Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Scottie and his "wheels"


So this last week was pretty rough, not going to lie. I woke up at 2:30am on Thursday morning and threw up until about 10:30, then I slept until Friday afternoon (waking up periodically to throw up or go to the bathroom, the other elders nicknamed it the double dragon disease). I think I got food poisoning, Elder Van Horn had it too  I didn't have  an appetite for about three days, I think the final estimate is I lost about 12 pounds. So that was definitely no fun at all, I can't ever remember being that sick. Usually throwing up makes it better and heal quicker, it just hurt so bad. So we stayed in the apartment for a couple of days, I've finally got a little appetite and a bit of my strength back, but it was a rough week. This next one will definitely be better, because I don't see how it could be worse. 

I feel a bit better now, and hey, at least I know I won't be getting too fat haha. My pants were actually looser yesterday than when I started my mission, believe it or not, but 3 days of the Double Dragon will do that to you I guess is a doctor we can go to if we need to, but we had some good elders come over with Gatorade, pepto, crackers, etc. 

The English (non-Spanish speaking families) do a lot of spaghetti and burgers, this one family gave us just a plate of vegetables and they were all supposedly from her neighbor’s garden. 

This is something good I remembered after being so sick: Elder Ballard said in his book Our Search for Happiness "Crisis or transition of any kind reminds us of what matters most. In the routine of life, we often take our families-our parents and children and siblings-for granted. But in times of danger and need and change, there is no question that what we care about most is our families!"

I have a testimony that families are supremely important, even extended families like close friends and neighbors. We should always look for ways to make these people know that we love them and let our actions reflect that. Kind words and service can make people realize the difference they've made in your life. I know that y'all (my family) have helped me become the man I am today and for that I am eternally grateful.  

Could you please add this to the blog: 

It means: Remember that when you abandon this earth, you cannot take anything with you, nothing that you've received, only what you have given: a heart enriched with honest service, love, sacrifice, and courage.

I got your package! Thanks so much for everything, we get our iPads tomorrow so we'll see how that goes. My clothes are holding up fine right now, I'm taking better care of them than some of the missionaries out here, always ironed, no worries :) You have to look sharp to represent the Lord!

 I love you madre, thank you so much for that card too, it was something that was really good to read after a rough week, it came just in time so thank you very much for that. You're still doing the best job of taking care of me even though there are miles between us :)

We did get to make some visits, we met a new family, The Sandovals, so that was really exciting. They have potential...and 5 kids!

Scottie and his new companion, Elder Burgin

Did you see my bowling score? 154! I was like alright, personal best out here in the mission field, we really do get blessings in weird ways hahaha! (They decided to go bowling on their last P-Day - preparation day)

Scores from their bowling activity. Apparently, he is P. Sweezy!

I'm probably going to have to get off the computer for this week, but I love you and I hope you're doing alright and you're always in my prayers and I love you and can't wait to hear from you again next week! I'm always keeping the family in my thoughts!

Love always, 


Monday, August 19, 2013

He didn't have any new photos this week, but you can see that Missionary Training starts early!


I'm doing well, super busy, but I'm doing really well.

Our iPads didn't happen this last week, the day before we were supposed to get them they found some issues and we ended up not getting them. But we should be getting them this week sometime, fingers crossed haha.

Elder Burgin (his new companion) and I bike everywhere now, I'm actually getting pretty proficient and I've learned to ride without hands pretty well (gotta make riding in 104 degree weather fun somehow). So that's always fun :) One elder in another district was doing it and accidently swerved into a parked car. He wrecked his arm and Pres. Swain (Scottie’s Mission President) made him explain it in transfer meeting, I was laughing so hard. He was thoroughly embarrassed.

I'm glad Padre's back home safe from Canada! I hope School is going well for the girls, all the kids up here start this Wednesday, summer is about to be over!

