Last Week, Ending it good this time!

Oct. 26, 2015

Well I kind of have mixed feelings on this last Monday writing as I imagine all missionaries do. I am happy to say that I don't feel homesick and just going to give it my all this last week. I've tried to treat this last transfer just like any other transfer and it seems to have been working. The work isn't about me so I'll just try and do His will. So I'll tell you about my great week and then maybe add a few more words at the end.

Monday- At night we found a new familia!!!! It is a mom and her two teenage kids. They were a contact that sisters had done a few years ago and written down in the area book. We got back in contact and set up an appointment to visit her. We went with a member and it was really good! They lost their husband/dad 8 months ago and are pretty shaken up from that. Really religious with a lot of faith in God and receptive to our message. The oldest, William (17), plays the piano since he was 9 and the other Roger (16) plays the guitar since he was 9. They are super respectful, listen and understand what we teach. They all said they felt peace and hope after that first visit!

Tuesday- We had a REALLY good district meeting where our district leaders cut up parts of the mission call and we talked about our missionary purpose. What a blessing it is to serve the Lord! Then we went to the offices to get things ready for things this week.

Wednesday- We had interviews in Adrogue and those were pretty good. Good elders and sisters. Then we went out and worked a bit in our area.

Thursday- We went to the airport to get an elder that went home to get operated on and was coming back!!!! Sound like anyone you know? He was only home for three weeks because of a hernia but it still felt like a victory to see someone come back. Then we started transfers with President. Those are always fun and pretty interesting. Then we visited a less active sister with an hermano and she was not doing so well so it was good for us to be there.

Friday- We had the last interviews of the transfer in Longchamps! They went well and it is always good to be with the missionaries from the mission, one of the blessing of this assignment. Then at night we started an exchange at night with the elders from Villa Celina.

Saturday- We invited people to do family history in the morning and one lady said that God put us there because she used to do family history at the church, had stopped for a long time, and now wanted to get back in so we were motivation for her. Then we had lunch with our new ward mission leader and he is super awesome! I actually knew him when he was in Avellaneda 2 and he moved in to this ward with his wife. Then after lunch we had a few appointments fall through and then went with our ward mission leader to visit Ester and her family. They had been reading and are progressing. The lesson went really well and they have a lot of potential. They wanted to go to church but had to work at the voting that they did for a new president but are really excited!

Sunday- we had a good church meeting and afterwards got to help set Paula apart for her new calling as the president of music of Banfield 2! She is such a special lady. Then after we had a really good lunch with the Thurgoods! Roast beef and mashed potatoes and gravy. Hermana Thurgood is a really good cook, another benefit of this assignment and then we had our planning meeting with president.

Today we teach Ester and her family again, we are going to teach them the restoration and are pretty excited!

I am really happy that the Lord let me come back on a mission. When I was at home I had my doubts about coming back and even started to think that if the chance was given to me to come back I might say no. Then one day in mission prep I shared an experience that I had with a companion that was very special to me. The Lord helped me to remember what a blessing it was to serve in His work. When I got home I kneeled down and made the promise that if the chance was given to me to come back on a mission I would take it and that I would serve with all my heart, might, mind and strength. I testify that our Heavenly Father is a God of love and that He heard my prayer. I don't know if I have been the best missionary but I have tried to let Him be the guide and what a blessing it is to have a front row seat to watch Him perform so many miracles even in my own life. I do not regret putting off school and other things to come back, I know it is what the Lord wanted me to know. This gospel is so true. I love you all so much and am so glad for all the support I have received from you throughout my life and during my mission. May God bless you all and we will be seeing you soon!

Elder Andrew

PS I promise to be more excited in the airport this time :) 

Semana interesante y buena

Oct. 19, 2015

This week of all work had some interesting twists but ended really well but I guess that is how most of the mission is. 

Monday- We went out to work at night and a family that we contacted in September finally let us in their house to teach them! That just goes to show persistence and follow ups really do work! They were really nice and the Mom talked a lot, the 15 year old son not so much and the Dad didn't feel well and so was in another room. They are evangelists and seem prepared, so we'll see! They weren't there for the next appointment that we set so we have to get back in contact with them. 

Tuesday- We went to the zone meeting and had some really good teaching given to us. It was a nice change of roles and I felt like a normal missionary haha. Then we made a delicious and healthy meal of chicken breast, rice with boiled egg and salad. I felt so healthy after! We then had a pretty special lesson with a less active family, the family Dos Santos. They have been having a hard time lately and the Spirit was really strong in the lesson, they all looked better and happier at the end of the lesson. Then, at night, we started a companionship exchange with the zone leaders from Burzaco.

Wednesday- I stayed in the area with the Elder Pribyl from San Clara, California. It was a pretty good exchange and he made me deep fried alfajors in lunch (it was good but a lot of oil! It didn't make me feel very good) then we had a lesson with Paula and her son Tomas. Maria got a new job and we haven't been able to teach her since! We'll see with her. Tomas told us that he can see himself getting baptized in the future but just feels like it isn't his time yet although he did commit to read the Book of Mormon. Then, that night we had to call and do arrangements for a sister that fainted for about five hours and was in the hospital so that kind of stressed me out and since I was still on intercambios even more. 

