Wednesday, October 10, 2012

And this wraps up a successful mission for Ryan H. Reichman!

Not so shady oaks... Sept 17

Buenas tardes familia! 
Hace mucho calor.  no me aguanto eso.  yo he sudado demasiado esta semana, hacia muchismo calor.  

Good afternoon familia!  
    Man.  It has been so hot and humid here.  Apparently, California does not always have perfect weather.  Who knew, right?  and not only is the weather hot, but nobody (including us) has air conditioning.  I have been sweating like a monkey this week.   But all aside, it's been a good week.  I've gotten tanner, our investigators have been doing pretty well.  First of all, big announcements!  We had stake conference yesterday, and in case I never said, I am in the Huntington Park West Stake (and I have been my whole mission), which was the first all spanish stake in the U.S. and apparently, also one of the last.  porque, ya no existe.  They dissolved my stake!  It was a big surprise.  So now, the stake is being put in the 3 surrounding english stakes, to better care for the youth.  Its an inspired decision, the youth really struggle here, because they don't really speak much spanish sometimes.  So they don't really get church.  But I think it will help them a lot.  So, 3 of the wards went to the Los Angeles Stake, 3 went to the Huntington Park stake, and the odd one out is Southgate 2nd ward (where I am).  And so, they are splitting the ward, and we will now have the southgate 1st branch in the inglewood stake, and the southgate 2nd ward in the Huntington Park Stake.  And, the split is right down the middle of my area!  So, if I stay here in Shady Oaks, I don't know what my area will look like, or which ward I will go to.  It's interesting.  the changes don't take effect til October, so I might be transferred by then.  But it was an exciting stake conference!  G. didn't really understand what was going on.  I had to explain to her that things like this don't usually happen.  G. is still doing well, her family started school and work, so we haven't been able to teach them as much as we would like to.  But, I hope to see them start progressing as well.  We also weren't able to see C. or Y. this week, everybody has been really busy.  But we did have a really cool lesson with our investigator named M.  Her husband, J., has some sort of muscle disease, so that he loses his strength in like all his muscles.  It's been a really hard time with them, and I've thought for sure that they were ready for the gospel.  And they keep feeling it, and then just pushing it away.  But we stopped by on thursday, and Marta was the only one home, and she was sick, and I gave her a plan of salvation pamphlet, and then she just broke down.  Started crying, and told us everything that was going on.  And we shared some scriptures, read in the pamphlet, and answered a lot of her questions, all just standing in the doorway at her house.  And it was a really, really, spiritual lesson.  It was amazing that we were there to offer her what she needed at the right time, and I really hope they accept it.  They are an awesome family, and I know how much the gospel would help them.  I said a prayer as we left, and it was awesome.  It was like I knew exactly what to say, and it really felt like we were all talking to God.  It was a really cool experience.  We also got to give service on saturday.  It was super hot, but one of our investigators is involved with the city, and he invited us.  and we cleaned the streets and alleys of Southgate for like 4 hours.  It was really good.  The alleys here have everything!  tires, couches, fish heads, dog poop, dead squirrels, etc.  It was an interesting experience.  It went really well though, and we met a lot of new people, and I think it helped a lot of people see the church in a good light.  It's been a really good week, and I hope it cools down, and I thank you all for your letters!  Have a great week!  

Borsh- I knew it was green!  I'm sure it's an awesome book.  the movie was horrible, by the way.  Also, you've already almost got your camping merit badge?  that's great, that was the one that was hardest for me.  Are you getting close to your Eagle?  

A- yay for new house!  and bigger yay for Ellie eating a lemon!  It was hilarious.  Me and Elder Ramos both watched it and laughed.  Also, it looks a little bit like me eating arroz con leche...Also, Emily is married?  that's crazy.  Who is Haley engaged to?  That's also crazy.  Everyone is getting married.  I hope you and Cary get reunited soon and head up to Spokane!  

M@- peoples spelling is awesome.  my favorite is when people don't realize it's wrong, and they try and correct my spelling.  b and vs are always mixed up, especially on signs.  Also, that steak sounds amazing.  guadelupe made us carne asada yesterday, with guacamole and salsa.  And fresh picked limones.  It was so good.  I ate like 5 pieces.  

Lauren- I can't believe Jeff is already gone!  that's so crazy!  I'm glad your enjoying your new house/job I can't wait to see them.  As for any treats or anything, I have been having a craving for beef jerky.  But I know its expensive so don't worry about it!  Thanks for writing me!  

Kt- yay family pitchers!  I bet they are tots adorb.  I can't wait to see your Swiss Family Robinson island.  There is an apartment buolding here that I call the Swiss Family Robinson house, it has tons of walkways high up.  It's awesome.  

Mops and Pops- I love you!  

Love you all! 

Kind of shady oaks Sept 24

Hola Familia!  
me dio mucho gusto leer sus cartas esta semana.  fueron muy buenas.  ustedes me caen muy bien.  pues, esta semana, hacia un poco de calor.  no tanto, como la semana pasada, pero bastante.  pero hoy, se me quemo!  anduvimos afuera por una actividad de zona, y no se que paso, pero estoy quemado.  estoy muy ansioso ahorita, quiero saber lo que va a pasar por los intercambios ahorita.  pero, todo esta bien.  Ya sabemos que vamos a cambiar de apartamentos, por lo menos.  todo esta en las manos de Dios.  

Hi familia!  
   It was wonderful to read your letters this week!  I really enjoyed them.  I realize, more and more, how great my family is!  Seeing a lot of families with a lot of troubles here, i am very grateful that we have such a close family.  So thank you!  
   It has been a pretty good week here in Shady oaks.  it has cooled down a little bit, but it's still been pretty hot.  Its very unusually hot apparently, everyone has been telling us its not usually like this.  but oh well.  It should cool down soon.  We have had an interesting week!  We've had some really good lessons with our investigators, but not too much has happened.  And this week, was a really big week!  we had 9 member present lessons!  (lessons where members are present when we teach).  Which was a really big deal for us, and especially in this area.  It's the most I've ever gotten in a week.  And when i first started in willowbrook, we averaged maybe 1-2 a week.  so it's a big improvement.  We've had some good lessons this week, but not too much has happened.  C. and Y. are still MIA, we haven't been able to find them this week either.  But, one of our investigators, M., is doing awesome!  We set a baptismal date for her, for october.  and she's been being taught for a while.  But we had a good lesson with her and her boyfriend, and afterwards they decided to stop living together so they can keep the law of chastity!  It was cool.  That's the biggest thing that is keeping her from baptism.  So, if all keeps going well, she should be getting baptized soon!  We also got to go to the Visitors Center, and to the departing missionary fireside with her this weekend.  So she's doing really well, and I am excited for her.  she's a really great person, and her baby is adorable.  Her name is S., and every time we teach her i want to hold her.  (the baby, by the way).  As for transfers, we still don't know whats going to happen!  we found out this morning we are moving apartments though!  so if nothing else, we are moving apartments.  And the apartment is in southgate 1st branch, which they organized yesterday, so if we both stay we will probably be involved in helping the branch become organized.  Which could be really cool.  But, I'm pretty nervous about these transfers, I just want to find out what's going to happen!  But it will all work out.  Sorry it has been a boring week, but hopefully I will have tons more to tell you about this next week!  I love you all, and have an awesome week!  

