Monday, April 28, 2014

Mission Letter Week 41 - 28 April 2014


So today started out funny. Elder P and I sat in bed staring at each other for about 40 min........and then we ate breakfast. Yep. Slow start. :D

Sad news first, the battery charging pack you sent fits all the batteries in the universe but I will be trying to send the box back, along with my camera and battery. That way there can be no mistaking... :D SORRY!!

We have not written thank you notes ‘cuz its been a little busy but I will definitely be making time for it!

I don't know about the Phantom of the Opera thing though...that took a lot of........ sucking in................. yep XD we shall see!

(A package for) ALL FOUR OF US?? We are SO EXCITED!!!!! And Elder F and Elder J and Elder P say thank you!!! They will probably write a thank you letter though when we manage to squeeze the time. :)

The day of service was AWESOME!!! We did some outdoor painting on the playgrounds and such at a huge park and did some more dirt moving too! :D It was a lot of fun, and a lot of missionary work happened with the members! Mucho greatness-o…. IDK if there were any pics taken but if there are I will hunt them down... This whole no camera thing IS a bit of a bother, isn't it?!!?

Sorry about no snail mail. Again, time. We get back to the apartment by 9-930 at night, plan for the next day, clean the apartment a bit, write in our journals and it’s 1030pm already!! We need 48hour days! :D That would be awesome!

As for my Book of Mormon reading, with patience (and humility), it was funny, this week I started getting more and more into it and then things started making me more and more impatient......stupid devil. Jerkface. So we have been working on that. :D It's going quite well actually. I'll share some notes and thoughts next time when I get them organized. haha!

RJ's baptism is set for the 10th and confirmation on the 11th actually... IDK if you just accidentally mixed that up or if I miss-typed, haha. But we may have to push it back again as he keeps putting hanging out with friends as more important sometimes...just being a kid. But hopefully we won't!

I DID get the letter you sent on Saturday!! :D


HAHAHAHA when you said Japanese speaking (for a mission in Mexico) I was like WHHHAAAAAAAA????????? Cute. Real cute. Hahaha, but that is AWESOME!! Could you tell him congrats for me and if you see them give them a huge hug for me too! :D

WOW! The DMCO Concert sounds like it was mind-blowing!! Maybe I'll join when I get back! :D That would be way awesome... maybe TOO awesome..... "ITS BE AWESOME!!!!!" to quote Rhino....

I'M Jealous you keep meeting Glenn Beck! I wanna ask him SO many questions! He has a conversion story that is flying around this mission on CDs and it is AMAZING. And powerful.

I had a thought btw. I want to do a semi solo hike when I get home at some point...semi solo meaning with you of course, but I thought it'd be fun to just hike, the two of us and have a swell time!! :D like a campout, backpacking type of thing... :D


TWO CONCERTS!! YOWZA! I bet you were exhausted after all that! I know I was usually pretty tired if not wiped out completely after big concerts and the like. It feels good though!

Friendships made in choirs are really something special aren't they? There is just something magical about singing with people that makes you care about them and want to just be great friends! I'm glad you are getting to feel that, ‘cuz it’s one of my favorite feelings in the whole world!

It can be sad to see people leave too, but we will meet them some point. :)

HAHA! That's funny about the girl in front of you that you talked to though! Orchestras can be VERY impressive, and even loud at times. :P But again, MAGICAL!!

Love you too Emi!!

Guys, those pics are great! :D BROTHER R!!!!! TELL HIM I LOVE HIM!!!! And that choir looks absolutely incredible!!! I'll use another fancy word....Majestic! With the stars and stripes, the buntings, and the awesome choir it LOOKS awesome!! That's SO COOL!

