Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Elder Johnson and I are Holiday Set!

From Elder A. Stoneman

Hey so they allowed us to send a quick email out today concerning Christmas. I didn't have time to read everyone's emails but it looks like you will all be at Sam's around the time I will be calling... holla. We are going to be eating Christmas dinner at the military base like Thanksgiving with the Prichard’s'... hmmm that'd make a good title to a hip new Christmas song... haha We'll be eating around 1:30 at the base our time and I will be calling shortly after that... maybe 2:30 or 3... So that'll be around 1 ish your time. 30 to 40 minute phone call... lame. But it'll have to do. I’ll call Sam’s landline... so I can talk to my peeps. holla!!!!

Mom I got your package. Thank you! Thank you for the sweaters. The black fits perfect... I love it. Thank you for everything.

Elder Johnson’s mom sent him money to buy a Christmas tree. So we bought lights and a 4 foot fake tree... all we need is the smell... And I bought a cheap stocking and we hung up our stockings on either side of the thermostat... it's kinda like a fireplace... so we're in pretty good shape. We've put our presents under the tree. Oh! Jana! I got your package too! Thank you so much! Loved it. I put your presents under the tree and the treats in my stocking. :) A birthday/Christmas letter is on its way. So yeah. Elder Johnson and I are all holiday set. It’s going to be a good one!

Love you all! Thanks for everything - talk to you on Christmas!


Tuesday, December 15, 2009

December 14, 2009

Goose Creek, South Carolina.

Walking through the streets with forest on each side is pretty sweet. Especially when it has just rained and the frogs are out. It seriously feels like the beginning of Pirates of the Caribbean.

Thanks to everyone who wrote!! Mom and Dad I got your emails. Sam! You are the bomb. Thanks for the love. I got a few handwritten letters from Land, Mom, and from the 8th ward! Thank you 8th ward - loved it. The cards and Primary poster were so nice. Thank you. And of course Margo... thank you so much for your thoughts and letter. I’m very appreciative of it and your support. Thanks for the cash. I bought some pan-dulce with it. Mexican sweet bread. So good! Thank you.

We had our ward's Christmas party this past Friday. So awesome. It's funny how all wards are the same. Our Bishop dressed as Santa, sweating bullets. The baby Jesus was a creepy little doll with blonde hair and a bad haircut. and even the uptight party host... in the least excited and uptight, weary, frustrated voice you can imagine - "HEY! ATTENTION!! HEY! we are NOW moving on to the entertainment portion of the evening!" Awesome.

Well an update on our strongest investigators - Saul and Lucio. We have 8 investigators but these two are the strongest. They are both scheduled for baptism. Saul on the 2nd of Jan and Lucio on the 26th of December. They are both really great men. They are progressing and keeping their commitments and coming to church. Things are looking great at the moment. Every time we teach and every time they come to church... they seem to get more serious about it and have a stronger desire to do better and keep commitments in preparing for their baptism. (Unfortunately, Lucio’s wife isn’t quite as receptive thus far…)

We do a lot of biking. Our area is so huge that we drive the car to a certain spot and then bike the rest of the way to our various neighborhoods. The bike is absolutely great!! Thank you Auntie Cath. :)

Best church marquee of the week:

Tues night - gospel study
Wed night - birthday party for Jesus

Well I’m off to Wally world. Thank you for everything. I will hopefully work everything out for the call on Christmas.
Love you all!!

Elder A. Stoneman

Friday, December 11, 2009

The News From Goose Creek

Man! What a crazy week. It went by so fast. The mission field is so great. So here it is P-day again. It seriously feels like I just emailed yesterday.

So yeah. Thanks to all who wrote. I got an email from Mom, Ben, Steve Hatch and Sky – (thanks for putting me on your email list!) So... what’s this about the Max?!? That's freakin sweet! Felicidades! Max, when Hillary swears you in.... don't let her pull a "Jeanie" and kiss you okay? haha

Mom last night I got to go to the ward and watch the Christmas Devotional. We were encouraged to bring investigators... no luck... haha but we still went. It was good though. Loved it. I even got to see my mother. dot buther. Christmas music is the bomb. In the car we listen to HIMNOS - we're on Christmas cd’s. I set up my cd player in the house and we listen to all the cd's I brought.... except (don't laugh) the showtime one... haha it's a rule... no showtune MoTab. haha

Elder Johnson is awesome. He's so hard working and pretty funny. I’m so grateful I’m with him and that I can develop the good habits I’ll need as a missionary.Llast week though was a little slow. We're still trying to find areas. We're about to 13 areas that we move around in. The areas are so spread apart that we do a lot of biking (we are limited to about 30 miles driving in the car a day)... which can be a bit nippy in the evenings. Mom I may buy a sweater at wally world today... and possibly a beanie and gloves. Elder Johnson said that Jan and Feb. get pretty chilly.

