Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Here I Come!!!!!!

Hello once again and for the last time! That´s really weird to say. I´m not really sure what to say here. First off I can´t believe that this is all coming to a close. That is super weird to think. It´s really something unbelievable and it still doesn´t process completely. Ok let´s just get into it. We´re gonna pretend like today is just any other common Pday. This week was pretty legit. We had 6 people in church which was awesome! We´d been having a hard time getting people to church this last month so to have 6 this week was pretty fantastic. We had 2 families and this lady named Mary in church. Mary I don´t know all that well cause my companion, Elder Milne, found her while we were in divisions but she seems like a really cool lady and really genuine so that´s really cool. The other people we had were Aureliano and Ana who are awesome. Ana wants to get baptized super bad but they have to get married before that can happen. We have an appoiontment with them now at 6 so we´ll see what Aureliano says cause he wasn´t too sure about getting married. They´re pretty cool people though. We took them to a baptism of some other missionaries this last saturday so that was awesome cause the spirit was really strong there and I think it helped them out quite a bit. If they want to get married we´re hoping that we can do it this week so they can get baptized this weekend cause if not it´ll have to wait. We´re gonna go by with our branch president today so that´ll be pretty good. Our branch president is an awesome guy. Then the other family that came to church is Manuel, Alicia and Veronica. Manuel and Alicia are older people that just moved in with their daughter Veronica cause Manuel got fired from his job. They´re really cool, humble people though and they´re super excited for the church. They had contact with the church in the past a long time ago but then they moved out to the middle of nowhere so they lost contact with the church and everything. Well they have contact again and they´re really pumped and so are we! I think that Manuel and Alicia need to get married but hey it happens. So that was our sunday. It was really cool and really gratifying. We could really feel the Lord´s hand in His work which was super nice I´m not gonna lie. This week was also interesting cause I went to Necochea to do divisions with the companion of our district leader out there. That was a really fun experience. Necochea is looking to be a stake next year so there starting everything now to prepare to meet that goal. It was fun to be a part of that experience for a few days. I was down there tuesday and wednesday with Elder Risenhoover. He´s an interesting kid. He´s a convert. He and his family got baptized when he was 10 and he´s the first one to go on a mission so that was pretty cool. He´s a really loving kid and I enjoyed being with him for a few days. We saw a few of the Lord´s tender mercies out there as well. In their area they´d been having a hard time finding people to teach so that was a focus of ours and in 2 days we were able to find 3 people. Nothing to extraordinary but we were still really grateful and they were able to find quite a few people after that in the week so that was really cool to see. Well I gotta get going cause we have this appointment with Aureliano and Ana. It´s weird to think that this is my last week. I´ll get in touch with the office and ask them to send you the flight plans. They should be calling you pretty soon anyway. Thanks for everything and we´ll be seeing you pretty soon here. Don´t expect anything from me next monday cause I´ll be traveling! Love you all, take care!
-Elder Nicholas Gaughan

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Well Here We Are Again

Well hello everyone. How are things going? It´s weird to think that another week has already gone by. It still shocks me how quickly time goes by and how we really need to take advantage of the opportunities that are presented to us. This week went by super fast and I can´t believe it´s already overwith. This week we had zone conference. It was my last one so that was really strange to think about and how things are slowly starting to change. I don´t think I had really realized how close I am to ending until zone conference hit. I was talking to one of the assistants, Elder Connors, who goes home with me at the same time and it really hit me there that I was a lot closer than I had realized. Weird.
This week went pretty well. Nothing too out of control really happened which was kinda weird but hey stuff happens. All the members here tell me about how little time I have left which is kinda funny but at the same time I want to stay focused to the end. On tuesday I got to do divions with Elder Sterling who´s working in a little town called Rauch which is about an hour outside of Tandil. They came in for zone conference that was gonna be on wednesday so I got to go out with him when they came down tuesday afternoon. It was really fun cause Elder Sterling just got here this transfer so he´s full of energy and he was really excited to be here in the mission. That was a really cool experience. Later that night I also had the opportunity to do a few baptismal interviews for other Elders. That was also a great experience. Doing baptismal interviews is one of my favorite things to do in the mission. Seeing people change their lives, come unto Christ and make changes in their lives to more fully follow Him is one of the greatest miracles that exists. Ending the mission is a weird feeling. I think no one really feels prepared cause there are a lot of feelings that are very difficult to describe. A lot of things that happen or that you feel you can´t adecuately describe or really do them justice in trying to communicate them. Coming on the mission was easily the best decision I´ve ever made in my life and I´m eternally grateful for this opporutnity that has been given me to be here and to be constantely involved in His work. Great stuff. Thank you all for everything you do. Hey alex HAPPY BIRTHDAY!! I hope it went well. Love you all and we´ll be seeing you!
-Elder Nicholas Gaughan

One Week More

Hello everyone! How is everything going? I´m glad to see that everyone is good and it sounds like you all had a great time in Alaska! I can´t believe that school is starting again and everyone is already getting ready for that. Thanks for setting everything up for me for when I get back, that is going to be a huge help and I really appreciate it. All the members here are asking me how much time I have left and they´re all freaking out too so your not the only ones. I don´t like to think about it to much but it does cross my mind often and it´s still really weird to think about.
This week was an interesting one to say the least. At the beginning of the week we started off really well. We found some new people, Claudio, Gustavo and Macarena. Claudio is the dad and Gustavo and Macarena are his kids. We taught them and had a cool lesson cause Claudio had almost lost his faith and in God and everything. We had a good/quite powerfull lesson about the Atonement and it´s power in our lives. That was on monday. Then the rest of the week until sunday was a bit of a struggle. I was really confused/frustrated cause I couldn´t figure out what was going on that things randomly got so tough and it seemed like everything was failing on us. I was really confused cause we didn´t have anything change that should´ve made that happen. We kept working hard and trying to get better and last night it paid off. We went out with the second counselor of the branch, Saul Sea, who´s 18 and getting ready for his mission. We went by an ex investigators house and knocked the door. This girl named Deborah answers and before we say anything she says "do you want to come in?". WOW! That was awesome. We went in just barely started teaching her and her husband, Matias got home. He sat down and started listening to us. We had an amazing lesson with them and when we got to the part about the First Vision, Deborah started crying. She has her grandmother who just got diagnosed with cancer so she´s going through a really tough time and isn´t sure about what´s gonna happen after this life or anything. We all shared personal experiences about loved ones who had passed on and she asked us "how do you know all this? how do you know you´ll be with them again?" and we could testify about the gospel and the plan of salvation. I talked about Danny and Sam and I felt the Spirit really strong in that moment. I´m so grateful to have the gospel in my life. Mom and Dad, thank you for listening to the missionaries. I´ve thought about it many times throughout the mission and I don´t know what my life would be with the gospel of Jesus Christ in my life. It is the most precious thing we have in the world. Truly amazing. Do you two remember the names of the missionaries that taught you? If you don´t, look it up if you can and tell me please. I love this gospel. That was my week. Tough, but we stuck to it and were blessed in the end. We set a baptismal date with Matias and Deborah for the 3rd of september, my last weekend. I really hope they make it to that day. Please pray for them that they do!!! I love you all, and thank you so very much for what you do!
-Elder Nicholas Gaughan

