Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Another Great Week and More Baptisms Scheduled

September 22, 2010

Dear Family,

Well that was a really long week! But I’m finally at P-day once again! This week I have actually had it pretty good. We completed our goals and are continuing to get better every day! For the past few days, I have been in Carrasco at a conference with the other leaders of the mission. We were taught by President DaSilva for about 20 hours. Really long days, let me tell ya, but it was totally cool. I learned a ton and now I just have to apply it to everyone in my district.

To tell ya a little bit about my companion, Elder Young, he’s 19 years old and been on the mission about 8 months. He’s from Gilbert, Arizona. (I think it’s next to Phoenix). He’s a dang good kid. I love him to death!! He’s really kept me going and to be honest I couldn’t ask for a better companion. He was actually a companion of my last companion in the MTC, but he definitely is a whole lot more loving! It makes the missionary work so much easier too.

We will be having a Baptism this Saturday of a woman named Hilda. She’s about 56 and her faith is unbelievable. I’m very excited! Then the week after on Thursday the 30th, we will have another baptism of a young girl named Shamila. She’s 9 and her parents have just never baptized her. (Don’t really know why but I’m not going to complain) And then the weekend of the 9th we should be baptizing Victoria and her father! They have really become some great investigators. They have been going to church and Victoria has been very active in mutual with the young women. So no complaints there either. That comes out to almost a baptism a week and every day we are looking for opportunities to continue baptizing.

I’m really starting to feel like I’m getting good at this whole missionary thing. I’m super happy and I have really lost my self this past little while. My district is absolutely awesome and I couldn’t ask for a better group of guys. Next week I will try to send you some pictures and so that at least you can see them before this change is over.

Thank you Steven for the letter you wrote; I always love your letters! Tell Pete that I will continue to keep them in my prayers. I do miss the good old fall weather. But things here are finally warming up. Dad, congratulate Krista and her new husband for me and tell them to just enjoy themselves! Time goes so fast! Well I love you all and hope to see you all some day once again soon. I wish you all a wonderful week from Uruguay. I’m going to baptize the hell out of these Uruguayans!

Elder Sluder

Monday, September 13, 2010

A Week of Training and a Baptism on Saturday

September 13, 2010

Dear Family,

What a week I have had! It’s actually been pretty dang good! On Tuesday, I had to work with the zone leaders in a different area for the day. Then on Wednesday through Friday, I had to work in barrio 14 in Montevideo with Elder Jacobsen. The mission is having the district leaders learn some new things from these special meetings we have to go to. Then we will have intercambios (splits) with other missionaries to train them on the things we have learned. It’s been a really fun week. On Saturday we had the baptism for Alexandra Ferriera Camejo. It worked out wonderfully and we are planning on having many more baptisms.

Another investigator, Victoria is definitely very interesting. She is a stellar investigator and has been reading the Book of Mormon like crazy. Last night she agreed to be baptized on the 9th of October with her father.

On Saturday night I received a call from Federico and Virginia from Minas. They got married on Friday and are now baptized members of the church. He mentioned that now their next step is to go through the temple one year from his baptismal date. ITS SUPER FREAKIN AWESOME!!!! I called Elder Maluff and told him about it and he immediately started to cry to me over the phone! He said that he now knows that all the time we spent in Minas looking for people was now all worth it!

Today we had a district activity and went to the temple here in Montevideo and cleaned it! My companion and I got the opportunity to go down and scrub the oxen on the baptismal font. We learned a ton from the temple presidency and got the opportunity to just go sit in the celestial room for about 30 minutes. Super awesome activity and it made our district super happy.

Next week I will be emailing on Wednesday because I have a special leadership meeting for two days in Carrasco. Super fun!

Well I’m doing great right now.  I’m just hanging in there. I love you so much. Included is a picture of me and my companion Elder Young in taken front of the Montevideo temple today.

Elder Sluder

Monday, September 6, 2010

Having Success in Bella Italia Montevideo

September 6, 2010

Dear Family,

I can’t believe its Labor Day once again! It’s so crazy to think that. And what a week we’ve had. This week was super dificil. We had rain every flippin’ day. I couldn’t believe it! All of my clothes are still soaked. Finally yesterday the sun came out and warmed things up. It made for a great Sunday afternoon to work. I have seen progress already in Bella Italia since I got here a few weeks ago. This Saturday, I will be baptizing a young woman who is 17 years old. We found her on my first day that I got to the area. Her name is Alexandra and she lives here with her grandmother. She’s originally from a place called Artigas, which is a city on the border of Brazil and Uruguay so she speaks Portuguese. I had to get written permission from her parents to baptize her so I called up President DaSilva to see what he could do for me. When I called him back on Wednesday night, he told me that he sent the sister missionaries from the other mission to go visit her family. They did visit and then got the written permission and now her father in Artigas is now listening to the missionaries. The hope is to see a grand change in the lives of this family. It’s super exciting! Pres. DaSilva seems to be happy with the work that’s going on here and so far we have baptisms planned for every Saturday for the rest of the month of September.

My companion Elder Young is super awesome and I have absolutely no complaints! The other elders in my district also seem to be outstanding and have so far been super obedient and hard working. No complaints. There was one nice thing about the rain and that is we didn’t have to worry about getting robbed all week. The ladrones are too lazy to come out when it rains and so I think that in that aspect we were blessed. :)

Well Dad, your Spanish was pretty good, but I definitely could tell a difference in the messages that Virginia wrote compared to yours. When you get here, I guess I’ll be your Google translator. Spanish is really starting to become second nature. I don’t struggle much at all any more. The weird thing is, I can’t really remember what it’s like to not be able to speak it.

Last night we had an awesome meeting with our Bishop. He’s super young, only 26 years old and it’s great to be able to work with him. He told us that he’s so happy to finally see the missionary work function as it should. It made us feel super good. So in all those aspects, I’m doing great! I’ll be sure to take some pictures of the baptism next week and send them to you.

Well, Vamos Arriba. Our house is on Torremolinos and Luis C. Caviglia. Punta de Rieles is a little northeast of where we live, but it is included in our area.

Note from Dad: Here is a picture of the intersection of
Torremolinos and Luis C Caviglia from Google Earth.
This is the neighborhood where John is living and working.

Well I love you all so much. I’ll see ya soon and so far I’m doing just fine here in Montevideo.

Elder Sluder