Thursday, June 21, 2012

June 6, 11, and 18

I love to see the temple, I went inside today... June 6
Hola Familia!  
  pues, yo tuve mi dia de preparacion del templo hoy!  Lo siento mucho que no les dije antes, pero yo no sabia.  recibi mi calendario en viernes.  pero, fue bien, y ahorita les estoy escribiendo, y voy a poder escribirles en lunes tambien!  Que bueno.  
(Hello, family!
Well, I had my Temple p-day today! I am very sorry that I didn't you all before, but I didn't know. I got my calendar on Friday. But, it was good, and now I'm writing you all, and I'm going to be able to write you all on Monday as well. How great!
PS I really like that in his paragraph to Pops, Ry went straight from Kola and Lily to Elder Fisher, like he's swapping dog-training stories. I hope the little tyke is housebroken!)

Hi familia!  
So, I just want to apologize.  Even though it wasn't my fault.  I didn't know that we were having temple pday this week until friday!  but we had temple pday today, and it was great!  We've had a really good week, and we've had some good times.  It's been a little bit of a frustrating week, I feel we've been working more efficiently and effectively than ever before, but nothing worked this week!  We had like 10 different lessons set up with members, and either the members didn't show up or the investigators weren't there.  It was frustrating.  but it's alright.  I know I put in my best effort for them.  But it's been going well.  Everything has continuing to get better.  Me and Elder Fisher have still been getting along great, and he's doing great.  We've also had some great experiences this week.  We had an awesome experience yesterday.  Our two appointments in the afternoon fell through, so we didn't have anything to do.  So we looked at the map, and we saw a street that's just way off in the bottom corner of our area, Tamarind street.  so we decided to go down and tract there.  So we did, and the first building we went into, I got up the stairs right as this lady came out.  I scared her pretty good, it's pretty unsettling to have two guys in white shirts and ties waiting outside your door.  but we started talking, and she told us about some problems she has with her son, and we started talking about the BOM, and she seemed pretty interested.  And she said she would call the number to get a BOM.  And then, it got better.  We knocked on this other door, and this guy named G. answered.  And it was my door, I kind of had an idea about what I was going to say, and then as soon as i started talking i said something else.  It's easy to get into a pattern when you're tracting sometimes, just ask the same questions, but I just started sharing about how God is our loving Heavenly Father.  And it just seemed to click with him.  he told us that he believed the same thing, and we started talking more.  He was like walking out the door, and so we didn't get to talk to him too much, but it was amazing to see how Heavenly Father inspired me to say what he needed, right at the right time.  It was awesome.  It was even more amazing to see how we talked to both of them right as they were leaving, at just the right time.  It was a cool day.  and then last night, at 8:30, we were going to try and visit one last person.  so we were driving by, and we saw a guy trying to load a bookcase into his truck all by himself.  So we stopped, got out, helped him, and then ended up talking to his other guy named J., who was outside watering his lawn ( I always talk to people watering their lawn, thats how we found M.!), and we shared a message about eternal families, and he said we could come back friday!  It was an awesome day.  Those experiences just kind of showed me what I've been realizing this week.  I feel this week, I just kind of realized something.  One of my new favorite scriptures is 1st Nephi 4:3 I think, when nephi is trying to encourage his brothers.  and he says, in essence, God is more powerful than all the earth, how can you doubt that he can deliver Laban into our hands?  And I just had a self realization this week.  Throughout my mission, I've struggled with stress, anxiety, depression, feeling like I'm not good enough, and a whole host of other negative feelings.  And I just realized, how can I doubt that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ can use me in the mission, no matter what weaknesses I have?  And I just realized, it doesn’t matter how imperfect I am, Heavenly Father can use me however He needs to.  I've realized a lot more about why we have the Atonement.  About the fact, that I really don't need to be perfect.  Heavenly Father is well aware that I'm not, but He still loves me anyway and will help me to do better.  It's been helping me a lot to keep that thought in mind.  And it's been making me a better missionary.  I want to share the gospel a lot more, because I really feel the blessings coming to me, and I'm a lot more aware about why I want others to have them.  I'm so grateful for this gospel, and for the blessings it does bring into my life, and into the lives of our family.  It's pretty amazing, humbling and comforting, to realize what Heavenly Father gives us, and why. 
but I'm doing great, and I hope you all are doing great, and I love you all!  have a great week, and i'll write to you monday!  
