Monday, December 30, 2013

A Great Christmas in the DR . . .

December 30, 2013

I am so glad that you guys have had such a great Christmas season!!  It was so amazing to talk to all of you on Christmas Day as well!!! I did recieve the package that was left in the office by dad´s friend!  I also opened the packages that were with the 12 days of Christmas!  Thank you so much!!!

We were able to give the nativities that you sent to some of our investigators. They liked them a lot!

Good ol' day in the mall with Santa & Elder Fallentine
SO Danilsa, Carolina, Crismaldi, and Brian had to have their fecha moved... There has just been some unexpected things happen in their lives that has had to derail their baptism...  Like a death in their family!!  They were not able to go to church, so it was moved!!  But, they are still very strong, and we are very excited to see their progress!!  Danilsa and Brian are both going to be baptized by me, and Carolina and Crismaldi by  Elder Fallentine!!  It will be an amazing experience!!!

The other investigators are doing well, but Enmanuel has struggled lately!  It is sad to see, but we are really working hard with him!! I have tried everything I can thing of, but we are still looking for the answer!!  It is hard to council a grown man as a 18 year old, but he really trusts me, so we are working hard!!!  I have faith that he can over come his challenges!!!

We are contacting a lot, and that is not really that fun, but we have found a few cool people!!!

I had an intercambio with the Zone Leader who has been wanting to have an intercambio with me since he heard me speak spanish for the first time!!  He is most likely going to get transferred next week, so he finally set one up!!  He is from Peru, and he was very impressed with my Spanish and also my teaching!!  He said that it seems like I have a lot more time than I really do, so that was a really humbling experience!!!

I love you so much mom!!  I hope you had a wonderful Christmas!!  Mine was great, and the best part was getting to see all of you!!  Thank you for the packages as well!!  I love you so much!! Love you forever, love you for always!!

I hope that you are all doing well, and that you are continuing to remember the importance of the Christmas Season!!!

I love you all and miss you all so much!!

Elder Garrett McEwan 
This is my future car! :)

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas from the Islands of the Atlantic . . .

What a GREAT day it was to be able to Skype with Elder McEwan all the way around the world in the Dominican Republic. There were a few challenges because there weren't many internet cafes open on Christmas day. It took longer than was planned, but the missionaries finally located a cafe that they could use. After installing Skype on their computers and setting up accounts, we were a GO! We were able to see his wonderful, happy face and hear his voice for about an hour! It's so great to hear how happy he is and how much he loves his mission, loves the island, loves the Spanish people, and loves the Lord.

Tender mercy that everyone's "cheese got moved" so these
Elders were able to talk to each other :)
The day even got better because times got a little changed with both Elders from what was planned, so all of a sudden . . . We had Chuuk on one computer and the Dominican Republic on the other! They were even able to talk to each other briefly, even though it was challenging for them to hear each other.

Today was a great "bucket filler" day! :).

All the McEwan "boys" talking to each other Christmas 2013
from Salem to the Dominican Republic to Chuuk!

Monday, December 16, 2013

Working and Playing . . .

December 16, 2013

Dear Family,
Well, this week was a little bit of a trial!!  As we get closer to Christmas, we find ourselves with less and less investigators. Everyone is going out of town, meaning that they will be gone from now until January.  That is pretty hard, because we want to work, we want to teach, we want to do all the things that come with being a missionary!!!  But, we are still working hard and doing our very best that we can!!!
So for today, we went and played baseball in the morning with the guys in the neighborhood.  We won 3 to 2, and our only three runs were on homeruns by me!!  That was a good feeling!!  Haha.  Then we went to La Meyas house and ate with her.  She is a long-time friend of the missionaries, so we always eat with her on Mondays.  It was super fun to just get to sit and talk and eat!!  Very relaxing.  Next we went and bought groceries, and I got a bunch of Christmas type food.... Egg nog and queen anne cherries and things to make a pie!!  Came home....and the house was flooded again!!  This is the fifth time.  The office Elders are coming to check it out, and hopefully we can move soon!!
So, Enmanuel is having a hard time.  He is not progressing, and hasn’t been to church in three weeks... We have to evaluate whether we are going to drop him.
Crismaldi and Brian were not baptized this week!  They could not go to their interview because someone in their family died!  SO we moved it to the 5 of January with their grandma and aunt, and this will be a good day!!  A family baptism!!  SO cool!!
We have picked up a bunch of investigators that are children, so we are in the process of trying to get in contact with their parents to try to teach their whole family!!  This is hard, because we don’t want to baptize a bunch of children without family members, because it is hard without the support... but the members have put a bunch of pressure on us because they want these kids to be baptized... so that is hard.  We will see where we are at with that!!!
Me and Elder Fallentine are doing well.  He is from Cyprus high school, and he lives in West Valley!  He is a very fun comp! We are working hard on his Spanish.  He has learned a ton!! It’s also,  helping my Spanish to get better!!  Me and Pedersen are working hard together, and we know all these words, over 50 about the body!!  Also, we know over 30 about the weather!!!
So, this is where we are!!
By the way, Elder Fallentine has really like the twelve days of Christmas (and so have I)!!!
Also, the zone leaders called us and told us that the skype time has been changed.  DO NOT MISS THIS LITTLE PART!!!!!!!!!!!!!  SKYPE IS NOW ON THE 25TH AT 1 O CLOCK UTAH TIME!!!!!
I love you all, and cannot wait to see you all next week!!  MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!
Elder Garrett McEwan
Here's my Handbook that I carry with me all the time :).
I also have a card signed by President Monson making it
"legal" for me to proselyte and teach in the Dominican Republic.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Christmas Concert, Training, Teaching . . .

