Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Till We Meet Again...

This letter is from Monday, April 18th.

Hellooooo Everyone! I really enjoy receiving your letters each week! 

I've been incredibly blessed to meet some of the most genuine people that I have ever come in contact with on my Mission. I have been working with the Spanish Branch down here located in the same building as our English ward. They have such a strong desire to have missionaries to help bring people to church. but they are stuck with English Elders. So we go out with Amoldovar who the Ward Mission Leader of the Spanish Branch twice a week. Amoldovar speaks ONLY Spanish so its pretty funny trying to teach with him! We go to families homes and he sorta just goes off and talks in Spanish forever. We have to have the investigators translate portions back to us so we can show him where we want him to read from next. We sang I am a child of God the other day in Spanish and it was an incredible experience!I Truly love the Spanish culture!

Yesterday we went to a BBQ at Luz and Eddie's (Spanish investigators) house and made the greatest tacos that I have ever eaten! It was incredible! We sat and listened to stories about their family growing up and I felt like I was listening to our family's life story. They are all crazy! They have huge families and they all love each other. They try to get together often and it turns into a hectic family get together.

In my last couple of letters, I told you that I am having trouble sleeping. It isn't getting any better, but I've been trying to cope.  I've tried everything that I'm allowed to do to get my mind to shut off and it just isn't happening. Night after night I lie awake. 

This afternoon I got a call that I didn't want to get. I learned that I am being sent home on medical leave. The Church Medical Offices have decided that a Missionary who hasn't slept for more than an hour at a time for several weeks isn't in a healthy spot. They want me to come home and see a doctor. My Mission President has arranged for me to continue my Mission serving part-time at the MTC in Provo while I get my sleep problems fixed. When I get back to a healthy sleep pattern, I can return to the Florida Tampa Mission. I want more than anything to continue my Mission serving the people of Central Florida. I love everyone here, and I'll be back.

May God Bless and Keep You,
Elder Street

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Fear not, little flock (Luke 12:32)

This scripture is incredible! It makes me laugh so hard but at the same time its so comforting. I just imagine Jesus walking up to a cute little sheep who is terrified and just calming him down, picking him up and putting him around his shoulders. The sheep, in this instance, would be Elder Street.

This week I spent a lot time in my bed trying to slumber (sleep has been hard to come by). I was unable to do so, but the idea was so nice! Hopefully the cocktail of Herbal medicines that I've been taking will kick in and put me to sleep!

I've been running into a lot of dogs out here on the mission and this week and last week I fell in Love! Last week was my best friend Max (the German Shepherd). This week was an adorable husky puppy who was tuckered out and fell asleep at the park.

I was so jealous of this little Husky puppy! He was just having the time of his life, then he got to sleep! 

I'm running out of time super quick because I was writing back to all of the people that have been reaching out to me this week! Thank you all for everything that you do! This next week I'll write more! This week I'm going to try bass fishing, so wish me Luck!

Love Elder Street

Sunday, April 10, 2016

To paraphrase Dumbledore: "One doesn't need to sit in the dark, but simply they can turn on the light." or something along those lines.

I sure do miss you! I've been having a pretty rough week with sleep and I seem to wake up at night and the first few thoughts that come to my mind are the family, followed by my intense desire to buy a German Sheppard puppy! I met a family here that is raising a German and he's seriously the cutest thing ever! Every time I see him I run over and bear hug him! He puts sunshine in my days!

I had an amazing weekend with General Conference. I put a lot more effort in to it than I have in the past and I really tried to see how the message would affect my life. I wrote down very specific questions and feelings that I had been having. And watched with an earnest desire to learn and grow. I felt like the messages that I received, the insight that was given, and the spiritual promptings were like nothing I've ever experienced! It gave me chills. There were times when I cried and times when I wept! and people around me were like "are you okay?" I can't believe that I could have such a personal relationship with someone I've never seen. If I've learned anything about this experience thus far, its that you can truly tap into the spiritual power that is all around us. 
To paraphrase Dumbledore: "One doesn't need to sit in the dark, but simply they can turn on the light." or something along those lines.

There have been a couple of times this last week when movie quotes that I don't fully remember have been coming to my mind. For instance in Forest Gump when he's walking through Vietnam for days and its constantly raining. That's me all day long! I sit under my umbrella and wonder if it will ever stop raining! Well it does. Then it gets hot. Then I wish that It would rain.

