Friday, December 30, 2011

Great Christmas in Belize

December 28, 2011

Well, let me tell you, my dear family! It was my last Christmas experience here on the mission! But that’s good and bad. As you know I’ve got mixed emotions about how much time that I’ve got..... =( The best part about today is that its Amanda’s birthday!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So I sure hope that you do something special for my favorite older sister. =) So today is a little groggy too. It’s been raining off and on all day long. Who knows why because in the morning it looked as clear as can be. "Red skies in the morning - sailors take warning, red skies at night - sailors delight". Right dad? hahah

Man, I’m sad to hear that grandma is having more troubles going around now. I remember how much she loved to go out and have fun in Mexico or wherever! I sure hope we can go with them one more time before they sell their time share thing in Mexico. But who knows what will happen - maybe if she feels better.

Well as you knew a little about my Christmas here it was full of fun and food! So all the weight that I had lost over these few weeks I think I got it all back in just one day! They have some awesome cake here - Black Cake. But you have to be careful because they love to just throw whisky on it to keep it looking nice and shiny. But definitely I ate turkey and chicken and all that.

Well I have some cool news. Today I’m going to San Pedro to work there with an elder and supposedly it’s going to be very beautiful there. My comp says it’s the most beautiful area in the mission; I guess we'll see. But the thing is on this island we have to go on an 1.5 hour boat to get there and then on the island they don't have cars. They just ride around in golf carts. Supposedly they have tons of Tourists and they even have their own power plant and everything. It’s just super expensive. So I’ll be sure to take some pictures of that one to show to you how it really is.

Well some investigators and some awesome stuff like that:

*Well there is the Smart family. They are really awesome (Wally and Katina). The only problem with them is that they need to get married. But I already feel like we're a part of their family. They have 5 kids all ranging from the ages 15 to 1 year old. They all love when we come over and read the Book of Mormon and are just amazing.

*We have a lady named Willa. She loves to giggle. The only problem with her is that her family is completely against her and don't like her to listen to us. She is like 50 something and she is a ball of fire. She loves to laugh - like I said.

*There is sister Pearl. She lives with her handicapped son who is like 20 something and she has been going to church for about a month now. She is just having some guy problems recently so we're working on that.

*We have the Cocoam family (Efrain and Dianna). They are awesome. We are great friends with Efrain. He is actually a tour guide here in Belize and he takes groups to ruins here and knows just about everything about the Myans (can't spell).

*We have some AMAZING recent converts here - GEORGE SANDER AND BENNY RUCKER. Man, they are way amazing. They have already blessed the sacrament and all that. I think I talked to you about them already but they are being great. The problem that George is having is his wife is sick right now, but it’s not too serious. And Benny is looking for his wife.

Well that’s just a few of the people that we're teaching. There are lots more but I’m getting tired of writing. (hahaha) I hope you all knew how much I loved my Christmas presents! I also loved talking to you. And I can't believe that you are doing all of that for your son.

I do really feel the love that you all show me and I hope that you’re having an amazing New Years which will come very soon. I think that it’s all going amazing for all of you. I even got my package from Grandma Sutton! Thank you so much for the candies and chocolate! I love you lots! All of you!

Feel free to write me a letter or two..... not trying to be greedy or anything...... hahah But I love to hear all the amazing things that you’re all doing with your lives. Keep it up.

Love you

Elder Sutton

Monday, December 19, 2011

Feliz Navidad

So my dearly beloved family and friends!!!!
Feliz Navidad and Merry Christmas!
So definitely I’m feeling a lot more Christmas-y this year.  Also as you can see, I’m writing you all a day early this week because tomorrow we have our Christmas party with the Cordon Family.  The great news is that it’s going to be really awesome, but the bad news is that they haven't informed us at all what is going to happen with the call or anything like that...  But my companion is going to call President right now to ask and I’ll tell you later in my letter. =)  From what I know I’m thinking that we can find some machines to Skype but we just need to ask some favors of people.

Wow!  Really so much just happened last week that I can't believe it either. It looks like you were as busy as I was!  And mom winning that raffle thing????  Man!!!!  I'm going to send my sons and daughters on missions when I get older so that I can win cool stuff like that.. hahah But really mom must be really being good this year huh?  There actually is a family here that we were teaching off and on and recently the wife just won the Jackpot here and then the husband got promoted in his job, and they say it’s because we started to visit them..  We're sure that they are blessings from the Lord and they all of a sudden have become a lot more positive.  Really the whole culture here and the people are so different than those that I have met in the past; sometimes I just need to step back and breath. Some people are just so ready to hear the gospel that it surprises me. If all works out, then we have a wedding this Saturday!  Then later the family will be baptized.

