Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Second Week in Guatemala (Week 11)

hey family, i'm always glad to hear from my fam. i can´t believe madeline is engaged…thats nuts… i’m really happy for her. i’m glad to hear ben is tearing it up in rugby…i expect nothing less…ha,ha. ok, so guat…freakin…guat, what a place…i’m loving it here! its so hot but its so fun. i am drenched all day in sweat but i’m kinda used to it now but still uncomfortable. i counted the amount of mosquito bites on me this morning and i have 45 on my body. we moved houses from that tiny shack to a much nicer house which is great but it has freakin mosquitoes. its rough and i have to do something about it because that is just not doable…i mean, that is absurd. im just glad im not rachel because rachel, well she would probably be dead. i just have to remember that this mission is not for me. it is about giving the only thing i can give to god and that is my time. we have agency to do whatever we want at anytime so the only thing we can truly give back to god, that isn´t already his, is our agency. so i just have to remember that serving god and saving souls is what this is about. because right now its like 90 degrees and im sweating. but in about 1 month its going to be 110 degrees everyday and im going to die. im still loving my companions and they are both awesome. elder bonilla, my trainer, is a stud and is always working and wanting to teach…its awesome! he is the man and is a really, really, good guy. my other comp, elder Ortega, is also great if we can just get him working. he is a tad bit lazy and a lot of times doesn’t want to work but he’s still a great guy. man i love teaching the people…its incredible! i can´t remember what i said in last weeks letter but there is this one family that we are teaching right now that is incredible. she’s a single mother with 4 kids all under the age of 6. she lives in a beat up wood shack with no running water or electricity and no bathroom. i don’t think she works because she doesn’t have time but i don’t know for sure. anyway, we invited her to get baptized and she said yes. its incredible to think that she has nothing, no money, no water, and no food but she has something much greater then that. she has something most of the world doesn’t have and that’s the church. hopefully she will pull through with her baptismal date…the 9th of feb i believe. i also had my first baptismal invite this week with another one of my investigators named auri. she is 22 and has a 6 month old daughter. she is the oldest sibling in a family of like 5. they don’t have a mom because she passed away and the dad has not been in the family for many years. so she takes care of the entire family plus her siblings. she’s an incredible girl. anyway, i asked her to be baptized and she couldn’t commit but the spirit was so incredibly strong. so we told her that we will help her prepare for baptism. we also invited her to come to church and she did. one of her younger brothers, who is 14, is already a member. she will get baptized though it just will take a little more time. you can tell she is about to say yes but there is just something holding her back. she hasn’t prayed about the BOM yet but when she does that’s when she will say yes finally. so my first baptismal invite was a cool experience. as far as my spanish goes it is definitely getting better. i went from not understanding anything to now being able to pick out words and phrases. so i am improving and i can almost tell what people are trying to say. oh, and let my clarify, i can understand most things when teaching because i know the vocab and the spirit helps me understand what is going on also. that is incredible by the way…being told what is going on by the spirit. its not exactly word for word but i can understand what is going on. as far as talking with normal people though about normal things that is much, much, harder. in those situations i can only pick up words and phrases. i do think i am getting better with my spanish though which is great. in lessons i teach a little bit but mostly just bear my testimony and testify of what my companions are teaching. it is kind of a drag having 2 other comps just because i don’t get as much time to practice teaching in lessons. this week we also did divisions with the zone leaders. i had elder ware come with elder bonilla and i. that was really fun teaching with someone who has been on a mission for almost 2 years and with someone that speaks english and can explain to me what is going on when i need that extra help. the zls are awesome though and they are in our area so i see them all of the time. they are both from the states so its fun talking English…ha,ha. i actually rode in the tuk tuk over to this internet cafe i’m in with them. they are really good guys. oh, another something that is going to take some time to get used to is that moms just whip out their boobs and start breastfeeding in any situation at any time. it really catches a greenie like me of guard. like we will be teaching and then…whooop there it is and its like what the freak is going on here! its just normal i guess so, ha,ha, im trying to get used to it. oh, another cool thing is we hitchhike everywhere and its a total blast. we’ll just be walking on the side of the road and then we run and hop in the back of a pick up truck for a ride. its too bad you cant do that in the states. as far as our new house goes i will send you some pics of it and some other pics from this week. oh, and mom i will send you my mailing address next week because i dont have it with me right now and thanks for emailing my priesthood line of authority. yes, i can only pick up my email once a week on pday. did you get the package i sent home from the mtc? i love all you guys and i miss all of you. i hope everyone is doing well in alamo.


this is where i am right this minute in ilse de flores in peten sitting in an internet cafe..... 



this is a lizard we found outside of church


i look like a tard i know but its me with the lizard on my shoulder


elder ware and i. he is once of the zone leaders for peten. oh funny story he lives is spanish fork and is really good friends with chris and guy. he is in their ward


classic elder bonilla my trainer in our old house. thats the kitchen in the back ground pretty nice...sike

a better view of our old houses kitchen

our church we attend every sunday a couple other times a week for meetings


a couple of other pics of the lake right where i am serving. everyone has told me that the most beautiful part of the entire mission and even of the country.  that is where i am serving. so not just the district but that actual area i am in right now.... san jose peten guatemala is freakin awsome!!!!



Wednesday, January 23, 2013

First week in Guatamala (Week 10)

