Monday, November 13, 2017

Week 17 Garupa "Last Email...Heading Home"

Hey guys, I just wanted to dedicate this last email to my family.

I love you all.

It's be great serving here in Argentina! I love the mission. In reality I love to be alive! Life in general is just wonderful now! My perspective has been illuminated and I can see straight now.

Paul, Mark, and Blake: you guys have to go out and serve the full 2 years. You will go through so many hard things, but you will LOVE IT afterwards! It is the marvelous work that God performs for his worthy young men of the last days!

I hope you guys are ready for me BECAUSE IM COMING HOME THIS SATURDAY!!!!

NOS VEMOS TODOS!!!

Monday, November 6, 2017

96th Week Out, Week 16 Garupa "Tour Guides"

I've come to the conclusion that there is nothing you can tell me concerning the Gospel that is not already written. Especially as we live in a time with the "fullness of the Gospel" revealed to us. Of course one could say that there are plenty of things we don't know. I see what Jarom means, "For what could I write more than my fathers have written? For have not they revealed the plan of Salvation?" (Jarom 1:2)

The prophets use so much intelligent/spiritual reasoning!! Looking over my notes, I came to the realization that many if not all of the things I have written down are thoughts that have already been made by millions and millions of other saints. Furthermore, I believe all of the thoughts I have made, like small discoveries of hidden riches, have ALL been touched upon by the prophets, seers, and revelators.

We might even stretch all the way out there and say that most if not all moral themes and ideas have been harvested by prophets of the Lord. The salvation of man-kind down to good manners, even positive thinking may have all been completely explored and put on display with tour-guides in the Book of Mormon! Why now do even our Latter-day prophets in 2017 urge us to read again the words of the prophets? The most recent general conference ended with Elder Anderson BECKONING us to search again through the other general conference talks.

"And whoso recieveth this record ... the same shall know of GREATER THINGS THAN THESE. Behold I am Moroni; and WERE IT POSSIBLE, I WOULD MAKE ALL THINGS KNOWN UNTO YOU." (Moroni 8:12)

I think if Moroni commenced in revealing "all things" to us he would start by reading the words already written by prophets, seers, and revelators.

THEREFORE, do we have any excuse to not read the words of the prophets? To be idle? To be less-active? To not magnify our calling? To go to church every Sunday and nourish ourselves with the sweet word? ETC...

If all things are pertaining to Perfection, Salvation, and just good living, THEN NO! As we are placed before the great bar of God He will ask us, what did ye do in the day of your probation? Did you take advantage of the most gracious gifts of knowledge that were given? Did you seek out all the gifts and talents that I gave you even before the world was?

I know that the Gospel is the university of God for all those who THIRST and HUNGER to SEE and to HEAR. The Gospel is what challenges men to walk uprightly. The Lord is a God of knowledge. He is so open to us.. I love our Heavenly Father. He wants us to walk, not crawl. He wants us to speak, to see, to feel, to understand.

It may be inappropriate to exercise my calling's power over written email but, I promise --- all those who desire and are willing to go and do all of the things that the Lord commands --- you will be lifted up on that glorious last day and every day before that. You will look back on the trail you leave and regret none of it. D&C 58:42; D&C 45:57; D&C 45:5; D&C 43:17,19; D&C 59:24. 

In the name of Jesus Christ amen.

Monday, October 30, 2017

95th Week Out, Week 15 Garupa "2 More Emails"

I'm already giving things away! I'm down to like 5 ties! My temple recommend expires tommorrow? I got like 18 days left! Apparently I can only take one bag home! How am I suppose to fit all of my toys in there!?

There will be a pretty sweet meeting before I go home --- A member of the presidency of the 1st quorum of the seventy will be coming to visit our mission!
I believe his name is Elder Christiansen? He will be accompanied by Elder Bragg; the counselor to the president of our area in South America. This will be on the 10th of November; a week before I'm on a plane to Georgia.

It's going to come with a few complications though. This mission has 2 countries, which means 2 visas, 2 sets of legal documents, etc... Our mission has difficulty driving this way.. The fast option for missionaries to get in and working already is to just send them out with a 90-Day Tourist Visa. Then the office works on achieving your legal documents withing that time period.

Long-story-short there are about 35-ish missionaries that will not be able to cross over to Argentina to participate in this almost once in a life time experience. Otherwise they will have to pay a fine for being illegal. The mission can't afford to pay simultaneously these fines as the price adds up to more than $2,000 dollars..

