Monday, August 30, 2010

First week in the field

Hey family it was so great to talk to you all that one y in the airport! I have officially been out here for 6 days now WOW! it feels like a month ago that i was at the MTC. So there was a ton of stuff that happened this week. I think most of you know but the first day i was here, my companion calls me and says you got a baptism tonight bro! so i was freaking out cause i had to memorize the little prayer in spanish and just didn't know what to expect. it was so sweet though that first day, i walk into the church, meet my comp named elder puertas, and then meet thel ittle girl i'm going to baptize. Her name is bianca. She was so sweet and nice to let me do that and her mom and brother also got baptized that day.

That family is so awesome and they are learning more and more all thetime. The little girls in that family love me too hah i love to make them laugh. So the first few days of me being here were kind of different because i was in a 3 some for a little while since elder puertas' old companion was actually going home on wednesday. So tuesday evening we just went and visited people he wanted to see. Although we did get a carne asada dinner which was spectacular! and i got to meet some more members in the spanish branch. Everyone loved the guy that was leaving though, his name was elder jones. I'll send a picture home of me and him and the people we baptized. Apparently he broke the record in the mission for baptisms. Anyway, tuesday night was good and i got to know my comp, jones, and another elder mack better.

Elder puertas is from peru, and has been out 7 months. He's way tight and just wants to succeed all the time. He seems like he just does whatever it takes which is cool. He is the district leader for our district and he's just a solid guy. Really funny and he's lookin out for me. He was kind of quiet for the first little while but i guess he was just stressin or something cause he's opened up now. I'm in Salem oregon right now which is supposed to be a great area. I can't really tell you all the specific areas we have because i dont know haha but we cover west salem for sure and a few other places as wwell. Our apartment is nice, its on the second floor but has a nice big sliding door window that we can look outside, a nice little tiny kitchen, two beds, another room for studying witha big couch haha, and a bathroom. It's actually a pretty nice place, very quaint. Elder puertas and i cover an english ward and a spanish branch so we do both english and spanish work. It's kind of hard too cause we'll talk to people in english and then get in that habit and i don't feel like i'm learning how to speak better to be honest. I am slowly understanding people better but speaking is still just what i could do in the mtc, which isn't bad but not great. But i love the wards i cover for real, they are awesome. Oh yeah and elder puertas is an awesome teacher, he seems to tie everything question they have into a gospel principle and then bring it back to the person we're teaching. It is awesome cause he makes the gospel apply to every situation no matter what we're talking about. He is great

On thursday we had a district meeting which was pretty long. I learned a lot though and i just like meeting more missionaries and feeling apart of everything ya know. That was the hardest thing about this week. I honestly felt useless. It was like i didn't know anybody, i don't know how to talk to people in spanish, it was hard to ujst be myself if we weren't in the apartment, and i just would get really frustrated. It slowly was wearing me down each day too. Every morning i would wake up determined to do somethhing better that day i dont even know what, but these little things would just wear me down. I think it's just part of the transitiion though into the field. I know i can start making a difference but i have start by making a little bit of a difference and then it wlil gradually grow as i do. But no lie there were a few times where i thought i was just gonna start crying at night when i would lay my head down to go to sleep but then i was too tired to think about anything and i would be out hahah. I actually meant that on friday we had district meeting and on thursday we had weekly planning where we kind of plan for half the transfer with baptisms and new investigator goals and things. Our goal for baptisms this transfer is 26. that is the magic number. I know we can get but we are gonna have to seriously kick it into gear. And tomorrow (tuesday), we are dong what's called "happy tuesday" where we are al going on splits (4 missionaries) with members so we'll have 4 companionships and we're splitting up all over our areas and finding people to teach. Our goal is to find 100 new people tomorrow. It's gonna be awesome. I've had a few opportunities to knock doors and stuff and i'm not very good at it but i'm getting there. I feel so official when i do it so i'm trying to be more just myself and say hey whats up instead of "hi we're selling religion" kind of thing. I wanna just be someone they can trust in those first few seconds on the door and then when the timne is right, bring up why im out here. Im getting there. Puertas has thrown me under the bus a few times too when h'e'll say oh i got this one and then he'll knock and be like "bro i'm not saying anything this is all you haha" so he keeps me on my toes and i've done a few door approaches in spanish and ya know i'm not so bad.

