Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Life in Dumas

Elder Varvel is still loving life in Dumas! He made it through his first transfer and is staying there! He was so happy about that! Sadly, Elder Lemmon was transferred! Sawyer was bummed about that. He got two new companions, Elder Nelson, and Elder Davis, and he can already tell they are going to have a great time together!

Saying goodbye to Elder Lemmon

He said the weather is turning cold:
So this week was super slow as far as missionary work goes... the reason being.... 20 degree weather all week and snow on the ground! It was a crazy cold front and apparently it is here to stay for the winter! You know how usually in Idaho the cold just comes on kind of gradually????? Well in Texas it comes on all at once! Like literally minutes! We were out playing soccer last week (which I have discovered that I really like) in 75 degree weather. Well, we can see this big dust cloud moving toward us  and when it actually gets there the temperature went from 75 degrees to the 40's within minutes! It was crazy! And then it has just gotten colder since! Only 20 degree weather which I guess isn't bad for Idaho but I have lost all of my cold resistance and am dying! I am even wearing my Cookie Monster Pajama pants underneath my slacks to try and keep warm and I am still freezing!

Elder Varvel, Elder Davis, and Elder Nelson freezing in Dumas!
A family in Dumas had a pet monkey! Sawyer got to feed it ramen noodles.

Bailey likes a cute boy named Mason. I always love telling Sawyer this kind of stuff, because his responses are the best. I told him how nice Mason was, and that he was pretty shy. This is what Sawyer had to say:
Bailey has a crush on another boy?!? I don't care if he is nice, or shy. Boys are gross, disgusting creatures! Let him know that he better stay REALLY shy until I get home! 

I also reminded him that she would be turning 15 in the beginning of November:
I wasn't really thinking about the fact that Bailey will be turning 15 until you mentioned it.....HOLY COW!!! She can't possibly be that old! She was only like 10 when I left wasn't she?!?

It's pretty apparent that he doesn't think his sister should be growing up while he's gone!

Sawyer has met some amazing people in Dumas! 
We have this way awesome investigator named James, who is from Sudan. We were out in Cactus and he actually came up to us and thanked us for everything that we do. He told us that he had been listening to some christian music the night before and praying the Lord would send someone into his life. We showed up the very next day! He came to church with us, and he fit in with everyone so well. It was so cool!

A couple of days ago we were driving down the road to try someone and Elder Nelson says,"Guys, I think there was a Foosball table by that dumpster." So we go and try who we were going to try and they weren't home so we drove back and sure enough there was a Foosball table by the dumpster! So Elder Nelson and I get out and are about to throw it into the trunk and then we wonder if it belongs to the person who's house we are right next to. So we just sit there and think for a little bit and then I say, "Well, we could go ask them." Elder Davis was too embarrassed so he stayed in the car while Elder Nelson and I go up and knock on the door. This guy comes out and we ask him if the Foosball table was his and he said that we could take it because they threw it out. Then we started talking to him a little bit more and shared the 'He is the Gift' initiative that the church is doing for the Christmas season. Turns out he is a youth pastor for one of the big churches here in Dumas and he said that he was going to show the video at his church! How cool is that!?! Then at church the next day someone pulls me out of one of the classes and says there was a guy who gave us a Foosball table outside. I went outside and sure enough he was in the parking lot with a pool table and an air hockey table that go with it that he wanted to give to us!!! Coolest thing ever!

The missionaries have been teaching a big guy named Seth Swaford. Sawyer loves him and says he's like a big ole teddy bear. This next story may be my favorite thing ever!
I spoke at church which was really fun! I love doing it! But that's not the big thing. The big thing was that we had 3 investigators there! James, a girl from Congo, and SETH (the big guy)!!!! It was a big deal for him to go because we have been trying to get him to come for a long time! Here is the story. One of the reasons that he didn't want to come to church was that he only had overalls to wear and he was going to feel self conscious going to church in those. So we told him that if he went to church we would wear overalls with him. Brother Pool took us and got us overalls the night before and we wore overalls to church! Funniest part is.... Seth didn't believe us and so he didn't even wear them! So we were just wearing overalls for fun! Soooo funny!!! 

This is seriously the best picture ever!
Elder Nelson, Elder Varvel, Seth, Elder Davis, Sister Christofferson, Sister Manwaring, Sister Brown, and James (from Sudan)

Sawyer had a great Thanksgiving in Dumas! He had dinner with the Pool's, and then they went to the church to play games with the sister missionaries and the Rodriguez family. Sister Rodriguez is a seminary teacher, and Brother Rodriguez is in the branch presidency. They have 2 teenage daughters and a 10 year old son, and Sawyer says the family is awesome!

Fun with the missionaries!
It's nice to see that he still pulls faces when he gets his picture taken!
One of our biggest fears when sending Sawyer on his mission was that he would get kidney stones while he was serving. He made it a year and a half with no problems. Then in his last e-mail he wrote this at the very end:
Oh btw, I got a kidney stone this last week! It was a little one and passed super fast but it still hurt like none other!
It helped me to know that so much other stuff is going on in his missionary life, that he barely mentioned the kidney stone as an after thought. Now we'll just pray that their aren't bigger ones in there!

 I'm so glad that he loves his area, loves the other missionaries, and loves the people in Dumas. I'm grateful for amazing people who watch out for him and take care of him while he's away from home. Like I always say, I hope I get to meet these people some day.

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