Monday, February 27, 2017

Week Seventy-Three: Salta

Hey fam!
So it sounds like everyone was able to have a good week and have some fun too! This week was pretty interesting for us lol. We have been talking with Micaela and her sister Camila. Now Camila wants to get baptized too! We got permission from the mom, who is a Jehovah's Witness, so that was a miracle in itself, but the dad doesn't want them to get baptized. He is a bit of an alcoholic, is super stuck in his ways, and doesn't even want to talk with us for 3 seconds. So that is the hard part. We tried having Micaela and Camila talk with him in the first place, but he just gets mad and freaks out. So we are working with that. 
 This Saturday we are going to have another baptism. We have been teaching a mom (Rosalia) and her 9-year-old son (Sebastian). The mom is not progressing but her son loves going to church and his friend (Jorge) has been talking with us as well. They are going to get baptized this Friday
Other than that, this week has been pretty chill and not much happened. It rained super hard this week but we were inside so that was lucky. I couldn't take any pics this week, I know I said I would but nothing happened lol. But everything is still going great! We're having fun and helping some people. I do have one question. when does school start for me? What's the plan after the mission? I know I have time, don't worry I'm not getting trunky. It's just a question I have lol. I hope everything is going great! I love you and will talk you you soon! Kiss the puppies for me!!

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Week Seventy-Two: Salta

Hey fam!
Man, it sounds like you guys had a great week in Utah and everything! This week we have been focusing in on Micaela so she could get baptized. She was and is ready but her parents aren't on board. She is 18 and can get baptized without permission, but she still wants her parents to support her in this decision. Her parents don't feel like she is ready and they didn't want her to get baptized this week so she didn't. So that was a bit of a bummer, but it's better that all the family is on board so we'll wait. I'll keep you updated on how thats going. 
Jorge, Angel, and Rodrigo got the priesthood yesterday after church so next week they are going to bless and pass the sacrament. We were riding our bikes past Jorge's house yesterday to get to an appointment and we saw him talking with someone. We stopped to talk with Jorge and to get to know this person. He was talking with a teenager, his neighbor, so Jorge introduced him and said, "These missionaries are going to stop by to teach you this Wednesday at 5pm in my house. Then you are going to get baptized and I would like to baptize you." We were both pretty shocked, it just came out of no where, but the awesome part is that he accepted it all! We didn't have to say a word and we already knew his name, so we have an appointment and a baptism date. That was pretty cool! 
This week we also had our zone conference with the president. I spoke on having faith to find new investigators. I focused on how the demonstration of our faith is key to finding investigators. I talked about talking and teaching with confidence, happiness, power, and excitement. A lot of missionaries were still talking about what I talked about last time and asked if  i was going to use another Book of Mormon analogy, but I didn't have anything planned. But like five minutes before I went up to talk, the story of Ammon came to mind. It was not planned at all but I figured it was the Spirit so I went with it. I talked about everything I had planned and then I related it to Ammon. When Ammon and the servants were herding and giving water to the sheep, the Lamanites came and scattered all the sheep. All the servants became super discouraged because they knew the king would kill them, but Ammon didn't get discouraged. He, having faith and confidence in the Lord, took advantage of that moment and showed everyone what the Lord can do. Through his demonstration of faith the servants were amazed, the Lamanites were terrified, and a lot more people were baptized and came to know the truth. Then I gave the zone a challenge; we aren't too different from Ammon. We are missionaries on the Lord's errand, we have the same power and authority to teach that he had, we teach and worship the same god... So if Ammon, being just like us, could baptize so many through his faith, why can't we? I didn't get the opportunity to talk with the president but I got some positive feedback from the zone. I was super grateful for that impression and that the Spirit that was there. I think it might help motivate the zone a little bit more. 
I wasn't able to take an pics this week but I will be sure to send some next week! I love you guys!! Kiss the puppies for me! I'll talk to you soon!

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Week Seventy-One: Salta

Hey fam! 
This week was pretty crazy and awesome all at the same time! 
So the Alegre family was able to get baptized this week! The father, Jorge, and his two sons, Angel and Rodrigo. We tried talking with the mom, but she wasn't interested at all. One of the reasons this week was crazy is because Jorge and his family were super against the church. He is actually very well know in the ward for causing verbal fights, throwing rocks, calling the cops, and spraying the missionaries with a hose as they pass by. The first time we talked to him, he was trying to use us to get to the bishop because he had some complaints. We talked with him in front of his house for a little. We could help him with a few problems he had and we kept passing by to teach him. No really knows why but there was a huge change in him. He went from trying to ruin the church to helping it. He goes to all the activities and helps out a lot. He is known by all the youth because he and his kids play soccer with them now. It was incredible to see someone change so much and accept the restored gospel of Jesus Christ! He has thanked us many times for helping him change his life for the better. He, like Mario, said that he has never been happier. I was able to baptize him and my comp baptized the kids. It was a great day! And the other ward had two other baptisms so we took a group white picture lol. That was pretty cool too! 
Another plus of the week is that Micaela went to the baptism. She wasn't progressing very much but when she went and saw the baptism she said she wanted to get baptized the next Saturday. And right there we planned everything. It was awesome! 
Yesterday, Mario received the priesthood and Jorge and his kids had an interview with the bishop to get the priesthood the following week! It's an amazing experience to watch these people come to know and accept the truth. There is nothing more uplifting and fulfilling so see these people change their lives, some of them a complete 180, and follow Christ and be baptized in his church! I am extremely grateful for this opportunity I have right now to be in the Lord's vineyard and watch his Atonement take hold and change these peoples lives for the better!  
Today we climbed up a mountain that's close to our house's area. It was nuts! It's just a jungle! We took like 3 hours to get to the top and it shouldn't have taken so long. The plants and bushes and everything were so overgrown that we were trail blazing and whacking the entire time! But it was pretty fun and the view from the top was awesome! We dug out some huge rocks and rolled them down the side of the mountain. That was way fun! I took some pics and videos. The videos are kinda long so I'll see if they will send.  
All in all it was a good week. We were able to see the Lord's hand for sure! I love you guys and hope all is going well back at home! I'll talk to you soon! Kiss the puppies for me!

