Saturday, June 23, 2012

Changes Ahead....

Wow... Wow. That is upsetting. The thunder lost. The hope of the
west.. is down 3-1 to the bad guys. It would be great to press them
and win a game in Miami so we could have them on our turf for games 6
and 7. Stranger things have happened... But I just don't want Lebron
to win.

Ok, so not too much new on our front. Yeah, we get a new mission pres
this week. That's just nuts! I will miss president Lee, I really will,
he's treated us so well. He and Hermana Lee have shown us so much
love. I think president Lee probably has 3 times the grey hair he had
when he got here. They do so much for us.

But it's time for them to go. The new mission president aparently got
#1 lawyer of the year. He speaks pretty good spanish from what I've
heard. He and his wife have a charity in India that they are putting
in the hands of someone else while they serve their missions. They
sound like really quality people. I know I'll miss President Lee in
some ways, but it'll be cool having an American mission pres.

We played soccer today for the zone activity. That was cool. None of
us were super good, there were a couple that were pretty good from
Chile, but the majority of us just had fun and puttered around. It was
less soccer and more just chasing the ball around, which was fine
because I needed to just run. I walk waaaaaay too much.

I have a question, Scott is married??? I had no clue. When did this
happen? Who is marlina? (is that her name?) Is she nice? From Ada?
That took me by surprise, sorry. I don't wanna ask any clown
questions, bro.

Hey, I turn 21 Sunday. Weird. That means Joy is 26. That I think is
even weirder. I'm getting old.. The whole family is getting old. Soon
we'll be carrying on the risk tradition but with Zack and Brody.

But yeah, be looking for a good place over there at the Y. Justyna
said the Avenues was good. She is leaving for the mission this week. I
don't know if I told you, but she was called to the San Diego mission
as well, so she'll meet Rachel! She's spanish speaking, but what if
Rachel trains her? Food for thought.

Speaking of Spanish speaking.. My comp. Ha I'm getting used to him
now. I can understand him just about perfectly now. He speaks REALLY
fast and REALLY unclear, so I figure if I can understand him I can
understand just about anyone.

What else.. I am tired still. I don't know if I've ever been more
tired than any time in my life. But, it's been so good for me. As much
as I love being ZL though, I really would love to finish my mission as
just a DL or maybe even training.. Either way in Puerto Plata. That
would make it just.. complete. Finishing on the beach. Nice.

I love you two. Be safe.

Till next time, as a 21-year-old, not a second wasted

Elder C. Rufus Sweeney

Thundering up in the DR and other fun stuff

I just want you guys to know.. I just stood up in this internet center and shouted because of what you wrote me! I am so pumped that the thunder won!!

Today has been a wonderful day. First of all, it hasn´t been near as hot here as normal. In other words, instead of 100 it´s like 93.. and also my son, Elder Johnson, came to visit me! He and his son are really awesome. They came here for their p day santiago, and we went to eat at burger´s ya, this burger joint that makes the best burgers in Santiago, and now he´s here in the internet center with me.

So, this day has been a bit of reminiscing about home, about the mission, and now, reading your letters, a bit more about home. Yes, I think I can say it, I do feel trunky. I feel it, but it´s not a feeling that hurts, more like a feeling of excitement. There´s a difference. One distracts you, the other motivates you. I have the motivating trunky right now. It´s the type of trunky that, if I´m not careful, could turd into the first kind, the discouraging type. But, for now, I just feel excited. I can´t wait to see you guys.

Monday was intense. First, we left with a member, a young man named anthony who is a baptism from last transfer of Mejía and I. We got 4 lessons with him. So, then later that night we left with two other endowed members, so we were able to do an exchange with them, each lesson counting as a member present. My member and I got 6 lessons, my comp and his got 3, so we finished the day with 13 lessons with a member present. That was pretty cool.

Yesterday was also pretty interesting. We left in the morning and went to an appointment with a man, finished up the lesson and walked past a house that I decided to contact. Outside of the house there was a dog loose, and it looked cute and harmless so I sort of made the motion to call it to me. That ticked the dog off and it started growling and ran up to me, I sort of used my bag to protect myself as it lunged, and luckily the man that lived in the house came out and called the dog off of me before it could actually bite.

I´m not necessarily scared of dogs biting me, I know that won´t kill me, it´s just the idea of going into the hospital here that scares me so much. I know I automatically have to check myself for a series of diseases if that happens, and I just hate being in hospitals here, especially if they have to stick something in me. But, it worked out ok and I wasn´t harmed. Good grief that scared me though. I have a vendetta against that dog though.

About my comp.. It´s been a good thing, it´s just been a bit of an adjustment. Elder Mejía is quiet, to himself, funny, just a really easy guy to get along with. My comp now is a big noisier, so I´m having to get used to the 2 different types of personalities. But, he´s a really great guy, great with the scriptures, a super hard worker and extremely obedient.

