You've gotta love Africa

You've gotta love Africa
Elder Chambers and Elder Kivaya in Oda

Going to Save the World

Going to Save the World
Elder Donovan Chambers

Thursday, December 27, 2012

24 December 2012

I'm probably having the most fun I've had on my mission. its super fun to be out here working! life is good :)

Merry Christmas!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

17 December 2012

pahrump is awesome! maybe just because its not vegas, but so far im really liking it!  its small, just 3 stop lights. we live about with members who are about 5 miles away from the nearest stop light. it has rained for the past few days, and many roads are unpaved out here so we have had lots of opportunity to use the four-wheel-drive on our truck :) we teach a guy who lives in an RV and we are going to start to teach another this week, after he gets out of jail. the mountains have been covered with snow all week. people out here have all sorts of animals. pigs, horses, cows. there is even a guy who walks around town with a goat!

my companion is named Elder Corcoran. hes from Missouri and has been a missionary for 2 months now. hes half samoan and huge, so everyone one is always asking us for help moving. we did 4 in the last week!

this week we went around to everyone we could meet and offered them a christmas message. not many accepted, but it has been a good way to spend time.

our two wards seem really great. mostly nice old people. some of them are "snowbirds" from colder, more northern places.

we're going to go to Death Valley soon on a p-day, since its in our area. im excited for that!

all is great here! MERRY CHRISTMAS!

-elder donovan

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

10 December 2012

sorry to everyone who emailed me, i dont have time to respond to them today but i will next week!

im getting transferred to Pahrump! its west of vegas. there are only 4 elders out there. i will be the district leader over them, so no longer am i in charge of babysitting 18 missionaries. just 3 :)

i'll have more info next week. and more time.

ok, more next week! got to run.

elder donovan

Monday, December 3, 2012

4 December 2012

i reached two milestones in my mission this week :)

1. (im not sure if i told you this one yet or not) i was able to go back to my first area and see the Woods family. Brother Wood has been baptized for about 9 months now and has been progressing so well that it was time for him to become an Elder in the priesthood.  it was wonderful to see him and be able to talk with him about how his life and his marriage are so much better than they were before he was baptized. they are doing so well and it was great to see. i miss those people!

2. (im STILL debating telling you this story, but it was a big part of my week)(if you are pregnant or have a history of heart problems (or are my mother) please do not read this lol) i wa knocking on doors this week with a couple of other missionaries. as we usually do, we were taking turns every other door. it came time for a new missionary to make a contact at the next door. he was nervous to begin with, but you should have seen how nervous he was when a man threw open the door pointing a hand gun at us! (no joke) i think we all kind of stood there with shocked looks on our faces (our usual door approaches do not work in this situation lol) he stood there for probably 10-15 seconds as this man swore at us. he then slammed the door and we left the street very quickly! the ironic thing was that just a few dors before we talked to a nice man that told us we would probably have some luck because this was a "very nice peaceful street". not quite. we wanted to go back and warn him about his crazy neighbor lol. but dont worry! this was the first and probably last time this will happen. my area is a very nice part of town.

in other news, the girl in the samoan ward that we thought was ready to have us teach her is in fact not ready. since everyone in that ward is related we get different stories from all her aunts.

transfers are a week from today, so i will get a new companion then and we will no longer be in a trio. that will be very nice. trios are inefficient.

thats all ive got this week. hopefully all is well with everyone! 22 days till christmas :)

elder donovan

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

28 November 2012

i can never remember what i told you last week so i always feel like i'm repeating myself. especially this week because its wednesday not monday.

big things thats happened last week:

thanksgiving: no one got hurt at turkey bowl. except for our pride. we lost all four of our games. this experience sums up our day: i threw the ball to one of my teammates, it bounced off his head, the other team caught it and ran it back for a touchdown. haha, oh well. we had fun! and we had plenty of food to make us feel better.

another member of our zone went home :( he had diabetes and it was getting uncontrollable, so he had to go home. so for the next two weeks i'll be in a trio.

in the Samoan ward, this young girl has been coming to church for awhile but we haven't been able to teach her yet because her grandma wont let us. Well, her grandma finally gave the go ahead! so we'll be able to start teaching her soon!!! we're pretty psyched about it.

other than that, not much is going on. all our wards (4 of them now) have christmas parties coming up. usually the christmas season makes it pretty hard for us to actually sit down and teach people, but im hoping it will be a good time to find people that may be interested come the new year.

this is something i've been thinking about this week:
"a tree falls the way it leans"
-the lorax

lets make sure we're all leaning towards a nice place to fall.

love you all!
-elder donovan

Monday, November 19, 2012

19 November 2012

the big event this past week was the mission tour. Elder Echo Hawk came and taught us. we told us his conversion story and about how his missionaries did and did not help him, the thing that stood out to me was, even 50 years later, he is super grateful to the missionaries that taught him the Gospel! that was pretty cool to see. hopefully i can help someone like that.

the east side elders baptized a family of 3 into the Samoan ward on saturday. the baptism was great!

im really looking forward to thanksgiving and then christmas! as soon as thanksgiving passes, we're gonna go caroling/tracting. it'll be great :) it is a little weird to carol in short sleeves though.

on thanksgiving we will play football in the morning and then hang out/eat/play games with some members. it will be awesome!

i'll have more updates/stories next week, this week was kinda slow though. oh yeah, next week i'll be emailing on wednesday cause its a temple week for us :)

srry this email is short.


elder donovan

ps. 36 days till christmas!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

12 November 2012

my former enthusiasm for winning the turkey bowl is gone. nobody on our team can catch. or play defense. its cool though, it'll still be fun. losin aint gonna bring me down :)

so i think this time we actually have someone to teach! her name is Joanne. she just moved here from Washington. she had mormon friends there and came to church on her own because her friends have been so good to her. the next trick is getting her address. shes trying to hide from us. she doesnt know she wants us to teach her yet.

on sunday we got to go to the Smith Performing Arts Center (super nice new theater in town) and watch a youth symphony and choir. they were really really good. the show was about pioneers and their journey west. we sat front row which was a little ridiculous, but kinda fun, cause i got to watch the orchestra closely. it was quite fun!

on wednesday we have our "mission tour" elder Echo Hawk will be here to teach us. should be fun! its always fun to get together with the other missionaries!

now that its winter it feels like fall here :)

i hope everyone is as excited about the holidays as i am :)

oh yeah, this week we moved in with two other elders. basically so we can babysit them more closely. its all good. being in a 4 man apartment is kinda fun.

i think thats all i've got this week.

have a wonderful thanksgiving-eve-week!

elder donovan

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

5 November 2012

not a lot happened this week it seems. wednesday was really fun so i'll tell you about that. in the morning we had our monthly meeting with all the zone leaders to talk about whats going on in the mission. it was ok. nothing special, but not the usual ridiculousness that sometimes happens in planning meetings. but after that we had a zone leader tie trade. it was legit. im talking 18 missionaries with probably around1200 ties. it was chaos! President Black didnt understand what he was saying yes to when he gave us permission to do it lol. then after that the WHOLE mission got together for a dinner and talent show. it was super cool. that was the first time in at least the past 3 years that the whole mission has been together in the same place at the same time. there were a lot of good talents too. the usual singing/guitar or singing/piano but also juggling, yo-yo, funny skits, some trash can drumming. it was a lot of fun.

and then the next day president black came over to our place and did our weekly planning with us (we do weekly planning once a week, usually for a couple hours, just planning for the next week and setting goals/talking about things we need to work on) it was cool to have president over for a couple hours, just to bounce ideas off of him, get to know him a little bit outside of a meeting atmosphere.

we're still working on finding people to teach. hopefully it happens soon. im about to start teaching the pigeons on the sidewalk, maybe they'll listen. :)

our turkey bowl uniforms are tight! i'll send a pic when we have the finished product done.

make sure you vote!

elder donovan

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

29 October 2012

elder weaver and i are both staying here for another transfer! that means i will be in these wards for 3 more months at least. yay!

i have mixed feelings about i. i'd be super glad to stay here if we just had at least one person to teach! it'll come.

today we had our first turkey bowl practice :) 24 days till game day. dont wory, i wont hurt mysef too bad.

