Wednesday, September 2, 2009
Monday, July 6, 2009
Dominican Repbulic Santiago Mission
October 2007 ~ 2009
Things are great here. Today we had a sweet zone water balloon fight in central park. everyone was jealous of how cool we are. we had a people stopping to watch us it was funny. the zone unity is spreading which was major goal! Monday we said our final goodbyes to President and Sister Searle. We had a surprise gathering of our whole mission, has only happened one other time since i've been here and that was when President Uchtdorf came. The Searle's were so grateful. We got to hear from them one last time and even got to give Sister Searle a hug! This friday we will meet our new president. i also said my final goodbyes to Elder Jones. So sad. i can't believe how time flies. i still remember him greeting me at my first transfer!! love you buddy!!! see you soon! all of you!! you'll all be home for christmas i hope. cuz i will!! one last quick story. yesterday we were in our apartment and heard a loud bang. but we didn't think much b/c its a ghetto area but then we heard screaming outside like a mob and ran to the window. a cop car had collided with another, spinning it 180 degrees and and then went onto the sidewalk hitting 3 pedestrians and stopping in the street where it knocked a fleeing mothers stroller over. with the baby inside. the baby was fine but all the drivers and peds were taken in ambulances. we got some crazy pics and when we left a new york times reporter took our report and my companion was quoted in the Times. it was crazy!!! anywho. love you all! don't get trunky. live happy. live well. live STRONG!
LOVE ELDER MILLER
Everything is still going well here in Milano. We had a little bar-bi-que (sp?) in the parking lot of our church. It was pretty fun because we're in the middle of the city and there's a fence around the church. People were watching us from their balconies. This month, we will finally have a baptisms in this ward after a year and a half of none. We have 4 baptisms planned between us and the sisters. We're excited, but we still have to get the ward excited about them. Well, these are the last few weeks of my mission and it doesn't even feel like it. I get homesick when I read emails, but I know that when I leave Italy, I'll miss it. Sprinting to the finish.
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
We just had 2 baptisms last week, and the previous weeks. one was a part member family, and the other one is Chinese, and is now back in China! we're teaching another part member family right now that just quit smoking/drinking/chewing and is going to be baptized at the end of this month. Transfers is next thursday, and I really hope I dont get transfered. I've been here for 4 1/2 months, and it's my favorite area! I'm having an absoulutely fantastic time here, and I hope to hear the same from you all!
Thursday, May 14, 2009
Ciao from Milan, Well, I just was transfered to the main city in my mission for my last city. I'm pretty sure it will be my last city. My companion is from Bountilful, Utah and his twin brother is serving in the Rome mission. Everything is going pretty well here. We just opened a companionship here in Milan, so the work is still slow with finding investigators. I can't believe I'm already this far in the mission. It felt like yesterday that I was at the MTC. I don't feel like my Italian has improved a ton, but my companion says he can understand me. We had a cool story this last week. We stopped by a investigator's house last week and we rang the doorbell at the bottom of the building. My companion spotted a bracelet on the ground by the door. We picked it up to realize that it was a diamond bracelet (real). We start talking about what we should do. We devise a method of getting it returned to the owner even though my companion wanted to sell it for some money to buy some ties... haha. We post a note in the palazzo saying that we found it and whoever lost it can describe it by phone to us and they will get it back. Then, the next morning, we received a call and this woman described it perfectly. We went back to the palazzo (building) and gave it to her. She offered us 50 euro, but we didn't accept it. Then, we kept talking to her and understanding where she is from and how she lost it. She is Russian (pure) and is a dermatologist. I quickly asked if she could rather remove my warts on my hands and she said yes. My companion say that I should have took the 50 euro instead of getting my warts removed, but I'm hoping to get a appiontment out of it. Anyways, enough with that. We have to go shopping for food. Ciao, Anziano Ball
I arrive home June 10th at 9:20 am. I told the family we must have lunch at Costa Vida for a sweet pork burrito ,Yum. I guess I will start online summer school and be looking for a job (Like the rest of Americans). I have loved serving the Lord and the people in Cordoba. I look forward to returning when the Temple is built. I heard about Chase's allergic reaction and it it is a must that the photo's be published in the newsletter! ha ha !
