great week this week.  We spent a good amount of time working on finding a new investigator.  We kept asking members for referrals, but nothing really came from it.  We were out contacting people in the parks, but no one really wanted to listen.  After several days we were pretty discouraged about finding someone new, but we got a call from the Spanish elders asking if we would like to come to a lesson with them.  It was a non-Spanish, YSA aged, investigator who was really interested in learning more.  We were so excited!  We met with him and the lesson went really well.  The only problem that arose was he does not live in our area.  He lives in one of the other YSA wards.  Sadly, we are passing him off to the other missionaries, but we had more to come!

This Saturday we went on exchanges with the AP's (Assistants to the President).  Don't worry; we weren't having any issues (I'm not a troublemaker).  The opportunity arose and we took it!  So I got to be AP for a day.  I got to help with a conference call, the Mission Office, and good ol' missionary work in their area.  We street contacted in Memorial Park which had tons of people in it.  We didn't have a full gospel discussion with anyone while we were there, but we did hand out Mormon.org cards and a Book of Mormon.  Overall it was really fun to be a temporary AP, but exchanges ended Saturday evening.  When I got back to my area with my companion, Elder Parker he told me that they had found a new investigator!  One that actually lives in our area!!!  He sounds really solid and I can't wait to meet him this week.

We're starting a new activity in our ward where during the Friday night activities; we will be holding a basic lesson on Gospel Principles.  The full-time missionaries will be teaching and we will hold a Q&A session at the end to answer questions anyone might have.  The goal is to have members bring their non-member friends to a non-threatening activity to hear a Gospel message.  We will be starting this month and I'm eager to see how it goes.

Our recent convert of one week got her temple recommend on Sunday to do baptisms and is excited about going to the temple!  We met with her this morning before emailing and had a great discussion about Jesus Christ and His Atonement.  It was a great way to start off a P-Day and a new month.

It sounds like I may have my drivers license issue figured out! FINALLY!!!  I'm getting a paper duplicate (no picture ID on it) that shows I'm legal to drive.  It should be here in a little over a week.  I'll still need my passport to get on base, but I won't have to be chauffeured anymore!  That's one burden lifted off my shoulders!

I love you all so much!  Thanks for being so supportive! Congratulations to my cousin Shelby who is leaving on her mission to the Canada, Vancouver mission!  I'm so excited for her and know she will have a fantastic time serving the Lord!  Have a great week and I will write to you all soon.

Funny Story of the Week: Elder Reimer and Elder Johnson convinced me to get a free haircut at Paul Mitchell’s hair school here in town.  Missionaries get them for free because a member owns the Salon.  I was nervous because I didn't know if they were going to do a good job or mess up!  Well they did a fantastic job on my hair (phew!), but they botched Elder Reimer and Elder Johnsons!  Elder Johnson lost all of his sideburns and then some and Elder Reimer lost most of his hair up to the top of his head.  He looks kind of like a monk!  I don't know if I will ever do that again, but it was funny to see the results afterwards!

God is Great!

Elder Gillingwater