Monday, October 31, 2016

Monday October 31, 2016 Kamiah, ID

Happy Halloween!!!!
Mom’s questions in red…

1. How is Elder Stoddard's finger?
1. Elder Stoddard’s finger is doing alright. He has to wear a huge splint thing for 3 weeks and it bothers him, but he’s doing ok.

2. Do you know if the doctor who did the surgery knew about missionaries? Did he say anything?
2. Yeah he knew a little about us. But he was Jewish and was very focused on the surgery.

3. We know that you are in/near an Indian reservation - do you ever get to see the part of the reservation that the Indian's actually live on?
3. So sort of. There’s a few native housing neighborhoods, but there never really great to work in because they’re never home and they have their own church.

4. Do most of the people in your town know/recognize the missionaries? Are they nice to you?
4. Yeah pretty much everyone thinks they know what we do. Mostly they are nice and will talk with us. We don’t get a lot of time to just walk around and talk to people because we’re so spread out.

5. What was the best thing you ate this week?
5. Not really anything. We had some decent chicken and rice but that’s about it. I did make myself an awesome burrito with rice and chicken and beans. It was really good.

6. What are your mission rules for Halloween tomorrow?
6. So today is just pday but we have to work for 3 hours sometime and be in by dark. So we did laundry and now emailing and then we will go and work for a while, then hang out at home. (lame).

Well besides Monday, this week has been normalish. We had transfer day Tuesday and had all that craziness going on helping Lewiston clean their apartment. We didn’t get much work done because we weren't in our area.

But Wednesday we had a good day and got some things done. Thursday was mostly just missionary work but we had to drive back to Lewiston and sleep there because Elder Stoddard had to go to a new leadership training meeting. So we met some other missionaries in Moscow and I stayed there while Elder Stoddard went to Spokane. I had a good day there and trackted a bunch which was fun because I don’t get to do much of that here.

Friday was a normal day and Saturday was awesome because we had a baptismal interview in the morning and a baptism in the afternoon. I’ll send pics. Super fun day and really rewarding and looking forward to this Saturday for another one. Well that’s my week here. Hopefully things slow down a bit so I can stay in my area for a week. But Friday we have zone training so doesn’t look like my wish will come true. Also I’ve been studying in the Book of Mormon every day and my testimony of it has really grown. I can see now why it’s so important to us and to missionary work.

-Elder St. John
 ​Just us missionaries - going to drop our new album and call our band Celestial Way.
 Yes I have my own church.
 This little dog is a tea cup dog. I thought Hadlie would like that.
  This thing is called a whirligig just thought you should know.

  Debbie at her baptism

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Monday October 24, 2016 Kamiah, ID

Well here we go! This email should be interesting.

So the beginning of this week was normal. Just the usual missionary work. But then on Friday we had exchanges so I went to Grangeville with Elder Fogle. He’s home now, it was his last 2 days in the mission. He’s interesting but really awesome. So that was good. Then on Sunday we had to go pick up Elder Goodwin from Grangeville because his companion Elder Fogle left. So we went to pick him up and slept in Grangeville.

He is getting swept out and sister missionaries are coming into Grangeville so that's a change! My companion will be district leader now, so that should be fun. So that's the news with transfers. Elder Stoddard and I are staying but we’re getting a new set of sisters.

So here comes the craziness of today. We were helping Elder Goodwin pack up and clean his apartment. And there was an incident. We had this pocket knife and we were helping him pack. Elder Stoddard decided to grab the blade and slice his finger open! Not fun! So he severed his tendon in his left middle finger. Of course the one time I need my first aid kit it’s in the other apartment. But we called the medical missionary leader and told her and headed to the clinic in Grangeville. They told us that he would have to go get surgery to fix it in Lewiston so we drove up to Lewiston. He got a pretty cool surgery done to his finger and the doctor let me watch the whole thing! So that's why I’m emailing so late. Thank heavens for my calmness when people get hurt because he passed out and started seizing and it was very crazy, but it really wasn't as bad as it sounds.

Well that's been my week and now I’m here emailing in Lewiston. Thanks for all your emails! It’s been a really weird week for me but I got to hang out in a hospital and watch a surgery for pday so that was awesome!

Answers to mom’s questions..

1. How are your investigators? Did you see them this week?
1. My investigators are amazing! We try to see them often. I’ve seen the two on date for baptism this week and the other ones not so much. But they are all super awesome except when they are flaky and have appointments fall through.

2. What kind of things do you do for exercise? Do you ever want to get up early and exercise for longer?
2. Thomas and I have shared some workout stuff. I mostly do like a set of pushups, dips, burpees and other stuff routine because working out at 6:30 for me is super hard. I’m used to working out later and for as long as I want. So doing it in the morning is hard. I haven’t woken up early for it because I can get a good workout in. Just getting motivated is the hardest part. Also I don't have a pull up bar here so that's pretty much the worst.

