Thursday, April 5, 2012

A month's worth of our Elder Ryan's adventures!

We will go quickly and quietly, with no rap music or flashdancing Mar. 12

And that about describes my week! It went by very quickly and quietly, without any rap music or flash-dancing, tiny bit of mexican karaoke was happening at our ward mission leaders house but that was about it. This week really has gone by very fast, and I don't feel too much has happened to write you about. One fun thing that happened, we got a mini missionary this weekend! His name was Brian, and he is a senior who lives around here, and he came and worked with me and Elder Reeves for a couple days here. And really fun fact, he lives in Summer and Andy's ward! That was a fun connection. There should be some pictures from the mini mission on the CLAM blog soon, and you can see my big ugly mug up there! It was really fun, and I hope we were able to show him the good things about being a missionary. We ended up tracting for about 6 hours with him, so I'm really hoping we didn't scare him off of a mission. We've been working hard this week, we haven't had tons of success, but we've got a lot of potential. We've found a lot of new investigators, and we just want to have lessons with a few of them this week! We also tried a couple new finding ideas, we tried to go to the hospital in our area and put our names down as clergy that people can talk to. It didn't work very well, we found out that hospitals don't really have a list like that. And it didn't help that we felt like we were in Gotham General. They had metal detectors to get in, security people everywhere, and I was half expecting to see Batman and the Joker in there. It's kind of a creepy hospital to be completely honest. We also tried a new finding idea called accidentally backing into people! I accidentally backed into a guy this week, I pulled out too far into the intersection, and there were cars coming, so I did an emergency back up, and did not see that another car had pulled up behind me. and we just tapped bumpers, so it was fine. But man did i feel stupid. And also, it's not a very effective finding idea. His swearing at us kind of drove the Spirit away. But it was interesting. We did have one really cool experience this week. When I got into the area, this one name on our ward list just kind of stuck out to me. So we went and we visited them this week. And turns out, the lady who lives there, hermana M. has been less active for a while cause she has cancer. And she said she'd been praying that somebody from the church would come and give her a blessing. And it was pretty amazing to realize that Heavenly Father used us to answer her prayer. That was really cool. But that's about all that has happened, it's been a pretty quiet week, still just trying to learn the area and my new responsibilities and everything. I get to do splits and baptismal interviews this week as well, so I'm pretty excited for that! We should have a great next week. But I love you all, thanks for your awesome letters, and I can't wait to hear from you again next week!

Mops- so bad/good news. They did find the stolen car. bad news. Everything in it was gone. So odds are, if anybody has sent me a letter in the past couple weeks, it has probably been stolen. The only letter I did get was from Aunt Laurie this week!

Pops-I'm glad you've had such a great weekend with the hairy girls! Me and Elder Reeves saw these dogs the other day, and they looked just like Kola! Well, they were black. But they were also the size of Shetland ponies. They were the biggest dogs I've ever seen. Their heads went up almost to my plaque. That is pretty amazing about Kathy Rawlins and her husband. That is a pretty amazing story. Thank you for your advice about being a leader. That's something I've been realizing. Just let people go where they are if they're in the right direction, and only lead when you need to. And the best thing about being a leader is just doing the right thing yourself.

Kt- haha, I love Esperanto! I remember reading about that and thinking it was the silliest/best idea ever. I am so excited to eat me some qdoba soon. I totally like it it. I even like beans! And spicy things! You won't even know me! Also, I will still love tubing! Funny story, Elder Reeves and a member were talking about shooting yesterday, as in hunting. And I thought they said tubing. I tried to enter the conversation, and it just didn't work. Turns out tubing and shooting are very different things. As i'm sure you know, since you succesfully tubed this weekend!

M@- Wow matt, taking the GRE and everything! That's crazy. You're almost like a grownup now. Pretty soon, you'll probably work in an office all day, have a big nose and start losing your hair. wait...But hopefully you'll always have time for Wii basketball. I really enjoyed your story about being humbled as a ZL, that is kind of how i've felt this week. Especially after tapping bumpers, man did I feel stupid. I didn't even have an excuse at all. It was just stupid. But luckily, Heavenly Father blessed me so only my pride was injured. Also, I had a great brentism this week. I said that we needed to "pray them to invite" as our commitment for our lesson. And Elder Reeves also said this week, that he was missing a "close of senseness". I didn't laugh at all

B-Dancesport! I remember thinking about going to that last year. That's crazy you were in it. Good luck with your research this week, and all your tests!

borsh-T-caps? Tahts the weirdest thing I've ever heard. What in the heck. That's too bad you'll have too take them junior year too. Why didn't you tell me you went cross country skiing? did you like it? I've always hated it, but recently, I've been feeling the desire to try it again and see if I still hate it. What did you think of it?