Thursday- we ended the exchange in the morning because of the complications the night before and when we were in the pench of the other elders, Elder Powlus who is a muscely elder from Idaho challenged me to a wrestling match. So I proceeded to quickly throw him on the ground and put him on his back! I don't feel trunky but that was probably the trunkiest moment of the week, ha ha I still love wrestling and it looks like I've still got it! Then that day was getting things worked out and a few contacts.

Friday- we did our weekly planning and then made a great lunch! Taco salad with beans and rice! I was pretty proud and it was REALLY good! Then after we went with a sister in our ward to do a service at a home for the elderly. We went with the other elders from our ward and sang hymns to about 8 elderly women, it was really cool and we always feel good if we can make other people happy. Then at night we started another companionship exchange with the zone leaders from Montegrande

Saturday-  I went with Elder Almeida from Paraguay to his area. It was a really good area with a lot of people progressing I even got to do a baptismal interview for a lady that was super ready. Her name was Brenda so I told her that was my sister's name too. Then as we were going to end the exchange we got a call that a sister was admitted to the hospital for extreme chest pains she was having. We got there and I went back to administer a blessing. They had her just in the hall! Public health care is not as good as it might appear. About every five or ten minutes she would feel a stabbing pain that would last for maybe about a minute and then it would go away. It was not a pretty sight and they only let one back at a time so I was the only one back then and I decided to wait until after they put the IV in to give the blessing. I had almost forgotten that I get queasy and loopy in those sort of situations, so as they were searching around for the vain with the needle I almost passed out! I was able to give the blessing though afterwards and then went out to the waiting room. Long story short we were there until 1:30 in the morning making sure everything was okay until they finally admitted her into a room for the night.

Sunday- Needless to say after a few hospital experiences and a few strange experiences I wasn't in the best mood in the morning and not feeling to good. I testify of the power of the Sacrament. After taking the sacrament I have been calm and the worries and stressed feeling have just been gone. I love the Savior and know He helps us be calm and tranquil when we come to Him in times of stress of need, or even in times of calm! I love you all very much and hope you have a great week!


Elder Benjamin Andrew

Elder Maldonado es mi amigo y consocio en ser k-pos

Oct. 12, 2015

I always love hearing from you and have enjoyed another great week here in paradise! (I didn't know what to put for the subject so I just put something random)

Monday- we had a lesson with President with the investigator that went to General Conference and we were really direct. He has been on and off investigating for about 2 years and so we gave it to him directly but he still doesn't want to really commit so we wont be to focused on him.

Tuesday- We did a LOT of contacts, just talking with people in the street, knocking on doors and passing by former investigators. I'm getting pretty good at not being afraid to talk with people in whatever situation so that is a blessing. We have a few potential investigators that seem pretty promising.

Wednesday- We had interviews here in our zone of Banfield, that went well and I got my interview with President. He always has us set a goal and so I set the goal of Finishing my mission strong and how the Lord wants me to. After we talked with some more people and had a lesson with Paula. She is doing so great! She recently got called to be the ward music coordinator and is nervous/excited about that. He son was there in the lesson who has listened to the missionaries before and seemed kind of closed off, but this time he opened up and even said the final prayer! We have hope for him.

Thursday- We did weekly planning in the morning which is always really good, I always like doing the companionship inventory at the end of the weekly planning session it helps me know how to get better and have an even better relationship with my companion. Mom and Dad you should try it out sometime, it is in chapter 8 of Preach My Gospel at the end of the weekly planning section. I think it is step 13. Then, we Talked with a LOT of people, even more than Tuesday. With about an hour left in the day we had already gone through all our plans and so all we could do was just knock doors which isn't too effective at night, or anytime of the day for that matter. We had already listened to a lot of no's in the day so we were a bit disanimated but we kept going and found a lady that when we talked a bit about the family and the restoration and asked if we could share that message with her she said........ Si. Wow, that was a tender mercy. She couldn't in that moment but really was very sincere and we are going to visit her and her two kids this week.

Friday- we had interviews in Gonzalez Catan and that went well. Then, we taught a less active family and Paula again.

Saturday- we started the day inviting people in front of our church building to pass in and learn more about their family history, since we have a family history center there. After about half an hour of doing that a lady actually came in! That idea came from studying chapter 9 of Preach My Gospel, what an inspired book! Then, we had lunch with a member, a lot of pizzas. After, we went to a lesson with a family of Bolivians that works in a fruit stand where we always buy fruit for the mission meetings. One of the times we bought fruit we just asked if we could come by some time and share our message, they said yes and it was a really special lesson. They are really ready and they closed their shop and we sat on fruit crates to teach them. It was awesome! they are so humble and I just love the Bolivian people.

Sunday- was really special and with the fast and the things I am trying to do to make the Sabbath day Holy really kicked in. We gave the gospel principles class, blessed the sacrament and both bore our testimonies! How is that for participation? Although participating more always seems to help have the Spirit. It was a really good day and it is a bit weird that was the last time I will give my testimony in an argentine chapel because the first week of November we have stake conference. I love the work and I love the Lord, He blesses me so much even when I don't seem to deserve it. Pres. Thurgood is gone this week at a mission presidents´ seminar so we have all week to just work in the area! We are excited.


Elder Benjamin Andrew

p.s. I saw a great article on about 80 ideas of things to make the Sabbath day better. I would invite you all to check it out and put some of the ideas in practice in our family. 

Another Week in Paradise

Oct. 5, 2015

Well I receive a lot of strength and happiness from your comments on conference so thank you for that! I also loved it a lot but I'll get to that later on. I don't have time for a full week analysis so I'll just give a few highlights! 

