Thursday, June 25, 2015

Home Sweet Home

Home Sweet Home!

The gang at the airport!  SO exicted!

Missionary sighting!!!!

BEST hug after two years...
"Am I really home?"


Brothers back together again!

Grandma Ipsen

Another group shot - Now complete with 
Elder England!

Traveled home with Elder Tucker and Elder Leavit!
All who served in Montevideo Uruguay Mission!

Momma D met us for Breakfast!

SURPRISE!!!  Kenna and Dalt are having a baby!

Welcome Home!

Ahhh - Carpet!

These socks have put on some miles!


Tuesday, June 16, 2015

The Lord Is The One Who Has Molded Me

Mi Querida Familia,

It's finally here... my last email. It's gone by too fast.

I have felt very excited to finish strong and do all that I can to leave this area stronger than I found it. And I feel very great right now. I feel ready to apply everything that I have learned over these past two years. I have learned so much from my mission. It has helped me so much more than I ever imagined. I can honestly say that I don't feel like that eighteen year old kid that said goodbye to you guys in the Salt Lake airport two years ago. I know that God has guided me through my trials. It is so clear to me that here is where I had to serve. I know that the Lord is hastening his work, I have seen it, I have felt it, and I have lived it. 

I have felt an immense feeling of gratitude over the past couple of weeks. Most of all for everything that my Savior has done for me. The atonement has become a very personal part of my life and me. As I look back on all that I have done, I ask myself how? How did I do all this? I realize that I haven't done much. All I have done is make myself moldable. The Lord is the one who has molded me. All of the good that has come out of my service is directly related to our Father in heaven and Jesus Christ. 

I have been blessed to see many miracles. However, I believe that the biggest miracle that I have seen has been in me. God has helped me to change things in me that I often thought were impossible to change. I know that the Lord qualifies whom he calls. I know that God will ALWAYS bless those who obey him. It is interesting to me  that so many difficult changes in life have become so simple. Everything is given to us. All we have to do is trust and rely on the Lord and his atonement. 

I know that prayer is real. I have come to understand that prayer is a literal conversation with our Father. I have learned so much about Him. 

I will always remember the experiences that I have had here. I am always going to cherish the things that I have felt here. I was reading yesterday in Alma 26. I feel exactly the same as Ammon. I do have a great cause to rejoice! 

I have thought about the letter that you wrote me dad at the beginning of my mission. It really has been an adventure. It has been the most fulfilling adventure ever. 

I can't express how grateful I am to you for supporting me. You guys are the reason that I work hard. I only wanted others to be able to have a family like mine. To be able to feel the happiness that comes through living the gospel. 

I LOVE YOU ALL MORE THAN YOU WILL EVER KNOW! I am very excited to hug all of you on Friday... until then my wonderful family.

Elder England

Carolos' Baptism

Carolos' Baptism

Dear Familia - 

This week was amazing. It couldn't have been better! Carlos was baptised and his son and daughter went. It was a very special day. Elder Stewart came from Montevideo to see the baptism. We also had two zone conferences that went great and a zone activity
that was a success.  It was a great way to finish the mission! 

I was very excited for the interview with President Cook, but for lack of time he only did a short interview to renue my recommend and then said that we would be able to talk next week. But It has really been a great week, and I am very excited for my interview with Pres. I was able however to talk with Hermana Cook for a while and I thoroughly enjoyed it. She is hilarious. 

Elder England

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

The Lord Is Really Hastening His Wok

We went to the zoo! It was awesome - this is my friend
Elder Poulson, just taking a selfie with the lions!
(a lot like the zoo in Guatemala)

Hello my lovely family,

Holy cow I cannot believe that Mags is graduated. It is so weird to me. Haha you can definitely tell that you guys are in Utah though. In the pic of Maggie, mom and dad there is a kid in the back that has a shirt that says "Many are called few are chosen". You all look so great. Dad, the hair looks a little more gray, but it looks good. Like a George Clooney good. Wow it is so weird to me all the things that are happening. It's all really exciting though. 

Hey yeah I got your package. We are totally going to make the smores in a zone acivity today. So it's been awkwardly warm here. Usuaully I would be freezing my bum off at this time of year, but it's holding out. Hopefully it can hold out a little longer. 

This last week has been so amazing. Its been really busy, and we have another really busy week coming up. First things first, Carlos is awesome. He should be baptised this Saturday at 6 de la tarde. Elder Stewart the missionary that was here before me is going to come for the baptism, we are excited to see him. He is going to be such an amazing member. The ward is really excited for his baptism and are planning how to help him and Carmen continue strong. 

