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

I am Loving Every Minute of it!

April 18th, 2011

Hey Family

So this week was pretty good, exciting, and sad all in one. The sad part is that Elder Hicks is no longer my companion :( I am going to miss him, because we got along and had sooo much fun together, it made the work a lot easier. But some other exciting news, I got changed to a sector in the mountains called Catamayo! It is in Loja. So it is one of the hardest sectors in the mission because there are sooo many Catholics, but it is super safe here, like I can actually walk around with my camera and stuff. Elder Keables was actually here last year, which is cool! But ya we received our changes wayyy early. Like Thursday night we received our changes. I was really bummed at first, because I didn’t know where I was going, and we had some awesome investigators that were going to get baptized, and my companion was awesome as well. But then we got to the bus station where all the missionaries meet, and I found out that I was going to Loja I got super excited. I had to take a 9 1/2 hour bus ride to get to my sector! My companions name is Elder Linares, He is from Guatemala and has about 14 months on his mission. The first thing he said to me was that he was sorry, because he said he is crazy. So this change should be interesting. But overall I am super excited to be here; it is like California in springtime, it isn’t super hot, or super cold. I know you guys were complaining that I wasn’t sending pictures, so I made sure to take some alright! We have some all right investigators here; we are hoping to have at least two baptisms, if not more. Apparently Catamayo only had 6 baptisms last year, so it is a difficult sector, but I am super optimistic and I have faith that me and my companion can have success here. Almost everyone is super friendly here, they always say hi to us and it has a good feeling. But ya the ward is sooo small. I counted how many attended church and it was about 20 people. Crazy huh? But the church is super small; I think it only seats like 40 people. But my companion and me are going to be working a lot to strengthen the ward. The people that do come to church are very nice, Super strong. There are a lot of inactive people, so we need to activate them! But the limit to our sector is like 3 hours away in bus! So we have a huge area, lots of walking up hills and mountains, definitely some good cardio. But so far I am loving every minute of it. We actually have a meeting with an area Seventy today and tomorrow, that is why I am writing so early, because we have to travel like six hours today to go to this conference. So we have to go to loja at like 10 and then to Machala at 11·30 so ya. But the cool part is I should be able to see Spencer again in this conference since Cuenca will be there, so I will be sure to take a picture with him for you guys. Our house is super nice, like way nicer than the one I had before, Its pretty updated, I have like a closet dresser thing and a kitchen and it is all pretty nice. The only downfall is that the shower is super cold! Pretty much knocks the wind out of me every time I jump in the shower, But I guess that is a good way to wake me up! lol But anyway that is pretty much all that is new with me, hope all is well with you guys.

Elder Tormenta

We Have 5 Baptismal Dates!

April 11th, 2011

Hola Familia!

This week has been super good! We worked hard up until about Friday, and then my companion got sick. We think that he has a parasite of some kind, but we aren’t sure. But it’s all good, I have a clean bill of health so far here in the mission, so that is good (knock on wood). So we didn’t get to work a whole lot this week, but we are hoping for a much better week this time around. We have 5 baptismal dates; we are hoping that they will all get baptized this next week, so cross your fingers and your arms (pray) haha. One funny experience I had this week was when we were at Family Molinas house and Teaching them the gospel. And then at the end, Harrison, gets up and says, "I am going to dance with my cat" and out of nowhere he just picks up his cat by the front legs and starts flinging it around, I thought for sure the cat was going to die, but somehow it made it out of the "Carousel from hell" alive. Definitely something I wanted to get on video as the cats legs and body were just being flung through the air by a little 12 year old boy. He told us that he practices with his cat everyday; maybe they will be famous some day, quien sabe? Anyway that is pretty much all that is exciting this week. We had zone conference as well and it was super good, President Montalti is definitely called from god to serve us that is for sure. He stressed a lot on faith, because we really need a lot of faith in this work, without it we will not receive blessings or miracles, and the work will be a lot harder. So that is something that I need to work on, because sometimes it is hard to have faith, but without a trial of our faith we will not progress. Some other exciting news is that we got Air Conditioning in our house, yep you heard me right, AIR CONDITIONING!! It got put in on like Friday! Its actually freezing in our apartment, so nice, I need to buy some sweat pants now. The owner of our house out of nowhere asked us if we wanted it, and of course two of us gringos jumped at that opportunity. So ya we are definitely enjoying it until the bill comes lol. But we have changes this next week and I am NERVOUS. I don’t really want to get changed because my companion is super cool, and we are having tons of success in our sector. But speaking of changes, Elder Applegate (remember my companion from the MTC) ya he knows he is getting changed, but he is getting changed to the Galapagos Islands! He is super stoked, and I am super jealous, President Montalti told him during zone conference. It is one of the hardest sectors, but definitely the coolest. I am super excited for him though; he said he is going to buy me a shirt. But anyway, that is pretty much all that is new for this week. Love you all a lot.

