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