Sunday, September 4, 2011

Small world

Josh baptized this woman's grandmother in San Pedro.

Josh's travel plans!!!

We are so excited we can hardly sleep around here. We will only have four days with Josh before he leaves for BYU-I, but we are going to pack it full of check-ups and shopping and talking until we drop! He is flying through Dallas and is planning on visiting with Matt and Janet and kids for a while. Then he will be in Salt Lake and hopefully will get to do the same with the Knowlton and Allen families! Then home to Cedar City after about 28 hours of travelling!





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Josh's growth

As many of you know, I didn´t have very much confidence when I first started the mission. I feel that has changed. The Lord has helped me so much overcome this weakness. I sometimes still fail, but I feel the Lord has made me stronger. I have another secret! I also brought on my mission the lyrics to Go the Distance from Hercules! Hercules wanted to know who he could become and who he was. I feel I have gone the distance and I have gone to far off place. I have done things that I thought was possible all because the Lord decided to help me. I still lack, but I know I have changed into what the Lord wanted me to be. I love the Lord Jesus Christ and I am excited to still have his precence in my life when I return home

Dimas' baptism

The other elders in our branch had a baptism, but I feel like he is my convert because we taught him a few times. I guess he wanted me to baptize him, but he thought it had to be one of the elders who was teaching him. His name is Dimas and he is a stud. His girlfriend is a member of the Familia Galvez and a member of the church. They are going to get married in October. He told me how he met his girlfriend, which was interesting. He was drunk and he saw his future wife walking and told her that she was the most beautiful girl in the entire world! She kinda stared at him and told thanks for the compliment and I´ll see you later! Well, Dimas went over to the Familia Galvez´s house to drink with their son and his future wife, Deborah, was there! He went over to the table and once again told her that she was the most beautiful girl he had ever seen! She stared and told him once again, Thank you. Dimas gained courage this time and asked her on date. Deborah´s reply was, I don´t date drunk men, when you are sober I will go on a date with you.¨ The next week Dimas was walking home from work and who did he see in the plaza? He wasn´t drunk, so he went and asked Deborah on a date and that is where the story starts. He isn´t fat, but he´s bigger. There weren´t any pants to fit him so he had to wear a tunic.....but what is important is that he was baptized! He is such a good guy and he has grown to be a wonderful friend!

Time to Say Good-bye

When I came home from college I was nervous about the mission. I was about to leave my family and I was about to start a new adventure. I remebered a song that I enjoyed by Andrea Brochelli and Michelle Brightman and before I left I listened to it frequently. There are points at our life when we have to say goodbye because we just have to. God has different plans and we are in his hands. I enjoyed the song , ¨Time to Say Goodbye¨ so much I printed it off and brought it with me on the mission field! I brought to the Cyber today to write the lyrics. They are in English because I don´t know Italian! These are the lyrics.

When I'm alone I dream of the horizon and words fail me.
There is no light in a room where there is no sun
and there is no sun if you're not here with me, with me.
From every window unfurls my heart the heart that you have won.
Into me you've poured the light,
the light that you found by the side of the road.

Time to say goodbye.
Places that I've never seen or experienced with you.
Now I shall, I'll sail with you upon ships across the seas,
seas that exist no more,
it's time to say goodbye.

Andrea Bocelli
When you're far away I dream of the horizon and words fail me.
And of course I know that you're with me, with me.
You, my moon, you are with me.
My sun, you're here with me with me, with me, with me.

Time to say goodbye.
Places that I've never seen or experienced with you.
Now I shall, I'll sail with you upon ships across the seas,
seas that exist no more,

I'll revive them with you.
I'll go with you upon ships across the seas,
seas that exist no more,
I'll revive them with you.
I'll go with you.
You and me.

know it´s romantic! But honestly I have grown to love these Argentines that robbed my camera. This week is a goodbye week and next week is seeing you. I am on the final countdown. My last 10 days. My two year adventure is finished and I am now about to start another adventure. The mission wasn´t a sacrifice, but a blessing. I didn´t serve my mission for my family or for myself, I served a mission for Jesus Christ. What a amazing I have had to be able to serve him. I truly do love him. When I was little I never thought that my mission would arrived and during my mission I never thought I would go home! haha. What a wonderful crazy life we have!

Josh's 8-29-11 E-mail

My beloved family! and my beloved friends! Can you believe I am coming home to your arms in a few days? I cannot believe it ether and I am so greatful to have been able to have your support the past two years of my life. I don´t feel like I have been gone for so long. Mabye for you it is a different story. I honestly feel I have changed, not for the worst, but for the better. This next week should be fun, exciting, weird, and sad. I believe only in the mission field, one can expirience all these different feelings at the same time. I cannot describe my feelings that I am able to see you in a few days and I cannot describe my feelings that I am leaving another family. I will do my best to stay in contact with them and with you!

Josh's 8-22-11 E-mail

We had interviews with President Levrino ( I will have one more!) It went well. He is such a nice man and I know I would have enjoyed more time with him, but I guess the Lord wanted two months. I decided to send pictures to families and converts during my entire mission. It was a semi-good idea. I wrote on all the pictures today and it brought back a waterfall of memories, from the begging of my mission! From the MTC until now! I was awestruck and couldn´t believe that two years had passed by! I honestly cannot believe it! I still feel like a little kid, not a ex-missionary! What a wonderful adventure it has been. Serving people for two years, what other greater blessing could one ask for? I cannot think of one! The mission has been the best desicion of my entire life!!!! I remember when I would sing in primary I hope they call me on a mission. Well I guess my hope got completed! My heart aches! Yesterday is the Sunday dedicated to missionaries. We have to assign people to talk or we have to talk. Well, I decided to talk since it would be my last time to give a talk in the branch. I decided to talk about the importance of a example. A example is how we express our testimony. More people have been converted through examples and not through knocking doors. Being a good example is not just important, but vital in our lives. If we live the gospel, we won´t even need to try to be a example, we will be one without trying. Moroni was a example because he stood alone when it was hard. He still stands alone, showing his example to the entire world on top of temples. I shared many other examples and stories, but at the end of the talk the time came to share my testimony. I was even planning on out, but I started to cry! I felt so foolish! haha. It wasn´t rain tears ether, but it was like a river! It just really hit me how much I have grown to love the people of Argentina. I have given my heart to them! and now my heart has to leave! I love you so much family and friend and I truly am excited to see you. I am so greatful I can live with everyone in heaven if we obey the commandments. I am not planning on it, but I imagine I will shed a few more tears before I leave. I guess that´s a good thing! hahaha

Miguel's baptism

Can you believe you will see my little face once again in two weeks? The members remind me of it every day! Let me tell you about my week....ready?
First, WE HAD A BAPTISM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! His name is Miguel Soruco and it was awesome! He was so excited. Miguel was somewhat progressing, but a few weeks ago we went to his house and he said, hey elders...umm....I want to be baptized! We agreed and he was baptized! Elder Galvez baptized him and Miguel came out of the water and said in a very loud voice that everyone heard, ¨WOW! THAT WAS AWESOME!!!!! Can we do it again???¨ hahaha. I had the blessing of giving him the holy ghost which was a wonderful blessing. He was so excited! I hope he will stay firm. The Lord truly did bless us and God truly does love his baptism.

Magi's Baptism

Margarita Isabel Molina was baptized this week!!!!!! It was so amazing! Her family came except for her Dad, but her joy was immense because her brother, sister, and Mom came to her baptism. Her brother and sister were excited about the piano in the church building because they are learning how to play! Franco Lujan the member that introduced her to the gospel and the branch president in close by town baptized her. Her tunic was huge! She is skinny! She looked like she was being drowned! Many members came so we didnt have space in the baptismal room and we had to go to the sacrament meeting room to have the talks and songs. While everybody was changing we watched the restoration the pull down screen! It was great and the spirit was present! I hope Magi and Franco will do other covenants in the future. Well, I love you and care about you! I am praying for you and I hope all is well! Remember that God loves you!


