Monday, December 29, 2008
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 . 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 morning....it 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 talk...my 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.
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
Monday, November 17, 2008
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 references....it 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 email@example.com
Monday, November 10, 2008
niña and guillermo paid tithing last week, which is really cool. they have pretty much nothing, but i´ve learned that the ones with nothing really realize how many blessings come when they obey. and like i read somewhere, they learn that instead of not being able to afford to pay tithing, they can´t afford to not pay tithing....or obey any other law of the gospel. and so it is. Guillermo (alvertina´s husband) is making progress. he went to never listening, to the second time we visited him(last week when he went to church...a little after church) saying that he felt so good that in church that he went and told his friends that he was giving up drinking, and we never taught him the wow, which means alver told him about it. and he said he didn´t come for us, and would never go for us, but becuase he felt like he should, and still feels like he should. Also, the next night, they got into an arguement and then went to bed. alver woke up at 4 and saw that he was still awake. he had been crying and praying all night. that was way cool to hear too. We baptized Franklin this last saturday, and the other two had miracle marriages, the two families that didn´t show up, called at random and said if we go now, we can get married. that was amazing. they were all baptized saturday too. well, i have to go, p day is over in 30 minutes. bye.
things are going great here. and about the top, yeah, it broke. like monday. maybe it was a sign. but, yeah, the break from 1-3 is everyday. everyday. we are supposed to take an hour for lunch, and an hour for dinner everyday. but here prime proselyting time is during dinner and lunch time isn´t at all. so they combine the two hours at lunch time. we don´t eat dinner. when we get home at 9-930, we buy empenadas or something. or sometimes people feed us, but not often. transfers are tomorrow. we already know everything. my comp is going to his first area, villa mella, as a zl. i´m getting elder merrell, who only has two transfers. so that´ll be crazy. the other two missionaries, chamberlain and vasquez are staying together. i didn´t really organize stuff to write this week like i did last week, so it´s not going to be as long. from now on i think i´m going to do that though, on sunday write down what i want to write. A couple of days this week we helped Gerald clean his yard with grass and weeds as full as a hay field. all with machetes. it was alot of fun to get out and use my arms again. it was good to get dirty again and have fun. really good. so, i don´t know if i told you, but we quit working across the pista because everyone died or got baptized, and we have a lot of good investigators over here. well, anyway, one morning we didn´t have any plans, so we were going to go contacting, and for some reason,we went to the other side of the pista, or interstate. when we got across a motoconcho, one of those guys that drive people around on their motorcylces for money, came up to us and told us that he knew someone that wanted to talk to us. usually, these people aren´t worth seeing, they just want to flirt, or argue, but of course we go anyway just to find out. well, it turns out that this guy, ramon, has been praying to see us ever since we quit working over there. he´s a inactive member, and now he smokes. but he really wants to come back (he came to church sunday). he was one of the first converts here. he served a mission 29 years ago in uruguay. and it think that the dr has only been open for 30 years, but i could be wrong. but he was still one of the first. it was amazing how everything just connected. we didn´t plan on going there, we actually planned to NOT go there ever. a random motoconcho happened to see us cross the road. we happened to turn around and talk to him. most of the time people yell at us, i don´t know why, so we don´t listen to them. the guy we went to see happened to be praying for us to come by since we decided not to go to that side about 3 weeks ago. Actually, i know that none of that just happened. it happened, but not by coincidence.
This picture was taken Stephen's second week in the field. These are the people that he and his companion baptized, Left to Right - Piter, Maycol, Yafraisi, and Achi. The other guy is Domingo, who the other two missionaries in his area baptized.
Monday, November 3, 2008
P.S. Sorry, I got a little behind. I also just posted his emails back through October 20th, so be sure to read those when you get a chance!
Marriage isn´t too bad. nobody is married because 1. it´s expensive. and 2. divorces are expensive. but usually people stay together, so i don´t know why they worry about divorce. Our investigators seem pretty excited about getting married, mainly because it means getting baptized, but it´s still good though. but we´ll see. the other companionship has had two weddings canceled, i hope it doesn´t happen to us. And i don´t really know what you want to know when you ask what´s different than what i expected. about here, or the work?
here is my address for 1. packages 2. not pouch = envelope. and because it´s still in the u.s. you don´t have to put stickers of Jesus on a package....if you were to send one. but pouch is still the same.
