Monday, September 27, 2010

El Salvador Here I Come

Derek flew out today, Sept. 27, for El Salvador.
His flight from SLC left at 8:30 am so fortunately for us, he called around 7:30 to get us primed for the afternoon. Megan hadn't left for school yet and his dad and mom weren't at work; we all had a quick friendly chat. Later in the afternoon (around 1:30 pm) after he had bought "junk food" from McDonald's at the Dallas Airport, he graced us with another amazing call.
We could all tell from the tone in his voice the excitement he was experiencing. He seemed calm, quite assured of himself and happy to share his thoughts. He even bore his testimony to us over the phone in Spanish (no - we don't know Spanish, but his sincerity was amazing).
He arrived in El Salvador around 6:20 pm and headed over to the mission president's house where he and the missionaries he was traveling with would enjoy a meal. They would stay tonight at his home, and he would embark on his new adventure with his new companion tomorrow!!!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Bon Voyage

September 20, 2010
Well hello my dear family!! Slash other people that just love reading my emails. =] I'll just call you all my friends. Deal? Guess what everyone?!?!?!??!?!?!?!
SEVEN MORE DAYS HERE!!!!!!!! Oh man everything is going by so fast! I remember writing like yesterday how I thought that this day would never come!!!!! Wow it kind of makes me want to go back and do it all over again...... NAAAAA!!!! I’m ready to go and baptize some people!!! =] =] =] =]
I'm so glad that you liked my pictures! We specifically did those Beatles pictures so I hoped they turned out awesome!! Well let’s see where to start. OHHH did the videos work out on my memory card? Slash did mom get car sick watching them... hahaha I love you mom. =] I'll take lots more here and down there just for your viewing pleasure!!
I got my travel plans last week!!!!!! WINNER!!! Okay so now is when you all pay attention. We have like two flights. I have to get up at 5 a.m. and we leave here and our first flight is at 8:25’ish on the 27th! So technically one day earlier!! But then we land in Dallas, Ft Worth and there I will be able to call you guys and give you the special opportunity of talking to me on the phone. =] BUT I do believe they are one hour earlier then our time so I’m landing about 3:40 and we have our next flight to El Salvador at 6:05 so in between there (after I get some real fast food and junk) I’m going to call you all. The house phone then the cell phones if no one answers!!
OHHHHH Guess what? I weighed myself last night after dinner and I gained 3 pounds!! I’m 170 now!!!! WINNER! But I did have my suit on and stuff but let’s just say I’m gaining weight. =] Well I think that they give us more time on Saturday to check our emails and junk so if any problems arise, I might be able to see. If not, just Dear Elder me before Saturday so that I can get them. =] But here is what happens when I get there in a nut shell... So I get there with everyone in my district, and we go with the mission president and then we eat dinner and talk until sleep time. Then we sleep in the mission home and the next day get our new companions!!!!!!! Then off to work!!!! =D
Just so you all know, the pizza that you sent me was just about the most amazing thing I’ve ever had in my entire life!!!! I love everyone involved with that pizza delivery so much!! YUMMY!
So guess what!?!? I made it all the way through the MTC with only 4 white shirts!! I wasn't gross or anything, but I would just wear them twice before washing them and now I have two more extra shirts to get all dirty in El Salvador!!! =D I find that an accomplishment.
OHHHH so I also hear about a cool little gadget that you could buy and maybe send to me while I’m down there; it’s a filter straw! So when they give you like a drink and you don't want to put it into a water bottle, you can use the straw… One of the presidents suggested we get it, and it’s legit and should work the whole two years... This is the address... and its called advanced filter straw or something like that... and to get a discount you put into it the discount code l8d8s8 so its LDS but with 8's in-between. =] (just an idea)
1 – Have you or will you ever been able to play basketball before you leave?
So the thing is I think that the court is opening like Tuesday or something. It’s really like Utah construction in here. ITS SOOOOOO SLOW!!!!!! I've been playing soccer and I’m too good for everyone so I need some basketball. =P hahah but to answer your question, no I haven't played yet.
2 – Are the discussions and the Spanish coming along well?
Spanish is going well. I'm using my crafty skills and making little index cards with grammatical principles on them and laminating them. Everyone is jealous. But we have the final lesson here on Thursday about the plan of salvation totally in Spanish so that’s awesome. =] We also have random health meetings through the week about going to El Salvador and what to eat and what not to eat..... BORING but important.. I can hear mom saying not to drink the water. I promise I won't. =]
Well it sounds like you’re getting to know Elder Brown's mom a little. He is actually in my room and that’s awesome!!!! Well I need to head off to eat.. Be sure to Dear Elder me mom if anything comes up!!!
I love you all..
The church is true.
Elder Sutton

