We were stuck driving in a blizzard----driving for four hours through Utah. I do love my Bakersfield weather in December. So here is the letter. Feliz Navidad!!!!!!!! well this has got to be the weirdest christmas of my life but i love it. we went to asuncion and had a little shin-dig it was way fun. we left at 1 in the morning got there at 630ish went and got some breakfast at a little tienda. after that we all sat down in the big room with all the missionaries in the whole mission it was sweet. i got to see all my buddies from the mtc and they all said they dont understand anyone either so i dont feel so bad anymore. but after a few salutations the presidente said we were going to the movie theatre. but he didnt tell us what movie so we all (180 to be exacted) walked through the street of paraguay to the movie theatre in our suits and ties it looked pretty cool sorry no photo. everyone was all pumped cause we went into the madagascar 2 theatre, i didnt even know they were making a 2nd one, but alas our hopes were shot down when the lds commericals started to role. ¨isnt it about....time from the church of Jesus Christ...¨ but it was still cool to watch the nativity in spanish. after that we had a little musical program and this abuelo played the harp. then we eat and exchanged gifts i got this killer lapiz holder. over all pretty bomb fiesta. this week went by way fast but i feels like i did so much and i want to tell you like a million things. welll first we got another set of missionaries in our apartment they were having problems with their apartment so they are staying with us for the week it has been fun living with three latinos who dont know any english. it has helped my spanish a lot. i still have trouble understanding everything but after they say it 2 or 3 or 4 times i can get it. ha luckily guy jokes arent that complex and most of them dont even need words so those are pretty easy to understand. we have a lot of new investigators this week everyone wants to talk about Jesus right now hopefully this will continue after christmas too. most of the families are really interested and like the lessons a lot until we teach the word of wisdom. then the dads dont really like having us over anymore. paraguayans are interesting people they think that it is fine to get hammered everynight and it wont effect their bodies, but they wont eat watermelon and milk together cause they think their stomach will blow up. yeah i dont know. teaching the word of wisdom as a health principle is pretty worthless here good thing its a commandment from God and we can just read them a scripture about it and bear testimony and then most of them understand. i love bearing my testimony, maybe because thats all i can really do well right now in spanish, but the biggest reason i think is because i love feeling the spirit and speaking through that power. sometimes im not really 100 percent sure on what i said but as long as they understood and they felt the spirit thats all that matters. dang i have to get off i still have so much more to tell you. luckily im talk to you on wednesday. you can call me at hermana hernadas casa at 595-0615-01176 ill be waiting at 4 oclock my time so i think thats 1 your time but double check on that for me por favor. and this is wednesday not thursday i hope thats fine. if not well then make it fine cause i want to talk to you all. les amo muchoooooooooooo!!!!! i love being a missionary.
Que tal shada! thats the first guarani word i learned (shada) thats not how you really spell it but guarani has a different alphabet so yeah i cant type it but thats how you say it it means dude. i feel pretty dang cool saying. but that is the extent of my guarani knowledge. i was thinking i would wait until after i figured out this whole spanish thing before i moved on to the next language. Which is coming along ummmm... mas o menos. i can understand more but my speaking ability is still about the same. my companion is helping me out a lot i love this kid to death. i dont know if i told you but he is from Ecuador he doesnt have any brothers or sisters. He was baptized at the age of 12 same day as his dad. his dad now works as the head maintance guy for the ecuador templo. he said that being baptized turned his life around. the weather here this week was a lot better it rained like crazy yesterday i took some pics ill send them next week. were in the central right now and your not suppose to carry anything too expensive on you for.. well you just dont. tomorrrow were going to Asuncion for the fiesta de navidad with all the missionaries in the mission. its going to be pretty dulce. there is like 170 missions total in our mission we have 6 in our district and 18 in our zone. our zone is pretty awesome its mostly latinos entonces im getting pretty dang good at futbol. we play every pday i usually score all the goals. k i lied they smoke me everytime. but by the end of my mission i think i should be good enough for the Galaxy. ha me and David (beckham) just j chillin during half time. but the kids we teach like to watch me TRY