Monday, 15 December 2014

Dec 15th 2014

Hola! FELIZ CUMPLEAÑOS HERMANA MIA! Happy birthday Tasha!

So thanks for all the pictures and stories, sounds like Christmas has been pretty big this year, maybe I should be glad I wasnt around to get all caught up in it haha. The choir fiascos are especially entertaining, hopefully it all worked out! Congratulations to all, especially Tasha for the performances. I will pray for Hermano Wellmann.

Thanks for all the university work, sorry about all the time consumption there. Um in terms of those essay things.... I am sort of becoming more interested in ER or like surgery medicine, uh, so I suppose I would like to find better ways to perform rapid internal surgeries to minimize initial problems or something like that. Im not really sure I havent thought about academic things really with medicine (since Im out serving haha) just that it really interests me to help people and like save lives on a daily basis?

So the week was super awesome, christmas conference was really cool. Our skit ended up being really good despite my preocupations. I was like this guy who gets into worldy stuff looking for happiness, the skit ended up having these super creative costumes for alcohol and cigarettes and a host of tempations haha. Unforunately President has the pictures of that so.... It was cool, we got lots of laughs and I tried to cry on stage but mostly I just looked sad so good enough. It was fun and the other skits were really good too super funny, except for this one where a latin guy ¨accidentally¨ used the word ¨nigger¨ so they got in big trouble but the rest of the conference went well. Pres showed us his trip to the Holy Land and stuff and it was pretty neat to kind of realize that Jesus really did walk on the earth and its not all just made up stuff, even though really a testimony of the spirit is all thats necessary anyway, it was still pretty neat. A Hawaiian missionary sang for us too with his ukelele, so that was nice.

Anywho, Cruz Maria is going to get baptized this week on saturday, everything is filled out and announced and so we just have to get through this week with her. She´s solid on it all and is going to be super awesome. She always says she doesnt read anything but really she reads like a chapter or more a day in the BOM shes just got a complex or something (she once told me I have a complex... haha). Her boyfriend is chill with it, but doesnt really want to hear from us haha. Elder Reed made the greenie from the MTC invite her to be baptized with like a scripture and everything on the exchanges. She was super confused for a second, and then accepted. Elder Reed was laughing too hard though so he figured out that it was kind of a joke, but hey she accepted to be baptized again even with the date being the next week so thats good!

A few really cool new investigators came to church! The guy who was getting divorced, Bernardo, came to church with his kid and it was really neat. He really feels like God called him in his ¨time of darkness¨ when we showed up at the door with a messsage about Christ. We´re excited to see his progress, I mean, he gets a little caught up with his biblical knowledge and he rants like any older man but hes really sincere. He participated a bunch in the classes, kept on talking about the evils of the internet and how important it is for us to always be good and that there is a difference between the path of happiness and pleasure. He said pleasure is the path of the devil. Pleasures only take away. They take away time, take away pain for a little while, but they try to take everything and slowly a person disintegrates. The path of happiness is different, its a bit of work and requires devotion to oneself and discipline, but it lasts and doesnt take away, it gives.

An awesome new investigator studying dentistry came to, has really neat questions and is super smart, always relating religious things to science, so Elder Reed liked that and so did I. It was cool to show that miracles arent magic, its all really science its how things are done, but our faith is what makes it all work (interesting concept, eh?). Hes going back to Haiti though, ah well, he´ll be back in January.

We had exchanges again with the MTC. Did some cool stuff.We have a less active moving back into activity, not sure if our visits really made a difference in that but maybe!

So, it was a busy week. Sorry I didnt write that much, but I hope everything is great at home and that it is still Feliz Navidad.

Con todo mi amor,

Elder Sullivan

Hey, apparently my blog is kind of famous a bunch of new missionaries keep on saying that theyve seen it. So... maybe you guys should put some advertisements on it so that we make some money haha.

Dec 8th 2014

Hello my wonderful family!

Thanks for all your always doing at home! Im sorry that today my message wont be brilliantly long, we had a bunch of trouble with the power in our sector today and we are already late as it is haha. I will remember the Muirlaslo family in my prayers and I dont know if it would be possible but I would like to email them somehow I dunno. At least if you see them let them know that Im thinking about them, especially give comfort to Sister Muirlaslo. No one is ever a lost cause. Im glad you are all enjoying the snow and finding great joy in the christmas season. I hope Dad gets better from the nasty flu bug but Im glad that as always ¨those who trust in the Lord shall find new strength, they shall spread their wings as eagles, and they shall run, and not tire, and they shall walk and not faint¨. So continue onwards in faith, and I hope all the many concerts and hecticness goes well and that you can find peace as well in the Saviour in this time of christmas. Thank you for the pictures, Im sorry that today I dont have any. 

We are getting more and more excited for the december times here. Cruz Maria is still set to be baptized, reading lots, praying more and shes really excited to make covenants like baptism and also marriage. We taught her specifically about marriage recently and tried to help her understand the importance of it all and that she needed to communicate more with her spouse and stuff so that he knows whats going on in her life with the baptism and all, since its kind of important. It was fun to teach about, and wow we read a bunch of serious talks from apostoles about marriage, I suppose Im pretty excited about it all now haha.

We have a new awesome family of a single mom who came to church this week and are reading the book of mormon like mad men. We are trying to get them into the gospel more each day, and it looks pretty good from here. We have been meeting so many people lately who really want to find the true church and really join themselves to God its really exciting. They are even making good friends with certain members and its making our work much easier as the members can take care of them as well. Anyway, its all pretty neat.

Christmas conference is tomorrow for the capital. Itll be fun, Ill send photos of the strange skit and everything. Im really mostly excited just to see all the good friends I have made in the mission.

Also, I know that soon we get to do phone calls and stuff. Do you guys still have the skype name I used last time? I seem to have forgotten. It will be on the 25, Im not sure what time yet.

