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