Contact Information

Cody's Mission Home Address in Chile:

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

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 dastrup5@cox.net and your email will be forwarded to Cody as he is only allowed to email family members.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Dec. 19, 2011












Hey mom HAPPY BIRTHDAY!
I love you so much and have appreciated all of the support that you have given to me this last year and 8 months that I have been out here. I am doing well and miss you quite a bit, but I know the best birthday/Christmas gift I can give you is to just keep working hard and return with honor. You have been a big motivating factor to me and have really given me all of the support and all the tools I have needed to become a successful missionary. Thanks for everything mom.
It was a really good week as we had the opportunity to interview and baptize a few of the people that we were teaching here in the sector. I have grown a lot as a missionary this week and feel re-energized to go out and work hard these next couple of weeks. The good news is that we baptized the people that we were teaching, but the only bad news is that now we have nobody to teach. This week we plan on hitting the ground running with intentions of finding solid people that are willing to follow Christ. This week has drained me a lot and I honestly feel like an old man. All of the new missionaries are coming in and they have so much energy and are so willing to learn and progress and I look at myself and see the difference. I really admire the newer missionaries and the energy they bring to the table, my companion has really kept me working hard. We have been able to find a way to have success in all that we do here in the sector and are hoping to not only continue baptizing and reactivating families that have fallen away, but really help these people so that they can endure to the end and become successful in all that they do.
Next week is Christmas!!! I am so excited to see you guys and to open the presents you sent. (I already opened most of them haha. Thanks for the scriptures, I knew you were going to send me some and I wanted to use them in my studies so...I opened them early haha. Sorry. They are really nice though. Don't worry though, I will wait until Christmas morning to open up the ties that you sent me this week (I only opened one...haha) It seems like you are all doing well though and I am so glad that we can talk this next week! Are you guys excited? I am not 100% sure what time we will talk at. Anyways love you a ton and wish you a very very merry Christmas!
Love you!
Elder Cody Dastrup

Monday, December 5, 2011

December 5, 2011

Hey!
Sorry for getting back to you guys so late today, I had a lot of little things to do. It was pretty uneventful wee here (worked hard but nothing crazy happened). We have 5 people that are preparing to get baptized right now and I am honestly feeling like all 5 of them will make it. One of the people that we are working with is ready and has been ready for a long time but she doesn't have permission from her parents because they think that she will be kicked out of her (catholic) school. It is really a dumb situation and so I have been talking to a few people that work here in the government and they are going to help us find out a way to protect her rights and get her baptized in the church. I am so thankful for always having a family that supported me in everything I did and I honestly feel so much pain when I see parents who don't want whats best for their kids, but are more worried about their own personal problems. We have made progress with the family and we are hoping that she can get baptized on the 17th of this month. Which brings me to the next topic...the 17th of December. We are planning on having a baptismal service at 7 or 8 in the night and we are expecting to have 8 or 9 baptisms!!! I am so excited and have never felt better about the work that we are doing than I do right now. I am loving everything and I love where I am at/hoping that I don't get transferred in a week! We have changes in a week and I am really hoping that I will be able to spend Christmas here.

Today we were in the office of the mission putting in the numbers from the week and stuff and we got to talking to Hermana Humphrey and I thought you would like what she said....Our office is right next door to the other mission (Concepcion south) office and they decorated the office like crazy. They have a Christmas tree, streamers and a bunch of other stuff. Well, hermana Humphrey saw that they had decorated the office and she saw that ours wasn't and it made her a little jealous, so she went and looked at it, examined it and then came back and decided that they couldn't have a "more cute" office than us. Anywho, it turns out that their president gave them a certain amount of $ to decorate and so hermana Humphrey said we could us a little more, and they had a Christmas tree so hermana Humphrey said we needed a bigger one...anyways one thing led to another and before I knew it I was cutting out paper ice-cicles and hanging them from the roof of he office ceiling (using an hour of my p-day), but I did it all in the spirit of Christmas haha.

It sounds like all is well back home and I found it really interesting that you guys had a little snow. We had a little rain the other day but it is like 85 degrees here right now, so there are no predictions of a white Christmas. How excited are you guys for Christmas? I am not dying of excitement, but I am definitely excited for the opportunity to talk to you guys. I will be taking a ton of pictures and I will make sure to be better at sending you guys any pictures that I take. Love you and hope all is well! Tell Josh I am sending him a letter but the line at the post office was too long today and I didn't have time to wait and that I will send it next week!

Yours truly,
Elder Cody Dastrup

Monday, November 28, 2011

November 28, 2011













First off...letter to his dad (explains some of the pictures)
Hey,
It sounds like your thanksgiving was way more eventful than mine. We tried to buy a chicken right before going home but...there were none left by the time we got to the store haha so we ate something called chori panes. Kind of like bratwursts haha. Oh yea and something I forgot to put in the big email that I will put in the next week is that we had an activity in the church that we were in charge of. We had a culture night! We assigned a country to every active family in the ward and some of the investigators that we are teaching as well. What you had to do was give a brief resumen of your country: population, number of members, temples, etc and prepare a typical food from that country (a national food?) we had the US and we made chili cheese fries with 2 of our investigators. It went really well and we ended up with 5 investigators there and all of them but 1 participated.
We have challenged ourselves to baptized more then we have before so I am really looking forward to the challenge and the best part of all is that I absolutely love the people that we have that we are teaching. It has been a crazy couple of weeks and we are looking to do things that have never happened before in the sector.
Now for the group letter:
Hey!
How is it going!? Another week in paradise and honestly I have no complaints this week. I don't have a ton to write about this week because the truth is...everything went pretty much as planned. This week we are looking to have 2 baptisms and I am pretty excited about that. We are baptizing a girl named Darling and a boy name Bastian. Bastian is the little brother of Marcela (the girl that we baptized in September) and Darling is like my little sister. We have been working with Darlings family and as you can remember we taught her family with the President like 4 weeks ago and she is looking really good for this Saturday (I will send a lot of pictures next week)! We are getting closer to Christmas and it seems like every day I am being reminded by other missionaries and members that I don't have very much time left! (April) I have mixed feelings, but for the most part I just look at it for what it is. I still have plenty of time to find, teach and baptize and that is what is keeping me focused. We had a lot of people in church again this week and we have put some pretty high goals for ourselves in the sector and as a zone. I am confident in the people we have and know that if we do our part we are going to be able to help these people make covenants with God and make the important decision to get baptized in the Church of Jesus Christ.
Sorry it is just one of those weeks where nothing is coming to my mind that would be exciting to tell you about. But...something kind of cool that we get to do because we live close to Concepcion is that we get to go to the leadership conferences that we have once a month with President Humphrey and talk to him and Hermana Humphrey for like 1 and 1/2 hours about he mission and about normal stuff too. Today while we were talking to them President mentioned how he lived in Venezuela for a while and how he has traveled to China many times as well for business. I think it is really cool that he has had the opportunity to do a lot of international business and I think he might be slowly convincing me to get into the same field some day haha.
It is amazing the vision that the President has for the missionaries though, and the confidence and faith that he has in us as 19-21 year old young men and the sister missionaries to go out and get a job done. He is a really good leader and he knows how to run things in the mission and I have taken a lot of notes on his leadership qualities and hope to one day be in his same shoes. Also, before I forget...Elder Keller emailed me and said he is doing well. He had some really nice things to say and some good encouraging words for me. He is a really good guy and if he ever comes over to AZ, make sure that you invite him over to the house for dinner and hook him up with someone to go on a date with (he tells me he is still waiting on that first date...haha)
I am doing really well though and hope that you guys aren't getting too trunkie. I need your support until the very last day and I know that I will have it. I am so grateful for the support that I have from you guys. I got the Christmas package you sent and I am super thankful to have the family that has the means to be able to support me and provide for me. I love you guys so much and hope that this is one of the best weeks of your lives.
Yours Truly,
Elder Cody Dastrup