Garrett is used to being able to email at the same time every day. However, it was a couple of hours later today. The work of the mission is moving forward quickly. So wonderful to hear how important it is to Elder McEwan to "get out and work." Absolutely love this boy :).

December 9, 2013
Ok, so this is really later than usual, but we had our christmas concert today.  do not mind my lack of punctuation and errors because i am trying to do this fast so we can get out and work!!

So to start out, everything is going well here!!  I am training a new elder named elder fallentine.  he is from utah as well, and is one day older than me!!  So that is cool.  We just had our best week overall in the mission, so that was cool.
One cool experience is that I fellt like a book of mormon prophet preaching to the muiltitudes.  We were in a new area, and these guys called us over.  WE were talking, and there got to be a group of over twenty people.  I offered a prayer, and we taught, and taught, and taught!!!  Gave some pass a long cards and pamphlets, and set up a return cita!!  SO cool!!  I felt like alma in the book of mormon!!!

Dad, Mom, Parker, and Dylan – I hope you like the gifts I sent home for you with Elder Thomas for Christmas. Mom – I hope you like the nativity. Now you have a Dominican nativity to add to your collection! I’m also glad that your surgery went well.

I will write a letter with more detail this week and send it on Friday because I have had some very cool things happen this week!!  I love you guys so very much!!

I love you, have to go, but love you forever!!!
Love forever,
Elder Garrett McEwan

Monday, December 2, 2013

Lots Going on in My World . . .

December 2, 2013
This has been a long, yet fulfilling week!!  With the transfer ending, I feel reinvigorated for some reason!!  So I have been working hard, trying my best to get a good relationship with everyone that I see!! I think that is the most important part of the mission work.  The people here have very skewed perceptions of Mormons, because their churches teach them false doctrine about us!!  I just want to help them see that we are the true church.  So a new strategy that I am going to try is to tell them that if I get a hit off of them in a game they call batilla, then they have to listen to our message!! Hopefully it will work well  ;)

So Thanksgiving was cool.  The Clawsons, a senior couple, came and did house inspections.  We spent that whole morning cleaning, then they came.  I got a letter from Dylan, Stefani, and Grandma Ockler, so that was a good surprise.  We ended up making enchiladas and beans, so that was good.  Just had a pretty regular day, and just relaxede until it was time to go out.
On Friday, we had baptismal interviews.  We went by to see if Enmanuel was there, but he wasn't....  Weird... Then, we finally find him, but we are super late.  We get to the Chapel, and the other missionary's baptismal candidate isn't there... weird...  Enmanuel has his interview, is found worthy, and we leave.  Pretty normal day, went to the Priesthood meeting that night, then helped a lady move.  All of the people from the ward we just standing around watching me and Galindo move the stuff, so that was weird...  The end.

Next day, we are having baptisms...  Enmanuel tells us something that happened, and we were taken off guard.  We called President, and we determined that we need to wait a little bit of time, at least a month.  Very sad, but it was ok.  Hopefully he can stay firm as we continue to pass by and everything.  We went to a baptism in the area of Los Angeles in the night, of the neice of La Meya.  La Meya is the person we go eat lunch with on Mondays, so that was cool.  This girl, Carolina, is super cool, and very ready to be baptized.  The end.
Sunday, we had three good lessons, then went with the other missionaries in our district to a going away party for Thomas.  We were there for a long time waitng for the food to be done cooking, but it was still an experience.  Came home, and found out that Galindo is getting transferred.. :(  We will know the companion situation tonight when we call the Zone Leaders.

Now, on to the Investigators!!!:  Crismaldi, Brian, and their Grandma are doing super well!!  The grandma, a super heavy Catholic, just told me yesterday that she wants to be baptizede???  What??!!  So crazy!!  She is going to be baptized on the 5 of enero, and her grandkids on the 14 of diciembre.  So cool!!
Enmanuel did not go to church on Sunday... we are going to go by tonight and try to see what is up!!

