Monday, December 22, 2014

This week was interesting. One day when we were leaving the apartment, we saw two missionaries talking with a member on a street corner. Turns out they were from the MTC and were sent out to contact people. They were from Brazil, and the showed us a map with the divisions of our area into about 12 companionships. We found two other Elders from the U.S. On a bus, we saw a bunch of missionaries, including sisters, waiting for a bus to go to the Chapel in Ballester to go back to the MTC. We received two referrals from them, one from each of the companionships we talked to.

All but three of the members we had scheduled to accompany us failed. It's difficult because people have lives and their stresses, and we can forget that too often. But it is sad when our plans start falling through. Even still, the members here are wonderful. They support us a lot.

We went by the house of a recent convert who just turned 16. His internet wasn't working and couldn't figure out how to use it, so I went on and within a couple of minutes it worked. He said "you've got to be kidding me." He said the place he was going to take it would charge almost $1000 pesos to get it fixed.

The Ward had a Christmas Dinner on Friday, but we had to leave after about half an hour, and they were just setting up during that time. The food wasn't done, but we had to be in the apartment on time so we didn't eat. It rained Saturday and Sunday. It was great. I always seem to work better when it's raining, but people generally are less likely to listen or let us in.

There is a real "Christmas Spirit" that has an effect on people. They've been more open to invitations. This time reminds us of things as they really are, that Christ did indeed come to us. I hope that during this Christmas we can learn and prayerfully apply more abundantly the Gospel of Jesus Christ in our lives. We will find greater joy and peace by following the counsel of the Master. The Gospel is simple, but not always easy. We too often are tempted to excuse ourselves or others from the pathway to greater happiness.

And it came to pass after I, Nephi, having heard all the words of my father, concerning the things which he saw in a vision, and also the things which he spake by the power of the Holy Ghost, which power he received by faith on the Son of God—and the Son of God was the Messiah who should come—I, Nephi, was desirous also that I might see, and hear, and know of these things, by the power of the Holy Ghost, which is the gift of God unto all those who diligently seek him, as well in times of old as in the time thahe should manifest himself unto the children of men.

For he is the same yesterday, today, and forever; and the way is prepared for all men from the foundation of the world, if it so be that they repent and come unto him.

For he that diligently seeketh shall find; and the mysteries of God shall be unfolded unto them, by the power of the Holy Ghost,as well in these times as in times of old, and as well in times of old as in times to come; wherefore, the course of the Lord is one eternal round.
(1 Nephi 10:17-19)

Monday, December 15, 2014

It rained Saturday, which was very nice, but no one came to Church yesterday. We've been trying to get a lot of people to Church and it is proving to be very difficult. We've met a lot of people. We met a former investigator who received the missionaries about 10 years ago. Johnathan is moving to Quilmes for three weeks, but he's really interested.

I finally met the Villa-Luque family. They've been going to church for 15 years or more, but can't get baptized because she's married to someone else and can't get divorced yet. Their son was sustained as Elder's Quorum Secretary this Sunday and is going to go on a mission.

It pains me to see how as members of the Church we don't always see all of the blessings and responsibilities that we have, or can have. We are all responsible for living according to the testimony we've received. The parable of talents does not directly refer to "talents" but a very large measure of weight or wealth. The talents are not ours, neither are the gains we are required to make on them. They are the Lords. What we have been given much responsibility, but there is even more awaiting us after this life if we are faithful to the testimony and responsibility we've already received.

Monday, December 8, 2014

This week went well. We didn't have as many lessons because some of our members fell through. It stressed out Elder Jones a bit, but he's doing great.

Julio came to church again. We found out he's the Senate's adviser and the professor of a member in the ward. He told us a few stories about him, and he's very quiet, but he understands everything. He's always in Capital or somewhere else, so we've only talked to him through text messages.

We found Johnathan, who seems to have a lot of real interest. We keep running into him miraculously. He couldn't come this week, but he'll come next week. We've had a number of miracles, and I'm absolutely convinced that we don't find prepared people, they find us. But we find them faster through members.

We have a Zone Conference with President this week.

The "He is the Gift" initiative is very inspired. We have pass along cards that are very effective. It is a simple message, and many have their hearts softened because of Christmas. It is an excellent opportunity to invite someone to receive the blessings of the Restored Gospel in their lives.

Monday, December 1, 2014

This week was strange. My leg got much better, but my arm broke out in a rash, so I bought diphendyramine, but I became way to tired and dizzy, and I couldn't sleep because I felt so drugged. In the end, it only made the rash worse.

Julio couldn't come this Sunday because he's a professor of law and had something to do with a marriage in Capital. Jorge, who we found last week and has shown lots of interest, couldn't come either, but he said he wouldn't forget and would come this week. This week went a bit slow, and we've found lots of people who couldn't go this week.

There's a new Ward Mission Leader, who still isn't set apart. He's amazing. He seems to know everything by instinct. He received very little information about his calling, but he seems to know it better than many leaders I've seen. We feel very strongly that this ward will change dramatically.

The Church is doing a campaign "He is the Gift" and they made a great video. On the 7th, we'll be the only advertisments on YouTube.

