Sunday, May 31, 2009

hooray for pictures!!

Elder Sean has been serving in Everett with Elder Martin since April 21.  He LOVES living with the Snel's - (I love getting email updates and pictures from Sis Deena Snel).  Elder Martin will finish his mission in 6 more weeks - He's been in Everett, living w/ the Snel's for 7.5 months!!  Transfers will be anounced tonight... Odds are he'll be transfered.  They've enjoyed good times together.  He's from Bountiful - His father happens to work with Melinda at Schriner's. 

The Snel's home!

yet another reason the experience w/ Snel's has been a cut above all the Elder apartments he's called home since Oct 2007...  i also hear he's had access to a guitar lately!!  We look forward to hearing him sing and play around here again later this fall!!

Posted by PicasaThis was taken last night at a dinner celebrating transfers tonight, and celebrating the Snel's "hump day" - one year since Elders began living with them!!

Sean loves his mission. he loves the Hispanic investigators and members with whom he shares the teachings of Jesus Christ, and shares his own faith, life, love, and their Spanish and culture!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

we've been in letter HEAVEN!

When it rains, it pours!

For the past few weeks Elder Sean has finished up and mailed several letters he'd rounded up, in addition to scratching out a page or more to Olivia, Calvin, Koki, and Cherie individually.

Also, just today we received an email from sweet sister Wendy Engel - (Sean's surrogate mother in Mt Vernon) letting us know that he had not been transferred yesterday. Her willingness to keep us informed makes ALL the difference.
bless her! (now i know where to mail his monthly box tomorrow).

In last month's box i was finally able to include a DVD of Oli & Ben's wedding reception, (as well as the longer version of the video of Calvin's mission call).
The following is some of his response to me from late February:

"Wow, Mom, you were right! That DVD was worth the wait! and I'm sure if i had been in Calvin's place, I too would've wanted you to wait for me to edit and add titles, etc. Sorry to hear the technical process was such a struggle. (I can't say I'm really looking forward to troubleshooting electronics again).
My compliments to Calvin! The transitions between scenes, clips, etc, was really nice & smooth. I also liked the titles. (Do you know if he had to compress or lower the quality to get it all to fit on that one DVD?)
I think i was most surprised by how much I'd really forgotten about how life was really like back at home. The whole thing was a nice refresher of where i came from :) I was blown away by how much i was reminded of by watching it.
Olivia's wedding looked like a lot of fun, and a lot of work too :D...

My compliments to Josie too, for being such a great camera woman! I can't say I could go around and talk to everyone like that and have such a good time!

It was wierd hearing Chino, Mario, Papa Moisés, and others speaking Spanish and suddenly being able to understand them!
They were speaking the same language I've always heard them speak but this time my brain could put meaning to the sounds! I've always been around Spanish being spoken by them all, but it caught me off guard when my brain instantly handed me imagery and comprehension for all those sounds. Even though I've been hearing and speaking Spanish for the past year and a half, this was completely a whole new experience! It was exciting!

I want you to know that I'm doing well. I'm safe, I'm happy, I'm learning, I'm loving, I'm overcoming. i can already sense how much I'm going to miss it. I feel sad that the time is so short. At the same time, the longer I'm out here the more i realize that all the challenges and struggles will be no different when i get home. As much as this seems like a break from real life, it is also an introduction to real life. It's as if the Lord is saying, "you're going to need to deal with this in a couple of years, so here's how I'll help you prepare..."
In other words, I'm practicing with the process of involving my Heavenly Father in the things I do all day everyday. And I'm learning that when i do that, I'm happier and I can accomplish more. Which will help me mucho in the years to come. So there's that.

...I have several other thoughts to share with you soon, Mom.

FYI, our P-days are changing to Mondays on May 9th. So i'll have a pday Thurs the 5th and another Mon the 9th. I'm looking forward to Monday's...