Elder Stephen Sherwood
Monday, October 27, 2008
church with them for along time, but we just started teaching him. he´s really good, but his parents are interested. They don´t mind if he gets baptized, but it´s always better to baptize the family. but hopefully he will help raifi to get excited to be baptized too. We´ve still been getting references, which is really good, and they seem like they´ll be good. Albertina was one. And because of that, i still have not done a single contact yet. Oh, and i forgot the time that my comp had to go do interviews. Well, elder holyoak came out to my area, and he came out with me. at first i was really scared about the spanish and getting lost in the area (it´s huge) but everything went great....except alot of people not being home, which kind of messed up our plans. but it was fun, and was a great growing experience. well, until next time, unless i think of more to say later.
Monday, October 20, 2008
That´s good that everyone had fun...did Spencer go? And why didn´t Natalie want to shoot? Yeah, I´m sorry that I forgot to say hey back to Cindy last week. Now that I know she reads these I´ll have to be more careful about what I write. No, but really everything really is going great. This transfer is kind of hard because we´ve had General Conference and this week is stake conference, which means that we have to travel a ways. Sometimes the church provides a bus, sometimes they don´t. And sometimes they still make people pay. And it cost around 50 pesos and person, so big families like Guillermo and Niña have (9 kids), are a huge sacrifice. Most people don´t even have the money to pay for themselves. well, they do, but they have to buy food with it. We had a few go to General Conference, but I don´t think that many will come to stake conference. And it´s really hard on our baptisms too, becuase we can´t baptize them becuase they want us to confirm them in sacrament meeting. I hope they come though. I am sure that Guillermo and Niña will get baptized next transfer, i´ll probably still be here, but my comp won´t because he´s been there for 6 months. i hope i learn the area well enough, i´m sure i will. but maybe it´ll end up different, who knows, i could leave. When we were looking at a house (i told val about it), we saw a kid riding a bike. but not just any bike. The front tire was a rim with a bar run through it and bent on the ends so it wouldn´t fall off. the seat. well the seat was a coconut smashed onto the bar that sticks up and then a bucket was stuck on it laying down sideways. It was so weird. They remind me alot of the pioneers...kind of. they make something out of nothing. They roll tires around with sticks, make tops out of water bottle caps and a nail stuck through the top, they tie sticks to random pieces of sticks and make kites, it´s so crazy. Marbles is big here too. The other day we saw a guy giving people tatooes ?. He got a motor and put a belt on it so it would spin some gears and move a piece of metal inside a hollow pen body. it was soo crazy. People do the weirdest things around here, but i´m pretty used to it now. you see kids all the time riding wheelies all the time, just for forever. I tried it once, I had the feeling that i shouldn´t, but i ignored it. well, i popped up, held it for a second, and then i just fell straight back. luckily i didn´t get hurt, but i learned a little lesson. Well, i better go.
I don´t have time to send pictures...the internet is slow, it cost money, and I can only send two pictures at a time on here. I might send you my card, but I´m scared it´ll get destroyed or something. I´ll need another one by Christmas though....if you can send one then, but I´ll let you know for sure later. And yes, the new fridge is Heavenly, but we didn´t get food last week because our money didn´t end up coming in. But we are going to the capital today and buying stuff. We´re going to get some ¨father and son¨ pants made soon. I think we are buying the material today. But yeah, the fridge will freeze stuff, so we had to put the setting a little lower. I haven´t tried anything crazy yet, just all sorts of fruits and juices (one tasted like oatmeal...it was weird. but then my comp told me it was oat juice, so it made sense). I´ve seen everyone sucking on chicken feet, and one of our recent converts wanted to give me one, but my comp was just like no, he doesn´t like it. She gave me some sugar cane though. It´s so weird. you bite into this stick, chew it up, and it´s the sweetest thing ever...i couldn´t very much it was so sweet. but i see kids running all around with it all the time. but yeah, i actually haven´t eaten very much beans and rice. I made pancakes yesterday and today. but we usually just eat empenadas, which are really good. We are still trying to move. we checked out a really nice house. it was