Borsh- hey buddy!  I hope you had a good weekend with tatie and kodd and ellie and amy (and all the dogs).  That's awesome that you started reading Triss, I hope you like it.  Those books are awesome.  How's school going?  it's weird, when i talk to kids in the ward who are just starting high school, i always picture you as being younger.  but you're a sophomore!  How crazy is that?  Well, have a good week buddy!  

B- I am sorry b!  I did indeed get your letter last week, but I don't know how I forgot your note.  I am a worm.  I am sure you are quite ready for your semester to be over.  Don't worry, starting next month, all the holidays start, and then it'll fly by.  Camping sounds awesome.  I am starting to forget what a mountain is.  It sounds nice though.  I love LA, but it is always smoggy and city-y.  Not a lot of mountains.  Just the one with the hollywood sign.  Say hi to Angela for me!  

A- mmmm food.  I'm currently eating a whole bag of coke-bottles as I'm writing this (my secret mission rebellion-all of the taste, none of the caffeine).  Hey, that's funny that you got a retainer made, I remember when i had one of those.  My retainer wearing has really been suffering here.  But It'll get better.  Also, I think momma emailed her cold to me too!  I got really sick this week.  Also, how are you buying a house?!  that is totally ruining our plans to live with mom forever.  But i can't believe that.  It's weird that you will be all responsible like with a house and everything.  Crazy!  I love you Yam!  good luck this week!  

M@- ew, dead moose.  that sounds gross.  Camping sounds awesome though.  I am certainly glad that I am not missing any good BYU sports.  I can handle that.  Thanks for the updates though!  I love you matt!  te quiero mucho, hermano!  

Kt- yay!  Ellie has a tooth!  That's awesome!  Then she can start eating delicious things!  I am very glad to hear that Ellie has already developed such a great relationship with the perros.  Kola needed another person to spoil her, with me gone.  Also, i sympathize with Ellie.  i got a cold too, and I've been cranky.  Also, I went on a photo tour with Ellie again this morning to the disney cruise!  thanks so much for sending that, I love it.  also, a bunch of my investigators have little babies.  So I feel like I'm devolping a vicarious relationship with ellie through them.  So we'll be besties when i get home!  thanks for your letter Kt, I love you!

pops- man, I feel like matt.  Everyone is going on cruises, and I just get zit cream.  I am really excited to hear what happens with transfers this week, hopefully I'll get transferred to the disney cruise mission.  But it'll be really interesting to see what happens, how they will change the areas, everything.  

Mops- Peyton is going where speaking what?  That is crazy.  he is not old enough to go on a mission.   I hope you had a great time on your cruise.  Thanks for your awesome letter mops, I love you!  

Well, thats all folks!  I love you all! 

Celebrity is as celebrity does...  Fame is a fickle friend, Harry, remember that
Oct. 1

Hola Familia!  
It is a pleasure to write you on this wonderful monday morning!  I realized, as I was reading your emails this morning, that transfers must be worse for you all than they are for me!  You have to wait til I write on monday to find out what happened!  So, without further ado, I.....
    i have had the weirdest transfer of my mission!  Shady Oaks, alas, is no longer my home.  but I didn't really leave my area.  Remember how i started with a small area, and then 9 weeks ago, mid transfer, it got a lot bigger?  so I am still in the part that got added on, but i lost my original area.  But I am still in the same apartment, with elder ramos, for the 6th transfer in a row!  It's great!  And as for my title (which I almost spelled as celibacy en lugar de celebrity), i am no longer a District Leader!  I got dropped as they say.  So i am now just a regular missionary.  also, Athens zone, which was created about a year ago, at the end of my first transfer, and my home for the last 7 months, is no more!  due to the changes, they dissolved Athens zone, and created a new one in a different part of the mission.  And now here is where the story gets crazy.  On Friday, we start our district meeting, as normal, and then President Baker comes in.  (he comes to a DDM somewhere in the mission every week, so it wasn't all that unusual.)  but then, (this is the unusual part), he asks to speak with me for a second.  So we go into a room, and he started talking.  And due to a mistake, one of the companionships has two missionaries who don't have driving priviledges together.  And they are in the upper part of Watts, so they need to have a car, for safety and the size of the area.  So, President asked me if i would be willing to switch and go with one of the other missionaries and be their driver!  So, I went to the area in Southgate ward that borders the original Shady Oaks!  So, i still see the same members, but in a different area.  So, i am in southgate for the 6th transfer, having served in almost every area in the ward.  It's been quite the adventure.  And in the last 5 days, i have belonged to 3 different zones, had 3 different areas, and 2 different companions.  It's been quite the transfer.  And i am also junior companion, so I have very little responsibility right now.  I am actually kind of enjoying that, it's been a nice break.  So, that is my transfers!  
    As for my week, it's been pretty good.  Made better by the arrival of a book containing jokes from one hilarious family!  That's right, I received the blog book this week!  And boy have i loved it.  you all are high (not just low, but high) larious.  That is a lot of larious right there.  also, due to carelessness in the shipping, when I received the package on friday, it was already mostly open.  And i, seeing the beef jerky inside, realized it must be perishable.  So i kind of opened my package right there and saw the book!  (I tried to convince Elder Ramos to fight me so it would "accidentally" open all the way, but it was a no go.  But it was already open anyway  that's ok right?).  and it's awesome.  I have a great family.  thanks for thinking of me.  Also, i have some hilarious tidbits to share with you this week.  First of all, on monday, we had a ward FHE, kind of a farewell to the barrio before it splits.  and the missionaries organized it, and it went really well.  It wasn't my idea, but i organized most of it.  And we did a salsa contest!  We had 3 categories: spicy, tasty, and original.  And it was a lot of fun.  We had a good turnout, and me and Elder Ramos shared a mormon message and then our testimonies, and then everybody got to try the salsas. My idea of an FHE, short sweet, spiritual and lots of food.  We chose 9 ward members to be the judges, and they judged as we presented our message.  And we gave the winner of each category a tie!  And oh man.  somebody made a salsa to burn your eyes out.  It was so picante.  I tried it right before I announced the winners, and I was gasping for air and sweating and red faced.  And all the ward made fun of me.  but it was really hot.  But it was a really good activity, and I enjoyed it a lot.  It's amazing how close you feel to people after 7 months with them, it really felt like family.  (no movie quotes though, so not quite).  That was the highlight of the week.  but a few other fun parts:  I found out that one of my investigators is an actor.  I met my first movie star!  His name is Walter Perez, you should be able to find him on IMDB.  and for those who have seen the Avengers, he was one of the pilots in one of the planes!  That was fun.  also, I found out on monday about transfers.  everyone found out on tuesday.  And then on wednesday, me and elder Ramos realized, since our area changed, we had no idea what to do.  nobody told us what our new area was or anything.  So we visited all the people we knew we weren't going to see anymore and said goodbye.  and while we were eating with one of my favorite families for the last time, the husband said this hilarious joke.  And it was one of those jokes i think is hilarious, but i feel bad laughing about it as a missionary.  Apparently, in el Salvador, when they mix rice and beans together, they call is "casamiento".  And in the interest of the joke, I will translate that for you who speak weird European languages instead of means marriage.  And i think that is hilarious.  so whenever i go over, i always talk about that with them.  but she served us the rice and beans separate.  So I said, "el arroz y los frijoles son solteros" (rice and beans are single).  -insert laugh sound track: one of those jokes that isn't really that funny but you got to laugh.  so we went on in this vein for a while, and then the husband, who is a quiet, small guy with an awesome mustache, starts mixing his rice and beans together and says, "ahorita estan en fornicacion".  I will leave you to translate that one.  It was hilarious.  I died, mostly because it was so unexpected.  He is a funny guy.  But that has been my week.  
    It has been a good week.  Lots going on, my head is kind of spinning still, but it'll all be good.  I know for a fact that Heavenly Father has a plan for me, and he is working in my life.  As i was studying on saturday, I had a little epiphany.  And I really liked it.  As a missionary, (and a person), one of the hardest things for me to do is impose on people.  I hate asking them to do things for me, even when it is for both of our benefit.  And i realized, I sometimes take that attitude towards Christ and his Atonement.  I love Him, and I don't want to put Him through any pain because of my sins.  So I try to be so good, to reduce what He carried in the garden.  I feel like a bad person sinning after all he has done for me.  but I realized, He already suffered for me.  He did it, so I don't have to.  So when I get to the point where I am so frustrated and angry and depressed I can't take it anymore, He can.  And when I lash out and sin, and hurt Him, He can take it.  He loves me so much He would rather He suffer than I did.  that is what really hit me.  And He doesn't care what I do to Him, He just wants me to feel better.  And sometimes, I want to do it on my own.  And I'm so grateful for Him.  I know Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ are there, and they are real.  And i know that they love me.  And I say that in His name, Jesus Christ, amen.  

