Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Elder Matthew Courtright: Christmas week :(

From: Matthew Courtright
Date: Mon, Dec 22, 2008 at 3:30 PM
Subject: Christmas week :(

so this week is christmas and my companion and i are keeping score of presents and letters we receive. currently it looks something like the following table:

Elder Courtright Elder Walker
Letters | Packages Letters | Packages
2 0 1 7!!!

Come on now guys. that makes me sad. By the way, my 2 letters are from the Mission president and brother reid! man, this is gonna be the best christmas ever. i dont have to worry about getting better stuff than my comp, cause you cant beat getting nothing :) well, i have full confidence that this pity letter with help motivate some of you. Now lets recap the things that I, Elder Courtright, find joy in.

1) music
2) ties
3) pictures of you
4) number 3 especially if you are a girl
5) Starbursts
6) Cheeze its
7) stephen colbert "quote a day" calendars
8) love
9) lots of long letters
10) Edible AIDS
11) all the above individually wrapped so it looks like i get alot of stuff in a giant box with bubble wrap :) (bubble wrap!!!)

okay now for a recap of the week. on tuesday we had a christmas devo in Greeley colorado. we each had to get a white elephant gift. i got a fireman and cop rubber duckie and bubble wrap (see, its awesome, i got it for free from dollar tree. they love me.). we had a white elephant gift exchange. the gift that i originally ended up with, cause i am infinitely lucky, was a box of..drum roll...peanuts and lots of candy bars with peanuts. then we played a game and passed the presents around and my final gift was even better. It was a tiara and earings and a big fat ring...too bad it all cut the circulation to my head and fingers off but it was good stuff. wednesday we went to the temple. i forgot my temple recommend which kinda made the day start poorly but president ely got me into the temple and then to brighten my day, there was a....little person in the temple. out of respect for the temple, they can be little people for a day, but he was there. the day was then perfected! that night we went to a mexican restraunt and i had some good orchata. yum! i drank like 5 glasses of it. thursday we set a 10 year old kid for baptism. he is so cool. he is like a red headed step child. literally. saturday we spent 5 hours on base and it was so cool. the military base families are so awesome. sunday we had dinner with a multi racial family so that made my day. they adopted 3 black boys who are 7, 6, and 5..i believe. they all have the same mom and different days, who would have thought? then we went to a stake christmas devotional which was amazing. hope all is going well with you all wherever you are. have a merry christmas and remember, i am important! haha. just kidding...not really though

--Elder Courtright

Elder Matthew Courtright: ether 12:4...my favorite

From: Matthew Courtright
Date: Mon, Dec 15, 2008 at 12:57 PM
Subject: ether 12:4...my favorite

so this has been the most terribly cold week of my life. fortunately we roll in an '06 Carolla now! so monday was transfer day and that was crazy. i quickly learned that we, as missionaries, are really nothing more than pawns on a chess board and at any minute we can be go and told to do something that is 100% opposite of what we were told an hour ago. not fun. anyways, got a car. when my new companion, elder walker, and i first sat in it we had a moment of silence. it felt so good. then we commenced meeting the ward. we spent all week pretty much meeting the ward council and that kind of thing. i was one again being swept into an area so neither he nor i new anyone. we have 40+ part member families in this ward so thats where we are starting as far as the work goes. we have met about 5 of them and atleast 2 have real potential to no longer be part member families. there is a 10 year old who we are setting for baptism this thursday. his parents are seperated and it took 2 years for her to agree to let him be baptized. i am so excited for him. (also, everytime i think the word "baptized" i hear it the way Bro. Sagastizado says it. lots of emphasis on the 2nd syllable). uhh, well lets see if i can think chronologically. on friday we had weekly planning and i was looking through the ward list (it was really old) and (everyone who has lived in the olde oaks ward for more than 3 years will be suprised/amazed by the following) i saw a name that jumped up and punched me in the jugular. Ben Isom. Holy small world. for a little background on that, brother isom lived in the ward about 3 years ago and was in the air force. he confirmed me a member of the church. he was small, really small, but athletic, and in the Young Mens program. Now, you might be thinking like i was thinking. what are the chances. so i kinda ignored it and just kept on going. well sunday at church, the Relief Society president asked me where i was from and i told her houston. she said "oh, we just had a family from houston move about 3 months ago. did you know the Isom's?" i proceded to discribe him and turns out they are one in the same. ben isom and his family moved from houston to wyoming (i remembered that part) but i didnt know where. and in august they got transfered down to odessa (i think) which is back in texas. that was really sad for me. but one of the air force guys emailed him on his black berry and is gonna get back with me with a response. he lived in the ward where i now serve. crazy! also, the bishop of the ward, 25 years ago, lived in oak creek village which is also in the ward boundaries...crazy small world.
In other sunday news. the high for sunday was a high quality 1 degree. most of the day was spent at about -2 degrees. morally of the story: who the fetch willingly lives in wyoming?!

