Wednesday, June 29, 2011

20 feels the exact same as 19

Well, 20 feels the exact same as 19.  The only difference is I'm one year away from being old enough to drink here in the states. Not that that really means anything to me.  I'm just excited for 25 so I can rent cars.  Anyways, thank you everyone for the presents.  I got them all yesterday and waited till today to open most of them.  I did open the sponge pudding though and was very happy with what that gift contained.  Also I guess I should say happy belated birthday to Dad, seeing as that was a few days ago and happy anniversary as well since that was on Monday.  Also, those letters were really nice.  I especially liked moms and learned a few new things about myself.  One question I have though is how does someone as skinny as myself take 48 Hrs to be born.  I always thought that the fat babies would be the harder births.  Also, I’m glad that the cone head has gone away and that the suction cup wasn't a permanent change.  On a different note, I'll say I’m jealous of a few things.  First, you get to go see wicked and second, Sarah got to go see Transformers, but it's ok, I'll see them both eventually.  Hopefully I'll see Wicked here on Broadway.  I'll be sure to write thank you cards to everyone that sent me a package as well.  Hopefully within the next two weeks.  Oh yeah, before I forget, I've spent some of my personal money.  I had some surprise expenses come up, and I didn’t have enough mission money to cover them all. SO you'll have to add some money there.  I'll send some home to cover it when I get my mission money again and when my companions pay me back.

On another Note, the Bronx is WAY sweet.  So different though.  For one thing, there are people everywhere.  It’s a missionaries dream come true.  Plus the members here really like the missionaries.  I haven’t been fed quite as much as my last area, buts that’s mainly cause we've been busy with other stuff.  So far I've had the opportunity to interview three people for baptism and had the pleasure of saying that they are all ready and able.  One of them, Brenda, when asked who she wanted to confirm her pointed at me and said "him".  Needless to say myself and Elder Bowker the missionary who taught her were both really surprised.  Anyways, her and her niece are getting baptized tonight and then getting confirmed on Sunday.    Aside from those two, Elder Bowker is baptizing another gentleman named Luis on Saturday and then the third companionship in my district has a few other baptismal dates coming up soon.  So, things are hoppin' here right now.  One of my zone leaders is also from Canada, (technically he was born in Ecuador.) but he's lived in Montreal for much of his life.  As for my position as District Leader, we don’t have training really and district meetings are every Monday.  The elders in my district are Elder Topham and Elder Miller, Elder Bowker and Elder Smith, and my companion elder Hampton.  Out of all of them, I have been out the longest.  But really that means nothing.  I've learned so much from all of them.  This is Elder Smiths first area as well.  Finally the language, I'm still speaking a more proper Spanish, but in a way I need to change to speak like the people I'm serving.  Mainly because they feel more comfortable if you speak the way that they do.  For instance I speak normal Spanish with people from Ecuador, Mexico, and most other Spanish countries, but I am trying to learn some of the Dominican and Puerto Rican Spanish to talk with them the way they like to speak.  I'm still doing all my practicing and teaching and stuff in proper Spanish.  I'm just trying to change for the general street talking if you know what I mean and of course for joking in the apartment. 

As for a little explanation of my area, (you can look at it on Google maps) I live at 2367 Hughes Ave apt 16 Bronx, NY 10458. (Remember that this address is only for Google maps purposes.  Don’t send stuff here, especially packages, as it is against mission rules.)  My area covers from 200 St in the North, to 177th / Tremont in the south, and from Grand Concourse on the west to the Bronx Zoo in the east.  It's a pretty decent size area, and the church is on the corner of E Kingsbridge and Grand Concourse.  There are lots brick buildings and they all pretty much have the same dirty interiors.  The other day we were contacting a building, got down to the bottom floor and knocked on the doors there, while inhaling some good 'ol Marijuana smoke.  It was great to finish that building by contacting the kids who were smokin' it up.  Another useful skill I've learned is how to card doors.  If the door is locked, I just slide an old card I found in the day and Presto!  we’re in.  I figure it'll be a good skill I can put on my resume.  But don’t worry, I'm careful about when and where I do it.  Aside from that I'm not really sure what else you'd want to know about my area.  Next email just ask me some questions if you have any.  Oh, my shoes still look GREAT, almost like they did when we bought them.  I try to polish them often. 

Anyways, that’s about all I got for this week.  I look forward to next Wednesday and I hope you have a great week as well. 

