Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Rain! (And Moving (again))

Muchos gracias papa y mama. I havent gottten any packages yet but thats understandable because Im way out here in the boonies. A letter a week might be alittle much, maybe like one a month or something. 

The begining of this week it was hot, really hot and humid here in the hills of Minas. Reminded me of christmas, ugh. Sweating in the streats and sweating at night. But then the cold came back and the storms came too. It just rained and theres a big wind which makes the umbrellas pretty useless because the rain just comes sideways underneath it. We were hiking over this hill the other day to get to a little people who live on the other side, this dirt road that takes about 45 minutes to get up and down the other side and we got caught in this storm at the top. Mud everwhere as we ran down the hill and knocked on the nearest members house who let us in but the rain was leaking through his metal roof. It was actually a lot of fun. Just soaking wet to the bone me and comp running through the downpour. Then the next day it cleared up alittle and I found a four leaf clover, woohoo. 
Then the rains came back. Some clover huh. The rain made it hard to find people but easier to get into the houses because they felt bad for us. Works like a charm. Saturday we were supposed to have a baptism but the investigator, Nis, never showed up for his interview so his service fell through. We couldn't find him until yesterday night, said that something came up and he had to go out of town. We don't believe him, he did this before with other missionaries as well. Maybe he isnt one of the chosen and prepared ones. Sunday we had stake conference that was broadcasted from salt lake and Elder Bednar talked to us. It was super mission focused. Just telling the members that the mission work is THEIR work and the missionaries are just there to help. It should help to get some members on board  with the work. Then yes, yesterday we found our boy Nis, we just decided to go to his house one night and we found him there and he let us in, we just said we have done everything, even organized his interview and his service, now its in his hands. If he wants to be baptized he has to show his desires. Faith without works is the definition of this investigator. We offered a kneeling prayer and we wanted him to do it but he wouldn't so I ended up doing it. That was a spiritual experience, really just felt like the words were falling out of my mouth and I wasn't having to think of what to say. After the prayer he got up and said he had a surprise that he really wants to be baptized. 
Buuuuuuuutttttt I will not be here to see it, because changes came in last night and Im being moved. Back to montevideo, a city called Bella Italia. Beautiful Italy. I really wasn't expecting that. We had such a good six weeks here with elder Williams I thought for sure I would stay until he ¨dies¨ and then I thought I would stay for even a few months more. But nope. I guess Im needed in montevideo again. Ill be going in as District Leader with a companion who is being transferred from a different mission. don't know why and I don't know his name. All I know is that he is from Nicaragua. I really loved Minas and my companion Elder Williams, so I have to pack tonight and say goodbye to the members and investigators here. Give my last exhorts like Moroni before I leave.

Anyways, I dont need any stamps now, Im pretty set, I have a few strips of stamps that should last for a while. 

I dont really think I NEED anything more for now. Well thats about it for this week. Thanks!

Elder Webber

Monday, August 18, 2014

The Empty House and Cheap Pastries...

Well anyways, this week was fast, crazy fast. One of the first days of the week we were walking around doing the normal deal when a white unmarked car pulled up and two big guys got out with guns strapped to their chests with bullet proof vests and told us to stop and open our bags. Super sketchy. But they were just under cover cops looking for some guys that were dressed up like us and were pretending to sell things to get into houses and steal stuff. 
I think that same day we went to a new investigators house to see if she had read her pamphlet and to invite her to come to church. We went by and she said she had but ¨didn´t remember anything¨ thats the number one excuse we get from people who didn´t read what we gave them. So we asked what was her favorite part, just to catch them and tell them to actually read it this time. After we asked she went off on the story of Jose Smith and how he prayed and saw Jesus. So we were wrong there, but then we asked her if she had prayed to know if it was true, and she said yes, that she had and she felt ¨strange¨ like she´s never felt before. Drop that Galatians scripture. The fruits of the spirit... We went back to her house the other day and every sign of life was gone. Her whole house was empty, including the front door. Really weird, we haven´t seen her since, which is sad because she had really recieved her answer. 
As we were thinking where she might be, looking for clues or something in this empty house, another woman came up to us and really strangly gave us this address of another woman to visit and left. So we went and when an old lady opened the door she said she couldn´t talk because she was busy, so we threw out our usually, ¨oh well do you need help¨ then she started crying and said yes, spiritual help. Just a weird chain of events but hey, it all works out. Something that the mission has been wanting to change is the retention of converts and re-activation of less active members. So one night we were in the casa of some less active members, turns out the husband had a stroke a few years back and was learning to speak again, although he could write, he lost the use of his right arm and leg. He gave his notebook where he practices making sentances and phrases and while were flipping through we came across his testimony and how he understood that this is what God had in plan for him and that he could find hope and strength in Christ. Then at the end there was a prepared question for us, the missionaries. If he couldn´t use his right arm, how could he sustain his priesthood leaders? Sniff. What a guy. We just said use your other arm or lift up your right arm with your left arm. God understands. 
Well anyways, this week was good, we found a bakery that sells their old pasteries from the day before in the next morning for half price. We can buy a Kilo of pastries for around two dolla fiddy. What a steal. 