this is elder weavers last transfer, so we'll be working hard right up until the end for him :)

he had a halloween party with the samoan ward. it was awesome. they had a dj and it was basically a giant dance party. giant because of how many people were there and how BIG the people were lol. we didnt stay very long, just for dinner.

this week we have a mission halloween party/talent show that should be a lot of fun.

not much else happening. everything is going pretty well.

love you all,

elder donovan :)

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

22 October 2012

this past week has been an interesting one! we went on exchanges with the AP's on wednesday. it made me thankful for elder weaver and his fun attitude. the elder i was with on wednesday was pretty dry and it made for a quite boring day.

friday was exchanges again. this time with other elders in the zone. it was good. nothing ground breaking. just knocking on doors most of the day with no seen success.

saturday we found out that our only Samoan investigators are now meeting with the white ward elders. we we're pretty mad. we're trying to figure out how we can steal them back for the samoan ward :)

yesterday the stake had a missionary fireside for all of the high schoolers who want to go on missions soon. with the age change things are going CRAZY.
this is what the guy doing the fireside told us:

36 hours after the age change announcement Salt Lake surveyed utah bishops and the average number of missionary interviews they had done was 10! in 36 hours! one had done 28!

he also said that, on average, salt lake processes 700 missionary applications in a week. 2 weeks ago they processed about 5000! they expect that number might double in the coming weeks.

right now there are about 55,000 missionaries of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints around the world. its been estimated that with this age change and the resulting spike in missionaries that number could bee over 100,000 this time next year!  thats absolutely crazy and im excited for it!!!! all the missionaries are. and the youth as well.

AND today we went on a hike and i was super excited for that as well! we went 3 miles up a mountain. it was super cold and windy! as much as i dislike the desert, high mountain desert is pretty cool and no doubt is one of the most intense environments. it was cool to see all the things that live up there. REALLY interesting plants. lots of bristle cone pines (oldest living things on earth, super cool) we even saw a bit of snow! we are all really tired now though, because none of us were even close to in shape enough to do that. but it was a lot of fun :)

transfers this week! not sure if im moving or not. not sure if im staying zone leader or not. we'll see. my vote was i want to go back to riding bikes! cross your fingers for me.

elder donovan

15 October 2012

the weather is now beautiful. i dont know how long it will last but its been great for the last week. two days were super rainy and a little chilly so i wore a sweater :) nothing is better than a sweater day! it actually felt like Fall!!!!!! right now its about 82, but compared to 106 thats awesome!

we finally found some Samoans to teach! we went and visited them on saturday. they are a younger couple with 3 kids and they basically have realized that they want to raise their kids in a church. we told them about ours and they were excited! but they told us they wanted to go to the white ward, not the samoan ward! we were/are very upset. we havent told the elders over the white ward yet. we're hoping if we go back and teach one more time we can convince them to come out to the samoan ward.

we have a couple other leads, but nothing too outstanding.

elder weaver and i are getting along well. im hoping i get transferred in a couple weeks though. i miss teaching people!!! and if i dont get transferred in a couple weeks then that means i'll have to stay here for 3 more months and i really dont want that. we'll see what happens. maybe there is a reason im supposed to stay here 3 more months.

i found this quote this week, and enjoyed it all week because it went along with our weather :)

"some people feel the rain, others just get wet"
-bob marley

i've been thinking if i have been just "getting wet" or if i've been "feeling" what God is giving me. my situation, missionary work wise, stinks. we have no one to teach. but ive realized i have at least 2 weeks here, in my current situation to to get better. i might have 3 months here to get better (i hope not lol) but i've recommitted myself to being optimistic about the "rain" of my current situation and to learning whatever it is im supposed to be learning.

idk if that helps any of you, but it's helped me.

-elder donovan :)

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

8 October 2012

General Conference was great! I learned a lot of really good stuff! I especially liked Elder Bednar"s and Elder Perkin's talks, both on conversion and Elder Andersen's talk on faith.

President Henry B Eyring's talk was about trials in our life, and how sometimes it seems like God is not present. answering the question: Why does God let us suffer? He, said "the Lord's delays are always calculated to bless" i really like that. Gives me peace

this week we hand ZLC (zone leader council). i really dont like those meetings. people ask questions that waste everyones' time and we end up discussing things that dont need discussed. the new rule is, we are not allowed to call the spanish speaking elders "span-ams". we discussed this new rull for about 20 mins. dumb.

but we also had interviews with president black this week, that was really good! i got to talk to him for awhile about how i was doing, how i felt about my mission and being halfway done, how my current area was going, things like that, it was really good! he told me to do my best to enjoy my current assignment because i have different ones on their way. i hope that means i'm getting transferred in a few weeks lol.

its cooling down here :) kinda lol

i wish i had more to report this week, just not a lot happening.

heres a joke:

what farm animal says boo?
a cow with a cold


elder donovan

1 October 2012

lots of stuff this past week!

2 of my friends went home unexpectedly this week, that's always tough, but its good to see them taking care of things that need to be taken care of.

we met a few really cool people tracting this week, i just hope they let us in the next time we come over!!!!

i had a chance to spend an afternoon with people from my first area. that was really really awesome! i was there over a year ago, so it was nice to sit down with a few of them and see how they have been doing. everyone is doing well! brother lamphere was diagnosed with alzheimers a few months ago, it was pretty sad to see him deteriorating, but i kinda knew he had it ever since i met him. his wife is taking good care of him though.

i can't wait for general conference this weekend! its probably just what i need to be able to hear from the prophet and apostles. i've been feeling kind of run down recently, so i look forward to hearing and studying what they have to say.

i hope everyone is doing well! please keep praying for my grandpa!

elder donovan

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

24 September 2012

ive got almost no time to type this email and i just jammed my finger playing bball, so it might be kinda short. SORRY!

everyone is settled into their new places, and i think the work is going to start rolling. everybody seems excited about their new situations/companions/areas, so that is very good!

we still have no one to teach, that makes it really hard to stay motivated, but i think the wards are starting to figure out that we have no one, so hopefully they'll start helping us.

pray for my Grandpa Hatch please. he needs it!

i think thats all, cause my finger hurts, and im running out of time. write me a letter if you want to hear more :P

elder donovan

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

17 September 2012

we spent the beginning half of  the week causing trouble and the end of it repenting and now im really tired. here's what went down:

transfer week. we were in the office and the AP who is going home accidentally let slip who the new AP was. so basically i knew who the new AP was before he knew it was him. you can fill in the blanks, but our day at the office ended with everyone knowing that we knew the new AP and everyone laughing and yelling at us. you know how sometimes you are getting in trouble, but the person who is getting you in trouble thinks whatever you did was funny? thats what happened lol

so fast forward a couple of days. all the nice ladies in the office are convinced we are trouble makers (probably b/c we are), but we finaly build up the courage to show our faces in the office. when we show up everyone is in a fit trying to figure out how they are going to move 18 missionaries and their stuff and furnature into 9 new apartments before monday (this is friday) we of course volunteer our services (this was the easiest way to get back in their graces)(being on these people's good sides is important because these are the people who handle our mail, all our car stuff, all our apartment bills, basically all the good things we have go through these people in the office)

so we start moving furniture into these new apartments. little did we know it was going to be two full days of moving furniture. it was ridiculous. by the end of saturday i was tempted to sleep in the car because i was too tired to walk back up to my apartment. and i got sunburned. and on sunday i was sick, still kinda am, i think basically because my immune system went into survival mode and forgot to fight all the little germs. but all the moving is done and we are the office ladies favorite elders :)

i got tired just typing all of that. whew

both elder weaver and i are staying. lots of movement in the zone though. we went from 12 missionaries to 16, we're excited about that. we are hoping more missionaries brings more success and more fun. and they are cool elders coming in so we're happy. let the turkey bowl practice commence!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

i miss home. being sick does that.

hope everyone is well!


elder donovan

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

10 September 2012

pretty sure neither elder weaver nor i are getting transferred. but thats what i said 6 weeks ago lol. we are looking forward to changes in the zone. we think that we'll add another companionship to the zone, so that'll be cool. not only will we get new elders, but we'll have more elders! hopefully it'll help. we've requested that only athletic elders get transferred into our zone because we want the best turkey bowl team we can get :)

this past week went really really fast. im not sure why, i think maybe because elder weaver and i are working better together and we have a few more things going on.

