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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, November 29, 2011

Week 98

Monday, November 28, 2011 5:49 AM

Dear family,

Well this week was a much better week. We`re actually finding people to teach now. Well, given that most of our investigator pool has been completely revamped, we didn`t have too many people in church yesterday, but that`s not getting us down. Basically, when I prayed that the Lord would help me be more humble, I made a mistake because soon after that all of our investigators committed spiritual suicide and I had to learn humility the hard way. :D Nah, but it`s been a good experience. I`ve learned to rely on the Lord even more. My comp and I are staying together, but he`ll be district leader (since I`m leaving midway). He`s actually really surprised, but he`ll do well. Then the other two companionships in my district will be two trainers with their oros (greenies). I`m not going to lie, I`ll probably mess with them (i.e. I`ve got less time left in the mission than you have out in the mission). Hee hee hee.

Remember I told you about the crazy dude in our area who says he was a mini-missionary and he told us his version of the first vision, well the other night he just walks right into our house unannounced. We were like who is in our house. He`s out of his mind. He just walked right in, what a joke.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO MOM! WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!

The reality of what is happening really hasn`t hit me yet, but it was kind of strange during our weekly planning session last Thursday when I realized that I`m basically planning for my last baptisms (since they are usually 3 to 4 week cycles). That`s super cool that Alonzo was able to go to sacrament meeting yesterday. I`m glad that the ward is doing missionary stuff. You never really know the true effect of the Spirit on a person. At least you guys did your part and extended the invitation. Yay! :D It`s also good to know that Cy is alive. I sure wouldn`t know. Anyways, good job on your talk mom. You convert you. :)

Oh hey, they didn`t give out mail this last week because of changes, I`ll get it tomorrow. The pics I have here are ones we took as a district last Tuesday. Enjoy.

I`m in the Heber J. Grant book right now. I`m loving those books. They`re not mine, but we randomly have them in the house. Anyways they`re really good. It should be helpful to bear a more powerful testimony to investigators and who knows whoelse. <--------- I don`t know if this makes sense in English. Oh well.

Ramon is doing well. He comes to church every week and he´s even working on getting his daughter and (soon-to-be) husband to go with him. He`s a stud.

Well October and November have seemingly disappeared. It`s really quite strange actually. I`m not quite sure what happened.

Well, have a wonderful week. Welcome to December. I love you all like a missionary loves his pillow. Have a wonderful week.

Love always,

DJ

PS. It`s hot here. At least I don`t have to deal with much more of it. It`s rough.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Week 97

Monday, November 21, 2011 6:16 AM

Dear family,

Well, as you may have already discovered...I`m writing an email! Woo hoo! And I`ve also included pictures. That`s another woo! You`ll see from the pictures that we have been blessed with washing machines!!! YAY! We were so stoked when we found out. You probably have no idea. So enjoy the picture of me with the washer.

Mmk, this week was...interesting. We had district conference (because we`re a district not a stake) yesterday. It was really good. Our guest was Elder Chappe who is an area seventy from Uruguay. It was nice. The meeting was really spiritual. Sadly, we really didn`t have any investigators in church because all of our investigators (or the vast majority) have suddenly decided to disappear. Elder Craynor and I are trying to figure out how to fix it. The most solid investigator we have is named Jonathon. He`s super good. Last week we taught him fasting and then invited him to do a fast so that he can get a steady job. We even offered to fast with him, which we did and it almost killed us. Fasting in the dead heat, walking around and not drinking water is not an easy task. As long as it works and he gets a job, it`s worth it.

