Monday, December 31, 2012

Maligayang Pasko at Masaganang Bagong Taon 12-31-2012

Mommaaaaaa!  Oooooooooo! :)

Hope me beginning letters like that doesn't get too old haha :)  Happy New Year to you too!  Here they say Maligayang Pasko at Masaganang Bagong Taon (Merry Christmas and a Bounteous New Year).  Psssh!!  I'm thinking you've got it backwards, you never do New Year's Resolutions cuz you're so amazing that you can't think of anything to improve on :)  Dad asked me about resolutions too.  I've never been very good at em either but with the end of my mission coming this year I'm thinking I'll wanna make a few.  I'm gonna finish the Book of Mormon in tagalog and then finish the standard works before the end of my mission.  I've found that throughout my life I've known a bunch about the Book of Mormon but not so much about the Bible.  Turns out the Bible is kinda sorta freaking amazing too.  And just in case you didn't already know... Jesus Christ is the greatest teacher/example/person EVER.  Cool stuff :)

Fur Coat/Gangham Style! 
I thought talking to you all was a pretty great Christmas gift too.  Sorry if I seemed a bit down, don't know if it comes with the season in the Mission Field or if I was just stressed haha :)  The phone call gave me a HUGE boost though.  Made me super happy to hear all your happy voices and hear how you're doing.

The week actually went quite fantastimagically superb after that.  The next day I found a GREAT scripture in my personal study that I wish I could have found earlier in my mission.  It's Jacob 3:1-2 and tells us that through having a firm mind we can feast on the love of God and be consoled in our afflictions.  I thought that was pretty awesome because I've struggled with stress at times on my mission and I liked the phrase "firmness of mind".  The firmness of mind had a footnote that led to Alma 57:27 that talked about the Stripling Warriors and how they were firm in mind because of their trust and faith in God.  It was SUPER cool and it's become my new motto :)

Epic fur coat/White Elephant for the Zone Christmas party!
Soooo cold in the 'Pines! 

Haha, I'm glad the Becca's were able to come over and have fun :)  Thanks for getting them a Christmas gift for me too.  Jesus the Christ really is the bomb, you should read it too! :)  It's kinda deep and takes some focus to understand it but when you do it's amazing.  Glad to hear Becca B's gonna have more time with the fam, hope she has fun at school.  Can't wait to see Becca O. here! :)  Still can't believe we're gonna be in the same mish haha

BJ's favorite tree at home

Wow!  Those pictures of the house are super pretty!  I'm dreaming of a white christmas but sounds like you finally got a good one :)  I remembering one year shoveling the Hatch's driveway with Dad when it snowed 2-3 feet one time!  Pretty awesome stuff.  I LOVE our little Christmas tree in the front yard!  I hope it ends up getting super tall like the ones in front of your old yellow house by the steel plant or whatever kinda plant that is haha.

Epic Snow Storm week of Christmas
Haha, glad you're being protective with Chelsey while I'm not there to be protective :)  Hope Jordface is for real.  That's pretty great advice his brother gave him.  I've found that especially reading a lot from the Book of Mormon every day helps a ton and brings it into our lives.  Make it one of our family's resolutions to finish it this year! :)

Yup, we get the international version called the Liahona.  (We asked him if he gets the Ensign.) It's exactly the same but cooler... if that makes sense :)  President Monson's talk was the bomb! :)

Loved the pics you sent haha :)  Thanks for all your love and support and for being the Pinaka-astig na nanay sa buong mundo! :D  Mahal na mahal kita!

Da Beej

MALIGAYANG PASKO!!! :) 12-24-2012

Hiya Guys! :D

SOoooooooooooo........  MERRY CHRISTMAS!  I'm kinda sorta freaking stoked to talk to you guys tomorrow.  So this email might be a tid bit short cuz I'm kind of out of it and can't think of too much to say and I'm way too excited to talk to y'all tomorrow to think straight haha :)

Had a bit of a stressful week.  I've been out of it a little bit and kinda unfocused with Christmas comin up but things will work out for sure.  The baptism we were hoping to have fell through because no members (including the branch presidency) were able to come.  No worries though, the S. family is super cool and they weren't worried about it at all.  We'll just do it this Saturday.

Trina has a mission call?!?!? :D  Cool beans!  Tell her congrats for me.  Haha, that's awesome that both Becca's are gonna come over.  That's pretty crazy that they're both going to the MTC pretty soon.  Make sure and tell them both hi for me and that I miss their faces off haha :)  With advice.... I guess just tell them to LOVE the MTC, that Jesus the Christ is the greatest book ever, and that we should write haha :)

Hope Chelsey had fun with Jordface and his fam :)

I'll give you a call on that cell phone at the time you said.  Can't wait to talk to you all it's gonna be amazing.  Love ya tons!  Sorry it's short and scatterbrained! :)

P.S.-Make sure gram and gramps come over too for the phone call eh? :)  Love ya!

Welcome Elder J. to SJDM!!! Received- 12-17-2012


(FYI- BJ wasn't transferred, but he did get a new companion.  He's still in the San Jose Del Monte Zone-Minuyan Branch)
Ok, so I am a TERRIBLE person for running out of time to email my beloved mother last week but I hope ya still love me haha :)  We kinda had a couple of hectic P-days and ran out of time to get to ya.

So like you said I haven't had a Filipino comp since waaaaay back in June with Elder C, and I was thinking it was about time too(partly because they're way out-going and I'd be able to stay in my quiet comfort-zone:).  But!  It looks like the Lord's got other plans for us and I'm way excited for it.  My new comp is...... Elder J from Chino Hills, CA.  He's been in the field for 3 months and is super cool.  He is my first comp that's been taller than me haha, he's 6'3.  He's super nice and reminds me a lot of myself back when I was new in the mission except he's a little bit more laid back.  He went to BYU-I for a semester before the mish so we've been sharing college stories and crazy things we've done a lot over the last few days.  I'm way excited, we're getting along well and the work is already going great.

