Sunday, December 20, 2009

Miracles in barrio (ward) Libia, estaca (stake) Maroñas.

December 15, 2009

The work is exploding here! We’ve found so many new people here, and the members are so willing to fellowship each and every one of them. Our Ward Mission Leader is such a stud too. Every week we meet with him once or twice with a few of the ward missionaries to coordinate what it is we need to do. They frequently visit the investgators and invite them to activities and call them. It’s soooooo nice to have the support of the members. It’s much easier to focus on improving other things. It’s a beautiful thing to watch one of our investigators, excuse me, brothers or sisters, anxiously engaged in a discussion with one of the members with bright faces and smiles. I LOVE THIS WARD!!!!

I’ve been thinking how strange it is too, how fast this year flew, mostly because I’m on my mission too I guess. I’m almost 20 years old too! GAH!! I’m so OLD!!!! Just kidding! I love this work so much. Although it gets really hard to focus once in a while and sometimes my feet hurt and such, and I just have a Laman and Lemuel attitude, I remember the testimony of Nephi. I receive strength and determination that aren’t my own, and we are tools in the hands of Heavenly Father to bring to pass miracles. It’s so awesome! Maybe some of these miracles wouldn’t mean much to others, but to a missionary with very little experience they mean everything. Whether it’s finding a family prepared to hear the gospel, a very open person on the street, or even just a very interesting spiritual insight during personal and companionship studies, the hand of the Lord is in this work. How else could kids go out and teach the world the truth of the Restored gospel?

The Power of the Book of Mormon

December 7, 2009

Time is flying! I CAN`T believe I’ve almost been out 6 months. It really doesn’t feel like it. I love being out here! I know this might sound funny, but I’ve been having scary dreams of being at home, and all of a sudden realizing NO! I need to be on my mission! Why am I at home!!!! They’re kind of funny. Don’t worry. Of course I miss you guys and home every once and a while, especially right now during the Holidays, but I repeat... I DO NOT WANT TO COME HOME!

This past week was exceptionally busy. We had an interesting goal this week as a district to share our testimonies of the Book of Mormon each time we do a contact. It’s been interesting. Also, we have a mission rule to do at least 140 contacts every week. This coupled with the Book of Mormon have brought about many interesting experiences and spiritual insights. It’s amazing how many people you find who have actually never talked to missionaries (despite the fact that the children scream "HUEVOS" at you... (Eggs)) Or even more amazing how many people have never heard of or seen the Book of Mormon. Though at first it was kind of weird to start talking about the Book of Mormon so directly, we quickly found that our contacts became more meaningful and the people more personal. I love the Book of Mormon. It really is the best weapon in the missionary arsenal. I think there is a quote by Elder Wirthlin when he says that we should NOT underestimate the power of the Book of Mormon. Though I’m still studying the New Testament (I’m in Luke, perfect for Christmas :)) I think I’m going to try and read the Book of Mormon once every month fully. It really does have all the answers to the questions of our souls.


November 30, 2009

Well, this week went by much better than the last one. We’ve been working harder to schedule more of our appointments by telephone, which is working out a whole lot better now that we know the area and have talked with more people. It’s kind of rough starting a White wash, but it has been such a great experience. I love just talking to everyone. Sometimes I get nervous and it takes us a while to really get going. But when we just go for it, the Lord truly is on our right and left hand and before our faces. I really feel comfortable here now.

Well, Thanksgiving passed and I thought of you all and the family I’m thankful for. Seriously, every time I share my family pictures with families (they can’t get enough pictures here) people always comment on how beautiful our family is. I’m not saying that to boast. Just, to show you how thankful I am to have such a wonderful family! YOU GUYS ARE GREAT! WOOOO!!!

Anyways, the weather has been a little weird lately. The other day, it was pretty hot. However, it started to pour rain on us and we got soaking wet. Fortunately we knocked on a guy’s door and he offered us jackets. He was really nice, and now we have an excuse to go back and talk to him. But seriously, the people here are very awesome, although sometimes they can be a little feisty when they see your white shirt and tag, but that’s true no matter where you go. I love it! But as I was saying, the weather has been a little weird. There have been serious floods in the interior of Uruguay, but it looks like everything is calming down now. It’s sunny again and as far as I know, (which means looking at the sky) it looks like its going to get hot again.

