Monday, August 24, 2015

Adventures in Peyton: Great Families, The Paint Mine, Manitou Incline and More

Hi All,

Well it's been another crazy week here in Colorado and a lot has happened. We are teaching a lot of people and we travel all over. Some people want to meet in the library and some want to meet at their house which can be up to 35 minutes away. We have three upcoming appointments, so hopefully we can teach them. I am so ready to teach. The houses here are amazing. It seems like at the bare minimum everyone here has 20 acres. 

Last P-day was a P-Day to go down in the books! we went to the Paint Mines in Callahan CO. It was awesome - that was until we got caught in hail. It was about a mile walk to get all the way to the mines. Then we got a tornado warning...Since we had driven like 20 miles and walked over a mile to get there we just wanted to keep going. Don't worry - I got some amazing photos. So after the initial warning, it took about 30 minutes for it to start pouring. So we headed back, slipping and sliding through the mud. It was fun until the hailstorm started....that hurt!!! It was Sister Park's (from South Korea's) and my first time in hail and we had no clue what was going on! ha ha So long story short, we walked a mile in hail and freezing rain back to our cars. We drove to the Church building and went inside to get dry. We were bored so we went to the kitchen and made pancakes. I made them on a cookie sheet since there were no pans. I have to say, they were quite good. Then we went home, showered and then went to Safeway and did some shopping.

Paint Mine, CO
A lot of members have been taking good care of us. 

Sister Boyd who is the Primary President in our ward asked me and Elder Fox to act out the story of Pharaoh and Moses for the primary kids. I really tried to milk the part of Pharaoh and I guess I did a good job because one of the kids blurted out (after I had decided to keep the Israelites in Egypt for the 9th time) BOY I WISH I HAD SOME FIREY HAIL RIGHT ABOUT NOW!! It was hilarious. 

There is another really amazing family in the ward called the Brokers. Matt (the father) is an Iraq war vet who was actually baptized on an aircraft carrier on his way to Baghdad. He was in the Marines. He served until he suffered a TBI (traumatic brain injury) and up until about a few months ago he couldn't even walk. Now he is doing a lot better and is back working with disabled or disenfranchised veterans and he also works on his ranch. We got to help them out the other day at their ranch and it is every man's dream. He has 20 acres that include (but are not limited to) a rifle range, a car garage, and a man cave in the basement. Super awesome. Brother Broker is really smart and gave a wonderful talk the other day in sacrament. He has quite an amazing testimony. Super nice family. 
Only in Colorado -
Marijuana Store

So our area is relatively conservative and similar to Beaufort but Colorado Springs itself is a different story. Today we went and hiked an insane mountain called the Manitou Incline. It was literally a mile hike...VERTICALLY. (See the pics below) Manitou is like the quintessential hippie town. It is really cool and everyone is really nice. There are Marijuana shops everywhere haha. On Thursday we drove like 15 miles just to get some Chick Fil-A a after district meeting. It was worth every mile. 

The other night I watched a movie called "The Testaments". It is about when Christ comes and visits the Americas. I watched it in Spanish and I had such an amazing spiritual experience. It really spoke to me! I think that because I have heard so many lies and such in English that I think for me it was different. When I heard it in Spanish I had to struggle to listen and get all of the words so basically it was just pure and wonderful gospel truths. Spanish is such a pure and simple language and because I have limited knowledge of it, I simply was having pure testimony. It truly testified to me that the gospel of Jesus Christ is true in every language. Jesus Christ is the Savior of all people- regardless of color, class, or creed. Please watch it - it is amazing! 

On Sunday I was reading a lot for some reason about forgiveness and funny enough the story of Les Miserables came to my mind. I realized that we are all Jean Valjean and we are in desperate need of forgiveness. No one likes Javert but if we refuse to forgive others we are that relentless man of justice who demands no forgiveness! I have been really trying to follow the counsel of Jesus Christ in 3rd Nephi 13. ( Although it may seem impossible to forgive some people now, we must remember that we are all sinners and all we can do is beg for forgiveness from His mighty hand. 

