Tuesday, June 7, 2011

The Atonement...The Plan of God, its perfect in EVERY way!

June 5, 2011

Hey family-

This week was pretty good. Sad news, Elder Keables is not my companion! We actually didn’t receive our changes until Wednesday in the morning, so I was in a trio with the zone leaders for a couple days, but it was all good, I learned a lot from them. But ya, I have a new companion, his name is Elder Blau. He is from Hawaii. He is a chill guy and keeps me laughing, and so far so good. But after Elder Piñateli left he didn’t leave us with much of a program as far as investigators or anything, so we have pretty much had to start from scratch. But this week went super good. We put a baptismal date with a lady named Victoria Cali. She is super good and has listened to the missionaries before, but because she was working a lot she didn’t get baptized with them. But overall she is super excited for her baptism, and so are we! But other than that we don’t have any other dates, but I know we will be putting a lot more this week because we have some other awesome investigators. So anyway all is good with me. We are planning on moving houses soon because living with 4 elders gets kinda distracting sometimes. Anyway I hope all went well for your birthday mom, know that you were in my thoughts. That is awesome that you guys went to SF, miss that place. Of course we will definitely go there when I get back. And Emily and Braxton shoot, you guys are officially out of high school (super weird). How do you guys feel to know that you will never be in high school again? That is awesome that the Jimmerson’s came to the graduation party, I feel like I haven’t seen them in forever! Tell them I said “hello” Hey Dad, happy early birthday, I am guessing that you want to go canoeing or kayaking for your birthday right? haha I probably guessed right. Hey dad what do you want for your birthday? let me guess, you have everything you want. But anyway just want to let you know that I love you and I will be thinking about you a lot on the 11th. I thought about something, it is almost a year since I received my mission call…holy moly time fillies, ya know? So ya this week we found pretty much a golden investigator, which is far and few between in Guayaquil. But his name is Oswaldo. He has already agreed to be baptized, but we couldn’t put a baptismal date with him, because he works like three hours away and doesn’t know when he will be coming back, But he is amazing, went to all three hours of church, and was answering questions, and at the end he told me that he knew that the church was true, Gosh it was an amazing experience. I just hope he is here for the next weekend so he can come to church and we can put a date with him. I often times think of how different my life would be had we never become members of the church. Think about it, all of us kids would probably be headed down a path not in harmony with gods plan. You know how people say that you learn a ton on your mission, IT IS TRUE. Gosh I have learned sooo much about the temple, and soooo much just about the nature of god, and where we actually came from. I don’t really want to write it because it is very deep. But if you desire I could next week, it will blow your mind. It completely changed my way of thinking. Just actually how the Atonement works, and the plan of God, it is perfect in every way, and when they say its eternal, they really mean it. As far as I know, Elder Keables is still in Cuenca. So my dream probably wont come true of being companions with him, ;( but it is still really really awesome that we got called to the same mission. Can you believe that he only has 9 weeks left? Gosh that is just soooo crazy. Seems like just yesterday Sister Keables was saying, Spencer is officially in the mission field. But anyway, that is pretty much all that is new with me, I am absolutely loving it out here, it really is bringing a lot of joy into my life. I love you guys more than you know and I miss you a ton!

Elder Storm

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Elder Walter Gonzalez came...it was super good...

