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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, October 25, 2011

Week 93

Hi

Monday, October 24, 2011 6:59 AM

Dear family,

Here I am. Thanks for your emails. This week was pretty good and we`re really seeing a lot of good things happening in our area. We`re pretty excited. We`ve got a fair number of lessons set up with potential new investigators (that rarely ever happens...usually they just say come back another day and we have to try our luck). Elder Craynor is a stud. He`s got 6 months in the mission and he`s from Ogden. We`re doing well together. I included a picture. I`m barely taller. Git sum. :D

Ramon will be getting baptized this Saturday so that`s pretty exciting. That other new family was planning on going to church, but didn`t make it yesterday for some reason. We`re going tomorrow so we`ll figure out what happened. They’re still up for baptism for the 12th of November. I`m enjoying being DL (district leader). It`s been a good experience. We found out that we`ll be going to the temple on the 3rd. So I figure that that day will be the very latest day that we`ll have to wait to decide on a sure date with President da Silva. I`m kind of assuming he`ll call me soon, but that may be not entirely accurate. As far as the endorsement thing...I don`t figure that I`ll apply for the MTC until this semester (and then start working over the summer or something, I don’t know, so I can get him to possibly do the endorsement afterwards. We`ll see. I can always talk to him about it.

I attached various pictures for your viewing pleasure. I do inform you that Christmas is 9 weeks from yesterday. It`s kind of weird knowing that I have so few weeks left because weeks pass by so quickly. It`s all very strange, but I`m just trying to remain focused.

I got mail this week, a couple letters from grandma and I think one from mom, but I don`t remember the number...does 90 make sense? So what does Nana want to do then...is she going to be there for Christmas? How long is she going to stay? How does that all work. Keep me posted on my living situation. :) Have a wonderful week. I love you all tons.

Love always,

DJ

PS: If neither Arabic nor Italian are available for my school schedule, we`ll have to figure something else out. I figure I might as well start right back in on languages when I get back. I don’t know. I need to think about it more. I plan on doing a life-evaluation as soon as I get home and off the mission so that I can figure out where I`m going with life.:)

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Week 92

Brains
Monday, October 17, 2011 7:38 AM

Dear family,

I just realized that I brought my SD card with me today, but I had not put any new pictures on it. Fail. Actually, that may be a lie. Hold on. Nope it`s not a lie. No pictures this week. Ok. So first of all, this week was really good, in that we are super excited. Sadly, Elder Coon will be leaving. My new comp is named Elder Craner. He`s from Elder Coon`s group so he knows him. Said he`s from Utah. Anyhoo, this last week we saw some more miracles. (I`m still District Leader by the way). On Tuesday we had interviews. At the interviews the sister missionaries gave us a reference. We went by on Wednesday and found a mother living with 6 kids. The mother had gone to church a lot years ago but never got baptized. And somehow (this is the miracle) the 14 year old daughter got interested in the church and wanted to listen to the lessons. We`re confused, but we figure it must be divine intervention to get us into that house. Otherwise, how else would a girl just randomly decide she wants to listen to missionaries. We had passed by that house several times going to other places and I also told myself that someday I would knock it because people always waved from the window when we walked past. There were a couple times that the girl even tried to hail us down but we walk too fast. So I was too thick-skulled, so the Lord had to use another way. Anyways, we enlisted a family in our ward to help us. They have a 12 year old daughter. We went on Saturday and the mom and daughter accepted the baptismal challenge for the 12th of November and then the member family went by on Sunday and took the daughter and a brother to church. Woo! In sacrament meeting, I just got this feeling that the Lord has a special love for this family and a special purpose. My job is to be a worthy instrument in His hands.

Ramon`s family randomly showed up yesterday (and they come once every 4 months or so) so he didn`t make it to church. He`ll get baptized next week. But he`s doing well. It`s amazing. He just accepted tithing without any problem. It`s super awesome. The ward is good. We`re getting help, which is solid.

Um, yeah, life is good. We`re getting warmer and warmer days now. My only consolation is that I won`t be here for the brunt of it. :D Woo Hoo! What are Nana`s plans? Is she still planning on going to GJ for Christmas, I don’t know. Thanks for Patrick`s address. Um yeah. I love you guys lots. I appreciate all you do for me. Have a wonderful week.

Love Always,
DJ

Friday, October 14, 2011

Week 91

Hi

Monday, October 10, 2011 7:50 AM

Dear family,

I, sadly, do not have any pictures this week. Anyways, how are you guys? Thanks for the emails. I got a letter this week from mom...I think it`s 89. I haven`t opened it yet, but I know that it is more than just a letter. It had something in it. Anyhoo, I also finally got a letter from Kyle, so that`s cool.