wow, so i am finally here…holy cow. So i’ll just start off from the beginning. when we got to guat we went to the mission pres house and its in a really nice part of the capital. actually, its really the only nice part ha, ha, but it is in a big apartment building and what not. the assistants to the pres picked us up at the airport by the way. we then sat around like forever in the house and heard like directions for everything in the mission. i had a really hard time staying up because we were on the flight all night. by around noon time the pres got to the house. he is a really nice guy it seems like. it seems like he really cares about the missionaries and his wife is a real sweet heart. she is really nice and friendly as well. after being lectured for what seemed like all day we all loaded up in a circa 1945 bus and headed over to a zone called Almeda. the pres told us that it is the most dangerous part of all of central america. i was kinda scared to be honest. we get to the zone leaders house and then went on splits with some missionaries from that zone...sketchy soooo sketchy. but it was fun just being a missionary in this huge dangerous city. we taught a couple of members and a few investigators. really cool but i didn't really say much because i couldn't understand anything haha. we then spent the night at that house in alemada and when i say we i mean the guys who came down from the mtc in utah together. the next morning we got up and all headed back to the mission home for more directions and thats when we found out our zones. my first area is........san jose peten. i am all the way up at the top of the country right above the lake and man is it paradise. holy freak, it is so nice i will send you some pics cause it is so beautiful. san jose is a small little town on a hill. the entire town is on a hill. 1 of the only down sides is that we are hiking up hills all day. these are not small hills either they are like 55 degrees steep and its like you cant stand straight up because you might fall backwards if that makes any sense. the only other down side is it is by far the hottest part of my mission which is just my luck. the temperature gets up to about 120 with 100 percent humidity. the average during the months i am here are about 95-105 every day. i am going to die ha ha. the few days i have been here have been really nice though like 80 so it sucks knowing it is going to be 100 with 100 percent humidity every day in the near future. ok, so how i got here. it must have been Thursday night that me and a couple other people including elder champagne loaded up into a taxi and headed to the sketchiest place i have ever seen. i mean their were like dead people lying on the ground and drunks everywhere. thats where we went to get on the bus to go to peten. peten is the name of the zone i am in and its the name of the part of the county i am in right now. the bus ride was pretty terrible...10 hours on a bus to get up here...holy cow. when we finally got here it was like 8 in the moring and we left to catch the bus at like 9 the night before. the zone leaders picked us up at the bus stop and took us to their house. about 2 hours later my new companions got there...i am in a 3 companionship. elder bonilla is my trainer and is from honduras and my other comp is elder ortega from el salvador. elder bonilla is the man and is super nice and patient with my spanish. elder ortega i don't think can understand anything i say and i can't understand anything he says either. he talks with an accent where he doesn't say any s's so i can't understand anything he says. elder bonilla speaks a little, little, little bit of english. i have to talk in spanish all the time. it is good because i will learn faster but it is so frustrating. i really have no idea what we are doing ever or what is going on. i went to the store with them that first to buy things and they were speaking in spanish telling me what to get and i was like what the freak is going on and what did i get myself into. so after like 30 minutes of the most confusing conversations of my life i bought my stuff and left with them to go to our house. our house is at the top of a hill and is overlooking the lake which is spectacular. the house is the size of our kitchen and there is only 2 beds so i have been sleeping on a cot until we move this wednesday to a bigger house. the bathroom is also in the bedroom so it always reeks in there ha, ha. the house views from everywhere in san jose are incredible. google isla de flores in guat on google images and you can see where i am right now and then google san jose peten guat to see where my house is and where i spend all day. so the house is small but the view is awesome!! my comps are both really great but only speak spanish. yesterday was sunday and i met all the people in the ward. of course, i couldn't really understand them or anything. i can speak a little Spanish but i can never understand what they are saying to me. well, not ever but most of the time. its great though, they seem nice i think, ha,ha. the church building itself is really nice as well. the past couple of days we have been doing a lot of teaching with members and investigators. it can be hard teaching investigators because at 5:30 we have to have a member with us when we are walking around or we have to go back to our house. that is a mission rule. i think its just because it can be dangerous at night. the area i am in though isn't really dangerous at all. I'm loving it though i am having so much fun. it is just like i thought it would be. we hitchhike everywhere when we go out of the town which is also so much fun. we just load up in the back of a truck bed and go. on the way to church a member picked us up and we just hopped in the back. we picked up like 7 more people so we had like 10 people in the back of the truck and it was hilarious. teaching is great too. i know a lot of Spanish for teaching the gospel but my Spanish needs help for everything else. i can understand what is going on in the lessons also because i know a lot of gospel vocab. like i said though. the mission is awesome! i love all you guys and miss you of course, but it is awesome out here. today is my first pday in the field and we started the day off by playing soccer in the town across the lake with the zl's and some other missionaries. it was awesome and of course i am raw...probably the best out of all the gringos but the Latinos, wow, they can play. after soccer we went to pizza hut. ha,ha, finally some american food. we have beans and eggs for dinner every night. for lunch we go to a members house by our house that cooks lunch for us everyday for 15 quats. she does our laundry as well for 120 quats a month. she is great though and you can tell that she loves the missinonaries. i am loving it out here and miss you guys. i am going to try to send you some pics of the mission righ now. oh and go niners i heard they won and are in the super bowl with the ravens...holy cow harbowl... thats awsome!! you guys have to email what is going on with the fam of course also because that is how you keep in touch with me so email me. love you guys, you are the best. hope cold california is treating you well. love you all!


 This is a picture of a volcano from out the window of the the plane. oh and there are volcanoes everywhere you go

This is me with a machete in alemeda where i spent my first night
Me walking up the hill to my house in san jose. look at how beautiful it is. Its just a lake surrounded by jungle
We walk on roads like this every day

Birds like this everywhere. Like i said we are in a jungle so there are a bunch of crazy animals everywhere and there are spiders the size of your entire hand haha its nuts. 
Elder Ortega and I
This is our entire house it consists of that tiny tiny kitchen in the left and then 2 beds on the right with the bathroom in the middle. oh and cold showers of course haha.
Elder Bonilla and I
Another picture of the lake.  Tell me that is not incredibly beautiful. We pretty much have that view from everywhere I go.  Our area is incredible.
A typical house where a I am teaching. The area is dirt poor.  Everybody is soooo poor.
The view from the top of the houses in the alameda airport
Soccer this morning.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Some Final Pictures and Thoughts in the MTC...

This is an email I got:
today i had class in the morning and class again tonight. i am doing my laundry one last time today before i leave. i am so freaking ready for guat i can't wait. i know it is going to be tough learnign the language but i feel ready and i have faith taht the lord will help me. and if i do get frustated christ knows exactly how i feel so i can always ask him for help. i am so ready to live in guat. i am prepared to take my last warm shower for 2 years tonight. thats weird to think about. i might be sleeping in a hammock tmrw night who knows. im so freaking ready though

Then a couple of minutes later I got this...

the last couple days at the mtc i can't wait. nothing really happened all that excing this week. we had in feild orentation on friday. we pretty much just go to a bunch of differnt workshops all day. we learn how to use the members to help us with missionary work and like how to use the biship and ward mission leader as well.  a lot of sitting down that day but besides that it was pretty fun. the problem with the mtc is there is a lot of sitting down haha. sunday was the best day though because it was our last church thing which is always good. that night we had like a departing missionary devotional. president brown the president of the mtc was speaking and this is like the last week he is going to be president here. so it was the last going away devotional he would do so it was a really special one. oh and i almost forgot president urchdorf stopped by to wish us good luck on our missions. wow was that cool. a person who has a perfect knowledge of god telling us that god personally needs everyone of us to teach the gospel. taht was incredible and the spirit was sooo strong it was incredible. i felt the spirit the rest of the night really strong. that was inredible really really cool. its crazy the spirit those guys bring into a room. that was maybe the coolest part of the mtc thus far. i just can't wait for guatemala. i am so ready to leave. i can't wait to talk to the fam tmrw night. are you going to keep charlie and ella and dave up so i can talk to them?

