Monday, February 23, 2015

Just Know That I am Happy

I had a leaders meeting this morning and we do it over the phone because I am so far away from everyone, AND the zone leaders were traveling too so we were in three different locations so I had two phones... but I figured how to manage it...


Thanks everyone for the B-day wishes. You're the best! I also got the packages you sent Mom. Thanks so much! I love Cliff Bars! Wow the house does look a lot lighter. I really haven't seen many pics, but I like it. I'm sad to here about brother Sorenson. I don't remember having much contact with him personally, but I definitely remember who he was and I always remember everyone speaking very well of him.
I guess I'll have to hold out another week to know where I'll be going to college. Elder Perry went to BYU before the mission and has been talking BYU up a lot haha, but he said that the acceptance letters come in February... so we´ll see. But the UTES are in the tourni!!!! Dad you need to send me pic of what the bracket looks like. Arizona is going down this week.

Otra gran semana en la mision Uruguay Montevideo. The temple was such an amazing experience. As a zone we really focused on things that we can change to be better missionaries and also things that our investigators are struggling with. We actually fasted the day before, it was a great experience. We were also able to think about our investigators. I was hoping that I would have had more time in the celestial room to ponder, but like right when we entered a worker asked if I wanted to participate in some sealings. I obviously accepted, so I got to be a witness with Elder Ashcraft a missionary from my group. After doing quite a few sealings we realized that we should be going, but I honestly could have stayed in there for hours.

Rafael is going to be baptised this week!!! We have had some really great lessons with him, and he has been progressing really well. He is reading all of the assignments that we give him, and I can tell that he is trying to apply the doctrine to his life as well. We are really excited for that and will let you guys know how that goes.

There is also a little kid from a member family, who apparently isn't on the records of the church. I guess his baptism record got lost or something so he needs to be baptized again. We are going to check everything today if he really does need to get baptized or not, but that should be on Saturday as well.

Marcela and Nicolas went to church!!! I don't know if I have mentioned them much. But Marcela is Nicolas´ mom and they went to church yesterday, but only for the first hour. Because Marcela works at 11 on Sundays. It really is the only thing that is impeding her right now to progress towards baptism. So we are on the search for a new job for her.
Cristian and Maria... We don't know what to do with them. Cristian was doing amazing. He was reading and praying leading up to Sunday and we passed by on Saturday and he had shaved and everything for Sunday. He said that he was excited to go. Then we called him on Sunday from church and he said that Maria left to go do something and left him with all the kids and he said that he couldn't take them. We couldn't go by yesterday due to lack of time, but hopefully we can talk to them and explain that if they don't come through with their commitments we aren't going to be able to teach them anymore. It's really sad, but we´ll see what happens.

Oh yesterday in church they gave us four missionaries the opportunity to give talks. They had told me, and I had actually forgot until like Friday or Saturday. But it went really well. Elder Perry did such a good job. Just seeing him up there speaking Spanish was a special moment for me... he makes his daddy proud ;) I based my talk on a quote from Elder James E. Faust that says, ¨Faith is the power, Love is the motive, The spirit is the key, and Christ is the reason¨ I had the quote in Spanish, and I think I like it better in Spanish but it says, ¨Le fe es el poder, el amor es el motivo, el espiritu es la clave, y Cristo es la razon¨ It was cool to see all the members eyes glued on us. It was a really great way to express to the members how they can help us in the work. Hopefully we can see some results from that meeting.

Tomorrow we have a seventy coming to the mission. Elder Viñas is coming to do a tour in Uruguay, so we are going to Minas for a conference... A lot of traveling lately, but its' all worth it.

Anyways I love you all so much.  Just know that I'm happy and that I will have a wonderful B-day in the best place in the world.

Have a great week.
I found a blind fold that Elder Ramirez left in the house...
It came in handy!

Check out these socks that Kira sent me for my B-day...
literally the best gift in the world!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

We're All Ready For Success


Well I think everyone is finally settled in from changes. I'm still super excited for what's to come. All of my missionaries are happy and working hard. I love the missionaries that are here working with us as well. I'm really good friends with the zone leaders, and we're all ready for success. 

This week we are going to the temple!!! On Wednesday we are traveling to the temple and on Thurday we will be going to a session. They wanted us to do some family history work and find a name to take to the temple. But unfortunately I think we are the first zone to go, so we really didn't have like any time to look for a name. Plus with our family history it might be a little more difficult. But they have taught us how we might be able to find names, it is really interesting. They showed us a thing called a decendency search. You should look into it. 

