Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Kicking Down Doors

Dear Family,

Oh man oh man, this week has been different. So I'll start out with a good story. On Friday night we had our district leader, Elder Jones with us and that night we were up late talking when I could hear the storm outside. Well, my companion hasn't seen a Nebraska storm yet so we went outside to watch it. It was pretty windy and knocked our power out a few times and knocked a lot of branches off and uprooted a lot of trees. But anyway, we were just chillin' outside getting soaked when I went to go back inside and face planted into the door...the door locked behind us...GREAT!! Well, we were soaked and it was still pretty rainy and windy and we couldn't get any of the windows open, none of us had a phone or a card that we could card the door with and our upstairs neighbor wasn't there. So we did the next best comp kicked in our door!! :)  Don't worry, we fixed it...sort of...the door now closes at least. :)

Monday night we were able to chill in the the worst part of the whole mission, there is a shooting or two there almost every day! We were able to talk to some awesome people for a bit and it was fun! Then I had a surprise visit from the Erickson's who were in Bellevue 2nd with me, they came and visited me for a bit so that was awesome!

The trainer/trainee meeting on Tuesday was pretty legit. They had a break out session for each group, we had a chance to relax and did some yoga stuff and just talked about some funny stories and our peaceful spots so it was pretty fun and much needed.

We talked to a crazy guy in Milford when Elder Jones was with us. He had just had surgery on his intestines and was showing us the scars and it was all greenish and nasty looking. He was telling us how he the nurses made fun of him because he messed himself and the dude just kept talking to us so we finally just walked away.

Elder Pacheco and I also spoke in church and I mailed you guys the talk so you should get that soon. Nothing too special or anything but figured you guys could check it out. One cool thing I've learned is how time is the most precious thing we have. What are we doing with our time? Are we wasting it away playing video games, watching TV, sleeping, smoking etc. So just something cool that I have been thinking about for the past few days. 

This week we have interviews with our mission president and I can't wait, I really do love him. I guess I'm getting used to the humidity, if you can ever get used to it. My poor companion is just hating it, I told him wait until it gets bad. I feel bad for him but he will get used to it. I think that's about everything. I'm doing well!!

Love, Elder Searle

Monday, July 20, 2015

Temple Trip

Dear Family,

We had a pretty crazy and packed week, we had something every other day so it was pretty crazy. We had zone training, temple trip and also a good ol' ride to Gresham. So let's start with the zone training, we had Matt, who comes out with us a lot, join us for the training. He is almost done with his mission papers and he is always coming out with us and I told him we had zone training and he hasn't been to one yet so he came with us! So that was pretty cool. Then that night, we had mission prep for the youth and we taught about how to keep the spirit in the companionship which was great because my boy got to share all the experiences he's had with his comps!! Oh wait..I'm his first ya...that was a fun lesson to teach. :)

Thursday we went to Utica and Gresham again and on our way's about a 10 mile dirt road, we stopped and took some "corny" pictures. :)  I haven't taken any yet and and wanted to make sure I got some before I forget and next thing I know, the corn is all cut. We also got some pics of us wearing some of Mark's chainmail that he used when he went larping. I forgot we had pictures of that.

Friday was our temple trip so that took most of our day. We had some fun for sure in the transfer van, which we named "The Space Shuttle". It's a 2015 Ford Transit van that really looks like a space ship. The temple trip was pretty awesome and when we were there, I saw Brother Dillion, who I lived with for 9 months when I was in Greenview. He was getting married again, I'm glad he recognized me, it was pretty cool to see him there.

Saturday we helped a drunk man chase his dog. We went to try some potentials and a guy was outside working and he was pretty wasted, but he opened his back gate to take his wheelbarrow out and one of his dogs ran out so we helped him track her down. She went a few blocks and it took us about half an hour, but we helped him get his dog back. So now my greenie has a funny story to tell!!

That's about it for our week, we did a lot of driving....I'm not sure if I mentioned in my last email, but I did some math and figured I have gone about 8k miles just here in Seward, so 8k  miles since March...SO MUCH DRIVING!! Then we found out Saturday night that we have a trainer-trainee meeting Tuesday and I guess they are picking us up at 2:30pm today and we are spending the night with some elders in Omaha. I'm not sure why they are picking us up that early but whatever. 

Elder Pacheco is getting his feel for things and starting to figure out that everything is not how it is in the MTC and that you don't just teach everyone and everything all the time. Things are going well so far! :) 

Love Elder Searle

 Elder Searle & Elder Pacheco
 "Corny Pics"

 Temple trip in the "space shuttle"
Elder Searle & Elder Jones

Monday, July 13, 2015

Got Me a Boy!!!