i think the weather is finally cooling down. *knock on wood* today has a high of less than 95 i think!

remember joe and valentina from about 3 months ago? i saw their new baby yesterday! her name is Zoey (not Donovan like i requested ): she is 8 weeks old, and super cute. it was good to see them!

this coming week, nothing really exciting is happening, except for transfers, but we've got lots of things going on in the next few months to keep us excited :) general conference, lots of ward parties, a mission halloween party,  thanksgiving, christmas, new years. should be great :)

quote i heard recently: "dont be sorry that the rose has thorns, be thankful that the thorns have a rose"

simple concept, but a good way to live i think.

elder donovan :)

Friday, September 7, 2012

4 September 2012

not much time today, so i'll have to make it quick.

things are going well here! elder weaver and i taught more lessons last week than we have ever while we've been working together. so that was really good. most of the people we are teaching are not very solid. they dont seem like they are very excited about what we are teaching :( but its better than teaching no one. we are hoping things are on their way up and that the ward members will see that we are working hard.

so i just got an email from someone who stayed in Reno. im officially thankful im still in vegas, even if it is still 105. this email was a list of rules the new mission president has made. one of the rules was they can only have pday activities once a month. that would be awful if you had a lame companion! there are some weeks i live for pday activities lol. so im glad im still in vegas with president black :)

hopefully all is well with everyone within earshot! i heard the Buckeyes looked good so im glad about that

be good, remember who you are and what you stand for :)

elder donovan

30 August 2012

dumb computers wouldnt work yesterday so here i am today :) guess i should be thankful we have computers huh?

so yesterday was a much needed break! holy cow. when we have temple days and we dont get p-day until wednesday, it makes the week before really really long! both elder weaver and i were completely done with dealing with all the junk people in the zone are doing (and not doing). it really is quite  tiring babysitting 10 people in their early twenties. but tuesday night we went out and taught with President black and then yesterday morning we were able to spend some time at the temple and now i am spiritually recharged! physically, me and e weaver are going to start working out for Turkey Bowl :) this year no hamstring is going to bring me down! we are determined to win. even if we are the only ones in the zone that know how to play ball, we will throw the ball back and forth.

on a similar note, the samoans love football and love talking about it. which is great! the rest of vegas are not big football fans.

its been a long month figuring out what i am doing with this new assignment in this new area. the work in our two wards is still pretty slow. but we are doing what we can. as far as the zone goes, we are waiting for transfers in two weeks to see what new blood we get.  we are hoping its good blood. (obviously :P)

we taught a lesson to an 82 year old lady named Ardella. shes a fire cracker. we ended up bold saucing her a lot more than i normally would have an old lady. (president black was there and hes all about being bold). but we did it with love, and expressed to her how good the gospel is! we will go back and see her soon. hopefully she has been thinking about what we taught. i just dont know how much we can make her want to change, even if it is for the better. i dont know how much i will want to change once i hit 82. but thats what we do, invite people to change.

other than ardella we are just teaching people that have recently been baptized or people who have stopped coming to church.

im still chugging along in the new testament. soon i'll be reading about Christ's last week before He was crucified. im really looking forward to being able to study that in detail. it'll probably take me awhile to get through, but thats okay :)

i've been praying to get better everyday. hopefully its working.

i read a quote this week, idk who said it:

"a man who tries to do something and fails is infinitely better than a man who tries to do nothing and succeeds"

im trying not to try to do nothing :)

love all of you! a miss all of you!
talk to you next tuesday :) have a great Labor Day! dont labor too hard :)

elder donovan :)

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

20 August 2012

welp, i hit my year mark and nothing blew up so i guess i'll stay here for another year :P actually im getting kinda nervous for december, if the world ends we only have about 4 months left to live. i talked to someone who believe that the Mayans got it right. she said if obama gets reelected then "of course" the world will end! haha, she was serious though lol.

elder weaver and i are still trying to figure out our area. i think we've got the ZL thing down, but two new wards is giving us trouble still.we'll figure it out though.

we went to a baptism in the samoan ward on saturday and then after the baptism the whole ward hung out and had a party. all day. we didnt stay the whole time but it was pretty fun! all of them were really good at volleyball! even the old ladies were playing and kicking booty. they had weirder food than at our dinners though. they had these thick transparent noodles that looked like worms, they tasted ok but looked weird. and for desert they had cake with scrambled raw eggs on top. i didnt eat that.
but they are really fun loving people. we didnt understand a lot of what was being said, most of the older people dont speak any english, but when someone told a joke, EVERYONE laughed, and somebody was always telling a joke. or doing a silly dance move! i learned some great dance moves from some of the old ladies lol.

this coming week we have zone conference, which should be fun, and we have samoan dinners all week! pray for us lol.
and we're going to be knocking a lot of doors. i hate knocking doors! i love teaching, but hate knocking. i think i dont like it because its so ineffective. we're working on becoming better at it so that it becomes more effective. plus its hard to even find people at home, between weird work schedules that everyone has around here and summer vacation, no one is ever at home. we're excited for school to start so that people come back to town. i dont blame them for leaving though, who wants to be in vegas during the summer?

hopefully it cools down soon. we figure we probably still have another month of 100+

we're trying to think of fun things to do on pdays with our zone. the people in the zone dont like sports and there are not very many of us, so we're struggling to come up with things to do. let me know if you have any ideas.

i hope everyone is ready for school again, have fun! i'll send some prayers your way :)

elder donovan :)

oh, and next week i'll be emailing on wednesday, it'll be temple day next week :)

Monday, August 13, 2012

13 August 2012

Talofa! (thats "hello" in samoan)

elder weaver and i had a long long week of not teaching people. we moved in on tuesday. ALL day tuesday. but our apartment is sweet! and new. and clean. and the air conditioning works really really well! so its all good.
wednesday we met all the other missionaries in the zone and helped them with all sorts of different things that they needed. thursday we had a meeting with all the zone leaders. friday we finally got out to meet some of our ward! both of our wards are pretty small.

the samoan meetings are about half in english half in samoan. and there are another set of elders assigned to that ward, they are from the east side. yesterday we showed up to church and the other missionaries said "we are doing the program today! do you want to join us?" we said, "uhh sure." and so we went and sat in front of everyone. turns out, we volunteered to join a group of about 6 other people who we're singing in the meeting! woops. we sang one song in samoan (that was interesting. samoan is mostly vowels, so we just kinda faked it and did our best to follow the piano) and we sang a hymn in english. elder weaver was pretty nervous, that was the first time he'd ever done anything like that. i just felt uncomfortable because elder weaver and i were pretty much the smallest ones there and definitely the whitest! and they feed us soo much food! we dread going to dinners! there was one day this past week that combined elder weaver and i went to bed 13 pounds heavier than we woke up. luckily this week is white people dinners!

the family ward we are in is pretty small also and there is not very much missionary work going on in either one. but we'll change that. we're already seeing opportunities come our way.

im not sure i like this zone leader thing. its a lot of babysitting. baby sitting of 20 year old guys. lots of phone calls from people who need stuff. lots of being held accountable for things that other people do. but im sure we'll figure it out.

we're excited for Turkey Bowl already! we're trying to recruit all the good athletes to come to our zone (even though we have zero say who goes where lol) it should be fun! its very likely i'll be here until after christmas. so im kinda hunkering down and settling in. i sure hope it's not another short stay for me. it's a lot of work to learn a new area.

its still really hot here. and dry. and desert-y. my skin is having major problems with it. im running out of lotion lol.

and i hit my year mark this week! thats a little crazy!

oh yeah, and i'll tell you about my new comp:

elder weaver: tall kid from texas, youngest of 5 boys. likes football and basketball. is done with his mission in december. also just became a zone leader so we're figuring it out together. hes thinking about going to byu when he gets back. him an di a getting along great, he likes to goof around while getting work done. we'll be doing even better as soon as we learn these new wards.

thats all thats going on here. hopefully ohio is treating you all well. (or where ever y'all are). enjoy your last few days of summer!