Sometimes (a lot of times) I feel like Gatsby, always searching and yearning for that green light in the distance. However at least for the next two years I have found that elusive green light - my purpose is to heal souls by bringing others the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  Jesus Christ is the Savior of all people. I know that the restored gospel is on the earth today, and I am so glad to be a part of the work.

I love all of you and miss you very much!!
Elder Clancy

P.S.  SO AMAZING for Jason to make the USC team! Make sure you tell him congrats from me.
P.S. Please send me Brandon's email.

Enjoying the nice 70 degree weather
at the wilkes house (where we live)

The Curnows house 
A note about the Curnows - one Sunday one of their youth (about 6 or 7) was bearing his testimony about how "tough" family life was and he stopped and sighed...saying "Boy, you know sometimes..its hard to be a Curnow" and of course the whole congregation cracked up, and now the whole ward has that as their catch phrase. Their dad is the dive coach at the AF academy.

Holding a baby chick at a member's house after dinner (fun fact - the Brinkworth
family named all of their children after cars, Iroc, Elantra, and Mercedes)
Almost to the top.
The weird sky - there has been a lot of fires out west and it makes the sun red at night
The beginning of the Manitou Incline...look online how much of a steep incline it is

At the top!

9,000 feet later
Our district: Sister Reeder from Utah, Sister Hall from Canada, Sister Park from
South Korea, Elder Smith from Virginia,  Elder Fox from Georgia and
not pictured new Elder Meyer from Texas. 

The Road Less Traveled!

On the way up!

Monday, August 17, 2015

FIRST LETTER from Colorado Springs - actually Falcon to be exact!

Landing in Colorado

Well Tyler arrived in CO last Monday and we had the chance to talk on the phone for about a half hour while he was awaiting his flight from SLC to Denver. It was great to hear his voice and especially his enthusiasm. He was ready to go!! There were a bunch of them heading out that day. Since that time we have gotten a letter from him saying he arrived safely and then another letter from his mission president and wife saying essentially the same thing.

For those who don't know much about missionary life (please ask questions if you have them), a mission president and his wife will serve as the leaders of all the missionaries in an area of a mission. In Tyler's case, his mission president and wife will watch over, counsel and lead all the missionaries in the Colorado Springs Mission. They serve for about three years in that position so I suspect Tyler will work with them for the entire time he is out. Once Tyler arrived he was paired up with another missionary but this time it was an elder with more time out/experience than him; someone who knows the area. You will read below, but he was assigned a companion named Elder Fox from GA who has been out a year. The whole mission "system" is very, very organized and there are no worries about finding places to stay and other details like that. It's a well organized and experienced "machine". It's like that everywhere that missionaries serve around the world. Naturally, depending on the places and countries, housing and other daily living experiences differ, but ALL have a mission president (and his wife) and ALL are watched and cared for. It bring me peace!

Tyler will be writing on Mondays. Those are what's called P-DAY or Preparation Day in the mission field. It's a day for them to rest - do laundry, write home, do fun stuff, etc! So when you see "P-Day" know it's his free day.

I have added a lot of my own two cents in the letter this week. ALL my posts are in ITALICS. I just added some extra tidbits of info to clarify or give more info about things Tyler referenced in his letter.

For those who want to write to Tyler, you can always email him at

If you want to mail him a package, private message me and I will share his address. Not posting here for privacy reasons.
Thanks for your support!

Here is Tyler's letter:

Hi All,

I am in Falcon, Colorado (the mailing address is Peyton though.) There are 3 types of people here - Farmers - Military - or random people that work from home and don't like the city. It is about 15 minutes from CO Springs. 