We started interviews and did two zones last week. They were both really prepared and it went as smoothly as these things can go! We are teaching all of the missionaries about keeping the Sabbath day holy and working with the members teaching them from Preach My Gospel. So far so good on the interviews!

I had my last leadership meeting and it went pretty well. We ordered different food, noquis instead of the usual milanesa, and they all seemed to like and welcome the change! We talked a lot about needs of the mission and I have a really good feeling about the direction this mission is heading. Just as General Conference gives us a wake up call in our lives to get better; the mission has had quite a few "wake up calls" lately but we are taking advantage of the situation to help our missionaries be even more obedient and dedicated than ever. I think one of the reasons I came back on the mission was to learn what I am learning now as an assistant and especially with the trials that are going on and how to handle them.

Thursday we picked up a new missionary that came 10 days late because he had an ingrown toenail operated on, Elder Jacobson from Orange County, California! He seemed a bit out of things and nervous as most new missionaries do but he has a really good trainer from Tegucigalpa, Honduras!

We are finding a lot of really good future investigators. We still haven't been able to get a teaching rhythm going with them but they have potential and we are seeing the blessing of the Lord that we feel like He is giving to us for our diligence.

General Conference was wonderful!!! It is just another testimony to me that the church is true because every conference that I see is the BEST conference I have ever seen in my life! These are men and women of God who really are inspired with the messages that the world needs right then in that moment. I have about ten goals that I set for myself and sometime this week I will work on making plans to accomplish them. I have already kind of been Ponderizing scriptures and I testify of the power that it giving against Satan's temptations. When a bad thought pops in my mind I think of a scripture that I have already memorized or that I am working on and just as quickly as the thought came in, it is completely gone! I want to work of following the Spirit better and really have it as a constant companion. Our purpose on this earth is to learn to do God's will and not ours and ultimately to align our wills so that we are one just as the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost. I want to be able to do His will because I am doing what I need to to have the constant guide of the Spirit. One investigator of ours came to the Saturday afternoon session and said he felt like Jesus was talking to him through the conference and since he has investigated the church several times without ever coming to a final conclusion said he was going to give it one more go! 

Today as we walked into the offices to do our weekly meeting we quickly noticed that there were things strewn all around. glass was broken, things were all over the floor, doors had been forced, one safe had been ripped out of the ground, opened up and left on its side, the other was just gone... We had been robbed! It was more than a little upsetting but President said that we should start our meeting anyway. As we finished talking about the business he had each of us share what had impacted us from Conference. The Spirit filled the room as we each shared. He assured us that these things like robberies are bad but that they will not stop the work of God. I know with all my heart that no unhallowed hand can stop the work! Tempests may rage, armies may combine and the very gates of Hell can be opened up against us but they can have no power over the Kingdom of God. His cause will go forth triumphantly until his purposes have been fulfilled! I love Him and am so grateful for this time I have left to serve Him with everything and really live a consecrated life! I am not thinking of home in any way trunky. The Lord is giving me strength to finish Strong and how He and I want me to finish the mission.

I love you all very much and know that our Heavenly Father is looking out for you,

Elder Benjamin Andrew

no time
Sept. 28, 2015

Well sorry all of you this week; I have no time to write. The picture is one Sister Thurgood recently took of us here in the mission home writing to our families for a few minutes. Emergency transfers planning sessions and a few other things kind of threw this day out of wack, we haven't even bought groceries yet! I'm doing well and I love all of you very much. Have a fantastic week and may the Lord be with you!


Elder Benjamin Andrew

(It won't let me download the picture.)

Sept. 21, 2015

Well it feels good to be finishing this day and it wasn't too bad because all the elders and sister were gone by 5 o'clock. There were only 8 of them so not too much. Tomorrow we receive 21 new missionaries though! That is going to be an exciting day! Alright here is my week.

Monday- We worked on transfers at night with President, it is like putting together a puzzle. It is pretty fun and interesting.

Tuesday- We had district meeting (it was Mexican Independence Day). Then, we did some things like pay rent and get some x rays from the hospital for an elder. Then, we did some visits and contacted some references. Then, an elder that has a hernia was in the hospital getting the results of an ultra sound and him and his companion stayed the night in our pench (apartment) so that was kind of fun. (We do go to the hospital if there is something serious most of the time. That is something I don't like about this job, it just brings back bad memories)

Wednesday- We "finished" transfers and did some planning with President and then went to the offices to get everything ready for the transfer and have a meeting about the taxis that we use that day. After the meeting we stayed in the offices and did some more things. Then, at night, I drove home and I actually did it pretty smooth with the manual! I'm thinking about getting one when I get home because it is pretty entertaining and then I won't have to lend it to anyone else cause they won't be able to drive it haha!!

Thursday- We did weekly planning and went out to work. Then we got food for the elders and sister that are leaving because they had a capital tour and an auto-sufficiency class. After, we went out and worked some more and contacted a really nice lady that said she went to church when she was a little girl, so we have hope that she will be a good investigator with her family.

Friday- We worked in the morning and then got food for the leaving missionaries for after their temple trip. Then we went out with a member but the visit we had planned fell through.... oh well. At night we had an awesome visit with an active young family that the brother took us to Paula's house in his car and we picked up Paula and her daughter, Maria, and then went back to their house to have a lesson. We had told them what we were going to teach, assigned them a part and told them to please look over the lesson in preach my gospel beforehand. When we got to the house they had pictures to teach with on the table and were super prepared for the lesson. The truth is it went really well and was very spiritual. I testify of the power of working with members so work with them missionaries!