-elder donovan

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

6 August 2012

after just 6 weeks in this area they are moving me! just as i was starting to like this place :/

heres what happened. last transfer there were 6 zones. this transfer 3 of the zones split making 9 total! thats crazy, and doesnt ever happen. also crazy is asking me to be a zone leader in one of these new zones. me and elder weaver and opening the new highland hills zone. its just east of where i am at now. we'll live right across the street from the mission office. so here i was all worried about trying to be a district leader over a bunch of newbs, and now i have to be a ZONE leader to a bunch of newbs (note to people who dont know what im talking about: districts have 4-6 missionaries in them and one "district leader", zones have 2-3 districts in them and 2 "zone leaders").

i dont know how i feel about this. elder parker and i were just starting to have fun! elder weaver is fun too! i know him a little bit and he seems like a cool guy. and i dont have to worry about them taking my car away! (actually we are getting a mini van!)

it is definitely a bummer that its happening 2 days before my b-day. i had to cancel a couple parties :( oh well. we'll find something fun to do for my birthday. and im sure there is a plan in all of it.

we've go a lot of stuff to do this week! like moving in to a new apartment, going to meetings, and meeting two new wards full of people! we are covering the Gold Crest family ward and the Tropical Breeze Samoan ward. im not very excited about the Samoan ward. i know elders that have put on 35lbs in the samoan ward! luckily our apartment complex has a gym. elder weaver and i have a goal to not put on any weight, even if it means the samoans dont like us lol.

aaaanyways, i'll have lots more to tell you next week, once we get settled in to our new place. its kinda exciting! there a good chance i'll be in this area until after christmas, so hopefully its turns out fruitful!

i hope everyone is enjoying the last bits of summer! be good!

elder donovan

Tuesday, July 31, 2012


according to the computer in the car we had enough gas to get us zero miles. good thing we were sitting in the gas station at this point lol. we're good at planning

this temp is real. it is not skewed in anyway.  we watched the thermometer go UP to this. thats freakin hot!

swollen knee

knee comparison

thought it would be a good idea to keep my tag on. no body is going to let a missionary die. right?

me in the emergency room

Trey loves the missionaries

30 July 2012

othing too exciting this week, lets see:

wednesday we had interviews with prez black. we do them about every three months, just to check in. and with transfers coming up next week, prez was dropping all sorts of hints to people about transfers. so we spent the rest of the week speculating about who is going where, and who is training, stuff like that. there were 24 new missionaries last transfer, 28 new ones this transfer, and will be 20 something the transfer after that. which is CRAZY because less than 20 will be going home in the next 3 transfers combined. we think that literally everyone that is not a zone leader will be training. we also speculate that a zone will split in half turning into 2 zones. there is some crazy stuff going down and nobody is quite sure what is going to happen. i am 90% sure that i will stay here and finish training elder parker and then get sent somewhere else in about a month and a half. we'll see.

this week was kinda slow work wise. at least there wasnt the leaps and bounds of progress we have made in the past few weeks. i think as a whole, the mission is getting more excited about the work. and that, i think, will continue to happen as we get all this new blood in the mission. im excited to see the changes!

im also excited for winter. but thats still a little bit away.

i havnt seen any of the olympics, which is a huge bummer, i love the olympics! USA USA USA USA USA

for our pday activity we have challenged another zone to an olympic competition, it should be pretty fun!

elder parker and i are still getting along great! im a little worried that im going to become district leader next transfer and my district is going to be really lame. i'll probably be the oldest on (mission wise) by about 6 months. should be interesting!

still really hot here. and ugly and brown. thats ok though, its growing on me :)

9 days till my birthday!

18 days till my year mark!

we've got our first friday social this week, hopefully it goes well! im a little worried its going to be a flop. i dont like throwing parties. i like just attending a lot better!

anyways, thats all i have this week. election buzz is picking back up again. should be interesting how it affects the work.

love you all,
elder donovan :)

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

23 July 2012

good week this week! im pretty worn out, and we taught more lessons than we did the week before, and we started teaching a few new people! all signs that we had a good week! also good: no trips to the ER in the last week or so! pdays not over yet but we're gonna do our best to stay away :)

we started teaching a family of 5. the husband is a coworker of one of the members of our ward. i think that the lesson went well. we taught them all about the book of mormon and they promised to read before we came back next time. im a little worried that they are just taking lessons as a polite gesture to their friend, but we'll see. they are a pretty cool family. their ten year old son is a nut. he was belly dancing for us and we were trading knock knock jokes pretty funny!

the ward is getting more and more excited about missionary work i think. we're getting to know everybody pretty quickly, and i think for the most part people like us lol. people are really excited for the monthly ward social we are starting, so hopefully that goes off without a hitch. im a little worried we're going to have too many people and it'll turn into chaos. we'll see.

as i near in on my bday/year mark ive been reflecting a lot on my mission. lots has happened! but there are still lots of things i want to happen. lots of goals i have yet to accomplish. if my mission were to end today i would be far from satisfied. luckily it doesnt end today. i feel like im just hitting my groove!

that said, i miss all of you and being home and being at school! but soon enough i will be back :) keep sending your encouragement! its much appreciated. as is giving me an update so i know what youve been up to :) be safe. and nice!

elder donovan :)

ps. when i come home, im taking a semester off of school, and im going to camp all over the western united states. i would love some company. just think how long my beard could get after 4 months of camping!!!!!! :) you wont want to miss it!

Monday, July 16, 2012

16 July 2012

it rained three different days this week!!!!!!!!!!!! its been great! there was a full blown thunderstorm last night. 3/4 inch hail. it was sweet! one of the other elders just told me that a road in his area actually caved in. im not really sure what he means by that, but it sounds exciting!

elder parker and i have been doing our best to stay excited about the work. there is not a lot going on in this ward and so that means a lot of knocking on doors for us. knocking on doors with no success is pretty tiring, but we are pretty good at making it fun.

we had a good week this past week! i would say it was our best one yet in the area. we had to pass Kaz off to the singles ward elders. its always lame to pass investigators off, but they are good elders and will make sure kaz keeps progressing.

and we picked up two new investigators. they are a married couple with 3 kids and are friends of a member in the ward. hopefully our lesson with them this week goes well!

i also made a visit to the ER this week. my swollen knee turned into a swollen leg. turns out it WAS infected. all is better now. they gave me a painful shot in the bum, did an ultra-sound on my leg, and gave me a different prescription for an anti-biotic and it seems to have done the trick :) i was slightly scared for a moment, i was laying in the ER and an employee came in and asked me if i had a will! i said "no, do i need one!?" the lady kinda laughed and said, "no, we just ask as a precaution" hahaha, im alive, so now its funny.

the New Testament is going great! ive been reading the Sermon on the Mount. lots of good stuff in there.

i dont know what else to write.

heres a joke, maybe ive already told it, but it goes along with the new testament:

Q. what kind of car did the apostles drive?

A. it was a honda, because they were all in "one accord"


i hope everyone is doing great, and is having lots of fun!

elder donovan

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

9 July 2012

so ive heard it is really hot everywhere, but on our way to the library our car thermometer hit 113. making july 9th 2012 the hottest day of my life. at least its not humid and i dont have to ride my bike :)

lots happened this week! first and foremost, i finally finished the book of mormon! it is highlighted out the wazoo and it is great. hopefully i never lose that thing! my current plan is to read one page a day from the BoM and then work thru the New testament and really highlighting that up. when i finish the new testament i will power through the remaining pages of the Bom and if all goes as planed i'll have finished both by the end of the year :) the scriptures are an incredible gift and the more we read them the more useful they are! obviously :P

friday morning i woke up and my knee was hurting, like there would be a big bruise there in a few days. well, there isn't a bruise but it sure did something! throughout the day on friday my knee just got bigger and bigger! like really big! and it hurt! soooo, we went to a knee dr in the ward and he gave me a prescription for an antibiotic and told my to come to his office in the morning and he would drain my knee. well by morning, thanks to a bunch of advil, the swelling had gone down enough we didnt have to drain it (we were kinda disappointed, we were looking forward to seeing it get drained lol) anyway, im not sure why my knee swelled up, i cant remember hurting it at all. its still pretty swollen and pink, so im still taking the antibiotic and the advil, but i think its getting better.

