Caught on the Streets of Monterrey

Caught on the Streets of Monterrey
Watching...always Watching!

Sunday, June 30, 2013

This week's letter is way too short, but the best thing is he was able to have my good friend who lives in Vegas meet up with him.  She emailed me and asked what he likes and she said he was too busy, but took dinner to him and his companion.  It was BBQ'd chicken, fruit, and chocolate cake and he said they treated him so great.  Which I wasn't surprised.  He is liking it there, but as we watch the weather reports it is saying it is about 111-125 there; which is crazy.  I can't wait to hear from him tomorrow and see what he says about the heat.  He never complains, which really is his character.  Yesterday it's been one month since he started this journey so he is still actually ahead of schedule.  We pray everyday his Visa arrives, and wait patiently.  With faith it will come, who knows, maybe there is someone who is waiting for Stetson in Vegas.  Perhaps this is the week they will meet.  Enjoy...

Hello Family!!

Another week in Vegas down. So it was kind of a long week, but it was good. Happy early Birthday to Caleb and Dad soon! Caleb is going to be driving and that is loko. it was soo good to see Trina and her husband. I didn't realize that they had our old kitchen table! Remember the bench side I always sat on? Funny how things go. So we eat dinner with members just about every night. We have had El Pollo Loco two nights, super hot soup, pizza, lots and lots of tortillas and we had tacos another night. It is hard to think and type as fast as I can. I love the area too, there are people from all over. We teach so many people from Veracruz, Mexico. Like every other person you ask where they are from, and they say Veracruz. It is pretty funny. Also a lot of people are from Cuba!! ask bridger how they speak, they are hard to understand and I get lost when they speak. but they are all cool. one Cuban I am convinced was involved with the bay of pigs. He has a AK-47 and showed us... so that is Vegas for you. Everyday is not the same. We see the most random stuff everyday too. so it is always exciting. The Spanish is coming along, in mexico and in time it will get better. Love all of you!

Elder Clayton

Mom! hello, loved your letter and sounds like you had a fun week with everything that went on. It was so good to see Trina, she and her husband were so nice and the food was well received. We are always hungry and tired but we always survive. she said she is going to take us somewhere too! I gotta re pay her in the future. She was so nice to both of us, thanks for having so many friends haha., I wouldn't be surprised if there was someone in Monterrey that didn't know Tammy Burningham. That is how most people know you haha. "Are you Tammy Burninghams son" just about once a week someone would ask at Salt City. Thanks for everything mom. love you so much

Elder Clayton

Here is my response to him when he sent that nice email.  I was so grateful to my friend for taking care of him and his companion.

I hope that is one thing that  I have taught you pal, you can not be too nice.  It always comes back to you.  I may not have all the riches in the world, but I have been blessed with more friends than I can count and for that I am grateful.  I love you son.  You make me proud.  Have a great week. And I knew she would take good care of you, that's her way.

Love you,  MOM

Sunday, June 23, 2013

First Week in Vegas and Living in Paradise...Literally!

He is finding it not too bad to be serving in Vegas and having a great time and is very busy.  He is not sure how long he will be here but will make the most of his time here and be obedient and be diligent in serving and trying to find those souls searching for the light of the gospel.  I have a good friend that lives there that I worked with at the Church Offices and she was able to take him and his companion dinner last night.  I am so looking forward to hearing of that experience in his email tomorrow.  She sent a picture last night through Facebook.  Which I will include next time, but for now here's this week's email and experiences.  He is doing well and adjusting.  He was able to chat with Wayne and sent a couple of pictures.  The one of UNLV is I'm most certain is of In and Out which he was stocked about when he found out he was going to Vegas.  His is enjoying his companion and also the last picture taken with his cousin:  Elder Burningham at the MTC.  He leaves tomorrow for the Russia Novosibirsk Mission.  Stetson also included the scripture to include on his plaque:  3 Nephi 5:13 I will put it on the side bar of his blog.  Enjoy...

So there was three of us Visa waiters getting sent to Vegas, so we woke up at 3:30 am and headed to the bus then from there to the airport. I was so certain that my big bag was going to be over 50 lbs, and I was so worried about it! then it got weighed and it was exactly 50 lbs. such a relief. It was a short flight to Vegas, there was about 26 of us as well walking around the airport and everyone was watching us! So as soon as we walked out it was freaking hot. It doesn't bother me because you can't complain, just learn to love it. So I don't even mind the heat at all. The first day we had breakfast with The Mission President and his wife, they are both amazing. So happy and friendly, they were all glad to see us get there safely. Then we went over to the church to get our trainers, my trainer is Elder Guiterrez, he is from the south side of Chicago and is a pretty funny guy. Our area is called Paradise! There are 3 Spanish ward members in our area, so there is a lot of work for us to do. We have a car, a 2013 Chevy Cruz! I love the air conditioning in it, we do a lot of walking as well. All we visit are apartments because that is all there is in our area! The first day I had the biggest headache in my life I can remember, and was just having kind of a rough time, but the next day was great! we met new people in the area and started to work. It has been a good week and I am happy to be here! There are a lot of Visa waiters in this mission, some going to Brazil have been waiting for 3 months and plus, but the Mexico Visa waiters always leave before 6. So all is good here in Las Vegas! Love and Miss all of you!
Elder Clayton

