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