Friday, December 27, 2013
Hey I would call but I cannot remember our phone number probably because we move too much. So here is the deal as of right now we are going to getting here in Salt lake at like 9 at night- 9: 30. I love you al and I am kind of disappointed but what can you do.
Tuesday, December 24, 2013
It has been a long time…. And yet it feels like yesterday I was in the MTC dreaming what my misión would be like. I remember my first Bus ride to my area in Dolores with Elder Elliott and asking him so many questions, filled with so much excitement about having real investigators, and helping people come closer to the Savior. I remember getting up every morning in Dolores so stoked and walking through the streets barely understanding anything and speaking less and seeing my first miracle. I barely remember now my struggles and hardship even though if you read my journals you find it. Now looking back I see where it has brought me. I cannot believe how I am already here…. It is hard to handle still but I have accepted it I am going home.
Seeing as this will be last letter It better be a good one no? I pray that the Lord helps me give what I desire with all my heart and soul to give in this short letter. I hope you can feel my passion for this work and love for each of you wherever you are and whoever you are through this letter. It really is not the same Reading it as hearing it like Nefi says in 2 Nefi 33: 1, but I´ll just do my best. Forgive the spelling mistakes and my weaknesses I still have a long way to go.
[And now I, Nephi, cannot write all the things which were taught among my people; neither am I mighty in writing, like unto speaking; for when a man speaketh by the power of the Holy Ghost the power of the Holy Ghost carrieth it unto the hearts of the children of men. (2 Nephi 33:1)]
First off Mom I got the Christmas Package thank you you're too good to me. About skype I like doing it Christmas day so I am planning on calling then let me know if there are any objections. Remember I want to hear the testimonies of each of you. And then I want to give you mine. It will be the first time I have testified in English in like 2 years. I am very excited to see a lot of the faces I love. Sorry it took me so long to email. Life is crazy right now But I am planning on calling home Christmas day at night not quite sure what time But I am thinking about 7 or 8 my time.
So What shall I talk about? Divisions with Jerry, Presidents son, or doing Changes (the mission changes) with President. There are a lot of things that happen to me throughout the weeks it is imposible to write it all down luckily I will be with you all shortly and I will tell you in person. We have had to do the Changes of the missión early this year because we are trying to have things down for Christmas and NewYears because here in Uruguay around this time it gets super difficult to travel. All the bus systems shut down and everything and so we have had lots to do. I feel like God answered my prayers though because I got to do something I have always dreamed of and see how changes are done in the mission. I testify that it is inspired and after we all look at the final results you get a good feeling. Wow the lord has blessed me so much. One of the toughest parts about it all is planning for the next concilio of leaders in the mission, getting all excited for what is to come and how inspired it is and then realizing I wont be here to see any of it. But My will is his will.
To all of you I wish to express all the gratitude I can possibly muster. I am so blessed and so grateful for having each of you in my life for all the letters emails, prayers, wisdom. And so many Little things you all have done for me that have helped mold me into who I am. I Love this Gospel. I Love my Savior. I am so blessed to be able to serve him this Christmas what joy it gives me to do what he would do on this day.
To all of you who are serving missions my advice is never stop running. The misión has changed me forever and now as I near the end i just cannot believe it. People ask me how do you feel (mainly sister Smith) and I always tell them it is like my heart is breaking (a little exaggerated). I wish I could be a missionary forever and keep giving all I can to the Lord. I started the mission giving everything I could to the Lord and that is how I am going home giving everything! As I bore in my last testimony to all that were there, my mission is not done It will never end I will not have my missionary tag over my heart but it will stay seared in my heart forever! I will never stop sharing what I know to be true. I will be a disciple of my Savior forever. Like Elder Holland said When we are called as disciples of christ the comisión is forever and I testify with everything I can muster that the mission may end but I will never stop serving!!!
My advice to you all in all your lives where ever you are is this: Believe! Missionaries serving right now If you go out each day and don´t have faith that there are people out there to find to preach the gospel to I promise you! YOU WILL NOT FIND! First you must believe then you can receive. The next is understand that When you are struggling with a companion or someone in your zone or district is struggling we often think to ourselves well What do I do to help him. In my mission I have found that the way to truly help someone change or to help someone learn how they can give more to the Lord is first help them be converted. We often go on divisions work with the missionary as hard as you can and find him a bunch of investigators so he cannot tell you that he has no one to teach. But after a while you will have to do the same thing again because he is not looking for investigators. The only thing you can do is help someone be converted that is when real changes happen.
