Tuesday, December 28, 2010


Christmas Day was really special. It really inspired me to hear all of your voices. I love you all so very much.
We have been loving the Christmas season, and Elder Carlock and I have gotten really close. I should hope so, especially because we are going to be together another change! Well, 3 changes with the same comp. It will surely be fun and very interesting. I’m grateful for it and count it as a blessing. He’s a great guy, and we work well together.
We had a miracle last Sunday at church! This woman who we had met on the street came to church! She just came in and sat down and enjoyed all of the meetings. My companion talked to her in the chapel after church and invited her to be baptized. She has had some difficulties in her life and accepted the invitation. We are going to visit her tonight. Well see what happens!

Attached are some pictures of the adventures of the past few weeks.The first is that baptism of Alisia. She is the little woman with wet hair and glasses and a tan sweater. The big family is the family that shared the gospel with her and invited her to their house to listen to us. The second picture is the navidad blanca activity. There were 5 baptisms, and two more Saturday. We had 15 baptisms in the zone this month! IT was a MIRACLE! We hope to keep improving. The changes have brought some interesting and excited missionaries to the zone. Well just have to keep positive and have faith!
The third is Miguel, who was baptized at the activity. The fourth, our Christmas Eve dinner. It wasn’t finished before we had to go, but they were able to give us some that was cooked as we headed out. The fourth is a picture of the family’s farm house that is just barely inside our area.
Well, I gotta go!
THANK YOU SO MUCH for all your support! I know this is where I need to be, and we keep moving forward. Hopefully I’ll be telling you about even more miracles next week. I know the Lord works along side us. KEEP THE FAITH!
Love your son and missionary
Elder Boyce

Making room in our hearts

I got the package. I opened it today because our pday is today. Christmas will be just a normal day of work, except the phone calls of course! The phone calls are to last for 40 minutes, so I won’t get to talk as much as in the past. Anyways, since Christmas is a normal day, I opened my packages and stuff. I’m waiting to open my birthday one till my birthday comes. THANK YOU so much for everything. All of the wonderful thoughtful pictures, and the ties and shirts. My companion Elder Carlock was really grateful for the tie you sent him. He’s wearing it now. Needless to say, it’s been pretty busy down here! There were four baptisms in the zone this past weekend, and WE HAD ONE! Alisia was baptized last Saturday. Its amazing how much her life changed and how much her heart opened to the Lord. After the baptism, she had the opportunity to share her testimony. She stood in front, held out her arms and said. ¨I feel like a little baby. I’m a new Alisia.¨ She expressed her love for Heavenly Father, and the wonderful experience she has had in the changes she’s seen in herself. It made me feel so happy and excited to keep moving forward. I love this work! She was confirmed at church yesterday, and just beamed and radiated happiness. The ward was amazed by how much she had changed. Everyone was touched. One of the ward missionaries German, was able to baptize her.

Last week, we had our mission Christmas Conference. The whole mission gathered in the church like last year. We all got there, and President Da Silva talked to us as a whole mission about the things we have been learning about the past months in the council meetings. It was great to have the opportunity to talk to everyone. Afterwards, we talked about the verse in Luke where it says that Christ was born in a manger ¨because there was no room for them in the inn...¨ We talked about making room for Christ in our hearts and souls and letting him enter in. It was a very powerful meeting. We took a giant picture of the whole mission. We also got to meet his son William, who just got back from his mission in the other half of Uruguay. He bore his testimony of the work and how we need to just love the people. His daughter also shared her testimony. The missionaries heading home also shared their testimonies. Two of them are the sisters that came with us. IT’S SO CRAZY! We all came together in the airport. We took a big picture of our group too. I’m going to miss them. It gets harder to say goodby each time a group goes because I got to know them longer. It was a very special meeting.Well, we continue to march forward. We have 7 baptisms planned this seek for the 23rd. We are going to have them all together in one church as a stake activity. We have been getting everything together. It’s going to be sooooooooooo special! I CANT WAIT!!! We have a guy getting baptized. Raul´s nephew Miguel. We’re excited for him.

Monday, December 13, 2010


Dear Mom, Dad, and the rest of the family, and the NEW PARENTS!!!!! Well, needless to say I was just stunned by the amazing pictures you sent. Dianna and Nate sent me some, and I can just tell that Nate will be photographing every second of his new son’s experiences. They truly are amazing and I felt like I was there and I could reach out to touch him. Congratulations Nathan and Dianna! I’m sooooo happy for you! This is truly as Mom said an answer to lots of prayer. Give him a little hug and kiss from his uncle K.C.! I love the name as well. Noah. It’s a very awesome name! I knew you guys would know just what to name him. I love you guys so much! Thanks for the pictures. I hope all is going well and that you are enjoying the new life as parents.Things are just fine here on the mission front. We had a busy week, lots of lessons, and even the ward Christmas party! It was really fun, but it ended up starting really late and we could only stay for a few minutes. I took some pictures of the members and some of our investigators that came. They all enjoyed themselves. The members made sure to give us a few sandwiches and saved us a couple of pieces of cake! It was GOOD! This ward really takes good care of us, and I really love working here. Of course, when we have more potential for success, el diablo se mete la cola en la puerta, but we are just keeping positive and praying for success. We have a miracle baptism this weekend. This amazing humble woman named Alisia. I told you about her a couple of weeks ago. She is just overcoming smoking, and has begun to make LOTS of changes in her life. We came to her house the other day, and she was busy in her front yard cleaning like crazy and washing everything. She even came to church in the cold rain yesterday, and was one of the first people there! It’s amazing to see the dedication that the people have when they feel the true power of conversion. It’s been a real humbling experience to be able to teach her. Teresa hit a bump and has decided not to listen for a while. Needless to say that left us with a big shock, but we encouraged her to pray and think. I was a little upset, well really upset, but we prayed and asked the Lord if we had done something wrong. We both felt the comforting spirit of the Lord and one night as I was sleeping, this thought just popped into my head. ¨Teresa will be baptized.¨ I don’t know when, but we continue to pray for her and fast for everyone. We have met lots of amazing people, we just have to trust in the Lord and trust in ourselves. I love this work. I love this time of year. I am so happy to be here teaching the gospel. I really am surprised how fast it’s going by, and the wonderful blessings it has brought. I would not trade this time out here for ANYTHING else. I love you. I am so thankful to the Lord for all He has given me. I sometimes feel that this is what keeps me going. I have to share these blessings with others. Have a great Christmas Season and may it be filled with happiness and the spirit of Christ. KEEP THE FAITH! Love your son and missionary, Elder Boyce (K.C.) P.S. That little boy has HUGE cheeks! I just wanna squish them!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Navidad Blanca !

The Christmas season is here, and we are pushing for it to be a very white one. Last week, we had some really interesting meetings. We had a leadership conference, and also we had a Zone Leader Council with the Area President Elder Arnold. He is a very amazing man, and has a very powerful way of conveying the vision of the work moving forward. It was quite an intense experience. He got us fired up for Navidad Blanca. We are trying to convert ourselves to the doctrine of baptism and the need to invite EVERYONE or rather challenge everyone, to be baptized. The more we have invited this past week, I have felt an interesting spirit that has helped my love grow for the people and a desire to help them know what their Heavenly Father would have them receive. Whenever I think about what my life would be like without the gospel, it just hits me hard how blessed we are to have this knowledge. I could never thank my Heavenly Father enough for ALL He’s given me.
Elder Carlock and I are getting to be really close. He’s such a funny kid and has a sense of humor that’s easy going. We both take the work seriously but at the same time, we have fun doing it and know when to laugh at ourselves a little bit. We have passed through a couple of trials together and in the recent days, we have found a few awesome people to teach. All of them have accepted the invitation to be baptized, or at least said they would think about it. It’s amazing how many people don’t know they need baptism or that they CAN get baptized! It has really helped people open up and find what they have been looking for. I’ll have to tell you about how some of them are doing next week.
But, we have two set baptisms for the 18th. Teresa and Alisia, two people I have told you about. Teresa finally accepted the invitation after we kept inviting her to make the decision. She feels more firm than ever and is inviting all her family and friends. It’s going to be a great baptism! Alisia as well has been coming to church every week and has a little problem learning, but her faith is really strong and she has changed a whole lot.
It’s remarkable how fast these people change when they make the connection to Gospel truths. I am so happy that I have the opportunity to be sharing these things all day every day!
I love you all! Things are going great, and we are excited for NAVIDAD BLANCA!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Thanksgiving Popsicles

November 30, 2010

Thanksgiving for us consisted of eating a few popsicles that were orange flavored and.... well…. I guess that’s it! Just doing what we usually do! It was a nice day, and we’ve been working hard. This area and the zone have been progressing nicely and the missionaries are focused, working hard, and having fun! Its fun being a zone leader, although you know how I can be sometimes. I can get a little frozen up when there is a lot to do or lots of pressure, but such it is. I feel like I’ve grown a whole lot. I feel like I really love the people I work with. When I remember whose work it is, it just makes it even more special. Sometimes getting all wrapped up in mission stuff, we can forget why we are doing what we are doing. As I was thinking about this the other day, I felt prompted to read in John 21 I believe when the apostles eat with the Savior on the shores. Christ asks three times to Simon Peter if he loves Him. Peter answers three times, the last being the most powerful, that yes he loves Him. Then said Christ, ¨Feed my sheep.¨ It just hit me really hard. I felt a very strong love for the work and my testimony grew of the importance of this work. We gotta just go out and BAPTIZE so everyone can receive the blessings the Lord has prepared for them! Peter’s love for Christ is reflected in the life long service he rendered. I hope I can develop that same capacity of love for Him.

