Monday, March 28, 2011
I'm super hungry. I only ate a little cereal cuz I ran out. Haha. So the first week of training went pretty well. We got started on Wednesday, but we still had a pretty good week in the end. More about this in the following sections where I respond to questions from Nate and from Mom.
So what are some of the fun things you have been able to do on P-day down there?
Here in Rio Grande? We play soccer behind the church on a cement court sometimes. One time we did an asado (a barbeque) with chicken and chorizo (like bratwursts). Yum. What else... oh. That one time we went to Tolhuin and Lago (lake) Fagnano... that's pretty much it. In my last few weeks in Constitucion we were playing basketball every monday. Ballin. Anyways, our investigators invited us to Tolhuin next Monday so we might do that.
Or are you stuck doing laundry all day?
Nope, we drop our clothes of at the laundromat.
How much are you cooking on your own right now?
Pretty much not... just pday we either cook or buy. Everyone here gives us wayyy to much food, I'm gaining weight.
What do you typically make?
They sell crappy tortillas in some places so cheese quesadillas. Yogurt, pudding, fruit, left overs... haha.
Tell us about your new companion.
Elder Mateos is from Cordoba (b or v..??) Argentina, but he was living in Resistencia, Chaco for the past year because he was a professor in a university. He is an Information Technology professor or something similar. He's pretty smart and he is learning English really fast (even though he says he doesn't speak it at all...haha). He was baptized 2 years ago and he is 24. He is the only member in his family and he got to know the church through a girl he met on facebook, who he ended up dating. Hahaha. The best part is that a year ago he broke up with her and now she is living in Ushuaia (3 hours away, basically the only other city on the island.. hahaha). The rest of his family is catholic and he actually went to the catholic church before getting baptized. He's a baller.
Hopefully you guys are getting along well together.
Like peanut butter and jam baby.
How long are the days there?
They're getting shorter. It gets dark at about 7:30 and the sun comes up at about 7 or 7 30 i think.
How are you coming with your new investigators?
Really good. We finally have found some good new investigators. We had 5 in church on Sunday but 2 of them need divorces. Our other best two- Nancy and her sister Veronica- didn't go because Nancy didn't want to go cuz she was still really upset the the cops came and got mad at her for selling alcohol after hours the night before. Haha. But we talked to her later in the day and she was doing better, but she is still really upset cuz things are tense with her husband (they're not married...) and things aren't getting better. But last night he participated more with us. Hopefully we can turn that around because if not he is supposed to leave in April. Anyways, last night she said she believes that the Book of Mormon is true because it has helped her and she believes that Joseph Smith was a prophet. Now we just need to get the whole marriage or split issue fixed and she'll for sure get baptized. Unfortunately Roman is taking more time but
he'll also be baptized soon. Also we helped an inactive young man who is the only member in his family go on Sunday and his sister was really interested and she went too. They look really good, we just need to keep them going to church and at least that girl from the family will get baptized.
With the branch leadership?
Good. Unfortunately Pres. Nina still hasn't come to church, but the District President says that they are supposedly going to call a new presidency soon. Yup...
Well you all pretty much asked me all the questions that I had anything to say about... I guess I'll share a story from yesterday- A kind of less active brother asked us if we could go with him after
lunch to visit his inactive sister. So we went and she was there and she has a back problem and she was super depressed about her condition and also her spiritual condition and she was crying and I just felt so horrible for her, but I could feel the love that our Heavenly Father has for her and I could really feel that she was my sister. Anyways, we shared about the Atonement and repentance and then she bore her testimony and asked for a blessing. So we gave her the blessing and the Spirit was really strong. Anyways, her brother is going to pick her up next week to go to conference and another brother that was with us is going to try and find a wheelchair.
Well, love you all. Hope you are all doing well. If not, read the scriptures and get down on your knees to pray. Thanks for all your support!
