Missionary Monday: Elder Harrell Serving in Peru

Here is  a recent letter from Elder Harrell:
Hello again everyone! So something I forgot to mention last week was that I am a district leader! I we all had interviews with the branch president and I guess they picked me and 2 other kids out of the 30 something mmissionaries. In related news, I have become great at pretending I know what I´m doing. I dont do too much as a DL, I just make sure everybody is somewhat following the rules and nobody is having any personal problems. If they do, then me and the other 2 district leaders handle it using a sock filled with pennies. Hahaha no not actually. But its been a great experience and has definitley forced me to grow spiritually and mentally.
Also, aparently I have now slept through 3 earthquakes. They were all minor, like 3-4 on the scale, but I guess alot of people woke up cause the drawers were shaking. Also, another wierd thing about here is that the sun is literally never out. There´s this weird persistent haze that never leaves. But it makes the temperature nice so  I cant complain.

My fitness class is growing too hahaha, alot of people have resitance bands and we´ve been able to jury rig some half way decent equipment. The quote from the week in the class was ¨vomit is only weakness leaving the body” from this hispanic elder during our leg workout XD. We´re up to around 10 people now!
Anyways, Elder Oaks came to our MTC and gave a great talk on missionary work! I got to shake his hand which was super cool!
My spanish skills are weird. I can talk well but I have no clue what people say to me. Which is awkward because I just have to give super general answers to people and kinda guess what theyre talking about hahah. One time I told somebody that I was very tired in spanish, but I got the inlfection wrong and missed a letter and said that I was very married. So now half the latinos think i´m married, I don´t know enough spanish to explain myself so I guess that´s just the way it is now haha.
Another thing: the Churros here are NEXT LEVEL. I didnt know food could taste so good, but down here it does. Seriously, when you eat these churros, your soul exits your body and ascends to the next dimension.
Another awkward spanish moment: I asked a practice nvestigator if he was married or had a girlfriend and he responded that he was single. However, I thought he said that she left him becuase the phrases sound similar in spanish, so I said i´m sorry. So what ended up happening was he said “Im single” and then I said “Im sorry” and it was really awkward.
So 2 nights ago, I started singing Country Roads for some reason, and like the entire floor started singing it too and the whole dorm building errupted into song. It was quite possibly the greatest thing ever.
The latino kids here all stay upo till like 12 and party and its the funniest thing ever. They all stay upsairs, and we can always hear muffled screaming, singing, and whatever general nonsense is happing up there. The good thing for me is that they arent in my district which means they arent my problem hahahha.
The last thing I´ll talk about here for the week is ties. Ties here are like cigarettes in prison. They are straight up currency. Like if you want a dude shanked in the lunch line, you just need a nice tie and im sure someone would do it. Just kidding, but for reeal ties are SOOOO valuable here. If you have a nice looking tie, you instantly become a king pin. Tie trading is also very popular.
Anwyas, thanks for all of the support guys! I love you all and miss you guys!

Elder Harrell is serving from the Daniels Park Ward.

Elder Jackman Serving In the Philippines

Here is a recent letter from Elder Jackman:

Hello to all of you again!!! I hope you all had a great week. This week was good and bad for us over here but we’ll try to focus mostly on the good haha. This week was really long, It felt like it lasted forever but we finally made it!!

