Monday, June 1, 2015
Thanks for all the support and emails! I don't have a normal pday today, I'm at the offices with all my bags already, so I don't really have a ton of time to email...sorry! I guess you were probably expecting a more interesting final email...
But I love you all and can't wait to see you all! See you soon!
Monday, May 25, 2015
Sounds like quite the week! Sounds like the wedding went well! I hope mom is okay!
This week was pretty good. On Wednesday the district came to our area to do an activity where we all went out to basically talk to as many people as possible to find more people to teach. We even had the participation of some youth from the ward, so that was way cool. It was way cool and nice of all them to come help us out like that. We spent most of the rest of the week trying to go back and meet all of the people that they told us about. Most of them weren't home when we went by, but we have an appointment tomorrow with someone that they met that basically told us that she would have been baptized years ago, but that she was too young when her family got baptized and then somehow she never got around to it...? Hopefully we can keep finding lots of new people!
We also got a cool new investigator this week. We went to a house looking for a past investigator, but...it turns out he's been in jail for the last year. But it also turns out that his mom/aunt (I'm not really sure how they are related) is way receptive and invited us to come by some time. We went by with a member and it went super well. Her name is América. Hopefully she's able to keep progressing.
I also got to do a baptismal interview this past week which went way well. The investigator is crippled and we did it while he was on his bed, but it went way well. It was great getting to hear his testimony. The whole time I was just thinking about what a blessing it was that I got to be the one to get to talk to him right before he did something so important. Not to mention, who would have thought that I would ever be able to have a deep and spiritual conversation with someone who grew up in La Paz, Bolivia? Quite the blessing. And the zone leaders asked me to go to some interviews of a family tomorrow, so I think I'll be doing 5 or 6 interviews tomorrow. Pretty excited.
As a verse of the week, its something that caught my attention in Omni 1:2. (Haha hopefully my good friend Omni doesn't take any offense from this--He sounds like a way better guy than me). But in that verse he acknowledged his wickedness and his sins. What caught my attention was that he made no mention of any repentance or intent to repent (again, no offense Omni, I'm sure you are all good now). But it made me think a lot about the difference between the recognition of sin, and repenting of that sin. Recognition is an essential first step, but I've met a lot of people who seem to think that if they just confess their sin, its all done and they are safe. They tell me that they are imperfect, but when I tell them how to be perfected, they don't seem to be interested. I really like the simple and straightforward explanation of repentance given in D&C 58:42-43.
I hope you all have a great week! Haha I sure hope I do :) You're all the best! Thanks for the support and love you always give me.
Sounds like you all had a fun week! Sorry about the rain at the father/son campout, but I'm glad everything worked out. Its hard to believe that school is ending (ended?). And yup, don't worry mom, alfajores are definitely on my list as something to bring back. I'll probably try to see if I can bring some mate also. You'll probably hate mate but...hey...everyone has to try it once. Kind of..
Again, sorry for not really saying anything last week. We went on a hike up Cerro Arco as a district, and it took longer than we thought. The member that brought us said we could get back by 4, but that wasn't really the case. Not that anything really went wrong, I guess our district just don't hike very fast...haha..not to point fingers at anyone :) Anyway, pretty cool week here in Dorrego. On wednesday, our whole district took a double-decker bus at 6am to go on a 2 1/2 hour drive up into the Andes to get to a place called Uspallata, part of our district. The branch president there asked the mission president to send us up to give them a "boost" for a day. So I'm pretty sure that between the whole district, we talked to almost all of Uspallata. Super beautiful place! We found a lot of receptive people and the sisters that are assigned to that area were way grateful for the help.
Yesterday was also a way special day. We got to watch the dedication of the new temple in Córdoba Argentina. Its been a long time since I've gotten to see a temple. It was a way special experience. I would definitely like to make the temple a more important part of my life in the future. I read a quote in a booklet about preparing to go to the temple, that basically said that, while we can organize stakes, wards, branches, relief societies, quorums in any building or location, the Lord has told us that the only place where we can organize eternal families is in the temple. Kind of cool to think about.
Verse of the week. So, I've been thinking lately about how the Lord commands us to seek wisdom and learning, but that there are also many prophecies and curses that are to fall upon the "wise and learned". I really like how James talked about 2 different types of wisdom in James3:13-17. In my opinion, I think that those who seek to be humble will find more wisdom than those who seek to be wise. Perhaps thats why in Matthew 11:29, when Christ said to learn of Him, He specifically mentioned learning from His meekness and humility, rather than trying to learn from something else (like His wisdom and knowledge, which He also had, but didn't mention). I guess it all is just summed up pretty plainly in 2 Nephi 9:28-29, but yeah, thats what I've been thinking about lately.
Well I hope you are all doing well! I hope you all have a great week!
Skype call was awesome!
Hey I´m way super super sorry but I don´t really have any time. A member took us on a hike today and told us that we'd be back by 4 pm at the latest....but we had some complications and now I have absolutely no time to write. I'm so sorry!
This week was good. Still doing lots of searching for new people. Haha pretty much everything I said on skype.
The verse of the week I wanted to share was Psalms 37:23-24,39-40.
Seriously I´m way sorry!! I can't really write anything! Won't happen again! (Haha I'm fairly certain about that, considering I'll only be writing home a couple more times....thats way weird...).
Love you all,
Sounds like another good week! Sorry, I spent so much time thinking about your emails that I don't have much time to write this main email. But I'm glad you are all doing so well!
This week was good. We´re seeing progress, little by little. We had a few way cool spiritual experiences this week, but I don't really have time to write everything about all of them, and writing just a little about each one wouldn't really suffice... So, I`ll narrow them down.
