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Saturday, November 30, 2013

                                                                                                                    November 29, 2013

Holy smooooooookes, Paityn is so dang cute. That's honestly such a relief. I've been thinking about everyone a lot lately and praying just to bless our family. I feel like that's such a huge blessing, and it's such a good thing for Paityn. I'm all teary-eyed right now haha. I'm glad to hear that everyone is doing well. :) I have a big Thanksgiving letter coming your way. I sent it this morning, so it'll be a couple days probably. Are you guys having fun at Grandma and Grandpa's? How was your Thanksgiving? Our Thanksgiving devotional was awesome. Elder Nelson spoke. In my letter I talk a little more about what he spoke on. He talked about a lot of different things, but the main thing I liked was that we need to put ourselves aside and put the Lord first when we serve. Then we had a service project where we put together these lentil casserole bagged meals for children in Utah who don't have enough to eat. It was a lot of fun! I seriously just love being here. I love everyone that I'm around. I have made so many close friends in such a short time. It's just the greatest. My letter has a lot more detail and a lot of things specifically for each member of the family. 
Thank you so much for the packages, mom! Haha I think I have more treats than I can even eat! It's awesome! The speakers and iPod work great. I loved everything in there! 

Things sound like they're going so well. :) I'm happy for all of you. Things with Paityn sound so fun! I bet you sisters are loving having another little baby to play with and care for. You're such a loving mom! 

I'm going to try to send some pictures so hopefully you get them.
I love you so much, Mom! Thank you for all that you do. I'm always with you!

Love your son,

Hola, mis perros!                                                                                                    November 27, 2013

Hey so right now I just have a second to email because we aren't getting our P-day tomorrow because it is the Thanksgiving Devotional. I'll have more time on Friday to email, and that will be around 10:15-11:20 am. So if you are available, we can live-chat :):):) Haha anyway! Something that would be really helpful is sending me an email that only contains your questions! Still email me your regular emails, but an email with questions only would help me answer you a lot better. Thank you so much for the pens and the package! I loved/am loving the treats and the pens. Those are the pens I wanted, and they are el mejor! Tan enfermo! Thank you for the mail, too. Your letters mean so much to me and make me so happy. Also, please tell Grandma Jean and Grandpa Dennis thank you for the cinnamon rolls! They are so delicious! Please thank them for me. Also Grandma Marda for her sweet letter. And Ally. and Kyle's emails and Dad's emails and Mom's emails and Ally's emails. I love you all so much. But yes, all of my classes are at the West Campus, but we were walking up to the devotional and I saw Shelly coming out of Jesse's house. So sick! And also, we're having one of the 12 speak at tomorrow's devotional. I'll be in the choir, and I think some news stations will be there. I love the devotionals and being in the choir! Tan divertido. So yeah, just email me everyone's questions in one email and that'll help me get to all of them. THANK YOU AND I LOVE YOU ALL SO MUCH.
Hello, my wonderful family!                                                                   November 22, 2013

Alright. Let me try to remember what all went down this week. I'll try to answer some of the questions you've had. I have seen some people I know from Bingham, a kid I went to EFY with, Justin Collins, and Jordan Preciado. I saw Justin at the devotional on Tuesday. I was so excited! I love ol' Johnny Snipes. Hahaha oh my gooooooodness, funniest thing EVER happened on Sunday. So we have a Sunday night devotional, right? Well, not everyone from the west campus gets to go up to main campus to watch. So a lot of the west campus watches it in the Wyview chapel. They have a camera set up so that they can be like "We're glad to have the west campus joining us, let's check in on them." So a bunch of the elders from our zone got in the front row right in front of the camera. President Hacking was giving introductions and shoutsouts to people who were there. So when the time comes for him to check in with the west campus, we all pull the sleeper. So right before the camera turns on, we all slouch down and let our heads roll back like we're just totally passed out hahaha. So the camera comes on (we have a screen to watch on, obviously) and everyone starts busting up laughing! Even President Hacking was laughing way hard. It was soooo classic!! Then, the speaker, Mary Ellen Edmonds, got up to speak. After a couple minutes, she was like "Let's check in with the west campus." ROUND 2 SLEEPER!!! Straight up classic. She was suuuuper funny and was laughing way hard. Then she was like, "Oops, forgot my talk," and just walked off hahahaha. She came right back, though. It was so dang hilarious. She was so awesome, though. Super good talk about teaching with the Spirit and letting the Spirit work through you. She was one of the first two sister missionaries in the Philippines, and they only taught in English. But she said she could feel the Spirit when they would teach people. Even though they didn't really understand a lot of what was being said, they understood the Spirit. I loved that. 

