Note from Mom- Danny finally received his VISA, and is on his way to Sao Paulo Brazil! He flew from Billings to SLC Monday morning, then from SLC- NYC, then from NYC to Sao Paulo. He will arrive in Brazil Tuesday morning, after 24 hours of traveling! We got to talk to him during his layover in NYC-- He sounds really great & very excited to go to Brazil. He had a difficult time saying goodbye to the wonderful people in Montana, and truly loved his time serving there. Here are his letters from this past week! Again, we are blocking out names of people he is teaching to protect their privacy.
NOTE* We are not sure that the address in Brazil is correct, so for now, email would be the best way to write to him! We'll update as soon as possible!
Tuesday, Sept. 18, 2013- So I got here in Billings and I have been loving my time here. My companions, Elder Bishop and Elder Nielson are really great. We are in Shepard and I am really loving it, it is up above Billings and isn't too far away. But the reason that I am emailing you all on a Thursday afternoon is...
OUR PREPARATION DAY CHANGED!!!!!!!
Haha just kidding, that was definitely not the truth. The real reason that I am emailing on Thursday is below
I GOT MY VISA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Haha I am so incredibly excited!! It was funny because the way my companions were acting and the former zone leaders (Elder Burrows and Schlenker) and just how things have been working out made me really think I was getting mine, so it wasn't really surprising but very very exciting. I am going to be so incredibly sad to leave Montana, but I am excited to go! I will let you know as I find out more details, but I know I leave Monday! Love you all! Sao Paulo Here I come!!!!
Here is his letter from Sunday night, his last day in Montana:
Sun. Sept 22, 2013 -Well since I am leaving tomorrow morning I was given the opportunity to email tonight since I wasn't sure if I would be able to tomorrow. Before I left Bozeman I was able to see some fo the people that we were teaching for a last time and we also set a baptismal date with T and R which was great! T is getting baptized this next Saturday and I so badly wish I could be there. He is an incredible kid and I am so grateful that we were able to teach him and his family. I also wasn't sure about setting a date for R, we weren't sure if that was the best time to do it, and I really didn't want to just because I was leaving, but Elder Brown felt very strongly during the lesson that we needed to, so on Tuesday night we set dates for both of them and R is scheduled to be baptized on October 12th. He has a lot of progressing that he needs to do, but if he is diligent then I believe he can be ready by then.
On Tuesday night we had dinner with this family, the Pitcher's, and their daughter and grandson was there, well they were talking about "party ice cream." So I asked their six year old son what it was and he replied "It's a party in your tummy!" All while rubbing his stomach with this little grin on his face. Haha this kid was cracking me up, but anyways it was a fun last little night in Bozeman.
It was sad saying bye to people, and on Wednesday morning it was a huge downpour the entire first half of the day, basically all the way up until I left at like 1:30, haha so I felt like Bozeman was sad that I was leaving too. It was such a bummer to say goodbye to Elder Burrows and Elder Schlenker. They are fantastic missionaries and I was way bummed to not be able to be around them again. Like I said before, Elder Burrows reminds me SO much of Kyle and we have talked a lot about post mission things but I also am very aware that that is just a tiny bit in the future, Haha it was sad to say goodbye to him but that's all right. I was sad to say bye to Elder Brown, I truly have grown a lot in being ith him and learned a lot about being a companion and how to best be a companion for someone. He is a good elder and we met his new companion, and it seems like they will do well together. Haha I was talking about our area so much to him and to Elder Brown, I felt so responsible for it and these people, it was interesting as I was surprised at how hard it was to leave. So that was a bummer, but we were able to say goodbye to some families as well so that was good as we talked to them. Several of them were very kind to me and I was grateful as they said some nice things in parting.
So also on Wednesday, we had breakfast at my old apartment and Yani, the Indonesian lady who lived beneath us, made us all breakfast. I had told you a little about her before but she made and bought us SOOOOO much food. Haha like seriously, she was way super kind and we called her our "Mormon mom" even though she isn't Mormon. We all went down and sang "As armies of Helaman" to her and she starting crying since most of us were leaving. She is just such a neat lady and in her broken English she told each of us individually thank you for being her friend and God bless us. She is seriously one of the most charitable people I have ever met. Haha and she can talk someone's ear off but that made her all the more memorable! So then I said goodbye to my wonderful district and to all the people I had loved serving and serving with and came here to Billings. It was a long day but then I met my new companions, Elder Bishop and Elder NIelson.
Now some words before I go into that, I had discussed with Sister Greenfield, a sister waiting for her visa in my district in Bozeman, that I felt like if I got put in a trio or if I was moved to Billings this transfer then maybe that meant my visa was close. So then when I got put in a trio in Billings everyone thought for sure my visa was here, I was wanted to think this, but I was not sure since another elder had been put with these same elders for a whole transfer then was moved back out in Bozeman again. Haha so that was in my head, and I was way overanalyzing everything the Elders were doing and thinking if they were indicative of me receiving it or not, but I didn't ask them and just served as normal. Then on Thursday afternoon during our weekly planning session, I got a call from one of the assistants, Elder Olsen, who told me my visa was here and I was leaving Monday. Haha so I wasn't crazy surprised, but I was crazy excited!! Haha my companions said it was one of the most excited they had seen a visa waiter, because most were sad, but I told them how sad I was leaving Bozeman, and those other ones had served here in Billings when they found out, so I already went through the bummer news of leaving the area I had served so much in as opposed to an area I had been in for one day. But these last couple days have been really good as I have been serving with them.
The Color Me Rad 5k was here in Billings on Saturday, and the Elder were volunteering Friday and then racing for free on Saturday morning. Well they raced in white shirt and ties and name tags with b-ball shorts, but there weren't enough volunteer spots for Friday, so I volunteered with some other elders to actually work the race Sat morning. We were assigned to the liquid green color station, so we were in charge of soaking all the runners with this green liquid that they had in abundance attached to a ton of hoses. It was super fun, and by the end I had complately green hands and arms, with it soaking through all my clothes, haha which meant basically everything had to be properly disposed of. Haha it even dyed my skin underneath my clothes, so basically I was the Hulk. I mean, the bulging muscles already lent to the effect, and the green was just a little side effect tthat finished it all off... haha nope, don't worry, still as distant runner-y as ever! So it was fun volunteering and targeting the other missionaries specifically as they ran by. We have been able to contact a lot of people these last couple days and I have loved being able to work hard even though I am leaving here soon. Today church was really good, also I was able to see Elder Wilson and Elder Devine, two elders from the MTC, as well as Elder McLaughlin who was moved to Bozeman to be in a trio in a different ward from the one I served in. Overall this week was really nice, just very crazy! I am really looking forward to tomorrow and going, but I am truly going to miss this place. I hd felt very strongly before that I was here for a specific purpose, otherwise I would have gone straight to Brazil. I was here for a reason and as I have prayed about it, I have felt very strongly that my purpose in being here has been fulfilled. I feel good about leaving here and I feel like I did my best to be the best missionary I could be for my area, my investigators, my companion, the other missionaries I served with, my mission president, and for Christ and God. I love Montana so much and am so incredibly grateful for the time I have spent here. I am sad to leave here but very excited to go on to my next adventure!