Monday, February 22, 2010

We had a baptism this Saturday!

Hey, yo!

I sent Brett an e-mail, but I haven’t heard back from him . . .

Are you disappointed in me for killing and eating an iguana? LOL . . . C’mon, Mom . . . You should be proud!

GHS has really had a good year, huh? That’s pretty cool that they got such a high seed. Weren’t we seeded Number 3 my Junior year? And then we lost to Carlmont? LOL . . . That was dumb . . .

I do know Elder Schone. I talk to him randomly sometimes, but not waaaaay much . . .

Sick stuff that the United States is playin’ some good hockey!

Oh, and I’m very sorry, Stacie, that you couldn’t go to Haiti. But at least you can save your money for more shoes? Or something . . . LOL . . . I’m sorry, though!

Well, I really just don’t have many notes from this week . . .

Well, one really good thing! We had a baptism this Saturday! His name is Fernando. He was also confirmed on Sunday, so everything went all smooth! He’s a 22-year old who will still have the chance to serve a Mission!

I did get your package! Thanks for all the ties! My collection is now at 41 ties! I just need one more and I will have a tie for every day of a change! The hearts with the writing on them were pretty good, too! LOL . . . You put some thought into your poems, didn’t you, Mom? LOL . . . And Dallas, why did you not write your own card? That was not your handwriting, bra . . . Oh, and the SJCC games . . . When are they from? I don’t think I’ll have time to watch ‘em but were they from when I played or are they from this year? And, all the chocolates and muddy buddies . . . Holler! What more can I say???

My Companion and I have been sick . . . Fever, diarrhea, body pains . . . Well, he has just had diarrhea without the other symptoms.

LOL . . . I’m sorry this is so short! I’ll try to make it up to y’all next week. Just nothin’ much happened this week.

Love you all a bazillion, though! More than that actually! Keep it real, though! Oh, and Mom, would you erase my mail on this thing? My mailbox is full . . . Thanks!

Love, love, love you all!

Monday, February 15, 2010

I can teach in three languages! Cool, huh?!?!?!

Hey yoooooo!

I don’t think I averaged 16 points per game in High School . . . Maybe I did, though . . . LOL . . . What does MBay Preps say? LOL . . . I’m just curious! I’m trying to live in my past glory time! LOL . . .

Thank you for Brett’s e-mail address! I hit him up already!

Congrats, Dylan, for your solid game last week! Keep it goin’ dude! Good luck headin’ into playoffs!

And, no, I haven’t received your package yet . . . I’m anxiously waiting, though!

Good to hear ‘bout Aaliyah (Derek’s 3-year old niece and love of his life)! That will never get old! I actually had a dream ‘bout her this week. I had just come home from my Mission and this little, big girl came and I picked her up and gave her a huge hug. I never saw the girl’s face, but I started bawling in my dream and I just know it was her. I could feel it in the dream. It was a cool, but sad dream. Especially to wake up without here there for the big hug. It’s all good, though. Just a li’l longer. Good to hear the missionaries are visiting you guys, too, though! I understand missionary work! I dunno why we never got many visits before! LOL!

Okay . . . My updates, yo . . .

Oh! Can you send me the picture of me with all my shoes? That’s just an important picture to me, LOL . . .

How long does a VISA last? One of my investigators has that question . . .

Happy Birthday, Aunt Chris! That was this week, correct? How old are you now?

We had Zone Conference this week. It was really long, but it was solid. I gave the prayer before lunch . . . LOL . . . Not much to update on Zone Conference. Just that it happened . . . LOL . . . We also had interviews with the President this week. They were cool . . . LOL . . . Dunno what more to say. With those things happening this week, though, my District and the whole Zone had horrible DATS. My Companion and I were still probably the best, but ours weren’t great either.

One of our investigators caught an iguana and was gonna sell it, but I told him that I had never tasted iguana before and I heard it was good . . . Soooo . . . He had me kill the iguana and then we cooked it and all and . . . Two hours after I killed it, we ate it! No joke! Iguana is really, really tasty. It’s like a richer chicken basically . . .

