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DJ with his new washer

DJ with his new washer
Piedra Alta, Uruguay

Ramon's Baptism

Ramon's Baptism

DJ and new Companion Elder Craynor

DJ and new Companion Elder Craynor

Friday, December 31, 2010

Week 50

December 28, 2010

Hey Family!

I`m very pleased to inform you that I am indeed training an awesome new elder, named Elder Dinkel from Nephi Utah. I am so excited for this change. I think he`ll be a truly obedient comp. He has a lot of energy and excitement for the work so I think we`ll get along great. My friend Jeremy Gardner from last fall is also training, as well as the Hermana Kleinman from my MTC district. Pretty sweet stuff.

Anyways, I included a picture of me with Elder Matamoros as well as a picture with my new comp. I hope they go through. I`m sure they will. Also I forwarded another picture to you guys from the huge Christmas conference we had.

So it was really good to talk to you guys on Saturday even though it didn`t really seem like something out of the ordinary...nor did it feel like Christmas. But you all sound like you are doing great, which makes me happy. And I`m glad you`ve had a good time up in Provo. It is nice to spend time with the family. Oh and also tell Bernie and Nana thank you. I`ll try to get a letter out this next week as I didn`t have time today at all.

So anyways, I also do not have much to report as I just talked to you several days ago...oddly enough. I`m really excited to see what my comp and I can do in this area. I figure that all we have to do is work hard and be obedient and the Lord will do the rest. The investigators and the baptisms will come.

Um, not much else...I hope you guys travel home safely today (or that you already arrived safely) and have a great week. Oh, and Happy New Year to everybody. It`ll be a super entrance into wonderful 2011. Keep on keeping on. The Church is true. Always has been and always will be. I often think of the understanding and comfort it brings to me. I wonder what we did to have the privilege of having the gospel in our lives.

Oh one last thing, my old comp Matamoros is going to be comps with his MTC comp, they were ALSO comps for 2 changes in the mission about a year ago. So this will be the third time with this comp.

So yeah, hope all is well. Enjoy the new year. I`ll be in 2011 5 hours before you guys so Pbbbbbbtttt. :P

Love Always,

DJ

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Week 49

BUBBLES!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Good news...I have pictures and mail! WOO HOO! I got some mail at district meeting last week and then some more at the mission conference we had last Friday. Details coming soon. So I got letters 45 and 46 as well as 2 little packages that supposedly have CDs in them. Also a littler box, and a box that says shirts, and I also got a box as well from Bernie and Tom who are awesome. I have not opened them yet as I suppose they are for Christmas so I`ll open them on Saturday, but this is to let you know that I have them. Thanks in advance...I`ll be able to thank you guys more specifically next week. :D

Ok, so with regards to the mission conference, it was super great. I really enjoyed being able to see all of the missionaries and it was pretty special because there were some good testimonies and musical numbers and stuff and President was able to clear up a tiny bit some of the confusion in the mission. But it was really nice...although it still doesn`t feel like Christmas. It`s really hard to feel a lot of the Christmas spirit when your face is melting off day after day. :)

As far as the investigators go...they`re doing well. We had 2 of our investigators in church yesterday which was cool. It was a nice day though so I wish more of them had come. Oh well. it`s a struggle sometimes. I`m really super stoked for changes… because I have a bunch of ideas that i want to put into practice...things that will allow us to be more obedient and do things in the Lord`s way and not our own way. I guess there are close to 20 North Americans getting ready to come out this change (that`s what I heard anyway) so I`m thinking that if I`m meant to change, it`ll probably (hopefully) be this change. :) We`ll see what the Lord has planned out for me.


Quick pic update. The first two are random pics of me. :) the next one is one of the conference we had, taken during lunch. then a pic with me and Elder Sosa, my last comp. And then a pic of me with a good friend who finishes his mission in a week and another elder who snuck into the background and was with me in the MTC. Elder Wilde is in front and Elder Simpson is the one who snuck in back and then I also included a picture of my stack of awesomeness, aka boxes. :)

Ok, so I just attached another pic of the conference. good stuff....

Um, so let`s see what else...I dunno. The mission is treating me well. I`m trying to work my hardest and always improve which is really all the Lord expects. He doesn`t expect immediate perfection...He just wants constant effort and improvement. I look back at where I was about a year ago and it`s so much different. Even I can see the differences and the changes and like you know, it`s not easy for a person to see changes in himself, so that means these changes must be substantial. I`ve mostly noticed it in my testimony and whatnot. The experiences of the mission give me the opportunity to see families and individuals in a variety of settings, which allows me to learn things and think about what I would do in such a situation. Basically, I`m acquiring a ton of lessons that are going to help me stay firm and active after the mission as well as raise a family in the gospel. It`s freaking sweet. And the best part is that the Lord teaches me all of this without my trying. I just work hard trying to teach people the gospel and the Lord does His thing to change me into who I need to be for the future. Good stuff, that is.

Well, I hope you guys and everybody else I know have a great Christmas. I`ll look forward to talking with you guys on Saturday. Say hi and Merry Christmas to those I know...and even to those I don`t . :P Hope Christmas vacations are good and hopefully you`ll get some snow. Thanks for everything. Have a great week. :D

Love always,

DJ

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Week 48

50th email.

Monday, December 13, 2010 12:19 PM
Woo Hoo!

This is definitely my 50th email because, funnily enough, it`s definitely my 50th pday.

Hi family,

Well here we are in December and it is hot...although we had a storm come through Saturday night and stay until yesterday so it`s fairly cooler here today. I`m not complaining. Speaking of said storm, it absolutely stinks that it rains on Sundays because we have a hard enough time getting people to church. Ugh. Consequently, we had no investigators, no recent converts, and no less active families in church yesterday. Heck half of the members weren`t even there. The unfortunate part was that it was Ward Conference so it was really good. We had 31 people in church...and at least 10 were from the Stake. :( So anyways, that`s the update on investigators and the church scene. Our investigators are doing fine, but like I said, the lack of marriage makes it hard for them to progress fast. To answer mom`s question...it appears that the biggest reason that people just get together without marrying is because there are no cons to it. And to boot, Uruguay recently put in a law that says that people living together for 5 or more years have the same privileges as married couples. So that combined with the fact that people don`t like to enter into commitments, it makes just getting together and having families so much easier.

I`m doing alright with my comp, but I am really looking forward to having a comp with less time in the mission. Even though I`m technically senior comp right now. What I really want is to train or get somebody in maybe their 3rd or 4th change and then just teach them with obedience. That would be my little perfect world. I was actually thinking about it the other day and I made a list of things that I would like to change if I got the opportunity...and it actually made me really excited for this upcoming change...and the second year of my mission in general. I feel like the first year has been learning and adapting and now the second year is application. And then, if baptisms and whatnot come, then so be it...but at least I`ll be doing my part. We`ll see what happens.

Mail...I got letters 41 and 43 and Patrick`s card and 2 letters from Grandma. So that`s good. In response to Mom`s letter...I was actually thinking the other day about the privileges we have as Americans. There are neighborhoods here (and I use the term loosely) that are basically the Uruguay version of basically just poor, drug-filled, theft-ridden areas. and I was thinking about how those people probably don`t even dream of seeing an airplane up close, let alone flying to another country (to preach or to study or to visit or whatever). We truly are blessed.

Um, congrats to Sis Nye and Ashleigh. That`s kind of crazy to think about. I still feel like a teenager (in some ways) so that`s why.

Ok what else...well this week was very interesting and I had some new experiences that really tested me and made me grow. I guess we can be thankful that I`m still here and working. :) We have a whole mission Christmas conference this Friday. That`ll be pretty sweet and then Saturday we have a Stake baptism and we`ll get to watch the Christmas devotional afterwards.

That`s cool that you guys will get to go to Provo, but too bad Aunt Margaret can`t go because she is awesomesauce. Well anyways, that`s pretty much all I have for today. Hope everything is going well for you guys during this Christmas season and I hope you get some snow. Oh and FYI, the people here are just as closed and uninterested as ever. I don`t think the Christmas spirit really exists here. :/ Have a great week. I`ll be back next week for the last pday of the change!! WOOOOOOO!!!!!

Love always,

DJ

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Week 47

bubbles

Monday, December 6, 2010 2:17 PM
Hey family,

First of all, I want to apologize for the general lack of pictures this week...mostly because (as I have explained before) I am possibly in the most boring zone in the mission. Oh well, what can you do. However as far as seeing other missionaries on pday, we usually play soccer in the stake center so we see a handful there. We didn`t play today, however, as our phone line was cut and we couldn`t coordinate anything. Oops.

Anyways, life is good. Well I`m doing well for the most part. I enjoyed your emails. also, I`ll be sending that birthday note along in a letter here soon...just wanted you to see it on your birthday. Just FYI, and yeah the shoes are something wonderful aren`t they. I`d be willing to bet that the old pair of shoes has 1500+ miles of wear and tear...yeah you can probably bet that any shoe no matter the model or make will wear down after that. :D

Ok, so we were stung with a little bit of bad news today. We had a lesson with our golden family (they have now come to church 3 times and they came to the Ward`s baptism on Saturday). We were under the impression (evidently incorrectly) that they were married. Uberfail. So they totally can`t get baptized this month either. I think we are now teaching either one or both members of 7 or 8 different couples that cannot get baptized until they get married...and at least one is waiting for a divorce (which takes even longer). It drives me absolutely crazy. It`s a huge struggle we have here.

And yes, Dad is completely right. I have no concept of it being less than 3 weeks until Christmas. There are decorations and stuff...not a lot but they exist...but it doesn`t matter, because it`s really hard to imagine Christmas when 1) I`m focusing on the missionary work and 2) I`m leaking liquid from every pore in my body (aka...sweating). So yeah. hopefully next week I`ll be able to give you some concrete details about the phone call. I`m fairly certain that we have a 5 hour difference right now so we`ll work with that. Details to come.

Also no mail this week because we`ll get it tomorrow at district meeting and I`ll inform you in a week. This zone appears to be pit city for mail...I dunno, if it`s like that in other places.