Monday, November 24, 2014

This week I hurt my leg and I had to rest it for about two and a half days. I don't know what happened, but it was all inflamed and hot, and difficult to walk. It probably happened playing soccer on Tuesday. It was really annoying because I wanted to get to know the area, but we couldn't do anything.

A friend of a member named Julio showed up on Sunday. We thought he was from the other Elders' area. They said that during one of the meetings he started crying. Later, his friend, Hno. Arvelo who we live with said that his dad recently passed away.

When Elder Christofferson came a few weeks ago, something he said really stuck with me. He said that he thought for a long time that Christ would come when the wickedness of the world had reached a certain point. He said that his wife corrected him and said that the thing missing for His second coming is a prepared people. It made me think of how the duty of the Twelve, and by extension members and missionaries in their respective responsibilities, is to bring the Gospel to the ends of the Earth and to build the Kingdom of God on the Earth.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

This week went well. Alberto came to the special stake conference where Elder Christofferson spoke. He's doing very well and his mom thanked us saying that were the only ones who persevere with him. She's Pentecostal.

Elder Fuentes was invited to a trainers meeting, and I had an interview with President for a Temple Recommend and the Ecclesiastical Endorsement for BYU. It was a very good experience.

I've been transferred to Villa Ballester with Elder Jones. Elder Funtes will be training a new missionary. It seems like a nice area. It's much larger than our area in López Camelo.

Monday, November 10, 2014

This week went well Alberto is coming along well, but didn't come to church. We were outside his house about half an hour clapping and yelling, but he was dead asleep.

We had interviews with President on Thursday. He showed us the trailer of Meet the Mormons and said that it won't come to Argentina until March. He also showed a video of Pres. Eyring when he was a member of the Twelve saying very forcefully "You be careful" if we ever have the idea that perhaps our calls weren't inspired. He said we should tell our younger brothers to take good pictures when they send in the papers because usually the moment the see the picture they know where we have to go. He said he had never received impressions as strong or as consistent as the missionary assignments.

Sunday was Elder Fuente's birthday. He changed clothes because he knew he would be mauled by eggs and flour and mud.

Monday, November 3, 2014

I think I should probably clarify. Lunch with the Cabranes last week was actually very, very good. It always is. It was an inside joke because they said they were reading my blog. I took a chance with that one.

This week we found a few new people who seem interested. We found a Chilean friend of David. They all call him "Chile" as a nickname. He came to Church this Sunday along with a friend of another recent convert, Zenaida, who's now living with her until the flooding by her house cleans up. She's from Pilar, close to Derqui where I was.

There's been about two days of nonstop rain. It seems like some areas of Buenos Aires are flooded. Here, everything seems fine for now. There was another time where it was flooded nearly up to the outside door of the place where we live.

The Google Street View we saw in March finally has the pictures up:,-58.6938603,3a,15y,30.91h,84.51t/data=!3m4!1e1!3m2!1sEBeFBLya_GsF9FKhCP9VuA!2e0 It's me and Elder Chriss to my right.

Monday, October 13, 2014

This week went interesting. We've run out of investigators. We've been finding a number of less-actives and we've been working with them because they have family that are not members.

There is so much work to do. There is always someone to teach. As members we have the opportunity to help those within the Church to stay on the path the Lord has revealed. Home Teaching is perhaps the most indispensable program in the Church aside from administering to the poor and missionary work. If everything were to fall apart, the Priesthood responsibility of ministering and administering to members of the Church will always be upon us. I feel that the fulfillment of our Home Teaching assignments should be a high priority in our lives, our first and foremost calling within the Church.

We still haven't seen the Priesthood Session. We normally see it in the Zone Meeting following Conference, but it didn't happen.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

This week we went to the Temple as a mission on Friday. It was a wonderful experience. On the bus ride home, we decided to stop in UniCenter to eat because it was on the way and then take a different bus that would take us just one block from our house. When we went to the Food Court, Nick, President's son came flying at us yelling "Elders!" Turns out every Friday evening President goes with his family to eat there.

Saturday we watched the afternoon session of conference with Ricardo in his house. Sunday we went to the Stake Center, and it rained for a good part of the day. We got a call that night from the Secretary saying that we needed to come to the mission home the next morning to have interviews with President. We went, and it was a great experience. President said that he felt the morning was inspired, and it was.

At the end of everything, Elder Fuentes and I are staying in López Camelo. I'm really happy because there's lots of work to do and I love this area.

Monday, September 29, 2014

This week Brenda was baptized on Saturday and confirmed the next day. It was my first baptism with only 1 church attendance. As a rule, we need to have 3, but we got an exception. This family is so ready for the Church. Ricardo and Cintia love it when we come over and we've had lunch and dinner with them a few times.

We celebrated Elder Ballestero's birthday this week. He's going home in a week. It's a tradition in Argentina to throw eggs and flour on people on their birthdays. They went over the top and threw mud as well.

Monday, September 22, 2014

This week Gladys was confirmed. Lots of good things happened, but many things didn't go quite so well. There's always room to improve. It's a miracle that people as weak as us can bring such change in the lives of people. But frequently it comes after a lot of work and disappointment.

Yesterday I think a friend of Gabriela got offended by a misunderstanding. I think she thought that we got offended when we were talking with her, and then misinterpreted a phone call to Judith thinking that we were saying negative things.