This last weekend was AWESOME.  I was a little nervous because Elder H. was way talkative and I wasn't super quiet but he was definitely the center of attention so with him gone I'm taking back over with that.  I thought it might take a couple days to get back in the groove but through Heavenly Father's help and especially the Spirit things have gone amazingly well.  I've felt SUPER comfortable as we've shared the gospel with our investigators and new people we met this weekend.  We were able to give out a new Baptismal Date, have 3 people VERY close to baptismal dates, and have 2 getting baptized this weekend.  Woot! :)

The 2 getting baptized are R. and M. S.  They're both 10 years old but M. is R.'s uncle cuz he's the youngest in his family.  The family used to be Less-Active but they're going to church now and we'll be able to baptize them this weekend.  Pretty excited.  We're gonna take them to see the Christmas Lights at the temple tonight which should be really fun.  I'll get ya some pictures from that and the baptism eh? :)

The new Baptismal Date is for J. O., a 24 year-old sister who has an RM boyfriend.  You might think that she's just doing it for her boyfriend but he lives far away and she still goes to church every week, even when we weren't able to teach her 2 weeks in a row.  SUPER cool.  She's almost like an active member already haha.  She was VERY excited when we invited her to be baptized.  That will be on January 12.

The 3 VERY close to baptism is the teacher with her member sister that Elder H. and I ran into on the way to 7-ELEVEN and her family.  She agrees with everything we're teaching but realizes the true importance of the things we're teaching and doesn't want to jump into baptism too fast. This past Sunday we were teaching her the Gospel of Jesus Christ and one of her concerns was about Enduring to the End.  She seems a little apprehensive about baptism because she doesn't want to make a promise with God that she knows she will eventually break.  I felt the Spirit SUPER strongly as I explained to her that us messing up is our Father's plan for us.  He sent us here to Earth to learn and grow and to become perfect through our experiences.  One thing that has happened a lot on my mission is companions relating the story of their baptism to our investigator because they were baptized as a teenager.  I always feel left out cuz I was a little kid when I was baptized and can't remember much.  I took this opportunity to explain to Sister G. that Repentance and Enduring to the End by renewing covenants is just as important, if not more important, than baptism itself.  I even got a little teary eyed as I explained that I don't remember much about my baptism because I was young.  But that I remember and will never forget the healing joy that comes from true repentance that comes as we strive to endure to the end.  I felt the Spirit SUPER strong and feel blessed to have had the opportunity to teach that to her and to feel God working through me.  Really neat feeling.  That was one of my favorite experiences so far on the mission.

Sad to hear about Hunter getting sick.  Hope your doin better tough guy :)  Was he able to make it to his ball game? I remember that was always SUPER frustrating to get stuck home sick or with other problems when I wanted to play in a ball game so bad haha.  Hope he's ok now.

12 Ways of Christmas

I got the Christmas packages!!!!! :D  4 of them AND a letter from Gma and Gpa Powell?!  Wow, you guys are amazing!  I'm definitely a spoiled-out-of-my-mind-Elder :)  I'm loving all the goodies and fun things in the packages.  Also love all the music.  I know I probably shouldn't have opened anything till Christmas but I HAD to dig out the CD-shaped gifts haha.  Thanks a TON you guys are the greatest :)  Elder J.'s pretty surprised about how awesome you guys are too haha.  He keeps telling me your parents are the coolest! :)

Also really enjoying the 12 Ways of Christmas packet.  Thanks a ton for giving me another way to focus on the Savior and becoming like him.  You guys are the greatest :)
A Couple of Santa's Cool Helpers!!

I am WAAAAAAAAAAY excited to talk at y'all on Christmas!  It sounds like Elder J.'s fam wants to Skype him 6pm your time on your Christmas Eve.  Maybe we could try Skype for a little bit and then I could call you too but I'm not sure yet what we'll do.  So plan on a phone call for sure but maybe we'll get a little Skype in too.  Just send me the Skype address you want me to use(ask Dad or Chelsey ;) and let me know exactly what day and time you want me to call.  Also need to know which phone to call.  We're 15 hours ahead.  If it's 12 midnight there it's 3 in the afternoon here.  With Skype we would do it your Christmas Eve but with the phone call we can do it Christmas.  I thought it was fun that way last year.  I think it'd be fine if we talked between 1 and 2 hours.  It's up to you :)  Can't wait to talk at ya! :D

I'll try and do it (we asked him to send us 'A day in the life of Elder Powell) sometime but my life is too routine to send ya anything too exciting but since you want it I'll give it to ya sometime.

LOVE YOU TONS!!!  Merry Christmas one and all and talk at ya next week!  I'll try and email ya Christmas Eve here to finalize call plans so make sure and let me know what ya think before then.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Another Cool Experience In The 'Pines!! Received-12-05-2012


Haha, don't feel too bad for the turkey, he's in a happier place now :)  Haha, I was kinda bummed out that I missed out on the gutting but you're right it wasn't too terrible, got to keep my hands clean haha.  No Elder Hensley didn't do it alone, we had the other 2 elders from our branch, Elder Asetre and Elder Hendricksen, come over too.  I'll send you the video, I'm sure all you turkey lovers will enjoy it haha :o)  Yup, I'm feeling better, the runny nose and clogged throat are still here after 2 weeks but that's ok I'm hoping I'll survive :)  I think it actually might be because I'm in the city again with all the lovely pollution.

Alright, if you're skipping to the ?'s I'll skip to the answers.  With me maybe getting transferred next week, it's not for sure at all, that's the way things look and Elder Hensley and I feel at this point.  He's been in the mission for a long time and he's still a Junior comp so we think he'll stay here and President will make him a Senior while I get sent somewhere else.  Really a BIG bummer because the work here is going great and we've connected with the people really well.  We're hoping to have between 3 and 7 baptisms in the next month, but whether I'm here or not it'll be great if we're able to help them make that step.  I've REALLY enjoyed my time in this area and my time here with Elder Hensley.  He's really funny and a lot of fun and doesn't hesitate to act on fun crazy ideas.  EXAMPLE:  We bought airsoft guns the other day and had an airsoft war last night hahaha :) It was a BLAST.  The goal was to get into the house and keep the other guy out.  He hit me a bunch of times and the guns were pretty powerful so it kinda stung but I'm pretty sure I won... I gave him a HUGE welt to the forehead hahaha :)  Too bad I didn't take a picture I was pretty proud of myself.  We did end up knocking over a glass soda bottle in the kitchen but it was totally worth it :)

We were actually supposed to go to the temple today but Elder Hensley has an eye infection and hasn't felt well for the last bit so he slept in till 11 this morning and we weren't able to make it.  No worries though, I'll get another chance soon.