Stacy, a girl we started teaching last week, is progressing well.  She has read two folletos, and is reading the book of mormon!!  Pretty crazy, but she is doing a lot of stuff to fing out for herself if this is true!!  SO cool!!!
Alberto is a very educated man, but hasn't been to church.  He knows the Book of Mormon is true, and just needs to go to church!!!

I also received the letters from the Primary children and am in the process of answering them back. Thank you also for sending me all of those missionary stories. I read them all the day I got them, and I think we will also be using them in devotionals or something like that.
Elder Thomas will be going home this week. He has his homecoming this Sunday in Genola, but that is all I know. Hopefully you guys will be able to meet him.

Well, this is my report!!  Still working hard out here!!  Missing you lots!!  Love you so much!!  Think about you all the time!!
Elder Garrett McEwan  :)

Monday, November 25, 2013

Blessings, Blessings, Blessings . . .

What a blessing to have a loving Heavenly Father. When we think we have exhausted every possibility of ourselves, He puts someone else in our path to make everything fall into place. After four months of contacting people from Coast to Coast and in the DR to get Garrett's Eagle Project to the Academy, everything was taken care of in a matter of about three minutes on the phone! We were able to contact and meet the Schramm family. They were leaving for the Dominican Republic the day after we called them! They were able to deliver the long-awaited for Eagle Scout Project to the Dominican Republic Sports & Education Academy, take other sports equipment to Elder McEwan to use as a "tool" as he teaches the gospel to the people of the Dominican Republic, AND take Christmas to him!
12 Days of Christmas from my family; Soccer balls &
Footballs to give to the children

November 25, 2013

Dear family!

Dude dyl pickle that is so cool about the braces!! What color are you going to get? How long are you going to have them for?? I wish I could see Peter Pan... I bought some Peter Pan peanut butter, and it made me want to watch it!! What is in your mission handbook????

Parker I am so glad that your birthday was so fun!! Too bad I couldn´t be there to surprise you with some birthday spankings at your surprise party!! Who was there? I can not believe you are a priest now!! Seems like just on November 20 you were a teacher!! ;) SO, have you had any dates planned yet?!

So Mom, I heard that you found out what was hurt with your hand?? What was it exactly?? I am glad that you guys are finishing their rooms!! So much fun!! How is the Gift Club going? Any other fun gift ideas lately??

Dad, we too have been talking a lot about tithing and fast offerings. THe only way we can split the ward here is to have more full tithe payers, which we have about 6. A little rough, but it is ok!! How was the temople?? Were you guys able to go at all before that??

So Enmanuel is going to be baptized on the 30th, so that is good!! He recently (Sunday Morning) Had a gas explosion at his house and burnt of his eyebrows completely!! He still came to church, even though I am not going to lie... He looked like an alien!! That is a true man of God, a man that has truly changed his life!! What a great example he is to all of us!!

We also have a girl named Crismaldi and her brother, Brian. Crismaldi has been to chruch every week since I have been here, and Brian has gone 2 times in a row. They will be baptized on the 4th of December.

As far as other investigators, we have a lot more that we are teaching, but just waiting to see if they will progress. THe people that want to listen and change their lives don´t have time, and the people who have time don´t want to listen!! Frustrating, but so goes the work!!

Bag full of the some of the sports equipment from my
Eagle Scout Project to give to the children
So on Friday I think it was, Thomas´s trainer calls him and says "Hey Thomas, it´s Rhett Crandall, we want to come see you!!" A moment of silence, then, "hey do you know an Elder McEwan?" Thomas responds, "yeah, he lives here!" He said they had a surprise for me. Thomas and Pedersen went to go meet them at the cemetary, and me and Galindo stayed at the house. Galindo said that he didn´t want to leave his food that was cooking. All of the sudden a van is in front of our house, and all these white people are coming up the stairs. Rhett comes in the house, drops a gigantic duffle bag at my feet and gives me a huge hug. Then he unzips the bag and I see my Eagle Scout stuff that wasn’t going to the Academy!! They had brought it down right to the house!! Super cool!! And now it is finished! Then they pull out a big white bag... Christmas!! By the way, thank you for the stocking and presents!! We had to open the stocking because we were all so excited!!! We were so blessed to have that, because the teaching has been a little rough lately, so that was a welcome blessing!! We now have a bunch of stuff to give to kids as Christmas presents as Christmas gets a little bit closer!! I have these little kids that love me, and always say, "hey McEw (they can´t say McEwan, like mac ewe) vamos a jugar hoy?" Every day!! We are going to give them some actual bats and balls, so that will be really cool!!

Also, thank you for the 12 days of Christmas for me and my companion. We didn´t open those yet, we are going to do them on the actual 12 days leading up to Christmas. It will be fun to look up the scriptures and try to guess what is inside of the packages. Also, I am going to share with the whole house if they don´t get packages on time, but Pedersen has a package coming soon, so it will most likely be just my comp who opens those other ones!! But thank you so much!! Yes, I did see the flash drive in the stocking, thank you!! DId you get my picture card yet??