On Friday Elder Cook and I were walking down a dirt street when Elder Cook told me that he thought I should talk to the teenager sitting on the curb near the end of the street. He looked sort of sad. We went up and I told the kid that we were missionaries and handed him a card about learning from our challenges. I paused and asked him "Can we help you with something?" When I asked that he broke into tears and started telling us about something that had just happened to his sister, but I didn't really understand because of how much he was crying. So we just sat down by him on the curb in silence for a 2 or 3 minutes. I then told him that we didn't fully understand how he must feel, but that God knew him and understood perfectly. He nodded, and we kept sitting there in silence for a few minutes. A police car pulled up and asked if someone had called them. The kid said that he had. I couldn't understand him very well, but from the questions the police officer asked, it sounded as if the kid´s sister had just been kidnapped. They took the kid away in the police car to keep helping him. It was quite a blessing to get to be there in his moment of need. We were really thankful for that opportunity. To think that Heavenly Father can put 2 americans on a dirt street in argentina at the precise moment that He needs one of His children to know that He loves them. Not to mention, we were glad that the police didn't ask about the bag of marijuana on the ground next to where we had sat... So, officially the 2nd time in my mission that a person I sat down next to on a curb got taken away in a police car.
As a verse of the week, I decided on Proverbs 16:17-19. It talks about the importance humility. I've been studying that a lot lately. To be honest, I like that Proverb more in spanish than english. But I like the reference it makes to how every fall is preceeded by pride. Reminded me of D&C 38:39 ( I think thats the reference). It occured to me that if pride is the "universal sin " (President Benson), and that it leads to all other sin, and that if humility is the opposite of pride, humility must (theoretically) lead to all righteousness. Makes me want to be more humble.
Anyway, I hope you all have a great week! Hope you are all doing well! Can't wait to talk to you on skype!
Wow sounds like you all had quite the week! Sounds way fun!
This week here was good. We've been spending a lot of time trying to find new investigators and, well, it hasn't been as "productive" as we might have hoped. In fact, we didn't find anyone. We found out that half the people on the ward directory no longer live here and that neither do most of the old investigators...but...new people live in their houses! So that just means there are more new people to talk to! But seriously, we've been thinking a lot and we came up with a few new ideas of what me might try to find new people and work with the members more. Haha I feel like I've probable said that exact sentence about 50 times to you. But its true! Hopefully it works out. But yeah, not the most exciting week ever. Maybe it was the second or third most exciting week of the mission...but definitely not the top one.
So, verse of the week is something I was thinking about in class at church yesterday. D&C 82:3 talks about how much is required of those that have received much. That principle is shown all over the Book of Mormon, and its pretty clear from the parable of the talents that Jesus taught. Anyway, I was thinking about that and how we can learn a lot about what Heavenly Father expects of us when we start looking at what He has given us. For example, He has given us all agency, which is why He expects us all to make good decisions and to repent for our bad decisions. There are other things we receive, such as the gift of the Holy Ghost, the priesthood (men), etc, and then there are tons of more "unique" gifts that we have received. And something I've noticed is that He doesn't tend to give us more than what we need--in other words, He expects us to use everything He gives us. So I've been thinking about what I've been given and about would be expected of someone that has those things. Its something we could all do.
I'm glad to hear that you are all doing well! I hope you have another way awesome week! Sorry not really saying much in this letter..but...yeah.
You guys are great!
Haha sounds like a pretty good week for everyone! And it sounds like this upcoming week is going to be kind of crazy, hopefully everything goes well! Happy Early Birthday to Jaxon and Dad! Haha I feel like my week was a little bit like your week back home. It was good, but I'm not really sure what to say about it or even what actually happened. It was just....good!
We got transfer calls yesterday and it looks like I'll be staying here with Elder Cook again. It should be good. I've been learning a lot from him and from the members, so I guess its a blessing to get to keep working with all of them.
This week we...well...I'm not really sure what we did. We've been working a lot with the members in an effort to help them with the new ward mission plan and to find new investigators. They all seem really willing to help and many of them have specific friends that they want to share the gospel with. So I guess the good news is that several members are working a lot with their friends, and the bad news is that none of them have gotten to the phase yet where we have actually gotten to meet their friends. So for know I guess its just patience and motivating them to set up the appointments that they keep telling us that they want to set up.
So, verse of the week is something that really jumped out to me as I read Alma 19:12-13 this week. The missionary, Ammon, had been teaching King Lamoni about, well, everything. At the beginning of the teaching process, the King didn't have much of an understanding of God or of Christ, or their plan for him. The king's words in verses 12 and 13 reveal the depth of his conversion to what he learned. Not only did he say that he had seen the Redeemer of the world, but he said that he had seen his Redeemer. His relationship with Christ had become personal, and his life had changed forever. I know that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ know and love us personally--but now I have an even greater desire to come to love and know them personally as well. As I come to learn more of them and build an ever-more personal relationship with them, I find greater and deeper meaning in what Christ meant when he said that "this is life eternal, that they might know thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent" (I think thats how it is in english...John 17:3).
I hope you all have a great week, especially with all your plans this weekend! Again, happy birthday Dad and Jaxon!
Monday, April 13, 2015
Hey! Happy Monday!
Wow sounds like quite the week for all of you! I'm glad Hailey's recital went well and the rock climbing pictures look way fun!
Things are going well here. Unfortunately, it looks like we're going to stop visiting almost all of the people we have been teaching lately...but maybe they just need a break for a while. Its amazing how much you can start to care for someone in so little time.
We're also thinking a lot about how to work better with the members. The bishop presented a new ward mission plan at church this week and the members all seem pretty excited about it. Several of them have already told about friends that they have and how they are going to try to put us in contact with them in the next couple of weeks. If everything goes according to plan, we'll be overwhelmed with teaching appointments. Haha but lets not get ahead of ourselves...one step at a time.
I got to have a cool experience yesterday at church which has had me thinking a lot. This past week, some of the older members of the ward got together to have a bbq. Well, turns out it didn't go well. We got to church and a member who got baptized about a month or 2 ago, had 2nd degree burns from the palm of his hand all the way up to his shoulder. Long story short, they had an accident at the bbq. After church, he asked my companion and I for a blessing. We ended up giving it to him, and as soon as we finished, he opened his eyes and started pointing out several parts of his arm that he said had healed/changed color/changed during the blessing. Little miracles. Its amazing what Christ can do.
So, verse of the week is a pretty familiar scripture that I read the other day. Mosiah 4:27 says that it isn't required that we run faster than we are able. I started thinking about it and the big difference between saying that it isn't required that we run faster than we are able and saying that it isn't required that we run. I think there are times (or at least I do this), where I try to say that its okay if I don't do everything since I'm not perfect. We are saved by grace after all that we can do, and Heavenly Father knows what we are capable of more than we do. If anybody is going to "cut me slack" because of my weaknesses, I'd rather it be Him that does it, and not me.