Take care my fellow missionaries, see you all soon !
everything is good here in oregon. it is hard to believe that almost all of us are down to less than 6 months. i hope none of you are getting trunky though, that would just be sad. mission life is great. loads and loads of fun. i am glad to hear that most of you seem to be the same dorks that you were when we left. i am trying to think of a good story to tell, but all of the funny ones involve bad language so i wont tell them. so i guess i will just end it there and hand my computer over to another missionary. love you all elder huish
I can't believe i'm writing for this again! Time is flying. Reading that last newsletter blew my mind. i can't believe how soon some of you go home. It's finally getting warmer here in the ghetto. which is nice. all the fire hydrants are always getting opened up and pouring into the streets and people are always outside b-b-q-ing now. it's pretty interesting here. We gave spring a skip and jumped right into summer! A little too hot too fast but i'll take it over the cold. (props to Jeff for surviving Russian winters!) This week we'll be baptizing a lady who's been investigating for almost a year. She finally quite smaking and she's good to go now. We're also preparing another sweet lady from the Dominican Republic. She's way excited for baptism in May. Last week we got to go to a Yankee's game at the new stadium. Which was sweet. We (the yankees) finally pulled out a win in the 14th inning. Elder Jones was sadly tansferred away last cycle so i probably won't see him much if at all until we're home. sad. (Jones, if you're reading this i miss you!) gonna run. love you all! Live well. Live Happy. Live STRONG!
LOVE ELDER MILLER
As always...have a great month.
Monday, April 13, 2009
Everything is going great with my trainee Elder Hidalgo; we are now on our way to teach a really cool new family that said they wanted to get baptized. The father apparently is a construction worker that builds all our chapels here in Argentina, so he has been to many meetings and realy likes it! yeah! Well, I'll let you all know how that goes.
I was really excited to hear that I was drawn for Bull Elk!!! this year. I know what I'll be doing for Thanksgiving . Can't believe how fast June 10th is approaching.
Well until next time my friends.
Ciao, Elder Mike Kleinman
Everything is doing well here in Modena. I'm still here for a 5th transfer and I think I might be transfered this next transfer. We just had a baptism of a Russian/Ukrainian guy. We had his friend baptize him and it went great. The next day, during the confirmation, This guy brought 2 Ukrainian friends to church. They said that they loved it and are coming next week. We are excited because we were running low on good investigators.
Other news, My companion's bike was stolen 3 days after he bought it. They left mine and took the lock with them. I kind of feel like the times when the Gadiation robbers stole everything and God cursed the land that the people would find things gone if they laid them around. We roll with the good times and the bad times. I know the church is true and God blesses us in mysterious ways. Vi voglio bene, Anziano Ball
Tuesday, March 3, 2009
Puerto Rico San Juan East Mission
July 2007 - July 2009
Like everyone else I really can't believe that it is already my turn? Well yeah where to begin Brothers the realitiy of things are becoming way too real and its scares me oh so bad. I am back in Puerto Rico, back to the crazy puerto ricans that are so hard to understand I don't care how long you have been here if they don't slow down just a little bit there is no way to understand everything that they are saying. I love them to death, well time has really been a crazy thing for me, it just doesn't stop. So a good story well there are so many I have had the greatest of times and there are endless stories, I love serving a mission so much its just sad that it has taken me this long to really begin to love it, but I guess the fact that I am helping people recieve eternal salvation is a helper for me, I love it so much! I really just wanted to share with you guys that I love the gospel so much this mission has literally changed me and formed and shaped me into the person that I am today, it is weird to think that so many of us have changed for instance Grant says that he is not lazy anymore, I just don't know how true that could be? It is weird what the Lord can do with us if we are willing to be the instruments in his hands, I have really seen that here truly the moments that I am really willing the Lord just shoves so much at me and is like take this and do what you need to do with it, and its like okay I will and bascially what I am saying is that there is no greater place than the mission field! I have seriously found myself and its great that I know who I am, and what I will become! I love you guys! Oh, Elder Beatty sends his "hello" to Gary, Elder Beatty is my ZL so Iget to talk to him every night. Well brethern the time is running out just keeping going strong and the Lord will bless us, we are so priviliged! I hope that you all have a great month. I love you all!
