Wednesday, December 29, 2010

December 27, 2010 E-Mail

I'm sure this will be pretty short since we just barely talked.  Christmas Day was awesome.  Eubelina was baptized.  Then she asked me to confirm her too.  So I've never done that in English let alone in Spanish.  I was really nervous.  Then right before church we called her and she didn't think she was going to be able to come because her Grandma had just passed away and they were all on the phone with people in Mexico.  So we went to church and she wasn't there.  Well she walked in just in time to be confirmed.  I was really nervous.  It was hard to tell if I was feeling the Spirit really strong, or if I was just freaking out.  Probably some of both!  But it was a good experience.  Other than that it was a slow week as far as work goes.  Thursday we had zone conference in Moses Lake so that took up most of the day, then Friday was Christmas Eve then Christmas day.  Of course we still worked everyday, but things were just a little bit slower.  I'm glad everyone had a good Christmas.  It was great to talk to everyone.  Thank you so much everyone for everything.  I was very well taken care of and that's because I have awesome family and friends.  I love you all.  I'm so grateful that through this gospel we can all live together again.  I know that through living the teachings of Christ that we will be well taken care of.  He really doesn't ask that much of us.  We just need to humble ourselves and do it.  I love you all so much!  Have a great week!

Christmas Day Skype!

We were able to Skype with Kade on Christmas Day, it was awesome to see him!  He didn't want to see us or the house, he thought it would make him sad so we set it up so we just saw him.  Grandma and Grandpa Fortie and Grandma and Grandpa Schvaneveldt were there too so he talked to all of us.  He hasn't given us weight updates since he left the MTC but he has kept gaining weight and his cheeks look chubby!  Mom asked him if he was trying to not eat desserts but he said that he never realized he liked dessert until his mission.  He isn't concerned because his clothes still fit, even though he told us that one of the members sews his buttons on for him when they pop off!  He had us all laughing a lot and it was so good to talk to him. 

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

December 20, 2010 E-Mail

So the good news of the week is that Eubelina has another baptismal date. And it's for Christmas Day! So that should make things exciting. And this time it should be for real. She had a meeting with the Branch President yesterday. It was pretty awesome, we went to visit her and she told us she wanted to be baptized by the end of the year. So we invited her to do it on Christmas Day. Well her ex-boyfriend was there to be with his kids and he is a baptist, but he was encouraging that she gets baptized on Christmas so that was way cool. The other exciting news is that we visited a lot of members this week who haven't been to church in a way long time. Well 7 of them came yesterday. So that was pretty good to see. There was more people there than I had ever seen in this ward.

I don't have much time at all today. The computers at the library weren't working so we came to the family history center but it's only opened for like 20-30 minutes. So this will be short. My new companion is way cool and he is a fluent spanish speaker which is way nice. His parents were born in Mexico, he was born in California, but moved to Tennessee after that and that's where he came out from. We get a long great and things are going good. I didn't get to take my companion to his new area, we met his new companion in a different place. It was pretty crazy because the main highway was closed down because of a wreck on black ice. So we had to take some crazy backroads through the hills and stuff to get there. It was a fun adventure.

As far as calling home I'm not sure when yet. Probably between 12:00 and 2:00 our time. And I won't be able to call Seth. We can only make one phone call. I'm not to sure about all of the rules yet but I don't think we can talk for very long either. Our mission is pretty strict. And Dad was wondering if we could skype. I'm pretty sure we can't. If anything changes I will let you know somehow. If you have any questions just ask Brother Pedersen.

That's way sad about Steve. I hope he will be okay. I for sure will pray for him. Let me know what happens with that. I apologize this is so short I just don't have anymore time. I got all the packages so thank you so much. Tell Kent and Lori and Brent and Annette thanks! Also Gary and Rayann. The guy we live with has been opening all of my packages to see if they are individually wrapped. If they are then he puts them under the tree. If not, he wraps the box. So that works out pretty good. I'm so grateful for the oppurtunity that I have to be out here serving. Christmas as a missionary really makes you think more about the true meaning of Christmas. So I hope everyone has a good week and remember the true meaning of Christmas!

Love Elder Schvaneveldt

Monday, December 13, 2010

December 13, 2010 E-Mail

So the good news of the week is that I am staying in East Wenatchee for another transfer! And I will be here for Christmas which I am super excited for! And the even better news is that my new companion, Elder Garcia speaks spanish fluently! So hopefully my spanish speaking skills will increase. So I'm extremely excited for this next transfer. Other than that, not a whole lot happened this week to be honest. Eubelina has been sick so we haven't been able to meet with her at all. I'm really hoping having a native companion will help us out with some of our spanish investigators, so I'm looking forward to that. Anyways, we're supposed to meet with her tonight as long as she is feeling better. We are also supposed to meet with Jesus again tonight. I'm sure you remember me talking about Alondra. Well last night my companion and a native speaker went over to meet her husband. And that was the problem there. But they were able to clear everything up and we will be able to continue teaching her, and I guess he said it was all up to her if she wanted to be baptized and come to church. So hopefully he wasn't just saying that because the missionaries were there. Because he apparently says the complete opposite when we aren't there. So that pretty much was about it for this week. Saturday we had a pretty good storm. It was about a foot. Then it pretty much rained all day yesterday so now it's just a slushy mess and a ton of the snow is already gone. So we were out tracting for quite a while and it was snowing pretty hard. We had a couple appointments that night at 7:00 and 8:00 so luckily Brother Pedersen came out with us. Our car sucks in the snow that's for sure. The traction control system on it is horrible, and the tires are no good either. So we couldn't make it to a 5:00 appointment without walking, then after that we just tried to get it home and we got it home but it wasn't going in the driveway. I was getting a little frustrated. I'm used to always driving a truck whenever it snows other than last year when I had the Audi but then if it was bad enough I would just drive the tow truck so it didn't matter. But when we got to our house, Brother Pedersen was there early shoveling for us so that was nice, then he took us out and we made it to at least one of our appointments.

I was shocked when you sent me pictures of your new car mom and there was no snow in the background. And Seth said it's lik 50 degrees or something there. That's crazy. But your car is nice. You said you don't like the bluetooth thing how you just push a button on the steering wheel to answer your phone, well here in Washington it is illegal now to talk on the phone and drive unless you have a bluetooth deal. Have they changed any of those laws or anything back home?

You also mentioned the lady we live with being in a wheelchair, yeah, she doesn't walk and hardly ever leaves the house. I think she has left the house twice in the last three months. So we try to do as much as we possibly can for her. She is on oxygen and everything too, so it's pretty hard for her to do much. She had a stroke so her left side doesn't want to work to great.

Well that was about it for this week. The talks in church yesterday were about the restoration of the gospel. I know this church is true and that it was restored by the Prophet Joseph Smith. I know that through the power of God he translated the Book of Mormon. And I know it is the word of God! I love you all!! Have a good week!!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

December 6, 2010 E-Mail

Sounds like it has been a good week back home. I only know the Pierson guy and Bryan. That other guy I'm not sure who he is. But I'm sure it will be a great bishopric. And that's awesome that the Thinnes lady is getting baptized. And to bad about the Defabio guy. I'm pretty sure I met him a couple of times. Hopefully things turn out for the good. And Mom, that's pretty cool that you will be getting a new car probably today. I think I know what color you are talking about. Those cars are pretty sweet. I will be shocked if Dad is going through a dealer to get it. Is he? And it was good to hear that Kimber finally has decided that she can go in her big dog house that Seth built. That dog can either be a little genious or just plain out stupid. Sometimes I wonder about her. And yes, I did get my package with the thermals and also the Christmas tree thing. It's pretty sweet. I think my companion might be a little jealous! It's cool to get to open something everyday from people at home. Dad was telling me about how Seth's window was broke on the truck. Not much has changed since I left. I remember that thing having problems before. But that would be a long drive to Colorado in that cold weather with a window that wouldn't go up. But it sounds like you all had a really good time over Thanksgiving and that Sis was a good cook. That's pretty cool too that she got to do an ultra-sound on Bree. I bet that was pretty fun. And now you have Remi living with you while Sis and Justin go to Belgium? Just don't let him get into the normal food!

