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Thursday, December 12, 2013

Final thoughts...

We can't believe it, but we're going to pick up Tyler today. We just want to thank all of you for loving and supporting him during his mission and throughout his life. We're so proud of the young man that he is and how hard he has worked to help people find this gospel. It has been a joy to watch his testimony and his love for the people of Mexico grow. 

He will be speaking in Sacrament Meeting on December 29th at 2:50 pm (we have Sacrament Meeting last). 


Becky and Mark

Pictures: Dec. 9, 2013

Last Letter

I cannot believe it. I´m so excited to see you all on thursday!!!! You might have to dethaw me in the microwave before I can give you all a hug!  I have tried so hard to not think too much about it so I would be focused, (it´s not over till it´s over) but I kinda gave in this week and I know it´s time. I´m so pumped, haha I can´t even tell you guys, I just get a smile on my face thinking about it. 

We had a great last week! Rosa got baptized!!! I can´t express what a blessing it is to be able to baptized her the last week of my mission. She has been excited all week long, she never really had any big challenges or obstacles that came out of nowhere to knock her of course. The service was really neat because the Elders who are in the ward with us had 3 baptisms, so we did all of them together after church, and the majority of the members stayed to watch. But I have to tell you about what happended in Rosa´s baptism, haha. She´s obviously really old (73) so I felt like we might have some problems with the actual baptism. Older people tend to panic a little more when you go to dunk them, haha. So first of all the water was freezing cold, so when she got it I was worried that she was going to have a heart attack right there in the water. When she got in, I said the prayer, and when I said amen she didn´t plug her nose. So I told her to plug it and she did, but then when I baptized her I think she got kinda scared and she took her hand off her nose and took a big breath right as she was going underwater. I pulled her out and she was coughing and everything, she had taken in alot of water, and to make things worse her legs came out from under her and she started to slip. As I tried to catch her, my feet also started to slip out from under me and I almost fell, but luckily I got my footing and caught her, and just kinda helped her relax and start to take deep breaths and everything. Wow. Afterwards she asked us all "did that scare you guys??" haha I laughed and told her that I would think she would be the one to be scared, she just laughed and said "Oh no I´m fine! But you all looked really scared!" haha it was funny. One that I will always remember. 

I have alot of mixed feelings about finishing the mission. like 90% of me is excited, grateful, happy, but the other little bit is a little bit nervous and I know that I will miss alot of things about being a missionary, more than anything the amazing people here in Veracruz. It will be a change but I know that the next chapter is going to start and that there is a time and a place for everything. What a blessing and a sacred oportunity it has been to serve a mission. I know that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ live, and that they have a perfect plan for each one of us. I have no doubt that we belong to the true church, and that we have everything we need to be happy in this life and to obtain the exaltation in the next life. I love the scriptures, I know that the Book of Mormon is the most perfect and inspired book, and I am so very greatful for prayer. I know that Heavenly Father hears us and wants to bless us so much, all we need to do is obey his will and share the gospel with those who dont have it. I love this gospel so much and I will never be the same after everything I have seen and experienced in these two years. Thank you for all of your support. You guys have no idea how much your letters and prayers have strengthened me and helped lift me up when I have been down. I cant wait to see you all and thank you all in person for being the best family I could possibly have! Hasta el jueves familia!! Les amo muchísimo!!!

Mucho amor, 

Elder Eastmond

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

One more letter!!

He's almost home and we can hardly stand it. I am counting letters we have left because when I count days it goes too slow. Everyone should come home in December (although he's gonna freeze)!!



Casi, casi

Hola fam!

It´s getting so close! I can hardly believe it!!! It´s feels so weird to know that this is my last full week working in the field. I cant really explain how I feel, there are alot of emotions, but I cant describe how excited I am to see you all again! It´s going to be a really fun christmas this year!!

I´m kinda nervous for the weather, hahaha not gonna lie! It was really hot today and I was enjoying it so much, we went and played Volleyball with the two zones here and everyone had a really good time. Afterwards we went to the place that has the classic memelas that are so big and delicious. I feel like when I get home I´m going to just dry out like a little prune and then freeze over, haha it´s going to be a hard adjustment from the beautiful weather here. 

This week we got to baptized Andrea! I sent the picture in the other email, there were quite a few members that went and there was a sweet spirit in the baptismal service. Before Andrea left the room with Elder Conklin to be baptized, she just started crying because she was so happy. She has been going to church for like 4 months now but she finally made the decision to join the church, it has been a blessing to get to know her and a privlege to see her get baptized.   

We tried to work more with norma´s parents but they just aren´t quite ready to support Norma yet. They want her to get baptized but they aren´t doing much to help her. We invited them again to church and norma´s mom said that she would go, but she ended up working instead. We are going to try and get the members more involved so that the parents can return before she gets baptized.

The best thing that happened this week is that we put a baptismal date this week with an investigator named Rosa, shes 80 years old, her daughter and grandaughter are members and she has been going to church for a while but hasn´t wanted to join the church yet. But we had a great lesson with her the other day and we are getting her ready for  her baptism this sunday! She has been really fun to teach, she has felt really good in church and is determined to make a change in her life so that she can follow Christ. Pray for her so that she can overcome whatever challenge that might come her way!!

This week we are going to the temple and we have the christmas conference. We are excited and I´m glad I get to go before I leave!

Well, I´m out of time, but I love you all so much and cant wait to see you in two weeks! 

Mucho amor,

Elder Eastmond

"I will check really good..."

Hey familia! 