Well I hope you all have a great week! Love you all!
Monday, April 6, 2015
Wow sounds like you had a way fun conference weekend! I'm glad everyone is doing well!
Everything is going well here. We got to visit with some of the investigators that have been hard to find at home lately. We met with Fabian a few times, and the good news is that he always reads and tries to fulfill any commitments that we leave with him. The bad news is that now we are pretty sure that half the reason he is meeting with us is because he wants to convince us that we are wrong...he's never very direct about it, but he told us that he meets with people of other religions to try to change them...long story short, we have a lesson with him tonight that will probably help us decide if we are going to keep visiting him. We hate the idea of stopping to visit him, but we can't help him if he doesn't want to be helped.. This week I also got to have several very spiritual experiences, which was way inspiring. I can't really write them all here but I'm definitely ready to improve as much as I can in the time that I have left.
Getting to watch general conference was way great. We went to the stake center to watch it there, in english. I enjoyed it a lot, but the greatest blessings of conference definitely come afterward--time to study and apply all the things that they said. Haha I'm not sure I'll be able to put it all into practice before we have the next conference but..baby-steps I guess.
Verse of the week was a hard choice week, there were several that stood out to me way strongly this week. I eventually decided on 1 John 4:19, which in english probably says something like "We love Him because He loved us first". Long story short, I started studying the Christ-like attribute of love this week, and I came across this scripture. It stuck out to me a lot, especially when I remembered that we are commanded to love others as He has loved us (John 13:34). He loved those that didn't know Him and rejected Him. He served those who didn't want His service. He truly loved us first. And now, not only do we have the task of loving Him back, but if we are to love others the way He loved us, we must find a way to love others first. Loving someone first requires that we actively look for that opportunity, and those opportunities are a little more difficult to recognize.
Anyway, I'm glad you all had a great week! I hope you have yet another good week and that everything goes well with all the things you have planned for this week! Everything is good here.
Sounds like a lot has been a pretty crazy week for everyone. And Happy Easter! Happy General Conference! And Happy Life!
This week was pretty good. It was a little weird, because right now I think we have more investigators here in Dorrego than I've had in my whole in this area, but for whatever reason, not a single one of them could meet with us in this past week. We've been getting blessed to be able to consistently find new people, and we're way excited to see all of them progress, but...well, progressing means getting better over time...so..it takes time. One of the cool people that we got to start teaching was someone that my companion met during exchanges 2 weeks ago, the house that my companion said he would never go back to. Haha I talked him into it :) We went there and Elder Cook told me that it was like night and day from the first time he had went there. Its the house of a less active woman, her baby, and her boyfriend. Her boyfriend just recently got out of jail after being there for 10 years, and apparently while he was in jail he met someone that told him to try reading the Book of Mormon...which he did... 3 times. He has a lot of desires to change his ways and is positive that we are the ones that can help him, so we're excited to get to meet with him again.
On saturday we also had a special meeting with the stake president, the bishops from the stake, and the mission president. We talked about the importance of ward mission plans. Our bishop was so excited that he drove us to his house afterward to start making a plan then and there. He presented a part of it the next day at church, and we are having another meeting this week with the leaders in the ward to finalize the plan. We're really excited to be able to work more effectively with the ward.
So this week I wanted to share a scripture from 1 Nephi11:31-32. Its a straightforward and powerful testimony and prophecy about the life and death of Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God. I think it is important that we remember the sacrifice that Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father both made for us. But His suffering and death weren't enough--He had to live again in order to completely conquer death for us...and He did it. And because He lives, we too can live. There is a beautiful video that talks about his sacrifice at ÉlVive.mormon.org (thats the spanish page..I'm not sure what the english one is). I invite everyone to watch and share that video, especially during such an important time of year, when so many are brought to remember Him.
I hope you all have a great week, a happy easter, and a great general conference weekend. I hope you all know that I'm fine and that I love you all.
Monday, March 23, 2015
Haha sounds like everyone has been keeping pretty busy lately! I'm glad everyone is doing well! Haha and I'm glad that Elder Webster 2 didn't die from too many pupusas :) Haha Elder Webster 2 better learn how to make those. Dad keeps telling me to learn how to cook the food here but...I'm pretty sure you've all eaten pasta and chicken before :) Maybe I'll find something.
Elder Cook and I had a pretty good week this week. We were blessed to be able to have basically double the number of lessons this week than what we had the week before. Fabian is doing well and accepted a baptismal date, Jesús is doing well and committed to live the word of wisdom. So we're pretty excited for both of them. We also met a cool man this week. He stopped us in the street and asked us if we could visit him in his house. We said yes, and pulled out our agendas to write down where he lived, when he turned and opened the door to the house we were outside of and told us to come in. Well, technically it was a garage door, he's renting somebody's garage to live in. Anyway, I won't go into all the details, but he is a war veteran that fought for both the US (in Iraq) and Argentina (Las Malvinas...haha...). He's also got some serious things with his family and is looking for peace. We explained blessings of comfort and he asked for one. He was very thankful and we hope to be able to find him at home again! This week we also had exchanges, which went pretty well. I got to help set a baptismal date with an Elder in Guaymallen, and Elder Cook had his first experience with cocaine addicts...so that was special.
Anyway, verse of the week. Recently during our lunches with the members, we've been asking them what their favorite scriptures are. This past week both the bishop and the wife to the stake patriarch shared 2 Nefi25:26 with us, and I really liked what they said about it. The verse talks about how the people in the Book of Mormon talked, preached, and taught about Jesus Christ so that future generations would know how to be saved. Both the bishop's family and the stake patriarch's family told us that they try to use that scripture as a pattern for raising their own families... it seems like it worked out pretty well. Maybe like 50 years from now when I finally get married, I'll have to give it a try :)
Well I hope you are all doing well. I'm doing as good as always. Have a great week!
Sounds like everyone had a lot of cool things happen this past week! And I got a letter from Grandma and Grandpa Webster this past week! I think it was a new years letter, but who says that the year has to start in January? March is good too.