Sister L. is doing great haha, she's a LOT of fun.  She's got a funny story.  Before we got here she never let the missionaries into her house.  On her Teaching record it says that she's really shy and that she always hides from the missionaries and hadn't been to church for 4 years.  From the very 1st visit we made to her she has been SUPER nice and joking around and introduced her friends to the gospel and brought them to church every week.  She's da bomb! :)  We actually had a good time with them again at her neighbor's house the other day.  Her neighbor taught us how to cook(she was a chef in Israel for a couple years) and then we sang videoke haha.  Lots of fun, they really liked making me and Elder Hensley sing Beatles songs and we enjoyed singing them haha :)

I've actually got another really cool experience that I don't think I've told you yet.  We have 2 areas we work in: Road 12 and Towerville.  One night we were working in Road 12 and weren't planning on going to Towerville but when we finished working we had to drop someone who had worked with us off at their house in Towerville.  So we're leaving Towerville at about 9:20 at night to go home and eat and sleep when this lady says "Hi Elders".  Now here in the Pines because we're Americans EVERYONE says "hey you" or "hey Joe" or "Call me maybe" or "Teach me how to duggie" or a number of other annoying things so it was kinda normal and we were just gonna keep walking.  But the way she said it felt different so we stopped to to talk to her and her friend, found out she's a member and lives in Towerville.  So we find out where her house is and set an appointment for the next week.  Turns out that the night we ran into her was her first night there.  Her non-member sister was bringing her home from the airport at the time.  Right before she saw us she asked her sister if she knew where the church was or had seen any missionaries around and her sister hadn't.  So we ran into them at the PERFECT time where we might not have found them otherwise.  Also turns out that her sister (G. E) is a Golden Investigator and so is her whole family.  She's a guidance counselor at a High School and is very smart and religious and very open to our message.  She's accepted our whole message over the last couple weeks and hopefully she, her son, and cousin will be baptized on the 23rd of December.  Her husband is only available Saturday nights so we're going to meet him this week and it sounds like he's very interested too.  WOOT! :)  Heavenly Father definitely prepares people for our message and DIRECTS us to them so that we can find them.  There were too many coincidences that night for them to be just coincidences.  Super cool :)

Haha, you guys are the coolest, you probably made those missionaries' day :)  Keep taking good care of them and feeding them my roast, mashed potatoes and gravy eh?

Now Mom, when it comes to Christmas lights you know I'm never gonna stop loving those multicolored lights we had at the old house.  The red, green... blue, orange, and white ones?  Da bomb.  I miss em :)  You DEFINITELY hafta send me pictures of the house all lighted up next week so I can show em off here ok? :)

Man!  I know I've said this in probably every single email I send but I can't wait to get home and coach that Hunter kid into a Basketball star! :)  Tell him not to worry about it and practice hard and do better next week :)

Woot!  Congrats Karissa!  Ukraine sure will be a tiny bit colder than here.  How's James Smith doing with Cebu now? I bought a Cebuano book today so that I can learn how to speak it too hopefully haha.  So far I know Unsa imong ngalan? (What's your name)  Asa ka dapit? (Where are you)  and Maot ang imong Panagway(Your face is ugly) :o)  That'd be pretty cool if we got missionaries to China soon, hope it happens.

Sooo... Christmas is close!!  Which means.... We get to talk in a couple weeks!! :D  So we can do it on Dec. 23rd, 24th, or 25th.  Your choice, just let me know.  I'll make sure we get a couple hours.  The calling cards only cost $2 so don't worry about it.  I think I'll just call again, but would you like to Skype a little bit?  Not sure if I'll find somewhere to do it but if you want I can see what I can do.  Just lemme know what you want.

Have a Fantastimagical week!  Love y'all tons!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

A 'Turkey-Day' To Remember!! Received-11-26-2012

Hey Everyone!

Wow Thanksgiving was a blast!  Even though I went and got sick... :P  We finally found our turkey the day before.  We had to ride a trike (motorcycle with a sidecar) all the way up a mountain to a less populated area and we finally found some people selling some bigger ones at the top.  We kept it overnight and butchered it in the morning... Kinda gross but really fun :)  But that was the morning I woke up sick so after we finished killing it I went straight back to bed and missed out on gutting it :P  Glad you were able to tell Bro. Mendenhall bout it too haha.  That was lots of fun chasing that goose down in his back yard and I was thinking about it when we got our turkey idea :)

Our Turkey!

We had our Party at Sister L's house.  She's a 50 yr. old Less-Active that hadn't gone to church for 3 years.  The first time we met her she was laughing and having fun and she's been to church for the last 2 weeks already.  Cool beans :)  We had turkey, MASHED POTATOES :D,.... rice... pancit (noodles).  haha, it was definitely Filipino style thanksgiving.  After that we sang videoke for a couple hours with all the Branch missionaries that came with us.  Videoke is Karaoke... dunno why it's got a different name here haha.
Maligayang Araw ng Pasasalamat!:)

Pretty awesome turkey experience you had comin from Chelsey's concert haha :) (We followed a diesel full of turkeys on their way to the slaughter house!) I think I'll stick to frozen turkeys too from now on even though it was fun :)

Wooooooot! :D  That's awesome that James got his call to the Pines!  Tell him congrats for me.  Cebu is where Elder Montemayor was from, they speak Cebuano instead of Tagalog.  Tell him "Maot man kag panagway oi!" for me... it's the only Cebuano I know. Means "Your face is ugly!"  Tell him it's nothing personal, just teaching what I know :o)

Things I could have gone without?  Toilet paper :)  Mosquito net... can't really think of too much.  I used the sandals once or twice but they were way cheaper here and flip flops I bought here work just as well.  Let me know if they think of anything else.  Maybe tell him if he's bored and wants to learn part of his language to try reading the Cebuano Book of Mormon out loud even though it won't make any sense at all haha.  Let me know if they have any other q's

-Nice Turkey-

Cool beans for Tauni and Jacob too!  LOTS of people are heading on missions! .... Lots of really younger people.  I've been out here FOREVER! haha :)  REALLY cool that Heather's sending her's in too!  Pretty awesome stuff!

So area:  When I say mountainous here it just means it's in the middle of a bunch of really cool hills.  It's kind of like mountains but nothing like our mountains back home :)  Haha, our toilet flushes but we have to do it with a bucket and ladle.  Definitely miss the shower from Baliwag but one day Elder Hensley boiled water on the stove and poured it into the bucket for me to shower with and I haven't been able to take a freezing cold shower since haha :)  I've been washing my own garments but I take my clothes to a Laundromat 15 minutes away... Totally worth it :)  Machine washed and dried clothes feel WAY better than hand washed.  Yup.  All our investigators have come from members so far.  Pretty great area/branch liking it here but I might be transferring already on Dec. 13.  Pretty quick eh?  It's a big city but not nearly as busy as my first area.  No rice fields and kinda polluted but ok.  A lot of the area is somewhat poor but it's not too bad.

