Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Week Fifty-Two (ONE YEAR!): Monterico

Hey fam!
So as you know, I completed a year this last week. I didn't do too much mostly because I was in the area of the zone leaders on splits, but when I got back to my area I tried burning a tie to mark one year. But those things don't burn! I'm sure it was just that type of material but it didn't want to burn it just melted. The tradition here is to burn a shirt at your year mark but I've taken pretty good care of my shirts and none of them have any problems and I didn't want to burn a perfectly good shirt. So I changed the rules a little bit but it didn't really work out too well lol. 
We have been talking with the brother that is in charge of our branch to organize things for conference. We are going to watch it in our building. I don't remember if I told you but we don't have a church building. The church rents a house out and we have sacrament meeting in the first floor and we, the missionaries, live on the second floor. But it's not like anyone can just walk up the stairs and be in our house. You have to walk outside and them open a door with a key then you can walk up the stairs to get to where we live. But as I was saying, we are going to hook the TV to the computer so the members can watch it in the "church" and don't have to travel super far to the stake center. Here conference starts at 1-3 then 5-7 and priesthood starts at 9 at night. Since we only have one computer the option to watch it in english doesn't exist. But my Spanish has improved since the last conference so I should be able to understand more. But the magazine would be awesome when it comes. 
Also I don't know if you already sent the package or not but if you haven't, don't send it yet. We got an email from the office saying to tell our parents to not send packages because they are fixing some things. But if you already sent it I'm sure there won't be a problem. 
We have been working with the members trying to get them more involved in missionary work and help strengthen the branch. But it seems like it's easier for them to talk about doing things rather than actually doing them. So we are still trying to get them motivated. 
This week we had a really cool experience. In this area we have to travel a lot by taxi to get to other little towns and farms to find and teach people. Recently the same taxi driver has been taking us where we need to go. To call a taxi you just wait on the side of the road with your hand out and wait till someone stops. Anyone can be a taxi driver here. The only thing you need is a car. So there are quite a few of them... the fact that the same driver has picked us up so many times is VERY uncommon. Once we noticed this we began to talk more with him and find out more about his life and stuff like that and he has become a good friend of ours. This week while contacting in a small town and we found a small family. Just the mom, niece, and son were there and they let us into teach them. While talking with them we learned more about them and learned that the father is a taxi driver. Because there are a lot of taxi drivers I didn't think anything of it. We taught the family and they were super receptive and really liked what we had to say. When we went back for the second time our friend the taxi driver just so happened to pick us up again. My comp then thought to ask more about his family. We asked how many kids he had and stuff like that. Still nothing had clicked yet, until my comp asked what his wife's name was. Then things clicked. My comp told him that we were actually on our way to go teach his family. The taxi driver then dropped us off at his house, which doesn't ever happen because the taxis just drop you of in front of the town and you have to walk in yourself. But he not only entered the town for us but dropped us off at his front door. He then walked in, called his wife and kids so they could listen to us. He couldn't stay because he had to keep woking. But I couldn't help but notice the hand of God in this experience. It truly was a miracle. We are going back tomorrow so I will let you know about the progress. 
This is the last week of the transfer and also the last week of my comp's mission. I'm trying to keep him focused and not get too trunky. But since we started together he has improved quite a bit. This week he thanked me and said he was really grateful that he could be with me and that I was his last companion. 
I think that's it for this week! Keep looking at the Acadia! I love you guys! Kiss my puppies for me!!! After watching that video I don't think that will be a problem!! Lol I'll talk to you soon!

PS, can missionaries enter a college campus to teach there in the states? There aren't any colleges here so I don't really have any idea. If so let me know and I will let Chase know that he should listen to them.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Week Fifty-One: Monterico

