Thursday, September 25, 2008


Yay! We finally got our first pictures from Stephen after almost six weeks. There are only four, so I hope ya like them!This is Stephen and his two companions in Provo. Elder Gregson is on the left, then Stephen, then Elder Mortensen.

Stephen's haircut just before he left the Provo MTC.

More Pictures

I couldn't get them all to fit, so here's some more. (You can see them bigger if you click on them.)

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.

Email to Mom

This may be a little confusing, because he's mostly just answering her questions, but here it is nonetheless:

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 Book of Mormon 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'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.

Last Email from the CCM

So things have been going great, I don't really have very much to say today. I really don't know anything about the address or P-day or anything. I'll find all that out AFTER I leave here, which is Tuesday...and even then I'll probably never really find out. But you won't send letters here. If anything, send them to the mission home. There's some letters here that have been sitting for the whole time we've been here. I feel sorry for whoever they were supposed to go to. Anyway, the natives are from here, mexico, el salvador, but mainly from here. One day we were sitting by a group of the Dominicans, and we couldn't understand anything that they were saying. So we asked another guy, he's from Mexico, to translate a little (most of them know a little english). Anyway, he told us that he didn't know. It just sounds like alksdjfaejifoawejifoij because they talk so fast and leave out half the words. So at least we're not the only ones, but that doesn't make me feel to good either. Well, on Friday, my companion and I were waiting to teach the 4th lesson for simulation, and then my companion was like, I'm fat. I was like whatever. So we were talking about it for a second and then some sisters walk by and he gets the bright idea to see if he was right by asking him. So he switches over into spanish and says Soy guapo, no? They looked him really weird and just walked was soooo funny. he was like, What? what did i say? His reaction was so funny when I told him what he had said.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Pizza Day

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'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 Book of Mormon, 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

A long email for once . . .

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'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'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

From the CCM

Hey, how is everything? The weather isn't's about 85 or so i think. It's not too bad. My new companions name is Elder Fitch. We get along really well. It feels different with only one comp and without Elders Gregson and Mortensen, but it's alright. I'm used to it now. He's from Oregon. My district has 8 people in it. me, comp, king, garner (from Alberta), rempp (he reminds me of casey, AZ), grigg (ID), shawhan (CA), twitchell (UT, he's a wrestler). We all get along great. We have a story time every night. One person just tells a little something about them...I think it helps us all get closer together. There is one district here that aren't American. two of them are jamaican, one is from trinidad, and the other is from guatemala (he can speak english, spanish, and german.) There's not much to do here. We sit in class most of the time. Sometimes we get to go to the university and clean or contact. It's fun. A couple of days ago we went to "the store." It was pretty big and it had alot of stuff. It's so weird buying stuff in pesos. Afterward, my comp and i went and talked to someone while we were waiting for the bus. Nobody else did. But they told us that while we were talking that an armored car came up, and some guy with a shotgun jumped out and was pointing his gun around at people like he was trying to find someone. It sounded crazy.

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'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) Arkansas, limbs, and others, but it's cool.

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.