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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

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.