Sunday, December 7, 2008

Letters from November

Sent Monday, December 2


Hey everyone!

Hope everybody had a happy thanksgiving!

First order of business: Transfers! Again!


I'm FINALLY STAYING MORE THAN 6 WEEKS!

Yes you read that right, after almost a year of being a vagabond missionary, never staying anywhere for more than 6 weeks, I finally don’t have to pack! YAY!

I still don't know who my new companion is. I don’t find out until tomorrow, but ill figure some way to get his name to you for the Christmas gifts you are sending him. That’s so nice of you :)

I got all the pictures you sent. Way cool! Did Sarah show off her scarf? She has been raving about it ever since I made it for her. I think I need to be knitting up a storm if imp going to finish everyone's Christmas presents in time. I have 5 done, but I need 13 before the 20-21 so I can get it out there.

Speaking of which, where should I send them? Is everyone going to open presents at Uncle Dennis's house? Should I send everything there? I hope you don’t mind me putting everything in one box for everyone with tags as to whose is whose since both shipping and wrapping paper are rather expensive..... So I think I’ll just pile them all up in a giant box for everyone to open all at once: P

Nothing much new for this area. We dropped almost all of our investigators for one reason or another and Maria isn’t doing so great anymore... we are still working with her and are meeting with her tonight but she has slowed herself down a lot. Which is a big bummer?

We moved apartments this week. We went from living in squalor in a place that'll give you tetanus just by looking at it, into a brand new apartment. And I mean BRAND NEW... like they had to finish construction before we could move in: P

It’s a really nice place with hardwood floors and all new appliances. It’s a little smaller total SQFT than the last one, but it’s much better laid out. Smallish kitchen (but really how much kitchen does a missionary need?) and a medium size living room (about the size of the office at home) but really nice sized bedrooms (mom and dad's room minus the hallway and bathroom) so we are really comfortable there. We are right across the street from the chapel so we can walk to church. This is a really cool thing since we still, as yet, don’t have a car.

Thanksgiving was really cool. We were invited to spend dinner with the Vasquez Family, who just had 2 of their sons come back from their missions, Danny from Argentina, and Alejandro from the Philippines. It was really nice afternoon with them. I taught their mom how to knit while I tried not to watch the Titans/Lions football game. (Titans win 47-10 with multiple interceptions thrown by the Lions QB...: P)

>.>

<.<

>.>

<.<

What? It's Thanksgiving, it was on, and I was in the room..... STOP LOOKING AT ME LIKE THAT!!!!!

...

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:)

So a anyway that’s all to write this week so TTFN

Ta ta for now!

Love,

Jared


Sent Monday, November 24

Wassup everybody!

Happy thanksgiving!

Things are moving busily along here in the Miami YSA although the current lack of a car kind of shoots our ability to teach our investigators in the foot. Our area covers half the mission and we live in the upper corner of the area. It’s really hard to see our investigators in Key Bicayne (22 Miles), Opa-Locka (18 Miles) and downtown Miami (15 miles) when we don’t have a car and the buses are prohibitively expensive... it’s kinda rough but we manage. We get rides from members to appointments and we street contact a lot. I even used my knitting to contact on the bus once. I was working on a pair of socks for myself for Christmas when I had the idea to pull it out on the bus. I immediately had multiple people talking to me about my knitting, me, what I do as a missionary, and I even thought them a short first lesson right there over my knitting! it was kind of fun really :) who knew that something I do to keep my hands busy while waiting or listening could be used to teach? ROCK!

So anyway back to business. Transfers are on December 3rd so I should know whether or not imp going to stay with Elder Villlase├▒or when I email on the 2nd. Unfortunately that means you won’t know WHO my companion is until the following Monday... sorry. But then again, as we always tell our investigators, "Just put 'Elder'... all of us respond to that one..."

:)

thanks for all the gifts they were really cool. We only have played dreidels in our apartment so far. I LOST to my companion.... shin really hurts when you spin it 7 times in a row.... rag...

so anyway things are going quite well for me. Alas I can’t say as much for a member of my MTC district. Elder McMullin, an ASL missionary I was in the MTC with was sent home this week. I don’t know why and I don’t want to know why. But it still is really sad for me. Please keep him in your prayers as he works through whatever he needs to get back out here.

And on that note I’m going to end this letter. I love y'all and have a happy thanksgiving! Enjoy the massive party and eat some turkey for me!

Love,
Elder Jared Tritsch


Sent Monday, Nov 17

Hey everyone!

Thanks for all the great gifts! I got the dreidels :-] they are a hit in our apartment, although to be honest the candy corn didn’t make it all the way to the game... i ate it to fast :P

We used m&ms instead. there was a sale at publix for 1 lb. for $2 so we got several :P

We played a little too far into the night, but hey, its dreydel :P

So we got in another car accident this week.... the second in 3 days. but of course you already knew about that :) we have been utilizing the bus and good ol' shoe power to get around lately. the branch has really stepped up to help us get around to appointments and we get pretty much as many rides as we need. President Southerland, the branch president even brought it up in PEC about having members help us out with "necessary transportation" to things like grocery stores and such. We don’t have a need there since we do all that with the zone leaders anyway but it was a nice gesture.

Maria is progressing well. Her grandfather has just passed away and we have been using this tender time to try and get in with her parents. They are more interesting in hearing what we have to say, even if it’s just to satisfy them enough to let Maria get baptized.

In zone conference we talked about mighty prayer to help the work, and president established a mission-wide prayer every morning at 9:00 AM EST. we have begun a "drop everything and pray" program in our apartment. as soon as 9 hits, no matter what we are doing, we stop and have a prayer as an apartmentship. It’s nice.

It’s interesting how not even one day after we have committed ourselves to it, we have seen fruits. We were waiting at the chapel the other night, waiting for our exchange to pick us up when these 2 people started knocking on the chapel door. Turns out is this woman neither of us knew bringing a non-member here to show him the chapel. He’s just YSA age, in just the right place, at just the right time to meet the YSA missionaries, and is interested in learning more about our church. we are meeting with him later this week.

