Monday, August 8, 2011

Elder Shattuck's Homecoming talk!!

Elder Steven Shattuck will be giving his Homecoming talk on:

SUNDAY: August 21st @ 11:30AM
LDS Chapel
1670 Cienega Road
Hollister, CA 95023

You are all invited! Please come!!

Last email from the Dominican Republic

Dear family friends colleagues and to whom it may concern..

This is Elder Shattuck calling in the last weekly report, I am ALMOST DONE!! Wow, almost. Almost done sweating, walking, taking insults from random people, getting criticized by random preachers of other religions, sweating, stressing over people that couldn't give a care about what we do, sweating, teaching people that don't know their left from their right, getting stuff thrown at us, getting blisters, sweating and wearing a tie, long pants and long socks in some of the hottest weather ever. Worth it, of course.

This week we had a family go to church! It was pretty cool. They loved it. I will take pictures this week and share them all later with you.

Today I got permission from my mission president to go visit one of my old areas. It was my favorite area. San Pedro! I am writing this email early, because we are going to head out pretty soon. It is about a 2 hour trio from where I am by public transportation. That's where I left the most friends, and had the best memories. I am super excited.

Um there is not much more for me to say right now. I'm sorry I don't write much, but for many reasons there are lots of things I cannot write about, and will just have to tell you in person. Don't worry there are MANY stories. This is probably the most social country on the planet, and it has rubbed off on me. There is never a minute where a Dominican is not talking, and I have the disease. I tried to stop, but I just didn't feel right, so get ready to have your ears talked off!!

OK time for me to go! Love you all

Monday, July 25, 2011

Hi Family!

Hey what a day! I'm kinda rushed, but I'll squeeze in some details if possible. Today we hit up the DUARTE! Woo that was pretty fun. It's this huge street market where they have more fake shoes and stuff than you can shake a stick at. Every one shoves stuff in your face and grabs you and throws stuff in your hands and tries to get you to buy it. It was an adventure for my comp, it was his first time.

Oh boy we have been hanging in there. Lots of people we are teaching the two Haitians. Prince and Marcelus are still going to church, and now I am teaching them Spanish.

We have a few people who are planning to get baptised on the 6th of August. Bocio is still hanging in there, along with Prince.

Michael and his wife still are being really wishy washy about getting married or not. I'm starting to lose patience, but they always are reading and want us to teach them. The guy just cant give up his USA dreams, even though he is going to leave his whole family behind.

We started an English class this week. We also offer French and Spanish. A new recent convert from the Hermana's area always leaves with us every Saturday. He is going to teach French and he is Haitian. He has 4 years in the country and is graduating next year as a psychologist. It's a blast to go visit people with him. He always does a psychological analysis on people when we teach them. He is actually ridiculously smart, and has the biggest vocabulary in the world. He has us convinced that half the people that we teach have mental problems...

The new mission president is super cool, really REALLY relaxed. Completely opposite than the old president. It's really fun to have him, everyone loves him. He is really funny and his wife looks just like you mom! Did I already tell you that? It's such a difference here in the mission, and he is a great man. He will do a great job. He is also a convert, was baptised with his wife when their first 2 kids were little. So it's fun to see how they always talk about how much this gospel has changed their lives. Few people notice it, but it totally is true. Just a few years living the gospel can and will change a person for the better! I've seen it!

Oh boy hanging in there. I can't lie, I am totally counting down the days. I feel bad for my poor little companion. I love this place, but my time is Definitely coming to an end, and the poor kid has to stay here for another year. Time goes fast!

The poor sister missionaries have had every sickness on the PLANET. They are two little missionaries from Guatemala. They look like two little girls walking around in a foreign country. Well they are. One is brand new and the week she got here her companion got THE DANGUE. It's spread by mosquitoes, and is an intestine infection at the same time or something. She spent the first week of the mission in the hospital with her companion. When her companion got better, the new one got THE DANGUE also. She just got better and the other missionary, that already had Dangue, got sick again with stomach problems!!! WOOO!! Poor sisters, they are finally recovering, but wow not fun. That is all for now, but I hope you all don't get sick or get the DANGUE!!