I had to do three interviews for baptism this week. One was with a 9-year old girl with members of the Church in her family, so that interview was really easy. One of the others was a 19-year old guy who is gonna be a solid member and that interview was really easy, too. The interview that was really, really hard, though, was for a 9-year old who doesn’t have members of the Church in her family. President normally does those interviews, but he authorized me to do it. Wow! I see why he normally does it! I gave some details of the interview in my tape record ‘bout that . . . LOL . . . It’s a realy long story. Good news is that they were all baptized on Saturday and confirmed on Sunday this week!

Oh! Happy Valentine’s Day! Did Dylan or Stacie have Valentines?

I’m not gonna lie . . . I gave a very powerful District Meeting this morning. We had to hold our meeting today ‘cause we get to go to the Temple on Wednesday. Oh, and I think my best friend patriarch and his wife are goin’ to be able to be in charge of the Session! I’m soooo excited! In the District meeting, though, I committed my District to get 20 investigators in Church on February 28th. I really think we can do it! I’m super pumped to see how it goes! We’ve just gotta be committed! It was a really, really powerful District Meeting, though . . . I really feel like I’m becoming such a better tool in the Lord’s hands. It’s sickkkkkkkk . . . LOL . . .

I had a suuuuuuuuuuuuper cool lesson this week. We went to Llano Largo this week to teach the deaf girl, Jazmine, but she had a deaf friend there, too. So, it was three deaf people and me . . . And my Companion doesn’t understand the gospel quite 100%, so I got to teach three deaf people in signs!!!!!!! And then, after, Jazmine’s mom came. She only speaks Spanish and doesn’t speak sign language very much. So, we watched The Restoration in sign language for my Companion and the two others. But, when you watch in sign language, you can only listen in English, so I translated the whoooooolle movie for the Mom! It was maybe the coolest moment of my mission so far! In that moment, when I translated the First Vision, I felt (I knew) like I was being such a big tool in the Lord’s hands. He really has shaped me into his personal tool. I can teach in three languages! Cool, huh?!?!?!?!?!

Well, that’s all from ya boy this week! I sure love you all! Everyone be safe and stay healthy! Send me DearElders! And good work, Mom, on always keepin’ me posted with those DearElders! Love you all billions! Thanks for everything!

Monday, February 8, 2010

That just isn't a man's job . . . LOL!

This is the Stake Center where Derek attends Church
Barrio Hermita, Las Victorias Stake, Guatemala City

Derek lives on the other side of this bridge

Heyyyy yo!

Don’t be sorry or anything about how long your email was! I loved it! I really, really did . . .

Bummer that you guys dropped two games . . . One to Palma and one to Salinas . . . But it sounds like you’ll still make the playoffs, huh? Too bad Greg is averaging 15 points . . . LOL . . . Isn’t that beating me? LOL . . . What did I average my Senior year? I sure shot a lot! Is Dylan gettin’ any more looks on the court? I sure hope so!

I was lookin’ at my Guatemala map this morning and the closest marked Colony that I could find is Canalitos. From Canalitos, I’m like twenty minutes away in a bus. Canalitos was in my last zone when I was in Atlantida. Here in Ermita, we have Mercado San Martin. I think that would be the only recognizable thing here in Ermita. Sorry! Hope you can find it! It’s in the Guatemala City Capital, remember . . . Hahahahahaaaah

Why is it soooooooooo weird to me that Dylan can drive? That just does not seem right to me . . . I remember how he didn’t pass his written test the first time, though. And, supposedly, I’m the dumb one in the family, but I passed on my first try! I’m glad he has his license, though. It is very fun to go do your own thing. I remember the first time I drove alone . . . I was bumpin’ Black Republican . . . LOL . . . What things did you steal from my keychain? I don’t even remember what I had on there! And, Dylan, you’re in trouble with me ‘cause I haven’t received a DearElder from you in a while!

Stacie! You are super lucky! I wish I could go with you to Haiti! You’ll have so much fun! Please write to me about how it is while you’re there. You can always feel the excitement better when you write in the moment and not way after. Congrats, though! Please be safe!

I really liked that “special info” section this week . . . You are gonna have to do that more often . . .

Okay . . . Now my questions and stories . . .