Things here have been pretty good. It was actually a pretty slow week overall. We were out with a member one night and all of our appointments bailed on us. So we went to visit an old lady who is a member of the ward. Well we decided we would just shovel her driveway for her. While we were doing so her next door neighbor yelled over and asked if we were her grandkids, and she said no that we were the missionaries from her church. So anyways we went over and met the lady. Her name is Connie and we were able to help her out and shovel some of her snow too. We were also able to teach her the restoration while doing so. She was a little intoxicated, but very nice. She told us how she knew that we are angels sent to her during this time of her life because she needs God in her life. She was really nice and we went back to try to meet with her but she had left a note on the door saying something came up. So we are looking forward to getting to meet with her again sometime. Then an Elder in the district got sick so we switched off with his companion for one day so they could do some work in there area. So not a whole lot happened here this week. The lady we live with wanted us to do service and set up all of her Christmas lights since she is in a wheelchair and can't do a whole lot. So we were able to do that. Eubelina (yeah I found out how to spell her name for real, It's a little strange but that's how you do it) she's still doing well. We are going to meet with her tonight. We were also able to meet with Brian Cooper again this week. We had lost contact with him for a couple weeks over the Thanksgiving Holiday. Then yesterday we were able to talk with Ryan. I'm not sure if you remember him. I tracted into him when Elder Beus was here during my first transfer in this area. Well we haven't met with Ryan for probably 6 weeks but we were able to make an appointment with him for tomorrow. So that was pretty exciting. We also met with Jesus again. He really wants to be baptized. But we found out he won't only lose his girlfriend which is practically his wife, but he will lose everything he has in Mexico. Because she said if he gets baptized then he will just have to live with that he has here. Which isn't very much. In Mexico he has a house I guess and a bunch of other stuff. So we are going to continue to work with him. And that was about it for the week. Transfer calls are next Sunday and then transfers will be the following Tuesday. So we will see what happens. I hope I get to stay another transfer. But we will find out what happens. So if you're sending stuff for Christmas you can either wait until I have my address, or you can just send it to the mission office and they will forward it as long as it's through usps.

In testimony meeting yesterday I thought a lot about the Savior. I guess because of Christmas and everything. I know that Jesus Christ paid the price for all of our sins. He suffered for us in the Garden of Gethsemane so that we can overcome spiritual death, and he was resurrected so that we can all overcome physical death. Because of what He did, we can be clean of our sins through Faith, Repentance, being Baptized, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and Enduring to the End. And if we do those things, through Him, we can have eternal life and live in the presence of our Heavenly Father. I love you all. Thank you so much for all you do for me and the support you give me. Have a great week.

Love Elder Schvaneveldt

Saturday, December 4, 2010

November 29, 2010 E-Mail

So it was sort of a slow week with the Thanksgiving Holiday.  We did our best to be as productive as possible, but not many people wanted to meet with us.  We ate with the Andersen family in our ward.  It was really good.  Then after that we went to another home and played games with them.  That was pretty fun.  I won a couple of gift cards so that was cool.  Then after that we went to a family that is in the spanish branch and ate with them.  It was really good.  Other than, they dished up our plates for us.  So we had a ton of food.  Then after that we went to another home of a recent convert in another ward and had some pie.  So we had plenty of food.  Then Friday night, we had another Thanksgiving dinner at the Pedersen's.  That was much better because I was able to enjoy it because I knew that it would be my only one.  So that was our Thanksgiving.  Then the Spanish Branch had a Thanksgiving dinner on Saturday night.  We got there late and all of the food was gone.  So that was okay.  We got to watch a baptism of a family of 4 after that.  So that was pretty fun.  That's pretty cool that Wade and Dennis are in the bishopric.  So is that the 4th ward?  I wasn't surprised to hear that either of them were in there.  You asked if I have been wearing that big down coat.  Nope, it's still in my suit case.  I think I'm immune to the cold.  For the most part I have just been wearing my suit and that's it.  The coldest it has been has been one night and it was like 5 degrees.  And that coat is huge.  So I haven't used it yet.  That was pretty crazy that newspaper article you sent me about the Cevering kid.  It was a really cool story.  I remember seeing the other kid at school when I was there.  That's way cool he saved his life.  I do have a pretty crazy story of something that happened the other day.  So Saturday we were tracting and there was this house with a couple of tow trucks parked out front.  So I though oh yeah I gotta knock that door.  So we went and knocked it and the guy was not friendly at all and basically just slammed the door.  Well we drove back by the house yesterday afternoon and there was caution tape tied around the house.  So I started to look close and the windows were all boarded up and you could tell the house had caught fire sometime after we had knocked it.  Then we were talking to Sister Pedersen's Mom, and she dispatches for the emergency stuff here, and she said the guy died.  So we were probably like the last ones to talk to this guy.  Then his house caught fire and I guess he was sleeping and didn't have any smoke alarms or anything so he died of inhaling smoke.  How nuts is that?  So that's a random story.  That lady who let us right in last week, Berta, well we were able to teach her again this past week then she came to church yesterday.  But it wasn't the best meeting for her to come too.  She came to the spanish branch and american people were speaking.  Well the one guy decided he was going to try and read a conference talk in spanish for his talk.  I felt bad for him cause he was trying but no one was paying attention because no one could understand him.  So it was sort of just a bad first sacrament meeting for an investigator to come to.  I just feel bad because the branch is doing the best they can with what they have.  They really are trying hard.  But anyways, I really hope Berta will give it another chance on a Sunday when things work out a little better.  Another story, some missionaries really dread knocking doors.  Especially after it's dark.  But we have been asked to do our best to find new investigators between 5:00 and 7:00 pm because that's when people are home.  Well it has been a struggle to get some of the missionaries to actually do that.  The first door we knocked on let us in.  And that hardly ever happens.  So that was pretty cool.  That was pretty much are week here.  I'm glad everyone back home had a good Thanksgiving.  I kept hearing about this crazy storm that was going to happen in Utah.  But it sounds like it never really happened.  Grandma asked if we ever have to teach the classes in church.  Tell her that in my last area we did, but here we don't.  This Thanksgiving made me realize how much God truly has given me.  I am so grateful for this church and for Joseph Smith and the courage he had to go through all that he did.  Without this church who knows where we would be.  So I truly am grateful for that and also that we have a living prophet here on the earth today.  I know Thomas S. Monson is called of God and that if we listen to him we will be given the instruction to keep us safe from the worldly dangers.  I hope you all have a good week!  Love Elder Schvaneveldt!

Monday, November 29, 2010

November 22, 2010 E-Mail

So not a whole lot to write about this week.  We had three investigators in church yesterday so that was really cool. It was stake conference so it was a full house.  But it was a good meeting.  Evalina no longer has a baptismal date.  She is completely ready, she just needs to pin down a certain day and do it.  She has been sick this past week so we haven't met with her to much.  We are going to take over a native missionary with us next time we go.  Hopefully he will be able to communicate with her a little better and figure out the complete concern.  The other night we were knocking doors and this lady opened up and immediately said come right on in.  So that was sort of shocking.  Then she told us how she can really just see Christ in our faces.  She told us how she knew that if she closed the door on us then she would be closing the door on Christ.  Sometimes I feel like everyone realized that!  But it was a really cool and spiritual lesson that we had with her.  So hopefully we will be able to meet with her again this week.  I was able to go on exchanges this week into the other area.  Well we went and did service clear up in the mountains at some families house.  Their daughter is a member but no one else is.  It's an interesting little cabin.  They have to haul in their own water, and their electricity is all from generator.  Anyways, her dad hurt is back and neck, so we went up for a few hours and split wood trying to help them get ready for the winter.  It was really cool to go up into a forest type area again.  I miss that.  I can't really remember everything we did this week.  Time is going by pretty quick and I forget.  I know we worked the whole time.  I just can't remember what we were doing.  We also got a new investigator named Jose Luis.  His girlfriend is a member and he has been coming to church a little bit.  So we are excited for him.  So please pray a lot for him and Evalina.  They need the prayers.  We went to Hermana Alfreda's house on Saturday night, that's Jose Luis's girlfriend.  Well we had already had a huge dinner that night and she decided she wanted to feed us.  I'm not sure what we were eating, but I already had a messed up stomach that day.  Well I ate whatever it was and it was some spicy stuff.  After the fact it just sounded like my stomach was boiling.  It was pretty crazy that's for sure.  I'm glad all the Mom's got to get together for dinner.  It sounds like you had fun.  For Thanksgiving we have a few different houses to go to.  Plus we will still do our studies that day then we have been asked to do our weekly planning on that day which takes 2-3 hours.  And so far like four families have invited us over.  So we will be well taken care of.  We are trying to make appointments with investigators, but most of them are going other places or can't meet with us that day.  But our mission president wants us to treat it as a normal day just without tracting.  So that's pretty hard to do if we can't get appointments with investigators.  I guess it will be a good day to try and strengthen ward members.  I'm glad you sold the car.  It was a little tricky to get around with in the snow last winter.  Speaking of driving in snow.  There is nothing like having a companion who has never driven in the snow trying to tell you how to drive in the snow when you were raised in it.  It's funny though, there can be just a skiff of snow and he is amazed.  I hope we get a really good winter.  I still haven't bought boots.  I'm gonna go get gloves and good socks today.  It's supposed to be a pretty cold week and we give the car back today to the other companionship.  It's hard for me to send letters to my friends who are outside of the United States.  So I hope Weston got his Happy Birthday last week.  And this week it's a Happy Birthday to Jared!!!  So hopefully he gets that.  That's about it for this week.  It seems like everything lately has been related to gratitude.  I guess that makes sense with the Holidays coming up.  I truly am grateful for all of you and all you have done for me.  I'm grateful for this gospel in my life and for the atoning sacrifice of our Savior Jesus Christ.  I'm grateful for the Book of Mormon and the manner in which it testifies of Jesus Christ.  People say we aren't Christians, well right in that blue book is the proof that we are.  I'm so grateful for the oppurtunity that I have to serve!  Have a Happy Thanksgiving and be safe driving to Colorado.  I love you all!!!!

