Sunday, March 30, 2014

March 24, 2014 Baptism and We're Having Waffles!

Well this was a pretty good week. It’s starting to get cold here. It’s been a nice change. But my body didn’t really like the change. I got a little sick. But I still got to work. It hit me really bad on Thursday. And then on Friday we had Zone conference and then exchanges. I was stuck with an Elder that doesn’t really talk. We had some good conversations when it was just me and him talking about the things that he liked but when it wasn’t those things it was like he wasn’t there and he didn’t talk with the investigators or the members. So that was a challenging day. In our lessons it was like no one wanted to listen to us. Others sick and then the kids that we baptized wouldn’t sit down to talk. So we left early. I yelled at them a little bit. Haha! Oh! So I was talking with my Companion a little and he said that in the movie Shrek where Donkey says and in the morning I’m making waffles. In Spanish he says and in the morning I’m making tamales! Haha! Super funny! We had a good conversation about it. I think waffles is better because of the way he says it! And well... Waffles are better than tamales! Haha! So on Friday we had a zone conference! I wasn’t feeling good but we went. It was great and we learned a lot of cool things that came from Elder Ballard and Rasband, We learned that people come to church more often when they understand Repentance and the reason that we go to church! So we have to teach that to all of our investigators and the members. And well we planned to have lunch at 1. And when it was about 1230 we were still going but they were wrapping it up. Then they said that we had hamburgers there. So we said a prayer and went to eat! I thought we were done and I was getting ready to leave because it was 145 and we had to go because the Hermana was waiting, Well she sent us a texts and said that the asado (which is just a ton of meat. something that happens a lot here but is still very rare! I’ve only had it 2 times) she said the asado is drying!! NOOOOO! So I was ready to leave! And president says okay. Let’s start back up again. And so he talks until 245. We didn’t get to Lunch until 430. And the other elders didn’t come. So we couldn’t enter because there was no man in the house but we can with 4 missionaries. Well, she ended up packing up all this food for us and gave it to us to go! A giant container of meat! It was great! We still got some!

So this week was pretty cool. We had a baptism. And on Sunday they were confirmed. I got to do it for Santiago! It was a really cool moment! I could feel the spirit so strong! I could feel the Love of Christ for me and for him! It was a confirmation that what I am doing here is right! It was one of the greatest feelings ever! And well, we have more baptisms this Saturday and we have a lot of investigators. And a lot of them are not married and so we are dealing with that, Getting married here is hard. Like a month process. So it’s pretty hard. But the problem is that people don’t want to for weird reasons. But we are working and we are doing good things. Oh also my companion has something in his eye. An ocelot or something like that. I don’t know what it is. But it’s gross. And he has had it for like 3 weeks now. It didn’t get better and we went to the house of a member and well she said I know what I’m doing and tried really hard to pop it and it made it worse. My poor companion. After that we went to the Hospital. It took us 2 or 3 hours to get there. 3 different buses and a lot of waiting. When we got there we waited a little bit more. We entered in. She looked at it for like 2 secs. Wrote down what we need to buy like a cream type thing and then sent us off. Haha! Luckily we got home in time! Haha! But yeah. That was an interesting day! But yeah! Things are going good and I’m happy and enjoying the work! The branch is very happy with the way we are doing and we are going to see miracles. Haha! Love yall!

 Miracle Baptisms! Claudio is bigger he is 9. and Santiago is 8. 
 They remind me of Spencer and me haha!

A Pet Owl?

Monday, March 17, 2014

Mar 17, 2014 Answer to a Prayer

Okay! Here we go!

First off thanks for the pictures! I really appreciate it and all that you do for me! I know sometimes I ask a little much! So things are good! The apartment is super small and there is only one wardrobe closet thing. And so I have all of my clothing in piles on the table. Haha! So ya. I’m being super organized but it’s good! Because things don’t get dirty or lost! Our Apartment is so dirty. It’s like no one has lived in here for years! But the other elders we just in here. They didn’t take care of anything! But yeah. So what happened was the branch president called the mission and asked for some elders that will really help the ward and Baptize! On Tuesday night we had a meeting with him and he told us all this. He said that missionary work is the number one priority. That if we are not hounding the members for references then we are doing something wrong. He said all he wants from us is to baptize! Haha. So I got really happy when he said all that! What a privilege! That the Lord sent me here as an answer to that prayer. SO the branch president told us to come by his house because his cousin was in town staying with him and his family and they aren’t members. Well we went by, the kids had already gone to church and we invited them to be baptized that Sunday. And so Claudio and Santiago Silvera were baptized yesterday!!! What a blessing that we received! We know just about nothing in the area but we already have 2 baptisms! So great! And the parents have to be married and they need to go to Uruguay to get married and so they have plans to fly there. Get married and fly back to move permanently and get baptized! They said they are looking for a change and they are ready to make this step! Super great! I’m just so excited for them! And if they get baptized I will be able to go to the temple with them in a year to see them sealed! It’s so great to see how the Lord blesses us when we do what is right!