So p-days are awesome. Last week we went to office max and with the help of an angry lady we made large copies of our area map. We made our map and it's up on our wall. We've dotted investigators, leads, members, less-actives... it feels like we're planning this huge terrorist attack as we plan every night... intensely looking at our map deciding what to do and where to go. I hope no one walks in on us one night. hahaha We go to the library (bytheway I’m an official library card owner in the Berkeley library ... holla) and we get an hour on internet time. After I write this email I’m going to try and figure out sending pics. Anyway so p-day includes doing laundry (there's laundromat in our complex), wally world, weekly [planning, and possibly a ciesta. Elder Johnson and I do a lot of cooking. The ward missionary feeding coordinator has been out of town so we're not on a feeding calendar yet. but we talked to her on Sunday and she already had some ideas for this week. We've been to one member dinner appointment.

Mom and Dad you were right... there was some pretty intense rain... honestly I have never seen rain like that before EVER! The crazy thing was that it was so warm during the rain too. The day started off cold and got warm and then just dumped! Perfect weather for a... yup you guessed it... tornado. haha We were on a tornado watch! What?!??! We got a message from our district leader... about 6 hours late... saying we were on tornado watch. Then Elder Johnson and I were leaving the apartment in our car and it was just coming down like crazy... I mean dumping BUCKETS... then we got a voicemail message from our zone leaders saying, "Sister McConkie has confirmed that we are in a storm watch.... for those of you who haven't ALREADY noticed... go home..." Crazy night. that was last Wednesday. We haven't had any serious weather since... but it's been cold.

So our investigators currently are: Lucio, Saul (both came to church yesterday) Mario and Elton. Ben and max - Elton is from brazil. he speaks Portuguese and we're getting him a livro de mormon. In fact we are finding SO many Brazilians... about a fifth of our findings. Kinda crazy. so we are getting Portuguese pamphlets and BoM's etc. pretty cool.

Hey actually I’m about out of time for sending pics... next week I promise. Well I love you all. I hope to hear form you all soon. hint hint. :) Send me hard mail too. I’ve yet to get anything in my mailbox. First person gets a prize. :) Love you all and know that I’m working hard and loving it. And you're all in my prayers.

Nos vemos.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Hey Ya'll

Monday November 30, 2009

Hey ya'll. I hope everything is good. Things are awesome here. I love it and it's nice to actually be doing missionary work! I am sitting here in South Carolina writing my first email back home.... kinda weird.... but in case you were wondering - I did make it. It was a close one... the MTC almost got me but I escaped!

I landed in SC around 3:00 p.m. and it is gorgeous. Everything is so green. Oh! and there are SO many trees!! They took us to the chapel near the mission home and we were there until like 10:00. Pres McConkie... is great. He knows what's up. Awesome man. He acknowledged my letters (Mom & Dad - thanks for encouraging me to write him!) and said I was the only one who wrote frequently prior to my arrival. Sister McConkie said that she and the Pres saw you two at a play a while back at Pages. So I was greeted warmly and really felt the love from the McConkies. So awesome. We then went and stayed at the mission home overnight. We got both dinner and breakfast made by Sister McConkie.... mmmm she knows what’s up in the kitch!

The next morning we got our transfers. (So that’s the last time I saw Elder Finch.... I wonder how he's doing...?) Entonces... they announced my name... and I am serving in (drum roll) Charleston! Well technically Goose Creek just north of Charleston in the Crowfield Ward area. Interesting thing is... my trainer Elder Johnson and I were white washed in... meaning that no other Spanish elders had really been in that area for a while... so we've had to start everything from scratch. Oh! And my comp.... Elder Johnson... is awesome. He's been out 21 months. So he has 3 months left or 2 transfers, and it is very possible that we will both just stay together in this area until he leaves. So I’m very happy about that.

So the past few days we've just been contacting and finding Hispanics and getting to know the area. There are SO many churches down here. One of my favorites being titled - "The EXCITING Baptist Church on St James Ave".

Thanksgiving was fun. We went onto the military base and ate with Elder Prichard who is the senior missionary over the base. The best thing I had was almost like a pumpkin pie (it tasted like it) but it was made with yams, and it had crusted cinnamon pecans on the outside.

