Adam’s Missionary Letters #28

November 11-12, 1999

11-11-99

Well I decided to write again, I can’t believe I let this slide, I I know how important it is, especially now; this is such a crucial time in my mission. The decisions and choices as to what kind of missionary I will be are made now. I am glad I have a trainer that feels the same way Ii do about the mission. Believe me we don’t waste a minute. Often we run between appointments and skip meals also. We are blessed though.

Today we had charlas with Graciela. She needs to stop smoking for one more week before she can be baptized –Don’t think she’s not going to make it, she has a great testimony. If we could get her husband, Pedro, in the charlas, they could support each other – we’ll keep praying.

With Leontina and Teresa (two old sisters)(very very funny), we shared a scripture 2 Nephi 25:26, next visit we will give the 2nd charla.

Here with the Mission President. We space all the six charlas with charlas in between that are premade on index cards (charlas of progression) to develop testimonies and lower menos activo rate. The amount of charlas to new members is amazing.

Got to go, 10:30 —- Ciao

 

11-12-99

Well this morning was a little disappointing, three contacts fell through; one was not interested and two were busy, they usually are when we come by. But everyone will get the chance to listen to this message if not here somewhere else.

Then we knocked doors; that was pretty fun. We always catch people off guard. After lunch we had divisions. I went with Elder Smith from another area. I like divisions because I always learn something that I need to do, and what I should not do. Through divisions we can learn all different aspects of teaching, assimilate them and mold our own.

One of my goals is to be 1. more simple and direct in my teaching; don’t worry about time so much, as much as they understand the principle. Also I can take time and speak more slowly so to organize and translate my thoughts into more coherent sentences. A great way to do this, to practice explaining and teaching, is with children. I can also make lots of examples for teaching with them also.

  1. I also need to be more a part of the B.R.T. (Build relationships of trust). Have no fear just speak, let them correct you. I’ve found when you do this they see how hard you are trying and they love you. Also it puts you on an equal plane. They can help you speak Spanish just as I can help them understand the gospel.

Well I will practice.

Nos Vemos

Adam’s Missionary Letters #27

10-27-99

Mom & Dad & Family,

What’s up? Sorry I don’t have as much journal entries I am repenting I will do better.

I have so much to write about each day just not enough time to do it when I return. We have some awesome families and contacts its exciting. Getting accustomed to the mission life was really difficult. A little more so since my trainer is Latin, but it humbled me and required me to pray a lot.

I am doing great! This city is crazy like I said it’s a lot like an Italian city, probably in to many respects. First the members always have missionaries over for lunch and afterwards they want to talk. But this is a waste of time. Second they can get offended and leave the church real easy. Third so many people here are Italian – meaning Catholic. It is difficult to get in the door – meaning we don’t baptize all day every week like some other parts of S. America, especially in the city of Montevideo. It is really tough. Don’t get me wrong though, the Catholic Church was a wonderful tool for preparing many to hear the gospel; all just aren’t ready yet. Fourth – the women here wear hardly anything during the summer – everybody wants attention.

My Mission President is awesome. He’s fun and he wants us to have fun. He places missionaries in almost all the cities in Uruguay (Uruguay/East Mission), so they can get a taste of the country. He lets all the missionaries attend one soccer game during their mission, and when Star Ward, & The Prince of Egypt came out, he let them go see it. He always encourages (us) to have fun.

Before I left he told me to “jump in and enjoy it”. That’s what you have to do, Fortunately I have no other choice but to speak only Spanish, so the language is coming quickly. My companion is patient and loving, he is sensitive to other’s feelings and always doing things for me. I have already started dreaming in Spanish, it’s weird!

Next subject is …. Oh yeah the exchange rate and monthly pension. Stuff is not too expensive down here; but we only receive about $120 a month, which hardly ever stretches I am told, and experiencing, because we have to pay the bills for our apartments. We do receive reimbursements but only the next month. Lucky I was able to save a little money in the MTC, thanks to my monthly allowance or this week me and my comp would not have food.

We get one meal a day from members, usually lunch, for dinner and breakfast we usually don’t eat much to save our money. Don’t worry though, the Lord provides. I have not had an emergency large enough yet to substantiate use of the card which is good. I am told the city is most expensive and in the surrounding cities it is less.