Monday, November 14, 2011

November 21, 2011

Chiguayante Zone Nov 2011
Spider
Roberts, Dastrup, Keller

Dastrup & Ford
Hey,
Another week in the books. I really enjoyed the week and I felt like we really picked up the pace and got a lot of good things done. This week we decided that we needed to buckle down and find some good people to teach so...we did just that. We took a list of all of the inactive members in the ward and we set a goal with the other 2 missionaries that share the sector with us to visit every single inactive person in the next 4 weeks. There are 700 inactive members in our ward but a lot of them are families so I am thinking that we will have about 150 households each to visit. This week we found a ton of inactive members that hadn't attended church in years and we got 13 to come to church. It is amazing that sometimes people just need the invitation and they are more than willing to come back. We also had a few investigators in church including that whole family that went to church last week I really don't have any huge regrets.
My companion and I are also doing really well. This week as a mission we had the privilege to hear from Elder Quentin L. Cook from the quorum of the 12 Apostles and all I can say is....WOW. He came and talked to all of the missionaries in our mission. He told us that contrary to what many missionaries think, our purpose is not to baptize. Our purpose as missionaries is to invite all to come unto Christ. Our job is to strengthen all of the wards and branches here in Chile, to baptize, reactivate, prepare future missionaries to serve and do everything in our power to leave our wards better than we found them. We are branch builders. It was a very interesting talk and I felt like it was a nice breath of fresh air that our mission really needed. At this very moment there are about 130 people who assist church every Sunday and we have put a goal with the other missionaries to get that number as close to 200 before we leave the sector. I am really excited for the chance we will have to not only teach to baptized, but also help those that have fallen from the path.
Mom asked that I would share the funniest thing that happened to us this week and I can't really think of anything. In the new house that we have, we still don't have a stove or anything to cook on, so we have been having to cook everything in the microwave. Well, I bought like 100 eggs the other day to start the diet back up (haha) and I wanted to east some so...I cooked them in the microwave (like grandpa Guthrie does for his dog, haha)and they came out fine, and then the Bolivian that lives with us wanted some, but he wanted them hard boiled. I walked out of the kitchen and apparently he stuck a bowl of water with 2 eggs in the microwave and left it for 5 minutes. About 2 minutes into the experiment I felt and heard a loud bang! The eggs exploded, the microwave door flew open and we lost power in the entire house! I ran into the other room and saw Elder Arana walk out of the kitchen saying that he couldn't hear anything. Well, we fixed the microwave and taught him that you can't stick anything in the microwave especially not eggs and metal haha.
Anyways, I hope all is well and that you are all doing well. I miss you all, but like always I wouldn't trad this experience for anything.
Yours Truly,
Elder Cody Dastrup

November 14, 2011

Hey,
Another week in the books. I really enjoyed the week and I felt like we really picked up the pace and got a lot of good things done. This week we decided that we needed to buckle down and find some good people to teach so....we did just that. We took a list of all the inactive members in the ward and we set a goal with the other 2 missionaries that share the sector with us to visit every single inactive person in the next 4 week. There are 700 inactive members in our ward but a lot of them are families so I am thinking that we will have about 150 households each to visit. This week we found a ton of inactive members that hadn't attended the church in years and we got 13 to come to church! It is amazing that sometimes people just need the invitation and they are more than willing to come back. We also had a few investigators in church including that whole family that went to church last week. Sunday went very well and looking back on the week I really don't have any huge regrets.
My companion and I are also doing really well. This week as a mission we had the privilege to hear from Elder Quentin L. Cook from the quorum of the 12 Apostles and all i can say is...WOW. He came and talked to all of us missionaries in our mission. He told us that contrary to what many missionaries think, our purpose is not to baptize. Our purpose as missionaries is to invite all to come unto Christ. Our job is to strengthen all of the wards and branches here in Chile, to baptize, reactivate, prepare future missionaries to serve and to do everything in our power to leave our wards better than we found them. We are branch builders. It was a very interesting talk and I felt like it was a nice breath of fresh air that our mission really needed. At this very moment there are about 130 people who assist church every Sunday and we have put a goal with the other missionaries to get that number as close to 200 before we leave the sector. I am really excited for the chance we will have to not only teach and baptize but also help those that have fallen from the path.
Mom asked that I would share the funniest thing that happened to us this week and I can't really think of anything. In the new house that we have, we still don't have a stove or anything to cook on, so we have been having to cook everything in the microwave. Well, I bought like 100 eggs the other day to start the diet back up (haha) and I wanted to eat some so...I cooked them in the microwave (like grandpa Guthrie does for his dog, haha) and they came out fine, and then the Bolivian that lives with us wanted some, but he wanted them hard boiled. I walked out of the kitchen and apparently he stuck a bowl of water with 2 eggs in the microwave and left it for 5 minutes. About 2 minutes into the experiment I felt and heard a loud bang! The eggs exploded, the microwave door flew open and we lost power in the entire house! I didn't know what had happened so I ran into the other room and saw Elder Arana walk out of the kitchen saying that he couldn't hear anything. Well, we fixed the microwave and taught him that you can't stick everything in the microwave especially not eggs and metal haha.
Anyways, I hope all is well and that you are all doing well. I miss you all, but like always I wouldn't trade this experience for anything.
Yours Truly,
Elder Cody Dastrup