Monday, November 15, 2010

November 15, 2010

So things are going pretty good here. We had a good day at church yesterday and had 3 investigators so that was pretty awesome. 2 in English and 1 in Spanish. We had an amazing lesson the other night with Evalina. We had assigned her to read from 3rd Nephi 11. So she was just telling us what she had learned then all of the sudden she pretty much came right out and said "tengo que bautizarme" saying that she needed to be baptized. So as of right now she has a baptismal date for the 27th. But there is actually a Spanish Branch party that night so we will try and change her baptism to the 26th. So she is progressing really well. I felt bad for her in sacrament meeting yesterday. She was holding her little girl on her lap the little girl wet her pants. So we pretty embarrassed. Then the other ones that were in church were Megan and Jessica. Megan I think I have told you about. She has been coming to church for like 6 months. Her fiance is a member, he is the one who works at Olive Garden and always hooks us up. Well she will be baptized in the new year because they are getting married on the 31st of December. She is so awesome. I can't remember if I told you or not, but she got up last Sunday and bore her testimony. It was sweet. It was probably a slap in the face for some of the members because they won't even get up and do it. And she's not a member yet and she did! She's awesome and always gives her input and everything in classes. It's cool. And she's already doing missionary work and went to another ward yesterday too with a friend who is less-active. So it's awesome to see her progress and really love the gospel. Then Jessica I know I have told you about. Her boyfriend is a less-active member but has a testimony. We tracted into him one day and he invited us back to visit with her. This was back in September I think. And she was able to make it to church for the first time yesterday. I'm not sure how it went for her, because we haven't talked to her. She went to a different ward with her boyfriend's Grandma. So those were our investigators in church. I know I told you about Brian Cooper and how we had a miracle in finding him last week. Well he is really good friend with Jessica and her boyfriend. So that's cool to see them talk about the gospel together. Brian needs to be baptized. Every once in a while he bails on our appointments. But we also randomly run into him. He is a great kid and we are excited for him. He committed to coming to church next week. He couldn't make it yesterday because something came up. So that was pretty much the week. We had a rough week as far as finding new people, but we have some great appointments set up for teaching people this next week. Mom you asked what we did for service. We just do whatever we can find. But we don't have anything set at all like Tyler had at the YMCA. In area's that have food banks I know the missionaries usually go there. But we don't have anything like that in our area. So we just do what we can as we run into people. One thing I was thinking if you could send me was a copy of Jesus the Christ in spanish. I'm going to take on the task of reading it in spanish because this week I will finally have finished El Libro De Mormon. So I want to start on Jesus the Christ but I don't have time to read it during my personal study cause we study so much from The Book of Mormon. So I will just have to read it in Spanish during language study. I know this church is true an I am so grateful to be a member of it. Yesterday, Cody, Megan's fiance, gave the lesson in Elders quorumn. Well it was about the Gift of the Holy Ghost. Well I am so grateful to have the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost to lead and guide me. It truly is such a great feeling to walk in a home and feel the spirit. I know that we can all have this constant companionship of the Holy Ghost to help us through all things as long as we remain worthy and strive to be better and align our will with the will of our Savior. I love you all. Have a great week!!!!!

Oh yeah, and I need to give a shout out to Weston because he is turing the big 20!!!!!! Happy Birthday my man.

Monday, November 8, 2010

November 8, 2010 E-Mail

So it's been a good week and busy. We were able to do a lot of service and still teach a lot of people so that was nice being able to help out in more than one way. I was excited to hear that Ethan had stopped by and he is doing good, also that Greg and Judy are going to have a child, and also to hear that I was having a nephew! That was all very exciting. You also asked if I knew any Beutler's, yeah, I knew one who is like a year younger than me. That really is to bad that there house burned down. And that's pretty cool you got to go to the Jazz game and sit that close. Mom, I can't picture you at a Jazz game. But I'm sure it was a blast.

So the work this week went great. Evalina wasn't baptized because she doesn't feel ready, but she is still meeting with us and it will be a decision that she shortly will make. We also tracted into her brother the other day, Jesus, and teach him. So that was really cool. Hopefully they will come to church together. Then the ward sent us to visit a family in the ward boundaries who aren't members and who are going through a very hard time with the economy. So we went and visited them and they told us how they are really seeking for direction in there lives. So that was really cool. But the even cooler part was we were about 15 minutes from the church and we were supposed to be at the church at 6:00 to meet a guy named Hermano Castro. Well by the time we left there house it was 6:05. So we called Hermano Castro to come pick us up but he had left his phone at home. So in other words, we were on foot and we had to book it to the church so he didn't leave. So we were forced to walk. But in the mean time we were on this little side street where no one ever walks or anything. And we ran into our investigator Brian Cooper who we have been teaching and he was really progressing. Well over the last week or two we haven't been able to meet with him and we have felt like he is avoiding us. Well there was no avoiding us walking on this little street. So we were able to make a return appointment and go teach him on Saturday night and have a really good lesson. And he committed to coming to church next week. So that was a definite miracle that we got to meet with him. I was also blessed with the gift of tongues for sure this week. I don't know if you remember Alondra. Well she is the one forever ago that yelled at us to come and talk to her because she wanted to know when and where the church was. Well we were able to teach her this week. She talks faster than anyone I know and her husband does not like her meeting with us. So we try to meet outside but it was freezing so we had to go inside. Well she said he could come home within an hour or 20 minutes. So I was a little worried. Plus we had Brother Pedersen with us who doesn't speak spanish but we had to have a man with us because it was a lady we were teaching. Well anyways, we all understood everything she was saying. Including Brother Pedersen, and my companion and I were really able to communicate with her very well. So I have definitely noticed the Lord's help when it comes to teaching hispanic people. It's been awesome. So that's about it for this week. The other day we were walking down the road and I felt something land on top of my head. So I thought it was a rain drop. Let's just say we were under a power line, and a bird took advantage of me. I wasn't to happy about that. Sounds like it will be a crazy thanksgiving for everyone if everybody is going to Kristin's. It will be fun though. I'm excited to be able to stay here in this area. We will for sure be taken care of. Yesterday was fast and testimony meeting and I had the opportunity to stand and bear my testimony about the Book of Mormon. I know you have heard me say a million times I know it's true. But the more I'm able to testify of it, the more true it becomes. I'm so grateful for the Prophet Joseph Smith and all that he suffered so we could have the Book of Mormon to clearly understand what we need to do to have peace in this life and eternal life in the life to come. I love you all so much and thank you for your love and support. Have a good week. I love you.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

November 1, 2010 E-Mail

So our transfer calls were last night and I will be staying here in East Wenatchee again. Which I'm excited about. My new companion is from Texas. His name is Elder Weidman. And this next transfer will be his third. We get along really well so it will be a good transfer. It was sort of hard sweeping into an area that had absolutely nothing going on. But this next transfer we will see some of the hard work pay off. Evalina came to church yesterday and she is still planning on being baptized on Saturday. It's so hard though because they really don't decide for sure until like the day before. It's crazy. So please keep praying for her. She is so much happier now her boyfriend has moved out. He keeps calling us though to tell her that she needs to get back with him and stuff. And he's baptist so he calls and always wants to bash. We were finally able to teach Jesus again. He is doing good but hasn't been to church for awhile. He still wants to be baptized he just kinda quit doing the stuff that was helping him to progress. So hopefully we can keep working with him. Then this past week we found a few more new investigators while we were tracting. So we are excited about them. We had like 8 people say they would come to church but only a couple did. So we are going to continue to work with them this week and have them in church next Sunday.

Saturday night there was a tri ward and the branch had an activity. It was a chili cook off and a trunk or treat. Well we invited all of our spanish investigators. Two of the families came, and there was no one there from the branch! It was horrible. Because we really needed to have fellowshippers there for them. Luckily there are a few ward members who speak spanish who helped out. And then towards the end like two families from the branch came. So it turned out to be okay. It was a good activity though and there were a lot of people.

Yesterday was pretty much just a lazy day. Because of Halloween they didn't want us to tract at all. So all we could really do was visit members. So that's about all we did after church. So it was fun, it just felt sort of weird not being out knocking doors. The weather was sort of bad anyways so it wasn't all that bad. Sounds like Dad really is going to Tokyo. That's way cool. East Wenatchee has a sister city thing in Japan, and the mayor is in our ward. So he goes to Japan quite a bit so I was talking to him about it yesterday. He said Dad will be fine. That's way cool though that he really gets to go. When does he go? Sounds like you're getting ready for the winter and snow if you moved the chevelle and got the tractor. We can see snow from our house here so I have a feeling it will be here soon. But that's alright. I'm ready for it.

Who is Wess Schvaneveldt? I know I can remember the name but I can't put a face to it. A member here knows him. Also I talked to a guy who grew up in Preston and his brother was about Grandpa's age, so I'm sure Grandpa would know him. His name was George Eames. It's interesting how you can always find people who know your family or something. Although a lot of people up here did come from the Cache Valley area.