Also, we got that new big house. President felt bad for us or something, and so we will be moving in there pretty soon!!

Still doing well out here. I have lead all the lessons this week, so I have learned a lot!! The members also really like me, and give me lots of food, ties, etc.!! So good to be here in this place!!

I love you all so much!!
Elder Garrett McEwan

Monday, November 18, 2013

First Baptism in Los Girasoles . .

It's been said before, but it's so incredibly awesome to see the growth in Elder McEwan in such a short time! The hope of most parents is that their children will recognize the truth and develop their own testimony. So grateful for the opportunity both of our Elder McEwans have of serving the Lord in their missions at the same time! We are definitely blessed!

November 18, 2013

Dear Family,

Things in the DR are super interesting right now. We don´t have many investigators right now,  so we are trying to use all of our resources: We contact, we try to get referrals from members, and we have started using past investigators from the area book. SO that is where we are at right now!!

My First Baptisms in Los Girasoles
Amarys' and Genesis' Baptism (with Elder Gallindo)
So Amarys and Genesis were baptized this weekend!! SO cool!! I loved it!! I just got down in the font, and I just felt so calm, so at peace. I said the prayer, and baptized her!! The next day, I confirmed Genesis in sacrament meeting. It wasn´t until afterwards that I realized... I had never heard the baptismal prayer or the words to confirm anyone in spanish, and the words just came to my mind perfectly...? The gift of tongues is amazing!!!

So Enmanuel is going to be baptized on the 30th. He just had some things that he wanted to rid of. His old girlfriend came back, and just wants to get her out of his life!! SO he was a little compromised emotionally, but he is still strong, and still came to church the next day!!!

So on the 14th we went to McDonald´s for Elder Le Fevre´s birthday!! So fun!! I had a new kind of McFlurry, a Hershey´s Cookies and Cream!! Super Good!!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY PARKER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

SO I have been working hard still, and I am doing my best out here!! Kind of sad, but Elder Galindo will most likely be transferred with the December 2 transfer because he has been here for 7 months. But we have been good friends, and hopefully we will still get to be friends!!

Dylan – Yes, I work out with the other Elders every day. They call me the “Hulk”. In fact, they gave me a Hulk sticker to put in my scriptures. I love these new brothers of mine J.

Thank you for checking on my account to make sure that I’m okay. I don’t have to use it a lot but want to keep on top of it. Thanks for all the support!! It means so much!!


Elder Garrett McEwan

Monday, November 11, 2013

Progression in the Dominican Republic

November 11, 2013

Dear Family,

Things here are going so well!! We have had a lot of problems with investigators, but other than that, we continue to work hard and do our best!!! We have been contacting a lot, and we are also doing our best to activate people who have gone inactive!!

So Enmannuel is getting baptized on Saturday!! We went over the interview questions with him, and he has such a strong testimony of the Book of Mormon!! In just 5 short weeks he has read from the
beginning all the way to Alma 3!! Super cool!!! I will be confirming him in sacrament meeting on Sunday!!

Amaris and Genesis are also being baptized on Saturday!! I get to baptize Genesis, like I told you guys already, so I went over the baptismal questions with her. The coolest response was when I asked what repentance meant to her... She said that it was a joy, something that gives her hope that she can start over again new, clean like Jesus, and follow Him. That was a very humbling experience to listen the testimony of a 9 year old girl that is so strong!!

We had to stop passing by with the Suarez Family. They have not been to church in 4 weeks, and are not willing to change. Very sad, but necessary.

We had a weird experience the other day... We were in the second lesson with a new contact. We taught her how to pray, prayed with her to show her by example, then asked her to say the closing prayer. She prayed in the exact way that we taught, and we asked her how she felt. She said good, then asked me, ¨So you guys pray to Mormon, right?¨ We explained that no, we pray to God, in the name of Jesus Christ. She said; Ï know, I just wanted to see if you would falter.¨ That was very strange. I am starting to see now that the Lord has prepared some people, and others are not ready to recieve the message of the restored gospel. IT is heartbreaking, but it is the reality of the mission!!

We are just getting ready for the Christmas program as a Zone. We are doing a small skit about the birth of Jesus Christ, which will be fun!! I hope it goes well!! I am just singing in the chorus!!

Well, that is pretty much all!! I am glad that you guys have been able to go out and support the schools, what with all the clubs and games and things like that. Dad, good luck as you continue to be a high counselor!! That is a huge responsibility, but you are the man for the job!! I love all of you so much!!

Love forever,
Elder Garrett McEwan :)

P.S. I did recieve your letters, and there is a letter in the mail for you guys! It is a manila envelope with a picture card in it!! Hope it gets there ok!!!!

Can you please check my checking account and tell me how much I have in it? Things are in pesos here, so I don´t know, and I can´t keep track of it!! Thanks!!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Pictures, Pictures, Pictures . . .

Yes . . . We eat at McDONALDS!!