Josh's 8-15-11 E-mail

HI FAMILY AND FRINEDS!!!!!!! THANK YOU FOR YOUR PRAYERS! THEY HELPED! I feel so much better now! I woke up and I had a fever, my body hurt, I was dehydrated and I just did not feel well. Every day passed and every day I felt better. It taught me a important lesson! I made me think about repentance. When our sins bother us we want to change and repent, but it is easier to just do it and not procastinate our repenting process. I proabably should have watched my body better and done other things to become better. Repentace frequently can be hard, but it is worth it! We feel better in the end! Leaving our sins is like leaving food in the fridge to rot! It´s just gross and we wouldn´t do it if it knew what a problem it would be!

Josh's 8-7-11 E-mail

I am not feeling do good right I don´t know how long this letter is going to be.... :) Well, I guess the biggest piece of news is Magi is going to be baptized this saturday! She is so excited and so are we! Well, like I said, I don´t feel well....i love you until next week! If you could say a litttle prayer for me!

Melanie's comment: I got on to e-mail Josh on Monday morning instead of Sunday night and to my surprise he was 'on'. So we e-mailed back and forth and he never mentioned that he felt ill. Then later in the afternoon he e-mailed this note and my heart sunk. That was the last we heard until the next week. I really tried not to worry, but my mind came up with all kinds of scenerios. Of course, I took comfort in the fact that no one from the mission called me, so I knew 'no news was good news'.

Miguel Socorro

Miguel Socorro is a good guy, just when you first met him he is interesting….Our lessons before have been different. During one lesson, he agreed to be baptized at the beginning and at the end he refused to be baptized and called himself a child of the devil. That was crazy lesson! We have been working with him since the first week I came here. He surprised and came to churched and stayed the entire time! He also is reading the Book of Mormon and is in Second Nephi. He shocked us in our last lesson! We came, we started with a prayed, and Miguel surprised us by telling us a experience! He was laying in his bed and was just thinking about church and what we were teaching him, when he felt he should be baptized! When he told me this, I was just smiling! He received an answer! Miguel wants to be baptized! We are hoping for the 13th of August or if not the 20th! The Lord loves us so much and loves to bless us!!!

Franco and his pet pig, Juana

We were looking for less actives this week and we found Franco. Franco is a stud! He is ten, but is super smart! He loves English and his Dad is a member. His best friend is a member of the church. Luckily this family is active and Franco came with them this past Sunday to Church. Franco has a powerful spirit! I imagine him one day serving a mission! He also has a pet pig named Juana, who likes to scream if you pick her up….Franco should be baptized the 20th of August. Our goal is his entire can become active or baptized. Franco is the oldest! He has a sister that is 7 named Olivia, and a brother named Moses, who is 4. I am so grateful we were guided to Franco. The Lord wants Franco to be baptized and become active in the church.

Magi's progress

Magi is so excited to be baptized! She had a wonderful experience with prayer! She had to a test this week and was so nervous because it was her hardest subject in school! She was worried and she decided to say a prayer to be calm and to be able to take her test well! She got to school and found out it was oral test and not a handwritten test! This made her even more worried and started to pray even more! She had studied a great deal knowing that prayer without works is dead! In the end her group was the only group to pass! Magi knew that it wasn´t luck, but that she had received God´s help. Magi is also starting to be a missionary! She brought her Mom to church! Her Mom is a die-heart catholic, but she brought her anyways! Asking what Zodiac sign you are is a fairly common question here and Magi´s Mom asked me what sign I was. Thanks to my time in Argentina, I knew that I was Cancer which is crab. Magi´s Mom gasped and replied, ¨ CANCER! OHh!!! Cancer are the most wonderful people and the most nice and….she just kept going on! Apparently she really believes in the signs! She gained confidence in me quickly because I am from Cancer! She liked church and hopefully will bring her family next week to church!

Josh's last transfer-staying put!

This morning I got up at 1 oclock in the morning because a missionary went home! We had to stay with his companion. It was kinda funny because we went in our PJ´s…Our leaders gave us permission because we woke up so early! A few people gave us a few funny looks, but that´s normal! It was so insane and the other missionaries there commented on that I was part of the oldest group in the entire mission and that I was the next to die. We had transfers and I am staying with Elder Galvez! I am so happy! I love this area and he is such a great friend! Well, I love you!

Friend Day!

July 20th ,at least in Argentina, is friend day and the branch had a activity to celebrated friend day. It was so funny! My stomach hurt so badly at the end of the activity. They played sherads, but on one side where almost all the young women and the other side was the the older members of the church, with a few young people which saved their team! They had to act out movie titles and they were screaming so loudly!!! That´s why I was laughing so hard! They got so intense in the game, that there were no other distractions. Just the game and trying to win. The winning team got pizza first which gave excitement to both teams, so both tried harder!

Magi's story

Magarita is a tender mercy from the Lord and let me tell you why! This week we recieved a reference from a branch president who presides in another area. His close, ;), friend Magarita wants to know about the church. Not because of her close friend, but because she has a sincere interest to know the truth. We met with her Thursday and I was left in shock! She knows everything and believes everything! Her friend recently got back from the temple trip and brought her a triple and she is reading with him! They have read until 1 Nephi 17 since Thursday. She prayed, she recieved a answer, she knows the church is true and she knows she should be baptized. She comments everytime that she feels happier when we are talking. When we are not with her, the branch president is helping her along the way. She very likely could be my last baptism i have in my entire mission! Magi has a easiness to believe and loves to believe it! Her testimony is solid and she hasn´t even been baptized yet! The Lord truly does love you and cares for us. I don´t feel like I am teaching Magarita, but that she was prepared to recieve the gospel. She probably is the most prepared person I have recognized in my entire mission!

The Barbershop Man

I would like to tell you about the barbershop man. He absoutley loves his work!!! He has been working as a barber since he was 16 and he is now 56! According to him his entire family knows how to cut hair, but not all work in a barbershop. You have to have love and you have to have the gift to cut hair. He loves his work because he loves his customers. He uses his gifts to help others. Now Mr. Barber cut my hair today and told me this analogy from his life. God I believe is in agreement! Every person has a gift from God, but not all know what are their gifts. For example, I am not sure what my gifts are! But I have faith when I return, I will fast and found out what my gifts are. Bruce R. Mckonkie give this suggestion. Gifts should be part of our work. Gifts are to bless others. If you dont know what your gifts are, dont feel bad! Just be glad! Have confidence you have gifts and in one way or another God will show you what they are because he loves you!

Josh's 7-25-11 E-mail

Thank you so much for all your birthday wishes, that is the best gift I could have asked for! I love you!

The branch president had a surprise birthday party for me…and like last year, they once again smashed something in my face. This time instead of being eggs and flour, it was cake! Luckily the cake tasted good, so it wasn´t a problem! Haha. One family in the branch gave me a wonderful gift! They wrote me a note and just put it inside a picture frame. It was so simple, but meaningful because they were willing to sacrifice their time to do it!

Salta,Argentina New Mission President!

We talked to our new mission president this week! President Levrino! He is such a stud and I love the way he teaches. He is so excited to be here in Salta with us! The Lord sent him and called him. He has five children, served a mission and was a the director of institute where he lived before. He talked about our importance as missionaries and how we are the only people in the entire world whose work is in the work of the Lord. He shared with us that not even President Monson can do this because he has to watch after his wife who is ill at this moment. Not to critize President Monson in any way! President Monson is the prophet and I am just a missionary. I love you so much and thank you for everything!

