Wednesday, April 25, 2012

A new assignment brings blessings: hot water and AC!

Well, your dream was certainly interesting.

I´ll tell you step by step what went down over transfers.

First, I was at church Sunday and one of the office elders, the ones that just work in the office all day as secretaries more or less, told me he had good news for me. He told me I was going up to ZL. I said cool, and then the next day, Monday, when President Lee is supposed to call to let us know what happened over transfers, I never was called. I went to the zone meeting, and on the way, at 9:50 in the morning we got a call.. I missed it because we were practically running to the meeting. It was from President Lee...

I went up to ZL in Los Jardines. It's the east zone here in Santiago. It's just wonderful. It's the "rich" part of Santiago, and my house is no exception. It's just wonderful. Today, I got to the house, turned on the shower, and HOT WATER CAME OUT!!!!! I have hot water in the house. Then, as I was unpacking, I noticed in our bedroom there was a weird box coming out of the wall... when I asked my comp what it was, he told me it was AIR CONDITIONING!!! Are you kidding me?? I am living like an American, in charge of the largest zone in the mission, and Elder Pinkston, my best friend from my group, is a district leader in the zone. Apparently they also were working really hard last transfer so they have quite a few baptisms lined up.

I. Am. So. Happy.

My comp is Elder Mejia, a Dominican from my group. He's quiet, reserved, and super nice. We had been saying, since the CCM, that we were going to be comps. It happened. I couldn't be more pleased with my sweet, good-hearted, hard-working comp.

Elder Taylor and I were talking about it, and we were saying the being a zone leader is really just a whole other level of missionary work, because you are with someone from your time, and your both seasoned, practiced and experienced, so the teaching should be the best of my mission. I can't wait to just hit the ground running with him. He's a good man, very understanding, and Latin, so I can perfect my Spanish with him.

Apart from that, there's some other good news from yesterday. I was pretty sad all day about leaving behind Anthony, a golden investigator of ours that was one of my favorite Dominicans. We had a great lesson with him last night, and he started talking about moving. We were both pretty taken back, and asked him where he was going to move, and he told us, for convenience of his work and his wife's work, he is going to move to Los Jardines, in my WARD! So I think Elder Taylor may baptize him, and I will probably get to see him more than Elder Taylor. It worked out perfectly. He truly was a miracle.

I'm glad you got to see Cameron. Take care of him for me. I want him to be at BYU with me.

I am still a bit sick, I am coughing like crazy and here they just have a bunch of placebo pills and cough syrup, nothing really works. I've tried a bunch of things. I may just have to get over this the all natural way.

Well, I don't know too much more about what's happening with me, because being a Zone Leader, till now, has been the same as just being a regular elder.

I can say, though, that leaving with my grandson was really amazing. I cannot believe how little time I have. I talked to Elder Kimball for a while yesterday, he got me thinking waaaay too much about how little time we have and what not. I still feel like I have forever left though, I don't want to get way ahead of myself.

Hmmmmm.. I think you may just beat me in a round of golf right now. Ha if I were you, I would take me on right when I got back so you could just crush me. That would be a great moral booster for you, and a great way to humble a prideful RM.

I love you two. I think I've written enough. I need to write president still. Next week won't be quite so crazy, transfer days are always nuts.

Be safe, well and good,

Till next week, not a second wasted,

Elder C. Rufus Sweeney

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Elder Sweeney becomes a "grandpa"!

Ok.. Wow this week has been pretty average but today has been really intense.

Curt Clausson was able to find me. We spent the good part of this afternoon together. Ironically enough, I was able to use the white shirts that he bought me right off the bat because I spilled ice cream on my shirt first thing.

He is a great man though. Really sincere and down to earth. He has a lot of wisdom that I want to break into but we barely had any time to talk. But I did.. Talk to Cameron for a bit. I wanted to see how he was and if he was going to be ok, how he was reacting to everything, what exactly happened, how the mission was, and everything in between. We talked for about an hour. Then Curt brought us upstairs and talked to us for a bit. Make sure and let him know that I really would be interested in sitting and talking to him more. I really do admire him.

Our investigators are doing ok. We are going to have to postpone the baptism from this saturday because the guy went to stake conference but it was full so he just turned around and left. I was a little mad, but it's all good.

