Monday, December 28, 2009

Monday, December 28, 2009 -- A Fantastic Letter from a Fantastic Missionary

Family!! First off thank you so much for the letters, thank you Lindsay for the email it really helped, it is so interesting how these emails do exactly what they needed to do! They help beyond comprehension! haha saturday night the power went out and we had to sleep without fans which was absolutely awful and put me pretty close to despair! haha but i knew that it was for a reason, because on Sunday at church a man, who is one of my best friends since ive been here, he came up as we were walking in our suits to the chapel and he walked the rest of the way with us and i looked as if i had jumped in the pool with my suit on haha, he looked at me and he just said, its always hot here haha, and just that little saying stuck in my mind, and it hit me hard that i am not here to complain but here to serve, all of the members complain about the heat, but i decided right then that the heat will never affect me again, i ran out of money on saturday and i had to walk all of the way to my area from my apartment (the address is Ruta 213 Casa 6667 dad), which took us over an hour in the heat of the afternoon, but it really wasnt that bad and i had a positive attitude all the rest of the day which helped, today we went into the city to visit with our zone and go to lunch, and once i saw my friends from the mtc, because there are three from the mtc who are in my zone, i felt so happy and i really remembered all of the promises we made and the desires we had in the mtc, i kind of felt ashamed for complaining so much, we talked about how we need to work as hard as we can, and our teacher in the mtc taught us all we needed, like not to spend too much time with memebers and to use all of your time working for the lord, so when we were talking today we realized that our trainers arent perfect, that we need to always strive to be the best, like my trainer spends alot of time at members houses justifing it for recieveing referals and i feel like we are wasting time but i was too afraid to take initative because idk why. But as we talked i have decided to do what i know is right and spend as much time possible finding new investigators and teaching the investigators we have.
This is all over the place haha, so let me organize, so with investigators we have 5 progressing investigators, two are sisters, two are brother and sister, and one is a 72 year old man who i have never seen wear a shirt haha. The two sisters live in a ruff area and they have a hard family, their mother is a member but the rest of the family is pretty beat up, its kind of depressing to see them like that but when we are there the girls have slowly started to smile more and its a good feeling, they have been taught for 6 weeks and they just need to come to church before they can get baptised, that is the hardest part of our investigators is none come to church because it is so far away, it takes like an hour and fifteen mins to get to the church from our area, and its at 8 in the morning so that is hard for them. All of my investigators have had trouble with smoking but they have done really well quiting, they all have testimonies but they dont have a desire to completly devote themselves to the church, the 72 year old just needs to get married before he can get baptised, but he cant because he lost his birth certificate and to get a new one he needs to know when his parents were married and he has no clue and anyone that does is dead, so they are trying to figure out what to do, its kind of tuff, but other than that his leg is all screwed up so its hard for him to walk to church so we are working on that. The brother and sister ive only visited with once they are hard to get a hold of, they are both 24 and have families and always working, its wierd no one here except members of the church, and a rare few, get married because its so easy to just live with each other instead of haveing to get married or something. Its interesting so that is a huge thing.
So most of my day is spent teaching the two sisters everyday, which i kind of feel we spend to much time at but he says they need it, idk because i dont know really how they are yet, and then for 4 hours or so we are teaching less active members, which i enjoy because we are starting to see the fruits of our work, we got a family to come to church, but then i realized that alot of the members we visit are good members but its just so far to church that they cant make it because they have alot of little kids so its kind of like spending time with members, i dont mind visiting them for 15 mins or so to help inspire them to come to church but we spend like an hour at each house teaching one principle and it bugs me that we spend so much time,
anyways when we do go tracting, which is like once a week, we do "clap" doors, we stand on the side walk off of their property and clap until someone comes out, its wierd haha, then they have to invite you to step on their property, invite you into their house, or invite you to sit down, haha alot of inviting. All of my area is goverment projects that they just threw up, the ground is red dirt alot like grampas farm, but alot redder, and most of the houses are alot like shacks, most of the time as we are walking around the people are nice and invite us to talk with them, the argentines are very nice and they will not ignore you unless they hate you, then they will tell you so haha,
On the bus there is this guy who tells us to "come back home" because we are american spies and he goes around the bus telling people we go door to door gathering information for the CIA, like the temperature of the water, the size of the houses and a bunch of random stuff haha, he tells the bus driver to kick us off but most people just smile, i thought that was a funny story
I finally have the feeling, in the morning after i wake up, to just get out of the apartment and go to work, and i can only imagine that that feeling will increase as i have investigators that i find and as i start to participate in the lessons more, i have a pretty good understanding of spanish but when i want to say something i have a hard time figuring out how to say it, there are alot of little things that are bogging me down but i am trying but i can try harder, ive overcome one stumbling block and i can overcome another, i am finally starting to really enjoy my mission, starting to adjust, i settled with the fact that i am serving a two year camping trip haha, that i will always sweat my butt off and that i will never totally be comfortable, but that doesnt matter, because there have been little moments when teaching a certain family that i feel a inexplainable happiness, with this one girl who is a friend of the family that has the potential to become a investigator, when we visit with this family i feel something else, like for the first time i didnt jump into the middle of a converstation but that i started from the beginning, idk if i make any sense, spanish is starting to screw with my mind haha, so you guys will have the hard time of interpreting my thoughts.
Really quick tangent, being in this ward makes me realize how awesome my home ward is! Every second spent in this ward reminds me of individuals in our ward at home, i am so blessed, we are so blessed to have the best ward ever, please let everyone know how much i miss them, everyone, every family, because i seriously do i love our ward and i think about every family, let them know!
Steph you got a car!!! haha cool beans!! Sounds like the best christmas for everyone, Abbey got a laptop! Colling a .22!! Hannah got something haha, i loved when all she asked me was what was my favorite apple? shes weird. haha and i got to talk for an hour to my family who i love so much! You guys dont even know how much i miss you and how much you mean to me! You never will understand, im extremly lucky i am! It sounds like one of the best christmases yet! Well i got to go and i love you all so very much, you dont know the impact your letters have had on me i am absolutely so blessed! Grandmas and Grandpas i was so happy when i got to talk to you! You are some of my best friends! I love spending my time with you and i will never forget your love for me! You guys are some of the greatest examples to me and if i can be a little like you my life will be complete, seriously. Thank you so much! I miss you all more than words can explain, but its only two years, i cant imagine missing you all for eternity, thats one reason i am here ive decided, to help other people not miss their families for eternity. I want to recieve andy and judds emails, because i miss them so much so please start to forward those to me also! I LOVE ALL OF MY FAMILY SOOO MUCH!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Hot! Hot! Hot! - Elder Horrocks Discovers Argentina

