Friday, April 16, 2010

I'm So Grateful To Be A Missionary, It's The Best!

HOla Familia!
HOw is everyone this morning? You are probably doing great... I hope so at least.

Things are startin to pick up a little bit for us here. I'm startin to see the potential here. Its exciting. Apparently this is one of the oldest wards in the city. There are a few people here that remember an Elder Christofersen...yeah, elder D. Todd Christofersen! He was here when the entire city was two branches. Lots of people also remember his mission president. President in Richard G. Crazy huh! There is an hermana here that was the first missionary to leave from Santa Fe, and her mission presidente in the Chile mission was the father of Bishop David H. Burton. She had some pretty funny stories about him. I guess he was a terrible little kid. He threw rocks and the american embassy once. Look where he is now! I laughed pretty hard. He was pretty young I guess. Like 5 or 6, so his baptism took care of all of that.
We are striving to establish unity in the work with the members of the ward. Once we get that down, things are gonna go really smooth. There are a million young RM couples. Lots of excitement...lots of referrals! Woo Hoo!

We did a service project last Thursday and I saw scorpions for the first time in my whole life! Live ones I mean. I killed them with a shovel!

I also got to do another baptismal interview last week. She lives a few blocks away from one of the big futbol stadiums here. They had a game that night against one of the biggest teams in the country, and we were right next to the field about an hour before it started. There were police in riot gear and tons of people everywhere. The police dogs almost attacked us. I had always wanted to go to a game but now I think I'm ok not experiencing it. People die sometimes after those games! Crazy huh.

Dad, I wouldn't be sad if you dropped that dance class. If you don't, its more than likely that I will. I'm cool with ice skating weird as that is. It has always been a dream to play ice hockey. Maybe I'm the next Wayne Gretsky.

I got a cool letter this week...still no package though. I got a few more birthday cards, so thanks to everyone who sent them, but I have to admit the best letter was from Sebastain Montenegro. The second guy that I got to teach (that got baptised) in my first area. He is a stud! Hes doing sooooo good. Hes happy and loving the gospel. He told me that when I go home or when I teach that I should tell everyone that once he was a drug addict and did a bunch of evil things, but now his life is full of light and happiness. Hes so cool. Hes cousin, (the one that he baptised) is the secretary in his ward and in his free time he goes out and hands out church materials to the people in the city. He turns 19 next january.

Well, I guess that'll do for this week. I really do love you all a whole bunch and look forward to hearing from you next week. I'm so grateful to be a missionary. Its the best.
this church is the truest of all the churches.
Love y'all
Elder Rau

It Is Another Very Happy Day in the Mission

¡Buen Día!
Hey everyone! Hows it goin? Sounds like everything is goin great back home. Ari mentioned that its going into spring there, which means that yes, it is about fall here. Its actually quite chilly right now. I'm wearing long sleeves again! Its so much nicer to sleep cold than hot! Anyway, I'm just really glad for cool weather.

Well, I'm back in Holy Faith...crazy huh. I am pretty excited to be here. My comp is elder pratt, a great great great grandson of Parley and an awesome missionary. He really wants to do everything he can and be perfect, so I know he will have success in his mission. Hes commin right along with the language. I took my peruano comp for granted, I forgot what its like to do all the talking...basically. We are both adjusting. The area is called Ciudadela, and has been closed for between 10 and 12 moths due to lazy missionaries and indifferent members. Having not seen a single baptism in about 2 years, they are excited to have missionaries again and are more than ready to help us. We already have all of our lunch appointments for the next two weeks! Any dreams I had about loosing a little bit of weight before coming home have gone out the window. We are in the city, so naturally, the people are not as receptive. I have never been rejected so much in my whole mission, but greater opposition means greater blessings in the end.

So far we are teaching an incomplete family of like a million people. Two of the kids already have baptismal dates for may and the rest are coming along just fine. One couple is getting ready to get married and she asked us if she could get baptised after she gets married. I said no....haha, just kidding, I said absolutely! Her husband is a member, and I don't think he lacks that much to come back to church. He just needs some good friends to support him in his righteous endeavors.

Yesterday we taught a catholic missionary. It went way different than I thought it would. He really just wanted to find out what we really believed and say that he thought what we were doing was really good and that as long as we are all worshiping the same God, we all go to the same place....if only it were that easy. He had some correct theories about why there are so many churches, and when we explained the apostasy he looked like he understood. The only thing we haven't exactly agreed on is the need for authority. He just kind of started talking about other stuff, but its ok because he said that for sure he was going to read the BoM and pray about it, so I`m not really worried about anything.