I've continued to meet so many amazing people this week and im still writing them down! I'm so excited to share these experiences with you! I couldn't even scratch the surface with my writing on how interesting some of these people are!

Thank you so much for keeping me up to date on the Family! I'm glad to hear that everyone is doing so well! Tell Josh when you see him that I want to make an April trip to the Geode beds when I get home! Tell everyone that I love them and that I'm thinking about them always!

Love Elder Street 

Monday, March 28, 2016

Also I petted a Squirrel!!!

Dear Mamma,
I got the photo album you sent me, and let me tell you! I had to put it up in the closet because its hard to look at! I miss Utah soo much!! I know that you didn't expect this, but I've been really homesick a lot since I've been out here! It was therefore bittersweet to receive a full photo album of everyone at home and realize that I'm all the way across the country!

My week has been interesting! First I don't sleep--like at all. Elder Heluo is a notorious snorer, and I get roughly 2-3 hours of sleep a night. Well, this catches up to a person after 2 consecutive weeks! I had some down time on Friday because my body literally shut down. Other than the lack of sleep I've had a great week! 

I had the opportunity to go to a specialized training program at the University of Southern Florida AKA METRO. The assistants to the President (Elder Dance and Elder Morris) run this training program to help missionaries be conscious of body language, posture, speech, eye contact, hair length, eyebrows (not kidding), and basically anything and everything that you could think of that would have an effect on the first impression that someone might have. They reinforced cleanliness, and the importance of ironing shirts properly, (I'm a serious pro at ironing!)

The second day of Metro is a hoot! We woke up and did the classic Chuck Norris workout that I've become accustomed to here in Florida. After we worked out close to death, we went onto campus and put the training that we had received into action. We basically had the next three hours to talk to as many college students as we could find! Seriously its a completely different task than our regular proselyting. We were walking up to kids who were ready and willing to learn, they come on campus everyday to learn something new! They are coming into their own and are pretty much clueless 90% of the time, so we would just walk up being overly confident showing that we've got ourselves somewhat figured out and they would latch onto us! We spoke to a bunch of different people and the conversations moved a lot quicker than what we have seen in the past! it was a great experience to test my confidence level with talking with everyone!

I learned a lot about myself at this training program and a lot about how to talk to people and present the Gospel clear and powerful in as short as time as possible! This was a great chance for me to try new things and become more comfortable with myself! Also I petted a Squirrel!!!

I love what I do!! Every single day I see countless miracles! We meet precious souls every single day!!

This week my highlight has been a family that we met last Sunday! We were walking through a neighborhood and we met this Hispanic man sitting outside with his two kids: Aaron and Josie. Aaron is the cutest three year old ever!! He speaks Spanglish and talks a MILLION MILES PER HOUR! It's so hard to understand but I just listen and play along like I know what is being said! We were sitting there really just catching our breaths not really teaching anything when their mom pulled up and came over to us. She was extremely impressed that me and Aaron were getting along so well ( I guess he's usually pretty shy). Well this made her happy and really open to what we had to share. She shared that the timing of our visit could not have been more perfect!  

We came back a couple days later and shared the message of the restoration with their family. Luz (the mother), told us about a dream that she has had continually for roughly 10 years  about a light coming down from Heaven and Heavenly Father Standing next to Jesus Christ just like in the first vision. She's had this dream a lot and described the feeling that she has waking up from that dream!  As we started to share the first vision with them the spirit was really strong and at the end of the lesson Luz goes "so what am I supposed to take away from this? What does God want me to know that he's been hinting at for 10 years?" We told her that she has to ask God what she should do, what the right path was for her and their family! Well they were all with us on Sunday at the Easter Service at church and it sounds like they are going to keep moving forward. It's interesting, we learned in the MTC that angels will be preparing the way for us to teach those who are ready. I never thought that we would come across sooooo many People!

I'm seriously so humbled to be apart of this great work! I learn something new every single day!

I hope that everyone has a wonderful week and knows how much they are loved and missed by Me and Their Father in Heaven!

God Bless all of you!  

Elder Street

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Oh The People You Meet

I've been pretty stinking busy out here this week. We taught 69 lessons. So basically all day everyday we teach lessons. We keep meeting incredible people and the experiences that I'm having are unreal! I'm starting to feel like I'm in the groove. I really know what I'm doing and everything is starting to fall into place! I don't know about you but time sure does fly by! I've been studying the new testament and plan on finishing 'The life and Teachings of Jesus and the Apostles' a new testament study manual in a couple months.
The ward here is incredible!! I could seriously take an hour to write about everyone down here. The diversity is incredible!