This is going to be one awesome Christmas! I can’t believe it’s already coming! Time flies by way too fast. I hear Christmas in South America is, well..., not like anywhere else in the world. LOTS of fireworks. I’ll call you and tell you all about it on Christmas Day. Let’s see... oh yeah. The Uruguay political elections were yesterday, so we had to dodge all kinds of banners and flags (just kidding it wasn’t too bad) especially since it stormed last night. I’m so glad it’s over. I was getting a little tired of hearing so much propaganda, music and such.

On Saturday night we were planning, and this big flying cockroach flew through our window and started running all around. It ran across my bed, and Elder Gonzales and I started freaking out! I know it’s nothing like other parts of the world where bugs are like pretty much your carpet, but still... We had to move EVERYTHING in the apartment to find it again, and when we did, the hunt was on. I finally killed him with my planner. He was feisty.
SCORE Misioneros 1 Cucaracha 0
Well, that was my adventure for the week. I know it wasn’t much, but there you have it.

I can’t believe how much the Lord has blessed us while we’ve been here. I haven’t counted a day when we didn’t see at least one miracle, whether it be finding someone who gave us all their information to pass by later, a VERY spiritual lesson, having the spirit teach ALL of us, the list goes on. I know that this is where I need to be. Though I haven’t had a baptism yet, I know that it doesn’t matter. I just need to keep doing what the Lord wants me to do, and follow His commandments. I was happy to hear at the zone conference last week that many of the people we taught in our last area are making plans to join the Church and follow Christ. I’m soooooooooooo happy for them. I LOVE doing this! I am so blessed. I have learned so much about myself and others, and I hope I never forget.


November 23, 2009

This past week has been a little bumpy and rough, we’ve hit some hitches and snags, but still I feel blessed to be here. I’m still getting accustomed to life in the city. It’s so loud and noisy here, it’s hard to focus sometimes and listen to the spirit. I’ve come to treasure those moments I have in the morning to study and focus on bettering myself through reading the scriptures and reflecting on their message.

Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve came and spoke to us at a joint conference of the two Uruguay missions. There were about 400 missionaries, and the spirit truly POURED out of the heavens as all of us learned and were taught by the spirit.

I’m truly thankful for all of you, my family. As I said, this week was a little tough, but truly I feel your love and support. Thank you so much! I am so blessed to be here, to have these covenants that have brought me even closer to know my Heavenly Father and His son. Also, to have all of you as my eternal family, I wonder sometimes WHY? Why am I so blessed? What thing do I have not to be thankful for? I better give it my all this week, and the rest of the weeks that follow. But ESPECIALLY this week of Thanksgiving.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Good things happening in Coroñas

Well, I can’t really put into words how special and insightful this past week has been. It’s been a change, but I now know this is where the Lord wants me to be. I have felt such a comforting peace during my one week here and I am sure that something special is about to happen. I LOVE the ward here! They are so caring and so organized. They all are busy about the work. We sat in a meeting for the ward mission coordination. They had representatives from everyone, and coordinated who needed to be visited and gave us some families we needed to pass by. It made me so very happy to see them concerned for those who had gone astray. I LOVE it! We had some very awesome lessons in church as well, which ended the very tiring but spiritually filled week.

My companion Elder Gonzales is from La Serena Chile. He is such a stud! We have been getting to know each other really well, and my Spanish is improving in leaps and bounds because of him. I rarely speak in English, (I need to help him learn English as well) so it’s kind of nice to help each other out. We have had some really awesome and powerful spiritual experiences. He has such a great knowledge of the scriptures and is such an insightful person. And he likes to have fun. That’s important too!

Things are going very well here. We’ve found new people to teach and lots of friendly faces. Like I said, it was a weary week (lots of walking) which was hilarious when we didn’t have a map or know who the bishop was. We had to wait till Sunday to meet the majority of the members, but they were all calling us and helping us out. It really is like a big family here. I can’t wait till next week to tell you more. I have never felt more guided by the spirit in my life. I can feel His influence every day comforting me and guiding me.