Hey hey hey everyone!! So as you all know, I had to get a new companion because for some reason they don't let you roll solo...So Thursday morning I was enjoying my nice peaceful shower when Elder Magleby came running in with our phone that was ringing from President Gardner. Oh no, you know if you get a call from him you are getting some type of leadership and come to find out, I'm training!!

 Elder Pacheco is now my son, that is what President Gardner told me when he called. He is from Arizona, plays football and his arms are the size of his legs! He is freakin' jacked!! He is a huge football player and baseballer and won the state championship one year and took second another and boy does he have greenie fire. I feel like we are now in basic training for the military, checking the planner after everyone we see, wants to just go and go and go and is not afraid of tracking at all. Like he will be like, let's try this house and then I look over my shoulder and he is already knocking on the door. WHICH IS GREAT!! We have found a couple three good potentials that we will be trying again and hopefully something will come from it!

So now about my adventure in the YSA ward. FHE was Monday night and was fun, we played some guessing game thing that you had to act out and we had banana splits so that was fun. We street contacted at the UNL campus for a while and it was pretty cool to be walking around campus seeing things. Because the YSA elder, Elder Magleby is the lone Zone Leader, I got to go with him to all 3 districts meetings, got to eat out with all the elders in the zone for lunch and was able to receive the same training from 3 different people which was pretty cool.

We sort of worked both areas, we were only in my area for two nights and we only saw 1 person each of those nights. The first one we saw in a boy named Chris, the YSA elders were teaching him but he moved in with his aunt in Milford so because Chris knew Elder Magleby they would be turning him over to us. Seeing how it's too far for them to drive to Milford all the time. He's a pretty cool kid and we will be seeing him again this week. One of the other nights we went and saw the Hensley's, we played basketball with them and then read from the Book of Mormon. It was really cool to have Elder Magleby  meet them and talk to them and I was able to get some good advice from him. 

So Friday night, I picked up Elder Pacheco @ 4:30pm and then we hightailed it back to Milford to help out at Foodnet. I really wanted to go and see Brandy since she had shoulder surgery on Wednesday. Afterwards the Dolzals were nice enough to feed us then we just used the rest of the time knocking on a few doors and getting all settled in. Then on Saturday we went around and tried to see everyone we see in Seward so that Elder Pacheco could meet them, we also got a text from the Hensley's saying we could go set up for Taylor's birthday party so we did that. Then we came back for the party because they said we could come eat food. 
So free food > buying food!

So this week is actually a very eventful week. We have zone training Wednesday  and a temple trip on Friday. Thursday night we are having dinner with the Vavra's up in Gresham and seeing another family in Utica. P-day all today and also mission prep on Wednesday, so busy busy!!

I also got my super trunks in the mail on Saturday...I need to get all the info so they can start getting my flight arrangements all figured out. It's super strange and starting to hit me that I'm almost done...the end of Elder Searle is soon at hand....BUT...I can't get too trunky because I have a greenie!! :)

Love Elder Searle

Gonna miss Elder Hansen, he was my companion the longest so far here

Elder Tausie

Elder Clark was my zone leader for 10 months

Good friend Elder Lake

Monday, July 6, 2015

4th of July City

Dear Family,

Had an awesome and fun week last week. Started off the week by going to Grand Island to meet our new mission president, President Gardner and his wife and they are awesome! He is huge into the scriptures and memorizing them so I bet we will be starting that really really soon. They seem more talkative than the Weston's. 

Thursday we were able to go eat at the Vavra's. Glad to see that we are getting in with them more often now and how the dad is starting to open up to us.

Friday we went up to Dwight and helped move a family out. They had so much stuff!! Who needs 9 couches? No one, it's just you and your husband. We helped out for about 5 hours and then Elder Hansen started packing, so that was our day. Most of the week has just been saying bye to people and doing what Elder Hansen wants to do. We did go with Cameron one day, he's someone that we haven't been able to actually go inside and talk with him for quite a while. We just mostly see how he's doing on his doorstep, but we shot off some fireworks with him. We probably shouldn't have, but thought we'd be ok. Well, Elder Hansen was lighting a sparkler and it shot right into his hand, he has a pretty good burn mark from it.

So the 4th of July!!! It was crazy in Seward! Sooooo many people and things just everywhere! So we got in and saw the fire trucks having their water fight but we just drove by it. We started out on The Square and noticed they had an auto show that took up 4 blocks, us being boys....we got sucked right in and started going around it.  They had so many cool cars, I took a few pics seeing how Travis will like them.  Then we went to the air show and on our way over we realized that we missed the bed races...we were soooo sad!! We did see a couple three trailers go by and they had legit frames with some big old bed wheels on them. Looked like it was a lot of fun, but we missed it.