Monday, November 7, 2011

November 7, 2011

Hey Everyone,
Due to time this letter might be a little short but...I think I will manage to get mostly everything in. Update on the companionship: Elder Ford is doing really well and his knee seems to be doing a lot better as well. He is progressing and I am so proud of all that he has done to get to the point where he is at right now. He still struggles a lot with the language and with the gospel knowledge, but we are working on it and I feel like he is putting in his part. We had a really good week of work and for the 1st time in a long time I feel like we met our potential. We had a few investigators in church and we actually have 3 that are progressing towards baptism. We also had a ton of members attend church this week, we normally have an average of 130 people a week and this week 166 people showed up. Elder Ford and I and the other companionship in our sector came up with a good idea to find new investigators. We took the ward list and basically have been passing by every inactive member to see if they have any kids or spouses who aren't baptized and we are also getting a lot of references from them. We found 12 new investigators this week! It was a really good week.
Big story of the week...On Thursday afternoon we set up a visit to go see the family that we are working with and we invited President to come meet them and help us get things moving. It was incredible how well the lesson went. President basically went in there and just took over. In 20 minutes he got to know them, gained their confidence and then we started teaching basic doctrinal principle of the gospel. We talked about many things but the main focus was on the eternal family. The father really liked the idea and he is really putting in his part so that he can receive the blessings that come through obeying the commandments and making covenants with God. Anyway, the lesson went great and on Saturday morning I went over, invited them to be baptized on the 26th of this month and we shared our testimonies with them. They accepted the goal that we put with them and we are really hoping that they can get there. Well...the climax of the story, Sunday afternoon rolled around (they all went to church in the morning) and I get a call that something had happened and the father was leaving the house (packing his bags and moving out)! I met up with Elder Weston and ran over there. We walked into a really difficult situation. He was getting his stuff ready to go and there had been some kind of argument that led him to want to take off. We sat them down and began to talk to them and the flood gates opened. The husband, who I am very close to really opened up to us. I testified pretty boldly that Gods plan is that the family can live together forever, in no part of Gods plan does it say that we can just quit. Nowhere in his plan does it say that we can just leave the family or that we can find happiness doing something else. We testified that God loved them and that his plan was that they could work through this problem, enter into the waters of baptism and step out of the water as pure as when they were born. We testified of many things and for the first time in my mission I cried in a lesson, 1 year and 7 months without a single tear, but I just couldn't hold it in...lol I told them I loved them and it came from my heart. I felt the love of God, I felt what I have been trying to feel my entire mission in the moment that I told a struggling father that I loved him, and that I loved his family and that I wanted to see them happy, and I wanted to see them in white. (Baptism, temple, celestial kingdom) I was very in tune with the spirit at that moment and I invited the family to get on their knees with us, grab one anothers hands and asked the father to give a prayer to bless his family through this tough time. He gave an amazing prayer and with a ton of conviction he promised God that as the head of the house he would do better in leading his family to salvation. After the prayer we gave the wife and him blessings of strength and help for their trials.
I have a testimony of what I am doing out here. God is real, he lives and loves each and every one of us. I know all of this not because I have seen him or had a dream, not because he has talked to me or sent an angel to visit me and convince me of his existences, but I know that God exists because I have felt ht power of his son Jesus Christs atonement in my life. I know that he exists because I have seen how the gospel of Jesus Christ has changed the lives of so many people that I have contact with the last year and a half. I know Joseph Smith was a prophet and that he saw God the father and his son Jesus Christ. God lives and loves you and me and each and every one of us. Thanks for all of the support that I have from all of you who are reading this. I love each and every one of you and would do anything to be with you, except leave Chile. This is the Lords work, and I will work until the very last day.
Con Carino,
Elder Cody Dastrup

Monday, October 31, 2011

October 31, 2011

Hey!
Happy Halloween! you mentioned the trunk or treat in the church this week and I wish I could say that there was a cool activity like that here but...there are a very few members that have cars here and Chileans don't really do Halloween very big here. Anyways, another week en la obra del senor and it was a good one. We had a great week and although we weren't able to baptize this week we had some really good possibilities coming up and I feel like we could be seeing some people getting baptized in the month of November. We are working with a family in the month of November. We are working with family that the 2 daughters are baptized but the rest of the family (3 more) aren't. I went over this week with Elder Weston and we had a really good lesson with the parents where we shared 1 Nephi 8 and we related it to them and their desire or lack of desire to follow Christ. The full family showed up to church and then afterwards we had lunch at their house. They are such a cool family and I am going to do everything humanly possible to get them to the waters of baptism so that they can always be together as a family. I feel like I am the first missionary to really gain a relationship with both parents and the dad of the family has progressed sooo much since I got here. Last night we had a visit set up with them and he wasn't there, so at about midnight he got home and felt really bad for not showing up to the visit and apologized. The family is moving forward for the 1st time since I have got to the sector and I talked to President Humphrey and he said that he would come visit them with us this week with his wife. I am sooo excited and I hope that we can teach them a powerful lesson on Wednesday. If everything goes as planned they will be getting baptized in 2 weeks and they will be some of the coolest converts that I have had the opportunity to help over the last year and half.
Everything else in the sector is doing pretty well. My companion is taking physical therapy for his knee but I feel like everything has gotten a lot better and that we will be back to 100% in no time. Me on the other hand...I am suffering, from ALLERGIES! It is spring here and I am soo miserable. It is destroying me and I have medicine but nothing is really working. I have about a month more of spring and then we will be in summer, so I guess the best solution will be just to stop complaining and keep working through it haha. Mom had mentioned how she doesn't want me getting any skinnier and that I need to eat more healthy food and keep doing exercises. Well I am doing pretty good on the exercising but he food has been a little harder. We have these 3 liter bottles for water that we filled up with cement and stuck a thick piece of re-bar in the middle and so we have a "barbell" to do curls with (it's just really ghetto haha) Other news...Elder Weston and his companion are moving in the same sector as us. We are changing houses today in the afternoon and we are going to be living in a house that is a little smaller but it is in a really good part of our sector sooo I am really excited.
Also, I got Josh's package and I will write him a letter this week to thank him and stuff, that was really nice of him and it was good to hear from him again.
Love you guys and hope you have an amazing Halloween and I hope that Grandpas party goes as planned. I love you guys and think about you every now and again and hope that you are all really happy and enjoying your lives. Thanks for everything. Love you guys a ton.
Con mucho Carino,
Elder Cody Dastrup

Monday, October 24, 2011

October 24, 2011

Another week in the books and my companion and I feel good about all that we did. The truth is that this week was a little rough and we tried our hardest to find new people, but for some reason or another we weren't able to have much success with anyone. We have a family that we are teaching that is progressing slowly...and as much as we love them we don't know if we are wasting our time on them or not. We have been teaching them as a family for over 2 months now and the progression has been slow, but noticeable nonetheless. We got the husband to attend church with all of the daughters and we have taught some very powerful lessons to them. We have reminded them of our purpose as missionaries and how we are here to help people progress and not only reach the waters of baptism but to be exhalted and live together forever. They love the idea of having an eternal family and the mother (who isn't baptized) has even told the daughters that she is going to get baptized. The problem is...we are getting them to church and they are now sooo close but they fault something and I feel like it might be a powerful lesson with a firm commitment to be baptized.(not sure what that sentence really meant from him) I was thinking President and the hermanas could help us a ton if they have time one night to come out with us and teach them or if they aren't able to I could just do a mini cambio with Elder Weston (the other ZL here). I love my companion and and know that it is all a process, but the process is going by pretty slow and it would be nice to have a little help with this family so we can make a decision whether or not we will continue working with them. And also, we are going to get my companions radiography that he took last week (he has a bad knee and we think it might be because he is a little overweight) and we will be seeing a specialist sometime this week. We will let you guys know how it goes. We are also doing a diet together as a companionship and it seems to me like Elder Ford has lost about 10 pounds already (we will keep you updated on that as well). I also have lost between 5 and 10...Unfortunately I wasn't overweight so...I am not a little underweight haha. I am eating a can of tuna and 2 eggs for breakfast every morning though to combat the lack of junk food. I feel really good about the diet and it got me to thinking...If I am having to diet, you guys (the family) should do it with us. To support my companion and I, you guys could do the diet with us! We are not eating any sweets, no cookies, candies NOTHING! Also, we aren't eating bread or drinking soda. We aren't eating chips and we are drinking skim milk and low fat yogurts. The only food we eat in the house is fruit, oatmeal, eggs, tuna and yogurt. It is working too! Try it for a week or 2, see how you like it.