I have been thinking about this event. I have been praying to find more people to teach. All of our contacting efforts to find people have so far been fruitless. we barely teach a lesson in a day of trying to talk to people, let alone finding somebody interested. We implemented the mighty prayer aspect in praying with the mission, and all of a sudden a freak, off-the-wall, strange coincidence (not really I know the lord did it), put one right in our lap! I mean, who thinks, "I’ll take him to the church, maybe the missionaries are there after dark?" it boggles the mind, but the one time we were there, they showed up.

i still have no idea who the woman was. i assume she is a member because she talked to him and taught him about the church before we even got there. President Hale was talking in zone conference that, "angels seen and unseen are waiting to assist you..." I don’t know if she was an angel, but it was a real testimony building experience. that’s for sure.

TTFN: ta ta for now!

love,

Elder Jared Tritsch


Sent Monday, Nov 10 at 6:00pm

I have bad news. You know how I said my companion got in a car accident? Well... I just got in one too.

I was driving on the freeway and the car in front of me slammed in it's brakes in response to the car in front of her. I slammed on my brakes to avoid an accident but I couldn't slow down fast enough and rear ended them in the trailer hitch.

The damage to the truck was nonexistent but the damage to our car was moderate. We have a leaking radiator and a trashed bumper.

No one was hurt though which is an amazing blessing since it was a freeway accident. We are fine if a little shaken up about it.

The police officer came ad reviewed the accident and I was placed at fault. He cited me for following too closely and I got a $154.00 fine... Argh...

Well, it looks like we will be taking the bus for a while.


Sent Monday, Nov 10 at 10:02 am

Wow this week eventful....

Well Elder Villasenor got in a wreck this week. Nothing serious and no one was hurt, thank goodness... but we were placed at fault, so Elder Villasenor was dropped from driver status and I'm FINALLY driving! I wish it was under better circumstances, but hey, I can’t complain.

I'm really out of practice driving, I have come to realize. Its okay though. I only nearly got us killed twice yesterday, that in improvement on the days previous.... :P

aaanyway things are still chugging along. All those people that we were going to set with baptism dates didn’t work out but we are still working on setting them up with dates and bringing them into the fold.

What else.... oh yeah, you'll notice a withdrawal of 30 bucks in the account. i broke the toaster and had to replace it... oops.

NOTE: when you want a toasted bagel and the slots aren't quite wide enough, DON'T try and squeeze it in. the bread expands onto the coils and starts a small fire.... :P


TTFN: ta ta for now!

love,

Elder Jared Tritsch


Sunday, November 2, 2008

Transferred AGAIN!

Yup! You read that right! TRANSFERRED! That makes 6 transfers out of 6 transfers! Well that's and interesting capstone to a very interesting week. This week started okay, I guess. We met with Alyssa and her birthday was on Sunday so she was leaving town to visit Las Vegas for her birthday. We had a good lesson and she really enjoyed General Conference. but... since she was out of town on the 19th, I wont be able to see her baptized. darn...then the week took a turn for the bizarre. Remember Charles? He disappeared completely. We stopped by his house several times and even his parents haven't seen him. I'm getting kind of worried about him because I know he spends most of his time hanging around the gangs in Liberty City. Then 3 other of our investigators got anti-Mormon literature from their pastors, and proceeded to drop themselves. One of whom did so by a letter... strange...and then I get transferred!
Well, I'm senior companion now serving in the Miami Young Single Adults Ward (A ward that has young people between the ages of 18 and 30, mostly students). I'm companions with Elder Villasenor, a Spanish language missionary who came out with me. We are having a blast. When we were in the MTC together, we said that we wanted to be companions but since I was ASL and he was Spanish, we thought it would never happen. Well here we are! lol. Yes. my move was a grand total of 2 miles from apartment to apartment. :)

We do get to go to Institute and family home evening, which is awesome. (Institutes of Religion are special programs available to college students around the world and are set up specifically to support college students who are LDS). The teacher is really cool, and he is also the 1st counselor in the branch presidency. We dont usually prostelyte on college campuses because most of them dont allow it. We are asked to make sure to go through the proper channels and a lot of campuses say no. Its really a bummer because thats a really goood way to find people. :(

If we teach a single woman, we will go on an exchange (have a member of the ward go with us) just like in family wards. Its kind of nice because all of the members hang out anyway so its really easy to get people to come along... also.... the men/women distribution is about 10:1, so all the men in the ward are interested if there is a new girl we are teaching.

Speaking of which, we have a baptism coming up in a few weeks. A woman by the name of Maria. She has already had a baptismal interview and just has to overcome a few things and she will be baptized. She's really excited and we are too!

Referalls are pretty high, but since normal finding efforts like tracting and contacting is even LESS than the norm, it balances out. We still tract and contact but almost everyone we find is passed to my old area... Miami Shores.

Oh! We are getting a new place! Our current apartment is falling apart so we were tasked to find a new place. We found one we like and we are having it inspected by Elder Kynaston (Senior missionary over apartments) today. Its really nice and I hope we get it.

I mentioned before that I have taken up knitting. I knit on P-days (since its ether that or basketball and you know how much I dont like basketball) and also I knit during personal study. I have been working my way through the scriptures and have been listening to the audio versions of the scriptures. I knit to keep my hands busy and I get cool christmas presents out of it! So far, my companions think its more cool than stupid that I knit. I have even taught a few how to do it.

Weather is really nice lately. We are right on the ocean, so we we get that cooling effect. Right now, its only like 75 and sunny. If I didn't already know how miserable the summers are I might be fooled into living down here.

tip: South Florida is REALLY miserable during the summer. heat+humidity+rain+hurricane threats+nutjob drivers = BAD

Love you all very much,

Elder Jared Tritsch

Monday, October 6, 2008

Now in Miami

Hello everyone!

I'm now in Miami proper serving in the Miami Shores South area. No deaf people yet but now I cover more well known areas such as Miami Beach, South Beach, Liberty City, Opa-Locka, and Overtown! Yes, I just said 2 of the richest places in the country and 3 of the biggest ghettos.... all within one proselyting area. FUN!

No really... it actually is a lot of fun. We met a TON of very humble people who are really open to the gospel. So new companions! Well... sort of... I'm in a threesome again and this time I'm back with Elder Christiansen (the good one, not the bad one) and Elder Heimbigner. Elder Christiansen you already know, but this time I'm going to be sending him home. It's his last transfer in the mission. Elder Heimbigner has been out for a little over a year and is from S. Jordan, Utah. They're both really great to work with and we are getting a lot of work done.