This week was pretty good, as always. I'm getting pretty convinced that if you want to have a good week, you'll have a good week. And why would anyone not want to have a good week? We had a lesson with Jesús early this week which went pretty well. The questions he makes to us and the way he responds to our questions make him seem like he has more real intent to know these things than almost anyone I've ever taught...but at the same time, we're struggling to help him keep basic comittments...like..being at home for our appointments. But...baby steps. We also started teaching someone named Fabian this week, which was way cool. He saw a member reading the Book of Mormon on a bus, and it reminded him of some missionaries he had known several years ago. Lately, he's kind of distanced himself from his religion after the passing away of 2 children and his wife. But he gave his phone number to the member on the bus so that she could send missionaries to go talk to him. Haha imagine our surprise when we got to his address, to see that he lives by himself inside of a small apartment complex that is only a fourth of the way built. He works on construction during the day, and when all the other workers leave, he just stays there. Anyway, we had a way good lesson with him and he opened up to us a lot. We're way excited about working with him.
So, verse of the week is something I found while studying about humility. Philippians 2: 3, 5-9. It talks about the Savior's example of humility and obedience, and that we should apply that to our lives. The part that says "..he humbled himself and became obedient unto death.." really jumped out to me. It struck me that it was literally His obedience and humility that led to His suffering and to Him getting lifted up on the cross. So often, we try to obedient or humble, and then get upset or discouraged when we don't receive the blessings that we want--but part of humility and obedience is being willing to do the will of Heavenly Father, no matter the results. Interesting. It also opens a discussion about enduring to the end.
Well I hope you all have an even better week next week than the one you had last week! Sorry if these emails are long.
Love you all,
Tuesday, March 10, 2015
Haha I never know what to say in response to how all of your weeks went. But I'm guessing that by now you've figured out that I'm basically going to say that "I'm glad you all had a great week!" at the beginning of my email every week haha. So... I'm glad you all had a great week!
This past week was pretty good. We're still having a little trying to find people who are actually at home at the times when they tell us that they will be home but... If I let that bother me I'd have gotten pretty depressed a long, long time ago. So no worries, all we can do is keep trying. Some of the highlights this week included getting to watch The Restoration with Agustin, Facundo and the rest of their family (they showed up towards the end). Haha and of course, we got to have an awesome asado (bbq) with them that night too! I'm pretty sure it was Elder Cook's first asado. Haha he loved it.
On Saturday there was a baptism at church that went well. Sadly it wasn't quite as big of a turn-out as we had hoped...considering it was just the missionaries, the bishop's family, Carlos (the person getting baptized), Carlos (a recent convert, who got to baptize the other Carlos...haha hopefully that made sense). So...yeah. But it was way cool that Carlos got to baptize the other Carlos. I'd talk more about it but...frankly I think this is just going to get very confusing since they have the same name. But, suffice it to say, they were both very happy. They've been friends ever since the first day that the newer Carlos came to church, and I think they carpool to church and everything now. The less-new Carlos even bought his own clothes to do the baptism, because he also wanted to get some clothes that he would be able to bring to the temple someday. haha those two are way funny together. They're the most humble, crazy viejitos ever.
So, as a verse of the week, I was thinking of Alma 19:33, specifically the 2nd half. It talks of how a change of heart caused them to have no more desires to do bad things. A lot of times in the church, thats how we talk about a "change of heart"--that we turn away from bad things of the world. But in reality, the majority of our decisions aren't really between "bad" things and "good" things. Often we are faced with decisions between things that might be "good", "better", or "best". I was thinking a lot this week about how a change of heart can help us not only make good decisions, but the best decisions. I don't think any of us are perfect enough that we couldn't benefit from changing our hearts a little more.
Well I hope you all have another great week! Don't do anything too crazy without me! :)
Monday, March 2, 2015
Sounds like a pretty awesome rodeo break weekend! And everyone needs to stop getting sick! I hope you're all feeling better. Sorry....this letter is way too long....
This week was pretty good. It was a little disappointing because, like I said last week, we had found a bunch of new people, but this week we didn't manage to get a single lesson with any of the new people we had found. Lots of appointments have been falling through on us. Haha its especially awkward when there is a member there with us...but...oh well. Haha I feel bad for this guy in our ward named Fede, this week he came with us for the 4th or 5th time since I've been here...and we still haven't had an appointment actually work while he's been with me. Haha he was making fun of me a little bit for that but...he leaves on his mission this month to Brazil, so he'll figure out how it is soon enough :)
We did find 1 new investigator this week though, who was way cool. His name is Jesús. He was a reference from someone in our ward. We went there, and he grabbed some chairs and we sat outside with him. Before we even said anything, he pulled out a mormon.org card that had a question on the front that said, "Does it matter to God what I do with my life?". He showed us the card, pointed at the question, and said "I want to know about this." So...we told him. We talked about Heavenly Father's plan for His children and about how our time on earth is a time to prepare to come before God, which we can do by following the teachings of Christ. And then Elder Cook set his very first baptismal date with someone! He promised to come to church, but when we got there he wasn't there...so we walked to his house to find him. He opened his door, and without us saying a word, he said "Just a second". He went inside, got dressed, and then came to church with us. The only downside was that he left right after church, and when we finally got out of the church building about half an hour later, we found him half a block away, drinking with some guys. A little awkward. But we're way excited to work with him.
As a verse of the week (this ones a two-part one), I was thinking of something that I read in Luke 17:1. Christ says that offences are bound to come, but then goes on to explain the importance of forgiveness. It made me think of the countless people I've met on my mission that have distanced themselves from the church because they were offended about things that half of them don't even remember anymore. Then I thought of the example that Christ gave us in Matthew 26:36-44. In these verses, Christ is suffering for the sins of the world in the garden. If there is only 1 person or event that deserves our undying respect and gratitude, that night comes to mind. But in those same verses, we read that some of His closest followers and friends, repeatedly fell asleep during that important time, despite what He had told them to do. Surely, if anyone could be offended for anything, it would have been easy for Him to be offended, that in the very act of paying for the sins of the world, including those of these 3 men, some of His closest friends couldn't even stay awake for it. But He didn't get offended or quit because He thought He deserved more respect or gratitude for what He was doing. He just kept doing what He had to do. Surely we, if we think we deserve any sort of gratitude or respect for what we do, could be a little more patient and forgiving as well, especially since so many of the things that might "offend" us aren't done with that intent. Just a thought..
