Monday, July 28, 2014

I'm Freezing


Hey yo what's up?!!!

So I am freezing my butt off here! Seriously it is so humidly cold here, and the worst part about it is that I think it is colder inside our house than out. The houses are all made of cinder block and therefore don't have any insulation. I am just very grateful for my sleeping bag. The worst part of the day is probably studies. Just cause we are sitting there not moving for a couple of hours. Elder Lizaraso just wraps himself in a blanket, I think I'm going to start studying in my sleeping bag. haha it's the worst having to take my hand out of my glove to flip the page. Once the blood starts flowing from walking it's not so bad. I need to take a picture of the house to send to you guys, I'll do that this week. 

But hey sounds like Bo is killing on his new team that's awesome! Summer fun just keeps comin. Send some pics of Rosanna's sister, I want to see her. And when are Dalt and Kenna going to have kids? I want to be an Uncle.

So this week has been a little longer than the others, not sure why. I think it was because it was so cold, and I was really tired this week. Seriously one night we got home and started to plan and while Elder Lizaraso was talking about an investigator I think I fell asleep. This week we haven't had many sit down charlas. Almost all of the charlas we have are in the street with new people. We actually found a lot of new investigators. The problem is trying to get a second lesson. A lot of the time we can't find an address, (probably because they lied to us, or they just aren't home). So we are trying to put a focus on the progression of the investigators that we find. Hey guess what!!! Esteven from my last area got baptised! I was so happy when I found that out. Anyways I hope that we can help all these people here progress. 

Carol is one of those that weren't home. She actually was in Montevideo at her mother's house, so we really haven't had any contact with her this week and she didn't make it to church. We set up a charla for Wednesday so we will see how that goes. Oh get this, so on Saturday night we got out of a lesson and started heading home and someone called us. It was a number that we didn't recognise. Anyways I answered and I was like "Hello your talking with the missionaries", and he asked "Is this Elder England" and I was like "Yeah who am I talking to?" and he said "I'm Jorge and can I ask you guys for something..." and then the call dropped. After waiting a while for him to call, I called him. And we had no idea who this guy was. I thought it was a member but we didnt know any members named Jorge. Anyways we call him and he was like "Hey I want to learn more about your church can you guys come by my house?"  We were like "Ugh yeah!!!" Haha I was a little weirded out that he knew my name, but a lot of the time we put our names and number on cards or pamphlets. But yeah we are going to go by Jorges house today!

Hey so my shoes are getting kind of worn. The streets are horrible here, all dirt roads. I've actually been using my boots like everyday. Anyways I wanted to ask for an early Christmas present of a pair of shoes. I acutally heard that ecco has some missionary warranty but I'm not sure how it works or if we applied for it. Also if you could send some more hair gel with those. The gel Isn't as important but I am running out. Anyways love you soooooooo much!

Have an awesome week er´body! I love you all more than you will ever know! and I miss you a ton! I like looking at pictures a lot, oh You guys should look at page 79 of the photo book you sent me..."While you were serving". Look at the bottom right picture. Tell me if you see something funny? You might need to sensor it ;)

Walking the streets

 Trying to stay warm during studies
(Elder Lizaraso looks pretty good in this pic!)

 We just stopped by the mall and got Subway!  mmm

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Filled With Gratitude

Riding the but with this Peruano :)
My new comp...Elder Lizaraso!

Hello from La Costa!

So I'm in my new area with my new comp. I still don't know if it has hit me yet that I am in a new area. It was really weird for me because I was just getting comfortable in Norte. But from what I have seen the past couple of days, I really like Lomas de Solymar. And Elder Lizaraso and I get along great. He is from peru, and is super chill. It's weird living in just a two elder house, but it gives me more time to shower. The house is pretty good, but it is really humid and gets pretty darn cold. Except today and yesterday have been really nice. It is like really nice right when we leave the house but when the sun goes down it gets COLD. So I end up dragging a jacket around all day and it's super annoying... but I do have to say that when it gets cold I am always happy that I carried it all day. (It reminds me a lot of going to Disneyland. Dad would always tell me to bring a jacket but I really hated carrying a jacket around all day. Well I finally learned dad ;)

As far as investigators go, we don't have much... actually I asked my comp the first day I got here about the investigators and he said, "Um we don't really have any." But hey that's not going to stop us from having some. I could tell that Elder Lizaraso was a little down, but he is a really hard worker. After we started working and finding some people to teach he changed. He is pretty funny, and really likes to tell jokes... but his jokes are horrible. Seriously horrible. I told him, "Elder I think that the sense of humor in Peru is a little different than the States" haha But that hasn't stopped him. He is super obedient so that is awesome! I'm really excited for this next change.