So as far as Florencia. We had dropped her because she wasn’t progressing. She started progressing again but her parents weren’t helping at all. They didn’t want her going to church. It’s super sad and I’m sure this little girl is just confused lonely and depressed! But I can’t do anything now. Elder Allen didn’t want to pass by there anymore and now that I am gone I can’t do anything. So we just got to pray and hope for the best! God knows what he is doing and he will protect us always! I got to say good bye to almost everyone because I was sure that I was going to leave. Everyone was praying that I would stay. And well yeah. Haha. I called everyone Monday night when I found out I was leaving and some of the people started crying. It’s hard when you have been in an area for so long!

So as far as the area. It’s a pretty nice Branch. We have a small church building. There are about 300 members but the attendance was about 95 on Sunday. So we got some work to do. We share the church with another branch and their attendance is about 19. So at least we are doing better than them........haha. We are getting to know the area a little bit. And the members are really helping. The majority of the members are from here Argentina. And so we eat a lot of empanadas and pasta. On Saturday we got 100 pesos to go buy lunch because the Hermano had to go do something somewhere. And so we bought steak and made French fries! Haha! Super good! But the members wash our clothes and we have members to give us lunch everyday so that’s pretty cool! The ward is really good! And here to help out the missionaries.

I have seen so many changes in me during my mission and the one thing I realized is that this church is true! That I could never go to another church! I know that my Heavenly Father loves me and he loves all of you! He is helping me change and be better just like I
+ know he will do the same for you and the people that are in need around you! Look for them and pray for them! Be ready with the knowledge of the scriptures ready and God will use you as a tool to help other people. And you won’t even realize it! Be that difference! Help those people! And do what the Lord wants us to do! Which is Baptism! Whether it is baptism by water. Or baptism by bread and water! He is here for us and that is the way to be clean and ready to live with him again!

Love you be strong! Talk to you next week!

Mar 11, 2014 Transferred to Grand Bourg

Well this week was an interesting one. Monday we went to a plaza called Rivadavia. It had like people selling stuff on blankets on the side of the street. And then the plaza was beautiful! We then went to Subway and ate sandwiches and went back to the area to work. All of Monday night I was on the Toilet and my companion let me sleep through studies. I thought I was fine and so I got up and we had to go do something and then went to lunch. It was a lunch that I was waiting for! I was super excited for it because the Hermana is from Peru! And so sick or not I was going to eat! We get there and it’s like beef and rice! But really good! When we got to the pension, I went to the bathroom and after that I just knew I was sick. I got in my bed and couldn’t get up. I was super hot and it hurt to walk. I still haven’t fully recovered. It’s hard because you can’t really take days off when you feel ...ok. But on Tuesday I was in bed all day. And wed, I had to go and do Tramites, which are like the paper work to get me legal here. So even though I was sick I had to go to the mission office which is hour and a half on the bus, then 45 minutes in train. Then from there to downtown, which is an hour by train. And then back to the mission office and then back to the area. And all this time waiting in a building like a DMV. And basically while I was traveling I was standing cramped in with a bunch of people. We left at 6am and got back at 7pm. It was horrible. But I don’t have to do it again for another year. And then from then on we were kind of just lost. We couldn’t really find new investigators and the members couldn’t help to go out with us! It was frustrating especially because if was already sick!

On Sunday Rene our investigator ended up walking to church on his own. The guy that usually passes by got held up with something. So that was pretty cool that he still came even though no one came for him! He is so ready to be baptized but he just says that he wants to wait a little bit more and get to know the church more. On Sunday night was the Despedida which is where the missionaries that are going home go up and share their testimonies and it’s a huge event that everyone goes to, so because everyone wants to go, there are rules. You have to take an investigator or you can’t go. And so after church we went looking for an investigator. Rene said that he could go but the other elders in Lugano 2 couldn’t find anyone and so I told Elder Soto that he can go and we did divisions. I stayed and worked in the Villa with Elder Gines. It was a lot of fun! We just went there and talked to people. I got to see a couple people that I knew that were less active that I had seen a couple time. So that was cool! It was really hard this weekend because I knew I was going to get transferred and after 4 months in one area, it was home. And everyone back at home knows how good my hugs are, and I tried to make my handshakes the same way... but it doesn’t quite work.

