Monday, August 27, 2012

Preface by Travis's Mom -   I noticed that Travis had a debit card transaction from Kansas - But he was getting transferred to  Castle Rock, Co - so I asked him about it. 

Family!! Hola!
Yeah so about the Kansas thing haha.. funny story. Last Tuesday, I went new missionary tracting. Which, by the way, went pretty successful. Even for me being a new missionary myself. We got several return appointments, we handed out a Book of Mormon, and got someone to come to church! :) It was sick.  It felt nice actually being able to talk! A lot of the times my old companion dominated. But yeah so after it was all done, we met back at the church for like a brief overview/close. As everyone was leaving I was writing down information for the AP's from when we went tracting. A lot of people had left at this point. President Anderson walks up to me and puts his arm around my shoulder. I thought he was just going to tell me that everyone was leaving and that it was time to go. Nope. He then called over one of the AP's...? I didn't know what was going on haha. I was like, am I in trouble? In my head of course. But yeah he told me that they were switching my transfer call from Castle Rock to Ulysses, Kansas! WHATT? haha YES! I really wanted to go to Kansas! And now it was happening!
It's a 50% spanish area so its pretty epic. President was just like, go pack your bags, you're going to Kansas! haha sweet. I was/am super sad about leaving the Oakwook and Indigo Ranch wards. I met some really awesome people there that I will miss for sure. The drive to Kansas was 5/6 hours.. it seemed like forever haha. Passing cornfields and cornfields...dang.  But I was still stoked. So I'm serving in Ulysses, Kansas! (Pronounced like You-Liss-Us) My address is:
710 North Sullivan; Ulysses, Kansas 67880.    I wouldn't recommend sending me anything straight here unless you need to get it to me fast and as long as you don't send it too close to transfers (or September 18th). 
So yeah, our apartment is this tiny brick building like in the middle of trailer homes..It is SOO hot here and super humid. It's pretty miserable. + it smells like cow poop all the time! We had to walk a few miles the other day because we are low on miles for the month. We can literally walk (slowly) from one end of the town to the other in 20 mintues. haha yup. It's a freaking SMALL town! I'm just loving it here though. The people are so nice and humble! I'm probably going to be eating sketchy foods here though. I heard occasionally you get served roadkill..awesome! I'm stoked. All of the members are farmers and they will gladly hook you up with food and stuff if you ask. We got the hookups right now with fresh eggs and homemade grape juice. One of the members here went and picked like a couple hundred pounds of grapes and then made all juice out of it. It was awesome. It's like legitimate juice! Yummmmm The one thing about being in a small town is that there are like no grocery stores. The closest Walmart is like an hour away in Liberal, Kansas. The only stores we have here are like small corner-store grocery stores. Everything is expensive here. It's over $5 for a gallon of milk! You would think it would be way cheap because of all the cows out here! Water in Kansas is NASTY. So we buy water jugs here. The big things here are like McDonalds, Pizza Hut, and Subway. That's it. I'm diggin the small town feel actually..but on the other hand it reminds me that I belong in a big city haha 
My spanish is slowly starting to come back. It was a shock at first, but its getting better for sure. Thanks partially to my companion. His name is Elder Wilde from Kaysville, Utah. He's pretty cool and we get along great! He is 9 months out on his mission and this is his first transfer going senior comp. But he's doing a pretty good job though.    

There are members here in the ward like 20-30 miles out. We also cover this city, Johnson. It's about 30 miles out. There are dirt roads and it seems that most of the people are spanish only, which is sweet! I'm kinda scared to speak spanish though to real people. This is something I really need to get over or else I will never improve or learn. My first spanish lesson with a native was in a trailer home haha. I didn't really know what going on a lot of the times. But I could follow some! Everyone seems to know everyone in this town. That's what happens when the town is like 1.5 miles long. The first time we met with the bishop, he like chastised us about following the rules. He said if we're seen doing anything wrong, someone will call him and he will literally know about it within 30 minutes. Cool. haha I was like..we plan on following the rules, don't worry. A couple things I learned from church yesterday: 1. its acceptable to pass the sacrament in blue jeans. 2. Fasting for rain or "moisture" (what they call it) is real and it happens all the time. Everything is just a little different out here. There is a lot of potential in this area. I think we will definitely see baptisms! :) We're already working with people and one person even has a baptismal date!

