It's A Small World

So I wanted to warm up this week's email with a story you can choose to share on the internet or not...

So we were teaching some potential investigators in this crowded house. Hispanics usually live with more than one family in a house so nothing new. We were teaching Alejandra and her cousin [Nicolas] who are both [Guatemalan] adults. Alejandra's kids were crawlin' around and fussing but we were getting through the lesson pretty well. Eventually we got to the point where the kids were really distracting and Nicolas was losing focus so Elder Homewood signaled for us to pick it up. Well we didn't pick it up fast enough haha. The littlest girl got pretty fussy and grumpy so it was time to feed I guess. This hermana lifted up her shirt and I just thought "there is no way she's going to do it". Well she did it. Just whipped one out and fed her kid with no cover right in the middle of Christ's ministry and the fall of His church. It was all I could do to not lose it! I was shaking so bad holding in laughs. I am forever grateful my companions didn't crack because that would have set me loose. So there you go :) I will email you another email about the rest of the week. You can choose to post this one or not haha.

My Sunday feast (that I ended up sharing)

This week has been all sorts of nuts for various reasons but man has it been awesome. Real quickly I never did mention that a couple weeks ago I went on a quick exchange with the English Elders in Fairfield and we visited this really wise and cute old man. We got to talking and he found out that I was from Tooele and he knew people there. Long story short it turned out to be that he is Mary Boehmer's dad! Crazy town right? What are the odds? 

Brother Hopkins and Elder Fivas
Well I will do you one better. We took the First Counselor of our branch out to teach an investigator with us and he was really cool. He really reminded me of dad and believe it or not, Gordon Hopkins. I would talk with Bro Hopkins at the high school so I got to know him a little better. Well the counselor's name was Bro Hopkins as well and so this Monday when he found out where I was from, he seemed to be familiar. I asked him if he knew anybody in Tooele and he said yes. So I pushed on and asked if he was related to any Hopkins out there and he said yeah! Turns out that he is Gordon's older brother! How cool is that?

Well mom, I would like to request my jacket from you. The digital camo one. It gets cold in the morning and it's not very comfortable to work out in a big coat like mine haha. 

We met this sweet Mexican couple who I am looking forward to teach. They have good questions and I have a lot of hope for them. The mujer se llama Catalina and she looks so much like Sadie's roommate Dani! Facial expressions, body type, ponytail. It made me smile. I probably looked totally creepy looking at this married woman and smiling to myself haha but it's ok. 

Elder Fivas' new Cincinnati Red's Shirt
Well the work is great, I go to bed satisfied every night. I still haven't gone to bed less than very happy.  Oh and I found a killer deal on a Red's shirt so I bought it. I figured they should be in the playoffs again this October so I didn't think I would look like a fool in it.

I miss music a lot more than I thought I would. I sing all the time because there is a song for everything and people's sentences just remind me of more songs! But Elder Homewood has some great approved music so I am happy. So parents, don't be afraid to hook it up with piano and gospel music ;)

I love you all so much! Hang in til summer Kelsey Bear!

Con amor
-Elder Fivas

Blossoms and Everything Just Turned Green

Hey again family!

I am so pleased to announce that I still am extremely happy! And you know what? I haven't even missed Call of Duty that much. What I miss most out here is the people I used to see. Sorry but that is not an invitation to come and see me haha. The more I am out here the more I like the Cincinnati Reds. I was here for opening day and it was cool to see a whole city have Reds stuff everywhere. I will definitely be coming home with a Reds cap. Maybe even a shirt... 

Anyway! The whole town I am in erupted into blossoms and everything just turned green. It's pretty amazing! In Ohio the people don't even have to have sprinkler systems because their lawns look so good without it! Can you put on your imagine hat and imagine that? (A saying I learned from one of the assistants who learned it from a black guy).

