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Thursday, October 30, 2014

Week 62: Posadas, Argentina

This week has gone pretty well, we had two investigators come to church, a couple that we are teaching who are pretty cool. They are really nice and made us lunch one day.

But yeah Halloween here isn't really the same. No one really celebrates it. It's kinda of like a bad day I think, or it has a negative sort of feel-as if it was actually a day of dark magic and stuff like that. But I'm planning on buying a bunch of candy and eating it. So I'll be celebrating solo. 

But yeah its heating up down here, we are trying to move houses because our house is pretty unbearable. We have a two story little apartment that is on top of another house, so basically third story. And the top floor is like 25 degrees hotter than it is outside. Its pretty crazy sometimes, we slept in the pension of the Assistants last night cause it was really hot and they have air conditioning. And then instead of doing exercises we got up and went and played for a little bit at the beach again which was fun. And then a huge huge rainstorm came and cooled things down. The weather is pretty nice after it rains. 

And the finances are doing okay, I'm starting to get caught up on everything.  The only problem is trying to fix President LaPierres card, which is kind of a mess, but it's progressing little by little. We have a conference on Tuesday and I think Elder Parks is going to come a little bit early to help me out a little. But other than that I'm doing really well, figuring things out, but there always seems to be something that I don't really know I'm supposed to do and then I find out and have to backtrack my work and fix things and it gets kind of complicated sometimes, just lots of numbers. 

It's pretty crazy how time flies by though, I always try to think of a story or something that happened during the week, or something cool I can write down to put on here, but then it's just like the week goes by so fast and Thursday gets here and I don't have time to sit down and think. But that's cool about the missionaries singing downtown with the piano.  Elder Thornton and I thought about doing that, but its kind of hard to find a piano around here.. I guess electric keyboards work, haha. But we are thinking about organizing something like that for Christmas time.  

The mission has a blog in progress, they have it all saved onto word documents, but they're in the process of putting it onto the blog.  It's in spanish, but I'm going to try to translate it when I get some time, but you can look at it and see. 

Well, this week wasn't a super eventful week, hopefully everything is going well back home. 

Love, Elder Roberts

Friday, October 24, 2014

Week 61: Posadas, Argentina

HOLA. This week has gone by extremely fast. There were transfers and transfers mean missionaries moving around, new missionaries coming in, and money being spent, so lots of work for me.  It's good because it keeps me busy. Ive decided that i dont want to work in an office when im older. Its not bad but i dont think i could do it for the rest of my life. We havent gotten to work to much in the area this week becuase of a few problems and stuff that happened during transfers. 

We do a lot of paperwork for the missionaries to be able to be legal here. And they didn't do that before, so now we are trying to catch up and we have tons of paperwork. The problem is that the migrations office here in Posadas, their system doesnt really work all the time.  So we had to send the new people up to Iguazu at like 3 in the morning and then have them come back and then have them travel to their areas. Lots of travelling. So the paperwork to get people to be legal here gets pretty fun sometimes.

Im trying to figure out all the finances, there are some rough spots but we are getting there. President's card kinda got shut down due to some troubles, so im in the process of fixing that. 

We have a couple we are teaching that are really nice.  We met them in the street one day and they were friends with a less active member and then they just randomly invited us over for lunch one day.  We went and they made us this huge plate and they were super nice, haha it was almost weird how nice their were, but we are teaching them and they are doing pretty well. The husband works a lot so we dont get to see him as much, but the lady is really nice and she likes learning a lot. The sisters in the ward have a baptism tomorrow, which is pretty awesome.  Lavalle Ward has been baptizing a lot and i think now we need to retain all of the converts. Its actually really tough to balance the retention and finding new people. It takes a lot of work to help the people become active members that build the church. But definitely worth it. 

Well hopefully everything is going well up there. It's weird that it's almost Halloween. I bet it's getting cold up there, and here its pretty hot. I think it hit 100 today. We picked the wrong time to go play volleyball on the beach, it was pretty hot, but fun. But have a great week! Thanks for the letter!!!

Love, Elder Roberts

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Week 60 Posadas, Argentina

Yeah, it was a pretty crazy week, I think every week here is crazy. I'm not sure if its just this mission, or if we are still trying to get everything in order and open the mission-get everything functioning correctly, but lots of late nights and early mornings, haha. I think my body kinda died the other day from not sleeping enough, but I'm fine now. Its pretty tough balancing all the office work with the proselyting. But we have a few people that are doing well. After we baptized Jorge we kinda got left with no investigators, but we are working to be able to retain him and some of the other recent converts and two less active families.