So i met my trainer on thursday morning and we jumped on the bus to my first area, a little town called Jardín next to Posadas. The bus ride was ridicoulsy beatiful! it is so green here and beautiful, i have never seen so much variety in trees! haha i got off the bus in Posadas and i just started to sweat! And i havent stopped since, i cant explain how hot it is here, my apartment doesnt have air conditioning so i havent had the opprotuntiy to stop sweating yet haha, its very uncomfortable and is very hard for me to focus on the work and to do my best. Haha for me the heat is very hard to ignore! I am just going to have to get used to always beeing overheated but oh well, that just makes me appreciate Salt Lake City even more! all i know is that i have been called here for a reason and the heat will only build my character. but man is it hot... haha, on friday we taught an investigator who is 15 years old his final lesson before he got baptised. That was pretty interesting, then we taught a few other lessons that day that i really dont remember, it was just sooo hot! My trainer is named Elder Stone and he is 6 feet 7 inches tall, and he has only been out a year but he has 21 baptisms which is only 4 off the record, he has 6 baptisms set up for january so its pretty cool that i got set with a trainer that is really successful and teaches just i like i want to teach. So saturday we had a very good time, i taught a family about the restoration and then we asked for a referral, and they gave us a family who had been inactive for 13 years because its such a long walk to the church and some other reasons i didnt understand, and trust me i know haha, ive walked there 3 times in the past 3 days and it takes over an hour from the area in where we serve. Anyways they became 7th day advents and they are supposedly the hardest people to teach and to give the gospel but they were so welcoming and they did put up a good fight but after an hour they gave in to our teachings and started to accept what we had so i was pretty excited and its my first legit family that ive started to teach, which was pretty exciting. Then we ate lunch at a members house, which the food here is pretty darn good, their jucies are out of this world and they are pretty good cooks, but they feed you until you cant eat anymore or else your being rude so thats pretty fun. The members do my laundry and they really take care of us, im pretty lucky since im in the only area that actually has a ward, so it is pretty cool, we teach more lessons with members helping us than we teach other lessons, so we are completly opposite of all of the other missionaries lol. then we had the baptism which was interesting to watch, i didnt really feel like i helped so it was just like watching a random person get baptised but it is recorded as my first offical baptism so i have one haha. After that we had to walk an hour back to the neighborhood, i definitly had heat exhaustion and i felt so sick, yet we still had like 3 lessons to teach and i was dying, this was defintily the hardest part of my mission by far, at least ten times harder than anything else i have ever done, during this time i kept thinking how easy it would be to be home with my family relaxing in the cabin with snow outside and the ability to shiver, something i miss so much haha, anyways it was tuff but after hours of constantly praying and studying i feel like i have overcome my problem with the heat, and i am becoming more and more like the best missionary i can be, so as i forget myself and go to work my day just goes by easier, and as long as i have the comfort of the holy ghost i can be anywhere doing anything. In conclusion, be grateful for where we live, ive never seen such poverty in my life and it is so depressing to see where everyone lives, most of my area is goverment built houses but there are some areas that are just tin squares, its depressing. but then it reminds me of how lucky i am to have the house and all of the stuff we have and to have air conditioning, the absolute best invention ever haha, and they have such a focus on people here rather than possessions, they are so friendly and nice, even the drunks who like to attack us at first become friendly in the end. i hated it here for the first three days, but as my heart has began to change and i have given myself to the work i have begun to love it, i have a long way to go to become who i want to be but im well on my way. i love you all and i cant wait to talk with you on friday, probably will be around 8 or 9 in the morning where you live. well i love you and cant wait to talk

