Monday, April 25, 2016

WEEK #39 - Castle Rock Zone

Hey everyone! Transfers are here and both Elder Tibbitts and I will be staying in the Plum Creek Ward for the next 6 weeks at least. I'm happy to stay, this is a great area.
On Monday, we pretty much just chilled for a little bit and then went over to the Spanish Elder's apartment and played board games with Elder Taylor and Elder Cluff. We played this fun zombie game where you have to fortify and defend your territory from the infectious zombies. That night, we went on exchanges with Elder Johnson and Elder Soller. They both came into our area and I was mainly with Elder Soller. We taught a good lesson to the Keilers and Elder Tibbits and Elder Johnson taught lessons to a less active member and a nonmember. It was a good night!
On Tuesday, we woke up and did our studies. Then we went to Horsepower to shovel the stalls. When we got there, there was still mud and snow everywhere from the storm so we just went around and fed the horses. At one point, Elder Taylor tried to get up a slick muddy hill in his Chevy Cruze but ended up sliding off the road and into a snow bank. So we backed up our truck to the car and tied a rope to both the hitches and pulled him out of there, no problem. 

We then went home and had lunch. I went tracting with Elder Soller and then we all went and taught Weston Graves. He is the 7 year old that we have been teaching before his baptism this month. We ended the exchange and Elder Tibbitts and I had dinner with the Ganns and then a lesson with the Burnetts.
On Wednesday, we had a good morning and went and did service at Task Force. For dinner, we went to the Etchells and had a great time. They are getting more and more excited about missionary work because their daughter just left on her mission to Oslo, Norway. We then had a lesson on faith with the Young's house which was really awesome. Afterwards we had a great spiritual discussion at the Robinson's.
On Thursday, we pretty much did our weekly planning and then did stop bys for the rest of the day. We then went to Sister Alvarez's house and she made us delicious pork tacos with home made salsa and everything. It was super delicious! We then went over to Brother Kendall's house and had a coordination meeting.
On Friday, the youth were having Youth Conference and we were invited to participate in as much as we could. So with permission from President Rehm, we were able to make it to most of it. We started off by doing a Tree of Life activity. We went out to the Polson's barn and the youth were instructed to follow a rope that represented the iron rod through the fog filled barn. There were people in the barn that represented good leaders that help you stay on the path and devils that try to tempt you off and lead you to the "Great and Spacious Building." Ironically, we were acting as tempters and tried to lead the youth away from the iron rod. Some of the youth fell for it and it kind of sinks in that it's exactly how Satan works. He can tempt us to think that what is bad is there to help us and keep us strong, when it actually destroys us inside. It was a great activity for the youth and we had to leave to go to district meeting afterwards. District meeting was pretty fun, we were just waiting and then Elder Tu'ifua walks in with something limp in a bag and a big grin on his face. Turns out that he had killed a rabbit with a rock and brought it to show us. Haha the Sisters were pretty disgusted. 

We had a good lesson and part of it involved writing down a part of our testimony. I was kind of at a loss at where to start, but the song I Am a Child of God kept running through my mind. So this is what I wrote:
I am a child of God and He has sent me here. Has given me and earthly home with parents kind and dear. Lead me, guide me, walk beside me, help me find the way. Teach me all that I must do to live with Him someday. I am a literal son of God. A bearer of His holy priesthood, an heir to the royal throne above. I learned from Him and chose to follow His plan. I was sent to earth to receive a body and to enter into a strong, righteous home. My parents are truly kind and dear and I have been fed from their strong testimonies. I came to earth to be a leader, an example to my family and to those around me and I pray for that ability each day. Each of the leaders that I have had have shaped me into who I am today. From scoutmasters to older friends and from bishops to younger siblings, I have been blessed. I am grateful for the leaders of this, the Lord's true church, and sustain each of them. Especially our Prophet and his Counselors and Apostles. I know that they speak the will of God. Guide me- I am grateful for the guidance of the Holy Ghost and the power it gives us in our life. The Holy Ghost is our source for strength, peace, understanding, comfort, and learning. Walk beside me- more often than we may realize, the Savior is walking beside us each day, there to pick us up when we fall. Through the miracle of the Atonement, He has already walked the most difficult path that we will ever walk or imagine to walk. We can trust that He will always stay near. In order for us to live with Him someday, we must be faithful members of His true church. Go to the temple. Go to church. Take the sacrament. Keep all the commandments, and live worthily.
After district meeting, we went and played bingo for 2 hours at Bonneventure! Things got pretty intense there. After that, we headed back to Sedalia for Youth Conference. When we got there, the youth were shooting bows and arrows. Unfortunately, we couldn't join in so we made a hammock in the bed of our truck instead:) it's pretty darn comfy too! 

