Tuesday, February 7, 2012

February 6, 2012      Tartagal   Argentina

This week I learned alot but we didn’t have much success as far as how much we were able to get done. On Tuesday we had to go to Oran for our zone conference. We got up and left at 5 am and got back at 10:15 ish... it was a long day but we learned alot. One reason this week was a little difficult is because people are getting ready for the big carnival parties here. It’s called Corso (Corso Tartagal). It’s like a big dance competition/parade. The kids and people make alot of their own masks and outfits following a guideline so they are all very similar. It starts about 10:30 or 11(at night) and we aren’t out at that time. But at 8 or 9 they have the whole street blocked off every night from this last Friday till next Sunday night! If you want to you can look it up to see what it’s like. I guess it goes till 2 or 3 in the morning, sometimes later - one reason why we had only 80 or so in church.

One lady who we have been trying to reactivate, bore her testimony yesterday which was really cool. She now has gone 4 times and is considered active. That’s along with another guy whose wife is the president of the Relief Society. He is now active and he and his wife are hoping to go to the temple in a year. We are now just working with friends and family of alot of these people. We didn’t have a baptism this weekend but for sure on the 11th. All together in the ward there should be about 5 or so! Should be a very good experience for the ward and everyone that comes.

We had a good turnout for the YM activity today. We have been telling them all to bring friends and we invite inactive kids and now there are about 7 inactive kids and a few more that are starting to come. It just feels like God has prepared everyone here to really grow and help each other. It has been such a great blessing to be present here in Tartagal while Heavenly Father has been performing miracles. I will be very sad to leave but I very well could be changing areas the 20th of this month. Time just flies by!

Oh, so after zone conference we were encouraged to talk to everyone we can about the gospel. We were really pumped so two of the missionaries talked the bus driver into turning down the music and they talked to everyone a second and then we talked to all of the people on the bus and got their addresses. We talked to them until we got back to our town. It was a good experience because alot of people were interested to have the missionaries come to their home and visit. It made me think about that being a responsibility as members too and how to talk to everyone possible. It seemed like it would be difficult but I know it’s not impossible. It’s just getting out of our comfort zone like Peter did to walk to Jesus on the water. We have to get out of our comfort zone to learn and progress. 

This keyboard is horrible and I can’t see half of the keys so please excuse the bad spelling and everything. 
I have to get going but I love you all! One thing I noticed in the intro of the Book of Mormon is in the last sentence of the third paragraph. If you are looking for more peace in your life take a look at what it says there. I know it is true and that because of the restored gospel we are able to understand our purpose and what the important things in life are. I know that Heavenly Father loves all of his children equally and wants the best for everyone! If we only exercise a little faith and put the teaching of Christ into practice everyone can know for themselves the blessings and happiness that we are able to receive and that God has prepared for us. He is just waiting for us to do our part. 
I know the church is true through the Book of Mormon and praying to know of its truth. The Book of Mormon testifies of Christ and his sacrifice for us. It is impossible to return to live with him and our families if we don’t exercise faith and follow the teachings of him. He is our savior and redeemer! 


January 30, 2012   Tartagal   Argentina


This week was a great one! My companion and I have been changing a lot of little things to just do better. We talk about everything and it works out. We just have to keep trying to do better than last week or yesterday or earlier in the day. It’s a constant thing that never ends - or at least in this life. I still remember what Brittany Wilson said about the mission before I left that when we think something needs to change or when something is bugging us alot of times its our "outlook" on what’s going on. When we change our outlook, our attitude changes about the situation. 

I feel so blessed to have the help of the Spirit to tell me when to and when not to say things or react a certain way. I like to go back to one of my favorite verses in the Book of Mormon - Mosiah 3:19. It helps me keep trying and keep going back to my Heavenly Father to have his Spirit in order to make good or better decisions. I know that we were given what we needed to follow the example of Jesus Christ. we just have to take advantage of it (the Spirit) by always being worthy of it. 

This week we had a baptism of a kid named Leonel Orellana. He is 14 years old and has two younger siblings who are not baptized yet but they should be ready this Saturday. The parents weren´t coming to church but the mom has started to come to be with the kids. There are some older kids, the oldest being 23, who we are working on bringing back to church too. They are just one of the nicest families I have worked with. The oldest kid was going to church and when he turned 19 he wanted to go on a mission. His mom didn’t let him because she wanted him to be a border patrol. I think she was inactive at the time. He lost all his excitement and went to be a border patrol. 

This week the girl that lost three babies before they were born came down to Tartagal today to come to church and visit family for 15 days. The mission president said that with their desire they can be baptized with a minimum of coming twice to church. Then they should come once a month to renew their baptism covenants until he can get the priesthood and bless the sacrament in his home! He has to work so it’s going to be harder for him to come down to go to church but we will see what happens. Maybe his wife will lead the way first since she has a little more time.

We had another successful Sunday! There were 115 yesterday in church. It’s hanging out around that number because when someone comes, someone else doesn´t make it. It has really helped me as a missionary to be looking at these numbers and thinking about how we can help it grow. We have been doing all we can to lighten the load of the branch president and it has been working out well because he has alot more excitement to keep going also. He just called 5 members to different callings after we gave him a list of people and possible callings. Hopefully he will continue to call people every Sunday this month! we’ll see how that goes.

We now have a Young Men’s president and teacher for the Sunday school class of the young men and women. We were teaching that a few times. We also now have a refreshed Young Women’s presidency which is going to help alot. Between the young men and women we are going to work to get alot of kids coming back to church. The Young Men’s president is the guy that just got married and reactivated when we baptized Melina his wife. We just played soccer as an activity today which seems to bring alot of them. 

Melina just got called to the Young Women’s presidency. It is so cool to see them with such a strong desire to continue and to help others keep going. Even before they were called, they were going and visiting with a couple of the families. We also just had our 5th Sunday lesson on visiting and home teaching. Our numbers here werent the best... 4 families out of 250 visited and 9 sisters were visited. People shared experiences and they are all very motivated. We hardly could meet together in the biggest room available because the other branch uses the sacrament meeting room during that hour. It was a very stuffy class but very spiritual too.
Well I’d better get going.
 Happy Birthday to Ryan Hollander! 

I love you all and thank you for your love and support! Thank you all for the Christmas cards! Please forgive me if I haven´t gotten back to you!


January 23, 2012    Tartagal   Argentina
Well I’ve got to makes this quick this week again...

Sunday we had planned to have about 20+ investigators at church with us but it rained and sadly, alot of the members who were supposed to bring them didn’t come. We still had 6 in church but they had the ac on so the people got pretty cold... room for improvement! We had one lady who had a baptism date for the 4th of February tell us she might not be there without us even bringing it up. This was interesting because alot of them don’t think about how important the decision to be baptized is. We are also working with her son now who wants to quit very hard drugs he is using... it’s a huge problem here but there are ways out of it for the people as long as they have a strong desire. One of the people we were teaching was found by his grandma passed out on the side of the road in the morning. I guess he is back on drugs too along with alcohol... it’s so hard to help these people when you can get almost any type of drug every couple blocks. Satan is really working hard.

At the same time the work is moving forward with alot of force here in Tartagal because the members are really getting more excited. We had about 80-90 people at the Family Home Evening activity on Wednesday night even after it rained a little that day! There were quite a few less active members in church on Sunday too which was a great feeling. One guy we have been working with for awhile drove by us with his family in the rain and stopped and picked up our two investigators we were walking with. It was pretty cool. It had just started to rain before church started so my companion and I were soaked by the time we got there. There were already about 9 people in the 5 seater car so we weren’t going to fit! haha! We weren’t far though.

Well I have to go!