OH! Funny story this week, we went by this one house that had a note saying it looked abandoned but a potential investigator used to live there (there are more abandoned homes here than I'm used to seeing…. California… *shakes head*) and we showed up to abandoned we pounded on the one....then we see someone dart through the back door!!! So naturally I do the smartest thing the situation could ask for....I ran around to the backyard at top speed and jumped through a hole in the fence and chased after what I found to be TWO people!! They hopped the brick wall in the back, so I did too, but by the time I got over there, they had taken off across the open plot of land and out of our area I couldn't follow...otherwise I would have!... :D TEEHEE! So that was an adventure!  (Mom's note: Great! My son is gonna get himself killed by an armed gang member one day! Boys!)

We also found some bike trails through the middle of a two square mile patch of desert that is a shortcut into our area!! :D Instead of taking 35 min to get into our area, it now only takes 15-20!! WOOP! Yay for off-roading! Bike areas are the bomb dot com. Yes. I spelled ‘dot’. Judge me. ;P

So I DID take my clothes in to get tailored, and it was about $74 altogether...for everything. Expensive, but cheaper than buying new stuff, by far! So now my black suit coat will fit me and my slacks and EVERYTHING! BTW, I may go to ROSS today...and I was wondering if I could get some khaki slacks? Elder C said he got his for $16. If not I totally understand, I mean, I did just get everything tailored.....but it’s summer, and light colors are nice...but it’s not a big deal, just a preference. Lemme know. :)

WHY did you leave me with a cliff hanger with that talk by Stephen E Robinson?!!?! GAH! It was super good. :)

In answer to your question about the "opera music" in the background of that voice recording btw, it was "the Lamb of God", which is EPIC!  It’s a whole performance thingy. And yes, my taste in music HAS improved...though I will ALWAYS listen to country music. >:)

I saw Sister D at service on Saturday!! She Flipped when I said I knew J!! IT WAS GREAT! Apparently she worked for him to pay for school!!! hahaha.

I also saw President C and his family there and the M too!! (the Ms let me Skype for Christmas last year at their home. :) ) So it was awesome to see some families from the RV Ward.

Speaking of Skype, we will probably be at the M family's home on Mother’s Day after Church (which ends around 2-230, anyways) and will Skype then...on the TV! >:) AND! Elder P and I were thinking it would be fun if we both Skyped his family, and then you guys, or vise-verse, and both talked with you guys! :D COOL!?!?!? Lemme know what you think. haha.

And with all that fun stuff I leave with my testimony. Love the Lord your God with all your heart mind and strength. He will protect us, sanctify us, purify us, and guide us. Lean on Him because we are hopeless without Him. I love my Savior and I will always trust in Him. In alma 36, while Alma is telling his son about his conversion, after he shares that experience he finishes with "I Will STILL put my trust in Him" (paraphrasing of course) but it shows that when we exercise our faith we can be confident time and time again that He will deliver trust. :)

Love you guys! It’s been a great week and we are hoping to see a lot of miracles! BYEEE!!

~ Elder 9

Photos of Elders Nine & P that were texted to the Nines and the Ps from Sister H in P on 4/26, the Day of Service, with the note: “Your son is sitting in the back of a tiny little pick up.” Then later she texted: “My name is Sister H. He said to tell you “Te quiero mucho”. ("I love you very much") We’re at a Day of Service for the 4 stakes in our valley today” MADE. MY. WEEKEND.

“4 stakes” = approx. 10,000 people! Or course not all of them showed up, but it still gives you an idea of how many people there were, and the large area this covered!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Mission Letter Week 40 - 21 April 2014

SO this has been a fun week :D

First of all, HI!!! Secondly, those scented letters??..................the other boys are just jealous >:)

I LOVE SISTER D!!! She is one of very favoritest mercenaries!!! :D YES I know she is from L...she and I were in the same zone during my first 2-3 transfers and got along QUITE WELL! We've seen each other every now and then and it’s a big ol' southern party when that happens! XD That is CRAZY to hear she is cousins with Brother D!!! WE KNOW EVERYBODY!!!

