Monday, December 14, 2009

A Few Editor's Notes

Elder Roos has started making a voice recording each week off his camera. I am having a few technical difficulties but I will start posting those as soon as I figure it out.

We are still waiting on pictures. He sent a few in an email a few weeks ago, but the way they were attached locked them against being downloaded.

If there are ever things in the letters you don't understand, just leave a comment and I will try to explain.

Although Elder Roos has access to email once a week, snail mail really is better. He is only allowed to email immediate family and he only has an hour a week to read all the emails and to write us. That really isn't much time. Additionally, he can't print it and his email has limited space so he can't keep your letters. Trust me, missionaries love receiving letters in the mail, it can make their entire day (international postage is 98 cents). If you just have a short message, you can make a comment on this blog and we will include it in one of our letters that week.

Thanks for all your support and prayers! We know he appreciates it!

-The Roos Family

December 14, 2009

Today we went and saw the one of the old Catholic churches in Mallorca. As far as a museum goes, it was really cool. iIt had a tun of stuff from the 1300s. But as far as a church it was different than I'm used to.

I really can't describe home much I'm loving it right now. Seriously it is borderline perfect. Our branch (congregation) is really small but you know me, I've always done better is small environments.

As far as speaking in Spanish on the audio next time I'll see what I can do. I love being with Elder Naseath because he wants to work on his Spanish too. Right now we are doing an English fast until Christmas. Its working pretty well. Once in a while I slip and say something in English, but I can't tell you how much it is helping my Spanish. My goal is to be able to speak Spanish with Evan when i call (well here they call it castellano, the Latin American form is Spanish). the Spaniards are really weird, they have pride in weird things.

Well, love ya'll!
Elder Roos

If I wasn't a missionary, I wouldn't believe this week - December 7, 2009

So, this week was amazing, we are truly seeing miracles. We got that commitment Monday night from a person who we were close to dropping, but she snuck up on us. She wasn't able to come to church because of work. We thought she had other concerns but that was it. She is so strong I can't believe it. I did a voice recording and am gonna try to send it. That has more details on everything. Like I said, this week was borderline unbelievable.

I love my companion. he just has a good head on his shoulders. We are changing this area from a barely surviving area to the strongest area on the island, all because of the Lord's hand. Seriously, I think I'm happier right now than I have ever been. I love this work, there is nothing like seeing people change.

Love ya,
Elder Roos

Monday, November 30, 2009

Barc vs. Madrid + Rain November 30, 2009

Well, I'll start this letter out with a little mathematics:
Barc vs Real Madrid = people don't come to the door or are drunk at the bar
Rain = wanting to get inside
Barc vs Madrid + rain = two soaking wet missionaries

So yeah, this place loves their soccer. We know when something good happened by the yelling, honking and pandemonium. Gotta love Spain.

So now to the report of an awesome week. Tuesday we flew up to Barc for a multi-zone conference with Elder Kapisckie. It was amazing. He didn't come with a agenda, he just asked us questions and vice-versa, I am a better missionary for it. Wednesday night we stayed on the main land and I got to meet the family of a guy I was in the MTC with. It was really cool. Then the cool part: Thursday we were flying back and i started talking to the lady next to me. Found out her sister was a member and we just talked a lil then me and Elder Naseath taught here the 1st lesson, including a baptismal invitation which she accepted. How awesome is that? Too bad she lives in Palma and the other missionaries get that one, well we are on the same team. Then on the train a lil later we met a guy who's sister is Mormon, and of course he got off the stop before our area started. I love doing other peoples work :)

So my companion is from Cali. He is only on his 4th transfer, about 7 months. We are the youngest companionship in the mission. Its okay, we get work done. We don't have any baptismal dates right now but we keep asking. We got a call from the assistants this morning saying that the president had a feeling that we are gonna set a baptismal date this week so we need to call him when it happens, so we are planning to set three just to blow his mind. Please pray for that.

So how do you get a branch president who isn't very motivated going? You get his inactive daughter to show up to church. We met with her Saturday night and watched "Finding Faith in Christ with her and her bf. Then, when he started questioning things she was like "Stop being stupid. Can't you tell this stuff is true?" You shoulda seen the smile on the president's face. Let's just say meetings were a lot more effective yesterday.