It is another very happy day in the mission. While revising the weekly newsletter, I saw pictures of a few people I know from old areas. The mom of some kids in cabaña got baptised, Juan Pablo montenegro from paraná baptised someone, maybe even his mom and I saw the name of Oscar Duarte on the list of those baptised last week. That all just made me sooo happy! I think the dad of another guy from paraná got baptised too. His son is on a mission and I was in the area the first time he (the dad) came to church.

So conference was pretty much amazing! I kind of don't want to say it as to avoid offending the womenfolk, but priesthood was definitely my favorite! I kind of felt like a lot of the talks weren't written exactly for missionaries, seeing as they are about raising kids and stuff, but I guess I learned some good stuff. My poor comp didn't understand a word of saturday because we had to watch it all in Spanish. He was kind of jet lagged still, so he got some rest. Conference is different in spanish. I prefer hearing the profets actual voice, but thats just me. If you could, send me the first presidency's talks and that should do for now. I'll probably ask for more as I review my notes. Especially President Ucthdorf and Eyring from priesthood. I'm so grateful for modern revelation. I don't know how all the other churches do with out guidance directly from heaven.

Well, i think thats about everything notable from this week. I hope you are all doing great and enjoying spring.
The church is true, i have no doubt.
I love you all a whole bunch,
ELder Rau

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Hola Familia!
Once again, I forgot to tell y'all that transfers are this week. I think, or did I tell you? Either way, its Tuesday and I'm writing. So transfers are in and I didn't get exactly what I wanted, but I am pretty happy/excited/nervous/scared to death. I will no longer be a leader of zone (or zone leader for those that are fluent English speakers) but will continue serving as a district leader. I'm going BACK to Santa Fe and will be opening an area that has been closed for about a year for various reasons. My new companion is Elder Pratt, and is fresh from the MTC. I get to train again! Unfortunately, I have heard alot about the area, both good and bad, but I guess that doesn't really matter, we are still going to rock it! I have the heart of down town in the area. Its a new challenge.
My first hijo is making a skyrocket climb in mission leadership. He is going to be a zone leader this transfer, which is as fast as any yanqui has ever moved up. He and another elder from his mtc group. I am pretty excited to see if I can train an assistant, thus vicariously becoming assistant! Haha, just kiddin.

This morning we went and helped our bishop roof a house for someone. We did it with cement. Construction is very different here. Everything is with bricks. At first I was up on the roof receiving a bucket of cement and handing it to someone else, then receiving the empty buckets and passing them down the line. After a little while I got called down to the cement mixer. UP until this point I thought the job was pretty easy, but then they told me that I would have to receive the empty buckets and put them on the ground for someone else to fill with cement, then pick them up and lift them as high as I could and pass them to another guy who passed them to someone on the roof and so on. I will be very sore tomorrow. It was a great experience though... I think my hands took the worst of the beating. I got like a million blisters that all popped and got sand and cement in them. I got home and thought it would be a good idea to put straight alcohol on them.....possibly the worst decision I have made in a really long time. It burned really bad. So that was my morning. I love service...really, I do.

I got one of the best phone calls in the whole world the other night. An elder called from Concordia and told me that the dad of a family there has decided to get baptized. He had a date earlier this year, but I don't know what happened. The good news is that this time the elders didn't ask him if he would get baptized, he asked the elders if he could get baptized. I would absolutely love to be there this week end, but I guess someone will just have to send me the pictures afterwards. That family is so going to the temple next year! I also heard that the mom of a few kids that got baptized in Santa Fe got baptized last week. She wanted to get baptized so bad while I was there, but for a while she was under the impression that she couldn't go to church if she was still smoking. We felt really bad for having miscommunicated, but either way, she got baptized. Now the whole family are members, they just have to activate the dad. He was baptized as a kid, but hasn't really gone to church in forever and doesn't remember anything except maybe his baptism.
OH yeah, I totally forgot, I turned 21 this week! Crazy huh! It was a pretty normal day. My comps birthday was the 27th, so it was a birthday weekend. An hermana made us a super huge awesome cake and we have been eating it for every meal for the last few days. Your birthday is a really big deal down here! Everyone was really excited and greeted us and stuff. It was cool. Saturday we had an activity. We watched the lion king. I think it’s like the third time I have seen it in the mission. Its amazing how much you can relate to the gospel/plan of salvation from that movie.
Love you all,
Elder Rau