A Surprise

November 10

We had a surprise change yesterday morning. I left Las Piedras and came to Coroñas in Montevideo which is pretty close to the neighborhood where the temple and offices are. It was really short notice. The assistants came and picked me up, and we got to our house finally, after some other quick stops, and we had to pick up my companion. Yes, it’s a white wash. (Meaning both of us are new.) And to top it all off, I have my first companion from South America. His name is Elder Gonzales from Chile. The house is really small and cozy. I was going to tell you all about Las Piedras yesterday, but oh well. I’ll go where He wants me to go. As most of you know, that’s just the mission for you. Never a dull moment. So now, we’re just going to go home, eat, and...well... do some contacts. I’m so excited. This is going to be such an adventure!

Leaving Melo

November 3

Well, these past few weeks, it seems like the work has been exploding. We have met so many wonderful people ready and willing to listen to the gospel and changing their lives in small ways. I wish I could tell you about each and every one of these experiences!

I'm in Montevideo right now in the bus terminal waiting to meet my new companion and to head to my new area, Las Piedras just 45 minutes or so north of Montevideo. His name is Elder Hoffling. I don't know anything about him yet.

It was REALLY hard to leave Melo. We passed by a lot of our dearest friends before we left and took some pictures and taught some nice lessons. I'm so excited for them. Even though I didn’t get to see them continue all the way to baptism, I’m glad to have at least played a part in their journey and to have been a tool in the hands of the Lord to extend the good news of the gospel of Christ. There are a few couples who I know will eventually continue on and seal their families in the temple. I can’t wait to hear about it!I feel like I left part of my heart and soul back there, and I guess that means I’m doing my job.

The owner of our house Sonia (I’ve told you about her, abuela) always cries when a missionary leaves. She has only been a member for a year, but I think she understands what it means to be a disciple of Christ more than most people. She ALWAYS had a smile and was ALWAYS giving food to the missionaries. I'll never forget her either.

Sheesh, it was just that hard leaving an area. I'm going to have to get used to it! It's tough to have to leave it in someone else’s care, but really it isn’t. They are always in the care of the Lord. We are just the Laborers in the vineyard. I love this wonderful gospel. I love the light and hope it brings into our lives. Each time I bear testimony of Eternal Families and how it was made possible through Christ, my love and appreciation for you and what you have done for me grows and grows. I’m sorry if I was ever ungrateful for anything. It’s funny. We never truly appreciate how much we truly treasure something until it’s taken away from us. The beautiful thing is that through Christ and the power of His gospel, everything will be restored to us. I am so thankful to be here sharing things I've known since I was a little child in Primary, but with a whole new understanding and appreciation. Well, I love you all. No doubt I’m going to be telling you all kinds of interesting and amazing stories about Las Piedras. Elder Painter was there before he came to Melo. He told me it was just as hard for him to leave there as it was for me to leave Melo. Pretty ironic.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Whew! What a week!

As the title implies, we had quite a rough week this past week, and kind of humorous. It started off great. We had lots of lessons, and we have been starting to see some people who finally might be willing to make the changes in their lives to find out the truth that Heavenly Father wants to give them. Anyways, as we were about doing this, I got a little sick, but it wasn't too bad and I was getting better.

We had a zone conference on Wednesday with Presidente and Hermana Da Silva. They gave some GREAT talks and comments. Here is where we made our booboo. We had lunch together. The Zone had ordered these giant hamburger like things called bauros. They were very tasty and we continued with our week. However, my companion the day after got REALLY sick. He had diarrhea and everything. We stayed in the next day and I took care of him. We soon found out that our zone was getting sick and dropping like flies! The next day I wasn't feeling to well. I was working with another companion while mine and his were recuperating. We worked, and I started to feel bad. I got the bug, but not as bad as my companion. We had told some of the people we visited that some of the missionaries were sick. We began to think it was the food we ate on Wednesday. When we told them, they freaked out and said. "No No, you can’t order food from there. They put on old ingredients. It's not clean." So, this week almost our entire zone was sick from eating a couple of bad bauros. But don't worry. We're all feeling a whole lot better. We drank lots of water, and are now cleaning up after things piled up to do around the house, and we are going to work twice as hard to catch up for lost time.

OH one more funny story! It rained REALLY hard again yesterday. The holes in our roof were really bad and my companion-s bed got all wet. Thankfully my side didn’t have as many leaks. It was pretty frustrating, but also a fun reminder that the mission really is an adventure. Thankfully we don-t have any giant bugs like an Indiana Jones movie.....yet. Anyways, It-s hard to believe I’ve been here almost two months already! I have been growing a lot since I’ve been here. I am so thankful to be out here, though it gets really hard. I recently brushed over the verses in ´Doctrine and Covenants 89 about the oath and covenant of the priesthood. I-m going to work as hard as I can to magnify my calling and develop true Christ like love for everyone, even though it can be hard sometimes. At times, I still get a little homesick, but when this happens, I just work and remember why I-m out here.

