Monday, March 30, 2015

Power Back On - Still Cold Showers

The same Monday, last Monday, we got our power back, but we still haven´t gotten back our warm water. We have been working a lot on finding other investigators, because the ones that we have are not progressing very well. We have been trying really hard and the most likely to be successful have not really been too receptive these last few days or we haven´t really been able to find them. We are looking for other people that are ready right now and doing all that we can to teach other people that are prepared to make covenants and follow through on them. There hasn´t been a whole lot this last week, but working the best that we can and still things have been difficult, but doing our very best to find success, but it just hasn´t come this change.

It has been a really long time without hot water it has been over a month.... I have been getting a cold and haven´t been feeling very great this last week, but we have kept working looking for success, but things have slowed down for me a lot even though we still have a really good attendance. The attendance has gone up to 163 this last Sunday and was around 150 the whole month. Things are improving, just that our investigators haven´t gotten to church lately. I am exhausted at the end of each day and things just haven´t shown the same results like before. I am still looking for the people that are truly prepared to be baptized. It has been a rough change, but things overall for me are not that bad. I am getting along really well with my companion.

Thanks for all of the support and always writing even though I am bad about details. I don´t have pictures this week. Somehow I forgot my camera in the house and will have to try to send some pictures this week from houses. Conference this weekend we will have to go to the Church for all of the sessions and leave to lunch and other things provided by the members. I am really excited about conference, because we have lots of opportunities to help people hear more from the General Authorities.

We haven´t actually started using the Easter Pass-Along Cards and videos yet. The mission wants us to use them this week, so that is what we are starting today. I am really excited because it should help us to find new people interested in what we are teaching and be our way to find more success. About the Easter Concert I haven´t heard anything and we sent in the surveys 3 weeks ago.... It is a little frustrating because things don´t appear like they are going to happen as of yet, but I don´t have any idea honestly. 

Thanks for the photos they look fun. I hope that that shares a little more about how things are. We are going to be walking a lot this weekend to get to all of the reunions to see Conference. 

The phone system here has a setup that sends messages when someone has called you when you weren´t available or has become available to call so that isn´t it. We always know if someone has tried calling or anything.

Sorry that I don´t have more time but I have to be done now thank you for everything and I am trying to do better about the details. Sorry if it is still lacking. I am doing my best right now in the details.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Tough Week. No Electricity!

It has been a really hard week for me we haven´t had a lot of success still no baptismal dates. No we haven´t seen the Catholic family. Flavia and Oliver got separated and Flavia isn´t listening to us anymore. There is a lot going downhill. We had 13 lessons and to make things worse we haven´t had warm water in 3 weeks. They cut our power 3 days ago so we are in the dark in the evenings and mornings, the only time that we are in the house. The fridge is gone so we have to buy food daily now because we only have the stove to cook. We had to throw out some food because of the fridge issue. We can´t charge our phone much, so we almost always have a dead phone. I am doing pretty well health wise, but doing my best. I don´t know if I will stay or what, but Root Beer Extract would be nice and maybe something for Elder Argyle´s birthday in April but that is after changes so I don´t know if I will be here. They don´t sell dry ice, so we have to make it with root beer extract to have home-made root beer. Thanks for everything and I will try to keep you updated.

I am sorry you are struggling.  Did the Office Elders not pay the bills or what?  What have you done to try to get power restored?  Have you called the Office or Mission President?  Have you talked to your District Leader and Zone Leader?  Don’t let it go on for long.  It will be too disruptive to your work. 

I can send Root Beer Extract and then you can just mix it with sugar and water to make Root Beer punch like we have done at home.  It is 1 cup of sugar and a Tablespoon or two of extract to a  half gallon of water. 

Ya that would be really nice. Also Elder Argyle´s birthday is next month but I might change before it come around. I have no clue. Thanks for everything. I have been trying but haven´t gotten around to sending photos and I have been looking for photos to take but not that many to be honest.