So this week, we had a tie-trading convention. I came away with a couple sweet ties, so that's exciting. And I have another funny story. So there's this Elder Taysom. He's from St. George, super hilarious, about six feet tall, and has gained about 25 lbs. in the MTC hahaha. He has gained about 50 since graduation. He's got these long, skinny-ish legs and then an apple torso. Also, his voice is pretty high. He's so dang funny. He gained the weight in the MTC because of a competition with another elder. I believe he is now in the "cutting" phase of the competition. Anyway. Their whole apartment has these hard foam mattresses. Ours has regular mattresses, and we have about eight extra. He lives at the other end of Raintree, so we decided to do a top-secret mission. We grabbed his mattress, ran it across the campus, put it in my apartment, grabbed one of our mattresses, and ran it back to his apartment. It was suuuuper funny. Ahhhhh so much fun. I love my zone. I seriously love the elders. It's crazy how close we've gotten.

The food is alright! But it toooooooootally gives you crazy gas. Constant fluffing here in the MTC. So wild. Don't bring an open flame into the classrooms.
That's so cool that Jake (Siaosi) saw me! I had crazy good screen time. We really only see the other MTC kids when we go up for devotional. Today was our last time going to the temple. :/ They are closing it for the rest of the year. But it was awesome! I sent you a picture of us at the temple last week, mom. It's so cool to be there with all of the elders and hermanas. My P-day schedule is pretty much wake up and catch the temple bus at 7:05, get back around 10 or 10:30, study for like 20 minutes, go back and get laundry and take it to the laundry room and start your loads, go to lunch around 11:10 (we go to Burgers Supreme, which is pretty much Astro Burger. Soooo good), grab a Jamba, head back, change, put laundry in the dryer, email until it's done, then take it back, then email more. I normally start emailing around 12:30 or 12:45 and I have an hour. Then we have down time until class a little later. It's pretty nice.

Mom and Dad - 

I go to the Wyview Creamery every now and then. They sometimes have Graham Canyon in the cafeteria, and everyone goes nuts. Hands DOWN my favorite ice cream. If I go to the Creamery, it's normally at night around 9:30 or so. I bought a loaf of cheap white bread, some processed American cheese, and some ham haha. I'm normally starving when I get back to my apartment at night. But thank you for the snacks and treats. and that Mountain Dew is highly coveted. THANK YOU. Thanks for the clothes, too. I'll definitely be leaving some stuff for you guys to pick up when I leave the MTC, so don't worry about space. I don't think I need pajamas...I just wear shorts. That Plan of Salvation puzzle will be suuuuper helpful. Thank you so much! It'll be good to teach investigators with. 

INVESTIGATORS. We have just been teaching our teachers until yesterday. The teacher one is way hard because you know it isn't real, so it's hard to make it Spiritual and act normal. But we had TRC yesterday which is where a volunteer (usually a member, but can be a less-active or inactive member) comes in and you teach them. So we did that yesterday. We were speaking really well! They guy we were teaching (we pretty much just got to know him) said we were speaking well. Then we met with a girl from Georgia who is going to BYU. She is a convert of two years. Super cool story. I loved talking with them in Spanish and testing my knowledge.

