Monday, December 27, 2010

Loving Mexico



Helloooooooooo!!!!!!!

I am so excited to be writing you! Mexico is nuts and i'm finally on a computer where i am able to send pictures!!!! woo hoo!!! But heres a downer.... its an apple imac.... awwwww..... haha! Anyways, I'm going to tell you a little bit about what we did on Christmas. So in Mexico, the "cenar" or eat dinner at like 9:00 at night. Thats EARLY to them! So we went over to the Montanez family's house. This happens to be a family that has only three girls. Fun stuff. It was good though. They fed us a ton of food from 8:30 (WAY EARLY) to about 10:45 at night. It was really nice. I didn't eat anything strange, because the Montanez family seems to think that its funny to only cook me American food when I come over. So we ate spaghetti and BBQ ribs. Still, it was really delicious! Christmas day was really fun too! We had to arrive at the stake center that the whole mission was meeting at (the one where we took our picture), at 11:00 in the morning. That meant that we had to be on the bus by 9:00 because it was any hour trip to the subway and an hour ride almost to the stake center. So we arrived like ten minutes early, and it was really nice, because for the first time since September, I finally got to see everyone from my MTC district. The first thing we did was watch "How to Train Your Dragon" (como a entrenar a tu dragon) in english with spanish subtitles. Then we ate lunch: pizza, ham sandwiches (real ham), and lots of other food. Directly after that, we had a christmas devotional about an hour. That was really nice. Of course it was all in spanish, but I had no problem understanding. Then we spent 30-45 minutes trying to fit 120 something odd missionaries into one picture. After the picture, we watched Toy Story 3 (sorry no cool spanish translation for this one) in spanish, with english subtitles. After that it was about 5:00, and we all started to return home. This weekend was really big and really fun. Not much more happened than that. We have one person on date for the 2nd. We are still struggling to find more investigators, but we are working on getting the members involved to help us find more.

Picture time :)

First picture is me and my companion Elder Franco :D

Next picture is of me as a transformer for a little bit :)

Love ya!

Love,
Elder Scott Donner

Monday, December 20, 2010

Mexico City



FAMILIA!!!!!

Oh my gosh! I cannot believe that I am in Mexico!!!!!!! It is so sureal to be here!!!!! Anyways I'll start from the beginning of the journey here :) So the plane landed here in Mexico. I know! Crazy right? First thing goes wrong! They saw something in the Xray-baggage-thingy in one of my bags that they didn't like. So what do they do?? They pull me aside and search through ALL of my bags looking for some type of bottle (because appparently bottles are very dangerous here in Mexico). I kept telling the security guy that the only bottles of anything that I had in the bags were my shampoo and my hand sanitizer. He didn't believe me I guess, so he had the security lady keep searching my bags while he went to look for something else.
As soon as he left, the security lady told me to put my things back and QUICKLY leave so I wouldn't be seen. I did just that jaja!!!!
Everything was okay after that. No problems! So we started driving to the misson presidents house with the APs. BTW! The traffic here is so freakin nuts!!! I will never complain in any kind of traffic in the US EVER again. Its basically a game of lets see who can weave in and out of traffic the fastest. I'm surprised nobody crashes to be honest.
And here, its the bigger faster car always wins. There are no rules to traffic. The police just pull over who ever has the nicest looking car, because that means they must have money if its a nice car. The police definately have trucks with 5 or 6 mounted machine guns in the bed that they drive around in the city. One slip and 6 people are toast (yes I watched that happen from a bus). Also ambulances only come to save you if you have the money to pay for the hospital. Crazy right. Where I am serving right now is one of the suburbs of Mexico City (which is still part of the stinkin city, they just CALL it a
suburb) I'm in the State of Mexico. My zone is the Villa de las Flores and I am serving in the Real del Bosque barrio (which happens to be on a stinkin mountain haha). Anyways this area is pretty much nuts. Cool thing though, I live in the most brand new apartment in all the mission. We have three peacocks that live on our balcony jaja! So great! Our bathroom is outside, downstairs from our apartment. We use a gas powered boiler to shower. BTW funny story.
This morning the lady who we are renting the apartment from was teaching me how to turn on the boiler with a lighter. Apparently I did in wrong, so a blue flame shot out of the boiler (which I was looking into) and scorched my eyebrows, eyelashes, and some of the right side of my hair. Thank goodness though, it still all looks good :P. Anyways, my trainors name is Elder Franco. Guess where he's from mom? Milagro, Ecuador! Ya I thought you'd like that :) He doesn't speak a lick of english, which I am grateful for. I was the only one whose companion doesn't speak any English. We have both been out the same amount of time, which is really neat. He is a District Leader already, because he correctly uses the ways in which we are taught to teach our lessons here in this mission. Such a funny missionary.
We've agreed to teach other english and spanish, because he thinks it would be cool to visit after the mission. We are in an area that was white washed, so we are both new here. We have no investigators currently haha!!! BTW, THIS MISSION IS HUGE AND I DON'T CARE WHAT ANYONE SAYS!!! My area is 5 times the size of the one I was in in Utah. We walk, take taxis, buses, or vans jaja! Usually we try to walk though to become familiar with the area. It's ridiculous all the stuff that's sold on the streets. I won't even mention some.... but I can buy pretty much any movie for $10 pesos (the equivilant of like $1 american dollar). I'm loving being here! I am so excited to call this FRIDAY! THATS RIGHT I AM CALLING FRIDAY EVENING AT AROUND 6:00.
Reason being is because most hispanic families are together on Christmas Eve, so Elder Franco has to call that night too. What would be better though, is if you bought an international call card so I can call you from a members house or the cell phone (which we get today
:P) and then you can call me back on the number I give you.

I Love you all!!!!

Love,
Elder Scott Donner

Friday, December 17, 2010

Phone Call


So many thoughts ran through my (mom) head when we found out that Scott had received his Visa to Mexico and that he would be calling before he left the States. Knowing that his flight would leave Salt Lake City at 7:20am and layover here in Phoenix, the whole family was up at 5am waiting for "the phone call". By 7am we knew we were not going to receive "the phone call" until he reached Sky Harbor Airport. Cody and the twins had finals in school and were unable to wait longer.:-( Knowing that he would have a layover at Sky Harbor Airport and with the help of my sister Lorene, we rushed to the airport. We were waiting by the gates at the security check point when "the phone call" came. No...we didn't see him, but it was so good to hear his voice! And we were so close! He has such a love for the Latin culture and is excited for the tacos! His Spanish is very good, but he knows the people will speak faster in Mexico. It was a very short phone call, but completely wonderful and we can't wait for his Christmas day phone call!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

VISA...VISA....VISA....YES!



Family....

I GOT MY VISA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I leave tomorrow for Mexico City at 7:20 in the morning. I have a layover in the Sky Harbor Airport! HOW COOL IS THAT!!!!!!!! I got my visa this last monday along with every single other missionary waiting here in this mission to go to the Mexico City Northwest Mission!!!!!!!!!! How cool!!!!!!!!!!!! You can tell I am pretty stinkin stoked!!!!!! This email will probably be a little bit short because I have some packing and shopping to do. Mom, I am going to be buying a 2nd carry-on bag today at Walmart, just to accumulate for extra weight/ if my bags get stolen. I am really sad to be leaving because I will not get to see the people we were teaching get baptized, but I am the same time I am super stoked!

I love the IPod so much! Thank you so much for it. I have listened a little bit to the scriptures in spanish, but find that I learn better when I read it myself aloud. I will probably listen to the scriptures in any free time that I find in Mexico.

About pday next week..... that's a good question seeing as I'll be in MEXICO!!!!!!!

I actually bought somethings at Walmart for my companion because he lost his card, so he will be paying me back before I leave. That's where the money from the socks went. I didn't not return all of the socks, only the ones that other missionaries told me would wear out fast.

I am actually reading Jesus el Cristo right now during personal study. You thought the vocabulary was ridiculous in English? Try reading it in a language that you are trying to learn. It's helping out alot though, and has so many things about the savior that I never even thought about.

