How do I fall so far behind?! Yikes!! So sorry to those of you that keep up with this. Here are excerpts from his letters over the past month. Thanks to mom for editing these and getting them ready to post because that's the hard part!! Enjoy!!
Tuesday, July 5, 2011
So this week was pretty good. We didn't get to work a lot because of all the things going on with the transition to Pres Clayton, our new Mission President, but it's alright. He came into the mission last Wednesday and me and my comp snuck up to the mission office to meet him. He is a great guy. We had "meet the president" meeting with him on Thursday and we got to know him and his family. He brought his daughters with him but only one is staying. And she'll only be here for the summer, she goes to BYU. I'm excited to work with him. He is a great man and his wife is too. She said that she is going to set up a mission blog so that our parents will get to see what we are doing..so be looking for that!
Alex was confirmed on Sunday and he gets the PH next week. Way cool. His family wants to be baptized now too! Last week we had another FHE with them and the Mom, Maria, said that she is ready to be baptized. Just as long as the water isn't cold hahaha so things are going great with them.
On 4th of July, we had to be in our apartment at 6 p.m.because things get a little crazy in the SD ghetto. But we watched the fireworks from the alley way behind our apartment. They had a huge firework show/party by the naval base, which is close to our apartment. So that was cool. It sounds like yalls 4th was pretty chill.
Well that's all I've got. I hope everything is going great! Almost 5 months! LOVE YALL
July 12, 2011
Today is the transfer letter day. Me and my comp are staying together.
This Thursday is my first interview with Pres Clayton. I've talked with him a bunch of times and I'm pretty sure he will be cool with me going home early. I'm going to give him a heads up in my Presidents letter today so it will be on his mind. hahaha
This week was good. We had a lot of success on Sunday. We had 6 people at church, but it was nothing we did. The De La Cruz family came and then we had 2 random people just show up. Things are going way good. This week, we are helping a kid get his mission papers filled out. That is exciting! And...a less active that I helped reactive in Imperial Beach just went through the temple on Saturday and is leaving for his mission to North Carolina in 9 days! How cool is that? I'm way excited for him. He is a little cocky, (more than I was haha) so the mission will humble him, but he will do great!!!!
This week has been a little tough. I've been thinking a lot about home for some reason haha It is nothing that yall are doing, yall are ok. It's just me. The other day I finished the BoM for the 3rd time and I did the math to see how many pages I had to read to finish it in Spanish. I only have 5 months left.....that is crazy. 4 transfers...and this transfer is only 5 weeks. I kind of freaked out a little bit, but I'm good now! Don't worry about me!
Well thanks for everything!!!! I LOVE YALL!!!!!!!!!
July 19, 2011
In preparation for a talk in church on "a mother's viewpoint in having a son on a mission--thoughts and impressions I have had as Ross has served a mission", I asked Ross what advice he has for boys as they contemplate and prepare for a mission. This is his reply:
"What advice do I have for younger kids to prepare for a mission? I guess: IT STARTS NOW. Don't put off preparing till the last minute or I guess don't procrastinate. It may seem far away, but it goes by fast. I realized this week that before your mission, everything in the church is geared towards preparing you for that time. Sunday school, mutual activities, seminary, mission prep, all that good stuff. Returned missionaries sometimes complain that there is nothing to prepare them for when they return home. I think that they didn't get "it" on their missions. The whole reason the Lord sends us out at 19 years old is so that we can prepare ourselves, for 2 years, for the rest of our lives. And because we are 19 year old kids, it takes us being pulled out of our comfort zone and taken out of everything we know (sports, TV, girls) to be able to be taught by the Lord. So that is why I say prepare now. Don't take yourselves out of everything in the world. But start to cut things down a little bit. Focus more things that matter. "Leave behind GOOD things, for BETTER things." Start to focus on what matters so that when you get to be the Lord's missionary, you learn the lessons he has for you quicker and you can become refined. I guess that's what I would tell them. The Lord has taught me so much in the past year and a half. I cant even begin to think where I would be in my life if I didn't go. If there is any doubt in their mind of going on a mission, slap yourself, and then never have those thoughts again. I wouldn't trade this, the hardest/most difficult/most trying/most humble/most rewarding, time of my life for any college football scholarship/any chance to play professional sports/any chance to become rich and famous. It means the world to me, and if they start to prepare now, it will mean even more to them. (alright, I just stepped off my soap box) I hope that helps.
