Friday, July 27, 2012

Elder Mateson

max comes home in less than a week! he gets back on the 1st of August. here are a few of his last emails
May 7, 2012
"...I can`t believe I am going to my last area.  I am leaving achupallas (the coast) for Quillota in the interior of the mission.  I will be working in downtown Quillota they tell me its the biggest area in the mission so we have a lot of ground to cover.  ...I am trying to learn, accept, and adapt to the situations and circumstances of life and the mission. 
...the old man is Hno Lepin. He is the most humble example of obedience that exists on this earth. He accompanies us at any time; immediately, and drops everything to do so, he loves it! He walks block after block excitedly telling us about what he ate for lunch and what he studied in the scriptures that day, he has taught me so many things without even trying, just by his way of life."

July 16, 2012
"...we continue working hard.  Today we made a team of the elders that played soccer to play against some members, it was way fun, we lost by one point, but I think thats pretty good for a bunch of out of shape guys playing against others who practice together.  I scored a couple goals and being the only gringo on the field it helped me with my pride for the usa haha,  the highlight was the ball that was overinflated and like a rock and me taking it to the face when the other team was shooting, blood immediately started running out of my nose and my eyes filled with water I sat out for a little.  I thought I had broke my nose so my immediate reaction was oh no I only have 2 weeks left this  can´t happen haha but after using some tissues to dry up the mess it all turned out good.  So I just have a swollen nose now, who knows maybe it will be a topic of conversation for contacts in the street. haha but its not broken just sore.
...Yesterday we contacted a young man in the street and I checked out his sweatshirt which had a small logo "the road to virtue" YW camp huntsman stake 2007 I couldn´t believe it me and elder griffeth were laughing about it the rest of the day wondering how it made its way to Chile."
[*for those who don't know, this sweatshirt came from a Utah Mormon Young Women's "Girls Camp"]

July 23, 2012
"...I am part of the fellowship of the unashamed. The dye has been cast. I have stepped over the line. The decision has been made; I am a disciple of Jesus Christ. I won´t look back, let up, slow down, or be still.  My past is redeemed , my present makes sense, my future is secure. I´m Finished and done with low living, small planning, smooth knee´s, colorless dreams, tamed visions, worldly talking, cheap giving, and dwarfed goals. I no longer need pre-eminence, position promotions, plaudits or popularity.  I don´t have to be right, first, recognized, praised, regarded, or rewarded.  I now live by faith, Lean on his presence, walk with patience, am uplifted by prayer and labor with power.  My face is set, my gait is fast, my goals is heaven, my road is narrow, my way is rough, my companions are few, my guide is reliable, my mission is clear.  I cannot be bought, compromised, detoured, lured away, divided, or delayed.    I will not flinch in the face of sacrifice, hesitate in the presence of the adversary, negotiate at the table of the enemy, ponder at the pool of popularity, or meander in the maze of mediocrity.  I won´t give up, shut up, or let up until I have stayed up, stored up and paid up for the cause of Christ. I must go till he comes, give till I drop, preach till all know, and work until he stops me.  And when he returns forhis own, he will have no problem recognizing me, MY BANNER WILL BE CLEAR.
-Henry B. Eyering
I feel this paragraph or sermon, sums up what kind of an affect that 2 years have had a young mans life.  I look back 2 years, not knowing what lay ahead or what I was commiting my self to do.  I owe a million thanks to Mom and Dad, for helping guide me to this point in my life.  My perspective has changed, this work never had anything to even do with me, yet it has completely and totally allowed me to take on a transformation and change that I couldn´t have imagined possible.  I look back at baptisms, converts, investigators, members, companions, mission presidents and it floods my mind with stories and memories that I never would have had if I had not come to serve a mission.  I feel like Alma 
 And behold, when I see many of my brethren truly penitent, and coming to the Lord their God, then is my soul filled with joy; then do I remember what the Lord has done for me, yea, even that he hath heard my prayer; yea, then do I remember his merciful arm which he extended towards me.
Looking back in the process of helping others God gave me a chance to change and he has molded me and helped along the path to become who he would would have me be.  I am eternally thankful for this process as difficult as it has been, I have never done anything more difficult than this but I have never found a joy comparable with what I have felt here in the mission.  I still have a ways to go in life, it is just starting, but I feel I now know what I must use to overcome trial and difficulty.  The small and simple things that bring about great things.
...I have seen blessings here in Chile and at home - receiving your letters has strengthened my testimony of the blessings of serving the Lord.   Now on to the race of life, the prize doesn´t go to the swift nor the battle to the strong, but him who endures to the end.
Elder Matesen

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Elder Aaron Johnson

From Aaron's mom:

As Moses, Elder Aaron Johnson is returning from the desert!!