Temple Trip Testimonies

The temple crew came back and a few were invited to share their testimonies. They were so simple and loving. Let me share a few of things they said and that I wrote done. First, Tatiana Cejas ( her Dad is the branch president), ¨ I have gone to the temple before and I have seen the outside, but I never went in. I went in and i feel different now. I want to go back.¨ Second, Maria Figurora, After the temple we had a testimony meeting on Thursday night and I didn´t want to go back! We suffered so much to get back and we just didn´t want to leave. I love the temple. Third, Noelia Romero ¨, When I was baptized, my goal was to go to the temple and be baptized for my Mom. I was baptized for her!!! When we had our testimony meeting, I had the impresion she had accepted the gospel and was happy and one day we can live together once again. ( Noelia is only 19 and her mom day when she was 12) There were many more testimonies, but the spirit was present. Afterwards, I had the opportunity to speak! I spoke on the importance of our callings. I commented how everyone has a calling because we are members of the church. We promised when we were baptized to help those who cried and to lift up their spirit! Everyone has a calling. I knew that the spirit helped me and that the Lord was merciful to help me. How loving the Lord is!

Gareka FHE

I have talked about the Familia Gareka before, but we learned something new this week! We have gone over to their house to have Family Home Evening every week since I have been here to help them, we just didn’t know how much we helped. This past Thursday when we went they were kinda discouraged, but I have learned when we talk about the gospel we feel happier because we feel the spirit. So we played a game to show the importance of the spirit. We finished and the parents were just staring at me! The hermana then said she was so greatful for family home evening. Since the beginning of the year they have had some trials that were unexpected. They had been fighting in their home and had not felt a sense of unity. The hermana had talked with the Branch President and he asked if they were doing the FHE and they had not been doing. My first week here we ate lunch with them and we asked if we could do anything …the hermana realized this was the answer to her prayer and asked us to do a family home evening with them. Ever since we have been doing it with them, they have been happier, more loving, and more positive. The gospel changes lives and makes us happier! The gospel is simple, but has eternal consequences. We are not just playing Monopoly!

Elder Joshua Alton Dustin
Go the Distance

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Tartagal trip to the temple

This week is vacation week for Tartagal! The members excited for their break, decided to go to the temple! It is so exciting! For many this is the first time that they will go! Some will go for baptisms, others to get sealed as a family and the majority has a name or two to do the work for an ancestor! What a wonderful service! 100 people went to the temple for their vacation! They filled two buses. Every Saturday we eat with the District President and he was worried because they still had not found all the hotel rooms. I just looked at him and smiled and told him everything will be alright. He looked at me kinda weird and then his wife said, you are right, everything will be alright! It reminded me when I was at home with Mom and she would be worried about something and I would say everything will be alright. It´s true! If we are obedient, everything will be alright!

Josh's 7-11-11 E-mail

This week was good, still scary, but we are being more cautious and thank you so much for your beautiful prayers. A speaker in sacrament meeting said something that shocked me! She was sharing her testimony and said, ¨the missionaries are the angels of God.¨ So just think that you are a angel for somebody else and you do not even know it!!! You are fabulous!

Well, this week I received a wonderful surprise! I received your letters that you made at Bridget’s wedding!!! I have to say it is one of the most wonderful gifts I have ever received in my entire life. They are from the heart and they made me laugh and smile. Thank you for sacrificing your time and that you were willing to write me those cards! Thank you also for the little Book of Mormon. It is pocket size and I hope it will endure for a long time! I just love the Book of Mormon so much!

Josh's 7-4-11 E-mail-Robbery!

Well, this week was scary. We were walking to a family home evening and this kid starting calling out names at us. This is not weird, but normal. We kept walking fastly and we had a safe distance away from him. But this punk came down to us and he had a knife. He asked for our cell phone, but we didnt have one. He didnt believe us so he searched our pockets and took 20 pesos from my companion and he took my camera. That evening we had a family home evening with a family and that is why I was carrying it. I never carry it, it just was that day and at that time. The pathetic thing was when it happened. It was at 6 oclock in the afternoon! The sun was up! Their were also people watching and all they did was watch. During this entire week we have been extremly nervous when night time arrives. We were careful before and now I feel like a deer in the headlights! hahaha. Thank you so much for your prayers and faith. Your prayers were answered and thank you for praying. A camera is not worth two lives, but i am still sorry i lost it.... I feel really bad about that.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Josh's 6-27-11 E-mail

Family How are you! We had our last conferecne with Presdient Nothcutt this weekend and he told us some stories.... The first! Brief summary, he was in the woods camping and he got lost! He was only 15 and was so scared! Night came, he got wet, and started to feel hypothermia. He prayed, expressed his feelings how he wanted to serve a mission, get married in the temple, and have a family. He heard a voice telling him he wouldnt die, and he would survive the night. He survived and they found him the next day by a helicopter! A couple years later, he was at BYU. He took a french class because he never thought he would use spanish, and there he saw Hermana Northcutt! He thought she was beautiful!!! He escorted her everyday to class. They started dating! He went on his mission and wrote her every week he got back and prayed for a answer if he was suspose to marry her. God told him yes! They got married in the San Diego, California temple. This december they will complete 40 years together. It is so insane that they are leaving! They are leaving this week! July 1st! I will only be with the nex president for 2 months!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Wonderful Families in Tartagal

The Familia Gareka are the first family I ate with this week. They have seven daughters and two boys. We had FHE with them Thursday and they are a great family. They were baptized, went inactive, returned to the church because of their oldest daughter and were sealed in 2002 in the temple. The youngest daughter is 12 and they plan to go to the temple again in July. They love to laugh and we had a wonderful time with them!

The Familia Cejas is the family of the Branch President. His parents are the pioneers of Tartagal. His Dad was the first branch president and the branch president served his mission in Bahia Blanca where he met Sister Cejas....They ended up getting married in the Buenos Aires temple and have gone various times to the temple. They have three kids! The oldest 12 and the youngest 4.

The Familia Guerra. Both are converts to the church and have stayed strong for 10 years. They went to the temple in 2004 and both are leaders in the branch. They reminded a great deal of home! They have the spirit in their home


This next Sunday we have confirmation. She was baptized a couple of weeks ago, but we had a multi stake conference and was not confirmed. Her name is Nancy. She told me her family are members. I asked where they lived. She said San Pedro, Jujuy. I asked her her Moms name, she told me. I recognized it. She showed me a picture of her mom. I recognized her! I asked her grandmas name and she said...Agustina!!!!!!!! I CONFIRMED HER GRANDMA AND NOW I AM GOING TO CONFIRM HER!!!!! Agustina was my first baptism in my mission and now I am comfirming her grandaughter!!! Small world. Birth Place. Death Place. Family members. Tender Mercy.

Josh's 6-20-11 E-mail-His apartment

Being here in Tartagal is a blessing! I honestly and truly believe it is the strongest branch I have been in. Every member we have eaten with have gone to the temple and have been sealed as a family. Now, I am saying the members arent strong, but I am saying these members have made the sacrifice to go to the temple. Bolivia is a hour away from here. Paraguay is also a hour away from here. The majority of the members have gone to the Cochobamba, Bolivia temple. It is a days travel, but it is cheaper to go there then what ever other place. Let me tell you a little bit about the members that I have to love in only one week!!