The camera is working great! I really like it. It dies kinda quick, though. But that's probably normal...maybe haha. I can't think of other things I need right now...but if I do, I'll have to let you know next week.

I am absolutely loving learning and teaching the Gospel. I love the peace that it brings to me. I'm glad I've had times in my life where I haven't had the Spirit with me, because the MTC is the complete opposite. I feel so happy. I miss you guys, but I don't feel an empty space in my heart. I feel glad knowing that I am serving the Lord and doing His work. I still can't believe I'll be gone for two years haha. So wild. It'll be awesome though. My testimony has grown so much here. I know that the Spirit helps us in so many different aspects of our lives, but we have to be worthy to have it with us. We have to invite it to be in our lives. We shouldn't strive to receive blessings, we should strive to be worthy to receive those blessings. It's been pretty humbling here. It's hard to teach an investigator who has a lot of issues and is really sad. The language barrier is also another big challenge. But the Spirit can and has helped us so much. I'm so grateful to finally have the opportunity to serve the Lord. I'm so grateful to be here where the Spirit resides. I'm so grateful to have been born into a family with an honorable Priesthood holder and a wonderful mother who helps him uphold that Priesthood. I know that I am so incredibly blessed. I'm grateful for the love and support that I have felt from all of you. I'm grateful to be able to bring the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the people of Argentina. I can't wait to meet all of these people who are waiting for our message. There is seriously nothing better than helping someone understand their purpose here and that God loves them and has a plan for them. Mom and Dad, thank you so much for doing your best to raise us in the Gospel. I would be nowhere without you two. It obviously took me a while to figure things out, but I am grateful for my challenges. They've made me who I am and have become the base of my testimony. Ally, your letter was so, so sweet. I'm tearing up just thinking about it right now. I'll write you a response, hopefully today. Kyle, I love you so much! Please watch out for Ally. I know how the youths are in high school haha. Those pictures of Coco on my camera are soooo cute haha. I miss him! Grandma, thank you for your sweet letter. I'll also hopefully get a response out to you. I love you all so so so so much and I pray for you every day. I want you to know that through what I have felt and am currently feeling, I know I'm here for a reason. I know I'm in the right place.

Elder Sipple

P.S. I'll try to send pictures next takes forever and I'm already over on my email time haha. Oops! OH also, Tessa Lund's (Lauren's friend) husband is a teacher here haha. Super odd. He said hi to me and that Lauren or Tessa told him I'd be in here. Also, Hannah Romney's brother-in-law is one of my new zone leaders. Elder Angus O'Barr. Such a cool kid. I have to go! Love you!

Mom,                                                                                                             November 11, 2013

I feel so bad for not being able to respond quickly to you! I love you so much. I can’t even begin to explain it. Thank you for your thoughts and prayers. I need them all. It’s hard here, but I have faith and confidence that I can do this. I love my district! 3 Hermanas & 4 Elders. The Hermanas are Hermana Eye (Hermana Ojo), Hermana Muir, and Hermana Nielsen. Awesome girls. BYW, I got the package before I got your letter from Seattle and the one about Parker. Awesome comparison by the way. I’m must sitting here in my living room, crying from your letters haha. Oh I love you. So much.

I believe my Spanish is coming along well! I’m just trying to work hard and let the Spirit do the rest. We have been teaching an “investigator,” Luisa, who only speaks Spanish. Our first meeting was str8 up TERRIBLE. No idea what we should say, barely understanding her…10 minutes into it, she said she had work and had to go. They are normally supposed to be a half-hour long. SO HUMILIATING! But very, very humbling. Our second lesson went way better. We were prepared and had a better grasp on what we wanted to share with her. (We are using a lot of Spanglish haha…’s hilarious.)

