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

Monday, November 10, 2008


other things i forgot.
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.

A Good Experience

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

A Nice Long One! Little Kids, Dominican Baseball, and Bicycles

Things are going good here. Monday. Well, on monday we went to see if our bikes were fixed yet, they weren´t. The guy that told us that he would fix them, Charlie, was like i need money to get the stuff. i didn´t want to give him money, but my comp did it. We saw him a couple of days later at his ¨house.¨ he was wondering how we knew where he lived...and he told us several times before. We heard that he´s a drug addict and that it´s not really his house. He was deported here in ´97. Well, it turns out, we haven´t seen him since. so my comp lost 300 pesos, which he couldn´t afford to lose. Tuesday. One thing from tuesday is teaching Alvertina. I forgot last week to tell you about her 3 year old son, Hansen. He is soooo funny. He´s way out of it. He reminds me so much of landon, just dazed out. But he talks like crazy is the only thing different. All he does all day is watch cartoons where they fight, it has to be. When we were there he ran out into the room, jumped into a fighting stance. Alver noticed that his thumbnails were painted, and she asked him why he did it. He looked at his fingers, then put up his fists and yelled I painted my fingers so i could fight with more power! Yaaaaaaa. then he just took off. oh man, it was sooo funny. you would have to see him. But last week i said it seemed like her husband was holding her back, we found out that it was. He drinks, and when he drinks, he goes crazy. so she´s kind of ashamed of it and doesn´t like it at all, so we taught her the word of wisdom, and since she wants him to stop, it was perfect. She seems really interested and wants her husband to get involved too. We also committed to doing pushups and stuff every lasted a couple days. Wednesday. Wednesday I ran out of clothes, and the only time we had light for those 3-4 days was that day, which would´ve been perfect, but Elder Vasquez beat me to the washing machine. As soon as he was done, the power left. it finally came back on saturday, so i did my clothes fast. We also got some tops made for us. I couldn´t get it at all, but it clicked on saturday. Now I hardly mess up, and I can aim it well enough to get it to land in a frisbee. I can pick it up, and i can almost pararlo, or throw it and pull it back to where it lands in my hand instead of hitting the floor. it´s so fun. One of our references, Nena, told us to never come back. We were like what. she said if i don´t go to church, don´t come back, i don´t want to waste your time. that´s good that she understands that our time is valuable, but it wasn´t good hearing that. i just thought, well, that´s over. but to our surprise, she came to church.....and it was Raining Sunday, and everything shuts down when there´s rain. nobody goes out in the rain. they´re all afraid of getting the gripe...flu, sorry. We also had district meeting, and one of the sisters brought brownies. it was soooo good. Friday. Friday was interviews. At interviews i had to give the devotional, so i chose testimony, which happened to be the theme that the ap´s taught us while president Antivilo was doing interviews. It went well. Hansen and Vasquez both think that they are leaving. Chamberlain is going to stay. and i have no idea. we´ll see. i don´t like to guess anyway. i can´t believe this is the last week of the transfer already. Afterward, we had a spanish scripture chase. i came in second and my reward was a package of starburst. my comp was 1st. he got the butterfinger. oh how i wish i had the butterfinger, but the starburst were still amazing. President Antivilo saw hansen´s top, and he took it for a spin, In the church. it was crazy. he was really good too. our branch president is really good too and is begging us to make him a top. at lunch time (we have free time 1-3, everything shuts down) we played ¨dominican baseball¨. it´s so fun. we played with three people. So what you do is you have a stick, and some hard thick 5 gallon jug lids. you have the pitcher, the catcher, and the batter. it´s every man for himself. If you miss three times in a row, of course it´s an out. you get two outs. Also if the pitcher or catcher pick up the cap while it´s still moving or catch it, it´s an out. you score if the cap comes to a complete stop. you only switch on two outs, no matter how many points. i got pretty good at pitching. i had like 14 points, to 5, to 2. it was soo fun. then it started to rain...not fun, only because it equals a tooon of mud. At night, there was a huge group of kids, one had a mask on and they tried to scare us. Then we told them what we do in the states, and after, they all ran to houses and were trying to do it. that was funny. Saturday. Saturday was the finally day. Power finally came back, so i got to finally wash my clothes. i finally understood how to throw the top. i got it before, but not good. we finally did contacts, we started to run out of people. it wasn´t bad at all. I liked one family we contacted. the dad is bruno and the mom is marie. bruno paid attention the whole time, never looked away once. he seemed fairly interested, but i´m not sure. but they are never home. he drives buses and has another job. and marie sells skim ice, or popcicles. they are really good. 5 pesos. Finally the bikes were fixed. Even my gears were fixed and we didn´t even talk to manuel, the member that was going to try to fix them before about them. i´m glad that he didn´t let the charlie guy take them. It was Chamberlain´s birthday, and he got a few packages, so we finally got to eat some really good american snacks. Anyway. We went to Alvertina´s, but she wasn´t home. so we started to go somewhere else, and we were passing by pres. gonsalez´s house, and had a feeling to turn that way. but i didn´t. i did stop though, and i yelled at hanson and asked him what where we were going. he stopped, and then we looked up toward where the branch president lives, and there was alver. She was on her way to pres´s house anyway, so we had a good lesson there. another cool thing that happened is when we were at guillermo and niña´s we heard some good news. guillermo, niña wasn´t there, anyway, he told us that he ran into a guy that told him how to get papers for the kids cheaper than the way that they were going to do it. I´m so glad that whenever things like that happen to them they always recognize it as a blessing for doing what is right. Their family is soo awesome. they have 9 kids. the oldest i think is 15. they are so close, they are always together, one day we saw half of the kids walking down the street all holding was so cool. and the thing is that they are really really poor. but he has found some construction jobs. one was building a wall. he had people telling him all the time to quit. even a general told him to stop. every time he went and found the guy that told him to build it, and they all left him alone after that. and then he finished, and he couldn´t find the guy. hopefully he gets his money. but he told us it seems like someone is trying to stop him, that once he thinks he´s made it, another trial comes along. so we told him to keep going and after the trial comes the testimony and reward. ether. Sunday. sunday we had 7 investigators there, more than ever, and our two that always come (raifi and franklin) didn´t. one was one that hansen dropped along time ago. alver and her husband came. nena. morena and gerald. and glenys, another one that hansen dropped. today so far has been cool. we played some basketball. if felt good to run. well, this is already too long, so i better go.

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!

Comments from Elder Sherwood, and a New Address for Envelopes and Packages

Well, no, we haven´t found a new house. We got a call a couple of days ago from the office saying that someone called them and said that they wanted to rent out a house. So we´re going to go check it out soon. It is hot and humid here. the mornings are getting a little chilly, at 78. but the days are boiling at 85. if you find shade it´s not bad at all, but the sun just burns. every degree really counts here since it doesn´t change much.

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
SDQ 4102
11010 NW 30th St.
Ste 104
Miami, FL 33172-5032