Monday, February 28, 2011

Things in 33 are Getting Better

February 28, 2011
Dear Mom and Dad,

Well it was a complete miracle, but we did it. On Saturday we had another BAPTISM!!!!! Her name is Tania. She is 13 years old and was baptized by my companion. On Sunday I confirmed her in sacrament meeting. Things here in 33 are finally starting to look like they’re getting better. I’m trying hard to be the most positive person I can possibly be and so far it’s working… HA HA HA. Next week we have district conference (It’s like stake conference, but were not a stake yet). I’m super excited. They say we will have a general authority show up, so we shall see how it goes. We also have a giant baptism planned for after the meeting on Sunday. So far we don’t have anyone to baptize, but we shall see what we can do to get someone in the font for Sunday.

I wasn’t able to read your emails until today because the 5 hour time difference didn’t give us enough time. No worries.... To answer your question Dad, no, I can’t look at my email on any day other than p-day.

Yeah this week I’ll be starting up my 19th month on the mission. Time flies super fast and it seems like it’s going faster every day. I’m not too sure if I’ll be removed from 33 this next change. My companion is finishing up and will be going home. So if they take me out too, they have to do what is called a “whitewash” (both missionaries from the companionship are removed). It is not a very common thing to whitewash, especially with zone leaders. But I’ve seen stranger things before so we shall see. Anyway, I figure I can last here for a forth transfer. (Six months)Besides all of this, we had a pretty strange week.

I don’t really want to buy a bike. I figure I won’t be in Uruguay much longer anyways. But I do have an older bike that I can fix up. So if you would send me sufficient this week just to get the bike fixed, it should be good. I figure no more that 30 bucks should do the job.

Well I love you all and thanks for all that you have done for me. I was wondering if Makell ever showed up a few weeks ago.

Like I said before, thank you for everything and I look forward to seeing you soon.

I love you guys,


Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Note from Dad: This past weekend Gay and I traveled to Portland to visit Gay's sister Mary. As a result, I got behind on my blog posts. Following are emails from the past two weeks.

A Hard Week and a Stolen Bike

February 21, 2011

Dear Mom and Dad,

Well that was a real fun week, let me tell ya! This past week really kicked my butt! Last Monday night, I was sitting in a home, teaching a lesson when I heard a familiar sound outside. I stood up super fast and ran out the door because it sounded like the squeaking pedals on my bike. I was exactly right and saw a kid on my bike riding away. I ran fast to my companion’s bike and took off to chase the kid. I followed him for about 7 blocks then saw him turn into a really bad neighborhood. I followed him for a little while longer, and then lost him. I asked the people at a well known druggy house if they had seen the kid. They were not very helpful, then remembering that my companion was nowhere in sight, I quickly hurried to find him. In the end, I have a pretty good idea where my bike went, but I figure now it is painted a different color or it’s in pieces. So yeah my bike got stolen… Luckily I didn’t really spend anything for it, but I did have to pay to fix it several times. So it’s a shame that it’s now gone.

I’m currently using the bike of a member here in the branch. It’s very old and often is broken, but that’s all there is. Ha ha ha… It’s been quite an inconvenience. I will not go out and buy a new bike. I have too little time left in my mission. For now I will just suffer.

We’ve been losing several good investigators lately and it made this week even more difficult. We had some really well planned lessons, but it seemed like every time we would show up, the people either weren’t there or they didn’t want us to come by anymore. It’s been awful, let me tell you. So we have been looking for new investigators and for now haven’t had much luck.

Tomorrow is zone conference and I look forward to learning something new and enjoying a nice day of spiritual experiences. We always have awesome experiences at our zone conferences, so it should make for a much more enjoyable day tomorrow.

Besides all of these challenges and my difficult week of work, I’m really doing great!!! I’m still somewhat excited and am looking forward to what the Lord has in store for us this week. We have no scheduled baptisms for now, but I’ll let you know when we do.

For now, know that I am fine Thank you guys for everything and I really miss you.

Love, your son,
Elder John Sluder

Getting Trunky?

February 14, 2011

Dear Family,

How are you all doing? I’m doing okay myself. I’ve had a long week with lots of traveling. I had to go to Montevideo twice this week. There and back is roughly 8 hours so it was a lot of sitting and waiting. We had change day on Tuesday and Hermana Lundskog showed up from the MTC. She seemed to be doing pretty well but like all “Oros” seemed overwhelmed and a little bit lost. I can still remember how I felt my first day and I’ll tell ya it wasn’t the easiest day of my life. I still remember telling myself...”When this is all over, I’m going to be the most righteous person on earth. If hell is anything like Uruguay, I sure don’t want to end up there.” Ha Ha Ha

Besides all of this, I am doing pretty well. I took all the money out of my account. I haven’t really been spending it, but I figure it’s cheaper to take it all out in one chunk and save it than take it out in small increments. I was able to get my shoes fixed and I also got a huge hole in my pants fixed too. So for now, I don’t plan to touch money for a while. I think I’m going to save this for an emergency or something like that.

We had no baptisms this past weekend but we do have very, very sure baptisms for the 26th. We shall see how it all works out. We are also going to try our best to find someone for this Saturday too.

Dad, I hope you have a very good birthday tomorrow! WOW 56!!!! It’s going to be a good one for ya!

