Tuesday, July 27, 2010

I have really learned to love learning . . .

Well, hello again!

Thanks for the nice e-mail with some fun stories! I shall answer your questions first . . . I did use the new debit card and it worked perfectly. Can you tell me how much money I have in my account? I don’t have any kind of count . . . Well . . . I think that was your only real question!

But, in response to your comments . . . I loved the Aaliyah stories. It is really cool that she can still remember me. It’s only gotta be a memory for a li’l over ten more months. I sure miss that girl . . . She’ll be soooo different, though, from what I remember when I left.

But, I’m doin’ good . . . I’m happy to hear that you are al doing well. It’s also funny to know that I missed another Garlic Festival this year. Next year will be funny when I see soooo many of my friends for the first time in over two years there! LOL! And when I get my tritip sandwich again! Ooooooo! It’ll be glorious . . .

Well . . . This week was a very different week . . . Haha . . . The Zone Leaders from the capital (10 missionaries) and a couple other good missionaries were able to attend a 4-day training in the mission office. We received grrrrrrrrrrrrrrreat food for three days . . . LOL . . . We got Quiznos, Wendy’s, Little Caesars and Subway. Ooooo . . . Great four days. The four days were really tiring because of all of the busses we had to take in those four days, but it sure was worth it. We got to listen to President for like four or five hours every day and learn from his teachings. I just love listening to people who know so much. I really have learned to love learning. It was also cool ‘cause it was also a lot of open conversation with him and the missionaries so we got to share and listen to many experiences. Goin’ to all these trainings really took away from a lot of working time in our areas, but it was way worth it. We were able to apply what we learned right away and in one of those four days, we were able to put two more baptismal dates! We have five now! Man . . . I’m just a machine when it comes to putting baptismal dates . . . LOL . . . Really, though . . . God has really made me a great tool in His hands. It was an excellent four days, too, ‘cause I got to see some good missionary friends . . . Empey, Winn, Peterson and I got to meet Elder Castro and he was a really cool guy. Like me and AJ . . . LOL . . . We have become pretty close . . . LOL . . . I knew you’d like that, Dad. LOL . . . No . . . But, really, it was cool to get to know some more cool, good missionaries and learn from their experiences.

On the way home from the training on one of those four days, I had a really cool experience. I was on the bus where two people fit to every seat. Well, every seat was filled except for the seat next to me, so when the next man got on the bus, he had to sit by me. He was a big, husky fella and really didn’t leave me much space on the seat. But, I started to contact him right away and realized he had to be a member of the Church. When I asked, he said, “Yes”. The more we talked, I got the feeling that he had been a missionary. When I asked, he said “No”. LOL . . . No, I’m just playin’ . . . He said, “Yes” . . . He was a missionary. I guess he served over ten years ago and baptized over 300 people as many missionaries did as early missionaries in Central America. He served his mission for twenty-eight months to help as a mission doctor but, when he got home, he went inactive after six months. He said that his Patriarchial Blessing hinted a li’l over these things and that it was a nine page blessing! But, of course, it hinted that he would reactivate. I got him committed to come to Church this past Sunday and I felt soooo cool and blessed to have been put on that seat on the bus to help a great servant of the Lord re-enter the Church. I know that by activating him, I wasn’t just blessing him, but I was blessing all those that he will bless from this point on in the church. It was pretty cool . . .

Funny story . . . In our training, President told us to try to be more bold in our lessons. So, I tried to apply it . . . LOL . . . We were reading in Matthew about prayer and when we got to the Lord’s Prayer, we didn’t read it. But, later in the lesson, I had a feeling that had a question about it partly because they are Catholics . . .Well, I said, “I perceive that you have a question about the Lord’s Prayer”. I tried so hard to be bold . . . LOL . . . They told me, “Ummmm, no, not really”. LOL . . . Shut down my boldness! Oh, well, though! I explained it and even though they denied the fact that they had a question about it, I know they did ‘cause the Spirit told me so . . .

Well, that’s all my stories for this week for now! I sure love you guys! Thanks for everything!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Elder Stinkypants

Hello, family!

Soooo anyway . . . I forgot my glasses today and I basically already have a headache from reading without them, but I’m gonna keep fighting through it!

Sooo thanks for the updates today! I wrote letters back to Dylan, Matt and Nate today sooo I’ll be sending those off! Please stay on James and Randy . . . I really wanna hear from them!

Sounds like Dylan had a ball at EFY! I’m very excited for him that he played well in his tourney this past weekend! I sure hope he has a greeeeat year. Make sure you record a few of his games ‘cause I won’t be able to see him play even one Varsity game in person!

Sounds like Dad and Dylan had a ball on their long trip too. I miss long rides with Dad just chattin’ it up. Talkin’ ‘bout high school bball . . . Church things always seem to jump into the conversation, too . . . LOL . . . It’s like, “Wow, he has a great jumper!” Then Dad, “It just makes you think about Moroni 11:26 when they gave thanks for all the athletic talent they had” . . . LOL . . .

