10:10 AM | 4 Comments

My dad will be here in 32 to 62 minutes to pick me up to go hunting. Every year since I was twelve, we've gone up to my uncle's house in Shelby, and he takes us out hunting. He knows several ranchers from his accounting practice, and they let us hunt on their land. It is really beautiful up there - quite different from Western Montana, but beautiful in its own right.

I missed four years of hunting while I was in the Air Force, and now my sister and brother are missing some hunting. Usually we all go, but Ted is in Wisconsin, and Renee is too busy with school in Bozeman. So it is just my dad, his brother, his brother-in-law, and me.

Our usual way of hunting is not like the lazy road hunting you may have heard about. We get out and hike. Up to ten miles in a day. We start very early. We'll shoot a deer, clean it out, mark its location in the GPS, maybe leave a little flashing light, and continue on to the next. Then in the evening, when we can't shoot anymore, we'll go back and drag out the ones we shot. We've gotten up to seven in a day using this method.

This year I rigged up a harness from some webbing to wear for pulling them out. I also packed my old Advantix camera, so hopefully I'll have some photos to post. I just need to buy some film for it.

Have a great weekend everyone. I'll most likely be disconnected until Wednesday. Poka.
True story. No, really it is.

The building I work in is an old building with many mysteries. Wait a minute, I work in the 70's looking addition. Okay. The building I work in is a building from the 70's attached to an old building with many mysteries.

J.K. tells me of a story when late one night when he was working with J.G. He went to get a pop, and saw someone out of the corner of his eye. J.G. saw it too. He went into a utility closet. When J.K. went to look, the mysterious man had disappeared. J.K. says maybe he went into the hole in the wall, but the jail used to be in this building, and there are stories of ghosts of inmates who hanged themselves.

Perhaps some of those stories can be somewhat explained by yesterday's discovery. I overheard the janitor talking with Jason about the discovery of a courthouse troll. Well, not a real troll, just a person who kind of behaved that way. Perhaps it's mean to call him a troll. Anyway, this person was living in the walls of the old building. He'd climb in through the utility canal in the utility closet. Apparently he had a nest in the open ceilings.

I guess there was a little bit of a scene when he was asked to leave. The janitor, who is a woman, (which makes it a bit scarier) told him to leave. He responded with something like, "you can't make me leave, this is a public building! I'm higher ranking than you! I'm a citizen!" I guess some deputies made him leave after that.

Perhaps that also explains where a couple of our laptops went, and other missing items from around the courthouse. J.G. was kind of "creeped out" by the whole thing so it didn't really help when I said, "I wonder if there are more?"

I hypothesized that the obviously homeless guy had taken the laptop, hooked into the network, and was selling other stolen items on ebay for a living. Who knows? It would make a good story.

The hole is now boarded up. That's a good thing. I hope no one is trapped, but I'm sure there is another mysterious way out.
It's about time for an update. Sorry there aren't any photos. My camera is broken, instead you get an exciting magazine trick.

The weekend before last was exceptional. I would encourage every college student to try and go on a foreign mission trip. It does takes quite a bit of sacrifices to come up with the time and money. It also takes a certain amount of faith that God can provide. He can, of course, but still there are many people who never make it on one. We wanted these people to experience what a mission trip is like but on a little bit of a smaller scale. That is what mini mission trips are about. We go somewhere semi-local and help out a church. In this case I went with about eleven others from Chi Alpha up to Plains, MT. All it took was fifteen bucks, a weekend, and some hard work.

Plains is a small town where the industry has all but dried up. About 1,200 people still live there though, I suppose out of habit or because it is beautiful. Many people heat their homes with wood stoves and the average household income is around $26,000 a year.

God often does the most incredible things in the most unlikely of places.
This was the second time I have been to "Church on the Move" in Plains. It is an amazing church. If you want a model of what a church should be to its community this is it. They have a soup kitchen where they provide two meals a week to those who need the food or fellowship; a clothing ministry which provides, among other items, much needed winter coats to families; and a wood ministry which provides wood to people who can't get it themselves or buy it. Even if you can afford to buy wood, finding someone to buy it from can be a challenge.

I really feel fortunate to be a part of this ministry for even a weekend. We helped them with the wood ministry. Some stayed and split wood with the hydraulic log splitters, and some went to the mountains to log. Scott, Dan, and I were with one of the logging teams. We went with a few members of the church, chopped down dead trees, skidded them onto the road, cut them into 18" rounds, and loaded it all into the truck and trailer. We collected four and a half cords.

Dan and I rode up with Ken. Like many people on staff in the church, he has an incredible story. He had, by many standards, a perfect life in Hawaii: Surfing, building hot rods, and flying to the mainland for a weekend whenever he wanted to go snowboarding. Then one day, just over a year ago, after visiting Plains, God gave him and his wife the message that is where he wanted them to be. They sold their stuff, and moved to Plains.

You might not expect something like visiting a small town in Montana to be anything like a foreign mission, but it really is. This church is meeting the needs of its community, and God is working in some really big ways there. I'm excited to see what happens. God often does the most incredible things in the most unlikely of places. Thanks Ken, B.K., Pastor Jim, the cooks, and everyone else who showed us such hospitality and gave me so much inspiration to really love those around me.
Hey, I realize it's been a little while, so here's an update for the weekend. Friday I spent the evening over at the Chi Alpha Guys' house helping build the float for the homecoming parade on Saturday. It turned out really great. We took my old convertible horse trailer, and converted it into a pirate ship. Zach built a platform on top of it which served as a deck. It was raised up enough to provide sitting space in the below deck area and windows out on each side. We installed a trap door to get down there. On the front of the ship we screwed on a plank for people to walk. It went out of the ship and over the back of the truck pulling it. In the bed of the truck we laid down a mattress for a soft landing. When Zach or I would walk the plank during the parade, Peter, dressed as a shark, would attack us upon falling into the truck. The crowds loved it.

Saturday night, Shannon and I went to Serenity which Orson Scott Card has called the best sci-fi movie, ever. I really enjoyed it, and so did Shannon. It is pretty surprising that it is only being shown at the Village 6, and the theater was only about a quarter full. There hasn't been much hype for it, but there has been a lot of buzz on the geek side of the net.

I hear it is snowing in Bozeman where my sister lives. I bet we'll see snow here in Missoula soon too. Actually we can already see it in the mountains. I hope it will be a good snowboard season this year.