Contact Information

Cody's Mission Home Address in Chile:

Elder Cody K. Dastrup
Chile Concepcion Mission
O'Higgins 940,Oficina 502

It costs .98 cents to mail a letter to CHILE.

Packages need to be sent via US Postal Service (send pkgs. priority mail and it runs from $12-$55 depending on size of box) DO NOT SEND VIA Fed-ex, UPS, or DHL (as it will cost him over $100 to get it in Chile)

If you would like to communicate via email, send an email to and your email will be forwarded to Cody as he is only allowed to email family members.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

December 20, 2010

Sorry this is a late posting....we sure enjoyed the video skype with Cody on Christmas day. He looks wonderful and we each took about 15 min. or so with him and at the end he bore his testimony in Spanish and it was so awesome to hear him speak so well. He loves what he is doing and is making a difference in so many peoples lives. Thank you to all who write to him he enjoys reading your letters and gets them quicker now that he is serving near the mission office....He should be writing this week on Saturday we think....

Hey Everyone,
This was one of the hardest of the mission but I feel like it is because I am putting a lot more pressure to get this sector turned around and back on the right track. We didn't have a single investigator in church yesterday...! I am losing my patience but instead of just feeling bad for ourselves we are going out and we are working harder. We have a meeting with our bishop this week to get our (ward) mission leader released (because he is lazy) and call another one that will work harder and go out and work with us. We are also going to call like 6 ward missionaries that can be in charge of teaching the recent converts and some of our good investigators so that we can go out and find more people. I am really excited for the future of this sector and I feel like I will be able to make a noticeable difference here in the next couple of months with my companion. We are working right now with one lady Claudia that is trying to quite smoking so she can get baptized. She was smoking like 20 cigarettes a day when I got here 3 weeks ago and right now she is down to 1/2 of a cigarette a day...haha. She smoke 1/1 of a cigarette yesterday and I feel like she will quit before the new year and hopefully get baptized really soon! I really like this new sector I am just frustrated at how slow the work is going....

As everyone knows, Christmas is around the corner! I am excited and President moved our P-day from Monday to Christmas day so we will be able to spend it with members or other missionaries, depending on what we want to do. Today we got permission from the Assistants and we watched Toy Story 3 and drank homemade egg nog as a district (8 missionaries). It was really fun and it felt nice to get missionary stuff off my mind for like 2 hours. Anyways I am doing good and I am really excited to be able to call home for the holiday! I can't wait to hear everyones voices. And...we got permission to use skype!!! Well I love you guys and keep on sending the packages, I am loving it!!! I got my package from mom with my wrapped presents and stocking in it and I just got another one from the ward!!! Thanks so much for all the stuff in it we have the best ward. I love you guys and hope you have a great week! Have a very Merry Christmas!

Yours Truly,
Elder Cody Dastrup

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

December 13, 2010

Hey Everyone!

I had a really good week this last week with my companion Elder Scott here in Concepcion in the sector Lorenzo Arenas. This week we had conference and we had a trip to Chillan yesterday. The conference was really good and president talked to us a lot about the things that we need to do to not be wasting the Lord's time. For example, after lunch share a scripture or spiritual thought with the family, planning more effectively so that we aren't walking so much between lessons and working on the language or getting to know our companions better in the street between lessons. My companion and I could definitely do better in a couple areas and we are going to work a lot harder this week. We also talked about Christmas and it felt really nice to hear a message from President and the Assistants about the purpose of Christmas. I am excited to be here in Chile for Christmas. Obviously it isn't going to be the most exciting of all Christmas' for me but it will definitely be one of the most rewarding, knowing that I am out here serving the Lord and sacrificing and I am also really excited to CALL HOME! All of the Christmas stuff is good and the conference with President was amazing bu the best thing of all was the trip to Chillan. I think I mentioned last week that I was going to go back to Chillan this week to baptize. Well if I didn't mention you know haha. We got to Chillan at 3 and visited a family that lives close to the church, it was good to see them and they were excited to see me. It turns out the Elder Gil didn't tell anyone that I was coming so everyone I saw was surprised and I loved it because I got to see like 8 families before the baptismal service. When the baptismal service came I wasn't really nervous I was just kind of worried I would forget her name because her name is Malivna Paola Jeldres Sepulveda, I don't know what it is about her name but it was hard for me. Also this lady weighs about 300 lbs I think and I haven't been doing too hot with my exercises in the morning so I was praying that I would have the strength to baptize her. The baptism went really well and Elder Gil baptized the daughter after me. They are going to baptize 2 or 3 more of our investigators from my older sector this week but I won't be able to go. The trip to Chillan was really good and I got to visit a few of my favorite families. One of the young men from Volcanes (my old ward) got called to serve in the Riverside, California Mission, Spanish speaking ! I was so excited to hear from him and I am hoping I will have a chance to "bump into him" in California when I come back.
Let's asked a little about the people here in Concepcion, they are not very humble from the ones that I have met and they don't want to listen to us. The people here in Chile are like 50 times more religious than back in the states and I actually had an incident with a Jehovah Witness this week that tried to bash on Joseph smith and the Book of Mormon for no reason with out any knowledge butttt lets just say I testified pretty strong to her and called her to repentance haha and invited her to pray about it (and I did it in Spanish!!!!). I have learned that bashing with other religions is not what we are here to do and it never helps...just testify and move on to someone who wants to listen to you. The food here isn't as good as it was in Chillan but there is way more places to eat at in Central, so we usually can find something good to eat. Well thats enough for this week but I hope that you guys have a good week and stay safe. I was sorry to hear about Great Gpa but he is in a better place and I have no doubts that he is more happy where he is.

Yours Truly,

Elder Cody Dastrup

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

December 6, 2010

Hey Everybody,
So I finally got transferred out of Chillan and I am now here in Concepcion. I would be lying if I said that I'm not struggling a little but for the most part I am doing good and I am really strong mentally right now. My new sector is actually called Lorenzo Arenas not Alonzo Arenas like I wrote last week and my companions name is Elder Scott. He has 15 months in the mission and is a really good guy. My companion is from Gilbert, AZ and he went to Mesquite High School. He is pretty good at speaking Spanish but this is his 1st transfer as a senior companion. I feel like we teach our lessons about 50/50 and we struggle a little bit sometimes but we get the job done and we taught some really good lessons this last week. There hasn't been baptisms in the sector for a really long time but I am determined to change things here and turn this into one of the best sectors in the mission , because I know we have a ton of potential here. I am really excited to be here in Concepcion and we get to have a lot of contact with the President, the Assistants and with the office Elders (Elder Reed and his comp). The weather here is wonderful and I haven't felt hot since I got here really, it feels exactly like San Diego right before the summer.

In other news...Christmas is around the corner and I am really excited to finally be able to call home and hear voices! We put up a little Christmas tree this week and I will have to send you a picture when I have my camera with me next week. It kind of stinks that I won't be in Chillan (my old sector) for Christmas but I am getting to know some of the members here and they seem like they are really nice. The good news though is that Elder Gil (my comp from Chillan) called me the other day and told me that they are going to have 4 baptisms next week and all of them are people that we found and taught. A few of the people that are getting baptized asked if I could come back to baptize them and I asked President today and he told me yes! So I get to go back to Chillan next week to baptize a couple people and have lunch with a family in the ward. I am excited and I hope that everything goes smooth this week with them. Well, I love you guys and hope that all is going well. Let me know what everyone is doing for Christmas and let me know how my friends and the ward are doing. I have heard from Tyler and Durfey and they are both doing good. Tyler sounds like he is having some baptisms this month so I am really excited for him! Take it easy and remember that I love you guys!!!