 i hiked up a mountain today without too much trouble. we all hiked up lone mountain today and studied our scriptures and sang hymns at the top, it was cool! then we climbed down, made breakfast, and played games. i played ladder ball/lasso golf. its not as fun as corn hole, but still pretty fun. i do miss corn hole! and football! *sigh*

and then work here is getting better! we're definitely on our way up :) elder parker is keeping me on track

my new favorite verse for the week is one the elder parker and i keep repeating over and over again. its psalms 118:24 "today is the day which the Lord has made, and we will rejoice and be glad in it" :)

i like it a lot! whatever is going on, its what we have, and its a gift! so lets rejoice in it :)

have a wonderful week :)

elder donovan :)

ps 29 days till my b-day!
     38 days till my hump day!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

2 July 2012

so far so good here :) elder parker is great! hes from rigby idaho, went to utah state for a year and is studying graphic design. and he's already a pro missionary! a little nervous, but he'll get over that quickly. our ward isnt huge and there isnt a lot of missionary work going on. this past week we only taught 4 lessons, i feel bad because elder parker needs as much practice teaching as we can find, but right now theres not very much. it'll get better soon though, we've got some things in the works. our ward mission leader is crazy. he is an uber business man and runs everything like its a business meeting, including flow charts and inspirational quotes from historic leaders lol. hes good though! he'll make sure everyone in the ward is doing everything they can to find people for us to teach. i think we are already seeing the fruits.

we are living in a members home, the browns. they are nice nice people and have been in the ward for awhile so they know the area well. they have a small house and we live in a side room. today we are going to set up our bunk beds, its a good set up. its a pretty rural area, lots of dirt roads and empty lots and horses. but not far from the city, just on the edge of the more developed part. im loving this part of the area!! its still the desert, but it's nicer than paved/developed everywhere.

having one ward is nice so far, except that our ward mission leader kept us running around all day yesterday, going to meetings with different leaders in the ward, it was pretty ridiculous, he made it so we didn't get our study time! and then he was trying to tell us to cut our p-day short, like end it at noon instead of 6pm. haha, yeah right. im all for working hard during the week, and we will! we'll work our butts off, but we are going to take full advantage of our pdays :) we hiked part way up a mountain (we started on the wrong side and the trail was silly steep!) and played some sand volley ball this morning. who knows what this afternoon will bring. elder parker likes adventures almost as much as i do, so im sure we'll find some fun.

ohhh yeah!!!!!!!!!!! and elder christensen called me and told me that scott and espiranza are scheduled to be baptized on july 21st!!!!!!!!! so cool! they are great people! im excited to go back and see them!

36 days till my birthday, 45 days till my year mark :) cool stuff! although, i dont think im done being a teenager yet.

aaaaaaaaaannnnnnnnnnnnnddddddddddd, we got a car! they will most likely take it away from us around september when the mission has more missionaries, but for now everyone has a car :) we got a 2012 corolla, when we got it it had 13 miles on it! and it has blue tooth! every time someone calls us on it we feel super cool!

all is well here, we just need more people to teach! its kinda tough because not a lot of people actually live in our area, we're are probably going to have to do a lot of passing people of to other missionaries, which is always lame, but we'll see what happens. being a trainer is just as much fun as i imagined, probably because elder parker isnt a weirdo. lol

hope all is well for you!
your favorite missionary :)

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

25 June 2012

so, transfer call: im going to lone mountain stake, its up on the north west side of the city, up by where i served before. i'll be covering only one ward (which im excited for!) the mountain crest ward. we'll be living with members and after my two week stint in a car i'll be back on bike lol. and i'll be training a new missionary! which is what i was hoping for. i'll meet him tonight, so i'll tell you about him next week. im pretty sure hes gonna be the best missionary ever :) it'll be interesting because not only will he not know what he's doing, i wont know the area either, so hopefully he catches on quick cause i'll need his help!

so the end of this week has been full of saying goodbyes and packing (actually not much packing happened, that'll be an activity for this afternoon i suppose). i hate saying goodbyes! being a missionary is weird with that. you go to an area knowing that you will only be there for 3-6 months, yet while youre there (if you're doing your job right) youre trying to build the strongest relationships you can build. and then as soon as those strong relationships start to materialize, it's time to move. time is flying though, i cant believe its almost july!

hopefully it's cooled down for you in ohio, i heard it was pretty nasty hot/humid for a couple days. every time i pray i thank God for the sunshine and the warm weather. i figure there must be some reason i should be thankful for the warm weather, and that if i keep praying it i might someday figure it out lol.

so i know this little girl named kelsy and she is 3 days older than lily! (so naturally, kelsy is one of my favorite people) yesterday, as i was saying goodbye to chris and ashley (kelsy's parents) kelsy and her siblings attack elder christensen and i with water guns!!!!! it was a lot of fun, my tie got a little messed up, and our car windows need to be washed, but it was worth it lol. made me wonder what all my little siblings are up to.

i guess i'll have lots more to tell you next time. please pray for me and my new son, we're gonna need some help in this new area!

elder donovan

Monday, June 18, 2012

18 June 2012

its getting pretty hot here, but thats okay, cause they gave us a car :) :) i'm still ready for transfers, but the car helps lol.

fathers day was tough to get people out to church. everybody went out for breakfast with their dads instead of coming to church with me :( it's okay though. this week will be a bunch of me saying goodbye to people and telling them one more time to read their scriptures. i'll find out Wednesday or thursday if im training a new elder and then saturday i'll find out where im going. and then monday i'll tell you all about it :)

both friday and saturday i got to go on splits with different elders in different areas. it was great! i got to meet a lot of new people and it was fun to teach with some people that i dont usually get to teach with!  we taught one kid, his name is ryan, hes 19, and he has been meeting with the missionaries as often as possible for about the last 3 weeks. idk his whole story, but basically, he walked into church, talked to the missionaries and said, "i want to change my life" and he has! hes read a lot of the Book of Mormon and the New testament, hes stopped smoking and drinking, and he is really really excited about his baptism at the end of the week! he's inviting everybody lol. it was cool to see how quickly and how excited/motivated he is to change!

we're gonna go out and brave the heat today and play some football, it should be good fun!

this weekend is stake conference here, so that means im gonna make a big push and i'll be done with the BoM next time im email :) im excited to finish! this time going through is definitely the most quality read of the Book of Mormon ive ever done! its awesome! im excited to do the same in the new testament!

i hope everything is going well for everyone! make sure you dont waste your whole summer! do something productive! i know most of you are :) actually, i cant believe how many of my friends are all over the world doing great things, its crazy! singapore, spain, brazil, mexico, australia, chile. it's awesome! keep it up!

i love all of you!
-elder donovan

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Words of Wisdom

you can let the sun run circles around you, or you can try to catch up!!!!!!!!!!!!!

11 June 2012

not too much going on here :/ we're still waiting for our car that they told us we were going to get. and no one came to church. zero. im ready for a new area. bleh. buuuuuuttttttttttt, my scripture reading is doing well! im on track to finish the book of mormon by the end of june and then i will have six months to finish the new testament (this was my new years resolution) my other new years resolution im still 20 pounds from lol. i'll get there too.

ive been struggling lately because i am not the boss. i want to be the boss. we visit the same people over and over again and none of them progress. i want to go visit new people but my comp wants to keep visiting the same old people. he is also very ready to go home. he has two months left and wishes it was two days. it makes it hard to be motivated. so im just going to focus on my scripture reading and accomplishing my goals, and i'll pray for a good transfer call.

deep thought of the day : (im making this up as i go, we'll see what i come up with...) the sun rises and sets at the same altitude in the horizon, but at opposite points in our world, according to our perspective. are we trying to move like the sun, across our whole world, literally as far as it can go. or do we stay in one spot, because we know the sun will rise in the same spot the next day.

think about that


elder donovan

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

4 June 2012

i dont have a lot of time today, so i'll make it quick :) but i'll make sure to tell you everything you need to know!

it hit 108 this past week! that was ridiculous! buuuuut good news is, i now have a good bike THAT ACTUALLY WORKS and they are going to give us a car soon! with AC :)

scott and espiranza finally came to church and i think they really enjoyed it! they are still very excited about studying the scriptures! also theresa (the one that texted us a month ago and told us she didnt want to see us anymore) she came to church as well! it was cool to see her, she was friendly as always and everyone at church was excited to see her.

i went to the eye doctor for the first time this week! that was exciting! the put me through all these stressful tests and poked stuff in my eye. he gave me a prescription for glasses and then told me i had to go back this week because it measured that i had "high eye pressure". he said it was probably nothing, he just wanted to check. im afraid my eyes are going to explode!