I love the Mission I would stay here if I could but God wants me home so I will go. But I will never stop being a missionary!!
(I wrote everything different days but today when I am sending this it is the 23)
Yesterday Carlos was baptized such a happy day!! Today a missionary who served in our mission met up with his family in the mission home I have known him my whole mission I watched him hug his parents and weep... A very different experience.
I love you all I wish I could write more but it is impossible there is always too much to do You will see what I mean when you see the circles under my eyes:) I love you all. If you are in the mission keep strong, Love, be obedient, and work with everything you have because one day you´ll be writing this letter and weeping to yourself as I am. I hope they are happy tears. My mission means everything to me!!!!
I love you all I will probably send a little email if there are questions about the call. But it should be christmas day at 7 or 8
Saturday, December 14, 2013
Well folks I as usual am running a thousand miles an hour today with lots of things to do and not enough time to do it. I did not read your email yet. So i´ll read it after. I love you all though can I just tell you. I cant believe I will be with you in 2 weeks !!!!! What!!! Lots to do before then though.
Lets see this week was Crazy we like Ben had the visit of a 70 called Elder Gonzalez this last week which would definitely have to be the highlight of my week. We had to do preparations and we had half of the mission together here in Montevideo and the other half in another area. It was nuts, but wow did we learn so so much. Elder Gonzalez is a 70 from Uruguay so it was special for him to be here and he loves the Football team Peñarol and talks about it all the time in all his talks and everything. The big focus was helping all the missionaries understand that they needed to baptize. Something that has happened is with so much of a focus on working with less actives missionaries have forgotten to branch off of them and look for investigators. I am not going to lie working with less actives is changing Uruguay so many are returning to church. However there are more that need the restored gospel and lots of times missionaries forget to find and help those who do not know the truth. Lets just say Elder Gonzalez came down and said exactly what our mission needed to hear. It is so amazing to me how perfectly he clarified everything we needed to do in the scriptures. He is known as a master of the book of Mormon and lets just say he lives up to that name. I was dumbfounded on many occasions. As he showed us a scripture in D and C 39 that the lord is telling a man that he has to be baptized. Within that same month he disobeys the commandments and goes inactive. He asked us after why did the Lord himself ask him to be baptized if the Lord knew he was going to be inactive. He told us we need to listen to the spirit do not, not baptize someone because you feel they could go inactive but baptize them with faith and do everything in your power to keep them active if they live up to the requisites. It was powerful stuff.
Something awesome he told everyone in the middle of his talk, with the 5 zones, was he said (as he was talking about the importance of learning English in the mission) "The assistant with the really long last name speaks really good Spanish" that was me :)
Today we almost went golfing but yet again Uruguay sees the need to close the entire course when there is a tiny tournament..... Jerry was not happy. We are making a BBQ in a few hours for a small branch in an area in our mission called Carmelo that has turned itself around and are bring the largest group in history to the temple they have ever brought. It is a miracle. They have had lots of trials and the work there was very slow but The Lord is hastening his work and the elders and sisters there are doing miracles. So president asked us if we could help feed them.
We also have had some spiritual experiences lately with a lady who wakes up crying and is trying her absolute hardest to quite smoking and after attending Church the other week she told us she had stopped crying. God is a God of miracles.
We are teaching some amazing people I wish i could explain it all in detail but their is no time. We are teaching this one teenager who my second day here we had a lesson with him and he went back to church he is such a stud and now we have him memorizing all the scriptures in the scripture mastery program. He lives so far from the church in some hard circumstances but gets himself up early for church and brings all his siblings. Super stud.
What else can I say. I got the calender of chocolate from mom and the chocolate from Henry, Molly and Fiona. Thank you all so much I am so grateful for everything I wish I had more time to write and tell you all personally but even as I type my companion is telling me we have to go.
Know that I love you and am excited to sit down and give you my testimony in the skype call christmas. Thank you for loving me I Will see your happy faces soon .
