Thursday, June 25, 2015

Home Sweet Home

Home Sweet Home!

The gang at the airport!  SO exicted!

Missionary sighting!!!!

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


Brothers back together again!

Grandma Ipsen

Another group shot - Now complete with 
Elder England!

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

Momma D met us for Breakfast!

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

Welcome Home!

Ahhh - Carpet!

These socks have put on some miles!


Tuesday, June 16, 2015

The Lord Is The One Who Has Molded Me

Mi Querida Familia,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Elder England

Carolos' Baptism

Carolos' Baptism

Dear Familia - 

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

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

Elder England

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

The Lord Is Really Hastening His Wok

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

Hello my lovely family,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Elder England

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

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


Monday, June 1, 2015

You Are Lucky When That Happens

Happy Birthday Grandma June!!! 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Elder England

Monday, May 25, 2015

Finishing Our Missions With Honor

Hey freaks,

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

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

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

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

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

Elder England  

Monday, May 18, 2015

Pet Spider

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

Howdy folks!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 I love you all more than you will ever know!

Elder England

Go Utes!
Me and Elder MIles before he left

Monday, May 11, 2015

Mother's Day Skype!

Hello my lovely family,

It was so fun to see you guys yesterday. Thank you so much everyone that went! You guys help me a lot. 

Sorry I don't have much time to write. I decided to use my time to write some other people, cause I talked to ya'll yesterday but I love you all more than you will ever know.

See ya'll next week.

Elder England

Loved talking to Davis!!!! 

He is confident, gentle and focused on finishing his mission strong!
We LOVE him! 
Hoping to get a video put together of highlights soon!

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

I Am Grateful For Where I Am

Hello my friends!!! 

Oh my gosh we are going to see each other in less than a week. So we got changes!!! Elder Miles has not left yet. He will be leaving on Friday, but I will be going to my new area tomorrow! Yeah my new area!!! Okay I'll explain... I am going to a different ward here in Durazno with Elder Martinez the Elder from Colombia that was living with me. We are going to be the zone leaders here. I'm super excited!!! We get along really great and because we were living together we already know each other really well. It was super fun telling him the transfers while being with him. I took a video, but I don't think that I can send it. You'll just have to wait 6 weeks. But yes, Elder Miles and I talked to the assistants about putting sisters in one of the areas here in Durazno, because all of the sisters in our zone live outside the city in smaller cities. Well when we have conferences or transfers they have to stay with members over night because we are all Elders here. So we explained the situation and they said that they would think about it. So in the ward I am in now they are going to put sister leader trainers, and they will be living in the house that I am in now. I am going to move houses, but I will still be here in Durazno. Seriously all of the changes in the zone are great! I'm very excited for my last change. Elder Martinez was already in this area so we won't have to do a white wash. 

About skype, I think that we are going to do it at 6:30 here... which would be 3:30 there. I hope that we can figure it out, but if anything happens I'll try to contact you. 

Wow Spencer and John got their mission calls!!! That is so crazy for me. They seem so small to me. But I'm super excited for both of them. You guys are going to be amazing missionaries.

Thank you mom for setting everything up, I love you!!! and I can't wait to wish you a happy Mother's Day and wish Mags a happy B day. It's crazy that I'm skyping on Mags B day and I'll get home on Kenna's B day. You´re very welcome, for me making your birthdays so special. But they will be very special days for me too.

This week has been great! KAREN GOT BAPTISED!!! She is really amazing. It's going to be great for her to have sisters here in this area. In her baptism she gave such a great testimony. I didn't think she would get up and share her testimony because she is kind of shy, but she got up and shared a lot about how she has felt over the past month or so. President said that he felt good about her being baptiz ed. He said that he asked her multiple times if she was really willing to endure to the end, and she obviously responded yes. Her mom and aunt and some cousins went to the baptism, and it seemed that they enjoyed the service very much. Hopefully the sisters can get to work on helping her family.