that was pretty much my week. kinda blah. i guess not every week can be super exciting. im looking forward to transfers in a few weeks. time for a change i think.

hopefully this letter finds you all excited for summer and popsicles and swimming! i myself can not wait until october when i will see 90 degree weather again!

remember: a song of the righteous is a prayer, that will be answered with a blessing! keep singing or whistling or humming while you mosey :)

...also, think about moseying, its incredibly underrated! (just something ive been pondering)

elder donovan

Wednesday, May 30, 2012


going to distict meeting. my suit pants were at the cleaners 

before the 5k

after the 5k

my first scorpion

the neighbors tortise escaped

29 May 2012

hey everyone! hope you had a wonderful memorial day! i sure did :) we went on a hike yesterday, probably 3 miles. but most of it was climbing around/over trees and rocks. it was awesome to get outside (not in a shirt and tie), in nature and sweat a little bit! felt so good!

and on saturday we had an awesome time! im not sure if i told yall about helen. she is from Queensland Australia and was visiting her friend here. she ended up being here for about 2 weeks and we pretty much met with her everyday she was here! last week when i emailed, i was pretty sure she was going to have to wait until she went back home to be baptized. that was what our mission president told us to do and that made the most sense, so that she could be baptized where she would actually be attending church and with the people there to fellowship her. but she really wanted to be baptized here. she had a lot of things she is dealing with at home. thats the reason she came on vacation, to get away from the home issue. well, she came here, found the church, and wanted to be baptized asap so that she could have those blessing with her when she returned home. we ended up bring president black with us for a lesson and he gave us special permission to do the baptism here! it was awesome! i was able to be the one in the water with her doing the baptism and that was an awesome experience! i didnt even mess up the words and she went all the way under the water! it was a really really great experience and i hope and pray she settles in quickly to her new branch!

on a sadder note. none of the people that promised me they would come to church actually came :( everyone here, who actually has a job (lots of people dont), works A LOT, and so they are either working during church, or sunday is their only day off and they want their rest.  i want to rest on Sunday too, but i still go to church! sheesh.

uuuuummmmmmm. i guess thats my life right now. transfers are in a month, im ready for a change i think. my little brother turned 18 this past week, thats crazy! i must be getting old. and i wish i got to call my family about every month instead of twice a year!

i hope you have a wonderful week! start your summer off with a bang! im gonna keep praying i have a car in my next area :)

elder donovan

Monday, May 21, 2012

21 May 2012

theres a high of 103 here today :(

Jeb is starting to act like the Dragon did before he died :/

nobody that told me they would be at church was actually at church :(

but life is still good :) im still happy! we taught more lessons last week than any other week on my mission. and i finally got to the part in the Book of Mormon when Christ visits the people and teaches them. there is no better way to start your day than by reading about Christ!

this week we have zone conference. thats always fun! we get to see all our buddies who are serving in other area, some of which just came down from up north. we get to learn from one another. and the best part is, i dont have to plan anything for an entire day :)

uuuuuuuuuuummmmmmmmmmmm, what else is going on?

on friday we showed up to our dinner and the mother of the house said, "your mission president and his wife are coming to dinner!" (they are friends of the family i guess) so i said, "oh, well its a good thing that we obeyed all the rules TODAY!" (jokingly of course, we are always good) and the sister just gave my this disapproving look lol. i was more behaved the rest of the evening lol.

my hair is now shorter than it has ever been. i used a 2 this time. my heads getting sunburnt.

this past week i hit my 9 month mark! and some members happened to take us to Outback for dinner. so they had the wait staff sing me happy birthday lol.

this afternoon we are going disk golfing! we're borrowing disk from a member that takes his disk golf VERY seriously, he told us that spent "a few hundred dollars" on his disks! and he told us that the course we are going to is the "hardest in the state" (who knows how many disk golf courses there actually are in nevada lol) im worried we're going to lose his expensive disks!

i hope all is well at home! be safe.

elder donovan :)

Monday, May 14, 2012

14 May 2012

so i talked to my mama yesterday, she is the best!!!!!!! and the rest of my family too, they are awesome! I found out my dad and uncle and older brother are going on a cool hiking trip to the grand canyon without me :( and and little 5 year old patrick taught me a little bit about prayer lol. i was telling my family that i did not get transferred. that means that i will be staying in the same area with my same companion for the next 6 weeks. it also means that i will be staying in the vegas west mission when it splits, so my opportunity to go to reno, and get out of the vast, dirty, barren dessert that vegas is,  has been dashed. so i was jokingly telling my family that i had been praying for a transfer up north, and patrick pipes up and says "ya but Donaphin, you dont always get what you pray for!" haha, so true little buddy. it was good to talk to all of them :)

other big events that happened this week.....

i found my first scorpion! that was way cool! we actually caught the first one and messed with it for awhile and then let it go. later we were telling the member we live with about how excited we were to find a scorpion and she got MAD at us for not killing it! i said, why would i kill it? its cooool! so she told us about how she got stung by one and then ordered us to kill the rest of them that we see lol. so we went on a scorpion hunt :) when you shine a black light on them they glow bright green (way cool) so they are pretty easy to find. i smashed one of them with a big stick and its guts exploded all over my face and shirt. there was bright green splatter all over me. true story.

and we met some awesome people yesterday and taught them about the Book of Mormon. they are very excited to come to church next week. Super cool!

i hope you all are being good and behaving yourselves. and having lots of fun!!!!!!!!!! miss you all!

elder donovan :)

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

7 May 2012

so, as good as last week was, this week didnt live up to the hype. we'll start with the bad stuff that happened and then i'll tell you the good stuff :)

friday, coming home from a lesson, i crashed my bike. hard. i figure i went from over 20mph to stopped in about 20 feet lol. what happened was we were racing home, i was winning, but i didnt swing my turn wide enough. so i took the turn too tight and obviously too fast and my bike slid. as it slid, due to the sheer momentum that was trying to change direction, the wheel actually bent. that caused problems. i flew off. tearing my pants and shirt. scraping both my arms, one has a big bump/bruise, scraping both my knees, and hitting my head on the curb. my helmet actually cracked and i got a bruise on my forehead THROUGH my helmet. fortunately, all my wounds were external and will all heal :) and i acquired a new wheel for my bike, so that too will heal :)

even worse than that though: we received a text message from teresa on sunday morning. she told us that she couldnt live up to the standards of the church and therefore she wouldnt be attending church or studying with us anymore because she didnt want to be a hypocrite. we of course texted her right back and told her that none of us are perfect and that the gospel is only about progressing! she never responded. so yeah, that kinda hurts. but we'll keep trying her!

and i think i told y'all about chris and ashley+ 5 kids on wednesday. all is still good with them, we are going to have another lesson with them tomorrow :)

coming up this week:
i will find out if im getting transferred or not. along with that i will find out what mission i will be in and who my mission president will be for the next year. wherever i get sent i'll be happy :) i would like a car area though

elder justice, mendez, and i are singing in their ward talent show. i wanted to do a cool song, like a missionary rap or something, but they chose a hymn

and of course on sunday i get to call home :) super excited for that!

i hope this message finds you all happy and doing well. if not, get happy and well :P

elder donovan :)

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

2 May 2012

hey everybody!!!!!!!!! first of all, i miss you guys! second of all, life is going really well here!!!! :)

we had lots of stuff happen this past week!

last saturday we ran our 5k, actually, it was only 2.8 miles lol. i did it in 22 mins. and then limped around for like 4 days :) but it was fun! i really like the wards im in, so its always fun to get together for an activity.

but the big thing that is going on is elder christensen and i have been kicking butt! we both set a personal record for lessons taught in a week last week and we're on our way to having another great week! i decided that i hope i stay here another transfer so i can see what happens in the area. next week we'll see what happens. prez told us today that where we are next transfer is the mission we'll stay in. so by mothers day i'll know where im going!

speaking of mothers day! im super excited to talk to my mama next week!

on thursday, we asked teresa if she wanted to be baptized on may 12th, and on sunday she said she is, "seriously seriously considering the 12th" :) hopefully he lesson goes well this week!