Well, other than all that, I hope everyone can focus on the true christmas spirit. That Christ can fill all of our lives with great love and joy. Remember that really truly charity is our most important attribute, as it is the only thing that will remain after all is said and done. Charity includes suffering with people, consoling them, taking time for them, helping them, charity is more than just affection it is devotion, the desire to help and stay with other people. I have learned a lot about charity out here in the mission, and through it learned that its so important to think the best of people, to give them the best and to be the best possible for them. Obviously, Im still learning, and far from obtaining charity, but its all about the journey anyway. So keep up the good work. Thank you Mom and Dad for always being with me, and thank you sisteries for never giving up. Keep the faith. Know that I love you all with all of my being and soul, if I could do all things for you it would be done. Like C.S Lewis said once, ¨The suffering is part of the joy, it makes it sweeter.¨ So when we return once again, the joy will be even greater. 

Con todo mi amor, que el Señor les cuide siempre,

Elder Michael Sullivan

Cool experience I forgot. Went out with the new guys from the MTC this week. We had a cool lesson with a less active who during it she kind of just opened up and said that ¨I think the Lord has been punishing me for not being active and not living his standards, so I think I need to go back and fix these problems.¨ And so she did, we keep on encouraging her now. She looks happier from what weve seen. So that was awesome and a new guy got to see it and stuff.

Thats all!

Dec 1st 2014

Hey parents and sisteries!

I hope everything continues well even with the cold coming in (I think it happened every time the play has been running). Its getting pretty cold here too, a real low of 28 degrees or something maybe even around 21, so we are basically freezing out in the streets right now. Im glad all the many shows went well and that the stampeders finally won the grey cup yeah! I will be praying especially that the winter all goes well, and I hope this Christmas the spirit of Christ can be with all and that we can all commit ourselves better to share the gospel with everyone. I say hi to all the people at home especially all the extended family and let them know I am thinking of them. Say welcome back to Holly. Im glad seminary is really great class, it sounds quite a bit better than my overall participation at least, stay animated Mom! And thanks for all the cool stories, I always read every one. And thanks for the pictures, its always nice to see whats going on. 

One watch still works, but I dont use it because I always get these weird rashes on my wrists, sometimes they show up anyway but with the watch its worse. Its alright because I have the cellphone, we are just more timely lately (maybe because its two white people so we are less chill about it all haha). Thanks for sending the packages, I will be needing the two shirts (another one just got wrecked during an activity).

So its all pretty good here. Cruz Maria was out of town for most of the week unfortunately, but is pretty far in the book of mormon and is set on being baptized the 20th. She is always a blast to visit, her whole long distance relationship with this spaniard is kind of funny since hes super old, and she always likes to question us if we have girlfriends and stuff to see if we can relate to her whole long distance thing. She is ridiculously punctual, always leaves for church like 45 minutes early shes crazy and walks faster than we do. Going to be sweet. Other cool stuff, we leave with lots of members now so its fun to talk with them while walking around. Lots of really educated and intelligent people in our area with university degrees, but they still have the dominican sass. We took this one member to a few crazy lessons. This one guy who we taught took like 30 minutes to explain this weird dream he had had. He dreamed he went to heaven and it was full of people walking around this grassy field, but they couldnt talk with God they had to give Jesus a telegram paper but not everyones could be taken by God at the same time so yeah. Then he went to the Underworld and saw a bunch of people stuck in the mud and some like women dancing or something. He also in real life almost got shot while in a bar by a really drunk guy who accused him of being with his girlfriend but he prayed and wasnt shot. We are also teaching an ex preacher who doesnt really believe in any religion (especially the evangelist for some reason) but he believes in the apostasy and stuff so maybe we will be able to progress from there. So far he likes what we teach and our knowledge corresponds with his. He is one of the first dominicans I have met getting a real legal divorce from his wife, they actually got married and stuff! Its sad that they will now be separated, but his sorrow has been a chance to relate with him and teach him. Our doctor investigator Maico told some fairly scary stories about ER in the hospital, I think I still want to be a doctor though and maybe even in the ER since the whole saving people and intense situations appeals to me (although, it sounds scary). He is progressing good, still wont accept a baptism invitation but he is getting better every time and hes really smart. He talked with us a bit about Lord of the Rings since Elder Reed is super into it and a lot of stuff about medicine, I would really like to study it haha. We have lots of people reading the book of mormon now, its like a revolution in the DR, we will soon be dominating the world with the BOM haha. So far everyone has accepted one that we have given it to. This translator lady we are teaching speaks really good english, its like talking to an american. Shes crazy. We finally got our doctor to go to church and also a less active that hadnt come since forever ago, victory! All it took was incessant phone calling and a few visits. Shes cool but has a weird hairdo that kind of throws me off sometimes.

Well, I think thats kind of most of what happened. We are preparing a skit for the christmas conference. I have to play this guy (as a mime) who is searching in life for happiness and so I get into alcohol and drugs and women and stuff and this girlfriend I have rips a paper heart into shreds and I have to be really sand and stuff when I dont have no more drugs and then Elder Peterson shows up and gives me a hug and everything is good again and we all sing a christmas song at the end. Yeeeea! The guy playing drugs ripped my shirt though, so thats interesting. Well, it should be a half decent production other than my poor acting skills, I did a bad job of the faces this week. Its all good it will be funny at least.

I love all of you and hope everything goes really well. I would really like to testify of the book of mormon this week and its power in the conversion of people, those who read, come to know God. Lots of people study the human behaviour and have come up with self help books, but as always the best is still the gospel, and has yet to be beat. Its been really nice to have lots of experiences with the book of mormon lately and I have always been praying to be the answer to peoples prayers and lately we have been finding lots of people who were praying to find the truth, and perhaps they will have the faith now to follow Christ. So remember to always throw down the nets of life, and as Christ says ¨Come follow me¨. He is always there for us, and his love will never run out as long as we turn to him, and not to man.

Siempre con todo mi amor,

Elder Sullivan

Friday, 28 November 2014

Nov 24 2014


Im glad that the beginning of the whole christmas thing is going really well (It always starts too soon). Keep on singing, we sing lots here too (every lesson in fact) and pretty soon it will all be just christmas hymns (well, at least they are the better hymns). Good luck with all those performances (and how did the school play go?). I hope the Christmas is wonderful and always remains focused on the Saviour and the great love we must have for all people. The church has some new initiative coming up, you guys will probably hear about it on the internet, it means more work for us out here haha.

