Monday, December 30, 2013

Mission Letter Week 24 - 30 December 2013


So first of all, I am just fine and was more than okay after Skyping. I'll be honest, it was not very emotionally impactful in a sad way... just happy and exciting and then it was over and we went and talked to a couple of people we'd met the other day. :P So no, it didn't make me trunky or anything. I'm doin' dandy. :D  It was AWESOME to see you guys though!! I feel like there isn't much to talk about now- haha! We haven't had much in the way of teaching to do, but this week we will be meeting with all the people that said "after the holidays".... It is now after... time to let us into your homes and give us all your food!!....I mean, listen to a message…ahem...

Oh one more thing about Skype, I feel like I hung up a tad abruptly at the end and I just want you to know that I didn't mean to. :) We just had to get going, to get to work... So yeah!

The singing was awesome! Brother E took the Sally DeFord arrangement of “I Need Thee Every Hour” (same one I sang at my farewell) and went NUTS on it, making his own version! Haha. He was the band leader (or something or other) for the Osmonds for a long time (noooo biiiggg deeaaalll) and has lately not had a way to express his love for music (you know how we music lovers have to "express that" in a way others can hear it. :P ) So he took this as a chance to do that and it was AMAZING!

These last few weeks were definitely a challenge as we met with rejection after rejection with things like "we are REAL Christians" "We already know Jesus, you need to find someone else”, and other comments like these. I wish we could just instantly convey the love we feel for our brothers and sisters to these people we meet and the desire we have to share the gospel with them. Our message is for the believer and non-believer alike. People who say "We are Christian, we're good. BYE!”, do not understand what it means to be Christian or to be Christlike or to follow Jesus. Otherwise they would listen.  As President Hinckley stated, I don't understand why someone who claims to believe in Christ would not want more of Christ in their lives, their hearts and their homes. IT MAKES NO SENSE. So if we want to be true Christians, and this goes for EVERYONE, we need to truly be ready and willing to do what Christ would do, and then DO IT! We cannot sit idly by and say SURE I'm willing to do whatever God asks of me....and then continue to sit there. GET UP off your lazy MUB (bum spelled backwards, word of choice for the upcoming year) and DO SOMETHING! ANYTHING! EVERYTHING! JUST DO IT! What gets you to do the will of the Father? Responsibility.  What gets you up off your lazy mub? RESPONSIBILITY. We have a responsibility to our God, and to our Savior to STAND and WORK. I cannot, must not and WILL not forsake Him. Don't be that key on the piano that goes dead during the concert. Don't be that person that says I am willing to do all things, and then turn and run at the face of responsibility. DON'T FORSAKE YOUR GOD.

That is what I have felt this week. That is what I have learned. And it's staying with me till the day I die and then onward. This doesn't end. There is no magical transition where one moment we are fighting and standing for what is right and the next we can just sit down. NO. We ALWAYS do what is right. We ALWAYS stand as a witness for Him, at all TIMES, in all THINGS, in all PLACES, and throughout all ETERNITIES...I added that last bit (about eternities) myself. ;P

Training might be the best thing in the is also the most high-risk and high-responsibility task there is as a missionary...I say this not to brag. It has been said many billions of times here already, that being a trainer is the biggest mission leadership position anyone can possibly hold. Why? Because it is on the trainers’ shoulders to teach the new missionary what is good and acceptable, what is not, how to find, teach, learn, study, live, grow, and work. Again, I "boast not of myself" but rather share this to explain what it is that I am doing right now. It is fun. It is exciting. And it is SCARY. Elder S’s mission will greatly depend on his first two transfers...I only hope that by the end of this transfer I will have imparted all my knowledge and goodness to him and none of the bad, and foolishness. We are representatives of the Lord Jesus Christ and it is not something to take lightly. Luckily I had possibly the best trainer in the mission, and some of the best missionary leaders right now.

That is very sad to hear about T's Grandfather passing away. :( Loosing family is tough but at least we know what happens next. I didn't know him...I don't think anyways...but I know some of that family like C and T, and I send my love that way.

