I love being able to share the gospel with the people I love so much! I can't even imagine the love the Lord has for us if I can only feel a part of what he felt for these people! I just want to be able to dedicate my mission to these people and forget about myself for this last year!!! Like it says in Mosiah 5, I have a richness that these people don't have, the gospel! If I don't share my riches, that falls on my head! There is not a greater responsibility that I could have, and I hope you guys can feel the joy I feel every time I see someone accept the gospel! The hardest part of the mission is when the people don't accept, but I know I'm doing what I can.
My comp's family is supportive. His mom served a mission and his sister is serving in Brazil. His dad is less active, but that'll change one day!!
August 26, 2014
This week went by really fast!!! I'm not even sure what we did... The weeks are just blurred together now. I remember at the beginning of the week we went to help an older lady paint part of her house. We got there and she was mixing up paint to make the color she wanted, so we started to paint and everything was going good, then she decided to mix up more paint and change the color. So we started painting with that color and painted everything, then she came oh, I like the other color better.... We told her that like 3x, but at that time we had to leave and go to lunch, so I 'm not sure if she changed the color again or just left it at that???? It's still always great to be able to serve the people!!!!
We don't get a lot of referrals from members, but the last time we did it was Irene, the girl we found last week! We haven't been a able to have a lesson with her since last Monday because she's been sick and then had her family over, so she didn't go to church either, but that's ok. When we went by on Monday, she was happy and telling us jokes and it was awesome. Lets just say she is incredibly smart and talented!!!! We learned she knows Portuguese, Spanish, German and English... She learned English by copying people from movies and her accent is super good!!! It was super awesome to see how she changed!!! This Saturday and Sunday we had stake conference so we traveled to 33 on Saturday at 3pm (3 hour bus ride) and we got back to our house at 1.30am.... We walked in flipped on the lights and our power went out... We finally got the power fixed yesterday afternoon. The conference was incredible though!!!
On Sunday, Elder Bednar gave a talk, through satellite transmission from, he was in some church here in S. America. He gave a talk about the need to repent of our sins and lets just say it was awesome! He talked about how repentance isn't just change, we have to feel it and we also have to confess it. It was great! Also, Sunday, 3 people from our ward received the Melchizedek?? I don't know how to write that, priesthood. 2 young men preparing for missions and a recent convert, Claudio. One of the best members I've met and he's been a member 2 months! He has a testimony that is super strong. I actually was feeling really sick this weekend and yesterday so I asked Claudio to give me a blessing and he did, it was an incredible experience for him and for us. The 11 year old twins that we have been teaching are getting baptized this weekend and the Mom who didn't like us before and the step dad who didn't even want to see us before are always letting us in the house and cooking us food, lets just say when you give missionaries food, they automatically love you, it's been great!!! I think I'm getting a little fat here because we have lunch with the members every day and so we just spend our money on snacks, which here in Chuy is super cheap!!!! I think I'm gonna start eating healthier.... maybe.... But, yesterday we visited this family that lives a little far in Brazil, far walking, and we ate ¨"dinner" with them, dinner is just like taking whatever is in the fridge and eating it: sandwiches, yogurt, little biscuit/scone things. Guess what they brought from brazil!!???!!! Turkey!!! I haven't eaten turkey for over a year!!! It was super awesome!!!! That was pretty much our exciting week!!!
Oh also we received changes. I'm staying in Chuy A, my comp is leaving, here comes the crazy part. The other two elders in our house, 1 is going to train in a white wash and the other is switching from Chuy B to Chuy A to be my comp! Elder Oliveira from Brazil, he's a super stud and we're gonna work super hard together!!! Also coming in to Chuy B is Elder Rydalch, he's got 3 months left in the mission and he just got done being assistant, so I'm gonna be learning a lot from him!!! He's gonna be training a new missionary. We are also switching houses this weekend.