Hey fam!
This week was a pretty normal week. Because we dropped family Chavez, we have been looking and looking to find new investigators this week. We were able to find a couple but not as much as we wanted. Because Monterrico is super small we have already contacted the majority of the houses and everyone knows the missionaries or at least the church. That could be a good and bad thing because there are a lot of people that hear things in their own church about the Mormons and they aren't usually good things. So we get quite a few doors slammed in our faces before we can even say "hola como esta." But the faith and diligence has not been lost at all. We have decided to change a few things so that no matter what the person is like we will not leave until we have taught the truth. It's more of a direct approach but it's working pretty well. There are a lot of people that are too hard hearted and they need to know that we are messengers called of God here to testify of a message that will them bring eternal life. And if that takes being a little more direct and persistent with the people, that's what I'll do. Don't worry, we aren't doing anything crazy or being mean. Nothing like that. You guys know I'm not much of a mean or overbearing person. We are teaching with confidence and authority so everyone that we talk with know who we are and what the Church of Jesus Christ is.  
This Sunday the stake president came to our branch. He didn't talk about the situation of not having a president but he said that this branch isn't going to close. It was very close to closing because its so small and has very few active members. He then talked about what needs to be done to strengthen this branch. After he spoke he gave the time to us, the missionaries, and we announced the plan we made to help this branch. The plan is that every member that was there on Sunday will think of one less active member in specific and invite them to General Conference and to Stake Conference (the week after). Then we invited them to do the same with a non member friend. We said that we will be visiting everyone that was present and make a list of who they are going to invite so we can go together to visit or help invite them. We shared our testimonies after that. What we said and what the stake president said really seemed to motivate the branch. So we feel pretty good for the future of this branch. After church ended, we talked with as many people as we could to set appointments and stuff like that. So we will see how it all goes. We are hoping that the meeting was able to light a fire under the members and get them motivated to share the gospel. After church, people were asking us for Books of Mormon that they could give to their friends. 
I know my year mark is this week but I don't really want to think about it. In the beginning of my mission it seemed so far away, but now that it's here I don't even want to think about it. Everyday I'm realizing how much work there is to do here and frankly there is just not enough time. I'm trying to use every moment I have to think of the people we are teaching and how I can improve in helping them even more. I'm trying not to think about the time I have because really there isn't a lot of it. Even though I'm trying to focus on what's going on here, I also want to help out back at home. 
So on Saturday I was having troubles falling asleep, so I let myself think about the car situation and I came up with a conclusion. You guys know that I know a few things about cars, so I was thinking about not just the options you said but also all the others. And my conclusion is the GMC Acadia. I chose this car for many reasons. It's bigger than a Crossover but also smaller than a full size SUV. The bigness has a lot of advantages: 1. It has more seats to make youth trips easier 2. The back seats completely fold up for truck space to make shopping and catering easier 3. It has a higher crash test rating so its safer (and we all know thats pretty necessary with Mom's car history, sorry Mom, love you) 4. It comes standard with a tow hitch to make trailer towing possible which will make catering and camping a lot easier. 5. With this type of model a TV is available to make long distance drives more comfortable and enjoyable. 6. An option for a 4x4 is available to make small camping trips or dirt trails worry free. 7. And because its small than an SUV that means it only has a V6. So the MPG is pretty high and pretty close if not equal to the Crossover. 8. Also it's a very nice looking car. A car I like to call a windows down car. That means you purposely roll the windows down so people can see you drive it. Also there are a lot more options and additions available to the benefit to the Moore family.  9. And the last thing I came up with is the fact that its a GMC. The same brand as the legendary, beloved, and cherished by not only the Moore family but all that have been in it, Yukon or more commonly know as Gavin. These are some things I was able to come up with before falling asleep on Saturday. I believe the GMC Acadia would be a great car and is worthy to hold the name of the Moore family's new car. I hope this helps. I love you guys and I will talk to you soon. Kiss the puppies for me!                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Note: All facts were taken from past research and experiences with similar models. Further research may be needed to actualize said facts. 

Monday, September 12, 2016

Week Fifty: Monterico

Hey fam!
That's crazy that Dalton is leaving already. I remember thinking in the beginning of my mission that he and Devin would be leaving when I was about at my year mark, and it seemed so far away. But now it's just around the corner. Crazy how time flies! 
Not too much happened this week. But we had to drop family Chavez. We went by in the beginning of the week and they still hadn't prayed to know if this is the true church. We then changed the lesson plan to talking about why they kept listening to us and what they expected from our visits. We left them with the commitment to pray, if they should continue to receive us. We came by one day later, and they said that they talked as a family and that it would be too hard to change churches. We knew we had to drop them because it just wasn't their time. We must have explained the Apostasy and the Restoration more than 6 times in different ways so that they could understand, but they just couldn't. We did all that we could, it just isn't the right time for them yet. When we left their house I was pretty bummed after dropping them, but as I was thinking about them and the situation I felt a peaceful feeling come over me saying that we did the right thing. They are good people and they like listening to us but they just can't comprehend what we are telling them. I think that was the biggest thing that happened this week. 
We have a member (high priest) from another ward in the stake in charge of our branch for now. He isn't the branch president but he is just watching over things for now. We don't know how long he will be here, neither does he, but he is really helping the branch and its leaders. This week he went with us to visit some members and some investigators. He was a big help! Usually when we have a member present they just sit there until we get them involved, but he was sharing his testimony and everything without us having to ask. 
The weather is now warming up. It's been pretty warm the last few days. I don't want summer to come yet. I know what's in store and it's not going to be too fun! Our apartment is really nice but we don't have any fans or air conditioning, so I'm not looking forward to the heat. 
That's a bummer about the Fusion, but if it's acting up now with so little miles, the future doesn't look too promising. So I agree trading it in is the best choice. I don't know too much about the Edge or the Terrain. I never really looked too much into crossovers. But I know they are good looking cars and I've heard good things about them. I'm leaning more for American made, like Ford or GMC. Also I don't know if it's in the running, but the GMC Acadia is a nice car as well. It's really pretty. Send me pictures and info about the top picks. But I trust you guys to pick the best car. It sounds like the decision has to be made pretty quick if the Fusion has been in the shop for two weeks now. Let me know! Oh and yes I am able to focus more in my studies. There is no problem there anymore. About the package, I was thinking about a Michael Buble christmas CD because it's not too far away. And the movie 17 Miracles and Meet the Mormons. They are the only two movies we can watch in the mission. But that's all that came to mind for now. I love you guys, I'll talk to you soon!! Kiss the puppies for me! Oh I loved the video of them wrestling!!!!

