Monday, February 22, 2010

You Missin' the Boat, Stone!

February 22, 2010

Well as you can tell I finally switched over to the NEW (in coordination with GOOGLE) and after spending half an hour to make it work... here I am... and I’ve got a new email. It’s way cool though. It’s set up just like gmail. So yeah. Don’t send anymore mail to ...send all the goods to - and by goods I mean... email. *I didn't want there to be any confusion*

It's been a crazy week. Elder J has gone home... he left me to figure out what I’m supposed to do in Goose Creek. Luckily I haven't burned down the place.... yet. And no that is not a threat. Hey! That rhymed... unintentionally.

So transfers were on Wednesday. We got a member to drive all four of us. so we crammed with her, her 17 year old son (who was actually baptized last weekend), the 4 elders, 2 bikes, and a whole lot of luggage. It was a tight fit. We finally made it there. and Elder J along with about 5 other missionaries sat up on the stand along with the greenies. We then had the meeting and they all had the chance to bear testimony. Then President started assigning new companionships. He called my name along with the assignment - senior comp, and has put me with Elder W. Cool guy. He's only been out one more transfer than me... so as I’m sure you can imagine, we're trying to do our best with understanding the hispanos rapidos. Pero, esta bien.

Now I’m needing to lead and make decisions with where to go and who to visit and all that. It's pretty cool, but I feel like I’m just on my own since my companion isn’t used to the area. Also I’m driving... which is weird. But it's all good - I’ve got rockin’ tunes to listen to ... namely MoTab and HIMNOS. Holla.

My new comp: Elder J Whittingham from Provo is the name... football is his game. You probably recognize the name... I sure didn't... haha... his uncle is the coach at the University of Utah. Elder W played in high school and is a really nice guy and a good missionary. His Spanish is decent. We try... tratamos... haha that's what we tell everyone.

The other day we got stopped by a guy that loved talking about the Lord. like a "clap yo hands, hallelujah" type thing. He talked to us for 20 minutes and didn't really have much interest in what we had to say, but rather what he wanted to say. It was way funny. He kept calling us different names in his unrelenting rambling. Elder W became Whitney and Whitley and Whitning. I was Stone. I asked him if he'd have any interest in learning about how God has called a prophet on the earth today. That's when he replied - "You missin' the boat, Stone!" in a "wazzup, DOC" kind of way. Hilarious.

Well I’m great here. I’ll have more time next week... seeing how I lost 30 minutes. But it's all good. I love you all. I’m going to try and attach some pics.

Love ya.

Elder Toby Stoneman
...wait a minute... my name's not Toby

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Tacos de Lengua

No... I’m not breaking the rules... P-day is indeed today! How are all y'all doin’? Thanks for the emails/letters this week. I heard from everyone. Sweet.

So it's been a way cool week. Last Monday evening, after enduring an awkward dinner appointment, we went to work. Elder J and I visited the V family who are actually heading back to Mexico. We had the opportunity to give the mom a blessing.

After that, we visited F and after talking with him for a while, both he and we realized that he was ready for his baptism. Throughout the week, we were able to visit him almost everyday, he came to our Wednesday night English classes, and he had his baptismal interview. Everything was awesome. (R T is ready for baptism as well, but not for this week.)

Thursday, we went on exchanges again. I got to do English work. So that was fun. We also taught a lot of their investigators - way cool people and a lot of families. Everyone here is so nice. And I realized teaching the gospel in English or Spanish both have their ups and downs. For me, one's not harder than the other. They’re just different. But what I did realize is that I just love teaching. It’s a lot of fun.

So, as requested from Brooke, I’ll fill my peeps in on the various weird/cool foods that I have been eating. Most recently... tacos de lengua. Cow tongue. It's as delicious as it sounds. Actually, it was pretty good. But I’ll still say it – it was chewy :) but surprisingly good.

