Spanish Zone Leader?!

November 25, 2013
Happy Thanksgiving family!
I AM SO PUMPED to hear that Cody McEachern is coming my way! That's is so cool. He is such a great kid and will make an amazing Elder. This place is the best mission in the world!
And to answer your question, [what cold weather gear does he need to bring?] it gets frigid cold here in a wet air sort of way. So when the wind blows it's especially nasty. I have found that my scarf helps me out very nicely and that sweaters are a must! It snows much more in Utah so I wouldn't worry about boots and short coats work fine. Just be sure to layer up, and thermals aren't a bad idea. Just protect yoself from the wind! 
Well it's actually transfer week and I have been told that I am outta here. It breaks my heart because I love the Eastgate area and things are really starting to move. But I know it's for a purpose and that purpose was actually made clearer to me when President called me and informed me that I am going to be a zone leader tomorrow. Oh man, I haven't even been a district leader but I am very excited. I am pretty sure that means I will be down with Elder Carranza [who is a Spanish Zone Leader] in Northern Kentucky but who can guess transfers? But until you know, just email me because I won't be living in Eastgate anymore.
I was bummed to hear that I am leaving EastCherry for awhile because the work is really picking up here. I feel very strongly that they will get a baptism in December. Things were clicking with new investigators and we started getting a lot of commitments to come to church! I just love the work and right now I feel full of faith. I know that God answers prayers and I am pumped to see what answers I get in the future! Miracles baby!
Thank you so much for sending me that Thanksgiving package! I am very excited to share it and it was a very nice surprise! Everything needed was in there, especially delicious Golden Bears ;) [Brayden's favorite Arizona lemonade]
Ok question 2, [Do you do exchanges with the members?] I have never done an exchange with the members but the goal is definitely that they are there when we teach. Members are the most powerful missionaries.
3. [Any mission traditions for mission milestones? 6 month, 1-year?] There is the tradition to burn a tie, then a shirt, then pants, then a suit but those cost money and I am not burning them haha. Every Thursday however we always get Papa Johns, that's a fun tradition unique to the four pad. (That I am leaving tomorrow)
4. [Chili and Spaghetti?  What other strange concoctions are you cooking up for yourself?] I am a master at making Norske Pannekakers. They are pretty much crepes haha. Skyline chili is way good though!
5. [How are your suits surviving?] Suits are doing good but the top button on my black suit is literally hanging on by a thread. I need to learn how to sew those on. I don't normally wear the lighter one because I only have one pair of pants for it.
6. [Have you been losing weight?  You've been looking a little leaner.] I have lost 10 pounds but I am staying around there. There is definitely more to lose haha. My suits and pants are staying too big though which is better than too small!
7. [What activities have you been doing on your p-days?] I played football on a pday and the other ones we usually just chill or play some sort of sport. Pdays are actually one of the most stressful days, that surprised me. There is never enough time to play!
8. [Still playing soccer?] All of the Honduranians that we played soccer with have gone to playing indoor soccer at night when we should be in bed so I don't get to play anymore. Maybe in my new area though :)
9. [How do you feel about a possible transfer this week?] Well, you did know it was transfers! I am pumped to head to more responsibility but I will miss this area dearly. The mission is quite the heart exercise, always growing and being ripped down. haha
Well thank you for the questions mom, and the old gift card was a wonderful surprise haha.[We came across a Visa Gift Card from last December given to Brayden from Nana. We thought he might actually want to use it!] 
That was a fun email to write! I love you all tons!
Con amor,
Elder Fivas
p.s. Have Gunner email me because I don't know how to get a hold of him! I miss hearin from that man!

God is looking out for you!

