Sunday, December 27, 2015

Almost Christmas!

Friends and wonderful family.

Hello hello! I'm so excited to be writing this letter to you! I hope
and wish you all have a merry Christmas!!! This has been a week of a
lot of reflecting for me. Reflecting on the things that i am grateful
for in my life! What a wonderful blessing it is to remember but a few
things that our heaven father has given us! I was very happy this week
although it's been extremely hard and I mean EXTREMELY hard to be away
from you all this holiday season. With all that being said I will now
write about my week:
On Monday we played some basketball at the ashburn stake center with a
few elders! It was nice just to hangout! I didn't play a whole lot of
basketball cause I am still sick!!! Gah! Still sick! Seriously... It
sucks. Anyways I got to spend a lot of time messaging kari. It was
such a good experience for me. I really miss my sister kari and it's
always good to hear from her:) love you Kari!  That night we taught a
less active part member family and he loves football so we talked with
him for awhile about football and we shared our Christmas message with
him! Anyways  Monday was a pretty good day. Tuesday we had district
meetings! It was pretty alright. We didn't have a whole lot going on
in the afternoon so we did some tracting it was going pretty good for
a Tuesday afternoon hah we met this awesome guy named David he opens
the door and gives us the biggest smile and says "I'm super busy right
now can you come back Thursday at 4?" In my mind I was like
yeah...right...Thursday at 4 you won't be there. So we kept tracting
after that. On the way home for dinner I got the feeling that we
should go see this potential we found a month or so ago his name is
Terry and he is SUPER hard to get ahold of. We show up to his house
and he lets us in! He said "okay gentlemen this is the farthest two
missionaries have ever got. This is your only chance." We had a really
spiritual discussion with him. He asked us so many questions about
missionary work and we taught him the restoration. It was so awesome.
He is so smart and interested. He trains navy seals! He trained seal
team 6!! He is going to try and introduce us to some seals if I am
still here in February! We also had a weird lesson with a less active
that night named bro Rodriguez it on,y lasted for like 10 minutes.
Haha Wednesday was good we had an office run and the. I went on
exchanges with the Belmont ridge elders! They are pretty cool!
Thursday we exchanged back and taught the David the guy we met tracing
earlier in the week! I was totally expecting him not to be there, it
was one of the best lessons that elder holdaway and I taught. He said
he had doubts with his church and we were like okay well we can help
that. He really loved he message of the restoration it was awesome!! I
are going to go to his house on
 Jan 4th to teach him again! Friday was
our mission wide Christmas conference!! It was totally awesome!
President huntsman wrecked some elders in a hot dog eating contest. It
was hilarious. That's really the highlights of the week! I hope that
you all have a merry Christmas and a happy new year! I'll miss you all
the whole time! Love you!! Talk to you on Christmas mom!!!! Yay!!!
Love elder Routsong

"You look like an Orange"

Friends and family!