That's about all I have for this week. I feel brain dead right now and can't think of much to write. Just know that I love you all and thank you for all of the support you give me. And yes Mom, tell Lori thank you so much for the package. I know this is the true church. Church yesterday was all about missionary work. We all need to do it whether we are formally called as missionaries or not. So do missionary work and you will be blessed! We are so fortunate to have this gospel with all of it's blessings in our own lives. We need to share it with others. Have a good week!! I love you all.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

October 25 E-Mail

So things have been great this week.  We were able to invite an investigator to be baptized.  Her name is Evalina Sandoval.  She is really progressing and came and watched the primary program yesterday and she really liked it.  It was pretty cool.  We also are teaching a guy in our ward who's family are all members but he isn't.  He has had some life changing experiences and has had a softened heart and is ready to accept the gospel so that has been really cool to see.  Brian Cooper is also really progressing.  Oh yeah, I guess the big news of the week is that my companion got his Visa and will be leaving tomorrow.  So I will get another Elder who hasn't been out very long at all.  He will be here until at least next week.  Then who knows what will happen with transfers.  I'm curious to find out.  This last transfer just flew by.  What mission is Kyle Hoopes going to?  My companion is going to Mexico City North.  So he is sad to leave but also very excited.  It will be a lot different there than it is here.  We had our zone conference this last week and it was all on the Book of Mormon.  It is so essential to our faith, the keystone.  Without a witness that the Book of Mormon is true, our investigators get no where.  It really was a testimony builder for me that we need to study it every day.  Our mission President gave us the same challenge I know some of my friends have been given.  To get a brand new copy of the Book of Mormon and mark everywhere that it refers to the Savior.  It really is another testament of Jesus Christ.  So it was really good and a motivating conference to make sure our investigators are reading from the Book of Mormon and specifically praying to know if it is true.  Which our investigators are starting too.  We have some really amazing investigators right now.  I am very excited because I know some of them are going to be baptized.  Jesus hasn't had his interview yet, but he will soon.  He is back to only working one job so his life will slow down a little bit now.  Something crazy happened this week.  We met this bi-polar guy who would change the subject like every 30 seconds.  Well it turns out he is like one of the worlds best cage fighters.  Anyways, he was a nice guy but it felt like at any second if we would have said one thing wrong he would have flipped out and killed us.  It was nuts.  He has a plan to go high up in the Jehovah's Witness church and then start preaching mormon doctrine.  It was very interesting lets just leave it at that.  The scariest part is he lives right down the road from us!  So we are trying to lay low when we go into our house so he doesn't see us.  So that was pretty much our week.  One day we had zone conference and then the next I went into a different area on exchanges.  So my companion did most of the work with our investigators.  So hopefully I can pick up where he left off.  He is an amazing missionary and I wish he could stay.  But he needs to go to Mexico.  Yes Mom, I had to get an ultrasound.  When I got my blood test, my liver counts were a little high.  But quit freaking out cause they aren't that high.  So I had an ultrasound and everything looks fine.  So I had another blood test today, if he can't find anything on that then I go back in in like a month and have another blood test.  Long story short he said it's something he wants to get to the bottom of but it is nothing to freak out about.  So I'm fine.  I have a copy of it that I'm gonna send to Kristin in the next couple weeks depending on when I have time to go to the post office.  We might go to Leavenworth today because my companion wants to see it before he leaves.  And we are already running late because of the Doctor then we went to lunch with the Pedersens.  So I really don't have much more time.  I know the Book of Mormon is the word of God.  So read it.  Cause it really will bless your lives!!  Our challenge was to read it by the end of the year.  So I give you all the same challenge.  I love you so much.  Thanks for everything.

Monday, October 18, 2010

October 18, 2010 E-Mail

Sounds like you and Dad should be getting home right about now.  I hope you had a good trip.  Really not a whole lot happened this week.  We have had a lot of appointments bail on us lately so we have done a lot of tracting.  We did have a really good lesson with our investigator Ryan.  We were able to teach him in a members home and that always helps a lot.  He is finally making a little bit of progress and the member who's home we were in told Ryan that he would go to his baptist church if he would come to our church.  So that should be a good trade.  We also found a member last night who was a baptist.  She isn't active right now in the LDS church because of health issues but she still said she would come on an appointment with us.  So that should be a good thing.  We are still working with Jesus and he still really wants to be baptized.  He should be meeting with the mission president this week so hopefully we will know more about that pretty soon.  His wife in Mexico (They aren't legally married) doesn't want him to be baptized.  But he still really wants to and she has no control over it since they aren't legally married.  We were able to meet with a hispanic lady named Evalina this week.  I can't remember if I told you anything about her.  Well her and her boyfriend were living together and have two kids.  We have been teaching them a while now, but they have been fighting and she wouldn't come to church with him, and he said he would only go if she did.  So we went over a couple of times and they would just start fighting and it was all in spanish and he would try to get my companion and I to take his side and it was just a mess.  So we said we could come back with the Branch President and he could talk to them.  So one night the boyfriend called us, Ramon, and asked if we could come by with the Branch President because he wanted to work things out but if they couldn't get worked out then he was going to leave.  So we went by and introduced the President and then we took off.  So we stopped by a few days later and it turns out the boyfriend had left but she wanted to learn more.  So we set up and appointment and then we went over with the Branch President and his wife.  Well his wife looked through the window and saw this little boy, Alex, who she had taught in school previously.  He was like the most meaningful student to her and one day he was just gone and she never saw him since.  So long story short, we went in and the Presidents wife was able to make that connection with them, and Evalina and the two kids came to church yesterday!  So we were way excited about that and we are going to invite her to be baptized this week.  So that was exciting.  This past week we invited Brian Cooper to be baptized.  He is a 20 year old kid who is seeking for religion and has made big changed in his life.  He accepted to be baptized once he knows these things are true.  So that was cool.  And that was pretty much our week.  We met with a lot of less-actives also and a few of them came to church.  And then we did a lot of tracting which we have been struggling with.  We aren't seeing much success out of it and it can be discouraging.  But, it's just a trial, and trials bring forth blessings.  So we are going to work through it and see miracles come to be.  We have been talking a lot about Jesus Christ this week and the love he has for all of us.  I just want you all to know, that I know Jesus Christ is our Savior and that He took upon Himself the sins of all mankind.  Through Him, we can find great comfort in our problems and sorrows.  I love you all so much!  Have a good week!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

October 11, 2010 E-Mail (Sorry I'm Behind!)

So it's been a good week here. I think the highlight of it was that I got a sweet haircut this morning by an in-active guy. He like shaved my neck and stuff the old school way with a straight blade. It was cool. Mom I liked how in the newsletter thing you put happy birthday to me on the 20th of September. Well my birthday is actually on the 12th just to remind you!

Well this last Saturday was supposed to be the baptism for Jesus. He wasn't able to get baptized. He didn't pass his interview and might have to wait a couple of months. We're not sure yet. The mission president is going to meet with him next week sometime and interview him. So we will see what happens. But three girls that we were teaching that moved out of our area into another area were baptized! And Jesus came and watched the baptism so that was pretty cool to see. He will be baptized for sure it's just a matter of time now. He works at Mcdonalds and we went and saw him at work today. He was way excited to see us.

We have been really trying to effectively use the hours of 5:00-7:00 to tract and find new investigators. We have been focusing on listening to the spirit on what to say. It's really made a difference in our door approaches. Some missionaries love tracting and some hate it. I'm in the middle. But we have to do it so we might as well have a good attitude about it and make the best of it and trust in the Lord while doing so. And we did a lot of tracting last week because a lot of our appointments fell through. But we have a lot of appointments set up for this week and a lot of them are with members so that will be good. Members really do make such a huge difference in the work.

I can't believe Brady left the MTC already. Where was his companion from? He mentioned the name and I went to school with someone who had that last name. It felt like I was in the MTC for like years. He will be glad to get out in the field I'm sure.

That's about it for this past week. I'm learning to love to study. I know as we study, and as we prayerfully study that our relationship with our Father in Heaven will greatly increase and we will come closer to him and have a greater desire to do what he wants. So either keep studying, or start studying!! I love you all!!!! I hope you will be able to read this Mom and Dad, if not I'm sure Mom will freak out. I was also way way way excited to hear that I'm going to be an uncle!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I love you all!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

October 4, 2010 E-Mail

So I've been thinking alot about Weston, and I'm quite jealous of him. Not because he found like 40 cockroaches, but because he doesn't have to wear a suit coat! And yes, until next conference, I have to wear a suit coat. Which absolutely sucks when you have never even worn a suit before in your life until your mission. And the weather here has been about like how you have described it at home. Which is too hot to be wearing a coat. But oh well. I will get used to it. It's been a crazy week because I had to go to Moses Lake on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday for most of the day to go to a training. It was a very tiring week because we had to get up extra early to get there. Then by the time we got home at night and went and worked out areas then came back we were just beat. But I was able to learn a lot of good training things that will hopefully help our areas out. We have been having a little bit of a hard time finding new people to teach. So hopefully that will change. Mom I laughed when I got your letter and you confessed that you didn't e-mail me last week. Sounds like you and dad are to old to get new technology. That new computer is just killing you guys. Hopefully you will get used to it pretty soon. Now that dad has 4 DVR recorder things, he should be able to record all of my car shows for until I get home! You said you went to Olive Garden on Saturday, we usually go there once a week. I can't remember if I told you that or not. One of the members here is like the manager or something so we always get hooked up. It's nice. That will be cool to go to the Dominican Republic next week. I better get some sort of cool souvenir.

