Monday, June 27, 2011

Lunes 27 de Junio de 2011‏ Week 21

Hey fam!

It was so great to hear about your adventures in Florida!  Can´t wait to see some pictures!  I´m so happy that you all had a great time and it sounds like you had plenty of fun for me as well haha.  Also, first things first, i must say that the name Nixon as a possibility for the name of the baby of Casey and Kari is awesome.  I'm definitely a fan haha, so put my vote down for that one ha.  Also, I´m sad to hear that the Alien ride at the parks is gone, i can remember how scared i was of that......oh the memories ha, but that´s too bad.  Anyway, had another great week here down in Argentina.  I´m super excited for the baptism that we have coming up this Saturday!  Should be a great time.  We ate with her family yesterday and had Polenta (basically cream of wheat, except corn) and it was good.  I can´t believe this transfer is almost already over!  I´m almost onto my third transfer here and I still don´t know Spanish ;) i´ve had a couple of amazing experiences this week where the language suddenly took off during lessons and i could literally sense the Gift of Tongues in the moment.  It was a very special experience for me and it was definitely a huge reassurance of how this whole work is the work of our Savior and i´m simply an instrument.  This week I actually did a little bit more cooking as well.  Milanesas and rice. mm.  That´s about the extent of my cooking right now besides cereal and toast haha since we don´t have much time to cook, and the members feed us the majority of days, which is a huge blessing.  I don´t really have much time to write this week, but i want you to know that I'm doing great and am having the time of my life!  I see the blessings of the lord everyday, and without the gifts of the spirit and his constant guidance, i could not do this work.  My thought for you this week comes from M. Russell Ballard, which hit me like a tank and i couldn´t say it better myself "Many of our missionaries begin their missions thinking they are going to repay Heavenly Father for his goodness towards them by serving Him for 2 years.  But, before long they learn an important eternal truth: You can never do more for the Lord than he can do for you."  Honestly, I definitely started out as one of those missionaries, but I have come to know for a surety that the Lord has always done more for me than I can ever repay.  What a privilege to serve him and bear his name on the plaque that i wear everyday.  I´ve also realized the power of prayer in receiving revelation.  My scripture for you this week is D&C 6, which is an amazing seccion, but i´m just going to quote verses 14-16. "Verily, verily, i say unto thee, blessed art thou for what thou hast done; for thou hast inquired of me, and behold, as often as thou hast inquired thou hast received instruction of my spirit.  If it had not been so, thou wouldst not have come to the place where thou art at this time.  Behold, thou knowest that thou hast inquired of me and I did enlighten my mind; and now I tell thee these things that thou mayest know that thou hast been enlightened by the Spirit of truth;  Yea, I tell thee, that thou mayest know that there is none else save God that knowest thy thoughts and the intents of thy heart."  As children of a loving heavenly Father, and members of his kingdom on the Earth, we have the opportunity to receive personal revelation for our lives through the gift of the Holy Ghost.  I know that God hears every prayer, and I know that as we listen carefully for the promptings of the spirit, always looking to do good, he will guide our paths and as we look at where we are in our lives and the blessings we´ve received, we can know for a surety that we had been led by Him, even if we didn´t recognize it in the moment.  Always seek to follow the guidance of the spirit, for I testify that it´s companionship is real, and the Lord really does know the best for us, and will help us if we simply ask and do.  Thanks so much for your emails and words of encouragement!  I´ve been so blessed here and will continue working and striving to be "the missionary my mother thinks i am" :).  The work here in Parque del Sur has been a little slow lately, including one day where we had 45 rejections in a row haha, door to door contacting.  But i know there are people that are here, prepared to hear the Gospel.  Fun fact of the week: during lunch with Milagros and her family, they said Elder Pixton looked like the actor that plays voldemort and that I look like Lucus Gabreel or something...apparently a character from High School Musical named Ryan Evans.....anyway, officially we go by the names Elder Evans and Elder Voldemort.  haha.  Oh, and I forgot to mention that the weather is getting very cold here!  Not cold enough to snow.....but the humidity is where it gets me ha, right to the bone.  Makes getting up in the mornings a little less fun ;).  Also mom, i´ll be looking forward to getting the contacts, and also, I hope that Elder Henriksen gets his Visa soon!  He´s going to love Argentina!!  Anyway, talk to you next week, love you all!!