Yours truly,
Elder Dastrup

Monday, November 29, 2010

November 29, 2010

Some pictures he sent that didn't get to me until later on Monday....the first picture he is with the Young Mens Pres. in the ward and with his most recent companion Elder Gil (pronounced Hill), the second is his zone in Chillan, the third we are not sure what the building is, fourth is him up a tree when he and Elder Gil went fishing with the Young Men in the ward, and the last one is his second companion Elder Bastow.


So I have got some news...I am getting transferred. This morning when the zone leaders called and told me that I was leaving I was kind of surprised and I really was a little sad. We have 2 baptisms this next week and it's a mom and her daughter, we have 2 others that are 2 weeks out from being baptized and about 5 more that should get baptized in the next month or 2. There is so much potential here in our sector and it is so sad to be leaving it all behind. In this next transfer we are going to have Christmas, New Years Eve and 2 young men leaving for the mission. I would be lying if I said I wasn't disappointed that I was leaving. On the other side of things I am going to Concepcion the biggest city in the mission, I will be closer to the assistants and President and the best of all....Elder Reed and Elder Stermetz (my 2 best friends from the MTC) are going to be in my Zone! I am really excited for the new adventures and challenges that lie ahead. I wasn't told who my new companion was going to be but my ward or sector is called Alonzo Arenas and the ward has a pretty good number of members. I am going to miss this place like crazy but I know in the end that the Lord needs me somewhere else and I am content with the transfer. I know that I am going to have success in this new ward that I am going to and even if it is hard work I am really dedicated at this point in my mission to do whatever it takes to help the people that want to listen to us.

This Thanksgiving I had a lot of time to think about the things that I am thankful for and honestly I have so much. We didn't celebrate thanksgiving obviously but it was good to be in a different country with less physical things to be thankful for and more spiritual things. For example, I am thankful to have my family here in this life and to have the knowledge that I will have them in the next life. I am thankful to have the people in my life that I do, the examples that have brought me to this point and all of the many blessings that I have enjoyed here in the mission and in my life in general. I miss everyone a ton and this next couple of weeks might be tough for me but I am going to get through it and come out the other end stronger than when I entered. I am so thankful for everything I have and for the time I had here in Volcanes "Donde Pica la Jiva". Love you guys.

The one and only,
Elder Cody Dastrup

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

November 22, 2010

"Please feel free to send Elder Dastrup a Christmas Card takes about a week and half to get to the mission home and should cost $1.20 if it is larger then the normal size letter envelope which costs .98 cents to send...we know he would LOVE to hear from you"

Hey Everyone,
Had another good week and it is looking like if I have 6 more weeks here we are going to have a few baptisms. We are on fire right now! We confirmed Laura this last week and I have a story about that but here is the short version, we had a baptism last week and Sunday was the confirmation. We got to church and I asked her who she wanted to confirm her and she said me! So I mentally prepared myself and we get up to the stand in front of everyone (120 people in our ward) and the mission leader starts doing the confirmation! What the heck!!! I'm never going to confirm anyone! These last 2 weeks or so we have just been finding people like crazy and they have actually been doing their compromises. I feel like the sector will have 5 or so baptisms in the month of December and hopefully a baptism or two the 19th of December (moms birthday) because it is a Sunday. Also the 26th is a Sunday so if we are here we are going to try to baptize somebody Saturday the 25th...Christmas Day. I am really excited for this next week, I feel like we are going to have a ton of success and we are really in a groove right now. I would be lying if I said I didn't want to leave and know a different part of Chile but I could definitely wait another 6 weeks. We have transfer next week so I will know next Monday if I am leaving, and if I am leaving I will leave Tuesday in the Morning. I have been really blessed in this sector and I couldn't have asked for a better start to the mission. I have had a lot of experiences here and I don't think I will ever be able to forget my first sector in the mission.

Today we played soccer and I had 2 goals!! We played against the other zone of missionaries in Chillan and we lost horribly but we played a game of basketball afterwards and we destroyed them, so it's all good. I am starting to lose a little weight and get a tan (or sun burnt) because it is really starting to heat up and the Sun down here is devastating. I have heard Chillan is the hottest part of Chile and December, January and February are the hottest months down here so if I get transferred it will be a blessing in that sense. What else...I am working really hard with the language and if I have another transfer with Elder Gil I feel like my Spanish will be pretty solid. I am starting to wake up at 6:30 (usually we wake up at 7) to have another extra 30 minutes to study and I still have a ton to learn. I actually like studying here and I am learning a ton. Anyways, I am doing really good and I have a lot of energy and excitement to work these next couple of months, hope everyone is doing well and if anyone has any questions send them to my mom and she can send me them. Love you guys...Have a good Thanksgiving and save me some pavo! (turkey)
Yours Truly,
Elder Cody Dastrup

Monday, November 22, 2010

November 15, 2010

How's it going? I will try to keep it short this week because I don't have to much to talk about. This week we worked a lot with Laura and we baptized her yesterday after church. I have the pictures bu they are in the house so I will have to remember to send you more this next week. The baptism was really good but she still has a long way to go and to be honest I won't really be satisfied until she is really converted and active in the church. Baptism is a really important decision that all people need to take if they want to enter into the kingdom of God but at the same time it's just the door and there is a lot more to do after. Chile is the country with the highest percentage of inactives in the world. All of the converts that we have baptized are really good and active but we have a lot of work to do with other new converts in the past year.

This week we had a lot of success and found a lot of new people. This next week we are going to do a lot of divisions with the young men in the ward who are preparing to go on missions, so we should have a lot of new investigators and find some really good people to teach. I have gotten really close with some of the youth here and it's going to be tough to leave the sector when my time comes. My comp and I are working really good together and I feel really good about the next two months or 2 in this sector. I am excited for Christmas and I hope that I spend it here in Chillan and not in some other new sector!! haha What is the family going to do for Christmas? Is there any big news? I love you guys and hope that your week is amazing and that you have some good times. Take it easy and choose the right! Yours Truly, Elder Cody Dastrup

Monday, November 8, 2010

November 8, 2010

Hey Everyone!
We had another really good week out here in Volcanes and we are looking at a lot of future success! We have a baptism scheduled for this week for Laura, she is a single mother who has 3 kids and their dad is in prison. I have never seen somebody with such difficult circumstances in my entire life. She has been sharing with us for a while but recently has found the desire to be baptized and go to church every week. It is a miracle what we are witnessing out here in Volcanes. I met Laura my 1st cambio in the mission with Elder Garcia and I remember thinking that there is no way in the world that this lady is ever getting baptized, WHAT A LACK OF FAITH! Slowly she has progressed and her day is here. She is being blessed by the Lord already and I can't wait to see the miracles in her life after the baptism. Her kids are ages 1,3 and 5. They don't have a dad and we are the only guys that they have in their life (all of the men that live on their street are in jail, haha) but I am worried that when I leave the sector the kids are going to be really sad. I can admit that I never really liked visiting this family at first. They live in the most ghetto street that exists in our mission and their house is small, dirty and just a bad environment...but over the last 3 weeks or so I have really found a love for this family and I am really excited to baptize her this week. We have a couple other baptisms coming up in the next couple of weeks too but I will talk more about them when the time comes.

Everyone always asks about he food here and the weather and stuff so... I thought I would let you know a little bit more. The weather right now is warm in the day (like in the 80's) and at night it still gets pretty cold (50's). We had a lot of rain and wind this week which is miserable but it could definitely be a lot worse. This week we didn't have a lot of good lunches but we had something called gnnocis, it's Italian food and is pretty good. Here the things that they eat or sell in the street more than anything are Completos (hot dogs w/guacamole and tomatos), Sopapillas, Papas Fritas (French Fries), Churrascos (sandwich) and Anticucha (like shishkabob). this one lady sells Anticucha by our house and everyone in the ward tells me not to eat it because the meat is dog meat but it's so good and I buy it like every night, haha.