Congrats to Patrick as student of the month. Hey when is the last day of the semester. Just curious.

So moral of the story for this area is that we have investigators, but it`s really hard to set dates for baptism and stuff because they aren`t married. As you can tell, this annoys me. Rawr.

Well, I`m going to finish off this email for today. It`s been good talking with you. Next time don`t be so quiet when I`m conversing with you. :P I`ll be here next week. Word and um, have a great week. Life is good and don`t you forget it. Hope you guys have a White Christmas...because I sure won`t. :D hopefully I`ll have good news next week with regards to having received mail...we can hope for a miracle right? Ok, take care. Say hi to everybody or you can say puppies if you feel so inclined. The people might be slightly more confused, but whatever. Whofwhofwhofwhofwhofwhofwhof.

Love always,

DJ

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Week 46

Failsauce

Tuesday, November 30, 2010 12:48 PM
Hey family,

Well as you have noticed, I definitely did not get pday on Monday this week. There was some conference for all the leaders yesterday and so our pday got moved to today. It really is unfortunate because it messes up my routine and our week. Not to mention that our zone leaders moved our district meeting this morning to be a half an hour later than usual so we spent almost the first hour of our pday doing district meeting related activities.

Happy birthday Mom!! Woooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So anyways we had to work yesterday and it was unfortunate because my body thought it should be pday the entire day and it was really really difficult to get any kind of motivation. Now today it doèsn`t feel like pday at all. Basically this all means that this week will probably feel like an eternity because it always does when we have pdays on Tuesday. Ugh.

Anyways, how are all you guys. Hope Thanksgiving was awesomely sick in the best way possible. For me it was just another day in the mission although I did realize that it was Thanksgiving on Thursday. Hopefully Tom was nice and cooperative and cooked himself nicely. That`s also cool that you were able to visit with all the family. Good stuff. Oh, also good news that the box arrived...you`ll have noticed Travis` letter. so yes I did get letter 40 it seems, but I received no comic. and today I received no mail other than another postcard from Chicago from dad. I don`t know why mail is so fail in this zone. Your guess is as good as mine.

I wore my new awesome shoes for the first time today. Wow they are awesome. I took some comparison pictures for you guys. I was thinking about those shoes I have...it`s likely that they have seen at least 2000 kilometers of walking, possibly more. I`m going to try to make it through to the end without you guys having to send another pair but I honestly don`t know if that`ll be possible. Don`t buy any more shoes now obviously, just be understanding if sometime next summer (for you guys) you get another email from your crazy Uruguayan missionary. :)

Ok, so references (referrals) here are very scarce. and the majority of the references that we do get come from other missionaries who happened to contact somebody who lives in a different area. We do get them every once in a while from the members which is good, but we have to do a lot of door contacting and stuff. The Church really just lacks development down here...that`s a big problem. I sometimes wonder how missions are in the states where they have developed wards and people with generations in the church and stuff. That is a big difference between here and the States.

But our investigators continue to progress....we had 4 in church again on Sunday and our baptism got confirmed. I figure that as long as they are gaining a testimony and fulfilling the commitments we leave (things like go to church ,read , pray, etc.) we`re doing our job. We`re trying to put baptismal dates with people, but they seem a little bit reluctant. We`ll see what happens.

So life in the mission is good...although sometimes I get frustrated. I`m just trying to be more patient and understanding.

It seriously does not feel like Christmas time at all...for obvious reasons, i.e. mission, hot, etc. The kids have a weird tradition here. Fireworks are huge here during this time of the year so all the kids stand outside the local stores asking for money for Judas...they have like a doll thing that is supposed to represent Judas or something, I dunno, but they use the money to buy fireworks. It gets kind of annoying when all the way down the street people are asking you for money for Judas. It`s just a tradition they have here. :D

Well that’s all I got for now. Hopefully I`ll be back next Monday. Happy December. Have a good week.

Love always,

DJ

Monday, November 22, 2010

Week 45

boxes

Monday, November 22, 2010 12:17 PM
WOO HOO!

Hi to everybody...family, friends, enemies and corpses. We have successfully received 2 boxes...I repeat 2 boxes have been received successfully. Although I haven`t opened them yet because we just came from playing soccer at the stake center. I`ll assume that you included no bombs and thank you for everything in advance. :)

Well it feels like roughly an eternity since I last wrote even though it`s only been 6 days. For some unknown/hidden reason, the week of changes always feels like 7 lifetimes, but it`s over now...thank goodness. I think it is because I get out of my routine (you all know how much I love change). Regardless, it was a pretty good week. We had a baptism yesterday (pictures attached) of a young girl who was baptized by her father. It was really cool and we had it after church yesterday since the mom works late on Saturdays. Good stuff. We had 3 investigators in church yesterday. The other couple who came last week couldn`t come because they were taking care of grandkids or something. That other couple is still doing awesome though...they are really fighting to find the truth and gain a testimony. They want to know, so they`ll get an answer sooner or later.

Last Tuesday we were doing contacts and contacted a young lady who told us to visit her house (as she was working at this other house where we found her) on Friday. We went on Friday and she was working, but we met her husband who told us to come back the following day. So we went back Saturday and managed to sit down and have a lesson with them. They had studied with missionaries about 2 years ago and the first things they told us were ¨we want you to teach us because we want to get baptized and raise our daughters in the correct way.¨ Can you say wow? I`d definitely say that the Lord has been preparing them. Now my comp and I just have to do our part so the Lord can use us as His instruments. There are a few obstacles they have to clear...getting married and stopping smoking, but they said they know they have to and they are willing to do so. Cool stuff.

We also found a young lady who had also studied with the missionaries a while ago (had gone to church and everything) but she found what she claims to be discrepancies between the Book of Mormon and the Bible and so she is now studying with another church. Anyways, she is willing to meet with us so we`re going to try to help her. I`ll keep you guys posted on this one too.

Other than that, we`re still plugging along with the people we have. They are progressing, but slowly. There are a few who won`t accept a firm date for baptism, but have desires to get baptized, so we`ll see if we can`t help them to accept at least a goal in the future. At least a goal gives them something to progress towards.

Ok, so 2 pictures are of the baptism (one with us and one without obviously) and the other is kind of random. I found English gospel material in our house. It always surprises me to see stuff like that in English, but anyways, I took a picture for randomness sake. you can see the Spanish and the English one side by side. Enjoy.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO GRANDMA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Ok, so remember that I told you that I sent that box out last week, well last minute I shoved a letter I had written to Travis in there because they wouldn`t let me send it separately with the tape on the back...Could you send it out? Please and thank you. Also, just FYI, we almost had our pday switched to Tuesday this week for a conference. I just want to let you know that that is a possibility and you should not freak out if by chance you do not receive an email on some Monday. Do not freak out until Wednesday or Thursday. :D

So anyways, life is good. My comp and I are doing good. He`s really a good kid and a good worker. Thanks again for the packages. Oh I also got a postcard from Dad and letter 42 and a couple letters from Grandma. Good times. Sauce.

WHOFWHOFWHOFWHOFWHOFWHOFWHOFWHOFWHOFWHOFWHOF.

Um...that`s pretty much all I have for now. Have a good Thanksgiving with all of the family. Holidays basically don`t exist here because every day just becomes another day in the mission field. Oh and yes we`ll be able to talk on Christmas. :)

Lurves you all tons and monkeys.

DJ

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Week 44

monkey monkey monkey boy

Tuesday, November 16, 2010 5:35 AM
Family family family.

Goobers goobers goobers. Anyways, I`m currently here in Tres Cruces, not because we got changed but because we came to talk to the other missionaries for a bit. I`m staying with my comp, Elder Matamoros, another change in Prosperidad. I just want to work hard and share the gospel.

Speaking of sharing the gospel, with the investigators we have, we`re doing well. Our awesome couple came to church on Sunday. Woo! And as it worked out, the lesson in the Gospel Principles class was tithing. As such, we had to actually spend yesterday`s visit explaining tithing as well. It worked out well and I think they understood it...at least it didn`t scare them away. I have complete faith that they will be awesome and get baptized. HOORAY! As far as finding new people to teach, it`s become very hard. People don`t even want to talk to us, let alone listen to us. It makes it a bit difficult. We`re going to have to try some new techniques to find people. yeppers.

Ok, so apparently, Holly and Scott are going there for Thanksgiving...that`s what I got from your emails anyways. Cool stuff.

And no I haven`t gotten any mail...around change day, the mail gets all screwed up....hopefully next week or the week after. And why didn`t you like the phone call at 3:15? :P Silly Mom.

Ok, as far as food....I`m getting enough to eat yeah, for the most part, but I`m not going to lie, I`m really looking forward to having 3 solid meals a day again. That`s for sure, but yeah, I eat enough....that is to say, I`m not dead yet. :D

But yeah, our Branch here is awesome. The members are great and I realized the other day that even though they aren`t as experienced in the gospel, they are just the same as back home...hard working people trying to raise good families and fulfill their callings. They`re really awesome. I had to give a talk Sunday on missionary work but I centered it on charity. I think I had prepared about 30 minutes of material but only had 10, so needless to say I didn`t use it all. It was a good talk anyways.

Pics...1 is this change zone pic. Then a pic of the highway with my comp`s head...taken from a busstop. another is of the trash on the ground that is EVERYWHERE. You get used to it. Then a pic of me in front of the church sign. :D and a pic of the vandalism in the church. Some people broke in, deactivated the alarm and broke everything that had a lock . This is the secretary`s office. They didn`t steal much, just destroyed a lot of stuff.

Well that`s all for now. Thanks for everything. Hope this was a good report this week. Word sauce. LOVE YOU ALL. Iggledy jiggledy.

Love Always,

DJ

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Week 43

I`m running out of witty subject lines
Mon, November 8, 2010

Greetings and salutations to those family members of mine...and if you ain`t family by blood, you are family by puppies.