It’s been a great week. We continue to help our investigators progress and learn from the gospel. Many people are coming to church, but it just gets frustrating that so many people aren’t married! However, we’ve found some people who will be able to get baptized this month. Hopefully I will be telling you more about them in my next email.

Hoping for a White Christmas

November 23, 2010

Well, it seems like all of the new missionaries in the zone have gotten settled into their new areas, and it has brought NO shortage of miracles! The work has been progressing so well, and we are looking to having a VERY white Christmas, even though we won’t be seeing a single snowflake.
We have been working as Zone leaders a lot closer with the stake leaders. We have a representative from the High Council who is the Mission Leader. He has been helping us out a whole lot making sure that we all have communication. We hope to have a stake baptism activity with Christmas. It will be very beautiful to see so much white! I think we will plan some sort of other things after the services that have to do with Christmas. We are planning on doing it on the 23rd, Joseph Smith’s birthday. Just to make it even more special!
Last week was quite a challenge, but the Lord blessed us with some really amazing people to teach and guide. There is a family who is part member. The wife, well partner, is waiting for her husband’s divorce papers so she can marry him, and get baptized. She has a super strong testimony, and has been waiting patiently for months and comes to church every Sunday, with her daughter and husband, who is a member. But anyways, they gave us a reference. A woman who has gone through a whole bunch of trials in her life. She recently lost her second wooden house to a fire, but her children were alright. But that’s not the half of what she told us. It’s a story too sad to relate, but she came to the family’s house for the lesson. We just listened, and through her tears, she just related all. I couldn’t understand at all what she must have been feeling, but the husband shared the scripture from Doctrine and Covenants 121. We talked about Jesus Christ and how he suffered all pains and sins and that through Him, we can be healed. After the prayer, there was a huge calm that came over the whole room. There were a few families participating. I felt so humbled by the experience. I thought ¨How did He do it?¨ Its just SOOO MUCH weight to carry! But, as He said, ¨Glory be to the Father, I partook of my preparations...¨ The next day, we talked about the Gospel. She has a lot of faith in God and Jesus Christ. She accepted the invitation to be baptized. She said she felt like something entered into her heart and broke the chains binding her. She slept better that night than she had in years, and felt an overwhelming peace. She felt as though it were God saying ¨Enough!¨ It was a remarkable miracle, and she came to church yesterday, with a leg cast, and her son, who also wants to get baptized.
We also found another family who is part member. The wife had just been thinking of her children and the world they were going to grow up in. She was a little worried. We knocked on her door. Her husband answered. We went in and shared about how the gospel blesses families. They were really happy, and excited to receive us. After the discussion, she expressed feelings that now was the time for her to return and for them to build their family on the principles of the Gospel she had heard years before. It was really touching.
The Lord has been blessing us so very much. Just when we think we can’t go any further, we turn the corner and find that the Lord was there all along. Like it says ¨Be still, and know that I am God.¨

Time is Flying

November 16, 2010

It’s hard to believe that it’s been six weeks since I arrived in Montevideo! Time is just flying. Every time I look, there is another month flown by. The best part is that more and more I really feel like I’m trying to take advantage of this time, though I still have so very much to learn. Well, I guess that’s the purpose of life huh?The work continues to progress very well here. We have a few investigators that have been coming to church very regularly. They have overcome quite a few trials of testimony, and we continue to PUSH forward. As President Da Silva quoted from a scripture, ¨If the Lord is with me, then who can be against me? ¨ I continue to try to adopt that motto as we continue in the work.The mission has seen amazing progress these past few weeks and months. The Area Presidency sent a letter to all missions pushing for a Navidad Blanca, White Christmas. They are inviting us to work super hard so that this holiday season, we can share the gift of the Restored Gospel and invite MANY people to be baptized. We are of course hoping that this fire will continue on into the next year and that we lose whatever fear we might have of inviting people to be baptized. That’s something we have been trying to get over as a mission. Recognize and have a HUNGER for baptizing. It’s starting to work. We are seeing many miracles. IN our area too!

I Know This Church is True

November 8, 2010

This last Sunday was super awesome! There were a few new investigators that came to church, and they were all brought by members that visited them with us this past week. That one woman who lived in New Jersey, Teresa, as well as that other woman I told you about with her sons Grisel and Richard. That was really exciting and to make it even better, Adrian, the boy who got baptized last week, was ordained to the Priesthood, and passed the sacrament! AND to make it even cooler, he bore his testimony in fast and testimony meeting! He said something like ¨I know this church is true, and what I need to do to gain exaltation.¨ Something like that. It was crazy cool, and there were many powerful testimonies shared yesterday. We actually have a lot of investigators that come to church every week, but they can't get baptized because they live together and aren’t married. They are either waiting on divorces or it just takes SUPER long to get married here. Only judges can do it. You have to wait months. Plus the judges are going on vacation until February so they won’t be able to any time soon. But, some continue very faithfully and have made huge changes in their lives. We’ll see what happens. So that’s pretty much what happened last week. I’m so tired. Things move at a whole different pace here, but I’m enjoying it. Next week already begins a new change. I’m almost positive I’ll be staying here in Barrio 13. It’s super great.Oh yeah, funny story real quick. In our ward we have a returned mission president and his wife Hno. and Hna. Perez. Their mission had 10,000 baptisms his time there. Their new calling in the ward.........................................Ward Missionaries......

Conference Sunday

October 5, 2010

What an amazing week we have just had. This was the last week of the change, so as you might have guessed, I’m now out of Florida. But before I tell you where I am headed off to, I just wanted to talk a little bit about our experiences last week. Last Monday, we had a fun zone activity. We went and played football or soccer, in the church. It was a whole lot of fun, but we were a little sore and tired. Church basketball has nothing on soccer in South America. We had hamburgers for lunch, and we had a nice time bonding and spending time together. After pday, we started getting to work inviting people to General Conference. As I told you last week, we have been focusing on finding and teaching whole families, with miraculous results. It really motivated us to keep working hard. The members in the branch were more willing to help us work, and we had many spiritual experiences teaching by the power of the spirit. The more time I have in the mission, the more I realize that we really are just instruments in the hands of the Lord. I feel so happy and blessed and thankful to have this opportunity the more that time passes. That investigator named Robert is doing amazing! He has been finding lots of answers to his questions and has felt his testimony grow. We visited his family, his wife Veronica, and his two children Matias and Estefanie. We visited them with The Rodriguez family, who is our ward mission leader, and his wife, the Relief Society President. IT was a miracle. Robert had accepted a baptismal date for the 16th of October, but his wife was still unsure. We had a very spiritual lesson with them and she revealed her doubt. We talked about it, and the spirit testified. The whole family came to General Conference, which just blew them away. Afterward, she accepted a date for the 16th as well with her husband. She felt something during the conference. The whole family will be baptized on the 16th. We had a Family home evening with them in the Branch President’s home last night. They are REALLY good friends with them, and there was a very nice spirit. We had tacos and guacamole (thanks to a care package sent to Elder Vargas). It was one of the most special experiences I’ve had. Seeing two families coming together and sharing the gospel. That is the great blessing. How much do we have to be grateful for? The fullness of the gospel has been restored, to bless and guard our families forever. It was one of those moments where I felt... well... just happy. Really happy. Anyways, General Conference was very special, and I really feel spiritually fed, as you must all feel too. I really enjoyed each message, and felt the spirit in every carefully prepared message. I felt their humility and love for us, and the love of the Lord that was conveyed through them. Conference is really special, especially as a missionary.