I heard it snowed in houston. REPORT!

love you playas!
--Elder Courtright

Elder Matthew Courtright: transfer!

Matthew Courtright
Date: Mon, Dec 8, 2008 at 1:13 PM
Subject: transfer!

so as the subject might suggest i got transferred. but before i get to that let me give you some back ground

So this week i got to go on exchanges with one of the zone leaders because my companion is the district leader so thats how we roll. the ZL's work in the young single adult branch so i got to meet some of them. One guy is working on putting his papers in. His room mate is not a member but listens to all the lessons. His roommate is also training to be a UFC fighter. he had his first fight on thursday. he won. Anyways, all new missionaries who go to there house have to help him train. what that means is you hold to pads infront of your face and he kicks them....oh my gosh! IF he straight kicked me in the face it would a) hurt more than being stabbed in the shin and b) kill me. The dude was huge. it was so fun. we went to some other appointments that day. On thursday we went to district meeting and then walked back to our house throughout the day stopping for several appointments along the way. I was being stubborn that morning and didnt put on a heavy coat cause i am a Texan and thats how we roll. there were no clouds at night and about 5 the sun went down and it got to -7 degrees. Needless to say i was really cold and possibly (probably) near frostbite. Luckily a member saw us on the way home and picked us up. I sat infront of a fire for an hour before my hands stopped tingling (a painful process) but my thumb didnt regain full feeling until the next afternoon. needless to say, i wont make that mistake again. then on friday night we had dinner with one of the members of the bishopric. his wife, for dessert gave us ice cream (on the same day it snowed 3 inches). this ice cream was really good at first but about half way through i found a fun suprise! peanut butter cups! luckily it got no further than me biting into it. i went to the bathroom for awhile and then we left. we had an appointment later that night which i was so excited for but my stomach was cramping and jumping and all that fun stuff for the rest of the night...which leads to transfers. so i knew that i was getting a transfer like a week before and as the week went on it got more and more obvious. i was hoping for Boulder or Aurora cause they are the crazy cities. However, i got transfered to literally, 5 minutes away. In a neighboring ward in Cheyenne. I am excited for it though. half the ward lives on a military base so thats always fun. and...even better, we get a car! yeah! no more frostbite for me. I told the sister who gave me the ice cream that they were transfering me cause she poisoned me. And quickly told her i was kidding. We had a good laugh for awhile about it. SO thats been my week. Crazy? i think so! We are having alot of success and things are really starting to pick up....as i leave. oh well. i am needed elsewhere

--Elder Courtright

Elder Matthew Courtright: I sting like a butterfly and baptize like John the baptist!

From: Matthew Courtright <theilliterateone@myldsmail.net>
Date: Mon, Dec 1, 2008 at 1:25 PM
Subject: I sting like a butterfly and baptize like John the baptist!

So it snowed like 4 times this week! who thought that was a good idea?