I really don't have a ton to report on because I wasn't in my area half the week. But we did have an investigator come to conference yesterday. It was Jesus. He is still looking like he will be baptized on Saturday so keep praying for him. He has his baptismal interview on Thursday. We did have a really good lesson with Garret and Lea. They are way cool and were sort of questioning if there was a God and stuff. But they committed to say a sincere prayer about the message that we brought. So we are excited to go back and find out how that went. Conference was good. We just watched it all at the church. There was a lot of good talks. I'm excited to get the ensign and actually be able to go through and read them all. I have a hard time just listening. I need to have it in front of me. Allen Avra didn't come, so he won't be able to be baptized on the 23rd. But pray he will come to church next Sunday. They had a really good lesson with him this last week while I was in Moses Lake.

Yes mom I want you to keep sending me my friends e-mails like you do. Maybe send Colby's too. I know how he feels being transferred into a new area like that. I found out this past week that one of the investigators in Warden was baptized and also that a family I was working with has accepted a baptismal date. So I know what he's talking about. That's crazy though he is on like an island.

That's about it for this week. I'm so glad that we have a living prophet who can speak to us and give us the counsel that we need from our Heavenly Father. I know that as we follow that prophet we are doing what God wants us to do, and we will be blessed. I love you all so much. Thanks for all you do!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Sept. 25 E-Mail from the Spurgeon Family

Dear Sister Schvaneveldt, (if the last name is spelled wrong, its because your son has poor hand writing!)
We had the privilege of having your (lil boy) elder over for dinner :)  My husband shot a bear last week and he wanted to try it.  So we had bear soup!  He did great and (said) he loved every bite!  Thought we would send you a picture of our stock pot.  You have raised a very brave boy :)!  
He is doing great, you should be very proud of him.  Him and his companion, Elder Grey had a wonderful week.  
I do have a question, does he ever stop smiling?  We enjoy him and his wonderful smile.
Love the Spurgeons, east wenatchee Washington :)

September 27 E-Mail

So it's been a good week.  My new companion is Elder Gray.  He is originally from Las Vegas but has been going to BYU for the past five years I think.  His best friend growing up was Bruce Schvaneveldt's son.  Isn't that Dad's cousin?  He has been in the field for like 6 weeks now, and his last area was all english.  So it has been a huge test on the spanish.  He is waiting for his visa to go to Mexico.  They told him 2-3 months and it has been 2.  So He will probably be gone pretty soon.  But you never know.  He is really cool and we get a long really well.  This last transfer we pretty much tracted our entire area and didn't have a lot of success.  So we are going to try and work better with the members this transfer.  Members really are the key.  Yesterday I had to talk in sacrament meeting and that's sort of what I focused on.  So I hope we will see some good things happen.  The Cardena family that we were teaching actually moved out of our area.  But they are still in the boundaries for the spanish branch.  So hopefully the other Elder's will start to work with them soon.  Jesus Coriel is still looking good to be baptized on the 9th of October.  He just accepts everything we teach him.  He is so prepared right now.  He is also very forgiving of my spanish skills.  Yesterday he even gave us a ride to church.  So all he needs to do now is come to one session of conference, and then have a baptismal interview.  So keep on praying for him!!!  Then we have Allen Avra who is now on date to be baptized on the 23rd of October.  He is an awesome guy but he hasn't been to church yet.  So pray he will make it to a session of conference too!  We also had a very good appointment with Ryan this past week and we have him committed to meeting with us tomorrow night at the church.  So he will be able to feel the spirit in the church and want to come back.  Jessica, the girl we were teaching who's boyfriend is a member, she is doing good and they have been reading from the book of mormon every night.  We haven't taught her for a few weeks because things are crazy for her right now, but we do have an appointment tomorrow.  We are way excited about that.  That's probably about it as far as the work goes around here.  This Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday I have meetings I have to go to in Moses Lake for training because I'm a district leader.  I guess it's a training on the way they are training missionaries now in the MTC.  So that should be good and I hope it will really help the work out in our district and our area.  Being district leader is good.  The district is very small so that makes it nice.  There's the zone leaders, us, and one other companionship.  So it's pretty small. 

The lady we ate with the other night said she was going to e-mail you a picture of the bear skull and tell you that's what we had for dinner.  Well we did have bear for dinner but it was in a stew.  It was really good.  Her husband killed a bear last week and we wanted to eat some so he told us we were eating boiled head soup or something like that.  But it was really just a stew.  I went to the Doctor this morning and he said he thinks I might have something going on.  They drew blood so they will let me know pretty quick what the lab results are.  That's about it for this week.  I got another birthday card from Kent and Lori, so please tell them thanks!!  I love you all and thank you for everything.  I love this church.  I know that if we all can be like the Sons of Mosiah and pray and fast and have courage and know that this is a great work, that we will see so many people come unto Christ, we will have missionary moments placed in front of us!  I love you all!!!!  Have a good week!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

September 20 E-Mail

So my companion headed off to Spokane yesterday.  So I was put in a trio with some other Elders.  So yesterday I got to go to my church, their church, and the spanish branch.  It was  LONG church day.  But it was good.  Tomorrow morning I will be getting a new companion.  I don't know much about him.  I'm staying in the same area and have been assigned to be the district leader.  All I know about my new companion is that he is not a native and has only been out one transfer.  So I guess I am step training him as they would call it in missionary terms.  I don't know if he is fluent in spanish or anything like that.  He is actually a visa waiter.  I think he is supposed to go to Mexico but it's hard to get in there right now.  So he could only be here for a few weeks or for his whole mission.  Who knows.  It will be nice to find out a little bit more about him when I meet him tomorrow.  I have gotten a lot of birthday stuff so please tell everyone thanks.  Brent and Anette, Judy and Greg, Jared's parents, Jared, Jay and Gina, and Kala!  Also on last p-day I got cards from Pam, Gublers, Drew and Lisa, and Brent and Cindy.  So thank you very much everyone!!  And I got Lynn's package and also Grandma's.  I'm going to try and write Grandma today.  I get treated better on my birthday out here than at home!  And yes, Brother Anantatmula did buy me a cake and everything.  So thank you very much!  I was happy to hear that you were typing on a new computer mom.  I'm sure dad loves it.  He is getting OLD!!!!!!  50 years old today!  Wow.  That's pretty cool that he might get to go to Tokyo.  That would be an awesome experience.  Just don't have to much fun while I'm gone.  I was also pretty excited to read Nick's e-mail to know that at least one of my friends is still getting some action every once in a while.  Poor Nick.  I wish I could have seen his face.  Mom you asked if I prefer the ward or the branch.  I really like them both.  It's hard to choose one.  Yesterday we didn't have any investigators at the branch and we had one in the ward.  Saturday night we had a huge spanish activity.  We were able to go because we had an investigator come.  It was way fun.  And our investigator had a way good time.  He's way quiet everytime we go over and see him and he never says to much.  But he had a huge smile on his face and was laughing the whole time at the activity.  His name is Jesus and he is on date to be baptized on October 9th.  He is awesome.  He is one who is prepared right now by the Lord.  Then we had appointments with Ryan and Jessica.  Well Ryan forgot, so we will go see him on Wednesday this week.  And Jessica's boyfriend had to work and then his Grandpa died the next day.  So we haven't been able to see her yet either.  We are going to go to the funeral on Thursday so hopefully we will get to see her there.  Other than that we did a lot of tracting this week again.  We were also able to do some service for a guy named Allen who really is seeking the truth.  So please pray for all of those guys!!  So that was about it for this past week.  Tell Dad I did get to eat his homemade salsa.  It was good.  Between all my birthday stuff I have a ton of food.  I was very grateful for the mountain dew that Lynn and Susan sent.  You asked if we will have to pay for those orthotic things for my feet.  I'm not sure.  I told him just to contact you guys but he sort of just gave me one of those oh we will take care of it.  He is a very nice guy.  He helps me a lot with my spanish when we are with him. So I will let you know if we have to pay for them or what the deal will be.  I got a call late last night from a member of the bishopric here.  I have to speak in sacrament meeting next week.  I was trying to lay low and slip through the cracks but I just couldn't do it.  So I'm stuck speaking again!  It will good though.  Hopefully it will motivate the members to do a little more missionary work.  I was glad to hear that I get to spend at least one more transfer in this area.  I know this is where the Lord needs me to be at this time.  I know that as we obey his commandments and pray for those oppurtunities to do missionary work that we will see great miracles.  Those seeking the gopsel will be put in our paths.  I love this gospel and the blessings it has brought to me and to all of us.  Have a good week.  I love you all!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