S IS GOING TO CALI!! WOOP! That is awesome to hear! :D

May I just say that when I didn't have a package by about Friday or Saturday, I told Elder P exactly what you told me about the package (that my mother has a different plan)…. We are linked...

Yes, the charger (for the camera) will be great. The cable the camera came with may be a special made one...which is silly...

I will let Elder F'll make his day... >:D

That is a very interesting thing you mention on the V. we are teaching RJ and he is progressing...but we just dropped H because she isn’t. We will definitely pray about it again...maybe more pushing is what she needs...we'll see (what the Spirit says).

HAVE FUN AT THE MCO CONCERT!!! Sounds like it’s gonna be EPIC!! :D

Brak, that is funny to hear about you forgetting your talk but then awesome with how the Spirit took over! :) Funny isn't it, how when we are (usually) prepared ahead of time, then in an emergency situation, help is already there...and it looks like L is growing up FAST! Is he doing any better with swimming these days? :D Good to hear you are helping to keep those boys on the track to manhood!

OKAY! So, for the title of the email (Phantoms, Basketball, Chainsaws and Dirt…) …This week in district meeting, on Friday, we had a "get to know you" activity to start out and we had to share Elder P and I sang the Phantom Of The Opera duet, and I took the girl part....I rather surprised myself with my good quality, very high falsetto…. Yikes! It went over very well! :D

We also played Pros Ball (Prahz Ball, for pronunciation) which is basically street contacting...when you see someone playing street ball and you join in the game...while wearing pros (shirt and tie). It was great! Met some cool people who we may get to teach this week...we shall see! :D

We also did service on Saturday… I got to use a chainsaw again!!! :D AND we moved huge piles of dirt with shovels and a couple pick up trucks...good manual labor. >:) Got to put those boots to REAL use! It was fantastic and we just spent an entire day working in the sun! I was the only one who wore a long sleeved shirt and brought 4 liters of water… I also was the only one not beet red and half dehydrated afterwards... Yay brains!

So like I said at week! We also taught RJ twice this week and he is understanding everything and just soaking it all up! He has a date set now for May 10th to get baptized (was in April but had to be moved). So we are excited to see this go well.

This week I started reading the Book of Mormon again but with a question in mind, like Elder Bednar said to think: ”How can I be more patient with myself, my companion, my investigators, and my trials?” Patience is the Christlike attribute that all others stem from just about, so I thought that could be a good one to begin with. :)

That's pretty much it for now! I love you guys!

Elder Nine

That picture of Sister M preeeetty much sums up her entire attitude. XD She is a FANTASTIC mercenary in the Lord's Army! :D If you remember, she and I came out together...I saw her middle of last transfer, my first one with Elder P. She was serving in the YSA (Young Single Adults) Ward at the time and was at the M’s home when we stopped by to talk to them! DM, their daughter, is a Ward Missionary for YSA...that's why they were there haha. And…. YOWZA! I knew she'd go leadership soon! XD She is seriously phenomenal! Good to hear :) THANKS!

I got these photos from Elder F's mom - and I *think* this is the whole District - These are all such awesome missionaries!

These next two photos were sent to me by Elder P's mom.... I bust out laughing! The "derp" face!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Mission Letter Week 39 - 14 April 2014

I'm staying in P 5th Ward!!!! WOOP! All four of us are! Elders J, P, and F are staying with me. :D

Thought I'd get that one out there right at first.  :)

So, once again, I am short on time…but starting next week we will be rearranging our schedule and will have more email time. :D

Brak, Good to hear about L and J. They are studs of the highest degree…you tell ‘em I said that too!

I will write a letter to Josh today and send that tomorrow. :D

It’s sad to see how many of today’s youth are getting pushed around so-to-speak by the adversary…someone better hold on to them nice and tight, ‘cuz it’s only gonna get bumpier!