Mops- i sent the questionnaire!  Never fear.  It is all sent off now.  I can't wait to see the sunroom, it looks awesome.  I will probably sit there and read and eat popcorn every day.  How do the dogs feel about it?  they don't have a porch anymore.  It sounds like you and Pops had a great weekend, I can't believe you'll be empty nesters soon.  That is a crazy thought.  
Pops-glad to hear the knee is doing better!  and glad to hear Kola is happy about it as well!  How does it go walking both of them?  Kola has enough energy for one, I can't imagine walking both of them.  It's been pretty fun training Elder fisher.  Although, sometimes, i forget that he's new.  and i forget why he doesn't know things.  But it's been good.  I read through one of my old journals yesterday, and it was pretty interesting, remembering how it felt, and realizing Elder Fisher probably feels similar.  Hope your knee keeps feeling better!  When do you get to play golf again?
Borsh- I.  Am.  So.  Jealous.  That sounds like the coolest high adventure ever!  I swear they never did fun stuff like that when i did high adventure.  paintball, rock climbing, etc.  That's so fun.  I'm glad to hear you showed them how it's done in paintball, its all the practice from the nerf wars i think.  Also, there is no way you're starting drivers ed this week.  thats ridiculous.  I can't believe that.  Anyway, have a good week, and can't wait to hear all about drivers ed!  
Amy- eat all the healthy things?  I can't believe it.  I'm losing the good things I ate this week section.  I should probably join the family on that.  My pants are getting slightly tighter everyday I think.  
B- That sounds like an awesome date Brent.  I can't wait to hear more about her!  And I'm glad your ears were free of dirt for your date.  The dirty dash sounds amazing!  I'm jealous of that.  
M@- haha, eating a bag of yard work.  Speaking of yard work, did you ever try Tajin?  the chili stuff they put on fruits?  Me and elder Fisher became fans this week, it definitely makes the yard work a little better.  Shooting marshmallow guns on the dirty dash, sounds like the best thing ever.  
Kt- ola sounds an awful lot like hola.... But I'm glad to hear Ellie is learning to roll over!  I can't believe how old she's getting.  That makes me feel old, but in the mission and out.  I'm glad she is still cute though!  
Well, I'm all out of time, but I love you all!  Write to you next week!  
You’re the man now dog! June 11
Hola Famila!  
Como estais?  Me siento que acabe de escribirles.  Pero, esta bien.  Me dio mucho gusto a leer sus cartas, y tambien me dio mucha risa.  ustedes son bien chistosos.  Pero, esta semana fue muy bien.  Tuvimos un dia increible en sabado, nos esforzamos y hicimos todo para ayudar a nuestros investigadores a asistir a la iglesia.  Pero, nadie vino.  Pero, esta bien.  Todavia tuvimos un dia bien bueno, y nosotros estamos disfrutando nuestro tiempo aqui mucho.  
(Hello, family!
How are you all? I feel like I just finished writing you. But that's OK. I really enjoyed reading your letters, and they made me laugh as well. You all are very funny. This week was good.  We had an incredible day on Saturday, we tried really hard and did everything to help our investigators to attend church. But, nobody came. But that's OK. We still had a good day, and we are enjoying our time here a lot.)
Hi Familia!  