Saturday, December 7, 2013
First off sorry I am emailing so early it just works out better that way. We go early in the morning here and play futbol with the office elders and then come here to the offices and then print our letters. I might email later on other days but we will have to wait and see.
This week has been a big change for me. It is really hard to describe how I spent so much time working and taking buses and teaching investigators and then moving on to thinking about a district how my district was doing and how I could help them. When I was made district leader you begin to have more responsibilities and you sometimes have to travel and whatnot. I loved to help and lift my district. Then I went and was a zone leader and had to worry about my zone and Try and help them the best way that i possibly could as well as juggling my own investigators etc and having les time. Now as an assistant my responsibilities are much the greater I lose even more time and juggling the schedule is an almost impossible task or so I am told.
In the last 4 days I have slept less and worked harder that ever before in my life. But the truth was it wasn´t really that hard because I love the Lord and I have given every last bit of myself to Him and so You just keep going and give all you can. It was really a special blessing teaching all the trainers here in the mission last Wednesday. My companion and I after driving around like lunatics doing so many things for changes Tuesday we had little time to really plan what we were going to really be focusing on in our teaching. But as always the Lord provided and the Spirit was strong and I felt the excitement of all the trainers as they left to meet their new sons and daughters. We taught what president has taught me which has changed my life. Teaching about giving their new elders and sisters the experiences they need to have the beliefs they need to be true missionaries. Truly if we really all focused on trying to help others obtain the belief they need to get the results they need, it changes everything. In my time here in the mission I always thought things like, well this missionary is not having success because he is not doing this or this and he needs to do this and then he will have success. But I have come to learn that as a leader and a guide of these children of God, the only thing that will really change that missionary is not the way he works. I have learned that a true leader must help them to be converted. To me that is the key I can go to the area of missionaries find them investigators teach them how to do it and teach them how to teach etc. But if they are not converted many will not give their whole heart as an offering to the Lord. This knowledge has helped me to become a better leader and I felt prompted to share it with you. We cannot just change the actions we do to get the results we want we have to change the beliefs we have as well.
Something pretty cool that is happening in our mission is that we have 4 Assistants in the mission right now however we are not all here in the offices. My Companion and I Who is called Elder Bossa (he is from Colombia as well and has also been a good friend of mine for my whole mission) and also Elder Brown the old office AP and Elder Geshwandtner who what we call Traveling Aps that are traveling the whole mission doing divisions with all the Zone leaders. So we are here in the offices and they travel around teach etc. It is a new good set up because it is going to help us a lot because the majority of all the missionaries here in the mission do not have much experience. We did a coupe of capitatition together the 4 of us and then we took them to the terminal and they are already in other zones working their tails off.
One of the perks of being Ap is I have eaten really well lately haha and get to hang out a bit with President Smiths son Jerry who is such an awesome kid. He may go out on divisions with us today. I also went to the airport the other day and took a group of elders who were in the CCM with me to the airport to catch their plane and I thought it would effect me more than it did. The truth is everyday is so exciting and new I did not even feel slightly homesick. Mom I am rethinking extending my mission maybe for just a week my question is would you forgive me? It may not even be a possibility anymore but I just wanted to know what you thought?
I love you all like crazy I am not going to lie it was really hard leaving barrio 4 but I know that Elder Miranda is going to have a lot of success there. We had some miracles in church last Sunday. An elderly lady we have been teaching for sometime and were almost going to stop teaching asked a neighbor to take her to church because she is very old to walk alone. And she went with her and they both for the first time went and enjoyed our sacrament meeting. The Lord works in very mysterious ways who knows how someone will receive the gospel.
Honestly I do not have much to say things are different and I am very happy. I love my Savior He has done so much for me I do very little for Him. Do not forget the Commitment of Elder Ballard in the last General Conference pray to find and have someone to share the gospel with before Christmas and millions will feel the love of the Savior we just need to reach out to just 1 just 1 and think about the difference it would make in the world.
Remember always that I love you oh and my Credit card is here in Uruguay thank you so much Mom
Lots to do the work of salvation is being hastened we are close to the end
Well folks I know I just got you all really excited about the title of this email but first I just want to tell you all that I love you all so much. I am so grateful for everything I have been given. I cannot tell you how many times I tell people my father taught me or my mom said this or my teacher in seminary or sunday school or bishop or good friend taught me this and the truth is you all have a big part of who I am. Thank you for loving me enough to teach me.