YESSSS!!! I just looked on the mission newsletter which shows all the baptisms from the last week, and in Rio Branco it says Marcela and her son Nicolas. I wish I could have been there. But I'm so happy for her. 

We also had concilio last week. It was really great. Oh and we did divisions with the assistants. It was a pretty busy week. But in concilio we talked a lot about the work with members. We trying to change the mission so that we work more with members. The culture of the mission has definitely not been that of working with the members. But we are making plans to be able to do just that. 

We gave a zone conference yesterday to explain all the plans and goals that we made in concilio with the rest of the zone. It went really great. Elder Miles and I were talking a lot the other day about how much the mission has helped us have more confidence in public speaking or teaching in general. The mission has definitely blessed me in so many different ways. I was reading just this morning a talk from a year ago by Pres Uchtdorf. He was speaking about being grateful in every circumstance. As I read I felt the truthfulness of what he was saying. When I am grateful for where I am and the trials that I have, I am a lot happier and I simply enjoy everything more. 

It's hard to explain how happy I am. I'm not very good at expressing myself, but I hope you guys can see how much the mission has helped me. 

See you on the flip flop later!!!

Have a great week!

Elder England

Monday, April 27, 2015

I Was Reminded of My Baptism

Eating icecream!

Howdy folks!

The GT3 is awesome!!! This past week has been really great. It's kind of weird that Elder Miles goes home in like a week, but we are working really hard and seeing so many miracles. Thanks for the update on the old folks, I love hearing about them. I got an email from mamma D, she is so great. I am so blessed to have such wonderful grandparents. They will always be my heroes. Ben is back, that is so crazy. I'm sure he was an amazing missionary. It seems like it was just yesterday that he was teaching me to play basketball at Albion in 9th grade. 

Yes mom, that would be great if you could see what's going on with the U. But I want to pick my classes! I talk to my friends very little. However, I did hear that Brandon is AP I think that Marsh is as well. But I'm not sure. I dream of the day when I can hug all my friends and give them a good beso and talk about our missions together. That also applies to you guys as well. It's going to be so fun. Hey mothers day is coming up!!! HELLO SKYPE YOOOO! I need to write Preston and Matthew. I did wish mooj a happy b day in March, but I think that was the last time I talked to him. I'll try and write him today.

Mags and Moph keep moving forward. You're so close!!! I often think of those weird videos that you two sent me. It gives me much joy to know that you two are still psycho. I miss you both very much, but don't worry we´ll hang out lots when I get home. 

Guess what!!! Elder Perry just sent me an email saying that Marcela is going to be baptised this Saturday in Rio Branco. YEEEESSSS!!! That makes me so happy. I'll send some pics today, I have my cam and I have the chord. As I think of my past areas I realize just how much I love all these people. Oh get this! We were talking to a man at his front door on like Wednesday when I heard behind me a man yelling ELDER! ELDER! So I turned around and it was a member from Florida. I just about screamed HERMANO COMO ESTA? The guy that we were talking to probably thought that I was crazy, but it was so amazing to see him after so much time. He was in his car stopped in the middle of the road, but he just said hey how are you? It was nice to see you... and then he drove off. I have no idea how he recognized me from behind. It was weird too, because I didn't feel like I got to know him very well. I definitely wouldn't have expected him to remember me. I love these people so much and I seriously can't wait for you guys to meet them.

Speaking of meeting people, we had an activity where we watched Meet The Mormons. Karen went. I think that it was an amazing experience for her to see the life of the missionary mom and how her life completely changed. Elder Miles and I were talking about how it must have given her a lot of hope. Karen will have her interview with president this Wednesday. I think that everything will go great, and if it does, she will be able to be baptised on Saturday. She is so amazing. She is kind of shy. It was super funny, she showed like five minutes late to church and she felt bad so she didn't want to enter and interrupt the Relief Society class so she was waiting outside the class. Well we saw her and started talking to her. She was then like no I don't want to interrupt, but we were like nope sorry and just opened the door and said hi everyone Karen is here. She said after that she loved the classes. Oh and she showed up a little late because she was at a birthday party all night. Literally all night! I don't understand hispanics at all. First of all, literally everyone is invited to the parties even if you don't know the person. Also they start the parties at like 10 at night and they are there ALL night. I don't think that Karen slept at all. It's ridiculous, but she definitely understands the importance of going to church that's for sure.

