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!
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 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