Elder Storm

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

I Really Enjoyed Conference

April 4th, 2010
Hola Todas Personas Todo esta bien aqui en Malvinas! This week was awesome because of conference, and the fact that we got to bring lots of people to hear the prophet’s voice. We had some baptismal dates fall through, but we are hopeful that we can put a new date with them, and have even more! This change is going by sooo fast, not even funny. I don’t want to be changed out of Malvinas, I want at least one or two more changes here. So pray that I will not get changed lol jk. But ya some funny things happened this week, well one in particular. There are always these drunk guys that hang out and just chill on this street corner yelling at people. This week they decided to make a band. Every one of them had a part, banging on the sidewalk, or a cardboard box. Their microphone was a rolled up newspaper, Gosh I want to take a video of it soooo bad, but its pretty dangerous in that part of Malvinas. I guess I will always have the mental image. But other than that it was a pretty normal week. We have an awesome investigator, Her name is Magali Espinoza. She is a single mom, but she is really interested in the gospel, she has been to church twice, and she is sooooo close to accepting a date. If you could pray for her I would appreciate it. Also Amado Mosqueda (the guy with one leg who was supposed to be baptized in January) has another baptismal date! It is for the 16 of April, and he seems super excited about it! So make sure to pray for him as well, he will need it. I really enjoyed conference, it was a little different since it was all in Spanish, but it was really good. the thing I missed the most was just hearing their voices, it is a different experience hearing someone elses voice. Me and my companion have a new hobby, bothering dogs! There are soo many here that we just love to bother them, it definitely brings a lot of laughter, we scare them, and it is freaking hilarious. Gosh its the little things that bring lots of laughter. President Montalti changed our goal as a mission from 200 baptisms, to 300 baptisms! woooh, its going to be a big undertaking, but I think we are going to be able to do it. But overall nothing much has changed, everything is smooth sailing. Our goal is to have 3 baptisms this week, We don’t have any secured yet, but we have faith that we will be able to do it. The Lord will definitely help us to meet our goal. But ya other than that everything is good, I don’t have a whole lot to write about this week, but I have more next week

Elder Tormenta

Monday, April 11, 2011

If They Just Come and Hear The Prophet...

