Wednesday, May 25, 2011

May 22 Time to Improve

Parental Note:  Chad has been “thinking” about ways to better himself and improve on his missionary service.  I debated including his post about his struggles, because we think he is doing very well!  Chad has always pushed himself hard in the sports arena and I guess being a missionary is the same to him.  He wants to be the very best.  – The Mom

Hola Padres!                                                       23 May 2011
Don’t worry, you are the first on the list today and you will get a nice full thought email without worrying about time! I am glad to continue to have all the emails from home and to hear about everything there. I am so grateful for your support.  (We gave Chad a difficult time because our letter home last week was pretty short.  He had spent most of his time sending emails to his friends and left the parents to the very last and almost ran out of time!)
Well we had an excellent week, I really enjoyed and I am trying to find the good in everything and not the bad. Last week I said I was thinking a lot, well this week was full of doing and changing. The change is the hardest part, but it will be for the better. It all started when I went on exchanges with one of the Zone Leaders, Elder Pressgrove. He was my Zone Leader, my first two transfers in Hurricane. He came to my area and we just talked about a lot of stuff and he really opened my eyes about my mission. He is about ready to go home, so he was trying to share all his insights and trying to help other missionaries become better, and in my case it worked! He gave me a talk by a mission president called "The Fourth Missionary". This talk honestly changed my mission. Before, I guess, I was kind of taking my mission for granted and doing things that I wanted to do, but this talk helped me realize that I didn’t come on a mission to do things I want to do or have a vacation. I came on a mission to do the Lord's work and this is His time not mine. I really am understanding how important it is to submit to His will and not ours.
There are many missionaries that just cruise through their missions and never benefit or change at all from their experiences. I definitely don’t want to be one of those missionaries who reaches the end of their missions and starts to regret how they should have done more. I want to come to the end of my mission and say that I know I did my best and not have a regret. In the end I will be accountable for how I spent the Lord's time. So now my mission will never be the same. I changing to be that missionary that I want to be and know I should be. I could try and put the blame on others or say that my mission was influenced by this or by that, but in the end with everything in life, I am accountable for my own actions. Change isn’t going to be easy, but it will definitely be worth it and it is definitely necessary.
Well back to the missionary efforts.  We are back to walking again. After 4 weeks with a car, it has been sent back to Salt Lake and we aren’t going to get another one. It is definitely different to be walking again. I walked for 6 weeks with Elder Bravo, but it is like conditioning with anything else, if you don’t use it, you lose it! I definitely lost my walking stamina, especially since it is a little hotter now then it was 4 weeks ago. Also the first day that we started to walk again, it rained all day long. So we learned that no matter the weather outside, the work must go on!
Elder Lopez and I had some crazy lessons this week. It ranged from meeting drunk people and making a grown man cry. We have changed our teaching styles a little and we have been bolder in presenting the messages. (Hence that is why we made a grown man cry for calling him out.) Well this month, we have really been studying the importance of church and why we go. So through all that studying, I have come to find a better knowledge of why church attendance is important to me. I realized that our Savior sacrificed everything for us, so why can’t we sacrifice a few hours to go to church and learn of Him and remember Him? The Sacrament is so important to us and why we even go to church. Jesus himself set up this sacred ordinance for us and I feel bad to look back at my life when I didn’t understand why all this happened.
A mission is truly a learning and changing experience. I know that I will never be the same person again because of my mission. That is definitely not a bad thing either! I love my mission more then ever and this love will continue to grow. Thanks for all the support that you have given me! I love you so much!

Vivalo, Amalo, Predicalo! (Live it, Love it, Preach it!)