Besides that not too much, just living the life.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

November 23, 2009

So to answer your questions of how i like it and how my companion is.... well the title (Manacora, is there anything better)should give you your answer. The branch here isn't very strong (only about 20 people) but it is growing. I think we could realistically have 4 baptisms this transfer. We made one baptismal date this week (not sure if it counts, it a girl who is about 8 and a half and about half of her family just got activated, so we will have to ask president to see if that counts).  but yeah all of them are family of 2 different members. Elder Natheas is still a stud, I really like him. We are going to change the reputation of this area.

The weather's good because its about 80 today. They said we should bring a
coat but I don't think I'll need one while I'm here.

So yeah, things are really good here, I've really seen my Spanish improve.
I would say I've spoken more Spanish here than i did all 6 weeks in Castellón.

November 9, 2009 and November 16, 2009

*Stephie apparently sent a letter on November 9, but we never received it. He tried to recreate a little of it for us in his November 16th letter.

What made this week interesting:
So, I was sitting an a train station with another elder waiting for a couple of other missionaries to come after exchanges (when missionaries change companions for a day or two in order to learn different methods of teaching). A man walks by and I say hola, just like I do to everyone. He looked at me weird... like everyone does. Then he misses his train. So, for the next 30 minutes he stands on the platform and stares and me for a the entire time. It was weird but I didn't think much about it. His train comes, and I wish I was making this last part up, but he steps on the train, turns around, winks at me and blows me a kiss. What the crap is wrong with Spain!!!!!!!
So, now that you are done rolling on the floor you can read the rest of the letter.
That was last week.

I'm getting transferred to Manacor, its on the island. It should be cool. Lets just say this transfer might be action motivated (we had a 3 day exchange last week because we got in a little discussion about if we should be lazy and negative or not, and the Citadel has taught me to yell well. I like Elder Harris he just doesn't have the same work ethic i do.

I just got in Manacor and I'm not gonna lie I've been in this area and with this comp 30 minutes and it is already my favorite. It is beautiful. It looks so Spanish it isn't even funny. Its a small zone and everyone seems to really have their head on straight. I am really excited for it.

My new companion is Elder Naseath. Rumor has it that he is a machine. From our talk on the train I would agree. The first thing he said when I told him I was in the military was "I´ve been praying for a comp like you!" He is pretty new as well, only 7 months, so he really wants to nail Spanish. Can you tell I'm excited?

Fun fact, Manacor is the home of the #2 tennis player in the world, Nadal. Cool, huh?
Well, nothing new after that.
love yall
- Elder Roos

avenida salvador juan 67, 3 izq
Palma de Mallorca

Monday, October 26, 2009

October 25, 2009

Well, all is normal in Spain. I still don't understand anyone, still see naked posters everywhere, and futbol is still a way of life. That is what I'm going to focus on in my "About Spain" section of this letter.

There is no way to explain the obsession these people here have with this game (I must say, I'm starting to develop an interest in). Here are some examples:
1. There should be a rule here about futbol similar to the politics rule. I don't think that a missionary should be able to talk about their favorite team, I could see losing investigators that way.
2.There is a bar below our piso. The first couple days I never saw it open. I thought it had gone under like everything else in Spain, even though it still looked really nice and fancy inside. Turns out it is only open when Barc, Real Madrid, or Spain futbol games are on and when they are this place is packed. We can tell the score of the game just by when they heer or boo.
3. And, probably my favorite example: My comp went into a shop to buy a Spain flag. In the window there was a BFC (Barcelona Futbol Club) flag, he asked the price on both. the Spain=€2.50, the BFC=€16.

So this week was a very successful week. We got about 5 new investigators and set 2 more baptismal dates. I'm a little skeptical on all three dates, but I think all three will get baptized eventually. Zone Conference was awesome. Pres Hinckley is amazing. I love when he is talking and he tells a story about "President Hinckley" never dad... kinda funny but I think it's a sign of respect.

I really like my companion. He is a little lazy, but I think we balance each other out. The truth is one of the most important things is to be happy in your companionship, I think outside of teaching by the spirit that leads to the most success.
Well, love y'all lots!

- Elder Roos

Sunday, October 25, 2009


We are still waiting for pictures from Elder Roos's camera, but we discovered that his Mission President (the man responsible for all the missionaries in the Barcelona Mission) keeps a blog with pictures.