March 28th, 2011
Hey Family
Todo esta bien here in Malvinas, Me and my companion are working hard and we had 4 baptisms this last week. Remember Kevin? well both of his brothers got baptized this last Saturday, along with some grandkids of a member in our ward. Juan and Harrison are the brothers of Kevin, and they were beyond ready to be baptized. Juan had been attending church for over a year and a half. Harrison has been listening to our lessons ever since I have been here and he knew everything. We were having problems with Juan accepting our invitation, he knew the church was true, he knew everything. But with persistence we finally got him to accept the baptism on Thursday night! So that was definitely a blessing from Heavenly Father. So we were super excited to have all four of them get baptized this last Saturday. But everything else has been super good, we are really excited to bring lots of people to general conference this Saturday and Sunday. I know if they just come to hear the prophet’s voice they will want to be baptized, but its always interesting trying to get them all the way to the stake center. Just got to pray for them. Oh and I forgot to tell you, but I got a package from the other storms this last week, it was from Christmas, so if you could tell them that I got it, and tell them thanks for me I would appreciate it. But ya me and my companion are getting along really well, He has a girl waiting for him, so he is probably going to get married, but ya he is going to be leaving with Spencer. I hope I get to stay in my sector for another change that would be awesome. Its like I want to change sectors, but only if its somewhere cool lol. But overall I am very content here in Malvinas, I know this place like the back of my hand, and the members are really good to us. Just randomly yesterday one of the members flagged us down, and gave us some jerseys, Super nice! But ya right now I am living of a steady diet of rice and oatmeal. Gets kinda old sometimes, but it keeps me alive lol. We are thinking about moving houses because our owner of our house is like robbing us. We are like never in our house and we don't use like hardly any power, and we are paying like 24 bucks a month (which is a ton here) so the average missionary is paying like 6 bucks, So pretty much we thing we are paying for him also. So ya we talked to him, and he said that we will only have to pay 12 from now on, and he would pay the rest, which is still a lot, but he is going to put in air conditioning! So we are excited for that, but don’t know if we should stay. But ya with these last four baptisms I have 13 baptisms so far in my mission. So crazy that tanner is coming home in three days, wow it doesn’t seem like he has been gone for very long at all. I am sure the Hickman's are super excited to have him back, tell him I say hi. All right well overall everything is good, I hope all is well with you guys, sounds like everything is bueno. Love you guys a lot
Elder Storm

P-Day at Iguana Park

I am so Grateful to be here

March 14th, 2011
ARE YOU KIDDING ME!!! wow that is the best news I have ever heard, I am so excited for her! I am actually not surprised at all because she is absolutely amazingly beautiful, I just wish I could be there to give her a big brother hug! Wow what an excellent opportunity! That emily is definitely going places. Honestly she doesnt need to fret, she is going to win for sure. Wow I still cant believe that she is
going to NYC next week! I have some major butterflies in my stomach right now, I AM SOOO EXCITED! I wish I was there so I could go with her! I know she is going to make us really proud. Geez, how are the guys going to stay away from her while I am gone? Please wait till I get back to get married. Wooh, I dont know if I can talk about my week, because nothing is nearly as exciting as this news. Holy Moly,
alright need to calm down, deep breaths, innnnnn and outtttt. okay I will tell you about my week now:

So me and my companion were working really hard this week so that we can have tons of success for march and april. In our zone our main problem is finding new people to teach, usually our numbers are really low as far as new investigators go. This week the lord has really blessed us. We found 20 new investigators this week, and we had 9 in sacrament meeting. So me and my companion are pretty pumped because
this is definitely the highest amount of investigators in our zone. Some of our baptismal dates fell this week because they didnt attend church, we probably wont have a ton of baptisms for this month, but I know we are going to have tons of success in April. HOLY CRAP MY SISTER WON!! Anyway, me and my companion went to the iguana park this week and also to malecon again. The zone leaders said that we have permission for sure next week to go to the lighthouse. P-days are always so much better when we can leave our sector. I got a haircut today and the guy like totally butchered it, like it is just a wide mowhawk, but like dad always says "the difference between a bad haircut and a good haircut is 2 weeks." so I guess I will just have to bear with it for two weeks, but its all good. So have you guys gotten any updates from Taylor, how is that kid doing? I am assuming Elder Keables is loving Cuenca lol, I miss seeing him every week. Ya we were in a state of emergency this week because of the Tsunami. We had no idea what was going on because our Zone leaders called us in the morning and said to pack up a couple days worth of clothes and get ready to leave. So we were in the dark as to why we had to do this, but apparently the Tsunami even hit here in Ecuador, but with minimal damage. So we all congregated in a church with President Montalti and we had a little training meeting. Apparently Galapogos got hit but not very hard, there was no damage, So that was a relief. I wonder how the Phillipines is doing, Because my roommate in college is serving there, did it get hit at all? Anyways other than that new and exciting news with a family here. Do you guys remember Kevin? He is one of my converts here in Malvinas. Well his mom and all of his family is like super Catholic, like they didnt want anything to do with the church. You will never guess what happened this week, They actually attended
church! The whole family (minus the dad) atttended church with us this week! It was soooo awesome, the Lord definitely softened their hearts. I am not saying they are going to get baptized anytime soon, but little by little we are chipping away the ice. Overall this week was really good. We worked really hard, and it really paid off, even though we are really tired, it is super satisfying to look back and
see the results. We can honestly say that we didnt waste any time this week, we used all the Time for the Lord and he blessed us for it. I am so grateful to be here, I am really starting to love it, the people here are so accepting of the gospel. The Lord has put so many people in our path, we are sooo blessed. Alright I love you all and miss you
a ton.
Love Cody

