Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Week 94: Birthday's and Learning

Hola!! Buen Día!!!!

It's been another great week here in Argentina, my time here is growing shorter and shorter, I've only got 3 weeks left. Shout out to Heber who finished his mission this week! What a stud muffin! 

This weeks been a week to remember, that's for sure! Lot's of miracles and blessings from the Lord. 

Last week were the birthday's of Samantha and Andres, 2 of our investigators that I found with Elder Gonzales several months ago. They have to get married still, but they've got plans. They were working a ton, so they couldn't celebrate their birthday's, so we decided that it would be nice if we celebrated with them. So Elder Pavón and I we put our baking skills to the test and we tried to cook a lemon cake with cream cheese frosting. The frosting came out well, the cake "más o menos" as we say in Español. Haha! We've got a recipe book here in our department that the mission gave to us before President Thurgood left, it's got a recipe to cook a lemon cake, but in the microwave. Well, me trying to be the professional cake cooker decided that it would be better in the oven. I think the ingredients aren't the same in the oven as in the microwave, but it was edible to say the least. We brought some balloons, the cake and a firework type candle and we celebrated with them. Despite their happy smiling faces as you can see in the photo, it was great and we all had a good little time.

The other day a worker came over to our pench to fix our ceiling that the paint and plaster was  all falling down, I don't know if I commented before, but everything they build here is built with bricks and cement, very interesting. So we had to stay in our pench almost all day Friday, but we were able to have a great weekly planning session with the extra time to kill.

I wanted to share with you guys 2 great things that I learned this week. 1st I learned the importance of falling. Sometimes the sidewalks are uneven here and I trip almost every day, but not that type of falling. Falling spiritually, I learned this week that sometimes when we fall it may be the hardest thing, it may be the most difficult to pick ourselves back up again, but that process of picking up is why we came here. We came to learn, we came to grow, and when we come into opposition we can have the resistance needed to grow and become stronger and better people. So when you fall, don't worry, the path back to God's presence isn't easy and without problems, it was made to give us trials and to push us to the limits of our abilities so that we can become more like him.

The other thing that I learned was about listening. We taught an older couple yesterday and frankly it was quite an interesting lesson. The wife loved to talk, she talked and talked and talked, and I kind of lost my patience. I kept thinking "this lesson isn't going anywhere" "What does this have to do with what we were talking about" or "look even her husband is beginning to fall asleep from this boring story" So, I did something I shouldn't have done. Right in the middle of a story she was telling us I cut her off and told her we had to leave. We prayed and left and we went on our way. I talked with my companion and he said that I shouldn't have done that, I shrugged it off with some excuse that we had more important things to do or something of the sort. As we went along, talking to several other people I began to feel the painful but familiar feeling of guilt as with every step I realized that truly what I had done was wrong. I tried to ignore it, but it became overwhelming as we talked with an older woman, she started to do the same thing and I remembered something that I had learned at the start of my mission. It doesn't matter what the person is saying, if they are saying it, it's because it's important to them. And it's true. If someone is telling us something it's because they feel that it is something important and relevant. I repented and have determined to listen even more. After all, I realize now that more important than the message we bring is the spirit that the people can feel when we are in their homes. The Spirit will convert them, not me.

Love you all!!

-Elder Slack




Monday, July 31, 2017

Week 92: Spiritual Eyes

Good Morning starshine, Elder Slack say's Hello!

Hey everyone, it's still crazy how fast the weeks fly by. But I'm used to it now, every week I can just feel more and more blessings.

It's been a wonderful week to tell you the truth, Elder Pavón is super great, I've loved working with him up until now and I'm sure it'll be a great last transfer, we're working a ton!

Highlight of the week! BAUTISMO!!! WHOOO!! Alina got baptized this week! YAY! It was a great moment, there were hardly any members, but the important part is that she was baptized! She's been investigating for about 3 months now, and has really grown to love the gospel, she is super determine to stay faithful and strong in the church and even told us the other day that she has thought about serving a missionary! How awesome!! 

