Monday, June 30, 2014

The Need To Work With Members

The BEST year of my whole life!

Hello crazy vacationers!

So the New York trip looks super fun! I seriously can't believe how old Mags and Soph look. Bo sounds like it's a summer full of soccer. I love the pictures, you guys are goof balls, but I miss ya like crazy. Kenna and Dalt always get double the vacations... not fair. And yeah 1-0 Dalt ;) World cup has kind of lost it's craziness now that Uruguay is out. But they are all mad that they kicked Suarez out for biting. They are also saying that the whole Fifa is wrigged... I think partially just because they lost. But hey the states are still in VAMOS ARRIBA USA! 

So this week was super awesome! The mission has been talking quite a bit about the need to work more with the members, so Elder Bustamante and I at the beginning of the week said that we were going to be better in that aspect. A lot of the times when we plan a lesson and invite members to come either the investigator isn't there or can't or the member can't come... but this week we really saw a lot of miracles as we worked hard to take members to the lessons with us. And guess what?! Hector and his family came to church!!! Hector, Leticia, Iron, Banina, and Maya all came to church and they loved it. Because we had gone by and had charlas with various members they already knew members in the church and the members that we had taken helped so much to help them feel comfortable and welcomed in the church. It was awesome! We have a family home evening tonight with them... so excited.

Gabriel came to church yesterday, he is so awesome and I love talking to him. We also had a meeting with the bishopric and our ward mission leader to talk about Gabriel and what we are going to do in his situation. We didn't really come up with an answer because there are various things that are impeading. For example Gabriel does not live within our ward boundaries but this lady that takes care of him does. Also we don't know if Gabriels family supports him in being baptised. We talked about all these things for a good while. We are all thinking about the situation and we are going to talk more about what we are going to do. But for the mean time we are going to keep talking to him and teaching him the gospel. I think that he is going to get baptised, I just don't know when... hopefully as soon as we can.

We also are teaching a man named Carlos. Carlos has talked to the missionaries before and actually went to church like a year ago but never got baptised because he had problems with the word of wisdom. However, a few months ago he had a stroke. He is recovering really well, and due to his stroke he can't drink or smoke anymore. He also came to church yesterday, and said that he loved it! We put a baptismal date for the 12th, and he accepted it and every time we see him he talks about the 12th and asks us what he needs to do and bring. He is so awesome.

As a zone we didn't do so great this last month in reaching our goal. We only got 5 of 12  :( But we all can see that this last week we worked really well in a lot of aspects of the work and that we are progressing. Hopefully this month we can work harder and be more obedient and more focused on finding, teaching, and baptizing. I can't believe that I have almost been here in this area for a month - it is crazy how fast the time goes. Oh and in a couple of days I will complete a year in the mission! The best year of my whole life!

Have an awesome week with your summer activities. Just know that in a year from now we will be partying it up!

Love ya all more than you'll ever know
Elder England

Monday, June 23, 2014

I Ate Ostrich

Here is a little of the area...
not much to see, it's just city!

Hello family!!!

So the USA is doing pretty good in the World Cup! All the Uruguayans are back at it after beating England, yeah I get some comments on my last name due to that. I'm just glad that Uruguay won, if not, I think the comments would change from a joking manner to a more angry one. But yeah bring it on Dalt! Vamos arriba Uruguay maƱana! 

Seems to me that Girls camp was a great success despite the snow. And I hope Kenna had a very Happy B-Day. And yes we definitely would have crushed that par-cor action. I destinctly remember our San Fran trip being full of par-cor... good times. We shall resume in a year from now. I got my Hump Day package!!! yay - you guys are the best!!! I'm very jealous of the car activities, live it up for me.

