On Monday, we went and hiked Castlewood Canyon State Park with Elder J. Smith and Elder Rumsey from Elizabeth. It was way fun. We went into the park from a different entrance this time and then hiked all the way back to the dam. It was a pretty nice day and was about 70 degrees and sunny. We kept hiking past the dam and saw a couple of wind-eroded caves that were decently big. When we got to the caves, we looked at our watch and realized that we were going to be late to dinner! So we literally ran the 3 miles back to the car wearing boots and jeans. Elder Tibbitts was looking a little dehydrated and so we got him some water that was in the truck. We made it to dinner about 15 minutes late, but they weren't mad about it. We then went to the Farnsworth's and had a good time teaching their little kids. Our last appointment was with the Etchells and we had a great lesson. They look forward to having us over, especially now that they have a daughter serving a mission in Norway. It was a great night.
On Tuesday, we had a Specialized Training, where the Assistants and President Rehm came up to Castle Rock and taught the zone. We were instructed further on working with the part-member families and unbaptized children. The Assistants instructed us on contacting referrals from members and from Church Headquarters in an effective way. It was a good training and Elder Tibbitts did a good job conducting the meeting. Also, the vehicle coordinators gave us all surprise vehicle inspections, and our truck was pretty muddy on the outside from Pday. If you get marked with a 'dirty' the vehicle coordinators park your car for a day as punishment. So we decided to park on Wednesday. Right after Specialized Training, we went on exchanges with the Spanish Elders. I stayed in the Plum Creek Ward with Elder Cluff and Elder Tibbitts went with Elder Taylor. We did a couple of stop-bys and no one answered their doors. So we then went and visited a couple more people. Same result. We had dinner with the Pierce family and then had good lessons with the Graves and Grat families. We were walking to the Grat house when a car saw us, slowed down, stopped, rolled down the window and yelled "HEY MORMONS, COME HERE!" I was thinking oh great, here we go. So I said "Nah we're good." But then I heard Bishop Rolfson's voice say, "No, actually, come here haha." So we went over to the car and there was Bishop and Brother Young laughing. They said they couldn't resist and then talked to us for a little bit. It was a fun night.
On Wednesday, we woke up to heavy snow falling. We went and shoveled the driveway for the family we live with, the Kumpfs, and then shoveled another driveway before we called it quits for then. The snow was coming down faster than we could shovel it! We decided that it was best to have all the missionaries park their cars and not drive in the blizzard. So Elder Cluff and I went and watched some of the old church videos that we have while it just kept dumping snow.
As we were calling people to set things up doing extra studies, we got a call from a Brother Rudd, who lives in Colorado Springs. He said that he was coming back from work in Denver, and that I-25 had complete shut down because of the snow. Many cars were sliding off the road and getting stuck. He said that all the hotel rooms were booked as well and that he had no way to get home. So he called us asking if we knew anyone in the ward who could house him for the night until the snow stopped. We talked with the Kumpf's and they were totally willing to help him out. He made it about 200 yards from the Kumpf's driveway and then got stuck in the middle of the road. He was driving a front wheel drive Hyundai and it kept getting high-centered on the snow. So we shoveled him out and he was able to plow through to about 50 yards from the driveway. So what we had to do was shovel a path wide enough and low enough all the way to the driveway so he could make it over there. It was a long process, but he was finally able to zoom in to the driveway. We were completely on house arrest for the rest of the day because it just kept coming down and coming down heavy. We couldn't exchange back because of the weather, so we ended up just watching a couple more church videos with Brother Rudd , studying some more, having dinner with the Kumpfs, and then staying another night. The good 'ol Colorado blizzard ended up giving us about two feet of snow in one day.
On Thursday, the roads were clearing up and Brother Rudd was able to get out and make it home to the Springs. We were able to make it over to the Spanish apartment and exchange back in the morning as well. We met with Sister Snow, the Primary President, and discussed the unbaptized children over 8. We got some good insight on the families and identified the best fellowship family to help them as well. We were supposed to have interviews with President Rehm starting at 10:00am, but with the weather, they were pushed back to start at 1:30pm even he was a little late with the traffic coming up here from the Springs. Our interviews were scheduled for 4:00 and 4:15. The interview went really well and we had a good talk. President thanked me for my leadership and thought that I was doing pretty well overall. It was a good compliment. We finished interviews and then headed over to the Young's for dinner. Brother Young apologized for heckling us earlier, but we just laughed about it.
We finished the night with great lessons at the Bjorks and the Robinsons.
On Friday, we went to district meeting and had an Easter-themed district meeting. The lesson was about finding people to teach and so, for an object lesson, Elder Jolley, the district leader, went and hid Easter eggs around the church. So we went on a little Easter egg hunt and that was pretty awesome. We then went to Bonneventure and tried to understand what all the crazy people were trying to say to us. We didn't get to play bingo this time, which was a real bummer. We went and saw the Olers at 5 and had a great lesson there. Then, we drove out to Sedalia to have a lesson with Kelli at Sister Alvarez's house. She lives underneath the Conoco gas station in Sedalia and so we were able to cram into the living space there and have some authentic home-made enchiladas. It was a great lesson and it's so exciting to see Sister Alvarez, who was recently less active, get excited about going to the temple again. We will probably get to go with her in April.
On Saturday, it was snowing again, but it wasn't sticking to the roads. We were able to meet with the Relief Society President and discuss the part-member families. We prayerfully identified one family who would be most receptive to having the missionary lessons and also identified an active member or family of the ward who would serve as good fellowship for that family. It was a great meeting and great discussion. We are so blessed to have a great ward that is focused on missionary work. We also worked on our Easter Sunday talks and added stuff to make our talks better. We didn't have any evening appointments either because of women's conference.
On Sunday, the Kumpfs made us German pancakes for breakfast and they were pretty awesome. Later, we went over to the Secrist home for lunch and a lesson.
Following that, we met with Brother Kendall to coordinate for a little bit. We showed up to church and had our talks all ready. We invited all of our investigators to come and hear us speak, and Noe actually got to make it! Because we were up on the stand, he sat with Brother Kendall and his wife. Elder Tibbitts was first and his talk was on Faith and Hope from the Resurrection. He did a really great job. My talk was: He is Risen, a testimony we bear each day by how we live our lives. The final speaker was Brother Kumpf and he gave a great talk. Afterwards, we got a lot of compliments from the members and stuff. We talked to Noe and he said that we did a good job and that he liked it. He had to leave right after sacrament meeting, but we invited him to watch General Conference with us next week. He said that he would be interested in watching it! We went and gave a less active member a blessing after that because he has back surgery coming up, so we went with the Elders Quorum President and all to help him out. We had a good rest of the day at church and had dinner with the Smiths. Later, we had a great lesson on temples with the Hess family and then met with Bishop Rolfson and his family to coordinate and to have a lesson. It was a great Easter and I wore the awesome Easter egg socks I got from home all day.
Love you all and have a great week. Remember to prepare well for General Conference!!
Love, Elder LaRose
4438 Buena Vista Ct.
Castle Rock, CO 80109
MISSION OFFICE ADDRESS:
4090 Center Park Drive Ste 4
Colorado Springs, CO 80916