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.