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