December 2010

December 2010

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Derek Letter #4

Hey family!
I looooooved those pictures and really wish I was there. Yeah, that pitcher, Randy Wells, we picked him off on waivers a couple months ago since seemingly everybody in our rotation was getting hurt...and in the minors too. I guess he has been called up since I was was set apart. Anybody on the team doing well? I also loved the other pictures. Those girls are really cute. Sorry, I should've said happy birthday last week, but I forgot. So HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! Good job on finishing up your classes, I'm sure you were stuck in the computer room all the time working. Ah, how I miss school...not. I want to hear if Tyler graduated from BYU-I and how that went. I don't think I mentioned this but my branch president in the MTC, President Mickelsen I think was Tyler's mission president and knew him really well in ijhffioh;owiy3948riowfawej, Russia. Let me know when Tyler and Rifka get engaged (just making assumptions).
So, last Monday, we gave up the car because once every 4 weeks we have to go a week where it's bike week. But since the bike I'm supposed to use still needs repairs, we had to walk everywhere or snag rides from members. Let's just say I got super sweaty over the week. I really don't mind the heat but sometimes it would be nice to have a car, or at least a bike. We get a car back tomorrow. So we have this golden investigator I told you about named Mike. His baptismal date is this Saturday and yesterday he spent in hour in the branch president's office to interview for the Aaronic Priesthood. He said that he wants me to baptize him and Elder Clare to do the laying on of hands. It's been really cool to use my preisthood here in the field: this past week we had dinner at a member's house that the wife was super pregnant and their 1-2 year old daughter had whooping cough. So we gave the daughter a blessing. A couple weeks ago I gave a blessing to an inactive family's Dad who passed away this past Wednesday. He died of natural causes and gave him a blessing to live just a little more longer, which he did.
As for Thomas, he couldn't meet with us last week because he wasn't "prepared". Elder Clare thought he was ready and I think we are going to show him the Joseph Smith video this Wednesday. We also met with a guy named Josh who has several health and mental health issues. He also smokes a lot and occassionally drinks. He gets depressed from all the news in the world, especially the recent shootings at that movie theater in Colorado on the Batman movie midnight showing. I heard about that and it's just sad what the world has gotten to (like the wars in Syria and Middle East) but I know that that is Satan's way to happiness. It just starts with one person at a time to change, then the whole world will change.
I finally memorized the first lesson! It took a while but I got it done. On to lesson 2 which is longer than lesson 1! No, I'd rather prefer e-mail letters by you and/or Dad and written latters by everybody else. Don't worry Jayce and Cody, I have your letter I wrote to each of you right here next to me about to send so expect it in the mail later this week. I got your package last Tuesday and was grateful for it. On Thursday the people we live with, Brother and Sister Crouch, went to the hospital in Topeka. Brother Crouch had his final round of Cemotherapy and is probably hurting today because he said it takes a few days for the effects of Chemo to get to you. Sister Crouch had knee surgery on the same day and some of their family is here to help them out. I don't know is I told you this but they have a dog named Bandit here and I have to say he is way cooler than Pennie. He really understands when you speak to him. If you say "speak" he will bark. If you say "Do you want to get baptized" he will bark or even say "Do you want to read the Book of Mormon?" He will bark. His barks are really loud too. Sorry Pennie, you've been beat. He also has toys that we play with him. We usually use either frisbees or paint bucket lids and throw them as far as we can, and he will go get it and bring it back, even if it's in the thick foliage. Just say "Where's your toy?" and he will get it. Then you have to say "drop" to give it to you. I love that dog.
The members feed us dinner every night. I love it. I'm not trying to be too picky, but maybe it seems like I am. Most nights, I'm given ice water to drink. I loath ice water because I get teeth freezes and it hurts. Just give me cold water please. You know that I eat really slowly sometimes. That's my main problem because I'm still eating and eberybody else is done and migrating to the couch for our message. I never get full either. We're actually not supposed to help with the dishes, although I'd like to and want to but the members are so nice anyways. Yes, I use my Camelback everyday! It's so nice to have cold water when you're walking around everywhere. Also, everybody here says the phrase "I'll be darned" instead of something like "cool" or "wow".
So we're also teaching this part member family where the Mom is a member but nobody else is. The husband, ironically, wants them to get baptized so we went over out in the middle of nowhere to teach their 2 daughters ages 12 and 8. They said they'd get baptized and hopefully they stay active. But it will be really hard because they live 40 minutes away from the closest meeting house and also in a part member family. We need to get them to the temple. They are the Taylor family. Well I love you guys and wish you the best in everything you do. Look for missionary opportunities everyday. I'm sure I forgot something to say but that's okay (good ryhme, huh?). Love,
Elder Derek Sutherland
PS: "I see someone coming"
"Give me those. Sound the alarm."
[bite] "AAAAHHH!"
"Sorry Wickershoms. I promise I'll clean all this up later."
"Bring the amo!!!" (slow motion armpit fire)
"I love the smell of bananas in the morning."
"Banana in the hole!" (launch)
"Woah. [Russian accent] I'm beginning to think this diplomatic process is beginning to break down."