We did talk to you from the LAX airport and you were so ready to serve the people of Guatemala.  Let the fun begin....


Some of my favorite people in the MTC
 Elder Drumm is one of my best friends in here
 This Elder is from Minnesota and just a really good guy
 This is Elder Krey and I with a legit cowboy from Moroni, Utah
 This is my District and my two teachers.  They are the best and made class really fun.
 My companion and I
 We got an entire bottle of shaving cream and put it in the sink.
 This is Elder Krey who fell asleep every day during class.
 My district in front of the temple minus Elder Krey and Gibbs
 This is our district with a couple of tutor teachers.

the last couple days at the mtc i can't wait. nothing really happened all that excing this week. we had in feild orentation on friday. we pretty much just go to a bunch of differnt workshops all day. we learn how to use the members to help us with missionary work and like how to use the biship and ward mission leader as well. a lot of sitting down that day but besides that it was pretty fun. the problem with the mtc is there is a lot of sitting down haha. sunday was the best day though because it was our last church thing which is always good. that night we had like a departing missionary devotional. president brown the president of the mtc was speaking and this is like the last week he is going to be president here. so it was the last going away devotional he would do so it was a really special one. oh and i almost forgot president urchdorf stopped by to wish us good luck on our missions. wow was that cool. a person who has a perfect knowledge of god telling us that god personally needs everyone of us to teach the gospel. taht was incredible and the spirit was sooo strong it was incredible. i felt the spirit the rest of the night really strong. that was inredible really really cool. its crazy the spirit those guys bring into a room. that was maybe the coolest part of the mtc thus far. i just can't wait for guatemala. i am so ready to leave. i can't wait to talk to the fam tmrw night. are you going to keep charlie and ella and dave up so i can talk to them?


Saturday, January 12, 2013

Last week in the MTC


wow family i cant believe it, its my last couple days at the mtc.  i am so ready to get outta this place…holy cow.  i am so sick of people telling you what you can and can´t do all day everyday.  i cant wait until i leave monday for guatemala.  we fly out of SLC at like 8 i think then we have about an hour long flight to LA where we have a 3 hour layover.  we get to guatamala at like 7 the next morning.  so be ready for a call on monday night.  i swear if you don’t answer your phone i am going to flip.  i don´t know who to call, the house, you mom, or dad.  can you please send an email back letting me know which phone to call because i lose a bunch of calling time if the phone isn’t answered.  so please send me an email back today if you can regarding that.  i think i should be getting on my email again today at like 4’ish so i will email you back when i get your email.  are you still sending me a calling card or do i need to buy one in the store here?  again,  just let me know.  i will let you know the exact time of my flight later today because i dont have my itinerary with me right now.  i just got back from the temple and my companion and i did sealings.  i love sealings and the beautiful prayer that goes with it.  it might be the last time i go through the temple for a year or so.  i absolutely love getting letters from the family.  its the best.  let me answer some of your questions. Ben, i am completely jealous about your presents.  santa really treated you well this year.  those headphones sound awesome but i think i would rather have the niners jersey.  man was i jealous to hear that uncle J, dad, and you all have jerseys.  i can see you now cheering your butts of this weekend for the niners.  that’s going to be a tough game.  i have a teacher that i made friends with that is really into football and he tells me all that’s going on.  he is a packers fan and hates the niners so we have a fun little rivalry going on.  unfortunately, he leaves today though to go to san fran.  he is going to the freakin game this weekend…so lucky. anyway im thinking about that and the sweet nike jersey you got. who’s jersey did dad and john get?  willis i’m guessing and maybe gore or is it smith?  anyway, love you and go niners.  oh yea, and email me about the game because i wont be getting any dear elders in guatemala or letters.  email is the easiest way to talk to me.  letters probably take forever to get back. aunt ann, i loved getting your dear elder. man do i miss your sunday dinners they are the best. nothing better then getting a letter from my 2nd mother.  dad congrats on the new calling. hmmm..most important thing for the seniors... read the book of mormon.  you have to read that book, it is the most powerful tool in conversion. it is the most true book of anything else on the planet. it is the keystone of our religion. the book is actually pretty entertaining too.  its really easy to understand for the most part, minus Isaiah, and its really interesting. i have grown to love the book of mormon here. there are lots of other things but i feel like the rest is kind of self explanatory but for me i never realized how important the BOM is.  like don´t get me wrong i knew it was important but elder holland said this, at least i think it was elder holland.  the BOM with the spirit is the most powerful tool in conversion.  i think it is important for the kids in your class also to read the first paragraph and the last 2 paragraphs in the introduction. make sure they read those and go over it with them.  i will keep thinking of good ideas for the class.  i didn´t take a prep class so i kinda don´t know what goes on in there. new years sounded fun. i think the best part of your letter though mom was when you went to the ferry building to get cheese and bread for raclette.  that just sounds like a blast to me. the thing i miss most, besides my family, is the bay area…going into berkeley and san fran.  it doesnt get any better then that.  i mean utah just doesn´t compare at all when it comes to that…not in a million years.  so my next pday i will be emailing you from guat. i am soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo ready to leave this place. it has been awesome and incredible and i have grown so much here but 9 weeks here is a long time especially never being able to leave except to go to the temple.  im so ready to leave.  i feel like my testimony is strong right now. they say the most important part of the mtc is that you convert yourself to the gospel.  you are your first convert.  second is the language.  the language will come but you won´t have 9 weeeks probably ever again in your life to just focus 14 hours a day on your personal growth and testimony.  i feel like my spanish is good.  i can understand everything people say here but when i listen to spanish speakers on the computer from guatemala they just speak so flippin fast.  i can only pick up on a 25 percent probably of what people are saying.  man i am in for a crazy ride this next week!  i can say pretty much anything i want to in church language but in everyday spanish i don´t know that much.  i’ll be able to practice that with my companion though in guatemala.  its been a lot of hard work here and a crazy 9 weeks but i am ready for the show…time to get out and teach. to bring the people of guatemala the best message they will ever hear their entire life.  and being at the temple today doing sealings and thinking that the families that i baptize will be able to hear that ordinance prayer.  the covenants we make in the temple brings me to tears.  i miss you family and love you all.  i will email you again tonight and maybe this time mom you can email me back if you have your phone. write me back please about the questions i asked you guys. i got the card reader too by the way…thanks family.  love you, miss you, and can’t wait to talk to you guys on monday.