Anyway, hope you all have a great week! Keep being awesome!
Sounds like everyone had crazy weeks! Fun stuff though. Its better to be doing tons of stuff than to have nothing to do...right?
This week was pretty good. Agustin came to church! So that was way awesome. Most of the week we've been trying to find new people. Last week I mentioned that we had found somebody while knocking doors, and that later on someone chased us down to talk to us. Well the guy that we found wasn't there for our second appointment, and halfway through our appointment with the guy that chased us down, he told us that he was a less active member. So...yeah. But this past week we found a bunch of other new people! We didn't really change what we were doing at all, but it just...actually worked this week! We found like 7 new people that started listening to us! So that was definitely a blessing. They all seem way nice, but up until now, all of our attempts to have second lessons with them haven't really worked out..so we're still struggling, just with different problems :) haha but no worries. Training Elder Cook keeps me busy enough haha he's got me exhausted. He's like the most energetic, off the wall, crazy person ever. He's way nice but...haha well you guys know me. I'm not exactly the most energetic, off the wall, crazy person ever. We get along, but since he's still coming along with the language, I'm like the only person he can really talk to, so all of his energy and craziness gets directed at me. Haha luckily I'm like the most boring person ever, so we balance out I guess.
So, verse of the week is something a recent convert shared with us this past week. He's a fairly wealthy man, and from I can tell, he inherited a bunch of vineyards or something, and he likes trying to invent things. Anyway, in his words, he told us that when he was younger, he liked to see himself as "el capo grande" (the big stud/awesome guy). He told us about how something had happened and he was humbled, and how now, Psalms 94 reflects how he feels, specifically verse 12. He is extremely grateful that he had been humbled enough to accept the message. It reminded me a little bit of what Elder Cook and I were doing the other day. We chose a random street on our map to go knock doors, and it turned out to be way rich there. Not a single person there accepted us, and from the small things that we were told from people, they don't really seem very happy. Just comments they made about their schedules, their family lives... they didn't seem happy. I don't want that.
Anyway, I'm glad you all had a great week! Things are going well here. They could always go better haha but who am I to complain? It could be worse. I could be.... haha I'm not going to finish that sentence. But I hope you all have a great week! Know that everything is going well here!
Well it sounds like everyone had yet another good week! Big surprise :) Thats like 80 good weeks in a row! Good job. Everything is going well here. Good old missionary work in Dorrego.
We had a couple set backs with people we had met that we thought were going to turn into great investigators, but it happens I guess. We were knocking doors on saturday though, and guess what happened! Somebody let us in! haha its been a while since I've actually gotten into a house while knocking doors, in fact its the first time its happened since I got Elder Cook. So when he told us we could come in, I actually asked him to repeat what he had said because I thought I had heard wrong :) Don't get me wrong, I'm not losing my faith or anything, but knocking on doors just hasn't been the most effective thing lately, as far as actually getting into their house on that same day. Later that same day, a man "chased" us down and asked us to explain the Book of Mormon to him. We gave him a copy and we have an appointment with him tonight, so hopefully these new people we've been blessed to meet keep showing the same level of interest :) Their lives kind of depend on it so....
The funny story week would have to be the baptism that the sisters had. Long story short, the font overflowed and flooded half the chapel. Haha luckily they don't really have carpet here, and we were able to clean up pretty quickly. Haha now the floors are all nice and clean :) I also got to do my first baptismal interview, so that was a way cool experience. I learned a lot.
Verse of the week has to do with learning. D&C 88:78-80. I read a quote from Elder Russell M Nelson this week that says "Education is the difference between wanting to help people, and being capable of helping people." I hope that the things that I continue learning will be things that make me more capable of helping others. I guess that explains why Heavenly Father, who knows everything, is so capable of helping us. Interesting.
Sorry, not a lot of time, I feel like I always leave stuff out. But I hope you all have a great week!
Monday, February 9, 2015
Sounds like a way interesting week this week. Bishop Nokelby will definitely be missed. Thats nice that you got to spend some time at Temple Square, with Bart and Nan, and in Las Vegas. My companion from the offices lives in Las Vegas and just got home in December, that would have been way cool if you could have met him. Haha but thats cool that you got to meet Elder Miller's mom! (the one from Idaho). He finished his mission training a new missionary, and that missionary is in my zone now! Small world.
This week was pretty good. We're trying to find things we can do to work more effectively. The mission is putting a big emphasis on working with less active members that have the priesthood (males) or have gone to the temple (females). We were way excited to start focusing on that, but we finally got the list of people that fit those requirements in our ward, and basically 99% of them in our ward live on the sister's side....So looks like we might have to find a different way to work with the ward.
But we did have some way cool experiences this week. We had a talk with our friends Agustin and Facundo about the word of wisdom, and they both accepted to live it! So we're way excited to get to help them with that. We also had a meeting with an Area 70 this week. One thing he said was a comment about using the Book of Mormon to find new investigators. He didn't actually talk about that topic, it was just a comment he made, but the day after, I found myself knocking at a door, and that comment popped into my head, so I decided to try it. A lady answered the door and I told her about how we were sharing a free book that talked about Heavenly Father's communication with the ancient americas, about Jesus Christ, and about the importance of the family. I asked if we could bring her a copy of that book sometime. She asked if we had a copy with us, because she didn't want to wait for us to come back to be able to start reading it! We have plans to go by and visit her tonight, so hopefully everything works out well. Also today, I get to write a "report" for the Historian of the mission. I guess he's supposed to do a year-end report of things that happened in the mission in 2014, and he wants me to write a summary about what it was like to be there in Rodeo del Medio when they dedicated the new chapel there last year, and how it impacted the ward and the work there. So I'm pretty excited to write that (haha...we'll see how my "report-writing" skills are in spanish)
So, verse of the week is something Elder Gonzalez shared with us (the Area 70). D&C 6:18-19. He shared that with us and talked about how it was guidance to the one of the first "companionships" in the restored church, Oliver Cowdery and Joseph Smith, and how it has good advice for both missionary companionships and "marriage companionships". I liked it. It talks about helping each other to get better, and also using a lot of christlike attributes. Things we could all improve on.