It pains me how much people reject the Book of Mormon. The invitation to "search, ponder and pray" is so simple and natural, yet of those who don't reject the book completely, few are willing to read it, and even fewer actually do end up reading, pondering and praying. But I have yet to meet someone who has followed the promise in Moroni 10:3-5, and has not received an answer. I know the Book of Mormon is true. Every time I follow this promise, my testimony deepens its roots and produces fruit, and the fruit is good.

Monday, September 15, 2014

This week Gladys was baptized. She's a granddaughter of a recent convert. There were about 5 people who were baptized that day in the Ward.

We went to a school with the Ward to do a service project. We painted tables that had been worn down by use and did a few other repairs to the buildings. The paint did not seem to be water-based because when I tried to wash my hands off, it just smeared all over my hands and the water formed droplets on top. So I washed my hands with paint-thinner.

We found a couple this week. They are very interested. We left as pamphlet and set an appointment because we didn't have time, and when we went, she said that she read it all and it all made sense. She said that she goes when she's invited to Evangelical churches and recieves everything that all the religions give out, but it doesn't make sense to her. All that we left and said did.

Gabriela and her family are causing problems in the area. Everyone knew that they were hardcore evangelicals, but now are openly Mormon. A pastor accused them of not believing in the Holy Ghost, while others say that they've seen a great change for good. Their family is much more unified. The grandma, despite having been a pastor defends their family and many things of the Church. "So there was a division among the people because of [them]." (John 7:43)

We'll be going to the Temple the Friday before conference.

I am constantly reminded by means both large and small that the Holy Ghost is what directs this work. Without the Holy Ghost, people simply would not be converted. I have seen so many people come to know that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, and that Joseph Smith saw Him and the Father, and that the Book of Mormon is true. Despite never having personally witnessed it they come to such a convincing knowledge that they speak as though they had.

Monday, September 8, 2014

I'm afraid this week wasn't very eventful. We had a Zone Meeting this week. We worked a lot this week, but we can work more. That's always the case. Sunday went extremely well. We took the Sacrament to a sister who was sick.

A granddaughter of a recent convert will be baptized this Sunday. The ward is growing very fast. There are a lot of new converts who are very strong.

The photos are from last week.

Monday, September 1, 2014

This Saturday Uriel was baptized, and he was confirmed the next day in Ward Conference along with Matias. Gabriela gave the opening prayer. Judith is asking questions about the mission. She wants to finish school first.

We're finding a lot of families, and Ricardo came to Church this Sunday. They're very interested, even though only he went. They already seem like members, except that they drink and smoke.

We went to Unicenter today, and nearly the whole Zone ended up there as well. We all ate at Wendy's.

Sorry for no photos, the internet place we usually go to isn't working.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

This week Matias was baptized (in photo: Judith, Gabriela, me, Matias, David, Elder Mason, Leo in front), but Uriel didn't come. We don't know what happened, but we hope that he'll be baptized this week. Matias is doing much better. He was able to give up smoking. He's still struggling a bit, but he's doing great.

This week I had my first door slammed in my face. Usually people let us talk and say we can come by tomorrow when they're not there and then avoid us, but this lady opened the door, screamed "I don't want to know anything!" and promptly slammed it. At least they're honest about it. I left a picture of Christ in her mailbox.

We had transfers and Elder Mason left to La Cabaña, right next to Pablo Nogués where I was. They share the same church building. Elder Fuentes is from Chile. We live right next to the Zone Leaders, and Elder McClain was replaced by Elder Hicks who was my District Leader in Floresta for a transfer.

Monday, August 4, 2014

This Monday we had a Zone Leader Meeting in the Mission Home. (photo with Elder Molina) Dan Brown, a former singles ward bishop to whom Pres. Ayre served as a counselor, spoke to us through FaceTime. He works as a professional motivator for $25,000/hour. Elder Molina and I went to lunch with President, his wife, the Office couple (The Lines), the office elders and the assistants. Pres. and Sis. Ayre came to our apartments and said that the apartment of Elder Mason and I was "one of the best maintained in the mission." I was pretty proud.

This Sunday we had the baptism of Ezequiel, a friend of David who was baptized a few weeks ago. (photo Pres. Valente of the Elder's Quorum, David, Ezequiel, me, Elder Mason. bottom: Hairo, Leo) We learned, that Gabriela and her family didn't really want the missionaries, and were hard-core evangelicals. Now they tell us that they understand the scriptures better than they ever had before, despite being raised by pastors and having read the Bible all their life. We were reading the Book of Mormon with David and a bunch of his friends, and he was the only one who was on top of everything that was going on. I've seen this my whole mission. It is a testimony that this is the authority to baptize and give the Holy Ghost, and that the Holy Ghost is as fully functional as it was in the times of the Primitive Church.