It sounds like Megan is continuing in her race car life style. =)  She wouldn't be part of the Sutton family if she wasn't, right?  I can really remember how we all had to do our own running around growing up like Amanda and me and now its Megan’s turn.  Let’s just hope that she can handle it well.  And from what I'm hearing, she does. =)

But man!  Amanda is going to be a real teacher now??  (Only for 6 months??)  But that’s still way awesome!  Now she is the real deal huh?  I always pray for her and you all and it’s all turning out alright. =)  But that’s no problem for her to handle a few 6th graders.  We had some interesting kids at the PEAK and I’m sure what she has been doing recently has prepared her for this. The Lord prepares us for life.  Sometimes we just don't notice it.

Man, I’m feeling the love from all the family!  Grandmas, Holly, Kathy, the Dinsdales, everyone!  Wow!  I’m definitely going to buy me new scriptures because the other day it poured rain here and they got wet.... =(  They still work just are a little crinkled.... but not anymore!!  And this time I’m going to put them in bags every time I leave the house. Then maybe buy some little things here and there for my comp and I.  (Maybe shoes for me. =D)

I wish I could have seen Justin!  I actually have thought about him some on the mission and how he is doing.  Along with my other friends that DON"T WRITE ME!!! (haha)  How often does he come home?  Maybe next year I can see him?  And Grandpa is already making some plans for next year!  We better have a HUGE party because I’m going to be there. =P So Sarah Stanger is getting married?  Dangit; someone has to tell here sorry and that I’ll have to miss it... =(   I feel like the time is flying for me. There is so much to do here and so little time that usually the days just fly by so fast.  Plus my companion and I are doing pretty well here. This last Sunday, Benny Rucker and George Sanders (new converts) talked in sacrament meeting!!  They have been members for like 2 months and they both blessed the sacrament and talked!  They did it all that day!  It’s amazing to see them progressing!

Well this week on Saturday we had our branch Christmas party too.  We had a blast with all the people and 7 investigators showed up and ate good food - rice and beans, with chicken and potato salad and stuffing that was more like powder...  I think that’s what they eat here. But it’s all good. =)  But they started to dance.  EVERYONE. from the grandmas down to the 2 year olds.  They all are born with an amazing ability to dance!  But really music is something so special to the people here. It’s different then the Utah. They just feel it.  Like if we're out with a member and he hears music, he automatically starts to bob his head or starts swaying.. It’s just what they do here. I am the only ugly duckling here that can't dance. haha.

But as you can tell Christmas here is really different, but it still is about Mas-Christ... haha - I just came up with that one.... But this year Christmas means something different for me.  I just feel different about it. It good though.  I have a million great memories of Christmas time with the “Fam”, but I know that I’m making lasting memories here that will not only shape the present but the future.  I'm understanding what it means to have a better relationship with not only those around me but with Christ.  I hope that you can say the same thing about me like you said about Justin.  How great of a change it was for him.  If not, then I just basically wasted the past year and a half.  But don't worry; I feel different - I think different.

Mom, I love you and I know that you love me, even when I thought you didn't because we fought. I know that every little thing you had me do was because you knew that it was going to benefit me in the future. I know that you are a great example of a hard worker and how to not expect less of us as your children, but expect the best. You have helped shape me who I am now. I can be a man and a father because you taught me to be one. I love you mom.

Dad, really we were more of friends then anything.  I know that it was hard for me coming on the mission and being away but I believe deep down you know why, and it’s not just to serve the Lord.  ALL the great times we had, football, jr. jazz, basketball, lacrosse whatever it was - you were always there two feet in there with me. I should have done more what you wanted to do (fish, hunt, hike).  I know that you are a great example of sacrifice.  You, like mom, have worked all my life to give me the best.  Even down to my friends and x-box we did together. Don't worry, that won’t change. I love you dad.

Amanda, man you really are a superhero to me.  You are an example that really it’s possible to live our lives correctly.  Seriously I pushed myself in everything because you were first great in it (music, sports, friends).  You were my older sister.  Funny, happy and always smart. I regret not ever really hanging out with you before.  I know I got on your nerves at times but you taught me that it’s possible to push myself.  I love you Amanda.

