Monday, December 8, 2014

Week #2 in Fort Collins, CO: A Change of Heart

(You can't say prayers aren't answered....I was very concerned about his attitude last email, so I've been doing some heavy-duty praying that Elder Campbell would love his companion and the people of Fort Collins. Seems like that prayer has been answered. YES! AND....he sent pictures. It's another miracle!!!)

Mom and Dad,

 I don't even know how to describe how things have changed. One day Elder Moala and I had a big reconciliation and we apologized for things we'd done. Last night he told me that when he got me as a new missionary, he thought I was going to be a big handful because I was so full of fire. But, he told me I've actually been a catalyst that has reminded him of how much he loves missionary work. Rather than just me reminding him of mission rules, he's been schooling me when I act out of line. I'd say we're best friends now. We've been getting a lukewarm reception at the beginning of dinner, but leaving with a lot of love and respect from the members. I think that we're changing our ward's perspective on missionary work for the better each day.

A lot of the members of the ward are really cool. They seem to either be university professors or computer scientists/engineers. HP and other software companies have a big presence in Fort Collins. We were visiting an 80-90 year old couple yesterday, and I learned that they traveled the country as temple workers because the man in the family used to work as a programmer for databases. He traveled the nation working for some of the biggest companies, getting jobs for only months at a time. Pretty soon he started schooling me on the computers used by different companies and whether they used LINUX or UNIX and he started getting into the intricacies of the systems. Needless to say, it was the last thing I thought I'd hear from an 85 year old man, haha. (He lost me at LINUX and UNIX!)

(I told him that someone in our church really loved Fort Collins because they had hotels that were pet friendly.) Not only is Fort Collins pet-friendly, but the pets are really friendly. Everyone has a dog here, and the dogs are the nicest of all time.(What about that angry dog he mentioned last email???)

From what I said earlier about missionary work ramping up, it really is. We have two new investigators who are really interested in having the discussions. Life has handed them the short end of the stick, and they are very humble. We were a little worried that they were only interested so they could get welfare, but without needing to get into details, they've already proven that otherwise. None of our investigators came to church, but numerous non-members came on their own accord. Our goal this week is to jump on those opportunities.

I don't know how to describe it, but I think I've been given strength beyond my own. My back doesn't hurt anymore. But the kicker is, I've been lifting many heavy couches. Weights I didn't think I'd ever lift again, all without a problem. My back feels great, nothing more than occasional tenderness. (Please be careful, however, my superman!)

I haven't received any mail yet. I'm getting ready to send you a letter, though. I'm so excited for mission devotional/getting my boxes. (He'll be getting a Christmas letter from me and Brian and TWO big boxes full of Christmas and life. I also have another package I need to send him. He must have been a good boy this year!)

Try to express Christ-like love to everyone you meet. (I will try...I hope all of you will too.)


Elder Andrew Campbell
(Elder Campbell sent pictures, but he didn't bother to identify any of them. I'm going to try to attach all of them, but if not, I'll send them in different emails.
The famous map pointing picture. Everyone in the Missionary Training Center takes their picture pointing to their assigned mission.
I'm guessing the beginnings of the Fort Collins Temple!
Andrew showing off how flat Fort Collins is...I think it's very pretty.
Elder Campbell with Elder Moala. I'm not sure who the upside-down child is, but there is one of those friendly dogs!
Elder Andrew Campbell is an official minister. Brian said he got lots of free stuff in Chicago by being a card-carrying minister. Too funny!

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