Writing from Bahia Blanca

Well hello family of mine. How is everything. Hey Mike and John.....CONGRATS ON THE EAGLE COURT OF HONOR!!! That´s awesome. Sorry but I don´t think I´ll be able to make it. I might be a little late. Take pictures though! This week has been an interesting one to say the least. Did I tell you about the miracle we had? Well if I already did you can skip this part. So I was walking down the street with Elder Milne when we had just left a failed appointment. We´re walking down the street and we see a door. We both look at each other and say "let´s knock here". We knock and the lady that opens the door, Veronica, says "oh thank goodness, I´ve been waiting for you!". WOW!!! That was pretty amazing. We couldn´t go in and teach her at that moment cause she lives by herself with her kids and we can´t go into houses where there´s not a guy. So we set an appoinment and got a member to go with us. When we went to teach we had a really good, spirit filled lesson and she said before we started teaching that much that she knows the church is true and that she wants to get baptized! Pretty awesome right? She has to quit smoking and the branch president wants her to go to church once before she gets baptized. Unfortunately she didn´t show up to church this week. Elder Milne went with a our mission leader to go get her for church but she wasn´t there so we gotta see what happened. She´s awesome though and we´re really excited for her to get baptized. That was our awesome experience of the last week. We also had a pretty cool experience with an excommunicated member. He got excommunicated a long time ago. We had passed by a few times cause he asked us to and we got permisson to do it. We passed by but he was really on the defensive the whole time. This time we passed by cause we were close in the area and apparently he was praying that we pass by cause he wants to get baptized again! That was a really cool experience cause this guy is really changed and super humble right now. It was awesome to see the change in this guy. We also had a legit experience doing service for a guy when we left Veronica´s house after we taught her. We were walking with this member, Brother Sea and we saw a guy spreading a huge mound of dirt all over his yard to even it out. We asked if he wanted help and he said yes kind of joking around so we went up and starting helping the guy. Turns out he´s a friend of Brother Sea and they started talking as we were working. We then went back the next day andtaught him a little bit. His name is Juan and he´s a really cool guy. He´s known missionaries for a while but never really read or prayed. It was a cool experience though and a great testimony about service for me.Right now I´m in Bahía cause he had consejo with President and just barely got out. It was awesome and we talked a ton about working with members so PLEASE HELP THE MISSIONARIES OUT THERE!!!! Seriously you guys don´t realize how important you are in missionary work. Members are the most important people. That´s everything that really happened this week. Thanks for all your letters and support. I can´t believe Kyler is swimming already and everything is changing back home. I can´t believe so much stuff is changing and so many cool things are happing. I hope your all doing well! Thanks for everything you do!!!! Love you guys!
-Elder Nicholas Gaughan

Monday, August 1, 2011

Another Month Gone By

Well hello everyone. How´s things? Ok first of all that´s crazy to hear that Bryan is already back home. Tell him I said hi. Sounds like he had an awesome mission. I can´t wait to talk to him about it when I get back. That´s awesome that he´s gonna go to BYU too, I love that kid. It doesn´t surprise me at all that he had that much success. So it´s hard to believe that another month has gone by. It still hasn´t really hit me yet how close I am and to be completely honest I try not to think about it too much. I got a little booklet last week that talks about puting life goals after the mission and stuff like that. I have to give it to President in my last interview.....I think I´m gonna wait a little while to fill it out.
Anyway the missionary work out here is going pretty well. We had a few miracles this week which were pretty awesome. One happened last monday right after I finished writing you all. We went out with Elder Milne and went by some members so that he could start to get to know people. After that we were gonna pass by a different members house to see how some references were doing cause here in the mission we have a new way to work with members and references, and as we´re on our way there Elder Milne says "hey lets knock this door". We knocked and they let us in! We taught the Gutierrez family which is a family of 6! It was pretty amazing. So that was a good way to start the week off. Then another day we went by the Mansilla family but they weren´t there so we kept walking and decided to knock another door. We knock it and this lady answers and says "oh finally, how are you guys?". Turns out she had talked to other missionaries a while ago and they said they were gonna pass by but they never did. Her name is Veronica and she´s super cool. We weren´t able to go in at that moment cause there was no guy in the house and if there´s not a man in the house we´re not allowed to enter. But we´re gonna go back and teach her. That was also super cool. We also went with a member and taught this lady Andrea and her daughters Micaela and Paloma. A while ago we helped Andrea put a roof on her house cause the guy that was building just picked up and took off without ever finishing the house and Andrea didn´t have any money to pay somebody else to do it. We helped her with that and this week we were finally able to teach her and her daughters. Andrea had listened to missionaries before when she was young but her parents wouldn´t let her get baptized.....time to change that now! It was a really cool experience and they´re really excited which is great! We also talked to the Mansilla family a little bit and they´re gonna meet us on wednesday morning to take out a fecha to get married. We´re hoping we can get them married and baptized here pretty soon and really get things going here. Things with Elder Milne have been great so far. He kind of reminds me of Ryan Jensen a little bit, and he´s also a red head so that helps. We´re doing super good though and we´re excited to have a lot of success and I´m excited to end the mission the best way possible. Those were some of the tendure merices of the Lord in our lives this week. It was awesome. I at least throughly enjoyed it. Oh one more. On sunday we went out to look for people to go to church but didn´t find anyone. We were a little disappointed and were walking back towards the church. We get there, go in and head to the gospel principles class and we see this guy Cristian there. Cristian was an investigator that we had dropped cause he and his girlfriend Maria weren´t progressing at all. They had to get married but then there was always some problem as to why they couldn´t do it or they´d fight all the time and call it off. Looks like Cristian had a life changing experience in these last couple weeks and we´re gonna go back to help him change things around and so he hopefully can finally get baptized. Please pray for him and Maria cause we need all the help we can get. That was really cool though cause Cristian was not the same guy in church that I knew before. He had come to church a ton of times before but this time it was diferent and that was really cool. Well that´s all for this week. Thanks for all the great news. I can´t believe mom got released as Relief Society President. I didn´t think that was ever gonna happen. Well I love you all and thanks for all the love and support. I truely appreciate it!!!!
-Elder Nicholas Gaughan