So, transfers are a week from today, but som really exciting news is that Elder Johnson, my first son, is GOING TO GET A KID! I will be a grandpa. That was cool. I get to leave with my grandson the first day, or at least meet him his first day here. I'll probably give him a tie or something.. At least a grandpa like hug.

So that's been the big news from this week. I am getting a tad.. a bit.. a tidge.. But only a tidge.... trunky. I don't want it to happen yet, but I figure transfers will break me out of it. They usually do.

My comp and I had an intense photo shoot today. It only lasted about an hour, but we were put into eagle's mouths, imitating statues, and thrown into all kinds of situations. It was fun. I'll send the results later when I have the time.

I feel good though momma. Don't worry. I'm not depressed. Far from it. I feel great. As far as the mission goes, as far as the health goes.. Well I'm a little hoarse. Ok a lot hoarse. Like I've had an ongoing cold for a while, but now I feel good and I just don't have much of a voice. But I'm ok. I sound like a giant though, my voice is really intense.

We get to talk in a couple weeks, huh? That's coming up fast. Super fast. I'll let you know as soon as I can where I'll be and how we'll skype. It'll be the last time in the mission! Crazy.

I love you two. I don't remember if there was anything that I missed, hope not, but that's crazy about the tornadoes.

I'll be home for Christmas... Oh and one more thing. I don't know when you were planning to go to Europe, but have it be after the 24th of October if possible. There is something that I want to do with cameron, ok?

Be safe, be good, Love you,

Till next week, not a second wasted,

Elder C. Rufus Sweeney

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Working like a "madman!"

Wow. What an impressive email. I don't even know where to start. I guess with the Masters.

BUBBA WATSON?? WHAAAAA? I knew about him, but I never thought he's win something like the Masters. He was always a grip it and rip it kind of player, if I remember right. That does make me really happy though. I love a good story like that. Wish i could have seen it though. Golf is soooooo far from EVERYone's mind here.

This week's been pretty good I guess. I went on 2 exchanges, one with my district and one with the zone leaders. I got to hang out with Elder Parker, who's going home soon, and he gave me the same advice you gave me, which is the best advice I think. Just work like a madman and these last 6 months will be quick. But, to be honest I am enjoying this so much now I don't even think about it a whole lot. Elder Johnson, my first kid, said one of his goes was that he wanted to be more sad about leaving the mission than leaving home. That sounds like a good idea to me.

We've been working a lot here. We have a baptism the 21st of this month, a good young man, 16 years old and just so humble. Also, Anthony is progressing really nicely. He's that super contact we made. He has a plan to drink natural juice (which is just amazing in this country, btw) instead of beer as usual. He's changing so much. And feeling the difference. It's really amazing.

Also, my comp and I found out that we have a mutual friend. I had forgotten, but a long time ago Carly Vongchonyakul (that girl from Norman) told me about a friend of hers that was called to the same mission. Anyway, needless to say that that friend was none other than Trent Taylor. It's a SMAAAAAALL world. Well, a small BYU world.

We have stake conference coming up this weekend. Supposedly a general authority is supposed to come. Ought to be great. I'll let you know.

Also, I'll try and send more pictures. You have to understand though, the time it takes to load them up is just ridiculous. I'm sorry if I can't get to that for a bit.

I love you two. I cannot believe how little time I have left. It's just crazy. I feel like, while it will be sad, I'm ready to move to the next phase of my life.

Nos vemos ahora casi, cuidense,

Till next week, not a second wasted,

Elder C. Rufus Sweeney

Monday, April 9, 2012

An Average Week....and that's good!

You are getting me really psyched for something super far away. Ha or at least I like to think of it that way. I don't wanna come home so fast.. I miss you guys, I love you guys, I want to see you guys.. But I love it here. But, it will come to an end and I know that I'll love the next phase of my life as well.

Well, this week has been pretty average. Nothing super spectacular has happened. But we've been tracting like mad men and finding some pretty good stuff. This one guy yesterday was cool. He told us he had been to church a lot as a kid and played basketball and stuff and when we explained the Book of Mormon he loved the idea of asking God. So, I can see progression for him... Hopefully at least.

I love the work. My comp is great. He and I get along well. He's very controlling.. he just likes to take control of situations, which is fine because as a trainer I had to do that a LOT. So it's a nice break. Plus it helps him to learn to do that when he's a senior comp.