Thursday, October 1, 2009


My new companion is Elder Painter from Texas. He has about a year, and he speaks the language VERY WELL. It's been really nice and I have to be careful not to rely on him too much when we teach. However, I have been improving a lot on understanding, which was a challenge for me at first. Now comes the next step. I can teach basic things, I just need to work harder on grammar so I can convey my feelings a little more clearly. Elder Painter is very knowledgeable in the scriptures, and though at first it was a little intimidating, we have had some really interesting discussions.

I gave my first talk in Sacrament meeting about baptismal covenants. I talked about what a covenant was and cited scriptures in Doctrine and Covenants. It talks about how blessed are those who keep the covenants they have made with the Lord. As I have been out here, I have come to realize little by little the importance of these covenants. They literally bind us to our Heavenly Father in the sense that we receive blessings in this life and have the opportunity to live with Him in the eternities. Elder Bowen in the last conference told us to ask those we talk to the "disturbing question" or "questions of the soul." Disturbing in the sense that they lead us to have a thirst to satisfy and answer the question that is burning within our soul. Who am I? What is my purpose here? Those are just some of the cliche examples, but really I think we take for granted sometimes how much comfort we have in knowing the answers to these questions. No matter what happens, we ALWAYS have a loving Father in Heaven, bound to us by our covenants and promises we have made with Him. I love that talk that Elder Christofferson gave last general conference about the comfort that our covenants give us. They are truly more powerful than we can imagine, made by the same power that created worlds without number.

An Awesome Goal

Guess what? We have our first confirmed baptism date set up! October 11. His name is Willington, and he is I think about 21 years old. He’s really awesome and has already come to church! He still has a lot to do before the baptism, one of which is quitting smoking, but we told he and his wife that if they read and pray, Heavenly Father will help them to quit. He is so cool. He loves to talk with us about home, and about gospel things. For instance, I showed him the pages in the back of the scriptures where all the pictures are. I showed him the ones of Jerusalem and of the sacred grove. He liked it and kept asking questions about where all these things happened. We’re so excited and continue to pray for him that he will follow through on this wonderful decision.
We had an awesome Zone Conference last week in Treinta y Tres with Elder Bowen of the Seventy. I don’t know if I have told you this, but we have a goal in the mission to baptize weekly. It is really bold. Presidente Da Silva shared his thoughts with us as well and shared D&C 4 with us. "The field is white, already to harvest". That seems an appropriate theme, especially since I have been studying about the Savior’s Parables. I find it amazing how much the world truly can be used as a symbol of the Kingdom to come. The simple truths of the Gospel can be compared to the simple truths of nature. I love the Savior. I love His teachings. It’s sad when we find those who are so overwhelmingly confused by how much the world has changed His simple pure doctrine. I am so happy to be here spreading His pure doctrine and gospel to fill the earth. I just love it! It is profoundly and deeply simple. It has been a little discouraging to try and start this trend, but the more I get into the work, the more I realize how possible and tangible this goal is. It’s not just a goal, it is a miracle. I know that if we continue to pray and work diligently, that we will find those ready and willing to accept the pure and simple message of joy and eternal peace.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Sleeping on the ....bus?

Well, It’s hard to believe that I’ve already been in the mission field for a whole month! I’ve been on a mission for three months! Time has really started to fly and I can already tell that I’m REALLY going to take Elder Holland’s advice to heart and enjoy every moment. I love this area, though at times of course it can be a Little frustrating. We have met some awesome new investigators this week, and continue to hope and pray for them to feel the spirit and come to Christ.

