My Missionary Commission


I am Called of God. My authority is above that of the kings of the earth. By revelation I have been selected as a personal representative of the Lord Jesus Christ. He is my Master and he has chosen me to represent him. To stand in his place, to say and do what he himself would say and do if he personally were ministering to the very people to whom he has sent me. My voice is his voice, and my acts are his acts; my words are his words, and my doctrine is his doctrine. My commission is to do what he wants done. To say what he wants said. To be a living modern witness in word and deed of the divinity of his great and marvelous latter-day work.
-Elder Bruce R McConkie
If any of you have received any letters or great stories from Dylan and would like to share it, we'd love to have it and post it here. When Dylan is done we are going to make this blog into a book for him. So any contributions are welcome. Just email them to

Feel free to make comments as they are automatically emailed to Dylan. He would love to hear from you. Even if it is a small comment.

Dylan's Photo Album- check back on Mondays when he (hopefully) uploads more each week.

Arizona Beehive Newspaper

 Check out this handsome missionary in the latest edition of the Arizona Beehive.  A newspaper for Mormons in the Arizona State.  Dylan actually knows a few of the boys on this page.    - A link to the whole newspaper - click on "missionaries" on the left hand side. - A direct link to his picture

Happy Independence Day Madagascar! (6/26/2011)

Madagascar Independence Day is a public holiday, which is observed on June 26 every year in the Republic of Madagascar. The entire population of the country celebrates this day as their national holiday. This day marks the declaration of independence from the French regime in 1960. Madagascar Independence Day is a no work day.


The Republic of Madagascar is an island nation on the southeastern shores of the African continent. It has experienced major developments throughout the 19th and 20th centuries. Encompassing a tactical position away from the southeastern seashores of the African continent, the island country traditionally turned into the aim of British and French colonizers. Eventually, the contest led to French settlement at the close of the 19th century. In 1942, at the Battle of Madagascar, British forces gained control of the country to prevent its capture by the Japanese forces, following which the Free French occupied the territory. It achieved complete freedom from the French settlers on June 26, 1960.

Independence and Republic

The Republic of Madagascar came into existence on June 26, 1960 once it achieved freedom from the French rule. The country's formation was assumed by a countrywide election on August 19, 1992.

Madagascar Independence Day Celebrations

Madagascar Independence Day is an event of enormous importance. It is observed on June 26 every year. The Malagasy citizens enjoy the festivities with delicious cuisine, dancing, and drinking. One of the displays of the occasion is a demonstration of "Hira Gasy". It is a melodious production of Malagasy myths. During this program, artists put on their most attractive conventional clothing and blend dances and songs with long-established fables from the country. This is merged with a narrator who stages every song with a bit of poems or a passage from a most popular fable.

During the festivities, schools, colleges, and businesses stay closed. Independence Day in Madagascar is the biggest event on the calendar of the country, which is celebrated on June 26 every year. The day is an enjoyable and captivating occasion. The observations are characterized by unlimited dining, drinking, and making merry. It is possibly the most significant day for the country to mark its independence achieved as a result of long-fought battles with the French forces. Display of firecrackers and a laser show are held at Lake Anosy on the opening day with an army march past and musical shows are organized at Mahamasina Stadium on the 2nd day. The majority of festivities happen in Antananarivo, the capital of the country. Independence Day is an important public holiday in Madagascar and is work-free.

Poop, OJ, Stoned Drunk, Dancing and Kool Aid (6/20/2011)