love,

elder call 

Elder Krey smith and Gibbs smallest face contest
My other teacher the man. one of my favorite people on this earth. he is moving to San Jose so he will be living by us when i get back. He is the best honestly so positive and has a perfect balance of fun and work. He is such a good guy

My teacher only in the Mormon church would a small little Asian lady trying to be a small little Mexican lady ha ha
my teacher and companion 
These are like my favorite people in my zone elder McIntyre from Fresno ha ha elder Krey elder Dumm from sac town and then me. These guys are the best
 
Krey, Dumm, and i


MTC Week 8


Hey family how are guys doing? I miss and love all of you so much.  i think and pray about you all everyday.  thank you guys so much for everything that you have done for me. Ben you are the man and i miss you so much.  it brings me to tears everytime i think about our childhood stories like playing down in the creek when we lived in monte carlo. or all the times playing smash or whatever that game was called on the trampoline. i never relized how great all those times were until i came here.  i miss bugging you to the point of a flip out man i wish i could here you scream and yell NICHOLASSSS one more time haha.  such great times your the man and i love you.  i know that high school is going to be tough but if you ever get in a situation you don't want to be just think about serving a mission.  just think about where i am right now and do everything in your power to get here.  4 years is going to come a lot faster then you think.  ella i miss you cute little smile and laugh and i think about the memories with you all the time like going to get cupcakes and playing board games. charlie you little rascal.  i miss laying in your bed past your bed time playing angry birds with you and mom didn't know.  that was so fun.  As for you mom and dad words can't describe how grateful i am for everything you did for me.  all the sacrifices of driving me places and having to deal with me during my "teenage years" i don't know how you guys did it.  you guys just never stopped loving me and making me feel special.  i will forever be in debt to you guys.  the way i turned out today is because of you guys whether that be good or bad haha.  It just brings a happiness to me that i have never experianced when i think about that we can be together forever.  i want nothing more than that.  i could never ever ever give you a thank you you guys deserve its just not possible.  all i can say is that i am floored by the amount of time you guys had to put into me to make me who i am today.  I know that i would be ungrateful at times but that is just because i didn't understand.  i still don't understand but i know now how much time and sacrifice you guys made to help me grow up.  mom thank you for the package with the lemon squares and nutmeg cookies those were teh best.  i didn't get sick off of those this year byut my companion did haha.  when it comes to those lemon squares though there is nothing beter and i didn't share those with anyone haha.  Oh ya and mom i want to hear all the deatails about what you guys are doing at home they don't make me homesick but rather think of all the great times i had with my family doing that same sort of stuff.  Dad i didn't forget about your birthday.  Happy birthday and i hope it was awsome. that sign that you made rachel is hilarous.  i was dying laughing when mom told me about it.  that was such a fun last night honestly.  i can't think of a funnier thing to do then what we did the night before you dropped me off.  what a memory.  my friends always told me it doesn't matter what situation i am in but i can make it fun.  i can't take credit for that though. i am that way because of my mom and dad.  it doesn't matter what we are doing you guys make it fun.  actually almost everything waiting in the car while dads in ross can get pretty long and that isn't alwasy fun haha.  but almost everthing haha.  that trip you guys went on up to oregan sounded like a blast.  i always wanted to go up and explore oregan.  its like the closest state to us and we never got to explore it.  im glad you finally went up and explored it that sounds like a blast.  AS for me at the MTC nothing has changed.  really nothing specail this last week.  i can't believe that it is my 8th week here.  this is my 2nd to last pday at this place i cna't wait to get out there and start teaching real people.  i cna't even believe tthat i have been here for 50 days thats unreal.  time is flying here.  something somewhat interesting that happned.  i can't remember if i told you guys this but my district of 10 guys put down 2 towers of cereal.  they have these toweres of cereal in the lunch room and we put down 2 pof them.  lets see i ate 9 bowls of cereal and elder krey ate 12.  those were the best out of the district but every1 else at least at 6 haha crazy.  i threw up after and so did elder krey.  it was hilarous. oh and i sprained my ankle real bad a couple of weeks ago but didn't want to tell you guys because i didn't want you to worry.  it is getting better now and i can run fine now so all is good. funny thing is elder krey sprained his ankle the same day at the same time.  so we were both having to hobble everywhere and everybody thought we were faking.  we ended up going to the doctor because i couldn't even walk and either could he.  they gave me a brace and sent me off.  its almost better now like i said though which is good.  another funny thing is the flu is going around this place like wildfire.  over 400 missionaries are sick in this place.  of course i am not going to get sick because i have a flawless immune system but im worried about every1 else.  2 out of the 4 peopple in my room are sick including my companion.  haha we have 4 sick in our district.  don't worry though befcause like i said i dont get sick.  my time is up on the computer and i have to go. Love all you guys so much and i will try to email you again later when i do laundry.  love all of you and thank you for everything you have done for me.
 
Elder Call

Some pictures...

My district
Me and my companion Elder Champagne
My district
Me and Elder Krey
Me and Elder Krey

Me and my companion and Elder Krey and his companion
Me and my campanion
Me and Elder Gibb

Thursday, January 10, 2013

MTC Week 6

December 26, 2012
Hey family how was your christmas? what did everyone get? did everyone get what they wanted from santa? what did you guys do all day? let me tell you about my christmas. well i started of the day with cold cereal for breakfast. then we had a devotional thing with elder russel M nelson. that was awsome by the way. i think i told you guys yesterday that whenever you are in teh same room as an apostle you really do just get an incredible feeling. after that we had a chirstmas lunch. again nothing really that great.after that we had a talent show. that was probably the most fun part of the day. it was cool listenign to people play other music then just church music. my favorite song was probably when elders played the scientist on the piano and the other elder played it on the voilen. that was cool and brought back all the memories i have with you guys listening to coldplay. like on the saturday before i left we had that little coldplay party. such good times. and remember when we just went to that house that keving was watching and like the entire family was playing tennis over there aha what a crazy memory. anyway after the talent show we had a painter come talk to us about his paintings. his name is greg olsen. he really is an incredible painter and i encourage you to look him up he reallly does have some cool peices. so he just pretty much would have his paintings on the screen and would talk about why he drew it and like what the significance of it was. really was cool however you guys know how i feel about art. ya i passed out. fell asleep for like the entire a hour haha but from what i did see it was really cool. after that we had a sack dinner because all the workers in the cafeteria had gone home. after "dinner" we watched a movie called a wonderful life. i can't beleive i havn't seen that movie. im sure one of you guys at home has but i can't beleige we never watched it as a family. i would really recommend looking up that movie and watching it. its a great family movie as well. but ya that was my chirstmas nothing to crazy. just a pretty chill day. definitly one of the strangest christmases in my life. defintily one to remember. the best part of the day though was probaly just focusing on the true meaning of christmas rather then all the other stuff that goes along with it. its crazy to think that i only have 3 more weeks here in the mtc before i actualy go out and teach real people. man i can't wait. time is flying here and i cna't beleive it has been 42 days since i have been here. hope all is well at home and marry christmas