Well, this has definately been a week of ups and downs. We set a lady for baptism on the 27th of december. however, one of our investigators babysits 3 boys and those boy's grandmother said they arent allowed to go to "mormon services." thats a real drawback because she babysits them like 5 days a week. including but not limited to sundays. man, we went to pick her up and everything and then she couldnt find someone else to babysit. Depressing. but baptism on the 27th!
also, so as some of you know, goals are part of missionary work. you set daily and weekly goals. i set a goal of baptizing 1 midget (or little person for Rufus) in the next 2 years. if i dont make that goal, then i will be sad, but other baptisms will make it all better. However, if i baptize a black midget/little person, then i dont care how many others i get. 1 black midget will make all 2 years perfect!
On a serious note, missionaries arent allowed to discuss politics, and wyoming is super conservative. one day this old toothless lady told me how obama would destroy the country and he is evil. thus i have decided that anytime someone mentions how obama will ruin the country, i will retort with "but he is black, what could go wrong?" its great because i dont think anyone in the city of Cheyenne has ever met a black person..let alone talked, smelled, or high 5'ed one. they really should get around to doing that.
Thanksgiving was great. we had it with the members who we live with. they are really cool. their names are sam and maureen zimmerman (not jews =/). We call Maureen, Mama Z and I call Sam either Uncle Sam or Brudda Z. That was what they said to call them. well, i invented the Brudda Z name but whatever. We had turkey (suprise?) and potato, and corn and stuffing (yum!!) and root beer. oh, it was snowing really hard on thanksgiving so for awhile we couldnt go outside so we played clue. i won 2 times. yeah! i love winning.
i also lost 5 pounds on the "eat lots of turkey and play dodgeball for 2 hours last monday" diet. Its a good diet cause turkey makes you think you are full and dodgeball is a man sport.
Baptism the 27th!
We have a bunch of part member families we are gonna start work on. who knows how that will go? i mean my first transfer is in 1 week and i could easily be in a different area. infact, its pretty likely. who knows? not me. take care all.
ps. christmas is coming up. i like ties. and anything from colbertnation.com and letters. send me your family christmas letters fools!

Courtright out! Get to work

Elder Matthew Courtright: Emailing like a ninja

From: Matthew Courtright
Date: Mon, Nov 24, 2008 at 1:19 PM
Subject: Emailing like a ninja

Haha. so not much time to email today. we started this new thing where we email Pres so that takes up like half of my email time. I will say that we got the most golden refferal to date. It was for a guy named Ray Filer. He is less active. we went to talk to him and he lives with his girlfriend (not a good start) but he had been looking to come back to church but didnt know where to go and had looked at buying scriptures online. that was exciting. his girlfriend is a non practicing catholic and is willing to listen to the lessons. Ray came to church sunday so that was super good. Unfortunately, one of talks on sunday was one of those that you want to pull all Less Actives and investigators out of. it was super morbid. The lady who gave the talk is like 50+ and is married to a 22 year old Excommunicated member. The beginning was all about this mother bird who saved her kids during a fire but died in the process. it was about a 5 minute story and she spent 3 1/2 talking about how the bird was burned alive and crazy, nasty, morbid things. Then she continued to talk for 25 minutes. the entire time i wanted to make her stop. and punch her in the head. uhh, what else? we got 5 new gators (investigators) this week. all on like the last 2 days of the week. still not really snowing. had a couple of flurries but thats it. OH! we met a lady this week and she used to live in Champion Forest area and in Humble. You wouldnt believe who she used to work with. Adele Puffer! that was so awesome. i showed her pictures i had of Leila and Cyrus. she asked if Cyrus was my kid. totally wanted to say yes. But we talked about Adele and Leila (sorry to talk about you leila. sending your mom a letter with all the details) for like 20 minutes. good stuff. yea. thats the most of it. Just keep on trucking. i will probably be in a new area next transfer because of the massive influx of new missionaries. not really looking forward to that. oh well. bring it!

Elder Matthew Courtright: Holy No Snow!

From: Matthew Courtright
Date: Mon, Nov 10, 2008 at 1:04 PM
Subject: Holy No Snow!

I was freakin out all last week cause it was supposed to snow. and it did. for like 10 minutes. man, they need to tell me it is going to snow only when it is actually gonna snow hard. However, there was a bunch of wind this week. My companion and i were riding downhill and the wind was so strong that it was overpowering gravity. I dont like having to pedal hard to go down hill. that is unnecessary. And apparently they have "wind storms." I have never been in a storm i hated so much. The wind was gusting at like 50-60 miles an hour. i had on like 4 layers of clothes and was sure i was about to get frostbite. i lost feeling in my thumb for awhile. And we were walking everywhere. i have never been more sad in my entire life than i was during those 5 hours that we were outside in the bitter cold. Anyways, so other than the wind everything is going well. the family we live with is super cool. they say that i remind them of their son because i like simple things. like shiny objects, soft things, flashing lights, and i sleep with a penguin. And apparently he and i have similar sayings, motives, and thoughts. i love this kid and i probably will never meet him. he is serving a mission in japan and wont be home until may. its sad that i wont meet him cause 2 me's are awesome but i dont wanna be in wyoming in the deep winter.