haha goodness; so before I forget, if you ever send a package, MAKE sure you send koolaid packages and fruit snacks, and real quick story, last night we were walking home from an appointment and since it was sunday that is drinking day and ran into two drunk guys; way wasted out of their mind, and he would not let go of us, and tried to put my hand up his shirt, so I said heck no pulled my hand back and since he was drunk he ran right into the wall, and yesterday I hadnt pooped for about 3 days and guess it was all that rice and I pushed and pushed and pushed then it all flowed after 20 minutes, it was lovely :) more to come, gona write some more soon.
the orange juice, ALL the juices are delicious, except a few, like we tried this one elder smith and I called grass juice, which is what is tasted like straight up, I burped grass later that day, and he wouldnt stop filling up my cup so it is what is was, he used to be a bishop before he went crazy with sex and that fun stuff, but he is doing way good now, I cant stop drinking the juice though, but we are careful :) sometimes.....we were in the APs house the first night then weznt to our house, we are going shopping today!!! so stoked, going to Analakely which is the like the richest/ poorest biggest market place kind of deal, stoked, you can argue for prices too, which is the best thing, you can get nice watches which are about 10 dollars and get them for 3 dollars, so legit!!  I did bear my testimony on sunday, and I will tell you my new companion when I find him out, he will be my mother in my mission :)yes, been in home teachings, the little kids are the best, there are little things that they love so I have been learning them, been trying to talk to everyone, the language is coming au_icker and quicker, 
oh yea!! just rememebered, yesterday, we went into a family which usually has a mom, dad kids, grandma and grandpa but it was the mom, a friend, two young guys, who the two guys were stoned out of their minds, and that was probably the most awkward thing in my life, especially their clothes, bras all messed up, WAY funky dresses, watcvhing a movie hahaha, no ideq what they did, but probably wasnt healthy
We also went to a wedding and shoot that was such such good food, I took videos of the dancing but we had to leave early so didnt get everything, but got some vidoes, so no worries!! the food was the best!!!
OH!! I got fleas this week too, I counted a few days ago, at least 36, 7 on each arm, one of my butt cheek this morning.
candy that cant melt too!!Please send some. please :D!!
lol so, I told everyone to check out the blog for all the stories so Mazatoa, be diligent is the translation :) love you, keep updating me on the family, I wrote you a lot today cause I got used to the keyboard :) and a lot of stories too haha

Latitude and Longitude

I thought this was really cool and thought you might like it. If you go to
and enter these coordinates you'll see the city Anjanahary where Dylan is.
Check out all the cars in the streets and the rice fields in the middle of the city.

Latitude:   -18.897146159232733

Longitude: 47.53277510404587

Made of Something Special

So I asked my favorite Returned Madagascar Missionary two more questions:

QUESTION: Would you go back to Madagascar and live or at least go back for the summers?

ANSWER: yes yes yes yes yes!!!! i love it sooooooooooo much there. if i could go back there every summer i would, but money is an issue and i have a life to pursue here. living there would be hard for me, not for me personally, but to watch my kids grow up there it would be hard. being so far away from my parents they would hardly see them, but I would love it!

QUESTION: And do you think this statement is true of the missionaries that are sent to Madagascar.

I could see that the elders called to serve there seem to be physically strong and mentally tough. I know they're not perfect, they are just young guys with all the same issues all young guys everywhere have, but they seem to be resiliant and have a core of...I don't know if it's strength or if it's just stubborness or acceptance or low anxiety or a need for an adventurous and physically hard mission, but they seem to be able to endure...stuff. The young men called there are just, I guess, hardy, would be a good word - maybe foolhardy, maybe fun loving, maybe mule headed. At any rate, they don't seem to go home very much, they seem to be able to put up with a lot of stuff that would send others running.

ANSWER: hahaha yes i would say that that statement fits pretty well. not all the missionaries that go there are the perfect football player in strength and all(myself being one of those small guys) but i do agree that mada missionaries have a certain character about them that is different than everyone else. It definately takes a lot to make us run for the hills. Sure the language is hard to learn for some people, but that never stopped anyone. and if you dont get it the first time around you try again and again and again. Although we may not be a "we were tracting and we decided to knock on one more door before we went home" mission we have our rewards. Mine come in the simple journal entry that reads "dear journal, a week ago we talked to this drunk guy while we were walking home on the railroad tracks. It was dark and i didnt want to talk to him, but i gave him a card. he insisted on having us come to his house, even though he was drunk, and we went. reluctantly. we set a time for the next day and left a 1st pamphlet with him, then left. We showed up the next day and he was sober and wanted to talk to us. his wife however didnt, but she sat down anyway. we had a normal lesson with them and asked him if he would come to church with us. like everyone else, he said he was coming, so i asked if we could pick him up. he said yes and i said 'see you sunday' as we were leaving. Well sunday comes around and [my comapnion] and i split up so he could go to the DMP (ward mission leader) meeting. Well i went out to pick up this guy. When we got there i knocked their door and then proceeded up their trapdoor like stairs and into the house. i reminded him that he said he was going to church with us, so he began getting dressed in his church clothes. it wasnt till we got outside that i noticed he was drunk again, but he still wanted to come! ' Everything went well at church and we set up a time for later on in the week. Well we taught that time yesterday about the plan of slavation. We went back to check up on him today because we got dogged way bad and had a time with him. He told us that last night he had a few dreams about what we taught him and he said that he went to the terrestrial kingdom because of his drinking, but his family went to the celestial and he was seperated from them. He said that scared him so bad that he wasnt ever going to drink again. Well its not like i havent heard that before, but we'll see what happens......"