Our mission has been changing a lot over the past 6 months. Oh the conference with Elder Oaks was amazing!!! Geez there are so many things to talk about I just keep remembering how great this week was. I totally saw Elder Devashrayee and some of the other missionaries from the other mission that I met in the MTC. I also was talking to Elder Smart (Parker Smart who went to Brighton with me) for like the whole trip down to Montevideo. It was really fun. 

So the changes have a lot to do with seeing real results or eternal fruits, not just baptizing and then having those people fall off the map. Our retention went up again this week for the zone. We are now at about 40% in Durazno. We are very excited about that. But I definitely can tell that my vision is being highered. I don't know if that makes sense, but I think you understand. And I think that because of our rightous desires to see real results the Lord is blessing us. We have been able to find some really great and prepared people this past week. We will see how they progress.

Also a cool experience from this week. On Thursday we got a call from Pres. Cook. Right as I answered the phone I could tell that something was wrong... it scared me so bad! He then explained to us that the sister of one of the missionaries in our zone had died in an accident. He told us that he was going to call the missionary right then, but that we should try and give this sister missionary a blessing. So we stopped everything and went and caught a bus miraculously that took us to where this sister was. I called the sister when we got to Trinidad and they said that they had a charla then, but would call us after. So we said okay we'll wait for your call. Then we went looking for the church. We found the church so easily which was interesting because neither of us had been to Trinidad before. Also the charla that the sisters were going to have fell through. So they came to the church and we were able to give her a blessing. It was such a spiritual day for me. And as we were traveling back on the bus I felt the spirit so strongly. I was literally as if I was wrapped in the spirit like a blanket. I then for some reason was reminded of my baptism. I remembered that Kenna had made Porter and me a blanket... I assume she was refering to the spirit when she gave us the blankets but it was so interesting to me how well I remembered that. I then started thinking of memories that I had when I was really little. It was weird how specifically I remembered some things.

Anyways we have to travel to Trinidad today and the bus leaves like now. 

I love you all more than you will ever know!

Elder England

We wore our Super Hero Socks to the Zone activity
- Thx mom

Me and my comp! I can't believe he goes home
in one more week!

Monday, April 20, 2015

We All Have Been Given Much, So Much Is Required

Happy Anniversary to my wonderful padres!

I love you two very very much and hope you have a swell day. Thank you so much for every single email that you have sent me, it really helps. I don't know how many times I have just busted out laughing while reading your emails. I think that you both have gotten 10 times more funny since I left. I think it's because I miss you both a lot. But your examples motivate me to give it my all. That is all I have seen you two do, is give it your all. You've given everything for us and for the gospel. Every day and literally everything that happens to me makes me realize how very blessed I am to have you as parents. We have all been given much, so much is required. Keep being the best parents ever!

I got the sock package!!! WE LOVE THE SOCKS! and we are all wearing them to our zone activity today. Yeah we are pretty cool cats, thanks to Care Bear. They were asking me yesterday for your email mom to thank you because they are so grateful, but I think that they are all too busy writing their own families right now. But they are very grateful and so am I.

Mom you need to get to work so that when I get home you can teach me about family history work. I want to get into it when I get home. Bo, sounds like you're doing awesome. Soph and Mags keep it up, and finish the school year strong... if you don't you'll regret it. Something that the mission has changed in me is just a desire to learn. I realized that I went to school with the goal of getting good grades no mas, but I wish I would have done it with a desire to learn. I also think I'm going to read a lot more when I get home... but we´ll see. I might be busy golfing or doing other stuff. But really so many of my desires have changed. It's like in The Fourth Missionary when he says that we should put all our desires and wants in a box and leave it at home, then when we get home we might find out that we don't want some of those things anymore. But don't worry, the box is still closed.

