Thursday, February 26, 2009

An Amazing Week

Hello to all:
This week was amazing! Things are really starting to take off here (in Sinton). Our investigator is doing great and will be baptized this Sunday after church. He is really excited and kind of disappointed that he had to wait 3 weeks! He has also been bringing his niece and nephew to church and they have really expressed some interest in taking the lessons, too. His niece really felt the spirit at church and the Branch is doing a great job fellowshipping everyone.
We also were able to find another guy whose girlfriend is a member. His cousin got baptized last year (and just got sealed in the temple too!) and he remembers a lot about what the missionaries taught. He has been really interested too, and his girlfriend wants to come back to church. We also have another part member family that wants us to come and teach their daughter this Thursday!
Somehow the planets aligned this week and we have been extremely blessed. Funny story: Yesterday, a member invited us over for dinner, but we couldn't come in because she's a single sister, so she set up a table on the back porch. They have this dog that is only a year old that they had to tie up on this tree. So they brought out the food and this dog was going nuts trying to escape and get at the food. About halfway through the meal the dog somehow slipped through its collar and comes charging at us and at the table, so I grabbed all of the food and kept it away from the dog while my companion was trying to catch the dog. The member was swinging a broom trying to keep the dog away from the food. It was quite the ordeal. Luckily, the dog didn't get to any of the food!
So far things are going great in this area. Tell everybody hi for me!


Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Ian and Other Miracles

Hello everyone!
Mission President Miller called me yesterday and gave me an update on the situation with Ian (Editor's Note: Ian is Ryan's littlest brother, who has been in the hospital in Nashville with a serious lung condition) and even gave me permission to call and talk with my dad, so I had a nice conversation with him about everything. It sounds like Ian is going to be fine and that he will be out of the hospital on Wednesday. I'm so glad that he is feeling better and those missionaries from the Nashville area could go to the hospital to give him a blessing. Could everyone pray for his recovery?
This week was amazing. We had a crazy, crazy miracle happen this past Sunday. The Branch that we cover is relatively small (about 40 people), and on Sunday this new family with tons of kids walked in. After sacrament meeting they approached us, and the man said that he was not a member of the church and that his fiancé introduced him to the missionaries in North Carolina, and they had just recently moved down here to Sinton and he wants to be baptized asap! It was amazing, and he is scheduled to be baptized on March 1st! Of course we are going to teach him everything over again just so we can be sure that he understands everything. His fiancé and he are already talking about getting sealed in the temple! It is amazing to see how the Lord has blessed us.
This week was also one of the best weeks this area has had in a really long time. We were able to get a lot of things accomplished and things are really looking up for our area. My companion, Elder Bugg, is from Iowa. He grew up in Colorado and Pennsylvania, and a few years ago his family moved to Iowa. He and I get along great.
One quick funny story. Our Branch President used to be in charge of building maintenance for the San Antonio area, and in Eagle Pass, they kept complaining about how the pews were super uncomfortable. He suggested that they take them out and set up chairs, so they did. They didn't know what to do with the pews they took out, so they set them out on the lawn overnight. The next morning they came back and the pews were all gone and nobody knew what had happened to them. Later that week, the Pastor of the local Pentecostal church called the Bishop to thank him and his congregation for "donating all those pews." He has lots of funny stories.
Mom, how was Canada? I hope it's starting to warm up over there. It has been a bit rainy today and yesterday, but last week it was 75-80 almost every day! Tell everybody hi for me! Ryan

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Sinton, Zone Conference, and the Branch

Hello to all:
Mom, funny you should mention the fact that you traded in my Jeep. At transfers last week, I got some mail, and one was a letter stating that I had traded in the Jeep, which was news to me! I then read the letter you sent in the package and it all made sense! I just thought it was funny because I totally wasn't expecting it. I'll send some pictures this week, too. This is a very interesting area, it takes about an hour to drive all the way across, and there is a whole lot of nothing in between the towns. My companion and I had to give talks on Sunday.
The Branch is super tiny (about 40 members) and so usually the missionaries speak and give lessons all the time! Sinton is a super old town and some of the buildings are 100 years old. the Main Street looks like something from the 1920s. On Wednesday we had Zone Conference in Corpus. It takes almost an hour to get there and we had to go through Portland. It was way good and I got to see how my old areas are doing. Before I was transferred to Sinton, the car was backed into, so on Wednesday we went to get an estimate, and they said it will be more than $2,000 to repair the damage. It doesn't really seem like that big of a dent. The lady that hit us doesn't have insurance either, so I guess we'll see what happens. I hope everything is going well for everyone, and I look forward to and appreciate all the cards and letters.


Monday, February 2, 2009

Mission Area #5 - Sinton

Welcome to Sinton, Texas

Hello to all:
Well, I'm not in Portland anymore, I was transfered. Right now I'm in Sinton, Texas, which is even more north than before! I'm pretty much just making a huge circle around the mission I guess. Sinton is great, and the area actually borders Portland.
Our area is huge, probably the biggest in the whole mission. We cover a bunch of really small towns and in between the towns is a whole lot of nothing! We have 1,600 miles per month that we can use, and apparently it's just barely enough if we try to conserve (Editor's note: I am assuming Ryan is now using a car instead of a bike!)
We received the transfer calls last Tuesday night. Most people who got transfered stayed within the Corpus Christi area. I definitely went the farthest.
The Branch here is super tiny, with only about 35 people in regular attendence. We are also the only two missionaries in the whole Branch. It's so tiny that we are constantly called upon to give classes, and next week we have been assigned to give talks. The people here are the nicest people I've even met in my life. Most people will invite you back, or even if they aren't interested, they will chat with you. Hopefully we will be able to get some baptisms here.
Our Branch President is originally from Santa Barbara, Calif., and loves to surf! He has tons of surfboards and goes out to North Padre Island to surf all the time.
We (the missionaries) live in a house all by ourselves. It's a super cool place. It's pretty big for a missionary apartment, too. I'll also send the other memory card soon so everyone can see pictures.
I hope everything is going well. I heard the Super Bowl was really exciting, and Arizona almost won. Tons of people here pulled out their TVs and watched it outside while they BBQ'd!
Write soon. Prayers and cards and packages appreciated!
Elder Carreon