Sunday, July 15, 2018

The Nostalgia Begins (7/10)

[from July 9, 2018]

Whoa, this is super weird. Maybe my last or second to last mission email. Yeah, I for sure am gonna miss it. I´m gonna go right up until the end. I´ve enjoyed it, even the kinda crummy parts. I gotta make the most of it cause it´s about over! 

Yeah Saba is officially a branch. I am branch President, but not for too much longer haha. 

This week was good. Denis is our mission leader of the branch, which basically means that he leaves with us a ton.  He is super cool. We left with him for the first couple days this week, but then he got pretty sick, so he couldn´t on thursday, friday and saturday.  

We had a super contact with the whole district in saba, the missionaries from sonaguera came and helped us out for just 2 hours. 

What else? We had a baptism on saturday (Sara Martinez). A super cool lady who has a school supply shop. She made a sign for the church, but the ex-missionary stake calling guy (the one who´s house i called from) said we had to take it down because it has to be an official church made sign. I think she got a little offended but didn´t show it too much... Alls good here.

Also, while we were in seminary a kid thought it would be cool to stop my fan with his finger. He ended up breaking the thin plastic rotor and now I don´t have a fan anymore. I asked the mission for a new one, but it won´t get here before I leave. Some sweaty nights! 

My companion is super cool I wish I could have been with him longer, but my time is up doh! He is super funny. His english is really good. In the street we speak a weird mix of spanglish. He wants to teach english after the mission so I try to correct him as much as I can. But it´s weird because I want to correct him for the way he pronounces stuff, but I have to think how someone from england would say it. It´s weird. 

You bet I´m eating lots of baleadas. I learned how to make them so I´ll have to make some when I get home. They don´t come out perfect, but I´ve got the general idea down and I´ve practiced a ton. Whenever we go eat with somebody I offer to help make the baleadas too! The thing that will surprise you is how bad tortillas are for you! SO much fat hahah.

Yeah it´s weird eating with silverware. Like here, any meat is a hands food. 

Those movies sounds really cool. I want to see those, but I want to see Star wars too! I´ve heard there´s a Han Solo movie, sounds awesome! Have you seen it?

Yeah I carry a picture of you guys. Lots of times people are interested in seeing what my family looks like. I didn´t take a picture of the cabbit, but my comp did. I´ll make sure to have him pass me the picture. 

I am gonna make sure and eat some US American food and then some Frankfurters. Sounds good about the stake president and the release. Does he speak english? 

I´m gonna do as much as I can to stay super busy. And I´m gonna try and keep the other kids busy as well. From what I´ve heard they are already bored!? Maybe I´ll make some local friends. I´m not ashamed to look like an idiot with a foreign language anymore, so I´m ready to go! Yeah that sounds cool about visiting with the missionaries! I had no idea that they would be looking for any english speakers in the mission boundaries. That is a way cool assignment and gives them huge areas to look in! That´s cool about chinease people. I didn´t think there would be that many in Ukraine, but CHinease people are everywhere. If they are in Saba, there in Ukraine for sure haha. 

I´m gonna do all I can to appreciate every one of these last few day I have here. I´m gonna miss it, but I´m excited to start something new too!


I love you guys!
-Elder Stoddard

Counting Down the Days (7/3)

[from July 3, 2018]

Haha, I'm excited to see you guys too, I've been trying hard to not count down the days, but it is getting really close. 

Saba is doing good. Denis got a calling in the missionary work, so he's been leaving with us to visit a TON! Elder Bohorquez is awesome. Did I tell you that he already knows english from his house? He learned in a british academy so he speaks almost perfect english, but with an english accent. He's a quiet guy, but once you get to know him he talks a ton and is super funny.

I am excited to see grandma and grandpa too! It will be super cool. I think I'll be fine in Frankfurt. If there's problems I have the church travel number and they'll figure it out.

Oh I'm not too worried. I'll feel super weird I know. But I'm gonna try to be as occupied as I can. I'm gonna see if I can leave with the missionaries too. I doubt I'll be too much help, but it would be cool.

I don't carry a lot of things around with me when i go out to visit. But one of the things i never leave without is the laminated picture of the family you sent me with. I talk about you guys a lot too!

What kind of music are you listening to? I'm gonna need some recommendations after two years out of the loop! I can't wait to hang out with you at home either... it will be awesome.

I have lots of end of mission thoughts. Weird things are always happening, and over the last two years I've started to take them more in stride. Today I saw a bunny cat. A cabbit. Half rabbit half cat. Didn't know that existed but cool anyways.

Questions! (Live Chat) (7/3)