Elder Gallindo & Elder McEwan
It rains A LOT but it's beautiful!

Some of my new friends :)

Painting a house
Happy smiles after the service!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Adventures in Los Girasoles . . .

November 4, 2013

Dear Family,

Things here are going great! I am continuing to work hard, and trying my best to help the people here as much as possible!!

Any way, now on to the investigators.

Amaris and Genesis are going to be baptized the 16th. This weekend was Stake Conference, so we had to move it! They were sad, but the continue to work hard to be ready. Genesis asked me if I would baptize her, which was super sweet of her. She is 9 years old, and is very nice!!

Enmanuel is continuing to grow!! He has come to church now 3 times in a row, and has put off work, trips, etc. in order to go!! He has great faith!! He even is going to the ward priesthood fellowship meetings during the week!! It was cool to see how much he has progressed!! He will be baptized on the 16th as well!!

La Familia Suarez is in a weird situation right now. The mom and the dad are unmarried, and they will not be married. They have been together since they were 15, and the dad has cheated on the mom since then. He has been married 3 different times without the mom knowing about it, and he did it to try to gain US citizenship. He has children with all three women. Only the oldest daughter, Angelina, is theirs together. So that is a mess. Then, Angelina is going through a divorce, so that is weird to try to help someone through that!! But, she has a very strong testimony, so hopefully her and Lourdes and Anabelle can get baptized on the 30th.

Dominguito and Raquel just need to be able to have sundays free off from work!!

Nerd District of the Past -- Elder McEwan, Elder Pedersen,
Elder Thomas, Elder Gallindo
Today, me and Elder Pedersen went on some adventures. He is in my same group, meaning he went in the field the same time as me!! We are getting to be good friends. But we walked into the jungle area, and then took pictures. Swung on some vines out over a river!! Super fun!! Then we told all these kids that were ages 12 to 18 that we would play baseball with them!! That was super fun, and now I can talk about anything about baseball in spanish!! We played with them, and they were really good!! Super fun, and our team won!! I hit a homerun, a double, and a single in 4 at bats. That was good. They kept asking me, ¨¿Tu has afirmado con los Medios Rojos?¨ Have you signed with the Red Sox? Haha super funny, but they see an american playing baseball and they assume that they are from the MLB. But that has been pretty much my only experience with baseball so far!!

Also, we might be moving this week!! Hopefully we will be, because the house we are in is one of the worst in the mission... No one has aever taken the time to try to find a new place. I decided to look
for it, and we found one!! Hopefully we can get it, and have a better place to live!!!

Well, I love you guys so much!! I am sorry that you are going to miss the gorge!! And it is funny that you guys all wore my baseball uniforms for Halloween. I hope that Yuki is enjoying his time there, and that he can learn some good stuff from you guys!! Love you all!!ç

Elder Garrett McEwan

Monday, October 28, 2013

Adventures of the Week . . .

Dear Family,

This week has been really good!!! It is good to get all of your pictures and such from you!!! I also want to see what our new Japanese brother looks like when he gets there!! Too bad about the whole cycling thing, maybe we can change his paradigms!!!

So the mission is going well. We had an intercambio within our district, so I was with Elder Thomas. He let me lead the lessons, which helped teach me a lot. My spanish is really coming along nicely, so that is a really cool thing to see. The Lord continues to bless me greatly as I serve, and I am so glad that I have been able to learn so easily.

I have been unable to watch the World Series, for obvious reasons, but it is kind of funny that my two least favorite teams are in it!!! The people here all want Boston to win, because David Ortiz is Dominican. They like to sit in the Colmados, drink and watch baseball all night, with music on super loud!! THe music is not nice bachata, it is called Dembo, and it is a loud rap style... so annoying because they have big sterio systems!!!!

We have to move the baptism dates from the 2nd to the 9th, so that the girls can be introduced in church this week!! But it is ok, we can still teach them more!! Their names are Amaris and Genesis, ages 13 and 9!!!

All the investigators are the same, doing really well!!

Enmanuel was an interesting lesson this week... I was with Thomas, so I was leading it. I was teaching about the Spirit, and I taught him how he could receive an answer, using I think it was Moroni 7;16 and 17. It was cool, and I taught him that we pray like we pray through a telephone. We don´t say what we need to say and then hang up, we need to wait to listen and receive a response!! I challenged him to pray on his knees always, and to wait!! He did it, and when we went back with Galindo to teach, he said that he liked what I said, he tried it, and he received his answer!!! SO cool!

Dominguito and Raquel are getting baptized on November 30th!! They finally decided to get married!! It was cool, because Galindo told me that there have been missionaries working with them for over a year straight, and it never clicked. He said that maybe they were just waiting for me. That hit me pretty hard... Maybe they legitimately were waiting for me, and that there are more out there waiting for me specifically!! Such a great experience.