We wrapped up the night with a great devotional from the guest speaker, Brother Charsley from South Africa, dinner and s'mores. That night, we got to go over to President Haycock's house and stay the night with all the young men and leaders. We gave the closing devotional for that night and talked about how to remain strong in the faith when Satan tempts us.
On Saturday, we woke up and made all of the young men do missionary studies with us. Most of them were groggy that early but we had a great time studying and talking about the youth theme: press forward with steadfastness in Christ (2 Ne. 31:20). We had a good breakfast that morning and then drove to Sedalia Elementary School to do a service project. We shoveled all of these rocks out of this one area and moved them to another area for like 2 hours. It was good work and everyone was working hard. 

We wrapped everything back up at the Polson's barn and had Little Cesar's for lunch. One of the youth of the ward asked us and Bishop Rolfson if she could have a blessing because the hay was triggering her allergies pretty badly. So we did and then headed home to shower. After that, we drove down to Colorado Springs, taking the scenic 105, to get a new bike rack. Ours just disappeared, so we had to get a replacement before transfers happened.

On our way back up, we had to stop in Monument and get a sleeping pad to use for exchanges from Elder Tallman.That night we had dinner with the Polson's and desert with the Wells. It was a great day.
On Sunday, we had Ward council at 10:30 and then a missionary correlation with Brother Kendall and the ward missionaries. Church was really good and we had a lot of less actives show up that we are working with. After church we had another good lesson with Weston. We went over to the Watts for dinner and they had all of their extended family over. It was fun I be around all the family because it reminded me of our family reunions that we have and how crazy they can be. We wrapped up the night with a coordination with Bishop Rolfson and call ins for the week.
Have a great week this week and enjoy the ending of the school year! Love you all.

Elde LaRose

4438 Buena Vista Ct.
Castle Rock, CO 80109

4090 Center Park Drive Ste 4
Colorado Springs, CO 80916

Monday, April 18, 2016

WEEK #38 - Castle Rock Zone

Hey everyone! Another great week in the books.
On Monday, we got out and emailed for a little bit. Uncle LeRoy was in town for business and came down and took us to lunch in Castle Rock! It was so much fun to catch up and chill for a little while. We went to this one restaurant and I tried calamari for the first time. It wasn't bad, but it wasn't good calamari. LeRoy then had to take off, so we said our goodbyes (and did not cry, Mom).

We finished emailing and then drove to Parker to play dodgeball with the other missionaries. It was pretty fun!

