Monday, July 29, 2013

Week 10 - 4 New Investigators and the Rattle Snake's Tail

Dear Family,
This last week has been pretty exciting. We were able to find 4 new investigators. The work in Damascus is really starting to heat up and the members are starting to really get involved in the missionary work. We started out the week week by doing some service with a members non member husband. They were just married and she made sure that he read the Book of Mormon before they were married as a requirement. He read it and then on Tuesday, he told us that he has been fasting for the past 4 days trying to find out if the church was for him and he received the answer of yes, it was. He now wants to the know the soonest he can be baptized so we taught the first lesson then and there. Also while teaching a less active member, his girlfriend and son walked in and we taught a lesson to all of them and the girlfriend decided she wants to know more so we set up a appointment for Wednesday, so we will see how that goes.
One thing that I did that was exciting this week was getting to help out in detaching a rattle from a rattle snakes tail. They had killed the snake at girls camp and had just cut the tail off. They threw it in a bag and then put in a freezer. When the member showed us the frozen tail, elder Steed chickened out so I said that I would do it. It smelt horrible and rotten but after letting  it thaw in the sun for a minute, it became warmed up enough that I could cut off the majority of the meat and then dig the rest out of the tail. The member fed us dinner for doing that task for them so that was good.
Spiritual thought of the day comes from Alma 13:24. Angels are preparing the hearts of many to hear the gospel and it could be anyone around you. Your job is to to find them.
Elder Datwyler

 Here is elder Steed, Datwyler, Gunderson. Elder Gunderson is the AP that has been with us this past week. He is an awesome missionary and I learned a lot from him. This is his last transfer.

Enough Said...

Week 9- Humiditiy and The Brigham Young Investigator

Dear Everybody,
Humidity is lame, It has been in the nineties to lower one hundreds this week and I have been melting like a candle. I just got a haircut so we will see if we can slow the melting process a little bit. In this past week we were able to find 3 new investigators so that has been exciting, we finally have someone to teach.  Two of them are drinking buddies so that was interesting. We had met one of them before and he was super friendly and told us to come back so we caught him outside late at night and started talking and taught him the restoration lesson and then his buddy from upstairs came down, he was wasted but we talked to him anyways drunk people are pretty ridiculous, at first he was kind or weary of us but them after talking to him he invited us to come back some time. Our other investigator is a Brigham Young investigator (meaning he has been taught over a long period of time). At missionary correlation meeting we learned that is particular investigator has had over 30 baptismal dates over the past 15 years. He is 40 years old and lives at home with his mom who is a less active. Don't they say the 31st try is the charm.  We have done a lot of service this week including planting a tree and bushes and also transplanting and caging tomato plants. We cut some branches down and helped lift some moving boxes. On Thursday we had 3 meals given to us because of some scheduling mess up, we went to a pizza restaurant at lunch, then to another pizza restaurant at dinner and then Chinese take out for our second dinner. I feel fat for some reason, so I have been working out extra hard.  I have not had to ride my bike recently because we have enough miles for the rest of the month. Any day now I am going to receive my TIWI card which will allow me to drive :) TIWI is a little computer device that hangs on the windshield that tracks and disciplines us to going contrary to its programming. It keeps an eye on how fast you are going and if you go to fast it says "CHECK YOUR SPEED" in a robot voice, it is pretty funny and if you do anything too serious you get a violation and it reports it to the senior elder who is in charge of the cars.  This past week we have been quite successful lesson wise, we were able to have 24 lessons this week with less actives, actives, and investigators. The previous week we had 16 so we are improving slowly but surely.  Today we had a zone activity where we made our own T-Shirts that had the name of our zone and then everyone's signatures it was quite fun. In the email from the mission president he said that when they first came in last July there were 114 missionaries and by next transfer at the end of August, there will be over 270. The work is hastening...
Have a Great Week  
Elder Datwyler