So Galindo and I were contacting an area yesterday that neither of us have ever been to!! It was super far out, and not many houses. We saw a mansion, and it was one hundred percent abandoned. We could not understand why no one lived there, because it was super nice!! We walked in the garage, and looked at the wall. There were all these super weird symbols and letters in weird patterns on the walls, and none of them were words... we decided to go in. I was in front, because he was a little scared. I got to the threshold of the door, and I felt super strong to turn around and leave. I turned to him and said ¨Come on, we are leaving.¨ We start walking out, and he goes all weird for a second, and goes ¨I really really really want to check that place out.¨ But I could not shake the feeling I had, so we left. Just felt evil. We left, and I slowly felt better the farther away we got. We talked to the ward mission leader later, and he told us that there were two men that lived in that house that were doctors, and that they got excommunicated from the Church for some evil things that they were doing in there!! Glad we listened to the Spirit and didn´t have to encounter something creepy or bad!!!

To be honest about Christmas you don’t need to send me anything. I can get most things here that I need. If you want to, probably just money in my account! The problem is that with a package, it will come out of my weekly money, so if that happens, that means I get less money... Like about 800 pesos (20 dollars) less. That doesn´t seem like much, but it is, and it will come out the money I get. I can buy stuff here to open on Christmas day. Also, the people in Customs just took stuff out of Elder Galindo’s birthday package... Like all the candy was opened...SO I don’t know!!!

Love yoU!!

Well, that was my week!! I have also been getting ties and such from other dying missionaries that I met and they liked me, so my tie collection is pretty substantial!! SO cool the brotherhood that we all have. I also got a letter from Sister Miller in the ward, the Ward Newsletter, so that was really cool!!!

I love you all!! See you next week!!

Love you all so much!!

Elder Garrett McEwan

Monday, October 21, 2013

Awesome and Humbling Week . . .

Dear Family,

This has been a really awesome and humbling week!!  I have grown so much in my patience, my understanding of the gospel, and the love that my Savior has for me!!

First, I want to start off with church.  The average number of investigators at church in the mission for a companionship is 2 each week....  We just had 15 this week!!  Huge number!!  8 have a baptismal date for this month,  2 will most likely have one for the first week of December, and then 5 inactives!!!  So cool!!!  I was in charge of a group during the investigator class, a full family of investigators  (La Familia Suarez).  So amazing!!  A little awkward, because I had to teach a group of 19 to 50 year old people about chastity, but still good ;)

So first, for progressing investigators,  we have the Suarez Family. They are progressing well, and have now gone to church twice.  Their baptismal date is on the 16 of november!!  The dad, who had previously not been sharing with us, went to church this week!!  We just had a lesson with him, and we just went off!!  Back and forth through the Bible, the Book of Mormon, and Testimonies...  He just didn´t understand how the Catholic Church and their baptism was wrong!!!  SO funny!!  I then asked a super blunt question:  Do you think that babies who die will go to heaven?  He said yes.  I then asked him to show it to me in the bible, and he couldn´t, because such a scripture doesn´t exist.  Then it clicked!!  SO spiritual!!!

We lost Marius, he is being deported back to Haiti because his visa is expired... we are trying to help him contact the missionaries there!!!

Then we have Amaris and Genesis.  They are going to be my first baptisms!!!  SO good, so ready to be baptized, and they really want to grow in the church!!!

Next we have Enmanuel. He is about 23 years old, and has a lot of questions.  He believes that Joseph Smith is a prophet, and the book of mormon is true.  He is so smart!!!  He really has a desire to know for himself!!  He also gave me a movie, called  Prueba del Fuego, or in English, Fireproof..  I obviously can´t watch it, but just to see the joy on his face when he gave it to me was priceless!!  He has a fecha for the 16 of november!!

Next we have Marcel.  He used to own the convenience store across the street from us, but he sold it..  He knows perfect english, which is a little weird!!!  We taught him in joint english and spanish, and that is super cool!!!  He gets it!! and the best part is, he is ready.  He wants it!!!  So cool!!

Rapquel hadn´t been to church in a while, what with work and everything. SHe works 3 jobs, and Dominguito works all day at a colmado (convenience store).  But, she was there, and she is trying to
be ready to be baptized!!!

The inactives are Nicauries, Josefina, Nicauries´s Mom, Yulekis, and Hilary.  We have worked very hard with them, and they are going to church now!! We treated them like new investigators, and now they have testimonies of what they didn´t believe before!!  Everyone says that reactivating someone is as good of a feeling as a baptism, and I think that it is!!  I feel really good!!!

So I cut Galindo´s hair the other day with only scissors...  THAT was an experience to remember!!  It looks alright!!  On a scale of one to ten, probably a seven.  It was super fun!!  I also got my hair cut
professionally, and it looks sweet!!  The guy was going crazy, so that was funny to see.