Derek at the Provo Temple.
Barbara and I made a ton of cookies and sent them to the MTC when Derek and Jeremy were in there together.
 Derek with his Mission President and his sweet wife.
 Derek's introduction to cicadas.
 I'm sure missionaries are happy to see this sign.

Derek's companion studying in their basement apartment.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Derek Letter #3

Hey family!

I'll tell you about everything. So I woke up Wednesday morning at 1 AM at the MTC to make it to the travel office by 3 AM. Everybody got up on time and were awake when we left. I got to the airport and talked to you on the phone for a little bit. Sorry it was a little early in the morning. In Denver, the stupid phone card was being retarded so I couldn't use that anymore even though I tried for like an hour. On my way to Denver I talked to this 19 year old girl from Orlando who was flying home from a backpacking trip to Wyoming. She was very nice and willing to hear what I had to say about the gospel. I gave her a card and encouraged her to check it out.

Sorry Cody and Jayce, I forgot your letters at the place that I am staying so I won't be able to write to you until next week. After the flight to KC (where the All-star game is tomorrow), I was picked up at the airport by President Keyes (pronounced Kais) and we went to see some of the sights. We went to the brand new Kansas City temple and took a couple pictures. We then went to Liberty Jail and the Independence visitors center across the street from the snowcone for the community of Christ. After that we had dinner and a nice evening at the mission home where I stayed the night. That night I found out where I was going and who my new companion would be. I'm here in Wamego, Kansas (15 minutes outside Manhattan, the home of K-State University) and my companion is Elder Clare from Gilbert, Arizona. He is 6'3'' and I like having a tall companion to match me. Apparently the last few missionaries here in Wamego have been tall and they've just been growing and growing; the branch members joke about that a lot.

I am living in the basement of a member's home in Belvue, Kansas out in the middle of nowhere. All I hear at night outside is the cicadas, and some cows. About a month ago, the missionaries moved from a 5th wheel trailer into the basement. That trailer is so stinkin' hot I don't know how they survived. The super nice old couple that lives in that home are about to finish the super new basement. Oooops, just realized I forgot my camera again. Elder Clare has been out a little over a year and he and I are already getting along great. No offense to Elder Ellis, but he is much better because of how patient and supportive he is. My first day wasn't too exciting. I got here and after lunch we tried to go see some people but to no avail. So then we just did some tracting for the rest of the night. I had dinner at the nicest family ever, the Chandlers and they were in awe that it was my first day. It was kind of funny.
President Keyes is soooo cool. They can watch TV if they want, they can set their sleeping schedule whenever they want (talking about mission presidents), but then he wouldn't have the spirit he needed to fulfill his calling so he follows the missionary schedule to the best of his ability. Each day I wake up at 6:30, work out, eat breakfast, study for an hour by myself (it's not enough study time), then study as a companionship for 2 hours. We then eat lunch and go out and do the Lord's work until 9 with dinner in there usually at 5. I then have planning and go to bed. Okay so for studying, if you go to Ch. 3 of PMG and go to the end of each lesson it will have the 45 minute lesson plan. For all 5 lessons, I am supposed to memorize all of the bullets and sub-bullets with a scripture for each bullet. If I do that, then I can drive a car wooh!

