Monday, January 26, 2009

Another Crazy Experience

Well this was a pretty good week. We had area conference this was really really good. The priesthood session was question and answer, there were some pretty weird questions, but for the most part it was good. It was broadcasted from Jamaica and President Eyring, Elder Bednar, President Johnson (area president), and President Anderson (presidency of 70) were all there. Sister Allred was there two. It was cool that a couple of them recorded their talks in spanish instead of having translators do it. But Elder Bednar´s talk was really was about testimony and conversion. One of the elders was asking questions about the difference between them just the day before, so we were all thinking about it, and then what do you know, Elder Bednar tells us. (by the way, i was right). Anyway, Luisa and Perla both had their interviews, everything´s good. Oh, and we had 10 investigators (all 6 of our fechas went) that went to church, so that was exciting. What else. Oh, one night we were over at Perla´s house teaching everyone and then right at the end a guy ran in the house and was quickly followed by a guy with a machete. The one guy went and tried to hide while the other one was trying to kill him. Then two other guys with knives came in. They got the one guy to calm down and go outside and wait for the other to come out. But alot of stuff got broken, but luckily nobody was hurt...well not that bad anyway (I don´t know about after the guy ran out the back door though). But it was crazy. Really crazy. Ummmmm. Oh, we found an inactive Haitian lady, she´s way cool. And some of the people that she lives with aren´t members, but they don´t know spanish very well. So we watched The Restoration in French (the first time i´ve seen it in the field) and we´ve also had the inactive lady translate (into Creole) for us. They both came to church for the conference too. So that was really cool. I actually understood parts of it. I´ve wanted to learn more creole and french before, but now i really want to learn it. my comp has some creole cd´s, but neither of us have a cd that doesn´t help.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Zone Conference, etc.

Actually now that I think about it, I´m going to send my emails in parts so I won´t lose everything. So I´ll send this part now. Yeah, I answere all of those questions plus some. It made me mad when the power went out, and that the computer lost the email (I had just copied it and was about to push send). Anyway, the metro was closed, but zone conference was good. I got to see a lot of people I haven´t seen in a while, Elder Gregson, King, Lowe, Sheridan (all from my group). I was really excited to see the first two, and they were excited to me. The whole mission (well it seems like) all know about me and Elder merrell being comps, and they all asked about it. I don´t know why that was a big question. Anyway, Guillermo and Niña did get baptized, and so did Hna. Mendoza. We have 6 more baptisms coming up too. 4 of them AFTER transfers, which is kind of scary, but since we white washed the area AND since we are having success we probably won´t go anywhere...but nothing is certain in the mission. One is the lady in the apartments, Luisa. Another is a girl (part of her family are members...and the weird thing was is that they were baptized by someone in my the west mission. that was cool to find out). Two of them are the mendoza´s kids, and the other two are sisters in a part member family. They had fechas when we got here, but we couldn´t ever find them....until now. Well, English class had a lot of people again....but President Johnson (Area President of the Caribe) was there in the room we normally have it in. So all the kids kept running in there and interrupting their training meeting. He came to our sacrament meeting on sunday too. It was waaaay bad. When we started, there wasn´t even 20 people there ( one investigator...but she´s crazy), by the time E. Johnson got up to talk there was 93 people there (9 investigators). He talked to them about getting to meetings on time. don´t leave at ten to get to a meeting that starts at ten. That was the biggest thing he stressed. You´re supposed to be there AT ten. Good thing we were way early, nicely dressed and greeting people. He came up behind us and scared us, well, it made me jump. This is the 3rd meeting I´ve been at that he´s there too. He always asks me Where are you from elder. When i tell him arkansas he just says, oh....and then asks the next person, and then asks what part, oh, I know somebody....etc. Oh, and we eat out everyday, but i still have a ton of money. Oh it´s sooooo good. We always get ice cream and batidas (like a shake). so good.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Another Lost Email :( But Pictures! :)

