Monday, June 30, 2014

June 30, 2014

This week was a little eventful. We had some little disobedience issues within our zone this week, so I got to go with one of the assistants to correct it a bit. So it was a cool experience, you really feel the love that the lord has for his children. However, we're fighting a hard battle in La Costa. It's tough, but we've won a victory just by the fact that uruguay is out of the cup. The whole country was shut down on game days, it was pretty annoying. We actually walked by suarez's house on game day, he lives in our area, about 200 people were outside his front door with a massive screen that said, If Luis can't go to the game, we'll bring the game to him! And they watched it right there in front of his door. It was crazy. There were people selling suarez masks. I almost bought one. I think america can take belgium. I believe in dempsey. One of my friends made those and sent it to me, haha, I'm a dempsey lookalike.

Yeah that's about it. Elder Phillips is going home in two weeks. It's blowing my mind. I'm sad, like where did my mission go? Blink of an eye and i'll be home...It's okay, I'm committed to work harder than i ever have. I'm losing a lot of weight right now, I've been eating a ton of protein and working out really hard. It helps me to not feel so tired. Also, I've been eating three meals again lately, I think that's working. The uruguayan eating schedule is pretty off, I've gone american style again, and i FEEL a lot better.

Have a good week guys, I love you! 

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

June 23, 2014


The week was pretty good, there's a lot of work to do here, yeah. The main problem we're trying to solve is that this zone we have is kind of touristic and it's the middle of winter. So a lot of people are not here, and the people that are here are working like dogs. It's a little different. So the missionaries have gotten used to kind of just wandering around all day talking with people that reject them. We're trying to change the culture of the zone, going to the rescue of less actives and recent converts, and that way we'll be blessed with people who don't know the gospel. My companion is awesome, he's super funny. He always does weird stuff that makes me laugh. It's nice. We have a lot of fun in spite of struggling with the same kind of problems as the rest of the zone. We find a lot of great people in the street, and then they're always working and we never find them again. But plans have been made and we're going to put them in practice this week to see if we can have some more success finding people.

Yeah, the world cup is pretty insane here. Turns out that missionary work is way worse when uruguay wins, haha. During the game, we couldn't work, but after everybody was just drunk or going to parties. It was nuts. 

Luckily I'm starting to feel better now, I have kind of forgotten what it is like to be healthy and rested though. I've been sick for a long time, haha but whatever, it can't last too much longer.

June 16, 2014

Dear Family,

The week was good, it was a bit weird. We worked really hard and saw almost no results for it at the end of the week. However we did receive a miracle and we had a lot of faith that we were gonna get one. Some young women brought her boyfriend to church, we're gonna go teach him on friday. So that was cool.

Me and Elder Ochoa are getting along great, we have become fast friends, and it's easy to do missionary work together. The hard thing was the world cup. Wow. It's actually not that bad unless uruguay is playing. But it's always but for me, because anytime that we go into a house someone is watching whatever game is on. It's temptation. You guys know that I like soccer, haha. I actually witnessed that game winning goal for usa last night during a meeting with our bishop in his house.

I had a classic missionary moment. Elder Ochoa and i were on the way to a menos activo family's house right before the uruguay game, and we found that they were doing construction all over this one intersection. It was just a dirt road, so we hopped the tape and tried to run right through it, taking two different routes. But then my leg sunk into mud up to my ankle, haha. I tried to keep running, but my shoe stayed in the mud. I had to go back and get it, and then it was filled with mud haha. We showed up at the family's house, and they were like...your shoe is a little dirty. I said sorry.

But yeah, we also had that other conference with a president of the seventy, Lynn Robbins. That was excellent. I got some good councils from the spirit there. He talked a lot about getting along with your companion and how it predicts divorce later in life, haha. I congratulated myself heartily for getting along with most of my companions.

Anyway, there you have it, I appreciate all your prayers. Those help a lot. And thanks for that package! Love you guys, have a good week!
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June 8, 2014

Dear Family,

I knew you would get the reference, haha. Nacho Libre is like riding a bike, you never forget. So they call this place La Costa de Oro. Turns out, it actually is gold. We did some manly work last week, and God is being merciful and helping us to find a lot of new people. The area was lacking investigators when I got here, but we're starting to build up the teaching pool a bit. So I've been here since wednesday, and I love it. My companion is elder Ochoa, I can't remember if I said his name last week, but I love him, we get along probably a little too well. He's from arizona, actually was friends with elder Kempton from before the mission, so that's cool. And yeah he's a really hard worker, really focused.

