Tuesday, October 8, 2013

October 8, 2013: Week 103 - The last email!

Well I'm not really sure what to say....I'm still alive and we'll see you on Friday!

OK, I'll write a little more than that ;) I just want to share my testimony to all and say that without doubt this is the work of God here in earth. To be a part of it and be in it 24 hours a day helps you see it and I know that this is his church and that we a part of his Kingdom here on earth. I love this Gospel and I love my Savior. I hope that all can do their part to help this great cause go forth, and that as the Prophet said, now is the time that we work together.

Love you all! and we'll see you soon!
Elder Jordan Duke

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

October 1st, 2013: Week 102: Penultimate email from the mission field!

How is everyone? I'm great! We had a good week and I have a lot to share. So first off yesterday I didn't write because we had interviews. It was great and we also had a capacitation where I learned a lot. In my interview with Pte. Smith we talked a lot about how to apply what you've learned in the mission for after and I really like some things he said. Part was about not having to stop being a missionary when the plack comes off and also about applying these things to now be the member that is there to help the missionaries in what they need. I have no desires to stop working when I get home and any time the missionaries need me I'll be there to help and be a friend and support to all who need it. He also talked about after the mission and a little about how the next biggest step is finding an eternal companion. He said you need to find someone who loves God more than they love you. I know that it's true and I've seen it in Pte Smith and his wife and you Mom and Dad, even through hard times and problems your love for the Savior and God is what kept you together. I want a marriage like that. Not trying to sound trunky at all I just appreciated that thought that President gave me.

Another thing that I like is how he talked about the atonement of Christ and something he said stuck with me, he said "it's not the nails that kept Christ on the cross, it's the love that he had and has for his father and his brothers and sisters that kept him up there." I know that it really is like that and that Christ really has a love without end for all of us.
This Sunday was great! We saw higher assistence (attendance), almost 60 again, and a miracle happened. We were standing in front of the church waiting for people to come up to greet them and a man walked up we didn't recognize. He asked if he could come in and we thought he was just a less active member. We asked some members who he was and some said that he came before. We talked to him and set up a lesson for later that day and we invited him to come to the ward choir practice that we had that day. He came to sing and we had a great lesson after. We found out that he wasn't a member and that about 5 years ago was the last time that he talked to the missionaries. He told us that changes of missionaries happened and he was forgotten, something that sadly happens sometimes, and he was having trouble in work and had fallen into depression and problems. He passed by the churh on Saturday and remembered how he had felt there years before and wanted to feel that again, so he showed up to church on sunday and now is super excited to come to all the sessions of conference and be baptized. He is a great man and I'm excited for him to start his journey as a follower of Christ.
That's about this week in a nutshell, just a lot of great moments and full of the spirit. I also have been praying about my mission the last few nights and as we were coming home on the bus from the interviews I was just meditating and thinking about the things I'd done and what I had accomplished and I just felt peaceful, I knew then that I may not had done it all perfect, but I knew and know that the Lord accepted my work and now that I have about a week left to actually work as a missionary I want to continue feeling that peace and knowing that I didn't flake out at the end, like Bro Shamy said, "Sprint to the end."
I'm happy the hear that all is well and that everyone is doing good, I love you all and will talk to you a little next week, I doubt the email will be long, but I'll still write to let you know I'm good. I love you!
Elder Jordan Duke

Monday, September 23, 2013

September 23, 2013: Week 101

How is everyone? I'm pretty sure I start my emails with the same thing every time, I just never know how to start..anyway, this week was good. We saw an increase in attendance in church which was great. I can see that this focus on the Menos activos and recent converts is doing good and showing results. I really enjoy working with them and helping them find that light that they have had once but lost. It's great to see the light come back on in their eyes and see how happy they are.

Yesterday something crazy happened. We were at the house of a family with some jovenes outside and they were playing marbles. Some kids were there also and one of the kids threw a marble at Fabian, one of the jovenes and he ran up to the kid, playing and pick him up. The kid got scared and ran to his house. The dad or uncle of someone like that came out and started yelling at Fabian and then he came up and started hitting him. At first we just sat there wondering what to do. After a few seconds I decided to stand up and try to calm the guy down and break them apart. We successfully got them apart and Fabian took off. It was super uncomfortable since we were there  trying to talk to them and the guy came out of no where and started beating Fabian up.

Another great thing we did was service at a  little school place for the handicapped. We painted the entire place and it looked great after. I always love serving others, it just makes you feel all warm inside. One of the Jovenes, Emanuel gave his testimony in church about it and he shared the scripture in Mosiah 2:17. Elder Watts also gave a talk and he did a great job! He has improved so much in spanish and everyone always congratulates him on it. I'm kinda sad that our time together is almost up. I've had a great time with him. Definitely one of my best comps.

I laughed when I heard that the props fell on the kids, It just seemed funny the way I imagined it! Everyone is ok though, right? Hope they do great at the next competition and win a bunch of trophies! 

Happy to hear that Sarah and Kaili and the rest had a great time, I love the dances and always had a blast! I can't believe how fast everyone is growing up! 

Next year BYU will win, because I'll be home to give good luck ;) lol! but seriously they'd better win! 

The stake young single adults supervisory couple.......no idea what that is, but it sounds like you'll be doing something similar as us, with working on making sure people go to church. Don't worry I won't be a problem of that when I get home.

I love you all and I want you to know that I love this Church and the happiness that this gospel brings. I know that the Savior lives and that He loves all of us. We can be happy and successful in life if we just obey the commandments of God and do all that is asked of us. I hope that you all have a great week and I'll talk to you next week!

