For those who would like to write Elder Florence his mission address is:
Utah Salt Lake City South Mission
8060 South 615 East
Sandy, Utah 84070
I had given some of you his home address, but he does not get mail at his home, so it needs to be sent to the mission home or go through Dear Elder.com. I will update the blog to reflect his new areas when I get his master password.
Monday, August 16, 2010
brownies???? I must have missed them. When we go back home I'll look for them, but probably someone stole them. jaja people...(editor's note: The children and I took brownies and cards to him on Saturday and left them on his doorstep).
So gracious where to start? Dad I'm sorry you were been deathly sick! that's no fun! your week sounds a lot of fun and I'm definitely jealous of lion king and the real game. That sounds so sweet!!!!
Well I only have 15 min. dumb library. so I'll just tell a few quick things that happened this week.
On wednesday we had a way sweet meeting for everyone learning a language in this mission and all the visa waiters got to go to. I haven't been studying spanish at all but that meeting really motivated me to work harder. not just at spanish but at everything. I was getting kind of lazy but that day with the meeting and then after we went to the temple I had a lot of cool revelations that have really helped me here. I figured out part of the reason I'm here waiting in Salt Lake and a bunch of other cool things too. The gospel is amazing that way, how if you have problems all you need to do is ask and listen. Heavenly Father knows EXACTLY what we need and we just need to be worthy of those things and follow his plan. It's so sweet. At the meeting I got to see all the Elders from the MTC which was fun and I saw James!!! He's been here 8 weeks now about! that's insane!!!! but there's a reason for it. He gave me his mom's number so you can call her if you want. its 210 896 3734. But ya that meeting was just really good and I learned a lot of good things this week.
Thursday I went on exchanges with the spanish elders in our district. It was way fun. It was just me and Elder Mueller going around. I was suprised at how much I actually understood and could communicate. It's amazing that even though I'm getting less spanish here than the MTC, as long as I keep giving a good effort to my studies, even if I can only get 30 min, the Lord still blesses me incredibly. I was able to talk to this mexican lady for like 8 min. not a long time i know, but it was still cool. jaja I taught her about keeping the commandments and the importance of reading the book of mormon to gain a testimony. It was way fun. The rest of the day we got a lot of other cool contacts and taught a lot of lessons. Then for dinner we went over to this Colombian peoples house. They fed us this giant plate of rice and noodles with spicy meat and potatoes. It was pretty good but ridiculously filling. We talked soccer with them for a while and then played ping pong! It was so much fun. Then right after I we went to another dinner. That's what spanish people do I guess. Just feed you. jaja so I was already full going over to this Mexican family and she gives us each a giant bowl of mexican stew stuff. It was spicy and had bananas and stuff in it, it wasn't that bad for the first couple bites but then my stomach realized it wasn't hungry. But Elder Mueller is telling me in English that I have to eat it so she won't get offended. Literally the last couple bites I was praying not to barf. jaja it was so bad! But i made it through!!! When we got home I was dying all night, but the next morning I was fine and it was just a funny story.
So that exchange was neat. It's so different than english!!! Everyone will talk to you in spanish but when you ask them to read or pray or come to church they kind of back off. You say so will you?? and they're like, ya.... claro que si.... and then you go back and you say so did you read? and they say lo que pasa.... and then the rest is this giant excuse and lie. jaja its so funny! everyone will talk to you, so the hard part is getting people to keep commitments. So that'll be fun in Mexico. I'm excited.
So remember Tyler the Bible guy!? we went back this week to just stop by and he came out and just told us he'd been praying a lot but just can't believe that Joseph Smith was a prophet!!!! no!!!!!!!!! he said he cared for us a lot but couldn't continue to read the book of mormon and meet with us. So he gave me back the giant book of mormon I got for him and that was it. It was so sad.... The that was the bummer for the week but the rest of it was really good.
Over the last three days we've received like 6 really good referrals!!! One is this hernandez family. They speak english and spanish but they decided to have us teach so i can get practice with some spanish. They're super golden though! So it'll be really fun starting to teach them. We haven't been able to contach any of the referrals yet but we're praying this week it goes well and we have sucess with those. so sweet!
Then this week we picked up three new investigators too!!! Frank, Bessy, and Al. Frank is the guy who just got out of prison. He's super cool and we're meeting with him regularly now. He's having a lot of problems trying to keep his life straight, but he says and believes that this church is the only thing that will help. We're having a hard time getting him to come to church and keep commitments but we'll get there.