November 18, 2013

Missionary life with Elder Marchello
This week was very satisfying to me! We really focused on getting 20 lessons because we knew that it is very possible but we were not hitting it, until last week baby! We just made sure that we were outside of the apartment focusing on inviting people and the Lord blessed us with people in our path as well as new opportunities with Hispanics we met. I couldn't imagine someone not having the knowledge that God is looking out for them. Everyone needs to know that! 
Fall Leaves

Elder Pape caught with his mouth full and Elder Tanner
I experienced plenty of joy and laughs this past week. I have nothing to complain about! I thoroughly enjoyed my experience and training with Elder Smuin last week. He is such a sharp missionary and one of my role models. I am grateful for my time with him. He was an answer to my prayers for more training, and I am still ready for more! He did ask me how I would feel if I switched to English work. I just told him that I am confident that God will assign me right where I need to be, English or Spanish. It's just really nice to know that God is looking out for me personally and all of the people I care about.

Elder Marchello and Elder Fivas
We played real life Minecraft this week shoveling out blocks of lawn for Bro Pierce. It was pretty fun. We have plenty of funny things that go on throughout the week but I can never really remember what to write about when I sit down to email.
Livin' that missionary life with Elder Pape

There was a huge storm last night, the tornado sirens went off and everything, that was pretty cool.

Missionary work really is a joy. Whenever I am out working doing the Lord's errand I am happy. It's cool to feel so good when I am working because I never thought that I would be happy while "working".

Livin' that missionary life with spaghetti
The people here rock and I am enjoying life as much as ever. Transfers are coming up next week right before Thanksgiving which means changes are coming my way. It's a bit of a bummer because I love all of the Elders I serve with and live with especially. It's lame to think that there is very little chance that all four of us will stay again. But hey, you meet new people that you love every transfer so how can I complain?

Plenty of miracles come my way as I exercise faith according to my inspired plans and goals.  And it is just so cool to see God's hand in circumstances unforeseen. He is so aware of every little detail in everybody's life!

Well here are some pictures to fill in more words!
Elder Burt's Birthday?

I love you so much mom and dad!
Elder Fivas
Who's Birthday? Not Elder Fivas'

Leticia's Baptism

November 11, 2013

Leticia got baptized baby! Her husband Oswaldo baptized her and it was just a beautiful thing! I couldn't be happier right now and I love it here. They gave Elder Marchello and me pictures with a note on the back thanking us for being angels bringing her a life of light. Oh words can't describe that type of joy. They rock so much!  
Elder Marchello, Leticia, Oswaldo, Elder Fivas

We are back to searching for a progressing investigator. I am at the point where I am wondering if my disabilities as an imperfect missionary are preventing these people from progressing or if we just need to find others. There are places for us to go and people for us to meet though, so not to fret!

I loved the training that I received at Leadership Council and I was so pumped up to be there with all of those all-star missionaries to teach me. I have such a long way to go and so many things I need help with. However, I am confident that God knows that and will bless me as I humbly pray for help.

On a little bit of a more serious note for me, I was wondering when the next Spanish Training is going to be. I am realizing that I am behind in more areas as a missionary than I should be and I want training from the more experienced Elderes. I am doing my best for Elder Marchello but I need some help too. I am grateful that Elder Arveseth is around, he helps me and Elder Marchello out quite a bit. More than anything, I just want to be sharp like the missionaries I look up to.

I took pictures but like a chump I forgot my camera today :( Sorry everyone. Next week fo sure.

I did want to mention that we do have a favorite new Chinese Dive that we get take-out for lunch specials. Haha so good! When we came back the day after our first try the Chinese lady was so happy to see us again! Simple things like gratitude for someone who cares about what you do sure makes me feel good. Random thought, but way good Chinese food!

Well I think that's it for today. I love you all so much! Even though I am not sure who really reads this haha.

Con amor,
Elder Fivas

Happy Halloween

November 4, 2013

**I had made the comment that "its a huge relief that you're happy and that I don't have to worry about your happiness 'cause there's nothing I can do about it if you weren't happy! (How's that for a happy sentence ;)". Oh Mom, you are just the greatest! I loved the happy sentence.