I sure love you all, and thanks for your great letters, your prayers, and your love.  And the blog book.  i will write you all next week!  

Borsh- Me da muchismo gusto que usted esta leyendo los libros de Brian Jacques.  I am so glad to hear you are enjoying all the Redwall books!  I think that is all the ones i have at home, but they have tons at the library.  Which one is your favorite so far?  Also, that is a big sacrifice, to miss your frisbee game.  I always hated missing those.  But at least you go to go eat Pizza and Tucanos with Matt and Lauren and B and Angela!  I lvoe you buddy!  

A- oh man.  I feel you Amy.  I can imagine the anxiety you feel, getting ready to get all settled into your new house.  I think we are kind of in the same boat!  I hope it all works out though.  And you got a cold!  for the love!  I have had a cold too.  We are so much the same.  how in the heck?  also, I have eaten so much the past 2 days I've felt nauseous.  In two separate occasions.  I swear, they get fed even more in this area!  On saturday, we had these shrimp tails, wrapped in bacon, and cooked in chili bbq sauce.  they were ridiculously good.  I need to stop crashing birthday parties.  the food is amazing, but so much of it!  P.S.  lets move home, get fat, (or just not worry about already being fat), and live happily ever after.  deal?  

B- Well B, I am glad to hear your left the fart out of your heart.  From what I hear, you're happy as a clam, it's just paining the rest.  Just kidding B!  I am glad things are still going well with Angela (hi Angela!).  Also, everytime you write me, it makes me glad i am on a break from school.  So thank you for that weekly reminder about the blessings of a mission.  I am sure excited and glad that things are going so well with you.  Love you B!

M@- oh man.  don't even get me started.  Everyone here has problems with marriage.  i have tried to get many people married here.  The hard part is not getting them married.  that is easy.  The hard part is getting them divorced from their lost spouse in guatemala, so they can legally get married.  It's interesting.  Also, I have heard conflicting news about the tucanos party for grandpa.  were 50 people there, or just like 50?  you said 50, but I heard from others it was just like 50.  Also, thanks for the snail mail!  i love it.  I've explained to people about the whole Yanr/cup incident of 2008, but they just don't seem to get it.  

kt- you went to the zoo!? did you see any Ellie-phants there?   oh man, I kill myself.  They have billboards for the San Diego zoo here everywhere, which is kind of weird seeing as I am in los angeles, San diego just needs to mind it's own business.  but also, I have seen Ellie pictures on the blog, and man.  she is adorable.  The picture of her casually chatting on the airplane is my favorite of all time I think.  She is adorable.  I have this large desire to hold her.  Thanks for helping me to be updated on her life, even from far away!  Love you tatie!  (and Kodd and Ellie).  (and yoshi).

Mops- thanks for the package momma!  You are the beast.  I am indeed excited for conference here.  I don't know where I will watch it yet, seeing as the huntington park west spanish stake is dissolved.  But it will be good just the same.  Thanks for all your encouragement, and especially for the talks!  I love you more than you love me no matter what you say!  

Pops- I am so glad to hear your legs did not swell up at Disney.  That is good news.  how were the lines?  I can't believe Grandpa is 80!  that is crazy.  also that rhymes.  That party at Tucanos sounds awesome.  how is your knee feeling these days anyway?  I love you Pops, thanks for all you do!  

I love you all!  I can't wait to hear from you next week!  

Santa’s coming, tonight, tonight... or on Wednesday Oct. 8

Hiya familia!  

Well.  It is with many different thoughts and emotions that I sit down and write this letter to you all.  But mostly, I am super excited to see you all on wednesday!  (well, everyone who will be at the airport).  Right now, that is my overriding feeling.  I feel very excited to see everyone, and I feel actually a great sense of peace.  Heavenly Father has shown me this past week that this is His will for me, which I am very grateful for.  I feel very happy that I get to see you all, I feel in harmony with Heavenly Fathers plan, and I feel very relieved right now, even if it's just temporary, from a lot of the anxiety I was experiencing.  So, I am happy.  I know there will be some hard times, there have definitely already been some sad moments, but I am happy right now.  So I hope you all are too!  
    Well, I don't really know how to explain everything.  So I'm not going to in this email, but I will explain a lot more in person.  I just want you all to know how grateful I am for your support, and for how much you all have done for me.  It's been a very difficult last few years, and I could not be where I am without your support.  So thank you all very much.  And thank you especially for helping me to know how much you all love me, and especially that you're not disappointed in me.  It means a lot to me, and I know Heavenly Father is not disappointed with me either.  
    I would like to warn everyone though about a little bit more what to expect.  I don't know what it will be like, but just due to the nature of some of my difficulties I don't feel I will be able to to just get back into the groove, nor is it wise for me to do so.  I just don't want anybody to be disappointed if I don't go quite back into the way things were before, I need some time to figure things out.  
    But I love you all so much family, and the reason I am happy, even though this is happening, is because I get to see you all so soon.  You mean everything to me, and I can't wait to see everyone!  I wanted to end with one of the awesomest things that happened to me this week.  After President Baker told me the news last night, we went to visit our bishop.  and our bishop is an awesome guy.  He's a really tall Mexican guy, very faithful, and a really solid guy.  as a bishop though, he's super serious, and he talks with a really low, movie announcer voice.  We talked with him for a while, and as we were leaving I told him I would be going home for health reasons.  His daughter actually just returned home from a mission due to health reasons a month or two ago, so he was very understanding.  But he thanked me for the work I'd done in the ward, and then we were standing on his doorstep to leave.  It was almost like an awkward door situation after a date.  Nobody really knew what to say.  And then bishop, the guy I always see as this super serious guy, just turns to me, and says, "elder, le puedo dar un abrazo?"  yo le dije, "claro que si obispo."  And it was a very heartwarming moment for me, and it really made me feel good.  Like all my work in Southgate was noticed.  
    So, I love you all, and I'm so excited to see you wednesday!  ( I will be tired, I have to wake up early).  SEE YOU WEDNESDAY!

