Wednesday, December 26, 2012

December 24, 2012: Week 62

Hey Fam!

This is going to be short because we'll be talking and today isn't our P-day but we're doing cyber today so ya...

We had a good week but we found out that Adriana's boyfriend still hasn't left so we need to help get him out ;) She wants him out and he's not a good person and treats her badly. She needs a push of support to get the courage to tell him to get out. Elder Woolston offered to do it for her, but she declined, lol. Really we just want her to be able to receive the blessings that God has for her and make a step forward in her life, because that man is holding her back. 

Other then that we are still in the search for new people. 

Sounds and looks like you had a good time going to Salt Lake. When did they build a train? Sooo much is changing since I left. I feel way out of the loop. Well I am, but still...

So I didn't get the packages still but it's alright, they'll come eventually. I'm super excited to see what everyone got for Christmas. Like you saw I created an account and Skype is definitely still on. 

Not much more to say because if I say more I'll have nothing to say tomorrow. ;)

I love you guys and hope you enjoy your last Christmas season without me!

Love, Elder Jordan Duke 

Monday, December 17, 2012

December 17, 2012: Week 61

Hey Family!

Are you as excited to talk to me as I am to talk to you?! I'm pretty excited! I plan on sending you stuff, but it won't get there until after Christmas. Also I have a letter but I forgot to send it last week so it will get there late also.. Yes i'm here in 100 degree weather in December! It doesn't feel anything like Christmas here. The only thing we have is the Christmas music we have that we listen to in the house. It wouldn't be so bad if it didn't come with the 90% humidity!! That's what kills us! We literally do nothing but sit there in a lesson and talk and we have sweat pouring down our faces...so crazy!!

Thanks Josh, lol! I'll try really hard not to get hit by a bus ;) Also I'm pretty sure I'd be coming home early if I did drugs, so thanks for warning me, lol! I'm not going to school by the way...
We'll be looking for those packages. Also I am planning on sending stuff home but I haven't done it yet. It will most likely get sent out next week. And yes I'll send something to the anonymous Jam sender ;) lol.

I have no idea about anything to do with Skype. If it's better to make me one then lets do it, but I really have no idea how to even do it. It'll all work out though and it'll be great to "see" each other. I'll write down the 2 Skypes so I have them ready.

The referrals, are good... sort of... One hasn't anwered the door when we go by and the other still goes to church in the other ward and can't be taught in his home, so he's being taught by the missionaries in the other ward. We have good news though from our other investigador Adriana. Her boyfriend that was living with her is going to move next week so she can get baptized. We're going to give her a fecha for the 29th of this month. I hope all goes through. It would be great to have a "White Christmas" baptism.

I have pics from the Zone Conference and I'll send them in this email. I want to see the Hobbit soo bad. I'll just have to hide in my room for a few weeks after I get back to catch up on the movies, lol! I'm glad you had fun in the Family Christmas party. Next year it will be more exciting because I'll be there! ;)


 
 



Good to here that Mom is getting back into school. It's really a blessing that you're able to go back. Good luck in school!

I love you guys and I'll see you in 8 days!

Love, Elder Jordan Duke

Monday, December 10, 2012

December 10, 2012: Week 60

Hey family,

So I'll start off answering questions. I'm ok with what ever color the glasses are as long as they work. And I'm fine with the contacts for now. I can wait. Elder Woolston was happy to read the part about a package for him. I won't forget to send a letter I'll probably write it today after this.

So this week was a relief. We had someone in church. I was super happy because lately we've been struggling in that aspect. It's a lady named Adriana who we've worked with in the past, but now she is able to get baptized because her boyfriend is going to leave, so she won't be living with someone. He's not a good guy anyway and she wants him to leave. She told us about some horrible stuff that he's done to her and I'm happy for her really. He's not a bad guy, he just has made mistakes...alot.

We are going to have a lot of great investigadores this week. And we have a lot to find because we've received a ton of references and of people that have already gone to church and want to listen to us. To me it looks like the turn around point of Barrio 2 in Artigas. I'm super happy and we're going to help turn Artigas around. With the Lord's help, of course.

It's sooo awesome that the Jazz beat the Lakers, Tomá like they say here in Uruguay. Also awesaome that the Seahawks won 58-0. lol what a buttkicking. Sounds like the Jazz are slowly climbing. Hopefully they keep going so that when I get back I can watch them kick some butt.

Our zone conference is going to be with the zone of Salto. It's this Wednesday. I'm super excited especially to see everyone and also just to have a great conference and enjoy the Christmas Spirit. It's always a great time of year. Here it's a little weird because instead of snow it's super hot sun of over 100 degrees. QUE LOCO.

To end I'm going to give you good news. We have someone who is letting us use Skype, WOOT. So you'll have to send me the info or however it works and we'll SEE each other in a couple of weeks.

I love you guys and I love this work almost as much. Have a great week and remember to stay close to the Lord.

Love,
Elder Jordan Duke

Monday, December 3, 2012

December 3, 2012: Week 59

Hey Family!

So to start off I thought of a few things that I wanted for Christmas but didn't remember to write it down to tell you. I'd like Hot sauce, the hottest you can find the better.  Also warheads, they are super funny when you give them to the Uruguayos, lol! I'd love it if you could send some of that really good Mississippi BBQ sauce that we always have at the house. Also if I didn't already say Twix Peanut Butter. And last but not least a rubix cube. I learned how to complete it here and ever since have wanted one. The limit for packages is 5 kilos or 10 lbs, but I doubt that that stuff will weigh 10 lbs.
Other announcement... I don't remember if we had some kind of garauntee on my glasses or not, but the ear piece on one side is busted beyond repair and I've taken it to eye places here and they haven't been able to do anything... If you can I'd would love new frames sent.

We'll to talk about the area. We had no one in church for the second week in a row... Sometimes I get really annoyed at people that use their agency to make wrong choices. Even after you've taught them  all they need to make the right choice. We have more plans this week to find more and also to find the doubts of the people that are keeping them from entering the church. We're going to have at least 1 person in the church next week si o si.

Alright to answer the questions about the mish. Our District consists of Me and Elder Woolston(Murray, Utah)(DL). The Zone Leaders (Elder Velazquez(NY, USA) and Rivera(Honduras)), Elder Crawford(ID, USA) y Elder Favero(Sao Paulo, Brazil), Elder Bustos(Argentina) y Elder Encina(Paraguay) and the Hermanas Mosmann(Argentina) y Castro(Guatemala) There are 18 missionaries in Artigas and only 2 are Hermanas. The other district has the other 4 companionships and their DL is Elder Bryant from Ohio.

I lost contact with Elder Minter after he left Rivera and that was 3 changes ago so I have no idea and I didn't ask him when we went to Elder Oaks's conference. Elder Webster is in Tacuarembo. Elder Salmond was in Paysandu last time I checked, but I could be wrong. Also when we went to Elder Oaks's conference, it was the first time I had seen Elder Webster since the CCM!

I'm glad to hear that your had a good week. I'm surprised that you got the tree up soo fast! I haven't recieved anything for Christmas but I should soon. I wasn't expecting more the the $100 that you said you were going to put before. This Christmas we're going to spend with the Family Bueno, which is the stake president and his family. I'm not sure how many of the missionaries are going to be there but there will be a lot.

There is a place to change dollars to pesos so that won't be a problem when Grandma's card gets here. Also I can easily send somethimng home. I don't know if it will get there before Christmas, but I'll try.

I still think it's so cool that your friend got baptized! It's really is the best step for anyone, and being out here on the mission has helped me realize that. We really have the right message for everyone because it's the perfect message. It's of God.

I love you guys and I love the work. I know that we will be blessed every day of our lives if we just simply complete with the commandments of God and strive to be our best. I hope you all have a great week and I can't wait to talk to you in a few weeks!

Love Elder Jordan Duke

Monday, November 26, 2012

November 26, 2012: Week 58

Hey Fam!

I'm doing really good just to start off. My comp is actually from Murray and his name is Bryce Woolston. We have a lot in common so we always talk about stuff for really long times. Only difference is that he likes soccer and I like basketball. Also he's my first comp who's taller then me. By 1/2 inch... He has 2 sisters and 2 brother and he's the oldest, like me.

