A Stone

I'm restarting. I am going to build up my music library from the ground up. Its my New Years resolution I guess. But I started today. I am tech-savvy now that Christmas has come, and armed with my new 4G phone and a Kindle Fire, I am going to Amazon-Cloud the hell out of 2012!

I wanna try to get a new album a day for a while, until I have a good base, then I will slow down.

First new album, the 2005 Black Sheep Boy by Okkervil River. I have liked a few songs from them before, but haven't checked them out like I should. And here is a gem I found.

A Stone

I Got Around To It

So for the past two weddings I have been to I have been the Maid of honor and the Best man. Among the many MANY important duties I had was the throw the bachelor parties.

Kimmie has been my best friend since we were just little kids. And I was honored when she asked me to be her Maid of honor, or rather, when she told me she wasn't having one and so I asked her if I could be it and she said yes. (I got the idea from a Patrick Dempsey movie)

But her bachelor party was awesome.

It started with a kidnapping, went to shotgun shooting, back home for a dinner of Stake and potatoes and ended with a manly movie, Clash of the Titans. And she loved the tool box we got her.

I should note that the wedding, and the drive down, the next week was awesome. Micheal honked at a cop as we went speeding past, and Sam taught Michael what life with a smart phone should be like.

We had Michael's bachelor party last month.

James Bond dance party, IHOP, and Dimond Fork hot pots on an empty tank of gas. It was an awesome night. we hiked up the pots with our swimsuits on, and I was wearing flip flops. I stubbed my toe 8 times. As we were leaving the hot pots it started to snow that kind of thick, slow snow that makes the world seem real quiet and not so big. So we wrapped our towels around us tight and reminisced all the way back to the car. It was an awesome end to the night. We didn't get home till 6am. Now THATS a bachelor party.

I think I'm getting real good at throwing them. I bet all my friends will choose me as their Best men. Heck, I'm gonna choose myself!


I just got off work at me new job. My new job at the Gas-and-Go. The same Gas-and-Go my brother works at. It was the 6-12 shift. The same 6-12 shift that my brother worked today. It was awesome!

Just me and him (basically) for 6 hours. 6 hours of playing "boy or girl?" in the BUSTED magazine, hoping we would see someone we knew. 6 hours of jamming out to Tegan and Sara and The Devil Whale. 6 hours of quoting 30 Rock and making fun of Asians. And work too.. we did that too.

His almost Fiance Cali came in and brought us (him) some pizza. That's when I decided I really need a girlfriend. Someone who would want to come visit me on late night shifts, and I could do the same. Someone who will make fun of Adam like Cali makes fun of me.

At the end of the night, we walked out into the parking lot after locking up, Adam yelled "See you at home roomie!" and we raced back to highland, back to the bedroom that we share. Back to our bunk beds (I've got top bunk) to end the night by watching a few episodes Arrested Development, where I sit right now typing this on his laptop. We just do everything together now. It's hard to think that 5 years ago we couldn't stand each other.

But soon he will start work at his new fancy DHI job. Soon he will get married and move out and I will be stuck at Gas-and-Go with the trailer park people trying to use their food stamps to buy cigarettes and booze. Alone. No one to discuss Ben Kweller with. No one to help me find celebrity look alikes in the mug shot magazine and almost pee themselves when the ugliest guy on the page has the same name as me. (It was the first guy I've ever seen that spells it the same as me too)

I have this fantasy that me and him never get married just stay in this house long enough to either kick mom and dad out, or just outlive them. The thing is, mom will live til shes 112 and I know that Adam would walk around naked. But still, it would be pretty dang fun.

So, life's gonna move on. And that's ok. Cali is a pretty cool addition to the family and I haven't had my own room in 2 1/2 years. Things will work out alright

Tonight was pretty great though.

(Pretty sure that's Adam and Taylor.. but it fits our relationship better)


So my computer wont recognize anything plugged into the SD slot or the USB, so I cant upload pictures. Every time I get on here to make a post, I remember that and just give up.. Its been a real problem. I have really been slacking off lately. I will get that looked at and add picture later.

Saturday night (was a disaster) I got a call from my amazing friend Stacy and she told me she had a extra ticket for conference the next morning. I had never been before, so of course I said yes. And then next day Stacy, Sam and I were on our way to Salt Lake.

I loved walking through the City on a Sunday morning. Trying to beat the crowd of well dressed people who were all heading for the same building. I expected to see a lot of protesters, something I was actually excited about. But besides the under-dressed preacher telling me I didn't need a Prophet, I saw more signs saying "Need Conference Tickets" than "We already have a Bible". I realize these guys really wanna go to conference.. But too little to late? If you wanna go that badly talk to your stake president about it and go in 6 months. I just seemed really pathetic. I am happy watching conference from my home... but that was before I walked into the conference center..

