Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Rodeo del Medio

Hey!!
That's way cool that Dad's friends came to church!! Haha I bet the missionaries are pretty excited about that too! We struggly enough just trying to get members to give us references, having members do it all by themselves would be amazing!! And thanks for the 2 emails Dad, I wrote down some of the references and want to do more studying about that. I also made my mormon.org profile (one in english, one in spanish) but I think its still in the process of getting approved, so you'll have to watch out for it I guess. And Mom, I'm glad to hear you're enjoying your classes! I expect to return home and see some amazing fantastic fancy jewelry stuff. And...Dad..selling the quads.... :( Oh and thanks to you guys, the Lawrences, and the Fergusons for the Christmas cards I got this week!

So yeah, my new area Rodeo del Medio is pretty cool. Its a pretty big area and everyone we know is super spread out so its kind of hard to get to everyone very efficiently. Haha and no, we definitely don't have a car, we're still on foot...and bus. The church here is a ward and they're in the process of building the chapel, which I've heard should be finished in the end of February, so I should be here to see it finished. Right now, the ward meets in a house that the church bought. It was kind of interesting having sacrament there, because the pulpit is in the living room and everyone sits in all the different rooms in the house to listen, so I couldn't see the speaker the whole time, which was weird. But the ward is super strong. We had a service project saturday to go help build a "house" for a recent convert and her family (non members). This is also one of the few wards here that actually does ward council and and has a council where all the members are fairly active, which should be cool. Also, our pench is pretty nice. Our fan doesn't work and we have a pretty bad problem with mosquitos when we forget to spray at night (haha I have like 50 bites from the first 2 nights before we got the spray). But I like it, its pretty nice. Also, guess what? This is the area where Elder Wengert started his mission! So its kind of cool talking to people that knew him.

I'm still trying to learn whats going on here, so I don't really know what to tell you as far as the people we're teaching or anything like that. But I have learned that there are a lot of Bolivians that live in our area...so thats, cool I guess.

As a verse of the week I was thinking of D+C 93:36. Its short and simple, but I was thinking about the importance that God places on learning and knowledge and I just thought it was interesting how much an all-knowing being cares about us learning things. Just kind of interesting.

Oh and...HAPPY BIRTHDAY JORDAN!! Hope you have a sick birthday!

Hope you all have a great week and that you keep being awesome!

Love

Elder Webster

Transferred

Hey!!!

Well mom, I'm glad you didn't kill half the youth in the ward! That's always good news. And Dad, I'm glad you finally got to give your talk. Sounds like you guys have had a...well, actually it sounded like kind of a boring week :)

Haha Martin will be glad you don't think he's an indian...but yeah I have no idea why he said that. The bad news is.... I don't know how to tell him that. He passed his baptismal interview on thursday, but...his son came to see him friday night and then apparently the 2 of them left town together and nobody knows where they went or when they're coming back, if they're coming back. So, baptism didn't end up happening. So...that was slightly disappointing. But my companion and I feel like we've learned a ton from our 2 weeks with Martin. We were kind of upset when we heard he left but we've sort of been studying what happened and now its all good.

Also, we got transfer calls last night and I'm getting transferred. I'm going to an area called Rodeo del Medio (I think thats what is called...honestly I don't totally remember) in a zone called Maipu (haha... I still kind of laugh a little every time I hear the name of that zone). From what my companion tells me, that area is basically the middle of nowhere, but he's not positive, so we'll see about that. He's also met my future companion (Elder Kaman...I think thats how its spelled) and he says he's pretty cool and is from Wisconsin. So thats pretty exciting. I have kind of mixed feelings about having to leave Drummond, but at the same time I'm excited to go to a new area.