At the airshow we got to see a Maserati race a plane, which the plane won. Got to see a guy land his plane on the top of an SUV and got to watch a Mustang fly, so that was cool. Then we just walked around and watched the madness and how crazy Seward was. We watched the Grand Parade with the Hensley's and they had some funny things in the parade. One thing that Seward does is that they go to the gas station that is by the freeway and they in short..."kidnap" a family and just stick them in the parade. So this truck went through the parade that just said "tourist family" and the family was just having a blast throwing out candy. That was pretty funny. I guess sometimes they get a crazy and out of control family, but this one was pretty normal. Their faces were pretty priceless the whole time. I got a couple of pictures of the random stuff in the parade.

Oh one thing that was funny was a guy was walking in the parade in an American Flag Speedo and sunglasses and was walking while holding an American flag, it was super funny and so random. He totally looked like a part of the parade. Well, then a police officer was following him on his bike and he started running down the parade, passing the other people, so clearly he wasn't supposed to be in the parade. :)

Then we went to Branch Oak Lake and went and hung out with Brandy and her family for a bit. They are so funny and awesome and we just ate some food and talked and had a good time. I can't wait until I can go camping and just hang out at a lake again. Elder Hansen is sure going to miss her and all of the Foodnet crew, they are so awesome and we all just give each other a lot of crap! I'm really going to miss Elder Hansen, I have been with him longer than any other companion. I'll be with the Young Single Adult Elder just till Friday when I get my new companion, so not too long. I'm pretty sure I will stay here in Milford, they don't like to replace both missionaries in an area.

I think that is about it, I will be with the YSA Elder and for Family Home Evening tonight we are going to play board games and have banana splits, so an all day P-day pretty much! :)

Love you all!
Elder Searle

 Taylor and I

 Kole and I

 Hensley kids


 Brandy with Elder Searle and Elder Hansen

 coconut custard pie I made!!

 4th of July parade and car show pics for my brother Travis

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Adventures of Seward

Dear Family,

Oh boy, where do I even start? We had quite a few adventures this week. So our week started out eating cow heart. To be honest, it really wasn't bad. The only thing that was weird was that she cut it up all in front of us and everything...that and just the fact that you are eating a heart was kind of weird. Then that night we spent the night at the Mahoney Elders place since we are blitzing their area. 

So on Tuesday, Elder Hansen had to go get some things that he left in our car and so he took the keys and went outside and came back in and asked "where are you hiding the car at?" This is after he has already ran around the whole apartment complex hitting the panic button to find it. Well...our car disappeared....that darn thing got towed because we didn't have a parking pass. We have never had a problem before and same with the other elders that spend the night there a lot. So we had to go get our car out and that wasn't cheap...$134 to get it out....not a good way to start the day, especially since it has to come out of our own pockets. So Elder Hansen and I split the cost... not good it costs that much!

Wednesday we were taking our daily morning job around Milford and we saw the Thompsons working on their house. They are putting up new insulation so they were taking all the siding off their house. We helped them out, we pretty much took off all the siding on the front of the house. It was so hot and humid that sweat just rolled off of you. Then Thursday we went up by Gresham and helped the "V" family, it was great because we were able to talk to the husband a bit and get to know him a little better. We cleaned out the gutter to one of his shops and it was just packed with stuff!! We filled up a bucket and a skid loader, there was that much stuff! He also had some welding he had to do and he allowed Elder Hansen to do it which made his day because he loves welding.

We also have chiggers!! They are great!! Just little bugs that dig into your skin and live there. They itch like no other and you just dig the crap out of your skin. Poor Elder Hansen has about 7 on his back, 4 on his chest and a few on his legs. I just have 2 on my waist and one behind my knee and one where it shouldn't be.  ;)

They also take a couple three weeks to go away. Elder Hansen also had a dog throw up on him, it was mostly water, but still gross. The dog is so annoying though, she barks and barks and runs all over the place. You have to keep throwing her chew toy because she doesn't bark when she's chasing it. I think she just drank too much water and then all the running around made her sick. 

Also on Saturday night, Lynn and Alta came down to see Elder Hansen and to introduce her fiance'. They took us to Cafe' on the Square, it was pretty loud and funny and then you throw Elder Hansen in the group, it was pretty fun.