Borsh- thanks for your letter bud!  I am sorry to hear about your frisbee tournament!  I haven't really known what it's like for a while to be cold, so I can't sympathize with you too much there.  But i can imagine what it's like to be cold.  Glad to hear you toughed it out anyway!  

A-ew, kidney infection.  I sorry amy.  Guess what?  I totally forgot to say this.  I got super, super sick on friday.  I don't know if it was food poisoning or some kind of bug, but I woke up and threw up like 4 times before noon.  And had diarhea the whole day.  It was bad.  but Your kidney infection sounds worse actually.  Also, your story about tipping your DC in your lap makes me laugh.  I bet Wilson was super supportive and didn't laugh at all.  Also, I can't wait to see your new house!  

B-Well yes, my brother does work in quantum mechanics....that could be a good tracting line.  Also, that is so cool you translate for conference.  I am jealous of that.  Also, I am so excited to meet Angela!  And speak spanish to her so you can't understand us!  It will be awesome.  


KT- Boston sounds super awesome!  I hope you didn't start arguing with Thomas Jefferson like Tracy....I am glad to hear there were plenty of twofer jokes though.  Also, the idea of Pops scaring Ellie is super hilarious.  I would have given my favorite tie to see that.  He probably woke up from a nap and his hair looked funny, just like it always does in the afternoons.  Start showing Ellie pictures so she likes me!  

Pops- that announcement about the age limit for missionaries was surprising.  It was pretty crazy.  We were watching it at a members house, but they could only get it in english.  So they announced that, and me and my companion were freaking out, and the members had no idea was was going on and they asked us, but we were too excited to tell them.  

Mops- I love you!  I'm so excited to see you!  

I love you family!  

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Aug 6 - Sept. 10, 2012

Happy Leif Ericcson Day! Aug. 6 

Hola Familia!  
     Hoy, les quiero escribir completamente en espanol.  chiste, no es cierto.  pero, quiero escribir un poquito en espanol para que ustedes sepan tan inteligente soy.  chiste tambien.  me siento que el espanol mio ha sufrido esta semana, no se porque, pero ha sido dificil a entender esta semana.  pero, esta bien.  todavia puedo comunicarme con las personas.  es bien chistoso cuando las personas hablan conmigo, porque muchas veces dicen que mi espanol es muy bien, y yo, con la cara seria, les digo, "oh, soy de Michoacan."  ellos siempre se ponen asombrados, y despues se rien mucho, porque soy guero.  pero nos ayuda a quebrar el hielo (break the ice) con las personas.  pero me encanta hacer eso.  

Hello, family!
Today, I want to write to you completely in Spanish. Joking, that's not true. But, I wanted to write a little in Spanish so that you guys know how intelligent I am. Joke, also. I feel that my Spanish has suffered this week, I don't know why, but it has been difficult to understand this week. But, it's OK. I can still communicate with people. It's very funny when people talk to me because a lot of times they say my Spanish is very good, and I, with a serious face, tell them "I'm from Michoacan." [Editor's note: Michoacan is a state in Mexico.] They always become surprised, and after they laugh a lot, because I'm pale. But it helps to break the ice with people. I love to do that. 
And KT, "cada rato la familia crece" means "The family is growing every moment."

Hola Familia!  
I hope you all have had a very good week.  I have had a good week.  It's been an interesting one, because I've had doctors appointments, and meetings, and I don't really feel like I've done too much.  But it ended really well.  Yesterday, we had 4 baptisms in the ward!  None of them were from Willowbrook, but they were all in the district!  It was cool.  It was really amazing, because it was the daughter of a recent convert, and the husbands and the son of two other recent converts.  It was really cool to see the families being completed and everyone accepting the gospel.  And since 3 of the baptisms were from the sister missionaries in our ward, and they could not baptize them, I got to baptize two of them!  Their names are L. and E., and it was the husband and son of a recent convert who got baptized about 3 months ago.  It was really cool.  I felt very honored, because they asked me personally to baptize them.  It was really cool.  And it went really well.  Our district is seeing a lot of success from all our hard work in the past, we had 4 baptisms yesterday, and we should be having 3 more baptisms in the ward next sunday as well!  Including G.!  In case I've never talked about her much, she is awesome.  Really awesome.  She has a lot of health problems, but we taught her fasting, and her and her daughter in law fasted with us, and then we went over last night to break their fast, and then they gave us dinner!  They are really, really, nice, and they're awesome.  I feel like G. is like my grandma, she's kind of how I'd imagine Grannie if she was Latin.  She's always kind of wandering around her house doing odd jobs in the yard, and she's always so concerned about if we have enough to eat or drink.  She's awesome, and I sent you a picture of her.  It's been pretty amazing to see her progression.  We just talked to her as she was cutting her aloe plants one day, and now, she's ready to be baptized!  It's been cool to see the progression of her family as well.  She lives with her son, grandson and daughter-in-law.  And when we started, the son especially, did not like us.  But as he's seen how the gospel has helped his mom, he's been softened a lot, and whenever we go over, they all gather together to listen to us.  They're awesome.  I am really, really excited that she will be getting baptized.  It will be awesome for her, and it's been a long time since I've had a baptism!  ( I know not as long as Brent, but still).  it will be an awesome last sunday of the transfer.  We have transfers, next wednesday, and I just have a feeling I will be leaving Southgate.  But, I guess we will see what happens.  Also, if you don't get an email from me next monday, don't be afraid.  We have temple service on monday, and we're not sure if we'll still be having p-day on monday or not.  I'm really excited for temple service, we get to clean the temple grounds, and actually inside the temple as well, it should be really fun.  But it's been a great week, I hope you all have a wonderful week, and I can't wait to write you all again next week!  

Borsh- Now that is what I call exciting news!  That sounds so sweet, a stop motion lego halo movie.  I can't wait to see it.  I did something exciting yesterday as well.  I ate a cricket!  It was kind of interesting, not bad, but not really good either.  it was fun trying it though.  Mops told me you are getting your drivers permit in 2 weeks!  That's crazy!  When I left, you weren't even tall enough to look over the steering wheel!  How tall are you now?  Well, enjoy your last couples weeks of freedom buddy, love you!  

Amy-I had no idea about the chick fil a scandal.  But good for them.  That just increased my desire to eat there after emailing.  They don't have it in my area, so the only time I get it is on p-day.  Also, when do you move to Spokane again?  I'm sure you told me, but my mind is so confused with dates and everything.  I'm still living in June I think.  Tell abby and Cary I say hi!  