Megan, don't think that I’m forgetting about you. =)  My little sister.  I know right now in your life you're defining who you are.  Friends, sports, school, everything.  You have a lot in you.  I wish I was right there to help you out with your final years in high school.  But really listen to mom and dad. They have lived it. They know. You have taught me that love is for everyone, even my little sister.  I remember when I would ask you to do something for me and all I had to do was hug you and I never wanted to do it.  You are a great sister Megan. I can see you doing so much.  Heavenly Father has blessed you with so much.  All you have to do is use him to the fullest.  I love you Megan.

Well I don't have time to write all my family and friends but know I really think about you.  All the way down to Sarah Dinsdale and Barbara and Roy and Kathy - I have thought of you all and include you in my prayers.
I hope that this year is as special for everyone as it is for me!

With lots of love
Elder Sutton

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Enjoying Elder Rabanales (my comp)

Well not going to lie, I was expecting more from you on the writing department today. Now that President said we couldn't email from this account to anyone anymore I got 3 emails today! I definitely will have more time to write you guys. And maybe send my pictures that I copied on some DVD's. I don’t know; the computers are a little "sketchy" here so I’m kind of worried about viruses.....

A big THANK YOU to grandma & grandpa and Holly for the Christmas money!!! :) I’m going to use it wisely…

But yeah, I think the temperatures are going to start to climb here soon. For example today, I’m feeling a lot hotter than usual. But they tell us that this is winter here in Belize. I just don't want to see what it’s like here in the summer!!

So some interesting things here in Belize:

1. They have some amazing little things called cold cups.. They are just like they sound - little plastic cups with frozen juice and stuff in them but they are like 12 cents. So we have become a fan, Elder Rabanales and I. (like my grammar at the end????)

2. Well yesterday I ate some Lebanese Food... Man that was AMAZING! It’s kind of pricy for here like $6 Americans. But man, it was good like jicama and these amazing tortillas and all that jazz.

3. My companion & I broke down and bought some ice cream the other day. Man we were in heaven that day.

4. There are some senior missionary couples here in Belize - Elder and Sister Pattee. The awesome thing is that we had a family home evening yesterday with a new family we found, but I found out some awesome info about them. They served a previous mission in Ukraine! I don't remember where exactly but maybe Eric will know them. =)


1 – Have you heard when Pres. & Sis Cordon will be traveling there for your little party? (I hope they will be delivering your package at that time…)

Well they are going to come here around the 20th and the coolest part is that I think that they are going to be here for a few days. Like they are bringing their whole family here and then have a Belizean Christmas! (which is very similar to the ones we have in the USA....)

2 – Have you been checking on the possibility of SKYPING again for Christmas? (Less than 2 weeks until our call!!!!!)

Well I defiantly want to use Skype and talk to you guys again and I’m pretty sure that Elder Rabanales wants to also; we would just need to find a computer for the holiday. Maybe if we go to the distribution center or something? We'll have to figure that little detail out first huh?

3 – How’s the bike riding? Have you forgotten how & is traffic much of a problem?

Well let’s just say bike riding uses a whole lot of different muscles then walking. For the first week my knees were hurting me and my legs just because they are completely different, and I was so used to walking everywhere! There are a lot of cars here in the city though. Definitely there is like a "rush Hour" here also. But because we are on our bikes we can weave in and out of the traffic no problem. But the great news is that I haven't crashed on my bike yet. =)

4 – What is the main source of income (jobs) in Belize?

Well I definitely would say that tourism is a huge profession here. Then there are like fishermen and then like construction and all that. But tourism is huge! Apart from that, there are just random jobs like we are teaching a police man, a construction guy, one guy that fixes printers and scanners.....

There is an island (San Pedro) here where all the tourists go too. We have some missionaries there and they say that there are constantly people there on trips and vacations and all that jazz.

5 – Do you have a cook & a person to wash for you in Belize?

Well we have a wash lady. Usually we just eat at like a little restaurant here for lunch for a few dollars. The wash lady really is an amazing lady! BUT a lot of people here have washing machines. It’s not like in El Salvador where everyone does it by hand. But sadly we do sometimes wash a few shirts here and there. I tried not to bring much from El Salvador here so that it wouldn't be a hassle.

Well I'm definitely really enjoying myself here in Belize with Elder Rabanales. He is really charismatic and loves to run around. We are trying to enjoy ourselves as much as possible here by doing the Lord's will. Sometimes it’s hard, don't get me wrong, but I know that everything will turn out amazing if I just do my part. We can't bite off more than we can chew, but I’m not going to spend the whole day eating.... So we're constantly pushing ourselves to become better. Plus, I got my hair cut by my first Belizean guy yesterday and it looks alright. (haha) I can't complain much.

