Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Back to Columbia

So I’m back. I feel like I’ve done this before. Hahaha. First to Charleston, then to Columbia, then to Charleston again, and BACK to Columbia. Déjà vu is becoming a big part of my mission.

So yes I am back in Columbia. I am opening a Spanish area in downtown Columbia – it’s an area I actually covered back when I was in Windsor Lake. So now there are two Spanish companionships here in this zone. Exciting. And there are a lot of interesting circumstances as well as not-so-exciting happenstances along with my new area. They are as follows:

1. Exciting - my proselyting companion is great. He is a "visa-waiter" that has just come out of the MTC and is waiting for his visa so that he can go to Brazil. haha Elder R asks everyone we talk to if they know any Brazilians nearby so that he can talk to them. It’s great. He is a cool kid and a hard worker.

2. I have a great zone leader comp – Elder P. He also has a visa waiter for his proselyting comp – Elder E. The not-so-exciting part is that we all live in a very tiny apartment. One bedroom. Elder P and I sleep on the floor. It's fine. I knew sleeping at the foot of mom and dad's bed would pay off someday. haha. Seriously it is really tiny. We'll make it though. elder R and Elder E have already been approved for their visas so they could be leaving at any time...

3. Exciting - sweet ward. Great Ward Mission Leader.... we have a lot do... so I’m happy. There isn't a whole lot of Spanish - that's mostly in the Windsor Lake area.... so I’ll be doing about half of my teaching in English – not so exciting.

4. Not so exciting - we have no one to work with seeing how we are opening the area. But like I said before there is a lot to do... so we are currently building our teaching pool.

5. REALLY exciting - part of my area (for zone leaders in the East Columbia Zone) is that I get to work with the Assistants every Sunday at the Fort Jackson Military Post teaching and baptizing soldiers. Amazing experience. I went yesterday and they are just so humble and willing to accept the gospel. They baptize like crazy there. It actually is the highest baptizing unit in the entire nation.

Well that’s it. Love ya
Elder Stoneman

Monday, December 6, 2010

Adios Charleston

Hey Fam: Things are going great. Mom, I DID see the devotional. So great. I saw you multiple times. It was fun trying to point you out to the other missionaries. They thought it was so cool... and then they started pointing you out by themselves. "No... She’s THAT one..." one missionary would say to another... haha.. I’m excited for the package. I don't need anything in particular. I’m good. I’ll be sending home my package today.

R’s baptism was great. The spirit was so strong. He just loved it. The baptism was on Wed. because J wanted to be there. We had F speak at it. His testimony is so strong. Afterwards we went over to his house and ate dinner. He and P are so anxious to take the temple classes.

The confirmation went well too... R began to cry... very touching. And then later in Spanish Gospel Principles class he introduced himself and told his conversion story. He told about how we came to visit him, and he didn't have time for us - so we left a card. A few months later a friend came up to him talking about how he wanted to go to the Mormon church but didn't know where to find it... And then he said – “Well, I’ve got a card of theirs, so let's call them... “ And you know the rest. He told the story and it was way funny especially how he didn't have time for us... everyone loved it.

The 1st pres devotional was really cool. R, A and M came. They really liked it too.

I got the phone call about transfers... I’m leaving Charleston on Wednesday. One of the assistants said that I’m staying a zone leader and will be opening a new area.

I’m really sad to be leaving. I have been in Charleston for a year. I love it. I would really love to show it to ya'll one day. There are great people here. My goodbyes are going to be packed the next few days. I can already tell. I got swarmed after church yesterday. I’m going to miss everyone and the area so much.

Well, that’s it... love ya!