"Sorry that I didn't get to email yesterday, we come here to the Public Library and it was closed so here we are emailing today! I loved getting everyone's emails, I felt truly blessed to have such wonderful family and friends to hear from!
This last week has been really good, a ton of ups and downs just like usual! I am absolutely loving it here in Bozeman though, it is a great place with a lot of work that can happen and I am loving being a part of that work! Last Monday we taught that family from Sao Paulo and their friend who is investigating the church, and it went so well! We taught about the Restoration of the Gospel in Portuguese and she made delicious Brazilian food, and then we taught them again last night, although without their friend since she was out of town. I am loving having this opportunity and I feel so blessed because I am discovering that so many members of my ward here served their missions in Brazil! I feel really lucky and blessed that I have the opportunity to speak Portuguese more often! So that lesson went well and then the rest of the week was great, a little crazy! We really struggled making appointments with people because like our whole teaching pool was gone for Labor day or too busy so that was difficult! So that was hard because we really had to try hard to find people to teach or things to do so that we were being effective while still working hard.
We also tried to start the Stop Smoking Program with M and R last Wednesday. (Side note: We've removed names to protect people's privacy). We were super excited because this program is a seven day program that has 100% success rate for those who follow it exactly. It's something that missionaries are given by the church to use and it has had so much success! The key is the willingness of the person to follow the rules exactly, but M and R wouldn't answer the door even though we could hear them inside their trailer, so that was really hard on me because we thought they were willing to do so! But it has to be based on their own desire so we have kept on visiting them and maybe down the road they will be more determined to do so!
We also, unfortunately, had to drop B's baptism date for this Saturday because she went out of town and couldn't come to church this Sunday and she hasn't been meeting with us more than once a week or twice sometimes. It was a bummer to see that, but she is still progressing so well! She struggles to feel like the Spirit is giving her an answer but she always says that when she prays, is at church, and meets with us, she feels good inside, and a calm peaceful feeling. So we are working on helping her recognize the Spirit. If she could do that and be willing to take a step of faith, she would be so incredibly ready to be baptized!
It is really exciting, we are also working with a part member family, the mom is coming back to church and has a goal to go through the temple! Her son, T, is ten and hasn't been baptized so he is under our responsibility to teach, and he is great! He knows so much and he and his mom have such a great Spirit about them, I truly love teaching their family, they help make my week!
I have been praying a lot recently to help our ward get more missionary minded and to receive more people to teach, and now we have 13 people in our referral pool! It is more than Elder Brown has ever had and it all came in a week, most of them are also ones that we are waiting on because the members want to be a part of it in contacting and teaching, so that has truly been a humbling and tender mercy experience for me. I love it here so much and it is insane to me that I have already been in the field for 9 weeks!
I also found out today that Elder Brown and I are moving to a new apartment less than a mile from our current one, they want to split all missionary apartments that have multiple sets in our mission. So that has been super sad since I love the elders that I live with, Elders Burrows and Schlenker. They are so incredible and I look up to them a lot. Our new apartment is super nice though, like SUPER nice. Haha I feel way spoiled and can't believe that we are going there, although I wish that we were staying with these elders.
Last week we were able to go on exchanges for a day, so I went with Elder Schlenker to his area, which is the University Ward for all of Friday. It was such a great experience and that night we didn't have an appointment at the end and so we went street contacting on the main street. It was a VERY interesting experience. Haha we were walking and heard from behind us "Hey Backpacks!" We turn around and saw this lady leaning out of a bar and she motioned for us to come over, so we went (Also Elder Schlenker is 6'8", so we stood out very clearly on this street at 8:30pm) and she asks if we want a drink, to which is promptly say, "No," and then she asks if we want to come in, which we also say,"No." Haha someone was sitting at the bar as well gesturing us to come in, but we left since that would not have been good, so we are walking and Elder Schlenker decides to put a Book of Mormon outside the bar for whoever was motioning for us to come in, so that was interesting! Then we get in a conversation with the same homeless man who asked me about the Zionist movement in America about MSU football, after which two men wearing Bicardi shirts ask where we are from, hear our answers, then say "Woowww..." and "We're gone," and get in their car and leave, leaving behind two very confused missionaries. Then a man asks if we are missionaries, and then asks us how we are doing financially which we respond that we are doing great, so he gives us $10 and says his good friend is a professor at BYU and is one of the best men that he knows and is a great Mormon so every time he sees missionaries he tries to help them out! Then we get into a conversation with a door man and then we ride home for curfew. In short it was a extremely different night!
I loved hearing from each person in the family, it was so much fun! Mom, if there is any way you could get me an electric razor, that would be so nice! I hate shaving every day and that would be really cool, if not I totally understand or I could try to find one here.
I am so glad that surgery went well and I was praying for you so hard! I loved hearing about your week as well Dad and I am glad that you taught me to be grateful because that is something that has come so in handy while I have been here, people truly have their hearts softened as you are grateful to them. I am glad that the craziness has died down a little bit since last week but I am still keeping you in my prayers! Also Dad, guess who I met in our ward here? D. Mortenson!!!!!! Haha I met him, he said he was from Golden, I told him I was from Littleton, he mentioned only knowing the stake president for the Arapahoe stake, to which i responded that that was my Uncle! Haha he asked who my dad was and it went from there! So that was exciting! Also my Bishop is in love with Franklin Covey and his brother works for them in California, do you know a B. Kroff?? He wanted me to ask. Mom, could you request a driving record for me and have it sent or send it to my mission?? They need one and I can't remember if I ever sent that before I left. Let me know, I love you so much and I am so glad to hear from all of you! Oh Mom, could you also get MC's address/email for me, maybe message her on facebook or something? Thanks, Love you!
Here are some pictures from Danny's last few days at the
Missionary Training Center (MTC) and his first days in Montana
Elder Carney with his teacher at the MTC
Danny in Montana