One of the most important things that I've learned this week is about prayer and revelation. As I've been able to pray and receive answers from God, I have realized how much better my studies and my day can be. Many times before I thought that revelation would come as some big sign or some grand feeling, but I have learned that I need to seek, I have learned that I find.

Love you so much!! 

-Elder Slack

Elder Stockton Slack and his companion, Elder Pavon, are on the left. 
Elder Slack and Elder Garcia


Baptism of Alina, with Elder Pavon on the left and Elder Slack on the right all dress in white. (I sure love that smile!

Week 91: The Last transfer

Hola Friends and Family!

The last transfer has come. I don't have time. but super super quick

Elder Garcia went to Burzaco. I'm staying in Vill-celina until the end of the mission.

This week coming up Alina is going to be baptized!! WHOO! I love That family so much! They are incredible!

Andres, the brother in Law of alina gave to me and my companion some sweet stuff from Peru. 

I'm with Elder Pavon from Honduras, he's pretty awesome. Love you all!

-Elder Slack

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Week 90: Happiness isn't a destination

HEEEELLLOOOO EVERYONE!!!!!!

It's me! Elder Slack! I'm back once again, another week has come and gone very quickly and what a week it has been! We've been enjoying some colder humid weather this week, it looks like winter finally got here, so we getting all bundled up and we're enjoying the mud! 

It was a great week this week, we did so many things that I can't even tell you all of them, but! I'll try!

Monday was a good start, we went and we had our district activity, we cooked up some hamburgers in the oven and we played a new game that I had never played before. It's called, Soccer in chairs! Everyone has their own chair and the goal is to hit the chair of the other people when you kick the ball at it. If someone hits your chair you have to sit down and you can try and revive yourself if you can manage to kick the ball at someone else's chair whilst sitting, and the game continues until there's only 1 person left. SO! ..... We had some fun with that and that was pretty much all our P-day. 

Tuesday was pretty exciting, I woke up feeling a little abnormal, I thought it was because it was cold, but as the morning went on I realized that something wasn't quite right, after a few trips to the bathroom I resolved that the hamburgers that it probably wasn't the best idea I had ever had to eat 5 hamburgers on Monday. We went to the district meeting and I seemed to live, but when went to lunch in the house of a member, I started feeling pretty bad, so that was the start of 2 days in bed. But I rested up all day Wednesday and by Thursday morning I was feeling 95% better, so I decided to take it a little bit slower, but we still went to work. We found a new investigator that day. We contacted him and he told us that his sister and a few of his brothers were members already! Wow! He let us go inside his house and we taught him a little bit, he's a really nice humble man, he works collecting plastic and glass bottles that people leave on the street and he trades them at a recycling place for money. His name is Luis, it was very nice to meet him.

It was very interesting, whilst I was laying down on my bed, feeling horrible in my stomach I began thinking a little bit about my mission and about this transfer, I remembered one of the things that my president told me in our last interview, he said something like: sometimes you don't need to worry so much about the end of the goal, but you should look at all you are learning while you are working, be happy for all of the little things that you achieve, God's plan is our progress, sometimes if we put a goal, the important part isn't when we achieve it, but how you get there. I was thinking a little bit about that and I realized something, the joy isn't all at the end, it's throughout the entire journey! Happiness isn't a destination, it's an experience. Happiness doesn't come only when we achieve our goals, but we can experience it while we are working towards our goals as well. We should always be happy, we should learn to enjoy being happy always, in every moment, because that is why we are here! "Adam fell that men might be, and men are that they might have joy."  I love scripture even more now, it came to me right now, and how true it is.