and we had an awesome first lesson with chris and ashley. they are a young couple with 5 little kids. they are awesome! way down to earth, devoted to their family, sick of living in the desert, my kind of people! they're the biggest reason i want to stay in the area.

so i had a break though this week. it finally feels normal to be here. im used to being a missionary in Vegas. not only that, but vegas is actually growing on me! dont get me wrong, i miss trees and grass and rain, but vegas isnt so bad! the area im in is pretty cool. im even used to riding my bike! (which broke this past week lol. my shifter is broken, i have to hold it in 2nd gear, otherwise it will shift to 1st. i cant even force it into 3rd lol)

life is good :)

except that i havent seen many letters recently....

i bet they're lost in the mail somewhere, im sure they'll get here soon :)

funny story:
in one of the mission apartments there is a punching bag. about an hour ago my companion yelled "this is sparta!", kicked the bag, and put a huge rip in his pants. it was so funny!

this week i am working on being more patient. but this is the last week im working on it. if it doesnt get better by next monday, i quit.

i hope everybody is have a super duper fun day :) y'all are awesome!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

23 April 2012

life is good :)

theresa is progressing right along! she is so close! we'll have another lesson this week with her. last week she told us that she was going to start praying about baptism :) we'll see how it goes, cross your fingers :)
next time we see joe we are going to challenge him again to baptism. he's ready! he's been to church like 6 weeks in a row now and i think he really enjoys it!

and i think we're going to be picking up a couple new people to teach! i'll tell you about them as we start teaching them\

yesterday was ward counsel in one of our wards so the stake president came. he is really really good with the scriptures and he taught us all about the history of the BoM using the old testament and then he taught us jacob 5. it was sweet! i wish we would have had more than an hour with him. i took lots of notes!

also yesterday it hit 100 degrees. that is bad. if i dont email next monday i probably melted. actually if i dont email next monday, it'll really be because we are going to the temple next week and i'll email on wednesday :)
but i heard its supposed to cool down soon, which is good because our 5K is on saturday. we've been slacking on training, so we'll see how it goes.

this past week i had a very sad thing happen to me :( i tried on my buddy's glasses, and they helped my vision! :( and then when i took them off, i realized how not perfect my vision is :( :( that was the first time that this has ever happened to me! ive never put on glasses that have actually HELPED. i was pretty mad about it :(

ooooo, but i finally finished Alma! i have about 150 pages left of the BoM :)

welp, time is flying! we're already halfway through the transfer. its almost may! everybody is finishing school. CRAZY!

this is a short version of what ive been thinking about this week:
The Atonement is absolutely ESSENTIAL for the eternal salvation of ANYONE that has or will EVER live on this earth. Jesus Christ knew that performing the Atonement was his mission here on the earth and He knew that by performing the Atonement He was providing an infinite favor to EVERYONE. Even though He knew this, He made an effort to serve the beggar on the street, the widow, the sick, and the little children. There is a lot to learn from that example of charity!

i hope everybody is safe and healthy and happy! have a good week :)

elder donovan :)

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

16 April 2012

we had a good week this week! it was cold and rainy :) :)

today it was about 83 and we all got sunburned playing football, it was fun!

we still havnt seen or head from Sylbi. i'm thinking about just staking out  her house. i want to know how shes doing and what happened! its such a weird situation.

Brandon has started going to the ward where he actually lives and is meeting with the missionaries there. he's planning on getting baptized on the 28th of this month, so hopefully i'll be able to go to that!

we taught Teresa this past week. shes 50 something, lives by herself, has 1 son and 3 grandkids. she randomly showed up to church on easter and asked us to come over and teach her. i love it when that happens! we taught her about prophets and Christ's earthy ministry, and about the Restoration of His gospel and why that was necessary, and then about the Book of Mormon. when we left, she was excited to get reading and praying. and she came to church yesterday (all really good signs) and we have another lesson scheduled with her this week, so hopefully it goes well.

this week we have interviews with President Black, we'll see if he drops any hints on which mission im going to. im sure he wont. i'm still hoping i get sent to the reno mission, otherwise i'll never get to use the winter coat i brought.

2 weeks and counting until the 5k. my ankles really dont like this running on the street thing. i suppose they they will get stronger as i go. or maybe they'll just hurt more and more.

I'm almost done with Alma. i'm excited about that! today i read about Teancum stabbing Amalickiah in the heart, with a javelin, while amalickiah was sleeping. teancum is my new favorite person :)

i did learn something from the war chapters this week:

during a time of peace, Moroni taught the nephites how to prepare for attacks that were certain to happen sometime in the future. when those attacks did come, they came in the exact way that Moroni warned and because the nephites prepared like moroni showed them, they were able to pretty easily defend their cities and fend off their attackers.

We have modern day prophets and the scriptures to warn us about "attacks that are certain to happen". they tell us how satan works, what his goals are, and also how we can defend ourselves and the people around us from him. if we prepare spiritually, and build our walls with the foundation of Christ, they WILL NOT fall and we will be safe from the adversary.
(alma 49:21-23, helaman 5:12)

tomorrow is my 8 month birthday, you know what that means. it means i need letters :) you know the address, you wont regret it :)

be safe! and nice :)

elder donovan

Thursday, April 12, 2012

9 April 2012

hey everybody :)

had a hectic week here! spent a lot of it trying to get all moved in to our new place and organized. mostly we are done with that. the rest of it was spent trying to introduce elder christensen to the area and the people. unfortunately it was spring break here and most of our week was spent trying to contact people that weren't home. just one of those weeks. but this one's looking good! we are going to start teaching a few new people so thats pretty exciting!

also exciting, and kinda confusing: i received a call this week from another missionary who told me that Sylbi had moved back into my ward. since then ive called her probably 15 times, texted her, and knocked on her door a few times. nothing. but she talked to someone else in the ward. weird. i'll keep trying to get ahold of her and figure out whats up.

easter was way good here! sister ringer had us over for dinner and then afterwards we watched all of the new easter videos from they are really really really good. check them out

it's getting hot here. pray for cool weather for me :)

i ate a "1000 year old egg" this week. it was really pretty gross. what it is is a raw egg that basically gets covered in clay and ferments for a few days. when its done and you crack it open, the insides are solid and black. yum

we have started running in the morning. at the end of the month we are going to run a 5k. stay tuned for that :)

im going to start pushing to finish the book of mormon. i feel like i have been reading it for a long time. and i'm pretty sure if i push to finish it as fast as i can (while still marking it up well) it'll really help me. so stay tuned for that as well i guess.

other than that, nothing much is happening here. the mission split is getting closer so the excitement is growing for that. elder marks, my mission dad is the new AP, so he keeps joking that he wants a grandson and so he's going to make sure im training soon. i dont think that show it works though. we'll see what happens.

i think my bike is about to die....

but life is good here :) im glad i get to be a missionary. its an awesome experience to be able to only worry about the things that Heavenly Father wants me to worry about :)

i hope you all had a wonderful easter and have a wonderful week this week :)

elder donovan

Monday, April 2, 2012

2 April 2012

i dont have much time today, so i'll hurry and tell y'all what you need to know :)

elder larsen is getting transferred to Winnemuca. my new companion will be elder Christensen. (not the one that was with me and matekel) he's from canada. i served around him in Tule Springs. He's pretty cool, we should have a good time!

we are moving out of the Ringer's basement and into the DiMonico's casita tomorrow. it'll be a smaller place, but a little more like having our own apartment, so that'll be cool! we're working on getting bunk beds :)

I really enjoyed conference! we were able to watch all of the sessions and they were all taught me things i need to learn. we had a few investigators watch conference with us, thats always good! (the church leaders are always a lot better at teaching than we are)

We had a really good first lesson with Brendan. he is dating a girl in one of our wards and seems pretty ready to make a change in his life (a cute girl can do that to a guy :P). he had already read the book of mormon until 1 nephi 13 when we had our first lesson. so thats awesome! he watched priesthood session with us.

this morning i woke up and played b-ball with a bunch of people at the stake center. I wish i had actually learned how to play basketball lol

and then we went on a pretty lame hike out in the desert. so heres a desert joke for you:
What does christmas and a cat in the desert have in common?

they both have sandy claws :)

well, stay awesome everybody! you guys are great :)

elder donovan :)