I am doing good really good though and had a really good week. We found a lot of people and we have way more potential in our sector than we have had in the past month. I am working my butt off and it's really paying off and I am excited to see where we will be in a month from now. Thanks for all the support, the letters and the packages. I love you all so much and hope this next week is the best week of your lives.

Yours truly,
Elder Cody Dastrup

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

November 1, 2010

Hey I literally have 5 minutes to write this week so here we go...I had a great week and there is finally some new investigators this week, 3 good ones named Paola (and her 2 daughters), Laura and Filemena. I think all of them will get baptized in this next month but we will have to wait and see! I am working hard and with my new companion I am teaching more and definitely have more responsibility. My other companions before him were such leaders and really always pushed me to do what is right but he is more laid back and easy going about everything so...we are working on that! haha I love him though and he is one of the funniest missionaries out here and he is a fanatic soccer or anything that has to do with Argentina! He makes Argentina sound like the Celestial Kingdom, so I think I will need to check it out for myself after the mission. Everyone in my zone pretty much got switched out this last transfer so I have the most time in our zone out of everyone, I like it but it feels really weird. Oh and Elder Garcia wrote me this week and told me that he had a vision that I am coming to his Zone in Curico (the zone farthest north in our mission). Oh and I forgot to tell you but I saw Elder Reed in the bus terminal for 5 minutes when Elder Bastow left and I gave him a huge hug! I love that Elder and miss him a ton but he is doing good and is working in the office (haha) Bad news...Elder Martell from my MTC District is going home because he needs to have surgery on his knees which is really sad, but we are all praying that when he recovers he will make the right choice to come back out. Well have a good week everyone and know that I love you guys and miss you a ton. I hope you all are are enjoying life back in the States as much as I am down here at the bottom of the world. I think I will be out of here after this cambio mom so don't worry about sending anything for Elder Gil but what you could do is just buy a bunch of ties and make a thing of brownies or lemon bars or something for whoever my companion is. And tell all of the relatives to send me a tie...ugly, nice, new, old, I don't care but I only have like 12 ties and there is 7 days a week so I am getting a little bored haha. Love you guys! Love always, Elder Cody Dastrup

Sunday, October 31, 2010

October 25, 2010

Oops I did it again and forgot to put the letter on the blog...sorry about that...Sherri (aka Cody's Mom)

Hey everyone!
I am down in Chile in downtown Chillan (my city). I had another great week with a lot of cool experiences. A lot of the normal experiences that we have everyday are really so wonderful and we need to take advantage of this wonderful place that we live in. We contacted (knocked doors) for a big chunk of this week. It was a really good experience and we really met a lot of neat people. We are going to work with the people we found this week and continue searching for that family that is waiting for us to knock on their door. I don't think I sent you them last week, but we had an activity with the primary kids this last week and they are soooooo cute. They remind me of the kids from nursery in our ward. I will attach the pictures on the email, can you send them to the Yamamotos so they can show the nursery kids? Anywho....Elder Gil is my new companion (it's pronounced like hill). He is from a smaller town in Argentina and is a really good
guy. For any of you that know Latins, in general Argentinos are labeled by other Latins to be "big talkers" and he is! haha I absolutely love the kid though and we get along so easy. He isn't quite as obedient as the other 2 missionaries that I had before, but he is obedient and we are working good together. He is also a lot more loving with the people, which I absolutely love. He doesn't speak any English so sometimes we have difficulties communicating, but I am good enough that I understand pretty much everything that he says and can respond.

We are still searching a lot for the investigators that we can teach and that will progress and it is difficult but we now have a few that we are working with that should be looking at getting baptized some time in November. We found out that one of our investigators is helping her neighbors sell drugs so we are working with her and teaching her that even helping her is wrong. So...we are working our butts off and I know with all of my heart that we are going to be blessed for what we are doing. OOOO!!! I just love what I am doing, I can honestly say that I have never been happier in my life. I can also say that I have never been so stressed! There are so many good people in the world that show us a lot of love. Obviously we run into a bunch of people that want nothing to do with us but....THAT'S LIFE!! I am so happy when we find those good people and I have already found a bunch of people that remind me about people from back home.

Mom asked if they celebrate Halloween down here and the answer is kind of...It's really just a rip off of ours way toned down but, none the less they celebrate it. I am actually really excited to see how it is here and if they knock doors, I don't think they do. I sent out a letter to Gma and Gpa on both sides of the family so they should be getting there this next week or the next. I still haven't gotten either of the packages but I am hoping for this Wednesday because we have a special conference with a member of the first quorum of the 70. I am excited for that. Don't worry about me, I am doing good mentally, physically, emotionally...Everything! Love you guys and hope that you have the best week of your life this week.

Yours Truly,
Elder Cody Dastrup

Monday, October 18, 2010

October 18, 2010

Hey everyone how is it going!? This week has been a crazy one and I have a lot of stuff going on here right now. 1st off this week is transfers and I have had 3 transfers in this sector so...MY COMPANION IS LEAVING! He has been here for a little over a month and I have been here for over 4 months. I am super glad and relieved that I am staying here and that I am not the one leaving. I am getting a new companion tomorrow and he is from Argentina! Speaks no English. I think it will be good for me though and we will talk in Spanish all of the so I think in that respect my missionary skills will increase. The members in the ward here show a lot of love for the missionaries and they are so good to me. There is one lady here who is like a 2nd mom and another who is like a grandma to me. I love the members here so much and we are working with them a lot to find new people to teach. Also this week we had 2 young men that I am really close with in the ward receive their mission calls. One of them got called to Salta, Argentina and the other one got called to Peru. I got to see them both open their letters and it reminded me of when I opened mine. I have been working a lot harder this week and I have such a strong desire to find people to baptize. I am fully concentrated on the work and I love what I am doing with my life so much right now.

The weather is warming up here and it's starting to get a little warm here, but nothing like Arizona heat. I was sick earlier this week and thought that it was really bad but...I am better now and back to my normal work. More than anything I am just really focused on what I can do better as a missionary to improve the lives of the people down here. I struggle sometimes on humbling myself and really putting myself in someone else's shoes. I am trying to find that unconditional love for everyone that I meet and run into on the street and I feel like when I find that a little better I will be a better missionary, but more importantly a better person. I love you guys so much and am trying so hard to change this place but I pray that you all are doing the same back wherever you are. That you can humble yourselves and think more about others because that is when we are really the happiest. LOVE YOU ALL!!! Yours truly, Elder Cody Dastrup

Monday, October 11, 2010

October 11, 2010

Hey everyone hows it going!? this week was a good one for Elder Bastow and I. Our goal was to find as many people as we could and spend less time with the ones that arent progressing very much. We had 4 mini cambios this week which means for 4 out of the 7 days this week I was with a different missionary from the zone. I like working with the other missionaries but at the same time it is nice to sleep in your own bed at night and work with your companion in your own sector. We have this one lady taht we have been teaching that finally came to church this week! It was a miracle!!! let me give you some background on her (and how bad the lives are of some of the people down here)...So she lives in a really ghetto street in a really really rough neighborhood and she has been living there fro 5 years. She said she hears gunshots and yelling in the street every night and taht she hates living there, she has 3 sons and their father (who she isn't married to) is in jail for robbing a store. She doesn't have a job and she is getting kicked out of the house if she doesn't pay soon. Her house is small...really small and it has ll kinds of bugs and fleas in it. This lady needs a lot of help and I can honestly say it has been one of the most humbling and rewarding experiences taht I have had in my life to be able to give her hope, to let her know that God exists and that if she will do her part, he will bless her in this life and in the life to come. It is really early still but I will keep you guys updated on what happens with her.

