Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

"I'll Be Home For Christmas, If Only In My Dreams"

The dogs in Rio Branco are pretty cute,
So cute - I could kiss em...

Hey punks!

Okay for skype we are going to do it at 3:30ish here, which would be like 10:30ish there. Hopefully that works okay for you guys. I can't believe a whole year has past since I skyped you in Hawaii. I'm super excited.

Haha I totally remember the Burnetts taking that picture. They are such an awesome couple. They also made a video of the christmas conference if you want to watch I think they put it on youtube as ¨Christmas Devotional Montevideo 2014¨
Things are just going great here. Thank you everyone for the letters and emails, they help a lot.

So all of the five people that were baptised while I was here were in church yesterday. It was a really good day. The Barreto's are so awesome, they give us food like everyday because we live right next to them. Here in Uruguay the retention of new converts is not a strong point, but we are really working to keep these people going strong. Marcos and Anthony also talked with the bishop yesterday and they are going to be receiving the priesthood next week. Now the ward will have two deacons to pass the sacrament... success.

The mission conference was an adventure. First of all we had district meetings in Melo on Tuesday, and we had to travel an hour and a half for that. Then we decided to stay there and do divisions with other missionaries instead of going back to Rio Branco because the bus that took us to Montevideo left from Melo. So that day I worked with Elder Leavitt, one of the zone leaders. He is such an amazing missionary and I have seriously looked up to him since day one in the Salt Lake airport. Then we slept over at their house on Tuesday and left for Montevideo at like 3 in the morning the next day. It is about a six hour bus ride... super fun. Actually the bus ride back was pretty fun. We were playing snaps the whole time. "Snaps is the name of the game, the name of the game is snaps". I think that you guys taught me that from some chick flick, but I knew it and Elder Vaatuitui knew it as well. Everyone else was freaking out though. It took them a good 2 hours to figure it out.

The Christmas conference was a very spiritual experience for me. I really felt grateful for the great opportunity that I have to be serving at this time of year. The music was great, I imagine it was something like the piano guys... maybe not quite as professional but it was wonderful. I have been thinking a lot of dad always saying that he is jealous of the blessing I have to serve during Christmas. The bishop in our ward actually shared yesterday in sacrament meeting that christmas in the mission is different. There is just nothing like it. So I am ready to enjoy this week to the fullest.

I hope all of you back at home have a very Merry Christmas. Just know that ¨I'll be home for Christmas, if only in my dreams ;)¨

I will see you guys on the flip flop later... I mean Thursday.

Elder England

Standing outside, waiting for the bus at 3 in the morning...
In the bus :)

This is Elder Ashcroft - he is also from my group...
it was a group party in Melo!

I thought this pic was pretty cool...
yeah, I took it :) 

I forgot to tel you, the mission decided to give
us a car because we walk so much!

Monday, December 15, 2014

I Need To Do All I Can And Not Waste One Second

Anthony and Marco's Baptism!

A week full of amazing talks. I'm bummed I couldn't hear everyone speak. But I know you all did amazing. I loved the pics, haha Dalt looks sooooooo tall! Haha I totally love Preston, that picture just brings back memories from scout camps and young mens. And that's a cute pic of my two favorite brown people.
So I like the idea of going home and getting released, then coming back. I don't know why but lately I have been having dreams of getting home in the airport... I hate it! I wake up and I'm like NO I don't want to go home!!! I think that it is finally hitting me that I have like six months left. The good thing is that whenever I think about that, I just feel a need to do all I can and not waste one second. But things are going great here in Rio Branco.
We had the baptisms of Marcos and Anthony. It was an amazing service. I baptised Anthony and my comp baptised Marcos. But right after Marcos got baptised he was saying, ¨Oh, I feel so good¨ and he was just grabbing his chest. Then at the end of the service Marcos got up and gave one of the most powerful testimonies I have ever heard from a new convert. Everyone was so impressed! What he said reminded me a lot of what Lucas said when he got baptised. Marcos got up and invited everyone that hadn't been baptised to be baptised, he then shared how he felt and his desire to keep learning. The only bummer about the service was that not one of their family members went :( They said they were all out of town. But we are going to really try and focus on their families this week.
We are still going strong with the El es la dadiva video. We are hoping to involve the members more with this new inniciative.
This last week, we had a conference with President. It was only with our zone, because we also had interviews with him. It was a really great conference, and I can see that President Cook is a very inspired man. It was fun after the conference, because Pres. drove us back to Rio Branco. I don't know if I told you, but it is like an hour and a half bus ride from Melo to Rio Branco and we make that trip at least once a week. However, while talking about golf with President he mentioned that he has a condo in Sunbrook... super funny.
Anyways this week we have our annual mission Christmas conference on Wednesday. So at like two in the morning on Wednesday we will be getting on a bus to go to Montevideo. I am really excited though, It'll be fun to see all my mission friends.
I love you all more than you will ever know! Keep being awesome! y vamos arriba Utes!
Elder England

At the Baptism and later celebrating the
baptism with cookies!

At the border of Uruguay and Brazil!

Monday, December 8, 2014

Baptism City

 They call Rio Branco - Baptism City

Hey fam...