Well, that's my time this week. I guess Saturday and Sunday will just remain a mystery!

I love you all very much and hope you have a wonderful week,

Elder Andrew

(no subject)
Sept. 14, 2015

Did you get the flight itinerary? Oh and I can"t write now cause we need to go see an elder in the hospital so I'll see if I can write later and if I can't just know that I love you all!
Elder Andrew

otra semana ha pasado

Sept. 7, 2015

To start off I will answer some of your questions. I am doing exercise every morning. I actually just wrote out a more stable program for what I am going to do and am going to get up a little bit earlier to be able to do a little bit more exercise. Two days of the week I am going to do plyometrics with a P90X DVD and oh man that is a killer! But I am eating more healthy and drinking more water so I feel pretty good that way!

This week has been a little weird with a few things that happened but now we are getting back to normal.

I don't have much time so I'll just say a few highlights.

We finished all of the zone conferences! It was a really good experience and we have really good missionaries in this mission! It will be my last zone conference so that is kind of weird/sad. We also had a leadership counsel with the zone leaders and sister training leader and we have really sharp leaders right now in our mission as well. This month we are really going to focus on chapter 8 of PMG which are the nuts and bolts of missionary work. Friday and Saturday we did an intercambio with some elders where one of them in having problems with being obedient and really not getting along with his companion, in fact the night before we did the intercambio he locked him out of their apartment! So that was fun and really I think the Lord was with me to know how to help that elder out and hopefully I could do it. Fast Sunday was good. We had a young couple move in that lived in Avellaneda 2 so that is cool that they are going to be in our ward now! In our ward council we watched a training from the apostles about keeping the Sabbath day holy.

An invitation that I have for you is to make a family plan for keeping the Sabbath day holy. I think it talks about that on the church website and I am going to try and make a personal plan this week. As we follow the voice of the prophets we will be blessed!


Elder Benjamin Andrew (maybe I need to put my first name now that there are two of us!)

Dos Años en Argentina

Aug. 31, 2015

Well this week has been another good one and it is crazy to think that Matthew is almost in the mission field! What a great blessing, I have been thinking a lot about the blessing that it is to be a missionary and I am so grateful for the opportunity given to come back!

Monday- We did the normal stuff of cleaning and buying and then taught two lessons! One was with a new investigator that we were pretty excited about but then when we called her on Saturday to set up another appointment she said she wasn't interested.... I think she is just too liberal, but it isn't over yet, the Lord can still work a change in her heart!

Tuesday- We did some work in the offices in the morning. We ate lunch with a member and that was good. He is a little guy that has about 60 years and was really into martial arts so he is still in good shape, so after lunch he picked me up just to see if he could do it. and sure enough he could! Then we tried to do visits and get to know people with no luck, at 7 we had an appointment with active members to get to know them, share a spiritual thought and see if we could help them with sharing the gospel. They in kind of a prideful way told us they had already tried sharing the gospel and it just wasn't the greatest visit. I think we should always take the invitations from representatives of the church seriously and really look for a way to get better even if we are already doing what they are asking us to do. Oh well, it just was kind of a weird visit.

Wednesday- We had the zone conference in Banfield. It went okay but there just wasn't that much participation and well... it was just okay. To answer your question, Mom, we do zone conferences on Wednesday and Friday and that is because President wants us to have the full day of Tuesday and Thursday to work! What a great president! It was also Brenda's birthday that day so shout out to my sista! We also met with two sisters that are inactive but want to come back to church! We had to call 10 hermanos to finally get one to come to the visit with us but it paid off and was a good visit!

Thursday- In the morning we had a training on how to use family search, I feel like an expert since I did that service mission haha. We had lunch and then helped our ward mission leader make a ward mission plan to present in the ward council. Hopefully this will help the work to keep going forward! After we took some time to do weekly planning, that is the first time I have been able to do that since being assistant! So it helps to look at what you want to get accomplished. Then we went an taught Paula with our ward mission leader and that went fairly well. She is doing good and staying strong, Maria, her daughter, was feeling sick so couldn't be in the visit with us. Also, it marked the day of two years since I got to Argentina!!!! How crazy is that and to think about how much I've learned and how much I've changed since that first day in Argentina. It is pretty incredible to me and is quite a blessing.

Friday- We had the zone conference in Gonzalez Catan and it went really well. We even got Subway for lunch! After the conference I stayed with Elder Sepulveda de Chile to do an intercambio. He is a really powerful elder who just this Monday completed two years since he was baptized a member of the church. Some of these converts really impress me with their faithfulness and really the level of gospel knowledge that they obtain so quickly. It is amazing how the Lord calls who He needs for the work. Just think of Paul who would have thought from looking at his history that he would become one of the greatest missionaries of all time! What a miracle the atonement is! We had fun going around in his area (Gonzalez Catan is the most dangerous part of the mission haha) and stopped by some investigators to confirm a visit for the next day. They let us come in so we decided to just shared a quick scripture and then teach a full lesson the next day. Elder Sepulveda turned to me and asked what scripture I wanted to share and so I thought of 1 Nephi chapter 21 where it quotes Isaiah and talks about having us marked into the Savior's hands. The wife started crying a little when we were talking and reading and so we asked her why she was getting emotional, and she said she didn't want anything more to do with churches but in the morning had said a prayer to God asking Him a question and felt like He talked to her and answered her question. It was a special experience. We talked a lot to each other about the blessing that it is to be a missionary and it was really motivating.