Now about Transfers... I got transferred to a place called Grand Bourg. Its in provincia or the country, it’s a lot different than Lugano and I’m going to be doing a lot of walking! But that’s ok. Also. We got white washed into the area. So we have been here a couple hours and know nothing. We haven’t started working yet but we will see what happens, we have a missionary meeting tonight so that will help to sit down with Ward mission leader. It took us about an hour to find the church building. Haha! Super funny. So we had the keys to our pension and the taxi guy just dropped us off. So we walk in and it leads to like a court yard with some doors. After like 10 minutes of trying to figure out which door is ours and which key. A guy opens the door and says the missionaries live above. And he points to a really sketchy stair case. So we go up and it just looks like a normal roof. We didn’t see an extra door or house. Finally after some searching we found a little shack. One room tucked in a corner on a roof. It’s kind of cool but small. And there’s not enough room for all of our stuff, so we will see what happens. I will be living out of my suit case for the next 6-12-18 weeks. Haha! So my companion is Elder Micanquer and he is from Columbia! He’s pretty cool but I don’t know that much yet!

Now as far as packages go. I haven’t heard anything about that we can’t send packages. On Wednesday I picked up a package for Elder Gines. I’m not sure if that helps at all. I’m super mad! The DVD player that we have right now doesn’t have a slot to put USB. And so I can’t listen to music or look at the pictures I’ve down loaded! I have to go look and buy some speakers. They said that they will reimburse me. So that’s good.

Anyways! Good luck in your samana! Love ya and hope everything is going well!

 Villa Lugano Sunset
 A Random, Mild Protest
 Elder Gines is Buff
 For pday we went to a plaza to buy stuff and site see.
 And Sunday we ate with Ward Mission leader and his family that came down from Paraguay. 
There was another baptism in the ward! but for the other elders.

 The Inside of my new Apartment with Elder Micanquer
A one room Apartment on top of a roof

Monday, March 10, 2014

March 3, 2014 Lemonade Stand and Refrigerator Cooking

How fun! I’m glad you guys enjoyed the celebration and seeing the prophet! I had a pretty good week! On Monday was a birthday of a member that always helps us out! Her name is Alisson Portilo! She’s super cool. She has been a little sick so that stinks. But we had some food, listened to a little Devo type thing and then chilled. I made a cake! Well brownies. It was a little burnt but that’s okay. In the pension our oven is broken. We have to stand there and hold the button down or it turns off. So I decided let’s just put the fridge up to it! So we did that. And I realized that we had sometime so I hopped in the shower. Well I hear my companion screaming. I realized that I was in there too long. But it’s okay. We threw Dulce de Leche on it so it tasted fine!

Then on Thursday I got a haircut from the very girl who had her birthday. I was thinking Oh, she is a girl. And the clippers are easy to use. And she said she could do it. So I handed her the machine, and well it didn’t really feel like she was doing a good job. But yeah. Her family and her friend that was there said my hair looked good and they said it was done. And well I went to the mirror to look and it was... horrible. She left big clumps everywhere! I looked like a little kid that got a hold of some scissors. So I went and got the machine and tried to fix it a little in the bathroom. And then the next day my companion did the rest, now its fine, but it was bad, haha!  She was cutting it with the way it was going so it was more like she was combing my hair. Haha!

Then we had the birthday party of Elder Gines. We did a surprise party for him in the house of an investigator/less active couple- it was in the Villa, so kind of dangerous but nothing happened. We went and bought a cake and then took it over there and they had already eaten empanadas. And we knocked on the door with the cake and we ended up singing 3 times. When we opened the door. When the put candles on it. And then the Hermana pulled out another cake. Haha! It was funny but fun!! Haha!