amazing. it had a yard and everything. it had two power sources, which ensured power all the time, which would have been amazing. it was even in the price range (3,ooo-8,000 pesos a month). but we couldn´t get it because it was too nice and they couldn´t trust future missionaries to live there. It would´ve been sooooo nice though. Well, it´s hard for me to tell you guys about the investigators becuase i can´t remember what i´ve told you about them. But this past week has been disappointing for all our old investigators, well, most. but our new ones are doing great, going to church, and everything. but we didn´t get to go out much becuase my comp was sick for most of the week. And yeah, his dad was in the air force and they moved all around the u.s. but he likes colorado the best. he lived there the longest and all of highschool, except his senior year. that´s when they moved to utah (again). well, i´ve got to go, but i´ll get on later. bye
Monday, October 13, 2008
And I can´t believe that I forgot AGAIN to tell you about our investigators. We had four baptisms Saturday. Yafrasi (sounds like Ja)and Achi (Ashley). They are cousins, and their parents were baptized last transfer (Ashley lives with them). We are still working with Raifi, the oldest girl. She says that she wants too, but doesn´t feel ready, but she committed to be baptized this week, we´ll see how it goes. Also Piter (peter) and Maycol (Micheal). Father and son. They are great. They did everything just like that, always willing to help us do whatever we need. It´s awesome. I baptized the two girls...it was way weird. We have a another with a fecha (date), but we´re going to have to move it because they didn´t come to church. Her name is Jana. We are teaching a couple of families. One, Guillermo and Niña, are doing really good. They dropped smoking instantly and they feel really good about it. Now all they have to do is get married and get papers for all their kids. I think I told you about them earlier now that I think about it. They are way willing to it, and said that they´re going to start saving up as soon as he gets work again, which is really hard with all the rain (he´s a construction worker). We just found another family, and they seem very interested. They came to church and really enjoyed it. They are Morena and Gerald, and they have two little kids. We´ve talked to them alot about families. We´re also teaching Velin´s parents (the mom of yafriasi and raifi) She´s way cool and so are her parents. She helps us out alot. And like I wrote Emily, nothing is better than when members help out with the work (like they are supposed to). Well, I have to go. Bye.
As far as I know, the power company (probably the government) switches which part of the country has power at what time. Everyone has a different light schedule...it just so happens that ours is terrible. But I heard they do it like that becuase so many people steal power by attaching their own lines into the power lines, so yeah, they pretty much cut off the power to get even with everyone stealing electricity...which is basically everyone. The food the food. Well, When we eat at members....it´s beans and rice, which I like. When we do it ourselves...it means going to the empenada stand and buying 10 peso empenadas. Once I´ve had rice and another time, yesterday, my comp cooked eggs. Today we are going to go buy alot of food. One reason is that we got money today, and the other is that we got a new fridge. The other was pretty much solid mold on the inside, so we never used it. The new one is soooo nice. But since the power doesn´t work very much, you have to be careful what you put in there and for how long. really careful. But yeah, everything is going great. Well, we didn´t really clean the house...he cleaned the kitchen a little yesterday. I cleaned off this table with a mound of what missionaries have left there for the past 6 months. It was gross. Anyway, I don´t know how I got better...that´s usually how it goes for me...I get really sick, and the next day I´m fine. But yeah, I really really didn´t want to go to the mission home, so I tried not make it look like I felt as bad as I did, which I probably shouldn´t have done. Anyway, you haven´t gotten anything yet becuase at the meeting that we were supposed to take pictures, the president and his wife both had pink eye. So they wore sunglasses all day, and they didn´t want to take pictures, but we did it a couple of days ago....so you should get something soon. maybe. That´s funny about the hay. My old district, in the CCM, talked about that alot. Elder Garner, the one from , told me about the people that harvested their corn lost everything. It all went bad, plus the stuff that they didn´t harvest got wiped out by a storm. But the people that waited got everything. so yeah. Well, I better go. Later.