My companion/ Trainer is Elder Fox. He is really nice and has been out here for a year next week. We get along well and he is really mellow in a good way. Elder Fox really likes to do Rubik’s cubes. He has like 5 different kinds. He was captain of the Robotics team back in HS. He grew up in Peachtree City, GA where they drive Golf carts only.
Elder Fox and his notorious Rubik's cubes

Elder Turney on the left, Elder Fox in the middle and me at a baptism in Fountain, CO
Elder Turney has completed his two year mission. His Mom picked him up a few days early and they drove around his old areas. He is from California and is joining the Coast Guard when he gets home.

Today, P-Day, we are going on a hike to a place called the Paint Mines. Sounds interesting. The missionaries in our District are a senior couple from Idaho, 3 sister missionaries - one from Utah, one from South Korea and another from Canada.  Elder Smith is from VA and Elder Meyer from TX.

There are rabbits EVERYWHERE. Literally if someone wants a pet rabbit they could just go in their yard and bring one inside. (we actually aren't allowed to touch them because they carry diseases in the summer). 

Dad would really like it out here. Even the smallest house on the block has a huge yard, just because there is so much SPACE. So this week was very weird - a missionary in our district had to go home for medical reasons, therefore we were dealing with that most of the week and not actually teaching. We had dinner at a few church members’ homes, but last week was mostly missionary business. Because my companion is the DL (District leader) he had to take care of some important issues related to the Elder who was going home. I’m brand new and so I stayed with another Elder in Limon while Elder Fox took care of the administrative details.  Limon is literally the middle of nowhere USA. It is closer to Kansas than anything else. We lived in a trailer and the closest Wal-Mart was 35 minutes away. The cool thing about it was I got to drive. The Elder who I stayed with doesn't have a license yet so I got to drive while I was there. (Usually the senior of the two companions is the driver. In this case - Tyler got the opportunity!)

Driving on the 2nd day on the mission (Limon. CO)

Having a little fun in Limon
TRUE TYLER FASHION!! Wouldn't you agree!!!

We do so much service here. In just one week we have volunteered at a thrift store, a library, helped build a non-denominational church in Peyton and countless other little things. I gave my first priesthood blessing out in Limon to an old lady who we did service for. It went well and she said she felt better.

Also just a note. 
We don't wear shirt and tie always... 
whenever we do service (a lot) we wear regular clothes.
We had dinner at a super nice family's house last night. - The Stulls - he is a major in the Army and did ROTC at UVU. His wife went to BYU and they have 4 awesome crazy kids. They are really creative and smart. We played a fun game called Werewolf and had banana splits!

A few shoes at the mission home
So I realize I haven't emailed in a week because we were traveling last Monday. We stayed at the mission home for one night and President interviewed us each personally. We had new missionary orientation Monday night at a stake center and Tuesday morning at the other stake center. I am actually serving in the same stake where President and his wife live. They just live closer to CO Springs than we do. Their house in in a more urban area.

View from the Mission Home

my flag on the mission map

Checking into the Mission Home

SO, to answer your question, yes we do live with members. Their names are Bruce and Tammy Wilkes. Bruce is retired Air Force and they are new converts to the church of about a year. Their house is probably the size of ours except they have a basement instead of an upstairs. They are nice and Bruce reminds me a lot of Mr. Jezewski. 

We drive a Jeep Compass 2014. It is pretty nice. We probably won't have to bike too much in this area. It was definitely sad to see all my MTC buddies leave and go their separate ways. I will probably email some of them today. 

Zone conference is this Tuesday (tomorrow). Church was ok but- I miss our Southern Wards. I am doing good I am just now starting to answer to “Elder” haha. And yes the “20-Mark Note” we actually heard in the MTC from David A Bednar himself! It is amazing and I think G&G would really appreciate it.   * WARD is another name for your local Church group - your local congregation. *(

You know how sometimes when children leave their parents they take advantage of them not being there? 
This is an example of one of Elder Fox's lunches. 
1/4th of a jar of Peanut butter, Ice cream and he eats the half of stick of cookie dough separately.
no this is not a joke #merica
After reading this and nearly throwing up, I BEGGED him not to do the same ha ha