Monday, July 18, 2011

Wait Arsi...I'm coming!!

Hello Hello!

STRIKE THREE and your out. So much for that strike, pretty much nothing happened. We just couldn't hit the town like we wanted.

Hey it was a great week! It started out when we visited Miguel! We are so excited to teach him. We went to his house and taught him a lesson. He then gave us the Book Of Mormon that we had given him and told us that he was going to move on Thursday. He never moved, and we found out he was not planning on moving....

But other than that really we have had some great success. This man, Bocio, which his name translated to English means, “he yelled”, is still living up to his name. He went to church with his wife and accepted to be baptised on the 6th of August with his family. His daughter-in-law has cancer and is about to head to the other side. It has made his family think a little more about life after death.

Yesterday everybody and their mom went to church. I met some kids on the street and danced a little with them and they went to church and brought their friends and liked it so much they planned on coming back. I like teaching them, cuz its easy to relate.

What else.. oh yesterday I was visiting a investigator that has 6 years waiting for papers to get married and baptised. Her husband has gone to church and stuff, but isn't in this really. He busted out his saxophone and played some awesome stuff. He is a professional sax player for 52 years. Right then a kid showed up with his guitar and we told him to go in and play with us. My comp played the guitar and Parmenio on the sax. It was actually super pretty musical mania. Parmenio is now our best friend!

What else...

Oh we are teaching this lady, Nuris. She has a CRAZY story. I would write it, but I don't want to take 4 years here. I'll have to tell it later, anyways uhhh, yeah she wants to be baptised.

(For Kristina's Restaurant!!) If they close buy salsa and save it in the fridge, ok.
Okey time to go, but have you all a merry little Monday! Bye

Monday, July 11, 2011

Coin Flipping Game!

Hello familia!

Today the whole country is in strike, but I haven't seen anything at all. It just means we can't leave to take buses anywhere.

We made steak the other day. It was good.

We are teaching this one old man, Miguel. He is super cool. He is bald, and has a huge gut and is a retired police officer, and one of the most humble and nicest guys ever. He went to church on Sunday with his AWESOME green plaid shirt with a striped brown tie. He stayed the 3 hours. We asked him to read this one chapter in the Book of Mormon, and he read it probably 21 times. He memorized the whole thing. He is very humble about how smart he is. He even has a car! There are only 2 members in the ward here that have cars. His wife is a Catholic, and she sometimes talks to us, but doesn't want to go to church or anything.

Things are kind of going south with the families that we have. The dads are trying to fight with us in the appointments, they won't go to church.

We played a game yesterday. We were bored so we got a coin, and would flip it at every intersection to see if we would turn right or left. When we saw people on the street, we would flip the coin again. Heads we talk to them, tails we move on. We met a Jewish person while playing the game and actually found a new family! We would even flip the coin when we saw drunks. Luckily every time it (the coin) fell tails.

Well that's all for now. Have a great week!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Letter from the MISION ESTE

This is a letter we just received from the Mission home. I enjoyed it so much that I thought I would share it with all of you!!

Dear Shattuck Family,
Issued solemnity by the Missionary Homeward Bound Committee to the family, and loved ones of Elder Steven Richard Shattuck who has served in the Santo Domingo East Mission of the Dominican Republic.

By virtue of the astounding, if not mind boggling, 24 wonderfully accumulated months composed in equal parts of dirt, sun, sweat, tears, and incredible joy in the service of the Lord, the Missionary Homeward Bound Committee has decreed that the time has come for these calloused, blistered, tired, and dirty feet to take a rest. Soon they will once again be in your midst, the rest of the body wearing out-of-style clothing, tanned from the neck up and elbows down, but full of love for the gospel, to once again enter into the wicked Gentile World.