So we taught Luisa again today. Honestly, it was one of the coolest things that has ever happened to me. We wanted to teach her about prayer and nuestro Padre Celestial. I prepared what I wanted to say and learned how to say it. My companion did too but didn’t learn it en espanol. Esta bien. So I had prayed for the Spirit, that I would remember all that I had learned, and that I would be able to teach with the Spirit So I’m in there and talking with Luisa, understanding what she is saying and knowing what I needed to say. We taught her that we are all hijos de Dios (children of God) and that we are all hermanos (brothers). I memorized “El Proposito,” which is our purpose (from PMG: Preach My Gospel). I did that in Spanish and English. So I asked Luisa why she escuchas (listens) to us. I told her our purpose as missionaries and that she is very important to us because she is one of God’s children. We care about her. Then we gave a little background on La Restauracion (the Restoration). We shared / had her read the story of Lamoni being converted. We asked if it was similar to her, then bore our testimonies of the Book of Mormon and the love of God. THEN we got her to commit to reading the first three verses of the Book of Mormon in 1 Nephi – to leave her wanting to know more. THEN we got her / taught her to pray. She said the closing prayer. Although it’s a role-play, it’s still cool and freakin’ enfermo (sick)! Then when we gave her a Book of Mormon, she was asking about all the pictures. So we answered as best as we could, made an appointment por manana, and left. And everything we said to her was in Spanish! I know my prayers were answered. I was speaking and understanding Spanish and it was LA BOMBA. There is no way I could’ve taught like that if it wasn’t for the Spirit. I felt so amazing after the lesson. I was just stoked out of my mind! I am so grateful that Heavenly Father hears and answers prayers. I know I was blessed for having the desire to teach Luisa and learn Spanish so that I could do that. This isn’t for me. I am here to serve the Lord and His children. Everything that happened in that meeting was due to the Spirit. It was so, so incredible. Also, Luisa committed to praying for an answer if the things we said were true. So amazing.

It is hard here, but I honestly love it. My district is awesome, and my zone is the best! I’ve made friends with tons of other Elders and Hermanas. Our ZLs are some of the coolest guys and helped me to feel comfortable and welcome. It’s odd that I’m older than them haha! Also, haven’t been told to cut my hair and everyone loves it! So classic. Pics to come.

I love you all so insanely much. I think about you and pray for you. Yo se que las familias son eternas. Peace and Blessings.

Elder Sipple
My Wonderful Family –                                                                                 November 9, 2013

HOLA! The laws of time don’t exist here in the MTC. It’s odd. Days are as weeks and weeks are as days. I really am enjoying it, though!

This letter was started on the ninth and will be finished on the tenth. I started it earlier today, but I am about to go to sleep, seeing as it is 10:25pm. I will write a lot more about the past couple days when I get a chance tomorrow.

So dang sorry! It is now the 11th! It is just so hard to find time to write letters. Aaaaaaaand I forgot to bring your letter with me so I will try to answer all of your questions.

Our schedule is Wake Up and be out of the door by 6:50am at the latest. We go to breakfast, then have class where we learn Spanish and how to teach / interact with investigators en espanol. It’s awesome.
Our P-day is Thursday, but you don’t get P-day right after your first day. So I will email and stuff this week. I have been playing basketball for gym time. It’s been way fun! The food is okay! Food is food, and you get hungry. Waking up at 6:00 or 5:45 and going to bed at 10:30 has been so sweet I feel so good! Tomorrow we get to hear from L. Tom Perry! Hopefully he can make it.

I’m sorry if I have forgotten anything! We are so, so busy. But I always think about all of you. I can’t believe I’m gone haha. Esta bien, I’ll be back.

Estoy agradecido por mi familia. Estoy agradecido por mi muchos bendiciones. Yo tengo la fe. Soy muy entusiasmado! I love you all so, so, so much. The pillowcase is sooooo tight, Mom! I freaking love it! Thank you so much for the care package. It made me so happy. Please please PLEASE write letters! I will try my best to respond ASAP.
                                                I LOVE Y’ALL!

Elder Sipple        
Familia,                                                                                                                       November 8, 2013

Estoy muy muy MUY agradecido por mi familia. I love you guys so much, and I don’t think I can stress that enough.