Pictures:

First is the Guardado family. They are members that helped us with rides to the temple. They also expect updates on me, so I am going to have Elder Duarte leave them with my blog address.

Second, I'm sure you can guess :)

I love you all!!!!

Love,
Elder Scott Donner

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Perhaps a Visa in 2 Weeks


Once again Hello familia :)

Well I will start with the good news that I do have. One of the elders who was in my zone in the MTC, Elder Moss, called the MTC and the Consolate last p-day to find out the status of our visas. I should be receiving my visa within the next 1 or 2 weeks, according to what they told him. One of the elders in my district here in the field received his visa yesterday and will be leaving on Monday, so I have hope :D

Transfers are next Wednesday, on the 15th. I get the feeling that I will be staying put because of the fact that we are starting to receive visas now, so it would be pointless to transfer me. Plus it would be super cool to be here for Christmas and also be cool to get sent to Mexico! Jaja I think I'm asking for too much :P

Our investigators are doing super awesome. Alan, who we had been teaching a while back, like in the beginning of October, is finally getting baptized. His dad would not let him, but finally they came to a compromise. He can get baptized as long as he doesn't go on his mission. Apparently he's tired of how good the missionaries are at doing what they do jaja! Just my opinion... But anyways Alan is only 14 so he will have 5 years to change his dad's mind, so no biggy :P Also Sara and Mosiah are doing awesome. Mosiah expressed how much he loves us and he expects us to stay in touch and come and visit him after the mission. Absolutely I will. They have been one of my favorite families to teach. Yasmin, who has kinda been low radar the whole time we've been teaching her, is supposed to be baptized this week. She accepted but we are unsure about it. She has dawged us every day this week, so we are praying super hard for her. Her daughter really wants to be baptized though.

We are going to be baptizing a man named Carlos soon too. He has been going to church for almost 2 years, but he is living with his girlfriend, and can't get divorced from his wife because he doesn't know where she lives. He finally got down to the legal way of doing so, and soon he will be able to be baptized. So far, we have 5 baptisms scheduled for this month and about 10 potential baptisms sometime in the near future.

Mom, I did get my package, and yes I opened my Christmas present right when I got the package. I know, I'm horrible jaja! It excited me so much though. My companions could not believe how loud that little tiny speaker can get.

My knees and my sleeping are doing just fine. I find that I have trouble going up and down stairs jaja! I have fallen down a full flight of stairs 3 times so far (I'm going for a record! :D). Other than that though, my health is doing good.

The members of the branch do everything they can to take care of me. One of them told me that I'm a very deceiving person. I asked why and he said its because when I open my mouth, my spanish sounds amazing and I have an accent like I've been speaking it for years, but then I don't understand everything that they say back, they have to take a step back jaja!

I don't really need much here. If I do need anything I will let you know :)

Love,
Elder Scott Donner

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Thanksgiving News




Hello,
Sorry last week was really nuts and there was no way to tell anyone that I was going to be emailing on Wednesday. And they changed Pday to Thursday this week. UGH! But everything is all good. I have decided that the snow is only fun when you drive to hours to play in it for the day, not to live, eat, sleep, walk, breath snow.
The baptism was really nice this past weekend. Unfortunately Eduardo could not get baptized because he was in Washington state and they closed down the freeways so he couldn't get home. Funny thing again, we won't be baptizing him this weekend either because he moved out of our area, so now he is another Elders' responsibility! How frustrating, all that working with him and now I can't count it as my baptism :P Thats ok with me though, I'm just glad he is still getting baptized!

Thanksgiving was really neat. Unfortunately, like the moron that I am, I did not take any pictures because I forgot to bring my camera sooooo ya :/ The Smith's have a really interesting Thanksgiving though. They have some of the traditional foods like turkey, ham, yams, and mashed potatos, but everything else they pretty much just make their favorite foods and bring that jaja! I think I might start doing that :P It was really nice though, and Mom, thank you so much for the socks and cereal and M&m's! I ate the whole bag the next day jaja! They were really excited to see what I got! Although, I cannot believe that you would send me a Xmas present and tell me not to open it and expect me to have that strength jaja!

There's not alot going on with investigators. Sara, who I told you about last week, her husband Mosiah, who happens to be a member, his baptismal records got lost. So now we will probably get to baptize him and count it as another baptism. Sara is really excited for that, because she can be baptized with her husband. We also met another family from Arizona who just moved here. Come to find out, they only lived a block away from us! HOW WEIRD! So we have alot in common. We ran into this family when she was trying to carry something heavy in from the car, which was really cool.

This past week has been amazing for Spanish for me. If you didn't know, I have a really hard time understanding what others are saying in spanish, but I can talk alot of it. Alot of prayer and alot of focusing on just listening to every little thing being said to me has really helped me out. I think alot of the problem comes from the fact that with certain missionaries, they talk and don't allow me to say anything, so I have fallen into the very sinful habit of not listening to what their saying at times (NOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!). Recently though, since I have been focusing on that, it has been great, and the Lord has really blessed me. Now I pray specifically for the gift of interpretation of tongues.

Exercises..... ya.... its really hard to do them in the morning sometimes haha, but I always make sure I stretch. I think this whole daylight savings junk has thrown off my sleep again so its been interesting this transfer.

Haven't had the chance to go see the temple lights yet, BUT, we are going this Sunday, so I will be sure to take and send pictures :D

There is currently 1 girl writing me. She is the sister of one of the missionaries who is headed to Mexico City Northwest as well. She doesn't write that often either. I am still waiting for my to have some girls from the Stake to write me :)

Pictures. The first one is of Jose Emilio and Maribel, who just got married and baptized. Also in the picture is Rosanelli :)

Second picture is the deadly icicle that tried to kill us :P

I will be sure to take more pictures this next week.

I love you all!

Love,
Elder Scott Donner

PS They nicknamed me Elder Princess

Monday, November 29, 2010

More Pictures









1st is more blizzard :D

2nd is Ananelli :D Jose and Maribel's daughter! She doesn't smile at anyone but me :)

3rd is the snowman we built for a kid's birthday

4th is the scarf that Jessica gave me because I didn't have one :P

Blizzard



This was written on Wednesday November 24th.
Hi!

I was gonna ask Sis Smith to let you know that we are emailing at this time because the place we email will be closed tomorrow for thanksgiving! Anyways, this week has been awesome. I am going to send as many pictures as I can, multiple emails if that is what I have to do. So guess what... there was a huge blizzard last night! We definately worked in it too. We had appointments to keep, so we walked through the blizzard to get to them. It actually wasn't that bad, but today its a whoppin 11 degrees outside haha! I'm so grateful I decided to buy that huge jacket from Mr Mac's. The baptisms were awesome last week! SO MANY PEOPLE SHOWED UP! Claudia and her son Kevin were baptized. So neat! Kevin was really shy and didn't want anyone to see him in the baptismal clothing. We had tons of investigators there too! We had our investigators that are getting baptized this weekend that were there. The work keeps moving on too. Carmen's cousin, Jessica, has been freaking out about the snow, and constantly calls to check up on us. She texted us as soon as she heard about the blizzard that was coming, and told us to stay inside. Imagine her shock when we go knocking on her door to ask if she could give us a ride home. Apparently it was pretty bad out there, but the Lord definately blessed us for being out there.

We received a referal this last Sunday for a part-member family. They just moved here and the husband is still active in church and brings his wife every week to church. COOL! So we ended up calling them and setting up our appointment with them for last night. Last night was the blizzard.... so funny! So we walked all the way across our area to get to their house in the blizzard. We got there 20 minutes late, but when we knocked on the door and Sarah (the wife) answered, she could not believe that we had come all this way. Of course she invited us in, and her husband came out out of the back room and kept saying," I knew you would still come! I knew the snow wouldn't stop you!" After our first meeting with Sarah, she is set up to baptized on the 18th of December!

Another investigator that we have been working with for a while, Yasmin, accepted baptism last night for the 11th of December. It was a real testimony builder for her to see that she was so important to God that her messengers would walk through a blizzard to still come and meet with her.