Testimony to Chico Stake Young Men

Hey Chico Stake Young Men. Elder Storm reporting here from Ecuador. The mission is amazing, definitely loving every minute of it. Anyways I know that all of you are prospective  missionaries right now, which is sooo awesome. We need lots more missionaries in the world and I know you guys will deliver, we are in the Chico California Stake of Zion, probably the best stake in the world as of right now. You guys don't have to wait for your call to be missionaries though. Right now there are tons of young men and women just like you that are ready to receive the restored gospel of Jesus Christ, all that you need to do is open your mouths. I know it is difficult in highschool to open your mouth to your friends about the gospel. All of us fear rejection. Don't worry what other people think about you, just worry about what Heavenly Father thinks of you. Nothing else matters in this life besides the gospel. We all know that it is true, and if you dont know that it is true I would suggest praying about it. I know the gospel is true, The spirit has testified to me of its truthfulness many times to where I cannot deny it. I have witnessed this gospel change the lives of many people, including my own family's life. This gospel is for everyone here on the planet, it is perfect. We need to be steadfast and immovable. If you guys pray for a missionary experience in your life, the Lord will provide you with one, this I promise. One of my recent converts, Kevin, Is 14 years old. All of his family are strong Catholics. When we found him he was a shy and very submissive boy. I think that is the only reason why he accepted us in his home. Over the duration of our lessons, Kevin kept growing in maturity, and also spiritually. The thing he feared most was us asking permission from his parents to be baptized. We told him that the lord would give him strength if he prayed about it. When we came to ask permission, the shy and meek Kevin had left us. He was replaced by a steadfast and immovable young man, ready to bear his testimony to his parents of the divinity of the gospel. We talked to his parents and they asked him why he wanted to get baptized. He spoke with such conviction as he bore his testimony to his parents of the truthfulness of the gospel. It was one of my most spiritual experiences yet on my mission. We saw the gospel change Kevins life, and slowly and surely it will change his whole families lives. We are now teaching his two brothers, and his mom, all because of the testimony of Kevin. Don't worry about saying the right thing, missionaries are not here to convince people, we are here to invite.  Invite your friends to activities in the ward, or invite them to read the Book of Mormon. We have very few Missionaries in the world, and without the help of members, we are not going to be very successful. Remember that the worth of every soul is great in the eyes of the Lord. I promise you will find great joy in one or many of your friends finding the truth in the world through this gospel. En el nombre de Jesucristo, Amen.

I Have a New Companion...Elder Hicks

March 7th, 2011
I probably would have had permission to go have fun with spencer but he got changed to Cuenca! Shoot, I didnt get one picture with him, I hope he comes back to Guayaquil, but its possible that he could die in Cuenca (or end his mission). So ya I am pretty bummed about that but its all good. Elder Garcia got changed to somewhere else in Guayaquil, but I have a new companion, his name is Elder Hicks. Yep you guessed right he is a gringo, so I am pretty excited because he will be able to help me with my spanish a ton! But ya he is from Utah, and he has the same amount of time as spencer does on his mission. Ya the mainstream diet down here is a heck of a lot different. We eat a TON of RICE. I am still not used to it, but slowly and slowly I am starting to like it more and more. But ya Elder Hicks seems like a really cool guy, I haven't got to know him a ton, but I think we are going to get along well. Oh ya I think its pretty funny too, I don't realize how much taller I am than them until I look at the pictures on
my camera. The language is coming good, when I read I can understand pretty much anything, and mostly can understand what people are saying when they talk, I am far from fluent, but more and more I am being able to communicate pretty well. My health is really good, that is one thing I am grateful for, is I always seem to have good health (knock on wood). But ya we put a couple more baptismal dates this week, with a family who was investigating the church years ago, but stopped going to church. We found them again and they know the church is true, well the mom and the daughter. We are working with them a lot, because the mom needs to be married, but her husband doesnt want to get married, So please pray for them, Their name is the Fandiño family. But other than that nothing much more too exciting. Right now is Carnaval here in South America, which is pretty much a big water fight, well mostly. People also use paint, mud, and otherthings. Good for missionaries huh? Luckily I havent gotten paint or mud, only water. But ya this carnaval lasts until tomorrow and then it is done. But like everywhere
is closed right now because of it, its like a vacation,  lol. Well that is pretty much it for me right now. hasta proxima semana 
Elder Storm


