Monday, February 24, 2014

Received the "Transfer" Call . . .

What an amazing experience to be the parent of a missionary! I can't imagine a better way for my boys to learn and grow spiritually as well as learn how to be on their own. Even though it is hard at times, all of the GOOD outweighs the hard by a ton. I absolutely LOVE this boy!!!!

Me and La Meya ~ She cooked for us EVERY P-day
in Los Girasoles
February 24, 2014

Dear Family,

Baptism of Adairy Rodriguez Contreras with
Elder Fallentine & Elder McEwan
Things here are going so very well!!  I have learned so much and I have grown so much spiritually!!! Elder Fallentine is doing really well with the language, he has learned so much!!  The baptism was very spiritual on Saturday, so that was really good!!  Adairys was very excited, and she was also confirmed the next day, so that was very cool!!  The weather is the same as always here, super hot and humid!!  I am going to be transferred tomorrow, not sure where yet, but I am finally leaving my first area!!!
Last day eating with La Meya

So I got a new thing, it is called a foro in Spanish, but it means case in english.  It is for my spanish book of mormon.  I custom designed it, and had a guy in our ward make it!!  That was cool!  I was super happy about it!!  I will send pictures of it later!!!  It is navy blue leather by the way!!!

So my big suitcase got broken a while ago and I am not sure if I told you guys!!  It got stepped on in the CCM. When I got ready to leave, it was not really usable. I did the best that I could and got it here. Just thought that you would want to know!!  Good thing that I have the duffle bag that those people brought with my eagle project stuff in!!  So I have just been getting laundry done so that I can go to a new area and not have to wash for a while!! I also bought a new razor, because I was out of razor heads!  The gillette heads here are really expensive, so I bought a different razor that you use single blades, because it would be cheaper!!  It is hard, but I love it!!  I am a real man now!!

Elders being transferred from Los Girasoles
So the investigators are unknown to me in my new area, but the old ones are doing really well!!  Manuel is going to be baptized soon, so hopefully I can still go to that!!  He is very ready to be baptized!!

National Cemetary

This area has taught me so much!!  We had some difficulties, some struggles, but this area taught me to love the people and to work hard, and the Lord will take care of the rest!!  I truly am going to miss the people of Los Girasoles, and I am looking forward to when I can come back and visit them!!!

I love all of you guys!!  I hope you are all getting some letters from me soon!!

What a beautiful city! I am VERY blessed :)
Elder Garrett McEwan

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Importance of Member Missionary Work . . .

February 19, 2014

Dear Family,

How are you all doing? How is school going for all of you? How is work going? Are you all still enjoying basketball? Park, how is baseball going? I know that tryouts are happening soon, so I hope you do your best! Are you all reading in the Book of Mormon still? Where are you at with that? Has anything new or exciting happened around Salem lately?

So the work out here is going very well! We have been having double digit lessons with members lately, so that is really cool! Also to help the members with the work, we have been talking about the importance of Home and Visiting Teaching. The members are starting to do it a little more faithfully, and I have a feeling that we will see church attendance increase here pretty soon!

We are continuing to work hard out here, contacting, teaching, and hopefully baptizing again here pretty soon! It is really fun, because that is the purpose of the work! So, that is really amazing to see!

So Manuel . . . He is definitely a pretty cool guy! I was just talking to him last night before our lesson, and he told me that he is a Private Investigator! I now understand why he wants to know EVERYTHING! It's his job to know! We have this book called Gospel Principles and we teach the Sunday School class from it. It is a few hundred pages long, like 300 or something like that . . . He read the whole thing! He also is going to finish the Book of Mormon before the school year is over! So cool!

Our other investigator with a fecha . . . Her name escapes me! But, we put a fecha for March 29 originally because that was what the rules would permit! But, she has not missed a day of church in 6 months! Talked to the Zone Leaders and said we could put the fecha for whenever! She will be baptized on February 22 as well now, the same day as Manuel. That is going to be another cool day of baptisms!

So last night we had a meeting with our ward mission leader. The topic of transfers came up and he asked if anyone in our district would be transferred and I said that I most likely will be. He got this sad look on his face and told me that my work here has been exceptional and that the was has been greatly blessed for my work and success here. That was really humbling, because at times the mission is hard and it feels like we aren't accomplishing much! So it made me happy to hear that from him! Also, he told me to start teaching Spanish to our district because he said I have really good command over the language!

Well, I hope this letter finds you all well! I love you all so much! Hope to here from everyone soon!

Elder Garrett McEwan :)

p.s. I have written all of these letters for people, but I am having a hard time with addresses and things. Mom, could you please send them to the people? I am just never going to be able to get them all out! Thanks for everything you all do for me! I love you all!!

Monday, February 17, 2014

31 Lessons This WEEK . . .

February 17, 2014

Dear Family,
It sounds like you are doing very well!! Dyl, nice work on the Book of Mormon!! I finished it for the second time in spanish on Valentine´s Day, so that was really cool!!  I have the goal to read it 8 times on the mission, so I am just starting out still!!  Pork, congrats on the first date!! Now that you got the first one out of the way, nothing is holding you back  ;).  Mom and dad, I am glad that work is going well, and that you guys are doing your part to help the mission work grow back home!!  EVERY MEMBER IS A MISSIONARY!!!

