Monday, May 23, 2011

The Passing of John's Grandfather

Note from Dad: This past week, John's grandfather passed away in Barstow, CA. The family is gathering for services to be held on Wednesday, May 25. The obituary can be found here: Jack Sluder Obituary

May 22, 2011

Dear Family,

I am so sorry to hear of Grandpa’s passing. I was well informed on Thursday morning by President DaSilva. It was kind of a shocker. I’m glad to hear that things are going well with the family as a whole and that much of the family can be together for the services. This is a special event that I hope can be a memorable one without any regrets and that charity will abound.

I’m also happy to hear that Grandpa didn’t suffer much. With what I can tell, he seems to have had a happy, peaceful passing. Like Aunt Cathy said, it was his time and our heavenly father needed him back. I send my condolences. But remember and imagine that now he´s dancing and having a big party, with maybe a few extra jokes to share with everyone. One of the many ways our heavenly father shows his love for us is that he gives all of us the opportunity to leave this world behind and come directly to him. Congratulations Papaw… you finished!

Being fluent in Spanish and Latin based languages, what he was saying if you don’t already know was to live with god. Via con Dios is not Spanish but it is Latin. There are many ways to live with God, but I figure now for him it’s more of a personal relationship. I know and I assure you that Papaw is currently in a state of learning and progression where there is no end to love.

Well I love you and look forward to seeing you all soon.

Elder John P. Sluder
(Treinta y Tres Uruguay)

Working to Build a Stake

May 15, 2011

Dear Family,

Well I don’t really have too much to tell you guys about. I had a pretty boring week. To be honest, I don’t really feel like I was able to get much done! We had to help move two elders out of our house into a new apartment. I had to sign contracts with some lawyer here in Spanish. Legal talk in Spanish is a whole lot harder than just normal speaking. But it all worked out alright. I'm kinda just working now to build a stake. Things seem to be coming along and we have been working with the Davidson's 100% of the time. It has made for a wonderful experience.

I'm really getting old on the mission. It’s crazy to think about all of the missionaries that were here before me and now, how long that many have been home. I figure soon that all of my friends at home will be home too. Things are getting pretty interesting.

Thanks for sending the package mom. Right now a little bit of money would be greatly appreciated so thanks for all you guys do. I don’t really have much more to say than that. Well I love you and I’ll continue to keep Papaw in my prayers.


Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Mother's Day Phone Call

May 8, 2011

Family and Friends,

Because of the Mother's Day phone call, John did not send a very long email this week. Here it is:

Dear Dad,

It was really wonderful being able to speak with you guys yesterday. It was the last phone call that you will receive from me until I see you in September. Wow! Time is really going super fast. I don't really have too much more to say to you all. If you do send me something in a package, you need to make it fast because we are getting down to the end of my mission and if we wait too long, I may just never receive it. I imagine though it will be just fine, however it works out.

Well I love you all ton... you guys are great.

Elder Sluder

We were able to speak for about an hour. He sounds very good. His Spanish is incredible! He is now staying in 33 for another 6 weeks. It is quite unusual to stay in one area for so long, but he really loves it there. Steve

Monday, May 2, 2011

Enrique's Baptism and I'm Staying in 33!

May 1, 2011

Dear Mom and Dad,

Wow, what a week! And it really sounds like you have had quite the week yourselves. I'm very, very sad to hear of the death of Roy. I send my condolences… I´m sorry Mom. Hey, I guess now you have to buy yourself a new horse? Make sure that he’s tame so that in a few months I can take girls out on dates… Ha Ha Ha. I was glad to hear that Osama bin Laden is dead... It’s about time!

As for myself, I got the call and guess what? I'm staying in 33 for a fifth change!!!! In the history of the mission as far back as I know, this has never happened before; that a zone leader has stayed in one area for 5 changes. The assistants told me they think that president must really trust me to keep me here so long. It’s a really big compliment. A missionary who is always being moved around just isn’t an effective missionary. It means that you’re not doing a good job as a missionary in that area. So it really is quite the compliment.

Saturday we had the baptism of Enrique!!!!! He’s our 3rd baptism in a row. I have now been working with him for almost six months! It was a miracle and the family was so happy. I’ll tell you the details on Sunday. I’m also including some pictures. Enrique is the guy that’s with me solo. I'm also sending the picture from Leo’s baptism from the week past. Leo is in the picture standing next to me and Alexander Degaray is standing next to my comp, Elder Powell.

Oh, just so you know I will be calling you about 6 O'clock our time, which should be about 3 O'clock your time. It should work out just perfect and know that I really just want my call centered with talking to you guys. (Mom and dad)

Well that’s really cool that you could speak with President Davidson. They should be here in the next few days to stay and will live here for 13 months. 33 will become a stake. We are baptizing future Melchizedek priesthood holders and they will be a big help to the cause. Now that we’re baptizing, the branch just seems to becoming alive. We had 70+ people in church yesterday. It was Awesome!!!

Well I love you all and look forward to speaking to you guys on Sunday for my last phone call home. Be careful and I love you guys!!!


John and Enrique

Elder Powell, Alexander, Leo and John