Emily isn't going to go to any dances....that simply is not going to happen. NO. HAHA! just kidding, It'll be an awesome experience. There is honestly a lot to learn from going to things like dances. Social skills, dancing skills, pickin’-up-all-the-ladies skills.....wait a second...gah. I'm so full of myself it's silly....ANYWAYS!!

It was great talking to you guys and I'm waiting for that letter! :D Love you all! Give my best to everybody for the holidays, the new year, all that jazz.

Till next week,


Elder S opening some AWESOME Great Harvest foodses! Some of the BEST bread I've ever had, and a bunch of other incredible bakery treats and such! :)

Has no real description.... It's music okay? We're desperate and poor. Don't judge.

The moment when we realized what it was that President C. and his family got us :D

Some of the ties from the Ds. :D  Which one is the tie you were talking about?? (The one Brother D wore when he helped ordain me to the Melchizedek Priesthood and ordain me an Elder in the Church). The Donal Trump tie (red stripes) fits me better than any ties I have ever worn!!!

Elder S huddling down by the space heater. :D  TOOOAAASSSTTTYYY

Uhhh . . . .  Brother M. at his finest. :D

We played Scrabble SLAM! for a billion hours. . . SO much fun! We also played a dice-based game where you pretty much just roll for points and kinda "bet" with the points you already have. . . Also a ton of fun!

CHAMP!  Woof. . . .

Gift card moneysssss JACKPOT!!

Brother M. got a SWEET Glenn Beck Book, Miracles and Massacres. He's happy! :D

Sister M., K., and B., opening gifts and having a jolly old time. :)

 “That’s all folks!”

Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, and congrats to us for starting our “Golden Year” (the one and only full calendar year) on our missions as of Tuesday at midnight! WOOP!

Sending love to everyone back home,

Elders Nine and S

Monday, December 23, 2013

Mission Letter Week 23 - 23 December 2013


WE ARE SKYPING IN TWO DAYS - WHAAA!!!! We will be at the M. home...hopefully you 'll get to see them on Skype. :D They are just AWESOME! :)

Sounds like you guys are having a blast right now! We are too over here. It's definitely not like back home as we are proselyting all the time still...and still have to work Christmas day till 9pm like every other day.......WIFE POINTS. YUS. Hahaha! But really, we are having a blast. Caroling as a missionary is like, easily, the BEST thing ever! Yep.

I have not gotten any envelopes yet so I hope I get them today. :D But I DID get the packages!!! I accidentally opened the wrong one though :'( ............... HA JUST KIDDING!!! I only opened the one that had #2/2 on it and I LOVE the story book and the oils! :D Ooohhhh the oils. Sweet mama of all oil loving. I was vacuuming the apartment the other day 'cuz  it was super gross and dusty cause we live on a dirt lot, LOL, and something in my back pinched. It was pretty scary at first cause it was the same pain as my old back pains... Yikes. But, after a Priesthood blessing and some essential oils I was back in working shape by the next day. My muscles and nerves were in a spaz the rest of that day ‘cuz they were as scared as me haha. But Elder M, the medical…dude....senior-missionary-in-charge-of-"ouch-I-hurt-my-back" helped me out and gave me some ideas. Plus the blessing and oils, I was SET! :D It still aches a bit but I'm not worried about it. :)

Next week I will send you a picture of the will be shall see when you yeah.

ORLI IS SO CUTE :D and soooo BIG!!! Holy Big Baby BATMAN!!

We found a family while caroling and they may turn into progressing investigators this or next week.  >:D They are really nice and liked having us in their home so we hope to get back in to talk with them again. :) This week has also been great with the members in R.V.. We have started doing "missionary moments" at the beginning of Priesthood (yes, I brought that over here from our ward in Plano!) And we had THREE in one day! More than we have had in a while so it was great. Even the Young Men are getting more excited about doing missionary work! We have been going on splits almost every week and also visiting members and talking to them about Christmas and missionary work...When the members get involved things are just easier. Less stressful for sure. :) It relieves a burden that sometimes the missionaries don't even realize is there. We have to work together. SAME TEAM! SAME TEAM! When members realize this, that is when things start to roll. :)

Kay that’s all for now, talk to you guys on Wednesday! :D LOVE YOU!