That man later went on to get married to his wife and never drank again(to my knowledge). If i understand correctly, he is preparing to recieve the melchizedek preisthood. Things like that are what this mission is all about. I hope you're ready to get stories like that, because they'll come.

I can't wait to get these kind of stories. They are very much ego booster, inspriring stories. -Dawn

First E-mail from Madagascar (6-13-2011)

I love it here :)

goodness gracious i love this place sooo much it is so legit, eh there are parts that smell but you get used to it, just like moving, chilling in an internet cafe in my chucks just trying to type cause the keyboard is way different :( can’t find the exclamation point either, we get called vazaha all day, especially but little kids, everyone is black and it is zeird to see a zhite person, so I can see where they are coming from, people can be nice but they generally aren’t rude the zeather is way nice cause it is just getting into the winter months, the companion that i am with that you already know about:) he leaves soon so he wants to try everything and such, so some good foods and some not, but that is what it is, they have this orange juice that is way watered down but super super good, it gives you diarreha if you drink a lot but I haven’t yet but it was tempting for sure, yea my baggage came when I did, was cool, didn’t have to bear my testimony yet because the bishop forgot, plus I was learning Malagasy sign language; which is way sick, there is a deaf guy in our ward my companion knows and the deaf guys name is Jules and he taught me during sacrament meeting, like I said, way way awesome, much different from ASL the people are way sick also, more stories soon, love you, tell everyone I said hello :) tell Dayna to write me.

No bikes for us. We walk in our area, yes our luggage arrived when we did, and I saw the lightning, it was on the side of the plane, I am loving it for sure!

Advice from a Returned Madgascar Missionary (6/10/2011)

So while waiting for Dylan’s email I emailed some questions to Elder XXXX, the missionary who just returned from Madagascar. I thought you all might get a kick out of this.

Q1. My son is currently on his way to Madagascar. In fact he is just leaving London, and he has only slept 3 hours in London, and thinks he will sleep on the way to Johannesburg. So how long does it take to get caught up from jet lag?

A1. oooooh i remember that flight. tough flight. Umm he'll be pretty tired for his first week or so, just being on the other side of the world and all. When i was first in country we went out to teach the day after i got there and worked the whole day, then i passed out on my bed while writing in my journal. It was like that for the kid i trained too, so its pretty normal to be tired, but by his first p-day he should be fine.

Q2. What happens when they (there are five of them going to Mada) get there. Do they stay at the Mission home or do they head out to an area they are assigned?

A2. Well here’s what normally happens, but this depenes on what time they get there. If they arrive in the afternoon they will go to the town hall to work out visa papers and do other legal document things that must be done, then in the evening they will go out with the missionaries who are in some of the closest areas. they will go in 3s, so one regular companionship + new kid. If they arrive in the evening, however, they will be taken straight to the Assistants(AP) house(and possibly the Presidents house if there isnt enough room in the APs house) and sleep there for the night. The following Morning will be depend on what they accomplished the previous day. If they got the visas done then they can stay in the house and study, but if they didnt then they're off o do that first thing. Later on in the day(for both situations now) they will have an orientation meeting with President, The APs, the couple Missionaries, and the people who will be their trainers. After the Orientation They have a late lunch with president and open their other call letters which tell them the area that they will be serving in and who their trainer will be. and thats it. then they're off to their area to complete any other times they have scheduled for the day.

Q3. How do you guys do your laundry?

A3. Each of the missionary houses have a washer installed in them. Some are lucky to have dryers, but most missionaries hang dry their clothes. Drying racks are provided, hangers however often are not. But your son can buy hangars from the store if they dont have any extras in the house.

Q4.Do you get your allowance weekly or monthly?

A4. It comes Monthly and it is his job to make sure he doesnt go broke. it comes on a debit card. Some missionaries leave their money in the bank and draw it out during the month when needed, but personally i draw it all out at once and keep it in my desk so i dont go second guessing myself on how much i have left.

Q5. Does everyone really get fleas?

A5. Hmmmmmm yes, everyone gets them, but they are easier to kill than you would think(if you can catch them, thats the hard part) the degree to which the missionary has them depends on the missionary and his diligence in looking for and killing the ones he has on his body or in his bed.

Q6. Do you really have to be in before dark because there is no electricity?

A6. Well yes and no. Curfew is 9:30 and you need to be in by then, but not because there is no electricity. Granted, most people don’t have electricity and your son will be teaching them by candle light, but that’s not the reason he has to be in. All missionary houses have electricity.