Tell Brother W I love him too! :D Good to hear you guys are still having your play dates. ;D

Emily, that is cool that you are comfortable enough to talk with people, and even boys specifically, that are OLDER than you! That is a really good thing to learn early on and it helps a LOT in working with people and getting along with every one. :D Cory is a good guy…. crazy, but good. :D

The dresses look beautiful, Emily! I really like both of them. The Easter one is very bright and nice and the other one looks like it’s a little…flow-y…..not that that makes any kind of sense…oh well…

I love you too, Emily! You are the best little sister in the whole world! :D Keep being awesome and obedient! Love you!

Okay NEXT!!

Mama, as far as the 72 hr kit goes, it actually already has some good stuff in it and everything else I would want I would grab on the way out the door, :P but thank you!

The cookies were INSANELY delicious…sadly they did not last long though haha…I actually had a thought about packages from now on. Instead of sending junk food type snacks could you do like Nature Valley bars and Cliff bars and stuff? Things I can stick in my back pack so I can have something during the day that is good for energy but healthy too. :) Just an idea…a practical idea…it’s silly how practical and normal I think about things these days. It's like I'm growing up…yick. Not yuck, yick.

And the letters about Elder P and I were GREAT!! :D We had a swell time with those!!

P and T are kind of still where they were…because T is being a bum right now and not saying yes (to the marriage proposal)……chump…. Sorry…. Self, be more Christlike. :)

H and N we have come to realize are going to have to come much later…I don't think they are ready to accept the Gospel yet… Sad but true… It will be up to S, A, and RJ from here on out to take care of them…We have to find those that are ready to receive us… Like the D. family!! :D

They are doing awesome! We are really excited to see what comes of them…We have not committed them to baptism yet but we will soon. :D

RM is also doing great, though we have seen an issue, that he doesn't see the difference between our Church and the Lutheran Church… 'So, about that Priesthood authority…' :D

No one new as of yet but we met a lot of cool people lately and are hoping to start working with some of them!

Thanks for the pictures by the way!! I love the one of Daddy holding that beautiful new toy…I mean tool… >:D

I had a thought…could I get two new journals sometime in the near or distant future? One for study notes and one for another journal. I like the one that I have…. even for the study journal. Let me know. :) I'm good with whatever.

OH! You asked about that purple suit I was in…10 bucks at the thrift store……..hand tailored, Italian, fit me perfectly, PURPLE…I couldn't say no! XD

Fun fact for the day, the Pilot G-2 pens are now MINE. They are a beautiful thing…apparently it is normal for a missionary to find his inner pen-love while out on the mission.  I found mine! :3 Especially in cool colors! haha!

Business: I had a thought about my camera. What if we just got a battery pack charger instead of a cable?? The battery is a FujiFilm, lithium ion, NP-45A 3.7v, typ.720 mAh, min.700mAh 2.6Wh…..that’s all the info on the battery itself. :P Just another thought!

A realization and a comfort I received this week is that, no matter how sad it is to see people I care for and love, both at home and people I meet here, make poor choices or choose not accept the love of our Savior, I can take a comfort and peace from knowing where I am at, and know that I will be happy after all is said and done. Every once in a while that is all that even gets me through a day…and it also gives me the drive to share that with others. They just don't know what it is that they are missing….it’s HUGE!!

Well, I gotta go now. Hope that was everything…we shall see haha. If I forgot anything I will snail-mail it.

Love you all!


Monday, April 7, 2014

Mission Letter Week 38 - 07 April 2014

Hi Guys!!! So first of all it sounds like you guys had a swell time with General Conference!!! WOOOOOO!!!! It’s almost as good a feeling as going to the Temple!! :D Allow me to share my favorites from this conference: Jeffrey R Holland Sat Morning sesh, talking about us being called upon to defend our faith...and I don't think it WILL happen, I feel it IS HAPPENING! We have to be strong and stay close to Christ in these the toughest times of all the history of the world as we know it, because as Bilbo Baggins says, when we step out that door, if we don't watch it, who knows where we'll end up...paraphrasing of course...Elder S left that quote in my "Transfer Journal" (a journal people you know in the mission write in before you split ways in case you never see them again till after.) My other favorite talk was by Dieter F Uchtdorf in the Priesthood session, when he talked about "Are you sleeping throughout the Restoration?!?!" DON’T DO THAT!!! Let the gospel live inside of you and become the best you can be through Christ. And then share it with others.

