Saturday, September 21, 2013

Manhattan Temple Week 59

Hey everyone,
Things are going great! We get to go to the Temple today. I am super excited to go especially because they have a new video. The people in the video are from the Scarsdale Ward here. They will be releasing a second video in English in the near future with members from the Harlem ward in it. There is also supposed to be a Spanish version of the video as well. It will be weird knowing the people in it. This Saturday we are having a baptism in the ward and then the following Saturday we will possibly be having 4 more baptisms. The work is going so well right now!! We are still working with the two girls Nia and Paris and trying to get them ready for next Saturday but things are really up in the air as to whether they will be ready or not. If you don't remember or in case I forgot to tell you we have had three baptisms of investigators in the ward in the last month.
Haha Elder Alivio is a great guy. He was so excited to write you guys a letter especially after having received two packages from you. I love getting to proof read all of his letters and help him learn English. It definitely makes me realize how little English I know when I have to try and explain to him the grammar. It usually takes him about 4 or 5 drafts when he writes someone a letter so its fun to see him finally send it off.
That is cool that Mikey has still been able to run so far. I hope and pray that he stays healthy so he can continue running. It is such a great experience and makes school that much more fun. That is funny that you made him finally clean his corner. I can only imagine how much stuff was shoved back in there. What is Spencer up to? Is he just working still? That is no fun that Staci is sick... Hopefully it goes away or at least gets a little better for her. How is Rob doing? Is he still working at that lab place with John Nelson? How is he dealing with Staci being sick? haha How are Bryce and Crystal doing? Is Bryce still helping figure out the technology stuff for the school district? What is Crystal doing? It really sounds like Cara is doing well. She seems like she is quite the little character.
Sorry but we gotta go if we are going to make it on time to the temple. Love you guys!
Elder Fuller

New Apartment Week 58

Hey Family,
So this past week was pretty good. We finally got all moved in and are all situated in the new apartment. Now I'll probably have to pack again in another 3 weeks. Woo.... hoo.... haha So I got a prescription cream from the doctor and Elder Alivio got an ointment from him as well. He said it should go away very soon. We both got your packages on Sunday. Thank you for sending those. The socks work great by the way! Elder Alivio was very excited to get the peaches and the pin. He wrote you guys a letter. You should be getting it today or tomorrow. You guys are going to like it. He made me pre-read it for errors but there were too many to fix all of them so I just helped him with grammar so that things kind of made sense.
Thats not a bad time. Thats just a little slower than what he ran at American Fork. Has he still been feeling very healthy (aside from the sinus infection)? I always found that if I just kept working out through the small illnesses the better I felt. I guess even though I am on the other side of the country as you it doesn't stop me from getting sinus infections the same time you guys do. Mine just started yesterday. Hopefully it won't get too bad I don't wanna call the Dr. and ask for a prescription, he isn't a very easy person to talk to.
So I don't know if you guys heard anything from the churchwide broadcast about 3 or 4 months ago on missionary work but they said that the missionaries around the world would soon be getting I-pads to proselyte with. So this past week we found out that before Christmas every missionary in our mission will have an I-pad mini and each companionship will have an I-phone as well. We will be using the I-pads to proselyte on Facebook with our investigators and people we meet. We will also be able to skype, and facetime, and blog, and tweet, and whatever other things we can to advertise the church more. It will be very interesting. All of the Zone Leaders and the Sister Training Leader's are already starting to use Facebook just on the computers at the church. The mission is going to completely change very soon. The church wants us to use all of our old accounts for Facebook and things so the Zone Leader's have been trying to edit and clean up their accounts so that they are missionary approved. Elder World and Elder Hall keep telling us that it is pretty hard to do and takes a ton of time. It is exciting to be having all of these changes happening.
So I wanted to go down and see the Freedom Tower and 9/11 Memorial today but none of us were allowed to go down there. I can't believe it has been 12 years since it happened. I also can't believe it has been a full year since I have been out. It feels like just a month or so ago that I was with Elder Nevarez and it was 9/11. Time goes by way too fast.
That is exciting news to hear from Staci!! I can't wait to hear more!!  Again time goes by way too fast. I can't believe I'll have to miss this one as well!
This past week we visited a less-active family who had their 9 year old son in the hospital with leukemia. They are from the Yonker's ward so I had never met them but we were asked to go give the son a blessing. It was hard to see and I couldn't help but be reminded of Spencer being in the hospital. He was in a lot of pain from the IV's they had him hooked up to and was nervous for the surgery that he was getting ready to have. They put a tube into one of his veins leading almost directly to his heart. The tube dangles from his chest so that they can hook him up to dialysis a lot easier and so that he can get the platelets he needs. This is the 5th procedure he is having to try and get rid of it and he has scars all over from all the past attempts to get rid of it. This is a new procedure and he will be like the 20th child to try it. The parents have lost a lot of hope and trust in the Lord. It was quite the experience giving him a blessing and feeling the peace that came over him and his family. I have never felt the Savior's love more. It made me think about you Mom and Dad and I wanted to know how you both made it through. I also wanted to know how Spencer was able to be so brave through everything. It really helped me be able to relate to the family and comfort them a little having had the experience with Spencer. The boy really hated having to have tape on his body because it hurt to take it off. Come to find out they still use the orange stuff to help and the boy is very ticklish. So with a little tickling and some orange stuff we helped get his tape off. It was definitely quite the experience.

