Monday, June 3, 2013

May 21 letter from Dad

Elder Neuhaus,

I hope you have had another good week.   It has been fun for us to get your 
letters.  It sounds like you are having a great experience.   

We are getting ready for the move back from Utah.   I think Emily is having the 
hardest time with it so far.   She has really enjoyed American heritage and has 
found some really good friends she doesn't want to leave.   As far as Nashville 
goes we have a contract on our little farm property and should have a new 
adventure ahead of us with that.   Looks like it will officially be ours July 1.   
Works out well because that will be our first day back in TN.

We heard this week that Remington Lohmeyer received his mission call this week 
to the bolivia Santa Cruz mission!   He goes to the Peru MTC in October.  Ill 
have to get you his address so you can write him a letter or two and help him 
know how to pack.   :) I'm sure he would love to hear about your experiences and 
get some tips about how to prepare.    

This weekend I'm taking brad, Gabe, josh, and Andrew to California to go 
fishing.   Ill give you an update next week and let you know if we catch 
anything.   Should be fun.  Wish you were able to go with us but I know you are 
where The Lord needs you in Peru. Keep working hard.   I was going to tell you 
to be sure to study the correct grammar and sentence structure.   Don't learn 
that from the people on the street.   You will be working with uneducated people 
and will develop bad habits if you do.   Make sure you learn correct Spanish so 
you can come back and test out of all the classes you need.   If you do you will 
realize you can speak better Spanish than the natives.   

I'm so excited to hear about your experiences.   Have a great week!   Enjoy your 
time in the MTC.   You are in our prayers.

Love ya,


Reply from Ryan

Hey Dad,
Well it's almost been a month away from home now. Seems like forever but also feels like no time has gone by at all either. The mission has been just what I have needed so far. Happy to be out here, I can already see myself growing up and maturing as a person.
I'm sure Emily will struggle, let her know that it's all going to be okay and that she has my prayers. I put all of your guys names' in the temple this morning. You guys are constantly in my thoughts. I hope Emily knows that the move is what is best for her at this time. Heavenly Father will help her with whatever she needs if she prays for help and guidance. Heavenly Father truly does answer prayers.
Last saturday I got to go on my first adventure. Proselyting. I went with an Elder named Elder Garcia. He is from Lima, Peru and just left for his mission this morning in La Paz, Bolivia. At first it was really hard because I was nervous to just approach someone with the little Spanish I knew. However, the Elder I was matched up perfectly for me. We were guided by the Spirit to so many different people. Sometimes we were called names because we were Mormon but it didn't phase me at all. At first I would only testify to someone of the lesson we were teaching or read a few scriptures but by the end of the day I taught an entire lesson to a lady and her daughter. Elder Garcia had me introduce us like he had every time we knocked on a door so I did and then he decided to turn the lesson over to me by saying that I had a message to share with them. At first I was taken off guard because I wasn't expecting it so I started off by saying "Yo no se mucho espaƱol, pero yo se que la iglesia de Jesucristo es verdadero..." and then I didn't stop talking. I listened to the needs of the two women and was guided by the Spirit to scriptures and topics I needed to discuss during the lesson I was teaching. By the end of the lesson I had committed them to come to church on sunday and read the Book of Mormon. Well the younger daughter, the older lady said she would come to church but wouldn't read the Book of Mormon because it was too big and she didn't like reading. So I just let her have a phamplet instead. It was amazing because she said that she had been a member of the Catholic church for 73 years. If someone really is looking for the truth I now know that they will accept it when they find it. That experience was a testament to me of the gift of tounges and that Heavenly Father prepares people for us and ourselves for certain points in our lives. 
Wow! I may have the opportunity to be Elder Lohmeyers trainer! That would be great! Get me his email or his parents and I will for sure write him. I can look back now and just see so many opportunites to prepare that I didn't take advantage of that I wish I did now.
I'm sure the past weekend has been a blast. Brad probably caught a huge fish and you guys have had aton of fun. I'm jealous. Did Gabe and Josh ever raid my closet? Those guys are good examples for Brad. He'll be around good kids while he's in Utah without the rest of you guys. I don't think you have anything to worry about with him living alone.
The Spanish is coming quickly to me. I understand about 95% of everything I hear and can respond about 70% of the time. Most of the kids in the CCM are saying that at this point they aren't learning anything new in spanish but I still feel like I am increasing. Any tips on how to become better at spanish so I will test out of the classes when I get back? I study vocab often, learn new words all the time. I also try to take advantage of every moment I have to talk to someone in my room, on the street, or just in the halls if they are Latino. They Spanish language feels natural to me in a way, I'm comfortable with it and people tell me I have picked up a good accent quick. My teacher says I should be completely fluent by Christmas. I hope that's true.
I've also heard that since the Santa Cruz, Bolivia mission is splitting into two parts it is now taking some of the Cochabomba mission away. What I've heard so far is that my mission will receive the southern part of the Cochabomba mission so now part of the Santa Cruz mission will have Argentina in it as well. That means the Santa Cruz Mission will have 3 countries in it. Brazil, Argentina, and Bolivia. That'd be cool if I got to see all three. But with the split to a North Santa Cruz Mission I'm not sure where I'll end up. Wherever I end up I will be excited to serve and meet all of the people. They are some of the most humble and loving people I have ever met. It's amazing to hear their stories and how they accepted the gospel. Most of the Latino missionaries are only 1 year members.
Last night all of my friends left for their missions. Elder Leavitt, Colton, Walker, Dority, and Hess are gone. I'll miss them alot. We all became really good friends during the time I was here with them, it's crazy to think I only have two weeks here left. Time has gone by quick. The mission will be short I have to take advantage of every second I have here. My testimony is growing each and every day. Joseph Smith and Jesus Christ gave their lives for this gospel, so I'm going to give two complete years of mine.
I love and Miss you guys alot.
Elder Neuhaus

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