Say happy birthday to Grams for me and happy Thanksgiving as well to everybody. I actually had my Thanksgiving dinner yesterday. We were coming off a fast, but even putting that aside, the food was super good and I just kept eating. It`s been a long time since I`ve felt that full. It wasn`t good. I have to take care of my figure...I do have to get married some day. :)

Oh yeah, I was going to tell you about the temple, because we got to go the temple last Thursday and then we had a zone conference after. Anyways, we had to get up with the chickens to be able to get to Montevideo, but the experience was good. I enjoyed it a lot more this time than the last time I went (last November). And then we were able to go to the distribution center and I bought the conference issue of the Ensign. So now I`m reading a bunch. It`s fun. I`ve actually got a lot of things I have to read before the end. It`s crazy. I won`t have excess time like this after the mission to just study and study and study the gospel. Good stuff. I`m reading the Teachings of the prophets too. I`ve read Joseph Smith through Wilford Woodruff and now I`m finishing up Joseph F. Smith. So I have to finish the rest of those too before I leave. I think I just accidentally changed the font some how. Don`t ask.

This week I got letter 95 as well as some letters or drawings or something from what looks to be the primary in the ward. I just flipped through them really quickly before leaving the house. They appear to be birthday wishes from the primary kids. It was sent from 781 24 1/2 road and I have no idea who that is exactly. But it`s cool. Good stuff.

So we`re progressing here. My comp and I are wondering what we did to incur this issue we have with investigators, but more than anything I feel the Lord is just testing us. We`re working through it, and I really feel like something good is going to happen soon. That`s cool that Chris gets the whole week off. Cool beans.

As far as changes, threesomes don`t exist down here. That`s why we have those mini-missionary people like I had. The most likely for changes next week is that I stay here with my comp and when I leave he gets one of those minipeople for 3 weeks. So the mission here is allowing the missionaries here to talk via Skype for Christmas this year. Thankfully I won`t have to deal with that; we can talk in person.

Glad the choir thingy went well. Did Maureen actually go? If so, word up. If not, word down. :)

I`ve decided that there are some things that I`m really going to miss about the mission, but there are other things that I won`t miss so much. It`s been a really good experience thus far. More than anything I think it`s changed my perspective and focus. So far, I have no regrets so can`t complain there.

Bananas. Well, I don`t have much more to report. The work is continuing. We`ve talked to some really interesting people lately. It`s strange. But yep. I got used to it a long time ago. Hope you enjoy the pictures. They were taken with love. Have a wonderful turkey day (one of the sisters in my district was trying to convince me that Thanksgiving was last week....fail). Don`t eat too much. :D

Love Always,

DJ

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Week 96

I`m running out of witty subject lines
Monday, November 14, 2011 6:03 AM
Dear family,

Well, here I am after going through another rough week. Sadly, it seems that all areas just have their ups and downs. We don`t think we`ve done anything special; it just seems that our investigators want to crater themselves. I think we lost like 7 investigators this week or something like that. It is just a huge load of opposition. Oh well. We`re working through it. The good news is that we do have investigators still and that our area has a lot of potential. We`re just trying to figure out how to tap into it. We did have some good lessons this last week and we did find 2 new people that look pretty solid.

It was interesting that you had your lesson on the Millennium because that`s what ours was too. Ramon came to church again with his nice shirt and tie and everything. But sadly, we once again had no investigators in church. Like I said, opposition. It`s been kind of rough, but we`re not getting down on ourselves.

This week for mail, I received a letter from Aunt Margaret, one from Michael (I had written him a few weeks back), a few from grandma (but the birthday card she sent hasn`t arrived yet), as well as letters 93 and 94. Like I said a while back, you`ll probably want to get the word out to not send anything else after November. I probably wouldn`t get it.

The weeks go by incredibly fast here, and I only have 5 left. It`s a super strange feeling. It used to be that I counted months. For example, I`d know that I had 9 months left. And then a whole month would have to pass before I could decrease that number (and a month is a decent length of time). Now weeks go a whole lot super faster (if that even makes sense), so the numbers are decreasing much more rapidly. Wow. We go to the temple on Thursday, so this`ll be the last time I go until I get home.