First - Our New Friends


Enda is from St. Lucia. She's progressing towards baptism soo quickly! She loves the gospel and has had so many things opened up to her since she's been reading! The other night we invited her to come to church with us and she said "I will be there If I have to drag my daughter out the door and walk." Well last night we walked with Kaitlyn and Enda to the church for her first time and talked about faith. Enda was worried that she didn't have enough faith and we just showed her that she let two strangers into her house and now she's with us at a church she's never been too, all because she wants to be happy. That takes a bit more than a mustard seed of faith.


Luz is our new investigator who is incredible! Her family speaks Spanglish and shes got an adorable son and daughter who have taken quite the shine to Elder Street. Aaron (her three year old) talks to me for literally ever in half English half Spanish the result is that I understand nothing but just say "yes" and look when he shouts "Look!!" We met them like two days ago, and they already call us the "boys"

Now - The Members

Jake Yewles :

Jake is an 18 year old who comes out with us almost twice a week! He's been around for a ton of miracles and everytime he has a great time! He's super involved and gives us all the advice in the world to try and help find more people to teach. This week it was go to his college campus. We taught two people in 5 minutes then were promptly asked to leave by the school dean and a security guard.

Brother Harrington:

A member of our ward, Brother Harrington, use to be a Catholic Priest. He studied for years and years and years and I believe that he has over three individual doctorates one in theology!! (He was converted because of a hymn that the missionaries sang on his front porch.) Literally the coolest story ever!!

Brother and Sister Cottam :

Brother Cottam has the greatest family ever! Brother Cottam is known for the greatest one liners I have ever heard. We quote him constantly "you think about that!" Sister Cottam is known for being a literal food savior. She has hungry missionary senses and has come through with food twice when we've been starving! They have an adorable family and are all trilingual!

Bishop Hopkins: 

The Bishop in our ward is so unbelievably dedicated to missionary work! It's incredible! Literally every time we see him he's got more information or people for us! He loves the people of this area so much, members and non-members alike!

The Ward is incredible and everyone has such a wonderful spirit about them!

God Bless all of you!
Love Elder Street

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Soaring Over the Orange Groves

Florida is incredible at this time of the year!! The oranges are blooming and it smells like a little cutie every single morning!! The humidity is something to get used to, but once that happens its seriously the greatest place on earth! I don't know if you'll remember this, but in Disneyland they had a ride that was like a flight simulator that flew you over an orange grove and it smelt delicious -  Well that's my life every single morning as I run to the lake.

I'll be laying on the turf by Lake Eva, staring at the stars, dripping sweat from running and doing crunches/sit-ups/dying and I'll realize that even though I'm miserable, I'm in paradise. I seriously can't imagine a more perfect place to spend a couple years of my life!
Life on the mission is interesting! Its seriously the most spiritual, Exhausting thing that I have ever done in my entire life. Everywhere we go people are over all accepting of us and watch us always. They love talking to us and every conversation is a positive one. We teach over 60 people each week, and seriously names and faces are starting to blur together. The one thing that sets people apart is their stories. Everyone comes from completely different backgrounds and its so interesting to be a part of someone's life, even if its just for a few minutes.

I have never worked out this hard in my entire life and I feel like each morning might be my last.... But the miracle that I'm seeing because of these things are unreal! We have the strangest things happen literally every single day! We touch someone's life we make them smile, we help them out, its so strange to me! It's almost as if I can see God's hand in the lives of these people. The perfect timing/ the freak co-incidents. Its incredible. I don't even have enough time to talk about all the people that we've met this week. but every time I meet someone who is different and you can feel that they have something special, I put their name down in my journal and write a page about them. I use the Carpe Diem Journal for this and I hope that at the end of my mission I can read from it with you (Mom and Dad) and relate stories about these people!!!

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

The Best Week Yet: How we found Barbra and other stories from Haines City

Okay this week has been too long for me to try and put all of it down, so I'm going to focus on the big parts. Ive seen unbelievable things down here. This has been by far my favorite week of the mission.