Sniff, sniff... what´s smells like turkey. Haha are you all excited for thanksgiving? We actually already celebrated it here. There is a senior couple serving here in the tuxtlas, The Holman´s and they were kind enough to prepare for the two zones here a huge thanskgiving dinner last thursday. We ate turkey, mashed potatoes, ham, pie, brownies, stuffing, (and they had to throw in some tortillas and refried beans, haha) and wow it was soooo good. I ate alot of mashed potatoes. We had a fun time and it was fun to have a classic dinner with all that stuff. We are greatful that hte holmans did all that for us. 

So we weren`t able to baptized Norma this week. Everything was going well, her parents were excited and she was learning alot, she passed her interview on saturday and her parents signed her cedula and were going to go to church. Then we went on sunday morning to make sure that they were getting ready for church and everything, and when we got there the dad said that he needed to talk to us. Long story short, he was putting alot of excuses about work and said that Norma didn`t feel ready (even though we asked her right there and she told us straight up that she was excited for the baptism. So we asked her dad if there was something wrong or if he had doubts about her getting baptized, but he said no. So they said they would be there at church but they never showed up, we went to the house afterwards and the parents were working in their store downtown and norma was there with her cousin. We asked her if her dad had said anything the night before about her baptism and she said that he said she wasnt ready yet and that she didnt know enough about God to be baptized...Its ok though we took it as a sign that we need to work even closer with the parents so that they can be ready to support Norma and go to church with her when she finally does get baptized.

This week we have a baptism of an hermana named Andrea who has been going to church for like 4 months but hadnt wanted to get baptized yet. This saturday is her birthday and she wants to be baptized on her birthday, haha so we are really excited about that. She is basically a member already just without the baptism part, haha shes really neat. 

Elder Egbert and Elder Lopez came to the Tuxtlas to do divisions with us on friday. We learned a ton from them and elder Lopez gave us some really good ideas to help the zone and we are going to apply them all this weeks and she how everything works out. 

Thanks for your prayers! We found a couple of new investigators who came to church, they are really good and we are going to visit them all this week. One of them is a lady named Gabriela who was listening to the missionaries before and almost got baptized, she couldn´t but we are going to help her join the church, her son is already a less active member and he came yesterday!

So really quick, I will get home December 12th. It sounds so weird saying that... Haha I go from veracruz to houston, from houston to denver, and from denver to salt lake, I´m scheduled to get there at like 5:00 in the afternoon, I will check really good and let you guys know more details next week! I´m going to miss the mission a lot...but at the same time I can´t even say how excited I am to see all of you! I love you so much and hope you have a happy thanksgiving!

Mucho amor, 

Elder Eastmond

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Tyler comes home in 3 weeks, on Dec. 12th. We can't believe it. Thanks for all the support you have given him. Love to all!!


Pictures: Nov 18, 2013

This is what happens when it rains for an entire week
 and your feet don't dry out.

Weird fungus

Que dice familia?

It finally stopped raining! I read dads email and it said that grandma had been joking around about me getting some weird fungus on my feet?? well, it happened. Hahaha I attached a picture of the bottom of my foot that I took on thursday night. Turns out that having my feet so wet gave me athlete´s foot, and let me tell you, that has not been fun at all! I always just thought that athlete´s foot itched but it hurts soooo bad! You should have all seen how I was walking on thusday, like a total cripple it was the weirdest thing. We had to get a doctor to come over to the house on friday morning to look at my feet, and he put some weird liquid stuff on them that burned really bad and then gave me some powder stuff to rub on in the morning and at night. It stopped raining ever since so the weird fungus stuff is almost gone, but it was not a fun experience, haha. 

We have a baptism planned for this week! We found a little 9 year old girl named Norma, her parents are members and they havent gone for a couple of years but we are helping them and they are excited to start going every week, One of them came last week and we are giong to get the members really involved so they have more support. We had alot of less active members in church again and the family home evenings that we are doing with the ward have been good so far, we have two more planned for this week with some really good families. I got to talk in church about the importance of the recent converts, it turned out good and I was able to learn alot of some of the profecies about the growth and progress in the church being completed. There is a verse in D&C 89?... pretty sure its that section, its the Lord talking and he says that he will speed up the work in his time, and when I read it I realized that I have been a first hand witness of that here on the misison, every sinced they announced the reduced ages for the young men and women to go on missions! Its so cool to be apart of this!

Today for p day we went to a sweet waterfall hidden away in the middle of the jungle! We hiked so far into the jungle, I was worried that a boa constrictor was gonna come out of nowhere and eat us all. Seriously, it was like a movie, haha it was really neat and the water fall was gorgeous, I attached a couple of pictures so you can just see how pretty everything was. The pictures dont do the tuxtlas justice but it will have to do.

We have struggled a little bit to find new investigators, if you could pray for us to find new people, I know that we will! I´m grateful that you always pray for us and know that the Lord blesses us alot through you guys. I cant believe that I only have 3 weeks left, it seems unreal. I´m really going to miss the people here, every once in a while something happens to me or I talk to someone or eat something and realize that I only have 3 weeks left to enjoy it and enjoy what it is to be a full time misionary. It will be very hard to end, but at the same time I have absolutely no regrets, I know that I have given everything I have, I haven´t been perfect but I have tried to give my best effort and I am so grateful for the changes that I have been able to see in so many people during my time here!

I love you all so much, I`m excited to hear devin play the sax when I`m back, its sounds like hes just tearing it up!!

