Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Casablanca? French?

Max and Brooke – congrats! Casablanca? French? What...? How many languages is that now, Max? Geez... you’re wicked smart. And the biggest loon. Love ya!!

Mom and dad check out the DC temple. I hear it rocks.

Decent week. I have some time to write about it and tell some stories.... and I’ll TRY to be funny... but I’m not promisin' nothin'!!!

Elder P has got to be one of my favorite missionaries out here. We'll talk in English accents around the house. Only when we're joking around... or complaining. "Then the bloody lesson was interrupted by an extremely annoying child." Mom - Elder P is so pumped that you are in the tab choir. He's always like.... “I can't believe it, man! Can your mom sing Come Thou Fount? That's my favorite, dude!” It's hilarious. There was a picture of Sky in the Ensign, so I told him that he's my best friend. Once again pumped. Then he said, "He looks like he'd be in High School Musical or something." I told him that he was.... and Elder P just busted up sayin’ how cool that was. We have a good time in the apartment.

We're doing really well in the zone. We have awesome missionaries. The Middoni Zone is always packed with the best. There is a companionship - Elders P and R that tore it up the other day. Elder P and I gave the zone a challenge and they did the best. We’re pumped! As a zone we had 11 baptisms in August. That is a great improvement from previous months.

Elder C is doing really well. He's really quiet and kind of in his own world, but he's actually a really funny guy. And he's becoming a great missionary too. Tomorrow we're doing senior companion day. That means that he makes all the decisions and leads out. I’m excited for it.

M didn't come to church, so now she can't be baptized on the 11th. Too bad. C and her son both came and are on date for September 18th. Really cool investigators. I love working with them. We're working with other people as well. They are just kinda struggling keeping commitments.

Anyway. something pretty cool happened that I want to tell you about before I end today. The other Spanish elders had a few baptisms the past few weeks. Anyway at one of them they had F (my first convert from February) give a talk. He spoke on baptism. Man. It was pretty strong. Elder P doesn't speak Spanish and he was there and told me later that he could just feel it. F said some amazing things. He is the absolute most solid convert. He really does understand. He understands the gospel. And everything. It was incredible.

Here are some of the things he said,

-THIS is the true church
-I remember asking the missionaries why they go out in the cold teaching people. And then they told me about Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon and it caught my attention.
-I remember when I was baptized and I had only gone to church about five times before... Now I go every week to take the sacrament. And now I’m looking to go to the temple with my wife... and I’m looking toward the day when my children are baptized.
-I remember what Hermano Stoneman told me – ‘If you have any doubts or questions... ask God.’

Enough said. It was something that I will never forget.

I love you guys,

Elder Stoneman

Monday, August 23, 2010

Charleston Missionary Fireside

"We're Charlestonians!!"

Hola - que onda? Pues estoy aqui disfrutando los correos electronicos de mi familia. Pues tengo algo de decir.... So, I’m not funny anymore? I think I got more complaints about not funny emails today than doors slammed in my face this past week. jacked. haha I love you guys. Sorry I forget the funnies. But no worries I got this sweet quote book that I write funny quotes and stories in.

It was a decent week. Kinda slow. I think I’m used to the heat. We went in to eat at Arbys on Sat and an old guy offered to buy us lunch because he was impressed that we worked out in the hot sun. We sat and ate with him and his 90 year old mom. I think she had dementia. She kept saying, "We're Charlestonians!!" haha Like 5 times at random moments during the conversation.

Yesterday we had something way sweet. A Charleston missionary fireside. President came down and spoke. All members, investigators, less active, and recent converts were invited. Wondeful turnout. The meeting itself was very spiritual. There was this recent convert family that was baptized 6 months ago who spoke. They have got to be the most solid members I have ever seen.. I was in the zone when they were investigating. I remember hearing about them. It was so sweet.

Our investigators are doing really well. However we can't find L. We'll see. The others are coming along for the 11th of Sept.

I’m sorry to say the same thing over... but I really will write more next week. We had to go to the library today and I’m out of time. Literally. Also I’m going shark tooth hunting this afternoon. I promise to write more.... and be funnier next week to please my audience.

I love you.

Church is true.

E Sto

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

This Week Has Been Awesome

Hey Dot Buther and Dot DOD:

How are ya? How's Grandma Goomis? How's Cath? How are the kids? Schools startin’ up. Wow. Gunther's getting baptized in about a month, right? That's so cool. Send me pics. Fo sho. I hear Kev is almost home. Now it's just me and Peter who are out, right? Have you heard from Sky or Land? I got an email and a letter from Skyler. Jana thank you for the letter it rocked. I’m awaiting the package. :) Bill Barnes - thanks for the email.

This week has been awesome. I’ve worked Elder C and we've had awesome success. A few miracles that happened:
-We finally taught L’s husband. It was a quick 10 minute lesson. It was a miracle we found him. It was perfect timing. He himself is not interested, but we got his permission to baptize L. He said he was cool with it, so she will be baptized in 2 weeks
-On Elder C's first day we contacted this way sweet lady, M. She was pretty interested. We went back and taught her a few days ago. She's living in very humble circumstances. Her husband was taken by La Migra to jail. She is a single mom - two younger boys (8 and 9) and an older boy who is married. We committed them all to baptism in that lesson for the 11th of Sept. She gave a way solid commitment.
-We had a very spiritual lesson last night with V- another lead. He had been taught the gospel before in Mexico. He got on his knees and asked if José Smith was a prophet. The lesson was awesome. He also committed to be baptized on the 11th.