I need info on Randy and James . . . How are they? Can you guys ask them to write to me? Plllleeassssse!

How’s Brett? Can you get me his e-mail address?

Elder Mays is doin’ great. This week, we ate at McDonald’s as a District and all the workers (lady workers) were hittin’ on him while he ordered and all. So, when we were leaving, we had him lead the way out so we could all see their half-fainting reactions. I told him to wave good-bye ‘cause I was walkin’ right behind him. When he threw up his hand and waved good-bye, they all freaked out . . . LOL . . . It was awesome! I didn’t think he was that attractive before, but I guess I have bad taste . . . LOL . . . That dude is smokin’ hot . . . I know it now . . .

I found out that, a long time ago, my Companion had a $60,000 surgery to help him hear. He has a hearing aid that connects to his head but he doesn’t use it because it’s dangerous here, so he hides it away. He put it on once, though . . . He still can’t understand much, but it was pretty cool. I’m happy to know that he knows what music sounds like . . .

Can you send me my Junior year music? Like all the Japan music and stuff? Just whenever you send another package . . .

On Saturday, we did a bunch of service. We cleaned a house where over 40 dogs live . . . Dogs stink . . . I never want a dog. They stink . . . I don’t like ‘em . . . Then, we did more shovel and pick axe work and I got a blister. I like the services that make you feel like a man more than cleaning dirty dog poop floors. That just isn’t a man’s job . . . LOL!

I talked with the Patriarch and his wife for a while last night. They are, by far, my favorites here in my area. I feel like they are my family. It’s the best feeling to have someone like that . . . It’s kind of like having another Grandma and Grandpa for me. They work in the Temple, too, so when we go in a few weeks, I’m hopin’ they are in charge of the Session. They have told me lots of stories about missionaries and temple workers and stuff. It’s the best to talk with older people that are cool, know a bunch and have the Spirit super strong, in every sentence and word.

An investigator offered the prayer this week. It was really long and he made up a cool song for us that he started singing for us . . . LOL . . . He was a radio voice before and he just hasn’t let it go yet . . .

Best story for last . . . You guys would love my companion’s prayers. He doesn’t understand to pray things for the both of us when we pray together. He just kinda does his own personal prayer with me. But he always says really personal things and shares really personal feelings that he has. Well, the other day, we were saying our prayers before we left the house and he said, “Please bless me that I can not be worried ‘bout my family back home. I want to not be worked ‘bout my family. I want you to protect my girlfriend and when I get home I will ask her to marry me. We will get married and I will invite my companion, Elder Jensen. It’s like that. In the name . . . .” You guys know the rest . . . LOL . . . It was a pretty bomb prayer, though. Sometimes he just says nice things in his prayers about me so that I will smile at him and give him a pat on the back afterward. LOL . . . It’s pretty cool and fun.

Anyway, this half change has flown by pppphhhhh . . . Super fast! Those are my updates, though! In numbered form for Tom . . . LOL . . . I’m always gonna throw that out there at Tom. Well, I sure love you guys! I’m stoked for the package! I miss you millions! Be good and safe! Love you all!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

My testimony is a platano!

Hey, Pops!

The work is great right now! My Comp and I have been killin’ it! We have been leadin’ the District and all that good stuff since I got here two weeks ago! We have set SIX baptismal dates! We are on fire! And, this next week, we will almost 100% for sure set THREE more! Cool, huh? We have some really good, progressing investigators! The Lord has really prepared a lot of people here . . . Makes my work easier!

My Companion is doing great and he is really learning a lot! Poor kid doesn’t understand the Spanish language all so perfectly. So, for Companion study, I get to teach him a lot. He is really learning a lot, though, and is really growing into a good Missionary!

My testimony is doin’ great, Dad! If my testimony were a banana, it wouldn’t be a banana . . . It would be a platano. That’s a really, really big type of banana here in Central America. And it would be bright yellow, ready to eat . . . As tasty as it gets! My testimony really is doin’ great and I’m really, really growin’!

One Companionship in my District doesn’t work very effectively . . . At least that’s what I’m seeing . . . So, this week, I’m goin’ on Division with them as my Zone Leders are tellin’ me I shoulddo to help them out. All four of them are workin’ hard, though. It’s a good District.