Yes, momma, I´m getting your letters. I just don´t like to read them on p day, I like to wait until I get them in paper form, and sometimes they just come late. But I love hearing about your horse search and your triumphs and a school teacher and your girl search in Oklahoma. It´s fascinating. And it´s worth responding to, I just forget about it when Wednesday comes around because I get your letters on Friday, but no worries, they´re all kept neatly in a box.

Sunday we ate at a really cool family´s house. I don´t know if I told you, their daughter goes to BYU (not the peruvian, the other). Their son is a huge NBA basketball fan so he´s always giving me updates, like what´s going on with the Thunder. I think he may like the Lakers, so he may be going for the Heat, but whatever, he gives me updates regardless.. Ha he´s gonna have to swallow his pride and accept that the Thunder are the better team.

I am gonna wind this up, with the hope that by the next letter the Thunder have a trophy and Elder Sweeney is fully adjusted to his new comp. I think both of those things will happen. Tell grandpa I love him if he remembers me, I´ll see him soon, and you two as well.

Be safe, carefull, well, and happy,

Till next week, not a second wasted,

Elder C. Rufus Sweeney

Transfers bring a new Companion!

Wow. What a fantastically long and great letter. I had heard about the Thunder beating the spurs, I must admit. I have my sources of great knowledge.... Ok they're just members here in Los Jardines, but they are really great about updating me. Tonight is a big night.. And today in general is a big day.. But I'm getting ahead of myself.
First of all, it was transfers today. I stayed where I was, Los Jardines but my comp was transfered out to Puerto Plata (lucky dog...). Now I have a new comp, Elder Castro. This guy has TONS of energy. He is a hard worker, super obedient, and reeeally young, just what I need in the mission. He hits a year a week from Saturday, so he went up to zone leader really early in the mission. He is cool, talks a little bit.. ridiculously fast so it's a little hard to understand him at times. Ha Dominicans are just.. well really hard to understand sometimes. They don't speak clearly, simply put. But, it's not a problem, I just tell him to repeat it. I understand almost 100 percent of the time the 2nd time.

2nd of all, that phone call needs explaining. One of our investigators' sons is in the hospital because he had an accident the other Sunday. He needed blood, but I wasn't sure that if I gave blood I would be able to ever give blood again in the states. That was my question. I loved hearing mom's voice though, if not for just a second. 

I haven't gotten a letter from anyone for a while. That's not a complaint.. that's a testament to just how little time I have left. Today I hit 1 year and 8 months in the mission. 20 months. 4 more to go. That's amazing. But you're right. I can let that get into my head and ponder upon in again and again and again or I can put my head down and just work. Really, time doesn't matter, it's completely independent, so it shouldn't influence how hard anyone works in the mission. Never. 

I am a bit worried though, what have you heard about BYU? Do you more or less have anywhere picked out or thought about for me? It's less than 6 months away, I'm not sure what the housing deadline is, but it seems like I should be really seriously looking by now.

Oh grandpa. I just love seeing that big smile of his. He is so happy looking. So relaxed. So thrilled to just be alive. That's how I would like to spend the last few years of my life.

And Joy. Not very happy. But if that's the end, that's the end. I'll see her when I get back. I love her, let her know that.

Well, I haven't heard an update from Matt for quite a while. If you get a chance to speak with him, tell him to write, thanks.

Let's see.. This last week we had a baptism. She's really sweet, a doctor recently married. Her husband should be baptised soon too. Great little family, now she's pregnant. 

I hear the Thunder fans are the craziest in the NBA. Is that true? I want to go to one of their games really bad.

I think that's it. A little scatterbrained. I've been craving something sweet lately, like granola or something like that. So, if that makes it in my package I wouldn't be upset.

I love you two. So much. Be good and safe you two. I'll see you soon..

Till next week, not a second wasted,

Elder C. Rufus Sweeney

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Enjoying the Work

What a great letter. I think, of all the letters you've written, that was probably one of the top 5 most trunky. You mentioned everything from food to golf to family and everything in between. How is Sean and his marriage going?

Mike is going to be 2nd counselor, eh? Haha that's awesome news. I'm so proud of him. The man is established, what can I say. He's the man. He's at a good stage of life, Kids are young, he's still young, he's got a career, a good calling. Life is pretty good for the man. I miss Mike, tell him to write me a bit more. I think I promised him a letter and never got it written, but this zone leader thing is robbing my time. Tell him to write me an email and I'll make writing him a priority.

Ok, so we have a baptism this weekend. It's been good in that regard but after this baptism.. We don't have much else. It's been so tough here. We contacted an entire apt complex (like probably 1/4 the size of wyview) and only got in one door, the very last one we contacted. That was a cool lesson though. He arranges music, and is actually really talented on the Piano. In this country, that is ridiculously rare. Like.. I'm talking one in a million... literally. So he took interest in the BoM, and we're hoping he has a bright future as ward pianist. It would be cool to have a ward with a pianist that wasn't a missionary.

