Tuesday, August 26, 2014

They Have Their Agency

Hey Hey!!!

Wow, what a story from Mace!!! She really is the best. Man, Colorado is lucky to have such an amazing missionary. So school has officially started. Sounds like it's going good, Bo is such a goof (¨My teacher looks just like Galinda¨). But he sure is one funny kid! Todd and Jeannett's cabin sounds like it was fun. Hey dad if you're going to do a kit car wait until I get home... I want in on it! But I can totally picture Dalt's face when he looked at Todd's project. Sorry to hear about Dean's kidney stone... ouch. But keep up the training for Lotoja. That is also something that I would love doing with you when I get home. 

Anyways so this week we have TRANSFERS!!! For that reason I am writing on Tuesday. Elder England se queda en Lomas de Solymar... y viene Elder Brown!!! I don't know who he is, but I guess I'll get to know him tomorrow. Oh and get this, Elder Lizaraso is going to a different area in our zone. So I'll get to see him like every week. Haha I have really come to love Elder Lizaraso. I have learned so much from each and every one of my companions, and look forward to working with Elder Brown this next change. Also Elder Ochoa and Elder Torres the, zone leaders, are staying which is awesome, I really like working with them :)

As far as investigators go, this week was kind of difficult. We couldn't get in contact with Natalia like the whole week. Apparently she had gone to spend time with her son, and had to go to some doctors appointments. But at the end of the week we finally got in contact and set everything up so she could go to church. This Sunday we had stake conference and it wasn't in our chapel so we found members that could take our investigators to the conference. Well we had everything set up on Saturday...we had talked to Natalia and also Lisandra (the daughter of the Trindade family that is not a member) and they both were committed to going and we had members set up to pick them up. But when we passed by on Sunday morning neither of them were to be found. When we went to get Natalia we knocked on the door and saw someone inside, but no one answered the door. So we called Natalia... no answer. We called Graciela... no answer. We called Ricardo... and he answered. But then he told us that he was in Montevideo and no one was in the house... So I was like okay thanks Ricardo take care. Then we thought maybe Natalia didn't hear because she now lives in a house right behind the house of Ricardo, Ruben, and Graciela. So as we walked to the side of the house to see if we could pass and knock on the house behind, we saw Ricardo who had seen us and tried to hide/run away. I have to be honest it was one of the funniest things I had ever seen, but yeah Sunday was a rough day. However, we talked with Natalia after and she said that she had eaten something the night before that made her really sick. So we are going to keep teaching Natalia, but with Ricardo and them we explained that if they want to learn more we are willing. And with Lisandra we haven't seen her since Saturday. We went yesterday and she was inside sleeping, and her son told us that she couldn't talk right now. Well we told her son that Elder Lizaraso would probably be leaving and this might be the last time that they can see him... and she still didn't come out!!! I was really surprised and disappointed, but they have their agency. 

But I had an experience similar to M'acys, maybe not as cool. But one day this last week we just really weren't having success, and nothing was going the way we planned. Well as we were walking I was just pleading in prayer that we could help someone... anyone. I just felt that that whole day we had been wasting our time because we weren't having any success, and I didn't want to just waste time. Well we went to a less active member that we had planned to go to, and they couldn't talk then but we asked for referrals and he told us that we could visit a guy that lives on the next street. So we went but this referal couldn't talk then either so we started walking down this street and saw some people leaving their house and started to talk to them, but they didn't want anything either. But we asked them if they knew anyone new in the neighborhood, and they said that there was a new family next door. This family was a miracle and an answer to my prayer. They couldn't talk in the moment but they said that we could go back another day. They really are so nice though, I just hope that we can help them this week. We will see.

The mission is the best! I love you all more than you will ever know! Thanks for all the emails everyone of them is appreciated. Have a great week England family.

Elder England

Monday, August 18, 2014

We Represent The Lord

"Holy" shoes

Hola familia ¿Como han pasado?

Sounds like it was a fun week! Congrats Kenz!!! Bo that is awesome that you guys pulled out the win, such a stud! Cute babies all over... when am I going to be an uncle? Kenna and Dalt everyone always asks me if you guys have any kids and I always sadly say unfortunately no. Guess what yesterday I was just singing Wicked songs, not really sure why they came to my mind but yeah. Sophie, Maggie and Bo just keep getting bigger and bigger it's weird! 