Sounds like Logan's thing was great - props to dad for using the JFK quote. I eat yogurt for breakfast and usually we are fed at someone's house for dinner. I eat salads for lunch with a sandwich if I’m still hungry. (Tyler's comment about Logan's "thing" is referring to an event here in Beaufort, last Friday. A young man named Logan McFee who is in Tyler and Connor's Scout Troop raised money for a statue honoring Beaufort County's Fallen Law Enforcement Officers. Here is the local story: 

Please pass a thank you to the Groesbecks and the Tuimalungas (for the donuts and the CD). I really like the Beyond 5 CD. I am listening to the NTB like everyday and I love them. Do you have Jason Deere's email? Also I am really enjoying listening to The 5 Browns.  * (Our family loves the NTB which stands for the Nashville Tribute Band - Jason is the creator of the group and such an incredible musician!! I'd LOVE to write more here about him and the band but this is about Tyler. ha ha Anyway - We are friends with a few of the guys in the band and Chad - one of the amazing keyboard players and vocalists- actually served in the same mission as Tyler just a few years back!! Here is one of our favorite songs/videos from their most recent album:  Another fav of ours: )

Glad to hear Connor is heading back to BHS. Sounds like a tough schedule but Mr. Taylor is fun. Tell Rudy I said hello too. (Rudy is our dog!)

I will have a better blog email next week when we have actually done some stuff.


Elder Clancy

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Elder Clancy's FIRST LETTER home!

Hi All,

If you haven't realized by now, our P-day is Thursday. It is much needed. The MTC is tough work but it is also a lot of fun! We have an hour to email so Ill try to break it down as much (girl version) as I possibly can. I can't write enough letters to everyone in this amount of time.

The MTC is a wild experience. I sometimes liken it to trying to drink out of a fire hose. There is so much learning and fun here it is crazy to say the least haha. The teachers are wonderful here and its no surprise that they have to go through a rigorous selection process. Our teacher's name is Brother Mills and he served his mission a few years ago in Slovenia. He is hilarious and an excellent teacher. He always shares interesting (insane) stories about Slovenia. 

EVERYONE thinks my "southern accent" is awesome.... I never even thought I had one in the first place!! Whenever we teach investigators they always ask where I'm from. 

So they have a lot of weird food in Utah everyone knows that...But this one thing definitely topped pineapple on pizza when talking about level of weirdness... For breakfast they had a sausage wrapped in a pancake on a stick like a corn dog.....OK it was actually good but still it was kind of weird. Brother Justice is super awesome to all of our district and gives us special request items like a lemon every now and then. Haha it's good to have someone looking out for you! 

On the 2nd day I was made district leader. (for those of you who aren't familiar with missionary slang- a district is made up of about 11-12 missionaries and I'm kind of like the mayor of our little town). We all get along great and none of us are from Utah which we all think is funny haha. Every day we color coordinate our ties and it's kind of caught on in the MTC. Another thing that caught on is some southern hospitality. I was standing in line to put away my food when I saw a small sister missionary struggling with her tray so I told her (naturally) that I'd take it for her! She really appreciated it and all of the guys in my district thought it was nice so we all started doing it everyday! Now it's become like a MTC wide thing.. haha. The really amazing thing about the MTC is the fact that our church is a WORLDWIDE church... Contrary to popular belief it is not based in Utah. I have met SO many missionaries from SO many different countries and provinces. To name a few - Germany, Slovenia, Spain, Trinidad, The Philippines and my favorite accent - New Zealand. I am learning a lot of sign language and My small Spanish vocabulary grows every night as I talk to these missionaries on my floor who are from Guatemala. One day I had the idea from a scripture I was reading to do a lesson called "lovest thou these things more than me?" It is based off of John 21. I wrote on the board the phrase he said to Simon Peter and we FILLED the board with the things we all left behind to come on a mission. It was pretty cool to see all of the dedication that involves this journey. 

