Wednesday, July 18, 2012

One "Transfer" Done

I have now been out here for six weeks! The time is flying. Glad to hear that everything is going well with our family. I hope Aunt Karen and Grandpa continue to recover. I´ve got a little extra time to email this week, so I will send out a couple more emails to the family. Did Daniel get my email from last time? I couldn´t remember what his email is these days, but I´d love to hear from him. Glad to hear he is doing his AP homework. That really will help. Did he get his EHS classes done? It´s unfortunate that he has not found a job, but honestly I have never gotten a job that was not through someone I know in some way, so I can see why it is hard. Also, I definitely know Johnathan Rose. Gotta love the Hale.

I have showed my pictures to other missionaries, which is always fun. No one believes that Daniel is younger than me. Is Chris still getting cuter? Let me know when he starts talking, crawling, or whatever is next. More good news: something strange is happening with mail, so we never know when it comes, but I got 11 Dear Elder letters! For some reason, DearElder put them all on the same pages and said they were from Cambry Parrish. Kinda weird, but I was able to figure out who they were all from and their addresses. They were all dated around June 25-28. I also found out that I can send letters to other missions for free! So I sent letters to Elders Claypool, Byers, and Blanchard. Hope they get to the two in the MTC before they take off.

Recently we have been doing a lot of moving. Construction is almost finished on the CCM and the temple, and we are gettting 60 or 70 more missionaries tomorrow. We have been moving a lot of furniture and pictures. We carried this safe down the stairs that took four of us, and it was only about the size of two computer towers. Elder Smith called it the Golden Plates. I should also let you know that for this last week I have a new companion! Elder Cutler was switched to Elder Suprise so they can both get some extra Spanish help before we get Latino Companions next week. So now I am companions with Elder Adamson and Elder Brown, the two missionaries I knew beforehand. Who would've guessed?

Over this past week we have also had a lot of the new teachers do their trial runs on us; which is fun. They're always bringing new ways to teach and study. Sometimes I am learning so much I feel like my head is going explode. We have learned about teaching to meet needs, helping investigators study the scriptures, feeling the spirit/receiving revelation, and the importance of the Book of Mormon. That reminds me, a couple weeks ago I asked for advice on how we can get people to read the Book of Mormon/understand its immediate importance. Could you ask the family about that? Definitely something we need to work on. There is a page in Preach My Gospel about how the Book of Mormon supports the Bible. It has examples of correlating scriptures between the two and encourages you to find more, so I have been doing a lot of that in my Personal Study recently. That will be really good when we teach Evangelicals or anyone else who thinks the Bible is complete. We can show that we aren´t adding any perverse doctrine to the Bible, we are just adding clearer explanations that are applicable enough to be worth reading.

Speaking of Evangleicals, we actually didn´t find any this week in Proselyting. I like our new area; the people are a lot more willing to listen. We have run into a few members, and there are more young people, which is good. My favorite experience was with a young guy I ran into at the beginning who didn´t believe in God. We gave him a Book of Mormon and, even though he didn´t want to, I explained that this book could change his life if he let it. I felt like it all came out naturally and confidently, which is why I felt really good about it. Hopefully he decides to read and pray. I also drank soda for the first time in years. We talked to this old Catholic lady for a long time, explaining the restoration and such. Then she gave us some empanadas and a glass of coke, so I had to drink a little just to be nice. And those empanadas were amazing; they tasted like chalupas from Taco Bell. Unfortunately, she has the belief that many people down here do: all churches are good. That is such an obstacle in getting people to learn more about ours. Maybe next week we can teach her again and help her make progress, and then I can learn how to answer that question when it comes up again.

So, that is one thing about Argentines: they are very accepting people. I don´t know too much more about them because I haven´t mastered the language or been down here enough to find what the major differences between the Hispanic cultures are. People always have fun things to say about Paraguayos. And like I said, Argentines are great. They love soccer. There is pretty much no racism. The city can be pretty dirty and run-down in parts, but I still love it. It´s always a guessing game when shops will be open in the afternoon. And you never know who will be willing to listen. Sometimes even the rougher looking people have had a nice encounter with missionaries and they are wiling to talk. The Lord works in mysterious ways.

Alright, so I am finally going to give you an outline of my typical day. We wake up a little before 6:30 so we can clean the bathrooms. We do that every other day, mostly because the other missionaries had chores to do in the morning and I felt bad that my district didn´t so I asked cleaning guy how we could help (don´t tell them that). Then I shower and eat an awesome breakfast. Same cereal, croissants, fruit, and hot chocolate every day. Sometimes I have a meeting with the President, otherwise I use the extra time to read a little, usually in Jesus the Christ. Then we have an hour of personal study, where I will read from the Book of Mormon and study lessons in Preach My Gospel. I also try to memorize scriptures in English and Spanish. Then during Companion Study we put together Lesson Outlines and practice phrases we are going to use. The rest of the day is classes, which are about teaching skills and Spanish. The only real difference next week is that all the classes will be in Spanish and about teaching skills. We might have a little time to get some grammar help. Lunch is usually at 12:15 and dinner at 6:45. We have a lot of meat at both meals, along with other new vegetables and things that I have learned to enjoy. We get physical activity from 3:30-5:00. I try to run and do a 15-20 minute workout, then we all play soccer, 9-square, or volleyball. From 9:00 to 9:30pm we plan for the next day: what we will do, study, and teach. Then we get ready for bed, write in our journals, and sometimes have a little more time. We use that to read, sing hymns, or wrestle. Every day we have a chance to teach a progressing investigator, which is a great opportunity. Sometimes we also have CRE (called TRC in Provo), where we just teach a one-time lesson to another teacher. Then there are other things that change up the schedule: P-Days, Service (washing cars or moving), Proselyting on Saturdays, and Firesides. Sundays are full of meetings and studying. We always have a fireside with President Agüero, the first counselor. Then we watch a movie like The Testaments, which is one of my favorite things here. 

One more thought, which I had while praying last night (it is amazing how much longer your prayers get when you are a missionary and when you are trying to do them in a new language). How many other missionaries can say they are serving a mission at the same time as their dad? I mean, I don´t know exactly what his mission is; it could be helping me out here or sharing the gospel with those who didn´t get a chance to hear it in this life. Whatever it is, I think that is really cool to say be able to say. I hope I can live up to Dad´s example.

-Elder Wesley Morgan

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