This week was pretty good. The zone kind of dropped a little. A lot of the investigators that we had, had problems and their baptisms are going to be pushed back. But we are trying a lot more to work with members. Also our retention in the zone went up. We were at like 20-25 percent last week, but this week we were at like 35%. I'll send you guys a newsletter that we do each week for the zone. It shows the baptisms we are going to have in the next three weeks and then we always have zone plans. They are just things that we focus on every week.

Karen is doing good. I'll explain a little more next week, we acutally have to go right now because we have a zone activity with all the missionaries and we have to prepare it. But Karen has to have an interview with Pres. Cook due to some past transgressions. So if she passes that (which I honestly believe she will) there will be no problem, she will be baptised. We don't know if Pres. can do it this week, but if he does she will be baptised on Saturday. 

I love you all very much!!! Oh no! I forgot my camera chord :( but I am taking more pics!

Love you all more than you will ever know,

Elder England

Monday, April 13, 2015

I Got To Go

Hello my wonderful friends,

California looks super fun. It's actually stayed pretty warm here so far, so I'm not too jealous. Mom's face looks hilarious. You're a good sport mom. Those pickles though!!! Sorry to hear about your grandma Dalt. I'll be praying for you guys. 

So Elder Hatch and Elder Ochoa both emailed me talking about their visit. Okay sorry I can't think very straight cause I have to go to the bathroom but the bathroom here is broken so I'm just going to hold it, so this email might be kinda weird.

To answer your question mom, everyone knows about the talk "The Fourth Missionary" and they actually gave me a copy of it when I got here. But they are just putting a big focus on consecrating ourselves. 

We have an investigator named Karen who went to church yesterday!!! Also another investigator named Lilian. Karen is so awesome and has a baptismal date for the 25th. She is only 19 years old and has a little girl named Jazmine who is like 2 years old. She is really smart though, and understands the importance of the family and the mistakes that she has made. She said she really liked the stake conference that we had yesterday, even though we were sitting at the way back and she took her daughter and was watching her the whole time. She is great. Lilian is a former investigator, but she is really awesome as well. She is like 60 years old. I actually met her for the first time in church. We had tried going by several times but she wasn't home, also while I was on an intercambio Elder Miles went with a different missionary to her house. But we had a lesson with her last night, so I got to know her a little better. She is great, and actually has a big testimony, she just has problems with leaving her Catholic roots. She feels like she is betraying her family. But we had a very spiritual lesson last night and she committed to pray about being baptised. She has already gone to church for a long time actually and knows a lot. She just needs to pray about everything. We will see with her. 

I feel great here. Elder Miles is working really hard which helps me a lot. He is actually a really big car guy. It's fun. 

The zone is doing pretty good, we have amazing missionaries here in Durazno. Oh we have an open house in our church this Saturday, so that'll be fun. We have been handing out invitations like crazy. 

Okay I think it's getting to the point where I got to go. I love you very much. Have a great week. Sorry for the short email!

Elder England

Monday, April 6, 2015

I Am Loving It Here In Durazno

Conference fun!
Elder Miles my comp is the one on the right!

What the heck are they doing there!

Haha it was super weird to see pictures of Ian and Luke at our house. Ugh... they told you the Lorax story. That's okay, I'm not ashamed of it. It sounded super fun though. I really love those guys, and look up to them a lot.

This week was really busy wow. But it was absolutely great. Concilio was so amazing. Elder Miles said that it was the best concilio that he has been too since he has been a zone leader. It was very spiritual and uplifting. They focused a lot on being the fourth missionary and consecrating ourselves every day. On Friday we had a zone conference, and Elder Miles and I taught to the zone everything that they taught us in concilio. I felt really great about the conference, and all the comments I heard about the conference were very positive. During the conference we had all the missionaries write things on a paper that are holding them back from being the fourth missionary. Then we read about the story of the people of Ammon and how they buried their weapons of war. Then after comparing the story to us, we pulled out a trash can and invited all the missionaries to rip up the paper with the things holding them back and throw it away promising to bury those things and never take them out. It was awesome. 