Thanks for the help with the university stuff, I have been considering somewhat going to university with Dallin (I wrote him about it) although we both sometimes think about BYU, haha, but I guess we could always transfer. Let me know if you need any help with that.

Well this week was pretty cool. We are working really hard right now with the members in the ward, leaving with them to appointments everyday and trying to get references, and so far it has really been paying off with lots of new potential and some successes. Cruz Maria is still set to be baptized in december, and we are really excited as she has some good friends now amongst the members, particularly a neighbour and is also reading the book of mormon and continuing to truly develop in the gospel. Its an exciting thing! Shes way too punctual, keeps on showing up early to stuff and leaving her friend behind instead of going to church together haha. She appreciates our new punctuality, since Elder Reed is a lot better about that and wears a watch and stuff. Our other investigators are pretty cool too, we found a partial family of a less active which could be pretty cool and lots of interesting people. We taught this one family where they had read the entire pamphlet, really liked it, and really wanted a book of mormon, so much that the daughter almost ripped it out of my hands while I was explaining it saying ¨give me my book!¨ haha. A good find there. We even convinced a fairly stick in the mud investigator to read the book of mormon and the pamphlet at the same time but she has yet to come to church. This guy named Levitic is a haitian learning spanish and kind of a reference but not really but anyway hes really cool and has these really weird questions and its always hard to tell if we really answered him because he doesnt understand fully or always respond correctly and has to take a lot of time to prepare his answers haha. His questions are a lot about why are there so many religions if there really is only one God, and we are currently trying to teach him why. He questions faith because of all teh differerences, so this could be a good chance for him to find it all out! He keeps on saying a bunch of french words sometimes and is funny, everytime we teach something and he has a questions he says ¨Espera, pero las otras Iglesias no tienen profetas¨ (wait, the other churches dont have prophets) ¨Exactly hermano, thats why our church is true¨ haha. A particular large amount of plural marriage and baptism for the dead questions this week, thwarted with some sound doctrine and logical reasoning. We convinced (well, the spirit convinced) Mayco that he should keep the word of wisdom completely, we had him look at the benefits and told him to put to the test if the Lord would help him stay awake without coffee or not. Shared a favourite scripture with him from Isaiah, similar to the one in DC ¨And those who wait upon the Lord shall have new strength, they shall spread their wings as eagles, and they shall run and not be tired, and they shall walk and not faint.¨ or something like that (Isaiah 40 31). I hope he can take that promise up, as I know it has helped me countless times out here to remember that I shall spread my wings as an eagle if I always trust in the Lord. 

So yeah we are fairly busy, except for today, I mostly slept haha. A member is going to stitch our names onto our backpacks, so that will be neat. Its fun having the members really involved in the work as we get to talk with them lots and have really deep lessons with investigators (and the jokes are funnier, since the members are dominican haha). We had stake conference this week. Really cool stuff, our stake president is boss. President Nuckols was there too, and talked about finding and sharing happiness really cool. He said he searched on Amazon (what a tiger missionary, tiger meaning disobedient haha) for books on happiness and said that there are millions of titles. He found one called ¨Felicidad, Rapido!¨ or ¨Has llenado una cuberta?¨(Have you filled a bucket?) or my personal favourite ¨Mueve tus cosas¨ (Move your things). Anyway, he then held up the book of mormon and said that we have a book with the secret to happiness. And its free! The missionaries give them away! Happiness is free, in the worlds terms. It requires only diligence, faith, love and hope. Im so glad to have real happiness and the opportunity to share it with all people. Everyday I always like to tell people that the happiness they will achieve from living a life full of the love of God will brighten everything, and no matter what happens to them they can be happy. You dont have to change your surroundings to be happy, you have to change yourself. Just like a surfer doesnt craft the waves of each day, rather he crafts his board and his method upon the waters, and his joy is full! So remember to always be happy, and the best way is to always love, share and be loved! The book of mormon is the best self help book, so always read it!

Thanks for everything family, I hope the christmas is an awesome one!
Con todo mi amor siempre,

Elder Michael Sullivan

Nov 17 2014


Nice to hear from everyone and know that everyone is safe. Looks cold and snowy, cant imagine, I feel cold here even when it just rains or with the AC here in the internet center. I dont think Elder Reed has a blog... Sounds good the watching movies! Im glad all the school thingys went well, I hope the play turns out! I know at least its in good hands. 21 guns is... an interesting song choice haha. 

Let Tasha know Im thinking of her, and that I hope everything works out for her and that she will be just fine. Life works out for the diligent, and maybe she will get like married someday. Dont worry Dad, you will find more friends to play with and I will be back sometime around here haha. I do miss doing things with the family, but I know everything is being better taken care of at home. Remember to keep me some sushi haha.

Well everything is going pretty well here. We are setting lots of baptism dates, running around teaching lots, an 8 year old just got baptized in the less active family we are teaching and they are pretty much reactivated, the dad gave the elder quorom lesson and it seems like things are pretty much back to normal with them. It was really nice to see the dad baptize the little girl, I dont know how special it was for the 8 year old but it was really special for the dad, makes me appreciate the family a whole lot more and Im hoping for the day when I can also be a dad. We have a few other less actives who are starting to come to church more and more, its always nice to work with families, and I really hope they can come back to full activity and enjoy the happiness of the gospel, its been very apparent in the recently baptized girl´s family.

We are working with the investigators pretty hard, still a few sticks in the mud not going to church and stuff but thats just because they dont know the full truth of all the gospel yet and dont understand its meaning. Cruz Maria is still rocking though shes really cool I really want to see her baptized. She is reading the BOM thoroughly chapter for chapter and is really finding out the truth of things through her attendance, prayer and study, so we are really excited for her. Shes also hilarious, makes so many funny jokes and its never a dull moment with her since shes quick with the wit, but we are quicker haha. We always have little tricks to get her to pray and stuff and shes direct with some fairly weird questions about life and stuff so we answer her the best possible and everybody ends up laughing. Mostly she asks a lot about what we are going to do after the mission and about girlfriends at home and such since shes in a long distance relationship. I once described feeling the spirit is like falling in love (something I probably dont even know anything about?) and she seemed to understand that haha. She always says she feels some strange commitment to read the scriptures and pray and come to church, and we are starting to see that she is really gettig ready to make covenants. Hopefully that long distance relationship works out! Other investigators are doing really well. Some article came out about the church about plural marriage or something so we had to explain that about a thousand times. People understood, and as always, we never lose a discussion, since the spirit knows and yeah we are just two young dudes.

