Sunday, April 29, 2012

My District

Our District

Elder McCulloch, Elder Mills, Elder John, Sister Newman, Sister Lio, Elder Chlarson, Elder Steltzer, and Elder Cosman

Let me introduce you:

Elder Dillon McColloch: age 19, bday 12/18/92. He's the baby of our bunch, but he is our dearest district leader. He doesn't know why he got the calling because "our other Elders could do a better job". Sometimes he forgets to tell us till the last minute. He has a good heart and we know he loves us. Some of our Elders don't always get along so well, but this Elder has a very calming effecxt on tough situations. He is wonderful. And, he could listen to Christmas music all year round. Ahhhh. hmmmm. (just think of my funny, calm smile 'cause that's the face I'm making). His family isn't sealed, but he knows they will be someday. He has a girl waiting for him in his hometown, Cache Valley, Utah, just minutes from Teenies' school. But I don't think it will be too long before he gets a beautifully written Dear John letter. she was starting to get serious with another guy.

Elder Mills:  This kid is very kind, but extremely shy. He is very smart, but doubts himself. It is so great when he helps Elder John with doing things on his own. Elder Mills steps in and reminds him that they are suposed to be working together. At first they didn't get along, but now they know what to do & not to do. This Elder is 19 and from Magna, Utah. He cracks some pretty good jokes. And he enjoys a good strength workout.

Elder Michael John: 19 from Guam. He is so funny. He is always making me laugh about one thing or another. He really misses his home and family. His love of the gospel is incredible, but his actions to his kasama sometimes deny this. But he loves us and we know it. It is totally boal, but he got bored one day when we were doing tall language study and he started braiding my hair. I didn't stop him so, my bad. I had to repent, and it won't happen again, but we were honestly not thinking. BTW he always has a comb in his hair. His favorite words to say no matter if they make sense where he puts them or not are: pero (but), bakit (why), ano (what), & dahil (because). He is one funny dude. He also enjoys volleyball.

Sister Lio: Who's first name I can't say or spell but her birthday is Nov. 21, 1990. she is sweet and calm. She gets very frustrated with the language and would rather speak her native Samoan. We get along pretty well and are having fun being companions.

Elder Clayton Chlarson: Pronounce Klarson (the h is silent). He is 19 from Payson, Arizona. He gets very emotional when he feels the spirit. Much like me. He cries when we sing a song he likes or when we see the Sunday films. He has turned our group of boys into a group of loving gentlemen who stand up when we walk into the room. And who take our trays at meals. He always apologizes when an inappropriate comment is made like "triple coil" and such (explanation coming soon). He loves to pray and share spiritual thoughts every chance he gets. He enjoys poetry and recites for us at times. He gets off task quite easily if others start talking about music or movies, but it isn't hard to refocus him. And he loves the Monkees!

Elder Barton Steltzer: 22 years old from Idaho Falls, Idaho. Parents are converts and he decided he wanted to bless others lives like his parents lives were blessed. He fixes things mechanically engineery type stuff, he rides horses as a hobby, and hates Christmas music with a passion (and, yes, I did almost cry when he said that today). I wanted to slap some sense into him but don't worry, I stayed my hand. He just finished the Book of Mormon for the first time 2 days ago and has been glowing from the testimony of it ever since. He finds the language difficult but continues to work hard, always encouraging us to remember we were called of God to do this and if we do our part God will do His. We all need this nearly twice a day and he gives us a great dose.

