Monday, March 26, 2012

March 26, 2012: Week 23

I don't know what happened, but I sent a full email last week. Did it not get to you? If so sorry. That's great to hear that Emily and Sarah are doing good in track. I'm worried that Emily is going to beat my time! If that happens though, I'll just have to beat her when I come back. ;) 

I knew that Josh was going to be a stud at the drums! and I guess the trumpet is cool too..... I'm positive that if he works super hard he could play the drums in the marching band.  How's Lauren doing on the flute? Is she working hard? I'm sure she is a pro by now.

Last week was a little interesting both in a good and weird way. First we found a new family who have 2 kids and a daughter in law who aren't baptized. Also we've started talking to some of our Ex-investigadores and they're better than before. Now for the weird part. We talked to a lady who is very evangelical. She showed a painting of a "vision" that she had, and then started singing evangelical songs to us. It was weird and super funny because she couldn't sing at all. I was trying really hard not to laugh, so I just kept "coughing" and trying to hide my face. I felt so bad but it was super funny, and the songs were really weird. There's my weird story of the week.

As for the missionary work were doing good. We've had more people coming to church and now we actually have people progressing! We are expecting a baptism the 31st. Her name is Mariana. She still isn't 100% sure, but we had her pray about it and we are going by today to see how her prayer went. I'm positive she'll be 100% ready for the 31st. We've have given her baptism dates 3 times before, but something feels different this time, like she is more ready now. We also have some more people preparing for the 7th and 14th of April, so right now things are good.

So how was Hunger Games? Good? bad? Worth seeing? Did it follow the story in the books pretty good?

I don't really have much more to say so I love you all and remember to stay close to the Lord and he will guide you and protect you.

Elder Jordan Duke, your favorite Oldest son and Brother. ;)

BTW you guys sent me pics of Emily for the Pageant and I couldn't see them. I'd love it if you sent them again so I can see them.

Monday, March 19, 2012

March 19, 2012: Week 22

Everything is great here. My new comp. is Elder Lopez from El Salvador. He's pretty cool. I actually can understand most of what he says because he speaks alot more clearly than Uruguayans...just a different accent.... Lol it's all right though, that's probably what British people think about Americans and their English. He likes it here in Barrio Lopez. It's funny because he calls it his barrio. Also he's DL, I haven't has a single comp who isn't DL. It's  alittle annoying because I don't get personal studies on some days because we're always in meetings, but it's alright, I'm still learning alot.
Random stuff that happened this week. We talked to an Evangelical lady and she sang us Evangelical songs. She was not a good singer....... Also we talked to some people who go to a church called "Dios es Amor". They have a few different beliefs. They tried to tell us that Jesus had to be baptized in a river because when the sins leave you they go into the water and in the river they flow away, but in a font they stay.. So apparently we can't use fonts to baptize because then we just get covered in the sins of other people. But then we explained to her that that isn't true. First because it doesn't say that anywhere in the Bible, and second all the water is the same water that's been here for forever. it's just circulates through the clouds and the rivers and lakes, oceans, etc. So Jesus would have been baptized in all the "sins" of the other people that were in the water. She wasn't too happy with us when we explained to her that. So we just said that all we are her to do is to invite people to read the Book of Mormon and find out if it's true, and if she didn't want to then that's up to her. Let's just say she didn't even take the book. All she wanted to do is fight with us and try to prove us wrong. It was a little frustrating, but i just sat there and let Elder Lopez handle it because I knew that I couldn't explain it well enough in spanish.

So that was my week we found singing people and people who thought we were covered in sins because we are baptized in fonts....
So how are you guys doing? Anything fun going on? I can't believe that April is almost dome with her mission! That's so crazy! I realized that about the time I hit my 1 yr mark, Alex is going to be coming home! that's just insane. Also I just realized that 1 month from now 1/4 of my mission will be over. Time is going by way way way to fast. I feel like It's just going to keep whizzing by super fast. A lot of Elders say that it really feels like a dream because of how fast the time goes, but that it's totally worth it because your doing the work of the Lord.
I still haven't gotten a letter back from kyle or levi and I sent them like a month and a half ago. I guess we'll just have to see. Ya I don't know if you'll see that little message I sent, but I can't see the picture of Emily for the pageant. I think if you send it as an attachment it will work better. The pics of kaili is cool too. To tell you the truth I think real pictures would be better because then I can show them to people. So if you can send pics in letters and packages that would be best.
I'm doing super good and I know that I'm doing the right thing being out here. It's a little frustrating at times, but it's totally worth it.
I love you all!
Con Cariño,
Elder Jordan Duke
P.S. I think it's Lauren's turn for a letter this week. I also sent one for Josh last week. Don't know when you guys will get letters but I've written letters every week so far.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

March 12, 2012: Week 21 Changes are here...

Yep today is my last day with Elder Atkinson. He is leaving to go to an area called Mercedes as a ZL. I'm staying in T-bò with Elder Lopez. Which is funny because we're in Barrio Lopez. Also scary because this is my first latin comp and most likely doesn't know any english....oh well I guess I'll just learn quicker. A lot of crazy stuff is happening in my area too. Literally half of my group from the CCM (MTC)j is coming to Tacuarembò this next change. It's going to be very interesting.