Thanks for the emails, especially yours Mace. Wow this keyboard is horrible, this might be quite difficult to type today. But this last week was awesome. Like you mentioned dad, we are using the ¨Èl es la dadiva¨ or "He is the gift"  program. If you haven't seen the video go on the church's website now and watch the video, it's amazing. As a misión we are trying to  use this video as much as we can. It is slightly different here because there are a lot of people who don't have internet Access in their houses, but we are going to try and figure a way out to show it to all our investigators. I really am so blessed to be able to serve during Christmas. Last Christmas was awesome, and I expect this one to be even better. Oh and I got my packages... thanks so much I love you!!! My comp is stoked. But the presents are just going to be sitting there for like 20 more days. I don't know if I'm going to make it...  but hey I waited last year... we´ll see ;)

Macarena got baptised. She is super funny! I'm not sure how to explain her other than saying that she is quite awkward but the nicest person I have ever met. The whole Ward was so happy for her. She has been waiting for so long to get baptised and she finally could this week. It was wonderful.

Marcos and his cousin Anthony are doing great. They both went to church yesterday and we announced they're baptisms for this Thursday. We really haven't had much contact with their families, because they aren't interested. We tried talking to Marcos´ mom once because she was outside when we went by and we asked her if she would be interested in hearing a message about how her family can be more happy, but she didn't seem to care. Then we asked if she approved of Marcos going to church and of him being baptised and she pretty  much said, ¨I don't care as long as you guys don't bother me.¨ I was kind of bummed about that, but Marcos is such a stud that I have confidence that some day they will come to the knowledge of the góspel. We had an awesome charla with Marcos on Saturday on the atonement. I was so amazed at how well he understood. He definitely understands the atonement better than I did when I was 13. So hopefully we can get the parents consent so that they can be baptised this Thursday.

Adelia and Ledo are doing great. They are so funny. They always give us food and stuff. For example we got home running one night and they were outside (not sure if I told you but live right next door to them. Like we rent a part of their house.) but they just gave us a huge 3.3 liter of Pepsi, yeah that exists a 3.3 bottle of Pepsi. Latino's drink a lot of soda!  I think I am kind of sick of it. Kenna  you would die here.

But there's the update. Haha we had a Ward choir practice  yesterday, and let's just say that my ears still hurt...I don't think the practice helped at all. We are going to be singing next Sunday in sacrament meeting, pray for us!

I love you all more than you will ever know! 

Elder England

Macarenas baptism

This is what happens when Elder Parementer gets my camera when
I am verifying my District!

Monday, December 1, 2014

Dreams and Miracles

Adelia and Ledo at their baptism
They are such an awesome family!

Macy is home!!!!!!!!

This is all so weird for me! Whenever I thought of Mace I just thought that she was doing the same exact thing that I was doing. It doesn't surprise me that everyone in Colorado said that she was the best missionary that they have ever had, because she is. She has helped me so much on my mission. I seriously couldn't have imagined serving without her setting the way for me. You guys are all so awesome!!! Bummer that everyone was sick, but the trip looked really fun. I am down for anything as far as you guys coming here at the end of my mission. It would be fun, but if you didn't come, I know that we would come back some day. I am so blessed to have so much support from such an amazing family. 

Rio Branco is just as great as it was last week. We had a baptism this Saturday for Adelia and Ledo. They are such an awesome family. Okay miracle time, so Adellia and Ledo´s daughter who lives in another city nearby got baptised like two weeks ago. Elisa is her name, and before Elisa got baptised she had a dream that she saw two personages in a grove of trees. In this time, she had recieved a resoration pamphlet but never looked at it. So after she had this dream, she went and looked at the pamphlet and saw a picture of the first vision, and said that that was what she saw. Then the week before the baptism of her parents she had a dream that they were going to get baptised on Saturday 29th at 7:00. It was crazy because that was before Adelia and Ledo had there interview with president so we hadn't said anything specific about when the baptism would be. Then they had their interview and passed, and on Sunday the baptism was announced for Saturday at 5:00. But for some reason, I am still not sure who changed the time, the time changed from 5:00 to 7:00. Nobody knew about the dream that Elisa had except for their family, but they told us on Sunday evening. I even saw that Elisa had written on their calendar the time and date. It was so awesome! First crazy miracle.

The second has to do with an investigator named Marcos. We are teaching a group of young men who are really really receptive. Marcos is one of them. This week we were talking with him and asking why he wants to be baptised, and he told us that the first charla that he had with the missionaries, before I got here, they talked about the plan of salvation and he was super interested. So he went online and read all about the church and read about Joseph Smith and The Book of Mormon (By the way this kid is 13 years old). He then told us that he prayed that same day to know for himself if 
The Book of Mormon was true and that night he said he had a dream that he was reading The Book of Mormon to his family. He already has a testimony, and since then we have been reading The Book of Mormon with him and he has been progressing really rapidly. He unfortunately couldn't go to church yesterday because there was elections here in Uruguay, and everyone older than 18 has to vote or they will have to pay a fee. So his mother took him to his grandmas house in the morning so she could go vote. But we have talked with him and he and one of his friends (Anthony) are going to be baptised on the 13th.

