Thursday, February 19, 2015

Week 32

Chandler has been transferred to Springfield, Oregon and he is liking his new area.  He's been out for 7 1/2 months now!  It's crazy!  I've attached his last letter home and some pictures for you to enjoy!

My new area is great! So the area is actually smaller than Coquille, its like a Utah ward it covers a few blocks and that's it so my area is actually pretty small which can make things difficult especially since we share it with another set of Elders. The city itself however is huge and there is a ton to do here which is awesome! My companion and I get along alright. He is very shy and is obsessed with Pokemon and stuff like that but we get along when we do talk. Haha! He is from none other than Salt Lake City, downtown area, and he has been on his mission around 6 months now. So I'm older! I'm getting to that point now where I'm older than a lot of missionaries so that's cool! Haha! My new address is 1550 Q St. Apt. #33. The apartment is literally right next to the freeway. The only thing that separates us from a ton of flipping cars are some flimsy little trees and a sidewalk. Haha! My last companion and I taught the 5 yr old kids in primary last week and we got "scolded" (they weren't actually angry but you know) because at the end of the class we had a contest to see who could make the stupidest, most ridiculous, annoying sound. It was funny! We had way too much fun teaching that class. Haha! I miss my last companion a ton! We just clicked even better than Elder Madsen and I. We just had a blast together! Haha! So we have these awesome members that do these photoshop pictures. I have a few, but this is the only one that is online they're pretty awesome! Anyway I hope you have an awesome week!!! Good luck on your test!!! And I love you!!!! See ya in 16 months!! BTW I can count my transfers left on two hands now. ;)

Elder Colton :)

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Week 29

I'm sorry, but I just haven't been keeping up Chandler's blog lately!  I have no excuses, I've just been lazy :)

Chandler is doing really well.  He's still in Coquille, OR and he has been crowned as the King of Coquille because he has been there longer than any other missionary!  He is the district leader now and he has quite a bit more responsibility, but he's doing well with it.

Here is his latest email.  Just as a side note....Chandler really struggles with the Sister missionaries.  I've been telling him for weeks that he needs to serve them and then he will learn to like them more.  With that info, enjoy!

Hey hey! We've had a pretty good week taught a lot of people and one of the guys I have been working with for a while just got the Priesthood so that was really neat! We had a blast today and went and took a hike back to Gold and Silver falls. I found a sunny spot and laid down and just relaxed! It was awesome! I just put everything out of my mind and enjoyed the beauty it was great! This whole District Leader thing is going good. We just had an experience.  The Sisters have a stalker... And it's a guy I've met and he is very very very not good. When we met him he was watching Toddlers and Tiaras and saying very nasty things. I think I told you about him, but anyway he is stalking the Sisters and I thought this was funny because since I'm District Leader I get this call from President who has asked me for the remainder of the transfer to work extremely close with the Sisters... So, last night we had to escort them to the church and stay there with them untill they finished what they needed to do and then we needed to escort them back home. At the end of every night I need to call them make sure they're safe and see if they had contact with this guy and then call President and report. I've learned our Sisters here are actually pretty cool seeing as I have had many opportunities this week to have a conversation with them. Haha! So like you said, I will have to learn to work close with the Sisters. Haha! We've been pretty busy lately, which is good. I have another meeting in Eugene to go to which sucks but hey whatevs! We're having fun and staying out of trouble! Hollingshead is an awesome guy we have a lot of fun together. I've been blessed with awesome companions lately, I've been too lucky.... I'm going to get a very very very bad one soon I can feel it!.. How's you're week been?? How's everyone at home?? How's work and school?? Any ways I hope you have a great week!!!! I love you!!!!! 

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Week 23 and 24

Chandler continues to do well and enjoy his area.  He says the people in his area are great, but the work is very slow!  He is frustrated with that, but I know he will have success as he continues in faith.  The Lord will put people in his path that he can serve and teach.  I'm so excited to talk to him next week that I could just turn inside out!  Haha!

Here are a few pictures he sent of a hike he and some other elders took on their last p-day:

Dear Everyone! 

