Thursday, November 27, 2008

The Boys at Thanksgiving

The Dessert

A Thanksgiving Surprise

Note From Ryan's Mom:
It was a wonderful surprise on Thanksgiving evening to receive this email and the above photos from the family that invited Elder Carreon and the other missionaries over for Thanksgiving dinner. It was especially thoughtful because I was missing Ryan and I'm sure the thousands of families of all the missionaries worldwide felt the same bittersweet feelings of pride and joy mixed in with the pain of separation. I very much appreciate the Kimmel family's wonderful gesture to take photos of the missionaries and then email their families.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Well, I just wanted to say that it was a delight to have your boys over for dinner. They gave us a really great spiritual thought about gratitude- you should ask them to share the story they told. They were a great BIG help with dishes.
Thank you so much for all your sacrifice! We appreciate all these guys do in this area.

-The Kimmel Family

Monday, November 24, 2008

Salt Lake Temple in Autumn

Happy Thanksgiving From Texas

Dear Family & Friends:
Happy Thanksgiving to everybody!
This week has been pretty good. I did get a few of the birthday packages, the UPS ones can't be forwarded, so I'm going to have to wait until somebody from the mission office drives up here. We have interviews on the 3rd, so I'll definitely get them all by then. I also got some cards numbered 1, 3, and 4, so hopefully #2 is on its way! Anyway, it was a great birthday. We found out that one of the guys we are teaching had his 21st birthday on that same day, too!
We had two pretty crazy things happen on Tuesday. We have a meeting every Tuesday morning with all of the Elders in our District, and so we decided to put our bikes on the bike rack behind the other elders' car so that way they could drop us off afterward and we wouldn't have to bike. As we were strapping up the bikes, this lady came up to us and said that she felt like she needed to talk to us. She had just been randomly wandering around our apartment complex because she was having a really, really bad day and saw us. Turns out her marriage is about to break up, and she was feeling devastated. We were able to get her address and go over to visit with her later and help her out with a gospel lesson about self esteem.
As we were loading the bikes on the rack, we put mine on first and then my companion's. As we were driving down the freeway, Elder Hartner, who was driving, said, "Oh no! We lost one of the bikes!" We quickly pulled over and got out, and Elder Veater's bike had popped off the bike rack and fell all the way off. One of the spokes on his front wheel had miraculously latched onto the pedal of my bike, so we dragged the bike with us as we pulled over. The other crazy part was that both bikes were 100% fine except that Elder Veater's bike seat got scratched up a tiny bit. It was pretty crazy!
After District Meeting we found this seafood place that has a $2.50 all-you-can-eat plate on Tuesdays only, so it looks like we're going to make that a Tuesday tradition from now on. We have already been invited by so many members for Thanksgiving, so are going to get pretty fat!
P.S. The lady that came up to us on Tuesday is going through a super tough time, and we have done our best to find words of wisdom to help her. I was wondering what kind of advice anyone has for somebody in this situation. Does anyone have a favorite scripture or song or anything like that we could use to help her? Write soon and let me know. Thanks a lot!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Happy November 20th Birthday to Elder Carreon!

Dear Family and Friends:
Portland, Texas is great. The ward I am in is pretty small and will only get smaller since the nearby Navy base is closing down in February. A lot of the members are in the military, and quite a few of them have recently been deployed to Bahrain, a tiny country in the Middle East.
We had Zone Conference on Wednesday, which was way good. It's starting to cool off here ( in the '70s!), which is really nice during the day. It's fine at night with a sweater, but the first couple of nights we weren't expecting it! It also rained for a day on Thursday, but all in all it has been pretty good. Yesterday was pretty fun as well. I was asked to teach the gospel principles Sunday School class at the last minute, but it went pretty well anyway. Things have been going good here so far, nothing too crazy this week, but things are definitely picking up and we have a couple of really cool investigators. I can't believe it's been a year since I've seen everyone. I now officially have more days behind me than I do in front. I think it will really start to hit me when the New Year comes around. I hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Transferred to Portland, Texas!

