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! 
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

Monday, May 20, 2013

May 20, 2013: Week 83

First off, sorry mom. I write more spanish emails, for now..;) lol! Well, I'm glad to hear that you're all doing good and that you're enjoying your time without me, lol! Just kidding I'm just glad to hear that you're all doing good. About the letters it's not really that surprising that they got missent that seems to happen too often here.. but anyway I'll get on to the week.
It was one of those weeks that should have disanimated (Spanglish for "depressed") us alot, but it didn't. Only because we still have to good things to think about and look forward to. It also helps to just see the blessings around you that you do have instead of searching for the ones you want. So this week as you probably already guessed didn't go so well. It started off with a lot of stuff falling through. Then we lost a couple if investigators, because their Mom doesn't want us to pass by, which is sad because she is a member of the church. But there is still a good side and we still have Juan Pedro, who will be getting baptized either Saturday or Sunday, depending on when he gets back from work.
There is an interesting story that happened to us yesterday that's great! So we went to the house of some investigators to pick them up for church and we clapped which is the custom here. The hijo enfermo (sick child) answered the door and just stood there for a sec. So we decided to enter in the gate and knock on the door. The Mom, whose a member, opened the door and yelled at us to go away. She was screaming "Vayanse, Vayanse! Son tan pesados!" (Go away! Go away! You're annoying me!) We tried to tell her that we just wanted to talk to find out what the problem was and she slammed to door and went inside, or so we thought.. She really went out the back and told her neighbor that we were bothering her and she told him to make us leave. So he came out yelling at us and threatening us. We of course at first didn't realize he was talking to us, but then he went back in the house and came out with a machete! He was swinging it around and yelling at us threatening to hurt us if we didn't leave. We didn't leave, so he put the machete down, luckily, and came out the gate and came up to us swearing and pushed Elder Lamb looking for a fight. We just told him that we didn't want any problems and we turned around and left. It was super scary, but at the same time I felt calm because I knew that God would protect us. That story pretty much sums up the week in a nutshell.
So I'm glad to hear again that your week was better. Josh looks super cool playing the drumset! You rock man! Emily, good luck with work, sounds like it would be rough.
The Zone Conference was great! Pte and his wife gave their "dying" testimonies, which was a little trunky and emotional. We talked alot about the obedience and the scripture in 3 Nephi 27:27 "What kind of men ought ye to be?...Even as I am." I also learned a great lesson from an Elder that President put in his weekly letter that I'd like to share.
"En las conferencias de zona un elder dijo algo en su testimonio que me impactó. En su testimonio dijo que estaba poniendo excusas por su desanimo y razones por falta de éxito. Un Elder presente le dijo, ¨Deje de ser victima, no ponga excusas¨. Dios no nos da el espíritu de esperanza y fe. El es todopoderoso y si pedimos con fe el nos dará los deseos justos de nuestro corazon.... Nosotros no debemos ser victimas pero creyentes del amor y del poder de Dios; que El ama a nosotros y sabe lo que esta pasando en nuestra vida. Si somos obedientes por lo largo plazo todo saldrá bien. Tal cómo paso con José cuando sus hermanos lo vendió para Egipto, debemos someternos a la voluntad de Dios, siempre guardando los mandamientos y en el fin recibiremos las bendiciones de Dios."
In English:
"In the zone conference an elder in his testimony said something that struck me. In his testimony he said he was making excuses for his discouragement and reasons for lack of success. An Elder had told him, ¨ Stop being a victim, do not make excuses ¨. God gives us the spirit of hope and faith. He is all powerful and if we ask in faith he will give us the desires of our heart .... we should not be victims but believe in the love and power of God, that He loves us and knows what is happening in our lives. If we are obedient long term it will all work out. Such as what happened to Joseph when his brothers sold him to Egypt, we must submit to the will of God, always keeping the commandments to receive the blessings of God. "
I love you guys and I know that this church is true. There is nothing better in this life and Nothing that will bless us more. No where else can we find the blessings of an eternal family and hope for eternal life with God.
I love you all tons!
Elder Jordan Duke