You sound very discouraged today.  I am sorry.  Keep trying.  Things will work out.  Have you talked to someone about getting your power and hot water back on?  Why is it off?

I have many times. I went through my leaders first and they knew we didn´t have water and when our power went I called them and they told me they had called the leaders but I called the Pensionists anyway. My leaders now can´t call us because our phone is dead and we haven´t seen any results which really makes it hard to be happy. I have had a horrible week and everything is going bad for me lately.....

I am really sorry and I will pray harder for you to be happy and have success.  Go talk to the Bishop of your Ward and see if he can call your Mission President or ask to use his phone and you call the Mission President.  Don’t let it go on because it will just pull you down.  What does your companion say about it?  Is he trying to resolve the situation? 

Satan wants to discourage you.  Don’t give in to him.  Every missionary goes through tough times.  Remember when you were in Lo Espejo and the toilet wasn’t working.  You got really discouraged then.  Once it was fixed, you were able to be happy again.  Get this fixed now.  Today!!!  Go find a phone and make some calls.  Work your way up the chain of command till someone responds to help you.  District Leader, Zone Leader, Pensionists, Office Elders, Mission President if you have to.  Don’t let it continue. 

You can’t function well when your environment is not good.  Investigators are like that, too.  They have to have their basic needs met first before they are willing to listen and change.  Sometimes Heavenly Father tries to help them to see how much they need him, but still some won’t take time to see when life is hard. 
Don’t worry about the photos.  Just snap one or two of you and your companion.  It doesn’t have to be anything special.  I just like to see your happy face. 

I love you Braxton and I want you to be happy. 
What else has been going on that made it a horrible week?

That is basically it showering with a flashlight in the bathroom in the still dark with ice cold water is really discouraging for me.... Not to mention that we can´t call to make appointments anymore really makes me not have any desire to do the work because I will have to walk all day passing for everyone without appointments set.... That is the most discouraging part for me.

Then take time today to get the problems fixed.  Why don’t you have enough minutes on the phone?  Why aren’t your bills getting paid for electricity?  What is your Senior Companion doing about it?

We are in the same situation the both of us. Our phone is out of charge..... Out of electricity..... We have called the mission and today I wrote to president about the issue in my letter. Hopefully things will work out.

Okay.  That is good.  I hope he responds and gets you some help.  If you don’t hear from him today or if someone has not contacted you to help, then go borrow a phone and make some phone calls.  Heavenly Father doesn’t want you to suffer like this.  You can’t be effective missionaries if you don’t have the basics.  What have your District and Zone Leaders said?

They said they would call the leaders and get it fixed but it has been another 3 days....

Okay.  I think you need to go borrow a phone and call your Mission President today.  You really can’t work like this and be effective missionaries.  I know you are a Boy Scout, but take action.  Don’t just sit in the dark and wait.  I am sorry it is so hard.  Remember you are loved by us and by Heavenly Father and Jesus.  None of us wants to see you suffer. 

Can you send another email to the Office Elders or Assistants to the President while you are still on?

I don´t know I just sent one but I am just done... I am out of time thanks for everything I will let you know how things went with this week though. Thank you!

You will be in our prayers.  We love you so much.  Keep your chin up and smile! 

Love always and forever,

Monday, March 16, 2015

A Friend Like McKay

The conference was half of the mission, all of the city zones. It was just a normal conference. Elder Argyle and I talk a lot about games and everything. You could think of a McKay Rowley comparison with me.  (McKay is one of Braxton’s good friends from high school).  We can talk about most anything because of what we both like. He wants to go into Computer Programming as well, so we have a lot in common. We haven´t cooked a lot lately, but we made tacos the other day. They were really good. I don´t honestly know the weirdest food I have eaten. Their food is pretty normal honestly. I like salads, honestly. I have been looking for opportunities to eat more salads.

We haven´t gone anywhere interesting in a little while. The Choir survey came out this week so it is in progress now, but I still don´t know about it yet. I will see if I have any new interesting photos to send this week.