I am doing going and I am probably in some of the best shape of my life. We walk so much every day and this week we knocked so many doors. Today is our P-Day and we had an activity with the zone at the stake center. We walked a lot of the way so I took some pictures of the sectors "Art". Let's just say that hands down I live in the most ghetto sector in the mission! I am so excited by the potential that we have in our sector and I love the poeple here. The families in our ward are so nice and they have so much love for me and my companion. We are working hard but we could always use your prayers. Thanks for everything,hope you guys are enjoying everything life has to give! Love Elder Cody Dastrup

Monday, October 4, 2010

October 4, 2010

Hey everyone! This week was a really good one. I don't really remember much of what happened at the beginning of the week but later Saturday and Sunday we got to go the the Chapel and listen to General Conference, where the prophet and apostles talked to the world. The Prophet announced 5 new temples which was really cool and also he said that it is an OBLIGATION for young men to go and serve their missions if they are worthy. NEW COMMANDMENT! I liked all of the talks and I like how they focused a lot on modern day revelation through a living Prophet. I liked a lot the talks that were given and I especially liked the one given by Boyd K. Packer. If any of you missed it look it up and read it. He pretty much said that no matter how many times men vote to change laws that effect moral standards here in this world, we cannot vote in the next life. God has set his standards clear and no matter what the laws are, we know morally what is right and what is wrong and we as members of the church will live the higher law. In Argentina Gay marriage was passed about 2 months ago and will probably be getting passed in California soon. Men are successfully changing the laws of the land but the doctrine is clearly stated and Gods law will stand in the next life. It's frustrating to see what the world is coming to but ....that's why I am here.

I am really digging in and getting a feel for the work and my language is picking up as well. I would say that I understand about 90% of what people say and I can say about 50% of the things I want to say in the way that I want to. It's tough to have to always be talking so simple, but I am working hard so that I can express myself fully. My comp is really good and although we aren't best friends, we get along and have a lot of fun together. One thing on the mission that is difficult that I have learned is that we won't always be best friends with the people we are put around but we have to love them. I think one thing that I am working on that we can all work on is casting the beam out of my own eye before I judge others. I feel like we judge a lot in this world when in reality we ourselves have a lot of flaws. I am really enjoying the time that I have out here and becoming a little better with every day. Thanks for all of the support that I have received and for everything, I love you guys so much and will send some more pictures next week. LOVE YOU ALL!
Yours truly,
Elder Cody Dastrup

Monday, September 27, 2010

September 27, 2010

Hey! This week was a really exciting and interesting one. I worked really hard and had the opportunity to work with some other elders that don't have very much experience out here in the mission either. I had 3 mini-cambios (being with a different companion for the day) this week and 2 of them were with elders that speak about the same as I do...! It was difficult and we struggled but I lead most of the teaching and was able to get what we needed to get done while my companion was in a different sector helping some other missionaries out. Everything is going by so fast now and I can't believe that I have already been out here for as long as I have. I am learning so much right now and I am getting better at every aspect of the mission.

We had conference with our President this week and we got to hear form him and I got to see a few of my friends from the MTC. It was nice and they are all doing pretty good. We talked in conference a lot about the love that God has for all of his children and that we need to search for that same love for the people around us. We talked about how the atonement (Jesus' sacrifice) doesn't have nay affect on peoples lives if they aren't taking the steps to use it and making those ordinances in their lives such as baptism...I am doing good and am on a spiritual high, I feel so blessed for everything I have and all of the knowledge that I have gained out here. I love the life that I am living and the experiences that I am able to have at this young age of my life.

On a non spiritual note guess what!!! I weighed myself today and ....I weigh 165 lbs. I have officially gained 20 lbs out here in the mission field! the food here is really good and there is a lot of it, but I know I need to be careful and start watching what I eat a little better. But...No fears I'm still not fat, I'm doing my exercises. Not much else is going on here just working hard and trying my hardest to keep learning this impossible language. I am doing really good and I am so thankful for all of the support that I have from everyone. Have a good week and keep praying. Elder Dastrup

September 20, 2010

sorry about not posting this last week...I didn't realize I hadn't posted it til today....cody's mom

Hey everyone!
I had a really good week but it went by really fast and for some reason I don't remember much. This week was 18 de septiembre which is their version of 4th of July. It was pretty interesting and a lot of fun, but nearly impossible to work. The festivities lasted all weekend and are ending today. Well I have some really, really bad don't kill me but... I lost all of my mission pictures! I know mom told me like 50 times to make sure I save them onto discs and sent them home but I never did and now I have none. I let someone use my camera to take pictures at the ward party and she erased all of my pictures on accident when she was trying to erase 1!!! I almost got really mad at her but then I realized that it wouldn't help the situation so I am just trying to be happy with everything but...if anyone knows a way to recover photos that have been erased off a memory care I would love to know because I lost about 400 photos...HELP!!!
We are working hard to find more people to teach but we haven't had too much success. We got a lot of references from the members in that ward that should be good but we are going to have to find all of the houses and try to get in. I got to see President and his wife on Sunday which was nice and Hermana Humphrey said that she has been talking (emailing) to mom a lot which was really cool, kind of weird but cool...haha. (mom is helping build a blog for my mission). We have conference on Friday so I will try to take a picture with her to send it to you. My Spanish is getting better everyday and I still struggle with it but I can understand pretty much any conversation that people are talking about and I usually can say what I want to. I need to study grammar and vocab more, but I definitely see an improvement. I love the work out here and we are trying to do everything that we can to get the Lord's work going a little better down here in Chile. Keep praying for the people here...Love you guys!!!
Yours Truly,
Elder Cody Dastrup

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

August 13, 2010

Hey everyone! I don't have a lot of time this week so I am going to do it quick! (I wrote president in Spanish and it took a little longer) haha. I am doing good and like I said I had transfers this last week. My new companion is Elder Bastow and he is from Twin Falls, ID. He is an awesome guy and an even better missionary and he will help me a lot with all of the things that I struggle with right now. His Spanish is good and when we teach eh likes to do it with 100% power and spirit and 0% amor! He teaches extremely different than Elder Garcia did but I am learning a lot and we should have some really good experiences. We worked a lot with the members this week and obtained 10 references on people to teach! We want to work with the members a lot more and help them to help us find and teach more people. The weather is changing a lot here and it is slowly starting to warm up. At night it is still really cold but the days are warmer. My new cop want to do some really fun activities on our pdays so I am excited for that and he wants to do more miny transfers with the other sectors in the district which means I will be working a lot more with missionaries that don't have much time in the mission. It's kind of scary but it will be good for me and for my Spanish because I will have to step up and teach more. I love all of the blessings I am receiving from being out here on the mission and I hope that you all are doing well. I love you all so much and hope that you all are doing alright. Choi
Yours truly,
Elder Cody Dastrup

Monday, September 6, 2010

Sept. 6, 2010

Hey! So I had a crazy week!!! I finally go the package mom sent me with the stuff from Jess and the letter from AJ. Thank you guys for everything, I was super excited when I got everything. Ok sooo the funny or the bad 1st?... I will start with the bad. My comp Elder Garcia is getting transferred and he is leaving to be a Zone leader in the Zone where Elder Reed and Stermetz are. (My 2 best friends from the MTC). It's like 4 hours away and it's possible I might not ever see him again because he is so far. I am having a tough time with it because I have really grown to love him and I will really miss him. Also I am losing my Zone Leader Elder Moulton, he is done with his mission and is going home. Both Garcia and Moulton were such great examples to me and I am so grateful for the opportunity I had to serve with them. If I have any sort of success on my mission I know it will have a lot to do with the good start that I have gotten and the good examples that I had laid in front of me. Tomorrow I receive my new companion at like 10 or 11 in the morning and for the next 2 weeks or so I will be helping him get comfortable in the sector. I am a little nervous but not too much because I know the sector and our investigators really good, I am just more sad to be losing my Papi (1st companion in the mission field). Ok enough sobbing!