Okay, so apologies to all the foreign missionaries of the fam... I’ll just say it... I’m spoiled. haha I know. I realize that and I’ll try not to brag... except... I am very grateful for the luxuries we have. We do have a car. Debit cards with 135 a month. Also we have a comp cell phone. Our apartment is new... well to the mission. No missionaries had lived there before - as Elder Johnson pointed out... "'s clean."

We've already found a bunch of areas. We have a few investigators already. In fact one came to church with us. So awesome. I went and scored some himnos from the RS room and the three of us sang the hymns in Spanish. He liked that. There aren't enough Hispanic families to have a branch so they do the translation thing with the special church equipment - it's pretty cool.

Best church quote of the week...

There was a linger longer after church with Thanksgiving dinner and they used the ovens to warm the food. One of the dishes was dripping and so it smelt like something was burning. The missionaries of course were hanging out by the kitchen and every time someone walked by they'd ask "Is something burning?" Well this sister walks down a little while later, sniffs the air a few times, and then with the thickest Southern accent you can imagine says "Oh! Are we sacrificing a Baptist?" and then just busts up laughing. Hysterical.

Well things are great here. I love everyone and I’m doing so well here in SC. My testimony has grown so much in this past week just in doing real missionary work. I love it.


Elder A. Stoneman

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

In My Mind I'm Goin' to Carolina

So, our Elder Augustus A. Stoneman has offically arrived in the mission field. He touched down yesterday afternoon, November 23rd, in Columbia, South Carolina ready to go to work.

If anyone wishes to drop him line while he's in the field, here's where you send it:

Elder Augustus Archer Stoneman
South Carolina Columbia Mission
1345 Garner Lane, Suite 307
Columbia, SC 29210-8362

I will continue posting Aug's missives as received.

Thanks to each of you for your love and support!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Church is True, Book is Blue, Seeya in Two...

Hey Mom and Dad!

So... I GOT MY FLIGHT PLANS! Holla! That's what's up. oooooooooohhhh yeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaah... (that’s for you Max) So hey thank you for the letter. Awesome. I hope you got mine okay. I tried to fit all I could into this email.

Flight info:

I depart from the SLC airport Monday the 23rd at 7am -I arrive in Atlanta at 12:41 (I’m assuming in that time zone...?) -I leave ATL at 1:47pm -I arrive in Columbia SC at 2:45.

I will call around those times.

So since I’m leaving so early in the morning next Monday... this is my last p-day at the MTC... and probably the last time you'll hear from me at the MTC. I may send a letter with pics to you mom and dad.

I got a bunch of letters this week from mah peeps! holla and thank you. haha. Sam I DID get your letter last week like right after I sent the email... so I didn't mention you... but I got it and thanks for resending it. You're awesome! Thanks for the letter and the little letters from the kids. So awesome. Loved the Colin and Kayla story too. Dad thank you for your letter. I very much appreciated it and am taking in all of your counsel. Melissa! You are the best. Thank you for thinking of me and sending a note my way. I loved it. Sounds like everything is well in your home... the usual... crazy! haha. Loved the stories. thank you. Mom thanks for the dearelders and the letter with the calling card. Jana... thanks for the handwritten... I sent you one too... hope you got it....? McKay... once again you're the man.

I scored a package from my favorite chocolate shop... WITH my favorite chocolates inside. Steve and Kate I sent you an email. But I’ll thank you again... publicly. Goomi - I received your letter this morning. Thanks for the response. Love you both.

So this week... since I’m leavin... don't send any dearelders after thurs. I think they may forward any mail I get though.

Elder Finch quote of the week.... we're doin some comp study and we're reading from PMG... the line in a story said something to this effect:
"Alberto was worried about his ailing wife.."
What Elder Finch said (oh and by the way he didn't even notice... he just kept goin)...
"Alberto was worried about his alien wife.."
haha Good ol' Elder Finch.

We have our own hasta ver this Sunday. We're the oldest district too. Oh yeah and on Sunday we are singing as a district... Abide with Me; ‘Tis Eventide... except in Spanish... Conmigo Quedate Senor... it's going to be awesome. We're probably the best sounding district. Just sayin.

Well the MTC has been an all right experience. I’ve grown and learned a lot. I’m ready to leave though.

Thanks to everyone who has written me and who has given their love and support and all around good vibes. I love you all... and I’m off to serve a fricken mission.

Church is true,
Book is blue,
Seeya in two...