Well, you are probably wondering where I’m headed off to. Well, back to the city. I’m going back to Montevideo. I’m in a division called Colon (Columbus in Spanish) in the northern tip of the city. I’m going with Elder Carlock who came with me to the mission. I’m super excited and from what I hear, they are having loads of success as well. As always, I’m sad to leave, but as you said Mom, change is good. It helps us grow. I love you all. I’m happy you are all safe and that the Lord continues to bless you.

Happy and working hard

September 20, 2010

We’ve been having lots of success and lots of people have been coming to church. This past week, my companion and I and the District Mission Leader met with all of the Branch Presidents, their branch mission leaders, and their missionaries. We did it all in one day, and also had to work in between. There were four meetings. It was pretty crazy. Plus riding everywhere on bikes made it all the more interesting and crazy. I feel like I’m finally able to keep with my companion. He goes crazy on a bike!
We have found some really interested investigators this past week, but of course there is always opposition. But I’m trying to change my outlook on opposition. I’m trying to see it more as an opportunity to work even harder. I don’t think I’ve ever worked harder on my mission than right now, and I don’t think I’ve ever been happier. We are trying everything we can think of to encourage the missionaries, our investigators, and the members. We have seen great progress, but still haven’t seen great fruits of baptism. San Ramon, a small town, had a baptism last week. A really great woman that I got to interview. She was so humble, but so pleased to join the Lord’s church and accept the gospel. It was a reminder of the great effect our work has on the lives of others and how much we truly can connect and rejoice with them and with the Lord. This really is a great and marvelous work.
We are teaching this guy named Robert. He has gone to a number of other churches and has doubts, but we are helping him to read the Book of Mormon. He is SUPER intelligent. He came to church on Sunday with his whole family. Wife and two kids! It turns out that he is good friends with Branch President Leal. He was pretty excited. The members are too. They have seen us up the ante as it were and have been more willing to help us out and support us. It’s been really fun and I hope we can really continue this. Everyone is so great when a new family comes. They get really excited. I love the church. It helps us so much to follow the example of Christ and apply His teachings. We are also teaching a number of other families. One guy who is a less active and his wife, who has intention of getting baptized. They came to church last week, but they couldn’t this week. Oh well, just gotta keep working and moving forward!
Also the woman we were going to baptize this week Silvia got super sick. We aren’t sure what is going to happen, but we pray and continue to do what we can. I’ll let you know what happens next week!
Anyways, so we keep working hard and trying new things. The District seems really excited. All the branch presidents are stoked and the missionaries are working super hard. This zone really has transformed.

An Amazing Zone Conference

August 24, 2010

This week has probably been one of the most amazing and craziest of the entire mission. My mind has been fried by all the stuff we’ve had to prepare, and all the preparations for the baptism and zone conference. I really don’t know where to begin. I guess I’ll just go for it as usual!
So, we had to get food ready for all the zones, and for a general authority. It was fine, and we got a restaurant to deliver for us. It all went really smooth and everyone was fed on time, and quickly. We had to move tables from other churches to have enough, and everything was set up, thanks to the help of our zone Elders. It was an amazing experience! Elder Arnold talked to all of the leaders first, and inspired us for the changes he wants to see in the coming weeks, months, and years. He said that after his interview with the quorum of the twelve, his perspective of this area of South America (Argentina, Paraguay, and Uruguay) grew much larger. He said that one day we will see temples all over, and that the work was going to progress in ways never imagined. All of the missions have been neither progressing nor regressing. We’ve been flat. We had an amazing conference in which we talked about how to change this. We have already seen changes in one week! We had 51 baptisms in the mission this last week alone! We continue with great excitement and we all felt a powerful spirit. Especially when he shared his deep and moving testimony of the Savior and this work. He loves this work, and I do too! The leaders had a personal interview with him, I was a little nervous, but he is such a powerful guy. It’s amazing to see how the spirit can invigorate people and inspire them to stretch their limits. Our zone has substantially progressed and the members are more and more desiring to help us and give us references.
The baptism of Selva was great. It was a little difficult due to her difficulty to walk. Our ward mission leader baptized her, but I was in the water to help and support her. Her whole family was there. Her husband and her son and daughter. Furthermore, many others not of our faith. At first the water seemed cold. She wasn’t shocked and didn’t complain. I was praying pretty hard. She had to be baptized twice because her foot came up. She didn’t complain. She just seemed so content. So happy. It was such a spiritual experience. All of the members know her, and they all extended their arms of friendship and love. It was AMAZING. There were tears.

Just so you know, Elder Bennett got called as the new assistant, and I am in Florida again with my third companion here! It was quite an experience. Elder Vargas is my new companion. He’s from Honduras. It’s going to be a great change!

So Stoaked !

August 16, 2010

We have a baptism planed for this coming weekend. That woman named Selva is getting baptized. We have seen lots of miracles with her as she continues to progress and learn. The members are so excited for her, and she has connected so well with the Relief Society. So she will be baptized on Saturday at 5. We are SO STOAKED!!! We are planning on making it a very special service. Her family and husband said that they neither support her, nor impede her. It’s her decision. However, we have seen her husband open up a lot. He is a very famous doctor, and he has shown lots of respect for religion. He personally doesn’t believe, but he said just for now. Selva told him she had hopes that her family would follow her. Her husband said ¨I can’t promise you anything.¨ She said, ¨It doesn’t matter I have hope that one day it will happen.¨ It was amazing. He has taken her to church sometimes, and has told us how much it impresses him to see so many people and how happy they all are to see each other. I know he felt the spirit. One day, maybe very soon, he will come to know for himself. Most of the members have children or grandchildren whom he has delivered. It’s pretty cool. Lots of her friends are starting to open up as well. She said there was another relation of hers that wants to read the Book of Mormon! Man, I REALLY DON¨T WANT TO LEAVE. I know this area is just going to keep growing. We have also been teaching Susanna. I’ve already told you about her I think. She is an English teacher, so we teach her in English. We have had some very powerful discussions with her. We have had to speak very slowly and clearly, but with these simple phrases, the spirit has come so powerfully. She has prayed, and has felt something unexplainable. Hard to put into words. As all you returned missionaries know, this is music to every missionary’s ears. We have explained that these simple yet profound feelings are the Holy Ghost. She continues to read and pray, and loves talking to us. Especially because we help her with English. But we have seen a great change in her. I’m excited to see what happens. Winter continues to freeze us. It started off really nice last week, but then it plummeted. It got really cold. Thankfully we were inside teaching most of the time. We have found lots of new people and families to teach this past week. We were blessed as we just continued to look and find people to teach. You always gotta be looking. You never know who the Lord has prepared! I was reading a little bit in 2 Nephi 9 this past week again. I love Jacob. He talks so directly and with such love. Verses 50 and 51 really caught my attention. I apologize if I have already shared these with you, but it was just a nice reminder of the importance of the things we have, and the blessings of the gospel. I am so thankful that the Lord has revealed to me the importance of these things and that through His plan, I can live with you all forever. I hope we can keep having success and find those lost sheep.

Love the people

July 6, 2010
Things have been a little tough, and we had to push back a few baptismal dates and such, but things continue to go well here in our zone. It’s hard to believe that another change is coming to a close. I’ve already been in Florida 3 months! It doesn’t feel like it. I hope I get to stay another change. I’ve learned a lot here. I’ve finally started to get used to the area and know the people, but as you know when this happens the Lord usually takes you to another area. Oh well... Even with the distractions of all the World Cup affairs, which have been quite a sight to see, the work continues to move forward. That woman named Selva still continues to read and progress. We also have another man named Edgardo. He is getting married to a member. He is an elderly man in his 60s I think. He is reading the Book of Mormon and absorbing everything like a sponge. He has come to church with his fiancé for a couple of weeks now and wants to get baptized. He is a really neat guy. He is sort of deaf. We have to almost yell to teach him, but he learns very fast. His fiancé helps him a lot. Probably more than we do. We have also started talking to the owners of the house we rent. They live above us. The missionaries have taught them before, but they never took action. We shared a video with them and shared our testimonies with them. They are so nice, and love to talk with us. However, they still aren’t sure. I think it’s just a matter of time and patience. It was kind of fun. I feel like I’m an ordinary member talking with my neighbors! It was a really neat lesson, and I think I have learned so much more to just love the people and just be natural.

