Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Sonora, TX

Sawyer got transferred back down south to Sonora, Texas. He says it's got about 3000 people, so he's back to the small town life. It was a rough transfer for him, because he didn't want to leave Dumas, and when he got to Sonora, everyone was on vacation for the Christmas Holiday. The whole first week he only talked to a couple of people. He was really struggling to keep his spirits up. Once the Holidays were over, things started to get a lot better. His companion is Elder Ahnder, and they seem to get along great.

 Christmas in Sonora
Elder Varvel had a good Christmas! It was kind of hard for him to be in an area where he still didn't know many people, but it lifted his spirits a lot to get to Skype with us. We got to talk to him for 2 hours, and it was GREAT!

Elder Varvel's ornament! 
We sent him a fun package. His main presents were coupons for a cell phone and lap top computer when he returns home. 
He looked so good, and it was so great to talk to him! He was his same goofy self! 
Bailey with her favorite missionary! 
Every time we tried to take a picture, Sawyer would pull a face! We were cracking up!
We miss this guy like crazy!

Merry Christmas Elder Varvel! We're so glad you'll actually be with us for the holidays next year!

Caverns of Sonora
Shortly after Sawyer got to Sonora, the missionaries took a trip to the caverns. He said they were super cool, and we all need to go there someday!

As far as missionary work goes in Sonora, he said it's one of the hardest areas he's been in. There aren't a lot of active members to help the investigators. Church is pretty far away, so just getting the members to go is difficult, which makes getting investigators to go REALLY hard! Here's what his letter said about some of the people they are working with.

"We have a really cool part member family that we've been working with. They are the Snodgrass family. I think I mentioned them on Skype, but they are awesome! We also have a really prepared investigator that I've met, but haven't had the chance to teach yet, because he's been out of town for the holidays. his name is Dink and he is really into archaeology. He already knows the Book of Mormon is true because of all the archaeological proof in Central and South America. So cool!"

He sent this picture and said, "Yes, yes I am wearing that!" Hahaha, perfect shirt for him!
"So...I am writing this after having done the Insanity workout you sent me for Christmas. If my handwriting sucks, it's because I'm shaking so bad! When I get done, it literally looks like I stepped out of the swimming pool!" 
"Sonora is right next to a town called Eldorado. That is where the big FLDS fiasco happened with Warren Jeffs. So basically, everyone down here is going to assume that I have like 12 that will be fun! This is a picture of the FLDS Temple. It's weird to think that there is just a Temple based off of one of ours."
Sawyer thinks shopping in small town Texas is fun! Who wouldn't want some BEER-n-CHEESE soup!
I love when Sawyer talks about Bailey growing up while he's gone. Here's something cute he wrote about her in one of his letters.

"I can't believe Bailey has her license! Leave Yoda alone! It's going to be the weirdest feeling ever to go back home and have her drive, and almost date. It wouldn't be that weird if I had been there the whole time, but it's like I left and she was a girl, and when I get back, BAM! She transformed into a mujer.....weird stuff!"

At the end of January he went to a big mission conference that Elder Bednar spoke at. This is what he said about it.

"We had our Mission Conference with Elder Bednar! Coolest experience of my life! He is my favorite apostle! He just gets so personal and can connect with people our age so well! I've now seen him speak twice in my life. I remember at a Youth Conference when he answered one of Christie's questions, and the spirit was so strong."

Here's a story he told us in his e-mail the first week of Feb. that I thought was cute.

Funny story for the week.... So me and my companion are walking down the road on a rainy Saturday and we just here this male voice that sounded very feminine shout... Hello! So we look over and we see this very well dressed guy about our age in this alley-way by a kidnappers van. We said hello and then we started walking toward him. I was kind of suspicious, but he just asked us what we were doing and I told him a little bit about who we were and the Book of Mormon and such. Then he asked if we would share our favorite scriptures from the Bible with him. So I shared Romans 8: 37-38 and my comp shared John 3:16. Then he asked if he could share his favorite scripture. He asked if he could use mine because he didn't have his app with him. Then he proceeded to tell us that he used an app called JW library and I was like.... Oh boy.... we've got a Jehovah's Witness missionary here. So I start sub-consciously getting my bash on (which is bad... don't ever bash) he starts by saying that his favorite scripture is in Revelations and I knew that he was going to share an anti Book of Mormon scripture with us so I got ready... Then he shared a really nice scripture and turned out to be a really nice guy! Yay! So not that exciting of a story but it was just a funny experience in the moment. :)

Here's another story that cracked me up!

Funny story! On the way here I got pulled over for going 5 over the speed limit! It was a lady cop and she was actually super young and kind of pretty. She was super nice and just let me off with a warning (She better have because getting pulled over for 5 over is ridiculous). So the reason I bring up that she was young and pretty and let me off with a warning is because 6 months to sexy is working;) Haha kidding, but I like to tell myself that is the reason.

These are the deer that just roam around Sonora.
Valentine's Day

A fun Valentine's Day package for Elder Varvel! 

Happy Valentine's Day Sawyer! We love you!

Here's a fun street he found! 

The Elders trying Flash Bang Sauce
"Working out has still been going pretty dang good! My goal is to be able to do one-armed push-ups by the time I get home, so I've been working on that." Hahahaha, this guy cracks me up!

Elder Varvel got a new companion on the last transfer. His name is Elder Kersey, and they are doing great together! Sawyer has struggled in Sonora to stay positive. This was the perfect change that he needed! Everything about his attitude seems better, and he said that missionary work seems fun again and they are seeing a lot of progress. Sometimes all you need to do is change it up.

Here's some fun from his March 30th e-mail!

Some fun news for the week is that yesterday I got a polygraph test given by a member in our area. That is what he does for work so that was a pretty fun little thing we did! :) Favorite quote from that, "Varvel, I mean this in a complete non-homo way, but you have awesome physiology." :) So good job Mom! You and Dad made a healthy boy! :)
I am so excited about college! I'm just excited to get things rolling and see how everything pans out in my life. It is weird that it is literally only in single digit weeks until life will be starting again! I've been pretty set on going into something in the psychology field when I get back so it's nice to know that I have a plan instead of just entering into the world blind!

To end this post, I just need to report that Elder Varvel only has 2 months left!!!