Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Jimmer's Fame Spreads Far and Wide

 Hello Family!

Ethan:  I can promise you with 100% surety that if you go on a mission and cannot play the hymns you will regret it. It's important to learn now because you will not have time to practice as a missionary even though you will want to.  'nuff said.

Speaking of Temples, HUGE NEWS.  This last Wednesday (the 16th) the final approval was made by the city council and zoning commision to build a temple in Fort Lauderdale.  The site is approved, everything is ready, and they can begin construction.  Currently the closest temple is in Orlando.  Missionaries can attend it on their final day of the mission and it's pretty far away, not in the mission.

No cardboard cutouts of Elder Fine for the wedding pics?  Why not? Haha yeah that's perfectly understandable.  I think it would be easier to get a cardboard cutout of Ironman or something and put my face on it.  Yeah.  Super cool, right?

So, cool story about basketball that Sister Hale told us.

Elder Kimball Rogers was a missionary in the New York Palmyra mission, and was serving in an area called Glen Falls.  There was a recent convert in his area named Bonnie Fredette, who had a little brother named Al.  Al was investigating the church and loved to play basketball.  Elder Rogers said to him, "If I beat you at a game of basketball, then you have to listen to a lesson about the gospel."  They played.  He won.  Al was baptized, and raised his family in the church.  40 years later at the Marriott center, Kimball Rogers and Al Fredette met once again to watch their sons, Jimmer and Steven, play together on the BYU basketball team.  That's right, Steven Roger's dad from Mesa Arizona taught Jimmer Fredette's dad the gospel.  Which is awesome, and we can learn a lot of great stuff from that story, but mostly I just wanted to tell you the story.

I will be refilling my meds this next monday in case you were wondering.

Lauren, wow, lots of good food you have been eating.  That was yoda structure, okay I'll just leave it.  Yesterday we went to teach this awesome venezuelan family.  Turns out the mom had gotten up at 5 that morning to begin preparing a delicious lunch because Elder Fine and Elder Hansen were coming over.  It was delicious.  Unfortunately, she wasn't very involved in the lesson because she was cooking, but her sons are pretty excited about it and they'll be getting baptised next month.

That's cool that Ethan and the deacons team are doing well.  The young men in my group always dominated in athletics, no thanks to me, but winning is still fun.

Alright, well that's all for now.  I might have some extra time at the end.  We'll see.


Elder Fine

Paz y Gozo

Hey fam!

So my big bro is getting, no manches...I'll just assume that letter from Adam is in the mail and hasn't gotten to me yet, sometimes news gets around slow because the letter has to get to the mission office and then be forwarded to me here.  I'm still here in Hialeah.  My new companion is Elder Hansen and he's a potato farmer from Idaho.  Right now we're working on finding a lot of new people to teach, what with us both being new in the area and not having a super big teaching pool.  The ward mission leader here is awesome, mostly because he's just the kind of personality that makes stuff get done without wasting time.  Maybe the conservative influence comes from the cubans.  I mean, if I had been exiled from a corrupt, poor, communist country, I might be inclined toward the principles of smaller government.  I'm not really sure what else to write...I wore a sweater this finally got down into the mid 60's one day.  Good stuff. Zone conference is tomorrow and Elder Golden (70) will be there.  So we're preparing for that and everything.  It's good stuff.  Have a wonderful day!  Wait a minute, did Adam propose on Valentine's Day?  You cheeseball!  Ah well.  Paz.


