Monday, January 27, 2014

The Church IS True . . .

Me and Elder Fallentine before the baptisms
January 27, 2014

Dear Family,

I love you so much!!  It seriously means so much to me to get all of the emails during the week!! Nice to know exactly what is going on back in the good old USA!!

So the baptism was amazing!!  THe people got there, had their interview, and Elder Pedersen said that they all did really well!! Knew all of the questions and answers, and that they were really prepared!!  So that made me really happy!!!  Then we
Ismairi's Baptism -- January 25, 2014
just got to sit and talk to them for a while, and they were so greatful, and kept thanking me for bringing them the gospel!!  I was so grateful for the opportunity to know Danils, Carolina, Crismaldi, y Brian, and I will never forget them!!  I was also asked by a little girl in the ward to baptize her, name Ismairi.  Found out that she was getting baptized as well that day!!  SO we had five baptisms in one day, and that was really really cool!!!
Baptism of Danilsa, Carolina, Crismaldi, and Brian
January 25, 2014

So we have some really cool new investigators, and also some sad news as well.

The sad news is that we had to drop Enmanuel.  It has been ten weeks since he last came to church, and so that is a bad sign.  He is just not willing to live the rules of the church, so we had to drop him. Very sad, but hopefully one day he will be able to recieve the ordinance of baptism!

The new people are two men.  They are not related in any way to each other, but are very similar.  One is named Manuel.  He is very smart.  He has read the whole Bible threee times, the Book Of Mormon is now next on the list.  He also has somehow read Jesus the Christ, so that is really cool.  He has a fecha for the 22 of February, so that is really cool!!  He has been to church twice, and even goes to the Priesthood meetings on Friday nights, so that is really cool!!

Next is a man named Ludwig.  He knows English really well, and talked a lot about his dreams and what he wants from life.  He said that he used to go to the Catholic church with his grandma, but he said that when he got there, they did everything in contrary to the Bible, so he did not believe it!!  We had a really good discussion!!  He had a little bit of a problem with Joseph Smith seeing God, so I wove a little spider web of analysis for him, because he said that he likes to analyze things very thoroughly.

I said that if Joseph Smith did not see God, then he was not a prophet.  If he was not a prophet, then the Book of Mormon was false. If he was not a prophet, then there was no prophet in the world that is specifically called by the title  of PROPHET.  If there is no prophet in the world, then the scripture that says that God will do nothing, save be it by the mouth of his prophets, was a false scripture.  If that scripture is false, then that means that the Bible is false.  If the bible is false, then that means that the people who wrote the Bible were not prophets either.  If they were not prophets, then God was not talking to anyone in the world.  If God wasn´t talking, He would be an impartial God, therefore making Him imperfect, meaning that He would cease to be God.  If God didn´t exist, then neither would we.  It really confounded him, and it made him stop and think, and then say,  "I need to ask God about this!"  and I said that is exactly what he needed to do!!

Brian wanted to try out my camera :)

Well, that is about all for the week!!  I am going to try to send some pictures right now too!!!

I love you!!
Elder Garrett McEwan

Monday, January 20, 2014

Photos of the DR . . .

Photo of the street next to the beach

The BEACH! (No, I didn't get in :)).

KRISPY CREME en la Republica Dominicana!!
Elder McEwan, Elder Pederson, Elder Darby, Elder Fallentine behind the camera.

Blessings from the Lord . . .

El hijo mío y yo, en frente del temple (Elder Fallentine)
January 20, 2014 

Dear Family,

Thank you so much for all of your emails!! It was so fun to read all of them!! I am glad that things are all going well for you all back home!! Also, congrats to Peyton Manning and the rest of the Broncos!! They are going to win the Super Bowl!!! I hope that the Stake Conference things went very well!! That is cool that you got to watch videos of the mission call openings!! Also, congrats to all of you about reading the Book of Mormon!! I restarted, and I am now in Alma 38, and have a goal to finish it before this transfer is over!!!

So this week was pretty fun!! We had another really good week as far as lessons go!! I forgot to tell you all that I was asked by the Bishop to speak last week in church on mission work... needless to say that I was so busy that I forgot to write a talk!! I woke up Sunday morning, hurried and wrote one, and went to church. It came time for me to speak, and I looked at the paper, and realized that it wasn´t what I wanted to say!! So, I just gave my talk off the top of my head, and took my whole 20 minute time slot!! What a blessing from the Lord!! I guess that the talk worked, because we recieved 10 references last week, and we hadn´t recieved a reference since Danilsa and her family!! So that was really cool!!! 

Mi Distrito...  Yo, Elder Fallentine, Elder Pedersen,
y Elder Darby
Yesterday in church we had 6 investigators, all with fechas!! Danilsa and her family were presented in church, and they will be baptized on Saturday!! So that was an awesome thing!!! The other two people were Shintia and Zindy, who now have fechas for the 22 of February, so that will be really cool!! They are all so excited to be apart of this great church, the true church of God!!! 

So today I felled a gigantic tree with a machete!! That was a great accomplishment!! Felt pretty awesome to see this 40 foot tall tree come crashing to the ground!!
So like I said, Danilsa and her family are going to be baptized on Saturday!! I was asked to baptize Danilsa and Brian, so that was really awesome!! SO excited for this day!!

Next, we have Shintia and Zindy!! They are super excited, and they are going to the ward activity on tuesday... and we can´t even go!! They are going swimming in the river, so for obvious reasons we are not allowed to go!! Kinda sad, but oh well!!! But yeah, Shintia and Zindy have 3 times in church, and are very excited!! Hopefully they can be baptized, because this might be my last weekend in this area!! I will have been here for almost 7 months at this time!!!
We are now working with a man named Manuel!! We have taught him before, but he dropped us!! We saw him, and he started talking to me!! I asked if he remembered me, and he started to cry, and just quietly said, ¨Si¨. So that was really humbling. He has read the bible 3 times, almost the whole book of Mormon, and Jesus the Christ 2 times!! Hopefully he will progress!!

