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 LDS.org 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! 

Love,
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. 

Love, 
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.

Love, 
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.

Love, 
Elder Colton


Monday, October 27, 2014

Week 17

Chandler is doing really great!  He had a fun and random encounter this week.  He and his companion were having dinner with a family and the conversation turned to where each elder was from.  It turned out that this family had just recently moved from Utah and proceeded to tell Chandler where they used to live.  Chandler mentioned that his Aunt Jill lived in the same area and it turned out that they knew Jill because she was the YW president and taught their daughters.  Small world!
video




Mom,

This week was great! It rained like a mother but it was a good week. We taught a lot of lessons and got some new investigators that we can hopefully baptize next transfer. My cool experience this week you already know about but I met a family that knows Aunt Jill personally!? Crazy! We talked about that all of dinner it was so awesome! They're an awesome family we had a lot of fun last night it was a really cool experience. We taught an awesome lesson to a less active about the priesthood and it was amazing! The spirit was there and it just was a rocking lesson. I wish you could see this guy like 5 years ago and then now because he's changed soooo much! He's awesome! My companion and I are best buds! I'm hoping and praying for one more transfer together. We're like a dream team! Picture what Elder Taylor and Balledos were like and you have what me and Elder Madsen are like. There are a set of Sisters. So four. (The Sisters drive me crazy! :P ) We had an Elder in our zone involved in a hit and run. He was hit by the car and dislocated his knees and broke his hand. He's missing three teeth and has a concussion and also he's really scratched up. So yeah that's the cray cray thing that happened this week! 

I did get your package. Thank you so much! Thank you so very much it means a lot. I've been budgeting $20 a week but with the sudden influx of no dinners and high prices in Coquille I've quickly ran out of money. So thank you! We are making the trek to Coos Bay to the WalMart today but that'll take two hours and 60 of our miles out of our allotment. So we can't go very often.. Just the cereal bars and Pop-tarts make a huge difference. I'm set on shaving stuff for now but that would be awesome too. I'll let you now when I'm running low. 

I have a request? So if you could get email addresses from people from our old Ward and the new Ward and family as well if they're interested and tell them I'll be sending a mass weekly email out to all the people on the list so then that way I can email everybody at once. 

So how's the job? How's Meridian? How's the new home? How's getting old and having a son about to get the priesthood? ;) Haha! I hope things are going good for y'all back in Idaho! I love you!!!! Thanks for all you do mom!!! 

Love, 
Elder Colton :)

Monday, October 20, 2014

Week 16

Chandler's email this week was very short with nothing new or exciting to report so I'm not going to post the letter, but he did send some pictures of Coquille and also some "epic selfies" that he has taken over the weeks that he thought were pretty funny.  Here are a few of the pictures that he sent:

Faces only a mother could love!  Robert and I are so proud ;)


Glad to see that he's eating so well.....


Beautiful pictures of Coquille:






Thursday, October 16, 2014

Week 15

Sorry it took me some time to update the blog, but I've been busy getting settled into our new home.  Chandler's email was short and sweet this week, but he is enjoying his new area and getting along well with his new companion.  He said his new area is pretty run down and he sent a few pictures:




Mom,

My week was great! Coquille is boss! It's so flipping small and there is nobody here and it's super redneck and white trash, but it's close to the coast and the weather is nice so I can't complain! Haha! My companion, Elder Madsen, we totally clicked right off the bat! We get along better than Elder Taito and I did. I think it's because we are more alike in a lot of ways. But yeah he's awesome we have a ton of fun! The ward is old... very very old.. lots of old people everywhere. Haha! It's like being in a hospital, but it's fun they're all very funny and enthusiastic old people with fun stories! The apartment is clean and tidy. Elder Madsen is a clean freak and likes cleaning the apartment so it's nice not living in filth. We fixed the "broken" toilet that according to the previous Elders had been broken for months. We just put a new flapper in it and filled the tank with water and it works like a charm. Haha! 

       So nothing too crazy this week. I've been driving the Sister missionaries crazy so that's been fun. They probably hate me, but I don't care. Haha! We did service for these people whose house had just burned down. We have to gut the inside to the studs so that they can decide whether to rebuild or demolish. It's pretty flipping disgusting in there everything is burned and stinks like crap! Other than that, things are kinda slow, but I'm still enjoying myself! 

      The address is 1597 Hemlock Coquille, OR, 97423.  And yes, I've seen Meet the Mormons it is a flipping tight movie!! I loved it!! It was really good. 