Q7. Is President Donnolly as cool as what every says he is?

A7. Cooler. Hands Down.

Q8. Does everyone or just certain areas get bicycles? I see that you have one in a photo.

A8. Most of the Provinces have bikes, but the missionaries in Tana don’t get bikes. All walking. All missionaries on bikes are now required to wear helmets due to a recent accident that involved one of my past companions, a malagasy missionary. He fell off his bike on a hill and cracked his skull and broke his collar bone. He is recovering well now.

Q9. Were you involved or affected by any of the hurricanes?

A9. I was not, but I do know missionaries who were in areas when they were hit by hurricanes.

Q10. Is the food really gross? Or is there some edible food?

A10. The food is edible, but it’s the taste, texture, look, and overall bony-ness of the food that makes some missionaries freak out. I will say that they have some VERY strange dishes, however most of their food is VERY VERY GOOD! But it will make him sick so I hope he’s ready! xD

Q11. How often do the missionaries get lucky enough to do baptisms in the Ocean.

A11. hmmmm, thats a soft subject for missionaries. Everyone wants to do one. Whether they are lucky enough to or not is not something they can directly control. First you have to be in a province that is next to the ocean (3 of the 6 provinces are next to the ocean so that’s a good chance). Second you have to have someone ready to be baptized (see that one they CAN directly control =) ), and third, the ward has to decide to do it. It normally happens when there are lots of people ready to be baptized. Those missionaries who ARE lucky enough to do one though have a sort of claim to fame among missionaries =) not that it really matters, but every missionary wants to do one. I didn’t get to, but I did one in a river, so i'll take that =)

Q12. Does anyone go to Nosy Be? (Nosy Be is like Hawaii, an exotic island where all the tourist vacation)

A12. No. No missionary, beside the couple missionaries, have gone there.............yet.

Q13.How often do you see they guys that were with you in the MTC?

A13. Hmmm depends on where they are. If they are all in the city, then once a week on p-day. If they are in the same district, twice a week, maybe up to 3-4. If they are unlucky and manage to stay out of the same city, then at least 2 times a year, for island conference.

Q14. How do you get pictures home. Or do you not and just upload them to the internet? What are the rules on that?

A14. The rules are like any other mission, except they are allowed to use an existing G-mail account for communication Purposes. Therefore no facebook, myspace, or photobucket. Heres the way i got pictures home. I bought a card reader and every p-day i took it to the e-mail cafe with me. I plugged my card and reader into the computer and copied the pictures on my card to the computer(so i didnt have to mess with the original files). Then i took the card out, just for safe keeping. After that, open the pictures you want to send home with paint if they are big. Then, once it is opened press ctrl+w and resize the picture to 20% by 20% and hit enter then save. do that for all the pictures. once that is done they are small enough to send them in an email, so do just that. Easy! Also when your card gets full, its good to take those pictures and put them either on a flash drive(if he has one or buys one) or he could put them on a DVD and keep that with him.

Q15.How long does it take to get packages/letters? Can we send fed ex or ups? I’ve heard that the missionaries we told not to send a specific way because it costs the elders money to pick it up.

15. For your letters to get there it will take about a week or week and a half. For his to get to you it will take about 3-4 weeks, maybe less if he's lucky. For your packages to get there it takes anywhere from 3-6 weeks sometimes even 2 months. i don’t know what makes it that way, sometimes it just is. ABOUT PACKAGES: If you send a package make sure you inventory everything that you send in that package. There are stories of missionaries having to pay huge overage fees because the things in the package were not inventoried correctly. They don’t check every one, but to the unfortunate soul who is the one and didn’t mark it down......well that’s what happens. Also NO ELECTRONICS IN PACKAGES. Your son will be horribly overcharged for them. He will most likely pay more to pick it up than you paid to buy that electronic item. Or if you are sending something small like a flash drive or other things, make sure to hide it well. My parents have good tips on how to hide things you don’t want them finding/taking.

If you send you Package by Fed Ex, your missionary wont pay to pick it up(at least i didn’t for the one I got) but it will cost a boat load more money than a simple flat rate box.

Q16.Do you know what happened to Elder XXXXX. I saw that he was sent home for medical reasons. (this was an elder who I was following his blog and just curious about as he up and stopped his letters)

A16. Elder XXXXX was in Madagascar for about 2 moths, then had to be sent to south africa because he was pooping and peeing blood. I was transferred in to take his spot. Then when he came back after a week and a half he stayed for another 2 weeks or so and then it started again. They didn’t know what it was at first, but when he got to America, I believe they found a hole in his heart. Personally, i don’t think that Madagascar had anything to do with that other than it flared it up, because no other missionary( to my knowledge) has turned up with those problems.