We didn't bother walking through Temple square, where all the protester are. We headed straight for the Conference building. It was awesome. So many people lined up, smiling pretty, taking pictures. There was just a buzz of excitement in the air! I wanted so bad to get the ensign photographers attention. It was secretly my goal from the moment I said I would come. So as we waited in line, taking pictures of ourselves, I tried to look as photogenic as possible.


When we got inside everything looked so amazing in person! The organ and Mo-Tab, the pulpit, the GA seating, the crowd! Being inside the building I had been watching on TV for years was a strange experience. I was loving it.

Before it started Sam leaned over to me and said "I'm gonna need your suit coat." He wanted to give them to the cute girl next to him and her friend, who looked very cold. They loved it, and him, and they exchanged conversation a few times throughout the session. He got her Facebook. Like a boss.

After my nap during 'Music and the Spoken word', it got even better. The talks were awesome. And when the prophet finally spoke, I kept looking from the big TV screen to him to the screen to him and I couldn't stop smiling.

I now realize why those guys wanted to come so bad. And if I cant get tickets again, maybe I'll join em next year. But probably not. I still think its kinda lame.

As we left, there were lots of people with new signs asking for money and stuff. Maybe the reason they don't have jobs and the reason they couldn't wake up on time to catch me on my way in are the same..

That whole day I couldn't shake the excitement, and later that night I got to see all my old mission friends at the CWM Reunion. I felt great, made some funny jokes and everyone remembered I was even cooler than they remembered. Such an awesome day. I wish I could go to conference every day.

I love Conference
I love the Prophet
I love being a Latter-Day Saint

The Madness Ends Now

I have been hired as my mothers maid. For 2 hours a day and 3 days a week, I clean the house and keep it spotless, and my mom pays me. It's the most degrading job... and I'm just desperate enough to take it! But today is my first day (and I really should be cleaning now instead of blogging in my underwear) and I am finding that most of the messes in the house are caused by dogs...

I have 4 dogs living in my house. 4 dogs! Not by choice, but by circumstance. And those dogs are taking control and need to be stopped!

Don't get me wrong. My family loves dogs. But we love one dog at a time... With 4 dogs we are turning into THAT kind of family. The dogs run the world. They do want they want, and we clean up the mess. Dirty floors, knocked over garbage cans, little "presents" on the rug. And there is dog hair everywhere! On every fabric surface! And it sickens me.

This has never been a problem before. We let our dogs on the couch with us and it didn't matter because our dog, the Australian Shepherd, and the 2 past dogs we have had like her, do not shed. But that's not the case with some of the dogs we have now... Well, I actually think its just Vincent, the welsh corgi, but I'm not gonna discriminate.

I don't want us to be the family that has to apologize for the dog fur after you sit on their couch and keep a lint roller handy. We are not that family.

So it ends here.

I'm taking back our couches. No dogs allowed on the couches. And that means war...

The Enemy:

 #1.   Name: Autumn (bottom) (F)   Age: 1   Height: 2'3"   Weight: 50lbs   Breed: Australian Shepherd   Bio: Leader, owns the house, has lived here longest.

 #2.   Name: Vincent (Vinny) (M)  Age: 2 1/2   Height: 1'0"   Weight: 10lbs   Breed: Welsh Corgi   Bio: Sneakier than his farts and twice as cute.

 #3.   Name: Jack (Jack-o; Sir Stinky-cheeks) (?)  Age: 4   Height: 0'5"   Weight: 6lbs   Breed: Mutt   Bio: definition of "small-dog-syndrome"

 #4.   Name: Rue (F)  Age: 1   Height: 4'6"   Weight: 360lbs   Breed: Great Dane   Bio: Skittish, dumb as they come. Cannot be photographed in one shot.

I will keep a documentation of all the goings-on of the 'War on Dog-fur' here on this post and on my twitter account which can be found on the sidebar. Check back each day to hear how things are going and to show your support. They must be stopped!

Day 1: Needed to catch a dog in the act so that I could make an example of them. Gathered all the dogs together, which is hard because Jack and Vincent don't like to be in the same room together. They were all in the living room, but none were on the couch. I decided to lure Autumn, their leader, on the couch. When she got up, I promptly knocked her back down and made a big scene about it. All dogs were silent... I think they got the message.

Day 2: Retaliation started with Jack pooping on the carpet. As punishment I locked him in a room with Vincent for an hour. Continued to show dominance by stomping in front of them when they least expect and spasmodically waving my hands in their face; Striking them with both fear and confusion.

Day 5: The dogs cower and jump off every time I catch them on the couch, but they still get back up when I am gone. I am enlisting the help of every family member living at home. I cant do this alone. Side note: I cant have the dogs hating me. I am making a dangerous enemies... It might be time to rethink my tactics.

Day 8: Those who fear you will obey you, but those who love you will seek to please you... I'm gonna need a BIG-A** bag of dog treats!

