Monday, February 29, 2016

Good Week

So this week has went by really good! I'm really enjoying this change because me and my new companion get along very well and he actually lets me speak more in the lessons and with members so although I saw a lot of improvements in my Spanish with my last comp from speaking Spanish 24/7, I'm starting to see improvements in my teaching skills because I get to teach and I really like that. I'm starting to love my sector more because the members are starting to love me because they are starting to see my personality and I'm just really enjoying my time much more here in Argelia! 
So this week we worked a lot with Zamantha and with the Maldonado family because they were recently baptized. It was fun to work with them some more! It was especially awesome to work with Zamantha this week before she left for Argentina yesterday for a month, because she actually started letting us into her house! She talked up the missionaries a lot to her parents and they invited us over a few times for dinner and to teach!!!! Its so awesome because even tho the dad still doesn't like us and doesn't know zamantha is a member, the mom realllyyyyy likes us and we taught zamantha, her mom and her sister twice this past week! We started taking down those barriers and so hopefully soon we can start to really work with that family. Something we really focused on with the CR this week was using the spirit more in their life like how to recognize it especially and also about repentance. We taught those 2 because when we have the spirit we can use it as a guide so we are a lot less likely to fall. We talked about repentance too because CR fall, and then stop coming to church cause they feel bad. So we focused on the atonement and tied the spirit into that lesson as well!
So this week we found a few new investigators and one in particular named Diego. He's legit. We contacted him last Monday and he was just full of energy and wanted us to come by and all that! So when we first show up to his house he lets us in and then he goes hey I have a friend waiting for me outside to let him in so I'll be back then he shuts the door and leaves us there and my comp goes "I'm gonna be so mad if the Saratov approach happens to us right now" and i just started busting up laughing cuz he wasn't being that serious but it did feel sketchy but yeah nothin happened, just thought that was funny. Anyways we taught him and his friend lesson 1 and it was a very good lesson. The spirit was definitely present! The next time we came back to visit him he did all our commitments and said he believes he received an answer and that our message is true! He came to church yesterday and liked it! He's going to progress very well I believe!
Joel, miracle call guy, is doing great! He works for this bus company that drives to Guayaquil so he goes every other day to Guayaquil. He's really great but his date fell for this saturday bc he was in Guayaquil and didn't assist the church down there cuz he arrived too late to go so that's a bummer. But he's so awesome and he's almost there ready for baptism! 
The sector is a lot of fun and there is a lot to do. We are trying really hard to work with the bishopric this change because missionaries in the past, not me, but others have had problems with the bishop bc he was doing things he doesn't have the keys to do. But our mission president red handbooked him and we are good and really trying to be on his good side and work with them and raise the assistance bc its only at like 90. A lot to do and now I'm enjoying the work so much more! Excited to work this week! I love you all thanks for the letters! I'll talk to you all next week! 

This is from when Elder Holland came and visited Matt's mission a couple weeks ago.  Elder Holland posted this picture on his Facebook page!  Matt is in the 2nd to last row, 5th from the left.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Mas de Nocha Blanca

Not much happened this week! We baptized all our investigators which means we married the family. We had the Nocha blanca and it was the coolest experience. I gave a talk yesterday and everyone loved it and everyone complimented me on it and all i did was basically just straight machette our ward for not helping us out hahah. We had a miracle this week. We had a old investigator call us the other day saying I wanna change my life and be baptized! He already has 3 assistances so we are going to baptize him on the 5th! Other than that all is good! I got a new companion! A gringoWOOOOO and I'm super excited to work with him! I love you guys! Thanks for writing talk to you next week! 

Our whole zone and baptisms! Every district had at least one! 

Monday, February 15, 2016

Nocha Blanca!!!!

So to explain my subject, yesterday in Consejo de barrio my bishop folds up a piece of paper and hands it to me. I open it up and its like you have been asked to speak next sunday for 15 minutes. I looked at my ward mission leader sitting next to me and I'm like hablame enserio! I'm so mad haha I've given one talk in english for 15 minutes and I'm pretty sure it was 15 minutes. Now my first talk in Spanish. ugh bahumbug. The bishop looks at me and is like since you don't like to speak I'm gonna make you speak for 15 minutes in front of everyone haha I'm like okay I don't like you. And I have to confirm Zamanthaon sunday too and probably the Maldonado family too because they all passed their interviews for this saturday. So this next sacrament meeting may only make sense to me because I'll be running the show and probably not speaking proper spanish. 

So yeah like i said the fam Maldonado passed their interview last night. We went and borrowed $100 from a member to get them married this week. Its all good I'm like 99% certain this week is the week for them! 