another thing I forgot to tell you guys was that in order to get
baptized juan had to get married to his wife, so we also witnessed a
marriage this week

all the people that were in the baptism, from left to right
me,kevin, juan, ammy, brother silva, elder garcia, and dany

Me next to river salada. This is a rare opportunity
because I just so happened to bring my camera, but ya cool pics of
this river

As soon as I started praying...

February 28th, 2011


HAPPY ANNIVERSARY MOM AND DAD! Crazy you guys have been together 23 years, should be satisfying since you guys have accomplished a lot, and of course have us as amazing children. So ya today we made plans to go to malecon (this big market place) to chill and spend our p-day but sadly we didnt get permission. But we are definitely going to get permission for next week so that is good! This week has been awesome! We had 4 baptisms, and 4 confirmations. It was a night of white here in malvinas this Saturday, dont worry, I will be sending pictures. But on my mission I have 9 baptisms total! Alright well ya I will give you some highlights on my week. Well early on this week we were in a different sector helping out some of the hermanas. Every Tuesday we go around and help other sectors because my companion is district leader. Anyway we were teaching one of their investigators
and he is really good, but would never accept a baptismal date. So me and my companion tag-teamed and gave him lots of doctrine, some 2nd Nephi 31 and all that stuff. But then he said that if he knew that the church was true he would be baptized. So we asked him if he would pray for an answer now. He said he would and we all got down on our knees and prayed. As soon as he started praying I felt the spirit tremendously. He asked, and ended his prayer. I looked up at him and
his head was down, as if he was just thinking. After about 5 seconds he looked up and said "now I know the church is true." Gosh it was soo powerful. My testimony grew sooo much in that moment. I had never witnessed anybody recieve their answer and this was very powerful for me. Gotta love the feeling of the spirit. Anyway Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday we had no power this week. We never recieved a bill or anything and they just cut off our power, very annoying. So talk about
the hottest nights of my life, without a fan blowing on my all night, I was sweating soo bad, needless to say I changed my sheets, But we have power now so its all good. So we were teaching one of our investigators last night, and all of the sudden we heard a huge booooom. I thought it was a bomb or something. We looked outside and a car had smashed into a house! craziness. Everyone was flooding the streets, wondering what happened. Then the police showed up. When the
driver heard the sirens, he tried to make a run for it. Everyone was screaming. Talk about chaos, I guess their is never a dull moment here in Ecuador. So one of the people that was baptized, Juan Ortiz, is the last person to be baptized in his family. His family is awesome. When I first got here in Malvinas they were a little disfunctional, went to church, but didnt really have a big testimony. This family has underwent a huuuge change. They are so loving now. Always helping each other out, and you can just feel the love in their home. In one year they are all going to be able to be sealed for time and eternity. This is incredible. I want to be able to see it, who knows possibly might be able to! Oh some interesting food that I have eaten this week was something called Guanta, you can look it up on google, its like a oversized rat. It actually was pretty good. Cow stomach, didnt know it was cow stomach at the time, but actually was pretty good. Also iguana for the first time. Not bad, but I dont really want to have it again lol. Gosh dads canoe looks sooo good, When is its maiden voyage. When are we going to take that thing to bowrun? Anyway keep sending pics Allie, I love them all! Alright well ya this is pretty much what is  new with me, I hope everything is good with you guys, love you
Elder Tormenta