Day 21: Stuck a bag of cereal on Vincents head today so he could eat the leftovers. He couldn't get it off and kept falling over. I couldn't stop laughing. When I finally took it off, he wouldn't stop following me around. I was his hero. I've got him eating right out of my bag.

Day 37: Mom bought new couches and the dogs don't like them as much....

I Was A Zombie

For one awesome night, I was a zombie.

Thanks to KiDMACHINE..

The show was awesome. The beats were sick and the chicks were undead. At some point the back door was opened and it was poring rain. Everyone ran out to dance and splash in the puddles. Then we all came back in and danced even harder. Right when the show ended, lightning struck the block and all the power went out. No better way to end a zombie dance!

A night never to be forgotten. So awesome.

Less Talk, More Arms, More Legs

I have a lot of things to blog about that I haven't made time for. I will get on that.

But today I went out early to go get applications for jobs. I on a whim pulled out the scratched and unlabled CD from the bottom of my dresser drawer. It has been there since I've been home and I didnt know who's or what it was. Just thought it would be fun to find out today.

Well turns out it was this great upbeat indie CD that I have never heard before. I love it. I dont even know who the guy is, but he's great!

I was so happy and excited, so when I went to ask for applications I think I made a good impression.  This really cute girl at Blue Lemon loved me! All because of that CD! That, and the fact that I look really good today. I forgot to get her name though..

The CD was so fun, and it just felt so good out and driving around that I decided to go to AF and look for jobs there too, so I could listen to more of the CD.

Well, that plan was foiled when I got halfway there and realized how low the gas tank was.. but it bought me and extra 3 songs in the car.

Now Im gonna go fill out the application from Blue Lemon so I can go back and get that girls name.

Its just a good day.

UPDATE: It was the new album by Matt Pond PA! The Dark Leaves. I never listed to him, unless I was with my bro. That's why I didn't recognize it. But he is my new favorite.

And I never did see that girl again. I guess I'll just have to get the job If I wanna marry her.

Blind Pilot

My brothers, my dad and I all share similar taste in music. It is really fun to tap their brains for new music and share with them what I find. I found this band about 3 years ago. It is the first band I found that my brother Adam has really loved. Their first CD is amazing! And they will be releasing their second soon, and I am drooling as I listen to these clips from it.

Single Saturday

Last week there was this mysterious carnival that came to town. They had rides and Carni games and everything. But nobody knew what it was for. It wasn't advertised, and the one night I went to check it out, it was deserted. Lights on, rides going, music playing... But no one was there.. It was really creepy. I felt like I was in a Goosebumps episode. Then, the next day, it was gone.. Just disapeared like it was never there.. So odd.

Well, turns out it was supposed to be a part of the "Highland Fling". I guess they were trying something new this year. I don't think they got the reception they were looking for.. Unless "Abandoned Carnival horror show" was what they were going for. In that case.. Smashing success!

Regardless, I doubt if they will try it again next year. They probably lost a ton of money.

Luckily, the Highland Fling itself was wonderful. It might just be the nostalgia, but I LOVE the Fling. We got there early enough to catch the end of a magic show. They guy was crazy! He was old and more of comedian than magician. Then we grabbed a blanket and picked a spot as close to the fireworks as we could get. Me, Sam, Kimmie, Michael Tom and his fiance Hailey. Kim was freaking out because it is her last week as 'single'. But she was loving it, trying to convince everyone to dance with her. She kept saying "This is the best day of my life!" and "Single Saturday!" and "I'm so happy right now!" all night long.

Sam asked this lady behind us to take a picture of us. You woulda thought he had asked her to wipe his butt by the way she reacted. I have never seen someone so disgusted to take a picture. He asked her like 3 times before she even responded.. Then she just sighed and stood up, took the camera and took the picture without saying a word. What a buzz kill.. We just tried to take pictures of ourselves the rest of the night.

The Picture the rude lady took. Her boyfriend is in the back.

How do you accidentally make that face when you are in charge of taking the picture?

Kimmie's Last "Single Saturday"
If you can see, Kimmie tried to be in this pic. Didnt work out. Bad Lighting?

Such a ridiculous night. I feel like the Highland Fling always ends up with some punk kids mocking us for being dorks, and then us mocking them mocking us. Too funny! Cracks me up. We are out of control.

Afterwards, everyone came over to my house to watch Clash of the Titans and eat doughnuts. It was a good night.

1 man, 12 chicken wings, 30 minutes.

The Wing Challenge at Wing Shack. When I first heard of it, I have to be honest, it sounded easy. Even if it was their spiciest sauce. I love food and I love it spicy. Should be good right?

