Monday, May 27, 2013

San Salvador de Jujuy - May 27th

Hola Beloved Family!
Luckily the whole winter thing didn´t last too long. It´s warmed up a bit since last week, but I don´t think it´ll be long before the cold comes back.
I´m pretty sure I saw Kenzie Lauder in the June Liahona in a great article on prayer. Highly recommend it.
Thank you all so much for the letters! 
Well, this week was pretty cool. We didn´t have a baptism because Manuel, our investigator, had an emergency trip he had to take for work to go to Buenos Aires in order to keep his job. He´ll be back this week, though, and he seems so excited!
This week I was looking a bit in the Proclamation about the Family and I realized again just how blessed I am to have awesome parents that taught me how to feel the Spirit and brothers and sisters who always helped my testimony grow. Not to mention the amazing examples I´ve had as grandparents!
We found two pretty cool families this week! I don´t know if it´ll go anywhere, but finding families is always fun! In fact, we found a lot of people this week. We spent a lot of time going though the ward directory with around 300 less actives, and as we tried to figure out where the heck they lived, lots of helpful people said we could share something quick with them! Plus it´s great when members prepare the way. We talked to one lady that had a few LDS pictures in her home and a Book of Mormon thanks to her neighbor.
I think one of my favorite moments of the week was a short lesson we had with an athiest. He said, "I´m really not interested. I haven´t found anything to convince me there´s a God, but I´ll give you guys a shot." So we gave it a shot. In the end, we didn´t change his mind at all, but I had so much fun bearing testimony! It´s like Elder Anderson said, "This isn´t missionary work, this is missionary fun!" I realized while testifying just how many great experiences I´ve had in my life to strengthen my testimony - EFY, church meetings, family home evening, conversations with my parents about the gospel - everything! And I could testify that I really don´t have a single tiny doubt in my mind that my loving Heavenly Father has answered every prayer I´ve ever said to ask if this gospel is true. I´ve received my answer in various ways, every one powerful in its own sense. Needless to say, it was a great experience.
I had a type of rest this week with exchanges with the Zone Leaders. Big suprise. They called Wednesday afternoon and said, "Hey, exchanges today in an hour." I worked outside my area for the second time on my mission. It´s always great to see what other missionaries do, and what you can apply to improve. I learned a lot. I think my favorite lesson I had with him was with a guy that has lots of problems with the Word of Wisdom named Willy. We talked to him and his friend about the blessings of Church and the Book of Mormon. They were really cool, and insisted on shining our shoes. That made me happy.
Speaking of members leading the way, we taught a lady that was super cool that was a referral from her member neighbor. In the past week she read from the beginning to 1 Nephi twice (intro, testimonies, etc) and through chapter 17. It was so awesome! People progressing is the best.
So during my study this week, I was looking into apostasy and dispensations, and I found a quesiton I couldn´t answer. That´s always fun! When there´s an apostasy, can there still be people with the priesthood? I know that the keys and the authority are taken away, but I got to thinking that it´s possible there´s still unauthorized priesthood holders that don´t have keys nor authority to exercise their priesthood. Still want to look into it a little more, but it was fun to think about.
Anyway, seems like all is well. Good luck with the shed, and happy Labor Day! And while I´m at it, happy 25 de Mayo (One of the independence days of Argentina)
Love you guys!

Monday, May 20, 2013

San Salvador de Jujuy - May 20th

Hello Family!
That's fun you had rain! We had a little this week too. With a lot of cold. It's really not THAT cold, but out of nowhere after summer, the people here are in parkas. Today was a little better.
Well, the mission life is always great! Alan and I went on divisions this week. That was kind of fun. It was like being with a missionary fresh from the MTC. He's such a great missionary! He needs to finish up school so that he can get out there on a mission.
My comp went to Salta this week. That was fun! I bought so much stuff by means of my comp! Like a children's song book in Spanish (It's easier to keep thinking in Spanish when the songs stuck in your head are the same language), along with a mini PMG and a video of the restoration. I also converted some of my dollars and bought speakers that I found for 10 dollars off. It's SO nice to have music again.
Manuel is SUPER committed to his date. He had an interview with the bishop this week and said that they had a few things to work out, but that he felt so good talking to the bishop and getting himself ready. It really made me realize what a great blessing bishops are. They do so much and have to deal with so many hard situations, but they help SO much. I can't imagine repentance without having those wonderful representatives of the Lord here to help us.
Ariana didn't go to church this week. In her words, "It's hard - I want to go, but there's always some kind of barrier!" She ended up sleeping over at a friend's house Saturday night after there was some kind of a public disturbance in the street near where she was. But still, she'll make it to baptism. Only 14 years old, but she reads everything we give her. She even did the additional study at the end! I've never had anyone do that before.
Members moving is no fun. I finally figured out how there are so many lost sheep in the world. People get baptized, stop going to church, and move to who knows where. Their records stay in the ward, but who knows where they went? The fun part is finding them again and helping them remember their testimony and come back!
Mormon Messages are cool and powerful. Great way to invite the Spirit into a lesson. I highly recommend taking the time to watch a few.
I gave a talk in church! We found out Friday night and I spent Saturday morning prepping. We got to church and they said they'd only need one of us, so they picked Elder Jensen. The first two speakers spoke and finished by 11:30 (ends at 12). The counselor got up and said "We'll now be hearing from Elder Willey, followed by Elder Jensen." It was a surprise, but I was glad I'd brought my stuff. I gave a talk on Revelation, using the story of Wilford Woodruff and his carriage, Nephi 15 when he reprimands his brothers for not asking the Lord, a quote from Elder Bowen on writing questions and answers to gospel topics, and quotes from Bednar and Hinckely on recognizing. It was great. I haven't borne my testimony like that from a pulpit for a while. What an oportunity we have to study and share the gospel with our neighbors every once in a while!
Anyway, that's the week! Love you guys!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