Mucho amor,

Elder Eastmond

Monday, November 4, 2013

Tuxtlas Woooooo!!!!!!!

hola familia!! sorry that nothing is going to be capitalized in this letter, the shift key gets stuck and it looks like im yelling!! so can i just tell you all how excited i am to be back in the tuxtlas. i absoluetly love it here and i love being a zone leader again. I feel like i know how to be a better zone leader after working in the offices and its really been a blast. the zone is really small, there are seven companionships in total and there are three district leaders that we verify with every night. the zone covers alot of area so when we do divisions we have to travel alot. my companion is elder conklin, he has 17 months in the misison and this is his second transfer as a zone leader. he is from sandy utah and is as good as they get. hes really excited and loves to learn and improve in every moment, hes a really humble guy and like me is a perfeccionist so we get along good, haha we are pushing ourselves alot here to do things the right way and to be 100% obedient and diligent. I have absolutey loved all the extra time that we have to work because im not in the offices anymore, haha we get to work in the mornings and im glad for the extra time to just give it my all these last couple of weeks.
So the last week in nuevas esperanzas was really fun. we ended up baptizing Irene! i dont have my memory card with with right now but i will send the picture to you next week. there were quite a few trials that she had going into the week but we fasted and the lord was able to touch her heart so she could have the faith the join the chruch. Her husband is still working on some stuff but he should be able to get baptized in these coming weeks and elder egbert tells me that irene is really pushing him to progress and to keep all of his comittments. the baptismal service was awesome because every companionship in the zone had a baptism, and it was stake conference so we all went to the stake center and afterwards had a huge baptismal service together, it was great!! the spirit was very strong and it was touching to see so many people at one time be able to join the church.
i absolutely loved the picture of jayden and parker!!!! oh my goodness i almost, just almost cried when i saw it! im so happy for both of them, what a great experience. I am grateful parker that this experience could help solidify the decision to serve a mission.
im sorry that i couldnt write that much, we write president a little more now because we arent with him all the time, i will try to write more next week! just know that i couldnt be happier and we couldnt be working harder her. we are going to start up some family home evening and movie nights this week to get the members involved and we already found some really great people who went to church!!
mucho amor,
Elder Eastmond

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Pictures: October 26, 2013

"Around Veracruz in 4 days"

Hola familia!

I have sooooo much to tell you guys, seeing as I didnt really say much last week! So put your seatbelts on, this is gonna be a wild ride! 

So the zone conferences went really really well last week! We traveled all over the state to go see all of the missionaries. All of the zone conferences we did with at least two zones present, we passed videos of the baptismal pictures, the new missionaries, and then videos and pictures of the missionaries who go home soon. It was neat to be able to share our testimonies four times, but I was happy because I didn´t at all feel like it was time to go home yet, which makes me know that I still have a lot of work to do this last transfer. It was a neat experience travelling all over with President Treviño. How I have grown to love him in these past couple of months. We had a lot of conversations with hijm that taught me alot and helped my testimony to be strengthened even more. We had the chance to stay in a couple of hotels in the week...that was really really weird as a missionary, haha but we really enjoyed the experience, "around veracruz in 4 days" haha. 

I talked about how to obtain and follow the spirit in each of the conferences. I did an activity where I asked someone to build a tower out of plastic cups while the rest of us read a couple of scriptures, each cup represented something that we did to be obdedient or diligent in order to obtain the spirit, and on some of the cups I wrote some mission rules. Once the Elder finished the tower, I asked them how it was to build it, and they always said that It was hard and that it took alot of work and diligence. Then I took just one cup out from the bottom of the tower and it all fell over. I explained that if we decide to be lazy or decide to not obey just one little rule, we lose the spirit and we have to work 3 times as hard to earn it again. It turned out pretty good, I recieved a lot of good inspiration and direction from the spirit to be able to put the message together. I hope that the missionaries learned something from the spirit that can help them. The messages of president and Elder Egbert were soooo good and I´m grateful to have had the chance to participate in the conference with them.

So the Lord blessed us abundantely this week with some amazing invetigators. We only worked in the area one day last week so we were grateful for the blessings and the guidance that we recieved to be lead to thos who are seeking the gospel. Irene is going to be baptized on sunday after stake conference. She has been progressing so well in this last month and everything was going perfectly. But we hit a road block this week because her husband Bernardo has had a couple of challenges, so we had to postpone his baptism date for a couple of weeks. Irene is 100 ready and prepared to take this step, but she got a little sad about her husband and started thinking that it wasnt the right time and that she needed to wait to join the church so that she could get baptized the same day as her husband. But we knew that she was going to be able to help him 100 times more by being baptized because she would have the holy ghost and she would have a stronger testimony of the church. As Lehi partook of the fruit of the tree of life and afterwards shared it with her family, we felt strongly impressed to help her be baptized this sunday. The lord knows she is ready and wants her to take the step. So we fasted and prayed and had an amazing lesson with her and she made the decision to join the church this sunday! Im so excited for her and it was a miracle how the spirit touched her heart. Pray for her please that she can be strong and have the faith to follow through with her decision. 

Well, its oficial! I´m returing to the Tuxtlas to be a zone leader!! I can´t even describe how excited I am!! Its going to be a great transfer and I´m really excited for the change. The zone isn´t that big so it will be a fun differance to be able to work closer with a small group of missionaries!

I was close to tears as I read dad´s experience that he had while he was in New York. Thanks dad for sharing me all of that, I´m so glad that Heavenly Father is watching out for you and that he answers our prayers in every moment. My testimony was sure strenghened after hearing that!

We played tennis in the morning today and we are going to carve pumpkins right now with everyone in the offices! Its been an excellent week and I cant wait to tell you guys how next week is in the tuxlas!! I love you all so much!

Mucho amor, 

Elder Eastmond 

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Great conference

Hola Familia!

We just got done watching the first two sessions of general conference. We watched the conference in English in the offices, all of our investigators are planning on coming to the conference tomorrow, pray for them so they can make it, please.  I really really enjoyed the talks, they answered alot of questions that I had written down before the conference. It´s so neat how the Lord can speak to us through his servants.There were a couple of good messages about the importance of always reading the scriptures. During these two years I have really seen the importance of the scriptures in my life and in the life of the members, converts, and investigators. Its so neat how the simple act of studying the scriptures can bring us such joy and protection in our lives. What a blessing it is to have a living prophet and apostles to help and guide us.   