 73 Immediately on our coming up out of the water after we had been baptized, we experienced great and glorious blessings from our Heavenly Father. No sooner had I baptized Oliver Cowdery, than the Holy Ghost fell upon him, and he stood up and prophesied many things which should shortly come to pass. And again, so soon as I had been baptized by him, I also had the spirit of prophecy,
when, standing up, I prophesied concerning the rise of this Church, and many other things connected with the Church, and this generation of the children of men. We were filled with the Holy
Ghost, and rejoiced in the God of our salvation.
 74 Our minds being now enlightened, we began to have the scriptures laid open to our understandings, and the true meaning and intention of their more mysterious passages revealed unto us in a manner which we never could attain to previously, nor ever before had thought of. In the meantime we were forced to keep
secret the circumstances of having received the Priesthood and our having been baptized, owing to a spirit of persecution which had already manifested itself in the neighborhood.
​ ​
(JSH 1​:73-74​)
I've realized that we as missionaries don't really do very much, and what can we do? The more I work, the more I realize we don't have a clue what we're really doing. I cannot deny that the Spirit guides this work. This is not our work.

Elder Molina and I 

Pres. Valente of the Elder's Quorum, David, Ezequiel, me, Elder Mason. bottom: Hairo, Leo

Monday, August 28, 2014

This week Elder Mason got sick. It was pretty bad. Then he got worse a few days ago. I told him in the morning that it was probably a sinus infection and that he would have to tell the doctor and he would tell him to take an antibiotic, probably amoxicilin. I was dead on. We weren't able to go out much this week so I rearranged the furniture and cleaned the apartment. It's really clean, and the arrangement opens the space up a lot.

We confirmed Axel, and Judith was baptized. She was going to be baptized by Elder Mason, but because he was sick, she decided that I would baptize her. That was the first time I baptized someone. Ezequiel couldn't come so he will be baptized this week and asked that I do it. Matias showed up and said that he too wants to be baptized.

                                                David, Me, Judith, Gabriela. lower: Leo, Hairo, Ty.

Ty Mason, Sister Ayre, Brian Damitz

Monday, July 21, 2014

This week we had a Zone Meeting, which we usually hold at the beginning of transfers. We live right next to the Zone Leaders, Elder McClain and Elder Molina.

Axel, an investigator, was baptized on Sunday. We also had three confirmations of Gabriela and her two sons, David who's about 20 and his younger brother. That day two investigators who are friends of that family said that they wanted to be baptized the following Sunday.

There's another family who the Dad had been less active since he was twelve, and now his wife and his twelve-year-old son are preparing to be baptized.

We have lots of progressing people in this area. It's really a great area. We always have a ton of work. But we have to do more.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

No one came to Church again. It makes us very sad. The hardest thing of the mission is that people just don't understand the importance no matter how hard we try to explain it to them.

We went on exchanges. Elder Soto came to Pablo Nogués.

Elder López from Rosario got his visa to Ecuador and left at three in the morning Monday. His companion Elder Gobilard came to our apartment and we worked in both areas of Pablo Nogués that day.

We had transfers. I'm now in López Camelo with, of all people, Elder Ty Mason (from Huntington Beach). It was quite a surprise.

A man once asked us in the street, what is the most important thing that Christ did? My companion responded the Atonement. There were moments where we had a good response, but not the right response. I thought about that question for days because I didn't have a sufficient answer. We went on companion exchanges and that morning I came to a conclusion. The most important thing that Chist did was that He was obedient to all that the Father had commanded Him. He obeyed the first and greatest law of Heaven perfectly. No other being was capable. For that reason He is our example in this life where we will be proved "to see if [we] will do all things whatsoever the Lord ​[our] God shall command ​[us]."​

The Gospel is true. I cannot stress it enough.

All You can Eat Pizza at Pablo Nogues

Monday, July 7, 2014

Tuesday we had a special activity and devotional. We heard from the Assistants, President, his wife, and a few missionaries and finished it with hamburgers. We then had a "cultural event" and watched the game of Argentina vs. Switzerland. It was great. Everyone jumped up cheering when Argentina made a goal. Some didn't, especially those from Mexico and Chile.
We found the 85-year-old father of a returned missionary who is active in the Escobar Stake. He's receptive and very alert. But he knows a lot. When we asked a few questions about his beliefs, he began by saying that he believes monotheisticaly and that God is singular, not like the Greeks or the Romans who believe in multiple gods springing from multiple religions independent of each other. He told us of his respect for the Church and how he was about to be baptized at one point. His son told us that he has had spiritual experiences with the Church.

We have trouble finding people after contacting them or having short lessons in the street. Because of that we've been working a lot on making the lessons very powerful. The most frustrating part of Missionary Work is that people generally don't understand the importance of what we're saying, so we're getting better at that. The Church of Jesus Christ has been restored. The Priesthood is on the Earth again. The Stick of Joseph has come to the whole world. In this dispensation everything will come to a close. There is so much work left to be done.

President gave us permission to see the game between Argentina and the Netherlands.

Next week is transfers. I'll likely be going seeing that I've been here for 3 transfers now.

Monday, June 30, 2014

This week we've had more lessons, but we're still struggling with making them investigators. It's hard to find them a second time, because hardly anyone seems to be at home. We've been passing by a lot of less actives, and many of them are still very receptive. Sometimes we feel like Home Teachers, but frequently we find new people through them.

The Stake President, Pres. Cuadrado died Friday night after a few weeks of struggling with an illness. They held his services on Saturday. He was only 49 and has children, one of them preparing to go on a mission in a few weeks. The members are sad for the family, but happy that he's moved on.