People are just starting to put their Christmas lights up right now.  Fun stuff.  It's gonna be interesting having a warm winter again haha.  I'll make sure and get some belts made.

I'll try and get ya a day in the life of Elder Powell next week eh?  Love ya! :D

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Maligayang Araw ng Pasasalamat! :) Received-11-19-2012

Mamaaaaa Ooooooooo! :)

Wow, we had a really good really long week!  We got a ton of work done and we're having a lot of fun at the same time.  We're in a Branch again.  It's the Minuyan branch but the organization is actually pretty good.  The District and Branches here are very close to being stepped up to a Stake and Wards.  The members are all very excited for it.  Haha, yup the fridge was pretty gross.  But again the apartment's fine now.  I'll send ya a pic of my EPIC hammock hangout :)  Nothing too exciting in the way of bug stories but if you want we'll keep our doors open at night so that we can have some eh? ;)

Epic Hammock Hangout!

Sounds like everyone's still having fun back there eh?  Glad to hear your still keeping stats at Basketball games :)  Can't wait to get back and coach and cheer that kid on.  He sure is a tall lanky kid isn't he?  Does he trip over himself like I did? :)  He dominated with rebounds eh?  Man I can't wait :)

The Rebound King!

That's really cool that Athena and Samantha are singing in the same concert as a UVU group!  Glad you were able to go and enjoyed it.  I really love music too and I'm really grateful that we've been so blessed to to have it be such a big part of our lives.  I actually have thought about joining a choir when I get home.  I really enjoyed singing with the choir in the MTC.  But we'll see what happens when I get home :)

Wow ma!  I'm super grateful for your gratitude list! haha :o)  Once again you're being an awesome example for me.  Being on a mission (especially in a foreign country) makes you grateful for so many things that you take for granted at home.  WARM showers.  Air conditioner :)  Flushing toilets.  Clean air.  Beautiful mountains.  Loving family.  Basically everything we need and most of the things we want.  We are so ridiculously blessed and sometimes we don't even realize it.  Happy Thanksgiving!  (Maligayang Araw ng Pasasalamat!:)
Getting Excited For Cooking!

Speaking of Thanksgiving... This year it's gonna be EPIC :)  We met a Less-Active last week and she warmed up to us right away and she introduced us to her neighbor that we're teaching now.  We're gonna have a big Thanksgiving at her neighbor's house with all the branch missionaries and youth that work with us.  The best part?  Me and Elder Hensley are buying a live turkey tomorrow so we can fatten it up, and then kill it, clean it, cook it, and EAT it on Thanksgiving.  It shall be a party and there SHALL be pictures.  Be excited :)

With finding new investigators we haven't ever done an English class before... maybe that would be fun :)  We usually go to Less-Active members and bring them back to church and teach their unbaptized family members.  We also get referrals.  Those are usually the best ways we find.  We can tract but it's kinda weird here in the Philippines because the houses aren't all nice and set up in a row like in America and most people are outside their houses anyway.  So sometimes we'll just talk to random people on the street.  Fun stuff :)
Elder Powell and Elder Hensley
Ready to share the Gospel
Hahaha, as I stated to Dad in his email... You guys are OLD! :)  Loved the story :)  Weird to think that I'm older right now than you were on your first thanksgiving together haha.  Pretty great story though.  I'll try and make sure that my first thanksgiving's better than that... maybe we'll eat some Filipino food on rice :)  I better start learning to cook this stuff, I'm gonna miss it when I get back.  Does Bud know how to cook Filipino food?

Love ya TONS!!!!  Have a great week and a Happy Thanksgiving!  Share my love to the family!

Adventures of the STINKY FRIDGE!! Received-11-12-2012

Hey again! :)

Yup I'm lovin it here in SJDM(San Jose Del Monte City) so far.  Haha, hopefully I will get Montalban next time, that was Elder Hensley's last zone and it sounds pretty amazing.

Had a pretty great week.  I'm having a blast with Elder Hensley so far and we're getting some good work done.  The people here are super nice too(and feed us lots;). 

Holy tawale my friends are getting mission calls! :D  That's great news about both Becca's!  I'm glad you worked up the courage to text her haha :o)  You'll hafta tell her congrats for me.
Becca Oliphant's going to serve in the same mission as me?! :D  Hahaha, that's awesome!  I never thought about serving in the same mission as a friend, that's gonna be a blast!  Might also make me a bit trunky for PG haha :)  Let me know if she has any Philippines questions and tell her I'm super excited to serve with her haha  Don't forget to let me know where Shelby's going too eh?

Yup, heard about Obama.  Oh well... hope he does well... or that this helps bring the 2nd coming faster :o)

Wow!  That's awesome that Kylee made the 9th grade basketball team!  Make sure and tell her way to go for me.  Tell her to stick with the practices even though she can't play as much, (she's also got a main part in the Jr. High play going on at the same time), it'll help her get on the HS team next year.  Make sure and get me some epic pics and stories from Hunter's first Bantam game too, pretty bummed out I'll hafta miss that. :)

Wow......  That's FREAKEEZING COLD!!! (freaking-freezing cold:o) (I told him about our weekend snow storm) I'm pretty sure I might freeze to death when I get home.  Tell Becca to be ready for Heat shock when she gets here, she'll be getting here right at the hottest point of summer haha.  Sure glad I don't hafta do any snow shoveling again this year :)
GROSS!!! I think it's alive!!!

Storytime:  When we first got here our apartment stunk REALLY bad.  Elders had abandoned it for about a month and forgot to take all their food out of the fridge... blech! So we cleaned it out really good and now it's not all that bad at all.  I actually like the apartment a lot!  We're almost in the middle of this little forest on the side of the road.  There's a little spot on the side of the house that's perfect for studying.  It's nice and quiet, has a nice breeze and plenty of shade and... a spot for my hammock :)  I was having a hard time setting it up when Elder Hensley(who enjoys making fun of people from Utah:o) said "Aren't you an Eagle Scout Utah boy?  You should know how to tie those knots."  Right after he said that I accidentally tied a PERFECT bowline knot and then another, and another... and another!  Don't know how I did it... never could in scouts haha.  Gotta admit I'm pretty proud of myself and you would be too Pops :)  Woot!  Lovin this place so far.