This area is kind of unique because of the sheer number of Media referrals. We get somewhere between 5 and 10 orders a day of people calling in to request bibles, copies of the Book of Mormon, Lamb of God DVD's, Finding Faith in Christ, and even a Together Forever DVD! Its a lot of fun talking to these people and learning about their lives and if they are interested in hearing of the restored gospel. I get a LOT of practice with my 1st lesson.

We have a couple of potential baptisms too! we have one woman, her name is Alyssa. She is really trying hard to see if this church is true or not. She has come to church 5 or 6 times already and came to general conference. She takes more notes than we do on her reading of the Book of Mormon and she is already well into the book of Mosiah in her reading. She should have a date soon but she wants to take things at her own pace, which is perfectly fine.

We also have a young man named Charles. We met him on the street when we were contacting and he is really interested. He wants to be a preacher when he grows up but he couldn't figure out how to get the Gift of the Holy Ghost since all the churches he found either think its unimportant or dont have it. CAN YOU ASK FOR A MORE GOLDEN INVESTIGATOR??? He has a date scheduled for the 19th of October.

General Conference was totally awesome! I love Quentin L. Cook's talk about hard times and President Monson was spirit shocking as usual. I'm definitely going to be grabbing those talks as soon as they are printed.well thats me up to this point. gotta end this letter so i can write to president. Hope everyone is doing great and have a great week. THANK YOU FOR ALL THE SUPPORT!

Love,

Elder Jared Tritsch

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

New Letter From South Florida

Hello Everyone.

Sorry this letter has been so late coming. I have been stuck in the storms and haven't had a chance to write since the last one I sent. Things are continuing to progress here. The storm, Faye, hit us, but we didn't get anything more that a bit of rain. Boring! We got more rain in Chicago during a thunderstorm. We did lose power for about 4 hours or so , but it came back without incident.

So, I have helped two people to enter the waters of baptism! So far! Before my transfer, Karen Cotton was scheduled for baptism, but I was transferred 3 days before. So I could not go back and see Karen's baptism, but we did get pictures with her before we left.



I am now in the Kendall Lakes area, west of Miami and when we got here, the old missionaries has been teaching Melissa. She is 13 years old and she is a great kid and was baptized last week. The photos are enclosed. You can see my old companions with Karen and I, and my new companion, Elder Ruppe with Melissa at the church.

So, both my companion and I are pretty sick right now. We bouth cought and upper respiratory infection and we are on some pretty strong antibiotics. I as stuck in bed for all last week, unconcious or hacking up a ling. I am on antibiotics, mucinex, tylenol, and sleeping pills to help me get some rest. Yikes! I am starting to feel a little bit better. The infection should be gone (I hope) but I still have the fever and the cough.

My companion got sick first, so I did have a chance to focus on my studies. I have been listening to the Bible on CD and I have finished the New Testament and now I am on Exodus in the Old Testament. At this rate, I should have completed all the Standard Works by the end of the year. Cool.

Thanks for sending me everyone's addresses. I am going to try to write them more often with all of this sick time I am having. (Now that I am not bedridden)

I love you all. I am still alive and I am sorry I am the worst person on the planet for writing correspondence. Thank you all for your support.

Love,

Elder Tritsch.


Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Being Transferred -- Again

Hello everyone.

I'm getting transferred again, but get this. I HAVE NO IDEA WHERE!!! The new missioni president redesigned transfers to be a little different. Where before, when we got tranfer information, we knew where we were going, who our new campanion was going to be, and even when and how to get there. Now, everyone in the entire mission goes to one chapel near the mission office and swaps around all at once... Which sucks if you are WAAAY down south and find out you only are moving one area over. I will send you my new address as soon as I have it.

Karen's baptism was posponed to guess what.... THIS COMING SUNDAY! arg... I'm going to miss it.... and she even asked me to perform the baptism too! arg... I'm getting pictures with her today though so you can see who she is.

I'm still counting her as a baptism because we found her, we taught her, we committed her, and she is going to be baptized. Therefore, I think I can call that one mine. :) Not that im keeping score or anything.... :)

Other than that, really everything is going fine. I got a couple new shirts. Thanks.

Thanks everyone and I love you so much!

Love,

Jared

Friday, July 18, 2008

New Letters

Letter from 7/15/08

Everything is going totally awesome here. Karen is planning to be baptized this next Sunday and everything is great! I sent off birthday stuff to everyone and they should be coming in soon. :)

Pretty much nothing new is going on other than more missionary work and more progress of the people we are working with toward baptism. It is really awesome to see people's lives change permanently for the better. It’s a really great feeling and it makes me feel like my time out here is really worth it. its a great boost to get back out there and tract some more!!!!!!

....okay not really. Tracting still sucks.... but i feel better about it anyway. :-)

So I’m building a list for next week. You’re going to get a big list of almost everything that’s happened in the first 5 months (I turn 5 on the 20th! wow!) I’m going to try and sum up every event in 5 words or less.... there’s a long list (45 items and counting fast!)

So I love you all and I hope everyone is doing awesome!

love,
Elder Tritsch

Letter from 7/7/08

Hi Everyone,

Here’s what’s going on and an answer to some of your questions.

My knee is doing okay, I guess, nothing much has changed and apparently nothing showed up on the MRI... so I guess that means I just have to live with it. The doc didn’t even give me any pain medication or anything... but whatever.

The deaf branch is really cool but really small. there is only about 10 active members, and they are threatening to close it down and absorb it into the Hollywood ward... I hope not though because it would cause all the deaf people to scatter, possibly for good! The ASL is doing fine. I help interpret sometimes and everyone seems to like my interpreting style. (Thanks dad for showing me how to be expressive)

we don’t have any deaf investigators since I’m still technically assigned to an English ward, but we do have a baptism coming up on the 20th! YAY! Her name is Karen Cotton; she’s in her 50's and is really golden. She is working through quitting smoking completely this week and we came up with a new plan for helping her get god to help her:

1. pray and fast on Saturday night-sunday and come to fast and testimony meeting.
2. recieve a priesthood blessing after church
3. upon returning home, throw out the cigarettes
4. go 24 hours without smoking
5. meet with the missionaries
6. repeat steps 4 and 5 every day for a week.
7. rejoice, you have quit smoking with the lords help!