B- you are crazy.  I can't e'en b'lee you.  I missed your key indicator report this week, but from what you told me, it sounds like everything is still going well.  I hope that this week is awesome!  

m@-dishonor on you, dishonor on your family, dishonor on your cow!  

Kt- I am a worm!  I cannot believe you did not get anything from me about yoshi!  I looked through my sent mail, and I can't tell if I did write you something or if I just composed it in my head.  Because it was definitely there, I was very excited emailing last week.  Also, you mentioned that when Yoshi is born, there will be 3 people who don't use the bathroom and are messy with their food.  I assumed you were talking about Todd until you mentioned him the next sentence.  I totally forgot about clarence.  Plus, Todd is a scoutmaster, and we all know where they like to go to the bathroom... But felicidades!  Congratulations!  I am very happy to hear about your very, very exciting news!  Even though I feel like you trumped me again....I am very excited to meet The Ellie-phant and also Yoshi now!  cada rato la familia crece.  But I sure love you, and am very excited for you!  

Pops-I like that quote.  I am very happy for you, that you get to not be on the dry-council anymore.  You get to just sit in the congregation,that will be weird.  I'm just looking forward to the time when I can not play piano in church.  I feel like I've been doing that my whole mission.  

Mops- I don't know what I was doing at the picnic.  I ate first of all.  And then played basketball, that would explain the lack of pictures.  Thanks for your email momma, and can you believe how many fast sundays have passed?  That's crazy.  But I am out of town, but I sure love you!  

Love you all, have a great week!  

You better get a nice long drink of water, it’s a long time in the desert... Aug 13

Hola Familia! 
I hope you have all had a great week this week!  And no, my title does not have anything to do with girls.  Well, kind of.  But in a different way.  I just feel i've been a long time in the desert of Willowbrook, and the drought finally ended!  G. got baptized on sunday!  And it was awesome.  It was a great service, and it went really well.  She is super happy, which is the best part.  It's been a long time since my area had a baptism, and it was pretty cool to see G. get baptized this sunday.  She asked me to do it, and I was very happy to do so.  It was an interesting baptism, because we had her sit down in a chair, and then I just leaned her back and put her under the water.  Her son and his wife and son came to the service as well, and then we had dinner afterwards with them.  And we were talking afterwards, and they just started talking about all the good things that have happened since we came over, and how they all feel better, get along more and are happier.  It was pretty cool to see that.  It's a big testimony builder to me, because I remember the first time I met each one of them.  And I have seen a big change in all of them.  They are so much happier, with us and as a family.  It's incredible what the gospel can do.  It's pretty amazing, that one day I talked to G. as she was cutting her aloe plants, and then she just got baptized.  It's crazy.  That was our highlight of the week.  
It was also a pretty exciting week over all.  A lot of things happened, a few firsts for me as well.  I did have my first earthquake!  We were just doing comp study, and it just started rumbling.  At first I thought my companions were shaking the table/farting, but then after it ended we realized it was an earthquake.  It was cool.  I also got to go to my first funeral!  It was pretty sad.  one of the sons of a family in our ward died, and they had his service in the chapel.  And they asked us, the missionaries to sing at his service.  So we get there, and we're ready to sing.  And the ward was also doing a few songs, and the other songs.  So then, a little bit before it starts, they tell me the pianist isn't going to show up.  So they asked me to play for everything.  And the chapel was PACKED.  there had to be close to 300 people there, most of them non members.  So, I got to play a few new hymns in the biggest venue I've ever played in.  It was fun.  I really hope something I played was able to help their family.  Having the gospel really does make a big difference for stuff like that.  There would be no hope, not knowing that there is life after death.  It's definitely the biggest blessing in my life to know that we will all live together, because we were sealed in the temple.  And as long as well all keep living faithful, we'll all be together.  That's amazing.  
Moving onto a funnier note, we did some very exciting service this week.  We showed up to our appointment with a new investigator, but he was busy digging a sprinkler system with his son couldn't talk to us.  So we ran (well, drove), changed into our service clothes, and showed up to help them.  Then, they handed me a pickax, I started swinging and breaking up the dirt, and then BAM!  Water in the face and dirt all over my clothes.  I destroyed their water main.  crushed it good.  I almost got the pickax through both sides of the pipe.  and it shot up in a fountain about 10 feet before we could turn it off.  Boy was I embarrassed.  Well, I felt pretty manly as well.  And luckily, they were really nice about it.  I just don't even know how it happened.  It was a one in a million shot.  Luckily, my companions were really supportive and didn't laugh at all.  Or not.  and speaking of service, we also got to do temple service yesterday!  it was pretty cool.  Me and Elder R. got to help take off laquer off one of the windows!  It was fun.  And also pretty interesting being able to walk around the temple like that.  And setting up scaffolding in one of the rooms.  Felt very weird.  but I liked it.  
Well, it's been a great week.  I'll be finding out tonight what's happening with transfers!  I have a feeling I will be going to a new area, but I'll let you know next week!  Love you all!  

Borsh-Your permit?  that's crazy.  I mean, your permit to drive the go-karts right?  you can't drive a real car.  You're way too young.  when I left you were 13!  Good luck with that buddy, I hope you pass your test!  

Amy- That's pretty fun that you got to go to a Presbyterian church.  I get invited to other churches alot, and i always kind of want to go.  But, whenever I pass by other churches, I always realize how amazing it is to belong to our church.  It's always the same everywhere, and it's true.  I really like what you said about how the gospel is personal.  It's so true.  that's what makes it so amazing.  

B- thanks for the weekly report B.  It looks like you had a great week, and keep up the good work!  Just remember, bold and loving.  

Matt-Journey concert?  estoy celoso.  Also, Trevor got married?  That's crazy, I had no idea.  

Kt- I loved Ellie's help in your letter!  I just wish you could help me read it as well.  I haven't got your package yet, but I should this week!  

pops-I am glad to hear you're back in golfing shape!  I'm sure you're making up for the lost time.  I think you should have taken Angela golfing as well, to test her.  She only passes if she is worse than me.  how was it, hitting the greens again?>

Mops- I have not won the clean apartment award.....our apartment has had an interesting transfer.  We're working on it though.  I am still in a trio, but I probably won't be tomorrow!  thanks for your letter mops, I loved the talk, and thanks for all you do!  
Shady Oaks, Pt 2 Aug 20

