Monday, October 31, 2016

Happy Halloween!

I realized that it is Halloween in the United States today! That's super fun! I wanna see pictures of everyone's costumes!

This week went well, and Elder Senz and I are getting along really well! He is from Cordoba. He is super chill! He can't speak English really, so we always speak Castellano. It helps me out a lot actually and I'm getting better slowly but surely. We got another noob in Calafate this week! Elder Nelson from Salt Lake is training Elder Revilla from Peru. They are the two elders in Calafate B, and Elder Senz and I have reigns over Calafate A. 

This week we had no investigators at church. I don't know what happened...usually we have like 3 or 4. Basically no one came to church actually...we had like 24 people this Sunday. That's one basically. So we were pretty discouraged and we realize that we have to work harder with the members! There is no point in baptizing new converts if the members are falling away or less active! Our job as missionaries is to bring people unto Christ. All people, including members, and if they happen to be sliding a bit from the iron rod, we need to bring them back before they are lost! So that is going to be our focus in the next couple of weeks! Obviously we will continue to work with our investigators. They have first priority, but the members are sooooo important as well!

Well, I was reading in the Pearl of Great Price this week, and I was reminded of how lucky we are to have these additional records of scripture! I believe that in the Bible, the only thing it says about Enoch is that he walked with God or something like that. But in the Pearl of Great Price we learn so much more! He saw The Lord and he was taught the entire plan of salvation! From these additional records we have so much more knowledge and security about this life! I am just so grateful for this church and all of the many blessings we receive from it!

Also this week we did companion study on chapter 5 in Preach my Gospel. Focusing on the BoM as a tool! We know that our two most powerful tools in converting people is the Book of Mormon and the Holy Spirit! Through these things, an investigator can gain a testimony of Jesus Christ and commit to following Him through the necessary ordinances such as baptism and the reception of the Gift of the Holy Ghost! I am so grateful for the Book of Mormon and the power it has. It truly is the most correct book on the Earth, and we can truly come closer to Christ by abiding by its precepts! 

I love this opportunity I have to be a missionary!!! It is tough, pero vale la pena! (but, it's worth it!) I hope the Lord will continue to bless me, my companion, and all of my family as I work my hardest here!

Monday, October 24, 2016

4 Months Completed!

This week was probably the best week of the mission so far! 

Let's see...where do I even start? I guess I will begin with transfers. Big news! I am staying in Calafate, but I am getting a new comp! So Elder Araujo has been called to serve in Puerto Madryn up north as a District Leader. I now am going to get Elder Senz from Argentina. I am actually super excited about this because I have heard that he is really cool and super chill. So we should get along well. But the main thing is that he speaks Argentine Spanish!!! I am so excited because I feel like this is my opportunity to really improve my Spanish. And I'm definitely going to try to make the most of our time together! 

This week we also had interviews with the Mission President! It was a nice reminder to make sure I am doing all the things I should be doing in order to have the spirit with me at all times when we are finding, contacting, and teaching. 

I believe I mentioned Cesar in a previous email right? But we have these two brothers now as investigators. Friends of a recent convert whose name is José Tito. He brought them to church two weeks ago I believe, and we have met with them twice already with him to teach! They also came to the Family Home Evening on Monday night at the church when President Salerno was here. It was focused on the Restoration and the First Vision. Cesar said that he felt really good watching it, and President clarified that was the spirit! The following lesson we had with them they committed to a fecha for November! So that is really exciting!

We also went to the Glacier Perito Moreno. It is one of the largest glaciers in the world and it is only like an hour bus ride from our area! We went with a group of like 11 missionaries, and it was so fun. Highlight of the mission so far.....because I haven't baptized yet of course. It was truly truly the most beautiful thing I have ever seen, and I tried to take some cool photos. It was a great reminder that God created this world for us to enjoy and be happy, and I am so grateful for that!!

We were shopping in Centro the night we got back from the glacier with the other elders that were visiting, and we went into a certain little shop. We walked in and began to browse a bit. The lady at the counter asked us: "Ustedes son de una iglesia? (Are you guys from a church) or something like that. We said we were from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, or Mormons. She said that she was looking for us!! We were like...what? Haha. She said that her boyfriend said that the only church he will go to is the Mormon church. We talked to her more and we set a cita to meet up with her next week on Tuesday with her boyfriend I believe. That was a miracle to find her. And I have found that talking to employees in stores is actually one of the easiest ways to talk to people about the gospel! We had a conversation the other day with a man for about 25 minutes about the gospel in his own store! I believe that we have a lot of blessings in store for Calafate!

Whenever someone accepts the invitation to be baptized or to even meet with us in the first place, I am filled with so much joy. It is that happiness and joy that drives me each and every day. Hoping that I can find at least one person that day that I can bring closer to Christ! I know that you guys can all have those feelings too, as you invite your friends or even strangers! I promise that this is the work of the Lord and we are all missionaries in our hearts!

