Thursday, November 17, 2011

Dia de pavo viene! Vamos a jugar futbol americano el proximo dia de preparacion por nuestro turkey bowl! Estoy muy animado por eso y nuestra zona va a ganar. Los latinos no tienen thanksgiving. Es un dia de festivo americano. pero, tuvimos una actividad del barrio por thanksgiving. o sea, dia de pavo. thanksgiving esta llamado dia de pavo en espanol. La actividad fue muy bien, tuvimos muchos investigadores y tambien encontramos nuevos! La conferencia de zona fue muy bien, y vamos a tener mucho exito esta proxima semana!

Matt’s translation:

Turkey Day comes! We are going to play American football the next P-day for our Turkey Bowl! I am very excited for this and our zone is going to win. The Latinos don't have thanksgiving. It's an American holiday. But we had a Thanksgiving ward activity, or Turkey Day. Thanksgiving is called Turkey Day in Spanish. The activity went very well, we had a lot of investigators and we also found some new ones! The zone conference was great, and we are going to have a lot of success this next week!

Hi family! Happy week before thanksgiving! I forget that it's already november. Probably because I haven't even seen any snow! I've done a little bit of bike riding in the rain, but I haven't seen snow yet. I probably won't either. Time is going by very weird. I feel like I just wrote you all! This week feels equally long and short. Can you believe it's already 4 months? That's weird. It still hits me sometimes. I'm just riding along, and I'm thinking. And I realize, I'm a little white boy. I'm riding a bike around los angeles teaching people in spanish. What the heck happened? It really hit me yesterday. They had a special latino fireside last night from salt lake. And at the end, I was like wow, I just listened and understood that entire fireside in spanish. And not only that, I enjoyed it and I learned from it! It's really pretty amazing when I think about it. I didn't know any spanish at all four months ago. Nada. And now I do! Lets see...what news from this week

This week has been good. Our zone conference was really good. I really enjoyed it. I'm meeting a lot of new people, because they changed the zones all around and all the people I know aren't around me anymore. But I really enjoyed it. We had a pretty cool experience this week. We did our weekly planning on thursday. And our zone goal is for every companionship to baptize this month. And as we were planning, we realized that we didn't have anybody who would be ready in time. And the month was already halfway over. But we prayed about it at the end, and then we went to contact a referral. Elder Goll had taught her before, she wasn't interested, but we got her information again. We went over there, and within the first two minutes of the lesson she straight up told us she wanted to be baptized. It was pretty amazing, the more I think back about it. I think she could be ready by the end of the month, which will be really cool. I'm realizing more and more how much sucess is given to us. We work for it, we do our best, but in the end, Heavenly Father just gives it to us. I also went on splits twice this week. Which was pretty fun. On friday, me and my district leader, street contacted for 5 hours! but we found 5 new investigators, so that was good! and then we had a ward activity too. I felt really weird, because towards the end they turned on the music and people started dancing. Which is apparently what they do at latino activities. I had a good few moments imagining dancing at our ward activities with Brother bush telling jokes in the background. But I felt very out of place. But it went well. We had a lot of investigators show up, and got some new ones, and it really helped our investigators fit in. The one who wants to get baptized - I think she found some friends in the ward. she's 18 and from El Salvador, and has only lived in the united states for 5 months. It was really good for her I think. And I really enjoyed it because I just got to talk to people for a few hours, and I really love the ward here. It's fairly dysfunctional, but I still love them, and there are some really great people here. And I'm still enjoying being the ward pianist! haha. I'm trying to get out of it, but it's hard. I played two songs I'd never played before in sacrament meeting this week. That was exciting. Well, That's about my week. I feel like I don't have too much to tell you, but it was a good week, and we worked hard. President Baker has challenged us all to read the book of mormon again before the new year, hilighting every mention of faith, repentence, baptism, the holy ghost and persevering to the end. I'm really enjoying it, it's helping me to learn a lot, and helps me look a little deeper. And I'm doing it in spanish! My insight from this week I found on the back of the conference Ensign. It's from President Monson. And he just says, "God is closer to us than we realize. We don't know how close he's willing to go and how far he's willing to go to help us." And I know that's true. I can look back throughout my life and see Heavenly Fathers hand, even when I couldn't then. And I know he's always watching over us, even when it's hard, and we can't always see it. I feel like Nephi this week. There's a lot of things I don't know, but I know He loves me. And I love you all too, and I hope you have an awesome week!