We had concilio on Friday... it was amazing. I don't know if I told you, but my friend Elder Gallacher is the new assistant and he and his companion are making a lot of changes. We were also able to go to the temple, and wow it was such an amazing session. I don't know if it was because we were with all the leaders in the mission and Pres. and Hna. Cook and Elder and Hna. Burnett, but it was such a spiritual session for me. I also saw like 4 different members that were working in the temple that are from past areas like Carrasco and Ferrocarril. That was super fun to see them. Seriously it was such a  great day, and we stayed in Montevideo in a little hotel thing that the church has for members that travel to go to the temple. We were making such a big deal about how clean everything was and especially about the water pressure in the hotel. It was the best shower that I have had in a long time. 

As far as this week, today we are having a zone activity. We are going to make pizzas and play volleyball. We actually started making the pizzas, I'm pretty much a pro. I'll send pics.

Then tomorrow Elder Martinez and I and the sister training leaders are giving a zone conference. Then on Friday we have a conference with Pres. and the assistants. Pres is going to be doing interviews as well that day. I'm really excited for this week. It is going to be an excellent week.

I am just really trying to stay focused. It is kind of hard sometimes, but we have so much to do that I don't think it'll be much of a problem. We are also working a lot with the stake. Last week we had a meeting with the stake president. He is such an amazing person. We are now going to be making specific goals with the stake leaders and with the consejo de barrio. It's so exciting seeing all of these changes in Uruguay. the Lord is really hastening his work here, and I feel so blessed to be a part of this.

I love you all more than you will ever know. Have a great week. Don't miss me too much!

Elder England

Coming home from concilio we got first class bus seats -
it was divine!

Just doin a litte cookin!  
Making Pizza - I'm pretty much a pro!


Monday, June 1, 2015

You Are Lucky When That Happens

Happy Birthday Grandma June!!! 

Hey friends! Okay mom, I will definitely do that on my last P-Day. It's a good thing that I have so much time left on my mission still ;) Thank you Kenna for the email. I kind of got a little emotional as I read. I really am going to miss the mission. This place is so special for me. It has helped me way more than I had ever imagined it could. You guys look amazing in the picture. I just want to hug you all to death. Mace I'm excited for you. Justin meets my standards... 1. Utah fan... Check! 

Congrats Bo for making the team. I'm excited to play soccer with you when I get home. Sounds like there will be more drill in the fam. It seems like it will never end. Just make sure Bo doesn't go back into his drill phase! Mags congrats for graduating seminary haha.

Wow it was an amazing week! We had two intercambios. The first one we went to work in Carmen. Carmen is a pueblito of about 1000 people. I think that it is the smallest area in our mission. There are literally more dogs than people, well now that I think of it I think that is generally the case everywhere in Uruguay. But I think you get the idea. Their chapel is a little house with a little shed out back that they made for the sacrament room. However, it may have been one of the most edifying intercambios that I have ever had. Elder Gomez the missionary that I worked with has been stiving so hard to consecrate himself, and we felt the effects of our efforts. They also had a baptism that day and we were able to interview their investigator and help with the preparations for the baptism. Lilian the lady that was baptized is probably now the strongest member in Carmen. She is amazing. She has been going to church for like 6 months now or more. The only thing was that she wasn't married. But she was married on Monday and baptized on Tuesday. It was a great day.

Carlos!!! He is going to be baptised on the 13th! It is going to be my last Saturday in Uruguay. It was very interesting the lesson where he accepted the invitation to be baptized. Before the lesson that we had on Wednesday with him and his wife Carmen, he still didn't feel sure about making the decision to be baptized. We planned a great lesson to share with them, and we could tell that the spirit was working hard in him. Near the end of the lesson I felt super strongly that we should invite him directly to be baptized on the 6th. I was a little hesitant, but I felt it so strongly and understood it so clearly that I needed to invite him. So I did and he said, ¨Um... I don't know. that day is going to be very busy, but what about the week after that?¨ Obviously we were stunned by the answer. We had invited him so many times and had always received the same answer. We are all very excited for him and his family. They both showed up early to church and Carlos went with a white shirt and tie. He is going to be such a great disciple!

We are also seeing a lot of improvement as far as the work with members. We are trying to set up a charla with the stake pres this week to talk about goals and plans for this next month. We also have concilio on Friday, and we are going to go to the temple as a concilio!!! We are very excited. Then next week we have two conferrences. One that we are going to give on Tuesday and another that pres and the assistants will be giving here in Durazno and doing interviews on Thurday next week. We have the schedule full:) 

I am enjoying every second that I have here in Uruguay. Oh haha yesterday we were in lunch and we were all laughing at something... I can't remember what it was but I was laughing so hard that some of the flan that I was eating fell out of my mouth. I totally stopped laughing and looked around to see if anyone saw, but then Elder Martinez just busted up laughing. Then everyone started laughing because yes everyone saw it. You probably had to be there, but it was pretty funny. Oh also the other day in a charla a bird out of no where pooped right on my arm. Apparently it means that you are lucky when that happens here in Latino America, but I didn't consider myself so lucky.