Elder Jordan Duke

Monday, September 16, 2013

September 16, 2013: Week 100

How's the best family in the world doing? I'm good. This week has been interesting. To start off there has been some big changes here in the area Sudamerica Sur (South America South). Pte Gonzalez has changed the focus completely here and now we are to focus 2/3 of our time working with Recent Converts and Menos Activos. That's a very big portion of our time. It's a little weird having so many changes at the end of my mission, but I've already seen that it's revelation and inspiration. I've noticed throughout my mission that what was lacking in uruguay was retention of the new members. There were a lot of baptisms, but of those, few stayed active longer than 6 months to a year. 
So as of now we've had to drop some of the people that weren't progressing and put more attention on those that have strayed from the path. One of our missionaries here in the mission shared something with all of us and I'd like to share it with you.
"Cuando llegué a la misión mi mayor deseo era poder fortalecer la obra en mi país, antes de tomar la decisión si serviría una misión o no mi preocupación por la fuerza que la iglesia tenia en Uruguay era muy grande, cuando me enteré que serviría mi misión en Uruguay yo lo tomé como una oportunidad grande de poder ayudar a mis hermanos. Cuando llegué a la misión mi visión estaba un poco frustrada debido a que su objetivo principal era solo Bautizar!!!, lo cual no era malo pero los barrios en Uruguay poco a poco se estaban desintegrando yo lo estaba viviendo en mi propio barrio y en mi propia familia, soy el numero siete de ocho hermanos y el único activo junto con mis papas en el evangelio, cada día que pasaba en la misión mi única esperanza en mis oraciones era que alguien se preocupara por ir a rescatar a mi familia y que me dejaran hacer lo mismo por las familias que estaban perdidas y que necesitaban volver a tener esa luz, después de casi veinte meses de mi misión y solo sintiendo que la misión tenia un espíritu de competencia, el cambio a través de la revelación llegó, por fin la obra misional va a poder ayudar a edificar con metas realistas y con objetivos que ayuden a los barrios a ser edificados desde su punto mas débil los menos activos, estoy agradecido al Señor que escuchó mis oraciones y que la obra misional ahora actuará como los ángeles salvadores de almas que somos, mi deseo por ser parte de este cambio es muy grande porque se que hay alguien que se preocupa por mis hermanos que ahora ya no serán mas los menos activos de la lista de miembros, sino que serán las almas que debemos rescatar, siento tanto gozo cuando enseño con un objetivo mas elevado, el poder reactivar y lograr que familias lleguen al santo templo para mi es lo mas hermoso que puede existir en la obra misional. les prometo que el éxito vendrá al seguir estas enseñanzas, pero esta ves vendrá con mas seguridad y con todas las bendiciones que el Señor tiene preparadas para sus hijos gracias por sus esfuerzos y trabajo la recompensa es eterna las amistades que ganemos en nuestra misión deben llegar a ser eternas." Elder Silveira
Translation: When I reached the mission my greatest desire was to strengthen the work in my country , before deciding whether or not to serve a mission, my concern for the strength that the church had in Uruguay was very big, when I found out that my mission would be in Uruguay I took it as a big opportunity to help my brothers . When I reached the mission my vision was a little frustrated because the main goal was just Baptize! , Which was not bad but Uruguay wards gradually were disintegrating I was living it in my own ward and in my own family , I'm the seventh of eight siblings and the only active along with my parents in the gospel , with each passing day in the mission my only hope in my prayers was that someone cared about going to rescue my family and that they let me do the same for the families that were lost and needed to have that light again , after almost twenty months of my mission with the mission feeling like it only had a spirit of competition, change through revelation came. Now the missionary work will be able to help build realistic goals and objectives that help the wards to be built up from its weakest point the less actives. I am grateful that the Lord heared my prayers and missionary work will act as the angels saviors of souls that we are. My desire to be part of this change is great because there is someone who cares about my brothers who now will no longer be the less actives of the membership list , but are the souls that we rescue , I feel such joy when I teach a with higher objective, reactivate and help families go to the holy temple, for me is the most beautiful thing that can exist in missionary work I promise you that success will come to follow these teachings , but this time come with more security and all the blessings the Lord has prepared for his children thank you for your efforts and work the reward is eternal, friendships we win in our mission should become eternal . Elder Silveira
I really just loved what he expressed in his letter and I feel the same for the oportunity that we have now to actually help the Church grow here in Uruguay.
Good to hear that everyone is doing good at home and having a good time. Busy as usual ;) Tell Mango that I'm definitely going to help when I can. I hope this show is great! 
I can't believe that Sarah and Kaili are going to dances together! Before neither of them could even date! How time flies! You guys should feel really old, Mom and Dad! lol! 
Josh and Lauren, keep it up with doing good in school and just being like the best ever! 
Emily, Love you! I wrote you already so I'm not going to add anything here.
I hope that you all have a great week and that everything goes well! I love you and want you to know that this work is true and the Gospel that we teach every day is the real work of God. I love being a missionary and I'm grateful for the time I have left, I'm determined to make it the best part of my mission experience. Love you all!
Elder Jordan Duke
P.S. I think I'm fine, only problem is that my suit is a little dirty from mold that it got in Artigas and since then I haven't been in an area that has had a drycleaner....so I might show up with a used dirty suit...oh well.

Monday, September 9, 2013

September 9, 2013: Week 99

First off I haven't recieved the flight info yet, but it should be here in the bolsa tomorrow. Hopefully.....
Well this week was great! It ended super well with the baptisms of Ana and Sofia. Elder Watts baptized Sofia and Ana's dad baptized her. It was great to see the two girls enter into the waters of baptism. Elder Watts did good too and only had to do the baptism twice. Wasn't even his fault, her hair didn't go under the first time. Yes I'm sending pictures ;)
Also we had a miracle and one of the most spiritual moments in my mission, if not the most spiritual. It all started with an Hermana that gave us a reference of her brother named Cristian. She told us that he was athiest and that he never had thought of God and religion in his life. We went with her to meet him and set up a lesson. The lesson of L1 (The Restoration) went super well and the whole time he was just nodding his head and had a smile on his face. We got to the part of Joseph Smith and the vision and he was just fascinated about it all. When we told him that he could have that faith and be able to recieve an answer to his doubt, whether God exists or not, and that he could receive an answer, like Joseph Smith did, he was surprised. The spirit told us to ask him to offer the last prayer and very calmly we asked him to say it and he accepted. We got on our knees and he gave a very heartfelt prayer and when he finished his eyes met mine and they were wet with tears starting. My comp and I confirmed his feelings as an answer from God and he told us that he had never thought in his life that he would pray let alone feel what he felt after. I don't think I've ever felt the spirit more strongly in my whole mission than I did at that moment. The spirit bore witness to the three of us that God is real and he is watching and cares for all of us. I realized that even in situations that may seem a little hard or even impossible to make something happen, that even then, miracles happen. Because with God nothing is impossible. Now Cristian is super excited for our next lesson where we plan on giving him a "special Gift", BoM, that will help him grow his newly aquired faith in God.

The rest of the investigators are going good. Agustin couldn't come this week, but he hasn't missed a
Sunday in almost 5 weeks. His sisters still have problems with going to dances on saturday night and we are working with them to see that it's better to be in church than do those things.
We also found Natalia, who is the sobrina of an Hermana in the ward. She is really great and has already read almost half of 1st Nephi. The great thing is she also remembers what she read. Which is a relief because I hear all the time that answer of ya I read, but I don't remember anything...of course most of those times it's because they didn't actually read. We set up another lesson with her and commited her to pray and ask if the things she are reading are true. I really feel that she has real intent and is trying to learn more.

