Monday, March 30, 2015

Working hard....

Sounds all good at home with rugby and highschool. This week went by really fast, we said goodbye to everybody here tuesday night and then we went to changes. Elder Rodriguez was really ok until we got to the chapel there in montevideo. He got pretty lost, there´s a whole ruitine that we always do when get there, but now that he wasn´t zone leader he just kinda had to sit around and wait for someone to tell him what to do. I found my new companion, he´s a boss. 
Elder Ashcraft from idaho, nampa I think. I´ll have to ask him his address I´m not sure what it is. We get along pretty well and we started working straight away. We work well together, of course it takes a few days to get the wrinkles out but now we are running smooth like a well oiled gospel-preaching machine. oh yeah. We went to go visit that woman we found a few weeks ago and who we gave a blessing too because her feet were super nasty, all covered with nasty sores and scabs. Its actually a pretty comon disease down here, even our bishop has it. You get from walking around without your shoes on in the mud and some weird fungus grows on you and makes these big sores. I told you a while back how she was doing alot better and walking around but now she is almost totaly healed, which is fantastic and she recognizes it as a miracle. So we are pretty sure that she will be getting baptized in the next coming month or so. 
This friday night my companion got really really sick. Vomited almost the whole night with a serious case of the runs. Saturday he was still really sick so we had to stay inside. Ughhh its the worst staying in that house for so long. Clean the kitchen, clean my room, read some scriptures, update the area book.... that´s a good two hours and then we had like 8 more to just wait. So we listened to like 50 general conference talks and talked about doctrine. 
This week is called Semana Santa, holy week, and nobody works and they go on vacation. Its already getting pretty bad here, but I´m really looking forward to general conference. Because we have been asigned as ward secrataries we get to look over the ward list. 
We were looking and we discovered that there is a Seventy that lives in our area. So yeah, we went and found him yesterday. It was pretty sad, he came out, and told us he was never thinking about coming back to the church and that it was just his decision and his way of life. An inactive seventy. The calling seventy was a stake calling, I guess, a long time ago. We´ll see what we can do. Tomorrow we have to travel to montevideo again to go to the council and we were told that an apostle is going to come and speak to us this month, but they didn´t tell us which one. I´m pretty excited, we´re all praying for holland or Uchtdorf. haha no we´ll be happy with any general authority.
I think that´s about it for now. Thanks!
Elder Webber

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Having Fun and Working Hard

Well well, bunches of stuffs happening back home. I didn´t get any pin of uruguay. We´re actually not allowed to wear pins here. I dont know why, just a weird rule. 
This week was good. A good solid week to just work in our area without traveling or anything. We live with one of our district leaders and he was asking, well more like begging to do some exchanges this week because him and his companion don´t get along, nope. Too bad so sad. You two can go and talk about it. It´s gotten pretty bad their situation, they dont even want to be together on p-day. Its been pretty rough with them. 
Its weird that my companion is going home tomorrow. He´s finishing his mission. Its even weirder that I was his companion more than a year ago when I was brand new and he had barely made a year. Going home was less than a dream for him then and now its his reality. We used to joke and talk about it at times a year ago, but as the weeks went by this transfer I could tell he started to feel diferently about it. Last night when the changes came in and we went to print them off he got pretty sad, this are the last changes that he will ever get. He didn´t really want to talk to much last night. But anyways, he ended well. 
There is a sister in our ward, Hermana Gomez. She always comes to church but always comes alone. We got to know her and her family and they are sooooo awesome. She is always giving us food, and coming out to visit families with us and giving us advice. Anyways, long story short, we ended up reactivating her whole family which was super awesome and now they are coming every sunday to church. After they got re-activated she told us that she has a grandkid, Matheus, who wanted to be baptized. He was 8. He is sooooo smart. It wouldn´t count as a convert baptism and we knew it but she asked us to teach him all the lessons and commandments. So we did. It was just a ward baptism because he is the son of a member and is 8 but it was super spiritual. Just the whole reactivation and the baptism and now they are all super happy and the boyfriend of the daughter told us yesterday that he wants to be baptized too after vacations end. Yessss. So we had his baptism this sunday after church and my companion got to baptize him and we did the comfirmation afterwards. 
This week we also said goodbye to Daniel and Stell for rodriguez because we wont be able to see them today. We went to their house and they said they were just getting ready to go down to the beach by the river and sit around the fire with their family so they invited us. We went down and it was bitter sweet. Sitting around with them sharing food and also having to say goodbye to rodriguez. Daniel´s son, Anthony was sitting by me and we had maybe 30 minutes and he told us like, hey lets go fishing. So me and him and my companion grabbed the rods and it was night time and ran to the river to fish. Oh yeah. Didn´t catch much because we only had maybe 20 minutes but we had fun doing it. 
The changes came in last night like I said and my new companion is Elder Ashcraft. from idaho I think. I´m going to be training him as a new zone leader. I know him pretty well, and I think we will get along great. I´m not so happy about our zone though, I dont know. sometimes I think they just throw the people they dont want out here in 33 and let us deal with them. haha that´s mean, but its true. 
We are going to have to do alot of "dropping the cane" bajando la caña. I dont know how to say that in english I thiknk it would be chastising. But oh well. We´ll see how it it. Well, I think that´s all for now. I´ll try to include some photos. 