The sports world is blowing my mind right now, haha. Not basketball so much, even though that is exciting. The world cup is gonna be crazy down here. They infected me with world cup fever. It's so different in south america. Uruguay's first game is this saturday, so I'll let you guys know how crazy it is next week, haha. 

In other news, it's pretty cold. Probably around like 40 or 50 degrees, which isn't too bad unless there's wind and rain. (There was)

We actually have another conference this week with Lynn G. Robbins, the newly called president of the seventy. That's gonna be exciting, and also it's right during the opening match of the world cup, so it'll get us off the street at least. I really love watching the Lord's servants come and give us direction, it's wonderful.

I saw the video of bekah flipping, I was pretty impressed. I remember that when I did seven backflips, I could barely stand up for like a minute because I was too dizzy, but she popped right out of there and stopped the video. 

Anyway, thanks for the love, support, and beef jerky. You are a wonderful family, I'll be seeing you in a bit.

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June 1, 2014

Dear Family,

I am doing well, that's for sure. The sad news is, the changes came, and they're sending me away to be the zone leader in La costa. My companion is pretty new, so it looks like I've got some work cut out for me. The whole zone that I'm going to is right on the beach, so that's gonna be weird. Even worse, elder phillips is coming to the area next door right as I'm leaving, so we almost lived together again. Oh well, it's all inspired I guess. 

So. Another interesting tidbit, this last week, Walter F. Gonzalez of the seventy came to visit our mission, he's the area president here. He was in our leadership council and then he did a conference with half the mission in our chapel, that we had to host. I think I said that last week. The conference plans were concrete, and then came the call. At the last minute, they asked us to get lunch for the conference. So we walked into a bakery that we enjoy and asked them if they could get us "lunch" (if you say it in english they know you want catering, haha) for 100 people. They obliged. And then President Gonzalez loved it and told president cook that it was the best lunch he had ever had (presumably with a heavy mexican accent) Check this out. Scroll down until you see some english in that newsletter.

So yeah, excited for a new area, I have four baptisms left for my personal goal, so we're gonna see if we can make it happen. The three people that got baptized here are doing fabulous, Diego is going to missionary prep classes and wants to start doing his papers as soon as he can. He was recently ordained a priest and hangs out with the young single adults basically every night. He is definitely one of the Lord's elect.

Couldn't be happier, I love life. See you all soon!


May 26,2014

Dear family,

Wow, everybody was there at the reunion. That's gotta be a lot of people these days. Too bad I missed out, but I'll be there next year, haha.

So basically the news this week is that we're trying to find people to teach. The search is going well, we're throwing everything we have at it. I honestly feel guiltless for our efforts of the past two weeks, which is pretty impressive. I gave everything I had until my heart and mind failed me, haha. Pday has become a necessary thing instead of a luxury. 

Today we're going to go see the fingers, I'll send some pictures next week.

Other things, Walter F. Gonzalez is coming this week to visit the mission. We're hosting the conference here in our zone, so we've got a lot of work to do getting everything ready for that. But yeah, I'll let you know how everything goes there.

Thanks for the love and support, you're a great family. Have a fun summer!

Monday, May 19, 2014

May 12, 2014


It was really great to be able to talk to you guys last night, quite excellent. It's just kind of weird now. Now I'm really on the home stretch, I've recently started to sprint, haha. Soooo we have three baptisms this week. It's pretty awesome. The ward here is doing relatively good, starting to have activities on a regular basis, and god is blessing them with baptisms. It's nice to be an instrument. These are some really special people, and they represent real progress. We've got a twenty one year old who has family problems and wants to maybe serve a mission, future leader. We've got the 11 year old son of an inactive high priest who has been to church a month in a row now. We also have a lady who is getting married this week and then baptized on saturday. It's nice to think about this, because it represents real growth. We're actually helping out the ward and it feels good.

So when does school end over there again? What are your summer plans? I guess I don't have to much to say... I love you guys, be good


May 19, 2014

Yeah poor jake, he told me. I hope he gets back out soon, that's gotta be pretty tough.