Tuesday, January 27, 2009


After a few l-o-n-g weeks without any news from Elder Sean Marco - zip, zilch, nada...
We finally got a long letter today, complete with details and photos!
Thirst quenched!  
Wow, that analogy just now reminded me of something from half my lifetime ago... (Yup, roughly 25 years) -- A little Proverb that was printed at the top of crinkly parchment pads of stationery sold to those of us serving in the Ecuador Quito Mission in the early 80's:
  "As cold waters to a thirsty soul, so is good news from a far country."    (Proverbs 25:25)

(Even though my mind is always filled with minutia and random memories, NO... i could not still remember the whole phrase, just the jist.  But HOORAY for the web, for, and the ability to type in the word 'news', and simply click and find, no mas!)

I'll have one of the faster typists around here type in his letter soon.  
He's full of joy and full of investigators that are progressing.


Friday, January 02, 2009


DEC 26


I just got off the phone with you about five minutes ago, but of course I still had a lot to say. Or more like I FEEL like I have a lot to say, but really I'm just excited still. It was so good to hear that you were all doing so well and so happy!

I think I have an idea of what Olivia meant when she described her coming home as "weird how weird it wasn't." After three phone calls, I've found it somewhat anti-climactic to talk to you all because of how ordinary and normal it seems. Sure I haven't actually seen you face to face for a year, but we're just the same as always. :D I think I kind of want it to be more dramatic, but I'm glad it's not. That would make it a lot harder.

MOM-I'm always amazed how alike we are. :D Both of us were so excited we couldn't think of anything to say! I was hoping there would be lots of crazy news from home, and I think you were thinking the same. Ha ha...:) One of these days I'll really get that video chat set up, I promise. It was nice to hear how much more relaxed you sound these days. You've definitely been blessed with plenty capacity to fulfill your calling as "Mom". How you've endured so many years of so much stress is literally a miracle. "by all accounts it doesn't make sense..." Thanks so much for the birthday presents! I really enjoy seeing what makes it into the package because it really says a lot. :) But I want you to know I'm very grateful and really appreciate your selfless service in preparing those. It shows your love. Unlike Papa who never sneds me any letters because I never send him any. ;D

Well, I was going to put a little not to each family member in this quick letter, but I decided I'll just make them individually. That way I can add to them individually until I lose them, then find them again in a couple months and then finally send them. We'll see.

DEC 26

So life around the house has changed quite a bit hasn't it? It's always hard to imagine everyone so grown up! I talk to little member kids who are 8 and I think "so Ashton is this big right now!" I'm used to the Ashton that would sit next to me and work on models! Olivia isn't even living at home anymore, Calvin practically takes care of himself; Josie's living up the dating/driving/highschool life; Carmen's just starting it... sheesh! Do you miss the times when we were all there in one house everyday? Do you reflect very often on the hectic lifestyle but the satisfaction of being able to manage it all? I know I miss those days. I never really realized that as soon as I left those days would be relatively over. I can imagine the home life getting pretty quiet and boring as all of us kids grow older and leave the nest. I always had the most fun during those day-to-day interactions. Still, I don't think we'll ever be too far from home. Even so, you might think about picking up blogging or scrapbooking or something, 'cause pretty soon here you'll have a lot of time on your hands and you'll have no idea what to do with it. :D As soon as the house gets clean, organized and well furnished there'll be no one left to use all those bedrooms! You'll have to rent them out to BYU attendees. But who knows right? Not too much to do but just disfrutar the time you've got now! Take an hour and make some memories! Things to remember when you're old! Things for Ashton to relate to people who have never had happy memories like that when he serves a mission! After all, those are the things that will really last. Memories of Chris VanAllsburg, coming down the stairs, always doing advent calendars, receiving our Christmas books, etc. Those are priceless memories to me.