Well, I wrote a huge thirty-minute email . . . . . but the power went out for a second . . . . and my computer was the only one without a backup battery. So I lost everything. I’ll explain the building in a written letter. Well, the most important thing is that we have had so much success. We have already had two baptisms. Then we’ve had a couple of people come to us (they probably won’t get baptized until next transfer . . . . it is actually two couples, in one of them the girl is a member, and in the other, the girl’s family are strong members (bishopric, other callings)). Other missionaries also found a lady for us. She was visiting her member son, and they talked to her, gave us all her information. She lives in this huge apartment complex. A little background – In the beginning of the transfer, we found a piece of paper with an address on it, and by a miracle we found it . . . that was at the very beginning of the transfer. At that time I thought since it was all chance and miracle that the lady would’ve been good. She wasn’t. Then I thought we would have good contacts. Nope. Ok, now back in present. So when we got that reference, we knew exactly where she lived. That was good. And she really wants to get baptized. So something good has finally come from that miracle of finding that one random address. Anyway, but the greatest thing is that on Sunday, the bishop came up to us and was like, “Hey, Hna. Mendoza (the wife of the 1st counselor) wants to get baptized now. I resolved all her doubts. She’s going to get baptized on Thursday, should I announce it?” We were like “YES, announce it.” She knows everything, we’ve taught her once, she knew all the information, but had some doubt (she wouldn’t tell us, but somehow the bishop got to her . . . . ) Her husband was baptized 4 years ago. Like two weeks ago, Hno. Mendoza said she would get baptized this month . . . . we didn’t believe it, but he was right. Well, I’ve got to go.

P.S. Oh yeah, and Sacrament attendance has double since our first week here. Alot of the inactives we have visited came. That was cool.

Stephen also sent some pictures, with these captions:

Our random baptism our first week, Yoanna (Joanna)

And Hender. He's way active and his brother too, but their mom is less active; she goes every once in a while.

Monday, January 5, 2009

More News

Well, not much happened this week, so it´s a good thing that you asked alot of questions. Well, Elder Parkinson is alot like me. Quite, relaxed. But yes, we are working. We´ve been looking for people, but we haven´t found anyone just outstanding yet. We´ve actually found some of the old investigators....they aren´t that much better than our contacts. So....I don´t know what we´re going to do for now. We actually do have a baptism this week though...but it is an 11 year old kid that just wasn´t baptized when he was 8. He´s way smart and really is interested in learning all he can. It´s pretty cool. And no, we haven´t ridden the metro yet, but we will Wednesday because we have to go into the capital for zone conference, which I´m really looking forward to...i´ll get to see alot of people I haven´t seen in a few months. That´ll be cool. In this area we don´t have bikes. And yes, bikes just stay in the same areas. Our area is too muddy and hilly, and the good streets are way too crowded with cars and motores (motorcylcles). So yeah, it takes forever to get anywhere. I heard through E. Hansen who heard from E. Robison (my brother in the mission) who heard from an AP, who heard from E. Merrell that Guillermo and Niña got baptized. Di que (supposedly). I´m not sure, but I´ll find out for sure at zone conference. That was way exciting to hear.
Oh, and this ward is about 300 members (not even 100 just got split a month or two ago). Boca Chica (which just became a ward a little after I started) Has 500 members, 200 active. But the leadership here is really, really strong, and they are really motivated to help us find more people....I´m sure you can imagine why. And about the package, I don´t know if it was enough, because they haven´t taken it off yet....but don´t worry too much. I have 10, 000 pesos when i should have about 3,000. We get 7,000 more in 10 days. So don´t worry too much about that. So I guess you haven´t sent that package, in that case, can you send me another copy of my patriarchal blessing and a watch. Thanks, well, until next week. And no, my comp didn´t say anything when i did it. he was pretty stunned.

Monday, December 29, 2008


Well, this is for everyone that doesn´t already know....and you guys who already know a little.