Holy Cow Emily!! That is a GREAT picture of a bird!!! :D Can you send me more drawings?? If you have time....maybe of one with me and Jesus being buddies or something. :DDDDD OH! And how is Personal Progress going??? Any cool projects or activities so far with it or with the YW?? Sorry I gotta keep it short...

RW is going to Frankfurt?!?!?!?! WOOOOO!!!! Tell him congrats for me!!! :DDDD

Ooo, could I get R's and J's email addresses? That would be most swell. :D

IDK if I've already mentioned this but I FLIPPED when I read that bit about Elder H (your ward) and Elder E being best friends!!!! SUPER DOPE!!!!! He and I flipped about it together later that day. XD

You asked how I like the W’s.......I LOVE THEM!!! They are SUPER HEROES!! President W is a champion and I am pretty sure that Sister W is one of those angels with a flaming angel, but armed. XD She is amazing too. :) I love talking with them when I get the brief opportunity to because it’s almost like talking to you guys....but not. :P

Elder P and I continue to get along better and better as the weeks go by XD and it gets funnier and funnier too! hahaha. We are seeing SO many miracles out here! It’s crazy! I can’t even count them....over email at least haha. no time. :P

That "Tattooed Mormon Gal" you mentioned in one of your last two letters is Al Fox, and she is one of my heroes! And...very possibly extremely beautiful too, but that is totally beside that point. XP She is a great example of what it means to live through the Atonement. :)

Elder A came by a little while ago and met us at a members home!! He is doing WAY better and is still fighting his way back out to the mission field. :D

You mentioned and Elder C, and I think you meant C haha. I haven't heard from him recently but I have a hope and a faith that he will still come back out and we will be companions again. :D

Feeling the Holy Ghost in my life is seriously the best thing in the whole universe. I love it when I can feel the love of God over-power me and corrects my own sense of ‘justice’ (which, my sense of justice makes me feel like "I'm not worthy, I can’t"). It is MOST glorious! :D

The D family is doing great and we got to teach them the Restoration...well, the first bit of it, and they still have a lot of questions!! We are excited to keep working with them but for now that’s all there is to say. :)

The V family is awesome too, though they still have a long ways to go. H is still being poopy and N is still a punk kid, but whatevs, right? So RJ is actually 11 and N is 13. A is 12, H is 16 and K is 2... :3 and super cute!!

Okay one last thing and then I will send the rest via snail mail.

In regards to what I said last week about talking with President W. What I thought I had to do was repent again and go to a Priesthood Leader………but that wasn't it at all. I have already repented. I haven't broken that covenant since I repented. What I needed and still need to learn is how to accept God’s love into my heart and into my life even more than I already have to have ALL my burdens, not just some, lifted off of me. I misunderstood some of the impressions I received so I jumped the gun...but I explained everything to President and we should be good now. :) So it is just a personal transformation that I have to go through spiritually... :D YEAH!

Okay, the rest I will write in a letter tonight and try to get it out by tomorrow morning! I will write in reply to everything else in your most recent snail mail letter and in reply to what you asked about what I learned with Ben Wendt... :D Love you guys! Keep pressing forward, and Godspeed!

Elder Nine

Photo sent to us by Brother C after A's baptism.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Mission Letter Week 37 - 31 March 2014

Holy short time batman, we have to make this one a quicky! Yes, boy wonder! We must make haste and use all our swiftness and bat-skills to do this job!

SO HI FAMILY!! I have approx. 15-20 min to type this up...and GO!

