Where does the time go?? - September 15, 2014

Hola mi familita!

Well we had a pretty good week. The bummer is that it rained on Sunday so that was kinda a damper on everything. Usually when it rains on Sunday no one goes to church because very few have cars. We still made it to 27 but that was a lot lower than last week´s 61. But we are getting geared up to get back in the 60´s this week.

R, C, and L: were not able to make it to church because of the rain. But they seem to be doing really well! On Friday we went and had breakfast with them! They live like 1/2 a block from our apartment so it was fun, I made pancakes and maple syrup and the loved it! R asked us what the boys need for the baptism so it is sounding like a pretty sure thing! It was going to be the 27th but now its gonna be the 26th I think because the general women's meeting is on the 27th. They are great. I am so grateful to have met this family. R sent us a text this morning and said "good morning Elders, I hope you have a great day, if you need anything just call me." She is the best!!

P and A: We have still not been able to teach them. It has been way too long. We set up an appointment to go tomorrow. We are going to have to rekindle the flame because its been like 2 weeks. I know that they both would help the church a ton if they were to come.

S Family: Last night we had a miracle! We were doing some studies and we got a call from a number who we had saved in the phone but not a person that I knew. (Sis. S) she said to me "Hi Elders, I'm just calling because we have a 9 year old son who wants to be baptized" I just about fell over. That does NOT happen! haha we went over to their house right away. We found out that they are members who have been less active on and off for like 4 years. They were baptized 12 years ago and they were sealed in the temple a year later. We are going to help them come back to church and I would guess that their son, A, will be baptized in about a month. 

This week my companion had to go back to Rosario to finish his visa paperwork. This time i didn't go with him. I spent the morning with Elder Reid and Elder Topham (did I tell you guys he is my ZL now?) and then I spent the afternoon with Elder Thorn and Elder Sanchez. In the afternoon we had a lesson with an inactive family who HAS TO come back to church. They are great and the husband used to be the branch pres here. We had a really good chat with them, I love people that I can joke around with and also be really direct. That is how the Sister was. We got along really well and she said she is going to give us lunch sometime! 

We had a long day on Friday... we went out in the after noon and NO ONE was home! haha we walked for 3 hours straight. When we got back I counted the blocks of how far we had walked and it was something like 125 blocks. haha we made pretty good timing for stopping and talking with people on the way. We were tired though... the joys of having a big area.

On Saturday we went to visit the D family. Their daughter is a member but we have been talking a bit with her mom. Well the mom´s brother (branch pres of another branch) was there with his family and we had a good talk with them. Then he invited us to go eat lunch with them on Sunday. So we went with Elder Reid and Elder Topham to eat pizza on Sunday after church. It was really fun. They are a great family. (Photo coming)

This week i got Grandma Martin´s package! I feel so bad that she had already sent 2 others that never got to me. :( but she sent me this cool Camelback Tie! (photo coming) Tell her thanks so much, I loved it!

Well that is about all for this week! I am doing really well. Can you believe that tomorrow marks 20 months in the mission?? I love you guys so much, keep it up with the BOM challenge!!

Elder Sisk

Sorry I meant to include this in the first email. I saw this Mormon Message. I really like it because I know that Heavenly Father answers prayers. Maybe not always how we expect him to though. He is there.



Lots of travel this week... Go BYU Football and Twolves Basketball!! - September 8, 2014

Missionaries from Springville and Maple Mountain High Schools

Hola Mi Familia!!

Well it was a good week for sure! But like I said, we traveled a ton. We have been working hard to help the investigators that we have to progress to baptism. it has been a while for me... hah

I SAW ELDER SLAVENS!!!! Like I told you guys, this week we had a conference in Santa Fe and that is the same city that Elder Slavens is serving in. I sat with him at the conference and helped translate a few things ;) I was able to meet his companion as well, Elder A., I am happy to say that Elder Slavens is in good hands! They get along really well too!
Elder Slavens - a friend from Springille
 I loved the conference, I felt the spirit telling me a lot of things that I need to do better. I left with just this excitement to work my guts out. I think the general authorities have a special way of doing that. I have been fighting against something my whole mission and that is to not waste any time. I understand that I am on the Lord´s time but sometimes it is hard for me to fully maximize the time that He has given me. I know that the mission has changed me a ton for the better but I have enough time left to finish converting myself! I gotta get pumping in these last 3 and a half months! 

I really liked a comparison that the Sister Zeballos talked about in her talk (when the 70s visit, their wives talk as well). She asked us, and I ask you guys (think about it before reading on please) What does Missionary Work and an apple have in common?
Elder and Sister Zeballos
Did you think about it? Her answer was "Because in one apple you can count how many seeds there are pretty easily. However, there is no way to know how many apples will come from each of those seeds." I loved that! She accompanied it with a story about her husband. He is the only member of his family and was baptized when he was 12 years old. He then went on to be a Bishop, Stake Pres, Mission Pres, Area 70, and is currently serving in the 1st quorum of the 70. He has touched and changed many peoples lives and that is just from planting one seed. They showed us a picture of him and his 2 missionaries the day that he was sustained as a general authority of the church. You never know when you may find someone like that. I want to invite everyone that reads this letter today or this week to pray for missionary experiences! The church is in need of leaders all throughout the world, and those future leaders are your friends, family, neighbors, etc. The Lord needs YOU to help plant some apple trees :)

I wanted to send another reminder of my BOM Challenge, this is for EVERYONE regardless of your location on the planet earth! EVERYONE needs to read this book and that is exactly why we need to share the Gospel. The Book of Mormon contains the FULLNESS  of the everlasting Gospel of Jesus Christ. 