Thank you for the wonderful letter, Mom and Ally. That meant so much to me. Dad, I read that talk or whatever it was that you gave me. So amazing! Thank you so much for sharing that. Kyle, I love you and would love to hear from you! Or maybe you’ve sent me something and I haven’t gotten it.
So! Yesterday I was called to be the District Leader! That was unexpected haha. So awesome, & I’m way stoked. Also, I was able to give my first blessing today to Hermana Eye. She lives with her single mom so she is so grateful for our Priesthood. So am I.

I just felt the need to write a quick letter, but there will be more details to come. I have to shower…basketball was so much fun! I LOVE all of the Elders & Hermanas. Everyone is so kind, friendly, and understanding. This is such an awesome place.


Elder Sipple
Hola, familia!                                                                                                            Novemver 7, 2013

                I feel like I’ve been here forever, it’s totally weird. My brain still hasn’t registered that I’ll be gone for two years and that I won’t see you guys for two years. But I haven’t cried yet, so that’s definitely a  good thing haha. The Spirit has been awesome! I love learning Spanish. It’s so funny to hear people try to speak without an accent. There’s an elder that wears a retainer on the roof of his mouth so his Spanish is hilarious. I love his pronunciations. Today he said “estamos,” but said it in a way that rhymes with “Eskimos.” Classic!
                I am currently in Raintree (apartments). It’s me and my companion and two other elders. All really cool guys. I am so happy to be here. I haven’t felt homesick (although I’m sure I will), but I keep wanting to tweet the deets haha. But not having a phone is soooooo great! My (Spanish) accent is good, so thank you, mis padres. I can understand most of what teachers say, but responding is not my cup of juice. It’s seriously like Spanish immersion. Kind of frustrating!
                I feel that this is where I’m supposed to be. There is just a great feeling here at the MTC, and I can’t wait to get further into my mission. I love all of you so much. I hope that all is well, although I can’t imagine anything out of the ordinary has happened in the 23 hours I’ve been gone haha.
                Well, my hand hurts.* Stay safe and study hard, pray hard, and believe hard. Have faith. I love you!

Peace & blessings,
Elder Sipple

*This was a handwritten letter.  ~Suzette
Moooooooooooooooom! Hello! Holy hek I am sooooooo sorry. I have gotten your letters and everything! I have just been trying to find time to write back, and the mail service here is suuuuuper slow, especially because I am at the west campus. Your letters meant so much to me. Thank you for everything, mom.

I'm totally loving it here. The MTC is an amazing place! There are so many cool people here. I love how helpful everyone is. The Spirit is soooooo strong. I talk a lot more about this stuff in the letters that are coming your way. My companion's name is Elder Buhler.There are so many things I love about him. I can tell that he cares and wants to serve. 

I'm really having so much fun! I love learning Spanish and being able to speak more and more. I love learning about the Gospel and teaching it. I feel so much peace while I am here and while I'm focused on the Lord's work. Everything is going well! The food is pretty good, gym time is awesome, classes are awesome...and yeah! OH and L. Tom Perry spoke at our Tuesday night devotional. :) I sang in the choir, so I got a pretty good seat. And a TON of screen time. I was on the camera so much while we were singing haha. Everyone in my zone loved it. It was broadcast to a ton of countries! So sweet. Try to find it online!

Still haven't cut my hair...hahaha. My teacher finally told me to yesterday, so I need to make an appointment. Esta bien! I'm excited to not have to worry about my hair as much.
I'll include some pictures that I've taken, but I always forget to bring my camera around! I'll try to get some of the zone for you.
My P-Day is on Thursday, so that's why I haven't been able to email. We've just been way busy! We don't get P-Day the week we come in. My letters have a lot more info! 
I love you so much and I am so grateful for all you have done for me. Thank you for always supporting me in everything and for never giving up. I'm so excited to serve and I wouldn't be here without you. I always think about you guys and pray for you! 

Love 4ever,

Elder Sipple