Investigadores: It's going alright. No one came to church last Sunday....Barely any members came, we dropped from 70 last week to around 40. I just don't get where those 30 people went... Gilberto is doing fine. We actually go by all the time with the first counciler in the bishopric. He's a great guy and really believes that the gospel can help him.
Estela is doing mas o menos. We only met with her once this week because of her ridiculous work schedule. Also when we went to pick her up for church she had gone to visit a friends whose aunt died. Other than them we have people who need to get married.....Such a big problem in Uruguay, and the laws about marriage here are just absurd. First you have to wait like a month just to take out a fecha (date). Then you have to wait another 3 months or so to have your wedding be announced in the big national newspapers. All in all it can take up to 6 months just to get someone married! ya.

We are definitely using the members. In our mission other lessons are pretty much shunned. Right now it's really being pushed to do lessons of retention and do lessons with menos activos and try to find through them. It works really well and you find a lot of part member familes to complete doing it. We've actually found some good people through it. Also we've found a guy and his wife who are really great. Noelia and Paulo. He told us that if God tells him to leave his church and join ours, that he'll do it. Ya, we got really excited like little giddy girls ;) lol!

I wish you could just transfer all your good ideas and successes to me. It would be like having super-missionaries everywhere that don't have to learn how to work effectitively, they would just know.(Edit by Dad: Uh, no. This young man is already a better missionary than I ever was...but that doesn't stop me from giving him ideas! ;) )  But that doesn't happen soo I'll just have to use your advice and use what I know to have success. Of course with using the members.

I haven't found anywhere that does hand tailored suits, but it's alright I have 2 suits now because right before I left a member in Carmelo gave my a jacket that was too small for him. Only problem is I don't have pants to match it.. I can't wait to call you guys either. It will be great to hear your voices and see how your Christmas was.

Fah! I'm super jealous! Clipper-Jazz game! I would love to see Griffin play. We'll still win though. We're just better :) And with BYU, if they don't start Lark in the bowl game then Bronco is making a mistake.

I love you guys and hope that you have great rest of your day! I know that this gospel is true and through it we can have and eternal family.

Love,

Elder Jordan Duke

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

November 20, 2012: Week 57

Hey Dad, Mom and Kids!

This week was good, we had some interesting times and also had success. This was the last week of the change so now there's changes. Elder Petersen se va a Salto! My new comp is another from Utah, Elder Woolston. He has about 5 months left in the mission. I think he's from South Jordan. He's a really cool guy. I know him from Colonia. It's funny because the mission is so old now with a lot more people that are leaving soon then coming in. Most of us aren't going up to senior comp till like 9th or 10th change. It doesn't really bother me though, less stress really.

Still not much new going on. Estela couldn't come to church this last week which made is a little worried. She is starting to be a little iffy so we're praying for her a lot. Also we did find an old investigador from Barrio 1, but she isn't married and her husband doesn't want it. Just living together is the way to go here....

Gilberto keeps going strong to church. He set himself a date for baptism for the beginning of January. If he keeps it up and gets rid of his vices he can do it. He has been coming to church for a good month now.

Lol, try those Isaiah Chapters in Spanish! It makes even less sense. I've already the BoM in Spanish BTW and I'm on D&C 97 right now. I'm going to read the new testament after. The Old Testament, maybe....lol! It's so great to know that he is getting baptized! Super Awesome! Keep being a great missionary Dad! (Dad had nothing to do with my friend getting baptized....I've just answered a few questions for him.  He was meeting with the missionaries long before I knew about it.)

Thanks for the pics also! Now the people will understand what I mean when I say I live in the middle of nowhere in a desert :)

When I get back it will snow so much that we'll be snowboarding all year long! That would be awesome! Ya.

Speaking of letters, I got one from Brittany Hanks but I have no way to respond. Would you mind sending me her address. Thanks.

Also tell Hno Cable "Hi."

I've thought alot about this last year and even though numbers wise in baptisms and all it doesn't look like I've had sucess I feel like I've had a really good time here in the mission and have taken advantage of every moment. I am doing good with the language and get comments on how well I speak all of the time. It's weird to think that I have only 11 months left but I feel like I've used it well. I hope to accomplish a lot here including helping others get converted. I definitely see myself using Spanish when I get home....especially to have "secret"conversations with Dad, lol!

I love you guys and hope you all have a great week, we'll be talking in a month!

Love,
Elder Jordan Duke





Monday, November 12, 2012

November 12, 2012: Week 56

So sorry to throw you off with my last headline. Changes are next week... The 20th. Also I don't know if you saw, but I'd like some pics from Halloween and the house and around where we live. People always ask what it's like where we live. Pics with snow would be awesome also.

Thanks for the PIN. We went to the bank and I put in my personal card then realized that I didn't have PIN. All good though my card from the mission already came and I bought a new wallet. I'm sure that I'll get my Christmas package before Christmas. It takes about 3-4 weeks so all's good.

HAHAHA. Sarah with braces. Definitely need a picture of that too. Lo siento (sorry) mucho Sarah.. suerte (good luck).

That's soo cool that Scott and his wife are going on a mission. Is it Neuquén? That's the farthest south I know of the misions there in Argentina. So what are they gonna do while Scott is gone? Does it affect you?

What great news. (Told Jordan about a friend in Oregon who is planning on being baptized.) That's cool to hear that a old friend is embracing the gospel in his life. I'm happy for him. That's really great news.

Awesome to hear about all the people leaving for missions. We are going to be super old when the new missionaries start coming in....21 compared to 18....  Really Cree is going on a mission? I thought she'd be married before that. Guess not. ;)

The investigadores are doing great. Estela still has fecha for the 24th. She is a little uncertain but has a lot of faith and two awesome missionaries to help her, lol. The mombers are a big help and have already accepted her as one of their own. Gilberto is slowly marching. Didn't come to church this Sunday and after we found him at his house drunk. We're just going to keep inviting him and let The Lord work on him.

Yep, 2 really short paragraphs to Lizzy but still that is a record. LOL! Tell Emily to stop being a slacker with the writing. I get one from her once every 3-4 week.

I love you guys and hope you all have a great week. I'll tell you how the changes go next week. Don't forget to send the pics.

Love,
Elder Jordan Duke

Monday, November 5, 2012

November 5, 2012: Week 55

So to start off. I got everything back including the drivers license and my social security. I have my personal card but still not the one from the mission. I got the packages I think.... Were they the ones with peanut butter and nutella and jolly ranchers? if so then yes i got them. If not then no.

This week was really good! We had people in church!!!!

First Estela: She is super prepared! The only issue is her husband is crazy and hates anything to do with God or religions. She is super great though and came to curch anyway and got a lot of support from the members. She getting baptized for sure. She has fecha for the 24th of this month for now.

Also Gilberto came. He doesn't really progress but there's nothing wrong with him coming to church.

Lastly Carlos the husband of a recent convert named Maria came. He's really dificult and hates when he's pushed to do something so we're taking it easy with him too. We're already starting to see changes in him. I think soon he'll accept and join his wife as a member.

I'm sooo hapy to hear that the Kids did great in MB at BOAs!! SUPER AWESOME! Sounds like they did good and had fun also. Well little side note.... I won't miss the next end of season... It feels weird to be this far. I never thought I'd be here and yet, here I am.

No one will ever be as good as the "black sax brigade." We were the bomb! LOL! I think it's cool that Mango asked Lizzy to play sax. Well we'll see how the sax section is next year.

SO cool that they're going to have a drum line in middle school!! Josh is going to rock!! Sad that He didn't make the basketball team, but as you always said you can't teach height... Just grow a little Josh! LOL! We'll hope you're all having a good week and I'd love some pics of Halloween, and send me some pics of what it looks like where we live, like the house and just the landscape in general. People always ask about stuff like that.

I love you guys!
Elder Jordan Duke

Monday, October 29, 2012

October 29, 2012: Week 54

Hey family!

All right, first I got all my cards and ID back. The guy only took my wallet and the cash.... They already replaced my money for the mission, but I'm can't pull it out because I'm still waiting for my card. So yes to all 3.

I'm sorry you have kidney stones Mom! That's not fun. I've never had one, but if you say it hurts worse than labor then I don't ever want one! Don't worry either your email made sense. Too bad you guys couldn't go to Alex's (Jordan's cousin who left on his mission 1 year to the day before Jordan.) homecoming. I'm sure he did great. So weird that he's home....

They don't really do anything for halloween here in Uruguay. I heard that the little kids dress up. But no one else cares. We told them how it is in the USA and they said that would be fun, but hard here because there are alot of iffy people here in Uruguay. ;) I actually had forgotten it was even close to Halloween until I read your email. I guess when your in the mission the Holidays are just another day of work.