This is a link to the Chapel Nathan Attends. It is a 1 hour walk to the church!

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Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Safe Arrival!! Wednesday, December 16

After two days of travel i finally made it! What an adventure! The plane rides here were very long and interesting but i enjoyed it alot, i got to sleep alot of the way and so i was full of energy when i landed in Resistencia last night around 10 30. Where we just went to the mission presidents house and slept in a apartment across the street, the mission presidents house is like a compound haha, its so secure that noone is really able to rob it at all, this morning we woke up and had a delicious breakfast and then we had personal study in the compound, then after going over all of the rules weve gone out contacting and every person we have talked to has wanted us to come visit them, which has blown my mind, my spanish isnt very good at all and it is hard to understand what they are saying but i love it so much, and they are very nice and patient with me as i am trying to teach them! haha its alot of fun but it is very hot here! im kind of getting used to it already but its just going to get hotter, they say i can go get a cowboy hat to wear. anyways i got to go! i love you and ill talk to you later

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Friday, December 11 -- The Final MTC Email!

Wow where has the time gone!?!?! Hey fam! Today is my last p day in the mtc!! About time haha, i am so excited to get out of here and to head to Argentina where i can finally start actually doing what ive practiced what ive done all day for the past nine weeks!! So really quick i leave here at 5 am and get to Dallas airport around noon so ill call around then! And then i can call later that night around 5 or so when i get to Miami and then i have a 14 hour flight to buenos aires, which im pretty psyched for! Over half of the population of Argentina lives in one city so im way excited to see how big it is! This week has been a very easy week and went by super fast! Im really going to miss the friends i have made here, but im so excited to finally get out, this past week i have had an obsession with elder holland!! He is absolutley my favorite speaker ever, he is so bold and i am addicted to every talk he gives, there are alot he has given at the mtc that are so much better than any general conference talk so its been a huge blessing to hear those talks. Thank you so much for all of the stuff you guys have given me! It means so much! This week, not much new stuff has happened, im going to send alot of pictures home and alot of other stuff, maybe, i dont know how im going to pack, ill probably just stuff it all in the case and then deal with it when i get into the field or something, everyone is having a problem with being overweight with their baggage but i seem to be the opposite and i am starting to wonder if im forgetting everything haha, but oh well. I met with the consul of Argentina this week, who was really chill and very nice to us, even though you can tell he likes to make fun of the missionaries, he counseled us to not ask people about religion which was funny to me, alot of missionaries took that very seriously and actually started causing contention which was retarted, but i liked to visit with him and im excited for Resistencia, ive talked to alot of Argentines and they said that all of the people from Resistencia are mean haha, so that makes me even more excited! I cant wait for the rejection! It sounds alot of fun to me for some reason, maybe it wont be when im out there, but at least i can laugh anything off that goes bad. Anyways i cant wait to get there, i have no clue what it looks like, feels like, or in any way picture what it is like! Nothing else is really new yet, i dont know if i have my visa but im not worried, um... yup i saw my teacher for the last time last night, that was sad, he was a really good example. Hmm, i cant think of much else, maybe its because i get to call so that will be better, i hate writing haha. The zone im in is really hating that we are leaving because we have been so close and tight but i am pretty excited to go! The temple was so good for the last time in two years so im glad i ended on a good note! Anyways i love you so much and ill call you on monday! Oh if you didnt get my letter i sent home i really want another sd card for my camera if you can and a collapsable laundry bag, or just even a bag so i can pack it up and take it home. Well i love you all and next time you will hear from me ill be on my way to Argentina!! I love you all so so much! Thank you for all of the letters and support!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Friday, December 4 2009 -- He Misses Us!!