It was so good to get your letters today, everybody sounds awesome!  It sounds like it's been a great week.  We have also had a good week here.  We had temple day, and we have p-day again now, which is always a nice thing.  2 pdays in close proximity is great.  And today, for our district activity (which I planned), we're going to the space museum and going to yogurtland!  And it sounds so fun, so everybody is coming with us!  Half our zone is.  So it should be a great p-day.  We've had a great last few days.  I got to go on exchanges this week, one of the nicest parts about this transfer is I only have to go on 3 exchanges, not 7.  So it's a little more relaxing.  So Elder fisher got to go on his first exchanges, and spend his first day as a bike missionary, but he seemed to enjoy it.  But our last few days have been great.  We had an awesome day on saturday.  It was so good.  In our last zone meeting, our zone leaders presented a new finding idea from President Baker, which is to offer to pray for and with people and their families.  When I first heard it, I thought it was kind of weird.  I feel weird offering to pray for people I meet on the street.  But I realized, lots of people ask us to do it anyway, we might as well offer, plus it comes from President.  So, me and Elder Fisher decided to put it into practice.  We knocked this guys door named E. earlier in the week, and he said he was going to bring his family to church.  so on saturday, we decided to go buy them and see how they were doing and see if they needed any help getting to church.  So we got there, knocked the door, his wife said they were busy and sounded kind of angry.  We almost left right there, but then I felt we should ask her if E. was there.  So I did, and she said he was out back.  We was setting up for his kids birthday party, so we offered and started helping him.  As we were helping, his wife came out and they started talking about how they needed help and they didn't have a good relationship.  So, I felt we should offer to pray with them and their family.  So we offered, they accepted, gathered all their kids, and we all knelt down and prayed.  And it was amazing.  The spirit came into the room, and really made a visible change in the wife.  She seemed so much happier and at peace afterwards.  And as the spirit was there, we committed them to come to church, and it was amazing.  They didn't come yesterday, but we have some really good hopes for them.  They seem like they really want to change, and we think some good things will come from them.  It was really cool.  And it was also really cool to see how the Lord blessed our efforts as we were obedient to President Bakers counsel.  And afterward, I understood so much more about why he invited us all to do that.  It really made me appreciate so much more, what an amazing thing prayer is.  It's so amazingly simple, but it brings the spirit into our lives.  That experience really helped me to appreciate it more.  Also, later in the day, we were driving past, and there was a lady sleeping on the sidewalk.  We were slightly worried about whether or not she was dead, so we stopped the car and got out to check, as another guy on a bike came by to help her.  Turns out they were husband and wife, had a big fight, and they were both fairly inebriated.  She even more so.  But it meant a lot to him that we stopped to see if everything was ok, and he said that we were glowing, and that we were like angels to help him.  It was really cool, and we started talking to him, and he seemed really interested, and he said he wanted to learn more.  So we hope they're alright, and they'll remember we stopped by and want to learn.  It was cool.  It just felt amazing on saturday, to be helping where I was needed.  So many times, I want to help, but nobody will let us.  But we were just where we needed to be at the right time and we did the right thing, and it was awesome.  So it's been a really good few days, and we're both happy.  I hope you all are doing great as well, and I sure love you all!  I can't wait to hear from you again!  
Borsh-oh man, the lazy days of summer.  Enjoy them while you can.  That's so weird that you're starting drivers ed.  I can't e'en b'lee dat.  You will be about to drive by the end of mission.  That's weird.  I'm glad you're enjoying your summer so far, I hope you're still practicing basketball everyday!  Not that it'll matter, I'll still beat you, no matter how tall you get!  Haha love you buddy, have a great week!  
B-Como le va?  That is the spanish equivalent for hows it going, or how goes it.  It means, how goes it for you.  But oh man.  I can't believe you.   I just want to say congratulations.  I'm so proud of you.  I am glad to hear that you're starting to move out of the finding stage, and you're really trying to help your investigators progress.  It sounds pretty golden.  have you set a date yet?  I can't wait to hear more about how that's going.  Hopefully you're next letter means  owe you a Little C's.  I'm glad to hear frisbee is going well as well.  I think you'll be proud of me, me and elder Fisher toss the friz every morning.  We're getting pretty good.  Some days, we actually run to try and catch the frisbee.  