Hey hey hey hey HEY! How`s life going in the cold and getting colder northern hemisphere? Here in the hot and (sadly) getting hotter hemisphere we are all dying. Or maybe just me. I`ve decided that I`m certain that we`ll all see each other again. I just don`t know if it`ll be when I get home...or by you guys coming here to see my melted guts on some street in Uruguay. Yep yep yep.

This past week was good. Like you already know, we went to the temple and had zone conference on Thursday. Both were good experiences, it was cool in Spanish and it was definitely a neat experience. It`s all good. The zone conference was good, but shorter than usual which is sad because I was looking forward to more learning. Oh well, can`t have everything your way.

FYI, well 2 FYI’s, we have changes next week so the email will be on Tuesday and I`m not sending pics today because quite frankly, interesting pictures are hard to come by here. I`ll try to get some to you next week.

So remember Nana`s chicken cutlets...yep they pretty much have those here, but they`re called milanesas and are of chicken, cow meat, or fish. Oh man, they are awesome. MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM! That`s my story. The end.

Um, yes mail is slower now because I don`t get mail for the week until the following week on Tuesday at district meeting, which means I have to wait 6 more days to open it until pday again. So ps, I got no mail this week. I`ll get it tomorrow. Consequently, I can`t update you on what letters or packages I received. As far as needs/wants, I really have none. I`m seriously doing awesome out here. No worries...except the heat. Maybe you could talk to somebody about turning down the heat. :P

So the really awesome couple that Elder Sosa and I found in Minas got baptized this past weekend. Elder Sosa said it was amazing and they are so strong. Poo. I wanted to be there. I have yet to find and baptize the same person. :/ Hopefully it`ll happen here. Regrettably, our investigators had a bowlful of fail yesterday for breakfast and none of them came to church. I was sad because we were expecting 4 or 5 solid ones. It was a really nice day too.

We do have one new investigator we found who was taught everything about a year ago. Since then she has lost pretty much everything, but she says it`s the trial that God put her through to prove her. Now all she wants to do is get baptized and she already has a good testimony. The only obstacle is that she has no job. So she has no money to take the bus to get to church. So we`re working on finding her a job. Yeppers.

Yes this area is rather poor in general. We eat with members about half the time which is alright. Italian food does not really exist here. It`s all Uruguayan food, but it`s all good. I love it.

So yeah. I`ll include some more possible package items next week, just in case. But I`m doing well in general. Not having any problems and time is flying. I`m really looking forward to April...when it starts cooling down again. Heck ya!

Yep, that`s all. Everyday I`m out here I realize more and more just how perfect the Plan of Salvation is. That`s something I`ve really been thinking a lot about lately. It`s so perfect and I`m so glad we have it. There really was no other way to do it, no other way at all. That`s my discovery for the week.

Well take care everybody. Next Tuesday I`ll write and give you updates on changes...if I change at all. Have fun. SAUCE SAUCE SAUCE

Love always,

DJ

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Week 43

chinese fireballs are giggly

Monday, November 1, 2010

Oh fiddle sticks. This keyboard leaves something (ok a lot of things) to be desired. I apologize in advance for random things you may encounter while reading.

Hi family of mine,

This past week was pretty good and went by seemingly very fast. And now it`s November. Woo hoo! So let`s see. Regrettably we had no investigators in church yesterday, which is kind of weird because we have this one family who comes every week (they are waiting to get divorced in order to get married and baptized). They must have gotten sick or something. But yeah, church was good. There was a really good lesson on missionary work which hopefully will help our ward to get more pumped. The rest of the week was good as well with relatively little problems. Um...I`m not sure what all to relate. Oh, I did pee in a bucket in the side room of an investigator`s house in front of some pet birds. That was weird. I had to pee because her bathroom was under construction or something like that...so she gave me a bucket and a room. BIZARRE. Didn`t think that would ever be on my list of things done in the flesh.

Let me answer your questions while I think of what else to write. Um. First of all, sometimes you people give me updates on other family member`s conditions without giving me the problem in the first place. E.g. I had no idea Grandpa had cancer on his head...let alone that it was removed (and now I find out it was incomplete). Also, I knew nothing about Vince. So yeah, I appreciate the updates, but sometimes I get a tiny bit lost. That aside, I enjoy having the family updates even though sometimes I can`t make sense of them. :D Um, we already changed clocks...a couple weeks ago, so we`re actually 4 hours different right now, but when you guys change it`ll be 5, yes that is correct.

You also want to know a little bit more about my comp. He`s from Honduras...the southern part. He has 19 months in the mission (he`s the 3rd comp I`ve had that has completed 19 months with me) and is the oldest of I forgot how many siblings. He`s a funny kid, and we`re having a good time together. Amazingly enough, He`s not even the hardest comp I`ve had. :P

Quick pic update. the Uruguayan barbecue thing is called an Asado. The meat is like that and when it`s finished it looks like that. I think you can distinguish between those 2 pics. The last pic is a random one of me. Regrettably, seeing as I`m back in this zone, there ain`t a whole lot to take pictures of. WHOFWHOFWHOFWHOFWHOFWHOFWHOF. I`ll try to give you as many good pictures as possible. :)

Yep so the work is plugging along. We hope to put baptismal dates with 3 more people this week. We`ll see what happens. Oh yeah, we`re going to the temple this Thursday and then we have zone conference after that. Should be a really good time. At this rate I`ll go one more time before coming home (if they continue the streak of every 10 months), but I`m excited. It`s good stuff. I`ll let you know how it went next week.

It continues to get hotter although right now it`s pretty nice. Lots of wind...it`s like a small hurricane (a very tiny one).

Since you guys are talking to Aunt Margaret so much, tell her thanks for her package. I got it today and it`s awesome. she sent me really useful things that I was actually needing/wanting...including mac and cheese. :D:D:D:D:D

Ok. I`m out of things to write about. Sorry for the dull and boring letter. I don`t know what happened, but I just can`t think of anything (interesting) to write about. Next week I should have more, hopefully. Thanks for everything. You guys are da bomb BOOM.

Love always,

DJ

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Week 42

Hey family!!!

Monday, October 25, 2010 1:44 PM

Well that was an exciting subject line. Woo. I almost feel like it was a salutation. Whaddaya know. Anyways, how`s everybody doing in the cooling down, slightly more populated northern hemisphere? Down here, we southerners are stealing all of your heat and now my brains are starting to leak out my face. WOO HOO!!!!!

Anyways, thanks for the letters...um I mean emails...well I mean letters too. I got 38 last week and 39 this week. This past week has been wonderfully exciting. We found 12 new people, new investigators...that is to say, we taught a lesson and got a return appointment with 12 new people this past week. And some of them have some pretty awesome potential to keep going. I`m pretty excited as it looks like this area has some serious potential. We also taught over 30 lessons which may or may not seem like a lot to you, but considering that the week before, the other two elders taught barely 20 (and half were to less actives), I`d say we`ve taken a step in the right direction. As far as my comp goes, he`s pretty awesome to be completely honest. We`re getting along really well and we aren`t having nearly the problems I thought we`d be having considering his history. When President da Silva told me about the special change he advised me to be open with my new comp and explain that I was being sent to be his comp in order to help him be more obedient. So I did it that first day when I got there and I think it really helped to start our companionship off on the right foot and create an atmosphere of openness and trust. Sauce.

So like I was saying, we`re having a good time and I really enjoy working with Latinos because (as bad as this may sound) I don`t have to worry about getting nervous and antsy listening to poor gringo Spanish. Yeah it`s something I need to be more tolerant of and work on but it seriously makes me a little bit nervous when I listen to noticeably poor Spanish.

Boo poo on your mother`s monkey.

So anyways, I got word in one of the emails I think that Grandpa now has a cane. How`s that going? Speaking of which, I sent a letter out to him, but sent it to the house as I didn`t know his address. Just fyi. That`s why said letter will be addressed Grandpa. :D

Yep the work is progressing in this area, thankfully. We had 4 investigators in church yesterday which happened to be a stake conference broadcast. Elders Ballard and Packer spoke. It was really good. One of the biggest problems is that there are so many people who have to get married...or divorced first in order to be able to get married.

Since I`m back in the country on the outskirts of Montevideo, I am once again host to a variety of bizarre animal stories. For instance, the other day we were doing a contact (knocking doors) and this dog comes up in between my comp and me, jumps up on the fence and starts barking...so we totally did a contact with a dog. Woo! We also like to do the contact to random animals and plants (those obviously don`t count but they are fun). For instance, the other day we invited two dogs to be baptized. :D I`m not sure if they accepted or declined.

Um, so remember that garment bag, yeah well I was zipping it up yesterday and it had come undone and so the zipper thingymahoobob came flying off the top and sadly it required an hour and a half to fix...stupid thing. I actually ended up opening the whole zipper and then zipping it back up BY HAND. UBERFAIL. But yeah, it`s fixed. No worries. Just a good story. hey so thanks for sending shoes and flipflops. that`s real swell of all y`all. I realized the other day that the way my bag hangs kind of rubs on my right hip and now I have a hole in one of my white shirts. Oots (that`s Elder Lopez`s way of saying oops because he can`t say it correctly).

Let`s see quick picture update. FYI, this computer loads them faster so I`m not actually downsizing them. The first 4 are of the other cake I had for my birthday courtesy of the wife of the second counselor in the Bishopric in Minas. Look at the size of that thing. FREAK MAN THAT WAS A GOOD CAKE. Yeah, you can see how big half the cake is in comparison to my wallet and my dictionary right there. Wow, it was huge. and tasty. mmmmmmm. Then the other cake (the chocolate with things on top`) was a cake I had at my party that night (the second of two cakes that night). And then there`s a picture of Elder Sosa holding a sheep. just for kicks and giggles. And the last picture is of me after the buzzer system I was using died in the middle of my haircut. Oops. I look like I could be from the three stooges. Anyways, I had to wait for the thing to recharge before finishing. Good story.

Yes I think they celebrate Halloween here but it may be different. FYI, the agendas I`m talking about are a missionaries life. It`s where we keep all appointments and stuff. and I also had written different notes and stories that I wanted to remember from each day. Also the names of investigators...all types of memory stuff but hey what can you do.