Natalia, who almost every day goes out with us, finally received her mission call on Sunday. At the end of Church, she couldn't wait to go home to open it with her family so she opened it there. She's going to Chile Concepción the 5th of November. Remember, remember, the fifth of November.

It's sad when people reject the Book of Mormon and the Church. The relationship between Jerusalem in the time of Christ and our time. Many people tell us that they're fine in their religion and don't plan on changing. They may even try to justify the existence of multiple churches and multiple doctrines saying that all churches talk of God and all ways lead to Him. One cannot accept the restored Gospel and accept the false precept of "polydoctrine." That's why it's so important to share the truth as Christ did. There's no other way to do missionary work.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Monday night, President called and said that there would be an emergency transfer between a number of areas, including ours. Elder Peralta went to Garín with the Zone Leaders in Escobar, and my new companion is Elder Roberts who came to the Cabaña at the transfer. He only had to carry his suitcases one house over since we live right next to them in the Cabaña.

We made a big push for finding this week, and we got many more referrals than usual, but we're having difficulty having lessons with them. Many say that they don't have a fixed schedule, or that there's family, or that they're about to leave, and so on. There's really no reasonable excuse for not receiving and acting upon the Gospel, so we've started to be a bit more weighty in how we invite.

Wednesday we went on exchanges, and Elder Soto from Mexico came from José C. Paz to our area. All went well.

I've been really tired all the time for a few months now. Missionary work is exhausting, but there's no time to stop.

Monday, June 16, 2014

This week we had the lowest number of lessons taught since I've been here. We've lost all of the few investigators we've had. Even still the week went well and we've been working with a number of less-actives, and we've found a few new less-actives.

We helped our ward mission leader clear up a property of theirs. We found a dead animal in a plastic bag, so we buried it.

We had stake conference this weekend, and Elder Viñas of the First Quorum of the Seventy came. Saturday night we had a session with the leaders of all the wards and the missionaries. There were about 5 questions that were openly discussed by those who were there. At one point he stopped and said, "Bishops, how many of your wards are holding ward council?" No one raised their hand. He then said that the Spirit had told him that that was the case, and that is why he asked. Pres. Ayre spoke in that session and in the general session on Sunday. The themes were very focused on missionary work. He also said that we really shouldn't do things if we don't feel it. If we pay tithing out of an obligation to keep a temple recommend, we're not doing it right. If we do missionary work out of an obligation to the Church of the missionaries, we're not doing it right. He then referred us to Moroni 7.

Elder Viñas said that being a member of the Church of Jesus Christ does not make one a disciple of Jesus Christ. It is certainly required to be a true disciple of Christ, but it is just one part. He related the Gospel to how his grandmother would make lentils and that they didn't like to eat lentils so they would ask for something else. His grandmother would respond that that is what there is to eat, and if they didn't want it they didn't have to eat it and could go to bed hungry. He said the Gospel is the same. We can't change it. We can't change that we must repent, or obey the Word of Wisdom, or pay a full tithe. We can only choose whether or not to do these things.

The World Cup is going on. Everything shut down Sunday when Argentina played. It's difficult to work when everyone only wants to watch or talk about the games, especially when in comes to Argentina. The flag of Argentina is everywhere. Some cover the hoods and trunks of their cars with a flag. It's hung from houses and kids run around with little Argentine flags.

Monday, June 9, 2014

This week we started working with a former investigator, Eliana. She really wants to listen to the missionaries and come to Church, but her parents are against her doing so. We'll probably have to end up teaching her someplace else. We've found new people to teach, and we're happy that we've been able to step out of the box a bit.

We've been working with the son of a recent convert of about a year who has been a member for about 15 years. His mom had no idea he was a member. They're both wanting to come back to Church. We're really happy for their progress.

This Saturday we were asked to give a number of blessings. It was a very interesting day. We had just enough oil.

We've been working a lot with less actives, and while we're happy for the progress they're making, it's a bit hard on missionaries. One of the assistants, Elder Krivochiev said that all our lives we can help less actives and recent converts, but only in these two years we have the authority to teach and baptized investigators. While we love teaching everyone, missionaries are happiest teaching investigators.

I scored 4 goals last week playing soccer. I'm getting a lot better.

It looks like it will rain this week. It's been getting colder.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

This week I got sick and stayed in the apartment for a day. Sis. Ayre told me to buy a nose spray and a decongestive. I didn't realize that the spray was a vasoconstrictor. It works really well. The next day I felt much better and we went back out.

We´ve been finding more people, and we're pretty excited. Things are getting better here and we have a few families that we're working with. We found a former investigator who lost her son. She and her husband only received visits from the missionaries out of all of the religions that came by her house. We found out that Sis. Elisabeth knows her, so she will be accompanying us.

Transfers came and Elder Peralta and I are staying in Pablo Nogués. We both felt as thought that was going to happen. This will be the first time I have a companion for two transfers and stay in an area for three transfers.

Monday, May 26, 2014

This week rained a lot. I liked the rain, but other people do not. This makes it hard for missionary work. We didn't have as many lessons as we had hoped for, and no one came with us to church.

We're working with Sis. Elisabeth's daughters. They both are interested in the Church and have had wonderful experiences. We gave a blessing the the younger who is 17 when she got very sick for a long time a few weeks ago, and immediately she was able to sleep and recovered quickly. Sis. Elisabeth is now having problems with her leg and has been going to the doctor.