Changes, Changes, Changes

Well hello beloved family how is everything? Well as you can tell there have been some changes here. I´m still here in Tandil. Looks like I´m gonna end here and I´m really excited cause I really like it here. We have great members and we have a couple families that need to get baptized before I leave! I do have a new companion however. His name is Elder Milne. Have I ever told you guys about him? I knew him when he started the mission out in Santa Rosa when I trained the first time, then later he was in my district when I was in Jorge Newbery and now we´re comps! I´m really excited. He´s an awesome guy and we´re both pretty pumped to get working and see some miracles out here in Tandil. He´s a giant too. We´re literally the same size. It´s gonna be pretty legit I must say. We´re gonna be like the twin towers walking around. We´ll take some pictures and I´ll be sure to send them next week. Sorry I´ve been really bad about sending pictures lately. But we´re excited to get going and I can´t believe I´m ending the mission. This is probably the weirdest feeling on the planet. To be completely honest I don´t remember a lot of life before the mission. I´m excited to get back to school as well though and be out there with Mike and John.
Anyway back to Argentina and the mission. We have some pretty legit investigators that we are hoping get baptized this month. We have a family called the Mansilla family that are way cool. I don´t remember if I told you about them or not but I´m gonna tell you again. When we found them 2 weeks ago they didn´t have hardly anything to eat, the dad, Alberto, didn´t have a job and their house is pretty much falling apart. We started teaching them (they already know the church cause they´ve listened before) and they came to church last sunday and this last week Alberto got a job and we couldn´t go teach him cause he was working! It´s so awesome to see the blessing that the Lord gives us when we are obedient to his commandments and do what He says we should. It was kind of a bummer that we couldn´t really go to teach them but on the other hand it´s ok cause Alberto was working. We gotta go by this week and get them committed to getting married and then baptized! Hopefully they get baptized in the next few weeks. We also have this cool couple, Aureliano and Ana. I think I have told you about them before. They have a baby that´s the same age as Kyler. They´re super cool too but they also have to get married. Luckily the judge here that marries people is a member of the church so she´s totally willing to help us out and get them married quickly!!! Whoo!!! We also have this lady named Nanci who went to the church in a pueblo close by here for almost 10 years but never got baptized! It actually really shocked me and we´re gonna try to baptize her this weekend but she has to stop smoking so please pray for her cause we need a miracle to happen so that she gets baptized this weekend. We also have a couple other people but they´re still super new and I don´t remember everyone´s name at this point. I´m really excited though to get going. It´s weird that Elder Murillo isn´t here. I loved that kid. He´s amazing and we got along super well. I´m gonna miss him a lot but I´m also really excited to get going with Elder Milne right now! I love you guys, thanks for all your love and support!!! Share the gospel with everyone you know!!! Seriously! I love you all. Take care and we´ll be seeing you
-Elder Nicholas Gaughan

A Few More Miracles

Well hello family how are things? I've decided I´m going to go back to school when I get home so get ready. I want to major in international relations with a minor in spanish. Yes I just decided what I´m going to do for the rest of my life. I´m excited. Random fact, one of the Elders I live with, Elder Wartena, is gonna major in the exact same thing. Ok Ok back to the missionary part. So this week we had some pretty random miracles which was awesome. First of all we had 6 people in church which was a miracle in itself cause the last 2 weeks we haven´t had anyone. That was super cool. Then in the week we had some pretty random/legit stuff happen. On tuesday we were walking down the street and this guy who was standing outside his house said "hi Elders how are you?". Not too many people say Elder to us so we stopped and started talking to him. His name is Alberto Mansilla and him and his family are having a really tough time. His house it basically falling apart. They know the church from a long time ago but never got baptized for some reason. Then we were walking down a different street later in the week and a lady said hey I want to talk to you. 2 Sister missionaries used to teach her but then they got transfered and no one ever went by again. She said that she suffered from depression but has now left that behind and wants us to go teach her. Pretty legit huh? I sure thought so. That was pretty awesome. We also taught a domincan family which was fun cause they sound really cool when they talk. It´s cool hearing another accent that´s not from argentina. It was pretty cool. Not a whole lot more happened besides that this week. Oh we had a really awesome lesson with the Collado family and our branch president but they didn´t make it to church. We gotta see what we can do to help them get to church cause they´re awesome people and have a ton of potential to progress and be better and better. Please pray for them and us that we can help them get to church. I can´t think of much else to say and I´ve run out of time. I love you all and thanks for all your help and support. It´s weird to think that I only have one transfer left after this week. I don´t really like thinking about it but it´s somthing I have to face. It´s probably the weirdest feeling I´ve felt in my life. We´ll see what happens when the moment comes. Thanks for all your love and support!!! I hope everyone is good and Kyler is growing strong!!!!
-Elder Nicholas Gaughan

Another Week Gone By...

Well hello everyone, how are things? It´s hard to believe that another week has gone by. It´s really kind of creepy how quickly time passes, and I´m told that times goes by even faster after the mission so that´s not too reassuring. Well this week was interesting. To be completely honest not a whole lot happened this week. We walked a ton and had a hard time finding people at home. This last few weeks have been a little tough cause we haven´t been able to get anyone in church. That´s always annoying cause if people don´t come to church, they can´t get baptized, and they can´t save themselves or apply the Atonement in their lives. But hey they also have their agency so there´s not always a ton we can do about that. We´ve been working really hard and are hoping to see the fruits of our labors pretty soon. This week we found a few people that we hadn´t found in a while named Aureliano and Ana. Remember them? Well they had moved and so we´d kinda lost contact with them, but the other day we were able to find them again and start teaching them. They had read a bit from what we left them which was pretty cool! I was really excited. So we started teaching them again and we´re hoping that they start to progress. They have a little baby named Mateo who has about the same amount of time as Kyler so that was a weird coincidence. So we taught them one day and everything was going well. Then we called them on sunday to see what happend and why they didn´t go to church and Aureliano said that they had seperated. Super random. We were way shocked and today we have to go by to see what happened. When we went by they seemed like they were fine and now apparently they´re not together anymore. It was something that really shocked me and definitely wasn´t expecting to hear. Something that´s really hit me more than ever being here in Tandil is the importance of living the commandments. I´ve always known it was really important and I feel like I´ve had a testimony of it for a while now, but it´s like here it´s a lot more obvious why it´s important. It´s like it´s hitting me in a more direct way than it did before and the consequences are a lot more obvious and visible. Conclusion: Keeping the commandments=happiness and a lot less problems in life. It´s pretty cool how the gospel is so simple. Well that´s all that really happened this week. Sorry it wasn´t too exciting. We´ll see if we can make something happen this week. Hopefully I´ll have some stories for next week. Thanks for all your emails, love and support. That´s also super cool that Lindsay got married!!! Tell her congrats for me! Love you all, thanks for everything!!!!! 
-Elder Nicholas Gaughan

