Monday, August 29, 2011

Might be a little short...but i´ll keep it sweet ‏ 08/29/11 Week 30

Hello familia

So, I´d like to start out this email with an apology........i know this might be selfish of me, but i might not write a very long email today, just not really in the mood is all.  Plus, i know that you´ll all be able to save a little time if i keep ´er short.
Anyway, the work is continuing forth here in the marvelous Parque del Sur.  It´s crazy that I´ve been here for 4.5 months mas o menos here!  That´s like.....quite a long time!  haha, i´m still enjoying here, but at the same time it´ll be fun to leave eventually and see a little more of this country.  But, as the Lord has directed, my work continues on here :) .  This past week just has flown by, as they all do, but we had a zone conference!  I absolutely loved it, and it´s always a huge motivational boost.  One of the focuses of the conference was the Atonement, and we are going to be starting a mission wide study of it tomorrow.  I´m super excited!
So,  I forgot my journal today....and my memory isn´t all that hot without it haha, so i´ll clue you in on some of the adventures of the week that i can remember.  Yesterday, there was a huge soccer game between the two diehard rivals of Colón and Unión.  These two soccer clubs´ stadiums are only about 40 blocks from each other (colon´s stadium being in my area) and so everybody here is either a fan of Colón or Unión.  And the people here LOVE their soccer, so when i say fan, i mean it´s basically central in their lives haha.  Anyway, they both played each other yesterday for the first time in 8 years.  The game began at 2:30, and since we had church at 9 (which our church is only 3 blocks from the stadium) i thought we would miss all of the hype.....wrong.  During all of our meetings, there was drums banging outside, people screaming/singing (they were the same thing), and what sounded like literal bombs going off just outside the steel gates of our church.  It made our meetings a little interrupted, but overall was so good still.  We didn´t have too many people in church yesterday, probably around 35 or so, but i´m hoping it was due to the game and not due to inactivity.  It´s so hard to look at the list of members in this area, which i think there are at least 400 or so, and only seeing 50 that come.  We´ve been working hard lately on passing by less-actives, which many of our lessons go well, but the plague just seems to be getting to church for a lot of people.  But, we are continuing to work hard with them and try to reactivate those that we can. As far as baptisms go, we are still working with Zulema.  She has been super sick lately and it has impeded her from coming to church.  We have taught her everything that is necessary for baptism, and she has accepted it all....but the church attendance has been killing us.  We are praying she will get better soon, i know the Lord is taking care of her.  Also, this week Elder Bryce made a couple of goodies.....the first being carrot cake!  it was sooo good, i don´t know why i´m telling you about it.  If you feel like there´s a recipe for something that we would enjoy eating, please send it....because we are a little limited on our recipe options, since we don´t really have any haha.
Anyway, another spiritual experience that i would like to share with you is one that i had with a lady named Angelica.  I don´t really want to explain all of the details, so i´ll just cut to the chase.  We were talking with her and she was talking about how much she wants to change, how she misses her son (who not sure how long ago), how she has so many  and how she adored that we were Sons of a God caring his message.  I pondered that sentence after she said it, and replied "Angelica, I want you to know something...You are a daughter of God, and he loves you."  she then began crying.  I felt humbled at the moment, wondering how a simple sentence like that had such a big impact.  How blessed i have been in this world to know that God is my Father in Heaven and loves me may have been something that I didn´t realize was such a....mystery to many people i suppose.  The simple truths of the Gospel are so beautiful, so needed in the world of today.  anyway, i said that this email would be short, and it turned out being a little long.....sorry for lying at the beginning.  I´m glad to hear that all of you are doing well, that Tiffani is moved out (I miss you too hermana and I hope that your transition to "moving out" is so fun!  I know it might be a little hard at first, actually living on your own, but you´ll grow into it quickly!  probably quicker than me actually haha)-  and mom, I want to thank you for the package you´ll be sending. Im so excited!  and i´ll look for a battery charger here, no worries.  And dad, keep safe while your out and about working.  I´m excited to hear that you are all going to the Storytelling Festival this weekend!  JEALOUS!!   i expect quite the emails after alright?  Oh, and nate and casey and shantra and kari, i love you all too and hope all is well! anyway, gotta go, love you all! 