Well, that was my week!! Hope you all enjoyed it as much as I did!!

I just have one question. How can I send the ties to Missionary Mall with the warranty thing? I just have some that got messed up, so just need to know. Thanks!!!

I love you all!!
Elder Garrett McEwan 

Such a BEAUTIFUL temple! So glad I am close to it.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Blessings of the Power of the Priesthood . . .

January 13, 2014

Dear Family,

Congratulations on all the successes of the last week, what with all the basketball games, clubs, callings, and all of that fun stuff!!! It is really good that you guys are all reading in the Book of Mormon so much!! I restarted, like I told you on Christmas, and I am now in alma 5!! Such a great experience!! I am so glad that you guys get to go to the temple!!

I have not yet recieved your letters, but the office elders get the mail to us, so we will see!!!

So this week was kind of funny. We have been finding lots of baseball players around, so naturally we stop and throw with them a bit. Everyone keeps asking if I am signed, and that I am like a big leaguer that is just here on vacation or something! I tell them no, and they say, "Tienes que firmar". Haha so that is funny. I was also offered steroids by a group of 21 year olds, so that is proof that lots of the players here do steroids haha. We also went and played this morning with these kids that are going to sign with the MLB in like a month, and I did really well. Their coach told us to come every Monday to play, because he wants me to sign too. Super funny, but the other missionaries will now have the opportunity to teach him.

So Danilsa and her family are doing really well!! We will hopefully be presenting them in church next week, and then they will get baptized the week after that!! It has been so awesome to teach them, they really do feel like part of my family!! Danilsa even introduces me to her friends as a family member, so that is really humbling to see the impact that the gospel can have on a person that they can recognize that we are all brothers and sisters.

Enmanuel is doing well. He is a very funny, but a very selfless man. He is saving his tithing for when he gets baptized!! He has more tithing that most of the ward pays in 3 months, so that is really cool!! He is very giving!!!

We also have found the Vasquez Family, very charitable people!! All they need to do is go to church!! We have a lesson with them tonight, so we will see how that goes!! Their son really likes chess, called ajedrez here!! SO cool to watch how he plays, because he does it competitively!!
I had the opportunity to heal a man from epilepsy!! He was walking in the road and I said hi to him. He was walking with a cane, and couldn’t speak. The only thing that I could understand is that he had been looking for us. We went to his house, and taught him a little bit. I had a really strong feeling that he needed a blessing and that he would be receptive of it. Like I said he could not speak, and he could not hardly walk. I helped my companion with the annointing, then I gave the blessing. About halfway through the blessing he put his hands over his face. I finished the blessing, and he kept his hands over his face for about fifteen more minutes while we talked to his mom! Then I asked him something, and his took his hands off his face, looked at me, and spoke perfectly clear. He stood up, and walked us to the door, just perfectly fine. WE saw him the next day too, and he was walking to a store to buy something. The power of the priesthood is so great, and the miracles that it can work is even greater. What an opportunity that I have to hold Gods power!!

Well, that was the week!! Had someone throw a rock at me, but just shrugged it off!! Just the life of a missionary!! I hope all is well back home, and I hope to here from you guys soon!!
I did get Aunt Libby's package, and I am in the process of getting letters to everyone!! I am trying to do hand written letters, so it is taking a while to write them all!

Love you all!!

Elder Garrett McEwan

Monday, January 6, 2014

Answers to Prayers . . .

January 6, 2014

Dear Family,

I am so glad that you are all doing so well back at home and that you had a great 2013 year!! It is so weird to think that another year has come and gone just like that!!  Dylan, congratulations on reading so much in the Book of Mormon!!  The Book of Mormon that I use hear is really my most prized possession right now!!  I can't imagine not having it!!  Also, congrats on your basketball game!! Parker, also congrats on your basketball game.  Sounds like you guys are having a lot of fun!!  How is baseball practices going as well??  Are you doing the things that we learned??  Mom, thank you for sharing the experience of going to the Cloward Family baptism!!  That is so cool that Wyatt got to baptize Jace.  So funny to think that we all grew up together!!  Such a long time ago!!  Dad, thank you for the news about the dishwasher, but we have it a lot better here in the DR...  we have FOUR dishwashers (Me, Pedersen, Fallentine, and Darby)....  !!!  :) Thank you for all of the updates!!!

So now on to the investigators!!  Right now, we don't have a whole lot of people with baptismal dates, still just Danilsa and her family. Carolina was not able to come to church, so we are going to have to move her fecha!!  But the rest are still doing well, so if they want to be baptized on the 18 then they can, or they can wait until Carolina can be!!

Enmanuel told us something interesting...  His girlfriend said that she wants to marry him!!  We are going to start teaching her as well, and hopefully they can get married and then they can both be
baptized!!  That would be a really happy thing!!  He is also read all the way to Helaman in the Book of Mormon!!

We're guessing they REALLY like hot dogs!

We recently found a lady named Mary!  She is really excited to learn. She first asked some weird questions.  Her first question was if the dinosaurs were real.  Then her next question was where do we go after death.  SO we are teaching about the Plan of Salvation right now.  She said that during the lesson she could tell that what we were saying was true, and not because I told her it was, but because the Holy Ghost told her that it was true!!  Hopefully she progresses well!!

Well,  I hope you have a great new year, and that you all continue to be strong and grow in the gospel!!  Thank you for your emails and letters!!

Love you all,
Elder Garrett McEwan