Actions speak louder than words

Sorry I have not updated in awhile. Thanks to a friend who reminded me today and thanks for reading.

June 7, 2010

This past week in church was really nice. Lots of the members came, and lots of people shared their testimonies. I just felt this wonderful peace and simple joy. In priesthood, they were working on reorganizing their home teaching efforts. It was great to remember all the times I went out with Dad. It made me think of how grateful I was for those experiences and how great it was for the youth to be able to do that. Even though I really wanted to sleep on Sunday, I am so grateful that Dad always made time to go visit and always motivated me to go with him. I am so thankful for that. It was nice to see their excitement and I pray that all goes well for their program. It will really help lots of the less active members return to the church. I wanted to thank you as well for all your prayers and support. I have really felt them supporting me and uplifting me. As Dad told me months ago, Angels fly because they take themselves lightly. I’m trying to apply this more and not take myself too seriously. As you know, in certain circumstances and situations, this can be difficult for me. But I’m learning. I suppose this is why the Lord chooses young men and women to serve missions. I read a scripture the other night that has inspired me to give it all I’ve got. I have heard it before, but it kind of rang true in particular to me in this occasion. D&C 58:26-29 We are who we chose to be. Our actions speak so much louder than our words. We need to be working hard with our own initiative to bring about good things. I am so thankful for you all, and the huge examples you have played in my life!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Thanks for your support

I really enjoyed talking to you all yesterday. It was so nice to hear all of your voices, and thank you so much for all the advice and support you keep sending my way. As I was thinking last night, I really didn’t feel that far away from you all. Life is so short and the world so small when you think of the infinite nature of the gospel and the love that Heavenly Father has for all of His children. It was such a nice comforting feeling to hear that you are all well, and I really enjoyed laughing and just spending time with you for a little while. Although, I do plenty of laughing here in Uruguay. There is a lot to laugh at when you’re walking in the street!

Anyways, this past week was pretty chill. We continue looking for and finding new people to teach. We have found this really neat family named Alejandro and Jennifer. They have been married just a few years and have a really nice family. They work A LOT!!! He has heard the gospel and knows its true; it’s just that he works so much and has lots of responsibilities. They have so much interest in what we say and teach. He just seems to not have time. That seems to be the case in a lot of families we teach. They feel nice, but just ¨don’t have time.¨ We just keep doing our best to let them know how important it is and how much it will truly bless their lives. They are so nice.

We also found another man named Nestor who has read the Book of Mormon. He needs glasses to read and said that he didn’t understand the book; however he wanted us to help explain it to him. We have plenty of wonderful people listening to us; it’s just a matter of patience and following the spirit.

Last night were the district elections, where EVERYONE votes for their regional leader. It’s so funny. In a country of 3.5 million people, you think that people wouldn’t get that excited about politics. But they just can’t get enough of it! There were people honking horns and cheering all day!

I love you all! Thanks again for all your prayers and support. May the Lord bless you and keep you! KEEP THE FAITH!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Change is good.

Week two in Florida and I must admit it’s been a little hard getting adapted to a new area. Especially since I was in my last area for 6 months! But like Mom said, change is good. It helps us grow. I definitely have done lots of growing these past few days, and I hope to continue doing so! Not too much has happened this past week. We’ve continued working and have found some really wonderful families. One woman named Mabel whom we have been teaching for a while, is having some difficulty, but continues to come to church and pray and read. It’s amazing. When we do these three simple things, we receive all we need for our spiritual nourishment so we can continue forward in obedience and happiness.

This last Sunday was very nice. Sacrament meeting was pretty full, due to a baby blessing, and we had fast and testimony meeting. It was nice to hear all these sweet testimonies from the members. Even though Florida is pretty small compared to the hustle and bustle of Montevideo, I have thoroughly enjoyed the time away from the BIG city and have gotten comfortable out here. It’s much easier to find things and get around.
I’m very happy, and the zone is really awesome. We just had an activity today. We had asado (barbecue), salad, and purè de pàpa (mashed potatoes). It was pretty fun. We cooked at the Elders’ house who live next to the church in another part of town after district meeting. It was great, and I made sure to take some pictures.

There is a very interesting gaucho shop in the town center. I’ll have to make sure to buy something to bring home to show you all. Gauchos are their equivalent to cowboys. And there are quite a few of them, seeing as how there are more cows than people in Uruguay. Maybe we’ll have to take a page from Saint Francis of Asisi and start preaching the gospel to them.
(See All creatures of our God and King).

Love My New Area

Well, here I am in Florida, the capital city of the department that has the same name. It is a nice zone with 10 elders and 2 hermanas (sisters). It’s been really beautiful here as well, and I really love my new area. It’s nice to be out of the big city and into the countryside again. Florida is a pretty small city, but it is very clean. It reminds me a little of Folsom, or something, although I’m pretty sure it’s smaller. But it has the same feel. Small, but kind of trendy. It has a nice central street with lots of ´´stuff´´ and it even has a giant cathedral.

My area is called Piedra Alta, and I’m here with my companion Elder Bonilla from Honduras. He’s pretty crazy, and I have been having lots of fun getting to know him. He has a monstrous testimony and has been a member of the church for 4 years. He’s also 20. Whenever he bears his testimony, he bears it with such a pure and bright love for those he is teaching. He’s been helping me out a lot getting used to the responsibilities of being a zone leader.

Florida is still developing and is not a stake yet. It is a district of six branches. There are two very beautiful chapels in Florida, recently constructed. Our branch has about 60 active members, and we continue to look for more. The people here are really nice to talk to. Anyways, the week was for me mostly just trying to keep up with Elder Bonilla. It’s been so long since I’ve been in a new area, that I feel like an oro again! It gets kind of frustrating sometimes, but I’ve got to keep growing I guess. I’m excited to really immerse myself in this new area and start to take on more responsibilities. The branch is amazing and everyone is really nice! They all came up and greeted me after sacrament meeting with all these bright cheery faces. Not to mention, they feed us VERY well. :)

This week all the zone leaders had a conference in the mission home with the assistants and with President and Sister Da Silva. He is so amazing. I’ve learned so much from him and he really is like the father of the mission. The advice that He and Dad have given me have given me so much comfort in my hardships that I wonder why I ever worry. I have had such great examples, both from my family and church leaders. During the conference, we talked about a number of topics, but I want to focus on one for the moment. The power of the Book of Mormon. We have had a challenge as a mission to read the Book of Mormon in 6 weeks and mark every reference to the Savior, and what he says directly or when it says, thus saith the Lord. It has been a remarkable experience. Although I’m inching my way through the book, I have grown to love and adore it. Whenever I read it with the spirit guiding me, I feel like Heavenly Father lovingly created it for me. Like he inspired Mormon to take out specific parts from their history that I would need to hear at each moment of my life. I have come to wonder why I have never realized how truly valuable and priceless the message is. I find it not a coincidence that it was written on gold plates, though the message is far more precious than the gold it was written on. I love that book. I hope you all continue to read it, even when you are studying the other scriptures. I know and promise that you will all come to treasure all the words of the prophets old and modern if you keep reading it at least 5 minutes a day.
Well, I’ve got to go. On a little note, the boy who was supposed to get baptized this week in my last area got baptized! I heard it was amazing! Anyways, I love you all! Keep the faith, and may the Lord bless you and keep you!

Thursday, April 22, 2010


Well, changes have come, and I’m off. Well, both of us are off. They are doing a white wash (when they put two new Elders in an area) in our ward, and they are going to have lots of work on their hands, especially because they have a baptism this coming weekend. We made sure to tell them, everytihng they needed to know and left them lots of notes. Our ward mission leader was sad we were leaving, but he promised he would do everything he could to help them. We had to say goodbye to lots of investigators and explain the situation to them. They all understood and all went very well. So much has happened this week.

Well, my Oro (greenie) Elder Delbar is going off to Durazno in a little town called Villa del Carmen. He’s going to be with an Elder named Elder Hoggan who was in my group in the MTC. He’s very sweet and very funny, almost exactly like Tyler. My companion is all grown up and moving off on his own... sniffle sniffle..... I’m so happy for him. He really likes the country which is good because that’s where he's going. I’m heading off to Florida. Not the state, the province. And... I’m going to be a zone leader. So, I’m a little nervous and I was a little frustrated Sunday night after we received the calls making sure all was prepared and organized for the new Elders coming. But, after a good nights sleep, I just felt this huge sense of peace and I felt very content. We said our goodbyes to our converts and the awesome members of the ward, and I felt a little like Paul leaving behind people who had become his dear friends. Well, as our convert Luis said ¨ Es la ley de Dios¨ It´s the law of God.