Thanks for sending the letter from Pete and JoElla! I loved that. Tell them that the Tuxtlas wont be a stake until like January or February, but they meet all of the requirements now, they are just waiting to see that they can maintain their full tithe payers, church attendance, etc. Also tell them that there is a chance that I can end my mission there!! President already told me that I am going to be a zone leader my last change and one of the zone leaders in the Tuxtlas is going to be finishing his mission this change, so I´m going to beg President to send me to the Tuxtlas my last change, it would be so cool!

So yesterday we had a crazy wedding experience! We have an investigator named Lady and we have been getting all of her papers together so her and her boyfriend can get married. So we got all of the documents together and went to this little town called Jamapa that´s like an hour away from Veracruz. They have a place there were you  can get married for a lot cheaper and faster than the one here in Veracruz, so we made an appointment on Friday morning. Well we were trying to find a ride to Jamapa like all week because it was going to be a little complicated in a bus, so on thursday we finally found an hermana who was willing to take the family to Jamapa. But turns out that thursday night at like 10:00 at night she calls us and told us that she had gotten a flat tire and wasn´t going to be able to take us. So we started thinking about all our options and decided we should call President Treviño. The only problem is that he was going to have to drop a missionary who was going home off at the air-port at like 10:30, and the appointment for the wedding was at 11:00. But we called anyways and he said that he would love to help us, we just decided to send the family to the offices at like 9:30, they all went with president to the airport and then he booked it over to Jamapa. We had to go earlier to drop off all of the paper work so we were very grateful for his help. I love President and his family so much. They do so much for the missionaries and hardly ever have time to relax or take a break. The wedding turned out really good and we are planning on having the baptism in between sessions tommorrow, should be good.

I felt really weird sending all of the classes I want to take to dad...I get soooo nervous thinking about school and everything. I feel like I don´t remember anything from high school (except for spanish :P haha) but I´m excited at the same time to go to BYU. Thats been a dream of mine since I was little. (Is it true that BYU lost to Utah??? Thats what I heard over here)  

Dad, you will have to send me a ton of pictures of you in New York! That sounds like so much fun. Be safe and have a great time over there!

The family of 5 didn´t make it to church last week, we were disappointed. They sent us a text the last minute and said that they were going to go visit some family members. So we visited them and had a really good lesson, really spiritual, and we talked about the conference and how they were going to be able to receive lots of answers to their prayers in the conference. We committed them to go and they seemed really excited so we will do everything we can so they can attend. 

Well, my times up, but I love you all so much! Thanks for being the best family in the whole world! 

Mucho amor,

Elder Eastmond 

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Pre mission pix for Zone Conference slide show

So, they are having zone conferences next month and it will be the last one that Tyler and his 'generation' will attend. They are going to make a video of the old missionaries who are going home soon and Tyler needed to put in some before (mission) and after pictures. So, I decided to include the ones I sent to him in the blog. Enjoy!! There are some real doozies here.

Pictures: Sept 28, 2013


Que hubo fam!!

We had a fantastic week!! First off, I want to thank you all for the notes and candy that you sent in my package, everything got here safe and sound! Thank you all so much. The comics were a nice touch, everyone here in the offices loved them all, haha. 

We got to meet the whole ward on sunday and we are just loving the members here. They are all so willing to help us out and they have been a huge support to help us feel comfortable and to give us lots of stuff to do and lots of people to visit. Last week we found a family of 5 and they all came to church with us on sunday!! They are super cool and two of them have to go out of town this weekend but the other three told us that they are going to church again tomorrow. They all felt really welcome in church and we are really hoping they will continue to keep their commitments so that they can join the church in a couple of weeks. We are also teaching a lady right now named...well...Lady! haha spelt Leidi. But she is part of a family where everyone are members and we are working on getting her married right now with her boyfriend. We are just missing a couple of papers that they are getting filled out right now and the wedding should be ready for next friday

We were getting lost alot the first couple of days but now we know the area better so we are getting our way around easier. A couple of days ago an hermana named Lolita came along with us for an hour and showed us where all the members, inactive members, and old investigators in her neighborhood live so that helped us out a ton. On tuesday we have another appointment with Lolita´s husband, he´s going to do a couple visits with us so we´re just as excited as can be! 

We were also able to have a baptismal service for a young man named Roman. (see the pictures below) He was an investigador that the other elders were teaching and he is awesome. I don´t know if I have ever seen someone so ready to be baptized. He is living with his aunt and uncle right now (they are members) because he is studying, so they have really helped him out in this process. The baptismal service was interesting because we ran out of water in the chapel in our area, so we called the elders in a ward thats pretty close to ours and asked them if they could start filling up the font in their chapel. Roman´s uncle baptized him and it was funny because as you can all see in the picture, Roman is HUGE! So his uncle was really scared that he wouldn´t be able to do it, so we had Roman sit down in the font and his uncle kneeled down, and to baptized him Roman basically just had to lay down. It worked out perfect and Roman said a beautiful prayer to end the baptismal service. 

Also, President Treviño had a meeting with an area 70 last week, Elder Valenzuela, and we found out that it´s not allowed to have 4 asistants in a mission :( We had no idea but that´s the rule. So we had to take out the traveling asistants. Elder Lopez and Elder Bahr went as zone leaders and we ended up spliting the biggest zone in the mission, "Los Tuxtlas." you guys will have to comment that to Pete and his wife! We now have "los tuxtlas norte", and "los tuxtlas sur" so we are really excited about that and it will be alot easier for the zone leaders to handle everything down there. 