Otherwise, things are great. Elder Reed had his first lesson with a lady breast feeding, so a milestone there that will be repeated many times. Also,  Im making lots of dominican jokes now, so my humour is kind of changing. Ate some donuts, so good. Yeah, Im running out of stuff, I will try harder next week.

Love you as always family, I would just like you all to know that what we are living is true. Its okay to have questions and doubts, but go and look for the answers, because they are always there. Even if people attack the doctrine all day, God is on your side. Keep the faith bretheren, keep the faith.

Con todo mi amor,

Elder Sullivan

Monday, 10 November 2014

Nov 10, 2014 - Training Elder Reed

Hey everybody!

I am truly sorry about what has happened in Canada but hope it sparks the nation into a bit of patriotism. It is too bad that Satan is always at work and finding ways to oppose us. Thankfully we know that all is well. Its been neat to learn out here in the mission that really we can face all opposition and still be happy, loving people, and that the great movements in the world are only little blips in our eternal existence. I sort of forgot about Remembrance day, but I hope that it is a time of reflection and everything works out fine. Here today it was constitutional day, hence the pictures at the plaza de banderas. Interesting that today I just happened to go to the memorial to the unknown soldier here, and the that here there are two unarmed guards as well. The statement on the tomb is ¨Honor and Glory¨, kind of interesting I hope some of the soldiers really felt that way. The military was out in fancy uniforms today, but other than that it kind of just seems like everyone is at the beach today haha. Nice to hear that Brother Smith is doing well and all, he is really old but wow still going I hope I can be like that when Im old, a real warrior for God. I was recently reading lots about the 2000 stripling warriors, and really believe in the importance of faithful obedience and loyalty to God, family and all people until the very end, as it says in D and C, ¨to show that your fidelity is stronger than the bands of death¨. Know that that is the kind of love and devotion I am trying to develop in the mission, stronger than the bands of death. And Im glad my dog tags already say mormon so no need to argue in the army of the Lord haha.

Haha, the winter here has sort of started, at least, its colder at night and stuff, although, I think Im the only one who notices in the house. The pictures of the snow are wowing, seeing it I sort of remember how it is and Im not really sure if I miss it all that much, although its still kind of hard to imagine perfectly.

So far everything here has been great. Im training Elder Reed from Idaho Falls, Idaho. Of course in classic fashion during the first part of the training meeting when they present companions I was missing from the crowd because I was out visiting with a bunch of members and missionaries I hadnt seen in forever, I even saw the Mercado family again back from my first area and caught up and such theyre really cool I hope to meet them again and I was busy chatting with Elder Forsyth and Nelson since they are leaving (correction, gone). Anyway, one of the assistants came and found me and told me they had just presented my son and I wasnt there to greet him haha so I showed up in there late, President thought it was funny and gave me some sort of look but at least my first impression was made. Other than that it went really well. President has some high expectiations for us, but so far we are almost meeting them, always room to improve. Our effort is definitely noted though. I really like having a new companion since they work really hard because they dont actually know how hard we are supposed to be working in the mission field, so I can work really hard and there are no complaints haha. Elder Reed is great though, really smart guy he studies computer science at BYU and is a cool guy, forgot to take pictures together but at zone meeting well get it done. Hes really skinny, were going to have to do some working out haha. The P90X program has been pretty cool so far for me. Anyway, he likes to read, plays video games (the kind that I play) watch stuff, do computer stuff and is probably a little bit nerdier than me haha (yes my sisters, I know thats hard to believe). Hes probably going to be an office Elder. Cool guy! 

Otherwise we are out there working hard, setting lots of baptism dates. I know its probably pretty hard for Elder Reed to feel the Spirit really strong in spanish right now but wow I sure feel really good right now setting goals with people, we have really high hopes right now for Cruz Maria, she is coming to church a lot and we set a goal for December and its looking like the prospects are really good! There is the hurdle of the out of town boyfriend, but theyre going to get married and the date is set in stone so it should all work out really well! She is totally hilarious and always jokes with us and we have this sort of connection when talking and teaching that really makes her believe we are servants of the Lord and she really believes all that we teach, so I think just a little bit more work with the testimony and she could really do it! I like her open mindedness and such, it allows us to teach her more effectively and she can feel the spirit more that way and her willingness to follow God is apparent. So here we go! Our other baptism dates are a little more sketchy we will see but we are looking really hard and trying to commit people like crazy, hopefully we dont forget everything weve done haha.

Well I know some other stuff has happened, like, my crossing of the street is really poor, everybody makes gringo comments now its crazy, the members are working with us more but I dont have the same jokes as Elder Suazo so they have to deal with my less refined humour and stories. Pedro said something really funny, he came on time to church without his wife so the teacher asked ¨Why isnt your wife here yet?¨ and he was like ¨well, shes just so slow at getting ready and is always telling me ¨almost, almost¨ so I just left here in the house. If we had a plane to catch, she would definitely miss it saying ¨oh well get there eventually¨ and be at the airstrip yelling at the plane ¨oh, wait!¨. Yeah, Pedro is really funny I dont know if they really love each other though, he kind of makes fun of her haha.

Anyway, thats all for now, but I hope everything goes really well back at home, always with all my love,

Elder Sullivan

Monday, 3 November 2014

Nov 3rd 2014

Ok, the time is somewhat limited since the power went out here, but at least we found a place to write haha.