Tu Hijo         ELDER D

Monday, May 16, 2011

Brief Letter - Visited "the narrows" Rock

Hola Mami y Papi.                 May 16, 2011 
It is that time again here.  I kind of procrastinated this letter, so hopefully I will get it all down before the computer kicks me off. This week was another good one, of course. We are still going with the flow and are still teaching about 35 lessons a week. (By any standard, that is high!)
I guess we can just start with last Monday. We went to Dixie Rock and took some more pictures of St. Geezy and then we went to this place called the narrows. Which is exactly what is says; the narrows. It is a gap between to rock walls and you basically force your way through it until you get to the other side or the top of it all. There is a picture attached to show you how tight it really was.
This week was filled with a lot more thinking, and I am finally getting everything straight. A mission isn’t easy, because salvation isn’t easy. But I know that it really isn’t our work, but it is the Lord's and if we trust in Him, he will provide a way to accomplish it. I am finding that being a District Leader isn’t all that different. It is basically just collecting the numbers from the District and then reporting them to the Zone Lords. The one thing that I do enjoy is to be able to do all the Baptismal Interviews. It gives me a chance to know others and their stories. It is a really cool experience.
This week we had interviews with the Mission President. Once again he just seemed kind of bland and he gave me a set interview.  I guess I will just have to deal with it and adjust. (Some Mission Presidents are very personable.  Others have their talents a bit more hidden!!)
News from Home:   I am glad that Bry's party went well and that he enjoyed it. The picture of him before church was super cute! He is SOOOO Big!! I am glad to hear that the (Columbia Burbank) baseball team is doing well and that they are going to Regionals. (I mentioned we received Kevin Ireland’s graduation announcement and asked Chad if he remembered those days so long ago -1 year) Well I do remember all those days of getting ready for Graduation and all of that, it seems just like yesterday. It is crazy to think that is has almost been a whole year.
Well I just want to let you know that I love you a ton and am really starting to enjoy why I am here.

 I am definitely LIVING IT, LOVING IT, AND DEFINITELY PREACHING IT! I hope you are all doing the same!

Te Amo!      ELDER D

Monday, May 9, 2011


(For all those who read Chad's blog who are not members of our church, to preface this letter -- missionaries are to be focuses on their field of labor and not be in too much contact with home.  However, full time missionaries are allowed to phone home twice a year at Christmas and on Mother's Day.  We enjoyed an hour long visit -- laughing at his struggle to think of the right words in English!  He is loving what he is doing and acknowleges the 2 years are going by FAST!  We love him and miss him, but wouldn't change a thing!  -- The Mom)  The Picture is of Big Bad Elder Chad overlooking St. George, Utah aka St. Geezy.) 
Hola Benditos Padres!!                           May 9, 2011  
Well I am sorry to say that this letter will probably be pretty short since I just talked to you for an hour yesterday! I don’t really know what else to say, but I sure will give it a shot.
This week was pretty up and down, but it was good nonetheless. This week was full of a lot of learning experiences. I really used my brain a lot this week and thought a lot about what I was doing here and how I can make myself a better missionary. I still have not got a grasp on everything, and am trying to work everything out in my mind. The battle rages on! So with this thinking, my brain was on overload and I couldn’t think in English or Spanish! I was caught in between both languages and not understanding either. L  I guess that happens sometimes, and it is happening to me!
One thing I did learn is that I need to start focusing on others more and how I can help them, and less on Elder Davis. I am on a mission to help others and that is where my true focus should be.
The one crazy thing that happened here in St. George this week was the IRONMAN race. So I thought I may never have another chance, so I decided to compete. Well that definitely didn’t happen, especially since you have to swim 2.2 miles and as a missionary I can’t swim. Maybe later in my life I will try to complete the 2.2 mile swim, 112 mile bike ride, and then 26.2 mile run. There is always hope that I will be able to try that, or maybe not!
The call home was definitely the best part of my week, it was a different experience. I was at that point where I was just shedding the "trunky" thoughts of home after being with Elder Bravo, and then I am pulled right back in with a call home. But it was worth it! It is also weird to think that 8 months has already passed in my mission and then the next time that I call home, it will be when I have 15 months into my mission. The time goes by so fast and unfortunately there is no way of slowing it down.
The weather here is ridiculous!  It was in the 90s most of last week and topped out at about 96, so it was pretty warm and now we are going to have some thunderstorms for the next few days. But all is well here in St. Geezy.
How are things up in your neck of the woods? Well once again Mom, HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY!!!!! I hope you have a good week and enjoy everything that comes with it!

Live it, Love it, Preach it!     tu hijo,        ELDER D

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Hello May!