Things are pretty good with Investigators.  We only have 5(three of them are kids) but they're all progressing.  So basically everything here is going well.
Haha, loved the Halloween pics.  Keep the pics comin!  I enjoy em, even the silly ones :)

Have a great week and let me know if you've got questions about this place!
Mahal Kita!!!
Elder BJ

Monday, November 5, 2012


Hey Hey Hey! :)

WoooooT!  I'm glad you got my letter, sounds like it got to ya faster than I expected.  I only sent it about 2 weeks ago.  I kinda got in a writing mood for the first time in FOREVER and sent 8 letters out.  Hope I get some replies soon ;) 

Transfers are complete!  I've been assigned in....... NOT Caloocan... NOT Fairview... and NOT Montalban :(   I'm in SJDM! :)  It's the other mountain area I was hoping for.  It has some really pretty spots on top of the hills where you can see all the mountains but it's pretty deep city compared to San Ildefonso but not nearly as deep as caloocan.  My area is called the Minuyan Branch and there's 4 missionaries here like my last area.  There are trees all over the place, love it :)  Elder Wu's still a junior.  His and President's goal is that he'll be a Senior next transfer.  His new companion is Elder Green a super funny elder who was trained by Elder Sidillo right after me (which makes him my kapatid(brother)).  Elder Sidillo and Elder Wilson (we were in Meycauayan together) are our Zone Leaders and I'm no longer a District Leader.  Don't worry I didn't do anything disobedient :o) I'll be a Senior Comp again.

My new companion is... Elder Hensley from Florida.  He's really cool and funny and I'm excited to work with him.  His hump day is this Friday so he's almost at his year mark.  Yes we will party :)    Hopefully we'll be able to make things work out and we'll have a BLAST this transfer because he really is a great guy. Pretty excited :)

So we're both new to the branch and we don't know much about the area yet but things'll work out great.  The missionaries before us worked super hard with the Less Actives and the we have a lot of people to visit and teach.  Hopefully we'll be able to find a lot of people to start teaching and help investigate the church too.  The branch is really hard working... basically I'm really excited cuz things are looking great already :)

Hahaha, sounds like y'all had a blast on Halloween :)  Congrats on winning your costume contest at work Pops!  Being a Viking isn't so bad after all is it? ;o)

Awwwwww man!!!!  My Cards (St. Louis Cardinals) were up 3 to 1 and choked?!?!  Bummer!  Just let Hunter know he won't be so lucky again :)

Woooot!  Pretty excited for the little guy's b-ball league (in case you can't tell:o)  with good coaching at such a young age he'll turn out great!  I didn't learn the weave until I was in Junior High!  Pretty great stuff :)  How's Kylee's play and Ashlyn's band tour?   I'm thinking I need some pics of the trumpet players on people's shoulders :)

Haha, I'm glad I got some music in too, even if it did sound terrible haha :)  I hope I can learn how to play piano and guitar when I get home, I think it'd be fun.
Yup, those were the scriptures I lost.(The Leather covers he had specially made.)  BUMMER.  That'd be great if you could send me the blessing and help pay for the scripture binding :)  I think I'm gonna wait until later in my mission for the binding though so it'll be nice and new when I get home.  I also found out the branch president in the branch next to us makes belts out of carabao horns for $10.  Woot!!! :)  I'm hoping to get a couple of those for me and family, should be cool :)

Haha, wow you're keeping pretty good track of things aren't ya? :)  That's all right with transfers and people.  Just let me know if you have ?s about the baptisms.

Wow, that's pretty cool you met a couple Filipinos! :)  Fun stuff.  Hopefully Bud keeps working on his Tagalog so I'll have someone to speak it with when I get home :)

Hmmm.... Spiritual thought of the day......
Only thing I can think of is yesterday we taught the Restoration to a new investigator.  The member I was working with bore testimony about how he had prayed to know if the church was true and that's how he got his testimony.  I realized that that's not the way I got mine.  Mine came from obeying the commandments, the example of my parents and others, and reading the Book of Mormon.  I testified to her how reading from the Book of Mormon brings comfort and invites the Spirit into our lives and that by doing so we can gain a firm testimony of the truth.  I felt the Spirit as I told her about it.  Sooooooo.... READ THE BOOK OF MORMON! :)  Even taking a short 5-10 minutes to read just 1 chapter invites the Spirit into our lives whether we're blown away by the chapter or not.  Cool beans :)
I LOVED the pics you sent hahaha :)  I'm thinkin the Disney costumes are pretty rough but more than that you need to apologize for that bowl cut!  haha :)  I look like the guy off Dumb and Dumber! :o)  Sorry I don't have any pics, I've been busy and left the camera at the apartment.  I'll try and get some to ya next week.

Love ya TONS!!! :)
Elder BJ

Saturday, November 3, 2012

HAPPY HALLOWEEN! Received 10-30-12

Happy Halloween to you too!

Haha, glad to hear everyone's got their costume's all sorted out.  That's awesome that Hunter's gonna be Flint Lockwood.  Love that movie haha :)  Holy freaking Toledo mom!  I remember those Disney outfits hahaha, pretty intense stuff :)  Do you have any pictures of them you could send next email?  You didn't mention you, dad, and Bud's costumes!  You're gonna dress up right?  Which reminds me.... How'd my Cardinals do this year?  Did they defend the championship?

WOOOT!  Glad he went out with a bang. (Hunter's flag football) Sounds like he's got a little Johnny Harline in him eh? :)  I remember always coming home from school with grass stains on my knees hahaha, sorry bout that mom, if you don't get any stains you didn't play hard!  Do you remember the football game where we all slid in the mud after we won and I had to wrap up in an old blanket so I didn't get the car dirty?  Haha, fun times.  How's the Bantam B-ball going?

San Ildefonso District

Sooooo.... I am officially getting transferred!  San Ildefonso has been fun but I'm really excited for some change.  Haha, I'm glad we're on the same page with where I'll get transferred.  Hopefully I'll get SJDM or Montalban with all the mountains but anywhere will be great.  You'll hafta have everybody guess again for me :)

Hahahahaha!  Don't worry mom, no tape worms yet... that I know of :o)  I'd say I haven't been sick for a looooong time but I don't wanna jinx it ;)  I'm taking good care of myself even if I am getting tired of ramen noodles
Brillantes'  One of the many fun families in San Ildefonso.

