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Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Hola Familia, So I said goodbye to Ryan yesterday. He left thismorning at like 3 or something. He had to fly back to LAX tho before going to Chile so I thought that was funny. I guess he was gonna call his parents from LAX haha. HIm me and Sandy took some pics last night so you can put them up at church or whatever when you get them. I got a nice package from Grammy. Still havnt finished all the food yet.THANKS GRAMMY MADDY!!! Could you please send me my Los AL bball sweatshirt. Its pretty cold in the mornings sometimes when we have to do our service or whatever and its only gonna get colder. I want snow tho! It might happen. Still want you to send some pics if you can. Mom, sorry you didnt get the job, im really surprised, do you know who got it? Way to go Cassidy! I knew youd make it. And way to pass up mom in height! Maybe if you grow fast youll pass up Tyler too haha. Speaking of Tyler, you need to stop being lazy. Play some bball. Work out with Auddy. Also I want you to do that crazy 15 minute ab workout and write down all the exercises and send it to me por favor. Im getting buff haha. Im doing a bunch of push up and pull ups. Oh yea and hows it goin with that chica Tyler? Cassidy you better hook him up! We had the Ohker Mountain Temple Dedication yesterday. It was pretty sweet. Spirit was super strong. Dad... Thats cool about the Institute. Scooters a funny kid. Doesnt he put his papers in soon? I BROKE 180 lbs! Im stoked on that. I just need to keep it on. Ok so Idk if I told you bout this Elder here but hes one of the best athletes I have ever played against. His name is Elder Hine. He's from St. George but he can high jump 7'2". He commited to BYU for football his sophmore year of HS. Then the other day he does this crazy backflip 360. He just ran, jumped off one foot, did a gainer, with a 360 and landed and kept running. So insane. I have been learning a ton of spanish on my own. I have been studying really hard and have made a couple hundred flashcards and know prettymuch all of them. And I've been memorizing a bunch of stuff such as the 1st vision in English and I just did it in Spanish yesterday. Definently couldnt be doing this without the Lord. Straight up. Say Hi to Kyle Poe for me. Crazy I'm not gonna see him for 4 years. Could you tell Tiffani to write me so I can have her new address por favor. This week flew buy. Its crazy. Time is so irrelavant here. I dont even get it. I'm not gonna lie I get pretty exhausted tho. It's sometimes very difficult to stay awake during class, especially when we are talking bout planning for the 5th time. My companion has been having kinda a tough time. At the beggining of the week he was sick and wasnt getting much sleep(ive been sleeping great) and he was just feeling terrible. So he met with the Branch Pres and basicly said he wants to go home. After they talked for like 30 minutes Pres Watkins came and got me out of class and told me that Elder Taylor wanted me to give him a blessing. I was super nervous but the blessing went great. The spirit was really strong. I'm glad I got the opportunity to do it. He's doing better now but hes still not sleeping well. I think he's gonna be okay tho. In case you didnt know mail takes FOREVERRRRRRRRRRRR. Thats the one of the few things I hate about being here. Prettymuch everything else is great tho. I'm glad Im here, learning a ton. Spanish hasn't been too hard yet. I'm just waiting for the tought times to come. So far so good tho. So hows home? Getting ready for school? HAHAHA. Say hi to everybody for me. Cant wait to here back. I'm out of time so I guess this letter is over. Love, Elder Given
Hola Familia, Hows everything going? Its still great here. Thanks for all the letters. I wrote a bunch back in the mail on Saturday so you should get it today or tomorrow. Mail seriously takes forever though, It's annoying. I still havn't gotten any letters from my friends so I'm hoping that changes when the mail comes today. Thanks for the package. I'm wearing my close right now and the food is great. So did Cassidy make the Vball team? I'm guessing she did. How did Dylans Farewell go? Is Kyle back yet? One of the sister missionaries in my district was really good friends with Mike Jenson so thats funny. You guys should send me some pics of myself and mi amigos for my room. I'd appreciate that. I'm getting pretty good at spanish. I hate it tho haha. I can pray pretty legitly so that's cool. My companion had a little homesick overwhelming issue thing on Wednesday so he talked to a counciler in the Branch Presidency and we ended up giving him a blessing. Hes doing great now. My branch President is so tight. He retired when he was 32 and lives