Elder Tiejten (a distant cousin)

After I brought my stuff to the pension we returned to the terminal to say goodbye and guess who was there!!!! ELDER TIEJTEN!!!!!!!!!!!!! It was so wonderful to see him! He is in my district and I will see him every week. It is very possible he will see me die. I loved seeing him. He is a wonderful friend and it brought back so many memories of White Rock. Well, we dont have very much time, but I will try to write more later this afternoon and send pictures! Oh! I have a idea! I was wondering if you could send me a advice letter. Like something you want to tell me ( counsel, comfort, weaknesses, etc...) but when I am flying home! I will not read it until I am flying home. If you want to do it! If not, that is wonderufl!

Josh's 6-13-11 E-mail

Friday, our leaders called...and told me...that I was leaving to Tartagal, Salta!!!! My resting place!!!! I had to leave Famailla at 8 to go take my bus at 10 to arrive at 7 this morning! I am two hours away from Bolivia! My companion is Elder Galvez and is a stud! I really enjoy being with him and we live in a pension of 4 missionaries. I am in the jungle!!!!! hahah! I saw some pictures they took before I came and it is super green Tarzan! It was kinda crazy to travel the entire night! But I guess I will be doing it in a few months.

Leaving Famailla was harder than I thought it would be. The most difficult and the ones I almost cried for was President and his wife and a member named Monica. I didn't cry, but it wrenched my heart to leave them and with the question I really might never see them again in this life...It was rough, but I know the Lord wants me to be here in Tartagal. The Lord calls and I will go where he wants me to go. I am excited to be here! The missionaires say it is a wonderful place!
LOVE, Elder Josh Dustin ( Tarzan) hahaha.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Avocados-Argentina style

Some members shared avocados with the Elders.

Do you think these shoes will last?

This is Josh's third pair of shoes. They don't look so great and I am wondering if he can get by without new shoes? He has 3 months left on his mission, but winter is coming...

Teaching Sunday School again...

This week once again I taught Sunday School, but my testimony was reaffirmed about a few principles. First, the importance of forgiveness. How often are we offended and refuse to forgive? Frequently and most of the time we are offended for little things that are foolish! Well, at least for me. Christ was willing to be beatean, spit upon, and cruficied and found in his heart the courage to forgive others. Forigiveness is a bitter thorn in our heart. I need to not be offended and forgive more often. I also relearned the importance of repentance. The prodigal son didn’t come back to his father until he was as far as he could go. We should repent as soon as we realize we are sinning. Family I love you and I ask for a special favor. Pray that I will finish stronger and I that I will work harder than I ever have in my entire life!!! I love you and I am proud to be your son, brother, nephew, grandson, cousin, and friend. Keep your head up!!!!!! And keep the fire burning!


I talked about Macarena Rivera before. She was a young women who left on her mission to Chile in June or July of last year. I heared a wonderful story which inspired me to always have hope in others. Macarena's father is a member, but became less active! Macarena became baptized in her youth and went on a mission. Other than her father, nobody else is a member. The missionaries a couple weeks ago went to her house to have lunch with the Rivera Family. As the elders were eating the Mama Rivera announced she had a surprise. The elders thought she was pregnant, going to move and many other things, but never expected the words out of her mouth to say… I want to be baptized! She has been married to a member and been around missionaries for more than 22 years! The beautiful gift was at Macarena's year mark they are going to send a picture of her mother in white on top of the box…They aren’t going to tell her before this! Haha! What a wonderful story!

Josh's 6-6-11 e-mail

I received a delightful letter this week from a old investigator in Jujuy. Well, she is not a investigator now! She is a member!!! I baptized her two younger sisters! I sent a picture, it was around Christmas time. I was teaching her also, but she didn’t get baptized with me. She sent me the letter telling me she got baptized, goes to institute, and is preparing to serve a mission! I was so happy! Her mother is a member, but less active and also mentioned I was the only missionary she allowed to come into her house. The fruits of the work are fulfilling and everlasting! Sometimes we are harvesters and other times Johnny Apple Seeders! Paola, Daniela, and Abigail also sent me a letter and told me that Paola is in institute, Daniela is in Seminary, and Abigail is active in Young Womens. The work of the Lord is wonderful!


FAMILY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Life is bittersweet, sometimes sweet and sometimes bitter, like salt! Haha. Let me tell you why…. I GOT MY FLIGHT PLANS!!!AHHAH!!!!! A mountain of emotions came over me!!! I will miss this beautiful work so terribly, but I have to admit, I love my family!!! So here are the flight plans:































Melanie's Comment: In case you can't follow this-the most important part is he will be home on Wednesday, September 7th at 9:15 p.m.-flying into CEDAR CITY!!!!

Josh's 5-30-11 E-mail

Every Sunday we go to go give the Sacrament to Hermana Flores. She is a member that is faithful, but has problems with health and has difficult time walking. This past Sunday she told us a story that was inspiring and noble. She grew up in the mountains where neighbors are scarce and privacy is common. During this time a young women wandered into town and the few town members discovered she had had a accident and had brain damage. Due to her strangeness they called her the beast. This young women was frequently mocked, scorned, and made fun of. For the youngsters of the town their favorite hobby became to molest her. The father of Hermana Flores, certainly was a strong man due to his life working in the field. He heard about the persecutions and went to go find the young women. He found her being molested by the town members. He went and stood in front of her, his entire body covering hers, and said in a powerful deep voice, That is enough!!!! She is not a beast! She is human, equally as you are!!! You will not treat her as a beast! After this he took the young women into this own home with his seven other children, cared for her and afterwards took her to a hospital to care for her. In the end she returned to the town completely healed and raised a family. I hope in my life I have been able to help others when no one else would. If not I am found guilty. God has given us hands to help others and to lift others up.

Josh's 5-23-11 E-mail

We recently had interviews with President Northcutt, but this time it was different because it was his final interviews with us. He is leaving in July and I will miss him and his wife, but excited that they will be able to go home and see their family. I remembered the first day I talked with President Northcutt and Hermana Northcutt. We got off the plane and went to go get our luggage. Outside the gate there stood President waiting for us. I imagine as a President of a mission that one of the most memorable parts is seeing excited new missionaries. In my recent interview with President we talked about Nephi and building his ship. What a incredible task! Nephi to me it sounds like never had experience of building a boat. His reaction was not, What? YOU WANT ME TO BUILD A BOAT? But his reaction was, How do you want me to build it? President pointed out that when he thinks his life is bad, he reads the scriptures and discovers our trials hardly are even trials compared to the prophets.

Missing Bridget's wedding...

Well, I played soccer again today and I found out I am extremely out of shape!!! I was tired after a few minutes!!! Looks like I have work to do when I get home!!! Well, I love you and I pray for you! I also received Bridget and Brandon's wedding invitation! Sorry, I won't be able to make it on time!

Josh's 5-16-11 E-mail

This week was wonderful! The Lord truly blessed us with finding some people who can progress and be baptized! But we will have to see what happens! One lesson I thought was hiliraous happened liked this, Karen and Juli are two young women who have lots of interest in learning about God. While we teaching them their Grandma was present and is a member of a Evangelist church. Everytime we taught a principle she said Amen! We came to the part about the importance to go to church. Karen then asked us, Do I need to go to your church or to the church of my Grandma? I was nervous, but Grandma saved the day! She said, you need to to their church and be baptized in their church and I will take you Sunday to their church! They have a wonderful Grandma!!

