Wednesday, August 27, 2014


Helloooooooo Everyone!!!
I got the videos of y’all doing the ice water challenge, they were freaking hilarious! Thanks Rich!! Can’t believe mom did it!! haha. Ant, you’re a stud bro! You took it like a champ!! Made my P-day for sure. I actually had an investigator in my last area who did the same thing!
I emailed my mission President about going on exchanges with one of the assistants serving in the Vista 10th Ward so that I could go see Daylon and he said that we could make that happen! So I should be meeting up with him some time here soon. I'll keep you posted. I super stoked, I get to see Daylon while I’m a missionary freak'n sweet!! If you can get a hold of him tell him I can come see him if he wants. Does he have a cell phone?
So on Saturday we had Alfonso's baptism. It was a sweet experience. His whole family was there too, and they’re awesome! They’re super supportive of him and his decision to get baptized. Our bishop, Alfonso, and his family are actually neighbors, they live right behind each other. Both families have known each other for years so for him to get baptized was a super cool experience for them. He has a younger brother and sister who are out of high school and have a lot of friends who are members so we may be teaching his younger siblings here soon too. His girlfriend, who is a member, and her family were there too. Her brother started a trend at the baptism too, #teamalfonso!
We were able to go on splits last Tuesday. I was able to go with a recent convert of about a year named Giovani. The people we stopped by all fell through so I was able to have a very good talk with him. We both talked about our conversions to the gospel. He told me his story and I told him mine. I wish I could tell you the whole thing but for the sake of time I’ll have to water it down. He is going through a lot, just with his testimony and life in general, he's had a rough past. I was also able to tell him how awesome missions are, all the miracles I’ve seen, and the growth I’ve seen in myself. And to never lose sight of the gospel, not matter what. We were just sitting in his car for like an hour on the side of the road, but the spirit was there, it was a spiritually profound moment on my mission that I will never forget.
One of the speakers at church yesterday that being obedient doesn’t mean anything unless it allows us to change. Remember that just because we live the gospel, if we don’t let it change our lives it is of no worth. Enjoy the journey while you are here. Don’t have too much focus on the destination that we don’t allow the journey to change us.

P.S. next Monday is Labor Day so pday is on Tuesday!!! And are you guys feeding the missionaries? If not FEED EM'!!! They will love you forever and they will bless your life.
I love you all, more than anything,
Your son, big brother, and friend,

-Elder Daniel
-Alfonso got baptized!!!!
-The District
-Cool graffiti/murals in downtown Escondido



What’s up everybody!!!
Lately I’ve run into a ton of people who have connections to Huntsville or just Alabama in general. My bishop in my last area used to work at Intergraph, a member's dad from the YSA ward still makes trips out to Redstone Arsenal for his line of work, (He actually works out of the buildings that I was working at right before I left on my mission, the ones where we put up the Trend way by the gate on Patton, Jeffery would know.) and I ran into two RMs who served in Bama. On Monday I ran into a returned missionary at a doughnut shop wearing a baseball cap with a big ol red "A" on it and yesterday an elder just returned home from the Alabama Birmingham Mission and knew all the elders that I had gone on splits with before I left. They both served in Huntsville, Fayetteville, and Prattville during their missions.  It is a very small world within the church, no doubt.
I told President Kendrick about Daylon and he said that if I’m ever on that side of town for a meeting or anything like that it would be more than alright for me to go see him!!!! So I need to figure out how to make that possible and I should be able to go by him some time. I'll continue to keep you posted on my progress with that.
This week we werent able to meet with Michael or Mario or Jesus, but we were able to meet with Alfonso! He is getting baptized this Saturday which is super exciting. We were able to teach him the rest of the Commandments that we had left to teach him, (Law of Chastity, Word of Wisdom, Tithing, Fasting) I was able to share a few experiences to help teach him of the blessings that come from tithing. I told him about how Jeffery and I were working with Ralph for a while making good money, then out of nowhere Joe tells us that we need to start looking for another job because they had run out of contracts and there wasn’t going to be enough work to keep us busy. I remember it being a real trial of my faith to pay my tithing because I still had bills to pay, gas, and other miscellaneous things and it wasn’t like the tithing I was paying was just 10 dollars, it was a lot. But I paid it anyway because I knew the Lord would take care of us. And then the next week we had gotten about 8 missed calls form Ralph asking us to get our butts back out on base to work. Jeffery is still is working for him and he said I will have a job when I get back. When you are faithful and put your trust in the Lord, He will take care of you one way or another, I know that to be true without a doubt. I was able to share a few other experiences for the different commandments as well. When you can share actual experiences as well as the doctrine behind what we’re teaching it’s so much more powerful.
One of the members of the High Council spoke yesterday and one of the things that he stressed was that “just because you know the truth, if you don’t live according to the knowledge that you have, it will do nothing for you." That hit me, it’s so true. We can know the truth of all things, but if we aren’t willing to act upon what we know or live according to the truth that we possess, it is as if we never gained that knowledge at all. Never take what we have for granted, it is such an insane blessing to have the fullness of the gospel in our lives. Never forget that if you don’t stand for something you will fall for anything.