in some super nice area of Utah I forgot what its called. He's just a great guy. So the new district in our zone showed up on Wednesday and they have 2 kids taller than me! One of them isn't very athletic but he says he plays volleyball. The other is 6'10" and is gonna be on scholarship at BYU when he gets back. I really like the kid but honestly I think im better than him. I think we're gonna end up being good friends tho so whatev. I have aclamated to the altitude now so I'm having way more fun at bball. Ive been draining three's and I straight up dunked over this kid, it was pretty funny. OH YEA BEST PART SO FAR, IVE GAINED 8.4 lbs as of saturday!!! Im gonna weigh myself at gym tomorrow and I hope to be over 180. I just eat a ton and sit around all day. Ryans been telling me to do that for years haha. So there is some kind of time manipulator here at the MTC. We do so much work and studying its not even funny, and the days seem long but go by fast. And then when you look back at the week it flew by. I dont get it haha. Me and a bunch of my friends decided that a bunch of us are going to stay at our house for a while when we get back. Thought Id just give you time to prepare :) One of the fun/stupid things we do here when we have time to think is translate phrases into spanish that dont make sense at all. Like the most common thing we say is "está frio" which translated means its cold, but we pretend it means its chill haha. We're so lame but whatever. I have been following the rules like errybody told me to. It would be so easy to be lazy and take super long naps and sleep in or stay up late, but Ive been doing everything Im supposed to just cus I was told so many times to follow the rules. One of my really good friends in my district is this kid Elder Yergeson. He's the one that kinda looks like Clark but his attitude is kinda similar to Clay Blackledege. He picks bad times to say things in class and people got mad at him but Ive been kinda mentoring him and trying to tell him how to act. Hes a good kid I just kinda question his standards. Im gonna change him tho. Ryan leaves in 6 days. Crazy. Oh yea IDK what dads email is. I guessed on it last week and idk if I got it right so could you send me peoples emails (On dearelder) Anyway so how are things back home? Tyler you better be working out. I am. I do a ton of push ups erry night and now I can even do pull ups haha. It rained here last week. I really hope it snows some time before I leave, that would be sick. We had this guy speak last night who like helped right Preach My Gospel and the talk basicly blew my mind. It made how I need to teach understandable. I am going to re read it and try to fully comprehend it cus it was crazy. I took 2 pages of notes. I actually got homesick for like 10 minutes the other day. Im fine tho. Honestly I just need some letters from my friends. Its really weird not talking to anyone. I love the family letters tho. Lauren and Sydney should draw me some more pictures :) Alright well I gotta go. Can't wait to here back from you guys. Adios Love, Elder Given
Hola Familia, The MTC is great. Supposedly the first 4 days were supposed to be the worst days of our life but I really thought they weren't that bad. I'm not gonna lie they were really long but we learned a ton so I tried to just stay focused. My companion is way cool. His name is Elder Kyle Taylor and hes from Lehi. He just got his call 2 weeks ago and he isn't even 19 yet! We are getting along way good and both have a great attitude on the experience in general. My district is way cool. There are 8 Elders and 3 Sisters. 7 out of the 8 elders are going to McAllen and one is going to Calgary Canada Spanish speaking. The hermanas are going to Panama City. There are some really cool people on my floor. One of my new best friends is this guy from Wyoming. Hes like 6'4" 230. Basicly just a big lovable funny guy. And hes actually pretty athletic. I dunked on him tho haha. Im kinda dominating gym time. There are a couple good players including this one guy from St. George so its pretty fun. We both throw down a lot. Dont worry Dad we're aloud to dunk in games if theres defense. I decided I'm gonna gain 20 lbs while I'm here haahah. Im eatintg a ton and have at least 2 glasses of chocolate milk at every meal. Guess what! I ate spagehti with sauce at dinner last night! And I ate some other things that looked disgusting so you should be proud. Thanks for the cinammon rolls mom! I just finished them last night. They were way good. We basicly have classes all day and have no time to do anything we want but its good I guess. I've been working really hard at Spanish and I can decently pray and testify. The teachers are amazing. They really want us to learn a lot and just be successful. We had a lesson