I’m very excited and ready to head off to a new area, having learned loads. I’ll never forget this ward and area and all the Lord has taught me here. More and more I grow to understand that the Lord really doesn’t need missionaries. His gospel will roll forth with or without us. But we need to be missionaries. So, I’m off to Florida, just north of Montevideo with Elder Bonilla. I’m excited to work with him, and he seems very nice. I’ll give you more details next week.

Back to what happened this past week. We had a baptism! Sergio, the younger brother of Nicholas who was baptized 6 weeks ago, got baptized. Furthermore, he was baptized by Rafael, a priest/youth in the ward. I think I already told you his story. His family was inactive and had moved into our ward. It was a nice baptism and it all worked out very well. Also, the neighboring ward and their missionaries who are in our district came over for an emergency. Their heater wasn’t working in their building and the water was cold. So they decided to come over, and we had a joint baptism. It was pretty funny, but all worked out very well. When all was said and done, four people were baptized. The three they baptized were these girls that contacted us in the street. We went and talked to their family, but they were right on the border of our area. It’s been a few weeks, and now they got baptized! It was fun that we had a tiny little part and that we got to see their baptism.

Well, I think that’s all that happened last week. Lots of running around, doing baptismal interviews and of course teaching and sharing the gospel. I had kind of a hard time at one point these past few weeks, but then I have just felt this overwhelming sense of peace, knowing that I’m doing my best. It’s been so fun today to be here in the terminal to see all my friends and talk to them and hear their experiences. I have learned so very much. The Lord has poured out His spirit, and I have never felt closer to Him.

Thursday, April 15, 2010


Well, another week has flown by, and another change is about to come to a close. It’s hard to believe that I’ve almost been in this area for a forth of my mission! (6 months) If you still don’t know the name, it’s probably my fault. I’m in Montevideo, but I’m in Maroñas, which is a thriving stake and I’m in a ward called Libia. And guess what? The little brother of the boy we baptized a few weeks ago wants to be baptized and follow his brother. He’s going to be baptized this Saturday. His older brother is 12, and he’s 11. They live right next to the church and have been going since I got here in November. They are a little rambunctious sometimes, but the members have lots of patience with them and they have changed a lot. Plus, they are 12 and 11; of course they are going to be a little rambunctious! Anyways, their parents have a few problems and want to get baptized, but just have some changes to make. They support them in their decisions to be baptized. Nicholas, the older brother, has been fully integrated into the young men’s program and has received the Aaronic Priesthood. He’s passing the sacrament every Sunday, along with Luis who was baptized a few months ago. The members kindly provided them with pants, shirts, and ties to wear. You should have seen the looks on their faces when they came to church all dappered up! AHH! It was so cool! Plus, a less active family we found months ago are all now starting to come to church. All of the boys received their priesthood offices and are now participating weekly in passing the sacrament. The ward also helped them out with the clothes. It’s so awesome. The young men’s program and priesthood has started to develop. Plus, Raquel has a calling for passing out the Liahona Magazines. Its so neat to see all these people and how they’ve changed and how the ward has adopted them. It’s really like a big family.

I loved that talk last general conference by Elder Choi in the priesthood session entitled ¨I Love Loud Boys.´´ It talks about how leaders became like parents to a group of loud rowdy boys and how they eventually went and served missions, and they all now have families in the Church. It was an amazing story. I have seen this miracle come to pass here in Barrio Libia. When a ward acts as a family and just acts, miracles happen. I’m so excited for this baptism this weekend. The best part is that Sergio wanted Rafael to baptize him. Rafael is 16 and was part of that family that moved in and got reactivated into the Church. He’s now a thriving priest and blessing the sacrament, not to mention, he ALWAYS wants to accompany us. He wants to be a missionary, and has a very profound understanding of the gospel. He has taken Sergio and Nicholas under his wing, and has become like a big brother to them. Wow! I really can’t believe all the things that have been going on here.

The President visited all of our houses to do interviews this week. Luckily we had cleaned our house before knowing! I’m glad I don’t have a sloppy companion. Elder Delbar is pretty neat and tidy. Well, I might not be here in the next week, seeing as how it will probably be time for me to move on. However, if the Lord sees fit to leave me here, all the better! I will miss this area very much.

We had the opportunity today to have a zone activity. We went to the Fùtbol museum in the Centenario Stadium. We also got to see and walk around the stadium a bit. It’s where they had the first FIFA World Cup, in which Uruguay won. However, Uruguay hasn’t won in about 60 years or so. HAHA! Oh well, it was very interesting and we had a good time. I took lots of pictures.

Well, I think that's about it. I was feeling a little tired last night and discouraged, but it’s funny about how when we really do count our blessings, the Lord shows us the things He has done for us. We are just so impatient, like Pres. Uchtdorf said, and we want everything now. I have been richly blessed to have been here. I don’t know where I’ll be next week. I will NEVER forget this wonderful ward and all the lessons I have learned here. It’s been a very special experience. I love you all, and always remember to count your MANY blessings. KEEP THE FAITH!

Easter Sunday and house guests

April 5, 2010

Well, this week was a very special one to be a missionary. Although holy week is a little commercialized and most people just use it as an excuse to get some vacation time, there was a sweet spirit.

This weekend was so special, even all the way down here. General Conference for missionaries is like a holiday. We still work, but it was just so wonderful to hear all the messages and testimonies of the Lord’s chosen servants. We got to watch all the sessions in the stake center, which isn’t far from our house. It was fun. As it was last time, we had a special room set up in the Stake High Council room where we were able to view conference in our own language. It was wonderful to be with all the missionaries and be together. I don’t know if I ever told you, but our house is REALLY small. It turned out that some of the Elders needed some place to sleep after the priesthood session, which began at 9pm and ended at 11! They lived a little far out, and so they stayed in our house. It turned out being Elder Mangleson who came in the group after me, and Elder Wally, who was my MTC companion. It was fun. Between sessions, we had to head to the house to borrow mattresses from our member neighbors. We set up the tiny house for four, and ate some food. It was fun to talk with them and get to know each other even more. I really miss Elder Wally. We got to do some division work together. It was REALLY fun to work with him again. It reminded me of our clueless proselyting days back in the MTC. Except this time, we actually understood what the people were saying! Ha-ha! It was a pretty hilarious night. We were all crammed into the house like little sausages.

Earlier in the week, we worked pretty hard. Although we didn’t have too many people come to conference, our investigators continue to learn and grow. Yes, we did get in contact with that golden family again. They are so sweet and kind. They showed us some of their hobbies. The wife loves to do these texture paintings that I thought Mom would really like. We talked only for a little with them. They were busy with family for Holy Week, so it was a little hard to get in touch with them. They still have a desire to learn more. We’ll see what happens. We also found another few people who had listened to missionaries before but had lost contact with them. It’s amazing just how the Lord can guide you to someone without you even knowing it. He really knows us and how we think!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Holy Week

Hey all! Well, its hard to believe that March has already gone by and that it’s already almost Easter. Down here, everyone is getting ready for Holy Week. In Latin America, they take Easter a lot more seriously, mostly due to Catholic tradition. It’s funny. Back home, I always just thought of Easter as Sunday, but it’s a little special to think of this Marvelous event the whole week. Well, I guess now as a missionary I’m thinking of it every day of the year so it’s nothing different for me! It will be nice to try and share an Easter message with people this week, especially because there will be so many people at home.

I am so excited for General Conference! It’s so relaxing to just go and listen and learn how we can better ourselves. The last conference I felt was more directed at me than at any other time in my life. Especially as a missionary, General Conference is AWESOME! I can’t wait! Especially if our investigators go!

Well, this week was AMAZING!! We had a nice zone conference on Wednesday with President Da Silva, his wife, and the assistants. They showed us the miracles that have been happening all across the mission as we all have tried to be better at obeying the Lord’s commandments. It’s amazing to see the progress. He also talked about the Book of Mormon, and how we should make it the CENTER of all the commitments we make with our investigators. It really is VITAL to read from it every day, even when we are studying other scriptures. It is a special book that the Lord wants us to always ponder and read. We read a talk by Pres. Kimball about flooding the world with the Book of Mormon. If everyone would just try the book and pray to know if it’s true, think of how much the Lord would open the windows of heaven and how many would come to know the truth! The book of Mormon is the keystone of our religion. It’s how we know that all of this is true. The president gave us the task of reading the Book of Mormon entirely in 6 weeks, marking every reference to Christ (In His many names) and marking when he is speaking. I’ve already started, and I have already felt a special spirit manifest. I’m excited to keep going!