We came across a 14-year-old member of 3 years who has already gone atheist. Her dad is infamously hostile against the missionaries and religion, and says that the Church is part of the "American Empire." Her sister is the President of the Relief Society who is amazing in her calling and is really deeply converted despite her husband and her father (and her son) who are all atheists. We had a nice conversation, and we got her to think about things differently. We hope it will go somewhere. We felt the Spirit touch here a handful of times.

Today we went to the temple. It was nice to go back there.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Sis. Elisabeth´s dad passed away this week. His health became very rough at the end. She's taking it very well and is still active in Church and is looking for work.

This week we had interviews with President. They went well. We usually recieve instruction from the Assistants, and we explained to them the things that were happening in our area, and Elder Ferreiros said that our Zone Leaders had to go on exchanges with us. Usually when there are exchanges, people start to show up. Instead of going on exchanges with us, both of the Zone Leaders came to our area and we split up the area. We had 10 lessons and found 4 people. Things started picking up from there.

The Sacrament Meeting attendance is going up. Bishop Godoy is very happy. Things are looking much better. We'll probably have a lot more work this week. We have a number of things to do and instructions from the leaders in the ward. We took the sacrament to Hno. Gonzalez and Juanita who didn't come to Church because he got sick.

It rained a bit this week. I really like the rain. It's also getting colder. I really like the cold.

Monday, May 12, 2014

We had a conference with Elder Gonzalez, the Area President this week. Periodically he goes by all of the missions. It was a very instructive meeting. I went on exchanges to Vucetich with Elder Nureña, the District Leader. Their area seems to have a steady flow of people, and a good group of investigators.

Sis. Elisabeth's dad's liver failed, and the discharge has made it's way up to his head, making him go a bit crazy. The doctor said it would just be a matter of hours until his heart stops, and that was a few days ago. We'll be going by today to see how things are.

We got to Skype with our families yesterday in the evening. We went to the Gonzalez's house. We went to Tortugas today with the Elders from the Cabaña. I bought shoes for soccer, because it's pretty uncomfortable with the shoes that I had.

A few weeks ago it was announced that we'll be going to the Temple soon. It's not often that we get to go. It's getting colder here, and it's been raining off and on yesterday and today. I like this weather a whole lot more.

Monday. May 5, 2014

We finally have a Ward Mission Leader. The Bishop asked us to participate in his setting apart after the meetings. We'll be forming a Ward Mission Plan this week, something that the ward has been needing. Bro. Gonzalez is very excited to fulfill this calling, and we hope we can work harder. The Zone Leaders said that they felt very specifically that there are people in this ward who are ready, and we have felt the same as well, but we can't seem to find them. People don't seem to accept us in street contacting, and going through the less active list doesn't seem to be helping.

The father of Sis. Soria, a recent convert, got really sick two days ago and is in the hospital. He took a really bad turn. Within a day he developed pneumonia and his skin turned yellow.

I'm learning a lot of Guaraní and Bro. Gonzalez is giving me a dictionary. It's almost impossible to find here in Argentina and they're really expensive, but they're really cheap in Paraguay, and his sister will bring one of his from his house in Del Viso.

Sis. Vallejo and her kids left to Corrientes. Bro. Vallejo will still be here for a few weeks, but he'll be leaving soon as well.

Elder Peralta said very clearly to some members that being a member does not elevate us. We should not hesitate in sharing the Gospel.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Things continue to go a bit slow. We were about to have a Ward Mission Leader this Sunday, but the Stake President came to the Ward, so it slipped through the details. Next week he will be sustained and set apart. A sister from the ward will be leaving to Spain for her mission this week. The Stake President said a lot of things in Sacrament Meeting about reverence in Sacrament Meeting, the importance of Sacrament Meeting, and why we need to keep the Sabbath Day holy.

Elder Peralta is teaching me Guaraní. (Che añe'ẽgua guaranípe.) Practically everyone from Paraguay speaks Guaraní. Bro. Gonzalez in the ward and his son who served in Honduras speak Guaraní. Turns out Bro. Gonzalez lived about 10 blocks away from Elder Peralta in Asunción.

One of the daughters of the Vallejos and her family will be moving out this week to Corrientes. The other Elders of Pablo Nogués might end up moving in to where they were living. (Photo)

If every member is to be a missionary, the manual for missionaries "Preach My Gospel" should be a part of one's Gospel study. There are many misconceptions about the Church. The best way to fix that is for every member to declare what they know to be true and how they came to know it. There are not enough full time missionaries to do that. It seems to me that if we are not ready to share the Gospel, we are not really converted to the Gospel yet.

Monday, April 21, 2014

We found some new people this week. One was a reference by a member through the mission offices. We talked with a family she lives with, and turns out the wife is a sister of a member who was baptized along with her family four years ago.

Elder Chriss had his birthday, and we ate a lot of cake all week. Sunday was the despedida where all of the people leaving give their testimonies. Elder Ñancupil, Elder Carvajal, and Elder Allen are going home this transfer.

Transfers are today and Elder Chriss goes off to Campana near Zárate. My new companion is Elder Peralta from Asunción, Paraguay.