Friday, September 9, 2016

Week Forty-Nine: Monterico

Hey Fam!
This week has been pretty weird with the weather. It started out pretty warm and then out of no where it got super cold. Right now its pretty cold and my fingers are pretty cold so typing isn't too easy lol. 
This week my comp had a meeting in Salta. He left Thursday in the evening, so I went to another area for that time. I was with another gringo from California that just finished his training. The day started out warm so I was just wearing a long sleeve white shirt, but when the sun went down the temp dropped a lot. I was already in the other area so I had to borrow one of his comp's jackets. His comp is pretty small so the jacket didn't really fit too well. But I was desperate so it worked lol. 
Besides being in another area and the crazy weather, not much happened this week. Today we had another activity as a zone and also with another zone in Jujuy. There are a couple of Mexicans so we made tacos. They don't have all the ingredients necessary but we used what we had and they turned out pretty good. It took a long time to cook. I'm really not too sure why we were there in the stake center so long. So we don't have time to send pictures but next week I'll send some. 
Our branch president was released this Sunday. The first counselor of the stake said that the branch will be ran by the stake. I don't really know how that's going to work but we'll see. 
We are teaching a couple of people who have a lot of interest. We taught a family, family Arrayan, this week and they had a lot of questions. Some were simple and others were a little more in depth. Like it started out with "what does 'elder' mean" and finished with topics on gay marriage and stuff like that. They weren't trying to find faults with the church, they were just curious. They asked all types of questions about gays, transvestites, and things of that nature. My comp stayed quiet most of the time because he was looking for a scripture. and while he was looking I was talking. I was pretty nervous that I would say something that would offend them, but I put my trust in God and said what came to my mind. I don't remember what I said or how I answered the questions, but when I finished they were satisfied with the answers and my comp closed his scriptures because he said that I basically explained the scripture that he wanted to share. The next day, Sunday, the wife came to church! Even with the cold! The husband had to work but the wife came! And she was the one with the most doubts and questions. I was and am really grateful for the divine help we had in that lesson! It's pretty hard to get people to come to church here so we were pretty happy! 
We are still working with the Chavez family (I forgot that's how you say it in English). They are progressing little by little. The baptism we have planned this week we are going to move to next week. We still need to teach a few things and we think it would be best for her to push the date back. 
That's awesome about Martha's baptism!! That's a lot of support! I didn't know that Justin was going to have surgery this week. Sounds like it wasn't too fun but he's in pretty good hands! Love that video of Theo!! Love that guy!! 
I think that's it for this week, I love you guys! I'll talk to you soon! Kiss the puppies for me! 

Friday, September 2, 2016

Week Forty-Eight: Monterico

Hey fam!
So we had a pretty good week. Update with family Chavez: We were only able to visit them once this week but it was a pretty good lesson. We taught the importance of reading the scriptures and praying. As we were finishing up the lesson while my comp was talking, a question came to my mind. I was a little hesitant to ask because I knew how they would respond. It was a simple question, it was if they wanted to know if these things are true and if they really wanted to know if this was the church of Christ. I was thinking they would respond how they had before, saying that they were born and raised Catholics and how they don't have a desire to change. But I was wrong. After asking the question they said yes, that they really did want to know if all of this was true. I was pretty happy because I could see their hearts being softened and I saw a change in them. They are still pretty hesitant to accept a date of baptism, so we have to take things slow with them but they are progressing! 
We had service opportunities twice this week. The first was helping an older man move a huge pile of bricks. It was pretty funny, the bricks we were moving were pretty big and he is a pretty old man but he still wanted to help. It reminded me of dad when he broke his neck and couldn't work but would still try. We would be moving two or three bricks at a time and put them in another location, and then he would come up grab a brick and struggle to move it to the other location. We would take the brick from him and tell him that he could rest, and that we can do it. But 2 minutes later he's doing the same thing. It was pretty funny. The other service project we did was help a sister in the ward weed the front and sides of her house. There were a lot of weeds and all she had was an old machete and a hoe with a short tree branch for a handle. It would take forever with just those two things. But then she said she had a weed whacker. My comp was pretty hesitant to use it but I wasn't! It turns out it was a small electric Black and Decker weed whacker. But it was better than the machete so I took it with open arms. It held true to its name Black and Decker, because after an hour of use it started to smoke because it over heated. Luckily it started smoking just as we were finishing. Not the best brand but it got the job done. 
That's pretty much it for our week. Oh actually one of the young men (actually the only one) brought his girlfriend to church last week. We have been trying to teach her but she never could until yesterday after church. We taught the first lesson and she accepted to be baptized the 10th of September. More proof of how important members are in missionary work! All is going well here! I love you guys! I'll talk to you soon! Kiss the puppies for me!!