At the airport with President and Hna. Hinckley, one of President Hinckley's Assistants, and the other three other elders who are new to the mission.
On the way to the mission home, they stopped at a castle overlooking Barcelona.
Elder Roos with President and Hermana Hinckley and his trainer (first companion), Elder Harris. That "deer in the headlights" look is normal for the first day in the mission.
The Missionaries of the Valencia Zone-
All the missionaries serving in/around the city of Valencia.

October 19, 2009

Well, one week down. Sad to say this week was not as ¨exciting¨ as my first week. Lets see. Did an exchange with the zone leaders and went down to Valencia for a day. That was kinda exciting, some kids tried to give us some pot, that would have made trying to speak Spanish more interesting.

Well, i think the man who the J.W.s tried to bribe has come back to the light. We set a baptismal date with him for the 7th of November so we will see how that goes. Keep him in your prayers. We have about 5 or 6 investigators but none are really moving that fast so we are trying to pick up the paste.

So the other day I was walking around with my companion and just bugging/ motivating him. He looks at me and goes, "You aren't gonna let me die are you?" I just laugh and said, "Nope, that isn't as fun as bugging you every day."

Another funny story. So one morning me and him were making fun of each other and we start wresting and i get him on the ground and just start poking him and nagging him. When he got up he looked at me and said ¨You suck at trying to be like Jesus.¨ That was made quote of the week.

Some stuff I learned:
You gotta be careful when complimenting someones tie because they will try to take it off and give it to you. I finally had to tell him I had one really similar but thanks.

Also, the less money someone has the more they want to feed you. There is the sweetest lady who got baptized a month before I got here and she has no job and rents a room out of someone's piso, but she is always feeding us. I feel bad but she cooks so well

Well things are good here, my Spanish is still barely recognizable but it will get better. love you

well love y'all
Elder Roos

Monday, October 12, 2009

Stephen's Address

This will be his address for at least the next six weeks:

C/ casal duch 16, 1B
Castellón 12005

A more permanent address:
C/ Calatrava 10-12, bajos
Barcelona, Catalunya 08017

He's Finally in the Field!

So Im sure you all have lots of questions so I'll try to anwser them and let you know about the crazy first week I've had.

First off im in a pueblo (town) about a hour outside of Valencia called Castellón. It's a decient size. We have a decient size Ward, I would guess we had about 50 people at church Sunday. Our area is really big but we just stay in our little pueblo unless we get a referral from another town. It a trek of about a 30 min train ride in both directions. Something funny is that every little pueblo has there own futbol team. Its kinda like college football how there are diffrent size leagues. Our team is a mid size I think.

My companion is Elder Harris. He is from Soda Springs Idaho and has been on his mission for 22 months. So both good and bad comes from that. The good is he knows a lot and he speaks well. Also there isn't really that much stuff he hasn't ran into. The bad is he is ready to go home. But I'll work on the work ethic of his, it's a little harder since im so green and the jr comp but none the less, i really like him and he is a good guy but not always the most motivated. I told him that one day this week im gonna play sr comp and he just get to be my translator.

Spainish is comming along. I have no choice but to pick it up quick. I can already see a huge improvement in this week. A lady new convert in the ward told me that if I keep working like I do and keep improving that I could be able to understand and communicate in a month, so thats our goal.

As far as missionary work I'm loving the area I'm in. First off the Barcelona mission is the highest baptizing mission in Europe. We did have two people with baptisim dates but another church( who will remain nameless cause I'm not suppose to talk bad about Jehova Witnesses and there corruption) has been bribing them by offering to pay their bills and help their finacial problems and these two are kinda lazy, but we did have a really powerful plan of salvation lesson with them yesterday so we will see. But we have a good amount of work, we taught just shy of 20 lesson last week and we started on Wednesday.

