Tuesday, September 28, 2010

32 Bug Bites.....So Fun

Hey, hey, hey!

Thank you sooooo much for your e-mail! It was very refreshing today! Especially because we are having some drama in our Zone today . . . You know, the Monday writing just keeps my legs movin’ every week. And, yea, we find out tonight if we have changes or not.

Thank you for sending the money. I took it out last week and then realized it wasn’t all the money so I was a lllliiiillll worried but thank you! I bought the shoes already! They sure aren’t all broken in like my other ones that I wore every day for nine months . . . LOL . . . But I’m sure hoping that I can pull out nine more months on these Guatemalan shoes! We can hope and pray!

Very exciting about Tom and Ash and their new home! I’m sure they’re so, so happy. I can’t wait to go visit ‘em, especially ‘cause that’s where Elder Ireland is, too, so I can visit him after the mission!

Ohhhh, yes . . . I also am very, very excited for General Conference. You’ll have to let me know whatcha thought next time you write. And thank you so much for your kind words and the Aaliyah story. I love you sooo much, Mom!

Well . . . I don’t think I have a whole bunch to say . . . But I’ll try to share some stuff. It might be a taaaaad bit short, though. Sooo, we shall see . . .

Oh, first . . . Dad . . . What do you think about the Quran? Is there any way that it could be inspired and real scripture? I would like it if you could hit me up with some details on that please! Thank you!

Could you send me a Clippers schedule? Like the ones that we always kept on the refrigerator? Like the month-by-month calendars? Maybe you could send that as a real letter, though, not as a DearElder so that it comes out nice and pretty . . . Pllllleeeease! Thank you! And thanks for sending me the DearElder info . . . I look forward to receiving those.

Welllll . . . We gave service on Tuesday . . . LOL . . . It stunk . . . We went way down the side of a hill to go help a family clean up the land that was destroyed during the hurricane. We used machetes to clear the path to the house. We also shoveled all of the fallen dirt. Well, I got a couple new blisters aaaannnnddddd 32 bug bites . . . All below my waistline! Oooo . . . Soo fun! LOL . . . I figured out why I got all the bug bites, though . . . I broke open an ant home-farm-hill! Maaaaan . . . It was nooooott fun! I couldn’t sleep at all that night because of how bad it itched. I only slept for maybe three hours . . . LOL . . . It was terrible! I got it much more under control now, though. Thanks to the help of sleeping pills, anti-itch cream that my Companion let me use, and a couple extra showers here and there, I was able to get them much more under control. Sure . . . they still itch, but I can sleep just fine now. I slept like an angel last night for the first time in a long time. Berry nice, berry nice.

There is a member in our Ward who is a really, really good guy. I love him to death. He was a Counselor in the Stake Presidency. He’s a bigger guy, very smart and just holds himself really well. He’s just a great example and it seems like he’s a guy that would have a great job . . . Like he’d have everything amazingly under control with his family. And . . . It’s not like that for him. The guy has a horrible job, lives in one tiny li’l room with his wife, doesn’t have a good family life . . . The result is that in Church he has seemed very down. You can see it in his posture that things just aren’t well at home. Soooo . . . We went and visited him. He lives with all of his family but none of them get along with him ‘cause of his beliefs, so now he wants to leave the house. I dunno know why I really shared this story. I think it just kinda taught me, though, not to judge. But it’s not to judge in a different way . . . Not in a thinkin’ bad about someone way . . . Just actually judging someone thinking that they have everything under control. Everyone has some type of problem in some way or another and we have to be there to help. I dunno . . . I just thought it was a very interesting lesson that I learned.

Well . . . I’m gonna get outta here! I need to write to Tommy plus Trent wrote to me today! So . . . I’m gonna go read and write back! Thanks for everything, family! I love you all sooo, sooo much! Take care!

Monday, September 20, 2010

The Rodas Family was sealed this week!

Heyyyyyy, fam!

I’m glad you guys liked my e-mail last week . . . LOL . . . It took forever! I ssssstink at typing! Sorry ‘bout being wrong on your age, Mom! You hit the fifty mark, though! Congrats! Don’t worry . . . You aren’t old . . .

