Thursday, August 21, 2014

La Palabra De Sabiduría‏

Week 5 was filled with both boredom and excitement. Mostly excitement.

Proselyting last week was incredibly fun. We destroyed as far as numbers go, nearly tripling the amount of contacts and references we obtained. I really hope the missionaries here use our references because honestly we got so many. We had tons fun going to a much busier and much poorer part of Buenos Aires.

I got offered alcohol and marijuana several times while proselyting.

On one such occasion, we walked up to what was probably the sketchiest street corner in the entire city, where a group of people were definitely up to no good. As we walked up I noticed that not only was someone literally rolling dope a foot away from me, but another was smoking a fat doobie and handing someone a bag of a mysterious green substance. It was fairly obvious. So of course, being missionaries, we approached them with the standard "ustedes tienen tiempo por un poquito mensaje acerca de Jesucristo y su Evangelio?" which is probably wrong (gramatically, somehow) but they seemed to get the point. We talked to them for a little bit, and talked to one of the customers and his three year old daughter.

I then handed them all Gospel of Jesus Christ pamphlets (with word of wisdom pamphlets hidden inside each) and we got out of the area pretty quickly.

Another area I went to with my compañeros was filled with people, and we walked up to  what looked to us like an asado. It turned out to be a work gathering of some sort and we talked to the people for a little while. It seems that everyone in South America comes to the conclusion that I somehow look like Justin Beiber. They decided to be nice (and they thought it was soooo funny that I looked "exactly" like Beiber) and gave my companions and I some steak sandwiches right off of the grill for free, even though we offered to pay. Overall it was a really fun adventure, and although I didn´t take any photos while I was there, I´ll definitely take some this week when we go back.

We also said a prayer with a sweet old lady who couldn't communicate with us  and had some sort of debilitating palsy, and when we gave her the pass-along card of Jesus she kissed it and it was so, so sad.
Other than that the week was fairly standard. The new latinos are 9x crazier than the last two groups, and have come to the obvious conclusion that I am Justin Bieber, and that Maren (I´m really sorry Maren-I'll never show them my pictures ever again) is Miley Cyrus. They also really like Brynn which I tell them is really creepy of them because some of them are like 20.

This is my last week in the MTC! It´s been a wild ride but I can´t wait to get out in the field. I know I´m doing a great work, and although this letter was a little more lighthearted, I´m excited to feel the spirit and do the Lord´s work.

Elder Wilson

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Quatro Semanas‏

Week 4 at the CCM has gone by extremely fast, but I still have a few things worth mentioning.

We went out proselyting again on Saturday and did a great job (We exceeded our goals by kind of a lot). We did not get a chance to see Patricia again as her store was closed, but we met with a bunch of people and had lots of fun. It was great to run around and share the gospel with everybody we saw. We also had some killer homemade Dulce De Leche pie that was being sold out of a women´s clothing garage sale. Overall it was super fun and we had a great time, although we didn´t have any huge spiritual experiences, which is to be expected from a day trying to convince people to take pamphlets and explain our church.

The next group of Latino elders left two days ago as well. They were really cool guys and it was actually sad to see them go. My roommates were awesome, and one of them, Elder Ruiz Diaz, was teaching me Guarani which helped a lot. I got a 100 Chilean peso coin from the other one, Elder Rojas. A new group of Latinos arrived yesterday and will continue to arrive today, and they are all going to my mission or the missions of the other people in my district (Paraguay Asuncion/ Uruguay Montevideo). They seem pretty nice and can beatbox. These Elders actually don't call me Elder Bieber any more, but they did say I'm like "El Protagonista de Back to the Future", which I would say is an upgrade.

We continue to play soccer every day on the courts, and it´s pretty fun, I guess. I scored a goal yesterday and it was pretty funny because I´m generally not very good at soccer.

My Spanish is coming along pretty well, and I must say it is much easier to speak than it is to write. I´m definitely improving compared to my first week, and I can understand and speak pretty well (for being here for only four weeks). I´m getting along pretty well with everyone for the most part and we are all having a lot of fun.

The next P-day is my last P-day in the MTC, but I feel more and more prepared for the field every day. Once again I´m really grateful for all of the love and emails.


Elder Wilson

Elder Ruiz Dias (glasses) Elder Rojas (bottom) and my companions.
Me Proselyting in Buenos Aires.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Crying for me in Argentina‏

Last Saturday we went proselyting for the first time.

They dropped us off in the middle of Buenos Aires for five hours and just told us to run around, get information and spread the gospel.

It was an incredible experience to talk to the strange, amazing, toothless people of Argentina and discuss religion and the gospel of Jesus Christ. Before I talk about other miscellaneous items, I want to talk about an incredible experience I had with one of the ladies we talked to while we were out.

We came across a small "American Clothing" store right at the start of siesta time (about 2 o´clock) on saturday afternoon. There was a little middle-aged woman standing outside sweeping the concrete outside, and we approached her with some of the simple things we had been taught to introduce ourselves and the church. Right as we were about to give her a pamphlet and move on to the next person, she invited us in. We sat down on her little couch in her store-home hybrid and she told us her name was Patricia.

We discussed her life for a while and we talked about different churches and introduced her to the Book of Mormon. We did some explaining and talked about her son who is struggling with addictions to crack cocaine among other things. Patricia told us that she is the guardian of her granddaughter while her son is going through these things, and I told her about the word of wisdom and the addiction recovery programs in the church.
After that, I bore a small, sincere testimony about the Book of Mormon in broken Spanish.

I looked up at her and saw tears streaming down her face. She told me that she hadn´t felt the spirit at any other churches (catholic, episcopal, and others) and somehow knew that this one was different because of the things I said and the feeling she had. It reminded me of what Marshall Pruitt had said about wanting to find the right church based on the spirit. She told us that she would attend church the next day after we told her where and when sacrament meeting was held. We said goodbye, she gave me a kiss on the cheek (just me, because she said it would be so sad for my mom to give me up for two years to serve the lord) said a prayer, and we left her with a Book of Mormon. The spirit was so strong and it made my day. We´ll check back with her this Saturday to see if she actually did attend sacrament meeting.

It was an amazing experience and I´m so proud of the work we do as missionaries.

In other news
-The new group of Elders arrived at the MTC
-We saw a dead dog on top of a dumpster that had been thrown out recently

Well, I´m havin' fun in Argentina and I´m working hard. Thanks for all the email!


Elder Wilson

Friday, August 1, 2014

Week 2 Electric Boogaloo‏

I apologize for the title of this email but I had to do it. 

Week 2 at the MTC was more of the same. It's definitely a grind of class after class after class with a few nice things sprinkled in. The Spanish is going pretty well, and we're currently doing some odd grammar things in class. We sent off the Latin Elders (who only go to the MTC for 2 weeks) and the new group of 20 Americans and 20 Latins get here today. I'm really worried because on my schedule it said I was being moved into a new district with all the new people, which would set me back about 2 weeks of learning.  I'm going to try to get it all sorted, though. Last night we gave a priesthood blessing to one of the new Latin elders who recently had a hernia surgery, and it was interesting to try to do one for the first time (and in Español.) The food is good, but we have cereal for breakfast every single morning which is getting old really, really fast. It's really difficult to figure out what to write about because it's pretty bland over here in the Argentina CCM. Thanks for all the emails and love! I'll try to respond as much as I can.

Elder Wilson

 My District
  Another pose forced on me by Elder Luiz "my spirit latino"
  Elder Luiz forcing me to do some stupid pose
 Elder Stone and I
 My companions and some guys from another district
The Buenos Aires Temple