So now the things I've already done and learned. First off the most effective way to advertize in spain is with naked people, not sure how advertizing clothes with people not wearing clothes works but non the less...
2.Jehova Witnesses are tricky, we were walking around one evening and here two little sweet looking ladies stop us and were like "teach us teach us", I being fresh had no idea what was happening, and my companion didnt have enough time to warn me before i said "oh of course....". 45 min later we left and i told my companion that I didnt know that Satan wore a skirt and quoted the bible....
2.5- Spain has atleast a holiday a week and this week it landed on our pday so it took us a while to find a computer lab that was open
3.pull-ups... not always the best idea. so Saturday night i was doing pullups on a bar we have between a door frame, about 5 pull-ups into it the bar falls and my shin goes right on the middle of the frame. It hurt so bad i thought i broke it so my comp comes over, goes to get ice and we dont have any, so we call the ward mission leader and he brings some over. and then he points out that i had managed to bend the frame ( as proud and took a picture of it for you) well you will be glad to know that i didnt break it but just bruised the bone, so its all good
4. and the winner for weird stuff so far. Our church is really loud and at one point a baby the row across from us wouldn't stop crying, so finally the mom lifts her shirt up and puts the kid right into possion, I look over to Elder Harris and he just nods his head and says welcome to spain.

But I really do love it, it is awesome. We have some really cool people.
Well, I love ya'll and hope you enjoy my long letter.

Elder Roos

Sunday, October 11, 2009

October 1, 2009

*Editor's Note - Stephen was in transit last week, so we didn't get a letter but we should get one from Barcelona this week.
Well hello from Madrid. things are going really well here. Next Tuesday is really sneaking up on my, its all right I'm kinda excited to stop all this classroom stuff and do some real work. So for my birthday I got woken up by for of the other missionaries.It made me smile, after i got over being woken up. They gave me a Book of Mormon with all their testimonies in it. I was pretty cool. I cant believe how many people from the ward as sent me birthday cards. I'm am gonna respond to them and send you a letter with them so you can give them to them, is that alright... even if it isn't,it wont matter cause i wont get the answer until next week. Things are awesome here. The Palace was awesome, ill send you pictures. The park was awesome this week. We gave away a couple of BofMs and even got a reference from a person. I can testify and say I agree with what my companion told you so I think i did my part :)

Well I love y'all. Thanks for remembering me on my birthday.
-Elder Roos

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Letters from Madrid

Elder Roos finally got transferred to Madrid. He will be there until about the October 5th before heading to Barcelona. If you would like to write him, he said letters are only taking about 4 or 5 days to get there and his birthday is September 30th.
CCM Elder Roos
Calle del Templo, 2, 4planta
28030 Madrid

September 16, 2009
Well I'm here and lets just say I'm very sad i only get to spend 3 weeks here. first off we are in the same complex as the temple and all the church stuff is right here. So this is the funny part, the Provo Mtc is 2300 missionaries, this is 20, 19 of which came today to if i had been here on time it would had been me and the hermana in my district only at the mtc for a couple days. yeah so my class me myself and hermana. Also our pdays we can go out to Madrid and shop and go see the palace and all the stuff around here. Also instead of teaching members acting as investigators, on Saturdays we get to go to Madrid´s version of central park and contact people. Like i said this place is awesome. O and I tried to talk to the Spaniard sitting next to me on the plane and I'm want my last 2 months money back cause I don't know what they were teaching me but it was not Spanish. I didn't know it was humanly possible to talk that fast. O well its just as easy to tell them that you have a "don" (gift) for them and hand them a pass along card. makes it easier on both parties.
Sorry if my spelling is worse than normal but I still haven't slept yet so my brain is a little bit on the warped mode right now.
Love all of you and hope all is well.
-Elder Roos
September 24, 2009
So I have several things to say. First off I want y'all to do some research for me and see if I have broken a record. Yesterday A new elder got here and was made my companion, that means in the 7 weeks iv been on my mission I have had 6 different companions. 3 in Provo and now 3 here. If i keep up at this pace, i will have just shy of 100 comp for my mission.
#2 I have been trying to think of something that the Provo MTC has over this one and I'm not quite sure. This place is amazing. O and i was made district leader, which is a good thing since there is only 2 in my district and the other is a sister. I will send you a picture of my view every night, I'm not sure if it can be beat.
The park was awesome, but very humbling. First off I can understand a good amount but even when I say the correct words in Spanish they have no idea what I'm saying cause I sound like such a gringo.Talked to several people but not too much luck but its OK. The park itself is huge and beautiful. I send pictures of that too. The other missionaries here are awesome. I love the Spaniards and they are really making a difference in my language.
I love it in Spain. The temple is amazing and the is nothing in America like this city. Think of it this way, a old building in America is 200 yrs old, here, that would still be considered a teenager.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