I have seen a lot of people I know here - Elder Barnes from Chapin High (SC)
Elder Barnes and Elder Clancy
 Elder Lamb (Coach Jason Lamb's son) Elder Wadsworth (My Friend from utah)
Elder Clancy and Elder James Wadsworth
and Elder Wood from Nevada (I met him last summer at the NRA YES he is going to Kobe Japan). Sometimes it is hard to sit through the long days here but mail time always makes it better!! gym time doesn't hurt either... We stay together as a district during our gym time and play a lot of four square....we are kind of becoming notorious in the MTC as the district who owns 4 square. 

The other day I got an awesome note from a guy named Ammon Tuilamongua. He is in a band called Beyond 5 and turns out his father baptized my father! It was pretty cool. He has his mission call and he sent me a dozen donuts. The next day I got a letter from his father! It was very humbling to me because the gospel of Jesus Christ has blessed my life so much and in so many ways. It really gave me perspective on why I am here as a missionary. Bringing others unto Christ truly does change lives. I myself am a testimony to that!!!
Doughnuts from Ammon

OK so even though we are on a mission we can still have fun. Every Wednesday new missionaries can tell they are new missionaries because on their name tag they have a red dot. So there is this big guy in the other district in our zone (his name is Elder Coburn and he is from Idaho) We told all of the new Elders that there is a guy who roams around the MTC named "Richard" we told them that he will ask for your name tag and try to make a conversation with you. We emphasized the importance NOT to talk to him because it is a test. So at night we got Elder Coburn all dressed up in a raggedy robe and gave him a bunch of tootsie pops and one sock on his feet. He went around the halls mumbling crazily about how he wanted to speak with them..... They were SO scared hahaha we died laughing seeing the look on all of the other elder's faces. We also acted like we were the leaders of the English Speaking missionaries and gave them dumb rules to follow like "make sure to fold your towel in triangles" and stuff like that.  

Elder Dwyer and Elder Clancy

Elder Clancy and Elder Browning

Yellow Ties Unite!

Elder Dwyer goofing off

At the Provo Temple


Elder Schlitters and Elder Clancy on PDay which stands for PREPARATION DAY!

To finish up I want to tell all of you that I am loving life.  I have heard from David A Bednar,  Russell M Nelson AND Sheri Dew all in one week. Also, on a spiritual note, I am doing very well. I am confident at teaching because I can speak well, but I also know the scriptures a lot better than I thought I did. Although at some points it is very hard I know I am doing the Lord's work! 

I leave for Colorado on Monday., I don't know if I'll be able to email this Monday because Ill be traveling but I will be sure to all of the other Mondays! 

Although I personally have no relation to the pioneers of of church history - I myself am a pioneer in a lot of ways. But just like the pioneers- I too need faith in every footstep!!!

See ya in a little while,
Elder Clancy

Lisa's commentary:
1.)  I am sure most of you don't know of the group BEYOND 5 but I DO!! They are wonderful!! They are an amazing boy band from the West Coast - such incredible vocals. A bunch (or all) of the young men in the group are Latter-Day Saints and most of them are on a mission now or going on one soon (depends on their ages).  They are AMAZING!!! Here are two links to some of my fav videos of them! ENJOY!!: and

From SC to the MTC

Hard to believe the day arrived when Elder Clancy set off for his mission to Colorado. A bittersweet day for sure!! We deeply appreciate all who supported him (and us) in this huge endeavor. Now, let's all support Tyler over the next two years as he gives his time and talents to serving the Lord. A mission is a huge sacrifice, but comes with so many blessings.

So first things first....
1.) We will use this blog to help everyone keep up to date on Elder Clancy's experiences in Colorado Springs.  He prob won't have time to write to everyone, but I am SURE if you write him he will deeply appreciate it!
2.) So many of our friends and family members are not of our faith so if you have questions - ask away!! I'll do my best to answer everything to the best of my knowledge.