So last night was horrible but super, super funny! Next time you have the missionaries in your house for dinner ask them if this has ever happened to them....So we kind of knew that Garcia was going to leave this cambio so we have been visiting members and saying bye for the last 2 days. First of all we had a huge and late lunch at like 2:30, it was really good but a lot of food. Afterwards at like 6 we had a family home evening at like 6 with a family in the ward. They made a bunch of pancakes and I ate more then anyone and after the pancakes they brought out a pastry thing and cut me a huge piece. I literally have never been so full in my life. I am not exaggerating when I say I couldn't hardly walk. Afterwards we went to another families house to say buy and take a picture. They insisted we ate something but I physically couldn't and after they gave me a huge drink of this nasty melon juice. So after this we went to an appointment that we had at 9 to reschedule for today but when we got there he insisted to give us a drink of papaya soda. I shouldn't have drank it....but he was persistent so I tried. I got like half way done with it and realized it wasn't possible, we kept trying to leave but he kept talking and talking and talking! I thought I was going to die. I finished the drink painfully and we left his house. I got 2 houses down and threw up all over the front of their patio and it wasn't a little throw up, it was epic. But it gets better, I threw up all over my shoes so I walked and found a patch of thick grass to wipe my shoes off. As I was wiping my shoes off "cleaning" them you will never guess what happened....I stepped in a huge pile of dog crap! And about an hour later I found out my companion was leaving me. Probably one of the top 5 worst nights EVER!!! I found humor in all of it and am truly trying to be optimistic about everything. Well I have got to go but wish me luck this next week and keep me in your prayers! Love you guys all so much and hope you have an amazing and joyful week.
Yours Truly,
Elder Cody Dastrup

Monday, August 30, 2010

August 30, 2010

(AJ what were you doing down in Chile??)

Hey how's everyone doing? I had an amazing week here in Chile and am loving the mission. We have conference here in my city tomorrow and Wednesday with the mission president and one other zone, so that should be interesting...(I am the newest missionary in the conference and it is training) I am a little nervous but I know it will be really good for me. A week from tomorrow are transfers and I have a distinct feeling that Elder Garcia is leaving me. He has been an awesome companion but I'm pretty sure our time together is almost done. I have learned a lot of things since getting here a couple of months ago but I still have a burning desire to be better, in the language, scriptures, spiritually and just to be an overall better person. We are working really hard and have a lot going on this week in the mission. We had 3 baptisms in our sector this month which is the most in the zone and I think possibly the mission. On average our mission baptizes around 80 people every month and there is 150 missionaries. We could be working so much harder and be doing better but I know we are doing a good job.

I don't remember any really funny things that happened this week. It is really cold here again and we have had a lot of rain, which makes it miserable to work, but no complaints here, I know it is better then the summer you all just had in Phoenix. I don't know if there is anything specific you all want to know about Chile or my mission, but if there is ask me (or email my mom) and I can write about it. I attached some photos of the baptism, Javiera, her dad, mom and brother Jaquin (my favorite family here) haha. and a picture of this kid in our ward Christian who is super funny and reminds me of AJ a lot. I have met a lot of people here that remind me of people back in the states so in a way I kind of feel at home here. I hope you are all doing well and having an amazing time, if you get a minute read our wards scripture of the month....D&C 1:12...It's POWERFUL!!! Love you all.

Elder Cody Dastrup

Monday, August 23, 2010

August 23, 2010

Hey Everyone! I had an awesome week! How is everyone doing back in the states? Chile is hanging in there and we are having a lot of success. We had a lot of miracles this week...I had a mini cambio with one of the zone leaders, Elder Moulton on Tuesday and it went really good. We have a 16 year old named Andy who we visit him and his mom like once every week or two but he had a lot of problems so we never really thought he was listening to our messages. He likes to to go out in the night with his friends and rob people because his family doesn't have any money and stuff like that ....SUPER FLITE! (Gangster) but I know deep down he is a good kid and just needs some help. So Elder Moulton and I taught him a lesson that was really powerful and he has been praying and said he wants to change and be baptized. This is a huge miracle and I don't know if he will follow through with his words but if he does, it would be the best decision he has ever made. We had another miracle on Sunday too...Hermano Del Valle (the dad of Javiera) talked with the bishop and really wants to baptize his daughter before we have transfers (7th of Sept) so Bishop said that we could do the baptism this week! So we have Javiera's Baptism this Saturday. I am really excited and it should be really special.

I am a little nervous for this upcoming month because I don't know if I will have a change in companions or not. I think one transfer more with Elder Garcia would be perfect, but I have a feeling he is leaving. Our sector is strong right now and we have a lot of potential so I think one more transfer with Elder Garcia would be perfect. My health is good and I ate McDonald's today so I feel AMAZING!! It's weird to say, but if you live here and can afford to eat at McDonald's you are pretty well off. (I used my personal visa, haha) It's starting to heat up here and I am beginning to realize that I am going to have a really hot Christmas. I miss everyone a lot but time is flying and I almost have 5 months in the mission. I wish time would slow down but it is what it is and I need to keep working harder every day. The only struggle I am having right now is patience. I want to know the language perfect, learn the scriptures better and have everyone here love me, but I know that I am not ready for all the blessings the Lord has in store for me. I need to be patient and work hard so I will be prepared. I love the work with all my heart and I would die for this message that we have, it's true and I am witnessing it's effects every day. Hope everyone is doing well.... Love always Elder Cody Dastrup

Monday, August 16, 2010

Aug. 16, 2010

Hey! I am doing well this week, how's everyone else? This week we had a lot of new people but it was hard to get into their houses for lessons. We had a few investigators at church and it was a nice sacrament meeting...the other 2 classes were something like a train wreck. The church is young here and there is still a lack of good leaders in our area, but with time and hard work hopefully that will change. My comp and I are trying to find new ways to find people to teach so we got an idea....when we don't have anything to do and we need to find more people to teach we are going to go to the other churches in the area and sit in for their meetings and if we get an opportunity to teach or share a thought, we will. We feel like it will be a good experience for us and we will be able to learn more about the other churches and find more people to teach (that's the idea, we will see how it goes) haha. Today we had a zone activity and we went to a place called "Salta de Itata" which is a huge waterfall. It was fun and I got a lot of pictures that I will attach. I will also attach the pictures from our baptisms the last two weeks. Speaking of which...Javiera will be baptized in 3 weeks, the first week of September. She has a desire to be baptized but we just need a couple of weeks to prepare her dad to baptize her (amazing family). The work here is good and I am loving every minute of it. All I can really ask for is for everyone to keep praying for me and my investigators and remember how blessed you are to live in the country that you do. Love you all and have a great week! Chowww....the one and only Elder Cody Dastrup

Monday, August 9, 2010

August 9, 2010

The only good thing about Monday is that we get our letter from Elder

What's going on! It was an awesome week for Elder Garcia and I. We baptized Luis and are hoping to get his family involved with the church as well, but it will be difficult. We have another baptism this week for a girl named Javiera, she is like Katie but 2 or 3 years younger. Their family has a lot of money and we have family home evening with them every week. It is a member family but they were inactive for a long time, but Elder Garcia and I have helped them get back to church and Javiera is ready for baptism this Sunday! We are having a lot of success and I know it's a huge blessing because there was only 1 baptism in the last 6 months before I got here.

