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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

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Week 54

Bananas

Monday, January 24, 2011 12:25 PM
Hey family,

Here am I healthy, happy and safe. Well I`m as healthy as a person can expect for living in a 2nd world country I don`t know if that exists, but I feel bad calling Uruguay a 3rd world country. Recently, I was attacked by a small bout of diarrhea. For some reason my digestive system decided that it no longer wanted to process the food last night and yesterday. :) I do seem to be doing better today though.

Um, let`s answer questions first today. Sadly, I do not take vitamins...so I think that if I were to start taking them daily for the rest of the mission, I`d be able to bring them home. Right now, they are renting a spot in my suitcase...good income. Yes, I do use my retainers at least 5 or 6 nights per week. They don`t bother me at all, so why not use them. (PS that`s great that Chris got his braces off. I will be needing a picture). And as far as mail, I got letters 51 and 52 and 2 letters from Grandma...that`s it for this week. Hopefully, I`ll get some more this week (i.e. tomorrow), we can only hope I think.

Now, as far as the missionary week here, it`s going great. However, we have this weird phenomenon in our area. We have a group of investigators who have accepted a date to get baptized and we have a group of investigators who are progressing towards baptism. Theoretically, those 2 groups would not be distinct. Sadly, in this area they are. That is to say, there is no investigator with a date that is progressing (i.e. going to church), and none of the investigators that are progressing can have baptismal dates because they all have to get married. It`s an interesting situation. On that note, we had 9 investigators in church yesterday. It was super great. We had our 3 awesome couples and we`re now teaching the daughter of one of them So yeah, it was super awesome...and our gospel principles class was better. We`ve been having this Brother from the stake come teach it and he`s good but there is absolutely no class discussion and he likes to go off on random, pointless tangents. So I have to pay attention and clear up questions.

Anyhoo, we do have one of those couples mentioned above who are going to supposedly get a marriage date this week, which means they should be able to get baptized in mid February. For that reason among others, I`m really hoping and praying that I stay another change in this area (another reason is that my comp is awesome and I`m enjoying having an obedient comp). So hopefully, they along with a couple other people will get baptized in February. I would have liked to have some baptisms this month, but it just wasn`t too feasible with how much rebuilding we had to do in the area. We are being blessed a ton though.

Let`s see...oh yeah, I also got the box of cookies! And the majority of them were not broken which was also a surprise and they taste really good...so thank you for the Christmas cheer. Hooray!

This last week we managed to pick up a foreign investigator...she lives in Peru. Yep. She`s here visiting family or something until March. I don`t know if it`s possible to baptize her, but if it is, and she ends up getting baptized, how cool would that be to say that we baptized somebody who lives in Peru. Woo!

Quick picture update. The first one is of my comp and me with our 25 pound zucchini we got from our investigators. And then some random pictures I took when I was bored. :) Enjoy.

So, I think that`s all the exciting news I have. Life is pretty rocking. Since I`m now on the declining side and also because my mission is pretty much lined up directly with calendar years...every month that passes is one less month I have. Sadness. I can`t believe that this is the last week of January and then we`re already in February 2011. Seems like we just celebrated the new year. Oh well. I`m working hard and having a blast so I`ve got no complaints. My comp is awesome like I have said. I really hope I can stay another change here. Good times.

Oh, and thanks to Dad for the basketball updates. Is this Jimmer`s last year? Or is he a junior? I can`t remember. That`s pretty sweet that they`re doing so well though. Good stuff.

Mmk, that`s all I`ve got for now. Hopefully this satisfies the desire that y`all have for Guayan updates. Yeppers. Have a good week. Send me some cold weather. :D

Love Always,

DJ

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Week 53

Email part 1

Monday, January 17, 2011 5:27 AM
Whoa there family of mine,

Well I definitely am at Tres Cruces right now because my comp had to come for a medical check up with the rest of the newbies. So that`s why I`m doing email so early. Evidently mom has not yet written me and won`t for a couple hours because it`s about 5:15 in the morning there. So I`m using part of my time now and I`ll use the rest later to quickly read mom`s letter and then reply.