That night we had delicious burgers at the Neilsens and then went and had family home evening with Sister Alvarez and her daughter and son in law. It was a great lesson and we are helping them build their testimonies back up.
On Tuesday, we went to Horsepower to shovel out some more stalls. When we got there, the owner told us that his horse had died and that they were going to have someone to take it away. It was pretty sad to see them take away his horse. We cleaned out a couple of stalls and then headed back home.
Elder Taylor and Elder Cluff​
We then went to lunch at Cafe Rio and had some good food. Elder Tu'ifua forgot his wallet so I spotted him a burrito:) we then went on the new style of exchanges with Elder Tu'ifua and Elder Jolley. I went with Elder Tu'ifua for the day and if you don't remember, he was in my district when I was District Leader down in the Springs. I was there when he first got to the mission. We were both excited to be with each other for the day and had a great day teaching and stuff. We first helped put together the swing set at the Metcalfs and got almost done.
Elder Tu'ifua and I
We then went as stopped by a less active member. We went and had a good lesson about faith with him and he also asked us for a Priesthood blessing and asked Elder Tu'ifua to give the blessing. It was pretty awesome and Brother D was touched. We then went tracting on a couple of doors and had some slammed, but one woman came out to talk with us. We asked if there were another book of scripture written by prophets that testified of Christ, would she read it? She said no, but then Elder Tu'ifua bore his own testimony of the Book of Mormon in broken English and it brought tears to this lady's eyes. She then accepted a copy of the Book of Mormon and promised to read it, thanking us for our desire to spread the word. We tried to set a return appointment, but she said that she wouldn't know what her schedule was like, but to stop by and see if she was home. We then drove out to Sedalia to have dinner with the Haycocks and their newly returned missionary Camille. They had invited 3 nonmembers to dinner with them and we had a great lesson with them after we ate. Following that, we went to the Reardons for a lesson and then came back home. Elder Jolley and Elder Tibbitts had a pretty successful day as well!
On Wednesday, we went and helped a family move into their home for a couple hours and they rewarded us with top ramen and pudding! We then went and had lunch before we went to Task Force. At Task Force, we got to destroy some couches and other stuff so they could fit into the dumpster. It's always fun to break stuff.
Task Force
That night, we had a good dinner with the Secrist's and then a lesson with the MacGills.
On Thursday, we planned out the last week of the transfer and then had lunch at home. Elder Tibbitts then had to I to the computer so that he could sign up for classes for college. We then went and had a good meeting with Brother Jones and had a good talk about the missionary work in the Parker South Stake. After that, we had to talk to some missionaries about some disobedience that we found out about. We talked to them about what they did wrong, how they could use their time more effectively, and how we could help them be more productive. It went really well and we want them to be so busy with missionary work that they don't have time for disobedience. That night we had all of our evening appointments cancel on us. Bummer.
On Friday, we had a good District Meeting and Elder Tu'ifua taught the lesson portion this time:) he did a great job. After that, we went to Bonaventure and colored pictured with everyone. It was fun to sit and color and talk with everyone. Afterwards, we left to go have dinner with the Reardons before we went to the Denver Temple with Sister Alvarez! We had great food at Olive Garden and then got to the temple at about 5:00. It was so great to be there at the Lord's house. We changed our clothes and then sat in the chapel, waiting for Sister Alvarez. We waited and waited, but she still wasn't there. We got word that she was
Stuck in bad traffic and it was raining. We could just picture her in her smart car sitting there in the rain. She actually didn't end up getting to the Temple until 7:00. We then did an endowment session and it was great. It was also great to be there to support Sister Alvarez, who hasn't been to the Temple in a long time. Afterwards, we headed home in the rain and caught some sleep.

On Saturday, the rain changed to snow overnight and we woke up to a ton of snow coming down. We got out and shoveled a bunch of driveways and helped people get their cars unstuck for a couple of hours. We couldn't drive our vehicles so we spent some extra time doing studies and playing card games. The Kumpfs offered to have us for dinner and we had great Mexican chicken chili. The roads cleared up jut enough to let us get out and see the Glancys and the Smiths. Then we drifted all the way home:)
On Sunday, the snow continued to come down and the Castle Rock Stake President cancelled all church services and meetings for the day. It was really bad that morning, however, we had a meeting with the Parker South Stake Presidency and had to have President Haycock pick us up and drive us down there. We had a good meeting and most of church was cancelled for both stakes. The storm lasted until later in the afternoon. The streets warmed up and the snow melted off of them, so we got into our car and decided that since church was canceled, we would stop by as many members as we could and share small messages with all of them so that they could still have that spiritual instruction even with church being cancelled. We made it to about 8 different families:) it was a great night and a great week! I love serving a mission so much. I have learned and grown a lot! I wouldn't trade this experience for anything and am grateful for those whom I serve with. I love you all and am grateful for the great support you lend to me. Have a great week!