But in other news,Inline image 1This happened. It was pretty awesome. We had kind of a crazy week. I have officially never been as mentally drained as I am right now. Me and elder Schill made a goal to step up our game and literally try to talk with every person we saw. This led to some crazy situations, but wow. I don't think I've ever felt more like an instrument of the Lord as I did last week. It was nothing short of miraculous. It helped us a lot to recognize the spirit and act on it. By the end of the week we had realized that god was putting all the people he wanted us to teach directly in our path, and many times they were doing awkward stuff. Like fixing power lines on the top of a ladder. Or taking a smoke break during their job from the pizzeria, but we talked to them, and we saw a bunch of miracles. And then the three baptisms and the end of the week was really rewarding. We had a lot of divine help with that.

But wow, I feel really good spiritually. My faith has been boosted a lot.

Kate just got married out of nowhere, that was a little scary. Paul looks like he has paul bunyan's disease in that picture. I hope you all have fun at the reunion, send my love to everyone.


Wednesday, May 7, 2014

May 5, 2014

Dear Dad and Bekah,

So important stuff first, the call is this sunday at 5:30 uruguayo time. I'll let you figure that out in oklahoma time. 

Also, it's pretty exciting to have the fourth generation of pyper in the little olympics. We're bringing in a lot of jewlery, haha, I wish you the best of luck Bekah in the 800. It's an exciting race.
Hoo hoo, the missionary work is great in this area. There are so many people and we have all the blessings of hard work, obedience and focus. It has been sweet. We should have three baptisms the week after next, if I didn't ruin one of them just now by cancelling a game of soccer with one of our investigators. He sounded kind of bummed... But yeah, I feel awesome. Even more tired than before, but success is starting to flow. Yeah I'm still a zone leader here luckily, I thought they might kick me out after the fiasco last change, but they still trust me apparently. They kind of killed my last companion though, they sent a crazy byu football player to live with him. 

But yes, we also accidentally fasted two times in three days last week. Turns out, that´s a bad idea. I was pretty dang fatigued afterward.
Inline image 1

It's gettin a little cool here in uruguay. It's gonna be a weird shock to go from the middle of winter to hundred and five summer in august. Also, here's a picture of our entire mission at the christmas conference. It's like a where's waldo game. 

I'm a little scared, it keeps hitting me unexpectedly how little time there is left. But good thing we're working hard and taking advantage of the time we have left. 

Allright, love you guys, see you on sunday!

April 28, 2014

Dear Dad,

Ok, so this week was really the first time I've ever seen a picture of Ellie and Bekah next to somebody who I know how tall they are. Ellie is almost the same as Rachel? Is she taller than mom? And Bekah grew like a foot too, as far as I can tell. El tiempo no para. 

So here's the story of last change that I could never tell you because my companion spoke english perfectly. It was a really hard change because he was pretty disobedient. It kind of destroyed our zone and broke my heart, but now I've fled the scene. I'm here with my new companion Elder Schill, who is super awesome. We have worked really hard, it's been super good. Maldonado is a pretty big city too, so there's a lot of people here. I'm excited, it has a loooot of potential. We've already seen some good miracles as we worked hard. I got sick again this week, a pretty nasty cold. I went out to work every day anyway, I just carried around my british flag handkerchief that elder phillips gave me. It was pretty gross, I don't really like handkerchiefs, haha. But it's like I said, I think my body is just shutting down.

The conference talk about bobsledding/skeleton has been on my mind a lot. It talked about how they prepared so hard and when it came down to it, they were on the track only minutes, and that is what mattered. It made me think about two things, life, and the mission. I was able to imagine really vividly how much preparation we did to come to this world and live our lives. We knew we had to live the gospel and bring back as many brothers and sisters as we could. And now we're on the track, zooming along at 90 miles an hour. I've seen before that a human life measured in god's time is like under an hour. I remember that 2 years was like 4 minutes or something, just very few minutes. But it's really important. We were waiting a long time to come here, and we don't have time to waste. So there are my thoughts on that, trying to keep it simple, haha.

Anyway, I love you guys, thanks for the support, I wish you all the luck I can with the busy spring schedule.

April 21, 2014

All right, here's the scoop

I'm not in my new area yet actually, I'm leaving tomorrow morning. It's maldonado, a really big city right on the coast. It's one of the hottest vacation spots in south america. I don't know if you guys ever saw that picture of a beach with a gigantic hand sprouting out of the sand, but that's in my new area. My new companion is named Elder Schill, I already know him. He lived with me here in florida and I love him to death. I am so excited for the next change, haha. My companion is an unreally hard worker. It's so cool. He's coming into play at a critical point in my mission. And plus, we both like to fight the power, so we're going to be rogue baptizers, probably. By that, I mean my whole mission everybody has been kind of ill with baptism fever. I think it's the main problem with the church down here. The converts haven't been real for a long time. We're trying to fix it, haha. My last change was pretty dramatic, I'll have to write and tell you about that next week, for reasons which will be known unto you next week.