SO, President Svec has a problem. The Elders who are coming to visit are on a massive trip to many missions so they can't stop and go to Paraguay also. He may need to broadcast the meeting to Paraguay or find some other solution. He has communicated the situation to Elder Bragg and Elder Christiansen. As of now they have planned to fast next Sunday (the 5th of November.) Infact the whole mission has been invited to fast so that a door might be openned.

Luckily I am in Argentina, so I will be participating on the 10th of November!

Aboiut my area, we continue to look for those prepared persons who hear the voice of the Lord. We found a lady named Susana! She has a daughter who recently got baptized in the church in Buenos Aires. She then moved out here recently, like not even a week ago, to live with her mom. We just happened to show up. Susana received a baptismal date and we left! The neat part is that her daughter wasn't even there! So she probably freaked out when her mom told her that she has already been visited by the missionaries and is going to get baptized!!

Here's a cool study:
1. How can I be gentle?
- Write the different synonyms to being gentle that you can think of
2. In what ways is Heavenly Father gentle with His children?
-Write as many as you can think of
-Examples:
>Love is His first commandment
>He teaches precept upon precept
>He works by small and simple things
>He desires that we call Him Father
>He wants daily verbal communication from us
>He sent His son so you wouldn't have to suffer
>He is patient
>He cringes not at our ignorance/lack of understanding
>He lashes not out in wrath as we sin continuously before Him
3. Take all of those things from #2 and try to apply that gentleness in your own life!

Cool beans.

Impressions of Garupa:
-I made freaking strawberry flavored pancakes today, and strawberry syrup!

Monday, October 23, 2017

94th Week Out, Week 14 Garupa "3 Letters left..!"

I only have 3 letters left after this one..! THIS 4th last week of my mission my companion and I have decided to contact 1000 people in 1 week!! Brennen had challenged me to set a crazy goal before I go home so here goes nothing! (It may be a norm for some missions to get 1000+ a week but in my mission there is a different population and culture.)

We heard some guy say something cool this week:

You want to know why I believe in God?... Everytime someone here tries to make light, it goes out... UNLESS they feed it and keep it going... It will go out... Who makes that light run up there? (the sun) That light never goes out.

It's interesting how questions can cut your way through the jungles of knowledge. For every solid question there is a solid answer. For every answer is an opportunity to make another solid question based off that answer, and so forth. I think I admire a lot what intelligence is and how God has structured our thinking ball-field. If your brain painted a picture, what would it look like? If you had the ability to think up a color that doesn't exist, what would it look like? (you probably couldn't answer that..!)

On top of all of this is that fact that we are all individuals. We are all "different." How does God make so many different faces? Different finger prints? How are there so many views and perspectives of things?

Questions and answers, decisions and choices, the ability to compare/judge, agency --- is what makes you alive --- participate in life --- join the symphony that God has composed. I look at it all like the stars in the sky! It's so FUN to be an OBSERVER! Watching GOd paint the sky everyday. Having the sensation of discover constantly. Sometimes I feel like the gate keeper from the Azguardian realm with the all seeing eyes.

So I guess --- keep your eyes open --- don't be blinded --- you can't afford to waste anytime! --- Because soon there won't be time ever again --- Do things! --- Be alive! --- Understand the value of what you are --- Take advantage of Life.

Impressions of Garupa:
-There are people who have served missions in the church here, and just leave the church.... And we find them in the street while contacting.......... I dislike that... They need to still be at church...

Monday, October 16, 2017

89th - 93rd Week Out, Week 13 Garupa "Last Transfer, will stay in Garupa"

So yea! Wonderful week! I'm loving my companion! I've been here with Elder Houston from Houston Texas! Seems he will be my last companion as today is the first day of my LAST TRANSFER! WOW!

We moved to a new apartment and we have nothing. We have to buy all new things! ITS SO EXCITING TO BUY NEW STUFF ON THE MISSION! After living on the floor and in my bags, ironically I did have a wonderful week!

We don't have very many investigators... At least the number that I would like to have. It's challenging to find people that really are excited about your message and don't doubt everything that you say.

I LOVE being a missionary.. It's such a delight and a pleasure to me! It's so full of THINGS! *In all of your gettings out here you get understanding*! It's neat to feel worthy everyday, to not feel anything holding you back! To understand the power and solemnity of your calling even down to the very area you serve in.