Anyways, now for the funny part. Some pretty funny stuff happened this week. As I have explained earlier to you all, we have an extension that is about an hour bus ride out of Melo towards the Brazil frontera. It’s only like 15 minutes from Brazil, so the people talk in a kind of Portuñol mix sometimes (Oh by the way, we met this guy on the street one day from Italy, and he spoke in like a mix of Italian and Spanish. It was pretty funny). ANYWAYS, we were on the bus, and of course as usual we were pretty tired. I was reading “Jesus the Christ” and my comp was trying to study, and well as usual, we fell asleep. This usually happens no matter how hard we try, but we usually wake up before Noblia. However, this time we missed our stop and Continued on to Aceguà. The good thing is that the bus attendant helped us out a ton and a bus was headed back the other direction and after a quick change we were headed back to Noblia. So yeah, that was pretty funny!

Also, I ate some pretty new and interesting things this week. We went to member/investigators house and ate something that was close to a Cow’s intestine and Hígado con arroz. I felt like Doug from that old cartoon Tyler and I used to watch! It was actually pretty tasty and I still consider myself fortunate that they usually eat pretty well here as opposed to the chicken feet Nate had to stomach. Especially since we eat every night at Abuela’s. She cooks the BEST food. Alfajores, Arroz con leche, pollo, etc… We’re going to make Gnochis today. I’m SO EXCITED!

My first change is already almost over (next Wednesday not this one). I have learned so much, and continue to learn a whole lot more. Keep the faith, and don’t forget to do your part to spread the good news.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Spring has Sprung

Well, it's getting pretty hot now. Winter is over, and spring is here, and it is very very humid! Seriously, like around 90 percent humidity. So, it's only like 80 degrees, but it's hotter than blazes!
Anyways, where to begin. I guess I'll start with that a lot of the mission reality has set in a little bit lately. A lot of our new investigators from last week flaked and they are kind of scared to talk to us again, so we are kind of back to where we started. However, throughout the course of the week we found a lot of cool new people who were actually very nice and open minded. We're going to try harder this next week to try to get our investigators to come to church and keep their commitments. That's the hardest thing to do. I guess we just have to show them why. Anyways, I've been learning a lot, and we even set a baptismal date for two people, a mom and a daughter named Ilaria and Mariana! They are awesome and they go to church when they can. She has another son who is mentally handicapped and has to get someone to watch him. Luckily, her daughter and her husband are members, and they have come with us a couple of times to teach them. We had an awesome spiritual experience committing them to baptism, but they think they need a little more time. We visited them again one day just to remind them to go to church, and I could just feel this peaceful spirit in their little dark cement home. They are awesome, and we continue to pray for them.
Let’s see, what else happened this week? Oh yeah! We went to Noblia last Saturday and we had to bring a box to the children’s activity, but we left it on the bus that goes to Aceguà! We had to wait for like two hours for it to come back to get it out (because we asked people for the times the bus came back and we got like three different answers…) Anyways, we got it back and no one found out, though we kind of still felt stupid… Oh well!

We visited a woman in Noblia whose name is Marisa. She has been a member for a while, but she had been a little inactive. When I came, she had started to go back to church a little more frequently. Over time, as we came back, she seemed a lot happier, and our discussions more focused on spiritual things. This last visit, she had been going to church every week, praying, and even, reading her scriptures. I was going to share a thought when she said, “I have a question, what does the spirit feel like?” My comp shared the scripture in Corinthians where it talks about the gifts of the spirit. She commented that she had read, and just felt happier. We told her that this was a gift of the spirit. It was neat. We talked for about 20 more minutes about it. The simple little commandments truly are the support for the larger things the Lord asks us to do. Those little “primary/seminary” answers like read, pray, go to church. It’s so easy. I only regret not finding this out earlier! Oh well, better late than never right? I am so happy. This has already been such a learning experience for me.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Hello from Melo!

It’s been a long first few days, but they have been some of the coolest I’ve ever had and I look forward of course to experiencing many more. I have an awesome trainer named Elder Castillo from Sacramento. He has been very patient with me and I have been trying my best to keep up with him and all the members and investigators names. It’s kind of overwhelming, but I know I just have to be patient. My Spanish is still improving little by little. The people of this area are a little harder to understand because they speak in kind of a Portuguese accent, but I think I’m getting the hang of it. I just got to “keep swimming”.

In addition to having an area in Melo, which is pretty big and takes a while to get from place to place, we have an extension in a little town only 20 minutes away from the Brazil border called Noblia. We go to church there every other Sunday and went there this past Sunday. It’s a small little farm town, but there are 100 members. However, they are all for the most part inactive or want nothing more to do with the church. There are about 20 more or less who come, and there are only about 15 that are there on a given day. It was a very interesting Sunday yesterday, but it was really awesome! We met and had the Sacrament regardless of how many people there were. It’s hard, but we are always trying to encourage the people to go back to church. I guess we’ll just have to keep at it!