Anyways, thanks for everything. I`ll be back in a week and it`ll be November. Wow. Cool stuff. Take care and remember that puppies are not for kicking!....well in most cases. :D

Love always,
DJ

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Week 41

Really interesting week...keep reading for more details.

Monday, October 18, 2010 1:44 PM

Hey family,

Well this has been a really interesting week. You`ll be pleased to know that I am now working in an area that is 100 kilometers away from where I was working when I sent the last email...and no, changes were not this past week. I was involved in a special change call that sent me back to my first zone of Maroñas, but in a different area. My new area of Prosperidad is located along the Route 8 in case you are wondering and the two missionaries that were here were unfailingly failing. They obviously did something which caused President Da Silva to initiate this special change call. The two missionaries are one step away from being sent home...or so I heard by way of the assistants. And now one of them is my comp. Oops. We had interviews with the President (in my old zone) on Friday, during which he told me that the Lord had told him that my comp and I were going to be involved in this special change (split up the screwball). My comp stayed in Minas and acquired one screwball. And I came here. The President told me that he knows that obedience is one of my strong points and that I was sent here to help my new comp-Elder Matamoros from Honduras-be more obedient. It was kind of sad to leave because I had absolutely no time to say goodbye to anybody in Minas. We got home at 9:30 Friday night from interviews and I left at 6:00 Saturday morning, after packing until midnight. Oh well. I`m trying to figure out what the Lord`s purpose is for me here. This area is pretty much destroyed, in the sense that missionary work is for the most part non-existent. We have 5 investigators I think. In Minas, we had 5 with a baptismal date. Also I was sad to leave because I won`t be around for the awesome baptisms we were set to have in Minas. Oh well. There is a purpose in everything.

Other sad news I have is that I managed to leave my backpack in Tres Cruces on Saturday when we did our little special change. So I lost a towel, my flipflops, my filter waterbottle from the mission, and my box full of letters and agendas. Yes, I lost all of the letters and old missionary agendas I had. I apologize to everybody it affected. I lost my birthday cards, pictures from Bernie, and whatever else was contained in those letters (the patches too that you had sent, but that`s not a huge deal). Oh well. It makes me sad but I`m grateful that I didn`t lose anything more important, like clothes or other things like that. As of right now, I`m showering in my rubber rain boots. :D Thus, I have a small request of a cheap pair of flipflops (size 14 if you can find them, but 13s will work in a pinch as my feet down have to fit in them per se). You can send them snail mail as I do have something to shower in for now. I`ll probably take out a little bit of money and buy a cheap towel here somewhere...at least I still have my other one. The only irreplaceable thing is all the memories from the agendas and the letters. Oh well.

Anyways, this Branch is really tiny. While you guys had 320 in church yesterday, I don`t know if we even had 30. But they`re all really nice and it seems like a good little Branch. Like I said, the area needs a lot of help, so I`m going to try and do what I can while not creating a bad relationship with my comp. So far we`ve been doing alright. I`ll keep you posted for sure.

Has Jake Barney sent his papers in yet?

Given that I lost all of my letters (and the paper of addresses), I no longer have any addresses. Could I possibly get those again?

Hey good story about an investigator in Minas before I left. Last Sunday we had fast and testimony meeting. When we went for our lesson on Tuesday, the guy started telling us that he didn`t like how people got up and related a story or something because he said that wasn`t a testimony...it was a story. I thought of mom and I thought it was funny that an investigator knew that, but a lot of members don`t.

I have included 4 pics of my new house...my first withy only 2 elders. It`s actually a pretty nice house and it probably has the only carpet in Uruguay in our bedroom. So yeah, I really like the house...I wonder how long I`ll be here. Um, other than what I`ve already told you, not much has happened ;) Life is good for now. My new area is huge...covers about 7 kilometers along the route. Obviously most of the houses are located along the route and not too far off it, but it`s still a lot of walking. Oh well. I`m used to it.

That`s all I`ve got for now. I`ll be writing again in a week (no surprise there) and hopefully I won`t have moved areas again. Fingers crossed. Take care for now. Thanks again for everything. :D

Love always,

DJ

Monday, October 11, 2010

Week 40

another fun week

Monday, October 11, 2010 9:49 AM

Hey giggles and family.

Well another week of wonderful life has passed here in Minas. Things are going well as far as missionary work is concerned. I´ll clarify what I mean by that later. Yesterday we had another investigator family in church. These 2 are an older couple and are awesome. They were all set to be baptized about 30 years ago but weren`t married and so they left the church scene...with some bitterness I think. Anyways a couple weeks back we contacted into them and they told us their story. They also told us that 8 years ago they got married and so they are now all set to get baptized (and are willing to as well!) It`s amazing how the Lord prepares people. So they went to church yesterday and she actually got up and bore her testimony and it was really good. I was shocked and impressed. They were going to get baptized the 23rd but we have stake conference that week and all of the members will be in Maldonado that day. So they`ll get baptized the 30th...hopefully with another lady we have too. This other lady also received the missionaries before because she already had a Book of Mormon when we met her. We were actually having a lesson with a recent convert one day who is her neighbor and all of a sudden this lady walks in to chat with her friend. Well she ended up receiving the first lesson and loved it so much that the two of them came together to church the next week. This is actually 2 miracles because that Sunday was the first Sunday I had ever seen the recent convert in church as well. :)

Other than them, we actually have 2 more people with baptismal dates and we`re continually finding more. This last week we had a zone goal of 6 new investigators per companionship. We had 3 as of yesterday, but we went out working with faith and good attitudes and the Lord managed to help us find 3 new ones yesterday alone. They are pretty solid too, from the looks of it. I`ll let you know in the coming weeks what is going on with them. I`ve really just decided that our message is powerful and it makes so much sense. Every time I teach I am amazed at the sensibility and simplicity of our message. If God called prophets in olden days. Why the heck wouldn`t He call them today. DUH! I feel sad for the people who are confused by all of the many religions, but who aren`t willing to do anything to fix their confusion. We show up with all the tools to help them and instead they slam the door and refuse to be helped. Oops.

I got letters 35,36,37 and my ballot....as well as letters from Grandma, Holly, and Calvin. Question. in Mom`s letter about the RS broadcast, she said that all of the wards were bringing salads and that the stake was providing a huge tossed salad....um is our stake suddenly huge on vegetarianism or something? But yeah. I`ll send the ballot out tomorrow and hopefully it gets there on time.

Hey can you send me Travis` address again. I may have lost it. Oh and let me know if these pictures are better. One is a zone picture from last change. The other large group pics are at my birthday party. I`m holding a guinea pig in one. 3 are at conference and the last one is in the back of a taxi. Oh also the first one is at Punta del Este. Don`t remember if I included it before.

Anyhoo, the new elder is from the states but his parents are Latinos, therefore he speaks Spanish and English perfectly.

Well that`s all for this week. Enjoy the pics. I love you guys a lot. Thanks for all the support. Take care.

Love always,

DJ

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Week 39

monkey

Tuesday, October 5, 2010 6:21 AM

Hey family,

I do not have a new comp and I am not moving areas. Despite this, I am currently in Montevideo in Tres Cruces because my comp is the new district leader and he had a meeting this morning. Word. It`s kind of cool. I`m here and able to talk to all of the other missionaries. On the minus side, I had to get up at 3:45 this morning. Fail sauce. It wouldn`t be so bad, but I`m kind of sick with a head cold right now and I need all the sleep I can get.. My stupid allergies attacked again. Uberfail.

But yeah, conference was really good, and it went by fast. I definitely agree...two huge themes were agency and prophets. It was a really good conference though. When Elder Nelson gave his talk in priesthood and he asked all of the missionaries to stand up, our whole room stood up and cheered.. Woo! I really enjoyed Elder Uchtdorf`s talk on pride. It was really good. Yeah, so there were some really good talks, in general. It`s funny because I have met half the guys who said prayers almost. Elder Zivic, Aidukatis, Gaverette (He`s from Minas and we`re doing a service project for his mom here soon), and others. And Elder Arnold is our new area president.

Well, yes I`m definitely 20 years old now. Oops. The brownies are good still soft and awesome. The rest of the stuff is great too. That Spanish book is really great. and yeah, we did have a party with the neighbor of the members. She made a really awesome lemon cake. It was a great time. I`m not sending pics this week because I didn`t bring my photo thingy to Tres Cruces. However, you didn`t tell me about last week`s pics. Could they be seen alright?

I apologize for the discrepancies in last week`s email. I obviously did not know that I was getting a new companion or anything. I recall having written something confusing, but yeah, I am definitely still with my comp which is cool. He`s a good guy although he periodically does moronic things. I guess we all do. Elder Lopez is the only one leaving actually..The other gringo and I went to the zone leaders’ house over the weekend to watch conference in English at the stake center.

I have not received any mail (therefore no ballot) for about 2 weeks. With any luck it`ll be in this next group that comes the end of this week.

Life is good in Minas. We got 3 more baptismal dates this last week, so we should have a couple of really solid baptisms this month. Hopefully we`ll keep you guys posted on that. Everything is going great. I really don`t have much to talk about. Sorry for the lack of info and pics this week. It`s been a really interesting week. So yeah.

Take care of yourselves.

Love always,


DJ


ps, Michael Jackson is STILL dead...in case you didn`t know.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Week 38

boog boog boog

Monday, September 27, 2010 4:49 PM

FAMILY! WOO!

Hey guys. Another week (5 days) gone by in the mission. I have currently figured out yet a NEW way to send photos. Hopefully they`ll still be clear but you`ll notice that I can send a lot more because I figured out how to size them down first. Let me know if they are too small and/or unclear.