So Sam, Casey, Nate, Danny and I all head on over to the wing shack. I just wanted to play it cool, like I just was there for a meal. But everyone was trying hard to make it a big deal.. I walked up to the front of the store and, trying to look very bored, said, "Yeah... I'll get the wing challenge?" to which the cashier responds excitedly "The wing challenge!" completely blowing my nonchalance.

As the food was cooking I started to get a bit nervous.. I had just spent the last few days telling everyone how easily I would be able to do this.. But what if I failed? No living it down.

Soon the guy comes out with our orders and sets the food in front of me. The fumes from the sauce stung my eyes... but it wasn't the spiciness that worried me. Casey said his stomach simply couldn't hold the food. But wings aren't very big.

Well, turns out there is a bit more to it. You cant have any drink, you cant dip them in any other sauces, and you gotta down it in 30 min. Also.. a bit of false advertising going on. These are no chicken wings. These are big chicken strips! Whatever. No backing down.

The worker tells me the rules and says, just tell me when your ready and I'll start the timer. Without even looking up I said "I'm ready now" and picked up the first strip with my fingers and started eating.

I got the first 8 down and had 16 minutes left.. But boy.. It was killing me. The chicken was right out of the oven hot and it wasn't the sauce that was burning my mouth. At this point it felt like a gross warm pit in my stomach, heavy as a rock. I began to just chew the damned things in huge bite and force it to the back of my throat with my tongue and let my reflexes do the rest, trying the whole time to taste it as little as possible. My mouth was so bored of the flavor that my body wanted to reject it.

 Every once in a while the guys would give words of encouragement or ask me how I was doing. I would just shrug it off and say "fine" and then change the subject. I didn't want to dwell on it. Mind over matter. Those last four where really getting to me.

2 minuets left, 1 wing to go.

I took the whole thing in my mouth and started mindlessly chewing and swallowing, even though my belly wanted nothing to do with it. But it does what I say, so it took the abuse.


Victory! And not a moment too soon.

To celebrate I drank TONS of liquid and topped it off with orange leaf frozen yogurt.

In case your wondering what I got for nearly killing myself with chicken; a $10 gift certificate, a tee shirt, and my picture on the Wing Shack wall of fame.

I also got a burning food baby trying to rip its was out of me. Over 24 hours later and I am still dealing with the aftermath. Sick all last night and this morning, and just a few minutes ago it came back. Right when I started describing the events..

I may never want another chicken wing in my life, and I probably did permanent damage to the inner wall of  my intestines..

...Totally worth it.

Here we go Again

Do you know these guys?

Well they used to be these guys.

See that guy second from the left? That is my brother Michael. Neon Trees used to play privet shows in my home and record songs in my basement when my brother was part of the band. He and his two friends left the band after a fall out and the remaining members, Chris and Tyler, moved to California and picked up that new bass player and the chick on the drums.

A few month before I left on my mission I heard that they signed a record deal.

About a year into my mission my family told me how popular they were becoming. Then I started hearing their stuff on the radio when we would be in stores and restaurants... Do you know how weird that was? To hear my bros old band all over the place in Canada!? So WEIRD! My worlds were colliding!

Their style has really changed... Personally I think they sold out for a more universal sound. But whatever. I'm not trying to be a hater, I just really like there old stuff better. The stuff they played in my basement. Songs like "phones" "modern romantics" and the Original "1983"

This was one of their bests.

Sensitive, Its True

I've fallen back in love with Canadian, lesbian, indie rock duo 'Tegan and Sara'. With that many controversial adverbs you know their good.

check it out

I like em twice as much now that I know they are from Canada.

A new CD of theirs came out a while ago. I'm loving this song and learning the dance moves.

So good. I have yet to listen to the whole album because I put this song on repeat. Love it!

The "Muffcake"

Near the end of my mission I heard rumors about myself being labeled a "muffcake". I had never heard the word before, but they were using it in terms of someone who is overly flirtatious with girls; In this case, the sister missionaries.

Fist off, I would like to say that Urban Dictionary's definition of muffcake is completely different and disturbing, so I think they were using it wrong...

Secondly, I felt like I had a good friendship with some of the sisters and never set out to flirt with anyone. But since I didn't (a) hate/make fun of them or (b) avoid them, It sure looked like flirting to the them...

Well, I just shrugged it off, only slightly bugged that high school seemed to have followed me into the mission field, and continued on.

Well, today I met up with two of those sisters from my mission and went hiking.

It was the first time any of us had been hiking in almost 2 years. We originally planed to hike to Timp cave, but the wait was outrageous. So we headed up to silver lake instead.

We had a good time, and they are both just as fun back home as they were before. The entire trip I tried to communicate without using their names because every time I did it either came out "Sister..." or just felt very awkward. Aubrianne said it felt like we were kids playing a game and giving each other fake names. So true. So fake. So awkward.

