Monday, February 27, 2012

Running on Slow Motion/Stop Action Time Here


This week has been slow. There is a distinct "island time" that pervadest he area. "If it can't get done today, tomorrow will come tomorrow." It makes missionary work difficult, especially for people in the outlying aras of the island, who we can only feasibly visit a few times a month. However, as with all areas in the world, the work still rolls on.

The weather has turned off cold. We've still had the best winter ever since I arrived, with most of the days being cloudy without much rain, and some days even being sunny. Now the bays are frozen, the rain is falling horizontally and the forecast is snow for the next week.

I don't really have a lot to write about today. The one that is pervading my thoughts is prayer. Do I really understand prayer? Not how; I don't mean in what order to say it or what I should be asking/thanking for; but I mean in what way do I approach God?

Do I ring for him like a valet? "I'm here and I need..."
Do we call on him in earnest supplication?

Do I speak to him casually, as I would to my friends?
Do I approach him as we would a King of Kings, our Lord of Hosts?

Do I stand proud of my virtues as did the Pharisee?
Do we bow our heads and humbly kneel, aware of our sins, begging for mercy as the Publican?

I'm thinking about how I pray to Our Father in Heaven. This week has taught me how much I need to work on that very topic. I am so far from perfect at praying--a poor prayer supplicant. In fact, I might be far from even acceptable as I realize how much more humble my prayers could be. The only think I do have going for me is that I know God knows that I am now diligently striving to do better. And He loves me.

This week, I would encourage all of you to do the same evaluation.

Salutations from the turned-cold-but-still-much-warmer-than-up-in-Chugiac-though-still-much-wetter North,

Elder Darcey

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Whale Watching

By the time I figured out what we were watching, it was too late to get the really good shots. But here is the whale exiting the picture.

And It Did Come To Pass that Elder Did Tell Many Things Pertaining to Craig:

Dear Fam & everyone,

Here are the answers to all the questions you asked. My move went great and I was underweight for both bags still, and I didn't have to ditch anything--go figure? To get here, I took the milk run flight, which stops in Juneau, Sitka, Ketchikan and ends in Seattle. From Ketch, I took a ferry right out of the airport (seriously) then another 4 hour ferry to Prince of Wales, getting off at Hollis then driving to Craig.

Yes, THE ADDRESS of my house so Dad can play on Google Earth is on Cedar Street.
We have about 30-40 people attending every week now, with a few people calling in. (Bet you didn't know they could do that?) In the summer, it swells to about a hundred due to fishermen. We use the clerk's computers at the church to email from. Elder Ivan went home to Pleasant Grove roundabout Colorado right now to be with his brother who's about to deploy to Afghanistan.

I would appreciate some crackers. I'm currently using starburst as sacrament. Other food is fine; no problems there.

No, we haven't been to cemetary island yet. And, no, the water in the inlet is not really frozen. It rains all the time, but the temps in the 40s usually. There are many MANY animals on the island, whatever lies you all have heard down there. All the bears are currently asleep, but there's a large population of water fowl, salmon, herring, whales, sea lions, and the like. The bear bear population is all asleep. We also have wolves, deer and EAGLES/RAVENS. The human working population here mostly logs as the main business along with fishing and canning salmon.

I'll get down to it; The work here in the "Bush" is slow. It takes a lot of work to see anything get done. I'm so glad to be out here, though. We got our car back, after only a week of walking and bumming rides with the members. Now we can go anywhere on the island, so we do.

We try to get everywhere we can at least once a month, so this weekend we hit Hydaburg. That place is scary. I don't mean a "oh look, a man with a mask on" scary, or a "mom's early attempts at GF bread" scary, I mean a "Elder Darcey is scared" scary. The Haida natives, by the way, are the one's with the totem poles.

We've had a good week, regardless. Elder Denison and I are working together well. He's an awesome missionary. We're working all day, everyday, and that's all we can ask for. On Wednesday we volunteer at POWER, which is basically a Slum DI. Most mornings we volunteer at The Camo Shop, which is run by a MUCH less active member.

The work goes slowly out here, but there seems to be a never-ending supply of service opportunities. "Obedience brings blessings; exact obedience brings miracles" is my mantra at the moment. Whatever falls through, whatever happens, I know I just need to stay obedient and keep working hard. If we can do that, it will all work out in the end.

Better go, I still have more pictures to send, especially to Sister "I'm a year old" Darcey.

About your comment on angels: We totally have this idea in the mission that the prophet can see spirits all around. (gospel of Elder DArcey; don't quote me on it)

As far as music, if you want to find and send Instrumentals (piano music, lord of the rings, musicals etc) it would be nice.