So everyone sounds really busy at home, I hope it all works out haha. Here, not quite so busy yet, but we have big plans. Glad all the partying and such could go so well. Thanks so much for the university help again, I am thinking a university in the west, but I would like to have more options than before. Haha, I send greetings to all the folks at STS, especially Mr Uzick, thanks for keeping me playing the piano haha, so I can play it out here sometimes. Its a very rare skill out here. I know I should have worked harder in school especially at the end, but I hope it all works out. I hope the play goes well for Christina and all. 

I am staying in Herrera, receiving a new missionary named Elder Reed. I do not know where he is from or who he is yet, but we will see tomorrow. I am so excited to train, and really hope I can prove to the President but especially the Lord that I can do what is asked and I am someone in whom they can trust. Its something Ive been thinking about more and more. Its so important that the Lord can depend on us, just like that scripture from Psalms that says ¨Search me, Lord, and know my heart¨ I would like the Lord to be able to do that.

Um so the week was pretty cool, a bunch of people cried when they heard Elder Suazo was leaving. I hope they keep progressing without him. Lots of less actives in church, close to reactivation and lots of good work, the stake president slammed the members about missionary work so we need to go work with them now haha. Other than that its been great, Im going to miss Elder Suazo lots but he will be a great zone leader out in the south. The south really was my favourite time and Im sure it will be his too.

So a quick thing about missionary work for the youth. The gospel must be shared. The President has started this thing with us about the ¨Forever Finding Fever¨. Its a good idea for members as well. We need to always be finding people. When we talk about our lives with other people, our faith in Christ should be part of our conversations, since its the biggest part of our life. If it isnt, well that needs to change. People should understand who we are better, disciples of Christ. So we should have a fever to find people, always searching and finding ways to share with people, invite them and just talk with people about the gospel. Its really simple. Other than that, wow sharing the gospel is just so great, everyone should do it haha.

I hope everything goes well, thanks as always for your love and prayers that sustain me in every moment, family. Please always take care of each other and remember the truth is the truth, not much else matters.

Thanks for everything family, sorry its a little short today.

With all my love,

Elder Sullivan

Monday, 27 October 2014

Oct 27th 2014


So the adventures at home are once again extensive! I really liked the story about the boat that almost got destroyed, but Im really glad thta everything went well, and that Dad and Uncle Rich were around to help the man and his boat, even though the world was basically splitting in half. Crazy weather it sounds like. Sometimes the seas are violent, shes not an easy beast to tame. But wow thats interesting I guess you guys are superheroes now! Saving boats left and right with nothing but long lines! Seminary sounds great too, all the little activites sound really interesting mom! Nice way to keep everybody attentive. Reminds me of my scripture study in the morning, which is ten times more effective now in the mission than when I began, always falling asleep haha. The armour of God is a really interesting concept that I really like (as you already know) since we really are warriors! Thats too bad people dont go to dances, its kind of a lost art that I wish everyone would take up! All latins dance and its pretty cool, everyone should learn to move the hips like me and my companion do haha. I hope and pray natasha´s exams go well and that all the knowledge she has obtained is brought to remembrance in the precise moment, and congratulations for the concert. I also hope Christina can figure out the school thing.

Dad asked a couple questions, well that family is ok, they´re not starving or anything haha, but I think they feel loneyish because they want us to visit lots haha and talk. Theres no dad. We visit them a lot because they go to appointments with us and are really good with the missionaries, even though theyre kind of goofy. We didnt actually end up going to the temple, it fell through but we are trying now to do it a different day. 

Well, the week was good. Lots of work, but its kind of strange to already be on our last week of the transfer. Time is running out too fast. We had a cool activity today with President at his house. Our whole zone went and played basketball, dodgeball, volleyball and even threw water balloons. We were playing that catch game with the water baloons at first, but at the end President grabbed a few and starting attacking a bunch of the Elders and so began the fight I think President won with the nice direct hits on the assistants haha. Anyway it was fun, I hope I can be super fit just like President Nuckols when I get older haha. Not that hes overly old. My skills in sports were pretty low but so were everyone else´s so I did pretty well, even in basketball. Dodgeball was the funnest though.

We have this cool investigator who has been coming to church consistently and stuff and really likes it. She lives in her sister´s house right now without a job so she has tons of time to share with us and go to church haha, and she already has been kind of dropping her catholic stuff and integrating into our church. Those old ladies in Relief Society do a good job. Her favourite thing about church is when this lady in Relief Society came up and gave her a huge kiss on the cheek (which is a normal tradition here for ladies) and was super funny during the class. Good job members! Otherwise shes learning really well and is really on board with everything and will probably get baptized if we figure out the one little problem of the boyfriend in Spain. Life isnt perfect! That same haitian med student is still asking really deep doctrine questions and believes our message, but still needs that security of an answer from God and the stupid med student schedule is too busy. Other people are doing good, but I have the strange feeling we will be dropping the family we are supposed to take to the temple. We have lots of less actives becoming active again, we helped this one couple out this week visiting them and gave the wife a priesthood blessing. She was pretty sick and was crying in pain and stuff. Two days later she was in church with her husband and calm as ever. One week with renewed covenants, success!

Well our time in Herrera is sort of winding down, since we are pretty sure Elder Suazo is heading out and Im sticking around, hopefully to train since its my dream to train again. We did exchanges with the MTC group and I went with a super cool Elder from Texas who didnt have a Texas accent at all. But it was a lot of fun, theyre so excited from the MTC and are so fascinated with the country and stuff haha and work really hard. My comp knew lots of spanish even, so even better! The little taxi rides stuffed like sardines were a little weird for them but they thought it was awesome haha.

So thats just a little bit of what happened. Really cool moments with the MTC crowd, things always go better with them and they bring a powerful testimony, we wowed the socks off of one new investigator when my comp told her how important what she was learning was. He was just like ¨This message is totally going to change your life, it sure has changed mine!¨ and the lady could only answer ¨Wow, that was beautiful.¨

Anyway, transfer calls this saturday, although we are already fairly sure of what is happening.

Thanks for everything family and I hope the week continues well for everyone. Always press forward in the faith. I love you with all my heart.

Siempre con amor,

Elder Sullivan

Oct 20th 2014

Hey everyone!

