Tuesday, June 29, 2010

June 28, 2010 E-Mail

So our baptisms didn't go through.  The guy is ready, but as of right now it will cause problems in his home.  So it hasn't happened yet.  But the good news is I'll be here for another 6 weeks.  And we are going to have baptisms.  My companion Elder Tapia is going to Othello as a Zone Leader.  So I will still see him a lot.  And my new companion is Elder Oliver from Bolivia I guess.  I think he lived in Salt Lake before he came out.  But I'm way excited about that.  I meet him tomorrow.  And he doesn't have a license.  So I finally get to drive!!!!!!!  Yeah, I'm a little excited.  That's way cool Brady got his call.  That will be a way sweet area.  And Jen had her baby, that's exciting.  I better be an uncle by the time I'm back.  HINT HINT.  I'm not sure if I knew that kid who died.  Send the obituary and I'll look at it.  So I got a call at the first of the few week, and now I am going to meet grandmas cousins for lunch today.  I think it's her cousins.  But they seem really excited to meet me.  I think I met them once.  But I was way young.  So that will be fun.  And yes mom, I'm taking some pictures.  The Spencers have my memory card and they will be there tonight or tomorrow.  So take the pictures off and send the card back with them.  Put the pictures on cds too just in case that wonderful computer you have crashes.  I saw a wedding picture that had a new computer in it.  I was hoping dad finally let you get a new one.  But I'm guessing not.  That photo booth thing looked pretty cool.  And tell dad I got his mexican cookies in the MTC.  They were alright.  There were tons of them.  And yeah, here, I'm still gaining weight.  Crazy huh.  I dunno how much I weight now.  Like 169.  But all my clothes still fit ha.  The best way to get my e-mails from my friends is how you're doing it.  That's exciting that you might get to go to Dominican Republic.  That would be way fun.  You'll have to let me know how that is.  And hopefully Ty and Bree will be able to sell there place and get into a house.  I think I have written back to everything that you guys have said.  I dunno, I can't remember.  But this week was a little rough as far as teaching and finding went.  We worked our butts off too.  But last night some good things happened.  A group of people asked us to come play a friendly game of volleyball with them so we did.  It was a rough crowd of people I think but we became friends.  And that's what this is all about.  Just showing people you care.  So it was good and it will for sure open doors for in the future.  Then we ran into a guy just sitting out on the front of his little apartment.  He is chosen to hear the gospel!  We taught like a quick 10 minute lesson, set up an appointment for next Sunday.  And the best part with no hesitation he said he would be at church on Sunday.  The Jehovah's Witness missionaries were out yesterday and so every house we would go to would say the missionaries were already here today.  So we had to explain we are different.  I bet some people get so sick of us beating on there doors.  Oh well.  Cause that's how you gotta find the people.  This last week I took over the area on exchanges.  I'm glad it's a pretty small area cause I knew it pretty good.  And it's good because starting tomorrow it's basically all on me.  My new companion served here as his first area.  And only for one area.  So he knows the area a little bit.  I guess he got a long really good with this kid and almost had him baptized.  Well he left and the kid kinda quit everything.  Well we tracted into his dad my first or second week here.  His dad really likes me.  So we are for sure going to try and work with them this transfer.  We had two people in church yesterday.  Guadalupe, the one who is all ready for baptism.  Then an older lady named Elizabeth.  She is reading the book of mormon and says she believes in the things we do.  She said she will be back to church next Sunday.  So that is looking really good too.  My companion was getting burned out here cause he has been here 6 months and that gets rough in a little town.  He has almost knocked every door.  So I'm excited to start fresh with someone.  And it will be good that Elder Tapia is still in my district and zone.  Well I better get going pretty quick.  We need to get going to Othello to meet the Holmes for lunch.  Sorry it's short, not a whole lot happened this week.  I guess I do have one more story.  So there is this member who goes to a different church.  Well we go visit him once a week or so.  He's got cancer and is in bad shape.  We went to his house the other day and there was a sign that said by appointment only.  Well we had an appointment.  So we knocked on the door and this lady came up, like a home healthcare lady and chewed us out.   So we left.  I called him later to see how he was doing.  He said not to bad and told us to call later.  Well later the phone rang and it said it was him.  So I answered.  Well it was the lady!  She wripped me a new one asking me my full name an everything.  So I finally got pretty upset and just said why in the heck does it matter to you?  At that point my companion took the phone (you know how my temper can get :).  So she told us not to come back and stuff.  It was sad because the guy loves us to come visit him.  But she totally had to ruin it.  So I learned a little bit about patience that day.  And also yesterday at church.  We also learned about scripture study.  So keep studying your scriptures cause it will bless you all so much.  We challenege our investigators to read for 10 minutes a day.  So I challenge you all the same.  Only for 10 minutes.  And you will notice a difference throughout your day!!!  I love you all so much.  Have a good week!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!111