I am so missing my family!! haha but what can i do? Ive been working pretty hard here and alot has gone on this week, ive learned alot and i have finally won the loyalty and friendship of my whole district which is awesome, i have made alot of new friends which has been great and i have loved the MTC, but i am so ready for Argentina its not even funny! This week we went to the TRC, which is where we practice teaching in spanish and i totally rocked at it! But not because my spanish was good but because i didn't care how i sounded, my companion and i taught the greatest lesson!! The guy who we practiced with has become one of our great friends over the past few weeks, but its really hard to practice with him because he isnt good at pretending to be an investigator, if hes supposed to have a problem with the word of wisdom or have doubts about Joseph Smith he is the complete opposite and will testify on everything! haha so he mostly teaches us, but this week i wanted to really teach him something so i pulled out D&C 38:1 and we studied that verse for like 15 mins and then we discussed the atonement and then the nature of god, he was totally teaching us until i pulled out a scripture from john 5:19-20, which talks about Christ not doing anything the Father hasn't done and it really blew him away! He got so excited that when my teacher came to tell us its over that the guy told him to go away and give us more time to talk about it! It was alot of fun doing it in Spanish and it made me so excited to get out of here! Its easy to study hard here because i love it so much but when it comes time for class i would rather be out tracting or contacting!! Well this week was tuff at first because one of our district members did end up leaving, so we all were sad and sunday was like the worst day yet. We went to the temple sunday night to walk around it and it wasn't as fun as it used to be and we all just sat around, didnt really talk, well all of the sudden the member of our district who left came walking up to us, and told us of his story of how when he went home nothing made him happy until he decided that he would come back, it was really good and we were all so happy! Probably one of the happiest times of our lives when we realized that Satan had lost that battle that he thought he had won just a day earlier. So that helped with unifying the district and then something just clicked and now we are all as tight as can be! I really cant believe i only have one p-day left! i am so excited i cant wait to get out there!! We were supposed to get our flight plans yesterday...... So we are all a little worried so we hope they come tonight or monday. Alot of stuff has happened this week that has challenged alot of our districts faith, Satan is real, and hes working harder than ever to tear my district apart, and its very apparent to see those who were really strong at first starting to stumble now, and its so hard to see that, i am trying to help but i dont know how much i can do, i try to get them to stick to what they know, to always use the book of mormon and use it as their fortress so to speak, i dont have a problem with it, Satan has tried and failed with me and so such a loser has no effect on me. I am so excited to go down to Argentina and break the chains that satan has on the people down there. Stick to the basics of the gospel, with what has gone on this past week i am really worried for the members of the church, i keep thinking about how in the latter days satan will decieve the very "elect", he will trick those members of the church into believeing something that seems good, but its not. I have watched Elder Hollands safety for the soul talk like 6 times this week trying to understand to rely on the book of mormon and those leaders who lead us! Well i love you and know that i am doing well! Thank you so so so so so much for your support! I absolutely look forward to the letters i receive! I think this is the last week for packages! hahahaha i need more red cream soda! Anyways i absoltuely miss every single member of my family! This past week has been tuff on the district but i just recall all of the times that i have done stuff with all of my family and how the gospel has blessed us and i look at my grandparents and my aunts and my uncles and my cousins and my parents and my siblings and realizes that all of that is worth all that i have! That satan cant have any power over me after everything that everyone has done for me! You dont even know how much i love and miss you all!