So I got chastised by our investigators that our getting baptized this weekend. They felt like I didn't like them, because whenever I talked, it was about the gospel. Any other time they were talking with us about other things, I was silent. They didn't know I was silent because I don't understand their accent (I still have a hard time understanding alot of the time). Maribel looks straight at me and says, "No entiendas que estamos diciendo o no le gustamos?" Basically, she wanted to know if I hated them or I just didn't understand them. I explained to them that I have a hard time understanding and she turns around and tells me that I need to ask them if I didn't understand something. SLAP TO THE FACE! They are in their early 20's, so we are really good friends with them. I figure thats why they would get so offended when I didn't talk.

Anyways, the first picture that I attached is of Claudia and Kevin's baptism.

Second is us in the blizzard last night :D

I will send more pictures in other emails.

I love you all!

Love,
Elder Scott Donner

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Still No Visa :D




Hi dur!!!!!

I can't believe another week has gone by again. Totally ridiculous!!!! But the work is moving on and I'm working my tail end off :) Answering questions first. STILL NO NEWS ON THE VISA! SORRY!!!! :( I'm pretty sure the Lord is keeping me here because he has more work for me to do. There are so many people we would not run into and start teaching if it wasn't for the efforts of all three of us in the companionship. I feel very strongly about that. I'm thinking I might even be here til christmas, but we will see :) I don't know that I will be because the next transfers we have are on the 15th of December! What a poop day to have transfers! 10 days before christmas! Not to worried though :) The Lord knows better than I do :)

With Angel, unfortunately he couldn't make it to church on Sunday. We called him and he said that he was trying so hard to leave work. He works at the swap meets here on Saturdays and Sundays and unfortunately couldn't leave. But next Sunday he said he can for sure be there :) So he is going to be baptized on the 4th of December instead.

Now the deal with Pdays. Usually we get up early and go to the temple but that will be changing I guess. Afterwards we go to the Smith's house and they feed us because they love us :) Afterwards its off to the stores to do our shopping and then after shopping, off to email ( I'm there now :P). After the emailing we go home and go to Pday activity which usually is some kind of sport like dodgeball or volleyball or kickball or basketball etc etc. That lasts until about 5:00 and then we go home for dinner and head off to work at 6:00 :) Sometimes it flies by and sometimes it doesn't :P

This weekend we are set up to baptize Claudia and her 12-year-old son Kevin. SO EXCITED FOR THIS! I pretty much love their family. Their kids are a handful and I love playing with them. Elder Tory gets mad when I do because he said he doesn't like (hates) kids. They are so ready to be baptized though! Kevin is excited to start going to scouts and stuff! Claudia said I speak spanish beautifully for only having started speaking it in September. I told her "Muchas gracias. Pienso que la problema que tengo es no peudo entender que las otras personas dicen" She about died because she said I have a beautiful spanish accent :P She wanted to know if I sang because she would like to hear me sing something in spanish. Ya.... not gonna happen jaja!!! She also said she liked my scarf :P I will send pictures of that next week because I don't have any pictures right now. I got the scarf from Jessica ( yes it is a girls scarf but no one has to know that :P), Carmen's cousin.

Ok so I attached 2 pictures. Eva, the women who we baptized, was originally going to be the only one getting baptized last Saturday. Her daughter came with her to her interview though, so we took that as Heavenly Father was telling us to get her in there too. She didn't feel ready but she did the interview anyways. Cynthia (the daughter) and Eva (the Mom) were baptized last weekend :D

The second picture is the picture of the little girl in la familia De Alba. She kept saying "Quiero tomar foto! CHEESE CHEESE CHEESE!" So she took a picture of me (kinda) and I took a picture of her! She's really a cute kid!

Anyways, thats all for now. I LOVE YOU ALL

Love,
Elder Scott Donner


Thursday, November 11, 2010

Continued Blessings


Hola Familia!!!

Once again we are sooper busy in the missionary work. I have an amazing story to tell you from last night really quick. So we had received a referal from the mission office for a man named Angel. We had been trying to set up an appointment with him for quite a while and they would always fall through, but he didn't want us to drop him. Well last night, we went on exchanges. Me and Elder Duarte (the 2 kinda not new but still really green with a good understanding of what to do missionaries) had our first appointment with him. We actually went through with this one. So we get in and we are introducing ourselves (me explaining that I had only been speaking spanish for 2 months) and he introduces himself. Now something that we had been told in zone meeting this week, is that our zone is not allowed to add someone as a new investigator until we commit them to baptism. Me and Elder Duarte wanted to add him THAT NIGHT. So the whole time we are talking up how Jesus Christ was the perfect example for us and how he was baptized by someone holding authority and also explaining that we have this authority. We asked him if he thought it was important to follow the example of Christ and he absolutely said it was. So then we committed him to baptism on the 27 of November. HE ACCEPTED!!!! The Lord has continued to bless us this month already. We have 12 people on date for this month. HOW AWESOME.

Still heard nothing on the visa. No one from the MTC that I came with has gone yet. I would kinda like to stay here at least until Thanksgiving :P BTW, we got to press apples at Sister Smith's house this week with an apple press from the 1800s!!! Pictures!!!

Mom the only music I can listen to is MOTAB and EFY Music (on Pdays).

I'm glad to hear Jordan is the MTC. He better be ready for a shock!!! HAHA

Anyways, I love you all!

Love,
Elder Donner

1st Baptism

Hola Familia!!!
I am so sorry that I didn't really even send really an email last week. There were so many problems with last week and everything was working against me! But I have time to write and send pictures this week :D (Unfortunately the pictures didn't transfer)
Everything is going super good!!! I'm in my second transfer now because transfers are today haha. Our entire district stayed the same, which is good. I definately love everybody in the district and am glad to still see them here. Plus I like our investigators and still want to teach them jaja!!!!
Anyways, guess what.... Carmen asked me to baptize her so I got to baptize her!!!! My first baptism yeya!!!! It was a really neat experience and she was super excited to be baptized. She was a little sad afterwards because she realized she wasn't going to see us as much anymore, so it's been funny because she has been making every excuse to see us now jaja!!! She tried to hug me at the baptism too and her aunt had to tell her that you can't hug missionaries jaja!!!!
Ana and Eric, who we baptised on the 23, are doing good and are super excited. Eric is receiving the priesthood, and he is shining more brightly than anyone jaja. We were teaching Benjamin's wife, Lucila, and had a baptismal date for this saturday. She knew she needed to be baptized but she was raised in a christian church. Unfortunately she decided to get baptized in the christian church this past Sunday. She started crying when we told her we wouldn't be coming over to teach her anymore. We still will check up on her but not as often. I still believe she will get baptized, but it will take alot longer than we thought it would.
Sleeping hasn't been a problem lately, which is good because we are super busy teaching a bunch of people. A lady that we had been trying to contact for the past while was never home and never returned our phone calls, so we dropped her. Just this past sunday, though, she showed up at church and so we started teaching her this week. So many times have I seen the blessings from the Lord when we as missionaries are doing what we are supposed to! It is amazing how the Lord blesses us in so many different ways.
I haven't heard anything on my visa, but I'm ok for now :P

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Better Than Nothing???


Hello Family,

I am sorry for emailing so late. It has been an interesting situation this week. Long story short, a bunch of dumb things happened with meetings being packed, so I only have a couple of minutes to write this. Anyways, it definately snowed this week! Nuts right? Its pretty weird how used to the cold that I have gotten. I have pictures from the baptisms this week. I will send them. I know this is a really short email. Super frustrating but the library is closing and we have to leave. Sorry!!!! I will write a ton next week!!!! Promise!!!!!

Love,
Elder Scott Donner

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Simple Pleasures

Hola Hola familia!!!