Anyways I gotta run. Have a great week ya'll! Love Ya!

Elder Fuller

Iris Elliston Week 57

Hey guys,
First of all Happy Late Birthday Mom! I want you to know that I didn't forget when your Birthday is I know it is the 27th, wait the 29th?, or was it the 23rd?, I dunno.... anyways... all of the days just kind of blend together here and I just really don't know what day we are on. It really threw me for a loop when we walked into Walgreens the other day and they had up Halloween decorations and had out all the boxes of candy. I thought I missed a whole month!

So the past few days have been AWESOME!!!! To start off with I got to baptize Iris Elliston on Saturday. It was fun getting to perform my first baptism. Then on Sunday Elder Alivio did the confirmation. He was really nervous but did a great job. I got to see Jen Fish baptized my second cycle and then confirm her so it was cool that Elder Alivio got to see someone baptized and then confirm them his second cycle. Then because Sunday was the 1st it was fast and testimony meeting. First of all those are always funny in this ward every person who gets up is not afraid to express things as they really are but it was cool because we got to see Iris get up and bare her testimony. It was incredible to see the growth she had had and to feel the spirit that accompanied her. I was truly blessed to have the opportunity to teach her. Then if you remember we as a mission had a goal for every companionship to baptize someone in the month of September. We are still working hard on preparing Nia and Paris the two girls of Yesenia (the less active who stopped us the one night she was drunk). Our zone which has 13 companionships had 6 baptisms this weekend. We were kind of bummed because Saturday was only the 31st so the baptism wouldn't technically be in December. Then our Mission President pointed out that baptism isn't complete without the confirmation which took place on the 1st. So that means technically we already had our September baptism. :) We are still working hard however to get another! So you know the whole situation with our shower (the food comes up the drain, it often times smells like poo, and it takes forever to drain when we shower so we end up standing in our own filth) ya well over the past week I have developed some kind of fungal infection on my feet and my companion has it on his hands. We get these little blisters that itch like crazy then they pop and the skin dries out and cracks and starts peeling. (if you thought this was the blessing its not but it did lead to the blessing). We talked to Sister Morgan and she talked to her husband and told him that we aren't allowed to live there anymore. haha I guess even though he is the Mission President he still has to follow his wife. :P So over the next few days we get to move out and move back in with the zone leaders. So this will be my 4th apartment in my 6 cycles in this area! haha I love it!!
That is awesome that Mikey got to race down there. That is a fun race. Hopefully he continues to stay healthy so he can keep competing. That is funny that they went to Mesa Verde. Just last night the senior missionary couple in our ward the Finlayson's and another couple from our ward were talking about Mesa Verde and I was thinking way back to when we went as a family. That is cool hopefully they had fun!
Thank you so much for sending the packages. I can't wait to get it and see the surprise! That is funny how Cara eats. I wish I was there to see it. That is crazy that it has been that hot there this summer. The weather is finally starting to break here. Yesterday was beautiful it was like 75 degrees with a nice breeze and very low humidity. We ended up walking everywhere rather than taking the bus or the subway because we wanted to enjoy the weather.
I love you guys. Have a great week!
Elder Fuller

