Monday, May 26, 2014

"Chicken Gunya" . . . REALLY? . . .

May 26, 2014

Dear Family,

Thank you so much for all of your support and everything that you have done for me!!  I love hearing that you are all having so much fun in life!!  You guys all seem like you are doing great!!

So this week was very boring to say the least!!  Elder Wassum got a sickness called "Chicken Guya",  it has got to have another, more medical sounding name, because chicken guya is just idiotic, but that is what everyone here calls it!!  It is similar to dengue, but it is very debilitating, and makes it so that your whole body just aches to the point that you can't walk!!  It comes with a super high fever, and it has just been a nightmare for him!!  He could barely eat, and so he has gotten even skinnier than he was before, and he only weighed like 135 before, so he is even skinnier now!!  
They said that he needs to stay in the house, take acetamenophin, and rest!!  Not much, but we are just having to wait it out!! We have not left the house much since last Wednesday...  I have been so bored!!  I have slept a ton, read a ton, and just thought!!  I practiced a ton as well, hopefully that pays off, but it already has  ;)  The only reasons that we have left the house was on Friday to go tell Darline about her baptismal interview on Saturday, Saturday for her baptism, and then Sunday for church!!  I have been just sitting in the house, hoping that he gets better, but it made him so week that he started to contract other sicknesses, and we are thinking that he has pneumonia right now!!  It has been tough, but I am doing everything possible to stay healthy!!  I do NOT want to get sick, so I do everything possible to be healthy!!  I am still working out every day... and I am not going to lie, I am jacked right now!!  Oh new house comp, Elder Connell,  was a Division 1 college wrestler, and he even told me that I am jacked, so that made me feel good!!

So now about Elder Connell, he is a wrestler guy, and he is really cool.  He is from South Carolina, and he has been in the mission for almost 20 months!  He is most likely going to finish his mission here!  But he is a nice guy!!  He speaks like someone from the deep south, so it is fun to be around him!!  He plays piano well, and sings well!!  He just knows a lot about music in general!!

So now on to the baptismal service that we had on Saturday!!  Darline was so excited to be baptized!!  We had her interview, and she did great!! Then we had her baptism in the afternoon!!  It was so spiritual, so peaceful, and the Spirit was so strong testifying to us that what was going on was true!!  She really did look so happy!!  I got to baptize her, and I got down in the water, said the prayer, and baptized her!!  And guess what??  She got a little nervouse and raised her arm up!!  So I had to baptize her again, and it was the first time that I had to baptize someone more than once in the mission!!  So I baptize her again, and she went "dead weight" on me, meaning she lifted her legs off the ground and didn't help me get her up!!  It was a beautiful baptismal service!!

Darline's Baptism -- Elder McEwan, Darline, Elder Wassum

Very sad about Salem Hills baseball, but they all just need to remember that when it all comes down to it, the mission is what matters now!!  The state championship is huge, but the triumph of helping someone start on their road to salvation has meant more to me than a thousand state championships!!  This is the true work and glory, and it's not found on a diamond, it is found in the conversion to the gospel of Jesus Christ!!

Also, the new President is here, and we get to meet him tomorrow at a Zone Conference, very excited to get to know him!!!

Love you all!  Until next week!!
Elder Garrett McEwan :)

p.s. We just celebrated Mother's Day yesterday in the D.R. :)!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Las Palmas Becomes Independencia . . .

May 19, 2014

Dear Family,

Things here are going great!!  Las Palmas is no longer a zone, it has been dissolved.  We had a special conference on sunday to reassign stake boundaries, and it wa really awesome!!  We are now forming a new stake, one that is called  Independencia!!   The official name will be la estaca republica dominicana independencia!!  It will take affect tomorrow!! We are all very happy about it!"!  I am also staying for another transfer, as well as Wassum and Pedersen!!  De la Cruz is the only one leaving, so we will see how all of that ends up!!  We are all doing really well, just continuing to work hard!!

So this week we did some pretty fun things!!  We watched the movie, The Son of God, at a ward activity!!  It was really good!!  We also had Familia Soto there, and they are starting to get reactivated!!  That is Angelica´s family!!  She still has a baptismal fecha for the 28 of June, and she is right on track!!  It is really awesome!!  She also has 2 consecutive times in church, so that is really great as well!!

Darline is doing great, and we are going to have her baptism on Saturday!!  We are going to go over with the ward mission leader to do paperwork on wednesday I think!!