Ok so to answer the questions first. Usually for personal study, I am studying for my investigators, trying to learn something new to help them to progress. It's really amazing when you study something specific to meet someones needs. And also to how many different questions and concerns you can answer with just 1 Nephi 3:7 jaja!!!
Usually for companionship study we read the Book of Mormon for 30 minutes and do the activity in the back of the Book of Mormon section of preach my gospel (I'll let you look that up). Then we role play and practice teaching the doctrine that we will be teaching to some of our investigators that day.
I actually got the ties this past Monday, and I have to say, I love them!!! I did get a duplicate of one of the ties, but I will live. I figure I can trade someone for another tie, or just make that the tie that I burn at 6 months jaja!!!
I did not get the cords for my camera just yet. We only get mail on Wednesdays, which is the day designated for our zone leaders to pick up our mail from the mission office. So I assume that I will get the cord next Monday.
Sleeping is very interesting. One of the members, Sister Smith, loves the missionaries and tends to get very worried about us. Her and her husband also feed us every PDay, which usually ends up being the only meal we eat because she makes us take 3 or 4 helpings plus dessert. Anyways, she has been trying to advise me on how to get better sleep, and has told me that melatonine should work. I bought a huge bottle from Costco that should last me for the two years. When I actually fall asleep, I can sleep. If not, I lay awake for most of the night.
The knee is ok. Elder Tory seems to be a little more dramatic than he should be about it and wanted to leave me in the apartment one day. I know he's just worried though.
No word on the visas to Mexico. The elders who got their visas had been waiting longer than I have been, so that is why they got them and I didn't. Everyone seems to think we will get them next week though.
I don't think I need anything at this time. I am very happy with the ties I received :D.
We are having 2 weddings and 4 baptisms this weekend. Ana Maria Flores is getting married to Eric Lopez. Her son is a member and served a mission, but never had any interest in the church for now. Eric wants to be baptized so he can be married for time and all eternity.
We also have Benjamin and Lucila getting baptized. Ben loves the gospel and has a strong testimony. We're pretty sure we have heard his life story about 20 times. He LOVES to talk, which gets frustrating because sometimes we can never get through a lesson. Lucila hasn't shown any interest until recently, so she won't be getting baptized just yet.
The 4th person getting baptized is Jose. His wife just recently got baptized, and he has noticed the spirit that it brought into the house. He stopped drinking (which he did alot of) cold turkey, and is getting baptized this weekend now.
We also have Carmen and Eva, who will be getting baptized on the 30th. Carmen loves church and has a testimony. We have to be careful with her because she likes to try and flirt with me alot. Nonetheless, she knows the church is true.
Eva is someone who has been hard to meet with, because her appointments always fall through, but we know she has a testimony because she had a really spiritual experience her first week at church.
Anyways, I'm pretty sure I will get to do one of the conformations for one of the baptisms this Saturday, because all of our investigators want to "help" me out with my spanish jaja!!! Not to worried about it :P. I've learned just to make mistakes, because they will always correct me jaja!!! Anyways, that is all for now.
Por favor, oren para todas nuestras investigadores. Ellos necesitan los bendiciones.

Ciao!
Elder Scott Donner

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Very Merry Un-Birthday?


Hola Hola,

Sorry I did not email you yesterday! We had Zone Conference yesterday so they rescheduled our pday to today! Sorry sorry sorry!
I was actually sick once again on my birthday jaja! I had a 102 fever but I still went out and worked. The mission office called me and sang me happy birthday in the morning. I actually had forgotten it was my birthday until they called me up and sang to me, so that was kinda funny! I did get the package with the recorder and Nicki's picture (which I loved!) and the "10" ties (which I'm assuming means 2?). {Note from mom: He didn't tell anyone it was his birthday}
I have heard nothing about my visa since the first day I got into the field, but I'm kind of praying I won't get it until the end of October so I can see all of my investigators get baptized!!! JAJA!!! Go figure! I actually had the opportunity to pretty much teach the entire Plan of Salvation when we went on exchanges witht the zone leaders, because our zone leaders don't speak spanish jaja! So 2 greenies and a zone leader got to run the area for a day. Also one of our investigators, Carmen, teases me alot about not talking much at all, so now there really is no way to teach her unless I'm the one talking, because she likes to hear me talk. One of our more interesting situations, but ok we'll go with it. A testimony is still a testimony jaja!!!
Our companionship actually covers the entire stake for the spanish side. Usually it's one companionship to a stake. We have alot of opportunities to find, and last week we actually found 6 new investigators. Our schedule is always so slammed! We are always busy! But I'm glad, because I refuse not to work.
I have actually started to get some sleep again, and the insomnia is starting to leave. Hopefully it doesn't come back up anytime soon. I'm actually kinda glad you sent the recorder so now we can record Elder Duarte talking in his sleep! Its so funny because he's either teaching a lesson in Spanglish, or he's talking to a girl after his mission. Me and Elder Tory get a kick out of it.
Also on another funny note, my knee gave out and I fell down an entire flight of stairs down into the basement where we live. I think it was on my birthday, but I don't remember, I just remember laughing so hard jaja!!!! I had my knee brace on for a couple of days, and we were lucky enough to be blessed with a car for 3 days because some other elders got theirs taken away for always being late to meetings. But ya it was pretty darn hilarious.
We do have opportunities to do service, but at times its hard to call it service because they members alwasy give us money for food or feed us. I swear I'm getting bigger but my weight is going down.... go figure. If you could, Mom, please send the cord to hook my camera up to the computer (I know! you told me so!). That way I will be able to send you pictures home and you will be able to see more pictures from me more often.

I love you all

Love
Elder Donner

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

All Is Well







Hiya Familia!

Wow this past week has just flown by. Thanks to the members here, I think I'm getting pretty fat! :( We go to Costco for lunch pretty much everyday, but we never get to pay because someone always approaches us and offers to buy us lunch jaja! Now it's kind of a game to see if we can buy lunch before someone else does for us. Also the members feed us a ton for dinner. This week we are eating with the members of our branch. It's slightly horrible because whenever we finish a plate, they don't even ask, they just fill it right back up with food. I swear it's a competition to see which member can make their set of missionaries gain more weight. Thank goodness I'll be going to Mexico eventually. I think I'll just drink some water and get my parasite early so I'm not dying from constantly being full jajajajaja!!! JK JK!
Anyways it's been super crazy this week!
We have 2 bodismos ( bola and bautismo :P ) coming up on the 23rd of this month. 4 people will be getting baptized that day, and then we are putting a family on date for the 30th, which is the weekend after! WOWOWOW!!!!! Our hard work definately pays off, because we get to watch our investigators progress, which is a beautiful thing getting to see them obtain their own personal testimony. We have one investigator, Ana, who said the life has gotten so much harder ever since she's been talking with us and has set up to be baptized. She then proceeded to tell us that she knows that means the church is true, otherwise Satan wouldn't be working on her so hard. She is such a strong investigator, along with her boyfriend, Eric. They are one of the couples set up for a bodismo on the 23rd. They are so excited for it, and I am so excited to see it and be apart of helping them!
The mission is definately so rewarding!
Elder Tory is constantly working on me with my spanish, and I am slowly starting to gain the confidence to talk more when I'm with the investigators, or any latinos for that matter. At times Elder Tory can be a pain because he gets really irritated, or won't let me or Elder Duarte say anything in a lesson, but we've figured out ways to be able to deal with him jaja!!!
I went to my first live temple session this morning. It is definately a different and much LONGER experience, but is more spiritual in a way. I heard that eventually, if I'm still here, we will have the opportunity to clean the Salt Lake Temple! How cool is that! So we will get to see the entire temple!
I loved General Conference! It was so cool when, I believe it was Elder Oaks, asked all the missionaries to stand up. I thought, ' Wow... I'm a missionary....' jajaja!!!!
The kids absolutely loved us at the temple square. Any time they saw us they would scream at the parents, "IT'S THE MISSIONARIES MOM!!!" We find that all the children just love the missionaries, but I can remember being little and thinking how cool the missionaries were.
I can't believe Elder Wesche is home too now! It would be cool if I saw him somewhere.
I love reading the emails you send. I also received the envelope with all the stories in them. I laughed so hard when I got to Chelsie's blog, so I think you should definately keep sending those when and if you can. I'm also excited to see what some of my ties are!!! I really don't feel like I'm turning 20 this Friday jaja!!! I think by the end of my mission, I'll still be telling people I'm 19 jaja!!! Anyways.... I will keep trying to update you with anything you want to know. Be sure to put an * before your questions.