Oh, so big kinda news. i had my inteview with Pres. Ely (the mission president) and then i was talking with his wife afterwards. (1st off she really likes me cause i was the only convert in the group that i came out with and they are converts to) So she asked me how much spanish i knew and i told her i took 3 years, but lived with a spanish family for awhile and can hear it really well, but i only speak a little bit and have a hard time with the verbs. we talked about how much i knew and all that and then (this is the best/worst/scariest part) she gave me an El Libro De Mormon. which if you cant spanish says Book of Mormon. She told me to start studying it. I might end up being a spanish missionary before too long. That is an excitingly scary thought. i love the language and all that but i dont think i know enough to teach in it and i definately did not get 6 weeks in the MTC to learn it. Oh well. Well, i read 1 Nefi 1 this morning and i understood it pretty well and i can read it outloud without sounding horrible gringo-y so who knows? thats super exciting. uhh, as for teaching people. We have 1 really solid investigator which i think i mentioned last time. she is super good. she wasnt there last monday because her friend made her go see a new born baby. However she had every intention of being back by our appointment. we are going again tonight. hopefully it will go really well.

so the cheyenne stake had its stake conference yesterday and it was a broadcast from salt lake. 2 of the speakers were Elder Hales and Pres. Eyring. they were both really good talks. I took notes for the first time ever and i actually reread and used them. Crazy. Who would have thought that i would do such a thing? certainly not me. well, hope everything is going well in whatever city you may or maynot be in. Take care

--Elder Matt Courtright

Elder Matthew Courtright: Cheyenne

From: Matthew Courtright
Date: Mon, Nov 3, 2008 at 1:18 PM
Subject: Cheyenne

Wow. What a week. So as i mentioned last letter i was opening this area. it pretty much is crazy cause my companion and i had no idea where we were or where anything is. After the first day though, we had a map, and just went to work. We figured out that our ward boundaries are about a 1/2 mile wide at the largest point and about 7 miles long. just to top it off, we live on the very southern tip. so to get to the top of the boundary, on bike, takes about an 45 min to an hour. fun. Also, i am pretty sure that to go anywhere you have to bike uphill. its retarded. Uhh, lets see. so we have 3 people already preset for baptism. two are on the 22nd of november and the last is one isnt until marchish. Thats pretty exciting to only have to teach them and not find them. We also found an older lady who we just started teaching saturday night and we are going back tonight. I am pretty stoked for that. my companion decided for me that i am going to commit her to baptism. Not sure how i feel about that but you have to start somewhere. uhh, as for the current weather forcast. tomorrow calls for snow. not gonna enjoy being out in that. snow is alot nicer when you arent outside.

Some of you have been asking what my address is so...

Elder Matthew Courtright
Colorado Denver North Mission
11172 N. Huron Ste. 21
Northglenn, Co 80234

No matter where i am, Amah, for the next 2 years you can send me stuff there.

the ward here was pretty tiny. like there was 1 family per pew. but everyone i have met so far is really nice and super faithful. Even the people who dont wanna talk to missionaries are nice. Its so different that i am currently facing climate and culture shock.

Ha. so my funny thing for the week is...

We went to visit a less active in the ward at this really ghetto apartment complex. the apartments used to be hotel rooms but the turned them into apartments and all they have are a bedroom and bath. They are smaller than most dorm rooms. anyways, so knocked on the door and the guy across the hall opened his. He asked if we were knocking on his door. The funny thing about this guy is that he was definately high on a super drug. and by his demeanor i would guess meth. anyways, he like ran back into his room and hid. then the guy we knocked opened his door and instantly a wave of marijuana and incense hit me. I have smelled lots of weed before (i went to a journey concert :) ) but this was so concentrated and the incense just made it worse. The Less active we were talking to was high as a kite. it was different... So we left and probably wont be back. i had to wash that shirt 2 times to get the smell out.

Hope you all are taking good care. If you get a message saying i lost 2 fingers to frostbite, dont be too suprised. Stay Safe

--Elder Courtright

Elder Matthew Courtright: week 2

From: Matthew Courtright
Date: Mon, Oct 20, 2008 at 3:07 PM
Subject: week 2

wow! what a week. I realize that some of you wont know the names i use but just know that they are important people.

