Tuesday, November 12, 2013

The first snow of the year in his area!

(This week’s update actually includes email from Scottie for the last 2 weeks. We both had a lot going on and we were waiting to get his new address because he was transferred to a new area, he moved a whole 6.8 miles!)

Monday: (Oct. 28th)
So today was a pretty solid P-Day
(preparation day).  It was so good to communicate with everyone back home, always brightens my week :) We needed to grab some lunch and as we were walking towards Subway Bro. Ortiz picked us up and bought us lunch, he's such a cool guy. For dinner I tried the instructions I've been gathering for a few weeks and made the orange-colored Mexican rice, just like they do at Monterrey's! This isn't my first attempt, I've tried a few different ways, but I finally figured it out and it was so good! I'm excited haha, improving my culinary skills. I also got a box from Grandma! I'll have to send her a thank-you note asap! I'm super grateful for all the support I have from home, it's amazingly helpful and keeps me pushing on strong :) Love you all!

So today was a crazy weird day. Burgin was still sick. Then, in the middle of morning study, I get a call from the ZL's
(zone leaders). They said I should bring Burgin to stay at their place with Elder Hill, also sick, and I'd go out with them. We visited some families in their area, then had dinner with a family from our area: the Juarez family. Bro. Juarez is from Venezuela, but Sis. Juarez is from Italy and cooked amazing spaghetti and chicken. Super authentic and delicious. Then we visited more families in the ZL's area, and finished the night up with a lesson with the Sandoval family in our area. Then we re-swapped companions and came back home. It was a whirlwind day with lots of swapping and meeting new people for me, but it was good. Time for sleep!

Hno. Carlos Ortiz and Scottie,his first real friend in the area

Awesome start to the day! The whole district (minus Burgin who is still sick) combined on a service project where we were cutting logs and splitting wood for a few hours. Then I was with the ZL's as we showered, changed, dropped by Mickey D's for a quick lunch cause they had to take Elder Hill to the hospital to get checked out. I met back up with Burgin and we let him rest for the afternoon. Sis. Paredes dropped off an awesome dinner of enchiladas and rice and beans. Elder Burgin started to feel a little better so we went out and taught the Sandovals and then William with the help of Hermano Ortiz (see photo above). Now, I'm super sore from chopping wood and pretty tired, so I'm about to hit the bed. Tomorrow we'll have another weird schedule because it's Halloween, so we'll see what happens :)

Happy Halloween! We had a pretty cool day today. So I got up and worked out and did a bunch of personal study, Burgin is still recovering from the plague (just kidding) so he slept in a bit. Once he was up we grabbed lunch, and then went to a senior couple's house to pick up some costumes for our missionary party tonight. We came back to the apartment and I got your awesome Halloween box! Thank you so much, and all the other elders send their thanks as well, you definitely made our day. Super cool of you! So then we went to weekly planning and then dinner with the Lopez family, and headed back to the stake center where we had our zone Halloween party. We're not allowed to go out during Halloween because some people in Utah like to dress like missionaries and do bad things and pranks and that way Pres. Swain
(his mission president) can say he knows it wasn't us, so we all had a costume party. Elder Burgin and I went as M&M's (pictures will be sent) and there were some other funny ones: pirate, a Superman, Harry Potter, a really good robot haha. We did a little "costume show" and then watched the movie Ephraim's Rescue (about the Martin handcart company and the guy who came and performed miracles to save them). It was a super powerful movie, and if y'all ever get the chance to watch it, I'd highly recommend it. Then we came home, nightly planning, and now I'm about to get some sleep! Thanks again for the package, that was really cool of y'all :) Love ya! 

Halloween Costumes!

District Costume Show

So today I started off with a 3.5 mile run, which was pretty great and had me feeling all good in the morning. We had personal study, comp study
(companion study), and then went to district meeting. We then spent the afternoon (about 4 straight hours) walking the streets and visiting referrals, talking to people we saw, visiting Bro. Carrasco, walking over to visit Ernesto Carrasco and Melissa in their new house, and then ending up at the Barboza family over in the Magna Hills branch (Burgin's old area) for Elder Edward's birthday/going home party. He's going home on Tuesday so it was cool to see him one more time. And Hermano Barboza cooked awesome carne asada and it was delicious. Hermano Lizarraga picked us up and we went to teach William about the Plan of Salvation and our purpose here on life, so that was a really good lesson (Bro. Ortiz was there too and he always has super helpful commentary). Now we're back in the apartment and I'm super tired, definitely ready for bed. But tomorrow should be a good day, so we're looking forward to that.

Today was a day full of service. Burgin and I got up and ran to the cemetery hill, watched the sunrise, and then we ran down to the restaurant called Sea Bears. It's owned by a really nice couple who are members, and they always help us out with food, so we went to do some service for them. We started off using their industrial sized sink to clean dishes. Then we helped them paint the restaurant, then mop and clean and reorganize their kitchen. They gave us some lunch (super cool of them), and then Elder Burgin and I ran back to our apartments (tons of running and service). Then we were supposed to have a finding activity with Van Horn and Jacques, but that never happened, so we taught Jason and Angelica and then returned to the apartments. Now, it's time to sleep. Hasta luego! P.S. thank you so much for the Halloween treats: the cookies and chocolate covered Oreos were beyond delicious.

