Monday, April 30, 2012

April 30, 2012: Week 28 First Week in Carmelo, Colonia

Hey family!! How's it going? The city is cool. It's about as big as Centro in T-bó. Which is crazy because there were 4 companionships in Centro, and we have in this area just us 2. My comp is alright. He does a few things that are annoying, but I just decided to not let them bug me. It's also funny that you talked about going to members houses and wasting time. I have a probelm with the way my comp does "service." We go to the members' houses and he helps them download movies and stuff from the internet. They are church movies but still, we were in a house for 5 hours once! I've talked to him about it and told him we shouldn't be doing this. He told me that I was wrong, and it was alright to be in their house because we are doing "service." He then called me a "Pharisee" because I am so worried about following every little rule. What else should I do?

Ok now that that is out of the way, I heard that Colonia is super old, but I didn't know it was older than the U.S. Crazy! I'll defintely be taking pics here. I might not have tome to take a lot, because I'm 2 hours away from Colonia the City, and it's 200 pesos for the trip every time. I didn't get the package yet because we are far away from the other missionaries and we didn't have our meeting this last week. I will most likely 100% get it tomorrow or wednesday. Also speaking of packages I'd love you to send me the inside of my coat. It's getting super cold down here! My Birthday is going to be weird.....and cold......Also what I want the most for my Birthday is more American candy and food type items and Money in my account so I can buy some souveneirs. I doubt we will find people with Skype here for Mother's Day because I'm not actually in the rich, nice part of Colonia, but I will definitely try. Just out of curiosity, who would you guys do the Skype with? Do you have Skype?

I'd better get copies of Emily's senior pics. I'm surprised that it's already time to start band again. How time flies! Tell the kids good luck and I want updates on how it goes.

Most of my negative comments on the E-mail weren't serious, but I have been frustrated before. As of now I'm fine now and we have some really good prospects for baptisms this change. I don't remember to many names because I just got here, but when I do I'll keep you updated.

I'm forgetting everything, including English. My comp asks me about words and sometimes I can't remember what it means in English. if I don't get an English comp soon my English is in trouble.

Nice! I heard that the Jazz are doinjg super good for being so young and have a really bright future to be a big top team. I'm hoping that's true, it'd be nice to return home to a winning team. Too bad for Derrcik Rose, but thats life. I really hope someone beats the Heat, I really don't them to win.

Other than all this nothing much more to report, I love you and keep being the coolest, best, most awesome family ever!!

Con Muchisimo Amor,
Elder Jordan Duke

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

April 23, 2012: Week 27 Last P-Day in T-bo!

Hey family! How you doing? I'm good. As you can see in the heading I'm leaving T-bo. I'm going to a place called Colonia area Carmelo. It'll be fun. Elder Lopez is going to train this next change and I'm going to be comps con Elder Salgado from Chile. I've been told he's a little crazy so we'll see... ;) Colonia is a beautiful city, but apparently it's not so good for missionary work. That's because I haven't gotten there yet ;) I've just been keeping my mad baptizing skills at bay. I didn't want to make the other Elders look bad ;) Lol! Well either way , this change is going to be fun. I didn't get anything in T-bo, but I'll still remember it as my "Cuna." (birthplace)

Package still hasn't gotten here, but maybe on Thursday I'll get it. I'll definitely send more pics when it comes. That's cool with the garden. How high did you build the wall? Hopefully you'll see progress with the garden this year. I knew Sarah would like mowing the lawn, shes weird like that. ;) Still haven't recieved the $20 from grandma, but maybe Thursday with my package.

Right now my feelings are a mix of excited for a new area, but at the same time sad that I couldn't help anyone to baptism in T-bo. Also Colonia isn't known for much success, but I can't do anything about it. I'm just going to work hard and do what I can to help people take that first step of faith, baptism.

Kaili had 30 people!! WOW! Man I probably couldn't get 5 people to my party. Then again I probably wouldn't have one.... but still Kaili has a lot of friends, so tell her to stop thinking other wise. And plus, it's the quality, not the quantity, of friends that matters. :)

Tywahn is getting his Eagle?!? I never thought I'd see the day......Well, I'm still not going to see it, but....ya. That's so awesome! Tell him I said good job, and the next step is Mission ;) I can't wait to see the 4 ft. tree in our yard from his project!

Yep, I've eaten Mundongo, which is a mix of cow intestines, tongue, and other weird parts that we don't eat. And I've had Carpincho meat. It's that giant hamster thing they have down here in South America. It actually tasted really good.

Thought I'd add that so everyone can see what he is talking about. ;) )

Other than that all Fideos (noodles or noodle soups) and Arroz (rice) and more Milanesas (breaded meat patties)

As for investigadores, we've found all the really awesome prepared people, the week I leave.....But that happens. One lady named Cyntia, she has 2 daughters 5 and 1. Her Dad is Menos activo of 4 years and she loves everything, she wants to get baptized so much she complained about having to wait for 3 assistances ( Spanish the word for "attend" is "asistir" so to say "attend church" in Spanish you say "asistir a la iglesia") in church to get it done. (It's a rule in our mission that the people have to go to church 3 times before baptism, unless President Heaton approves it.) I'll definitely be looking for their names on the list of baptisms we get every week.