Elder Watts is doing amazing really. Everyone, members and missionaries, are super surprised at how fast and well he is learning the language. I can't take any credit either. He is just really determined and at every hour available he is studying more and asking how to say things. I'm sure that he will be fluent, or close to it by the time he finishes. He is really the best comp that I could ask for at this time in the mission and I love serving with him.

Great to hear that everything is going well in Utah. Crazy that it's raining so much. Here it hasn't rained for almost 2 weeks and the weather is super hot and humid and it feels like it's the summer, supposed to be winter here.... Today it's at 34 degrees Celsius! Which is around 93-94 degrees fahrenheit! (I had to look up that word to know how to spell it...:))

BYU beat Texas?! WOOT!!!!! Now if they could just keep it up for the rest of the year it will be a great year. Seahawks, cool I guess....lol! They're probably a lot better than the Eagles anyway, but I already chose my team and I can't be a bandwagonner.

I'm totally going to ask Emily how Logan is, both of them ;) I'm glad to hear that she is doing better this semester and that she got a great job. I wonder myself how she always get the jobs like that. I'm jealous. Also happy to hear that the other kids are doing good. Josh's drumset is awesome!

I love you guys and want you all to know that I know that this church is true. I have grown closer to my Savior throughout the time here and I now more than ever can testify of his love and care for us. I've had so many testimony builder moments in these 2 years and I've loved every minute of it. I love you all and hope that you have a great week!
Elder Jordan Duke

P.S. The pics are the baptisms and a fire of the sugar cane in Bella Union being burnt.


Monday, September 2, 2013

September 2, 2013: Week 98

Every doing good? I'm great! This week was good and it ended even better. Agustin was able to accompany us to church again for the 3rd or 4th time and Ana and Sofia and well. Also the attendance in church was the highest I've seen since I got here, with almost 60 people! The spirit was also really strong and I was able to get up and bear my last Fast Sunday testimony and it was great to feel the spirit working through me to touch the people in the congregation. It was funny a little after though, because some people got confused when I said that it was my last fast sunday and they were asking what day this week I was going home. I told them don't worry, that I have a month still to go!
Best announcement, on the 7th Elder Watts along with 3 more people will be dressed in white to enter in the waters of baptism. Ana and Sofia are going to be baptized and Elder Watts and the Father of Ana will be baptizing them. I'm super excited for them and I know that this step they're taking is a life changing one. I'm really happy that we are able to help more people come unto Christ and partake of these sacred ordinances.
The rest of the investigators are doing really well. Hugo is starting to warm up a little more which is great, because Rosa really has that stong desire to be baptized. Just that fact that she isn't married is holding her back.
I'm happy to hear that the house is yours. I wanna take this time to say I'm sorry for  all the times that I didn't want to listen and thought that I knew more than you did. I realize now that I was just being a stubborn teenager and most of the time you were just trying to help me succeed because you love me. Thank you for everything that you have done and for being the best parents in the world!
I love my family! I couldn't ask for a better support system. I've learned that the most valuable thing that we can strive for is an eternal family and exaltation with God. We were talking with a menos activo a couple nights ago and as we were talking everything got quiet and there was a little pause. After a few seconds the Hermano (brother) looked at us and a little choked up said, "It's not easy." I felt the spirit so strong and told him simply, "You're right it's not easy, but with God it's possible." I know that that's true and that it may seem impossible for man to accomplish what's asked of us, but with God we can do anything. I have seen people change their lives completely and it came only when they decided to take that step closer to their Savior in their lives and to keep the commandments.
I love this work and I love this Gospel. I hope that you all have a great week and that you can see the blessing of the Lord in your lives!
Elder Jordan Duke

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

August 27, 2013: Week 97

So it's just hitting me that I'm going in to my last change.... I don't want it to be over so soon.. No time to think about that though, because we have too much to think about in the work. A lot of people are progressing and some should be getting baptized soon if all goes well. Sofia and Ana should be getting baptized on the 7th of September. Sofia is the daughter of Rosa and Hugo, Rosa has fecha for the 21st of September, but has to get married before she can be baptized. We haven't been able to talk to Hugo about it yet, but tomorrow we set up a lesson where he is there and we can talk about it with him. I'm sure she can get baptized and that God can soften the heart of Hugo to accept getting married.
We had a great experience with Rosa as well where we got her to finally pray with us. She never wanted to and we were thinking about what to teach her and we thought of sharing lesson 1 and the story of Joseph Smith and how she can have an experience just as powerful as his with prayer. of course she wasn't going to see angels or God, but the feeling would be just as profound. She accepted to pray after the lesson and gave one of the most heartfelt prayers i think I've heard in the mission thus far. After she said that she felt much better and since then hasn't had problems with saying the prayer.
We have only one new change. Elder Rodriguez left and Elder Gutierrez from Chile is coming to be comps with Elder Mendoza. It's always interesting changes time, though up here in Bella Union we don't hear much of anything. We're a little bit islated or aislated however you spell it.
Glad to hear that Josh is getting a drum set. I put one of my goals to learn the drum set. knowing that you'd buy him one before I got home ;) Sounds like everyone is about as excited as usual for school. Emily: mixed feelings, Kaili: normal I think, maybe a little scared about being a senior, Sarah: good a lot of boredom, Josh: a little bummed out and bored, but super excited to be playing the drums, and Lauren: just overjoyed as always ;)
I hope you all do good in school and get good grades! When I get home I'm going to challenge you all to a "who gets the best grades contest!" I'm sure that I can win ;)
I love you all and want you to know that I know that this church is true. I love this gospel and the work that I'm in. I've come to love the people of Uruguay and I'm sad that my time here is almost up. I know that they will all be fine without me though and life moves on. I love you all and hope you have a great week!
Elder Jordan Duke