Then On Friday morning. We went to play soccer at the Church. And on the way back there is always this dog that pokes its head out of the Gate and barks at us. Well this time he pokes his head far enough to bite my companion in the shoulder like bad. We went back to talk to the lady and the kid there. They were just like well this Dog is good. He doesn’t bite. This wasn’t him. Just be calm. It’s okay. I was just like whoa whoa whoa. Like he is bleeding. We don’t want to cause anything but this isn’t okay. Like you got to put a gate or do something. And the lady just yelled at me. I am 89 years old. And I yelled back. Cool. I’m 20, haha. But it has nothing to do with it. So we ended up just leaving and coming back to apologize and the lady didn’t even remember what happened haha!

Saturday we did a Lemonade stand with apple and orange juice, it was super cool. We ended up going out and talking to the people sitting in the plaza. So far we haven’t seen success from it because we met a lot of people outside of the area. But it was really fun and we gave out a bunch of fliers! We had a good amount of members there too! So it was fun and we just chilled and talked about the Gospel. I would say. Hey look there is a guy sitting alone and one Hermano said. Let’s go I can testify about the BoM. Haha! It was funny! And ya!

Cooking with the Fridge 

 So we had a Lemonade stand in the Plaza. It was really fun! but we had juice apple and orange. The juice wasn't that good haha !

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Feb 24, 2014 Activating the Inactive

In my letter to Connor this week, I told him about the Youth Cultural Celebration Super Saturday that they had.  Our youth were asked to leave their cell phones home because too many cell phones would clog the cell towers.  With over 12,000 people in one area, that is a problem and it would be an overload.  Well, Garrett decided that he would take his but just keep it on Airplane Mode. His leader  found out about it and took it away from him and kept it until that evening, then gave it to Mitchell.  Well, when Dad found out about it, he took the cell phone away from Garrett for 2 days for being disobedient.  We have taught our boys it is important to be obedient.  So this is what Connor is referring to at the beginning of his email.

Yes! I love that last part about Garrett! My favorite! well.. I dont have much time. Things were good this week! Not a whole lot happened but good things happened! We had 3 investigators at church and a really inactive family that we have been working with! It was really great to see them there! One of the investigators had told us before that he would go but he has never gone. Well when we stopped by his house on sunday morning. We rang the bell and he pokes his head out of the window and he is wearing a white shirt and tie! it made me so happy! and the other lady was just sitting there waiting for us with makeout on and her hair did, like she wass going on a speical event! It waas supèr cool and the ward accepted them and did whatever it took to make them feel comfortable! Both of them we met like 4 months ago, like my first week! So its been a struggle but finially they are progressing! Its so great! Nothing more than that to tell. It was a pretty normal week. We had exchanges and that day was pretty hard but i made it through. The members in the ward are getting excited to help with us they just kinda dont know what to do. they just know they are excited haha! There are some members that are hard that dont want to baptize people just to baptize that they want them to see like really progress and be converted before they are baptized. One member said, We arent going to work with these chicos because their dad is a Drunk and we will have to take them to church every week. We dont want that. And so that has really just been boiling inside me! He is denying their salvation just because he thinks that he´ll have to work a little harder or that maybe they will go inactive in the future. One thing the memebers need to know is that the Missionaries are here to teach the basics and get them baptized. it is the Wards job to teach them how to apply it to their lives and to help them grow their testimony. The ward has the bigger job here and thats why there isnt as much success as their should be. But oh well. Haha! I dont think i explained that very well... Anyways! Things are going good! I am happy and working hard! Sorry that you are sick. We have given alot of blessings these last couple days. Hermano Valente called us up one day and said that he couldnt give us lunch. And then we called later and found out he has been sick, like really sick! and so we went and stopped by. First thing he says is okay lets do this. Sits in the chair to get a blessing. Then after. He stuggles to pour us a glass of pepsi and says that he is going to go down and buy more pepsi. We tell him that we will do it. So we went and bought pepsi, and plums. Then he says. Gracias chicos. Im going to bed. and then heads to his room with us just sitting at his dinner table! super awkward! It really sucked seeing him like that! That guy has treatedme so well and is kinda like my dad here in Lugano! but well see what happens! Love ya! I already sent a email to brett, but send another happy birthday to Rebecca this weekend! Love you guys! chao!

Feb 17, 2014 The Spirit of Baptism!

Hola! First off sorry about the mistypes. 1. Don’t have that much time. 2. The keyboards and the equipment here suck! It’s not like I’m typing on a new laptop. Sorry.