      Anyway I love you!!! I hope everything goes good this week with y'all back home!! See ya in 21 months!! 

Love, 
Elder Colton :)

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Week 14

Chandler has been transferred to Coquille, Oregon and he is now on the coast.  He wasn't expecting to be transferred for some time, but I know that he is loving living so close to the ocean.  It sounds like he had some fun experiences this week.  I can't wait to sit down with him when he gets home so he can tell me all of his stories in person!  I'm sure he'll have us all laughing our heads off!

Here is a map showing where he is now:

Mom,

Yeah, I saw you!! I saw tons of people I know and I did see fanny pack teacher as well :P Haha! I'm jealous!!

So, transfers were today and I am now in Coquille on the coast!! My new companion is Elder Madsen who has been out for like 18 months now so, no, I'm no where near senior companion status, but we have a car!! That's exciting especially since it's cold and rainy here. Haha!

Let's see...this week an eight year old kid picked a fight with me and that was pretty funny. We just laughed at him and called him cute and then he flipped out on us because we called him cute. So this eight year old called me an a-hole and like legitimately wanted to fight so we left before anything went down. Haha! Shortly thereafter we met a legit witch who taught us the ways of Whicka (I think that's how you spell it...?) anyway she tried to convert us to become wizards of nature. We totally trolled her and just went along with everything because there was no use trying to convert her because she was not at all interested. But she really wanted to teach us about witchcraft so we listened and she like harnessed all of our negative energy in an obsidian rock and told us if we believed all of the negative energy will be removed from us. It was funny! It took everything for Elder Taito and I to remain calm and collected through this entire thing, but we did! Haha! 

I loved conference too! The best talks were Elder Holland and Lynn G. Robbins. They were hands down the best talks of the conference. We watched the Saturday sessions at a members house. Then we watched the priesthood session at the church and after we all went to pizza at this place called Bobbio's and the ward rented out the skyhook and so all of us men chilled up there eating pizza and watching the U of U @ UCLA game for an hour or so. It was a lot of fun! Then the Sunday morning we watched at the church and the Sunday afternoon session we watched at an excommunicated members house. So we got to watch all of them. However, I'm ashamed to admit I fell asleep during Richard G. Scott's talk, but who can blame me!? I'm a full time missionary who doesn't stop working ever. Haha! I get tired sometimes!

It's cool you guys are getting settled in at school and the ward. I hope they're all nice to y'all!! Anyway talk to you guys next week!! Love you all!!!

Love,
Elder Colton :)

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Week 13

Chandler had his first baptism!  He was very excited and he sent some pictures.  He is happy that he is no longer a "greenie" and can now be the senior companion.  I can't believe it's been three months already!  Time certainly flies.




Mom,

That's awesome! The poem was inspired!! Haha! I did get your package a
couple of weeks ago and I forgot to mention that last time, but I did get
it and I enjoyed those pop tarts and cereal bars very much! We had our
first baptism. That was really awesome! The dad is less active and the
mom is not a member. All the kids have been or will be baptized and
we're working to activate the dad again because if he goes back then
his wife will be baptized right then. So we are working with them to
get her baptized and him back to church! We have found
tons of potential investigators, but they're all out of our area so we
just keep handing off these golden people to other missionaries. Haha!
It kinda sucks, but hey, we're still finding people. We had a lesson
with this investigator that lives behind us named Brad and his
daughter Stephanie. We showed them the Mormon Message "Mountains to
Climb" and he is about to have a surgery and they're scared and after
we showed that video the spirit was sooooo strong and they both just
started crying. It was a pretty neat experience. I took over the area
twice this week on exchanges, which was neat. That means I was the
boss!! Haha! I enjoy being in charge way too much! This is the last
P-Day of the transfer, predictions are Elder Taito is leaving and I'm
staying and becoming District Leader. So I'll let you know next week
how close our predictions were. For the Christmas care package I would like a spiral
bound hymn and children's songbooks and as many CDs as you can afford.

My favorite scripture is.... Drumroll please!! Moroni 9:25 it's a great one!

We'll be looking for you in conference!! Love you all! Good luck in Idaho!!! Over and
out talk to you guys next week!!!

Love,
Elder Colton :)

Monday, September 22, 2014

Week 12

My sweet son made me laugh and cry with his email this week.  I can't believe how much he is changing on his mission.  He's maturing and learning to appreciate the little things in life.

Mom,

Its crazy! I'm going to miss that home. But! I'll go back and see it and meet the new people that live there. Heck if they ain't LDS I'll convert them! Haha!  We haven't had transfers yet. That is in two weeks, but that transfer will mark three months and the end of my training! Super excited to stop training! I'm just ready to be a missionary that isn't a greenie. Haha! 