Adios, Elder Wells
Elder Jimmy Miller
I'm still hanging out here in Kingsbridge in the Bronx. Its so amazing. We've been so blessed in the short time I've been here. We've been finding so many people it's been hard to keep them all straight. Most notable we're teaching this awesome family from the Dominican Republic. They all love the Book of Mormon and to have us over. They just eat up everything we share with them. For those of you who aren't familiar with the Bronx its very diverse--minus white people. Whenever we see another white person it throws us off. And i think being a tall white boy in a suit throws them off. I love it here- although i hate walking everywhere, i'm still getting used to it and i really strongly dislike the cold. i can't wait for it to warm up. We get to do some pretty sweet things here though. This morning we played football in front of the new Yankee Stadium. It was awesome. This is such a sweet mission to serve in. DONT BE JEALOUS! Hope you're all well. Live well. Live happy. Live Strong!
LOVE ELDER MILLER
Elder Grant Huish
how is it going? life is great here in the original OC(oregon city). Man i have been in this area for like 5 newsletters now. we have 2 baptisms this week and another one next month which is pretty exciting. i hope all is well for everyone. some of you are going home pretty quick that must suck. ha ha. oh josh steiner says hi.
Anziano Scott Ball
This is Anziano Ball's mother . . . again! As usual I am still having sleepless Tuesday nights because I am up by 3:15 am getting online to chat with Scott. So consequently he wrote an email for this newsletter but he said the computer deleted it and he didn't have the time to write again . . . and I am probably taking some of that time. I can't believe another month has gone by and Scott will be home in six months. He appears to be having some great experiences in Modena. Here are a few excerpts from some of his emails this month.
"We are doing fine in Modena. It has been raining then warm, then raining, then warm. We are hoping that it warms up here quick, I'm getting tired of the cold. I bought 2 pairs of pants for the summer since I don't have any more. There are many sales on at this time of year, 70 % of clothes and other stuff. Almost every store has something on sale.
Giorgio, our Russian, is doing great. He works during the week as a truck driver, so we only see him on the weekend with our new convert. He is being baptized for sure. He just accepted to obey the law of tithing and fast. Antonio is still struggling to understand a few things, so we might move his date back. We found a lot of people last week, so we will see how they turn out this week."
Love ya, Anziano Ball
Elder Chase Judd
Well I am out of time ah! Hey i had a good experience this week i ate a ton of pineapple on monday and the next day on tuesday i woke up had diaherra and puked 10 times cool huh? Well i love Mexico i love you all also hey i have 11 months woooooooo! Love you all i am still in the offices working like a white man.
LOVE ELDER JUDD
Elder Garrett Jones
Hey everybody, what's going on? The Lord continues to bless Steele and I with people to teach and with inspiration about what to teach. I have had two amazing experiences of this this past week that I want to quickly share with youall: On Saturday I was on a split with a new missionary from Brazil. We wentto look up a potential investigator that we had from Venezuela and when we knocked the door she came out and brought chairs for us to sit outside the door with her since there was no man home. We sat down planning to teach the Restoration since it was the first lesson with her but I noticed how she seemed somewhat sad and tired. We started to teach about the Atonement of Jesus Christ, about her relationship with God and about the love that he has for her, and about how we can recieve strength from these things in our daily lives. As we spoke I started to see her change and to see her start to really open up to us. She told us about how she had come to the US with her three kids and had worked like crazy for the past 10 years to provide for them. She told us about how she had got very sick recently with diabetes and osteoporosis and how lonely and tired she felt now that the kids had moved out. It was an incredibly powerful lesson for me as I came to see how the Lord had put us in the correct place and had inspired us to teach the correct things to a lady that obviously needed the comfort. I left feeling like I had accomplished what the Lord wanted me to accomplish and that was an amazing thing for me. The second story is about Grimilda, who is an investigator we've taught for a bit now. She is super awesome and has seen her life change since she's met with us. She told us about her best friend who is a member over in California and what an amazing example she is for her. So a week ago from