Elder Winger  (1 corinthians 10:13)

Monday, August 22, 2011

oh, what a great and marvelous work it is ‏ 08/22/2011 Week29

Dear family,

Here we are on the 22nd of August, the sun is shining, some kind of Argentina holiday is going on today, and i´m enjoying yet another pday :) .  This past week went well, still working hard, and the weather is starting to warm up now (but it depends on the day).  As you can see in the first sentence, i said the "sun is shining", which is a miracle in itself, because it ALWAYS rains on p day!  The normal forecast here is sunny everyday, oh, except for p day, i´ll just rain on you.  Haha, but today is nice, and i´m hoping to maybe find some time to go play some soccer with my fellow elderes lader on.  One of the highlights, yet lowlights, of the week was that we got robbed again!  hahaha, but once again, with cunning craftiness and whits, we were able to retrieve all of our lost items.  We were in an area called Barrio Santa Rosa, walking down the road when a couple of boys walking towards us looked as if they were about to "jump us", so we turned the corner, but yet they caught up to us.  To make a long story shorter, they took our stuff, which we had nothing but scriptures and folletos, and they ran off.  But, we were determined to get our stuff back, because we´ve been running low on supplies lately ha. What ended up happening is we talked to a boy that we knew in the neighborhood and his buddies to see if they could possibly, and safely, retrieve our items from the boy, and after a few minutes, we were walking to one of our appointments when suddenly we heard "galloping" behind us.  A man on a horse rode up to us and hollered "follow me, i have retrieved your belongings!" (not a direct translation....but it was just like a movie haha)  and he began riding down the dirt road, beckoning us to run along after him.  After walking a block or so, we caught up to the "mysterious man" and beside him and his horse was a little boy and a bicycle, holding up our scripture cases like a trophy.  We retrieved them and headed out on our merry way. the end.   Also, yesterday we were able to give a couple of blessings to sisters in the ward.  I´m so grateful to be a priesthood holder of God and that he has trusted me with such an authority.  To be able to exercise the priesthood, sometimes in on-the-spot moments, has been such a blessing for me.  Anyway, it seems like everyday is a holiday here!  Everyday, as I'm sure i´ve already told you, there is what is called a "ciesta" where everything closes down between 1-4. and i mean everything.  It´s a national nap-time haha, ¿qué perezoso no?  But yesterday there was a big holiday called "Día del Niño" which is Children´s day. It was pretty big here, probably about the equivalent of mother´s day back home.  I´m not sure what people really did here for it besides "spend time with children in the park" and "somebody´s giving all the kids free toys".  it made it rough on the work because nobody was home, but it was a holiday nevertheless.  Hope you found all of that somewhat informative. 

One of my other special experiences of the week came on the 17th.  Sometimes at night, Elder Bryce and I run out of things that we have planned in the day with about half an hour before we go back to the apartment.  It´s always not the most productive when it happens because we end up knocking door to door in the dark, but it´s not always the most productive because people are "cautious here of letting people in their homes", which they should be ya know?  But anyway, we passed by a drunk man on the street and he began calling for us.  We went over to him, and with a box of wine in hand, asked us if he could have a bible.  We didn´t have any on us at the time, but decided to talk with him a little about the book of mormon.  We pulled it out and he began saying anxiously "that´s what i wanted, the book of mormon!"  it turned out that this man was a member of the church, but extremely in-active obviously.  We began talking with him and he was telling us of experiences that had caused his life to spiral out of control.  He´s a priesthood holder and wanted so badly to return to the church and get his life in order.  It was heart wrenching to see this priesthood holder in the state that he was.  but, he was so grateful to receive the book of mormon, and we are hoping that he´ll have the strength and the courage to turn his life around, rely on the Savior, and became active once again.  We didn´t have much time to talk with him, but as we bore testimony of repentance, the savior, and the priesthood authority that he has, his eyes shed a new light.  We left thereafter.  It was a powerful experience, and it boosted my testimony of the marvelous work that we are all a part of.