Great Job Thunder Band! I'm sure you'll make BOA finals for sure. What day do you go down? Also try and film it because I'd love to see their show. What's it even about anyway?
What has Sarah been doing that the trombone is almost broken? Is she sword fighting with it or something? ;)

The people are progressing mas o menos. We had no one in church at all... Which was a little bit of a bummer because we had worked so hard to get them to commit to come, but they didn't. We right now are still in the process of finding good people. We've done good so far and we've found a few good people who have good hopes of progressing. We found a menos activa named Jenifer and her non member husband, Marcelo. He's great and said that whenever she wants to go to church he'll go with her. We going to work hard with them to get them to church this week. Also we found a man named Fabricio. He's the boyfriend of a menos activa. Only probelm with them is that they aren't married and they have 2 kids. Still we're going to work with then and hopefully see some miracles there.

The conference with Elder Oaks was AWESOME!!! He taught us a lot! Also Elder VIñas and Elder Hallstrom from the Seventy were there. Elder Hallstrom talked a lot about how we're not seeking baptisms, we're seeking converts. It was great and it was really needed to be heard, because there is a big problem with a lot of elders just baptizing little kids who have no support and end up going inactive once the elders leave. Elder Viñas talked about mas o menos the same thing about Verdadero Crecimiento (True Growth). After Elder Oaks gave us a inspiring talk on repentance. Not about us repenting but about teaching repentance effectively and right. He explained how repentence is a prerequisite of baptism, not to be done after. He also explained to us about how it's crucial that we teach complete and correct doctrine. We can't expect the people to make a change and repent if we can't even teach them all of the principles. I definitely learned a lot, and realized some areas where I can improve. I really believe that we're going to see miracles here in Uruguay with the council of Elder Oaks and the others.

The big highlight of the week was the conference, but also we had a funny experience going down to Deo (Montevideo). We were in little buses, which were just 12 seater vans. Our van broke down in the middle of no where and we had to wait for an hour to be picked up. A little Toyota Truck came up and hooked up to us with a rope that had to be 4 ft at the most. So we're getting hauled by this truck that's smaller than the van and we're going like 65 mph passing other cars along the way (We were all sure that if the truck had to slam on the brakes we'd be screwed), swerving and drifting in and out of the lane. It was an adventure for sure. There were moments where I thought we'd die! But in the end we made it safely there and had a good time in Deo at the Conference.

Hope you all have a good week and have fun during the Holidays. Make them good because they're the last ones without me! ;) wow, what a thought...
I love you guys!
Elder Jordan Duke

PS I was thinking that ties and candy like Jolly Ranchers and Starbursts are good for christmas. And whatever else you feel like sending me. :)

More "burning tie" pics to celebrate 1 year in the mission:




Monday, October 22, 2012

October 22, 2012: The start of year 2!

What's up every one!
 
SO this week was good. First of all I hit my year mark......I felt super weird that day. We were in a charla (discussion) and I thought, "1 year ago I was on a plane flying to Buenos Aires..." Fahhh super weird! Also we have a tradition where you burn a tie on your year mark. So I burnt one and it was fun. I have pics I'm going to send to you guys of it.
 
 
 
 
 
Also make sure to tell me how Alex is, and tell him sorry for never writing him a letter even once....
 


Thanks for the help fixing the problem with my cards and wallet, I will probably just end up buying a new wallet here. Also I might not need to do the new papers for the DL, because a guy called us and said that he had found a few cards and documents of mine in the street. We're going today to go get them. I'll tell you next week what I got from him. I still haven't gotten the card from the mission. but tommorow we get the bolsa so I'll probably get it there. Also Elder Petersen has a cuenta (account) of all my owings and it's about $20.
 
As for the investigadores, mas o menos. Honorio, Santiago, caroline... none of them came to church, but a couple of ex-investigadores came, so we're going to start going by them again to see if they've changed. This week was a little rough and we had a lot of the members fail on us, which happens way to often. It's hard because we're trying to fix the problems here with missionaries before that really screwed up and now the members have bad view of us. I'm sure that we can help them realize that we're not the same but it's taking work. We've got some great people though and still have good support, it could just always be better. Also thanks for the idea Mom, we've actually been trying that and it works really well. Like President Hinkley said, new members need 3 things to stay active: 1. Be nuirished by the word of God 2. A calling and 3. a friend.
 
So how was your week? Weird to think back on that last Davis Cup when I was dressed as a missionary and everyone was commenting about how we were going to win because we had a missionary helping us. It's crazy that that was a year ago!
 
Cool that you went to Park City! Lame that you forgot your ribs! Lol! Hopefully someone get's that out or it's going to go bad and stink! Sounds like the kids had fun painting numbers. How many have gotten their Eagles since I left? I'm sure we have a TON.
 
For an experience with Portuguese (Elder Duke speaks Spanish in his mission but in the city he is in now, on the Brazillian border, many people speak only Portuguese.) We went to a members house named Julian who has a son who's 10 who's not a member. They weren't home so as we left we saw a garage next door open and we heard music coming from inside and there was a car. So we went over to ask if they knew where Julian was. When we entered there were 3 guys working. We noticed a really foul smell and then realized that they were packaging Tabacco in rolls. We started up the conversation and realized quickly that all we're speaking portuguese. I said a quick prayer that we could communicate with them and we started talking about little things like Church and what we do as missionaries. After about an hour of talking with them we invited them to come to church and gave them a folleto (pamphlet) of the Restoration that we had in Portuguese. I realized after that I had understood everything they said and they understood us. I knew that God had answered my prayer and we we're able to communicate to them about the gospel.
 
I love all of you and hope you all have a great week! I love this gospel and the chance I have to share my love with the people here in Uruguay. ¡Hasta luego!
 
Love,
 
Elder Jordan Duke

Monday, October 15, 2012

October 15, 2012: Week 52! One Year Mark!

Dear Family,

So I just thought about it and this Saturday I'll have been gone for 1 year.... that means that this next november, december, etc. will be my last in Uruguay...What a weird thought. Also Alex comes home in 8 days?!? I swear he just left! Crazy how time flies, no? I'm a little worried because I'm at the point where most missionaries in our mission go up to senior comp and train. I have a feeling that it's gonna happen probably this next change, but I don't feel ready. I mean I know perfectly fine how to communicate and I understand practically everything, but being the "leader" and maybe with a brand new missionary is a scary thought.

Also in 2 weeks Elder Oaks comes!!! WOOT! I'm super excited! It's gonna be the 2 missions in Uruguay so like 500 missionaries!! I'll get to see all my friends from the CCM (MTC) and also Brian Farnsworth from Eagle Mountain! I heard he lost a ton of weight in the mission. President Heaton has asked us to pray and fast to receive revelation for our missions and areas. Also he wants us to pray and fast for an Elder Brian Scott who had his calling to come to our mission in November, but just last week they found out that he had Lukemia (Blood Cancer) and he's in the Hospital in Salt Lake City. He wants us to fast and pray so that Elder Scott can be healed and come serve his mission here with us. I thought it would be a good idea if you guys could join with us in the fast for Elder Scott. We're going to do it the saturday, the 27th. Thanks family, you're awesome!

About the floods, no one in our area had problems but some of the other missionaries just helped pull people out of their house all day. We didn't do much but we helped a few people, who had a little bit of mud and water in their houses, clean. It has stopped raining for now, luckily, but that means the hot is coming and here it is HOT! I'm pretty sure I'll be here at least until Christmas so I'm gonna die!

Not much has happened this week super exciting. We're still working with Honorio, but it's gonna be work to get him to church. Something I'm used to now, because the Uruguayos are a little lazy as a culture. Also we have found a couple more good people. Santiago he's 20 and lives with his Grandma. He's a capo (stud) and really likes everything we say to him. He couldn't come to church because it was his b'day and he went to his friends house in another barrio because his grandma is crazy! Also we found Caroline, she is a ex-investigador and has been to church a few times. Both are great and high possibles for baptism this change. Which by the way ends when I have 1 year and 1 month in the mission.

