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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

Monday, May 24, 2010

Week 20

monkey

Monday, May 24, 2010 10:54 AM

woo?

Hello all. Glad to hear you received the SD card, not so cool about the whole erase thingy. Um, yeah, those were other pictures. I opened a new card, right, and took pictures for you guys. So my "actual pictures" we`ll say, are still on the card I have here. It`s really weird that it got erased though because Elder Nomani has sent his home and not had any problems.

Have fun with Bernie and Tom this week.

Um, the weather here is bizarre, yeah. It`s ridiculously warm for the end of May (or so it seems). It did, however, rain this morning and I got to use my boot things. woo!

So the work here is kind of exploding. This past week we had 35 lessons, but the best part was that we had 9 investigators in church and 5 of those have a baptismal date. We also had one of our less active families that we focus on in church. We have 5 less active families that we focus on. and up until yesterday, none of them had ever come, but yesterday one of the families came. It was sweet. Let`s see..and the other elders had 5 in church, so between the 4 of us, we had 14 investigators, plus various recent converts and menos activos who don`t often come. Church was packed. :)

We have no baptisms this week, but we have two next week, provided they can get married before then without much problem. Then 2 more lined up for the following week, and one the week after that. Good stuff. and we keep finding new people to teach too. We contacted one lady on Saturday. We managed to teach her the first lesson at her gate and when we were done, she said something to the effect of "look how many times I`ve ignored or dismissed you guys and now that I`ve listened, I`ve been given something that interests me". so we`ll see where that goes, but it`s encouraging.

I haven’t received anything other than one letter from grandma for 3 weeks. I think there is a lag now because they are changing addresses.

Thanks again for sending the jacket. I`ll more than likely get it at the next zone conference in 3 weeks. That`s my guess. Also, I`m pretty certain that we`ll be staying together here for another change, which is great by me. We work well together, He`s a fun guy and I want to be here for the baptisms.

Anyways, cool about Patrick. I didn`t know they were going to Chicago now. Weird. Also congrats to Chris on his permit.

School here is bizarre. From what I can tell, it`s only obligatory up until 12 years of age. After that it`s optional, and I think you kinda pick what you want to study (kind of a mix between high school and college). Anyways, some kids go half time and some go full time. I don`t know why the distinction exists or what the advantages of either are, but school runs from beginning of March until the end of November or beginning of December I think. They have a break of about 3 weeks in July (equivalent to Christmas break) and a break of a week or so in September (spring break more or less). It`s pretty similar in that respect, from what I`ve heard.

Anyhoo...I have nothing else for now. Have fun with Bernie and Tom and say hi to them for me. hopefully I`ll get some mail tomorrow...hopefully. Sauce. Take care.

Love always,


DJ

Monday, May 17, 2010

Week 19

Goober

Monday, May 17, 2010 11:09 AM

Goober Goober Goober,

Ooglie booglie, sauce. Anyways, hello again to all. Welcome to the second half of May...tomorrow starts week 5 of this change. I`m hoping/thinking that me and my comp will be together another change. Right now, the work is getting set to explode. This area used to be the promised land, but then it kinda slowed down. I think what happened was the area got some trucho missionaries (we call them), missionaries who don`t really want to work too hard / aren`t too obedient. Because this area is seriously full of people ready for the gospel. This past week we had lots of lessons with people, most of those with investigators and the others with recent converts or less actives. But yeah...I`m hoping we stay here the both of us because we should have some solid baptisms this next change. Hoping. We keep finding people in new areas who are ready to listen to us. It`s awesome. So yeah, we`re excited.

We too, had stake conference yesterday. That was nice. Good stuff. The funniest part is when they try to pronounce the apostles names.

Well, I did get the package with the boot things. Woo!

I think I seriously underestimated how cold it would be here...and I forgot that the houses wouldn`t have heaters. They`re not much warmer, just without the wind. We do have a little heater thing for emergencies but it sucks energy so we prefer to bundle if possible.

So they have a weird custom here with trees. Evidently every winter they cut off all of the branches....as in cut off. Thus there are a bunch of trees here that have really old trunks and then newer stumps up top and then nothing because every year they cut it off. Weird.

You did put the new address on the blog, I assume. Probably a good idea, if you haven`t yet.

Um, I have nothing else to bring to the table. Thanks so much for the mail and packages and email. I feel loved (and rightly so)...have a great week to all.

Love always,

DJ


PS: My comp is Tongan and there is a Samoan in my district...Grandma told me one of the missionaries there is Samoan. Just fun fact for the day. Woo Polynesia!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Week 18

woo!

