Mission Letters

Weeks 70 through 79 – My Intermission

The day has come.

I will be heading back out to the mission field. I am super excited and terrified at the exact same time.

I have spent 72 days here in Utah. About 10 weeks and 2 days people! A super long time. I can’t believe that I was in Argentina at the beginning of April. Time has flown and I have thoroughly enjoyed my time I have spent here in the amazing state of Utah.

I’d like to share some highlights of each week. There are many, so I apologize in advance for the length of this post.

I’d also like to invite you to read my previous post if you haven’t already. Here it is!

Without further ado, here is what happened during weeks 70-79 of my Mission.

Week 70: April 6-12

This week was the start of my amazing time here in Utah. I thoroughly enjoyed listening to “normal” music that I listened to before my mission. So weird not feeling guilty listening to that music. I mean, we would hear it in Taxi’s and Super Markets, but it was sin to download and listen to it. We also went hiking up American Fork Canyon. I got to hold snow for the first time in 5 years. Sad, but true. It was requested to make my “amazing” cookies, so I did. Everyone loved them, but they were just okay. 

               

We celebrated Easter during this week. I’m not sure if y’ll knew that, but yeah. Easter was super fun! We made bunnies out of Marshmallow Snow Balls, paper, chocolate chips and tooth picks! We dyed hard boiled eggs as well. I made mine into a Rocket Ship! I loved the German Chocolate crumbl cookie that we got this week as well. So GOOD!

         

We were challenged by my cousins M/J to a fort building battle. I think we won though. I really enjoyed our chalk drawing we did this week as well. We did a mosaic type art on our front sidewalk. I used two different thicknesses of tape. Oops. It still looks amazing though!

         

I was gifted an Emoji Rubik’s Cube by my Uncle and Aunt M&M that I am living with. Tell the truth, it was a challenge. Truly a challenge. Because my family was not there to welcome me off the airplane, they asked one of my favorite families to make a Candy Card for me. My family sent a list of candies for them to buy and a poem to write. So grateful for the help of that family! Loved the poem my family made, including the candies! 

                                          

My Great Uncle T was super sweet and helped me out with sweets. He got me a phone and a laptop to borrow. He also bought amazing Root Beer and Tillamook Udderly Chocolate Ice Cream. So grateful for that! Definitely a blessing to have the sweets I got! 

                                                 

Week 71: April 13-19

We made our own masks!!! I decided to do a Music themed mask!  We also cured my craving for donuts. Lucky me! A classic Root Beer float can never go wrong. I got to play one of my Uncle J and Aunt R’s board game, Tokaido. One more thing, I got to see Jurassic Park for the first time ever at a Drive in Theater!!! Yeah, I got dang scared!!!!!!!

                           

                                                                                 

 

Week 72: April 20-26

This week we started our first batch of 100 face masks helping Just Serve. It was surprisingly a lot of fun! Sitting down, pinning and sewing it actually really relaxing. So grateful for the opportunity I got to serve. We also planet the garden out back. Spent a good afternoon doing that. 

               

I was invited to a mission zoom call from my previous mission. I got to see almost all the missionaries I had served with. So cool to see them and to know that they are okay. We spent a lot of time at the temple during my stay here. Every Tuesday was Temple day. This week we laid out on a blanket and had a small rest in-front of the Timpanogos Temple. So relaxing. My Uncle M popped out his fun clock. Just it was run by marbles. So cool!

   

 

  Week 73: April 27-May 3

This week’s highlight was amazing! We got to go to the Geode Beds!!! Super long drive, super bump, but so worth the discomfort. My cousins M/J came with us as well. (My cousin M is the daughter of my Uncle and Aunt M&M). My cousin-in-law J brought his drone and flew it around. He took some pretty cool pictures. You may have noticed I have a bit of scruff on my face. 

We found a rock that kind of looked like a Geode. Cool though. I made my cookies again. This time I took a picture of all the ingredients you need to make them. No recipe, sorry 😉

        

                     

 

Week 74: May 4-10

I do need to clarify something. Yes, I know I am weird!!! Just look at the photo of me and my pink toothbrush. Proof of my weirdness! hahahaha. The scruff grew a bit. We enjoyed a game of Killer Bunnies during one of our many game nights. My Uncle M, my cousin J, my cousin-in-law J and I went over to my other Aunt and Uncles house to forge S hooks! Tell the truth, it was a bit intimidating, but I did okay. Mine is the far right one. I also got to spend some time with my other cousins there. I hadn’t realized how much I missed them. 