The weather here is temperamental. It´ll be a nice clear day and then 20 minutes later it is raining super hard. But for the most part it’s been cooling down. There was one day where it rained in the morning and then stopped. It was really clear and bright so I left my umbrella in the Pension. Then 2 hours later it started raining but really bad. And we were walking in the street, far from the Pension. So we ran to the closest member’s house and just kind of camped out there for a while. They commanded us to head straight home and end our day early. Haha. Well we can’t do that so we continued working and ever since then I haven’t really felt well. But I’m not letting it slow me down... okay maybe a little bit. Haha. I’ve had about 5 or 6 different members give me something for the cold and head aches, nothing has really helped- One member had me drink this honey lemon tea thing that was really gross. I didn’t want to drink it but he yelled! Haha. And then he gave me some pills- I drank them and took the pills (it was about 4 or 5 in the afternoon). He tells me after that these are going to make me drowsy and that we need to go straight to the pension to sleep... After I took them! Haha. Well. We couldn’t go straight to the Pension and I didn’t really want to. But I was really tired the rest of that day. Haha!

So we have some problems with Florencia. Her family is telling her things about the Church and so now she is afraid of us and doesn’t really talk to us. We saw her 2 times this weekend but she didn’t say anything to either of us. And before that we stopped by to see her and she was having some real problems. She is just super confused! She feels like it is all true and she knows it is something she needs to do. But she is confused by her family and what they are saying! So we will see what happens there. We are thinking about dropping her because she isn’t reading or praying and she missed 2 Sundays in a row. She came this week but did look at us. It’s just a really sad situation.

So the ward is getting super excited about Missionary work and we have some members that are just pumped to do it. Hermano Portillo. Set up a time to go out with us and Knock doors. They really want to find more people for the ward and more people out side of the Villa. So we are going to go out with 4 members on Saturday to split-up and start knocking doors and ya. It’s something strange in this mission but we are going to do it any way because the other members aren’t doing their part to talk to their neighbors and all that. Haha! But we will see what happens,

Also this week on Tuesday one of the kids in the ward left on his mission to Peru. They had a really big setting apart thing. It was huge. They basically had two whole wards there, (2 kids from different wards went)
IT was really cool. And a lot of nonmembers went. But it ran long and so we couldn’t stick around to talk to people.
On Saturday we had a Baptism for a family of the Ward. The Eca Family. They are a great family and they do so much for us. They wash our clothes free every week! It was a very stressful week for them but they made it through it. The baptism was great! We invited everyone. Only Florencia came, we were hoping her mom or cousin would come but they couldn’t. But that’s okay. We got to be the Witnesses for the baptism and when I saw her get baptized the Spirit hit me so hard. It wasn’t even like a calming feeling or something like that. It literally like hit me and my heart started beating fast and it was hard to talk. I was just smiling. Another Elder told me that he felt it too and he cried. It was so awesome! It would be so great to have seen an investigator get baptized but I’ve been to their house so many times it felt like family!

We were invited to the after party but it was at a place relatable to Chuck E Cheese and so we just stopped by because it was on the way to our next cita. And on Sunday we had a little birthday party with the Family and The Elders. It was nice. I was hoping for some good food but it was just the left overs, Ham and cheese sandwiches. Empanadas, chicken with mayo and lettuce little roll sandwich. Little pizzas and cake. So it wasn’t bad. Haha! They had this giant cake that looked like a BoM and had a Scripture written on it. The little Girl, Alisson Portillo that came to write the scripture accidently missed a line. It was the line that said, ¨´they cannot be saved in the kingdom of God´´ and she forgot the ´´cannot ´´ haha! It was funny. But good thing I caught the mess up. The family was great and they really love me. They said that I had to be the one to cut the cake and they kind of planned it all around me haha! But that’s cool! Also quick story. We were teaching an investigator that we have been teaching ever since before I got here... almost 6 months. And this week she tells us that she went to church with her uncle who is a member of the church and the Uncle had her baptized when she was 7, (well she said 7 but she is 35 now, so she probably meant 8). She said she remembers going to a river and being in white. And being dunked under water. Haha! So that was an interesting talk. Haha! So now we are working on getting her records.

But I’m doing well! And everyone is doing fine! We are working hard and are still in finding mode! So if you know anyone from Buenos Aires Argentina that lives in Villa Lugano, send down the Reference! Love ya! Be safe and have a good week!

 Weird Random parade in Chilavert
 Villa Lugano

 Baptism of Sol Eca! the daughter of a family in the ward!

 We had a birthday party for her with jius