On Friday we got our weekly FHEs started here in the branch. Elder A. and I taught the lesson. We didn't have much time to prepare because of a long night the night before (more info to come) but I felt that it turned out pretty well. We had 25 people which is more than I was expecting for the first time to be honest. We were thrilled. We talked about reading the scriptures. Not just reading but really studying them. We should be have spiritual experiences each time we read. There is a word in Spanish "escudriñar" which is even more than studying. Its just taking them apart to take everything you can out of them! We did an activity with a bucket of water and a cloth. With the cloth we passed it around and each person was able to squeeze a little bit more water out. Even if it was only one drop, water fell. This is how it is with the BOM, each time we read, no matter what, we can at least pull a drop of water out. And let me tell you, those last few drops were the ones that required the most work/energy/effort.

So as I said, we had a very long night on Thursday. We left the conference and got to a city called Paraná around 5 expecting to buy tickets for the 8:00pm bus. Well that bus was full and the next bus time was not until 1:20am. Yeah I kinda chuckled too... well we bought them quick fearing that it would fill up too. We spent the 8 hours of waiting in a nearby church playing games, pingpong tourney, magic tricks, and sleeping. haha little did we know is that we were only gearing up for the longest night ever. We get back to the bus station and  find out that the bus we were about to get on was not going to come straight to Concordia like normal (a 3-4 hour trip) it was going to pass through La Paz, Feliciano, San Jaime, Federación, Chajarí, and finally to Concordia. We got home at 10:00am, so if you are any good at math you already know that was a 9 hour trip.... haha we got home, showered and we went to lunch. How fun! hahahahah

Kinda cool quick story, on Saturday we had our weekly meeting with the branch mission leader and there were these kids playing soccer outside. (they are always out there, they just jump the fence or break the lock to get in and play soccer) but these kids were a little younger so I invited them inside and we taught them how to say a prayer. Then I invited them to church the next day and 2 of them actually showed up! They only stayed for an hour but they came! I was very pleasantly surprised! :)

Well it has been a good week, I am feeling excited for this week to keep teaching all of our peeps! R, C, and L all came to church again and the 2 boys are looking solid for their baptism the 27th! We also had more than 60 in church again this week for the 4th time straight! My second week here we only had 27. We have seen miracles. I love you all, keep doing all that you are supposed to do and you will be happy! Have a great week!

Elder Sisk

Another week in Concordia! - September 1, 2014

Hola Familia!

Well another week bites the dust. Time is really starting to go by fast. They days just seem to blur together most of the time.. We had a good week, we need to continue looking for more people to teach and all but it has been going well. Elder A and I still get along really well which just makes everything seem better. I have been really blessed with the companions I have had on my mission. I can't complain! 

This week Elder Dylan Slavens got to the mission! I was able to talk with him on the phone his first day while he was at the mission home. He is serving in Santa Fe, but I will get to see him this week because Elder Zeballos from the 1st quorum of the 70 is coming to visit our mission. It will be really cool. We are traveling a day early because Elder A and another missionary are going to play a song on the cello and piano and they need to practice together. It will be fun because I have never really spent any time in Santa Fe! 

Investigator update:
P & A: We had taught P last week and she is awesome! We met her daughter named A this week. They are super nice and seem to be quite interested in the gospel. I know that they could both help our branch a lot and I think A would be a future missionary for sure if they get baptized. We are going to go today to visit them! 
R, L & C: CAME TO CHURCH!!! I was so happy to see them walk in. That was the first time that R has come in 23 years and her sons seemed to like it. It was for sure different for them but we are going to them tonight as well so we are going to explain all of the things they didn't understand and stuff. I tried to introduce R to some of the members and stuff. I have a lot of faith and hope in that family! It was awesome because we also had 69 people in church! The only thing was that with a bunch of people and kids, it gets kinda loud..
M & N: We found them by luck yesterday just walking by on the way to another house. They are great but i am starting to doubt how much interest they actually have in the church. This week we hope to be able to visit with them to have a do or die lesson. I really love those guys but they just have not shown signs of progression. I will keep you updated.

I had an amazing experience yesterday. There is this guy named D here in our branch. He was actually excommunicated from the church 12 years ago and yesterday we were able to attend his baptism and stand in for his confirmation. He is an incredible guy and they help us out a ton. They give us lunch at least once a week and he and I have grown really close in my time here. He and I have big plans for after the mission ;) He was just glowing with happiness all day! I am really proud of him, it was long and hard but he made it!

Well that is about it for this week, we are doing well, healthy, working, and loving it! Keep praying for these people, they are amazing and Heavenly Father loves them, so do I! I love you guys, keep it up on the BOM! I am in Mormon, you guys better finish!! haha have a great week!

Elder Sisk