His camel arrives at the Salt Lake International Airport
Tuesday, August 7th at 1:05 PM Delta Flight DL1304

He will be giving his homecoming report in Sacrament Meeting
at 9:00 AM, Sunday, August 12th at the Holladay 10th Ward
4601 South 2565 East.  Brunch afterwards at 10:30at our home
2610 Camille Circle

Two great dates to remember and please join us!!

Looking Forward to sharing this long awaited arrival with you!!

Love, the Johnson's

Monday, July 2, 2012

Elder Pinnock

Elder Pinnock arrives home on Thursday, August 16th.  His homecoming is August 26th (with Elder Menlove) at the Stake Center at 10:45.  
This week was another great one!  Sorry for not writing Monday, p-day was changed to Tuesday.  Last week was a little crazy because E. Willmore went home and we had to do a million things.  We did divisions, made plans for the next change, had a baptism and we walked into two suprise "goodbye parties".  Elder Willmore was a great missionary and I love him to death, we worked well together.  The baptism that we had was Esther.  She has been a perfect investigator, she accepted everything very quickly and her son (who was already a member) was thrilled to see her baptized.  We have also seen a lot of our prayers answered this past week (thanks for your prayers).  Vicy Hilario and their son David went to church and have baptism dates for the 28th of July.  Amin and Gemma went to church as well and have baptism dates for the same day.  Ana the daughter of Esther also went to church and has a baptism date for 21st of July.  MIRACLES!  They are all repenting and it’s b.e.a.u.t.i.f.u.l!  

We are very well prepared for this next change.  But I have been on my own as a zone leader for 3 days.  Yesterday was a REALLY busy day.  I had to travel to Tantoyuka for a baptism interview (with a member as my companion) and saw a couple of old members from Tantoyuka that I knew, taught 3 lessons, did divisions with the other elders, planned the travel plans of four elders and I spent the whole night talking with a few Elders that are having problems in their areas.  It was a crazy day!  I even forgot to eat that day (wasn't hungry).  I have learned a ton!

Your letter were nice this week. I am sure that Dad and Sarah will enjoy their trip to Costa Rica.  Jane impresses me.  Josh is smart for filling up the truck for Sarah (that’s my boy).  I LOVED your quote for the week Dad, I will apply it to this last change.  I love you all!

In response to questions, he wrote:
How was it saying goodbye to Elder Willmore? Weird,  we all loved him and we could tell that it was hard for him to say goodbye.  It makes me a little scared because I know that day is coming fast for me.
How was saying goodbye to the Calls? Good, we bought them a basket for tortillas and filled it full of letters from the zone.  Sister Call got all teary-eyed. 
Who is your new companion? Elder Bolon
What are your goals for the last 6 weeks of your mission?
1 5 baptisms
2 finish reading the Bible
3 read the Book of Mormon one more time
4 keep the rules DILIGENTLY
5 Push myself the most I can and be DILIGENT
6 complete the zone goal of 30 baptisims this change

Elder Menlove

Andrew's homecoming is August 26 at 10:45 at the stake center at 4917 Viewmont Drive.  He'll be speaking with David Pinnock.  Andrew snapped his collar bone in half, and he's very proud of the pictures of it, so I've included one of them.  He's done being AP, and is now the zone leader of the Laie zone, over the visitors' center, Polynesian Cultural Center, etc... It's apparently the "celestial kingdom" for the mission, so he's VERY happy to be finishing there! Below is an excerpt:

Whats up! Another awesome week up here. Every week just gets better and better! The baptism for the Cartwright Family will be on Saturday. It's going to be incredible. I'm pretty sure the entire Laie area will be at the baptism-everyone is excited for this family to join the church. Whenever we tell people who is getting baptized they smile and say WHAT! FOR REAL! The father, Bobby, is kind of a rough neck country guy but he's sooo tight. He owns a crane company and works super hard to keep it up and running. It's great to see their progression-the father, Bobby, quit smoking and drinking, and they have a love for the scriptures that is unbelievable! Everyone in church already thinks that they are members! It's wild and i can't wait! I'll send you pictures next week.
Update on my collar bone: It's doing great. I'm no longer in a sling, and i can move it around almost normally now. The doctor has me doing some physical therapy that will strengthen it. The only problem is that the scar tissue is growing into the plate and so i have to massage it out. And it feels wayyyyy good......but i'm pretty much back to normal and the work goes on! I'm still going to bring the sling with me when we go tracting. It's a guaranteed conversation starter and door opener! Everyone feels bad for the crippled missionary...Hahah works every time, suckers! 
So other than that, life goes on as normal. We decided to let the Tongan Ward feed us dinner every night. I'm sick and tired of eating white people food, i don't even like it any more. Especially spaghetti and lasagna. So we just told the Tongan Ward to take over our dinner calendar and feed us every night! I am definitely going to be fat when i get back. My weight is packing on since i can't exercise as hard as before. 
Tell the Mill's hi and be sure you go eat dinner with them. And i like the idea of memorizing the living Christ. I think i will do that.
Sorry it's short this week but we are off to work! We are going to make this the best week yet! I'm so excited for this zone and the work that's going on. 