Snow on the mountains

So today was a wild day! Woke up and looked at the window to a surprise. Yesterday: in the 50s, fine weather. This morning: snow all over the place. I'll send pictures, Magna is a lot prettier when it's covered in snow haha. We'll see if I'm ready for the real snow in a few weeks. Then, on the way to church we received a phone call from Pres. Swain. I'm getting transferred! I'll be heading to the Jordan North Stake on Tuesday morning and I'll be serving with Elder Biggs, I've heard good things so we'll see how that goes! I'm kind of bummed to be leaving this area because over the last 5 months I've made some really close friends, but así es la vida
(that’s life!). It'll be good to see more parts of the mission. We went to church, came back, and then spent the afternoon visiting a few people from the branch, including the Salinas family. They're really special to me and I'm gonna miss them tons, but I'll be back to see them one day soon! They gave me this awesome scarf too, so sweet of them! Then we had dinner with the Letona/Zaldaña clan. They made incredible carne asada y arroz y horchata y ice-cream cake (the cake was from Baskin Robbins). Their families have been like family to me since I've been here, so it was a real pleasure to get to spend a bit more time with them. Then, we went to the Ramiro-Gomez family's house and they made us hot-chocolate and raspberry cheesecake. Needless to say, I'm super full, but I'm going to try and get some packing done tonight and then head to bed. Lots of food = super sleepy. Can't wait to email tomorrow!

Monday: (Nov. 4th)
Everything will be fine here, no worries. To put your mind at ease, nobody knows what they're doing more than Pres. Swain. That man is beyond a spiritual giant, and I just get this feeling he'll be a general authority one day. There's nobody you would rather have in charge of me out here. 

I'll probably have to go soon, so thanks so much for emailing and keeping me updated. I'll get you my new address asap.

Until next week, love you!


Oh yeah, I will still be in a Spanish branch, that's good for sure. I'm not too bummed, I bore my testimony yesterday (at church) and cried and told them all I felt like I was leaving family, but it's the way of mission life.

(From his email to his Aunt Tammy last week):
I sent my mom a bunch of pictures, we got snow this last week! That was pretty crazy! It was light, but i know more will be coming soon! 

Two words of the week! 
1) Sabiduría - wisdom. When we learn things, we are much more capable of helping ourselves and using that knowledge to prepare ourselves for the trials of our lives. 
2) Amparar - to protect. The Lord will always protect us when we act with faith and if we need it, we can ask through prayer and he will grant it to us. That's something that's been a huge blessing on my mission, and I'm thankful for the help and protection I've received from divine powers above. 

I love you so much Tía Tammy, and I'm doing really well! I'm getting transferred for the first time tomorrow, so that'll be a totally new experience but I'm looking forward to it! I hope you have an amazing week and stay warm! (My sister lives in Iowa so she is familiar with snow and cold weather!)

Monday (Nov. 11th) (He didn’t have the opportunity to type a long email detailing his daily activity so this week he was mostly responding to questions I sent him about his transfer)
So I'll try and answer as many questions as I can:

So my companion, Elder Biggs, it the coolest guy in the world. Hands down. Our apartment is not as nice as the last one I was in. I was spoiled. We live there with our new zone leaders, Elders Moleli (from SoCal but his family is from Samoa) and Elder Ghramm (from Anchorage, Alaska, and super funny!). We were scarce on food when I first arrived but now we've got it well equipped, no dishwasher though, but that's alright. The shower does have a showerhead...but it's lower than my mouth haha (he told me of a missionary apartment that he had visited earlier that had no shower head – just a stream of water coming from the wall!) That's kind of interesting. And the apartment gets cold...the other night the temperature INSIDE of our apartment was 45, I slept in sweatpants, a hoodie, and with 5 blankets so it was legit! No worries though :) I'm happy and healthy and loving life! it's been better the last couple of nights, since it's warmer outside. We’ll turn the heater on when the snow comes back.

My companion is a champion, no worries about us getting along! I've met lots of people, we're eating just as good if not better than in my last area (not good for my health and weight probably!). 

Packing was lame. I had spread out more than I thought over the last 5 months and I definitely couldn't fit everything in just my 2 suitcases, but a few extra boxes and it was all good :) Members with trucks helped us move :)

(I asked him if he knew what he would be doing for Thanksgiving) The branch is having a dinner/talent night, so probably that! The week of Thanksgiving we get a 2 hour p-day on Monday (regularly scheduled preparation day) and then all day p-day on Thanksgiving. 

At Angela's baptism with Elder Biggs

So this last week we taught 26 lessons, baptized someone, added 5 investigators with a baptismal date, and found 3 new investigators. Not to brag because it's all the Lord's work and because of him, but we definitely worked hard! Elder Biggs is awesome. Super busy week, but loving it!

Brother Wagner from the MTC (missionary Training Center) came to "shadow" Elder Biggs and I one day this past week. 

Elder Biggs, Brother Wagner (from the MTC) and Scottie

Church was great yesterday, they have a translator so I was off the hook for that. Elder Biggs has amazing Spanish language skills so it great that we can both communicate with our investigators.

I'm loving life right now.  My new area is great, we live in a hilarious and fun apartment but everyone is still obedient and working hard, and I got a haircut. And we're about to go play basketball!

P.S. I didn't have time to type up a long update this last week, I'll have one this next week though! Sorry!

I love you so much, I love our whole family tons!!!!! I'll keep things going and try and keep better records this next week :)  Have a great week, you're always in my prayers.


(From his email to his Aunt Tammy this week):
My new area is awesome! My companion, Elder Biggs, is from Virginia and he's just a really nice, hard-working guy. Total stud at missionary work, and we get along so well! 

I love you Aunt Tammy! It's a blessing to be out here serving, even though it's hard sometimes. I know the Gospel is true and I've seen it change the lives of people out here. Living the Gospel can bring us more blessings than we can count, and it's a powerful defense in a turmoil-filled world!

Until next week, love always, 


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