Wow everytime you write everything at home is different. Im glad the holidays went well and hope the regular lifestyle is not too hard going. The salmon run sure sounds cool, I hope you guys got to sample some of the bounty. I hope you have a nice trip Dad sailing again! Are you sure you havent retired already? Congrats for Tasha and the oboe playing and I hope to hear the music sometime. Most of the music around here is salsa and merengue and bachata, and the streets resound with it everyday. I have the chorus of some songs memorized. Im glad the seminary thing is all working out, its really too bad I failed it haha. I hope everything goes well at home especially the health scene. 

Oh and yes the mission president is just fine. In fact hes super awesome! He is really animated and likes to joke around haha. In the zone conference he set a new goal for the mission, and he calls it the pulse. He is really athletic and is a cyclist and he talked about the cronometer and how we need one in the mission. So he took the average numbers needed to baptize one person and reactive one person every month, and put those as the new minimum pulse. So we all have to work at a new level. I really liked the comparison, since Ive been really getting into working out and stuff. You always have to push the body, show it who has dominion. I really like to work out until break point, so hopefully I can apply it better to missionary work as well. Elder Herrmann gave me CDs for the P90X workout program, so Im pretty excited and already have one week down of the exercises. Its nice that theyre only 30 minutes so I always get through them with time to get ready and stuff in the morning. Hopefully we see results in both the spiritual and physical, so we can start the salvation of the soul, seeing as the soul is the body and spirit. I put some new posters up in the house about working out for my compadres, I hope the advice is taken. 

I wrote a handwritten letter with more of the things said by Elder Cornish, so Ill leave that to reach you guys... whenever that may be. The gist of the conference was that we need to supervise and organize ourselves better and break out of our conception of what we can achieve as missionaries. They really want us to set new standards and goals and execute, so I think that is what well do!

This week on saturday we are going to have a little temple grounds tour and discussion with two families that are iffy on the whole marriage thing. One family we are teaching, of whom I spoke last time and one from the other two missionaries. We really hope it can change their minds and focus them more on what Gods plan is in place of the bathroom or whatever other doubts still hold them. We will also be taking some recent converts to do some baptisms for their ancestors which will be really nice. A very family focused week, which is great because thats the way it should be. Our investigators are still somewhat without direction, although we almost set a baptism date with the guy who is studying medicine, (almost all our investigators are med students) but he shut us down. He said he believes in the story of Joseph Smith though at the front of the BOM so, faith starts with a little seed. I really want to see him progress, hes funny and totally in love with a member from our ward haha. Shes too sarcastic and mean I think, but if hes happy about it....

Anyway, its still been lots of fun. I hope we can change Herrera from its laxitivity into success overnight haha. We had some fun seeing the rich sections of town for an activity we did with a different ward where we invited a bunch of people to a conference they were having. Wow, the rich here sure are rich and like to show it off. Im kind of glad we arent proselyting there, it kind of looks like nobody lets you in. Met a cool member from Atlanta Georgia who married a Dominican and so he lives here, really close to the president of the country and the mission haha. The ride around the city was pretty neat, and how cool to be in an air conditioned car wearing a seat belt haha, although later in the back of a truck haha. 

All in all, thank you family for always supporting me. I will always hold that dear and continue onwards with faith. I hope that everything continues well at home and constantly pray for your safety so that I can return with great happiness to find all safe and even stronger than before.

Que el Señor les cuide hasta que nos volvamos a ver,

Elder Sullivan

Oct 13, 2014

Hello from Herrera!

Thanks for the pictures of the coast, wow it looks amazing! The places you guys went look even cooler than before, and the boat sure is large and luxurious (thank you the bank of Dad). I miss sushi, I hope to make some here, I bought a few surimi sticks from the supermarket, so maybe I will have sushi! The boat sure is fast! I once again forgot that it was canadian thanksgiving, but happy thanksgiving! You all look very well in the photos, still goofy (especially running around the easter eggs) and like real sailors all there with the winds high and the sails tight. Lots of rain though. And who is the red head with you guys? I dont remember having another sister. Things have changed I guess!

Well, I guess I better participate in the thanksgiving tradition. Right now, I am so grateful for all of you. Dad, because I am the man I am today because of you and all the tireless hours and years all given to me that I cannot repay but will do my best to appreciate and all the good times because of your sense of humour, even if it has to do a lot with the toilet (be ready for my poop stories upon returning). Mom, because your love, the pure love of mother, has truly lifted me, inspired me and being your son is the best thing ever, everyone always says my mom is beautiful and I proudly say its true. Mine sister Natasha for the great example and toughening my core muscles from all the beatings and tickling and for giving me my appreciation for good music. Mine sistery Christina for her goofiness and always playing games with me and watching anime and for giving me appreciation for a good joke. Also, all the opportunities I have had in such a blessed life with my family. I am eternally grateful for the Saviour, and have such a deep appreciation for the joy of the plan prepared for us and I am so glad to have been born in a family raised in that same plan and that I have so much knowledge of the plan of happiness. I am grateful to be here in the DR, serving the Lord through these wonderful people, all the companions Ive had they have all been wonderful and especially the Minyetti family whose sealing in May or April I am dying to see. Mostly Im grateful for everything, ¨I have no complaints¨ and I hope everyone spent thanksgiving well.

We have no asian markets here, but there are pica pollos (fried chicken restaurants that have chinese people running them). In fact, today, one of the ladies at the pica pollo really thought I was chinese and tried to talk with me a bit haha so I had to explain that I was only half chinese. Next time, we have decided I will try and speak some chinese with them, but if they speak mandarin well thats too bad. Maybe get some free chicken out of the deal?

Otherwise the week was somewhat but also not normalish. President Nuckols came to our zone meeting to announce that one Pday we we´re all going to the mission home to play basketball and eat food as a zone, yeah! We have a zone conference tomorrow, so Im excited to see Elder Herrmann again and a few other people out there in the neighbouring zones. I also got to go on an intercambio (um, a companion exchange?) with Elder Peterson, my mission Dad (aka my trainer)! It was really cool, hes a zone leader here so I went with him to his area and we preached there. It was fun, they sure work hard in that zone leader area but I really enjoyed that and it was really cool to be reunited with Elder Peterson, kind of like Ammon finding Aaron and company and preaching together again. It was just like old times, other than we know way more spanish and preach much more effectively than before. It was nice to see another area and talk with the people there too. Met a really neat young member couple, it really makes me want to get married hahahahahahahahaha. But Elder Peterson is doing great, we did some really hard exercises early in the morning called Insanity, it was fun and it was nice to catch up after many months. 