So my story for this week, we're working with this Less-active member (I won't name names) but he has had a rough go in this life. His wife died and he learned like a month ago she was going behind his back and all that stuff. So he got in a relationship with this "girl" on some dating website in England and she scammed him out of every dime he has... He wasn't rich to begin with, but now he is going to lose everything. Well so we talked with him a bit and he said he gets down on himself and makes stupid choices because he doesn't thank God for what he has already. He has a home, a car, an a computer. But that isn't enough. He needs a girlfriend and a bigger home and acceptance and just worldly things. He told us all this and by then it was time to go so we left and we were walking back to the apartment and I looked up to the stars (It was like 9:30 :P) and just said thank you for everything I already have. After that I felt like I needed to write this and show it to him. I haven't shown it to him yet because we just haven't met with him this week, but I felt like this was directly inspired for him. Anyways here it is. 

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. 

That's my little poem. And, being a guitarist and being raised by an avid music lover I put guitar chords to it and made a song out of it. Haha! But it sounds just as good in the form of a poem and I feel as if this will make an impact in his life to change and thank God for his circumstances he's in instead of trying to be more than he can be. That's my story and the highlight of my week. Hope everyone is safe. I miss all of you!!! And love you guys tons!!! Tell the ward I miss them. 

Love, 
Elder Colton

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Week 11

This was another quiet week for Chandler.  His email was a short one, but here you go:

Mom,

Let's see my week was actually a very uneventful week. We will have this kid Carson Gorze over for a 3 day mini mission so that will be really neat to have him over with us. We have a baptism in two weeks. We got two people to commit to baptism last week so we're just looking for a date for them. We found a Nerf gun in our apartment and we were dorking around with that all morning yesterday it was way too much fun. Haha! Our church starts at 1pm so we wake up, finish studies, and then hangout till 1 o Clock so yeah we get bored and start doing stupid stuff with in this case a Nerf gun! Haha! Other than that we've just been teaching and all that missionary stuff! I love you too! 

Love, 
Elder Colton :)

Week 10

Chandler sent this picture with his email this week.  I just love seeing his handsome face!  He also sent me two pictures of the new socks he bought, but I figured it would be best to spare you all the sight of his hairy legs!


Mom,

There's all sorts of crazies here it's nuts! Yeah Elder Taito and I are still together. He's most likely leaving next transfer so I'll get to take over the area which will be fun, and I might even be district leader next transfer depending on how everything plays out so yeah that should be cool. We have Sister Haggemann she's awesome she feeds us whenever if ever we need it and her husband leaves the football games on so when we stop by we get our tender mercy and watch a little football. Haha! Alright, so my crazy story for this week is, I gave a blessing to this girl who couldn't talk she was starting to get some like bulge in her vocal chords and she was going to need surgery and all that stuff. So anyway, we gave her a blessing and by that Sunday she could talk again! It was so neat! I was pumped! I just wanted to go and give everyone blessings. Haha! It was nice it was a huge faith booster for us. We are meeting with a guy we tracted into, his name is Larry. He is very smart in everything! He's very promising on our second meeting he asked for the Doctrine and Covenants!? That's crazy! Nobody does that so hopefully we can have him on date soon. We now have four people on date for baptism! That's so great! Two of them we got last night! So we're starting to have a lot of success here all of our goals are in the green which means we're reaching our goals which means we're working hard because we're setting tough goals. So that's really neat those are the highlights of my week minus the obvious stuff like we tract a lot and walk in the heat a lot and all that sucky stuff! Haha! But the good outweighs the bad so it's not bad out here at all it's a lot of fun! Things are going well here I'm healthy I'm happy and I'm eating so that's good! Haha have a good week y'all! Love ya guys! 

Love, 
Elder Colton :) 

Week 9

Other than the fact that Chandler met Jesus, his week was pretty quiet :)

Mom,

Not much is going on. We have a baptism this month and next month so that's really sweet!! We had a crazy guy tell us he was Jesus and that he smoked meth with angels on a regular basis and then he continued to say how he saw God aka his literal dad because he's Jesus and then he took our Mormon.org card and said he'd come by our apartment and have like some personal Jesus time with us. I just busted up! It was rude I know but I couldn't believe it! I was just waiting for the lighting to strike him! This guy seriously thought he was Jesus and yeah I just started laughing so hard. Oh yeah he said he was perfect. Yeah he said he's never sinned. And he said he has a degree higher than a doctorate in the fields of math, science, physics, and theology. He claimed also he was the smartest man in the world because he's Jesus. Haha crazy guy! Oh we've been doing a ton of tracting! :P Oh boy it sucks! Haha! My companion loves it but it's so ineffective I've been trying to come up with other ideas that would have more success because we knock for an hour or two and not a person expresses interest so yeah that just drives me nuts! Haha! Well anyway that's it for me. Have a good week guys! I love you all!!!! 

