Wednesday, October 28, 2009

A dead Armidillo

4 kilos of icecream! Happy Birthday Elder Joglar!


Hola Familia!
It was great to hear from yall again this week. I hadn’t realized that you had stopped giving me updates of the cougars, which was probably a good thing according to what my comps family told him....darn Christians from Texas... But anyway, that’s not that important.
We had a great week here. Zone conference was pretty cool. Since we are a fairly secluded and far spread zone, it was just our zone. (normally, zone conference has 2 or 3 zones together). It was cool though. As always, if was very spiritual and gave us a boost to keep working hard. We gave our small portion and it turned out pretty well. It was about commitments and we all learned some valuable stuff, so I hope we can improve with that. The only other really big thing announced in zone conference is that we are going to have a visitor named David Bednar in November or December. I guess he’s a pretty good speaker, so I guess Im excited...I mean... ELDER BEDNAR IS COMING!!! Im way excited. I guess there is going to be a time for questions and I think we can ask him pretty much anything. What should I ask him? I have alot of questions and all, but I dont know if its really worth the time of an apostle and 200 other missionaries. It would be one big zone conference with the whole mission. That will be especially cool because Its been about a year since Ive seen a few elders from my MTC district. But anyway, that will be cool.
One of our investigators cooked lunch for us. That was also very cool. He always cooks for religious get togethers because he doesn’t go to any church, but is catholic. He feels a void inside him that no church has been able to fill as of yet. His oldest son got baptized a year ago and his wife got baptized about 3 weeks ago (the day before I got here). He has seen the change in them, and is beginning to change himself. My comp tells me that a month ago he was very anti and didnt even want to be in the same room as the missionaries, but after a year of hard work, Pablo is going to end up baptizing his whole family. We had a killer lesson last night that was three or four days in preparation about the atonement. Directly about how peace comes through it. Peace has to do with repentance, which is only possible through Jesus Christ. Long story short, he accepted a baptismal date in three weeks without hesitation. Pretty sweet huh. We will more than likely baptize his 10 year old son and a 10 year old granddaughter that day because his other daughter isnt married with her current partner, which just means they are gonna have to get married first, no big deal, but they are progressing very well.
We also had district conference, because we live in a district. Presidente Villalba just stayed here all weekend and did all his business. He reorganized the district presidency and gave a really great talk. It was interesting to see him interact with the members. Hes a little different. Way more down to earth and normal. Maybe its just because I have only ever seen him in zone conferences and stuff... But another cool thing happened. While his wife was giving a talk in the general session, one of our investigators got up and sat next to president on the stand. We were in the choir seats, so we had now way of controlling what was going on. He talked to president for a bit, then waited quietly for the hermana to finish. President then got up and said that they were going to make an excepcion and gave him about three minutes to bear his testimony. I just about died. He used to be evangelical, so that had me worried a little. (Before I continue, i have to tell you that there was a storm Friday night that was basically a hurricane. Winds reached 120 kmh and tore many houses apart. If you remember me explaining my old area, all of the houses are made out of wood and sheet metal on the roofs or walls. Many many people lost parts of their homes that weekend.) So he began to explain his gratitude to God for his family and everything. His house is made out of chapa (that wavy metal stuff) and during the storm, they thought they were going to lose everything, but then he said that he stood up and said a prayer with his family (his kids got baptized a few months ago) and he felt a huge peace come into his home and heart. He then went on to Bbear a sweet testimony about the church and the book of Mormon. This came out of nowhere! He wasnt even progressing, but now hes like top priority! The only thing is that he cant get married because he has to get divorced first...that takes a long time down here. But it doesn’t matter, because now he’s got the motivation. We are content. We went to go see him and the house was fine. He is building a house out of bricks next door to his existing house, and the crazy part is that one of those walls fell down and got destroyed completely. How does that work? Solid brick walls are thrown down, but some wood and nails stand strong... sounds like a miracle to me.
Anyway, I think thats about it for the week. Im gonna try and send some pics, but for now, know that I love you all so much and love hearing from you every week.
The church is true. I have no doubt of that.
Con amor,
Elder Rau

p.s. My comp was in the same zone or district as elder McKibben in the MTC.
p.s.s. Ari, I got the package and it was awesome! Thanks so much for the pictures. Everyone, and I mean everyone I show pictures to says that cami is the cuttest little girl in the whole world.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The Church of Jesus Christ Does Exisist, and We are Members of It - Cool!