Sunday, June 27, 2010

June 21, 2010 E-Mail

Well it sounds like you all had a pretty crazy week huh.  I bet you're glad to have the wedding over with and to relax a little bit.  Before I forget, did Brady get his call?  I've been waiting to hear.  It was a pretty good week here.  The weather has still been up and down, but that's nice because it hasn't gotten to hot yet.  I hope dad liked the father's day card.  I hope everyone had a good father's day.  It was a little rough here.  Even our dinner appointment was a no call no show.  I was ticked!  I look forward to going and getting some good homecooked meals.  But that's okay.  We still had some good lessons.  But we didn't have anyone to church because of father's day.  So now the only person we can get baptized before transfers is Guadalupe Reyes.  Pray for him please.  If he comes on Sunday then he can get baptized on Sunday night.  It's hard though because I don't quite think he is ready.  And we don't want to baptize then just have them go inactive.  I got to eat a raw oyster this week.  That was pretty gross.  Just cracked it open, put some salt and lime on it then ate it.  It was interesting.  Then I found out that one of my favorite burritos from this place we go to is full of cow tongue and cow brains.  It's actually pretty good.  Then I was on splits in Othello.  Well over there they teach pretty much all in spanish.  I wish that was the case for me right now cause I would learn a lot more.  But oh well.  So anyways, this guy told us he had seen a vision and he was a prophet and stuff.  I didn't think I understood him.  So after we went out and I asked Elder Davila if I understood everything correctly and all he said was yep.  It was crazy.  He is starting his own church right there in his little trailer.  The house that the Elder's live at in Othello is awesome.  The members always give them mountain dew haha.  I felt right at home.  To answer your question mom, during the harvest people work pretty much 7 days a week.  But even if they don't it's still hard to get them at church because they go to work at 4 or 5 in the morning on Saturday so they just want to sleep in on Sunday.  But it's good to see the ones who come because that shows which ones are dedicated.  This last Saturday we went to Moses Lake to listen to Elder Pearson from the 70.  It was pretty good.  He talked about a ton of things.  Especially about blessings from going to church.  I thought that was funny because that's what I talked about last email.  So read D&C 59: 9,13,16,23.  I think.  Those are the four promises from going to church.  I also got bit by a couple of dogs this week.  They were just little but yeah.  But then this boxer almost attacked Elder Davila.  That was crazy.  He has a dog tazer he carries with him but he didn't have it at the moment.  He also has a universal tv remote so if people don't come to there doors but we can hear the tv's, he just turns the tv off from outside.  It's pretty funny.  We still had a successful week.  I think we taught like 34 lessons.  But we just need to get people to start keeping commitments!!  That makes all of the difference.  I'm looking forward to that package with those oreo things.  I'm sure I'll love them.  I know this church is true.  Follow the words of the prophets.  Can you believe I actually read the ensign now?  I'm getting a little weird, but not to weird.  By next p-day we will know what is going on with transfers.  I know that this gospel brings so much happiness into people's lives and that it provides a foundation for families.  So stay strong in the church always!!  I love you all so much.  Thank you for all you do for me and have a good week!!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Already a Month in Washington

