Sunday, January 8, 2012

The last three weeks worth of emails. Catching up...

Christmas in Killarney December 19

I was in CVS two p-days ago, and they started playing that! And after that all of my other favorite Christmas songs! It was so great! Because I didn't really have a choice but to listen to them you know? But Merry Christmas from L.A. 6th! O, Feliz Navidad! And you know what Christmas means? I get to talk to you all in less than a week! I'm so excited! unfortunately only for 40 minutes, but we will make the best of it! And as for what we're planning right now, me and Elder Moore are thinking to call from 7-9. So I will most likely call you at 9 o clock at night christmas day! Please let me know if that won't work. And then we'll get to talk! I won't have time to talk to people individually, but hopefully you will all be able to be together and we can talk on speaker phone! and as for numbers, I'm just going to call Pops number if that's alright. Ah!!! I'm so excited!!!!!!!! I can't wait to talk to you all! I'm already getting excited and distracted.

But as for and my week, it's been an interesting week. Full of lots of ups and downs. First of all, we found out Y. had a problem that we weren't expecting. But she had her baptismal interview yesterday, and she passed! So she is now completely ready to get baptized Christmas Day! We are so excited with her, it's really been amazing to see the change in her. She hardly talked to us at first, but now she talks and laughs with us, and you can really tell what the difference the spirit has made in her. and she really likes reading in the book of mormon, she reads it every day and writes down her questions for us. She's really excited to be baptized, and we're really excited for her! Our other investigator, S., is still progressing, we actually got to go to the Visitors Center with her last night! Which was really good. I think they really enjoyed it. I hope they did! She's not going to be quite ready for baptism this week, but we're hoping for the week after I think. And we're hoping for 2 or 3 baptisms in january too! The visitors center is amazing here. We are incredibly fortunate to have it in our mission, especially during Christmas time! they have this amazing family video, it's great for investigators, but it's hard for missionaries. Speaking of family, I got your Christmas card this week! You all look awesome, and it was great to see you. I sure love you guys, it's hard being away at this time of year, but I do know this is where I'm supposed to be right now. This week has been really interesting. It is interesting being the senior companion. Very humbling. I learned a very important lesson from last week. Everything went really well, and I felt the spirit guiding me more than I ever have. And I've realized it's because I had the most faith right then and that I was thinking all about Elder Moore and my investigators, and not about myself. And it's really those two things, faith, and thinking about others, that help me the most. And my worst days in the mission, is really when I forget those two things. Me and Elder Moore had a couple really cool finding experiences, it was really cool, we were riding to S’s house, and under my excellent senior companionship leadership, we somehow ended up at the bottom left of our area. Which was really weird. We started riding back, and I felt we should go back to the street we were just on, so we did, and we stopped this guy on the street, who said he'd talked to missionaries before and wanted to go to church! He didn't end up coming, but it's incredible how Heavenly Father guides us. And I know without that, I really could do nothing. But it's been a great week, and I'm so excited to talk to you all!

Borsh-Have fun at cornbird! I am so jealous that you have all that time to channel your inner Ellie. I'll do my best by eating a lot this week, but I do that every week here! I hope Snowbird is great, and make sure you beat magneto for me!

Amy-I'm so glad to hear you're enjoying my iphone! Think of me every time you use it. And remember our great texts back and forth? (dishonor on you, dishonor on your family, dishonor on your cow!) I will have you know I ate a whole package of chips ahoy by myself this past week. I'm not ashamed. Y’'s grandma gives us tons of cookies every time we teach her. I eat so much here! I want to learn how to make this stuff so I can share it with you! It's so good. Have fun at cornbird, and I can't wait to talk to you and Cary!

B- In case you didn't know, I was the most popular guy on campus last year. Everybody in my mission thinks the same thing. I got 7 letters and 2 packages this week! I really felt the love from everybody this week. Do you remember anybody who's talked to you? I can't wait to talk to you soon B, and we can speak in czech together! (ahoy. knedliky. ahoy.) that's all I got.

M-You are definitely right, it's very humbling. It's really weird being the senior companion, and I find myself doing a lot of the same things I hated that my senior companions would do. I haven't had arroz con leche again, thankfully. But I did have pasole(?) for the first time! It was delicious. Say hi to Lauren for me!

Kt-Ellie is tots adorb! her snugglebug is awesome! hopefully she will learn to say Elder Yanr in the next 6 days so I can talk to her! And thanks for your christmas cds! I listen to them all I can! You're my favoritest sister with a kid! Tell Todd hi for me!

