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  :)