September 13, 2010 E-Mail

Ok mom, calm down.  My e-mail is coming!  We went bowling today with a lot of our zone so that is why I am e-mailing later.  It's been a pretty good week and I had a really good birthday.  I figured I might be getting my favorite meal.  Brother Anantatmula was very persistent on us coming to his house for dinner.  So I figured you had planned something out.  It was really good.  He also made the primary sing to me.  So it was a good birthday.  I appreciate everything you sent me.  Thank you very much.  You guys are getting old!!!  You don't even have any teenagers now.  Wow!!!  So last Tuesday we went out to an appointment with the Stake Patriarch.  Well it turns out he is a physical therapist.  Well after he did an exam on me and thinks he knows what is wrong with my back.  So Saturday I went back to his house and he took some impression type things of my feet and is making some of those orthotic things.  I think that's what they're called.  But he said it should really help.  While we were there he was watching the BYU game.  It was pretty funny cause his wife told him to shut it off but he wouldn't.  So I was glad that I don't care enough about football for it to be a temptation to watch.  I was thinking Kristin and Justin probably went and it sounds like they did so that's cool.  So I should get the things he is making in a couple of weeks.  I completely killed a pair of my pants this week.  They got caught in the bike chain.  But a lady in the ward took them and now they look as good as new!  In dad's letter he wrote he was talking about Tokyo, Japan.  Well the way he was talking about it sounded like he had talked to me about it before.  But I don't remember anything about that so I had no idea what he was talking about.  Is he going there or what?  That would be cool.  It was good to hear he sold a very large job too.  I slightly remember that Brother Oliver guy.  It was interesting to read through those letters he sent.  I was also very glad to get the package that you sent home with Brother Anantatmula.  I was very glad to have some Mountain Dew.  Also I loved the tie you sent me, and the cake/brownie thing.  That was way good.  Mom I was about ready to kill someone when I got my free Tucano's meal card and knew that I couldn't go!!  I do miss that place very much.  The mission president's wife is going to do some research on thyroid stuff I guess and she's going to talk to the mission doctor then she might have me go get it checked out.  I'm not sure yet really what's going on.  I just talked to her last night because she called and wished me happy birthday.  As far as teaching went this last week it was a little tough.  Because two of our good investigators our out of town.  But they should be back now so we are looking forward to this week.  Last week we did meet a guy named Jesus.  We taught him on Saturday then invited him to be baptized on October 9th.  He agreed and said he would be at church after work.  Well the way the spanish branch works is we can't go unless we have investigators.  Because there are like 9 missionaries that do work for the branch.  So we go and if we have investigators we stay.  If not we leave right after the sacrament.  So yesterday we were just getting ready to take off.  They were almost done with the water.  Well then Jesus snuck in the back so we got to stay.  He said he enjoyed it and he felt the spirit.  After he could barely even get out because of everyone talking to him.  So we are really excited about him right now too.  We have another appointment with him tomorrow.  He's a really good humble guy.  He is probably in his 50's.  He has children in Mexico and his wife passed away a while back.  He just seems lonely and needs the gospel in his life.  Other than that about all we did last week was tracted.  This area hasn't been tracted for a very long time.  We have almost knocked all of the doors in it over the last 5 weeks.  So pretty soon it will be time to start it all over.  I know this is the only true church.  Through doing that which God wants us to do we can return to live with him and each other for eternity in the celestial kingdom.   I'm so grateful to have that in my life.  I'm so grateful for all of you and your support.  Have a good week.  I love you all!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

September 7 E-Mail

So it's been a pretty good week. I was kind of expecting in the next letter I got from you that it would say that Annie was gone. She went downhill pretty fast. And dad told me about Linda Buxton. That's way sad. And Aunt Rosie's husband. Dang, I guess that's why we have the Plan of Salvation so we know we will get to see everybody again!! I was glad to hear that dad's little carne asada was good. I haven't had any in this area yet, and I am for sure missing it. I did get my package. Thank you very much! I could actually see when I was riding my bike last night with the lights. It was quite nice to know that I wasn't going to end up in the canal because we ride on a canal road every once in a while. I'm glad you got to meet Brian. He is an awesome guy. He is moving out of the ward pretty quick. The house he is renting is like 3 blocks out of the ward boundaries. Everyone is pretty mad about that. This ward has had a lot of solid people recently move out. Like a lot. The primary president said that over half of the active primary members have left over the summer. I will be looking forward to see whatever you sent home with him. I don't know when he will be back. He is starting an addiction recovery class tonight so I know he will be back by then. That was interesting what you were saying about the spanish people at work mom. Because it's so true. They just feel awkward cause they can't communicate. They always get surprising looks on there faces when I start speaking spanish. It just makes some of them smile. I was really thinking about that in the spanish sacrament meeting on Sunday. It was so irreverent. I think that's a word. But the spirit was still so strong. They are the most loving and humble people. I love working with them, I just wish I could communicate with them a little better. On Sunday we had 4 investigators at the spanish branch. It is a really awesome family that we met last week. They were previously taught by missionaries but they live pretty far away so the missionaries just couldn't go out there anymore. So we had the guy that we live with take us out there to hopefully meet them. It was about a 45 minute drive but luckily they were home! They dad is not interested, but the Grandma, Mom, and two daughters are. They want to be baptized and everything. They have relatives around Boise who are very strong members. And they were also here on Sunday too and the Brother of the mom who is a member got up and shared his testimony and everything. So it was really cool. We have a lesson with them tonight with the Stake Patriarch because he speaks spanish too. So it will be awesome. That is the Cardena family. So please pray for them! Also we had a lady flag us down the other day. Her mom is a member in Mexico and she is searching for the right path right now. Her name is Alondra. So pray for her too. We talked to her for like 5 or 10 minutes. Told her where church was and when it started, and she showed up! We can't teach her though because her husband won't allow it right now. He was trying to hold her back from going to church because the catholic tradition is strong in his family. But she still came and we are going to keep working with her and hopefully see a desire in her husband to learn more. We had an awesome lesson with Ryan again this past week. He just kept asking question after question. We had our ward mission leader with us who has only been baptized for a couple of years. He basically answered all of the questions. Ryan is out of town until like the 13th though. So we don't have a lesson with him this week. Keep praying for him and his wife that she will begin to listen! We also had an amazing lesson with Jessica and her boyfriend Jordan. And Jordan invited is in-active mom to come over also. She now has a baptismal date of October 9th. But she also left town until about the 13th! She doesn't know that she either has to get married or move out before she can be baptized. We were planning on teaching that this week but she left town. So neither of them could make it to church because they were gone. So pray that she will accept the law of chastity! That's about it for this past week. Can you believe I'm going to be 20 years old in less than a week? It's crazy. I was also glad to hear that you got rid of one car. Mom might be in trouble as soon as the snow hits the ground though. That was not an easy car to drive in the snow. I love you all so much and am so grateful for you support and examples. I have been thinking about Joseph Smith a little bit lately. I know he is a prophet of God and that he did restore this church for us today. I know that he also restored the priesthood authority to perform those sacred ordinances that we need to return to live with our Heavenly Father and our families for all eternity. I am so grateful to be a part of this gospel and to partake of the many blessings that it brings to my life. I love it. Have a good week. Love you all!!!!!!

Monday, August 30, 2010

August 30 E-Mail

I'm sad that my pooch is going to be dying pretty soon.  But as long as she doesn't suffer then ok.  I have a little different taste about Schnauzer's after this week.  Let's just say they aren't all as nice as I thought they were.  Yes, one tried attacking me.  It was interesting.  It was pretty old and reminded me a lot of Lacy.  But then I met a really nice one yesterday.  I'm sure after Annie goes that you will go buy a new one mom.  I know you say you won't.  But I have heard that many times before.  It's been a pretty good week.  We definately were blessed with a miracle.  The other day we were going to an appointment in some apartments.  Well we were behind this guy that was driving a little crazy.  Yes, it appeared he was drunk.  Well he turned into the apartment complex and just kept on turning.  It was sort of all in slow motion.  Well he pretty much did a front flip off about a 10 foot rock wall, and the car landed upside down.   Well the miracle part is that it was on the door step of the apartment that we were going to.  It was pretty crazy.  The guy crawled right out and was running around showing everyone that he had just left the hospital and he still had those electro pad things on him.  He didn't smell like alcohol at all, but he for sure was doped up on something.  We were the only ones that saw it so we had to stick around and talk to the cops.  So if you get anything in the mail or anything questioning it, it's because I gave them the home address.  That was the miracle of the week.  Thank you for the package.  It has been very good.  I already ate all of the cookie crisp.  And I'm working on the muddy buddies.  That spanish family that I was going to have to teach all my own bailed on us.  So I didn't have to teach them.  But we did a lot of tracting that day to spanish homes.  I definately had the help of the Lord.  I didn't understand everything that was being said but I understood enough.  I was glad to be in this mission when I received Dad's letter and he was talking about that mission that is having a famine and they only get like half a cup of rice a day.  Wow, I would die.  And yes Dad, I know Kyle Farr.  I didn't know that's where he was going though so that's pretty cool.  Sounds like things are going good.  That's good you sold the trailblazer!  That was about it for this week.  It was a short week since p-day was on Tuesday, which speaking of, p-day will be on next Tuesday because of the Holiday weekend.  We have had a hard time finding people at home being the last week of the summer here.  So we are excited for things to calm down a little bit after the Holiday weekend.  Things are going pretty good as far as teaching goes.  We tracted into a less active member and we met his girlfriend who is a none member.  Her name is Jessica and she really has a strong desire to learn more.  Her boyfriend is 20 and hasn't been to church in a couple of years.  It was really cool though because as we were teaching, we would ask him questions about Joseph Smith and everything and he would teach the principle.  She really wants to come to church too, her boyfriend works every Sunday though and she had already made plans for yesterday.  We weren't able to teach Ryan at all this past week, but we have an appointment with him tonight.  So keep praying for him and for Jessica too!!  Last night we also found a really cool big black guy named Courtney.  So pray for him.  He was way nice and has a young family.  I guess he plays arena football for a team around here.  We have found quite a few good people to teach considering we came in here with nothing.  So some good things are going to happen in the next few weeks hopefully.  I know this church is true and I'm so grateful I get to be out here sharing it with everyone.  Whether they have never heard of the church, or if they just haven't gone for a few years.  This gospel truly does bring so many blessings into so many lives.  I'm so grateful and blessed that I was raised in a home where I learned the principles and teaching I needed to learn to get me to where I am today.  Thank you!  I love you all, have a good week!!!!!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