As chairman of the committee responsible for the homeward bound missionaries departing from the DOMINICAN REPUBLIC SANTO DOMINGO EAST MISSION, it is my duty and privilege to inform you of the return of Elder Steven Richard Shattuck to the United States of America, after a completed service to the Lord as a missionary in the “DR”. He will arrive in the designated airport on the designated date of departure (San Jose Airport, August 16th @ 4:55PM) sent to you by the other kind people of the missionary department.

In making proper preparations to welcome your missionary son back into the organized society, it is advised to keep in mind the confined, unusual, and foreign environment that has influenced his life for the past 24 months. One would be advised to stock the kitchen with plenty of Mom's cooking and goodies such as: Oreo cookies, Blueberry muffins, and kind of cheese cake, homemade pies, T-BONE STEAK, pasta salad, cinnamon rolls, homemade bread, and of course your missionary's favorite dish. It would be wise to prevent further trauma by disposing any signs of moldy bread, white cheese, fried food, mondongo (cow guts), goat head soup, yucca (a kind of boiled root that turns to cement the instant it makes contact with your stomach), sugar cane, powdered milk, and boiled or Cloroxed drinking water. Try to be understanding when he has frequent uncontrolled cravings for arroz con leche (Dominican rice pudding), berenjena (eggplant), rice and beans, mangos, fresh fruit juices of every kind, and guineos (bananas).

Don't take it personally when he sifts through the flour and sugar looking for ants, or examines his food for any bug before he actually takes a bite. Don't be alarmed when he washes his fruits and vegetables with Clorox water. Do not think of him as deranged when he spits out bones and raw spices on the floor. Take into consideration and do not be disturbed when he eats with his elbows on the table, uses only a spoon, uses his shirt as a napkin and throws leftovers out the window. You will need to remind him what a trash can is and where it is located.

Be sure to have a full tank of hot water, so that he can enjoy his first bubble bath or hot shower in a long time. Do not be surprised when he wears his sandals in the shower, bug repellant as cologne, sprays Raid as air freshener, uses a butcher knife as a can opener, dumps 3 buckets of water down the toilet to flush it and throws used toilet paper in the garbage can (explanation: We do not flush it here). You will need to remind him not to use the hose in the house to clean, because of the damage it may cause to the carpet and furniture. You can also tell him it is not necessary to set up a mosquito net around his bed each night, and that he will not need candles and matches at his bedside. Yes, you will need to let him know that the camping trip is over.

If he is made aware of an illness of any kind, he will have the tendency to prescribe drinking something with lemon in it (that being the general cure for everything in the Dominican Republic). And if lemons don't work the MAGIC cream will. So for any headache, cough, cold, toothache, or other bodily ailment it would be suggested to buy the ten-cent tin of “Vi Va Pa Ru” (Vicks Vapor Rub).
Please do not be disturbed when he wears the same outfit for a week, judges travel time by how long it takes to walk, prays in Spanish, asks to share a scripture and prays at the end of the meal, or eats his food in 30 seconds flat to run off to an appointment.

Now he might really take it hard when you tell him that he will no longer have to scale cliffs, wade through streams, or jump fences to get to his next appointment. He still will be able to drive a car. You can give him a copy of the car keys, but before doing so you must teach him the rules of driving again. You see, he may follow the example of the “Dominican Driver” which means ANYTHING GOES – driving the wrong way down one-way streets, stop signs and signs are only suggestions, constant use of the horn, not stopping for the police, the largest vehicle has the right of way, etc. You will also want to explain the purpose of the lines in the road – where they came from, why they are there, and where they go, etc.

This poor, wasted person will probably scream, run wildly and become violent if you should mention worm pills, cockroaches, mosquitoes, tarantulas, rats, bats, biting ants and fleas, bikes in the rain, burning tires, gun fights, machete fights, rock throwing, and an elder's Dominican “snake” (over-aggressive friendly Dominican chick that wants to get to know you on the premise of your marital status, or not).