to play soccer. ha this kid Junny whose grandma is getting baptized next week is trying to teach me a few tricks. manuela is my favorite lady in the world. she is the abuela of junny. she is the one who can only speak guarani and understand a little spanish. about two days ago we went over to her house, junny was there to translate for us, and if she doesnt understand something shell look at junny to i guess give the signal to translate. we were re-teaching the 1st lesson and i was teaching about Christ's life and before this i was kinda down cause i wasnt making much progress with my spanish this day or the past two days before and no one could understand what i was saying i didnt know what was wrong. so i was little frustrated. But when i started talking about Christ´s life in my broken spanish and with my vocabulary of a 7 year old; Manuela was able to understand me. and instead of looking at here grandson for a translation she started to respond to what i said and i was able to understand and she was speaking in mixed guarani it was definitely the top moment of my mission so far. it was pretty awesome. i love teaching and relying on the spirit. i love you all and i love being a missionary les amo muchoooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!! thank you all for your letters i loved them
This weekend was spent cheering on the three boys still at home. Marc has been called to be the Stake Sports guy. He has done an amazing job. He organized a ping-pong tournament,and this weekend held a flag-football tournament for the young men in our stake. Eight teams participated and after rain, wind and a little hail, the scrappy fifth ward boys emerged triumphant. They had to play the boys from Delano three times to be crowned the champions - but by 1 o'clock Saturday afternoon it was over and I had two very tired and sore and dirty but jubilant sons (and one husband in the same shape as the sons who by 1:30 were sacked out until 5 when I had to wake them for the amazing ward dinner. We had to leave the dinner to go to Mason's basketball game but the place was decorated fabulously and the food was Delicious (delicious with a capital T doesn't begin to describe the smells that were floating down the church hallway as we came in the building!) Sunday's goals *Just hoping to finally put up our tree. No partridge, no pear tree, just a fake pine with some lights could help spread some holiday cheer. Hopefully I can post a picture of our tree and our bang-up graham cracker houses this evening. Merry Christmas to all
Here is the Monday letter. I'm posting it the way it came so you can add your own apostrophes and capitalization wherever you want them. ----Side note---- after I posted his letter I googled Cuidad Del Este so I could have some idea where he is serving and mostly what I found out is, it is on the border between Paraguay and Brazil and is notorious for drug-smuggling. I guess it isn't just ipods or xbox that Elder Urmston could purchase for pretty cheap. Please keep him in your prayers. Pray he will be safe as he loves and teaches the people of Paraguay. From one faithful but frightened MOM (only a few tears rolling down my cheeks) Que tal!!! well everything in Paraguay is amazing. I dont even know where to start. my companion is awesome his name is elder Ramerez hes been out for a year and a half so he definitely knows what he is doing. he is about 5 foot nothing and has one of the biggest smiles you've ever seen. people always ask why they put the shortest missionary with the tallest. he is from Ecuador and he knows about 6 words in english two of which he obtained from an elder from utah who liked the words flippin and freakin so that doesnt really help our communication very much but makes me laugh so its ok. um currently im in zona 8 in ciudad del este. which is just about the farthest you can go east in our mission. Tambien it has the 2nd largest black market in the world so if anyone one needs a new computer or ipods or xbox 360 i can get them for like 50 to 100 bucks just let me know. i dont know if anyone told you but its kinda hot here and humid and really sunny and did i say hot cause its hot like 105 with some serious humidity. so yeah its hot. but i gain a huge appreciation for water so i guess thats something good from it (that was for you dad number 5 i think). right now we have 3 investigator with fechas. One is named Jessica and she is 15 she loves to pray and read whatever we give her. she is awesome. Another is manuala who is the abuela of a member family. she only speaks Guarani so we teach and her daughter translates. Its pretty much the coolest thing in the world i have no idea what they are saying but the spirit is so strong during these lessons. i cant wait to understand Guarani well i guess i should learn spanish first. the other is Junior but i havent meet him yet. he is in asuncion for some hoilday about the virgin Mary. i dont know what it is but there were fireworks going of all night it was crazy. my companion said that during christmas it gets even crazy with the fireworks