Amy-Ah! no time! I'm glad to hear you ate a lot this week! love you yam!

love you all!

Estoy molido Mar 19

Elder Reeves has this great calendar, that has a new spanish phrase every day. And this was the one yesterday, that really summed up what I'm feeling. I'm exhausted! It's been a really great week, but very exhausting in all sorts of ways. I'm very grateful to have p-day today. This week has been crazy. I almost did my first baptismal interview this week, and I went on 4 exchanges! The baptismal interview was very...interesting. I got to the church, and I started doing the interview, and then all the sudden I hear a knock on the door. And then a member of our missionary presidency came in, and he said, "I'll take it from here, Elder." Thinking about it now, that sounds like a scene from a cheesy movie. But turns out the baptismal candidate had something in his past that I'm sure not qualified to handle, and the missionaries who got him ready are still new, so they found out about that just a little bit before, and didn't know how you handled it. So, that was really interesting. It was not an experience I especially enjoyed, getting all hyped up for the interview and then the sudden let down. I was kind of useless for the rest of the night, and then I got home and I just had to break out my christmas cds to feel better. But other than that, the week was really great. I went on exchanges 4 times this week, so i was only with Elder Reeves in our area for three days this week. But in the process i was companions with a south african and a tongan! That was really interesting. I learned a lot about African culture, and tongan as well. (did you know they eat dogs in Tonga? They just run down the street and club them and take them home!) Unfortunately, on friday and saturday, i chose the two wettest and coldest days to leave my area and be on a bike. And in consequence, i discovered my backpack is not waterproof! So, I now have soggy scriptures. I might need to buy some new ones. That was a fun experience. I got home from my 3rd exchange, freezing cold and soaked, opened my backpack, and realized everything was ruined. I think I will always remember just sitting on the floor in my apartment, freezing cold, looking at my soggy scriptures, and just not enjoying myself at all. I don't think my desire to curl up in bed and drink hot chocolate and watch a movie has ever been stronger. But it was amazing, looking at it, how i could still see the hand of God in my life. Heavenly Father placed me here with Elder Reeves, who just happened to have an extra brand new set of spanish scriptures. And it was an amazing tender mercy, that I had a couple letters I wrote but hadn't sent, they got soggy, but were otherwise fine. It was amazing to see just the little things like that, that helped me know that God really knew exactly what was going on with me. And then I left and faced more cold and rain with elder Jones, and I ended up having one of the funnest and best days of my mission with him after that. We contacted a lot in the freezing cold, and had really awesome lessons and some good success. It was really cool. But that has been my week. I can't think of anything really really exciting that happened this week. but it was a good week. i feel I've grown a lot. And I just realize more and more every day, what it means to do my best. It means a lot more about what I'm putting into the work, and a lot less about how much work I'm doing. And I've also realized, sometimes doing my best means I just need to slow down, say a movie quote and laugh, so I can give my best later, instead of just being stressed and exhausted all the time. And I realize more than anything, how much Heavenly Father really does love us all. It's amazing to see it, in my life, and realizing how Heavenly Father uses the people around us to meet our little needs. Needs that aren't really important, but they are important to Him because they are important to us. I sure am grateful for the opportunity I have to be here, and especially for the support that you all give me. I know that this church is true, that the BOM is true, and especially that our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ love us, and they want us to succeed.

Borsh!- How's frisbee going? Mops told me you had a game this week! Did you score anything? Does Mrs. Thrasher like you? I sure hope she does. And that pinewood derby sounds awesome. That balloon idea is amazing. I support that all the way. I can't wait to see the finished design. Also, how is spanish going? You should write me in spanish next week! I love you bud, have a great week, and I can't wait to hear from you next week!

Mops-I got your first package today! And also already ate the cadbury mini eggs....they were delicious! Also, I thought your comment was very interesting, about the critical thoughts. Because now I know where I get it from! It can be really easy to look around with a lot of negative thoughts in the wards here, sometimes the spanish wards are slightly dysfunctional. And I was looking around yesterday, and thinking the same thing. And I just realize again and again, how little it helps anything. But it can still be really hard to not do it! I've definitely noticed for me, thinking about my own beams helps me think a little more charitably. Thanks for your awesome letters mops, and I sure love you!

pops-Nick already came home? that's so crazy. I can't remember if Drew has already come home or not, or if he does soon. That's so great that he had an awesome mission, I wish I could have heard his talk. I've heard of that Outliers book, it sounds really interesting. I want to read it. That's a really interesting observation that the 10000 hours is almost exactly a mission!