Monday, March 21, 2011
Well another transfer just went by. I don't know how it went by so fast. So crazy. It was pretty hard, but I feel like I'm learning and it has been great being with Elder Hunt. He is definitely a good friend of mine and an excellent missionary. Unfortunately our companionship couldn't last forever and he boarded an airplane for Buenos Aires this morning! He is going back to the area next to his last area... and I am going to train!!! Hahaha. Crazy right? Didn't even expect that. Yup. My companion arrives here on Wednesday morning. His name is Elder Mateu (Mah teh oo). I don't know if he is latino or american, but I guess I'll find out soon enough! Haha. It's gonna be great and I'm sure I'm going to learn a lot. I've always liked the idea of training. Anyways, I'll try and share a couple quick stories from this past week and update a couple things. 1. Roman Roman should be getting baptized this week, but it has been almost impossible to meet with him, but he is definitely getting baptized in the next couple weeks. 2. Nancy Nancy is our new best investigator. She was a reference from a less active (pretty much inactive) brother that we are trying to help to come back. Anyways we went and setup an appointment for another day when her husband would be home and then we went and it turned out the her husband didn't really have much interest, but her younger sister was there so those 2 wanted to listen to us and the 2 husbands were kind of in and out of the lesson. Anyways, they had a lot of interest and a lot of questions and we had all the answers and they kept asking questions about the plan of salvation and we had to promise it for next time because we didn't have time to do it then. Anyways, they accepted all of the invitations (read, pray, be baptized) and then we invited them to church, but they didn't want to go. I told them if they didn't go that they would never know if we represented the only true church like we know we are, they realized it was true and commited. Anyways, it ended up that only Nancy went on Sunday and only for a bit, but she liked it even though she was confused about some of the doctrine of one of the speakers, but we assured her it was his doctrine and not ours. Haha.... Good ole branches.... Anyways, we met with the sister and her in the afternoon yesterday and the sister was pretty upset she couldn't go and even made us a cake for our birthdays (E. Hunt's was yesterday) and Nancy and her husband gave us small gifts (a pen and a keychain of leather). Epic. The husband is starting to open up to us and everything and both Nancy and her sister have offered awesome prayers from their knees at the end of lessons. Awesome. They're for sure baptisms this transfer. 3. Finding out E. Hunt was leaving with Flia. Alvarez So last night we were at a less active family's house that we are working hard with and they gave us dinner and a cake (we ate a total of 5 I think... ridiculous) and afterwards we were sharing with them and the spirit was really strong and I really felt for them as a family and I bore my testimony of how my eternal family is the greatest hope I have in my life and it is what gives me purpose and meaning to my life and I got all emotional and ended up crying telling them how I wanted them to be an eternal family and prepare to enter into the temple for the 2nd time on the mish (the other time I was testifying of the same thing to Flia. Robledo). I really felt the truth of what I was saying and l know they felt it really strongly and Elder Hunt ended up emotional and it was all kinds of ridiculous and then our member starting testifying (kind of....) and my phone started ringing, so I looked at it and it said Asistente (assistant to president)!!! I had totally forgotten about transfers and I was like... what...??? So I stepped into the hallway and answered it and it was Elder Jones again and he asked me if I was obedient and then said that the Lord must trust in me a lot and that he had called me as a trainer!! Crazy. All I thought is... crappp.... Elder Hunt is leaving... and I said sweet or whatever and I went back in and everyone just kind of stared at me and then I said I had something to say and said that Elder Hunt was going to be leaving. So he said his final words and we were all looking a mess (except the dad, he held through) and it was just a great lesson with them. They better return to church and make it to the temple. Anyways, hope you are all doing well. I'm gonna miss Elder Hunt, but I am sure going to learn a lot training... Crazy. I love you all a lot. This transfer will be an excellent transfer and Austral will grow! It has to becauset his past week we only had 40 people in the church. Ridiculous, but the Lord will help our righteous desire. I love you guys! Thanks for supporting me!