How the heck are you all?! This week wasn't too bad! Lot of different
things happened! I hope life back at home is normal and going
smoothly! Life in northern Virginia is pretty good! It's been like a
steady 70 degrees and sunny! So I can't really complain. I love seeing
the pictures of the snow back home though! I've had some pretty cool
experiences here though! This past week was transfer week so everyone
was going crazy about where they are going and about the new office
elder so it's been pretty hectic here! On pday last week we went to
hangout in the city for awhile and just went people watching and sight
seeing so that's always fun! There are some crazy people in DC... That
night we went to teach Ronnie a less active and we shared with him the
new Christmas video the church made! It's super good you should look
it up! On Tuesday I woke up sick as a sucked! Tuesday night
we sat in front of ruby Tuesday's to get wifi to get our transfer
email! We were all pretty much freaking out....turns out that elder
vasilyev only was going to stay one transfer here with us. He is now
in great falls with a newer missionary RIP vasilyev. So now elder
holdaway and I have the town house to ourselves again yay! Wednesday
we had to teach zone training. I just wanted to die. Ive had a sore
throat and head ache the whole week... Dangit. Anyways we had an
awesome zone training though! I just kept my water bottle by me the
whole time to keep myself cool! Elder holdaway and I shared luke
chapter 2 with our zone just like how my dad reads it to me every
Christmas it was pretty cool! The church has so many good little
videos about the importance of a Christ centered Christmas! We also
had our district leaders train on some other stuff! We mostly talked
about planning and the importance of it not just in our mission but
for the rest of our lives. After zone training we all went out for
lunch at 5 guys it was dang good and this whole troop of missionaries
walked in haha they looked at us like we were crazy haha. Thursday was
transfer day!! Elder holdaway and I cleaned the town house while
vasilyev finished up his packing. Then we took off to fair oaks to get
their bike then to transfers! It was fun I got to see some mission
buddies which is always super nice! I'm also happy because the is the
longest I have stayed in an area so far 3 transfers!! Yes. After
transfers we had our zone intro meeting and then went out and did some
tracting it was a good day. I'm still sick at this point though...I
think Friday was my most favorite day of this week by far! We had a
normal morning and weekly planned. We thought to call this guy named
Edward. He answered his phone and said we could come over right now!
We had an amazing first lesson with Ruth, Edward, and Anastasia! Elder
holdaway and I have been trying to teach the restoration like how the
angel teaches Nephi in 1 Nephi 13. Just showing the pictures and
asking people what they see and then teach them the principal. It's so
awesome and it invites the spirit to testify how true our message is:)
it was a good lesson! we drove down to Chrystal city and parked our
car at the 23rd street church building which is sooooo cool! It's
inside an office building! Anyways we went over to the pentagon city
mall and the mt Vernon Ward mission leader picked us up. We were on
our way to the temple with one of elder holdaways converts! It was
awesome! The car ride up was way fun! Brother Judd played a ton of not
approved music so that's a score. Brother Judd is a pretty cool guy I
hope I serve in mt Vernon to get to know the family better. Cecilias
first temple visit was so awesome it was so spiritual!! Made me so
happy to see somebody like her go through the temple! For Christmas
time the temple puts up these incredible's so dang awesome
there! Look at the picture I sent! One of brother Judds kids as were
were looking at the lights walks up to me and says "you look like an
orange!" Hahaha okay.... Best compliment I've ever received. We didn't
get home till like 11 that night we were so tried and I was still
sick... Saturday we had leadership meeting and tried to help our Ward
with a youth baptism so we were busy in the morning. We also had a
sweet lesson about tithing with Christopher Fuentes and then went on
splits with a rm named Brett he is a stud. That night we had the Ward
Christmas party. Holy crud it was so awesome they did a polar express
theme! And several people in the Ward invited non member friends so we
were busy at the party too! We talked to a lot of cool people. It was
seriously the coolest and most well put together Christmas party I've
ever been to. I wish my family could of been there little Emilee would
of loved it! Sunday was good at church we talked to Morgan for a
little bit so hopefully we can teach her soon! She is pretty awesome
and super prepared. I was not feeling good that night so I passed out
on the ground for a while. But hey it was a super super good week! I
hate being this sick but we got a lot of stuff done this week! I also
hit my 9 month mark next week. Time is flying! Have a good week
everyone I'm grateful for each and every one of you! Love you!!
Elder Routsong

Buddy the Elf What's your favorite Color?

Friends and family!