Thursday, July 7, 2011

A Week of Little Miracles

Hey everyone how´s everything going? Well another week has come to an end and this week wasn´t quite as exciting as these last few have been. To start off the week I was in divisions with Elder Marambio who´s working out in Necochea which is another city that belongs to our zone. My companion, Elder Murillo went out to Necochea to see how they were doing and to try to help them out a little bit. Divisions were interesting to say the least. Not a whole lot happened until wednesday which was the last day I was with Elder Marambio. We were a little frustrated cause we hadn´t taught very much and we hadn´t found any new investigators which is always a bummer. It was about 730 and Elder Marambio had a bus that left at around 815. Cause we had a little bit of time left we decided to go by one more house. We go to see Claudio (not the one who got baptized a little while ago) to see if we could get in to teach him. Claudio was a reference of some other Elders and we had talked to him in the door but hadn´t gotten into his house yet. We go by start talking to him in the door and he was kind of acting like he didn´t want to let us in. In addition to that it was freezing cold outside. So there I am thinking "snap, it´s super cold, we haven´t had much success and now Claudio doesn´t want to let us in". And as we were talking to him all of the sudden he says "hey it´s really cold, come on inside". What a miracle! It was super cool! He let us in and we were able to teach him and his family! 6 people in total were there. We could only teach a short lesson about the Book of Mormon and how it´s important but it was really good and it was an awesome experience. Then after all of that Elder Marambio missed his bus and didn´t end up leaving until the next morning at 4 AM. It´s ok though, it was totally worth it. We also had another interesting experience with a guy named Carlos Collado. He´s listened to the missionaries on and off for about 10 years. He has a bunch of friends who are members of the church, but he´s still yet to get baptized. A member once told us that Carlos said that something really bad would have to happen to him so that he gets baptized. Well here´s a lesson in carefull what you wish for. We went by this week and he told us that his oldest daughter who´s 19 ran away to live with her boyfriend. Bad enough? Yes. He was really perplexed and didn´t really know how to handle the situation. He was asking us all kind of questions and we were able to teach him and his wife about the restoration. The importance of having prophets and the guidence that we have as members of the church and the importante and huge roll that the restored gospel plays in our lives. We were able to apply it really well to them and we had a really powerful lesson which was awesome. Just goes to show you, be carefull what you wish for cause a lot of times God grants us those things that we say so that we change and repent. It was cool cause at the end of the lesson we all kneeled down to say a prayer and Carlos said a really good prayer at the end. When we went by later in the week they told us that the daughter had come over with the boyfriend and that things were getting better. She still hasn´t gone back to the house but Carlos and Andrea know that she´s ok and they helped them a lot. They didn´t make it to church last week so this week we gotta make a big effort to get them to church this week so that they can start progressing. Besides that not a ton happened. We had a bit of a tough week but this one is going to be better. We´ve taken a couple tough hits and now we gotta get back on top like how we were before. We also had interviews with President Detlefsen this week which was legit. Having and interview with him is always a great experience. I think he´s one of the smartest people I´ve ever met. He´s helped me a ton in my mission and has made it truely great. I love that man. He has amazing faith and vision and being around him always elevates me and helps me to be a better person. We have a goal this month that every single companionship in the zone baptizes. There are 10 companionships so it´ll be interesting to see how it comes out. Pray for us so that we can do it. We gotta make progress on getting stakes out here so that we can have a temple in our mission!! All your prayers and efforts will be felt and grately appreciated!! Thanks for all your love and support. 
-Elder Nicholas Gaughan

A "Legit" Baptism Experience

Well hello family of mine. How is everyone? Sounds like you all had a great week and guess what? I did too!!!! This week we had 3 baptisms of kids of part member families that we were/are helping the families get active once again. It was a really awesome experience. Julieta Alia, Nicolas Grondona and Lucio Lescano all got baptized on saturday and confirmed on sunday! It was pretty legit. We had another crazy day of baptism experience. Elder Murillo and I were sitting in the church just having finished setting everything up for the baptism, waiting for people to get there. Julieta and her family, the Branch President and one of his counselors get there and then we get a message from Lucio's aunt, our convert Liliana, asking if Lucio could get baptized a different day cause it was a little complicated for them and a storm had just come in and it was raining pretty hard and they don't have a car. So what do we do? Take off running for their house about 7 blocks away (needless to say I got tired after about 2 blocks). So it's raining cats and dogs and we're sprinting in our suits towards the house to see what had happened. We get there and it was a little complicated cause Liliana's house isn't all that well built and when it rains the roof leaks. We get there and they were worried about that and they didn't have a way to get there through the pouring rain. We tried calling a taxi but cause it was raining so hard they were all busy so we called the Branch President to see if he could come pick us up. Luckily the Branch President is a champ and he came, but the problem was his car was tiny and we weren't all gonna fit, and it was already almost 7 and that's when the baptism had to start. So what do we do? Yep take off running again back towards the church. When we get back a bunch of people had arrived and we were soaking wet, then all the members that are moms scolded us for taking off that like and getting all soaked but hey we had to do something and there wasn't a lot of time. So we go and change cause we had to baptize. We do that, take pictures and get to the orandance which is of course the best part. The awesome part about the baptism is that we had been planning with the members for about a week and we didn't have to worry a ton about a lot of the little details. And we had given out invitations to all the kids who then handed them out to friends and relatives and a ton of people who weren't members came which is awesome. I baptized Julieta and Elder Murillo baptized Nicolas and Lucio. Then when everything was over we had refreshments and all that jazz and had the opportunity to talk to a lot of the people who weren't members who had gone. They all really liked it and a few of them asked us "what do you have to do to get baptized?" Pretty good response I'd say. One kid came who is the boyfriend of Pamela (Julieta's sister) and he wants to get baptized!!! His name is Leo and he's a pretty legit kid. We were talking to him a little bit, he came to church yesterday and he's gonna get baptized in 2 weeks!!! The baptism was a little crazy as always but it all turned out really well!
Apart from all that we had a pretty cool week. We were able to find a lot of new people and have some pretty legit investigators we're working with and hoping that they get baptized in these next couple weeks. We found this guy named Juan Carlos who's trying to quit drinking. He was really acoholic, had stopped for a year, then started again. He's started to drop the habit again and we're hoping its for good this time! We're also gonna help another investigator put a roof on her house which should be an interesting experience. I'm excited anyway to see how it turns out.
We also have a conference this week with the area president, Elder Arnold of the 70. Pretty much the whole mission is freaking out a little bit and also really excited to see what he is gonna teach us. We've been getting a ton better as a mission and we're excited to see the counsil that he'll give us to help us to keep getting better and baptizing more of Heavenly Father's children. We have to travel so that'll be an interesting experience in and of itself. It's gonna be legit though and all of us are anxiously waiting to see what will happen. Well that's all I can really think of that has happened this week. Pretty abnormal as usual. I'm glad to see that Kyler is doing so well and that he's growing good and strong. I'll try to send pictures of the baptisms next week! Love you all thanks for everything!!!!
-Elder Nicholas Gaughan