       

We hiked up Horsetail Falls. My cousin J and I hiked up a bit too far and had to practically climb back down the mountain to where the falls were. It was so hilarious! I hadn’t been mountain climbing in so long, so when we climbed down the face of a small cliff, I almost freaked out! We got to help with my Uncle J and Aunt R’s backyard corner. It was so much fun to help out, move dirt and have fun!!!

 

Week 75: May 11-17

I just had to take a picture of my “beard” (more like scruff!) for my siblings. So I did, and here it is. I was also gifted, not lent, not sold, but gifted a phone from one of my good friends. God works in mysterious ways. This was one. I was thinking of people I could ask that could lend me a phone for the next 6 months of my life. I needed one for a State Side mission. So my Dad suggested I ask my friend N. He had served State side, but prefers Iphone. So we thought me might still have it. So I asked if I could borrow it. He said “Haha bro guess what? I have my Samsung s8 sitting in my old room doing nothing! You can for sure have it.” I was thinking he was going to let me borrow it. Well, a few days later he shows up at “my” house and gives me the phone. Not lend, but give. I am eternally grateful my friend N! You are a blessing! Thank Q!!! We also went for round 2 on the 100 face mask service. So worth it.

                 

Here is my cousin J and I standing near Battle Creek Falls! It was a pretty short hike, but truly amazing. Yes that is me at the edge of the waterfall. I loved sitting at the edge. 

           

 

Week 76: May 18-24

This week was so much fun! We got to go up Hobble Creek and stay at Cherry Campground! It was so much fun. I got to spend time with my Aunts, Uncles and Cousins! I got to catch up with my cousin I in a hammock, hold my little cousins and enjoy roasting stuff over a fire. Things I had been dreaming about since we moved to Costa Rica!  So I am extremely grateful for that time. Yes, the scruff is getting longer. We also went on a couple hikes. It was a blessing to be away from technology and enjoy God’s creation. That was a lot of fun!

 

Yes, I got cold. If you didn’t know this about me, now you do. I am super sensitive to temperatures. So if warm is almost hot, it is hot for me. If warm is almost cold it is cold for me. If hot is almost super hot for me, it is extremely hot for me. You get the picture? hahahaha. I was so cold that I needed to use my cousin K’s warm thing. We still dont know what is it. I think it is a bath robe. It is super long and only has long sleeves. So I put my head through both sleeves and made them into a hood. Then I walked around like I had a cape on. It did the job, so its okay! We spent Sunday night there, so I got to camp “during” my mission. hahahaha! I had to sleep with a BYU beanie. We also spent some time at the Payson Temple. So cool to see it.

Here is The Grotto. It is a super duper easy hike and so worth the time to get there. My cousin J and I climbed up to the top and I got a few pictures. Yes, that is my foot at the edge of the waterfall. The middle photo was taken by my Uncle M. He is such a good photographer. Oh, I also wanted to see if anyone liked the idea of Peanut Butter and Cheetos. I thought it was okay, but Facebook said other wise.

               

 

Week 77: May 25-31

This week was an amazing week! My Uncle D and Aunt H invited me to go with them and their daughter (my cousin) L to go ATVing!!! (???)  It truly was a blast! I loved the hours we spent in the mountains, watching Uncle D try to catch passing leaves and splashing through puddles! So much fun. Uncle D even got out of the ATV and threw snow at us! A plus to this all, I got to hold snow again! Two for two during this time. Scary thing though. We found a Jeep on the side of the trail, almost sliding down the mountain. There was a broken tether on the other side of the trail, which let us to believe that the Jeep had been there for a while. So sad!

       

         

Later this week we went to the Draper Temple and walked around. That’s three temples I had visited in the time here in Utah. So grateful that we can still walk around the grounds! The peace is so real. I also received a package from a family that we met in Costa Rica. I am so grateful for that package! It truly was a surprise and a joy to get it! Loved the contents! Thank Q R Family! You guys are so awesome! One last thing we did this week. I got to go to a US library for the first time in over 5 years! I was in HEAVEN. Well, not quite, but pretty close! hahahaha 😉

                       

 