So far its working, she hasn’t smoked a since one in 2 days now. We are meeting with her tonight.

The weather is weird here. It rains at the exact same times every day and only for about 20 minutes at a time, at which it’s a torrential downpour with lightning that sometimes makes me feel like I may need a change of underwear..... OY... thanks a bunch for the camelback. It’s a lifesaver and even takes some weight off my back. Thanks!

The new area is GREAT! We have dozens of investigators and we are teaching all kinds of people. It’s a bit weird seeing more people of a different race than my own but it’s kind of cool. I pride myself in being unprejudiced so it doesn’t bother me any. The hard part is not looking at pretty women, but all I have to do is think about Kim and I have no problems :)

Things are definitely better with my new companions. We are getting along great and getting a lot of work accomplished. I think transferring me out of Boca Raton was probably one of the best things that could have happened to me.

As to the care package, I’m doing okay on most things, I had to go to office depot and buy a few things like pens, but I think I’m doing okay. One request though would be a big bag of hard candies like Werthers or peppermints or something. I go a long time between meals and something like that to suck on helps keep my blood sugar up. Also, (this isn’t urgent) but my white shirts really aren’t holding up to the moisture and humidity. I think I’ll need more soon. I’ve been told by other missionaries that there is a kind sold at JC Penney called "Stafford SuperShirt" that holds up really well. I don’t know how expensive they are though. I still wear a 15 1/2 for the moment...

thanks for everything but I have to get to writing other people,

love you all!
Elder Jared Tritsch

Letter from 6/23/08

Hey Everyone!

Well I’m now in Hollywood Florida. Yay! I’m near the Deaf Branch!

My new address is:

Elder Jared Tritsch

555 Luna Ct #308

Hollywood, FL 33021

Everything is going AWESOME here with my new companions. Yes, I said Companions.. plural.... I’m in a threesome again!

My companion Elder Christiansen (different from my last one) is great. He’s from Orem, UT and has been out for 19 months. He’s a really great teacher and I’m learning a lot from him. He likes to talk, like I do, but he is really good at making people open up about what they are feeling. Plus he has a great personality and I can respect him. He’s a lot better than the other elder Christensen.

My other companion is Elder Crowther, from SLC Utah. He was also trained by Elder Seegmiller just like I was. He’s cool but a bit quiet. He’s nice enough and we don’t have any conflicts.

We get along great and even have a brand new apartment to move into. We’re short on things like pots and pans though, since they didn’t come with the apt. the senior missionaries are bringing us some this week.

I get to be involved with the deaf branch now, if only a little bit. They need me to interpret sometimes so I get to be part of the deaf branch. I’m not needed all that often but I’ve already met some of the members of the branch. Eduardo, one member, has a lower level of education and is just barely learning sign language, and he’s almost 50... He’s funny as heck though and was making everyone laugh with his visual jokes. He mainly uses body language and hand shapes to express what he doesn’t know the words for yet.

Guess what!? My area is a Jamaican and Haitian Ghetto! Yes! Don’t worry though, we don’t do anything stupid to put us in any danger. We’re teaching a ton of people and got 10 new investigators in just the first few days. I’m going to get a baptism this transfer I know it!

So that pretties much everything that happened so far. Oh yeah! We get a new mission president on the 1st of July, and then we have zone conference the following day where we all get to meet him. I’ll write about him once I get the chance to meet and talk to him.

Hope everyone is doing great, wherever you all are!

Love,

Elder Jared Tritsch

Letter from 6/17/08


Guess what? I just got transferred again! I’m going back down South to Hollywood, FL. I'm going to be in a threesome again with an Elder Christiansen (different person) and an Elder Crowther. I don't think he has any relation to the Brother Crowther in our ward, though.

Thanks for the advice about communication with everyone. I'm currently writing letters to everyone. I'm going to give it a better shot this next transfer and try to communicate with everyone.

Speaking of communication the met with Otto went great! I can't believe I forgot to tell you about it! OOPS AGAIN!

We were out visiting people about a week and a half ago when all of the people we had written down to stop by were not there. It was only 100 at that point and we were trying to think of things to do. I had forgotten about Otto in your letter, but then I remembered it. We ran to the library as fast as we could so I could print off and we gave him a call.

He was a little weird out at first when we called him. He has an UNlisted phone number. but alas, we had it. I told him I was "Rozzie's grandson" like you said and he immediately lighted up like a Christmas tree. I could tell over the phone. We looked up his location and viola! We were less than a mile from his apartment! The Lord works in mysterious ways eh?

He immediately invited us over for lunch and even ran out to meet us at the gate so the guard will let us through. We had a wonderful lunch with him and his wife, and they seemed very interested in talking about the family. He seemed very proud of nana and papa, bragging several times about how Papa works in aircraft design and such. He says he had been out of contact with his family almost completely for over 20 years! I did not have Nana's phone number on me, but I gave them the house number and told them about you and Dad and about how you found him.

He doesn’t seem really all that interested in hearing about the gospel but he didn’t think it horrible at all.

All in all he really wants to get back in contact with the family so you should give him a call! He’s back up in Chicago now and will be there for the next several weeks but I think that number you found was his cell #.


So that the meeting with Otto!


So thanks for everything.


Love,

Jared

Monday, May 12, 2008

NEW AREA!

I am now in Boca Raton, Florida. its further north than where i just left. a lot further. it is almost to the northern edge of the mission boundaries. we have a car again, so that a nice thing for my knees. and i have a new companion in Elder Christensen. I'm posting up a photo of him along with this week's post. the new area is nice. there are a LOT of old people, a LOT of rich people, and even more of both.

KNEE PROBLEM UPDATE
I am setting up a doctor's appointment later this week to see what could be wrong. the stretches only work for a few minutes before the pain returns, and the medicine only takes the edge off... i either need stronger pills or something....... don't get worried though. worst case scenario i might need physical therapy or some kind of drugs. i highly doubt ill need surgery or anything like that.

