Tuesday, January 31, 2012

January 30, 2012: Week 15

I can't believe that i've already gone through a whole change! I've still got 15 more, and I can't wait! I'm still with Elder Atkinson. We have a new Zone Leader and a new AP. I don't know either of them so ya. 

So that's awesome that the Jazz are doing so good. 

Tell the Olsons I say Hi, and tell Dayna she is slacking on the letters ;) 

That's cool that you'll be working with your old mission friend! Way to go breaking the car! lol! I'll pray for your back to get better though. Letter's wise, the DearElder letter didn't come but a couple others from new Years form you and mom came. When they do come it's awesome so keep writing and maybe the mail will catch up. One more random thing. There are some members and investigadores here who have tried to find me on Facebook and they told me they can't add me. I would very much appreciate it if you changed the settings so they can. Then you can get to know them a little too. And some have Pics and stuff the want to post, so please change the setting to let people "Friend" me. Thank you.

About the mission. We've had rice for like 2 weeks straight!! It's starting to get hard to finish. And here they make you eat at least 2 plates before you leave. Then they give you a huge bowl of icecream or some kind of weird Dulce (dessert). I literally got half of a 13 Kilo Watermelon one time! I finished it too but that created some issues for like 3 days after. So don't be surprised if I weigh a little bit more that I did when I left. Actually a lot of Elders that come to this mission leave bigger than before. 

About our Investigadores. We have 3 who now regularly come to church, but none of them want a fecha (date) until they receive their answer. So now we're working with them to help them either recognize it when it comes or realize they've already recieved it. One of them has a big issue with Repentance. She doesn't feel worthy to be baptized, because about 2 months ago she tried to commit suicide. She is having a hard time forgiving herself for that so were working with her on that, other than that our other Investigadores just simply need more time. Also we had to drop the guy with the issue with tithing because he wouldn't keep his commitments and he didn't want to pray to know about tithing, entonces (so or then) we had to stop going by as often. We still go by about once a week, but not much.

I hope your all doing really well, HAPPY BIRTHDAY JOSHUA!!!!!!  You're so old...13!!! I love you all do good in work and school and I'll see you in 2 years!

Elder Jordan Duke

Thursday, January 26, 2012

January 23, 2012: Week 14

So I just realized that I've been in Uruguay for a month now. Time is going by really fast. I still feel like I just left the house and it's been 3 months since then. I'm doing super good and loving it! I've got a list of things that I want to talk about so here it goes. 

I have 2 stamps left so I'm in in dire need of more. (check)  Now some questions. Me and Elder Atkinson can't remember the teams in the NBA so send me a list of all the teams in just one of your e-mails if you could. 3rd Where are the updates? I gotta know how the Jazz are doing and it was lame that I had to find out who is going to the superbowl from my comp ;) but now that I know who is in it, I don't even care. (Good!)  Giants and Patriots......how lame. (True!) Ravens and 49ers would have made a sick superbowl! But I still want to know how it went. (I think our son needs to concentrate of other things and leave the world behind a little more... ;) )

Also if your planning on sending any packages soon i would be the happiest person alive if I found some PB and Nutella in it *Hint*Hint* (check) Also about stuff you put on bread...The jam was delicious!! (Lizzy and Bro. Davis will be glad to hear that.) It's already gone!

Also about packages and letters. Did Chris ever get his letter from me? If yes tell him he better respond. Also Have the kids been getting their letters from me? Also I got Tywahn and the cousins letters.  I'll write them back sometime. As soon as I have stamps. I only have enough stamps for Mom and Dad's letter and Lauren's.

This week was alright. We started off really slow and we only found 2 people this week...... but on the upside we had someone come to church finally! :):):):):) It was the first investigador we've had in church since I've started, so I was super happy. She doesn't have a date yet, because she says she wants to be sure she "Knows" before she accepts a date.

The rest of our investigadores are doing good. They just need to come to church now... 

How is the family doing? How's school? The ward? How is regular life? Seen any good new movies lately? what about music? I'm pretty sure I have the soundtrack to The Lion King memorized now, because we can only listen to church and Disney music. It's cool though. 

I love you all and miss you! Thanks for all the prayers, they really help a lot!

Elder Jordan Duke

P.S. Elder Atkinson says, quote "Your sister (Emily) can write me." 