Week 78: June 1-7

This week was crazy fun! I first got to go on a hike up to Bridal Veil falls with Uncle and Aunt M&M and my cousin J! So much fun, and what a beautiful waterfall! I would have hiked up, but not to sure that would be smart for a preparing missionary. I also spent a lot of time with my cousins! We swam in their pool, played Minecraft Dungeons and even read books together! My pixie cousin M drove me around. I was surprised I let her drive as my life was on the line! I loved spending time with them. Then, that Sunday I got to spend time with my second cousins. The selfie photo with the girl is my second cousin A. She and her sister C were the ones that crafted the poster my family had created for me. I was so honored to be invited to the family dinner that they were having. So many of the sisters came and I could interact with so many around my age. It was my privileged and honor to also share a little bit about my mission. My fellow second cousin also served a mission, but came home at the early age of 7 missionary months. It was so cool to hear his stories! He could speak Mandarin! After the story telling, I spent time with my cousins playing games and laughing my head off! Then I did magic. After my magic everyone’s brain functions went mush. We were like children playing card games. I stayed for a total of 5 hours playing with my second cousins. I truly had a blast. It was a bit scary driving home because my fabulous friend of a cousin A drove me home with a mush of a brain. I mean, my brain was mush too, but hers . . . I was a bit scared. 

                 

We also went to La Pequenita, which is a Latin shop. THEY HAVE MATE FROM ARGENTINA!!! I recognized SO many brand names! It was like a blast from the past! It was so cool! Thank you my cousins, Aunt and Uncle for that experience!  So grateful for that! At my Uncle and Aunt M&M’s house we got Alisha’s Dirt Cake Cupcakes, which were so so SO good! Then, I was privileged to see Abominable with them at the Drive in Theater. So cute! Loved it!

           

This week I was also privileged to get my reassignment, which was the most important amount of information that I needed during this entire stay. I am so excited yet terrified as you read up above. It is a blessing to be able to go back out and serve the Lord once again as a Full-time Missionary! So, to celebrate I made Nancy’s Fudge Chocolate Brownie Cake, my favorite cake! It was SO SO SO good!

             

 

Week 79: June

The last week, and yes, that is me with a wood shop mask. I didn’t bring mine with my Grandpa and Uncle M to Home Depot. So my Grandpa game me one, so what? hahahahahaha! I took a picture of my sister while talking to her. I never take pictures while talking to people, so this is one of the few. I got myself some Donut socks with my cousin J. He got Pikachu socks. Kind of jealous!

                   

I also got myself a new pair of tennis shoes. I LOVE THEM! They are so comfy! I spent some more time over at my cousins house! Before going over, we went and did some errands. One was to get fudge at Scheels! SO WORTH THE DRIVE! It was delicious! I have had so much fun swimming with them. I am so grateful I could. I mean, who can say they swam in the “middle” of their mission. It was the last long time hang out I had with them, which was a bit sad.

                             

But, earlier that week I went over again and they got FACTURAS!!! They are Argentine and are SO good! I loved seeing stuff from my mission here in the States. We also hiked Bridal Veil falls, for me again. I am grateful I could go twice, because it truly is an amazing waterfall! We also played 5-minute Dungeon, which is one of my all time favorite games. Like seriously, that is the first game I want to get when I get back from my mission. Apparently there is an expansion pack as well! I am so pumped for that, but more pumped for my mission!

                 

Then comes Friday night. Now, I do want to clarify something. I have had a BLAST with everyone that I have spent time with. You are all up there in the “best hang outs of my life” category. But, I don’t know why but this night barely tops them all. When I say barely, I say barely, if you know what I mean. I got to spend time with my second cousins! The same fabulous second cousin from the Sunday dinner of last week. I mean, I got to do magic, play games and have so much fun with these people. My second cousins Mla and Aln came over as well. We got Little Caesars for dinner. Guys, I had been wanting that pizza since I got here, but I was way to chicken to ask. Then out of the blue, this family invites me over for dinner and BAM!! problem solved. Sorry about that Uncle and Aunt M&M, I’m a bit shy that way. But anyway, we ate, told sad stories, played some Hitler game and even Zoomed in with my family in Costa Rica.

Then I heard they had a swinging bed?!?! WHAT??? We rush outside and yeah, there is a bed swinging by chains. So we all jump on and swing away. We talked, the four girls joked around with me, we had so much fun! I mean, cousins are so great right? Anyway, we hope off, they show me some TikTok thing about touching your toes. I you can only touch your toes then you need to kick your feet back, plug your nose, and fling your head all in the same motion to do the impossible. I didn’t believe it, but then I tried it. I could touch my toes, then I did the jumpy thing. I put my PALMS on the GROUND!!! I was flexible like a . . . I don’t have a good metaphor, sorry. But I was dang flexible!

