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Wednesday, July 1, 2015

He's On His Way . . .

Last time at the mission "photo board"


President Nuckols and Elder McEwan at the Santo Domingo Airport
He's on his way!!!

Monday, June 29, 2015

Last P-Day . . .

June 29, 2015,

Dear Family,


Sounds like everything is going great!  Congratulations on all that you have done this week!  I am not going to write much this week, just got lots of stuff going on, but I will tell you about it all on Wednesday!!


Love,


Elder Garrett McEwan

Love from Momma . . .

A mother's and son's last communication before he returns home from his mission. I hope he will always remember the wonderful and difficult times he experienced the last two years. It is my prayer that he will also remember to look for the tender mercies of a loving Heavenly Father:

June 29, 2015,

Dear Elder McEwan,

I just wanted to send you one "last" email on your mission to let you know how much I love you. You are a great example of hard work and perseverance. I'm so proud of the decision that you made to serve a mission and take the gospel to the people of the Dominican Republic. I know that they will always hold a special place in your heart. I am forever grateful for the blessings I have received from our loving Heavenly Father as you have served. I have often been gently reminded that blessings definitely come in different shapes and sizes and not always how we think they should come. Life is not "perfect" when we are doing what the Lord wants, but when we are doing what the Lord wants, we are always blessed. The outcome of those "blessings" depends on us and how we act on them. I'm so glad that I had a glimpse of that many years ago and have tried to learn from challenges rather than feel sorry for myself. Sometimes it's been that the sun comes out on a cloudy day or that the sun goes behind a cloud when I'm working outside on a hot, scorching day. I find the tender mercies in all aspects of my life and I know that Heavenly Father is aware of me.

Enjoy your last few days in the Dominican Republic until we will be together again as a U.S. family :). I am so thankful you have had this opportunity to preach the gospel and share what makes you happy for the last two years. I know those you have come in contact with will be forever grateful and will always remember you. I can't wait to see you and hug you.

I Love YOU forever AND always!
Mom

Dearest Mother,

Thank you so much for your last email, it means a lot to me.  I love you too, and I can not wait to see you again!  

Love,

Elder Garrett McEwan

Monday, June 22, 2015

Keep Pressing Forward . . .

June 22, 2015

Dear Family,

It sounds like everything is going well for you guys!

Not much happened this week.  We were able to have a ward activity to watch the movie "Meet the Mormons".  It was really good!  I had already seen it at the President´s house, but it was good to see it again.  We invited tons of people to this activity, and lots came, including investigators and less active members.  All went according to plan as far as that goes.  We are continuing to contact lots, trying to find new people.  It is a struggle because lots of the people are very closed off to the message of the gospel, but we just keep pressing forward.

My comp is doing great.  We found out that he will be getting a Mini Missionary to finish out the transfer after I leave, so he is nervous for that, but I know that he will do great.

I am going to donate all of my mission clothes to youth in the ward who leave on missions soon and don´t have the funds to buy clothes.

I love you all and hope you have a great week!

Love,

Elder Garrett McEwan


P.S. Happy Father’s Day, Dad! Thanks for being such a great example to me J. I Love YOU!

Monday, June 15, 2015

Some of My Lasts . . .

June 15, 2015

Dear Family,

Sounds like you guys all had a really good week!  Lots of work, but also sounds like you had a lot of fun too, which is always a good balance to have!

This week for us was just packed with meetings!  On Wednesday, we had our monthly meeting with the Stake and Mission Presidents to talk about how things are going for us in the zone.  It is always super important, as we try to identify the difficulties that we have and find solutions for them.  It was interesting that you guys said that you learned about the importance of Ward Council, because that is something that we are focusing on right now.  It is a struggle sometimes, as the church is still trying to grow in the DR, but we are making progress!  On Thursday we had the Leadership Council, my last one, with all of the Zone Leaders.  It was good, and we talked about the importancia of the Book of Mormon, as well as our weekly planning sessions and the process of true conversion.  It was good, but a little bit sad because it is the last time that I will see the majority of the people who were there, so everyone was taking pictures and saying goodbye. It feels like when I left home.  You feel sad to leave, but you also feel ready, like you have learned what you need to learn and have changed what you need to change.  There was a lot of learning and change that had to happen for me before I came out on the mission, and now there has been a lot to be able to go home!

We also had the opportunity to teach a lesson to a less active family with President Nuckols.  We taught the Valdez Family.  The husband is the first missionary from our stake to have left the country on a mission, and now is inactive!  It was sad, one of the pioneers for mission work in the stake just went inactive.  He wasn’t there, but his wife was, and we had a very spiritual lesson as we talked about covenants and how they can be a protection for us. 

Today I went and visited La Mella, a woman that we used to go eat lunch with every PDay in my first area.  Barnett and LeFevre also went, and we just had a little reunion there.  It was amazing.  She is a lady who truly loves the missionaries like sons, and it was great to see her.  We are going to go back on these last two pdays that I have left!

Mom, thank you for getting all of my college stuff in order!  I am hoping to get into the spanish class, because that would be super easy to test out of!  Even people today were making comments that I speak like a Mexican, so that would be good.  Thank you for getting the EMT course in order.  I am nervous to start, but the best way to start a new life is to just jump in head first!

I hope all is well with you guys!

Love,


Elder Garrett McEwan

Monday, June 8, 2015

"Plan Alfa" . . . "All is Well" . . .

June 8, 2015

Dear Family,

It was so good to hear about your week, and that you were able to go to the temple celebration and to the dedication!  I am very excited to go when I get home!  So much revelation can be received in the temple, and there is no doubt in my mind that inside the temple is one of the places where we are closest to God.