So, at least I'm comforted now, because I'm pretty sure Ellie and Bekah cannot grown anymore before I get home. holy cow, they are big. They couldn't even touch the ground on that swing before! Is Ellie taller than mom?

I'm feeling you on the long trip there. It's a pretty long trip, but I'm pretty calm about the end. I've got a good chunk of time left, somewhat. But I have a good mindset. I don't usually think about it anymore, but the end is always right there. I think I'm still on an upward arc here.

Easter in uruguay. They have this tradition in all of south america, the holy week. I think they don't eat meat like all week or something, even the mormons, haha. I forgot to pay attention at lunch this week to figure it out. Oh well. But yeah, as far as south american countries go, and I think I've said it before, uruguay is one of the countries farthest away from christian values. But that being said, the whole country watches passion of the christ every easter. It's a good talking point in contacts. It sends some people into shock who are watching it for the first time. They didn't realize that people were so brutal with jesus. It's sad. But it's not like the phillipines or anything where they nail themselves to crosses.

Thanks for telling me to keep working hard, it's good advice. I love you guys, have a good one.
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April 14, 2014

Dear Dad,

How long have you been in Texas? I imagine you're probably lonely out there anyway, regardless of how long it's been, being away from family is not fun. Are you getting to fly those big old planes yet? How much longer are you gonna be gone from home?

Well yeah, so our week was a little better, it's been kind of a weird challenge this change. The Lord had some interesting situations in store for me. We've got the changes coming up this week, the assistants already told me I'm leaving, so I have to deal with that this week, haha. Putting in the extra mile when I know it will make no difference in my life cause I'm leaving anyway. So I'll write you on tuesday and tell you where I'm going. I'm getting pretty tired. I think I said it before, but it's kind of astonishing. I heard someone this week tell me that missionaries in walking missions walk two and a half times around the world in their mission. I don't know if that's true, but I wouldn't be surprised. My legs are far from fresh, haha. I have flippin huge muscles on the front of my shins from lifting my toes up with every step I take, and the rest of my legs have melted away. Pray me some strength, I'm kind of doubting my body will make it through, haha.

I love you guys, maybe I didn't tell you enough when I was still home, but you were really fantastic parents. Thanks for putting me on the right path and keeping me there until I finally was converted enough to stay there myself. I can't wait to see you guys, I have reserved a little time to be trunky every morning, when we sing our companionship hymn, every day we sing one number less as a countdown. We are gonna be on hymn 135 tomorrow. Also I am starting to read a section of doctrine and covenants every day. Tomorrow I read 4. So yeah. I miss you all, what can I say?

Love you un montòn!

April 7, 2014

Dear Dad,

Haha it made me laugh to think of halmoni trying to get me something vitamin c and ecinachea, because there is no way they have ecinachea down here. I didn't have the heart to tell her. When it comes to vitamins and over the counter medicine, about as advanced as they get are these things called piedras de azufre (roughly translated, stones of brimstone) You roll them on your body and they suck the pain out, and they may or may not be black magic.

Conference was so great, the only negative thing about it was thinking that at next conference I will no longer be a missionary. I did something drastic last week, because my companion is from my group, you know so it's really hard not to get trunky because all the time I'm just thinking, "This guy came to the mission with me. That was a long time ago. We're going home together. That's not too far in the future." Anyway, so we did an emergency intercambio and I went with the youngest missionary in the mission and officially swore off trunkiness. We worked like crazy that day, with many fruits. We got like 4 people to come to general conference. It made me realize I don't want to die a Zone Leader. It's so much easier to focus when you have a younger companion. I want to die training. I'm gonna see what I can do about that.

Also, conference itself was astounding. I felt a great sense of urgency. There's not time left to mess around in the gospel. They spoke quite frankly. I liked it a lot. They gave a lot of advice for people who suffer persecution while they live the gospel... scares me. Seems like we'll be getting to that point soon. Oh well. The gospel is true. Christ has the words of eternal life. Where else will we go? What else can we do? We can only serve. It's the only thing that will matter eternally. May we always be found doing the work of the Lord.