After finding out that the trick worked we went inside, I did rope through the body magic trick and then my second cousins Mla and Aln had to leave. So sad. Then I did more magic. I blew some minds, *fingers crossed. I think I’ll make a video or something sometime in the future of the tricks I did. Then we hopped into the car and they dropped me off at my Uncle and Aunt M&M’s house. Well, we took pictures and documented everything. We said bye and then yeah . . . I loved spending time with this family. I love you guys! I felt like I was apart of their family. Though, no family will ever replace my family. NEVER! I love them and miss them.

     

I forgot to mention that Tuesday I went to the Timpanogos Temple one last time. Love that temple! Saturday we got to go to my Grandparents home and help with their flagstone project. That is where you see me in a wood shop mask. I got to say goodbye to my Grandparents, which was a true blessing! I got to see my other cousins again! Pixie cousin M, cousin I and cousin S! Love you guys so much!!! I miss you already! (It’s Monday (the 15th) night when I am typing this) Then I got to spend time with my cousins M/J! We played Dominion and Age of Empires! So much fun! They also brought over the book I wrote. It’s called Tito! Yeah, a short name and I didn’t fully edit it before making the books. So it has a whole bunch of typos and mistakes. And yes, I hand made the books with the help of my extraordinary family. I love them. So if you want to read it, contact my Uncle and Aunt M&M. They just might let you borrow it. So thank q M/J for bringing it over! I thoroughly enjoyed the time I spent with you! Love you guys! 

         

Thennnnnn Sunday was the day of Rest. M/J came over that night to go to my Setting Apart. I’m not going to share to much about it, because it was a very spiritual experience. But you can know that I am SOOOOO excited yet terrified to go out to my mission. I know God loves me, and that he loves you too. I know that the Book of Mormon is the word of God. He inspired ordinary Men to write extraordinary things. Even mysteries of God! I know that we can gain spiritual revelation that will help us with our everyday tasks. I know that us missionaries are called of God, that I have been called to serve in my next mission for a reason. I don’t know what that reason is, but I trust God does.

   

 

I’d like to end this post with gratitude. I am speechless when it comes to how I was received when I came to Utah. I thought I was going to stay until April 30th and then head out to my mission. God had other plans. He let me spend time with amazing people like my direct cousins, Aunts, Uncles, and second cousins. With all of my heart I would like to say thank q for allowing me to be apart of your lives, even if it was just a moment or two.

I am grateful for my Aunt H, Uncle D and cousin L. They randomly invited me to go ATVing (???) and I had a BLAST! I am so grateful for that time. Love you guys!

I am especially grateful for my cousins Pixie cousin M, cousin I, cousin S, Aunt K and Uncle P. Thank you for allowing me into your home and spend some special time with you. I had a BLAST!!! All the fun adventures that we went on, all the games we played, they are priceless memories. It was a blessing to spend so much time with you all. I am so grateful for that! I love you guys!

I am grateful for my Grandparents, for their support and their love. Thank Q so much! Love you!

I am grateful for the opportunity I was given by my Uncle J and Aunt R to go camping! This was something I desired for a long time, and you guys helped me finally fulfill that desire. Thank Q so much! Love you guys!

I am so grateful for the friendships I made with my second cousins. I am so grateful for 2nd cousins Mla and Aln! You were SO much fun! I’ll miss y’all!

I am beyond grateful for the true friendship I made with my cousin A. Something very special was made in only 10 hours of time together. It truly was a miracle and a blessing from God. Thank q so much! I wish I could spend more time with my cousin and her family. You guys are SO awesome! Thank q for inviting me to your family dinner and to the Friday game night! It truly was an honor. THANK Q!!! I love you guys so much!

I am also eternally grateful for my Uncle and Aunt M&M. It was a blessing to stay in their home, eat their food and spend time with them. I am so so SO grateful for them. For letting me into their house and live with them. I thoroughly enjoyed my time with you. Thank you so much cousin J for showing me all your LEGO stuff. You truly are a master builder! Thank you Uncle and Aunt M&M! You are heaven sent!

Ultimately I am so so SO grateful for my family. They were so brave and so strong to let me come here. To not see me while all other missionary families where seeing their missionaries. I LOVE YOU GUYS SO MUCH!!! I miss you, and cannot wait until I see you!

There was the summary and highlights of weeks 70-79. Stay tuned for more info on my mission!

Con amor,

El Gringo CR

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