Saturday was a crazy day. F’s baptism was set for 7 pm. So throughout the day, Elder J and I were all over the place. It had just snowed the night before, which in itself is crazy I might add - 3 inches! So the library was closed due to that, but we needed to make a program. Also F requested the Bishop to perform the baptism, but he got kidney stones... so we needed to break it to him and figure out who would do it... PLUS we still needed to find someone to preside at the service. We were on the phone all day. Then we had forgotten about baptismal clothes... so we were running around with that. Finally, we needed to be at the church 2 hours early to fill up the font. Crazy day, plus a regular day of missionary work. We were exhausted.
Everything worked out though. The service was awesome, we had a decent turnout, and you could tell F knew he had made the right decision. I had the opportunity to perform the ordinance of baptism. It was way cool.

So transfers are tomorrow. I got the call on Saturday night and.... I’m staying in GOOSE CREEK! wooo! Elder J is going home and Elder W is being transferred so all four of us are going up to Irmo tomorrow morning. and then I’ll head back to Goose Creek with a new comp.

Well I love ya and I hope you all have a great week.


Elder Stoneman

Monday, February 1, 2010

I'm Full

Dear Fam:

Things are awesome here. We are working with 3 way cool people. We've had to push back their baptismal date... but we are working and hoping for February 13th. The way things look though... it's pretty for sure. So basically... EXCITING! I’m pumped. Rigo, Fransisco, Andoni are all way into it and have such a strong desire. They are ready. And yes I spelt that right - Andoni. But yeah... they are all looking good. They all have wives and the wives are interested too, they just aren't progressing as fast... but we are indeed teaching families. So fun. The days and weeks go by pretty fast.

Story of the week. So earlier this week we had a dinner at a member’s home. Actually the family feeds all four of us weekly... it's the kind of thing that we look forward to every week just because something crazy always happens. "They can't possibly top last week..." ... and they do. EVERY WEEK. Remind me to tell you the stories someday. ANYWAY... last week after eating at their house, Elder Johnson and I were just absolutely stuffed. We were so full. We then go straight to a lesson at the Tello family's home and... she had dinner ready for us! AH!!! She insisted that we eat... and boy did we. I was so impressed - Elder Johnson did awesome. He just pounded it down. So after finishing and feeling a bit sick, we sit down to our lesson during which, another woman in the house begins to make us a treat for before we leave. AH!!! We get served each a huge mug of hot chocolate and some Mexican snacks. It was the kind of thing where I could not drink even the hot chocolate. Rough. We finally finish and leave, waddling out and off to our next cita. The Hernandez family. Well, we walk in and one of the first things the mom says is "Would you like some hot chocolate?" True. Elder Johnson: “NO! ... uh we're fine, thanks.” Seriously I was still full the next morning.

Moving on – to answer a few questions:

The weather is weird. It’s just all over the place and it all happens quickly . Warm, warm, warm, cool, cool, rain, warmish, rain, freezing, sun, warmer, cold, warm, hot, cold, rain, wind, cold. But I’m pretty used to it and expect anything. I dress warm. I’ve got my rain jacket in the car just in case. and I am staying healthy. I have yet to catch anything.

We've been packed with member dinners this month. So Elder Johnson and I don't cook as much as we did, although we're branching out in our breakfasts so that's fun. Then we take what's called "Spanish lunch" before we go out for the day to proselyte - so we cook then too.

Our schedule: we rise at 6:30, pray, exercise for 30 minutes, eat, shower, and get ready until 7:45. We then have personal prayer for 15 minutes and then personal study starts at 8:00, comp study at 9:00, language study at 10:00, and then at 11:00 Spanish lunch (because only the Spanish elders do it). Then we leave the apartment at 11:30 and are out until 9:00 pm with dinner thrown in there. At 9:00 we plan our next day and then go to bed at 10:30.

We see President McConkie about every other week. Love the guy. Que hombre.

So yeah, things are great here. I’m loving it. My testimony has grown so much. I have such a strong desire to serve and learn more and share more everyday. I have learned so much. This area rocks.

Love you.

Elder Stoneman