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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

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Week 58

Cookies are happy

Monday, February 21, 2011 12:30 PM
Hello family from your favorite southern hemisphere dweller.

Well here we are again. Life is happy. This past week was pretty good, but it went by fairly quickly. We had zone conference on Thursday, that was really good. It was a double zone conference so I got to see some friends from the other zone. Those articles Mom sent actually helped to explain some things (or helped to explain why we`re doing and focusing on certain things). Speaking of which, I got letters 56 and 57 as well as the card with pictures. More to come later. Back to the zone conference. It was definitely enjoyable. It`s sad to think that I only have a small handful left...that thought struck me the other day. I`ve decided that it`s kind of difficult to leave home and all of that stuff behind, but not too hard because you know that after a small period of time, you`ll have it all back. It`s 3 billion times more difficult to leave the mission, because you`re not likely to have anything like it ever again..

Speaking of the pictures, Chris looks good without braces, although regrettably he no longer looks like the person I knew, and he seems to be huge (as compared to the fridge). wow....and evidently it was no haircut November as well for Patrick.

So, investigators......this week was full of ups and downs. One of our really good couples who was all set to go last week to get everything ready for the marriage is dropping off the radar. The reason is that he is out of work, so last Monday, he took up a job far away from home where he works for 15 days and is home for 2. He gets home the 1st, but then probably leaves right away again. So we`re going with the Branch President tomorrow to talk to the wife to see if we can work something out. I feel like we`ve done all we can with the knowledge we have, so we`re praying that the Lord literally puts His hand in and helps us out. On top of that, it was bad weather (well not terrible, but enough to scare the Uruguayans) so we only had 4 investigators in church. Well technically, only one is a person we`re actually teaching. The other 3 were family members of others. So yep, it was very interesting this past week.

There are no pictures this week either. Sorry.

I am doing well. I don`t need anything. This is the last week of February (already), so it should start to get cooler here within the next couple of weeks. Hopefully. There was at least one day last week that was so hot and humid and with no wind, that I thought we were just going to melt into a puddle. Hooray.

My comp is doing well. He`s really improving with the language. Oh hey, we finally got a Ward Mission leader. I don`t remember if I told you this...so hopefully we`ll be able to get some baptisms or something. We are eating about the same from members, except that this week we have food lined up everyday for the first time. Cool stuff. And I`ve only had two of my comps finish their mission. One last October (the Tongan football player) and one finished 2 weeks ago (the first Hondurian). My trainer finishes this change (so a month from now) along with the other Hondurian. So next change, I`ll just have 2 of my comps still in the mission (well and whoever is my comp next change).

I have no idea how close I am right now to the Montivedeo West Mission, but I think it`s not too far. We share the department of Montevideo with the other mission...just don`t know where. Brazil is about 6 hours from my area by bus. I`m (still) on the outskirts of Montevideo. I should be able to get to know a new area next change.

Well that`s all for today. Have a great last week of February. Hope you enjoyed skiing today. I`ll be back next week with more happy news from the southern hemisphere. HOORAY!

Love always,

DJ

Thursday, February 17, 2011

So Sorry Readers

To all of DJ's Blog Readers. You can blame me! I am so sorry, but I forgot to upload DJ's blog last week, so there are two this week for you to read. Week 56 and Week 57.

Thanks for Following our blog!

DJ's Dad

Week 57

Boogers
Monday, February 14, 2011 1:35 PM
Oots.

So here we are, my 7th change (of 9) in the same zone. Hooray! I`m not complaining. I wanted to stay. I`m really hoping that at least *somebody* gets baptized this change, but unfortunately there are too many variables. It`s tiring work being worried for so many people at the same time. I really don`t care for myself...I came out to serve and love, but I would like my comp to have his first baptism soon, hopefully with me as his trainer. We`re praying and working to try and have at least one but I really don`t know what else we can do. Anyways, in happier news, we had 7 in church yesterday, including one for her first time. Good news. She is the (soon to be legal) daughter-in-law of a less active family which we are reactivating at the same time.

Ok, so I got letter 55 last week. Also I got a letter from Kyle (finally).