Well, i lied to you guys. I don´t have a Dominican comp. He was moved to the other side of the island in La Romana, which is where my real comp just came from. His name´s elder Parkinson and he´s from California, San Diego part. He has 16 months out, where as I only have four...tomorrow I´ll hit 5. Yeah!. Anyway, things are going good here in Villa Mella. It´s alot different than Boca Chica. There´s some really rich places, it´s really hilly ( you can actually see mountains, whereas in Boca Chica it was the ocean ). One street is really really busy, and on top of it is the new metro they put in. We still haven´t taken a ride on it...but luckily it´s free. It takes you straight to the capital. Well, we still haven´t found the houses of our investigators, but we´ve met a lot of members. They seem way willing to come and help us. We´ve got some really good young guys that help us too. Our first day here we got to the house at like 3, and right then the mini missionary took us out to a few peoples houses. Then the next day we went to check out the church, and a girl calls us, we didn´t know who it was. Well we leave, and she finds us, it turns out she´s a member and was going to show us around the area. She shows us a few houses, then leaves us at a guy´s house (Bryan), and he shows around, then he drops us off at Wilfry´s house, and he shows us around. It was crazy. One day we tried to find our way back to someone´s house....we got soooo lost for a little bit. It didn´t help that it was night time either. The worst part was it took us an hour before we found the house....and we walked right past it within the first 15 minutes of walking. It´s rained everyday here too. Oh, and one morning we had someone call us in the turned out that they were confirming their time to have their baptismal interview! We had no clue that we had a baptism. But everything went good, and we had it. We couldn´t find the plug for the baptismal font, so we made our own out of a little plastic paint container (there wasn´t any paint in there...we were smart enough to wash it out) full of rocks wrapped in a plastic bag....but when we got there for the baptism, it had floated up! Buy by some miracle though the font was OVER full. Crazy. And we taught an english class. The oldest kid there was like 11, and the youngest was six. Luckily they were all quiet, paid attention, and took notes. It was amazing. We also had to teach another class in church and the secretary flipped a coin to see who would give a comp won the toss (which meant he had to give the talk). It was the first time he´s ever won (we always flip a coin to see what we´ll do and stuff). Oh, and i saw some kids that made their own little gymnastics spring board thing to do flips and stuff. It was sooo cool. They were pretty good too. I wanted to try it so bad. It was a tire with a couch cushion under it, all on top of a little ramp so they could start out with a little bit of air. And it´s really nice to have a real store with stuff you need in it. Well, it´s not even quite as good as wal-mart, but for here it´s amazing! Well, if I think of more I will write it, but for now that´s it.

Elder Sherwood.

Addendum . . . . .

Well, you asked me what was the craziest thing that I've ever done . . . . well, the next day I found out. So we were in the house during lunch time (this is the 26th just so you aren't confused). Well, we left to go out and teach and stuff, and as we were leaving I felt like I should've asked my comp if he had the keys. Well, I didn't. Then, as I was locking the door and was shutting it, I felt like I shouldn't. Well, once again, I didn't listen. And as I was slamming it shut (you can't close it without slamming it) my comp was like NOOOOO! BAM! What? (I ask). I don't have the keys. Crap. And we had to open the church and everything that night (for our baptism) so we had to have the keys. So, I shouldn't have, but I did. We got on the roof of our 4 story apartment building, and I climbed down. Yeah, it wasn't smart, especially since it had just rained. But I did it anyway. I almost fell too. I don't know how I made it, but I did. I was stuck for the longest time (the ledge I was on was only big enough for one of my feet). I couldn't go down because I didn't have anything to hold on to. I was just hoping that I could make it. Then I saw our window and I flipped it open (the windows aren't the same, they are like blinds. they tilt. And they are glass). My hand could barely fit through the tow panels, but I grabbed the wall and made it. Barely. But we got the keys. that's all that matters right. But i don't plan on doing that again . . . . well, not at least on my mission. Well, until next week.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Moved P-Day to Wednesday this Week . . . I was wondering!

