Monday, September 26, 2016


I had most of an email written up last week, but our leaders were going to drive us somewhere to play sports with a big group of missionaries so I wasn't able to finish it. I was going to finish it later last Monday and send it, but I forgot...
I'm sorry to hear about all the jerks in works. I'm glad you didn't quit though because 1. Flint's aren't quitters and integrity is an incredible quality to have. 2. We read in D&C 122 "that all these things shall give thee experience, and shall be for thy good." I invite you to read that whole section. It's short but intense. and 3. Both of you working means more money means more inheritance for Ammon. :) How Was Hunchback?!?!? I LOVE that show. It's super crazy that it is now a staged musical. It hasn't been for the longest time (apart from in Disneyland). Tell me how it was!!! I'm glad you all had a fun time in all your shinanagans.
HAHA! I'm so popular. ;) That's a funny story though, Mom. I really want to know who it was now. I'm trying to think of some names, Crippen maybe??
MOM! Stop making me trunky. Especially for Christmas. It's SO far away, don't make me think about it. Honestly though, I can't really think of anything I really want. I don't want anything that I'm going to have a hassle bringing home. I've collected some things here on the mission, but when I come back, I'm going to try and leave a lot of things here (especially clothes, because by the end of the mission, most of my clothes are going to be trashed). Maybe some sheet music (piano/organ/guitar). Chocolate. Money. That's all I really desire in life. :)
I'll ponder more on it. HAHA!!!! HUFFLEPUFFS RULE!!!! Don't do DARE be ashamed to be a Hufflepuff, Savannah. Own It!! Well, if you want to know EXACTLY what my wand is. It has a Phoenix Feather Core, it's made of Elm, it is approximately 14 1/2 inches long, it is slightly flexible, dark, straight, and round. Anything else?? Of course Dad is a squib. Why don't you get some QuickSpell ya squib!? Good Work Soph!! I feel like I'm saying that in all of my emails. And good job Savannah on typing your name. ;) And no, Mom, you're not a failure. And I forgive you. That was the first time in over a year that you didn't email me, it was bound to happen. Don't worry about it. I only cried for 2 hours. ;)
SO! I'll just add on to what I wrote last week.
So last week started out with me making a boob mistake of buying a new pair of winter boots at Walmart (for about 45$) and coming back to the apartment to realize that another missionary left basically the EXACT same pair of boots, same company, same size; in the apartment. Going back to Walmart!!
Last week was great though. The weather started out hot, humid, and terrible; but now it rained the last few days and the weather is starting to cool down. Can't wait for Winter!!! Last (last) Thursday, we had the incredible opportunity to have Elder Mervyn B. Arnold come to Toronto to Tour the Mission. And let me tell you HE IS FIRE!!!!! So we started out having a leadership meeting before the general missionary meeting and for the most part, he rebuked us on EVERYTHING wrong we've been doing. It was SO intense. He definitely showed what it means in D&C 121 to "reprove betimes with sharpness, when moved upon by the Holy Ghost." Let me tell you, if the other missionaries were in that meeting, MANY sister missionaries would have broken down in tears and some ELDERS would have also. True story.
Being me, I was keeping eye contact with him while he was "thrashing us" and when he sees someone looking him in the eyes, he stares into your very soul. I feel like more than half of that meeting was him and I staring at each other and he analyzing me from the inside out. At one part of the meeting, I chuckled at something he said, and he called me out by saying "I like you Elder, come up to the front." Then he had me come to the front of all the leaders and smile at them. Then he said "You can go sit down now." Super funny.
Later, to begin the general missionary meeting, we started with a musical number I had to put together with missionaries from all over the mission singing the EFY Medley (We'll Bring the World His Truth and As Sisters in Zion). With very little practice and lots of prayer, we actually did very good. After that, I went and sat down and Elder Arnold got up again, looked at me, and asked me if I want to help him again. I said sure and he once again, called me up to the front. He then told me to hold up my arms and stand there, which I did for about ten minutes. He then asked me how I felt and I said "I can't feel my arms anymore." He told the APs to come up and hold my arms up, which they did (not very well) and he talked about how we need to "Help each other in the work." We than stood up there for another ten minutes, with them holding my arms up. Finally he looked at us and said "All right Elders, give him a huge, then send him home." So while I was giving the second Elder a hug, I whispered, "all right, now send me home." We laughed and he said "Give me your name tag." It was all very funny.
The rest of the meeting was great. Abigail was there and I got to practice role plays with her, fun stuff!!