love,


elder call

Christmas in the MTC

December 25, 2012
hey family how are you guys. i hope you guys are having an awsome christmas. i miss you guys like heck but i am having a blast here so it makes christmas pretty good. agian thatnks for the christmas presents that you guys sent me. the shoes are awsome and really confortable so those will be perfect. thjanks again. i just got back from a devotion where elder russel m nelson spoke. pretty good talk although a little slow but of course the materail was good. nothing can beat elder hollands talk though. he is the best and he just speaks with such authority. still a great spirit in the room though of course because he is a general authority. we got special permission today to write your family so that makes me pretty happy. although tmrw is pday so i will write you guys tmrw as well. mom just have you phone with you in the morning time so that way when i email yiou we can email back and forth like instant meessage. of course if you don't have time i understand. mtc is same old same old. i literally do the same things everyday. the food here is terrible too which doesn't help. i guess the food is bad any where though because i ate like a king back at home. man what i would do for a home cooked christmas meal right now haha. honeslty doens't even feel like christmas though its kinda funny. there jnust is none of the typical christmas things here. there is no christmas music playing everywhere i go and there is no famiuly of mine and no gifts. in a way though i like it. its differnt. its the first christmas i have ever had in my entire life that i can focus completely on christ. i have jno distractions of wordly chirstmas. its cool that i can focus completely on christ and the unbeliavable gift he gave to each of us. its also cool to think about that i am going to be sharing the best gift in the entire world to the people of guatemala. what better gift and message is there then what i am going to be sharing with the wonderful people of guatemala. love you guys and miss you guys kinda haha. i am loving it here i am happy 24/7. so dont worry about me and enjoy christmas. i will email you guys agian tmrw proably in the morning so mom have your phone ready. also i think 3 weeks from today i get to call you guys because that is when i get to leave the mtc.
love you family,
Elder Call


Week 5

December 19, 2012
hey family how is everybody doing back in alamo. i hope all is well. it is freezing right now here it is obsurd how cold it is. snows like everyday. i wish i could where shorts and a short sleeve shirt like i did back at home everyday. first off i am so jelous you guys got to go to that messiah play or whatever that was. taht sounded like a total blast. i was dying laughing when you guys told me about the santa thing in san fran. i can totally picture that. only in san fran am i right. i mean that is such a san fran thing to do. mom i think it is hilarous how you gave that guys some spare change just based on sebastian and the persons presentation. that is soo funny. dad your welcome for turning you on the the iphone. seriously the best phone in the world. i love that phone so much. it is probaly the thing i miss most besides the family of course. i mean you can do nearly everything on thta phone. as long as it doesnt' have flash. dad how are the niners looking for the playoffs? are we in? about tom brady. i have a man crush on him as well. i don't know enough about joe monatna thoough to argue his case. i think my biggest man crush though is a tie between aryton sena and chris martin though. i love those guys so much haha. dad with your luck on your birthday the world woould end the day before haha. oh well i guess you really havn't ever really had a unique birthday because of christmas haha. charlie i love your letters buddy. i miss you so much and i love how you are so concered about my spanish. keep praying for me buddy i need your prayers. i p layed that maze you made for me as well charlie it was so fubn thatnks for drawing that for me. ella it sounds like you are having so much fun with your freinds that sounds like a total blast. i can't beleive you got to watch chicken run during class for thanksgiving. like what does that movie have to do with thanksgiving at all haha that was really funny when you told me that. i will always remember the time we went to get cupcakes. taht was so fun and they were ssoooooo good. remembver when we got home little charlie ruined the pumpkin one because he was shaking the box. haha charlie is the best. Uncle john glad to hear about your time at MPCC. man do i miss those times. those were the best days in my life and i will remember those days the rest of my life. the light fog in the air after a nice breakfast special. hit the range for a little bit then go over to the first tee. this is the last time yhou are going to see me smile. game on!! smash the ball down the center of the fairway. honestly without a doubt some of my best memories ever. my favorite shots of all time would have to be the shots on 14 on the dunes into the sun. you hit the ball i thought it went left into the water. i hit my ball i knew i hit it well but had no idea where it went. walk up to the green and both of our balls were on the green!! incredible!! defintily the most memorable 2 golf shots i have ever experiacned. when i get into bed at night i want to say about 3 out of 7 days a week. i go through my round at pebble and the holes. then go through all the holes at mpcc in my head. its not to much differnt just thinking about it though becasue some times i just think it is a dream. i get the chills just thinking abiout taht place. as for me in the mtc nothing really new. the mtc is really really repetttive. class study class study everyday all day. no real spirtual experiaces this week or testony builders. the best part about the mtc though is defintily the spirit. if you just pray to have the spirit with you throughout the day and you say it in faith it acutally happens its crazy. you can actualy feel the spirit all day. the spirti really helps me stay calm in class and focused becasue you guys know me i would go crazy. i got an all time high of letters last night. nine total. i got one from the holmes and teh sandys. then like 7 dear elders from all of you guys. it was the best. getting letters really just keeps me motivated knowing thta my family has my back. i got your package by the way but i forgot like it was christams time as was wondering why you guys rapped my package. it took until after i ipend all of teh presents up to remember those were porbably for christmas haha. thanks for getting me new shoes im sure those will be great. i have not worn them yet just because i am still working on breaking in my black ones. they are a little better now but i still get foot cramps beaccue they are small. probalaby the best part about the package though was the picture book. no doubt it was. i am so glad you did that for me. i was going to ask you guys to send me picutes becasue i forgot to bring some and you investigators afamilys love to see what your family is like back home. plus i had like no pictures of the family. that picture book may be the best present i have ever recieved. oh dad a couple more things i need. i need more socks most likely because these socks i brought are really thin and my guess they are going to ware out pretty fast if i am walking all day in guat. second can i get the my preisthood line thing. the paper that says where you got yours and blah blah blah all the way back to joseph smith. i really need a copy of that beacause if my investigators get the preisthood that is the only time they will be able to see that or else i will be gone forever. so if you could please send me that that would be awsome. also do you have any idaea where the socks are that i bought at cabellas? keep the letters coming guys i look forward to gettingthem everyday. thanks for being the best and i miss you all!!!
love,
Elder Call