A- Oh man Yam, I sympathize with you.  I had to play the same song yesterday during sacrament meeting!  well mostly.  bienvenido, dia santo, but same idea.  All the time, I show up to church, and there is nobody to play the piano, so I have to play the hymns, and they're usually songs I've never played before.  But I'm getting real good at sight reading.  Also, I love ticket to ride.  I can imagine Cary playing that on his ipod right now.  I'm glad to hear your playing.  And feeding the missionaries!  They probably love you.  At least here, missionaries in the english wards don't get much food.  It's the spanish missionaries who get fat.  I can't believe how healthy you and cary are being, you make me feel so fat.  I ate a whole bag of honey BBQ fritos. in like 2 days.  But they're so good!   So don't worry, I'll keep being fat for the both of us!  
M@-You're the man now dog!  so how many houses are you going to have that I'll never get to see?  I'll race you.  So far I've had 3.  so I'm winning.  that's great that Lauren got a new job though.  Oh man.  I almost forgot about the you're the man now dog.  Good times.  You know you miss it.  I feel for you on the frisbee field Matt.  my flick has gotten so much worse.  but don't worry, before you know it, we'll be sitting around the campfire eating delicious hot schmoes.  And being bad on the frisbee field.  have a great week!  
Lauren-congratulations on the new job!  
Mops- Thanks for the pics!  I haven't seen them, but I love them!  Also, can you believe that?  Mount L.A. has almost been scaled.  That's crazy.  I'm trying not to think about it, but it keeps coming to me at random times.  It's crazy how fast time is going.  I love you Mops!  
Pops- oh man.  swimming sounds awesome.  Swimming with sharks sounds out of this world.  That's an awesome gift.  I can't believe jeremy is going to Puebla!  That's awesome.  I'm super excited for him, tell him I say hi!  
well, I love you all, have a great week!  
Me encanta! June 18
Hola Familia!  
    Pues, nosotros hemos tenido una semana muy buena aqui en willowbrook.  tuvimos una actividad del barrio, y gwow.  Eso fue tan interesante.  Es un poco diferente de nuestros.  ellos tuvieron un cantador en la fiesta, y el solo tenia  como doce anos.  pero, el cantaba bien fuerte y bien rapido.  yo no entendia mucho de lo que el canto, pero yo sentia un poco incomodo.  todos los misioneros se estaban riendo.  Pero, el dijo "me encanta" mucho, y por eso puse me encanta como el titulo de esta carta.  Fue muy differente del hermano bush bromeando para nuestras fiestas para la navidad.  me rei mucho, porque estabamos en intercambios con los lideres de zona por eso, y el es de sudafrica, y no entiende mucho espanol.  estuvo muy perdido. 
 (Hello, family!
Well, we have had a very good week in Willowbrook. We had a ward activity and wow (latinos add a "g" to "wow" for some reason). It was very interesting. It's a little different than ours (meaning white people). They had a singer at the party, and he was only like 12 years old. But, he sang very loudly and really fast. I didn't understand much of what he sang, but I felt a little uncomfortable. All the missionaries were laughing. But, he said ["me encanta" could mean I love it, or I like it, or I love it, or I love you; not sure which one Ryan means here] a lot, that's why I put "me encanta" in the title of this letter. It was very different from Brother Bush joking for our Christmas parties. I laughed a lot, because we were on exchanges with the zone leaders, and he is from South Africa, and doesn't understand much Spanish. He was very lost.)
Hi Family!  