Don't worry, I pulled out the money to get some new scriptures... I think I left my others on a bus on the way home from the temple.  Also left my patriarchal blessing in them.  Could you send me a new copy please?  Small and laminated like the last one?  That'd be cool :)

Alex Sta. Maria came home... and ran away again... twice.  He's ok now.  We talked with him and he seems like he's doing better and he asked us to pray for him.  Hopefully Those 2 will get baptized while Elder Wu's still here.  Aiza has been ready since the end of July but keeps skipping church.  Lame sauce!

So exciting story of the week.  We taught Americans this last week! :D  They're Filipinos but live in San Diego.  They came home to visit their house here and family.  It was really cool.  The sister is Seventh Day Adventist and the brother is Catholic.  They believe everything we've taught them.  We watched the Restoration movie (on their big-screen TV, don't think that'll happen again on my mission:o) and they said they believed it.  They're just trying to decide if they're willing to make any changes or steps in their lives because of it.  They're in their 60s or 70s.  Hopefully they continue listening to missionaries here and when they go home to USA in a week or 2 we'll send their address to the missionaries there and hopefully they'll get baptized.  Woot! :D
BJ's Place

Well..... That's All Folks! :)
Mahal na mahal kita!!!


Nice! A real shower!

Here's those pics of the apartment you've been asking for for 4 months now... hehe :)
I finally put up a couple decorations you sent... on the outside of the house :o)  Hopefully they stay there forever and I'll leave my mark on San Ildefonso :)
Like I said I LOVE my almost normal pressure shower... gonna miss it.

Listen to the Natives, or you too may get muddy!-Received 10-24-12

OH MY!!! I hope Mom doesn't find out!

Had another pretty good week with a couple adventurous moments but nothing too crazy :)  Glad to hear that Jinky and Brandon are doing good.  Let her know I'm looking forward to a good Philipino meal haha :)

Glad Chelsey was able to come home and spend some time with y'all and her friends.  Pretty crazy that people are starting to get home from their missions!
Holy tawale!  Sounds like most the girls I know from High School are going on missions eh?  I heard that the application rate has jumped almost 500%, there's gonna be a TON of missionaries!  That's awesome about Becca and Shelby, you'll hafta let me know when everyone starts getting their mission calls.

Glad you guys are keeping busy :)  Sounds like Hunter really is gonna be our sports star eh?  Hope he remembers us all when he's rich and famous! :o)  His legs are friggin LONG!  He's been growing quite a bit eh?  You'll have to cheer him on for me too.  Let me know how his Basketball games go, I'm excited for this Bantam league stuff :)

A bigger puddle than I thought!

So I'm thinking (and hoping hehe:o) that Elder Hicken and I will get transferred this next Thursday (Nov. 1st).  It's been fun here in San Ildefonso but I'm getting a bit antsy for a move :)  Hoping I'll get sent to the Mountain places, San Jose Del Monte or Montalban.  Whatever happens will be fine.

Nope, no baptisms for at least a month here.  They keep skipping church... even the Sta. Maria's.  Blech!  Alex Sta. Maria actually ran away back on Sunday and I'm not sure if they've heard anything from him yet.  Hope things turn out OK for them.

Hahaha, funny story.  I haven't ever done anything with music in a church meeting until last week.  The 1 piano player in the ward was gone so they sang the first hymn with no piano.  It was so bad and quiet that I decided to play for the next 3.... even though I can only play the melody hahahaha.  It was pretty rough but it was lot's of fun :)  The missionaries don't run the branch, but the members kinda depend on us a lot.  We always fill holes when teachers don't show up and speak in sacrament meeting sometimes.  I gave the Sunday School lesson last week without any warning haha, pretty hectic.

(Answers to some ?'s we asked him.)
Haha, yup still have someone washing our clothes.-Yes our toilet flushes :)-Our shower is the nicest one I've had in the mission. You can actually feel the water pressure! :D  It's still freezing cold water, but having pressure is a step up :)-CD's would be great!  Mp3 is nice too because I have a flash drive that I can store music on but CD's are great.

Interviews went pretty well.  President mainly asked me how Elder Wu's doing and I told him how our Chinese friend has improved a  lot lately.  He thanked me and told me that I was "just what the Doctor ordered" haha :)  Also told me thanks for the great influence I'm having on others and the things I'll continue to do in the mission.  Cool beans :)


Here's our adventure for the week!  Me and Elder Wu got punted(weren't accepted at appointments) 3 or 4 times in a row last Thursday so we decided to visit a member at his new house.  The only way we knew how to get there was to go through a BIG rice field.  As we got close to the field a bunch of Filipinos told us that we should find another way because the field was muddy.  Usually people say things are muddy and we'll only see a couple puddles.  So we thought we could handle muddy.  WHOOPS haha :)  We got about halfway through the field and my foot sank super deep and my shoe got stuck.  We stood there a couple minutes before I gave up and dug it out with my hand.  Then we had to walk back to the Filipinos' house and ask them to let us use their water pump to wash our shoes off.  They laughed at us for a while and so did we.  Fun stuff :)

Love y'all TONS!!! Have a great week!
Hunter wearing dad's costume.

P.S.-LOVE the costume!  Pretty excited to see dad as a VIKING!  But..... does that mean you hafta dress-up as a cavewoman?  Just wonderin :)

General Conference was 'DA BOMB!'-Received 10-15-12

Hey Hey Hey! :)

I LOVED conference again!  Luckily I wasn't dead sick like last April and I was actually able to listen and get a lot out of it like I did at the MTC.  Sadly... I forgot my notes and can't remember VERY specific things that I liked but I remember a couple of talks that I liked.  Loved both of President Uchtdorf's of course.  I really need to begin to enjoy my time here on the mission even more because before I know it, it's gonna be gone.  I liked the story he told about him and his wife biking and him wanting to race all the time.  We don't begin a bike ride just because we want to finish it! haha.  Pretty great talk.
Also liked Elder Christofferson's talk that called men back to manliness! :)  That was pretty great :) There were a BUNCH of others but my mind's kinda useless without my notes at this point :o)  Sorry! We watched conference at the District Center with some members.  It was kinda sad because there were a bunch for the Sunday morning session but for ALL the other sessions the missionaries (14) outnumbered the members! :P  It bugged me a bit at first and then reminded me how I didn't really value conference nearly as much before my mission as much as I do now.  The mission's a pretty amazing changing experience :)

Thanks for the update on everyone!  I LOVE hearing how you're all doing.  Also good to hear that you're all getting a well-deserved break and you're having a bunch of fun together :) (It was our fall break) Also glad that none of you fell off the ski tram when you went to see the leaves at Sundance.  I was always a little skittish about those too haha.  Holy freaking tawale I'm excited for Hunter to play in his Bantam League :)  You need to let me know how it goes and send me a couple of action photos :)

Speaking of action photos..... :)  We rode some more animals today!!!  Sorta :)  We went to another place with statues cuz we realized we didn't have any pictures for the last week.  Pretty exciting stuff.  Rode dinosaurs, a tiger, and (best one) a dolphin!!!! Woot! :)  Trying to have fun while we're still here in San Ildefonso.  The next transfer day is November 1 and me and Elder Hicken will probably be leavin.