I will get better in the ways that you tell me, though! And I will start planning out a Sunday for our District to have twenty investigators in Church! It would be awesome!

Thank you for your testimony, Dad. I really do grow by hearing the testimonies of people that I respect and love and, of course, ya fit in that category! Thank you for all of your help and thank you for pushin’ me to get better! I’ll do my best! I sure love you millions, Dad! Thanks for everything! Take care of my family! Like you always do . . . Love you!

Monday, February 1, 2010

We had 7 investigators in Church yesterday!

Hey, it’s me!

Good work, Dylan and Gilroy High School! Are they undefeated in league? How many points is Greg averaging? Who else scores a lot? And how much are they averaging? What are Dylan’s stats like?

I found all black Nike shoes in a paca! They are like boots so they are really good to work in and they look kinda like dress shoes. They only cost me like $7 though! HOLLER! So, I’m good on shoes right now . . . Thank you for asking!

Ermita is in Guatemala City just like the Maya and Atlantida. It’s a colony in Guatemala City. Guatemala City is huuuuuuge with lots of colonies and apartments . . .

Mom, you sounded like an old lady talkin’ ‘bout carbon monoxide poisoning, LOL . . . Good lookin’ out . . . It really isn’t that cold anymore and all. I sleep in a sheet and I’m very comfortable. Don’t trip, home girl . . . Good lookin’ out, though . . .

That’s crazy ‘bout Elder Mays! LOL! As soon as I read that, I turned around and told him what you had written . . . Then he read me what his mom had written ‘bout it too! LOL! Kind of a small world, huh?

Well, fam . . . I really don’t have a lot to say . . . But here goes!

My left shoulder is inflamed again . . . LOL . . . Yes, it hurts! Ever since I started doin’ more push-ups and workouts again. Don’t trip, I’m all good! Just a li’l update . . . Nothin more . . .

I cut my own hair this morning! My Companion has clippers, so I gave myself the normal, all around three . . . I think I did a lot better job than the barbers do! No joke! I’m gonna buy my own clippers soon. It’s just hard, actually impossible, to line up the back side, but what do I care? I don’t! LOL!

We had some really cool lessons this week . . . The first was with a lady named Lizeth. She is around 35 and she has five children. The children are all members but she is not. Well, she was making some choices that made it impossible for her to be baptized but she has changed her ways! Soooooo . . . She is super excited to be able to get baptized! I had all of her kids yellin’ at her like, “We wanna live with you forever!” and “We wanna be an eternal family!” It was pretty cool and the mom was pretty stoked about it. We have a baptismal date with her this week!

The other cool lesson was with Jazmin, the deaf lady in Llano Largo. I had taught my Companion Lesson 2 that morning because he was having a hard time understanding it. Then, in the afternoon, I got to watch him teach it to her. I also helped a lot and drew out a lot of things on a li’l white board to help explain. It was pretty cool, though, ‘cause she ended up understanding it all and errrrthang . . .

Can you send me a picture of the Oakland Temple with the next package you send? I wanna show people and now I really miss my Temple. Oh, and I couldn’t see the muddy buddy video . . . Dang it! What happened in the video?

Our Ward finally got a Bishop called. I guess the Bishop moved away over a month ago, so the First Counselor was acting as Bishop for a while. Then, yesterday, they called a new Bishop and it is the son of the old First Counselor! Kinda cool, huh? Every Ward needs a Bishop! It was a li’l bit of a worry and our Ward should be blessed a lot more now. We had seven investigators in Church yesterday! Five were first timers! Holler!

Well, time is continuing to just fly by now . . . Ever since I got called as a leader, time is goin’ by way faster ‘cause I have to worry ‘bout workin’ super hard to be an example. I always have in the back of my head, “How is my District?” How is he?” “Why aren’t they havin’ success?” All these questions! When I’m not just focused on myself, the time just flies by! And, yea, this week, I will be finishing 1/3 of my Mission! Crazy, huh? I guess I actually have some time under my belt now . . . I guess . . . I still don’t feel like it though!

Anyway . . . I sure love you guys! Keep it real! I hope everyone is doin’g great ! Love you bizzilions!