P.S. I have a little surprise for you in about a month.

Today was a great day! This is about the only English I have anything to do with now. I speak Spanish all day because my companion does not speak English hardly, but he is so awesome, I have never met anyone as loving and understanding. He is a wonderful teacher. I learn so much from him. I can’t believe how happy I am also. This is such a great opportunity to share my closest feelings and thoughts with everyone and tell them that I know God has a plan for all of us and that He loves each and every one of us.

This morning it rained so hard, we went out and got soaked. I want to show the Lord how much I want it and why I am out here. At our first charla, we talked to Graciela, a lady that has a problem with smoking and her children. We shared a talk out of the Liahona. I am told she has come a long way, she’s committed to baptism. Then we visited Rosa who is less-active. We committed her to come to church, she was awesome. Then we visited the family Fernandez, we gave them the 4th discussion for new members. If you have noticed we have a large portion of our work in retention. We get less baptisms, but we make sure we baptize strong members. Our retention is climbing hopefully when the temple is built, actually I know our retention will skyrocket. The temple brings a power of its own.

Well we did a lot more but it’s late. Today was so awesome!

Nos Vemos

 

 

 

 

Adam’s Missionary Letters #26

10-20-99

Well, I am back from the first of my last 2 years in Uruguay. It was awesome. We taught the 3rd discussion for new members to a Hermana named Patricia. She is only 16, but has such a strong testimony and talks really fast.

My trainer is awesome, he has so much love; I am learning so much. Our apartment is pretty nice. Its looking better and better as I see others homes.

The other family we went and saw were Nilson & Adriana. They have three girls. I had the opportunity to bear my testimony and teach a little. They already received the first charla, the proclamation to the world and we did a discussion called verification of baptism and all of the scriptures in 3rd Nephi 2. They committed to baptism. It was awesome on the first day out I have already got a taste of the fruits of the mission field.

Unlike the MTC, when I share my testimony the people listen and concentrate on me. (I hope it’s because of the spirit not because they don’t understand.) Well I’m so tired.

Nos Vemos

Adam’s Missionary Letters #25

10-12-99

Sorry it’s been so long, I have been so busy studying Española among other things. A most extremely serious incident has occurred in our district. Two Elders who I have been praying about a lot broke some serious rules. As a matter of fact I fasted for one of these Elders last Fast Sunday. They both have girlfriends and distractions, thus they hav had obedience problems. They have some troubles getting up on time and to classes on time. Saturday night they snuck out of the MTC and went to the BYU football game among other things. They didn’t return until after 6:00 A.M. Sunday morning.

When they came back their roommates told me. I told the Branch President. This was tough, but I knew how much responsibility I had. Sunday I did not feel very good. I felt as if I had not done my job well enough, maybe this is true. I now realize how much a responsibility I have to them.

The MTC President came the spoke to our district and reiterated our responsibilities to each other. I found out that they had done this more than once but for only little things, pizza and then they went out all night. About three Elders in the district knew, but did not say anything. They however aren’t in any trouble.

I have tried as hard as I could to be a good example and to show love, maybe to inspire them to be better missionaries. Leadership is the most difficult skill to attain and to use. Right now we don’t know fore sure about their future as of yet. They were informed the MTC President had met with the brethren and one of the twelve was praying about them.

Satan is real! He works through exactly the same ways he always has. He starts little at first with flaxen cords until he has you chained down and submitted to his will. What I learned from this experience is a vast array of subjects from obedience to responsibility to dedication. The safest assumption for me to make for myself is that this can happen to anyone and we as missionaries need to be leaders with an eye single to the glory of God, not followers.

Well I just got back from the Tuesday night devotional. I had the chance tonight to talk with an Apostle!!!! It was incredible. I know that Elder Scott is an Apostle of God. He was asking doctrinal questions and a microphone was going around. I had the opportunity to answer that faith can grow through patience and works into a perfect knowledge. He responded to my answer and shared some more with me about faith.

The Church is true, I love the gospel, I feel so charged to share my testimony with the world. The best way to describe it is Alma 29:1-2 (My new favorite scripture) Well its been a along day, I will rest my worries with my Father in Heaven tonight and wake up charged with answers and strength for the following day.