After the conference, we had a companionship exchange. My companion Elder Delbar went with Elder Moffit, and his companion Elder Baum came to our area. It was a lot of fun. It’s always interesting changing companionships for a day. I’m still trying to get used to the idea that I am their district leader. It’s fun, especially when I get to call them every night. I feel more like there are other missionaries out there. It’s easy to feel sometimes like you are the only missionaries within 20 miles of where you are. It’s kind of funny. We finished the day and it had been awesome! Especially when Javier and Kelly (a family of AWESOME investigators) had made us empanadas filled with dulce de leche. It was so good! We finished off the night knocking on doors. Elder Baum and I were looking for a street I hadn’t knocked before. The first door I knocked on, the family came up behind us. We kind of awkwardly turned around and said hello and presented ourselves. The man looked at me and said... ¨¿Sabes què? En serio.............. me interesa......¨ (¨You know what?......... I’m actually really interested.) HAHA! We looked at each other with such a shock. We almost asked him if he meant that he wasn’t interested. HAHA! I said ¨Bueno....... uhhhhhh hmmmm...... ¿podemos pasar y charlar un rato?¨ (Alright... uuhhhhh... can we come in and talk for a little bit?) We went in and shared the first lesson with him and his wife. They were glued to us, and whenever the husband would be talking too much, she would interrupt him so we could continue! HAHA! I’ve never seen a more interested face. We didn’t even have to extend the commitments. We handed them a copy of the Book of Mormon, and she said she’d read it! Well see what happens. We are going by again on Tuesday. Sunday was amazing too! We had 9 investigators in church!!!!!!!!! We'll see if we can get some of them baptized soon. A boy named Frederico already has a date for the 24th of April. The work continues, and I really don’t want to leave this area. I

Monday, March 22, 2010

Patience and Charity

Things have been great this past week. We’ve been ramping up our efforts and trying new ideas to find people. Every week, we have lots of people in church; the problem is that many of them have problems with some of the commandments. I don’t see why it is so hard for people to decide to be married even after they’ve been together for 10 or even 25 years! Oh well, we continue to find those willing to change and many who truly are looking for Christ in their lives. Oh, how I love Him.

This past week held some very interesting experiences. First off, I just began to try to focus more and more on the Love of Christ. Trying to develop charity, which really is so many other attributes in one, is one of the hardest commandments I know of. Especially when it is so easy to just lose your temper and get angry at people that slam a door in your face. However whenever I think of Christ and that even He, the creator of this world, was rejected by many, I feel a sense of peace and even a caring love for the people that drives me to keep knocking (clapping). It’s been helping a lot lately, and we have seen fruits.

The other night, we were doing divisions with members of the ward. I was with Hermano Pitta, one of the bishops counselors. We visited an inactive family. I just shared my testimony of the Love of Christ and the power it has to heal us. I don’t know why, but I just remembered feelings I had had in other times in my life, when I felt this love. I felt a special spirit enter the room, and his head snapped up and he looked at me. I don’t know what it was. It was just a little spark. Maybe not even notable. But after the meeting, he thanked me for my testimony. I don’t know why, it really wasn’t me he should thank. I am so happy that the Holy Ghost is the one who testifies of the truth. If we had to do this without His help, we would be lost in a maze of arguments and false reasoning. I am more and more convinced that we are the instruments through which the Holy Spirit is conducted. We are tools in the Lord’s hands. Just like that scripture you sent me Mom. It’s not something of large fanfare or a blazing trumpet. It’s a still small voice, however ¨notwithstanding it being a small voice it did pierce them that did hear to the center, insomuch that there was no part of their frame that it did not cause to quake; yea, it did pierce them to the very soul, and did cause their hearts to burn.¨ (3Nephi 11: 3)

Anyways, today was a nice pday too. We just cleaned up the house, mopped the floors, did our grocery shopping, and relaxed. I love this work so much. I do miss home from time to time, but it’s only because I miss you all. I hope I can be worthy of this marvelous calling that I am coming to appreciate more and more as the months pass. I will hopefully tell you more of the progress of our investigators next week. It sounds like you are all doing well. I’m glad you are all having so much fun living this life and not letting it pass by. There are so many people... so many that are doing so. I hope we can help them find their Heavenly Father, and get to know Him. After all, that’s the purpose of this life isn’t it?


March 15

Well, things are starting to get a little chilly finally down here. Which is good. I was really getting sick of the humid heat. I like summer, but it’s always a welcome change when fall hits. This is funny, because for you guys, summer is still coming. It’s funny living on the other side of the world. We had daylight savings this weekend too, only we moved the hour back. (Spring forward fall back) only it’s the opposite here! Well, sort of. Just at different times of the year. Anyways, this week went pretty well. I’ll admit, even though I love this area, it’s getting a little hard to knock on doors and do contacts. However, yesterday we just went for it and found some great people to go and teach these coming weeks. We’ll see what happens, but it’s amazing what happens when we just go out and do what the Lord wants us to do.

We were having an interesting chat this morning in companionship study about Ether 12. We were reading where it talks about how faith leads to hope and obedience, the Lord blesses us with miracles. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve found that to be true. Although sometimes it gets a little hard to be perfectly obedient (something we are always working on), if we do our very best and are continually trying to improve ourselves, the Lord is able to come and bless our lives. Just a neat thought.

We have some investigators that have lost interest due to some trials in their lives and issues with families, but we have others that are willing to make the changes and have already been converted to the gospel. It’s so interesting. People are not converted when they are baptized, but long before. It’s amazing. For example, we are teaching a family, well a couple named Javier and Kelly. They have two little girls. They started listening to us and they became hooked to the answers they were finding. Each time it’s not so much teaching as it is them figuring out what thy need to change to be baptized. They have some goals that may take some time to accomplish, but it is so amazing to see their willingness to make the changes necessary. They have found something they truly desire. The truth. It’s been amazing! I love how the gospel just changes lives.We are also teaching an old investigator named Ruben. He had been taught by the missionaries a long time ago, and always respected the church, but still wasn’t willing to call it Christ’s Church. The first few times we went over, he got very passionate. He absolutely loves Paul the apostle and he sometimes gets a little too emotional. However, we went over one day with Luis and one of the other members. Luis shared the story of his conversion. It touched his heart and little by little he has begun to open his heart more and more and he’s starting to read the Book of Mormon more and more. He also needs to make a few changes in his life, but we have invited him to be baptized. He is very excited about the prospect and really wants to. We’ll hope and pray that all works out. He would make a great seminary teacher. He really knows and understands the Bible. All of these amazing wonderful people had something in common. They were all looking for the truth. It’s like it says in Doctrine and Covenants. There are many people ready to receive the gospel, but they just don’t know where to find the truth. That’s why it is so important that as missionaries (and as Saints) we have the spirit with us so we can share the gospel with our friends and neighbors. We have some work to do in terms of finding more people, but I don’t think we have to look too hard to find those who really need the gospel. I love this work! It’s so fun going out, even though it gets discouraging at times, to serve others and love the people.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010


Well, where can I start? I’m staying in Libia and I’m a district leader.... I don’t exactly know how that’s going to work out, but we’ll see. Things are going very well, and the ward is very happy. I’m writing from Tres Cruzes (where the missionaries meet during changes) because I had a little training meeting. We’ve been working like mad, and I’m exhausted, but I love coming home every night and planning and hitting my head on the pillow knowing I did my best.

