c I came home December 15,2010 //

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

04/28/2009 (Busy Busy P-day)

Hello from Milton-Freewater, Oregon. Last night we stayed the night at the elders' house from Milton-Freewater, we played Risk last night which was awesome. This morning we got up and went to the 10:45 session at the temple. A member from Milton-Freewater drove us. When we got to the temple, one of the workers noticed we were speaking Spanish so he asked if we wanted to listen to the session in Spanish. It was awesome, we got the headphones and everything. At one point when you are supposed to say yes, we all said si. It was pretty funny. We did some things in the tri-cities and then came back here to Milton-Freewater; that’s why I am e-mailing from here.

Not much has been going on this week. We do have a tough time getting people to church. The best way to feel the spirit is to go to church but if you don't go to church, you won’t feel that great spirit. It is frustrating.

We found this sweet little area that is about 100% Mexican. Whenever we walk the area, that’s how I picture Mexico. My companion says that there are parts of Mexico that are like that. They have the old guys with cowboy hats out drinking beer with the women hanging their tamales. It is sweet.

I have a few things that I have been meaning to mention to you for a while and always forgot but I got smart this time … I wrote them down ahead of time.

1st - What is the best way to clean my watch?
2nd - I decided what I want for my birthday or something like that, a hymn book for the piano. I have really been interested in playing and I can see a need for a hymn book soon. I am getting a lot better at sight reading.
3rd - Did you know that in Oregon, the gas station has to fill up your car for you, it’s like a law, crazy.
4th - With my 2 suit pants. Is it better to alternate them or just wear one now until it wears out and wear the other one later?
5th I am running low on memory on my camera. Have you sent a new card yet?

Well that’s about it.

Where was Grandpa Nick buried? Clint is now serving in Winthrop, Maine and sounds really familiar so I was just wondering if I have been there?

We have interviews with President Belnap on Thursday and he will let us know then what is going on for Mothers day phone calls. I will let you know in my next e-mail.

It is not getting warm here. It was in the 80s a couple of days last week but has been in the 50s the past couple of days. The next transfers are May 20th. We eat with members pretty much every night. We haven’t eaten out much this transfer. The guy that took us to the temple today used to have a winter home in Quartzite. He kept talking about how great it was there. I was thinking the only thing Quartzite has to offer is cheeseburgers.

I have not done very well about keeping a journal. I try to write a lot on my e-mails but the journal has not been very good. My companion is still freezing pretty much all the time. The Spanish branch meets in a regular church. They do everything with the English ward except the Sunday meetings which are separate.

Well, that’s about it. I hope and pray everything is great there. Keep up the good work

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

04/21/2009 (The work is progressing)

Hello, how are you? I am doing well. Things are going really well here in Walla Walla. We have been doing a little bit more tracting but we have been finding some really good people to teach.

We gave a tour of the church to Natividad and then watched the video “The Restoration” in one of the classrooms. He started crying at the end as most do because it is so powerful. He said he has been searching for answers lately. He didn't attend Sacrament meeting on Sunday but he called that night and apologized for not going which is really good.

On Friday we decided we were going to go tracting but we didn't know where. We prayed and a less active lady’s name came to our minds. We went to visit her and we just talked for a little bit because she was on her way out. So then we went tracting. We went one way on one side of the street and were coming back the other side (by the way this was all English which makes me more nervous then Spanish) and we had about five house left when we met this lady named Whinnie. She said how interested she was in the Mormon faith because we were so close as families. She said her daughter has been having trouble and was in Salt Lake City that weekend and called her mom and told her that everyone was just so nice there and her mom told her that is just how people are there. We went back today and taught her the first lesson and she told us afterwards that she really likes that idea of a restored gospel. She also says that she feels an emptiness in her church. At the end she prayed and said thank you for bringing these nice young men and just started crying and said I will pray to find out if it is true, I promise. She is really a neat lady. Her husband is a radiation specialist and they are very wealthy. I add that on to show that you never know who is ready for the gospel.

We have been teaching a few other people that have seemed interested. We are working hard so that’s half that battle, right.

It has been in the low 80's and very sunny. I have been wearing short sleeves and my arms are getting nice and tan. It is a little toasty walking around with dark slacks and a tie on. I know it’s not as hot as in Arizona but I am still going to complain.

Tomorrow we have a Spanish zone conference in The Dalles. It’s just all the Spanish missionaries in the mission getting together. We have to be in the Tri-cities at 6:30 a.m. tomorrow which means we will have to be up at about 4:30.

