Tuesday, October 4, 2011

October 3, 2011

Hello my wonderful family!!

Thank you so very much for each of your  letters!!!  I also recieved letters from Papa and Grandma Crouch and Grandma Clegg. I loved them so much. I loved Papas story about “opening your mouth”. I have actually thought a lot about that this week. I appreciated that story very much. I am so grateful for that.

I am grateful for a lot of things. I find myself feeling happy and grateful the moment my alarm goes off in the morning.  I am constantly grateful for where I am, where I come from, and what I have been  called to do. I am comfortable here and even though I don’t understand much around me. I feel at peace. I have learned a lot about reading body language. I can report that the language is getting better. Last night on the bus   I was sitting looking out the window thinking about conference and I felt like I should go talk to one of the brethren in the rama. He is a small little man who reminds me of a small Santa Clause. His name is Hermano Peralta. I had talked to him earlier that day but still felt like I should talk to him. So slightly apprehensively I got up and walked to the back of the bus to talk to him. He is probably 45 or more, does not have a family, lives alone and works a lot, but is a rock in this branch. He is literally constantly studying the scriptures and he is taking classes. He does not ever talk to his family and the branch is not extremely warm with him. He teaches the Young Men. But the lesson I learned is that when we follow promptings we can achieve.  I understood just about every word he said as he talked about work, his favorite talks etc. I was able to muter back a few words and talk with him. I thought back to where I was in the MTC and realized that yes I have learned a lot of Spanish!! That being said, The mountain is still standing tall that I must climb.   During Conference I was  able to go on splits with our zone leader, Elder Mickles, inbetween sessions and work with him to try and get people to conference. It was so awesome!! He would be my best friend back home. We did work. He told me how the first six months of the mission is to humble you and then it all comes together. It really is all about just opening your mouth  - always. When in public I have to be looking for ways to talk always. I have to drive people crazy, because I have a message that should not be kept secret. Then they have their agency to do the rest. I love being a missionary. I have to have a sense of urgency, this time is flying for me!

So some highlights of the week were:
I was some killer whales jump up in the ocean during our bus ride to district meeting.   
Dad, It has been pretty cold this week. Lots of rain. I am well set though.
We got to plant a field by hand. See picture. It was nuts! We pulled the little plants (some type of squash) from the greenhouse and it then layed them out in the field and then planted them. It took all morning to do three rows!! In that amount of time in the states to do three entire fields. I then got to help with the flood irrigating. It was so fun!! 
General Conference was awesome!! I got to see all of it except the Priesthood session.  The best part was it was all in a language I completely understand!  German!  ha ha ok, so I got to watch it in English!! I loved the talks on the Book of Mormon. The Atonement, Familes, all of it. It was great!! We are all so blessed. I thought of all of you a lot and it was cool to think that we where listening to the same thing at the same time. The first session started at 1 here though and the second at 5.  It was great. What were some of you favorite talks and highlights?
We also went tracting in this crazy forest, where we found  investigator and saw all these green parrots. It was so pretty. It was almost Redfish Status!! Kinda.

General Conference is like Super Bowl for missionaries. It was fun because the whole stake was in the chapple and in between sessions everyone chills and drinks Mate together and talks. Simple.

Well, BRENNEN HAPPY Birthday Friday! I am pumped you got my letter in 9 days. That is cake walk. I love you so much man!! Have a great 15. I will be thinking about you. You are such a stud. You will change lives in JHS. That I am sure. Keep at it and I hope you ankle heals up soon. I will keep the prayers coming for you. Glad you go the letter!!

So from my skimming of letters it sounds like everybody is doing really well. Glad you got to enjoy conference! Sounds like the Cross Country team all had an awesome time up at Redfish! That’s a lot of boys and girls!  That worked out perfect they could stay there and go to the meet in Challis! Thanks for those pretty pictures Mom. They were great. That picture of the moon with Heyburn is postcard status. Holy cow Mikesell and Alex!! Nice job at Challis! Good work!!

Mikesell - I loved what you said about Tom in your last letter....No question that should be your senior quote “Living the Dream”. Holy smokes girl - Slow down! You are nuts. You are trying to do it all! I am sure am proud of you for being so involved, but you can only do so much! Think of what is the most important in you life and then work towards that. Listen to that talk on “time” again. I think it was Saturday afternoon session. I love you so much Sis... Yes we are all under the same sun and moon. It is comforting. .. Thank you for you your example. I love you so much.  Thanks so much for your emails.

Harrison! Hey man- I sure love you Brother! I miss you much. It sounds like you are doing well. You and McCall are such troopers...going back and forth to Redfish each weekend is a lot I know!! We sure have an awesome Mom and Dad huh!!!  Bet you are growing so much.  I love you buddy. Keep doing good things!

McCall   Hey you little angel! I sure love you and miss you. You are so amazing. How is school? I hope you are making good friends and having a great time. I love you so much. I hope you are still giving me kisses on that cardboard thing Mom has up.  Love you Cally...

Dad- Thanks for the email Mountain Dweller!!  Have I told you how flat this place is? It is a pancake. I saw the picture that Christians Mom sent and was so happy to see mountains.  It is weird to think this is my month mark here. It has gone by so fast. We are almost done with this transfer. Sounds like it is cold up there!? The dinner is this weekend. That will be fun. Pretty soon you will all be reunited in Jerome again. Time is truly crazy....  I love you so much Dad. Eat a peanut butter sandwich for me. Oh I was going to tell you a story. This week we got let in a Mans house who’s wife just died and were just about to start teaching when his son walked in. He went off on America, the Church - he was just full of hate. I only understood like half of it but Elder Perez told me what was up after. I just bore my testimony of the BoM and then in the closing prayer killed him with kindness. I am so proud to be a American and we have to preserve the morals and go forward to better. The world needs us as an example. I love you Dad!!

Alex- Thanks for the update on sports- glad we got a win!! Good stuff.  Keep full of energy and working hard. I love you man. Thanks so much for your example and everything you do. You are the best my friend. Love you Bro.

Mom - YOU DID IT... You deserve some serious reward for what you did this summer. 31 events - Holy Cow!! Going to the temple, starting spin class - sounds like you got a great week ahead!! I hope you are feeling better. Thank you so much for you letter. I skimmed it and will read it this evening. Tell The Pearson’s congrats and Rachelle also! I love you so much. Sounds great with the money thing…transfer to savings is perfect. I took out the last that I will every take out for the rest of the year today. I think it was like 40 dollars. 400 pesos here. I am figuring out how to eat healthy and the members take good care of us. Yeah a little cook book would be great! Oh one funny little request. There is a hermana in the branch who is do service for in her garden - she feeds us and is quite a saint.  For example with out us even asking she brought lunch for us during Sunday conference. But she loves maple syrup but it doesn’t exist here. So if you could send me a little that would be awesome. If not, there is a Walmart in Bahia and I will get some to her before I leave the mission. I love you so much Mom. Thank you for everything - your prayers-  everything. May you continue to be blessed!! I love you. Have a great week!
Thank you for being centered on Christ! You are my inspiration!! God bless. Have a great week. You are in my every prayer! I love you so much .Have a great Homecoming week in Jerome! Fun stuff1 love you all!

 Elder Clegg

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