Monday, August 19, 2013

August 19, 2013: Week 96

How's everyone doing? It's great to hear from you again and I love hearing about all that's going on. Sounds like you had a crazy week! A family reunion, Alex's wedding, and school shopping. It sounds like you're almost as busy as me and Elder Watts ;) lol! but seriously we're busy people.
It was really weird getting up in front of all the missionaries and realizing that they were looking at me like some wise, all knowing oldy that has tons of experience and was going to give them the secret to success. I don't even remember what I said, but I know that the spirit was there and I loved hearing all the other testimonies. Besides me, Elder Webster from my group was there and we talked after about how our missions had gone and how we had both changed a lot from the beginning.
Well me and Elder Watts had a great week and it all ended with another great week in church. We had 4 people come and the assistance (attendance..."asistir" means "to attend" in Spanish...Elder Duke is mixing his languages... ;) ) of members was higher than it has been in the last month or two.
Agustin was able to come again which was great to have him there. He is definitely progressing a little faster than his sisters but all are doing well. The girls Soledad and Gabriela went to a friend/family's birthday party and ended up staying there so they didn't go.
Rosa came again also and this time came with her whole family, menos her husband Hugo, we are working with her and she came to the baptism on saturday of a girl from the other missionaries and she asked us what she needs to do to get baptized. Of course we were happy to explain to her what she needed to do and she has been progressing even more since. Her daughter Sofia also came for the 2nd time.
Ana, the daughter of a family who is just reactivating, also came and she wants to be baptized as well. We are going to start focusing on her more that before, because she has all the support and knows everything already. She could very well get baptized the end of this month.
All in all we had a great week and even though we missed a couple of days for traveling and other things the Lord blessed us and we were able to help a lot of people come one step closer to our Heavenly Father. I know that this church is true and I am grateful for the time I have to serve him. This time in the mission has taught me a lot and I've grown a lot spiritually, not so much physically. Wasn't the best at doing effective exercises...but I'm glad for every minute I've had here to serve and I wouldn't change it for anything.
I'm glad that I have you guys as my family and I couldn't ask for better. Thank you and all in the ward and everyone that I know for all the prayers and support. I love you all tons and I hope that your week is filled with many great memories and blessings!
Elder Jordan Duke

Monday, August 12, 2013

August 12, 2013: Week 95

Well how is everyone doing? We are doing really good here. Especially after this last Sunday. We had a lot of success. Rosa, Agustin, Nicolas, and Ana, the daughter of a menos activo family, all came to church. Soledad was sick and Gabriela wasn't home so they didn't come, but now that Agustin and Soledad have gone it will be easier to help them come again and get Gabriela with them. Rosa came and she loved it. She told us in a lesson that we had after that she wants to "Convince" her husband Hugo to come and with him and their daughter Sofia who is 11. The family of Ana has been inactive for a little more than a year and surprised everyone in the ward by showing up to church. We talked to them after and they said that Ana had decided that she wanted to be baptized and that they were going to support her and come back to church. Really excited. I know that little miracle is an answer to our prayers to be able to find people who are prepared and ready to be baptized. 

We have a goal of 10 in church for next week and it's going to be a little bit of a challenge especially since it's a holiday here, but we have the faith and the names and we know that we can do it. Everyone we teach is really great and all are progressing and show interest, some a little more than others, but all have real desires to learn.

Fabian and Ricardo seem to have flaked out. It's sad to see, but we know that at least we could plant that seed and maybe one day they'll accept.

Sounds like everyone is getting ready to start scool. I can't believe that the summer is already almost over! Time is going by so fast! This Wednesday I give my last testimony in Zone Conference. My comp gives his first ;) He's going to do great, probably give the best testimony of the greenies ;) not bragging or anything but my comp is a stud! 

Haha, I laughed when I read the story about Sarah's first date! lol! I imagined Dad throwing her over his shoulder and all that and it sounded like quite the adventure. Sarah has her license? Well we'll see how much of the car is left when I get home ;) lol jk. I'm sure she drives fine....if it's better then Emily it's ok, lol!

Wel,l I am glad to hear that all is well and that everyone is doing good and enjoying life. Remember to always rely on the Lord and He will help you. I know that He is there and that He listens. My testimony of prayer has really grown here in the mission and I don't know what I would do with out a prayer in the morning and night. God really does answer prayers and He answered mine. Before this change started I had been praying that if it was His will that he allow me to train. I always wanted to and this would have been my last chance. When I received my change and they told me, I was happy and grateful and determined to do all that I could to show God how grateful I was that he gave me this chance, so I'm doing all I can to help Elder Watts become the best missionary he can and to go strong until the end and make these the best 2 months of my mission.

I love you all and hope that you have a great week! This church is true and we can be happy only through obedience to it's teaching.

Tons of Love,

Elder Jordan Duke

Monday, August 5, 2013

August 5, 2013: Week 94

Hey fam!
How's it all going? First off promise, Dad, that you won't do a countdown. Haha! We played basketball today, and afterwards everyone was saying how they we're tired. I asked Elder Watts how he was and he said that he had been tired since yesterday. Meaning that we work hard yesterday ;)
Also he showed me a part of an email from his sister that told him to not let me get trunky. Don't worry I'm not, or at least I don't let it show in the work. I'm sure that every missionary thinks about the house even a little towards the end, the thing that makes the difference is how they react to those thoughts. I think the fact that I'm training helps me a lot to not bring out those tunky thoughts that sometimes come. Really I'm grateful that I was allowed to train and I think doing it at the end is a strength to me to help me endure to the end. I'm happy to say that as a companionship we are doing so and that the work is going good.
Speaking about that work, We were able to see the fruits of our labors and Soledad was able to come to church with two other friends of hers that we got to know last week, Alison and Barbara. We have a lesson with all of them and they all enjoyed the church. It was fast sunday of course and as we were sitting there waiting for someone to get up, Soledad and the others told me that I should go up. Thinking that it would be a bad example of a representative of Christ to decline the chance to testify, I told them I would and got up, and looking the 3 in the eyes, testified of the truthfulness of the church and of all the things that they had heard that day from the members' testimonies. When I sat down, next to themm since your supposed to sit by your investigators to support them, they just gave me a sincere "thank you." I felt good knowing that what I had said had touched them. They are all excited to come to church again next week. This time with all of those that listen to us in that house, being 7 or 8 almost everytime. Soledad, Gabriela, Agustin, Alison, Barbara, Nicolas, Richard, Emanuel, etc. We seriously find someone new in that house every time we go by! We're going today, so we'll see who we find.
The rest of the investigators are good. We've had to drop a few from not progesssing, but the Lord has blessed us with new investigators to replace the empty hours.
Something I'd like to share about new investigators is this: After being in cyber last monday, as we we're walking down the street to a lesson, a couple of men stopped in the street, and my first thought was, "Great, here they come to mess with us." Admittedly, the first impression of them wasn't the best; they both had cigarettes hanging out of their mouths and the one had what looked like a bottle of alcohol. One of them spoke and the words that came out of his mouth surprised me. "A few years ago, people like you came to my door and told me that they had a message about Christ. I rejected them. I was wondering if I could have another chance at hearing that message. Would you guys teach me?" It took a second to register what I was hearing and with a huge smile on my face I told him that we would love to teach him and we set up a lesson for that Thursday. We would have taught him right there, but we we're running to get to a lesson we had set previously. We got there Thursday and we had a great lesson. They both were very much engaged in the conversation and everything about the message of the Restoration fascinated them. When we pulled out the Book of Mormon and explained a little about how it's written scripture from here in the Americas, the first thing they said was "If we read 15 pages per day, how long till we read it all?" I'm not the best at math so I didn't answer them directly but we promised them that if they read and asked God if it was true then they would recieve an answer. They accepted easily. We haven't been able to talk to them since because of some dificulties with the land lord where they live, who is a huge anti-Christ, God, church, everything really that has to do with being happy really is what it seemed like. He was a very grumpy man to say the least. But, I thought about what Dad had said about finding that one that would help bring more to the Gospel and thought about their enthusiasm about what we taught. I feel that they could very easily be those "two" that do it. We have set up another lesson for today and we're going to see how their reading and praying about the Book of Mormon went.
So how are you all doing? Sounds like you're all good. Good to hear that everything is going well with the house and that Band camp went well. Can't wait to see the show! (not meant to be a trunky comment.) I'm sure that they'll win a ton of trophies!
Sarah HAPPY 16TH BIRTHDAY!!!!! Love you! Hope you all have fun on her birthday! Eat tons of cake for me!
Crazy that Kyle is home, tell him I said hi and that I wish him well on his homecoming talk, also to Tyler that he has a great mission and good talk.
I love you guys and want you to know that I know that this work is true. That God lives and loves us. I know that Christ suffered and died for our sins and that we can be cleansed through the atoning power of that sacrifice. I love this work and wouldn't be anywhere else. These past almost 2 years have been the best I've ever had and I'm grateful to my Father in Heaven everyday for this chance he's given me to know this beautiful country and people. Love you all and hope you have a great week full of the Lord's blessings!
Elder Jordan Duke