Herrera is doing great, we had some more people come to church, we are sort of close to getting a dry member couple to get married and baptized but its going to take some more push on the whole marriage thing. The father wants to get baptized and married really badly, he still reads the pamphlets and scriptures and comes every sunday on time, but the wife is still a little iffy on the marriage thing and shes a little caught up in building their bathroom. Elder Suazo and one of the zone leaders had a super funny conversation about that with them while I was with Elder Peterson. The dad kept on telling the wife that he could get married tomorrow if she wanted to but that she was too caught up with the bathroom (they still have to buy a new toilet or something.) So he told her that she was marrying him, not the toilet and that she just wants to get married to the toilet so she can go marry the toilet if she wants but that the toilet cant go to heaven with her but he can. Anyway, it was really funny. They shared a scripture in the sermon on the mount about putting God before material things. And thats pretty much how it is, you have to put God first, especially before the toilet. Other than that, people are coming to church but are unfortunately university students in medicine so hard to visit. But they are pretty cool, we sort of need to give them more direction by setting baptism dates and stuff, but they are really searching the church well.

Well, I think thats kind of all that happened. Its fun to be with the members of Herrera they are really funny. We have a few that we see pretty often who like to joke with us, especially one about us being fat and ugly because we once saw this car on the way to an appointment with an investigator and we were walking there with this member and on the car was a sticker saying ¨No gorda¨ or ¨No fat people¨ and we said to the member ¨well, looks like you cant ride in that car¨. Haha, anyway, its pretty fun.

I love you all dearly, I hope everything goes really well. Hope thanksgiving was great and that the adventures continue.

Con todo mi amor,

Elder Sullivan

Monday, 6 October 2014

October 6th 2014

Hey everybody, I forgot to take pictures this week, sorry!

Wow, the boat is really really nice! Looks fast and yet, quite a lot more luxurious haha. It will probably be a big hit. I´m glad that general conference went so well for everyone. Lots of great lessons to learn in any language (here it was spanish, kind of strange to always listen to translators instead of the actual people, but Elder Christoffersen´s ¨muy buenos dias¨ got a good laugh out of all of us). The spanish speakers was really appreciated here. The internet was fuzzy at times and so a lot of things were interrupted, especially the prayers, a lot of which just cut out before finishing. Ah well, the wonders of technology here in the DR. Happy birthday again Mom! Im glad it was super great! Sorry I wasnt around to clean the garage! Enjoy the ocean at high cruising speed!

So, this week was fairly normal other than the conference. We got one of our haitian investigators to come for a session! Yeah! I guess we concinved him with all that talk of the Restoration (more likely, the Spirit convinced him that it was a least a little bit true so he came to find out!). Unfonrtunately, his church attendance will only ever be every other week due to his medical internship. But hes really cool, lots of questions always questions us about the Restoration and if it really could have happened and evidence of the BOM in the bible and stuff. But hes doing his part so it should be pretty cool! His name is Micoh (sounds like how Po Po says my name), and hopefully it works out, one of these days I may testify in french for him if the moment arrives haha. Our other investigators are still lagging a bit behind, someone here in Herrera needs to read the BOM other than the members, who are actually super awesome and faithful and do missionary work, yet the ward only carries 3 baptisms this whole year. So something is up. Hopefully we can do something about it haha.

That nice house in the photos is not our house by the way haha. That was somebody we helped move. Our house is a classic mission house. Its clean right now though, we just cleaned everything in it. It would be nice to have a couch one day. But it probably wont happen. Running water is nice though.

Ummm, other things.... some kid always talks to me about video games and anime that we visit. Hes cool, but too lazy to go to church even though he goes to night time seminary? Weird, but hes kind of cool.

Something really cool about conference I noticed was that the apostoles and prophet are asking us to be better. Elder Packer said if the spirituality of the members does not increase, the numbers of missionaries and new members will never matter, so we better do better haha. Lots of talk about a testimony, how its obtained and why its important. I notice that missionaries often have stronger testimonies just for doing the simple things we do, like bear it frequently, live more worthy, read the scriptures and do good for the Lord. Every person needs a personal witness of all truth, but its only found if you look. So I keep looking, even though the mind can fill with doubt, the heart doesnt. And even though no one can attack the church and win, its still more important for them to know personally from God than from our words of defense. I liked what Elder Oaks said about how to treat all people with love and not contend, its an attitude I hope to adopt more here in the mission.

Well, I love you all and hope everything goes really well. Remember to not be like the battleship Bismarck and venture alone. Look for friends and for God!

Con todo mi amor,

Elder Sullivan

Saturday, 4 October 2014

Sept 29th in Herrera

Hey everybody!

So, here in Herrera! I am serving in a ward now, which is kind of different. More organized and stuff. We are a four man apartment, and its pretty small the apartment. I dont have to lead our four man district (YES). Yeah Elder Suazo is from Nicaragua and he only speaks spanish so thats more fun that we speak spanish now. The other two in the house are a chicano (which means an american who speaks spanish) and hes training a new guy from Las Vegas. So thats kind of neat.

So the adventures sure are interesting! You guys bought another boat? Just so everyone can make even more fun of me out here for having boats? Well, its sounds pretty neat I hope it all works out! A faster bigger one haha yes! Dont worry about seminary Mom, the kids get something out of it! I have yet to play rugby out here. The young men played like full contact tackle rugby? Wow, its actually pretty dangerous when you dont know what you´re doing they should probably just play touch haha. Nice to know the rugby ball gets used though. Wow you guys are doing lots with church and everything, the kind of members that missionaries like to have haha.