Elder Fine

Just Another Day in South Florida

In response to Mom's concern about being cold, I actually had to keep myself from laughing out loud.  I seriously was just contemplating sending home my sweaters and hats because it is never ever cold here.  I'm glad you got the azteca turtle :) I'm sure I'll eventually come across a cuban style turtle.  Fun stuff.  So I'd like to tell you a little bit about Hialeah, Cuba, I mean Florida.  There are advertisements for services provided in English.  I would not be surprised if Hialeah had the highest concentration of Latin Americans in the United States.  Spanish is the first language they speak to you at Wal-Mart and all the other stores, even if you're white (most cubans are).  In fact, I've been called Mexican several times because of the way I talk, because here you can't tell where someone is from by what they look like.  So I don't have any iguanas yet, but I got a couple of the weird birds and some funny sign pictures so I'm gonna try to put those on right now, hopefully it won't take too long.  Wow, ok that was super fast actually.  Alright, let's see, HAPPY BIRTHDAY ETHAN!  I'm gonna write you a letter too.  So the bird with the wings spread out is the one that goes down under the water and eats stuff off the bottom, then it goes and spreads its wings out to catch the sun and warm up and all that good stuff.  Today is my last day with Elders Alvarado and Dube.  They are both going home and I shall be left in charge of the area with my new companion that I'll get tomorrow.  It's gonna be pretty crazy.  We can't eat with members after 5 unless we have an investigator there, so they just give us a lot of food that we take back and eat. lots of arroz.  The problem is a lot of the food would be really good except we have to reheat it and it ends up being kind of nasty.  But that's what hot sauce was invented for, to improve the taste of reheated leftover cuban food.  Um, what other questions were there.  lemme check.   Well, I don't know.  I hope Joe is doing alright.  Tell him I said hi and that I know the Lord wants him back out there as soon as he's ready.  Lots of dominicans and puerto ricans here too, awesome people.  I feel like I'm definitely forgetting something.  If I remember in the next 14 minutes I'll tell you.  Good luck with everything!


Elder Fine

La Florida

Hey everyone!

That's awesome that I got a letter from the prophet!  I'm loving it here.  There's a lot of turtles here, and you're never very far from a little pond.  There's also some crazy looking birds, including ducks that land in trees, and this one bird that walks around underwater.  Yeah, it doesn't dive or swim or anything, it walks.  Haven't seen any gators yet.  We're right on the ocean and it's beautiful.  Lots of boats and stuff.  We went fishing with one of the senior couples this morning.  Elder Neeley caught a little bait fish and Elder Lopez caught a puffer.  Jim (a non-member friend of the senior couple) caught a bluefish, and I caught a fattie crab and got it all the way up to the edge but it let go.  Yeah I know, big fish story.  Anyway, there are cubans, dominicans, puerto ricans, haitians, jamaicans, salvadorians, guatemalans, hondurans, mexicans, peruvians, colombians, venezuelans, and just about everything else here.  Yeah, that $300 is for the bike.  There was an elder that got sick and went home, and never really used his bike much, so I bought it, so it's like the quality of a new $500 one, but for a little bit less.  $300 is still a lot, but it seemed like the best option.  I'll be sending a present from mexico today if we make it to the post office.  My camera has been acting funny lately and refusing to display certain pictures.  I'm not sure if the card is just getting full or if there's something wrong with it.  Now that I'm in the states, I have more options on what to do with the memory card and everything.  We had Stake Conference last week with Elder Gibbins (Givens?)  I don't know how to spell his name, as well as President Hale and Sister Hale.  Luis, one of our investigators, was very excited to meet them and tell them that he is being baptized next week.  Great guy, he's from Ecuador.  We use bikes and a truck in our area...I like riding my new bike, it's super nice, and Florida is a fantastic place to ride a bike.  There are no hills in Florida and especially not in Southeast Florida.  I am gonna get wet here.  We're in the dry season right now, so it only dumps a few buckets for shorter periods of time and less frequently.  I'm doing just mission changes way too frequently for me to get bored or accustomed to anything, which is good I think.  Keep on keeping on.


Elder Brandon Kevin Fine

The letter from the Prophet he refers to is a an official letter that was mailed to our home address changing his call from Mexico city to Ft Lauderdale. He sounds happy, which makes us happy.  J

Quite the Transfer

For those of you who have not heard, this past weekend, Brandon’s mission call was changed and he is now serving in the Florida, Ft. Lauderdale Spanish speaking mission.  He arrived there yesterday evening.  One of his medications is not available in the county of Mexico.  So now he is back in the USA.  He has a good attitude about it, which is nice.  We were able to speak with him on the phone both in Mexico before he left, and after he arrived in Florida.  His new mission president called us on Saturday and was very nice.  He lived in Mesa for 25 years (President Hale – I don’t know his first name yet) and assured me that Brandon WILL be speaking Spanish.  Brandon needs to get a bike there, but otherwise is good to go.