Here is the photo of my last district

Week 8 - The Big Black Snake and My First Transfer

Dear Family,
This last week was very rainy. It rained at least half the day everyday for the past week until we hit the weekend.  We started the week out great by getting a lot of service in and we had a couple of great team ups with someone from the elders quorum and high priests on Wednesday and Thursday, we also got a lot of visits with less actives in. It is interesting seeing the difference between the old home ward and this ward out here. There is such a bigger focus on missionary work and the members are willing to do it to. It kind of makes me feel bad for ignoring the missionaries back home when they wanted to go on splits . We opened our door in the morning on Friday just to find a 3 foot black snake, when it saw us it quickly slithered up the stars and got out of there. Instead of having small little brown snakes like back home, they have black snakes here. I just completed my first transfer here, that means I have been out in the field for 6 weeks, that is pretty crazy. And I also found out that my companion and I will be in Damascus for another transfer so that is good, we are just starting to get warmed up. President Richards just called last night and told Elder Steed that he is going to become the new district leader so that is exciting. I have poison ivy on my arm, but after having all the epoxy stuff happen my arm doesn't really itch. Elder steed got it bad on his legs as the picture below illustrates. On Thursday he counted 31 poison ivy spots and then on Saturday he counted 61. It is growing exponentially on him. Scripture of the day is Heloman 5:12, I believe I have the reference right... It is the scripture on having a foundation in Christ.
Have a Great Week!
Elder Datwyler

Here is a cool little moth we found, enjoy!

Elder Steed said we couldn't smile since this is a sad picture, so I am not quite sure what my face is doing...

Friday, July 12, 2013

Week 7- The 4th of July

Dear Family,
This last week has been pretty interesting, we have been doing a lot of talking to people on the street with some success. We are still doing a lot of service for the members and it is starting to pay off, they are starting to give us referrals. In elders quorum we had to give a lesson on a fire side talk called "The Missionary Next Door" It is  about a family that put missionary work into the center of their lives and incorporated it into thier childrens lives, it has some great ideas on strategies to get your kid's friends interested and asking questions.
We met one less active family this week from the Congo, they are an older couple that had a interesting conversion story. After they had first moved to the the United States their son had came into contact with missionaries and decided to meet with them the next week. The day of the planned meeting the son that had arranged the meeting died suddenly and when the missionaries came over later that day they found out he had died and the missionaries ended up helping the family as they went through the hard time and eventually the family was all converted. The second time they we went over there, Sis Kwiztuka instructed us to call her mama Kwiztuka because we are not her sister since she is older than us and that is how they do it in Congo. She said in the Congo if you don't call a older adult mama or papa you get slapped, needless to say we now call them mama and papa Kwiztuka. They invited this week to come over and try some real African food so that should be exciting. 
On the fourth of July all the missionaries in our Stake all helped out at a big fourth of July party that the 1st counselor in the state presidency had on his ranch. It was a breakfest pot luck sort of thing and they had a nice program which included our mission president speaking to us and also some general in the army. We helped out by directing the cars to where they should park in the nearby fields. After that we returned home and immeditly went to a family in the wards house for a barbaque. After that we spent the rest of the day just like any other day, trying to visit potentials, less actives and members. Surprisingly not a lot of people were home for some strange reason... but we got a couple of good visits in. I did not see any fireworks at all which was pretty lame but whatever.
I went on splits with the district leader Friday night to Saturday evening. We did the exchange at 8 and then went to their apartment which wasreally a new town house that has 3 bed rooms, 4 bathrooms on 3 stories. It was crazy how nice it was but any way I spent that Saturday doing service, and visiting some of their potentials and investigators. The sad thing is that all of their investigators are all moving to different states soon. After we finish our stuff that needs to happen like shopping, cleaning, and emailing today, we are going fishing at a members house in the mt. Airy ward in their backyard pond which they stock with fish so wish me luck!
Elder Spencer Datwyler

To keep with the theme of animals every week, here is a photo of the frog that lives in our bedroom window well that jumps and hits the window everynight trying to get the slugs crawling up it. We caught it just to assert our dominence and then we released it back into the window well.

Here is a picture of from left to right, Elder Steed, Elder Datwyler, Sister Crossly, Sister Montez. All the missionaries in the Damascus Ward in front of the Chapel.

End note from Spencer: Any words spelled wrong are going to be blammed on the computer not me so there since I cannot for the life of me find the dumb spell check button.