Thanks for Logan's address! I'll be sure to send the letter his way!
 It's funny, when I see things like chocolate and other good foods now, I think of them as like a delicacy. haha I don't know why. This small town thing has gotten to my head. Like we went to a members house for lunch yesterday and she made brownies. I was like wow this is so nice and rare , they have brownies in Kansas! haha it's funny.

I'm in Central Time Zone! I'm literally in the middle of the united states. Sometimes our district meetings are held in Guyman, Oklahoma too. That's how far south I am. Well, that's all for this week! I love you guys and miss you a ton! :)

Elder Wheelwright

Pictures: I'm holding a giant meat log that one of the members gave us, I've started rocking out cowboy hats to fit the part in Kansas,  Me experiencing my first sarsaparilla and it actually rained once since I've been here. what a miracle! haha.. but it rained SUPER hard! I wanted to go run out in it, so I did haha. I got soaked! literally. It was so worth it though.  The other is like a wheat field, basically what I see for miles and miles in every direction that I look.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

 Hello family! 
This week has been somewhat of an abnormal one.. One day we came home to find that our power was out! :( Lame..  We didn't have time to deal with it that day, so the next day, we called the housing coordinator.. Apparently he forgot to pay the utility bill. So we were without light for 3 days! It was kinda lame and a little bit fun haha. The things that sucked was that all of our food went kinda bad.. Cool. And I had to take a shower in ice cold water in the dark with a flashlight haha. It was like the worst thing ever.. We have a fireplace, so we used that for light. I also remembered that I brought my headlamp too so I used that.. I knew there was a reason for me bringing that! 
Soo this week (tomorrow) is transfers! I cant believe its already here! CRAZY! I thought I would be staying in this area, but nope. I got transferred to this place called Castle Rock. Its up closer to Denver. The only thing I know about it, is that its a super rich area.. So lots of prideful people. Cool. haha My chances of speaking spanish? none. Except if I talk to the maids of the houses..haha. I hope I get to do that! That would be sweeeet! My companion is getting transferred to Kansas. He isn't very excited. I told him that I would switch places with him! I'm going to miss the area I'm in. I've met a lot of cool people and families here. I don't want to leave!! :( But there must be a reason for me leaving. I just don't know it yet. So tonight i'm packing. Fun stuff. 
Another thing that is happening today, is that I'm going new missionary tracting! There are 18 new missionaries coming in. So when they first arrive, experienced missionaries take them out for a couple of hours. Experienced is the key word here.. I have no clue why I'm doing it haha. I'm still a new missionary! I've only been out for one transfer! So I'm like freaking out. I'm taking the role of senior companion here. Weird. I'm kinda scared because I still don't know what I'm doing! How am I going to teach someone else how to do something when I don't even know how to do it. haha   This should be interesting though for sure! 
So the trip to Shyanne mountain didn't actually happen. We just ran out of time :(  I'm bummed, I really wanted to go! And the dinner with Chef Guzman got cancelled. haha So thankfully I didn't have to get super super stuffed again. But I missed out on his awesome food though. It's a win/lose situation. 
I'm glad my SD card made it home safely! I always get sketched out sending it. Yeah it's crazy thinking that Dallin is leaving tomorrow! Good luck buddy! The MTC is awesome (but not at first haha). I actually miss the MTC now.. I definitely want to try to teach there when I get back. That's super funny that they had Pizza at Dallin's open house... HE WOULD. haha He's a pizza monster! 
We have one girl here with a baptismal date, she is 9. We went and visited her this week to make sure everything was okay and to see if they were coming to church. When the girl came up to the door, the first thing she said was that she doesn't want us being her missionaries... ouch. haha that's cool. This was my first time meeting the family because we were on splits last time My comp went over there. The girl said she wants sister missionaries. Then the mom of the girl came up and was like yelling at my companion. She said she was "super mad" (Cleaned up version haha.) at him because of his push for baptism and for other stuff I didn't understand (because I wasn't there last time). Elder Silva does have a problem with pushing baptism too hard. I think it puts people off. We've had discussions about this before. He thinks our purpose is solely to baptize. Yes, that is PART of it. I told him that our purpose is to bring others unto Christ through things like baptism, repentance, etc. He (and a lot of other missionaries) are so focused on getting people baptized fast. I think that a timely manner is important yeah, but when you are pushing so hard that people start getting offended? No. Especially when they have no idea what they are getting themselves into haha. He disagreed with me, but whatever. haha we all have our opinions. But yeah, so we got yelled at, and the mom was like she probably wont even get baptized for another 4 months because of this situation now. Okay... That was not a fun experience. 
Also one of the days this week we had to double book dinner! ....I was super full after both of them. The 2nd one wanted to keep feeding us more and more. I was like ugh.... please stop it haha. In my head of course.
 I think that's it for this week. Hopefully my new companion is a cool guy. I'll let you know next week! I love you guys!