Well thank you all for the birthday wishes. I have saved MOST of the box for Thursday. I did notice that you included a grammar book which I have taken out and started to use. It is awesome. Thank you so much. I have also consumed a tiny bit of the food. :) You`ll notice that I included a nice pic of that. I`m currently in Maldonado again. We came for the last district meeting of the change and we spent some more time in Punta Del Este. there are some really cool pics here. we went to a new place that we had never been to before and it was really beautiful as you can see. :D

Um, so this past week has been better. We`re all looking forward with great anticipation for changes. but first we have conference! woo! that`s way cool that you guys are going. Have fun. anyways, I was saying that throughout this past week we have made some slight changes that are helping. I think it`s helping a little bit. At least I feel it is. And I think we`re also seeing the blessings for it. We found some good new investigators this past week and yesterday we had 3 in church. This is good news, especially as we were having issues with finding people. We`re obviously going to continue working hard to find more, but unfortunately this week doesn`t bring us a whole lot of time to work because we have 2 service projects and 10 hours of conference.

Remember that next week`s email will be on Tuesday.

Also, this Friday we have an ex-investigator who is making me a cake. :) She is a neighbor of a really awesome member family and she was a reference. We taught her a couple times, but she told us that she can`t listen anymore because she doesn`t want any problems with her very catholic family, which we understand. However, she loves to cook and somehow it came up that my birthday was at the end of the month, so she said she`d make me a cake. So this Friday, we`re going to have a birthday party, the 6 of us missionaries, the family, and the neighbor. :D:D

Also, please tell everybody thank you for the birthday wishes and gifts. I`ve already written letters to Nana and Bernie and I`ll try to get a letter out to the others if I have time either this week or next week, but regardless I am very grateful.

The missionary work continues to go. Every day I get a tiny bit more comfortable with everything which helps a lot. I try to learn new techniques and stuff like that. The Lord really blesses us. I`m reading through the Doctrine and Covenants right now, and there is a lot of revelation in there about missionary work which is really cool too. The Lord really doesn`t want us to fail...we were called to succeed. So yeah. I`m really appreciating it more and more.

Our recent converts, Federico and Virginia continue to be awesome. We actually had a impromptu lesson in their house one night, just off the cuff with another investigator. They were really awesome and let us use their house and then Federico offered himself to share his testimony at the end as a new member. It was really cool and powerful. They`re the most awesomest family ever. :P

Well I don`t have much more to share. The next time I write to you guys, I`ll have a new comp and I`ll no longer be a teenager. Wow, the changes that come and go. Have a great time at conference. I`m super stoked. Thanks again for the birthday wishes. Cheers.

Love always,


DJ

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Week 37

WHOA OH Living on a prayer...

Wednesday, September 22, 2010 12:04 PM

Well hello to all wonderful family members of mine (and to those occasional nonwonderful ones too :D )

Another week gone here in good old South American Uruguay. ps. this keyboard stinks booty booty so excuse the errors. Ooh, correction it`s been a week and 2 days since I`ve written. So yes, I did go to the conference. It was really good , I learned a lot of good things, but I`ll be content to not have a leadership calling. I`m perfectly cool just being a missionary. The other guys in the house predict every day that I`m going to have any number of responsibilities, including but not limited too, district leader, zone leader, trainer, assistant, and secretary. It`s become a huge joke in our house.

Anyhoo, the conference was in Carrasco next to the temple on Monday and Tuesday. Monday night we stayed in the hostal (where travelers who are going to the temple stay) and it`s probably the nicest building (apart from the temple) in Uruguay. First time I`ve showered barefoot in over 8 months. Then Tuesday we got to go the distribution center. woo! and I bought the restoration dvd for 14 pesos...about 75 cents. Yay! We also got word that we`ll be going to the temple in October or November. Can I get another woo? Woo!

Um, so I`m super stoked that the package arrived! Good news. I`ll be sending out one more before this next change day, so within the next 2 weeks. Also, your package got here. I got it on Tuesday the 21st. I opened it, but noticed it is birthday stuff so I`ll wait until next Thursday. I did get and open bday cards from you guys, Nana, and Bernie. Thanks to all. I`m sending out letters to Nana and Bernie, but you can mention it to them too, if you wish. I also got the music, which is super cool with a capital WHEE. Also letter 34, the puzzle letter, a postcard, and a letter from Grandma. I am loved.

As far as the work, we are having issues. We don`t have a lot of investigators. We have a couple with a date, but in October after conference. We need to find more people to teach. I`m trying to figure out what to do.

So yeah, the work is good. We need to find the miracle people the Lord is preparing in this area. They`re here, just gotta find them.

As far as the conference with President Arnold of the Quorum of Seventy, it was good and we got a lot of good information and help to aid us in the work.

FYI, I did get Patrick`s email and you aren`t getting pics this week because another missionary is uploading a small ton of photos with my device. However I`m going to try and send out another card very soon. Sorry about the lack of pictures. Please forgive my weaknesses and shortcomings. :)

Well that`s all I have. Everyday I`m out here, I love it and adjust a little bit more and I also realize more and more how awesome you guys all are. I love you so much. Take care these next 5 days. Wordsauce.

Love always,

DJ

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Week 36

bubbles

Monday, September 13, 2010 4:55 PM

Hey family,

Well I`m currently in Maldonado as we came here for pday today and then we`re staying for the district meeting tomorrow. We were going to go to the beach again and check it out, but it starting raining, and spoiled a big one on our plans. Fail. So yeah, life is good other than that.

First of all, the baptisms. Yep last Saturday was definitely one of the best if not the best day of my mission so far. Four awesome baptisms. Two cool and young families. The Spirit was definitively strong and pretty much everybody got at least a little bit emotional. We had as many people there as we usually do in sacrament meeting. I`m attaching a picture of the baptism. [Editor's note, picture is the first picture you see at the beginning of the Blog.] My comp and I are in suits. The man in the very back is the hermano who baptized our family. He has a little missionary nametag because he and his wife are service missionaries here in Uruguay. His wife is in front...not in white obviously. Our investigator is standing in front of the Hermano Casas and his wife is in the middle in front. The other two Elder Pike and Elder Lopez are in the 2nd row from the bottom with the white ties on. Their family is on the far left, front two rows. But yeah, awesome day. The two husbands shared their testimonies at the end of the service and it`s amazing to see how the gospel changes their lives.

Other than that, the work is going well. We have some people who potentially might get baptized. Good stuff. This area is full of people being prepared by the Lord so we just have to find them. Thankfully, the members are really awesome and help us bunches.

So I don`t know if you guys have seen the new ensign...which I assume has a cover talking about senior missions. The more I think about it, the more I come to decide that it would be awesome if you guys (obviously meaning you parents) went on a mission later in life. That is my story the end. :)

Um, so ok,I got the cool package thing with socks and fruit snacks. Word to your mother. Thanks so bunchingly much. :D Made my day. Also got letters 32 and 33 and a card from Dad, the card with the SD card (which has a little bit of an error problem, but I thin`k it`ll still work) and a couple of letters from Grandma. I also sent out a package this last Tuesday with my camelback bladder, a Uruguayan flag souvenir for me when I get home, four alfajores, and most of my letters. There is a little paper that explains everything, but the alfajores are for you guys. and I`m sending home the letters just because I don`t really have room to store them all, not because I don`t appreciate them. People love me so much that letters are abundant. :)

Ooh, before I forget, I am going to a training conference next week (because evidently I appear to have leadership capabilities in the future according to my zone leaders) and so I will be going to this conference thing on Monday and Tuesday. Our pday next week will be on WEDNESDAY so do not freak out when a little friendly email from yours truly does not reach your inbox on Monday. You can expect one by Wednesday. However, I would caution you about waiting to write until Tuesday because plans might change and pday might stay on Monday. Moral of the story is write on Sunday like always, but don`t expect a response until Wednesday. :) My advice.

Let me explain this second pic really quick. The Guayans have a habit of completely demoralizing trees every year. That is to say that at the end of every summer, all the trees are completely cut (to use as firewood) except for the trunk. as such, there are many trees like this one that have very aged trunks and little tiny young branches.

I´m sorry to hear about Brother Hardy but you`re right, there is so much comfort in the gospel. And also say hi and thanks to Grandpa.

Ooh funny story! Ok, so we were in the house of a really cool family the other night and this family speaks Portuguese. So at the end of the lesson, I asked her to say a prayer in Portuguese to listen. Afterwards, she wanted me to say a prayer in English, so I obliged, although I thought it would be kind of weird. Turns out, I have lost ALL ability to pray in English. It was the most awkward, weird, bizarre prayer I`ve ever said and I was basically praying in Spanish in my head and then translating that to English. You guys are in for a real treat in 16 months when I come back after saying Spanish prayers for 2 years. Woo!

Thanks for the note from Cy.

I don`t remember what I told you about my comp Elder Sosa, but his family had bought a used car that had had problems before. Turns out his Stepdad and Mom were assassinated while sitting in the car at a stoplight or something. A car pulled up from behind thinking the owners were somebody else and opened fire with machine guns or something. So yeah...pretty sad. but within the week from that event, 2 sister missionaries knocked on the door and the whole 11 person family was baptized. Good stuff.

Well, that`s all I`ve got (ps, the second pic attachment just failed...it`ll come next week sorry). Thanks so much for all you do. I realize more and more every day how amazing you are.. Thanks for everything. stay strong and peace to the out.

Love always,

DJ

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Week 35

umbilical cords

Monday, September 6, 2010 11:09 AM

family of mine who lives in da hood.


How goes it? The life is good here in Guay. So yeah, anyhoo, as of today, it`s all 1/3 over. Yep. that`s interesting stuff to think about.

Well let`s see. The run down of what`s been going on here. My comp`s name is Elder Sosa. His parents are divorced so his dad is somewhere. I don’t know if my comp even knows where he is. We are getting along really well. This past week was kind of dumb...and not our fault. When I emailed you guys last week, that was the last time I saw the sun until 5:00 Saturday afternoon. I`m not kidding. It was cloudy and rained/poured for over 5 days straight. It was kind of miserable, but it definitely made the work hard. How many people are willing to talk to you when it`s pouring birds and buffaloes? Yeah, not many. But at 5:00 on Saturday, the storm from hades finally blew out and now we`ve had brilliantly blue skies without those fluffy white cotton balls. It`s been nice, except that it`s getting hot now. I`m really looking forward to April...because it`ll start cooling down again. At home, I really love summers, but here, I`m not too fond of them. One because I have this type of clothing with a tight collar and two because I have to be outside walking around in it. Thankfully, I spent the majority of my first summer in a air conditioned building in Buenos Aires. SMILES!