Elder Webber

Monday, March 16, 2015

Went to the temple...

Well, I dont have a whole lot of time, usually we have more time but right now   I´m in chuy again so we gotta get goin if we want to catch the bus home to 33. This week was nutty. Even more stuff to do. Monday was normal and so was tuesday until about 3 in the afternoon when the whole zone came to our church so that we could take a bus to montevideo. I swear, sometimes trying to get 22 missionaries to show up ontime and get on the bus is like herding cats. Ugh. Well we finally showed up to the temple tuesday night at about 9 and nobody was there to greet us like we were told. So I figured, well we´ll just do it ourselves. So we went to the hotel thing that is there by the temple that is owned by the church and we checked us in for the night. More organizing and assigning room captains and stuff like that. Trying to choose the most mature of the groups to be the captains. Finally at about 10 the secretaries showed up with some sandwhiches and then we went to bed. We still didn´t know anything, except for the fact that we would have a conference that day and we would go to the temple afterwards. No idea for breakfast or what times so we just woke everybody up at 630, (we kept a copy of the keys to all the rooms) and we studied while we waited for instructions. The assistants called us and told us to go to the church where there was breakfast and where we would start the interviews with president. So there were two groups, half the zone and half the zone. The first half, lead by my companion went to the temple while my half had their interviews and the conference. I had to organize the interviews and make sure there was always somebody waiting outside presidents office to be interviewed. That wasn´t too hard but I missed a lot of the conference. Then it was our turn to go to the temple and I was the last one for the interview. Man, president is an inspired man. Some super awesome doctrine he shared and he let me know that the zone feels like their zone leaders love them. So that´s good, that makes me feel like I´m doing my job pretty well. President seemed pretty happy with how we were doing. Anyways, these last couple of weeks, president has told us to do some family history work for ourselves, so I searched and searched and searched on my tree and finally found somebody who had all the information and was ready to go to the temple. So I printed off the barcode thing and took that to the temple with me. I showed up late to the temple because I was last so I really had to run and change quickly and jump into the baptism with another elder, elder Carroll from arizona. He baptized me for my ancestor and I baptized him for his ancestors then we hopped out and confirmed eachother right there and then. Then we did all the ordinances up to sealing because we can´t do sealings as missionaries. It was so cool doing temple work for an ancestor. That was the first time I´ve actually done that for someone in my tree I think. Super cool. We sent the zone home in a bus and we went to the offices so my companion could take an english test. I think he did well, we´ll probably find out today. Then we caught a bus, but not back to 33, but to Chuy! We got in chuy at about 4 in the morning thursday. The elders had given us their keys and we gave them ours because they would be stopping in 33. So we got to their house before them and slept there until they got there. I did an interview before lunch and then we spent money, like I always do when I´m in chuy. That brazillian stuff, tempting. Anyways, we got back to 33 late thursday night and worked normal from then until sunday. We only had those couple days to work in our area, but we have new potential investigators. One is the husband of one of the firmest members here. He is straight gaucho. That´s like cowboy. He is legit. He has had all of the lessons before from other missionaries but never wanted to come to church because he is a pretty timid guy. We´ll get him. Anyways, today we had a zone activity here in chuy, it is so hot, really the zone just wanted a reason to come and see brazil. We were pretty stuborn these last 6 weeks and denied all the requests to go on P days. Finally we figured we would give them the day here, but they gotta be back working in their area before 6 in the afternoon. So that´s why I´m in a rush to write this. 

Elder Webber

Monday, March 9, 2015

A Baptism...

