Sunday, November 29, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

hey guys.

ya i remember richs mom she was a good lady, ive been to her house before and she was really cool. but thats too bad, at least we have the plan of salvation so they will see each other after this life.

but sounds like you guys are doing good and ready for thanksgiving. we have this morning as part of our p day so we went and bought some food and clothes and then later we'll work again. but tomorrow is going to be sweet cuz everyone is calling us asking what we're doing tomorrow and inviting us to come over, so im thinking we'll just go from house to house and eat a little here and there. so itll be fun.

one food i ate yesterday for the first time that was not too good was eggplant. we got some rice and beans yesterday after our lesson and they had a fried eggplant on top of the rice. it was a really weird texture and i dont think ill be eating it again. but this past week was really good and we had a great weekend. lots of lessons and good weather so tthat was nice. it started raining yesterday though and its drizzling all day today so its been fun riding our bikes.

we had a cool experience the other day though with some guys who owned the little corner store we went into. they were amazed that we could speak spanish and then we kept talking and i bought some milk and treats, then the cashier guy hooked us up with some free candy bar things and also gvae me a discount on my stuff. so it was pretty cool and maybe if you guys would learn spanish you could get discounts too.

but ya sorry for spending a lot of money last thursday, i bought you guys some stuff and also im working on the pictures, we've been taking a lot lately with the families we're teaching so ill try and get em sent in with the stuff but it might be a couple more weeks. but hope you guys have a good time with the family and dont eat too much. we only have like 1 week left of this transfer so we'll see whats gonna happen i might stay or move im not sure yet. but thanks for everything and take care.



Friday, November 20, 2009

Weddings and Partying

buenos dias,

man you guys had an awesome week. congrats brooks on making the team. now you gotta work hard bro and really pay attention to coach ty and learn from him, hes a way good ball player. but bro thats sweet man, and work at gettting stronger and faster. try out those strength shoes that we have. but man im proud of you.

well you guys you have no idea how great this past week was. we kicked butt with our investigators and received two wedding invitations so we're going to be partying a lot in these next two weeks. two families we've been teaching made dates and one is the 28 of this month and the other is the 4 so im pretty excited for that.

also we had the entire mission conference with Elder Nelson. that was so sweet man. he is really a man of God. like think of the smartest person you know and then times them by 50 and you have Elder Nelson. he shared some really interesting stuff with us about repentance and greek words and scriptures galour. it was really awesome experience. then later that night we got to listen to him again in our stake conference meeting for adults, then the next morning at the big meeting. it was an awesome meeting and really learned a lot. the best thing though was we have this recent convert who is the bomb, he helps us out a lot and is a stud, but we've been trying to teach his wife and she never has kept commitments or really felt it necessary to be part of the church. but she came to the sunday meeting with Elder Nelson and he talked about families and teaching our children about the Gospel, great talk, i should send my notes to you guys, but she was crying afterwards and really liked it alot so that was really exciting for us.

then this week we've had some great lessons and really had a lot of success in finding and helping out people. the other day though we were knocking some doors before one of our appts and this one house we went to the guy walks up to the door and is looking down at his chocolate lab saying "attack! attack!" and the dog is just looking up at him and doesnt do anything, so the guy keeps saying it and then says to us to stop coming by his house or else he's going to sick his dog on us and "believe me it wont be pleasant" haha so we were all ok thanks for your time sir have a good day and left to the next door. haha but the guy was a nut and my companion was saying how he was gonna kick the dog in the throat if it came out. haha so thats my story for the week.

but thanks for the package mom i dont know if im gonna have time to eat all that because we are gonna be busy with dinners this next week but we'll see. thanks for the newspapers too, my comp really likes em. but ya things are going great and one member is trying to donate his car to us so thats pretty cool. the weather has been great, really warm and sunny. but i guess its suppose to rain the next couple days so we'll see.

