31 January 2011

We had a pretty good week here in Mariano Acosta. It is weird here with 4 elders in the ward but we are getting a lot of work done here in Mariano Acosta. We are on the side that is a brand new area so it´s a bit hard. All our past investigators are on the side of the other area but it´s a great opprotunity to find new people to teach. These last two weeks we have been working hard to find the people to teach and we have found them through In active families, members and seeing miracles in the street. Right now we have two in active families that are coming back to church and working on their goals to go to the temple. There are people that are able to be baptized in these families and we are excited to work with them! One family has been inactive for about 14 years and we saw how happy they are now in the church. It is amazing how the gospel really does bring blessings into your life because it´s the truth. Our two investigators were baptized this last Saturady. Well after the division they are not really our investigators but Elder Millard and I taught them for a long time. Sandra was in our area but she moved a couple days before her baptism so according to the limits, it is counted for the other area.. it doesn´t matter because the baptism was amazing with 75 people in attendance to see the baptism! She said she entered scared but when she left out of the waters she felt forgiven..

It is crazy to think that, all this started from one family in our ward who wanted to give a Ensign to a neighboor that just moved in. They invited her over for Family Night and it ended up being her daughter that came that was ready to hear this message. She is now baptized and enjoying the blessings of the church!

So the week has been good. I was sick for the first two days and pretty much the whole week. I was taken care of by my family here(Flia Diaz) so I am in good hands. We are ready to work with the people we have right now to come to church and to get baptized. We have a new family that we are teaching from Uruguay, the father is a member but inactive for a long time but has a family of 6 and he wants them to come back into the church and to have the blessings of church in their lives. We are excited to work with them! Well it is off to a great week ahead. Thanks for all the prayers and support back home.

Love you guys!

17 January 2011

How is everything back home?

We had our transfer meeting today and they split the area into two....Division A and Division B. Well me and Elder Millard are split up and I recieved my new companion Elder Gonzalez from Chile. He has about 6 months into the mission and is a pretty funny guy. So far it is going well. Elder Millard received a new companion, Elder Steele from Utah. We have three Yankees in the pench and one Chilean hah. I am still not sure what area I will be in but I am down for changes. Although this change I wish it could stay like it used to be. Spliting an area into two is hard because you loose half of an area with Members and Investigators. It´s like taking away some of your famil because I really do love all the people that we teach and especially the members! We have the best of both in the two areas so we will see... So off to a new transfer and I am ready to be the Senior Companion and lead our area to the top! During this last transfer Elder Millard and I did the best in our Zone so we got a special tie from President. (The best companionship stats-wise gets a Special tie from President at Transfer meeting). It was really cool and we were in the Top 10 for the Mission. A lot of my friends in the mission that entered with me are now moving to senior companion, trainer or district leaders, even one jumped up to zone leader, Elder Weiss, he´s a stud. I talked with Elder Bush too and we laugh at the fact that Mom and The Mom of Elder Bush are chatting it up on Email. It´s funny because we lived together for a couple of months. Small world right?!

Well this last week in Mariano Acosta was a good week. We had some killer lessons especially with Sandra. Everytime we teach her we are teaching at a member's house and she just wants to be baptized and believes that the Church is true. We teach her the Word of Wisdom and she has stopped drinking coffee and tea. She had the will power to do it too so I am stoked for that. She has her baptism date for next week. She even brought her niece to church too and she loved it! She has 11 years and we haven´t dropped the baptism question yet but she is so adorable and I am sure she would have the desires to baptize herself. She is starting to make friends in the church too! With other investigators we are just working hard to set dates for their baptism and to challenge them. We have an investigator named Angelica who wants to get baptized but guess what. Right when we had a killer lesson with a family, the next day she found work and she is working the end of the week right now!! Ahhh Satan is trying so hard it is annoying. We will try our hardest and keep praying hard. We have the same situation with another family that has the father working on Sundays but the wife is going to the church. Aldo and Milagros se llaman. She wants to get married in the Temple and have a family forever. The same with Aldo but he wants to learn more and first come to the church. We are working on trying to find new work for him or give him ideas to try to ask the Boss to give him Sunday off at least! It is so hard seeing people be ready to be baptized but having work stopping them from reaching this point in their life. We also have a 17 year old coming to church with us. We are teaching him the gospel and he loves Chess hah so sometimes we play with him. He came to church by himself this week. Haha a funny story we actualy went to look for him in a remis or ¨taxi¨ and we arrived at his house and found out that he already left to go to church. Right when we got there we saw him there in Sacrament Meeting! Funny thing was in the Remis, they either play Cumbia or American music. I heard a bit of Led Zep, some beatles and some new music in the states which killed me because it was the stuff I listen to right before the mission haha.

Well right now I am excited to be back in Mariano Acosta, still pretty bummed on the situation but you gotta go forward. We will see how it goes! Right now in the mission it's funny how you change from focusing on Castellano to start focusing on the planes and the area more. It is nice to have a solid base of Castellano and be able to talk to people without thinking. I remember those first few weeks of the mission... wow haha crazzzyy. I love you guys a lot! Until next week!

Elder Shepherd

10 January 2011

Another week in Mariano Acosta....changes are coming

Hey Family!

Thanks for the email. Everything is going smoothly at home, and that is crazy what happened to Tyler. Hope he recovers well and wow they are having a baby in June?! Craazzyy.