Still, nothing is happening between any of us and no flirting was involved. I don't think any of us are looking for that right now anyway. Still kinda weird just hanging out with girls.. But I am considering sending the photos to a few Elders in the mission right now and just letting the rumors fly. Gotta keep my legend fresh somehow.

Judgment Day

There is this couple next to me that is drunk/fighting as they use the computers.. They are on opposite sides of the table and he keeps yelling for her to come over and look at something, and she keeps coming, and then he tells her to get away from him.. in very vulgar terms... and she just takes it and goes back to her computer. I would so dump him. In fact, I would probably poor some hot liquid on him and then dump him. Then I would break a window in his car... (but he probably dosent have one).

But she wont. She will probably take it all her life and they will have 4 beautifully miserable kids together and he will be a jerk his whole life and she will do nothing. And then "monkey see monkey do" and the cycle will continue... It is so sad. I hate having to be around this all the time. PA is so ghetto and gross. Dont get me wrong. I love it here. So many people willing to listen. but it is such a miserable little city.

I cant tell you how much missionaries (not from Utah) will make fun of Utah. And I know its not perfect, but I love my happy little vally, and I defend it to the end. I believe it is better than the alternative. This couple is a model of like 30-40% of the relationships up here in PA. It is so disturbing I want to barf.

We were watching mormon messages the other day. We watched one about this civility experiment. It was very good. This homeless man they interview says some very profound things. He talks about how, he believes, there are more ways to do good in this world than to do bad. But its up to us to make the choice. He also says that the majority of people are mostly good. Its hard to believe it, but I do.

That drunk guy just left and, in a loud whisper, ever so "slyly" told his girlfriend that he will go get them a "hit" and they will meet in the van in a few minutes...

And just as I finished that paragraph.. What great timing.

Pray that the second coming holds off until PA is more ready for it.

15 Minutes

I played my song in Ward conference. I told everyone that I couldnt read music and the rumors started flying about how I had never had a piano lesson in my life and that I play by ear and that I wrote the song... I just let it happen. No harm in it.

Then this one guy visiting from Alberta gets up after church and starts playing the piano all professional like. He was trying to show me up. It was obvious that he was better than me and didnt like all these rumors of my excellence. I messed up like 3 times on my simple song, and he had probably been playing for like 10 years, But no one even payed attention to him. everyone kept coming up to me and asking me what song it was and where I got the composition and I just told them I arranged it myself and let the rumors fly.

Do I feel bad? Not really. I am mediocre at a lot of things, but not 'really good' at anything. I believe they say, "jack of all trades, master of none". But for that day I was a legend, and loving it.

So play on, little punk from Alberta. No ones listening. Your just making a turd of yourself, and not being very classy, I would say. And this is Saskatchewan, redneck capital of Canada, and we dont like your high and mighty type around here.

Put that in your nerd and smoke it.


Also, I was just told this week, for the first time in my 21 year old life, the Squoze is not a word... I have always said squoze as the past tense of squeeze... how has no one caught that and corrected me!? I feel like a retard!

Elder Turner sure thinks I am.

We determined that I must have made some connection with the word 'freeze', which is 'froze' is past tense... freeze froze squeeze squoze...

I have also realized that I use the word squozen on occasion..

Thanks for nothing public Education

Neither of us Can Believe It

On Friday I picked up Elder Turner headed back up to PA. Elder Turner is from Japan. He lived there 8 years and moved to the States. He is from Las Vegas now. He is not Japanese. He just was at one point.

We have been getting along really well. But some eerie junk is going on.. Someone told him before he got with me, that he would enjoy it because we are so similar. But he didnt really believe it.. But since he has been here we have discovered that we have the same body wash and scrubber (which did NOT come in a set) we use the same batteries, watch all the same shows, are the same height, have the same shoe shine kit, are both known mission wide for keeping the apartment clean, and we both always sleep with the wall to our right... I mean, sleeping with the wall to your right!? Come on! I always thought I was weird for doing that..

He is not shy at all, which is a big change from the last 6 months of companions I have had. He talks during lessons! I dont even have to stare at him for 40 seconds! Its great!

I'll miss the Mann, but Turner and I are also getting along great.

Pres Monson does his thing

He starts by telling us that there are 3 new temples in the works! Great! First in Colorado. Second in Idaho... Well. Ill just let you watch this. he tells it better.

...The 3rd.. in Canada. In Manitoba. In Winnipeg... In this mission!!!

I couldnt contain myself! I wanted to jump up and down or clap or yell or something! Everyone one in the chapel (like 4 people) was shocked and mildly happy. But to them it was just another temple in Canada. For me, it was a Temple in Canada! And in Winnipeg of all places! My Mission! A temple for MY people! I was so happy for my fellow saints in Winnipeg. I was so happy. It made me feel like I had accomplished something! I was buzzed. What a great way to start off conference.

The rest was also good.