Emily, I was talking to some of the leaders here like our bishop and stake president about your situation to see what they thought, and they said that with your situation with Brad and all that they probably wouldn't go, but to ask the Lord. The mission is great, but like one of the apostles said in conference, it's an obligation for only the men. Don't get too bummed about your answer. The Lord has something for you that He knows will be the best for you, and if that's stay home then go with it. I love you Emily, keep being the awesomest blonde shorty ever! LOL

We'll that's about all for this week, hopefull my cards and stuff come soon. it's a good thing my comp is a nice guy who buys me what I need. Hope you all have a great week and recieve many blessings from our Heavenly Father.

Love, Elder Jordan Duke

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

October 9, 2012: Week 51

So biggest news, I'm staying in Artigas with Elder Petersen. Second biggest news. I lost my wallet.....in a taxi...., with all my money about 2000 pesos, both mission and personal credit cards, temple recommend, drivers license, Eagle scout card, and other stuff.....I'm pretty sure it fell out of my pocket when I was siting in the taxi and I didn't notice until a few hours later, and when I called the taxi place the guy who drove us said he "Couldn't find it." I don't want to judge but I know how it is.... I already talked to the offices and they cancelled the card for the mission and are sending me another card with replacement money. I don't know if they talked to you, but probably going to need to freeze my account so nothing happens. As for license and stuff I figure when I get back I can get replacements because for now they don't matter much. For my recommend I'll just talk to Pres. Heaton during interviews. Just thought I'd let you know. So.... I was thinking a new wallet would be great for Christmas. Great news, no?
 
This last week was my turn for a rough week. I was sick almost the whole week from colds to fever. Also the problem with the wallet... but all is well now and I'm not sick anymore. I agree with what Emily said last week that it sucks being sick away from home!
 
Conference was amazing! That was crazy when President Monson made the anouncement about missionaries. Funny thing is we all thought about how old we'd all be now, being 20-21. Then the next thought I had was, my sister is 19 in like 4 months... funny, no? I forgot my notes from conference at home, so I'l tell you some of my favorite parts next week.
 
Something crazy, It's been raining all day for 5 days straight and there is a river that divides Brazil and Uruguay, and it's overflowed and they've evacuated over 100 homes already. Apparently it's the worst flooding since like 1940. Last night it was raining soo hard that water started coming in our house! I of course just stayed asleep while my comp was freaking out, lol! It was pretty carzy though. I atttached some pics of the road being flooded over.
 
The only thing I thought about time was that in 2 weeks from last Saturday it will be half over. After that I'll always have less days left than what I have. Also that Alex must be pretty trunky lol! Probably not as bad as Aunt Shawna though ;)
 
That's sweet that the MB kicked butt last competition. Think they'll make it to the finals this year? Also I'm pretty sure that it's fine that you send me the show. I know an elder that his family sends him home videos all the time on his email.
 
As for investigadores, we're still in finding mode, but we have a great investigador named Honorio DaRosa. He is sooo prepared and he always prays with us and we asked him to read from the beginning of the BoM 1st Nephi 1 and he read throught chapter 7! Which is a lot cuz he reads a little slow. He already has a testimony of the BoM and knows it's a book from God. He really loves the plan of salvation because he lost his wife a month agao. Actually we started teaching him before his wife died, and up until then he wasn't really progressing and we we're about to drop him. Now he's doing great and is on his way to baptism! Super excited for him. He's got a fecha for the end of October, but no specific date for now. That's about it for investigadores.
 
That's about it for this week, I'll try and think of more stuff that I'd like for Christmas. Don't forget to send me pics of when you get a new car or renovations on the house.
 
Hope all is well and that you are all safe. Know I pray for you all always and Love you all SOOOO MUCH!
 
Love, Elder Jordan Duke
 
P.S. Here's pics info
 
1 flooded street
 
2 me in my Argentina jersey
 
3-5 me and elder Petersen in front of the plaza with the Brazil and Argentina Flags
 
6 my twin! lol no just a stick bug
 
7 and 8 district pic: Eldesr Velazquez, Vargas, Petersen, Millan, Rutledge, Me and Hermanas Mosmann and Fullmer
 







 

Monday, October 1, 2012

October 1, 2012: Week 50

Hey Fam!

How you all doing? I'm doing good. We had some pretty good success this week so I'm pretty happy. Also we have had fun today. We went to Brazil again and after this we're going to play a little ping pong. It's gonna be awesome! I started to really like pìng pong and we play it every thursday for Priesthood Activity. I'm still not very good. but Elder Petersen is a pro so we never lose when we do doubles. I just have to keep it on the table and he slams it for the score.

Fah! Sounds like you guys had a ridiculous week! Sorry it went so bad. We'll at least you're all safe. Mom got me a bit worried the way she started her email :) I'm happy you're all good though, except Emily. GET BETTER ;) I LOVE YOU EMILY!! At least Kaili had fun at homecoming, and they did good at band competition. Keep kicking butt and beat Timpview!!

So to start off the onslaught of questions and random stories, first off what ever happened to Shadow? Did she ever come back or are we down to 1 cat now (The oldest fattest one...)?

Second we had house checks for how clean it is and we owned it! It probably helped that a member came over and cleaned for us, but we were by far the cleanest house. THe ZL's house was the worst. They got a ton of really low scores. Their house almost was rated unlivable,lol. Super Gross!

Also I found out that Marcos is doing really good and is still active! He is getting the priesthood soon! That's sooo awesome to hear! I'm super excited for him and I've heard from Elder Ruiz that they're working wit his family. I hope they get baptized soon!

Christmas.....Wow, I don't know... I really can't think of anything except for ties. That's always what's great and money to buy recuerdos. Other than that I can't think of anything that I need. I'm pretty much set on garments and shirts and stuff.

I'm super excited for conference! It's gonna be great, and we get to watch it in English! Also live. It'll be great and I can't wait to get to listen to the Prophet and the Apostles. We'll defintely need to share our favorite parts. ;)

Not much more than that. I love you guys and hope you have a better week this week ;)! Remember to write, Emily ;) lol jk! I love you all and I hope someday to be with you guys in the Celestial Kingdom.

Love your favorite missionary,
Elder Jordan Duke

Monday, September 24, 2012

September 24, 2012: Week 49

Hey Fam!
Doing good here, and you? It's good to hear that Westlake is gonna kick some butt this year again! Just gotta watch out for Riverton. This past week has been a little stressfull because we had to drop a good amount of our investigadores, because they aren't progressing. But it's alright because I know that we're going to find more people that are more prepared because we have the faith.
 
I can't believe we only lost by .08, WOW! What is the show about anyway? You should send me a video of a part of it. I want to know what it's like. That's pretty funny that they had the parents follow the kids. I'm sure that people we're running into each other all over the place.  lol!
 
So investigadores are a little scarce for now. We took the decision to drop Gilberto for a little bit. He has stopped progressing and isn't showing much desire to quit his vices... We're still gonna stop by and let him know we love him.
 
I still cannot believe that in less then a month I'll have been gone for a year! Time goes by like the blink of an eye! CRAZY!!!
Emily, Don't get discouraged with the math. Your way better at it than I am ;) Just keep working hard and keep those grades Up! Also an E-mail would be nice ;)
That's cool that Brennan is going to Arizona. Tell him Good Luck! Also speaking of friends and missions, in October we get to go down to Deo and have a conference with Elder Oaks. It will be the 2 missions from Uruguay. So I'll see all the guys from the CCM and also Elder Brian Farnsworth. That will be sooo awesome seeing them. I've been told that Brian lost a lot of weight so far. Also Elder Viñas already came. It was soo great. He taught us alot. Also he dropped the cane on us a little for the high inactive member rate here in Uruguay. Well it's not our fault the people here are lazy, lol ;) Nah we can do better to help make sure that the people are truly converted. Good news. I found out my convert Marcos is still active and he's receiving the Priesthood soon! That made me super happy! Also one of the investigadores we were working with, Eduardo, is getting baptized on the 7th of Oct.
I told Elder Petersen about the pillow case and driving through his town, and He just laughed and said he's a fan of both BYU and Utah State. Also He says hi back for his family :)
I always knew that Josh had a way with the food. I definitely miss his culinary masterpieces.
 