Anyways, i´m about out of time, but i love you all!  I´m doing my best out here to serve my Master with all my heart, might, mind, and strength.  And even though i have many weaknesses, the Lord is patient and will shower his blessings upon us if we but seek to follow him.  I know that he lives.  I know that angels are preparing those people that we are to find.  I know that we will come again in all his glory to redeem his people quickly.

My scripture for the week is D&C 107:99-100 talking about our callings and duties.  As priesthood holders, and members of the church, we all are given responsibilites and callings.  it is important for us to "learn out duties and act in all diligence." (reminds me of Uchtdors talk last conference) As I learn more about the gospel and the priesthood, I´m beginning to understand more and more about the duties of the priesthood and offices of the church and what God expects in each of us.  As we magnify our callings, the blessings shall be magnified as well. 

Thanks everyone for your support continually and for keeping in touch!  I love hearing from everyone when they get the chance to write me a little somethin somethin.  Hope everyone is doing well, and have a fantasticalmaravillasticallyawesomistico week.

con amor,

Elder Winger

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Hello family! ‏ 08/16/11 Week 28


Well, first things first, I forgot to do the missionary newsletter for the last month mom, whoops ha.  But, maybe it would be better for you to just do it for me every month, and if i have time I´ll just send my own separate part as well. Thanks!  anyway, I found out this morning that I will be staying here in Parque del Sur for yet another transfer haha with Elder Bryce.  That´ll give me at least 6 months in this area, which is a long time but I still love it so its okay. One part of me wants to get out and see the rest of the country ya know? but the other half loves this area haha, but i know its the will of the Lord for me to continue serving among the people here and my work is not quite yet finished.  so Parque del Sur, watch out for 6 more weeks :)  This morning we did some deep deep cleaning in our apartment, and it still has a long ways to go haha.  Missionaries have lived in the pench that i´m living in for 6 years now, so you can only imagine what has happened to it :) .  Oh, and we continue finding black widows everyday!  I believe our apartment that now be classified as "infested" by now ha, pretty scary stuff.....but it adds to the experience.  Elder Bryce and I are still continuing to get along very well and i´m super stoked to have another transfer with him.  He has taught be so much about the work and my testimony has grown so much over the last transfer.  The only slightly bad thing is that my Spanish hasn´t been quite improving as rapidly this transfer......since we are both American and it´s more convenient to talk in English, but I´ve made goals to definitely focus on the Spanish much more even when just talking with him, and I know the Lord will help me continue learning and progressing. Not too much to report this week, but the work still continue to move forward :)  Our top investigador Zulema headed out of town over this past weekend, so we are still waiting to form a new date with her for her baptism, but she is still growing and progressing strong and I have no doubts that she will be baptized very soon.  so exciting!  Also mom, i´ll just tell you now before i forget, but i haven´t heard anything about the contacts yet.....i´m sure they will let me know when they arrive, and we have a zone conference in the next couple of weeks, so hopefully they´ll have them ready for me there.  Well, i don´t have a whole ton of time left, but I want you to all know that I love you so much and that this church is true!  One thing that i´ve been pondering this week is about the difference between faith and believing.  Faith is when we trust in the Lord completely, are willing to do whatever he asks of us to do and not rely upon our own wants in mortality.  Faith is striving to become like the Son of God and knowing that by his grace we can be saved.  Believing is simply an acknowledgment, not an action.  I´ve been uplifted so much by the power that this gospel has, and especially in the power of the Holy Scriptures.  If we just read the scriptures to learn about the Son of God, to increase our knowledge, this simply isn´t enough.  Studying the sciptures takes effort, pondering, and application!  I continue to love the power of the scriptures more and more everyday.  As we read in 1 Nefi 19:23, the profit and learning from the scriptures come from likening.  Anyway, that´s my little spiritual blurb for the week.....growth comes from studying the scriptures with the Holy Ghost (2Nefi 32:1-5).  I hope that you all have an amazing week and I want you to know that i love you all SO MUCH! 
Oh, and here´s my list for top 5 dogs of Parque del Sur
1.Skunk (because of its color, no worries)
2. Tripod (has 3 legs, moves like a champ)
3. Wingnut (he´s............crazy)
4. Blackey (Zulema´s dog. what´s not to love?)
5. uhh.....haven´t found a 5th favorite yet haha, most of them are little demons! chiste