Well, thanks for everything! I hope you all have another great week! Don't go on too many vacations without me!!
Sounds like everyone is doing way well! Sorry, I don't have a ton of time, so I'll try to make this quick.
This week was pretty good. We didn't get to work in Dorrego very much because of some things that happened with transfers, but I'm with my new companion, Elder Cook, fresh from Ogden, Utah. Haha looks like I might never get a native comp. I could end up setting mission history if I keep this up :)
Anyway, the people we've been teaching are doing pretty well. Agustin came to church again! And we also got have a lesson with his older brother. He's way cool too. They have a way fun family.
We also got to have a lesson with Yamila D. She finally got back in town. We had a really great lesson with her about the first half of the plan of salvation, which we did at the bishops house, and tonight we have another appointment, so that should be great!
Verse of the week is 1 Nephi 17:21. I read it and it kind of made me think of the mission and the kind of attitude that you SHOULDN'T have. Haha...silly Laman and Lemuel.
Sorry, I have like no time, but I'm doing great and I hope you all have a great week!
Happy Monday everyone! Haha I can't believe you guys got a new dog...but at least its a cute dog, so I guess its ok.
We got transfer calls yesterday! Well, actually, my friends in the office called me a day early to tell me what was happening with transfers...so I feel a little bad that I knew about transfers before I was supposed to, but to be fair, I didn't ask them what was going on...they called me. Anyway, Elder Olsen is leaving to go train someone. He'll be staying in the same zone as we're in right now, which is basically unheard of here, but its pretty cool. He's going to one of the few areas with bikes in the mission. I'm staying here in Dorrego B. I'm not sure who my companion is yet. I'll be finding out on Thursday when we have transfer day. Should be exciting!
This week was pretty good. It was nothing at all like what we had planned, but things turned out pretty good overall. The way our ward is divided (we share the ward with sister missionaries), we don't really have a lot of members that we can visit to work with. So we've kind of been in pure "finding mode" all transfer, since essentially nothing was going on in this area when I got here, and we're still really trying to get things going. There's definitely been progress, but when we dedicate so much time trying to find new people, its a little upsetting if we don't find anyone. But Agustin is still doing great! Turns out his parents got baptized when he was a little kid and he never knew until this past week! He told them that if they can see a change in his life because of him coming to church, then they have to come back to church with him, and they agreed. He was way emotional during our lesson this week when he talked about the changes he's planning on so that his whole family will come to church someday! He's such a great example! Great kid. Haha and did I ever tell you about Margarita? She lives across the street from the church and basically invited herself to church a few weeks ago. We've met with her a couple times. Turns out the house she lives in is a home for older people that have mental conditions...which explains a lot... Anyway, her ability to progress with the lessons is questionable. But her friend that lives in the same house came to church with her this past week and turns out she's a member! She seemed a lot more...capable. Anyway, I taught the gospel principles class and invited everyone to think of something that they could do this week to show Heavenly Father that they would use their agency the way He wants us to, and Margarita's friend told us that she's going to invite everyone from that house they live in to come. Haha we're really hoping to see like 12 people from the special needs home at church next week. We've met a few and they all seem way awesome. haha so we'll see what happens.
So verse of the week comes from Abraham 1:2. It caught my attention and made me think about what it means to endure to the end. A lot of times, the word "endure" means that something can last a long time without changing or getting worse...but that isn't what we mean when we say that we want to "endure to the end". Enduring to the end as disciples of Jesus Christ implies a never ending path of progression. I liked the way it was described in this verse, when Abraham states that, although he was already in the path, he wanted to progress, and attain greater knowledge, and become a more faithful disciple. From what I can tell, that attitude worked out pretty well for him!
Anyway, hope you all have a great week! Sorry for how long this letter is....
Sounds like a pretty crazy week back home! I can't believe Jaxon talked you guys into getting another dog. But I guess it makes sense, since you replaced me with a dog when I went to BYU, and now you're replacing Jordan with a dog, now that he's been gone for a little bit :) Haha but I'm glad that you're all doing well!
This week was pretty good. I went on 2 exchanges this week, and the way the timing worked out and with appointments falling through, I didn't get to teach any of our investigators this week, so that was kind of weird. But the exchanges went well and I learned a lot. So that was good. Yamila D and Yamila Q seem like they are both doing well, but all of our appointments with them fell through this past week, so we have plans to pass by both of them today to hopefully get to meet with them. Agustin came to church yesterday again! We called him on saturday night to ask if he'd be at church and he told us that he would be, and told us that he had decided that he wants to get baptized! He came to church and told everyone in our class about his decision, and we set a baptismal date with him as we waited for sacrament meeting to start (we have it during the last hour of church). So he has a date for February 14th. Haha he was pretty excited when we told him he could get baptized on Valentines Day. Hopefully it all works out well. Yamila D also has a baptismal date, but it'll have to get postponed for a bit. But all in all, Elder Olsen and I are very excited for the work in this area for next transfer. Its crazy to think that like 5 weeks ago when I first got here, we had basically nothing. Its been way cool to see the work progress so much here. But we have transfers next week, so we'll see what happens.
So, verse of the week comes from something that a member that I met during exchanges talked about during our visit. 1 Nephi 16:18-23. Nephi's bow was essentially his means for providing for his family, and the member related that to how his truck was how he provided for his family, and that his truck had broken down recently. He then started listing off 6 or 7 blessings he had received that related to him fixing his truck. I have never met someone so happy about getting free screws or getting random discounts on things. It was really a great lesson to me about doing our best, leaving the rest to the Lord, giving thanks for whatever might happen, and always being humble and grateful enough to recognize the things that we are blessed with.
Well, I hope you all are doing great! I hope you have an awesome week!
Wednesday, January 14, 2015
Sounds like quite the week that everyone had! Jordan's comp breaking his leg, Dad breaking the truck, Hailey breaking the rules and going on dates even though I told her not to.. Crazy stuff. And I got the stuff everyone sent me! Thanks to the Lawrences, and the fam, and grandma and grandpa! Thanks everyone!
