Introducing Elder Bradshaw

"Ginger Nation"
February 24, 2014

Hey howdy hey family! Another transfer has gotten under way! And as soon as Elder Bell announced us in Anderson, he said "Ginger Nation" haha.

Elder Bradshaw and me
with our investigator Michael.
We like him :)
So I heard that you are going to a concert [Fall Out Boy in August] with Linzi [Kelsey]! That is so cool ha! And I think that it is so neat that you went and saw Elder Hansen [in Poccatello] when he got home. I miss him more every day. 

I thought the toilets in the truck was way funny
[Tell us about your new companion!] Elder Bradshaw is from Clinton by Roy, Utah and he is 18! (ironic from last weeks email). He is a beastly hard worker! He has pushed me more than anyone else has and it shows in the numbers this week. 25 member present lessons and 9 new investigators! 38 total lessons taught. Only 2 came to church though... I will study the fundamentals better and fix that though! So that's me getting a big head about a great week. 
Austin and his friends threw a party
for his mom's birthday so we
 came and got some pizza ;)

Elder Bradshaw is constantly asking me what the next call to make is or what can we be doing while we are in between appointments and he doesn't like to be in one place for too long. It's sweet! I am getting way tired though haha. He doesn't quite know the area or the people yet so I have to do most of the missionary work besides teaching. (Which is the most taxing part) He is 7 months out.

[How many people do you have that have committed to baptism?] We committed 13 people to be baptized this past week but that is much different than actually planning on a date. I would say we have one that really should be baptized in March but she didn't come to church last week :( It's our recent convert Austin's sister. She's cool, we always have a fun time at their house!

[How often do you have dinner appointments in Anderson, IN?] In Anderson we have 0 dinner appointments set for this week but we usually get 1. 2 if it's a lucky week. We could get more if we solicited them more because the people are great, but flexible dinners have their perks too.

[What fun stuff have you done on p-days?] One time we had a district activity doing the chubby bunny challenge and that was fun. Usually the most fun part of preparation day is eating and being able to slow down for an hour or two to rest :)

And the sun came out!!
[Spring seems to be coming here, any sign of Winter letting up there?] Spring is peeking it's beautiful head out lately. We had one day in the 50's with the sun out and that was fabulous! But the high of this week is around 26 haha. I can't wait for Spring!

Best queso dip
The Simpson family made us the best queso dip I have had in my life! He told us an old Mexicana shared the recipe with him in Tiajuana haha

I sure love you family and I can feel the support you give me. I couldn't ask for anyone better!

There are plenty of hard times on the mission, and I always want to write them down because I always forget about them by Monday! Haha so things are good!

Con amor,
Elder Fivas

Good bye Elder Hansen!

February 17, 2014

Hey mom and dad! And Kelsey and everyone else who reads this. 

I had a fantastic breakfast this morning. Home fries, biscuits, sausage, and eggs... all COVERED in gravy. SO good haha All over mah body!
Elder Hansen

I will be staying in Anderson for the next transfer, I am pumped about that because there are people here that I still need to baptize. I will miss Elder Hansen though. He's incredible. He goes home to the Highland 10th Ward on Wednesday. I get my new companion tomorrow, so you will find out later who it is.
Exchange with Elder Judd

[What are your thoughts as you say good-bye to Elder Hansen?] I am excited for Elder Hansen, he's been very focused at the end and that's something I admire.

I swear I didn't do it ;)
I am very glad you are taking care of the missionaries out there. And thank you for taking care of this one with your valentine package! Those gross cinnamon hearts made a mess but it was a cool idea ;P

[The missionaries in our area, Elders Carter and Stockham shared a music CD called Work.  We wondered if you are familiar with our favorite song on it.  I don't know the title but it says "Children go where I send thee! How will I send thee? 10 by 10. 10 for the 10 commandments...".  If you don't have this song already, we HAVE to send it to you! I will always have a fond memory of the Elders and your dad singing it at the top of their lungs as we drove them to Rigby.] I have that CD actually, that song is fun to jam out too. I haven't listened to it in a while. Did Kelsey ever show you the ones that I sent home?

Bro Carmanie
Well here are some pictures of my adventures this week! Bro Carmanie has a sweet organ room and black toilet!

I love you!
Elder Fivas

Hump Day!

February 6, 2014 ~ 1-year out
February 10, 2014

Buenos Dias padres!!

That [Hump Day] package you sent me was absolutely amazing and I totally did not expect it. The photo album from all of those people I love was the best present I could have gotten. Oh I just felt so great! I can't believe it's been a year but looking back it's pretty easy to believe, haha. I have gone through SO much and grown up so much. There are so many more people that I love since a year ago. Plus I have no problem speaking the basics of Spanish. A year ago I couldn't do that! I didn't do really anything to celebrate it though... Kind of lame but I was very happy. 

Exchanges with Elder Seegmiller
in Richmond were awesome!
[How do you view this milestone?] So looking at this 1-year mark thing I don't know what to feel. I still feel very inexperienced but I have more than a year's worth of memories and learning! So I will continue to keep working hard and sharpening my skills so I can be ready for the real downhill when I am 3/4 done. That's when I hear your mission either catches on fire or slows down. I feel so much more powerful after one year, I can't imagine how I will feel after two!

