Colton's ready for his mission

Colton's ready for his mission

Sunday, April 13, 2014

March 25- April 7

March 25: To answer your questions dad, I don't know if you've seen a map of the mission, but it's within 10-15 minutes of the mission HQ. It's definitely different in a ward. It's not a big ward, but it is one of the biggest, if not THE biggest I've ever been in. Small for our stake though. I'm planning on singing on the 13th. I think. I need a song to sing. Any suggestions?

March 25: Before I forget! I met the guy that sent in the radio, telling the U.S. that the war is over in Germany! He knew General Patton!

On Monday, March 31, 2014 1:07 PM, Colton Grant wrote:
I think what I'm actually going to do for the song in sacrament, is sing it with 3 other elders, and we'll do parts. We're looking at 97,98,100, 134, and 136 right now. No, Bro. Wick is here in Pasco. It's really cool, because he hadn't been to church for several months, and after we gave him a blessing, he's been here the past two weeks, and always hunts us down to say hi. :) He's such a sweet old man. Yeah, I've settled into the area pretty well. I don't like English work as much as Spanish in all honesty.

You're right [mom], pride is a big problem I've seen. Some members I've seen have far larger houses than they really need. Or they might be criticizing some of the people that we teach, without realizing it. I definitely have more respect for those without much now. Not all of them. Not those that aren't willing to change. But now I see, that many have a lot more to offer than I've previously seen. Darn it, I'm rambling again. Love you all!

Apr. 7:
 I did FINALLY get dry cleaning though, just now, for 2 of my 3 suits. After a year and a half... I was down to one suit that wasn't too dirty yet. -_

Dad: did you hear the Tabernacle choir sing “ A Childs Prayer”?  Didn’t that remind you of when you and Stephanie sang it?
Colton: Yes, I always think about my farewell when I see that song. Does that make me trunky?

I'm doing good. I just keep getting sick. I'm not drinking enough vit C or water. I always just forget.

Quoted from my email to President:
So, I LOVED this week, now that I really think about it. R., one of our investigators, has really been changing. We were talking to him about it, and we just had a really good lesson with him this week. Unfortunately, he didn't come to conference like he said he would (and we forgot to remind him! Dx), but he did read the last assignment we gave him, and he was telling us in our last lesson with him, "Wow, I didn't realize that baptism was so important... Now... IF I get baptized, don't get too excited you two! But IF I get baptized, I'm going to have to make a lot of changes, huh?" We answered emphatically in the affirmative. :) He's so funny, and gives such honest, sincere prayers. Plus, he volunteered to give the prayer this last lesson. That's always a good sign. :) In other news, A., one of our best investigators, came to conference at the church Saturday morning! We're trying to get in contact with her, to see if she saw the others, but she also had been watching old sessions in her free time at work! She's doing so great, she was telling us that, "Before, I listened to what you were saying, and I thought it made sense. Now I hear it, and it makes sense in a different way. I'm not sure how. I guess it just FEELS right." We were pretty confused until she said the "feels right" part. We were really excited the rest of the lesson. :) That night after the lesson, she sent us a text, telling us how happy she had been feeling in her life since we'd been coming over, and that she feels like she's on the right track in life. Now we just need to get her on date!

Colton's family letters: March

On Monday, March 3, 2014 10:18 AM, Colton Grant wrote:
It is snowing again today. So no, it's not warming up. x) I'm trying to stay busy, that's for sure. The best thing I've eaten this week... a quesadilla from El Pueblo, one of the stores here xD It's too bad though that lately eating too much has been making me sick. And "too much" is about half of what I used to be able to eat. We'll see if it's just for a little bit that I can't eat much. I hope this isn't how I'll be for the rest of my life :'(

On Monday, March 10, 2014 9:12 AM, Colton Grant wrote:
Story time! Record this one mom. So, we never get people that just randomly visit church, right? So this Sunday we were up in our tiny Twisp chapel, 10 minutes or so into the second hour, and I hear something about someone saying "Secret Service" and I thought the government was here for some reason! But it turns out, a non-member got to the building, tried to go inside, and the door was locked. Which is REALLY weird because someone had come in 30 minutes earlier and it was unlocked, and the door should be unlocked all church long. And so Brian, that's his name, got frustrated, thought it was a private meeting, and figured he wasn't allowed in. He was about to leave, when two members, that are usually only 20 minutes late at the worst, drive up into the parking lot. Remember that we have only about 20 members attending right now, that's 10 percent of our branch. They drive up, and Brian asks them if he's allowed in. They say "OF COURSE!!!" and bang on the door for someone to open up. Someone opens the door, and Brian was talking about how he thought it was a "secret service".. During Priesthood lesson, he shared that he has noticed that our church seems to be above the rest when it comes to doing good, being like Jesus, etc, that he wants to find out more, and basically the entire class was focused on him, and it was really cool. Golden Investigator!!! I'm glad Elder Smith (my companion) will have someone cool to teach, after I leave on Wednesday.