Monday, October 6, 2008
I´m in area called . We cover the city part of it, but we don´t actually go and teach there because it´s a big tourist place. We drove by it and i caught a glimpse of the beach and it looked like one of those perfect pictures out of a magazine..nice clean beach, nice sand, pretty clear blue water...awww, it was soo nice. Anyway, the area that we actually cover I heard is actually pretty campo....country. There´s quite a few people, but the houses are made out of tin, or crumbling concrete....most aren´t finished. some have dirt floors..but some houses are pretty nice, well, to their standards. The people are all really nice. We are some of the people around here with bikes, and when we pass by they all say Hansen....and the nuevo. It´s pretty funny. Everyone knows my companion (except you guys), and they all want to know what happened to Robison. Well, my companion is Elder Hansen, he´s from all over, his dad was in the airforce, but he claims Colorado. He´s really cool, nice, helpful...etc. It´s good. The first day he and a few other trainers were outside, and they tried to trick us by switching their name tags and then seeing how we´d react when we met our ¨companion¨ and then tell us who they really were, but it didn´t really work. One reason was because everyone told us at transfers alot about our companions, and also because a sister was telling us that they were lying. But anyway, it was cool at transfers because everyone was asking who had Elder Hansen, so that made me feel good that he was that well liked. He´s the District Leader here in Boca Chica A and is also known as spiderman. He´s been out for 16 months exactly today. In our house there´s also Elder Chamberlain and Vasquez, we only see each other in the morning and night, but they´re pretty cool too. Our apartment is on the second floor. I was a little overwhelmed when I walked in...it was (and is) filthy (I heard our apartment is one of the worst in the mission). Elder Chamberlain (he´s new to the house) plans on cleaning alot today...which will be great. Most of the time the power is off, which means no water and it being extremely hot. So showers are either when you´re lucky, and it´s a water house sticking out of the wall and it´s freezing cold, or you´re not and you use a bucket...the luck is mainly just because the power is on and you can actually see. We use candles Alot. There are mosquitos everywhere too. The Friday I woke up with a huge bite, and Saturday I was extremely sick. I had all the signs of denghue? (I don´t know how you spell it). Anyway, pretty much anyone that has it gets sent to the office until they get over it, then they work in the office for forever....that´s what happened to my companion. But today I feel good. really good. Anyway, we supposed to moving pretty soon, mainly because across the road there´s a bar that blares music all night and...yeah...music isn´t really problem... Anyway, we don´t really have a mission home...they´re building one. So when we left from the CCM, we were taken to a chapel, had a meeting, then left to meet our trainers and teach. It was pretty crazy. Our president seems pretty cool, he told me that I look like his nephew. We had a trainer/new people meeting, and the president and his wife both had pink eye, so they wore sunglasses the whole meeting...it was pretty funny. His spanish is waaay fast. I actually understand alot of the spanish, but not when they talk to each other. Some people speak very clear, and others cut everything. And slang is hard becuase I´ve never heard it before. But I´ll get it. So mail is sent through pouch still, just without the ccm part...(santo domingo east mission). or you can send it to the office. And packages are sent to a miami address, but I don´t know it, plus it cost me money. Well, some experiences (not all mine), but not in detail.....packing into buses, watching a tire fly off a bus and smack kid (Elder Holyoak-he´s in my group...i mean he came out at the same time as me) riding on the motor(cyle) taxi´s, teaching by light of cell phone(everyone has one) and candle, eating alot of random fresh fruit, no storms yet, uhhhh, crossing the pista alot(the freeway...it´s not hard, but it kind or scared me when a litte girl, maybe 5/6 with a little boy 3/4) and there´s no median. only a gap of concrete like 2 feet long, so everyong runs to it, and plus people on bikes, and motors (motorcycles). That´s the hard part, not really crossing the traffic, but trying to beat other people to the hole/fitting together in there. Other than that, there aren´t really any paved roads. Well, I think I should go, there´s so much to write, but no time to do it. and by the way, if I didn´t tell you or you didn´t figure it out, p-days are on monday.
Thursday, September 25, 2008
Stephen's haircut just before he left the Provo MTC.
Stephen's companion in the CCM in the Dominican Republic. I actually don't know his name . . . And Steve says that is the smallest lizard they've seen. They all seem huge to him.
A typical meal - beans and rice, a little meat. It looks like he's getting some fruit also, and he said there's a salad, not in the picture. This is actually his lunch from today, I believe.