Well I hope all is well there and that you all have a awesome week. I love you all. I know that this gospel is true and I'm happy that we can be an eternal family some day
 
Love, Elder Jordan Duke

Monday, September 17, 2012

September 17, 2012: Week 48

Hey how's everything going? How's work? and about Elder Petersen, we're the same height, but I have him by about a centimeter. Still counts though ;)

Please don't tell me about Mt. Dew and Dr. Pepper. I miss it soooooo much. I'm just speachless when the people say they don't even know what it is.....they're so deprived. ;)

Timpview are weenies, but they still have a good percussion section. Keep me updated with scores and stuff for the competitions. I wannasee how "bad" we're whoopin' on them :)

I heard that BYU was playing like crap....I'm just glad that the game isn't as big of a deal now, since we're not in the same conference now. BTW is BYU ranked and How is the MWC without BYU and the U? I think it's funny that they come to our house now. I always knew that you'd wait till I leave to get the big TV. I'll just have to wait for a year to enjoy it too.

YA! Emily must have been too busy texting Atkinson to write me a letter this week....... I read Mom's email and she told me about the thing between Emily and "Tyler." I definitely wouldn't mind him as a brother-in-law, but I'm sure nothing is going to happen, Emily is just a big flirt anyway ;)  Also Mom told me Elder Glenn got engaged to his Girlfriend! WOW! OK not really.... I knew that it would happen. She wrote him every week the entire mission. Happy for him. Tell him good luck with the married life!

Gilberto is doing great! He's making a lot of changes. He cleans up now and he got a haircut. We are giving him a shirt and tie to wear to church and he loves it! He came to stake conference with us yesterday and we got to listen to Pres. Monson and Elder Anderson from the 12 and......Elder Gonzalez. I always tell everyone he's your mission President. :) It was great!

Carlos and Marcia and Maria we haven't had contact with them all week. It's kind of hard because Carlos is Policia and never home and Marcia has school at night. But we're not giving up on them!

We actually meet a lot of people that speak Portuguese here. I actually understand a lot. Speaking not so much though. Almost everyone here in Artigas speaks both Spanish and Portuguese. I'm sure I'll learn a good amount here.

Thanks for the stuff from Pres Packer. Really good info. I'll definitely use it when I study.

I love you and hope all is well over there. I love this work and I love my Savior.

Here are a couple of pics...one of a nice big spider we found in our apartment and one of Elder Petersen.




Love,
Elder Jordan Duke

Monday, September 10, 2012

September 10, 2012: Week 47

Hey fam!

We had a good week! We had 4 people in church and all with fecha (date for baptism) for this month! Also right before sacrament meeting I was asked to give a 10 min talk. I just got up and talked about the BoM. I then challenged them all to the promise in the intro; that if you read and ponder on it then pray to know it's true, you'll receive an answer. I think it went well.

We have Gilberto, really great humble guy! He has a fecha for the 29th. He needs help to quit smoking.

Maria, Carlos, Marcia- Maria is the mom of Carlos and marcia is his novia (girlfriend) . We found them on Saturday and they came to church! They also accepted a fecha for the 29th.

This past week was fun! I got to know a lot of people and we have a great support from the ward here. We play soccer on Tuesdays and I have some nice pics from an accident I had playing ;)




Sounds like Colts are still in trouble. I don't remember him... sorry lemen...lol.
Who is Griffin III?
I heard there are a lot of the good teams are dropping and that the bad ones are going up.
Also about sports, I heard that the Lakers picked up Howard...true? they are sooo stacked if  it is...

I'll definitely pray for them (the Westlake marching band kids). Hope they do well! I wish I could be there. Tell me how it goes! Pics also would be great!

I love you guys! I would write more but I have a really really crappy keyboard and not a lot of time.
 Love you all a ton!!! Like how I love PB! (Won't he be surprised when he gets the package sent last week with a jar of peanut butter!)

Love, Elder Jordan Duke

p.s. His name is Eli from Wellsville, UT by Logan. (new companion)
 Thought I'd forgotten... lol

Monday, September 3, 2012

September 3, 2012: Week 46, First Week of 7th Change

All right, to tell you about my comp, he is Elder Petersen. He's from Logan, UT. He played baseball in highschool. He has 16 months in the mission. Weird to think that's only 5 months more than me... This will be his 2nd change in Artigas. We are doing really good and I think we'll have a lot of success. I don't really know alot about the investigadores but when I do I'll tell you.

Wanna know something awesome?!? We went to Brazil to a buffet and there they give you endless meat that they cut with a sword! And I tried chicken heart! It was actually pretty good!  but... I forgot my camara..... ya i know dumb, but it won't be the last time we go to Brazil so don't worry I'll get pics to you guys ;)  It was weird though cuz they all speak in Portuguese. Speaking of Portuguese they have a mix of Spanish and Portuguese here called Portuñol. It's really weird. Also when the people get mad at their kids they speak in Portuguese. I don't understand them half the time but it's pretty funny.

I like it here in Artigas. It's going to be great but it's also going to be hot! They said last summer it hit 57 degrees Celsius... that's like 130 F!!!!!!! I'm going to die this summer!!! I'll just have to whip out the old water bottle I guess. I'm looking forward to it but at the same time I think about how it will be my last summer in Uruguay. The time is going by way too fast I don't know how we're already at the point of Alex coming home in 7 weeks! That's crazy!! I don't even know what to think! I'm the oldest junior comp here in Artigas, except for an Elder Miranda, because he's dying this change and to give more people chances to go up as senior comp President moved some people down. He said that it wasn't to "castigar" anyone, just giving others a chance who haven't had it in 9 or 10 changes. But Elder Miranda took it pretty hard. He was a ZL before he got bumped all the way back down to junior comp. He's better now though. We have Elder Viñas coming this Month! And Elder Oaks will be coming in Octuber. That's going to be super exciting!!

I don't really have much more to say today. I'm sure once I get to know more of the area and stuff I'll have more to say. I love you guys and hope you're all doing well. Keep close to the Lord and stay on the path to eternal life. Thank you for all the support and know that you're always in my prayers.

Tons of love,
Elder Jordan Duke

P.S. Emily tell me more about college. I need to know what it's like since I've never lived the real college experience. :)

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

August 28, 2012: Week 45

Well to start off I'm..............going to Artigas, Barrio 2!! My new comp will be Elder Petersen, no idea where he is from, just know that he's gringo. I now have 50/50 3 latinos, 3 gringos as comps. The only thing that isn't great about going to Artigas is that it's 12 hrs of traveling in a bus..... at least there will most likely be other missionaries also. Elder Ruiz had to come down from Artigas all by himself. Also something funny is that I'm going to the exact same area that Elder Ruiz came from. He was telling me about the area, and it sounds awesome! He also said that there are alot of great people there and alot of people to baptize.

Also we just got the news from Pte Heaton that Elder Oaks is coming 27th of Oct. and we're going to have a reunion in Montevideo with both missions!! That's going to be crazy packed!! I'm super excited to get to meet an Apostle. It will be my second time in the mission! Elder Christofferson came to the CCM when I was there. Also this month Elder Viñas is coming. These next 2 months are going to be crazy! Not to mention I'l hit my year mark...

I was talking to Elder Atkinson last night and he told me that his family is coming to get him and they'll be in Artigas on saturday and sunday. I think it's going to be weird seeing him again after a ton of time and with his family... It will be great though. I still can't believe he is leaving.....so crazy fast.....

To tell you more about Elder Ruiz. He is from a family of 6. He is in the middle. He has an older brother an older sister and 1 younger brother. The family is all members. His parents are converts of about 25 years. His older brother served a mission in Colombia, and his younger brother is filling out his mission papers and will most likely leave the end of this year or beginining of the next. Also his older brother is maried and has a daughter. So Elder Ruiz has a niece that he doesn't even know yet. His dad is the Bishop of their ward. Elder Ruiz studied english in college before coming on the mission and worked as a DJ. I do talk to him about a lot of stuff I just forget to tell you guys...lol
We didn't get anymore baptisms, but there are a lot of great people that we are working with. I was told that there are a lot of great people in my new area that need to get baptized.

I hope that Kaili and Sarah get there licenses soon....lol. I don't know how good I'm going to be as a driver after 2 years without touching a car...

I glad to hear that all is going well and that everyone is busy being awesome!! I love you guys! I'l have more to say next week when I'm in Artigas.

Love, Elder Jordan Duke

P.S.
Here's more pics. One is a tower of animals I did, another my last district in Colonia, another of my Zone in Colonia. One is me in front of the Ocean in Colonia. And the others are me and Elder Ruiz using a really old lawmower. Enjoy!