Love, 
Elder Colton :) 

Week 8

It sounds like Chandler had a pretty fun experience this week.  I'm not sure his mission president would approve, but he has always had his own way of doing things ;)

Mom,

I went on exchanges with Elder Russell and we decided we would do something different, something somebody hasn't done. So we grabbed our guitars and decided we would go guitar finding. We said a prayer and asked that we will put forth the effort and in return we want to see miracles happen. And no sooner after we said amen than people start honking and waving at us and we started walking up and down the main drag playing music and after about 5 minutes these ladies stopped us and started talking to us. They asked us who we were representing and we told them the LDS church and this lady named Angie started asking tons of awesome questions! And we had all the answers! It was so neat! She is like golden! She told us to come back the next day and teach her because she wants to change and she wants to be sealed to her husband and live with him forever! The only downside is that I was on exchanges in someone else's area so I won't get to teach her, but I will get to hopefully hear how things are going with her. So we left her and about 30 seconds later some guys come out of this restaurant we walked by and they said hey it's karaoke night and we want to hear some music. And we were kind of skeptical at first then we decided like hey we prayed for people to come to us and they are so we went in. Haha! Elder Russell wasn't comfortable playing and singing so he sat with the crowd and I got up and I announced myself and and that we were LDS missionaries and then I performed my solo piece Book of Mormon stories to set the tone then I sang Book of Mormon Stories and that actually drew a lot of smiles. They thought that was great and then they asked if I knew anything else and I said yes and sang House of the Rising Sun and Sweet Home Alabama for them and they were all clapping and excited and we handed out all of our mormon.org cards and they said we were the coolest missionaries they've ever seen in their lives and that they'd check out the website and get some questions answered. So we planted a whole lot of seeds in there. So then we left that place and as we were walking back to the apartment 2 more people stopped and talked to is and told us they appreciated us and what we do and all that stuff. Then we got back to he apartment and we got a call from the temple saying that somebody from the restaurant found my iPad that I had lost and he knew we were LDS so he drove to the temple and asked one of the people coming out to take it to the guy inside and have him call us and tell us he has my iPad and that he would be by the restaurant and we could come grab it. On our way walking there we ran into a Jewish guy who wanted to bash and Elder Russell really likes bashing so he was just going at it and I was just standing there quiet and I was just getting super bugged with what my companion and the guy were saying to each other so I just stepped up and yelled time out! This is stupid! And I just said we're not changing our faith your not changing yours I respect that I love you, God loves you God bless have a good night and bye bye and I grabbed Elder Russell and we went and got my iPad and went home for the night. So yeah that was my awesome miracle filled night it was a great experience! There's my weekend highlight! Haha! It was great! I performed for people like I sang and stuff aren't you proud!? I used my talents!!! Haha! Anyway, I'm having a blast I'm really enjoying my self and having a lot of fun. Time is flying! One transfer down already! (Which by the way I'm in Central Point for another transfer they say I'll probably be here six months!) I hope things are great back home! I hope you're not too worried about me. I imagine you can't be with the house and stuff. Haha! I think about you all everyday too!! I love you!!!! 

Love, 
Elder Colton :) 

Week 7

Nothing terribly exciting happened this week, but I've copied his email just for those who want to read it.

Mom,

Sorry we had our P-day canceled yesterday for a zone conference we had a seventy come and speak to us it was really great! The weeks do fly by transfers are this week I'll probably stay here. It's predicted I'll be here for six months so yeah I'll start getting comfortable here in Central Point. haha!  

Things are going. The work here is tough. People are just set in their ways or have already been "saved!" Haha! But we have a few investigators and some progressing investigators we have one set baptismal date that just fell into our laps and we have someone that we're trying to set on date but I think I told you about him. So the work is moving. I write in my journal every chance I have time I'm trying my best to write in it often. We have all kinds of cool spiritual moments when tracting and teaching. It's really neat. I wish I had like unlimited time to email you all these stories but we have so many missionaries waiting to email you get like 15 minutes and then you trade off the computer so I'll start recording my stories over the week so I can just copy and paste them in the email really fast! 
I love you too!!! I can't believe how fast it goes I'll be home before I know it!! 

