Thursday, July 12, 2012

A Little Late Again

More construction, more late letters. But I guess that´s okay. Even though it has been less time in between this email and the last, I feel like I have so much more to say! I´ll try to answer all your questions...we´ll see how this goes. We have 40+ missionaries here right now, but we will probably have twice that next transfer. So we have been doing a lot of moving and cleaning to get this place ready. My Spanish is getting better and worse, depending on the day. I feel more comfortable in what I can say. We have pretty much learned all the grammar we need and I am more comfortable with teaching a lot of basic concepts (the Joseph Smith story, the fact that our leaders don´t get paid, etc.). However, I feel like I am understanding less Spanish recently. I am not sure why. But this last proselyting week was somewhat frustrating for that reason. There was a nice old man who would only say a few words at a time and I didn´t recognize any of them. And there was a muslim guy who talked to us for about an hour about the randomest things. Missionaries definitely attract crazy people who need someone to listen to them. Hopefully I can continue to learn vocabulary so I can understand as much as I´d like to. We are getting better at being pushy about talking to people. Often, people will make an excuse about how busy they are, but if you keep them talking they are too nice to slam the door or anything. So they´ll say they are busy working, I´ll ask if they work Sunday mornings, they say no, and I start telling them about our church and why they should come, for example. There was a man who didn´t want to talk to us, but we got him like this and we conditionally challenged him to baptism. We have been practicing doing that: something along the lines of "If you find out that our church is true, will  you be baptized?" That way they can say yes without feeling too committed, but they are still committed towards working towards something and getting baptized if/when they gain a testimony. We had a younger man who said yes to this, and unlike the first man he seemed very interested. His name is Padricio; I hope things go well with him next week. He actually is not in our area; the bus driver dropped us off pretty far away from our area because of some scheduling mistakes. So we met him on the way. We also helped a guy who was sawing branches off trees. That was actually really fun. I love service, especially like that.

Back to your questions. We do practice teaching our teachers...which can be kind of monotonous. But it serves its purpose and we are making progress. I just can´t wait to teach real people in real homes every day. In church Elder Bayles or I will conduct the meetings. Sometimes I have taught the class and played hymns. I´m glad Kamalei is going to SOAR. I had some friends who went to that and they really enjoyed it. I am sure it´s somewhat like HOBY, which was one of my best experiences ever. Glad little Christopher is doing well, and I will pray for Aunt Karen. On Makade´s address, I was actually referring to his Ukrainian street address. Should have been more specific. And Elder Brown´s stamps did get here a while ago. The Argentina mail system has been having issues recently, so we haven´t gotten mail, but they tell us we should be receiving them soon.

Now to answer a few of the questions I received in letters from the Parrishes and Haven & Erica. Yes, it is winter down here, but it is not bad at all. Which way to the toilets flush? I don´t think "flush" is the proper word. Chaotic splash would be more appropriate. I love being in Argentina, and I am sure I will miss it. As a District leader, I have meetings most mornings with the President about my district. I also pray for them, worry about them, remind them to stay focused (not easy), and try to keep things organized. Next week I should be able to give you an outline of my typical day, which is funny because my schedule will be about to change. I will get a Latin companion for three weeks, and then off to Paraguay, which is not far at all. 

Cool experience we had: a newly called Area 70* came and spoke to us. He was awesome, and he demonstrated what he was teaching by sharing how he was converted by an American named Elder Cutler who couldn´t speak much Spanish but had a love for the people. Turned out to be the father of Elder Cutler, my companion! What a surprise for both of them. I sure love my companions, they are great to work with. We have watched a lot of great videos recently. I love the Joseph Smith movie--such a testimony builder--and we watched a fireside from Elder Holland about missionary work. He shared something I did not really know about before. Preach My Gospel was not brought about for the investigators. It´s for us. Almost every chapter begins with "How can I..." They introduced it because they were concerned about all the RM´s who go inactive. The purpose of PMG is for us to become converted before we convert others. So it is for members, too. I hope all young men read it before they go. One thing I wish I would have done in the lesson chapters, which I am doing now, is to write down a short summary of what all the scriptures in the lessons say, rather than having to look them up every time you plan the lesson. Elder Holland also pointed out that we are not to teach from PMG, we teach from the scriptures. It just helps us learn to appreciate the scriptrues. So read PMG and study the scriptures, as much as you can!

I also listened to the talk "The Purifying Power of Gethsemane" by Bruce R. McConkie yesterday. Such a powerful testimiony of Christ. I am not at that point yet, but I do know that Jesus Christ is my Savior and Redeemer. Nothing is every going to make me deny that. I know that Joseph Smith is a prophet and I am thankful for all  he did. I should also thank you, mom for raising me with the gospel. I have never doubted my testimony, and that is not a blessing most of the Latino missionaries had. Thank you so much for helping me have a testimony all my life and being a great example.  I love you all!

-Elder Wesley Morgan

*Area Seventy: Leaders called seventies assist the Twelve Apostles and serve in various locations throughout the world. There are currently eight quorums of the Seventy. Each quorum may have up to 70 members. Some seventies are assigned to headquarters administrative functions, but most live and work within a specific geographic region of the Church.  (Definition taken from here.)

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