Kt- I don't think I've ever laughed harder (lol-ing), while reading an email in a public place, than reading about your split poop soup. That is the best story I've ever heard. And I'm glad Todd was so supportive of your efforts, and didn't even laugh. What a good husband.

Amy-AH! Don't tell me that about Cary. I can't even handle that, and I'm not even married to him! I can't believe that. I will definitely be praying for him this week, and I'm sure he'll be fine. I can't even imagine him going through that! But it'll all be over by the end of this week right? i hope so. I sure love you Yam, and I'm sure he'll be fine!

also, p.s. Did you ever have an elder Gallardo at your house for dinner? I visited a family last night, and they said their son just got transferred out of serving in Del Rio.

M@- Me and Elder Reeves continue to have great speaking abilities. This week I said "chaw of lastity", which sounds like some hip new tobacco brand, not a commandment. And elder reeves was reading a scripture, and he said, let your bowls be full of charity. Which immediately made me want a small bowel of ice cream, if you know what I mean. Also, I love your dream lesson. I had an awesome dream this week about a bunch of missionaries taking a wedding planning class. It was really weird. I'm glad to hear Zelda has found it's place with you again.

b-oh brackets. I'm really sorry I'm not there to take the fall this year, I'm hoping i'll not know anything when I come back so the random luck can help me. Thanks for your spiritual thoughts, B, I really enjoyed them. I wanted to comment more, but I'm out fo time.

love you all!

I played church in the soccer today Mar 26

HI family!

It sure was good to hear from you all! I am so glad to hear everyone is doing so well. It's been a good week here in Shady Oaks! I've been to a lot of meetings, and been on 2 more exchanges, and it's been interesting. I haven't really spent very much time in my area with Elder Reeves. This week, I got to go to my first MLT! (which despite my initial thoughts, has nothing to do with Princess Bride or sandwiches). It's just a meeting where all the leaders in the mission get to come together and talk about the mission and everything. It was pretty fun. And then, I got to go on two more exchanges! That was pretty fun. I got to be companions with a Dominican and a Mexican! I love how diverse the mission is here. It's so cool. We have people from like 10 different countries just in my zone. It's still kind of weird to be the one doing the exchanges. It just makes me feel even more lost. I think I'm starting to forget who my real companion is. But it's really fun. I just feel like everyone is expecting something awesome when they go on exchanges with me, but then it just ends up But it's been interesting. Me and Elder Cisneros had a pretty cool experience. We were riding our bikes, about 8 o clock at night, and Elder Cisneros just said," hey, can we knock doors at night?" and then I said (this was really good), "yes". So he just had a feeling we should knock a door, so we did, and we ended up talking to this guy for about 10 minutes, and he said we could come back! That was cool. And then we were just walking down a little bit more with our bikes, and I was just thinking to myself, about why we're here. And then all the sudden, i just stopped walking. I still don't really know why. And right as I stopped, a mom and her kid came out of the house right next to us. And even though they thought we were police at first, they ended up being really nice and said we could come back as well! That was pretty cool. It's always amazing to see the Spirit working through us, even when we don't realize it. And then on wednesday, me and Elder Reeves were trying to contact a less active family. We'd tried a few times, but they have big dogs. But this wednesday, we got there, knocked on the gate a few times dogs. Feeling very fortunate, we walk in, I open the second gate, and start to knock. I look around triumphantly, and see one of the dogs lying asleep about 10 feet from me. And then me and Elder Reeves hear this click clack of dog nails on the pavement. And the big bear dog just starts running towards us, and me and Elder Reeves just booked it out! He was in front of me, and starting trying to close the gate on me, but I made it anyway. It was so funny. And terrifying. But afterwards, I saw her neighbor across the street coming out of her house, so I decided to go try and talk to her. I had already stopped thinking about the less active family, but as I opened my mouth to talk to her, I suddenly felt an impression to ask her if she knew her neighbors. So i did, and she told us their names, and we went and yelled their names, and we finally got to meet them! It was so cool. And especially so to realize Heavenly Father helped us to do so. Also, another very funny story from last night. It rained really hard last night, and we were standing out in the rain, and I started talking to this black guy. He might have been on something, because he didn't make much sense. He kept closing his eyes and just standing in the rain as we were talking to him. we gave him a BOM card, and then at the end, he looked at the card, and then just started yelling. Just imagine David after the Dentist. He yelled just like him, and then looked at us, and said, I'm not ready. And tried to give us back the card. We made him keep it. It was so funny. But that's been my week, it's been pretty good. Me and Elder Reeves should have an even better week this week, we've actually got some solid new investigators now. But I love you family, and I can't wait to hear from you again next week!