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

July 29, 2013: Week 93

Hows it going? ¿Todo Bien?
I'm doing great! Yesterday wasn't a very good day though.. No one was in church. We even passed by the house of several of them and they all gave us excuses and even when we persisted a little they still didn't come. It was sad, but it's not the end of the world. Next week we're just going to work harder and commit them better and help them better understand the importance of the church and the sacrament in their lives.
Other than Sunday the week was really good. We reached what are called in this mission the "Normas de Excelencia" for lessons with members and new investigators. Here in Bella Union I've noticed that it's not hard at all to find new people to teach. They are just really open and friendly here.
We haven't been able to talk to the friend of Soledad and Gabriela again, but we have a lesson with them tonight and well ask then. They are doing good by the way and we had a good lesson with them on Thursday about how they need to just keep going and not let the obstacles stop them from getting to the truth. Both Soledad and Gabriela have told us that they have recieved answers to their prayers about the church and know that it's true they just have had the obstacle of getting to church to progress more. They are both super commited to come to church, and only didn't come because they were in Colonia up till today. Next week I'm almost 100% sure that they will go. They seem so sure. Their brother Agustin is doing good and invited his friend Nicolas to listen to us and Nicolas gave us his address and asked us to come to his house to teach his family. of course we told him we'd be happy to.
The rest of the investigators are doing good. Janaina is doing good and she loved the church last week. She wasn't alowed to go this Sunday for something about her dad not letting her, didn't really understand what it was for. But we will be talking with the Dad and getting his approval so that it doesn't happen again. Thing that saddens me is that her dad is a member less active , so I don't know why he wouldn't let her go..
Funny/Weird story: We had divisions, or exchanges I think they say in english.. anyway, we had those things and I was with Elder Rodriguez in our area. So we had planned to visit a new member for the first visit and we knocked on the door and some guy I've never met answered the door and when we asked for the member he told us "Él Murió (He died.)" and we looked at each other super confused, what? dead? when? "On Tuesday," he said and with that we said oh.... well... lo siento (we're sorry) and we gave or condolences to the daughter that lived with him. That same day we let as many as we could of the members of the ward know what had happened and we even called the Missionaries who baptized him know that he had passed away. We get to church on Sunday and the Bishop anounces it in church and asks that the members pass by to see if the daughter needed help. After church at about 2 pm We get a text from Bishop. "Good news, The Hno is more alive than the 3 nephites, a couple of the Hermanas from the ward are with him now."
We went to the house yesterday and found him perfectly fine. We asked him why they said he was dead and he explained that the guy that had answered had been drunk and had lied to us. Of course it was a relief after such a shock.
Good to hear that everything is going good at home, and don't worry Dad. I can't be trunky, I'm training ;) lol! But I can't lie and say I haven't thought about how little is left. It really just gives me more iniciative to work even harder and be able to finish strong. I'm sure and I feel that Elder Watts and I will have alot of success together and we're going to work hard to make sure that it happens, of course relying on the guidance of the spirit and help from God. I know He'll help, because it's his work and as has been said,  He's haistening it.
Band camp... I can't believe that it's time again already, feels like just a couple months ago that last band camp was starting. How time flies!
Hope that everything goes good and that they win a ton of trophies!
I've told everyone that it'll be like you guys moved with all the changes that we're done on the house since I've been gone.
Well I hope you all have a good week and that you see the Lord's blessings in your lives. I know that this church is true and that by following it we will be blessed beyond anything imagined. I love you guys!
Elder Jordan Duke

Monday, July 22, 2013

July 22, 2013: Week 92


So this week was great! My comps name is Elder Watts from Midway, Utah.
He's a super cool guy and I'm glad to be his trainer. We had a good week and we got people to come to church that hadn't come yet since we started teaching them.
We have this new thing called the "Jump Out of  Bed Contest" in honor of Elder Nelson, who said that he jumped out of bed every morning to see what the new day would bring. It's a competition of the trainers against the new elders and I'm proud to say that I'm winning! Of course I can't let my "kid" beat me. ;)
Also when he went up to introduce himself at church he left his plack on his jacket and when he went to show everyone his name he realized that he didn't have his plack on! lol! It was funny because he got all red and embarassed a little. I just laughed. Then I was called up to give a talk on short notice. Of course I wasn't laughing anymore. I did fine though and talked about the importance of the Book of Mormon in our conversion and used a lot of the talk from Elder Holland that he gave a few years ago.
We had a good Noche de Hogar and we had fun with the two families we found last week. They couldn't come to church though this week, but we commited them to come next sunday and we have a lesson with them tomorrow.
Soledad and Gabriela and Agustin are doing good. Yesterday night they brought a friend to listen to us and it was great! I can't remember the friends name or I would say it. I usually write down peoples names I just forgot this time.
Elder Watts is already a full participant of the lessons, because I make him be. He already can speak pretty well and he learns more everyday. He still doesn't undertand quite everything but that'll come with time.
Elder Watts was standing right next to Elder Wakely so I saw him right when we got in line. I was super excited to know that my kid would be a from the states. Not racist or anything I just always thought that it would be cool to train a guy from the states and help him learn spanish. Yes I'm sending pictures.
I'm glad to hear that all is going well and that everyone is doing good. Have fun with Band Camp! I can't believe that it's already time for that.. The time moves soo fast it's crazy!
Well I love you all and I want you to know that I know that this church is true. I know that we have a Father in Heaven that loves us and wants us to return with him. I love this gospel and this chance that I have to share it with my brothers and sisters here in Uruguay.
Love you all tons!
Elder Jordan Duke