Wednesday, March 16, 2011
Greetings everyone, This week was a decent week. At first it looked like it was going to be horrible, but we hung in and ended up finding some really good investigators. The weather also decided to take a downward turn and now it is pretty cold, but at least the wind is supposed to let up a little as the temperature goes down. Anyways, there are transfers next week, but I really doubt anything happens with us here. We're still trying to get the area going, but looks like we'll have to keep going step by step. Anyways, I am writing today because on Monday the offices made me go to el centro (downtown) to look for an apartment with the zone leader here for a senior couple of missionaries that is going to be living here. They come on Thursday, but supposedly they don't speak spanish... haha. Should be interesting. But we ended up finding 2 good apartments. Also, we had two really good experiences, but I'll put them in the following answers to the questions Josh asked me. What miracle happened in your area this week? This past week we were finally able to meet with a 17 year old named Roman who has been going to church every week for the past 6 months and is more active than his member girlfriend. Haha. We had already taught him a couple times, but it is difficult to find time to teach him because he works and studies and his family doesn't really support him because they go to another church. Anyways, Sunday after church we pulled him aside and had a lesson. In the lesson we talked about recognizing an answer from God through the Spirit and it was a really good lesson, at the end we talked a little about baptism and challenged him to be baptized and he accepted. Then I said that we were preparing a baptismal service for the 26th of March and he said he didn't think he'd be prepared, but we reassured him and bore testimony and also our member that was there bore his testimony and then Roman accepted. He has never accepted a baptismal invitation before So we should have a baptism next week. The first one in a long time here. The other epicness happened on Sunday night when we found a former investigator who is 18 and his whole family. The kid told us how he was going to get baptized and how he had read and prayed about the book of mormon and everything, but then his friend got baptized and the missionaries got transferred and then they said the missionaries had never passed by again! Anyways, the dad then told us how he is looking at all the churches, trying to find the true one! And the wife said she was in some new catholic church??? but that she was willing to follow her husband in his persuit for the true church. Then at the end of the lesson another former investigator that has gone to church many times showed up and we talked with him a bit and he gave the last prayer. Epic! It was really good. Tell us more about your trip to the lake last week Uhhh... it was a really big lake. The members drove us and made us chorizos (sausages) which we made into delicious sandwiches and then we walked around for a while, made that sign, and then went to a little touristy town to catch a ride back to Rio Grande. We didn't really do anything, but it was sweet looking (as you can tell from the pictures). Lake Fagnano. What is the climate like? It has gotten a lot colder lately. I asked what type of climate it is and they told me it is a tundra here. Haha. It is really windy all the time (memories of Aruba...) but the wind is cold. Haha. Supposedly as it gets colder the wind gets weaker. Tell us about a spiritual experience you had either teaching someone or during your personal/companionship study Yesterday we were teaching new investigators and I felt the spirit testify really strongly as I testified about how the gospel has blessed my family and also they didn't want to go to church but I felt I had to say that our message was really important, about how God really has called a prophet like he has always done before and that they would never know without going to the church and they said, I guess you're right, yeah I'll go if my sister goes and Fede (and then they all agreed to go). So we made plans to go on Sunday and everything and setup a follow up appt on Friday. That was really good. Anyways, keep hitting me up with questions if you want me to write long like this. Haha. I love you guys! I know the gospel has been restored in these days and that we have a living prophet and that the authority and power of God is on the earth! I am so grateful for knowing these things and for knowing that God loves us enough now to have called a prophet and to continually give us guidance through him. I really have received so much happiness and hope from the Gospel and I know it really is the only way to find the true happiness. I know the real happiness is in the Gospel and that it can't be found in the world. Thank you for all helping me to get here (the mission). You all have really made a huge difference in my life. I should probably write a few people that made a big difference in helping me get here. If someone at home sees Cody Haycock tell him thanks and that even though he doesn't know it, he is a big reason I am here and as well for Brother Mayfield. Tell Bishop Nelson thanks too and I'll have to write my seminary teachers. Mom and Dad- you guys are the best! Thanks for sticking with me through everything and teaching me what is right! You guys are the best! Thanks Nate and Josh for being great examples and setting the standard and thanks Rach and Nicole for raising me to be who I am. You all are the best. Anyways, this letter is way too long and I am super hungry. Love you all! Keep safe! Mom, do you forward these emails to my friends every week? Just wondering because I've never known... Haha. Let me know.
Tuesday, March 8, 2011
This week I ate blood sausage! Hahaha. Disgusting, super mushy. It's like meat pudding and it doesn't even taste good. A member is a chef and he made it for us. The other meats were waayyy better. Yup. Also, I think all the pictures I attached are from yesterday when we went to Lake Fagnano, one of the world's largest lakes. I didn't write yesterday cuz it was a holiday here and all the internet places were closed. Anyways, it was a super adventure to go to the lake
which is a little over an hour away from Rio Grande in the middle of the island close to a tiny city called Tolhuin. Anyways, it was super epic and fun. Anyways, there weren't as many people in church this week and we only had a few investigators so that was pretty rough, but we gotta keep our heads up and our shoulder to the wheel! Anyways, I don't have much else to say and I have to finish up cuz elder hunt already finished. Love you all! Keep safe!