Hola Mis Amados Padres!     May 2, 2011 
      Well another week down and here we are again! It was a good week again. Things are definitely different after transfers and everything, but it is a good different. The work is the one thing that stays consistent throughout a whole mission. I can always count on that to never change.
It was pretty hard to say goodbye to Elder Bravo. It seemed like I said goodbye to him and his family about 4 times and somehow I would always end up seeing them again! I dropped him off at the Temple and said goodbye, but saw him that night as well. On Wednesday, he finally loaded up with his family and started their trek back to Orem. It is definitely a change to not have him here, but I am glad on who I got as my new companion.  (This was Chad’s first companion he has seen finish his mission and return home.)
Elder Lopez is probably the closest thing I could get to an Elder Bravo in this mission. We are getting along great, and we didn’t have the "awkward week" that accompanies transfers and new companions. He is a funny, short, stocky, Mexicano from Tijuana. He is excited to work and ready for everything that comes with it, so that is a definite plus. With Elder Bravo going home and being aware of “the real world” and all that, it got me think about him going back to the "real world." It seems that I can’t even remember much of what is “in the world,” I have been here just working and trying my best to focus on my mission. I don’t know when the change took place, but now to me, this is the "real world" or some would call it the "missionary world." But I am in this world for the time being and I am doing the best I can to make the best of the time I have in it.
Having a car is a definite change! (Since Chad is now the District Leader over other missionaries, he has a car to be able to keep in touch with them easier.)  I find myself thinking of ways to get to other places, and then I realize that a car can’t go through the holes in the fence, or the shortcuts we found. I also usually leave time to commute to somewhere for dinner or for a lesson, and then I remember that in a car it will take 5 minutes instead of a 30 minute walk. (Both the Mom and Dad remember this and said, “Been there, done that” while serving our missions!)
The one major thing that stuck out to me this week is how important the Holy Ghost is in missionary work. As missionaries, we can be saying all we want, but unless the Spirit is with us, the people we teach won’t understand or feel anything. It is definitely a blessing to know that the Holy Ghost is there backing up missionaries, as long as the live worthy to have Him there. I met my first General Authority face to face yesterday. Elder Terry Wade of the Seventy was at the Branch yesterday. It was pretty crazy, he is over all of the Spanish units in Southern Utah and he just happened to come to ours. We had the confirmation of Fredy in Sacrament, and Elder Wade stood in on his confirmation. What a cool experience! How many people can say that there was a Seventy in their circle when they were confirmed?
The Spanish is getting a lot better; I guess that is what happens when you use it all the time. I can feel everything growing, like my understanding and my vocabulary. I learned that I am able to listen to Spanish and English at the exact same time, and be able to understand each one separately. It was a pretty cool experience! I was pretty excited!
Yes Mother, Mother's Day is next Sunday. And I am pretty sure you will get a call from your favorite missionary, but I am not positive yet. Okay, so I am kidding. I know that you will get a call next Sunday. It will probably be about or 3 here, so about or 2 your time. That will give you enough time to just start falling into your Sunday afternoon nap, and then I will wake you up! J
(Chad’s father, Darin, had a diagnosis we thought was cancer in his lung, but the biopsy came back with no cancer cells.  We held back telling Chad until we knew for sure, and finally let him know of our anguish this last month while waiting for the reports.  Darin did not want to needlessly worry his son.)  So, to what your email was about, I mean I was in shock, and a little angry at the same time. But I am just happy that everything is okay with Pops and that he shouldn’t worry about me. I guess it is better that you didn’t tell me, because I would have been worrying, but it’s weird to know that this stuff was happening the whole time at home and I didn’t even know one thing. I am just happy to know that he is okay and that he is still living life! Well I do appreciate you at least telling me right now! Tell Pops that I love him and that I am thinking about him always and always praying for him.
So Mom, someone you trained has a daughter on a mission? Doesn’t another person you trained live in Beaver? (Yes, and Yes.) How many people did you train in your mission? (Five)  That is your and Dad's next assignment, to write to me and tell me about your missions. Okay? Alright well once again, my time is winding down! I love you so much!

Live it, Love it, Preach it!    TE AMO MUCHISMO!    ELDER D