I have purchased the camera, and been taking pictures!!!  It is hard to send pictures in email, but I will send the card home in like 3 weeks, if that is ok!!!  Also, I bought some protein powder here.  I
just am not getting enough foodj!!!  Our weekly money is not much, and food here is expensive!!!  But yeah, that was good!!  I just figure that I can get things here, rather than have you guys send it to me!!! That is easier!!

I love you guys so much!!  I have not yet worn the pants, because the tailor is making them!!  The picture I sent was of the fabric and the ties!!  They will be done in two weeks!!

I love you guys so much!!!  I pray for all of you!! Keep doing what's right!!!


Elder Garrett McEwan :)

Monday, October 14, 2013

Life in Los Girasoles . . .

Elder McEwan & Elder Galindo
Dear Family,

I am doing well here.  Me and Elder Galindo have been really going nicely lately, because by Spanish is to the point where I am conversational in just about anything.  It is a really cool feeling, and sometimes I forget what language people are even speaking.  It just feels so natural to be in Spanish or English.

So last week I received your letters, and I was so happy to get them!! I loved hearing about all the wonderfull things back home in the USA!!!  Thank you so much!! :)

Anyway,  here is how the investigators are doing:

La Familia Suarez is working to be prepared for their baptism, just working hard and reading.  They are currently reading in the Book of Mormon, and they are in I think 1 Nephi 18 as a family, after only two weeks of having a Book of Mormon.  They have received the first three mission lessons (La Restauracion, El Plan de Salvacion, y El Evangelio de JesuCristo.).  They have a baptismal date of November 16, and it looks like we will be able to make that goal.  There are now 3 of the daughters and the Mom who are going to be baptized.  The Dad works as a pharmacist, so he has a weird work schedule.  He is very interested, so we need to try to meet with him!!

Marius is doing well.  He has received the first 3 lessons as well, and is working towards a baptismal date of November 2.  It looks like we will be able to make that goal as well, so that is good.  He has expressed an interest in going on a mission, so that would be really cool!!  I usually talk more than Elder Galindo when we go there, because Marius is so intrigued that a white person could know a different language.  SO that is kind of funny!!

We are now meeting with a girl named Angela.  I guess that she has received all the lessons in the past, but couldn´t be baptized because her and her husband are not legally married. That is a huge problem here, having people be legally married, and go to church.  THe chapel is about a 45 minute walk away, and people here.....  Let´s just say they don´t like to walk!!!  But she is progressing to a baptismal date of December 7.

We are teaching these three little girls, ages 13, 13, and 9.  Their grandma is a member, and they are very interested!!  They read all the pamphlets, and then want to start reading the book of mormon.  They have a baptismal date of November 2, and we will be able to  make that date!!  When I asked them why they wanted to be baptized, I was expecting them to say ¨Because grandma is a member.¨ But instead they said ¨Because we want to a part of God´s church¨.  That was a very good experience to have.

So yesterday, we contacted 52 people, which is a ton.  The usual goal for a week is 68 for our zone, so that was cool.  I had a very cool experience with a young member girl and her family.  She is probably 18 or 19 years old, and we contacted her family, not knowing that she was a member.  They invited us in, and we started teaching.  She prayed in the exact way that we teach investigators to pray, and then proceeded to tell us that she was a member, but she was currently inactive right now.   We kept teaching, and the family didn´t seem to get it, because they are all super hard core Catholics.  I felt prompted to ask her why she became a member, and she then told her whole conversion story that was super spiritual.  She teared up, and the Spirit was so strong there in that little room.  Then the uncle stood up and went crazy about how wrong she was.  He paused to take a breath about halfway through, so I cut him off and tried to continue, but he started yelling over me.  He was crazy!!  When he finished, his neice, the member, said,  Ï have prayed to these things, I have studied, and I can´t deny that they are the true church of jesus christ, and that these two young men bring our salvacion with them.¨ So cool that she stood as a witness to Christ, even against her crazy uncle.  We were able to finish the lesson on a strong point, and set up an appointment to come back!!!

So the camera I was able to purchase is a Sony CyberShot...  It looks nice, and small!! Should work really well!!

I also went to a place called El Canal today.  It is a mix between a clothing/shoe/home care/decoration/fabric store, and it is huge!!!  I bought some fabric to make some dominican pants, and two skinny ties!! So excited!!  It is something that first companions do a lot here, so we did it today.

It has been pouring down rain lately, like so much that we can´t go out right at 2 when we are supposed to!!  We have gotten over 10 inches of rain in the last 3 days!!

So we contact a lot of Haitians, but it is hard to teach them because they have super bad work schedules.  They are easily the hardest working people I have ever seen!!  They work for every ounce of stuff that they have!!  They are really cool, very friendly, and accepting of the gospel.  THey don´t understand spanish as well as some people, but they feel the spirit very strongly!!