So, what’s daily life like here in Uruguay? Well, we get up at 630, exercise for 30 minutes, shower, and eat breakfast in our tiny little cement block house. The members built it for the missionaries 15 years ago. The owners are two old sisters. One is a member. They own a little shop where they sell all sorts of little things. They are called almacens. There are some larger stores, but lots of people sell food in little markets next to or under their houses. They are really nice for grabbing a quick bottle of cold water or a little snack. After breakfast, we study at 8 for an hour. I usually read from the scriptures, or a general conference talk. And then we have companionship study at 9. Then, we head out to work at 10. It’s always the hardest starting out a new day because you haven’t done anything and always feel like you have to start climbing all over again. But it’s also fun because it’s a new day with new opportunities. At 12 or 1230, we have lunch with members. I don’t know if you know, but in South America, Lunch is their largest meal of the day. It usually consists of something like Melanesas (fried meat), pasta, mashed potatoes, potato salad, asado (barbecue) etc... They also have AWESOME things for desert like arroz con leche, fruit salad, dulce de leche (caramel), alfajores, and their ice cream is to DIE for! One Brother here makes us fruit salad with paltas (giant avocados). IT’S SOOOOO GOOD! After lunch we have another hour to study language. I like to read my Spanish scriptures, and of course study the grammar. After that, we work again until 9, and then head home for the night, tired and sweaty. Seriously, the summers here are pretty crazy. It’s not that it’s so hot, so much as it is humid. They have had a very wet summer with LOTS of rain, and these past few days there was a wave of mosquitoes. Thanks for the repellent Mom! Well, that’s a typical day. We just go and work. Talking to people, going to lessons, sharing the gospel message. I love it, although sometimes it gets really hard.

We had a miracle this past week. We had a goal to have one baptism for every companionship on the sixth of March. We had one planned but it fell through. We prayed, and thought and asked the Lord what we should do. As we were heading home one night, one name came to mind. He was one of two boys that came to church when we first started in Libia. His name is Nicholas. His parents are supportive and have come to church but have some things to take care of before they can get baptized. We decided to go by and ask him. He said he would think about it. We came by Friday (the day before the hoped for baptism) and asked him. He REALLY wanted to. He has wanted to be baptized ever since his family started coming to church, but we felt that he should wait for his Mom and Dad. But the Lord prepared a way. His grandmother is now coming to church regularly and she can help him. Not only that, we had the baptism, which went VERY smoothly despite it being so late of notice, and the members were all very excited. They have come to love those two little boys. (Sergio and Nicholas). Sergio decided to wait a little, but is still coming to church. His parents came for the baptism and confirmation and said that they want to be baptized and will make the necessary preparations to do so. I’m so happy for them. We’ll see what happens. We continue to hope and pray for them.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010


Next week we´ll be starting a new change. I may be leaving this area. This has been such a great learning experience for me. I have absolutely loved this area, the good and hard times, and it will be very difficult for me if I have to leave. But we´ll see. I could be staying here another month and a half. Hard to believe how fast the months are flying.

We have found a few promising families this past week. We look forward to working with them and getting to know them this comming week.

Well, Luis and his family continue to make progress. He recieved the Aaronic Priesthood this Sunday and is now a priest. They are getting ready to go to the temple to do baptisms for their family. I´m so excited for them. The ward has really opened up their hearts to them. I love them.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Up to our eyeballs

Well, we’ve had a tiring week running from place to place, still struggling to balance all the aspects of mission life. Sometimes I don’t know if I can do it all, but I guess I just have to do my best right? It’s been a great week anyhow and we have two baptisms this coming weekend! Luis and Erika, I think I’ve already told you about them. Their whole family got to go and see the temple this week with another family from the ward. They were so struck at what it was like and how simply beautiful it was. They talked about it all week. It was so wonderful. I could feel the spirit they brought home from that little visit permeating in their home. As I’ve said before, I love the temple. They are so excited to go after a year and seal their family together.

We found some other really great families this week that want to get baptized as soon as possible. They have a few things they need to do to prepare, but we’ve put dates with them and goals to accomplish so they can. Honestly, we have so much work to do; it’s like the ¨busy season¨ of the mission! I’m feeling a little unable at times, but when I do, I always feel the support of the Lord and know He is there sustaining me in this HIS work. I guess that’s the benefit. It’s not my work, it’s His. Therefore, it will get done. It’s my choice to help or not.

It sounds like all is quite at home again, although all is busy. Ahhhh.... I remember those days I spent with you two old people! Ha-ha! I’m glad you’re keeping busy. That’s always the cure for feeling down. Work really is a universal remedy, especially in the Gospel of Christ. Working and moving forward, if only we all had that attitude. I think I’ve found out more and more that life is SO much more rewarding when you have to not only work, but work HARD. I know I have to find this out even more.

I’ve been reading the Acts this week, about Paul and his missionary journeys. He went all over the place! I love the authority with which he taught and the power of his testimony even in the face of opposition. Sometimes (you know me) I get a little scared and don’t want to offend people to the point where I don’t go for it. However, though we don’t want to get in people’s faces and shout, when I just let the spirit work, I feel the power of the spirit flowing through me like I’m a power cable. I start loving the people and the work even more, and everything just falls into place. I love this work. It has taught me so much.

This past week, we had a Zone Conference with the President about this. He asked us if we are scared to invite people to be baptized. Sometimes we get so scared and we don’t tell the people why we are there, and they lose excitement of their spirit all because we were too shy to tell them why we were there. We have had a goal now to just tell people why we are here. To invite all to come unto Christ through faith, repentance, baptism, receiving the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end. It’s really helped us and we hope that we can continue to find more and more people. Even though we have investigators "up to our eyeballs".

Monday, February 8, 2010

Faith and Miracles

It’s been a really awesome week and we are so happy it’s Pday. We are in the bus terminal with a couple of other missionaries, all the other trainers, because the oros (greenies) had to do their doctor paperwork. So, it’s been a really relaxing day so far. Just talking and reminiscing and getting excited. Oh by the way, we have two more baptisms planned and two more dates to put with people so we are looking at four at least. It’s been a pretty tough but very rewarding week. I love this work, even if sometimes I get a little discouraged. The Lord is always there to help us and make us strong.The two people getting baptized are Luis and Erika. Luis is the husband of the woman we baptized about a month ago and her daughter is Erika, 10 years old. They are such a great family, and it’s been a miracle to see how the gospel has truly affected their family in many ways. Luis has quit smoking, and all three of them have had very powerful conversion experiences. More or less, miracles... I love that we still see miracles today. Like it says in Ether 12. If we do not see miracles, it’s because we do not have the faith. Sometimes we don’t have the faith to see them. But the Lord works through small and simple things to bring to pass His mighty purposes.

Other than that, you know... the normal tasks of mission life I guess. Getting up, studying, teaching, WALKING, and bearing our testimonies. I love this work, and every day it’s interesting to find the ideas to make it even more fun. Just talking to everyone, talking about the Book of Mormon in every contact, asking for service, etc...

Well, it’s been raining a lot here. Seriously, a lot! The other day we were doing service in someone’s yard and we were walking back to the house to change, and it DUMPED. I couldn’t see more than a block ahead of us! Luckily we were wearing normal clothes, but the rain continued and let’s just say that I got a little wet. Jacket and all. But it’s been really fun and quite an adventure. It’s been a very tropical summer here, and everyone has been freaking out saying its global warming this or 2012 that. I’m so sick of people quoting Revelations and saying that the end is near. I’m so glad that no matter how hard the earth shakes, the gospel of Christ will stand. Heleman 5:12. If we are built on the rock of Christ, no matter what happens to us, we don’t have to worry. I think that’s also a huge part of what we tell the world as missionaries.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

A New Companion

Well, this week was definitely filled with all sorts of new challenges, both for me and my companion Elder Delbar. He’s from California too. We’ve both been getting to know each other better and he’s been getting his first few blisters and sore feet. Oh how I remember those first few days as well. So much anxiety, but lots of fun. It’s been such a great experience and I’ve already learned a whole lot. I know that this is what the Lord wants and I will do the best I can.