Buenos Dias familia! 
    Well, it sounds like all of you have been just about as anxious for this past transfer as I have been!  And the results are in!.........
I'm staying in Willowbrook!  I was pretty surprised.  I thought for sure I would be leaving and Elder F.staying, but it wasn't to be!  So I stayed, Elder f. went to compton( the neighboring area), and Elder R. left as well.  So no more trio for now.  Just two of us.  My new companions name is Elder R..  And as you have already surmised, I am not training!  me and Elder R. actually came out together!  We didn't know each other in the MTC, but we flew out to L.A. together.  It was really fun training, but it's also kind of nice having a companion who is just as experienced as I am.  Elder R. is really cool, he is from Sao Paolo, Brazil, but has lived in Utah for the past 2 years.  So he knows portugese, spanish and english.  It's been fun, he's teaching me portugese.  It's crazy how similar it is to spanish.  But we've been having a good time, and I think we will have a great transfer.  So i'm still in Willowbrook, as District Leader, and it's fun.  I'm really happy though.  There is a lot worth staying for.  The ward knows me really well now as well, all the other old timers left as well, so I've been in the ward way longer than all the other missionaries.  I really love the members here, and it's still almost like a new area, with all the changes from last transfer.  g. is still doing awesome, I got to confirm her yesterday!  It was awesome.  It's pretty amazing, the difference from my first confirmation, almost a year ago.  I was so nervous I was gonna pass out my first time.  I was still nervous yesterday, but as soon as I started doing it, the words just came really easily.  It's amazing how the Spirit enhances abilities, it amazed me how easily it came.  I've actually gotten to do like 4 blessings in the last 2 days, and it's amazing how much easier it's getting.  I'm learning a lot more how to trust in the Spirit.  But G. is doing awesome, and so is her family.  We went up to the visitors center with all of them saturday night, and it was awesome.  They all really liked it, and all of them came to church as well!  Her son, at first, was kind of hostile towards us.  But over time, he's gotten more and more friendly, and I think he's now at the point that we can start teaching him.  Hopefully, within this transfer, him and his son, (they are both named O.), will follow G. and be baptized!  We're really hoping for them.  We've got a lot of other really good potential, we are hoping to have 5 baptisms this transfer.  I think we will see some good things happening.  Nothing too exciting has been happening this week, we've just been working hard.  Although, I did hold a snake on saturday.  that was fun.  
    I have been feeling a lot better, mentally and spiritually.  When we went to the visitors center, I just kind of had an epiphany.  We watched the video about families, and it just kind of hit me.  I've been stressed, and sometimes just hearing about all the changes happening at home can make me more stressed.  And as we watched the video, I was thinking about you all.  and as I watched it, i just realized.  Things change.  Everybody does things that annoy me.  But at the end, it doesn't matter.  I love you all, and when I get home I'm going to hug you all and not let go.  Even though I'm imperfect, and you all are imperfect (except for Mops), I still love you all a whole lot.  And I just had a duh! moment.  Just about what's really important in life.  what really matters.  And what really matters is that I love you all, and because of the gospel, we will all live together forever.  I am very "careful and troubled about many things", but I realized I want to choose the better part.  So I love you all so much family, thank you for your constant prayers, and support, and all that you do.  Your letters and packages and counsel have been answers to my prayers, many times.  I love you all so very much, and I will be writing you on wednesday next week from Shady Oaks!  (they are letting us go on a temple trip and leave the nursing home, just like a field trip!) I love you all, and have a good week!  

Borsh!!!!!!!!!!!!- Happy birthday! I can't e'en b'lee dat.  I was thinking about you yesterday, I hope you had a fantabulous birthday.  I can't even believe that you're already 15.  and that the last eragon book came out!  (what is it called, and what does it look like?)  but don't tell me how it ends.  Did everybody sing to you in school?  I guess that's the uncool thing to do in high school.  Now that you're a big sophomore and everything!  I always wanted people to, but I guess I was never cool.  I hope you have a great week bud, and good luck getting your permit!  Love you buddy!  

A- me and you should probably go to hair school together.  I cut elder Roberts hair last week, and he was one handsome missionary.  I'm getting some good practice, I bought some clippers a few weeks ago, and I decided I'm just going to go for the short hair look for the rest of my mission.  Also, one of the members in my area, their daughter just moved to Del Rio!  and I thought about you.  Also, I still can't believe you're moving to Washington!  That's crazy.  I ate a lot of delicious things this week.  enchiladas, pork and spinach, pollo (lots of pollo), sopes, I'm getting fat.  I've had like 5 people ask me if i've gained weight in the past 3 weeks.  But, this morning, I did steps.  And my thighs are killing me.  But, that's my update for the week.  love you Amy!  

B- AH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! you have an investigator with a baptismal date!  that's so awesome!  And they passed the interview!  They're all ready!  Wow.  congratulations B.  I thought for sure you wouldn't do it til I got home.  But, you have your own judgement.  I'd love to do the missionary moment at your baptism by the way, I'll have to see what I can do.  I have interviews this week, so Ill ask President what he thinks about it.  It's for sure going to be in L.A. right?  But congratulations B, I'm so proud.  Angela is one lucky girl, and from what I've heard, you are one lucky guy.  you did it pal, you won! 

Matt-I got your funnies!  And I loved them.  Especially because the funniest pictures were from B.  Please tell me he's growing the chops for the wedding.  I have heard a few people shout aguas, i'm really glad you told me what it means, or I'd be super confused.  How is your new place?  you need to send me some pics!  

Kt- thank you so much for the package Kt!  You are so sneaky.  you wrote perishable, and then put 1 lifesaver?  I had to hunt around for a while to find the perishable.  But thanks so much, I like the music selection that i've listened to so far.  thanks so much tatie, you're the beast!  I mean best!  Also, your encounter with the wasp sounds hilarious.  I had an encounter like that with a fly.  for some reason, we have had millions of flies in our kitchen this week.  It's gross.  But your flatso wasp story made me giggle.  Also, Ellie looks adorable!  And you sent the picture of Ellie with Grandpa.  I was expecting to see Grandpa.  It still hasn't hit me that Pops is a grandpa.  But thanks so much katie, I love you!  

Pops- oh man.  Ellie and the dogs sound so adorable.  I can tell you are becoming a grandpa, your letters always include ellie/dog updates. I love it.  Thanks for the letter pops, I sure love you!  

Mops- the family sure is changing fast.  But it's still the same too, just like you said.  Just like me. I've changed a lot, but I'm still the same.  Well, I sure love you mops, have a great week!  

I'm out of time, but I love you all, so much!  write to you next wednesday!  

Probably going to the bathroom for the 80th time today... Aug. 29

Hola Familia! 
gwow.  es cierto.  estoy yendo al bano cada rato.  no se que paso.  tal vez me estoy enfermando, pero esta semana, mi estomago esta loco.  tambien mi mente.  de todos modos, estoy cansado y un poco enfermo.  pero, estoy bien.  

Hello, family!
Gwow (that's how Mexicans say "Wow"). It's true, I have been going to the bathroom every moment. I don't know what happened. Maybe I am sick, but this week, my stomach is crazy. Also my mind. At any rate, I'm tired and a little sick. But, I'm good.

