Monthly Archives: January 2011

Last Email from the United States

This past week was pretty normal, until Thursday. We knew we would get our travel plans on Thursday if we had our visas, so we made our district leader check the mail every couple of hours until dinner. At dinner, Elder Bean and I were a couple minutes later than everyone else, but when we joined everyone else at the table, they told us that instead of travel plans, we had a note that our visas were delayed at least a week. This was not, by the way, good news. Fortunately, after dinner, the lie broke down and they confessed to misleading us. I didn’t even kill anyone. Yet.

We’ll be flying out of Salt Lake on Monday the 7th at 8:30AM, to Atlanta, GA, and then to Bogotá, Colombia. We´ll get there about ten o´clock at night (their time), so we´ll probably just sleep in the airport for a few hours until our flight leaves from Bogotá to Barranquilla. That flight is supposed to be from 6:15 to 7:50AM, just a little hop.
In other news/thoughts: a few days ago I met a Sister Hudson who is going to Donetsk, Ukraine; I have officially studied all of the Spanish grammar principles (not that I understand them all. Reflexive verbs are especially hard); I have been asked by a temple worker to find out who the first Belyeu in America was, and when, and where exactly he was from (I remember something about two brothers, but I don’t remember details).
I can’t find a copy of my patriarchal blessing. Could Mom mail me one? Dad might still have a copy of the scanned copy in the computer.
Is the balance on my ATM card supposed to be $30? I thought you said it would be more, but whatever you think is best, I guess.
Are the pictures of the insides of the car necessary? I still have them on my camera, and I’m not sure if I should be keeping them or not.
I’m a little scattered today, but this past week has not been much to write home about, just lots of grammar and many role plays. I got a haircut, and did some other pretty “exciting” stuff like that, which I will not share now.
I think I’ll stop including a Spanish section of each letter for a while. I feel like I’m leaving people out when I do that and I don’t know enough Spanish to have a very different message anyway.
This is my last day to email from the US for twenty-two months.
Elder Belyeu

My Week and News

Hola, all,

I got to host for new missionaries entering the MTC this past Wednesday, which consists of waiting at the curb, watching families cry, and rushing the new missionaries all over the MTC campus to pick up their new materials and find their classrooms and stuff. I look forward to doing it all again this Wednesday, since I’m now an old hand in the MTC.
Elder NeSmith is in my zone, in our newest district, and Elder Shuermann (whose name I can’t spell) is in the same schedule as us, so I see him at gym and mealtimes. I’m pretty surprised that Elder NeSmith is in our zone, since there are a lot of MTC districts speaking Spanish, but several people in our zone had met before the MTC. I haven’t seen Elder Pinter yet, but I’m looking for him.
Today was our seventh trip outside the MTC, this time for Elder Bean’s replacement shoes, for gym shoes that he outgrew after getting here. His feet started growing again after he got here. This was probably the last time we’ll leave for our last two weeks, which is a relief. It would be nice to stay inside for a whole P-day.
We went to the temple again today (I did sealings for the first time) and in the parking lot we met Elder Smith’s sister. It was very awkward and quite amusing for those of us who insist that she was really his girlfriend (she broke the rules and gave him a hug). It wasn’t his girlfriend, by the way, we’ve seen the pictures Elder Smith has and the family resemblance was very close.
I don’t remember if I mentioned it before, but we are asked to be prepared to speak in Sacrament Meeting every Sunday and yesterday Elder Bean and I were called on to speak with no notice (They do that with somebody every week, but our district is in the cross-hairs now ’cause there’s nobody senior to us anymore). It went really well, to my surprise, and I was asked afterward if I had memorized my talk, since I didn’t just read off a sheet of paper like some do. It was only a 3-5 minutes talk, but it really helped my self confidence, even though probably only about half of our district and President Watkins, out of the whole congregation, were able to understand us. All the new missionaries are really impressed with us now.
Otherwise, things are just keeping on going. We’re winding down to the last little part of our time here, and we’re getting pretty excited. We might get our flight plans this week, probably Thursday.
I´ll read your letters and then send a little more, if I have time. 

Love, Elder Belyeu

PS Tengo un poco mas tiempo, pues quierdo escribir en español para practicar. Por favor transcribir esto para mi hermano que esta en Ukraine.
En Español, no puedo hablar sobre mucho que no es el evangelio, porque mis clases solamente enseñar Español para enseñar investigadores. Intonces, voy a compartir mi testimonio otravez. Yo sé que el evangelio de Jesucristo fue restaurado por el prefeta Jose Smith y atraves del evangelio y la expiación de Jesucristo, podemos volver con nuestras familias a el reino celestial de Dios. Yo sé que nosotros misioneros tener le pretección de Dios.

Three Weeks to Colombia

Hola, todo,

We studied preterit, imperfect, and progressive this past week and many things we’ve been saying started making sense for the first time. We’ve started spending part of each day only speaking Spanish, unless we really can’t say what we’re trying to say (which is less often than I expected it to be).