Yes Mom was part of one of the spanish dreams, Lol. The whole family was in it. It was really strange.......Chris was in it too. It was funny when he would say his last name with a spanish accent!

We'll thats my week for you, I'll try and be a little less exited in the letter Dad ;) lol, I love you guys

Con Amor,
Elder Jordan Duke

Monday, April 16, 2012

April 16, 2012: Week 26

¡Hola familia! ¿Còmo Andan? (They say that here in Uruguay like "como le va" y "como esta") Nuestra semana fue dificil. (This week was very difficult.)

Perdimos 5 de nuestros investigadores y otros dos estuvieron a fuera de la ciudad. (We lost 5 of our investigators and the others went out of town this week.)
Entonces no tuvimos numeros muy buenos. (We didn't have very good numbers this week.) Tambien la persona que tuvo fecha por el 21 de Abril no asistio y Èl era mi ultima oportunidad para tener un bautismo en T-bò, pero solo voy a llorar un poco...:(  no, estoy bien. (Also, the gentleman who had a date for the 21st of April didn't come to church and he was my last opportunity for a baptism in T-bo (Tacuarembo), but I'm only going to cry a little I'm OK.) Es mas probable que esta semana es mi ultima semana en T-bò. (It's very probable that this is my last week in T-bo.) No puedo creer que voy a salir mi primer area. (I cannot believe that I'm going to leave my first area.)  Estuvimos hablando acerca de a los cambios y a donde vamos. El cambio pasado Elder Atkinson tuvo un sueño sobre el area Mercedes y ahora esta allì. Dos semanas atraz yo tuve un sueño acerca de Paysandù, entonces vamos a ver. Capàz me voy allá. (We were talking about changes and where we might go.  The last change, Elder Atkinson had a dream about Mercees and that's where he is now.  Two weeks ago, I had a dream about Paysandu.  We'll see.  Perhaps that's where I'll go.)

¡Que bueno que ustedes viajaron a Logan! ¿Que van a hacer con cuatro hijos en la casa? (Very nice that you traveled to Logan.  What are you going to do with only 4 kids in the house?)
Ok enough Español, How are you guys doing? I`ll be waiting for those pics. Yes I´m most likely leaving after this week, for those thatt understand spanish you already knew that. It`s really weird because I never thought I`d leave my first area. Then again I never thought I`d leave the CCM or my trainer either... The time is going by really fast! I complete 6 months in 4 days! that's crazy! My Mission Dad is going to "die" in 4 months! I guess what they say is true that time flies by when you're having fun. The family that we had all 7 of them with fecha came to church but felt encomoda (a word for uncomfortable....though that isn't quite the exact thing he's trying to say...) and they dropped us.....pero que vamos a hacer? We have other people that are closer and more ready to accept so we`ll see how that goes.

It`s super awesome to hear about all the new missionaries! Now just waiting till I hear about more 1st ward missionaries *hint*hint*
I haven´t gotten my shoes and stuff yet, but hopefully tomorrow. I`m not sure if I`ll need the inside of the coat, but if I do I`ll let you know. So Tyler is doing his Eagle? He`s thinking mission next, right? Good for him! Also tell him when he can take a little time out of his busy schedule to reply to my letter I`d appreciate it ;)

Kaili is 16! How old!! We are just going to forget the fact that in about month and a half I won’t have a 1 as the first number in my age............. ¡¡Feliz Cumpleaños!!
You can accept the friend thing from la Familia Nuñez. They`re a member family in the ward I`m in. We`re working with their daughter who has 10 years. Don’t know why she didn`t get baptized earlier....
I love you guys and miss you!! Make sure to eat lots of cake for me in about a month and a 1/2.

Elder Jordan Duke

Monday, April 9, 2012

April 9th, 2012: Week 25

Querido Familia,

Well another week has gone by. To me it feels like there is a time line in front of you as a missionary, but then when it passes by its just a big mass of memories and random info. I can't remember what days we did anything. It's all good though because it's filled with a bunch of good memories and funny times. This week was super good too. We put a goal of 35 lessons with members present for the district and we got 36. We also had 8 people in church which is awesome, and all of them have fecha for bautismo. All in all we did really good and worked super hard to get good numbers and really be examples to the mision what is possible.

I'm having a really good time with Elder Lopez. Having a latino comp really is awesome!. Though everyone says that I know a lot of spanish for only having 3 cambios (changes). Everyone keeps saying I'm going to go up and train in my 6th or 7th change. I don't want that to happen, because I don't know how the heck I would train a new missionary...... Well I'll just see what happens. I still can't believe that we only have 2 weeks left in this change. It went by so fast!! I feel like Elder Atkinson just left yesterday!