Q17.Have you ever met an Elder XXXX? (I was going to remove this question as it produces nothing, but I thought his answer was funny)

A17. Yes I have met Elder XXXX. He is a great missionary and a very fun person to be around. But be warned, sometimes when missionaries get together, stupid things happen. Nothing bad, but just stupid. Funny, of course, but still a bit stupid =)

Q18 I also heard that they are getting simple ipads to aid in the teaching of the people.

A18. Hmmmm about the IPads.......i doubt it, but that’s just my opinion. The tools they have are already very good. All missionaries get a picture book filled with pictures/paintings about Old/New testament, Book of Mormon, D&C, and Other pictures.

Q19. Do you know if you can transfer from the islands of Mauritius and Le Reunion to Madagascar? Same goes with French speaking areas to Malagasy speaking areas. My son heard that the mission president wanted the missionaries to learn both French and Malagasy regardless of where they are going.

A 19. Now about transferring to the other islands. It happens sometimes, but not all too often. They need missionaries in Mada, not so much in the other islands that are around it.

Q20.Is it really like an episode or Survivor there. You do what you have to too make it there?

A20. Ehhhhh kind of. In the sense that you do what you have to too make it, its the same. now in the setting, not so much. I mean, if you're walking on a road out to an appt and your person lives across a field that they use for making bricks and all of a sudden you get hit by the sudden urge to go to the bathroom, but there’s not one around, then I guess you have no other choice than to drop your pants and pop a squat. It happens sometimes, but none of that crazy building a shelter for the night thing or nothing like I have to go out hunting to get my food. It is far more advanced than that.

Q21.Is it true that you come home either one month before or one month after your 2 yr mark because of transfers?

A21. mmmmm not so much. You come home mostly when you left. if you need to go home a month early for school then you can. if you want to extend a month then you can, but otherwise you are scheduled to leave mada 2 years from the month you entered the MTC

Well I hope that helps. I apologize if anything in there was too straightforward, but you learn to just come out and say things there. Have a great day and i wish your son the best.


Later that day I email ed an Elder XXXXX who just got back from Madagascar little than a month to go and he had this to say about Dylan’s new area and companion.

"Wow! T.Smith. What a great guy. He is also from California. In fact he lives really close to me and we have been in the same vicinity(new years eve  dance) at the same time, we just didnt know each other.

Anjanahary is an area in the heart of the capital city of Tana. your son will be central to everything(the grocery story, the good food resturants, you know the important stuff =D) Elder Smith is good at the language and i suspect that your son will learn lots from him. Elder Smith, however, only has one month left, if i remember correctly, so it would be good to learn as much as he can as fast as he can.

and an area on top of the language! Well i wish him good luck in Anjanahary, its a hard place to work, but at least he can look back at other times in his mission and be able to say "well at least it will never be that bad again" =) Aza Kivy!"

Some of the many faces in Anjanahary


6-9-2011 (4:30 am)

So I didn’t realize that I had received an email this morning until one of the moms of Dylan’s traveling companions email me and asked me about it. I would have totally missed this email from theMission President:

Mission de
B.P. 5094
Antananarivo 101 Madagascar
Téléphone 22 417 51 - Fax 22.418.54
N° 0000-10 / MM-SL

Antananarivo, 9 June 2011

Brother and Sister Thurlow,

Your son, Elder SHAW, arrived safely in Madagascar. After prayerful consideration, I assigned him to labor initially in Anjanahary with Elder SMITH, T. one of our best missionaries. We will do everything in our power to see that your son’s missionary experience is all that it should be and one that will be a source of strength to him throughout his life.

As your son takes the gospel forth, he will have some new experiences, some of which will probably be a great challenge, especially learning a new language, being away from home in a foreign land and culture, adjusting to missionary life, and getting along with companions and other missionaries. Experience shows that missionaries who lose themselves in the work quickly overcome any obstacles.

Your weekly letters will greatly influence his success and be an important source of emotional and spiritual support. Please make letters to him cheerful and uplifting. Family members are authorized to send emails to their missionaries, subject to the guidelines established by the brethren.

For any package you would like to send to Madagascar use the address below (very important) when using DHL or any other mail company:

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Days Saints
Madagascar Antananarivo Mission
B.P. 5094
Dingana III

Each missionary receives the Missionary Handbook. Your missionary has committed to living by the principles of this handbook. You can be of great support to your missionary if you are aware of some of these principles.