MTC Week 4

December 12, 2012
hey, so let me answer some of your questions real quick. dad, yes there is diet coke but it is caffeine free so its kind of not the same but still gets the job done. mom, ignore all of ankenmans health emails. i’m not going to get sick, my immune system is flawless, and i have the lord too so don't worry about that. i cannot believe elder may’s story…his story is truly incredible…i honestly can't believe it…it’s just insane. seriously, i don't know how he turned out like he did with all of that stuff that happened in his life. there is no better place for him then being on his mission. dad, i’m so proud that you finished your marathon even with a hurt achilles. the achilles is like the worst thing you can hurt. let me know how it is feeling and if you can still run. i just can't believe that some old guys (john and you) can run a marathon. seriously, such a cool story about how john carried you and you both just helped each other get to the finish line. dad, i liked when you said in the last letter i got from you that i’ll be serving in places where no other person has served before. that is seriously just so cool to think about. if i end up serving up in the way north part of the country with the mayan tribes, there is probably a good chance some of those people have never seen a white person. nobody ever goes up there. such an unexplored piece of the earth. those mayan tribes are living like they lived 1000 years ago. its crazy to think that i am going to be teaching the lamanites themselves. i could quite literally be teaching in the same exact spot christ taught some 2000 years ago. its crazy to think that thought and i am just a representative of jesus christ doing exactly (or trying to) what christ would do if he was on this earth. seriously, that’s just a crazy thought. dad its about time they get rid of the coach at cal…they sucked this year. hopefully the new cal coach will get kline in there next year and get maynord out of there…that kid is garbage. i think that i would like to play rugby at BYU when i get back if i could play anywhere. i would love to play at cal but there aren’t that many mormons and its also 25000 more a year. i would love to play rugby at byu when i get back…that would be the best. crazy to think that i am half way done with my stay here at the mtc as of today…my experience here is flying by. nothing really too exciting happened this week, just kinda more of the same…class all day pretty much. we had a member of the 70 speak to us last night which was really cool. word on the street is that a member of the first presidency is going to speak to us on christmas. what an experience that will be. i have been writing grandpa brown a lot too. i told him about how elder holland spoke to us and of course grandpa knows him. grandpa said he asked a favor from him a few months back. thats so cool how grandpa knows him that personally. can i ask you guys to do me a favor please? if you could send me kevin’s address that would be awesome because i really want to write him and see how he is doing. tell ben to write me, i haven’t received a letter from ben since i wrote him last and i love hearing from him. also if you guys could keep up the letters that would be great. seriously, the only thing i have to look forward to is the end of the day when i get to see if you guys wrote me a letter. your letters are the best and keep me positive. i don't care about what is in them. it could just be what you did that day or something, but i really love hearing about how life is at home. the only thing i want for christmas is letters, socks, and shoes. oh, and could you guys also thank the nearon family for sending me a christmas card…that was really nice of them to do that. again, all is well with me and i am having a lot of fun and learning an absolute ton. i miss you guys so much and i hope all is well at home. i love you guys and i can't wait to hear from you again soon.

 love,
elder call
oh yea, also go lds.org and listen to the song come thou fount of every blessing. its by far my favorite hymn and brings me to tears every time.


MTC Week 3

 
December 5, 2012
hey family…how are all of you guys doing? i miss all you guys so much. i can't beleive that i have already been gone 3 weeks. it honestly seems like it has been like a week at the most. i don't know really what to tell you guys because the mtc is pretty repetitive. nothing really exciting happened this week besides the fact that i scrape everybody in volleyball, basketball and 4 square. that’s just because i am raw though. gym really is the best time of the day and i am probably the best athlete in there. i know i need to work on my modesty but really i’m raw. i have started lifing weights again too which is fun. i switch off between weights, running, and sports everyday. i still really enjoy all of the guys in my district. my companion is still great and we get along great. all of the guys are just awesome and i am going to miss them when i have to leave. elder krey is probably the person i am most close to and most alike to. he is the elder from brentwood. he is the man and i really enjoy spending time with him. he is going to the same mission as carter…tallahasse florida. his companion elder gibbs, who i also really like, is from cottonwood heights and is going to wisconsin. everybody i talk to has pretty much nothing bad to say about guatemala. i have met several people here who have served their missions in the northern region of guatemala just like i am and they say it is incredible. they tell me you have to hike from village to village and the people are just so great. i have also made pretty good friends with elder johnson. he is from the cottonwoods as well and he is going to thailand. he is friends with elder gibbs from back home and that is how i got to know him. i talk about thailand with him all of the time…every chance i get. if he wasn't excited to go there before he will be now. he says the language is nearly impossible to learn. i beleive him to because he tried to teach me how to count to 3 and i could barely learn that. he is like 1 of 5 people that are at the mtc right now that are going to thialiand and i have made pretty good freinds with all those elders. my language is coming along pretty good. i am not the best in the class but i am defintily not the worst. i have found that the best way to learn the language is just by speaking it as much as i can. when i speak the language i sometimes can't beleive how much i know…its crazy. its weird though because sometimes i get really confident about my spanish and then i can get negitive too and think that i know nothing. its crazy though how you can absorb information here because the spirit is so strong. if you were to put me in a classroom for 12 hours a day back home i would commit suicide, but here i can bare it and actually i enjoy it. i have great teachers and i enjoy learning. the thing that i have learned the most here though is the strengthening of my testimony. i have been praying for a stronger testimony of the church since i got here. while we were in personal study we were listening to the mormon tabernacle choir and reading our scriptures. we were listing to “come thou fount of every blessing”. that song literally makes me cry everytime i hear it. it is the most beautiful song i have ever heard. anyway, when i was listening to that song and reading the scriptures all of a sudden i got hit by a train…that train was the spirit and i was at a loss of words…i couldn't speak. the spirit just testified to me like it had never testified before…it said this church is true; you are making god happy by being here and joseph smith is a prophet. it was all as clear as day. i have never felt like that in my entire life. i then continued to read my scriptures and i was reading somewhere in mosiah when the first verse i had read since getting that feeling it read something along the lines of “now that you know the gospel is true follow my commandments and endure to the end.” i will get you guys the scripture but i can't remember what verse it is right now and i don't have my scriptures with me. then like 2 minutes later another verse spoke to me…the spirirt was burning up my body and again i couldn 't speak. i had kinda been stressing out about all the stupid little lies and little sins i had done my entire life and was wondering if i would ever be forgiven, then i read this verse and it said something along the lines of “after begging forgiveness from god you are forgiven and your heart shall be filled with joy so much that you can't speak.” It was something along those lines. again, i will get you guys the real verses. but anyway that was exactly how i felt…i felt so much joy that i couldn't speak. it was incredible and was one of the best moments of my life. its incredible…i have always had a testimony but not a very great one but now i cannot deny this church…i can not doubt it as a whole. ya i might doubt certian things but through prayer and personal revelation i can get a testimony of it…it is incredible though that because throughout almost all of high school i thought that being mormon was a burden, a chore, and not a gift. but after being here for 3 weeks i have conluded that i am 1 of the few lucky people on this earth to be born into the church…everything makes sense and its the best. the church is true and joseph smith is a prophet. I don't know what i did in heaven to deserve the best family in the world and to deserve to be born in this church. i can't stand the thought of people going throughout their entire lives not knowing why we are here and what god has promised to us after this life if we are faithful. again, i have no idea why i was born into the church but i can't thank my heavenly father enough. i have experianced a happiness here in the mtc unlike any other happiness i have had in my life. this mission is the best and i am so glad i am here. it is the best thing that could have happned to me. i know this church is true and that i am where the lord wants me and i can't wait to share this same happiness with the people of guetemala who have nothing and who have no idea about the message i am about to bring their way. they may have nothing now but when i tell them this message and get somebody to listen and to join i can guarantee that even though they may have nothing they will be among the happiest people of this earth. i know this to be true. i love all of you guys and miss you so much. i love your letters and keep them coming!
love,
elder call
 