February 20th, 2011

HEY Family and Friends!
That is so crazy that Chris Ackerman is already back from his mission.
I forgot that he served in England, that is super cool! Wow I was
talking to Spencer this week, and we both can't believe taylor is
already giving his fairwell talk! Gosh time really flies out here. Can
you believe that I am nearing my 6 month mark? when I realized its
about a month and a half away I was blown away. That is insane. Oh
gosh I kinda had a midlife crisis feeling this week. Spencer got his
Trunkee paper! A trunkee paper is the paper with your date of
departure and flight number and all that stuff for going home. Gosh we
really need to start doing more stuff! I dont think he will get
transferred this change but I dont know for sure. Next week we are for
sure going to do something. The thing is I havent done a lot of
sight-seeing because we need permission to do that kind of stuff, and
we rarely get permission. I am hoping for permission next week, I am
going to talk to spencer about going to Malecon next week with him.
Next p-day is our last before this transfer. I cant believe it but
Spencer is leaving on his birthday! Isnt that crazy? He said he doesnt
even want to think about leaving, he is a really really good
missionary, not that I would expect anything less. Gosh it is so
awesome to hear about Taylor. He is going to be an absolute stud as a
missionary. Make sure that you send me his adress for the mtc. I got a
letter from him this week! Ya I write in my journal fairly often so
these experiences make it in their more or less. Haha so last night we
were going to teach one of our investigators with a baptism for the
26th, Kevin Molina. And recently his Grandma had died. So of course
his mother is a little sad right now, But this last monday we got
permission from his parents to baptize him! freaking sweet, because
had his grandmother not died, I dont think that his mother would have
given permission. The lord works in mysterious ways! But last night we
show up at his house and the "evangelists" were there. Their family is
catholic so idk exactly why they were their, but kevin told us later
that they thought that there was bad spirits in the house, so they
were "stomping" them out. I was holding back laughter as they were
literally stomping around the house, making the bad spirits leave, all
while screaming "IN THE NAME OF JESUS" gosh I wonder sometimes how
people think that this is a good thing to do. When the third
commandment very specifically says "dont take the lords name in vain."
I felt that I was witnessing some kind of cultic ceremony. But after
they left we brought the spirit back in the house by teaching about
sincere prayer. Oh and I didnt know that you sent two packages, but ya
I finally got the second one this week, so all is well. got LOTS of
pez so that should last a while, I want to have a fat collection of
pez before I go home. One of our investigators needs to get married to
be baptized this 26th of February. All of his family are members
except him because money is slim and he hasnt had the 6 dollars that
it takes to get married. But the Lord has blessed him with work so now
he has the money. Friday was going to be the day. We got the whole
family ready and we had to go into central Guayaquil for them to get
married. Well if you didnt know, Latin America is almost never on
time. So we had to be to central at around 330 but ended up showing up
around 4:30 so they didnt get to get married that day. But we have
another appointment for tomorrow around 3 so we are going to show up
at their house around 1 o'clock to make sure that they get there on
time! But ya i will make sure to take pictures to send you guys next
week because we are going to have a marriage and 4 baptisms this week!
So one of our baptisms that fell through last month, Amado mosqueda,
is doing well. We stop by about once a week to see how he is doing, he
still doesnt think that the time is right for him to get baptized. We
found out why this week. His son in law. He is this guy who is
probably the most macho guy I have ever seen. I have seen him before,
but he never ever ever wears a shirt. Always walking around showing
off his beer belly. He is evangelist and doesnt think that amado needs
to be baptized again because the evanglist church "is the correct
church" So long story short he fed amado a bunch of anti-mormon
literature and that is why he isnt going to be baptized. The funny
thing is is amado still attends our church every sunday. Doesnt really
make sense to me but I guess that is still progressing. OH MYGOSH I
FOUND PEANUT BUTTER! It was expensive but I bought it! 5 bucks for one
jar, but I had forgotten how awesome peanut butter and jelly
sandwhiches are. I have been eating a pb&j every chance I get! it is
so good. But ya i am going to have 4 baptisms this month, not 2. Cally
ramirez is 9 years old, Juan Ortiz (marriage), Kevin Molina is 14, and
Dany Silva is 19. Dany was supposed to be baptized last month but it
ended up falling through. But ya we are hoping for more in march. We
should be reactivating and baptizing a family or atleast part of them
in march. And the brothers of Kevin molina are really interested in
the gospel. So this last sunday some of the presidency of the Stake
were in our ward to introduce a new program for the youth. He said
something in english and nobody understood. Then he said "Elder
Tormenta, please translate" haha everyone started laughing and now
everyone calls me Elder Tormenta lol. alright well that is prettty
much all that is new I love you guys and I pray for you always.