This week was a good week. Guess what we had an investigator in church! Her name is Natalia. She is super awesome. I don't remember if I told you guys about her last week or the week before. But here's what's up. So like 3 weeks ago a man in the street named Ruben stopped us and told us that he wanted to talk to us, and that he had a friend that he thought could benefit from hearing the lessons. So we went by, but there was never anyone there in his house. Well we kept passing by and finally met Ricardo. Ricardo lives with Ruben (they are just friends) but they both told us that they had gone to church before and talked with missionaries. Anyway they told us to come back another day, so we did and when we went we met Graciela. Graciela apparently lives there too. Graciela is like 50 years old and is this friend that Ruben had told us about. She really was quite interested in the message of the restoration, and told us that she would love to talk more. So we set up another lesson, and when we went we met Natalia. Natalia apparently lived in Montevideo, we are not sure what happened but it got to the point where she didn't have anywhere to go. Well Graciela and Natalia are friends so Graciela told Natalia that she could come live with her. So there's that. All 4 of them are living in one house and we are trying to teach all of them. Ruben and Ricardo are very interesting, I might say a little crazy. It's kind of like not everything is there. They are really nice but just not very mature I guess. Like when we are in the charlas it's really hard to teach them, because they aren't very focused nor motivated to read or go to church. So we tried focusing more on Natalia and Graciela and they both told us that they were going to come to church, so we told them that we could pass by there house in the morning and go together because we live super close. So we went and Natalia was waiting outside for us ready to go with her Book of Mormon that she had been reading!!! Yessss! Oh and also Natalia is like 7 months pregnant. She is so awesome. She said that Graciela was tired and was resting. It was just kind of funny that the 7 month pregnant Natalia can get up and ready and no Graciela. Okay it wasn't funny, I was bummed; but Natalia really had a great time.

Yesterday was Children's day!!! I don't think we celebrate that in the states, cause I had never heard of it before. But it was a pretty big deal. There's a fun fact for ya... here they really celebrate everything. Seriously there is a day for everything, and everyone knows about these random holidays. Anyways yesterday in sacrament meeting all the adults that have children in the primary got up and sang I Am A Child Of God, it was really cool. The whole day was focused on kids. It really reminded me of when I was in primary, and all the primary programs and stuff like that. It really was a special day. 

We also had a less active family that came to church. The Trindade family. De verdad just a part of the family came. The family consists of a single mother, and five kids. There are a couple of cousins too that live like next door that have been baptised. But one of the daughters is not baptised and we have started teaching her this week. We had an awesome family home evening on Saturday and everyone said that they were going to come, but only the mom and a couple of the kids actually got there. The daughter that is not a member didn't come :( We are going to pass by this week and help them to be able to get to church next week!

Elder Lizaraso and I are doing really great, we have gotten to the point where we know each other well enough that we can do weird stuff now... like sing Wicked music in the street. I think that he is finally realizing how weird I am, but yeah. And the zone is doing really well! We had the goal of 11 baptisms before the 17 of this month, and we got 10! so close to the goal. But we had another five baptisms planned for this month (including Natalia for the 30th) We have a zone with a lot of Hermanas. I think we are 22 in total. 10 sisters and 12 elders. Anyways every Monday morning we have a leaders meeting with the zone leaders and district leaders in our zone and we make plans and set goals for the next week. And we set the goal for baptisms in Agosto for 15, so we'll see if we can get it!!!

Thanks for all the support and love. The fact that I have your support pushes me to be the best missionary that I can be. I read Ti Voglio Bene this week... yep it made me cry like always. But I just feel a real desire to be better and to keep progressing. In a conference this past week president told us something interesting, (I guess I already know this but it just helped me to focus on why I am here). He said here as missionaries we do not represent our families. We do not represent our countries. But we represent the Lord. We are his representatives here on the earth, and that it what should move us to be our best!

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

Pics of the service project we have been
working on...

Clearly there are Ute fans ALL over

Some members in the ward send us to this pizza place to eat...it's delicious.
Last week we acutally had lunch with that family three days in a row,
and ate pizza three days in a  row. It reminded of the Italy trip
when we ate pizza for lunch and dinner for like a week staight, good times.

Monday, August 11, 2014

I Have Learned Some Things I Can Do Better

The best District in the world!

Hey fam what's happenin?

Summers almost over... which means that winter is almost over here... yaaaaayyyyy!!! It actually hasn't been too bad this week. Haha I can't stop laughing at that picture that you sent Kenna, I wish I could have met this Marc. Bo is killing with his new team like always, three goals? That is so awesome! Keep it up bud. I regret not reading more in highschool, actually I think I did regret not reading when I went back to school each year but by the time that summer started again I had no desire to read. But yeah you guys should read more books. "Go, go away... read some books." 

Anyways one of the sisters in my district just gave me a huge envelope full of recipes. I asked her because SOMEONE didn't send me any recipes. It's kind of true that it might be difficult to find some ingredients, but for the most part I think I'll be able to get what I need. I guess we´ll see. But yeah so I'm going to try and make some yummy stuff. 

As far as the work goes this week was kind of difficult. NO ONE is progressing. Sad news: 
With sandra we tried calling her but she never answered, so we went by her house. On like Tuesday we finally got a hold of her and asked her how it went with her family, and she told us that she didn't really want to bring it up because "problems" so she was just going to stay where she is. However after talking for a while we helped her to remember what she had felt and everything that God had done to guide her to know what to do and she realized that she should go to church and get baptized. But the rest of the week we lost contact again. We tried calling and passing by but it seemed to us that she didn't want to talk to us. And then on Sunday morning we sent a message to her just inviting her to church but she sent a message back saying thanks for everything but that she is going to stay with the religion that she already has. It was like a punch to the gut! I really believed that we were going to be able to help her the first time we talked to her.