We have been seeing some awesome miracles here in Rio Branco. First of all, last week an investigator named Rafael went to church. We didn't know at the time, but apparently the night before his aunt (an active member of the church) wanted to know if God really wanted her to go to church so she didn't put an alarm for Sunday. Well on Sunday morning her nephew Rafael who lives next door, went over and woke her up and asked if she was going to go to church because he wanted to go as well. Rafael had gone to church once before, when Elder Parmenter was here and we had had a couple of lesson with him but he told us that he wasn't very interested so we focused on other people. But he went that Sunday, and he went yesterday as well. We tried setting up lessons with him last week, but they all fell through. But we were able to talk to him yesterday and we invited him to be baptised on the 28th. We are really excited for him. 

Also, the mom of this member is not a member. That sounded weird, but the moms name is Nancy and she lives with her daughter. She has obviously met and talked with a lot of missionaries over the years, but has never gone to church. But this last week, we had an amazing lesson with her and her daughter and Nancy expressed to us that she feels a need to go to church and that when she has talked with us she has felt good. She committed yesterday to going to church next week. Well, be praying for Nancy. 

Cristian and Maria are unfortunately going downhill. Especially Maria. We haven't been able to talk with her, because she is always sleeping or lying down in her room when we go. But we had a good lesson with Cristian yesterday. He realizes that they haven't been putting their part in or doing their best. We explained frankly yesterday that they are going to need to do their part or we can't keep passing by. We'll see this week. Vamos a ver.

I don't really have like any more time now, but things are going great here. We have been really busy, which is really great. But I do have to say that the time is going by faster and faster and faster. I don't like it. I just keep telling myself that I have a lot of time left in the mission... cause I do ;)

I love you all more than you will ever know! Thanks for the emails. sorry I don't have time to write you back Mace but just know that I read all of your guys' emails and appreciate them a lot. 

Elder England

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

I'm Staying

Guys, you've got to come see this!
Guess what these are?...

Yeah these hills are ant hills!

Hey punks,
So we've got changes this week, that explains me writing on Tuesday. Turns out that... Im' staying here with Elder Perry to finish training. I'm so stoked for this next change. Elder Vaatuitui who lives with us is also going to be training so we have another new missionary in the house. Also there were some missionaries that were not getting along at all in my district, but they were changed now and this change won't be as much of a headache. I'm just really excited.

The Brighton curse!!! I'm sure you did amazing Mags. But yeah I think I agree with mom that your Valentines dress was a tad short. I do like the brown hair though, you looked great. Bo sounds like you are tearing it up, too bad you couldn't show your friend who's boss... next time. And I'll send some pics today of some of the weird environment of Uruguay. So the Utes are awesome... obvio. and if Justin is a big U fan then I'm sure he is pretty cool.

Okay as far as investigators... Cristian and Maria are kind of indecisive. They didn't go to church on Sunday. They say that they have been passing through a lot of trials lately and I think that they just see the gospel as something more in their busy lives or just something to add stress. But we had a really great charla with Cristian last night. Elder Perry and I had been studying a lot and preparing what we could share with him to help him. So we got a handful of scriptures together and made a lesson plan. The scriptures that we shared were 2 Nefi 2:16, 3 Nefi 11:29, Galatas 5:22-23, 1 Cor. 10:13, and Eter 12:6. We really tried to focus on what he has felt in the previous lessons and explain that the good feelings that he has experienced are a confirmation from the spirit that this message is true, and all the other negative things that are happening with the family and work and everything is coming from a different source. When he read the scricçpture in Galatas he totally stopped and called Maria who was inside the house to come to the window and listen for a second. She hadn't been in the charla because she wasn't feeling good, but she came to the window and he read it. Then asked her if she had felt any of the feelings that it described, and he then said, ¨I don't know if you have, but i definitely have.¨ We left with high hopes for them. I'm really glad that I am staying to be able to help them continue learning. It was fun to talk with Elder Perry about that charla and see the importance of studying and planning.