planning workshop and I learned a legit way to plan lessons now so I got that down I think. Ive been writing in my journal so thats good. I've been sleeping pretty good. It takes me a little to fall asleep but once im out im out till 615. My bed is fine, pillow is kinda weak sauce but it gets the job done. If you didnt figure it out my Pday is monday. We dont really have any time to write letters during the week except Sundadys and Mondays. You can give me letters whenever you want tho. I only get 30 minutes on the email. It straight up shuts off if youre on too long. I have 12:45 left haha. I've seen Sandy basicly every day. She came up to my companion and I and gave us a little mini lesson on Heavenly Fathers love (Lesson 1 Section 1) Shes gonna be a real good missionary. I didnt get to talk to Ryan until yesterday but it was real good seeing him. Hes doing great. Hes already been here for 7 weeks! I forgot how funny that kid is. I can print some pics here so I think I might do that today and send you a couple. Oh yea theres this Elder in my district who played 2 years of Football at Utah State and is just rediculously ripped. His face totally looks like Clarks so it makes me laugh. Last night we had an AMAZING fireside talk on Charity. I took over a page of notes. Kinda rediculous how good it was. I take like 2-3 pages of notes evreryday. After the fireside we watched this sweet Joseph Smith movie. The spirit was super strong.
I'm really having a good time here. I guess time is supposed to start flying now so youll be hearing from me again in no time. You should write me back via Dear Elder or in real mail cus I cant check Email until next week. Alright well I love all of you. Mom, Dad, Tyler, Cassidy, Hagen, Kallie, Lauren, and Sydney. Adios, Elder Given
If you would like to contact Elder Given please write him at:
Elder Jeff Given
200 West La Vista Ave
McAllen, TX 78501
To learn more about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, click on Elder Given's picture.
The Articles of Faith
The Articles of Faith outline 13 basic points of belief of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The Prophet Joseph Smith first wrote them in a letter to John Wentworth, a newspaper editor, in response to Mr. Wentworth's request to know what members of the Church believed. They were subsequently published in Church periodicals. They are now regarded as scripture and included in the Pearl of Great Price. THE ARTICLES OF FAITH OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS History of the Church, Vol. 4, pp. 535—541 1 We believe in God, the Eternal Father, and in His Son, Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost. 2 We believe that men will be punished for their own sins, and not for Adam’s transgression. 3 We believe that through the Atonement of Christ, all mankind may be saved, by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel. 4 We believe that the first principles and ordinances of the Gospel are: first, Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; second, Repentance; third, Baptism by immersion for the remission of sins; fourth, Laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost. 5 We believe that a man must be called of God, by prophecy, and by the laying on of hands by those who are in authority, to preach the Gospel and administer in the ordinances thereof. 6 We believe in the same organization that existed in the Primitive Church, namely, apostles, prophets, pastors, teachers, evangelists, and so forth. 7 We believe in the gift of tongues, prophecy, revelation, visions, healing, interpretation of tongues, and so forth. 8 We believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly; we also believe the Book of Mormon to be the word of God. 9 We believe all that God has revealed, all that He does now reveal, and we believe that He will yet reveal many great and important things pertaining to the Kingdom of God. 10 We believe in the literal gathering of Israel and in the restoration of the Ten Tribes; that Zion (the New Jerusalem) will be built upon the American continent; that Christ will reign personally upon the earth; and, that the earth will be renewed and receive its paradisiacal glory. 11 We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may. 12 We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law. 13 We believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous, and in doing good to all men; indeed, we may say that we follow the admonition of Paul—We believe all things, we hope all things, we have endured many things, and hope to be able to endure all things. If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things. -Joseph Smith
For more information about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, see: http://lds.org/.