Florida Elder Adopts a Child Who Speaks the Wrong Language

I am in a trio once again! That’s right. I am training someone having only six weeks myself with minimal Spanish under my belt. But never fear, he doesn’t even speak Spanish. He’s a Portuguese missionary. His name is Elder Doney, and he’s awesome. Elder Oren and I have been bestowed another visa waiter, this time to Brazil. However, I was quickly whisked away from my new son to dwell in Gulfport. My excellent zone leader decided he had had enough of my nonsense and was going to whip me into shape. English missionary work is a different world. Only about one appointment per day, and hours and hours of contacting. It’s kind of crazy. Also this week, a member offered to make us “Huevos del Toro” or Rocky Mountain Oysters. This is the same member who fed us tongue. He didn’t end up making it because he said I was a Gringo who couldn’t handle it, but I told him to bring it on. I think he’s as scared as he thinks I am. I always say that I’ll try anything once.
This week I want to talk about teaching the gospel. All people are called to teach the gospel. It’s actually a commandment because it is incredibly selfish to not share such a grand gift as the message of Jesus Christ. He, in his time, only taught to the Jews, however, after his life he commanded that every living thing be taught his gospel. I have been called to teach the Hispanic community in my mission, but in my life, I am to teach every person of this gospel. Now don’t get me wrong, you don’t need to force-feed them, but you do need to stand in your beliefs and not be afraid to explain yourself. For this is a sign of your faith and an opportunity to learn. We talk about the gospel a lot in Church and with other members, but in discussions with those not of your faith, you grow a lot more, in my opinion anyway. So get out there. Teach and preach and work, though probably not as missionaries do.
Hasta próxima semana.
                Elder Doney (in front) joins the family! Back row: Elder Kitch, <unknown>, Elder Allen, Elder Oren
 On Sunday we received this email (he mentions it in his letter above) from his Mission President. We were so surprised! We wanted to get all the details of what this means!

We’d been anxiously awaiting talking to our Missionary this week and then he sends us this message.
Just wanted to let you guys know that everything went well. (He was referring to a conversation he had with his Mission President that we were waiting to hear more about.) I may or may not be able to call today. We’re very busy, but I am going to try. Also, I broke my phone. Did we get the warranty?
I’m so glad to hear it went well. ❤ I can’t wait to hear more about it. I really wanted to see his face and hear his voice today! Unfortunately, he wasn’t able to call. They went on a District trip to a historical fort. I guess that’s a pretty good and fun reason not to call. 😉 We were able to occasionally message back and forth throughout the day at least.
His phone’s screen is really bad. He can’t read it in bright places. He said, “I was taking a note on my phone, on my bike, and had to steady myself and accidentally grabbed my handlebars with my phone still in hand. It didn’t break physically. The colors and brightness are all jacked up there are weird dead spaces. So if I need to buy a new one or whatever, the sooner the better.”
For about 20 minutes I thought we were going to have to buy him a new phone. I couldn’t remember buying the protection plan, but thankfully, I did! When we told him we had the protection plan, Walker said, “Nice!” I love his support for his mom! LOL! We worked with Amazon and the warranty company, and we think we have it sorted out. He’ll be without a phone for about ten days while they repair it though. Which isn’t great. 🙁
We let him know that Caleb Medina gave his homecoming talk yesterday. He served in Tampico, Mexico. It’s always good to see a missionary homecoming. We were able to go by and welcome him home last night as well.
Our Ward actually had two missionaries come home this week. The other is Alex Westover. He’d been serving in Japan. He and Walker have become really good friends over the years. He served his mission for six months faithfully and with honor. He was experiencing some mental health issues and for his well-being, it was time to come home. So very proud of him and all he gave to the Lord, his companions, and those he taught the Gospel to!
Walker went to the doctor last week, and they are going to do a titration sleep study. They are going to adjust his machine in his sleep to find the optimal settings and send him to a place to get his replacement parts for his CPAP.

I like his turtle pictures! 🙂

His Missionary Plaque finally arrived. This will hang in the Ward building by the Bishop’s office until he comes home. It looks so good!
I’ll leave you with a couple of pics the Florida Tampa Mission Facebook page shared this week. Enjoy!
I have no idea what kind of bird this is.
I sure could sit here and soak this in for a while. Gorgeous!!!

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