Mops and pops-I am sorry to hear about the lack of skiing! if it makes you feel better, there is a lot less here! I can't wait to talk to you next week, I love you, and Merry Christmas!

Happy New Year! December 26

Feliz Cumpleanos! o sea, Feliz navidad! Y feliz nuevo ano (with the accent over the n). Familia! Les extrano mucho, pero fue grandisimo a escuchar sus voces anoche! Ustedes suena a coro de angeles. yo queria que pudieramos hablar por un medio dia. pues, no es posible. lo siento que no hay mucho nieve, pero en 2013 voy a traer el nieve conmigo. no temais. Me siento que no tenga muchas cosas las cuales escribirles. porque hable con ustedes anoche! pero, voy a tratar y escribir algo interesante!

Belated translations:

Happy birthday! Or rather, Merry Christmas! And a happy new year (with an accent over the n). Family! I miss you a lot, but it was extremely grand (wonderful) to hear your voices last night! You sounded like a chorus of angels. I wished that we could talk for half a day. But, it's not possible. I'm so there isn't much snow, but in 2013 I will bring the snow with me. Don't fear. (temais = vosotros, or "you all" form, used only in Spain and the Bible, mainly.) I feel like I don't have much to write you guys. Because I spoke with you last night! But I'm going to try to write something interesting.

Editor's note: Ry's Spanish is awesome. I'm very impressed by his "suena a coro do angeles" line, because usually ESL would say "suena como coro" but that's an incorrect preposition. Unusual prepositions with certain verbs are the sort of advanced grammar points most missionaries never learn.

Hey familia! Man. Everybody who thinks it was good to talk last night, say yeah (yeah yeah yeah leprechaun leprechaun...) It was so good to hear your voices. Even if sometimes I couldn't actually tell who was talking! It was kind of weird to be talking on the phone in english too, I've gotten used to doing it in spanish! Ah. I'm worried. I'm worried that I'm forgetting how to talk. The only way I know how to be funny is through movie quotes. And movie quotes are discouraged here. But it was so good to talk with all of you and hear your voices and quote movies with you, just like we used too! And will do again! Except after my mission I'll be mixing in mission quotes. I need to start keeping a journal of funny stuff people say to me. a ver....

This week has been interesting. I've been kind of stressed this week. I'm really not sure why. Which has made this week harder. But it ended really well, with Y's baptism and talking to you all on Christmas! and also opening presents! The baptismal service went well, all the missionaries sang a song, and both my old companions came back for the service, so I got to see them! Y. seemed really happy afterwards, and that's what really matters! And then she'll get confirmed on New Years and she'll be a real member of the church! We have a couple other investigators getting close to baptism, so that's good. But this week we're going to work really hard, and we're going to do awesome. We're going to find some awesome new investigators and we're really excited. Also, I want to thank everyone who sent me packages/letters! They made my christmas morning awesome! Me and Elder Moore both woke up feeling terrible, on account of our four dinners the night before, neither of us slept very well, but then we turned the tree and the magic on! and we opened our presents before church. And Santa was good to us this year! I got so much candy, and the true desire of my heart, socks! Wouldn't Albus Dumbledore be proud? And mops, don't you worry, me and Elder Moore gave the cars their test run this morning, and they are awesome! It's going to be hard not to let them distract me from the work though. They are really fun!

Well I can't really remember too much more about my week right now. I've been learning a lot. This week especially, I've been learning a lot about the difference between doing missionary things and being a christlike missionary. A lot of my mission I've just been doing missionary things because I know it's what I'm supposed to do, and that's hard. I'm trying to learn more about the meaning behind the missionary work, and really trying to remember what's really important, which is the people I'm with. There was a quote I read in the general conference ensign, and it said "that is the model the Savior has given us. His love is for all, but he never loses sight of the one." And that's something I'm trying to do better. When I think about all I need to do, I try and do it all and then none of it really gets done well. I get rushed in lessons, they don't feel the spirit, I'm unhappy, and it doesn't work out well for anybody. But some of my best lessons have been where I've just forgotten about the time and concentrated on the person. Well, I'm running out of time (like always), but I sure love you all, and it was absolutely fantastic to hear all your voices last night! Even if Brent and Ellie were crying the whole time. Have a great week, and a happy new year!

Borsh-Have you been channeling your inner Ellie? sleeping and eating? It sounds like that's all you've got to do this year! besides go down to the northcade and play Tekken and x-men. Make sure you eat plenty for me!