I am feeling really good about everything. I am stressed and the diet is probably not helping, but one thing that I noticed is that I am pushing myself to grow now more then ever. It is stressful to be in the position I am in right now and if I wasn't a little bit stressed I think it would mean that I was taking my calling and responsibilities a little to lightly. Nonetheless...we are having a good time. We are also changing houses this week (forgot to mention that). The President is giving more missionaries to work with out here and for that we are super thankful, but...they are taking the house so we are moving into a smaller one that is in a better location of our sector. By the way, I still haven't taken any pictures of the sector, but hope to be able to do it today or sometime this week. (It's a little hard because the sector is really ghetto and I don't want to get my stuff stolen). Love you guys and hope you have an awesome week! Happy B-day Katie!
Yours truly,
Elder Cody Dastrup

Monday, October 17, 2011

October 17, 2011

Hola hola,
We are in October! Wow...How time flies when you are busy. This week was another busy one and we topped it off with a baptism. It was a kind of rough week because we found out that one of our investigators doesn't have permission from her mom to be baptized (she was suppose to be baptized on Sunday...) We are praying for her and for her mom to allow her to do it but I feel like it would be a long shot if she could get baptized in the next couple of weeks. Jose is the name of the person that got baptized this week and it was a really neat experience. We have been working with the family a ton but they are inactive members of the church who hadn't been to church in the last 10 years. This Saturday we went over to their house and promised them if they attended church and went to their sons baptism that they would feel better and that they would receive many blessings from doing it. They went and they loved it. Our bishop cornered them and pulled the parents in for an interview. Afterwards at the baptismal service the parents thanked me for sticking with them and promised that they would be at church again the next week to see their sons confirmation. I feel like we will be able to get them assisting church on a consistent basis and we are going to be putting goals with them so that they can make it to the temple in the next year. We also had another inactive family that we are working with show up to church. The husbands name is Miguel and he is not a member. He shared with the missionaries 3 years ago and wanted to get baptized but couldn't give up the Cigarrets...I was over there the other night and the family told us that they feel like we are missionaries that are going to be able to "change their lives". I felt really honored that she thought of us with such high esteem. He has a son named Miguel who is 8 and wants to get baptized, so we are also using that to our advantage so that he has incentive to be prepared before his son so that he can baptize him. I will keep you guys updated on how that all goes, but I am hoping for the best!
I have felt really good lately though. I have been thinking, or looking at things in more of an eternal perspective lately. I feel a need to find families. I want one of the families that we are teaching to get sealed in the temple in the next year or so, so that I can have a legitimate excuse to come back here and visit all my converts and stuff! Over these next 6 months I am determined to baptize a family and get them on the path to the temple. I actually had the opportunity to visit a family from another sector yesterday and see a family that I interviewed for their baptisms. They are soooo cool! They invited me and my companion over to celebrate their 2 months as members and they gave us a ton of food. I loved it and I feel like they will stay strong in the church and continue progressing towards bigger goals. I love being around families and I would be lying if I said I didn't miss mine right now. A year and a half is a long time to be away from anyone but it is harder when its the family. Its incredible though to think that I have been gone for so long but I haven't forgotten about any of you. Thanks for the support, the love, the....everything. I have the best family and the best friends in the world and I will be with you soon enough! Pray for me and my companion to keep having success!

Love always,
Elder Cody Dastrup

Monday, October 10, 2011

October 10, 2011




How are we doing? It's been another incredible week full of adventures. On Monday we had a leadership conference that I talked about a little bit in my last letter that I really enjoyed and I learned a ton. On Tuesday we had our Zone meeting and Elder Weston and I went over the need to have more urgency and taught the zone how to help their investigators progress more rapidly and helping them become more converted to the gospel. After we finished teaching our section, President (who showed up by surprise) taught the zone about 1 Nephi 8, 11 (Lehi's dream) and he showed us how we can apply it to our investigators. Elder Bednar gave an awesome talk on Lehi's dream in the October Ensign that you all should read! On Wednesday and Thursday my companion and all of the new missionaries went to a capacitation with President and they were there almost all day. I ended up working with Elder West (one of my best friends here) and we worked half the time in my sector and the other half in his sector. We had a good time and taught a ton of good lessons. My companion Elder Ford seems to be progressing more and more every day and I feel like in another 9 weeks or so he will be able to understand everyone and communicate himself.
In terms of my sector (mom wanted to know more about it), I work in a sector called La Pradera (The Prairie). It is gigantic and I have been pushing really hard to get 4 missionaries into the sector to help us work a little bit more efficiently. Our sector has a reputation for being extremely dangerous in certain parts, but I feel like its just got a lot of poor parts. The people definitely seem to be more humble here though and I can see the hand of God blessing these people that have so little materialistic things. I hope that we can continue finding good people. Our sector is like 30 in. in bus from the office of the mission and we come into Concepcion to do our internet and get our cards and stuff every week. The sector is beautiful but...I haven't taken a ton of pictures, I will try to take a few this week.
I think the biggest thing that I learned or that I felt this past week was just how lucky that I am to be here serving these people. We are having a ton of success in our Zone and I feel like it has come from our ability to be obedient and diligent in all that we do. My companion and I are determined to have a good week and I know that this next week will be better than the last. We are working with an in active family and are planning on baptizing their son this weekend. We are also teaching a girl named Loreto and we feel like she will be getting baptized as well, but she didn't come to church on Sunday so I am not really sure what will happen there.
Thanks for the support and all of the letters. I am coming down the homestretch and although I am not looking forward to leaving all of this behind, I am glad to know that I have amazing friends and family to go home to. I love you guys a ton!
Yours truly,
Elder Cody Dastrup

Monday, September 26, 2011

Hey guys,
Once again...awesome week. I love the mission. Things have gotten a little spicy around here with all of the changes but nothing that we can't handle! I am now working as a Zone Leader here in Chiguayante with the responsibility of training a newbie! He is really cool and I really enjoy him. We are not a ton a like, but it is ok because he has a really good heart and is really willing to help the people come unto Christ (our purpose) haha. I have been a little stressed because he doesn't speak any Spanish and it has been really hard to watch him struggle and it has been hard to have to do everything here in the sector. I went from a very experienced missionary who spoke perfect Spanish, who I depended on a ton, to now having a newbie and really having to run the show! It has been interesting this week and I am really praying that he can pick up the language a little bit so that he can help out a little more in the teaching. The week was good though and I don't really have any big complaints. We are working with 2 people that should be getting baptized on the 9th and the 16th of this month and we hope to find more people this week that we can take to conference this weekend. I am soooo ready for conference! I love having conference in the mission. When there is conference we go to the stake center and all of the members and latins watch it together and all of the gringos missionaries watch it in english in their own room. I love it, and I get a lot more out of conference in the mission than I did before.

It sound like everything back home is good. I am sooo glad that Tiff and Jeff live in our ward now and I can't wait until I get back and can go hang out with them. So what exactly are they doing in our area with the church? They are going to have more advertisements and commercials on tv? (he's talking about the new mormon.org campaign) That will be cool and will be a lot easier to talk about the church with people. You guys are going to be so shocked with how much I have changed here in the mission. I feel like I haven't changed too much but I am definitely more direct, goal oriented and willing to do whatever it takes or make whatever sacrifice to reach what I want to become. I thank you guys so much for sending me out here and can't wait to be able to come back and help the church in my own ward. I promise I won't be one of those lazy RM's who "doesn't have time"for missionary work. (so frustrating when rm's say that here) Love you guys a ton and hope that all is well!