And I’m excited for you guys at home to be able to have the full house. That’ll be fun!

Soooo . . . I did get the package on Wednesday! And I loved it of course! LOL . . . I was laughing that so many people wrote on my Facebook on my birthday! (We printed out all of the Happy Birthday wishes people wrote on Derek’s Facebook page and sent them to him). I haven’t been on Faebook since I left for my mission! And the M&Ms . . . Well . . . They are all gone. Delicious while they lasted, though! I forgot to bring Dylan’s DVDs to watch while I’m on the internet today. Hopefully I’ll get a chance to watch them next week. How long are they? Thanks for your letter, Kim! And the card and the memory cards . . . Holler! Thanks! Great package! I do appreciate it, Mom! Thank you!

Welllll . . . I’m gonna try to exactly answer your questions . . . Probably the best thing I ate this week were the M&Ms, graham crackers with chocolate frosting or maybe a crunch wrap from Taco Bell that was a couple days old . . . LOL . . . I think it gave me b.u., but the smell reminded me sooooo much of home that it was delicious even though it wasn’t . . . LOL . . . Understand?

The worst thing I ate this week was probably . . . Ummm . . . Nothin’ was my not favorite . . . LOL . . . Maybe the crunch wrap at the same time ‘cause I think it made my stomach a li’l sick . . . LOL . . .

It hasn’t been way too hot here and . . . yea . . . we are in rainy season but it hasn’t been too bad lately . . . How hot is Gilroy right now? I bet it’s burning up! It’s Garlic Festival time again . . . Weirrrrrd . . .

Well . . . Best info first. We had two baptisms yesterday! Ricardo and Audiel! So, that was awesome! It was stressful but we got it done and that’s all that matters! One came to church really late on Sunday for the confirmation but he came in time so he got confirmed without a real problem . . .

Ummm . . . I had two divisions this week. My first one was with elder Monzon in Durazno. I thought I was gunna hate Durazno cause it’s in the limits of the Capital and I thought it was just gunna be warm and dusty but . . . Wooooooow! It was amazing! I loooooved the area! It was a bunch of mountains and I took some good pictures. On divisions there, I did a baptismal interview and the girl passed so it was a great division. Elder Monzon was a cool guy and we got along great. Then, my other division was with elder Wixom. He’s one of the Assistants. The Assistants were just doin’ divisions with all the zone leaders this week. It was cool to be with Elder Wixom, though, ‘cause I’ve known him since day one in the mission field. We had a fun time and I had people calling him Elder Stinkypants . . . LOL . . . It was funny. It had him almost crying from laughing. It was a fun division and I taught a couple new ways to teach some things.

Soooo . . . yea! That’s what went down this week! It was a very fun week and passed ohhhhh so fast. I loved it! Well, hit me up, everyone! I sure love and miss you all!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Well . . . I'm doing great, family!

Hello again!

I dunno know what week number it is and I don't want you to tell me . . . LOL . . . But I know it's a week number a lot. I lack soooo much time to come home but it's soooo short at the same time. Buuuuut . . . Thanks for all the updates!

I did get Matt and Nate's letters! I haven't had a chance to write back to them yet, but I sure enjoyed the letters and I'm very excited to write 'em back!

To answer your questions, I think, yes, I can give you all of the names of the Elders and Sisters in my Zone. We have Elder Williams as District Leader with Elder Ixcoy as his companion. In their District is Elder Davis with Elder Monzo and Elder Garcia with Elder Maldonado. In the other District, we have Elder Housley and Elder Godfrey as District Leaders, Elder Molina with Elder Mays, Elder Ireland with Elder Dixon and Hermana Ayala with Hermana Dieguez. This is Elder Williams and Elder Housley's first time serving as District Leaders, so we get to work with and train them quite a bit.It's just a normal size Zone. Four of the Elders are Office Elders. The dats in the area were sooooooo low when I came here last week, but we changed that quickly in just one week! The dats improved by over 15%, so we just gotta keep it up!

My companion is a really, really nice guy and I doubt that we will have any problems at all. Being Zone Leader is sooooooo much better than being a District Leader. A lot more chill . . .

In our area, we have two baptisms coming up this Saturday! They are basically on lock, too . . . They look pretty good to go.

I can't believe Marie got married! LOL . . . That's soooo weird to me! It's cool, though . . . Very cool.

And how cool that Jeff Gaines got home! How is Robert doing? Does he still go to Church? I love that kid so much. I really hope he's doing well. Would you please try to get his home or e-mail address for me??

And Randy and James . . . How are they? Please bug 'em to have 'em write me!

Aaight . . . Well, I'll try and give a few updates!