We have had a ton of appointments too meeting with recent converts and new investigators. To be honest though, we have only taught "lessons" like twice. I taught about the creation and adam and eve, and then i've born my testimony a few times haha so i'm just trying to get courage cause i'm such a wuss hahaha!

We kind of work differently too in our area. Since there are 4 spanish speaking elders we kind of work together which is cool but at te same time, i don't kknow if i love it. Elder mack and elder wilkes are the other two spanish elders. I just get frustrated because wilkes just got to this area even though he's been out a year but mack and puertas have been here for a bit. They know all the people and mack is decent at spanish so he can converse a little more so this past week i felt like i was getting jipped. this is why. one example is this past sunday. We were in the car, with all four of us, and mack and wilkes would have a schedule and so did we, we have a dinner even though we had eaten a late lunch right before. So we were going from lunch right to dinner YUCK and i was stuffed. Mack says oh hey we have to go visit so and so. Why don't we go on splits. So then mack and puertas go visit a family while me and wilkes just have to go suck it up and eat another dinner. There were other examples during the week where one would say oh we have to go visit this person. Naturally i don't know who they are but i'm never going to know them if i don't get to meet them. Anyway, one will say oh lets just go on splits so we can be more effective and more personal, which i understand, but then me and wilkes (who know nothing about the area) are left to go out tracting on our own looking for spanish people when neither of us know it very well. Maybe i'm just being a downer but i was getting so frustrated cause i felt like we had this happen like once a day. I realize that it's kind of selfish thinking but at the same time i feel like i'm just doing their dirty work. I guess i am the greenie so, whatever it is what it is. I just get frustrated cause they'll even sleep over at our house and then it takes us twice as long to plan cause we have distractions and they eat all my food hahaha (i dont really care about that), but in all seriousnss, i want to learn things from puertas and grow closer with him on a one on one basis. The few nights that we have been alone in our apartment have been awesome cause we'll do good studies in the morning and we'll have cool experiences where i can learn about him and missionary work and about myseflf. I love these guys really even mack and wilkes and everything but sometimes it's like okay we got called to be in a companionship not a foursome all the time. Yesterday evening was fun cause puertas and i got to go out solo knocking doors for a bit and got to do our own thing. Ahh those are all my frustrations i think.

I want to tell you about sunday thouhg cause it was dope! We had meetings in the morning and one guy told us about a family taht just moved in that is spanish, but also speaks english. So right after the meeting, we went over to their house and knocked. Luckily they were there, getting ready for church! ha fancy that. So we introduced ourselves and Jose the dad, is like, come on in guys come on in, "first of all i just want to let you guys know that i'm from the street. I've done it all, drugs, gang banging, everything." and then he un buttons his shirt and shows us all his tattoos. HA but he's like "i'm here now. I realized tahts not the life i want for me or my wife and kids. So i believe he's off the drugs and he's all religious now. His wife or girlfriends family is mormon but she is not. So neither of them are mormon but they are totally into it. They came an hour later to church and i basically sat with them the whole time. I got put on english duty this week so i went with jose and cindy and their son through sacrament meeting, gospel principles, and preisthod and relief society was combined. Which actually was perfect cause they were talking about unemployment and jose doesn't have a steady job right now so he was ALL ears. hah. They are so awesome though they were way into it, participating in discussions and everything. It was sweet. Then after those three hours, spanish branch sacrament meeting is right after so i went to all of english and then 1 meeting of spanish. We had 10 confirmations today! haha it was crazy and took up almost the whole time. I got to give that little girl bianca the holy ghost and give her a blessing in spanish! oh my gosh it was the highlight of my day! it was so awesome and i was so nervous too haha but i had a very powerful experience. The whole meeting i was trying to think about what i was gonna say and things and how to conjugate verbs and stuff, and then it was finally my turn, (i went last) and when i layed my hands on her head, i felt so good! My heart kept pounding but there was no wavering in my voice or buterflies in my stomach. I just said the words as i had practiced them and then gave her a blessing as i felt it. I ended up saying generally what i planned but that wasn't the point, it was mor just having faith that whatever i did say, the lord would take care of her and i felt something so powerful as i gave her the blessing. They always talk about a burning in the bosom and i always had no idea what that meant but as i gave her this blessing it was like a warm something pulsing through me. I wasn't hot but i just felt like i was really exercising the power of the priesthood, that it is so real. I was literally acting in the name of God at that moment when i gave her the holy ghost and i felt it. I have always been afraid to give blessings, not knowing exactly how to just rely on Heavenly father to help me know what to say. I think it was better that i had to do it in spanish ahahah because no matter what i was thinking, i needed a little help from above was awesome though and then she sat next to me bianca did, for the rest of the meeting and she drew me a picture of me and had her little ctr ring in spanish that i gave her (thanks mom!). She is so awesome. So that was my highlights of sunday. Our schedule was kind of different too cause we've been doing 11 at night is bed time and 7 is wake up. I dont know if we're allowed to but that's what my comps told me. I think i'm gonna try and switch it back to 10:30 - 6:30 this week. it's just hard cause if i want to stick up for something, i have to do it in front of 4 people most of the time instead of just me and my companion ha.

