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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, June 28, 2011

Week 76

Monday, June 27, 2011 8:04 AM

Bubbles and Giraffes.

Dear family,

I`m freezing. The (proto)planet Pluto let us borrow its weather so we`re consequently all icecubes. It`s gotten really cold lately. Our house is one of the best in the mission about not letting cold in and stuff and we woke up to it being 53 degrees inside today. Woo hoo! Other than that, we`ve had periodic rain, but not too much. I stay pretty dry with all my gear. That rainjacket was the best 50 dollars ever spent. Oh okay so I was going to mention the shoes. Don`t send them to me yet. I`ve been trying to calculate. I may actually be able to get through with what I have. The newest pair I have right now is holding up well. I don`t walk nearly as fast with these shorter comps so I`m not destroying them as fast. When I was with Dinkel, that was an anomaly because we spedwalk everywhere to just destroy the area. (that’s a good thing) Consequently I destroyed the shoes. Moral of the story...hold off on sending more shoes. I`ll keep you posted.

So Ana`s baptism was really good, but the confirmation was even better. I baptized her. PS. Since I`m a noob and we kind of rushed out the house today I totally forgot to grab the pictures to send. Sorry. I got to participate in the confirmation (the bishop confirmed her). It was super powerful. I felt like a little conduit of power from God to her. She got really emotional during the confirmation. It was super good.

In other area news, we found a good family last week that will hopefully progress. We had a good first lesson and they were both really attentive and he said that he`d love to go to church, only that nobody had ever invited him before. Sadly, they are probably not married, but we`ll see. We`ll also be teaching his sister and her family because she lives next door, loves listening to the missionaries, and was very very close to being baptized a few years back but it didn`t happen. Good stuff.

I received letter 75 and 2 from Grandma. Strangely one of those from Grandma also did not have a postmark. I don`t understand the postal service.

To answer comp uses a messenger service to communicate with his family on pdays. He gets the same mission allowance, sent to him through my account. We`ll have interviews in this change in July, but zone conference probably won`t be until the end of August or so.

That`s cool that Mom is going to NY. I had no idea. Sounds giggly. Give Nana a hug from me. :) PS...I think I have grown while out here. I`m not entirely sure, but I kind of think so.

Hope you all have a great week. Don`t die.


Saturday, June 25, 2011

Week 75

Loves and Bananas Monday, June 21, 2011 8:09 AM

WOO! I have pictures to attach today. Woo!!!

Dearest family of mine.

Well how was your week. I got to see the pictures of the quilts. That`s pretty awesome. I’m glad everything went well for you guys. The Relief Society quilt looks pretty cuddly. :D So life continues here in Uruguay. Somebody gave us a big bucket of fail for weather. We haven`t seen appreciable blue sky since last Tuesday I think. Thursday it poured and Saturday night it poured, with other random showers elsewhere. On Thursday, I think I had a tiny patch on my clothing that wasn`t wet. Anyways, because the humidity is about 342% right now, nothing dries....ever. Our house smells terrible and things don`t dry. I think I just mentioned that, but it is important enough to mention it again. It perplexes me beyond reason. Last night we once again were comfortable with just long sleeve white shirts on. I keep imagining going out in December back home with just a white shirt and then I get frostbite just from thinking about it. It`s bizarre.

Yes, Ana is getting baptized this week. It should be great. I`m hoping for a small country of people to show up. :) So my comp is pretty solid. He has a really good drive to work and he`s not afraid to talk to people. So that`s awesome. And he`s funny. (I`ve included a picture of him). He just turned 19 last Thursday. He`s from Atlantida which is about half an hour out of Montevideo or so. He`s been a member for 8 years now, and his family members are also members, but inactive. He`s already sent in his papers (he`s already an elder) and will be receiving his call shortly.