Conference was amazing. I loved the priesthood session. I missed being with dad during that session, but next conference we will be able to go together. I loved Uchtdorfs talks. We actually weren't able to watch the last session on Sunday. It was such a bummer. For one, one of our investigators Karen (a 19 year old girl) showed up for the last session and was excited to watch. However, right as the conference started and Elder Eyring stood to direct, the conference just stopped. After waiting for like 45 minutes for the members to try and fix it, they told us that they weren't going to be able to get it back on. They were saying it was a problem with the satelite signal or something, I don't know. But Karen was really patient in waiting, I was just bummed that she couldn't hear anything. We did watch conference live though. It wasn't in our church, but in the stake center. It's not to far from our building though. This next week we will be there again for stake conference. Hopefully all the missionaries can make plans and arrangements to get their investigators to the conference. 

I am loving it here in Durazno. Elder Martinez, one of the missionaries that I live with, and I always are shooting each other with the nerf guns you sent us. It is such a blessing to live with the missionaries that I'm living with. When everyone has a sincere desire to be obedient and focused it makes everything a lot easier.

The ward is really awesome. This week I should be able to get to know the members a little better. But I feel very comfortable here. 

I remember a year ago going to a stake conference in Durazno with Elder Hatch. It seems like that was yesterday. The time is going by so fast. Just don't get too trunky guys.

I love you all more than you will ever know.

Elder England 

Monday, March 30, 2015

We Have Our Hands Full


The trip sounded amazing. I love the pics. That's too bad uncle Todd running his new car off the track. But it sounded pretty fun. Darn I just saw that Elder Perry sent me an email rubbing the loss in my face. I'm very pleased with what the UTES did though. 

So I love Durazno and Elder Miles. We are about 3-4 hours from Montevideo, whereas Rio Branco was a good 6 hours out. Durazno is really pretty though. There are trees lining every street in the city. It's pretty nice cause it gives a lot of shade. My house is nice too, and I love the missionaries in my house. So Elder Miles is from Colorado Springs, Colorado. I don't think that that is Macy's mission. But something interesting about Elder Miles is that he is a convert of about 3 years. He is in his last change, so next change I will have a new comp. He is a really hard worker though. We already get along great and are super excited to work hard and be examples for the zone. We have 20 missionaries in total in Durazno and 3 district leaders. I feel great about our leaders and about the next month. 

Wow we have so many things coming up. So this week we have something called concilio. It is where all the zone leaders and sister training leaders go to Montevideo and have a council about the mission. We have that tomorrow. Then we have general conference. Then the week after we have stake conference in the Durazno stake. Then the week after that we are doing a big open house in our church. The Burnetts (senior missionaries from Sandy Utah) travel the mission doing open houses in all the churches, and we have one planned in our ward for the 18th. Then we are having a conference with one of the twelve apostles!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! They didn't tell us who it is going to be. But we will have that conference in Montevideo on the 21st of April. It is going to go by really fast! But we will definitely have our hands full. 

I really like the area. The ward is also a lot stronger and more organized than Rio Branco. I think it is mainly because it is larger and in a bigger city. Usually the zone leaders are in the stake centers, but we aren't. But the stake center is here in Durazno pretty close. We don't have anyone super firm for right now, but we do have potential. Over the past couple days I have mainly gotten to know a lot of the members. They all seem very excited to be a part of the open house and to invite friends to general conference. 

I haven't heard much about Rio Branco since I left, but I am going to write Elder Perry to find out what is going on there and how Marcela is doing. 

I got the Easter packages, and I love them. Thank you!!! Elder Martinez one of the elders in my house and I are always shooting each other with the nerf guns. It's pretty great. 

Oh and get this... we have air conditioning in our house!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I think that it is like one of the two houses in the whole mission that have it. But it is wonderful. The mission has helped me a lot to recognize all the blessing that before I so easily took for granted. Be grateful for air conditioning. But it is acutally cooling off a little, so I don't think that we will be using it for very long.