Saturday- We finished the intercambio with a service in the morning of helping build a concrete roof (pesado!) and a few visits. It was a really good intercambio and motivated me to work even harder even though things aren't going as well as we would like them to in our area.

Sunday- We had a special stake conference from the area! So we got a satellite transmission and got to hear the area president Elder Walter F Gonzalez along with other general authorities as well as Elder Cook and Elder Hales! How cool is that! They talked a lot about missionary work and the Sabbath day observance. Paula was in attendance and said she really liked it! She also is sharing the gospel with her sister who lives in a different area and last night they had their first lesson with her and her family! What a capa Paula! Already a member missionary!

I love you all very much and hope you enjoy these last couple days with boy Matthew, because the next time we see him he will be man Matthew. What a blessing it is to serve as a full time missionary!!!


Elder Andrew

Another week in Paradise
Aug. 24, 2015

I can honestly say that i just love the mission! I look forward to writing you guys every Monday but also dread it sometimes because it reminds me of the small amount of time I have left, but that just means I need to take even more advantage of it.

I am really glad to hear of the progress that the Lopez family is having and really I think that is the Lord's way for this church to work with those that need strengthening. It isn't for the Bishop to do everything and work a miracle. Just as the Missionaries aren't meant to do absolutely everything in missionary work. I believe the Lord's way is for all of us, working together, can help out these people. The bishop, the missionaries, quorum and relief society presidents, home and visiting teachers, normal members of the ward, we are all a part of his great work.

The thought that I had for Matthew about maybe his fears of not being ready is this: It is interesting to me in Alma 17 Alma talks about meeting up with his brothers the sons of Mosiah. An interesting thing is that he notices a change in them. I imagine it was probably a change in their maturity. He also makes reference to that they had become strong in their knowledge of the truth because of their constant study of the scriptures. He also mentions of their many days of prayer and fasting. These are all things that I think they did on the missions. He saw a difference in them after a 14 year period of preaching the word. They were as ready as the Lord needed them to be when they left and the He continued to mold them as they constantly turned to Him. Doctrine and Covenants 4:3 says something interesting "Therefore, if ye have desires to serve God ye are called to the work;" I think that is probably the biggest requirement to serve a mission and I know that Matthew has that part down fine. So Matthew, just go out there and get them! You will never get to a point in your mission where you don't need the Lord's help so just believe in Him and He will get done what He wants through your willing hands. What an exciting time in your life!

Monday- Well we had a pretty normal day, we are going to try and start getting everything done in the offices in the morning that way we can have time to work at night and so far so good! That means that I will probably always write you all around this time just so you don't forget to send your letters! We contacted a few people and then had a meeting at President's house with a couple that just got called to family history for the Buenos Aires South Counsel (counsel is the same geographic size as a mission it is just what the church uses to refer to callings that aren't directly part of the mission) and they are going to teach the missionaries by zone how to get people started on their family history! That is such a great tool to hasten the work! Maybe you could invite Lillian to create a family history account.

Tuesday- We had a district meeting that was pretty good and ate at a members house that I couldn't believe. It was a mansion! Lets just say that Banfield 2 is probably the fanciest/richest area in the whole mission. Then we headed over to the offices to get everything ready for zone conferences we would be starting the next day. We then went to go teach the complete family. We prayed a lot that day for them, did a practice of what we were going to teach them, got a member to come with us, showed up on time and....... they weren't there.... After waiting a while we decided to just come back another day, it was a bummer but we are going to keep on trying.

Wednesday- We had the first zone conference in Adrogue! There were some technical difficulties and others as can be expected with the first time, but that was also good because we rely more on the Spirit. It went really well and we are only teaching 4 things. Humility, working with members, Personal security, and the Atonement. Working with members and the atonement take up mostly the whole time and they go from 10 in the morning until 4 in the afternoon. Then after that we did a little office work and had an awesome lesson! It was with Paula and we took an awesome member with us who is a returned missionary. We taught Paula and her daughter Maria. We are reteaching the lessons with Paula and it is the first time for Maria. The Spirit was super strong and the member helped a lot. I asked Maria if she believed that the story of the first vision was true and she said without hesitation "si". Oh man that was a powerful lesson! Greatest joy of the mission!

Thursday- We went to an area in Virrey del Pino to give a training to a new missionary and his trainer because they couldn't come to the trainer meeting. It went really well and they are really good elders. One of them just got here from the states and he was telling us about how much better his Spanish is getting, it was fun and brought back good memories from the beginning of the mission. Then we had a really good experience. We had asked an hermana if she knew anyone we could visit and she said her neighbor in front of her house maybe and she was going to try and talk to her. So we went back to verify if she was able to talk to her neighbor  and she told us no, but right in that moment her neighbor came over!!!! She asked for a tool for something in her house and so the hermana presented us and then went in the house to look for the tool. Well, luckily we recognized that the Lord had probably given us this opportunity and so we talked to her real quick about who we were and before the hermana came back had set up to visit her! She was really nice and had no problem with us passing by. The hermana told us after she left that she had taken longer on getting the tool on purpose so we could talk with her and had gone in her room to say a prayer. That was a special experience and another testimony of the power of members in this work

Friday- We had zone conference in Aldo Bonzi and then went to do and intercambio with the zl's in Alejandro Korn on the most full train ever. At one point I could feel the persons chest expanding behind me when they would breathe because we were so tightly packed! That was fun. 