Buenos Noches

Adam’s Missionary Letters #24

10-8-99

Another day gone at the MTC, I am excited and sad to leave. This place really feels like home. I don’t know any better way to explain the MTC than the movie, Ground Hog Day. Every day feels the same, we get the opportunity to do everything a little better and we grow each day. I have lost sense of time, it even feels like I am stuck in a holding pattern. It’s hard for me to remember before the MTC, because the mission has become the definition of me. It’s hard to explain. I’m almost done with memorizing the 6th and last principle in the 1st Discussion. Someone can quiz me at the airport and listen to my testimony in Spanish. I’m also done reading the Book of Mormon. Anyways I got to go.

This is what I need: pictures from my farewell, shoetrees, anything else you think I might need. Yes, I got the shirts and the goodies they were awesome! The whole district loved them!

Love Elder Weber

P.S. I should not have bought any ties before I came, Nordstrom’s donated tons of ties to the MTC. They’re nicer than any that I bought.

 

 

Adam’s Missionary Letters #23

October 2-3, 1999

10-2-99

Wow, what a great day! Sorry we missed abit. Just because its been missed doesn’t mean those days weren’t awesome. Today we went to conference. I have never looked forward more to conference than I did this week. I loved the talks, believe me I got about 10 pages of notes and my comp recorded it so we wouldn’t miss anything.

I finished reading the Book of Mormon. I have never done such an in depth study. Elder Boyd K Packer is right; there is definitely a power that begins to flow within you when you begin an in depth study of the Book of Mormon.

I know its true. The prophets in this book are my friends and heroes. I think about them all the time. Right now I am taking to heart the teachings of Aaron the missionary where he says, he and his brethren did take unto prayer and fasting that the Lord would impart His spirit unto them.

I have been praying about all of the district this week and one missionary is always brought to my mind. So I am continuing to pray for direction and I am fasting for him also. I can’t explain the love and concern I have for this district.

The Lord has blessed me so much I can’t believe the spirit He has poured out upon me at all times. I feel spoiled. I also feel so full of gratitude for such wonderful parents who raised me so well even though I might not have listened all the time. I can’t wait to go out to the field and testify of the truth which brings my life so much joy. I have some great dreams of the work. I will serve like my Book of Mormon heroes.

Buenos Noches

 

10-3-99

Well the session is over, conference was awesome! I forgot to mention last night I gave one of my comps a blessing. It was such an awesome opportunity. Tonight we also had a fireside. The couple that talked are friends with a cardinal in the Catholic Church. He ranks about third highest.

He told his story about how he explained the Church to him. Unfortunately, the cardinal came to the conclusion that we are not Christians, because we believe in continuing revelation. Not everyone is ready for the gospel yet. But everyone will get the opportunity to hear it and judge for themselves. Well its late I got to go.

Buenos Noches                      Elder Weber

P.S. My plane leaves Salt Lake at 1:08 P.M. 18, Oct, American Airlines; Flight 1798. I will probably be there and waiting at 11:30 A.M.

 

Adam’s Missionary Letters #22

9-28-99

I just got your letters Mom & Dad. I’m sorry that you haven’t got mine yet. In it I explained that I sent it without an address so it is about a week behind.

I’m so grateful to hear from you that I decided to write you right away. Dad I am little worried for you. If I were there I would give you a blessing. I will remember you in my prayers. I have had some sleepless night here also. But they are only caused by spiritual hunger. I have gained or better realized my testimony of the Church.

Mom I read your scripture, it was awesome. Read D&C 128:22-23. This is an awesome missionary scripture. Missionaries work is all of our responsibility.

Allison, Joseph, Ii meant to send cards for your B-day. Believe me I thought about you. Joseph you 15 wow, one more year to your year of jubilee and 4 more years till you enter the Lord’s army. Like I told you before study your scriptures, write me.

Allison keep up the writing and send me those bookmarks, 12 of them, like the one you gave me. I need them before I go. Good luck in school. I know you are getting A’s. Tell Miss Z. I met the president of FCCLA. He’s going to Russia on his mission.

Joseph be careful in football. Eat a lot, if you are chubby enough you won’t get hurt. Just kidding.

Bonnie I didn’t forget you, how’s school? How’s the spoiled, most loved, youngest child’s life?

Well I’m putting this in the mail right now!

P.S. Yes I got everything Dad! Muchas Gracias!