So on Saturday we went to follow up with a potential we had. They aren't hispanic or anything so I was looking forward to some English work. We get there and meet this man's wife and grandson outside and say hey. The wife goes in to talk to our Potential Investigator and we are left talking to their grandson. He tells us that he is going through a nursing program to work in an old folks home. He talks funny though so I was wondering if he was a little handicapped or something. Also he was smoking and he was half black and his grandparents aren't even close to black just to paint more of a picture. We are invited in and we sit down to start teaching. This is were the funniest lesson of my mission starts. I say funny because everything was just wrong! We get to talking and they mention their grandson isn't accepted into most churches. I'm thinking, that's odd he seems to function fine, and what church turns away handicaps? Then she informs us it's because he's gay... I laugh just thinking about it! Here I was thinking that he was mentally slow and it turns out I was about to experience my first lesson teaching a gay! That's not where it ends. Elder Homewood, my trainer, handles it like a pro and we get going. She brings up Joseph Smith getting the magic scrolls. We try to push on with our lesson. She then asks us if a couple rumors are true. So Mormons are all about families right? Of course! we say. Yeah I heard that you like bathe your teenagers even. Wait what? Where do people come up with this? Anyway we teach a good lesson, the spirit was there and eventually the Catholic wife makes a cross at us and shuns us as we teach her husband. It was just all so funny to me!

So Sadie told me someone is moving into our house already? Crazy town. Kinda sad. Sounds like my family's life is changing too. Cool beans, Kelsey keep smiling and enjoy everything. It's good to laugh and have an eye for funny things. It sure helps me!

Elder Boekweg told me he's been writing me but I haven't been getting anything. I feel bad! Sadie's finals are coming up, that's something I do not miss. Good luck to her and Telisha. Dani shouldn't need luck though, her and Nathan Fox work hard enough to not need it. I hope they read that ;) 

Ok gente, les quiero mucho! Voy a escribir mas en la semana proxima!

-Elder Fivas

*Along with this letter, Elder Fivas sent pictures of Gretta's baptism.  I've inserted them in his previous letter where he talks about Gretta.

C. Fivas

Just Gets Better

Well my beloved readers, things in the mission just get better and better. I love my companions more and more every day! I am happy to be back in my less hectic town and speaking Spanish again! Thank you so much for the letters and the support! They mean a lot, and thank you Nana and Andy for the haircut money haha.

My hair cut (Elder Beverley's handiwork) 
So I got to watch 3/5 sessions in English and I was happy with that. The other two sessions we had these sweet investigators from the Dominican Republic come and watch. They are so cool! I love meeting all these different people who come from different countries. The accents vary a little bit so I have no idea who I am going to sound like haha. I will tell you what though, I will not pronounce my "ll" as "J". That's what the Argentinians do so I do wonder if President Johansen does it... ;)
Beautiful Cincinnati from the view of a recent convert's apartment

On Easter I was in the Western Hills English area and Elder Beverley and I went to an old folks home. We had a good little service but let me tell you what. There was NO ONE that could play the piano and that does not go well when we need to sing! Add this up: Two Elders, two priests (I don't know how many were tone deft but I know 2/4 are), a Ward Mission Leader and his wife (from Kentucky), a 90+ black woman who can't hear, and two members with health problems on their health problems. Worst. Sound. Ever. It was awesome! I laugh as I go through these experiences of little things that just make me giggle because I think of my parents and friends. If they were thinking "I wonder what Elder Fivas is doing right now" they wouldn't really be able to appreciate the strange things that I was doing at that minute. There was one Sister that was telling us about a big 'ol bed sore she had on her rear and how she had to turn over everyday to let it heal.  Well that time of the day was when she decided to turn onto her side and Elder Beverley just was not in the right place at the right time hahahaha.

I don't know how many things I can tell you from the Hispanic stories I hear from the people I meet... They are much more loco! I am proud to say that I can tell a difference in my Spanish, it's still pretty bad sometimes but I really can talk better when I need to. I don't know how much I am growing as a person because I can't really see a change and there is so much for me to do to become a more powerful missionary but I am happy so I must be doing ok! 