Apartments Week 56

Hey guys!
I did have a great week thanks! The baptism for Iris is still going on this weekend! I am so excited to see her get baptized!!! This will be the 4th baptism of somebody I have seen the whole way through the process. It is pretty rare in the mission to see people the whole way through the teaching process from the day you find them to the day they get baptized. So it is cool that I have seen so many. I guess it does help that I spent 4 cycles in Poughkeepsie and am working on my 6th cycle here. I have enjoyed not being moved around too much. (knock on wood) I'm almost positive I'll be moved this next cycle. I kind of hope to go back upstate for a little bit.
Who is brooks bingham? And where did Bryan Engstrom go? You did tell me that Spencer was going to be helping coach. That is so sad that they only have 40 kids. That was part of what made cross country and track so much fun was the big teams. Tell Mikey to keep up the good work! I want to hear about all of his races. How are Murphy and Heffner doing?
It does seem very weird having only two of us in the apartment now. It is very quiet and the fridge is very empty (mostly because its the end of the month but still...). haha However, lately when the bathtub backs up it has been smelling like poo. We called and told the senior missionaries over the housing and they called and talked with the Leasing group. They said that someone would be out Monday (and they never came) then the senior couple called back and they said someone would be out yesterday (they still didn't show up) so I don't know exactly what is going to happen. Needless to say it was a boring past two days. We just sat at home waiting for someone to show up and they never did. It kind of sounded like the leasing group would let us break the lease early though so pray real hard that we can move out soon!
Holy cow! That is a lot of awards for the court of honor. Have you not had one for a long time? Or did they go to a scout camp where they do lots of merit badges? I miss getting to mow lawns and build fences and do stuff with my hands. As crazy as that may sound it is true!
Really the only thing I need is some socks. The ones I have are getting pretty thin. I will need to buy another pair of dress shoes sometime in the next month or two especially before winter starts. The Bostonians I have had since the beginning are starting to finally give way.
So I have talked a little bit with Jake but not very recently. He shouldn't be coming home until December unless he is coming home early for something. What is going on with Jonny Jensen? I haven't heard anything about him.
Love ya
Elder Fuller

