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!