I've been trying my hardest to stay obedient though even if people are stilll awake at night or if someone stays in bed for a little longer. I'm trying to be a stickler for myself cause i don't want to get in bad habits. It's hard to get study time in too cause at times we have appintments in the morning so i don't get my full hours of study. I guess its a good thing though cause i would rather be helping someone or teaching someone than just studying for something. We got to help somebody move on saturday too which was pretty ufn too cause we practiced that vocab in the mtc haha so i generally knew what people were yelling at me to do hahah. just kidding everyone is so nice. I love the people here. They are always smiling and it makes it easy to just smile all the time even when i don't know what people are saying. I've decided that that is my most effective tactic thus far ;) The spanish are definitly nicer than the english. We work way more with the spanish too which i love! I like it cause i feel like i'm learning more and also they are just way nicer. Always getting us drinks and food and making jokes and laughing with us, even when we knock on their door for the first time.

I forgot to tell you that my daddy (puertas) used to play for the byu soccer team. He's sick! hah we've played on the streets a little bit with the kids in certain areas and he is so dirty haha. I think his brother might have been on Real Salt lake but i'm not sure. Anyway, it's great for contacting haha we just look on the streets for "brown people" ( i know it sounsd racist but he says it not me! haha). and then when we find them, usually kids, all we have to do is bring up soccer and we are almost guaranteed to come back again hahah. So far it's worked great. (I gotta brush up on my soccer skills). Anyway they say we have as much time as we want for email, but i think the official rule is just an hour so i'm gonna try and keep it at that.

I know i've sounded like a downer at times and that i'm frustrated and well i am sometimes but really i'm always smiling and making an effort to keep it that way. Each day has become more comfortable and i'm getting the hang of things a little better each day. I feel really comfortable with the spanish elders and they really like me. Oh and also i have to tell one more story! We were at bishop wertz house (the english bishop), and they had a guitar so my comps know that i play since we have a ukulele at our apartment that is my comps. Puertas was like bro play us something! I got all embarrased but i was like okay fine haha even though i wanted to play the guitar so bad i had to sound humble! Then he was like make something up, in spanish, oh just do the first vision. So i ended up reciting the first vision in melody with some progression that i made up right there and it was sick hahah. It actually sounded so good and the family was like whoa and same wth the 2 recent converts that were with us. Ha it was just fun to play for a second. I sing all the time in the apartment and stuff and puertas can play a cool song on the uke that i am learning to sing, so i think we are gonna try and sing it for members and get referrals from them after. So i'm trying to use my talents! hahah! Anyway, i really am getting the hang of this. I feel like a sponge right now and even talked with my comp about it. I think i just like to take everything in and then, when i know what i'm doing, i will use it all. So i'm slowly trying to transition and use little things i've learned but i'm still soaking in haha.