See ya in two years!! 

Love, 
Elder Colton :)

Week 6

Nothing major to report this week.  Chandler and his companion worked on the church's pear farm.  They had to help harvest all of the pears.  Here are some pictures he sent:


Week 5

This was Chandler's response to me asking him if anything crazy had happened to him yet.  Keep in mind, when asking that question I meant for him to tell me about the crazy cat lady in the ward, or the fact that someone fed him under cooked chicken.  The story he sent was not what I was expecting!  Haha!

Mom, 

Yeah a crazy thing happened on Friday, We went on exchanges this Friday. I went with Elder Shelley from Utah.  We ran into some crazy people at one house. We OYMed a guy on the street that was standing in a drive way.  OYM means open your mouth and talk about the gospel. We introduced ourselves and told him we were missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I asked him if he had ever talked to missionaries before. He said no but that he didn't see any reason to because he didn't believe in Christ. I asked him why not. He said he didn't really see the purpose to believe in Christ. So we started teaching about the Plan of Salvation. He got really interested and told us to come and stand in the shade because it was hot. We talked to him a little longer and he asked us if we needed some water and Elder Shelley wanted some so the guy we were talking to ran in side to get some for him. While we were under the car port waiting for him we were looking around. There was a lady inside that was drawing some skulls on the wall inside. While we were still waiting this lady got in her car drove off and came back with a little take out box with green leafs sticking out of it. Then this other guy pulled into the driveway going super fast, them reversed like two feet and then layed on his horn. He gets out of the car and starts yelling the most random things and throws his keys as hard as he can at the wall. Then he starts yelling at us wondering why we were standing in his drive way. The lady that was drawing skulls came out and told him we were waiting for Mal the guy that we started to talk to that was inside. So he picked up his keys and ran inside and slammed the door. Then he came back outside and I was trying to tell him that we were sorry that we could move and he could move his car under the car port. He told me to back up because he to drain something on his arm. It was really nasty.  He had stitches from his wrist to his elbow and about three inches in the middle it was split open and there was this big bulge that looked like infected muscle. He started screaming again and popped the thing on his arm and blood went squirting out and almost got all over me. He than ran into the back yard and was throwing things around. So we wrote our phone number in the back of a Plan of Salvation Pamphlet and left it on a chair for Mal. We didn't know if Mal was ever going to come back out and we didn't want to have to deal with the crazy guy any more. It was pretty nuts! Haha 

Other than that it's pretty chill the dinners are really fun. I've played a lot of piano. Haha just working hard and all that stuff it's really fun hard work.

Love, 
Elder Colton :)

Week 4

Chandler didn't really have anything new to report this week.  He was just getting settled in his new apartment and getting used to living on his own.  He and a few other missionaries took their p-day to go to the California coast.  Here are a few pictures he sent:




Week 3

This week when I emailed Chandler I had a ton of questions!  Like, how much money do you get?  Do you eat with the members every day?  Do you have a car or do you ride your bike?  Where is your companion from?

I've never served a mission before and I just didn't know how everything worked so I was being an annoying mom and making sure that he was at least eating!  Haha!  In my defense, I didn't remind him to brush his teeth so that means I'm cutting the cord at least a little bit ;)

Dear Mom, 

Elder Taito is from American Samoa, but he's lived in Oklahoma most his life so yeah he is really cool! He's super chill and fun and, yeah, we get a lot of work done its awesome! 

They gave us a debit card with like 130.00 dollars a month and we have dinner every night for the rest of the transfer so we eat with the members a ton! We have our own apartment and its nasty. We walked in and Elder Taito just knelt down and just started dedicating the place. It was funny! Haha! Yeah, I got my bike; however, we hardly use the stupid thing. Its an all bike area we're in, but we walk most places and usually end up getting picked up by a member. There are a lot of members here! Its actually a lot like Tooele here its crazy! But there is still a lot of work to be done. 

My week... Let's see... 

*Tracting, we got doors slammed on us. Haha! We were told we're way off base and need to catch up with the world. Haha! 
*We came across a few people to teach so we have some lessons here in the next week.
*Busy, Busy, Busy! 
*We got i - Pads 
*You can send me my guitar if you take it to Guitar Center they can box it and send it to me so that was really cool! I can only play it at night after daily planning for 30 minutes and on P-Days

I'll keep working hard! You guys keep hanging in there! Love Ya'll!

Love, 
Elder Colton :)