Monday, April 26, 2010

Having a Sandwich in SC

News from Goose Creek

Hey Mom and Dad.

Thanks for all of the news!

The heat and humidity are nuts. It rained yesterday during church and then stopped. When we walked outside, I felt like I was suffocating. ... I don't know whether to breathe it or drink it!

Max, thanks for the email, brotha! It was way good hearing from you. The stories and advice rocked. Thanks... good luck with everything.

It has been an awesome week. It continues to be a bit slow during the day...other than that, we are working with awesome people. We had a baptism last Saturday and two more scheduled for this weekend. We are working with a few others that will most likely be ready for next transfer.

Early Saturday morning we drove to Columbia to hear Elder Neil L. Anderson address the mission. It was awesome. We received some great training from the brethren and afterwards returned on our merry way.

We returned to Goose “CRIK” about 3 pm and went back to work getting everything together for the baptism. Stressful!! Luckily... the other ward that we were working with was on top of the ball. The Hispanic members rock! Great fellowshipping. Finally everyone was there and ready and the service began. Amazing service. The talks were outstanding. Great turnout. The program was way nice too. D is the man. He had gotten a haircut. and was all ready. Earlier in the week there were some issues, but it was obvious that he really does understand and didn't go into this blindly... it has been so cool working with him. It was a sweet experience... he thanked us for working with him and teaching him because no one had ever taken the time before... he thanked us for changing his life.

It was an exhausting day.. but looking back, it was all worth it.

So we have two more baptisms this week. P and M... it will be the same service and it's gonna be a good one. They both showed up to church and are excited for baptism. This week is going to be crazy though. Keep P and M in your prayers.

Well that's all for today...
Love ya!


Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Elder Stoneman on Mission Lane

Aug and Frogs at the Aquarium

Hey Familia

Hey familia!

Como estan? Que tal? Super bien? Que bueno. Pues voy a escribir un poco en espanol por que no he escrito NADA (de la idioma celestial) desde el CCM. La mision es bien chido. Me encanta la obra misional. Es cierto que es bien duro pero los sacrifios son para mi propio benficio.Ttambien es muy divertido - a platicar con tantas personas y compartir el evangelio restaurado. Nuestros investigadores y conversos son AWESOME - some Spanglish there - ... y es todo. Les amo mucho.

Well it has been a busy busy week. Elder D and I haven't had the greatest success - in fact we've been gettin kicked out of trailer parks right and left... WE'RE NOT SOLICTORS! Unbelievable. But yeah... it's been pretty slow. Also... it's hot. Seriously... it's not even summer yet... the daytime is rough.

Speaking of the heat... Sam... with some of your money I bought a backpack... not just any backpack... it has a bladder! It's the Wal-Mart version of a camelback. It's way awesome. Keeps me hydrated. Thanks!

Well, beyond our rough/slow week, we have had some great progress with our solid three. D had his baptismal interview with one of the missionary presidency... they came out and President Evans (who is such a great man... spiritual giant) said he was ready for baptism. All is looking well for this Saturday for D's baptism.

P and M are going to have a joint baptismal service on May 1st. Everything is looking great for them. Elder Urry spoke with P... and because Elder Urry is the man, got her to feel comfortable about baptism and put her on date for the 1st. M is ready. She even told us that she is ready and prepared without us asking. They are both awesome - we've got some awesome baptisms comin up.

Love ya‘all,
Elder Stoneman

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Sunburn, Watch Line, Tan Hand

My Converts Rock!

Hey Mom and Dad. It was great to hear from you. Sounds like all is well. Tell Grandma Goomis thanks for the great letter. Mol, thanks for the email too. Although reading through I think I may have missed a few things... Colin is playing baseball and Sam is the coach? Awesome! I don't think I knew that. Max is going to Japan? haha I made that one up... I could see it though...

All is well here. It is pretty warm. It's not too bad.... but working out in the weather for hours on end makes it a little rough. It was way hot last week. It warmed up to 91... plus some humidity

Elder D is pretty cool. Way funny kid. His Spanish rocks. His dad went to Guatemala on his mission and then they’ve adopted a little Guatemalan girl into their family. The area is way awesome. I have a feeling that this is my last transfer here. So I’m kinda bummed. But some great stuff is going to happen in these next few weeks.

