Monday, April 4, 2011


That's how many months Elder Trace has been serving his mission. That's how many new types of foods he's tried (believe it or not. That's how many times we pray for him every day. The time seems to have gone by so fast for he and all his friends serving missions. He continues to write us every week. We love that we can start our work week on Monday with word from our Elder. We continue to marvel at how much he has grown and changed. We were impressed with his diligence to serve an honorable mission when he came home for a few months to better prepare himself to dedicate his life fully to the Lord. Since he's been gone we've been able to see how his commitment has blessed his life and the lives of others. We see through his letters how his patience has grown, his acceptance of others, his work ethics, his love for the people he is serving for and with, and most of all we have see how his testimony and love for the Lord has grown. He left still a teenager, not quite an adult, and now we have seen how he has grown to become a man. Pride is probably not the best word to use but we are beaming just the same.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Well another month has passed. Trace has remained in the same area he started in. He and his companion have done amazing there. They have already surpassed the mission goals and have seen more baptismal success in the past four months than the area that was once considered one of the worst areas. He reports his language is coming along as is his appreciation for the people of Texas and his knowledge of the gospel.

We were thrilled to talk with him at Christmas and listen to the stories of mission life. It was funny to hear how his English accent has changed since he's been speaking Spanish. They are very close to the border of Mexico (about 10-15 minutes)and often hear gun fire from the disputes that happen with law enforcement and those working in the drug business. He says its different to live so close to a war-like zone but he feels safe and most of the time is too focused on the work to worry about it much. Here is a little something from his last letter about his P-day.

"p day yesterday was LEGIT. we played basketball for like 3 hours. then we went to a members house and had a bbq. after that we went "tie diggin" down here in texas they have these huge warehouses full of used clothes, and you can buy like ten pounds of clothes for a few bucks. almost all these places have ties too. i have no clue where they get them from, but they have tons. most of them are pretty dirty but if you just oxiclean them there are as good as new. yesterday i grabbed like 4 tommy hilfigures, like 3 donald trumps, a few geofferry beans, some jones new yorks, some calvin kleins, and a bunch of others for like 3 dollars. i wouldve spent like 400 bucks brand new. yep, thats life next to mexico. i'll send you some ties one day dad, and when you come to pick me up we can go diggin."(We remember the time when we took over an hour to find just one "perfect" tie."

We are very proud of him and are delighted to see him grow into a great man. One who loves the Lord.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Elder Covington has just starting his sixth month as a missionary. He loves the work and the people he is working with. He continues to stay in his original area and we think this is where he'd like to be for now. The area has not had a baptism in a couple of years and now there are 5 or 6 schedule for this month. He and his past 2 companions have worked tirelessly in visiting members who are not active and reactivating as well as teaching the gospel to those who have not had the opportunity. Here is an excerpt from his last letter.

"this week has been nuts. we have 18 baptisimal dates!!!!!! i dont know how many will make it to the end but im still way excited. we set our december goal for baptisms at 3.... we might get 5 or 6! i sure hope so. me and elder graham pretty much spent the last transfer turning the area around but now its up and running again. one of our baptisimal date is a 17 year old named justine. she is way cool. she asked me if i had a girlfriend and if not, are missionaries allowed to have girlfriends.... awkward!!!!! but she is way solid she is gonna get baptized for sure.... end up going to byu.... and have a bunch of little mormon kids that go on missions. thats pretty neat to think about. her mom was an inactive for about 20 years. her name is letti. we set letti up with this guy in our branch and they might get married!!! way cool."

They have a family getting baptized this Sunday. A husband, wife, and their kids. Too exciting. It's so great see how Trace has grown in his testimony of the gospel and as a missionary. Our favorite part of the week is reading his letters home and being able to feel a part of it.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