Elder C was so excited. He's really quiet. I’m having a lot of fun with him. He's a good kid. He's really enjoying the mission experience so far. Elder C is progressing very well. His teaching is great - in the few lessons we've had in English. He has such a great spirit and a strong testimony. He really cares and has a sincere heart. Elder C is willing to sacrifice and take advice. He really is the best missionary. Thanks again to President for this opportunity. Elder C is a little concerned about teaching in Spanish. He's not frustrated... he just is a little bummed that he can't quite teach the same that he could if he were teaching in English. I told him that it takes time. He's patient.

So moving took literally all P-Day last week. Ugh. We're STILL not unpacked. We’re getting that done today. The new place is nice. I like it. There's a business center here so I don't have to worry about the stupid library when I email. I also don’t have to worry about the stupid laundro-mat. Washer and dryer! Boo yah. So yeah, things are good.

No one has been at church for us so far this transfer. Lame. Why is that so hard? haha. Seriously, I don't get it. Well, actually I do... they're just not used to going to church every Sunday. What can you do?

Um.... I think that's it. Tell Bentley, Siosia, and Kev to write me.

Love ya all!
E Sto

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

We Are Still Moving!

August 9, 2010

Hey mom and dad. I’m sending a short email today – we are still moving. Thanks for the emails and updates on the happenings in SLC and around the world. We’re in the middle of moving and if I don't take the opportunity to email now I won't get another. Everything sounds decent back home. A lot of changes. The boys are growing up. Bummer... send more pics.

Well things are the same here in SC... Still hot. I hear it'll cool down in about 4 weeks. The new ZL comp is awesome. He was already in the zone so he just came from down the street. haha. His name is Elder P and he’s from California. He's way awesome and a great leader. He's also hilarious. His mom is from England so he can do this way sweet accent. He reminds me of Max.... just without the bigger build... and head.

My new proselyting comp.... is brand new. I may have mentioned this last week - I’m training a new missionary. President called and broke the news that Elder B was leaving but that I was getting a new missionary. He told me to work him hard and to make him a great missionary. He basically told me to baptize with him too... haha the pressure is on.

His name is Elder C. He's from Seattle. He's a good kid. He's a little timid with Spanish.... but he's doing great. He's talking with people and helping teach. It's cool. I’ve been looking back to a lot of the things Elder J did - he was such a good trainer. I’m surprised I was his only son. So I look back to Goose Creek to help me out. I’m having a good time. Training is a little hard, especially with all of the other stuff I have to do. Elder D is still here. So that’s great.

It's all good though. We're working with some great people. F is still way awesome. We have 2 people on baptismal date for the 28th. L and S.... who both have the same problem: their husbands... It's hard to teach the husbands because they're not home. They’re working. and then they come home and say.... "debe aprender mas..." So they're progressing but... it's taking some time.

Well I need to let Elder P email his fam.

Love ya! Love to Grandma!

Elder Stoneman

More next week…

Monday, August 2, 2010

I'm Sure Set For Cake

Man, I opened my email this morning and my mail last week.... and they were FILLED with birthday emails/shout outs. Thanks to everyone. I enjoyed it. :) I felt so loved that I wanted to do something. Sooo.... I’m sending out a birthday shout out to everyone who had or will have a birthday in the year 2010. Happy birthday everyone!!! I love you!

It was a great week and a great birthday. I got the package mom. Thank you. The mini dictionary is so awesome. The bible too. Thank you. The treats were absolutely amazing. I love candy/treats. and surprisingly I don't eat very much of that.

I’m sure set for cake. A less active sister gave me a cake yesterday. haha It was so random. She's quite a cooker though. She sells at La Pulga - tamales and such. She made this cake.... 3 leches. Oh man! It was awesome. And then another missionary made me one. And then Elder B and I made brownies. hahaha Soooo good.

We had interviews this week. I’m surprised on how much of the input they take from the zone leaders - on how everyone is doing; conflicts, leadership suggestions, etc. It was cool. I had a great interview with President. He is great. So is Sister McConkie. Mom - she always talks about you. haha She even brought the Church News with your pic just to show me.

Elder H and I finished up our exchanges this past week. It was a blast. We go into areas and just work. We always seem to have really good success too. It’s a lot of fun. My zone is packed with awesome missionaries.

So between interviews and exchanges... the week was kind of shot. Elder B does really well though while I’m gone. He has got to be one of my favorite companions. Seriously. Great guy. The bummer part is that he is being transferred. I am so bummed. At interviews I even tried talking President into letting us be together one more transfer. haha No go. So I am staying in this area as a zone leader and also training a new missionary.

Elder H leaves this week. I’m also going to miss him a lot. I’ve learned so much from him. Great missionary. We all had a lot of fun this transfer. Elder D is staying. Boo yah!

We are moving apartments next week. Yikes. Hectic. BUT we are getting our very own washer and dryer. holla.

Well sorry this is so short and sporadic... I don't have any more time.

Thanks again for all of the birthday wishes and pictures. I loved it. Have a great week. Give Grandma my love.

Elder Stoneman