Just sayin.


Elder Stoneman

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

So Elder Finch totally had swine flu this week... Ouch.

haha Scared ya didn't I? You thought I had it... No I didn't, but more about that later.

Hey mom and dad. I hope this email finds you well. I hope things are great in the new house. I’m pumped for you both. I want pics.

Dad!!! Thank you so much for the package. Freakin Awesome. Loved everything including the Dove chocolates... And you know how they always write on the inside of the wrappers on those? hahaha Well what we didn't realize (until we read: float candles in a dish of cranberries for a center piece) that the theme for this certain package was "Martha Stewart holiday tips on every wrapper!" hahahaha We had fun with that. Some of my favorites were:

"Gingerbread stays fresh longer than most cookies"
"Ornaments add unexpected sparkle to the table"

Thanks Martha.

So yeah I hope everyone is doing great. You all sound great. Thanks to everyone who wrote this week: Jana, Jess, boys, mom, dad, McKay, Molly, Starlee, and Sky.

Abby Gibbons... we know a mutual person. Elder Brennon Butler. He's in my district. In fact we live in the same room. haha Weird but awesome coincidence.

So Elder Finch and I (AND another elder in our district) all have the same suit. We try not to wear them all on the same day. haha. But we've come to find out that half the missionaries here own it too. Popular suit. haha. Mr. Mac knows whats up.

Okay so enough of the little fun facts. Now... to the swine flu story.... and yes it is real for those who are thinking by this point "wait did that actually happen?" haha

So last Monday (literally right after I sent my email) Elder Finch was talking about his swollen glands. And he didn't really think much of it until a few hours later when he took his own temperature - 100.8. ah! So I said "Elder Finch are you sure you don't want to go to the health clinic...?" "Uh... yeah maybe we should go." So Elder Grow (live with him) and I gave him a blessing. It's a good thing we did too because I was just thinking we'd give him one when we got back... little did I know that I’d never see him again. For serious.

We walk to the front desk because the clinic is closed and she takes his temp which has raised another degree. She said to go to the clinic and just bang on the door really loudly and someone would answer. So while waiting for Elder Finch in the clinic (not realizing at this point that he might have swine flu) there is another elder waiting for his comp . He is Spanish-speaking and the lady comes out and tries to tell him that his comp has swine flu... I attempt to translate. And he starts bawling. And I’m like "it's alright elder" then the lady turns to me and says "Oh I have news for you too" Elder finch had swine flu!!! En serio.

So I didn't see Elder Finch after that. Well until we went back to the residence and security had brought him there to pick up his things for QUARENTINE! haha MTC is awesome. He had a mask on... and Elder Butler was crackin jokes to security about if we had to burn our room and all of the stuff inside now… But hey! No worries ya'll, I’m okay - I'm on the pill. :) They are giving each missionary in the district Tamiflu.

So this last week I joined the Grow and Butler companionship. And I realized how much I've come to love Elder Finch. What a guy.

Yesterday the intercom system in the classrooms went off saying, "Elder Augustus Stoneman. Your companion's ready to picked up. Would you please come pick up your companion." Hilarious thing to say on the intercom.

Wait. First you need to know that Elder Finch is always munching on some kind of candy or cookie wandering aimlessly around the residence.

We picked him up as a district. and within 10 minutes of being back he was wandering around eating a pop tart. One of the elders said "See? This is what I missed - Elder Finch walkin around, eatin stuff!" haha Very true. Elder Finch is better and I have pills to last me til Thursday. No swine flu for me. As for me and Finch, we are going to work extra hard this week to make up for all of the study we missed out on without each other.

So ever since I became DL, our district's been falling apart, dropping like flies! As a district we've collectively been to the health clinic enough times to potentially hire a new a nurse there. haha. Our district has suffered: swine flu, back injury, foot injury, unexplained hive outbreak (3 different times this week), and sinus infection. So I'm either a lousy DL or a great one because I've avoided the various plagues. I'm as healthy as a horse - just stayin strong for the elders. Haha

Hey so I totally get my flight plans this week! holla. Next Monday I will write with all of the flight info to let you all know when I’ll be calling. haha Calling is kosher .... airport visits... not so much. But I will call for sure.

Well I had a cool experience this week... I made an RC call in Spanish! It was awesome... and totally freaky! I was pretty nervous. But the lady I talked to could understand me and I somewhat understood her. The Church is true... just gonna throw that out there. So we talked and I eventually asked if she wanted a BoM. She said yeah - or rather - si. Also I sent the missionaries over to her house. I'm glad I sent the BoM over with the missionaries too. Once again - Church is true.