Let's see.. I think there's going to be a loooot of things that are different when I get back. It sounds like the neices and nephews are just huge (and looks like it too.. Zack attack is adorable). But, a lot will be just the same. Like my room.

Guess what else? I think you're maybe forgetting about something. We get to web chat again in like a month! Isn't that crazy? Also, the next general conference will be the weekend before I go home. Amazing. So fast. As they say here, el tiempo pasa volando (actually, they say that in english too.. ha)

So how are Shane and Dianne? I never got anything from her. Ha she promised me like 20 times before I left that she would send something.. But I have yet to get something. Wait.. Maybe one letter. But I'd like another update from her. If you would bring that up next time you see her that would be great.

Well. This week is looking to be pretty average too. I can't think of too much happening here. I'll be doing a couple exchanges with my district and with the Zone Leaders but that's about all. Elder Parker, one of my good friends in the mission, is ZL and gonna finish his mission in like 3 weeks so that'll be a good time talking to him. It has to be a weird feeling finishing up. I'm getting there, but it still feels soooo far away.

BTW, just so I don't forget, my address is #55 Abua Rodriguez, Pueblo Nuevo, Santiago. We live on the second floor, and the guy on the first floor is the bishop and he's named Jose Mirabal (it's kind of a famous name here). And my number is 809-723-7060. That should be enough information. I can't wait till he stops by. Let me know when he's coming.

TELL ME ABOUT THE MASTERS!!! I want a description of every shot.. ok not that extreme, but something nice. Something that makes me just a tidge trunky.

I love you two. I can now count the months on one hand. Whoa.

Be safe, be good, talk to you next week,

Till then, not a second wasted,

Elder C. Rufus Sweeney

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Of Mosquitos and Rats.....and Allen Iverson

TIGER WON SOMETHING! Wow. That is just astounding. Tell me every detail about the Masters. Ooooh how I miss that, the Masters. Wow, it's so beautiful.

That contact that we made, Anthony, is progressing beautifully. HE GOT THE JOB! And, the best part, he doesn't work on Sundays!! I am just thrilled. He went to church this week and we met his wife, she's a sweetheart. He's supposed to bring her to church this next week. We invited him to be baptized, and he said yes, but we don't have a specific date yet.

Other than that we've been seeing other investigators progressing really well. And actually a lot of less actives coming back to church. Routinely in church we have about 80-100 people there, but we actually have a fair amount of priesthood, so it's really nice. It's really amazing because they're willing to leave with us and everything.. Well most of the time.

The church is great as well. It was under construction for about a month before I got here, and they are just finishing up. They are putting in an air conditioning system, so that will be amazing. Just like Fantino. Freeeezing. Ha my definition of cold is a lot different now.

Our house is pretty nice as well. It's WAAAAY smaller than the one in Bonao, but it's just for 2 missionaries so it's not too bad. Doing laundry is a bit of a pain, but it always is so it's not a shock. We just have to move the washer into the tiny bathroom and use the shower to fill up the washer. Ha it sounds a lot worse than it is.

I haven't had a single mosquito bite me in Pueblo Nuevo because it's in the city. It's just beautiful in that regard. But I've seen my fair share of rats. The rats are just gigantic.. Like the size of small cats. I think that's my least favorite animal in the world now.

Let's see.. The bishop lives below us. That's a cool aspect. He's just awesome, and it makes me feel a little more protected.

And Allen Iverson coming here is really hot news. It's been circulating, it's like that main topic of discussion. Ha there's a lot of basketball players here so it's way fun. We're gonna get a big tournament going soon I think with members and investigators. Right behind that basketball stadium there's a few investigators actually! Ha that's neat to see. It's a way nice part of our area.

I think that's it as far as the area goes.. I DID get the shoes. Actually my last week in Bonao, which was quite a long time ago. Sorry for not telling you. To be honest they've became my main proselyting shoes and the other ones of for meetings.. Just because that's the way they function. They look good though so I think I'll bring them home.

I love you two. Be safe, be healthy. Stop getting skin cancer please. I'll put on sun screen every day. That scares me a lot actually.

Till next week, not a second wasted,

Elder C. Rufus Sweeney