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 stuff...it 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