Friday, September 17, 2010

Life at the MTC

This is Derek's companion, Elder Barth, and Derek

Derek is the 5th from the right (with the red tie).
Kevin Brown is 3rd from the right.
We need help naming the rest.
They look like a pretty good bunch of guys - deceiving?

Derek by the Provo Temple.
The missionaries attend regularly.

We know where to go when our washer breaks down.
Do you think they are energy star?

Photo for GQ Magazine? Derek is the 3rd from the left, Elder Barth next, and Kevin Brown is 2nd from the right. We need help with the others.
Flowers in the photo for mom.

Missionary take on the Beatles.
From left: Elder Barth, Derek, Elder Brown is last and we don't know the third.

Last Ditch Photo

Derek poses with Jared Mortensen and we think Jared's companion(in the center)
Jared left for Chile.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Sept. 13, 2010

Dang!!!! Peach Days is already here!! I couldn't believe that I was there last year playing with all you guys. So what happened to that crazy kid? Did he get all candy happy and run out into the middle of the whole parade and get hit by a car or what? So this no name won the peach queen pageant this year. That’s kind of cool that the big names didn't win this year. =] Gives all of us normal, not cool people hope that we can win contests. That’s what it is!!!! A giant publicity stunt in Brigham to get people to feel that they can make a difference!!
So Sam went to the parade with another girl this year? Will someone ask him why in the heck he hasn't written me or I haven't gotten his address in any of my emails home???? This isn't very cool. I'll have to beat him up when I come back. =] He definitely is looking for a girl! What is going on in his life??
So you guys partied all day for me because I wasn't at the carnival, right??? I sure hope that you guys did! For your sakes you better! OH! on the subject of letters; I was wondering if my oldest sister and her hubby have been getting my letters because I have gotten more letters from my brother in-law then I have from my own sister!!! Plus, I had some questions I asked Eric and he didn't really answer them.... Interesting..... Maybe you’re just so busy with school. It’s all good...... OHHHHH – Eric, I think that I’m living in your room!!!!!!!!!!!! NO JOKE!!!!!!! Like 12m and bottom floor and the first room on the right!?!?!? THAT’S totally awesome! Is there any secret stuff stashed here? We have found some cool stuff like a little missionary guy and stuff but I dunno.. =]
So Heather Norman is going to come in on the 22. That’s really cool! This week my district has the job of being hosts (like the people that took me and stole me from you). It’s going to be so much fun making the little kids cry because I’m dragging them away from their family... NOT!!!!!! That is going to be so sad... =[ But also tons of fun because its something new to do!!! =]
But along with my talents.. I'm trying not to bury my talents, mom; but honestly it's kind of hard not to here. There just isn't time and too many other people to stand out against.. I'm trying though. Don’t worry. =]
1 – Did the MTC and Church Travel Services find your police report you took down with you?
I went and fixed that entire police report crap for my stuff. (Pardon my French) But Elder Barth, my companion, is in some serious trouble. We went there today on our p-day and totally used like 3 hours trying to fix everything. He didn't get the Apostile done and all that like my lovely mother helped me do so he might not get to leave on time with us all.... It’s way sad!! The only good thing that came of this was that he had to send a money order to New York to get his Apostile, and we left campus for about 45 minutes!!!!! It’s been over a month and a half that I haven’t been out of this place! It was so weird to be out there. Some guy saw us and knew we were missionaries so he was joking around saying "I can feel the spirit emanating from you!”, but it made me think how much people do look up to the missionaries here. It’s crazy!
2 – Have you sent your memory card yet?
I sent my memory card today, and I have a baby note with it. Nothing really special; I’ve been in a rush all day long! Feel free to ask about the pictures. They probably are confusing, and I even have a video or two on them.. SHH! Don’t tell... So feel free to also put them on Facebook or something mom. =]
3 – What is the worst thing you have eaten since you have been there?