Awww man!  Sorry you can't make it on band tour this year!  That's alright, there's always next year.... Maybe I'll hafta tag-along next time :o)  Pretty cool that you fingerprinted a retired NFL player... (Jason Buck) Even if he did go to Lone Peak to coach. haha

Pretty crazy that I've already been here for a year!  It's fun reading my journal entries from the MTC each day and this week I'll get to read about the plane ride haha :)
As far as the package send anything you want and I'll be SUPER happy :)  I'm getting pretty music trunky and mentioned to Chelsey that you guys need to send me the 2 Alex Boye CD's.  It would be REALLY cool too if you could send me The Piano Guys' CD.  You know.. The Jon Schmidt Steven Sharp Nelson group?  That would be THE BOMB.  And I loved the Christmas music you sent me last year but gave it to Elder Sidillo so another one of those would be great too :)

Let me know if there's anything I can do for ya or describe better for ya.  Also send my love to friends and fam!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Excited For General Conference!! Received 10-08-12


That is pretty freaking big news! (The Missionary changes announced in Conference by President Monson.) Really exciting to hear that the option has now been opened up for so many new people to serve missions.  Also pretty cool to hear that it's making Chelsey think about going on a mission.  Haha, when I read that, I thought about how cool it would be to be in the same mission with a family member.  Yup. That would be the bomb :)  Also pretty exciting for Jason AND Ashlyn and all of my friends that are still home.  By the time I get home there won't be ANY available girls my age and I'll be guaranteed my year or 2 of freedom and fun! :D  Woot! haha :o)

Well now I'm even more excited for conference :) (Conference is delayed a week for his mission) This is like waiting for a movie or a book to come out and hearing spoilers or getting hints of the best parts in the days before its release haha :)  It's good to hear that missionary work will be a BIG focus of it.  I remember a lot of the talks last October were about missionary work and I learned a TON from them.  Haha, you're awesome mom :))  I'm pretty sure you think and care about those I teach at least as much as I do :)  I'm hoping that I'll be able to hear things in Conference that will help a lot of our Investigators and Less-Actives here.  Thanks for giving me the heads up on all the best ones.  I'm really excited for the talk from Elder Hales and, of course, from Elder Holland.  I think I've heard a version of Elder Holland's talk before.  It's amazing and when he talks about how we should be committed to the Savior he's so powerful!  Can't wait :)

Hahaha, glad to hear that I haven't been TOTALLY replaced by the dog :)  MAN!  The Cartao family seems completely disinterested at this point.  The last 2 times we went to their house they said they were busy and that we should come back next time.  Lame sauce!  Oh well, I'm sure things will work out the way the Lord wants.  They live about a 15 or almost 20 minute walk from the church... Not too far for missionaries that have walked 5 km's back and forth to teach the Brillantes family before but must be pretty far for people that don't go any further than the school 3 minutes away very often.... Again.... LAME SAUCE! :P

Well....... We didn't exactly make the pancakes and sausage.... but thanks! :o)  We went to a restaurant at a hotel/resort that was surprisingly nice for the Philippines.  The food tasted pretty good too :)  Too bad all we could do with the swimming pool was stare and wish :o)  We almost took a tour of the rooms just for fun, and to get pics to send home but decided not to.

Glad to hear Kylee had fun at SUU! :D  Hope things continue to go well with her in drama and school.  Good to hear the band has gotten big enough for 5A too even though the competition's tougher.  Awesome that Ashlyn has a solo as a Sophomore! :D  How's that Hunter kid doing? :)  He's playing football and soccer right now right?  How's it going?

Here's some inspiration for the family's goal to do more missionary work!  I thought you'd like it. :)
In my last area (Batasan 2nd Ward, Fairview Stake) we were teaching a brother that had married into a Less-Active member family.  He was converted and ready to baptize but we weren't able to baptize him because he and his wife still had to get their papers together and get officially married for him to be baptized.  He referred his Aunt and her family to us to teach.  I was excited because it was a big family to teach but I thought that they were pretty set on being Catholic and that it wouldn't go too far.  Despite that, they loved having us over and listening to us.  After about 2 weeks I was transferred and didn't know if it would go anywhere, thinking they would just eventually be dropped.  Last week I was talking to the missionary that replaced me there, and almost the entire family has been baptized! :D
It showed me that we shouldn't judge a book by its cover.  We can't tell how far-reaching the effects of our good deeds will go before we even try.  So even though you might be scared or shy to share the gospel, even though you think because you live in Utah you can't do anything, and even if you think what you do is too small to make a difference God will make a difference in other people's lives because of the actions you take.  Go Powell Fam!!!!! :D
Notice the Christmas tree behind them?

Love ya tons mom! :)  Thanks for always being SOOOOOO supportive to all of us in all that we do.  Whether it be sports, band, theater, or missions you've always been there.  Love and appreciate ya :)
They start celebrating Christmas in September in the Phillipines.

P.S.-Haha, pretty funny to hear someone say they thought they were gonna die because of the weather.  Not because it was SUPER HOT.  But because they were freezing cold!  That sure doesn't happen here, haven't heard anyone say they needed a sweatshirt for a long time.  Pretty sure I'm gonna freeze to death next summer haha :)

P.P.S-The picture is with Don-Don Tolentino.  His Grandma and sister were baptized last year and hopefully we'll baptize him Oct. 27 with Aiza Sta. Maria.  Woot :)  Get this:  His name is Donald and his sister's is Daisy..... not sure if they like Disney or not though haha

Puppies/General Authority/Pancakes And Sausage? Received 10-01-12

Hiya Guys!
Scout with her puppy-dog eyes.