Love Son, Brother, Elder Weber

 

Adam’s Missionary Letters #21

9-26-99

Today was without a doubt one of the best yet. We had our Sabbath services and activities as usual. In sacrament I was concentrating and pondering, especially the emblems and the meaning. Then in the talk that followed, about Christ, I had an awesome experience.

I was thinking about my Savior and his sacrifice for me, when all of a sudden into my mind popped a sentence from my patriarchal blessing. It was,

“You knew your elder brother Jesus Christ”.

When I felt that I just began crying and could not stop. This was such a strong witness to me and I know that by serving Him and studying His teachings my relationship with Him is being brought back to my remembrance.

I’ve dedicated myself more fully to His call to serve. I love to pray. I have some ugly calluses on my knees from prayer, it’s so awesome.

The scriptures are true! They live within me! I can’t wait to share the message with the world. I know that if I just open my mouth, the Lord can use me for anything.

I love you all so much. I exhort you to do the same just open your mouths. Read D&C 60:2-3. The spirit of the work must be urgency!

Buenos Noches                      Elder Weber

 

Adam’s Missionary Letters #20

Sept 23-24, 1999

9-23-99

Another week gone at the MTC, I love this place the Spirit is every where. I finished with the third principle and started on the 4th. My method now is to record my voice speaking the charla about 7 times. Then I listen to it all day between classes and at lunch, sometimes at night too. Then when I start memorizing it, it takes only about 2 hours depending on the length. If I keep it going I should get the entire charlas done before I go. It will help so much, I already have noticed an increase in my speaking ability. The thought I had today was just “love one another” despite any way others might treat you.

Buenos Noches

 

9-24-99

Wow what a night. I just got done with district interviews. The interviews went awesome this week. I spoke with an Elder in the district who I have been praying for. I shared a scripture with him. I found the scripture during my personal study and felt prompted to share it. I bore him my testimony and shared an experience. He has been having a tough time; his girlfriend lives about 5 blocks away. But I think he will be okay.

Another missionary in the district was having a tough time and crying because he hasn’t heard from his girlfriend. He thinks she is dead. We gave him an awesome blessing. Girlfriends before a mission are a big mistake! I am glad I have no serious feelings or relationship to hold me back from the work. But I can sympathize. We are all young naïve boys.

Another elder came in and we had a good talk. I shared a scripture with him, about him, and how grateful we are for him to serve with us. He came back and shared an excerpt from his patriarchal blessing about himself and told me his feelings and testimony. He told me how he had received a letter from his parents with their testimony and how his father had said, “Now we are both servants in the gospel.” The spirit was quite strong tonight. I can’t believe how great a part the gospel is in my life.

Memories of Mother: Margaret Clark, Part 2

Mom taught us how to work!

When it came to discipline Mom wasn’t one to wait for Dad to come home. She took things into her own hands. I recall several spankings, the ones given with a willow stick hurt the most. I know Mother must have felt overwhelmed by all of her responsibilities, and especially when Clark, Kenny and I would fight with one another. Sometimes it made her cry and then we felt awful. We were exasperating kids at times, Mom would call to us, absently we would continue with what we were doing until she finally yelled to get our attention.

Mother insisted that her children learn how to perform household chores. We were taught to fold the laundry, vacuum, dust, clean the bathrooms, make a proper bed, do the dishes, clean the kitchen, mop the floors, and on occasion we even washed walls. When I finished a task, mom would check it out. It seemed that no matter how hard I tried, she always found something I could improve upon.

We had a large family of nine so there was always plenty that needed to be done. Each of us had Saturday chores we were expected to do. She would often repeat, “A job worth doing, is worth doing well.”

Occasionally, in the summer Dad would pile all of us in the station wagon and take us over to Grandpa Hutchings farm where we would help weed the huge vegetable garden. That was back breaking work. I remember my brother Kenny complaining about all the jobs he had to do. Once he told Mom the only reason she had kids was to do her work. That comment didn’t go over too well!

When we were older, our parents determined to expand our responsibilities. I guess they thought we were too lazy. They decided we could all clean Dad’s office on the weekends, instead of hiring someone. Oh my, did we groan and complain. I remember scrubbing those old tile floors on our hands and knees, Mom and Dad working right along side us.

Mom always liked it when we worked together to clean and didn’t complain. She often said that was the best gift we could give her.