Josh's 5-9-11 E-mail

Time truly does pass by quickly doesn't it? I am sure all of us has a first memory that we have when we were small and that memory for some reason or another has stuck in our minds. Memories at times are a blessing and at other times are a learning tool from God. My first memory is when we lived in Enterprise, Oregon and of our pink house that we had. Another vivid memory as I talked to Mom and Dad came back to life. My first time that I called home in the mission field was not in Argentina, but in the MTC. I became known as a visa waiter and had to call home to tell Mom and Dad that I would not be leaving on time. Anxious to call my beloved parents I dialed our home number and to my dismay I did not hear Mom or Dads voice, but the cold lifeless answering machine!!!! Before I left into Argentina I called again to tell that I finally was leaving and once again my old friend Mr. Machine... To tell the truth I was sad. I enjoy talking to my family! I love them! I want to live with them forever! I left my message and then continued on in my mission. Often times when we pray we think our Heavenly Father only has a answering machine! That he is not listening and that when we call we when we only hear a cold voice that does not care about anything and that has no meaning in his voice! This is what Satan wants us to do. It is so important for us to pray with REAL intent or with a confidence that God is listening! and we have to pray with the energy of our heart or that we are willing to act on what we pray for. Praying is Acting. Acting is Doing Something. Doing Something brings blessings into our lives. We are not alone in a world with cold voiceless answering machines, but in a world with loving caring parents who are anxious to help us. I love you Family and keep your faith strong!!!

Melanie's comment: I saved all three of those messages. They become increasingly more sad as he realizes once again that he got the machine... The end of the story is that he finally connected with me on my cell phone and I did get to talk to him!!

Josh's 5-2-11 E-mail

This week I recieved something very special in the mail......something very cunning and important! My trunky Papers! NOoooo!!! The trunky papers are a request from the church asking where I would like to land for my final airplane stop. I put Ceder City as my first choice and St. George as my second....The first line tore my heart... It says,Elder Joshua Dustin, the The time has come FOR YOU to prepare to return to your home... I honestly could not believe it!!! It made me think about my entire mission and how much I have loved it. What a beautiful time!!! My precious two years are almost over! My spirit and my heart are full of thankfulness for allowing to have two to learn to love the people of Argentina!!! I remember my first in the MTC, my first day in Argentina, and as I thought about my mission it seemed every memory became clearer and more precious. I love the mission field....BUT sometimes a young hatch bird has to leave his nest to learn how to fly. There is a time and a season for everything! All we can do is continue onward with our love in Christ. Do not let your time today run away, we dont know how many tommorows will be in our lives. Show more love to your family, friends, and to our Heavenly Father. We are spoiled by blessings and we dont give enough Thank Yous. I love you family and I am thankful for you. I wonder if we recieved flight plans in heaven? Mabye it went like this. Dear Joshua Alton Dustin, the time has come for you to prepare to go to your earthly home, you will be the youngest of six and will be born in a magnificent family and have marvelous friends......

The Finish Line

I remembered a experience I had in college that I would like to share! During high school I ran 3 miles or a 5K. I was accustomed to this race! I had run it many times before I enjoyed it. College came and in Rexburg they have a 10K or 6 miles. I was nervous, but I wanted to run it! I memorized the course and I practiced it many times. I was prepared and I felt excited! Race Day came and I started the race and was surprised to find I was in third place and I continued in this position! I think I will always remember the end… To come into the finish line you have to come down a hill and afterwards turn right to the finish line. As I turned the corner I was surprised to see hundreds of the citizens of Rexburg cheering for me!!! They kept screaming and yelling! Good Job! You're Done!!! You made it! You can rest!!! I felt so…grateful for the people of Rexburg! They didn´t even know me and were cheering for me! Sometimes the race is so hard in life! It is so difficult to go on! We have trials and we are tired, but we can go on! Focus on the finish line! We can go on in such great a cause! We have to! People will cheer for you along the way! It isn´t that far and the reward is greater than we can imagine!

Josh's 4-25-11 E-mail

The Lord blessed us with baptisms! Two (hopefully!) future missionaries and a young woman were baptized. The hose didn´t work from the faucet so we filled up the baptismal font with buckets from the bathroom. It took about 4 hours, but that´s alright. I didn´t even feel tired! I was excited that my brothers and sister were entering in a covenant with the Lord. There truly never is a sacrifice big enough for the Lord! He gave us his life and suffered for the sins of the world! The only thing that we do to repay him is to obey him! If ye love me, keep my commandments!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Snowman, the Cinderella Horse

I love reading the general conference issues of the Ensign. To myself they are truly the words of God in these scary days. I would like to share the story of Elder Wirthlin in his talk. This is the story, Harry de Leyer was late to the auction on that snowy day in 1956, and all of the good horses had already been sold. The few that remained were old and spent and had been bought by a company that would salvage them.

Harry, the riding master at a girls’ school in New York, was about to leave when one of these horses—an uncared-for, gray gelding with ugly-looking wounds on its legs—caught his eye. The animal still bore the marks that had been made by a heavy work harness, evidence to the hard life he had led. But something about him captured Harry’s attention, so he offered $80 for him.

It was snowing when Harry’s children saw the horse for the first time, and because of the coat of snow on the horse’s back, the children named him “Snowman.”

Harry took good care of the horse, which turned out to be a gentle and reliable friend—a horse the girls liked to ride because he was steady and didn’t startle like some of the others. In fact, Snowman made such rapid improvement that a neighbor purchased him for twice what Harry had originally paid.

But Snowman kept disappearing from the neighbor’s pasture—sometimes ending up in adjoining potato fields, other times back at Harry’s. It appeared that the horse must have jumped over the fences between the properties, but that seemed impossible—Harry had never seen Snowman jump over anything much higher than a fallen log.

But eventually, the neighbor’s patience came to an end, and he insisted Harry take back the horse.

For years, Harry’s great dream had been to produce a champion jumping horse. He’d had moderate success in the past, but in order to compete at the highest levels, he knew he would have to buy a pedigreed horse that had been specifically bred to jump. And that kind of pedigree would cost far more than he could afford.

Snowman was already getting old—he was eight when Harry had purchased him—and he had been badly treated. But, apparently, Snowman wanted to jump, so Harry decided to see what the horse could do.

What Harry saw made him think that maybe his horse had a chance to compete.

In 1958, Harry entered Snowman in his first competition. Snowman stood among the beautifully bred, champion horses, looking very much out of place. Other horse breeders called Snowman a “flea-bitten gray.”

But a wonderful, unbelievable thing happened that day.

Snowman won!

Harry continued to enter Snowman in other competitions, and Snowman continued to win.

Audiences cheered every time Snowman won an event. He became a symbol of how extraordinary an ordinary horse could be. He appeared on television. Stories and books were written about him.As Snowman continued to win, one buyer offered $100,000 for the old plow horse, but Harry would not sell. In 1958 and 1959, Snowman was named “Horse of the Year.” Eventually, the gray gelding—who had once been marked for sale to a low bidder—was inducted into the show jumping Hall of Fame. 1For many, Snowman was much more than a horse. He became an example of the hidden, untapped potential that lies within each of us.What a excellent story! One of Satans greatest tools is blinding who we really are. We are here to paint our life a masterpiece and we can do it! We are to be incredible, wonderful, excellent and different. Who is not to saw that we cannot be like God? He is beyond description. We have the potential to be like him.

Josh's 4-17 e-mail

Hey, Family and Friends! Let's just say that suprises never end in the mission field! Sunday we went to church and we waited for President Marchetti….and we waited….and we waited! Members came, investigators came, and President did not show up! A couple minutes later the wife of President shows up….with the keys…and no president! Who are the counselors of President? The missionaries. And who is the first counselor? I felt extremely nervous as I directed Sacrament meeting! The Lord helped me and calmed my soul. I was the first one to receive the sacrament and I directed everything! I felt extremley, extremley humbled and I said a prayer of gratitude the entire sacrament meeting! In the end I ended up teaching Sunday School to the youth and priesthood to all the men. The Lord helps us in every moment, if we allow him to be part of our lives.