(To which Emily responded..."Sure!" And she has already written and sent a letter to Elder Atkinson.  Big surprise, huh?) 

Monday, January 16, 2012

January 16, 2012: Week 13

Hows everyone doing? It's been great out here! besides the fact that we still haven`t had a single person come to church since I`ve been here....... It's really frustrating sometimes but what can you do. We can't force them to come to church. So any possibility of getting a baptism these next few weeks is gone. Were still working hard and we found 8 new people last week. 

So, if I'm sending pictures I'd better get some too. Like Emily`s graduation and just whatever other pics you feel like sending would be nice. Also I've sent a letter to Emily, Kaili and Sarah and I'm writing Josh's today. Lauren is next week. Also did Chris get his letter I sent him. Tywahn's letter still hasn't come, maybe tomorrow. 

About money, we gett 3300 pesos a month I don`t know how much that is in dollars, and we're going to a museum attraction place next P-day, so if you can put some extra money in my personal for souveneirs that would be great.

So about our investigators. We have about 9 or 10 we're pushing for the 4th of February, since no one came to church this week...
They`re all doing really well. Hugo is worrying less about tithing and he is really progressing. We found a new lady and her daughter, Lilian and Veronica. They are both very humble and willing to learn. Lilian even attempted a prayer our first visit. Florencia still won`t come to church and she has no reason not to. We are really sad, but we might have to "drop her" until she is ready to actually commit. SO we have a lot of possibilites for the beginning of February, so were looking up for a good week there.

How is everyone doing? Emily still chasing boys? ;) How's life? Is Emily scared for graduation? I kind of was.....sort of......not really.

I don`t have much time left so I'll end with my testimony

I know that my Savior and God live and that they love me and everyone on this earth. I know that because he loves us, he restored the gospel on the earth through Joseph Smith. I know that we now have a Prophet on the earth today who leads and guides us. I'm am very grateful to know that because of the Savior and his atonement I can live with my family forever in eternal happiness. I know that this church is the true church of God and that if we live by it's teachings we can return to our Father in Heaven after this life.

I love you guys and miss you!
Love Elder Jordan Duke

P.S. Can I get Levi's Address for Guatemala from you guys, I sent a letter to Kyle but didn't realize till now I still don't have Levi's Address.

Monday, January 9, 2012

January 9, 2012: Week 12

To start off yes I got a Christmas Package from the family ( I don`t know if there is more than one) but the one from the ward is still not here. I might not even get it... SO this week started off really good! We found 5 new investigadores in the first 2 days! They`re all really great people. Only problem is they`re all too lazy to come to church. That`s one of the biggest problems about Uruguay, the people are always really lazy. We have people tell us they can`t come to church because it`s raining....... and they make up stuff about their blood pressure. It`s super annoying but there is nothing we can do except try our best to explain the wonderful blessing that come from attending church. Florencia didn`t come to church either :( so we had to move her baptism date to the 28th of Enero. We didn`t have a single investigator at church again. We have yet to have one show up either. It`s really sad, because we know that they all know they should come and they tell us that they believe our message is true, some even say "I Know", but they still won`t come... On the upside we got ahold of an ex-investigador, Hugo. We brought Hermano Antunez from the ward to the lesson. We were talking about commandments and the subject of tithing got thrown out. He expressed his concern that he couldn`t pay because he only got 4000 pesos a month (That`s about $200 US). And he didn`t see how he could get by with Tithing, house payments, medical, and all that. Then Hno Antunez stopped him, because he started geting angry about it, and he then bore his testimony about tithing. He explained that he lives with his wife and they also have to pay extra for phone service, because he uses a special phone for blind people that reads his messages to him, and how they have alot of things that need to be paid. But they always pay their tithing first and it blesses their lives. He also explained that he makes only about 2500-3000 pesos a month. Yet they still maange with 2 people and extra bills for medical. That really hepled Hugo understand the importance and that it is possible. After that he didn`t have big doubts about tithing. 