It has been a long time since I have been able to send an email due to technical difficulties! However we're back on track and should be good for a while now. I'll get y'all caught up on my life thus far. The past few weeks to be honest have sucked pretty bad. It rained everyday last week, every door shut on us, and many lessons canceled on us. Needless to say we've been struggling. However there always seems to be a light at the end of the tunnel and this week wasn't too bad we ended at ten lessons a few new investigators and only semi wet clothes. Just a few nights ago my companion and I got bored and proceeded to play basketball using the toilet as out hoop (yes, it was clean). That activity was quickly ended as the neighbors came over and apparently didn't appreciate the little noise we were making. We made up for our shenanigans by bringing them some chocolates that we had recently gotten and now I think we're on better terms. Thanksgiving was awesome! We played Ultimate Frisbee in a mud bowl and came back sore, bruised, and very dirty. Later on we were fed a very good dinner by one of the members. Christmas is fast approaching and I invite everyone to go to and go find the He is the Gift video and share it on Facebook if you haven't already. This is an initiative the church has put out to get everyone in the Christmas spirit and remember who the real gift is. So if you haven't already, get out there and share that video! We got to go to the Portland Temple on Wednesday. That was pretty fun minus the fact we had to wake up at 3:45. But all in all we had a great time. Today we went on an awesome hike deep in the woods to these two waterfalls. It was a blast and reminded all of us of the beauty of everything God has created. It was a lot of fun all of us guys just hanging out and having a good time. Afterwards we went and played a little pickup basketball, which my team won (Like always). I'm excited for the Christmas season and the spirit it brings hopefully we can all have the chance to share that spirit and bring someone to the Gospel. I'm almost six months into my mission and I'm having a blast! Thanks everyone for the love and support. I hope everyone has a great week! 

Elder Colton

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Week 21 and 22

Sorry that I missed updating the blog last week.  Chandler's I-pad freaked out and he lost all of his email contacts.  That's why he hasn't emailed the last few weeks.  He told me he will get them all entered again this week and you should be getting something on Monday.

He hasn't had anything new and exciting to report.  I think he is in a bit of a funk when it comes to teaching new people.  He is in a very small town and it has been tracted MANY times,  He and his companion are getting the cold shoulder everywhere they go.  He remains upbeat though and confident that they will find the people that the Lord has prepared.

If you're planning on sending Chandler anything for Christmas, please make sure to do it sooner rather than later.  Transfers are on Dec.29 and if you send a package to his physical address in Coquille you want to make sure he gets it before transfers, just in case.

I hope to have something more exciting to post next week!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Week 20

Here is Chandler's latest email home.  He's having a lot of fun and I love to read his letters and see how much he's grown!

Dear Everyone, 

I've been almost 5 months now which is pretty crazy it seemed to fly right by. Before I know it I'll be home! We had transfers this weekend and I'm staying in Coquille with Elder Madsen. We're pretty excited because now we'll get to spend the holidays on the beach and also winter doesn't exist out here so that's nice too! So this week sucked. We had all these appointments set up and we were all excited to have a good week and then every one of our set appointments fell through. In a week we were supposed to have 19 lessons we had 5. In an area this small it's already been tracted so many times that when we come by people don't even open their doors to us anymore. So we have to resort to other ways of finding and have tracting as a last resort. So we went through a giant list of former investigators and less active and part member families. For hours each day we went and visited these people and not a soul wanted us. Haha So we are hoping that this week goes a lot better and we will be able to meet with everyone we have scheduled and not run into any issues and hopefully have a great week! Another thing if you are capable of feeding the missionaries I encourage all of you to do so! As a missionary in an area where the members don't feed us very well I can say frozen burritos and top ramen are going to be the death of me! Haha So if you can feed them please do because we really do appreciate it. 

So every Saturday after exchanges us and the Bandon Elders meet up and exchange back at this small pizza joint. There we are able to buy a couple pizzas and then we eat and catch a little bit of college football for about an hour then get on with our day. Well when we showed up this week there was this guy and he apparently loves missionaries so he was just talking to us and just telling jokes and he kept yelling "GO BYU!" I informed him that I strongly dislike BYU and that I'm an avid U fan and he said "Cmon brother you don't have to lie to me. You're a mormon you gotta be a BYU fan!" And he then said that I must've been the pack leader of us four elders because I have the biggest mouth and am the most outspoken. After that his team started playing, he's a Notre Dame fan, and so he said "brothers let's have a group prayer that the Irish will win." So I was like come on over say a prayer we don't care. So he came over and we all held hands and he prayed for his team. After that they started scoring like crazy and he was yelling that Mormons are the best and that we need to pray for every game for him. And then he just bought us pizza which we were thankful for because we saved it and had it for dinner that night. Well so what does this have to do with anything. One word. Prayer! After this experience I kept thinking about the power of a simple prayer. Now in this case this guy said a simple prayer for his team which on the grand scheme of things is not necessarily a great idea nor is it something I would advocate BUT nevertheless we learn from this that no matter how silly we think the thing we are praying for is, it matters to Heavenly Father. If you ask in faith and truly desire an answer or a result and you're willing to put in the work needed the answer or solution always comes. Now I later learned that the Fighting Irish won. Was this just a happy coincidence? Or was it an answer to this mans simple faithful prayer? I can't say. But I can say this, and that is that Heavenly Father will always answer our prayers no matter how silly we think our request is. I've seen that on my mission many times as I've said small prayers that the rain would let up or that we could walk the extra mile and it seems that every time I've been answered. So did you think to pray? If not I encourage you all to do so. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen. 