hey, sorry i didn't respond to your letters in my last email it’s because i didn't have them with me. i am now doing laundry though so i can write you again real quick. the scriptures i was telling you about in my last email are mosiah 4:6 and 4:20. 2 really good scriputes and the spirit just testified to me that these 2 really apply to me. dad congratulations on finishing the marathon you have done a marathon for every year of my life thats incredible. i don't know of anybody that has done that many. i am bummed about not leaving to guatemala today but there is a reason for it and this mtc isnt that bad. the thing i am probably most upset about is the fact that i wont be in the mayan land for the end of the world which is suppossed to be on december 21. to say that i was there for the end of the world would have been awsome. on the contrast though the rumor around this place is that the prophet and 1 other member of the first presidency is supposed to speak to us on christmas. dad, i don't know how but i didn't get here with the socks that we bought at cabellas…i’m mad. if you have those socks or know where they are could you please send them here please. i think the last time i saw them was at grandma browns either in the basement or in the car. the costco levis fit good and i think we did well with the rest of my clothes. i will though at some point need more socks. the socks i have now are really thin and they will probably wear out pretty fast if i had to guess. the boots are awesome…i seriously love those things. i don't need anything for christmas that i can think of besides those couple of things i just mentioned. i will need another journal at some point in my mission because i go through about half a page a night. there are not enough pages if i write that much so i don't need 1 now but i might like half way through the mission. i don't want to write less in my journal just to save space. i don't need anyting else for chirstmas but if you do send stuff everything else will just be icing on the cake. i will let you know if i need anything else. thanks family, you guys are the best. tell ben that i got his letter and i am writing him a seperate letter today. i will mail it out today as well so he should get it soon. thanks family for everything



Week 2

November 28, 2012
hey family how is it going in california. i miss you guys and hope all is well. wow where to start. well the second week at the MTC was WAY easier then the first. this week flew by. there is a saying about time at the MTC. the days go by slow but the weeks go by fast. this is so true i cant even beleive it. the days seem like they take forever i mean they do i am up and having something to be doing every minute for 16 hours a day. the days seem long but not nearly as long as those first couple of days. it is crazy to think that it has already been a week since i wrote you. this week went by soooooo fast. the definite highlight without a doubt of this week is hearing elder holland talk on thanksgiving. that was truely incredible. we have been listening to a lot of talks and watching a lot of talks and elder holland is my favorite so when i heard that he was speaking i was so excited. he is so good at public speaking and getting the crowd involved and he speaks with such authority. authority i would argue nobody else can match. he talkes with so much energy and with such passion. i love how he gets reallty loud and passionate then he humbles himself down to tears when speaking about the savoir. he has such a spirit with him you can literally feel it when he walks in the room. so that was one of the coolest moments of my life. i tell what wasnt one of the greatest moments of my life was thanksgiving in the mtc. the food here blows and thanksgiving dinner all my freindees were like this is pretty good. i was like good? what are you guys eating dog food and canned turkey, potatoes, stuffing, and vegitables for thanksgiving. i didn't actually say that but i wanted to beacause all i coujlde think about was how good our thanksgivbing dinner is. i was also thinking of you guys on friday becasue i would have done anything to go into the city with you. that is just the best. i just got back from the temple like 30 mins ago. i love the temple its like the only 2 hours of the entire week you can acutally relax and the real reason i love it so much is because of the food. the breakfast at the temple is outstanding. but i really do like being in the celestial room it is awsome. wednesday is my p day thats why i am writing hyou guys. I REALLY NEED NEW SHOES. the shoes i got from ross i have the biggest blister on my heel and i can't even walk. i mean you need to write me asap so we can figure this out because i am having to wear my boots everywhere because i cant even walk in my otbher shoes. i am wearing them right now though because i am trying to break them in to see if that makes a difference but really i am in serius pain and that just isn't going to work when i am in guatemala. so if you could talk to angelene or something to see if she can bring me by some new good CONFORTABLE shoes that would make my year. there is no way i am going to be able to wear these shoes for an entire day in guatemal and i can't wear my boots all the time because then they will get worn out. so mom if you could please please please figure out something with angelene to get my new shoes before i leave a week from today i will be so greatful. i am a size 11 shoe. by the way angeline sends me so many packages its great. but i need new shoes hah i cant get my mind off of that thought. the mtc is great though. i am still having a blast(until i have to walk) and i love every second of it. ya it is hard work but i have such a good district that it makes learning really easy. spanish is starting to come along and i am beginning to start to be able to talk and understand more. i am in very nervous though about leaving to guatemala in a week from today. my spanish isnt that good. a week from today it will be pday and i think i should be writing you again that day but if i dont its ok because i am going to call you from the airport that night. we fly out of salt lake at like 8 i think then have a lay over at LAX. so i will probaly give you a call arouind like 11 pm or 6pm. i wan't to call you from salt lake becasues that way i can talk to ella and charles but i will call hyou again that night from LAX. it is going to talk like 11 hours to get to guatemala. we fly out of salt lake at 8 and then a layovber in lax for i cant remember how long but we get to guatemala at 7am the next day. i am going to be exhuasted. i was made travel leader for the kids going. there is like 10 of us so i have a huge responsiblily on my hands. no just kidding i was made leader probably beacause my name is first in the alphabet. ya but be expecting a call about a week from today and another email hopefully a week from today. i only have like 30 mins to write you so thats why there is a lot of typos and its not as long as you hope mom im sure. so let me just emphazize again i need new shoes before i leave so mom please talk to someone who can bring them by to me. did ben get his letter? i sent one for him. write me as much as yhou can i love and cherish all those letters. they are the best and they usually come right when i need them most. i have met a bunch of great people and it is torture not being able to "flirt" with the cute sisters haha. it is such a weird change being missionary and really quite stressful at times when you are tinking that you are supposed to act as if you were christ himself because you are representing him and spreading HIS gospel. that is a constant reminder to me. its weird this mission isn't isnt about me. it is 100 about saving human beings souls and spreading christs church. i can recieve blessing for doing so but at the end of the day none of this is abiout me it is about changing peoples lives and helping them feel a happiness taht they have never felt. this church is amazing and i can't believe i am a missionary acting in christ place. i am doing exactly what chirst would do if he was on this earth and that is what i need to remember. be kind to the less forunate and i love all of so much i can't even take it. send me letters. goodbey

