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.