Elder Tormenta

Small and simple things

February 14th, 2011

HEY happy valentines day everyone! We
have three baptismal dates for the 26th, we are hoping to get two more
tonight. We need permission from our investigators parents for him to
be baptized, and he is a little scared to talk to his parents, so keep
his parents and him in your prayers. His name is Kevin Molina and he
is 14 years old. He always reads what we assign him and he knows that
the church is true. We have taught him all the lessons, and have been
trying to convince him to ask his parents, but he is scared because
they are catholic. Well this last sunday his grandma died, (his moms
mom) and so we havent had a chance to ask for permission yet. But on Wednesday we did teach the entire family the plan of salvation, so
they felt a little bit of a relief from that. They asked us lots of
questions, and they seemed really intrigued. I dont know what will
happen with that, but small and simple things are great things brought
to pass. I started reading Jesus the Christ this week, and
it is really good. I am learning so much, I feel smarter when I read
it for some reason, its weird but cool. Also we will be baptizing a
guy named Juan Ortiz. All of his kids and his wife are members. He
would be a member already but he needs to get married. So his marriage
is tomorrow, and then we are going to start teaching him the lessons
and getting him prepared for the 26th. He already knows a ton about
the gospel, goes to church every sunday (even when his family doesnt)
and he is super excited to be baptized. I know that he will be a good
leader in our church. Haha my companion says that if we get 5 baptisms
this month I will be training next change. I told him that if I was to
train then our baptisms would go from 5 to 0 lol. Gosh that would be
sooooo overwhelming. Ammy Ramirez is 9 years old.
She is super shy. When we are teaching her she is always afraid to
answer our questions. All of her family is members also, except her
dad because they need to get married. He said they should be getting
married in April so there is another baptism. Anyway, she understands
the lessons really well, and she told us that she wants to go swimming
in the baptismal font. She seemed pretty dissapointed when we told her
that she couldnt haha. Holy
moly there is sooo much mud here in Malvinas. Like it is almost a
guarantee that my shoes are going to be dead after this sector.
everyday I have to scrub off the mud because their is sooo much. I cant tell you how many times I have stepped, thinking it was solid
ground, and just sink shin deep in mud. haha its sooo funny when it
happens. keeps me and my companion laughing. And last night, whooo
there was soooo much rain, like I think it was the hardest rain I have
ever seen. They shouldn´t call it Hollywood rain, they should call it
Ecuador rain. We were having a family home evening with one of the
families in our ward. and it started pouring. So we tried to wait it
out because we didnt have umbrellas. and it got to be about 8:30 at
night so we decided we had to go to make it back to our apartment on
time. At first we were trying our hardest to stay under patios and
stuff but eventually we had to get wet. We are talking flash flood
status here. So long story short, we were walking in knee deep water
back to our apartment. It was a fun experience. I am sure I will be
having a lot more nights like this in the future lol. Oh kinda sad but I will tell it. So we were walking around our sector, and there are
dogs everywhere, and i see this dog, and i see a car coming. This dog
is not moving at all. So this car just full on hits it. The car just
swallows this dog in its tires. All I heard was a bunch of crunching
and I thought for sure the dog was dead. But as soon as the car left
the dog sprang up and was running in circles in immense pain, yelping.
I felt sick. ahh and then we had to go eat lunch. Needless to say I didnt eat much. Oh I ate Cuey for the first time this week. Cuey is
Guinea Pig. Guess what part I got.... The head. It was an interesting
experience having my food stare at me like that. It is super greasy
but it tasted really good actually. Cuey is like a delacasy down here.
Just looking forward to more interesting food later on, chicken feet,
bull testicals. Stuff like that. So when I was in my zone leaders
sector. There is this river called river salada. And it is disgusting,
it is just the melting pot for everyones trash. So we hadnt gotten
rain in a while so it was kinda low. And it smells like sulfer and
throw up all in one. I looked at this river and it was just solid
black. It looked like tar or something. but it was actually boiling.
Like legitly, I wish I could have taken a picture because it was sooo
sick. Our enviromentalists would have a field day down here lol. But
overall everything is good down here. I am learning more and more
each day and I think I am actually sorta getting used to the heat. We
had Zone conference this last week as well and it was super good. President Montalti is such an inspired man, he knows exactly what
everyones problem is and he knows how to fix it. I am so grateful for
him as a President. He is very direct, but I like it. Lots of
missionaries don't like him because he is always very direct.
Apparently the mission president before him was very relaxed on a lot
of the rules so that is probably why they dont like Pres. Montalti.
Anyway thats pretty much all that is new with me, I hope all is well
with you guys, I pray for you every night. Love you lots. and miss you
even more!