I can’t wait to hear Dylan play the piano and guitar and sing . . . That kid is such a stud . . . Has he written me? If he hasn’t, yell at him and tell him to do so (along with James and Randy). And he’s a pilas leader already. That kid is waaaaaay better than I ever was. I sure miss that kid.

Sounds like you had a great time with Elder Golden, too! Don’t you just love listening to Church leaders? And Dad will be one of ‘em soon! I was thinking that you and Dad need to make lots of money so that Dad can be a Mission President! You guys would be a great Missionary President and wife!

Oh! And thank you soo, soo much for the money for the clothing items I need. Now the hard part is finding my size in everything. I’ll be able to for sure, though. Just gotta be supa diligent. Thank you much! The money is part of my Christmas present . . . Called it!

Soooo . . . I’ll hit cha with my questions first . . .

Thank you, Dad, for the DearElders and for explaining and answering my questions. Do you type all of those things? Or do you take them off a website? They’re really good. Thank you!

Oh! Think you could send me Pre-Season NBA rankings and all that good stuff soon? NBA starts in almost a month, so a bunch of articles must be comin’ out soon . . . No? Also, how ‘bout Carmello? Still any chance of him goin’ to the Clippers? Any news there? Also, could you send me DearElders on the Raider game recaps, too? Thank you!

Okay . . . Now my li’l stories . . .

We were able to put another baptismal date this week with a reference and then she came to Church! Holler!

These changes coming up in just ten days will be very sad because soooo many of my good friends are going home. Elders Barrientos, Empey, Petersen, Winn, Dunkley, Pierce and Karr (and Ireland was part of this group). It’s the first group that I know well and I’m so sad to see them go home . . .

My favorite members in this Ward were sealed this week! The Rodas family! I just love the Dad in that family! Soooo . . . That was very exciting!

Sooo . . . I gotta go in just a minute and I gotta write to Dallas! I love you all, though! Thanks for everything!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

I love having the Spirit work through me . . .

First of all . . . Happy Birthday, Mom! How lucky that I get to write to you on your birthday!!! Heavenly Father musta planned it before the foundation of this earth! How old are you now, though? Or, I guess, better question . . . How young are you now? 51? I really hope I didn’t guess too high . . . I always kill my chances with the ladies when I do that . . . (By the way, I was 50, not 51, yesterday!) Anyway . . . What are you doin’ for your birthday? Some clam chowder at the wharf? Romantic dinner with big daddy? Whatcha got planned? I miss you so, so, so much, Mom. And I really appreciate all you do for me and all that you’ve done for me. I know it’s not Mother’s Day, it’s just your birthday, buuuuut I can still try to tell you how much I love and miss you, right? There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think about you, Mom. Or a day that goes by that I don’t stare at you and think about you in family pictures that I have. You’re soooo amazing and I love you so, so much. I hope today is the day of your dreams. (If your dreams have anything to do with romantic things with dad, though . . . Don’t tell me what’s in your dreams!) Happy Birthday!

Well now . . . Now that that’s off my chest . . . Thank you for the updates! And for the picture of Dylan’s parking space . . . It’s berry pretty! Does Dylan actually play the piano good now? And the guitar? Or was he fronting on his parking space? LOL . . .That kid is talented. I’m sure he’s good at both of ‘em now.

As for James’ DearElders, I haven’t got any . . . I’ll receive ‘em again on Thursday . . . Hopefully I get ‘em or he isn’t doin’ ‘em right . . . Can you help him maybe? And please keep bugging Randy for me, too!

Yea . . . Sounds like Durant has been an absolute stud, huh? And good to hear that you, Dad and Dallas all complimented my boy, Gordon. Good to know he’s looking good! Oh, and Dad, thanks for answering all my questions on everyone.

Well . . . Here come my questions and stories now . . . Well, I already asked some questions, but I have more!

Questions first of course . . .

Just outta curiosity . . . It’s random, LOL . . . Did Gilroy ever get an Olive Garden or mall? I just remember the rumors of that from before I came on the mission . . . LOL . . . Raaaaaandom . . . Sorry!

Well, kinda story thangs now . . .