I was thinking a little yesterday about how the whole transition is going to be. I`m sure you`ve probably already figured, but I`m going to be leaving a grand majority of my clothes and stuff here (for other missionaries or whoever). I`ve gotten through the entire mission with just using the one suit coat and one of the pairs of suit pants. So I`m planning on throwing out the pair I`ve used and then I`m going to get the suit coat dry cleaned here. I`m then planning on giving the coat and the other pair of pants to a member from my 3rd area in Prosperidad because he`s tall and skinny like me and I think he would appreciate it. My shoes are obviously trashed (but I`ll bring one pair home as souvenirs). My shirts and pants that are still in good condition (and most are), I`ll give to other missionaries or Hermana da Silva so she can distribute them.

Also, I was thinking about how I`m pretty much the same person and how I`ve changed dramatically at the same time. I`ve decided that my personality is pretty much the same, but my focus and priorities are a whole lot different. Be warned that I`m going to be super strange when I get home. You probably have no idea. And yes, I have a rather interesting time speaking intelligible English. You`ll get used to it. :D I`m glad Nana will be able to come. That sounds pretty exciting. I try not to think about after mission details too much because I`ll get unfocused. (I`m not saying that you are unfocusing me). I`m just saying that vague details are about as good as it gets in my brain. It`s really interesting pushing yourself to work hard even though the end is right around the corner. What I mean by that is that sometimes it`s more attractive to just give myself slack and coast through the last part, but that`s not how it`s done. Nopers.

Did you guys have anything in mind for things you want to do when I get back? I don`t even know if you had thought about it at all. Unfortunately, I`ll have to go the dentist and the doctor and the eye place and the calf place and the lung place and the toe place and the who knows where else place. Oh well. They are things that have to be done.

Anyhoo, I`ve got nothing else to say for now. I hope you all have a wonderful week. We`ve got 2 weeks left in this change...it`s gone by fast. Say hi to everybody for me. I`m glad Hudson`s excited to go. It`s the best. :) Monkeys.

Love Always,

DJ

Oots, one more thing or two...

Are the letters that I`ve sent home saved somewhere (in addition to the ones that you have sent me)?

And sorry about the lack of pictures.

deej

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Week 95

This is an email...warning...this is an email

Monday, November 7, 2011 6:13 AM

Dear family,

It`s the 7th of November. You know what this means? This week is 11-11-11!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Please celebrate accordingly. Well this past week was....rough. If you look at our actual numbers (of lessons and whatnot), they are better than last week, but they don`t show that we had a bunch of investigators exercise their agency this week (in a kind of failish way). Also, for the first time since May, I had no investigators in church. That was also sad because we were expecting about 5 or 6 for sure. The plus side is that Ramon did get confirmed. The minus side is that there was a problem with the microphone. Thus I could only hear about 50% of what was being said, and Ramon who is hard of hearing heard basically nothing. :( So needless to say, my comp and I were joyous to be done with last week. The Lord is basically just trying our patience. He wants to see if we have faith to keep working hard. Among the very few positive things that happened last week, we had a lesson with a new guy we found. I was explaining the Joseph Smith story and whatnot and for the first time in my whole mission, the investigator said (before I told him) ¨Oh, so they chose him to put the church back on the earth.¨ Most investigators don`t even really understand that after you tell them, but this guy seemed to intuitively know before we even told him. So that was cool. He also, out of nowhere, said ¨I want to commit to go to church next Sunday (the 13th)¨ That doesn`t happen too much either.

Other than all that, we`re just trying to work hard and stay focused. Our area has a lot of potential and we are still excited, but like I said, we hit kind of a rough patch. We`ll work through it. As long as we`re doing our best, the Lord is in charge of the rest. Yep, that`s a rhyme. Giggles.

No mail this week. Don`t ask why. Hey, I am curious to know if Patrick and I are taking a civilization class together, and which civ class it is. If we`re not, you should tell him to take it and then beat him like a duck.

It`s getting warmer here...we`ve had some of those hot, suffocating days already. I`m so thrilled. Although, on the plus side, this house shouldn`t be as oven-like as my house last year. woo.

I don`t know if I get a Christmas list or not, but if I do, I have thought of 2 things. I want a new set of Spanish scriptures, the triple and the bible. And I want the good kind, but I don`t need indexes. Just the nice black cover triple and bible with the gold leafed pages or whatever. And I don`t need my name on them either. I just want them to study when I get home.