Well I'm out. But I love you all. Adios.

Elder A. Stoneman

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

"...and the muffins were still warm..."

About the title - okay so Elder Finch gets about a package every 4 days. hahaha. Hilarious. I don't really care but the other guys in the district give him the business. Elder Finch literally has gotten 10 packages here. Mostly it's his mom's baking and she just drives over to the MTC and drops it off... in a box (did I tell you he's from Provo... and that HE WALKED HERE?!?! No lie... he did. with his family... with all of his luggage... and with a wagon.) Anyway... so last week he got a package and one of the Elders here was like "Seriously?!?! Again?!?!?!" So Elder Finch opened his package and it was a bunch of muffins his mom baked... and yes you guessed it... his muffins were still warm.

Hola! How are my peeps? Man! I miss you all so much. But all of the lovin’, packages, pics, etc really do help. The time here is just going faster. In fact I’m nervous to leave... in 3 weeks. AH!!! What???? haha. Seriously though, I’ll probably be getting my flight plans in a week. Insane.

Mom and Dad. how did the move go? All settled in? How did G Street end up? How's the new pad? Send pics. How are the Goomi? I’m sending them a letter this week. Well I hope everything is well with you both... I love you so much.

Molly and McKay thank you for the package. Absolutely loved it. A letter is on the way for you two by the way. Oh and of course Graham. I’m sure he'll be pumped to hear from me :)

So on the Tuesday night devotional last week, epic. They didn’t let anyone in until like 15 min before starting... and then the chorister told the missionary congregation to be more reverent... and there was a bunch of security. something was going down. Well... before each huge devo we always sing before the meeting starts and while we were singing... who walks in...? a GA! en serio!! Elder L Tom Perry spoke to us. He talked about teaching and gave some good advice... it was so awesome. The spirit was so strong in that meeting.

So I mentioned that some elders didn't receive their visas. they finally left this morning... they got here august 12th. Ouch. 12 weeks. Now there is another group in our district that didn't get their visas so they're here for 2 more weeks. Ouch.

Elder Finch is trying to gain weight. It's awesome. He got here weighing 109. And he has aspirations to get to 125... I’ve come to like him. We get along great. no arguments. And we teach pretty well together.

Oh... so I’m now the district leader for 16-D. Much like last week, I thought (and was hoping) that Elder Finch would get called... mostly because it'd be hilarious... but boy was I wrong. haha It's okay though. I’m fine with the calling. And now I get to pick up the mail. :) haha.

Well I’m off but I’ll leave with just saying... I’m so pumped for this opportunity. I’ve grown so much and I know I have a lot more to go. My testimony has grown. I’ve really learned to love personal study. I can't wait for the field. I love this gospel. I love this church. I love missionary work. I’m doing fine. and yes.. I’m staying sane. or at least I THINK I am. haha. I love you all. Write me on dearELDER

Elder A. Stoneman

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Que ha hecho hoy?

For those of you none espanol-ers... that means "What have you done today?" Funny part is... in Spanish you don't pronounce h's. So try saying that without them and making it one word. It's Chinese-esque...

Mom and Dad. Hi!! Thank you so much for the package. It rocked my freakin socks. I was pumped to get it... I got it on Thursday. I’m happy about everything that was in there. MIS PANTALONES!!! holla. haha. I loved the odor-free stuff... and am putting it to good use... if you know what I mean :) the sewing kit I know I will use. Thank you. Love you tons.

Hey! So how is everyone? Man! Can I just say I love getting letters! It's the goods.

Holmans!!! Thank you so much for the dearelder-Holman-family-breakdown. The letter from everyone made my day. :) Thank you. and ps I miss you guys too.

Gunther and Calvin!!! Thank you so much for your letters and harsh words to missions. you're lucky the Church doesn't have feelings... or they'd probably be hurt. haha. Love you boys... hope you got my letters okay, Ben and Me. Sam and Kell, expect a letter with pics this week.

Molly thank you for the dearelder and am looking forward to your package. You're the bomb. Love you. McKay... thanks again for the updates... they've been pretty regular so every week I’ve been looking forward to it. As for whether I want football or box office... either! Any outside world info will do fine. Keep me updated on good movies, good football, and the Jazz!!

Max and Brooke - hope everything is well in J-town. Thanks for your letters. Max thank you for the advice and the laugh. I always appreciate both in your letters. Thank you.