I love you all!

Love,
Elder Scott Donner

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

New Address


Hola Hola!!!
First and formost, my mailing address is:

Elder Scott Curtis Donner
Utah Salt Lake City Mission
3487 South 1300 East
Salt Lake City, UT 84106

I got both the sweater and the jacket and they both work wonderfully! I have already used both of them :) My insomnia is not doin so hot since gettin out in the field. Its on and off some nights, so I have been switching what I am taking, although I did buy more melatonin today at Costco (with my card :D ) so I would have some when I got to Mexico. My knee is doing perfectly fine, I don't have any problems with it and we walk everywhere :) so that's a blessing. I did get the workout book and you will be happy to know that it is the one I was looking for AND my companionship is obsessed with it, because we really get a good workout.

Temple square was awesome! We watched the Joseph Smith movie! Alan, our inestigator, is set to get baptized on the 9th. We have 3 other investigators with a baptismal date this month, so I am excited for that!

We have the opportunity to go the temple every Pday, as long as we get a ride with a member, which we couldn't today. I will let you know, though, how cool it is when I get to go. My Pday is actually Wednesdays though, is was Thursday last week because of transfers on Wednesday.

Anyways, I am super excited and so enjoying the work! Honestly I have so much fun meeting new people and teaching, that I don't notice how hard it can be! By the end of the day, though, we are all completely worn out, which does go to show the work is hard! It's still so very exciting and I love our investigators! This is an experience I wouldn't change for the world. I am so glad that I have the opportunity to serve in Salt Lake City before I go to Mexico, because I know there are people here that need to hear my testimony. Elder Tory told me that my testimony has already helped some of our investigators. He also told me that my sincerety when I teach is something that he hasn't learned yet. I didn't realize anything one way or the other haha!

The field really is so much different than the MTC. In the MTC you were spoon-fed the spirit. Here in the field, it really is up to you whether you keep that spirit. We definately do just that.

I love you all. Keep writing!

Love,

Elder Scott Donner

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Temple Square



Scott has been tranfered to a mission in Salt Lake City until his visa arrives. Here is his first letter from the field...

Hola Hola!

Hoy es mi dia de preparacion en el campo! Sorry I didn't have the opportunity to send an email out yesterday. You will find that I have answered any questions that you asked in a written letter home, which will be in the package of stuff that I have sent home.
My last day in the MTC was very hectic, but I am very glad to be out of there.
My mission president's name is President Whin. He is a super nice President. I am in another trio and.... it is a spanish speaking trio! The senior companion is Elder Tory. He is actually training 2 of us because our other companion, Elder Duarte, just got to the field yesterday as well.
We already have went and eaten lunch with the Smiths, who have an amazing home, and have also expressed their love for elders waiting on visas. I already love this area so very much and feel very comfortable. Elder Tory has noticed that I am kind of quiet, but I let him know that I am such because this is kind of how I observe things and how everything works here. He's already been so very helpful, and I really appreciate President Whin for putting me with an understanding and caring companion.
Strangely enough, I am not nervous, but maybe that is because I haven't actually had to teach any lessons yet. Elder Duarte is a native speaker and Elder Tory is very fluent, which is something that I had already shown concern about. But Elder Tory said that he is here to help me out, and from what he can tell, I already speak great spanish having just left the MTC. I feel like there is so much to learn, and I know there is, but I am so very comfortable here.
Me, Elder Montoya, Elder Gamardella, and Elder Taylor are all split into different zones, but I know they are in good hands. We are so all very excited to be out here. I do have some concern for Elder Pope, who left Monday for LA, becuase he is so very shy, and was very nervous about going there, but I know the Lord sent him there so he might be able to overcome any fears that might be holding him back.
I still cannot believe that I am out here in the mission field. Something that Hno. Vigil told us before we left the MTC, is that even after the mission, you will wonder if that all had really happened.

On an interesting note, my companionship is a walking companionship, or we bike, but I don't have a bike jaja! But they said they know a member who lends out bikes to visa holders, so I might be able to do that. Tonight, though, we already have the opportunity to go to the temple square, which is like 10 minutes away. We are taking some investigators there, which is already uber exciting. I want to be able to test out my spanish speaking with them. I know they will be patient with me, because I am definately new jaja!

Anyways.... Les quiero todos!!!

Love,
Elder Donner

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

MTC Life Coming To A Close...



Hola Hola!

This week has been an uber interesting week but I will try to fit it all in :D But first I will answer the questions you had.
Visas, rumor has it some missionaries got them and some didn't. They haven't told everyone yet and if we didn't get them then we will be reassigned somewhere in Utah for the time being so they can bring us the the consolate to sign the visas when we get them. I am going to check the travel office today to check and see if they have any new information. I'm not too worried about it because I figure if I get reassigned then I have the privelage of saying I served 2 missions :p
Also they do sell calling cards in the bookstore so I will buy a couple of those. I will have the opportunity to call you when I get flown off to Mexico. Otherwise, if I am reassigned, I will only get to call for 5-10 minutes to let you know where. I'm not sure of any address's of where to write me yet, but hopefully I will find out soon.
Thank you for sending my shoes! I missed them so much! Jaja!
As for other things, I have been told that Mexico city has a ton of things that I can buy if I need them (except for jackets in my size cuz I'm so big), so that shouldn't be a problem at all.
I find that through my whole experience in the MTC, I have had more trials than I can count. When I overcome one trial, another one slaps me in the face. Currently, because of my insomnia (which the medicine has been helping BTW) I have been getting super sick, which the Doc said we need to monitor because it can turn into pneumonia (neumonía en español :P). I have also been suffering from a really bad migrane these past few days, so we have been having class with the lights off haha! I find it interesting, because I read in my patriarchal blessing the other day that I have been blessed with the ability to cast my trials aside, and overcome them with much strength. That certainly gave me a confidence booster, but I haven't let anything stop me so far in the MTC.
I really have been enjoying this last week. I have been teaching everbody the Plan of Salvation in spanish with my 2 favorite chapters on it. Alma 7 and 42 are great chapters to use! I enjoy them so much! Also reading the Book of Mormon in spanish has been a real blessing in learning the language better. I find so many more things reading it in spanish than I do in English.
Our teachers interview us each week and it was funny, because Hno Vigil was asking me how I felt about how I was doing in the language and doctrine. I told him I felt very comfortable with it, and he agreed that the entire district is doing just totally awesome and that sometimes, when he's listening to us speak in spanish, he literally doesn't think about it because we do so well. We have been blessed with such wonderful teachers! Having 3 teachers and their insights has really blessed our learning, and also the love they have for us makes us learn so much better.
It's almost surreal to think that we'll be leaving the MTC soon, but I am SO excited!!! I have learned so much here and have already seen how the mission is blessing my life! I learn something new everyday, and I wouldn't trade this experience for the world. I love you all!!!

Love,
Elder Scott Donner

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Life Goes On...


Hola hola familia!!!