As a verse of the week, I was thinking of Helaman 10:4-5(kind of 1-12). In verse 1, Nefi finished preaching to the people and leaves to go home, but on his way got this revelation. In it, the Lord told him that he was blessed because of how diligently he had worked, and that because of his unwearyingness he would be blessed for ever, and then received some really awesome promises. All because he worked diligently. But he worked hard not just for the blessings, because right after that revelation, he turns around (verse 12) and walks right back to the people to start preaching again. That was AFTER the blessings. He wasn't working for the blessings, he was just doing it to be obedient to the Lord and to help his brethren. I don't know, I just thought it was a cool lesson about diligence.

So yeah, all good here. Hopefully you guys have a great week, and hopefully I'll have good news about my new area! You guys are awesome and I love getting emails from you.

Love

√Člder Webster

go to lds.org and to the maps. If you search barrio rodeo del medio mendoza it will you show you my new area. Its not too far from the main city but.....its just a bunch of fields...

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

"I'm Not An Indian" or "Crazy Dog"

Hey!

Sounds like you guys had a fun new years eve! Well, actually it sounded kind of boring but...umm... well...here´s to a new year! Hopefully it'll be a good one! Hailey said school's starting back up, so good luck with that. And make sure Jordan keeps working during his last semester, ya noob :) Thats cool that the bishop called the ward council as ward missionaries! You guys have lots to do! Hopefully you'll get to see some miracles from that! For some reason, it seems like every ward I've served in the ward mission leader was either less active or a recent convert, and I've only had one ward that had any ward missionaries...so...yeah.

So this week was pretty good. Haha to be honest I forgot new year's was this week until I read your emails..it seems so long ago for some reason. We spent new years eve with the ward mission leader of another ward, along with 4 other missionaries, and we had an asado and a bunch of sandwiches. We were allowed to stay out late but we had to be back in the pench by 11:45 because its dangerous outside after that, especially with all the fireworks and crazy people. So yeah, cool stuff.

The investigator I told you about last week, Martin, is still going strong. He came to church yesterday and told me to tell you guys hi and that he's not an indian...he seems very worried that we might think he's an indian for some reason. Not really sure why, but it comes up during every lesson. He's super excited about the gospel though and is inviting everyone to talk to us and to come to his baptism. Haha yesterday we went over to teach the law of chastity and the word of wisdom. We had just started the law of chastity but he said he didn't have any problem with that, but that he did have a problem with alcohol and wanted to stop...so that was helpful, we were kind of worried about that, since the only thing our area book says about him is that he's an alcoholic.

Oh, fun story. My comp saved my life on Saturday. Okay, maybe I wasn't going to die, but he did save me from a crazy dog that tried to attack me. We were working in a dangerous part of our zone and some kids were throwing rocks at a dog that lived at the house next to the house we were going to visit. The dog was going crazy and the kids left when we got there. The people we wanted to visit weren't home and as we went to leave my comp decided to grab a rock just in case. We started walking away and the dog got out and started chasing me, up until my comp threw the rock at it and started yelling at it in spanish. The dog ran away and we looked up and there were like 20 people down the street just kind of staring at us, so we just went and walked pass them like nothing happened. Haha fun stuff.

So yeah, umm...verse of the week. I was thinking the other day about Article of Faith number 1. Well, really I was thinking of all the articles of faith. I've been studying them and kind of breaking them apart. I remember in primary trying to memorize all of them and never really thinking about them, but now reading them, its amazing how simple and true they are...and its also amazing how many people don't believe them. I was also thinking about how it was interesting what things Joseph Smith included in them, and which things he didn't. Cool stuff, and Elder L. Tom Perry's talkabout the articles of faith in the last conference was cool too.
So yeah, I hope you guys are having an awesome new year and that you will keep it up! Hopefully Dad's talk this week will be awesome (and thats cool that Gurvine is serving in the Eugene Oregon mission, I know a lot of people that used to serve there before it got split and they become salem oregon missionaries). Have a great week!!!!!

Love

Elder Webster

These are 2 pics I took from the roof of our pench. The Mission President made a rule specifically saying that we couldn't go on the roof on Christmas Eve night or New Years Eve because the fireworks were dangerous and sometimes people shoot guns in the air to celebrate...but that made us realize there was no rule saying that we couldn't go up there any other day...so we had to try it...