Elder Winger

Monday, August 8, 2011

6 months tomorrow! 08/08/11 Week 27

Dear family and friends and people,

4 score and 7 years ago (minus a few scores and years) i set sail for an adventure in the foreign land of Argentina.
O sea, 6 months ago tomorrow! It´s crazy how fast the time has been flying by! At this moment I see myself analyzing my progress and ask myself "have i really changed and/or made a difference here?" and I´d like to answer that simply with "yes" even though maybe i haven´t changed for the better?? haha chiste. But yeah, if you wouldn´t have reminded me that six months had gone by, i probably would´ve forgotten, so thanks. I am expecting the same kind of reminder for my birthday....Christmas.....flag day......the usuals. Anyways, another week has passed by here and i honestly have trouble remembering what happens from one day to the next let alone from week to here´s a few of the things that i hope have happened within the last 7 days. As far as the baptism for Zulema that should have been happening this week....looks like its a no-go. She unfortunately wasn´t able to make it to church yesterday, which it is required that investigators have a least 2 attendances, so we are going to have to postpone the date a little bit. We are now going to be shooting for the 20th of this month, pending that she is completely ready and it is the will of the Lord. I may not be in the area after this transfer (which ends a week from Wednesday) so I might not see her baptism, but will surely keep you posted on her progress :) She´s so amazing though. The last time we taught her, we came to the point to teach Tithing. And sometimes tithing is the one commitment that's a little harder for people to accept you know? But she accepted it with flying colors! Actually, I think she was surprised that it was only 10% haha, I think she was ready to go at least 90 ;) But as far as our other investigadores go, we are still pushing along. We´ve found a lot of new investigadores to teach and continuing to help them progress, but don´t really have anyone else with a baptismal date. Also, one morning earlier this week we were able to give 3 blessings to a few members. One was in the hospital after getting in a motorcycle accidente trying to dodge a dog, and the other 2 were just having difficulties at this moment in life. But it was such a privilege, as it always is, to give blessings to those in need. I´m so thankful to be a melchizidek priesthood holder and have such a sacred privilege. I´m still having an amazing time here serving with Elder Bryce and he has taught me SO much because I swear he knows everything. Haha its funny, because every morning when we begin comp study we share something that we learned from our personal study. And after I finish sharing what I learned (which is usually something simple cuz ya know....I´m not exactly a genius haha), he expands on the thing I learned and actually ends up teaching me something totally awesome. So yeah, I learn a lot from him. Did you know its illegal to have a border around your license plate in almost every state?
Anyway, also this week we didn´t really have any meals with we got to cook everyday! And i´ll tell you what, pasta is where it is at. It´s more cheap than everything else. tastes good. and you can mix it up with a variety of noodle types and sauces. So watch out, i officially have quite the noodle for my noodles. So yeah, my cooking skills right now consist of pastas, rice, and wonderful teas (palabra de sabiduría approved). But, I'm looking to expound on that for sure haha. Also mom, I have not yet received my contact lenses...........i´ll just keep waiting i guess. And in the package that you could be sending, please send syrup, fire cheetos, more ranch dressing, CANDY BARS :), peanut butter nature valley bars, and basically just awesome snacks, oh, and maybe a beanie to wear at night and p-day and stuff. anyway, thank you so much for all of your prayers, support, and updates! it´s so nice to come and read how everyones doing. Tell Savannah and Jake congratulations for me!!! And Shantra, I´m so sorry about the fire and my prayers are with you and your family. As far as the update with spanish, I'm improving everyday haha, i don´t really know how to describe my progress, but I love the language, the people, and the work. But i´m so grateful for all the blessings that the Lord has given me to be able to perform this work, it would be more than impossible for me to do anything without the Lord´s guidance and the fruits of the spirit. My mini spiritual thought for you this week comes from a talk given by Bruce C. HafenWelp, until next week, espero que ustedes tengan una semana maravillosa. Escritura: 2 Nephi 9. Really an awesome chapter!