This week we had a li’l problem . . . A new missionary in our Zone was not doin’ so well. He just wasn’t happy for a few reasons and he was wanting to go home. The main problems are that his family doesn’t write to him very often, he can’t read or write, he doesn’t understand English, etc. So, he called the assistants on Monday night to tell them that he wanted an interview with President. Soooo . . . The assistants called us and told us to get it figured out. So, that Tuesday morning, we went and talked to him and set some goals with him and his companion. Can you believe that the next day, he and his companion were completely fine? LOL . . . The Elder called us an d said sorry for the problems and that he was all good and ready to keep working. I explained to him that the real problem is that all new missionaries are prideful. All new missionaries think that they know how to do it all . . . They think that everything is a competition . . . They wanna be individuals like before the mission . . . And I understand ‘cause I was new, too. But he accepted it and it’s all good now! I understand that sometimes I talk too much, but I do recognize that it is also maybe one of my biggest talents or blessings that I have the ability to communicate well. That’s kinda a lot thanks to Dad for helping me to learn to be a leader. I thought he was just teaching me for sports, but, nooooo . . . It helps for everrrrrrything.

This week, I gave a blessing to a very sick old man. He was so sick that he hadn’t slept for three straight days. When I put my hands on his head, though, and gave him a blessing, I told him he would sleep well that night and recover a lot. Know what happened to him? He slept very well that night and recovered a lot! LOL . . . I love having the Spirit work through me. Sooo, sooo cool.

There is a kid in our area whose name is Erwin. He is a really good seventeen year old in the Church. He has left with the missionaries to go work since forever. But, he has never gotten along with his sister which is really sad. And, as many missionaries as have worked with him, no one ever stopped to realize that he really need help. He doesn’t have a dad so no one to really sit him down and teach him how to do some things, ya know? Anyway, I sat him down a couple days ago and told him how to sit down with his sister, what to say, what to ask, all the good stuff. And I told him if he would do it lovingly (which is soooo, soooo key), everything would be fixed. Know what happened with him? He sat his sister down and talked to her and for the first time in their fifteen years together, he told her he loved her! Thanks to Dad I was able to explain to Erwin how to fix this problem as well. I will always remember Dad yelling at kids on the court and then talking directly and loving ‘em after the games. It works. LOL . . . It really, really works.

Well . . . We gave a nice loooooong service this week. LOL . . . Saturday, we worked from 6am to 12:30pm. We had to move huge cement tubes and fill ‘em with dirt and trees. LOL . . . It was tough. I got a li’l cut up and got some blisters and got a nice sunburn on my neck, but it was worth it! Get in some good ol’ service. Set the example of the Mormon Church for everyone around here. Ya know?

I’m in the book of Jacob right now in my Bible study . . . Wow . . . What a man, huh? Oh! And the book of Esther isi really, really good, too. I soooo badly wanna finish the Bible before the end of my mission. Great, great book . . . Usually . . .

Oh! I had a dream last night! I got home and saw Aaliyah, Dallas and Kim . . . I was in Church when I was seeing them for the first time. Aaliyah ran up to me and gave me a huge hug and while I was crying ‘cause I was sooooooo happy, I asked Dallas if it was just a dream or if it was real (‘cause it seemed sooooo way too real). Dallas told me it was just a dream, though, and that I still had some time left to serve. The dream was all in Spanish . . . LOL . . . But it just seemed waaaaaaay too real. Great dream, though. I didn’t wake up sad. I woke up sooo, sooo happy to have been hugging my Aaliyah. I love her sooo, sooo much if you guys didn’t know . . .

Well, I gotta run, but I love you all soo, soo much! Be safe and smart! I look forward to hearing from you all! Love you! And Happy Birthday again, Mom!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The Lord comes through on His promises!

Oh, my gosh!

Sooooo good to hear from you guys again! This week flew by and there’s no better way tos tart a new week than by hearing from all of you!

First of all . . . I’m very, very sorry that I haven’t put more detail in my weekly e-mails. Thank you for reminding me to do so. I really will try to get better. I just get so caught up in missionary work all week and I let it get outta my mind for an hour when I talk to you so thath I feel back at home . . . Ya know? But I will be better . . . I promise.

I knew exactly what you would say ‘bout my schooling idea. LOL . . . Whatever I wanna do. Knew you’d say it. But what do you think, Mom? Also, Elder Legua wants to know what the cost would be so that he can try to plan it with his family. Could you try to get that number? At least an approximate number? Thank you, Mom!

