Thursday, May 24, 2012

Idaho Letters: Week 1, 2 & 3

Week 1 in the Field

Hola mi familia! Como estan? haha.
Well.... I'm here in Boise. Made it just fine! It has been a whilwind of days but I'll give you all the details. Today is not my P-Day, but we were told to email our families to let them know how were doing :) My P-Day will be on Monday so expect another email on Monday. And go ahead and email me back here because we have quite a bit of time to email so I'll be able to read that on Monday to hear back from you. But send letters to cuz thats fun to get letters :) So first....
My address for the Boise, Idaho Mission is 1111 South Cole Road, Boise ID 83709. That is the address for my mission home, which is actually here in my first area so I will get everything that gets sent there :) So you can send everything there, They did say that to mail to there and then forward it directly to me you have to ship everything First Class, so send it first class. Cuz they can then forward it directly to my apartment. I hope that doesn't make things expensive! haha. But Dear Elders can always get printed and sent :) at least I think so.... haha.
WOW! I'm out in the field. I am in the world of Boise waiting for my Visa. No word yet.... but still waiting :) I pray daily for it but am enjoying my time here in Boise. So... I'll just update you on everything that has happened since Tuesday morning when we talked.
My flight to Boise went great! Really short haha. And we got off and met President Cannon and Sister Cannon :) they are AMAZING! sooooo nice and just loving. There are 5 visa waiters here with me, 1 to Peru and 4 to Mexico. So we all went to the mission office and had lunch and then got to know each other and did some training and just some orientation stuff. Then.... they brought in some Senior Companions and said.... Here we go. And out the door we went and into the vans and they went and dropped us off in Downtown BOise and Central BOise :) I was in central Boise and we were street contacting and tracting. The Elder I was with was Elder Mcdonald who is cool and has been 17 months. So, we talked to like 25 people, we placed 2 Books of Mormon, handed out a bunch of cards with our number on them, and actually taught a lesson, just on a door approach! In my first 5 hours in the mission!!! :) I loved it.... even if it was in English. We walked and talked for 3 hours and then headed back to the mission home for dinner and a testimony meeting. Then, we all went to a house owned by the CHurch to sleep early, and I was in bed by 8:45 and asleep by 9. Wow.... it was awesome haha.
The next morning we woke up and got all ready and went to the Mission Office for a breakfast and then a morning of training. It was great and we were all super excited and anxious to find out who our trainers were going to be! Oh... btw... I have played the piano so much since I've been here. Every meeting. So mom, thank you thank you thank you for making me stick with piano. I love it and wish I was even better, but I'm working on it :) its such a blessing though. So, we finished the meeting and got assigned to our areas and trainers. I was assigned to labor in the Boise Central stake with ELder Mcdonald... who I had just street contacted with on Tuesday! He is from San Diego and has been out 17 months. He is super nice and we have been finding out more about each other as we walk around and work together. He does not speak Spanish, so I am working on it whenever I can and doing language study for an hour daily. So, we got assigned and then they took us all to our areas. We walked into our apartment which is not horrible... not amazing... it needed some good cleaning haha. Dropped our stuff off and then picked up the area book and went to work. When I first walked into the apartment, I got a wave of homesickness. Just.... everything was so new and I was actually out in the field and it was like wow.... overwhelming. But... prayer works and the Lord always helps us. I decided to pray for comfort and to know that everything will be ok. I felt the impression that all I needed to do was work, and the Lord would provide comfort and I would be ok. So, we did :) we got the area book and started going. We are both new to the area so we are just working on getting to know the members and find investigators.
So, we made a list of possible contacts and started walking to find where they live. We knocked quite a few doors, and talked to quite a few people. Even had a lady tell us we were crazy and the CHurch is a business plan haha. But we know this church is true, I know it is. I have the faith that Satan just sends us people like that to try and stop this work that is going forth but it cannot be stopped :) Then we were walking back to our apartment to plan some more and get ready for our dinner appointment when we walked past 5 guys and this guy came out and was like "Elders!" Im buying you food, come on in haha. Turns out he is the owner, or one of them, of 5 guys, and a member. He got us anything we wanted :) it was awesome. The members here so far are super nice, and we always get waves and honks walking around. I feel like a celebrity lol. So that was delicious and then we went to our dinner appointment and had more food :) I was stuffed lol.
Then we got back to the apartment and cleaned... hard core. And unpacked. So our apartment looks much better now and I am pretty much unpacked. Then we went to bed :) I slept great.... solid 8 hours haha.
Woke up this morning and worked out, did personal study, companionship study, and then went to district meeting this morning :) my comp is District LEader and we got a ride from the Zone Leaders who are hecka funny! So that was fun. Then they came and dropped us off here at the Library where we are emailing now :)
So, that is what has been happening lately :) It still feels weird at times to be out in the world and actually doing the work... and sometimes Im like wow.... this will be long. BUt with more investigators and as we really start teaching lots of lessons I can see how the mission will just fly by. Which is exciting and scary and sad all at the same time. But I know this Gospel is true... and I will enjoy my time here in BOise until my Visa comes in. But ahhhh!!! I cant wait to get to Mexico :) I want to go so so so bad. So pray for my Visa still :) I want to learn Spanish haha.
I hope fair is going well and know that I love all of you! Give Hayley and Lauren and Cass and Taryn and Ashley all hugs for me cuz I'm sure they'll all be hanging out this week! ALl my best girlfriends hahahaha. And send this email out so everyone has my address here in BOise. Maybe put it on Facebook ;)
I hope all the pig shows go well today! And everyone makes money on Sunday. I will talk to you all again on Monday!! I love you all so much :):)
Con amor, Elder Sethy-poo Hoyt ;) haha.