Elder Tanner with candy corn
Do you ever listen to the music on the lds youth website? I realize how great uplifting music is. You know because I can't listen to "cool" music I have to find alternatives and I can seriously see a difference in life with good music. Granted I miss occasionally listening to a Wiz Khalifa song or B.o.B but music that uplifts just makes it so I can go without.

I realize that the Yellowcard and Owl City songs that I love so much are actually great to listen to becuase they are pretty virtuous so that made me feel pretty good. :P I still miss them a lot.

I actually realized that the new Call of Duty game comes out way soon and I really want to play it :P But I really can go without, it's a good feeling :) I don't really know why I went on that little sermon haha

I saw the picture [card] of what Kelsey did for your [wedding] anniversary and that was way cool. Happy Anniversary!

Elder Tanner
Thanks so much for your wonderful Halloween package. I loved it and so did the Elders that partook of the goodies in it. The skeleton is now the favorite toy of the apartment and gets plenty of attention. It's funny how much Elders will play with toys when you have a very limited supply, haha.

Q: Do you ever get homesick?

I don't get homesick very often at all. I think of things about home every single day and I miss things but I seldom long to be home. Things are so great as a missionary that things like free time and video games can wait. I am happy out here and wouldn't trade any of my experiences for anything!

Halloween Trunk or Treat
Q: This might be a silly question, but does Ohio have daylight savings?

A: So Ohio does have daylight savings and I don't think I like it. It's way dark at like 5 o'clock and we aren't supposed to be out contacting in the dark and cold which makes it so we have to have good plans at night for like 4 hours! Almost impossible, but with God I can do it. Just another stretch is all.

Q: How are you doing on contacts (for your eyes)?

A: As for my contacts I think I have only changed out twice... Haha you know my bad ocular health! So I think I still have some to spare but I haven't checked in a while. I guess you'll now when I come begging for more :P

Q: Do you ever ride your bike anymore?

A: In my area out here in Eastern Cincinnati, all of the streets are narrow. Pretty lame. And there really aren't many sidewalks so no, I don't ride my bike at all. The English Elders tried two transfers ago and got a lot of honks and middle fingers because there is no room. So not safe!

Q: Our missionaries said they will be on facebook and have an ipad mini in April.  Have you been given a date?

A: I have no idea when they plan on making our mission electronic.

Q: Our local missionaries had a "lock down" party on Halloween.  What did you do for Halloween? 

A: For Halloween we were supposed to be in at 6:30 unless we had appointments. So we actually had appointments so there was no difference. (I feel a little prideful writing that) But it was Thursday so of course we had pizza night! Trick or treating actually got moved to Friday in my area too. So we did have to come home but we just did weekly planning for three hours because it was weekly planning day anyway.

Q: How would you rate your fluency in Spanish?

Check out that crazy paint job!
A: Having regular conversations in Spanish is no problem for me now, and I can talk about almost everything in the Gospel. I wouldn't say that I am fluent but the Spanish isn't very distracting at all anymore. I am comfortable talking to people but I do feel that I need to make a better effort if I want to get better at speaking spanish. I don't use it as much in Eastgate because there aren't near as many Hispanics. I am super happy that I am a Spanish Elder though. :) 

Q: How many missionaries are in your district?  How many districts in your zone?

A: In my district there are just Me and my companion, and Elder Arveseth and his companion. The zones keep growing and splitting too but the english zone I am in has 20 missionaries (2 wards, 3 branches). We usually have zone conference once a transfer and interviews every other zone conference.

Well the work here continues to go forward and we have some great potential investigators. Leticia is getting baptized on Friday and I am so pumped for that! I get to confirm her so I am excited for that experience in Spanish. I don't think I have ever confirmed anyone actually! Woo! Plus it's her birthday the same day as her baptism. What a great gift huh? Thank you so much for the love that you all send to me. I am feeling great and happy to be here! Loves!

-Elder Fivas

Elder Burt
There is this place called New Richmond that is this TINY town right on the border of Kentucky and Ohio. Way funny little place. I was there with Elder Burt on exchanges