Hello hello how is everyone doing this week?! I hope that the week of
snow in Colorado has been good! It's still really sunny and nice here!
Ha it's weird...this was a pretty busy week we had a lot of meetings!
It's always lame to have a lot of meetings but it does make the time
go by faster and I got to see a few of my mission friends! So on
Monday after we went to crystal city we taught a less active named
Ronnie! He is a great guy with such a big heart. He has had a few
complications in his life and it's shaken his testimony a little bit.
He has made so much progress since I've started meeting with him. We
shared the new Christmas video that has come out and he loved it! He
was just saying how beautiful it was and testifying of the living
savior! It was amazing... He is such a simple man with such a great
testimony. The williamsons are great people. A member orders pizza for
us on Monday night so we sat around for an hour waiting for the pizza
to arrive and it never did until like 8 that night ah it was so lame!
Tuesday we had district meeting! But that morning we get a call from
the Spanish elders in our zone saying they locked their keys in the
trunk of their car. We went to chantillys district meeting and one of
my mission buddies elder haddon did a great job teaching about the
Christlike attribute of charity! It was great. We did a lot of driving
the rest of the day... Down to Manassas to pick up the Spanish elders
then all the way to Burke to get their keys and then all the way back
to our area! That night we didn't have a dinner and sister huntsman
had asked my companion elder holdaway to give a presentation to the
youth of the Burke Ward so we drove back! He is in a couple Mormon
messages and pretty popular. He did a good job presenting to the
youth! Meanwhile elder vasilyev and I got to talk to sister huntsman
the whole time! It was awesome! The huntsman family is so dang cool!
Wednesday was a fun day we had to drive back to Burke to go to the
office! On the way to the office we stopped at my new favorite fast
food place...firehouse subs. It's so dang good. Elder vasilyev loves
to use hot sauce on his sandwiches there so he dared me to try the
hottest sauce at firehouse call "mad dog 357" that stuff wrecked me. I
was sick the rest of the day cause of that garbage. Elder holdaway
tried it too and it wrecked him as well hahaha it was so hot! We had
exchanged that afternoon with the Centreville 2 elders and I spent the
day with elder hall! He is such a good missionary! He has been out for
three transfers and works dang hard! We had a lesson with 2 less
actives and we showed them the Christmas video as well! The saenz are
a sweet less active family we are working with and I love them! We are
also preparing Maddison Phan for her baptism next month! I'm pumped!
Wednesday was a good day! Thursday was a pretty weird day... We had a
meeting from
 9 a.m. To 4 p.m. Holy cow it was so long... About half of
the missionaries from the mission were there. We had a presentation
from two people from the missionary department in Salt Lake City.
Brother Gonzalez and brother Donaldson they are former mission
presidents. They were pretty cool! We had training from them like the
entire day it was so crazy they talked about how to be better at
planning and being more confident in missionary work and not being
acted upon but to act! It was good just super long we were so tired
when we got home we just took a nap. On Friday we had a busy busy day.
We had leadership meeting that morning and it went pretty well we had
to give out assignments for zone training this Tuesday and nobody
cried and said that their part was too hard so that's always a win.
Hahahahah elder holdaway and I are so tired of presenting stuff this
transfer.... That afternoon we spent our time contacting former
investigators we had no luck... They had all moved or didn't like us
very much but we tried so that's all that matters! We taught
Christopher that night and it was a good lesson! We also went over to
a members house and shot his compound bow...hahah it's funny that dad
got a compound bow this week and I shot one ha. Saturday was a good
day we had lunch at this super super nice restaurant called clydes
farm. It was dang good!!! Mom and dad we gotta go there when you come
and get me. Saturday after lunch we spent most of the day tracting and
it was super fun because we haven't tracted that hard in forever! It
was nice. Taught a lot of Hindu people so that's pretty cool. Sunday
was a sweet day of church! We talked about how to study effectively in
gospel principals! That night we watched the Christmas devotional from
the first presidency! It was mighty good! I loved elder bednars talk!
This morning we taught seminary! It's so hard cause it's old
testament... We talked about numbers chapter 31. And then for the
other class we shared our favorite scriptures and bore testimony on
them. I shared Isaiah 41:10

"Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God:
I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee
with the right hand of my righteousness."

I love this scripture!

We are probably going to the city today so that's always fun! Ya DC!!

Have a great week everybody! LOVE YOU!!

Elder Routsong!

8 Months

Friends and family!