For the first few weeks, or longer, that he is home, accept with understanding his broken English. A simple request for a translation will be sufficient when he involuntarily breaks into a dialogue known as “Spanglish”.

Take into consideration his state of mind when he calls you “Elder” or “Hermana” and insists that it be a rule not to tell you his first name—Elder is sufficient. Do not be bothered if he walks in the door and yells, “saludo” instead of just knocking, says “con permiso” before entering a room, hisses at people to get their attention, points with his lips or face, wrinkles his nose when he doesn't understand, shakes his index finger to say no, asks everyone how they liked the meeting, or carries his backpack everywhere. Do not judge him crazy when his only topic of conversation is the Dominican Republic and the missionary work or think he is a religious fanatic when preaching to strangers and friends about Joseph Smith, the Ten Commandments, reverence in church meetings, and the importance of Family Home Evening and prayer. Do not be embarrassed when he says “Adios” to everyone or “Buen provencho” to everyone who's eating. He will definitely have a great tendency to shake hands with everyone when meeting and parting. Also, when asked to run to the store between noon and 2:00PM, don't be alarmed if the reply is, “We can't, they're closed!” Just patiently remind him that he is in the States now.

You are all hereby warned and duly cautioned to treat the newly delivered missionary with great care, courtesy, affection, and love. Humor him in every possible way. Remain calm when he jumps out of bed at 6:30AM to exercise, study, and beat his comp to the bathroom. He is used to having a companion 24 hours a day, so don't be alarmed if you are followed around and asked to have companionship study and prayer together.

He will surely be suffering from “Dominicanitis,” an extreme love for the Dominican people; so please try to understand that far away look in the eyes and tears brimming and quietly excusing him from the room, when it happens. He will be thinking of that far away land and the people that he has grown to love who have changed his life. But broken hearts are mended with lots of love, hugs, and chocolate chip cookies and with a little bit of patience, tolerance kindness, and time, he will once again resemble the pre-mission specimen that you once knew. However, when he does not respond to his given name, you may be able to catch his attention by shouting: Elder, Gringo, CIA, Mormon, Americano, Majone, Vacano, a comma' hea plis, and and if all else fails, try..................Pssssssst!

So send no more mail to this address because this Elder is COMING HOME!!! I thank you for giving close attention to these matters, and I hope that this information will be of assistance in giving your missionary a warm WELCOME HOME.


C.U. Soone
Homeward Bound Committee

Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy 4th of July!

Happy 4th of July. Haha I remember my last companion asking me if this country also celebrates the 4th of July.

Today it is raining. We were going to play kickball with other missionaries today, but there is lots of rain.

I fell asleep in the hammock today, and now there isn't time to do fun stuff. Next week we will do something exciting, and thank you for the box! It was received.

I made my last agenda thing, sad! Oh and I did meet the new mission president. He has a funny accent like my last president, but this one is from Puerto Rico. His wife looks just like you, mom, but just speaks Spanish. They are the two whitest Latinos I have ever seen.

On Sunday, Michael and his wife went to church with their little baby and older son and niece. They wanted to do the baby blessing, but the bishop said no. It was still good to have them there. They were planning on getting married and baptised right before I left, but now Michael wants to move to the U.S. This isn't the first time I try to marry a couple that has kids, and after they already commit, the man gets some wild idea of leaving his family to work in the US to send the family money. Satan puts that idea in (his head). Michael was so excited to get married and his wife really wants to also, and now this random idea. So we have to find a way to convince him that ditching his family and his newborn baby is a bad idea. But at least he goes to church and reads the Book of Mormon. Every time we go we just talk about the family. The members are really willing to help out.

Other than that, nothing is new. Have a great week!
P.S. Here are pictures of a baptism of the hermanas, Jack. He did a psychology test on us to see if we have mental disorders. I don't have any!