we have a baptism the next two or three weeks in a row for sure so thats awesome. the spanish is great too. its so much fun when you can communicate and understand what other people are talking about when its non gospel stuff. its really helped me gain closer relationships here in reading with the members. oh ya and the other night we were with the President of the Branch's son and hes sixteen. hes got his permit so we convinced him to drive us around one night. his dad said it was fine so he drove us to two lessons and had an interesting experience trying to explain to this pastor how God is not all three. that reallly its God, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost as three separate beings. it was kind of like bible bashing and the scriptures he would share with us were so stupid and his points were so broad that you could really see how confused and wrong this guy really was. but we got out of there and left with peace so that was good.

but ya things are great and thanks for your guys support and keep up the good work.

love yall. norman

oh ya brooks bro, im just warnin ya but Davis likes to run you a lot so take advantage of it and use your cross country skills to beat everyone and get quicker. but ya man have a good time with bball and even though youre probably like the most popular kid in the gym,(chesters little bro), haha no just kidding, but really if people say that to you just be like yep youre right im related to him and then ignore it cuz it dont matter who you know or what someone you know did, just what you do it what counts. so work hard and play defense and rebound and the rest will come.

theres a quote that i heard that when you stop worrying about the center and focus on the edges, the center takes care of itself. so just do the little things and smile and make jokes and theyll like ya. talk to kroup and have him help ya out on defense and other stuff.

love you guys peace out.

hasta luego

Friday, November 13, 2009

Successes from Baptisms to Mashed Potatoes and Gravy

hey como les va?

so this past week was really awesome. we had a great time teaching some people and made baptismal dates so that was exciting. we have the baptism for pedro who fell off the roof next sunday.

but tuesday we had zone conference and that was awesome. i learned a lot and really had a great time. this mission is awesome and president murray is the man. its so cool how we focus so much on ourselves and how we need to come unto Christ and experience true conversion. i have been praying out loud after my companion goes to sleep and fasting every now and then and it has really helped me to become a different "creature" than what i was 5 months ago. but zone conference was awesome and we really had a great learning and growing experience.

also on sunday us missionaries had to talk in sacrament and the spanish was great. we did good and i felt so good yesterday when we went to this investigators house and she was like man i have to compliment you on your spanish, you have grown so much since you first came here. thats basically what she said, not exactly, but it really made me feel good.

i have really tried to improve my studying this past week and i have seen the difference. it is amazing how much you get out of a study when you write down the stuff and revelation you get while reading. i have a study journal for our personal studies and i hadnt been writing in it for the past 1.5 months so i started doing that again and its really helped. so i would invite you guys to do that and write down every little impression that you get while studying, the talk in this past conference explains it better i think it was by Eyring but i dont know you can check.

but things are going great and me and my comp had the best week in the whole zone, probably mission, last week number wise so that was awesome. but sounds like you guys are doing good and if you want to try and eliminate the tension maybe you could try reading the talk by Prezidente Monson he gave last conference about going about doing good and serving others. because " what do we live for if not to make life less difficult for others?" but ya things are great, im not frozen yet, its been just a little chilly here but not bad. i keep warm but the only problem is with the bikes we sweat and then the houses we go into dont have heat so we freze in there and then go back out and ride around to get warm again. a lot of the houses dont have heat, just a little electric heater on the first floor and its funny when we teach sometimes you can see your breath because its colder inside than outside.

this saturday we get to listen to Elder Nelson and also Saturday Night and Sunday because hes coming to our stake conference. so saturday morning we'll drive to broomall PA, listen to him talk to us missionaries, then drive back to reading. at 7 then we have a meeting to go to with him for the adults in the stake and then sunday morning. so its gonna be awesome. well keep up the good work and have a good week. love yall


Otro ves
a few questions i have. blake are you playing AAU or what league for basketball are you in? brooks dont worry about tryouts and dont eat wheat chex before either, i did that and threw it all up my freshman or sophmore year while running sprints in tryouts. but just smile and be a team player, also hustle everywhere (that means sprint and dont worry about scoring, play defense and be rough and they'll like you). also dad you should try reading the Teachings of Brigham Young, its pretty good. especially the part about Fasting and the Sabbath Day. also thanks a bunch for the socks i really like em and theyre warm. theyre working great. also i dont need any food or clothes or anything for thanksgiving so thanks for the idea but no its all good. but mom i do have a story fory ou that youd be proud of. last thursday i bought two bags of potatoes for 5 bucks. then on sunday i pealed em cut em and boiled em. smashed em up with milk and butter and had my self some mashed potatoes and gravy( i made some gravy too) for dinner. it was really good and a great change from pasta and rice and beans. but ya thats my little success story for you guys.