Then Bessy is this black lady from new orleans, we've taught her once and are going back on tues. She needed support from the bishop since she has a huge family, no husband, and came here as a hurricane survivor. So the bishop said she had to meet with us first. She's baptist so we thought it would be bad, but she was actually really interested and was excited to read the book of mormon. AWESOME!!!
Then Al is this guy from Croatia. Super funny. He didn't understand much of what we taught but we had a pretty good understanding and he felt the spirit and wants to get baptized. So we put him on date for Sep 18!!!! SUPER SWEET!!!!
Then to end the week we had the baptism of Daniel the 17 year old tatoo artist kid on Saturday. All the youth and people from the ward were there and it was just sooooo awesome and spiritual. He's going to be so great and we're actually going to have him come teach with us this week! Such an amazing kid.
So that was it for the week pretty much. Oh last night we talked to this straight up Jamaican. He was so cool. He talked about god and his beliefs and we helped him wash his car and we listened to reggae. It was so much fun. we didn't teach anything. just listened, but we're going back on thursday so that'll be sweet!!
But so for p days we just do anything really. We always go to wal mart and then the afternoon we spend doing whatever. We do our laundry of course, but then like 2 pdays ago we went bowling. Today we're playing soccer and frisbee... just lots of fun stuff. We got out at 6 so the day is spent just getting groceries, emailing, and playing some kind of sport of something. it's a pretty good day.
Well there was a lot of other things I wanted to say but there's a bajillion children here that take up all the computers. Once school starts I'll have more time to email. Have fun this last week of summer!!!! I love you guys!!!!
Tell hunter and jordan I love them too. I can't believe they're going to be leaving in two weeks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! holy canolis time flies!!! that's so cool though. I can't wait until we're all in our missions. Jarom's email was so cool!!!! tell him i love him too. Give me his address too if you can.
Oh and if you could get my medicine one more time before I leave that would be great. I just want to stock up so I don't have to worry about it in Mexico. Thanks so much!!
I love you guys!!! Talk to you next week!!
Monday, August 9, 2010
holy sweet letter from Jarom!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! That sounds like the most awesomest craziest coolest missionariest expierences ever! I want to do that! Coming to Utah was just like, "Alright get off the bus, have fun". jaja so I'm definitely excited to get to Mexico and actually meet the mission president and speak spanish and stuff!! The consolate takes all of July off!!??!! in this economy!?!?! sheesh. jaja but thats ok, It should only be a couple more weeks here.
Then on Friday.... we didn't have any members to come on 3 lessons with us that day so I said in my brain, "hm. Jordan is a member, he's really close to here, I have his phone number...." So I called president (which was awkward because I don't even know who he is) and explained the situation and he said, "..... sure." thats it. jaja so Jordan was able to come down which was awesome!!! That morning we spent at a members home helping them clean out their basement. That's a whole notha story... holy goodness. Its a lady from peru married to this white guy who I think is crazy and it was just a very interesting expierence that morning. But then we ended up meeting with Jordan and started doing work. Two of our lessons that day fell through!! but we got one with Daniel, which was great. I don't know if I've told you about him but he's a Mexican 17 year old tattoo artist, and what they call here a 'dry mormon', 'just add water'. wow. jaja but he really is. he's super golden and he's getting baptized saturday! it's been so cool to see him progress and make decisions in his life that are constantly getting him closer to Heavenly Father. He's changed so much and he constantly has a these awesome questions that we'll sit there and answer for hours. jaja we love him.
So it sounds like your weeks have been great!!!! Rachelle EFY sounds amazing. I remember going the couple times and it was a lot of fun but the thing I regret is I never continued that expiernce. The purpose of EFY is to change how you do things in regular life. They probably told you that but keep studying hard and reading the book of mormon everyday. You can feel the spirit just as strong as you did at EFY everyday when you make sure you are trying to live as close to Jesus Christ as you can. Dad's told me how you've been doing an awesome job at the office too! keep it up! that's so awesome. One thing I never learned either is how to save money. Learn that now because its super important.
I loved all the stories about the cabin. I can't believe you caught so many fish!!!!! that's crazy! and shayla's was a foot long! holy gracious! I'm glad you all had a lot of fun and were safe there and didn't get smashed by a tree!