The rest of last week was pretty average. Some fun things that happened were we went to this authentic Mexican Restaurant called "King's Tacos." The food was very authentic and all the waitresses (and waiters) spoke Spanish. 'Twas a blast. Also, we helped paint a house, sang a musical number in Sacrament meeting (Lord, I Would Follow Thee), and yeah.
So last week seemed to go by super fast, so this email shouldn't be too much longer. ;)
Last Wednesday, I had the opportunity to go on exchanges with my brotha', Elder Brett Babbel. He reminds a TON of my best friend, Elder Joseph Shearer, so appropriately, we get along. We had a good time, and visited an El Savladorian member who fed us delicious food.
On Thursday, (you'll be proud of me for this, Mom) we went to the house of some of my favorite members the Genoas/Trujillos, and I made and brought Chocolate Decadence. They, appropriately, fell in love with it. Sister Genoa wanted the recipe, but I told her it was a secret recipe, so she went through and asked me if a bunch of different ingredients were in it. She didn't get much out of me.
On Friday, we had a Zone Council which was a lot of fun. Our whole Zone ate breakfast together, then had a meeting where we played some games and recieved instruction on different things. It was very fun.
Saturday was quite the day. We had a ward picnic planned at a park nearby, at 2:00 PM. But it was raining ALL DAY, so we had to change the location to the chapel. So at 2:00, all the missionaries were there with a few members waiting, and waiting, and waiting. Some members had the hamburger meat and were stuck in traffic. They didn't show up until about 3 hours later. It was rough. Luckily, our appointment at 5:00 PM canceled. But the food came, more members came, and then a homeless man came. So there's this fat, balding, Italian man (some people say he's homeless, some say he has a home), but he's been known for coming into our church, yelling things in Italian, stealing a lamp or something, then running out. He showed up at the picnic, and our bishop invited him to come sit down and served him some food and drink. The man was being very rude and demanding and Elder Babbel was super upset because he himself hadn't had a hamburger yet, but this man was served one made personally for him. It was pretty funny. Eventually, this man gets up and walks out of the gym and Elder Babbel, Elder Staheli, and I all get up and bee-line in to the door he walked out of. We find that he had gone into the kitchen and was now fighting with one of the member ladies in their cooking and going through the drawers (probably looking for something to steal). We were about to grab him and throw him out, but Bishop flies by us and grabs him himself and throws him out of the chapel. The whole time, this man is yelling in a high pitched, girly, Italian voice. Jesu Cristo!! Jesu Cristo!! Todo bene!! Todo bene!! Which means "Jesus Christ, Jesus Christ, It's Okay, It's Okay!!!" So we threw him out and locked all the doors. It was great.
Yesterday, Sunday, was also a nice day. All the missionaries sang "Savior, Redeemer of My Soul," while I played the piano, for a Missionary's Farewell in the English Ward. We also had dinner with one of my favorite Mexican Families, the Sifuentes. It's a single mom with her four kids and she is SO funny. She's like Dad in Mexican Mom form. We had a lot of fun there.
One thing I've been studying a lot lately, and we talked about at Zone Council, is having charity. I ended up giving a talk two Sundays ago, about Charity, in Sacrament meeting and I quoted 1 Corinthians 13 and the talk "Charity Never Faileth" by Thomas S. Monson in the October General Conference of 2010. I invite you all to read both of those. 1 Corinthinas 13 makes it very clear that Charity will never end. Paus says many things will fade away or dissapear, but charity, the pure love of Christ, no. I, and my Zone Leader, quoted verse 11 in 1 Corinthians 13 saying "When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things." As missionaries, we sometimes do dumb things and forget that we're examples of Jesus Christ, so our zone needed a little reminder of that. But, even as people, we honestly sometimes do "childish" things. We just need to remember that we are children of God and that our goal in life is to become like him. So have charity and put away childish things. That is my invitation to you. I love you all and hope you have a wonderful week. Chao!!

Oye! (That's Spanish for...well, for a lot of things, but in this context it means "I'm tired physically, mentally, and emotionally" ;)
That's great, Mom, that all is going a lot better. I think studies show that if you keep up a different schedule for like 2-3 weeks straight, your body will adapt and it will become the norm for you. Not sure, but I'm glad all is working out. And attitude really does make all the difference. Haha! Yeah, Hispanics eat a lot of potatoes (especially in French Fry form). Another popular snack food, you could say, that all Hispanics eat is called Salchipapas. I can assure you Dad knows what they are. Basically it's just fried french fries and hot dog bits thrown together and it's SUPER popular in Spanish countries. The other day, we were eating with a Peruvian member (the one who introduced me to Lomos Saltados), and she made us Salchipapas with...get this...FRY SAUCE!! She had this pink sauce drizzled on top of it all and I asked her (in Spanish) "What is this sauce??" and she said (in French ;) "It's basically ketchup, mayonaisse, some pepper and other things." So I told her (in Elvish) "This sauce is SUPER famous in Utah, we basically invented it." It was very funny. So yes, I am a pro at making french fries now.