Elder Winger

Thursday, June 23, 2011

and the times keep flying 06/20/11 ‏Week 20

Hola familia,

¿Cómo anda?  How´s everyone been doing this week??  I hope that you´ve all been having a blast in Florida, and if you find the time I would love to hear all about it!  It´s crazy that I´m already writing another email, the time just never slows down.  Anyway, this week was pretty good!  We´ve been teaching a girl named Milagros that is 15 years old, and shes going to be baptized on the 2nd of July, and I´ll keep you updated on that.  Also, to Dad, I want to wish you un Feliz día del Padre!!!  It was Fathers day yesterday in Argentina, and I wasn´t sure if its the same day there as well....but Happy Fathers Day!  I hope it was amazing, and I would´ve given you a big hug if I could, but I guess this will have to do ha.  Did you all do anything fun for the holiday?  Also dad, I want to wish you a very very very Feliz Cumple!  Happy birthday Pops!!  ¡the big 50! Your life is only a 1/4 of the way done +   ha, yes.  Hope you have a amazing one.  So, as I´ve been reading my Patriarchal Blessing and praying for guidance within, I´ve been impressed to ask you Mom and Dad more about your pasts.  I wish I knew more about your childhoods and life growing up, and more about things like that.  So, if you find time, I´d love to receive a little blurb about your lives growing up, activity in the church, memories, etc.  I know I should´ve asked more about things like this a long time ago, but I´m asking now.  Thanks mom and dad.  Anyway, I´ve really been figuring out who I am the last 10 weeks.  As I continue to study the words of God and given the opportunity to teach the message of the Restoration, the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the Plan of God for us has really been brought into a new life.  My testimony has grown exponentially and I feel like I took a lot of the blessings of home, the church, friends, and the simple blessing of the gospel in my life for granted on occasions.  I´m so grateful for all that God´s given me and for putting me into the family that I´m in.  I have the best family in the whole world and I can´t imagine spending any less time then eternity with you.  Anyway, my blurb for you this week has to do with "Quality of Life", something that I´ve found fascinating and I´ve been thinking a lot about. There´s an amazing portion in "Our Search for Happiness" that Elder M. Russell Ballard talks about how our choices affect our Quality of Life "The Quality of our Lives.  It´s an interesting phrase.  I suspect most people think of this concept  in terms of the comforts and conveniences they enjoy.  But I prefer to think that the quality of our lives has more to do with substance than style.  A quality life is one that positively influences others and makes the world around it a better place in which to live.  A quality life is one that is constantly growing, expanding its horizons and enlarging its borders.  A quality life is one that is filled with love and loyalty, patience and perseverance, kindness and compassion.  A quality life is one that is based on eternal potential and not confined to this life only.  A quality life is a life well-lived."  It seems like the days fly by faster and faster, like a blur.  For me, I´ve recognized that it´s important to fill our lives with the wholesome things that are going to transform us.  Every minute matters, and it´s our choice on how we use all of them.  I know that if we fill our lives with these wonderful things,  using our time helping others achieve a better quality of life, we will be blessed.  This life is for us to be happy, to learn and progress.  I know that Jesus Christ set the perfect example for us.  And as we study his teachings in the scriptures and strive to live in the manner that he did, we will receive more joy in this life than we could ever imagine by ourselves.  And overall, as we prepare in this life for eternal life, to become like God, we have the atoning sacrifice of our Savior to lift us from our own weaknesses.  I testify that Jesus Christ is our Savior, and how glorious the day will be when he comes again, and we can stand before him and know that we did our best.  That we made our life a quality one.   This is my thought for you this week, enjoy every minute of life and always give gratitude to our Father in Heaven. 
In other news, the Spanish is still coming along!!  I absolutely love the language, and I´ve been so blessed for how much I´ve learned!  It´s quite the task, but i love a good challenge ha.  Also, yesterday we went to a conference that was for all of the Young men and Young women yesterday, where Elder Aliaud (or something) from the area 70 came and talked.  He gave some amazing guidance, and i especially enjoyed the parts i could understand ;).  Then, all of the missionaries from Santa Fe and Santa Fe Norte walked to the front of the chapel and sang Called to Serve.  It was amazing ha.  Then, Presidente Villalba and his wife gave their testimonies, since they only have 2 weeks or so left in the mission as President.  I was able to give Presidente Villalba a hug after, and the first thing he said to me was "¿un poco mas gorditoto no?  yes, you read it right.  I have been called fat.  My face is apparently puggifying.  Maybe when i come home I can be the official mascot for "Pudgie´s Lucky Buck" hahaha.  Anyway, i also got it mentioned by another, there´s my first experiences of getting called fat. twice. :)  haha que seol.  Anyway,  i am still having an amazing time here!  Just doing my best and trying to overcome my many weaknesses to serve the Lord.  I testify that he lives, and I know this is where I need to be.  Hope to hear at least a little from you all soon!  I need a little more to read during this hour so that I don´t spend the whole time typing ridiculously long emails that nobody wants to read because you all have lives to live.  Anyway, love you all!! ¡MUCHISIMO GRACIAS POR TODO!  ¡BESOS POR TODO USTEDES!