Transfers Week 55

Hey everybody,
So Elder Alivio just barely got a camera from Sister Carson (his sponsor) so he doesn't really need one. So I think he is doing ok! He is still obsessed with his canned peaches! haha He has to buy a couple cans each week and he just opens it and then puts it in the fridge and he will come sneak some anytime no one is looking. It reminds me of what Michael used to do when you would make frosting. haha And why are you even thinking about who will come to my homecoming?!?!? It is still 11 months away!! haha
Will you send me Alex Dickerson's missionary email? I need to write him. I would send him a letter but he is going to the Mexico MTC so I think emailing would be easier.
How are both sides of the family doing? Hopefully you told them all hi for me. How is Mikel's husband? What did they do for the reception?
It sounds like Mikey will really have fun this year in school. What happened with the split for the new school? The only thing I can tell him about his leg is to make sure he is stretching and drinking enough water. Those were two things that I didn't do as much as I should have and it would have really helped me. The other thing he could do is use that foam roller you bought me. It is in the corner of my closet standing up by my shoe rack. I bought one here and it has really been helping me. You can look up online some different stretches he can do on it.
So this week was transfers. I get to stay for another cycle here in Kingsbridge. This will make 6 in total here. That will be 36 weeks! It is hard to think that I have been here since January. I am ready for a new area but I definitely wasn't ready for a new companion. So I am very glad I'm staying. I decided I want to go back upstate somewhere after this hopefully Connecticut for a while then back to the city right before I come home but I guess I really don't have to much say over it. haha So next Saturday we are having a baptism. Iris Elliston will be getting baptized. I am so excited for her. I have been working with her from the very beginning back in April. The less active named Yesenia, I think I told you about her she was the one who stopped us on our way home one night and was very drunk and wanted to change, has been going with us to the Addiction Recovery Program every Tuesday. She is really moving her life in a very positive direction and is doing so very quickly. I am so excited for her as well! She has two daughters who could be baptized and we are going to have FHE with them on Friday. I love watching people progress in the gospel. It brings such joy into my life.
So Elder Picoli was transferred to New Canaan, CT which is only about 25 minutes from his home in Bridgeport, CT. Elder World and his new companion Elder Hall are moving into a new apartment they bought to replace the one we are living in now. They decided the mushrooms we have found growing from our ceiling aren't healthy. Unfortunately only Elder World and his companion get to move into the new apartment. They have to keep us in this apartment until the lease agreement is up in November or until the Church's Legal Department figures out a way to break the Lease agreement because of health issues. So it looks like we are stuck with the mices, cockroaches, back wash, and mushrooms. Isn't life just great! The new apartment though isn't nearly as close to the church as this one which is kind of a bummer. Also in the new apartment there is about a foot and a half walkway between the tub and the wall and the toilet is crammed in the corner so you can't sit straight on the toilet you either have to wrap your legs around the wall or sit sideways and put your feet in the tub. I guess every apartment has its quirks. haha
I love you guys! I hope things continue to go well for you! Have a great week!
Elder Fuller

George Washington Week 54

So Elder Alivio was not offended at all by the tie or the socks. He loved them. In fact that is his new favorite tie. His email is I'm sure he would love an email from you as well as from Jordan Tucker. I know he wanted to thank you for the package. I could probably use another nasal spray. I think I am good on the mucinex and claritin for a while. I still have probably 2 bottles of each. I could really use some new socks though. Preferably mostly cotton or at least a thicker feeling material. The thin spandex-y ones wear thin too quickly.
That is funny that you mentioned the bike racing I was thinking about the TDF this morning. So the weather here today is about 80 degrees and almost no humidity. It was about 60 degrees and a crisp morning when we went to do our laundry at 7 this morning. I thought what a perfect day to be camping. haha Then I was thinking about what I would have been doing at home and realized that I had not heard anything about the Tour de' France. Usually that is a big thing (at least in Utah) but I didn't hear a single word about it the whole summer. I guess the people here in the Bronx could care less about a bunch of white guys in spandex riding around on bicycles really fast. haha That is cool that the race is getting so big. It is really cool that you get a tiny glimpse of what it would be like to watch the TDF live.
That is funny that Mikey didn't want to dance so instead he was out playing with a sling shot. I dunno which I liked more though Mom. I probably would have been dancing with the girls. haha but I does sound like me to be playing with a slingshot. I really wish I had one here. There have been multiple times that I could have used it especially here in the Bronx. I mean the pigeon that pooped on me a few weeks ago would have been a goner. The pigeons that you have to dodge as they try and attack your face would certainly no longer be around either. The mouse problem in our apartment would have been taken care of a long time ago. (we are now up to 13 caught by the way) There have also been plenty of people who could have used a pebble to the backside as well. haha I love these people but some of them really need some bigger clothes or parents who should have taught them how to be a decent human being. I STILL WANT PICTURES FROM TREK!
Does Mikey not like running with Murphy? Or has it just been hard for him to get to the summer practices? Hopefully he has fun running and hopefully he can stay healthy for more of the season this year. Is he excited for High School? What is happening with the new Draper High School? That opens this year right?
So we had a ward bbq this past Saturday. We had a lot of people show up for it! It was a lot of fun. We had hamburgers, hot dogs, chicken, and lots of other really good food. There was a big water fight, a big softball game, and a man from Congo named George Washington singing karaoke in French by himself for over an hour ok not all of it was French but you couldn't understand the stuff that he was singing in English anyway so it might as well have been in French. (quick background on Brother Washington he grew up in Congo moved to Russia when he was 30 lived there for 20 years then came to the United States upon arrival here they asked him how to spell his name, seeing as how his name is in only a spoken language not a written language they asked him to pick a name so he picked the only American name he knew George Washington!!) On Sunday we had to sing in sacrament meeting. It didn't go that great... hahah We sounded terrible! About half of us are tone-deaf. Oh well its the thought that counts right?! We sang the first verse of A Poor Wayfaring Man of Grief, the 3 Verse of I Know That My Redeemer Lives, the 4th verse of APWMOG, and the last 3 lines of the last verse of IKTMRL all to the tune of APWMOG. It was a lot of fun though!