Woo! So anyways, life is good. My comp is awesome and word`s cannot actually describe the joy I have. It is the shiz. Woo! So we`re working our booties off trying to help people get baptized. We had 4 in church yesterday which is good, but we were hoping for more. Sadly, not one of our 5 people with a baptismal date showed up. It unfortunately seems like they all disappear when we put a date with them. Poo. But we do have a awesome couple, Miguel and Natalia that are progressing at hyperspeed. This past week, we managed to get them to read the scriptures every day, pray as a family, commit to get married and get to church for their 3rd week. They are awesome. This is the couple that told us the very first visit that they wanted to be taught so they could get baptized. However it took a while to get things rolling. With my new comp`s obedience and excitement for the work, we are receiving a lot of blessings and I`m a very straightforward person. I say things as they are. So we have been able to really help them see the importance and blessings from each of the above things. They are going to get a marriage date this week which should be for about 2 or 3 weeks in advance, depending...so they should get married and baptized in early February. The only other obstacle we have is the word of wisdom, which should be easy to conquer as long as we have the spirit.

Other than that, we have a lot of "investigators" but not a lot of people investigating the gospel. So we`re going to be really frank with people this week and see if they want to continue. Because right now we`re having a huge problem with lessons falling through, which is kind of a sign that people don`t see the importance of all of this. So we`ll see what happens this week. We`re just working really hard to get some baptisms. On the other side of the playing field, we`re working a ton with less actives as well which is awesome. We`ve gotten several families to start coming back to church and we`ve got a couple more that are close. So our average attendance for church has increased by about 15 people since I`ve gotten here, which is good. We`re going to continue working with them as well. Good stuff.

I`m doing well. We`ll get mail tomorrow and we didn`t get any last week so I have nothing to report. We do have surprise rain storms pop up every once and a while where we`ll get totally drenched. Oh well. It`s not horrible. At least we don`t have a cell phone or a wallet or anything...just books that we put in bags and they stay dry. Other than the occasional quick rain storm, it`s mostly just hot and humid. We`re surviving. Time is kind of just flying...as we`re just focusing really hard on the work and the days just leave us.

ps, happy 18th birthday to Patrick. I can`t believe he`s already going to be 18...and he was still 16 when I left. :)

Um, well that`s all I`ve got for now...anything else will be in the next email which will come later today. Hope mom is feeling better. Being sick is no fun at all. Giggles. Take care...for these next few hours. :D

Love,
DJ


Email part 2

Monday, January 17, 2011 8:03 AM
Um, so I`m really sorry, but I`m not going to have time to get on later so here is part 2. Sorry to you mom. I`ll read both of them next week. I hope there wasn`t anything urgent in there. There never has been before so if this week was the first week with something urgent, that`s uberbad luck. Um, so I have nothing else to add really. We`re pretty much doing awesome. Life is sweet.

We`re going to continue working hard and sharing the gospel. It`s a good message. I`ve come to the conclusion that given enough time and attention, we could convince anybody because it all just makes too much sense. The problem is that people don`t want to give us the time of day. People are generally friendly here. Anyhoo, I don`t really need anything right now...since I`m now over one year my philosophy is: well if I survived the first year without it, then I can survive the second year without it. That`s the general philosophy... I`m doing pretty well. I`m healthy and eating better and more routinely than before. My comp is a BOSS and I`m really hoping we stay together a second change...I think I might even ask president to stay with him. We should have interviews either this week or next. We`ll see what happens

Ok, so my apologies again to mom. Everything just had to work out so that she got sick this week when I did email earlier than usual. I`m going to assume that there is nothing absolutely urgent. I`ll be back in a week. :D

Take care of yourselves. I love you all. Say hi to all for me.
Love always,

DJ

ps...We got a 25 pound zucchini from an investigator. We`ll send the picture next week. :)

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Week 52

First full week of two thousand eleven

Monday, January 10, 2011 12:31 PM
Hello again family of mine,

Well, what did you all do in this first fine week of 2011...I hope it was filled with kittens and gumballs. Before I forget, Happy upcoming anniversary Mom and Dad. Hooray for 22 years. Uh huh, git sum.

Well life here has been pretty good. To answer the obvious question, yes it is still beastly hot but I`ve gotten used to it and it really doesn`t bother me. My comp`s not having too hard of a problem either, although he does carry around a water bottle and his nose got roasty toastied. Let`s see next question, yesterday we had 51 people in church, which is pretty good, even though it`s not as high as last week`s 57. We had 7 investigators in church, although only 5 are actually true investigators, the other 2 are just nonmembers of baptism age (sisters of a member) that potentially could be investigators in the future. We did not however have any less active families there. Poo.