We also had a leadership training meeting yesterday from 10 in the morning to 6 in the afternoon, it turned out pretty good. Its always such a blessing to be able to participate in the conferences. The mission has been struggling a little to baptize right now because of the change of rules where investigators have to go 5 times to church. Its an adjustment and the key is just always finding new people to teach. But we are all liking the change, its for the better and we have implemented alot of new tecniques and ideas to help us have more success as a mission. Your prayers for the mission will be greatly appreciated. Dad asked about our new area, its about the same distance from the offices as our last area, the house that we have is really nice and like I already said we love the members!! The area is probably one of the smallest that I´ve had, its still good sized but I have always had really huge areas so its kind of a nice change. As for the hurricane that hit, we just got a lot of rain and wind but just at night... it really hasnt affected us that much. 

Well I love you all so much, thanks for all of the emails! Good to hear that everyone is doing good. Thanks for the "before" pictures mom, i showed everyone in the offices the ones in Disney land and they were all freaking out, haha. 

Mucho amor

Elder Eastmond

Monday, September 23, 2013

Pix Sept 21, 2013

Bite! Bite! Bite!

Hola familia!

Well, we are exausted! This week was by far the craziest week of the mission. We got 19 new missionaries on monday and it has been a madhouse here in the offices. We went for the Mexican elders in the afternoon on monday, and the americans got here at like 11:30 at night, so we finally got to bed at like 1:30 after getting back and getting them all fed and everything. Then on tuesday we did all of the training meetings with them and organized some divisions with the zone and district leaders to take them to work for the day (president couldn´t be here on tuesday so instead of presenting the new missionaris with their trainers that day we did it on wednesday) Wedness the 19 trainers came to the chapel in front of the offices and we introduced them to their companions, had some more meetings, ate lunch, and sent them off to their areas. Then on thursday morning we sent 3 missionaries off to their houses, they finished their missions and two of them were Elder Herron and Elder Mata, two of my old companions so it was sad to send them home but they had amazing missions and I was greatful for the chance to have learned so much from them. 

The craziest thing that happened this week is that President changed us to a new area! Elder Egbert and I are still together but we left the Laguna and we are now in an area called Nuevas Esperanzas. They dont move the area of the asistants very often but every once in awhile it happens after they have been in the area for a long time. So we got to the area in "white wash" which means they took both of the missionaries who were there out of the area and we just got there without knowing the streets or the members, haha. I have actually always wanted to arrive in a white wash because you get there without hearing any pre-judgements about the members, the area, the investigators, and you can just get right into it. The members that we have met so far are really really friendly and we really like the area. We actually have a baptismal service this sunday because the elders here before us were working really good in the area and they had a lot of good people they were teaching. So ya we have gotten lost a lot but its been an adventure, haha. We also found a family of 5 our first day that looks absolutely golden! We are going to teach them for the second time today so we hope that all goes well!

I had a fun day on my birthday, in the offices we always buy cake when someone has a birthday but all the Elders here bought a cheescake! Yum! It was really funny though because as you can see from the picture, I took a bite out of the cake with not only my mouth but with my eyes and my nose too! Here in mexico they have a tradicion that before cutting the cake, everyone starts chanting "mor-di-das!! mor-di-das!! (its like, bite! bite! bite!!) the person whose birthday it is has to try and take a bit out of the cake with out someone smashing their head into it. One look at the picture and you will all realize that I failed...haha its a fun tradition, and you can all bet that I will play every time someone in the family has a birthday. :) I was blowing my nose afterwards and chocolate was still coming out for like 5 stuff. 

Thanks for all the emails!! I love you guys so much and I feel so blessed to have the greatest family in the whole world! I´m so happy to be a missionary, I feel like my eyes have been opened alot in these two years and I understand at least a little more the plan of salvacion and the atonement of Jesus Christ. We are so blessed to just have all the knowledge and doctrine that we need to be saved layed out on the table in front of us so we know exactly what we need to do to return and live with Heavenly Father. I love this gospel and I love the joy I feel sharing it with other people! Love you guys and have a great week!! thanks for all the birthday wishes!

Mucho amor,

Elder Eastmond

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Pictures Sept. 14, 2013

Dia de Independencia y cambios (Independence Day and changes)

hola familia!

Feliz día de independencia mañana! Haha the 15 of September is like the 4th of July for everybody here in Mexico. We bought some doughnuts with mexican style frosting to celebrate. Elder Tirado, the materials secretary, also has his birthday today so we bought a cake, put some balloons up, and later played a couple rounds of "spoons," haha it was really fun. 

It has been raining really hard this whole week. Alot of the houses and churches have been flooding but fortunately it has rained alot early in the morning and at night so we really haven´t gotten too wet. The only day that we got really soaked was on sunday, we started to pass by for investigators and as soon as it was 9:00 it started pouring cats and dogs, so Elder Mata and I had already passed by for a couple people who weren´t home and got caught out in the rain pretty far from the church. By the time we got there we were 100% soaked and then they had the air condicioner on the whole time in church so we got pretty cold. Quite the adventure. I was surprised to hear that its raining really hard in Utah too! Hardly ever rains that hard over there...Thats neat that we beat Texas so bad, I hope even more that we can destroy the Utes next week!! 