Keep praying for me famliy and friends i could use them. I could literally fall asleep at any time of the day haha but i am so happy to be here. My testimony is unwavering and i love talking to people about the gospel. Literally i'm sharing something that will change lives forever. My faith is growing and i'm really trying and working hard. We have huge plans for this transfer and know that we will meet them! These guys have had success here before so i'm trying to learn from them the best way to go about it. I love you all so much! Each one of you i think about at night before i go to bed. I'm praying for you and wishing you the best. Know that i'm so happy to be here and that i love missionary work! i love being a missionary! I gotta go but i can't wait to here from you all and i love you soo much! This is my new address for the next 5 or 6 weeks. You can all send letters here (please do!! i love hearing from peeps!) Emails are fine too if you'd like. When i have an hour, it's a lot easier to say everything. Love yoU!

Elder Edwards

1580 wallace road NW apartment# 255salem, oregon 97304

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

"Elder Edwards--Go change into your white clothes."

Dear Family and Friends,
This is amazing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! There is no letter this week from Travis due to the fact that he left for Oregon on Tues. Aug. 24. But we wanted to tell you about his first day.

The family got to talk with Travis while he was at the airport which was so great. Later in the day we had a message from Travis' mission president--President McDonald. He basically told us Travis was sent to North Salem, Oregon the most northern part of the mission. He said he got off the plane with a big smile on his face and then asked us to call him back. So I did and his wife basically told me the same information and that was it.

But then President McDonald called back and told us that Travis, specifically had a very unusual first day in the mission field. That when they got to the mission office that he was asked to go change into his white clothes. That he was going directly to a baptism in his new area and that he was going to perform it, in Spanish! (Thank goodness I hemmed those white pants at the hotel right before he went in to the MTC)

I am sure Travis was in the car memorizing that baptismal prayer in Spanish thinking what did I get myself into. President McDonald said that not many missionaries get a baptism on their first day!!! But Travis was excited and ready, at least on the outside. He must have been scared spit-less! He is going to be with a Latin trainer named Elder Puertas, and then with an Elder Jones for one day, who is finishing his mission in Salem, but who was an assistant to the President previously. He left today. I guess this Elder Jones thought it would be a cool experience to have this greeny do the baptism on his last day of his mission. What a dear, special missionary to let Travis have this experience on his very first day, and for that missionary to give him that opportunity when he so deserved it himself! We couldn't get over it last night when we heard.

So we look forward to hearing from Travis next Monday on his P-day, I am sure his first week in Oregon will be a real growing experience.Travis sounded very mature and focused and ready to get out in the field. It was a testimony to us of so many miracles that he has already experienced, one being the gift of tongues. We couldn't believe how fluent and natural he sounded as he shared his testimony in Spanish. And his brother and sister who know Spanish said it wasn't a rote memorized version but one that came from his heart and chosen words. They said he sounded amazing. We can see his growth already and now he will do great things in Oregon. We love his letters and hope you are enjoying them as much as we are. His mission president and his wife also have a blog of the mission which is:

Can't wait until next week!!
Jennifer and Morgan

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Travis last Pday in the MTC

Hi everyone! so this might be a little shorter than normal cause it's my last p-day here in the MTC and i'm booked today! but i will still use the 30 mins of course. First i wanna say that i got my travel plans!!! im leaving tuesday the 24th at 5 in the morning. My first flight is at 8:36 a.m. (mountain west time) so ill ghave some time to hang out at the airport AND i will definitely get to call home! i have another flight at 11:25 a.m. (western time) from portland to eugene so there will be about 2 hours in between my first and second flight that i can also call. I need everyone's numbers, like Katie, and Daniel, and even daddy and zach, i can't remember them all. I don't know if i can call friends but if a 1800 number calls you, then just pick it up haha! So be ready for a call between noon your time and 2:00 okay? thanks everyone!So yeah i'm so excited to go! already the past few days have been tough to focus just cause we're all soo exicted! But we have so much to do this week so that helps us stay focused ha. I want to tell you guys that i have seen elder quinn like 500 times haha cause he lives on my same floor and has class on the same floor as well. Hes not in my zone or anything but we have the same gym time and we see each other every night for a while. it's been great to catch up with him and he seems to be doing amazing! I love the kid and it has been great to have him here.Questions from katie:1. tell us about your comps: Elder walker is from north carolina and went to N.c. state for a year at college. He is studying engineering. He loves football, he's pretty muscly, and also loves music. Hes a really good singer and loves playing guitar and things like that. He's really talented and we've been able to connect nicely. Elder nelson is a little bit different. He's a runner, and lives in provo utah. He was freshman of the year on the cross cournty team for the mountain west conference so he's pretty talented too ha and he knwos a bunch of people ariound here since he's basically at home haha. Elder nelson is very soft spoken and is more quiet, while elder walker is somewhat of the opposite. He;'ll say what hes thinking when hes' thinking it. 2 thing i've leanred from each companion: Umm i would have to say the number one thing is patience ha. I feel like i am racing everywhere i go haha and when we have three peoples needs to satisfy, it doesn't allow me to just go do my own thing whenevr. I have really tried to look for the good in others too because it's easy when your spending so much time with the same people, to get frustrated and annoyed, but i have found that drives away the spirit and doesn't help us in our work, or in our unity as a companionship. Those are probably the two main things. Other than that, they both know the book of mormon really well, like all the scriptures and stories and names and everything. At first i was kind of overwhelmed that they knew so much but now its become ahuge help.3. Thing i bring to the companionship: Hmm this one is hard. I think that in our companionship there at times is a lot of me, me ,me stuf goping on (myself included). But recently i've really tried to step out of that box and see a bigger picture and i think that has helped each of us to have a more selfless outlook. We're all pretty different, but i think im relatively personable and kind of bridge the gap between our personalities and that helps us get along nicely. 4. How many prayers are said a day: I say between 15 and 20 i think. It's funny how natural it becomes when you need something or your so grateful for something, you just bow your head and say a quick little prayer for help, or for thanks. It has really blessed me here in the mtc and i know that as i continue to rely on prayer and that realtionship with heavenly father, he will be more willing to bless me and rely on me as his servant, and friend. it was great hearing from each of the fam this week. I got letters from everyone which was so fun! It was cool hearing about erik's farewell in ct and austin getting excited to go to the mtc. It's great to hear about those guys, i can't wait for them to be here, this place is amazing! Also, i am hosting this week, so i'm gonna look for mike and try and be his host for the day which will be sweet. If anyone can find out and send me something today, about what time he is coming in, that would help me, otherwise, ill just look for him and try and snag him for my little "nuevo". It sounds like the ward keeps growing too. Mom said that there are a bunch of new families! I'm glad that 7-11 is up too, i could use a slurpee right now, hopefully theyll have them in eugene! I laughed pretty hard at the bat story and the rabies. It made me think way back to my birthday party where the same thing happened ha! Thats so cool that chloe helped find him. I know that was an answer to your prayer momma. i miss her too sleeping on the edge of my bed at night. I meant to mention something about the article that sponsored you! that soudns so great! if you can ever coopy it and send it to me, id love to read it! I can't believe adam lysenko and andy thompson are already coming home! thats nuts! I liked the meassage you left me mom about how your mission is made up of so many small and simple things that make it meaningful. Already i've noticed that here. It in the times where i feel so tired, or like i don't want to study, and then i'll just receive a little boost of energy or determination and i know that the lord is watching over us. And happy anniversary mom and dad! sorry i didn't remember that one (oops!). It soudns like everyone is doing so well! i can't believe school is coming soon too! Anyway i wanna tell you a little about my week. There was some good stuff taht happened. I spoke with that lady that i talked to last week in the RC for an hour. Her name is jacueline and we spoke two more times, (both for an hour!). SHe loves talking about church stuff and has so many questions. Me and my companions found a church near her and gave her the number of the bishop. She called him and said she was interested in attending and that she wanted to learn more. I called the mission office in rochester (where she lives) and they are getting missionaries over there pronto! I have loved talking to her and helping her. She has had a crazy life too.Thuis weeks trc went better with elder nelson too. He spoke a lot more and we had great unity when we were teaching the "investigator". I can't wait for those situations in the field!We had a really cool talk this week given by the branch presidents wife. It was only a few minutes long but something stuck out to me really powerfully! She was talking about a birthday party for her son and how she was struggling to make a pinata for him. She decided to say a prayer but then had second thoughts and said, "why would i pray over this, this is so stupid". but she said a prayer anyway. In this short prayer she distinctly had an imperssion come to her mind saying, "If it matters to you, then it matters to me". Wow what a profound statement. I just love this little quote because it makes everything so much more meaningful. Even the little things we do during the day. It all matters to Heavenly father beacuser he is in fact, our father that loves us so dearly! I just thought it was cool some other random things: i weighed myself, coming in at 166. I dont think i've gained anything? We watched "legacy on sunday night and it was hilarious haha it was just terrible acting but it was a good movie. And we have the coolest "native" friends. Tghey are in our zone and are jhust soo awesome. they are always trying to help us with spanish but then they ask us all these qwuestions about the book of mormon and how to teach the lessons! they are like our best friends here haha! well thats everything. SOrry it was kind of vague but i gotta run and do so much today! I love you all soe much and can't wait to hear from everyone again! I love this work and can't believe i'm gonig to oregon next week~! oh yeah and mom i will have to find a pic to send you for my placue, and the scripture i want to use i think will be alma 37:36-37. I think thats it, i dont have time to double check. but io love you !!!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


