Monday, October 18, 2010

Continuing Success in Bella Italia

October 18, 2010

Dear Family,

Well it’s P-day again and another week has gone by. It’s crazy how fast time seems to be going and it passes by much better when you are actually enjoying the work while doing it.

On Saturday we had our forth baptism here in Bella Italia. It was great and went off without a hitch. Our next baptism is planned for the 30th, but because of some complications, it might be pushed back to the sixth of November. But that’s okay. Our ward absolutely loves us. Yesterday I put together a plan to get referrals from the members. Now we will see how well the ward responds. Yesterday our bishop announced from the pulpit that the ward will now grow because of the two elders they now have. It really felt great and I know that we are just beginning to start to see more miracles.

Last Tuesday I had an interview with Presidente Da Silva. It was great. He told me personally to my face that my district from last change was one of the best of the entire mission. He also told us that on November 4th, we will be going to the temple. It felt super good and has really given me hope for this next change; so far so good. I had two intercambios’ this past week and spent several days in other wards and areas. I was bitten by a dog, but it wasn’t anything bad. Don’t worry, it didn’t have rabies. (Well at least I don’t think it did!) Anyway, we seem to be coming right along.

Besides all that, we are doing wonderfully and we are very much so looking forward to taking naps this afternoon to get some extra sleep. We’re flippin’ tired!

Well I love you all and I hope that all is well back at home.

Dad, you need to get in contact with the mission office sometime soon if you haven’t already done it. I kinda want you guys to just plan everything about where we go and the stuff we will do after we get home. That way it’s a surprise. I will probably be happy with just anything you decide. Well, let me know.

Love Ya,
Elder Sluder

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

We are Flying!!!

October 11, 2010

Dear Family,

Well, I am extremely saddened to hear about my brother. Steven, I love you and I will continue to pray for you and hope that you have a speedy recovery. Beth, I will be thinking of you and your children also. Thank you Dad for letting me know. If there is anything I can do, let me know. I don’t think I can do much of anything for ya here in Uruguay, but if there’s anything let me know.

I’m continuing to just work hard and baptize as of right now. I didn´t actually baptize Victoria, Elder Young did. But yesterday I did confirm her in sacrament meeting. She was the first person I have ever confirmed in my life and I didn’t even do it in my native language. It was pretty cool.

I’m sending you pictures of her baptism. This first picture is Victoria and her father with me and Elder Young.

The second picture is of Victoria and Alexandra. I baptized Alexandra about a month ago.

And the last picture is of me and Elder Young inside the chapel with Victoria right before her baptism.

We have another baptism scheduled for next Saturday. Her name is Yamila and she is 10 years old. Her family was inactive for a long time. We have now reactivated the family and we’re working on getting them through the temple. Her baptism is a big deal because now she can be sealed to her parents.

The other day we found another family of six. They have all accepted the invitation to be baptized. It was truly a miracle. We are hoping that when we go back this week, we will set the baptismal date for the 30th of October. We are flying!!!! Last Tuesday in my leadership meeting, President Da Silva told me that my district was one of the most successful districts in the mission (for the last change). The zone leaders wanted to know how I did it and how they could see the same results with the districts in their zones. I didn’t really know how to respond to be honest. I just said, well I don’t know, I guess I just got lucky and got a really good group of missionaries. It sure made me feel good let me tell ya.

So as I said, as of right now, we are flying!!!!! This change is will be equally as successful, if not more so. Well I love you and I hope that you all take care.

Love, Elder Sluder

PS: Dad, I will be taking money out of my account today. I need to fix my shoes again and I need to buy some new sheets and pillow for my bed. My others have become moldy and gross from all the humidity. If you do put money into my account this week, only put in 20 dollars. That way I don’t have the tendency to spend more than that.