May 30th, 2011

Hey Everyone

So this week was pretty good, my companion is officially gone. It is sad to seem him go, but I am super excited for him also. As of right now I still don't have a companion, so I am in a trio right now with the zone leaders. I don't know when I will be getting a new companion, but I am thinking tomorrow. I am super anxious to figure out who it will be. But this week we had a baptism! Joel is 12 years old and his mom had gotten baptized last month so then after that her son started preparing also. He is super excited about the church, and I don't think I have ever seen this kid anything but happy, he is a big ball of joy. So that is pretty much the big news of this week, Overall was a really good week. Elder Walter F. Gonzalez came here to Guayaquil to talk to us, well us and also Guayaquil North mission. It was super good, we learned a lot of new doctrine. Man I swear Elder Gonzalez has like the scriptures memorized. He was just pulling scriptures out of nowhere, Just knows tons of scriptures by heart, and where to find tons of others. It was a super good experience though. We even got to have a little time to ask him some questions, about anything we wanted to know. So we got some good doctrinal questions in there as well. Overall I was very pleased with what we got to hear. Walter F. Gonzalez was the guy who spoke in conference about a missionary from this mission, don't know if you remember or not. But he actually used to be the mission president down here, like 25 years ago. But I did get to see Spencer, didn't snap any pictures because they asked us not to bring our cameras. But it was good as always to see him. There is still a possibility that he could get changed here, we both have the same dream, hopefully president will receive revelation to put us together. Gosh that would just be super sweet, I can't even imagine. Oh and I finally got my packages, I think there were 3 or 4 but I am not sure. Thanks for everything, it is awesome, the shirts and the food of course are amazing. Thanks Allie a ton for the new journal, it was so funny because the night before I received the packages I finished up my journal, so it came at a perfect time. But everyone in my house says thanks for the food. Oh and my zone leader received a package from his family with Dr. pepper! So I got to have a little bit of Dr. pepper this last week, which was absolutely amazing. It is so funny how I took the little things for granted back in the states. Definitely will not be doing that when I get back. But pretty much that is all that is new with me, I am loving it out here and I am missing you guys a ton!
Elder Storm

True Conversion, never gets old...

May 23rd, 2011

Hey family

Wow that is super crazy about Devin and Dad. I am really glad that neither of them died, gosh that would have been absolutely devastating can’t even imagine. But the Lord was definitely on their side in that instance. They definitely were blessed. I don’t even know how I would have reacted had they actually died, I don’t know if I could have continued being here in Ecuador, because it is already hard enough being away from my family. Life is super fragile isn’t it? At any moment something could just happen where we die. But luckily we have the plan of salvation, that is our hope in this life more than anything. Just imagine how much harder death would be if we didn’t have the plan of salvation? Gosh this gospel gives us soo many blessings every day. Dad and Devin, don’t go paddling in a storm alright! But actually nobody remembered my birthday until about 3 days after, but it helped a lot because I actually forgot it until lunch time. But overall it was good, still haven’t received any packages, so I don’t really know what is up with that. Apparently the mail here has been coming more and more corrupt, or at least that is what I hear, don’t really know for sure. Wow I cant believe dad has lost thirty pounds. that is sooo awesome, Gosh I just have to try to not think about what happened with them, makes me really sad. But anyway, my week was hard, but good at the same time. We had two baptisms Saturday night, Brenda and Adriana. It was amazing and they were both sooo happy, amazing to see true conversion, never gets old. But one of our investigators didn’t get baptized. Joel had to go to a wedding with his family, so he couldn’t get baptized, but he is for sure going to be baptized this week so we are stoked. My companion will be ending his mission next Monday, super crazy, he is a little trunkee, but we are still working so that is good. But overall my sector is sweet, I don’t really know it that well at all, so I am a little worried that I wont know it before my companion leaves. But little by little I am getting it down. But ya I don’t know what happened with the packages, kinda weird that they still haven’t gotten here. Alright well I don’t have a whole lot of time, still have to write President, but I love you all and I miss and pray for you guys every night.
Elder Storm

There is no greater joy than serving others, this work is Amazing!