So did you ever get that package from John that I left at the MTC? that's what had all the shirts and books and stuff. i hope that didn't get lost.
Also I don't have my passport yet. The MTC or whoever still has it so I won't even get it until I go to Mexico.
I have all my bed stuff. Pillow cover, mattress cover, and a sheet. It works just fine and they're easy to wash thanks
So we're here at the west jordan library and its so dumb! They have all these computers and it kicks you off after 30 min now cuz so many people sign up to use them during the summer so we have to spend over an hour and a half just to do email!!!! its ridiculous!!! oh well...
So this week has been pretty good. We got a referral from the senior missionaries of this guy who just got out of prison. He read the book of mormon there and his mom is an innactive member so it was perfect. All our appointments have fallen through with him though so we're hoping this next week we'll be able to start teaching him and put him on date.
Then Tyler who is the really knowledgeable guy about the bible is really interesting too. Friday our appointment fell through with him but we ended up catching him on saturday. We talked for over an hour and a half!!!! all his beliefs come from the bible and so every doctrine is right in line with ours except authority. I don't know how, but when we were talking we started talking about authority and he doesn't believe we need people with authority. He believes his authority comes from Jesus Christ through his faith, which is true kinda... but I don't know. Its hard to talk to him because he knows so much and he doesn't want to accept anything besides his beliefs. So we ended with just bearing our testimonies and told him to specifically pray about the book of mormon and so we're hoping that'll work. We'll go by again sometime this week and see but after that meeting things didn't look good with him. He was so golden but I don't know. So pray for him I guess and us to be able to know what to say or do.
Then we're also working with this lady named Tanaya. She's super great and has had all the lessons but was dropped because she didn't want to do anything without her husband who is just a stubborn redneck. We met with her on Wednesday and had a really good discussion and told her that she doesn't need to worry about the book of mormon, or going to church, the only thing she needs to do right now is find out for herself if the book of mormon is true. I don't even think she had a testimony of it from the last elders!!! The work here is dumb in some ways because everyone cares about the numbers and so right after the baptisms they won't do any lessons with recent converts because it doesn't count towards the weekly progress. Its so dumb!!! They're not trying to help people, they're just trying to get numbers. That's probably why there are so many innactives here! They don't teach so people can get testimonies, they only teach so they can pass baptismal interview questions. Not all the elders do this, but a lot of them do. But anyways, so we have an appointment with Tanaya again Wednesday so pray for her too that she'll get that testimony she needs to make a decision.
Then we're also working with Lily still. She's the 10 year old with innactive parents. She's really good and reads the book of mormon kids version and everything but her parents don't take her to church! We've been working with members trying to get her to come but the members are kind of lazy too. One of the ladies in the primary presidency is good about it but she can't do it every week because she takes like 5 other kids too. so that's kind of rough. We had to move her baptism to september because she has to go to church 3 times or something like that.
We're working with a couple other people but nothing is really happening. Our work is pretty much stopped right now and besides Daniel no one is progressing. There just doesn't seem to be a ton of obedience and motivation here. I mean the elders are good and I shouldn't be talking bad about anyone but it could be so much better!!!!!! so we'll see.
The bike has been great though! thanks a lot for that. So you did get the pictures!?? It was funny that day. We offered to help earlier in the week and that morning we were busy with stuff and didn't have time to change so we went and helped poor cement in their yard in our missionary clothes. jaja it was fun.
Thanks again for the package and all the letters. It makes being on a mission easier when you have people supporting you. pray that i'll get my visa soon though! I want to get there so bad! Well have a good week! stay safe and everyone feel better. we've been here since 10 so I should probably get going. I love you guys keep having a good rest of the summer. I'll talk to you next week.
Thanks so much for the package!!! It was so awesome! I got home about 915 and I see these people sitting on the front porch steps. Then I recognize aunt Jennifer and Sarah and this other guy. The green stuff was really funny! Thank you so much! And thanks a bunch for the bike too. We've been biking a lot and its a lot quicker than walking. The package and the letters were super great and it made my whole week. Thanks a bunch! I don't know if the card is working or not. I tried using it after I called the number to activate it and it said it was denied again. So i'm not sure. Is there money in the account now?
But ya I saw James the first day I was here at the temple. We go to the temple every week, but I didn't see him this last Wednesday. He got lucky and is in the spanish district in the other zone so I've only seen him once. But next time I do I'll get his number so you can call his mom.