KT- I have never heard such a story of travail! I'm sorry Ellie was so whiny! me and elder moore were like that too on christmas eve. We were so full and unhappy. We spent half the night crying! And I can't believe you dropped your phone in the toilet! It seems like they should have an app to prevent/fix something like that. I'm glad it survived! Maybe it was the spongebob case that did it. I mean, all drains lead to the ocean. Say hi to bundle D and Ellie for me!

B- You know B, a lot of people have told me that my spanish is good. But coming from you, that means a lot. A man of your spanish experience, i'm touched. But it was great to talk to you! I'm sorry that my czech is a little rusty, I'll work on that! I hope the skiing gets better soon, I can't believe there's no snow there. That's crazy. And I can't believe d-roy is getting married! that is crazy. And then you'll be next! I can't believe you got an ipad! I see tons of adds for them around here, I want to try one!

Matt- I can't wait to talk to you in spanish more! You will love my ghetto spanish, a mix of spanish from el salvador, guatemala, mexico, and also a touch of eubonics. It's fancy. I feel I had so much to say to you here, but now i can't remember anything. But I love you, and thanks for such an awesome letter every week! And the funnies and an awesome package!

Lauren, it was great to talk to you! I am still slightly embarrassed I couldn't recognize your voice at first!

Amy-I am very disappointed in your lack of eating good things. I ate pasole, pan con pollo, so many different things! tamales, man. I'm starving. One member brought us over a whole chicken! And me and Elder Moore ate with our pastaroni that we eat every day. It was great. Thanks so much for the package Yam! I sure love you, and I am really missing our christmas tradition of eating a lot! I mean, making and decorating cookies and then delivering them to the poor and needy. Like we always keep doing!

Momma-Thanks for helping to make this such a great Christmas! and you helped make someone else’s Christmas too! elder moore and i played secret santa, and delivered the christmas tree in a box, along with some other stuff to one of the families we were teaching. It was awesome! and your nativity set was much used and much loved. I sure love you momma, and merry Christmas! (also, I can't believe you! texting me? I was so surprised when I read it! But I can't believe you!) I love you momma!

pops-I'm sorry there's no snow! sounds like you're all having a great time. thanks for supporting me so much pops, I wouldn't be here without you and your support! love you, and I can't wait to talk to you all soon!

I love you all! Merry Christmas and a happy new year!

Auld Lang Syne January 4

buenos dias familia! como estan? yo estoy muy bien! fui al templo esta manana! tengo mucho sueno, porque tuvimos que despertar muy temprano, pero me gusto bastante. me siento muy bien despues el templo, y tambien porque hemos tenido una semana muy buena. Y. fue confirmada en domingo! Elder Moore lo hizo, y lo hizo muy bien. estoy muy orgulloso de el. mi hijastro esta progresando muy bien. Tambien, tenemos muchas buenas nuevas! S. va a bautizarse este domingo! El Senor nos ha bendecido mucho, estoy seguro de eso. Infelizmente, tenemos que encontrar mucho mas personas, despues el bautismo de S., no tenemos mas investigadores que estan progresando! Pero, vamos a trabajar muy duro, especialmente porque pienso que yo voy a permanecer en esta area con elder moore por un traslado mas. pero esta bien! Una historia muy chistosa, elder moore tiene piel muy blanco y pelo y cejas muy amarillos. Dos morenitas estaban riendose, y le dijeron a Elder Moore cuandos les pasamos, "donde estan sus cejas?" fue bien chistoso. creo que el tiene el pelo mas amarillo en toda mi area. Pero, voy a escribir en ingles ahora.

Good day, family! How are you all? I am very good. I went to the temple this morning. I am very tired, because we had to wake up very early, but I loved it a lot. I feel very good after the temple, and we've also had a very good week. Y.was confirmed on Sunday! Elder Moore did it, and he did it very well. I am very proud of him. My stepson is progressing very well. Also, we have a lot of good new ones (c'mon, Ry, news = noticias). S. is going to get baptized this Sunday! The Lord has blessed us a lot, I'm sure of this. Unhappily, we have to find a lot more people, after the baptism of S., we don't have any other progressing investigators. But we are going to work very hard, especially because I think I'm going to stay in this area with Elder Moore for one more transfer. But it's OK! A funny story, Elder Moore has very white skin and very yellow hair and eyebrows. Two brown girls were laughing, and they told Elder Moore when we passed them, "Where are your eyebrows?" It was really funny. I think he has the yellowest hair in all of my area. But, I'm going to write in English now.

Happy New Year!