Love you guys, see you in 5 months!
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March 31, 2014

Dear Dad and Bekah,

Well, I'm very impressed. You're well on your way to the backflip record, Bekah. It's seven. It's gonna be an exciting summer. When do you guys start school? Are you gonna be in school when I come home? Thanks for all the news and compliments. I am happy to also have the three best sisters ever. I'm excited to see you guys soon!

It was a good week. We had interviews with the president, which was cool. The assistants called and told us to buy lunch for the whole zone and president and his wife and that they would reimburse it. So we took a quick jaunt to burger king and ordered 22 combos. Haha it was pretty awesome. And then the interview was excellent, I got to know presidents wife really well because I was helping her talk to the latino missionaries all day while president was doing interviews. They really are amazing people, and the instant they came to the mission we could feel their love. It made a lot of difference. But I talked with president a lot about the direction the mission is going in, it was really interesting to hear his insight on things, remind me to tell you guys someday.

One of the best people I ever taught got baptized two days ago. Elder Phillips and I taught her for three months and three weeks after we split she finally got baptized! It was a good feeling and it reminded me of what is really important. I had become a little worried about goals and numbers and such, but watching somebody make a covenant reminded me what it's all about. It's a really good feeling.

So there's my week. Have a good one chitlins, I love you a ton.

Elder Pyper
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Monday, March 24, 2014

24 March 2014

Dear Family,

Well, the fast on saturday was imposed, I got seriously ill for the first time in my mission. I was dying all week, I missed like three days of work. Just today I feel like I can walk normal distances. I was getting tired from standing up to go to the bathroom and stuff like that, it was pretty awful. Hopefully that never happens again. So I'm just recovering right now, I feel a little better today, hopefully I'll be fine by tomorrow morning. It was good to have a little bit of a mental break, even though our area suffered a little bit, I was thinking a lot. My comp and I had some good bonding time as well, so it was excellent. Definitely an inspired sickness, I think.

So my week was really boring. I laid in bed nearly the whole time. I hope you do well on your test, it sounds a little stressful, but you'll probably do good, I am confident that you know how to fly a plane after all these years. 

I heard that Elder Kempton went to halmoni's house, that's cool. It's always a fun time making dat mandoo, it made me really hungry when I heard. Thinking about food back home is one of the main things that makes me trunky, haha. I heard it described like this once. At the beginning of your mission, you get into a rowboat and start rowing furiously, at the beginning it's a little hard because if you look back you can see the land, but after a while you only see water and you're just rowing like a madman, then when you hit a year and a half, you start to see the destination. It's just hard by nature, not through any fault of the rower, it's just easier not to look back at the beginning of a mission than it is to not look forward towards the end. Especially when you're laying in bed for a week... Haha but I'm better now, time isn't going toooo fast. The point of that whole paragraph is... I want some korean food. And chipotle. And red chicken/everything that comes out of mom's oven.

I love you guys, have a fun week.

17 March 2014

Dear Family,

Well, sadly enough, elder phillips moved, but his new house is only a ten minute walk away, so we see him all the time.

I hadn't even realized it was march madness. I actually thought about the concept of the tournament the other day and said to myself, "That's sweet, I really love march madness" I didn't even realize it was starting this week. Que locura.

Good to hear that bekah is doing some work, it sounds like a load of fun. I think I will join in your family fast on saturday, I could use a good fast. I have grown to love fasting, and I actually feel a tangible increase in spiritual strength when I do it. It's interesting how I never noticed that before my mission.

I caught your sly hint about Rachel and Thomas. That's what I'm talking about.

We had a baptism yesterday, it was a little crazy, but in the end it happened. I'll send some pics next week. 

I'm doing good, just a little more tired every day. Keep praying for my legs, haha.

Love you guys

10 March 2014

Dear Dad,

This is just smashing. I'm really excited for you, dad, you're getting my dream calling.

That week was kind of nuts, I just got changes and I'm staying here in my area with another old friend that came into the mission with me. He's called Elder Do Santos. He's from Argentina, but somehow he speaks perfect english. Don't remember where he learned, but he comes tomorrow. We're gonna have a blast. Elder Phillips, incidentally our best mutual friend, is actually staying in our branch, opening up that village with his oro! This is going to be an exciting part of the mission for us. 

Our new mission president rocked my world this week. We met him at concilio and he is so cool. He greeted me by name without looking at my badge, so I know he really loves us. He is putting a lot of emphasis on becoming a real disciple of Christ, so we're trying to really live the gospel and find people to serve.