It's been a couple of weeks since I've written. Trace had sent a couple of emails and to our surprise his camera chip that had all his mission pics and a video. Loved it. It was sooo good to see him. He took us on tour of his apartment. It's very humble and we are impressed that he doesn't complain about it. He looked pretty good and sounded happy to be there. We did, however, watch 95% of the video with our heads tilted 90' to the left because he was filming himself with the camera on its side. Ha Ha. It was great anyway. He's adjusting to the food, which is an answer to all our prayers, including his. In fact, he seems to be enjoying the whole experience. At one point Trace reminded us that before he left on his mission we suggested he might want us to pick him up from his mission. At that time he was very against it. Didn't think he'd want to "vacation" in the area he was a missionary. Didn't think he'd want to prolong his stay. Figured he just want to get home and back to "life as usual"... Well, he now says he thinks it'd be cool if we were able to pick him up. Says that Port Isabel is actually and nice little community. We'll see what we can do about picking him up but we'll see about it in another year or so :). Elder C got a new companion 2 weeks ago. Says he's okay but apparently they have a different sense of humor. We're confident that he'll adjust. Trace is working on reading the Book of Mormon in Spanish. He reports that he is slow but getting it done one word at a time. Before long he will only be using his Spanish scriptures. He says his testimony with the "gift of tongues" is growing. Says that his Spanish is improving all the way around but is 10 times better when he is teaching a lesson or sharing his testimony than in regular conversations. He says they really working hard at getting inactive members reactivated. They have between 25-35 active and about 75 inactive. He says as far as new members they are few and far between and this is why this area is considered one of the worse areas to work in. In the past two years they've had only 4 people baptized. But Trace is confident that things will change. They have gained peoples trust and this has made a big difference. They have a goal to baptize 6 people over the next 2 months. We're excited to hear that Trace isn't worried about the reputation of the area. We predict he will have much success in his personal growth as he helps this area grow. On a funny note. Trace does admit that knocking on doors has its challenges. He says the most powerful people in the area are the police and the missionaries. When either travel down the streets all the people scatter :) Here's to changing that.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Tomorrow Trace ought to receive his box of about 5 dozen cookies and beginning a three day sugar high. Yeap, We think he'll enjoy them. In his last letter he said when they eat at home he does okay with the food. He lives on toaster waffles, instant mashed potatoes, and tortilla shells. Notice the lack of green - although that's not different from him being home : ) Mostly, it's his lack of motivation to cook for himself. He is craving my brown sugar meatloaf, homemade mashed potatoes, and fresh broccoli (just for garnish of course) about now. On Saturday he and his companion went to a taco stand where you can eat all you want for $7. He said he ate 20 tacos. Said he won some competition and could have eaten more but they had an appointment to get to. Trace has shared how cool it was to see a sister be baptized after overcoming a lot of struggles with drinking, drugs, and other lifestyle choices that ultimately made her unhappy. She's the perfect example of how it's never too late to repent and change your life to be the life that God intended you to have. He is also getting a kick out of teaching a guy who sits on him porch most everyday and waves and calls out "Hello!" to EVERYONE who passes by his home. He even does it while they are trying to teach him :). The most challenging thing for Elder C now in actually not the food :) it's their lack of investigators. He says they could sure use the support of the members to help the missionaries find people to teach. Tracking is mostly unsuccessful. Always has been, statistically, but all missionaries do it in hopes to find someone who was waiting for them. And there are those times when a door is opened and the person answering has been waiting for them to come. However, by far the best way to find investigators, is with members introducing the gospel to others through example and invitation. Trace really emphasized this and encouraged and asked us all to be mindful and diligent in sharing with everyone. Neighbors, those at work, and even those we associate with on the soccer field at our kids games :). There are a lot of missed opportunities that our missionaries don't want to pass by...for them, for us, and for those who do not have the gospel in their lives.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Trace has actually taken the time to write more than three sentences. He actually wrote on three pages, both sides. After we picked our jaws up off the floor we thoroughly read it word for word and then read it again just in case we missed something. He seems to be doing very well. He mentioned that the time is passing quickly. He still misses home on P-day but the rest of the time he is busy and doesn't have time to think about it. We can see him grow as a missionary and grow in his testimony. He reports in the last three months he has read the Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, and the New Testament. Says he loves reading and studying the scriptures and wishes he had discovered its validity when he was growing up (instead of whining that he HAD to read with us as a family - ha ha). His commitment to missionary work, he promises, will not end after he returns. He encourages us all to me missionaries and share the gospel. He also challenges his younger brother and sister to share their testimonies next Fast Sunday. We'll see if that happens :) Trace narrowly escaped a viscous dog attack when a dog ran out from underneath a car and bit him. (no skin broke) Trace said it scared him so bad that reacted by kicking at the dog like a football. Sadly, the dog was only as big as a football :) After landing the dog ran off and both he and Trace moved on (waiting to meet another day) Trace has learn to eat more foods. WOW?! Not actually liking more foods but had figures out how to swallow without looking like he is in pain somehow. Trace shares that the Port Isabel area in lovely and he and his comp will run a couple of times a week along the shores. Not bad scenery for exercise, eh? Their investigation pool is small but their hearts are big and even with the doors getting slammed in their faces, they continue on everyday wanting to share what they know to be true and what brings them happiness, in hopes that others can know too. What an amazing Elder he becoming.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Trace flew to Texas on Monday, September 6th. He was able to call us while he waited for his plane at the airport. It was great to hear his voice. He was excited and nervous at the same time. He's heard so many great things and some things that sounded dangerous, involving the drug trafficing, but all in all he seems to be antipating the good. We were sad that we had to say goodbye when we did so we could go to work but we know he is where he is suppose to be and know we will talk again soon through letteres. We, along with Tamber and our grandchildren, made Elder Trace a large care-package with a lot of goodies. We're crossing our fingers that it arrives undamaged and dry. Trace told us that his area has had a lot of rain. We got a letter from his mission (Pres. and Sister Trayner) on Wednesday letting us know that Trace had arrived and was doing well. We also recieved a letter from Trace. He reports that it had been raining non stop for the three days he'd been there. His apartment is about 1 1/2 hours away from the mission office but he can see the ocean from his front door. He said he was surprised with how green everything was. He had expected it to be like the desert. The town he is in is a little fishing town, Port Isabel Trace is not a fan of fish so dinner appointments will be interesting. His first teaching appointment was that first night and we was looking forward to that. His new address is listed on the side as is his mission office address should anyone want to write. He loves letters and packages. We're looking forward to more letters and pictures to come from him and will be sure to post weekly for those who are interested.