The worst thing that I’ve eaten..... Dang... Well, all the food here starts to mush together, but yesterday I saw the worst thing ever! I didn't eat it because it was that bad! It was like this fish like halibut, but it was like heated up in the microwave and sat out for a few days!!!! Totally nasty!!!
4 – Did you get any packages from “loved ones”?
I DID get packages from my lovely family and from the Dinsdale’s!!!! Both I really loved! I ate all the gummy hamburgers already and am using the pens you sent. And the Dinsdale’s package, I already ate all the laughy-taffy. =] Keep 'em coming!!!!
Well the big news for next week is that we get our travel plans for El Salvador!!!!!!! FINALLY!!!!!!!!!! AHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!! We have 2 weeks left!!!! Man that went by so fast yet so slow!!! HAHAHAH But our branch president told us that he has seen people going to El Salvador that fly all the way out to the east coast and then all the way back to Texas then all the way to Guatemala and then a small plane to El Salvador!!!! Crazy!!!
~~~~~~ IMPORTANT POINT~~~~~~~~~
Okay so that day that I leave, I’m going to be calling home and everyone that wants to hear my sweet and soothing voice should be home! Once I get my plans this week, I’ll tell you exactly when I can call and such but until then start making that day free to talk to your favorite son! (Slash hear me talk.) I might even talk a little Spanish to you. Emphasis on the little....
So someone tell me more about Sarah’s play?! How is it? Is it as good as Megan’s? I’ve been hearing pieces about it but not all of it!!!!
Hum.. I don't know much more to say... This week the gym should be open for basketball to play but who knows.. they keep putting it off more and more. It reminds me of Utah construction how it never gets done!!! Well feel free to keep sending me Dear Elder letters and keep me updated mom. =] Those make my day especially when you say keep smiling. I can't help but smile.... AWWEE!!!! =P Okay, well this week we are teaching the second lesson in Spanish and that is even harder!! I’ll be praying a lot and I hope you guys will too.. It honestly helps me a lot. You mean so much to me. EVERYONE - not just my immediately family. Feel free to keep the questions coming. =]
OHHH!! Also, I met a guy who knew Smyly Crawford!! He came to my room and with an Alabama accent he said who he was like Elder Hearns or something and said how Smyly told him to look out for me!!! COOL!!!! Small world. He seemed like an awesome guy! He is going to Mexico just for your info! =]
Peace out family. I love you all..
Elder Sutton
Tengan buena semana!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

The 3 Amigos

Derek, Chris Darais & Damon Bennett at the MTC Bookstore.
They're looking quite cheerful...

Monday, September 6, 2010

Sept. 6, 2010

Well this week I got on a working computer – everyone rejoice!!!!!!! Hahaha I’m so funny I make myself laugh sometimes. But don’t worry when I get out into the field in 3 and a half weeks, I’ll be sure to send you guys emails every week – that’s not something I’m about to forget!!! :)

Well, let’s start off this week by saying that we taught in Spanish for the first time this last Thursday! Everyone was pretty much freaking out right before it, just so you know. Some were hiding it from the other guys because it’s not “cool” to act scared. Sometimes I just want to punch my district in the face. One day they will realize that showing your emotions is a good thing and not just a girly thing! Well, I just want to say thank you to everyone that said a prayer to help me. Honestly it did help so much. I owe you guys. Let’s just hope that this week is just as good as the last one! But I have another story to tell you that is quite fun!! :) Well so our teacher, Hermana Penaflor, (she is from Peru) she decided that we should group up with another class and go with them while they go and teach in the TRC. So just in case you forgot; the TRC is the scariest place here because every week we teach in there and that was where we taught in Spanish. But for the first few weeks you only have to teach in English, you have tasks you have to do instead (like talk about your family with them in Spanish and get to know them & all that stuff) then you come back and teach. So all together you teach for about an hour. ANYWAY – we went with this class, and we were going to be like a member that came with them while they taught. So we went to do that. I went with these two new