I love you guys, you're the best thing ever.

3 March 2014

It's good to hear about you guys.

I'm coming back on the original date again, I've been really excited about that decision. I'm just trying to work hard and be honorable. I'm sorry this is a short email, just know I'm fine, I'm just running out of time!!!

Love you guys!

24 Feb. 2014

Dear family,

Thanks for loving me and being proud of me, that means a lot. So, yeah, I'm not going back to school this semester. I learned what is eternally important in the temple this week, and that is you guys and the Lord's kingdom. It was so easy to get to the right conclusion in the temple, the only thing is I'm not coming home to be idle, I need to work in the ward and I need a job, and I need to spend time with my family. But I'm pretty sure I need to be home for a bit afterward. So, if you can keep your eyes out for a job which pays highly and lets me speak spanish, that would be awesome.

So the week was miraculous. We finally got some people to come to church from that little village where we're starting an area next change. My heart is really invested in that little place. They are very converted, it's really made my testimony of the book of mormon grow, because these investigators are some of the best ever, and we can barely go see them because of the distance. They are pretty far into the book of mormon and have basically taken their own conversion upon themselves. They all loved church. It was a total answer to my prayers.

We had two really good exchanges this week, one with the assistants, which really really helped me out, sometimes I forget that it's nice to work with another missionary with the same experience level. It helped my morale a lot, and then we did one with elder francis's companionship, and I was just really impressed with how far he's come since the CCM. He is a stud missionary, and there's a possibility he could be my companion next change, which would be so cool.

Thanks for the package, you guys are the bomb. I love you a ton, thanks for your emotional support and prayers, tell everyone I say hi.


17 Feb. 2014

Dear Dad,

Wow, you're out of the bishopric. That's some crazy talk. It's really weird to think about that. Things change.

Florida is going well, things are a little bit less smooth with all the changes of missionaries here, but we're solving problems. We're trying to get our baptismal goal of 10 for this month, and right now we have exactly the amount of investigators with a baptismal date to be able to do that. Every single one of them has to go to church and get baptized this week. But I feel really incredible lately, I've been leaving everything out on the field every day. 

So, here's my thoughts on what to do when I get back. I've got a couple options here. 1) I can hang around in oklahoma for a semester or 2)I can come home 2 weeks early and go back to school on time. After lots of prayer and pondering, I'm thinking about option number 2 as the best one. I will confess, that's gonna make money a little hard, but I've felt as I prayed that I need to get my education rolling again as fast as possible. I don't know, hopefully they give me a semester of mercy on my scholarship, and I'm obviously going to have to work as well. Probably student loans as well, I'll figure it out. But I definitely have felt that, get the education going and the lord will provide. So that means in the next couple weeks I'm gonna have to get registered and ready to go, I'll be able to get permission to do most of it from here on the computer, but I'll let you guys know what I need help with.

Ok, I love you guys a ton, thanks for your prayers, I've really felt their power.

10 Feb. 2014

Dear Family,

That really was some week.  I had one of the most impressive spiritual experiences that I've ever had this week. 

Tuesday we had the zone leader council, and I prayed really hard for God to send me something that he wanted me to hear. Our filler mission president taught about the story of Abraham and Isaac. It hit me really hard. God is a god of sacrifices. I covenanted to sacrifice, so I decided I would. I know God takes care of me. Every time God speaks to abraham in the story, abraham responds, heme aqui. Here I am. This is my new motto. When God wants something from me, Heme aqui.  Thursday I fasted, and felt really edified. Friday we taught a zone conference about sacrifice. We showed the old testament seminary video of Abraham and Isaac, and we admonished our missionaries to be willing to sacrifice for this cause. I shared with them the scripture in Abraham 3 when God asks who he should send to the earth to suffer and die for the sins of all mankind, and Christ says, Heme aqui. He was the first one to do it, I am a follower of Christ, a servant. I don't believe I am greater than he. So since that moment of acceptance, I've been fine. 

I love you guys, thanks for your prayers. Our area has been suffering for a bit because we're trying to open that new area in a little village, so we're having to divide our time between the two. It's kind of frustrating, but we get help from the Lord. We're looking for two miracle baptisms this month. Pray for us so we can do it!