Well, we're supposed to go to the mission home tuesday and stay there all day (maybe not us)...ours is right down the road, like a couple minutes walking. The west's is a 20 minute drive, and we are in the west mission now, so that's weird. Anyway, I don't know anything other than that, and I won't until I'm there....but I wish I did. Well, we didn't go to the university again to teach because, as always, a storm always comes on our days to go. But last week, we were walking back to the ccm and this police/student guy was walking by us, so we started talking to him in spanglish (most people know quite a bit of English, well, the people that go to school, and they all want to practice it.) It turned out that he already has a and is having missionaries over. He seem fairly interested in finding out more, but he didn't feel ready to go join a church and make all kinds of committments, but he was a really nice guy. No, I'm not getting any emails, well, grandma is sending some from Ryan. And of course I'm excited to get out and really talk to people...it's going to be crazy. It will definitely be scary, but great. Hopefully I'll have a good companion. And yes, the one I have now is great. We get along fine. The first week was weird because I was used to totally different people/personalities. The three of us just clicked. But the one I have now is a little different, so I just had to find out how to work things out. It all clicked one day in the first week, I think it was during our first weekly planning. I don't know, I just figured out what I needed to do, and it's been great. We teach great together, he likes to talk alot, which isn't bad, but I wish that he would yield it over sometimes. It makes me feel like I don't do enough. But it's good. Well, if they do go to LA I hope they have fun. It should be...serving always is.
Thursday, September 18, 2008
Things are going great here. Tomorrow we teach the fourth lesson to people. It's going to be so easy compared to the other lessons because we actually know what we are doing and we don't have so much material to cover in the 15 minutes. Last week was the best simulation that we've done. Usually our teacher tells us to stop, but last week he didn't. We were going. We taught for almost 30 minutes. He told us that he usually stops people, unless he thinks that they're doing good....which isn't very often. And no, nothing really happened here because of the hurricanes. We don't get out much to see anything, but everything that we do see seems normal. It's really cool being right on the coast. It feels kind of weird since the temperature and trees don't change. I don't know if it has there either, but I think it's still July. We only have about a week and a half left here at the CCM, and then it's off to the field. It's so weird to think about. It's going to be soo different, but so fun. I can't wait. It's going to be alot different teaching real people that you can actually see if they are actually progressing. Here, we teach alot of different teachers, but we're supposed to act like they are the same person...it's so weird. But going to the university is way fun. Yeah, what we do there is go up to people sitting down talking, doing homework, just sitting, sleeping, walking, whatever. Anyway, we just stop them and talk to them about the , Joseph Smith, families, anything that they have questions about really. Usually our teachers try to give us something to focus on, but it's really just what they need to hear. It's so weird. Two months ago I would never do what I'm doing now. Most people have heard a little about the Church and the Book of Mormon. It's pretty surprising. Their really nice and like to talk about it most of the time. But a few days ago we went to talk to the guy and girl and we were talking and then all of a sudden, the girl just said that she went to a different church and didn't want to talk to missionaries from a different and untrue church. That was the worst reaction we've ever got. So we just bore our testimonies and left (it was time to leave anyway). It's alot of fun though. They speak so fast and don't say half of the parts of the word, especially 's'. Like when they say something like nos ..something it sounds like no...something. That's one of the hardest parts to understand. There's a few other things, but it's alright. I heard that Dominican spanish is the fastest "dirtiest" spanish. So if I can understand it, I'll be set. I don't know if I told you, but the Jamaicans left and we got alot of Latinos from all over. probably 20 elders and 10 hermanas. So it's packed here. They came here last week, but the flew out another sister yesterday from Provo becuase one of the sisters is from Guyana? (however you spell it) and so she speaks only english and didn't have a english companion. Well, they just got new computers here, so now I can definitely send pictures, maybe, since I have only one more P-day left I think. Well, I don't know what more to say. Maybe next week I'll have more or something better. Oh, I just remembered, today is pizza day. yeah.
