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