Work continues to chug along here in Libia. We found a young woman who will soon be baptized. Her husband is an inactive member, but she started listening to the testimonies of her family and started reading the Book of Mormon. She has felt very strongly the spirit of the Lord, and wants to be baptized as soon as possible... WHEW! Well I guess that goes to show you that really we just go out and find the people that are already ready. As long as their hearts are really open the spirit will come and testify. I’m glad for my companion too. His first week, and already we have lots of people interested in the gospel!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The Toe Incident

Well, let me start off by saying that this week has been one of MANY surprises. It seems like the Lord always wants to keep me on my toes. Well, I don’t know where to start first, but I guess I’ll start with the toe incident.The other week I noticed that my toenail was looking a little bad. It came to my attention, and to the attention of my companion that it was a slight ingrown toe nail. I called the Hermana Da Silva, she told me to call the mission doctor. He told me not to worry, but to go and see the doctor as soon as possible. He was busy, so we had to set up an appointment another day. We came back. He looked at it, and told me that it looked pretty bad and that if it didn’t improve soon, they were going to cut off half my toenail for good and that if this were so, I would have to stay off work for three months. But he wasn’t sure, so he referred me to a foot doctor. Needless to say, I was pretty frustrated and freaking out a little. However, we talked with the Hermana and she was surprised to hear what the doctor had told us. She said her son had the same problem and it was taken care of without much trouble. I tried the remedy the doctor gave me, and the next day, Hermana Da Silva called us and told us that a missionary the other day who had the same problem just went to a local hospital and had a slight operation in which they cut the nail slightly so it could heal. Sorry for all the details... I went ANOTHER day to a hospital, they looked at it, said not to worry, sent me to a surgeon, in another hospital. I was in the emergency room, with an ingrown toenail. It was kind of awkward. As I laid there on the table, I could hear all the other people who had more serious problems. And there I was, with just a little toe nail problem! Oh well, anyways... the doctor came back, LOADED my toe with anesthetic, cut the nail just a tiny bit (he said it was practically nothing) and sewed up the other muck... well... yeah, I guess I’ll just have to tell you the details another time, but DON¨T WORRY. It was nothing, kind of humorous, and now it’s healing just fine. You almost can’t tell now. So that’s the incident of my finding myself in the ER over an ingrown toenail. Other than that, this week went on as usual, minus the time we lost at the doctors. Oh well, health is important right? But we continue to move on anyway.

We had changes of course today. And this next part is as much of a surprise to you as it is to me. I’m now training in my area, as well as Elder Gonzales in another area. I have a companion fresh from the MTC in Argentina, from California, Elder Delbar. He’s studied Spanish for the majority of his life so he probably already speaks better than me. I’m not going to lie, I’m kind of scared and unsure of what’s going to happen, but I kind of knew that something new was coming. Never a dull moment in the mission.... I look forward to learning a lot this change, but more than that, helping my new companion start to find "That Something". I REALLY need to read that story again.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

A Sweet Baptism

Well, this week was another one of those where we were tested pretty hard. It was kind of hard to get people to talk to us, and it was, as all of you know who have served missions, frustrating. But, despite our frustrations and discouragement, we took heart in the fact that Raquel was going to be baptized. She is such a sweet woman. She has already read the new Liahona (Ensign Magazine) 3 times! She has learned so much the past few weeks and keeps hungering for more. Her baptism was so sweet. My companion had the honors of baptizing her, and I had the opportunity to do the confirmation. It was really special. She has been such a great example for her family, and I know she will go to the temple one day. I can’t wait to hear all about it! Well, despite the daily trials, the week was still good! We really have found lots of people who are interested, even though it may be hard to get in touch with them at times. The ward is getting more excited too. They have been helping us out more and are starting to volunteer to go out teaching with us. I love this ward! I feel so well taken care of here.

Changes are next week. I hope I stay here, but who knows. I could be off to who knows where. But I at least know that wherever it is, it’s where I’ll be needed. I’m going to miss my companion. He reminds me of Tyler. We have the same sense of humor. Seriously. Sometimes I think we might have too much fun. He has such a pure and kind heart and a strong testimony. But, he’s really bad at Uno. I almost always win...

Monday, January 11, 2010

The Present

It’s hard to believe that today I complete 7 months in the mission. Time really has been flying by. I really have been taking to heart what Pres. Monson has said. Learn from the past, live in the present, and prepare for the future. I feel like as I look back on these first few experiences I have had on my mission, I take heart that I have learned so much about myself and others and about my Heavenly Father and His Son Jesus Christ. I look forward to learning even more!

I love the quote from that wise old turtle from Kung Fu Panda. ¨The past is history. The future is uncertain. But the present is a gift. That’s why it’s called the present.¨

Well, things have been going pretty good here in our ward in Montevideo. Barrio Libia is doing very well, and the members continue to love and support us. We have a baptism this weekend. The first of what we hope will be three in this wonderful family. Her name is Raquel, and she was so ready and prepared to hear the gospel. Seriously, all she had to do was see us pass by. She is such a sweet woman and I’m so happy for her and hope that the rest of her family will continue to follow her wonderful example. The members are getting all excited. It’s going to be such a sweet and wonderful baptism.

Monday, January 4, 2010

A Happy Birthday and A Happy New Year

Well, it was kind of a slow week here in Montevideo. The New Years Eve Fireworks display was even bigger than Christmas. Seriously I was scared that one was going to ignite our house or tree on fire! It was CRAZY! It’s like being in a war zone.The people here REALLY like to party for New Years and needless to say, the day afterwards was pretty much DEAD. There was no one in the streets. Everyone was at the beaches, or too hungover from the night before to answer the door. It was kind of tough, but oh well. Gotta work right? It was ok anyways. Although I still get frustrated from time to time, I feel like my patience has improved a whole lot out here.

My Birthday was...well... very special... and different. Though I of course missed seeing you all (one of the blessings of having my birthday right after Christmas) it was a very special day. I sure do miss you all, and it gets tough from time to time, but I just have to remember why I’m here and these feelings leave. Luckily I have friends here who have begun to be my family. We had lunch with a family called Echeveria. They cooked us gnochis and this stuffed meat that was so good. My companion told them it was my birthday and they went out later and brought us cake. The members here are so sweet and kind and have such great testimonies even though the Church is relatively new here. Almost all the members are converts to the Church, even if they’ve been in the Church for most of their lives. They sang happy birthday to me in of course, Spanish, English, Italian, and Vasco (an archaic language that almost doesn’t exist anymore). It was a great day. So know that even though I wasn’t home for my birthday, I still felt close to you all, and the wonderful brothers and sisters of this area are taking good care of us.

I finally get to go to the Temple this week! I’m so excited! I haven’t been since I was in the MTC. It will be wonderful to go in. I’ve had many questions and thoughts on my mind lately. I really need a little bit of time sometimes to just sit and ponder. I know I can’t be perfect. I can just do the best I can. I love all the lessons I’ve learned out here. I hope I can remember them all!

Everyone remember to keep looking for those opportunities to share the gospel. It really is the best gift we can give to someone.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Wow, What an amazing Christmas!

Wow, What an amazing Christmas. This has been one of the most memorable Christmas’s I have ever had, or I think I will ever have. I felt so close to the Savior and why we celebrate the birth of Christ with so much enthusiasm. They LOVE the partying part here in Uruguay. We went tracting on Christmas Night, and people were OUT. It was pretty funny. We at least got to sing some Christmas Carols.

Well, I guess I’ll start off with Christmas Eve, or Noche Bueno. It was such an AWESOME day! I’ll admit it, I was a little discouraged if people were actually going to let us in or talk to them, but we decided to just go out and share the message of Christmas. We sang carols, shared scriptures of the first Christmas with investigators, less actives, and people we met. When we got back to our house after dinner with Bishop Profetti, the fireworks started. People LOVE to shoot off fireworks here. It was CRAZY! SO MUCH LIGHT! It was like and air raid or something. I grabbed my chair and me and my companion watched from our patio and a couple of our neighbors came by to wish us a Merry Christmas. It was so amazing. I felt so good having brought the spirit of Christmas to a few of my brothers and sisters. It’s amazing how the spirit of Christmas, even though the other parts are enjoyable and add to the fun of it all, really brings smiles and joy into the lives of others. And I felt the joy as well.

Christmas day was pretty much just opening up the AWESOME package you sent me, listening to Christmas Music, trying on the Snuggie, it fits perfectly by the way. One size fits all you know... reading my new Spanish bible and also enjoying all the love that was packaged up inside. Thank you so much everyone. I feel so loved and blessed. Sometimes too blessed. Don’t worry; I’m sharing all the treats with my companion. He loves his new tie by the way and says gracias. I got the blue one and he got the purple one. We LOVE them.

Well, I’m almost 20 years old. I don’t feel like it. I still sometimes feel like I’m a teenager and then I realize what I’m doing and who I’ve become. The Lord has really shaped me during these experiences I’ve had here. I’ve had to have a lot of patience with myself and the Lord. I feel like I’m starting to understand at least a little bit more and more how he works and how he expects us to grow and develop. He loves us so very much. When ever we find someone who for the life of them will not even let us shake their hand, I feel sad that they are rejecting this offering to understand this love a little bit more too. However, I can’t let myself get discouraged. There are other people out there who are ready, and some we’ve already found!

We saw a Christmas miracle this week, well post Christmas miracle. We have been teaching this remarkable woman. She is so receptive, and read what we left her over and over again. Her husband has started to listen and already wants to be baptized. I know that the Lord prepares people. We just have to be ready to listen and not give up. I’m so happy for them, and hope they will get sealed in the temple some day.