3. Do you go to bed by 10:30? Is that hard?
3. Yeah I get to bed on time most nights. Pretty much all of them unless we sleep at other missionaries’ places. Then it’s harder.

4. On Sundays which meetings do you attend for each ward? Do you have to pick and choose or do you just go to everything?
4. We attend sacrament of one ward and then sacrament of the other. Then gospel principles and priesthood. So just one extra sacrament.

Love you guys!
-Elder St. John

(I didn't get pictures of his finger and I’m soooo mad.)

Monday, October 17, 2016

Monday October 17, 2016 Kamiah, ID

Ok questions first…
Mom's questions in red...

1. I need to know your favorite scripture. For your plaque in the church.
1. The scripture I want for that is Moses 6:34

2. How'd your haircut go?
2. The haircut was alright. She didn’t know what to do with the back so I’ve been fighting the beast and have had alfalfa all week but nothing I’m not used to.

3. How did your chicken marinating go? And cooking it on the grill?
3. The chicken was awesome and so was the grill! Thanks so much! It’s really hard to eat healthy when people feed you and expect you to eat a lot. And then you only have 30 min or less to work out. So staying healthy has been really hard.

4. Do your wards there do anything for Halloween? If they have parties do you get to go?
4.So we just had a harvest festival. We helped out a bit with that so yes we are allowed to go. It was fun but made me miss our ward and going with the family.

5. Can you tell us about the two people you have on baptism date? I know you've mentioned them but remind us of their names, family situations, etc.
5. The 2 people we have on date are Debbie -she’s in her 50's and she has been taught for a couple of years. She finally brought up her own date and is so ready. Already lives all the commandments. She’s just awesome. The other one is Max. She's 16 and lives with a member family and she doesn’t really have a family. But now that she lives with the member family she does. So she’s had a rough life and is working hard to get ready for baptism.

6. I think I saw some more pictures of a zone meeting this week on the Facebook page? Did you have to travel again?
6.Yes we had zone conference in Moscow. So traveled to Lewiston the night before and slept on the floor. Then drove to Moscow. It was a good training but I don’t like sleeping on the run and traveling that much. I just want to work.

So this week has been great. Sort of. Its rained all day every day. And been pretty cold. We got to go to a zone conference and get some good training but that was like a day and a half thing. So it was really long.

We had the harvest festival on Saturday. That was a lot of work but it was worth it because some members brought their nonmember friends!

So one cool thing that happened this week was that we were at the church on Wednesday teaching a lesson and a guy named Max (yes I know, another Max) came up to the church and found us and said that he wanted to stop drinking and change his life. Crazy! So we can see how the Lord prepares people and sometimes they even find us. So I hope that turns into something good. But that’s my week. Been dreary and ominous all week. But thank heavens for waterproof shoes.

-Elder St. John

 So we found this place out in the middle of nowhere. And I mean the middle of nowhere. Its a car restoration place. They have a bunch of old cars and they restore them and they have a club with a bunch of guys who own old cars. Kinda cool. Weird that we found it.

  This is a 1974 Ford Toureno? I don't know how to spell it. But I found that when we were tracting in a trailer park. Thought it was cool. It's in super good condition. Most people just drive trucks here. So everybody's cars are really lame. Logan sees nice cars all the time so I'm jealous of that.
Elder St. John & Elder Stoddard. Zone meeting in Moscow, ID.



Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Monday October 10, 2016 Kamiah, ID

(Mom’s questions in red)
Ok questions first.

1. How was your week? Particularly the training you went to in Spokane.
1.The week was good, a lot of driving and meetings and that kind of bums me out because I’d rather stay in my area and work.

2. Was the training just a one-day thing?
2. Yes just one day but we had zone training on Friday too.

3. How is Spokane compared to where you are serving?
3. Spokane reminds me of Salt Lake a little but more spread out. My area is like Spanish Fork Main Street and that’s it. Nothing else, just the main street.

4. Have you had to get a haircut yet? Where do you do that?
4. I’m getting one tomorrow and we will see how it goes. At a members house out in the middle of nowhere.

5. Where do you do your laundry? How's that going?
5. We do our laundry at a member’s house and its going well. My clothes are still nice. We go do stuff like shop or e mail while we wait for our laundry.

6. When/where will you be able to get a coat?
6. There’s nowhere to get a coat here. If I stay in this area, I’ll probably need you to send me one or something. But I’ll keep you updated. I might not need one for another little while.