Melo has a lot more regular members and about 4 wards. The chapel we meet in here is HUGE! It’s really nice, but it’s in the middle of this really poor neighborhood. It has been really humbling to see the way people live here. Though they still have what they need and I know there are plenty of people in the world less well off than them. It is amazing to see how they cope with what they have. I am so excited to get to know all the members a lot better.

One of the members is our landlady. We live in an extension of her house, and she cooks dinner for us , which is AWESOME! She is a recent convert, and she is so stalwart in her faith. Her name is Sonia, but everyone just calls her Abuela. She has the funniest attitude.

My feet have never been so sore, but I don’t even care! I’m so happy to be here! I’ve never been happier than right now. Thanks for all the prayers, they have helped A LOT!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Hello from Uruguay!

President and Sister Da Silva

Well, I’m here, and I don’t really know where to start. First off I guess, I’m safe and have a trainer. His name is Elder Castillo from California. He actually lives near Sacramento, which is kind of cool.
We’re in the bus station right now in Montevideo waiting for the bus that will take us to Melo, my first area, which is about 6 hours away… its really far out there! I’m so excited! Just a quick description of my area that my trainer told me. Lots and lots of cows (vacas). It is in the country side and it looks like its really gonna be pretty. The past few days have been very spiritually uplifting and I have grown so much in my testimony. I am so excited. I was so ready to leave the MTC, and now I am so ready to get to work.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

3 More Weeks

I just want to get OUT OF HERE and TEACH! I’m soooo happy I only have 3 more weeks here. Don’t get me wrong, this place is amazing and I have learned so much, and definitely need to learn much more, but I just can’t wait! I’m soo excited! I’ve been finishing Alma this week, and that book is just filled to the brim with so many awesome missionary experiences and testimonies that it just makes me want to explode out of here and talk to the first person I see. I guess I say that now, but when the time comes I’ll be dead scared. Nah, it’ll be fine.

I have a testimony of My Savior. I love Him, and I hope that we can all just go out and tell the world how much he loves them.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

A typical day at the MTC

Since we couldn’t go proselyting last weekend and wont be able to in the foreseeable future (meaning this weekend as well) due to the swine flu, I thought I’d let you know how a usual day goes at the MTC, or the CCM.

Regular days start with, of course, waking up at 6:30

Next comes breakfast at 7:25, which is ALWAYS cereal, a roll, fruit, and maybe some over salted eggs if we get lucky... maybe. Nah I like it, don’t worry!

Then we have a nap, I mean personal study time. No for real this is one of my favorite times of the day. I’m currently trying to finish the Book of Mormon by next Monday. I’m in the middle of Alma, but I think I might make it. I’ve just been so into reading the doctrine though, so I guess that’s important as well. Well, or course it is!Then we have companion study at 9 and then comes district\class. For 2 hours and fifteen minutes we either cram Preach My Gospel or Spanish into our heads, or use the computers for TALL (Technology Assisted Language Learning). Which consists of very distinct voices screaming words at you like you are five years old. It’s like watching Sesame Street all over again! I love it!

Then we have lunch at 12:15, which is meat, meat, and more meat plus a salad.

Then we have class again, then exercise time for about 1 and a half hours, in which we run around like maniacs playing ultimate Frisbee or running because we are so sick of being inside.

Then comes an hour of language study time, or PAC. This we use at our own discretion, though of course you have to be glued to your companion at the hip. Then, more class, dinner at 6:45, which is MEAT, more class, planning at 9, appointments with other missionary companions to practice at 9:30, then to bed at 10:30.

As our district leader Elder George cleverly put it, “It’s basically like a more righteous concentration camp..." And though it gets a little tedious sometimes, I have learned more here about the gospel then I ever could have anywhere else, so far as I know. I am starting to cherish my scriptures more than anything I own and I hope to continue learning and growing so I can better teach the gospel and bring people to "this great and marvelous work."