A Little Behind

We got word tonight that Stevie got his visa. He will leave next Tuesday. I'm sorry I have been a slacker lately, here are the last few letters.
September 10, 2009
So another wonderful morning from Provo. I keep checking in the travel office and the same lady keeps telling me know word, but she doesnt even check my name or look anything up.... so we will see.
So cool story. My companion talked to a lady in the Referral Center over the phone a couple days ago and set up another appointment to teach her. So yesterday when he was supposed to teach her he got called down to meet with someone so I took it for him. The lady's name is Nicole and she loves the church and feels something so strong in it, we had her call the missionaries in her area and now she is getting baptized on Oct 24. How cool is that?
Besides that all is well here.
September 8, 2009
Man I wish i was at home so i could go paint Blake Kennedy's driveway blue. I know Im a fair weather fan of BYU but seriously beating OK in a brand new statuim..... thats mention worthy. We were doing a survice activity on saterday night and one of the Janitors phone beeped and he just started to scream. LOL yeah that was funny to see. Do I even wanna know how my UTes did?
Ok now to the stuff im am suppose to betalking about. This week has probably been the toughest yet just because we are finishing up all the grammar and now just hitting Spanish hard. I think yesterday I said only about 40 words in englesh... and you know how much I talk.
Thought of the day... This week I have two. First is to do with the atonement. Jesus took 99% of the pain of our sins while in the garden and on the cross, If we dont do our 1% by smiply repenting and coming unto him, his 99% is in vain. I no i dont want that weight on me.
Point number two. So I made my first long term mission goal this week. It is going to sound out of reach but thats why i wrote it down to constantly motovate myself. In one month while im on my mission, Im going to bring 10 people unto christ through baptism. Knowing that spain you usually get 2 or 3 throughout you entire mission, that seemed crazy to go through my head, but then I thought about alma and ammon. They went to the land of there enemy and baptized thousends, so how hard can 10 in a month be. Anything is possable in the hands on the lord. If i dont get this goal, its only becaus ei didnt have the faith that the lord would lead my to those people.
September 3, 2009
Good morning,
Its another beautiful day in Provo..... NOt too much to talk about today. Lets see I talked online to a man for 2 hrs last night and he kept getting real close to somthing good then would take 2 steps back... o well. Outside of that all is well. I saw Matt Winteron the other day. I guess she is teaching here.
O and ull like this, The new district in my zone has a female teacher from Alpharette Ga. She went to the Ny Ny mission. Any guesses... yeah im sure she was thrilled to see me. HAHA
O so my funny story even gets to translate (My way of forcing him to atleast read the email)
So I was teaching the first lesson in spainish and i got to the atonment
"Jesucristo muerté en el cruz por nuestros pescados" Well at that point the missionary I was teaching started cracking up... and i havent lived it down yet.
September 1, 2009
Still in good old Provo Utah.... i mean why would anynone wanna leave the good old utah valley for Spain..... I mean y see some of the worlds oldest buildings when i can have a wonderfull view of utah lake and all the utah buildings that look the same.
Things are good here. I like my two new companions but its just a lil difficult to get put in to a companionship when thy have already had several weeks to get theere own thing down. Its fine a Tricycle can be as fun as a bike right?
So spiritual tought of the email. Somthing that really hit me this week. Sins we dont concider sins (this more applys to missionaries but i think it can be applied in all lifes)
1)Frustration- Yuo dont usually think of this as a sin but if I really find this as satans most powerful tool in all his arson, cause he can hit everyone with it and they dont even know it is of him. When I get frustrated, every second i spend i that state is a second that i am ont doing him work and not letting the holy ghost use me a tool for the lords work
2)Self Pitty- Nothing good come of this,expecally for me... the next two years are not about me... one bit. Thats why they limit contact with outside world, its not to take away destractions, its cause right now im not stephen roos, Im elder roos> Stephen works fro the navy and is a flirt. Elder Roos is a servant of god and that is the only thing he does.
3) Contention- Contention is of the devil. If you cant love the fellow man, God's own children, then you have no business teaching them. It drives out the spirit and nothing good comes of it. It is you telling the lord that your own personally priorities are more important than his.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Letter #2 - What Happened to Our Stephen?

