Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Oct. 14, 2013

Dear Dad, 

My week was good. It was a really interesting week, actually, and I learned a lot. I think I figured out that I'm a natural optimist this week, because I went on an intercambio(haha I'm about halfway done with the letter right now, and I just looked back and realized I accidentally put a spanish word in there. It's a companion exchange) with an Elder in my district and we absolutely worked our minds off. It was great because we both realized we had actually been a little discouraged before we had that day together. It's very hard to work here in the city unless you have good companion support. This Elder is training, and I have somewhat of a timid comp, so we both suddenly realized how awesome it is to have two guys boldly declaring repentance. I later realized that I have been neglecting part of my responsibility. I got so caught up worrying about the areas in the district and the other elders that I forgot about my own companion. I went kind of panic mode and tried to save the whole district and my own area by myself, and the Lord made me realize what I should be doing is trusting my companion and helping him grow so he can run the area and I can worry about the district. Kinda complicated, but I'm gonna do it. You really gotta listen to the Lord on this kind of stuff.

My mind is continually blown by how awesome our stake is functioning, especially when I have to sit through two hours of ward council where not one assignment is given. Many assignments are talked about, hinted at, suggested, but the Ward is not gonna catch the wave until they commit to serve the Lord first. I am kinda pondering what to do about that, and I'm not sure.

Thanks for the pic, it's not too distracting, haha. I still am never coming home. I have too much left to do and become, and not enough time. 

I was memorizing scriptures too. It's really awesome, it helps keep your mind focused on the right things.

Everyone be good. Try asking a random stranger this week if they would be willing to listen to a message about your religion. That works. If they say yes get their name, number, address, and give it to the missionaries! I expect four emails from Mom, Dad, Ellie, and Bekah telling me how it went. Personal challenge from Elder Pyper.

Love you guys, have the best week!

Friday, October 11, 2013

October 7, 2013

Dear the rest of everybody,

Conference was amazing. I was a little disappointed at first because it wasn't set up in english when we got there, so we went and dropped cane on the stake president and set it up in english. So I missed the first session in english. The original language is always better. The talks by Giff Nielsen, M. Russell Ballard, Richard G. Scott, L. Tom Perry and of course President Monson were amazing. Those ones really got to me. The most recurring themes, it seemed to me, were patience in trial, member missionary work, and laboring for a personal conversion to draw spiritual strength. All things that we're going to need, and are already needing in these times when "men´s heart's shall fail them." Richard G. Scott's five steps to protect against satan's buffetings were truly inspired words. 

The ward is doing ok, I'm always kind of frustrated because they're a bunch of workoholics, and that honestly deadens the spirit. I'm in one of the few wealthy parts of Uruguay, it looks kind of like the east side of Enid. Just imagine that all the houses have flat roofs, are stuck together, and have bars on the windows and doors. The other month I was really upset with the ward leaders because they told me in my first ward council that they had had a wonderful idea. The idea was that the missionaries would plan and execute a ward activity. Maybe one of the only times in my life when strangers could visibly tell I was irritated with them, haha. We tried to go big and make an awesome activity, but we didn't succeed in that. We wanted the ward to do most of it, because if you have your missionaries doing everything, the church will never grow, but they kinda shirked. The people that came still had fun though, I love that about uruguayos, they're fun loving. We tried to make the olympic games, with a bunch of events and everything, but all the members just failed in their assignments haha, so we just played pingpong and futbol. I tactfully waited for one of the bishopric members to beat all the members at pingpong, and right at the moment when he was puffed up in his pride, I stepped up, took off my jacket, and won the heart of the ward, haha. Took him down. A straight year of not playing made me really rusty, but not rusty enough. And I got really good at that game where you put a cookie on your forehead and try to eat it without using your hands. Fun time.

I do feel like I've been a missionary my whole life, but I haven't been good enough still. Pray for me, friends. I know you do, and I appreciate it and love you all. 

1 peter 1

Love, Andy

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Sept. 30, 2013

Dear Family,

That sounds like a crazy week! It makes me miss byu a lot. HAPPY BIRTHDAY BEKAH! Eat lots of cake for me. And eat some all three ice cream. And a few bite sized bekahs in the morning.
The work is pretty dang awesome here. I'm feeling super optimistic and full of faith facing the upcoming week. I had a really good talk with my comp, he's an awesome guy, and he wants to become a leader really bad. I told him that he already is the senior comp in our area. That's not just some cliché thing that they tell the district leader comps, it really is a big responsibility to be the district leader's companion. Because there is just way too much going on in my head to run a district and my own area. Stuff was slipping between the cracks in my head, and our own area was suffering. He's feeling ready to go. Elder Francis is also a boss. He stepped into an area that was dying and found like twice as many new investigators as they ever did the last transfer. His comp is a really young kid from Ecuador, and they're getting along awesome as well. So I'm happy. It seems that we're getting a lot of blessings from the Lord here. Oh and another thing... Did you guys already buy shoes, because if you did that's fine, but if not hold off, cause elder francis just showed up selling a pair of shoes that are my size that should last me a good while. Let me know.
Seriously sounds like-holy gosh they just started playing sunglasses at night, haha-a really awesome weekend! Except for your truck. That's kinda sad. That story also made me realize how bad my english is, haha. What the heck do those words mean? I really don't speak english anymore, just spanglish. It's super hard to omit spanish words from my prose (viste esas palabras lujosas?)
Lately I've been learning a lot about how the very presence of the holy ghost in the life of a person literally changes his character. That person has mainly been me, haha. I'm really starting to rejoice in having the spirit with me all the time and do everything i can to not drive him away. I am super pumped for conference. Emilie said it's like super bowl weekend for missionaries, and I think that's the most apt comparison that can be made, haha. We get to hang out with all the missionaries in the stake, we kick out all the latinos and watch conference in english in a little room by ourselves. It is a blast, haha. Of the three general conferences i've seen in my mission, I've watched three of them with Elder Francis. It's fate. This guy is such an inspiration to me. He has turned from a lost kid seeking for approval into a driven servant of the most high God right before my eyes in one short year. I don't know what happened to him, but I hope something like that happened to me too.
I also am really liking listening to Byu devotional talks, I got a ton from some missionary buddies, and they are mind blowing. I think it is actually making my english a little more elegant. It's what happens when you listen to Hugh Nibley for at least an hour every day haha.
Have a wonderful week friends. Jacob 6:5-8
Elder "Sueño de la cañería" Pyper