Well, i only have 15 minutes of p-day left. it was changed to today so we could go to the temple. i told you in my first letter that got deleted, but i forgot to resend it. anyway, i obviously don´t have much time. we went to the temple, which is way far away, in the west mission, and then we went to this huge buffet at a resort. it was expensive, well, on a missionary allowance. 500. but it was worth it. we played ping pong and pool and stuff afterward too. when we got home i got a hair cut. now i´m here. sorry. yeah, everything is going good with my comp. we didn´t click like me and hansen, and mortensen, and gregson. but we´re good. he´s alot like me. doesn´t really have to talk to anyone. but elder hansen changed me to where i have to talk and laugh and stuff. so the first week was kind of hard not talking or laughing and stuff. but now we´re good. especially after we contacted this old guy. we tried to set a return cita with him and my comp is like how is 730. he was like yeah, 630 is fine. wellll, is 730 good. the guy was like yeah, 630 is good. that went on a couple more times, and my comp got frustrated, so he asked him if 630 would be better. the old guy said, yes! i already told you 730 was fine. what, no you didn´t. he was messing with him big time. it was sooo funny. i felt bad when i laughed though. but after that i felt sooo much better and i didn´t miss hansen anymore. hansen´s called me once, but to get me to send him some stuff that he left at the house (his pan and shampoo). anyway, everything is going really good. spanish isn´t really that hard. i mean it is, but it´s not. i´m learning new words everyday. now i´ve got to start learning things like past subjunctive and a couple of other things, but it´s possible to get by without them. it just makes it more fluent. All the women here are so much better than the men. what i mean by that is that they are so much more ready for the gospel and much more willing to live it. we´ve made a few hundred contacts so far. it was hard at first, but now i don´t take it as hard when they say know. i wish that everyone would accept it, but everyone has their agency and that´s the way it´s supposed to be. that´s all part of the plan. we were going to get guillermo and nina´s family baptized this week, but now something came up so i don´t think they´ll get baptized for a long time. we´ll see. hopefully everything will fall through. it seems like everything is working against us getting them baptized. we also have raifi´s baptism planned this week. and send all this to mom, i didn´t write her. and tell her of course i´m budgeting well, i have 12,000. and we get 7,000 more on the 15th. and i´m eating good. enough. i just don´t drink a soda every meal. at times. i really do eat enough. and power is still uhhhhhh. anyway. and what does she mean by wash the clothes in the sink? that´s never happened. yet. but yeah, until next week. it´s time to go. there´s so much to write, but i can´t tell you everything. we´d have nothing to talk about after my mission. jk. later.

Monday, November 17, 2008

He Wants Letters!!

hey, i sent a really really long email. but i didn't get to send it. the internet messed up. so i'll write it again next week. maybe.

well, things are going well here in boca chica. my new comp is elder merrell. he's from mesa, arizona. at first it was hard for me to change, now i'm good to go. he does a few things, but i look past them. always try to look for the good. and there are a lot of good things about him. he's a way hard worker. and he actually works towards goals. we're going to grow alot this transfer. Anyway, i need to write mom. i'll try to send you two next week. it took me my whole hour to write it, so i'm pretty mad right now.

[He wrote this later]
Well, in condensed form
Ramon. he's doing really good. he really had a desire to change and he is. he realized that the church across the road was missing something, and decided it was worth the time to cross the pista, even with his bad eye sight, to come to church

gerald and morena. morena is doing good. since hansen left gerald has had a lot of questions and doubts. it's sad

guillermo and nina. they are working toward marriage and doing really good. they couldn't make it to church however....but the 7 kids 2-15 did. that was weird. they were really good.

guillermo and alver. alvertina is the perfect, golden investigator. keeps all the committments plus more. guillermo fell back into drinking. there aren't words that can describe how i felt when we were at church and i asked her where he was and she told me that. we visited last night, and he wasn't there. she told us that that the week that he had quit was the only week of peace and joy she's had in a long long time. she's scared that one of these days he's going to wreck his motorcylce while he's drunk.

nena is doing great. her problem is that she doesn't want to get married. she's willing to move out and has a place to stay, but we don't really want to do that (all of their kids are all grown up and out...but they have grandkids over all the time).

raifi has a baptismal date again. she seems really excited about it now. hopefully she hold firm.

that's the most important stuff. it's really rushed, so it might not seem to make sense. i'll send the funny and really cool experiences next week. they'll make sense. and they're good

advice. give helps missionaries so much. and go out with the missionaries. but also, go and visit people to just be friends. it's important for them to have a friend in the church, and not a missionary as a friend. that is what i think is gerald's problem. he was converted to hansen.

seeing people change as they live the gospel is the best thing ever....especially if you were a part of sharing it with them. so be a part of it. there's no better feeling.

sorry, that's way rushed, short, and so forth, but i really have to go. i'll explain more later. hopefully it makes sense. until next week.

When asked what he needs, this is the response I got, for the most part:

I would really like letters, even if they are from the most random people that i didn´t even hang out with, but of course i have to know who they are. That would be hard to do, i know, but that would be amazing. if you could find a way to get that, that´d be the coolest thing. if i had the choice between getting candy and other stuff at christmas between that and letters by even feb. i would take the letter one anyday.

So, I'm planning on sending a package, probably this Friday, so hopefully he can get it by Christmas. Send me emails or bring me letters, so I can send him a bunch!!! My email is