Elder Wheelwright

So i forgot that we had zone conference this week! It was terrible.. haha I hate zone conferences now. It was 9 hours long!!! Wow.. it was the worst haha. The picture with 6 of us in it, is my district picture. The other ones are just random. haha. Love you guys!

oopss... one more description of a pic. The one where I'm holding a certificate and a box of chocolates is an award that me and my companion were awarded with at zone conference because we had one of the cleanest apartments in the zone! so that was sweet. haha

Monday, August 13, 2012

Hello Family!
I got what I needed from Sister Perez, Thanks! We're actually taking the tour next Monday, not today.
The little deposits I'm making are missionary funds. Since this is my reassignment, I don't have a debit card like the rest of the missionaries that are supposed to be here. So my money gets put on my comps debit card. So we go to the bank and withdraw it and then I put it on my card because I don,t want to use cash haha. So it all works out the same.  I didn't find the Jersey yet, but I'll keep looking, so don't buy any yet. I'll let you know.
Sweet! Good job Nathan! :) Tell him he can have like $20. Is that what I said? I cant remember. haha
I'm sure your talk was good, they always are. It's good that you talked about missionary work. We try to get the members in our ward pumped up about missionary work. We challenge them to read Preach My Gospel. There is this one awesome member, who is super into the work because of PMG. She comes to appointments with us and is an awesome fellow-shipper. I'm sure Dallin did a good job too haha. Langley told me that he sounded nervous haha.But I was way nervous too haha.
So the "chef" that feeds us does it on purpose I think. We have him for dinner this Wednesday again, so I'm a little bit scared haha. But I'll prepare myself this time!
I'm starting to lean away from the Visa's being alphabetical too.
I sent my SD Card via regular mail today. So it should be there soon! :)

So this week has been pretty wild. I went on 3 different exchanges this week. 2 of them were bike areas haha.. That was, fun I guess. Both areas were really hilly so that sucked. I was super tired, especially because it was my first day on a bike. It was good exercise though!
We had a lot of Miracles happen this week, like random people calling us and telling us that they have been looking for an LDS church. One specific family that called us are inactive but want to come back. They do have 2 children who are unbaptized (14 & 12 years old). They want to get them baptized but there are problems. The lady is divorced and her husband is like super anti-Mormon. He doesn't want them baptized. Since they have joint custody, they both have to give permission... :( so aka..they cant get baptized probably until they are 18. We are still going to be teaching them though and re-activating them!
One of our new investigators this week is like 60 years old and is a professional body builder and he is also a director for zombie movies haha! It's sweeeet.
While on exchanges the 2nd time, a member took us out to this Brazilian buffet. Super goood. I was feeling adventurous and tried some things that I would never have thought I would have eaten! I ate quail eggs, those were bad. Just a little bit hard. I also ate the core of a palm tree, nasty. And then... I ate a chicken heart. haha it was NASTY. I tried my best to swallow it haha. But it was hard. It didn't taste that bad, but just the thought of me eating a chicken heart was gross. A couple days later, a member wanted me to try sushi. So i did.. it had crab in it. yuck. I didn't want to eat it, but I didn't want to offend him haha. So I did it. It wasn't terrible, but it wasn't good. I'm not a fan. I'll Pass next time. haha
I know there is more that happened, but I cant remember right now. Lame. I hate it when that happens. The whole week is just full of so many awesome epic things! Well I love you guys! I hope you have a great weeek! :) . When you get my card in the mail, just put the pictures on my hard drive. Thanks mom! :)

Elder Wheelwright

Oh another thing I just remembered that happened this week! On Saturday we volunteered at a home owners association carnival. It was from 8am-4pm. Man it was sooo hot too. I put on sunscreen, but from the pictures I sent, you can see that it didn't work haha. I am super fried! It hurts so much just to move haha. I got burn lines from my glasses too, so that's awesome. For the carnival, I ran a giant hamster ball course. It was awesome. I got to try it with another elder at the very end, it was so sick!! I got a little video of us racing. The lady taking the video didn't really know how to work the camera.. So its only like 6 seconds long. But still. Those are attached haha! It was soo fun. I'm still feeling the pain. I'm putting a ton of aloe vera gel on everyday.