We have had a hard time in our area lately. We are getting lots of references from the members right now but the people who we visit don´t want anything, or we teach them one time and they seem really good, and then we can never find them again so we cant teach them or follow up on everything. It has been like that basically all last change but we are keeping our heads up and we just keep trying to work harder and harder every week. Elder Egberts a really good companion and we get along so good that we arent getting down or anything but it has been kinda frustrating. But I feel like soon we will find a bunch of people who have been being prepared in these last couple of weeks. It makes me really sad when the people that we teach make the decision to stay with all of their old beliefs and deny the oportunity to understand God´s plan for them, but at the same time it makes me grateful for the gospel in my own life and that I know where I´m going and what I´m doing here on the earth. The other day we got a reference and went to contact him. He let us in and we just starting talking to him to get to know him a little and see what his needs were. I felt soooo sad after getting to know him. We talked a little bit about repentance, and we asked him why it would be necesary for him to repent from the bad things that he has done. He responded that he didn´t see the importance so I asked him if he had ever felt guilty or sad after doing something bad. He sat there thinking for a little bit and said "no, i just feel normal when I do bad stuff..." So we talked a little more but he just didn´t want to understand the need to progress and improve in his life. He had no goals or plans in his life and when we tried to help him understand his purpose here and what he could acheive if he gave a little more he just put a bunch of excuses and at the end we couldn´t even get him to pray because he said that he doesn´t like to pray and that Heavenly Father knew what he was grateful for and what he needed. Auugghh it was really frustrating, haha. We wanted to help him so bad but he just wanted to keep living like he had always lived. I´m so grateful for the holy ghost in our lives that helps us feel sad when we do something wrong so that we can recognize it and fix it to always keep improving. 

We had a "noche mexicana" last night in the ward. There were a good amount of investigators there that we contacted so hopefully we can help them come to church tommorrow and start learning about the gospel. It was a fun activity, we did like an open house type thing and gave a little tour of the church and then we had a talent show. Lots of the members danced, sang, and we as missionaries did a funny skit, everyone really had a good time. 

We also did changes on thursday with Presidente, I always enjoy the chance to be in the transfers with him and watch the spirit guide and inspire him. We are going to be getting 19 new missionaries on monday!! 19!! There are going to be a ton of wards with two companionships. The new rule of the 5 weeks thing has affected the mission alot right now, but it should only be like this for a few more weeks and then the investigators who the missionaries have been finding in these past couple of weeks should be getting baptized. It will be alot different because there will be alot of people that we find who we wont be able to see get baptized but it doesnt really matter, as long as they actually join the church! 

Well I´m out of time, but i hope that everyone has a good week! I hope that everything went well with Parker´s eagle project!! Congratulations for completing your Eagle scout bud, thats awesome! I also got the list that dad sent me and wow, I get really nervous looking and all the classes and thinking about college and the real world... Good thing I still have three months left, haha! 

Mucho amor, 

Elder Eastmond 

Monday, September 9, 2013

Sorry I'm so late posting Tyler's letters the last 2 weeks. I'll try to do better this week. Thanks for all the support you give Tyler.

Robados (Robbed)

Hey family! 

Hows the week been? Is it starting to get a little bit colder yet in Utah? I swear its gotten even hotter here in Veracruz, but it is starting to rain a lot in the morning and at night. 

We had a really good week, we have been working really good with the members and we are inviting them all to come with us when they give us a reference to introduce us and everything. We are really excited because we found some families to teach! The first one is a family where the mom is super super catholic but she has three kids and she wants us to teach them. The other one is a single mom and her three kids that live exactly behind the church. We hope that they will be able to come to church with us tommorrow. The second family is really receptive and they are catholics but dont really ever go to church. The kids are really smart and love to participate in the lessons and so we bet that they are going to love primary. 

Hna. Amparo and Eli have callings now! Eli is a sunbeams teacher and Amparo is the relief society secretary. We ate with her this week and she says that because she is so new in the church she really has no idea whats going on, haha but she has a great attitude and says that she will get the hang of it, and we are going to help her in what we can. 

We are going to do the changes this thursday with president! Its always really fun to do changes, I`m almost positive I will be here one more change and then who knows what will happen the very last one, but we will just have to see on thursday!

 I heard that dad will be going to new york in a couple of weeks! So jealous, I have always wanted to visit!

So we got robbed for the first time yesterday... I thought I was gonna finish without that happening but nope. Turns out that we were walking in a darker street last night and there wasnt any people. we turned a corner and three drunk guys that were sitting on the curb stood up, two of them ran in front of us, and the other one stood behind. They were pretty drunk and I bet we could have gottne away if we had just ran or something, but who knows if they had knives or something like that. So they basically just started askin for our watches and money, one of them took my watch but then looked at it and didnt want it and gave it back, and i just kept telling him that i didnt have any money, they didnt end up taking anything from me. My companion wasnt so lucky, the drunkest one out of all of them put his keys inbetween his knuckles and put them to Elder Egberts stomach and took his CTR ring (how ironic is that, haha) and like 700 pesos, they basically just wanted quick cash to go buy more beer, im sure. So nothing bad really happened we were lucky and they didnt even end up taking all that much from us. No worries!

Well, im out of time! I hope you have enjoyed your week, I`m so grateful for the wonderful family and friends that I have! 

Mucho amor, 

Elder Eastmond

Pictures: Aug 24th, 2013

5 Domingos (5 Sundays)

Que dice familia!!

How is everything going in good ol Lehi? From the Emails it sounds like everybody is doing good and enjoying the start of school, haha. Good to hear that Parker and Devin are really busy with classes and that mom is perhaps more busy as taxi driver, haha. 

Well this Sunday after church we had a very special baptismal service. Little Sindy got baptized and tommorrow she´s gonna get confirmed. We´re really glad because her family came to church with her and saw her baptism so we hope that the experience can have a good influence on them. Sindy was really excited and is going to continue to learn lots of great things in the primary. We´re grateful because her grandma is an amazing example to her and is going to help her be in church every single sunday. The only sad thing that happened on sunday was that Guadalupe didn´t go to church. It´s been kinda frustrating because she progresses so good in the week but then sunday rolls around and there is always something that stops her from coming. But we´re hoping and praying that she will be able to attend tommorrow. The good thing is that we got a ton of great references this week, we are going to contact a bunch of them today and a couple of them are families...fingers crossed that they are all prepared to accept the gospel!

