Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Week 96: "We filled the stake center up so much that there were people standing up in the back because there wasn´t enough seats."

This week was so much fun! On Thursday night my companion and I traveled up to the department of Tacurembo to help that zone prepare for their fireside. I am not sure if I have explained in detail exactly what goes on in these firesides. They are about an hour and a half long with Mormon message videos, a choir by the missionaries of that zone, and testimonies of recent converts or less actives that have come back to church. The responsibilities of my companion and I are to prepare to videos, make sure the choir sounds and looks good, make sure that the chapel is equipped with the microphones and everything sounds good, and visit the people that are going to speak and help them organize their thoughts and ideas in order to send. The fireside that we had in Tacurembo was incredible! We filled the stake center up so much that there were people standing up in the back because there wasn´t enough seats. The spirit was so strong! The thing about these firesides is that there isn´t anyone directing the meeting so there is no interruption of the spirit and everything is shared in five minute intervals so people don´t have the chance to get bored and lose the spirit. I love it! My companion was in charge of the lights and I was in charge of the computer with the videos. It was so much fun! A funny story this week...my companion and I got to Tacurembo and stayed with the zone leaders. They had an extra mattress and we had brought an inflatable mattress as well. One night while I was sleeping the air mattress I was sleeping on lost all of it's air. So the other nights I slept in the same bed as my companion! Haha I know it´s against the rules so I will need to repent for that! Haha The work here is doing really well! I will not be in my area for about 2-3 weeks because I will be traveling to both Artigas and Salto preparing the firesides in the both zones. For P day we played soccer with the zone of Artigas for exercises, studied, then we went to President Bueno's house to say hi to him, and then we went to the Brazilian buffet for lunch. Have a great week! 
Elder Arbon

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Week 95: "I bear testimony of the amazing power of the Book of Mormon: of its simplicity and its truthfulness."

This week flew by! This week was interviews so we traveled with President to 6 of the 10 zones that are located in the interior of the mission. Everyday we were blessed to see a miracle in one way or another! On Monday we drove up to the zone of Mercedes. President taught to the District Leaders, Zone Leaders, and us the importance in following the example of Christ as a leader. He taught us two principles: the first being the need to be an example, the second being the importance of “Following Up.” He taught us “Following Up” is an eternal principle that is taught to us in the temple with Christ and our Heavenly Father. After the meeting with the leaders we had a meeting with the whole zone and he shared a scripture with us, Alma 5:7. He taught that every one of us is surrounded by a darkness that at one point and time in our lives causes us to fall into a deep sleep en cuanto a Dios. He shared with us that the investigators are sleeping in en cuanto a Dios and us as missionaries; it is our responsibility to wake them up from their deep sleep. And the way we do that is illuminate their souls with the word of God that is only found in the Book of Mormon. I bear testimony of the amazing power of the Book of Mormon: of its simplicity and its truthfulness. I know without a doubt that the Book of Mormon describes the plan of Salvation, contains the doctrine of Christ, and is the evidence that Jose Smith saw the Father and the Son in the sacred grove. President Smith showed us how we can use the Book of Mormon in order to help them understand the Doctrine of Christ. During our training we backed up president´s teaching of the importance of simplicity and directness by reviewing the purposes of the first three lessons. President has split the first lesson of the Restoration into 3 parts: 1.1, 1.2, and 1.3, each lesson being shorter and teaching one of the three principles of the restoration. The first – the first vision and Jose Smith, the second – The Book of Mormon, and the third – the necessity of the power and authority of God in order to perform the sacred ordinance such as baptism, the confirmation, and the blessing of the Sacrament. We had seen that the mission was confused with the purposes of the first threes lessons so we helped them clear up their questions and resolve their doubts in this subject. We also talked about a few other things: giving baptismal dates, giving commitments (we introduced a new commitment in the first lesson – it is so legit!), the mission team, and how to teach clear and with power! The next day we went to Paysandú. After the trainings and meetings we did divisions for a little bit. I went with, Elder Bagget, we went to the house of a teenage kid that lived in the states for a few years. He couldn´t attend us so we contacted the next house and no one was home. As we were leaving the house we saw a guy of about 25 years old walking in the street, we stopped and talked to him. He said he was on his way to go steal some stuff, which is how he made his living when we testified to him that our message would change his life. He accepted the visit so we went to his house and taught him a lesson. At the end of the lesson we asked him to say a prayer, asked God for the thing in his life that he most desired, he said that he wanted his girlfriend to come back. No joke, as he said amen, his girlfriend opened the door and there she was. He was stunned. He said that it was the prayer that caused it and that he wanted us to come back the next day. It was such a spiritual experience! Then the next day we went to Salto, then Artigas (it was much fun to see every one again), then Rivera, and then we finished in the Tacurembo! It was a lot of fun and we learned so much! I love you and have a great week! 
Elder Arbon