Sunday night was our Foodnet picnic for us since Elder Hansen is leaving us next week. It was soooo much fun!! Everyone that helps out at the Foodnet was there and a couple other random people. Ate some good food and enjoyed some good company. Then after the people starting leaving, just the main people were there, we started a water fight. We talked to some people for about 45 min. and answered some of their questions about the Book of Mormon and about family and it was really good! She has talked to the missionaries before and was kinda teasing us with some of the questions she had but they were awesome, I'm sure they will look into it a bit more.

I think that sums up the most exciting part of the week. This is Elder Hansen's last full week, seeing how they will come and pick him up next Monday. I will just be chillin with the Young Single Adult elder which is going to be so much fun! I will get to roam around the Lincoln campus and go to their FHE so I will be looking forward to that. 

Here is what we have planned for the 4th of July, watching the fire department water fight tournament at 9am, bed races at 10am and yes...they race beds on the streets! It's going to be so much fun to watch!! The air show is at 11am, auto show at 1pm, then the 2 hour long Grand Parade at 4pm, then we are going to see what we can figure out and try to watch the fireworks at 10pm. It's going to be so much fun here on the 4th!! Elder Hansen is calling it his retirement. Seward has about 8k people and the 4th of July bumps it up to 40k. Holy People!! We are just going to be walking around talking to people all day pretty much and enjoying all the stuff. :)

Love you all!!
Elder Searle

Miles For Days

Dear Family,

So this week started out with President Kearl, who is the first counselor in the mission presidency, he lives in Milford but he covers a lot of ground. He has been going up to the Sioux Falls stake that joined our mission a few months ago, and that is a 4 hour drive from here, so he has been busy. He took us on the outskirts of Gresham in his Mercedes. It was pretty fun and we finally got him on the ride home to show us the power it had, so next thing I know we're flying down the highway, it was super fun!! :)  

Anyway, back to the spiritual stuff, we went and saw the "V" family. The dad wasn't there, he was at his AA meeting and that's better for him than seeing us. We were able to talk to Sis V and their daughter and talked about how we can best help the dad. A is just waiting to get the ok from her dad so that she can be baptized. We will be coming back here to help him with some welding stuff. Elder Hansen will be able to help him with that and I'll just be doing some grunt work or something. I'll do whatever, as long as we get to help and talk to him. 

Wednesday we had Zone Training so we were in Lincoln for a while, but that night, we were finally able to have a church tour with the "H" family. It was funny, Grandpa came and he was there for like 5 min. then just left because he saw everything that he wanted to see. LOL!! He is so grumpy and crabby all the time, but is so funny!! Church tour went great and we just so happened to plan it when the young men and young women would be there so Taylor was able to meet some of the girls! :)

Thursday was a day in the car. Today was the last day for the 3 month mile allotment and we still had a lot of miles left we could use! So, we tried to use them all! We had a lot left because we didn't have to go into Lincoln twice so that gave us a good amount of miles to use. So we went to Seward, Stapelhurst, Ulysses and Friend. We went about 130 miles in one day and we still have 60 miles left over. We were just going through the list and tried people that we haven't tried before.

Friday we went to Mark and Laurie's for dinner and Mark took us to his hobby room and showed us all his table top characters he makes, his swords and axes, both real and for LARPing, he showed us his chain mail he is making and all his Pokemon cards and magic cards. He has so much $$$ in that stuff! He talked to us for like an hour and by the time we had dinner, talked to him and ate pie, it was time for us to go. 

We also had Stake Conference and Elder Carlson and Elder Scott of the 70 were there. Elder Scott has only been in for a month, he hit the mic and was straight up and bold about his talk about the Sabbath Day. We also slept over at the Zone Leaders place to save miles, we had fun!

We also had a cool experience this week with "B" She comes and helps out at the Foodnet and we just give each other a hard time and make fun of each other. She talks like a sailor but is starting to catch some of her words when she is around us. It's kinda funny when she catches herself, you can tell she's trying really really hard to hold it back. We went up to her place and talked outside for a while and to keep it short...she's had a really crappy life.  Elder Hansen felt prompted to leave a Book of Mormon with her and she said she would read it. Then the next day, she sent us a 6 page text thanking us for coming over and how we asked more about her before we just left her with a Book of Mormon. She said she got in trouble at work for reading it and can only read it during break now..but hey!! That's fine with us! We will be going to see her today after P-day, we are going to help clean out her gutters and chop some wood. She's in her early 30's and has had an interesting life so far.

I think that covers my week, Dallin and Chris keep rubbing it in that they have iPads in their missions now and make sure they send me pics of it and just how nice they are. I don't think my mission will get them till I go home, so I don't have to worry about it!!

Love, Elder Searle