Time is flying by.  Last week I had a great experience.  I got to go to Othello for exchanges.  Well the Elder I was with didn't have his license so I actually got to drive!  It was pretty weird.  First time in 3 months.  I was pretty excited haha.  Tell dad yes I'm getting all of his salt and pepper in my letters.  Everyone thinks he's weird but whatever.  That's funny you were talking about the spanish music.  I hear it all of the time.  Some of it I actually like.  And I can't tell if it's driving the spirit away or not cause I can't understand it.  So It's not to bad.  People are always blasting it.  The hispanics here definately have huge stereos in there houses.  They know how to party.  School got out last Friday.  Ever since then we always see parties.  You asked if my companion will get transferred.  I think he probably will on the 29th.  But you never know.  That will be 6 months here in warden for him.  So we will see what happens.  It's funny you said you thought I have probably worked all my weight off.  Ha, well nope.  I think I'm like 165 now.  I dunno.  No one has real accurate scales.  But I work out a lot so I dunno.  We were biking a lot but my companion got a flat.  We went to the tire store here because a less active member owns it.  It was good to be in the mechanic enviroment for a minute again.  I also sort of helped a guy take his fuel pump out the other day and I will probably rebuild it and put a new one in tomorrow.  I can't think of anything really other than the sunflower seeds.  Like a huge bag, then just whatever else you wanna send.  Those are probably the sunglasses.  Just my black ones.  But if you can't find them there are some that I want :)  They are the Oakly Gascans.  So if you really can't find mine........  Ha.  It's starting to get hot here and not many houses have air conditioning.  Last night I was dying and opened the window.  Well my companion decided to shut it right after I went to bed.  It was like 78 in the room when I woke up this morning.  And as you know my room was always like 59.  So I was dying.  But this week was pretty good.  We had three people in church yesterday.  One of them has been coming for a way long time we just haven't taught him.  And he told us he wants to be baptized so we are going to have a lesson with him and his mom tonight.  I think he has a girlfriend in the ward and that's what got him to start coming.  Then one of them we had in the spanish branch.  It was his second time at church.  He is on date for baptism on the 26th.  He is one of our only solid investigators who keeps his commitments.  It's just tough cause everyone works on Sundays.  And I guess it's about time to pick cherries over in Mattawa.  But I guess all the rain this year split them so it won't be a good season.  Hopefully some investigators will be able to come to church instead of work.  I had a lot more to write but I am brain dead.  Yesterday my companion had to teach the gosepl docterines class.  Well that means I had to translate.  It was rough.  My head hurt after for sure.  But that's okay.  I know the language will come.  Tony Spencer's dad mentioned he is coming down to go on trek with Tony.  Is that our ward going or a ward in the stake?  I figured you might be going but then I remembered you've all been a little busy lately.  It's pretty cool to know we have all been through the temple now.  I was thinking about that on Saturday night.  We will all be able to go together after the mission, that was way cool to think about.  We had a dinner appointment on Saturday night but there was a high priest party and the family was going to that.  So we got to go to that too.  It was at the same place where we had our memorial day dinner.  A member has a pond he made with a big picnic area.  It's pretty cool.  I met a guy out there who has a '57 Chevy so we are going to try and go out and visit him sometime.  He lives way out of town though.  But he was way cool.  He had a Chip Foose shirt on so it was good to know we shared the same interests.  We found another guy too who is inactive.  We work with them quite a bit.  They have a testimony and know it's all true they just need to get back to church and praying and reading.  They don't realize the blessings they are missing out on.  As we attend church every week and read and pray I know that our days go better.  So we try to help a lot of the inactives.  We try to bring inactive families the message of going through the temple and how important and awesome that is!!  It's only through that sealing that is done by the priesthood power that families can be together forever.  So we try to bring that message to all of them.  It's such a blessing we have to be able to be married or sealed in temples like that.  Especially in Utah. I was thinking the other day and within like one and a half hours from our house there are like 10 temples.  Or will be at least.  Have they started on the Ogden one yet?  But anyways back to the inactive guy we ran into.  Him and I are a lot alike too.  He had all the remote control cars like I used to and fourwheelers and stuff.  So I talked to him for a while.  So we are going to keep working with him and get him back to church and let him enjoy those blessings.  We are just so blessed to have this gospel here on earth today and lead and guide us.  I was reading in Ether 12 this morning about how all things are possible through faith.  Well this gospel gives us that hope and faith to strive for more.  And through that, all things really can be done.  Even mountains can be moved.  It was talking about faith, hope and charity.  And how those things are essential.  Then towards the end it talked about Moroni and how he was talking face to face in humility with Christ about those three things.  Well they must be pretty important!  So have faith, hope, and charity.  Continue to go to church and the temple.  Read and pray everyday!  I promise you all will notice a difference and change in your life and it will be for the best.  I'm glad you get to see the power of temple marriages this week.  I'm sad I can't be there but oh well.  I guess I'm really not that sad ha.  But I love you all so much and thank you for all of your support and all you do for me.  Have a good week and don't get to stressed mom!  Love you all!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Another Week Gone