This week...went. If I remembered what happened I'd tell you. Kidding, I'll pull out my planner to see what we did. :)
Ahhh yes. Last Monday was a very fun P-Day. A few weeks ago, we found a random teddy bear in Walmart that had a tag on it that said "Take me to the Photo Place (I forgot the name) and you can get a free photo shoot." So we did, and last Monday us three and two other missionaries dressed up in bowler hats, top hats, cowboy hats, and fake mustaches and wait and had a free photo shoot. It was SWEET!!! I basically looked exactly like Charlie Chaplin except for with brown hair and missionary clothes. The pictures were great but we learned we only get one for free and if we want all of them (like 30) even digitally, we have to pay a hundred bucks. So forget that idea!! The experience was great and we'll get a big black-and-white group picture pretty soon here (I'll send the picture). Later that day we went to the ROM (Royal Ontario Museum) and we were lucky to have a member that could get us in for free. We went because there were two exibits going on there (a tattoo exhibit and a glass nature exhibit called Chihuly) going on at the same time and the tattoo one ended yesterday. Chihuly for some dumb reason was temporarily closed when we were there, bummer. But we went to the tattoo exhibit, which was pretty good. A lot of mens' butts covered in tattoos which didn't really tickle my fancy. There was a lot of really cool tattoo art, but I couldn't help but think Why?? Art is incredible and wonderful and I love and respect it with all my heart, but on your body, your temple from God. Not really my cup of tea. We went to other parts of the museum which was a ton of fun.
Other than that, this week was kind of a slump. We've been trying hard to work with the members to find more investigators to teach, and we've seen a lot of miracles and gotten lots of members willing to invite their friends. They just need to start inviting their friends. :)
Yesterday (Happy Belated Labor Day by-the-by, yes we do celebrate it here in Canada) I was able to see a principle put into action at the outcomes of it. I've been trying a lot harder lately to be more bold and not sugar-coat everything to try and make the Gospel seem to adaptable to people. I've fallen guilty of that many times when people state their beliefs, and when they aren't exactly the same as ours, me trying to re-word and contort our beliefs to make them more accepting of it. And that's not good. The Gospel is truth and if people aren't willing to accept it, stinks to be them. But we, as members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, need not fear what others have to say about the Gospel. And we must not fear speaking the truth in all times and in all things and in all places. We shouldn't be ashamed of what we believe. Yesterday, we were in a area with a lot of crackheads, crazies, and homeless people, and a man confronted me and asked me my opinion on some questions. I decided to be very blunt with him and tell him what I thought. And for the most part, he agreed with me (except that beer makes you live longer :). He later when on to say that he used to come to our church in Calgary and we were able to invite him to church here and gave him our contact information. It was a great experience. On the other hand, my companion, Elder Staheli, was talking to three Lesbians on a bus and they asked him what our churches belief on homosexuality was. He told them that we believe in marriage between a man and a woman. They weren't too happy. Luckily we were leaving the bus at that time, but they got some choice words in their before we left. Nevertheless, in both of those situations we did not fear man, but God, and we were not afraid to speak the truth and stand up for our church, no matter the cost. The Gospel is a wonderful thing and it is so true. I love you all and hope you all have a wonderful week!! 

Sunday, September 4, 2016

That sounds like a pretty good first date (that you planned). A romantic walk through the trees. Feeding each other cookies and watermelon in the candle light. Watching the sunset and the stars. SO ROMANTIC!!!! And I know exactly what you're talking about when you say "we stalled them" aka "making out." HA HA!!!! Don't worry Logan, I won't tell Mom. ;) Good work though kiddo. I'm proud of you. Sorry about the musical number, learn now that using loose sheets of paper is absolutely the WORST way you could play a song. Either stick them in plastic sheets, three whole punch them and put them in a binder, or stick them in plastic sheets and stick those in a binder. Loose sheets suck. I know. I've done what you just did probably a dozen times. What's even worse is when you have a hymn book and it closes AND falls off the piano in the middle of the song. Yikes. Also, sorry about the ankle. Milk it for what it is because girls in high school LOVE playing nurse and helping out the wounded. Look at Mom, she's far out of High School and she's still playing that game. ;)
HI Mom. Heh heh. How's school?? Sorry to hear about all the craziness.
