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!