The missionaries from my MTC district keep in touch and it's so cool to hear from them! I also heard that Tyler Kelsey got his call to Durban South Africa like a boss! Plus Chance is having success with his music just in time for him to leave :P. I love hearing the good news going around.

Speaking of news, where are you living now family? It sounds like you are living with Grandma soon. I don't remember you ever telling me a day. Did you sell the house? How is my little sister doing? I sent her a letter to the 874 Left hand address but is she even going to get it? Haha I hope so!
Well I am out of time! The blog looks great mom :)

I love you all so much! This really is God's one true church on the earth so don't slack!

-Elder Fivas
The missionaries parking job at conference. We boxed a lot of people in :)

Over the Greenie Blues

Hey Family,

   It's so hard to remember what all went down since I last wrote! So much happens so fast out here. I guess I can start by saying that things got so much better after a little time went on. Thank you so much for all of your support and prayers. I am always happy now even if things aren't very fun. It just so happens to be that most things are a lot of fun if you do it the right way. I got over the greenie blues (oh the irony) and am here for the long haul and happy about it. Probably not as happy as my pappy who just retired right? Yee-haw. You should see how pretty Ohio is dad. It does remind me more of Idaho than I thought because it's cold here and pretty green. However there are hills everywhere and I don't think there are many straight roads here at all but that is what it makes it so pretty.
Elder Fivas and Gretta

I stopped really worrying about my Spanish... Mostly because I have been on a Medical transfer haha. Elder Lamm from a neighboring area needed elbow surgery so I am in an English area for a week with Elder Beverly on the outskirts of Cincinnati. I am having a riot! There are some crazies all over the place here and it's so fun to meet all of these people. I love understanding people once again at 100% and I am fed very well haha. We do a lot more random knocking and people here say some funny things.

I walk down the street and smile to myself when I think of my family wondering where I am at. Sometimes I am walking down main street of a smaller town, sometimes I am walking through the hills, and sometimes I am the only white person within a mile radius in a jam packed Section 8 housing area in Cincinnati haha. It is so nuts to see how some people live! I am learning so much and I can't even tell you how happy I am doing this work.

   Thanks for that wonderful Neti Pot thing. Elder Jensen in the MTC actually told me about those. I will send pictures of me using it ;) And thank you Telisha for that greenie package, I love it! And I did get my blanket and sheets, thank you mom.
Elder Homewood and

Elder Arveseth and Gretta
So my Easter weekend was pretty amazing! I got to attend two baptisms, one of them being in the area I am in right now and one with my Tripanionship back down in Fairfield. The area I am in right now is Western Hills by the way. The first was to the funniest lady ever! Her name is Demitria and she is 72, I think. I wish everyone could have SEEN the smile she had after she came back up from under the water!! The second baptism is a 12 year old named Gretta and she is so strong. Her family, like most of the hispanic families here, is fairly nutso and she is going strong. I have a picture with her on Elder Homewood's camera I think, so yous will have to wait to see her. (They say yous here sometimes haha) On Sunday I went to a full sized ward and that was sweet! We confirmed Demitria and she was very overcome with the gift of the Holy Ghost. It was very neat to see her experience that power for the first time. She couldn't even stand up for a little bit.

I guess before I go I have to mention that I am going to attempt to cut my own hair today. Hopefully all goes well :P Oh and has anyone ever heard of Jeshua? We knocked on a door and this skinny black guy comes out and chews us out for teaching about Jesus Christ. Apparently Christ was just a Greek slave and when my companion tried to testify that he was the Savior and the Redeemer of the world he just told us that "There wa'nt no white man thet came t'save us". Hopefully I can keep experiencing funny things like this because I just think this is all so funny!

So how was Chance's farewell? The punk never wrote me back so I will have to have yous tell me. One more thing I guess is that it takes about 4 days until I get your mail just so you're aware. I love reading about your weeks dad and I'm glad the family seems to be doing ok without their best part ;) The Gospel is true people, and I am so happy to be a part of the only church that has Authority from God. Get pumped for General Conference and pray that I get to watch it in English! haha love you all!

-Elder Fivas