Con Amor,

Elder Winger

Sunday, June 19, 2011

¡FAMILA! 0‏ 6/13/11 Week 19

¡HOLA!   WEEEEEEEEHOOOOO.  I´m super happy today, I´m so grateful to be serving the Lord!

How´s everyone doing?  Can´t wait to hear all about the Florida adventure!  I know you´re all going to have an amazing time.  The work continues forth here in Parque del Sur.  This week was a little bit of a roller coaster, and we didn´t get as much done as i planned, but we continue on.  On Thursday, Elder Pixton got sick, so we couldn´t get out and work i spent a lot of time just studying and just trying to stay sane inside the pension haha.  But this past week a couple of awesome things happened!  First of all, i got the package that you sent for me with all the goodies!  Thank you so much, definitely was an amazing treat for me....and Elder Pixton since I ¨"have to share" with him jaja.  Anyway, i was a little saddened though....i think you might have forgotten to put my contacts in box. oops.  Oh well though, two months of contacts can easily last 20, no worries :)  Anyway, also this past Sunday we had Stake Conference.  It combined about 10 wards, which was probably equal to 1.5 Utah wards ha, and we all met together at the centro de Estaca.  Anyway, Elder Pixton and I have had trouble getting people to commit to coming to the church on Sundays, but we managed to get a mom and daughter to come along with us this week!  They are so amazing!  But anyway, we got to hear from Elder Civic from the Quorum of the 70, Elder Anderson and Elder Packer from the Quorum of the 12!  They did a broadcast to all the stakes in Argentina, so it was very cool.  I didn´t exactly understand everything that they said, but I definitely felt the spirit super strong and took away some very powerful teachings that i can apply in my life.  Anyway, it was a little bit of a rough first impression for our two investigators....we sat towards the very back and were surrounded by families with lots of little, young, little, kids.  Stake Conference = 2 hours...time span of children =27.3 minutes.  Entonces, it quickly got quite loud while we were trying to listen to the talks, and our investigators looked a little weirded out as a little kid sitting behind us kept nudging all of us and laughing....but it was a great experience ha.  Its hard for me to remember everything that happens from week to week haha, i can´t believe how fast the time is flying.  Anyway, one of my embarrassing stories for the week is that we were riding on the colectivo one day (bus) and i had gotten some change from a man at a kiosco, since on the colectivo you can only pay with change and not bills.  Anyway, Elder Pixton and I got on the bus and as i began to pay i realized that i only had 4 pesos worth of change, and the colectivo costs 4.60. uh oh.  So to make a long story short, i ended up causing a huge line behind me, a lady that was a good Samaritan gave me 60 centavos eventualmente, and finally after i dropped about half the coins, picked them up, apologized to the bus driver and the line, i finally was able to take a nice comfy seat on the bus.  it was fun.  Also, as you can imagine, I still make some pretty funny mistakes with the Spanish.  Yesterday i was talking to a family and i asked where the husbands wife was.  Well the word for husband is esposo or marido, and the word for wife is esposa.....but i clearly made the connection that wife should also be marida...with an a.  Logical right?  Anyway, when i formed the question ¿Donde está su marida?  i had guessed wrong, and never really figured out what marida actually meant...or if it meant anything....but everyone just laughed ha.  Anyway, the Spanish is coming along very well obviously ;) and I'm just having a blast and doing the best i can to be the Lord´s instrument.  It´s crazy that 8 weeks have already passed by, and i still i have SOO much to learn, but I've been having the time of my life.  My thought for you this week comes from Alma 7:7-16, talking about the everlasting Atonement of our Savior.  Anyway, I want to read you a quote that I absolutely love from Bruce C. Hafen in the Apr. 1990 Ensign, addressing all members of the church.  "Some Church members feel weighed down with discouragement about the circumstances of their personal lives, even when they are making sustained and admirable efforts.  Frequently these feelings of self-disappointment come not from wrongdoing, but from stresses and troubles for which we may not be fully to blame.  The Atonement of Jesus Christ applies to these experiences because it applies to all of life.  The Savior can wipe away all of our fears, after all we can do....the Savior´s atonement is...the healing power not only for sin, but also for carelessness, inadequacy, and all mortal bitterness.  The Atonement is not just for sinners."   Jesus Christ is our Brother, Savior, and best friend.  He´s overcome every obstacle and defeated every enemy.  It is through him that we can experience the healing power for any test in our lives, big or small.  I experience the blessings of the Atonement everyday in my life, and as i have my fair share of carelessness, inadequacy (definitely), and shortcomings, it is the love the Savior has for me and every one of us that can give us the strength to climb the wall of misery.  He lives, and he will come again.  So my message for you, always keep an eye single to the Savior.  Our realistic objective in this life is simply to do the best we can to obey his commandments.  Beautifully simple, simply beautiful.  I hope you all are doing well my loving family and friends.  I pray for you everyday, for the strength to continue on in FELICIDAD :) ;) now and forever.  Another week gone by, and I know the next one will fly by as quickly as the last one went.  Enjoy every minute!  I love you all so much.  Don´t have to much fun while i´m gone ;)  Take care, and for all my friends that have written me....i´m working on it k haha, i know i´m a terrible friend, but i´ll send you a letter as soon as i get the time.  ¡Ciao!