“Write to your parents each week on preparation day.” If you should not receive these letters regularly (taking into consideration that there is some irregularity in mail delivery), please let me know.

”Notify the mission office if your parents’ address changes (including e-mail addresses).” It would be useful for you to also notify us of such a change, just in case your missionary forgets.

“Do not telephone parents, relatives or friends.” We would also ask you to refrain from placing calls to your missionary, except for a call on Mother’s Day and one on Christmas, which we do authorize. Missionaries are not authorized to accept other calls.

“In case of an emergency, contact your mission president.” Should the family have an emergency which needs to be communicated to the missionary, please contact the Mission Office (001-261-22-417-51).

“Consider your support money as sacred. Spend it wisely and only for things relating to your mission. It represents sacrifice by your family, yourself and others…If you have extra funds, do not overspend and make it difficult for your companion who may not be as fortunate.” There are many valuable lessons to be learned during a mission, and one of these lessons deals with being able to budget and live within an allotted amount.


Sean Edmund DONNELLY, President

Madagascar Antananarivo Mission


6:40 a.m.

So I received an email today from Dylan. Totally not expecting it.

Wasupp!! I'm here in Mada right now, this place is absolutely beautiful, We made it safetly to mada, just letting you know, got to meet the president and he sounds way legit our p-day is on monday now, please let people know, but, it is just going into winter and it feels so good here, so many people are walking around town, and we are going to get to go out for a hour and talk to them today!! So stoked, lil' nervous, but that is aight!! Just letting you know I'm good, Talk to you on p-day!!Love you mother!!

Johannesburg (6-7-2011)

I have heard that by the time the missionaries get to Johannesburg they are so tired that they don’t call home. Well I made Dylan promise me to call. Which he did. Found out that he slept 8 of the 10 hour flight. One of the other elders had barfed in his throw up bad, turned out it had a hole in it and he threw up all over his pants. He was the only elder to bring an extra pair of pants. The missionaries were told to bring 2 days of clothes on their carry on backpacks as they luggage seems to arrive 2 days later. The next exciting story is that apparently there was this huge storm that the plane had to go through so they went through it and the came wide and around the storm and then had to fly in really low to land. Turns out his plane was 40 minutes late and was struck by lightning 3 times. Dylan sat in the exact same seat as on the flight to London 44A- a window seat. I can’t remember if he said he saw it or not. He said it was scary and all he could remember what the story his seminary teacher , Bro Farley, told of off an airplane that got hit by lightning and blew a hole in the bottom of the plane. So ya Dylan said it was scary. Good thing I just saw a show on tv about planes are now made with the intention of getting struck by lightning. So it was interesting to note that flightaware doesn’t track over Africa. They had his plane taxiing for like 5 hours. That’s when we found out it doesn’t out of Europe. It did however work on the mobile app we have. Would have been cool to watch his plane circle again.

London (6-7-2011)

So 1 a.m. came and went, no call from Dylan. He ended up calling about 7 a.m. He didn’t sleep on the flight over from Chicago cause it was just really turbulent, he ended up talking with a kid from Germany. When he got to Heathrow he found a spot of the ground and slept for 4 hours. Then they ate and then headed to the payphones. Interesting enough he had to stand the whole 4 hours that he talked to people. We talked for about 35 minutes. Dylan said that Heathrow was like a huge shopping mall. Ty requested a picture of Big Ben, but he didn’t get to leave the airport so he said he would settle for a postcard of Big Ben. We’ll see if it happened. So again we were watching his plane on flightaware and his plane totally missed the airport and then made a full circle and came back around again and landed. Turns out there were too many plans landing so they had to circle around a bit. It was cool to watch.

The Windy City (6-6-2011)

Ya!  Dylan made it to Chicago. Didn’t sleep a wink. Enjoyed the flight said it was very nice. We got to talk for about 40 minutes.  Turned out the calling card he bought at the MTC didn’t work, or he couldn’t get it to work.  Still sounded sick and tired. I learned from my first talk with him and tried to let him talk. He said his last two roommates were going to India. He will miss Elder Fennell, but he leaves for Mada on June 27th.  He got to talk to a lot of his friends and family.