Everything here in the DR is going great, just a bunch of the same stuff as usual!  We officially finished contacting the area....  We finished one entire street on Friday, and when we walked around the corner to start the next one...  I recognized that we had already contacted there....  SO let´s just say we are going to try a new strategy...  Well, not really a new strategy, more like an old strategy that we have perfected.   It is called  "Plan Alfa:  Start contacting the whole area again, knocking on one door at a time until we find someone who is interested in the Gospel".  We decided to call it Plan Alfa because the other name is really long, and it is the first and only plan that we could think of, so it is the Alfa.  The people are still just kind of there, struggling a little bit.  Yeni´s daughter got measles on Friday, so they have kind of been out of comision, so that was a little bit of a downer, but things are going well!!

Today we were able to have a Zone Activity, and it was a lot of fun.  We took two kids from our ward who are preparing to go on missions so that they could see how fun the mission can be.  We went to our stake center, which is the nicest building in the country...  It is almost like being back home.  It has an indoor basketball court!! We went there and played basketball and soccer, and then watched the movie "Big Heroes 6".  I really enjoyed it, even though I totally predicted the twist of the teacher stealing the technology.  I also talked to a guy a couple of days ago to get him to bring a bunch of chimis.  They are like hamburgers, but they have a different sauce, kind of like a spicy fry sauce, and shredded cooked cabbage.  They are super good, I am going to have to show you how to make them.  Any way, then we went home, I gave some stuff to one of the kids that went with us, some stuff that he needs for his mission, and then just relaxed a bit.

The best thing that I learned this week came as an answer to a prayer and revelation through my Patriarchal Blessing and the words of Modern Day Prophets.  I came across an article in the July Liahona (Yes, I have it)  about the pioneers.  It is called "All is Well".   It talked about the pioneers, and how the words that came out of their mouths were those very words.  I stopped to think a little bit about that...  How could they possibly think that all was well as they stumbled across the plains, sick, starving, and dying, to an unknown place?  Their faith and desire to follow God´s plan was amazing, and they realized that God had a plan for them.  It was really reassuring for me to read that.  I know that God has a plan specifically for each and every one of us.  OUR personal plan might get alterred by the decisions and agency of other people, but the Lord´s plan was never alterred.  Sometimes we just don´t understand it all of the way. 

I love you all and I hope that you have a great week!

Love,


Elder Garrett McEwan

Monday, June 1, 2015

Elder's "Mormon Census" . . .

This young man NEVER ceases to amaze me with his positive attitude. I know he has hard times and there are things that are difficult for him, but he always tries to put his best foot forward. I'm so proud of how he has served his mission to this point and know that he is going to FINISH STRONG!

June 1, 2015

Dear Family,

This week was really good.  We have been able to work super hard lately, and have been trying to find a bunch of families to teach.  It has been slow going, and it has been tough, but every minute is worth it!  I have just been trying to keep my perspective eternal and think about all of the good that we do here!

So this week we were able to invite Yeni to be baptized, and she said yes!!  She is still building her testimony up, and is reading lots in the Book of Mormon, but she is doing really well.  She loved when we taught this week about the Plan of Salvation, and it was a really good lesson.  We talked about the Atonement, and it was refreshing and very spiritual for all of us.  I loved it, and was greatly blessed by that lesson.  We are hoping that she continues to have such a great desire! We were also able to find a new family this week in our contacting adventures!  We have just been knocking on every door, street by street, and talking to literally everyone that we see!  Everyone has these stickers on their doors that the government put on, saying that the house was part of the census.  It always has a little place that says,  ¨Hi!!  We passed by to visit you!!__________¨ With that blank like for the names of the workers....  I am not going to lie, when I started seeing that, I started writing my name on that line!!  They have now been part of the government census, as well as Elder Palomar and I´s ´´Mormon Census´´!  There are easily over 1000 doors that have our signatures on them  ;)
Anyway, back to the family that we found.  The mom´s name is Carolina, and I forget the daughter´s name because it is a mix of her mother´s and father´s names, and it just does not even sound like a name!!  Anyway, she is 17 and Carolina is her stepmother.  The first lesson that we had with them, Carolina told us that she believes in God and that He loves her, but it was interesting because the daughter told us that she wasn´t sure if God exists.  I felt like Ammon teaching King Lamoni in the Book of Mormon!!  It was obviously a little bit different, because she wasn´t an indian who believes in ´´The Great Spirit´´, but she did keep saying that she believed that there was some sort of supreme being that is over us.  Basically just like chapter 18 of Alma in the Book of Mormon!  We contnued on in the lesson, and at the end of the lesson we invited them to pray, and I asked them ´´Who's the only person in existence who won´t and can´t lie to us?´´  With out hesitation, the daughter responded,  "God."  That was a very rewarding moment.  The next lesson we talked about prophets, and they understood perfectly!

I have started something new with Elder Palomar as well.  At 5 p.m., when the day is exactly half way over, I stop and ask him what his favorite part of the day has been to that point.  We don´t continue until we have both said what our favorite part was.  Then we continue the day, and in planning at night I ask him again what his favorite part of the day was!  It has been truly rewarding to be able to analize our days in that form!  Loving it!

I was thinking this week a lot about faith, and just trying to figure lots of things out.  I was thinking about the physical darkness, and how it is scary sometimes.  But, we need to have faith that we will be safe.  Sometimes we have to show our faith by taking a few steps out before we can see the path where we need to go.  It is never going to be easy, it is never going to go the way that we think it will go, but if it is hard, it WILL be worth it.  We don´t know when and we don´t know how, but we just know that it will be!! 

I love you all!,

Elder Garrett McEwan