I'm grateful God allowed me to come here. It's humbling to think that I was chosen to do this. I know the Lord has invested a lot in me, and I will magnify my calling.

Have a great week everyone!

Impressions of Garupa:
-There is a church here that apparently got closed down because they had been selling illegal drugs on the roof...  :) 

Monday, September 18, 2017

88th Week Out, Week 8 Garupa "S.hort writes short emails...not"

I really try to think about what I write! That's a main reason why I don't write a lot :) haha! I'm still in Garupa. I probably wont be leaving untill I end the mish. Our mission president has put the big goal of getting 1 baptism EVERY WEEKEND! So that's the memo of here.

I'm not really struggling with anything. I've been just noticing a lot. Reflecting on the fact that I learn a lot of things all the time. I write them down, I re-read them often. It's really neat. I am 20 years old.. I don't know if I'm an "adult" I guess I don't know the definition. I don't feel like a teenager though. I give more attention to everything.

I'm so ready to take on the world! I bet it's going to hit hard! But regardless I'm excited!

One thing I get brought back to a lot is who I was before the mission. Oh how great the difference. I was an object. Long story.

You know what, I thought of a great question one time: How can everyday be like Christmas? I remember EVERY SINGLE CHRISTMAS being so profoundly set at awe and beyond my ability to recieve all of the JOYOUS feelings overflowing my SOUL when I woke up, each and every Christmas day. The night before I'm CRINGING with excitement! Even as I became more mature, I couldn't change the way I felt about Christmas! Although most of the excitement came from the fact that there were presents waiting for me, I do think there is such a feeling as this that is spiritual, and not just temporal.

How can you come close to this feeling not just because of adrenaline and temporary pleasure of material things? How can you wake up everyday maybe with just the solid, optimistic attitude to take on whatever the day has to offer, and with a strong desire to discover what you will behold?

There's probably a lot of answers to that, and a lot of obstacles too. But as the scripture says that "men are that they might have joy." Realistically it is going to have to do with things that aren't temporary maybe not even material, but that doesn't mean we have to exclude them from our search for happiness. For example, going to the beach with the fam. You are, in a technical sense spending temporary time and temporal money to get there at the beach with your family. But you also know that you are gaining an awesome experience and memory that will be carried beyond time.

Life is a balance of both your treasures on earth, and your treasures in Heaven. But you also cannot serve two masters. I'm not saying focus on saving your treasures on the earth, but to taking advantage of them, and using them while they are available in a prudent way. While also doing all possible to take advantage of eternal treasures that never will perish.

But yea. I don't know. I would just love to wake up everyday like it were Christmas! Haha!

Pictures some other time! CIAO!

Impressions of Garupa:
-Well, maybe this impression isn't from Garupa, but I noticed that a little Coca-Cola bottle over in Paraguay is 20 cents..... And here it's about 1 dollar and 20 cents.... :) ha!

Monday, September 11, 2017

87th Week Out, Week 7 Garupa "10 WEEKS LEFT!"

I don't have a lot of time! So I'm just going to say hi, and I hope all you guys are ready for General Conference coming up! It's going to BE THE MOST AWESOME OF THE AWESOME CONFERENCES! Because

It's my last one EVER during my time as a missionary! 10 WEEKS LEFT!

I love to be a missionary!

Here's a story:

A man goes to get his haircut! The barber is an atheist. The man is a member of the church! The barber is a good talker so they talk a LOT. They talk about politics, about the world, about history, about life in general. And then they get onto the theme about God. The barber says:

"I don't believe in God."

The man asked him why. He said "There are so many people in the world who suffer, with earthquakes and other disasters, even to unjust governments and drugs and other sorts of problems. I can't see that God can exist because of these things."

Then the man thought, and he responded, "Well.. You know what? I don't believe in Barbers."

The barber thought (how could this be?) And the man spoke again and said, "I see many people walking around outside with horrible hair! They suffer having their hair looking bad and different forms of weird shaped hair! People are in the street and can't afford their hair cuts and so they sit in their poor hair just like that."

Then the barber said, "But I am here! I am a barber! I can cut their hair! They just need to come to me !"

And thus the man helped the barber understand how to come to the knowledge of God.

We need to come unto Him, to know that He is there.