thanks hasta luego

Thursday, November 5, 2009

One Quick Story

so i forgot to tell you about the story we had last night. we have a meeting with the leaders of the branch every wednesday night at 730. so we were gettting a ride from Hermano Marrero to the church. but when we got out of our lesson at 645, my companions bike tire was flat. so we tried pumping it up with the little pump i carry around, it didnt work. so we walk towards marreros house, see a gas station with a pump, stop i get some quarters inside and we fill up the tire, nope its got a hole. so we start walking, now we're only about 6 blocks away from his house and its 650. we finally get to his house at like 708 he comes out and has an old honda suv.

my companion asks if we can put the bikes in his car and then he takes us home after the meeting, he agrees and so we go through all this trouble trying to get the bikes in the back. we have to take off the front tires then put down the back seat and take out some things he had in the back. so finally they both fit and so now we jump into the front seats and me and my companion are scrunched in the passenger seat and im hanging in the middle by his arm rest and then we have little Hno Marrero driving with only head lights like a mad man. the dash lights dont work and he drives like a latino, fast and punches it at every stop sign.

so it was an exciting 10 minute drive to the church, we have to meeting and everyone is happy. then he takes us back home afterwards, end of story. it was pretty funny but we were really grateful that he did it because it wouldve been like 1030 by the time we walked our bikes back to the house after the meeting. have a good one and try looking for the little miracles each day. im trying to do that and its pretty neat.

Answers some questions...


Have you been sick? Did you get a flu shot?
no i am not sick, just a runny nose. my companion got sick though a couple weeks back but everythings good now.

Has it been really stormy?
its been a little windy but clear the past week and we havent had any rain i dont think. but its been cold enough that we need to wear a light jacket. but we bike so much that if we wear too many layers we die of sweat so thats the only problem.

Where are most of the people from that you are teaching?
most of the people we teach are from puerto rico or the dominican republic. me and my companion are doing good. we do really good together and like doing outdoor things so we get along good. the funny story for this week is one of the guys we are teaching is a mechanic and has his own big shop. we stop by and teach him and sometimes help him with whatever he's doing. but the other day we found out why he'd been to jail a couple months back. he fights roosters. he showed us his cages and his best roosters and was tellin us all about it. it was really cool and interesting but man its crazy. he still does it back in PR. also it was pretty funny in church we had one of our really good investigators introduce himself to the priesthood and he basically pledged to stay in the church and that hes gonna get baptized so that was pretty good. but ya other funny stuff just like crazy people we see, one drug deal we saw, and cockroaches crawling down the wall right behind this lady we're teaching in the middle of the lesson. i dont know theres a bunch of stuff.

What did you do for Halloween?
Halloween was pretty good. we just had to come in a 6 and so i had a good study until bed. but ya lots of funny stuff about the yankees and phillies.

Do you get our letters every week?
yes i get the letter every week thanks a bunch i appreciate it.

Do you have any requests for Christmas?
i dont need anything for christmas, also the coat isnt needed either. i got under layers and the windbreaker that i have is awesome and i stay really warm, the only problem is that one of the other elders was using my jacket and gloves because we were on exchanges with the ZL and he lost my nice leather gloves i bought so i was a little ticked, he was just kinda like "oh oops sorry i guess i didnt see em." but oh well.

Do you listen to music?
ya we can listen to music, we only have one CD so we listen to that in the apartment and my companion likes this one song that i think ive listened to over a hundred times. but ya we can listen to church music.

just keep doing what youre doin. all is well. i really had a great week and learned a lot. i have some changing to do with some things but things are going good and we have some baptisms coming up. it makes you feel good when someone who the other spanish elders are teaching tells you that they want you to teach em. we have some good friendships. but ya things are good and thanks for everything. have a good one. read the scriptures.
elder nielson