Tuesday, July 29, 2014

La Ultima Semana

Yo, ch-ch-ch-changes are IN. And I am OUT. After nearly 5 months in the Montevideo 5th Ward, I am moving to....... CERRO 16. And the ward (area) is called Paso de la Arena. So I will be staying here in Montevideo, but in a very different part. It is very poor and very dangerous so YEAH. BRING IT ON. My new comp is....... Elder Wakley!!! He is from Utah and that is about all I know for now!!
As I reflect on my time here, I am overwhelmed with feelings of joy, peace, and even sadness, seeing as I am leaving the family I made here. Whenever someone asks me what I love most about Uruguay; I don´t even think twice before saying "the people". It has been that way since day 1. I love the people here.
This week, Elder Holt and I visited Alicia. Her daughter answered the door and invited us in. We went into the living room where Alicia was on the computer. She turned around and said "Hi!". But she had a large bandage over her right eye and I was like "WOAH". I apoligized. It just caught me off guard. Turns out that while she was working, she got a dangerous chemical in her eye. Fortunately, it healed afew days later. We planned a lesson with her Saturday night with Sabrina (her daughter) to watch the Restoration video. So we came Saturday night, and Alicia and Sabrina were there, along with 4 other girls (ages 9-10) running around, screaming, dancing, playing on the computer and so forth. Elder Holt and I just looked at eachother thinking "What did we get ourselves into?". Fortunately, Alicia got them all to calm down to watch the video. So we did. And through that 20 minute video, not one of them made a sound. The all enjoyed it and at the end we had a nice Q&A session with them. It really turned out to be a great lesson!
On divisions this week, Elder Watts (from Utah) came here to work with me. We saw a kid playing basketball with some girl. And they played very well, so Elder Watts and I came up to them and challenged them to a game on the condition that they visit the church if we were to win. They accepted, and we played and got to know them. They played very well and beat us. Just kidding hahaha. We beat them 10 - 4. Which was messed up, but oh well. The story gets better. So the boy´s name is Mattias, and he is 13. And the girl, about 25 years old is Yessi. The next night before coming home, Elder Holt and I stopped by the grocery store to pick some things up. Well, we saw Yessi there with her 4 year old daughter in the cart. We came up to her and started talking. She told us "After you left yesterday, I was thinking about you guys and what you do. I don´t believe in God, but it is all very interesting to me." She then told us we could stop by the next day to teach more!! And play basketball too! Her four year old daughter, who is adorable, was telling us all the words she knew in English which are: hello and green.
Just so everyone knows, I am staying here in Montevideo 5 until Sunday night. So I still have one week here. One week to tell everyone that I will be leaving. Fortunately, I will be pretty close. Well that is all for today. I am looking forward to an incredible final week here in Barrio 5! Miracles are to be found everyday. And the Lord Jesus Christ is the author of all of them. I love you all, and I love being a missionary here in Uruguay. I am truly happy.
-Elder Teloma
District Meeting
The Beverly Hills of Uruguay

Monday, July 21, 2014

A Wonderful Week

Our Lord, Master, and King, Jesus the Christ is hastening his work today throughout the world through the members and missionaries of His church. What a blessing to be serving the Lord, during this time, in the Southwest corner of the earth. Since day one, I have witnessed the simple beauty of Christ´s Gospel touch the lives of not only hundreds, but thousands of God´s children here in Uruguay. 
This week was special, as I could clearly see the Lord´s hand guiding His divine work. It started with a zone conference including 130 (ma o meno) missionaries from 4 zones in Uruguay. The conference was led by our Mission President, President Smith. We got there at 6am and finished 6 pm. Talk about a 12 hour spiritual recharge. 
The next day, a Wednesday, we had a lesson with Sarah, an older lady, strong Catholic, who is an investigator. We taught her the Doctrine of our Lord, Jesus
 Christ, emphasizing repentance and baptism. It seemed as though she understood everything until her comment "I was already baptized as a baby in my church". This is a lovely lady that I have known for about a month. We have a great relationship, so I laid it out on her asking her if she remembered her baptism or repenting before it. She said "No, I don´t. And I was a baby, so I didn´t have any sin". YES. I explained that Christ´s doctrine was clear and without contradictions. She looked down and said "Oh, I understand now". We ended the lesson with an invitation for her to pray! 
That same night, the Perugorria family invited us to a family home evening with a less active member, Daniel, and his wife Ana, who is not a member. They asked us to teach the Plan of Salvation, seeing as Daniel and Ana had recently lost a son. So we did that, and it was great. Ana told us later that that was the first time she had seen her husband laugh since the accident. We got to know them, teach them, and meanwhile, the Spirit comforted them with an impeccable assurance that they will one day be reunited with their son, experiencing a fullness of peace and joy that cannot be attained here on earth alone.
Later in the week, we stopped by the Varela family just to visit the Mom, because he was sick. We stopped by and enjoyed a nice 3 minute discussion when the power (electricity) in that whole neighborhood went out. It was funny. They told us stories about the church and everything, and we left at the end of the night. 
On Friday, we had an incredible lesson with Alicia. We started teaching her about the Restoration of the Gospel and Jesus Christ, when she completely opened up to Elder Holt and I. She told us that she just couldn´t forgive. We continued teaching about Christ. I was talking to her about His ministry, and the end of His life and asked her: "Alicia, what did Christ say after he had been tortured and put on the cross?" And (having a good knowledge of the Bible) she said "Forgive them, for they know now what they do". Then, just like Sarah, Alicia said "Oh, now I understand. Then she cried, and cried, and cried. We finished the lesson and she was completely happy! It was an incredible experience between the us. 
On Saturday, while playing soccer in the morning, I was kicked in the shin and put in the hospital. It really wasn´t bad. Just can´t walk much for a couple days. 
And thus ended a great week in the Montevideo Mission field! I testify with all my heart that this Gospel is true. I know it. I live it. I love it. 

Elder Teloma