Elder Nine

Elder Nine and Elder S getting into the Christmas Spirit!  Love this pic!

A more serious and pretty Christmas photo with one of their favorite families who feeds them often. (LDS missionaries depend on others for their daily dinners, or go without.)
Elder Nine's companion - The awesome selfie of Elder S. Love this pic too!

Monday, December 16, 2013

Mission Letter Week 22 - 16 December 2013


This week has been...interesting. Lots of door knocking and "carding" (sticking cards on doors after 830pm because otherwise people answer with guns, knives, angry dogs, and screaming wives… awkward), and a lot of dropped investigators. Namely investigators who we haven’t met with in a long time because they won’t stay in contact with us of them is the Y family. :( They are "really busy" over the holidays so we are dropping them until January. So we are left with not very many people to teach which leads to a lot of finding-time! YAY bike ridiiinnnggg the night...... WHOOPIIEEE! :D

B T DUBS, I am totally singing in Sacrament (our main worship service) on the 29th!  :D  I couldn’t do Christmas Sunday because it was already booked, so I am just going to do the Sally DeFord arrangement of "I Need Thee Every Hour", the same one I sang for my farewell! So that will be absolutely mind-blowing as only Brother E., the equivalent to Bro. F. here, has heard me sing. :D Bwahahahaha! Okay, maybe a tad full of myself what if I love to sing, judge me I dare you! ;)

I'd like to share a nice experience with you.  Mama, when I read that part in your letter a week or two or seventeen ago (losing track of days again) when you said something like "those moments when the chips are down and things are slow it's a good time to take a step back, look at where you are and where you stand..." etc, and I just love that. It has really helped me focus this week as the holidays are rolling in and no one seems interested. I have taken this time to see where I stand with my Heavenly Father. So far so good.

HOLY COW.  WHO SENT THE NUTELLA? SWEET GLORIOUS MOTHER OF ALL NUTELLA.  HOLY NUTELLA BATMAN.  NOOOMMMM NOM NOM NOM!! is that what the question was for in your letter??  HOLY COW. WHHHAAAAA!!!!!! I'm gonna need help finishing it ‘cuz it'll go bad before I can! :D THAAANNNKKK YYYOOOUUU!!!!!!!!!!!

Well, I don't have much for this week, wish I did though.

I am doing fantastic and having a great time. I am STOKED for Christmas! :D

Sorry, still haven't found my SD card, so all I have is the one pic that Elder S  took at the T’s at dinner a few nights ago...we had papoosas …. or however you spell that. :P (pupusas) It’s Salvadoran. :D FANTASTIC! I still have a couple places to look for my SD card I haven’t checked yet but "things are looking grim" (British accent for the quotes there.)

Kay gotta run.  I'm gonna type up those letters and then I'm out. :P

Love you guys!!!!!!!!

 Elder Nine

Here we are with the T. family after eating dinner at their place. We ate Salvadoran Pupusas...YUMMMM!!!!

Monday, December 9, 2013

Mission Letter Week 21 - 09 December 2013


Yes! Elder S and I ARE staying this transfer and we are very happy to keep serving together and to spend Christmas in a ward we know already and with a family we really love. :D So it’s gonna be GREAT!

Emily went to the temple?!?!?!?! WHOOO!!!! Isn't that just the best thing in the whole world?!?! :D I so wish I could go to the temple more...but my work is on this side of the veil right now. Haha.

