Monday, September 29, 2014

Nuevo Paris

To start off the week, we taught the simple and clear message of the Restoraton to 2 active families to help them understand what we teach as missionaries. We were able to set up days and times to work with each member. It was especially nice teaching the Alvez family. Pedro Alvez (the dad) is always joking around and having a good time. However, for the first time ever, I saw him cry during this beautiful lesson of the Restoration of the Church of Jesus Christ. it truly is a poweful message. 

We taught many less active members like Beto and Soraya. As we were explaining the Doctrine of Christ to them, Soraya explained to us that she "follows Christ, but in her own way." Fortunately we were able to bring her to the point where she could understand that we must follow Christ in His way. 

We stopped by Patrick, a less active, and taught him the Doctrine of Christ and asked him if he would go to church. He said "Ill do everything I can to go to church this Sunday." This is a very popular answer here in Uruguay that very simply put means: no. So we didn´t leave him until we had him explain what exactly he was going to do to return, and in the end he asked us if we would stop by Sunday morning so we could walk to church together! Yeah! Commitement! 

We had another lesson with the Alvez family and I was prompted to read a few verses in Doctrine and Covenants about the temple and how important it really is. Sister Alvez, in the end of the lesson asked us if we knew they were going to the temple the very next day and we were like "What? You´re going to the temple tomorrow?!." She said that lesson was exactly what she needed to prepare herself to enter the Lord´s house. 

Oh man, we really had so many great experiences this week! Going on...

Friday, my comp and I were just walking, stopped and knocked on the door of a random house and some older guy named Juan answered and let us in!!! We started talking and got to know him. It was really cool! Then, his wife came in the house and looked at us, with an expression of shock and disappointment. She shook our hands, grumbled hello, then went into the kitchen. About 5 minutes later, she returned to the room and sat down next to Juan but looked at the television (it was turned on before). Then she got up, and turned the volume down, looked directly at me and asked "Are you guys from that large Mormon church down the street?" I said "Yes we are." She said "I was baptized in that church when I was 11. I was active until I got married at age 22." She proceeded to tell us all she knew about the church and it was incredible. As she continued talking to us, everything about her completely changed. Her face lit up with hope and she told us "Thank you for stopping by, you guys are welcome here whenever." The only reason she stopped going to church was because of work. Now, she is older, and I know she is ready to return. And Juan is ready to accept the gospel. What an incredible experience. 

Saturday morning, we had an experience that strengthens my testimony that the Lord really does put people in our path. We were planning on visiting Julio (a less active) another day but for some reason felt we should visit him Saturday morning. So we went and entered his apartment complex and walked by a lady, said hi, and then she said "Are you guys from the Mormon church?" I told her yes, that we were missionaries. She said "My name is Ana, my daughter and step-daughter are members of your church." We got to know her just a little bit. Then she said "You know, this morning, I was supposed to take a bus to pick up some things. But once I left my apartment, I just stood still outside. I don´t know why. I just didn´t go. Then you two came up and now I understand why I stayed." We got her information and will be stopping by this week to teach her what she needs to know. The Lord put her in our path, and now we will put her on the Lord´s path. 

Until next week. 

Elder Teloma

Wall of Clouds
I painted a fence

It rained. Hard. And hailed. YEAH.
This bunny tried to bite me. 

It´s charging me. 

"Two friends"

Just studying, on the beach.

Monday, September 22, 2014

"Venid a mi. Y haced las cosas que me habéis visto hacer" -Jesus Christ

I learned quite a bit this week. Although I have always believed in everything concerning the gospel, I truly gained a testimony of the Atonement, the Gift of Tongues and the Book of Mormon.
On Tuesday, we did divisions and Elder Cordy came over to my area and we got work done. We taught Noelia about the prophet Enos, who after many struggles in life, offered a profound prayer of true repentance. It was definitely inspiring and she loved it, and promised us that she would pray to her Heavenly Father for what she most needs in her life. We taught Leonor (a new investigator) about the Restoration of the Gospel which was an incredible lesson. She is Evangelical and actually has a very good knowledge of the Bible which made the lesson even better. The Spirit clearly testified the truth of the message to her, because we all felt it. Now we will wait, and pray that she acts upon her answer. 
We taught Adrian, a less active, about the Doctrine of Christ. We made it clear to him that in order to enter in the Kingdom of God, it is required to partake of the Sacrament always. It is our real reminder of the body and blood of our beloved brother, Jesus Christ. I realized in that moment that I will never miss an opportunity to partake of the Sacrament.
We also taught Gladys and Pedro Alvez about coming to church. It was hard teaching them because I love them but I had to give it to them straight. I explained that if they are not taking the Sacrament, they are not following Christ. Gladys said in the end: "Wow, I never realized we were disobeying. We will never miss another Sunday." And on Sunday, they both came, happier than ever before. 
On Thursday, we were in a neighborhood, tracting, and a lady came up to us telling us her name and that she was baptized 30 years ago by "Smith" in Artigas (another department of Uruguay). After talking to her for a while we found out that she was President Smith´s first convert here in Uruguay, when he was a missionary, over 30 years ago. So that was pretty cool!
We had a lesson with Sister Fernandez who has been an inactive member for many years. And it was hard. At first we talked to her about how we follow Christ, and then she poured her heart out to us, explaining why she wouldn´t go to church. More than anything, she just has a broken heart, and a contrite spirit. In that moment, I testified of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. But this time it was different. I can´t really explain this moment, only that I truly understood the importance of the Atonement. Christ´s physical and spiritual sacrifice for us. 
Ok, so Saturday night, we visited Lilliana who got a goat, to eat all her grass because she doesn´t want to mow her lawn. I love the goat. His name is hotdog. Anyway, as we were teaching in her home, we heard her dogs barking like crazy as well as some yelping sound. We all ran out side and the dogs were running around and barking as Hotdog (the goat) was running around and jumping in the air trying to charge the dogs. Just when I thought I had seen enough weird stuff, something new comes up everyday. The next day I watched 10 chickens fighting over food. When I got a good look at what they were fighting over, I realized it was a dead snake. A dead snake. The animals here are not normal. 
Sunday night, we had a beautiful family home evening activity with a few families from the ward in our chapel. The first counselor, Brother Lopez, gave a nice lesson on the Book of Mormon and we all went around the circle sharing our testimonies of it. I gave a short testimony of it. I know the Book of Mormon is true. I know it is capable of changing lives because I have seen it. I see it now. This book has more potential than any other in the world to change lives . It is worth it to read it, study it, and share it.
No caption necessary
The chickens

