Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Thanksgiving Week 18

Hey guys,

That is great that you guys had a wonderful Thanksgiving! We did as well. I have never ate so much on Thanksgiving before. We went to a family's house (the Sikora's and Hanson's) in our ward for dinner at 2. We ate dinner there at 3 in the afternoon. It was a lot of fun and we really felt like family. We then went to another family's house in the 2nd ward (the Pineda's). They had us and our roommates over for dinner at 6. So all four of us ate 2 big meals pretty much right on top of each other. After dinner with the Pineda's we all sat around singing hymns and sharing our favorite scripture. It was really neat to do that. That is awesome that you guys got to meet Aly. I can't wait to see all of her pictures.

Just yesterday we had interviews with the Mission President. He told us all that in the January transfers meeting we will be getting 25 new missionaries a net increase of 18. In March we will be getting 40 new missionaries a net increase of 32. In April we will be getting 28 a net increase of 15. Plus there are still more notices coming each day of more missionaries coming! He expects that every missionary in the field right now will be training in the next cycle or two. It is so crazy I still feel brand new and now we are being expected to train! I can't wait to see what happens and all of the changes that will be taking place though!

So last week right before Thanksgiving we had a lesson with Maria Ganley. The whole time we have been meeting with her she kept having this worry about not being able to have her occasional cup of coffee or alcohol. Before the lesson started she told us that she wouldn't be able to go without having her Tequila for Thanksgiving. We taught her the Word of Wisdom and at the end of the lesson she had absolutely no desire to drink anything alcoholic over the holiday. It was amazing to see such a change in her heart in such a short amount of time. The Holy Ghost really can work wonders! She also told us that when we first started meeting with her she was seeing a therapist every day for her depression. The therapist kept telling her that praying was nonsense and that she was just talking with herself. She stopped seeing the therapist just a few days before our lesson because she knew that she really was communicating with God and because since she has been meeting with us she is always happy and never feels depressed anymore. I love seeing the changes people are willing to make in their lives. The gospel is true and really can help anybody who will let it. Have a great week guys!

Love ya,
Elder Fuller

Staten Island Week 17

Hey guys!
So to start off with we did end up going to Staten Island on Saturday. Unfortunately I'm an idiot and forgot to take my camera. :( I did get one picture from the guy who we helped. He is the one standing next to me in the picture there are two other missionaries in the picture then the rest of the guys are from the ward I serve in. We helped that guy bust tile out of his basement. His basement was probably 40'x50' and completely tiled. Under the tile was anywhere from 1/2 an inch to 3 inches of cement. it was such hard work and we were so sore the next few days but it was so fun!!! It was crazy to see all of the damage that was done. It was so surreal to see it in person and not just see pictures.
I am going to miss spending Thanksgiving with you guys as well! It will be weird waking up in the morning and not smelling a turkey cooking. It will be weird to not watch the parade either. We will be going to two different families dinners tomorrow. The first one is the Hanson's and the Sikora's. Brother Hanson is the one in the picture that I forwarded that has his vest off and is holding it up. The Sikoras are his parents-in-law. We are going there for the afternoon. Then we are going to the Pineda's a family from the second ward (our roommates area) around 6 to eat another dinner with them. I am going to be full for days afterwards! haha I wondered the other day actually about how much milk you guys use now that I am gone. I drink a gallon by myself in a week and a half. haha
I talked with Aly today and she said she tried calling and said she talked with someone, it sounded like maybe Spencer. I can't wait to see her pictures when she gets back. I miss the mountains so much!! I know it sounds weird but I really do!
Elder Picoli and I are getting along great we continue to have some really funny moments together and some really spiritual ones as well. We finally got this family that I have been teaching since I got here to come to church. They loved it and couldn't believe they kept making excuses not to go. Our investigator Maria has made so much progress. She was seeing a therapist everyday when we first started teaching her because she had depression. The therapist kept telling her that she was crazy if she was praying because there is no way God could ever hear or communicate back with her. She told us just the other day that she has since stopped going to that therapist because she feels happier all the time now and because she knows that she isn't crazy having communication with God. It is so great getting to see how much the gospel and prayer can change a persons life.
Momma D. Thank you so much for those packages! I love getting them and it is killing me having the package with all the little gifts that I can't start opening until December! haha I can't wait to see what is inside!
I love you guys! I am THANKFUL for all everyone has done for me in my life and continues to do for me in my life. I am especially thankful for the gospel in my life. Have a great week!
Elder Fuller

Monday, November 19, 2012

New York Hot Dogs Week 16

Hey guys!

