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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, July 30, 2011

Week 80

Monday, July 25, 2011 8:07 AM

Hello family,

Speaking of hello. Have you noticed that we really don`t use that word much, especially when greeting people. We usually say "hey, what`s up" or "sup" or "hi" or some other random phrase. Nevertheless, hello seems to be the only English word that people know down here so we constantly get "hello" shouted at us all day. And people are funny, they`ll even say it to 2 Latino missionaries that don`t speak English. :)

Anyways, here I am. I have successfully finished this change. I have learned a ton and the Lord has blessed me. I am now being rewarded and will be training another new comp as of tomorrow (in this same area)! Woo hoo! I`m so super excited. Coming back to this in a interview with President was really good last week, super good. I went in intending to ask him why I was with my mini missionary. He started off by mentioning how I was in one of the most interesting situations and he more or less answered my questions before I asked them. But I verbalized the one anyways, asking why I was with him. And he said that it`s because he trusts me. Putting a mini-missionary with an iffy comp would be dangerous. He knew I`d be able to handle it and do good work. So that was good. It really helped me. I talked about how I had grown a ton because of what I was going through and he said that I should be at the point now where I continue growing and I just give it my 100% for the last few months (I`ve only got like 5 left. WOW). We didn`t talk about going home or anything. It just didn`t feel like the right time. I`m not going to worry about it. He said in April that we can talk about it later without any problems, so in my next (and last) interview with him in October, we`ll figure it out. Going back to the changes, training a second time means that the President trusts me. There are very few missionaries that get to train more than once, so I feel very privileged and blessed, but I also realize I have a huge responsibility. The other cool news about changes is that Elder Young is coming to be the other zone leader so I`ll get to live with him again...first time in 17 months.

My mini missionary friend is going back to his house to work and wait for his time to leave. His call should come in the next couple of weeks. He`ll be letting us know where he goes.

Since pioneer day doesn`t really exist down here, yesterday was just a regular day. I gave a talk in sacrament meeting. They assigned me on Friday night but didn`t give me a topic because they didn`t want to pressure me too much. I told them ok obviously and I mentioned that I always write 30 to 40 minute talks and then just adapt it to the time limits I have. I`m pretty good about that. So I guess they wanted me to prove it or something (or so it looked like) because I ended up with a 30 minute time block to fill. But it went really well. I had been inspired to talk about the ordinance of the sacrament and it was really good. Everybody seemed to love it, and I did too. The bishop complimented me and said that I brought a great spirit to the meeting and that he envisioned me as a general authority up there speaking. I had just been really praying that the Lord would let the Spirit take my message to the hearts of the people. I think most of us don`t realize the importance or the impact of the sacrament.

That`s really cool about Patrick getting the Melchizedek Priesthood. Speaking of which, we actually gave a blessing of health (is that how you say it in English) last night to a recent convert. I`ve given only a handful of blessings in my mission but they`ve been good experiences.

I did not receive any mail this week, but I should get some tomorrow at changes. Okay, so as of Wednesday I will be the only full-time missionary from our ward. Wow. That`s kind of strange, and I`ll be home fairly soon. July has more or less disappeared. I`m just going to be tearing it up for the next little while. I`ll probably have only one more area after this, so we`ll see what happens.

Last thing, Uruguay won the final of the America Cup last night in soccer. Super crazy. Imagine 4th of July plus BYU vs. U of U on a nationwide scale. It was nuts. :) But super cool too. I`m going to try and buy a newspaper as a souvenir. :D

So, this is my email for now. I`ll let you know all the new details about my comp next week. We`re going to have an awesome change. And we should have at least 2 baptisms as well, hopefully more obviously. This ward here has really grown on me. I`m grateful to be staying another change. Have a wonderful last week of July. Say hi to Calvin for me when you see him. That`s weird that he`s going home in 2 days. Anyways, love you all. Give Grandma a hug for me. :)

Love always,

DJ pictures this week. next week there should be some. :)

Monday, July 25, 2011 8:08 AM

I forgot to tell Dad last week that there are 3 missionaries from Spain in the mission right now.

Loves, Deej

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Week 79

It`s cold
Monday, July 18, 2011 7:55 AM
Hi family,

It`s cold. See subject line for a second witness of the truth. :) Last week we had a terribly large storm roll in that decided to affect our work on Friday. Goody. But we worked around it. Life is going pretty well, considering the circumstances and all. I`ve decided that I have simultaneously changed a ton and not at all. Patrick and I are going to be the same age in January (because I think I`m still`s not like I turn 21 YEARS OLD in 2 months). The Lord has been teaching me so much. The Lord is also blessing us. We are teaching the daughter of a couple that just recently started coming back to church. She should get baptized next week. And then yesterday in church, this other less active (I didn`t even know her) goes for the first time in forever with some grandkids. After the meeting she tells me that her 11 year old grandson wants to listen to the lessons and get baptized. We`re going tomorrow. Aside from them, we are having additional luck in finding people. They truly are blessings from the Lord.

The two zone leaders are really awesome. One is from California (he goes home in a week and a half) and the other is from Utah. Speaking of them, they have both expressed feelings that I am going to train again next change. We`ll see. I suppose it`s possible. You guys will know in next week`s email since we get change calls this Sunday. Like I said, interviews are tomorrow, so I`ll update you on all of that as well.

