Monday, November 18, 2013

Libertador General San Martin (Ledesma), Salta - November 18th

Hello Fam!
So I was transferred away from my hijo. He's still over there in Villa Muñecas Tucuman. Now I'm in Ledesma, Oran. It's in northern Salta. There's a big sugar, paper, etc. factory here. My new comp is from the same group as Elder Lyman - Elder Whittier from Idaho. I'll send a pic next week, cyber permitting.
Not too much to say about last week. I took quite a few pictures! I don't guarantee the quality. Unfortunately, I didn't bring my camera, so you'll have to wait a bit.
We finally unfroze the freezer after months! It was quite the feat.
We talked to two testigos... j-dubs this past week. It made me happy to be Mormon. Both of them said something along the lines of, "What you're saying sounds really interesting, but I don't want to confuse myself now that I'm with this group." If only they realized what they were missing... I'm just happy to not be closed off to other religions - just so sure in what I believe that I know that I'm doing what God wants. We also talked to a very closed off Catholic lady, and it was the same type of situation. They listen, but they don't make the room to consider that it might be true. Sometimes they accuse us of the same, but there's something I love about our message - all of it has to do with asking God, and doing what he says. It just makes everything better!
This week was pretty cool. I met Brother Leal. He's a few months younger than Craig, and was recently called as second counselor in the bishopric. And he served in Burbank, so he speaks fluent English. It was so weird to hear him switch between accents.
My testimony of prayer grew. During exchanges, we met the wife of a member that was just really not interested. I was praying my heart out, trying to know how we could get to her. The answer came as an inspired question to Elder Rengifo - "May I use your bathroom?" We got in the door! Then the conversation naturally turned to eternal marriage and she changed just a little as we testified. Divine help is always very welcome!
Something similar happened the next day. We'd had a special leader meeting, which chewed up a lot of our day. That night, we hadn't had a single lesson. I was begging in prayer to just have a lesson, but everyone wasn't home. Then we turned a corner and saw a lady outside her house we'd contacted a couple weeks ago that was "never home" and "never had time". We had a really great lesson with her. God loves us, and always answers our prayers.
Lucas gave a talk! He got nervous and cut it down to reading out of the scriptures and True to the Faith, but he just has a natural ability to make people laugh, started from the way he just casually walked up to the pulpit with his jeans and started with a mic check. He'll be an awesome missionary.
To finish off, I saw Acey for the first time since the beginning! Kinda cool. What a fun coincidence! I hope you enjoy his homecoming talk! Tell me how it goes.
Well, I hope you all have a great week! Thanks for writing me!


Tucuman - November 11th

Hello Family!
Quite the eventful week! I spent a lot of time outside my area, but we had two baptisms! We taught the last thing we needed to this week - ayuno (fasting) - using the Stanford marshmallow experiment. We put candy in front of them, and told them that if they could resist until the end, we'd give them much more. It was a fun object lesson.
I ate tongue pizza! It tasted very normal.
I went up to Lomas this week with a Colombian Elder. The highlight was when we found a lady that had an evangelist church in her backyard. It was weird... she was saying a lot of strange things - like three kingdoms or heavens, prophets today, the gospel blesses families and we can receive personal revelation - but it was all intermingled with apostasy. I'm just glad to have the truth of all things. And a church that isn't centered on strange rock music and people speaking gibberish while rolling around on the floor.
I also spent some time with another Elder, Elder Malin, while Elder Lyman went to Salta - not too much to say there, except for a small miracle. We taught a family really close to a sharp drop off into a canal. We had to walk quite a ways to get there, and we didn't want to walk back. It seemed certain that there was a way out on the other side, but as we walked, we couldn't find one. We were on the verge of losing about 10-20 minutes walking time when a lady showed us a shortcut that I swear wasn't there before. Tender Mercies!
Poor Elder Lyman got stuck on a broken down collectivo, er, bus. He got back really late. It didn't affect me though, because I was doing exchanges with the zone leaders, so the other zone leader had to wait for him. During those exchanges, we saw more miracles! There was this super Evangelist lady that did not want to talk to us. I've learned the importance of being insistent, since we're talking about eternal salvation, but once it gets to a certain point, I give up. Not Elder Humphrey (Zone leader). He just took it really cool and testified and taught and asked some strangely amazing questions. At the end, she let us in. He has a habit of inviting himself in. I'm surprised that people don't seem to have a problem with that when you do it in a casual, polite way. During those exchanges, we watched a really cool video that a member showed us on Kolob and the universe and stuff. Fascinating!
We participated in a setting apart the other day. It was unexpected and really cool! It's so interesting to see how the power and the authority and the keys of the priesthood work. The power of God is just great!
Anyway, Hope you all have a wonderful week!

