Monday, October 24, 2011

Howdy 10/24/2011 Week 37

Hey family!
Well, it sounds like it´s been a good week, not so good week, and just a busy week for everyone!  But thanks so much for taking the time to keep me posted on things back home.
I want to thank Kari and Shantra so much for sending me pictures!!!!!!  Haha i loved all of them, and pictures are definitely one of the "hidden treasures" that as a missionary i love finding within an email, so thank you so much.
  It´s crazy to hear that Dad is out of town again!  He´s been super super busy it sounds like, but that´s good that he´s been having lots of work which = success which = $$$$.  Atta boy pops.  keep it up out there.  But I'm sad to hear that Grandma Winger´s health is beginning to go down hill :( . You´ll have to let me know how the funeral goes and everything.  I wish i could have the chance to see her one more time and say goodbye, but i´ll leave that up to you to do that for me.  I remember all those times we would go over to her house and spend time with her.  Her house was always SO FUN and i loved the choo choo train set that she had set up every christmas for us.  I think i enjoyed crashing the train more than anything, and its actually kind of a miracle it survived all those years of my destructive child behavior....but yes, if you could tell her i love her for me and that I know she´s going to be so happy to see grandpa, that would be a great help :) thank you.
     It sounds like the weather is just BEA utiful there back home, and it´s actually quite nice here as well (depending on the day).  One day it will be nice and the next day it will be a horrific thunderstorm....not so fun when my right shoe has a giant hole in the bottom.....which have caused all of my socks to have holes in my shoe becomes a heavy, sinking ship every rainy day.  Haha, but the hole in the bottom of my shoe has gotten really bare skin literally touches the ground every step i take...and the ground i walk on usually isn´t "sanitary"....usually dirt roads, rocks, trash, and the occasionally doggy surprises that i have to be careful to avoid.  I'm probably going to get some kind of fungus soon :)  .  But I'm too lazy to get them fixed or buy new shoes at this moment in time, but i´ll get around to it, no
  my, just to let you know, i do not know a Mckinley Heath.
Anyway, one of my spiritual experiences from the week was really powerful. My father in heaven has let me know that there are people prepared here specifically for me.
We have been meeting with this 30 year old women named Andrea for the last few weeks.  She´s super nice and has been meeting with the missionaries for over 7 months, but still has not been baptized!  She agrees with all the doctrine and the commandments and everything, but she just doesn´t want the "responsibility, stress, and stuff" of what will come after baptism.  She´s been a really tough cookie to crack, and it´s been really hard to commit her to baptism, no matter how many times the missionaries have gone over the wonderful blessings that come and how necessary it is.
  Well, we met with her this week and we decided to read a section in Principles of the Gospel under baptism.  We opened to it, only assuming to read a small portion.....but as soon as she opened to the page, she began reading out loud from the beginning, and didn´t stop.  she read the whole chapter out loud, making pauses every few sentences, pondering what she was reading.  When we got done with the section, she decided to ask us about the first time we baptized someone.  If you can remember, i had quite the crazy first experience here in Argentina ha.  But as Elder Tague and  I finished telling her our experiences and sharing our testimony, she began crying.  She told me that she didn´t know why, but as i was talking to her she felt touched deeper than ever before. In the next appointment that I had with you, she said she was going to be baptized on the 12th of November and that she wanted me to baptized her!  It was such a humbling experience, and I'm so grateful that shes made this decision in her life.  Elder Tague and I are super excited and we are going to continue preparing her and other investigadores that we have to be baptized.  It was an amazing experience. 
  Also this Sunday Elder Tague and I sang nearer my god to thee in sacrament meeting.  Luckily my comp has a pretty good voice, cuz if he didn´t, the whole thing would have been a nightmare for sure.  I don´t exactly have the voice of an angel haha, but it was a fun time.
That´s a couple of my adventures from the week.  We are continuing to work hard and do all that we can to fulfill our missionary purposes here in Ameghino. 
   Fun tip of the week:  i read a talk by M. Russell Ballard this week called......i can´t remember.....its called how to make a difference or something like that.  Anyway, it talked a lot about how we are changing everyday, and how we need to make necessary changes everyday to help us become more like the Savior.
   He gave an activity that i am beginning to put into practice.  He says every morning right down something that you want to start doing one thing that you know that you should be doing, and one thing that you want to stop doing that you know you should not be doing.  It´s kind of an interesting way to make measurable goals of how we want to become better everyday.  You´re welcome to try the activity as well haha.  But i know that if we can get to the end of the day and say we are a better person than when we woke up, that´s what god wants of us.
Anyway, i g2g so i´ll talk to you next week!  I love you all so much!!!!!
Elder Winger