P.S. I won't be writing again til April 4th, we have temple p-day next week!

Mops- Hi momma! So good news. I do have additions to my b-day list! I could actually use another pair of black shoes. I'm starting to scuff/stink my others up pretty good. I would love just another pair of Eccos like I already have. Also, could I ask a favor? I'd love to get letters from a few people, namely Ryan James and TJ. Do you happen to get their letters? And maybe send them on occasionally? Also, thank you so much for your letters momma. They always lift me up every week, I can't wait to read your letters. Thanks for all you do for me!

pops-That does indeed sound like a busy week. I hope it was a good one anyway though! I sure am excited for General conference here! I realize every day here, how incredible it is that we do have a prophet on the earth. And it makes me wish I'd paid more attention to past conferences. I've never appreciated them as much before. Are you still planning to watch it at home, or is the old tv not spiritual enough anymore? You might need a new one. Maybe 80 inches of spirituality this year. I love you pops, thanks for all you do!

A- Yay for Cary surviving! I'm so glad to hear that. And now you get vaycay for 2 weeks! That's so great. Didn't you say you were going to Mexico? You'll definitely have to tell me all about it when you get home! I'll hope to still hear from you, but if you're busy drinking daquiris or anything then that's alright, I understand. Also, don't tell me the Hunger games are awesome! They have posters for it at like every bus stop here, and I want to see it so bad!

Borsh- They came out with a new angry birds again? I can't even imagine what it will be like by the time I get home. They'll probably have the movie by then. Thanks for your letter bud, I love hearing about everything you're doing!

m@- ew. graduation. Work sounds gross right now. Graduation stuff does sound really busy. Where will you find time for Skysword? And nice job on the bball game. I think you'd be proud to know I'm channeling my inner latin and playing soccer every morning for exercise. I'm pretty terrible, but that's alright. We only play with one mexican, the rest are white, so I've got company. Have a great week mathewjewreichman!

Lauren- Thanks for the letter Lauren! That's so great that Matt rocked the GRE. I'm glad to hear everything is going so well. How's Jeff doing at BYU? Is he getting ready to put his papers in yet? You'll definitely have to tell me when he gets his call!

B- it does indeed sound like a good summer to be missing vacation. I picked a good time to leave. I heard they're getting snow in alabama this year, and then a lake at Snowbird next year. And then everything goes back to normal in 2013. Or so I've heard. Something to do with 2012 I'm sure. End of the world and everything. I can't wait to hear all about what actually ends up happening with your physics lab, and everything. Make sure you have time to keep growing your investigator pool! You only have so much time before you get transferred to your new area....

Kt-I love you!

I love you family! Have a great time watching General Conference this weekend, I know I sure will! I can't wait to talk to you all in a week and a half!

haypanhaypanhaypanhaypanhaypan hay pan!!! April 4

Good afternoon family!

Hearing you talk about all the mickey bars just made me think of all the street vendors around here. They have tons of mexican guys who drive around shouting "haypanhaypan hay pan" to try and get people to buy it. I can't do it justice in an email, but I wish you could hear it. And I bought my first ice cream from a mexican street vendor, it was great! So we were all eating ice cream together! and I didn't even know!