Week 2

Hola Fam-Bam! And all the Grandparents, aunts and uncles, and amazing friends that are getting this :) This week has been INSANE but soooo fun and crazy. Wow.... its awesome! First Ill say thank you so much for the letters this week. I have gotten one from someone about every day. I loved the email updates Mom from all the other missionaries :) Sounds like everyone is doing great and loving being in the field. Madi and Hayley, I LOVED the picture and the letter. That was so clever haha. And sounds like the fam is doing great from the update emails. AHHHHH!!! Tell Tiff-Tiff congratulations from me!! Im SOOOOO bummed i wont be able to go to the wedding, but know that I love him :) he was so cool. Its him right?? haha. Whats his name again? I feel like that was forever ago lol. I think it was... idk haha.
Ok.... some updates that I have been writing throughout the week. Money is doing well. I got refunded for luggage and stuff, so I have money. Also, we got 160 dollars a month for living expenses. Just a heads up, I might have to get a new backpack. Mine is starting to rip (it was already ripped from BYU) haha. And my borrowed bike is just killing me right now.... And because of our new assignment we are biking so much more.... so I might get a cheap bike today or tomorrow. Like Wal-mart. Im going to try to find one.... and then if I do Ill sell it to a new missionary when i leave to get some money out of it. Hope thats ok! But this bike is killing me. YES! Please send me some pics :) I would LOVE LOVE LOVE a printed copy of the one of all of us above Lake Tahoe that we just recently took :) please send me that one! And then of course some of the fam :) Cant wait to show off my gorgeous family. Also, if you could send me a small copy of the Childrens songbook.... that would be amazing :) my piano playing is improving alot.... I play a lot for people here haha. And will really play even more in mexico. Thatd be really good to have one of those! Other than that, I am doing great on stuff :) I have everything and everything is working great except maybe the new bike and backpack. :)
OK! So.... this week has been crazy. Last Tuesday and Wednesday were great. We are meeting with an awesome young man named Jeff Row who is the best friend of 2 LDS twins here in the area. Their name is Matthew and Tyler Hoffman, and they just got their mission calls to Detroit and Arizona. Actually... Sister Hoffman might email you Mom! I gave her your email. She has a lot of questions about packing for a missionary haha. I said you would be more than happy to help :) thanks!! haha. Idk if she has emailed you yet. So we had an amazing first lesson with him :) he wants to serve a mission! he totally reminds me of Nigel. Ahhhh! Its pretty dang cool haha. We had a ton of appointments this week, trying to contact all of the referrals that we are getting, and had plenty of work to do :) but.... of course the Lord knows what is best. And he didnt want us getting too comfortable ;) sooooo..... we woke up Thursday morning to a call from president Cannon. An elder in our district went home, and so my trainer Elder McDonald and I were put into a trio with his companion Elder Nelson. We were told to move all of our stuff that day to the new apartment and pick up 2 more wards. SOOOO! We are now in a new apartment with just myself, Elder Nelson, and Elder McDonald covering an entire stake on bike consiting of 5 wards :) wow!!! Talk about a ton of work. but I LOVE Elder Nelson. He is so awesome and the 3 of us get along so so so well. We love our apartment, it is so much bigger and nicer. So yea.... it was stressful putting all of our schedules together but we figured it out and take it day by day :)
So this week we got 8 new investigators, have 4 progressing investigators, and should have at least 5 with Baptismal dates :) we have a baptism now from Elder Nelsons area this Wednesday! The work is going great. We are working with Charmane, David Rey (funny... I think of Dave Ray hahahaha. Except this Dave that Im teaching is black) , Jeff Row, The Woodwick family, and several others. And wow fam!!! thanks for laughing at the thought of me on a bike hahaha. It is pretty funny. Ive never been a big bike rider. And the bike I borrowed is for a much smaller elder hahahaha. I look ridiculous. Oh well.
So an area in our stake has a bunch of refugees from all over Africa and the Middle East, many Christians that were persecuted for their beliefs and they fled here to America. Its amazing going into their complex to teach them. We just sit out in the middle of grass and they flock to us. All the little kids come and sit on our bike handlebars, and high five us, and practice their reading and English with us, and the parents all sit and try to communicate with us and show us their Bibles and we all read from the Book of Mormon. They dont speak good English, mostly French, Somolian, and Nepali, and african dialects, but they can get some. And the kids are speaking lots of English. its just amazing. They are in the depths of humility, but just love to open up their homes to us and sit with us and listen to us talk. I am humbled every time I go there and just love love love them. Its one of the high lights of our week. We have quite a few coming to church like Benjamin and Jeweria, and a couple more families that we are working on :) like Diane and her amazing family. I am beginning to see why I am sent here to Boise. There are people here that I can help change their lives, like Jeff Row, Dave Rey, and these refugees and others. I am loving it up here, of course still cant wait for my Visa and pray for it daily, but the secret to missionary work is work, work, work. And i am doing that. With this work comes the love for the people, and I really am feeling that. Yesterday at a member dinner (which we have every night... I eat sooo much! hahaha) They told me that I am always smiling and that is the best way to do missionary work :) I try to smile all day, and love saying hi to everyone and smiling :) That is the best compliment I can receive and I love it.
Wow.... I love that news Mom!!! AHHHHH!!! I cant believe it and I cant wait to be back for that :) When does school start? next week? Work, and football, and summer sounds great :) Dad.... what is BYU's football schedule this year? Let me know! haha. I love you all so much and Ill send some pics right now :) I testify daily to anyone who will listen about eternal families and how I KNOW that our family will be together forever :) what an amazing blessing. And to all my ward family and friends out there, thanks so much for your support and prayers :) I love you all.
Ok, Ill send some pics :) Love you all so much!
With love, Elder Hoyt :) (Little Seth, Sethie-Poo, whatever it is that you all call me ;)) hahahaha.