So this week (last Friday to be exact... WHICH happened to be my 1 month mark... holla... half way through the MTC... once again holla) our district did an "English fast." Absolutely NO English - all Spanish... in case you didn't get it :) haha. I was so pumped for it... but the actual day itself was hard - Spanish is HARD. I take that back... the day didn't suck... it was just draining. Surprisingly though, I did okay and I’m feeling that I’m doing well with my Spanish. I’m comin along. One more time... holla.

Jessica... I don't know if I got a chance to thank you or not for your letter to me. Thank you. and Auntie Mary too... sorry if I already have or never did... everything runs together here…With email though, I’m just able to print them off... and enjoy it without my 30 min timer keepin me on my toes... AND STRESSING ME OUT OF MY MIND!

So mom and dad moved... WHAT?!?! haha... I feel like Molly... the fam moving while I’m gone... luckily though I’m not in a 3rd world country and it isn't around 9/11. haha that sucks Mol. I’m feelin for you.

Every Sunday we are to write a talk in our mission language and have it be about 5 minutes. The catch though is that they don't tell anyone (or even the very person for that matter) who is speaking until during the meeting!!! The first two Sundays were fast Sunday and G.C. so we had it easy. The week after that another district was leaving so they had them talk. So our district has had it pretty easy. Now don't get me wrong... I always prepare. This week though... another district in our branch started a rumor that Elder Finch would be speaking. hahaha. It was funny... they told him right before Sacrament Meeting and to watch him flip through his scriptures was awesome. I felt like Dad... in on a good tease. When they announced who was speaking though... it was ME!!! "Elder Stone-" and my mind’s going "NOOOOOOOOO" in a desperate/helpless Ned Flanders kind of way. Every week I was even prepared for them to say my name. This week though I did NOT see it coming. So I run up to the pulpit and roughly convey Christ’s ministry and atonement in the best Spanish I could muster. It turned out pretty well (besides my district giggling and other Elders making faces). I got through it and to my surprise I actually took up the whole 5 minutes. holla. I got some good feedback too. But wow... you would not believe how big my eyes got. I felt like Skyler. haha The SAME thing happened to him- unexpectantly and then sweating up at the stand. haha Make sure the Holmans get this!

Speaking of the Elder that's leaving, his district is in my zone and they are all going to Argentina... or at least are supposed to! haha only 4 of the 12 got their visas. Ouch. So they're sending the other 8 state side. which is weird because a district that left our zone 2 weeks ago... had two missionaries without visas and those two are STILL at the MTC... 11 weeks here. Double ouch. haha I hope South Carolina doesn’t suddenly start requiring visas. haha

So I wanted to just finish up and thank everyone again for the support and letters. I am doing great here. I feel that I’m growing a lot (a whole 3 pounds!!!) haha... maturing, and really getting ready to serve. I’m pumped. The MTC isn't all that bad... it's going by quite fast and I’m learning so much. I’m growing so much spiritually too. I’m expanding my knowledge of the gospel and the scriptures and learning to follow the spirit. I am helped and comforted daily by the spirit... without it... I’d be home. But luckily I had it and still have and am just continuing on. I feel great, I’m happy and am freakin' PUMPED to serve. I love this gospel and church and know it's true.

Love you and miss you all!!

Elder A. Stoneman

Monday, October 19, 2009

Elder Stoneman. Holla.

Hi Mom and Dad.

How are you two? I'm stoked to hear you got a place in the condo. Well... just so you know... I'm doing great and miss you and love you tons. Thanks for the letters, love, and support.

Good luck with moving. I'm sad I can't be there.... not. :) hahahaha. Have fun :) Keep me posted on the move and dog, etc. Hey, also could you send me poems and such... and music lyrics... to keep me sane.

So this week has rocked. I scored so many things - letters packages... it was the bomb. Thanks to Molly and McKay, Nora, Landen, Bentley, Mom, Jana, Ben, Max, Auntie Mary, Sky, and the Goomi( thanks I loved the letter.). I got two packages. Thank you so much Barnes!!! Loved the goodies and notes. Thanks to Nancy for the MTC half-way celebration package. and oh!... did we celebrate. MTC style. :) haha. Seriously though... when the DR boys left, our district got along better that first day... so that night we toasted with the Martinelli from the dearelder package. It was awesome.

So our district leader, called Elder Finch to permanently lead the music... because he leads really funny. He takes this DEEP breath in and makes a lot of noise when doing so. Then he leads with gusto. It's awesome. But I love Elder Finch. He's a good kid. We are learning a lot and becoming better teachers. It is really cool. I love it.