Monday, April 14, 2014

There have been a number of robberies to missionaries these weeks. The missionaries from the Cabaña ward were robbed a few weeks ago during companion exchanges with one of the zone leaders, and since one is district leader, he has to use our phone to call his district every night because they live with the members next door to the neighbors we live with. They were robbed again yesterday, but they didn't have anything. Other missionaries from the zone had their cellphone stolen in the Church building during conference, and then they had the phone they were borrowing from a member stolen this week. Things are getting crazy.

We haven't had many lunches from members these last few weeks, and this week we had no one except the Bishop on Sunday who always gives us lunch. A member who lost his wife a while ago married a convert a few days ago. One of his sons is a returned missionary from Honduras and is in the ward.

President invited us to some form of barbecue at the Mission Home today. There were hamburgers and board games.

We've been kind of freaking out for not having very much success in our area, but President told Elder Chriss that he is genuinely happy with what we're doing and that we shouldn't take things as hard as we were. He said that there are areas that he is concerned about, but ours is not one of them.

Monday, April 7, 2014

This week has been difficult. We're having trouble keeping in touch with the few new people we've found, and we're having trouble finding new people. Nearly all of the less actives have moved out of the area. We're doing almost everything that we know to do, and we're getting better, but it still is sometimes very frustrating. We didn't have any investigators go to Conference with us, nor any less actives. Even still, the Gospel is true so we will keep going knowing that nothing can compare to it.

Every family should have a Preach My Gospel, and it should be a subject of family study. We have now received instruction from Church leaders in conference to do so. I said in an earlier letter that Preach My Gospel help strengthen testimony and helps one share the simple and most important truths of the Gospel, but I failed to express what was declared so clearly in Conference, that every family should study from Preach My Gospel. The missionaries will be thrilled and the Work will move forward with a new urgency.

We live with members and they had a cat who gave birth to two kittens a few weeks ago. I forgot to say anything about it. Cats are evil, but kittens are reasonably cute. They fell asleep in a dust pan once.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Last Monday we went to Tortugas (a mall in Tortugitas) and had Subway. (In the picture: Elder Chriss, Elder Garrett, Elder Lopez.) We've been contacting a number of less actives, and they seem to be receiving us well, even families that had thrown all of their books at the missionaries telling them they don't want to hear anything about the Church.

We almost got robbed in the street. Two people came up to us and asked us what time it was, and Elder Chriss said he didn't have a watch, and then they started saying "Give me your cellphone! Give me your cellphone!" Meanwhile one had their hand in a position that made it look like he had a gun, but it was obvious he didn't. Elder Chriss denied that we had one and we started opening our bags and showing them that we only have books. He offered them a Book of Mormon, but they rejected it and went off. He did actually have a cellphone and I was carrying almost 200 pesos. YOLO

I got really sick Saturday night and woke up to two rounds of throwing up. The first time it was brown, and the second time it was tan. Sunday morning I developed a fever, so I stayed in bed after consulting with mission leaders. The fever broke but I still feel like throwing up. It should pass soon.

Elder Damitz

Monday, March 24, 2014

This week we went to the Area Offices in Capital to see Doctor Smith about Elder Chriss's ingrown toenail. He took out a fourth of his toenail. There will probably be pictures on his blog, The cockroaches have left, and we've been enjoying heating water in our little electric tank rather than the microwave to shower.

Things are still a bit slow. We're not finding very many people, and so it's a bit depressing when you have few people to teach. A sister in the ward fell and broke her arm. We went to see her yesterday. She has a cast. An investigator we were teaching is no longer living with her partner and is not preparing to be baptized.

We had a two Zone Conference with President this week. It was very good. He went over a number of things that Elder Evans had said in that conference, as well as many things that he received from Elder Ballard and other General Authorities in a Conference for Mission Presidents in Chile. After the Conference we did companion exchanges and I went with Elder Olsen to his area.

-Elder Damitz

Monday, March 17, 2014

This really is the end of the first week. We're going to play fútbol in another area.

The work is bit slow right now because we're having difficulty finding. We did, however, find a family through a recent convert. Sacrament Meeting attendance has been a bit small. We ate at the Bishop's house this Sunday.

We had a Zone Meeting, and halfway through it began to rain. A bit later one of the Zone Leaders gets a call saying that all of the buses in all of Buenos Aires have shut down until midnight because a bus driver in Captial was killed. So we walked in pouring rain all day. It was good though, I like the rain.

There are times when people assume that I'm from South America because I almost don't have an accent. Sometimes I even say I'm from Chile, and they don't blink an eye. It's then fun when someone doesn't believe me and then we're all discussing whether or not I'm from Chile and they start asking me deep searching questions.

We're battling cockroaches again in the apartment, but they seem to be dying. Elder Chriss had bought a gel that comes in a syringe that is very effective.

-Elder Damitz

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

I missed a week, and I'm in José C. Paz so I don't have my adapter to add photos.

That week there was a conference held in Buenos Aires West with two Zones from each of the three Buenos Aires Missions. Elder Evans, the Head of the Missionary Department spoke to us for a number of hours. We had to take two breaks. He had discussions with missionaries in front of everyone, and that fueled the conversation. He said that this generation has the entire Gospel of Jesus Christ to work in, namely Faith, Repentance, Baptism, Receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost, and Enduring to the End.