yesterday Elder Steele and I were trying to decide what to teach to her and we felt that she needed to hear about the second part of the Plan of Salvation including baptisms for the dead and about life after death. Steele and another missionary went over and taught her about that and it was an awesome lesson. The strange thing was that we did something I've never done or heard of doing by teaching the second half of the plan without first teaching the first half. But it felt right and so we did it. Well this past Monday Grimilda gave us a call and told me about how she had just found out that her friend in California, who was one of the big reasons she has been investigating the church, had died. She was super sad but told me that she felt so good about what we had taught her and knew that the Lord had prepared her for the news. When we went over and saw her yesterday we talked again about the Plan and she was so happy to know that what we were teaching her was true. We left on such an awesome spiritual high that the rest of the night just kinda flashed by. Its amazing how the Lord uses all of us to help his children out. I love this work and know that it is his His. Keep on keepin on everybody and we'll hear from you next month. Garrett
Elder Gary Chambers
Hey guys! I hope your all doing well in your respective missions... One of the Sister missionaries that was in my group is going home like at the end of this transfer........ that feels a lil wierd. I'm not trunky though, I promise. My new comp is Elder Cardon from Casa Grande, AZ and is a pretty cool kid. He's my first Jr. comp in the mission, and we work really well together. Work is going great now and I honestly couldn't ask for much more, I like it. I'm still in my same area... Buenos Aires, but without the cat problem that I had been fighting for the longest time before. The office final got our front door fixed so that we can close it when we leave. As good as that makes me feel, I see the cats prowling around the house still... and for all the pee and crap that they graciously left on our floors in the past, I had a distinct feeling that karma was well overdue... So.... I went out and bought a Desert Eagle pellet gun and I start my morning out by popping a few cats and watching them dart of in pain... it's a great way to start the day :) We have a couple of investigators that we're ready to put baptismal dates with who have been progressing fairly well. They go to church every week and have told us they want to get baptized... but for some reason I have the WORST luck with finding people at the time of our cita... I hate it. We've been fired on so much this past week that it makes me want to cry... naw... but really, I hate it. We're movin' along though. All is well. I know that this Church is true, and I'm proud to be one of it's many worthy representatives. Thanks for all your stories and examples... can't wait to hear back from you guys. Take care.
Love, Elder Chambers
Elder Mike Kleinman
Hey fellow Missionary...Fellows. Cordoba seems to be churning along like it always does. I am now in the most dangerous part of the mission. But I love it a lot cuz there is an actual black market here and they got sum goood stuff! Everyone is really friendly here anyway, so when they say dangerous they mean like "care-bear with a BB Gun whos got nothing to lose" dangerous. I went to the Cordoba zoo today and that was...well...lets just say I actually felt like becoming an animal rights activist after going to that place. The tiger looked like a starved cat, and I know for a fact that elephants cant be as skinny as the one I saw. I was like inverted. So Brock is home now I cant believe that!! I can only imagine what he might be doing right now (it involves a PS3, daniel, pepto bismol, and the first season of alias.) The Prez here is thinking of new ways to not make old farts in the mission trunky so he's gonna have them all train, like me! Oh well, it could be worse. I could be training, blanking an area, and be a district leader at the same time. (happened to one of my comps here) Well I hope all are doing well! ttyl bffs
Elder Blake Smith
Hey Elders, Well so I am finally used to the missionary life. Ha ha it is a little different than I thought. And South America is a little different as well. But I don*t have a ton of time to write today so I will tell you a little about Argentina. So I am serving in the province of Mendoza and I am still in my first area and my third transfer in Bermejo. I am loving it. I have had three baptisms and we are having one thing Saturday. The language is coming along. Thanks to my Latin comp that I had last transfer. The people here are just a little different but I love it and love seeing the new weird things they do here. Sorry it is so short this week. But I want to thank all of you for your examples that you all set for me. I love this work.
