Sunday, December 21, 2014
Dear Family and Friends,
So this week has once again been insane. So this week was the Christmas conference on Wednesday, but in the middle of all the insane preparation. The internet decided to fail. We were in a total panic and were up till 2:00 AM finishing everything because of all the complications that caused. Then we got up early again and went to the church nice and early to make sure everything was in order and would work well. The worst is the mission president´s wife was really really worried that the 125 pizzas we ordered wouldn´t be warm. So we thought a bit about it and with the van filled with pizzas in the hot uruguay sun, we closed all the windows and turned on the heater on full blast. I have never sweated so much or so quickly in my whole life. It was only a 10 minute ride from the Pizzería to the church but it was miserable. Then we locked the pizzas in there to cook because cars always get super hot and it worked perfectly. I got in President´s letter to me this week, something along the lines of,¨ Thanks for everything, the conference went super well. The pizzas were even warm!¨ But in that moment, he didn´t know what we did to keep them warm. So I told him afterwards and I can´t wait to see his reply. It was a long story with the pizzas but that is the short version. It was quite the big deal beforehand. The pizza guy got super stressed and yelled at me saying he can do magic and keep 125 pizzas warm at once etc and it was a mess. But it turned out great.
Plus President bought a ton of watermelon and ice cream and things and they bought too much so we went home with a lot of watermelon and a little extra ice cream. Which is always a nice perk.
Something incredible that has happened recently is when me and my trainer of my mission have left a couple of times together to do things and we never have time to talk people in the street but God always makes it possible that we can still teach even though we don´t look for it as much as other. Two women stopped us in the past week and both of them we taught, invited to church and one came and we will see if the new one comes! This last one just approached us, asked if we were mormons and start to cry. She said she wants to die and we just talked and taught her about the Plan of Salvation for 45 minutes even though we had stuff to do. That lady just happened to pass by at the same time we did and we only left the offices for a 5 minute walk to the bank and back. So that conversation was definitely planned by God, there is no doubt. We leave the offices far too seldom and are in too much of a hurry for that to have been a conincidence. God is sending people prepared for us to teach even though we have this different situation. We have to a lesson planned tonight with that lady so I hope that goes well! I hope the other one comes back to church tomorrow and this one comes tomorrow! They both already said they would be baptized so we will see!
Other than that, we have a tranquil week planned so it should be a great week of Christmas.
I hope you all have a great Christmas and can feel the spirit of love like we are feeling here. It really is a glorious time of year. Terrible to think it will end soon. Also means I will already have 11 months in my mission in about a week. That is always a weird thought. I was already buying and preparing stuff exactly a year ago. I finished finals today, exactly a year ago and was driving home from BYU already. Now I am already half way done with my service here. Such a weird thought.
But there is not much left to say and very little time so I love you all and hope you all have a great Christmas!
Sunday, December 14, 2014
Dear Family and Friends,
This week has also gone really well. This morning we ran to the beach for our excersizes and took a few photos and this is what happens hahaha. But it really was great. We have also been more effective in the offices and been able to leave to proselyte a lot more which is great. We left five days in a row which just doesn`t happen. One fiancier never left during the week in his six months in the offices. So we are doing great! But the bad things is we have nothing. Only one investigator, and we don`t know any less actives, members, nothing. It is awful to start but it will get better of course so no problem!
Other than that, we have the Christmas conference this week and I have about 6000 dollars in my name for the travel and food and everything so I hope I don`t lose any receits or money or they will kill me. So pray that I don`t lose money or receits. I don`t want to go home early! Haha.
But other than that it is just the normal things. Lots of missionaries water cut this week. I feel bad for them but they never send us their bills and we can`t pay if there is no bill! But oh well. They will learn someway. One house had a debt of 500 dollars for electrcity so that was an interesting call.
Almost Christmas time and the more and more we sweat. Super weird still good. But here they launch fireworks everywhere on Christmas which will be new and interesting. I will be sure to take pictures and send them.
I hope everyone is taking advantage of this time of year to share ``He is the Gift`` and seeing a lot of great things. I heard it is having great success on the internet and great thing are happening so make sure to take advantage of this time to share the gospel. I love you guys much and hope you guys have an awesome week.
Saturday, December 6, 2014
Dear Family and Friends,
So another great and crazy week. This last Tuesday, the APs, secretaries and we had to prepare everything for ¨concilio¨ which is the once a month meeting of zone leaders to help imrpove the mission and that was nuts. A former secretary came as a zone leader so he had a license to drive and wanted to pick up the food. So, for the third time in three weeks, there was another crash! Now my companion crashed, President has crashed and a zone leader has crashed in the past three weeks. I am one of the only ones that hasn´t crashed yet and I drive the most. That kind of makes me prideful, humbling, and just weird at the same time. Kind of cool to see how my past skills have helped me here!
To add to that, we have a huge problem with water and light bills getting here on time because missionaries always forget and then the companies cut the water and electricity. That is literally a weekly if not daily occurance. So with help of my companion, and a senior missionary, I have tooken the initiative to change the whole system of paying the light and water bills, and my past computer knowledge is becoming a huge help in that. That is super super great to feel I am actually making a difference here in the offices. We have also changed a lot with the way we manage cell phones, thanks to our initiative, and still in process of changing the way we pay rent but we should be spending a lot less money pretty soon which is so great to think about. We have already gone over our budget for this year so we will see if we can´t change that for this next year.
Another absolutely crazy thing is now I am responsibilities for the mission van since I am one of two missionaries who can drive it. So when I looked around in it, I saw the last time it had a oil check was about 1.5 years ago. But worse is it has gone 15,000 kilometers on this oil and supposed to only go 5,000. That is crazy it hasn´t exploded yet. Everyone got mad at me and my companion but we turned in the van right away which left us without a car but it was in bad shape when I started driving. One light doesn´t work, the right sliding door doesn´t work, the air conditioning doesn´t work which is killer right now with summer cooking us, there is really weird noises, and it has a bit of damage from the 2 accidents it has had recently. Kind of sad seeing how badly treated this van is. It will be even more sad seeing how much it will be in total when it is fixed. Sad to see church funds used badly but we will see what can we do to fix things! I am super excited to do my best to make a difference here. When I was first called to this assignment, I figured there was a mistake and I wasn´t fit for this but now I feel I am fulfilling my calling as best I can and will be able to help this mission.
Overall it has been a very exciting week and even better because I also made the effort with my companion to leave and teach at night. Last change we couldn´t at all, but we changed responsibilities and I made it a goal to make time for proselyting and we are doing it. It is extremely hot and sweaty and we didn´t have too much success but we are leaving to work still even though we have so many respnsabilities. This week, we had a couple days where we started working at 8:00 AM and stopped at 12:00 at night to finish for deadlines. I am beyond exhausted but love being so busy and doing so many things. I hope we continue have great success and things start going a bit more smoothly, but we will see! Here is a couple awesome photos from this week and hope you all enjoy them!
I love you guys and hope all is well and are having a great christmas season. Hope you all share about the new initative from the church about ¨He is the gift¨. The church made an incredible video and it is a great time to share the gospel. I hope you all can have great spiritual experiences sharing it and remember the purpose of Christmas. Although this is such a weird Christmas here in South America. Instead of sledding and snow, it is a constant sauna. It even smells like one, and I am not exaggerating!