Saturday we had a great day, my favorite part, we finally got to teach Gabriela and her family again! Whoo! It was great! She had looked on internet and had found some very interesting things about the mormons, we were able to explain several things and clarify some of her doubts, but the most important thing that we told her that she can do, is read the Book of Mormon and ask God if it is true. Because if the Book of Mormon is true, it means that all we teach is true, if it is not true, the rest could be totally a lie. And I can testify to all of you who are reading this letter, that I know, with a certainty that can't be broken that the Book of Mormon is true, I know that Joseph Smith was a prophet called of God to restore his true church, and I know that this is the church of Jesus Christ restored on the earth today. I also know that Jesus Christ lives, and loves everyone of us. And this is what i wanted to share with you all today. And I do it, in the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.



-Elder Slack

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Week 89

Hello to all of my family and friends! It's been another great week here in Villa-Celina! 

Lot's of things were going on this week so I'll see what experiences I can share with you all today!

Well! The most important first!! BAPTISM!! WHOO! On Saturday 2 little girls, Camila and her sister Wendy, were baptized Whoo!! It was a very nice baptismal service, a little put together last minute, but it all worked out, the important part is that they got baptized. We've been so packed with all of the things these last 2 weeks because the ETM's have been with us, but it went well! WHOO!! 

 Inline image 1

One of the things that was most surprising. Last week we found Gabriela and her family, like I said, and she was really great! We gave her a Book of Mormon and we told her to read it! So when we went back the other day, sadly she had not read. But had found some "interesting" things on the internet about the Mormons. She had several questions about our beliefs and practices because she found it very very weird and not good. So we explained a few things to her and we have invited her to read the Book of Mormon and to ask God if it is true several times. We haven't been able to teach her this week, so we're still waiting to see what will happen. But, she is still very interested. Good things! 

We've been finding lot's of people this last week, as we've had the ETM's with us. It was a good experience, but it's nice too to be comfortable once again living only the 4 elders in the same pench. Also it will be nice to meet the people that Elder Garcia has found. 

One of my favourite parts of the week, on Thursday we had a special training with the Asistents for all of the stake of missionaries. We got together here in our church, and we talked about how we need to follow the Spirit, we need to find by the Spirit. If we don't follow the impressions of the Spirit we won't find the people that the Lord want's us to find. Then For 2 hours we all came over here to our area and we worked and contacted a ton of people and we tried our best to follow the impressions that we felt from the Spirit. We worked on not putting excuses and not ignoring it, and it was a very pleasant experience, I've noticed as I follow the impressions that the Spirit gives to me, I can feel the next impression much easier, but if I ignore one, the next one is harder to feel. I know that the gift of the Holy Ghost is a gift from God and as we follow what he tells us we find more happiness and joy in our lives.

As well! HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY! WHOO!! For our fourth of July celebration we bought a pizza and we ate it! MMM.... Not quite as tasty as the classic hamburgers grilled by my dad that we would eat, but it was still good! 

Anyway's! That was pretty much our week! I love you all and hope that all is well where ever you all. There's been lot's of rain this week so we're enjoying that you know it!

-Elder Slack

Monday, July 10, 2017

Week 88: Cashing it in!

HEEEEEEEEEEEELLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO WORLD!!!!!!! 

I'm back once again, it's incredible how fast the time is flying, it's Monday once again, and here I am to give you the best and greatest from the World of Elder Slack! It's been a wonderful week this week so we've got some great experiences to share!

This week we were with the ETM's! Whoo!! Do you remember back to a few months ago where I would go to a ton of different areas and all that????? Well, now instead of me going to the area of other missionaries, other missionaries came to my area! Whoo!! It was a great week to tell the truth. We were here this week with Elder Haak, from Wyoming, and Elder Figueroa, from Chile! So we were able to t0 do a ton of work this week with the ETM's. It was great! 

