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