Patience is great

She is sometimes hard to understand, but she is great. She said the closing prayer last time, and she had her son bring her a blanket to cover her head, and she sang a song first and then said this LONG and FAST prayer in her native laguage. it was wonderful. I wish we prayed like that. She wants to come to church, but wants to wait till she gets a Job so she can use the excuse of work to sneak to our church... oh boy.. She is hilarious. I hope we dont get her in trouble with the JW's. Or get ourselves in trouble with them..
All I know it that if things get rough, at least I can get blood transfusions...

The church is true. And Patience says that if it is true we have to do everything we can to go to it. even if it means cutting off our finger.... again.. she is great.

3 Stories For You

Her name is Sandy

So, we were tracting this street. 7th st. E. to be exact. 900 block. And we were just about to go in, because it was 5 to 9. I know this sounds cliche, but it was literally the last house we were going to knock on. 909 A (it was like a duplex). So we knock and this lady comes to the door. Elder Schumann introduces us and she immediately says "No thank you, I am not interested AT ALL with religion." Elder Schumann asked why and she said that she has been going through a really hard time for 4 years, and God has not helped her at all. She prayed and prayed... and nothing has changed. Then I started to testify to her that God did, in fact, love her, and that he wanted to help her. She just needed to draw nearer to him first. She then tells us a bit about her situation. "I dont drink," she says "I dont smoke, and yet, my 9 year old little girl is stuck with my alcoholic ex-husband, because he has money, and money talks" She goes on to explain that none of her children are living with her. But she is most heart broken about her little girl, because they are all drinkers, and she dosent want her to go that way. At this point i said something else, but i dont remember what it was. She looks at us for a while and says, I cant have you standing out there in the cold, come in and ill make you some hot chocolate.
Wow. I have never had a contact turn from that into THAT. But it gets better.
We sat with her a while and asked if we could share a bit of our message. she says yes. We explain the book of Mormon and tell her that this will bring her the happiness she is looking for. It wont fix all her problems, but it will give her hope and bring her at peace with God. She starts to talk again about her kids, and how she can tell that we were well raised and that being kind to people was important to us. She said her kids dont know that. "I would rather have you sitting her, playing cards with me or whatever, than my own kids". She said "When you come back I'll have too..." and then I didnt hear what she said, because all I could think about was her inviting us back! We never said anything about coming back... She must have caught herself too, because after she said. "You know, I think it would be a good idea for you to come back. I could really use some hope right now".
Wow.. powerful. The spirit was so strong.

Her name is Patience

So the next day, we are finishing up that same street. Nothing much happened, and it was time to go in for lunch, But because of some scheduling stuff, Elder Schumann asked if I wanted to keep tracting another half hour and go in later. I said sure, not really wanting too, because it was so cold. But it must have been a prompting too him, because at one of the houses this BIG black lady came to the door, and with absolutely NO hesitation said "Come in", so we stepped in. Then she said "Sit down". and points to her couch. I was actually a little hesitant.. I didnt know what was up.. did she think we were someone else? We sat down and she just sits there, holding her very cute, very wide eyed baby girl on her lap. She dosent say anything... so we start talking. And she is just listening to everything we say and loving it. She says she is Jehovah Witness, but that she dosent like it very much, because she likes to pray, and she dosent like their prayers. She said her spirit will get weak if she dosent pray. She told us that she had been fasting, and she was just about to end her fast with a prayer, and we came to the door. She said "God sent you". She is so great! she is from Nigeria. Dad said he baptized a Nigerian man on his mission. So i have to baptize this lady and her family. They are so funny. The culture is so different and friendly. i love it. She just invites us inside instead of making us talk to her at the door. That is normal to her! I am going to do that all the time now. It was so funny and I am already in love with her family.