Emilio is doing good. Jecsandra unfortunately hasn't been showing much interest, and says that she is busy when we are talking with Emilio. Hopefully she can be more involved this week. Emilio has had a lot of questions this week, but we feel that we have helped him to understand that through prayer he can receive those answers. He told us that like four days ago he couldn't sleep and he was just out on the couch thinking and reading the Bible. He said he felt impressed to go back to the Evangelical church that he went to when he was younger. But he told us that he still wants to keep talking with us. Well in that lesson that he told us this, I felt super strongly the need to focus on The Book of Mormon. We hadn't really focused on it too much because we are trying to get a copy of it in Portugues for him. So we hadn't even given him a copy. Well after explaining more about the book he was really interested and wanted to learn more and read it. He said that he had gotten to know the Bible fairly well and has read it before so he is all excited to read The Book of Mormon. Well we didn't have a Book of Mormon with us to give away, so I lent him mine. This was Sunday, and no he didn't come to church because of the feelings that he had to return to his old church. But we went back yesterday to switch my book with a different copy, and he told us that he had downloaded the whole Book of Mormon in a pdf form in Portugues and had started reading that. We are going to try and get a Book of Mormon when we go to Montevideo for changes tomorrow. I really think that the Book of Mormon will be that convincing evidence that will move him to follow this gospel.

Also Marcos and Anthony both went to church on Sunday! It was great. Marcos passed the sacrament. Anthony still hasn't gotten the priesthood, but we are going to see if we can do it next week. Enzo is being kind of like a teenage boy. We see him a lot, just around with his friends playing soccer on some feild or something. But when he is with his friends he pretends like he doesn't even know us. It's really disappointing, but I think that everyone is starting to settle down from the summer craze. Things are looking bright with the new bishopric though. They are really excited to get everything started. We are trying to set up a weekly family history activity... we´ll see.

Thanks for all the support and the emails.

I love you more than you will ever know,
Elder England

This is Cristian and all of Maria's CUTE girls!

Monday, February 2, 2015

Pretty Great Week

Go Utes!

Rio Branco Uruguay!

Hey clan!

Go utes!!!! So my comp is a big Duke fan, and of course he talks about how great they are at basketball. But hey I get to talk about our Utes as well. Super Bowl sounded crazy. I do admit mom that my  beard may not be as great as Bob A´s so I think I'll just grow my stache out. And we just had our back packs on the front because it was raining. Besides I hardly ever use my backpack, I always use my little side bag, so much better. But I do need a backpack for like conferences and stuff. Bo got contacts? That's crazy!  It freaks me out how big he is getting.

Mom you're totally right! We are so blessed to have the family that we have. The mission has helped me to appreciate that a lot. But it's all thanks to you and dad. Love you.

So this week was actually a pretty great week, up until Sunday. Okay it was great, the only thing is that no one ended up going to church. But here's the scoop. Cristian and Maria and doing great. Oh they found out that they are going to be having a girl. Haha they were hoping that it was going to be a boy, because Maria has five girls and one boy  already. This will be the first kid that they have together, but wow another girl. They are really excited though. They are really progressing. On saturday they were planning on going to church, but stuff happened on Sunday morning... like always. But he said that he got a text talking about a little job opportunity, and they are quite humble financially, so he decided to go see if he could do the job but it ended up raining and he didn't get the job. We talked with them last night and they said they wanted to go. We were'nt able to talk much for lack of time, but the next lesson we are going to teach the sabbath day and explain the blessings that come from living it. I'm really excited.

We are also teaching a brazilian couple. Their names are Emilio and Jecsandra and they have a daughter named Alexandra. They are really nice people. Emilio is really awesome and luckily he speaks pretty good Spanish. Jecsandra on the other hand is straight Portugues. It is so weird cause I can kind of understand her. It reminds me of when I was an oro and learning Spanish. Emilio committed to going to church but did not end up going either. We  havent' verified why yet, but we are trying to talk with them. They have a lot of potential though.

We have been having some good charlas with Marcos and Anthony and Enzo. They have all been out of town, so they haven't been to church for a time, but yesterday we talked with them and they are willing to keep on moving on.  We need to help Anthony and Enzo to recieve the priesthood. That is the goal for this next week, prepare them for that.

We also have a couple other friends of Marcos and Anthony that we are trying to teach. Like Eduarda and Facundo. We will see this week if we can help them to progress.
Well I love you all. I still haven't gotten pics of Cristian and Maria but I will do my best this week.

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

We made Coke floats with the bishop...
well ex bishop...big news -
we have a new bishop in Rio Branco.
He was actually the bishop before, but we are super
excited to work with him.

We made rootbeer floats with coke... 
actually pretty good.