hi family and friends! no questions this week, so i will just get right into it. I made some notes about everything i want to right so hopefully ill get everything down. We had a really cool lesson last week about Death. There are two kinds, spiritual and physical. We talked about how little kids say "oh i wanna be a fire fighter or a pl=oliceman or a army man" because they save people, and tahts great! But then we talked about the importance of each death. Yes it is sad, when somebody dies, BUT EVERYONE gets to be resurrected and receives immortality. Spioritual death, is so much more vital. If we are dead spiritually (through sin and imperfections), then we cannot live with our families forever or with God and our savior jesus christ in their presence. Our work as missionaries, is to "help others LIVE spiritually"!

We help them do that through the atonement of jesus christ. If only little kids knew the importance and significance of what missionaries do, they would all say "i want to be a missionary when i grow up". It was really powerful and just increased my testimony of the Savior Jesus Christ and his atonement for usI had a sweet experience in the RC (place where we call people to see if they received books of mormon, dvds and stuff that they order). I talked with one lady named Jacueline Tisdale for an HOUR! it was seriously so amazing! We talked about her church, and she was like oh yeah ive been wondering about the book of mormon and what you guys beleive for a while. She is really religious but not necessariluy a part of a religion if that makes sense? I eventually got to sharing the entiere 1st lesson with her and even the first vision which was really powerful! She asked a ton of questions and a lot of the things she believed, or even WANTED to believe were aspects of the mormon church. We jstu kept talking and talking and she kept asking questions and it was great. Eventually she asked two questions about the sabath and "the gift of tongues" that i didn't really know so we set up an appointment to talk this week again where i could study and find an answer to her question s( which i have done already and i can't wait to call her back!). So taht was seriosuly so amazing. AND it was really cool too cause when i hung up the phone, it was like a huge energy was just drained out of me.

The spirit was so strong during our phone call even though it was over the phone! I hung up and just felt literally like my energy was drained in a matter of seconds. It was weird but sooo cool cause the spirit that accompanies us is REAL and its there, you can really feel it! We work so hard physically and spiritually, but they are both equally draining.We had a cool teaching experience in the TRC too (where we teach volunteer investigators). This time though, they didn't have enough volunteers, so we got to teach 3 natives from another district. HA they are SOO cool and just so funny. Whne we taught, it was awesome! my spanish was just flowin and i felt like i could erally say what i wanted to! it was seriously so great and we satisfied all their needs and everything which was hard because the scenario was that they didn't believe in God or Jesus Christ so it was very different but exciting.

They are our good friends now and are always asking us if they can help us with spanish and things, they are soo awesome! However, elder walker and i kind of walked all over elder nelson. We felt really bad afterward and he was really frustrated because he came up from the beginner class, so he doesn't know quite as much spanish, but he can really talk and teach and stuff. But i'm rather impatient so whenever there's a silence after someone teaches, I usually take it or elder walker and poor elder nelson just sits and listens to us teach, only occasionally giving his 2 cents. So he was frsustrated and we felt pretty bad about it. We had an interview with our teach afterward, Hermano hidalgo, who is seriously so awesome. I love the guy really so much! He is so sincere and everytime he teaches us, i just feel his desire for us to be the best we can be. WE've really bonded. BUT we talked with him about what we could do better this week to help elder nelson and even ourselves. There is a lot to work on for each of us so we planned it all out on saturday and sunday. This week we have a bunch of activities to help[ us with our spanish and our teaching. We had a comp inventory too on saturday that was really succesful, again we talked a lot about this week and how we could help one another. It's cool to see how we grow with one another in our companioships as we go through difficult times, and frustrations. We grow so much faster when we struggle (something i'll have to remember). Sunday was amazing of course. I love going to church and hearing the talks and taking the sacrament. The meaning of it really stands out since i've been on my mission and it means a lot more to me now than just getting a snack and a drink in a long meeting ha. E