Monday, August 20, 2012

August 20, 2012: Week 44

Wow! this change flew by! It's really worrying me how fast this is happening. I realized when I read Dad's email that I have exactly 2 months until I have been gone for a year.... I swear I just left. Also scary because I'm at that point where I could go up as senior comp and I could train. I don't think I will quite yet, but it's possible. Also to answer your question Dad, yes we have junior and senior comp and what's called "Compañeros de Proselitismo." (Co-Comps) Most of the time no one is Compañeros de proselitismo--usually goes straight to senior from junior.

Also Marcos got confirmed yesterday. If all goes well we should have 2 more baptisms possibly 3, two more friends of Marcelo Gomez and a granddaughter of a menos activo that we recently reactivated named Ayelen (Here in Uruguay pronounced A"sh"elen because the y and double l makes the "sh" sound).

I can't believe that your already in college Emily!!!!!!!! That's nuts!! Who is your roommate? Is she cute? lol ;) Have fun in college and don't be a slacker like me. What is you major anyway? You changed so many times I don't remember which one you finally went with...

As for the mail, absolutely nothing is coming into Uruguay. No packages, letters, nothing. We aren't even getting the letter from the pouch. I sure hope it ends soon, one things for sure is that the Bolsas are going to be overflowing when it ends. Going on almost 1 1/2 months now with no one getting anything... I also thought that since I'm pretty sure that you guys are still able to get letters from us, that it would be good for now to use that urugoest@gmail.com that we have to write me letters until it stops. But for now nothing handwritten with a stamp is coming my way.

Funny thing is "that girl" has probably gotten more letters from me than some in my family...but I'll write her. I'm pretty sure I sent one last week or 2 weeks ago. Still I will write another. Also I knew I'd never get that ring back (Jordan's CTR ring....not THAT kind), either from her or Emily, whichever one ended up with it.

Why am I not surprised that Dayna is engaged... :) You know, the name Andrew McCoristin sounds really familiar. I think I know him. All I have to say is that he better have gone on a mission. ;)

Did Kerryn or Laura get married first?

I sure hope Chandler is still considering a service mission at least. If not that he stays active in the church. I know that he doesn't really have much help from his screwed up siblings, but he's a good guy and I'd hate to see him lose his way. I'll be praying for him.

The investigators are good. Like I said, we have 2 possibly 3 baptisms before the end of August. Also we are starting to talk to some of the sibling of Kevin but not much progress there because we haven't had much contact with them lately. We are also doing A LOT of menos activo visits and it's paying off.  This sunday we had almost double the assistance (that would be "attendance" in English....the Spanish word for attend is "assistir a") in church with a good 6 or 7 menos activos (less actives).

We're working right now to start building up the youth part of this Branch which is sorely lacking. The youth are definitely the "life" of the Ward(branch). Also turns out the JW's only wanted to Bible bash. Not a big surprise, but they did give me a folleto from their church and it's pretty interesting, of course it's a bunch of bologna, but still good to know more about the other religions.

I'm still Junior comp for now. It's possible that I go up in the next change or few. I think I will be a little dissapointed to leave the area, because there is still sooo much to do here, but if it's what happens I'll just go with it and keep working hard.

I still can't believe that Elder Atkinson is leaving! I got his little goodbye letter in the Bolsa last week. just weird....

Wow, Cotton is now gone also.

And I think that Elder Atkison said that he has a friend in the Rapid City Mission, is it English or Spanish speaking for Garrett?

It's great to see how many people are going out on mission we really need it.

Elder Viñas will be here 19th-21st of September and Elder Oaks is coming in October, should be great!!

Contacting here is a little diferent. Here you clap your hands to "knock" the door. It's still a little weird, but I'm getting used to it. Sometimes it's just knocking on the door or ringing the doorbell, except that 9 out of 10 doorbells here don't work...

Thanks for always  being the best most supportive family ever! I love you guys super tons (I don't know if that works grammatically but I don't care!). Stay on the path or like I read in a quote recently from some church leader: "I don't follow the straight and narrow path to exactness, but I try to cross it as much as possible." :)

I love you guys!

Elder Jordan Duke

P.S. Here's a picture of me knocking on the Devil's Door ;)

Monday, August 13, 2012

August 13, 2012: Week 43

Ok this time I won't write in Spanish. There is google translate you know ;) This week was great as you can tell by the pics, Marcos got baptized! The pics didn't turn out to great, someone had their finger in front of the lens. (Can't trust a 11 year old to take a picture, lol). It was so great that his parents finally gave him permission to make this step. All the group of friends came to the baptism and were there to support him which was great.  Soon we'll have that whole group of friends baptized ;) Also in a couple of weeks Marcos will recieve the Aaronic Priesthood. Now we have 2 jovenes (young men) instead of 1. The Young Womens still doesn't exist, but we'll fix that :) That was the miracle this week.

Also we had a good turn out in church, and we got Marcela Rodriguez (Menos activa of around 2 years) and Hna Crespo to come back to church and they both have said they are back for good. We'll see. I'm hoping so and we are definitely working with them to keep them going strong.

Investigadores:
Janet-  Left again for Buenos Aires so we didn't have much contact with her, really not at all. Still doing good and Ezequiel is helping a lot.

Kevin- We found his sister and his cousin who both live with him and we are helping him work towards the 19th, this next Sunday. His cousin and sister would be in a few weeks like the end of August, beginning of September.

Marcos- (see photos for more information, lol) BAPTIZED!

Daiana- She is doing good. She was really sick this past week and couldn't come to church but she is progressing well. Still a little stuck on the traditions of the Catholic Church, but she is starting to notice how many contradictions there are in the Catholic Church. (Really not hard to do that, just look at the first 2 commandmentsof the 10.)

Alejandra and Matias- They're doing alright. Alejandra is still looking for a job because she quit the one at Los Balla. We're trying to help her with that and as well to help her finally quit smoking. She's right there, she only smokes like 5-6 a day. I think by the end of August they'll be in white.

Claudia- She just dissapeared, still hasn't showed up from her trip. I don't know. She doesn't respond to our messages either..

Also this week we found a young couple who are Jehovah's Witnesses and a man named Julio. He's a little more open as you can imagine. The young couple is very nice but I wonder whether they just want to fight over who has the truth, or if they are willing to listen.  We'll see.

Also speaking of Jehova's Witnesses, we met another one who told us we can't be the true church because we help in the army when our country is at war, and we are breaking the commandment "thou shall not kill." We tried to explain to her how it means innocent blood, and that someone with a gun trying to kill you isn't really that innocent. As well that the Chosen people of God went to battle hundreds of times. She told us that was back then and that now is diferent. After a few minutes of talking we just told her that we don't want to fight with her. We nicely invited her to read in Matthew 18:11 and to have a nice day. (The Bible of the Jehovah's Witnesses doesn't have that scripture, it just says 11.---- with a line after the number. ;) )

So a few things I need to say:
First- There is an international stoppage of mail, so no one is receiving nor have we recieved any kind of mail in a little over a month, but they decided to just tell us so we all thought that our families had forgotten about us ;) but I knew you guys hadn't. So just so you know I haven't gotten any letters or anything for about 5 weeks now. Hopefully they'll tell us when they stoppage is over. The "Bolsas" are going to be HUGE when they do.

Second- I went on divisiones (splits) with Elder Ponce from Perù. His area is Nueva Helvecia. It's all decendents from Germany and Switzerland and other places over in Europe. Everyone there has weird names and are all whiter than me! Ok, not all are whiter than me.... but it was weird! It's a super pretty place though. I didn't get pics because I forgot my camera.

Lastly- HAPPY BIRTHDAY SARAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
:) 15 NO? Hope it was great and full of Fun and Cake!

I love you guys and hope all is going well over there.  Know that I love you guys and that my favorite part of this is showing people pics of my family and explaining to them how I know that I will be with them not just in this life but forever and how they are the best and biggest blessing I've ever received! I love you all and I hope you all will stay strong and never waver from the staight and narrow.

Love, Elder Jordan Duke 





Monday, August 6, 2012

August 6, 2012: Week 42

Hola mi familia, ¿Còmo andan por ahì? ¿Todo Bien? Yo estoy bien. Por alguna razon tengo las ganas a escribir en Español. Espero que me entiendan..bueno por lo menos Papà. (Para que sepan el tidle no funciona correctamente, entonces esta alreves) Todo bien por acà. Hemos tenido mucho èxito y estamos trabajando como locos. Encontramos muchas personas esta semana pasada y intentamos a bautizarles!