Thursday, October 20, 2011

A Beautiful Day‏ buen día. 10/17/2011 Week 36

¡Qué caposo es! 
I must first say congratulations to Casey & Kari for the newest member of the Winger clan.  I was super excited to be able to see the picture that you sent me, and i´m not gonna lie, it´s hard sitting here a billion miles away and not being able to see either my niece or nephew ha.  But, i guess they´ll just have to wait 16 months to meet their number 1 role model.... :)
Anyway, i´m happy to hear that everyone is doing so well.  It still throws me off that everyone there is on "fall break" when i´m here preparing myself for a wicked summer haha. 
The work this week was fairly tranquilo and calm, a solid 7.0 days of work.  We had quite a few things come up this week such as a special conference, "a tarde del milagros", so we didn´t get the full week to work in our area.  I did receive the opportunity to speak in sacrament meeting this past Sunday on service, which i hope went fairly ok....but it went none the less. 
Definitely one of the highlights of the week was going to Rosario and hearing from Presidente Arnold, a member of the presidency of the quorum of the 70, he´s also one of our area 70.  But hearing from him totally helped me want to improve my energy in the work.  He spoke to us on things such as the importance of obedience in all things, how to plan more effectively, and just a powerful reminder that we are representatives of the Lord.  At the end of the conference, he bore one of the most powerful testimonies I have witnessed in person.  Throughout the whole conference the Spirit was impressively strong, but as he stood in front of us 100 or so missionaries and bore witness of the work and of the Savior, I was floored.  Hearing a general authority utter the words that its not based on faith,  but he knows that the Savior lives.  It was amazing.
Anyway, we are continuing to work hard in the Lord´s work.  The time seems to just be picking up faster and faster.  I know I still have a lot of time ahead of me, but I continually am trying to push myself, making sure I don´t waste a minute as a missionary of the Lord, cuz before I know it ·poof· it´ll be gone.  Once again, thank you so much for your support, love, and examples.  I know mom, dad, and family that you´ve sacrificed a lot for me to be out here (even though it´s probably more of  a blessing that you don´t have to see my face for 2 years :)  )  But I just want you to know that I´m going to keep doing my best to bless the lives of these people that I meet everyday and give my whole heart to the work continually, because i know that´s what you, and the Lord, expect of me and all of us out here.  You´re encouraging words and updates give me that added boost that sometimes i need :)  I love you all so much and i hope you have an amazing week!
Elder Winger
Scripture of the week:  King Benjamin´s Address that begins in Mosiah 2 :)  one of my favorite parts of the whole book of mormon.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

A thought ‏ 10/10/2011 Week 35

Hey family!!!
Alright, I´m planning on keeping this email fairly short because I want to try writing more emails every week to everyone more personally :) (cuz a personal letter means so much more right?)  Anyway, here are a few of the things that happened this week:
First of all, I met my new ward for the first time at church yesterday.  All 13 members.  Haha, i was pretty blown away when i showed up to the church right before the meeting started, only to see 13 members, 5 of them i believe under the age of 12, and 1 of our investigators.  It was pretty...crazy!  It was a little overwhelming though because this ward used to be just that...A WARD.  Anyway, it looks like we have plenty of work we´ll be doing here in the ward, which is just great because Elder Tague and I just love a good challenge.  The members of the ward are really solid and amazing people, and I know that we are going to be able to work strongly together to bring the members that have fallen from the path a little bit back on track.  Also.....I've been regretting my poor choices of not continuing piano lessons to the point where i could play hymns!  It´s weird singing in church without a piano, not gonna lie.  Anyway, i found a simplified hymn book in the apartment, so we might be doing some winging it here in the ward to bring it back alive.  Another fun fact of sacrament meeting.......both my companion and our investigator bore their testimonies 2 times to fill up time........kinda weird huh?
Other fun facts for the week is that we have 7 people with baptismal dates!  Very big increase from 1 last week ha.  These people that we have are just great though, one of them is a couple that recently had a baby, one of them is a guy that just moved into the area and is seriously INVESTIGATING the church in all aspects (book of mormon, folletos, internet..which can be sketchy, but its exciting to really find people searching for the truth), and just some other people that we´ve been finding that are just really really good people, and it´s exciting to be able to bring them the truth.
Well, that's enough about me.....i´m glad to hear that you are all doing well!  Sounds like winter is just around the corner.....and for me the summer just arriving...BLEH.  But, here´s for Nate (one day late)  ¡¡¡¡FELIZ CUMPLEAÑOS!!!!  I hope that you had a great birthday!
Also mom, I will be getting my package on Wednesday, no worries :)  I´m super excited for it.  Also, if you send another package in the future (wink, wink), i might want some little games that we can play in the apartment during p-day and stuff, maybe games like (missionary impossible, warriors of the promised land)  cool missionary games like that.  just a thought.
Anyway, everything is going well here!  Loving the mission and everything about it. 
Here´s a couple quotes that i heard this week:
"Happiness - only real when shared"  -Into the wild        That's so true.......not only in aspects of the gospel, but in all the fun things of life...can you imagine going to Disney land alone?
"True doctrine understood changes action and behavior"
-David A. Bednar
Anyway, i think that´s all i´m going to write for the week.  I´ll work on sending some pictures as well and writing more frequently to everyone!  Thanks for your prayers and support. 
The Lord´s work moves forward!
Elder Winger