 Elder Burningham & Elder Clayton Stetson's cousin going to Russia 

Elder Arnold gave a devotional Tuesday night and it was amazing, then me and my comp happened to run into him in the MTC as he was visiting some people!
He talked about serving in Northern Mexico during the devotional and I wanted to ask him if he served in Monterrey so bad, but then I got the chance! he said he loved Monterrey and loved the people.

 Just another day in Vegas!
UNLV or IN & OUT???

Elder Clayton & Elder Guiterrez, his Comp!

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Headed to the Nevada Las Vegas Mission

Well, we were able to email Elder Clayton a couple of times this last week due to him having different companions as they were leaving the MTC and he was staying until Wednesday.  That was fun.  He has always been the type that get it, get it done and get on your way.  The MTC was no exception.  He will be serving in the Nevada Las Vegas Mission until his Visa arrives.  His mission president is President and Sister Neider.  President Neider served in the General Young Men's Presidency before his call as a mission president.  They are from Sandy, Utah and parents of eight children.  After his arrival, we did receive a letter from this mission home and president which I will include and  picture.  Funny how different mission to missions are.  The scary country of Honduras we never heard a word for weeks and in Vegas where we could drive if needed heard almost immediately.  Also, I have a good friend that lives in the area and is already located his ward and contac information and will try and have him and his companion over for dinner.  Wow, tender mercies all around.  He is doing awesome and is loving it.  He is an excellent letter writer as well, and I will type in his letters as I have time.  We also received a postcard in the mail yesterday. I am beginning to think these stateside missions are maybe the best way to go.  Anyway, here we go...

Hello Family!
This week went by pretty fast. Faster than the first week. So ever since I got here I was eager to get my travel plans, I finally got them on Wednesday! I was reassigned to the Las Vegas Nevada Mission and will go there tomorrow at 8:30 and will wait there for how long it takes to get the visa. I am glad to get out of the MTC, but also a little sad. My district was super crazy and we had a lot of fun here. We laughed pretty hard and I will miss all the smiling faces at the MTC. I am ready to go and start working though. I have been craving real food and in-n-out in vegas would be nice haha. The food here is just kind of weird. I think it will be a little bit hot there, but it will get me used to Monterrrrey! My companion flew straight to Monterrey on monday morning at 4:30 am and yesterday I was with another Elder from my district going to Irvine California, now my companion for the day is Elder Reiley, headed to Mexico City south. We have started packing today and got haircuts too. Packing kind of sucks and is difficult to find a place to start. The two packages were awesome! We loved all of it. Thanks so much for the cookies mom. Everyone loved them! We are doing laundry right now and then have a devotional tonight at the marriot center at BYU. There are so many missionaries they are starting to have them there now. Overall, it was a great week. The language is coming along, there isn't much language study in the advanced classes, which can make it a little frustrating but when I get out I will have an hour of language study everyday. I love all of you and thanks again for the packages and the letters in them! Lucky to have all of you!

Elder Clayton  

Elder Burningham, his cousin celebrated his b-day in the MTC. Stetson bought him a Powerade
Last picture with his district from the MTC

Postcard from Vegas.  Love Stateside Missions!!!

I am happy to inform you that Elder Clayton arrived in Las Vegas with a smile on his face and a wonderful spirit. Thank you for preparing him to serve the Lord. We will do our best to build on what you have taught him by incorporating the principles of missionary work found in Preach My Gospel. When his service is finished he will be a stronger person with a deep commitment to the Lord.

We hope as you write or email him weekly to express your love, that you will also encourage him to live up to the commitments he made when he accepted this call.  Missionary work is hard, and many times it is discouraging.  Your letters of encouragement and love will help him continue to work hard and be happy.  If problems arise at home we hope you will be thoughtful about what you share, so as not to distract his attention from the work.  If you detect any continuing problems through his letters, please write or email me if you feel we can help.

Phone calls to family members occur two times a year, on Mother’s day and on Christmas day.  As you can imagine, many people visit or pass through Las Vegas.  We follow the church guidelines that there be no visits from family or friends.  Visits are difficult for missionaries as their focus is interrupted.  Please do not ask your missionary to see you or friends while he is serving.  Please help your missionary live the mission rules including calling only on the designated days.

Finally, the missionaries are provided a monthly allowance that covers their needs.  This mission has some of the most generous members of the church.  In most areas the missionaries are scheduled in a member home for dinner every evening.  Please help your missionary learn to live on a budget.  Don’t supplement him with unnecessary funds.  If an unexpected expense or emergency comes up he will email you.