Monday, February 6, 2017

Week Seventy: Salta

Hey guys! 
So this week, Mario was able to get baptized! We started teaching him 3 weeks ago and he went every Sunday since then. Through that short window we were able to see a huge change! It was incredible! On Thursday, two days before the baptism, we were going over the interview questions when he told us a few things that he had done in the past. We called President Chaparro and he came Friday to do the interview. Everything went fine though. President felt that he had repented of the past sins and was ready to get baptized. I had the great opportunity to baptize him. He was pretty nervous but super ready. When we were in the water and I raised my arm, I felt a super calm feeling. When he went under and came back out I felt the Spirit so strong and I knew that he felt it too. It was an amazing experience. When we were changing he said he had never felt so happy and that he felt so clean. All in all it was a really good day! 
Sunday in church was also pretty awesome! Rodrigo received the priesthood, Mario was confirmed a member,  two new investigators that we never met before came to church, and one of our investigators that we have been teaching for the past few weeks got up to bear his testimony and announced that he wants to get baptized this Saturday. We met him and his two sons when a member invited him to Rodrigo's baptism. His two sons, Angel (15) and Rafael (13) always go to the church activities and everything. We have quite a lot of activities here, so we are pretty happy about that. We just have a few things we need to teach but it shouldn't be a problem. 
There is a lot to do here. We have some investigators that are progressing nicely and others that aren't, so we are working with them. When I got here, all the investigators were pretty new. The oldest was Rodrigo. They had been teaching him for about a week or two before. 
We had transfers today and my comp and I are together for another transfer. The weirdest part is that the sisters in my group are going to finish their missions in six weeks! TIME IS CRAZY! 
Everything is going good and we are having fun and working hard! I love you all and I'll talk to you soon! Kiss the puppies for me! Oh and thank you for all the pics and videos! They're awesome!

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Week Sixty-Nine: Salta

Hey fam!
So first things first, Geronimo was able to get baptized! He was super excited and it was a really good service. It started pretty late but once it started everything went nice. The ward mission leader was directing the service and he gave Geronimo time to share his testimony after the the ordinance. He wasn't scared or anything and he gave a really good testimony. He understands quite a bit for a nine year old lol. Mario is still progressing really well and is ready for his baptism this Saturday! Every time we talk, he always brings it up and explains how excited he is which is fantastic! We have been teaching him with his mom present, but we noticed that it isn't helping his relationship with the members of the ward, so we have been talking as a companionship and with his mom about who could be a good friend for him. We have a few options and we are going to try to have them present in the lessons with the hope that that he'll choose that member to baptize him. We also have two other investigators that are getting ready to get baptized next week, Micaela and Camila. They're sisters. One is 18 and the other is 15. So we are working with them as of right now and there haven't been any problems, so everything is going really nice with them. Also this week, Rodrigo had an interview with the bishop and next week he will receive the priesthood. We have been talking a lot about the priesthood with him and he is super excited. We gave him a white shirt and two ties so he is super ready for this Sunday! 
On Sunday we went to a members house for lunch. We were sitting at the table when I saw something that caught my eye. They had a small oven thing on the counter cooking our lunch. It was the head of a pig!! Literally the pig's head completely intact and everything! It was pretty interesting to say the least lol. Luckily that wasn't the only thing for lunch, it was more of a side dish really. The father took it out of the oven, took it by the mouth and ripped the bottom jaw out. Then he grabbed it by the nose and ripped all the skin off at once. That was a sight to see. He then gave us some of the meat. It wasn't too bad actually, just the thought of eating its face made it a bit weird to eat. Then he took the eyes out and opened the skull to eat the brain. I was pretty "full" at that point so I didn't eat the eyes or brain. But my comp ate the brain and said it was like a gross paste. So I didn't miss out on the pig brain. But for the record, pig face isn't bad it's just the fact that you're eating its face that gets you lol. 
About the transmission (not sure if that's the word Andrew meant), it was really good! Elder Oaks was presiding with Elder Ballard, Elder Anderson, Elder Nielson (from the 70), Sister Bonnie Oscarson (general young women's president) and Elder Stevenson (managing director of the missionary department). So it was super awesome!! They started out talking about the doctrine of Christ, why it's so important, and how every principle is linked to the other. But the big talk of the transmission is the changes that were made. They made some big changes in the schedule. It wasn't too big for us because our president had to change some stuff already with the original. So the new schedule didn't effect us too much but the big changes were in the key indicators. Now the only key indicators are baptisms, baptism dates, progressing investigators, and new investigators! And the area 70 here said that an investigator only needs to assist the church 2 times instead of 3 to get baptized. So there have been a few changes to say the least. The work is speeding up!! 
But everything is going great here! The work is going real good! I hope everyone has a good week! I love you all! I'll talk to you soon! Kiss the puppies for me!