May 17th, 2011

herro Fam

Everything is good with me, I did receive changes last week. I got changed back to Guayaquil. I am in a sector called "las Esclusas" or The locks. haha funny that it translates like that. Anyway so I am back here in Guayaquil, and I am pumped for my new sector. But here is some hope that me and Spencer can still be companions. Alright so he is district leader in Cuenca, I am in Guayaquil. But my companion is district leader also, and they are going to need a district leader here, So the chances aren’t super great, but there is a chance that they could put elder Keables here with me after my companion dies. I guess we will see, cross your fingers.  That would be soooo sick. The members are good, and we have some awesome investigators. My new companion is Elder Piñateli, he is from Lima Peru. He will be ending his mission in two weeks, but the good part is that he is not trunkee at all. He is a super hard worker, and I have already learned a ton from him in this last week, and I know I can learn a ton more. He is about 5 foot 8 and he is about 275 lbs. So he is a big boy, but like a loveable teddy bear. He is excited to go back to his house, but at the same time doesn’t want to leave (which is what usually happens to missionaries). But ya we get a long great, he likes to joke around and so do I. We live in a house with two other elders, our zone leaders. Their names are Elder Fernberg and Elder Sandberg. It is really fun living with four elders, kinda like being in a college dorm, but with obedient missionaries haha. But ya we have a lot of really cool investigators, right now we have 7 baptismal dates, but we are hoping to put at least 5 more this week. I am super excited to work with the people here in our sector. We didn’t have a P-day yesterday (sorry for not writing). Because today we got to go to the temple again! it was really awesome to be back there again in such a short amount of time. But ya we had a training meeting in a room in the temple, which was really awesome, I could really feel the purpose of our work being that close with Heavenly Father there in the temple. But ya overall I am super happy where I am at now. My sector is a little dangerous, but nothing bad at all. It’s just like a normal sector in Guayaquil. We are waiting patiently for when Richard G. Scott will come to our mission, but possibly he wont be coming the 25th. President said that he isn’t sure, but it is a possibility. My companion is really hoping that he comes because he wants to hear an Apostle before he goes back to his house. But man nothing gets me more excited about the work than having baptisms, and we will be having 3 this Saturday. All three of them are super awesome, and they are all super excited to be baptized. Adriana has 20 years, and her parents live in Las Vegas and told her that she should learn more about the church, So she contacted the missionaries and is my first Golden Investigator. She doesn’t have problems with any of the commitments, always reads and understands, and always asks really good questions. Our other baptism is a boy that is 13 years old and his name is Joel. His mom is a member, and he decided that he wants to get baptized, so of course we were more than willing to teach him. This kid is super smart, he understands all the scriptures that we read (which is hard to find) and he really does have a thirst for knowledge, and especially for the gospel. Our third baptism is a girl that is 14 years old who has been attending church for about 3 years but never excepted a baptismal date until now. She lives in one of the humbler parts of our sector, and her family is all awesome, so we are hoping that we can teach them and baptize them as well. she has 9 other brothers and sisters, so if we could get the parents to be baptized it would get the whole family to be baptized. That would be sooo amazing to see all of them come unto Christ. It is definitely true, that there is no greater joy than serving others, this work is amazing. I always thought that missionaries were just saying that it
is the best two years of your life. I don’t know if it will be the best two years, but I am definitely getting lots of joy out of seeing this change in people.

I haven’t received any packages yet, but maybe receiving some tomorrow in our district meeting. Shoot skyping was amazing wasn’t it? I loved it, did not want to say goodbye, but that’s life lol. Jake told me that he got to Skype with his parents and family also which is super sweet Gosh I kinda get a sick feeling thinking that Emily and Braxton are graduating and going to college. I just kinda wish we were all still little playing with legos and watching Disney movies. But I guess this is the way life works lol. Wow you are going to send cinnamon toast crunch! I am really happy! That will be amazingly awesome. I am going to guard it like gold lol. And Emily and Braxton really did look amazing, wow. That is really cool that the 70 came to your stake conference, who was it? The members down here need to hear that talk that he gave, because a lot of them don’t think that going to church is important, which is apostasy. But ya you definitely don’t have to worry, there is a scripture that says, "by their fruits ye shall know them" and you guys as parents have developed some very good fruit. Son on a mission, daughter married in the temple, and 2 more to follow in the same way! So if you ever get down on yourself thinking that you were a bad parent, just look at what you have produced! You guys were always really loving to us, and even though we weren’t always the most well-behaved kids, we all turned out alright. Anyway, I will go and write the general email now telling about my week and all, alright

love you all,

Elder Storm

I Can feel the Lord's Love

May 2nd, 2011

Hey Family,

Io I gotta be kinda fast on here, sorry. But we all have to travel to Guayaquil today (ten hours) anyway we have to go to Guayaquil for a conference for new missionaries, and since we have a newbie, ya here we go. But if I don’t write you a long email this week it will give us more to talk about next week, at least I think it is next week, not really sure yet. But we just found out that Richard G. Scott will be coming to talk to our mission this month, on the 25th so I will be traveling to Guayaquil more than once this month. I hope all is well with you guys. But overall my companions are cool; Elder Linares is a really hard worker, most all Guatemalans’ are hard working. It is definitely super satisfying working the whole day without stopping. We are not having a ton of results here but I can feel the Lords love, and I know he is blessing us. Anyway I gotta go, but I love you guys, and I miss you a ton, and
I cannot wait to talk next week