Quick update on pictures...last week we made sub sandwiches (all for less than 5 dollars) and the week before we made tacos. So you`ll see pictures of that. And then I included a cool picture of clouds, and a picture of the postmarkless letter. :)

As far as the Latino missionaries that were with me the first 3 weeks, I met them in the MTC but haven`t seen them again out here, but I think that`s because there are maybe only 2 (if that). The Latinos who were with me for the last 3 weeks and came with me to the country are more plentiful and I’ve been in zones with a handful of them.

PS...I don`t know what a quilt writer is...or why they would write for the Daily Sentinel.

Good news...tomorrow is the Solstice. HOORAY! the days will start getting longer again. I`m sick and tired of it getting dark at 6. People down here are completely governed by daylight. It makes work harder.

Well I really don`t have much to share for today. It`s really interesting playing the piano down here because strangely entire congregations have learned songs wrong. In other words, they have all developed these little things in songs that make it kind of hard to play to sometimes (or they`ll just sing whatever they feel like). For instance, they all sing the last couple measures of True to the Faith hymn about 85 times faster than the rest of the song. :) It`s an experience to be sure.

Well have a great week. Love you all lots. What day does school start on in August? And when does winter break start? They are questions I have. Give me answers or I`ll shoot a duck. :)

Love always,

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Week 74


Monday, June 13, 2011 7:35 AM

Dear family,

This past week was fairly solid. We have our one investigator, Ana, that is flying. She basically doesn`t even need us to teach her. The Lord already prepared her. It also helps that her brother is a bishop of the other ward. She`s getting baptized on June 25th. She`s super excited. I`ll be here because I`m not going anywhere, but my comp is leaving tomorrow. My new companion is unknown at the moment because I have what is called a corto plazo in Spanish. That translates more or less to short term. Basically, when the number of missionaries is odd or some other weird funky thing is happening, they get Uruguayan members (of missionary age) to be mini-missionaries for a change (or two very occasionally). Thus my new comp is some Uruguayan dude that I don´t know yet. I don`t really know what to think about that assignment. Basically I`m happy with whatever as long as I can work, but we`ll see how it all pans out. I`m optimistic. We`re still working diligently here in our area. Things are improving, but they still have a long way to go. I also found out that the kid that Elder Whitaker trained is now going to be training. That means he is a stud because I only know one other missionary who trained his 3rd change (right after being trained) and he has now been a zone leader for 7 changes. So the work is flying over there in Prosperidad.

You may recall that last week I mentioned we were going to have a conference with Elder Bradley D. Foster of the Quorum of Seventy. We did last Friday. It was really good. He`s actually a really different guy than I was expecting, but totally cool. Really funny and he shared some great things. He made a comment that I had actually made about a year ago. He said that missions are really for the missionaries because the Lord could (if he wanted to) convert people in a way that is much easier and faster, but he chooses to use missionaries. Turns out that when all is said and done the missionaries are the ones who are most blessed.

I got letter 73 this week. And yes I get Grandma`s letters at about the same rate. I`m always grateful for the news from home. I realize that I pretty much don`t know anything about life back home so any little news is good news. :)

Our weather here is terribly bizarre. It`s obviously been getting chillier (since this is the equivalent of December for us) but we have these periodic warm days. For instance, last night we went out and worked in just our white shirts and weren`t cold at all. I can`t imagine going outside in just a white shirt in December in Colorado and not turning into an icicle, but maybe my memory is failing me. So, life is good. We think part of the weather pattern may be from the volcanic eruption in Chile recently, but it was like this last year too. This country just has weird weather I think.

So Brother Burton is still the YM president then? Good stuff.

Oh yeah, we got the conference issue of the magazine this past week. I read the whole thing in 2 days. It is awesome. Conference is like Christmas for us missionaries. We`re weird. What do you expect. Elder Scott`s talk is amazing in the sense that it really isn`t a talk, but more a reminiscence time. He still manages to convey his point and now temple marriages have probably skyrocketed. So yeah. Read them and treasure them. They`ll do us good.