As far as investigadores, we are doing good. We have found really prepared people that really have that desire to learn and grow in their faith. We have a family of 7. 5 of which are of the age for baptism and they all are super prepared people. They have fecha for the 28th of Abril so we're working hard with them, and we'll probably do their baptisms before  changes on the 24th. We also have a lady and her sister who lives with her. The sister has fecha for the 21st, but the lady named Gladys doesn't because we have to help her and her partner set a date for marriage. They want to get married, it just takes 1-3 months here because they have ridiculous rules about mariage here.....
So that's what's going on down here.

Good Job Emily!! Woohoo!! The only reason you didn't win is because the judges were blinded by your awesomeness, so they couldn't write down your scores :) and yes, I just used a Kung Fu Panda quote.

Kaili, way to kick some butt at colorgaurd!! It's too bad the others couldn't keep up. Next year you'll win for sure.
Josh!! Stop getting so good!! When I get home, we need to start a cool band. I'll play guitar and you can play drums. I'll have to practice alot to get to your level of playing, but it'll be sick!

Sarah, keep running your tail off! Just don't wimp out like your older brother ;)

Lauren, keep up the mad flute playing skills! You'll do great in the top bands in HS.
Mom and Dad, keep sewing those garments and signing those papers....

Lol, Just kidding! ;) but seriously, just keep being the coolest family ever!
I love you guys! Thank you for keeping up with the letters. It's always funny when I get like 4 or 5 letters every week, and the guys with more time complain. (It's because they don't write back yet they expect to receive letters anyway.)

Remember, Heavenly Father loves you and wants nothing more than that we return to live with him, so remember to choose the right or Haz Lo Justo as they say in spanish.

Elder Jordan Duke

P.S. HAPPY 16TH BIRTHDAY KAILI!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
You probably thought I forgot. hehehe :)

Monday, April 2, 2012

April 2, 2012: Week 24

Hey this week was good. No Mariana didn't get baptized because she doesn't want to actually put forth the effort to know for herself if it's true. Ands since we've taught her everything we had to drop her, but it's ok because we have found people who are more ready and wiling to accept the gospel.

Yes I saw Conference, believe it or not I actually saw it the same time you did. Except Priesthood session I saw this morning. It was a little weird every time someone talked about missionaries. I would look down at my name plaque and realize "oh wait! i'm one of those now!" It was a weird but happy feeling. Also I got to watch it in English, which was good because, no offense, but the translators are BORING. We watched a clip from Elder Holland and his talk on the Book of Mormon in 2009. It was in translated over in Spanish, but you could still hear Holland in the back. It went like this:
Holland: THIS BOOK! Translator: este libro. THIS BOOK! este libro. Something along those lines. They just don't put any emotion in to their translations. So moral of the story, I'm glad I got to watch it in English. Here are a few of my favorite quotes. Some might not be exact, because I had to hurry and write them down while they were talking.

Elder Hallstrom of the 70: "God wants members of His Church to be fully converted to His Gospel."

Elder Oaks ( I think this has been said before): "It's true isn't it? Then what else matters?"

President Eyring: "Serving God and Others is what turns testimonies into unbreakable knowledge of truth."

Elder Holland: "You can never sink farther then the infinite light of the Atonement can reach."

Elder Baxter of the 70: "In the Kingdom of God there are no 2nd class citizens."

Elder Cook: "When you are tone deaf to the music of the gospel, you are out of tune with the spirit."

Elder Scott ( I think his talk was my favorite out of all): "Our Heavenly Father did not put us on the Earth to fail, but to succeed."

and of course President Uchtdorf: "Stop it."

It's great to hear that everyone is doing good. It seems like you guys are going to be really busy this weekend, and it's Easter right? I'm not sure because for missionaries holidays don't really exist. It's just another day of work. Which is alright. It's kind of hard to picture Christmas when it's 90 degrees outside and you sweating like crazy anyway ;)

About the money. Yeah, the call got paid for so we are good on that. Also for the shoes thank you. I'll be waiting for them. I'll just keep the extra money it in my personal account. I definately won't be needing it for a while. Maybe I'll just let it sit there and use it for souveneirs for right before I come home.

I'm almost 99% sure that I'll be in a new area before the next call, because changes are the 24th of April and since I've been here in this area for 3 changes it's very unlikely I'm staying. I'll tell you in the email how it's going to work when we get to that point.

Also about time and numbers, I hit my 6 month mark this month on the 20th! It doesn't really seem like I've been gone that long, but at the same time I still have 1 1/2 years left so it's not that crazy. About pictures, I haven't sent any yet because I realized that I didn't have an SD card to send, but when the next one comes I'll put the pics on it and send it back.

Random story of the week. For the past few days I've been starting to dream in Spanish...and the weird part is that I understand it! And most of the time it's with people who I know don't know Spanish. All the Elders who have been out longer say thats where it starts. First you start dreaming in spanish, then next you're talking in your sleep in spanish and then your giving full lessons and doing contacts in your sleep. Which I've seen happen. Elder Atkinson did it all the time! I sure hope that doesn't happen to me...

Well that's what's going down, down here.
I love you all and want you to know that you're the best family ever! I'm greatful for this wonderful gospel and the joy and light it brings into our lives. I know that if we do what the Lord says we will be blessed with the things we need.

I love you all

Con Amor y cariño,
Elder Jordan Duke