So Ferrocarril is doing pretty great. We have been seeing success in finding people to teach. And we might have a baptism real soon! His name is Gabriel. Gabriel has Down Syndrome, and has been coming to church for about a month and a half. We were kind of confused as to what we should do in this situation, but he came to know the church because the lady that watches over him is a member in our ward. He is actually really smart, and we had a class in our Gospel Principles class about baptism and he understood really well all that was taught. Still we were not sure what to do so we talked with Mercedes (this lady that watches him), to ask her is Gabriel is capable of discerning between right and wrong and if he should be baptised. She told us that he is very capable and that she would be supportive of him being baptised. We need to talk to our bishop to figure out the whole situation with him, but I believe that Gabriel will be baptised this week or the next:)

We are also teaching a family which consists of a young couple and their three kids. The kids are all younger than 8, and the couple is not married, but they are super awesome!!! We have already taught them about the restoration and about the plan of salvation and the charlas went really well. The dad (Hector) also told us that he had been reading what we marked for him in the Book of Mormon. He is super awesome! They couldn't come to church yesterday because Hector is a police officer but they said that would next week and we have a lesson with a member set up tonight. I'll let you know about their progress, the main thing for them is going to be getting them married. Hopefully we can help them do that quickly. 

The District is doing great. We are really trying to focus on working with the members this week. I don't think there are many members in the church that really understand how much they can help the mission work by just going to a charla or calling and inviting an investigator to come to church... The list goes on. But seriously we need to work together to help everyone we can. Keep looking for opportunities to share the gospel and help the missionaries. 

The food is good, like the same as usual, but oh I ate ostrich the other day and this thing that is called carpincho (I think it is like a giant rodent thing) and they weren't that bad. I actually liked the carpincho better than the ostrich.

Fun fact: So there is this thing called ferria here in Uruguay, I think that it is mostly done in Montevideo and not so much in the interior. But it is kind of like a giant garage sale. Everyone puts up little stands lining the road with all sorts of stuff. A good majority of the stuff is food, like fruits and veggies, but there is a lot of stuff. I'll take some pics this week. But we buy a lot of fruit there cause it's all really cheap. 

Anyways now I have some stamps from the package and can finally send some letters, so keep your eyes open.

Love you all more than youll ever know. Have an awesome week, and a fun trip to New York!

Elder England 

Typical street we walk every day!

This is our house...and, my roomies!


Happy Fathers Day!!!! And Bappy B-Day to a special someone on the 19th!!!!

Sounds like it's crazy town at home now, and dad I totally agree with you when you say that mom goes a little overboard sometimes... but we all know that it is going to be the best girls camp the Stake has ever seen. Macy got transfered too, that's got to be hard to leave a ward that you know so well. Thanks for the emails guys I love reading about what's going on. Good luck in your last dance recital Soph and who is this kid from Chicago Mags? and why are you talking to him? Bo your talk was awesome!!!! Thanks for being such a stud of a brother. You're the best dude. 

Dad I hope you had a wonderful Fathers day, I don't think I can explain how grateful I am for your example and for the love that you have for the gospel, for mom and for us (almost wrote nosotros... thinking to much in spanish). I have always admired the humble way in which you handle all the difficulties that God gives you. Cor... Cor... Cor... Cor...Cor!!!! (I miss the random chants with the fam. Cars 2...2...2...2!) Anyways can I get a big shmolly-olly for all the fathers?

So things are going great here. I am getting to know the area more and the members. And dad yes the Uruguayans are crazy about the World Cup. They played on Saturday and it was an absolute ghost town here. Every one was inside watching the game. But we did know whenever Uruguay scored... which was only once... but we could here them all yelling and cheering in their houses. The whole country was pretty much in a horrible mood on Saturday and Sunday. But hopefully they will cheer up. The thing is that Uruguayans are very prideful about their soccer team, and if you get them talking about soccer they will talk to you for hours about how they won the World Cup in like 1950 and got fourth in the last World Cup. They think that everyone is scared to play them because they are always said to be the underdog. You have to give them some credit for having only about 3 million people in the whole country they do pretty well... except when they play Costa Rica:) 

But back to mission stuff. In our mission we focus a lot on our goals. As a mission this month we have a goal of 135 baptisms. As a zone here in Norte 12 baptisms. As a District we have a goal of 4. And currently halfway through the month it is not looking too great. Every Monday morning we have a leaders meeting with the zone leaders and all the district leaders in our zone to see how the zone is doing and make plans to help us do all reach our goals. As a zone we currently have 2 of the 12 and as a district 0 of the 4. But we can all see that there is a lot of potential in each district to reach the goals we have put. I never thought before that the mission had so much planning and thought put into everything. Planning, studying, proselyting, working with the members.... But as a district leader I have really come to see that our potential is so much greater than what we are actually achieving! 