Monday, May 10, 2010 4:58 PM

`Family people of mine,

Ah, it`s been a long time. It was nice to talk to you guys yesterday. I enjoyed it, and from the sounds of your emails, the feelings are reciprocated.

Um, as of next week, district meetings will change back to the way they used to be. It doesn`t make a whole lot of sense to me, and we lose a substantial amount of time this way, but what can you do. So we`ll have 3 hours of work time on Monday. It`s scheduled for the night time, but that is about as effective as trying to do contacts by throwing rocks at people, so we might move those 3 hours to the morning before Pday starts...dunno yet.

I forgot to tell you guys about Mate (pronounced MAH-tay). it`s the biggest thing here, and everybody drinks it. Basically it is grass with sugar (optional) and hot water. And you drink it through a metal straw. I kid you not. That is pretty much the national sport. People get up, drink mate, work for a couple hours, take a 3 hour siesta, work a little bit more, and have fun before going to bed. Mind you, they are pretty much drinking mate constantly during the day. There`ll be times during the day when people just sit around drinking mate. The best is when they say that they can`t talk/listen to us because they are busy (drinking mate and doing nothing).

So yeah, good stuff there. Halfway through another change, we are...crazy stuff. I was thinking...Christmas doesn`t seem that far away, not really anyways...and when I call on Christmas, I`ll have less than a year left. Weird, huh? Yeah, I thought so too.

I really don`t have a whole lot to relate today because of the phone call yesterday. I hope everybody is doing well, especially the grandparents. I`m glad that Grandma was there for the call, that was nice.

Have a great week. Enjoy those busy lives of yours and the wonderfully warm weather that you are taking from the southern hemisphere. Pbbbbbb.

Love Always,

DJ

Monday, May 3, 2010

Week 17

woo hoo!!!!!!

Monday, May 3, 2010 9:29 PM

Hola bizzare family of mine.

I hope life is the booty booty for you guys...in a completely good, missionary way. Life here is awesome with a capital Boo Yah.

As far as packages, I have not yet received any, but I didn`t receive any mail today at all. We have zone conference on Thursday this week and I know that last time they like to save stuff to just bring it there, so I should be getting the boot things as well as other mail on Thursday. Fingers crossed.

So the work here is good. We taught about 7 more lessons last week than usual. We are teaching more and being more efficient. The Lord has really been blessing us here in Toledo (that`s where I`m working. We are a bit northeast of Belloni). We found several people this past week that have definitely been prepared by the Lord. One lady, Patricia, had been firm in her church for about 30 years and then something just recently happened that shook her faith in her church a little bit...and then we contacted into her and had a really good lesson. Another contact, Juan Garcia, pretty much has a testimony already. Everything we said, he agreed with. And when I asked him if he would be baptized when he received his answer, he told us that he had already been baptized. We briefly explained the authority and he said "Oh, so I`ll have to be baptized again. Ok". That`s the easiest I`ve ever seen somebody take the "your first baptism is invalid" thing. Amazing.

So yeah, the work is good, and I am absolutely loving it. I love being a missionary. So many small (and large) blessings too. Amazing. I can`t believe that we`re already starting week 3 of this change. Bizarre.

So I sent out a letter today like last time. There are letters for Aunt Margaret, Cy, my roommate Ben (with address) and you guys. It has an SD card in it too, with labels for each picture. Hope you enjoy it. Feel free to do absolutely whatever with the pictures. Put them on the blog, save them on the computer, eat them...whatever.

Also, I found some kleenex today at a store. Well it`s not kleenex per se, but it is tissues and stuff, so I bought some. Good stuff. Also, I splurged/treated myself and bought a box of mac and cheese. :) :) :) :) WOO!

Okay, let`s answer some questions. Yes, we are being fed everyday. Um, names of towns...don`t really exist. We have the area of Toledo Chico, but the easiest thing would be to look up where Route 6 meets Route 33. We have that intersection and pretty much everything to the left of route 6 and on both sides of 33 (and it goes for a while, the area). Hope that helps you find it.

My knowledge of life outside of my area is about 0 on a scale of green to banana. Um...I`m sure Laundromats exist somewhere, and I would presume that there are richer areas somewhere...maybe closer to the city. I have absolutely no idea if and where I could get size 14 shoes. My guess right now is no, but who knows. Also, I know nothing about how they define middle class. Sorry to be so little help, but my knowledge is extremely limited right now to the area I`m in.

Anyways, that`s the info I have now...if you want to send more questions next week, I can answer them. Thanks so much for everything. I appreciate it all. Hope you guys have a great week. Say hi to all for me...oh and thank the Bishop for his letter. Um, until next time...peace dawgs.

Love always,

DJ