Wednesday, August 21, 2013

The Scene of Naturita

Well now that I have some time to write, I'm writing everyone from Nucla, Colorado (a small town about 4 miles outside of Naturita) where we live. It's amazing here.  I'll describe the scenery a little bit.  It's very mountainous, and we live in what I can closely call a "mountain plateau". It’s got a farmer, open area feel, but we are far from any large civilization (the closest "large" town is Montrose, about 2 hours away).  It's absolutely beautiful here.  I can't say there's a place like it.  It's green and lush and we are very close to some huge mountain ranges.

The area is huge.  If you go on to a map, we cover a bunch of cities that are really far apart.  Of the top of my head I can name Naturita, Nucla, Redvale, Norwood, Placerville, and way out there is also Telluride.  It's hard because we are only allotted 400 miles a week and we take one trip a week to Montrose for district meeting and p-day (for this reason, my emails will be coming in on Tuesday morning instead of Monday because the libraries are closed by the time we get back from Montrose on P-day.)

The branch is great.  The branch president has a really thick cowboy accent and works for the power plant as a repairman.  He's always chewing gum it seems like and absolutely loves the missionaries.  About 45 people came to church last week (most over the age of 60) so everybody knew everybody, and I've already been wrangled into playing the piano for priesthood.  It's like stepping into a completely different mission.

Our apartment is hilarious.  It's really low income so it was infested with ants and all of the faucets leak 24/7.  So I'm making it a quest to make it a really nice apartment by steadily fixing and cleaning the apartment.  (I've already fixed the ant problem ha ha.)  It's tiny, only a bedroom, a bathroom, and a kitchen.  And one other room that Elder Southworth has taken over so I don't go in there.  There are no chairs and no table.  I said to Elder Southworth, "I finally feel like a real missionary here!"  It was funny.

The only hard part about the area is the teaching.  We teach an average of 10 lessons a week.   Elder Southworth said it used to be 4.  Yikes!  So our days are very slow and we go through a lot of lists.

Elder Southworth was with me in the MTC. We were in the same room so we know each other well.  We haven't crossed paths very often in the mission field as we've been on different sides of the mission, but we probably will only spend one transfer with each other (since we both leave at the same time)  He's nice.  Loves basketball, but he's ready to go home. So I've just got to encourage him to keep moving.

We are in a car area, so my bike is out of commission... never will ride it again.  When I was packing the bike, I found out the seat bar had actually rusted into the bike.  It's like cement and won’t move.  So my only option was to force the seat down and remove the top of the seat to get it to fit into the box.  It was a rough cut and the bike is just had it. So I won't be sending that bike home ha ha.

Well that's all the info I have for the area I can think of.  If there are any questions please let me know!

Elder Bringhurst



Monday, August 19, 2013


August 12, 2013

So I will do a quick letter about transfers.  I have been transferred and I do not know yet where I am going but I know I am leaving tomorrow morning.  Elder Wallace will stay here and train a new missionary.  I don't know where I'm going, who I will be with, or whether or not I still will be the district leader.  It will be fun to find out.  But I probably will spend my last two transfers in this last area until I go home. 

This week was largely uneventful.  I knew pretty much that I was leaving, so I wanted to see as many people as I could.  The last couple of days have been spent trying to get some pictures of people (if I don't mom will probably kill me ha ha).  We had a fun day today going up to grand mesa and hiking and fishing in various spots. I couldn't fish with no fishing pole, so another missionary and I put together a "man vs. wild" spear fashioned out of a knife and a tree branch and tried to spear fish coming up to the lake's edge.  We didn't catch anything ha ha.  Anyway, it was an interesting and fun time and I got a lot of pictures of the beautiful scenery up there. 

A lot of people were sad to see me go, but I think we did really well this week.  I've got to pack and such, and that will be fun, but on to the final phase of my mission!

Elder Bringhurst

August 14, 2013

I have just been sent to my new area and I am in Naturita, Colorado, a tiny little town.  The ward is not a ward, but a branch.  About 20 people or so come to church each week, so this will be a new experience.  The area is really gorgeous, but the work is really slow, mostly because we spend about 3 hours a day just driving.  My companion is Elder Southworth, who has been out as long as I have, and we are in the library today because he had to finish emailing, so I figured that I would send a quick letter to tell everyone where I was at.