First to answer mom's questions. I have been receiving the packages you have sent. The last one I received was the dollar store package with all the batman plates bowls and cups and stuff. I did enjoy receiving that! Although I don't know when I would be able to use it haha.
Anyways, I went to the doctor again yesterday. Interesting story there. One of the districts from our zone all went to the doctors at the same time, now four of those elders are in quarantine for 5 days because they all have influenza! Which prevented me from seeing my original doctor, because he was the one who had to go and check them out. Interesting! So I ended up seeing a different doctor this time who said he did not agree with the first doctor giving me ambion. Then he proceeded to tell me why, because it makes you often times forget what did, which did happen to me. He told me about one elder who had been taking it and ended up "fighting his companions as a pirate, trying to save his bag of gold from them". Another sister was on the floor screaming that she was flying. Thank goodness I didn't do things that radical, although Elder Pope and Elder Montoya did tell me that I had crawled under my bed and wouldn't come out for prayer, so I made promise to them to just hop into bed after taking it. Anyways, this new doc prescribed me a different medicine. I don't remember what it is called, by I will write down what it is in my written letter home.
The week has been nuts for me. Me and my companions are now the zone leaders, so tonight and tomorrow night we get to orientate the 21 new missionaries that are coming into our zone! Oh goody! Talk about overwhelming. But I know I'll be ok because I'm actually totally comfortable with it, theres just alot to do. We have to make sure they know most, if not, all of the rules in the MTC so they don't screw up. We're mostly just babysitting them jaja!!
Anyways the language is coming really well still. I know its nothing compared to what I will learn in the field, but I can give the first and second lesson, and some of the third lesson. I also taught the law of chastity in front of the class with my companions, to our teacher Hno. Vigil. It was really funny because my companions were really uncomfortable talking about it, but I had no problem being very direct and to the point. Hno. Vigil said that you can only teach that way if you truly love your investigators, which made me feel good about it because I felt like that was something that I was struggling with. He said we did an awesome job and thats how it should be taught every time.
Two of the elders in our district played the violin and piano last week in the devotional. It was amazing! I wish I could send it to you somehow! The devotionals this week were not that interesting. It was hard to pay attention, because they kept repeating themselves. One of the elders had mentioned that he felt they were just reiterating a point, but the rest of us knew that words were just repeated because the speaker didn't seem to have prepared well. He also spoke really slow jaja! The elder in front of us was getting mad about it!
Anyways, funny thing happened! Dave Jr. will appreciate this. One of the elders in our zone locked him and his roommates out of their room while they were showering. Unfortuately you have to have someone already in missionary attire run all the way across campus to obtain a key to unlock it. So I did the magical trick to unlock the door jaja! You can ask Dave Jr. about it. I remembered it from him. I was able to unlock the door within 2 minutes, and the elders could not believe that I had done that jaja! I'm going to teach them how to do it eventually so when I leave they can do it.
About visas..... I've heard nothing about them yet. We are going to visit the travel office today to see if anything has come up with them. We all have faith that we will get them, we just don't know when haha. I hope I have answered any questions you've had. I love all of you!

Love,
Elder Scott Donner

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Insomnia!


Hola Hola Familia!

This week has really been a doozy for me. I have been suffering really bad from insomnia to the point of falling asleep in class. Not sure why I am, but my teacher finally took action and told me that I needed to go the Doc and get checked out by him. I figured it was a really common problem (which it is). Anyways he has prescribed me some ambion(?), which I absolutely hate. My body fights it so much and its super frustrating because when its starts to kick in I get super loopy and usually forget what I do right before I go to bed. It helps me get about 1 more hour of sleep than i was getting, so now I'm up to 2 hours. It just bugs me now though because with the medicine in me, whenever I wake up in the middle of the night, my body feels like it is glued to the bed and I can't move. I have a check-up appointment next Tuesday and the Doc will analyze me from there.
Everything else is going really good though. I weighed myself yesterday and have only gained 3 pounds. I imagine cutting back and working out every night has really helped out with that. I have resorted to just eating cream of wheat in the mornings with a half a grapefruit (yuck!). It helps me not to feel so gross, because they mostly just serve fried foods here.
It’s really funny how dad ran into Elder Butters. I actually talked to him and told him to look for you guys, so I'm glad he found dad, which will hopefully help him to feel more comfortable. No word on the visas yet. Some elders have received them at 6 weeks and others right at 9 weeks. We are praying that we receive them sometime within the next week, which I think is totally realistic.
This week seems to have flown by, buy something really sad is that Hna. Gigena is no longer teaching here :( she said because she has graduated, the MTC told her that she was done here, which I guess they do for pretty much all the teachers. This week though, I feel like I have progressed so much in the language, which will really help me to teach the lessons in Spanish. I have been setting goals to use subjunctive sentences this whole week, which is actually quite fun, and is helping me to not translate everything into English in my head (if that makes sense). I know that when I get into the field I will be confused all over again, but at least I feel like I'll be able to teach some of the lesson when I get to my area.
We actually taught our first lesson in Spanish in the TRC this past Friday. I was pretty intense, but we managed to make it through it, which I definitely know the spirit had a huge part in that. Its interesting to see the words the Lord will put into your mouth when you don't know what to say. I definitely feel like the spirit has a huge part in everything we do. Only at the MTC could I be able to learn as much as I have about Spanish and the gospel in such a short amount of time.
I love reading the scriptures everyday for my personal study. I find myself cross-referencing EVERYTHING, which definitely helps my understanding alot of the times, and also helps the scriptures to be more personal to myself. This past week I have been studying alot on how the Lord strengthens us. One particular verse stuck out to me and that verse is Alma 26:12. What an awesome scripture! We also had a large group meeting where we talked about how often times missionaries use the Bible to prove the validity of the Book of Mormon, when really, the Book of Mormon is what really proves the truth of the Bible. The Book of Mormon was written to our generation and time. The Bible is actually a compilation of letters of Paul and others that were written to members of the church in THEIR time. That is why we find the Bible so vague at times jajajaja! How interesting!!! Anyways D&C 20:8-11 says how the Book of Mormon proves the Bible true. Read it! It’s Really interesting! Anyways I am going to send home notes today on Holland and hopefully the devotional we had last night who was Richard G Hinckley!!! I love you all and hope you are all doing well!

Love,
Elder Scott Donner

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Devotional with Elder Holland



Hola! Familia!!!!

First and foremost I love you all and appreciate all you do! Mom, I actually received the suspenders last Friday and we are wearing them today! I will take a picture of us in them and send it to you next Pday! It's really funny because Elder Lamb, from my district, said he is kinda scared of me because it tightens my shirt on me and can see my muscles haha!!! Anyways guess what?! Elder Jeffrey R. Holland spoke last night at the devotional!!!! I literally almost peed my pants when he walked in!!! I took so many notes on his talk!!! I am gonna make copies of them and send them home either today or next week! He is probably my favorite speaker, he is SO funny!!! I wanted so badly to be able to shake his hand, but I bet so did the other 2500 missionaries, so we definitely couldn’t have that opportunity. Our whole district was speechless, and we loved how blunt he was about the mission. I can definitely say last night was the highlight of the MTC for me. Mom you will love what he said in his talk. He said "This is real life, this is not a dress rehearsal". How awesome is that!!! Bishop Marcotte will also like this one. He said that all the missionaries are the good guys fighting in a war. We are the rough and tough fighters and can take anything, saying that we are the John Wayne’s fighting against the evil in this world! Haha I laughed so hard! Anyways, I did receive the pillowcases you sent mom, so thank you for that. I did not receive any more packages from Amazon besides that sports watch a week or so back with all the Batman stickers. I certainly did enjoy the stickers though and my entire district thinks I'm kinda weird for my obsession with Batman. It's funny because they say when I get to laughing really hard, I laugh like the Joker. One missionary came running down the hall to see who was laughing like the joker, and said he couldn't believe that it was me who sounded like that. I end up laughing a lot at night while we are doing the P90X workouts because while we are doing them, Elder Pope pretty much sees how much he can make us laugh, which ends up pretty much killing me because of the burning sensation that already comes from the workout, and then when I get to laughing. I have actually cut way back on eating here more than I had before. Breakfast is when I eat the most. I have a plate of scrambled eggs, then I have the egg whites of 4 boiled eggs, and 2 glasses of orange juice. Usually during lunch and dinner I just get a half sized portion salad or a cool wrap. I feel so much healthier when I eat like that and I'm able to be more awake and concentrate more. I don't fall asleep anymore in class and I can be more in tuned to the spirit. I had one of the most spiritual experiences the other day. We had put on a mach baptism for our progressive investigator, and it could not have gone better. The spirit was so strong and Elder Lamb had prepared an awesome talk on baptism and the Holy Ghost. After the baptism meeting, we took Gabriel (our investigator) back to his home and committed him to baptism and said that he would if his family would. We also told him that we would talk to him more about God's plan for us and Eternal Families. He was so excited! Unfortunately that was our last time with him because he is going back to school and is now Hno Del Toro again and will not be our progressive investigator anymore. But nonetheless, we are going to sign up for a new one as soon as possible. As for the gentleman in the temple, I saw him again. His name is Brother Smith. He said he was a boy that had been in scouts and had the opportunity of doing so with Grandpa. I hope that helps. I hadn't thought to ask for his first name. Anyways, lately I have been finding that when i overcome one challenge I am having in the MTC, the Lord gives me another. Right now I am suffering from insomnia. I have been having trouble falling asleep, and when I finally do, every night I am awakened from my sleep by nightmares. I don’t think I have ever been woken up by a nightmare before, but I constantly have faith in the Lord, and always pray to him to help me to overcome these trials. I continue to try and be strong and a good example, but also be myself. The MTC is becoming a little easier to deal with, because I'm really familiar with it now. Spanish is still coming along great! I can teach a basic first lesson and some of the second lesson in Spanish, WITHOUT using memorized phrases :D I am quite proud of this accomplishment, and some of the other missionary compliment me on how I'm able to just come up with some of the things I am able to say, but I know that this is because I have been praying for the Lord's help, and he is just answering my prayers. I hope all is going well at home. If you have any more questions, feel free to ask and I will try and answer them :) I'm praying for everyone at home. I LOVE YOU ALL!!!!