His name is Eduardo

I also met this man from the Philippines. He is already a member. He is amazing. We went over to teach his roommate, who ended up not being there for the lesson. so we just taught him. He shared with us his conversion story. He was born roman catholic. Everyone in the Philippines is. He wasnt content though, and so he searched. He became a Born Again Christian. His first in counter with the church was around this time, I believe. There was a man, that would walk to church and pass his house. He lived somewhere down the block, but he didnt know him. But he would always sit on his porch as he walked by, and the member would always shout "Hello my friend!" and walk on by.
He never knew he was a member. A year or so later, the man stopped coming by. and a while after that, this man got a job in Saudi Arabia. While he was there, he met the other men he was working with, one of the men came up to him and said "I know you! You are my friend!" It was the same man that passed him on the street on his way to church. In the next couple of month, he was introduced to some of the teaching of the Gospel by him, and by another man, who was a return missionary. They did not have scriptures in Saudi Arabia. It was against the law, and you could receive the death penalty for it. So they just talked. His friend told him "All you have to do to know that this is true, is to pray, very hard, and ask God". So he did. That night, he had a dream about a beautiful white building. It looked like a church. He asked his friend about it, and he pulled out a picture of the temple in the Philippines. "Is this is?" He asked. "Yes! Thats the church! What Church is this". He said, "this is a Temple. This is the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints". He said "I want to go there". But his friend said that he had to be a member of the church. "He said, "...Ok, Teach me about your church".
In the next few weeks the return missionary and his friend taught him the 6 discussions. He took lots of notes, he said. He was especially intrigued by eternal families. That is what he wanted. At the end of the discussions his friend asked him if he wanted to be baptized. He said yes, "I want to be baptized NOW. Can you baptize me now?" Unfortunately, they had to say no. They explained that they did not have the priesthood keys to do so.. He was heart broken.. they told him that when he had vacation time, find the Elders and tell them you want to be baptized. He had to wait something like 6 months before he had 1 month of vacation time. He went back to the Philipinnes and told his wife "I want to marry you for time and all eternity. Do you want to be with me forever" She said yes. and so he called the missionaries. they lived 2 hours away from his house... he had to travel there every week to retake the discussions. He took them 2 at a time. He was baptized the end of the month. Some how, he got permission to receive the priesthood and baptize his wife the same day... That wouldnt fly anymore. But it is romantic in this story. He is now away from home once again, in Canada. But he now has a large family, all in the covenant. He has helped 27 people to accept the Gospel. And that is just from HIM alone. Not including all the people that they have now helped, and also his son, who just returned from his mission. This guy is amazing.

I Can't Get Too Mad

We are teaching one of the Halcro girls friends. Her name is Cassie. She is super funny, and I am excited to work with her. She is super down to earth and really thinks about the things we tell her and ask her todo. She is thinking about baptism and we learned about why she hasnt decided on a date yet. She just wants the support of her parents, and shes not getting that from her mom yet. Her dad sounds good though.
She said she leaves for a soccer trip on July 15th. That is my freaking 2 year mark! She said it is very possible for her to be baptized before that.
that is great. We will get 'er. She is gonna be great.

A New One Every Month

So we met a lady named Kathleen last week. She was very timid, but super nice. She said we could come back "anytime". So we went back on Sunday (not like we had to go to church or anything). We taught her about the restoration and it went really well! We invited her to be baptized and she accepted! She said she really wanted to start going to a church.

She is super! We just got done teaching her about an hour ago, and she said the closing prayer and asked for a comfirmation that the Book of Mormon was true. She said that she felt so happy after the prayer. She just felt really good, she said. She got her answer. Man! I cant baptize these people fast enough! haha!

We're Cool

We went to the Halcro's twice. They are so fun! Sister Halcro is a Mckay, and reminds me of mom because her obsession with chocolate. Although she is not weird like mom, because she likes MILK chocolate! The best kind. So we get chocolate when we go there. Brother Halcro is always cracking jokes, in ANY situation, and is supper funny. (ex. When his oldest daughter was born, RIGHT AFTER SHE WAS DELIVERED he turns to the doctor and says "I'm just glad shes not Chinese!" and the confused doctor asks why. He says "Well, I heard 1 in ever 3 babies born now adays is Chinese." bu dum cheee. haha! love it. He had to be saving that one for a while) Already love the Halcros BTW. I'm glad I'll be living with the Scheiss' after the mish, so I can go visit them on occation.

As Usual

We waited for the transfer train to come in from Winnipeg.. They were REALLY late. Turns out that they all got pulled over for tickets!.. so that delayed things. Well 12 o'clock rolls around and they still werent there! Then we got a phone call from the sisters "The Elder Rolled off the road! They rolled over like 4 times!"
So the ZLs run off and we are left there.. wondering. Then they call and say "Find a place to sleep. We are gonna be a while"
So we all leave, But we took a detour to go see the wreck. The truck was upright, and no one was there. So we called the sisters and they told us what happened. The Elders are fine. Slipped on ice and went over the overpass.. They didnt have any blockers to keep cars from falling off that thing... thats stupid.
One of the Sisters is brand new. She was heading for her first area.. what a welcome. CWM!

So much better than texting

It all started when I lost a key, and my oil vile in a field. A field of SNOW! remember how I said we had 4 feet? Well sometimes I just cant help running through it. It is so fun!

There is a playground in the middle of this field and I ran to the monkeybars, did a
backflip and jumped in the snow and it was great... then that night.. I realized I didnt have my key.. or my vile. I was only a little upset, because we also set a couple of baptism dates with our new investigators Christie and Frank. They are great. Both 20. Im actually older than them! it is really weird to teach people your age..

Anyway. We decided to go back the next day and look for them.... I was SO certain we would never find them. 4 feet of snow remember! But I didnt doubt that God knew right where they were, and he would lead me to them, if it was in his plans.