2 months as of today!!! (How long he has been serving his mission) Time certainly is flying, that's for sure! I miss y'all but I'm really getting into the work and finding ways to make it better. Elder Burgin has way better P-Day activities planned and we'll be doing some pretty cool things. We might go bowling later.  
Elder Burgin seems like a good guy, we've been doing a good job about working out this past week. We'll see if it continues :) (They are allowed time each morning to exercise)

I know that I'm out here for a reason. I have a testimony that I'm out here for a purpose and that I'm supposed to be in Manga, Utah. I know that through Christ, we can do all things because he lives and wants us to be happy. I love finding truth and comfort in the scriptures and in serving others, it makes me realize what's important in life. I know that the Gospel has been restored here on Earth in these latter days for us to better our lives. I know it.

 I know everyone in the branch (size ~110 people) and I've been able to build strong relationships, so dinner still comes in every night. I'm actually pretty good friends with a lot of the leaders and branch presidency so we get fed more than enough, that's for sure!

So this past Sunday I was super busy in church. In Sacrament I was translating from Spanish to English like normal, but then a high councilman got up to speak and I had to go from English to Spanish, which was way harder haha. I think I did well, but he was super nervous so he was speaking fast so I was speaking even faster in Spanish. Then I had to teach the Gospel doctrine class by myself when Elder Burgin had to go take care of something else, so that was just a little bit of pressure. It definitely is helping me improve my Spanish though!

So there was this one couple we're teaching, Ernesto and Melissa. We've been trying to help them come back to church, and they actually started attending a few weeks ago and they're just a shining example of how the Gospel blesses people's lives. They've been much happier together, Ernesto proposed, they're getting married mid-September and they just got approved for a loan they've been trying to get forever so they can get a new house and get all their kids into it. They're really happy all the time and the rumor that I heard is that Ernesto cooks some mean Spanish BBQ. He officially invited us to his house-leaving party and with him as Head Chef, oh man, I cannot wait for that :) But he is a really cool character. He's been in a gang and almost lost his life a few times through some shootings, stabbings, the whole mess of disasters. But he's trying to turn his life around and be a good father, I have a ton of respect for him.  Another cool thing about that story is that they got that loan approved a few days after they paid tithing for the first time since they've been together, how cool is that?

(From his email to his Aunt Tammy:)
This week has been awesome. New word of the week is paracaidas (accent on the I, don't know how to type that here). It means parachute. We learned this week that we shouldn't treat our relationship with God like a paracaidas and only rely on him when we're falling out of the plane and need him, but we should constantly make sure it's in good condition and then we'll know it's ready during the tough times.

Love always,


Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Elder Higgins 1st Baptism

L-R: Elder Richardson, Branch Mission Leader, Salinas Family, Scottie, Family Friends


I hope you're doing well today, I've had so much stuff happen this last week, and it’s been a real blessing. We got to baptize the Salinas Family: Alejandro (dad), Alejandra (mom), Leslie (daughter 12) and Kadisha (daughter 10). It was an amazing experience, and we had so much support from the branch (Spanish speaking congregation that Scottie is currently assigned to) here. Almost the entire branch showed up, only a handful of people were missing. It was like 100 people, I was amazed and the Spirit was so strong. I got to do baptisms and confirmations in Spanish, which was slightly nerve-wracking because it had to be exactly right but it went really well! After the baptism on Saturday the Lopez family had everyone over to their house for a big celebration: we had Posole (pah-so-lay) which is like awesome chicken soup stuff. 

Earlier in the week we got to eat with a family that cooked us Peruvian food: chicken and this egg/olive/lettuce salad with huancaĆ­na sauce, which is spicy. It was delicious, and that family was super funny too. 

We are continuing to teach Mathan and that's going pretty well but last night we found out he's actually really big on all of them. That was unfortunate because he's a really good guy, but that stuff is going to destroy his body. Hopefully we can work on that. 

The branch here is awesome, and they have really welcomed me and Elder Richardson. I feel like they're all really nice and they just feed us so much. Because Rich (Elder Richardson) is going home, they keep feeding us like multiple dinners a night. Yesterday, I felt like I was going to explode. I've never eaten that much, we ate a meal every 2 hours 3 times. It was rough haha. 