This week was pretty good. A lot different than what we thought it would be, but good. We were blessed with more lessons with members accompanying us during this week than the whole rest of the transfer combined! It makes a huge difference! The members that helped us did a great job! Augustin, a 17 year old guy that we are teaching, came to a youth activity with us, and afterwards he had invited us and his new friends to eat at his house on a different day! A lesson with Yamila 2 with the bishop's family led to her accepting a baptismal date. A church tour with the help of 2 members helped Yamila 1 really start thinking seriously about baptism and what it would be like to be a member of the church. Lots of cool experiences this week with them. And now that basically every investigator we have has at least 1 member friend, it will be way easier to keep having lessons like that. Its amazing how crucial it is to be able to work with members! I also got to go on exchanges this past week to the area Guaymallen with Elder Shields. We got to teach a way cool lesson together. We walked in planning on talking about one thing, but half-way through, I had the thought of sharing something else, and as soon as I had that thought, I looked to him and realized he was opening to the exact scripture I had been thinking of. Funny how things work sometimes :)
So, a scripture I was thinking a lot about was Alma 31:31. In fact, thats the scripture from the story with Elder Shields during the exchange. In that verse, they were faced with some trials and problems, but what caught my attention (and Elder Shields' attention), was that when faced with adversity, they didn't pray for the problem to be taken away. They prayed for patience, to be able to deal with the situation. I feel like there is a lot I could say about that...but...I'll just let you think about it. Its way cool. I love asking "why?" when I think about the things that happen in the Book of Mormon. Its a pretty helpful question to apply to everyday life too, as long as we don't use it as a way to complain, rather, as a way to learn.
Anyway, I hope you are all doing good! I would have loved to say more, but I'm kind of low on time today :( But I hope you all have a great week! Keep being great!
Praying for Yamila Q, Yamila D, and Augustin would be great :) Those are some of our main focues right now.
Haha wow it looks like everybody had a ton of fun on New Years! Thats crazy that it snowed in Tucson! It seems like there is always snow whenever I'm not at home. haha whatever I guess. But I'm glad everyone is doing good and I hope that everyone is ready to go back to school/work!
This week was pretty good. Hard, but good. We didn't end up doing much for my birthday. There are 3 missionaries from Peru in my district, so they made a lunch of food from there, and then we kind of just played some games and talked in the chapel. Haha monday night, to celebrate my birthday, we went and knocked doors in the rain and hail, so that was awesome. Haha but seriously...it was awesome. Monday and Tuesday went way well and we were blessed with several lessons and new investigators. New Years Eve was pretty fun but not super eventful, and we weren't allowed to leave the apartment of New Years. Ever since New Years its been kind of hard, because it seems like everyboday left on vacation (summer vacation). Literally, Friday and Saturday only 1 person even answered their door (in total for the 2 days). So you might say we're excited for the holidays to come to an end. But we did have an investigator at church yesterday (Augustin, the one that grew up in the US), so that was way cool. We also have a lot of lessons set up for the next couple days where we'll have members to accompany us, so we're excited for that. Hopefully everything goes according to plan....haha it never seems to work out like that.
As a verse of the week, I was thinking of John 17:3 and 1John 2:3-6. The one in John says that eternal life is to know Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ, and the passage in 1 John explains a little bit more about how we can know if we know them. We read that second passage in church yesterday and I found myself still thinking about it this morning. Its interesting to me, the many ways that we can come to know them. I don't know its just way...cool.
Anyway, I hope everyone is ready for school and work again! Love you guys a ton! Keep being awesome!
Saturday, January 3, 2015
Merry Christmas! It was awesome getting to skype you all at home! And thanks for the birthday wishes! Haha...you know how much I love celebrating my birthday...
This week was way good. Elder Olsen and I received a ton of blessings! He says that we were blessed with more new investigators and more lessons than he's had in this area in months, and we're excited to try to keep it going. Hopefully its the beginning to a long period of growth here.
Since all of our new investigators are so new, we don't have anyone that has progressed too much yet, and none of them were able to come to church this week. But since school here is out for summer vacation, people tend to have a little more time to talk to us, and it seems like its going well. Dad asked for a list of investigators. Right now, we're working mostly with Yamila, Rocio, Juana, Rosemari, and Aida. We also are just barely beginning to start teaching a kid whose nickname is Willy (not sure what his real name is), and another kid named Augustin. Haha you might say we have "nothing but potential". No one has come along to much yet in these 2 weeks or so, but we have high hopes for them. Its a way exciting time to be here in Dorrego.
The verse I was thinking of this week was in Luke 15:1-7, specifically verse 7. It talks about repentance, and how there is greater joy in heaven for one sinner that repents, than for 99 people that don't need repentance. A lot of times, when people think of repentance, they think of something hard, sad,or maybe even depressing. In reality, its a process thats meant to lead to joy. Yes, it can be hard, but life would be a lot harder without it. In the manual that missionaries use to help them learn more about what to do as missionaries (Preach My Gospel), it says the the central objective of this life is to put our life in harmony with Heavenly Father's will through repentance. We all came here to progress and eventually receive a fulness of joy. Since we all have sin, repentance becomes the necessary step that helps us fulfill the purpose of our life and the very creation of the world. And every part of it is possible because of Jesus Christ. I love Him so much.
I hope you all have a very HAPPY NEW YEAR! And that you guys at home keep enjoying your breaks from school/work! Keep being great!
Love you so much!
Merry Christmas!!! Haha sounds like everyone is definitely busy with the christmas activities! It'll be fun getting to skype home soon!
This week was awesome. OUT OF THE OFFICE! Haha its true that being in the office was a huge blessing and I learned a ton. I'll miss it in someways...but I don't miss it enough to go back. My new companion, Elder Olsen, is pretty fun. Haha I called him 3 times before we actually had transfers just to tell him how excited I was to be there with him and to work hard (and to arrange how we'd meet, since I had to help with the new missionaries on transfer day). Haha luckily he's way excited also (or else those calls would have been kind of awkward...). We've got a ton of work to do in this area though, it kind of looks like we're starting from almost nothing. And really our whole district is way fun and excited. I get the feeling that last transfer was kind of hard for the district because it seems like everyone's areas are a little bit...dead, and because everyone is way excited about the changes that happened and are way ready to work hard. Our ward seems cool and quite a few people came to church yesterday (about 100).