Tuesday, July 16, 2013

July 16, 2013: Week 91

Hey family!
So biggest news, I'm not going to be with elder Ramos anymore. I'm going to have a "new" comp. If you didn't catch the hint in that then I'l just let you know, I'M TRAINING! Super excited. I'm going to go down to Deo with the others to go pick up my "Kid." My comp is going down to Deo with another Peruvian so he's excited. I'm just super happy. Plus I know that training will help me keep it up until the end, not that I had thoughts to not work until the end, just that this will help me focus more and I can't be very "trunky" around him because he'll just be starting.
So this week was alright. At the beginning of the week my comp's flu got worse and he was in bed for 2 days. So at the beggining of the week I think I read almost half of Jesus the Christ.
The last part of the week was great though and on friday we went to a lesson we had set up from a contact that we did and we found 2 whole families of 5...10 people in the house. They are all really great and we had a really great spiritual lesson with them. We have a noche de hogar (family home evening) set up with them for tonight, so it'll be a good night.
Soledad and Gabriela are doing good. Agustin also, we had a great lesson with them last night and they all commited to coming to church. I have a feeling that this week in church is going to be a good one.
After the Noche de Hogar we leave on a bus to Salto and then to Deo. Soooo, excited!
So to answer the question, Who is my new comp? I don't know. ;)
Good to hear that all is going good at home and that everyone is well. Wow! Lauren is going to girls' camp?! You guys are old! LOL! Kaili's last year as well, wow. Time flies.
Well, just want to let you all know how much I love you and how much I appreciate the support. I know that I wouldn't be able to do this with out the Lord's help and you prayers. I know that this is the true gospel of Christ and that through following it in our lives we can receive the true fullness of joy.
Love you all and hope that your week is a good one,
Elder Jordan Duke
P.S. I'm sending more fotos today :)
 Mail bag that goes to the district leader

"Baconzitos" are "bacon-flavored cheetos" according to Elder Duke.

 Elders Ramos, Mendoza, Rodriguez and Duke of the Bella Union District

Monday, July 8, 2013

July 8, 2013: Week 90

So, first off good to hear that all went well in the party and the 4th. Of course I did nothing, because the 4th doesn't mean anything here.. But I thought of you guys, not trunky, just 1 more week and then I have 2 changes left... I give my "Dying Testimony" this next Zone Conference..
This week was good. We found a lot of new people to work with and that's great. It's always good to have a good amount in the teaching pool. The sad thing is we only had 1 in church and Enzo the joven (young man) who had fecha (baptism date) for the 13th didn't come to church because he went to Salto with his Dad. We did have 1 in church which was a miracle. 
We found a family this week and the daughter is the one that came to church. The others couldn't because they washed their shoes and it rained, and since no one here has dryers they had no shoes, but they are going to go this next week.
We really have a lot of investigators the only thing that faults (lacks) is the church (attendance), it's not hard to get them to go it's just to get them to go constantly. They go once and then after they don't come. We're praying a lot that they can all come and we're are doing all we can to help them to come. We are focusing on "Establishing Zion" tomorrow in District Meeting and how were are all going to have success this week, so that there are no "poor among us" Also about diligence and how we need to remind the investigators of the church and their date for baptism every charla (discussion).
Biggest news is that my comp is sick, that's the main reason why I wrote so late, because we had to take turns going to cyber while one stayed with my comp in the house. He's got some kind of flu that's been going around. He's coughing a lot and he's having a hard time breathing. If you could keep him in your prayers so that he can get better, would be great.
Well, Lizzy asked me about a great experience and I forgot to answer her there so here it is:
We went to the house of Soledad and Gabriela and Agustin some investigators and we had lesson with Gabriela and Agustin. Gabriela told us about how she had received an answer to her prayer and she now knew that what we were teaching was true. She was super excited and participated more in the lesson. She was super excited to come to church, but in the end couldn't come because she got the flu that's been going around as well. I'm am 100% sure that she'll come to church next week though and that in a short amount of time will be in white with her family. 
I know that this gospel is true and that it blesses our lives. I actually was also listening to Elder Holland's talk this morning also and I really love it. especially the end,
 "Honestly acknowledge your questions and your concerns, but first and forever fan the flame of your faith, because all things are possible to them that believe."
Love you and hope you have a great week!
Elder Jordan Duke

Monday, July 1, 2013

July 1, 2013: Week 89

So I still haven't gotten the package yet but maybe tomorrow. If it doesn't come tomorrow then I'm not sure.. But it should be here tomorrow. Cool to hear that the McCumbers came back, somehow I knew that eventually they would, everyone does. Lol! But seriously.
I totally forgot that the 4th of July is coming up soon! Of course, nothing here helps me to remember that at all, here it's just another day.
Big news, Our new mision president is here and we have a meeting with him on Wednesday. It's going to be cool and interesting to meet him. I've been praying so that the work can continue and that us missionaries don't give him a hard time and that we can just be obedient to what he says. I've been told to focus on the Atonement and how we need to make it part of our lives and not just teach the invesgators, tied into how we need to be 100% obedient and be able to show Pte Smith that we know how to work and that we're here to do whatever he asks us to do. It'll be a good meeting tomorrow.
So this week we had a good time. We had a stake conference to end it, which was awesome! Elder Jorge F. Zeballos from the 70 camr to reorganize the stake and he and his wife talked. He gave a great talk on being rooted in the gospel and he gave a comparison of palm trees and these ugly trees that grow in the desert in Chile and how even though the palms are all pretty and look good on the outside, their roots are small and when the winds and storms cpome they fall, but the ugly trees have deep long roots that allow them to hold fast and survive life in the desert with the storms and little water. He explained that what really matters is what we have inside rooted down and secure. We can seem fine and all good on the outside, but what's inside oneself, his or her testimony of the gospel is what's going to help when the storms and hard times come.
Yesterday was also great and a little interesting. First off we talked to a guy that tried to tell us that Christ was born into the Catholic church, of course when I asked him how he knew he had no response. He then went on the try and say that God doesn't care what we do and that Satanas doesn't exist. It was sad but also interesting, because it made me think about what it says in the Book of Mormon, "And behold, others he aflattereth away, and telleth them there is no bhell; and he saith unto them: I am no devil, for there is none—and thus he whispereth in their ears, until he grasps them with his awful cchains, from whence there is no deliverance." 2 Nephi 28:22
Also had a great experience with a new couple we found, Romeo and Carla. We taught them about the book of mormon and the spirit was really strong, I almost started crying bearing my testiimony of it and and the end when we gave them the commitment, They gave the most sure answer I've ever seen anyone respond. It gave me the assurance that they are going to read and ask and we've been praying really hard so they can receive the answer.
I know that this gospel is true and that it blesses our lives. I love you guys and I hope that you all have a good week!
Tons of love,
Elder Jordan Duke