(Needless, to say, it did help, immensely)
My first interview with President Clayton went great. I talked with him for about 30 minutes ( my longest interview with Pres Donaldson was like 5). He is a great man. Very humble and he told me repeatedly how grateful he was for me and how much he loved me. We talked about life back home and my family, we talked about my mission and the zone, we talked about my future. He promised me that after my mission, he would stay in contact with me. That was nice, something Pres Donaldson promised as well. In my last president's letter, I sent him a heads up about me going home early. We talked about it and he already knew when I was scheduled to go home. He asked when the semester started and I told him the middle of January. He said, "we cant have you miss that. Ill make sure you are released early." So I'm coming home early! I also told him that yall wanted to come out and pick me up out here and he said that he wouldn't trade the experience he had picking up his sons for anything. He then said, "We would love to have your parents here and meet them." So it looks like everything is a go!
July 26, 2011
Well this week we haven't had the most success, but it has been a really rewarding week.
Our week was ok. We had some good experiences. I think this week was more for me than it was for my area...if that makes any sense
On Wednesday, I was on exchanges with an elder and we went on a secret mission. Hahaha. There is an inactive member in his ward that doesn't really like missionaries. His wife is really active so she wanted us to meet with him. So she (the wife) took her husband (the inactive) to the Mormon Battalion and the plan was for me and my comp. to stop by and "accidently run into them". So my comp and I had all the Mormon Battalion sister missionaries working the situation. Then when they came out of the tour we "accidently ran into them" and started talking. To make a long story short, the guy really opened up to us and his wife said the things we told him really opened up his mind and helped him. We will see what happens there. Now, fast forward to yesterday......
THE RODRIGUEZES GOT MARRIED!!!!!!! Yeaaaaahhh! The Andres and Maria finally got married yesterday. They did it at the court house and asked me to be one of the witnesses! Then they showed one of their friends a pic of the temple and they said, "in one year from now, we are getting married there!" It was awesome to hear them say that! Really rewarding
Well that's about it for this week. Not a lot to say. I got the Dallas Cowboy package! It was great that yall took the tour of the stadium--I was jealous! My first week back we are going on a tour of the stadium. I love the shirt and other things. hahaha Tell everyone I said hey. I LOVE YALL!!!
August 2, 2011
We had a surprise meeting with Elder M. Russell Ballard on Saturday! Turns out that if your daughter is married to the Mission President, you can speak to the mission whenever you want to--if you are an apostle hahah. We had a meeting with him and with all the bishops, stake presidents, and WMLs in our mission...it was AWESOME!!!!! He answered a lot of questions about the work and explained a lot of new things. Then I got to meet him and shake his hand after. He looked at my name and said, "Elder Little......hahaha (chuckle)...God bless you" and patted me on the shoulder hahah. It was pretty cool!
THE RODRIGUEZ FAMILY WAS BAPTIZED ON SUNDAY!!!!! I attached the pics to the email. The wife wanted me to baptize her so I got to do that...it was great!!!!
I had to translate again in church on Sunday...this time from Spanish to English. It was our Branch Conference so we had all the stake leaders there and they used translation headsets...it was pretty intense. I could definitely feel the Lord helping me because I couldn't stop and the speakers didn't pause. I had to translate to English as they were speaking in Spanish!
So all in all....it was a pretty great week! Thanks for everything! I LOVE YALL!!!!!