Hola from the CCM! ( Week 1)

November 21, 2012
Hey family i am officially done with my first week at the MTC. Thus far it has been an awsome. the first day was solid and i was pumped and ready to learn. i met my companion shortly after i arrived here and his name is elder smith from murry UT. he is a super cool guy and we get along great. he was a swimmer in high school and has always wanted to serve a mission. we get along great and we really compliment each other and our teaching styles go great together. there are really 2 things in my mind that really stick out about the CCM so far. 1 the spirit is sooooo strong here it is insane. like you just feel the spirit all day everyday. you can feel the spirit working on you even when you are trying to learn the language. its safe to say i have never felt the spirit so much and so strong in my life. 2 everybody farts here its hilarous. it is no joke like i thought it was just all talk heaing it from other missionaries but it is no joke. it is so funny and is disgusting. the food in the cafeteria blows. at first i was eating the food but then i was like this is crap food and is crap for you so why would i eat it so now i just eat these salad rap things. my campanoin and i are on a eat healthy plan currently and are on day 2. haha so far so good. my spanish class is probaly the most fun part of the day. MY TEACHER IS THE BEST!!!! his name is hermano cameron. he is from south jordon utah. he has a super high voice and talks sooo fast its so funny. he is just a really fun guy and makes learing spanish fun and easy. well actually not easy but he makes it more fun. i feel like my spanish is coming along ok. i can say basic stuff like getting to know someone and stuff and then like church stuff too like praying and bearing my testimony. i think that the spanish is going to be the hardest part of my mission but the good news is that i can already speak way more and have learned way more spanish then i did in the 4 years i took in school. the spirit really helps you to stay calm and patient and really helps you obsorb all that you can. now to my district. its made up of 10 guys and i couldn't be more happy with. they are all so great in there own way. we all have so much fun. we learn when we need to learn. and when we laugh boy do we laugh. it is so great i love every1 of those guys. i have 2 guys from the district that i am better freinds with then others besides my companion. there names are elder shampagn from south jordon and elder krey from brentwood. where to start with elder champagne. he is a goofball. he is honeslty one of the funniest kids i have ever met he is hilarous. just the way he says stuff and he looks so funny. like yesterday he said he could beat me in a race so of course i was having none of that and i told him i could beat him. he is like 6 foot 2 and 150 pounds he is so skinny. so anyway we raced and i was killing him. we were racing on this track inside and there are weight machines lined up along the track. i was killing him and i passed the finish line and i look back and hear him yell. he had tripped at the last second and summersauled and went spread eagle right into the bar of one of the weight machines. i have never laughed that hard in my entire life it was unreal. i had to pinch myself to make sure it happned. so anyway turns out he like bruised his pelvis or something and could hardly sit down. the funniest part of it all though is that he was just making fun of himself. he went on to tell me taht he is that 1 percent of the population that has terrible luck. he started telling me all these stories about his bad luck. like the time he flipped a 3 wheeler motercycle in front of all his freiends when he was trying to make it up a hill. the rest of gym time that day he was just telling me all these stories for like 30 mins and i didn't stop laughting the entire time. so thats elder champagne., he is the man. then there is elder krey who is from brentwood. we become freinds just because we are both from cali and from the bay. he graduated in 2011 and went to a year at BYU he is a super good kid is a jock just like i am. it is so funny we have the same opinions on everything. he also is super cocky like kev whcih i thing is just so funny. he is also a golfer and played in high school. he is like a 4 handicap and we always talk about pebble beach because he has played there before too. those 2 elders just i have grown especially close too but i love every1 in the district. there is this 1 kid elder brown. he is a unique guy. he grew up with nothing and both his parents are alcoholics. he was involed with gangs his entire life pretty much otherwise he would just get made fun of and beat up. he is like 4 foot 8 swear and says like 4 words a day but this kid has got a testimony like i havn't heard before. it is just the sweetest storie i have ever heard. he problems learing and is also blind in 1 eye. he gives it everything he has though and has such a postive outlook on life. the kid just radiates with the spirit it is unbelievable. he rooms with me as well as his companion elder page. i really like elder page too. its crazy i love every1 in my district and they are all so funny but we know when we can laugh and when we need to work. our branch presidentcy is hilarous as well the president wears a wig so like none of us can take him series and 1 of his counselers looks like chris farley i cannot even look at them or else i will laugh. the first couple days felt like 4 or 5 days in just 1 day they wiould go by sooooo slow but now they ares starting to go by really fast. when you are feeling the spirit all day everyday the time just flies it is crazy. being in this place just makes me realize how stupid everything else in my life is like nothing else matters besides this and family. this place is lots of hard work but i soo much fun. and my district makes everything so much fun. write me tons of letters i love them and i love all the letters from my aunts and uncles about there missions whenever i am having a tough time i just read a couple of those stories. you guys are the best and i love all of you so much. i miss you guys so much but the days are going by so fast here now and i love it. send me letters so that i can have you addresses so i can write you back. again i love all of you guys and i miss you guys. this is going to be such a good 2 years and i am so exited. only have 30 mins to type later