The third miracle. Here is Rio Branco there is an investigator named Macarena who is 16 years old. She is the nicest girl in the world and has been attending church almost every single week since January. She has not been baptised because her mother does not like the church at all and she refuses to talk to missionaries. Neither I nor my comp has officially met her. We saw her outside her house once while walking by, but right as she saw us she bolted inside. However, we have been talking to Macarena and helping her to have the strength to talk to her mom and express her desire to be baptised. Well on I think it was Friday, we talked with her in the morning and she sent us a text just saying, ¨My mom will sign the paper!¨ The whole ward is so excited that she is finally going to get baptised. Her baptism will be this Wednesday:)

I don't know how all of this is happening, but I am very aware now that this is the Lord's work and he works in his own way to bring these people to the path of eternal life. 

I love missionary work! Thanks for everything! I love you guys more than you will ever know.

Have an awesome week:) 

Elder England

It is raining really hard right now, and yes I'm wearing a trash bag :) 

Monday, November 24, 2014

The Promised Land

I made it!  I love it here in Rio Branco!

Hello!  To Answer your questions...

My companions is Elder Parmenter. He is from St. George and he has only three months on his mission. I am his second companion. Remember that I told you guys that I got to take some brand new missionaries out on their first day when I was in Carrasco? Well I took out Elder Martinez who is Elder Parmenter´s trainer. Elder Martinez es un capo! He has been killing it up here in Rio Branco and they have been seeing good success.

I honestly love it here, but getting here wasn't that fun. We went in bus to Melo. Melo is part of our zone and is where the zone leaders are and most of the missionaries in the zone live. Oh the zone leaders are Elder Leavitt (who is from my group, he is a stud) and Elder Gallacher (He lived with me in Florida). They are super awesome. But the day of changes we left Montevideo at like 3 in the afternoon, but didn't get to Melo until like 9:30. My comp was in Melo waiting for us to get there. We ended up staying the night there in the zone leader's house, and then we got up at like 5:30 to catch an hour and a half bus ride to Rio Branco. So we got here on Thursday morning.

The area is really awesome. The whole Melo zone is known in our mission as the "Promised Land", because they tend to have a lot of success. And that is what is happening here in Rio Branco. We live in a pretty nice house;) with two other elders: Elder Vaatuitui (he is from Liberty, Utah but yes he is Somoan) and Elder Ramirez (from Idaho). It is a ward, not very big, but yes a ward. All four of us are in the same ward. I am still District Leader, and I love it! Elder Ramirez is also a district leader... kind of interesting having two DL in one house.

Seriously though it is awesome here. We had two investigators who were planning their baptism, but they had to have an interview with President Cook because they had an abortion. Abortion is a big problem here, there are so many people that have participated in them... really sad. But Adelia and Ledo our investigators are really awesome and it was a long time ago. Any who, President Cook and Hna Cook came up here on Saturday and did the interview. Well Pres did the interview while Hna Cook was shopping at something they call here the free shops. Everything is a lot cheeper here than anywhere else in Uruguay because we are close to Brasil. But the interview went great, and they are going to be baptised on Saturday! Oh I have a story to tell about the baptism but I'll tell it next week.

We may also have another baptism on Saturday. Her name is Marina and she is from a part member family. She is I think 10 years old and really cool, but she couldn't come to church because she was at her mom's house which is outside of town in the middle of no where. Anywhere outside of town we call la campaña, just like the fields. But even without Marina in church we had 8 investigators come to church. It was such a miracle!!! We weren't expecting like half of them either. They were just friends that members had brought or people that just showed up. I don't even know what happened, but it was amazing. I think that a big part of it is that Elder Parmenter had a big desire to be obedient and work, which is just a little different than Elder Brown. I believe that all the success is due to Elder Martinez and Elder Parmenters diligence and also our obedience this week. But hey I just saw the mission newsletter and it said that Carlos from Lomas de Solymar got baptised on Saturday - that makes me so happy!

Guys I love the mission. I'm glad to hear that everything is going great there. Macy is stinking going home this week, I literally can't believe it!!! 

I love you all more than you will ever know.

Elder England

On our 8 hour journey to Rio Branco

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

I'm Leaving - Going To A Place Called Rio Branco

 This Santa isn't latino but he's short enough to fit in!

Hey fam!!!

I loved the emails this week! Keep em coming. I don't really want to write the other essay right now, but I'll get that done and send it next week. I'm not sure if I'll have a lot of time today, because I have to pack... oh yeah that's right I'M LEAVING!!! 
I'm going to a place called Rio Branco. It is way up near Brazil, I actually think it is on the border. I'm sooooo excited! It's going to be like a million degrees up there, but I don't care. 

Although I'm super stoked to go, I'm really sad that I have to leave Lomas. This past week was full of miracles but also some let downs. Blanca had her interview for her baptism on Monday, but didn't end up passing. It was quite difficult for her to remember all that we had taught her. So she did not end up getting baptised, but we explained the situation to her really well and told her that we were going to help her prepare herself a little more. However, the next time we passed by she said that she was really sad. Also like you were saying dad, her daughter left this last week as well. It was overall kind of a rough week for Blanca. But she is now living in her new house with a lady that is watching over her and she seems to be doing a lot better. I am really sad that I'm not going to be able to teach her anymore, I really love Blancita! I think that Elder Brown thinks I have a crush on her or something just because I say that I love her so much after the lessons. 