San Salvador de Jujuy - May 13th

Hey family!
So most of what I´d say I´ve already said.
Bruno, the son of a less active, went to church yesterday. It was so great! I think the fact that his mom doesn´t want him to get baptized just made him all the more committed to go. We´ll see what happens, but I think with a lot of fasting and prayer, if he has a powerful testimony and expresses that to his mom, she´ll let him do it.
Manuel is progressing really well. He opened up to us a little this week about his past. Life can be really hard, but really the gospel has a lot of power to help us out. He is really starting to understand everything and it´s looking pretty sure that he´ll get baptized not this Saturday, but the next.
Ariana, the girl we talked to in the street, couldn´t go to church yesterday. She stayed up late at a stupid quince (the crazy parties people throw when they turn 15) and didn´t wake up. But, she did watch the Joseph Smith movie! Twice! That was cool. And people always love learning about the Plan of Salvation.I finally laminated the pictures I have! It´s so much easier to teach that with pictures.
For the family night we did this week we taught about tithing and did a type of Don´t Eat Pete. We put ten ten-cent pieces on the paper and you had to pull them off until you got to the "tithing piece." Then, depending on how many you took off, you got candy. It was really fun and all the kids (and adults) were happy!
Well, seventh months in. The spanish is finally starting to impact my English. I´m still pretty good in English, though. I think.
We found a really cool couple this week! We only taught them in the door, but the wife seemed really interested. I´m excited to see what happens there.
One last thing: Gospel study is so interesting! There´s so much deep doctrine out there. If you ask me, that´s just one more testimony of the church. Even just the basic stuff like Agency or Faith - there´s so much to learn about it! Even from stuff like Principles of the Gospel. There´s some deep stuff in there.
Anyway, love you guys! Hope everything is well! Sounds like it!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

San Salvador de Jujuy - May 6th

Hey family!
You should all be very proud of me. I cooked my own hamburgers and peach cobbler last Monday!
We have an investigator right now, Manuel, who is super cool. He's really committed to his baptismal date, and it's so great to work with him. He also said the prayer for the first time the other day without help!
We're also working with the friend of a convert of 2 years or so. She doesn't understand much at all. But it's really great for the convert! She went to church for the first time yesterday in a year!
We had a really awesome lesson in the street the other day. With my new companion, I'm kinda in charge of where we go, since he doesn't know the area really well. All of our plans fell through, and I had no clue where to go. I started walking, not exactly sure where, but this group of girls waved and said hi. Anyone who knows missionaries knows that you shouldn't do that. We turned around and walked toward them. I love that look of terror when they realized that you're gong to talk to them! It was fun - we talked about prophets and the restoration, and I was whipping out different pictures in my art book. As with most lessons, half of them started to walk off and those who were really interested stayed there. We set up a return appointment and went back Saturday. That was cool! They had read and wanted to know more (and they only have 13 and 14 years!) It was a little awkward when a transvestite came and started listening, but oh well. They still paid attention. And one of them went to church! Young Women's yesterday was bigger than I've ever seen it.
The economy here isn't doing so well. All the prices are started to raise because a dollar is 8 pesos now. Thank goodness the church uses dollars!
Our ward correlation is going great! I love talking to the guy they have in charge now. He knows all the converts and a lot of the formers, and really can help, rather than just saying, "Keep up the good work. Your progress record looks good. See you next week."
I trimmed hedges this week! It was fun, and the lady was really appreciative. I also taught a guy who must have drunk half a bottle of rubbing alcohol during the lesson, despite our best efforts to stop him. We also had a really cool lesson using Mormon Messages. I love those.
Well, I hope you all have a great week! Love ya!