Hello to all. This week was crazy crazy crazy! On Tuesday nights, the week of transfers, we usually receive the call from our District Leader as to who will be transferred the next day. Elder Clarke and I thought for sure that we were going to stay together, so we didn't worry much. At about 9:30 p.m. President Miller called us and talked to my companion first. He told Elder Clarke that he was going to be with one of his former companions again, and afterward he talked to me and told me that I was going to be transferred to Portland, TX.
My new companion and I are going to "white-wash" the area. That means that both of the old missionaries get transferred out, so both my companion (Elder Veater) and I are brand new in the area. So the next day I got transferred. It was sad because I really loved Flour Bluff, but Portland is super amazing. It's a very scenic place, and reminds me a lot of California. Ever since then, my companion and I have been trying to figure out where everything is and who all the members are and stuff. I'm not 100% sure about the new address, so just keep sending stuff to the mission office.
Elder Veater is from Ogden, Utah, and he's only been on his mission 10 months. The other companionship that attends our ward got white-washed in too, so yesterday everyone in the ward was surprised to see four new Elders! This area is great. The only downside is that we're on bikes again! We cover Portland and a small little town named Gregory. Pull up some pictures of Portland, because it's a super nice area. Across the street from our apartment is Nueces Bay, and we have this awesome view of Corpus Christi.
Just keep praying that we can get some good things done. Have a great week and tell everyone HI!
Love, Elder Carreon
* Blog Master's Note: Here is some info on Portland, Texas:
Portland is called the "Gem City of the Gulf Coast" and is described as being the most attractive and pleasant spot in Texas. It is situated in a beautiful 30- to 40-foot-high bluff overlooking 150 square miles of waves and fronted the deepest water in Corpus Christi Bay. As a summer and winter resort, Portland is described as being particularly pleasing with a mild climate and prevailing bay breezes. As a place for sportsmen, Portland is also known for its clean, family-oriented atmosphere, its TEA recognized school district, its very close proximity to downtown Corpus Christi (7 miles) and the multitude of recreational activities afforded by its position on both Nueces and Corpus Christi Bays; including birding, kite-surfing, fishing, golfing, swimming, canoeing, biking, kayaking and nature viewing. Portland also has 5 historical markers that tell stories of its past. The original Townsite of Portland came into being from 640 acres purchased by John G. Willacy in November 1890. The land was located on both sides of the San Antonio and Aransas Pass Railroad and overlooked both Corpus Christi and Nueces Bay. Ducks and other game are abundant, while the bays abound with redfish, tarpon and other varieties of fish. More fish and oysters are taken from these waters than at any point in the Gulf Coast.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Halloween and Possible Transfers

Hello to everyone:
This week with Halloween was pretty interesting. We weren't allowed to be out past 6 p.m. because of all of the trick-or-treaters and stuff, but around 5:30 p.m. we started to see people coming out. We knocked on this one door and this guy in a clown suit answered. We had to try really really hard not to laugh. We also saw a person dressed as Jesus answer another door. At 6 p.m. we went to the chapel with a bunch of other missionaries and had pizza and played games and stuff until 9 p.m.
We have transfers this wednesday. I can't believe it's been six weeks already. I hope I get to stay here longer, I really love it here and I can see this area progressing, so if my mission president or his wife happen to be reading this DON'T TRANSFER ME!!!!!!!
Unfortunately, I also have been a bit under the weather. It started yesterday and really hit me last night, but when I woke up today I felt way better, so hopefully it's nothing too big. The election seems to be all everyone is talking about around here, sounds like it will be an interesting one. I still haven't gotten my ballot yet, but I heard that Los Angeles is having a record number of absentee voters and so it's taking them a long time to get the ballots out. Hopefully I'll get mine soon! I requested it almost a month ago! Mom, happy birthday! Love, Ryan