Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Dec 9/10 Letters

We panicked as parents when we did not receive a letter from Elder Sullivan on Monday, Dec 9th.  So we called the mission home and sent an email.  Here is the response we received from the Assistant to the Mission President, Elder Arana:

Brother and Sister Sullivan,

My name is Elder Arana and I am writing you to let you know that your son, Elder Sullivan is having a great time here on his mission. We would like to explain the reason as to why he was not able to email you guys yesterday. Yesterday we had our Christmas activity and we finished the activity at around 5 o'clock in the afternoon, so I am guessing that by the time he got to his area, it was time for him to end his P-Day and go out and work. We applaud his desire to keep the mission rules and dedicate himself to the Lord but we also understand your concern which is why we would like you to know that everything is fine and we assure you that next Monday you will receive pictures and a long email from Elder Sullivan about what has happened on his mission in these past two weeks. If you have any further questions or concerns please feel free to write us at this email or call us at the numbers below. Thank you for everything and have a nice day.

Elder Arana y Elder Rincón 
Asistentes de la Misión Santo Domingo Oeste

Perhaps a few parents had sent messages because, the next day...  we received a letter.


So we had our christmas devotional for all missionaries in the capital yesterday, so we were given half an hour today to write. I hope you are all doing alright in spite of the cold of Canada.The weather is still hot here, however the nights have cooled down considerably I think. Or maybe I just cant stand the cold anymore haha. 

I am glad everyone is doing better and you all are having good times at home. Thank you for still partying and everything. By the way, that package you sent came last week on friday. I guess at christmas they go to the post office a lot and the timing happened good so it didnt take a ridiculous amount of time to arrive. Thank you so much for everything! The house is rejoicing now that we have a rugby ball, and I am too (especially with the japanese candies)

The book of mormon I dropped was my spanish hard cover that we have to take in our hand while we walk around preaching, dont worry. It is still alive. I may need a new picture of the family soon though haha since I taped one to the cover and if the cover happens to die I will need another photo. Sorry I cant send pictures this week.

My new companion is Elder Jarvis from Riverdale Utah. He is great. His spanish is progressing and all. We are hoping that a lot happens with our investigators and all.

I actually had the chance to go through the temple today and I saw the new video in it and everything. It is really cool. I did the whole thing and spanish and that was really special, to actually do the session in the language of the deceased person and everything. I felt really good this time, especially with the video, and hope sometime all my dear friends here can become converts and go through the temple as well, maybe even with me.

So training is kind of cool and really fun. I found it very natural to just suddenly take lead talking with everyone and wondered why I never did it. I still dont teach all that well and the whole having to plan everything is a little strange and difficult still. I got lost during the trip to the temple and the trip to the office, clearly I only get revelation about our own proselyting area. I got like, REALLY lost. But its fine. I like doing more now with the lessons and trying to make decisions more for the investigators. I hope I havent messed up too badly. Anyway, training is actually really fun and I like preaching as a senior companion for sure. Lots of fun for everyone! I hope we get people rolling here soon and comitted to the faith and everything. 

So I am running out of time. Love you all and everything. I will send something to tasha when I can.

Thanks and all my loveeee
Elder Sullivan

So it looks like packages from Canada can get there in less than a month.  He may get a birthday package after all.

Thursday, 5 December 2013

Dec 2nd Letter - With photos


So today is last day before transfers! Andddddd.... I am training someone in this area and Elder Peterson is going off somewhere. So yeah! I actually have to do stuff now and figure out what is going on. I may be somewhat super worried, but I hope it goes fine. Elder Peterson says it will be fine. President sent this little email saying ¨usted sera un gran entrenador¨ (you will be a fat trainer. Kidding, great trainer.) So I guess I am getting thrown into the deep water right away. Going to be really interesting, since someone who only has one transfer more than me is going to be district leader. We are probably the youngest district around. But it will be some kind of adventure or something I guess. Next week you will get to know his name and hopefully a picture or something!

Too bad you guys are having blizzards and such. I cant even really imagine a blizzard here. I dont remember much about snow in fact haha. Sending the USB cord would be great for the camera, as I have been piggybacking off of Elder Peterson´s camera for now (I sent a bunch of pictures today, I didnt really label them all though as I couldnt remember without previewing them). I am glad everyone´s health is improving and everything is going well (haha father, you have to use those elastic thingys. Prepare to feel pain while everyone laughs at how silly you look with your little ribbon things). Thank you also for describing your poop. I will say about mine that it is fine, even if more frequent than all the other Elders and I spend more time pooping than most. I also have the mejor (best) poop stories around. The toilet´s flushing mechanism has blown up in my face a few times now. I know I look skinny, but I definitly have some fat on my belly now. Comes from eating things with oil and fat all the time since that is how we cook and we cook a lot and i kind of slacked exercising for a bit (but not now!). My clothes are still fine but I fell on some slick tiles on the street and dropped my book of mormon in the gutter. It is now a fat book of mormon with bloated pages. I look stylish as always. Thank you for eating cake with out me! (as Elder Peterson would sing, ¨sinners!¨) We did get a really awesome thanksgiving lunch though with our neighbours! Super good turkey and other stuff! Apparently the Mercado family wants to meet you guys someday haha. They are basically the family of our house here right now. 