Elder Colton

Missionary for: 
The Church of Jesus Christ 
of Latter Day Saints

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Week 19

Chandler sent some more pictures of him and some other missionaries at the beach. He also sent a video, but I can't figure out how to make it work!  I'll post it once I get it figured out.

Dear Everyone, 

The work in Coquille is progressing! We find ourselves busier each day and always seem to have something new on our plate. The people we are teaching are solid and listening to and accepting our message. We had an amazing ZTM meeting which President Russell (Our mission president) attended. He taught us a great lesson on the plan of salvation and changed a lot of standards and rules set by the previous mission president. My companion and I are getting along great! We enjoy ourselves and have plenty of fun together. Transfers are in a week and my companion and I have only been together one transfer so far so chances are we'll stick together one more. That would be ideal because Thanksgiving and Christmas are in this transfer and personally playing football on the beach is a great way to spend the holidays!

Now for the heart of the email, 

Coquille is beautiful! [Insert sarcasm] Thursday Elder Madsen and I woke up and the sky was clear, the sun was peeking over the hills, and the birds were chirping and we were CERTAIN it was going to be a beautiful day! We were sorely mistaken.. We have yet to learn that here in Coquille the weather is bipolar. Within ten minutes of going outside a heavy fog rolled in and five minutes later it was dumping rain. About 30 minutes later the sun was shining and the process was repeated about ten more times. In simple terms I was angry with the weather. I was confused as to why it couldn't just stay rainy or just (preferably) stay sunny. Instead it was constantly changing. In my anger and confusion I had a couple thoughts come to mind which leads into the meat of my email. 

First, this phrase stuck out to me, Come what may, and love it! No matter what happens in our lives accept it. Give it a big hug! And don't EVER forget to thank your Heavenly Father, (no matter the circumstance) for what you have. As I thought about that I reflected on a poem I wrote a while back. 

I open my eyes, it's the start of a new day. I pull on some pants and I get on my way. I brush 
my teeth and I get in the shower. I go downstairs, work starts in an hour. I shove breakfast down my throat and put on my shoes, I pull on my coat, it's the working mans blues. I do this everyday, you could say I'm pro. But really I'm not I just go with the flow. But therein lies the problem I go with the flow, taking no time to look and explore where I go. I wake up in the morning to my alarms ring. And I think it's too early to think of anything. I should go to my window and look outside. I should look out and thank God I'm alive. For he's the reason I opened my eyes. He's the reason we have those gorgeous blue skies. And most times we lack to thank God for our lives because we're too busy working and swallowed by pride. If we would look up and look at the stars we might come to realize what we really are. We're children of God, the one, the most high. The one we can thank for our precious lives. If we would slow down and take more time, to smell the roses, and to make this climb. We would know who we are and we would reach for the stars striving to live to our fullest potential and live with God in his home, the Celestial. 

I realized I wasn't recognizing God in my life. I was simply "Going with the flow." I have since then set a personal goal to not "go with the flow" and to remember my Heavenly Father in everything I do. 