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

26 March 2012

It was one of those weeks that just flew by but then i look back and im not sure what happened.
on Tuesday we helped this guy named Lenny move. hopefully we'll be able to start teaching him soon.
wednesday morning we woke up really early and went to a seminary morning-side. it was cool. as a zone we sang a couple songs for the kids. we did okay. somehow me and one other kid ended up being the only tenors and the part we were supposed to sing was ridiculously high. which would have been okay except that it was early in the morning and we didnt warm up lol. we pulled it out. everyone there was half sleeping so it was okay. the rest of wednesday we were on splits with the zone leaders. that was pretty cool. we always have a good time on splits.

thursday, we thought we were going to have a 1st lesson with lenny, but when we showed up to mikes house (where we thought the lesson was going to be), lenny wasn't there. so we had a lesson with mike and his fam. it wasnt a very good lesson. mike is a bad student and thinks that he is a better teacher than we are, so when we were trying to teach his kids he kept interrupting us and talking about things that dont matter. but its okay! him and his family came to church for the first time this sunday, that was pretty cool!

and joe came to church again this week! we're going to challenge him again to be baptized.

on saturday we ate Durian fruit (google it) it smells really really bad and tastes only a little better. everyone should try it if they get a chance.

this coming week is transfers, so next monday i'll know where im going to be and who im going to be with, so stay tuned for that.

also this week we are moving from our current home and into someone elses house. i dont want to, but the members really want us to live there, so the mission people tell me i have to. mostly it shouldnt change my life too much. just one more thing we've got to do this week.

im really looking forward to Conference! it should be awesome! it'll be my second conference on my mission, thats kinda crazy!

well thats all ive got for y'all this week. be good :)

elder donovan :)

ps. check out the song "you love me anyway" by Sidewalk Prophets, its awesome

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

19 March 2012

Highlight of my week: I got to go back to my last area inTule Springs and see Rick get baptized. that was awesome! it was cool to see him finally make that big step in his life and it was cool to see some many of my favorite people from my last area.

Elder Larsen got a really bad toothache this past week and that slowed us down a lot. he wanted to rest a lot cause it hurt so bad. i dont blame him. an old root canal that he had got infected :/ fortunately we know lots of dentists and he was able to get that fixed this morning.

Sylbi didnt get baptized this past week :/ her life is crazy! the people that she was living with basically kicked her out because they dont like Mormons. so she has to move and the only place she could find an affordable place was in another ward. so she is moving this week and then once she gets settled in wants to get baptized there. i hope everything slows down for her soon!

from what i here it is actually warmer in ohio than it is here. kinda weird, but i'm sure it wont be that way for very long. its hot enough right now. im hoping i get assigned to the reno mission. but that probably means i'll stay in vegas.

im ready for transfers. they arent for a couple weeks but im ready for a change. my companion is starting to get on my nerves and im beginning to get bored so its probablly time for a change.

had a really good lesson this week with joe and ailee this past week! we talked about prayer and did our best to get them excited about progressing. they didnt come to church though :/

words of wisdom:
when life is slow,
and you know not where to go,
pray oft,
silent, loud, or soft,
and God will hear,
He'll be more than happy to steer.


i was going to just say this but i flt creative so i wrote a poem :)

i hope you all have a wonderful week :)

elder donovan

Monday, March 12, 2012

12 March 2012

Kinda a slow week this week. well  maybe not slow, but fairly uneventful. one of those weeks when you get to the end and youre like "oh dang, the whole week is gone!"

but here's what happened...

tuesday night we met a really cool family! the parents names are Joe and Ailie (ale-ee) and they have 2 little kids.  they are neighbors of the bishop and have talked to missionaries before, but ran into some concerns and life kept getting hard and they stopped investigating. but this past week we had dinner with them and resolved some of their concerns and they came to church this week! and they want us to come back this week and teach them more! so we're pretty excited about them.

on thursday i went on splits with an elder who has been out for about 6 months. hes kinda a different kid. and he talked a lot about how he didnt want to be here. he told me that e felt like his dad had made him come and that he wasnt ready to be here. he said he wanted to go home, get a job, study his scriptures, and then he would come back out on a mission later. this kid has no motivation, there is no way he would go home and study, he probably wouldnt even get a job. I tried to talk some sense into him/ give him a pep talk, but i dont think it sunk in. we'll see what happens, so far he's still here.

saturday our new investigator, Silbi (who is supposed to get baptized this coming saturday) went to the hospital! Im really tired of all the people I teach going to the hospital!!!!!! She crashed on her bike and hurt her knee/ankle :/ we're praying she recovers quickly!

yesterday, at church, this guy was telling us about this catholic man that he used to know who was married to a woman with chrone's disease. he was telling us about how he used to go to visit them but they would never come to church. and then this ast week he gt a phone call from them and the husband is getting baptized this weekend. well what this guy didnt know is that i know this catholic guy too! he was talking about Rick Wood! so this guy in my current ward is going to give me a ride to rick's baptism on saturday! im pretty excited for that! its going to be cool to see everyone from my last ward again!

funny story of the week: this guy told me about how he found a vampire! we were standing on the side walk in our shirts and ties and this guy walked up and said, "you 2 look like religious men". he was very observant! he continued to tell us this story about how he found this monster (he called it a vampire, but said it was a god)  he said it was about 5 feet tall  and had short brown fur. one of its feet had a hoof and the other one was like a giant ape foot lol. he also said it could make itself invisible! he gave me a copy of his hand written scientific paper that he wrote about it, which also included and hand drawn picture of the vampire. awesome! lol he also told me that he used to be a professor but the college kicked him out for his radical ideas lol. it was a pretty funny conversation.

my quote of the week:

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that frightens us most. We ask ourselves, 'Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and famous?' Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that people won't feel insecure around you. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in all of us. And when we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

-Maryanne Williamson

I hope everyone is doing well! its 76 degrees here today. so far i havnt burnt up yet, but i think its gonna come soon. im going to buy sunscreen today lol

much love!
-elder donovan :)

Wednesday, March 7, 2012


us eating chicken feet

at the temple (me and elder mendez)

at the temple (me and elder mendez)
street named chambersburg

showing off my guns

giant hamburger w/ pastrami i ate. really good!

me, bro acension, nelson, elder larsen, 2 random little girls from the ward that thought they should be in my picture lol

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

5 March 2012

so first of all: nelson got baptized. it was great! logistically, not everything went as smoothly as i would have hoped but that doesnt really matter! what matters is that he has made a really important step in his life! its cool to see!

second: we met this wonderful lady named Sylbie. She is Brazilian. she just moved here from Idaho. in idaho her and her husband were taking the lessons from the missionaries. but then, about 4 weeks ago, her husband got sick and passed away :/
she had to move here very quickly because she found a job, and she wasnt able to get baptized in Idaho. we talked to her on the phone this past thursday. met her on friday. had an interview for her baptism on saturday. and then she came to church sunday! already people in the ward are making friends with her and really taking care of her!  She is so strong to make such a big change so soon after her husband died. but she says a new start will be good for her and she is really excited to be here. I'm just excited i got to meet her. shes awesome!

The other big news that we got this week is that on July 1st the nevada las vegas west mission is basically getting split in half! instead of having 2 missions in nevada there are going to be 3. so i could be stuck i the heat of las vegas for the rest of my mission, or i could spend the rest of my mission in the cooler northern parts of nevada (what im hoping) we'll see! that'll be in a couple transfers.

so heres a funny story for you: this past weekend both the mens and womens BYU basketball teams had games in vegas and all the players ended up coming to my ward! it was cool to see them all at church along with them (who i kinda recognized) i also kinda recognized someone else. he was an old man. i thought he might be from ohio. so i went up to him and introduced myself. we spent a little bit trying to figure out how i knew him. finally he said that his name was Samuelson and that he worked at BYU. It was President Cecil O Samuelson! the president of BYU! i was pretty embarrassed lol. i apologized and told him it must be because im a missionary and am focused on other thing. he said that was a good excuse. It was really funny!

I hope you all have a wonderful week this week. dont get blown away by any tornadoes!

elder donovan :)

New Missions Created

They are taking the two missions in Nevada and creating a third: the Nevada Reno Mission.  We have not received any word yet on which mission Donovan will end up in.

For more information you can see the article on the church website: LDS Church News Article