Wow!!! That is a lot of snow! We got about 3 inches last Wednesday and everyone freaked out and then it was all melted by the next day. I can't imagine what would have happened if we had gotten 22 inches. haha I bet it would have been lots of fun to have that much snow to play with.

So Aly Oliva is going out to Utah by herself to check out The U and BYU then she will be going up to BYU-I she is going out for 2 weeks. She flys in on Thursday evening. I gave her the address and the house phone and told her if she needed anything she could call. She is a super nice girl. She is staying with some friends out in Utah but maybe if she calls you guys could take her out for dinner or something. Don't feel like you have to do anything though.

So my new companion Elder Picoli is awesome! We get along great (which is good because you know how well I get along with everyone, haha :P). So our third night together we ran over a possum (watch for pictures) and we have already had some other great experiences together. For example we had to drive down to Scarsdale the other day because I had to take a driving test that I took before and they lost my copy. While we were down there for the day we went to a little local restaurant that specializes in hot dogs. We got the strangest ones we could find the first one we had was called PB&J Crunch and as you can tell by the name it did have peanut butter and jelly but to top off the hot dog and give it the "crunch" they sprinkle Cap'n Crunch on it. The second one we had was S'more dawg. It was a hot dog covered in marshmallow cream, chocolate syrup, and crushed graham crackers. I know, I know, sounds disgusting right? Actually both of them were pretty good! I mean you couldn't eat them all the time but every once in a while on a special occasion they were pretty good! :)

Our investigator Maria (I'm pretty sure I have told you about her) is getting super close to accepting a baptismal date. I love working with her and I have seen her grow so much in the last 5 weeks. It would be so cool to see a second person from start to finish in accepting the gospel. I love getting to help people learn of the happiness and joy that the gospel can bring into our lives. My eyes have really been opened as to how much happiness really does come from living the gospel. I am so grateful to have it in my life!

So this coming Saturday we get to go down with the Stake here and help out I think in Staten Island. The stake is getting a couple school buses and taking a trip down there to help out and we got permission to go down with them. It will be the first real damage I will see in person. I can't wait to go help out down there. It will be a lot of fun. Our mission President is still seeing what he can do to get all of us down there for a weekend or so. I know there is a lot of people down there who are really going through a lot. I can't wait to help them out.

It sounds like you guys had a great night getting to hang out together. Keep having fun while you guys are there together because soon enough Spencer will be gone and Mikey will be off doing is own thing. haha I know you guys think it won't come soon enough but those memories of being with the family are so important. That is cool that all of those guys got there mission calls. I'm excited for all of them, especially Gilly. When I heard the change in age for girls I immediately thought of her and wondered if she would go. I know they will all love it and have a great time serving the Lord.

Tell everyone hi, and tell Uncle Erik I will try and answer some of his questions in my next email. It is hard we don't have much time to write emails or letters. I wish I could write everyone that writes me when they write me.