Elder Jonathan Cosman: is 20 from Cananda, aye! Nubrunswick, Canada. he is funny. Really cool. surprisingly spiritual. and at times, nasty. When he has to go #2 he says, "Kasama, I gotta go triple coil" or  "quadruple coil" or "release the kraken". It makes us laugh everytime, but it is still nasty. He has a girl he has dated for almost 2 years waiting for him. they want 8 kids and he wants to run his own landscaping business. He is the best in our whole district with sentence structure. He figures it out very quickly. also, he enjoys singing and he is very good at it too. He should sing at a fireside or something. he shared a spiritual thought today that made me realize he truly does have a testimony.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

First letter home

I will add little clarifications at times and so you know it is me and not Brittany, I will change the color of the text. --JulieAnn

Dearest Mommy & Daddy,
This is so scary. I have cried so much today.  I am so beyond overwhelmed and I want to go home to my shelter. 18 months is a long time in my eyes right now. But, I know I had a witness to come here and I trust that somehow my Savior, Jesus Christ, will come through for me and I will learn this language. Write me, please. I miss your advice and comfort. and if you ever send a package, send kleenex with it.
I love you. I pray for you. I am teaching in Tagalog tomorrow. Blessed be us all.
My companion is Sister Lio. She is from American Samoa. She is very sweet and a crier herself. I think we will get along well.
Get on I can get letters fast I have been told. (I've since learned that this is free to deliver to the MTC and to all pouch missions so it will be easy for us all to send letters to her)
April 27
Teaching was not so great. Teaching in a new language is very discouraging. I will try harder for the Lord. Dad, did you ever find yourself wanting to go home because it was too hard? Today was good until after dinner. Then after the teaching it was laughing and getting to know the other people in our district. 8 o'clock hit and I wanted to cry again. I think I get too tired and it hits me bad.
Pray for me. Pray for me constantly. I need it. And please stay healthy and walk. Dad, I don't tell you enough. I love you and respect you and I want you to be here for a long time. I pray for you all to stay healthy and well. I promise I will work hard and in 3 weeks I will love this place. Everyone tells me that, so I will trust them.
April 28
It is getting better. Heavenly Father will qualify us for this work. We felt lots better after teaching today. the language is hard and I struggle even reading properly but I have been promised it will come. I miss home so much. I know I shouldn't but I do. The Elders in my district are so funny. I enjoy their company and I like how I feel the spirit from them. The people who have been here awhile all seem very happy so I know if I try, the Lord will not let me fail.
April 29
I have to tell you about last night so you can know I will be ok. Last night Sister Tivalu and I had our first interview (she is our coordinating sister). The sprirt was there. I cried and told her my problems of the language and missing home. I told her how I honestly can't stand being here. Then I got to just talk about how much I love the Lord and how I knew I needed to go on a mission. Talked about how we know all these great things and it hurts that we can't voice them to investigators because they can't understand us. I just got to release all the testimony and for last night I realized everything is going to be ok. It will be hard and kinda suck @ times but it will be alright. I am not alone.
I love you and still cry because I miss you but it will be ok. I will come home soon. And my goodness, today just now our district was singing hymns and elder Chlarsonjust started bawling so I won't feel as bad now when they find out I've been crying.
Mommy, we are singing Count Your Blessings at my first fireside. You and I love that song!
April 30
We taught a lesson today and it wasn't that awesome. I had inspiration Sunday and it was really great but I think I let my Heavenly Father down because I didn't make it work. It is so hard. So hard. Honestly I would give anything to get a hug and some advice from my  mom right now. I love you with all my heart. I will be happy. I will. The Lord is good to me. Thank you for all your letters. I needed them. I can't wait to check my email. Everything will be alright. 17 months and 26 days will go by faster if I am happy. Blessed be the name of the Lord.
Mahal (Love), Brittany

Alam ko po na Totoo po ang Simbahan ni Jesucristo ng mga Banal sa mga Huling Araw. Alam ko po na Totoo po ang Aklat ni Mormon, at Mahalaga po ang panalangin. alam ko po na Buhay po ang Diyos, atposi Jesucristo. Alam ko po na Propeta po si Thomas S. Monson. Alam Ko po na Mahal po tayo ng Diyos, at tinutulungan po ng Diyos ang Kanyang mga anak dito sa Mundo. Ja pangalan ni Jesucristo, amen.

I know The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints is true. I know the Book of Mormon is truse and prayer is important. I know God lives and Jesus Christ lives. I know Thomas S. Monson is a prophet. I know God loves us and he helps His children here at earth. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.