A calf

The dead snake

Monday, September 15, 2014

"Follow me"

We had a very good week over here in Nuevo Paris. We had the opportunity to go to the Montevideo Temple, the most holy and sacred place in the world where I was able to experience a powerful communication with God. I abosultely love going to the temple where I can be in 100% peace and reflect on what truly matters in this life as well as the life to come. Every chance I get to be in the house of the Lord is a blessing beyond any measurment.

So, I have a new companion now!! After the temple, I dropped off my companion, Elder Wakley, and he headed up to the North of this country. Then I picked up my new companion, Elder Salome, from Peru! So I have been showing him around the new area and he is getting to know all the members and people we talk to!! We met Loudres, who is really nice, a school teacher, and loves Obama. She named her dog Obama.

We taught Adrian, a recent convert the Doctrine of Christ which is focused on the moment he said "Follow me". As we taught him this doctrine, he looked at us and said "This is exactly what I needed". The Doctrine of Christ is a beautiful doctrine that can and will change people´s lives. I testify of that with all my heart. We also visited an inactive member, Raquel, super nice, and we taught her the exact same doctrine, and she came to church to partake of the Sacrament. She came because listened and understood the Doctrine of Christ. Honestly, when we teach, we teach by the Holy Ghost. It´s not our message we are sharing. It´s God´s message to the world.

We taught our investigator Noelia the end of the Plan of Salvation!! It was a great lesson and she definitely understood! She understood that there is no end, but rather an Eternal continuation of happiness!! Also, we left with Brother Heber to visit some less active members and found Oscar Garcia! We also taught him the doctrine of Christ and he told us he has a sincere desire to return to church. In his own words "We all know that we are in the right church, so I really should be going."

I know that the simplicity and clarity of Christ´s doctrine can and will change the world. Christ said "Follow me". If we can put aside the world to come unto and follow Christ, our lives will change. Our earthly lives just as much as the paradisical glory that awaits us.

Elder Teloma

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Changes are in!


I am staying here in Cerro 16!!!! And my new companion is Elder Salome!!! From Peru!!!!

My 6th Latino companion!! Vamos arriba!!!!!

Me with a fat dog. Her name is Bear.
View from "El Cerro"

Castellanos and I

A sheep

Monday, September 1, 2014

Vamo arriba Uruguay!!

This week was a good week, but a good good week!!
So on Monday, we visited a less active family (Disezo) and met their new neighbor, Noelia (35) and her daughter Florencia (9)!!! They just recently moved across the street from that family. We taught them all the Book of Mormon. We read 3rd Nephi 11:8-10, the exact moment that Christ descended in the Americas, Noelia said "This is beautiful" several times. But in Spanish. It was incredible lesson and the Spirit was strongly felt. That beautiful day ended with a nice storm. A very nice violent strom that took out all the electricity.
On Tuesday, we taught Dennis the Book of Mormon!! And for a 20 year old, he had alot of interest in it!! Then, later that night, we had a nice family home evening with the Alvez Family and challenged then to read the Book of Mormon before New Years! And they accepted.
Wednesday, we had a lesson with Hugo, a less active who doesn´t believe that the Book of Mormon is true. He told us he didn´t believe that Christ actually visited the Americas after his Resurection. I shared with him John 10:16 where it talks about Christ visiting his "other sheep". And it definitely made him think. And I know in the end, he will come to the same conclusion that millions have come to. That the other sheep are the habitants of ancient america. To end a nice Wednesday, on the way home, we were attacked by a group of Uruguayan guys throwing massive stones at us. I was hit twice. But. I made it out alive. Oh and my comp too.
On Thursday, I found a sheep named Rosana and I played with it. It was fluffy. I LOVE it. We also went through "La Boca" to get to an area faster. Which apparently is a known drug alley. We made it alive, but will not go back there. Again.
On Friday, we had a great lesson with Ivonne that went all over the place. She has many doubts which is completely natural. So we were able to talk to her about everything we knew and she told us that she felt happy!!!She really just wants to find the right path, and she will.
Saturday, we talked with Noelia again about the Restoration and she told us that she knows its true. It was a very nice lesson and so now we are ready to put her on the road to not baptism, but conversion.
On Sunday, I was asked last minute to give a talk, so I gave one on Jesus Christ and mission work! My bishop thanked me by giving me a tie with many african animals on it!!! YEAH.

Twas a great week over here in Nuevo Paris and the following will be even better! Love you all!!
Elder Teloma