First off to explain the pictures. This last week We had our Leaders meeting here in the mission. It was the biggest one we have ever had because we invited lots of district leaders to come because a lot of the zone leaders go home this change and we needed some of the younger guys who may take their spots to be there. Lots of people Can you all believe how far we have come people I went from the kid who hated to be outside his comfort zone to a missionary who teaches and testifies to over 35 missionaries. Can you believe it? I am so grateful for what the Lord has helped me to become. I still have so much to go though like Elder Dube said we do not look back we look forward! There are miracles yet to see here in the mission. I am writing this letter from the mission home again. My companion went with President to a stake conference pretty far away so today my companion is Jerry Smith the son of our mission president. the great news is he is Fletcher so It is like hanging out with Fletcher all day. Today we went to the Golf course to try to play golf but it was closed for a tournament (because jerry is almost a pro golfer) but then we went out to eat and I helped move a lot of things here in the mission home. Fun stuff.
Anyway mom a couple of things, you need to get on my Facebook and add some people but be careful because most people in this country send invites to anyone so they can make friends. You could also upload some pictures and Quotes from my lettres to help share the gospel with all my non mormon Friends..
Anyway lets get to the exciting things well.... These last couple of weeks We had been working on some new ways to teach, to demonstrate to the missionaries in our leaders conference. But when we got down to two days before conference we went to have a meeting with President and as we talked it through we all felt that it was too much and that is was going to overload the missionaries. And we all felt that it was not what we needed to share to help the mission. So two days before the meeting we changed everything. Almost everything and all we really did was just get everyone super super hyped up for the end of the year the end of the year 2013 when god began to hasten his work. We have huge Goals and lots to do to bring to pass miracles this end of the year. We are all so excited.
During this whole time I have been talking to President Smith about extending my mission. We called salt Lake to see how much it would cost we talked about what I would be doing if I stayed How I could work and help the mission in this extra time. And after an interview with president he told me Elder I feel Good about it we can use you but lets see what the Lord thinks. So I left from there looking for the Lords will and the truth is I have been praying a lot lately to know if I can stay. So as the leadership of the mission We all were going to the temple and I knew that is where I would get my answer. I could not believe the clarity in the temple as I went through. It was the first time in a while and now they had updated and wow. I felt one answer after another and in the final room I said to our father in heaven I think I have received my answer is this it. I need an answer. I got my answer..... No..... It was so hard for me as I stood there tears falling down my face knowing that I could not go against His will and that I would be Going home. How I love serving Him and it was so hard to just say thy will be done. But I have done it His will is my will. I do not know quite why But I know I am needed home. So I will be home on the normal time. I wept. there is still lots to do here and I plan to go down giving every last bit of myself to God before I go.
First off I just have to tell you all I Love you As usual I have no time but Just feel my love and know that I have lots to share. I love you all be safe
I was thinking about something this week The importance about having a testimony about the sacrament ponder it this week. I love you all
Wednesday, December 4, 2013
Well I have not come to a conclusion here whether I stay or if I go quite yet this week I will be in the temple praying and i'll find out then. But until then whatever happens will be the will the lord.
Today I am sitting in President's house hanging out with his family. It has been such a good day and made me feel like I was home with you all once again. We even had a water fight. you know how much I love water fights. Well I am so happy to hear from you all the truth is I miss you all and this thanksgiving I just want to tell you that truely I could not ask more from God than the family I already have. You are all amazing I love you all so much. and everyone who wrote, thank you.
My thanksgiving was great just to let you all know as well. There is a missionary senior couple that work in the offices and they cooked an amazing Thanksgiving dinner for all of us in the offices. It was fantastic. Some day when I'll tell you all more about all my journeys. ( ps from mom: I hate when he says this!!!!! I want more!!!!!)
The truth is there is no time whatsoever. But just to answer some questions really fast I am soooooo happy!!!! I love it here. I have been so blessed by the Lord. We have a stake conference starting shortly and today was the birthday of one of the AP's so we are eating with everyone here in the mission home. It is great forgive my short letter I love You all.
I am with Hermana Smith right now and she wants me to tell you that You have an amazing son and that she is so happy to have me closer here in the mission and she said if I did not write it in she would take the computer and write it for me.