Anyway, I hope you don't feel like a terrivle parent right now, 'cause I sure turned out pretty good, but don't forget to make those moments happen. And please tell me about the good ones that I miss! :D



Saturday, December 20, 2008

L. DURSEAN is now 21!!!~ ~ and was TRANSFERRED last Tuesday!

¡feliz cumpleaños, mijo!
How fun for you to be in BOTHEL in the Lake Washington Ward again... same as you were last Christmas! We can't wait to chat in 5 more days and hear the details, and get your current address so we can update this blog... so so glad the Monroe Elders were prompt in getting your bday/Christmas mail transferred.
Meanwhile, loved ones and blog followers, use the mission office PO Box address - Bothel is only a stone's throw away from Millcreek.

21 shots of SEAN

Monday, October 13, 2008


Dear Mom, (and Papá)

Well, I've got a little sliver of time right now for "lunch" but I wanted to take the opportunity to write you back! Based on the postmarked date it only took two days for your letter to arrive, so hopefully this will come Wednesday or so.

It's so good to hear you and Papá have been able to get away for a while and have 5 minutes peace. I'm sure Calvin won't mind taking care of the younger ones to give you a moment to relax.

One thing I really miss about normal life is the chance to relax on Sundays. It seemed so weird to me at first, to be working every day of the week except Thursday. But I've since come to recognize that I can still feel the same Spirit on Sundays, while busily engaged in the Lord's work.

Having been out almost a year now, and being mostly familiar with the way things work, I'm starting to look at it all in different ways.; I'm beginning to recognize how much happiness and joy can be found in this great work of the Lord. Lots of times it seems we do our work each day so that we can get to the time when we can do the things that "really" make us happy or that are "really" fun.

Today I had somewhat of an epiphany as a cool couple with their new-born baby were following us down to Bothell to the Spanish ward. I found I was stressing out, worrying about how church was going to be; if we'd be early, etc. That's when I realized that such a wonderful thing as their coming to church should be something that brings me joy to see! After all, they were my brothers and sister, and they were doing the things that would bring them joy int his life and fullness of joy in the next. Why wasn't I feeling happy? And then, I did! I was rather surprised the lasting kind of happiness I suddenly felt in that moment. It was very satisfying, and an incredible "break-through" so-to-speak. I know as I continue to look for the promised joy that missionary work brings, I'll have an even greater desire to share it.

Anyway, that was my cool moment for the past couple days :). I love those learning experiences. They always help me to know that the Lord is continually mindful of me and all his children.
The snail mail is really fun for me now. I really had a hard time with it at first, but I'm used to the slower pace now. It was just hard getting used to waiting a week or so before getting a reply. :) But have no worries. At least from this end, you too have become a lot better and following through with the mail process. Not just for you, but the kids too! So don't feel too bad; you're making a lot of progress. :)

That's cool to hear your Red Iguana story. Hey! Recado! That's what it's called! I've had mole a bunch of times and really like it! I remember hearing that it had cocoa in it, like the sauce you put in chuchos, but I could never remember what it was called! Wow, it's amazing to me how different the Guatemalan & the Mexican cultures are! I always assumed they'd be a lot alike, but up to now, it seems the language is the closest thing. And even then there are many differences! Have you ever had posole? We eat that all the time too!

Wpw, you slept in?! 'Till 11:00!?! Jeez! You must have really needed the break! It's good to hear you're making the most of all of it, even if it isn't in Italy.

There are plenty of tiendas all over the areas I've served. There's a taco truck called "Tacos Pihuamos" that makes great tacos de carnitas. I've even gotten a burrito de lengua that was great too! Still haven't done the Ducales thing though. But we get "paid" on Wednesday, so I'll be sure to grab some on P-day.

Hey, how come we (as kids) never heard about all that getting married stuff between you and Papá? All I remember is Papá not getting a ticket, but instead being escorted back to school (or work?) by a policeman after speeding down I-15 from a date with you! But that's okay, I love you anyway!

Con gran amor,

Elder Sean

P.S. Give my love to Brig and Tara, and tell them thanks again for the shirts! Oh, and I liked the "Ord Brothers" Logo. :D