August 24 E-Mail

It's been a good week. We have met a lot of good people and are slowly building our teaching pool. To answer some of your questions, our area is really small. We are in the middle of two very large areas. But ours does have a lot of doors to knock on that haven't been knocked on for a long time. The area is probably like a mile by 3 or 4 miles. But we go all over it all day. We do a lot of biking and walking. But that's good. We keep the same schedule with eating with members. Four nights a week. We got here and they were being fed just about every night. But that is a mission rule so we had to change it. The girl who makes the dinner calendar was much happier with us. We have all kinds of places to go eat and shop around here too. Basically anything you can imagine. That's crazy that Brady's farewell is on Sunday. I remember when he got his call thinking that was forever away. I met the kid that is from Lehi that Brady knows. He was at that conference we had yesterday with Elder Christensen from the 70. It was a very good conference on how to feel the spirit. I really only had one interesting story from this week. We were knocking some apartments and we knocked the one on the second floor. Well no one answered so we started up for the third floor. Well I heard the door opening below so I jumped down there. Well it was this older sort of large man. In fact he was quite large. I asked him if he had spoken with missionaries from our church before. Angrily he replied with a yes. I asked him what he remembered. All he said was that he told the last guys that if they ever came back again he was going to "punch them out." Then he nicely asked me if I would like to be "punched out." And he was using quite the language. I almost started to laugh at him. But I was very polite and continued on. It made my companion quite mad. I don't think he had been in a situation like that ever before. But at least the guy didn't punch me. I felt pretty good about that. We have had a lot of people this week argue with us that we believe in the wrong Jesus Christ. And that Jesus Christ was not the spiritual brother of satan. So it has been interesting. At times its hard not to argue back. But all you can do in the situation is bear testimony and continue on. English work is much different than spanish. Every spanish person lets you in. Only the ones who are interested in english let you in. So it's harder to get in a door, but the door you do get in, the people are usually ready. And this past week a guy let us in who really is ready. His name is Ryan. (Pray for him that he will receive an answer to his prayers to know that this church is true) Well he is from Georgia and grew up as a southern baptist. He has been going to the baptist church here, but says that it's not really a baptist church. So he had a whole list of great questions for us. We answered them and he seemed to understand it all. The only thing was he didn't want to accept the Book of Mormon as the word of god. So we read the introduction with him where it says we invite everyone to read the book of mormon and to pray about it. So after that he was pretty quiet and just said wow. I guess I can't say anything about it until I do what it says there. We were really excited about this because he really is showing the desire to learn more. We have an appointment with him next Monday. We are also teaching a hispanic couple named Nelson and Mariella. They both have the desire to learn more too. The only problem there is that we have an appointment with them on Friday. Well Friday we will be doing exchanges and I will be here with an english elder. Therefore I have to speak all the Spanish. So hopefully I don't scare them away! Please pray for me on that one. Sounds like everyone is having a good time and staying busy. Mom the er sounds like quite the time. I was happy to get a business card from Lee's Mongolian with a little note from "Lee." That's pretty funny dad got light headed when you were giving Meesha her shot. I'm running low on time but I want you all to know that I love you! Thank you for all you have done for me. Keep going to church and you will be so blessed! It's sad to see the less-actives that tell you it all started out by missing one Sunday. So don't miss unless you absolutely have to!!!! Also continue to read and to pray everyday. Those are the three essential things. And I can promise as you do so you will notice a difference in your lives!!!!!!!!! I love you all so much. Thanks!!!

August 16 E-Mail

Sorry I am so behind in posting this!

So my new area is small! It's a lot different than Warden. It's small, but sure has a lot of people in it. There are a ton of apartment complexes. We have a car for a few days of the week and other than that we bike. And the whole area is on a very big hill. So I am getting my workout. And it has been hot lately. This is pretty gross, but on my pants there is salt build up underneath my belt from the sweat!!! The house we live in is a way good place to be. It's an older ladies home and her second cousin lives with her and he is a way cool guy. He has had a really hard life and wasn't activated into the church until about a year ago. He was in a way bad environment and thought he was going to die. Well the spirit prompted him to call his second cousin. Well she went and picked him up and here he is today. The lady keeps a book of all the missionaries that have stayed at her house. It was pretty weird, I was looking through it the other day and there was a picture of Ben Hilton. I guess he lived in the same place when he was here. So all the paper work in this area hasn't been updated since about March. So we didn't really even come in with anyone to teach or anything. The area has just been dead. So we have spent a lot of time tracting. And I mean a lot. But we have met a lot of good people. My new companion is from Pima Arizona. He's really good. He goes home at the end of this transfer. We had one guy this week come out and talk to us and ask us where the church was. So we talked to him for awhile and he said wow I really needed this in my life right now. So we are going to keep working with him. Then last night we had a few minutes left and couldn't decide where to knock. So we decided our next door neighbor. Well they went to the church a few times about a year ago, and are interested in learning more. So we are going back tonight. Other than that not a whole lot has happened and I don't have much time to e-mail because we are at the library. My message for this week is to listen carefully for promptings of the spirit. If it wasn't for the spirit, the guy we live with wouldn't be here today. Often times you will think you are prompted to do stupid stuff. But just do it without hesitation! I know the spirit will guide us to where we need to go. We just need to listen to it. I love you all so much!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, August 9, 2010

August 9, 2010 E-Mail

Well, I'm getting moved.  I was just really starting to love it here, but I guess that's the way it goes.  I'm going to East Wenatchee and will be covering a spanish branch and an english ward.  It will be really good because there were sisters there before.  So we are sweeping into the area.  It will be good to get a fresh start.  I don't know my new companion yet.  I meet him tomorrow when I head over there.  He is in Moses Lake right now.  That's about all I know.  And I think he goes home after this transfer.  So I'm sad that I'm leaving, but I'm sort of excited too.  I guess it's quite a bit bigger than where I am now.  It's right on the West side of the mission boundaries.  That's crazy that Spencer Packer is home already.  Time is flying by.  This last transfer went by so fast.  Not a whole lot happened this week.  I gave my talk in the english ward thankfully.  It wasn't to bad.  I changed it a little bit from the copy I sent you.  I think it ended up being like 20 minutes so that was good.  We have some investigators who have there grandson over at there house right now.  I think he's 10 years old.  Well he is catholic but we were talking to him the other day and he was asking the difference between mormons and catholics.  So we started to talk about the godhead.  After all he said was wow, I think I'm going to become a mormon.  It was pretty cool.  He goes home in Idaho though in like a week.  So that's the bad part.  So hopefully the missionaries will find him there.  Last night we had a pretty crazy lesson.  It was really short, but in the end we asked the lady who she wanted to pray.  She asked if she could say it and we said of course.  So she offered the prayer.  Well she was confused and didn't say amen.  Well we didn't know if she was done or if she was just thinking.  So we sat there for a few minutes with our arms folded and our eyes closed still.  The spirit was so strong.  Then we realized she was done and we lifted our heads and she was crying.  It was so cool to see that.  We also had a priest from the ward with us who is going through some rough times so it was really good for him to see that too.  He loved it.  Today I don't have a whole bunch of time because I need to pack all of my stuff.  And our bishop here was pretty sad to know that I was leaving so we are going to his house for lunch today.  I think he started crying last night when I told him.  He's a pretty emotional guy though.  So yeah this last week not a whole lot happened.  I spent one day with an Elder who only speaks english over here.  We only talked to one spanish lady though I think.  Then I had to go over to Othello for a day too.  So my companion and I really didn't get to work to much togehter.  That makes it really hard to teach people when only I, or only him taught them.  But things are going good and I'm excited for the change.  I love you all so much.  When I was doing my talk yesterday I realized how important it is for us as members of the church to lead by example.  So stay strong and set the example for those around you who aren't members.  They will realize you have something that they want!  This is the true church and I'm so grateful to have it in my life.  Thank you so much for all you have done for me.  Have a good week.  If you write letters just send them to the mission office. 
820 South Pines Road Ste 101
Spokane Valley, WA 99206
Thank you so much.  Sorry it's so short, we just have a lot to do today.  I love you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, August 2, 2010