COOKING

I've gotten some opportunities to cook some. I'm starting to see where dad found his love for cooking. we had one of our investigators give us almost 3 pounds of Mahi-Mahi fish. i cooked it in a Lime-Tequila marinade (store bought pre-made. no i didn't buy alcohol) and it turned out really good. but as it happens everyone in the apartment hates fish so i get to eat it all myself.

I'm trying more and more adventurous things, but I'm now limited by my money situation. we only get $137 for food expenses and that is a LOT less than you think it is because everything is twice as expensive here. MILK is almost 5 dollars a gallon! YIKES!

the indigenous wildlife is apparently edible. I'm trying to find a good recipe for Iguana. apparently there's a lot of Haitians here and iguana is a delicacy there. I'm thinking of cooking one whole so i can pose it like a thanksgiving turkey,...... maybe even put an apple in its mouth.

well that's all i have time for today (less than a minute left... i need to learn to type faster.......)

cards an letters should be showing up by now.... and I'm buying a nice set of forever stamps so that doesn't happen again.

Love y'all!
Elder Tritsch

Transfer to Boca Raton

TRANSFER DAY!

Tomorrow is transfers day and guess what?! I'm moving! I'm going to be moving to Boca Raton, FL and I don't have my new address yet. Just send anything to the mission home address and they can get it to me quite quickly. I'm leaving my dying companion (mission slang for nearly finished), Elder Seegmiller here in Davie and getting a new companion, Elder Christensen, when i get there. The new area is still an English area since I haven't quite finished my training yet and the ASL program has Sisters in it at the moment. YAY I GET TO PACK AGAIN!!!! lol

MEDICAL WOES

knees still hurt. the stretches and things that the doctor prescribed aren't really working. they only help for a few minutes then the pain comes shooting back. ill have to see if i improve over the next week or two then if i don't ill have to go back into the doctor for x-rays and maybe an MRI.... I'm really glad that the mission gives all the missionaries insurance coverage... all i have to pay is a $10 co-pay. Small miracles eh? Yeah more pills. they make the world go round and the room spin!!!!

PEOPLE I'M TEACHING

well since transfers hit I'm not teaching anyone at the moment, but some of the people I'm leaving behind are progressing well. Ronnie, who i have discussed before has had a few bumps, but hes back on track and should be baptized in a few weeks. too bad ill miss it though.

we started teaching a nice guy, who said he was an atheist but then he kept asking questions he had about god, which we were able to answer from the Book of Mormon. i have high hopes for him since he really seems genuinely interested and i hope the next set of missionaries can lead him down the path to baptism.

OTHER NEWS

Mosquitoes have abated somewhat. I'm now down to just a couple on my hands, sever on the back (i have no idea how they got there...., one between the toes, and on inside my ear ( OW ). Yeah! I'm not being totally eaten alive!

People noticed that i knew how to sew and now I'm the resident tailor...... Last DDM (district Development Meeting) i hemmed probably 4 pairs of pants during the lesson. OY! i think if i ever get more time, I'm going to start to do sewing projects to help me relax somewhat. the stress is really starting to wind me up and i need to find something to release it. my companion, elder Seegmilller says he wants me to make him a BYU yarmulke (he heard about my jewish heritage.)

Well that's whats happened since last week's letter. thank you everyone for the support! and a special thank you to Nana, the card really helped me a lot!


Love you all!
Elder Jared Tritsch

Monday, April 21, 2008

April News

Hey everyone!

Things are going great here in Davie, FL. We have tentative baptism date for one of our investigators, so hopefully everything will go well for him.

It’s definitely getting warmer down here. For a few days it was nice and cool, in the mid 60's with a nice breeze. We biked around a bit that day because it was so nice, but then the heat came on with a vengeance and now it’s almost 90 and the wind disappeared. I’m hoping for some rain soon that will keep the heat down.

Funny.... When I was in the MTC, I was complaining about the cold... now it’s too hot..... I hate weather....

Some birds carpet-bombed our car so we had white spots all over it. Elder Seegmiller washed them off too quickly though and I didn’t get any pictures.... I swear the whole flock was aiming for us....

I weighed myself today.... I’ve gained 13 pounds since I left Las Vegas. Which is hard to believe considering my diet mainly consists of turkey sandwiches and water... maybe it’s the lack of exercise?

Well that’s about all the time I have today... Sorry for the lack of detail, but a whole pile of letters are going out to y'all as I write this. There are some people that I want to write but I don’t have your addresses. Send me an email or a letter (addresses are above) so that I can send some back!

Thanks for all the support. I really appreciate it even when I’m not always able to get communications out in a timely manner :)

Love ya!

Elder Jared Tritsch

Monday, April 14, 2008

I'm Being Eaten Alive!!!! Part Deux

Apparently people dont think i add enough details so heres 2 episodes in one week!

Answers to Frequently Asked Questions:
I'm actually not in the Deaf Program yet since President Reynolds wants to train the ASL missionaries in the English Program first so that we can get practice teaching a lot since the Deaf Program is reallly slow for missionary work.

The ASL program currently is run by one pair of Sister missionaries. Their area covers the entire mission because the amount of work to do is so small right now. From what I've heard, the deaf branch here is really good and has a lot of nice people, but they have a hard time keeping people active since the one branch covers the entire mission as its boundaries. Thats hard since the mission is almost 500 miles long!

There are 6 Elders, including myself, that are called to be in the ASL program, and none of us are in it right now. We all are in either the English or Spanish program. Its a total bummer since I have not met ANY deaf people at ALL since ive been down here. My companion, Elder Seegmiller, doesn't know any sign language at all and has almost no interest in learning it. So I'm losing practice at it :-(

As some may believe, I'm not running out of shirts. Its just that I ruined my best one. I still have several more. No, the only things I'm low on at the moment is food (grocery store is next on our to-do list, but I'm kind of running low on money this month....) and time, since this hour-or-so once a week is all the time I seem to have to write letters.

I'm gettting along great with my companion, though sometimes I think he overplans out day. But at the same time, there's nothing bad about overplanning....... :-)

Well, that's all the time I have for today (Elder Seegmiller wants to leave) so I'll sign off again.

Thanks for all the good stuff!

Elder Jared Tritsch

I'm Being Eaten Alive!!!!

Hey everyone. This weeks quote is:

"I'M BEING EATEN ALIVE!!!!!! AAAHH!!!!!"