His wife introduced the last hour of his talk focused on the Family. He said that there is a lot revealed concerning the Family, and a great deal is found in "The Family: A Proclamation to the World." He said that now more than ever we need to know the Doctrine of the Family. He said that some people think that the Church's stance that marriage is between a man and a woman is just policy. He then proceeded to define the Resurrection, Immortality, and Eternal Life. He said that we will not just be resurrected, but it will be a "glorious resurrection. The Prophet Joseph Smith said that even a telestial resurrection is a glory beyond our comprehension. The glories that we receive will reflect our specific and individual actions in our life. Even those who inherit a place in the Celestial Kingdom will not implicitly receive Eternal Life. Eternal Life, as we know is life like our Heavenly Father, or in other words, we will live like Him with our spouses and posterity. If Satan can destroy the family by getting people to believe that marriage can be whatever you want, he can effectively destroy the possibility of Eternal Life. As the Proclamation states, "All human beings—male and female—are created in the image of God. Each is a beloved spirit son or daughter of heavenly parents, and, as such, each has a divine nature and destiny. Gender is an essential characteristic of individual premortal, mortal, and eternal identity and purpose." He said, "I am a son of heavenly parents, and it brings me such joy." He said that living as a family after this life will be the most comfortable and natural thing we could experience.

This week we had interviews with President. He told me that this transfer or the next I would be senior companion. He then called me in a few minutes later and said that from that moment on I would be a senior companion, and that Elder Berrío and I would remain senior companions together in Floresta.

Alexander, one of our investigators left for Perú this Sunday, but has plans to be baptized when he comes back in two months.

I've been moved to Pablo Nogues 1 in the Zone Islas Malvinas. My companion is Elder Chriss from Utah and is a District Leader. It's outside of Capital in Provincia. It looks like it will be hot this week.

Monday, January 24, 2014

Last Monday we went to see a number of sites in Capital with other Elders from the Zone. We went to the Obelisk, The "Casa Rosada", the "Flo" (a street named "Florida" where there are a great number of stores), and other random things.

Alexander, is going off to Perú soon to be with his dad who's sick right now, and so he may not be baptized until about a month from now. We had 불고기 with the Kim family this week.

It's still quite hot, even when it rains, but it appears as though autumn is coming; the leaves are starting to fall.

Monday, January 10, 2013

Today we went to the Temple. It isn't very often, in fact we don't go at all; only if there is a member we baptized going through the temple and before we return home. I saw the new video (in Spanish). I learned some new things.
One of our investigators, Alexander, is progressing very well. He came to church this Sunday. The Gospel, fully restored, resonates with people who search for the truth.

There were a lot of thunderstorms this week. I enjoyed it. I like the rain and thunder. I just wish it was colder.

Monday, February 3, 2014

This week was a bit slow. We're not having very much success. We've been helping the members to make specific plans to invite other people to Church activities or their homes for Family Home Evening. A friend of the Choque family accepted to be baptized. Even still, we're a bit low in lessons.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Transfers were today. I stayed in Floresta and Elder Mora left to Pompeya. My companion is Elder Berrío from Bogotá Colombia.

We had a Zone Conference with the two Zones in the Stake and President Ayre. It was good, like all conferences.

Floresta is struggling a bit. We almost thought that one side might close this transfer. Even still, we're working as hard as we can and there are some excellent things happening.

Monday, January 20, 2014

We went to the Mission Offices this last Tuesday and Today in Retiro in the Migrations Offices to work out residing in Argentina. All went well and soon I'll be legal if all goes well.

A baptism from November had been going through some very difficult times. She finally could come to be Confirmed and receive the Holy Ghost. It was a wonderful experience.

The family that we helped to reactivate is incredible. They are inviting their friends and employees to listen to the missionaries and we are finding many people though them. They are sent on doing whatever necessary to remain active when their daughter goes back to Bolivia and to be sealed in the temple.

We went to the dentist for Elder Mora Thursday morning.

I found a $2 peso coin on the ground one day while walking.

The space-bar on this keyboard doesn't work very well.

Monday, January 13, 2014

This week we had two baptisms. Bianca and Abraham. All went very well. They both wanted Elder Mora to baptize and for me to do the confirmations. After the baptism we went to a Peruvian restaurant with the Choque family. Peruvian food is some of the best in the world.

We've made great progress in the ward and we hope to keep up the pace.

One of the greatest fears members seem to have is that they will have to teach other people the Gospel. Don't worry about those things. The missionaries will teach. They work under those keys. They will ask for your testimony in their proper moments. The best things members can do is live the Gospel and invite others to come.

Monday, January 6, 2014

This week as we were walking between appointments, a young woman and her brother ran up to us asking where the building was. They are from Bolivia and just moved in with their parents who have been living here for a number of years. She learned about the church in Bolivia and has been active ever since. Her parents are members from their youth, but fell away before long they got married. They are all excited to come back to church, and the son is preparing to be baptized.

I'm slowly losing English. It's terrifying. Between all the Castellano, Guaraní, Portuguese, German and Korean (나는 집에 간다, there's a Korean family in the ward) my English is falling apart.

All is well in Zion; yea, Zion prospereth.