On Monday, March 10, 2014 9:27 AM, Colton Grant wrote:
I am being transferred to Pasco 4th ward, english speaking unfortunately, but the Lord knows best. :) I'll be with Elder Johnson. I've met him before, and he's been described as a big teddy bear by others. Haha, I'm excited. And scared. I've never been in a big city before! …
9:42 AM: I think it has about 250,000 between the three cities, Pasco, Kennewick, and Richland. But you're right, it doesn't have a big downtown like Vegas, or L.A. It's a lot more suburban. It's still the biggest place I've ever been. xD I'm going to insist on calling myself a small-town missionary though.

On Tuesday, March 25, 2014 1:37 PM, Colton Grant wrote:

Sorry, I failed last week, and this week is a temple day, so we do emails on Tuesday. The temple was awesome. I'll try and send pics. 

This is E. Johnson who is my new comp, me, and E. Leavitt who I've known since he started his mission (over a year now). The other picture is me with E. Cramer, my son (trainee), and E. Rowley who is Cramer's trainee (and my grandson!) They're in my district, and I'm district leader over them. So I get to go on exchanges with them! I finally get to dry clean my suits, after a year and a half. I feel filthy. Zone leaders are over around 20 missionaries, go to more meetings, and generally have more responsibility. But not every good missionary becomes a zone leader. E.g. E. Pinegar (my MTC comp) had a trainer that was never Zone Leader, but he was well known throughout the mission for being a good missionary. But USUALLY bad missionaries don't become Zone Leaders. Usually. I have two really good ones right now, one of which is E. Leavitt, and the other E. Judd, who followed me from my last zone.

March 25: I really needed new shoes. My old ones wore out, and I'd been wearing boots for a couple week, because that's all I had!

Best note from my son ever

I'm about to get off, but I want you to know I love you Lady, and I truly do appreciate all you've done for me. I wouldn't be the man I am today without you, and I don't really deserve all you've given me. Thank you so much Mom. Te amo.

Tu hijo,

Elder Grant

Excerpts from letters to Mom: Jan-Feb

Mom, all I can say is... I love God, and I love the temple, and I love revelation, and I love you ... don't you worry about me. Well, maybe a little, but not too much. :)

Agency... is a funny thing, huh? I'm still trying to figure out how to handle it well. It's a big thing for us as missionaries, because we don't want to force anyone to do anything, but also we know people won't do much if left to do it on their own. 

Did I tell you President Ware told me that my release date is Oct 7th?  
I get warm fuzzies thinking about ---- now. :).....Going to the temple doesn't mean your life is perfect, but it seems to show that she's overcome years of difficulty. I'm proud of her. :)
remember if you're feeling sick enough, ask for a blessing. I've given more blessings than I imagined I would on my mission. 

I appreciate every piece of mail more than you imagine. It's like Christmas every time. :) 

I have appreciated Dad a lot more on my mission mom, don't you worry.
 If we're not bold, then we've had experience with being ignored. :) God doesn't like to be ignored, so if we aren't speaking loud enough, the condemnation is on us as well. So we have a few reasons for being so straight-forward. 

February 10: No More Mass E-Mail

 So... I've decided to stop sending a general email to everyone. To be honest, I don't know what to talk about anymore, and I prefer personal emails. I still want to hear from you all! If you have time, write me back, I love to talk with everyone! Les quiero!

Monday, January 13, 2014

January 13, 2014: Another Week.

So, pretty hectic temple trip. We were starting to panic about getting a ride to the temple, because from what we could see, noone could take us. Then the Brewster Elders said they were just talking about how they were planning on going to the temple, with an investigator family, and the dad said, "Well I can take you if you want!" The mom's dropped, and the missionaries were like, "Wait, are you serious?" This family has 7 members within baptismal age. The dad had shown a small amount of interest until now, and he was only going to get about 2 hours of sleep. But he was still willing to drive us 8 hours roumd trip to the temple, apparently partly out of a desire to go see it! (We later found out it was against the rules to get rides from non-members... after the trip.)
So, I actually ended up going with some other missionaries because there wasn't quite enough room for all of us in the dad's car. We took different routes to the temple, and my car made it to the 8am session there alright... but the others ran into freezing rain on their route. After several near death experiences (including trying to take a U-turn right when a semi drove by), they made it in time for the 9:30 session. BUT the investigator had to start driving home to make it to work on time back there, and because the other elders were late, he had to leave without them. So then the Brewster elders, along with my companion Elder Smith were stranded in Kennewick. For the next hour or two, while they were still in their session, I was working on finding them a ride. Luckily, another companionship in our zone, had a brand new car that they didn't know about, waiting for them in Kennewick. They got a call, picked it up, and had three extra seats, just enough for Elder Smith and Brewster. Finally, I got a ride to pick us up from Wenatchee, and take us back home. It was a hectic day.
In spite of all that, I still mostly remember the temple. I remember the peace I felt there. I don't remember exactly what was running through my head the whole time, but I felt happy. At peace.
I also got to see Elder Kelly, my trainer there, one last time. He's finishing his mission in two weeks. I'll miss him, but I got one last picture. Speaking of which, I've got to email him!
I love you all. Remember, if you ever have a hectic day... Go to the temple if you can. ;)
Elder Grant