Thursday, September 11, 2008
Yeah, everything is going great. I just got your letter from the 28th today, but I haven't yet received the package that you mentioned. Did you put any stickers of Jesus on it? Some people have gotten packages already, the ones with the stickers were fine and the ones without them were ripped apart and somewhat taped back together....it's bad. Anyway, I don't really know my President's name. I think It's Antevillo are something like that, or maybe that was the old one. We saw him the other day when we were out walking to a museum. Hna. Perkins is President Perkins wife; and she is really nice. It rains everyday that we are supposed to go to the university, so we've been out twice while everyone else has been out 4 times. I'm jealous. Peple here are really nice. They will talk to anyone, especially about religion. And they all just had out their information like crazy. It's cool. Alot of people actually come to us. Maybe I'll send you pictures today or maybe next week. If not, I'm sorry, but I will send some eventually. Oh, and the pesos are like the Mexican pesos. I'll send you pictures, or actually, you could probably see them online. They're called Dominican pesos and it's about 35 pesos to the dollar right now. They said that it was a pretty good rate, but who knows. I don't know if it has changed or not. They call me limbs because I have long arms. Whenever we play basketball I get the rebounds, block people, intercept the passes, so they call me limbs. Daniel Ross did the same thing back when we played at the church, so it's nothing new...but I still don't get it really. And they call me Arkansas because nobody knows anyone from Arkansas and because I wear the shirt that Janeen gave me that saws Arkansas on it. And speaking of Arkansas, how are the Razorbacks doing? Not too much, just they won, they lost, they look like they'll do good or not. Everyone else has play by plays of the BYU games....it's crazy. Anyway, since I didn't get the nickname I'm not going to tell you what I did. Maybe after my mission, and no I won't forget what it was. Sorry that this is way long, but this week I didn't get alot of emails. Last week I had 12, so I have alot more time today. Well, I hope I get that package soon, but I wish it would've been a surprise...but at least the stuff inside will be.
Tell Jake and Em hey.......yeah, tell them hey. Things are going great. Give them the email I'm sending you, and it pretty much explains it all.
Oh, and tell Jake thanks for the tie, everyone that has seen it loves it. It's great.
Well I have to go study, and then go to the temple and then service. But I still have time left, so I might get back on....I might not.
Thursday, September 4, 2008
Well, we do have beans and rice with a piece of chicken and beef everyday for lunch. Breakfast is always cocao crispies, corn flakes, or raisin bran. Plus oatmeal..which is what i always get. Twice we got pancakes and once we got eggs. Dinner is always a surprise. Once we got pizza hut. they made lasagna once, sphagetti once, and alot of other stuff. But i like it all. Hna Perkins cooks us cookies once a week and we eat ice cream on sundays....it's so good. Things are really busy. Tomorrow we have to teach the 2nd lesson in spanish. I don't have the lesson quite planned out, but it will be alright. We usually play basketball for gym, but when nobody wants to go outside (which has only happened twice) we play ping pong or ?phooseball? or however you spell it. I'm really good at it, not ping pong; i haven't played it. I have alot of nicknames already, and i'm afraid I'll get more after what happened today. I'm (elder)
I don't know if i told you, but we were supposed to memorize d and c 4, the 1st vision, and our purpose in spanish, and our whole district did it last week. Hna. Perkins was really proud of us. I could barely do it because i lost my voice. Everyone has been getting sick recently. Well, i have to go. Adios
In other emails:
Someone mentioned that it was a tropical storm..don't we have another one at the moment? Nothing has happened. we just see rain. Yesterday it was really windy. REally windy.
yeah, it's fairly rainy, not bad. where i am anyway. Things have been going good. I forgot to tell blake happy birthday last week, but i'll say it now. We've actually played basketball and stuff during the storms...they don't care. I can't think of much to write right now....oh, what is all this about russia and whatever country Georgia, or something. later.
Thursday, August 28, 2008
The plane ride was long. and i can't believe that you didn't know who i was when i called you. gosh. you made me feel special. jk. anyway, the mtc here is just called the ccm. the temple is right beside us and it is huge. everything is taken care of here and it looks really nice. but everywhere else it's crazy. i don't have enough time to email mom and dad, so send them this. My p-day's are on Thursday now. and we only get mail on wednesdays. we can only send mail on fridays, and it takes forever to get there. The weather here feels alot like home. The tropical trees throw me off though....and seeing the ocean. and it raining everyday. and the power going out everyday. and eating the same thing rice and beans of course, but i like it. We went to the university here and it was crazy. We were told that 100,000 people go there. We walked in at it looked like a city. it was nuts. i felt so weird on the way there because everyone was just staring at us as we walked. Seeing people with guns was weird too. Everyone here has a tiny motorcylce that can barely pull them. it's so weird. The streets are so chaotic too. It seems like there's no rules. if you want to go somewhere then you do it anyway that you can. crossing the street felt extremely weird. We talked to alot of people. Alot knew some english. It was so frustrating talking to people and then they would answer and you couldn't understand a word. they speak so fast, and cut out half the sounds...it's nuts. and i bet that you still know more spanish. like i said, everything that we've done was just review for me. Talking to people is so hard. I can write and read alot, but talking is way difficult, but i'm getting better, especially since we are teaching the lessons here in spanish. tomorrow is going to be our first TA here (here it's called a simulation). Well i have to go do my service project (pick up trash at the university, i'll try to write more later.) bye
Friday, August 22, 2008
Monday, August 18, 2008
He says that it's awesome that the Spanish group is a branch now. He gets along really well with both of his companions, and it's not too weird having a threesome. He is trying to work on his speaking ability (in Spanish).