Seriously all we need to do is cling to the gospel

February 8th, 2011
Hey FAM My week went pretty good. We found lots of new investigators, and they are really awesome. Two of them are friends. Davy and Peter are both 19 years old. Its kinda a goldmine actually, because davy wasn’t there one time and we started teaching his mother as well. And peter wasn’t there one time and we started teaching his Brother! So ya I am pretty excited about that. We have an appt with them at six o'clock today and we are going to give them a baptismal date, so I will keep you updated on that next week! Also we found a lady who is evangelist. (evangelists down here are crazy, I am talking about full on rock concerts during their church) and we taught her a lesson, started with a prayer and she insisted that she should pray. So we let her pray and it started out normal, and then out of nowhere she just started screaming bloody murder! I am surprised that I didnt pea my pants, it was the scariest thing of my life. Then she ended her prayer and we taught her a lesson, she acted completely normal, and she told us that that she felt the spirit sooo strongly during her prayer that the spirit told her to scream. talk about freaking weird huh? So I am pretty excited today because I am going to eat lunch with elders, Applegate, Carnese, and Church. They were all my friends in the CCM so that should be pretty sweet. Also Elder Keables mentioned something about going to play basketball but I dont know if that will happen or not, hpefully it does. Also this last Wednesday we had a little division with the Zone leaders and I went over into their Sector. Their Sector is sooo flooded that we had to take off our shoes, roll up our pants, and wade through the water. Needless to say I definitely scrubbed my feet and legs a lot that night, I dont know what we were stepping on but it didnt feel sanitary lol. Oh and tell the dogs thank you for their cards! But if things go right we should be having a lot of baptisms this month so that is awesome, baptisms are always good! That is sooo tight that Aaron Rodgers pulled out the win! Man I am missing a lot of sports while im out here aren't I? The Giants, the packers, whats next? Oh I would soo kill for a sunday, maybe I will try to find one today! When is Braxton's eagle court of honor? Wow that is soo crazy that kyle is already leaving. Seems seriously like it was just yesterday I heard about him getting his call. Time really does fly out here on the mission. I am casi 4 months out, kinda a mid life crisis feeling lol. Speaking of which. Dad you need to stop working on latters! holy moly talk about learning the hard way. That is awesome that it has been sunny there, its so weird but when I think of the states its like a euphoric nostalgic feeling. I love it here, the members are so great and are so willing to help us with missionary work. It truly is like one big family. It rains like everyday now. it isnt really clean rain, but it does keep us cool, so I am not taking that for granted. I did get my packages! The calender is sooooo sweet thanks a ton! To be honest I kinda had forgotten that I actually went skydiving, that was awesome to see those pictures and all the other ones. And thank you for the beef jerky, pez, JOLLY RANCHERS and the other stuff. I am definitely enjoying all of it! gosh I am really anxious to see what this canoe looks like. I am sure it is just awesome though. As of right now we only have 2 baptismal dates. we are hoping to get lots more this week because we have lots of awesome investigators. On a end note; seriously all we need to do is cling to the gospel. God does give us trials, Just read D&C 121:7-8 or D&C 122:7-8 and I promise it will make you feel better about the trials that you are going through, because it has definitely helped me a ton.
Elder Tormenta