President Marchetti and his wife changed houses this week and we being the missionaries and loving service, we helped them move. I was so grateful that you, Mom and Dad, taught me how to work! During our moving process President Marchetti lifted part of a computer table. As he lifted the table it broke and fell to the ground bringing the entire table to the ground in the process. Everytime they had gone to wash the floor, part of the water got stuck underneath the table slowing rotting the table without the knowledge of anybody. The table crumbled easily and without any strength. All President had to do was touch the table and it fell. Satan works by putting little sins in our path and in the end we fall. We fall easily. Obviously if the Marchetti family knew the damage the water would do they would have moved their table! Watch out for that dangerous water! It rots and it destroys!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Future beautiful wives of rain soaked missionaries!

A giant rain storm came in yesterday and we didn't bring anything to protect us. We got soaked! The time to go to the pension, but I felt a prompting....go to Hermano Aragon. Recently he was in the hospital due to diabetes. His daughter frequently helps us in the work of the Lord and had commented that he had been to the doctor. We passed by earlier to give him a blessing, but he is never there! That is when I felt the prompting I knew Hermano Aragon would be in his house. I wasn't surprised to see him, but he was surprised to see us! We were wet! Soaking wet! We had the blessing of giving him a blessing. As we were walking back Elder Cancapa looked kinda downhearted due to the rain. I told him, I heard our future wives are more beautiful and more virtuous as we walk in the rain for the Lord! He smiled a wide smile, looked at me and said, 'My wife is going to be the most beautiful woman in the entire earth!!!' hahaha. I love the mission! and I love you!

Josh's 4-11-11 e-mail-Golden Investigator

The Lord loves to bless us with surprises when we work hard and when we are diligent. Sunday was a wonderful day for me. We finished church and a member came up and announced to us that her cousin knew the church is true, has read the Book of Mormon, studied the pamphlets and wants to be baptized! I could not believe it! On April 23rd we are planning and working for 3 teenagers, 2 children, and one adult to be baptized. All are progressing wonderfully thanks to our Heavenly Father and all are coming to church and all are excited about their baptisms. We are working with our hearts! and we are hoping that the Lord will bless us with these baptisms. If you could, in your prayers, ask if these six people can be baptized. I know that they will feel sooo happy if they can follow their Savior in this way! The Lord truly does love us.

Josh's trip to hear Conference

Wasn't it wonderful and refreshing to hear the words of the prophets this past weekend!??? I had the blessing of sitting in all the sessions and listening in spanish. I understood! What a tender mercy of the Lord. He truly does love you! A talk that I greatly enjoyed and that I felt the spirit more strongly than any other was the talk of President Monson Sunday Morning. I felt extremley grateful for you Mom and Dad, for making the decision to marry in the temple and to all my siblings that have or will :) made that decision. It is the best place you can be for eternity. What a amazing blessing we have to be witness of miracles today! From 1 temple to now over a hundred. I love to see the temple.I was the only American (Gringo) missionary that listened in spanish! I listened to spanish the entire time! i felt grateful to Heavenly Father for helping me so much! Before I could not understand anything and now I was able to understand everything! Tender mercies! We were not able to spend the night and we had to go home! I was not able to watch priesthood...... We would had have to travel at 1:00am to our area which is a hour away.....I felt that it was okay though! Thank goodness for the internet!

Melanie's comment: I asked Josh about his transporation to General Conference and he said it was like riding in the Magic School Bus. : "So about the magic school bus! Saturday, the magic school bus' little brother. It was a van! In the back it had wooden benches nailed to the floor! All 10 of us pilled into the back and traveled to conference! It was awesome! Sunday: The Magic School Bus! It was so exciting to see all the members that came! It was wonderful! As a branch we have to stand together, or together we fall. There are few of us and we must be united.

Baptisms on April 23, 2011

William, a future member of the church

The 23rd of April we are planning for three baptisms! Their names are Graciela, William, and Noemi! This past week as we talked with them, they were all so excited about their baptisms! In the prayers of William, he always says please allow me to be prepared for my baptism and please allow me to receive the Holy Ghost the next day.

Josh's 3-28-11 e-mail

Wednesday Night we received a phone call from a few members telling us that the youngest of the Familia Barrionuevo had passed away... The family is one of the oldest membership here in Famailla, but a few members have been inactive for a while. The next day we went to the funeral viewing and tried to give comfort as best as we could to the family members. It hurt my heart to see their faces usually full of joy and love for the gospel full of pain and sorrow for their deceased brother. (He was not baptized) After the service they contacted us and asked me to come to the grave Friday and dedicate the grave of Enrique Barrionuevo!!! I almost said no because I was so nervous! But Friday we came. When we got there I was surprised to see other members of others faith dedicating the grave (not really!!!) I had the permission and the branch president was there and my companion did not really want to do it so I dedicated the grave! They finished putting the dirt on top of the grave and then the family members looked at me. I went and stood in front of everybody!!! I was nervous! I had never been to burial before in my life and I had never seen a dedication of a grave! I said a prayer and then started saying the dedicatory prayer. Minutes before many people had been crying, wailing, yelling, and now there was silience... I felt so humbled afterwards!!! The family then asked us to come to there house and give there mom a blessing of comfort. Surprises are around every corner in the mission field and I ended up giving four blessings! One to the Mom, Two to two of the sisters, and one brother. In every blessing I felt the importance of talking about the temple! Afterwards I was talking with the brother and he said , I know I can live my family again, my brother again. This experience gave a profound gratitude for the Holy Ghost, priesthood blessings, and above all temples and that death is not the end of life.

Josh's 3-21-11 e-mail

Hey Family and friends! Transfers have come and gone and I have a new companion! His name is Elder Cancapa! and He is a stud! He is from Peru! I have only been with him for a few hours and I can tell he is going to do wonders in his mission! I am still here in Famailla! Have a great day! Steph, do not get any more staples!!! Bridget, I want to talk to Brandon! Megan! You said you would write me!! hahaha. Love you! I do not have that much time!

Close encounter with a huge creepy spider

As we were leaving our apartment this week. I found a spider right in front of me! It was huge! It was almost the width of my hand! I did not even notice it until I had almost ran into it! In our lives paying attention is vital. Accidents frequently happen because we do not look both ways, or the scene looks calm so we can talk on our cell phone! We have to pay attention to our spirit also! It is vital! We cannot afford a day without reading the scriptures, praying, and living the gospel. Before we know it, there might be a spiritual spider in front us ready to eat us!!! I do not like giant big spiders. They scare me!

Melanie's comment: Don't you love how he uses every experience as a teaching moment?


On Thursday I received a phone call from our Zone Leaders, telling me that I was going to do a baptismal interview Friday for a area right next to ours. Friday arrived and I was excited to do it. Edgar was the man who was being interviewed. Meeting Edgar was a spiritual experience. He has the testimony of a member of many years!!! I asked him about tithing and he said, it was hard at first for me to except it, but when I realized I owe everything to God and that I have the blessing of giving back to him, I decided to pay my tithing. His answers to the baptismal questions were all similar to this. Edgar has a easiness to believe to the gospel of Jesus Christ. His spirit is impressive and his testimony is strong. I believe he will be a leader one day.

Josh's 3-14-11 e-mail

This week we went to go visit the Familia Molina. I honestly do not know how many times we have passed by. Before they were a family extremely active in the church, but due to few things they fell away. Since my first or second week we have been trying to visit them, but every time the result was the same they did not want us to come in. Every time we visit them, we ask them if they need anything and they always say no we are fine. This week the Familia Molina decided to surprise us and they let us in! I was soooo excited! I could not believe it!!! It was incredible! The spirit was so strong as we talked to them. You could tell they want to come back. When we told the ward members we finally talked to this family, they could not believe it ether!!! I guess it has been a very long time since the Familia Molina has let anybody into their house.