I know I took for granted the fact that Mother was always there when I came home from school. I would call to her as I came in the front door, “I’m home Mom.”

She would answer back, “How was school today?” It was comforting to know she was close by.

Mother was a tireless worker; she insisted that we all help her in the kitchen with the cooking. We also had a weekly dish night. I usually helped prepare dinner if I didn’t have too much homework. I think I peeled a pan full of potatoes every night. My Dad was a “meat and potato” guy, no casseroles for him. It took me awhile to catch on to the peeling process. In the meantime, I cut the skin on my thumb more than once. I recall how it stung and bled all over the potatoes. I have the scars to prove it.

Oh how well, we all remember the days of canning peaches and pears. All hands were enlisted to help prepare the six bushels of peaches and later six bushels of pears. We spent long, tedious days in the kitchen peeling, cutting and filling jars until the last quart was processed and stored on the shelf. Of course, we loved eating the delicious fruit.

Mom taught me how to make an angel-food cake, first whipping the egg whites into stiff peaks and then gently folding in the dry ingredients. Under Mother’s tutelage I learned to make different kinds of salads, cakes, cookies, and candy. She taught me the art of making perfect gravy and white sauce.

Mom made her wonderful cinnamon rolls for trips and outings to lagoon. She covered the kitchen table with the delicate rolls, their aroma filling the house. I can taste them now, so soft and delicious with cinnamon sugar, raisins, and icing. I would pull them apart and plop chunks into my mouth. How I wish I had one right now. Umm!

When tacos became popular that became one of our favorite meals. Eventually we converted Dad too. Always diligent and concerned about our health, Mom prepared three meals a day. She adamantly insisted, even when we were in high school, that we eat breakfast before we left for school. At dinnertime we always sat down together as a family I remember it being a special time of the day. But even then Mom was always up and down from the table seeing to our needs.

I don’t recall doing a lot of yard work. Occasionally we weeded the flower beds for Mom, but no matter how often she tried to teach us, we continually pulled up flowers with the weeds, I think she finally decided against our help. When my brothers got big enough they started to mow the lawn for Dad. We also swept the large patio and driveway. During the summertime Mom was up early in the morning watering her flowerbeds. Once in awhile we would sneak up and squirt her with our water pistols. She would return fire with the hose, then we would run to the front yard and get the other hose. War was on. We always enjoyed it when Mom would play with us. She was always so busy taking care of her house and big family.

It seemed to me that Mom never stopped. When it was evening and we were all on the couch relaxing, she was still going. I asked her once if she ever got tired? She said, “Sure, but it needs to be done.” I didn’t understand at the time, but I do now.

One of the few times I remember seeing her relax was when we went on vacation.

Vacations

Getting ready for a vacation was an exciting time. I always enjoyed going on these wonderful jaunts, even when I was older and in high school. Of course, Mom bore the brunt of the preparations. First, there were clothes for nine people to wash and pack, often a quick trip to Salt Lake to purchase a couple of new outfits for each of us. At the same time mother was preparing food to take. When every last item on Mom’s list was finally packed and ready, we squeezed into the car, body to body, with nary an inch to spare. With our luggage stacked and tied on top of the car, we were quite a site. We made many a trip to California and Disneyland in the wagon.

I have vivid memories of traveling down the road, while Mom, in the front seat passed out the tiny boxes of cold cereal for our breakfast or put together sandwiches and snacks for us to nibble on.

In later years, on boating trips, she would make us huge Hoagy sandwiches with lots of meat, cheese, lettuce, tomato and mustard. They were the best. Of course we were hungry teenagers then. I have never seen Mom so happy as when she was away from home on a trip and she could finally relax.

After we bought the camper, Mom was in heaven! Mother would stock the cubbies so full of can goods, that Dad was afraid we would have a flat tire from the weight, and we did on occasion.

To a kid, eager to go on a trip, it seemed to take Mom forever to get everything in readiness. The only thing I can compare it with, is waiting for Christmas Day. I was the oldest and so I tried to help Mother as much as I could, but no matter how much I did, there was always twenty things more that needed doing. The evening before we left, Mom was up most of the night packing and finishing up last minute details. We all breathed a sigh of relief as, jam-packed, we finally backed out of the driveway and off to our adventure destination.