Another reason that I am extremely sad to leave is because Carlos is going to be baptised on Saturday, and I'll be so far away that I'm not going to be able to go to the baptism. I've felt tempted to complain about not being able to baptize for 4 months here in Lomas, and then the week I leave we have a super awesome baptism. But It has really helped me realize that we don't do this for ourselves, we do it for them. I know that Carlos` life is going to change big time, actually it already has... I can see it. We are going to be going to mutual with all the young men tonight and I'll take some pics of Carlos to send next week. He is a stud. Also we have been talking to him about sharing the gospel with his family. I am positive that his mom and siblings will get baptised after him.

Okay the random wooden thing... here is the story. Elder Brown and I were walking down the street and we saw this thing and we were like what the heck is this thing. Elder Brown suggested it was a contraption to kill animals, like they would kill them and then lift them up and cut the meat and such. On the other hand, and I don't know where this came from, I thought it was to be used for ribbon climbing. Nevertheless, like two days later we were walking near there and Elder Brown with a shocked look on his face said, ¨What the heck you were right¨ so then I looked over and there were like fifty little girls climbing ribbons, actually a lot of them were hanging upside down by there ankles. So Kenna you're kind of right about hanging people, but I think dad was the closest. I did like the guess of the first church in Uruguay, that was good.

Something funny: To come to email each week or go buy groceries or pretty much go anywhere we take buses. In the mornings, the buses are usually very full, which implies that personal space does not exist. For example, in the isle there are always two rows of people standing both facing different directions. Luckily I'm tall enough that usually my bum is at a different level than the person behind me. But somehow there is always a tall and slightly overweight person standing right behind me. I always just think in my head, ¨This is so awkward!¨ Elder Brown and I were laughing saying that when you buy your ticket you should have to sign something because we have definetly felt violated on the buses.

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

My district!  Best district ever!

Me eating pizza and drinking Guarana - 
AND...I can't resist McDonald's ice cream, I
get one every time I go to the mall
(which is like every P-Day)

Monday, November 10, 2014

My Potential As A Missionary

What is the most difficult thing you have ever done or experienced?

One of the most difficult things I have ever done or experienced is serving as a full time missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I was called to serve in the Montevideo, Uruguay mission. As I began my mission, learning spanish and adapting to the missionary life style seemed to be two of the biggest struggles I would face in my two years of service. However, with only three months in the mission, I had adapted sufficiently to be called to train a brand new missionary. Although training was difficult, through the course of my mission I have faced trials more challenging. The biggest trial I have encountered on my mission is living up to my personal expectations about my potential as a missionary. I always pictured missionaries without flaw, and then I became one. I know that missionaries are not perfect. Inspite of this knowledge, I often expect myself to be perfect. I recognize that God expects nothing less than my best. The hardest part is understanding what my best is. If there is one thing I have learned from serving a mission, it is that making specific goals helps me to understand and achieve what God expects of me. Goals motivate me to endure past exhaustion and beyond excuses. By reaching my goals, my eyes have been opened to my infinite potential. I am eternally grateful for the opportunity that I have had to learn from being a missionary in Uruguay.

I Am Jesus' Now

Blanca!  I love her so much - she will be baptized
this week! 

Okay I have a game... Everyone has to tell me what they
think this wooden thing is used for... I'll tell you next week!
Hint: Be creative

Thanks for all the emails, haha I loved all the pics. Halloween is the best. Mags you did look pretty groovy. Bummer for the UTES. Maggie - scary about the creeper situation! You are doing all the right things about it. ¨We gonna find you, so you can run until that home boy!!!¨ Dad I trust you to take care of this mischief, it's just to bad I can't help. 

So Blanca and Carlos went to church yesterday and they are progressing wonderfully. I took some pics with Blancita, I'll send them. She is hilarious. She was saying the other day that she is Jesus` now because she is in His church, and then she said "Just like the jovenes (Elder Brown and I) are mine". Blanca will be baptised this week :) The members have been helping a lot with her, I really am so grateful that I got to stay here for another transfer. I really am going to miss this ward when I leave. 

Carlos had a baptismal date for the 15th, but he told us on Friday that he just remembered that he has a huge track meet out of town on the 15th and 16th, so he is not going to be here. It was such a let down for me!!! because we have transfers on the 19th, and I don't know what will happen but I've been here for a little while. But I know that if I get changed or not Carlos will get baptised and he will be a strong member of the church. 

With Agustina, we couldn't have much contact with her this week. We had a couple of lessons that went really well, but we think that her parents took her out of town for the weekend. Hopefully next Sunday we can help her to make it to church. 

I love you all more than you will ever know! Thanks so much for helping me and supporting me. Please edit and correct my essays, I'm not sure if I should have mentioned the part about BYU being the enemy. But whatevs. You're the best.

Elder England

Holding the UTES up!

Monday, November 3, 2014

Sunday Disappointment - But It Was A Fantastic Week

Halloween cupcakes!

Happy Halloween!!!

So BYU application first, I told president Cook last week and he said that I can take time to write the essays, and he also mentioned that he already completed the online ecclesiastical endorsement. I'll try and get everything done and then send it all next week. Thanks for all the help with this, you guys are the absoute best! 