Oh!! I almost forgot! I had quite a day on Saturday. We were out tracting and all the sudden I had to go to the bathroom (#2). I told Elder Montoya and he said lets just do the rest of the street which was about 3 houses and I said okay. Well we did that and we were heading back to the car when we started talking to a lady out on the street. Well by the time we got back to the car, Elder Montoya asked me, "Where did you want to go?" And I said "well, we better go home!". Elder Montoya a little puzzled replied, "Why?" and I answered a fair question and said "because I need some new garments". So by the time we got home I was a pretty good mess. I jumped in the shower and got all cleaned up and we headed back out. Elder Montoya was pretty sad that he didn't listen to me the first time. I told him not to worry, it runs in the family. So that it has happened already on the mission. We will mark that as time number 1. (You can put this on the blog or not. It is up too you)

Well not much else is happening here. Just keep praying for the missionaries and for missionary experiences. I like the missionary story you wrote about mom. That was good. I love and miss you all.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Pictures 1 (April 2009)

Elder Flint and Elder Bair with a couple from Guatemala.
She is a member of the church and we are teaching him.

Elder Flint and Elder Bair

From left: Elders Bair, Flint & Montoya

I love upholstered front yard furniture.

Sometimes the wind blows hard in southern Washington

Top: Elder Flint
Bottom from left: Elders Jones,Uribe, Parlogean, Bair

Pictures 2 (April 2009)

From left: Elders Bair, Uribe, Jones
Elder Montoya and Elder Bair
From left: Elders Bair, Searle, Flint

Some Pictures my brother-in-law would be proud of. I am walking through a manzana orchard near Milton-Freewater, Oregon.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

04/14/2009 (Hey)

Well hello there. How was your Easter? Mine was good. We ate at the Bushmen’s house. We had the normal ham and potatoes. It was really fun though. I got your Easter package. I got one from Grandma Donna too. That was cool. Elder Montoya didn't get one so that was nice of you to send him stuff too.

It has still been pretty cold here. It rained pretty much all day on Sunday. Elder Montoya hates the cold. It has only been about 55 but he still wears thermals, long sleeve shirt and a suit coat. You gotta love it.

I have been meaning to tell you this for a while but I guess my companions have a problem with me. I guess I snore too loud. It doesn't really bother me. But if Elder Flint didn't fall asleep before me, he would go into the other room and sleep on the floor. And now Elder Montoya, who is so cold at night he has 2 blankets and a heated blanket on has bought ear plugs to use. I don't know what the big fuss is all about. I mean, it only wakes me up in the morning if I doze off during personal study.

Elder Montoya is cool. I have learned a lot of Spanish in just the week that he has been here. We are working really hard too. He also really likes chicken, like all of it, the meat, the cartilage, the marrow. Whatever floats his boat.

Tomorrow is Zone Conference in Hermiston, Oregon. It is about an hour and a half away and it starts at 9. I like Zone conference. Tomorrow should be pretty relaxed because at night we teach an English class.

Next Wednesday we have a Spanish conference over in The Dalles. That is like half way from here to the coast in Oregon. That should be cool.

We have met another guy named Nativity. He seems very interested, and is very humble. We have taught him a first lesson and he was very interested. He has kinda had a rough life. He and Elder Montoya both really like to fish so that helps too.

Efrian, he didn't come to church on Sunday. You have to go 3 times before you can be baptized. There are only 3 more Sundays until his date so we will see what happens. Satan knows when people have a baptismal date.

Other than that there are not very many other people that are very far along. We find a lot, we have a lot of people we can contact, it’s just getting them to progress.

Todd is moving back over to Vancouver with his wife this weekend. It will be sad to see him go but it is good that he is moving in with his wife.

What are you guys doing for Mothers Day? I don't know what we are doing besides preaching the gospel. Friday is my 4 month mark. That is pretty exciting.

Well that’s about it for this week. Keep on doing what you’re doing. Time is flying. We will talk to you next week. Bye

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

04/07/2009 (A lot going on!)

Well on to the good news. I got my new companion’s name. His name is Elder Montoya. He is from Mexico City. He came out on his mission the middle of November and he too was trained by Elder Flint. I don't know much about him other then he is a hard worker, and between the 2 of us, we have 9 months in the field. Crazy I know.

Well, remember Efrain? Well we had another appointment with him last night and we went over 3 Nephi 11. I just kept getting this strong urge to talk to him about baptism. Every time it was my turn to talk I mentioned baptism. Well it was a great lesson. We asked him to prepare himself for baptism for the 6th of May!!! He said he would. It was amazing. It was pretty much the last lesson that Elder Flint taught and we committed him to be baptized. It was amazing.