They are actually doing an EFY thing here called SOY (strength of youth) so that is something really new here in Belize. The thing is that the missionaries have only been here for 30 years and man we're growing.

I love you a ton family and friends.

Sientanse libre a enviarme cartas a mi nuevo correo!!!!! (Please feel free to send me letters to my new mail address!!!!!)

Elder Sutton

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Cruise Ships Look Cool

Well good afternoon my family and my friends!!!

It’s really cloudy and sprinkling here in Belize; I hear that it'll get even colder here too. But man last night I was soooo cold and I just had my fan on. I am definitely 100% going to die when I get back to the cold.

But the NBA has finally gotten an agreement too? Man I bet a lot of people are really happy including a lot of the Utah Jazz Fans (like Eric etc......) Someone will have to keep me updated on what’s going on. =P

Well this shout-out is for Graydon! You need to keep those lacrosse kids in shape! Put them through what we had to go through! I’m going to do the same when I get back. There are just a few things that I need to finish up here first. =) More people to find etc.

1 – Have you purchased new tennis shoes? (We have deposited $50 from your Grandma Carlene for you for Christmas as well as $50 from us so don’t wait – $40-$50 is pretty standard here.)

Well right now the thing is that I would love to buy me a new hymn book and maybe a new Quad.. I think that I’ll use my money for that and just find me some “ok” Tennis shoes until now. I think the scriptures are a little more important.... hahaha But thank you so much Grandma and mom/dad.

If anything I’m trying to have the best Christmas this year because it’s my last on the mission. And that doesn't just mean the best stuff to buy. Haha

2 – What type of currency do they use in Belize?

Well they use Belizean money. It’s like got the queen on it and all that because if you look into the history of Belize, they were once part of England (I believe) so they still have money like that. But they are not pounds. The money here is about 1-2 or 1 American to 2 Belizean, and if you look at the pound it’s the other way around.

3 – Have you seen lots of beautiful flowers & unusual plants in Belize? (Della & Barney have a customer who travels there half of the year and said they are gorgeous.)

Well actually to be honest I haven't paid attention to the plants much here. I'm kind of in the city but I have seen some beautiful water lilies. But I’ll pay special attention this week and try and take some awesome pictures of them. I can be a photographer too like you dad. =P

4 – Do you have luxuries like a micro-wave &/or regular oven or is your cooking still on a hot plate?

Sadly we don’t have a micro-wave and or an oven. We just have like a cooking plate. BUT the good news is that we got a new iron; last week ours was broken so we had to heat it up on our little stove thing and then hurry and iron.. It was quite funny. =D

5 – Have you eaten anything different in Belize? Is sea food still a no no?

Well they love eating chicken and rice and beans mixed with coconut water... It’s actually good because they make it a little spicy. But they have a lot of sea food here. Just this week we saw 5 cruise ships in port and tons of foreigners! It’s quite the cool experience to see lots of white people again!

Well this week we baptized the wife of George Sanders! Probably the biggest guy every. (I’m sure that he could give dad a run for his money.) But he actually baptized his wife and man was that a special experience.

Also, here in Belize because we are so far away from president and all that there are senior missionary couples here. And last night we had the privilege to have a Family Home Evening in their house with Efrian and his wife. Man that guy is amazing. He is actually a tour guy here in Belize for the people that come in on Cruise ships. He looks white and all that but he was born and raised here in Belize. But this guy is amazing. We just got to know his wife this week and she is just as amazing as him. The only problem is that she is going to Honduras for Christmas so we'll go a while without seeing her. =(

Really here in Belize it’s a new country. And you can say “duh”, but it was a shock for me. The people here are different and it was tough in the beginning but I’m getting more used to it.

But the great news is that we have a nice house. =)

I love this Christmas season. Really you don’t have to believe me but I have changed A LOT of how I see it. Before I know it was a lot about that but now it’s so different. Now that I know what to expect and what to feel, I love it even more. Life’s more simple without having to worry about presents etc.. I love my Savior. Really I have grown to know him and this season I want to give him the greatest gift of all. Myself. Christmas means a lot to me on the mission. I hope it means a lot for everyone out there. I encourage everyone to go on and see the new videos about Jesus and his birth. I love them a lot. The church worked hard on them.

Elder Sutton