So Halloween is super lame here, no one celebrates it here. But we did have a ward activity that turned out okay. The idea was that all the members could bring a friend, and a lot of the members told us during the week that they had or were going to invite a friend. However, Friday came around and some members went but as far as non member friends, there were practically none. One of the members brought her mother that was in town and is not a member, and then on Saturday that same family had a baptism for their 8 year old daughter. But Carlos went to the activity so that was good. 

Ugh... Carlos. Get this, on Tuesday he went to mutual with the young men, on Friday he went to the activity, and on Saturday he went to the baptism of this 8 year old girl. But, on Sunday he was a no show :( He told us on Saturday after the baptism when we walked to his house with him that he was going to go. We tried calling him and going by his house on Sunday, but we still dont' know why he didn't go to church. It was a pretty tough day for me, well the first part at least because Blanca didn't go either. Blanca´s daughter told us on Sunday morning that she had been sick and in the bathroom like all night and that she was in bed so she couldn't go to church. So yeah the first two hours of church were quite stressful and frankly depressing. But I just realized that everything happens for a reason. As the sacrament started I felt a change in attitude. Then some members looked at me and told me that they had their neice there and that she wants to get baptised. I was like... haha what?! Her name is Agustina, and we ended up going over to the members house later in the day yesterday and Agustina was still over there. We had a good little lesson with her. Her parents are not members, and have talked with missionaries before but we are planning on going by Tuesday to meet the parents. 

It was a fantastic week, it really was. Blanca and Carlos progressed a lot. I pray that we can get in contact with Carlos today. We did though talk with his member friends who haven't been helping much and we explained to them that they are going to have a big influence on Carlos and are going to be able to help him a lot. So hopefully they can help Carlos out this week. Because Carlos didn't go to church he can't get baptised on the 8th, but I strongly believe that Carlos will get baptised this month, as well as Blanca, and hopefully Agustina as well. For this reason Elder Brown and I have put a goal of 3 baptisms for the month of November in our area. 

Thanks for all the emails, keep em comin. Bo sounds like futsol is awesome, I always kind of wanted to play futsol but never did. I'm sure you are tearing it up. Soph I don't know what is going on with you, let me know! Mags you're awesome, thanks for lifting me up. So what are you thinking for school? And hey I never got pics of MORP. Dad Im' super bummed the UTES lost, but we still have hope! I thought it was really cool that you took Matthew out. I feel bad that I'm not there to help him, but I'm glad I have you to help. You guys are all amazing.

Have an awesome week. I love you more than you will ever know!
Elder England 

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Really Awesome Week

Zone activity at the beach!
Loved it!

Hey yal!!!

Oh man we just went to the beach for a zone activity to play some frisbie and soccer. I was soooooo tempted to jump in the water, because it is getting really warm. But wahooooooo the Utes pull out the win!!!!!!!!! Sounds like MORP was awesome. Mags send some pics! I bet it was super fun with Chubba. 

Hey thanks with all the BYU info everyone, I'll talk with Pres. but I'm sure that I can write something up on P-Days. Just let me know details ¨asap as possible¨- the office. 

Happy birthday Grand-dad!!!!!!!! 95 big ones! I don't know how many times I tell people that I have a grandpa that is 94, now 95, years old. They are always astonished. I have realized that my expectations have been raised big time as to how healthy people should be in their 80's and 90's because grand-dad is so amazingly healthy. I love you gramps, you have always been a hero in my eyes. I am so grateful for the family which you have raised, we have all been blessed by your wonderful life. 

Mace, you are the best. Tear it up in Foco. Last month!!!... sorry but I know you wont' run out of steam. Just like that talk that you sent me said from Elder Holland, ¨Head up and run to the tape!¨ - ¨Start strong, finish stronger!¨

So this week was really awesome!!! We had two, yes TWO, investigators in church. That hasn't happened in Lomas since I got here. Carlos and Blanca were the investigators that went. Seriously Carlos is so awesome! His mom dropped him off and he went in and went to young mens before we even got there. We however were a little late because we went and walked with Blanca. I love Blanca!!! Okay Blanca is a 92 year old blind woman. We found her this last week, and we had a couple charlas and invited her to church and offered to go with her. Well when we went to go pick her up she was sitting at the door ready to go. She is so funny! The situation is kind of sad with her. She is living with her daughter right now, but her daughter is from Spain and his going back to Spain to be with her husband and kids in a couple of weeks so they are looking for someone to watch over Blanca because they don't have enough money to take Blanca with. Also Blanca told us that she lived in the house that she is living in now with her husband, but he passed away like a year ago or so. When we showed up with her at church ALL the members were talking to her and helping her get from place to place. She is the sweetest lady I have ever met.