We had a couple of investigators at church this week. Constanza, that is the girlfriend of a returned missionary, has attended twice now and we have an appointment with them tomorrow in the afternoon. We also have Barbara, that is living with a less active member and they both came this week. We had tried visiting them before, but now we have an appointment with them also tomorrow in the evening. Things are going well, lots of work. We are looking for new people all the time, because it is a hard time finding lessons. But things are slowly going up. We only had 13 lessons this last week, but we are improving things and getting people ready to be baptized as quickly as possible. Thanks for everything. I really appreciate all of the information and I hope that you keep enjoying the time with the grandkids and all the happy, fun moments.

Okay, I hope that everything goes well. I haven´t had a lot of time today to write and we decided to write earlier to get done with everything and not have to rush so much. We ran into them, (the Catholic Family he mentioned last week) the other day and planned another appointment because the last week they were out of town, so we didn´t see them. We don´t have any set baptismal dates right now, but we are working on everything that we can right now.

I was able to play the CD and I really like the songs. Elder Argyle does play the flute, but didn´t bring it. He played the flute in the Christmas concert.

We found hamburger that was around 2,000 or 3,000 pesos which is like 3 to 5 dollars but we could make a couple meals out of it and soft shell tacos they have here which works out great. 

Thanks. Talk to you next week. I haven´t gotten any photos sent I will try to from my camera this week.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Monday, March 9, 2015

Another Great Week!

The package was great.  I am glad that you are going to have time with the kids and get to play.

Thanks for everything. It was a great package. Elder Argyle´s name is Daniel Matt Argyle and he was born in Utah and lived in Roy for 10 years, but moved to Missouri and has been living there up until the mission. We had 15 lessons this week and a lot of contacts, but we found 5 new investigators this week. We are working a lot to teach people, but we haven´t got baptismal dates. Most everyone that is progressing isn´t married or we can´t run into them again, but we are working hard to have people ready to be baptized. We are working with a lot of references and other things.

Carlos is doing well. He has a few names ready and I don´t know when we are going to the temple again. I don´t think I am going to send the SD card. I think that I will hang onto it and keep using others. He probably has Facebook. Most everyone does these days. Thanks for everything. We are working with William.  He has been really receptive recently, but hasn´t been able to attend yet because of work and he isn´t married so we are working to teach that this week with him. We are also going to work with a new family that is Catholic with 3 kids married and we are working to help them understand the importance of praying to know, but they are really Catholic and don´t seem to want to change, but we are going to help them understand and find the answers this week.

I am changing my contacts.  I just haven´t used my contacts in a while. Everyone tells me that I look tired when I use contacts, so I have been using them less. I shared and it went well. Thanks for everything and yes it went well. I don´t know. I liked the package. Maybe a few more interesting food possibilities to cook I honestly don´t know you are doing really well with packages and I am not complaining. Thanks for all that you do. We haven´t had a time change this year. Chile decided that they aren´t changing time according to a member that told me that. I would rather hang onto SD cards and fill them up more. Thanks for everything though I am doing great. We were in Camila´s house when I took the photos and he likes to be funny and it works out fine.

It is 2:47 here now.  I will work on sending pictures. We had to do Elder Argyle´s papers to get his ID card here. The package was great. Thank you. Surprise me with the food choices, but I don´t know. Normal P-day but rushed because of ID. We made Banana Bread for Family Home Evening, Elder Argyle and I. It was great. The CD cases are great. I hadn´t bought anything yet. I honestly had forgotten to try the disc, but I will this week. I have been really busy. Thanks!

Okay I am doing well I will try sending a few photos but I haven´t taken very many recently sorry about that....

I haven´t heard anything about Easter´s program yet, other than the date. We have pans, bowls, sufficient stuff just not everything and we are creative. We have made tacos, but we are going to make more this week with soft shell burritos. The missionaries really enjoyed the package. My favorite was about math and closing your eyes and it being really dark. We are doing really great. Elder Argyle and I cook a lot together and work as a team which I have really enjoyed lately.