Anyways I love you all very much, more than you will ever know!

Elder England

also my camera is dead... sorry no pics

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

I'm Going To Durazno

Everyone thinks this is just a picture of me,
even though I told them it was my dad!

Goooo UTES!!!!!!!
Holy cow it's happening!!! I totally called it. So Elder Perry is a big Duke fan because he is from North Carolina. But we shall see, I've been talking smack to him. So hopefully the Utes can pull it out.
Dad well done. Haha I loved hearing mom's version of the story. I can totally see dad laughing to himself while carrying drinks up to Family History Center. Twill be a birthday to remember. But I'm glad to hear that you had a great day mom.
So like you already know we have changes this week!!! Turns out I'm going to DURAZNO! My new companion will be Elder Miles. I am also going to be a zone leader. I'm excited for the new responsibility. I really have learned so much from being a district leader. I can't remember if I told you this, but I realized last week just how much being a district leader has helped me. I feel that before the mission I wasn't the most sociable person... haha but as district leaders in our mission we verify with the missionaries in our districts every night. It seriously has helped me so much to open up and feel more confortable talking to people or giving district meetings. I'm really excited for changes. Also a Brazilian elder is coming here with Elder Perry. I actually know him pretty well, and he is really great. It makes leaving here a lot easier.
I wasn't expecting to leave Rio Branco to be so hard. I've really come to love so many people here. As we told Marcela yesterday that I was leaving she began to tear up. She has changed so much. So we were at a point with Marcela where we weren't sure if we should drop her or keep teaching. Well we had a really intense lesson on Thursday I think it was, and near the end of the lesson I still didn't know what to do. But then it just kind of hit me, that we should do a fast with her so that she can make it to church and so that she will know what she should do to be able to follow the gospel. As we mentioned fasting she was all for it. A member had mentioned an experience to her about him fasting and she said that since then she wanted to do a fast. So on Saturday we started fasting. And on Sunday she woke up early, which is really hard for her, and sent us a message saying that she was ready to go to church and that we would see each other there. She went and loved it. I really hope that she can continue to progress and get baptized.
Eduarda went as well on Sunday. Eduarda is not Marcos´ sister, that is Tanya. Eduarda is a friend of Marcos´. She is 13 years old. She is Brazilian, and lives with her mom and step father here in Rio Branco. She is seriously amazing. She is just like Marcos, but a girl. Elder Perry and I are convinced that they are going to get married and sealed in the temple, after serving missions obviously. They are awesome.
Sunday was actually ward conference, and we had a good amount of people in church. We were actually kind of crammed into our small sacrament room, but it was a good last Sunday in Rio Branco.
Elder Perry is so great. He is so ready to take charge of the area and to show his new comp around.
It's getting harder and harder to say goodbye to people and leave my areas. I can't even imagine what it's going to be like to leave the country. Thats' okay though, cause I still have a lot of time left :)
I love you all more than you will ever know!
Elder England

Monday, March 16, 2015

Pretty Great


HAPPY B-DAY BO, AND MOM!!!!! I still can't get over how big Bo looks. I really like the England jersey. Sounds like the weekend went well. You all look sooooo old. What the heck? But I know you are all the same people cause Mags has a Funion bag in her hands!

So this week has been pretty great. Elder Vaatuitui likes to give me crap for being so old in the mission. He always tells me I'm dying. Haha whenever someone asks me how much time I have been serving I just say about a year and a half, but then my comp just laughs and calls me a liar. However, I think I'm convincing myself to think that iIstill only have like a year and a half in the field.