Story from Elder Nelson

I’ll never forget an experience that Sister Nelson and I had about three decades ago with President Spencer W. Kimball and his beloved Camilla. We were in Hamilton, New Zealand, for a large conference with the Saints. I was not a General Authority at that time. I had been invited to participate in this and similar meetings in other Pacific Islands while serving as general president of the Sunday School. And as a doctor of medicine, I had attended President and Sister Kimball for many years. I knew each of them very well—inside and out.A Saturday evening cultural program had been prepared for this conference by local youth of the Church. Unfortunately, President and Sister Kimball both became very ill, each with a high fever. After receiving priesthood blessings, they rested at the nearby home of the president of the New Zealand Temple. President Kimball asked his counselor, President N. Eldon Tanner, to preside at the cultural event and to excuse President and Sister Kimball.

Sister Nelson went with President and Sister Tanner and other leaders to the event, while President Kimball’s secretary, Brother D. Arthur Haycock, and I watched over our feverish friends.

While President Kimball was sleeping, I was quietly reading in his room. Suddenly President Kimball was awakened. He asked, “Brother Nelson, what time was this evening’s program to begin?”

“At seven o’clock, President Kimball.”

“What time is it now?”

“It’s almost seven,” I replied.

President Kimball quickly said, “Tell Sister Kimball we are going!”

I checked President Kimball’s temperature. It was normal! I took Sister Kimball’s temperature. It was also normal!

They quickly dressed and got into an automobile. We were driven to the stadium of the Church College of New Zealand. As the car entered the arena, there was a very loud shout that erupted spontaneously. It was most unusual! After we took our seats, I asked Sister Nelson about that sudden sound. She said that when President Tanner began the meeting, he dutifully excused President and Sister Kimball because of illness. Then one of the young New Zealanders was called upon to pray.

With great faith, he gave what Sister Nelson described as a rather lengthy but powerful prayer. He so prayed: “We are 3,000 New Zealand youth. We are assembled here, having prepared for six months to sing and dance for Thy prophet. Wilt Thou heal him and deliver him here!” After the “amen” was pronounced, the car carrying President and Sister Kimball entered the stadium. They were identified immediately, and instantly everyone shouted for joy!

I had witnessed the healing power of the Lord! I had also witnessed revelation as received and responded to by His living prophet!

Josh's 3-7-11 e-mail

During sacrament meeting I was getting very nervous. It was fast and testimony meeting and…nobody was sharing their testimony!!! I was nervous because Graciela our investigator was there and I wanted her to have a spiritual expierience! After a few more minutes of awkward silence some members got up and shared their testimony. Sacrament meeting ended and I went talked to Graciela. Somewhat shyly I asked…So how did you like Sacrament Meeting?!? Her reply was she had absolutely loved it!!!! She said I feel good, really good!!! I was saying a prayer of thanks at this time and had a huge smile on my face!! It was awesome! She had sacrificed to come sacrament meeting and had felt the spirit.

Josh the puddle jumper

During this week I was dry! There were no rain storms and then boom! A huge rainstorm that flooded the streets in about one hour! We were trying to get back to the pension as fast as possible. During my time in this area, I believe I have become a olympic long jumper! Sometimes the only option is jump over the water. While this one puddle I tried, but it was really really big. Yes, I ended up wet. My companion was behind me and about to jump when a man on a motorcycle passed by, asked him if he wanted a ride and drove him through the water! I was just staring with my mouth open. I guess sometimes we are impatient for blessings!!!

Parable of the Bicycle

We had family home evening with Hermana Guzman this week and she shared a story with us that I heard, but had forgotten. It´s the story where the young daughter wants a bicycle from her parents. The parents offered to pay for the bike as long as the girl would work for part of the money. The girl came with her money and her father and her went to the stores to find the perfect bike. When they found it the father was surprised to find the bike well over 100 dollars! The little girl knowing that it was expensive started crying. The father loving his daughter told her to give him all she had and he would make up the rest. She gave her money which was around 75 cents and the father made up the rest. The young girl had tried her best, but didn´t have enough money to buy the bike. The father made up the rest. Our Savior does the same, he ask for our best and he will make up the rest.

Melanie's comment: If you haven't read this book, it is where this parable is explained. I highly recommend you read it!

Josh's 2-28-11 e-mail

Diligence, I have discovered, is an attribute of Christ that takes time to develop. Often times the Lord will give us a trial to help us learn the importance of enduring. This past transfer, I don´t why, but I do know that it has been a lesson the Lord has wanted me to learn. Since my time here in Famailla, we have found people who want to hear the gospel, who let us share the message of the Restoration with them, but they aren´t progressing toward baptism. I have worked harder now than I have any other time in my mission, but I have to remember the Lord wants me to learn diligence. In Preach My Gospel we learn diligence is going forward with ¨excitement¨, and ¨faith in the Lord.¨ I am grateful the Lord has allowed me to learn this virtue. To keep going forward. Some missionaries are seed planters and others are the Johnny Apple Seeds! I am not discouraged and I love this work!!! As we were knocking doors this week I was surprised to find the swearing man!!! We knocked his door and we have a appointment with him this upcoming week!! Crazy! Mabye the Lord has some plans for him....

The work in Famallia

We found a family this week, but only one member has interest. Her name is Carmen and I believe she has received a answer. We finished teaching Carmen and a man asked us to help him, we replied yes and went to work. Our task was to pull a railroad track off the track. It sounds easy, except the track was over a river. It was heavy and hard and the man kept swearing!!! But a hour later with our shoes covered in mud, he said thank you. I was surprised to hear those words from his mouth especially since he was swearing more than half the time!!! We have countless things to be thankful for! Even if we are on a deserted island and the only other thing on the island is a palm tree, we can be thankful for the shade.

Hermana Guzman we might say has a rough life. When she was younger, she went inactive in the church. She became a policewoman, had two children, and lives with a another less active man. She now feels all the time that she has been away from the church that she should return. She is making the changes now, but oftentimes Satan knows this also and doesn´t want us to return. This past month, her husband left her because he has another girlfriend, her house has flooded due to the rain, she is now taking care of her sick aunt, who needs constant care, part of her pay as a policewoman goes to her mother, sister, and brother who all need financial help, and she is raising her two sons as best as she can. To me her faith is impressive and I know to Christ he is happy because she is returning to his church.

Josh's 2-21-11 e-mail-Another earthquake!

I lived through an earthquake!!!!! Yesterday at 4 o´clock in the morning I got woken up to a earthquake! It was kinda scary and exciting. It lasted for about 10 seconds and the only thing it did was knock over bug spray. Afterwards my heart was beating fairly quickly! I felt like a little kid again! It was nothing, but it made me think about how it is a sign for the 2nd coming of our Savior. How we need to prepare now and not later. We do not know when He will come. Preperacion (notice his spanish sneaking in...)should not be procastinated. I sang a hymn afterwards and I fell asleep.

Parable from Josh

During our Priesthood lesson the teacher shared a really cool quote that I enjoyed. A man came and asked three different men and three different times what they were doing. The first said I am cutting rock. The second, I am being paid and the third I am building a house for the Lord. Our attitudes are precious and they have to be positive or we won´t get far in life.

Josh's 2-14-11 e-mail

Josh sent this picture in an e-mail and I asked him whose dog it was and why did it have pink fur? He replied: "That is president´s dog. We don´t know why it is pink!!! We just came home from church and it was pink!!!" He's referring to the branch president, President Marchetti.