I guess that's pretty much all he said except for answering some of our questions.
this week has been alot of fun. The TA was really good and my teachers are way cool. they have the greatest ideas. I only have a few minutes left on here so i can't really type much. There's 402 of us leaving this week alone. 28 to the dr and 16 to puerto rico, so that's cool. well, i've got to go
Mom also said this about her last letter from him:
In his letter, he is pretty pumped about heading to the DR on Aug. 21. He had a lot of advice for those going on a mission or any of us who want to help the missionary efforts at home. Read scriptures and pray regularly. Keep a study journal. Read " " and practice teaching even if you feel silly. -- He has gained weight about 15+ lbs. I hope his suit pants fit him still. -- Lorra
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
Elder Stephen Sherwood
MTC Box # 279
Mission Code DOM-SDOE
Estimated Date 8/21/08
They will print out whatever you type in the box, put it in an envelope and get it to him within a day! All for free! He would love to hear from you, and this only works while he's in the Provo MTC - he's leaving August 21st, so get in some free letters while you can!
11:00 am Everything is going great. I don't know what to say because I emailed mom and dad pretty much everything. [lol - yeah, you can see how extensive his emails are . . . ] Did they get it? I hope so. Yeah, I can only email on Mondays. But if you want to get a letter to me faster, while I'm in Provo anyway, go to dearelder.com. It's same day delivery, but handwritten letters are cooler. Anyway, my district is way cool, and my teachers. My zone is good too. The first two days were a little, well, way overwhelming, but once it got to Sunday it was all down hill. One of my comps (Elder Gregson) has already gotten 8 packages. We're expecting another one today. The Spanish is way easy. I already know most of it. But I'm learning a lot from Preach My Gospel. Our first TA (teaching appointment) was Thursday. At first I was nervous, but it's amazing what you can say while teaching. The person was Kayce Orven (or something like that). He went to UCA, and went to Conway 1st Ward. He knew Brandon and Allie, so that was way cool. Oh, and one day at lunch I left my name tag on my suit jacket which I hung up somewhere and some guy from Snowflake asked me if I was a Sherwood. It was cool. One of the Elders in my district, Elder Walter, reminds me of our Burton uncles. He's way cool. Well, I hope everything is going well for you guys. How's the missionary work going?
1:30 pm Sorry, but I have few spare moments, so it takes me a whole day to write one letter. I got mom's today, so good job on Sis. Burchfield's neighbor. I also got my flight plans today. It's so exciting. We leave the 21st at 3:00 am. Go to Dallas, then Miami, and finally Santo Domingo. Then I go back to Miami on Sept. 20th, probably to get my visa. My roomates go a couple of days after me. Well, it was nice to hear from you. Tell everyone hey (and Elder Gregson did get his 9th package.) It's awesome.
7:30 Well, I couldn't get stamps or envelopes in time, so I'll have to send this Monday. Sorry. That's the problem with mail. It cost too much and I don't have time to buy stuff. Adios again.
9:30 We went to the RC again and I actually got a hold of someone. It was way cool. And it finally rained for the first time. It was so nice.
Monday, August 11, 2008
Monday, August 4, 2008
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
Elder Stephen Lane Sherwood
MTC Mailbox #279
Dominican Republic, Santo Domingo East Mission
2005 N 900 E
Provo, UT 84604-1793
Friends and Family,
Well, Stephen is headed off to the MTC! I can't believe it! I am starting this blog where I will post all of Stephen's emails home in order to share them with those of you who want to know what's going on with him. I will post any pictures he sends home as well. The posts will all be signed Elder Sherwood because they are from him, but obviously I am posting them :) (He doesn't want anyone to think he's breaking rules . . . )