PSS: Dad you need to call the mission office and let them know all of your plans for coming here. In the next little bit, they will be putting together my itinerary and you can organize it much better than I ever could.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Seeing Small Miracles Every Day

October 5, 2010

Dear Family

What a time I am having!!! Well we had changes and guess what? NO CHANGE. I’m still assigned with Elder Young and still baptizing in Bella Italia. We have a baptism planned for the 9th (Victoria) and also have one for the 16th. We plan to schedule even more baptisms in the weeks to come. One baptism a week is the plan and we are convinced that we are going to do so. Life continues to be changing for me. I loved General Conference. I never thought in my whole life that I would really feel that way. It was amazing. I’m so grateful that we have a prophet to guide us and to show us the way. I’m really coming to a sound understanding of how things are in this world and to be honest I’m feeling happier every day. Mom, I saw my You Tube videos on the internet at a member’s home a few weeks ago. They found them and asked me if it was me. I only saw the first part, but I couldn’t believe how my voice sounds and Elder Young didn’t even believe that it was me. It’s so strange how things change. I don’t really know what I’m going to be like when I do get home. At this point I can’t even imagine coming home. Maybe the reality of that will set in after Christmas. We shall see. I love Uruguay.

Last night we had a super spiritual lesson with a less active family. We invited the father to repent and baptize his 10 year old daughter. He broke down and said that he would call the bishop first thing and get it figured out. It’s amazing how the spirit works in people. Our plan is to see this family also go through the temple in a few months. The daughter’s baptism is now planned for the 16th of October.

A few days ago, we found and taught a 20 year old woman. As we began to talk with her, it was very obvious that she and her life were in pieces. She opened up and told us that 2 months ago, she had lost her 7 month old baby. She asked us if her baby was in hell because she never was baptized. I love the restored gospel that teaches us the truth of all things. We reassured her that she can be with her baby once again. We told her that baptism is her answer and that will insure eternal life with her child once again. By the end of the lesson, she had a giant smile on her face and she accepted her baptismal invitation. We plan to baptize her some time in November.

These are just some of the small miracles that we are seeing here. They happen on an almost daily basis and we are seeing the work move forward.

I’m happy and well! I love you all.

Elder Sluder

More Baptisms in Bella Italia

September 27, 2010

Dear Family,

What a crazy flippin’ week! We had the baptism of Hilda on Sunday. I hope that you guys enjoy the pictures I’m sending of her and me and my comp. Also there’s a picture of my district. So far Bella Italia has been alright. I’m slowly getting used to the city. It’s tough though. For example right before Hilda had her baptismal interview, she was assaulted and robbed right in front of the church. She ran into the church crying right after. But I think it only made her faith stronger and she still got baptized. The miracle was then the next day at her baptism, a member found her identity card and her house keys in a dumpster right down the road. When the member gave her the keys and stuff she just started to cry and thanked and hugged the member and said there is no way this church isn’t the true church. Why or how the member found them we still don’t really know, but it is definitely one of those amazing, miracle things. We’re counting our lucky stars. Then yesterday after church, Victoria was heading home and she decided to walk home alone and she also was assaulted and robbed right outside of the church. I spent much of yesterday talking with her father and I believe it was necessary because now we can really see the faith she has. It was quite an interesting day let me tell ya. Now that all is said and done, we have very solid plans to baptize her on the 9th of October. All of our investigators though now think it’s required to get robbed right before baptism. Ha ha ha –

Besides all of this, life has been pretty good. I still haven’t been robbed, but I don’t really carry anything of value on me anyway so I don’t worry too much. I have been really happy lately. I’m seeing myself grow and I’m really getting good at this whole missionary thing. So far in my zone this month there have only been three baptisms. Elder Young and I have had two of them and the other one was also in my district. We feel great and get along great. I couldn’t ask for a better situation.

Next week is cambios AGAIN...... I will be writing you on Tuesday. I hope you all enjoy general conference. I’m super excited myself !!!!!!!! Love you all.

Elder Sluder

Elder Sluder, Hilda and Elder Young

Elder Sluder, Hilda and Elder Young

The Elders in the Bella Italia Distict