And . . . I did get the DearElders . . . LOL . . . And they were maaaaannnnyyyyy . . . I loved ‘em of course, though! Thank you for always taking the time to send me those things. Sounds like my boy, Eric Gordon, is really playin’ well! Nice!

Yea . . . With all the rain, mud, mountains, bad construction and all in Guatemala, there have been lots and lots of mud slides. Many people have been killed. It is because people are so poor here that they live on mountainsides in li’l scrap metal houses that have no foundation. Then, when the weather gets bad and the time comes for them to move out, many are too stubborn to go. We helped some members move outtta their house like two weeks ago and two days after they moved, their house fell away! They probably would have died. Or at least they would have lost everything if we hadn’t helped ‘em move. Don’t worry ‘bout me and all missionaries, though. We live in very safe areas and safe houses. We don’t find any of that danger . . .

How did the USA Team do against Angola? Did my boy, Gordon, do anything this morning?

Happy Birthday, Stacie! LOL . . . Our family is getting old . . .

Oh! One of my best friends in the mission, Elder Davis, is from Heber City and he said his girlfriend lives in Midway. LOL . . . I don’t remember her name, but I bet Ash and Tom know her family! They are members of the church as well . . .

And . . . Whhaaaaaat? Courtney got married, too????? LOL . . . That’s crazy! Tell her cognrats for me! Man . . . Weird . . .

Soooo . . . Tuesday was Zone Leader Council again . . . It was held in the Mission office and we went over some things on how to have more baptismal dates in every area, how to teach more lessons, find more new people to teach, and have more progressing investigators. It’s really cool getting all these good missionaries together ‘cause I feel like I got it all down but, man . . . Some Elders make great, great suggestions and what not and I realize I still have a lot to learn! But I’m gonna get there!

Then, on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, we went to the Three Day Training in the Mission Home (which is just right down the street from the Mission Office). We went over everything that we had gone over the first in the Four Day Training which was held three weeks ago, but this time it wasn’t just the Zone Leaders in the Capital that attended . . . It was also with all the District Leaders and Trainers in the Capital annnnnd all of their Companions, so it was paaaaacked! There we about 50 missionaries there! It was cool because I got to go over some things and remember them and put them into better practice. It was also cool ‘cause I was with my boys Empey, Legua and Davis the whole time, too! Oh, and I saw my boy, Barrientos, which is always fun! Anyway, with all that training, it made for a very fast week but a very tiring week with all the bus trips and what not. We only got like two hours of work in every day in those four das which kinda hurt us, but it’s all good! We also had Elder Davis with us in our area for three days ‘cause his area is so far away that he couldn’t get to the office in time and then get back to his area to work in the night, so he just stayed with us ‘cause we have a cot! His companion stayed with another companionship ‘cause they had an extra bed, too. It was just a very interesting week with only one full day of work.

Oh . . . Dream! I was in a drug store, right? Like a 7/11 . . . Anyway . . . Randy was in there and he was in his white shirt and tie . . . With a plaque on! He had his hair cut and all . . . He was quite a handsome young man! Wow! I asked him why he hadn’t told me that he was a missionary and asked him how long he had been out in the field. He told me he had been out for five months! It was a great dream! I woke up sooo, sooo happy! I really, really care for him and James so much! Please make ‘em write me! I really want them to be missionaries!

This week was kinda cool because we thought that we had lost some investigators. They had been persecuted for the cause of listening and going to church with us. Anyway, we couldn’t find ‘em for a couple weeks, but we just kept praying and praying for ‘em. Finally, on Sunday, they showed up to a house that we were visiting! And when I talked to them (Moreno family), we told them sorry and everything and asked them if they would still like us to teach ‘em or no. Well . . . They said yes! It was a great answer to our prayers! It’s soooo, soooo cool how prayers pay off. So many people have been in my prayers . . . And my prayers are being answered. The Lord comes through on His promises! It’s soooo, soooo cool!

Well . . . Nothing much happened this week ‘cause were gone so much, but the week flew by! And, like you said, I have very mixed feelings on that, butu I’m doin’ good! I sure love you all and appreciate you soo, soo much! Lemme know how everything is goin’ with you guys and the sports world! Hee, hee! Tell Aaliyah I love her! Love you all!