Leaving on A Jet Plane (6-6-2011)

Dylan left this morning on his long 55 hour trip. Actually I figured out it was really 43 hours if you don’t include the time change. So its 45 hours and add the 10 hour time difference. Makes for a long week. So Dylan called from the Salt Lake Airport, which I thought would be nice but didn’t think it would happen. But a few minutes later the phone rang from out of area. Turns out one of the elders he was traveling with, saw his grandparents who were flying in to visit with his parents- they just got back from a mission in Russia. Well the grandparents let each of the boys call home for a few minutes. It was great to hear from him. He said he got sick last week from an elder in the MTC. Turns out Elder Wilson –Dylan’s companion- was sick also. Anyways he hadn’t slept good for the last 3 days. And on Sunday night he didn’t go to bed till 1 am and then woke up at 5am. He was very excited to go. They had a cultural night party last Friday. Turns out they shared all the candy and extra food they had left. What a bunch of sweeties! Anyways he said he would call when he got to Chicago. So we are tracking his plane on Flightaware. Totally sweet. The plane moves in real time as he is moving. We get to see the weather and altitude and speed.

Last MTC E-Mail Ever! (5/31/2011)


MOM: So it is Tuesday today. Less than a week to go I hope. So yesterday we were making our grocery list and Richard said he’s depressed- because you weren’t there to eat the food he makes. He makes so much and doesn’t know how to make little batches. I think we need to keep a tally of how many times Richard laments about how much he misses you. I think he is already up to five with yesterdays missing you. Well I think you are going to get lucky and end up getting two priority mail packages. I just keep putting off sending the one that I have- I am just going to mail it and send the other stuff with another package. Especially since they take only like two days to get to you. Plus your glasses haven’t come back. Anyways questions for you. Oh, your envelope has pictures in it as well.

DYLAN: . I didn't really want to send my SD card back home. So I developed some pictures and sent them out. I can't really think of anything I want, I found out another way to get on email, so If I think of anything I'll jump on tomorrow for a secs and ask you, but like I said, I doubt I'll want anything. I just want to get out of this place already. All the candy is still here too haha, gonna stick them in my backpack I'm thinking. nah, not sending anything home. I packed what I needed :) chase told me where he is going, gona give him a call along with some other people :D! haha nice story, we have taught a malagasy lady (that came from mada 10 months ago) and holy cow does she talk fast, but for the most part, if I knew the words she was saying I could know it, but if I didn't the whole sentence was a blur! Get on the computer quickly!

DYLAN: I'm gona log off for about 10 minutes, hopefully your back!

DYLAN: hahahahaha, tell him I told you I eat his food. Cause apparently noone does remember? ;) I got my travel plans and you should be getting a big ol' letter in the mail either today or tomorrow I'm thinking cause I mailed it on Saturday if I remember right. It is like 10 pages of the lil' ones :D! But I wrote a big ol' extensive thing of my flight plans so don't worry. Better hurry and send it cause last time one package took quite awhile. I'm a quick reader mother, you should know that :P, so it doesn't take me too long to read your emails, plus I reply while I read sometimes.

MOM: I will make sure I send the next package like 2 day or overnight. Just to make sure it gets to you before Saturday. Don’t forget yesterday was a holiday so no mail.

DYLAN: I didn't, that is why I said wednesday/today/thursday :), OH! Will you send me a picture of pyper, like an actual developped photo of that! I want a colored one, the printer doesn't do color =/

DYLAN: I'm gona call you :o! oh! I can buy a calling card in the bookstore, but not international cards!

DYLAN: I've also gained 12 pounds, ridiclous! How is the family doing?

MOM: Sweet you will need the gained weight. Did you read my one dear elder letter that talks about what you guys will go through when you get there. you will need all the pounds you can get. Did you eat all the candy that I sent last week.

DYLAN: nah! I don't need the weight!! I've been jumpropping so once I loose those 10/15 pounds I'll be abel to jump so high! :D Did you ever get abel's email address? I'm not sure on that dear elder, but we get them aroudn 2 ish.

DYLAN:chase is going to cali! Disneyland! :D! Tell Kenneth I'm going to call him too please!! so be ready!

MOM: Who told you where chase was going?

DYLAN: Chase told me through dearelder last week. ha! I'll be like 115 by the time I get back. I'm gona make sure I get a before and after picture, don't worry :)

Time is up, love you mother!! maybe I'll get another minute.

Go read my first letter I sent you, it has a lot of info in it :D! plus the letter you will be getting love you!

So LEGIT (5/27/2011)

Hello mother.

Real quick. Teny Gasy Lesona! When you say "my mother" you say "mamako." Your mother would be "mamanao" The ending makes it possesive :)  Been way good. 10 days today! We got our flight plans omaly. Way legit. I'll email  you all the information. But decided to send it in this letter. To decide-manapa. Kevifra. But literally is means break thought or decide. I've been way good though, so stoked to get out of this place. Seven months of waiting is tonga dia whack! Tsy miandry. 10 more days though, akaiky!!! Close!