I was reading about Ammon and the people of Anti-Nephi-Lehi today. Now there are a people who had perspective. I don’t have time to tell you the whole story since I only have 5 minutes left, but please read it, especially what Mormon says about how the Lord works to bring about his people to righteousness. It really touched my heart. They were willing to suffer, even to death, willingly, for what they had learned and what they knew. Again, I also encourage you to share this gospel. I know it is true. It’s not even a question! I love it! Please share it with those who you hold dear to your hearts! Show them you love them! Teach! Open your mouths, and the Lord has promised us that they will be filled! I love you all, and pray for you every day. Keep the faith, and hold to Christ. There is no other way to be truly happy.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

"Si, es suyo, es suyo!"

This past Saturday we finally went out proselyting for the full 7 hours in Buenos Aires. We went to a very humble part of the city, where most of the roads were wide mud avenues and the sewage poured into the hand dug gutters and dogs were everywhere. And I could not have been happier. There were many willing to listen to what little I was able to teach. I don’t think a single person angrily turned us away. Everyone just seemed so happy and content, no matter what conditions they lived in. Some had a little more than others, but everyone just kind of smiled or politely told you they had no time. (I know that’s usually code for I don’t want to hear your message, but even then they gave us their name and address to come by later!) As we began, me and my companion Elder Wally were very nervous. We started walking down a paved avenue looking for people, knocking on doors. We finally came to this little shop where there was a guy about in his thirties leaning up against the wall smiling. We came up to him and started talking and introduced ourselves. As we got to know him, we found out his name was Pablo and he was Catholic and had a family. He was very happy, and gladly listened to our message. He listened intently and was fascinated with what we had to tell him, especially when we shared with him Joseph Smith’s first vision and testimony. We handed him a pamphlet. But the best and most wonderful part was when we pulled out a Book of Mormon. His eyes just opened wide, and his mouth dropped. It was like he was saying, "There’s more?" He took it into his hands. Then he began to ask us, "It’s for me?" Then we happily replied "Sí, es suyo, es suyo!" It’s yours! We told him what it was, and how it was another testament of the reality of Gods love for us. You know what, I’m not really sure I can remember much of what I really said, but I will never forget that look on his face as we handed him the Book of Mormon. We committed him to reading 3 Nephi 11 with his family and read to him Moroni´s promise. He gladly accepted it and he said he would read it with his family. As we parted, he thanked us and we thanked him and kept on walking....Well, I can tell you right now that I had never been happier in my life then when we handed him that wonderful book. As I have been reading it lately, I can testify that it truly is the word of God, that every word was inspired, and that there truly have been so many testimonies of the reality of God’s plan for us and our Savior’s mission, and the unending love they have for each of us. I will never forget that moment, and I hope to enjoy many more like it and see the smiles this book can bring to people’s faces.
Know that I am well, the Lord is with me, and my stomach is full of cow intestines from today’s very interesting lunch. I am so happy though it is still hard.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

It's tough but I'm doing great.

"I have learned so much in just these few weeks. I love the scriptures and I hope to continue learning more and more! Anyways, as you can see, things have been going great. Tough, but great. I have definitely settled into the schedule here at the MTC, or in Spanish, the CCM. The first group of Latinos and the oldest North Americans left last week and new ones have come today to fill in. They are mostly going to Paraguay and some to Uruguay. Sorry Joey, I can’t remember that Italian Elder’s name. He was really cool though. Everyone is cool here!

Its hilarious, the new North Americans came today, and I already feel like I’m a little seasoned. I can still remember how I felt when I walked in the door that first day. I should hope so since it was only three weeks ago. Still, you learn so much so fast here that it feels like I’ve been here for weeks. I am already kind of anxious to get out. Oh well, at least we get to go proselyting every Saturday. This weekend we start going for 7 hours I think. We're pretty much going to be out all day. This past Saturday went better. We knew a little bit more Spanish, though we still sounded like we were two years old. We had lots of people say they didn’t have any time, but allowed us to write their names and address down for other missionaries to come back later. Only a few people rejected us, the others just didn’t even answer the door, or weren’t awake or home. But the scariest part was that we were brought into someone’s house for the first time. I was really anxious, and to make matters worse, I could hardly understand the young guy because he was mumbling so much. They have a different dialect here called Castillano, which is a little more fluid than Central American Spanish. The words REALLY run together and you have to do all you can to make sure you aren’t smiling if they are telling you a tragic story, like a family member who dies. I was pretty much just looking into his eyes and smiling the whole time. We began to read the lesson, when he stopped us because he had run out of time. We had just started talking about Christ. I would have just went right to the Restoration had I known that he had so little time. His brother walked in, and we asked if other missionaries could come back another time. They agreed and we took down their name and address and gave it to the front desk at the MTC. While we were teaching, I had been holding a Book of Mormon. I had a prompting while no one was looking to just leave it on the table and walk away. They didn’t notice. I then said to my companion, ¨"just keep walking, don’t look back," hoping that he wouldn’t notice and rush after us to give us back the book. It was kind of funny. During our reptor, the president comically told us “that doesn’t count as a placement..." Ha-ha, I wonder if he’ll even look at it. Who knows?