Hola Familia,
Another week from between the rivers. It’s been a great week, not exactly what I’m used to, but still great. Life is different as a zone leader. There is a lot more stuff to do and a lot more opportunity to give up some personal things to help someone else. That’s just a nice way to say that I don’t have time to do things that I normally had time to do, but that’s ok. I think I will learn quickly how to brush my teeth in the dark and stuff like that. It’s all worth it though. Leadership helps me learn so much.
Monday/Tuesday I went on divisions with a district leader in my old area of Rural, here in the city. That was very fun. They are having trouble working with the ward, so I took advantage of that and we went around and visited members, shared scriptures, asked for references and the like. We also had some plans fall through, which means we had time to go visit some old investigators. One of which should now be getting baptized in a few weeks! When I left, Alberto had a baptismal date, but never made it. He had a very complicated work schedule, and after a million failed attempts to find him, the missionaries stopped going by and he kind of got forgotten about. It’s sad, but that’s just kind of how it happens. The good news is that he now has a more stable job with a more predictable schedule. He also never stopped reading the book of Mormon and had the word of wisdom pamphlet (is that what you call it?...pamphlet?) out on his table next to his cigarettes ha-ha. He’s so cool though and was very pleased to see us. I was surprised how many people recognized me. A lot has happened in the last 6 months though. The attendance has cut in half, but there are more members with temple recommends, so I guess it’s good and bad.
We have district conference (we are in a district) and presidente Villalba will be coming with both of his counselors, so I’m pretty excited for that, but that also means that we have zone conference in two days and we have to give a 40 minute part of it, so that’s got me kind of nervous. We have it pretty well planned out, we just need more specifics and stuff. It’s going to be about commitments.
My area is called Concordia, in the city of Concordia. It is very big. I’ve gotten used to the smaller areas, so I’m walking a lot now. It kind of feels unproductive, but I guess that’s just how it is. I am going to fix it by really focusing on talking with everyone in the street, which is something that, for one reason or another, can always improve. We have downtown and a rundown part of town, so we got everything. Not sure if I’ve told you yet, but we live on the 10th floor of our building and have a great view of the church, which is right across the street. It’s amazing! We have a grocery store a block away and anything else we need. It’s perfect. You already know about the air-conditioning! It’s nice. My comp is from Utah and we live with an argentine (from Mar del Plata in the south of the province of Buenos Aires) and a chileno from Santiago I think. They are way funny. My comp is awesome. I see no problems in the future, so we can just focus on our area and keeping the zone happy and functioning. I’m very optimistic about this transfer.
Well, thanks for the conference talks and for all your love and support. I hope things are going well for everyone in Arizona, California, Oregon and Washington and wherever else yall live. Know that I love you guys a ton, and like dad said the other week, I CAN wait to come home, but it’s gonna be pretty cool when that day comes. I love being here and doing what I’m doing. I know that this is the great and marvelous work that has been mentioned in not just the doctrine and covenants, and that the church of Jesus Christ does exist, and we are members of it. Cool huh!
Ok, love you!
Elder Rau

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


Thanks for writing early this week. I totally forgot to tell you that we had transfers this week. That would be the reason I am writing today, Tuesday.
I guess Ill start with transfers...I'M GOING BACK TO ENTRE RIOS! I will return to the city of Concordia in the area of Concordia. My new comp is Elder Kirk, and we are the zone leaders. Im expecting to learn alot from Kirk. He was very close to being called as assistant, so that means he is responsible and understands his calling. He was also compaero menor of a legendary companionship. The transfer before I got here, he was in a little pueblo called Santa Elena and he and his comp`(who did become assistant but has since returned home) baptised 15 in one transfer. Its the highest one transfer in the history of the mission, as far as I know. No body has made it past 12 or 13 since. This is also his last transfer, so we will be working very hard I'm sure. Elder Herold is in that zone right now but is getting transfered to another area, not sure where. I will probably have the opportunity to travel to areas like Federal and Gualeguaych, which are little pueblos in the campo. The pinch there is awesome!!! It has air conditioning! Its also on the tenth floor and you can see Uruguay from the living room! I am very excited, yet humbled at the same time. Its not easy to be a zone leader, but I know that this call comes from the Lord, so I don't have to worry too much.
Anyway, we had another great week. We fell short of the mission standards by a few dates, but three people were baptised. The two girls of that family that I have talked about quite a bit, and a 13 year old that doesn't live with his dad, but will now be going to church with his dad. I'm not entirely sure that his mom knows that he got baptised, but by next week he will be confirmed and the deal is done! Haha. Its an interesting situation, but I was reminded of how many people in the book of Mormon were baptised in secret. I felt kind of like Alma! The best part is that elder Taylor got wet, and the abuelo of the girls also got into the water. Unfortunately, the grandpa didn't have the strength to put the girls all the way under the water, so another elder that was already wet got back in and helped him out. It was a cool experience. I got to confirm Rocio memeber of the church. other kids got baptised that day too, which made things kind of crazy, but the spirit was still strong. I do like the smaller, simpler services more though. It was great though. A good way too end my time in Yapey.
I am sad to leave though, this area is about ready to explode. I'm positive that next transfer will be full of success and miracles. The ward is excited and ready to work, we have a new elders quorum presidente and we have a ton of really good investigators. I feel good about what I have done here.
Funny story from the week, my comp started making fun of me for the natey wave... yes... I still do it and cant explain why. I guess that's just how I scratch my nose, alright!
I cant really remember anything else that happened this week. I was fairly occupied with the baptism and stuff. So I guess Ill just end it here and tell you all that I love you very much and look forward to hearing from you again next week.
I Know that the church is true!
Elder Rau