One of the sister missionaries serving from the ward here got back this last week from Chile. She gave her homecoming talk yesterday and spoke for only 8 minutes. I was bummed. Rest assured I`ll be speaking longer than 8 minutes when I get home (but that may mostly be because I`ll have to search my brain for all of the gospel words in English.) That`s my story. The end. And no I don`t have time to tell it again. :)

Well. I think that is the amazing fun interesting out-of-this-world news for this week. Hope you have enjoyed it. I love you all. My family is amazing. Yay! Have a great week. You`ll never again live this week in your life so make the most out of it. Giggles.

Love Always,


Thursday, June 9, 2011

Week 73

Monday, June 6, 2011 8:00 AM
You`ll notice that the subject line of this letter conveys excitement and happiness. This is because stuff is happening! WOO!

Dear Family,

Welcome to another day in life on earth. Hooray for probationary times. As kind of a random sidenote, the plan of salvation is really nice. Good stuff. So yeah, like I said, stuff is happening. We had 3...I repeat 3...investigators in church yesterday. Um, the family that we found is currently on hold because we went by to have our lesson but they were busy. However, we have another investigator named Rosario who is the sister of a really good member in our ward. She has been investigating for at least as long as my comp has been in this area. Anyways, she`s way cool. We had companion exchanges on Friday so I wasn`t here in this area. My comp and the other missionary went to visit her and invited her to church (like we`ve done millions of times before and she`s never showed up) so you can imagine our surprise and joy when she showed up halfway through. We`re going back to visit her tonight so we`ll see what happens. The other huge miracle this week is Ana. She is the sister of the bishop of the other ward in our building. She was a reference at the end of April from our ward missionary. We went that same day to visit with her and had a good lesson and whatnot. We had scheduled another lesson, but when we went back, she wasn`t there because things had gotten complicated. We passed by various times trying to find her, but never could and she didn`t answer her phone. Well, this last Tuesday, the Zone Leaders said that they had had a Family Home Evening with their bishop and the bishop`s sister had been there. They communicated to us that she was waiting for us and that she wanted to get baptized. So we called her right away and went Wednesday and then again Saturday. Woo! And then she went to church yesterday with our ward missionary and loved it. She has a baptismal date for the 25th of this month. We`re stoked. The third person was the son of a less active who was actually brought to church by the bishop and his family. It was actually a reference that they had passed us last week and we were going to go this week to visit the family. HOORAY! The most wonderful part is that our ward handled it well. They were friendly and everything (most of the ward actually knows Rosario and Ana anyways) and we had a really good testimony meeting....probably one of the best I`ve seen here in Uruguay. YAY!

Aside from those miracles we saw various other miracles that have to do with us finding more people to teach. It`s good stuff. Changes are next week so it`ll be interesting to see what happens. The Lord is blessing us. He saw our work.

I received letters 71 and 72. The interesting thing is that letter 71 was not postmarked at all. i.e. I could use the stamp again if I wanted. I`m still confused on how it got across the oceans. The package has not arrived, but I suspect that I`ll get it this Friday because we have a tri-zone conference with Elder Bradley D. Foster of the Seventy. They usually bring packages to those types of things. But yeah, that should be a good conference too. I`m excited.

Oh, so Cy moved. Poo. I sent him a letter about 3 weeks ago. Chances are that he will never see it. Oots. Tell him to write or I`ll beat him senseless in 7 months. Speaking of which, I hit 17 months today in the mission. Woo!

You guys always thought I got my luck from dad...I actually got it from Nana. :D

Ok. So that`s pretty much my week in a nutshell. It kind of flew by I think. I hope I haven`t left out any wonderful details. Well I hope you guys have a great week. Happy D-Day. I don`t think there are any important holidays this week. Oh well. Is Velvet better? Loves to all! Sauce.



PS: It`s freezing here now. But don`t worry. I`ll survive.

PPS: Is this an abnormally short email? At least it has positive happy stuff in it. Giggles.