Love you guys tons,
Elder Fuller

Friday, November 9, 2012

Elder Nevarez last week Week 15

Hey guys,
That is crazy to hear that those guys are coming home from their missions. Both Winegar's are coming home? I know they left almost 3 months apart. That is crazy that Shane Frogley is still without power. I completely forgot that he was in that mission. Are all of the missionaries there doing alright? Today during transfers they told us that there is still a huge possibility of some of us going down either to that mission or to the South mission to help out. They said the clean up will be going on for a few months and they are trying to figure out how to tactfully get us down there to help out and find out what exactly we can do that will be most beneficial. I will let you know more as I hear about it. That is so cool that Gilly will be going on a mission! Did she turn in her papers like as soon as she found out that she could go? I'm excited for her I think she will be a fantastic missionary.
That is wonderful that all of you guys are starting to do a little better. Hopefully Mikey recuperates quickly and can get back to school soon. I'm glad the rechartering wasn't as difficult this year. With any luck they won't reject it again this year. haha I don't receive Eric's weekly letter but we have written a couple letters back and forth to each other. Neither of us could go without talking to the other.
So this past week Elder Nevarez and I worked super hard to help Elder Nevarez have a good last week. One of our newer investigators, I think I told you about her, Maria is getting really close to accepting a baptismal date. Maria is a single mom and has two sons, Gonzalo and Patrick Jr., and hopefully in the next few weeks we will start teaching Gonzalo because he is 10. His problem is he acts out a lot because he has severe ADHD and he hasn't had too much discipline since his Dad died. We met a new lady named Monica and she has been doing research on her own for a few months about the church and recently contacted us. She told us that she already wants to be baptized and wants to join the church but she said she needs to be taught everything first and she needs to move into a project house. She is just waiting on the government to finalize some things.
So I have always been terrible at remembering scriptures and where they are at and so it is hard for me to use them in lessons. The other day we were teaching Maria and during the lesson everytime she said something I immediately thought of a scripture that would apply perfectly to her situation or what she was talking about. It is amazing what the Holy Ghost can help you do if you learn to listen to it and if you are doing your part as well. It was neat to feel the Holy Ghost that strongly in my life. I love the help and guidance that we can all receive from it if we live worthy to have it in our lifes.
Is Spencer in Brother Osborne's class? I loved his class and I feel terrible for not having the time to tell him I got my mission call and see him before I left.
So my new companion is Elder Picolli. He was born and raised in Brazil until he was 17 then he moved here to the U.S. He loves to play soccer (of course) and loves playing volleyball. He is such a cool guy and I can tell we are going to get along great! I am so excited to have the opportunity to work with him.
As far as needing anything I can't really think of anything that I absolutely need.
Well I hope you guys have a great week! I'll try and enjoy this storm that is going to hit us this week. It is already snowing here because of the storm so hopefully it doesn't get too bad! I love you guys! Stay safe and have fun! :)
Elder Fuller

Hurricane Sandy Week 14

Hey guys,
So one of my favorite scriptures is 2 Nephi 32:2-3!
So this week has been interesting. On Friday we had a ward Halloween party. It was fun to see everyone in costumes. Elder Nevarez and I made some chili to take for the pot luck dinner. We are getting pretty good at making way good food out of the most random things leftover in our apartment. I must be getting old too, after the halloween party I felt like Halloween was over and today doesn't feel at all like Halloween.
So Sunday night we got a call telling us that we had to stay inside on Monday and Tuesday and weren't allowed to go outside at all. It was SOOOOO boring!!!!!!!! The Hurricane only really damaged the city. All we got was about 3 hours of rain and some wind. There really isn't much cleanup to do where I am at so we will be back to tracting immediately. So on Monday we woke up and exercised and did our studies. We then played three rounds of Ticket to Ride and that only lasted us until noon. We ate lunch then played Mormon Mania which is the Mormon edition (non face cards) of Nerts. We played that for like 3 hours. We watched some of the Mormon messages that a member put on a DVD for us. (speaking of Mormon Messages go watch the one called The Lord's Side of the Line I was watching it and all of a sudden Brother Lomu my old seminary teacher pops up it was kind of weird). We then made the creamy potato soup that Bryce sent me (it was really good and we all loved it). We then played phase 10 for the rest of the evening the day went by so slow! On Tuesday we played Monopoly for 5 hours and sat around listening to music for a while then we got a call saying we could go out and do service. We tried finding some and couldn't. We went and had dinner with some members and the Husband cuts trees for a living. He got a call from a friend that had a tree fall on his driveway. So we went and helped him cut up this tree at 8:30 at night I'm sure the neighbors weren't too happy. haha :)
That was quite the crazy costume Michael. What else are you guys doing for Halloween? Did you guys decorate the yard at all? Did Bryce do his? So since it is our P-day and Halloween it is considered an eternal P-day. Our P-day goes until 6 and then we have to be in our apartment at 6 for the night. So once again we will be going crazy with nothing to do.
That is crazy that Elder Christofferson is coming to talk to you guys!!! I guess I'm not missing out on anything! :P He gives some amazing talks! Some advice before you go listen to him: 1- Take a dictionary 2- Be ready to pay close attention because he packs tons into what he is saying 3- Beware of that eyebrow!!! It will pierce your soul! haha