Time for new shoelaces
Love Elder LaRose

4438 Buena Vista Ct.
Castle Rock, CO 80109

4090 Center Park Drive Ste 4
Colorado Springs, CO 80916

Monday, April 11, 2016

WEEK #37 - Castle Rock Zone

Hey everyone! It was a pretty busy week this week!
On Monday, we had a good time over at the church playing basketball and stuff, there weren't much people that showed up, but it was fun and we played a couple games of pig. That night, we exchanged with the Castle Pines ward and I went with Elder Sanford back to our area. We had a great dinner with the Clements and then a great lesson with the Graves. Then, we went to the church and were going to teach Sister Howland and Kelli there, but her sons had invited nonmembers to play basketball and so we played with them for a little bit and then had our lesson.

Elder Sanford and breakfast
On Tuesday, we went to the Horsepower ranch and shoveled more stalls. It was a good ol time. That lasted for about 2 hours and then we headed home for lunch at Cafe Rio:) after lunch, we went and tracted a couple people out of the Pines and were actually able to meet with Renae again! We reviewed the Plan of Salvation and then talked about the Restoration of the Church. It was a good lesson and we were able to set a return appointment for next week. We then did some more contacting and then headed back to Castle Pines to exchange back. We didn't have any evening appointments that night so we took time to review our graphs and stuff for MLCs.
On Wednesday, we woke up early and made the drive down to Colorado Springs for our monthly Mission Leadership Council. We made it in time to help set up for breakfast and stuff. The meeting was really long and we talked about some really important things as a council and then some not so important things. It was great to see Elder Tallman and Elder Clancy too!
Drive down to Springs...

The meeting finished around 4 and so we had to head back to Castle Rock to be on time for dinner. We had a great lesson with the Glancys and they are playing a key role in our efforts to fellowship one of the part-member families we are meeting with. Afterwards, we drove out to Sedalia and had a lesson with the Wells.
On Thursday, we had our studies and then did our weekly planning. After lunch, we drove to Parker and met with Sister Tucker and Sister Carson to plan for our Zone Training. I took a while to get the whole training down, but we felt good about it. We came home and had to put a couple of things in the computer and then took off to have dinner with President Davis, a counselor in the Stake Presidency. After that, we drove back to Parker and had a Just Serve meeting with the Parker South Stake. The meeting was pretty typical, with the people getting a little off track and saying funny stuff.
On Friday, we were again back in Parker for our Zone Training. The training went really well! We taught about how to always be asking for referrals and about finding new people to teach. We really stressed how having the faith to find people to teach is essential before you actually see the results. We read Ether 12 and illustrated that by faith, all the miracles were brought to pass. We then bore our testimonies of why we came out on our missions. Each of the four were spiritually powerful and testified of the love we have for our zone and for those that we work with. The spirit was in the room and we hope that our zone left motivated to be better. This past week I have been thinking of the quote that Dad looked to during his doctorate. "Good is the enemy of Great." I hope that I can keep moving forward to turn my good qualities into great ones and that the members of our zone have that same desire to be great as well. After Zone Training, we went and had lunch with some other missionaries and then headed back to go to Bonneventure. Later, we went to the church and set up for the Stake Women's Conference. Then, we went over to Sister Metcalf's to help put together their swing set. We are seeing progress and are just finishing up the outside touches and final put-togethers. For dinner, Elder Tibbitts and I went to Mod Pizza and filled our stomachs with goodness.

On Saturday, we went and helped a member who is moving into the ward move a couple of dressers and a piano into his house. Our reward was breakfast at Village Inn, so we were happy to help. In the afternoon, we helped take down the stuff from Stake Women's Conference. We again went and worked a little bit on the Metcalf's swing set until it started to rain. We then drove out to Sedalia and had dinner at the Pettingill's, where she cooked, through communication with Mom, my favorite roast elk French dip! It was pretty delicious:) we then went to the Turnbaugh's house for a lesson. We had a great lesson about faith and after, I asked if we could take a tour of their big house. It literally took us 30 minutes to tour the whole house! It was a great night.
On Sunday, we did our studies and then set out on foot to go see some people. We stopped by the Carters, a potential investigator we have and they were home! We talked to them and set an appointment for next week to come and teach:). At noon, we had correlation with Brother Kendall and with the ward missionaries. Then, at 1 we went to church and had a great testimony meeting. There were lots of sweet testimonies born and most of them from less active members! We had a big gospel principles class and got to teach about the Gift of the Holy Ghost. After Church, we went and started the before baptism lessons with the Graves little boy. Dinner with the Palmers was right after that and then we had a Just Serve meeting with the Castle Rock Stake at 6. We then met with the Prescott family and then with Bishop Rolfson and their family. We then did call ins and reported to the Assistants. It was a busy and packed day but that's how we love it:) thanks for all the support and have a great week!
Love, Elder LaRose