Ever since I got here we have been huntin for some new investigators, and thinking of ways to find people. So on Thursday morning we made a list of a good number of former investigators and started passing by them. And yesterday we had the coolest experience. One of these investigators was a lady named Carol. As we clapped are hands in front of Carol's house she immediately told us to wait a sec and then came and opened her front gate and let us in. As soon as we started talking she said "Yeah you are new because I have seen Elder Lizaraso with another missionary walking past my house a lot." She then went on to tell us that she is Evangelica, but has been having some doubts about her church. She eplained to us that just two weeks ago some neighbors of hers lost a little girl due to cancer. I could tell that she was really worried about this family and about herself and what God wants for her. She then told us that as she had been going through this trial she felt a need to talk to us (the missionaries). She said that it was weird that she didn't feel the need to call her Pastor or go to her church, but an urge to talk to the "Mormons". At that point we really didn't have to say anything, but we plainly testified that what she had felt is the spirit and that this message can fill that need and comfort her in this trial. She then gladly accept a next lesson and a baptismal invitation as well. It was such a miracle.

Yestarday was also a really great day. I introduced myself in sacrament meeting. And the bishop asked me to share something about how my family got to know the church. And I was a little embarrassed to say that I didn't really know how, all I know is that it was a long time ago. I would love it if you could tell me more about how our families came to know the gospel. But I felt very welcomed in the ward. As I sat in sacrament meeting, I pondered on the first Sunday I had in Ferrocarril. And then I thought of the last Sunday I had there just a week ago. I was gladly filled with gratitude for how much the Lord had blessed my last area. I often pray to be an instrument in the Lords hands, or to be the answer to someones prayers. And in Ferrocarril Heavenly Father answered my prayers! My faith in prayer, and in our potential as missionaries has changed dramatically this last change. I've personally come to know that when someone loses themself in the work, the Lord gives blessings. 

Thanks for all the emails. And Mace I almost forgot, HAPPY BIRTHDAY TOMORROW! I wrote you a letter! I hope you got it!

PS they are playing Lady Antabellum right now, and yes I am singing along!

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

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

I'm Going To La Costa!

Saying goodbye to the Bergains family


So we got transfers last night! And... Elder England is leaving!!! I'm going to La Costa. It's crazy, I wasn't expecting that at all. I've only been here for one transfer. I'm super sad that I'll be leaving the Burgains family and Carlos and Mirtha and Gabriel and Steven. A missionary jokingly said today that the mission is horrible, you get to know and love so many people and then leave them. I find this very true. Haha but I am also super excited to go to La Costa. My new comp is Elder Lizaraso. I think he is from Paraguay. I don't know him at all. But I have heard he is a really good missionary. I'll still be a District Leader there in my new area. And Elder Bustamante is staying so he can help all our investigators.

California has come to an end. Hey good progress on the lot! And no I never tried a Bonzai Bowl, but it sounds scrumptous. Scooter is home, that is so crazy how fast time goes. And Max is leaving, he`ll be an awesome missionary. Go get em Elder Schreiner! 

This past week was a pretty great week. In church we saw a lot of miracles! We had 9 investigators in church!!!! Hector, Leticia, and their three kids who are so funny and crazy! Carlos and his spouse Mirtha, who walked to church by themselves! We also had Steven who is the grandchild of a less active member that we found and are helping reactivate. Steven should get baptised on the 27th this month. And also Gabriel was there in church. It was a great day! I was just so happy to have been a tool in the Lords hands to help these people come to know the gospel. I am really sad that I won't be able to see these people progress toward baptism, but I know that they will progress. I'm also going to miss a lot of the members here, they have been a really big help this last transfer. 

Packing makes me stressed out, even more stressed than the normal mission stressed. I think that is why by face is so bad. I'm using the cream, which is almost gone, it would be wonderful if you could send me something cause it's getting bad!! But hey on another note, not sure why it came to my mind, but could you send me a recipe for brownies and other easy desserts. We had an interchange yesterday so I wasn't able to go to a family home evening with the Burgains family. But we made a funfetti cake that a missionary had received in a package it was delicious, but I couldn't sleep cause we ate it right before bed. Do I regret it, no definitely NOT. But I did go to the family home evening last week with them. They are so awesome! 

