Monday, May 27, 2013

5.27.13 Week 7

Hej! Hola? 

I'm in California! It has been a pretty fun week. And so nice to be out of the MTC. We flew into Fresno on this little plane that was almost all full of missionaries. There were 30 something of us going to Fresno, and only  like 5 other people that weren't missionaries. I felt kinda bad for them. They were getting bombarded by Books of Mormon!  No joke- I saw one guy get handed 4 Books of Mormon at once, and then when he said "no," he was offered like 8 pass along cards from different people. They left the plane pretty fast... Anyways, we landed and went straight to the mission office in Fresno, dropped off our bags, and went off to go contacting! I went with Elder Enslow! He went to Alta too, and he's been here in Fresno for about 5 months. So it was  fun to go with him. It wasn't near as bad as I thought it would be! Almost everyone we talked to at least believed in Christ, so it was easy to start talking and explain our church. We got a couple people that said we could come back, so I'd say it went well!

On Thursday I met my companions. Their names are Elder Rader and Elder Thompson, and they are zone leaders, so I'm kinda like a zone leader! haha JK not really.  But I do get to help out a little bit, so it's fun. Since I'm in a trio that means that as soon as my visa comes I can leave! So that's good. But our area is in Merced, which is a town about an hour north of Fresno, Kinda towards Yosemite. It's about the same size as Brigham City.  Our area is on the outskirts of town, a little slice of their ghetto, and a little town called Franklin. I really scored with this area. It's not near as desert-y as  I thought it would be. There are lots of trees and orchards and things everywhere, And it hasn't even been too hot. I love it. We live in the basement of this old couple named the Rowans. They are the greatest! They are so cute. They are maybe in their late 70's early 80's and are pretty fun. Brother Rowan goes with us sometimes to teach. He is great. So we have a ton of room in their basement with our own kitchen, fridge, all that good stuff. And...... we got a car!! Not only a car, a truck! A silver Colorado. It is awesome, and it's gonna be even better once it starts getting hotter. I get an hour each day to study Danish and I get to call the other Danish missionaries and this Danish lady in one of the wards to talk to them so I don't forget it. President Gelwix gave a blessing to all the danish missionaries that we wouldn't forget the language and that once we got to Denmark we would learn it even faster, so that was nice and made me feel a lot better. 

We had a baptism yesterday! It was awesome! It was a guy named Freddy, he was so excited to get baptized. I didn't really know him, because I'm new, but we got to meet with him a couple times throughout the week and he asked me to confirm him, so that'll be fun! We had an investigating family come to the baptism too! ( We had 6 investigator families at church, it was awesome) The husband of the family wants to get baptized pretty bad, but he has some word of wisdom issues that we are having some problems fixing. But after the baptism this guy ( Charlie) came running up to Freddy and shook his hand and was asking him how it felt and things, so hopefully that gives him some motivation to stop smoking and drinking. He will do it. I love getting to know all these families. It's so fun! I want them to get baptized so bad, It'll make them so happy! And it seems like they know that too, but they just can't quite get there. But we will do everything we can to help them out. I'm so excited to be out here and being a real missionary! I love every little part of it. Thanks for all the prayers for my visa! I really appreciate it. 

Jeg elsker jer!!


Friday, May 17, 2013

5.17.13 Extra news!

So we had a surprise last night when the phone rang and it was Conner!  Words can not say how awesome it was to hear his voice!  Sweet Hannah broke into tears!  He was not being disobedient though, he was calling to tell us that their visas did not come.  So he is being temporarily reassigned to the Fresno, CA mission.  Which is exciting for him because the mission president is the guy Forever Strong (a movie Conner LOVED) is about AND it also includes Modesto, which is where Paul's Dad's family is from.  A few o' our Ludlows in Modesto still.  If you haven't seen the movie, come over and we will all watch it tonight in Conner's honor!  Anyway, he will leave the MTC and his beloved companion, Elder Metcalf, on Wednesday.

I'm also including a letter from Elder Metcalf's Mom, who I've been talking to a little as we swap pictures.  Actually, she is the one sending them to me, I don't have any to share for her so I just send her son junk food.  Conner has never been into pictures.  Thought it would be great to get some insight since Conner is a man of few words....

Love you all and thanks for your love and support!  Please keep praying for his visa to come!  It could be 6 to 12 weeks!  


From Elder Metcalf's Mom:


So great to hear from you! Yes, I have lots of pics, I'll send them from my computer when I get home later tonight.

Max loves Elder Ludlow! He tells us that your son is the most fantastic missionary in the MTC and he lucked out! I think they're working hard & having a blast! Max has fun at whatever he does, he's the life of the party. 

I'm not sure on the visas but we've been praying they come so our missionaries can leave on Monday. I'm also praying for the group of Danish missionaries before them who are waiting in Tennessee for visas. 

I wondered where Max got the cool stationary?! He's used it to write little notes to our kids and me. You're so nice!

You may have heard, but our family has had a tough tragedy since Max left. Three weeks ago his uncle committed suicide. We immediately flew to Phoenix to try to console his wife & get his body moved home. Max was especially close to his uncle Matt because they were golf buddies. We got permission from the MTC president for Max's grandpa to go to Provo & tell him in person. It was shocking and sad for Max! Which is why we're especially grateful that Max was blessed with such a strong and kind MTC companion! Max says they'll be friends long after the mission. Thanks for raising such an outstanding son!  

With love,
Metcalf's Mom

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

5.7.13 Week 4

13 days left!!! crazy right? I can't believe I have already been here for a month. Time is really starting to go fast now. We will find out our travel plans on Thursday!!! Hopefully my visa comes... the people from the last group still haven't gotten theirs. But if we have to get reassigned that's ok! There's a reason for everything so whatever happens it'll be great.
This was a fun week. I'm not sure if it's because we have been at the MTC for a while now and our brains are starting to go to mush, but it seemed like every little thing was funny this week. For devotional on Sunday Chad Lewis (tight end for the Eagles) came and talked to us. He is a stud. I have never heard a talk like his before haha. He pretty much talked to us like it was right before a football game, and it was super funny. But it definitely got his point across! He gave us a pep talk for our missions, so it was really fun and it definitely worked.
I can't wait to get to Denmark! This week in TRC, which is where we teach volunteers that come to the MTC (in Dansk). They are usually members or RM's from Denmark, but this time Metcalf and I taught a Danish foreign exchange student who wasn't a member! It was cool! The lesson we had prepared was for a member, because that's what we thought we would have, so we kinda had to change it up on the spot. We didn't even know if we could get the point across in danish, but we just went for it. Turns out that we had met her before. She had come on a tour of the MTC and came up to talk to us because we were the Danish missionaries. Haha, we had her teach us some Danish slang, which she thought was hilarious. So we brought this up in our lesson to break the ice and it worked really well! We shared a quick little scripture on prayer and why it is important that we pray, and I think it went really well! It was fun to teach for reals, where we had to make sure that we were explaining things completely and bringing the spirit, because she wasn't a member and so far we had just taught members. But the spirit was there so strong and she responded great and was answering questions. So yeah! Pretty fun! Things like that just make me really excited to get out into the field.
Other than that it was a pretty routine week! We had an "english fast" on Saturday, and it was crazy how well we could actually communicate in danish! So things are going well! Well, Next time I email I will probably know if I'm going to Denmark soon or not!
Jeg elsker jer!