Also, I had no idea about a japanese guy coming to live with you!! I must have missed that!!  Hopefully he knows english well.  There is also a very strong asian influence here!!  I don´t know why, but there is!!  They have these little restaurants that they call ¨Pica Pollos¨ (chicken beaks).  It is all chinese food, cooked by asians.  It is good, but super fattening.  I have only eaten there one time!!  I have been working out every day for an hour, and eating healthy.  The only unhealthy things that I have eaten are Wendy´s one time, Taco bell one time, and at a pica pollo!!!

I love you all so much, and I hope you continue to do well!!

Well, I love all you guys!!  Good luck with this next great week!

Love with all my heart,

Elder Garrett McEwan

                                                 Just so you know how hot, rainy, & humid it is here :)

Monday, October 7, 2013

General Conference Weekend in the D.R. . . .

Dear Family,

I am so glad to hear that you are all doing so well!!  Sounds like life if going super well for all of you guys!!  Dad, I am glad to receive the forward of the Nature Sunshine Staffing Changes!!  SO cool!  By the way, I saw a Nature Sunshine truck here.

I am doing very well!!  The weather is super hot and humid here all the time.  Just got sunburned a bit today walking around, but other than that I am doing fine!!

We were able to watch conference here in English on the Bishop´s laptop!!  We could have watched it in Spanish, but it was so good to hear the actual voices of the Lord´s servants!!  I learned a ton about the family, eternal families, and positive attitudes.  Unfortunately we were unable to attend the Priesthood Session because it started so late (8)!

So about how the teaching is going...  I will start with the Familia Suarez.  They are progressing so well!!  They have been taught the Restoration, the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and the Plan of Salvation!! They believe in all of it so strongly, and have a baptismal date of November 16!!  That is three girls, ages 16, 20, and 23, and a mom. The dad will most likely get baptized, if we could ever meet with him!! He comes home super late!!  Two of the girls actually came to conference and loved it!!  The mom and youngest sister were unable to come because they had the flu, so that was sad, but they are going to watch it on the internet!!

Next, we have Dominguito and Raquel... They are in a bad financial situation, so they work a lot.  They have had a hard time coming to church because they have to work on Sundays, but they are super ready to get baptized!!

Then, we have a man named Marius.  He is Haitian, and has been taught all the lessons, and reads the Book of Mormon.  He has a baptismal date of November 2!!  He is very ready to be baptized, and wants to serve a mission!!  He is 23, so we will be helping him towards that goal!!  He is a very cool guy, and came to conference with us this weekend!!  His favorite part was Sunday Morning when the prophet spoke, so that was amazing!!

Next, we have a man named Hermano Jr.  He is the spouse of a member, Hermana Josefina.  He was going to be baptized before, but fell away. I felt prompted one night to share with him specifically, and we just started talking.  I shared with him in Mosiah 4, when King Benjamin is chastising his people.  He is telling them that there is one and only one way to be with God, to be saved if you will.  I felt prompted to talk about repentance and the Atonement, and then shared in Alma 7. This was so cool, because when I invited him to be baptized, he said very humbly that he was not worthy to be in God´s presence.  We told him that through the Atonement, he would be worthy.  He now is going to be baptized on November 16.

We continue to work hard, and look for a camera.  We are going to go to a place called El Canal next Monday to look for a camera. The El Canal is like a mall. Hopefully we can find one!!  Also, some little kids, like 13 years old, stole my food through our window.  The window has bars on it, but they just reached through and stole all of my cereal, so I had no breakfast food.  Good thing I budgeted so that I would have over a thousand pesos of apollo left, so I went and bought more today.  I talked to them about it, and they lied.  We used to pay them to do little chores, like take the trash out so we could kind of help them because they are really poor!  But now, we won´t anymore.

So about food, we don´t eat with members, it is a rule...  But I eat really well!!  Chicken, hot dogs, avocados, apples, burritos, lasagna, rice... pretty much everything I ate at home!!  So good!!  My weight is staying constant so that is good!!  Probably the best thing I have had is empanadas with chicken and cheese and beans!!  So good, so
worth it!!

Transfers are in two weeks, but no one in my house will be transferred.  The other new elder, Elder Pedersen, is being trained as well, so all of us will stay.  Then after the next transfer, Elder Thomas will go home and Elder Galindo will most likely be transferred, because it will have been his sixth transfer here.  Me and Elder Pedersen will most likely stay in Los Girasoles for a while!!  Elder LeFevre is in our district, and will most likely stay with his companion, Elder Rodriguez.

I am glad that you are getting closer with the Eagle stuff!!  I want to be able to help them, because they have almost nothing to play with!!  So that will be really good!!

I am glad that you received the pictures.  I still have not received your letters, but maybe they will come soon!! is a good place, and I usually get those letters within a week!!

Well I have to go, I have a cita in like 15 minutes, so I will talk to you guys next week!!  I love you all so much!! say hi to dad for me!!

I love you all so much, and hope you are doing well!!

Love forever and always,

Elder Garrett McEwan :)