I witnessed a miracle today. Elder Garcia and I were walking to take our laundry to a lady in the ward who does our laundry for us and we were talking to people on the street while we were going and I asked a random lady how her day was and stuff and she said she had something for me...MY PLAQUE! The name tags that missionaries have, I lost it 2 weeks ago and she had it in her purse and said she found it in the street a couple of weeks ago. We live in a decent sized area so it was a little crazy for that to happen.

I finally got letters this week, I received a lot so I won't get back to everyone all at once but I wrote like 6 today so...yea in a week or so those should be arriving. Thanks for the package mom, I got it and have eaten all the candy! (American candy is so much better the Chilean). Thanks for the letters/candy from my friends in there also (Jess and Josh). This next Monday Elder Garcia and I have decided to go into the city and take some pictures in the morning so the next email should have a bunch. I am doing great, my health is great and it sounds like everyone is doing ok. I love you all and miss you like crazy, this week I have missed my family a lot for some reason and I think it's because I see how happy families are down here and how close they are one with another. I think that is one thing we can all work on back in the states, family home evenings are essential whether you are a member of the church or not. Set aside one night a week where you can spend 2 hours or so doing something with only you and your family, or with another family that could use some help. Show love for each other because you never know what tomorrow is going to bring. Have an amazing week and keep praying for my area and investigators, it's working!!! Love Elder Dastrup

Monday, August 2, 2010

August 2, 2010

Hey how's it going? I am doing good today, the weather is still pretty cold here but not unbearable. We played Futbol and I had 4 goals! I am dominating the Latinos down here, haha. Elder Garcia's back is fine, he had some inflammation with his muscles or something but he rested a lot this past week so we will be back to working hard tonight and the rest of this week. Stephanie got baptized! It was seriously the best experience of my life, watching someone come up out of the waters of baptism pure and clean....amazing. We have another baptism (Luis) this week but it is a little sketchy, pray for us this week please. We are over one ward because generally down here there is one building for each ward. Our building is nice and is close to our house. Our area is about 7 miles long and 4 miles wide (It's big), but some of it is pastures so we don't always have to go 7 miles a day. I have had some crazy food (like horse), but I never know what I am eating...I just eat it...FAST! haha This food here is actually pretty good but I feel like it all tastes the same. The weather here in Chillan (my city) is cold, it gets past freezing every night and I think the coldest it has gotten was like 15 degrees but I don't know because they don't use Fahrenheit here. I'm glad to hear dad has been working on my car and when it gets cooler outside you guys can drive it as much as you want. Sounds like the house is going to be different when I get back, and I am super excited. You all are staying really busy and that is good to hear. Anyways I am doing good and hope all is well, love you so much and pray for you all every day. Elder Dastrup

p.s. if you have sent a letter anytime soon I found out from the mission home it should be delivered this Thursday if all goes well. There is only 3 cars for the whole mission so that is why it takes so long for him to get letters delivered to him and our package that we sent 3 weeks ago just got to the mission home....thanks for all your support to Elder Dastrup Cody's Mom)

Monday, July 26, 2010

July 26, 2010

Hey! I had an awesome week but not much crazy stuff happened. We have a baptism this week on Sunday with Stephanie and the following week scheduled with Luis. I am really excited for both of them. Luis is a very poor man with a huge family living in his little house (probably 15 people) and they are CRAZY! We only get to teach him in his home because nobody else wants to listen but he loves it and can't wait to be baptized to be an example for his family. It is amazing to see how our message can literally change peoples lives in only a few weeks (we have something special). My companion is having problems with his back so tomorrow morning we are going to the doctor, but today we mostly spent our time cleaning the house. It is super clean!!! We went downtown today to buy some stuff for the week and I knew I needed to buy a rug for the house but forgot. So when we got home I was looking for something to use as a rug, I found some blankets in the closet and decided I would use one to make some rugs for the house. I cut it into 4 rugs for our tile floored house and when my companion had seen what I did his face went pale and he said "usted tiene una pecado" which means "you have sinned" haha. I guess hmna Fischbeck doesn't like when things happen to the extra blankets so.....don't mention this to her mom! I tooka picture with Elder Fischbeck and of the Fischbeck's and they are attached to this, also a picture of the volcano's we visited 2 weeks ago. Anyways I gotta get back to work but have a good week and love everyone! Elder Dastrup

P.S. I am only getting letters like once every 3-4 weeks and packages once every 4 weeks sooo if I don't get back to you very fast sorry!!! Choi

Monday, July 19, 2010

July 19, 2010

Hey Everyone! How is it going! Chile is doing great and I have my first baptism this week, STEPHANIE! It's gunna be awesome. I also had my first baptismal commitment this past week....IN SPANISH! haha. The work is good and my companion is still really good. I am super excited for tonight because we are inviting another person to be baptized this Sunday! I think she will say yes, but I don't know. She is 10 years old and reminds me of Katie, they have quite a bit of money and she dresses just like Katie and looks 2 or 3 years older then she is. Her dad is super cool and likes the NBA! And likes the SUNS! (my favorite Chilean I have met so far) I think we should be having more success in the next month or so with baptisms but you never know here. We had 8 investigators at iglesia and it was super good, because that is usually the hardest part, getting them to church. We have church at 10 in the morning and I don't want to call the people of Chile lazy but...they are. haha We knocked a door the other day at noon and got yelled at because it was too early and the man was sleeping, and it was a weekday! So pray for our investigators to wake up a little earlier and come to church! We played soccer today because it's our p-day and I had 2 goals! We played 10 on 10 on a huge field and it was good for me, I needed to go run around. How are you all doing? I miss our ward so much and all my friends but I know what I am doing is so much better then anything else anyone could be doing. I am also currently reading Jesus the Christ, it is amazing and everyone should read it (members and non members of the church) Jesus, I just know with all my heart that he is our Savior and I cannot explain it but I feel so close to him right now. I've got to go but know that I always pray for you all and just want do say, enjoy life it is truly so amazing, just look around.
Love you all,
Elder Cody Dastrup

Monday, July 12, 2010

July 12, 2010

Hey everyone! This email might be a little short, because I don't really have much time. Today was pday and our zone went up to a ski resort for the day to have a BBQ and hang out. It was really fun and I got a couple of pictures, but nothing too crazy (just a bunch of snow). This week has been good and we continue to gain more investigators. We have one family that we have taught twice, they have a son and 3 daughters and they are super cool and open to everything we have to say. The father in the family had a heart attack 3 weeks ago and is doing better now but still has some complications. They are way nice and I hope they continue letting us in their house to teach. My comp and I are having a difficult time with some of the ward members and their unwillingness to serve others. We were in a meeting and brought up the fact that a member had mentioned she needed some logs split at her house because she doesn't have a husband and it is hard for her, numerous members talked about how we didn't need to serve those who could do things for themselves or could pay for others to do it. I know that this is incorrect, we need to remember to always serve others sooo we are going to her house tomorrow during our lunch to split logs (haha). Not much has happened this week in way of notable things but just remember to always serve others as Christ would. Love you all so much! Elder Dastrup