We just learned that we're getting iPads next week! Our mission will be the first one in the entire world where every missionary gets an iPad. (Scottie’s mission, Salt Lake City West, is used as a pilot mission for some new programs)  I'll learn more next week but that's kind of exciting! And I hear that iPhones are next, how cool is that? (All technology used in the mission field is strictly for missionary work and not social purposes, he will still only get to email friends and family once a week!)

I love y'all, I hope the girls are doing well and that starting school is going well for them too! I know that's never fun compared to summer, but hopefully they have good teachers and classes and friends and all that! 

I get a new companion tomorrow, Elder Burgin (I found out last night). He's supposedly a pretty cool guy, so I'm excited to work with him! I'll let you know how it goes. I will continue to be in the same area and same branch which is good, I love this branch.

My plans for today: help Richardson pack haha! (Elder Richardson goes home tomorrow having completed his two-year mission).

Thank you so much for the package, I loved the grits!  Nobody here knew what they were. 

I also did a bunch of family history this past week, I hope that you can go on and see. I found some really cool things in Ohio marriage licenses and US Census reports!

We have now been to Temple Square twice. Once with the Salinas family, then again with Jason and Angelica. We didn't take any pictures though, wish we would have with the Salinas family, but we'll go back again soon and then we'll try and get more pictures. We were just focused on the lesson. 

It is pretty warm here, still 100+ some days. I've heard it's rained like every day since May 1st in Georgia!

Hey I have to go! Have a great week :)



French Toast he cooked for himself!

Venezuelan Candy Bar that he really liked!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

He didn't send any photos this week so added this one taken when we visited Temple Square together 


I miss y'all a lot, but it's been a really good week in the mission. We haven't had too much new stuff, but we did get to take our golden family to Temple Square and do a tour, which was incredible. A golden family: you teach them and they have no problems and immediately agree to follow tithing and word of wisdom and all those things, they don't have a problem and have a desire to get baptized. It's awesome!!!!!  And the member that gave us a ride served his mission in El Salvador. The coolest thing he said was that he actually served in the same mission as his brother, and he and his brother were companions for 4 months! How cool/weird would that be? I thought it was a really good story, he said they got much closer as brothers over that time. 

My fast went good yesterday, and we had a huge blessing at the end: the best meal I've had since I got here. Hand squeezed lemonade, home-made corn tortillas, delicious rice and beans and salsa, and some of the best carne asada I've ever had. The guy had been working on it almost all afternoon, it was beyond good. It was so amazing, I stuffed myself to capacity and then just kept eating haha. (Anyone who knows Scottie well knows that Mexican food is his very favorite!) And we also met a member this last week who works as an engineer at a protein manufacturing plant, so he gets a ton of free product and gave us this huge tub of protein powder (a nice brand too) for free. That was pretty cool of him.

We have our first baptism this Saturday, the Salinas family, so we're super excited for that! There wasn't anything in the last week that was picture worthy, but I'll be working on some pics of the baptism for next week. 

Elder Richardson (Scottie’s companion) goes home next Tuesday! How crazy is that!? A transfer lasts 6 weeks, so this will be my first transfer (Missionaries change companions  and areas throughout their mission and each time they change companions or areas it is called 'a transfer'). Because Elder Richardson is leaving I probably won't leave (or else there would be two new people here with no experience in the area) so I'm probably staying put, which I don't mind because I love this branch. The Spanish branch (the congregation where he  currently serves) covers the Magna Stake (stakes are made up of several wards and branches: congregations) and the stake is pretty small, I'm pretty sure I've walked every bit of it haha, we walk a lot in the afternoons.

I'm happy, just so you know. I miss you a lot, but when I was at temple square this last week I just felt happy and like I'm enjoying my mission for sure. I want you to know I feel really blessed. 