Tuesday: At this time Elder Lacsao was still with us so we were in a threesome in Tolosa while his comp Elder Canas was with our ZLs. (Zone Leaders).  SO on Tuesday Elder Arienda got really sick and we let him rest for a while cuz it was really bad… we did our studies that morning and all that but after that we let him rest. While he did that I worked out and then did some laba (laundry) too, just to stay busy and get stuff done. Later on that night when Arienda was feeling a little bit better we went up to Canmogsay and did FHE with Nanay Lita and her family and such so that was fun we had a great lesson and did games too. I lost in the games so I had to sing for everyone haha. So I sang “The Inn Keeper” from the Forgotten Carols.  But they said I was a good singer. 🙂   Well, you may be thinking “Jake, isn’t it a little too early to be singing Christmas Songs?”  Well, over here in the Philippines, Christmas Celebrations start in September.  All Christmas decorations are up and music playing.  They LOVE Christmas.  So, the song fit in quite well.
Wednesday: We had our Zone interviews with President. That was Reeeaaallllyyy long but it was great!!! My interview with him went sooooooo well he told me so much stuff that really helped me and he told me that he thinks that I am a great leader and can become a great leader in the mission and after the mission. That was  really cool to hear!!  It really made me feel good!!  But he also told me to be ready for my next assignment that he has for me…..I don’t really know what that means it kinda worries me but I’m sure that I can do it hopefully! The reason I say that the interviews were so long is cuz we were at the church from 7:00 am- 3:00pm it was a really long time!!! After president finished all of the interviews and all the other missionaries left he interviewed the San Roque elders together after their interviews and that took a really long time so we just waited for that to finish cuz that is my district and I also had the key to the chapel so I had to lock it all up after we were done. But I guess president ‘fixed’ their problem. They are still comps and they are back in San Roque….it was really surprising to me that that is what pres decided to do….I hope it works out…. And I trust that President knows much more than me.
Friday: We had a devotional in Tocloban with some General Officers that came to visit. It was elder Heiyne (the 1st counselor in the Philippines area Presidency) and Elder Soares of the 70 (he gave a talk last Gen Conf).  It was soooooooooooo cool to go to that!  We got to meet them and talk with them and they both gave devotionals. Oh man, it was SO good – the spirit was very strong and I learned SO much.  It was just so amazing!!!  It really inspired me to be better and to try and work harder. Elder Soares really focused on our purpose as missionaries and how we are truly representatives of Christ.  It was a real eye opener for me on how I really gotta be better!!
Saturday: We did a Service Project for a Lady in the Tolosa branch.  We went to the house of her father and did extreme weed pulling. I say extreme cuz the weeds were up to our knees. There was soooo much to do. But we got a lot of work done and man it was hard hard work but we aren’t even close to being done.  We gotta go back this week and try to finish the rest!!! I also climbed another coconut tree and got us some coconuts to eat when we took a break.  No one else knew how to climb coconut trees – so I did it because I have done it many times before.   It was the best coconut I have ever had!!  The coconut milk was so sweet and the coconut meat was perfect!!!  It was great!! I’m really good at climbing the coconut trees now.  This one I just climbed was probably a goot 25-30 feet haha it is so fun!!!
Sunday: On Sunday We went to church in Tolosa and we didn’t have any investigators at church so that was a major bummer but we had a good day on sunday. We went out and worked with our BML (Branch Mission Leader) that day and scheduled some FHEs (Family Home Evenings) with some LA (Less Active) families so that will be really fun!!! After we worked we went and had a boodle fight at Brother Benjies house. That is when you lay all the food on banana leaves and eat with your hands it is the best ever!!!  I just love eating with my hands.  The food tastes so much better when you eat it with your hands.  Ahhh, it was so delicious.  (Rice, hot dogs, ham, noodles and sauce).
Oh, also I got a package!!  Thank you so much.  It was full of Protein Stuff and I loved it!!  Also, Elder Arienda received the “Greenie Package” you sent to him.  He was so happy!  Thank you.
I also got a letter from mom with a new picture of Christ in it.  I love it mom – Thanks.
Well that is how our week went it was pretty good in the long run. I hope you are all doing great and recieving many blessings!!! Love you all so much
Makabuhat kita og lidod nga mga butang  (We can do hard things – in Cebuano)
Makabuhat kita hin makuringa mga butang  (We can do hard things – in Waray Waray)
Hurrah For Israel!!

Elder Jackman is serving from the Daniels Park Ward.

Missionary Monday: Elder Stones Serving In Mexico

Here is a recent letter from Elder Stones:

Good week overall here, even though I did not think I´d be here a week ago. 🙂 Been a bit hard to adjust, I always get a bit anxious when I get transfered, but luckily by new comp is cool and the area is awesome. We have a really big ward here, with an awesome ward mission leader. I think he´s got to be the best ML in the mission to be honest, I´ve never seen anybody so into it, it´s amazing. He´s been helping us out a lot.