And Carlos... he is a stud. We haven't had many charlas with him, but we had a family home evening that we set up with his member friend´s family (the Martinez family). It was great. First the dad of the family had prepared a little something from the primary manual, because he is a primary teacher... but the youngest person there was Mario Martinez who is 14. It was pretty funny though, he was doing some silly games and relating them to life and stuff. It was kind of super random. But  after he turned the time to us and we taught a little about the restoration and showed the restoration movie that is like 20 minutes long. It was a really great lesson, and when we invited Carlos to go to church his answer was just a straight ¨yes¨... okay ¨sí¨ was what he actually said but whatevs. If things go as planned he should be baptised on the 8th. We have talked to his mom, not a lot, but a little. She said that she was maybe going to go to church with him but it was elections here in Uruguay and everyone was obligated to vote yesterday. It was quite a challenge in trying to get investigators to church. We acutally did pretty good, but the district was struggling a little. Seriously I have an awesome district, probably because I have four sisters. The sister missionaries are always so willing to go out and get things done... and they do get things done. To answer your question dad about district meetings, I give them on Tuesday's. That is if we don't have a zone conference or multizone conference with President. It's usually about 3 district meetings per month. Speaking of, I have to prepare mine for tomorrow. Iv'e realized that my procrastination hasn't gotten much better in the aspect of preparing district meetings. I'm trying, that's all I can say:)

As far as the work with members in our ward, our mission leader and us have planned a missionary work activity for the ward this Friday. We set up a guest speaker who just got back from being a mission Pres. in Peru. The idea is that the members can invite someone to go with them. We even made invitations, not to brag or anything but I think that Hallmark would totally hire us if they saw our invitations. I'll let you guys know how things go with that.

I love you all more than you will ever know! Have an awesome week.

Elder England

Elder Brown and me...
Loving the beach!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Miracle On The Bus

The lush land in Uruguay!
I'm in there somewhere - 

Hola de Uruguay!!!

What have you guys turned into? My family before the mission would have never just stopped and gone to the Stratosphere. I love you crazy people! ¨And that is a crazy lady...¨ Well done Mags ;) I'm super jealous about the track event, it sounded awesome. And booyah UTES! I can't go to the Y when the Utes are doing so good. No but I think I thought of going to BYU mainly for the environment. As far as what I would study I was thinking business. However, I have no idea what I would do career wise. I wish I could just stay on the mission forever and not think about school. 

For Christmas I need like I said socks, and something great would be sunscreen especially face sunscreen... and not the face gluestick things. Yes I have gotten all of the packages that you sent, and I loved every single one... great job on "While You Were Serving II". As far as food goes I like whatever, but I really like Cliff granola bars and Bugles always make me happy. I will love whatever you send :) I love you!!!

Mace is going to Fort Collins!!! I can't believe they are putting two greenies together to take over her area! However, the new missionaries that have come to our mission have been really awesome! I can tell that missionaries are coming to the mission very perpared to work. Like Macy said if they have the spirit then they can get things done. Love you Mace, you are the absolute best!

This week has been about the same as far as Elder Browns animo. I can't remember how to say animo in English, I think it's excitement or like energy. I feel like my patience is really being tried here. But get this!!!! So I think it was Tuesday some of the sisters in my district (yes I'm still DL) told me that the stake presidency is trying to do visits to less active members in all the wards in the stake, and what they do is someone from the stake goes with a ward leader such as the elders quorum presidency and then there is a missionary as well... Well since this ward has sisters, they wanted a pair of elders to accompany them. So the sisters called me and said all this and said that they would be meeting in the mall at 7:30. So Elder Brown and I went to do divisions at the mall, but it turns out that it was the next day and after calling like four different people they finally told us that there was a misunderstanding and that it was the next day. So we caught a bus back to our area. While on the bus, standing in the aisle because of how crowded it was, I realized that a kid was looking at me. And after like 5 seconds of solid eye contact I realized that it was Carlos! Carlos is a friend of some members in our ward. When I was with Elder Lizaraso we had a lesson with him and were trying to set up a family home evening with Carlos in the house of his member friend, but we never could set it up and the members thought that he wasn't very interested so nothing happened. But we ended up talking for a little and we got off the same stop and he said that we could go by another day. We have a lesson set up in the members house on Wednesday! It was so awesome, and I know that we went to the mall just so that we could take that bus and talk with Carlos! He told us that he wouldn't be able to make it to church yesterday, but he said that the next week he would go. Such an awesome miracle.

We also this last week have found a man named Pedro Muñoz. He is a really humble guy and is actually struggling with drugs because not too long ago he broke up with his wife and he now can't see her nor his 9 year old daughter. We have had a couple of lessons and he is really accepting. From the moment that we found him on the street I just felt a great desire to help him. Mace is so right when she says that when you share the gospel with people you just start loving them, and you grow with them. We have helped him to set goals and we will be verifying hopefully everyday with him. 

You guys are awesome!!! Have an awesome week. I love you all way more than you will ever know!

Sorry I don't have time to send pics, but I will next week.

Elder England

Monday, October 13, 2014

I Am Here To Serve The Lord

We did a service project...we were building a house!
It was super fun!

Hey pals!!!!

WHOOO Utes are ranked 20th! So reading all the emails and hearing your guy´s opinions I think that I want to try and apply to the Y. Mom I would love you forever if you could look into that. Thanks for all the emails. Dalt don't worry I'll always be a U fan. If I ended up going to the Y I would totally wear my Max Hall hates me shirt... Utah Pride! But in all seriousness I want to try and get into the Y. I think the reason that I didn't apply before the mission was that I was scared I wouldn't get in, but now I don't really care. I mean, If I get in awesome and if not then ¨I will take my talents South Beach¨ -Lebron... and by South Beach I mean the U. But seriously thanks for all the advise, I love you guys sooooo much. 

