Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Feb. 26, 2013

Hello dear family. 

The week was so good. I am feeling really optimistic. We've been trying to use family history as a hook to find investigators and increase retention and activity. We finally had a breakthrough with that this week. We got the only young man in our branch totally hooked on family history when Elder priedeman and I found out that we're both related to william the conqueror. So we're very very distant cousins. It's good that we're relatives cause our companionship is already over. Your very own Elder Pyper is off to big city to face some new challenges. But the lack of people will not be one of them. Carmen was a tiny tiny village and my new area is apparently in a big city. So that's good. I'm excited to learn how to teach better cause honestly I didn't do a whole lot of teaching here. It was finding finding finding. So tomorrow night I'll be in Melo. It's way in the interior of uruguay. But it's a biggish city. I think there's a few hundred thousand people there so that'll be nice. Really I'm kinda bummed out that me and elder priedeman have to go seperate ways. He's like my best friend in the mission now. But my new companion is named Elder Kempton and apparently he's awesome. Vamos a ver.

So I guess everyone's going to BYU. Congratulations to rachel and emilie. And tell rachel to keep thomas away from emilie. BYU is a blast they're going to love it.

Did you get any snow? How's the weather out there? It was super rainy this week and I was on an interchange with Elder Dallin on monday. It was raining buckets and elder Dallin is a brand new elder. So it was an interesting day going around completely soaked and doing everything for us haha. Hey! I just found out that one of my friends in the salt lake city mission is in rock springs right now. So that's cool.

Well my goal for this new area and this six weeks is to be completely diligent. The scripture that will drive me is Moroni 9:6. It is very good. I'm still trying to learn to push myself to my full potential and I think the best way I can apply it is with the language. For one thing I'm pretty much fluent but there's many words I don't know. Just gotta strive to speak spanish all the time. It's hard when you have a funny comp that quotes nacho libre all the time but it's something I can do to dedicate myself to the Lord better. 

I'm pretty sure I'm training in six weeks so it's time to purify myself as much as I can and get ready to be a real big example for this new kid I'm gonna get. He might be eighteen. That's so crazy. Hey! How's kevin doing over there in texas? I also got a letter from halmoni recently which was much appreciated.

My toe was actually a miracle. I can't remember if I told you guys this story but my toe healed miraculously in like a day and a half. I had that surgery. Various doctors told me I wasn't going to be able to walk for a full week. But I was working two days later. But then the other side ingrew because the doctor randomly cut the toenail on that side. It got really swollen and nasty again but I just prayed it away. I could not bear the thought of sitting in the apartment another two days while people were perishing in unbelief. So I think it's getting better again. At least it doesn't hurt anymore.

Today I am exactly nineteen and a half. I now have six months in the mission. So I'm gonna burn a sock tonight and wonder where all that time went. And we're gonna go get quesadillas from a mexican dude down here. He's the only other person in Uruguay who knows what spicy food is. It's gonna be a fiesta. Seriously the time is flying by. I hate it. I'm trying to have fun every moment though and that is turning out to be a good strategy. I do feel bad for the poor sap that replaces me in carmen though. It was the only thing I knew so I didn't know how different the work was there. But here we go! New adventure time! Vamos arriba!!!!

Love you all!
Elder ´El Crecimiento Real´ Pyper

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Feb. 18, 2013

Dear Dad,

First of all, I can see the pictures. Sorry for not answering that question in like seven consecutive emails.

Oh my gosh. Jory's going to brazil. This is unreal. Does he know that portuguese sounds like speaking spanish with a mouth full of ice cream? It's familiar sounding but not understandable at all. And tell James that the Argentinian and Uruguayan word for bro is che. It's pretty useful.

All that church stuff makes me miss church. It's hard being a missionary here in this sense, that you can't rely on other people to make you feel the spirit like that! We don't really have talk-worthy members here, so me and my comp speak all the time. Sacrament meetings are just interesting, haha.

Well, this week was the miracle week. It was super good. On monday, I realized that I'd kind of lost just the pure joy of sharing gospel knowledge with people, so I made some plans to remember that I just love sharing the gospel during the week. It worked. Brought a really special spirit, we found several really prepared people. People were literally snatching book of mormons from our hands. We were getting led by the spirit like crazy. And it never fails to amaze me how I always think I know what the spirit is doing, but I just don't. Like the other day, I felt the impression to go to visit this one angry old man, but as we walked to his house, I realized it wasn't him we were supposed to visit. Mostly because he yelled some poorly formed spanish at us and walked inside. It was the neighbor that was prepared! He wanted to read the whole BoM just standing there on the porch. So lesson is, just follow the promptings. Don't try to understand them. 