My comp and I are getting along great. He is kind of weird, and reminds me a lot of my trainer haha but we get along well and he is obedient por suerte. We are trying now to use the relationship that Elder Bustamante has with the members to be able to work more with them and teach them how they can help us and our investigators. Elder Bustamante despite being kind of weird really has a way of creating relationships with members and everyone. It's something that I think I can work on. But I feel a need to work with more urgency here in this district. Urgency to help as many people as we can, as fast as we can, to commit to live the principles of the gospel and make convenants with God. But we are going to have a great week I just know it! 

I'll let you know more about investigators and specifics next week. But keep the emails up. 

I love you guys more than you will ever know!
Elder England

Monday, June 9, 2014

I Got Clothes-Lined!

My new companion Elder Bustamante and Me
Showing off my injured face - Story below!

Wow it feels like it' s been so long since I have talked to you guys! Maybe it is because so many things have changed... yes I got transfered. I am now in FERROCARRIL which is in the zone Norte. I am still in Montevideo, but in a different zone. I was sad to leave Carrasco, especially because of the investigators. Okay my new comp is Elder Bustamante!! He is from Argentina and has just over a year in the mission. I am a District Leader again, I am really excited too because the Zone Leaders here are really awesome. I forgot how stressful and overwhelming being transferred is... cause I was in Carrasco for so long. But Elder Bustamante and I get along great! The thing is that I heard a lot of negative things about Elder Bustamante before I knew him. He kind of has a bad rep here in the mission, not really sure why but I heard that he has a very strong personality. When I got here on Wednesday one of the Zone Leaders pulled me aside and just said I don't know if you have heard anything about your comp but he has changed, if you love him then you guys will get along great. So that is what I have been trying to do... and we have been getting along great. He really must have changed because from what I have seen he is really cool.

So Norte... A lot of people say it is the armpit of the mission haha. No just kidding I don't know if they call it that but it is just kind of the dirty part of the city. But I heard that my area is the nicest part of the zone.. yes!! Turns out I really like it here. I have met a good number of the members already and they are all super nice! The people are actually really different here than they are in Carrasco... they are a lot nicer. Okay maybe not nicer but they are a lot more friendly and open.
Carrasco: So we had Sandras baptism and it was so awesome. She was so happy!!! Unfortunately we couldn't find or get a hold of Diego the day of his baptism, It was a real bummer. I had a mix of all emotions during Sandra's baptism. Sitting there before in the meeting while the talk about baptism was being given, I was just thinking about how I felt and I felt super stressed, frustrated, and sad that we couldn't find Diego. But then I realized... Hey wake up, you have a baptism and you are all dressed in white waiting to baptize Sandra who has gone through a lot to get to this day. After thinking that I just felt happy and grateful to be there and to have helped Sandra. We kept passing by Diegos house but I never got to see Diego before transfers. I really hope that Elder Webber and his new comp can find him and help him get baptised. It was so hard to say goodbye to Paula and Raul! They are so awesome and they told me the day before I left that they want to get married.... "Love, true love... marriage is what brings us together today". Anyways so that is stinking awesome and I really hope that is actually happens! I'm not sure if I would be able to go to their baptisms if they did get baptised, but they said they would want me there. We´ll see what happens there.
Norte: I live in a four Elder house with my comp and Elder Ipson (from some part of Arizona I think) and his comp Elder Vazquez (from Columbia) who is an oro or greeny. The house is pretty nice, defintely not as nice as the beach house we had in Carrasco but it's okay. It was actually pretty dirty and nasty, but we spent a good couple of hours cleaning it this morning. It doesn't look like we have very many investigators here. We are going to have to get to work here so that we can baptise this transfer. But, don't worry  - we will :)
Okay I have a story... so Wednesday night we planned to go play basketball at our church early in the morning with the zone leaders. So we went and played for a good 30 minutes and then started heading back to the house in the dark. Well along the way home we had to cross these railroad tracks. Oh and we were running home because it was already seven o'clock and we wanted to get home to shower and get ready. But on one side of the railroad tracks there is a little gateway or passage because there is a fence that runs alongside the railroad tracks. Well while running behind my comp through the passage way I got clothes-lined by a steel wire that was connected by two poles. It knocked me right on my back. It seriously was crazy... I was laying on the ground like what the heck just happened and my comp had turned around to warn me but was slightly to late. So turns out that it gashed my forehead in three places... Stitch face is back!!!!!! Actually I didn't get stitches... I'm not sure if I needed them or not cause we didn't go to the hospital. I don't think I would have needed them but then I kind of think about it now and I don't really want three big scares on my forehead. But nah It's not that bad we just put some bandages and patched it up! It's pretty funny, cause everytime we talk to someone they always look straight at my forehead and then after talking for a while ask me what happened to my face.