Well what is new. We worked really hard to get where we are now, and it has paid off quite a bit with our one baptism and the hopes for the coming month. Unfortunate or not, almost everyone progressing is a young one without their families for the most part but we are working with that (well, soon it will be me and a greenie). I hope we can really get these people going, and the ward really needs to be involved for retention with young people and helping us get to teach their families. Our ward still has a bit of lack of ¨the ward family¨touch sort of thing to an extent. But everything is going really well and people are really starting to work a lot harder in the ward. Cool changes are happening.

As I always say, it is some sort of divine pleasure and priviledge to see people change. We have a young man we are teaching who used to be almost unable to read, was a troublemaker and we didint really see anything in him. He is still a bit of a troublemaker (I mean, I was too), but wow he has changed. He really is trying to follow the commandments, he takes great care of his little brother and his family and is trying harder and harder to be better and do his part with exactness. Other than behave in church with his not so great friend. But with help from the young men´s leader and someone who can adopt him as a father (he has no father figure as of now other than the missionaries), he will really be great. And wow his reading improved. I used to fall asleep during his reading haha. (ok, not so funny, I once fell asleep so badly I dropped my book on the floor so loud and everyone couldnt be serious for the rest of the lesson). 

One of my favourite things is the chance to still visit with Javier and see him around. What a cooooolll guuuyyyyy. Love his sheer excitement and faith and I really dont want to see it fall ever. Want to see him reach that temple. He really is our friend and the ward´s friend. He hugs a lot of people though haha.

Everybody is still progressing to some extent. I hope they can more and more everyday. We shall see how everything goes with the new companion and everything. People still have problems coming to church haha. But they get better as it goes, and I really hope a lot out of them, especially the people who keep all the commandments except for the sabbath day. 

I like getting to learn so much out here, and its probably going to get a little NUTS. We were already bad enough (our jokes got a lot better though in English and Spanish!), now I am the leader. HAHAHAHA. Crossing the street is going to be interesting. Hopefully my companion doesnt have too many problems with the sanitation and overall sketchiness around him. Haha. At least nothing bad ever happens! Other than our trip to the clinic!

I am glad all is going well and such. Please continue being good and all. Thank you for the thanksgiving letters they are funny (thanks for the picture Tasha! And thank Thomas for the sports update haha and thank you parentses! and aunts y uncles and everybody that I havent read yet). Never give up as always, and remember that faith is everything. I mean, all those people with moses once just had to look at him and be saved, and just like that one pioneer guy said ¨the price to get to know God was a priviledge to pay¨. I definitely feel the same way. It is a priviledge to serve here. So new adventures coming up, have a good timmmeeeee. KEEP EVERYBODY SAFE!

 Here was a realtime Q and A session we had with Michael.
[Family] - Are you online right now?
[Michael] - Yeah, Hi
[Family] - Hola.  It feels like we are speaking somehow.  We spent the whole day cleaning.  Thanks for the fotos, they look cool.  Did you get transferred?
[Michael] - Haha. We also cleaned and did chores. I will try sending more photos as of now. Well, transfers are tomorrow and I am training someone! So we are going to the chapel tomorrow and we will find out what is going on then. Then I have to stay there for a while and such.
[Family] - Is that picture of a house yours or someone else's?  
[Michael] - It is the house that is mine
[Family] - The whole family is standing watching you respond to these questions.  By the way, Ms. Sullivan, Ms. Webber and Mr. Peterson say hi, also.
[Michael] - I say hi also. Y siento que yo fuera un charlatan en escuela ( And I feel that I was a charlatan in school)
[Family] - Are you staying in the same area or are you moving onto another place?
[Michael] - Staying. For another two transfers probably
[Family] - Well that is cool that you get to know J..... a little better (and his Posse).
[Michael] - Haha for sure. Hopefully you guys have converts to take care of too!
[Family] - How has your health been lately?  How is Elder Peterson feeling and where is he going?
[Michael] - I feel GREAT! Like really good other than I feel fatter. Elder Peterson is doing amazingly and we don't know where he is going and won't until too late. I have to go preach now SORRY but have a good day and take care and all. Love you all!
Sigue caminando! 
y mi amor.
As they call me here,

 Local Fort

Skyline view from house