Hey hey hey hey! How is everyone doing this week?! Ive been doing
pretty well! so for pday last week we had our big zone activity and we
think that it went pretty well! after pday we had dinner with the
Selby family and they are a part member and less active their son Ian
was baptized last week so they had us over to talk about the
restoration! it was a good time and I really felt the spirit as we
taught Ian! so yeah Monday was a pretty good day! Tueday was Elder
Vailyevs 22nd birthday! Happy Birthday to Elder V!! haaha Today we
went to District meetings in Belmont Ridge. It was the District
leaders first district meeting. The first hour goes by and it's a
straight hour of accountability. (Accountability should only take
about 20 minutes). So he asks us "Has anyone had any bold moments this
week?.... Elder Vasilyev, how about you?"
Elder Vasilyev sits there for a second and then says "I'm about to
have a bold moment." Another quiet moment. Elder Vasilyev then follows
up and says "ELDER HILD! You have been doing accountability for an
hour straight! You have 20 minutes left and you haven't taught
anything yet. Get it together Hild!" There was an awkward silence for
a few seconds and then Elder Hild jumped into teaching. It was so
stinking funny ahahahahh. after the lunch we went on exchanges with
the spanish elders! I went to sudley with elder Gonzaleaz or otherwise
known around the mission as "Gonza Daddy" he is one of my good buddies
out here so it was cool to go on exchanges with him! we did alot of
tracting and street contacting over in Manassas because there are alot
of hispanic people that live there! I must say that my spanish is
getting a little better i can follow along in conversations! that
night Gonza and i went to teach one ofhis recent converts about family
history! i got bored of hearing spanish and the kids little brother
was playing angry birds on his ipad so iI helpedhim win a couple of
levels hahaha it was so funny. gonza and I stayed up till 11 playing
some board games it was pretty cool! Wednesday was my 8 month mark!
pretty cool huh? Wednesday was just a day full of planning and riding
in the was so boring! we went to the office and just
planned...that night we went tracting to a place bishop told us to go!
we tracted for an entire hour and only Hindus were on that street but
we did teach the restoration to a few of them! that night was good i
love being out and working it is hard but very rewarding. that night
we got some buffalo wild wings and elder Holdaway almost died after
one Mango Habanero wing hahah fun stuff.

Thursday was thanksgiving!! Happy thanksgiving everyone! I hope it was
great! on Thursday we woke up and did the usual routine. we then
taught elder Vasilyev how to throw the football! it was like 70
degrees outside:) we then went to a members house in our ward and
shared a little message about gratitude and thanksgiving! we also
shared a few stories from our missions. It was a very spiritual
experience! we then went over to the Decourseys house for our first
thanksgiving dinner...oh. my. goodness. it was so fun over there! we
had this huge nerf war with the kids!it was a blast! we may have
watched a little bit of the eagles and lions game...but i cannot
confirm nor deny that statement.  the Decourseys are a super awesome
family and i am so grateful and lucky i got to spend it with them!
Sister Decoursey told us that the average american eats over 5000
calories during thanksgiving...dang. after the Decourseys we went over
to the Williamsons house for our second dinner....ahaha it was such a
good time over there too! we had so much food we all wanted to die and
both families gave us alot of leftovers...It was elder Vasilyevs first
and second thanksgiving dinners in his life. he was so sick hahahahah.
Thanskgiving was good this year! I am really grateful for my family
and all that they do for me it was really challenging to be away from
them on Thursday!! I know that they are okay though:)

Friday we woke up all pretty much sick from the massive amount of food we ate
and went to a mission wide choir practice. I tried singing but i left
pretty fast and went and hungout with some elders in the hallways that
were also really bad at singing haha we had some good laughs i love
hanging out with other missionaries they are so stinking funny. that
evening we went on exchanges with the Assistants to the president. I
went with Elder Rice and we taught a less active guy named Jason. One
of the best lessons i have had on my mission. Jason is struggling with
the church and is a semi pro football player. needless to say we hit
it off pretty well! I Told Jason my story about my struggles with the
church and about the power of the atonement it was a very spiritual
lesson we talked about Isaiah 41:10 and Jason loved that scripture. I
was very grateful to have that lesson with Jason! he is a good guy!

Saturday we taught Christopher about the 10 commandments and it was
also a really great lesson! he is only 9 and is like the smartest
little kid ever!

Sunday was a good day of church we learned about the three ways people
are obedient. the first is they are obedient out of fear. the second
is they are obedient because of the blessings that they receive. the
last is they are obedient because they love and trust heavenly father.
I thought this was so awesome! look at when Christ was on the earth he
obeyed his father and was obedient out of LOVE and TRUST in his
father! I know that as we are obedient out of love we show heavenly
father our respect and trust in him and he will shower us with
blessings that we will see and ones that we don't see!

I am very grateful for each and every one of you! thank you for all
your support and being the best examples to me! i hope you all have a
great week this week! LOVE YOU!!

Elder Routsong