Saturday we had a district activity that the zone leaders had assigned us. It was an "open chapel" activity where the district got together to invite everyone near the church to come and learn more. Well, as a district we probably knocked on around 200-250 doors during the activity, and talked to quite a few people...and not a single one came. (wow that story would be way lame if it ended right there...luckily it doesn't). We were all in front of the chapel as we finished up, when a woman walked up to us and told us that she was looking for a church-that she was new to the neighborhood and that she had distanced herself from God, but that she thought she needed to come back to Him-and wanted to know if she could see our church sometime. Well, it was already set up for a tour, so the sister missionaries went inside with her and had an amazing discussion with her! Totally made the activity worth all the effort. And it showed us how even though Heavenly Father expects us to do all we can, when it comes down to it, this is His work and He knows what He's doing. We're just helping it along.
Scripture of the week would have to be...1 Nephi 11:8-23. Nephi's father had seen a vision, part of which included a tree whose fruit would make people happy. Nephi wanted to see the vision and learn more about what it meant. In the first few verses here, Nephi has the blessing of seeing the tree, and then asks what it means. Instead of being told what the tree meant, he was shown a vision of Mary and of the baby Jesus, and then an angel asked Nephi what he thought the tree meant. After seeing Mary and Jesus, Nephi knew that the tree represented the love of God, the most desireable thing for the soul, and which could make man happy. It caught my attention that Nephi wasn't simply told that the tree represented love. Instead, it appears that as he learned about Jesus, he learned about the love of God for mankind. Jesus Christ and His sacrifice is the perfect example of the perfect love that our Heavenly Father has for us. Hopefully as we think about Christ and His birth this Christmas we, like Nephi, can learn more about the love that Christ and Heavenly Father have for each one of us, and that we can begin to love others in that same way.
Merry Christmas everyone!! And Happy New Year (next week)! Love you all, and can't wait to talk to the family later this week. Keep being awesome.
Haha literally like half the emails in my inbox mentioned something about me leaving the offices soon. Exciting. Haha I should be finding out the transfer stuff today, it kind of just depends on when President submits them online. Haha it seems like all week the office has been talking about where Elder Barton and I are going to go (he's leaving the office also).
This week was pretty good. Lots of preparation for transfers next week, the new people coming in, and the year-end mission christmas party that we have every year. Haha I feel a little bad for leaving the office right in the middle of what will probably be in the top 5 busiest weeks we've had since I got here, but...I don't feel bad enough to stay here... so...oh well.
We've had appointments set up with Jhony (the recent convert) and Mario (the cool new investigator from a few weeks ago), but both of those fell through. We actually have appointments with both of them today though, so hopefully that works. We also had a cool experience early this week when we went out trying to street contact people. We had knocked on various doors without anyone answering, but twice while waiting for someone to answer a door, I stopped someone that was walking by on the sidewalk and they were both pretty interested in the website we told them about (the church has a cool christmas video on mormon.org that we've been telling people about...which is a little hard here sometimes since it seems like so few people actually have internet but...whatever). The coolest part that day though was a little later on. We were walking down the street when we passed a young man sitting on the side of the acequia. I felt like we should talk to him but didn't. As we passed him, the feeling didn't go away, in fact it got stronger..so 4 or 5 seconds after passing him, I turned to Elder Trelease and told him we had to go back and talk to that guy, and Elder Trelease just looked at me and said, "I know". So we went back and talked to him, and he was way cool and way accepting. He actually lives in a neighborhood a little ways out of our area, called Campo Papa...which is basically the most dangerous neighborhood in our mission...but we passed the reference to the elders there and hopefully it works out...and they don't get killed... haha...but seriously...
So yeah. The verse I was thinking of this week is from the New Testament, Luke 9:23. Here, the Savior tells the people that if they want to come unto Him, they would have to take up their cross "daily" and follow Him. The word "daily" caught my attention. Well, actually, the words "cada día" caught my attention..but I guess it says "daily" in english. Anyway, I liked it because it shows that discipleship is an active decision that we can make daily. Every day we can (and should) do something to take up our cross and follow Him. Not just on Sundays. Not just at Christmas or Easter time. But daily.
Well, as always, thanks for all the support and emails! I hope you all have a great week! And a great last week of school to Hailey and Jaxon!
Haha well I'm glad everyone is slowly starting to recover from all of the Thanksgiving parties. Haha everyone told me that this week was pretty "boring" except for Hailey, who said her week was pretty great, and then all she told me was that her math teacher went missing...haha I just hope you guys aren't having TOO much fun over there.
This week was fairly busy. Its the beginning of the month, which is generally our busiest time of the month, making sure everyone has their money and paying rent and all that good stuff. Plus we had 4 conferences this week that we had to get everything ready for, each with around 50-70 missionaries, and then 2 more next week, so thats kept us pretty busy. We only managed to go out to our area a few times and all of our appointments fell through but...hey, thats the mission I guess.
Haha not gonna lie, I struggle a little every week trying to figure out what to say in these emails, because I feel like every week in the office is so incredibly similar. But the good news is that I'm expecting to leave here on the 17th, so that'll be cool. Don't get me wrong, I feel like I have learned a ton here in the office, and probably 95% of the things I've learned in the office apply more directly to life after the mission than the things I learned in the field... but at the same time... the field is the field...it'll be fun to go back.
Anyway, verse of the week. This was another week where it was hard to decide. There were a few I found from personal study that I liked, and a couple that President shared during the conferences that were really interesting. But, I'm going to have to go with Jeremiah 16:16. Its one of the ones the President shared. It has to do with missionary work, and says that at first the Lord would send fisherman to go to His work, but then later He would send hunters (haha I thought Dad would like this one). Remember when Jesus called His apostles, and told them to follow Him, and He would make them fishers of men? We then talked about the difference between fishing and hunting, and how we are now expected to become "hunters of men" (hahah...you know what I mean...don't go killing people..). Just kind of an interesting way to look at missionary work.
Anyway, hope you guys have a slightly more than average week this week, keep being cool!