Oh my it is so weird to me that Mace is going home next month... AHHHH!!!! She is the bomb diggity. Mags you should serve, It'll change your life forever! Dad and I agree...It is so weird that you are a senior! Soph what's up wif you? Bo thanks for the email last week... haha yeah I think you are going to owe me 20 bucks. Dalt good luck in Seattle.

Elder Brown has been sick this whole last week with a cold and a cough. It has been really hard for him, and he hasn't had much of a desire to serve. He really is sick and I feel bad that I can't do anything about it, other than push him to give it his all. He has his highs and his lows, but there isn't really a middle ground. I think he might die before the change is over because of how much I'm pushing him. When we get home after planning he goes and lays on his bed and he is out in like 10 seconds. Haha I woke him up five minutes before we had to be in bed to make sure that he had brushed his teeth and everything and he asked what time is it and I said 25 he asked 9:25? and I was like no 10:25. After planning he passed out for like two hours. I love the kid, but if Elder Brown were an animal he would probably be a sloth. However, he has been getting a lot better as far as talking with people in the street.

Andres and his family are the same as they were last week. We set up charlas with him but they always cancel for some reason, and he said that his son and mother who is a less active member were probably going to go to church but they didn't show up. We also found a couple of investigators that had told us that they were going to come to church but not one got there.

After church I was thinking just about the past couple months and I realized something. I am here to serve the Lord. If I can help others while serving, then I will help them. If the Lord allows me to be a part of the conversion of another, then I will be forever grateful.I am here to serve the Lord and to be an instrument in his hands. Whether he uses me to plant the seeds or help the plants grow, I will serve Him... I think that I am just really good at planting seeds so that's what we are doing ;)

A family in our ward told us that they have a referal for us and that she wants to go to church! They acutally invited her to go yesterday and she didn't end up going, but hopefully we can contact her and help her to get to ¨know the mormons¨. I want to see the movie so bad. Elder Brown and I were laughing because we saw in a Liahona that it has a part about a mission mom, and we just imagined them filming our moms. Love you mom!!

I'm excited for this week, we have a multizone conference tomorrow in Montevideo that should be good. I don't know if Presdient has got around to reading Ti Voglio Bene, but I'm going to try and see tomorrow. 

I love you all more than you will ever know. Keep on moving on!
Elder England

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Conference and Poop Tanks

They have all the Holloween stuff out...Elder Brown didn't want to
put a mask on (party pooper!) haha but right after I took
this picture some guy in the store got mad at me and said
that you can't try masks on! But hey, I got the pic :) 

Hey fam!

First of all Happy B-Day Dalt!!! I hope it was a magical day. Too bad I wasn't there to smoke you guys at Fast Carts. Congrats Taylor and Heather, Reece and Ruby are super cute. Mom thanks for the letter, the email from Mo´s neice was really funny, and I felt I could relate in a lot of aspects. Elder Brown and I always talk about "The Best Two Years" or "The RM"... okay he talks about it because I've only seen each of those movies like twice. But from what I remember they are way more funny now. The UTES won!!! I get quite a few comments from a lot of missionaries just because I'm a Utah fan, but we´ll see what they say after this weeks win. Oh also Elder Hatch one of the assistants that has already gone home has been writing me, and he always told me that I should go to BYU. I wrote him a little about what I was thinking of doing, and he told me no don't go home and go to the U then transfer. Just go right when you get home, it's so much better. Haha I still don't know what I want to do. 

Anyways, as you guys already know it's Tuesday and we got transfers last night!!! I´m staying here in Lomas de Solymar with Elder Brown! I had mixed emotions about transfers, (before we heard where we were going). I led myself to believe that I was going to leave, and I'm not sure why I did that. I think I might have been actually hoping to leave. The thing is that I realized that I haven't seen much success here, despite our efforts and therefore thought it would be better to get transferred to a ¨better¨ area. Conference humbled me a lot! Whenever transfers come I always say to myself (in my head) "I will go where you want me to go Lord". And this last week I was trying to say that in my head, but for some reason my heart wasn't saying that. I think it was the lazy, selfish and prideful side of me that made me want to just leave this area and go to one where I could have success. However, by Monday morning I had a feeling that Elder Brown and I were going to stay here together. I finally accepted in my heart that whatever happens happens and where ever the Lord needs me he needs me there... to help those who are needing help. As of now, I am very excited to stay here! I have already thought of things that I am going to change in the way we work, so that we might see more success. 

Conference was seriously amazing, like mom said to me, It went by so quick. I couldn't get enough of it. I really liked the talk by Pres. Uchtdorf as well dad. It might have been that talk that most humbled me. And I don't know if you guys knew, but one of the Elders that spoke in Spansih is from Uruguay!!! His name is Eduardo Gavarret. All of the members here were so proud after to have heard not only a talk in their native language, but a talk by one of their own. All of us missionaries that were listening in English ran into the other room in the church to listen to his talk in Spanish and it was way better in Spanish. 