4438 Buena Vista Ct.
Castle Rock, CO 80109

4090 Center Park Drive Ste 4
Colorado Springs, CO 80916

Monday, April 4, 2016

WEEK #36 - Castle Rock Zone

WEEK #36
Hey everybody! It's been an awesome week and General Conference was amazing!!
On Monday, we went with a couple of elders and sisters to go hike Castle Rock. It was pretty awesome! It was really windy up there, but it was pretty fun overall.
 ​Castle Rock!

 ​Pikes Peak from Castle Rock

 ​Elder Villaneda

We had dinner with the Snow family and then had 2 great lessons later that night.  During our last lesson with the Keilers, we got a call from Bishop Rolfson and were told that Kelli Carlson was in the hospital. We went over and saw if we could give her a priesthood blessing of healing and she accepted. She had a little scare that morning with some heart pains and so she just wanted to be careful.
On Tuesday, my 8 month mark snuck up. Time flies too quickly. We showed up to the Horsepower Ranch and shoveled the main barn stalls but couldn't do the other ones because they were too muddy from the snow that week. We went and helped a new part member family get started with building a swing set and that was fun because it's like giant Legos. We got the ladder and slide done, but still have a lot of work to do. We met with the Pappenfuss family and had a funny lesson with their kids. Afterward, we drove down to Colorado Springs for exchanges with the Assistants to the President. Before we got to the assistants, we made a stop by the Sand Creek apartment and got to say hi to Elder Stark! That was pretty awesome and it was great to talk with him again. He is a great guy. We then went to the assistant's apartment and got ready for the night. Elder Tibbitts was laughing his eyes out with the funny stories that Elder Guerrette and Elder Buxton told us. It was a good time.
On Wednesday, we helped them clean their apartment for the apartment inspections that were going to be happening that day. Then, Elder Buxton and I set out to go do some finding. He first took me over to a big field that was burnt to the ground and said that the day before, the whole field was on fire and they had to help try to put it out before it reached the apartment complexes where they were staying. It was a pretty big burn!
Brush fire at the Springs
We then knocked on a couple of doors and were able to teach 2 different lessons and get 2 potential investigators out of it. We had a good productive morning and then found out that they got a 'celestial' award for their apartment:) we went and had lunch at the food trucks in downtown Springs and had some great Greek food! Then I went with Elder Guerrette and helped some people move into an apartment. We also went and taught one of their recent converts and had an awesome lesson with him. We were walking to the church building when it just started to snow like crazy. None of the snow was sticking to the ground, but it was coming down quick. We made it into the church and waited for Elder Buxton and Elder Tibbitts to pick us up in the minivan. We then went all together to teach a couple who was investigating the church. The lesson was really great and they are incredibly prepared for the gospel. My heart just went out to them as we taught. It was a great ending point. We drove home through some freezing rain and snow flurries and made it home safely.
On Thursday, we had to go to Highlands Ranch and get the 2 foot crack in our windshield repaired. That took a lot of wasted time. Then, we were invited by Coach Bracken, the man who ran the Castle View wrestling tournament that we helped out with a couple of months ago, to join him for lunch at smashburger! He was super appreciative of all our work and help. He had some good questions for us and we got to talk to him about what missions are like and stuff. After that, we went back to get our truck and then went to the library to get some paperwork done for the end of the month. We were able to have a good lesson and a good dinner with a less active member! He has been warming up to us a whole bunch and likes it when we are over:) it's been a big improvement.
On Friday, we had a good district meeting and I was asked to give the lesson portion! I taught about prophets and about getting ready for general conference and how to use that to teach our investigators. It went well! For the activity that I came up with, we went into the gym and played a round or two of PIG which represented following the prophet:) haha. Then, we had to help out with and emergency transfer and move a bed and a dresser over to a different house.
​Emergency Transfer garbage