very week, we have to prepare a talk on saturday, for sacrament meeting, and then during sacrament meeting, they announce who will speak so it's kind of a surprise. This week, of course, i got called on and luckily i was prepared (i've been prepared every week), but it was really great. So i gave my talk to our zone in spanish and it worked out really well. I got a bunch of compliments on it afterward and many people said my spanish sounded really good. Then we had an awesome preisthood meeting too. We talked about priesthood blessings and the power and authority that we are acting under. Sometimes when i think about giving blessings in the field or whenevr, i get kind of nervous. I don't know why, i'm always worried that i won't know what to say or something but this meeting really boosted my confidence. As we were talking i was feeling kind of uneasy but then the teacher said something, and i remember thinking, "trav, have confidence in the lord" and it was follwed by a very subtle spiritual confirmation and i just smiled and knew that whenevr that time comes, that i would need to give a blessing, He will be with me. I also remembered a conversation with dad when he said, he has always had a tremendous confidence in the priesthood power as he gives each of us fathers blessings and things like that. It made me think back to the blessing he gave me right before i came to the MTC, and i just remember feeling such a marvelous power and confidence in what he was doing as he layed his hands on my head and gave me a blessing.We go to the temple every sunday too and just walk around for an hour, it's so relxing and peacfeul. We took a bunch of pictures this week because, i forgot to tell you, one of the sisters in our district got reassigned and left this morning! (ill tell you about her in a sec).

But the temple was great and it was fun taking fun and funny pictures all together. Great time, Oh and it was way cooler which was great cause usually we're all sweating profusely hA!But about hermana Dunn. She has a cyst on her brain, that they knew about before and she's gotten catskans and stuff and she was still approved to go to salta argentina. Unfortunatly, she's been getting lots of head aches here and so they went to take another catskan and decided that since their arent graeat medical facilities in salta, she might need a reassignment. So after about a week of meetings and doctors appointments, her call gets sent back to salt lake to be reviewed. Her doctors kept telling her that she was fine and should be able to go. So they call her down to the main office and she talks with the MTC president where he breaks the news that she is reassigned to San Diego, California spanish speaking and she is leaving on tuesday (today). THey told her this last thursday so she had just a few days to get everything ready. The poor thing was so sad when she told us and everyone could feel for her. It's weird how much you grow with people as you are around them 24/7. We all just felt so bad for her but she had such a great attitude! She kept saying, the only one that could have made this call is an apostle, and for whatever reason, heavenly father wanted me to have this experienec. She has been such a good sport and just handled it all really well. It was a testimony to all of us that we are really in the lord's hands, that he has a plan for EVERY one of us individually. She left this morning and now it's different, but its good I'm glad to hear about everyones experiences back home. MOm i loved your letter about grandma and grandpas.

The story with you and grandma shopping and how she was COVERED with all the things she wanted to buy just made me laugh haha! It sounds like it was a very peaceful relaxing time. Sometimes those are my favorite times, when i don't have to do a thing and can just breathe! but we don't get that here :) but it's all good. I Liked hearing about all the things that remind you of me too. Like your taco bell runs and stuff and the chicken quesos! yumm those are my favorite. I'm getting sick of the food here to be honest. I'm craving a little t-bell or maybe even a garden run?Katie, i have looked for you "TALL" book and they don't have it anymore. I think it's sold at the BYU bookstore but i'm not sure. Tell me if you want me to get you another book that taeches the same stuff. Oh also, that was really cool to hear about uncle kevins project with the testimonies thing. I'm basically out of time, but i love you all so much. I hope you are all blessed from my prayers and things. Keeping nurturing your testimonies and remember we are ALL missionariees. Not just me. You guys are so great and i feel you support all the time. I love you soo much!elder edwards