The mosquitoes are out in full force and they discovered just how lovely my blood tastes.

and they brought friends......

I've never been so itchy in my life. One particular group of them took a chunk out of my shoulder and I bled through one of my white shirts.... It made me mad cause that was my only Wrinkle Free one.... arg.

The work goes good. The other set of Elders in our ward had a double baptism on Sunday. Sister Stone, a 74-Year-Old spitfire of a woman and Sister Peddy, a 9-Year-Old daughter of an inactive member. It was a good baptismal ceremony, and lots of family came along and a few of them were interested in hearing more about the gospel. Which is great!

The families we are teaching are progressing well, and we are really trying to focus on reactivating some of the less active people in our ward.

Well I'm runnning low on time for this week. Thanks for all the mail you've sent me, and I will try to send out as much mail as I can. We're just so busy down here that its hard to get time to sit down and write a bunch of letters like I did in the MTC. Don't worry, I'm working on it and I haven't forgotten anyone.

I love you all and hope everything is going great for everyone!

Love ya,
Elder Jared Tritsch

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

First Full Week In Florida

Hey Everyone!

Thus Endeth another week here in the mission field! Everything is going great here and the work is progressing smoothly.

We got a chance to watch General Conference Saturday and Sunday, which was a great experience. I loved all the talks and really felt the spirit. We got a neat opportunity to participate in the Solemn Assembly and sustained the new prophet Thomas S. Monson. We also got a new Apostle in D. Todd Christofferson.

That was a cool experience.

A few of the investigators we are working with:

Ronnie, a Father of 2, is one of our more promising investigators. his wife and kids are already members and were baptized about a year ago. He has a good testimony and according to the requirements for Baptism he is ready to be baptized, but he still feels he wants to learn more before he commits to being baptized. we decided to lay off baptism for a while and let the spirit do its work.

A new person we contacted, Valerie, seems quite interested. When we contacted her she said she only had a minute or two for a short scripture but she ended up asking questions and being taught for almost half an hour! She is currently on vacation in Ireland and wont be back for a few weeks, so we can't teach her again quite yet.

Brother Krecker, a less active member, is starting to reopen himself to the gospel and his neighbor, Harry, is now also interested in hearing the gospel. Who would have thought that a member who had almost lost all interest in church became a source for referrals?

So those are a few of the people we are teaching. I'm running out of time so I'm going to close this post with a quote from Elder Bednar's talk yesterday:

"Missionaries are Full-time teachers. Members are Full-Time FINDERS"

Love y'all and hope you all are doing great!

love,
Elder Jared Tritsch

Sunday, April 6, 2008



AAALLLOOOOOOOOHAAAA!!!!!

Greetings from South Florida everyone! I hope everyone is doing great!

So as you all may have heard by now I got called out to the mission field 4-1/2 weeks early! WOW!



Monday: I was sitting in class and a call came into the classroom. All the classrooms are wired with 2-way speakerphones so the Front desk can contact people as needed. The call came for Elder McMullin to go down to the District President's office. Elder McMullin is also going to Fort Lauderdale. Another missionary, Elder Fraser, volunteered to go with him because mission rules say that a missionary can’t be alone. Elder Fraser is also going to Fort Lauderdale....

After what seemed like an hour they were still missing, and we started to think about what was going on.... then a knock came at the door. It was an MTC security guard looking for me..... and that’s when I knew. I'm going out early.

President Hanson talked to the three us us for a while and gathered our input on whether or not we are ready to go.

Long story short, all three of us went.

We were given 12 hours notice that we would be leaving at 4 AM the next morning. I NEEDED TO PACK!!!
I spent the next little bit of time trying to get everything organized and ready to go, then came dinner. dinner was nice, we had steak that tasted like a charcoal briquette, but otherwise it was nice.

After dinner we were supposed to go back to class one last time, but President Hanson told us we needed to spend the time packing and getting ready. Elders McMullin and Fraser decided that they would go to class anyway. when I found out that everyone had left me in the residence hall I Dashed up to the classroom in a huff, and still in my P-Day clothes...

When I got there, Brother Featherstone saw me in my p-day clothes and said that I need to be in class and that I need to go back and change.

I was stymied... but I obeyed.

When I got back, brother black, who had been absent the last few days, was there. I sat down and started listening to what he had to say.

Turns out his brother had died in a car accident a few days prior. he told us about it and about how it made him feel. he said that the event hurts, since it’s his only other sibling, but because of his faith in the atonement and the plan of salvation he is at peace about it. it was a really tender moment and I’m glad I didn’t miss it.

Tuesday! TRAVEL DAY!

I woke up at 3AM got everything finalized and boarded the bus to the airport. there were 19 of us of various languages going to FTL that day. we had to fly through Atlanta where we were delayed about an hour because the plane had broken down and they had to pull another one out of the hangar. :P

We got into FTL about 4:30 Eastern time and met President and Sister Reynolds. they're really nice people and everyone says he’s an awesome mission president. we spent the night at the mission home which is HUGE!! it’s a mansion... literally.....

We got acquainted with the mission staff and got everything set to start working the next day.

WEDNESDAY - TODAY

I’m running out of time so ill condense this part. threes more information in the coming videos...

I met my First companion, Elder Seegmiller. he’s cool, but a bit quiet. I’ll send some pictures along once I have time to take them.

I’m getting used to my ward. I'm assigned to the Davie West area which is just west of fort Lauderdale. the investigators we have are nice, but no baptisms in sight yet... I’ll let you all know.

Aaaaaanwyay. that’s all the time I get this week, send me some mail and ill write you too! the address posted is the best one since they can just forward it out to me, but don’t send UPS or FEDEX there. they can’t forward that. if you want to send something UPS or FEDEX just send it to my current address which is:

1690 W Sandpiper Lane
Pembroke Pines, FL 33026

I should be there for at least the next 5 weeks. I’ll let everyone know when transfer week is coming and to stop sending there....

I love you all and hope you're doing great!

Thanks for the support,
Elder Jared Tritsch

Monday, March 24, 2008

On the Way to Florida

Jared will be on his way to Florida!

His mission president called, received a report of how good Jared signs and requested him to come to the mission field early. He leaves tomorrow (Tuesday, March 25th).

If you send him letters, send them to this address and they will be forwarded until he gives us his address for his first area.