August 2, 2010 E-Mail

Computers are way screwed up today so I have like no time. We are at the library and they are all timed. So it will be short and sweet. We had a way cool miracle this week. Other than that it has been way slow. But we decided to go see an in-active who hasn't been visited for a long time. Last time they visited her she through out a bunch of anti questions. So that's what we were expecting. Well we got there and she just started crying. It was in spanish so I was way confused at first. But she had been praying all day to know what church was true. She asked God if it was the church that she was baptized into. She said in her prayer that if it was true and if he would send her the brothers from the church that very day that she would start going to church again. Well sure enough, we showed up that day. And she was at church yesterday. So that was pretty cool. Elizabeth was confirmed yesterday too so that was way awesome. The work in the fields has really picked up the last week or so, so people are really hard to find at home. And if they're home they are sleeping. So it's been rough. But still really good. Thank you so much for the package. I was so glad to get it. I was pretty ticked when I locked up that Ipod though. So I'm glad you were able to get the number. I figured it would still be listed. I never took stuff off even after it was sold. The guy that called you is so cool. He is in active. His step daughter has been coming a lot though, and that night she asked if we would start teaching her the lessons. So we were really excited about that. They are an awesome family. Everytime we go over there we end up eating something. They really take care of us. He owns the local mechanic/tire shop. So we get a long pretty good. I hope the reunion was fun. That's crazy you're a den leader now mom. I didn't quite expect that one. I tried whiping off my camera lense but it was still fuzzy today on some pictures I printed. So I dunno what the deal is. And about my toenail, I did my own little surgery on it last week and cut it all up. So it looks a lot better now. If I ever get to Spokane I will have that guy look at it. But for now I think I got it in control. I don't have a whole lot more to write or time. We e-mail our president every week too and I still need to do that. I have my talk all prepared and everything for next week. I'm not excited but it's prepared. I need dad to send me some good starter jokes. I love you guys so much and thanks for everything. Keep praying. After this week I definately know that God answer's prayers!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Have a good week. I love you!!!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Some Old Pictures

This looks like an oyster, yuck!

Kade sent these pictures a while ago, I just haven't put them on here until now, sorry!

July 26 E-Mail and Pictures!

Well this was a pretty good week.  The work was sort of slow, but we did have our baptism last night.  It was way cool to see work finally go all of the way through.  And I got to baptize her so that was cool.  She has really bad arthritis so the Elder's Quorum President stood in the font and helped out because she can't bend very well.  But it was way cool and the spirit was so strong.  There were a lot of members there too so it was awesome.  The ward here does so good and bringing new people into the church and welcoming them.  Today not much is going to happen.   That's okay though because I woke up with a sore throat so hopefully I can take a nap later on.  I had a pretty crazy story that happened on Saturday night.  I almost got eaten by a dog.  I don't think I have ever been scared of a dog until this one.  We got out of the car to go up to the door step of this house and he was growling and sniffing us.  Well he ended up licking us and all was well.  Then he went to the other side of the house.  So we figured it was safe.  I took one step towards the house and the dog came at me going full speed just growling and barking.  He was definately in attack mode.  So yeah I didn't really know what to do other than just stand there.  So I threw my bag in front of me to try and maybe protect a little bit of myself.  Well he got within about an inch of my hand and immediately stopped and just went balistic growling and stuff.  It was so nuts.  My companion was ready to kill it.  It was probably like four or five Kimber's put together.  So we got out of there.  Then the next house we went to there was a huge rottwiler.  Luckily he was sort of chained up because he wasn't to happy either.  So that was the scary experience I had this week.  With the little dogs you can just sort of kick them a little or throw little rocks at them and they take off.  But the big ones it's a different story.  When my companion lived in Bolivia he had 4 pet bears.  So he usually doesn't get scared with animals.  But he was pretty worried this time.  But other than that it has been a pretty good week.  We are still struggling to find people at home.  But it's okay.  Mom  you asked if we will stay together another transfer.  I don't really know what's going to happen.  A lot of spanish missionaries are going home the next couple of transfers and a lot of new ones coming in.  So any of the older spanish missionaries will be training.  So I have no idea what's going to happen.  It's just crazy that it's already week 5 of this transfer.  It's flying by.  Dad asked about Carne Asada.  They should have it in any of those Mexican stores back home.  It's just really thin sliced and it's usually being marinated in something.  A lot of times there's a slice of orange in the package with it.  You just throw it on the grill and cook it.  It's way good.  Probably one of my favorite meals I get.  I usually eat to much of it though.  I think that's about it for this week.  I'll attatch a couple of pictures with the e-mail.  I know this is the true church and that it is the only way to return to live with our heavenly father again.  His son Jesus Christ did so much for us.  And all we have to do is have faith, repent, be baptized, receive the holy ghost, and endure to the end by obeying the commandments.  That's all he asks of us.  That's not to much compared to what he did for us!!  I love you all so much.  Have a good week!!

Friday, July 23, 2010

July 19 E-Mail

I'm glad you got to go to Jace's farewell. Man it's crazy, I remember he got his call and I was thinking dang he has to wait for like 3 months. Well here it is now. So this week was a better week then the past few. We got a lot more support from the members and we had some good lessons. Elizabeth, one of our investigators came to church yesterday. She is supposed to be baptized next Sunday as long as she comes to church. She met a lot of good member so I'm sure she will be there. It's exciting to see the people who really are ready for the gospel. You can usually tell within the first five to ten minutes you talk to them. Mom, you said you hoped the smell here wasn't as bad as the dog food plant. The dog food plant smells like an airfreshener compared to this! This place stinks bad. I'm getting used to it though and it doesn't really bother me. And yes, I did get your letter last week. It came right after I wrote my e-mail. Tell Linda thanks for the stuff for the talk. I knew she would take care of me. You know how bad I hate speaking so we will see how that goes. At least there isn't as many people in the ward here as our home ward. We heard there are about 600-700 members here in the ward. I think only 150-250 are active. So I shouldn't get to nervous. But, I know I still will! I'm glad your youth spectacular thing is done. It sounded like that was taking quite a bit of time. I always thought those things were kind of boring. But this one was probably pretty good. I liked the pictures dad sent me of the cars from Logan's Run. That yellowish creamish truck was sweet. It was my favorite. Dad said there wasn't any chevelle's. I hope you only meant 65's. If not he needs to be going to the eye doctor. Cause there was a 67 in the background of that picture.( white with a black top. It's there dad) Hopefully he isn't going to crazy on me. Mom you should have sent some mountain dew with the Spencer's. I'm sick of pepsi and coke. That's all the people here drink. But oh well. I've been drinking a lot of water. So those propel and lemonade mix things were way good. Thank you! Thank goodness I hung around grandpa a lot when I was younger. We've been doing our dishes downstairs in the bathroom sink. Well the other day I realized that there wasn't a disposal there ha. Well right when I thought that it got clogged. I didn't want the member's to know. So I had that sink wripped to pieces in about a minute. My companion was like what in the heck are you doing. So I'm glad grandpa taught me that one when I was younger. So it's fixed, and the members have no idea. It's so crazy to think this transfer is already half over. Time flies when you are with a companion that likes to have a good time. We are still getting along great and working hard. It's hard to keep a positive attitude in these little towns. But we are doing a good job. You tend to knock on the same doors over and over. But a lot of the times it's different people. A lot of the hispanic people just rent one room from houses. So sometimes there's like 10 different people living in one house. All they need it for is to shower and sleep. The only other thing they do is work. The harvest season is coming up so people are going to start working even more. A lot of them work 15-16 hours a day 7 days a week. Just to provide for there families that are still in Mexico. It's sad. But it's good to see the love people have for there families. We got to do a couple service projects this week. One was moving a piano with a couple old guys. They didn't do to much. That was on Saturday. My back still hurts today. But I know I'm being blessed because it doesn't hurt like it did at home. Then we got to mow this old ladies lawn. She always takes care of us and makes us lunch. And homemade tortillas whenever we want. I gotta start being a little more careful now. I've gained 35 pounds now. That was as of Saturday. And I think I ate like 2 pounds of hamburger yesterday!! Ha it's crazy. I couldn't gain a pound at home. If I keep going at the rate I'm going at, we are going to have some problems pretty quick! I'm not to worried about it. Over all it was a good week. We are really looking forward to have even a better week. We need to start teaching some more spanish lessons because that is the best way to learn. Although it is getting a little better, it's still tough! I know this church is true. I'm grateful to see the rock solid foundation it provides in peoples lives. And I know it was brought back to us through the Prophet Joseph Smith. I love you all so much!!!!! Have a good week.