Monday, October 17, 2016

Tramites y Conferencia de Distrito

This week was interesting to say the least. First off, I was on a bus for over 40 hours. 16 to Comodoro, 16 back to Calafate. Then about 4 to Rio Gallegos for District Conference, and about 4 back. But hey, at least I'm not going to be illegal now! 

So, I slept in my own bed twice this week. And we were only in my area for one day. Needless to say it is hard to help your investigators progress when you are not able to meet with them.

However, the one day that we were here and actually were able to work, we met with a man who is a friend of a recent convert. He was brought to church last week along with his friend. So we passed by him, and taught him Lesson One and gave him a Book of Mormon, and he mentioned that baptism would be something that he would be interested in. He mentioned that himself, so, that's pretty awesome. He seems really cool. We will continue to pass by him obviously this week, and I'm excited to finally have a week without traveling much.

On Friday, in Rio Gallegos, I was able to play basketball for the first time in a while, so that was fun! The basket is only like 8 feet tall, so I was dunking on everyone...haha it was pretty sweet.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Don't Worry!

Hey! Sorry for the late email! (Hopefully you weren't too worried mom.) Today is pretty weird, and I am writing again in a janky internet cafe in Rio Gallegos! I took a bus from Calafate this morning at 11:30 and arrived at Rio Gallegos around 4. Tonight, I'm gonna take a bus with some of the other kids that arrived in my group to Comodoro (12 hour bus ride) so that we can do our tremites. I actually don't know how to spell that, but basically it's the legal documentation so that we aren't illegal here in Argentina! We will do that in the mission office tomorrow and then come back. So in the next two days...I have about 26 hours of bus rides....pretty crazy. 

My Spanish is actually coming along pretty well. I can communicate decently well, and I can understand a good amount of what people say. So that's good. My Spanish is better than most of the others that came in my group so I guess I take a little pride in that. I'm trying really hard! I hope that by the time I get to Skype call at Christmas, I can speak a decent amount. I hope I can have a conversation with Jeff!

Anyways...apparently I'm better at soccer than I thought...because when we played here in this junky indoor facility place, I was actually better than most of the Latins! I scored like 6 goals so that was pretty cool! It was awesome to finally exercise again. I miss playing basketball everyday like I used to do at home. But yeah, it was fun to play soccer! I'm gonna try and buy some "remeras" or jerseys for myself when I go to Comodoro. They are cheaper there than in Calafate, I hopefully will be able to buy some for some people back home! 

After we returned from Rio Gallegos from Conference, we worked in our area for like two days, then had to drive back for Zone Meeting. And then we went back to work in Calafate. And now I'm back for Tremites! So I am literally spending so much time on buses here! It's insane. 

The work in Calafate continues to be slow, but it's okay. It's hard to teach when we are never even in our area.....haha. I hope the work will speed up as we have more time there! We did find three new investigators this week though, so that was cool. 

Here are some pics from when our power went out but continued to make banana bread in the dark with our flashlights! 

Monday, October 3, 2016

General Conference in Rio Gallegos!

I am currently in Rio Gallegos right now in a ciber, or an internet cafe. It's kinda cool, but the computers are so janky. 

Today for P-day we are going to play fùtbol after we finish up writing, so I didn't get a chance to play basketball, but oh well. Soccer is alright I suppose!

General Conference this weekend was amazing, and by far the most powerful I've ever experienced. Watching with a new eye as a missionary made it so powerful. Every word, sentence, and testimony was stretched in my mind and broken apart as to how I can apply it to myself and my investigators, and how I can be a more powerful missionary. Here are my highlights from conference, and things that I took from it. 

- When I pray, do I really pray? Do I feel a real connection to the heavens? Or am I using insincere, vain repetitions?
- It is not possible to fall lower than the everlasting reach of the Atonement of Jesus Christ.
- "Faith, Focus, Strong Ambition for Christ"
- If we are ambitious in Christ, we can feel joy even in the midst of our trials.
- When the Lord calls, will I hear?
-As missionaries, we bring JOY to the people of the world.
- Joy comes from living a Christ centered life.
- What can I do better this week to prepare myself for the sacrament?
- Do we know the Savior? Or do we only know "about" Him?
- Repentance is not a back-up plan in case out plan to live perfectly fails! It's a daily process of self-evaluation and improvement!
- When we are on the Lord's errand, we are entitled to His help. 
- Believing in Christ is more than just believing in Him. It's believing that His blessings can come into your personal life. For example, I know that God answers prayers. But do I believe and have faith enough that he answers MY prayers? Does the Atonement reach far enough to erase MY sins? 

Those are some of the many things I got from General Conference, and I hope that all you guys will make a change in your life in some way to get to know our Savior more. Not just know about Him, but get to know Him at a personal level, and how we can receive the blessings that he has promised us, for if we live worthy of them, we are truly entitled to them, if we have faith enough.

Here are some pics from General Conference. All of the gringos got to watch it in English in a tiny room!