Elder Jeff Stoker
I got one question...Where'd Febuary go? Looking back at this last month, I cant remember too many things that happened. The work is still going. I am still in the same area. I hope to hit my year mark in the same area this month, so wish me luck. I love it here. Our branch has really stepped up this last month. The 50 active-member branch here has decided on doing a 40 day fast for missionary work. One member (or the missionaries aka. me) will take turns fasting for 40 days straight. We are about half way through, and i can already see miracles. You can literally feel the help. By 10 pm, i just pass out on my bed. You think that waking up at 6:30 am would be routine by now, but i still struggle at rolling out of bed. Luckily we dont have carpet, so when i smack against the floor, it wakes me up. I havent told anyone about pulling toe hair either, and i decided it would be better to not tell anyone, especially my companion. Things here are bitter cold again. I thought that the winter days were over, but once again I eat my own words. There has been a nice -20 degree breeze that pierces through any clothing, skin, flesh, etc. It hits the bones directly. I wish that everyone could experience it, because it is very hard to describe. We have a bunch of investigators, and we are trying to get them ready for baptism. Well, Have a great March. Keep on pushing. God speed.
Elder Jeff Stoker
Elder Max Crandall
Ye Elders of Israel -- How are things? Life here in doubleyou-A is great. I’ve been praying for a good attitude almost every day and it’s really helping. I’ve realized that it’s all an attitude thing. Both of my new comps are good examples of pretty important principles I think I need to work on. I’m trying really hard to develop these things and figure out how to be a ZL. Elder Flake is very humble and just plain solid. He’s a cattle rancher if ever there was one. He sings country songs all the time and tries to get them stuck in my head. Country music is of the devil. Elder Hughes is very proper and obedient, so I often make inappropriate comments for the shock value – but he is going to hook me up with his hot cousin in Gilbert so it’s all good. I’m so stinkin’ excited about life. I’m not sure if I’ve ever been more pumped up my whole mission. Our area is doing amazing things and our whole mission is shattering records left and right with no sign of slowing down. The Lord is definitely blessing us and His hand is very apparent in the work. Our zone is the stereotyped “rich” zone and considered unfruitful but we have found that working with the members is the way to get stuff going down here. About a month and a half ago, we were sitting in Elder’s Quorum. The lesson was on missionary work and in the middle of the lesson the teacher challenged everyone in attendance to invite one of their friends to take the lessons from the missionaries. This great guy in the ward, perhaps bored with the lesson or moved upon by the Spirit, took out his cell phone and immediately texted one of his friends right there in E.Q. His text asked her if she’d like to learn more about his church. She apparently thought that’d be a great idea and asked how she could. So he leaned over to the guy next to him and got our phone number and texted it to her. She just got baptized! She was the most golden investigator ever. She went out and bought a quad after the first lesson. She didn’t have a single concern! Right away she asked where she could listen to the prophet. So we explained General Conference and she said she wanted to go. She is always asking us if there are other books or manuals that she needs for church too. In the last three days, our zone has put six people on date for baptism! We cover two wards and one is the Singles Ward so naturally a lot of our investigators are 20 year old single women. I just mention that to scare my mom. The mission’s success hasn’t come without opposition though. Recently, there were seven missionaries sent home. I don’t know what they did – don’t need to know – but it’s a heartbreaking thing to see them leave. I know that this work is the greatest work on earth and I never want to stop. I feel humbled and thankful and I am so grateful that the Lord has allowed me to be a part of all of this. I love our Savior, Jesus Christ. What He did for us never ceases to astound me. I love telling people that it’s my job to talk about Jesus Christ 24/7. They often laugh, but it’s great anyway. Thank you guys so much for your great examples.