Your boy,
Elder Cody Dastrup

Monday, September 19, 2011

September 19, 2011

Hey,
A lot of big news this week! 1st off, we didn't have any baptisms this week and it is looking like we won't be having any for a couple more weeks. General Conference in coming up and the stake has asked that we don't baptize on that weekend soooo we will have to wait an extra week with everybody. We have worked really hard though this transfer and have put ourselves in a good position to have a ton of success in the month of October. Also, as you guys know, we have transfers tomorrow. My companion Elder Zarco has finished his mission and is actually at Presidents house right now about to eat "The Last Supper" with President and all of those who are leaving. He was a really good companion and we worked well together and had tons of fun. I also received word from President that I would be training as a Zone Leader this cambio!!! I will have a ton of responsibility and depending on whether or not he is Latin or gringo I might be teaching him Spanish as well. I am excited for the opportunity to serve in a new capacity, but I would be lying if I said I felt qualified. I have heard before that the Lord only calls those who are qualified and those who are not.... either way he will qualify you in one way or another. (don't know if that made sense) haha. I know that the Lord will help me, so I am not too concerned.
I am doing well and have really enjoyed this weekend. It was the 18th of September celebration here, which is the biggest celebration that they have, and it is like our 4th of July (independence day) but they do it on a larger scale. We ate a ton of food and went to our ward party where we ate more food and celebrated the holiday together with all of the Chilean people. I have really come to love this people and I am really going to be sad when I get the call that I have to pack my bags and head back. There is just nothing like the mission...I love walking into every house or in the street or wherever you are with your plaque on and feeling like a celebrity. When we walk in the streets people look at us so different and when we enter in houses people receive us with so much love and I just wish that it could be the same when I got back and for the rest of my life. I am so thankful for this opportunity I have to be here and I thank God every day for being blessed by so many great people. Love you guys and miss you a ton and just so you know...I'm still not yours! 7 more months, and I will enjoy every moment!
Yours Truly,
Elder Cody Dastrup

Monday, September 12, 2011

September 12, 2011

Hey,
Another good week in the mission! We really got down to work this week and it seems like things are going to be picking up a ton in the next few weeks. We had a confirmation this week of the girl that got baptized last week and it looks like there is a good possibility that we have another baptism this week and the week after as well...but we will have to wait and see. The week started off king of slow but looking back on it I don't know if I have had a more successful week in the mission. We entered in 10 new houses this week and have found 3 new families to teach. I really feel strongly that 2 of these families are going to progress, but we want them to progress together as a family and be able to be baptized together as a family as well. It is amazing how things can change so much in 1 week.

Last night we had a lesson with one of the families that we found this week. They had shared with the missionaries about 8 months ago and went to church a few times but they ended up not getting baptized because they felt like the missionaries were being pushy and just wanted them to get baptized. We talked to them about following Christs example in everything and promised them a ton of blessings. The father is a member of the church but is inactive. the mother and their 3 kids are not members and aer the ones who actually have more desire to listen to us (I think the dad was drunk last night). But anyways, in the lesson last night we asked the wife if she really wanted to progress and if she would do the preparation so that she could get baptized with the kids. The dad jumped in and said "She doesn't want to listen to you guys, she won't follow through with this and you guys are just going to waste your time on her...Isn't that true?" and then the wife looked at him in the eyes and said "I want to do this, I want to do the preparation, but I want to do this as a family and I want all of the kids to get baptized with me!" Her husband almost had a heart attack when he heard that and my companion said to him, "I bet you haven't heard that from her before" and the husband said "no, that the first time that she has said she wanted to get baptized, and I know she isn't lying". We feel really blessed to have found this family and we are going to do our part to make sure that they start progressing.

How is the AZ summer? It is finally coming to an end! How was Sept. 11th, the 10 year anniversary? I remembered it and thought a lot about how lucky we are to live in a free country and have all of the luxuries that we have. Chile is a nice country, but we are so blessed to live where we do. I've got to go, we are in Chillan and my companion is going to say bye to some of his converts today. Thanks for everything. Love you guys a ton!
Yours truly,
Elder Cody Dastrup

Monday, September 5, 2011

September 5, 2011

Hey,
Time is flying! I feel like I was just here writing you guys a letter the other day. Not too much has happened this week out of the ordinary. We are working well in our sector and as always there are no problems between my companion and I . He is leaving in 2 weeks to go home to Fresno CA and he seems to have mixed feeling about it. I know that he is excited to go home and be with his family and friends but he is kind of nervous about the transition, so....we have been talking about what he should do when he gets back (studies, dating, working...etc) He has had a lot of family trouble as well so it has been hard for him and I feel like he is probably going home to a pretty difficult situation. I love my companion though and we are staying really focused as a companionship and continuing to work hard, which leads me to my next point. We had another baptismal service this weekend! I am really grateful for the success that we have been able to have and I really feel like we will keep going strong and keep having success here. We have 2 other people that we are working with that are really close and could possibly get baptized this weekend but it would be a real long shot. One of them is super close to being able to get baptized and has made the decision that she wants to do it but wants the support of her family. She is 20 years old and technically doesn't need the permission, but I understand where she is coming from a little bit and we are trying to get her mom to support her decision.

Our zone of missionaries is doing awesome and we are off to another really good start this month. The missionaries in my zone are Zarco,Jenson, Stowe(the jansons know him), brown, Orihuela,Weston, Arana, Sisters DaLuz, Brady, Child and Bustinza. We had set some goals as a zone last month and met them, so today we took the zone and did a really fun activity with them. (we got permission from the president and took the entire zone bowling and afterwards to PIZZA HUT! (the pizza hut is in the other mission but we got permission) I bought a whole family size pizza and a double 1/4 pounder from the Mcdonalds next door to eat tonight after we get home from work. The zone is working really well as a group right now and although there are 2 sectors who aren't' seeing much results, there are other sectors that have been consistently strong, which makes up for them. I love where I am at and I feel like we are looking strong again this month.

I am doing great though and am really happy with everything. I am starting to put goals with myself so that I don't get trunkie in these last months of my mission and so that I can push myself harder and have an awesome end to the mission. Miss you guys and love you a ton!
Love,
Elder Dastrup

Monday, August 29, 2011

August 29, 2011

Hey hey hey,
Another great week down here in Chile. I am 100% convinced that these 2 years of the mission are and will come to be the best of my life and I am sooo grateful to be here. We had another great week with a lot of ups and downs but I feel really happy about my situation and all of the blessings that we have received. I am in a city called Chiguayante and it is very green. There are mountains on one side of the sector and on the other side we have the Bio-Bio River, which is huge. Our area has a lot of middle class people and a section of really ghetto houses where it isn't very safe after about 7 in the afternoon, haha. The ward has about 120 active members, but they don't help us out a ton, so we have been going around to every members house and sharing a 15 minute message with them and then inviting them to do a family home evening with a non member friend. Last night we had a FHE with a member and her friend who is atheist and it went well. We shared about the restoration of the gospel and we talked to them about how we have evidence that God Exists! We told him about the first vision and about the restoration of the gospel and then about the Book of Mormon. I have really grown a strong testimony of that book! It is amazing because if that book is true it means that Joseph Smith saw God and Jesus and the he really was a prophet and not just some guy who claims to have seen angels. It is evidence!! haha.
I have been doing really well and my companion as well. We had another good week in the Zone and we reached our goal officially! We ended the month with 12 baptisms in the Zone!!! I was really proud of everyone and I think that we will reach our goals again this next month! It was a rough week for us because we had to drop a ton of people that we really love that just aren't progressing. we are kind of starting from ground 0 again but it is ok. I feel like we will be blessed in this week and I am sure we will find more new people.
It is always good to hear that all is well back home! I heard from David Hall and Devin Needs this week. They both seem to be doing really well and I told Dev to keep an eye out for David. I miss you all a ton and hope that you have amazing weeks.
Yours Truly,
Elder Cody Dastrup