We got to hear from someone you may have heard of at the devotional this past Tuesday. He’s named Elder Jeffrey R. Holland. Familiar? He’s been my favorite speaker since October 2009, when He talked about the Book of Mormon and his testimony. Plus, I had the best seat I’ve had at a devotional since I got here.

We found out this week that our branch president here (a retired stockbroker) is pretty well off. He apparently owns a TV channel and once gave a million wheelchairs to the president of Peru. I hope to be great friends with him.

We had an interesting experience with obedience this week, as well. There has been a club in our zone, started by the district that we replaced when we came here, of gathering pretty much everyone together a couple of nights a week to read original poetry together. I never went, both because I didn’t have time to do that and get to bed on time (and neither did they) and because the instructions we were given when we came here said not to have group gatherings like that without approval from the branch presidency. I wasn’t sure if the presidency had been told or not, and I was afraid to ask. This weekend, however, they found out (they had not been asked, despite rumors that they had; I asked President Watkins to make sure) and forbade the club from meeting or writing poetry except on Preparation Day. There have been unkind feelings toward the presidency because of this, including in my district. Some people don’t respond the same way to authority, I guess.

On a more positive note, I am now in the oldest district in the zone, since the last older one left today. In three weeks, I’ll be going to Colombia.

I just want you to all know that I am already finding joy in the work and looking forward to the time that’s coming up, when I can do some real good. Yo se que in este obra, podemos ayudar otros a venir a Cristo, y encontrar gozo eterna. Yo estudiaba y oraba y yo se que este es la iglesia de Jesucristo, y digo estas cosas en Su nombre, el nombre de Jesucristo, amen.

Les amo mucho, y voy a verles en dos años,

Elder Belyeu

MTC Half-Way Point

Family mine,
Half an hour is such a short amount of time.
On Tuesday Elder Bean and I went to the health clinic here to get his eyes checked again and they sent us directly off to an ophthalmologist, so our district didn’t know where we were all morning. There wasn’t anything really wrong with his eyes, just a mild infection and some dryness, but we lost half the day.
Our zone lost a district this past week, another leaves today and tomorrow, and the last one older than us leaves next Monday, so we’re old now. We have a new district leader (Elder Ridley, the old DL’s companion), since we reached our halfway mark yesterday, and since the zone leaders are leaving tomorrow new ones were called from the district younger than us that came a week and a half ago.
Yesterday we had a fireside with President Heaten, who was in my Stake presidency at BYU last year. He’s the Administrative Director of the Provo MTC and helped develop Preach My Gospel. He’s very involved in the pilot program I’m in, or at least that’s the impression I got.
We’re doing laundry early again today (earlier than we’re really supposed to) because Elder Bean has yet another eye appointment; hopefully he’ll get his prescription today.
This week we are starting the Spanish-heavy portion of our MTC time, finally learning the grammar principles behind some of the stuff we have been doing all along.
Other stuff, I don’t really remember what days I’m getting dearelder letters, but I haven’t gotten any so far today. I think that if you send one on a week day, I get it the next day, but I’m not sure.
No hay tiempo a escribir in Español hoy, pero yo sé que soy in el trabajo de Dios. La iglesia es verdadera, prometo.
Elder Belyeu

Intense Spanish Classes

We’ve got a new district in the zone (which is the same as our branch) so my district is no longer the newest. Two more districts are leaving soon, and there are only five in the zone, so we’ll be the old ones soon.

Starting today, our district is only supposed to use Spanish in the classroom, unless absolutely necessary for understanding. We’re starting the portion of our MTC time when we are supposed to learn the most Spanish. We’ll see how that goes.

I ran into an old co-worker from my one of my BYU jobs this week. She’s going to the Dominican Republic, like Thatcher Pinkston, but she couldn’t go to that MTC because she didn’t have another sister to be her companion there, so she’s here for her whole nine weeks. In related news, the sister who processed my immunizations my first weeks was Elder Wallaby (Willoughby)’s aunt.

Not much has changed here the last few days. We spend our days in the classroom and our nights in our dorms. We went to the temple today again, since it’s now open again (It had closed for cleaning).

I wonder if it would be possible for you to find “The Pancake Collector” online and dearelder it to me. Would you try? Por favor? it’s been running through my head for several days.

I found where I could get copies of a list of hymns with the numbers for English and Spanish hymnbooks and bought them for the whole district (15 cents each). Maybe now we’ll be able to sing more hymns than just those we can translate the names of.

Estoy animado por la oportunidad a servir en Colombia, y yo sé que este es la verdad Iglesia de Dios. Estoy agradecido por el evangelio y por las escrituras. Yo se que José Smith fue un profeta de Dios y a travez de él Dios restauró Su Evangelio, y el Sacerdocio. No puedo recuerdo más que necesito escribir, pero ustedes estan en mis oraziones.

I look forward to learning verb tenses as well.

I love you all and appreciate your prayers. Mom, I don´t think I´m capable of getting too many Dearelder letters. Just saying, sabe?

Elder Belyeu