Jan 6, 2014: Another Temple Day

That's why I'm writing so late. We were asked to write during our least productive proselyting time, and up here everyone's asleep by 8. -_- Pretty dumb, but it's alright. So, unlike when I went to the temple from Oroville, this temple trip will only take 4 hours instead of 5! Yay! In other news, I always hear other missionaries talk about how being in the boonies is terrible, and I usually remind them that it's an oppurtunity to appreciate the blessings of being in a city. Which I've never served in, so I will one day, REALLY appreciate the blessings of living in a city. Actually I kind of want to be able to finish my mission though, being able to say I never served in a town of more than 5,000 people. The forever small-town missionary. In other news, I'm cold, but I'm alright. I hear the weather is terrible in Utah, and great in Vegas. I'm about to start P90X to start getting buff and have more energy. What else? Oh, and I'm super old. People keep telling me I'm in my 60's (in weeks) and about to die (end my mission). Sad. All the new missionaries are two years younger than me! AAAAAHHHH!!!

Anyway. Everything's all good here. Let me know what you're doing in your lives, about all the exciting things you're doing! Love,

Elder Grant

December 30. 2013:Don't ever think too much.

Mi Amada Familia,

Don't think too little, but don't think too much, unless it's about good things. That's what I've learned.
So, lately we have been practicing asking inspired questions. There are some characteristics to inspired questions, but to put it short... They're questions that people need to be asked. Ones that will help them do some introspection, and come closer to God. So, it's not very easy. We did a role-play, with an AP over my shoulder, and at first I did alright, but later on, I asked a question, and with a smile, the AP told me, "Okay. Now make it an INSPIRED question." He didn't say it in a mean or rude way, but it still hurt haha. So then, I took about a 30 second pause (they told us we could do that) and looked toward heaven to receive an answer. It's SO hard. But so worth it... I'm already seeing lessons... I've seen lessons improve, and instead of saying 30 sentences of doctrine, you ask one inspired question. And the Spirit is there. The Spirit is talking, instead of myself. 

I've enjoyed my entire Mission, because I'm doing the right thing. Some times things are hard, and sometimes those difficulties are avoidable, and other times they're not. But... I guess sometimes I'm generally happy, and sometimes I'm TRULY happy. Not happiness from the world, but from God. And you have to earn that happiness! You have to choose God's will, instead of your own. And that's something I haven't even always done on my mission. I suppose my point is... There are guidelines to being happy. The Church gives us those guidelines in so many ways (The Scriptures, for the Strength of Youth, Church talks, etc). And yet how many of us didn't follow ALL of the counsel of the Apostles and Prophets last conference? I would say a good majority of us, including me. So for this new year, I want to consecrate myself to the Lord. I want to give everything of me. Stop doing what I want. And start doing what God wants. Because it will make Him happy, and it will make me Happy.

Thank you everyone for your love and support everyone. In the words of a song I recently got, "Say what you will, but the time that we fill, while we're on the Earth, should be alone, we were meant to be known, and you make me what I'm worth." I hope each of you will make goals for this new year, and commit to them. I hope I will do the same. :) Love you all.

Elder Grant

December 16, 2013: Another Transfer in Twisp

So, the new transfer. I am staying in Twisp, and getting an Elder Smith, who I think has been out for 5 months. Elder Sanchez is going to Walla-Walla, which we never hear anything about. Seriously, I have no idea what Walla Walla is like, and I ask so many questions, it's annoying. The Brewster Elders, who we live with, are staying. All I'll say more on transfers, is it's comforting to know that President Ware is so inspired. I get so nervous for transfers!!! While we were driving, I was literally doing breathing excercises, because everything I thought of lead me back to, "What if this happens?!?" But I'm alright now. :)

mm... Between having our tire blown out, and helping out at our branch nativity exhibit... and the Christmas Conference (WHICH WAS AMAZING!!!) we worked in our area 2 days this week. So we did alright, considering that! I feel like this transfer has been slow, but yesterday we were able to visit 5 people, and all of them went well, and I just felt productive. It felt like the good old days in Oroville. :) There's something so fulfilling about getting things done. I just wish I had starting getting things done 8 years ago. But oh well. Better late than never! We had Selena on-date for 2 days, on the 22nd of January, but then she talked to her parents and she changed her mind, and wants to wait. We need to figure out what's up there. Our on-date for Christmas is working in Wenatchee right now with crazy hours, but he should be back by new-years. Evodio is probably closest to baptism right now, he went to Daniel's baptism, an investigator from Brewster, and everyone that spoke spanish there talked with him, lots of good stuff. 

Hm... Kind of a good letter, right? Before I forget, Merry Christmas everyone! Hope you have a good week getting ready! Mucho amor!!!

Elder Grant