Tell everyone I am ok. Tell Joey I got his letter and am working on writing him one back. It is hard to write everybody, I haven't forgotten him though. Tell people that they can send me an email with their address and I can write them back. I love you guys hope you have a fun week ahead of you!
Love Elder Fuller

Meeting an Apostle Week 13

Hey Guys,
So this week has been AMAZING!!! On Saturday we got to go down to Scarsdale and hear from Elder D. Todd Christofferson. He walked in and the first thing he wanted to do was meet everyone and shake our hand. It was really cool that he would take the time to go around and meet all of us (there is about 150 of us). He talked a lot about how to become truly converted to the gospel and how that will help us teach a little better. He left an Apostolic blessing with us which was really neat to get a blessing from an Apostle! He is such a nice guy and super funny. He has four brothers who came with him and they all look exactly the same. After the meeting with Elder Christofferson we went out and had lunch with a bunch of the other missionaries. It was fun to hang out with everyone for a little while. In the evening we went to our investigators baptism. It was such a neat experience to see her being baptized and knowing that we were able to help her understand God's plan for her and help her make that essential covenant. On Sunday I was able to confirm her. Since that was my first time ever to be a part of a confirmation and to actually do the confirmation it was fun! I loved being able to welcome her into the church and onto the path that has been set before her. Last Wednesday for P-day we got to go do the walkway over the Hudson. It was cool to be able to see that far down the Hudson River especially since all the leaves are changing. It was really pretty.
So yesterday was Elder Nevarez's birthday. I had told all of the guys in our zone to call and text him all day because I knew it would bug him just because he is so darn humble. We had an appointment with Alicia Carballo and Brother Smith. Alicia is a member but we have been reteaching her because when she was first baptized it was only because she was converted to the missionaries. She didn't understand anything. So we got to the church for our lesson went inside to wait and Alicia calls. She tells us to wait outside in the car for her. So we are like OK? So we are waiting in the car she calls back and says I need your help picking something up but I'm not pulling in the parking lot so just follow me. So we wait for her to drive past and pull out behind her. We followed her for like 15 minutes and then she finally went to turn into a little strip mall. We started looking at the stores and we see a vitamin store (we think nah... she wouldn't need our help picking up vitamins) then we see a carpet/rug store (and we think oh boy do we have to try and fit a big roll of carpet in our little subaru) then we see a mattress store (and we go ok there is no way a mattress is fitting in here) then we see a store that sells exercise equipment (and we look at each other and go ok there is definitely no way we can fit a treadmill in either car). Thankfully she just made a U-turn and kept going. She and Brother Smith took us to a Japanese Steak House for lunch. Elder Hill and Elder Petersen (our roommates) destroyed our room. They put probably 50 balloons in it they covered everything in confetti and tinsel and threw little candy bars all over. That was just the icing on the cake for our day and all Elder Nevarez could do was laugh it was really funny to see him get so much attention. Elder Nevarez is in the city today to watch a Newsies on Broadway before he leaves. So I get to spend the day with some of the Missionaries in Connecticut. We slept at their apartment in Danbury and we are going to a members house here where he has a huge barn in his backyard that is like a Boondock's shoved inside a barn. It sounds like it will be a lot of fun.
I don't know if I will need a warmer coat yet or not. I still go running at 6:30 in the morning without wearing anything more than shorts and a tshirt. I will let you know though. I usually don't get cold too fast so we will have to see. The under armour and the jacket might be plenty. Thanks for sending that stuff too by the way. I got it on Saturday when we went down to the city. I also got Bryce and Crystal's package it was fun to get all the goodies. Tell them thanks a ton! All of us really loved the chocolate covered pretzels and the little chocolate ghosts.
That is wonderful to hear about Kramer Morton. If you guys see him tell him congrats for me and that I wish I could have seen it!

So the girl in the white is obviously Jen from the baptism. The other girl is Aly Oliva. There is a picture of our room trashed from yesterday and some of the pictures of the walkway over the Hudson. I'll send some more later.
Love you guys,
Elder Fuller