This week wasn't bad.  We were on fire up until thursday.  Then friday, saturday, and sunday were a little more rough.  It's such a small town that everyone leaves for the weekend.  It's like a ghost town.  We got another 30 lessons though.  Yesterday a guy told us he didn't want us to come back anymore.  He said my companion asked his girlfriend a question that had nothing to do with the gospel.  His girlfriend acted really interested.  He didn't at all though.  I got the package.  Thank you very much.  I was glad to get some food.  Yeah, we just share a kitchen.  I try to eat stuff that I don't really need to prepare.  Basically I eat bagels, pb&j sandwiches, mac and cheese, apple sauce, and cottage cheese.  Then just whatever we get fed at members houses.  Last night we went to a house and the lady had foil dinners cooked for us.  It was just like home for me!  My favorite!  But it was good to get some different snacks in the package.  The jacket was great.  Of course now it's starting to get hot.  And I guess I can't wear those pants cause they aren't slacks.  I'll give them away or something.  I just wanted some crappier ones that I can beat up when I'm riding the bike and stuff.  But it's ok.  I'll try to answer all your questions.  Mom you asked about the dogs.  Most of them have owners I think, but they're all just mutts and don't really get taken care of.  All the dogs just get pregnant so then there's dogs all over.  Some of them are pretty mean, but the majority probably only weigh 10 pounds.  Our teaching is probably close to 50-50.  So it makes learning spanish hard.  I'm working on teaching myself.  It's coming though.  Dad asked if it's a ward or branch.  We have both.  The ward is english and the branch is spanish.  They're at the same time.  So we usually go to the branch cause it needs the most help.  We do our laundry where we live.  So that's nice.  Sometimes we cook the same thing, sometimes we don't.  We usually eat lunch at home.  Or someone will cook for us.  Usually at home though.  We get $128 a month.  Basically used for everything but gas.  We get an hour a week on the computers.  Then we just come to the church to use the computers at the geneology library.  I'm trying to think of crazy things that happened this week.  I can't think of to much.  I got to go to my first fiesta.  We went to an investigators graduation party.  They wanted us to stay and dance cause a bunch of girls were coming.  Ha, we had to tell them no on that one.  It was pretty weird to hear normal music again there.  And also to hear some crazy spanish music.  Then they gave us some hot sauce.  My companion said it was medium.  Yeah, never trust a native when they say that.  It was so hot.  It was a good experience.  This week went by pretty fast.  It's crazy to think I'm already into my 4th week here.  We've got one guy on date for baptism.  We had more but they would have had to come to church yesterday and they didn't.  We only had one investigator in church yesterday.  Our goal for this week is like 8.  I think we are going to have to do a whole bunch of tracting this week.  We need to start finding new people and dropping old people who just want to be friends.  Just a heads up on something I just thought of.  We won't have a p-day on July 5th.  We have to proselyte cause of the 4th.  So that p-day will be on July 6th.  Sounds like you have had some crazy weather back home.  It's been pretty crazy here too.  It's been perfect temperature.  Just way windy and way rainy.  Which is way unusual for here.  They call this the arm pit of the mission.  But it's starting to get hot now.  The houses get pretty hot.  Not many people have air conditioning.  Not as hot as Weston, but it get's hot.  It sounds like all of them are doing good.  I'm so grateful to have such great friends who are such great examples.  They are always in my prayers.  It's just crazy to think about everyone all over the world.  My companion is crazy.  He wears to pairs of thermals during the days.  So I'm dying of heat and he's freezing.  He sleeps with 6 blankets at night.  I find the smallest one I can.  That's about it for this week.  I know this church is true and that Joseph Smith did restore it!  Jesus Christ is our Savior.  The Book of Mormon is completely true and evidence that Joseph Smith restored this church.  It is also the word of God.    And Thomas S. Monson is the prophet here on earth today that is called of God.  So we need to listen to him!  I got to share my testimony in church yesterday.  It's nice at the branch because there was like 20 people there.  Some things I could use in a package are a copy of my call letter, my sun glasses, and some BBQ spitz sunflower seeds.  I think they must be a Utah thing.  I can't find them anywhere!!  I love you all so much.  Thanks for all the packages and letters and all you do for me.  Have a good week!!!!!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