Well I think that's it! Bye bye!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Hello Family!
This week has been pretty same-old kinda stuff. Nothing really exciting with missionary work. We don't have any new investigators :( And no one came to church that we asked to. Well last week wasn't all bad! Yesterday the bishop here pulled us into his office and basically gave us the best referral ever. This lady is moving in to the ward on Friday, and she has an unbaptized 9 year old daughter. She said she wants her to get baptized! Since she's over 8, its a convert baptism! and we get to teach her ! So that's way awesome. I'm excited for that! The lady that walked into church last week that said she was going to come back, didn't. :( We found out later that she felt pressured. Yup, understandable. My comp. pestered her as she was leaving, for a return appointment. repeatedly. But whatever. I think she will come back eventually. It's just a bummer though.
This week, I discovered our apartment had MOLD! Awesome. It was all over the walls in the same little closet as our ghetto water heater, which we found was leaking and super rusty. So that's cool. Since day one in that apartment, I've always thought that it smelled weird and kinda gross. Now I know why. So we had to work with the apartment office and they kept telling us they were coming to fix it that day, but it ended up being a couple days later. hmmm.  I found a mask in a drawer and so I put it on to be over dramatic haha. It's a great picture though nonetheless.
We finally got all that sorted out, and we ended up getting a new water heater. The pinnacle apartments we live in are kind of ghetto.. I mean from the outside they look good, but everything else.. kinda bad. It's funny because they are called luxury apartments. haha, syke.
We ate at a members house this week who has the reputation of piling on more food on you're plate when its gone and just stuffing you until you cant eat any more. Holy crap.. it was rough. I was SO full that night and my stomach was hurting so bad. There was just more food and more food and then dessert with a glass of milk, and then a second dessert with a glass of chocolate milk..gah. It's painful even thinking back to that night haha. On top of being full, I had to give the spiritual thought that night @ dinner. So before I started,
I was just like I'll try and see if I can talk still and everyone started laughing haha.. It was so hard though. Like sooo much food. I've never been that full in my life! The guy was an awesome cook though. He is a chef for the air force, pretty cool.

About the address of my apartment... I have it but not on me haha. And it's best to send all mail to the mission office. especially this late into transfers. Transfers are on August 22. So it's coming up pretty quick. I did get the package! It's awesome thanks! :)
So there is no word on my VISA yet. I talked to my mission president and asked him for transfers dates in my mission.(Argentina) They are Aug.7 or Sep.18. So I have to get my VISA before one of those dates or else I have to wait another full transfer here in Colorado. I've been kinda noticing patterns about the people who are getting their VISA's and the people who aren't. It seems like they are going in alphabetical order.. The 4 people that left a couple weeks ago were 3 H's and an M last name. There is a guy here with a last name starting with W and he has been here in Colorado for like 5 or 6 months waiting.. So I REALLLY hope that I'm wrong. I got super disapointed when I put that info together. Can you look into that for me? And see if VISA's are done by alphabetical order?
Wow. Can't believe Dallin is already leaving ! haha that came up quick! Thats cool that you get to speak though, kind of. I hate speaking so much. haha Yeah Sunday topics are super important when it comes to bringing investigators to church.
Dang! that has been pretty hot for federal way! We have been having thunder/lightning storms + rain for like a week stragith now. It's pretty cool. Finally the roof is getting done haha! Geeeze. Tell nathan, when he relist's them to put them up for an auction starting @ like $50. haha go Nathan! Sell all of your old stuff and get new stuff! Smart Stuff. Did you ever look on amazon for that Colorado jersey I told you about?
Also next p-day we are going to take a tour of a military base inside of a mountain. It's called Shyanne mountain. One of the members are taking us through.
Well My time is up! I love all of you guys so much and I miss you!! Have an awesome week!

Elder Wheelwright