Monday, July 5, 2010

July 5, 2010

Hey everyone! This week was a busy one for me! I got to go meet the new Mission President, President Humphreys on Friday and it was super good. He is a gringo from California who served his mission in Argentina, his mission President was Richard G. Scott! Super cool...his wife doesn't speak any Spanish (I found my new best friend) so during the mission conference she has a missionary translate her words into Spanish. the conference was short, but it was good. At the conferences I get to see my friends from the MTC and it is always nice to see them but my companion and my other best friend from the MTC aren't in our area so they go to a different conference. the conferences that we have are in Concepcion and it is about a 2 hour bus ride from my zone. As we were buying our tickets for the bus in the bus station a fight broke out between a thief and 3 guys beating the crap out of him...I kind of got in their way and got hit, but only in the arm and I got out of the way haha. It was crazy, the police didn't do anything about it and the guy who stole stuff was getting pounded. "Thou Shalt Not Steal" has never been so true. After that I realized that it's important to always be safe down here and always pay attention to your surroundings. this week is going good though, this last week we received 14 new investigators! It was really good. I think we are doing a good job and we are working hard every day, but we could always work harder. I sent a picture or 2 of Concepcion, it is beautiful and the church there is amazing, it is up on a hill above the city and the view is amazing. I hope I get to serve in Concepcion before my mission is over, it is way nicer than my city Chillan! haha I don't know if I mentioned in my last letter, but the food here is good, a lot of potatoes, soups, chicken and chorizo. The toughest thing about the food is that we eat only once a day for lunch (provided by a member) at like 1:30 p.m. and we can't eat again until we get home to our apartment at 10. They have something called "once" (like the number 11) and it is like dinner, but we aren't aloud to eat it as missionaries, even though it gets offered to us all the time. It's weird. Anyways, keep praying for our investigators, I love you all and hope everyone is safe and well.
Yours Truly,
Elder Cody Dastrup

Monday, June 28, 2010

June 28, 2010

Ho la! Como Es tan? How are you all doing? My week was good, filled with excitement and really good. I have no clue where to even start...First off, I learned how to send letters from here, I got you letter mom and dad. I get letters on Tuesdays and my pdays are Monday so it should take 2 or 3 weeks to get back to you, but write me and I will do my best. Now the important stuff...We had a baptism scheduled this week for Sunday, but it fell through. Lets just say that things are different here, our investigator had all the lessons and like 10 visits from the missionaries, went to church 4 weeks in a row but he is gay....I was crushed when my companion came back from the interview, but there isn't much we can do but pray and fast for him. We are in a pretty rough area in 2 ways. We have a lot of "flitas" (Chillan gangsters) in one section so my companion won't go over there after like 6. It is tough because there are people we need to teach over there that don't get home from work until 7 or 8. The other reason our area is rough is that missionaries don't have much success here. My companion has been here 2 1/2 months with 0 baptisms...But there is hope, we have at least 1 investigator who should be getting baptized soon. The gas for our house has a leak in it or something so we had to turn it off and haven't had a warm shower for 4 days! the water is freeeezing! Pray for my house haha Chile is so different than the states, everything about here is crazy. One thing that is similar though is the music...It is actually the exact same. They listen to American music here, and I hear it all day every day. It is kind of awkward though because they don't understand the words and they will be listening to rap or something and it will be unedited and they will be singing it...It's a little funny because they have no clue what they are saying. Anyways, I have got to run but thanks for the prayers, keep praying for my investigators. I love the mission and I wouldn't be doing anything else with my life for the next 2 years. Later!!!

OK the pictures I put on here are mostly from the MTC with my zone, district, teachers, etc. (Elder Bryan Mortensen) but some are obviously from here. I will take way more from here so don't even worry about it. I was going to send more pictures of our house, but our senior missionary said I shouldn't because it would worry you, haha but I did send you a picture of our sweet kitchen! George Foreman grill baby!!! Love Elder Dastrup

Monday, June 21, 2010

June 21, 2010

Hey everyone, I hope your doing well. This week has been such a busy one! I can honestly say that I have no idea what the heck is going on here! When we arrived in Chile on Tuesday we all realized that we did not know the language, none of us, and it was humbling. So far I love the 6 days I have been here, but I would be lying if I didnt say it was difficult. I will start off with the bad or... "different" stuff. First off they do not speak Spanish here, they speak Chilean which is 50 times faster and the words are different. I literally understand like 1 out of every 50 words, but its all good, its my 1st week. The poverty here is unreal. I am in the city of Chillan which is actually pretty large maybe as big as Concepcion??? I am not sure. But the people aren't poor to the point that they can't put food on the table, but they definately struggle. If you want to know what it is like, I would suggest driving down to south Phoenix, finding the poorest part and walking around for a while, it is humbling. Our house is not very nice either. We have broken ceramic tile flooring no heated water except the shower which isn't really heated. It is always cold in our apartment, cold enough that I can see my breath. There is dogs everywhere and they poop on the sidewalks and the streets so you have to be careful haha I won't get into too much detail because I dont want to worry you all, but just be grateful for what you have. Now the good news! We have 1 investigator being baptized this upcoming Sunday and we probably have 3 or 4 that should be getting baptized in the next 3 or 4 weeks. My companion is a native from Ecuador who speaks little English. I am glad to have him, because he knows how everything works and all of the people love him, and he is perfect at the language haha It is hard having a comp who doesnt speak english though, because I have so many questions about the language but he cant answer them because I can't explain anything to him. Having a native is a blessing, but it would be nice to be able to ask more questions. The language is coming... I realized that I am picking up vocab super fast, but I am still struggling with structure. It will take some time. I am working super hard, but keep me in your prayers, because it is super hard to stay positive sometimes. I pray alot and some days are better than others, I have faith that the language will come and pray for the gift of tounges every minute of the day. Chile won again today in the world cup, they are 2-0 so far and the people here are going crazy! They love futbol here more than we as americans can imagine. Look up Alexis Sanchez... He is some amazing soccer player on Chile and everyone here talks about him haha. Well keep praying for me, and I dont know how the mail works here, so if you sent me anything I will try to get back to you as fast as possible. Love you all so much and I need you now more than ever. Pray for me and more importantly pray for the people of Chile. Choi...

Next week I will send some pictures so you all can see what it is like here. I just didnt have the time to do it this week. Have a good week!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

June 14, 2010

Cody left the MTC with 15 other missionaries headed to Concepcion Chile today. We were fortunate enough to hear from him when he landed in Dallas. He only had about 15 minutes of talking time but it was great to hear his voice and his confidence. He is excited to go serve the Lord for the next 22 months down in Chile. He is nervous as he knows he isn't great at the language yet but with faith and prayers he will come to know the language in a short amount of time. He asked that we all pray for him to pick up the language quickly as he knows he has made remarkable strides so far with learning Spanish thanks to many prayers in his behalf but knows he will need to learn much more when he gets down there. He will spend the night at the mission home and will be gettting a new companion first thing Wednesday morning (we heard this morning that he has a new companion who will be training him is Elder Garcia and they will be serving in sector of Los Volcanes and located in the city of Chillan) . We also learned from one of the other missionary mom's that his p-day will be on Monday's so we hope to hear from him this coming Monday and he should have closer to an hour on the computer so we may get longer letters from him. We are excited as a family to hear all the wonderful stories about the Chilean people and watch the growth of a great young man. Adios until Monday.