Elder Argyle got wrapped up by Carlos ready to send home but he was a little claustrophobic.

Sorry I sent them backwards. He is here and that was our banana bread for a Family Home Evening.

Sorry I don´t have any more time, but that generally explains things I am doing my best working hard finding more people and working with them the best that I can to help them along their paths. Thanks for everything and I will keep doing my best to give you more detail.

I'm impressed with the banana bread. Did it taste as good as it looks?

Yes I am working with Elder Argyle to learn more, even though I don´t have them all down to memory. I am learning a lot better the ingredients and about how much of everything. Thanks though.

Monday, March 2, 2015

First week with Elder Argyle

Thanks I am doing well. Elder Argyle has 19 months in the mission. It is his last 4 changes and he has had a hard mission with a lot of disobedient companions, but that happens at times. He has only had 1 baptism and it was in his first 2 changes.... He is a little down at times because of that and he just got changed and he had a baptism about to happen in like 1 more week..... Things are good. We are doing well and looking for more people to teach and help be successful. There is a lot of work to do, but we are looking for people and time is the biggest problem here.

What do you mean, “Time is the biggest problem here.” ? 

I hope that Elder Argyle is willing to work hard and be obedient so that you can be successful while you are together.  You have had baptisms in almost every one of your changes and you can do that again.  Just have faith, be obedient and all things will work together for your good. 

Time because the people work and leave and forget about our appointments even though we have had like 6 a day and they are frustrating when you have 6 appointments and end up with 2 lessons..... I am a little frustrated with things this week. We only had 13 lessons. I don`t know, but it isn`t going so great right now. We have found some new people, but getting into their houses and time is the battle, but we are working hard because time goes by so fast here....

I hope you have had a great week.  Please tell us about it and send lots of photos.  I did get 9 photos this week.  Thank you.  They were great.  Please continue to send more when you can.  I also added Camilla as a Facebook friend.  I will have to send her a message.  Does she speak any English?

I have been thinking a lot this week about why you didn’t get to train.  I wonder if President Barreiros put you with Elder Argyle so that it would be easier to attend singing practices.  I hope they are going to do an Easter program and that you will get to participate.  Tell us anything you might know about that. 

How did your week go with Elder Argyle?  Are you getting along well?  Who are you teaching now?  You mentioned Jonathan’s mother-in-law.  What other investigators do you have?  Do you have any baptismal dates set?

What meetings and activities have you had in the mission this week or in the past few weeks?  Was there a big conference recently?

When you had transfers last week, did you meet Elder Marcel Simplicio and Elder Cole Mason?

What miracles happened in your life this week?

Did you buy the yellow shirt or was it a gift?  I like it!

Camila speaks English and so does Guillermo her husband, but it isn`t perfect, but they understand it. I haven`t met the new missionaries. When they have the whole mission together the new missionaries aren`t in the mission yet. We haven`t had anything since changes and the yellow shirt was my Christmas present from Elder Correa, a Columbia jersey soccer... We are teaching Dercy, Jonathan`s mother-in-law. We are teaching Flavia and Oliver. They are a couple, but Oliver is a less active, but they aren`t married and they are planning on getting married in December. We are teaching William. We haven`t seen Pamela in more than a month. We are teaching Oscar and he isn`t married and smokes, but we are working on that. We are teaching the Blas Family. They would be 3, but they aren`t married. We found a new family Saturday, but couldn`t teach them, but we are going to come by them next Saturday and they are married. They could be 2 or 3, if their oldest daughter is 8. We also found another couple that were really receptive that we are going to visit tomorrow and another guy named Reinaldo that we taught and are going to visit again, but he is going to move soon. We are working, but success is slow and we are trying to renew what we have. We have a goal of 3 baptisms in the next 5 weeks. We are doing our best and neither Elder Argyle or I have entered the baptismal font yet, so we are looking for success.
Thanks for everything and that should answer a lot of your questions. Sorry I am doing my best.