Sunday, June 5, 2011


Yes as you can all see this week was a miraculous week. It all started out on monday when all of our plans fell through so we went out to knock doors. We knocked, and knocked and knocked and didn´t find anyone. Then we knocked a house where people were eating so we had about zero chance of getting in, but we talked to the lady who answered the door and she called her son in law who lives behind them. He came out and let us in and we had an interesting lesson with them. Him, his wife and their friend make up the band of an evangelical church. Let´s just say it was interesting. Then the rest of the week we were getting ready for Claudio´s baptism and zone conference all in the same week which was a little out of hand but we managed to handle it somehow. Oh tueday was a pretty random day as well. We went by Claudio to go over the questions to the baptismal interview and as we were doing that we ran into a friend of his named Adrian. Adrian practices something called Reike which I don´t know if you all have heard of it or not. From what he explained and I understood Reike is kind of a mixture of Christianity and Buddism, kind of. It´s complicated let´s just say that. Anyway we talked to him and had a really cool lesson. We gave him a Book of Mormon and hopefully we can teach him again cause he had some really interesting ideas to say the least. Ok now we´re gonna skip ahead to thursday cause that´s when things really started to get interesting. Thursday we had the baptismal interview with Claudio. We live with our District Leader, Elder Decilia, who´s a really cool guy from Salta. Elder Decilia and my comp, Elder Murillo go to do the interview with Claudio and I go with Decilia´s companion, Elder Wartena to do some service and work in their area. Some really random, weird stuff happened with the interview and it got rescheduled like 3 times in the same day. Elder Wartena and I went to go to service for their branch mission leader. Their branch mission leader is about to have an operation to recieve a kidney from his son cause he doesn´t have any. He´s been on dialisys for 8 years and he´s finally gonna have this operation. And in order to have this operation the house needed to be in conditions for his and his son´s recuperation. So they called us to paint. We had a good time and when we get back they still hadn´t done the interview with Claudio so we take off to go work in Decilia and Wartena´s area. We´re working out there and I was pretty sure that they had to be done with the interview by that time. Me being the impatient person that I am called my comp to see what had happened with the interview. When I call Decilia answers me and tells me that he´ll tell me about it in the house. That right there made me nervous cause if he had passed he would have told me right then. So there I am biting my fingernails the rest of the night worried about this interview. We get back to the house and apparently Claudio had stolen before, was caught by the police, but they didn´t throw him in jail. They put him on some form of probation and said that if they saw him doing anything in the next 18 months they´d toss him in jail then. So we called President to see what he had to say, if he had to come interview Claudio or what the deal was exactly. Decilia explained him the situation and President said that it was ok, Claudio could get baptized!! We were super happy at this point. Shortly after that 8 Elderes arrived at our house to spend the night for zone conference the next day (friday). On thursday night I went to sleep fine and friday morning woke up pretty miserably sick, and the fun part was that I had to direct zone conference the next day. I survived the day and was able to learn some pretty awesome stuff at the same time. Then saturday we had the baptism of Claudio. We had service in the morning with the District President which went pretty well then in the afternoon we went to the church to start filling up the font. We start the font and shortly thereafter recieve a text messsage from Claudio saying that he wasn´t compeltely sure about getting baptized and he didn´t think he was gonna get baptized that day. This struck us as super weird cause he was doing great the other day. We ran home, changed and took off for the house of Claudio. We get there but he couldn´t talk to us at that time. We started freaking out a little more at this point. We told his brother that we were gonna come back in about half an hour to talk to Claudio. We head back to the church to see how the font was doing. We check the font and after that I go into the sacrament meeting room, fall to my knees and start praying like crazy. After praying for a while I get up and see Elder Murillo behind me also praying. He finishes and we head out for Claudio´s house yet again. We find him, talk to him a bit and he was already calmer and got baptized a few hours later!!!!! It was in every sense of the word a miracle! Truely an amazing experience for me and that night we fell to our knees thanking the Lord for everything he had done. So that was my week. Fairly normal.....well somewhat. Hey am I an uncle yet? I love you all, thanks for everything!!!!

-Elder Nicholas Gaughan
1. Zone Conference
2. Elder Murillo and Claudio
3. Elder Murillo, Mariana (Claudio´s girlfriend), Claudio and Me
PS I don´t know why Argentines don´t smile in pictures, they just don´t




Normal Week

Well hello everyone how are things? I never thought our family would go international but hey, weirder things have happened. Well this week wasn´t too out of the ordinary than any other week. It´s kind of weird how in the mission everything just kind of flows together after a while and you don´t realize what day or week it is. It gets interesting sometimes. This week was a lot better than the last however which was really cool. In the mission we´ve been focusing on finding more new investigators and last week we had a tough time. This week we got a lot better and found some really cool people so that´s always a plus. One couple we found, Aureliano and Ana, are 2 awesome people. Aureliano´s parents are members but went inactive when he was like 7 or so. He never got baptized and now he´s 27ish. Ana is his girlfriend and she´s awesome. A lot of the time we teach with pamphlets and in the back there are questions and scriptures to look up. A lot of the time people read them, but that´s it. They read them, highlighted them, and filled out all the questions there which was crazy! She wants a big change in her life and is willing to do things so that her life gets better. She´s also 8 months pregnant so sometimes it makes things a little difficult, but they´re really cool people and they´re progressing really well. We´re also gonna have 2 baptisms this weekend! We´re teaching two kids who are boyfriend and girlfriend. They´re names are Claudio and Mariana and they´re super cool kids. They went to church yesterday by themselves and they´re getting baptized on saturday! They´re kind of quiet but they´re really cool, sincere kids. I´m really excited for them. We´ve been teaching them since I´ve got here and it´s been cool to see their progress and how they keep getting better and better as they learn more about the gospel. Oh we´re also working with a guy that reminds me a lot of Dad. His name is Daniel Ortellado. He´s not a member but the rest of his family is. His wife served a mission and she´s the district primary president. He pays tithing! The guy isn´t a member but he pays tithing! I was pretty shocked when I heard about it. We had a first lesson with him and he wasn´t really willing to read or pray which confused the heck out of me. He´s super nice but he just didn´t feel like he had the neccesity or something. In that lesson I told him about how dad got baptized and from what some of the members told me that had a pretty big affect on him so thanks dad! We had a second lesson with him but I wasn´t there. I was in Necochea which is another city that belongs to our zone that´s about 3 hours away from Tandil. Apparently the lesson went well though and Daniel is gonna read the Book of Mormon with his wife which is super cool.  We also found this lady named Teresa this week who seems to be pretty cool. I also don´t know her cause me companion taught her when we were in divisions. She´s a reference from some members of another branch here in Tandil. She´s had a lot of problems and is looking for some help and peace. She even made it to church on sunday! She seems really sincere and we´re hoping that she keeps progressing cause the gospel is the perfect thing for her at this moment in her life.
And as I mentioned I went on divisions this week which was pretty fun. I went to Necochea which is like a little version of Mar Del Plata. I was with Elder Rain, also from Chile, and it was a blast. We had a really good time and we´re able to find some new investigators and help them get going out there in Necochea. We have 2 districts in the zone, the entire city of Tandil and the entire city of Necochea. They´re both districts that are trying to be stakes so we´re trying to help them meet that goal. I got to meet the rest of the zone too which was nice cause now I know everyone we have and how we can help each one. Necochea was a cool experience and I had an interesting experience when I got back home to Tandil. First of all I traveled by myself on the bus and it left at 1145 at night or something so what do I do when I get on the bus? I pass out asleep. Then we get to Tandil and luckily I heard the driver yell "We´re at Tandil!". I almost didn´t hear him and hopped off as other people we´re getting on to keep going, then I get in a taxi to go home. By this time it´s about 230 in the morning. I get home, ring the doorbell and no one answers. Keep ringing the doorbell and still no one answers. I didn´t have a phone or anything cause we have one phone for every companionship so I kept ringing the doorbell and after about 10 or 15 min one of the other Elders that we live with comes out and lets me in. He only let me in cause he got up to go to the bathroom and he heard the doorbell. Luckily huh? I thought so. Well that was my week. I hope everyone is doing well wherever they may be. We´ll be seeing you
-Elder Nicholas Gaughan