Scripture of the week is 2 Ne 32:8-9, because praying is truly difficult. Getting people to pray is hard. But they respond when you read them that.

Here's a picture of the giant cookie we made last night. And the other one is me drinking strawberry juice while my companion is being the district leader. Check out all that weight I gained.

Happy belated valentines day to you as well! I went all day without thinking about it!
Love you too

Elder "La Destreza" Pyper

Friday, February 15, 2013

February 12, 2013

Hi dad.

That is just some sad sad news. I do not like to hear about missionaries dying. I'm fairly certain that I've got more to do after my mission, cause I can feel angels walking by me from time to time. They say the devil lives in Carmen, and I believe them. But there's missionaries there too. It's a battle. Speaking of the OKC mission, keep an eye out for Elder Cutler. Tell him I said hi.

Well, I am coming off the absolute worst week of my mission, haha. It all started with surgery in a south american hospital... It was absolutely the scariest experience of my life. After waiting for more than two hours, the doctor told me to take off my shoe, took a look at my toe for like three seconds, and told me to put my shoe back on and follow him to the "operating room." It just went downhill from there. Apparently the south american method of solving an ingrown toenail is to cut off half the toenail and kill the nailbed with a razor. So, they did that. It hurt a little. But it was almost an instant fix, so that's cool. Now I'll just have a really narrow toenail for the rest of my life, haha. So that's my news. So we sat in the chapel calling people to come have lessons the next day, cause I couldn't walk. But by thursday I was fine. Then we just had a really hard four days. But my faith is unshaken. The Lord is ready to expand his kingdom exponentially, and I know it because there are going to be seventy six new missionaries in the next three months. That just means your boy is going to be training real soon. Possibly in two weeks (I don't think so) but very probably at the end of next change.

Bekah, I got your letter. I already sent a reply. I have not had any more baptisms, the people are hardening their hearts. I love my new companion. We are best friends. We have a hard time speaking spanish because we're cracking jokes too much. I also got two packages this week. The camera is funcional, so I'll start sending pictures now and then. 

I'm eating well, sleeping well, everything is going just fine. I'm feeling sad, because I think I'm experiencing that missionary sixth sense that tells you when you're leaving your area. We'll see. I love working here because the task is so immense. At times it seems impossible. The branch president is only in town sundays, the branch mission leader is inactive, there's only two worthy priesthood holders, and one's in a wheel chair. A lot falls on us. So we have to rely on the lord a ton. But I'm ready to throw myself at this the last two weeks I have here.

Love you guys! 

Elder Andy

Monday, February 4, 2013

Feb. 4, 2013

Dear FamilyslashDad

The week was fantastic. Having a new companion is so great. This guy is the bomb. We work hard and we have fun while we do it. The problem is that the pueblo has become even more hostile. I've been stoned several times. Puts me right up there with Stephen and the other great prophets of old. So we're trying to find the righteous people that are keeping the pueblo from being blown off the earth by the hand of God. Even though we're doing everything right nothing's going right. We're about due for some tender mercies. (Tell mom if you think she won't freak out but I think I'm about to have surgery on my toe...) So all things considered it's a miracle that I'm filled with joy all the time. This work is the best. 

Here's the story of the week. We've been looking for this inactive member named ismael but every time we go to his house he's not there. So yesterday we went after church and the wife who has kicked him out of the house because he's drinking told us to go get him. So we walked into the backyard and didn't see anything. I felt a little voice tell me to look behind the shed and when I did it I find ismael hunched over hiding from us. And he had a slingshot loaded and @#!*% . I thought I was gonna die. But he put the gun down and came out for a lesson with us haha. It was really spiritual and I know he felt the spirit testifying that God can take him out of his drinking problem. And it was super weird because after we left i remembered that he was on the point of shooting me point blank with a slingshot haha.

That's awesome that the letter to Jake did some good. I felt like those words were coming from somewhere else while I was writing that letter. 

I do have some good sisters. They are the best. And you guys are the real example for me. it's easy to preach the gospel when you're hiding behind a white shirt and tie. To do it with your friends and family takes real courage.

Tell Eddie and Jacy I said congrats! I can barely believe that craziness.

Well the work is marching on. My comp and I really feel like we're working as hard as we can we're turning in incredible numbers of contacts and lessons without members but noone wants us to come back! So we're looking at implementing family history somehow because it seems like the lord is telling us that the pueblo needs something different to open its heart. 

Anyway that's it. I speak better english now haha.

Love you all! Bye!