Love, Andy

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

January 28, 2014

Dear dad,

I hope you recover from your exhausting week. I know I wasn't flying planes or anything, but dang our week here was nuts too. Especially friday. We did a companion exchange to put two interviewers together, and then in the course of 18 hours, we did 8 baptismal interviews in 5 different areas. It was crazy. I was dead tired after. But everyone got baptized. It's a huge miracle. What I've learned in my first change as a zone leader is that I have no idea how this works, you just work hard and somehow your zone baptizes twice the amount of the goal. Absolute craziness, but it's been a huge faith builder.

Me and Elder Phillips are staying together another change. Elder Francis is coming to be a district leader in our zone. He can't stop following us around, haha. 

Um yeah. So I can't really think of anything else. Here's a picture of our latest baptism, Ana.

All her kids got baptized like 15 years ago, and she didn't want to because she wasn't married to the guy she was living with and didn't want to stop smoking. But then she suddenly took care of those problems and got baptized. It was miraculous.

We're trying to open up a branch in a little village about 30 minutes away from florida. It's kind of amazing because they've never heard the gospel, so basically anytime you talk to them they listen. It feels like a dream, too good to be true. The hard part is getting them to go to church, because they live far. But a lot of people will be baptized there in the coming months.

Anyway, love you guys, take care

January 21 2014

Dear family,

(Insert the same paragraph about how shocked I am about how the world continues to progress while I'm gone.)

How is grandpa doing? I was thinking about him the other day, I hope everything is well with our family. I was kind of worried about rachel too, haha she took pretty much the same suicide schedule that I did. 

So basically the house I live in is amazing. I live with my companion, who's been one of my best friends since the beginning of my mission, Elder Ellett, who is super cool, and I've known him since the beginning of his mission, a huge baseball player with 16 inch biceps, and Elder Schill, who is the goofiest fellow I've ever met, along with one of the most diligent missionaries ever. Elder Schill has reminded me of almost all of the silly songs with larry. It's been quite entertaining, and we have a lot of fun. A good obedient house makes all the difference. 

IN OTHER NEWS. President newsome is going home. Mission presidents are dropping like flies. His company back home is getting sued or something, so he's gotta go. I'm gonna have 3 mission presidents. But, something special is happening in the mission, and it's really cool to be in a leadership position, because it makes me a part of it. Part of our mission's history has always been the monthly zone goals for baptisms. When I first got into the mission I remember the goals were always ridiculously high. We had 27, 25, 35 one time, and our zone would baptize like 3, 4, 7 people. It was nuts. But lately, the goals have dropped, and in result, baptisms have gone up. We in florida are going to achieve our goal of 8 unless something crazy happens. It's kind of exciting to be on the zone leader end of things, because we made the goal, made plans to motivate the missionaries to get it, and it all came together. WE have 10 baptisms planned in our zone this saturday, and it's a small zone. Only 8 companionships. It's gonna be spectacular. So that makes me feel good. I have felt a lot more lately that I'm doing what the Lord wants me to do.

I also did 2 fasts last week, one was personal and the other was a mission fast that I didn't know was gonna happen, but wow. Out here I have learned a lot about fasting. It made me really spiritually sensitive. I loved it. I might start fasting every day, cause it honestly helps a lot. 

Love you guys a ton, do work. Heed the counsel of the prophets to do home teaching and missionary work! It's not an option!


January 13, 2014

Dear dad,

Yeah, it's really a good thing that christmas doesn't feel like christmas at all here, or we'd probably have post christmas depression too. Being a zone leader is still cool too, it's kind of weird how much respect the position itself commands, you're really able to influence people with your advice and commentary. We did our first zone conference together and it rocked our zone's socks. We talked about their personal commitment as missionaries, goals, and how to baptize 101. So it was really good, we had a young elder come and thank us for helping feel the spirit so much, we read a missionary call letter in the conference, and I told everyone to close their eyes and imagine themselves back where they were when they got it, it made me reflect back a lot, haha. But bottom line is, it's cool how much you can help people in this assignment.

Insinuate? That's way harder than the words that I got back in the day. I don't know if I could have spelled that if I hadn't seen it in your email. Congrats to bekah.

We are seeing a miraculous conversion going on here, it's a lady named Ana, she had heard the missionaries a bunch of times, her 20 year old daughter is a member, and for whatever reason, now was her moment. Two nights ago she sent us a text message asking if she could move up her baptism a week. We were only too happy to oblige. She's gone from smoking 30 to 40 cigarettes a day to 2 or 3 a day in the last week and a half, so she's doing wonderful. She's getting baptized on Saturday. We're having a blast, honestly.