"I Love My Mission"

Hey everyone what´s going on? It sounds like Mom and Dad are having a great time on their trip! And I can´t believe Tara is so close to the due date! That´s gotta be really exciting. Hopefully Mike is doing good in Germany as well. I´m sure he is. Well this week felt really short. We left about an hour after I hung up with you all on sunday and nearly missed the bus. My comp, Elder Murillo, had lost his ticket so he had to buy a new one and we barely got there in time. Then we were on the bus and what does he find? The first ticked he had bought a few days before. We just laughed and we´re grateful that the bus didn´t leave without us. We got to Bahía monday morning and went to the appartment of some of the zone leaders in Bahía. Remember Elder Egbert who was my comp in Mar Del Plata? Well we stayed the night in his house. He´s zone leader out there in Bahía and it was really cool to see him and catch up. On monday we had council meeting with President, the Hermana and the Asistants. It went really well and I learned a lot of stuff and there are a lot of things that we need to change and there are things that we can better. One of the things we talked a lot about was having vision. A vision for our area and for our zone. We have the vision for our zone is to have a stake out in Necochea (which is a district right now) and a stake here in Tandil (which is also a district). To do that we have to aument the number of people in church and get it up around 100 or so. Right now we´re at about 50 so we have a bit of work to do but it´s totally possible. On monday night I did divisions with Elder Egbert and it was great cause it was like being back in Mar Del but we have more time and we´ve both grown a lot. Then on tuesday we had another capacitation but this time with all the district leaders and trainers in the entire mission. We talked about the same stuff but it was still a good experience cause you never catch everything the first time and it´s something that helped me understand better the concepts and principles we´re trying to apply in the mission. The rest of the week flew by cause we we´re in Bahía those first few days. We had a little bit of a tough time but we pulled through it. We´re working with 2 youth, Claudio and Mariana and they were gonna get baptized this coming saturday the 21st but they didn´t make it to church so we gotta see what happened and we have to change the date to next weekend. They´re really cool kids and once we can get them to church they´ll get baptized! I´m still getting to know the area and the investigators so I don´t have a ton to tell. We´re working really hard and we have high hopes for this month and next month. Tandil is a really cool place and we´re hoping to make a lot of changes for the better and get things moving good! Oh I almost forgot. Our baptism from last sunday, Lilana, got confirmed yesterday which was awesome! She´s a great lady and it´s always a really spiritual experience when someone gets baptized or confirmed. I love this work and I almost don´t want to come home haha. Seeing people change, repent of the mistakes they´ve made and come closer to Christ is probably one of the greatest events to witness in the world. It is by far the purest, most sincere joy that I´ve ever felt. It´s funny to see that in the mission all the clichés that everyone says about the mission are true. The thing is there isn´t a better, more adequate way to describe it. They literally are the best 2 years ever. I love the mission and my Savior. Thanks for all your love and support!
-Elder Nicholas Gaughan

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Little Miracles

Hey everyone what´s up?  This week was super weird but we had a pretty awesome miracle at the end so it all worked out. So we started out on monday all hunky dory everything going good. Tuesday was pretty cool too. We finally got into the house of Gustavo and Karina. Gustavo is that massive guy I told you about with arms bigger than my head! He´s super nice though and they totally want to get baptized. Then wednesday we were doing alright as well....until lunch time. Lunch for me was just fine then when we got out my comp said he wasn´t feeling that good. We headed back to the house and he just got worse and worse. The poor kid was then sick thursday and friday. It was super random and unexpected. We don´t even really know what it was that happened to him, but he´s ok now. So we finally get going again on saturday but that was kind of a tough day. We had a bunch of stuff fall through and we didn´t teach a whole lot of lessons. Then sunday rolls around and all the sudden we had 8 people in church! Last week we didn´t have anyone and this week we had 8!!! I was absolutely shocked and super grateful that we were able to have such a miracle! It was super weird too cause this week was probably the week we worked the least cause my comp was so sick then all the sudden in church we have a miracle. It was probably one of the coolest things I´ve seen so far here in Santa Monica. I still don´t know what time we´re gonna be calling on the 8th cause it´s something we honestly haven´t even talked about. We have transfers on sunday so we kinda have to wait and see what happens with that first. I don´t think I´m getting transfered but it´s possible. I let you now next week for sure.
That´s cool about Sam´s memorial service. If it was anything like his grandma´s I think I kind of remember what it was like. Super random that Jason Mraz was there but that´s cool. I feel kinda weird that I couldn´t be there but I´m glad it went well at least. Has anybody given them a Book of Mormon or talked to them about the church. Scott is a member right? Or was baptized at least a long time ago? Maybe I´m remembering wrong. Well my week was really uneventful cause we had a random speed bump right in the middle. I´m glad that everyone seems to be doing well though. I hope everything´s good. Can someone tell Hartzell to write me? That´s cool that they´re gonna have another kid though. Legit. When´s Tara due again? Well we´ll be seein ya. Con amor,
-Elder Nicholas Gaughan

Never a Dull Moment...