Love,
Elder Scott Donner

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Temple Blessings


I love the pictures that have been sent to me! I am getting more pictures printed which will hopefully be done be today so I can send them home. I am doing much better food-wise. I have slowed down eating CONSIDERABLY, and now the other elders in my district think I'm starving myself, but when you sit around all day, that food doesn't go anywhere, so I only eat literaly fist sized portions. I also started doing the P90X (look it up) workout with another of the elders in my district, Elder Taylor. Me and Elder Pope are going to continue to do the workout with him until we leave the MTC. Hopefully that is something that will help me to feel better, because I'm so used to being active. Me and my companions had the opportunity to start really teaching our first progessive investigator! It was amazing! The first time was a little rough but the second time we were there was so spiritual. We committed him to be baptized and he is coming with us to a baptism next Monday! I am so excited to bring him to that! We feel the spirit so strongly here each day. Last night, Elder Gonzalez of the Presidency of the Seventy spoke to us. He was a character! It was so fun to listen to him talk about Christ-like attributes and how we represent Christ. We, as missionaries, are literally taking the place of Christ and teaching as he was. After the devotional, we had a testimony meeting with our district. First of all, thanks alot Mom. Come to find I bare my testimony just like her (with tears and blubbering and sniffling and all that fun stuff, ya not pretty). I didn't feel so bad when I looked around though and saw that I had gotten pretty much every other missionary in our district to tear up and/or cry. But what a spiritual experience it was to hear the testimonies of so many men who are dedicating 2 years of their lives to be as Christ and share his gospel with the world. I love it here and know this is where I am supposed to be. I wouldn't trade this experience for anything. It is so nice to have the opportunity to go the the temple each Wednesday. All of the temple workers there know me because of a gentleman who works in the temple. Apparently he knew Grandpa and had the impression to ask me if I was at all related to Ray McKnight. I started to cry and said that I was. He told me he was prompted to ask me and that after asking, he could tell by the way that I carried myself and the spirit he felt in me, that I was related to Grandpa. I had never received a better compliment than that in my life. I was all blubbery (thanks again to Mom's genes) the rest of that day in the temple. My district is so close and we are so supportive of each other. We are so glad that we are all headed to the same mission, because we have developed a very special bond. We got new zone leaders on Sunday and they ask us how we were so close as a district. That was something we didn't really know how to answer, but we were nonetheless grateful that our unity is recognized. Elder Pope was called as the new district leader on Sunday as well, which was funny because he was a little taken back at first. It is still great though because I know he will be a great district leader. It is crazy how fast the time is going by here. I keep trying to take advantage of every spare moment, but there never seems to be enough time. My favorite chapter I read in the Book of Mormon this week was Alma 32. I love Alma! It is definately my favorite book in the scriptures. Its funny because I'm also reading the Book of Mormon is spanish, as well as are my companions, but its funny because Elder Pope was saying the Isaiah chapters were hard enough, but now they're double hard in spanish. It's funny though because we are able to joke about it in our district. Spanish has some pretty funny verbs and nouns too. See if you can guess what some of these mean: hechicero, basero de oro, jinetear, queso sweso. Those are just a few of the funny words we use. We also say "tan trigo" alot (Mom you have to translate it to English to get it). We also say stuff like "Hermano Vigil es las rodias de las obejas". We think were pretty clever here. But Hermano Vigil gets a kick out of what we come up with sometimes. He is one of our teachers and he has only been off his mission for 8 months! He went to Peru and always has stories about it. It's quite funny! Most of our zone idolizes him because he is just the best. We all printed out 8x10 photos of him and have them taped to the back of our doors in the residence halls. He doesn't know about it but we think its absolutely hilarious and are waiting for him to find out.

Thanks Family! I love you all and hope to hear from you all!!!!

Love,
Elder Scott Donner

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Yeah! Another Email!





Hola Familia!!!

Wow it feels like I was emailing you not even a day ago. We do so much and we study so hard here. We don't let one moment pass us by to read the Book of Mormon or to share our testimonies with someone. Before we know it, the day is over and we feel like we got alot accomplished in that day. The spanish continues to come easily, but I know that it will be a totally different thing when we get into the field. We have a new "teacher-in-training" who is from, guess where? MEXICO CITY!!!! How cool is that!!! We asked him soooo many questions at first, and he is still learning english, so it is kinda fun to teach him english while he teaches us spanish!

So it turns out that I actually had the stomach flu all last week (even though the food still makes me sick haha) and that was part of the reason that I was throwing up all last week. Also this entire week I have been suffering from a sinus infection, which they gave me antibiotics for, and are slowly helping me to get better. I ran into Mike Jones his first day! Turns out he has the same meal times as I do, so I have the opportunity to say hi to him three times a day, plus whenever I see him around the MTC. Also we are scheduled to do service at the same time and place, so I get to see him when we are doing service. He seems to be doing great here, and I'm glad to see he is so comfortable in this environment. I haven't had the opportunity to write Bubba. They only give us 30 minutes on the computer for email and there is literally a timer that counts down and kicks us off after our 30 minutes are up, so I am only able to get this one email written, but we will see what I can do...

We had a "district unity acitvity" yesterday at breakfast. Our district made it a goal to eat an entire tower of Fruit Loops for breakfast (approx 60 bowls of cereal, which makes it about 7-8 bowls a piece). One of the kitchen workers didn't seem to happy but all the other workers were cheering us on, including alot of the other Elders around us. I don't think it is something we will do again, because we didn't feel like eating for the entire rest of the day. Last night we had the opportunity to have a devotional where David F. Evans of the Quorum of the Seventy spoke. It was an amazing talk!! I don't think I'd ever taken that many notes in a devotional or talk before! The spirit was so strong while he taught, and he answered so many of my prayers in just that single talk. He talked about receiving revelation from the Book of Mormon, and how many principles of our gospel are taught within just the first Chapter of Nephi! I could not believe this is something I had not recognized, or just took for granted before.

I am so grateful to be here. Even though I came into the MTC knowing alot about the gospel, I continue to grow and learn more, and my testimony continues to grow. Our teachers continue to be wonderful. Our zone leaders came and asked us the other day how our district is so close with one another. They couldn't figure out how we had bonded so quickly, because all of us are so different from one another. I think we just explained that it didn't matter who we were, but that are purpose was the same, and we loved each other for the decision we made to bring others unto Christ.

Me and my companions had the opportunity to meet with an investigator. He is our progressive investigator here at the MTC, and we will have the opportunity and are planning to teach him the first lesson. We continuously pray to have the spirit with us, and that we will be able to plan to meet his needs, and to know what we need to share with him. I am so nervous, but so comforted at the same time by the fact that I know that in the time of my teaching, the spirit will manifest unto me what it is that needs to be said.