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Week 94: "It was absolutely incredible how quick our Heavenly Father answers the prayers of his sons and daughters."

This week was a great week! It was the last week of my companion Elder Bossa. On Tuesday we had interviews in the zone of Oeste here in Montevideo. In the interviews we taught a new lesson about repentance and then we talked about the purpose of the first three lessons. It was a really good training and it really helped cleared up a lot of doubts that the mission has. On Wednesday we went up to the Colonia and had another training. Right after the training we had a few minutes free so one of the zone leaders and I left and went to a lesson with a recent convert. We decided to teach her the new lesson of repentance. As we were teaching she opened up and told us that she has been praying really hard in order to help someone that is going through a hard time. This person was a young adult that had just been baptized a few weeks ago. She asked us what she should do in order to help this person. As we began answering her question the person in which she had been praying for walks in the door with one of her friends. We asked her to sit down and participate in the lesson and she did. As we were teaching them she committed to come back to church this Sunday and bring her friend along with her. It was absolutely incredible how quick our Heavenly Father answers the prayers of his sons and daughters. Thursday morning my companion went home. My other companion, Elder Aqueveque, had been up with him the last two nights in a row helping him pack and run some errands before he went home. We had slept a total of maybe two hours in two days. On Thursday it showed! My companion had to walk beside me to make sure that I wouldn´t fall asleep while walking. Yesterday we went on divisions with the zone leaders from Oeste to help them out in their area and see how they can improve. It was a really great division. 

Elder Arbon

Friday, July 4, 2014

Week 93: "It usually is a day long but this time we had so much to teach it was two days."

My new companion is a stud. He works super hard, a great teacher, and is really funny! In order to prepare for a fireside you have about 10-12 practices of the missionary choir so it sounds perfect, visit all of the recent converts that are going to speak and help them prepare their talk, make a video containing the videos in which you are going to show to the congregation, and prepare the church with microphones, the projector is working good, etc. It is so much fun in order to go around to meet the recent converts and listen to their conversation. It is such a spiritual experience! It is amazing. The Lord loves us so much that he sends his Holy Spirit to touch the heart of this humble people to change their life. I love listening to their testimonies. This week was incredible! It started off with another Fireside in the zone of Cerro, the zone in which I am in right now, on Sunday. It was awesome! There were so many people that came to it, there were 540. I couldn´t believe it! It was a great spiritual experience. The rest of the week my companions and I got ready for concilio, a meeting with all of the leaders of the mission. It usually is a day long but this time we had so much to teach it was two days. It started on Thursday and ended Friday night. On Thursday we went to the temple, introduced a new lesson, and talked about the new goals of the mission. On Saturday we started off with a soccer game between all of the leaders of the mission. It started a 6 o´clock in the morning. All of the neighbors got upset because of the yelling. But we played all of the North zones against the South Zones. I was captain of the North and my Companion was captain of the South. We even designed and made T-Shirts! It was so much fun! Then that day we really just reviewed and clarified the way in which we teach as a mission. Our mission really needed it. Then yesterday we went with President up to a branch in Colonia to help a few missionaries find some new investigators. But it was a great week! I love you all and have a great week! 
Elder Arbon