Speaking of church attendence, we have a new requirement in the mission! It´s a huge change and its going to affect alot of phases of the work for the better. The area presidency announced that the investigators who want to get baptized have to attend church at least 5 times before their baptism, when before they only had to assist two times. We found out on friday night, President called us and let us know and it surprised us a little bit, haha. So president told us that we were going to announce it to all of the zone leaders in the zone leaders council that we had on tuesday, so we got right to work and adjusted and changed everthing that we had to in our manuals that we are going to pass out ot all the missionaries. (So that everything was now based off of the new rule.) We had an amazing zone leaders council and got a bunch of great ideas together to be able to have success with this new rule. I´m really excited for it because it´s going to give us so much more time to teach the investigators and to help them meet more members during their conversion process. We analized the situation with President Treviño on monday and just came up with a ton of advantages to this new rule and we all are sure that its inspired and it will be a huge blessing for the mission and for the investigators.

Dad, as far as the birthday package goes, I could really use a couple of pairs of new socks, but other than that I´m happy with whatever you guys send!! 

I am out of time but I love you guys and thank you so much for your emails!! Have a fantastic labor day!! 

Mucho amor, 

Elder Eastmond

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Pictures: August 24, 2013

Presidente Cumple 50 Anos

Hola familia!!

So we had a pretty good week! We are still looking for the family that is hidden here in the area, haha but we are hoping to find them soon. Thanks for all of your prayers on our behalf. We were really busy this week and this next week will be the same! Lots of stuff to get done and lots to do in the area.

On Thursday, we went to the chapel in front of the temple and did a little celebration for President Treviño´s birthday. He turned 50 so the Hernana Treviño wanted to do something fun with all of the missionaries. So in the morning we got together all of the zones that are far away, like the Tuxtlas and Orizaba, and in the afternoon all the zones who are here in the city came. We started off by listening to President´s family talk a little about his life, what has happened in these last 50 years. Then we got to talk a little bit and say a couple of things about President, Elder Egbert and I asked all of the misionaries questions about President and then read their answers, it was fun. Then we did a couple of fun little games and ate some cake, and sent all the missionaries back to their areas. It was really fun and we are all really grateful for the Mission President that we have. He is so inspired and we can all feel the Savior´s love through him and his family. 

We didn´t end up baptizing Sindi last sunday, but her baptism is programed for tommorrow. She is really really excited, as is her family. We have tried to work with her parents alot, they are really nice and are going to go to church and to the baptism tommorrow, but they aren´t married and when we asked them if they had plans they told us they don´t want to be married. We will see what time will do but it would be really special if they could follow Sindi´s example and join the church. 

This week we have actually been able to vist Guadalupe a ton! And you guys wouldn´t believe how much she has progressed!!! We had a lesson with her last night and it was really really spiritual. Guadalupe told us some of the stuff that she had felt and she is starting to feel like Heavenly Father is answering her prayers. She has started to realy get into the lessons and has been reading and praying. We committed her to come to church this sunday and she said that she would be going with her family. Please pray for her so that everything turns out good sunday morning so that she can go to church. But we have seen a change in her, she is alot more sensitive to the spirit and looks a lot happier than when we first started to teach her. I love that family so much, it was such a blessing to be able to find them. This morning hermana Amparo (guadalupe and Eli´s mom)  invited us over to eat pancakes haha, so we went over and they had made pancakes with whipped cream and peaches, and chocolate milk. It was really fun and afterwards they gave us a ride over to the sports complex and let us borrow some tennis raquets that Eli had got from her friend. So Elder Egbert and I played tennis for a couple of hours! It was so much fun, let me tell you, we spent about an hour just shaking the rust off, haha. We played pretty bad but we sure enjoyed it. 

We have been visiting lots of active members and teaching them the restoration in like 10 minutes. We ask them to put themselves in the shoes of a friend or neighbor that they have and then we invite them to take us to visit their references. We have some appointments today to go visit references with members so we are hoping to get some good results! We are loving the work like always, often we wish for more time to be able to work in our area, haha but we know that the sacrifice is an amazing opoturnity to be able to serve the missionaries, to help the mission get better, and to take at least a tiny bit of the load off of President. 

I love you guys so much and enjoy so much your emails!! Work hard in your jobs, school, and your callings! (and your mission, for grandma :)

Mucho amor,

Elder Eastmond

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Happy being a missionary

Hola familia!!

We had a great week! I cant wait to tell you about it! First of all, I just have to say that Devin is sooooo tall!!! no way! Dad sent me the picture of him with greg and the gang on the beach and at first glimpse I said "hey, I thought Parker wasnt going to go!" and then I realized that it was Devin, haha. Crazy stuff. 

To answer some questions, Elder Egbert is from Boise, Idaho. He´s a die hard Boise St. Broncos fan and went to BYU for a semester to study construction managment. He doesn´t have any relation to Dad´s friend that lives in orem though, haha I asked and showed him the picture and he said that he doesn´t know him. He likes to play tennis which is awesome, we were actually going to go play today but when we got to the rec center they told us that they didn´t have raquets that we could rent and we didnt have enough to go buy some. It was pretty heartbreaking, haha we could see the courts from where we were out but...not much you can do without a raquet. But we are going to go next P-day! But ya he´s an awesome companion and I´ve already learned so much from him!