As I was saying, this past week was kind of lame, but we do still have our baptisms this week. And cooler yet is that the other two elders also have a family getting baptized this weekend. So we`ll have 4 baptisms...and 2 awesome new families! WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! It`s so great what the gospel can do for people. I love it.

Yeah, so remember I told you guys that I got the usb drive. I tried last week to use it and it looks like it doesn`t work here on the computers I use. I don’t know. I think I`ll just have to buy one down here OR I will back up the pics on dvds (way cheap down here) and send those home for you guys. So don`t worry about it. Interesting fact. I took my socks to a member today to have them washed. I`m really good about washing my clothes and keeping them clean...except for socks because they’re booty booty to wash. So this washing they`re getting now is the first wash in about 3 months. :D:D:D:D:D:D Wonderful news, huh? But yeah, my clothes are holding up really well. I had super huge anxiety attacks when I first got here, but everything is doing great. I`ve decided that each day I spend out here gets me more accustomed and consequently, things get easier....and time goes faster. I can`t believe that conference is in less than 4 weeks, but I`m excited for that too.

Let`s see...answering questions. We get meals about 2/3 of the month. on the average 20-21 days every month we get food. No, we don`t use bikes, thank goodness. Bikes destroy shoes and my shoes don`t need any help. The mission wears them down enough as is. A ver, what else... um, I exercise yes. I do push ups and situps and weight lifting (well I lift 6 liter bottles of water) in the morning, but the rest is all walking. This area is huge as well. We have plenty of area to cover, but it doesn`t compare with Toledo. Occasionally we take buses here, but not a lot. It`s mostly walking....and lots of hills so good exercise too. I love all of the food here, but if I had to pick one favorite dish, it would be canelones. they`re like enchiladas, kind of. They`re tortilla things with meat or spinach inside with an awesome sauce on top. They are tight bananas. But all of the food is awesome. I`ve not yet encountered anything that I won`t eat, but I`m not really that picky (anymore). There have only been 1 or 2 days where I ate something that I would probably prefer to never see again. Oh well. I still ate it and it filled the pit. :D

I don`t have much to share for today. Thanks for your continued prayers and thoughts. Next week at this time, you`ll be receiving pics from a highly awesome and highly anticipated baptism. :D teeheehee. Enjoy this coming week. It`ll be gone in exactly one week.

Love always,

Elder Deej


ps. Michael Jackson is still dead.

pps. I`m going to be sending out 2 boxes this week. They`ll probably get there in a month. I`ll give instructions later about what to do with them.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Week 34

first week 1

Monday, August 30, 2010 11:16 AM

Friends, family, acquaintances, dogs, happy people, unknowns, daisies, and other things that are going to read this letter,

Life here in Minas is great. My new comp is awesome, although regrettably, I will not be able to send pictures of us this week. There were some technical difficulties and one of the cables was left alone in the apartment. Poor thing shouldn`t be without his companion. But yeah, pics of us next week. Sorry about that. But yeah my new comp is from Tegucigalpa Honduras. Evidently it`s a pretty dangerous place because his mom was killed by thieves. He is a convert, baptized when he was 10 and has one younger sister (who apparently causes missionaries in his ward to go a bit crazy :P). We are getting along awesome and teach really well together. He has 19 months in the mission and I really like his style. Very direct and to the point, but loving too. The other companionship in our apartment is the district leader Elder Lopez and his companion, a kid from Utah who was in the MTC right after me. This first picture I attached is of me and Elder Lopez on his birthday. But yeah, I`m really stoked for this change. We`re hoping to have at least 4, maybe 5 baptisms during September.

As far as mail goes, I got a letter from Grams, a letter from Jeff, one from a teacher of mine in the MTC, a letter from Leah, and a package from you guys with the usb. sweet! Thanks for the stuff and the turtle is sweet. Just fyi, I`m looking to send a package home here in the next week or two so be on the lookout...I`ll let you know for sure when it gets sent. It should be about a month or so in transit. I`m going to send home some unneeded stuff, a couple souvenirs of mine, and some stuff for you guys. :) Just really looking to unclutter a bit. I have acquired a small butt-ton of stuff in the short time I`ve been here.

My new comp is definitely the most obedient comp I`ve had which is awesome. Obviously neither of us are 100% perfect but we are both trying really hard and we are seeing miracles as a result. We have 6 people right now who have accepted the challenge to be baptized although half of them are having difficulties exercising the faith to go to church. And even in just first-time lessons, I`ve seen countless people in this last week start off by kind of grudgingly let us pass and telling us that they already have their religion and by the end of the lesson, they accept the commitment to read and pray about it. The way this gospel changes lives is truly incredible. I sometimes think where I`d be without it. The hardest thing is that many times the people don`t realize how much they need Jesus Christ and his gospel, but we, as missionaries, do. We try not to shove the message down their throats, but rather let the Spirit touch their hearts. Looking back now, I often wish I`d done a better job sharing the gospel before. Until I got out here, I never realized how important it is...or the absolutely eternal consequences of ignoring it. It`s really sad sometimes when people choose to reject it, especially if they have a testimony. For instance there is one lady who knows that she`s sinning by not being baptized and she knows that God wants her to get baptized and live the gospel, but she doesn`t want to give up her boyfriend.

In other news, Cy has died. I`m absolutely convinced that he has been sucked up by aliens looking for computer geeks for a nearby star system. :) If anybody sees him or hears from him, just let him know that he has disappeared off my radar.

Also, I was thinking the other day about how much I would appreciate having a little bit of sheet music. Everyday I go without playing the piano, I want to play it more. Therefore, if you could in your free time send sheet music of Beethoven`s 5th Symphony (if it can be found) as well as sheet music for Pachelbel`s Canon in D. That would be ridiculously good times 4.6. I think I`m only going to get 2 pictures off today. The second is of me. This computer is loading them really slowly. Besides I have nothing new to share, not until next week. Apologies all around.

Thanks for Ben`s address too. Good stuff. :D

Well family, friends, amigos, enemies, and small plants. Have a won-great-erful week. Don`t eat too much cabbage. You`ll explode. And always remember to pet your hedgehog.

Love to all.

Elder Deej.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Week 33

giggles

Tuesday, August 24, 2010 7:30 AM

Hey now family,

Well life is good. I`m currently sitting here in Tres Cruces because my comp is leaving. He`s going to be with Elder Young from the MTC. My new comp is from Honduras and he has about a year and a half in the mission. I`ve heard really good things about him. We also have conference right at the end of this change. Woo! I don`t know much else about my comp now, but he seems really cool. I`m way stoked.

Just fyi, I did in fact think of my bros yesterday when they started school. how sweet. This school year will go by so quickly.

I`m glad to know that things are going on nicely back home. It`s definitely starting to heat up here but I think it`s supposed to get cold again before it warms up for good. Quite honestly, I`m not looking forward to summer time, not in dress clothes.

Pic update. 1 is of my district last change, 2 is of my zone, 3 and 4 are the front and back sides of a souvenir. that is a machete case and I`ll have the machete shortly, but there is a member who works amazingly with leather and stuff so he sketched and drew and painted this case. It has a picture of Uruguay, the flag, the mission symbol, and the Montevideo temple on the front, and on the back it has my name, the mission scripture, and the dates of my mission. it is a great souvenir. We also got awesome t-shirts made for our district with a Uruguayan type flag thing on the front and jersey style (with a name and number) on the back. Pics to come later.

Anyhoo, yes, we still have our awesome baptism scheduled for the 11th, this family is absolutely amazing. The changes we can see in people and families is absolutely incredible. We also have a couple of people who have good potential to get baptized but we`ll see what happens. I`m really hoping we can enlist the Lord`s help and get this area rolling. I see a lot of potential, but we`ll see if we can find a way to tap into it.

About a week and a half ago, I got a 10 page letter from Aunt Margaret that really made me think a lot about a lot of different things. Point of the story is, I wanted to just express my appreciation for all you guys did in my growing up years. I don`t think I sufficiently realize how hard you worked to raise us well. And when I see people with no manners, I appreciate it even more. You guys are seriously the best ever. :) and thanks for the support and stuff while I`m out here. I received letter 31 but haven`t read it yet and I`ll anxiously await letters and socks. I apologize for the lack of spiritual experiences, but other than this one family, we`ve been kind of lacking on the spiritual experiences.

Anyways, I love all of you very much. Have a great week, and we`ll catch you next Monday on the flip side.

Love always and forever,

DJ

Friday, August 20, 2010

Week 32

August 16, 2010


Hey family,

Well, here we are in the last week of the change, once again...but wonderfully enough this computer reads my memory card so I can send some solid pictures to you. Word. I know I`m kind of behind.

Anyways, life here in Minas is great, well I`m actually currently in Punta Del Este on the beach area. We are having a district activity type of thing. It`s pretty sweet.

So anyways, life is pretty awesome. I really appreciate your thoughts and prayers this last week, I`m sure they helped. Um, so we`re all really looking forward to changes. I always love to see what happens in the mission.

This Wednesday we have a conference in Montevideo with President Arnold of the 70. There are going to be 5 zones there at this conference (the rest will have a conference on Friday) so it`ll be pretty awesome.

Ok, quick update on pics, The first two are taken on the Virgin Hill (Virgin Mary) right outside of Minas. They are both views of Minas/other areas nearby from the top of this hill. Number 3 is on the Hill of the Cross in Pan de Azúcar. Picture 4 is of our zone inside one arm of this cross thing. You can climb up it and sit in the arms. Picture 5 is of the hill and you can see the cross on top. That hike was hard. My thighs burned. It was about a 45-50 min climb and a 15 minute descend.

Yeah, so anyways, this last week we had interviews with President and it went really really well. One of the best ones I`ve had for sure. I love President Da Silva. He`s pretty awesome.

