A Visit With Elder Dallin H. Oaks

August 26, 2013
That's our backyard

SO Elder Oaks was way great. I got to shake his hand and feel the power of the spirit he carries. I always thought he was such a serious guy and looked a lot like a bull dog but man he is so light and funny! Great guy and very personable. He smiles a lot more when he is not on TV. He actually mentioned that in one of the sessions of stake conference. His kids tell him he never smiles in General Conference and he says it's because he's scared of the people behind him and scared of the people in front of him! He said "what is there to smile about?!" Funny guy. His voice seriously booms too, it is the most powerful voice I have heard, it's so cool.

I am very grateful to have Elder Arveseth as my companion and I learn so much from him. I am amazed at the difference that 3 months in the field makes in wisdom and ability. Lately he has helped me focus on the doctrine of things and the "why's" of the commitments we extend. It goes back to understanding doctrine and changing behavior because of that. I want to follow God's commandments but it is hard to think back to what had to change for me to make that happen. That is what I am focusing on in order to teach doctrines to make powerful invitations to act. Once again, Elder Arveseth is a great example of doing that.

One other thing that I have come to really appreciate is re-practicing. I have always done role-plays like we should but I would muscle through it and check the box more or less. Something that President Porter said last Monday on a conference call was to make sure we practice a lot. I have applied this and boy does it make a difference! I get more comfortable and things go much smoother over all when you practice until you are getting it right and not just passing role plays like a kidney stone. Nice imagery right?

Uncle Danny emailed me and that was great just so everyone knows. Also Uncle Larry did too and that was great as well.

Goodbye to Elder Saunders
I loved your letter this week dad! Sounds like great times had by all! Elder Oaks was actually serving as a Gospel Doctrine teacher in Provo when he was called to be an Apostle. High Council should be cake ;) I can't believe Jessie and Gavin are that old already! Loved the pictures of them. I also love Elder Beck and was extremely flattered that he would take some time to email my parents.

Well that's what I can remember about last week and I don't have much time left. Love you bye!

And here is my district and some service pictures. We collected food for Feed Ohio

-Elder Fivas

A centipede we had in our apartment


August 19, 2013

Hahaha I noticed that you posted a bunch of the selfies that I took. It makes me look like a tool! I take them as jokes just so everyone knows!

This week has been super great and super thought provoking! I had zone conference and our Spanish zone leader Elder Carranza was with us. I learned a lot, but mostly I have become a slightly better teacher. Inspired questions are the key to discernment, and scriptures are the key to helping students understand for themselves the principles of the gospel.

Life is good and so are Guatemalan enchiladas. Free snowies for the Elders also rock. And yes mom, I get enough to eat. It turns out that pasta is super cheap, even the sauce and I happen to love it all baby.

The work in Norwood is going a little slower than I had hoped but we are still going on the upward. We had an investigator at church this Sunday which hasn't happened here in Spanish for a while. Norwood is cool, I am sending a picture. By the way mom, Elder McMichael and Gunnoe are the other Elders with Dak, not in the picture you labeled them :P
Dak's Baptism

I was pumped to hear about your new callings and I know you will do great! And has anybody heard what Uncle Danny is up to nowadays? Probably sneaking off to Peru to see Gunner [Elder Logan Thomas]...

Is there anyway you can have D&C 38:32 on my missionary plaque if you haven't already ordered it? It is so cool for me. ["Wherefore, for this cause I gave unto you the commandment that ye should go to the Ohio; and there I will give unto you my law; and there you shall be endowed with power from on high"]

Frolf with Elder Barnett and Elder Campbell

Ok, that's it from me!

Love you all tons,
Elder Fivas

P.S. Also Elder Oaks is coming to talk to our mission next Sunday. Yeah baby I am pumped.

They Deserve All-Star Missionaries

August 12, 2013

Hey mom! I totally forgot to answer your questions from your letter. [How often do you eat out? How often do you get dinner appointments?] Recently we have been eating out maybe four or five times a week  (lunch and dinner) because we have a 30-minute commute to our proselyting area every day and we can't really take advantage of this awesome ward's generosity to feed us. We still get one or two member dinners though and they are always great.

I actually cooked up that Fettuccine [you sent me] last night and it rocked! Thank you so so much!

 This week has been tough but have I sure grown! I have come to the realization that the mission is like God's perfect workout, tailored to each of his children. It can really stretch you but you grow in a way that only God can help you with. Repentance hurts but it brings more fruit! 

 The Eastgate Ward is just stellar and I feel like I am trying to reach the mark that they are at as a ward! I am very grateful to be here. They deserve all-star missionaries and that is what I am determined to be. I have come closer to my Savior as I have learned that I really can't be that all-star missionary without completely relying on Him. Grace is a power that I am not sure I will ever fully understand, and I am more grateful for it the more I learn about it. 

Elder Arveseth
 I absolutely love Elder Arveseth and things just get better everyday. I am learning more quickly every day how to overcome differences in opinion and being unified. God seems to be blessing us with more responsibility too as we become a better companionship.

  Here are some pictures that I missed sending last week. Man time flies but I sure have 6 months of memories! Most of which are written down! That's right every day, just like Cameron Hodge told me to. So that way I can catch up [with] what went down without having to email it all haha!

Practicing my putting... at lunch of course.
It worked, I shot -13 today to win! Frolf forever!
  The [Idaho remodeled] kitchen looks fantastic and I can't believe the transformation! I love your letters so much! The pictures are fantastic and makes me that much more excited to come back to you! But I would not trade my time in Cincinnati for anything!

Con mucho amor,

Elder Fivas

P-Day's Mean Frisbee Golf!

August 5, 2013

That's the Ohio river and Kentucky is on the other side by the way.
I played some great frisbee golf today but more importantly I can't tell you how much your thoughtful care package touched my heart. Thank you so much, everything was perfect. **Our package included his hair gel, his watch he sent us to have fixed, a chicken alfredo dinner-in-a-box, photos, an insurance card, his frizbee golf set from Idaho, and Golden Oreos.  Unfortunately we could not find any Arizona Lemonade!**

My last P-day rocked and so has this one. Last week we went as a district to a member's awesome house and had some delicious BBQ dogs and hamburgers and fun corn [whole]. 

I feel a little bad when I write about my fun stuff because two of the people I care about most are down in Peru working as hard as me without the luxury of the states. My prayers go out to Elder Thomas and Elder Boekweg but I know the Lord is giving them exactly what they need. Their letters and stories make me laugh :P

Dak got baptized last week and we were able to go! It was awesome and she is so solid. Not much to say more than it was just a really great time.

I was looking through some old Liahona's like my friends suggested and I found my blurb [in the Question and Answer section] in the Dec 2011 issue in Spanish. Haha it was awesome! Just like my buddy Elder Rugg told me, I was preaching the Gospel in Spanish before I even had my mission call.

After our district meeting down in Kentucky with some other Spanish Elders, Elder Carranza (who was born in Guatemala) actually commented that he really likes my accent. That made me feel pretty great. He says it sounds Mexican but not quite and he digs it. I love phrases that Mexicans use haha. 

I noticed that Elder Thomas mentioned Uncle Brian's advice of really enjoying things that you like on your mission... So I have taken the wonderful habit of soaking my feet in a hot bath tub while for either personal or language study haha. I will have to take a picture to show you all how ridiculous I look but man it feels good. 
Road Trip to a District Meeting in Kentucky

Ok I love you all! And I am sorry for taking so long on writing back hand written letters, I will find time for it!

Elder Fivas