J-Borsh! Ah you're so close to thanksgiving break! I'm so jealous. You have to eat twice as much for me this year, since I won't be there. Those whale texts are awesome. You and Matt should feel lucky that I'm not there to compete, with all my artistic talent. And the x-men game thing is so cool. I'm really jealous about that. But I love you bud, and have a great week!

YAM- A half marathon?! what in the heck. i can't believe you're my sister. I can't even think about doing a half marathon. That's so cool! I'm so impressed. I mean, i've been running in the mornings too. It's kind of a big deal. I can't wait to get a package from you, that'll make me so happy! and hopefully the chocolate won't melt this time! Tell Cary hi, and I hope pilot training is going well!

B- I'm so glad you got the friendship application! I hope Morgan accepts it. Put in a good word for me. School sounds terrible. I'm glad I'm not doing that right now. Keep up the good work B!

M- oh man. I got your funnies this morning matt. it might have been your best batch yet. I laughed out loud numerous times. It was so good. Thanks mafew! I felt a great kinship with you this week. I was eating at a members house, and I ate a chile verde. At least that's what they told me it was called. and oh man. me pico mucho! It was so hot. I was crying, and just trying to eat and drink everything in front of me at the same time. But I loved it. I felt like a real missionary there. And also, turkey bowl is on monday for us. So in a week or so you'll see pictures from it! Anyway, tell Lauren I say hi, and I'll try and write her next week!

KT-AAAAHHHH!!!!!! You're going to be a mommy soon! and I'm going to be an uncle! that's so weird. And Todd is gonna be a dad. I think that's even weirder. reading your pillow story about Todd made me LOL and the other missionaries looked at me weird. Poor bundle D. all he wants to do is sleep. and don't worry KT, I wear my helmet all the time. It's a mission rule. and I have lights on the front and back at night. I can't believe Lola is coming soon! I'm gonna be so excited. And I want pictures ASAP! Good luck KT, I love you!

Mops and Pops! As for the voicemail, I'm not sure. We'll see. Lily does not like the cone of shame. I'm sure she doesnt! Poor Lily, speaking of which, I've still never seen pictures/videos of her! She sounds adorable, even if she's not quite housebroken (kind of like Brent, but you still keep him around). Thanks for all your help and letters, and I can't wait to hear from you next week! good luck with all the craziness!

Love you all!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Las cucurachas, las cucarachas, ya no pueden caminar, porque las mate, porque las mate, las cucarachas en mi casa!

Hola famila! como estan? todo esta bien aqui. Hemos tenido una buena semana y hemos econtrado muchas buenas investigadoras nuevas. Tengo mucha esperanza por esta area y este traslado tambien, creo que vamos a tener mucho exito este traslado. Hay cucarachas en mi apartamento! no me gustan. Yo he matado muchas. Muchas cucarachas en mi cocina. Pero, esta bien. tambien, tuve la oportunidad para asistir el templo y estoy muy agradecido por esta oportunidad. no tengo muchas historias por esta semana, entonces, esta carta va a ser un poco mas corto. Lo siento!

(Matt’s translation) Hello, family! How are you all? Everything is good here. We've had a good week and we've found a lot of good new investigators. I have a lot of hope for this area and this transfer as well, I think we're going to have a lot of success this transfer. There are cockroaches in my apartment! I don't like them. I have killed many. A lot of cockroaches in the kitchen. But, it's OK. Also, I had the opportunity to attend the temple and I'm very grateful for that opportunity. I don't have many stories this week, so this letter is going to be a bit shorter. Sorry!