Elders Clare, Fivas, Sunderland, Seegmiller
[What are the pros and cons of being a Zone Leader?] The pros about being a zone leader are that I always will have a car, access to the family history library, mission leadership council, good areas and good wards, and being a little closer to President Porter. You learn so much more as an administrator as a zone leader! But President holds us very accountable and we have to do a lot of work to train other missionaries and we have to worry about how everyone is doing. Not just our investigators get our attention but our missionaries and their investigators and what their numbers tell us about what they need to improve do too. President did mention though that we might go back to being a district leader or something to change patterns on a more personal level. So who know's what'll happen to this guy?

Me and one of my favorite investigators ever.
Woody from Hazard, Kentucky
[What else did you do this week?] We taught, and found, and had high moments and more disappointing moments. Typical missionary week. But the Book of Mormon keeps me happy even when people I love refuse to choose the right. 

A Priest from the Harrison Ward
with Woody's dog Ms. Poppins
A convert from Russia taught Elders Quorum yesterday. His simple comments in his heavily accented English were genius. It was one of the most inspiring things I have experienced in my life. It changed me. You never think about the people who don't know there is a Christ, let alone being a part of His one true church. I will go to Russia one day!

That's it from me this week. Thank you so much once again, the present was wonderful!

Con amor
Elder Fivas 

 **Last week Brayden wrote that his previous companion, Elder Stoddard, "found one of mom's [stake] young women in Middletown, Ohio... she remembers both of you (me and Bruce)". 

I remember Lindsey Mogensen as a young woman who showed a great deal of love for the gospel as she patiently waited for permission from her family to be baptized. Its a fantastic feeling to see her beautiful family with the temple pictured behind them!  

"This is the Cardoza Family.
Her maiden name is Lindsey Mogensen.
 She was a convert back in Tooele." Elder Stoddard

Stansbury Newsletter #3

**Every 3 months Jamie Anderson compiles a newsletter about a group of missionaries from Stansbury High.  Her son Hunter, is serving in Taiwan. She does this is so they can stay in touch with each other. I believe she asked them to write about a principle they have had to refine and/or acquire on their missions **

Well, being right smack in the middle of my two years, I have learned more about faith than I ever have in my life. Everything that I do stems from faith! My faith increases every time I obey a commandment, every time I pray, every time I read the scriptures, and every time I eat a good meal. (The Lord blesses me for my faith in him with delicious food. I am rewarded quite frequently :D )

But being a little more serious, my faith in the Book of Mormon and in the Savior has become much more refined and strengthened. I have no doubt that Jesus Christ lives and that he is at the head of the Church and that the Book of Mormon was written and translated by holy ordained prophets. Sometimes I am discouraged. I want so badly for these people to read and pray and go to church but they so often choose not to. I will always push through hard times though because I know that the Book of Mormon is so true. Every time show the faith I have through hard days or weeks, the Lord always gives me just enough encouragement and blesses me for my actions.

Leaders are expected to change patterns, and those patterns are changed by faithful study and faithful action. I know this more than ever now. Circumstances can change when you have enough faith. I have experienced it. I love the joy that comes
from faithful obedience and the success it brings. I know where it comes from, the same place that Joseph Smith received all the keys of the Kingdom on the Earth. I will serve faithfully even when I am dead. I promise that and I so testify in Jesus Christ's name. Amen!

Luke's Baptism

February 3, 2014

Hey wonderful family! We had a baptism yesterday and it was one of my favorites! Luke had investigated the church for 7 years before now and he finally came to church and got in baby! He is such a cool guy. He's read the Book of Mormon more than once already so I think he's good to go.

Elder Murdock and Elder Tanner
[What did you do during the Super Bowl?] During the Super Bowl we went and saw our Recent Converts the Bautistas. I knew that Hispanics don't really care about the Super Bowl haha. I am bummed I missed out on the commercials but by the score, it didn't seem like I missed much of a game! Then we went and taught another investigator. Fun stuff! 

[What's with the three finger "word" sign in your pictures? Haha] The three fingers thing is just something fun that some of us do. I guess Kelsey said it was the swag sign? Haha I dunno.

Coach Fivas
[What fun routine you do on your "road trips" to your Leadership/Zone Conferences?] We just usually talk for two and a half hours and listen to music. It is more fun on the way back when we get dinner in Oxford, Ohio. It's a new little tradition. And really a change of pace is always refreshing :)

[When does your companion leave?] Elder Hansen is flying home on the 19th so transfers are on the 18th. Crazy! 

We had an exchange with Elder Tanner and Murdock and that was way fun! They taught us what "twerking" is... way funny. 

A typical hoosier porch complete with furnishings
We had a district activity today so I really don't have much more time than this, sorry. I hope all is well and I love you a ton!

Paz y gozo,
Elder Fivas

p.s. Mom I love your letters!! They get me a little trunky but it's fun to know what's going on.

Please wish Andrew [Kemp] and Kelsey my best in their marriage! And tell Aunt Shantel [Palmer] happy birthday! I love her! 

Also Elder Stoddard found one of mom's young women in Middletown, Ohio. I am working on getting a picture. She remembers both of you.