So this week has been one of the best weeks of my mission. Seriously I am so happy. Artigas is so great!
Monday and Tuesday we did change stuff, the new group of oros came in (Elder Pulsipher!!), and we just did all the normal change jazz. Nothing to new there. Then we went around and said goodbye to all the members and investigators I was teaching. Something cool that happened there. One of our investigators, Bruno, might move from Montevideo. And guess to where??!! AARRRTTTIIIGGGAAASSS! In barrio 4 where we are serving! So that would be awesome!
Anyways, Tuesday night me and elder Lopez got on the bus in montevideo at 12:30 and traveled all through the night and got here at 8:30 in the morning. It was pouring rain. We had too much stuff to fit in the taxis with the elders we had so I ended up taking a taxi by myself...in an area I didn’t know....but I got there and had a really good conversation with the driver. Got a reference!
My new companion is elder Owen. He is from Draper, Utah. He is 19. He has about 3 changes in the mission so he is still relatively young. He is such a stud. Always excited to go out and work. Always has a smile on his face and always wanting to speak in spanish! It’s been so great being with him. I am so excited for our changes together.
The first two days here in Artigas, I went on divisions with Elder Aqueveque (de Chile) for two days so that he could help me get to know the area and some of the members. It was an awesome opportunity to learn from him. He is such a stud! I learned a lot about contacting with him and how to teach in different ways. Such a blessing to have spent two days with him. He is a great example of what a hard working missionary lives like.
We went to mutual on Wednesday with all the jovenes at night and played soccer in the pouring rain. Man can these kids play. There were about 30 kids there so we made teams of 5 and just rotated with winner staying on the court. It is clear that the youth are one of the major strengths in the ward.
We have been hitting it hard in the streets this past week. We found 12 new people to teach in half a week that we had up here with 4 of them being men over the age of 18 who will be future priesthood holders.
Church on Sunday was awesome! We had 74 in church which is really good for this ward. After church, we met with some brothers from the high council and they kind of laid out their expectations for what they want us to help the ward with. At the end of the meeting, one of the brothers stands up and goes to the window and goes “You see that green field out there? That is where we will build the chapel for the people of Barrio 4" To do that, we need to have over 125 people in the church consistently for a year. We are going to do it. I know we are because the Spirit confirmed it as he said it. It was so awesome! The leaders know that TODAY IS THE DAY! It’s been so incredible.
Later on Sunday, we met with our bishop. We talked about his goals for the ward, what he needed from us, etc. At the end of the meeting, he asked us if he could go out and teach with us. I have never had a bishop just come up to us and ask us what time he could go out to teach with us. He is such a stud! At first he was talking about all the things he had to do and then he thought for a little bit and goes HOY ES EL DIA ELDERES! Give me 15 minutes and we are going out to work. Then he went out to go on visits with us. He agreed to go out with us every Saturday and Sunday for as long as we needed him to go out. He loves his ward so much and wants to do everything to build up the church in his ward.
One of the trials we have come into this past week has been the members. They honestly just about had a funeral when the last missionaries left. One elder had been here 6 months and the people here adored him. It’s been really hard because they are all in mourning still as he has left. We have been doing all we can to try to regain the trust of the members and help them move past it. Yesterday we were in lunch, and this member almost started crying when someone brought up the name of the elder. But we are making progress, little by little, with the members. They are beginning to warm up to us. We are just going to have to make it a point of focus these coming weeks!
Today we went into Brazil with some elders, elder finnegan and pulsipher included! whoop whoop! We went to eat at an all you can eat Brazilian buffet. They kept bringing meat to our table for like an hour and a half. It was so awesome! It was only like 10 dollars too. Everything is so much cheaper in Brazil. I think we are going to be doing a lot of shopping there ;)
Well that’s all I have for this week! I just want to say that Artigas is so awesome! I honestly never thought I could love an area so fast. It has been one of the most successful weeks of my mission and we only had half a week! It’s been the best being up here with all these amazing elders. I know the whole zone basically from before. We are going to go to work in Artigas this change! We have been seeing all the blessings of opening an area. The Lord provides when we strive to do our best and follow all of his commandments!
I love you all so much!
Lets all try a little bit harder to be a little bit better.
Have a great week!