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!