Here is his first letter from Florida.


hi, you're right, I've got lots to do right now.  First thing to take care of is this:

Elder Brandon Kevin Fine
Florida Ft Lauderdale Mission
7951 SW 6th Street, Suite 110
Fort Lauderdale FL 33324

Letters and packages go there, if you send a package, use USPS because then they can forward it to me wherever I am and I don't have to wait for the next opportunity to get it from the office.

I'm doing great, Florida is flat and green and southern, and I'm excited to get to know it.  Maybe the church offices did make a mistake, but I am a firm believer that God does not play dice with the universe.  I made my mark in Salt Lake and in Mexico, baptized in both places, and have learned and experienced a lot that has helped me personally that I don't think I would have in just one mission anywhere.  Good stuff.  Anyway, I have my meds, all is well.  Love you, and I will email again on Monday (normal p-day when it's not MLK day).  I'll be with the Assistants until Thursday and then I'll be in a threesome in West Palm (the most northern area) until the end of the transfer (Feb 9).

Con Carino (darned english keyboard)

Elder Fine


can you send me the recipe to make biscuits and gravy?  specifically gravy.  we can buy pretty good biscuits.


Elder Fine

Los Reyes Magos

Hi family!

Last I checked, a regular letter from the states to the estados costs 98 cents, or 11,50 pesos.  I got the phone numbers for the mission doctors so I can take care of my meds.  No worries.  This week has been pretty adventurous.  The Reyes Magos, Mechor (white guy on a horse), Gaspar (black guy on an elephant) and Baltazar (arab on a camel), didn´t bring us anything so we bought a Rosca and ate it with the relief society president while she gave us like 15 references.  Those Reyes are a big deal here, but they only bring toys to kids, once you´re older you don´t get giftcards or clothes or anything, the reyes just stop coming.  Yeah, this manera de Ammón thing that the president has really works.  There were two niño jesuses in it and I got both of them, so I guess I´ll be buying tomales on February 2nd.  So this week, I helped put out a fire, almost got bit by a dog, went rock climbing through thick brush and nopales (prickly pear cacti) because we were too impatient to take the road all the way around the hill, drew a little cartoon of San Miguel Arcangel fighting El Dragón in my planner, taught my companion a couple songs on the harmonica (he got one), ate a lot of really good food and cookies, all the while running from Montezuma for fear he would take his revenge on me.  So that hill that I´m on top of in the picture, that´s the one we climbed over in the rocks and cactus (the path is only on that side, not the side we climbed up).  When we got over there we found that there was a rather large fence blocking our way into the other colonia where we wanted to work.  Suddenly, and out of nowhere, a man came walking through the grass.  Now you have to understand that while there are many people in our area, the likelyhood of finding someone on that hill was very low.  We asked him if there was a way to get in without going all the way down the hill and back up, which would defeat the purpose of climbing the hill in the first place.  He lead us to a tiny pasadita which we never would have found.  For those of you who have seen the Labyrinth, imagine the scene where they have to step on the rocks to avoid falling into the pit of eternal stench.  We thanked him and explained that we were missionaries.  He explained that his name was Solomon, that he had been taking missionary lessons in Florida, and he lived in La Joya.  Perfect!  Moral of the story is there is no such thing as coincidence.  Okay, what else, I always forget things when I write these letters.  Oh yeah!  First piñata in México!  We found this inactive family when we were putting out the fire, and this was the cumpleaños of one of the older daughters.  We found out at the party that Marco, the 9 year old son, hasn´t been baptized and wants to, so that´s good.  There was also a pentacostal christian at the party that wasn´t too fond of us, but couldn´t find anything wrong with our doctrine so just criticized the members.  Anyway, Winny Pooh piñata!  I love you all and hope everything is going well.

The church is true,

Elder Fine