[from July 3, 2018]
Daniel Christian Stoddard
Hey guys!
Yeah there wasn't light on last Monday...
anybody there?
Family
Handsome! How are you?!?!
Daniel Christian Stoddard
doing good!
and you?
Family
We are pretty good. It’s still so weird here, but it feels like we’ve been here a very long time already.
Daniel Christian Stoddard
really?  you getting more used to it?
Family
Getting so, so excited to see you!!!!
I think we are more used to it, but it’s weird. Hahaha!
Daniel Christian Stoddard
hey i have questions for you guys?
Family
Shoot.
Daniel Christian Stoddard
1 sec
sorry somebody is talking to me at the same time....
agaggagaghhhh
a drunk guy just wandered in asking us for money
ok questions.... what the heck should i bring home?
Family
Hahaha!
Daniel Christian Stoddard
who the heck is gonna release me as a missionary?
where the heck are we gonna go after i'm not a missionary anymore... i heard talks of a trip?
Dan
i am working on the release. i contacted our branch president again today.
but it will be under the authority of the stake president.
and we have a couple of trips planned.
Family
Are you concerned about travel? What are you thinking????
Daniel Christian Stoddard
no, that was just a fun question
just to know beforehand... or will it be better to be surprised?
what clothes should i bring home?  church clothes?
there's no "going home" packing list
Dan
thinking about going to odessa on the black sea if we can pull it together. then definitely disney. and we are thinking to hit both london and paris in one trip later.
need us to send you a going home packing list?! ;)
Daniel Christian Stoddard
no just kidding
Dan
i know.
Daniel Christian Stoddard
i just don't know what you have there, so i don't know what stuff i should put in the suitcase
and those trips sound awesome
Dan
you should bring a little bit of clothes you like to wear. we have ordered you some stuff but the mail system has been a bit underwhelming.
Daniel Christian Stoddard
ok
Dan
you will want play clothes, but expect to do some shopping when you get here.
Daniel Christian Stoddard
what else did i want to ask?   i had a whole bunch of stuff to ask you
Daniel Christian Stoddard
and the online classes are something i should wait on or start immediately?
Dan
you will probably end up waiting a little bit b/c you start and stop on their schedule, not your own.

Daniel Christian Stoddard
sounds good! 
Dan
so you will have to enroll for january as soon as they let you, but obviously that will be after you have been home a while.
Daniel Christian Stoddard
ok sounds food
*good
man i must be subconciously hungry
Dan
no doubt. speaking of which ... mom mail ordered the ingredients for stuffed shells ... kind of our version of the fatted calf.
Daniel Christian Stoddard
speaking of food
Dan
other kids are excited for that too. been a long drought for all of us.

Daniel Christian Stoddard
of american food?
Dan
stuffed shells specifically. you can get good burgers and decent pizza here.
no mexican to speak of, though. and sadly, no real milk shakes.
Daniel Christian Stoddard
nooooooooooooooooo
i found them though in sps
Dan
mom says she will make you a milkshake.
Daniel Christian Stoddard
awesome!!!!
i found one that was okish
but i'm sure moms are better
i am way skinny
Dan
my mom was worried about me being skinny when i got home. i am sure mom will be with you, too. but she will fatten you right up.

Daniel Christian Stoddard
ok good
Dan
still hard to find food in sabá?
Daniel Christian Stoddard
yeah....
and when we do it's not a lot 
we're not gonna die, but it is kinda tough
Dan
that is a little sad. but for you at least the end is in sight. food is not an issue here.
Daniel Christian Stoddard
we baptised a grandmotherly lady on saturday... she's really good about helping us with food
Dan
awww .... bless the viejitas!
babushkas.

Daniel Christian Stoddard
hahah babushka
Dan
бабушка.
Daniel Christian Stoddard
dang i can't write in russian letters
Dan
i will hook you up on your phone when you get here.
Daniel Christian Stoddard
папа
there we go 
i only know like 4 words
is it still tough for you or getting easier
Dan
haha. you got it!
going to be weird for you to be back to not knowing the language again. but seriously, we live in an english expat world.

Daniel Christian Stoddard
how was the trip?

Dan
i had 4 trips in june. been pretty crazy.

Daniel Christian Stoddard
where was the coolest place you went?
Dan
they were all good. very wothwhile.
i liked all the places for different reasons.
budapest was the last one. never really paid much attention to it. never imagined going there. but i liked it a lot.
Daniel Christian Stoddard
do you think you will ever go back to estonia?
Dan
who knows?! it is not very far now.
and if i can improve my russian it will make touring the former soviet republics even easier.
Daniel Christian Stoddard
thats true
Dan
i really want to go to israel. it might be hard to get there with what is left of this year, but we will save it for when you and allie are back home.
Daniel Christian Stoddard
how are the other kids doing now that they're out of school?
isreal?  is it safer now?
Dan
they guy who survived 2 years in sps is asking if israel is safe?!?! ;)
Daniel Christian Stoddard
ahahah 
Dan
the littles are doing much better now that school is out. it was pretty stressful for them. and it showed.
Daniel Christian Stoddard
but there aren't terrorist here
why was it stressful?
Dan
socially and academic expectations of the school.
it will be better next year when they start from the beginning and know what to expect.
Daniel Christian Stoddard
for sure
have you guys seen the soccer world cup?
that is the biggest thing here in honduras...  i'd bet it would be big there, cause it's going on so close to ukraine

Dan
they do love soccer in europe. they had the european championship here in kyiv right before the world cup. it was nuts.
Daniel Christian Stoddard
champions league
Dan
yeah. real madrid beat liverpool.
Daniel Christian Stoddard
i saw the tail end of the championship game in an investigators house.  the goalie goofed up 
*the replay goals
Dan
my meeting in budapest was with people from all over the world and they wanted to go out and watch the games after the meetings every evening.
so i saw part of several of them.
Daniel Christian Stoddard
soccer is what unites the world... except for the us
my companion was SO SO excited that peru finally went to the world cup... but theyu got eliminated really fast 😥😥
Dan
guess you switched over to email to look for it. but it is pretty late here. i am going to have to get some sleep. if you have any time left, the kids would love to read a few lines from you.

great hearing from you.

i love you.

dad, out. XD