Love to all reading,

Elder DArcey

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

A Little Shack in Craig AK

Thank you, Derick for the DearElder. They always make me happy.

Dear All,

Seasons (all three of them at once down here {I no longer recognize Autumn, by the way}) greetings from Prince of Wales Island (I've always wanted to live on an island) Here's some fun tidbits about where I am:

I live in a little shack in Craig. Although it's little, it is cozy, and still twice as big as my apt. in Chugiak.

We walk everywhere we go because our car is currently broken. This isn't a problem in Craig, but it gets a little awkward when traveling to other towns. See, our area is called the Craig Branch, but in reality we cover the entire island. The Island, by the way, is about 2600 sq. miles. So, you know. Dang.

The weather is really, well, it is usually rainy (we're in a rain forest area, after all) and we get about 140 inches of rain a year (Oklahoma gets 40, Utah gets 19). However, 2/3 of the days I've been here have been beautifully sunny. (I've only been here for three days though).

The bush is completely different from the other areas. There is always something to do out here. We have some great investigators. One has a baptismal date set for the 3rd of March, so pray that he makes it to church these two weeks. Investigators have to participate in church or they can't get baptized. We have another investigator who has been investigating for a few years now, and would have already been baptized if her dad would let her. He's strongly anti (or so I've heard; I have not met him as of yet), so she's waiting for her 18th birthday. She's awesome.

We still have problems finding new people to teach. We're thinking of starting a Bible Study group for the towns of Craig and Klawock. It would be awesome to do (I've always wanted to be in a Bible Study group).

MATI ATKINSON: I found your friend who you were talking about; Elder Clark. He has been in this area before. Go figure, right?

My new companion, Elder Denison, is awesome. When I walked into our shack (I've always wanted to live in a shack) the first thing I noticed is a Legend of Zelda drawing on his notebook, and I thought "We've going to get along just fine". We have so far. President told me and him "E. Denison has needed a good companion for a while now, so I'm sending someone with whom he can get along, and who will work hard".

This area is going to be full of good things. I'm grateful for all the support at home.

Love from the not-quite-as-frozen-as-it-used-to-be North,

Elder Darcey

Photos coming. I even have a video of a whale, so I hope it's small enough to send. HA!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Ignore My Last Letter About Transfers -- I LIED!

Please note before reading: The picture of the empty PO Box is not serious, and should be taken entirely in jest. Just this week, I have received a letter from my sister, as well as packages from the Atkinsons and Grandma Pat. Thank you for the all great thoughts and emails as well. And Grandma Pat, thanks for the thoughts and the Reeses. They make me absurdly happy.

This week as gotten a little crazy, and it's only going to get worse. We spent the latter half of this week bidding farewell to the people we've been meeting with. Then comes Sunday, and we bear our testimonies, Elder Ivan bearing his under the impression that it was his last one in Alaska, me just bearing mine because I could.

Along comes a phone call from President. They want to meet with us immediately following Church. We meet, and President takes me aside for a personal interview. I'll just lay it straight: The Lord needs me in Craig, and I'm leaving on Thursday.

Craig, by the way, is on The Prince of Wales Island, west of Ketchikan. Population: about 1300. Area: about 9 miles square, including water. By comparison, Kamas (Utah) is about 1.6 miles square, with a population of 1200. I'm going to the bush.

Not much else to say, except that we don't know yet what's going to happen to Bear Mountain. Most of the Ward doesn't even know that I'm leaving, so it will come as a surprise to them.

Anyway, this ward has been amazing with taking care of me and feeding me and stuff like that. If any of the Bear Mountain ward is reading this, know that I love you and wish you and the area my best.

The weather in Craig is hovering in the 40s, and it's technically a rain forest area, so it will be fun to adjust from nonstop snow to nonstop rain. I've picked up a lot more than I thought in Chugiak as well, so it will be fun packing it all up for a plane ride.

By the Way, Dad, for your info, I'm flying out of Anchorage to Ketchikan, where I'll take a ferry to Craig. Total time will be about 10 hours. Craig is actually next to Whitehorse, the hardest/longest place to get to in the mission.

Dad, I really enjoyed Romans 5:19. In my life, I've found the following to be really true. If the Lord trusts you, he puts you in some pretty weird places to do some pretty wild things in life.

President has really emphasized that if we want to go to all the crazy places in Alaska, we need to be responsible. It makes me happy how quickly the Lord rewards.

So, in conclusion: Be reliable, work hard and you too can get sent to Craig.

Elder Darcey