Well, last Wednesday at district meeting, I finally got mail. I got letters 47,48,49,50 as well as a small hoard of other mail. Dad`s card arrived with the comic. Oh and please tell the Davis family thank you for their card...I didn`t have time to get a letter written. So yeah, good stuff...a card from Ricky and Chuck, Nana, Amber and Brad, Kim Diemer, the Davis family, some from Grams and the quarterly update from Bishop. It was hopping.

Congrats to Chris on his paper. That was super cool and I really liked the paper. It was pretty clever. Also, how come I had never heard that Sister Rock served a mission. Where was the information hiding? Good beans. How long have we known them?

My comp and I are working well. We`ve been having a little bit of difficulties with lessons falling through on us. We don`t know why, but hopefully we can figure something out to help fix it. I`m really enjoying just working hard and whatnot.

So yeah, we`re doing awesome together. I hope we stay two changes together because it`s so nice working with an obedient companion. He comes from a family of 5 including the parents. He is the oldest with one sister and one brother. I don`t know how long he has lived in Nephi, but his grandfather is Bishop Larsen of some Grand Junction ward...idk if you know him or not. If you do know him, that`s cool and kind of weird all at the same time.

So yep, life is the shizniz. I`m really enjoying it. We`re just working hard, trying to have the Lord bless us with baptisms. We`ll see what happens.

Well, I was going to send you a picture today of a mate cup...mate is the huge pasttime drink here. People have it EVERYWHERE, but the computer isn`t recognizing my card so well. I bought one as a souvenir. I also bought a new umbrella since my other one broke. I went to a supermarket so I could use my debit card.

Ok, I have nothing else to say. Sorry for the boring emails. Unfortunately the farther I get into the mission, the less things change and there are less new things to announce. Welcome to life. Hope everybody has a good week. Monkey.

Love Always,

DJ

Monday, January 3, 2011

Week 51

Welcome to 2000 a billion

Monday, January 3, 2011 12:35 PM
Hey giggle monkeys,

Here we are in mister 2011. Although I`m pretty sure I`m going to get home and still be in 2010. Time change doesn`t really seem to affect me down here. It never felt like Christmas and it never felt like the new year. Yet here we are. Juice.

So, life is pretty much rocking in pretty much every way. My comp is the bomb. We are having a blast together and working the area. The holidays make it a lot more difficult to work around here because everything shuts down and what not, but even with the new year and festivities, we managed to have more lessons than ever before in this area (well since I`ve been here). And we had 5 investigators in church. However, possibly even better than that was that 3 less active families came to church. We had almost 60 people in Church and keep in mind that I had never seen over 40 before. :D So yeah, Elder Dinkel is a stud. We did find a couple new people to teach, but because of the holidays we actually formed a sizeable list of people who told us to come back after the holidays. We`re hoping to reap the benefits of that this week.

Words can not honestly or adequately explain how happy I am to be with my comp. It`s super to have spiritual lessons and be deserving of miracles and blessings. It is the giggles.

In other news, I found a super tasty strawberry jelly down here so I made a peanut butter and jelly sandwich...as seen in one of the photos. Also included a photo of my peanut butter and oreos, a picture of your favorite missionary, and a picture of the last change`s zone here.

So yeah, life is great as long as the mission just lets us do our thing. My comp, like I said, is a beast and he`s super fun to be with. We`re working really hard to be obedient and be deserving of the Lord`s blessing. Good stuff. Tell Grandma and Grandpa thanks for the Christmas gift. I`ve been eating better because my comp and I actually eat together and share stuff, which seems to be working out well. I`ve actually been eating something for breakfast every day. Hooray!

Speaking of Cy, how is that fool doing? Tell the monkey to send me a letter. It`s been an eternity.

So yeah, the work is good. People are learning and progressing and we`re really working hard to have some baptisms this month. It would be super for sure. Oh and also, as soon as you get those shoes, send them please. I think my second pair that I brought originally will last until February. So that means that I`ll finish out the mission with these 2 pairs you`ve sent me. Good stuff. Hooray for the mission destroying shoes! Yay!

Oh also tell Nana thank you for me. I wrote a letter to Bernie and Tom today that I`ll get sent out this week hopefully. Beans.

Well, have a great week. When I write you guys next week, I`ll be on the downward side of things. I`ll have over one year in the mission. Brussel Sprouts. Don`t do anything that will kill you. It`s generally best to stay away from those things. That`s the weekly advice. You dudes are the best. :)

Love Always,

DJ