So Eduarda went to church yesterday. She is progressing quite well. Marcos is also helping a lot. Oh get this! So the young women's in the ward put on a skit for the Relief Society on  the anniversary of the Relief Society, and Marcos was Jose Smith and Eduarda was in the skit too. They performed it... well we performed it at an activity that was on Friday  (Yeah that's right, Elder Perry and I had like one line each). I wish I could have gotten photos, but I forgot my camera. It was way funny, they jelled Marcos´ hair to look like Joseph. The only thing that is holding him back from getting baptised is his parents. We are working to have more contact with them. But they talking about that, we had a great Charla with Marcos´ mom and grandma. It was so perfect. They were sitting outside in front of their house, along with Anthony´s mom, and we just started talking to them. Unfortunately Anthonys mom had to go inside, but we sat there talking to Marcos and his mother for a good time. And apparently she had already listened to missionaries a long time ago. We should have more lessons with her this week, but the dad is super busy so we aren't going to be able to talk  to him for a while, at least until his work load lightens in like a month.

As far as Marcela and Nicolas. They are doing great, or should say were doing great until Sunday. They didn't go to church. She said that she slept through her alarm... again. I don't know exactly what to do with them. They are really awesome, it's just her work that is stopping her from progressing. She works really late on Saturday nights so it's hard to wake up Sunday's. But we are definitely going to be more direct with her this week, so that she can do everything to make it to church next week.

Things are going pretty great. Elder Perry is surprising me everyday.

Thanks for all the emails, I appreciate them. Love you all more than you will ever know.

Elder England

Tuesday, March 10, 2015


Hello crazies!!!

Glad to see that you're still you' re weird selves. Lot's of times I feel like I don't even know you guys anymore because you look so different. I can't believe the school year is almost over, and Mags is graduating. School here is just starting, this last week was their first week. 

So I'm writing from Montevideo, we had to come so that my comp can sign for his Visa. We woke up at 2:00 in the morning and onto a bus for 6 hours just to come and sign a paper then we get to take another 6 hour ride back. YAY!!! haha just kidding it's not that bad, I sleep most of the way.

Come on Utes! I hope they can stay strong... but don't worry I' ll be praying for them, and you all know that missionaries prayers are always answered. 

Last week really was great. This one was too. Maybe not as memorable, but it was good. We are still all trying to make the adjustments to our work and our areas, but we are doing really well. As a zone the Lord helped us to reach our baptismal goal of 7 baptisms, and we also set a goal for reactivated families. The goal was 7 as well, and the Lord helped us as a zone to reactivate 8 families. I really feel like we are all working more efficiently. 

For this month we have a baptismal goal of 9 and the goal of 9 familias rescatadas. If we keep working like we are. I think we'll get there. Something Elder Vinas taught a lot was the need to respect people's agency. He said that our responsibility is to invite not to convince. There are so many things that we are still learning from the conference that we had. Something that is changing though is that for investigators to be baptized they only needed to go to church twice at least to sacrament meeting. But now Pres. Cook and the leaders of the mission have changed it to 3 times and they need to go to all 3 hours. I really like this change. I think that it will help us to baptize better, and retain those converts.

I had another awesome experience in church this week. Unfortunately Marcela and Nicolas didn't come to church. We had set up to go by and walk with them, so we went by but no one came out. They said that they just slept in. We will see how we can help them this week. But in the second hour of church we had a class with all of the youth, and acutally there were a good amount of youth, and as I looked around I realized that all of them were recent converts. It was just a cool experience to see that these baptisms are going strong. We are planning of giving Rafael the priesthood next Sunday! Enzo and Marcos passed the sacrament together again this week. They are studs, oh and Marcos got called to be deacons quorum pres. I'm pretty sure he's stoked. Oh and get this Marcos brought his 6 year old sister to church and she went to primary and said that she loved it. Haha I think that that could help us to get more contact with his family. That shows a lot to me though that they are willing to let there 6 year old daughter go to church with Marcos. Unfortunately Marcos´ dad works a lot and isn't home like at all, but we are definitely going to try to have contact this week. It's so funny though, we ask Marcos what he has been doing to share the gospel and he says that he just takes his Book of Mormon and goes and sits right next to his mom or dad on the couch and reads out loud... it's super funny. But he said that he has shared videos and other stuff as well. I think there is a lot of potential there.

That is pretty much the scoop though. I love you all very much, more than you'll ever know. Have a great week.

Elder England