So I saw Karly Smith! That was cool. She lives and goes to class in the same building that my class is in. In fact she is just across the hall. I didn't see her until like Saturday though, it was nice to see a familiar face. haha She kept calling me Augie. Haven't heard that in a while... 4 weeks. What?!?! I've been here for 4 weeks. As Hobbie would say... creepy.

I’ve got a funny. One of the districts in our zone left and when they were leaving some of them brought their bags to class. So they put this hysterical elder, Elder Schmidt, inside one of the bags (I thought of Max) and took it to his own classroom asking Hermana Rizley, the teacher, if it would be okay to keep in there. She said yeah and kept teaching. About 10 minutes later, the bag started shaking... and she didn't notice... and even asked where Elder Schmidt was... so the district was busting up... and she kept asking... then, faintly from luggage, they all heard "estoy aqui... estoy aqui" …

Sunday was pretty cool...I passed the sacrament and spoke in our district meeting.... It was really cool. My testimony has grown so much. I love it. I've learned to really rely on the Lord. Without His help... I would not have made it this far. The MTC is getting a lot better. It goes fast. I love going to the temple.

Love you all. Talk to you soon.

Elder Stoneman. holla

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Hola! Como le va?

I know... I impress myself too with my Spanish. Muy bien. hahaha. I’m such a missionary loser.

So this week has been great. I was told when I first got here that the days were like weeks and the weeks were like days. Seriously it’s true. the days actually go by fairly fast... but the weeks just fly by. I literally feel like it was p-day like two days ago. I love how fast it goes by. I’m learning so much too. My espanol is coming along. it's tough but I’m hanging in there... Elder Finch on the other hand took French his senior year of high school and keeps getting the two languages mixed up. hahaha.

I need things from people (everyone; yes that means YOU): addresses and pictures. just dearElder them to me. I only get 30 min on the computer so it's hard to read emails sent to MYLDSMAIL.

Thanks to everyone who sent me letters this week. I’m writing Molly/McKay this week so expect a letter. I’m going to rotate letters between my siblings each week. Sorry Max and Brooke... you live in fricken Jerusalem. But I’ll include notes in my letters home to mom and dad that are especially for you... mom and dad could you send them on to the Hebrew kids? By the way... thank you SO much Max and Brooke for the dearElders. They always make me smile. I love them. I appreciate all of you. Derick I’m writing you too this week!

It is pretty weird that I’ve been here 3 weeks. Does NOT feel like it. The D.R. elders that are in our zone leave this week for the DR MTC. It is amazing. I’m a third done. holla!

The Sunday devotionals here are surprisingly decent. They get good speakers and I’ve enjoyed them a lot. I’ve gotta hand it to the MTC, they know their is amazing how organized this place is...

I attended my first "hasta ver" last night. a district in our zone left today, so the whole zone (well at least the elders since it was in the residence) went to a room and we all sang Hasta Ver and the elders each said a little something and handed down the zone BoM to the next oldest district. My zone is so cool.

haha So I’ve gained 2 pounds. haha I weighed myself before gym... then I weighed myself after gym and I had lost half a pound. my weight is basically the same. The MTC cafeteria is muy bueno... it's not the same thing everyday which is impressive... I’ve only had the same thing once so far.

Oh... I gave my first priesthood blessing. It was a pretty awesome experience.

The MTC is an okay place. I am learning so much. I’ve come to love the work and the gospel. My testimony has grown so much and I feel so close to the Lord. He has blessed me so much already.

Anyway. thank you for all the letters, love, and support. I miss you all. I hope to hear from you soon. hint hint.

Elder A. Stone man

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

"Whoa! That was cool...I just tied my shoe while hopping on one foot!"

So that is a direct (and said in all seriousness) quote from my comp. No lie.

So THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU for the dearElder's... I loved getting them. I'm going to specify names so they know I got it and can feel the love :) - thank you - Starlee! Derick! Max/Brooke! Molly/McKay! Sam/Kell! Ben/Melissa! Mom/Dad! I hope that's everyone. I got a few letters too... thanks to the Goomi... they are truly the best. I loved their letter. Let them know that I have been diligently writing in my journal everyday and think of them. I also got my patriarchal blessing shrunk and laminated so it fits in my journal.