I love you all more than you will ever know! Have a great week.

Sorry but the computer won't let me download pics. You can wait a little

Elder England

Monday, May 25, 2015

Finishing Our Missions With Honor

Hey freaks,

I like the pics... Dalt your head actually looks small for once, like mine! Happy Memorial Day! To be honest I think a lot of our family members that have passed away. I feel a lot of times that they are helping me and pushing me to work hard. I'm still sharing Ti voglio bene with missionaries, it's the best! I hope you all have a wonderful day. Wow I can't believe that was two years ago when we went to St George, don't worry I still sing in the shower... but don't only hymns. But guess what, I have realized on my mission that my musical talents are... still none existant. Speaking of music, they just put on the song Piano Man here. Good ole Billy.

So this week has been pretty great. Carlos is doing very well. haha his wife wants him to get baptised so bad. In the last charla we had with them she said, ¨Yeah you should get baptised on June 6th cause it's my birthday!¨ she is so funny. But the lesson with them was amazing. There was a member family that came with us to the lesson. The family Alvarez (mom dad, and their 5 year old daughter). It was super spiritual and their testimonies were so powerful. The best part though was how direct they were with Carlos about the blessings that he can have if he gets baptised. We tried to help Carlos consider the eternal blessings that he can have through being baptised. Yesterday, he and his wife Carmen showed up early for church and were in all three hours and participated in the classes, it was great.

We also gave a little presentation in our ward council this week. Our ward mission leader, Daniel Hernandez, is amazing. He is also on the stake high council. But he talked with the bishopric to give us some time to explain the new initiative that the area seventy has sent to us. All of the changes that I have been telling you guys about come from this new initiative. It was a great opportunity to explain to the members that the missionary work in this ward belongs to them, and that we are just here to help them. We are here to be instuments for them to be able to strengthen their ward. The goal of the new initiative is to see real growth in the ward, to baptise, retain, and reactivate together all at the same time. Hopefully we can see more success implementing this in the ward.

With all that is going on and the plans that we have made for the zone, it will be a lot easier for me to stay focused and work hard. President Cook sent all the missionaries that are in there last change a letter explaining the importance of finishing our missions with honor. Luckily I have a great companion and a great distict leader that help me to continue improving and consecrating myself even more.

Thanks for all the love and support! You're the best, and I love you all more than you will ever know!

Elder England  

Monday, May 18, 2015

Pet Spider

This is our pet spider. It is incredible! We have been giving it food
for like two weeks now. We started throwing flies on her web,
then smaller spiders, and yesterday she ate a cockroach.
It's ridiculous how much she eats. But she is still beautiful.

Howdy folks!

Wow was this a great week in Durazno. It was kind of crazy, but we have been seeing a lot of success in the zone. Something that all the changes in the mission have helpĂ©d me to understand, is that all of the success that we are seeing is all thanks to the Lord. I loved your email Mace! I'll try and sharpen myself up. But this last week we did something to help all the missionaries consecrate themselves. We invited them all to fast and make a list of things that are impeding them from being obedient and reaching their potential. Then the district leaders are going to be asking every day how we are all doing with our lists. It has helped me a lot this last week, and I hope that it can motivate me to keep improving until the very end. 

Holy cow DREW!!! Thankfully he is okay. Hey Drew, did you speak to him in  Spanish? I think that would have caught him by surprise. Hopefully we can catch the little buger (I don't know how to spell that). Darn it I didn't write Matthew, but I will today. That would be awesome if he passed through Utah, I'd love to see him.

Dad your Sunday sounded pretty awesome!!! I'm sure you felt so great last night. One of my favorite feelings is laying down at night and realizing how tired I am because of everything that has happened that day. Your'e the man! NOOOO... iI'l be praying that they don't close the track, don't worry. 

Mags I am seriously so excited to go sky diving. I literally have thought of how amazing it would be to go sky diving so many times. My dreams will come true this summer. You better prepare yourself.

As far as my area, we are teaching a man named Carlos. Elder Martinez and Elder Stewart were already teaching him before. But he is the husband of a recent convert and he is so amazing. He went to church yesterday for the three hours. The thing with him is that he understands all that he needs to understand and he is seriously ready for baptism. He reads and prays, but for some reason feels that he needs to learn more before making the decision to be baptised. It is one of the most interesting situations that I've seen, just because he is so great and wants to be baptised. We are thinking that working more with members and involving them will help him to see that you don't need to know everything before getting baptised, and  that we are never in this life going to understand everything. But we will see how it goes this week.

I've been getting to know a lot of the members. I'm trying really hard to get to know them, just because I have so little time here. But there are some amazing members here in Durazno. 

Things are going great here. Thanks for all the support and love. You're the best. 

 I love you all more than you will ever know!

Elder England

Go Utes!
Me and Elder MIles before he left