Funny story of the week...there is a bug here called the rhino beetle that is pretty common and not dangerous. It is a beetle with a horn on the front. So recently we have taken a liking to them and we pick them up and carry them with us. Well one day, my comp let one walk all over his shirt. And Mr. Rhino beetle thanked him by taking a fatty dump on his collar. My comp had 4 huge brown spots on his collar. Never have I wanted a camera so badly in my entire life. :D

PS...that was a joke last week about the G2 Pens. I was messing around. I knew they were from the brothers. Sorry you took me seriously. :P

Yeah, so life is good,.

Congrats to BYU basketball, which is rocking the casbah. Makes up for the fail of a football season they had.

Oh and postcards don`t really exist here...at least not anywhere close to where I live. So sadly, I`ll not be able to help Owen. Apologies.

So I`ve recently become a huge fan of conference issues of the Ensign. I had 4 in my possession and then I found 3 more in the house and I`ve been reading them like a madman. My most basic conclusion is that the apostles are awesome. My comp laughs at me because I`ll read an article (by Elder Ballard for example) and then I`ll turn to him and say, "Well, Elder Ballard is awesome". Well it`s true. They are truly awesome through and through. We have the October 2004 conference issue in the house and I got to read President Hinckley`s talk about pornography. Good stuff. That man was a boss too. So yeah, basically modern revelation is the shiz. What would we do without it.

Um, so yeah, my comp and I are doing great. Hope you guys have a good week. Thanks for the love and prayers. We`ll keep working like bosses out here, rocking the shiz. Word. Stay safe and don`t do drugs.

Love Always,

DJ

Week 56

SURPRISE!
Monday, February 7, 2011 1:06 PM
Well, family, welcome to MONDAY. yep. things were all changed around and now I am here writing to you on Monday.

Speaking of which, I didn`t get any package from my brothers, are you sure you packed it? What was it?

So, good news is that I am definitely staying here for a 4th change and I am super stoked. You have no idea how happy I was when I got the call (see 2 Nephi 2:25). My comp and I are going to have a blast. So I don`t know how Elder Sluder managed to alert his family...oh it must be because he is a zone leader and found out before Monday last week. aha. So yeah, changes have now been changed and are now change^2 (that`s change squared). Changes, if we have them, are on Tuesday still but it`s a whole lot quicker now. All the missionaries with changes go to the chapel of the assistants and there they change and go right back to their areas to work. A little bit tougher for the incoming missionaries now. They get into Uruguay to go right into 5 or 6 hours of work. Oh well.

I have no pictures this week because I neglected to charge the battery on my camera and we really didn`t do much that was interesting anyways. I`ll get some for next week. No fears. I`m glad you enjoyed last week`s pictures.

Hey by the way, I forgot to mention thank you for the g2 pens. That should last me until the end of the mission. You guys are awesome.

Let`s see...as far as the work goes. It`s going. We had some really solid lessons this last week that really helped some people to take a step in their progression. We had one couple that was keeping all of their commitments and everything, but was hemming and hawing about the whole marriage decision. But we managed to reach a point last week where they said they are going to make a definite decision. This is good and I feel like they`re going to make the decision to get married. Hope so. The other couple that we have (the closest ones to baptism) have run into some hard times, but are persevering and are planning on going to get a marriage date this week...hopefully tomorrow.

Patrick never told me when I asked him about the laptop. Is it still running and working well. and is Cy dead? Tell him I`m going to beat him like a red-headed step child if he doesn`t write to me soon.

To answer Dad`s question about the weather (how odd that he would be the one to ask about the weather...hmmm). January and February are the two most beastly months but thankfully we do have a day here and there that is cooler or windier. As long as there is a tiny breeze, things are good and it`s bearable. The absolute worst is when it is dead still. Ugh.
With regards to the shoes...which saved pair are you talking about? The good pair or the destroyed pair. I`m saving the good pair because they do not match anything but my one pair of blue pants. I haven`t completely lost my sense of fashion. and I`m saving a destroyed pair to have as souvenir. :) I`m going to do everything in my power to not have you guys send another pair of shoes, but it is a small possibility. I`m sure you won`t have a problem with that. Besides shoes, I`m good for the mission (unless of course something drastic happens). I`ve got a brand new white shirt on. Wow. I haven`t seen something this white in a long time. :)

Well I`m pretty much running out of time/things to say. Hey just got the email about the postcard thing. I`d love to do it provided that I can find a postcard. I`m not sure if they exist around here. I`ll do my best to find one.