It was pretty cool.. the sister of the two girls that got baptized a few weeks ago, that lives on her own, came to church with her family and liked it, went to conference and loved it. She has now stopped smoking, started reading the Book of Mormon and it's changing a lot of stuff in her life, and she wants to go on a mission next year. So thats pretty sweet. It's cool that the gospel helps you progress and change a lot. I think a lot of people say that there isn't a need for religion, or they don't need to go to church, they can just believe in God, but it's crazy how much someone can change by just learning and applying things they learn at church. It's like once you start it's hard to stop. This reminds me of one of scriptures that I really like, in Mosiah 5:2:

And they all cried with one voice, saying: Yea, we believe all the words which thou hast spoken unto us; and also, we know of their surety and truth, because of the Spirit of the Lord Omnipotent, which has wrought a mighty change in us, or in our hearts, that we have no more disposition to do evil, but to do good continually.

It's  literally exactly like that, she realized she needed to change her life and live the gospel, and now she realizes what's good for her and what's bad, made the changes and is a lot happier.  It's pretty cool. 

There is an activity Saturday in the Stake, "missionary for a day" and we have been running around like crazy trying to organize that.  All the youth from the stake are going to leave and proselyte with us for a day and have a few training sessions. So that should be pretty fun to try to get the youth excited about missionary work. 

This past week we helped organize a service activity with the Elders Quorom. And this morning we went and helped a lady clean up her yard, fix her house, and chop down a tree. There was a lottt to do, it was actally in pretty bad shape, and her wall was about to fall down and a tree was about to fall onto her house, but i think we cleaned up pretty well. She had a bunch of fire wood that she didn't want and told us to throw it away, but a member said that the bread shops always use lots of fire wood to cook bread in their big stoves so we threw it all in the back of the truck and took it to the bread shop down the street and they were pretty happy to have it and gave us free bread. And the best part was that Jorge, the guy that just got baptized came and was helping and he got to know some of the members of the quorom a little bit better and I think it was a good experience for him. We always had trouble getting converts to have good relations with the members, but I think service is perfect.  

My companion is the President's secretary. He's in charge of all the travels of missionaries, pensions and organizing interviews and stuff. But we are always together here and we end up working together a lot because basically for everything here you need money. So everyone does their stuff and then works through me to pay for it. There is the travel/housing secretary, materials, and registros y tramites... I forgot how to say it in English. 

Thanks for the pictures! But thanks for everything! And thanks for the email!!!

Have a nice week!!

Love, Elder Roberts

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Week 59: Posadas, Argentina

This week went by super super fast.  We had a conference here in Posadas and all the leaders from the mission came, so we were really busy organizing that.  Basically just not sleeping very much, getting home late, and leaving the house early. But it's pretty fun.  When you are doing stuff all day you don't really get tired because you're doing stuff constantly, and you go home at night and just kind of sleep as soon as you hit the bed and wake up some how kind of rejuvenated. 

My trainer from the office left yesterday, so now I'm on my own pretty much, just as a bunch of problems start. I've heard that the US renounced the peso, or something like that, and now lots of the ATMs dont work and missionaries are having troubles getting money, and President as well. SO it should be a super busy next few days. 

We also have a baptism Saturday of this super cool guy named Jorge, so we are excited for that.   But afterwards we don't really have too many investigators, just some less active families we are helping, and some recent converts that we are helping as well. 

But the office here is pretty cool because it's really like a job, like bascially some days 7:00 to 5:00 and then going out and working on the spiritual side, so it's like balancing work and a family, or work and a calling, and its pretty hard, haha. But I think it is good training.  But thanks for the letter and I hope everyone has a great week!!!

Love, Elder Roberts

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Week 58: Posadas, Argentina

Well, the time here in the office definitely goes by a lot faster than it does in the field. I guess cause there is always a lot to do and there is a never ending list of tasks and projects to finish. For example, Elder Parks who is leaving the office soon, found a problem from before that was on the credit card of President LaPierre that is super big, so we have been putting a lot of time into that trying to fix it and coming in and staying up late to try to get everything done.  But it's pretty fun, when there's stuff to do constantly the time just kinda flies by. But we also had some good experiences this week.