Saturday- I stayed in Banfield 2 with Elder Rooks from Draper, Utah and we had a day of a LOT of contacts. Not very productive and just made me realize that I think the only way we are going to have success here is working with the members. We had an appointment with active members at night and had a spiritual lesson and then they gave us two references! The sister is going to present us to her friends pretty soon.

Sunday- We had a good sacrament meeting and church services. We passed by a few people, had a meeting to get ready for a family history event on September 12 and then weekly planning with President
I love you all very much and hope you all have a wonderful week!

Elder Andrew 

First week, Good week

Aug. 17, 2015

It is hard to think all the things I'm going to be writing you about only happened this week but that is how most weeks in the mission are and especially with the assignment of assistant! Apart from Drew being home Dallin Mickelson is also home.. hearing about my friends getting home and thinking about it give me a weird feeling inside, I don' know if it's fear, excitement, trunckyness... whatever it is I'll try not to think about it too much haha!

Monday- It was fun doing all the things for transfers and calming all the chaos that was going on, this is pretty good future job training if I want to get into administrative work in business! We sent the missionaries home and then were able to just be tranquil and get ready for the new group of missionaries coming in!

Tuesday- Well there is always some new adventure happening with us and Tuesday was no exception! The flight from the US had a ten hour delay for some reason and so President called us early in the morning to inform us of that and to get new arrangements to pick them up from the airport and change the arrangements with the missionaries being picked up from the Argentina MTC and also change the time the trainers were coming in, and change a few other things. So we got all that taken care of and then went to the MTC to meet the new Latin elders and one sister that are coming to our mission. As always they were excited and made us excited as well. It seems like every group of new missionaries just gets better, The Youth are better I think than even when I came out on a mission! We did some things in the mission home with them ate lunch and got them sent off with their trainers with very few problems. Then we went to the offices to get a few things done and came back later to go meet the USA missionaries at the airport. Well traffic was SUPER bad and we didn't end up making it to the airport, Elder Corry and Villegas from the east mission were at the airport though and they called us and got the missionaries on the vehicle they needed. After getting their trainers and telling them a few things we sent them to their new areas in taxi at about 9 at night. All their comps were Latins as well. I'm glad that didn't happen to me! They had to sleep in the airport in Georgia (or maybe not sleep) get here super late, no one is there at the airport to greet you, and then after a very brief time in the mission home they just send you off with someone you don't know and doesn't speak your language.... these are brave souls haha.

Wednesday- We did a bit of preparation day because we didn't do anything on Monday and we just did work on our apartment! we have kept it pretty clean there was just a lot of junk from stuff that other elders had left when they went home, so we got that all together in a huge bag along with a huge bag of stuff we were just going to throw away. We gave the clothes to the mission home to be washed and taken to the offices in case other missionaries need clothes and threw the garbage out. I couldn't believe just how much open space we have now in the pension!!! It surprised me every time I walked in! It is much better this way though, and makes it easier to feel the Spirit. Then we did some office work and got ready for upcoming meetings.

Thursday- We left early in the morning to get ready for a District Leader Training meeting and had that which went really well. We have some good district leaders! Bought our weekly food and got some money out from the bank to buy food for upcoming meetings. Then at night we had time to work in the area!! We looked for some people and ended the night visiting a less active family who we didn't know but had called the night before to set up an appointment. We got there and they had made us pizza! We ate quickly, shared a thought about the atonement and asked them for a reference and they gave us one! So that was a good night.

Friday- We had a new missionary and trainers meeting. So the missionaries that have six weeks in the field and their trainers, as well as, the brand new missionaries and their trainers. We talked about vision and some important things and then split them in two groups according to the time they had in their training to teach them different things. It went pretty well and we really do have good, pure new missionaries. There are even a few trainers that just finished their training before they were assigned as trainers.... sound familiar. Afterwards for a few hours we got some things done that President had asked us to do and then had more time to work in the area! We walked around a bunch and tried looking up a bunch of former investigators with not much luck but we were able to contact the reference we got from the less active family and she was super nice! Patricia is her name and we set up to teach her this week on Thursday. We also passed by an active members house and got a reference from her! I can't remember what day but Elder Compton and I sat down and made a list of goals for this transfer. Some of them are like just talking in Spanish between us, memorizing a scripture as a companionship per week (already got alma 7:11-12 down!) a few other things and to find three complete families this transfer to teach. They are really good goals and are helping us to be more obedient and more consecrated.

Saturday- We had the whole day to work! In the morning after doing our studies we went to a part of the area that neither of us had ever been to before because the bishop gave us a reference in the baptism that lives over there. So after getting lost for a while we were finally able to figure out how to read our map for that part and how it worked. The reference wasn't at home, but at least we now know how to get there! We did a couple of really good contacts walking to lunch. One lady even asked us to come by her house to teach her and then took us to her house so we would know where it was! She lives in the Zone leaders side of the area so we passed the reference over to them. After lunch with some members we headed to the church for a lesson we set up with a less active, but he never showed up. After we went to the center of Lomas which is a really big shopping area and really full of people with our zone to do contacts and hand out pamphlets and stuff. It was pretty fun and we got about 30 people that let us write down their addresses. It was our ward mission leaders idea and was pretty good, but it is always more effective to work with the members finding new investigators that just talking with random people on the street. Then the final thing we did was we went with a couple in our ward that is over family history in this region to visit Paula. It was awesome because her daughter was there and they are both really excited to get going one their family history! We even helped them to create a FamilySearch account right then and there so they can get started!