Florida Ft. Lauderdale Mission
7951 SW Sixth St. Suite 110
Ft Lauderdale, Florida 33324-3211

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Happy Easter

Happy Easter everyone. Here is hoping this Easter season you will feel with me to "stand all amazed" at the love Jesus offers each of us.



Elder Tritsch

Thursday, March 20, 2008

News from the MTC #4

Hey everyone!

Things are going totally awesome here in the MTC, at least for the most part... We got another teaching experience last Friday where we tried teaching in a threesome setting. That had its own kind of problems! But it went great and we felt the spirit.

Saturday was LONG... as usual... lots of class and such. We did go to the Referral center and took calls. It was Saturday morning and the church played the Finding Faith in Christ commercial and we got a bunch of people calling in. One woman called in, and I found out that she is a staunch Christian, who always had good experience doing community service with the Mormons. She called in because she just wanted another video about Jesus, whom she loved and decorates her house with. After talking with her for 20 minutes, not only did she get the video, but a Book of Mormon, Testaments, and a pair of missionaries to deliver it! I felt so good about her I hope the missionaries in her area can teach her about the gospel.

Sunday was cool! We had none other than Sheri L. Dew (former counselor in the General Relief Society presidency and the president of Deseret Book) come for a fireside! She gave a great talk about influence and how we can influence those around us... whether we want to or not. She ended her talk by showing signs that were placed outside of other churches. One of which said, "Don't pray about the Book of Mormon! That's how they get you!!!"

LOL

Okay, Monday.... lots of fun.... studying in the classroom till your eyes start to bleed is LOADS of fun!

Tuesday was Devotional Day! In the morning we had a Large Group meeting about using the Book of Mormon and getting our investigators to pray about it. Then later that evening we had a devotional from an excellent speaker, where he came and talked to us about sacrifice. He gave one story about a man who loved to play the Violin. He loved it so much he got a job as a member of an orchestra. Then, he was asked to serve a mission. He went to his mother, a widowed farmer, and told her about the financial requirements of the mission. They had very little money, and his mother told him that the family had one thing they could sell that would get enough money to pay for the mission.

The violin.

The boy wrote in his journal a few weeks later, "I pulled out my violin and began to play. I played all day, playing every song I loved several times. When the evening came and the desire to play waned, I cleaned off the violin and put it gently into its case. Tomorrow, I leave for my mission."

He then taught us about sacrifices and how sacrifice is to give up something good for something better. That same boy, many years later, wrote in his journal.

"The greatest decision I ever made in my life is to give up something I dearly loved to the god I loved even more."

That hit me really hard and I knew that that is why I left you guys. That is why we all leave our families, lives, girlfriends, and everything we love to do to serve the lord.

Whew, that was a great experience.

Wednesday: Class... ALL DAY! No breaks except dinner.... oy vey.

So that’s the week this week.

AND NOW FOR THE NEWS BROADCAST!

I found out I might be leaving next week! My mission president in FLA called my teacher asking if we would be ready to go ASAP, as in next week.... I should find out in the next few days... I’ll keep you informed.

Easter is around the corner. Letters and cards are forthcoming. Sorry if they don’t arrive on time, the earliest I’m allowed to send them is tonight/tomorrow morning.... but oh well.

Hope you guys are doing great! Send me some mail, keep me informed. I like to know what’s going on in the outside world!

Love you all,

Elder Jared Tritsch

Thursday, March 13, 2008

News from the MTC #3

Hey everyone!

Things are going great here in the Monestary of Total Concentration! (MTC haha lol)

The day to day things are getting a bit monotonous now that im in the routine of things. I'm steadily learning more about the gospel and about ASL and things are chugging along great. The cabin fever is starting to set in a bit. we spend upward of 12 hours a day in the same room, in the same seats, looking at the same people..... ARG! I CAN'T WAIT TO GET OUT OF HERE!!!!!!!!!

Florida seems so far away at this point as i still have 6 more weeks to go.... no wait... that means that 3 weeks have passed already? por que? I TAKE THAT BACK TIME IS PASSING TOO QUICKLY!!! arrg. I hate how time can be slower than molasses and faster than light all at the same time...

AND NOW FOR THE NEWS!!!! (doo doo dee doo doo doo dee deeeee!)

Leadership in the district changed around a bit. Our Zone Leaders leave for Romania this week so they got released and Elder Gold, or District Leader got promoted in his stead. My companion, Elder Grow, is now taking over as District Leader. Upshot of this is that I get to go and get mail and get your wonderful letters that much faster.... but wait.... i havent gotten any mail..... bummer..... *sob*

j/k I love you guys and I know everyone is busy.

and now for the weather.....

COLD!!!! FREAKING COLD!!!!!!!!!! ARG! VEGAS HAS TURNED ME INTO THE BIGGEST WEATHER WIMP! ARG! But it has gotten better of late and has warmed up enough to melt the snow.

Thanks for the shirts and garments mom and dad. they were needed. as of right now im bleaching the sweat marks out of the sleeves and collar of the 2 I already brought. white is the WORST color to keep clean....

By the way, Provo Temple food is AMAZING!!!! You simply have NOT lived unil you've tried the Belgian Waffles. It's probably the best part about P-day hands down!

The 6 pounds I've gained since I got here disagrees with me though...

but that enough about me. whats going on in the outside world? whos winning the elections? did anyone accomplish anything? Whats going on with Sarah and Zak? (sorry sarah, I need to know)

Thanks for all the support guys, I love you all and look forward everyday to mailtime and your LETTERS!!!!!! at least the days that they come anyway...

Reporting from the laundry room in the basement of 1M at the Prove MTC,

Elder Jared Tritsch

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Second Week In the MTC


Hey everyone! Thanks for all the letters, But as it turns out reading emails is a bit difficult as most email either came in garbled or without the pictures. So if you want to send me stuff, either use DEARELDER.COM or send it in the post. Thanks!

So anyway, Week 2! I can’t believe 2 weeks have already passed! It feels like I arrived here just yesterday... I had my first teaching experiences this week in two ways. First, on Friday, we went to the TRC (Teaching Resource Center), where I found out that a few deaf people had volunteered to be mock investigators... we were supposed to do the first session in English but guess what? I got to teach not one, not two, but FIVE totally deaf and COMPLETELY ASL people right out of the gate.... HECTIC!!!! It’s okay though I think I did pretty well.