Well this week was mostly a week of adjustment. The captial here is really different full of toxicated air and lots of cars and stuff like that. Herrera is super hilly so we are up and down all day, walking little tiny alleyways and stairways and stuff. Way more exercise haha. And way more people to see, there are so many houses and people. They are at least somewhat interested and its pretty fun. Never taught so many new people before since starting the mission, and never really had to do so much contacting and teaching new people in Azua. The work is a little different in the capital so far. I would say its a lot harder, since there is so much to do. I always tell people I come from the countryside, because I cant stand paying so much for vegetables and fruits especially bananas and I keep on almost dying on the street from all the cars and stuff. The whole crowded thing is super weird, and the streets are really noisy, but the house is really quiet since there is no more colmado underneath. Being in a ward is nice, the organizations all run smoother and we dont have to be present for everything that happens and strengthening the ward so much. But it still needs lots of work, they only have 3 baptisms as a ward with 4 missionaries this entire year. Obviously we arent doing something right haha. But its been pretty awesome. We went to a supermarket today and my mind is still a little blown about how big it was and how amazing all the stuff was. 

Elder Suazo is an awesome Nicaraguan! We have lots of fun hanging out, hes super short though but really happy and likes to joke around. His knowledge of the bible is super impressive, we´ve had a couple bashes and have won so thoroughly that this one really nasty evangelical lady by the end gave us a ride to our next appointment and wants to have the missionaries visit her because of our vast knowledge of the gospel haha. So we´ll send somebody over there, hopefully they are ready to deal with her. She likes to shout. It was super convincing for the investigator as well, the promise of you shall not be confounded before men really is true. If you have the Spirit you cannot lose!

Other than that we sure teach a lot of Haitians. Lots of new people, lots of bible use, and Im still getting super lost in the hugeness of the concrete jungle.

Well I hope this week goes really well, Im always praying!

Con todo mi amor,

Elder Sullivan

Monday, 22 September 2014

Sept 22nd 2014 - Leaving Azua

Hey everybody!

The countryside is pretty tame but you have to walk to all of it haha. I havent seen any dangerous bugs nor been told of any. All of whats going on at home sounds pretty good. Seminary looks busy and school and stuff, but it sounds like everyone is persevering well. I remember the food drive, always lots of fun. Lots of really neat stuff to do and see, yeah! Although, I dont think I would really think it very dangerous now after knocking on doors here haha. Well, I guess nothing overly bad has happened at the doors though. Sounds like temple work is really pushing hard, I hope so more here as well! At least familia minyetti is. Wow I miss the water haha. The storm hasnt affected us at all, but that sounds really bad over there in Mexico. Fuerzas, amigos! Hope seminary keeps on going well, and dont worry, the no answering questions thing is really common, people do it all the time out here. It means they´re not paying much attention or the message isnt quite reaching them on a high or spiritual level, so its good to force answers out of people haha, especially when it really matters. Questions are the best teachers for sure.

So, the big news is... I am leaving Azua! I will be heading off to the captial again, fairly close to where I was before. A little place called Herrera. Its got some fairly large supermarkets in it, and its big with lots of hills so should be fun! Ill be with a companion from Nicaragua, his name is Elder Suaso. Ive never met him out here on the mission, but I have been out here in the south for some time so, we´ll see haha. Sounds fun, part of a newly formed zone out of a bunch of areas from different zones. My house will be super latin apparently.

I spent the week teaching pretty normal until we had interviews on thursday, where President said I was leaving Azua. So then I had to do a lot of saying bye to everybody, getting photos and writings in my journal thing from them and lots of stuff like that. I will really miss the people here, and realize the most important thing I walk away with from them here now are the relationships and bonds I have formed out here. The love of God between all of us is the only thing that will keep binding us now. I get to keep contacting familia minyetti and im going to make concerted efforts to try and write letters back here lots to all the people. Each and every one is so important to me, and you´ve seen lots of them in the photos I´ve been sending. I hope that just like Alma I can return to them one day and find them still brothers in Christ, but even stronger, better and greater than before. My prayers shall stay with everyone. I left a photo of the family with familia minyetti, because I feel like they are part of the family now, so I carry a photo of them around everywhere and they shall now have one of us. I dont know how, but I hope that I see them all again. I invested a great deal of life and love into them, and them into me. 

But the new adventure will be good as well. Change will motivate me to do new things. Although we baptized a few and then retained and reactivated really well in Azua, Im a little sad I didnt leave much of an inheritance for the next guy. But I think they will be fine, and will have my people to take care of and keep active haha. It was really neat to see how far they have all come even up to now. Sora is a totally new person, so much more loving and awesome. She was the first person I´ve ever baptized, and used to be so sassy and blunt and sometimes lax, but she really picked it up at the end. Familia Minyetti has been a big work of love, meetings, running around, teaching and at last are full active members who even give a couple of references. Those three young men are active fully and even though they face a lot of challenges with reading, writing, attention, life, I really hope they become missionaries one day, and that I can read that on facebook and say congratulations. That finca lady is so sweet. Going to miss them all!

So I´ve finished my last parade in Azua, tonight we have one last night with Familia Calderon to share with them and Brian´s mom. Should be fun! Those cowboys haha. Last hurrah with the district is done. Those Hermanas sure are goofy, I wish I had done more for them but I suppose it was at least fun haha. That statue is a laugh.

Well, por adelante everybody! Keep the faith, keep the hope! Change is good, we just face it with another swing!

Ill let you know more about the new area next week!

Con todo mi amor,
Elder Sullivan

PS An interesting thing with the mission President. He talked with me about being the kind of missionary in which he can trust, and I read a thing by President Lorenzo Snow about being the kind of person in which the Lord can trust. He trusted so much in Moses that Moses´s opinion mattered greatly, because he had developed the kind of character in which the Lord could confide. I have felt the sudden need to be that kind of person, who the Lord can trust. Lorenzo Snow was willing to put his priesthood authority before the prophet and ask if he was worthy, and believes all LDS should be able to do the same with the Lord, ask Him to enter our hearts and guide us in His ways. I dunno, just an interesting thought. I hope all of us can always be like that, the kind of person that the Lord trusts.