We came back from that in time to play bingo with everyone at Bonneventure. After the thrills of bingo, we went and helped Sister Metcalf put together more of that swing set. It's coming along pretty well! Layer, we went and helped Kelli Carlson move out of her apartment. There were tons of people from the ward there and ready to help:) we got everything moved out quickly and then loaded it into a storage shed. We had a good lesson at the Crabtree home that night and retired home tired and spent.
On Saturday we woke up early and drove out to Sedalia to help the Pettingills put up a fence. We spent the morning digging a couple of holes and then setting the poles with gravel and concrete. It was nice long work.

​Funny Chicken blinders at the Pettingills

We stopped for a little while to watch General Conference and it was awesome:) my favorite talk from that session was probably from Elder Renlund about drawing nearer to Christ and getting rid of feelings of entitlement. It was pretty awesome. He said that the greater we distance ourself from The Lord, the more entitled we feel to His help. However, if we draw closer to Christ, we will be more appreciative of what he helps us with and will receive even more blessings and help. After that, we had lunch and went back to work on the fence. We ended up digging 16 holes 2 1/2 feet deep as setting most of them. That afternoon. We got to rest and watch the afternoon session of conference. My favorite talks that session were from Elder Rasband and Elder Bendar. Else Rasband talked about standing by the leaders of our church and about how The Lord will always be standing by us, there to lend support and comfort. Elder Bednar did a great job of teaching te doctrine of the ordinances of Baptism, laying on of hands for the Gift of the Holy Ghost, and the Sacrament. He talked about the power of each ordinance and how they are key to our eternal salvation and exaltation. What great simple principles. Dinner was great with the Pierce family and then after that, we went and watched the Priesthood session at the church. My favorite talk from that session was from President Russel M. Nelson. He was the one who came to the MTC during the 12 days I was there and gave a great talk. His talk during priesthood was awesome too:) He talked about fatherhood and what it means to be a good father, exercising the Priesthood righteously. He told us that we need to live up to our privileges and not beneath them! I thought that was great counsel. I also loved the talk from Stephen W. Owen about being both a leader and a follower. It was a good reminder that we are always a leader and always a follower and it is our duty to help those around us. What a great session. We retired to bed well educated and uplifted:)
On Sunday, we were going to go over to Brother Kendall's house to watch General Conference with Noe but he called us and said that he had come down with a fever an couldn't make it:( so we went over to the Kendall's and watched it just with them. The Sunday morning session was awesome too and my favorite talk was from President Dieter F. Uchtdorf about finding new life from the ashes. About how we can never be too far gone in our sins if we let Christ help us and are obedient to his teachings. He said that God will not rescue us against our will and that it is only up to us to turn around and change. Elder Quentin L. Cook also had a great talk about seeing yourself in the temple. The temple is the end goal because inside, we receive those saving ordinances that seal us to our families and allow us to live life with God. What a great session. Then, we went and ate lunch and stopped by some houses, but no one was home. We returned for the afternoon session and my favorite one from that session was obviously Elder Jeffrey R. Holland. He is always so passionate and sincere in what he says. I loved his counsel on letting our spiritual experiences lift us to new heights and carry us through the times in which we would normally fall. He expressed the love that the leaders of this church have for us and the love that our Lord and Savior has for us. What a great end to a great conference. After conference, we left to the pines apartments and actually had a lesson with an older woman named Kay in the parking lot! We taught about the Book of Mormon and about temples! She seemed pretty interested an accepted a copy of the Book of Mormon and a card with our number on it. It was great to meet and talk with her! Then we went to dinner and had 3 more great lessons and discussions about what we learned from conference.
I love you all so much and hope that you have a chance to watch and re-watch General Conference! What a blessing it is to hear from those that love us. Have a great week and stay safe!
Elder LaRose.

4438 Buena Vista Ct.
Castle Rock, CO 80109

4090 Center Park Drive Ste 4
Colorado Springs, CO 80916