Monday, August 22, 2011

August 22, 2011

Hey Everyone!
Whats going on? I feel really good today for some reason, so you should get a half way decent email out of me. haha The good news or the bad news first?....Ok the bad news, the prefect cambio goal went down the drain this last week and we didn't get to baptize anyone this weekend. The good news is, we shattered our baptismal goal as a zone this month and are looking really good for the next month. In our sector we are working with a couple of really good people and I honestly feel like we will be baptizing quite a few people in the next 2 or 3 weeks. I feel like I didn't work to my full potential this last week and this week we are going to put in the batteries and go to work! I am so grateful for all of the emails and letters that you guys send and for all of the support that I have. I have the best family in the world and I would not be what I am if it wasn't for you guys. Thanks, I love you guys a ton.

A couple of interesting things happened this week that I thought I would tell you guys about. I don't have time to write about everything but I will fill you in on the things I found most interesting. So we have 4 sister missionaries in our zone and they are AWESOME! They work hard , plan well and are always finding new people and are just...better than the Elders haha. Well last night I took one of our district leaders out to Hualqui (their sector), which is like 20 minutes outside of the city where we live. So we went there to train the ward mission leader and the ward missionaries and teach them about a program that we have adopted as a mission. The training went really well and it was really spiritual. At 9:30 it ended and we went to go catch a bus to go back home. We waited about 15 minutes and nothing passed, so we went to go talk to some people in the street as w were waiting and we ran into a member. Well, the man was baptized in the church a long time ago but hasn't gone for a long time. To make the long story short, he was drunk out of his mind and said he wouldn't be able to sleep that night until he knew we had caught a bus. Well...a bus never came and it was about 10:45 and we were stuck in Hualqui with a drunk member of the church and another 5 or 6 drunk people who were all waiting for the same bus as us. I called like 5 people to try to find a ride and nobody would answer. I was about to call president when the idea came to my head to call the sister missionaries and see if someone in their ward would take us. About 10 minutes later a member of their ward was there and took us home. (he wasn't very happy about doing it and made us pay him to do it but...we got home haha) And the only other thing I can really thing of is that this morning we had a mexican fiesta for the zone and made them all burritos and mexican food for reaching the goal! I love where I am at and I love the Zone with all my heart, they are all so awesome! (A zone is a group of missionaries)

Sounds like all is going pretty well at home! I hope Taylor passed her exam and I am glad to hear that Katie is doing well in High School. I miss you guys a ton and you are always in my prayers. Have a good one!
Con tanto carino,
Elder Cody Dastrup

Thursday, August 18, 2011

August 15, 2011

Hey,
Another week under my belt and I have to say, I haven't felt this good in a long time. I am so glad for the opportunity that I had to work in the office with the Clawsons and to work alongside with President and Hermana Humphrey but I am even more happy to be out in the field working my butt off. First things first, our house is awesome. I live in a house of 4 missionaries about 3 blocks outside of our sector. The house is really nice and it has the best shower that I have had the opportunity to use in my mission. I live with Elder Rapalo (Honduras), Elder Weston (California) and my companion Elder Zarco (California). My companion Elder Zarco is a mexican kid from California that speaks the language really well and is always happy. I knew him before coming here but have gotten to know him a lot better this last week and from what I have seen of him he is a really good missionary and we are going to have a lot of success together.

The name of my sector is La Pradera and we are in the city of Chiguayante. We have 12 in our Zone and for the 1st time in my mission I have sister missionaries in my zone! They are awesome and are really good hard workers. My companion and I have been blessed with the opportunity to serve in leadership positions in the zone and we are having a lot of success right off the bat (which feels really good haha) In our ward 133 people came to church last week and they all seem to be really nice. We worked really really hard this week and were able to find and get investigators to church this week as well and we had a baptism of a 21 year old named Eduardo. My companion and I have set the goal to have a "perfect cambio". A perfect cambio is when you baptize at least 1 person every week of the transfer and I have heard of 1 companionship doing it a long time ago in this mission but it is very rare that it happens in this mission. We are being blessed like crazy with people to teach and I already have grown to love a ton of people in my new area. I feel really good about this new assignment and feel like this will be the area where I have the most success in terms of baptism and personal growth.
How is everyone doing back home? I hardly ever get letters from friends and stuff but from what I have heard everyone is doing well and nothing too major has happened. It is crazy to think that Katie is now in high school and that she will be starting to drive by the time I get back! CRAZY! As for me I am doing well. Sooooo happy and really enjoying the mission.
Yours Truly,
Elder Cody Dastrup

Saturday, August 6, 2011

August 6, 2011

Hey!
It sounds like you guys were a little short on time when you emailed me today and...I am super short on time too, so this will be a quick one. We had a good week this week and we actually did baptize someone named Franklin that we are teaching that is really really good but it looks like he won't be getting baptized until after I leave. I am now 100% positive that I will be leaving on Tuesday and goin to a new sector. I know where I am going and who my companion will be and I am really excited to get out there and start working my butt off. I really miss being in a sector full time and having a good relationship with the members of the ward and having the time to teach more people. I am not "Trunkie", but in case you are wondering, I have already packed my bags and they are out in the hallway.haha I will be sad to be leaving this sector and it will be weird not seeing certain people as much, but I am really excited for the new challenges ahead of me. A lot of leaders in the mission will be going home this cambio and it is looking like there will be a lot of young leaders in the mission. I love change and am really looking forward to it. Today we went out to Chillan for our P-Day (my first sector). I went and ate lunch at the house of the 1st person that I baptized in the mission. They couldn't believe how well I am speaking the language and how much I have changed and I couldn't believe how much they had all grown as well. We also went and bought some more souvenires and I bought some really neat things mad out of Chilean copper. I am glad to hear people showed up to Davids farewell and that he is now in the MTC. Could I get his Email address??? And I was glad to hear that Austin got married...so much has changed since I left! I miss you all so much and hope that you are doing great. Pray for me this week, it's going to be a big change going to my new sector! Love you guys!!!
Yours Truly,
Elder Cody Dastrup