Sunday- Well a joven in my ward knows Facundo who is the young man from Avellaneda that I helped get baptized if you can remember him and so I guess he found out I was here and decided to come visit! So I got to see him again which was awesome! He said he wanted to come out and do visits with me sometime so I asked President and he said it would be fine! I'm excited for that. Then before our meeting with President we had a little time to work in the area and so went to look for some former investigators. It's a good thing we did instead of just staying in the pench or something because we found a family! The mom came to the door and was really, really nice to us and explained that they had company over but if we could right down her phone number to pass by another day. We did that and also set up an appointment with them tomorrow! We are pretty excited for that because it is a complete family who is in a good economic situation and are married! the only thing that seems to be missing is conversion, which can be pretty difficult sometimes. However, it is a pretty good start for here in Argentina and we are super excited. After we had our weekly meeting with President and will be starting zone conferences this week!

Never a boring day in the mission! I love all of you very much and hope you have a fantastic week. I know that Our Savior lives and loves us, if we take advantage of the trials in our lives to come closer to Him we will be blessed. 


Elder Andrew  

Aug. 10, 2015
Well I don't have much time because we have been pretty busy with transfers but I'll try and tell you a few highlights.
Biggest highlight was Paula's baptism! I'll try to send pictures. My camera is being a little weird right now. But the baptismal service was very well planned and the members helped out a ton! It was a very spiritual and uplifting experience. And another cool thing was that President Thurgood baptized her because she asked him to! After her baptism she gave her testimony and said "Hoy renací" She felt born again, what a special lady and what a special experience for everyone that was there! 
We got everything ready for transfers and it was a bit crazy today fixing a bunch of problems with transportation and there were a lot of problems because it rained a lot but it ended up going pretty well. It was pretty sad to see Elder Peterson go. I think I feel more sad today than I did last transfer. He really was one of my best companions, and such a great person. But I don't have much time to think about that! Tomorrow we go and get the new missionaries to pump up the mission with new fresh elders and sister!
I love you all very much and something I suggest to you mom and dad is to set apart at least an hour a week to go out with the missionaries, either separately or as a couple. I would suggest looking at your weekly schedules and then maybe saying something like "Elders, on Thursday night we have some free time and would like to come out on a visit with you"  They will love it, and I testify to you that as you set aside even just an hour a week to do that you will have a greater spirit in your lives, us, your children will be blessed and your worries won't seem as big.
With Much Love,
Elder Andrew

(no subject)
Aug 3 
well sorry family i have no time today, we made an appointment to teach paula so i have to go, just know that i love each and every one of you and pray for you often
un abrazo fuerte,
elder Andrew

nuevo compañero
July 27, 2015
Every week brings new adventures! So here is my weekly report. 
Monday- I drove the truck back to the pension. Seeing as the truck is a stick shift and the driving was done in Argentina I think that is a pretty big accomplishment. I like driving stick although I am definitely still getting used to it and probably drive too cautiously in this world of driving sharks

Tuesday- we had district meeting which was fun. We went over how a baptismal service should be held and prepared. It was a good reminder and got us excited to prepare the baptism of Paula. Afterwards one of the investigators of the zone leaders that share the ward with us gave us lunch. It was really good, ovened chicken with french fries, and she also gets baptized the 8th of august. Then we did a few things for the mission and went to teach Paula. We took an hermano who is about her same age and single....... Sometimes missionaries do a bit of matchmaking as well hehehe. They seemed to hit it off well and also he was able to give a really good testimony and give her re assurance by telling about his own conversion and confirming some of the things she is feeling now with her own conversion. Something also good was that we taught her daughter that was there!  She is 21 and super prepared and willing to listen, the only problem is she works a ton so it will be kind of a hit and miss thing of when we can teach her, although she said the last prayer as if she had been a member her whole life! We were super stoked after that lesson and then got some things done in the offices.

Wednesday- We had interviews in Banfield and they were going really well, until my companion had to leave with one of the zone leaders to help out these other elders that one had gotten bitten by a dog and needed a rabies shot, so the practices kind of fell apart but it was still a good experience. I found out that Kenny the guy I helped get baptized in Budge moved to Peru with his family so I'm sure they are doing well. Then after that we had to meet with President because several elders have gone home lately and we needed to see what we wanted to do about the changes. We pulled up the new assistant a little earlier than planned just so he could be part of the changes we were already doing. Elder Compton, he is a powerhouse and still doesn't even have a full year in the mission! if you want to see who he is go on the lds.youth page and look up the video of "texting truth" he is the one who sends the message of the scriptures. We had to close two areas due to elders going home, that was not a happy thing to do....

Thursday- we did some stuff in the morning then went to the offices to pick my our new companion. After that we went to capital to pick up President's laptop and then had a little intro meeting with Elder Compton and President. After we looked around and found a menos activo that Elder Peterson had never taught before and had a pretty good lesson with him. Elder Peterson is from South Weber, Utah and Elder Compton from Logan, Utah. So now all my comps from USA have been from Utah.