I came to the realization, partly, this last week about how alarmingly fast the mission is passing. I feel like I still have so much to do and learn. It`s crazy, but yeah, we`re working hard on getting some investigators to church. There is a lot of potential in this area, I feel, we just have to figure out how to tap into it. Hey, I`m going to send this email and type the second part in another email to send more pics..........

Hey, here I am again. We`ll see if I can get these pictures off.

So yeah second part of the email. Life is coming along.....

Pic 1 is a picture of me in one of the arms of the cross. There was a cross like opening on the end of the cross, and that is what you can see there behind me. Pic 2 is my nametag and the ocean. 3 is me and my comp by the ocean and 4 is me standing on the thumb of the hand coming out of the sand.

.....Spanish is still coming along well enough. I don`t really know what else to tell you. This week was kind of slow on the productivity end. I got a letter from Ben my roommate (he leaves the MTC in a week) and from Aunt Margaret. That`s it. basically, I thank you for your emails and your love. A happy birthday to Grandpa on Wednesday. Oh also, I didnt realize that there were two different types of socks in the package you sent a while back. They both work alright, and I use them, but I`ll be grateful for the new ones you`re sending too.

Sorry, I`ve not got much to share on the spiritual end this week. Just kind of a routine week with not much that happened, other than the interviews. Just waiting for these pictures to load.

Have a great week all of you folks. The next email will come on Tuesday because I’ll be in Montevideo. It`ll be in the morning...well unless for some reason I get called to train, in which case it`ll be in the evening, I think. I don’t know, just expect some email from me by Tuesday night. Good story. Okay, well that`s all I got. I love all of you very much. (and Dad, don`t worry about your cold in August. it happens to the best of us).

Love always,

Your personal missionary,

DJ

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Week 31

well....

Monday, August 9, 2010 4:51 PM

Hey family of mine,

First of all, I`m very sorry to hear about Toni...just out of curiosity, what day was it that they think she passed away?

Secondly, this computer I`m on doesn`t recognize my flash drive and so I can`t send you any awesome pictures. Last week we went up on the Virgin Hill near Minas and this week we`re about an hour away on the highest point in Uruguay. We climbed up this thing to this huge cross, but you could see the Atlantic Ocean and everything. They`re awesome pics but regrettably I can`t send them. I`m now so behind on picture sending. Speaking of pics, I`m glad you got the SD card and that it worked, I assume that you`ll be sending it back and we can rotate them (now that we know it works).

We had some good overall results this week. We had 5 investigators in church and 3 with a baptismal date right now and we keep finding these people who are ready, at least, to invite us in their house and listen to us. It`s pretty awesome but I don`t know how we merit all of these blessings.

We do have this golden family, don`t know if I`ve mentioned them before, but we taught them tithing and offerings (which is usually one of the more difficult ones), but they were completely willing to accept and follow, that`s always a good sign.

Good times on the jam. That`s really pretty awesome. Anyways, the bros start school in 2 weeks then. boog boog boog. Hey, so I got letters 29 and 30 this week as well as a letter...finally...from Kyle. I guess this is the 3rd he`s written. Fail mail system.

There is no hurry on the socks...I`m managing for now. And also, as far as the Spanish book is concerned, I don`t really know. I`m just looking for something relatively small and manageable, but this is for the advanced student. Nothing huge at all...just another little book to use for study time. There`s really no hurry for that either.

So yeah. life is going. I swear the mission is more for shaping young men into the people the Lord wants than it is about tracting. Yeah that`s really important, but before the work can really take off, you have to improve the missionary first. Obedience always helps.

I`ll be in (and currently am in) Maldonado for interviews with the President tomorrow. We`ll be having district meetings during that time as well. We won`t get back to Minas until about 8 or 9 tomorrow night so we won`t be working in our area again until Wednesday. Anyhoo, Thank you always for your prayers. ;)

Take care this week. Have an enjoyable time doing whatever the gummy bears you do at the end of summer. It`s almost over!!!! WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!! Gotta love the life of a missionary. Cheers!

Love Always,

Your favorite missionary.

Me

DJ

That`s me

Yep

Hee Hee Hee

Monday, August 2, 2010

Week 30

:/

Monday, August 2, 2010 3:10 PM

Hey all,

Well here we are in Uruguay another week. It`s been good. Last week kind of seemed to drag on again, more so than the week before. Thankfully we are spending more time working now. I always feel better when we work more and the time goes faster. We´ve had some pretty good lessons and right now we`ve got some good investigators. There is this one family that is pretty sweet. They just have to get married before they get baptized. The marriage will be in about a month and a half based on laws here. They are really just a nice normal young family. They have been living together for 5 years and have a 2 year old daughter. She never really had desires to get married, but they definitely both want to get baptized now and they are fine with getting married to do it. We`ve had some great help from the members here in this endeavor. And then yesterday we contacted into another nice family. We had a really awesome lesson with them. The mother is pretty staunch Catholic, but it seems like the dad actually wants to find the correct church. We actually taught the whole family, including the 3 kids. That doesn`t happen very often. I have no idea if they`ll progress to baptism or not but it was a really good spiritual lesson nonetheless.

Let`s see...what else. I forgot my planner so I can`t remember what I wrote down to tell you guys. Today for pday we went up on the tallest "mountain" around here, well it`s a hill, and we took pictures and stuff. It`s really pretty around here. Beautiful stuff.

Ok, when I got the socks a couple weeks back, I thought I told you that I also received the other package wth the hot chocolate and tide pen. Well if I didn`t tell you, I am now. I actually made me some nice hot chocolate this morning :) and then this week I got the garment bag, Dad`s card with the pics :D:D:D and a letter from grandma. Thanks for all of it. The pics are awesome. I couldn`t figure out what could possibly have been so thick and heavy.

Okay I am attaching 4 pictures. I don`t know exactly what they are of because they come from my Comp`s sd card, but one is (I think) a picture of the 4 elders and the member couple who went on the hike, another of the view from the top with the city of Minas in view, and another is 3 of us elders by some Catholic shrine. You gotta keep in mind that this is a huge Catholic hill. It`s called the hill of the virgin and there is a huge shrine of Mary at the top. supposedly people go on homage to this place and climb up without shoes or on their hands and knees or something.

Things with my comp are still going. We definitely get along, He says some pretty funny things. The last picture is the Mary Shrine

Um, thanks for finding a flash drive, but know that I can get foot powder stuff here. I`m going to get some here soon. The mission definitely requires one to live frugally. Not a problem for me, but I have to be careful nonetheless. :)

Well, life is pretty good for the most part. Feels weird that Patrick will be starting his senior year in a few weeks. Only one more year of forced school. Anyways, every day that I`m out here and teaching this message about the importance of the family and stuff, I realize just how important it is. I realized the other day that if I do all I can and reach the Celestial kingdom without you guys, that`ll kind of suck. Moral of the story...keep going strong and doing all you can and then we`ll reach it together. Good stuff. and definitely a good goal too. Have a great first week of August.

Love always,

DJ

^^^That`s me, your very own full time missionary. :P

Week 29

Parental figures and offspring,

How are you all? This week absolutely flew by. I seriously don`t know what happened.

Well life continues on here in Minas. The work is good. As much as I was enjoying it before, I`m actually enjoying it more now. We are doing some new things as a result of the conference last week and I`m really enjoying it. Yesterday, we had a first visit with some lady and put a baptismal date with her...the only thing is that she doesn`t live in our area. She lives in Montevideo, so we`ll be sending her information along.

The first picture on here is me, Elder Carlock and Elder Nomani (when I was still in Toledo)

The second is of the baptism we had here my first week. Sauce.

Anyways life is really good. It`s hard to believe that this is the last week of July.

Oh hey, I was going to ask you guys to see if you could find and send (eventually, there`s no rush) a really advanced spanish book. I`m kind of looking for more to study. I don`t know what`s available, but maybe you could look around and peruse.

Third picture is this last change in Toledo. Zone picture. Check out Elder Nomani in the back middle. :)

And the 4th is a good picture of me.

Oh and yes, I`m feeling better. Thanks for asking. I`m good to go.

About food, yes it is slightly different, but only in the sense that people here are more well off in general so we have tended to eat more expensive foods. That`s what I`ve noticed so far. We also have more desserts here. In Toledo, desserts are mostly fruit which is actually really good, but here they tend to have more dessert stuff (which if I described it, it wouldn`t make any sense). So just accept that there are desserts more here.

This 5th pic is my district in the MTC with our night teacher, Hermana Dàvila.

Anyhoo, my comp is sweet and we get along well enough. Sorry for the lack of Minas pictures. We didn`t get out to do our district activity today. Next week, I should have some. Have fun this week and travel safely. Hi to all.

Love always,

DJ

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Week 28

HEY FAMILY IN NEW YORK!!!

Well here I am in Minas. It`s awesome here. I love it. It`s really different from Toledo because it is way more city like and there are mountains...more or less. There are hills but in Uruguay they are mountains and it`s nice. It actually reminds me of the little towns we used to drive through in like New England or wherever. Just little shops and stuff...no highrises or anythign like that. So yeah, really pretty. There are 4 elders and 2 sisters in this area. One of the sisters here is from my group in the MTC which is fun. Good times.

My comp is pretty cool. His name is Elder Sluder...I think I mentioned that. He does want to work which is good although last week was pretty crazy. The ward mission leader here doesn`t plan baptisms so we had to plan our baptism last week which added a lot to our schedule. But we did have a baptism...a 20 year old girl who lives with the patriarch here (he baptized her). So that`s my second baptism and the second one that I really didn`t do anything for...oh well, as long as they stay active.

So right now, I`m in a trio. I don`t know if you heard, but apparently every mission in the world is changing, i.e. preach my gospel is changing or something. As such, every zone and district leader is now in Montevideo for a 3 day conference. So my comp who is district leader left yesterday solo to go to Montevideo and now the three of us are working both areas as a trio for a few days. He should be back Thursday. Anyways, some huge change is obviously happening, should be interesting and I think zone conferences are now changing to once every two changes instead of once every change. I don`t know if and how that might affect packages.