Second, I realized the long term effects of neglecting to thank God for what we have. As the Lord provides for us WE tend to become complacent "go with the flow" and forget our Lord. Complacency leads to a vicious cycle that we read about plenty in the scriptures. In the first chapter of 4 Nephi we read about the Nephites just after the coming of Christ. Because of the righteousness of the people, for two hundred years their posterity dwelt in peace, working hard and becoming very rich, both spiritually and temporally. However in the two hundred and first year the people began to be complacent and "go with the flow." Pride quickly followed and they quickly forgot to thank or even acknowledge the very God that gave them all they had. We all know how this ends, they become very wicked and then when faced with the very gates of Hell they repent, the Lord forgives, and the cycle begins all over again. Now, more often than not (according to OUR righteousness) the Lord provides for us as he did with the people of Nephi. However, it is up to us that we try our best not to become complacent and "go with the flow" like the people of Nephi and fall into unrighteous paths and forget about the very God that gave us our lives. It is up to us to thank Him for all He does for us in our lives and not forget our God. 

Now let me rephrase the beginning paragraph. 

Coquille is beautiful! [Insert... Happiness, joy, thanks] I'm thankful for the rain. Without it there wouldn't be the beautiful green trees that Oregon is known for. I'm thankful for the bipolar weather that keeps Elder Madsen and I on our toes everyday. I'm thankful for everything I have and for all that the Lord has done for me. I know that as we remember to thank our Heavenly Father for what we have we will be able to avoid becoming complacent and "going with the flow" and because of that we will be blessed immensely in our lives. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Elder Colton

Missionary for: 

The Church of Jesus Christ 
of Latter Day Saints

Monday, November 3, 2014

Week 18

Well, Chandler has decided to send out a group email where he will share an experience and his testimony.  His hope is that everyone will be able to know what he is doing and how much he is enjoying his mission.  I have uploaded his weekly email and some pictures that he sent as well.

Dear Everyone, 

This past four months of my mission and the past four weeks in my new area have been a blast! I'm happy to be on mission and I have been blessed with two great areas so far and two even better companions. We have been teaching a lot of people here in Coquille, a big chunk of them being less-active and recent coverts. One in particular that we teach is autistic and loves to sword fight. So when we teach him the new member discussions we sword fight and teach him at the same time and by doing that he retains the information and all is well. Well he put us on a level system that starts at 0 and goes to 1,000. When we started teaching him he was a Level 14 Master and Elder Madsen and I were Level 0... Apprentices... Determined to climb out of this rut I was in I began to win matches and level up and climb the ranks to a Level 5 apprentice. However just the other day I was faced with a challenge. If I could beat him bare handed while he fought me yielding duel knives ( Fake of course ) I could level up to a Level 30 and take the place of Master. Well after a long, hard, and bloody battle in the muddy, rainy battlefield I emerged victorious with 2 of my 10 lives remaining. I was able to level up and now hold the title of Master and set the record for the highest level AND title any Elder has achieved in the months he's been taught. Yeah I am pretty proud. My companion might have 15 months on me but I now wear the pants since he's only a Level 8 apprentice. ;) 

Now for my spiritual thought,

There is only one word sufficient enough to describe Coquille, Oregon. That word is rain. 
It rains ALL the time! However it's not a bad thing. Not only do people notice us more but it makes good stories, hard workers, and great analogies! I sat pondering in personal study one morning while watching the rain fall outside and I thought to myself, our Heavenly Father promises us that he will "...Open [us] the windows of heaven, and pour [us] out blessings that there shall not be room enough to receive [them]." When I hear the word pour I think of the rain pouring out from the clouds above. Now the first thing I do when it starts pouring rain is grab my umbrella and try to prevent the rain from getting me wet. As I thought of this I thought of a quote from this October's General Conference. It's by President Dieter F. Ucthdorf. It says, "Part of our challenge is, I think, that we imagine that God has all of His blessings locked in a huge cloud up in heaven, refusing to give them to us unless we comply with some strict, paternalistic requirements He has set up. But the commandments aren’t like that at all. In reality, Heavenly Father is constantly raining blessings upon us. It is our fear, doubt, and sin that, like an umbrella, block these blessings from reaching us. His commandments are the loving instructions and the divine help for us to close the umbrella so we can receive the shower of heavenly blessings." Now like it is constantly raining here our Heavenly Father is constantly raining down blessings upon us and it is up to us to stop fearing the unknown, stop doubting ourselves, and try our hardest to cleanse ourselves from sin so that our umbrellas will be closed and our Father in Heaven can rain down his blessings upon us. I have seen on my mission many times the blessings of heaven that can come when we will put our faith in Him and close our "umbrellas" I know this to be true in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen. 

I have posted some picture of wonderful Coquille and myself as well as some beach shots thanks the Bandon Elders for taking us to the coast so often.

Elder Colton