Un abrazo,

Elder Winger

Sunday, August 7, 2011

roses are red, violets are blue, argentina and the work is great, here´s the letter ‏ 08/01/11 Week 26


How are you doing this wonderful day? I was so happy to receive the pictures from Shantra of Alena! She is absolutely beautiful and I´m super excited to hear the baby blessing was yesterday, so ill be eagerly waiting to see how that went. Also, from Tiffani´s letter it´s cool to hear how some of my old buddies are doing! Where is Curtis Norman going to? I´d like to keep in touch with him! Also, it´s sad to hear that Sean Bradley had to come home due to his back problems, but I hope that he´ll get back out very soon! Also, I do remember Jaxon and Travis, and I´m super happy to hear that they are both serving!
Anyways, some of the highlights of this week is that I finally got a package sent home to you today! I was going to send it last week, but we had a series of unfortunate events that prevented me from doing so (just imagine me and my companion in the pouring rain, short sleeve shirts, holding a soaking wet unmailed cardboard package, and walking into a kilbel (aka walmart-ish) and having 50 argentines staring at you) but now the package is sent :) The work is going well here in Parque del Sur and Elder Bryce are doing just fine together. We have a couple of baptisms for Guadalupe and Zulema that will be coming up on the 13th, but we will see if they pull through. We had a little bit of a speed bump with Zulema this week, when we visited her we found her smoking again. She has been going through a rough patch of life and smoking was the only way out she felt. But, after we were able to teach and help her, she willingly gave up the rest of her box of cigarettes! She such a strong lady and I have been greatly affected by her. So, that night, my companion and I spent the whole walk home tearing up cigarettes between our fingers. The work continues to move forth here and its such a privilege and honor to share the message of the gospel with these people. One topic of which my testimony has grown greatly this week is that the Lord always keeps his promises and will lead us to those people that he has prepared. There´s times when we have to endure through moments that seem like they may never end, or where it would just be easier to say, "you know what, i can´t do it" but I know that the Lord always blesses us for our righteous efforts. My companion and I had a long day yesterday where we just couldn't find any one to teach, all of our investigators were sick, and the weather wasn´t helping the mood haha. But, we pushed forward, and just when we thought we would head back to the apartment with a not so great day....we taught 3 lessons and found 4 new investigators in the last hour and a half of the days work. I´m having an absolute amazing experience here and I definitely believe I´ve learned more lessons than I could ever teach. This is the Lord´s work, and I know that he is preparing his people. The Lord´s Second Coming is nigh at hand, and we must all fortify our testimonies and show by our works that we are his Disciples. I´ve been continuing to read Jesus the Christ, and I so wish I would´ve read it before the mission, because I´ve learned so much about my Savior! I know that by studying his words, keeping the commandments of the Father, and striving to be like him is how we come to know him.(1 John 2:3-6). Before I part with my parting words haha, I´d like to share with you a list that I´ve gotten in the habit of looking at and pondering before I go to bed on how to become a better missionary and member of the church.

1. Be believing with desire single to the glory of God (1 Nefi 2:16)
2. Commit and discipline yourself totally in word and deed. (1 nefi 3:15)
3. Do all in your power to fulfill your part (James 2:22 - 1 nefi 9:23)
4. Pray as if all depended on the Lord (D&C 10:47)
5. Prepare for constant and intense trials of your faith. Tribulation is a refiner of faith (D&C 58:4)
6. Expect the Lord to perform according to his Holy will and your faith. The Lord will perform. (D&C 82:10)

Thanks for everything family, I love you all so much and I hope that you have another amazing week. Thank you for your prayers and encouraging words, they are being received :)

Weird sight of the week: Men that wear fanny packs as a shoulder bag strapped across their chest like a scout bandelo (or whatever) ........haha, weird.

Also, mom did you ever find the line of authority for the priesthood? and maybe if you could shop around and find the video : Joseph Smith- the prophet of the restoration, we would love to have a copy of that here! Gracias!

Elder Winger