Been a stressful week for us Zone Leaders here though, my goodness. One thing I´ve learned out here is that things aren´t always going to go as planned. We´ve spent a ton of time away from proseliting either planning or fixing things in the zone that people didn´t do right. It´s been extremely frustrating to be honest, but it teaches you a lot. I´m slowly becoming a pro at Excel, we run this mission like a business out here. But through it all, still alive, hopefully this week will go a bit better.
The area is really good as far as the work goes. There´s a lot of investigators actually, a few that are actually going to be baptized in the coming weeks. We have Karen (11 years old) and Arianeth (19) that are in a part member family that are going to be baptized in a couple weeks. We´re also finding a lot of other families as well through contacts, so that´s been good. Just wish we had a bit more time to proselite so we could give them more attention.
We teach two very interesting lessons every week. The first one, every Monday we teach in an addiction recovery place called Annexo. We´re given 2 hours in the morning to show a couple vidoes, start a discussion, and divide into groups to teach a message to each one of them. We combine with the other Elders near our area and our mission leader, but we still have to only have one missionary each group. Today was my first day, and I actually liked it a lot. There´s some very interesting people there for sure, but most of them are very humble. They live in the center for months at a time, and aren´t allowed to leave so that they don´t have access to drugs or alcohol. But what we´re able to do is strenghten them in there, then receive the addresses for their families and teach them until they get out. We didn´t receive any references today, but I´ve heard in the past we´ve had a lot of success.
The other lesson is actually a family who´s father was in that center.  We teach them every Tuesday. He lived in the US for a while, and got married with an American woman, and had 2 kids. They ended up getting divorced and now live here. The two kids, Parker and Preston both are like full on American kids, they speak English and are learning Spanish. So what we do is we divide into groups, our mission leader and one missionary with the adults, and another missionary with the kids. Well, the luck fell upon me to teach the kids. It was fun, but they are insane, they were going crazy the whole time. Now I see why I had that primary calling before my mission. 🙂 But they´re a really good family, they all want to be baptized, but the only thing is that they didn´t come to church yesterday and we don´t know why. We´ll see tomorrow.
Apart from that, Apizaco has some amazing bread. They have the most amazing bakeries here in Tlaxcala. There´s this one across from the church that is seriously from heaven. A very famous bread here is what´s called the Concha. They sell those there, but they´re filled with a type of frosting or jam. They´re dang expensive, but after a long day they hit the spot!
The new house is awesome, it´s nice and big and doesn´t look anything like the first house I had in Maravillas, so I´m stoked. Those 4 months in that tiny little box are finally paying off. Elder Bowles and I get along well, I have about 2 changes more than him, but honestly that doesn´t even matter, we work together super well. We´ve been helping each other out a lot this week. So far I have been very blessed with companions!
Overall doing pretty well out here, again it´s been interesting getting used to the area and everything, but I learned a ton in Manzanilla, and it´s been good being able to apply all that stuff here. I know I´m here for a reason, just need to keep moving forward and work hard.
Love you guys!
Elder Stones
Misión México Puebla Norte
Colonia La Paz
Puebla, Puebla 72160
México
Elder Stones is serving from the Daniels Park Ward.

Elder Jackman Serving In the Philippines

Here is a recent letter from Elder Jackman:

A Week of, well….Problems

Well as you can see from the title this week was not really the best week but it wasn’t all bad,  I mean I am a missionary for the Lord so that is pretty good diba!!! But yea this week was a long one and a lot of stuff happened and well not really a lot just one big thing happened that really effected the whole week.

Monday: We had pday as usual so me and elder arienda went to tocloban for pday and we meet up with elder Lopez and his comp and hung out with them. Pday was going really great until we got to the mission office and the San Roque elders called me on the phone……it was Elder Lacsao and he told me that there was a problem and that we needed to go to his apartment…..well I told him that we were still in Tacloban but that we would go to their apartment and he said to hurry…..so we dropped what we were doing in the office and traveled to their apartment.  We told the ZLs (Zone Leaders) too so they started to go to the San Roque apartment too. Once we got there we talked to them and heard what happened. Basically when they were in Tacloban for pday Elder Canas freaked out at Lacsao and was yelling at him in front of a ton of people and pushing him and stuff……yea not good.  So we decided to go into threesomes. Me and Arienda took Lacsao and the ZLs took Canas.