Elder Heluo and I were walking through Haines City on Friday when we met Barbra. We had been walking towards an apartment complex when we got the impression to walk up an empty street. We weren't sure why we were walking up there but it became very clear when we met Barbra. Barbra is an elderly woman (80-90's) who was sitting in her empty car port eating a bag of popcorn. We started walking up her drive way and I said "Ma'am, can we pray for you?" 

Barbra gets a giant smile on her face and says, "I would love that. I buried my husband yesterday and would like a prayer." 

So here we are walking through the neighborhood just talking to people and God drops the sweetest old lady right in front of us and asks us to lift her spirits. Well let me just tell you, when Barbra said that her husband had past a few days prior I felt completely incompetent to talk to her, let alone help her find peace. We sat down and said a quick prayer for her and then started talking about the afterlife. I couldn't tell you where I found the scriptures I found, or how I knew they were there, but I shared a few thoughts on the afterlife and the peace that her husband was in at this moment and assured her that he was going to be watched over. It brought a tear to my eye to see how moved she was. This simple act of kindness. The unexpected turn on a back street into someone's life who really needed us at that exact moment. Barbra was sitting alone the morning after her husband of 46 years funeral. God felt that it wasn't right, so he sent us. We were able to talk to Barbra for 30 minutes and left with her laughing and talking about her kids (in there 60's) and her husband of 46 YEARS. When we got home we started making calls to the Relief Society to find a group of woman to come back with us the next time we go over there. We will be seeing Barbra again tonight and hopefully we can bring her some new friends!

Jean Jr. & Sr.:

Jean Jr. came to church with us this week and was dressed to the nines!! It was so great! Jean knows so much about the Gospel its unreal! He really wants to get closer and he enjoyed church with us! When we took him home after the meeting, his father, Jean Sr., came out and talked to us for a second. He thanked us for taking his son to church and was really happy. We talked for a second then Jean Sr. tells us that his brother passed away this last week, and his other brother passed away four months ago, and his mother passed away also this last year. I looked at Jean Sr. and asked him if he wanted a hug. Then just like that, I was outside of the car giving this grown Haitian Man the tightest hug I've ever given. He started to cry and it was touching. We are going to go back this week and talk with Jean Sr. more hopefully with someone who speaks fluent Creole because Jezikri and broken French can only get you so far. 

Erule & June:

Erule in the Blue Shirt, June in the Orange Shirt
We took Erule and his Nephew on a tour of the church on Friday and it was great! I'm starting to learn more Creole words and can sorta understand what he says (from french class). Its pretty cool! I've never met a more humble human being in my entire life! When Erule prays ( in Creole) it brings the spirit soo strong! Its unbelievable, I'm pretty tempted to just move to Haiti and live the rest of my life around the greatest group of people EVER! Haitians are my new number ones! Erule and June came to church this week also and it was great to see how happy they were sitting in the pew! Erule brought his daughter, who is possibly the cutest 5 year old in the universe! They had a great time and said :
"We will be back next Sunday" in broken English/Creole. Erule has a baptism date set for two Fridays from now and we will see if it works out! 

Brother Joseph: 

So we've met a lot of prepared Haitians. The only real issue - they have car problems. Erules car broke down the day before we met him; Jean doesn't have a car; and Brother Joseph - Well Brother Joseph's car BURNT DOWN. We met Brother Joseph (I'm using his last name because his first name is complex) down in Winterhaven this week. (Winterhaven - aka the second greatest place on earth.) He was sitting outside his apartment watching the sun go down on the lake while a couple of kids fished for bass. We walked up and started to talk to him and he was instantly interested. We shared alot of our message and started to show him a bible video when he stopped and looked up at us and said just kind of out of nowhere: "My car burnt down yesterday." 

We weren't sure why he brought it up at first, but as he started to talk more about it, the story came out. He was sitting in his car in front of his apartment and got the feeling that he should leave it and go inside for a minute. He got carried away with doing something in his house, and when he came back out 30 minutes later, the entire car was in flames and it was too late to do anything. He told us that he felt that God had moved him from the car and taken him inside. We've seen him twice now and he really likes the message that we are sharing about the restoration.

So this has been a bit of our week, the miracles are unceasing, the memories unforgettable, and the people are UNBELIEVABLE! We taught over 50 lessons this week and have said well over a hundred prayers with different people. I'm in my path and know what I'm doing, and why I'm doing it. 

God bless all of you! 

Lots of love from Haines City