I can't believe it's already 2012! It surprises me every time. I loved reading about all the new years festivities, I hope Brent remember (ed, i'm already speaking english like a latino) this year that six is not a word. Our new years was pretty great. We weren't able to go out, but we had a fiesta in the church with my zone. We played volleyball and basketball, and some of the sisters made chile relleno, and it was great. Me and Elder Moore didn't stay up, I was tempted to just use all the poppers and cover him with confetti while he slept, but I decided not to. I didn't want to scare all the cockroaches, for one. Our apartment has been progressively digressing. We finally got the maintenance man to our apartment, but both him and his wife, who is the landlady, are chinese, don't understand us very well. And every time we try and talk to them, we just end up accidentally speaking spanish to them. Just like pops speaking japanese in mexico, but al reves. He keeps coming over and telling us that we are dirty, which is true, and telling us we need to be cleaning before we start reading. Listening to him ranting at us in chinese/english is one of the more hilarious things I've heard, and the last time Elder Moore just lost it. He just had to go to the kitchen and laugh it out. But we've decided this p-day, we're going to clean it. We have more time, and we're going to make our apartment beautiful.

Apart from that, our week has been great! Y. got confirmed on sunday, and elder Moore did it! She seems to be doing good in the ward, we're glad her grandparents are members, even though her grandma is not the most faithful right now. And along with Y., S. will be baptized and confirmed in the next couple weeks! S. had her baptismal interview last night, and she is ready to get baptized this sunday! And Elder Moore is going to be doing that too! I'm really excited for her, she's really made a lot of progress the past couple weeks. We had a scare this week, Elder Moore just got random chest pains during a lesson, and he had them for the rest of the day and night, but turns out he was probably just too dehydrated (hydration is happiness!). But that took us out for most of last tuesday. As for me, I've seen a lot of tender mercies in my life this past week. Just those little things that make you realize Heavenly Father is watching, even when it's not really a big deal. Like last night, on exchanges, me and Elder Panta (from ecuador! We only spoke spanish the whole day, it was great) got out of a lesson really late. at like 9:30, which is supposed to be the latest you can be in. I felt pretty terrible, and we were driving back, and I remembered there is never parking where they live. Their area is called the Jungle, and the name fits. But I said a prayer right as we turned on the street, and there was this giant parking spot open right next to their house. Just little things like that, that help me know Heavenly Father is watching over me, even and especially when I'm not doing everything I should be or I've maybe messed up. It was really cool, and made me realize just a little bit more just how merciful my Heavenly Father is to me, and to those around me. But that's been my week, I don't have time to write more, but I love you all, and I love this church, and I'm glad to be here doing this. I know Joseph Smith was a prophet, I've felt it over and over again, and I know the Book of Mormon is true, I actually finished it, in spanish for the first time, on new years eve. and I prayed about it, and I got that witness that it is the word of God. I already knew it, but Heavenly Father told me again. And the thing that has most impressed me this week, is that God is listening. He hears our prayers, and he's always watching over us. I know he's watching over me, and I know he's watching over you all too, or I wouldn't be here. I love you all, and I will write again monday! Happy January!

Borsh! I can't believe you gave Cary another name! doesn't he already have enough? But I like Alfred. We should make Cary a list of all his names sometimes. And I can't believe how big Lilly is getting, and mostly I can't believe you still haven't sent me any pictures of her! I hope you have a good re entry into school this week buddy, and I love you! Don't forget to read the Book of Mormon! Every day!

B- oh b. imaging you and Todd acting out Mr. Beans Christmas brought a smile to my face and happiness to my heart here. Hearing about your schedule for school, and realizing for the next couple years, the only math I have to do is for my groceries, made it even better. Good luck with that B!

Pops- I'm so proud of your surpreichmo! Todd is truly a member of the family now, being involved in a surpreichmo is the last phase of initiation to the clan. I'm so glad everyone tells mission stories at Snowbird, because that is definitely all I will be doing when I get home. I've already got so many good stories, I can't imagine what i'll have by the end of my mission!

Mops-Happy New Years! I'm glad you still got to have your news years kiss. even if it made you leak. Kt sent me a picture of you and Pops and Ellie on new years, and it was adorable! I love imagining you and Pops as grandparents, it makes me happy. You’re definitely going to spoil Ellie rotten! I love you so much mops, and hooray for one mission holiday over!

Kt-That picture is adorable! Ellie sounds so cute! My new years was good, but probably not as exciting as yours!

M@-oh tucanos......I am salivating just thinking about it. we woke up early for the temple and I didn't eat breakfast, and I could eat a horse right now.

Amy-I am so fat. I eat so much here! I had two dinners yesterday! I don't know what I will do when I get home. Will you still be my friend when I have to use a wheelchair and shower with moist towelettes?

Well I'm out of time, but I sure love you all, and happy new year!

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