That (MCO) concert looks AMAZING!!! OH, I wish I could hear them! :D I miss choir and singing all the time and awesome stuffz like that. But this work is awesome too. IS THE BEEESSTTTT (Nacho Libre voice)

We noticed that the flags were at half staff and asked someone what happened and they told us (about Nelson Mandela dying) sooo…yeah…not sure what else to say about it all...

The “icepocalypse” (ice storm) sounds like a lot of fun. :D I love adventures like that! the beeessstttt....

HAAA! I JUST TOLD THE PRES. UCHTDORF STORY TO THE DISTRICT! We are all crying, that was so funny!!!!!!! Hahaha!

I will certainly TRY not to open your care package till Christmas. ;) Haha! Yeah, I'll wait! I'm super excited for that!!

My coat is GREAT and even breaks the heavy winds, so it was a perfect buy!! :D We are staying fairly warm, though it is tough on bikes...but we get "wife points" for suffering anyways, so it's all good. =D

As for pics, I lost my SD temporarily sooo I couldn’t take a pic of my new suits. :( BUT they are FANTASTIC!!! THANK YOU!!!!!! They are SO COOL! I hemmed the slacks myself too, so that was nice THANK YOU!

I got your letter from 3 Dec and it was GREAT! I loved the story with Corbin Allred in it, it taught a lot of different lessons in there. Thank you for that :) I also love getting the Thanksgiving pics in the letter. My crazy family. Wouldn’t trade ‘em for the world! <3 And YES, REALLY. Long underwear. Really, really. It is SO COLD HERE! In the evenings especially! And slacks are just NOT warm pants. Ha!

COOL NEWS! L. and K. are now investigators! :D We ran into L. a couple months ago, when I was with Elder N, and we never saw him after that. Then we went on splits recently and I went with a Brother in our ward to go to that neighborhood and we decided to go visit them and we ended up teaching them about the Restoration and they want to hear more! WOOP!

We also knocked into a less active brother, D., who we don’t have a record of and he came to church this Sunday and wants to keep coming!!!! So this week has been really good to us. We have been just working our butts off and praying when we literally cannot walk or bike another mile. Miracles are everywhere :)

The Y's have finally gotten back with us and we are planning on seeing them tomorrow at 7pm. :D Things are definitely looking up. I have a firm testimony that our weekly planning and change of attitude has played a HUGE role in this. I have had to rely on my Savior more than I ever have in my entire life. When I rely on Him, miracles happen and I can make it through the week. If I didn't rely on His arm and His Spirit, I'd probably be home right now, thinking how everything went wrong. Because of His hope and Pure Love I am here and going strong. Without Him I am nothing. WITH Him, anything is a possibility, and I just have to work hard. I want everyone to know what I know now. It is so important. And it's HAPPY! Who doesn't want happiness?? That is what missionary work comes to. Do you want your brothers and sisters to have the same happiness you do? Invite them to it. Simple. And yet so HARD!! WHY?!?! Because otherwise we wouldn’t have a purpose here. We have to fight the natural man and just INVITE!! The people in our ward, by Elder S’s and my invitation, will be taking a plate of cookies and a Book of Mormon to a neighbor or friend. Operation Cookie is a GO! We are encouraging everyone to just invite. That is all it takes. We'll take care of the “dirty work”!

I love my Savior. I love His gospel and the peace it brings to my heart. I will always stand as His witness, at all times, in all things, and in all places. Steadfast and immovable. Built upon the rock of our Redeemer. With Him, we are solid. Stand with Him. Love Him. He loves us.

I love you guys too. SO MUCH. I really do. I want nothing more than to be together forever. So I'm sharing that with everyone else I see. You know that awkward moment when you walk past someone and you think, “Oh, I already walked past them, that would be awkward to turn around. I'm past the point of no return.”?  Well....there is no point of no return for us. EVERYONE has to hear. We will take it to them.