Friday- we did interviews and practices in Montegrande which was good and then got ready for an intercambio with the zone leaders of Gonzalez Catan. It was kind of scary getting over there because we had never done it and we had to take three different trains but we made it without any problem and met some cool people along the way.

Saturday- We spent the day with the zone leaders, Elder Vera and Elder Palacios. They are both from Argentina and very good elders. Super obedient it was a very fun intercambio and we got some good work done, we even got to stay and participate in their baptism since one of there investigators got baptized. They called it a Bautisabado jaja. 

Sunday- We went to church, which was great, a lot of focus on keeping the Sabbath day holy, it really is important! Paula went and even though she was a bit tired enjoyed it. Every time she makes more friends so that is great. We had a meeting with President and I'm starting to feel a bit more confident as assistant but am a little nervous for the upcoming transfers because I have never gone through that process and all we have to get ready and Elder Peterson will be taking trips and stuff that the leaving missionaries do on their last week. There are plenty of people that can help me out though so I'm sure we will be fine. Then we had the office staff over to the mission home and watched the church driver safety video, which was very good and will hopefully help us to drive safer.

Monday- today we went with an hermano and President Thurgood to the county building of Lomas (our county) and talked about a huge family history fair that will be taking place in September. Talk about hastening the work, they are expecting 10,000 people to come through on that day to set up a FamilySearch account and learn a bit more about doing their family history! That is something exciting I'm looking forward to!
Well I know the Lord loves us and He helps me in so many ways. I love you all so much and hope you have a great week!
 un abrazo,
Elder Andrew

feliz dia del amigo!

July 20, 2015

Happy friend day! to all my beloved friends! Well since we do so much it helps me to just write my letters by looking back at my planner and writing something about every day, so I think I am going to keep that format. Kind of sad not to get a letter from Mom today but I sure it was just a technical difficulty. (note from Mom: I did send a letter and don't know why he didn't get it but fortunately I was able to resend it in time for him to get it while he was still on.)

Tuesday- we went to a tiny bit of district meeting and then took off to capital in a remis to take President's laptop to be fixed. After that we fixed a delicious lunch for ourselves and got hung up in the offices getting a bunch of stuff done. We called Paula to see how she was doing and see if we could go to visit her (this was actually on Monday) and she said that she was busy and it would be better if we just passed by on Saturdays.... NO! once a week isn't frequent enough for someone to have a real progression especially if they have the goal to be baptized the 8th of August.

Wednesday- We did interviews in the zone of Gonzalez Catan which is one of the new zones from the west mission. They are really good missionaries and there are only elders in that zone if that tells you anything about the kind of areas there are there.... The zone leaders bought us some really cheap and good hamburgers. We got a text from Paula saying we could come over that night and visit! We got to go with President Thurgood (he is a really good member present) and taught the plan of salvation. She really understands very well and is very prepared. She commented to us that as she reads the Book of Mormon she feels like something empty inside of her is being filled. She is very sensitive to the Spirit and really her own thoughts from her life from before the lessons were even taught to her are pretty inline with gospel principles!

 Thursday- In the morning we looked for some magnets that Hermana Thurgood wanted for a project and did some other little odd thing and then had lunch with a member. He gave us milanesa sandwiches and choripan, not the healthiest of lunches but certainly good! After we got trapped in the offices getting mission projects done, and we had plans to work! That seems to be a common theme however haha. 

Friday- We did interviews and practices in Aldo Bonzi the other new zone from the west mission. They are also really good missionaries, very obedient. And after we stayed with the zone leaders in their area to do divisiones with them. I felt like I was back in Budge! Actually, their area isn't that far away from Budge and are all Bolivians so it pretty much is the same.

Saturday- We finished the intercambio, and got to go to a baptism the zone leaders had of a complete family of six but two kids are too young so 4 in total were baptized. It was pretty special. They are a really nice family and Pres. Thurgood also came! Then at night we taught Paula again with our ward mission leader. We made a lesson plan and the actual lesson went perfectly according to plan! We taught about the word of wisdom and the law of chastity. she understood perfectly after a few initial doubts and confusions and committed to living both commandments! She even told us that she would drink tea and coffee every once in a while but because she read the folleto (pamphlet)  before the lesson when she was going to drink it she thought "well I better not." Yeah she is a K-pa!

Sunday- Paula came to church and so did a guy that we talked to on the street on Saturday night, he is a bit different but seems like he can really use the gospel right now in his life but actually lives in another area so we passed the reference but it was fun having him there! I am starting to get some of the names of the members down, it is kind of hard when you only see them once a week for 3 hours! Then we went to lunch with our mission leader. It was good, raviolis! After our weekly planning with President we went to an activity in our ward of watching "Meet the Mormons" and eating sweets together. Paula went to that activity as well and seemed to have a good time. She is making a lot of friends in the church! Camila (the girlfriend of Paula's son) is a strong member and the one that introduced her to the church. Before, Paula would only go to church when Camila was there because she didn't know anyone so she didn't go for three weeks because Camila was on a trip. But on Sunday she went to the activity by herself and sat with the Bishop's family because she is becoming friends with them! This really is a good ward I just wish I could work with them more!

I really love the mission and am very glad to be in the Lord's service. I am glad to hear that Peter's illness was nothing serious and I pray for you all often. I get along very well with Elder Peterson, he is a fantastic Elder and it really is easy to feel the Spirit in this companionship. I am really grateful for this call to serve!

with much love y besitos,

Elder Andrew