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