SO. V family update. A is getting baptized this Sunday after General Conference and RJ is getting baptized on the 26th of April!!!! WOOP!!! Much awesomeness is going on here. We also found a new family to teach, the D family, C and A are the parents. They are SUPER cool and have a ton of questions and are VERY interested.

This week I have learned quite a bit as far as the Atonement goes.....which is everything…actually, today specifically, I learned the most. Elder W came to town on Saturday and we did our studies this morning with him. He and I talked for a good hour during that time and he helped me to find out for myself what it takes to have real success, spiritually and as a missionary. We have to love ourselves and we must come to know God, and the more we know God the more we know ourselves, and the more we know ourselves the more we know what Eternal Life will BE. By reading John 17:3 (THE MOST important scripture in ALL of the standard works and EVERYTHING), D&C 29:36 and Alma 34:15-16 you can see the scriptural base behind all of that...unfortunately I have ZERO time to elaborate. D:

THANK YOU for the packages!! We loved them!! All the pics had to be taken on P’s camera because the USB cord you guys sent me was one size too big... I need you to please get the next smallest size down. :P I'll send this one back with the stocking too. And talk to Sister P about getting pics. Long story short, I needed to talk about something really important with President, so Satan decided to make all the computers here stop working for me.....not even kidding.

THE TEMPLE WAS AMAZING!!!! AAAHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! IT WAS HUGE AND BEAUTIFUL AND GREAT AND SWELL AND FANTASTIC AND GLORIOUS and when we came back we were SO pumped to do missionary work! XD

IDK if I got your last letter but I got one early last week....or something like that...I didn't get a chance to take notes on it though so I’ll have that and more for next week!!

I still don't know exactly which songs are by haven't answered my question of who they are yet.

I did not feel the earth quake but probably just because I wasn't paying attention...some other Elders did though..

BRAK the scout camp looks like it was a blast!! I miss those days :) Maybe we'll have some more in the future, eh?

Emily! You gave a talk in Sacrament Meeting!! WOOOOO!!! NICE WORK! I would have cried if I had seen it in person :))) and it sounds like teaching on Sunday was fun too! :D

Sorry this is so short guys. Interesting day… I will probably try to make time for a snail mail letter for tomorrow morning to mail out. :) Love you guys! BYE!

Elder 9


Elder P's mom and I have met online, and we decided it would be fun to "exchange" sons and send them care packages.  So we each told each other what our son likes, and then we set about putting together our packages.  We decorated the inside of the boxes and filled them with ties, socks, belts, chocolate powder since both boys love chocolate milk, their favorite candies and chips and Jerky, and even plastic toy chickens that "lay" jelly bean and gum "eggs".  We also included a letter with lots of cute and funny photos of our son 'through the years' with the stories typed out to go along with them. They had clear instructions to WAIT until they both had their packages before opening them. That way they could open them together and take PHOTOS for their moms.  So here are the photos.  Funny story:  Elder Nine's package arrived 3 days before Elder P's.  Therefore Elder Nine had an excruciatingly painful 3 days that he had to WAIT and only smell the box, before he could open it! hahaha!  Oh!!! And yummy part:  They both got homemade cookies!

Hope you enjoy the photos as much we Mamas enjoyed seeing them. :D
Elder P opening the care Package that Sister Nine sent him and enjoying the goodies

Elder Nine trying and then finally opening the package that Sister P sent him (Hahaha! Sister P said she wrapped it up REAL GOOD! hahaha! Look at Elder Nine's face on the bottom left! Play time is over - now it's "Get serious about this" time! lol!)

The bottom right photo he's smiling super big, because the inside flap said: "Smile! It makes everything better!"  So Elder Nine smiled real big!

Elder Nine enjoying his goodies from his package

Elder C and Elder Nine celebrate their Birthdays at the LA Temple!!

Snap photo in the car - Now why does this face of Elder Nine's seem so normal to me??? ;) lol!
I MISS that boy of mine!  He and Elder P are loving their "singing life"!

The End. (Until next week) ;)