Thanks for your prayers and love and support,


January 6, 2014

Dear Dad and Bekah,

Yeah, Florida is amazing. However, being a zone leader is weird
because we actually have to deal with stuff now. We had a death in the
family of a missionary last week . Crazy week. But the perks are
sweet. We just had the zone leader council yesterday and the food was
so good. I do enjoy getting to put in my two cents on what is going to
happen in the mission because some alarming stuff got brought up
yesterday haha.

Yeah holidays are always hard, I missed you guys a lot this time. I
think it affected me so much just because every is so different now.
It's pretty nuts how much has happened since I left.

Lately it's been pretty much just normal stuff. We just work hard, we
had a pretty rough last two weeks because of the holidays. The older I
get out here, I feel like it's harder to have faith just because I
know too much haha. I am way too familiar with the culture these days.
I was kind of ashamed because I already knew we were gonna have rough
weeks and then we did. I already had it in my mind that Uruguayans
don't care about anything during holidays, and I was right. Maybe if
I'd had a little more faith, who knows. I've actually been thinking
about what you taught Ellie and bekah lately a lot. I'm trying to
build a lot of faith lately so that I can cause miracles instead of
just seeing them and wondering where they're coming from.

Thanks for being behind me 100%. I love you guys, take care.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Dec. 30, 2013


Yeah, that call was awesome, it was really good to be able to talk for a bit. I cannot believe how big Ellie and Bekah are. That is outrageous. I missed the Holiday traditions a little bit, but luckily we are working super hard. It almost didn't even feel like Christmas. But that meant that out of the 5 investigators that said they were coming to church no matter what, absolutely none of them showed up. And in our whole zone, we only had 7 in church. It was kind of a disaster. That's really cool that you are having baptisms so regularly there, that really helps investigators to decide to get baptized if they watch a baptism.

Thanks for all the support, you guys are the best. I wish you a nice cold Christmas, cause it's been almost 100 here.


Dec. 23, 2013

Dear Dad,

Yeah, life is super enjoyable right now. I'm loving my life. I didn't want to be a zone leader for the glory, or the power, just so I could have an awesome companion. We broke all of my personal records this week for new investigators, lessons with member, and other lessons. We are basically tearing it up. So yeah, my comp is also a zone leader, haha. His name is Elder Phillips from England, and when I'm done with him I'm going to have an english accent. We basically just help people to know what to do, inspire them, be good examples, and lift heavy stuff and answer dumb questions. Florida is awesome, I'm back in the countryside finally and I love it. It reminds me so much of the beginning of my mission, this place looks just like Oklahoma. I'll have to take a picture and send it next week.

I'm gonna call you guys around 4:15 or 4:30 uruguay time. 

So yeah. I guess that's it for now. We'll talk on wednesday.


Dec. 16, 2013

Merry Christmas to all.

Yeah the uruguayan holiday is excellent, this week everybody blew up their effigies of Judas Iscariot, so that really invited the spirit, haha. Transfers were ideal, not gonna lie. I'm going to be a zone leader in florida, my companion is going to be one of my old friends, Elder Phillips, a british guy. I am super excited to go there and tear it up with him. We are gonna do some work. 

I am not nearly as miserable this christmas as I was last Christmas, so that's good, haha. I will tell you next week when we can do the call, I assume it will be sometime in the afternoon on christmas day, so be ready to receive me.

I have realized that as you say, Christlike attributes are the key to everything out here. Missionary work goes really slowly unless you're really focused on trying to become like the son of God is. It brings the spirit into your life and gives you power to perform amazing miracles. I was thinking a lot about the story of nephi in helaman 8 and 9 this week. That guy knows how to do missionary work. I have honestly had a very hard two weeks, more outside opposition than I've ever seen. I don't remember if I told you guys, but a micro biologist decided he was going to stop and teach us why we're brainwashed locos, and then later in the day a crazy x files fan did the same thing. Then a guy came up and interrupted a conversation we were having to tell us that we're just energy and that God doesn't exist. Normally this wouldn't shake me, but it was just the quantity and the moment when it happened. I felt beat down. But I grew out of it at least, and my testimony is stronger now. I studied Alma 30 really hard and it gave me inspiration to strike these guys dumb next time they try that. Just kidding, but I seriously want to, haha.

This whole marriage thing hasn't quite hit me yet. Kyle is doing work, haha. Is that a 2 month engagement? 

Anyhow, love you guys, I'm quite excited to see you next week!