Elder Bringhurst
P.O. Box 241
Naturita, CO, 81422






Monday, August 12, 2013

Onward ever onward

August 5, 2013

This week was a little strange to me because I realized I only had 3 months remaining of my mission.  I think that's 7/8 of the way done. That's crazy.  So first a funny story.  We had testimony meeting this Sunday and I think only a couple people really shared their testimony. The rest just shared their "2 cents" on what the ward needs to improve on.  One lady told the ward that rejecting a calling is rejecting God, and that they need to repent for turning down a calling, and one older brother got up and told the ward that "there are people in this congregation that won't do their home or visiting teaching because they are lazy."   Then he brought me into it.  "Elder Brinkerhoff (everyone apparently thinks this is my name) was at my house for dinner yesterday and we talked about being straightforward with people and now I'm being straightforward."  Can I tell you, you never feel more helpless as a missionary than when someone gets up bearing a really awkward "testimony." 

There were two types of testimonies... Thankimonies and rebukimonies.  So I got up there and at the beginning of my testimony I said "I was pondering what to say for my testimony, so I first had to find out what a testimony is.  I decided that a testimony really is a witness - a witness to the reality of an event or thing, seen or unseen.  So I will bear my witness to the reality of..." I tried to subtly hint that a testimony is not a talk.  It’s a witness.

Anyway we had a sad experience as well.  We are teaching a part member family who talk way too much, and Elder Wallace and I decided after much prayer and counseling with ward leaders that we needed to drop them (stop teaching them).  It was really sad, but we went in there with almost a script that we put together during companionship study.  In essence we simply stated that our lessons mean nothing unless you act on them, and that it would be better for us and for them if we took a break for a couple months.  Well we went in there and she took that to mean she wasn't welcome at church and that we were telling them they were horrible people.  So she starts putting us on a "guilt trip" ("I've been going to church and paying my tithing and praying!") and at the end of her monologue she threw us out of the house and told us never to come back.  Oh dear.

In other news, transfers are this week, and I'm pretty sure that I am going to go to another area, but I'm not 100 percent.  So I will let you know next week what the verdict is.

That's all I have this week.  I love you all and have a great week!

Elder Bringhurst



The Summer Continues

July 29, 2013

I have been doing something interesting for the last part of my mission.  I was thinking of ways that I could improve my ability to have more effective personal study (because 20 months into your mission, you can only read Preach my Gospel so many times.) So I bought a composition notebook and began a "study journal"  but it’s not a list of scriptures and zone conferences, they are essays.  I write based on what I observe and think about as a missionary.  They cover a variety of topics and I'm also using them to better improve my abhorring handwriting.  So I plan on writing at least 1 essay a day and by the time I'm done I'll have a large collection of essays.

 Anyway, so my birthday…  Well my birthday was kind of a bust on p -day and we didn't really do anything, so it was pretty bad.  But I guess the zone leaders felt bad so they planned a "surprise" birthday on Thursday.  They took the liberty of buying me a cake, a bunch of dollar store gifts (including a "fake" lottery ticket, they had me going there for a second, but then I read the fine print and they just started laughing at me)  and they also got me a gallon of milk... whole milk.  That just wasn't fair!  So I attempted the gallon challenge.  I was doing really well.  In 5 minutes I had drank half of the gallon.  But I was almost done,  only 4/5 of it remaining (I guess your body has a way of "measuring" the content in your stomach... a gallon of milk is approximately 8.6 pounds....) and well, I guess my body rejected it because I went from feeling fine to loosing it all!  Oh it was nasty; they even caught the whole thing on video!  It was really nasty ha ha.  It came out my nose and I couldn't get the smell of rotten milk out of my nose all day.  Ha ha it was a big laugh.  So yes I failed.  I drank it too fast.  I still had over a half hour remaining and I thought I could just finish it all up.  But I needed to take it slower.  Everyone says I could have done it no sweat if it was 1 or 2 percent milk.  But no... I did whole milk. It was a big laugh to say the least.

On the missionary front we had a great week.  We had 22 lessons and that is a lot more than we usually get, so things are going great there.  Nobody getting close yet, but we are working our hardest with the people that we have.  Thank you all for all of the fabulous birthday gifts!

Elder Bringhurst