So i am gonna do this all really fast because i have less than 25 minutes to write but here it goes

So on tuesday, we had the BYU devotional and you wont believe who came to speak. If you were thinking Elder Richard G. Scott then you are absolutely correct. And i had amazing seats cause our district joined the Missionary choir so we sung a Be Still My soul and then had bleacher seats to watch elder scott speak. He was amazing. He is also really funny. Afterwards he offered to shake everyones hand. Heres probably a little known secret. He is so short, with piercing blue eyes, and super soft hands. It was awesome. And when his spirit is like a punch to the face. So the week passed, not much happened. We got new missionaries. That was a fun day. Uh, bonded with the district who is leaving right before us so that was cool. Oh, i taught my first lesson to an "investigator." Not a real investigator, but still, close enough. i think me and my companion did really well. the Spirit here has been amazing and that was no different. i loved it. I have only been here almost 2 weeks and i feel like i could come home and write a super inspirational talk with a bunch of stories and take an easy 20 minutes. Wow. Then last night at the fireside we had another amazing speaker. Sister Sheri Dew. In case you dont recognize that name she used to be in the Relief Society General Presidency and is now CEO of Deserett Books and Is the US ambassador to the UN Womens Council or some fancy title like that. she also had an amazing talk. Everything here (except the food) is amazing. I got my flight plans to denver and i leave a week from today at 8:10 AM. So it will probably be 2 weeks before i get another email out but fill my inbox up :) uhh, what else? i dunno. if anyone of you guys have any questions just put it in an email and i will definately answer them. i am hoping that when i get to denver i will be able to use my Gmail account but i will let you know. until then send any email here. also, i will be sending pictures to someone so that you guys can see my district and the stuff that we do...sometimes we are very unproductive. Hope everything is going well with yall. Send me letters, i think i am losing in the letters received department. Kimmy, send me baby pictures! i know its gonna pop any day now if it already hasnt :( write me fools. if you need my address its on a note on facebook. The rest of this email is for sis freeman but you are all willing to read it.

Sis Freeman!
Thats so exciting about paul being home. It sucks that i miss him by just a few weeks but oh well. He is really blessed since he served a mission. I cant believe that i was ever hesitant on coming. The feelings, inspiration, and answers that i have gotten in the last 2 weeks are incredible. Everything happens alot faster because i need it. i love coloring my scriptures. i am so anal about it. i hope all is going well in houston with the ward and what not. I miss the crying babies. and i must say that when you cant hug a girl, everything sucks. Guys just cant fill that need for attention. Ya Know? At least i know i cant be gay! :) Not that i didnt know before but..yea. just stop there before i dig a bigger hole. i love you and thank you for your advice and help over the years. I probably am not supossed to write except immediate family but the ward is immediate family to me.

Elder Courtright

P.s. still not used to that name

Elder Matthew Courtright: the real beginning

From: Matthew Courtright
Date: Mon, Oct 27, 2008 at 7:00 PM
Subject: the real beginning

well currently i am sitting in the Colorado Denver North MIssion home writing this email. Today has probably been the most overwhelming day thus far. I got up at 3:30 AM to get read to get on the bus to the salt lake airport at 5. the plane left at 8:40 and we landed at about 1015. This afternoon we had lunch in the mission home and then had interviews with the mission president. I found out where my first area will be...i am in so much trouble. I am gonna be in Cheyenne, Wyoming. From the stories that have been told it can get down to 30 below 0. not looking forward to that but i think i wont be there late enough to feel that much cold. This is the highest baptizing mission in the central US and Canada. and Cheyenne is one of the highest in the mission. My companion is a district leader and we will be opening an area. The church here is expanding rapidly. They are getting 40 extra missionaries this year so i might literally be training on my second companionship. That is a scary thought. I am so excited. I might die of frostbite but I will be stronger for it. Uhh, what else? I dunno. i am so excited to get started tomorrow. i have to get a bike because my area is an all bike area so i will lose all the MTC weight. i hate these 5 pounds. Love you guys all so much. thanks for everything you do. Y'all are my heroes. Be good.

--Elder Matt Courtright