Saturday, July 30, 2011

July 31, 2011

Hey!
How's everyone doing this week? It has been another great week here, full of surprises and miracles. We have seen the hand of the Lord extended down from the heavens, blessing us with people to teach and great spiritual experiences. This last week we had the opportunity to see a girl from our ward get baptized and tomorrow we will have another one! The girl that is getting baptized tomorrow is named Tania and it is truly a miracle that we found her. She is an 18 year old from a native tribe in Ecuador that came down to Chile with her friend about 2 months ago to get away from that culture. She has been really good and coming to church every week but her only problem has been that she didn't want to commit to something that she wasn't ready to do. I think that she might have felt a little pressured by us and for that reason also it took her a little bit of time. We had been teaching her every other day for about 2 or 3 weeks and she wasn't progressing so we decided to "drop" her for a week. We went by on Thursday and she wondered why we hadn't been by in a week to see her and she commented that she really liked church on Sunday and that she had been praying a lot. After teaching her the lesson that we had planned to teach her she told us that she couldn't wait for Sunday and we asked her why. Then she responded, "I am getting baptized on Sunday!" Both me and my companion were shocked and couldn't believe what we had just heard but we kept our composure and told her that we would set up her baptismal interview for the next day. She had her interview yesterday and she will be getting baptized tomorrow. O yea, and we also have someone named Franklin that we are teaching who has the goal to get baptized a week from tomorrow....PRAY FOR HIM!!!
On a lighter note, today for P-day we did some service in the morning , went over to President Humphrey's house, made tacos and played pool. Oooo and I remember something funny that happened this week. About 2 months ago some of the missionaries in my district made a video for me where they sang this song that was really funny and this week in our mission conference President played it in front of the whole mission on the projector during lunch. So the whole mission saw it and now I am famous here in the mission. Also, I got put in charge of planning a soccer tournament for all of the Zone leaders of the mission on Monday that we will be playing before the leadership conference the President is doing (I put myself on Elder Kellers team haha). Another cool thing that will be happening this week is that Elder Tueller is coming back to the mission (he broke his ankle and left for surgery). He will be here on Thursday and I will have to have him ready to take over the office and our sector when I leave for my new sector on Tuesday.
It sounds like all is well back in AZ and up there in UT. I love the pictures that you guys sent me in the email and it looks like everyone is doing awesome. It is crazy to think that Austin is engaged already and that so much has changed back home. I miss you guys a ton and love you more than you will ever know. Also, I am soooo proud of David and the decision he has made, I know he will never regret his decision and that he will be one of the best missionaries in the entire world. It is sad that he doesn't have the support of everyone back there in AZ but I know that the reward will out way the sacrifice and difficulties that he has and will experience in these next 2 years. I love you guys all a ton.
The one and only,
Elder Cody Dastrup

Saturday, July 23, 2011

July 23, 2011













It sounds like not too much has happened around the house this last week, but that is definitely not the case here! This last week in church we had 5 investigators in church and the blessings just keep coming. This week we are having 1 baptism and we are hoping to follow it up the next week with another one or 2. We are really excited about the work and the blessings that God has placed upon us and we are really grateful. This week has been another rough on in terms of the work and in terms of drama...it has be DEMASIADO ESTRESANTE! (really stressful). My companion received his flight plans and unless something changes he will be leaving 2 weeks from Monday. Although he is kind of sad about finishing the mission and all, he is working his butt off and we have seen the fruits of our labors. President also tole me in our meeting on Monday that it would be very likely that I leave this transfer and go somewhere else. I really love this ward that I am in and all the people that I have grown close to but it will be nice to get away from the city for a bit.


I don't really talk about any of the fun things that we do so...I guess I could talk a little about that. Today we woke up at 6:30 and played basketball with the Zone Leaders from Concepcion and the Assistants. We played for a while, but it wasn't that great because it wasn't light until about 7:30 and by that time we had to leave. After we played basketball we decided to go to this place in a city called Penco. There is an old Spanish military fort that we went to and explored a little bit and then after we had explored it we went down to one of the most beautiful beaches that I have ever been to. I took some pictures and will attache them to the email. After we did that, we go permission from President and went and ate lunch at a restaurant right outside of our mission boundaries with a member. It was the nicest restaurant I have been to here in Chile and maybe in all my life! It was an all you can eat mexican food restaurant but it didn't have a big buffet, instead they just brought you food as often as you wanted...it was awesome. We normally don't do a ton on our p-days but today was definitely one of the better ones that I have had and I really did enjoy it.


I am glad to hear that everyone is doing well and that you all survived the dust storm in AZ. It was also good to hear from Dallin and to hear that he hasn't changed too much, but at the same time he came home a different person and that the mission really meant a lot to him. I can testify that going on a mission is the best thing that any young man could choose to do and by doing so you will push yourself in ways that you never thought you could be pushed and that you WILL change the lives of hundreds of people if you just accept the call from the Lord. I am grateful to be serving in "Gods Army" and I will never regret the decision to come out here. I hope all of you are having cool experiences and that you have all been able to do some kind of service or missionary work this week. Love you guys with all my heart.


The one and only (thanks to Dallin),

Elder Dastrup

Saturday, July 16, 2011

July 16, 2011












Family Home Evening with 10 Investigators



Hey everyone how is it going!?


Once again I had another action packed week. Last week I felt like we really struggled to find investigators and to get out of the office. We have had a lot of things going on here in the office between my companion and his back problems and the new missionary that we received last week...it has been tough. Yesterday we found out 2 things. 1st off Elder Hinojosa will be needing back surgery, and he will be leaving in 3 weeks to get it. It is really sad and has been really tough but we are trying to be positive and I am really trying to help him enjoy his last 3 weeks in the mission. We also received bad new about our other missionary companion (the one we received last week), he will also be going home this week. I would be lying if I said that I wasn't kind of bummed about all that is going on around here and not being able to control the situation the way I would like it, but I respect all of the decisions that have been made by our leaders and I just hope that all goes well for the both of them.


In term of the work, all is well. We had a miracle Sunday and ended up having 4 in church! Maria (the lady we found like 4 months ago), Yessenia, Tania and Melani all came this week and we were really glad to see them there. It is funny to me that the other missionaries from the sector have been finding pure young men and all we can seem to find is women, but all is well, women are usually way more humble and in tune with the spirit haha. I have had a really good week and I think I will be speaking in church tomorrow which I am also excited about. The work is going well and although things are kind of difficult around here right now, I feel at peace and feel really good with the work that we are doing.


I can't think of much more to say so I guess it's time for me to finish up. I hope everyone is doing well and that you guys are all enjoying the AZ summer (it's like 65 or 70 here right now:)


Yours Truly,

Elder Cody Dastrup

Saturday, July 2, 2011

July 2, 2011

HEY!
This week, as always has been full of ups and downs but I feel like once again I have grown from the trials that I have faced and I am looking forward to this next week. This week we had transfers in the mission but I am staying put. For those of you who don't know, I am working here in the mission office and also in a sector and I am over a small district of missionaries. I have a lot to do everyday and for that I am thankful but on the other hand sometimes the heavy workload gets to me and I crash the second we get home at night. Also this last week I lost a lot of good friends who ended their missions and went home and Elder Keller (one of the other assistants) went to a sector far far away and more than likely I won't see him again until we are back in the states. I feel like all of the changes that we made were...necessary, but none the less they have made the situation that I am in a little more difficult.