Elder Winger

P.S.  Frase de la semana por Elder Pixton y yo:  I am a man......and i can change.......if i have to......i guess

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Good Morning! 0‏ 6/06/11 Week 18


Hello.  It´s so good to hear that everyone is doing well!  Except mom....I'm super sorry about the pink eye, that's definitely a bummer.  but i´m glad to hear that it´s getting better.  I´m also super excited to hear that you all are getting prepared to go to Orlando this week!  Que Cosa!  that surely going to be a blast!  You´ll have to email me some pictures of the trip.  This week for me was good, but a little slow as far as the work goes.  We continue to work hard everyday, but some days are just contact after contact, and lots of walking, but i know that as i push through these days with an upbeat attitude, looking for those prepared, the Lord will bless us with the opportunity to help his children.  This week has been a little crazy!  Last Wednesday my companion had to suddenly go to Buenos Aires to renew his Visa, so I got a new companion for the rest of the day.  His name was Elder Luna from Mexico.  We got along super well, and i think he was exactly what i needed at this time.  Someone who didn´t speak any English haha.  But I want to tell you a little about Elder Luna, even tho i knew him for only a day, he was such an inspiration to me and an example.  Elder Luna has been in the field for 9 months.  He had been a member of the church for exactly 1 year when he entered the MTC.  pretty crazy huh?  Also, he is the only member of the church in his family and he lived with his 104 year old great grandma before he came.  Random yes, but crucial info ;).  Anyway, when i asked how his family was doing, he said he didn´t really know.....his family doesn´t really email him all that often, and his mother refuses to talk to him.  He hears sometimes from one of his 5 sisters, but that's it.  But this Elder had no doubt for why he was here in the field and he kept that attitude of hope always.  I know when he bore his testimony, to me and investigators, he meant every word of it.  He was an amazing Elder and I´m so grateful for the opportunity i had to serve with him and meet him.  He also helped me a lot with Spanish haha.  Anyway, that was one of my amazing experiences this week.  After Elder Pixton returned, we had divisions (Thursday afternoon) where I served with an Elder from Honduras/Guatemala.  His name is Elder Argueta, and he speaks very good English, and knows more English slang than i do haha.  He was awesome to work with to, and he´s only in his 3rd transfer, so we had a good time as you can imagine haha. He is exactly like Mason Cardon, Latin-edition.  If you get a chance to talk to Kylie or someone in her family, mention this to them haha.  He was so funny, and it was a great experience working hard with him.  Anyway, we were able to find some new investigators this week, and i´m hoping that we can continue to help them progress.  Also, to answer Dad´s question, we do more contacting then we do with referrals.  It´s really hard to get referrals from the members in the area, and i´m not exactly sure why.....maybe i just need to do a little more sweet-talking ;)  anyway, I hope that I´m doing the will of the Lord every moment that I'm here.  I trying my best to overcome my many faults and weaknesses so that God´s children can come to know the truth of their Father.  I´ve fallen on my face more than once, actually i´m probably on my face more than off of it, but I continue forward in the faith that this is God´s work.  God lives, and Jesus is the Christ. My scripture for you this week is in Alma 37:37.  It is a pretty common scripture i believe, but its really had an effect on me as I´ve applied it more throughout my mission.  It simply says, "Counsel with the Lord in all thy doings, and he will direct thee for good."  The Lord knows each and every one of us more personally than we know ourselves.  The will of him is for us to be happy and return to live with our Father, which is the reason he gave everything of himself for us when performing the atonement.  If we can simply take the time every morning, every night, and go to him for all of our questions, decision making, and gratitude, he will direct us into a far more glorious path than we could ever pave ourselves.  Entonces, I hope that this can help you.  It has helped me so much to be able to kneel before our Father and ask him for guidance and direction.  I receive blessings every moment, and I know he answers my prayers.  I love you so much family and friends, for your love, support, and prayers. I assure you that I´m receiving them, more abundantly than i could ever deserve.  The work of the Lord presses forward, and I hope that each of us can continue to shape our loves to conform with the attributes our Savior gave through example.  These are the Last Days!  If you see an opportunity to serve or share the gospel, do it! Everyone needs it :)  Have a great week, and if you read this far through the letter, here´s an A+ for dedicated reading through my boring rambling.  ¡Cuidense! ¡Les amo! ¡Tengan una semana linda!

Con Amor al fin de semana ocho en Argentina,

Elder Winger