and new years you cant sleep and we wont go out the day after cause every one is sleeping and smashed or drunk. Im pretty excited for next week we get to go to the presidents casa for christmas for games and comida so that should be pretty sweet. this lettter doesnt have much structure but this place is closing in like 20 mins for the virgin mary thing so i have to get of soon. um im having a great time everyone is so nice. everywhere we go people want to listen its awesome. we walk down the street and people yell MORMONS come over here or ELDERS que tal. its so much fun helping people and teaching them about this restored gospel. ts going to be even more fun when i can understand them. im studying hard and always trying to learn new words from my companion. and yesterday i promised the ward when i bore my testimony that i would undrestand them in 1 month so i need to start working even harder and definitely need your prayers. i think my favorite part of the day is when people try to say my name its hilarious not one person has said it right. my companion is still trying to get it. most of the kids at church just call me Elder kent cause they think i look like superman. well everyting is going great im loving every minute of this my testimony has grown so much and i know it will grow even more. it doesnt matter where you are the church is true. i love being a missionary Elder Urmston PS write me a letter
I have to share this fun letter. I can't believe how happy my son is. He has always been a happy kid but never really expressed it in words, just went around the house spreading love and cheer. It sounds cheesy but he really did. Last Wednesday in our email he told us he would call us from the airport on Monday afternoon while he was having a layover in Georgia. Monday morning I went to the gym only to come home and find out I had missed his call. I called Marc to tell him while trying not to shed any tears but darn they rolled down my cheeks anyway. I didn't know if that would be the only call and his plans had changed or what the happenings would be. Lucky for me he called again about 15 minutes later. His flight out of Salt Lake had been delayed due to weather and they said they could call. (Totally amazed at the perfect obedience that the MTC has instilled in my son. His greatest desire is to be obedient. Like I said TOTALLY AMAZED)The first thing he asked, after telling me they gave them permission to call, was what is up with gas prices? Is the end coming? When he went in the MTC gas was still in the $4 range and the entire van was mesmerized as they passed gas station with a van full of elders cramming their faces up to the windows to take a gander at one of the Seven Wonders of the World. It was so stinkin' cute I had to share and below is his first letter from Paraguay. I promise not to post all of them because I know we only read posts of a couple paragraphs but indulge me because I have to admit that missing him is overshadowed one thousand percent with all the wonder of seeing him grow. yyyyeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaahhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!! im here paraguay is so awesome. everything is amazing. its like 80 degrees with people in the world, said its not going to last it should be above 100 with some sweet humidity in about 4 weeks. cant wait. i dont know who my companion is yet or were im serving but i find out tonight and ill let a nice breeze and not to much humidity. pero President Bradley, who has to be top 5 coolest you know monday. a couple of rules i can only email immediate family and i get an hour each p-day. i still have dearelder which is free so hit me up on that por favor. umm i can sent letters but it cost like 7 mill which is like a buck 50ish. and it takes like a week and a half to three weeks to get anything. what else can i tell you oh last night we stayed in a hotel which was.... umm nice. its so weird being in the world. everything is so different i cant believe how sheltered we were in the mtc. we have already seen some pretty sweet stuff like this cool cemetary that at first i thought was a little town but i guess everyone is buried above ground here. umm there were cops all over the airport with some serious fire power no joke like 007 assualt rifles. it was pretty dulce. everyone drivers crazy i felt like i was in bourne identity. and all the trucks have like 15 people in the back of them. umm oh we got delayed in
What lies behind us and what lies ahead of us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.
Two Men Conquer the Mountain
Sun-kissed and oh so happy at Leo Carillo! Our Easter tradition for 20 years and we couldn't be in a better place. Life is all about family and I feel so blessed to have the children and husband that I have.
Jordan at Bass Lake
He thinks he's pretty awesome...
Dad and his other boys
Coach Urmston pumping up the boys before they break two Area records.
Nicole and Courtney
Happy Birthday to Harry Potter! Candice threw a great bash for Harry's birthday - We should llive at Hogwarts.