There's a picture of the end of year dinner the ward had, of a bus stop, and of one of the nicer soccer fields in my area




Sunday, January 5, 2014

Miracle and the Book of Mormon

Hey!

Thank you everyone for the birthday emails!! I got a lot of emails this week so I don´t know if I´ll have time to reply to all of them but thank you so much to everyone that sent me one!!! You guys are right, it was way weird having a birthday here and just working all day but it was still an awesome birthday! And it was way cool getting to skype with you guys this week, haha all the missionaries have talked about the call to their family like every day this week, stuff that they wish they had said to the family and stuff the family said and stuff like that. And thank you Jordan for the painting, thats way awesome! I love it! haha a dead tree totally fits me too :) I might see if I can print out a copy or 2 of the picture you took of it so I can have it right now!

So yeah, this week was way awesome. We totally had a huge miracle on Saturday. Long story short, our plan, and our backup plan, and our backup-backup plan fell through and we found ourselves walking in this neighborhood that we have never really been in before trying to figure out what to do, when these people on the side of the road called us over to talk to them. We ended up getting into their house and teaching to the couple that lived there (Betty and Luis), the "grandpa" that lives there (Martin, not actually related to them), and this 17 year old girl that happened to be over at the time (Alejandra). They were all super open and receptive and Martin and Alejandra told us they'd come to church with us. So Sunday we walked the 40 minutes to their house and Martin came out. He said he didn't actually know where Alejandra lived, so he went and knocked on some doors to ask people where she lived. We found her house but someone else answered. Martin asked the woman to send Alejandra out, and then explained to her who we were and asked if she wanted to come to church with us too. She said she couldn't but afterwards we told Martin he was a stud for doing that and he said he was just so happy to go to church that he wanted everyone else to be happy too! Then at church Alejandra went to young womens and we went to gospel principles with Martin, and during the lesson I got this feeling I should set a baptismal date with Martin. We hadn't even said the word "baptism" to him yet and I was kind of nervous about what he would say and what the other people in the class would think (the teacher=convert of 2 years and another classmate=convert of 11 months), so I didn't ask him. The thought kept coming back to me so later in the class, while Martin was telling them how hard his year had been, I basically interrupted him to ask if he wanted a change in his life, and he said yes... so I just asked him right there if he'd get baptized and he said yes! He's a boss... baptismal date like 16 hours after meeting the missionaries, and assuming it goes through, he'll be baptized like 14 days after meeting us...which is basically the fastest we're allowed to do it, since they're supposed to come to church twice (at least in this mission). So we're super stoked for him and hope it works out. So that totally helped my testimony grow about how God is really preparing people to listen to us, and he'll help us find him...even if he has to forcefully cancel all of our plans to get us to find them. Literally, finding Martin was the most unlikely thing ever. Even after we got into the house, we wouldn't have found him if he hadn't randomly walked out of the back room...no one invited him or anything, he just heard us and walked in to listen. Way sick. But literally, this whole week was cool. Even with Christmas and Christmas Eve, we found more new investigators than we've found in the past 5 weeks combined, and taught more lessons this week than we have taught any other week of the transfer. Cool stuff.

So, as a verse of the week, something I read and was thinking about yesterday. Mosiah 25:5-11. In these verses, the people had just finished reading what we have in Mosiah chapters 9-24. So when we get to Mosiah25, we're kind of in a similar situation as those people (kind of). It says that those people were crying for the pains and struggles that they learned of, but also filled with joy as they read of the success and the miracles that occurred. When I read that, I looked back at chapters 9-24 and realized I hadn't felt anything like that. I had learned a lot and enjoyed it, but it made me think. The Book of Mormon is more than just a good book, those people actually existed, actually did the things that the book says. When the people read those words, it hit them because they knew they were reading about real people, their brethren. Do we read it like that? We don't know the people in the Book of Mormon, but they are our brothers and sisters just as much as the people we see at church each week or the people that live down the street. I don't know, I just thought it was kind of interesting. It helps me to understand and learn more when I read it trying to imagine what they thought as they were writing those things down, or thinking about why they chose to write the things they did. Yeah umm... so thats the verse(s) of the week.