The set up for conference was however not as great as conference itself. This could maybe be put in Macy's list of funny things about her Spanish branch. They show conference in two buildings in the stake, and ours just happened to be one of them, even though it is the smallest building in the stake. Well we had given our key to the zone leaders so we figured we wouldn't go over until like 15 minutes before. So we got there 15 minutes before the conference was supposed to start, and there were about 8 missionaries and a handfull of members waiting outside the gates trying to get in. Apparently one of the bishops who was in charge of setting everything up had trusted in his counselors to fulfill the responsibility. But both of these counselors apparently left to go visit family mambers out of town that day. Luckily they got there five minutes before, but we had to set up everything and we ended up missing Pres Monson's intro and the first part of Elder Packers talk. But conference was amazing after that.

Andres and his family are doing good. They were not however able to make it to conference:( We had committed a good handful of investigators to come, but not one of them came. But we did get quite a few less active members to come, I think it was like 10. I'm praying that they can follow the counsel that they heard and go to church next Sunday.

Random stuff from the week: We had to call a truck this week to come suck out all our poop. The plumbing system here is kind of ridiculous. All they do is dig a whole and put a big tank in the ground. Then when you flush the toilet the remains go into this tank. Well we realized that the toilet wasn't flushing very well, and so Elder Brown said that the tank is probably full... Sure enough it was!! We went outside took the lid off the tank and there was all my poop just floating there almost spilling out into the lawn. I got a video of them sucking it all out. Then we asked them where they dumped it, and they said oh we just go past the next city out into this open field and dump it... hmm no wonder Uruguay smells so good:) Haha no it doesn't smell bad... usually. But every once in a while you get some good whifs of something dying. But our poop tank is now empty.

I'm really excited for this transfer! I know that this is where I am supposed to be, my service in Lomas is needed.

Have an awesome week.
I love you more than you will ever know!
Elder England

Monday, September 29, 2014

I Can't Wait A Whole Week

Elder Brown and me :)

Hey Guys! 

Happy B Day Soph dog!!! I seriously was going to say that last week, but being the horrible person that I am I forgot. However, I hope you had an awesome day. I think I told about everyone yesterday that it was your birthday. Soph you seriously make me so happy, and I can't not laugh when I think about you or look at a picture cause you are just so funny. But mom said that you have grown up the most out of anyone, and I totally agree. It scares me to see my little sister getting so big, but I just want you to know Soph that I love you.

The Europe trip looked amazing!! You two love birds. I like the green pants dad... ¨You look good dude... What?¨ Darn the Utes lost to Washington State. I had actually heard that they beat Michigan so I was all stoked to see how they did this week. It's okay though, UCLA here we come. About college I'm not sure. I definitely need to look for more spiritual guidance. But I was thinking about going to the U and then if I wanted to go to BYU I could maybe try and transfer. But I'm going to be thinking. I'll let you know what I'm thinking. 

Holy cow Macy's emails are so long! How does she have time to write so much. I think she is just better at putting her thoughts into words. But Mace I am really grateful for the blessing that we have had to serve together, it's always a strength to me to know that my sister is out there working hard too.

On Monday Andres sent us a message saying that he couldn't have the lesson and that he was sorry. He then said that they could do it next Monday, and I was like noooooooooooo! I can't wait a whole week! So we called him and set up a charla for the next day (Tuesday). We went by and it turned out that he was the only one home, but we had an awesome charla with Andres. We taught the restoration, and seriously he understood everything perfectly. Elder Brown and I have realized that if we really try and focus on explaining the cycle of God calling a prophet to start a dispensation but that with time the people reject the prophet's and the people fall into a state of apostasy thus forming a need for a restoration or the need for God to call another prophet, it's a lot easier to teach the part about the first vision and the last restoration through Joseph Smith. Anyways it was a killer lesson, and we have another lesson tonight. He said on Tuesday that the only day that the whole family is together is Monday... justo family home evening night:) Unfortunatley he told us that he was not gong to be able to go to church yesterday, but hopefully he will be able to come to conference. Speaking of conference... I'M SO EXCITED! But yeah Andres is really awesome and we went by during the week after Tuesday and he said that he had been praying and that he felt good about what we had taught. Great miracle!!!

Other than Andres and his family there hasn't been much progression with investigators. And as far as Elder Brown's progression I feel it has slowed down. He has been kind of discouraged lately... especially yesterday because it was raining all day and we were drenched. But I was loving it. Like all the streets here flooded and so we were walking in water up to our shins on some streets. But I'm really going to try to help him this week to try and have a more positive attitude. He really is an awesome guy, I just want him to be more awesome. I feel that he is living below his potential. But it's going to be a good week!

Oh the temple was absolutely amazing! Tuesday was a wonderful day, one of the best I've had in the mission. Elder Brown, Elder Ochoa, and I listened to the session in English... so much more powerful. My interview with President Cook went really well. He is such a loving guy. He asked how I was doing with regards to Dean's death, and I told him all about the funeral. He said he would like to read dad's talk. I also invited him to read "Ti Voglio Bene", and he gladly accepted. When we were eating lunch he actually ran and scanned every single page onto his computer so that he could give me my copy back. But he told me that he could see how much our family supports mission service. He said "I can feel the love that a father has for his son when I receive a call from a father asking me to check on his son". (Thanks Dad!) Thanks for all the love and support. I constantly feel that I am the person most blessed in the world... because I am!

I love you more than you will ever know. Have an awesome week!
Elder England