DAY 1 - Tyler flew to Utah. He stayed overnight with our dear friends, The Groesbecks, before entering the MTC (Missionary Training Center). You'll find that we LDS members have a ton of lingo that we sometimes forget is not familiar to others. Again, if I say something that is not clear, just ask for clarification!! While in UT that first day, Tyler hung out with our friends and just acclimated to the 2 hour time change.

DAY 2 - This was the "big day" - Elder Clancy was scheduled to enter the MTC at 12:45 p.m. so the Groesbeck men (who have all served missions themselves in various places: Indonesia, California, Mexico and Hong Kong) took Tyler to breakfast at a UT fav place: Kneaders. After that they took a few pics at the Provo Temple and then drop off time approached.

For those who are not used to mission experience, you literally drive up to the curb at the MTC along with the others in your assigned time drop off zone, unpack your bags and say a quick goodbye to your family. Tyler thought long and hard about this tradition and that is why he chose to have our friends drop him off instead us of us flying to UT.  He just did not want us to say our goodbyes at the curb! (I CAN SEE THE WISDOM!! ha ha) Now most parents won't hear from their son for a few days but us, we were VERY fortunate b/c we have a sweet and kind friend named Chris (who we met through the Groesbecks) who manages the cafeterias at the MTC (remember Missionary Training Center). Well, Chris has been an angel to me. He was there to greet Elder Clancy upon his arrival. Oh how much that warmed my heart!!!!
For all our Beaufort friends, there is a sweet connection between Chris and another Beaufort family which shows you how small this world actually can be. Chris's sister is married to Coach Mullen's Uncle. SMALL WORLD, HUH???

So back to the story about Elder Clancy and the MTC....
The MTC is his "school" prior to his mission. It's the place where he gets training on how to teach, how to manage his time and how to bring people to Christ. It's intense b/c it's a mere 10 days to learn 2 years of training, but it's also a place of growth, joy, inspiration and believe it or not - a lot of fun!!  You'll see his letter in the next post. On the day that Tyler entered the MTC, he was one of 613 young men/woman entering full-time missionary service. Pretty wild!! The MTC can hold up to 4,000 missionaries at a time. Blows my mind to think about it! Because Tyler is NOT learning a new language, he and the other English speaking missionaries stay for the shortest amount of time - 10 days. Those who are learning a second language (52 languages are taught there) will stay at the MTC for 12 weeks or more. (And there are a bunch of MTCs around the world, but this one is the biggest - I think!!)
You can read more about the Provo, UT MTC here:
Here is a video from a UT TV station:

Tyler has been in the MTC for 8 days now and I was privileged to get some fun pics but sure was looking forward to his first letter...

He's official!

Getting his name tag

One of the biggest things about your time in the MTC, is the assigning of "a companion". (Another LDS vocab word - I told you there is a learning curve here ha ha) A companion is to be with you pretty much 24/7 for the rest of your mission. The companion you are assigned to at the MTC will not stay with you your entire mission, but rather only during your 10 day stay. They WILL go to the same mission as you but since you are both new missionaries, you will be reassigned a more experienced companion once you arrive in Colorado; someone who knows the area where you will serve. That companion will be your trainer. (More on that in a week or two.) 

Tyler companion is Elder Schlitters from Michigan. Funny thing is when I posted the picture of the two of them on FB, a friend Jessie Richmond who was a FORMER MISSIONARY WHO SERVED RIGHT HERE IN BEAUFORT commented and said, "Hey, my Dad painted the picture in the background!" I was stunned. Small world once more - or as I call those experiences TENDER MERCIES. Anyway, his Dad did in fact paint that beautiful picture. Here is his website if you are interested. I know I WAS! :)

Tyler's district (a group of missionaries who study together while at the MTC. This group is made up of missionaries going to both Idaho AND Colorado Springs. Tyler met the sister missionary in the Atlanta airport on his way to UT. She is from Kentucky.