Stop saying Sorry.  I know you are doing your best.  You never, ever do less than your best.  You are a hard worker and always give so much.  Thanks for telling me about the people.  You have a lot that you are working with.  True, many have issues that will keep them from being baptized right away, but the Lord will provide a way if you are willing to do the work.  Remember to pray like everything depends upon the Lord and then get up and go to work like everything depends on you.  Be positive and build Elder Argyle up.  Learn about him and love him.  Be his best friend in the mission.  Find little ways to serve him like making him breakfast, shining his shoes or ironing his shirt for him.  If you are serving him and loving him, things will work out for both of you.  I always found that when I was serving others, my problems seemed less bothersome.    

You know the realities of it.  You have been working with these people for a while.  Make follow-up calls before you go to remind them if you can and keep your chin up high.  Make backup plans when you can and put your trust in the Lord that He will help you when things fall through.  If you are working hard every day, then you don’t need to be disappointed in the outcomes.  You did your best.  Just wake up tomorrow and do your best again. 

It just gets hard when we walk so much. Straight shot from one side of our sector to the other is around 15 minutes walking normal pace. Fast is like 12, but it is hard to get everything in. It is even worse when you verify and everything and they still fall through.... I don`t know, I am just doing my best. It is hard, because we have run out of minutes lately. We were out from Monday until Friday, so that made things really difficult and we couldn`t verify anything because we couldn`t call much.

When you can’t call them, call Heaven!  Pray with all your might that they will remember.  Try to plan your appointments so they are closer so you don’t have to walk from one side to the other for every appointment, unless you enjoy that fast paced exercise!  You look like you are losing weight.  Are you?  Your suit looks very loose in one of the photos from last week.  Are you sending me more photos this week?  I would love to see another photo of Elder Argyle. 

Be happy!  Don’t let the frustration get to you.  Make a joke or laugh about it.  You can seriously get the work done while laughing along the way.  Just remember we love you every single day and we know you are always doing your best.  We are proud of you and love you so much!  Elder Argyle’s family loves him, too!

We were out of minutes and I am pretty sure I have been praying a lot, but sometimes prayers can`t change their wills or forgetfulness. I know that the Lord prepares their paths and that we run into people a lot that are in the weirdest moments, but the most prepared at the same time. Thanks for everything!

I understand.  But trust that God will provide miracles.  Trust in revelation every day of your mission.  You don’t just receive it on special days.  You should be receiving it every day.  Work towards that goal.  Pray often throughout your day.  I bet if you increase your prayers together as a companionship that you will see more success.  The Lord knows what you need before you do, but he likes to hear from you, just like your mother does.  Send him a smile often throughout the day.  Let him know you are there just waiting to do His work.  Let him guide you to those who he has prepared.  I know there are still people in Santiago that are waiting for you to find them.  With 6 million people there, God has to have prepared a few dozen for you to teach.  Go out and find them!  Maybe they are at the park flying kites!  Maybe they are at the post office and you can mail me that SD card while you are there.  Be creative in your approach.  Sing!  Smile!  Greet everyone that comes by.  Just keep on trying.  You will find success this transfer.  I know it!  I believe in you!

Did you get your package yet?

Nope no packages recently. That`s fine we have pouch Wednesday. I am out of time I am going to reply and then I will be off thanks.

Okay.  Wednesday will be a surprise then.  Open the box at your District meeting and share the love!  I sent a box full of smiles!  I hope you love it!  You are such an amazing son.  I love you so very much.  Have a fantastic week. 

Love always and forever and ever,

Thanks for everything and for all that you do I really appreciate it. Talk to you next week love you!

I love you.  Don’t ever forget it!

Photos of Elder Argyle.  They must be at an investigator's home.