McKay! You are the man! Thank you for the letter and the stamps. haha... good advice. Keep laughing. I'm doing it and it's working. I also loved the college football updates. hahaha. It made me a pretty popular DUDE too. ..."Elder," I mean. gah! There are so many rules… Oh well. I really am adjusted though. I love it. My teachers are great. They are so different, but both are actually pretty cool... They are R.M.'s and know their stuff. Hilarious too.

I'm having a good time. Once I got past last Sunday/Monday (my first P-day) I was doing alright. This week has passed by so quickly. It's draining, but I love how much they pack your schedge. As far as extra expenses, here at the MTC they gave us a "blue card" that we use for everything... to scan stuff. And it's like a debit card. They load 6 dollars on every Wednesday... money in the bank!

Max... one of the elders that works in the post office when I went to pick up a package was in your mish. He said he didn’t know you, but apparently you were a legend.

Conference was awesome. I've never been more attentive. I took really good notes and learned a lot.

Dad. thank you for the dearelder and updates. I love you. Mom thanks too for the letters. I love you. Love you both.

Me gustaria compartir mi testimonio - yo se que Jose Smith es un profeta. Yo se que Jesu Cristo es nuestro Salvador. Yo se que El Libro de Mormon y evangelio es verdadero y yo se que Dios nos ama. Hablo esas cosas en el nombre de Jesu Cristo. Amen.

Love you all!!

Elder Stoneman

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Email from MTC on 9/28/09

Yes.. I'm still here. haha. the MTC is great. So the first few days have been pretty good overall. I have really great teachers and I'm learning a ton already.

The food here is pretty decent. I don't think i've gained any weight yet, ya'll - my eating habits haven't really changed, but hey I've still got time :0

Uh I only have two more minutes on my time before they boot me and my letter won't send.

So let me end on this happy note. I love you all and am so grateful for your support. I have learned so much already and am excited for this oppportunity. My testimony has strengthened already and it feels great. I've felt the spirit so much and am grateful for it and our gospel.

I love you all and miss you.

Elder Augustus Stoneman

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Elder Stoneman in Provo Utah

The day has been long and mostly very sweet with only the occasional familial melt-down. After packing well into the night, Elder Ed arose at 7:00 a.m. to skype with Max and Brooke in Jerusalem. We then met up with all assorted siblings (minus the aforementioned Jerusalem-dwellers) plus four nephews at Market Street Broiler for a completely tasty lovely breakfast. Chatting, laughing, and munching were the order of the day. (Actually the order of the day was more towards omelets, eggs benedict, pancakes, and mug upon mug upon mug of hot chocolate.) Afterwards, much hugging and goodbye-ing ensued outside on the sidewalk. A bit of weeping was then followed by a great deal of wailing (ask Calvin G who is feeling mighty tender about Uncle Aug leaving), with the grand finale provided by baby Graham who threw up all over the entrance to the New Yorker. Allen, Ruth and the Elder then loaded Robert Anne the car with all missionary baggage, etc. and wended our way south, stopping only for soft ice cream in Lehi. Arriving at the MTC, we experienced the infamous 'drop and drive' moment as we bid a quick tender goodbye to our boyo. He took a deep breath, flashed us that wondrous smile, and stepped away with long stride to begin his ministry. Godspeed, dear son. We love you 300.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

After Elder Aug's Farewell in Lindsey Gardens - SPA Friends

9.23.09 South Carolina Columbia Mission, Spanish Speaking

Hey everyone! Consider this your official welcome to The Aug Blog. This is the first post... and technically the last post (from me) seeing how my mom will be running/operating the Aug Blog. Rolls of tongue, doesn't it? I just like saying it - Aug Blog. ANYWAY, I want to thank you for visiting and I hope you enjoy your stay. :)

I chose to serve an LDS mission and it has already turned out to be one of the best decisions I've made. I know it's the right one... it feels right... and I am very excited. A little nervous... but nervous is good. Right? As my brother said when i opened my mission call... "Well... beats the crap out of Brazil." And boy howdy, does it! No... that's mean... and not entirely true - Ben and Max turned out alright... I guess. Sorry, once again - mean. No... Brazil is great. As for my mission though... I would best describe my feelings as - I am very eager to serve the Lord and the people of South Carolina.

So here at the Aug Blog, one can do many things...

  • View pics/read letters/emails from me concerning mission updates.

  • And get all of the correct info to send letters/emails to me.

...and that's about it, actually. So... uh... i guess... "one can do two things..." ... which is fine. You're still here, aren't ya?

So I'm quite pumped to go on this mission. I look forward to hearing from you and you from me. Enjoy this free blogging service. Love you all.

-Elder Augustus A. Stoneman