7. Did you get our Amazon package and a letter with recipe ideas from me? How are the meals going?
7. I did! that was weird. I asked for healthy ideas and got a grill and a bunch of rice! Haha you guys are awesome! The meals have been going much better since I decided to eat healthy. I eat lots of salad (taking after my herbivore father). I made a grilled cheese and I’m marinating chicken right now.

8. When you eat with members what's a typical meal like?
8. So think of what you would make for the missionaries and then make it a little bit unhealthier and that’s what I have. So pretty normal stuff. But always a dessert. So it’s alright.

9. How do you pronounce your mission president's last name?

10. Is it hard to budget for healthy food with how much $ you get?
10. It’s a little hard mostly because our grocery store doesn't have a whole lot of stuff. But I’ve been doing alright. I can afford my oj so I guess I’m killing it.

So my week has been scattered a little bit but it’s been good. We spent all of Wednesday and Friday in a church talking. But I learned a lot. We have been mostly working with our 2 investigators that are on date for baptism. And that’s been good. They’re both super strong and they will make great members.

The weather here is lame. It’s always cloudy and rainy and gets dark at like 5 so knocking on people’s doors at 8 feels like the middle of the night. And they’re always scared to answer. But we still get our work done.

The bishop’s wife in one of the wards is from Spanish Fork and he’s from Springville so that’s cool. And they have a really nice house. We have been teaching this guy John and he’s really nice and a paraplegic (paralyzed from the waist down) but he has some crazy ideas that he won’t let go of so teaching him is really hard sometimes. He smokes like everyone else so I can barely breathe in his house.

Our ward mission leaders are really good here. They’re both working really hard to get the wards finding for us. We work with them a lot.

So this week my companion was cooking pot stickers and he burnt them and there was smoke everywhere and the fire alarm went off and that was really a funny moment. That’s been my week. Thanks for all the e mails and packages and things. They’re awesome. You’re awesome. 

-Elder St. John 
So yes, that's a front door. This is actually more normal than you'd think. Yes I'm serious.
Me with the grill!
 This is my apartment.
My bed is unmade so you can see the awesome sheets!

This picture of Jesus is hanging in the church and really makes me question what the members think of Jesus. I thought it was funny!
 Training meeting in Spokane.

Monday, October 3, 2016

Monday October 3, 2016 Kamiah, ID

*Note from Mom: I ask Colten a list of questions each week. This week I’ve included my questions in red and then his answers…*

Ok so to answer your questions
1. Where did you get to watch General Conference?
1. We watched General Conference at our church building. That’s pretty much it.

2. Did you get to see all the sessions?
2.I did get to see all of the sessions. Super awesome. I loved them all.

3. Which were your favorite talks?
3. My favorite talks were Pres. Nielsen’s one about joy and all of Pres. Eyring’s.

4. We saw on your mission's facebook page that you had some training meeting. Tell us about that. Did you have to travel far to go to it?
4. So yes, that training was kind of a big deal. It was the first training that included all the ward mission calling people and missionaries. It was in Lewiston, about an hour and a half away. It was really good because it was to get the ward to start working with the missionaries more. So instead of us finding and teaching and fellowshipping and retaining our investigators we are just supposed to teach. At least that’s the goal. It was also to tell us that we are here to help the ward in their missionary efforts instead of being the missionary effort. So it was super good.

5. Does it feel like you've been gone forever, or just for 5 weeks?
5. Time feels super weird here. I don’t like it. It feels like I’ve been gone forever and not very long all at the same time.

6. Can you send us a picture of you and your companion? And one of you in a sweater:)
6. I’ll work on that.

7. Have you been on any hikes yet?
7. I haven’t been on any hikes yet. I know, bummer but we walk in the mountains all the time anyway so it’s not bothering me that much.

8. In your normal week how far is the furthest you drive to visit members/referrals, etc.?
8. The furthest we drive is about 40-50 minutes out. I don’t really know the distance.

Well this week has been pretty good not too much to report on but we just continue to teach. We have stopped trying to find so much and try to go through the members more. It’s really good and we have seen the fruits of it already. This coming week I will be heading into Spokane on Wednesday for a new missionary training so I’m excited for that. I've committed my companion to help us eat healthy this week so we bought healthier foods today and I’m excited for that. But I could use some healthy dinner/meal ideas that are easy to make. It’s been a good week. It went by really fast and now I’m already half way done with my first transfer! I’ve felt the Spirit so strong this week with all the things I’ve been learning. I’ve seen how reading the Book of Mormon has really blessed our efforts. So I recommend to keep reading it as a family as much as you can. See if you can finish it by Christmas with me. There’s not too much to talk about this week. I hope I answered all your questions. Talk to you later!

-Elder St. John
(ps. I get at least 2 or 3 comments on my name a day. It’s kind of funny.)