June 1 E-Mail

Okay mom, quit freaking out.  I'm sure you were ticked yesterday when you didn't get an e-mail.  The mission president wanted us all to proselyte because of the holiday.  It didn't really make a huge difference here but it was still good.  We got to go to a couple of BBQ's.  This week went by pretty quick.  It seems like I was just here e-mailing you.  We just come to the church because they have a geneology library that we use in the computers in.  There will probably be a p-day coming up where you don't get an e-mail cause were gonna try to go to the temple, and we can't e-mail when we do.  Tell Tyler happy birthday.  I forgot to put it in my last e-mail.  It's crazy Seth and Sierra get hitched in a couple of weeks.  Find a place to live yet?  Crazy.  I have talked to that Elder Jacobson a couple of times. He is training my MTC comp. I was blessed with the trainer that I got.   We get a long great.  Yesterday everyone was talking about going to the sand dunes cause I guess there are some good sand dunes about 30 minutes away from here.  Who knows how good they are compared to Utah's, but I hated hearing all about that cause I just wanted to go haha.  Oh well.  It sounds like all my friends are doing great.  I know how Jared feels with all the names.  I swear everyone here is either Javier, Juan, Jose, or Jesus.  And also with the being so tired you just get back and want to crash.  My companion takes a while to plan at night but I'm usually in bed by 10:00 or 10:15.  Mom, Othello is about 20 minutes away.  So not bad.  I spent a couple days there this last week on exchanges.  It was good to move around a little.  But the hispanics over there speak a dialect called misteco or something like that.  It's way hard to understand.  It sort of sounds like Chinese or something.  But it was a good experience to go see the work in different places.  Then last Tuesday we went to Moses Lake for Zone Conference.  We got lost and drove way out of the way and we were late.  But oh well.  It was good to see around a little bit.  The place we live in, we have our own bathroom but we share a kitchen.  Mom you would like it here.  There are dogs everyway and tons of puppies right now.  Most of them are mutts though because they all just roam around and do there thing.  The chihuia's are everywhere and love chasing us on our bikes.  I know I didn't spell that right.  We saw some baby goats the other day too.  They had been born like 20 minutes earlier so that was cool.  Then last night we talked to a lady who was cutting throats on chickens.  She just had her knife out there with blood everywhere and she was plucking out the feathers.  We are going to her house on Saturday for a cookout because her daugher is graduating.  That should be pretty fun.  This week we taught like 30 lessons.  Which is a lot for this area.  So we worked hard.  You keep saying that somewhere on the internet it said the population was like 3,000.  Well everyone here says there's like 1,500-1,800 people.  So I think it's smaller than you think.  We have been getting fed quite a bit.  I can't remember what all I told you in the last e-mail, but we have four dinner appointments a week with members.  There's one lady who will cook for us any time we want though.  She's way nice.  It's hard when we go to her house though because she lives there alone so were not supposed to go in cause there's no guys there.  I still can't speak any spanish.  But am continuing to understand more and more.  We had 3 investigators that came to church on Sunday so that was awesome to see.  The branch only had like 25 people in it so it's way small and it's hard to find spanish members to fellowship our investigators.  We have a few baptisms on date for June 26.  We are working really hard and praying they will go through.  There are a ton of broken families because most people are here just working and the rest of there family is in Mexico.  It's weird cause just random people live with random people.  The mission President's wife asked us not to drink soda.  It's impossible here though because the water isn't very good at all so all we get offered is beer or coke.  So we take the cokes.  A member the other day gave us some ties.  That's always fun to get new ties.  I don't have a lot more time.  We're gonna head to Othello soon to shop and play some soccer.  But I love you all so much.  I know this church is true and that if everyone was a member then the world would be such a happy place.  But, we all have our agency.  I know by going to church every Sunday, reading from our scriptures, and praying, that god will bless us so much.  I was reading this morning in 3rd Nephi 12:1-2 I think.  It talks about how we that have a testimony are so blessed and will be so blessed.  Because we have that faith to know these things are true without seeing them.  It also talks about following the prophet and apostles.  I know that we have a prophet and apostles today that are called of god for our benefit and that we need to listen to them. Have a good week and I will talk to you all soon!!!!  Thanks for everything. 
Elder Schvaneveldt
Ps, no one can say the last name!  It's great!