Zamantha passed her interview too saturday night. She is still doing really good!
So something cool our zone is trying to do is a noche de blanca. Its where we are going to go to the stake center and just have one big baptismal service together as a zone and since as a zone we are about to have like 15 baptisms this week, basically every elder will be in white and its going to be so sweet if we do that! Once all the interviews are over and they have all the names ready the ZLs are going to ask president. So you may be getting the coolest picture next monday!
Alright Saturday was honestly the best day in the world! Besides a service we did in the morning helping someone move it was awesome! Saturday was our conference with Elder Holland!!!!!!!!!! We got the whole deal baby! We got the yelling the pointing the in your face we got it all! With the sake of time I'm going to tell you my favorite part of the whole conference. So at the very beginning hes like alright i got a microphone on my tie so i can leave this pulpit and walk around and use the board. So he gets down he starts talking and then this is where the real magic happens. He starts yelling, I don't want to say yelling cuz that sounds bad but you know what I mean you have heard him speak. but anyways he goes "DON'T YOU DARE TAKE THIS CALLING LIGHTLY! DON'T YOU DARE! IF YOU DON'T KNOW WHY YOU'RE HERE YOU COME TALK TO ME TODAY! THIS VERY DAY! DON'T YOU DARE JUST THINK OF THE MISSION AS A CHECKLIST!" It was honestly such powerful stuff and I'm kinda guilty of what he said as viewing the mission as a checklist. I always thought once I complete this mission I can get on with my life. Then he said "don't think after the mission you can get back to real life cuz this is as close to real life as you'll ever get" i was like woah I remember when Dustin wrote home and said that in one of his letters and I didn't get it then. I still don't so anyone who can explain that to me rocks haha. But yeah he literally killed it! He goes we have the same calling. Apostle means missionary the only difference between me and you is that I'm in here for life, i have some keys you don't, and I've seen some things you haven't. It was the craziest best thing I've ever heard. I want to hear more! I cant wait for general conference! Bet dad never thought I would be saying that one but that conference got me so fired up! Wow 
Anyways this week was good! Keep praying for me and my patience. I'm excited to work more this week! Thanks for everyone who wrote me! I love you all! Talk to you next week!  

 Us with our ward mission leader and Zamantha 

From left to right of the family photo: 
Elder fish(my brother) me, my dad, Elder calder(gramps), and my uncle Elder arambarri  

Maldonado family  

Monday, February 8, 2016

Learning Patience

Anyways to start out as everyone may know that I've decided to go to dental school and go into that field later in life I had some experience this week that has made me narrow down my decision of what type I wanna be. SO my companion was having a lot of pain in one of his molars so the other week he went to the dentist and she tried something it worked for a week then it came back the pain. So then on wednesday he just begged her to pull out his tooth so she did. I don't know why he wanted it out so bad he is already missing teeth but whatever. So yeah so we go to the dentist and she uses some xrays we got before hand to take it out. Then comes my experience. I was the suction guy. So while she was digging in his mouth and picking and pulling at his tooth i was right there beside him suctioning up all the blood. It was pretty gross I'm not gonna lie. I don't know if you have every seen a hole where a tooth used to be, especially one down here, but let me tell you its pretty stinking nasty and i dont recommend it. So here is what ive narrowed out of what I wanna do. I do not wanna pull teeth out and I do not wanna be a dentist in south america. Too much blood and it was just everywhere hahah all over his face and i was there sucking it all up! 

So this week was pretty decent. The day we got that tooth pulled we just hung in a members house all day and watched church movies. So the next day it still hurt to talk for him so i taught most the day. I'm super happy with the progressing of Zamantha and the family Maldonado. First I know weird spelling of Samantha but she said its with a Z and second yes they aren't married. So the family Maldonado hasn't changed yet. They just need $110 to get married and we are good to go so I'm gonna stop reporting on them until something changes. We have already taught them everything twice.

Zamantha is in Guayaquil right now for Carnaval. Which we cant do anything today or tomorrow unless our lesson is set for sure. other than that we have to stay inside. But anyways she is super pumped for the 20th of this month! She is way smart and its very impressive and she does every single commitment we invite her to do even if its a super long one. She's always done with it and it makes teaching her super easy! She is going to be a super strong convert after the 20th. I'm pretty nervous for the 21st though when I have to confirm her. She didn't want to choose who is going to baptize her so she made us do it. she said i want one of you 2 to do it so you guys choose. welp my companion pulled the DL card on me for the 100th time this change so I have to confirm her. I'm pretty nervous already because I don't know the tu form conjugations very well because we aren't supposed to speak in it. So I'm studying them. thankfully our ward is only about 75 people. 