Friday, June 11, 2010

June 11, 2010

This week has been amazing. Elder Reed and I were selected to teach 2 groups of 30ish missionaries their first night at the MTC. We had an investigator and we started the teaching for 15 minutes then handed it over to the missionaries to group teach. They both went really good and Brother McCall (the guy in charge of it) told us that we were the best elders that he has ever seen at doing what we did. It was really rewarding and I felt really good about it. We also had our last TRC yesterday and it went really well. My district is all leaving on Monday to Chile and I am the travel leaders so I need to make sure everyone catches their flights and whatnot. I am nervous to go but I feel comforted, like no matter what happens and how hard it is going to be, everything will be alright. The language is coming and I can teach most principles as long as I have the vocab about the subject studied. I can tell that others are praying for me because everything has picked up and I am super thankful for you all and everything you are doing for me. The computer freaked out and I lost 10 minutes of email sooo I got to go....Sorry for the short letter. I love you all soooo much! Pray for me and wish me luck! All you need to know is that I love you and I am doing well! Adios Elder Dastrup

Sunday, June 6, 2010

June 4, 2010

Hola! Como estan?! Estoy feliz por que...My travel itinerary came in yesterday!!! I am leaving the MTC on June 14, 2010 for Chile. I will go from SLC to DAL TX to Santiago Chile to Concepcion! I have 23 hours of scheduled travel time and I am so excited....haha I am trying to stay focused this week and keep in mind that I will be out in the field in a little over a week. It's a little scary to think I am going to be in a place where 95% of the people don't speak a lick of English, but I am excited none the less. I will be getting a new mission president 2 weeks after I arrive down in Chile so that should be a neat experience to be able to serve almost 22 full months with the same mission president. As for here at the MTC, all is well and my companion and I are still doing awesome. We taught a lesson in Spanish yesterday in the TRC and the man we taught was actually a non member I believe. He had tattoos and huge gauges (huge earrings to make large holes in your ears) and he had a real nice beard. For me this is the perfect type of investigator, somebody who is different and has strong beliefs...just in the wrong things. The man we taught was really hard to teach (he made a companionship in our district cry last week) haha but he was really interesting and had a unique and funny sense of humor. We taught him the plan of salvation and he took it really well. He tried to throw us off or distract us a couple of times throughout the lesson but we reeled him in and taught an awesome lesson. We were teaching about the 3 kingdoms of glory at the end of the lesson and he said he would be fine with the terrestrial (sarcastic) and I called him a Mentiroso! (LIAR) We all laughed and when the lesson was over he said "Bye Brent (my companion Elder Reed), Bye Cody" I was so confused! How did he know my 1st name?! Then I looked down on my scriptures and saw it engraved on them. That teaching experience was really good for me and I felt that that was the strongest that my companion and I have ever taught in Spanish. I am doing good and loving the work. I miss you all but the truth is, I would rather be out here serving the Lord than anything else so...your gunna have to wait another 22 months to see me, haha. I've gotta run but wanted to say thanks to Gma Guthrie for the package and thanks for all the other letters and packages. Love Y'all so much and hope you know how lucky I feel to have known you.
Yours Truly,
Elder Dastrup

Friday, May 28, 2010

May 28, 2010

Hey Everyone! Como Estan? The MTC is still going good. I have seriously made so many lifelong friends after only 6 weeks here! I know it's crazy I have been out over 6 weeks! After my time is done here at the MTC I will be about 1/12 done with my mission....CRAZY! It feels like I have been here for 3 days. The food was good for the 1st few weeks but I am totally over it now, I have put on 15 pounds! (No worries to the ladies, it's all muscle) haha. I was able to teach 6 lessons in complete Spanish this week (with the help from my companion) Keep praying for me, the language is coming but a few more prayers couldn't hurt, right? haha We got new missionaries this week in our zone and it was a cool experience. As a zone leader we are in charge of getting them comfortable with the MTC, showing them how to teach lessons and giving them a tour of the campus. You Arizonans will be shocked to hear this but guess what? We had a blizzard on Monday! Not a light snow storm but a BLIZZARD at the end of MAY! It snowed so hard that 2 huge trees 40-50 feet tall came crashing down by the mail room. I have some pictures of it and it was really cool. Enough about me...How is everyone? Are you enjoying your summer? How is Gma Poll? How is Travis? I think about him and his family all of the time and I hope they are doing well. Thanks- Jessica and Mom and Gma Dastrup for sending me packages recently, they were much appreciated by both me and my roommates...and the whole floor! I am so thankful for the opportunity to be serving as a missionary in such an exciting time in the world and can't wait to get out into the field in 3 weeks...CRAZY! Thanks for the support, keep sending letters and stuff, I really appreciate it. Adios Elder Cody Dastrup

Friday, May 21, 2010

May 21, 2010

Hey everyone como estan! How are ya'll doing? The MTC life has picked up a little bit and we are working wayyy hard! This week (yesterday) we had to teach our whole lesson in Spanish! It was so flipping hard! My companion can speak almost fluently though so it's all good. But anyways I have a funny story about our lesson...well I was about to bear my testimony to the lady we were teaching and what I was trying to say was "I know my Spanish is bad BUT I know that God loves all of us etc..." but what I ended up saying was I know my Spanish is bad BECAUSE God loves us....AHHH! Just to clarify things to everybody, my Spanish is not bad because of God's love for me, it's bad because I am a white boy from a white town with all white friends and a white family! haha Anyways, my companion thought that it was hilarious and gives me crap about it like every day. Esta bi en. I have been studying the Book of Mormon hard and will probably finish reading it in 2 weeks or so. (I started over the day I got here). We have another district leaving on Monday, but we did get some good news, we get a new district of 12 with 4 hermanas (sister missionaries). It's always nice to have some sisters in the zone, it keeps us humble. How is everybody doing? How's the weather? It is still a little chilly here on most days, but I love it. I watched a video on the world report and it talked about Chile. The report said that over 1 million homes were either destroyed or badly damaged. It's crazy to think of how many that is. I am so excited to get down there and help those people out, and even though I might not know a word they are saying, I will still know how to serve. I just wanted to thank you mom and dad for always teaching me by example how to serve and love others no matter what your reward may be. I heard something the other day that hit me kind of weird, it's really simple but I think we can all ask ourselves this question before we go to sleep at night. "Have I done any good in the world today? Have I helped anyone in need?" If you haven't then you are doing something wrong and you seriously need to evaluate the way you are living your life. I promise to you that as you serve others you will be a happier person and you will be a great example to others. I love you all so much and pray for you nightly, keep praying for the people I am going to serve that they may be prepared to learn. Have an amazing week. Love,
Elder Cody Dastrup

Sunday, May 16, 2010

May 14, 2010

Here are a few pictures of Elder Dastrup while serving at the Provo MTC. They are with his first District and Companion Elder Reed.
This Weeks Letter:
Hola! Coma Esta!!! I had an awesome week here at the MTC, I don't even know where to begin. Oh now I remember where I wanted to start...Tuesday night Jeffery R. Holland came and spoke to us! Crazy huh? He is the most powerful speaker that I have ever heard. The greatest thing that I learned from him is how he spoke to us...He was so powerful and so bold that you felt like he was looking into your soul and telling you everything that you as an individual needed to hear. He said some really rememberable lines to us, he said "How dare you think that you have the right to be the one missionary who wastes his mission and the Lord's time." He also said that if we ended up leaving the church and come up to him with a bunch of tattoos and long hair and try to talk to him about our missions, that he will "punch us right in the nose" haha I thought it was a very funny thing for an apostle to say but it is very true. The main point that he talked about that I wanted to share with you is how he said we were such examples to young children. He said that his grandchildren look up to missionaries with such high esteem and for us to be anything less than what they think is horrible. I hope that I was a good example to all of you and that I had some positive impact in changing someones life for the better. Yesterday we had TRC (our last one in English) :( and we taught a pretty awesome lesson on the plan of salvation. I got to use the story of how I will see my older brother again who died at birth and what a blessing that is to me. We taught another lesson last night on the word of wisdom and how important it is in our lives and it was super powerful. I just went through the temple for a man who was born in 1637! He has been waiting for over 300 years for somebody to help him out and I was the one who got to do it, it was such a great experience. I love you all and miss you so much. Thanks for all of the support I receive, it means the world to me. Ooo and by the way on a super spiritual note...I heard the suns swept the spurs, I knew I would be blessed for serving a mission I just didn't know my blessings would be so great!!!haha Love you guys...Elder Cody Dastrup