Jarom got his visa!?!?! That's so awesome! When he gets to Brazil send me his address so I can write him. That's so cool though! We haven't heard anything yet and when I talked to James the first day I got here he had already been here for 4 weeks. So who knows maybe he's gone already. I'm hoping we get visas soon though. It's a ton of fun here in Salt Lake but I really want to go to Mexico. But thats awesome for Jarom!
Summer sounds super fun for everyone! (cute rhyme) How was the cabin? I'm sorry Shayla was sick. You need to stay healthy so you can have a fun rest of summer! There's only a few more weeks till school!! Oh no!!!! jaja no school is a lot of fun. We ate dinner at this family's house the other night and they had a little girl who reminded me of Shayla. She was really funny and she kept giving us directions on how to eat our food and which stories we could tell. jaja it was really funny!
Ya I am having Jordan download songs.. The rules are just nothing thats wrong in lyrics, beat, or mood or whatever. But it's just like the rest of missionary work so its up to our discretion. We have the choice to easily not wake up and work or to do a bunch of other wrong things. But don't worry I'm obeying all the rules and I'm only having Jordan download good music. How I feel is as long as the spirit can still be there its fine. It's a good rule for on and off the mission because we should always only participate in things that allow the spirit to be there. But speaking of Jordan! I got permission for him to come out and come teach and do work with us on Friday!!! We have two really cool appointments that day and hopefully some more so that'll be awesome. This is his last month at home! Time flies so quick!!!! If you think about it I'm basically coming home in a couple days, because Christmas always comes quick, then all of a sudden the snow is gone, then before you know school is out and its summer again. Then summer only lasts like a week because its so fun, then its basically Christmas again and then I'll be home in May. So when you step back and look at it that way... I'll be home probably tomorrow. jaja but I don't want it to go by that quick. It's been so much fun here so far! We haven't had a ton of success but we're still doing work. This week was hard because Elder Herrera was at training meetings all day everyday this week so Elder Richards and I were kind of lost as to what to do. But still went out and did a lot of work which was great! We're planning on picking up 3 to 4 new investigators this week so we're praying that it happens. We had two baptisms Saturday and two more coming up in the next 2 weeks, but we need to keep the teaching pools full too. It's hard to find people here though. A good percentage of the people baptized are always hooked up by members and stuff so when there's times like this where members are busy with summer and stuff its hard to find people to teach. But it just takes a ton of faith, obedience, and the spiritual sensitiviy to be able to find those that Heavenly Father has prepared for us. Missionary work is very similar to life when you think about it. As a parent you mission is to raise a good family and convert them to the Gospel of Jesus Christ and helping them see the right way to use their agency, and then as always obey the commandments and follow Christ. It's really cool!!!
So before I go I have a quick story about this guy we've found. A couple weeks ago Elder Richards and Herrera actually found this guy and just talked to him a little and gave him a book of mormon. So this week Elder Richards and I went to go see this guy again. The whole day had been rainy and everyone we went to see wasn't home. So we just decided to go see him before we went to a lesson we had planned. On our way over there I was soaking wet dirty with mud from the bike, but as we rolled up to his house I had this way cool feeling. We go to his driveway and he comes out right then. He had happened to get off work early which he said never happens. So we started talking to this guy and this guy is the craziest knowledgeable person I've ever met about the Bible. He was just telling all these insane stories and teaching us all these prinicples from the Bible that were completely correct. Like he was talking about how we were in the great apostasy and how all churches are false denominations and just kept going on with all these things that meshed exactly with our doctrine. It makes sense because the bible is the word of god too. He said he had been reading the book of mormon too but he hadn't started studying it yet because it was too small for him to read. So we just listened to him the whole time and bore a short testimony and just asked if we could come back sometime and teach him an organized lesson. (Hopefully this way he'll try to listen more jaja) But he agreed and we're going back Friday at 1 I think. SO COOL!!! Then later that night we thought of going to the DI and trying to find a large book of mormon. After looking we didn't find one but just as we were leaving I happened to see one in this random place! It was perfect! So we dropped it off to him Saturday night and asked him to read 3 Nephi 27. That's the short version but we're really excited for Friday because if the spirit is there he will feel the truth of the message and all the things he was telling us about will make sense. SO AWESOME!!!!!! But I gotta go. My companions are done with their email. Well I love you guys. Have a good week. Thanks so much again for the package!!!!!!!