Monday, June 28, 2010

Columbia, SC 6/23/2010

Good Goobily Goo, It's Hot!

It has been a packed week. Less sleep. More work. Still talkin’ to crazies. “Good goobily goo, it's hot!” ...someone said that to us the other day... and with a straight face. Ha-ha... and I’m lovin every minute!!

Here is a little fill in of the week:

-I showed up to transfers a little anxious. Obviously. Before the meeting started President came up and found me and pulled me aside into a classroom. He ended up telling me where I’m going and who my comp(s) would be. I’m back to Charleston. My proselyting comp is Elder B. He’s been out 2 transfers. My ZL comp is Elder H. It is his last transfer. His comp is Elder D. We all live together near the same old Crowfield Ward building. After filling me in President asked me a favor. He had been called by the stake in Charleston to do a training at the stake's mini MTC for the priests. He couldn't make it so he said he'd send his zone leaders in his place.

-Friday morning Elder H and I drove to Moncks Corner and taught 24 priests how to teach the first lesson. It was cool. You know... to pretend like I know what I’m actually talking about. It was a neat experience. Then they fed us some amazing food.

It has been a crazy week. A lot has been happening. The nightly phone calls are rough. There are a lot of calls to make. The area is great. HUGE. Elder B and Elder U had been working with some great people. There is a great potential for baptisms this transfer. Elder B is a great guy. Normal. Which is good. So is Elder H. Elder D is the man. His family is from Fiji. It is going to be such a good transfer.

Church yesterday was way sweet. It was weird to be back in the same building - just a different ward. We had gone a little early so Crowfield was still meeting. I got so many weird looks and double takes. I saw P and F. That had to have been the best part. The other Spanish elders had told them I was back. They were so excited. They brought pictures for me from K’s kindergarten graduation. Hahaha. They had each written me earlier that week. I’m not even kidding it was the most amazing heart felt convert letter someone can get. F and P are still working towards the temple. F gets teased at work. But he holds strong. It was so good to see them.

I heard from Sky. He shot me quick email. He’s training. He wrote a lot in Spanish. Its weird. hahaha I can't wait to just kick it with him and Pete ... speakin’ Spanish!! :)

Mom - I’m doing well. To answer some of your questions... I’m staying hydrated. It's hot, “good goobily goo”!!! The AC works at the apartment... but possible bed bugs. For the 4th of July... I will be on lock down. haha Just like on New Years and on Halloween. I’m eating well. We live the law of consecration at the apartment. So we all buy together. It's cheaper and there's more food.

Thanks for the emails from the fam. I loved hearing about it all. Sounds like things are the same... except my kids are growing!!! I loved the baseball pics.

That's it for today. I need to go finish the Book of Mormon before zone conference. Almost done. I’m closing in on Ether.

I love you all so much.

Elder Augustus Stoneman

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Keepin' Hydrated!

Hey Mom and Dad!

Thanks for the emails this morning. It was nice to open up a bunch of mail. I hope all is well in SLC. The weather sounds nice.... it's hot here. haha Actually, I think I’m getting used to it. I have done really well about keeping hydrated. Oh! The AC is fixed. It's been working like a champ for a week!

So it's been one of the best weeks of the mission. Elder A and I had some great success. We met most of the mission standards and goals that we had set to stretch ourselves. We finished the transfer strong. The only disappointing thing was that J backed out of baptism. She told us on Wednesday - it was one of those heart-CRUSHING moments. I was so upset. I felt we handled it well though. We went over Thursday and it turned out she was worried that her husband would leave her. We had a very spiritual lesson. Then we worked things out so that we could talk to the husband ourselves. We had another spiritual lesson with him. We read and talked about the tree of life and compared it to J and baptism. He was way cool and decided she could be baptized. She's now praying for another date.

Transfers. We got transfer calls. Usually we just get them from the zone leaders on Saturday night. Well I received a call from President Saturday morning with a little "early news." I will be transferred out of Windsor Lake next week. The rest of my district is staying. I have loved the Windsor Lake Ward, but it’s all good - I’m needed elsewhere.

Top quotes of the week:

1. We taught this guy, Mr. R, and he offered the closing prayer... and among the MANY things he prayed for: "Heavenly Father, please bless my kittens... You know who they are..." and then he just chuckled to himself.

2. In talking to a contact – me: “We're looking for people who are pure in heart and desire to learn more about Christ.” The guy we were contacting: “Well I’m pure in heart.... but I watch a lot of TV...” And he just left it at that...

Thanks for everything, everyone. I hope you all had a great week and have an even better one this week. I love you all so much. Take care!

Elder Stoneman

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Elder de la Piedra

Elder Stoneman, Fire Marshall

June 14, 2010

Hey Utah...

I hope you're enjoying the lovely Utah weather... SC is intense! It really is so hot. Seriously it hits higher levels every week! We’re hanging around 100-103 degrees and the humidity is like 90 %.... ouch. It’s been a decent week. A little slower, but overall... good! A lot of exciting stuff!!

So I ordered a new nametag.... Elder de la Piedra. I got it because the folks I teach CANNOT say my name. "Hola, yo me llamo Elder Stoneman." "Anderson?" No...Stoneman" ... I ordered it and then totally forgot about it... and then it came in the mail. I was very excited.