One of the greatest miracles, happened on Saturday, All week we were looking for, talking with and finding a ton of new people to teach, it was incredible! On Saturday I was with Elder Figueroa, we went and we found 2 new families!!! One family of 7 people who are really really great, they were all paying attention and it was awesome. The Sosa family! And the other family was a reference from a member, he said that she has been asking for a while for the missionaries to pass by her house and teach her a little bit, and this time he passed the refferrel along and we went on by when we had an appointment. Her name is Gabriela, she is super super super prepared! We had an incredible lesson with her and her mother and her son. She said "What I really want is a church where we can all go together as a family, be happy, and that is the true church of God." :D What more can you ask for? Well, it just happens that that's exactly what we've got here for you!! So we invited her to pray about the Book of Mormon and we invited her to be baptized when she recieves her answer from God that it's true! We fond 10 new people to teach in one day! WHOO!! I know that God blesses us for our obedience.

Side note, on Thursday night I decided to live on the edge a little bit and try a little bit of weird food that they sell here on the street, it was basically a big fried dough. Well, Friday morning I found out that that wasn't the best idea I've ever had. Talk about food poisoning. Whoo! So I was in bed all day with stomach pains until it all finally decided to come out when I drank some Sprite in the night time and well... It came out the upside not the downside if you know what I mean! Haha! But! Don't worry, I've been eating with a lot more care these days so we're all good now. Few! 

One of the great things that I have learned to apply a lot more this week was something that was taught in the World Training for missionaries. One of the things that Elder Bednar said twice was that all things are 1 in Christ. Many times as members of the church we try and look at things as all different steps, first Faith, then Repentance, then Baptism, etc. etc. one after another, as some sort of checklist. But it's so important to remember that it's all one, without Christ there is no Faith, without faith there is no repentance. We can't talk about the Gospel as separate points, we can't talk about Repentance with out the next thing being Baptism, it just doesn't work. This week I've seen how true that is in the lives of the people, we as missionaries don't do a whole lot of good if we can't talk about the Gospel as one. Really it's all very simple the Gospel, but we have to be willing to accept it in our lives. We need to accept Christ in our lives!

We had Interviews with President this week as well, it went great! Tomorrow I'll only have 2 months left here, I can't deny it! It's so incredible how fast the time has past and I'm so happy that I can be a Missionary and Representative of Jesus Christ. I'm determined to keep enjoying the missionary service until the end! I hope you all know that I love you all! :D Until next week! 

-Elder Slack

P.S. 

We made Fried oreos this week! WHOO! And we found these little tiny eggs in a store, we bought them to see how they are! They taste like.... Well.... Small eggs! And here's a photo of our companionship this week in Celina!




Monday, July 3, 2017

Week 87: How.... Interesting!

Hello to everyone! I'll just share with you guys some quick interesting stories from the week! It's been a great one!

Well, to start off, yesterday we went to 2 different lessons that we had planned and they were numbers 3 and 4 on the list of top weirdest lessons, the first one, we got there and we started talking with this young guy that's about 20 years old and then his mom came out. They had some very interesting beliefs, they were very very bible based people. But what made it one of the weirdest lessons, well I think that the 20 year old had looked up mormons on the internet before and had found as we say in spanish "Cualquier cosa! Literalmente Cualquier cosa!" which would come to be that he found a lot of myths and bad opinions about the church. He started off asking  a bunch of questions about polygamy and a bunch of different things like that and I won't go into much detail, but I think it's good enough to say, that we left them with our testimonies after all they had to say and we invited them to ask God, and we left.

The other interesting lesson we had, we met this family that are part of this evangelic church, where they teach that God had prophesied in the bible that he would call forth a new prophet in Perú to bring back the original 10 commandments which are already in the bible, or something like that. It was a much better lesson, they weren't trying to prove us wrong or anything, but they would throw out a new scripture from the bible every 5 seconds, so we had a lot of patience and when we explained about Joseph Smith, they actually took it really well, we invited them to read the Book of Mormon and to ask God if it's true and they said that they would!! So if we find them again some other day, we'll see how it went!

And well, no more time! Love you all! I'm super great! We're going to have the ETM's with us this week, so 2 more missionaries working with us in our area! Whoo! All is well in Vill-Zion. :D Chau!

-Elder Slack