Monday, May 13, 2013

May 13, 2013: Week 82

Este email va a ser corto, entonces voy a hacerlo en Español. Fue muy bueno poder hablarles por teléfono ayer. Estoy feliz que están todos bien y que están a full como siempre. :) Espero que tengan una buena semana y que puedan encontrar las bendiciones que Dios tiene por ustedes en esta semana.
 (This email will be short, so I'm going to do it in Spanish. It was good to be able to speak to you on teh phone yesterday. I'm happy that all of you are well and that you are busy as usual. I hope you have a good week and that you can find the blessings that Heavenly Father has for you this week.)
También, Papa si puede mandarme unas fotos de mis bautismos de Oscar en Carmelo y de Carlos y Carla de Tranqueras, porque vamos a hacer un regalo para Presidente y su esposa para despedirnos, y un miembro borró todas las fotos de mi cámara.... Gracias.
(Also, Dad if you could send me the pictures of the baptisms of Oscar in Carmelo and Carlos and Carla of Tranqueras, because we are making a gift for President and his wife for their going away and a member erased all my pictures from my camera.... Thanks.)
¡Les amo a todos!
Con Cariño y amor,

(I love you all!
With affection and love,)
Elder Jordan Duke
 What an outfit!
 Mate....drink of caffeinated Uruguayan champions!

 Elders Duncan, Brown, Moffat, Calderon & Honorato


Happy Mother's Day!

Elders Lamb & Duke

Monday, May 6, 2013

May 6, 2013: Week 81

Hey fam!
So to start off, we'll be skyping! woot! I don't know the hour difference, but my comp told his family at 7 so I'll probably do it at 6. That puts it at 1 or 2 there, no? When do you have church, cuz if you have it during that time I can move it to 8.
Still haven't received like any of your letters or anything, but I'm sure it'll all be here soon. I'm glad to hear that you're all doing good. I can't wait to eat some homemade salsa from Grandma's garden, man I miss that stuff!
Well here in Tranqueras we've been doing good. We had a couple of trials and some hard stuff happen but we are still going strong and I feel that the Lord is blesing us for our efforts. Sara dropped us to start off. She sent us a text during studies that said she didn't want compromiso (any commitments) and that for now she wanted to just stop with everything and take some time to think. We went by and had a little mini-lesson and tried to help her see how this would help her more than anything in her life, but she wouldn't accept it. It was hard to see someone so great and ready turn away, but it helped me realize how powerful satan really is and how hard he works to keep people from accepting. I also learned a good lesson on taking better care of the investigators. It's not that we neglected Sara, we were just a little too laid back with her and as Elder Lamb put it very well, we tried to let her convert herself instead of helping her with the Spirit. I hope that some day she'll come back and accept the gospel because I've really grown to love her as we've been teaching her.
Also Juan Pedro went to jail right after church, because they found illegal drugs in his room at home and for now he's locked up. We don't know if he'll stay there or be released, but for now he's on hold.
But don't worry, good things happened too. To start off we lost 2 investigators, but 4 others came to church and we found 12 new investigators this week. Also we had a lot of success with menos activos coming to church as well. Camila, Jaun Pedro, Leandro and Talia are who came to church. They are part of imcomplete families and we're working hard to help them enter the waters of baptism so that their familes can be complete in the gospel. Also we've been working hard on helping the Sacerdocio (Priesthood) here grow and so far we've seen results. We had 2 hermanos menos activos (less active brethren) come back to church for the first time in years and we found a lot more that we're now working with through the list of members and other means.
This week really was an up and down week, but when I look back I'm thankful for all of it, because  I learned a lot and really grew in my testimony of this work. I know that this work is true and that it's lead by God. I know that we represent the only true church on the earth and that that puts a great responsibility on us. I love my Savior and the people here of Uruguay. I really have come to understand and love the Gospel more here and I just can't imagine a day without feasting upon the words of Christ. I love you all and hope that you have a good week full of the Savior's love.
With tons of love,
Elder Jordan Duke