Anyways sounds like everything is going great. I want more emails siblings... you guys are a bunch of slackers.

But have a great week, love you all.
Elder England

Clearly Elder Bustamante fit under the wire...
NOT threw my on my back!

The injuries after the incident...
all bandaged up!

Monday, June 2, 2014

I Really Can See How Much I Have Learned And Grown

Hola como estan????

So we are in the mall writing, and a Coldplay song came on... yeah I miss music a lot. Anyways summer is here!!! I really can't believe that Mace has been out a whole year, and that I've been graduated for a year. I always remember those crazy last weeks of school. It was the best time of the year though... other that Christmas obviously. It's still slowly getting colder, but this week wasn't as wet luckily. Yes I do have an umbrella dad, but we foolishly forget our umbrellas a lot last week. When we would leave the house we would ask each other, should we take the umbrellas today and we would always say nah it's not going to rain... We know now that it's better to just drag the umbrella the whole day and not use it, than get stuck in a down poor without. But this week was great... and guess what! We have two baptisms tonight. Sandra is going to get baptised and also Diego. Getting everything ready for baptisms is always, to me, really stressful!!! So this week has been pretty busy and quite stressful. But have finally got everything ready. Oh and the sisters in our ward are going to have a baptism too. I had the opportunity to do the baptismal interview for their investigator. It was a really cool experience.

So I've almost been a district leader for a whole transfer... yeah we have transfers next week! I don't know what is going to happen but I think that I am going to be leaving Carrasco. I would seriously love either way. I have been here for a while, but I don't want to leave our investigators. Especially Paula and Raul! They seriously are so awesome and I feel like there is just a bond between us. They say that they want to get baptised but Raul says that he doesn't want to get married. Paula wants to get married so bad and told us that she has been talking about getting married for the 13 years that they have been together. On Wednesday we had an awesome charla with them and we read The Family A Proclamation To The World to help them understand the importance of marriage. It was a great lesson. Haha and we were fasting that day because as a zone we were fasting to help us reach our goal for this month, but Paula and Raul were offering us food and we were like no thanks we are good, but Raul was like guys just eat the food... so we sheepishly said that we were fasting. They were really nice about it, and acutally gave us some banana bread to eat the next day.

The fast really helped though!!!! Especially with Sandra and Diego, because we couldn't get in contact with either of them on Wednesday but then on Wednesday night we went by Diegos house and talked to him and set up a charla for the next day. And there were just a bunch of difficulties with trying to get these two baptised. It seemed that just everything was going wrong. I heard one time from a missionary that he said that in his whole mission he never had one easy baptism, and I think I can understand where he was coming from. There seems to be things that pop up, especially the week of the baptism, that try to stop these people from making these steps in there lives. Sandra even told us that she has had thoughts that tell her to just stop, or for instance she told us that the day of her interview she said that she had those thoughts that told her to just not go. But she is so awesome, and told us that she had remembered us saying that there will be opposition... we just have to fight it. I am so happy for everything that is happening here.

Being a district leader has been a very humbling experience. I find myself being held more accountable for everything, which is awesome. Especially because I have to verify with the zone leaders every night and let them know how the district is doing. But I have learned so much in this last change. The mission is interesting, I often thought to myself that I had reached a moment where I knew sufficiently enough to complete my objective as a missionary... but then I continue to learn more and more. Looking back I really can see how much I have learned and grown. The district meetings are fun, I have only actually done two due to zone conferences and a special conference with Pres. Gonzalez (a member of the seventy that we had this week). It was seriously such an awesome conference. I was so impressed with President Gonzalez and his public speaking skills. Missionaries would make random comments or questions that he would respond to but he somehow kept it all on topic and focused on his main points.

Sounds like the summer fun is a comin! Have fun. Love yall
Elder England