Anyways I'm super happy about these 4 people getting baptized hopefully this change! The fam Maldonado has the mom dad and 8 yr old daughter and 2 more younger sons that will benefit in about 4 years of their parents decision! Another week down! Also this saturday is the big event! Elder Holland!!!!!!!!!!! Next time I write you I will have shaken his hand and will have looked into the eyes of an apostle of our Lord! So freaking pumppppppppppppppppppped!!!!! I love you all! Keep praying for me and my patience! I love you all! talk to you next week! 

Monday, February 1, 2016

Notha Week

so to start out i wanna talk about the weirdest lesson I've ever been in and possibly will be in for my whole mission. My comp said it was his weirdest lesson of his whole mission and he faults 2 more changes sooo pretty weird. So we were walking in this part of our sector that we never have been to before just contacting trying to set some citas then my companion started contacting this indigenous 90 yr old lady and i was like woahhh never have I contacted one before (most indigenous only speak quitchwa or however you say it and are super weird so yeah) so he starts contacting her and stuff and it was just a weird contact and she showed us her leg and stuff i was like yep nice meeting you and then he set a cita with her and i just figured it was just so we didn't randomly end the contact. NOPE we went back the next day and taught her with a member thats like 70 yrs old hahah. So to start off we get into her house and she had one chair a bed and then I'm positive she is a hoarder and so just packed full of boxes and crap so we had to teach her sitting on her bed. We start the lesson and we start asking her if she remembers us and she says nope, first clue of why the heck are we here, Next we started talking about baptism and i was like yep shes pretty crazy THEN, this is where it turns from weird to lets leave, she said ohhh i remember you! You 2 jovens are my kids! Where is your sister? Last time I saw you guys we were at the park as a family and she thought the member we brought with us was her husband. Seriously I was like yep I'm out lets go and I tried to finish up with a prayer and my comp was like no I have too many weird vibes and cant feel the spirit at all lets leave hahah! oh yeah she showed us her leg again and i was like seriously I'm gonna barf on your bed stop showing me that thing. And that's my weird lesson of the week. 
So something cool I saw a guy in a Miami Redhawks (Miami University, in Ohio) hat the other day and they actually had the colors correct so I was tempted to ask him for a picture but he only spoke quitchwa so yeah
So today being the first of February starts a annual tradition of fe de febrero. Its were you give up doing something (for me that's soda and bread) for February and march or you start doing something like my comp is fasting every week for the next 2 months. In addition we have to read the whole book of Mormon and start contacting at least 15 people everyday and find a new one every day. The sacrifices in feb bring the miracles in march thats the whole purpose. So for you guys if you wanna participate, How you could apply it is to helping you think of someone that needs the gospel and then at the end of feb when you got the name, You help the missionaries out in trying to teach them and watch the miracles happen! Idk you can apply it how you want but that's one way I thought of for you guys back home. 
So I got a few dates wrong with the family maldonado. The wife to be got the paper out today, or at least yesterday said she was today, they get married the 4th of feb, interviewed the 5th and baptism the 6th! So this should be an exciting week if all goes according to plan! 
So yesterday we started teaching a reference that is literally sent straight from Heaven no joke. She has always been kinda interested in the church since her boyfriend left on a mission and now that he comes home in 2 months shes really starting to investigate! Her name is Samantha and shes 21 and the best investigator Ive ever had!!!!!!!!!! She came to church yesterday without a single lesson or us meeting her yet, and during gospel principles she killed it and participated more than i did! Freaking crazy! later last night we had a family night at a members house and she was there and we taught her lesson 3 and she dominated it and at the end we quizzed her and she explained it back no joke perfectly! She said she wants to know more about God and Jesus Christ and thinks that this is the path for her! She accepted fetcha (date) for the 20 de feb and she was already talking about who is going to baptize her and all the little details! She is also canceling her trip to Argentina which she already bought tickets for so she can go to church and be baptized on the 20th! i was so freaking happy after that lesson! Makes me so happy when i teach someone like that cuz she is so willing to drop everything and do what she knows she needs to do! I was so freaking happy and still am! We are giving her a tour of the church right after emailing! 
I love sharing the gospel with people especially when they accept our message so well! The church is true and there is no where else i need to be in my life at this point than here. My time will come to an end, but until then, ill keep talking to everyone even if they don't speak Spanish! I love you all! Thanks for everyone for writing me this week! Love you guys! Talk to you next week!