September 1, 2014
So a huge miracle happened this week! We had been trying to talk with Irene all week this week and she had been busy or didn't want to or I don't know, but we invited her to come to music classes that our DoM started on Sat., our DoM was in a band and so he's teaching the electric piano and it was pretty cool! But Irene showed up!!!! We had a little charla with her after and then she went home! Sunday we were sitting in church and she showed up to church alone at about 9.30!!! We hopefully are going to be able to teach her again and get her baptized soon!
Working with Elder Oliveira this week has been great!!! He may be newer in the mission, but he is an incredible missionary and he works super hard!!! He also has a lot of faith, so we are definitely going to see a lot of miracles this week!!! Elder Rydalch's oro is also an incredible missionary!!! He is obviously not experienced, but he's got a strong desire and he is an incredible teacher!!!
The best part of my week was to be able to really see how much I love the missionaries in my district! This last 2 weeks, Elder Sunday from Nigeria, has been very worried!!! He has seen bits and pieces of the news and has seen the horrible things going on in Africa. His sister hasn't been writing him and his mom doesn't know how to use a computer so he was very worried!!! On top of that he hasn't even seen his family in over 7 years!!!! Not even through skype!!! I learned that I truly love these missionaries as I listened to his worries, but luckily the assistants were able to talk with his mom, kind of , she speaks some weird African language, but they were able to find out that his family is fine! Also, as I talked with Elder Rydalch last night I learned how much I cared for him. He may have been an assistant, but he still has normal missionary problems, just not with obedience or anything like that, he's a super stud!!! I love the mission!!!
The reason I don't really talk about anything that bad goes on is because I've learned that who cares about that stuff! I just like talking about the good stuff I'm learning and the miracles I'm seeing!!! Plus, there really isn't a lot of bad things that happen. I think the worst thing that happened this week was I was cleaning the bathroom super good this morning and it took like an hour and a half. We still haven't switched houses by the way. we're working on that!
September 8, 2014
I love missionary work!!! Honestly serving the mission has been the most incredible experience of my life, there is not a better way to prepare for the future than serving a mission! I have learned to love the people in Uruguay and to love the Lord!!! This week we had a conference and our zone leaders taught us what the President taught them about prayer.
The 3 requirements of prayer 1)We pray to the father 2) in the name of Jesus Christ 3) By the power of the Holy Ghost. I always knew this but we learned what it means to pray in the name of Christ. They did an example. If Brigham asks a girl out, but says, "Do you want to go out with me? But not really with me, I'm asking for Ethan." Brigham is doing something in the name of Ethan, his words, desires and actions are really want Ethan wants. It's the same with prayer, our prayers aren't really our prayers. We must pray in the way Jesus would say, being guided by the Holy Ghost. That is when God truly answers all of our prayers! We learned this Friday and we put it into practice Friday!
We got home from the conference at 6.30 pm and had a baptismal interview for Irene at 7.00. We waited and waited and she didn't show up... So at about 7.20 we knelt down and offered a true prayer, the way, I think, Jesus would do it. Well we got the answer during the prayer. She sent us a text saying she was late, but on her way. It ended up with us going to her house to have the interview, but I know that God answered our prayers!! It was incredible!!! Irene got baptized on Saturday night!!! Then we had her confirmation and the confirmation of Zamira and Sofia on Sunday! I love this ward we are in and I just love the people I am serving!!
The picture is my comp, Sister Alvarez (friend), Irene, Claudio (recent convert stud) and me!
September 15, 2014
This week has been incredible, mainly for one investigator, Andony. Andony is 19 years old and he is one of the most prepared people I have ever met! He has had a very rough past. His arm is covered in tattoos and lets just say that he has done some things that weren't so great in his life.... He also used to be an atheist, now he has an incredible testimony! The other day we left him with a BoM, Alma 36. He read the whole chapter, re wrote it in a note book, summarized it and wrote questions, mainly words he didn't know. It was incredible! He wants to serve a mission super bad, he's not even baptized yet!!! He asked the bishop yesterday if he could serve a mission with tattoos and the bishop told him the process of filling out the papers and then said, lets not worry about that for now, let's just get you baptized first. His baptism is scheduled for the 27th!
