Wednesday, January 29, 2014


Dear family and friends,

It SNOWED! In Texas! Well, kinda. I mean, I didn't actually see it happen and the amount of snow on the ground was so minute that it could have been some sort of crystaline dew formation but we're in Texas so this is very exciting! We have had some very cold days here this past week. Freezing cold. One day for morning exercise we went to play basketball and I slipped on a patch of black ice...but the cold here is different. Degrees-wise it doesn't get that low, but the air is so full of moisture that it feels like -- I'm not feeling creative enough to make a good comparison, but it feels very cold.

The work has been going well with the Young family (the widow and her daughter who we recently found). They came to church yesterday even in spite of a flat tire! Things have also been going well with Keith and Deidra. It has been fascinating getting to know Keith better and realizing that he spent most of his life trying to turn people away from religion. He told us that once, in his youth, he left a party to go throw stones at a catholic church building (stoned out of his mind, according to his own description). He also used to give mormons a really hard time--there was one mormon in particular, a co-worker of his, that he harrassed for years to the point of ostracization (is that a word?); he feels terrible about this now. It seems that it was really fatherhood that caused him to begin looking into religion again. Now we are just focusing on trying to help him build a relationship with Heavenly Father. Anyway its incredible to see this kind of metamorphosis. Keith is a wonderful man.

I feel as though the moment I get transferred from Liberty, we will probably have about twenty baptisms. No worries though. If that happens, President will most likely let me come back and see them.

That's all for this week. Love you all!


Sunday, January 26, 2014


Dear family and friends,

The big news of this week is that I accomplished yet another step in my visa application process! Yay! The Brazilian government has now upped the ante for all visa applications 2014--now all applicants must submit a criminal background check via the Federal Bureau of Investigation. So today before I had my interview with President Crawford in Baytown, we went to some sort of legal / government-y building in houston to get my fingerprints done. This background check takes 4-8 weeks for the FBI to process, and then it goes to the brazilian consulate for an infinite--pardon me, indefinite--period of time. And then I'll be well on my way to Brazil. Which means that I will almost certainly hit my six month mark here in Texas. (Oh btw, today is my 5-month birthday! Time REALLY flies out here.)

President Crawford said some really nice stuff to me today during our interview (one thing that he said was that he hopes my visa gets lost and that I will stay in Houston for the rest of my mission. haha.) But then he said that I will most likely be transferred this next transfer cycle. YIKES. Transfers are in two weeks, so all of you that were planning on sending me mail and packages (yes I know there are many of you) please plan accordingly.

Things are going well with our investigators. We found a new family to teach via media referral and they are the most receptive investigators we have ever taught. Sister Young is an older woman who just lost her husband. She lives with her daughter Emily and a baby girl named Addelyn (who I believe is Sister Young's niece). Lessons with them are always fun because one of us gets to babysit Addelyn. The hard part is that missionaries aren't allowed to pick up children, so it involves a lot of awkward shepharding. It's fun though.

Congratulations to Justin and Vivi!!! That's wonderful! I'm gonna be an uncle!

hope you all have a great week!



Tuesday, January 14, 2014

(Title Pending)

Dear Family,

I don't really know what to title this email. We have had ups and downs this week. Things are going pretty wonderfully with Valarie (the lady we found via last week's miracle story). PS she makes jewelry and sells it on Etsy so if anybody's interested in buying some I'll dig up her username. She would probably appreciate it. Anyway, Valarie is wonderfully literate and intelligent and seems to strive to follow God in her life. She has been doing a great job reading the Book of Mormon and we had a wonderful lesson with her in the chapel on Saturday after doing a church tour. Unfortunately, she didn't make it to church. She is somewhat reclusive and also suffers from insomnia, so either or both of those may have been a factor.

Things are still going well with Steven. I love him. Everything he says, he thinks about. When he gives prayers for example, there will sometimes be 10 to 15 second moments of silence--if you didn't know him, it would be funny, but really he is just very thoughtful about the things he says. Unfortunately Steven is also struggling to make it to church because of a work conflict. Hopefully he will be at church next week!

I tried to send Anna a happy birthday card...sorry anna! For Christmas someone in our ward gave us these little notes that fold in on themselves to become really tiny envelopes. But apparently the US postal service doesn't like them because the mini-happy birthday I sent to Anna wound up back in our mailbox a few days ago. So, happy birthday anna! and you too Sam! hope your birthdays were swell!

Other than that, things have been good here in Liberty. Hope y'all have a great week!



A Quick Story

Here is an excerpt from my email to president crawford this week. It sounds kinda smug the way its written but its a good story so here you go:

"Elder Kalilimoku and a member were in a lesson with an investigator family, so Elder Hendershot and I spent an hour tracting out the surrounding apartment complex. We had gotten some good results and were feeling pretty good about ourselves and our work by the time we reached the end of the hour. It was starting to get dark as we walked back to our car to meet Elder Kalilimoku and the member that was out with us. Although it was already six o'clock (our prearranged meeting time), Elder Kalilimoku was still in the lesson. We felt prompted, rather than going and sitting in the car, to knock just a few more doors. We knocked three with no success. Then we knocked the last door (in fact, probably the only door in the whole apartment complex that we had yet to knock on) and it opened. The lady who opened the door was very receptive to our message. After a few minutes of talking to us, she said she recognized us. She said she had seen us in traffic the other day. All the sudden we remember: This was the same lady that we had waved to and let into our lane on the street a few days ago. In fact, both of our windows had been down so we even said hi to her (on a busy street no less). At the time we thought we were just been kind (and goofy). Little did we know that we would tract into her a few days later and that she would be so receptive to the gospel. We returned the next day at the time we had appointed and had a wonderful restoration lesson with her. She is an avid reader, and was incredibly excited to "dig in" to the Book of Mormon to find out for herself if it was true. This is the first time I have ever taught an investigator like this. I am very glad that Elder Hendershot and I decided to follow the prompting to knock just a few more doors rather than sitting in the car and waiting."

love y'all!

Happy birthday Anna! And Sam! Let me know if you get my card.

com amor,



Whoa I forgot that I hadn't written home about Christmas! It seems like forever ago.

Well, my Christmas was fantastic! It turns out you don't need your family to have a great Christmas! haha just kidding, I missed you all a ton, and loved getting to talk to you over skype. But we are all brothers and sisters in God yes? So I spent Christmas with family, and it really was pretty great.

For Christmas eve we went to this really fancy house (the Jamisons) and ate beef tenderloin. When Sister Jamison served dessert, she dished out the plates one at a time and I noticed that everyone waited till the last person had gotten some dessert before they started eating. Everyone, that is, except for Elder Hendershot, who upon receiving his slice of cake promptly took a healthy bite. This KILLED me.

On Christmas morning we had a hearty morning exercise that consisted of removing the wrapping paper from our presents. Thanks for all the presents everybody! Then we went to the Waddells for most of the day. I got to open some more presents, cook, play guitar, play catch, and play boardgames. It was a great day. I played a lot of guitar. Like. my fingers blistered. And I got to talk to y'all, which was the best part of the whole day.

Then after Christmas was over we got right back to missionary work and I kinda forgot all about it until I started writing this email.

hope everyone had an amazing christmas!