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!