Elder Tormenta

The Life and Ministry of Jesus on the Earth

April 25th, 2011

Herro Famer-y

This week has been really good, but I am super tired, P-day is just what I need to recharge my batteries. We got a third companion this last Monday night, Yup, we are in a trio now. Kinda weird not gonna lie, but its cool. His name is Elder Obregòn and he is from Guayaquil. He got called to serve in Caracas Venezuela, but he is waiting for his visa, He said it should be about 8 months to get it. But overall my sector is good, All three of us gave talks yesterday, I gave mine about the life and ministry of Jesus on the Earth, Elder Obregon did the Atonement, and Elder Linares talked about the Second Coming. It went really well and the total of 15 members that were there seemed to really like it. This week we have been really working with the members, actives and inactives, to try to strengthen our branch, because it is kinda week right now. But we were visiting an Inactive and she said that she is
going to start coming to church, and she also wants her grandkids to get baptized. Super cool, and definitely a huge blessing for us. This ward averages about 4 baptisms a year, they haven’t had a baptism in about a year, so I have faith that we can change that. This sector is a TON of walking. Up hills and mountains, and back down all day long. I definitely sleep super well every night. It is super beautiful though, all the mountains and greenery, definitely a lot more cheery than Guayaquil. But this last week we had a conference with Elder Nash of the Seventy. It was super good, we talked about the atonement, and faith, and true conversion. I got a lot out of it. Definitely got me motivated to go out and work super hard. Both my companions are good though, Elder Obregon is super new, this is his first sector, so he is getting used to everything, and Elder Linares always has a good attitude. Overall I am really enjoying it here in Catamayo. We might go into The city of Loja today, but we are not sure. This week was Semana Santa, or Holy Week for all the Catholics. And everyone here is catholic, so it was pretty crazy religious, Catholic churches were overflowing. Everyone turns super catholic for this week, it is really funny. But this next week should be pretty relaxed and normal, and we are hoping for another successful week. . Our mission Presidents motto is baptisms, baptisms and faith pretty much. He really stresses that how missionaries find happiness on their missions is through baptisms. And obviously the Lord won’t bless us with baptisms unless we are diligent and obedient. I am sooo surprised with some of the missionaries in this mission though. Like they say openly how they never feel the spirit when president is speaking, and how they think that he is thinking only about numbers. I have never felt the spirit stronger than when i hear our president speak, I know he was called from god, and he is just doing what the spirit is telling him too. Even my zone leaders say they don’t like him and anyone that does is a suck up, that is really what has been bugging me lately, Even my companion doesn’t like him. Gosh it is just sooo hard sometimes.

Wow so crazy that my birthday is already like next month, doesn’t it seem like just yesterday that I was turning 19, like almost ready to put in my papers. Holy moly time flies when your having fun. Overall, like I love anything American, like food wise, like candy and snacks. I have eaten cow stomach like 6 times here in my new sector, so its getting kinda old, don’t understand how people love it, but maybe I just need to get used to it. Wow Brooke is getting married, Tell her that I told her that she was going to get married within a year of me leaving, I don’t know if she will remember or not. I miss you guys a ton also, but ya time will fly, just wait and see. Gosh mom, I took your cooking for granted soooo much before the mish, it is soooooo gooodoooooodooood. I would just like you to send me a cooked tri-tip, some bullion potatoes, and creaser salad, with some of your orange jello. if that isn’t to much to ask lol. The new area is harder than my last area, but I know that we can have baptisms, even though they haven’t had a baptism here in about a year lol. But I am really trying to be optimistic. I have been emailing Jake every week, its been really good, you can tell through email that kid is amazing missionary. Not that I am surprised, Jake was always good at whatever thing he put his mind to. We have a plan to go to Brazil for the world cup, and then after go running with the bulls in Spain, so we will see how that goes. I am soooo excited for Shaun! that is freaking awesome! tell Braxton to give him a huge hug for me. Tell him to freaking write me back (idk if he ever got my letter or not).  Anyway Happy Easter, love you all!

Eating a weird furry fruit
 Elder Storm and Elder Hicks
 Elder Storm in his new area. Lots of walking in this new area
 This is the tiny chapel for the branch there