Hi family! Greetings from LA! I just want everyone to know, the weather isn't always perfect. Me and Elder Goll had to ride in the rain at least for a couple hours this week. And it actually gets down to about 50 at night, which is a tiny bit chilly on a bike. I'm still enjoying being a bike elder, except my gears on my new bike don't shift quite right. But I got it fixed today, for free, so it's all good. But the exercise has been good for me, because I think i get even more food here. And elder goll loves to bake, so he makes cakes and stuff all the time. Sadly, with a disappointing lack of shrimp on the barbie. Although, they're called prawns in australia (austria). He's refusing to teach me how to speak in an australian accent, but hopefully I'll be able to pick up enough to fake it. His spanish is a little interesting, because he doesn't say r;s at all, let alone roll them. My spanish is actually a lot better than his, both with pronunciation and grammar. But he can still understand better than me. But I really don't have too much to report. I also had my first bike accident this week! I don't really know what happened. But I was cruising, and I hit something. Rolled over the handlebars and and hit the pavement pretty hard. I ripped my pants and put a couple little holes in my rain jacket, and scraped my knee, and I'm a little sore, but surprisingly I'm not hurt. Heavenly Father has definitely been watching over me this week. I've come really close to a lot of accidents, and I should have gotten hurt more from that accident. He's definitely protecting me. I feel like this week went by really fast, but nothing big happened. We've found some really cool new investigators, and hopefully they will continue to progress well. Me and Elder Goll got to go to the temple with a family from his first area, because they were getting sealed. It was a really cool experience, and definitely the highlight of my week. That's the real fruits of our work right there, and our goal with everyone we baptize. This mission has a real focus on the temple, and finding and baptizing the investigators that are going to get there. But it was really cool. I hope I have more to tell you about next week, but I'm running out of time, and I don't have too much left. By the way, I loved your letters this week! They were really great, and I LQTM'ed multiple times. Which is embarassing because I'm typing in the family history center underneath the visitors center. Also, I just ran into the two elders serving in Summers ward! They took a picture with me and promised to tell them I said hi, so that was cool. As for christmas music, it should bring the spirit and not be distracting. That's really our basic guideline for our mission. Anyway, I love you all, and I can't wait to hear from you again next week!

Josh-Hey buddy! you know something weird? I'm probably not going to see snow my whole mission. It rains here during the winter, but no snow. I can't believe it's already november, and you're getting snow! I hope you're getting ready to play in the turkey bowl, because I sure am! My mission has a turkey bowl, i'm really excited for it. Too bad about that snow day, hopefully you'll still get it!

B-oh man B. That picture is amazing. You look just like tobias. It's almost scary. Your paper on gravitational waves sounds as exciting as watching paint dry. I'm glad I don't have to do school for another two years! Anyway, I hope everything continues to go well, and I'll talk to you next week! And I hope you still have your white handbook so you can help the fambly pick out christmas music.

A-AH! Sarah is getting married? what the heck. I thought she was going to wait for me. But that's great. I'm happy for her, make sure you tell her to send me an invitation. I can't believe how much you're running. That's insane. Although, at the rate i'm going, I might just be able to match you. I'm getting legs of steel from my bike. I'm glad Cary is doing well, and not as stressed, and Abby is continuing to be adorable. Love you Yam!

M-Bien triste hermano. I hear that so much. But I can't believe how long your letter took! sad day. But thanks for, it was great. I hope you and Lauren are doing great, that's so cool you work so close to each other now. Oh man. Matt, I know about the timing differences. I played those two on sunday, and man, it is impossible to play with them. You should have heard our last song. It was so terrible. I've been appointed the offical ward pianist, and everyone thinks I can play everything. Which was bad yesterday, I played at a baptism, I'd never played it before, and I slaughtered it. Completely. And President Baker was there, and everything. Super embarassing. Luckily, they slaughtered it too. Tell Lauren I say hi, and i'll write her more next week!

K&T-AH! two weeks!??!?! how in the heck. You are not old enough to be a mommy. In the same way I am not old enough to be a missionary. That is so weird. But it's sounds like everything is going so well with you two, and I'm so excited to hear about Lola and see pictures! ah. I cant e'en b'lee dat.

Mops and Pops-once again, I am out of time. I'm sorry! As for a christmas list, I'd say my present desires are more short sleeved shirts, ties, and socks. And music. and candy. and bread. and stew. and a puppy. But that's really all I want. I love you two, and I will write you again next week!

Love you all!