Elder Stoneman, Fire Marshall. We had another exciting experience in the trailer park. We visited a lead who invited us in and as we were walking up to the house, she went inside first and then yelled, "Ayudeme!" (“Help me!!”) and then booked it outside. We could see that the stove in her kitchen was on fire! A neighbor ran up with a hose. Bad idea. He sprayed it and it just got bigger. Luckily it finally died out. We hung around to see if she needed any more help.

Transfer calls will be on Saturday. Wow, this transfer has gone by so fast. Crazy! Despite all of my complaints about the heat, I really am enjoying South Carolina. And I love missionary work.

Thanks for everything. You all sound great back at home. I was sorry to hear about Graham being sick. Max and Brooke... hahahaha Max WOULD be rooming with a 10 year old named Fabio. Sam and Colin: I loved the letter. I owe you. Melissa - soccer mom. Ben - attorney at law AND on the field. haha Send me pics of the boys playing ball.

I love you all so much,

Elder de la Piedra

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

June 5, 2010

The News From South Carolina

It has truly been a crazy week!! I can't even believe it. It went by way fast too. Probably because last time I emailed was Tuesday... but it still seemed pretty fast.

Thanks for the letters. The emails were running a little low... but it's cool. I’m terrible at writing outside of my weekly email. I understand. I did however get a letter from the Goomi. Thanks Grandma and Grandpa! Sounds like you two are keeping busy and all is well with you. Thanks for the love. I’m sendin’ it right back!! Expect a letter soon.

We had a baptism this weekend!! S and D were baptized. We’ve been working with them with the English elders who work downtown. Looking at their teaching record, they've been taught a lot and for a long time. The hold up was the dad. It seemed like ever since we got here though, the dad calmed down. He’s been way cool. He let them get baptized. Now everyone in that house, including his mom and sister and his girls, are members except for him. He does come to church and everything. So we shall see.

The baptismal service went really well. The girls speak both Spanish and English. The dad requested the service to be in Spanish - so we had it in Spanish. The girls asked Elder R to baptize them because he is brand new. hahaha A greeny! The funny part though is that he's an English elder and had to do the prayer in Spanish. I had taught him this past week and he had it down. I was impressed (sounded a bit hick though. haha)

The bishop of their ward (downtown, Columbia 1st Ward) doesn’t speak Spanish - so I ended up conducting the meeting. The girls' aunt got sick so I gave the talk on baptism too. It was really cool though. The girls came up to me after and were so excited. They ran up and hugged me. Don't mean to sound conceited but... I am their favorite. I sing them awesome Spanish songs and say funny Spanish jokes. They are a good family. The dad pulled me aside afterwards and invited all four of us elders over for tamales later that night. It was a way good day.

I went on exchanges with one of my zone leaders today. I got a lot of good training to be a better missionary and a better leader. Elder P is the man.

We found a new family - six people! They are way cool.

I got a letter in the mail from M in Goose Creek. She said that everything is great and that their family really misses me. She said the visits from the missionaries just aren't the same. And that I am F's and H’s best friend. The boys are in Puerto Rico this summer. It was a really good letter. They sound like they are still so solid. I will be able to go to the temple with them next year. I’m looking forward to that.

Well, that is about it. I think I crammed everything in. It was an amazing week. I love you all. Talk to you soon!

Elder Stoneman

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Elders and Sisters and Burgers, Oh My!

Memorial Day in Columbia

Columbia is Off the Hook!

Hey Mom and Dad:

It was good to hear from you both today Sounds like things are way awesome back at home. A lot going on. I’m pumped that Peter was able to head back out to Honduras.

How're my kiddos doing? I haven't heard from them in a while. I hear about them, but a letter from the kids is always cute. Hob... see what you can hook up for me, okay? Get your cousins together and send me something good :) I got a letter from Auntie Cath last week, and thanks Ali Barnes for the email. It was great to hear from both of you.

To answer your questions: my district meeting went well. I tried to give some good training on bringing up baptism in every lesson. I am drinking lots of water. I am eating okay. Elder A is great. We're having fun and working hard. It’s a new month so we have been given more miles!! We're allotted about 40 a day now. We were doing about 25 a day. It will be nice to go find some new areas and such.

It's been a great week. We've have had some good rain. It’s nuts! Just comes out of nowhere. And the lightning and thunder is crazy. We were watching a film with an investigator and it just dumped. And the thunder was over powering the audio on the film. I could be wrong, but it sounded like it hit the trailer next door. So weird. The humidity is unbelievable. I think I’m getting used to it though. Although people keep saying - this is nothing! ... I wish they'd stop telling me that.

There is a baptism this weekend for two little girls that we’ve been teaching with another set of elders. They are a Hispanic family and live in the English elder’s area. So we go over to keep the parents updated and teach the girls with the other elders. It's going to be a wonderful baptism. The sisters had their baptism last weekend. It went really well. One girl from a family of six. They're working with the rest of the family.

Other than that Columbia is off the hook! Not much time to write this week. Sorry! Love ya!

Elder Stoneman