I got Holly`s letter this week and a letter from Grandma. I also received a package from I dunno who. It was signed for by Nancy Stagg I think. It`s just filled with goodies, but I haven`t read the letters inside yet. I`m slightly confused, but very happy and grateful at the same time. I`m hoping that the letters or whatever they are inside will help clear up my confusion.

So in a week and a half, I will be the only full time missionary from our ward, huh? I feel giggly. :) Congrats to Chris on his job. He is a stud. Oots! Only 1 month of vacations left. HAHAHAHAHA. Bummer dudes. Oh so on Saturday, Uruguay played Argentina in the America Cup (or some soccer hoobob like that). That is a game like Fruita vs. Junction. About 20 minutes after it started we heard a bunch of bombs and screaming signaling that Uruguay had scored a goal. We found out later that they were tied after regulation and ended up going into double overtime. Eventually they did penalties. At 10:00 we were just talking and getting ready for bed and whatnot when the world exploded. Bombs, fireworks, gunshots, screaming, horns honking and anything else that made noise. Obviously we won. :D It was super fun.

Let`s see what else. Life is pretty solid. I don`t have much to complain about...well sometimes I think I do, but I really don`t. I`ve just been realizing how blessed I am to have the gospel in my life. Sometimes I think that it would have been more convenient to have been born somewhere without the gospel, have lived my life normally, and then have received it in the spirit world. I mean that gets me Celestial kingdom too, but then I realize that I am blessed to not only have the gospel, but to share it with people. It`s perfect for absolutely EVERYBODY even though they don`t know that or don`t want it. (I`m shivering, but I`m also kind of sick too. That might be part of it). So yeah. I`m loving it. Just going to take advantage of every last moment and then be stoked to go home.

I think that`s all of the exciting news for now. Have a wonderful week. I`ll be here if you need me. :) Enjoy the warmness that you have. I`m jealous.

Love always,


Monday, July 18, 2011 8:00 AM

Um, so to answer really quickly, yes we eat with members. Its the typical, not a lot of pasta but a fair amount And no, Pioneer Day doesn`t really exist anywhere outside of Utah. Beans.


Saturday, July 16, 2011

Week 78

Bananas 2

Monday, July 11, 2011 8:12 AM

Dear family (wherever you may be in the country).

Well I finally managed to send a couple pics of Ana`s baptism. She`s super awesome. She went with the ward to the temple last week. She said she absolutely loved it. Then she was asked to share her testimony yesterday. It was so good. Yay for missionary work!

Quick update, I received letter 74 last week and 76 this week and no I have not received Holly`s letter, but then again our mail system is crazy. Yo.

So life is pretty good. We have people that we are teaching, but we`ve run into several obstacles. One of getting them to church and another of actually having lessons with them because they tend to disappear after the first lesson or so. Fail fail fail. FYI, Prosperidad just had four more baptisms last week. Two of them are relatives of Javier and Valeria that we taught and the other two appear to be relatives/friends of them. I`m not really sure. But it`s super cool. That area is flying.

Aw fish, I forgot to bring the list of things I wanted to mention in my email. I hope there wasn`t anything important. Anyways, our ward is doing well. I think it`s getting more unified and stuff too. I think the new church building has really helped that. I`m really coming to love this ward as I`ve just worked hard and served them. You really tend to love the people that you serve. It`s an amazing experience.

The cold weather has gotten slightly warmer so we`re not freezing quite as much. In fact, at sometimes it is bizarrely warm given that it is the coldest month of the year (supposedly). Ahoy mateys, everybody thinks that everybody else is telling me about Chris`s new job, so consequently I know almost nothing. I gathered that he is going to work on a farm. The end. Perhaps you might like to fill me in on the details if you desire that I know something about the job aside from the above. :) I`ll wait for updates next week. To answer Mom`s question, the super cold weather will be done probably by the end of July (according to the reports), possibly beginning of August. From about August to October, we will have nice weather and then we`ll start getting those really warm days towards the end of October, beginning of November. Then I`ll go home like a tan little monkey.

Thanks for the info on the homecoming talk thing. That`ll be good to know. We`ll have interviews not this week. Speaking of Patrick being excited. I`m super excited as well to be going back to school. More than anything, but that`s in the near future. I’m just taking advantage as much as possible of these experiences while I have them. It is truly a blessing to be on a mission. I`ve never really seen it as a sacrifice, but that`s just me.

So yep, love the mission, love the experiences for as hard as they are. Hope Mom travels back safely. Is Aunt Margaret still going to GJ for Christmas? Have a wonderful week. Bomb sauce. Love you all

Love Always,


PS. there is a young 4 year old in my ward who calls me Elder Torta (that is Elder cake for you English speaking noobs). :D:D:D:D:D

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Week 77

Monday, July 4, 2011 6:35 AM

Dear family,

Here I am once again. The fact that I am writing to you means that I am alive. It`s been very cold here lately...temperatures below freezing. It averages about 58 degrees inside the house. It`s wonderful. So I`m currently in Montevideo because my comp has to go to the dentist for something, and the only dentist approved for missionaries is here in Montevideo.

As far as the work goes, we have stuff to do. We`ve been finding more and more people to teach. We`ve got a couple of good potentials right now (that one married couple has more or less disappeared). We`re finding more and more part-member families to teach too which is good.. Anyways, there was a new chapel recently built for our ward, and we moved in yesterday. It`s really nice and all the members were super happy. The chapels here are all of nice quality.

As far as needing anything, I`m doing good. I`m pretty much surviving with what I have.
Have a great 4th of July and a good week. Hope Mom travels safely.

Love always,