So it's been a crazy week. Our four solids have started to melt. Well not really... but this week their concerns/doubts have surfaced.

We had 5 investigators at church yesterday. It was way awesome. Because the stake is spread out, we were all over the place. The boundaries are so weird. I went to THREE different wards yesterday. Ouch.

So I had a great opportunity last week. Before the mish we had bought me a Spanish set of scriptures. At the MTC they also gave me a set. F asked me a few weeks ago about a bible... "con tabs" He wanted the nice kind like I have. It totally didn't occur to me... but then I came upon the extra set one day and it hit me. So I wrote my testimony in the triple and a note to him and Paz in the bible and gave it to them. They were so excited. He brought them to church yesterday.

So we had a lesson over at F and H’s house the other day. We were teaching M. The boys were out playing and didn't know that we had come. They came right at the end of the lesson and were talking about how they had just shared with their friend about church and then they said, "Did we miss anything?" - realizing that they had missed the lesson. They were disappointed. So we filled them in and then I asked F to pray. His prayer was great. A couple of things that he said,

"...the reason I’m praying is just so that we can at least know when they (the Elders) come over... so we don't miss anything."
"...also... bless our little friend, so that he can know about church."

I had given them a picture from the baptism and F was like, "Wow... that's really nice... Mom! Where are we gonna put it?"

They are awesome.

Well that's about it. We're going to the aquarium with the Pritchards today. They actually leave for home in a few weeks and they've been dying to take me there. So the whole gang is going. Gotta love it.

Love ya all
Elder Stoneman

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Coat Season - FINISHED!

Hey Mom and Dad. Conference was awesome! Mom... there were no close ups... I’m disappointed. I’m totally writing the First Presidency... haha except that is against the rules... (in fact I just read that in the white handbook this morning). I loved it though. We watched conference in the Crowfield building on the big screen. Can I just say that the
First Presidency is the best... they know their stuff. All amazing testimonies and talks. I loved it. The music was great too. Thanks for singing your heart out, Mom! I could hear ya! :)

Oh also... coat season... FINISHED. Money.

So transfers have come and gone. President announced my name once more with the calling of senior comp. And he then assigned me to Elder D. He's awesome. He's a bigger guy and pretty funny. He's been out about as long as my friend, Skyler. In fact they were in the same zone at the MTC! His Spanish and accent are very good, so it's a positive sign for me that I will keep coming along with my own Spanish.

There were two new Spanish elders that came down to the Charleston area to split the stake with us. Elder U is training Elder B. Elder U is also my new zone leader. I’m pumped. He's way cool. He served with Elder J for about 7 months and they were zone leaders together. Also... when Elder F and I arrived from the MTC, that’s when Elder J and Elder U split up... so that they could train Elder F and me!

So we've got four solid investigators. Elder D and I fasted and have come to the conclusion of four baptisms this transfer. We already have our solid four. Keep these people in your prayers. Here's a little about each of them:

-P... we've been working with her for a while. She and F are doing great. they came to conference. Mom. I had given F a choir CD sampler and I said that it was from you and that you wanted him to have it. So, he remembers EVERYTHING. He sat down at conference and the choir started singing. He leaned over to me and said, "Tu Mama esta en el coro?"

-M... the mother of F and H. She can't get over how much she loved attending church. The family feeling she felt from within the church was so powerful. We gave her a BoM and she's been reading. ACTUALLY studying! Gotta love it. She offered a kneeling prayer and asked Heavenly Father to help her keep her excitement about baptism.

-D - he's awesome. His brother is a convert. He's struggling a little with WoW... but on his own he's been attending an addictive recovery class with the T family from the ward.

-M. We found him last night. and in the first lesson we committed him to baptism. He strongly accepted.

The work is great. I am doing great as well. I am edified and refreshed from conference. AND MY SUIT COAT IS OFF! Life is good. Thanks for the prayers, mail, and love.

Love ya,
Elder Piedra