The next teaching experience we got is to work in the RC (Referral Center). That’s cool because we got to work the Chat lines that people can access from mormon.org. It was pretty cool; I got to answer questions about the gospel from real people who want real answers. But... like all good things, there has to be someone to spoil the party. I had one person log on and spent the next 20 minutes slamming Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon. We hung up on him when we decided that he wasn't going to listen anyway.

What else happened this week? (20:50 left eek!)

Oh! Jeffrey R. Holland, a member of the quorum of 12 Apostles came to speak to us here at the MTC! It was totally awesome! He spoke on how to be the missionary that our family expects us to be and some really great things about the atonement of Jesus Christ. One really interesting thing he said was right at the beginning when he said, referring to us missionaries, "I love you, I honor you, I envy you, and DANG IT, I'm PROUD OF YOU!" *Slams podium making an audible CRACK in the wood*

While that was kind of funny to see an apostle break the podium, it had an interesting amount of significance for me.

About 8 months ago the same person, Elder Holland, came to our town and spoke at our stake conference. While he was there he gave our stake a "stake blessing" or a blessing on us as if he could give one to us all individually. The only thing I remember about it though was one statement where he blessed us to be, "everything we are destined to be." It was then I decided that what I was destined to be was a missionary and that was when I started getting things in order to be a missionary.

Then, no less than 2 weeks after I get here, I hear Elder Holland say those words that he was proud of me. When I heard them the spirit hit me so unbelievably strong that I knew, without a doubt, that THAT is what I was meant to hear. That what I’m doing is something the Lord is proud of. It helped me out so much. *wipes away tear*

Who ever knew that simply bearing your testimony would be so powerful? It seems now that I can’t even think about my testimony without being filled with the spirit so much that I just start crying... I LOVE IT!

Anyway, I'm running out of time so I’m going to close this letter. Thanks everyone for your support and thanks for all the correspondence. Remember to read Proverbs 25:25

“As cold waters to a thirsty soul, so is good news from a far country.”

Thanks y'all!

Elder Jared Tritsch

First Blog Post from the MTC

Hey everyone!!!!!!!

I get 30 minutes a week to use email here in the MTC so this letter will be a bit short. I will have handwritten letter to everyone out sometime today, but since I only have a few addresses ill send most of them Home to be distributed from there. If you want a letter from me directly, send me one! Then I get your Address. Also, Dearelder.com works too for sending me letters while I am in the MTC. They offer free same-day delivery to the MTC and it’ll even attach your address so I can reply! How cool is that!

First week in the MTC! Yikes that was fast. Wednesday when I got here one of the speakers said that the days will feel long, but the weeks will feel too short. AND HE WAS RIGHT! These have been probably the longest days of my life thus far. Every moment is not only timed out, but planned as to exactly what I am going to study when. It helps a lot really since I have no idea where to begin! My companions are cool, and I’m in a threesome! First one (guy on my right ATM) is Elder Grow, he’s from Southern California and he is going to the New York, New York South mission speaking ASL. He a TOTAL basketball nut and it drives me crazy sometimes (being a Baseball man myself), but I love him. The other (on my left) is Elder Frost. He’s from Cleveland Ohio and is going to The New York, New York North mission speaking ASL. He’s deaf but he has cochlear implants so he can hear. He actually came knowing no ASL at all!

Hoo boy this time limit drops fast! I’ll have to leave the rest of the stories I can't tell here to mail letters and the videos I’m sending home today. Dad, you should be able to post the videos on YouTube easily enough and embed them onto the blog. I go into much more detail there as I’m using video recordings to make up my mission journal since I have no writing skills and I can barely read my own handwriting.

TEACHERS:

I have 2 Deaf teachers and 2 Hearing teachers. The two deaf ones are Brother Montgomery and Brother Featherstone. Bro. Montgomery is total deaf and forces us all to learn ASL quickly so we can understand him. Brother Featherstone has a cochlear implant but he yanks it out when he’s teaching. ARG IT’S FRUSTRATING! But it’s okay. He works with us and we have already learned a TON of things to sign. The 2 hearing teachers are Brother Black and Brother Cropper. Bro. Black went to NYNYSouth on his mission and LOVED it and has a ton of insights into how to teach deaf people and teach with the spirit. We’ve learned a lot from him in such a short time I couldn’t write it all down if I tried. Brother Cropper went to Houston, TX on his ASL mission and just got back from it 8 months ago, and he’s already teaching here at the MTC. He has intimate knowledge of Preach My Gospel and is helping us get the most out of PMG and even gives us some insights to like things together. GREAT teachers I love them to death!

Almost all of the studying we do here at the MTC is Missionary Directed, in that we decide what we want to learn and when we want to learn it. There is a list of things that are highly recommended we cover in detail but mainly it is left up to the elders and sisters to decide how much we want to get out of this place. It’s interesting that we learn the same way we teach, by the spirit. I’ve seen miracles here every day! We got a chance to work in the RC (referral center) and got to chat live online with people who log onto mormon.org and have questions about the church. It is great that on day 2, I got to testify of Christ to the world! I LOVE THIS PLACE!

I can feel the spirit so strongly here. It feels like I’m in the temple all the time. I know because I went to the temple to do Endowments today! That was fun and the Provo temple is beautiful. When we left the temple it was such a beautiful morning I just felt like I was in heaven itself. I wish you all could feel what I’m feeling here because it’s simple indescribable. I hope I can keep this feeling into the mission field and into the homes of those I teach!

As a measure of housekeeping (4:39 left.. EEEK!), I need addresses! Especially from Kim, Bishop Shapiro, Pres. Steadman, and anyone else who wants to get info from me! You can either e-mail them to me at tora1188@myLDSmail.net (it’s new) or just send me a letter. Send me a letter though. It’s faster and I get MAIL! Which always brightens days? I love you guys a ton and I wish you all could join me here.

One more thing, I forgot to pack pictures of people! Send me some bright smiling pictures I can stick to my wall. It’s nice to be able to look at my family and friends everyday!

Love you guys a whole ton, and I’ll write the next e-mail next Thursday!

Love,

Elder Jared Tritsch