Speaking of packages, we just got a box today from the mission office (Minas is so far away from our zone...i.e. 2 hours...that we get our own box of mail and stuff directly from the mission office. and I received two packages filled with socks and I don't know what else. I haven`t opened it yet, but I`m incredibly amazed. I saw that they were postmarked the 8th of July. It is now the 19th and I already have the packages along with a ton of mail, letters 26,27,28, various letters from Grandma, Bishop, Bernie...um yeah, it`s awesome. I haven`t received mail for about 3 weeks now so this is make up time.

Ok, I`m attempting to attach 2 pictures to this email. The first is of our golden investigators in Toledo. As soon as he gets divorced and they get married, they`ll be baptized. They`re more firm than some members. They are numbers 3 and 4 counting from the left. The brother on the far left is a member and their neighbor. He went to almost every lesson with us. :) and Elder Nomani is doing who knows what. The second picture is of a less active family in the ward in Toledo, they are awesome. They are only inactive because some of the members made some very unfriendly remarks to them that kind of drove them away. But the family is amazing. She also has a son who is 10 and taking the picture. The daughters are 6 and 4 and the third picture that I decided to put on is of me. enjoy. :) hopefully I`ll get some pictures of Minas on there next time.

So the work here in Minas is alright. I`ve heard it`s pretty hard, but it`s not too bad. and I was misinformed...the members feed us almost every day. Good stuff. Right now we have this golden family that we are teaching. young guy and his soon to be wife. They have a little daughter. Their only obstacle was getting married (because she didn`t really want to) but we think they`ll get baptized now because they seem to have the desire to get married. We`ll see. Other than that, there were some things I had to adapt to in this area that are different than Toledo, but it`s not been too bad. I`m enjoying it...and it`s my first time moving to a new area so that`s cool too. I`m trying to put into practice the different things that I`ve learned.

Tell Holly to write to me.

Glad you guys are enjoying Rochester. I think that Nana should get the letter I sent her while you guys are there. I assume you are going to Sea Breeze? Um, when do you leave to go back home?

Well I`m doing pretty good. It`s raining right now, but with my boot things, I`m good, not too much to worry about. Oh I am a tiny bit sick...congestion and sore throat, but not enough to keep me from working. The house here in Minas is sweet. We`re up on the second floor and we can go out on the roof and chill and we have a fire place which is sweet because it is cold here. We`re higher up in elevation. Minas is pretty rich overall. It`s amazing to see the difference because Toledo was very poor (overall). So that was a pretty big switch too.

Anyways, I gotta go. Send love to the family. Tell Bernie thanks for the email even though I haven`t read it yet. Travel safely...I don't know when you are leaving. Peace to puppies and banana peppers.

Love always,

DJ

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Week 27

word

Tuesday, July 13, 2010 7:18 AM

Family family family,

Hello all. Well the big news this week is that I`m getting transferred. I`m going to Minas. I don`t really know where it is, but I think it is northeast of Montevideo and should be easy to find based on the city name. Supposedly, it`s a really cool place and my new comp is Elder Sluder. He seems pretty cool too. Should be a good change. The only thing I`m not looking forward to is that the members don`t really feed us there. :(

Anyways, life is good. It`s pretty sad and hard to leave an area. Those people were my family everyday for 4 months. Elder Nomani and I printed off some pictures of us and signed them, giving them to some of our closer families to remember us. It`s hard. The end of the mission is going to suck booty booty.

I think you guys are leaving on Thursday if I remember correctly. That`s fun. Have a good time with the family...and say hi to all obviously.

Well Uruguay ended up getting 4th place overall in the world cup. It`s awesome. Too bad they couldn`t have pulled out better but top 4 ain`t too bad. I`m going to try and get a flag and a jersey once they go down in price. Right now jerseys are going for about 2000 pesos. Seeing as it`s about 20 pesos to the dollar and we get only 3000 to live on each month, you can see that they are a bit steep.

Anyhoo, cool beans about the apricots. Hopefully they won`t all disappear or anything. That would be sad.

Well, I don`t really have much to report this week. I`m kind of excited to be moving areas. I`m in the same district as the sister who was with me in the MTC. That`ll be fun too. Um...wow this email is really kinda tiny.

Oh yeah, I managed to get everything packed but I have a load of stuff already. I have my 3 suitcases...a duffel bag I bought yesterday...a backpack...and an extra plastic bag that has my pillow and a blanket. Crazy. Thank goodness there are no weight limits in the mission.

Anyhoo that`s all for now I think...sorry for the small content. Thanks for the letters. Oh hey no mail this week because of changes. but I forgot to tell you that I got letter 25 last week. Yep that`s all. Have a great week and a great trip.

Love always,


DJ

Monday, July 5, 2010

Week 26

goober pie

Monday, July 5, 2010 12:31 PM

Well hello family of mine!

This past week was a bit interesting as I was sick until Thursday. I got kind of better on Tuesday and was able to work and everything but Wednesday wasn’t good. We ended up only working from 10 to 12 at which point we were forced to come home and I crashed for the rest of the afternoon. I also purchased some medicine, so between the prayers and the medicine and the sleep, I was able to get over the sickness and I`ve been fine since.

Oh, before I forget, happy birthday to Nana. I`m going to try and get a letter out to her today.

Yes, I was able to see Grandpa in his apartment last week, but I didn`t/couldn`t print it off. That`s ok. I don`t know what I would have done with it anyway.

Oh, I`ve got a good Uruguay story for Dad...he`ll love it as it has to do with planning. Anyhoo, traffic here is the fritz. There is this one intersection by where we have district meeting. The intersection is one of two pretty busy streets. One street has stop signs but it is very busy so traffic gets built up a lot. The other street which is busier, though, has something very useful for regulating traffic control....wait for it....speed bumps. HAHAHAHAHA! They use the speed bumps to slow down the traffic so that the cross traffic can go! WOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!! Gotta love Uruguay.

You know what one of my pet peeves is....lack of punctuality. For example, Sundays we are pretty much always late for church or if we have a meeting, we`re late for the meeting. Only by like 1-5 minutes but it still bugs me. Good story.

So I play piano in sacrament meeting and people here don`t really know how to sing. Consequently, it sometimes causes problems. For instance, we sing “Because I have been given much” about once every two weeks and people don`t know how to sing that song. I spend half the time trying to figure out where they are at in the song because they just really sing willy nilly. It drives me bonkers. oh well, South Americans aren`t known for their abilities to sing. :)

So yeah, Uruguay made it to the quarter finals. People here are nuts...by nuts I mean crazy excited. Uruguay hasn`t even made it to a world cup for like 12 years and the last time they went they lost in the first round. Consequently, everybody is beserk here. Word. The other night, we were at the church cleaning when it went into the penalities (you know where they take turns shooting goals <---- I almost typed girls here. heehee) and we took a break, took one of the girls MP3 players and there were 7 of us guys huddled around on the ground outside listening to the radio coming through the two headphones. When we ended up winning in the penalties, we, as well as the entire country of Uruguay, exploded. For the next several hours, we saw and heard people shouting, honking horns, and doing whatever. They play tomorrow. Should be crazy again. I`m trying to find a jersey or souvenir of sorts because this is epic. they play against the Netherlands. and then Germany and Spain play on Wednesday. the championship game is Sunday. So by next week, you`ll know where it all went down. And yes I realize that you don`t follow it...you and the rest of America.

The emails are fine. I read fast and type fast so I have plenty of time to write.

Oh also, next week is transfers...again...so I won`t be writing until Tuesday, probably earlier in the morning. We`ll see. More than likely, I`ll be leaving the area....ugh I hate moving.

The weather here has been strangely bizarre too. Or so it seems. It`s been very humid and warm. We`ve been walking around in short sleeve shirts the past couple of days. Supposedly it`s going to get colder again here soon. Either way, it`s kind of weird. Maybe we took some of your warm weather. I don’t know.

Well, not much more to report for this week. Keep on keeping on over there in those States of yours. Thanks for everything you guys do. I appreciate it, but you already know that. Say hi to all for me. Rawr.

Love Always,


DJ

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Week 25

Monday, June 28, 2010 12:04 PM

Hello family,

Life is good for the most part except that I think I have the flu...or something like that. I had a huge fever last night and now I`m. :( just achy and stuff all over but it seems to be getting better. Thankfully today is pday. We had to come back to the house early yesterday unfortunately.

The work continues to go. Unfortunately it rained again for like the 3rd weekend out of the last 4 and consequently we had only one "investigator" in church and one recent convert. The investigator who came isn`t even really an investigator. He pretty much has no intention of getting baptized because he thinks he`s perfect. Seriously. he just likes to come to church every once in a while. As a result, we no longer have a baptism planned for the tenth...it`ll be later.

Right now we`re in the process of fixing the membership database for the Branch. There are over 400 members with weekly attendance of about 100. So we`re finding people that nobody even knows…the people that have moved will be taken out of the Branch list too.

In other news, do you guys think you could send some socks down. These socks I have are awesome but unfortunately the mission is really hard on them. Oh and good news on my shoes! They`ve been sewed so I shouldn`t have any more issues with them for a while. Yeah so with the socks...I think any kind will be fine unless they are bad for walking long distances.

Yes I did get Dad`s package, in addition to a postcard, a letter from Grandma, 23 and 24 and a letter from Aunt Margaret. I`m trying to upload photos now as we speak.

So anyways, we`re continuing to find and teach people...we have this one investigator, she was really apprehensive because she had previously joined several churches and she didn`t want to join the wrong church again. We had been teaching her for about a month and a half or two and this past week we had a visit with her. We had planned to teach baptism and confirmation and see what her desires were for baptism and whatnot. Before we started the lesson, she told us that she had something to tell us. The week before during the sacrament, she told us that she had received more of a definite answer and she needs to be baptized. We were a bit surprised, I`m not going to lie, but now everything is going great. She`ll probably get baptized on the 24th provided that she keeps all of her commitments and comes to church. We`ll see. :)

Thanks for all your support. Good stuff it is. I really appreciate it. Have a great week.


Love always,

DJ