Hey everybody what´s going on? Glad to hear that everyone is doing well and that´s pretty crazy to see that mike is gonna be headed off to Germany. That´s way cool though and it´ll be a really good experience for him. Well this week was pretty eventful. We started off the week really well. We started teaching this guy named Marcelo who is really cool. He´s the son in law of Licia. His son is David who´s getting ready to go on a mission and Marcelo still isn´t a member. We started teaching him on Monday and it went really well. He´s gotta get married to David´s mom but he really liked the lesson. He´s a super nice guy and we´re hoping that he progresses and gets married caused David´s mom, Graciela, is inactive basically cause she´s not married. So we´re hoping for a lot of progress there. And like I said we were doing pretty good. We were finding new investigators almost everyday which is something we´ve been struggling with. We´re finally getting consistent and then thursday rolled around. On thursday we were eating lunch with a really nice family the Dosantos. We walked out of their house at around 2 pm and in the next block over as we were heading back to the house to grab a few things we got robbed! Don´t worry we´re fine nothing happened. They just took our phone and my comps watch so now we walk around not knowing what time it is which gets pretty entertaining. Suprisingly enough we´re still on time for almost everything. The dude had a gun so there wasn´t a whole lot we could really do about it. Quit freaking out mom we´re just fine. As we were walking back to the house I turned to Elder Villagra and said "well, welcome to the mission". Then that afternoon we had a special meeting with President Detlefsen. He came to talk to us basically about getting more focused and baptizing a lot more. We talked a lot about setting goals and then not giving up on those goals even when it looks like we might not reach them. It was really good and we´re hoping to get a lot better and more consistent. We also met a couples missionary companionship which is the first that I know of. Their names are Elder and Sister Fee. They from the states and are super nice people. They´re going to be working in Olavarría which is a district that we´re hoping to turn into a stake. And on thursday night after all that crazy stuff we still got a new investigator. Take that Satan! Then yesterday it rained like crazy and we didn´t have anyone in church which was pretty frustrating. Basically it was a week of a lot of random events that turned into a big whirlwind of havoc and fun. Here´s a quick investigator update
Felix and Carmen-need to get married! We´re seeing what we can do about that but besides all that they´re doing really well. We taught them the word of wisdom this week and they accepted it completely. They drank a little bit and drank coffee and all that but they decided to stop and they have. Pretty amazing
Lucero Family-We´re mostly teaching the "athiest" dad, Roberto, who isn´t all that athiest anymore. We have him praying to see if the Book of Mormon is true. Basically once he starts to realize he believes in God he´ll get baptized. Now the challenge is to get him to see that he has faith and he believes.
This week we should also start teaching this guy named Gustavo who was Mr. South America. The guy is huge! He´s the son of some members. He also has to get married and has listened to the missionaries before but the good news is they want to get married and get baptized. It´s just a matter of them doing it and teaching them everything. The dude is huge! If I hadn´t already mentioned that.
Besides that everything is the same as usual. Nothing to crazy happening so that´s good to see. I´m glad that everything has calmed down back home. Thanks for all the love and support! I hope everyone is doing well and tell everyone hi for me out there! Con amor,
-Elder Nicholas Gaughan

An Interesting Week

Hey everyone how´s it going? That news about Sam Murray was the last thing I was expecting. It still hasn´t really sunk in yet. Please tell his family that I´m thinking about them and they are in my prayers. How´re Joe and Lily doing? Tell Scott and Laura too that I love them and I´m thinking about them. Wasn´t Scott a member of the church? Him or his mom? I hope that they´re ok and they´re taking this as well as they can. 
Well down here in good old Argentina we had a pretty interesting week. At the beginning of the week we were doing super well. We were finding new investigators, having really great lessons, and the investigators we already had were doing pretty good. Then thursday came around and all the sudden everything we had starting bombing on us. Appointments weren´t at home, we couldn´t find anyone new to teach, and the investigators we had weren´t there or there was always something that came up that made it so we couldn´t teach that day. It was super weird cause we couldn´t figure out what had changed. We didn´t really change anything that would have caused all that so we were really confused. The funny part was is I went on divisions to another area with Elder Beyer and we had a great day. We found 3 new investigatos, took and 2 baptismal dates and had really good lessons with people. And here in Santa Monica my comp, Elder Villagra, and Elder Esparza also had a pretty good day and found another new investigator. Then we got back together on sunday and everything bombed on us again! I´m not gonna lie I didn´t really know what to think. I was super confused and now we´re looking for some way to be more consistant and keep progressing. We´re doing pretty well though all in all and we´re excited for this week to get better and try to set up some baptisms for the end of the month. We have this one couple Felix and Carmen who are amazing but they need to get married. We´re hoping to talk to them about getting married quickly so they can get baptized at the end of the month. They´re super cool and are progressing really well. They are some really sweet, genuine people and they really want to get baptized. 
In the district we also had a really good week. There were 3 baptisms which was pretty cool! There were 2 here in Santa Monica from Elder Eaton and Elder Newville which was really great to see cause they´ve been working really hard, especially with this 2 people and they finally got baptized! I was really happy for them cause they´re the first baptisms of Elder Newville and he was super excited. Elder Banks, my MTC comp, also had a baptism which was great. I got to go do the interview and it was a really cool experience. The kid´s name is Emmanuel and he was really prepared. Both of his parents are less active and he started going to church with the young men´s president. He went to church for a while and a bunch of activities and loved it. He´s an awesome kid and the interview was a really spiritual experience so we both came out happy and edified. Well that´s all that´s really been happening that I can think of at the moment. Sorry if this is a little short. Thanks for all the love and support!!! You guys are great!!
-Elder Nicholas Gaughan

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Conference was AmAzInG!!

Hey everyone how´s it going?  Wasn´t Conference amazing?!?!! I for one sure learned a lot. I don´t remember which one was really my favorite, I gotta go back over my notes but it was sincerely great. It seems that the longer I go in the mission the worse my memory gets haha. I hardly remember what I did yesterday and stuff that I did this morning I can´t remember if it happened today or the day before. At Conference we had Felix and Carmen came which was awesome! They are super cool people and are loving absolutely everything about the church. They drove my companion and I to the saturday morning session and when we finished I asked them what they thought and they said it was amazing and they loved every single part of it. They have to get married so we gotta get on them this week to get working on that cause if not then it takes forever and it´ll never get done. On friday we also had an activity cause there´s a kid from the ward who is leaving on his mission soon. We did a little sketch with the 4 of us about a day in the life of a missionary and it actually turned out pretty well. It was all improvisation. We pulled the kid, Danny, out of the crowd and he didn´t have any idea we were going to do this. Then he and Elder Eaton went around to Elder Newville who pretended like he was an american who didn´t speak spanish well and that was funny cause he just spoke horribly and everyone got a good laugh out of it. Then they came over to me and I was a racist who didn´t like americans. Down here there are a lot of people who think we work for the CIA or something and a lot of people don´t like us americans very much. Then right after they left me we changed super fast into thug outfits and robbed them. It was funny cause it was super mellow dramatic and completely out of control. Then at the very end they decided to knock "one last door" and they found my comp Elder Villagra who played the golden investigator and that´s how it ended. Everyone seemed to enjoy it and we had a pretty fun time doing it ourselves. This week we also had a pretty interesting experience. We were heading to an investigators house to go teach and as we were on the way I saw this girl sitting outside her house. I got the impression that we should go talk to her but we just kept going cause we were already running pretty late. Turns out right when we got to our investigators house he was leaving cause he had to work late. So we turn around and start heading back the same way we came. I was really hoping that girl would still be sitting there when we came back and when we passed by she was. I asked Elder Villagra if he wanted to go talk to her and he said ok. We started talking and came to find out that this girl, Soledad, is the sister of one of the Elders serving here in this mission. He´s from Paraguay but apparently some of his family is living here in Mar Del Plata. We sat down and starting talking to her and ended up teaching The Restoration. This missionary is the only member in his family so we´re gonna try to help him out and see if we can baptize some of his family members. That was a really cool experience. I told you guys about the Lucero family right? Well they seem to be doing pretty well too. We invited them to conference and talked to the members who gave us the reference to go with them but turns out they were sick the whole weekend. We ran into the dad, Roberto, sunday night cause we wanted to pass by to see what was up and that´s when he told us everything that was going on. He was just barely leaving then cause they needed to do grocery shopping and he was the healthiest out of all of them. We have an appointment with them tomorrow so we´ll have to see how they´re doing and see if they recieve an answer that what we´re teaching them is true. Please pray for them. It´s like teaching Adriana and Luis and we need all the help we can get. Besides that not a ton of stuff is going on. I feel like I say the same stuff over and over again so hopefully this doesn´t get boring. That´s a huge bummer that Trev had to go home. Is he gonna go back out to finish after his surgery or did they release him? Tell him I love him and that he´s a champ. Well that seems to be everything from here in good old Mar Del Plata. We´re hopping to get some baptisms soon to help the church grow and get another stake out here!!! I love you all oh and I got the birthday package you guys sent! Thanks a bunch! It was a little random and not what I was expecting but I enjoyed it anyway!! Love you all
-Elder Nicholas Gaughan