(I’m also including some of the email his Aunt Tammy received from Scottie:)

I've been trying to practice story telling in Spanish, because I know a lot of stories in English but want them to come across the same way in Spanish too. And it's harder telling jokes too, so I'm working on that.

The coolest scripture I found is Heleman 5:12, I love that one (And now, my sons, remember, remember that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall. Heleman 5:12 from the Book of Mormon)
Word of the week: Esperanza. It's a beautiful word and it means hope, which is something so necessary for us to have in everything we do. It's definitely helped me a lot. (He sends a new Spanish word each week that he has learned or that has special meaning to him.)

Thank you and I love you so much.  I have to go! I love you so much, and I hope that you'll be doing well and I can't wait till next Monday! (His next opportunity to email.)



Thursday, August 1, 2013

Scottie at the Jordan River Temple


So last week on Pioneer Day we started the day off with that parade and it was really awesome, everyone on the floats kept waiving at us because we're missionaries haha. Walking down SLC (Salt Lake City) in Pros clothes (white shirt with a tie and dark pants) is borderline like being a super hero, everyone knows who you are and most people like us. Every once in a while some lunatic will yell that he's the Messiah and he will curse us to the ends of the Earth (true story, that was a weird walk). The view from Ensign's Peak was beyond incredible, we could see everything. 

Scottie at Ensign's Peak

Scottie and his Companion: Elder Richardson

We've been staying really busy, we got to go to the Jordan River temple this morning and that was an amazing experience. (see photo at the top of the page)

We've been eating so good, we had some amazing chicken and rice from Hermana Saavedra last night, and fresh guacamole and tortillas. I was stuffed, and I even made French toast for myself the other morning. I'm the only one out of the 4 of us in the apartment that still wakes up to exercise every morning, but I like it so I don't mind. 

I started reading the Our Heritage missionary library book, I've learned some awesome things about Church history that actually come in really handy when we're teaching and visiting with people. 

We visited a family last week that had a weird looking statue in the middle of the room and the guy told us it was la Santa Muerte...translated that means Saint of Death....aka the Devil. This guy literally worships the devil and told us he prays to Satan to get things he wants. He told us he really wasn't interested in our message, so we left him with a prayer and got out of there asap. Hopefully he'll realize that devil worship is probably not the best path in life. 

We met a new investigator from Juahaca, Mexico yesterday so that was awesome. One of my favorite passages in the Book Of Mormon is 2 Nephi: 31 because it explains the gospel of Jesucristo (Jesus Christ) so well, I've definitely learned so much since I got here.Link to 2 Nephi Chapter 31

This last Sunday was super busy too: I gave a talk in Sacrament Meeting about missionary work, and I spoke for 20 minutes in pure Spanish and I think it went really well. My Spanish is already so much better than when I started my mission. Then I got the chance to teach Sunday School; class members included the Branch President and Patriarch so that put a little pressure on. Then we taught Young Men's and by 12 o clock I was feeling pretty accomplished, even though we had a full day still ahead of us. (Our Sunday meetings are 3 hours: Sacrament Meeting followed by Sunday School ending with Auxiliary Group Meetings; his assigned congregation meets from 9:00 to Noon)  I love staying busy out here, it means we're working hard. 

I'm trying to eat healthier. For lunch today I ate: a plum, 2 apricots, grapes, cherries, and a pear. This lady dropped off fruit; we were trying to not let it go too bad haha.  I eat (dinner) with the Spanish branch, that's an everyday kinda thing!

It's a bit tough being so far away, but I'm trying to serve in a way that would make my family and Heavenly Father proud of me!  I know I'm in the right place. It gets easier every day as I see more and more miracles and I pray for you and all my friends back home every day. 

P-day is back to Mondays until something else weird comes up, but that's a plus! Only a couple of days till Monday :) I love you!



Parade photos:

Deiter F. Uchtdorf, Second Councelor in the Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints

Service Day:

Scottie Hauling chicken poop!