LOL . . . Funny story . . . This Stake has a Relief Society Basketball Tournament . . . LOL . . . We took three investigators to go watch it and it was awesome! They all stink and they think like soccer players. When the ball goes outta bounds under the hoop, they run to the corner to throw it in . . . LOL. When the ref calls a foul, they hurry to the sideline and throw it in asap for a fast break . . . LOL. The fans are crrrrrrazy! On both sidelines, the Wards are standing and cheering! They sing and change the whoooooollle game. When someone scores a lay-up or a freethrow, they all run onto the court and go crazy! LOL! And they are mean! The other team was shooting and their fans were singing, "You can do it!" Then the girl airballed and our fans started yelling, "You couldn't do it!" LOL! It's the best! I've never had fans this god! I could just see the Church coming out with a Relief Society basketball movie . . . LOL . . . It'd be the best! Anyway, my Ward won like 70 to 20 'cause we have one young in-shape girl that runs like crazy . . . LOL . . . Everyone else is slow and they are huuuuuuge gunners! LOL! Good stuff!

In my Ward this week, we just got a new Bishop. The prior Bishop served for over five years and, wow, he is a greaaaaaaat guy! Very genuine, kind and caring. We stopped by his house to say "congrats" and all. The poor guy had been drying all day . . . Haha . .. Greatttttt guy though. I love him to death and I barely know him! Then they called a really young, new Bishop. He is just 26 years old. Great guy, though . . . I'm sure he will do an amazing job. Our Ward attendance is from 120 to 150 every week, so I'm lookin' forward to many references! We had seven investigators in Church this week, too! So that was good! We also have four baptismal dates and we should be bumping it up maybe tonight! We shall see!

Well . . . I'm doing great, family! I look forward to hearing from you! Love you all sooooooo much!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

A new Zone Leader in Molina!

Heyyyyy family!

Wellllll . . . Happy 4th of July! How cool is it to know (even though I missed this one) that I will never have to miss a 4th of July with you guys ever, ever, never again! That’s a good feeling! Well, thanks for your updates! Here come mine!

Wellllll . . . I thought I would start with things from last week that I forgot to write about.

Last week was Ward Conference, sooooooo, we got a special Choir together. We sang two songs as a group of about fifteen. Then, the last hymn of the Conference was sung by a trio which included me, Zusi and a guy named Willy. It turned out really good! I’m really, really sorry I didn’t record it or anything. It was really nice to sing with people that can sing again, though! Like I’ve said before, I kinda miss Choir! Ohhhh! And as far as investigators at Church, we didn’t reach our goal . . . But we did really good! We had thirteen visiting the Church, three of them for the first time. But then, yesterday, we followed it up good with nine at Church, with four of them there for the first time. Not too shabby!

Ohhhh! And from two weeks ago, we taught forty-two lessons! That was my personal record, so it was solllllliiddddd!

During this past week, I got to go on divisions with Elder Barrientos because his Area was having a baptism and I got to go to the interview. Well, it was amazingly fun to be with him again. I was with him for three months as my companion and I always pushed him so much to grow that I don’t think I enjoyed the two changes with him enough. But, I got to just relax that one day with him and we had a ball! My cheeks hurt the whole day from laughing so much! He’s a good kid. I really admire the kid. The child I interviewed for baptism passed and was baptized and confirmed!

Well . . . Just an FYI . . . The Change Day is being changed. It’s always been on Mondays, right? But after today, they are changing the Changing Conferences to Wednesday.

Wellllll . . . I had a change! I found out on Saturday night. So, yesterday, I said lots of good-byes. It was bittersweet. I had been in that area for six months! I had to leave some great friends behind. I received so many nice letters and gifts from everyone. I was invited to many dinners, too. LOL . . . I’m so popular . . . LOL . . . But really, though . . . It was really cool to see how much everyone cared. Saying good-bye to my three sets of “grandparents” was really hard. Hermano Schoenfeld was really sick yesterday and I gave him a blessing. It was the second time I have given him a blessing for health. I tried very hard to listen to the Spirit during his blessing.

Okay . . . Now what cha all been waiting for! In my change, they threw me to the Molino Zone with Elder Chesley. He is from St. George, Utah. I kind of knew him from before. He is a cool guy. He has twenty months in the mission on the dot today. I will be serving with him as Zone Leader now which will be a great experience because I will get to learn all of the Zone Leader stuff! I’m excited to serve as a Zone Leader. I should be able to help many more missionaries and, at the same time, I will get to interact with the President and his Assistants more and learn more from them, too (even though they kind make me nervous sometimes . . . LOL . . . But they are great guys . . . All three of them. So . . . I’m excited). Also, Elder Smith (who entered the mission at the same time as me) was called as a Zone Leader. It’s cool ‘cause we are the youngest (in mission time) serving as Zone Leaders. It should be a great learning experience. Ohhhh . . . And, my dad, Elder Ireland, is in my Zone! Hahahahahaha! It will be cool to be around him again. It’s just really funny that my dad will probably end his mission with his son as his Zone Leader . . . LOL . . .

But, yea . . . I’m doin’ great and I’m very excited for this change. We shall see what goes down! Thanks for everything! Lemme know if ya got any questions or anything for me! Love you all sooo, sooo much and miss you soooooo much!