That's SWEET that Nick's going to Barcelona and Nathan going's to Brazil. I'm glad he's finally going out after putting it off for so long. Honestly, one of the best decisions I've ever made is going out RIGHT after my 18th birthday. No waiting. But it's good he's going out and I'm SUPER jealous that he's going to Sao Paulo. I've met SO many people here from there. Everyone here downtown speaks Portuguese. I LOVE Brazilian people. In my free time I study Portuguese so for my homecoming talk, I'll bear my testimony in Portuguese. Ha ha! Dulce de Leche (or Arequipa as Dad and I like to call it) Cake shouldn't be too hard to make. You just have to layer a normal cake with Dulce de Leche and then pour some more over the top of it. Good luck!!
Sophie, if you can lift me up by the time I get back, you're like an ant. Ant-Woman is what I'll call you. You may be getting stronger, but I'm getting fatter. ;) Once the holidays end though, I'm Cleanse Dieting!!
Savannah, I like Chocolate Salami (see below) and Schwarma (also chicken). I had a baby this week. My baby is Elder Valliere. Love, Ammon.
Wait WHAT!?!?! A BABY?!?! HA HAAA!!!
So, last Monday, during P-Day, our Zone Leaders told us that the Assistants to the President told them that Elder Staheli and I are going to be taking their van and going up to Brampton the next day. That night, President Shields called us and told us that we're getting a new missionary to train!! Elder Valliere came to the mission last December, but because of some complications at home, he had to return after about two weeks in the field. Now he's out again and we're training him. Having had to go home and come back, we were worried that he was going to be a weirdo or have some weird problems, but this Elder is a STUD!! His Spanish is already pretty good and he's very open, fast-learning, and a hard-working guy. He's from Layton, Utah, which makes us a trio of Utah Missionaries!! Woot woot!! Cream of the Crop!! I love telling people, "Yep, all three of us are from Utah. Three white, teenager Mormon boys. Can't get any more stereotypical than that." :)
This Thursday, we went over to visit one of my favorite families in the ward, the Trujillo/Genoa family. Kelly Genoa, a young woman who just got off her mission in Peru and I planned on making Lomos Saltados for the rest of the family. Lomos Saltado is one of my favorite dishes in the WORLD!! It's Peruvian and it was the first Hispanic dish I had on my mission. If you don't know, it consists of steak strips, french fries, tomatoes, onions, rice, and other stuff if you desire. So we went over, they gave me an Ecuadorian apron (because that's where they're from) and we got cooking. It was SUPER fun. And afterwards, it was super delicious. I'll bring that recipe home and make some for all y'all. Kelly got some pictures of me cooking, so I'll have to get them an send them to you. She's applying to a college up here called "George Brown" with is prominent for it's incredible cooking program. I'm very much considering studying there after a couple years in UVU. I've already had MANY member families offer me a place in their house. So we'll see. :)
The rest of this week consisted of me giving my first District Meeting in Spanish, us eating chocolate Salami, meeting with a blind Mexican, me getting a stellar organ lesson from a missionary (who's father is an organist know world wide, Welch is the last name), getting two new Dominican Investigators through our English class (gonna baptize them), contacting lots of people in Portuguese, and eating lots of Spanish food. It's the good life.
Toady we're planning on going to the ROM (the Royal Ontario Museum) for P-Day and later this week Elder Mervyn B. Arnold of the Seventy is coming to tour our mission. I'm pumped!! Going to get his tie.
One thing I've been really trying to focus on this week is talking a step back from the hub-a-bub of everything and realizing how great life is. We are SO blessed to be living in this beautiful world, which was created by our Savior Jesus Christ, under the direction of our loving Father in Heaven. And through Jesus Christ, we can repent everyday and partake of the sacrament weekly. Through Him, we can find happiness everyday and freedom from the pains of the world. In addition to that, we have a constant communication with our Father in Heaven through prayer. Every night, before I go to bed, I go out to our porch, look at the beautiful view we have of the skyline of Toronto (best in the mission :) and get on my knees to talk with my Father in Heaven. It is one of the best parts of my days. In the scriptures, we see many prophets that go into the mountains to talk with Heavenly Father, even Jesus Christ himself did it. I invite all of you to find your "mountain." Whether it be a literal mountain, or you porch, or even just a small room where you can converse with Heavenly Father. It really makes all the difference, not just for us, but I know our Loving Father in Heaven will be appreciative of it too. He loves you. I love you too, but more importantly, He loves you. :) I hope you have a wonderful week. CHAO!!