Wooohooo (Ben's called to Angola) Africa huh? That´s pretty crazy. Just imagine ben in the jungle, sweating like a fool hahaha. He´ll do great. I´m going to have to study how to say landmine in spanish so I can tell the members. 
This week went by so fast. So much has changed now too. I´m just gunna get going from monday. A pretty normal day and and we got to bed about 1030 and woke up at 2 to get on a bus to montevideo again for another mission leadership council. Got there at 8, breakfast, meeting, lunch, meeting and we ended at about 6 in the afternoon. Basically whats going on is this. Before president Cook got here almost a year ago, we had some pretty hard presidents. The mission and the members got into this "baptize at all costs" kind of attitude. Which produced thousands and thousands of... less actives. The retencion rates were about 20 percent. Then president cook came in and one of his assistants was an elder who left the mission as a baptizing legend. This gave president the impression that we were just about baptisms so that is what he focused on for a few months. But then things started to change and the mission as a whole changed and now our retention rates are better and improving. We might not be baptizing as much, but we are baptizing a lot better. Now we know HOW to baptize all we need to do now is do it faster. So in the council all we talked about was how we can do this. Help the missionaries really to under DC 20:37 and really apply it to their work and their investigators. So we changed the requirments to be baptized here in the mission. Now instead of coming to the SACREMENT meeting TWICE, they have to come to ALL THREE HOURS at least THRICE. Only then can the missionaries start to analize their investigators to see that they meet the requirements found in DC 20:37. Its a good change, but already we have seen a huge decrease in urgency and "fruits". So that was fun, we got on a bus at about 11 that night and headed home. Got home at 4 in the morning, slept two hours and got up to work that wednesday. Probably one of the most physically demanding days of my mission. 
From monday morning until wednesday night we had maybe a total of 6 hours of sleep. We prepared our information to present in the zone conference and I feel like the 22 missionaries took it really well. That was friday, we also had our baptismal interview for Natasha, the niece of Daniel, who just got baptized, which went well, and then we prepared everything saturday, baked a cake to share after, and had her baptism sunday afternoon. I´m not gunna lie, probably one of the most spiritual moments in my mission. 
So listen to this, the opening prayer was by Anthony (her cousin and recent convert), then I had to come up with a talk on baptism on the spot because the member didn´t show up, then a talk on the holy ghost by Stella (her aunt and recent convert) then she was baptized by Daniel (her uncle and recent convert) then we watched some inspiracional videos while they changed and she shared her testimony and started crying, so Daniel and Stella started crying, then they hugged and all the members were crying. It was great. Closing prayer by Jean or Ian (cousin and recent convert). Natasha has been waiting soooooo long to be baptized, she is 12 years old and really has a strong testimony in the church and with so many family members who are members, they are all going to stay active for the rest of their lives, I´m pretty positive. A good day. A good week. 

I think that´s about it for this week. I can´t really think of anything else that happened. Oh yeah, I got the package with the mug in it. haha That´s pretty legit. So thanks for that. I´m running out of room in my journal, I gotta find a new one. 

Elder Webber

photos of the baptism and rodriguez doing the baptism dance. 

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

A Great Discussion...

Well anyways, this week was up and down and everything. It didn´t start too well, last monday after I wrote you guys we got a call from the secrataries asking where we were. What do you mean? We are in 33 like we always are. Oh, because right not we are having a zone leader coucil with Elder Viñas from the quorom of the 70 here in montevideo. Ughhhhh...... Nobody told us anything. So we missed that oppurtunity to learn from a 70 in a small group of elders so that we could really get some personal interaction. I feel bad because I got alittle upset with the secretaries and they just said that it wasn´t their fault that they had nothing to do with it. So when the assistants to the president called I was pretty ready to ¨drop the cane¨ as they here in Uruguay. But they recognized that it was their fault and asked forgiveness for their lack of organization. O.K. Fine, I forgive you. We did get to have a multi-zone conference with elder Viñas the next day and he breifly reviewed more or less what they went over in the mission council. He knows his scriptures and told us basically that right now in the world we are just baptizing future less active members and apostates. We learned alot. I did an intercambio with one of the elders here in our zone, he´s been giving us some problems with the members and leaders, we had to sit down and just talk alittle. I dont enjoy doing it, but it has to be done. This friday we went in the morning to teach Susana, a woman we found a couple weeks ago and she basically taught herself.

¨What is a prophet?¨she started
so we taught her.
¨and then Jesus came right?¨
yup, so we taught her that.
¨wait what happened to this so called church he set up?¨
well if you´ll give a minute we´ll explain. so we did. 
¨so we need to see some kind of restauracion of the true church then¨
well about the year 1820....
¨can´t I just pray and find out if its true too?¨
yes you can. 
¨right now?¨
yeah I have faith. lets do it now. 

That´s the watered down version of our lesson. she started praying and didn´t even make it past ¨our dear Heavenly Father¨ before she started crying. She said she would come to church. Then saturday we went to another investigators house who has some kind of cholesterol build-up in her leg veins so she can´t really walk, well we figured we would give her a blessing, in which we said that she would be able to walk to church the next day. She said she was feeling alot better afterwards but then satan had to come in and ruin everything and send some close relatives to visit her and keep her from coming to church.

In the end we had a good 3 investigators in church. They should be getting baptized pretty soon. We´ll see how it all turns out. That´s about it for now. 

Elder Webber