I learned the meaning of Famailla this week! It´s an old indian word of the tribes that use to live here. Famailla is fairly close to the mountains where the indians lived and on their travels across the country they always needed a resting place. Famailla means resting place.

Megan's release 3-4-11

Originally Megan's flight plans had her coming home around 6 p.m. and our stake president was going to release her that night. Then plans changed and she didn't arrive back in Cedar til almost 1 a.m. So Friday morning, Rick, Bridget, Megan and I went to the stake center around noon and met with President Greg Powell, who had also set Megan apart 18 months before. He first interviewed Megan and then invited Rick and I into the room. She later told us that he spoke to her as if he had been with her on her mission. He knew many of the circumstances she had experienced and brought back some very tender feelings. He visited with all three of us for a few minutes and then told Megan that the hard part was coming. He officially and honorably released her as a missionary of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Then the tears started to flow. You can see by the pictures how hard she took it. Those were not the last of the tears either; she's had many moments where she has yearned to be back in the Philippines, caring for those she came to know and love. She does not want to move into the next phase of her life where she worries about herself. She has loved focusing all her energy and faith for others. It will be a hard transition, but BYU-I will be the best place for her. Hopefully there will be some missionaries there from her mission and surely many that served in the Philippines and hundreds of return missionaries who will be able to empathize with her struggle to leave the work that she has come to love.

Megan's homecoming 3-3-11

The long awaited day finally arrived!!! Bridget arrived from Provo on Thursday, March 3rd, 2011 about the time Rick and I got home from work. We started decorating the house. We put up yellow streamers and a welcome home sign and got some balloons to take to the airport. Bridget made a candy bar poster to put in her room. We left for St. George around 9:00 p.m. We drove to the newly opened St. George airport and met Grandpa and Grandma Mathews, Pam and Pat Baker, Susan Mathews and Heather and all her boys. We had all worn yellow as that is not only her favorite color, but the traditional color to welcome someone home. (Tie A Yellow Ribbon...) arrived early and went upstairs to a viewing area. When we saw the plane land, we hurried downstairs and went to the arrival gate and waited. Many people got off the plane before her, but then finally Bridget said, "I see her and she's wearing yellow!" I was the first one to hug her and the tears of joy flowed as I held her in my arms again. I finally let go and let all the others greet her!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011


Melanie's comment: There are no words in my vocabulary to describe the excitement, anticipation and joy of this e-mail from church travel!!!

TELEPHONE: 801 240-5111 DUSTIN/MEGAN 170561-R
FAX : 801-240-5115


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Megan's 2-20-11 e-mail

Where do I start? This week, this transfer, this year and a half, has gone by in a way that, I don't know how!!!?? I can't beleive how close I've gotten with these people in Dagami-just having been here only 5 weeks. I really do love them and I will miss them!!! Loving and then having to leave these people is a bit heart wrenching, but I know we will meet again. We had a baptism yesterday and it was great! One of our recent convert's mothers got baptized and it was so great! Her two other sons are getting baptized on March 5. We had 8 investigators come and our attendance was 51. Life is so great! I love life. I love the Lord! I love how he teaches me things. I love that I am His missionary. Being able to represent Him in this way as a missionary, is so GREAT!!!
This week was a bit hard, knowing that I won't see some of these people continue to go to church, or see them baptized, but I know that that is not why I came on a mission! I came to show them love, and to be their friend, and to teach them the way back!I will miss praying with these people, and teaching them!!!! I don't know why but I can't sufficiently express myself when I talk about them!!! Words cannot express the things I've learned and the person I've become and how I've changed. I LOVE THIS GOSPEL WITH ALL MY HEART!!!! I love how the Lord has changed me and made me into a better person. He has taken me in His arms, and carried me! I love all of you so much and I cant wait to see all of your BEAUTIFUL FACES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Megan's last schedule

Just so you know, random just tidbit about next week, here's a rough sketch of our schedule next week.
monday morning-pack
monday afternoon-go to a "career convention"
tuesday morning-come to tacloban and spend an entire day with president and sister malit
tuesday night-departure meeting where I perform my "talent.."?
wednesday morning-go to manila and arrive there maybe about 9 am
wednesday day-go....anywhere we want in manila for a day
wednesday night-stay in a hotel...all my myself!!!(with 2 other elders in a different room)
thursday morning-head off for hong kong and america
thursday night(in america)-arrive in ST GEORGE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Megan's last e-mail as a missionary!

I just got a phone call from a BML(branch mission leader) in Palompon, that he could use the suitcase it for his I gave it to the office to give it to him...I hope thats ok??!! This kid has nothing! and he wants to serve a mission. I hope that's ok???!!!!!. Also,I will be in Manila for a whole day before we stay the night and leave the next morning. Would I be ok to get a few souveneirs? I haven't really gotten anything while I've been here so I hoped that maybe I could get something. Our schedule is crazy next week. I can't believe it's already here!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! this is the last email i will send to you as a missionary!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! and yes, it is VERY bittersweet! I LOVE YOU SO MUCH!!

Megan's last baptisms

Now I want to tell you about our work!! It's doing great!! We have 4 baptisms this Sunday, We went and saw the worldwide leadership training in our district center, and that was awesome! We have our last zone conference this wednesday and the days seems to be slipping away from me. I had to get an xray this morning to check for TB. these 4 weeks that I've been here in Dagami, I've grown so close to the people here!!! To think that I wont be a missionary anymore is really really really SAD!!! But we're just staying really really busy so that I won't think about it!!! We have baptisms planned for March 5.....and when I was committing them the realization that I won't see it really hurt!!! I'm so excited for these 4 baptisms coming up! There is so much WORK to be done!!!!!!!! I CAN'T leave!!! I kept before going back and forth, between April or May.....once I almost went back to April....but the quiet voice came back and confirmed my first decision. I feel that President felt it also. There's this 12 year old that was supposed to get baptized with the 4 on Sunday, but he slept in yesterday! Of all the Sundays that he's diligently come!!! Of course it would happen on the day that is THE most crucial!!! Right before he gets baptized, but I know that there's a purpose in all things...maybe we're supposed to teach another member in his family and they are to get baptized together. We don't know. The Lord works in mysterious ways. I love this work! Well I have to go!!! Until next time!

Megan's 2-13-11 e-mail

Family. Here's the deal. It's a long story, but the rumor is true-I"M COMING HOME on March 2!!! The transferes weren't going to work out if I wanted to start school on April 19, and I explained this to President Malit, and to Heavenly Father, and then i received this text from Pres. Malit. well, first I said...after going back and forth for a while..."This is becoming a very difficult decision for me to make! What is your advice for me? Will I have regrets about cutting my mission I'll never get back?" Then he said, "The Lord knows and understands that. That is why, thru the prophet, as your mission president, I can cut your mission service because of schooling. Luv u!" At that moment I felt that it was right for me to go home in March. SO HERE I Come!!!! I'm so excited to see you all in 2 weeks!!!

It's finally time here! But I still have to work so hard these last 2 weeks!!! This way I can recover from jet lag, and get everything settled, having enough time to breath, before I go back to school. We are leaving Tacloban on the 2nd, then we are actually staying in Manila for the night!!! Then we are leaving for America on the 3rd. I will arrive at 10:30 pm on March 2nd your time., so on Tuesday. I will gain a day. weird!!! Sorry for 2 weeks I haven't been able to tell you all this?? Is there any way you could find out my BYUI ID??? And what am I gonna do for work there in Rexburg????OH Well!!!! The Lord will provide!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Melanie's comment: Well, she still doesn't have the itinerary correct but I'm sure someone will put her on the right plane home to us!! Quite the technology savvy mission president-texting, don't you think?