Okey dokey. Well that`s all for today. Hope you all have a wonderful life of sauce in the second week of February. I lurves you all berry berry mooch.

Love always,

DJ

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Week 55

bauce soss

Monday, January 31, 2011 12:48 PM
Dearest family of mine (MINE MINE MINE)

How are y`all doing? Here we are in the last moments of January. Tomorrow it`ll be just a memory. Sigh. Anyhoo, WELCOME TO FEBRUARY! WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!

So life is great here. You`ll be pleased to here that I got mail last week on Tuesday at district meeting and then we had a small zone conference and interviews on Thursday so I got more mail. The sad part of all of this is that I will not be getting any mail for the next 2 weeks. Anyhoo, I got letters 44, 53, and 54. Yes that is correct. Letter #44 came through, postmarked November something. I also got the box with shoes and the box that you also sent out without letting me know which is evidently a sign of your concern that I was not eating enough. As I have said, I am eating more and better, but the box was/is appreciated anyways. I couldn`t believe the number of granola bars. :D Also, I did get Angela and Trevor`s box for Christmas, if somebody could let them know. I`ll send out a letter tomorrow, but then they can know right away as well.

There are 2 pictures attached, one is obviously me, and the other is obviously a shoe. That would be my second pair of destroyed shoes...you`ll notice that the Grand Canyon has taken residence down there. If you look along the edge, you can see how thick the rubber used to be, and then in the middle, you can see how thick (and I use the term loosely) it is now. Good stuff. Happily, I am still using those shoes though. I`m using them as long as absolutely possible so I can be as sure as possible that I won`t need you to send another pair of shoes. Sauce.

Now, with regards to investigators. For the first time in my mission, we had double digit investigators in church. We had 10 yesterday which is super cool. Still nobody with a solid baptismal date, but we do have 3 (a couple and the wife of a less active) that are pretty much sure baptisms, and soon as well. They`re both going (or so they say) this week to get a marriage date. For this reason, among many others, I`m really hoping and praying that I`ll stay. I think I will. I would really like to see them get baptized. The few people we have who have accepted a solid baptismal date are kind of wishy-washy. OOTS.

The conference and interviews were nice. We had a nice little lesson on agency. I pretty much love anything to do with the Plan of Salvation, so that was good. I realized that agency is not so much just the ability to choose, but more of the responsibility to choose (see 2 Nephi 2:14). There are things created to act, and things created to be acted upon. If we don`t exercise the ability to choose, we inevitably and unwisely turn ourselves into things that are being acted upon (in a certain sense of it). This is why it was so crucial that Adam and Eve eat the fruit, but that they choose for themselves. God made them choose in the sense that he gave them 2 conflicting commandments. He wanted them to exercise their agency, and of course Satan helped in that sense to tempt them. Good stuff. In the interview, President told me to imagine that Mom was there, then he asked me what she would say about me to him, what she would want to know about me from him, and what he would say to her about me. and I answered as if I was her, something like that. The President obviously knows who I am, no doubts, but he said some nice things about me. I don`t really care too much if people focus on me as a missionary, but it is nice to know that the President can tell I`m hardworking and obedient. Obviously I`m not perfect and the President finished the interview telling me that he hoped I learned something from the conference that I could put it into practice.

Side note, that`s super awesome that Devin Bell is on a mission. I was surprised and happy for him. I like that you guys send me those flyer things from the Stake. They`re good.

As far as transfers, I`ll find out next Sunday night. I`m praying to stay. I don`t feel ready to leave yet. When I asked president to stay, I told him that I know it`s all revelation but I just wanted to let him know my thoughts. And I told him that I never thought I`d ask for a 7th change in the same zone. If I stay, it`ll be my 7th change in the same zone. Wow.

Anyhoo, have a great week. Remember I`ll be writing on Tuesday next week regardless...hopefully with good news. I don`t need anything right now. I`m doing pretty well. The days here just fly by. I never know what day I`m in anymore. I just live on a day to day basis. Oh well. What can you do? Thanks again for the packages and mail (ps, I got 3 letters from Grandma, including one that took only 9 days to get from her to me, hmmm). Keep on keeping on. :)

Love always,

DJ