Get this we were talking to Hector about how he was going to propose and we were joking around. But then we had a charla with him in the church to think about ways that he could propose. We came up with the idea of proposing at the temple in Carrasco in the gardens... yeah genious. Anyways the whole family is super awesome and loves when we go to talk with them or when they come to church. I'm going to miss them.

Well have a wonderful week with everything. I don't have my camera chord because I just came from a meeting but I'll send some next week. 

Love you all more than you'll ever know.

Elder England

Monday, July 7, 2014

If I Am Confident

Happy Fourth Of July...
Sporting my American tie!

Hey Beach Bums!!!

Okay so the song "Mirror" by J T is on right now... yeah I miss music. Okay.. focus... can't get truncky. Haha I loved how you used that word dad. But hey what's up ya'll? Sounds like California is a blast. At least I know that you guys won't be able to enjoy the new house without me. However the dolphin adventure sounds super fun, do you guys remember when we swam with dolphins and they pushed our feet with their noses... yeah that was awesome. Oh no... now there is a U2 song on... I just put some headphones on to block the wonderful worldly music. It doesn't really help but that's okay. However, to answer your question dad I would absolutely love to go to Africa. I might not be able to see some of my friends homecomings but I'll be with you guys so I am totally down. 

This last week has been a pretty good week. It went by super fast, and I can't believe that in a week from today I will know what is going to happen this next transfer. The time is flying by. So Hector and Leticia are doing amazing, we actually have a family home evening with them tonight... and they are going to prepare it. Yeah that's right, you heard me! They are going to prepare it. We are working on getting them through the marriage process. Here it usually takes at least a month to get married.. at best. Darn government system. However they told us that they understand the need to get married and they want to do it. 

Carlos... he is doing really good. we went to his house and walked to church with him. He had a stroke like 3 months ago and he is walking to church... so awesome. Not to mention that yesterday was maybe the coldest day that I have experienced here in the past year. But this past week we realized that unfortunately Carlos is not married:( What is this world coming to? NO ONE IS THIS COUNTRY IS MARRIED!!! okay maybe some are, but it is frustrating. But on the bright side, Carlos´ "spouse" did not listen to us before but now that we mentioned marriage and Carlos talked to her a little, she is now investigating the church! She is actually pretty interested, but was sick yesterday and couldn't come to church. (Something that I have realized about Uruguay is that if they get the slightest cold they think they are going to die! Even a lot of the members don't come to church if it is cold outside. Come on people youre not going to die!!!)
I need to be more loving... I feel like a lot of the times I think to myself ..."Come on people it's not that hard, whats more important?"  But this week has helped me to have more patience.

Gabriel is doing great, we haven't had much contact with him because he is on vacation and hasn't been around. We still aren't sure what we are going to do in this situation but we are definitely going to keep teaching and helping him. 

We have found some other people that could progress toward baptism. One of them is a girl named Karla. We found Karla on Saturday on the street. Karla who is about 22 was walking with her daughter named Melanie who is about 6. I don't think I realized at the time, but they were a big answer to a prayer of mine. Being fast Sunday I was at the time fasting to find people to teach and help get baptised this month (seeing that we don't have many people who are able to get baptised soon). Well as we contacted Karla and Melanie in the street I felt an immediate unity or interest from them in what we had to say. As we introduced ourselves I crouched down and started asking Melanie some questions to get to know them. She surprisingly was very personable and reminded me of a certain Guatemalan kid who would talk to random strangers in San Fran and compliment them on their jackets. (shout out to Bo) But Melanie was super funny and after teaching a little to Karla she told us that she would come to church on Sunday. Sadly she did not come, but she did send a message later in the day telling us that she had slept in. 

I have realized that if I am confident in myself and what I am saying the people are more willing or obliged to listen, and it's a lot less awkward. The mission has definitely helped me to have more confidence in myself and my abilities to help others. I saw that that was something key in this contact with Karla, and the charlas that we have had since then. Hopefully we can continue to find pèople to teach.

Have an awesome week in California. I love you more than youll ever know;)

Elder England

Eating some oatmeal in the kitchen!