But wow. I had no idea that you all were going on a cruise! I don't know if we can count that as a surpreichmo or not. But it's been an interesting week. I love temple p-days, but it can be hard to make it all the way to wednesday without a p-day. We had some really awesome stuff happen this week. One of our investigators, his name is E., had dropped off the face of the earth for 3 weeks. We thought he dropped us. but then, last sunday, we had a lesson with him. He has some smoking and coffee problems, and those are really impeding him from baptism. But we came back about 3 days later, and he told us that right when he woke up on monday, he woke up and tried to drink his coffee, and he couldn't! It made him throw up. And I don't think he's drunk coffee since. It was amazing, Heavenly Father really does answer prayers. Me and Elder Reeves have also had some very awesome dog stories this week. We were walking out of a house with a super long driveway, and all the sudden, this dog comes out and just starts trying to bite elder Reeves feet. He didn't try anything else, just nipping at his shoes. And Elder Reeves did some really awesome athletics to try and get way from it. And i was very helpful, and I laughed. A lot. It was one of the funnier things I've seen. And then, we were trying to visit a less active family, (the same one from last week). I rapped the mailbox with my keys, and this big dog comes out of nowhere and almost eats my hand. Elder Reeves is standing there laughing at me, and then all of the sudden, an equally big dog just charges out of nowhere, right behind Elder Reeves. And then I scared him good, and I got to laugh again. And yesterday, we invited a member to an appointment with us. And our investigator wasn't there, so she started tracting with us. And there was just the random pit bull in the street that jumped on her! We felt pretty terrible about that. But luckily she laughed, so it was alright. Almost every house here in LA has at least 1 pit bull. It's crazy. And kind of scary. This week, nothing really big happened. Until General Conference! It was amazing! We ended up going to the Huntington Park West Stake center, which is my old area! And we got to watch it in english, which was awesome. And general conference was awesome. the talks, the spirit, everything. But what was even more amazing to me was just going to my old area. And everyone was excited to see me! That felt really good, seeing Elder Moore and some of the members, who were really just excited to see me. It felt really good. Sometimes that's not a reaction I get a lot. And then even more amazing, hearing about the stuff that's happening in my old area! M. is getting baptized sunday! And E. is getting baptized the next week, and he wants me to do it! That was really amazing. I got to see E., and he's still going strong, and he's been clean from drugs ever since we first met him. And even more amazing, M's husband has actually starting talking to the senior missionaries from my old ward! They've actually started talking about baptism! So he might get baptized soon too! And if that happened, him and M. and their kids can get sealed in a year! It was one of the happiest moments of my life, just hearing about all that. It was Heavenly Fathers way of telling me that He knew how much work I'd put in to that area, and he was letting me know I did a good job. It was amazing. And as for conference, It helped me realize something. Elder Wilson's talk on sunday afternoon, talking about leading in the priesthood. And one thing he said really stuck out to me, "Whenever you compel anyone to righteousness, you are acting unrighteously." And that was a big lesson for me. It can be easy to fall into that trap for me. It's been kind of hard for me to realize how to help people choose the right, especially being district leader, without compelling them to it. And that never feels good. That was a big lesson for me. I hope you all were able to listen to all of conference, it was all amazing. And if not, I would definitely encourage you all to watch it/read it again. they had some amazing talks. I could spend all this letter talking about my favorites. And one more thing, I did my first baptismal interview this week! I did it for a 10 year old kid, and right after we finished, he just went out and hugged his mom (who is getting baptized the same day) and jsut said, " I can't stop smiling!" It was so cool. That was also one of the happiest I've ever felt, watching him and his mom so excited for their baptism. But that was my week, I love you all, and thanks for all you do!

Borsh-Ah. I can't believe you got to go on the Disney Cruise. Lucky Duck. and speaking of birds, angry birds in real life? That's crazy. I can tell Angry Birds is getting bigger. I keep seeing people with angry birds shirts and everything. That game sounds pretty awesome. I'm glad you ate a lot for me on the cruise!

B- a 9 hour test?! That sounds like it should be in Dante's inferno. I can't e'en b'lee dat. I love how you got to mexico all by yourself. I had a brief mental image of you and a mexican taxista shouting at each other, him in spanish, you in czech. How did you communicate? But at least you made it. But I have to tell you B, I admire you more than ever before. Thinking about your mission, and how you just kept going, is inspiring. I got to see some of the results of my labors this weekend, but I realized you probably hardly ever saw that. So kudos to you. I don't know how you did it.

M@- You might as well just call me ronaldinho. I'm getting good at soccer. ok lie. We just play every morning inside the church, and i'm super terrible. I always fake myself out, lose the ball, and they score. but I'm slowly getting better. I wish I could have heard the kareoke. That sounds awesome.

Pops- last in the bracket again!? I can't believe that. Just wait til I come back, and then I will really....make everyone feel better by losing terribly. I am really excited for Easter. I like your insight, the more that I am out, the more I realize, it really all does depend on Christ. Everything we talk about just depends on our belief in him, and everything in the church is to better help us help the people around us, like Christ would do.

KT- Mickey bars for everyone! ah mickey bars! did Ellie eat any? I can imagine her loving them. I'm impressed you took Ellie on the cruise, it sounds scary to me to take a baby on the cruise. and congrats on your new jobs! Well, todds new job. And your new and improved, significantly reduced old job! That's so exciting.

A-Oh man. hearing you talk about eating all those things made me jealous. That's so many delicious things. And speaking of mickey, we met a less active family this week, and he works for Disneyland! And he offered us free tickets! but it's outside the mission. But he did give us free hats and a buzz lightyear toy! so that was exciting.

Mops-I can only say, thank you for not telling me about the trip. I think it would have made this week harder. It was a lot more fun hearing about it afterwards like this. Also, I wear size 10 shoes. And I lvoed my easter package! I opened it today. I couldn't wait til after easter, til monday. Thank you so much! I already ate all the jelly bellys. I love you a lot, and thanks for all you do for me! Happy early easter birthday!