Hi familia!  
    It is lovely to write you this wednesday morning.  We just finished our temple session, and it was really nice, but I think I am getting sick.  And sadly, that made it a little harder to focus today.  but it was still good.  So wow.  Thanks for your awesome letters this week.  I want to apologize in advance for my letter today.  My brain feels like it is filled with dead flies and bits of fluff.  temple p-day is always great, but its tiring to make it a week and 2 more days without a pday.  Plus, we had to wake up at 4:30 this morning to be at the temple on time.  So I'm a little cansado, and slightly enfermo.  Also, my spanglish is getting horrible.  I don't even know what I'm speaking anymore.  I keep throwing in english words in the lesson, and spanish words in my english prayers.  But it's good.  I feel like I have tons to tell you this week, but I don't remember any of it, it's been a long week.  Good, just tiring.  G. and her familia are still doing well.  We had a lesson yesterday, and invited O. to be baptized.  He said no, he's not ready.  but I think he'll get there.  I think the whole family will get baptized, I just don't know how long it'll take.  And G. is still doing awesome!  She reads her scriptures and prays everyday, we got her a large print book of mormon to make it easier for her.  She has been sharing the gospel with everyone!  She talks to her neighbors, and invites her family members to the VC with her.  It's one of the coolest things ever, to see the change in people after they truly become converted.  We've never even asked her to share the gospel.  She just does it cause she wants to and it makes her happy.  And she said, tons of people have asked her what she's been doing differently, because she looks and acts different.  And to me, that is one of the biggest testimonies of the gospel.  I know it's true, but the gospel really becomes the pearl of great price when we allow it to change us.  And people see that change.  It's so awesome.  It makes me want to appreciate the gospel more, and share it more.  She feeds us lunch every week now, and it's always really good.  She made us ninos envueltos yesterday.  It means like "covered children" or something like that.  But it's carne, and vegetables, and she puts the vegetables in the carne, rolls it up, and then serves it in soup.  It was super good.  C. and Y. are still doing well, they are really getting to know the ward, which is nice.  C. got a new job, so we haven't really been able to see him.  But they are doing well.  The rest of our area is doing well, I'm finally getting used to all the new additions.  And we've been biking!  They really cracked down on our miles this month, but we still went over, so I may be biking permanently!  it will keep me skinnier at least.  And that's been our week.  It's been good.  I had a cool experience yesterday.  We got to give two blessings yesterday.  We've given tons of blessings lately, it's awesome.  And I got to say the blessing on the second one, and it was amazing.  I started to say it, and I paused, and then I just knew what to say.  It would not have been what I, personally would have said, and I was kind of nervous to say it, but I did it anyway.  And afterward, as we left, I just knew it was what she needed.  And that was really cool.  I felt very honored that Heavenly Father trusted me to be there to help her, and grateful I was living worthy to have the spirit with me.  That was my cool experience of the week.  thanks for all your letters, and I sure love you!  

Borsh- Happy birthday!  I'm glad you liked the package.  I was this close to keeping the gold elite and playing with it during my personal study, but I decided you'd enjoy it more.  And the green tie, is one of my favorites.  The other ones are good too, but I really like the green one.  I'm glad you had a good b-day,a nd did you get your permit yet?  Also, what is the name of the Eragon book, and what does the cover look like?  Is it cool?  I hope you're enjoying being back to school, and say hi to everyone for me!  

Amy- Alright, we'll call it a draw.  I think we tied for eating delicious things.  I had ninos envueltos, a super delicious burrito, tortas, chocoflan, spaghetti and bean (which was a very interesting combination-without red sauce), beribundy-which is a malaysian fish, and more.  I'm becoming a gordito.  I've had like 6 people ask me if I'm gaining weight.  I wanted to punch them.  But instead, I ate ice cream.  Just kidding.  but I did discover something very delicious this week.  I made oreo truffles a while ago, but I ran out of chocolate, so I had some extra oreo stuff.  So I also had some vanilla ice cream, and then I mixed it with the crushed oreos and cream cheese.  And my oh my, was it delicious.  You should try it.  Also, that's crazy that Cary is flying.  giant fueling planes.  I will keep praying for him, and tell him I say hi!  

B- love is the fart of every heart.....
p.s. quiero fotos de usted y su novia.  Pregunta a Angela que traduzca esto.  

m@-I do want to see your new place.  It sounds awesome.  Also, I feel like I'm on your mission.  I've been pooping like crazy lately.  Average, 3 times before we even leave the apartment.  My exercise time is really struggling.  But I won't complain, I still haven't earned a brown badge of courage.  Tell Jeff good luck for me!  That's crazy that he is leaving.  

Pops- wow, everybody has been traveling.  And you and the Squash have been having pizza every night right?  thanks for your advice.  It is hard missing out on stuff on the mission.  but it will all be alright.  

Mops- hi Momma!  I was also suprised to stay in Willowbrook.  Not what I was expecting.  But I know there is a reason I am here, in the area i am, with the companion I have.  There always is.  I've been thinking very similar thoughts to yours.  I've been feeling very, very exhausted lately, I don't know if it has something to do with the medicine or what, but it's been a lot harder lately to get motivated.  But I keep trying to tell myself, there is somebody there I can help, and it doesn't matter how tired or sick i am, Heavenly Father has a way I can help them.  It's helping.  Thanks for all you do Momma, I sure love you!  

Thanks family!  I love you all, and only a short while until I write again!  hasta lunes!  hasta luego, amigos!  

Do you not know that I have had the diarrheas since Easters?    Sep 3

Hola familia! 
buenas tardes.  Espero que todo este muy muy bien con ustedes.  esta semana ha sido una semana bien extrana.  no he hecho lo que quise hacer.  pero, esta bien.  esta semana no fue muy bien.  pero, la terminamos muy bien ayer, y estoy muy animado por el exito que tendremos esta semana.  

(Hello, family!
Good afternoon. I hope that all is very, very well with you guys. This week has been a very strange week. I haven't done with I wanted to do, but it's OK. This week was not very good. But, we finished it well yesterday, and I'm very excited for the success that we'll have this week.

Tacos de lengua = tongue tacos (cow tongue). I hated these things. 

"Y me hicieron bastante dano" literally means "And they did me a lot of damage." One of my favorite Spanish phrases. When something "does you damage" it means it makes you sick, either specifically (diarrhea) or in some vague, old-wives-tale sort of way ("Elder, don't pass in front of the open fridge on such a hot day, it will do you damage!").)