Elder Willey

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Tucuman - November 4th

Hey Family!
I think I forgot to tell you all last week, but I cut Elder Lyman's hair! I was proud of myself.
We found a crazy guy that wanted to tell us that when Jesus comes again, he's going to protect all the Arabs and kill all North Americans. We just kinda ignored him. I'm glad we have a really sound understanding of the bible in the church.
The other day I was thinking about how well my shoes were lasting. A couple days later I realized that I wasn't getting a lot of dirt in my shoe because it was entering from above, rather that it's coming in from a broken sole down below. Then I noticed that the left shoe of my other pair is the same. I'm currently using the good right shoe from one pair and the good left shoe from the other. I'll send pictures.
There was an annoying parrot that kept yelling "MAMA!" I was very concerned for the distressed child until I realized who was screaming.
The weather here's been nuts. First, over 100 degrees, then 95 with rain, then it dropped to around 70 or 65 with rain (I was not prepared for the cold on the exchanges), now it's hot again. And I thought the Utah weather was nuts.
We had interviews with President this week. It was a lot shorter than my last one. Things must be going really well!
I also did my second and third baptismal interviews this week. At first they didn't answer the door. Luckily their son came to open it because he felt like he needed to come back! The first interview went well, except when I asked if he'd participated in a homosexual relationship he looked down and said "Well, when I was younger, I didn't understand the things very well." I went into panic mode, but he kept talking for a couple seconds and I realized that he was just talking about regular law of chastity issues with women that he'd already repented of, and hadn't understood the question. Phew! His wife was much harder to interview. She's 70, and doesn't hear very well. As soon as we got started, she began to talk. A LOT. And she didn't stop for anything. None of the stuff she said was very important, but I couldn't ask the questions. I called our president for advice, but he didn't really know what to say other than "Try to get her to understand that you need to talk to her." Then a zone leader called to tell me that he knew the lady, and that if I could get her to read the questions, she would answer. It worked. It was a miracle. Especially since the phone I used to call doesn't work. We just happened to find a way to work things out to make those calls. The Lord loves me.
I used the toothpaste example to teach the two girls that are getting baptized this week about daily scripture study - we can't just brush with a lot one day - a little every day. I also used the marble in the plate and the bowl to teach how obedience and rules keep us safe, and ripped up a picture she drew of a church and told her to put it back together to teach the apostasy. I was quite proud of me. So was the primary president.
We had lots of people in church on Sunday. Gospel principles was huge. And it just happened to be the teacher's first time.
One member made a really cool comment in testimony meeting. Everyone noticed the number of non-members there, so they kept their testimonies very investigator appropriate. I was proud. This member got up last and said, "You may have noticed that we all say basically the same thing with very little variation. That's because it's the truth. If it's raining outside, people are going to say that it's raining. There's really not much more to say once you know it's true, but what does change is the understanding of these basic truths, and how it affects our lives." He proceeded to talk about the Atonement and the role it can take in our lives. My understanding felt enlightened.
Well, I really had a great week! I hope everything is going well with everyone!
Love you guys!