Love you guys!
Elder Fuller

Bronx Farm Week 53

Hey ya'll,
Thank you so much for sending that package to Elder Alivio!!!!! It came on Tuesday with the mail. He loved it a lot! Especially the can of 'Just barely's' which are already gone by the way hahaha. It was so much fun to watch him open it! It was like a little kid at Christmas time! It took him like five minutes to open it because he couldn't believe it was for him. He was so confused that he got a package. He was definitely surprised when he started reading the note and saw some Tagolog (sp?) on there. He said it was right except for the first word. So good job! Did you ask Smitty or google translate? Where exactly in the Phillipines did Smitty serve? Good job on picking the tie out Spencer! He really liked it! He is very excited to try all of the different canned fruits. We filmed the whole thing unfortunately it is too long to email. So you might just have to wait until I get home and get the video.
I am glad you were able to get a route that you wanted, Mom. That will help to make working a little more fun! What were you sick with on Sunday? I hadn't heard anything about that! Have the Dr.'s said that is what it is? It sounds like you had a busy week cleaning and doing yard work. Hopefully Staci's home passed the inspection! Does she know when she will find out? Wow it feels like the summer just blew by! I can't believe they have already had the Pepperwood reunion. Did most of the family make it this year?

So we are continuing to work hard. Iris Elliston who is a 60 year old Jamaican lady has finally accepted a baptismal date for the 31st of August. After a dry spell of 4 months we finally have another baptism scheduled. I have been working with Iris since about the end of March. She is such a sweet lady. Unfortunately she works as a home health nurse so she can't make it to church all the time so that has been holding her back. Not more than 3 days after we set the date did President Morgan decide to challenge everyone to have a baptism in September. We debated moving it back just one day to meet President Morgan's challenge but decided not to. haha  So we are still praying to find someone who could be ready for September. We got a whole bunch of online media referrals the last two weeks so we are hoping one of them will turn into something!

So we got to do some service on Saturday. My entire time here in the Bronx I haven't done any service. There just really isn't a whole lot you can do aside from working in a soup kitchen. One of the other Elders found a little community garden that they work in every Saturday. They just started trying to clean this one up. It had been over-run by weeds and garbage so they are getting it back to where they can plant things. We picked up garbage on Saturday and we found all sorts of interesting things. We found 3 knives, a handful of syringes, a bottle of prescription medicine, enough broken pieces of glass bottles to fill a Catholic church with stained glass windows, a Sports Illustrated Swimsuit edition calendar, some pirated DVD's, about $6 worth of plastic bottles and cans (each is worth 5 cents), and about 7 mismatched shoes. haha We also filled about 5 large garbage bags of weeds. We did this as a district so there were 8 of us there. It was a lot of fun! It was especially nice to get dirty after about 8 months of not being able to. haha

I love you guys!
Elder Fuller