hiya familia!  
Well, long time since I've written you!  It's been a very interesting week.  To be honest, I have not had a very good week.  I have been having diarrhea out of the wazoo (literally).  I don't know what it going on, but I ended last pday, still not feeling super good, and then I woke up the next morning feeling like I wanted to die.  I have been really sick this week.  It's been a weird mixture of being really, really tired, stomach problems, nausea, and having to go to the bathroom a lot.  so, thursday, I didn't do anything.  We didn't leave the apartment like the whole day.  The only time we did was when a member bought us food at a restaurant right next to us.  Which I only enjoyed for about 3 hours.  So thursday, We didn't do anything.  I just stayed inside and slept most the day.  Which actually felt good, it has been a long time since I have done nothing like that.  I think it was a needed rest day.  And then the other days I've just been toughing it out and just not eating a lot.  I've lived on ginger ale, saltines and gatorade for the past few days.  I don't know what it was, a stomach bug, something I ate, or just my body deciding it needed a rest, but I'm luckily feeling stronger today.  I feel a lot better.  I did learn a valuable lesson though.  When you have the runs, do NOT eat tacos de lengua.  one of our investigators gave us some, and I wanted to make her happy, so i ate them.  Y me hicieron bastante dano.  but anyway, I will stop grossing you all out, and move on to the good things this week.  
    Our week wasn't very good.  but it ended really well.  Our ward mission leader, yesterday, brought his daughter, her boyfriend and their children to church yesterday.  they just moved into our area, they are all not members, and they are interested in learning more!  So, total, that's 4 new investigators that could end up getting baptized.  Plus, they're a family, and the family of our ward mission leader, hno. C.  We already set up a time to go to the Visitors Center with them tomorrow night!  So, that was a huge blessing from Heavenly Father for us.  Even though we didn't do much this week, He blessed us with that.  That's what we're really excited about.  G. is still doing awesome, she feeds us all the time, comes to church, reads her Book of Mormon and prays every day, and is really a great example to me.  Watching her dedication to reading, even though it's something that is hard for her, is inspiring to me.  And she's gone from reading one verse a night to whole chapters!  she says once she starts, she doesn't want to stop.  She is the sweetest old lady ever, and she said the funniest thing ever on friday.  We had a lesson with them, and her daughter in law hadn't read her BOM, but her grandson had.  And during the middle of the lesson, she just stops and says to M., "aren't you ashamed that your son knows more about the BOM than you?"  or, no te da pena que tu hijo sabe mas que tu?  It was hilarious!  I had to hide my face in my scriptures to keep from laughing too hard.  She kills me.  We also had carne asada with them yesterday, and we taught a lesson to her daughter, who lives in another city.  And she accepted to have the missionaries come visit her!  That was really exciting, I would love nothing more than to see all of G.’s family come to the church.  Well, that has been my week.  I want to close with a scripture!  It's in romans 8:35-39.  And it says, "what can keep us from the Love of God?"  It's been a really hard week, and I read that scripture this morning, and I realized, if our minds are firm, there is nothing that can keep us from feeling the Love of God in our lives.  As Paul says, "we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us."  I love you all family, and I hope you have a great week!  Talk to you soon! 

Borsh- Yay for Frisbee!  when I was there, i really liked jason.  I learned a lot from him, he's really good.  hey, did you ever get your permit?  And you still didn't tell me anything about the Eragon book!  

Amy- that zoo sounds like the coolest thing ever!  also, like jurassic park but less scary.  

B- squee!  thanks for the pics bro.  You and Angela are adorable.  She looks really nice, and you look perfect for each other.  And, I guess the policy is only emails from family members.  But she will be one soon anyway.  but, I love handwritten letters just the same!  It might take me a little bit to write back.  So, you have your own judgement, I'm not too picky on that one.  Also, was it weird when you walked into future B's office?  did he do a double take, and start telling you the things he would have done differently when he was younger?  I would like to think so.  

m@-  I think I just got a little taste of your mission this week

Kt- chocoflan is like flan on top of a chocolate cake.  It was delicious.  and I like flan sometimes, I've had one really, really good one, and some not so good.  Also, thank you so much for the Ipod!  I bought a cord today so I can start using it in the car, but unfortunately it was the wrong size.  I should be able to get another one though.  but thanks so much Katie!  And I did love the magazines, I read the New Era as soon as I opened it!  

Pops- I am actually driving a 2011 toyota corolla!  it's silver, and beautiful.  It's a great car.  I actually haven't heard too much about romney, a lot of the people we talk to don't vote, so it doesn't come up as often as it might in other areas

Mops-wow, that is sad news about Sister E.  Tell her I say hi.  I can't believe you're getting a new calling, that's crazy!  

I love you all family, I'm out of time though!  

California dreamin... Sept 10

Hola Familia!  
   Greetings from Shady Oaks!  It has been a good week this week.  It has been really hot still.  It makes me very grateful that we have a car with AC.  It's the only time of the day that I feel cool, is when we're driving.  Our apartment is still an oven.  but everything has been going pretty well.  it seemed like it was really hard to find everyone at home this week.  G. and her family are still doing well, they didn't come to church this week because G.'s knees were really bothering her, but we'll be eating lunch and having a lesson with them tomorrow.  C. and Y. are doing really well, they both came to church yesterday.  And then, a member from our ward, Hno. S., invited them to go to the VC (visitors center) with him!  They are really getting to know the ward well, which is awesome.  And I think will make a big difference, especially for C.  Y. is ready to get baptized, she wants to, but she doesn't want to do it without C..  We went to the visitors center with them as well, and they seemed to enjoy it.  Seemed to learn a lot.  It's funny, both times me and Elder R. have gone up to the VC, we have ended up giving blessings to people.  to strangers who have come to the VC.  and me and Elder R. got to do one in spanish, and it was cool.  The lady was having a lot of problems, and it was awesome that we were probably the only spanish speaking elders up at the VC yesterday.  And it was cool that we got to be there to help her and give her some comfort.  We also had a baptism yesterday in our district, and it went really well.  She had a lot of support from the ward, and that was nice to see.  I went on exchanges with Elder C. this week, and we had a super cool lesson.  We taught his investigator, E., who is heavily involved in gangs and lots of other things, but he's trying to change his life.  And we invited him to stop drinking.  And he was sitting there with this giant bottle of beer, and we invited him to stop drinking right there.  And he walked over, and just poured on his beer on the ground.  It was really cool to see.  Well, it's been a good week.  I feel a lot better, which I've enjoyed.  I can't believe how fast this transfer has gone, everything is starting to go faster.  14 months, can you believe it?  it's weird, I don't know a lot of the missionaries in the mission now, because so many are new.  It makes me feel really old.  But it's all good.  I love you family, have a great week!  

Borsh- Ah you did the Wild Cherry Pepsi lab!? I love that one.  Is Mrs. Davidson your teacher?  I hope you like chemistry, it was a fun class.  Also, I can't believe you got your permit!  You drove home from the church already?  were you scared?  how did it feel?  I was terrified when I did it.  Also, you still didn't tell me!  what does the cover for the Eragon book look like?  I hope you have a good week buddy, your first full week back in school!  

A- you bought a house?  that's so crazy!  the house sounds awesome.  I hope you realize how blessed you are.  Even here, in the United States, especially in Los Angeles, there are not many people that own homes.  Tons just live in the garage of other peoples houses.  It makes tracting interesting.  I can't wait to see your house in Spokane, you will have to send me pics!  

B- well, I guess we will not be rooming together after the mish.  So, we all know what it means when I buy you a pizza, but what do I have to buy you when you get back for getting married?  I've got to owe you something.  Sounds like you've got a crazy semester!  do get your rest.  if you haven't got your health, you haven't got anything!  

M@- haha, I can't tell you how many people I've had tell me to stay away from cold things or else I'll get sick.  It's hilarious.  Also, I LQTM'ed when I read your ambien story.  That is hilarious.  

Kt- I loved the video!  I didn't have sound, but it looks awesome!  Also, she looks so cute standing up!  Elder R. is jealous of how cute my niece is.  Also, I talked to them about maybe the medicine had effects, but they said I'd been taking it long enoh that it shouldn't.  but who knows.  Also, fun fact, did you know Liz Lemon paints gospel art?  There is a picture in Preach my gospel by liz lemon.  no joke.  

ah, I'm out of time.  Love you family!