I love you all! Thanks for all the letters and packages! I couldn't ask for a more supportive family!
Ofa lahi atu and Aloha!

-Elder Menlove

Sunday, July 1, 2012

JJ's home (at our house)

It's so good to see these boys men and hear their stories!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

JJ's home!

This was in Hong Kong but he IS home.

Homecoming talk is April 15 at 9am in the Grandview Third Ward, 2930 South 20th East, with a light breakfast at the house following sacrament meeting. His parents would love to have you welcome him home.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Elder Estrada...

... is home - Great talk Sunday!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Elder Ward

This is me and Elder Moreno with Sister Cheung and Sister Hintze, A pair of couple missionaries, and the Taai family (far right and in the middle with the pink). He was a former temple president here in Hong Kong.

Elder Ward is currently based in the Tolo Harbour area, much closer to mainland China than any of his other areas. He is serving as zone leader and is training Elder Moreno, who is from Puerto Rico. According to his last several letters he is incredibly busy and incredibly tired and incredibly happy!

He will return to SLC on Friday April 6 at 9 pm (Delta #2332). His homecoming is set for Sunday April 15 at 9am in the Grandview Third Ward, 2930 South 20th East, with a light breakfast at the house following sacrament meeting. We would love to have you welcome him home.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Elder Litton

This email came to Scott's family this week. Here are some excerpts:

I got surprising call yesterday... President Pingree called and gave me some sad news... Im moving areas. Im going to be in the English Program serving in a singles ward. haha. It will be interesting. And i guess the Lord wanted to pull a fast one on me and call me as an assistant to the President. Yep... a lagre change none the less. I really am going to miss the amazing families we have been teaching but they will be in good hands. The missionary who is taking my place is amazing and well.. its just feels right. These families will be in good hands and if all goes right ill be coming back to see them get baptised. Thats the goal.

When president pingree called me he told me he had been praying a lot to see who should full the opening as assistant and my name just keep coming to mind. To hear that made me feel a little better. I guess the Lord knows where he wants me to be no matter how i feel about it. Im just gonna trust him and do my best... thats all i can really do. It a big responsibility though. Having all 200 missionaries look at me as an example puts a lot of weight on my shoulders.... but i know ill learn a lot from it. SO... im going to be grateful and take advantage of this opportunity. We shall see.....

Lots of stuff happened this week. First off.. la familia Violante came to church...YES!!! i was stoked out of my mind grapes.

the best night was probably when we decided to help Edith out (the mom) and buy a really good dinner for their family. She usually has to cook for her family and pick everyone up from work and school after a long day at work making air filters on a assembly line and starting at 3am. So she is always exhausted... but just so happy and kind... always inviting us in. Anyways, we brought them over some pupusas (pretty much thick tortillas with cheese or beans of meat inside) which were amazing and they loved them. We just talked about Honduras and had a good time and after had an amazing lesson about Faith... and how we show our faith. Thats when they decided to come to church... like this time for real. He has always wanted to but this time it was a legit YES...and they came and it was awesome. We had a huge scare when they were there because our Bishop (who is just a really different guy) took them into his office on their way to class. I was so nervous because it was their first time and thats a little awkward... but it ended up being ok. They talked about marriage and the temple and nothing crazy happened. I was just glad that bishop didnt make them join the cult..haha.

Also another miracle this week. So if yall remember Rueben Juarez, that 18 year old who we were teaching a while ago but got pulled over with possession of weed and went to jail, we actually had the chance to visit him the other day in immigration. It was wierd... we were just driving home from the temple and i felt randomly that i needed to call president pingree and ask permission to go and visit him in the jail. The jail is pretty far out of our area so i wasnt sure what he would say. So... he said yes. When we got there he was so excited to see us. He told me that he had is court that day and was going to be deported in a matter of hours. MIRACLE. We were able to get him a Book of Mormon to take with him and when he held it it ws like he was holding gold. We talked for like an hour and he told me that he had been going to all the other services in the jail, catholic, Methodist, Baptist... and he said im not the biggest fan. I WANT TO BE MORMON. and when i come back i want you to baptise me. I was pretty stoked on that. It made me feel like i actually made a difference with this kid.

I went on exchanges this week and we went and had lunch at a retirement home. To be honest it was really nice. We meet a guy there who is less active but still has a strong testimony....But pretty much he the retirement home ladys man. haha. He would wink at all the old ladys and say HEY BABY and hit they in the bum with his cane. Way funny guy. I had liver and onions for lunch. I thought i would take in the culture of the place and eat old people food...haha.
Man... the mission is a good thing. I couldnt be doing anything better.

Y'all have a good one.

Elder Litton

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Elder Pinnock

This photo is of an entire family he finished baptizing this week - Dad, Mom, 2 daughters and Grandma and Grandpa. The Morales Estrada family.