I dont think the ward had had a ward council for a while, but we decided to have one and presented our ward with the mission plan that we made in between the 6 of us missionaries that are here in the ward. We got there and it went super well. All the members got pretty excited about doing it, but also started to talk about some of the problems they were having and it was a pretty productive meeting.  But then the bishop gave a talk as well in sacrament meeting about putting into practice the ward mission plan. So that was pretty cool.   

I'm excited for General Conference this weekend to see what the leaders tell us about what we should be doing.
Conference will be good, I feel like the whole church is kinda pushing a lot for the work of salvation and it's pretty cool to see it all unfolding.

It was always really interesting because it seemed like the missionaries were always called to give blessing to the sick because the members always knew the missioanries were like 24 hours available.  Sometimes the members weren't as available and they were scared to call each other and interrupt their day and ask them for a blessing. But one of the men in the quorum kinda brought it up and now we are having the members give blessings.  Now we always call members and if there are no members to do it we do it.  There are a lot of men that have the Priesthood here, they just don't really know how to use it, or haven't used it in a long time, so that was interesting.

We are always trying to help the members do a little bit a service. Whenever we ask the members, or anyone, if we can do anything to help them, they always say no.  But then we started explaining that by them giving us service to do, we can invite other members to come help from the quorum.  That way they can come and participate and feel good and get more involved.  We did a project the other day-we painted a house of a less active family and had 4 members show up to help as well, one being less active as well.  They all loved it and had a great time and then in the quorum meeting at church the next day the people that went shared a little bit of their experience.  Also, the less active that's coming back got up and gave a super cool testimony of his experience-that was pretty sweet.  And even better, the whole family came to church.  Since that day they have stopped smoking and committed to start getting ready to go to the temple.  While we did the service, the first counselor of the ward, who is super cool, started talking to them about their family and how they could improve their relationship as family.  The counselor found there were a lot of problems, so he sent some goals with them and they've been doing super well. 

We also went and did divisiones with the Bishop and another kid that is 19; he doesn't really want to go on a  mission, but we went and did visits with him and have had a few lessons with him.  He was like, yeah well, the missionaries never really invited me before.  So he went with us and really liked it, and also gave his testimony the next day about working in the church and how good he felt after he went with us, so that was pretty awesome. 

We are also teaching this guy, Jorge, that is a brother of a member.  He wants to get baptized next week and is receiving all the lessons really well and is a really cool gu
y. He said he worked in construction and he was always with his buddies from construction.  They were always doing drugs and drinking and doing stuff like that.   He said he stopped working there and really felt bad about all the stuff he did and saw.  He wants to change, so we started teaching him and he really likes the church so far.  We shall this week what happens with him. 

Things at the office are going pretty well, next week there is a conference with all the zone leaders and sister training leaders.  We are actually invited as well, but we have to set up and buy all the stuff for it and it gets pretty crazy. 

Then next week there is an activity for the youth where all the youth are going to leave with the missionaries to go teach for a day.  All of them in the stake are invited and we are trying to get set up and organized for that as well.   One of the assisstants and I are in charge of training the missionaries here in Posadas as to what exactly they are going to have to do and what they should do with the youth when they do the activity. So that should be pretty fun. 

My assignment here in the office is going pretty well, I'll have a Peruvian companion next week when Elder Parks leaves. But yeah, I basically just have to make sure everyone has money. But I think the toughest part is that I actually have to make some deciones sometimes on how to spend money. Like there aren't really set payments sometimes and I have to tell missionaries, "Well I think there is a better option," or "that's really not something that I can reimburse…," or stuff like that. So I'm pretty much the most loved missionary for giving people their money, but also the most hated when sometimes the money isn't always there.... haha, but it's not too bad. 

Our ward is about 100 people, we have a goal to get the attendance up to 110 and keep it there solid and then keep growing. But there are some really cool members, I like it a lot. 

It was a pretty good week all in all. We found an apartment, but President LaPierre thought it was too big… haha, but I think we are going to get it and have all the leaders and people that come for conferences sleep on cots in our house just to make things easier and not have to pay for hotels.  
Thanks for everything and have a great weeek!!!!!!

Love, Elder Roberts