Ok, in other news transfers are next week. Those aren't big news because I don't think I'm going anywhere, but at least I'll have a lot of changes in my zone. I need that. My elders are a bit tired. They seem to all have a lot of time in this zone, so they need out. Also, it's sort of a fresh new start for me, and I actually know what's going on now.

I really do have.. gulp... 4 months left. Whoa. Where did May go? What in the world happened to time? This transfer was unbelievably fast. Today we played basketball. It was fun I guess, but next transfer we're going to plan some good zone and dual zone activities. It'll be a blast.

I am going to finish this up a bit quick, I'm going to interview a lady that's going to be baptised tomorrow. So, we'll see you soon. I love you two. Be safe, be well, be good. :)

Till next week.. we've got a year and 8 months in this, ya ustedes saben,

Elder C. Rufus Sweeney

A last minute invitation to speak and other fun stuff....

It really is crazy how fast it´s going dad. Holy cow.. time is just flying by. My comp told me the other day that I just had one transfer left, plus the oportunity to train one more time.. and that´s it. That´s the rest of my mission. 3 more transfers. Amazing.

Sometimes I feel like it´s been pretty short, but most days I feel like it´s been every bit of 2 years. Up till now at least. Like you say, these last few months go quickly, and this transfer up till now has been unbelievably fast. Between the baptismal interviews, the exchanges, the training meetings and the little time consumers like taking numbers every Sunday you start just losing time.. I say losing time, really you can´t lose time, you can just manage the activities in your time poorly, but time will always roll on, independent of whatever we can do.

Elder Pinkston and I did our exchange this last Sunday. It was so much fun. And so nice. Not that I don´t like Spanish, especially the oportunity to better my spanish, but speaking English every once in a while is reaaally nice. Especially when you are speaking English with the best friend in the mission. We just talked about all sorts of things, from home to the mission, and everything in between. I´m really glad he´s in the zone.

Anyway, here´s the number to reach his parents. 334 514 7420

They´re home from like 8 on. I don´t have like a huge preference about where to stay, just somewhere like not too expensive but not a slum. I trust you, I know you´ll pull through. But if you have trouble finding a place that´s open for winter for like 4 guys I don´t have a problem with being in the same apt complex as him or even just close. I just want a place to live. Haha. Thanks.

Well, I was in Hato Mayor, as you know on the exchange with Elder Pinkston, and I hear a voice behind me that was saying Sweeney. I recognized the slightly high pitched voice, it was Fernando from Bonao, one of my baptisms with Elder Johnson! I couldn´t believe it! His sister lives really close to the missionaries and he just happened to be visiting when I came. We talked a bit, he told me he was still active, and now he´s passing and blessing the sacrament. I was really pleased about that. He´s the man.

hmmmm.. What else...

Oh, Sunday I was on the way to church and I received a call from the bishop. He asked if I could give a talk if someone didn´t show up to church because he had never gotten a confirmation about whether they were coming or not. I accepted, it´s not the latest I´ve ever been asked to speak, so I wasn´t so worried about it (in Bonao I was asked 5 minutes before the sacrament meeting). Anyway, it turned out the on that Sunday President and Hermana Lee decided to attend their home ward. They hardly ever attend here. My comp had never seen it. So, I had to speak in from of them with zero preparation. Hahaha I did fine I guess, I get nervous but when I actually stand up to speak I'm fine.

Also, the elections just past this week. So, elections are a bit different here than in the states. Really no one cares that much about real issues, just about how much free stuff they can get out of the politicians before they get elected. Also, they campaign basically with giant parades with ridiculously loud music, so Friday before election day the traffic jams were so bad you couldn't get across the city in less than 5 hours. It was just miserable. I am not a fan of politicians, but here they are just the scum of the earth. They just rob the people shamelessly. The man who won, Danilo Medina, won just barely and my comp was glad. Basically he is the lesser of 2 evils as far as that's concerned.

I'm so glad my Thunder are doing well! Keep me posted. The Spurs worry me a bit, from what I've heard they're looking good. But they're old. So we'll see, they may be a bit tired.

I think that's about it. I'm sleepy. I'll be taking a nice nap today after going to the supermarket. If you could move a bit more money into my personal account that would be great. I have a reimbursement (sp?) coming but it won't get here for a while because of Memorial Day. I miss the memorial golf tournament. Wow, I just miss the states a lot. (ok.. I'm a little trunky).

Love you two. Be safe, good and healthy. Send my greetings to grandma Sweeney. She's a trooper.

Till next week, not a second wasted (and no more politics),

Elder C. Rufus Sweeney