Elder Webber

Monday, August 11, 2014

A Great P-Day...

I´m way out here in the country. My shoes are showing the first signs or weakness, she´s old, but she´ll hold. I bought a new watch, looks like a real watch, cost about 10 bucks. haha yes, all the fake stuff in this country is straight from Brazil.

So this week was just crazy fast. We had multi zone conference in Maldonado on wednesday, which was good. Got to see a few of my old house mates and friends. We have an investigator Nis, maybe I already told you about him but he is prepared. He talked to the missionaries a while back but never got baptized, he knows the book is true and everything, but something is stopping him. He should be baptized this friday. I think he´s just alittle timid. Old guy like 70 years old. But he has a bridge in front of his house that crosses a little stream thing. Little concrete bridge and when me and my companion both stepped on it, it broke and fell down. When Nis discovered later that it was broken he was really sad but he didn´t know it was us. We offered to help fix it and everthing, we tried telling him that it was us who broke the bridge but he just kept thinking we were joking, now look, we stepped on your brigde and it broke, we´re sorry. Then he´d just laugh and say we were so funny. Ugh. Anyways, we cleaned the baptismal pila this week too. Roll up our pants and sleeves and dump a bunch of bleach in there. It was fun. The people out here are harder to understand than in the city, they have a whole different vocabulary. We also found this woman named Gladys, she as well talked to missionaries a long time ago, like 3 years ago, and this elder who has a sister with downsyndrome found her which was perfect becasue Gladys has a downsyndrome son. Anyways she couldn´t be baptized because she was living with a man, but he left this year and now she is alone. Soooooo she finds comfort in reading the scriptures, which include the book of mormon. ohhh yes, She has read almost the whole book and it is full of notes from cover to cover. She is so prepared she has a date to be baptized the 29th of this month. And today was the best p day ever. We had to wake up at 5 again and catch a bus to Pan to Azucar. You´ll have to google it or something to see some pictures of the hill. But we went there and hiked the hill. It was sooo cool. At the bottom there was a big kind of zoo, but it was all broken and ghetto and the animals were just roaming around free, like some carpinchos (capibaras) and emus. Then we had to climb through this thick jungle stuff, reminded me alot of New Zealand. This rocky moldy trail with this little stream coming down it with fallen trees and stuff. Then we get up onto the top which looks alot like boulder mountain kind of. But there is a huge cross on the top of the hill. Its like 13 stories tall or something and you can go inside and up the spiral staircase inside. It was really fun. I´ll try to send some photos, but I forgot my cable back in the house so we´ll see if I can find one here from one of the other elderes. Its been a good week. I like it alot here in Minas. I could spend a long time here, I hope I do. 

Yesh yesh, anyways, I think that´s about it. I´ll try to put some photos on now, If not then next week for sure. 

Elder Webber

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Finding New People... And BIG goals

Just another week in the mission. During the week I usually write down note worthy things in my notebook to write home but this week just went by alittle too fast and I didn´t get much written down. We´re still working the white wash situation and we have a few really good investigators with family but only one came to church. Sometimes the uruguayos make me angry. Really this week was just focused on bringing people to church. We made sooooooo many commitments with investigators we were waiting on a solid 5 or 6 who gave a deffinite yes. The only one that came was a man from the campo, like a cowboy, who doesn´t know how to read, he´s really a nice guy and wants to follow Jesus and be baptized but hes always out in the country so it´ll be hard to teach. We had another intercambio this week, and this time I went with Elder Peterson, who now has about 3 weeks in the field. A young buck. He´s really struggling with his spanish so the whole day just consisted basically of me doing street contacts solo and he gives a brief testimony afterwards. It was hard. Our house is an english house. So all the elders in the house speak english, including elder Saavedra. So elder Peterson is not forced to speak spanish like I was. He´ll learn. While I was out with him we actually had a decent amount of sucess. Put a date or two to be baptized. We had an awkward moment in zone conference as well. We were called the night before to think of a monthly goal for august, so we talked about who we had and we prayed and decided on 4 for august. When we got to the zone conference, the zone leaders asked us to present our goals. Everybody else went first with goals like, 2....1.....2.....3...2..... and then we dropped our bomb with 4. We reckon we can do it. It´ll be hard but we will work with the members and get them baptized. We didn´t have any lunches this week so I got an opportunity to practice my culinary skills. Made some pastas with white sauces and some au gratin potatoes and onions. It was good, but I´´m getting better. Today in the morning we traveled over to Pan de Azucar. Which is interpreted to say, Bread of the Sugar, and we had a zone activity where we just played the game called Mafia and threw the football around while we ate food. It was fun. Thats about it for this week, doing good. 

I have the talks,
Profile of a prophet
The currant bush one
The one you sent me last week don´t know but its about the spirit.

I dont know just send me some good ones. pshhh 

Elder Webber

P.S. Pics of our P-day activity and cake I made...