Speaking of the ward mission leader, he got super sick this week!!  We went to visit a member family, Familia Reyes, that we are teaching the wife english to try to help he get a good job!!  The husband, who is the second counselor in the bishopric, was leaving to go visit the ward mission leader to give him a blessing, and asked us to go with him!!  We went, and the mission leader really was super sick!!  I asked him who he wanted to give him the blessing, assuming that he was going to say Herman Reyes, but he asked me to do it!!  It was crazy!!  The spirit was so strong!!  We blessed him that he would be better by the next day, to be able to go to work!?  And he was!!  That was crazy!!  An amazing testimony to me of the power of the priesthood that I hold!!

We were able to cover the two areas just fine!!  It was a lot of walking, and one day Pedersen stayed in the house, the next day Wassum stayed in the house, and De la Cruz went out the next day!!  It was good!! They also are going to have a baptism on Saturday!!

I love you all so much!! I am so glad that you are all doing so well!!  I can not wait to hear even more updates!!

Love you!!
Elder Garrett McEwan

Monday, May 12, 2014

Mother's Day Skype Call . . .

What a wonderful Mother's Day to get to talk with this amazing Elder! We were able to have great reception for 2 hours and 15 minutes. How happy it made all of us to be able to see and hear him. Elder McEwan is as happy as ever as he serves the people of the Dominican Republic as well as his Heavenly Father.
There is no better way to spend Mother's Day -- Happy Mom, Happy Dad, Happy Boys . . . Happy LIFE!

Parker and Dylan and Elder Garrett :)

Monday, May 5, 2014

Still Working Hard and Loving the Mission . . .

May 5, 2014

Mega Pedazo!!!
Dear Family,

That is so great that you guys are all doing so well!!!  I am glad that you guys were able to give the tramp to the brinkerhoffs, they will have a blast with it!!!

So I am not going to lie, this is going to be a short email this week...  Just not very much happened!!  The investigators keep cancelling us, and the contacting has not been effective either!!!  We have had to start being more creative with the way we do the contacting!!  Knocking on a door isn't working right now, so we have started to plan family home evenings with investigators to invite their friends and families to the lessons!!  We talk to anyone who looks at us, and are just planting about ten million seeds, hoping that one day someone is going to want to have a cita!!  It is all good though, still just working hard and loving the mission!!

We had a bird in our HOUSE!

So Darline is so ready to be baptized that we almost moved her fecha to this Saturday instead of in two weeks, but we left it the same!!  She is very excited!!  She does everything that she can in her life, and just leaves the rest of it up to God!!  She really is awesome!!

Beautiful DR Sunset
So today is the 5 de mayo, a Mexican holiday, but they are celebrating it here??  A little funny, but the decided to call it the Day of the Worker, which was actually supposed to be on Thursday but they changed it to today to be 5 de mayo!!!

We are going to make district t shirts, supposedly ther it a place to customize them, so we are doing that for a multizone activity!!!

Love you all so much!!  Hopefully all is well!!!


Elder Garrett McEwan  :)

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Testimony vs. Conversion . . .

Words from a wise young missionary :) . . .

Dear Family,

Thank you all so much for your letters and emails that I received last week! It is always such a nice surprise to have mail! Also, thank you for the hardcopy pictures that you sent. It is really nice to be able to look at them whenever I want and not just on P-day.

Congratulations, Dad, on the new calling to the BYU Stake. That will be a great opportunity for you all to grow and help others grow as well. Something that I have seen on the mission is that those early to mid 20's years are the hardest; it is important to retain a testimony and conversion through these years. If a person can remain converted to the gospel through those years, they will be converted for life.

This is something that I have been thinking about a lot lately, the difference between a testimony and a conversion. Sometimes we thing that a testimony is a conversion, but really a testimony is what leads us to conversion. A testimony is a knowledge of something we know to be true, while conversion is an action! How can we be truly converted if we never act? Conversion is what shows that we are willing "to leave behind the nets in an instant and follow HIM"! (Matthew 4:19-20)

I know that if we convert ourselves to the Lord, to His gospel, and to His plan, we truly will find the eternal blessings and treasures that are promised to us in Heaven. Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God, and if we convert ourselves fully, we will have His blessing.

The English class is still a little so-so right now, with not much out of class practice going on, and the attendance changes every time! New people, so it is a little hard, but we are doing our best!

I love you all so much, and hope that you doing great!

Elder Garrett McEwan :)