So this week was good, we had 31 lessons, so that was good!!  We finished teaching Adairys all the lessons, and she was presented in church to be baptized!!  She asked me to baptize her, so I am very excited to do that!!  Our other baptismal candidate, Manuel, went out of town and didn´t tell us, so he wasn´t able to be presented in church!!  So that is sad, because if I get transferred, I won´t be here to see his baptism :(.  Just part of the work!!
So we found a girl named Madalyn, who is 19 years old.  We were teaching one of her neighbors, and she was present, asked us to go to her house, and then we taught her!!  The very next lesson, she was asking what she needed to do to join this church!!  That was really cool!! She accepted a baptismal date, so that will be lots of fun!!!

Well, this keyboard is really annoying and doesn´t function right, so I am going to end here for now!!  I have some letters written to send!!  They do not celebrate President´s Day, and I think that I will be transferred!!

I love you all!!!
Elder Garrett McEwan

Monday, February 10, 2014

Botanical Gardens . . .

Pictures of the Botanical Gardens we were able to visit again on P-day. It is such a beautiful place . . .

So Peaceful and Beautiful!

Elder McEwan & Elder LeFevre
Beautiful Pond/Fountain at Botanical Gardens

A miniature Salem Pond -- There is even a bridge!

Me and my buddy, Mr. Turtle


Called to a Certain Place for a Reason . . .

Elder McEwan is doing great! He has been in his first area of Los Girasoles since he left the MTC and is loving it. He's hoping this transfer will take him to the "campo". This translates to the "field" in English and when I asked him he said it means "out to the JUNGLE!"

Dear Family,
I am so glad that you all are doing so well!!  Seems like things are doing just fine back home in the good old USA!!!
So this week has been really good!!  All of our lessons were really good, and the peopole are doing really well!!  Today, we also went to the Botanical Gardens again... Pictures of that coming soon!! It was fun, really long, and a little sunburned, but it goes away in a day, so it is ok!!  
So for our investigators, we still only have the two that are progressing,  Manuel and Adairys. Teaching these people has been a very humbling experience for me...  They both are very intelligent, and hard workers!!!  It is a very strong testimony to me that the Lord calls us to a certain place for a reason!!  Maybe these two people were waiting just for me!!  Manuel has been wanting to change his life for a very long time, and now is finally doing it through the gospel of Jesus Christ!!  Adairys has been going to church every week for over a year, but was always to scared to talk to the missionaries because they never talked to her!!  So cool to see all of this hcange in the lives of 2 of God´s children!!!!
Manuel is doing super well!!  He is reading all of the material of the church that he can get his hands on!!  He has read the whole Gospel Principles Book, so that is super crazy!!  It is like 300 pages long!!  He understands every thing that we teach, he loves us, and he is genuinely changing!!  His problem was with alcohol, and he has not touched alcohol in 4 weeks!!  I am so excited for his baptism!!  Only one more week to wait!!
Adairys is so cool!!  She knows a lot, and she already has a strong testimony!!  I love teaching her, because we do it with a member family, so the ward is being involved with this!!  Pretty sweet!!  She will be baptized the same day as Manuel!!!

Things are going really well here.  I had an intercambio with Elder Darby, and that was fun!  We are all still together as a house, but are anticipating that this will be our last transfer together as a house!! We are all anticipating that I will be transferred, and I am hoping to go to the campo!!  That would be awesome!!
Well, I am going to send those pictures now!!  I love you all!!!
Elder Garrett McEwan   :)

Monday, February 3, 2014

Six Month Celebration . . .

February 3, 2014

Dear Family,

Elder McEwan and Elder Pedersen commemorating
6 months on their missions

I am doing so well out here!!  I love you all so much!!  I still have not gotten any letters recently, but I am sure they are somewhere out there!!  So first off, to answer the questions.  Elder Fallentine is doing well, learning more and more spanish everyday.  He leads the lessons sometimes, and does a really good job. We are both working very hard!!  The transfers will be on February 22, so that is going to be interesting..... This is my fourth transfer here, so we will see if I am transferred!!  The people are all doing so well!! Danilsa told me to tell all of you guys hi, and thank you for sharing your son with her!!  The weather is very humid, and has been raining basically non stop this last week!!  We hide in little shops from the rain, so that is always interesting.  They do celebrate Valentine´s Day here, so that will be interesting to see.... But yes, things here in the mission are going really well!!

The progressing investigators are really hard to come by right now.  We only have 2.  One is named Manuel.  He has come to church for three times in a row, and he has recieved all of the lessons.  We are just going over them, and then we are going to see him baptized on February 22.  That is really cool.  He has read the Bible three or four times, and then has also read Jesus the Christ.  He is a very smart man, and is already friends with lots of people in the ward.

We also have a 15 year old girl, and I just forgot her name.  She has been to church more times than I have in this area!!  I thought she was a member, until a member came to me and told me that this girl wants to be baptized!!  So she just has to continue to go to church and receive all the lessons!!

I am also in a choir that is performing for ward conference in three weeks, so that will be fun!!  We are singing  ¨Oh Dios de Israel¨.

I can’t believe I’ve been here for 6 months already. It seems like it is flying by in slow motion sometimes J. Elder Pedersen was in my group in the CCM, and we have been living in the same house our whole missions.  We hit six months, so on that day, we went on the roof and burned a tie in memorial of this momentous occasion.
I love you all so much.  Tell Peyton Manning that I am sorry that he lost, but he will still be MVP.

I love you all!!  Have a great week!!

Elder Garrett McEwan
My District: Elder McEwan, Elder Fallentine,
Elder Pedersen, Elder Darby