Mom, our district would DEFINATELY love to receive donuts from you! If you could send them on a Saturday, that is when we need the biggest pick-me-up :)

Also I forgot to mention that I did not bring my patriarchal blessing with me, and was wondering if you could send the shrunk down version of it.

If I think of anything else, I will mention it in the letter I write home.

I love you all, and will continue to pray for you!

Love,
Elder Scott Donner

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

August 4, 2010

Dear Family!!!

My second week here at the MTC has just sped by! I feel like I was able to get alot of studying done and alot of spanish learned. It's definately alot easier for me than alot of others but I am saying anything to my companions or district about it because I do not want to offend them. I was not able to greet Devon on the day she got here. That is a privelage only allowed to those missionoaries who have been here for 8 weeks or have just 1 week left. Luckily enough though we ran into her on her first day when she was picking up her supplies in the Bookstore so we were still able to take a picture. Everyone freaked out when I gave her a hug but I had to explain she was family haha!!!! I also have the same meal times as her so I have the opportunity to see her everday. I finally gathered together all the questions that have been asked to me and so I'm gonna take a whack at answering them but let me know if I miss a few.
I was not able to turn in my luggage receipt seeing as i washed it like a moron. It turned out to be in the one pocket I did not empty out. All is well though because I was able to meet President Uchdorf(?)!!!! I was using the bathroom and he happened to be in the stall right next to mine so it was really funny when I came out and he was there! I shook his hand outside of the bathroom, although I'm not sure why he was here because he didn't talk at the devotional/fireside. Still a really neat/awkward experience. I haven't received my Visa yet although I do know they started doing visas a different way now, and I had to fill out another physical appearance sheet for it again, so I take it I don't have it quite yet, although other missionaries have been receiving them before they hae to leave. I have received 2 packages so I hope that's all you have sent to me. I'm pretty sure alot of the packages get lost in the mail though. I have received the one that Mom sent for me yet either, but i still have the rest of today (its only 10:00). I appreciate all the letters you guys send via DearElder! Its really nice having a day to day update while I'm in the MTC although I do realize it is only while I am here. I have received all of them. They don't print the letters out seperate. They try to fit as many as they can on one. Imagine my surprise when I received 8 pages worth of letters on Monday. A total of 16 Letters in those 8 pages in all. Quite overwhelming, it took me an hour to read all of them, but nontheless, I was glad to have them. My companions are both amazing men. Elder Pope is a real example to me with the patients he has with Elder Montoya. Elder Pope is also a real crackup. He's a legend right now at the MTC. My district is probably one of the Rowdiest districts. We try to settle everyone down but we tend to get really worked up over funny things sometimes, although we still manage to keep the spirit. I am going to print out and send a picture of our district next week. We make up the largest zone in the MTC right now, which is pretty crazy. Actually we just lost a district to the field so now were one of the smallest. Our teachers are Hermano Vigil and Hermana Gigena (jenna with a stutter). They are both wonderful teachers and we learn alot from them. We have a basic understanding of the spanish language now and can speak in past and future tense now. Also if we ever need any help, we can always sign up for the spanish tutor, Hermano McCoy. He is a great tutor and makes spanish WAY easier to understand. I am grateful to have so many great resources here at the MTC. Unfortunately that is not the case for the cafeteria however. The food here does not agree well with my stomach, so I have had to resort to eating Cool Wraps and salads. The food made me sick until just recently, partly because the portions were so big, but partly because it just made me sick. So now i always ask them to make me half portions of the salads. Just recently I have started feeling better. My spanish is definately coming along well though.

Yo no se mucho, pero yo se como a compartir mi testimonio con ustedes (i think i did that right). Yo se que Dios es nuestro Padre Celestial, y a traves Su Expiación, podemos recibire la vida eterna. Yo so que el Expiación es central en el plan de Dios. Este plan es el Plan de Salvacion. Yo se que a traves José Smith, Dios restauró el Evangelio verdadero. Yo se estas cosas por que oré y Dios contestó mi oracion.

Well I hope I have updated you well enough and I have answered all of the questions you have. Thanks you all for your support and love.

Love,
Elder Scott Donner

Friday, July 30, 2010

1st Email from the MTC

I am so excited! This is his first email from the MTC. So proud of him!

Dated 7/28/2010

Hi Family!!!

So my PDAY is actually on Wednesday but they had us write one letter our first week so you knew we got her ok.
Oh boy where to start.... well I have 2 companions Elder Pope and Elder Montoya. Boy am I so blessed to have them. I know the Lord blessed me with these companions for a reason. They inspire me so much and help me to draw closer to the spirit. I am glad to be in a trio companionship because we each bring something to the table and help each other out in more ways than we know. The schedule here is definately busy and it's hard to keep up with it sometimes. I think I have only been late to class once but Hermano Vigil is cool and completely understood. My schedule changes everyday and even our Pday has a schedule. I will give you an example for our schedule on Tuesdays:
6:00 Wake up
7:00 Personal Study
8:15-8:45 Breakfast
8:45- 11:00 Class with Hermano Vigil
11:00- 11:30 Prep for gym
11:30-12:30 Gym time
12:30- 1:00 Clean up and get dressed
1:00 Lunch
1:45 Companion Study
2:45 Language study
3:45 Workshop
4:45 Missionary directed time
6:00 Dinner
7:00 Devotional
8:00 Devotional District Discussion
9:00 Planning
9:25 back to the rooms
10:15 Quiet time
10:30 Lights out bed time

So thats Probably one of our craziest days. We are only allowed to write and send letters on Pdays although some elders tend to ignore that rule. I will not be able to greet Devon when she gets her today. It is against mission rules and me and my companions are striving for exact obedience. If I see her though I will definately make an effort to welcome her here becase i know how my first day was and it was a little nerve racking not knowing anyone. Although I did see Elder Jager Lee on my second day which was nice. Our district is already really close and even though I'm not the district leader, our district leader always comes to me for advice because he feels I know more than he does. I constantly have to remind him I've only been here as long as he has. It's funny because even the Hermanas look up to me and I wish they didn't because I don't feel like a leader and even though I know Bishop says that is a characteristic that i Just have about me whether I like it or not.

The language is something I am able to pick up easy and me and my companions make it an effort to bare our testimonies in spanish at least 3 times a day to someone we don't know. We are are just now starting to work on teaching the first lesson in spanish which is nerve racking because we just signed up for our first progressive investigator. But I know we will do good as long as we teach by the spirit. Something that I recognized and actually REALIZED because of the devotional last night was that WE ARE REPRESENTATIVES OF THE LORD. We represent him in everything we do and people see that. I wish you could be here for the devotionals but I will try and send you some notes in letters today that i send home. Along with a list of things that i will need that they dont have here at the MTC. I am so GLAD that I took this opportunity to serve a mission.

I love each and every one of you and I expect you to keep writing me letters. It motivates me to know that i have so much support back home. Also please have Sarah write me. And have her read Moroni 10: 3-5.

I love you all,
Love,
Elder Donner

Monday, July 26, 2010

1st Letter

Well we were pleasantly surprised to receive a letter from Elder Donner today addressed to Madre Y La Familia. It was dated July 23, 2010.

Dear Mom & Family,

The first day of the MTC was CRAZY!!! I can't say that I have ever been more stressed! But I'm glad they did it the way they did. I am actually in a trio companionship so there are three of us. Elder Pope at first was really shy but I find he's actually just a very soft spoken guy. Elder Montoya, my other companero, is...well let's just say the Lord must have thought I needed to learn patience. Elder Montonya is a 24 year-old guy with a heavy learning disability. I am proud though to have him as a companion.
The second was definitely a lot calmer. Although I still feel lost the people here are so great and I already love them...until next time...

Love,
Elder Donner

Monday


This is Scott at the airport taken with a cellphone. Still don't know when his p-days are, so we have not heard from him yet...no news is good news.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010



The night before Scott leaves...set apart as a missionary...so cool!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010