Anyways, have a wonderful 11-11-11. Yay! it`ll only happen once this century. I love you all. When does Nana get there? PS. I`m glad they accepted your plan, Dad. Good stuff. Have a wonderful week. I`ll be home before you know it.

Love Always,

DJ


Uh, one more thing...are all the emails you guys have sent to me saved in your account. and are the emails I`ve sent saved in the account. If so, let me know. If not, I`ll need to forward them somewhere from this account so that I can have them for memory sake. kthxbye.

Oops, another thing. Sorry. Mom, I don`t even think the people down here know about that book, let alone have it. I could be wrong though.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Week 94

Googles

Monday, October 31, 2011 7:51 AM

Dear family,

Well to start off, Ramon`s baptism was really good. There were some complications, but the ZLs (zone leaders) were really good with us. We ended up having to go to his house on Saturday morning and do the interview there. But it was nice, and he liked it. He said he felt content and that it was a pleasing experience and that it went by too fast. It`s really fun talking to him because he shares stories...he kind of reminds me of a grandfather in that sense. He used to go out alone to the forests and stuff and hunt carpinchos (look it up) when he was 11. Crazy huh. Sadly, yesterday, he did not get confirmed because he had no decent pants to wear to church. He felt bad about that so when he gets paid this week he`s going to go buy a pair. He`ll get confirmed next week. I swear baptisms are the most stressful thing in the world, but they are worth it. The harder part (the water baptism) is done, so that`s good.

Next on the list of business. We were going to go the temple this Thursday and I was going to talk to President. I think I mentioned this in the last email. Anyhoo, our temple trip got pushed back 2 weeks, so I decided that I would call President last night to see if he had found everything out. Turns out, he took the liberty of buying me another ticket for the 19th. I`ll be leaving here on the 19th and I`ll get there at night time on the 20th. I`ll forward you the itinerary. I am pleased that it is all worked out, although it was kind of shocking when he told me that he was looking to send me home on the 19th. When you start the mission and have 105 weeks, cutting off 2 or 3 doesn`t seem too bad at all. It`s nothing, but when you have 2 months left, and you suddenly cut off a week, that`s like traumatizing, but I`ll get over it. So this means, that 7 weeks from today, I`ll be flying out. What a joke. That`s too quick. But I was thinking, why do I think it`s too quick? I`ve worked hard and so far, I have no regrets. I think I just really like being a missionary. I`m excited to get home and all of that jazz, but I`m super comfortable here. Oh well, the sad reality of life, time moves onward and things change.

When I talked to President last night, I asked him if there was anything he needed from me, and he said "anything and everything you can." This is like the final push of everything I`ve got. President Holland joked about how we should come home on a stretcher. In other news, I don`t know what day my homecoming talk will be. I`d be okay with it being on the 1st still. It doesn`t matter to me.

PS. Look at my layovers on my itinerary. What a joke. Oh well. Can`t complain, can I? Well I suppose I can, but I probably shouldn`t ;)

I got letter 92 this week. :) And also a letter from Grandma. I`m glad that the BYU scheduling thing went well. Thanks for doing that. That should be more or less everything I think until I get home, right? Or maybe there is stuff I don`t know about. I hope you enjoy the pictures. Life is going well. We`re seeing some really good stuff in our area. Hopefully we can pull it through and see some baptisms next month. Wow, November starts tomorrow. And then Wednesday is the Day of the Dead here....cool. :D The weather is getting warmer. I`ll deal with it. My small consolation is that I don`t have to deal with it too much. My comp is good. We`re getting along well and we`re seeing good results. It`s weird to think that I probably won`t have another comp........until my wife. Ooh trunky! :D:D:D

Anyways, have a wonderful week. Hope everybody is doing well. What day does Patrick get home from BYU for Christmas...and what day is Christopher done with school? Boogity.

Love Always,

DJ

PS: Did I tell you guys that we found a new investigator named Bernard?!? Cool!!!