Now for the random stuff I'm in need of. I am some how running out of socks....I think that the people keep stealing them when we take them to get washed. I'm down to like 5 pair total and a couple random ones with no partners. Also my Black Shoes were not very well made apparently. The sole is already falling off and there is a huge crack in the front and a nice hole in the middle of the shoe. and both shoes the soles are coming off. My brown ones are fine, but my black ones aren't going to last. If you can't get them right now that is fine, but just letting you know I'm in need of some. Elder Atkinson gave me some suggestions of good brands that a lot of missionaries use--Rockport, Caterpillar, and Hush Puppies. I don't know how much any of them are, he just said those are good durable brands. One last thing I would like a copy of my Patriarchal Blessing. I haven't read it since I was a junior or something so I want to start looking at it again.

Now that I'm done with my random needs and stuff heres some of what's going on. This last Sunday was daylight savings for down here. Yes they do it down here. and so usually we get an extra hour of sleep. I ended up being sick that night and threw up like 4 times, or in other words all the sleep I got was that extra hour...and to make it even better I had to give my first talk in sacrament meeting. I gave the talk and it went well, but I had to hold on to the pulpit because i was really woozy and had no energy at all. It was just great!

I'll try harder on writing down things that happen so I can remember to tell you, but I did take pictues of the flood and I'll send them with some others soon. I still can't see Dallin (Steed) being married, let alone having a kid....weird! I figured that Mitt Romney would be up in the races. I didn't really understand much of that paragraph at all, so ya...

That's sweet to hear about the Jazz band! Good Job guys! Also with Josh and his instrument playing wonder abilities ;)

Kaili, not surprised about hearing that she is a perfeccionist. lol, 

Marching Band and 33 people, that's sad, that's less people that were in it when I was there.

I'm just soo happy to hear your trying to set me up on facebook Dad! lol Just don't go too overboard. 

Thank you for being the best family ever and I'll talk to you next week!

Elder Jordan Duke

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

March 12, 2012: A letter to the Young Men of the Eagle Mountain First Ward

That`s super cool to hear about all those guys willing to serve missions. I don't know if you guys still put up my e-mails in the foyer (or however you spell it) but I want to tell the young men, especially those from EM 1st Ward, that the mission is definitely the best life changing 2 years of your life. I now that just sounds cliché and all that but, there is a reason that that phrase has become so cliché, BECAUSE IT'S TRUE.

There really aren't too many words to describe the wonderful, uplifting experiences that come through missionary service. To be able to see and to feel that love that our Heavenly Father has for evory one of us is something that words can't really describe. Everytime I see someone making those steps towards that strait and narrow path, I'm filled with so much joy and peace. On the Other hand when someone falls and doesn't keep up with their commitments it's heartbreaking, because you really can feel that sorrow that God feels. There are definitely times of discouragment and feelings of being let down, but there are also feelings of so much Joy and Happiness, so much that it out weighs those feelings of sadness and pain. 

To any of you Young Men who aren't sure about going on as mission, I ask just one thing: Pray to Heavenly Father and ask if the mission is really something you should do, and I promise you that he will answer you and you will feel that desire to serve. There are people out there waiting for Elder M. Crofts, Elder Pedroza, Elder T. Diaz, Elder Wahnschaffe, Elder J. Langevin, Elder Reed, Elder R. Crofts, Elder Dalton, Elder Hokanson, Elder Jones, Elder McKnight, Elder Reeder, Elder B. Diaz, Elder M. Langevin, Elder Ruth and Elder Duke to find them and bring them the joy and blessings that this wonderful gospel brings to peoples lives. Don't let them down.

I know that this church is true and that the Book of Mormon is the word of God. I prayed to my Heavenly Father to know and He answered my prayer. I am grateful for having a living prophet on the earth to guide us and direct us. I am so grateful for this opportunity I have to share this wonderful Plan of Happiness with everyone I can. I know that serving a mission is the BEST choice that you Young Men are going to make and I know that you will never regret the decision to go for even one second. I truly love all of you and testify that if you get on you knees and ask our Father in Heaven if going on a mission is the right choice, you will know it is. I want to promise all of you that you will have that desire to go and serve and once you have it in your mind that you're going NOTHING will stop you. It won't be easy, but it's worth it. DO all you can to prepare to go and I'll be waiting to hear where each of you have been called to labor.

Elder Jordan Duke

March 5, 2012: Pics from Tacuarembó District, Barrio Lopez

March 5, 2012: Week 20 Last week of the change!

I can't believe that It's been almost 6months since I left! It feels like I just got on the airplane to leave Salt Lake a few days ago! 

Everything has been super great! We've been working really hard and we are startingto see the blessings. We kind of had to clean the slate and start over with investigadores because none of the ones we had were progressing, but we found others to teach and they are definitely ready and willing to make those steps. 

That's sooo Cool to hear about all of the guys out there serving. Now Levi and Josh will be able to talk to each other without their family understanding. Not that I'm giving any ideas ;) Levi is AP? That is awesome! Tell him I sent a letter like 3 weeks ago and when he gets it I'd better get a response. I also sent one to Kyle the same time. 

Those pictures were pretty funny, except that Josh's arms might be bigger than mine now......... lol oh well I guess that just gives me more of a motive to do my excercises every morning :) That's cool to hear that Emily and Sarah are doing good in track. Tell Emily that if she keeps working hard she will break 7 mins. Sarah just keep working hard and in no time you'll be smokin' the competition.

Kaili, that's so sweet that your doing weapon line! Good luck with the marching season. Josh stop getting so big man! Keep up on basketball and hopefully you hit your growth spurt... Keep working on those drums and trumpet and when I get home we can jam out! Lauren, keep up with the flute, from what I hear you're one of the best. Keep working hard and getting better.

I love you guys and miss you(a little),

Elder Jordan Duke