I was helping Elder Keller pack his bags last night here and we had an interesting conversation. He told me of an Elder who is also a good friend of mine and had a rough patch in his mission. This Elder went about 5 or 6 months with 0 maybe 1 baptism in a ward where he didn't have a lot of support. He struggled and struggled, did his part and at the end he just couldn't get things going the way that he wanted in the sector. After a while he was transferred to a new sector as a zone leader with a really good companion. They baptized a ton in his first transfer there and continue baptizing. Elder Keller told me that in those cambios where he had struggled, he learned how to be a celestial missionary and that those tough times where his "Personal Gethsemane" (where Christ suffered for the sins of the world) I don't want to sound like a whiner or a drama queen or in any way compare my suffering to the suffering of Christs, but I feel like I am in my personal Gethsemane and that when I get out of it I will be such a better missionary and if I can just learn from it now I have the potential of being great when I leave this place. We are still struggling and with my companions health problems it continues to be hard to get out and work but...I am ready for a pedal to the metal kind of week and hope to see some real miracles in the sector!
How is everyone else doing? I got a few letters from some good friends this week and that was really nice. It is always good to hear that everyone is doing well and that nobody is getting married still! Have to have some options when I get back haha It was also nice to here that dad made it home safely from Israel.
Yours Truly,
Elder Cody Dastrup

Saturday, June 25, 2011

June 25, 2011





















Hey how we doin?


I am doing well and had an interesting week. We received another companion this week and it has been a huge blessing to me. He is a really good missionary and has helped us out in the office a ton. I haven't been able to get out and work in our sector at all this week except for 1 night for 2 hours when I went out with one of the assistants. It feels to me like we didn't get very much done this week or at least in terms of the missionary work we weren't very successful but, I know I am doing what the lord wants me to do and he put me here in this office for a reason. My companion still struggles with his back problems. he is going through a lot and it looks like he will be going home in 2 transfers more. It is difficult for me because due to his pains he is not able to get up on time or able to leave the office very often and work which stinks for me but its the assignment that I have right now so I am trying to get through it with a humble heart knowing that I won't be in this position for very much longer (7 weeks hopefully haha). We have transfers this Monday and we are getting a lot of new Zone Leaders and a new assistant, which will shake thing sup a lot in the mission. I am doing good tough and I am really happy where I am at and with my progression. My spirits are up and I'm excited for another challenging transfer here in the office but I would be lying if I said I didn't have an itch to get out and do some other type of work haha. Nothing too exciting has happened here recently but at the same time I feel like I am always on my toes. I took my district out to lunch today and it looks like I will be getting some new people in my district this upcoming transfer, which could help us have a little more success. We also went and took some photos of some buildings that fell over in the earthquake that I will attach to this email. We also have a talent show and I have a baptism to go to tonight so I better get going (the activity starts in 20 minutes!) I hope all is well with you guys and I will try to send something out with more details this next week. Love you guys a ton.

Yours truly,

Elder Cody Dastrup

Saturday, June 18, 2011

June 18, 2011

Heyyyy!
Hows it going back there in the USA! Well...I am still here in Chile and not much has changed. I had a really good week though and it is looking like this next week should be interesting as well. This week has been full of surprises and miracles, it started off normal but has really just turned itself into a mess. For example we have an Elder in the mission who is a young missionary and is just a great guy, super funny and is just one of those people that brightens up the room. He has been having a lot of health problems and has been seeing a lot of doctors here but nobody has been able to solve his problems. My companion and I were over at President Humphreys house (we had lunch over there with them!) and they came to the conclusion that he could possibly have cancer and that they were going to have to send him home. He will be leaving Monday morning and I am going to be really sad to see him go. Pray for him please. I have also been informed that I will be receiving a 2nd companion and he will be with us for this entire week. The problem with having him around is that he has health problems as well and CANT WALK! He too will be leaving, but he will be leaving in a week, at the end of the transfer. So I have taken it upon myself to prepare the office for him this week and I will be leaving with young men this entire week and hopefully be able to work in the street every day. I will leave my companion Elder Hinojosa here with the other Elder and take off for the day to do work.

Another thing I have really enjoyed this week has been the opportunity to be a District Leader. I got to go work in another sector this week with a younger missionary and we wen in to a house and had a really good lesson. We went into the lesson with a purpose and when we walked out the person we were teaching had accepted a baptismal goal for the 25th of this month. I have realized that the goals that I put for myself as a missionary shouldn't be to have "success", I want to have success but the way I am measuring success is totally contrary to what the world sees as success. I have made it a large priority of mine to help other missionaries progress and have good solid spiritual experiences. I have already baptized quite a bit and know that I will continue baptizing, but I have honestly found more joy in helping others. It sounds so corny but it is the truth, I don't know what happened but I just feel like a way better missionary than I was even 2 weeks ago. I love being out here and I really am enjoying all of the new humble loving missionaries coming in and the interaction I have been able to have with them.

Ok...on a little bit of a less spiritual note. I was on an exchange with another missionary named Elder Lulla and we got to talking about what he did before the missiona and he studied at BYU Hawaii. I didn't really think much of it and then it hit me...I need to go study there. It came to me like a revelation and I dreamed about being there that very same night. I still don't know why but I think it is where I need to go. (for a semester of 2 at least) I know that it is still 10 months away but, when revelation comes, it comes...haha

This morning we went and played basketball with Elder Fischbeck and the assistants (we invited President and he said he will come next week) but, we played for an hour or so and afterwards they invited us over for breakfast. It was amazing , we ate pancakes, eggs and bacon and whit hot chocolate. Also, thank you for the package that you guys sent me. It was a perfect package. I really love the beef jerky and we drank a ton of the hot chocolate this morning. I love you guys a ton and hope that everything is going well! Have a good week and wish me a ton of luck this week.

Yours truly,
Elder Cody Dastrup

Monday, June 13, 2011

June 11, 2011




















Hey whats going on!?? It is Saturday morning here, very cloudy and it has been raining off and on for the last couple of days. I have come down with a pretty bad fever that is putting me in a ton of pain bu....we are still working, no worries. My companion is doing better and in interviews with President this week he told me that my job was to get as much work out of him as possible and when he can't handle the pain anymore he will just have to go home. It's kind of sad to think that there is a good possibility that he won't be able to make it for the whole 2 years, but he just needs to take advantage of the time he has left and really give it 110%. I have been so blessed with good health on the mission and even though I am a little under the weather right now, it could be a lot worse.


This week has been another really tough one and we haven't see a lot of progress here in the sector. Due to the work in the office and my companions bad back, it has been especially hard this week to get out and work. I don't feel like we are working as effectively as we could be and for some reason things just aren't panning out. Today we have an appointment with Maria and I am really hoping that it goes well. I have been studying, praying and planning all week so that everything goes well tonight, so I have confidence that it will. We are also working with another kid named Guillermo who came to church last week and we are hoping that he can start progressing at the rate that he should. The work has been difficult, frustrating and we haven't seen the fruits of our labors too much, but I know that it's coming and that we will start seeing some miracles here.


In other news, I did actually get to do some fun stuff today and it looks like we are going to get out and go to take some pictures of Concepcion as well. There is a park full of big Dinosaur statues and there are also a couple of huge building that either fell down or are half way fallen from the earthquake last year. Also, Elder Robers, one of the AP's is learning how to drive stick because Elder Keller is leaving after the cambio and the truck that they have is stick shift, so we are going to go out with him and hope that I don't die int the process! We are going to have transfers here in 2 more weeks and there are 20 missionaries going him, so I think that I might actually be out of here....(it's a small possibility but its a possibility) I am fine with whatever and I really just hope that I can remain happy no matter where I am at. I love you guys a ton and think about you whenever I have a little bit of spare time (from 10:59-11:00 at night). I hope you are all doing well and enjoying the AZ summer!


Con mucho mucho Carino,


Elder Cody Dastrup