Besides all of this, I don’t have too much more to say. My companion Elder Roisum (he’s from St. Louis) finishes his mission in about 4 weeks. Luckily he’s not trunky, but just thinking about it has kinda been making me trunky! Ha ha ha… Just kidding! Anyway, it’s actually made him work in overdrive so we’re just both working in overdrive trying to find some one to baptize. It’s been fun.

For now, I’m happy. The weather finally seems to be cooling off. It’s been pretty nice.

Well for now that’s all that I really have to say. I love you all.

Elder Sluder

Monday, February 7, 2011

Another Week... Another Baptism!

February 6, 2011

Dear Family,

What a week… it sure went by fast! We had another baptism!!!!! Her name was Antonella. She’s only 12 years old, but she’s pretty cool. She’s an absolute miracle. For about 4 years now the missionaries have been trying to baptize her, but she has been very reluctant and has a huge fear of water. Well Saturday night she overcame that and she is now baptized and confirmed. I got the honors to baptize her too. It was a great experience and a great way to finish off this cambio. Hope you guys like the pictures.

Well besides all that we got change calls last night and I'm staying in 33 as a zone leader again. (Change number 3 in 33) My companion is still Elder Roisum and at the end of this next change he goes home,so I get to KILL HIM OFF... Woooo Hoooo!!!! We have plans to baptize at least 4 more this month and I imagine that we will do even better in the month after

Besides that we didn't really have too interesting of a week. Oh, I did hit another dog on my bike again. This time though the dog was much bigger!!! And I kinda ate it... But I'm fine. That's about as exciting as it gets here.

Well this week I'm going to keep it short. But Dad I'm cool with whatever you want to arrange for coming home. Ha Ha Ha I would love to go for a nice ride up to Ord Mountain. (Does my warrior still run? Did you buy new four wheelers?) And thank you Dad for fixing the problem with President DA Silva.


Besides all of this... this morning I read an awesome talk from the May 2010 General Conference on patience from Elder Uchtdorf. It was awesome!!!! It answered so many questions to so many problems that I'm facing here in 33 and I highly suggest reading it.

Well love you guys so much!!!


John and Antonella on her baptism day

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Doris was Baptized!

February 1, 2011

Dear Family,

Wow, what an awesome thing to see my family members becoming members of the church and being baptized!!!! Thanks for the pictures of Wendy and Addyson. That is so awesome!!!!!!!!

Well as for me, I have had a super wild week. On Tuesday I had an intercambio with another companionship from Vergara. It went well and we were also able to give Doris her baptismal interview. It was great and she passed. On Wednesday, we got a call from a member of the church in another branch. Apparently he had seen the missionaries doing some things they weren’t supposed to be doing and in the end we had two missionaries emergency transferred out of the zone on Friday morning. On the same day as all this craziness, we had to travel all over the zone to do four other baptismal interviews. It was rough. The original plan was for one of our district leaders to do them, but he was caught up with all the other problems and left early to Montevideo... (It was ridiculous). This past week we had planned five baptisms in our zone alone. It was like the jaws of hell were open against us and we really had to fight hard to get through. But in the end we won and all five miraculously went through. I even had to fix a bunch of plumbing and electrical problems on the pumps to fill the baptismal fonts! We almost had to cancel because the font wouldn’t fill. Luckily I have some experience from before the mission to fix stuff like that. The big news… DORIS WAS BAPTIZED. I have sent some pictures so I hope you like them.

Doris and Elder Sluder on her baptismal day

Elder Rosium, Doris and Elder Sluder

Elder Sluder and Elder Rosium on P-Day

This morning we had an awesome zone activity. I cooked tacos for the whole zone and we played some futbol. They loved it! I had to roll out 100 tortillas by hand last night because tortillas don’t exist here. It made for an interesting night. So I just made ‘em out of scratch and it worked out great!!!

Dad, the last thing I need to mention is something that is actually very serious that I need you to take care of. The other day President DaSilva called me up and asked me why I was using my Facebook account. He dropped a cane on me for it. (Note from Dad: The Uruguayan term is “bajar la caƱa”, literally translated as “drop the cane”. It is a figure of speech roughly equivalent to the phrase “lowering the boom”). I explained to him that I don’t use Facebook. I told him that you are uploading pictures and you are in control of it. I told him I knew that I cannot use it and don’t even remember the password to get on if I wanted to. I believe one of the disobedient missionaries told him in an interview that he didn’t think that going on Facebook was (that) bad because he noticed that Elder Sluder had a Facebook account and Elder Sluder is a zone leader. Yeah… can you believe that? Go figure! Anyway, President DaSilva asked me to delete it. I said of course, but because I don’t know how to logon without the password, you will have to do it for me. So Dad, please delete my Facebook account! ASAP!!!! I figure I’ll just start one up when I get back in 7 months anyway. (Note from Dad: John’s Facebook account has been deactivated as of this morning)

Thanks, Dad for your letter. I’m super happy to hear that you are having success with your choir and I’m even happier to hear about the family baptism that we had. Congratulations ADDYSON AND WENDY!!!! Well I love you a lot and look forward to hearing from you next week.


PS. Next week is changes and it will be much different than usual. We will no longer be going to Tres Cruzes for changes. I think I will even be able to email you on Monday and won’t have to take P-day on Tuesday like we used to do before. It’s going to be so much better. Oh and I think that Hermana Lundskog will be here next week. Is that right? If so, I’m really looking forward to seeing her.