Tuesday, February 3, 2009
New York, New York North Mission
July 2007 - 2009
Well well, I'm with you Mike, I can't believe this is already around to me again. So, things here in the Bronx are going really well for us. Elder Steele(who was in the MTC with me and who is one of my good buddies here on themission) and I are having a blast working in one of my favorite areas of the mission. The Lord has truly been blessing us with people to visit and teach and we are having a bunch of fun doing so. Our members are especially amazing since I think we have some of the best cooks from every hispanic country you can think of. I'm loving the Papusa's, the Mangu, the Ceviche, the Arepa's, the Mole, and of course lots and lots of rice, beans, and tortillas. Some of you spanish speaking guys might know what I mean when I say that hispanics make the best food hands down. I'm actually going to need to start cutting back, denying people food (I hope no old Dominican lady kills me for denying her Bandera), and getting more cardio excercise in or you all might get to see a fatty Jones.Anyways I'm loving life as a missionary of the one true church on the face of the planet. The work really is going well and we're seeing miracles as we put forth our effort all throughout the day and pray for the Lord to put people in our path. Right now we're working with a young, sweet Mexican family that love us coming over and love what we teach them. They're feasting on the Book of Mormon (scripture pun intended) and know that they want what's best for their daughter. The only problem is he works on Sundays which has been the killer for them. I hope you all don't have to deal with that as much as we do here in NY because trying to figure out how you can help solid people that have to work on Sundays progress is enough to make you start crying during weekly planning and your nightly prayers. Anyways I guess you just keep going right? Anyways things are good for us. I'm still waiting to be able to train somebody and get my posterity going, I'm so jelous every time I hear about one of you getting to train cause its the only thing I've wanted to do my whole mission and I haven't done it yet. Anyways I hope you all have fun and keep working hard. Time justkeeps going faster and faster and I hope we can all make good use of it while its here. Till next month, Garrett
I guess ill start off by giving a quick update. I am still in the same city, Saratov (which makes 11 months), and i am loving it. I seem to know about everyone in the city now. Things are going great here. Freezing, but great. We get to experience the great sensation of nose hairs and eye lashes freezing when we walk outside. Looking back at this last month has been crazy. It seems like yesterday we celebrated New Years (Sleeping=best celebration). Some events stick out in my mind, and i would like to share some with you. The other day i talked with a man, and he told us very good news. He informed us that he had killed satan and 70% of the dark powers. He also added if we join him, then we should be able to eliminate the last 30%. Great news huh? Anyways, i was able to go on a weird exchange this month too. I spent a week in Samara with the Zone Leaders. It was wierd being in such a large city that i didnt know. The day i returned, i had to jump on a train headed to Kazakhstan to renew my visa. We got stopped at the border, and he went through my bag. He even flipped through the scriptures. The guard made it all the way to Alma before he gave up and let us go. We decided that it would be really wierd to run into 4 american teens dress up in formal clothes trying to cross into kazakhstan. Oh well, the trip was a success and i made it back with a new visa. The work is going great. It seems like we get blessed way more than we deserve. I am grateful to be able to serve the Lord. I love you all, and thank you for your examples. Big thanks to all the Mom's out there who support us, We all appreciate it. Well, i gotta get ready for another new month. Shall we not go on in such great a cause? Have a great month!
Elder Jeffery Stoker
Well, it's P-day again. It is weird to think how fast every weeks seems to go by. Things have been going really well up here lately. We saw a little snow the other day but for the most part it has just been very cold and dry. The work is moving along quite nicely. We have set 2 baptismal dates in the last 2 days. One of them is a girl, Libby, who is super excited about the gospel. The other is a girl, named Kristina, who we have met with a lot in the past and now that her friend is getting baptized she wants to. We are going to have to make sure she is serious about this before she gets baptized. We have also been teaching quite a few lessons lately, which is always fun; It sure beats tracting. We are seeing a lot of success which is no doubt due to the Lords help. We are kind of having people fall into our laps. I almost feel like I'm one of those lame missionaries who serves in South America. Just kidding, but stateside missionaries are the best. I'm sure you can all agree with that. Love, Elder Grant Huish
Love, Elder Chambers
I'm still in Modena. It is raining alot since there is this hurricane by Spain and France. The last week it has been cold, but slowly slowly it is warming up. I'm still in bike and I just learned yesterday that I'm getting a new companion from Tucson, Arizona. I'm happy that I'm able to get someone else than those utards. Modena is a blessed city and I'm glad to be here. We are going to set up some baptismal dates with a few investigators this week. It will be good practice for this new kid that I'm getting. I'm feeling sad that time is flying so fast. I was counting how many transfers I had a few days ago and I scared myself. I don't have much to say other than that. I love you guys and I'm glad that we can see success even in Italy.
Doing well, verrry short on time but these are some words that will sum up my las few months; Progressing investigator with baptism date, miracles, bike, snow, ankle sprain, murder (don't worry, not me or my companion), study, awesome. I hope to have more detail next time so you can all see how awesome Ohio is! Stay safe and successful. Love Elder Rowley
Elder Blake Smith