Monday, June 24, 2013

June 24, 2013: Week 88

TO start off, no I'm not better than you were, Dad....I already mentioned to Elder Ramos that I had less weeks left than he had months ;)...but it's alright. Some of the best missionaries I knew where a little trunky. You just gotta work hard when you need to be working and really during the day out working you don't even think about home at all. There's no time to.
I'd love to try to get in to USU if it's possible and it might be better if I have to wait until summer to be able to save up a little more money. Also I'd love to have an Appplication put in for me when you can.
I'll know tomorrow if the packages came or not, most likely but if not no worries it usually takes between 3 to 4 weeks.
This week was great! It was a little different because we had a zone meeting and the goodbye of Pres. Heaton so we didn't get into Bella Union to work until Friday, but it ended great because Karen along with 3 others from the other Elders here were baptized! Yes I'm sending pictures ;)
Also all is good with Soledad, Gabriela and Agustin, we have a lesson with them today and they are progressing really well. I always feel the Spirit strongly when we have lessons in their house.
Ramona and Romina are there still, Ramona still struggling with the cigarettes, she isn't showing much will power and desire to quit, but we're being patient with her. Romina still is doing good, but didn't go to church because she was up until 5 am at the birthday party of her sister..
We had a miracle this week also. A joven (young man) out of no where walked in during the baptismal service and asked if He could watch. Of course we said yes and when we talked to him after he asked what he had to do to be baptized. He came to church on Sunday and is really great. We set up a lesson with him today. His name is Enzo by the way and I really feel that he is a prepared person.
WOW! I don't even recognize the house! It'll be like we moved when I get back! I like it though, very classy ;) lol, I have no idea why I said that it's just what popped into my head at the moment.. Emily looked great too on the float! Congrats Em!
Well, love you guys and I love the chance I get every week to write you. I hope you all have a good week and that the Lord guides you in all you do!
I love you guys tons!
Elder Jordan Duke
Elders Lopez, Larson, Delgado, Duke and Simpson.

Elders Duke and Ramos with Kevin, Maria, Emanuel and friend from Barrio Bella Union.

Monday, June 17, 2013

June 17, 2013: Week 87

Hi family,
So this week has been great for all of Bella Union. We had 10 people in church. Investigators that is. It was really great! We have a baptism of 4 people coming up this Saturday the 22nd. Our baptism is Karen and the other three are from the other elders so I can't remember their names..
The package that you sent me had the animal cracker cookies and other candy like warheads and stuff. To answer all you questions. All four of us are in the same ward in Bella Union. It's a ward of about 60 active members. It's just us four in the district and we're in the zone of Salto. The ZL's are in Salto and it's about 2 hours away from us in Bella Union. The other elders in our district are Elder Rodriguez from Bolivia and Elder Mendoza from Colombia. ZL's are Elder Laycock from Utah and Elder Hewlett from I think Utah also.
The first district meeting was great! I was fine and not nervous at all. I think that fact that I have a lot of experience and knowing that I had more than a year more in the mission then the next oldest missionary in the district it gave me a little bit of confidence that I knew what I was doing and that with the Spirit all would be fine. I talked about chapter 1 in Preach my Gospel and what we can do to better ourselves as missionaries and focus ourselves on our goals and objective.
We will see Pte. Heaton for the last time on Wednesday. They are coming this week to all the zones for a goodbye conference. It's going to be so weird with them gone, but adjusting won't be too hard either. The new president seems like a great man and I'm sure the work will continue without problems.
So about the other investigators, We have Soledad and Gabriela and Agustin who are brothers and sisters. Soledad came to church but Agustin couldn't because he had a game on sunday and didn't go and Gabriela didn't want to go. I'm positive that they all will go this next week though because Soledad loved church and she wants her siblings to come with her.
Also we had Ramona, who is a great lady and the mother of a recent convert. Her only problems are that she has to quit smoking and get married. She is down to 1 cigarrette a day so she's doing well. The getting married part is a little harder. We've explained to her that if she feels better in the house of her daughter than at the house with the guy, who isn't the dad of her daughter, than she should do what makes her happy and what's best for her.
Romina is the other one that came to church and she is great! She is the little sister of a bunch of members and she is just the next in line for baptism. She is a little uncertain about baptism and I think it's because she also goes to a catholic school. We helped her understand that she needs to listen to what God tells her and not what the other people around her say. She commited to pray and the work towards the 6th of July as her fecha bautismal.
This week really went well and we had a lot of success as a district and zone and for that I'm excited and happy. It makes me happy as well because I'm the leader and whether I like it or not it reflects on me how our district does and so I'm really happy that we are moving the work along and that we're are having so much success.
I love it here in Bella Union and I think it's a great place to end the mission. I'm not 100% sure that I won't be switched, but I wouldn't be surprised if I stayed.
I love you guys and I want you to know that I know that this is the true gospel. I know that if we want blessings that we need to obey the commandments of God. Like Elder Perry said in his talk in Conference. "Odedience to the ley (law) is Freedom."
I love you and hope you have a great week!
Love tons,
Elder Jordan Duke
Grafitti says "Bella Union"

Clockwise from top left; Elder Ramos, Peru (standing) Elder Rodriguez (Bolivia), Elder Duke, Children of ward mission leader, Elder Mendoza (Colombia).