missionaries, and we get into the room and we have this old old old lady from Ecuador. The only problem was she only could speak Spanish!!! Hahaha – you should have seen the faces of the elders as she was talking to them, and they had no idea what she was saying!! PURE FEAR!!! But luckily, they had me in there to answer the toughest questions and kind of interpret for them. She kind of was asking them tough questions though, like “why did Jesus have to be born in a manager?” stuff like that. So when we went back to teach her in about ten minutes, the elders who only had been here for a few weeks were going to try and teach in Spanish even though they had NO IDEA how to. Yet again they were lucky that they had me there. It was very rocky and I had to say most of the first vision stuff because they just honestly didn’t know. It was so awesome to just sit there and think, that used to be me. I’ve only been here for a few more weeks than them and yet I know so much more. I can’t wait until I get out into the field and I’ll learn tons more every day!!

So Jared Mortensen left today and that makes me really sad because he was that one good friend that I had here. I could always go and see him and he would make me laugh. But I’ll be alright. I will always be alright. :) If there ever is a problem, just tell that to yourselves. It will always be alright. :)

1. What do they teach you about the Central American people? Do they teach you about culture or anything?

Hahaha well some of it we know like we know some specific words that they use in El Salvador, but most of the stuff it’s not terribly bad. No worries. I can’t wait to be out in the warm humid air! For some reason it’s way cold today, and I’m freezing my buttocks off!!!

2. Do you need anything specifically from home before you leave?

Well, I’m sure that there will be stuff I need before I leave, but as of right now I’m just dandy! Keep writing me and keep me updated mom. I like that lots! Plus, all the other people that are writing me, too. You all are way amazing!

3. Do you still have cash money to take with you when you travel?

Yes, I still have like almost all my money. I haven’t used much of it for anything. Usually I just go without or buy it with my money that they give you each week. But I was wondering, I can have 2 suitcases and a backpack and a carry-on. Right? So, I didn’t bring a little carry-on or anything. Should I buy one small one here? Or should I just work without it?

4. How is the basketball court?

Basketball isn’t up yet!! Now they moved it back to like the 15th or something this month. It’s major dumb, but maybe I’ll do something else this week instead of soccer. Who knows?

Okay, I am definitely ready for a sweatshirt, and I can totally send my card back. I have a lot of people that I met here and even a video of me walking back from the temple one day. :) Just don’t tell on me. Hahaha

Well, I just actually stole Jared’s stamps as he left. He had a ton and couldn’t use them anymore so it’s all good now. I did get this email and such so I can write him. He is having me mail a few packages home for him because it’s Labor Day here so the post office isn’t open today. Sad day - no letters :( oh well, I’ll survive.

I hope that everyone is having the best time without me and not missing me too much! HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ERIC!! Sorry that I missed that. I’m kind of ……busy………right at the moment or I’d come over and tell you myself.Who knows what fun and exciting things will happen this week or if it’ll all work out. All we have to do is put our trust in the Lord and things will work out for the best. I feel that my troubles here will all be better when I’m out in the field, but in all reality they won’t; they just will be different ones. But we just need to keep our heads up and look forward for tomorrow with a smile and say, “This is all happening for a reason and what can I learn from this.” The whole world changed with one moment in time with one boy in New York and I’m eternally grateful to be a part of this gospel.

Jose Smith dijo… Vi una columna de luz, mas brillante que el sol. Directamente arriba de mi cabeza. Y esta luz gradualment descendio hasta descansar sobre me al reposar sobre me la luz vi en el aire arribe de me a dos personajes cuyo fugor y Gloria no admitten description, uno de ellos me hablo llamando me por me nombre y dijo senalando al otro… este es me hijo !escuchalo!Yo amo usedes muchiiiiicimo.

Love, Elder Sutton