Hello family!  How's everyone doing there?  I'm good.  For some reason I feel like writing in Spanish.  I hope you understand it...well, at least Dad.  (The accent mark isn't working correctly, it's typing backwards.) Everything is good here.  We have had great success and worked like crazy people.  We found a lot of people this week and we intend to baptize them!

Los Investigadores: The investigators:

Marcos- todavia no nos ha fallado. Hace casi tres meses empezò a venir a la capilla y ha asistido cada domingo sin falta. Si todo va bien se bautizarà este domingo el 12 de Agosto. Tambien tuvimos contacto con la madre de Kevin y fijamos para pasar este Miercoles.

Marcos-he has yet to fail us. It's been 3 months since he started to come to church and he has attended each Sunday without fail.  If all goes well, he will be baptized this Sunday, August 12th.  We also met Kevin's mom and we set a date to meet with them this Wednesday.

Janet- Anoche tuvimos una lecciòn buenìsima con ella y su hijo Ezequiel. Le ayudamos a entender la significaciòn de "Nacer de Nuevo" y porque es algo importante para ella. Ezequiel nos ayudò bastante y ya es una nuevo persona despues de su bautismo. Sì o sì ella va a bautizarse.

Janet-Last night we had a very good lesson with her and her son Ezequiel.  We helped her understand the significance of "Being Born Again" and why it is important for her.  Ezequiel helped us a lot and he is a new person since his baptism.  She will be baptized.

Marcela y Flia- No hemos tenido contacto con ellos toda la semana pasada porque ella trabaja en la famacia y las farmacias toman turnos en estar abiertos 24 horas por una semana y esta semana fue la semana que tocò la Farmacia de Marcela. Pero, esta semana vamos a trabajar con ellos mucho. Alberto no tiene fecha por ahora porque no ha asistido por dos semanas por su trabajo. Èl es vendedor de medecina que viaja mucho a Montevideo y otros partes de Colonia y Mercedes.

Marcela & Flia-We haven't had an appointment with them all week because she works at a pharmacy and the pharmacies her take turns being open 24 hours/day for an entire week and this week was her pharmacy's turn.  But this week we are going to work with them a lot.  Alberto still does not have a baptism date because he has not come to church for two weeks because of his work.  He sells pharmaceuticals and has to travel a lot to Montevideo, Colonia and Mercedes.

Con el resto de las personas estamos ahì. Todos estàn progresando, algunas màs ràpido que otras. Realmente pienso que hay muchas personas muy buenas aqui que precisan El Evangelio en sus vidas. Estoy 100% Seguro que vamos a tener bautismos en Agosto.

With the rest of them, we're here and there.  All are progressing, some faster than others.  I really think there are a lot of people here that are looking for the gospel in their lives.  I'm 100% sure that we'll have some baptisms in August.

¿Entonces Los Estados Unidos estàn Dominando los Juegos Olìmpicos, eh? no mucha de una sorpresa. Ya sabìa que somos capos ;) Ni es una competencia en Baloncesto. Escucho que China aùn està en Primer Lugar con 30 mas o menos y que tenemos como 28 por ahì. No se si ha cambiado ya pero esto es que escuchè.

So, the US is dominating the Olympics huh?  Not much of a surpise.  I knew we were studs. ;) Not any competition in basketball.  I hear that China is in first place in total medals, with 30 more or less and we have 28 or something.  I don't know if that has changed, but that's what I heard.

Yo tengo que contarles una historia que pasò ayer y hoy en los estudios en la mañana. El Presidente de la Rama pidìo de una hermana su DVD hace algunos meses. Ahora la hermana quiere que devuelva su DVD y porque està enferma, nos pidìo para pedir por el DVD. Entonces lo dijimos al Presidente y todavia no nos a respondido.
Despues durante los estudios yo estuve leyendo en Mosìah 4 y en versìculo 28 dice asì: "Y quisiera que recordaseis que el que de entre de vosotros pida prestado a su vecino, debe devolver aquello que pide prestado, de acuerdo con lo que prometa; pues de lo contrario, cometerèis pecado y tal vez hagàis que vuestro vecino peque tambien." Me Reì tanto cuando leì este versìculo jaja! Al final decidimos que no vamos a ser parte de este problema y que ellos pueden solucionarlo entre si.

I have to tell you a story that happpened yesterday and then today in my studies.  The branch president asked for a DVD from a sister a few months back.  Now, the sister wants it back and because she is sick, she asked us to ask him for it.  We asked the president, but he hasn't gotten back to us.  During my studies today, I was reading in Mosiah 4, verse 28 that says, "And I would that ye should remember, that whosoever among you borroweth of his neighbor should return the thing that he borroweth, according as he doth agree, or else thou shalt commit sin; and perhaps thou shalt cause thy neighbor to commit sin also." I laughed a lot when I read that verse! In the end, we decided that we're not going to be part of the problem and they can solve it themselves.

Les quiero muchìsimo y espero que todo estè bien y que tengan una buena semana. Algo para leer: Mosìah Capìtulos 2-5, son los capìtulos en que El Rey Benjamìn habla a su pueblo y ellos tienen un cambio de corazòn. Hay mucha doctrina muy buena en estes capìtulos.

I love you so much and I hope that all of you are well and that you have a good week.  Some to read:  Mosiah, chapters 2-5, they are the chapters where King Benjamin speaks to his people and they have a change of heart.  There is a lot of very good doctrine in those chapters.

Yo se que la obra en que soy un parte y en que todos somos parte es verdadera. Se que nuestro Salvador vive y nos ama. Se que Èl murìo y despues de tres dias se resucitò. Tenemos un Padre Celestial que nos escucha y que siempre esta ahì cuando le necesitemos. El Libro de Mormòn es un libro verdadero y contiene las respuestas de cualquier pregunta que tenemos. Yo amo esta obra y amo mi Salvador.

I know that the work that I am involved in, and that we are all a part, is true.  I know that our Savior lives and loves us.  I know that he died and rose again in 3 days.  We have a Heavenly Father who hears us and is always there for us when we need him.  The Book of Mormon is true and contains the answers to whatever question we have.  I love this work and I love my Savior.

Les amo y deseo el mejor por todos.

I love you all and desire the best for you.

Tu hijo, hermano, amigo fiel,

Your son, brother and faithful friend,

Elder Jordan Duke

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

July 30, 2012: Week 41

Hey!

How's everyone doing? Me good. This week we met a lot of new people because we are trying to get a bigger investigador pool. We did so many contacts, but sometimes it's fun to do them just to hear some of the responses you get. Like one guy that told me he wasn't interested because he had diferent philisofical beliefs in the creation of the world... I really didn't know what to say in that moment and it didn't really matter because he shut the door right after.

For the Investigadores:

Ruben-...................not good. We are going to have to give him a little time. We went over on saturday to talk to him about his doubts about needing to be baptized a 4th time and he had a bottle of wine half empty in his hand and was really drunk. He also during the lesson was drinking right there in front of us and told us he didn't care. He then told us that he will always be Ruben Efrian Gallardo Casanova and that he'll never change. He told us that he's always been a drinker and smoker and always will be. Also that the true church for him is his Apostolic church that he went to for 20 something years. Knowing that He was drunk we explained to him that we still will be stopping by to see how he's doing, but that as for more than that we're going to wait a little until he decides to put his faith in the Lord and puts forth the effort to drop his vices.

Janet- We had a great lesson with her yesterday. We helped her recognize how she can grow her faith and be able to reach the same level as her son. Her big concern is that she isn't sure she has enough faith to recieve an answer but we are helping her on it.

Marcos and Kevin- Still doing good. They came to church again. Parents of Marcos still say no because he still isn't showing changes of attitude. Kevin's parents are never home and when they are no one answers the door. That's what I mean by we can't find them.

Claudia- Still gone on her truck. She has been keeping us updated on the reading and she is actually reading alot. She says that it helps her. We'll see how it goes when she gets home.

That's so cool that you got to go to all those temples mom! I'm sure it was great. Emily and a 3 day hiking trip don't sound like a great match.. We'll see. lol

I didn't mean to put the account in the negative. I still have money with me I just pulled it out to make a emergency stash thing. oops.

Don't worry, I'll be praying for Mom and you Dad so that you can start working out and get rid of that back (front) problem ;)

The only thing I've seen or heard of the olympics is stuff about Uruguay and Argentina. We heard that the soccer team of Uruguay lost to senegal 2-0. Other that that I have no idea really what's happening.