We have hardly been able to teach Guadalupe this week. She was excited last week but then she got sick and couldn´t go to church, and she talked to some friends and stuff about the church and they told her a bunch of lies and it kinda got her unexcited about learning more. We haven´t been able to teach her since then because she has been out of town and sick and everything but her mom told us that she would bring her to church on sunday so we are hoping and praying really hard that everything will work out. It bugs me so bad when people say stuff about the church when they really have no idea. We have had a lot of challenges finding new people to teach this week. We feel like we did just about everthing but we havent found anyone. We have gone with members to get references, gone to visit inactive families, knocked doors, and contacted... zero zilch nada, haha. But its all good sometimes there are just weeks like that where for some reason there is nothing and then the next week new investigators just start coming out of nowhere. We would greatly apreciate some prayers so that we can find a new family to teach, thats something that were are really looking for right now, is a complete family that can accept the gospel. 

We might have a baptism tomorrow! There is a really neat member who gave us the reference of Milagros and her sister consuelo, and she has been bringing her grandaughter to church for the last month so we started teaching her and she loves church and wants to get baptized, Her name is Cindi.  We are going to talk to her parents today to get permission. We are actually teaching her dad, but hes really hard to find because he works alot. But her grandma takes her everyweek so she has a lot of support so we are excited for her. 

So this week in the offices was really neat! We had a bunch of ideas to help the mission and the missionaries work a little bit more effectively and efficiently, so we presented our ideas to President Treviño and he really liked them. So he told us to make a manual with all the techniques and tips so we can give them to the missionaries and help them improve. So every night his week Elder Egbert and I were working on the manual and we finally finished it yesterday and presented it to president. He loved it and we are going to start applying a bunch of cool stuff so that the mission can progress. Now we just need to set some goals to be able to verify the progress of the missionaries and to make sure that they are really trying to apply everything in the field. Should be fun to see the results! We´ll keep you filled in on it. 

On thursday we are going to celebrate Presidents 50th birthday!! Haha the other day Hermana Treviño kicked president out of his office and we had a planning meeting to plan his surprise party! Its going to be on thursday and we are inviting all of the missionaries to come, half in the morning and half in the afternoon. We´re just gonna have a short little devotional and then play some games and eat cake. Should be a good time, its been fun to plan everything behind his back haha, even though hes knows somethings going on he doesnt know what. .

I love you guys so much and hope that you have a great week!!! Be good and have fun!

Mucho amor,

Elder Eastmond

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Still alive after transfers

Pictures: Aug 10, 2013

Hola Fam

Well we got out alive from the week of transfers!! It was a fun week and everything turned out really good! We got 13 new missionaries, 8 from mexico and 5 from the US. It was especially fun to meet all of the American Elders, they were just as excited as can be and they all look super prepared after only 6 weeks in the MTC! We got to talk to them coming back from the airport and we had a little training meeting on Tuesday morning to just go over some of the techniques and mission rules that we have here. But I was really impressed with all of the missionaries that we got, they will all progress really fast and I´m excited to see the growth that takes place in them these next couple of months. Mom asked if I met Elder Dial, the son of the nice sister whose has comented on the blog a couple of times. I talked to him a whole lot monday night and I really like him and know he´s gonna be a great missionary. He was really excited to be in Mexico, he has an awesome trainer and went to the hottest part of the mission haha but he´ll love it there. Elder Serrano is training again! I have got to see him alot these last couple of weeks, It´s probably a good thing we don´t get together too often because I think we get a little bit too crazy, haha!

So Tomasa´s baptism was awesome! She loved it and her son and her son´s girlfriend were there to watch. We have passed by alot this week to get her ready for her confirmation and she is really happy. We are also going to be working alot with the Relief Society so that they can visit her a ton and keep her company. She lives with her son but he is always working so sometimes she gets kinda lonely. But the church is going to be a huge blessing in her life so that she can feel the love of Heavenly Father even stronger every day. 

We found some great people to teach this week. I absolutely love being with Elder Egbert, I love how he teaches, the ideas he has, his love for the members and the investigators. It´s going to be a really good transfer, we´re excited! We got a message on Tuesday while we were eating lunch with the trainers and their new companions, the message was from Eli, (she got baptized like a month ago) and she told us to come over to her house because her younger sister Guadalupe wanted to listen to us! We got super excited and went right over after we got done with everything in the offices. She had never wanted to listen to us before, she was always friendly but didn´t really want anything to do with the church. But she said that she has gotten kinda curious as to why her mom and sister seem so much happier and why they have changed so much so she wants to learn more. We taught her the restoration and invited her to be baptized it she feels like it is true and she accepted! We are happy for their family, today we have an appointment with Guadalupe AND her dad, we have never taught him before so that will also be a great opportunity to teach. 

It´s been fun so far with the 3 new assistants, I haven´t felt stressed out at all trying to teach them everything that they have to do because they are all excellent missionaries and have picked up everything so fast. We actually had a little planning session a couple nights ago and brainstormed a bunch of neat ideas that we can use to help the mission have a little bit more success. So on monday we are going to present the plan that we made to president and see what he wants to do with it. 

Oh! I just remembered the best part of the whole week!! When we went to the airport on monday night to pick up the americans, we ran into the president and the assistants from the Xalapa mission, that used to be apart of this mission before we divided it. Guess who the 2 assistants are right now? Elder Lee (one of my companions from the MTC) and Elder Carmona (my second companion that I had in Poza Rica)!!!! I was so happy to see them after like a year and a half! They are both doing so good and we were there for like half and hour just talking about everything that has happened to us all on the mission, it was great! They both look really happy and it sounds like they´re just tearing it up. It was a blessing to be able to see them again!

well I´m out of time, but I hope you all have a great week! I hope Devin and Grandma have fun in Cali!! Love you guys!!

Elder Eastmond