So I prayed, and looked, and found nothing. I followed my foot steps into the far end of the field before I decided that it was ridiculous and i would never find anything.

So I started walking back, But instead of logically following my footsteps back, I decided i wanted to trounced through the deep snow back. Then in the middle of the feild, I stumbled upon a imprint of my body after jumping in the snow... I sat there for a minute... just taking it in. I knew my key was going to be here.. I dont know how. I just felt it.

I dug around lightly, where they key would have fallen out of my pocket.. and there it was... A small miracle. I thanked Heavenly Father, then asked about my oil vile. I kept digging, but it wasnt there. I felt like I should check one more time at the monkey bars.. But I had checked there thoroughly before.. But I went anyway.

There were a lot of holes in the ground where I dug there... but I picked a hole, and started digging.. Nothing for a while... So I kept digging. I was about to give up, thinking that finding the key was good enough, and I was pushing my luck with the Big Guy. I was the one that was stupid enough to run through the snow with a stray key and oil vile in my pocket...

So I stopped.... and looked up. And there, on top of the pile of snow I was just digging out of the hole, was my snow cover vile. You could barley even see the gold through the snow around it... I cant even describe to you what I felt in that moment.. Shock, Awe, Peace, Love, EXCITEMENT! I pick it up slowly and walked back to the car where my comp was waiting. I showed it to him and said "God answers prayer"

-40 C day

At -40 they always issue a frost bite warning. Frostbite within mintues! Sometimes seconds, if the wind is blowin' hard. This winter has been SO crazy! We have about 4 feet of snow outside right now. I haven't seen the ground in a long time. And People are running out of places to put it all! Their driveways are PILED on either side. Some of the piles are as tall as me. And people are on their roofs shoveling them off, for fear that they will collapse.

According to the farmers almanac, we have less than HALF of the snow we are expected to get this year.... 8 feet! HOLY JUNK! That is a butt load of snow... Lucky the farmers almanac is a load of garbage. No one can predict the weather that far in advance... or at all, for that matter. But who knows. Its been right before (probably).

Mom said something about winter only being 4 months long... its starts snowing in october here, and ends about april... hopefully. It should all be melted in may. How long is that?

this year may be a bit different. late May, early June. thats when I expect all THIS snow to melt.

My mission is so cool. (no pun intended)

CWM's finest!

Prez told us a while back that he might pull us out. Then this week, we were on exchanges, and I was with our (former AP) DL. And Prez called to tell me, he was pulling us out.. for sure.

I was freaking, because (A) We had been doing really good this week, but he didnt know, cause he dosent find out till the end. And (B) How were we going to find the motivation to go out and find people.. when 2 weeks into the transfer Prez basically says "Dont Bother"..

Well our DL didnt like the idea of us leaving, So that night he calls up the APs and gives them a talking to. I wasnt there for the convo, but one of our ZLs (Elder O'driscoll, He's super great) told us he was telling them it was a 'Poor Decision' and he wanted to know why. Crazy. He was defending our area hard core.

Then he talked to Prez and Prez basically said "Find them an apartment or their out". He really dosent like us living in the church... So the next day he tells that to Prez Harrold (BP) and he is like... "Oh.. ok.." Its sad, because he talks all about how the missionaries are the blood of this branch.. and if they left... it would kill them... sad.. and when Prez told me we were outta here, he said I had to tell everyone! I was scared. I didnt want them to think we werent doing work or something..

Well, we went and talked to this realestate guy, and we hadnt really found a suitable apartment in the past, but this guys says that one just opened for cheap and is 2 bedroom and refurbished and is on a month to month lease! Just perfect for Prez!

So we check it out and it is great! We aren't getting it though, We are waiting till one upstairs in the same place opens up. It is it a better location i guess, but is not as nice looking.. but missionary apartments are supposed to be I guess..

So God wants us in Melville. That is all there is to it. And we killed it this week. Prez called to congratulate us. I once had the AP's call to tell me i did good, but never Prez. Man, So good.

I'm goin' to the Jo-Ho's

We met a lot of Jo-Ho's (Jehovah's Witnesses) this week. We had one invite us in the other day. She was SO nice. She was super great and just wanted to talk about the bible and was genuinely interested in what we believe, not because she wanted to join, but because she was curious. So its wasnt all the normal JW junk about trying to convert us and stuff. She was SO animated.. almost comically so.. you would have been good friends. her name was Bunny..

We talked with them about how we believe Jehovah is Jesus. They thought we were crazy. She offered us tea, and we said we didnt drink tea. She said "Oh, thats right, you dont drink anything black." Then she asked if Hot chocolate was ok. we said yes.. But I was confused about what she said about "black drinks". Turns out they thought that we didnt drink anything black, because Cain was cursed to be black... haha! oh boy. Never heard that one before. She thought we were raciest against drinks! bwaaha! We taught them the WOW.