Week 3

Hola the best Fam-Bam in the world! And all those who read these emails :) hope this finds everyone well :) I am doing so great. Loving being in the field and doing the Lord's work!
So.... first off list for this email :) haha. First off Mom and everyone mailing me stuff.... for at least the next 4 weeks you DONT have to mail Priority :) just mail to the mission office. The Mission office is in our area and we check mail there everyday haha. So don't worry about spending the extra money to send it priority so it can be forwarded. Hope that saves everyone some money! We are literally like right next to the mission office haha. Its nice lol. Also Mom, I have an hour and 15 mins every P-Day to email. So send the emails and pics :) I can look at those quick and then write back.
Shout out to Grandma and Grandpa Swearingen! LOVED the letter and hearing all about your adventures and travels :) your support to me is such a strength for me and cant wait to see you again in just 21 months! ahhhh! Its already going so fast.
Hey to all of my family! I hope all the aunts and uncles on both sides and the cousins are all doing amazing :) Im sure everyone is!
Thanks so much Bishop and Sister Jenkins, Gaylene, and Suzie, for all of the Dear Elders :) I LOVE hearing about how everyone is doing, and the ward, and all of our fellow missionaries! And thanks Mom for sending all those emails that were printed out for me. Loved reading those and feeling the Spirit about how we might all be in so many different places in the world but our work is the same :)
Got the package from the fam today! LOVED IT! All those pics look great. Looks like Dad is really going to be the short one in the fam ;) haha. But I loved the one of you and Austin next to Chad Lewis :) what a dream... huh Dad? haha. And thanks for the football schedule! Ill expect to hear all about the games :) haha. And loved the bacon and pizza Taryn and Hayley!! hahahaa. And seeing Hoyt and Cramer graduate... and NO WAY!!?? Lexi looks so old!!! Not to mention gorgeous haha. Write me Lexi lol. And so exciting for Cramer to be going back there this week. Hope they're doing well :) love them! I cant wait to practice the childrens hymns. Cant tell you how many times I have been called on to play piano, and how many times daily I thank Heavenly Father that I know how. So your dream Mom of me playing in Church sure is coming to pass haha. And that stuff will be great to give out at the refugee camps, and WOW! So, blessing definitely. Just last week we had dinner with a Recent Convert and her less Active husband, Ashley and John. But, John really is becoming active again. But they were telling us how with their little kids they dont know how or when or what to do during Family Home Evening. So we said tonight when we have dinner with them again, we'll talk about what we can do! Mom.... that 52 ideas for FHE you sent with the little books is going to be PERFECT for them!! My comps and I were like dancing around singing your praises we were so excited lol. So I know Heavenly Father worked through you Mom to get that book to me to bless their family and their little children :) cool right?? Also.... I am eating great :) lots of fruit... cereal... bagels and cream cheese... tacos and buritos and nachos... and today I got french bread and pesto :) I eat balanced haha. Elder Nelson helps us eat healthy ;) hahaha.
So yea, this week has been great. We taught 22 lessons this past week, had a baptism of Leonard, he is so cool! And we will be baptizing his daughter hopefully soon. We are still covering our 5 wards, Elder McDonald and Elder Nelson and I. We have 15 progressing investigators!! And hopefully a couple baptisms this weekend. I love it here in the Boise Central Stake and I love my companions. Elder McDonald is my trainer and he has been out almost 20 months. he is from San Diego area, Falbrook. He is nice, a little forgetful at times haha. But we love him. Both my  companions are 20! So im the young one at 19 haha. But Elder Nelson reported MAy 23rd like me, but came to the field way before me. He is from St. George and is amazing. I love him so much! We get along great, always joking and all three of us are always laughing. We teach well together, and are working at improving daily.