I've been replaced by a DOG?!?  Haha, just kidding.  She looks super cute right now, too bad I won't get home till she's just big and loud.  Haha, I thought you were gonna say that instead of bringing the dog in with her she went and slept in the garage with the dog :)  I'm sure she loves it to death.  Hahaha, you not only gave in to getting a dog but almost got 2?!  Haha, you really have lost your minds! ;)  Glad you're all having fun with the newbie.
Ashlyn with new puppy Scout

Yup, Elder Wu might transfer after all.  He doesn't seem too terribly discouraged.  He's been making progress with his Tagalog lately and his desire and effort to learn it have grown a lot since we became companions.  At the beginning of his mission he had a hard time with English but he's fluent now.  He carries around a small computer/dictionary for english but there isn't a Tagalog program for it.  No new news since the phone call last week.  I'm not sure if anything will happen or not.  We have interviews with President Sperry next Wednesday (Oct. 10) so maybe we'll find out more then.  Haha, the cute little puppies/kitties are at  the Sta. Maria and Velasquez houses.

Haha, I actually wrote a couple of letters this past week! :D  I'll try and get y'all one ASAP.

Brother Brillantes' work is starting again tomorrow.  Which is good cuz he's got work again but bad cuz he won't be able to come to church anymore... bummer.

Good to hear that Hunter's growing like a weed :)  Can't wait to play ball with him when I get back!  Hope things go well at Kylee's tryouts!  Haha, we actually ate PANCAKES and SAUSAGE earlier today!  Pretty good stuff, even better than top ramen! :o)

Nothing too exciting this past week.  Except for a surprise visit from a General Authority... Wednesday we got a text that the DL training meeting Thursday morning was cancelled and that the Area Presidency was coming to talk to the whole mission instead.  We were surprised at the suddenness, and all came up with fun theories as to what was going on.  The whole mission only got together once before and an Apostle came that time so we thought something like that might happen.
Nope. :)

Elder Nielsen of the 70 came to speak to us.  He told us he was sent by the 1st Presidency and Quorum of the 12 to resolve disobedience issues in our mission.  Yikes!  No fun after all.  He talked to us for about an hour and a half about being more dedicated to the Lord, secret combinations, and agency.  After that the whole mission waited in the chapel for 3 hours while he and President Sperry interviewed a bunch of  missionaries.  Yikes!
Elder Wu hanging on and resting at the same time.

Pretty sad stuff but no worries, we'll just keep working hard and not have to worry about disobedience in our mission anymore.  We were surprised at the suddenness of the meeting but it felt like something like that has been needed for a long time in our mission. There have been problems with disobedience over the past 5 months or so especially. So luckily Elder Nielsen came in and cleaned up.

I'll try and give ya an update on the Caratao family (Water lady) next week.  They've made a tiny bit of progress but don't wanna go to church :/
Da Beej

We've Run Out Of Epic P-Day Ideas, Can Anyone Help Us? Received 9-24-12

Momma!  Ooooooo! :)

Things are still rollin along here.  Had a turn of events with Elder Wu.  A General Authority from China or something like that called us the other day and told him that they've put in an application to have him transfer missions and hope it will happen sometime this transfer.  I'm not sure if that means he's for sure leaving or when that will be but that's the latest on it.  He's still improving and working harder on Tagalog but we'll see what happens.

Haha, I started writing in my journal again a few days ago and haven't missed a day for about a week.  Hope I can keep it up.  Sure makes me feel bipolar though because I seem to have one good day and one bad one every other day haha.  I usually get to bed between 10:30 and 11.  Not much to do other than sit around and be bored whether I'm tired or not haha.  Naah, that's not true.  I read sometimes, joke around with Elder Hicken sometimes, and write in the journal when I don't get to bed at 10:30.
Soooo Cute!

Duck-bowling sounds pretty cool.  Bowling's pretty fun too but we're about 2 hours away from any Bowling Alley's out here in the province.  Feel like we've kinda sucked this place dry of P-day ideas but we just got an Elder in the Zone that likes basketball so maybe we can get some Bball going.

The Brillantes kids are good.  Brother hasn't been able to work for 5 weeks because his company's bus has been broken and they're still waiting for parts from Japan.  He came to church with them the first 3 weeks but now they've missed 2 in a row because of rain and they might be running low on money to get to church which is almost 8 kilometers away from them.  No worries though.  We asked them why they couldn't make it to church and they said they had their own Sacrament Meeting at home as a family :)  Mom and Dad shared scriptures and the kids all bore their testimonies and then they all went into different rooms to have their "classes" haha So cool :-)  Their mom was baptized when she married Bro Brillantes, is a little shy with the members, and is SUPER busy all the time.  She's only been to church once since I've been here and didn't even go to the baptism.  She's SUPER nice and cool though.  Hopefully we'll find a way to help her too.
The Brillantes family and some friends.
Their are a couple extra kids in the pics.  They always have all their friends come and listen to us.  We tried to teach one's family but it didn't work out.  They're just too far out there to get any converts now I think.  They're lots of fun though :)

I've kinda been living on Top Ramen and Jelly sandwiches lately.  You might be right about losing my rice pouch hahaha :)  Ever since we had a house with 4 Americans I haven't been eating as much of it.  I'm doing fine though don't worry.

That's pretty crazy that Ashlyn's already 16!  Kinda REALLY crazy that you've finally given in to getting her a puppy! :)  Must be getting pretty quiet around the house without us there eh? ;)  Man that Hunter kid's gonna be a sports star!!!  Can't wait to get home and see it for myself :)  Hope Kylee has fun with the Shakespearean Festival again.  Has she had here tryouts for the school play yet?
Couple of happy campers!  :D

I remember going to that Temple Dedication (Farr West Temple), pretty cool stuff.  Hunter sure looks snazzy in his suit eh?  Good to hear you guys got together with the Powells!  Hope everyone's doing well.  Let everyone know I love em and think of them often.

Love you all tons!  Thanks for all the pictures and love in the emails you send.  Hope ya know how much I love and appreciate all you continue to do for me Ma :)
Have a good week!

PS-That's great!  You've probably gotten more mail from Marcelo than from me on my whole mission eh? haha, I'm sorry that I'm terrible at writing.  I always want it to be some long great letter but just don't have time for it.  I should probably just start sending short notes.
Love ya!