Thursday, October 6, 2011

HOLA 10/03/11 Week 34

hey family!
Well, it´s been an exciting week of CHANGES!!! (Obama would be so proud of me.)
I´m now writing you this electronic letter from Ameghino!  Which is in Pergamino...which is in the Buenos Aires area...which is about 4 hours mas o menos from where i was before.
Here´s a quick throwdown of what´s happened over the last few days:
Wednesday:  Packed up all of my stuff and headed out from the terminal in Santa Fe with my new companion Elder Tague from New Hampshire.  He´s been on the mission for about a year and he´s just a little firecracker of an Elder.  He´s a little crazy...kinda weird more like...but we get along just fine and are looking to do some good work this transfer.  So, we headed to the mission home to pick up some things such as books of mormon, folletos...but mostly to see one of my best friends Elder Faldmo (in my district in the MTC) who´s living at the mission home....i would say that´s the biggest reason i went there haha.  But when i got there I found out that I would have to do tramites on thursday!  So i had two options.....go to my Ameghino two hours from the mission home, spend the night, and wake up at like 5 to go back to the mission home...or just spend the day/night at the mission home.  i preferred the latter.  So anyway, i spent the day helping out Elder Faldmo fulfill his new financiero job, spent some time chilling with the assistants and office workers and the president/his wife.  I had a great time there...and even Elder Faldmo and I got to go out and work together from 8-9 that night (one of our fondest dreams since the MTC coming true....dont worry, i don´t really expect any of you to care all that much.)  Then........i went to sleep.
Thursday:  Did the tramites. awful.  I had to go to a different building from the one last time and sit in a little place starting at 9ish that reminded me of a airport terminal.  finished all the picture taking a fingerprinting at about 1. Bleh, couch potatoey day.  But, then Elder Tague and I headed out to our new area!  The apartment i live in is pretty nice (for argentina standards ha.)  Our bathroom is about as appalling as the attic of a 146 year old abandoned shack.  yeah, that´s how i would describe it.  But we live with two other elders, Elder Knight and his newby elder, Eldr Guadanin or something.....who´s from utah...just has a crazy name ha.  Anyway, we all get along well. yipee.  On thursday i pretty much just unpacked, ate some fake food cuz i didn´t have any real kind, and then went to sleep.
Friday:  We went out and did some work!  We looked for the registers of our investigators that the Elders before us said had dates to be baptized within the next couple weeks....and none of them had been registered in our area book.  So we basically don´t know what any of these people have been taught, and kind of have gotten an idea after deep study of where they leave, so we are currently working on that.  Also on Friday..actually i can´t even remembr what else, so i´ll just tell you more about the area.   It´s a lot more tranquilo than where i was before, and it´s a lot more quite and calm.  The houses are mostly middle class here, just your typical argentina city (which i know you all are familiar with).   That´s enough for Friday
Saturday:  General Conference!!! absolutely amazing.  We got to go to the saturday morning session, which was awesome, especially getting to watch it in Spanish.  but we didn´t get to watch the saturday afternoon session which was sort of a bummer, so if there´s any really good talks that i missed, i´d appreciate it if you could email them to me or something..please :)  but also on Saturday, a bird flew in our house and i trapped it in a room for like 20 minutes..not really sure why...but then i released it.
Also, as we were getting familiar with our area and doing some contacting, we found a great couple that i´m really excited to teach!  Their names are Juan and Ramina Rodriguez, and they are preparing to have their first baby in the first couple of weeks!  Super excited to continue passing by them and sharing with them the wonderful message of the gospel.
Sunday:  MORE CONFERENCE..and i watched it in English today...sitting with 5 other Elders in a tiny closet that you would in most cases find under the stairs of any modern U.S. home, watching it on a whopping 8 inch by 8 inch screen baby.  If i had time, i would tell you which of my talks were my favorites...............but i really don´t have much time now ha.  But i did notice that many of the apostles did talk about the importance of the book of mormon and missionary work.  The book of mormon is the most powerful tool that we use as missionaries (as well as the spirit of course) of bringing our brothers and sisters to come to know the truth.  I know the book of mormon is the word of God and if you are ever wondering how to introduce someone to the gospel, the book of mormon is the way to do it.  The book of mormon will bring any willing soul who reads it to come to know the divinity of the savior as our redeemer and that his church has been restored. 
Anyways, doing great here in the new area.  It´s kind of weird and different getting used to a new area again, especially when me and Elder Tague are new to the area.   Oh, and Elder Tague has been out for one year this week.  Woot.  He likes basketball and always talks to me about new superheroes that he´s going to publish..super fascinating :)
I love you all, thank you so much for your support and love.  hasta la próxima.
Elder Winger
and today,
played soccer with the zone, got my face fried by the sun.  saw Elder Smart. i hugged him.