So I can tell you how glad i am that I didn't go to Spain on Tuesday. every Tuesday night we have a devotional. And this one we got to hear Elder Richard G. Scott come speak. That is a unbelievably strong man. When he walked in the auditorium, the entire spirit of the place changed, how close to God do you have to be to be able to do something like that? He spoke about recognizing the promptings of the spirit, mostly for protection. It was amazing. In no way would have i traded that to be in Spain right now. He also touched on the subject of prayer and if done with enough faith, how powerful it can be.
Yesterday we had a teacher talk to us about the missionaries we like in the Book of Mormon. After we went through all of that he told us, "Okay, what powers did those missionaries have that we today don't?" And he is right, I am granted with the same powers that Alma, Ammon, Dan Jones, and all those other great man who baptized thousands had. The only difference is do I have the faith that god allow me perform the same works they did.
Besides that no word on the Visa. I know it will come when it is suppose to, but I really am hoping that it is suppose to soon. I mean Spain or Provo, i no its close but i think Spain in the winner. Beside that nothing to report. The Spanish is coming, slow but it is coming.
Elder Stephen Roos
I love you,
*Editor's Note: Pictures to be posted soon, he just sent home a camera card.

Two Letters This Week : Letter #1

So guess what, I'm not on my way to Spain. I bet you didn't see that one coming. O well its fine. I mean I cant think of why i would even wanna leave. I mean this is Provo, UT. one of the 7 wonders of the world right. Well my companion and my 2 roommates left early this morning. Now I'm in a threesome companionship with two of the guys in the district. They are cool so it should work out, I would just much rather be outta here. You know how i am about that stuff.
Besides that everything is still the same every day. Lets see, i wake up, go to class, eat, a little bit of gym, the press the restart button for the next day. I'm just ready for a different same old same old.
Well i love all of you hand home all is well.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Second Letter

Hello, two weeks done here. things are going really well. Me and my comp are about the only ones who still dont wanna kill each other. thats probably because we are too busy laughing at everyone else. Spanish is going well. I go to bed feeling like my head is going to explode and i haven't learned anything but then i look back and i'm like wow i've only been doing this for 2 weeks. yesterday we taught the first lesson in spanish, it was only like 7 min though and mostly memorized. Besides that everything is awesome. so it doesn't look like i'm going to be leaving on the 25 because my visa still hasnt come though. that's what i get for sending it in late. but we will see.

Note from Stephen's Family - Please give us your address and email address so Stephen has it.

Saturday, August 15, 2009


Here are a few pictures of Stevie going into the Missionary Training Center (MTC).

With Mom and Dad before leaving Aunt Penny's house.
Saying goodbye to Grandma.
On the way to Provo they stopped to have lunch with a good friend, Jeff Sites.
The classic MTC Picture.
Dad trying not to cry.
New missionaries are met by other missionaries who are at the MTC who serve as their guide. It worked out that a good friend from home, Robbie Reid, was able to be Stevie's guide.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The Letter

well made it through the first week, all is well here. Went to the temple today and went and saw it on sunday. I love my comp. We get along very well but both of us like to get stuff done. NOthing really to repport, I wake up at 630, got to class, go to breafast, go to class, go to lunch go to class, dinner, class then plan for tomorrow (which will be class) then go to bed and start over. Besides that thats about it, o we do get 35 min of gym. The laungage is going well. Its alot easier to learn it when its what i want to do and i dont hate the teacher.

First Email from the MTC

We received Stephie's first email today, and I have copied most of it below. He has asked for everyone's email and home addresses. He can't send you emails, but I can forward his emails to you or he can send you hand written letters. Please leave you information as a comment. Also, if you would like to email him his email address is He can check his email once a week. He would also love real mail. His address is :
Elder John Stephen Roos
MTC Mailbox #223
SPA-BAR 0825
2005 N 900 East
Provo, Utah 84604

He will be there until August 25, after that he will be in Spain. He would love to hear from people!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Leaving on a Jet Plane

Stephen will enter the MTC tomorrow. He'll spend three weeks in Provo, then he'll head to Madrid to complete the rest of his training. He will report to Barcelona towards the end of September. Check this blog weekly for letter excerpts and photo's from this amazing experince.