This week was really good. Elder Coon and I had decided to put forth more focused goals and then really really work to get our goals. Some of them we reached and we were super close on others, so that just made us feel good. It`s nice to have accomplishments. We should be having a baptism next week (assuming I don`t leave this area). His name is Ramon (I can`t recall if I told you about him before). He lives kind of at the edge of town in a shack place. He more or less lives out in nature, I suppose. I don’t know. His wife has died, but she was a member. His friend that also lives with him on this property is actually a less active Melchizedek Priesthood holder. The whole thing has really been a miracle. Missionaries had talked with Ramon before but I guess it wasn`t his moment. Last week we invited him to live the word of wisdom and stop smoking and he hasn`t smoked since. He eats mints when he gets the urge (reminds me of Grandpapa and his raisins). They both went to church yesterday and the whole branch (it seemed like) was excited to see Pedro there (his friend). It`s amazing because with Pedro we didn`t really do anything. He just felt the Spirit I guess. We didn`t even know he was a member. A couple of weeks ago when we went for a visit, we gave Pedro a wave inviting him to join us. He shook his finger at us saying no, but a few minutes later he comes over with his chair and his hymn book. It was then that we found out he`s a member. Since then he started reading the Book of Mormon again (without us saying anything) and he self-committed himself to go to church and went. How cool is that. It`s pretty awesome.

Other than that, we`re working hard with the various investigators we have and trying really hard to find more. We`re also trying our best to work with the members here. For some unknown and assuredly obscure reason, the branch presidency is in love with the idea of splits. I don`t understand. They are relatively pointless if there aren`t scheduled lessons. Anyhoo, we`re working with it. My companion is a stud. We get change calls in 6 days which is crazy. When I think that I may have to get to know another comp, it boggles my mind because it honestly doesn`t feel like I`ve been with Coon very long. PS Bernard is a stud.

These last few days, we`ve strangely not had a lot of scheduled appointments so we`ve been walking like fools. It`s insane how much we`ve walked. It also hasn`t helped a ton that the weather has been crazy and it rains/pours on and off. Oh well.

My license is extended for a year, or 90 days after I get back into the country, whichever comes first. I`m glad you had fun at the football game. If Coon told me correctly, this week`s game is against Oregon State. If you watch it, keep an eye out for number 71 (I`m pretty sure) which is Elder Mau Nomani (or should be).

Well thanks for all that you do. I`m doing well. I love you tons. Next week we`ll know what is happening for changes. Woo!

Love Always,

DJ

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Week 90

Barnacle bill the sailor
Monday, October 3, 2011 6:40 AM

Dear family,

It`s good to hear from you. Thanks for writing weekly. I`m doing well here. Conference was really good. There was a huge theme of trusting in our loving Heavenly Father even in the midst of trials and difficulties. President Monson is awesome and he announced 6 new temples! 2 of which are in Africa. How cool. PS. Where is Star Valley, WY. President Holland`s talk was bombdiggity. I totally called it too...before conference even started I guessed that he would speak in Priesthood. There were many talks that I really enjoyed (obviously) but Elder Christofferson`s talk on repentance was really good too. Elder Hales doesn`t look like he`s doing too well, but at least he was able to speak this time. In April, he didn`t even talk. We had 2 investigators go (of the 8 or 9 that we were expecting), but they both loved it. They both went to the Sunday morning session. Actually for us everything is in the afternoon. We watch it live so on Saturday we had sessions from 1-3, 5-7, and priesthood from 9-11. Then we actually went forward an hour on Saturday night so Sunday we watched from 2-4 and 6-8. It went by super fast. I remember 18 months ago after my first conference here when Dad told me that we would have the next one before we knew it. And here we are and all 4 of mine are gone. What a joke.

I`m trying to send pictures, but I don`t know if they want to today. Thanks so much for the birthday gift. Good munchies. If the pics go through, you`ll notice that one of the pics is the bday gifts. I also have included pics of Bernard (the purple manta ray) who has grown loads in these last 3 weeks.

Random alert...in between sessions on Saturday, they were showing something on family history and they had a dude from Rochester on it. I never realized that people from Rochester had accents before, but this guy reminded me a lot of Adam Mancuso...and others. Also, I was thinking, I would recommend that as of December, you no longer send anything to me, and try to get the word out to others (i.e. family members and put it on facebook). Anything that people may want to send me for Christmas should be reserved and just given to me when I get home because I more than likely will not receive it here.:)

About our area, things are improving. We have investigators now. We are teaching various couples as well. We`re still working on getting them to church, but there is progress. It`s been a struggle (and still is), but we`re trying to do everything we can. There are some really good members here.

On Friday, my comp and I went to the store and bought little cake things and a liter of blueberry ice cream to celebrate. Woo Hoo!

Hope everything is going well with you guys. I got my ballot, a postcard and letters 86 and 88 this week. Thank you :) Say hi to everybody. Hope I`ve answered all the questions. I love you all tons.

Love always,

DJ