     It was wonderful to read your letters this week!  We've had a great week here.  Fathers day, unfortunately, took kind of a toll on our church attendance.  And we didn't have pie.  I don't know if there is a correlation between those two, but I think it would be worth the effort to see if more people came to church if we had pie.  We were really excited about M. G. and her family, we've really changed our approach with them, and it's been making big changes.  She has 9 kids that live at home, and a husband, and we've had a really hard time teaching them.  Teaching them one at a time hasn't worked very well, so what we've done, is we've been stopping by every day, gathering everyone, and saying a family prayer.  It's been working well, and every time we pass by, we get more of them involved in the prayer, and they are just getting more involved period.  So it's been working really well, and our focus is to try and get everyone to the visitors center together this weekend.  I really hope it works out.  I love their family so much, I almost feel like I'm home when I'm with them.  It's always loud, and kind of crazy, and I love it.  They're so awesome.  And they introduced me to cactus soup this week!  It was really good actually.  But everytime we go over, they have 4 kids under 10, and everytime they see me they just start shouting "richman, richman!"  It's a very feel good moment.  And no matter what happens, I know I've done my best with them, and I've left an impression of missionaries that they will always have.  They're really awesome, and we're hoping for the best for them this week.  We've also got a golden new family.  It's the one we prayed with last week, and we went back by, and gave them BOM's, they're super interested, told us they want to come to church with us, and we have very high hopes for them.  the only cloud in the sky is that we might have to turn them over to the english elders.  They all speak english, but the parents can speak spanish, and since we found them first they want to come to church with us.  So we'll probably bring them to church and see how they feel.  but it's been a really good week.  We have our general authority visit this next week, so that will be pretty fun.  We have Elder Paul Johnson coming to visit us, so that will be cool.  I feel like I had more that happened this week, but I can't remember it now.  Funny story from last week that I don't think I ever told.  We were in the projects, and these two little black kids came over, and they started patting us down for money.  Luckily, I stopped carrying my wallet on me a long time ago.  And when we wouldn't give them any money, we started walking the other way.  And then, they started throwing rocks at us.  (just little ones, don't worry mops!)  and everytime they hit us, or we looked back they would start apologizing.  It was one of the funniest things ever.  I thought you all would appreciate that story.  But it's been a good week, I know you all had great weeks as well, and I can't wait to hear from you next week!  I love you all!  
Mops-There is a fire in Colorado?  Since when?  You have to promise me that you will all be safe.  Ah, this is the first fathers day in a long time that I haven't skulked around the priesthood room, hoping that somebody would give me pie.  Instead, yesterday, I tried mexican seafood soup.  It was really good, but the shrimp still had eyes.  (its smiling at me!).  And they had octupus tentacles all over it.  But it was so good.  I'm glad you had a good fathers day.  
Pops- yes, yogurtland and the space museum were better than legoland.  Aren't you glad you finally fessed up, and can say whatever you want?  Although, I didn't get to drive any little cars.  just my regular toyota corolla.  I'm glad to hear the pies were still good this year, it seems this time every year they finally come into season.  I'm all for the idea of pie every 4th sunday or something.  I really like your observation about George Albert Smith and missionary work. That's something I've noticed.  When I'm actually doing my job, It's not work.  It's fun, and I love it.  And that's just sharing the gospel is.  Glad my card made it to you safely!  Mailboxes have gotten stolen here, so it's always slightly nerve-wracking putting in my letters.  
Borsh- I'm so sorry you got sunburned.  I'll have you know, I have not gotten sunburned since I got here.  especially on my back and shoulders.  Just wear a white shirt and tie all the time and you'll be fine!  
KT-squee!  I'm glad to see that the pool is up and running this year, although I have to say the ladies there have gotten classier!  
M@-That bee story is amazing.  I want to see that.  
B- Ally poaletti?  That's crazy.  Tell her I say hi.  Also, you got the documents!  I cannot tell you how proud I am of you.  Your key indicators were off the chart.  
A-I miss you being unhealthy.  I miss our food lists.  I'm the only member of the family getting fatter.  Also, it seems every time you write me, you're on semi summer vacation.  I think you and cary are actually still living at home.  
Well. I'm out of time, but I love you all!  

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