My new bike is doing great :) I used 60 dollars from my refunjd from getting bags up here, and then 70 off our missionary card, so I might have to use some of my own money for groceries lol. But its great and is working awesome. I also bought a new backpack today from Nike :) its legit haha. But I needed that really bad. Gotta check how much money is on my Wells Fargo card when I see that.
We have had some amazing lessons this week. One was with 2 investigators, Debbie and Mark. Mark didnt know how to focus during his personal studies, and the Spirit told me to talk about how I begin with a prayer and thats helped me. He loved that, and I know the Spirit prompts us in lessons. I strive for the Spirit daily in everything I do, and have come to really see already that with prayerful studying of the Scriptures and daily personal and companionship study that the Spirit is with us soooooo much more in our days. Our days go so much better if we all study diligently and then go out :) I can testify of that. I am over halfway through the Book of Mormon and reading the New Testament as well as Jesus the Christ. I am loving reading the scriptures and am finding them connect to my own life so much.
Yesterday in one of the 2 Sacrament meetings that we go to they talked about eternal families, and I can NEVER express enough gratitude to our Heavenly Father for my family :) I love you all so much! You all look so good from the pics and Im so excited for you all to start school! Be examples in school of the Gospel and always remember I love you all so much :)
So some funny things. Yes, I look ridiculous on a bike hahahaha. All day everywhere we go we wave at everyone. lots are nice and wave back, and we got honks of support all the time. On the other hand, I have never been yelled at so many times as people have driven by that they "worship Satan" hahaha. Or things much worse ;) hahaha. But we always shrug it off.... and without fail the Lord always sends a nice person after to wave at us :) its pretty amazing. We also met with someone the other day who went off about the Holocaust never happening and slavery never happened.... hahaha. Somehow we taught a little of the Restoration.... but they were out there. Always an adventure.
I am still practicing my Spanish! I will try not to get frusturated, because I know it will all come to me in Mexico. I pray for my Visa daily!
So, all in all, I am doing pretty good. Feeling the Spirit so much, and loving serving my Lord out here in Boise, Idaho :) thanks so much for all the support this week! I got 16 letters and 3 different packages this week :) thanks so much everyone! Ill work at writing back, so know that I am thinking of you all :)
I know this Church is true with all my heart. I know the Book of Mormon is true, and the Plan of Salvation is for all of us and provides purpose to our lives. I love this Church and all of you :)
To my fam, I love you all the most and think of you daily!!! Ill send some pics right now :) Be safe this week and have an awesome time starting school. Glad football is going well.... Austin you look LEGIT in all of your football stuff :) and everyone looks so great. I got some good looking siblings and parents ;) hahaha. Love you all sooooo much and always will :) thinking of you always.
With all the love I have, Seth :) Elder Hoyt :) Sethie-Poo :) Little Seth :) I have a lot of names hahaha.

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