This week has been rainy all week, but we have found a lot of great investigators that I think are going to be able to get baptized. Living with an old assistant has been a blessing because he has a lot of time in the mission and has learned some incredible things with me. I think the thing he shared that affected me most was about Sundays. We all know that Sundays are the Sabbath day, it needs to be a day more sacred than any other day, well in the mission we live some higher laws. But I found a way I could make my Sunday more special, which made the sacrament meeting mean even more to me! So, I invite you all to find 1 way to make your Sabbath day more special. For me, it was studying about the Atonement before going to church.... It can be anything! I love this work and I love the Lord! Thank you for all the help!
September 22, 2014
This week was a rollercoaster ride!!! We started on Monday playing soccer for 2.5 hours, on a court, outside in the rain with all the youth we are working with! It was super fun, but super tiring!!! Then on Tues, we took the 5 hour bus ride to Montevideo to be able to go to the temple on Wed. Tues night we did divisions and I got to go with one of my favorite missionaries, Elder Pin. He was my District leader and example my 2nd change. It was super fun to work with him, we even went to a family home evening and ate a lot! Then when we went to the "hotel" of the church next to the temple we had dinner... Then Wed morning we had breakfast, then a big lunch, lets just say we ate to much so we weren't feeling to good, but we had an incredible experience in the temple!!! I love the temple so much!!! We are so blessed in Utah to have so many temples so close!!! I'm going to make a goal to go at least once a week when I get home from the mission!!! We also had interviews with Pres and the conference. In the interview Pres shared with me something kinda funny. He told me his first impression of me was the photo we took outside of Joseph's house to send in with my mission papers and he just saw some little 17 year old boy and now he looks at that picture and laughs a little cuz he can see how the mission has made me a man.... I don't feel like a man, but hey it came from the Pres! Then we started a 5 hour trip back to our area. We got home at about 12am. Thurs and Friday none of us were feeling good and then Friday night we ate dinner with some members, the hermana is a cook so it was super good, but It didn't sit quite so well... Elder Rydalch and I stayed in the house all day because we couldn't leave our friend, the bathroom, behind. It was not a fun experience, but at least we feel just fine now. We have dinner with that same hermana again next Friday, but her food doesn't usually destroy us so we'll see how that goes! We weren't able to have a lot of contact with other investigators this week because we lost so much time, but this week we'll do a lot better! Love you all!!!!
September 29, 2014
September 29, 2014
Playing soccer is a little bit crazy down here in South America because they play really well, but it's a lot of fun. The youth we are teaching and reactivating rented a soccer court inside, its like a YMCA, and so we are really gonna be playing today! Andoni has his interview with the zone leaders and the President yesterday and lets just say they were surprised by how ready he is!!!! It's incredible how the Lord has helped him grow so much!!! He even bought a suit and came to church in his suit! It's so awesome!!! He is going to get baptized tomorrow at 7:30!
This week we've been finding a lot of new investigators to help them get baptized in October, but nobody really exciting for now... Irene, recent convert, disappeared for a few weeks. She didn't come to church after her confirmation and her parents wouldn't let us talk to her, even though she's 26 years old... But this Sunday I was sitting next to another recent convert Claudio and during sacrament he looked over and told me Irene walked in, sure enough, Irene came back to church and wants us to pass by! I was super worried she was never going to come back, but she came!!! Missionary Work is pretty incredible, we see miracles every day!!!!
Also, on Saturday an investigator from the other area got baptized, Roni. I got to do his interview and he is an incredible guy. He's the son, 30 years old, of a convert of about 2 years and he is a very special man. He has cancer and he recently had surgery and so we got special permission to baptize him after only going to church one time, let's just say it was a very special baptism!!!! Normally, we have about 20 people, on a good day, in the baptisms, for his baptism there were 66 people. More people in the baptism than the days in rains for church. It was a very spiritual experience! That seems like everything that has happened this week!!! Thanks for all the support and sorry that this email is so sporadic!!! Love you all!
My new companion, Elder Santa Cruz from Santiago, Chile!!!!!