Well, I hope you guys have an awesome NEW YEAR! Its crazy to think I'm going to be in Argentina for the whole calendar year of 2014. But I'm excited for it too! And Jordan will be on his mission to if he starts working on those papers :) But seriously, hope you guys have an awesome week! Hope everything is going well and that you may "live long and prosper!"

Love

Elder Webster

Merry Christmas!

Hey!!

Merry Christmas!! Sounds like you guys are having fun preparing for Christmas! Haha thats way cool that the missionaries will be over on Friday, and that their playing soccer with the ym. We've thought about trying to start something like that but...there are only 2 ym in the ward and for some reason it seems like our pdays lately have been just as hectic as every other day. Oh well, maybe one day. Say merry christmas to the missionaries for me!

So this was a pretty cool week. Last Tuesday was the mission christmas party. (well, half the mission tuesday, half on wednesday). I ended up playing soccer for like 4 hours with the latinos and then we had an awesome lunch together. Super fun!! This week we didn't get to work a ton in our area because we were part of a choir and we had like 2 hours of practice every day, and the place we practice is like an hour long bus ride from where we live. But with the choir, we got to sing in 2 different public plazas in the middle of the city, once on friday night and the other on sunday night, so that was pretty cool. I never really imagined myself singing in a choir in Argentina but...here I am. Haha I feel like at least 3 times a day the thought "what the heck am I doing in Argentina?" pops into my head. Not because I don't want to be hear, just because its crazy that I'm here.

Despite not having a ton of time to work, we still got to have some cool experiences. We managed to set a baptismal date with Aldana, who we havent actually taught in a few weeks. I guess she just needed some time, so hopefully that works out. We've also been getting a lot better at trying to talk to everyone, and we've seen some cool stuff from that. We said hi to a woman and started talking to her, and literally within 15 seconds she was in tears and we were bearing testimony trying to help her. Its crazy how people sometimes will just tell missionaries anything.

Oh, I also ate the weirdest food of my mission so far this week. We were walking down the street and some guys we've met before had a campfire looking thing going on the sidewalk and were doing an asado (basically bbq). They were cooking intestines of a cow and what looked like sausage. They stopped us and said we had to try some (they didn't offer us the intestines, they didn't want to share that), but they told me what the sausage looking things were called and gave me some with some bread. I was pretty sure I knew what it was, but I just hoped I was wrong and ate it...turns out I was more or less right about what it was. When we walked away my companion explained that it was sausage made out of intestines and a lot of clotted blood....yum. Better than you'd think though... Kind of.

Anyway, so I was thinking about the verse of the week. 3Nephi 27:27. We had exchanges this week and I went with Elder Gomez, the colombian we live with and while we were out he shared that with me but told me to change the word men for the word missionary. I liked it. I thought about sending you guys a more christmas-y scripture but...I liked that one, and I figured it was Christ saying it, so thats got to count for something! Also, Dad asked if I had any ideas about the topic "let your light shine". Umm.... hmmm.... yeah, I have some ideas. But...I don't know which of them would be good to talk about. One thing I've definitely noticed as a missionary, is that even though we have the name tags and we do it all day, the members have the potential to be way better missionaries than the actual full time missionaries. The members have a much bigger teaching pool than the missionaries do. Members have friends and family in the area. They have co-workers and classmates. The missionaries don't have that. Everytime we meet someone new we write them down as a potential investigator. If all the members could start doing that, seeing their friends and family as potential investigators, we'd see a lot more miracles and a lot more people would come unto Christ. Haha that would be awesome! But umm.. yeah. I don't know.

Hope you guys have an awesome  and espeicially merry Christmas!!!!!!!!!!!!

Love
Elder Webster