With letters, you send them to the mission office then they will forward them to me. I have an hour instead of a half-hour. But the time is still running down quickly. As far as the heat, I got welcomed with 106 degree days. Going tracting in that isn't fun just because I sweat so much. But other than that I don't mind it as long as I have water, haha. Today has been nice though with it being only in the 80's. When I got off the plane on Wednesday it was hard to breathe because of the humidity, but now I'm fine and lovin' it.
As far as you guys, I was thinking that Cody and I were in the same airport on the same day. Cool, huh? Sounds like you are having a blast with everything going on at home. Sorry I couldn't call longer, I wish I could've. Yay! That room is painted finally! What color did you make it? As far as sports are concerned, Don't talk to me about the Olympics please. GO PADRES! I'm glad they got a good streak going there for a little bit. Can you watch the games yet? Or is TWC still being retarded? What! Steve Nash is on the Lakers now?! I can't believe it.

So, all the slacks I got at Mr. Mac are dry clean only which is a huge hassle. I need some that are machine washable. I have 2, but I'd like to switch the others out for washable ones. As far as my acne stuff is concerned, I ran out the other night and need some ASAP (Act swiftly awesome pacaderm (how do you spell that?)). I am also out of soap but I think I can get some at the store.

So for church, we meet in the back of a chinese restauraunt as a branch. But a brand new building will be opening up at the end of this month! I'm excited and I just wonder how the members feel being in that small place. The restauraunt looks like a church building, at least the rooms we have reserved so it's not bad, just small. Hopefully the missionary work can go up because of this new building. So I am getting a lot of secondary smoking here. That's just what everybody seems to have a problem with. In a lesson yesterday, a golden investigator smoked his last cigarette right in front of us and said he was done now. I'm very happy for him but that was hard to bear just sitting in front of him and getting all the leftovers shoved down my lungs. There's also another very close investigator named Josh (the other was Mike) who also smokes a ton. He would smoke a pack and a half every day ($300 a month) and is now down to 5 a day or something. Bothy he and Mike have a baptismal date and are getting themselves prepared for that.

Well, I got to go! I love you guys so much and miss you. I loved the pictures and am grateful for your support.

Elder Derek Sutherland


Sunday, July 8, 2012

How is it July already??

This has been a great week! We started off with a Family Home Evening with the Stearns family. We had a kick ball game, adults against kids first (adults lost) and then Stearns against Sutherland. Then, we set up badminton. It was a blast. Sorry I don't have many pictures.

Before we left the house, Pennie really wanted to come. We brought her and she was hilarious.

Pennie was enclosed inside a baseball field, except she found a way into the next field, where a huge pit bull was playing. She high tailed it back quick!

It was such a beautiful evening and very fun to hang out with their great family. 

Cambrie and Cody had to be competitive with everything we did, they even had to sprint against each other.

Wednesday was July 4th and Cody flew to Utah to attend pole vault camp. Mark and Jayce took him up to the airport in Long Beach and then hung out with Grandma and Grandpa Sutherland. (I stayed home and worked on the camp program, and tons of homework. Ugh!)

But the day started with a red, white and blue breakfast! (We put blue food coloring in the waffles, if you can't tell :)).

They went to Irvine Park and visited the zoo there.

This picture is included for Alex serving in Mexico...haha! 
(Do you get it?)

Santa Ana is the only city in all of Southern California where fireworks aren't illegal. Consequently, everyone does it. We have gone up there for years to do fireworks and the kids love it. (With Cody out of town, Jayce was the only kid....)

Today was the competition at the pole vault camp.
Caitlin took this awesome shot today -

It looks like he could hang out there all day! Way to go Cody!