Michael Phelp's time to shine I think is gone. He's seems to be dying out from what I've heard. Also I agree that that's dumb about the gymnastics. If she's in the top 10 she should compete.

Ya I actually thought Kyle hitting 1 year. That means I'm next...... scary...... I really don't like how fast time is going by.

I definitely want to get that same response from my father in heaven about my mission and I'll do whatever I can to recieve it.

I love you guys and want you all to know that I love this gospel and my Loving Heavenly Father who provided us with this wonderful plan.

Hope you all have a great week and we'll be in touch next week.

Love Elder Jordan Duke

P.S. I sent a letter to Lizzy last week....they take awhile to get there. :)

Monday, July 23, 2012

July 23, 2012: Week 40

Hey fam!

Doing good here, and you guys? This week has been good alot of interesting stuff. First for changes we went down to Colonia and we went around so Elder Glenn could buy recuerdos. Then we were waiting for our new comps and when they showed up my comp wasn't with them. So we called the office and they said that they had to buy a ticket for Elder Ruiz directly to Carmelo. So I had to take a hour and a half bus ride by myself. It was really weird...

Then we met not one but 2 crazy old ladies that were trying to convince us that reincarnation is true.... Really weird and the one said that she saw Jesus and that he was sitting by a river, so she took her grandkids that were with her to go be baptized by Jesus. (at this point I was trying really hard not to laugh...) Then she said that her husband saw her walking towards the guy and freaked out and chased the man into the woods with his guacho knife.(Right there is were I almost lost it and had to look away from her and cover my mouth to keep from laughing). Then not even a day later we ran into another lady that told us that she was going to die and reincarnate into one of her kids. (which makes no sense because her kids are still living...) Then she asked me "If I asked you who/what are you, what would you say?" So I told her that I'm a Son of God. And her response was that I was trying to find who I was outside instead of looking inside. So then I explained to her that I never said I think I said I know and that I wasn't looking for anything because I had already found it. But didn't matter anyway because she just ignored my response and started going off on how we're all just pieces of the universe of something. Really weird.

Investigadores:

Ruben- He fell super hard this last week and even went to the point of returning us the books and folletos (pamphlets) we had given him. He was smoking and had drank and told us that he didn't want it anymore. So then we explained how we were there to just help him. and that we didn't come miles and miles to tell him a lie. We asked him to that night say a prayer and ask if this is the right path and if he felt it was then to come to church on sunday. He didn't come.... but were going to pass by today or tomorrow to visit him and see if he prayed or not. We're not giving up on him that easy!

Marcos and Kevin- Still have yet to miss a Sunday in who knows how long. Problem is still with the parents not approving it. Well in Marcos' case anyway. Kevin--we still can't find his parents but were working on it. Both great kids also and are always there every Sunday without fail.

Marcela y Flia- they're doing good. We've had a couple visits with them, but they didn't come to church this sunday. Alberto is leaving for Deo again this week and doesn't return until next week. We're going to get them in the water though for sure.

Janet- No contact this week because she was in Deo for EZEQUIEL'S BAPTISM!! He is such a stud! future missionary right there.

Claudia- no it's not Oscar's mom. We found her on thursday and she is great. She is 40 mas o menos and lives with just 1 daughter of 15. She is a truck driver as her occupation and is gone alot, but she said she was going to take the BOM with her and read it when she travels. Hoping it goes good with them.

We have other great people as well like Marita who we had a great lesson with, and Hna Nubia Bulfo. Also Hno Ferrer is in his house now after his operation on his foot. He's doing good and we are taking him the santa cena until he recovers and can come to church.

That's it for investigadores this week.

I'm positive that Elder Glenn  will learn alot in Spain. I'm glad to know that Elder Glenn thinks that I have a "Rock Solid Testimony." In the end I realized that the assistants do put their pants on one leg at a time....just faster. ;)

Sad thing I don't remember almost any of the names from people in the ward especially the newer people from when we changed the boundaires. I guess it's because I've just been meeting so many new people in such a little time that there isn't room in my brain for all of it. Sorry Bro Chenn and Thomas...

Not surprised that Josh cooked well. I would have loved to have been there. Maybe when I get back they call me into scouts or something, then I could be there with my little bro as his leader. What do you think Josh?

Elder Ruiz is from a city outside of Quito called Ambato. He said it resides in the Quito mission. It's almost literally right in the middle of Ecuador and it sits at the base of a volcano. Mt. Tungurahua. He said that there are missionaries in his ward also.

I love you guys and am so grateful for all the support! Que tengan una buena semana!

Love, Elder Jordan Duke

Friday, July 20, 2012

July 17, 2012: Week 39

Hey everyone, This week was a little weird because of how funny Elder Glenn was. Don´t get me wrong, he warked super hard until the end, just the mornings when we were studying he´d be freaking out. It was kind of funny. We have a lot of great people we´re working with and the area is going good.

First off my new comp is Elder Ruiz from.............Ecuador. Where I don't know, but when I find out I'll tell you. All I know about him is that he's my MTC comp's trainer (Elder Minter) and that he's coming from Artigas.

The investigadores we have are as follows:

Ruben- He's 60 yrs old mas o menos (more or less) and he has problems with smoking and drinking. he only drinks wine though and hates beer, vodka, etc. He's down to 2 cigarettes or 1 a day but he just needs help and a little push to get that last part before his baptism on the 22nd of July.

Alberto(40), Sonia(17) & Tamara(10)- They are the husband and daughters of Marcela (menos activa). They are a really great family and Alberto came to church on Sunday. Sonia is 17 and she is a little bit harder. She likes talking and listening but doesn't seem very interested. Alberto is a for sure baptism though and probably around the beggining of August since the first time he's come to church was this Sunday. Tamara is 10 and likes everything but lives with her dad and is almost never there.

Andrea(35ish), Julio(35ish), Ignacio(Nacho)(14), Juan(10)- This is the family of six. They have another older daughter, 17/18 who lives in Mercedes and 3 younger kids, daughter of 7 and twins, 2 1/2. They are a great family and all are very active in the lessons and want to learn more. The thing with them is they are really shy and so we're trying to work with getting friends for them so they have some one to be with them on Sundays. Also Julio and Andrea aren't married...

Marcos(12) & Kevin(11)- Both friends of Marcelo Gomez (active member) and Oscar, our convert. Marcos is a shew in for baptism and hasn't missed a sunday in almost 3 months. The problem is with his parents who say that he needs to start behaving better at home before he makes that commitment. We are working with him and trying to help remind him to behave at school and home. Kevin is a great kid but his parents are impossible to find. We've tried for a couple weeks to find them. He's been coming pretty much all the time as well.

Janet(50ish)- The mother of the soon-to-be-missionary/ getting baptized this saturday Ezequiel. She still has a few doubts but the big one is that years ago her cousin was trying to invite her to her church and to listen to the sermons and pastors and stuff but she never went. Now she thinks that if she starts coming with us that she'll be going behind the back of her cousin and she is afraid it will ruin the relationship with her. Don't know exactally what to do there but we're praying about it.

That's about it for now on the investigadores. We've found some new people and I'll update you on them if they start progressing.

I'll be sending a bunch of photos to show kind of what's been going down.

Dad going camping with the Scouts! lol, It's hard to imagine that. ;)

I'm glad to know that Sis. Western got my letter. She writes all the time and it's really great to have the support.

Don't worry I'll write Chris, but until the letter gets there tell him I'll kick his butt if he doesn't get back to church. I worked at a grocery store and one that was even tougher about Sundays, I know how it works and it's not hard to get off, at least some of them.

The Branch President is Victor Hugo Gonzalez. His wife is Lilian and they have 4 kids all grown up and living in Argentina. All menos activo as well... He's a good man, but like all people has his faults. He is really brutal sometimes and offends a lot of people, but then again it's because the people here are softies ;)

Make sure to get that message to Elder Jensen!

Emily leaves in 5 weeks! wow........ well have fun with 4 kids in the house.

I love you guys and want you to know that I love my Savior as well! I'm so glad I chose to come on a mission. It's the best! Josh, my brother, I'm doing this mostly for you. You'd better not let me down and miss this once in a life time chance. I expect you to be even more prepared than I was. That means start now, bud. Read scriptures and pray every morning and night. Don't worry though, you don't have to get up at 6:30 every morning ;)

I love you all more than I love Alfajores (a sandwich cookie, shortbread with dulce de leche in the middle), which is a lot!

Love, Elder Jordan Duke