Tuesday: We worked up in Canmogsay with Elder Lacsao. We also found out the transfer announcements that day and there would be no transfer with the San Roque Elders….I was soo shocked by that….but we just kept working to try and get Elder Lacsao to not think about it. Later on that night I called Elder Lopez and he told me he was transfering….very sad. but he also told me all of the changes that happened in the mission. I guess Pres Argana changed up the lay out of the Zones and all kinds of stuff so there was a ton of changes mostly in the southern Leyte area in Ormoc and Baybay. Crazy!!!!
Wednesday: Well this was the crazy day of the week that threw everything off… I guess President told the Zls that we had to do a group inventory for the time being to try and figure out what happened and all that stuff cuz at the time President couldn’t do anything with all the missionaries going home and new missionaries coming in and the transfers – he was just swamped with work. So that is what we did. At about 3:00 we did the group inventory in the San Roque apartment. and that did not go well. It got very heated and very out of had. And at one point Elder Canas said in Tagalog “you want to fight right now so I can just get sent home?!?!?!” and Lacsao said ” cge come on” and then it was like time froze…..all of the sudden Canas jumped up to go attack Elder Lacsao, but I jumped up at the same time as him and grabbed him and spunn him around! And then me and Elder Gunn, one of our Zls, pinned him onto the bed! It was soooooo crazy and it all happened soooo fast. So we calmed Canas down a bit and then me and Arienda took Lacsao with us to Tolosa while the ZLs stayed with Canas…..once we got home we just relaxed and calmed down cuz we were all a bit shaken up especially Lacsao….he was sooo angry at Canas. It was insane…so We then stayed in that threesome for the rest of the week. While the Zls were in a threesome with Canas
Saturday:  We did a little celebration for Elder Arienda’s birthday.  I smashed an egg on his head.  It is a joke here in the Philippines to smash and egg on someone’s head for their birthday.  So we did.  It was so funny.
Sunday: Sunday was a good day for once that was something that I really needed!!! We went to Canmogsay for church and we had 2 investigators at church and also 2 LA (Less Active)  families come to church it was sooooooo great it was a major blessing for me and it was something that I really needed!!!
Well I have had a lot of time to ponder this week about my mission and the many problems that we have faced recently. And man it has been crazy and it has been so extremely hard but I have learned sooo much!! And I have really come to rely on the Lord in just about all things!! It is really true that we can use the Atonement of Christ in all things not just our sins but also our trials and challenges. I really don’t know why my mission has been so hard and why I have had to face all of these whirlwinds but it has been a great ride so far and I have become such a better person because of it all!! I have really learned alot from my own mistakes but also from the mistakes of others! I just hope I can remember all of this stuff and use it in my life!!
In all that we do Just remember Christ. We all promised that we would!! If we just remember him and rely on him and trust in him then we will realize that it will all be worth it in the end!!!
Love you all hope this is a great week for you all!!!
Makabuhat kita og lisod nga mga butang!!!!!  (We can do hard things)

Elder Jackman is serving from the Daniels Park Ward.

Missionary Monday: Elder Burgoyne Serving In Paris, France

Bonjour,

I am good!  Tuesday, we went to a less active family’s house, went to a meeting with our Ward Mission leader, and then went to another less active’s house. Not crazy, but busy.
Wednesday, we were eating after district meeting at a panini crepe restaurant in Paris and a guy came over and said, “Elders, get anything you want I’m paying for it.” Miracles. He turned out to be a member from Michigan on a business trip who had a son in Hong Kong serving a mission. The church is true brothers and sisters. Haha. We then went to a less active’s house. He said he wanted to go back to church and feel the spirit more in his life, and he meant it. He has been going to church for the last 2 weeks, despite the hour long drive to get to the chapel from his house. It’s awesome to see dedication like that.
Thursday, we did some service for a part member family. We were just moving and tossing a bunch of stuff. That night we went to KFC with our Ward Mission Leader and they ran out of chicken legs and breasts. Are you kidding me! All they had left were wings and chicken patties. I don’t know why that bothered me so much. I opted for wings.
Friday we went to Beauvais. We were there to buy bus passes, when we got the prompting to stop by one of our amis’ house. We got there, and they said they had just come home and if we had arrived 10 minutes earlier, they wouldn’t have been there. They only had about 30 minutes to talk before they had to leave again, but they were hospitable. They are Catholics from Sri Lanka. We decided to give them the Book of Mormon and to explain it a little. We gave it to them in Sinhala, their language. They seemed very interested and grateful for our visit. We had just enough time with them before they had to leave. The spirit prompted us to talk to them at that specific time for a reason. That was pretty cool. We then had a mangez-vous  (dinner appointment) and we shared a lesson. Elder Edwards changed the topic of the lesson on me, and not knowing French that great, that was kind of a curve ball. However, I was able to teach the lesson nonetheless and express my thoughts, despite my lack of preparation for that moment. The spirit was present. I don’t need to be fluent in French when the spirit is there. That was a stellar day.
The next day, we tried contacting a less active named Aurelie, but I’m pretty sure she moved. When we got to her apartment, there was someone with the same first name as her there, but it was a 5 year old girl who wasn’t a member. Haha. Funny coincidences. But we did end up scheduling a rendez vous with her mom anyways, even if it wasn’t the “Aurelie” we were looking for. The Lord truly works in mysterious ways. We then met with another less active who committed to come to churchnext Sunday.
Sunday, we went to church and had a mangez-vous. We then dropped, unplanned, by an ami that we had had a tough time contacting. We were able to meet with him and share a lesson. That was another little miracle of the week.
Today was the coolest p-day we have had yet! We went to Noyon, where John Calvin was born, and we went to a cathedral where Charlemagne was confirmed into the Catholic Church. We then ate at a Chinese restaurant with some members who paid for us. Afterwards, we saw another cathedral that had been destroyed from WW2, which was kind of cool.
It’s Elder Edwards’s last week, so we got to end good. He leaves next Wednesday. We will be eating at member’s houses a lot this week. Haha.
Have a good week!
Love
Elder Burgoyne

Elder Burgoyne is serving from the Daniels Park Ward.