Love you all,
Elder Dilling

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

District Leader

Hey!  things sound like they're going just swimmingly up there in the Great, not so white right now, North.  Things here in Kingsridge are going great.  Thats right I didnt say Peekskill, I said Kingsbrige.  I am now serving in the Bronx!!!  WOOO HOOOO!!!  I can't really express with words how happy I am to be out of Peekskill.  Not 'cause I didnt like it, but because I get to see something different finally.  My New companion is Elder Hampton.  He's from the LA area of California and he was trained by my First MTC companion.  So in missionary terms, I'm his mother.  and myself and Elder Mitchell (his parents) met in the Pre-existence (the MTC).  Another thing to add onto that is that I have been called as the District Leader of this district, talk about a big change for me.  I skipped straight past senior comp. to DL.  So yeah, these last couple of days have been a bit of a blur and now that I'm here, I'm excited to get to work and to start learning a totally new type of Spanish.  Dominican Spanish.  dun dun duuh.  From what I've heard, the Spanish of the people from the Domincan Republic is terrible.  They drop their S's and use all sorts of improper grammar and what not.  So I'm excited for that.  On another note, I'm gonna do a baptismal interview tonight.  The other elders in my pad have a date coming up and then I probably will have to do another interview on Monday.  Aside from that we're going to be doing an English class tonight as well.  Suffice it to say, I'm super excited about being here and working in this area.  As for my new address, I'm not entirely sure what it is, but I'll let you know next week.  I also have the most time in the mission out of every other person in my district, which is pretty cool.  I was pretty suprised when I heard that, but hey, I have been out here 9 months today.
Just a quick little thing for Daniel.  If you memorize the articles of faith, you'll have done it before me.  I still don't know them all.  In fact, I'm not even sure I know more than 4 of them.  So good luck with that.
But anyways, thats about all I have to tell about for this week.  I'm sure I'll have more next week.  Good luck with everything back home.  I know that you're praying for me and I'm also doing the same, so yeah, have a fantastic week all of you and I look forward to hearing back from you on my Birthday. (next week.)
Les Quiero Mucho,
Elder Dilling

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Ricardo's Baptism

Hey all!

First off for your "Spanish".  I can understand it, although google translate definitely isn’t perfect.  I could make it out though.  So yeah, we're still staying pretty busy, although there are those slow days that just seem like weeks.  But that’s ok, because weeks feel like days.  The temperature here is still really nice.  Today it hit 100, which was ridiculous.  I'm glad it was P-Day and I didn’t have to wear my regular clothes all day.  That’s too bad that it's been raining alot there.  I haven’t seen much rain for about a week and I'm glad, cause when it rains the humidity jumps another 20% and this humidity is dirty and disgusting, nothing like Mexico.  But like you said, at least it's not snowing.

So this week was great, the Baptism of Ricardo went very well, even though it had a few bumps along the way.  Unfortunately the baptismal fount didn’t want to let warm water out, so we helped warm it up with warm water from the kitchen tap, which actually did a pretty good job.  Aside from that, it all went very well.  His wife wasn’t baptized as she is already a member, but after the baptism while he was changing she got up and bore her testimony about how happy she was that her family was finally being united in this way and how much she's looking forward to being sealed in the temple in the future.  So yeah, it was really great.  I'm happy as well to finally get to see some of the fruits of my labor (not that I wasn’t happy before).  We also found out that the lady we've been teaching from Toronto can be baptized here, so we're planning on giving her a baptismal date soon.  Also, once she's back in Toronto, if you ever want to visit, she's willing to offer her house as a place to stay.  Her name is Blanca, and she's Hermana (Sister) Suna's aunt, a member in the ward who was baptized last year.  We've been teaching her and I'm pretty sure that she is ready to get baptized.  She just loves the gospel.  When she lived back in Ecuador she was taught by the missionaries, but when she moved to Canada in 72' she lost contact with the church until she came here to visit her niece.  Hna (Sis.) Suna really wants her to get baptized to and has been a great help.  Also they love to feed us whenever we come over to teach, which is awesome and I certainly won’t complain about that.  As for Elder Fotu and me, things are still going well between us.  It actually gets better as time goes on, but we would like a couple other missionaries to converse with.  As for the picture thing, I'll try and get some more pics. 

It was good to hear that Sarah's grad went well and that she enjoyed it and yes, that is a very nice picture with Dad.  I also really like the dress.  Hopefully it stops raining in time for Christina's graduation.