Oops! Sorry, I not be writing in pen. It has been awhile since I wrote, so reverted to my old ways. All good. It should be a big one so no worries! We had Russell M Nelson.  It was way cool. you  see another side of them, the informal side. which is way better!

Kenneth was telling me about Texas before I left. Got to have money to pay for his adventures. Going to texas will give him a taste on being gone too. which is not bad, mind you. We got two new roommates and one of them is a bit adala! He set his alarm for 3:30 am the past two mornings. So I brought it up to him this morning and asked him whay was up, and he said  "my alarm didn't go off I don't remember" then I said nah, I'm sure it went off. then he said "Oh. I remember getting up at 3:30 but it wasn't for my alarm." So tonight I am checking that alarm before I sleep tonight. Not having 3 bad nights of sleep. NO WAY!

In lunch right now. Hope you enjoy the photos I sent home. Didn't want to send my SD card. Sorry dear mother.  Well just got back from gym. My legs are killing me! I did a bunch of jump rope and stairs. By the way, guess what! I  gained 15 pounds! So, the way I see it, if I keep jump roping I loose 15-20 pounds in Mada I will be able to dunk hardcore and 8 pack all day mother! =D. I got most phone numbers! Kenneth, dad, tarek, dayna, family,grandma, Chase! Just some people! Also, I get my shot next Thursday, so that way I won't have to get a booster when I get home!

Elder X is doing good. Much better now, Make sure you are ready for when I call.

LOL no, it didn't bother me a bit that everyone else in my district had a leadership position. Except I got draged to every meeting. so that is alright. and they got released anyway! So now I be just chilling! By the way, let Chase to read this. You can put in on the blog. Raha Harianao!

Don't worry. I sent some good pictures. ya once I get to Mada, you have about a hour of emial so maybe I'll get a more complete thought in but just maybe.

What does Zach think of leaving? Is he nervous or excited?!

Tell Taytum Happy Birthday for me please. I put her stuff up on the wall and gave you the pictue.

I wised up and realized you and I can have fun. Like on grad night. you were apart of it and all my friends like you, of course all I say is good tihngs about the women I love. Ohafra=gma/mother(you). But it was fun hanging out with you.

So Chase told me where he is going. I am so stoked for him. It becomes your home. It is one of the biggest things you do. Like marriage, you will always remember it.

Aza haino amin anabako. (don't listen to sister of mine) It is just someting she wants to do. I know you don't worry about me. but stop worrying about what you say. I'm going to think of home either way mother. NO matter what. Well, it is 7:05 right now. Teacher/sub didn't show up. So, studing the language, trying to read a story in th e May 2009 Liahoana. the talk is  "My drafitry ny raintsika-ampy ho an'ny zaanany rehetra" - Midika-tera- " The Plan of father for us.- enough for all of his children" translation. Manarak.  It tells about Charles Dickens giving to Estoniza(u.s.) adn set-up a church with the amazons and that is as far as I got this morning. It was legit. Last TRC, we taught a Malagsy lady that came here about 10 months ago! She spoke SO fast! I got most of what she was saying but goodness gracious it was sarotra BE! Very difficult. But honestly, it tonga dia made me excited! So stoked after last week. Only 10 more days!

Well mother I shall close this letter, taken most of the day, I hope you enjoy. probably one of my last letters here. We have culture day part 2 on Zoma manaraka herin. Friday next week. That is wrong but the words are not. tell Dave to write my email! Same with Brinkerhoff. Look at the word for neighbor+ npifarolobofrin drina. (pee-far-oo-loo-boo-geen-geena) Lehizle!! But like I said, going well want to be gone though. I'll write you the flight plans on the back. JUST like I have it. Love you mother. Tell everyone HI!

June 6th
Leave: Salt Lake City 11:15 am
Arrive: Chicago/O'hare 3:20 p.m.

Leave: Chicago/O'hare 8:05 p.m.
Arrive: London Heathrow, England 9:45 am (june 7th)

Leave: London Heathrow, England 7:10 p.m.
Arrive: Johannesburg South Africa 6:55 a.m.  (june 8 th)

Leave: Johannesburg, South Africa  10:00 a.m.
Arrive: MADA!!! 2:10 am.


10 hours in London. goodness where most of call will be made!

I also don't know about times, I wrote what I have.