I have had some rejections, but I just keep remembering what it says in Preach My Gospel about rejection, that if you share the message in any capacity and with real intent, no matter how broken the language may be, it is up to them to recieve it. If they are not ready, they aren´t ready. I hope to remember this my whole mission. If someone really wants to listen to this wonderful news, they will make the time, or have the patience to listen to our broken spanish, that will improve over time. "

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Ready or not here I come!

Here are some excerpts from K.C.'s latest email.

"Two weeks have come and gone, and I feel exhausted. Thank goodness for P-day! (Preparation Day) We get to go to the temple every Thursday, and it’s wonderful to catch my breath and take my time thinking to myself instead of worrying how to conjugate verbs and say a prayer in another language. Nah, it’s all been great and very rewarding."

"There are about 75 or so missionaries from the US and South and Central America here at the MTC. There is one guy even from Italy!"

"I have never felt the power of the Atonement and the love that Heavenly Father has for me more than now! As I write this, I feel truly blessed to have this knowledge, and more than ever, I want to share it with others, even if they can’t quite understand me yet."

"We had the opportunity last Saturday to go and teach in the surrounding neighborhoods for two hours. The tracting was really scary at first, especially since we know very little Spanish. We had to clap at their front gates to get them to come out and talk to us, and even then some of them just open their windows and yell at us, then slam them shut. They must be REALLY tired of missionaries almost every Saturday. We met some nice people though, and we found a member who invited us to her porch. We shared our testimonies in nervous Spanish, and she thanked us and we went on our way. I think another woman wanted us to come back another time. I’m not sure, but she gave me her name so I wrote it down and wrote down her address so we can stop by this coming Saturday. We’ll see."

Friday, June 19, 2009

My First Week at the MTC

The Buenos Aires Temple grounds. The Missionary Training Center is ajacent to it.

"Well, It's been one week since my arrival and I already feel like I've learned so much about myself and the way things kinda work around here. ....I have never experienced anything so hard, yet so rewarding as the time I've already spent here, and this has just been the beginning."

He says the few years of spanish he had in high school is coming back to him and that he is learning the language "little by little". There is so much to learn in just a short amount of time and he says "this experience has been one of the biggest trials of patience I have had, especially with myself." Even though it's challenging he loves it there at the MTC.

"I just want you to know that I feel close to the Lord and I know that he loves me."

K.C.'s companion is Elder Wally from Roy Utah. He says he is a cool guy and he looks forward to studying and working hard with him for the next few months.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Where in the world is Uruguay?

The Church in Uruguay
Uruguay’s first contact with the Church occurred at the 1940 South American basketball championship game held in Montevideo. One of Argentina’s star players, Rolf Larson, served as a missionary for the Church in Argentina and brought publicity to the Church as a team member.
In 1944, the first congregation was organized for North Americans working in Uruguay. By the end of 1948, a mission and 14 congregations were organized. By 1957, nearly 500 converts joined annually. Church membership in Uruguay has increased 80 percent in the past five years.
Here are a few facts about the Church today in Uruguay:

Membership 90,292

Missions 2

Temples 1

Wards & Branches 162

Family History Centers 21

Adios Elder Boyce !

After a long plane ride, including a 4 hour delay in Dallas due to bad weather and a tornado warning,
K. C. has safely arrived at the Buenos Aires,
Argentina Missionary Training Center. He will be there for several months learning the language and studying, then off to Uruguay.

He says, "I am nervous and they really immerse you in the language here. Starting next Saturday, we will be going into the city and teaching! I guess I'll have to learn the language fast! Just know that I am safe and in the Lord's hands. I know he will help me to be the best missionary I can."

We know you will be.