Well thats about it for my week. How are you guys? Emily doing track?? I never thought I'd see the day (And I never will haha ;) ok that was lame I know). But I can see Sarah being competitive. She's the only ahtletic girl in the family....... I was glad to hear that Josh is doing good in basketball and his first shot "Busted his confidence" according to Mom's letter ;) Tell Kaili I think she should be Poison Ivy because she has Red Hair. I think she does anyway... Tell Lauren I want to hear her play when I get home so she'd better keep up with it. I sent a letter to Mom and Dad and Kaili I also put my Letter to Chris Pedroza in the same envelope, because I couldn`t remember his address. I`d love to get if from you if I could. I thought it was 1850 Cedar Street, but I'm not sure.

I still haven`t gotten Tywahn's letter but I got a couple from Sister Conger and Sister Merrick. I also haven't gotten any from the you guys but I problably will start getting them tomorrow in the bolsa. Also random question.

We I don`t have much time, because I have to write my letter to the President, But here is my testimony.

Sè que Dios y Jesucristo vive y nos aman. Sè sin duda que El Libro de Mormòn es un libro verdadero. Sè que Josè Smith viò a Dios y a Jesucristo en el Arboleda Sagrada y que por medio de Josè Smith, Jesucristo estableciò su Iglesia en la tierra para que los hijos de Dios puedan recibir las bendiciones que nuestro Padre Celestial quiere dar a nosotros. Amo a Jesucristo y estoy agredecido por sus sufrimientos en el jardìn de Gethsemane. 

I love you all so much,

Elder Jordan Duke  

Monday, January 2, 2012

January 2, 2012: Week 11 1st full week in the field

This week has been really slow but really fun. We have 1 baptism for 21st of January and a few more possibles. The one with a date for the 21st is Florencia Nuñez. She is 11 yrs old and the only person in her family who is not a member. We've taught her Restoration and the Plan of Salvation. She is really excited to get baptized and so far she has been good with keeping up on commitments. Spanish is coming along really well. I actually can understand a lot of what people are saying already. The Talking part not so much though... I always mess up and people just laugh. I mixed up oido (ear) and odio (hate) more than once, so I have told people "Don`t ear one another." I also stil don`t get why they have the word que in Every sentence like 5 times. But for the most part it`s going good. I actually shared the First Vision in Spanish to an investigador without any mistakes, and the spirit was really strong then I testified of it and how through the help of God Joseph Smith translated the BoM and restored the church. It was the most Spanish I've spoken to a native and it went good which boosted my confidence a lot. Now I always try to at least bear testimony or put some input in.

Other than Florencia we really don`t have many other investigadores progressing :( but we got a lot of good references yesterday from our recent converts and were hoping to get good results from that. Tacuarembo is a province with just one little city called Centro in it. We`re in a little town in the outskirts. Our ward is actually one of the biggest in Uruguay. We have about 120 Active Members! It`s still a little weird thinking that 120 is a big ward.... Our area has over 1000 people on the membership records, so we have a ton of inactives.

About letters and packages; I still haven`t received any of my letters or packages from Christmas or before, but I`m hoping I can get them tomorrow in the bolsa. I also got some tips from Elder Atkinson about sending them. They can be in a padded envelope or box it doesn't matter. When you write what`s on it just put missionary supplies, and never claim an amount over $50. Also another thing that helps find some Catholic pictures or stickers of like Mary or Jesus and put them on the packages. When the Customs people see a sticker or picture like that they don`t touch the package and try to open it ever.
Here`s my address for those who might not know

Elder Jordan Duke
Enrique Martinez 1167
Montevideo, Uruguay
C.P. 11.800

You have to put that whole thing or it won`t get to me.
Also I sent a letter to Emily and to Mom and Dad last Tuesday. The SD Card is taped to the inside of the envelope so don`t throw it away before taking that out. Also I forgot to take some new pics before I sent it so it just has a bunch of pics from the CCM on it. I`ll take some new pics and stuff so you can have more later.

Christmas and New Years felt nothing like it. Christmas was like a warzone! There were fireworks going off for the entire night! It`s like the 4th of July X 20! then New Years was quiet and peaceful, so they felt like just regular days. It was also really hard to get any visits and no one answered their doors. If they did they told us they were busy and shut the door on us. So it was a really slow week with low numbers. But were shooting for 3 baptisms in January so we`re looking up.

I love you guys and miss you, I`ll email you next Monday and I`m writing a letter for Mom and Dad and a letter for Kaili.

Love you favorite Older Brother and Son,  :)

Elder Jordan Duke