As for the Question about the Shirts, Yes I'm still a 15.5 tall.  For the short sleeved ones and they’re fitted as well.  (Fitted = much better looking)  But anything you want to send is good with me. 

I'm out of time for today, but I hope that you all have another fantastic week, good luck in your final weeks of the course and I love you all.

Elder Dilling

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Things here are going pretty good

Hey everyone!

Things sound like they're going pretty good on that side of the border.  Good luck Sarah with High Jump and Shotput I never would have expected you to do high jump, but hey, that’s cool.  Has any progress been made with the Dog Run and Getting Chester to use it?  By the sounds of our grass condition, I guess that’s a negative. 

Anyways, things here are going pretty good.  We've just been doing A LOT of finding people and so far haven't received much success, but that’s how it is, some weeks are good, others slow.  It’s kinda like the tide, it comes in and goes out.  But I am excited for this coming Sunday, Ricardo is getting baptized!  Neither of us are doing the ordinance itself, but that’s ok because I think it’s better when a member does it.  So yeah, we're excited for this Sunday and so is Ricardo and his wife.  Her more than him, I think.  Nube's doing alright too, we keep trying to meet with her, but when we set an appointment, her boss seems to know and always asks her to stay at work longer and of course she's not in a position to say "No".  We have an English speaking investigator who is a part member family and the wife speaks Spanish.  He knows Spanish, but just grew up speaking English, so he likes it more and his wife speaks perfect English, but is the opposite, she prefers to speak Spanish.  Kinda fun.  The problem with them is getting to church, they have a hard time making it there on time.  But hey, church is the problem with most I think.  Unfortunately, Elder Fotu and I are still here alone and by the looks of things, it's not gonna be changing anytime soon.  The mission is a little short on missionaries at this point in time and also there really isn’t enough work to put two companionships here.  The PEC meetings here are great, they are super effective from what I've seen and from what I've been told by other missionaries.
Anyways, I have some good news and some bad news about the ticket.  I didn’t receive any points and by going to court it got dropped down to a parking ticket.  The bad news is that a parking ticket in Eastchester, NY costs $150.00  So I'm sorry, that kinda really really sucks.  You can take the money from my tax return.  I don’t want you to pay for my stupidity/blindness.  The reason I got the ticket was for turning left at a no turn left sign.  The reason for doing that was that I didn’t see the sign, until I was halfway through the turn and there were cars coming towards me.  That was somewhat unfortunate, but it's all taken care of now. 

As for the birthday ideas.  I've been thinking a little about it, and decided that I'd like a couple more Short sleeved shirts.  If you could find ones that are more fitted, and without button down colors that'd be perfect.  The ones I got from Mr.Mac were perfect.  They're Enro's.  Aside from shirts, music is always nice, I really like music without words, like the Scores from movies.  I have the Gladiator Soundtrack, which is really good.  If you could find it, I'd really like the Prince of Egypt Soundtrack.  What you could also do if you wanted them as well, is put them on the computer, then send me burned discs, that way if they get scratched I could just as for you to send me a new burned one.  Now to the candy ideas.  I've really been craving an eatmore recently.  Those are fantastic.  As for that I'm not really sure.  Also, I lost my knife (The pocket knife dad has. (black one).  I wouldn’t mind a new pocket knife, they come in handy occasionally.  Umm...what more.  I heard there's gonna be a new Call of Duty MW3 so you could preorder that and have it waiting for me when I get home :) JK.  Socks are never a bad Idea, I really like the ones made form Bamboo fibers.  They last really well too.  My shoes are in pretty much in perfect condition still a few scratches, but that’s not a problem.  Another watch would be nice, I’m thinking of sending my Nixon home.  I don’t want that to get lost/broken/stolen.  So yeah, maybe a DSLR.  I prefer taking pictures with the Pentax over my current camera.  Once again JK.  But yeah, I'll be happy with whatever you want to send me.  I'm really not in need of any more P-Day clothes though.  Maybe a few pairs of socks.  I really like the American Eagle Super Low Ankle socks.  They stay on my foot, and don’t slide off the heel.  But any super low ankle socks are good.  I would only need like 3 pairs.  Anyways yeah, that’s about all I've got.  I've been pretty good at staying on top of my letter writing.  Just need to write Sam a letter here soon before he leaves for the MTC.  I'll do that during this week some time. 

So yeah, I hope that everything continues to go super duper with each of you and I look forward to reading your letter next week.

With mucho love,
Carson a.k.a Elder Dilling