I love you all, I mean it,
Your son, big brother, and friend,

 -Elder Daniel
-The recently returned Elder Thurston from the Alabama Birmingham Mission
-An old, 6 ft 10, friend came back to visit yesterday, my first district leader I ever had, the former E. Hansen
-the restroom at the institute building
-Palomar Mountain!



Que pasa mi familia y mi amigos!!!
Thank you for the pictures! Everyone looks great! Elder Wilson will be a stud in Peru, "onward ever onward!" Tell him I said good luck!! (I think I'll just print out all my pictures when I get back and put them in albums, I’ve got thousands on my flash drive.) So I’m not in the same stake as Daylon. He's in the Vista stake and I’m in the Escondido stake. So that means that were in different zones and he lives about 20 minutes away. The assistants to the mission president serve in the ward boundaries where he lives. I referred him to them and they’ve stopped by him a few times. I’ve told them that he is my uncle and whenever I get to see the assistants at meetings and stuff I always ask about Daylon's progress and if they’ve met with him. I haven’t gotten too much info, all I really know is that they’ve met with him and Daylon knows I’m close by. I’ll keep y’all updated if I get any more leads on him.

This week we were able to meet with Alfonso. I think I forgot to tell you about him last week. The elders have been meeting with him for a little while now. He actually goes to an YSA ward in the San Diego Mission but lives here in Escondido, so we are the ones that are supposed to be teaching him. Kind of a long story. This last week we planned on teaching him about how the spirit works. Our last lesson with him we planned on setting a date with him. We knew he felt the spirit, he actually told us he felt like his body was on fire he felt it so strongly, but he still wouldn’t commit to a date. This last lesson as we were teaching we didn’t really know how to bring the subject of baptism back up for some reason, we just kept dancing around it, until E. Moolenbeek finally just asked him, sort of nonchalantly, and Alfonso said " That’s actually the main reason I came to meet with you guys today, I wanted to set a date with you for my baptism." So we set a date with him for the 23rd of August. He's a stud. He understands the gospel so well and he is so sincere about things. I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again, it is the coolest thing to see the spirit working with people. The spirit is real, and the spirit is what converts. People won’t remember much of the doctrine you teach them, but they will remember how they felt as you taught it to them. I know that for an absolute fact.

Hey guess what? We taught Jesus this week! Seriously, we picked up a new investigator and his name is Jesus. He is a Hispanic guy who lives in a pretty rough part of Escondido. You would think that he would pronounce his name like "hey-zoos" since he's Hispanic, but he goes by "jee-zuhs". Right when we got to the lesson we met him at his back gate and the first thing he asked us was "Are you guys okay with marijuana?" we said “well are you going to smoke it right now?" and he said "No no, I just did." So were like, great. Were about to teach a stoned Mexican, well see how this lesson goes. So we tried to teach him the Restoration of the Gospel, but every time we would ask him a question he would go off on some crazy, mundane tangent. So we realized we weren’t going to get anywhere with him so we gave him a Book of Mormon, bore powerful testimony of how it will bless his life, he said he would read it and we set an appointment for next week. We’ll see how this next one goes. You never know, I’ve seen far more wayward people embrace the gospel into their lives. It’s for everyone.
We werent able to meet with Michael or Mario last week, but we should be this week. And we have been getting referrals out the whazoo, so we will be super busy doing the Lord's work. It feels good when you get home at night and you’re tired because you know that you’ve worked hard. It’s even more gratifying because I’m out here doing the most important work there is. I love it. I never want to leave.
Gotta go,
I love you all more than you will ever know,
Your son, friend, and big brother, and friend

-Elder Daniel
-Drive'n (finally)
-Doubles Peak (in the backround is the beach in Carlsbad)
-E Moolenbeek on a longboard at church