Also Sunday was kind of hard.  It was looking really good around Thurday-ish for helping our investigators get to church on Sunday. But on Friday and Saturday and Sunday morning all of them said that they couldn't come. But a good group of them said that next Sunday they could go, so that is what we are working for this week. It's kind of been a humbling week, but I was reading in Ether 12:27 and thinking a lot this week about how if the Lord doesn't show us what we are doing wrong, we can't get better. The week really wasn't as bad as I made it seem, but I have learned some things that I can do better because of this week.

I think I told you about Yonny and his girlfriend Florencia that we found a couple weeks ago. Yonny is less active and Florencia is not a member. They have two kids Valentina (1 yr old) and Nacho(3 yrs old). Yeah Nacho is hilarious, and get this the last time we went over they were watching Nacho Libre... so funny. But they invited us to eat dinner with them tonight. Elder Lizaraso and I were thinking about what we could share with them, and we wanted to share a video or Mormon Message with them. I'll let you know how that goes next week. Hopefully the food will be good.

Oh about that dog story haha it really was quite weird I was walking to church on Sunday with Elder Cruz. I was actually kind of annoyed with Elder Cruz, (I think cause we were leaving the house late) anyway a random dog just ran up behind me and bit my jacket and ran off. Like I didn't even see the thing until after it had bit my suit and started running away. It just made my day that much better. I hate dogs!!! Something else funny, we were walking away from Carol's house after no one answered the door this week, and I almost ate it big time cause I slipped on some mud. But I luckily caught myself. But it reminded me of when we were in the sacred grove and dad fell in the mud... twice haha. I really hope we still have that video. And if we do you should try to send it to me.

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

Monday, August 4, 2014

Working Helps Me Stay Focused

Hey fam!

Haha I love the dog stories that Mace has. There are quite a few dogs down here so I've got a couple stories. I don't remember if I told you guys or not but in Florida a dog bit a hole in my suit jacket... yeah it's still there :) I'ts not that big, and at least the dog bit my jacket and not me. I'll send some pics of my shoes, and I like that picture you sent me... Round toe thumbs up. 

Mom thanks for the encouragement... to be honest I've been missing you guys a lot. Last P-Day I was missing you guys a lot after I wrote you guys. I think it is sinking in that I haven't actually seen you guys in over a year. But after getting out to work everything got better. Just getting out and working helps me to stay focused on the work and not so focused on you guys. But things are going great here! 

It has been actually quite warm this week. The weather is kind of bipolar. Anyways we took advantage of the good weather and did some service projects. As a zone we made it a focus to look for service activities, and I ended up doing 3 service projects this week, and we already have like three more set up for this week. By the end of the week I was kind of dead. Especially because on Saturday we were helping to build a house and Elder Lizaraso and I were hauling sand and gravel in a wheel barrow for a good 2-3 hours. Okay funny story, I found it was easier to run with the wheel barrow to gain momentum and get over the bumpy ground. Well after I dumped a load of gravel I was running back to the pile where my comp was and the wheel barrow had a bar in front like on the axle of the wheel and as I was running I lifted the handles too high and that bar in front hit a bump in the ground and dug into the ground, and therefore throwing me into the wheel barrow and over the front of it. Luckily no one saw except for my companion that was laughing for quite a while after. Anyways got a good bruise on my left leg. But I took some good pictures of the projects. 

On Wednesday we had an intercambio and I went to work with Elder Ochoa! It was super fun to work with him again. It seriously feels like it was yesterday that we arrived in Carrasco together, but that was about 7 MONTHS AGO!! The time is seriously flying by. But it was super fun to think back on all the fun times with Lucas and just all the funny stuff that happened. 

In our area it has been kind of rough. We were really trying to help the investigators that we have to progress so we focused on two investigators and tried to make specific plans for those two. Well we chose Carol and Carlos. the goal was that we could have a family home evening and another lesson with a member and have that member invite the investigator to come to church. Well we made some pretty good plans and had several lessons and family home evenings set up. But they all fell through! Either the member couldn't or the investigator couldn't make it. Well with Carol we really couldn't have much contact with her until like Friday. We talked to her and she expressed her desire to get baptized, but then told us that her family is all Evangilicos and that one of her sisters is a pastor in Montevideo. Anyways she told us that they were talking bad about her getting baptized and that they don't support her. So she said that yesterday she was going to go to Montevideo and talk to her family and express to them that they need to respect her decisions and support her because that is what she feels. Yeah she is super awesome. SO we called her yesterday to see how it went and she said that she was driving and couldn't talk so we have to call her today and find out.  And Carlos - I dont know if I told you guys about him but he is a friend of a member in our ward. He is 15 years old I think and we were going to have a family home evening with his friend and his family but it never happened hopefully this week.

The problem is that we are finding people but these people are not progressing. I just really hope that this week we can see some progression.

Darn it I can't figure out how to send pictures on this computer, but don't worry I am taking pictures and I will get them to you soon.

I love you all more than you will ever know!

Thanks for all the emails I love reading them all. Kenna I loved the description of all the family members, it was hilarious. Dad I think howdy is pretty cool. and Mags I'm going to print your talk and read it.

Love you guys 
Elder England