Monday, June 10, 2013

June 10, 2013: Week 86

Hey everyone! I'm not going to ask how your doing because I already know. Cuz I pray for you all every day. But just so you know, I'm fine. To clear a few things up. I'm not training, I'm with an Elder who just reciently finished being trained. He has a little more than 3 months in the mission. Elder Edgar Ramos is from Lima, Peru. He has 1 sister and 3 brothers. They are all members, but were baptized recently just a little over a year ago. His last brother got baptized, just a couple weeks before he left on the mission. His parents are seperated and he said that his dad is really stubborn and doesn't want anything to do with the Gospel, but we and they keep praying that some day he'll accept. And yes I'm his second comp.
We have a triple frontera (border) here in Bella Union, and it's great. The city in Argentina is about 1 hour away and the one in Brazil like 15 mins. We can go and went today, I'll send pics too. ;) The city is small, but a lot bigger than Tranqueras. It's a ward here and it was weird being in a church building after so long in the little house we had in Tranqueras. There are 4 missionaries here in Bella Union and I'm district leader over just us here in Bella Union.
Pte Heaton is going to come to all the zones and have like mini-zone conferences the last 2 weeks before he leaves. He always tells us in his emails to us that we be exactly obedient to Pte Smith and that we don't put that excuse of, "well, pte. Heaton didn't do it like that." It'll be great to see Pte Heaton one last time, he really is a great man and loves the work.
The new area is great and there is a lot of work to do so I-m super excited. (the exclamation point doesn't work so just imagine my excitement...) We have one with fecha for the 22 of this month and a few possibles for the beginning of the month of July. Karen is the one with fecha and the others are all brothers and sisters named Soledad, Gabriela and Agustin. I've only been able to visit them a couple times so I don't know a lot, but from what Elder Ramos told me they're all really great and are all ready to get baptized. I'm happy and excited, but at the same time from all I've learned I know to keep them going and to not get too relaxed with them because the adversary works hard.
It's great to hear that your all doing well and that everyones keeping busy. Haha, funny that you bringing up me getting pulled over to helped me recognize where it's (the new Ridley's grocery store in Eagle Mountain) located, lol. darn exclamation point...
I love you all and hope that you have a good week. I know that this gospel is true and that it blesses our lives if we follow it. I hope to be able to live with my family for forever and that's really my biggest motive to keep going everyday, even with all the dificulty there is. I love you all more than anything in the world.
Elder Jordan Duke

 With Elder Lamb and Others

 Saying "Adios" to Elder Lamb

 With Elder Ramos in Bella Union


Tuesday, June 4, 2013

June 4, 2013: Week 85

How's everyone? I just realized I always ask like the same thing every time. It's just that I don't really know how to ever start these things..
Biggest news, I'm going to Bella Union! It's like clear up as far north as you can go! I'm also the new District Leader! My comp is Elder Ramos from Perum I think, he's new so no one is sure where he's from. I'm going to be out in the middle of nowhere again, but that's kinda become the story of my mission really. It's alright though. I like it. Elder Lamb is training so I don't know his new comp..
Well that's it for the changes, on to other stuff. Thanks a ton for all the happy birthdays. En verdad (truthfully), I don't feel like I'm 21. It's just weird to think about.. I'm sure I'll keep forgetting and tell everyone I'm still 20. Haha, it took me forever to stop saying that I was 19. So crazy how fast time is flying by. I'm pretty sure that I'm going to end in Bella Union, just from a little part of an email from Pres. He said, "Sprint to the end there in Bella Union." Figured that was enough proof, but we are changing Presidents so you never know really.
We had a great week this week and we had the church more full than ever before since I've been. Almost 30 people came! It was great! A lot were less actives that we've been working with and I was glad to see them. Intersting thing, the Hermana that sicked her neighbor with a machete on us came to church with her son, Leandro. Elder Lamb plans on going back to talk to them. I sure hope and will be praying that she accepts it this time and lets her kids get baptized, because they are really great. Also the wife of Branch Pres. came which was awesome! I was so glad to see them together in the church and I could tell that he was a lot happier.
I'm glad to see that you still remember that my favorite cake is cheesecake, haha! I really think that I'd prefer with just the strawberries like Emily said, but both would be great, because it's Cheesecake! Also looks like the kids had fun in the parade, besides being in uniform full. That would be miserable!
Funny how that works out there in EM, You leave but guaranteed to be back at some point, haha! Tell Parker that I wish him well in Afghanistan and tell him to get his butt to church! Random Q about the pics, who's van are Kaili and Lauren standing in front of in that pic? Nice sax section also, I really like the part on the right, and yes of course I'm talking about the Domino kid ;) lol!
Well, I can't think of much more to say except that I love you and that I know that this church is true. That through living it to our best we can be an eternal family. I love the mission and I wouldn't change this time for the world. I love the Lord and I love serving him.
I love you and I hope you all have a great week and enjoy your last summer break without me! :)
All my love,
Elder Jordan Duke
P.S. I couldn't send one to Kaili, because I don't have an email for her for some reason...
also I'll be sending a few more emails with pics.
Distrito Rivera Junio de 2013

 Con los gatos!

 W/ Elder Lamb and the cake that Elder Lamb baked for Elder Duke's 21st birthday!


Monday, May 27, 2013

May 27, 2013: Week 84

Hi fam!
To start off I was going to ask you if you could resend the package that you sent first, with the PB and the chips, salt and vinegar... how ever you spell that...because it never came... the others got here though so no worries. Also when I was waiting for my glasses to come I ran out of fluid for my contacts and it was just during a holiday season so I couldn't buy more. Story short I don't have any more contacts because I had to use a pair per day. I was wondering if you could just send another pack of each eye in the package with the PB and stuff.
Also for some reason I have been having the thoughts of communicating with Jake Buntjer. I was wondering if you could find his email for me and send it to me. 
Well, this week was great! It was a miracle, record breaking week for me, not that numbers are what I'm after it just was great to see it after a week of hard work. We found 21 new people this week and were really busy with lessons. I feel so much better when we in houses all day, not because were staying too long but because we really had a lot of people to teach. The work is moving forward in Tranqueras and I'm happy to be a part of it.
So the baptism of Juan Pedro fell through, but he's still getting baptized on the 8th of June. We found out after his interview that he had been drinking the day before. So we talked to him and helped him realize the seriousness of what he's going to do by being baptized and he understood and together we came up with a plan and a new fecha that he can work towards. We also had success with seeing some menos activos come to church after a long time of inactivity.
So guess what, Elder Nephi Gomez left the CCM early and he came to Rivera! He's in my district also. Well for 1 week at least, but I've been with him all day talking about what's going on back home. It's been a little trunky...lol! 
I'm super proud of you guys for that! I'm glad to hear that your working together towards a good thing. I'll be praying for you and wish you luck! I don't know if I can join you on the don't drink pop for at least a little after I get home. I just can't see a Dr. Pepper after 2 years and not drink it...too hard.
I really wouldn't care about what we do after, if we're back on a plane or car for a trip. All I care about is seeing my family again and I think a family trip would be great to be able to spend time with just you guys.
I love you all and want you to know as always that this gospel is true. I love every minute I've been out here and I really am happy for the time I've had to serve. As I put in my journal a few days ago. "I don't regret or take back any of my time here." It's really been the best experience of the life.
I love you all and I hope your week goes well!
Elder Jordan Duke