Well this week in Mariano Acosta we worked hard again and had a lot of success! We on having lessons with members and references too. We ended up finding new people through members and we have a lot of new people to start working with. We had a awesome Family Night with a young couple in the ward and they ended up inviting their next door neighboor and her daughter. The daughter hadn't seen her mom for 30 years and were recently reunited during Christmas time. We had a great family night about The Family. The daughter came to church and is looking forward to hearing more and having us stop by. This week we had 8 people in church that are investigating. We still have to work on some marriage dates with some investigators but they will come! Milagros, a young mom living with a member family here wants to live with her family for time and eternity, so when we passed by she opened up and we had a short talk about the Temple and how important it is to live the gospel. She has already been to church 2 times so we just need to get that marirage date! Also during the week we were visiting some inactive families and found a 9 year old kid named Jorge who wanted to be baptized earlier in 2010 but then somehow fell off the face of the earth. We brought him to church with his older sister, who we went to see how things where. It is amazing how you find new people to teach, blessings and miracles through original plans that you make. Members make all the difference too. Working with members this week, we had a lot of people open up better and once they become friends with the members, it's a lot easier for them to progress and come to church. We have the best members here in Mariano Acosta that really do care for the Elders so much! Well with the investigators that we have, that's pretty much it. It feels like I wrote only 5% of what happened with them but it's hard to remember everything. We just have great potential ahead of us!

Transfers are coming up in a week and we got news that we are going to have 4 elders here in Mariano Acosta. So we are going to divide the area right down the middle. We dont know how it is going to work. If me and Elder Millard are going to stay together or the rumor is that I am going to be a trainer. I don´t know so we will see next week in the Email! Right now I am pretty stoked. I feel like I have the language down to a good point. It´s amazing to think I am living here in Argentina and I can talk to anybody and understand and communicate back!! I still have a long way to go. In an hour or so we are going to go play basketball with some 20 year old investigators that we have. They are really interested in America and have some interest in the Church. They love basketball and futbol so we are going to see how everything is. I feel confident that my basketball skills are better than theirs, but when it comes to futbol... yeah not even funny. They really do grow up with a soccer ball. I went to Lobos this week too for divisions. It rained over there so we got soaked and it was horrible... one of those days that you really don't want it to happen again on the mission. It is still super beautiful over there so I can´t wait to visit after the mission. I´m thankful for the water we have, it is amazing to have running water so do take it for granted!

This week it has been really nice. The temperature dropped but it is due to the rain storms everynow and then. It should rain tomorrow too but everyone is still waiting for the month straight of 38 degrees and blazing hot with humidity.

Well we had a great week. Next week should be interesting with the changes. It is going to help Mariano Acosta so I am happy. Hope everything is well back home and I miss you guys a lot. I heard there is a lot of snow (thanks global warming haha) so have fun with snowboarding and everything.

Love you guys!
Elder Shepherd

03 January 2011

Feliz Ano Nuevo! No Water?

Wow we are already in 2011! The time sure goes by really fast and will only go faster and faster. Having New Year's here in Argentina really is something different. Another night of no sleep due to the fireworks but it was awesome. I´ll have to send a video home but the file is too big. Well more stuff to look at when we get home right. Well this week we worked really hard and ended up at the top of our zone with a baptism. One of our investigators, Brenda, was baptized this weekend by her uncle from a different stake. He came all the way over from (?) and performed the baptism. It was a really special baptism because he was the only member in the family and he told us thank you for bringing his niece into the church, as well as his sister who will be baptized in the future but is waiting on a divorce. A lot of members came to the baptism including Familia Diaz, who is the best family ever here. Everything turned out great and we had a wonderful baptism for Brenda. A lot of investigators came to see the baptism and they all liked the church and hopefully had a seed planted in their hearts to come back and see more.

With working really hard this week we found a lot of miracles. One of the biggest changes I have seen is how working with members and having them give you references is the biggest change in the world. A whole new set of doors have opened up for us. We contacted 3 of our references from members and they are all now investigating the church or having other family members start to progress and have interest. We visited this one family from a reference who talked about his mother who was a member. We ended up passing by and found out she was one of the first members here in Mariano Acosta and part of her family aren't members. She told us thank you for coming to her house and bringing the spirit. We taught the whole family and the granddaughters who are 15 and they speak decent English for only studying in school. They said they want to come to church! Just so many doors have opened up to teaching new people. Including a family that is living with some members who are interested in the church. We had lunch and a mini lesson and they opened up! Milagros, the wife, came to church too and fits right in. I can´t wait to see what the future brings.

With hard work, miracles will come! Sooo haha, this week was full of work but also something else. Yeahh, we were without water for the whole week so every morning at 6.30 we went over to the chapel with buckets to shower ourselves and to have drinking water. Yeaaahhh, I am so thankful for a running showing now. The guy came and fixed the pump.. to get water from the ground.. and I had a awesome shower today on Pday... stoked! Well this ward is awesome especially our Obispo Viscarra, he seriously is a great man and loves to be involved in the ward. He cares so much and loves the missionaries that work hard. It is a blessing to be serving here in this ward. Everyone is amazing.

Well yeah thats about it. Just a week of hard working with the blessings that you can see. Another daughter entered into the waters of baptism and new people investigating the church. I hope everyone had a great new years. I loved talking with everyone on Christmas!!! Especially my Little Sister McKenna!

The weather is still redic, hot as ever but what are you going to do. You just get used to being uncomfortable haha. Oh yeah, the Internet Cafe is playing Oasis - Wonderwall.. ahh good stuff. Hope everything is great at home, miss you guys a ton and have a great New Year!

Keep it real!

Elder Shepherd