Your love and support are so important to his success.  He will be blessed as he is obedient and he will be happier.  Again we thank you for your faith in sending your son out to serve the Lord.


Michael A. Neider, President

Sunday, June 9, 2013

It seemed like a long week before we finally heard from via email and he got a pday.  He sounds like he is doing great.  We have gotten actually three handwritten letters from him which is quite a change from his brother and he has several sightings from Bridgers friends that work down at the MTC bookstore that text us and tell us that he is doing awesome and looks so happy.  Yesterday we received a memory card with several pictures and his smile tells it all.  He has always had such a captivating smile and I will include some with this email.  He also was able to call his dad on Friday and let us know that he will be leaving the MTC on Wednesday to be spending some time in the Nevada Las Vegas Mission until his Visa arrives.  He is excited. It is very hot there right now which will prepare for him for Mexico.  I can't wait to hear his voice.  Wayne said he sounds great.  Here's the first of many of his emails and his journey on his mission.  Enjoy and welcome on this journey...

It has been a loko week! Getting dropped off was wild, I missed all of you guys but was soon overwhelmed with the welcoming to the MTC. It is a pretty amazing place. All the culture, the people and the spirirt about it is cool! Before I forget, the nights ago after a devotional these two sisters came up to me and started saying "Elder Clayton??" in a Spanish accent. I was like si si. THEY WERE FROM SAN PEDRO SULA!!! They knew Bridger! they thought I was Bridger jajaja. They kept saying "twins" "todos mizmo" I got a picture with them but I can't upload them right now. It was so awesome to meet them. Also, on our temple walk I talked to this Elder just randomly and he was from Wyoming and said he was from the city Bishop Bob was and he Knew Bishop Bob!! He had been to lake powell with them. His name was Elder Dickerson. I have a picture but it isn't working. I think I will just send the whole memory card and you can send it back the next day. I love all of you guys. The package was awesome and my whole district loved it. Also, my district are all native speakers expect for 2 who have been study abroad and took BYU classes for Spanish. So I am getting frustrarted at times but it is okay. I understand about 90% of it, but when I want to say somethin it is frustrating because I can't say what I want. My comp is from Logan Utah, he is pretty cool and we get along. I got to go, but thanks for everything!! love all of you. Thanks for all the support. Love the letters and packages!
Elder Clayton

Pretty tight living arrangements
His companion Elder Soto
Elder Castillo from school his good friend
Elder Justin Ward another good friend from WX 
The famous picture everyone takes
Taking a picture with Sister O'Leary his good buddy and friend whom he shared his farewell with,  one in the yellow skirt

Sister in the middle is the sister that is from San Pedro Sula  and was in the church where Bridger served.  The same church that was robbed when Bridger was there.
This Elder is from the same area where our Bishop is from and has been to Lake Powell with him, the world is so small.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Dropping Him off at the MTC

Well, it certainly doesn't get any easier dropping another off.  But Stetson was so ready and excited to begin his mission.  It's hard to believe all they need are in those three bags for two years of service.  Most of what they need is in their hearts and minds as they go forward with faith and testimony.  We love you son and will pray for you every day for your safe return.  We can't wait to hear of your amazing stories and adventures in Mexico as you serve the people in Monterrey West area. 

Dallin, his cousin a.k.a. Elder Burningham was there to greet him, which was awesome!
Three brothers at the fountain
Ready to go!

 Go get em Elder Clayton.  We will miss you, but know this is where you need to be at this time of your life.  We will pray for you every day, and look forward to hear of your great adventures on this journey.  We love you pal!  May God bless you on every step of this journey!

His Farewell & Tempering of the Elements

Elder Clayton's Farewell was held on Sunday, May 19th at 1:00 p.m.   The weather has been so rainy and cold up until this day and we have been watching every day with the hopes that it might be ok to hold his farewell gathering outside.  Seems we have quite a crowd after the meeting, which we love and welcome, but a couple of times our house just doesn't seem to be big enough.  And so prayer were said.  We asked for just a small window of good weather to be able to hold it outside perhaps 2:00-5:00 p.m. might be ok.  Well, we put the stuff outside and the weather was chilly, but not bad.  We headed to church with a few gray clouds, but nothing threatening.  Stetson spoke and did an amazing job and after the weather was beautiful.  We went home, fed the crowd, outside.  And at about 4:00 the clouds started to roll in, and then a down pour  came.  Prayers were truly heard and answered.  Sue said it best when she said, that Heavenly Father must really love us to give us the perfect weather for Stetson.  I couldn't agree more.  Thank you prayers were said as we knew that it was indeed a tender mercy of many more to come through this experience of his service as a missionary.

We couldn't have asked for better weather.  Thank you Heavenly Father for answering so many prayers today.  We truly recognize Your hand in all things.