K , I have to run now. I love you all! Take care for this week, and awesome, and invite! (I know you guys are already doing that, so keep it up! :) )

Elder Nine

Monday, December 2, 2013

Mission Letter Week 20 - 02 December 2013

OH MY GOSH! I don't even know. Thanksgiving was awesome of course!! We went to the V. home and had a Thanksgiving dinner there. :D  Bro V. is not a member but basically acts like one. Haha. It was a good time and we even helped move a couch upstairs...just can't get away from moving large heavy things up an impossible set of stairs...but I guess it’s OK. :p

Mama, I did get the letter, but only because it counts as a "package". We get packages on Sundays apparently, but not regular envelopes.  So I totally did get it, but I only had a chance to skim over it. I LOVED the drawings Emi sent! And I bragged to my District today about it! :)

I'm SUPER sorry I totally forgot to ask Bro V. to take a pic on his phone and send it. :( I feel bad. Truly. I know how much you guys like pics. I will do better about that. :)

For Christmas, right now, I'm honestly pretty content....except maybe for some long underwear!  I could go for a couple of those. The nights are getting into the 20's now and being out till 9 is COLD! :P So that’s pretty much it though. Music is a great emotional helper I have found. As I listen to music that is good (spiritual) it REALLY  helps a lot in just making things happier! But I'm pretty satisfied with everything I have.

I WOULD LOVE THE CHRISTMAS STORY BINDER!! :D That is the best idea I have ever heard!!  YUS !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Sorry so many "!!!"

We have had to drop a lot of our investigators this week, unfortunately. It was hard, but we now know who is and is not ready to progress. The Y. family is still doing good although they headed out of town for a bit, but they are back now, so hopefully they can find time to have us over. :D They are our most progressing investigators.  Bro V. is, as well, but his process is going to be a slower one. :/  Sometimes I wish I could hit people over the back of the head and say "You know it's true!!!! JUST LIVE IT!!!!" ‘Cuz sometimes it feels like that's all they need! But I cannot go around hitting everyone…*sadface* ;)

I wish I had a lot more to talk about every week, but with the holidays rolling in we've been struggling just to fill our time up doing something productive and inspired.

I'm attaching some pics from about a week ago :D

In this pic Elder S and I are standing with Bro H., our ward mission to his water heater.

 So here's the story behind it. About 2 and a half weeks ago we had dinner planned with the H.’s and we called Bro H. that afternoon to confirm our plans. He picks us up and I ask him about dinner that night and he pauses. “Uhhh, actually Elders, I'm sorry but I have to cancel, my water heater is leaking and I have to fix it because my kids need warm water and I can't even afford the labor for someone to come install it. Really sorry.” So I chuckle. Bro H. says "Elder, this isn't really a funny thing”. So I say, "NOOOO it's not...but the fact that I'm coming over in an hour after our plans are through, to help you install that heater is rather amusing to me”. Another pause… "Is this another bad joke, Elder?” "NOPE! See ya at 6 o’clock Bro H.!" And so we went to Bro H.’s and he drove us to Lowe’s and I help him pick out everything he needed, tools, water heater, hardware, etc, we brought it back and I literally taught my ward mission leader how to install a water heater. From the Teflon tape to the soldering. :D And besides the cost of the water heater, it only cost $ that saved him around……..$500! :D I'll send some pics of the soldering that I, and Brother H. too, did after this. :D

Alrighty I'm about out of time so I'm actually going to send that other email now. I love you guys! Thanks for the help and support! Prayers are always helpful!! :D Love you, bye!

Here are some pics of the soldering we did...look how beautifully it was done too.

Beautiful Soldering Part 1

Beautiful Soldering Part 2

The burn mark on the wall from holding the blow torch at the wrong angle.

So Brak, all those times when it seemed like I wasn't paying attention to when you were fixing the water heater....I was! :D And thank you. Thank you for being AWESOME and teaching me the ways of much awesomeness and attractiveness! It paid off.

The burn mark on the back of the wall was Bro H. with a bad angle on the blow torch. :P

I didn't bring the long letter with me so I'm sorry if I didn't reply to everything in it...or anything...but I did get it and I still love y’all! :) BYE!

Elder Nine