Well we have been doing a lot of running around getting pictures with people. Last night we burned one of Elder Flint’s suits. I got it on video. Yes we do call it killing someone off when they go home. Elder Flint has never killed anyone off and I kill him off in my first transfer. Crazy.

Well General Conference was awesome. I like how Elder Bednar said that the temple and the home are almost equal and so we need to keep our houses clean. There was a lot of talk about temples. I don’t know who said it but they said that when temples were far away you make great sacrifices to attend the temple, and now that there are so many more that are closer, you don't go any more often. I like that a lot. All the talks were amazing. A fabulous conference. We watched the Saturday afternoon and the Sunday morning sessions at the church. We then watched Saturday morning and Sunday afternoon sessions at members’ houses.

On Friday there was a baptism of a couple of kids in the ward and they had us confirm so I did my first confirming on Friday. That was pretty neat.

Well the weather has been about 65 and sunny for the past 4 or 5 days. Absolutely beautiful. The work is progressing. Hopefully we can get Efrain baptized and 50 more next transfer. Keep doing what you are doing.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

04/04/2009 (Questionnaire)

We recently sent Matthew a questionnaire (in bold). His responses are italicized.

As I said I was going to do in my last letter, I have made a questionnaire for you to fill out at your leisure and then mail it back when you can.

How many missionaries are there in your mission? 180’ish
How many of them are Spanish? Only about 30
What do you usually do for breakfast and lunch? I usually have Fruit Loops for breakfast. For lunch, one day a week, we get a free meal at like a diner. We usually go out ourselves one other day and just make whatever on the other days.
How often do you go to the grocery store? Every Week but just for like milk and stuff
Are their Sunday School and Priesthood meetings in Spanish as well as Sacrament Meetings? Yes
Have you had an opportunity to play the piano yet? I do in district meeting but not in church.
Do you have enough money for the things that you need? Yes
Do you spend most of your day speaking Spanish or only a small part? Probably 50/50
Are you teaching anybody else consistently other than Todd? Consistently, no. With Spanish you get in a lot of doors but they don’t really progress.
Is Todd a Spanish speaker? No
What does he do for work? Right now nothing. He wants to move back to Vancouver with his wife so he is looking for a job there. He was a plumber but says he doesn’t want to do that anymore.
Has he been a member for a long time? Yes, his whole life.
Is his wife a member? Yes
What do you do for service? A lot of moving in. We helped a guy we met tracting re-sod his lawn. People have been here so long that they have basements full of crap so we have cleaned out basements twice. We have had service every Saturday so far.
What have you been doing to get your service hours? Well we don’t need a certain amount of hours but the last question answered what we do.
Have you been able to teach a whole discussion in Spanish yet? Yes, the first and second.
What is your favorite thing about your mission so far? How close you get to people. I have like 200 best friends already.
Have you been called on to teach a church lesson or give a talk in Spanish yet? Not yet.
What do you usually do on your P-day? E-mail and play basketball
Are you able to get pictures via e-mail okay or does it take too long to download? No, it was real easy
Does the Spanish branch have its own Bishop and leadership or do they combine with the English speaking ward? They have a “group presidency” but that’s it. Just three guys that are in charge of the group. That’s all.
Do you ever need to do any cooking? Just like macaroni and cheese and stuff.
Did you get any serious investigators out of your special sacrament meeting that you had? Not yet, Most of them were less-actives that came.
Are you living with Spanish speakers?
Are there any other people in the home besides Mom and Dad? Nope
Are there a lot of farms in the area? Yes, grape farms for wine.
What seems to be the major industry in the area? Wineries or the penitentiary or working for the city.
Are the Spanish members pretty good missionaries? Not really
Are there Spanish families or mostly single people? A couple of families then a couple of singles that the husband won’t go out and what not.
Are you fed mostly by the Spanish members? Probably once or twice a week.
Do you serve the Spanish branch and the regular ward or are you just assigned to the Spanish branch? We do both
How often do you end up tracting? Maybe an hour a day. Not much so far.
Is the English speaking ward very big? About 150
Are most of the English speaking members long-time members or are there a lot of new converts? A mixture of both. I would say more converts than our ward but not a ton.
Do there seem to be many baptisms in Walla Walla and/or your mission or is the work kind of slow? Kinda slow. The last baptism was in October.

Well, I can’t think of anything else to ask right now. Fill this out when you have time and send it back. You are doing an awesome job. We love you.