First and foremost HAPPY BIRTHDAY JOHNNY BOY!!!!!! I can´t believe your already 17 big guy! I feel like I´m starting to get real old. I wake up in the morning and everything always hurts and it takes me a solid 20 minutes to get everything moving like normal. They tell me that it´s normal but I´m still not that big of a fan. This week has been amazing. My new companion (kid) is Elder Villagra who´s from a town called Zarate which is about an hour of the Buenos Aires. He is awesome! Huge stud. He got here early thursday morning. Until then I was doing divisions with members or with Elder Eaton and Elder Newville and we were in a trio. Anyway Elder Villagra got here in thursday and it has been great. On thursday night we had a miracle happen. We were walking around towards the end of the day looking for a less active member. We get to a street corner and we´re trying to see what street we´re on when this guy says hi to us. We decide to go over and start talking to him. He´s this guy named Felix and turns out that he´s been looking for a place to go to church for a while now and he´s wanted to go to ours but things always came up and he could never go. So we talk to him a little bit there and set an appointment with him for friday morning cause he was working on his truck at the time. We go back on friday morning and teach him and his wife Carmen. They are the coolest people! They have baptismal dates for the 16th of april but they also have to get married so we might need to push those dates back a little bit. The cool thing is that they´re willing to do it and they´re really excited to go to church. They didn´t go this week cause Felix was reading the pamphlet we gave him and in the back it talks about church and how we go to church in a shirt and tie. He didn´t have that and didn´t want to go in jeans and a t shirt so we took him some clothes and now he´s exicted to go this week and get going. They´re great people and are looking for a church to join cause they´ve gone to a lot but haven´t found one yet that they´ve really been satisfied with. Then later that day I asked Elder Villagra if he wanted to talk to this lady who was sitting in a wheel chair outside her house. He talks to her, she lets us in and we teach her! First contact and we teach! It was pretty awesome. We´re doing really well and we´re both excited and we have a lot of expectations for Santa Monica. This last week we had about 90 people in church and President wants the weekly church asistance to be over 100. We´re close, we just gotta baptize a few more and we´ll be doing really good! In other words, life is good and it looks like it´ll be getting better. I gotta go and sorry this is kinda short but I hope all is going well and that everyone is doing good. Thanks for all the love and support!! I love you guys but I still don´t wanna come home haha!!!

-Elder Nicholas Gaughan

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


Hey everyone what´s going on? Ok first of all the death about Danny Hainline is the most shocking thing I have heard. That caught me completely off guard and I´m still having a hard time believing it. It really is truly amazing the plan of salvation that our Heavenly Father has set up for all of us and the amazing blessings that we can recieve when we live accordingly. Wow I really don´t know what to say. He was a great person and another big brother for me. I´m gonna miss him a lot and tell Heather and the whole Hainline family that my thoughts and prayers are with them and that if I could be there I would. I love them all very much and I know they´ll be ok.
Changing the subject a little bit this week wasn´t too eventful for me. My companion Elder Rivarola was having some foot problems that he´s had the whole transfer s not a whole lot really happened with us. We spent a lot of time in the house cause he couldn´t walk very much. I have a new apprecation for being healthy and not having any problems apart from the normal aches and pains that comes with being a missionary and having to walk around everyday. Big news this week was that Elder Rivarola got transfered to Bahía Blanca cause of his health issues and I am going to be training again!! I´m really excited cause the first time I did it with Elder Thackeray I had a great time and was able to learn a lot so I´m excited to keep learning this time from the new missionary I´ll be with. He´s still not with me and I think he gets out here to Mar Del Plata tomorrow or wednesday night. It´s gonna be a great experience and we gotta work hard so that we can get a third stake out here in Mar Del Plata!!! I am loving the mission completely and I´m excited for the time I have left and interested to see the things that we can reach. Those were really the big changes. Like I said we couldn´t work a whole lot this week so nothing really exciting happened. We found 2 new investigators who are a reference from this family called the Joglars. Apparently I look like their son who is also on his misson but in chile. Everyone and their mom tells me I look like him and they´re always cracking jokes and fun stuff like that. Anyway the new investigators are some old neighbors of theirs who are really nice we´ll just have to see how they go. Sorry I don´t have any time today. I have a meeting I need to get too. Thanks for all the birthday wishes and all the support! I love you all!!!

---Elder Nicholas Gaughan

Out of Control

Hey everybody how are things? Ok this week, like it says in the subject was pretty out of control. On monday night I get a call from one of the Elders in my district, Elder Esparza, who told me that they were taking his companion, Elder Beyer, to the hospital to get checked out. He had been pretty sick for a while and had been complaining of stomach pains and they kept getting worse. So they go to the hospital and later they call me again around 1030 or 11 and tell me that they´re taking Elder Beyer to a clinic cause he has apendecitis and they have to operate on him!! Elder Esparza is from Chile and doesn´t speak any english at all and doesn´t understand very much either. So I end up calling President to see what he wants to do cause if they operated on Beyer and he wakes up speaking english no one is gonna know what´s going on. President and I come to the conclusion that it would be better that I go cause the zone leaders were already traveling for Bahía because they had Zone Leader Counsel the next day. So at 11 at night I end up getting dressed, heading down to the clinic and spending the night with Beyer because supposedly they were going to operate on him that night. So I get down there and turns out for some reason they couldn´t operate that night and were gonna wait until the morning. I end up spending the night there with Elder Beyer and got about 2 hours of sleep so the next day was an adventure. We wake up the next day and the area doctor from the church wanted a bunch of tests and stuff done to be sure that it was the apendix. That ended up taking a bunch of time and they finally decided that they were gonna operate at 7 PM. I had to leave at 630 cause I also had to go to Bahía that night for a capacitation the next day. So at 1030 tuesday night I took off for Bahía and Elder Beyer got operated on at 7. The good news is that he´s doing good now. He´s out of the clinic and back home the only thing is that he can´t work for a while. So that was pretty crazy. Then Wednesday we had a capacitation with President and the assistants which was really good and I was able to learn a lot of stuff that´s gonna help us get a lot better as a mission. For this month of March we have the goal of 180 baptisms!! It´s a big goal and something we´ve never reached before but we definitely have the potential to do it and we have been getting better and better as time goes on. This is a really exciting time to be in the mission cause a lot of things are changing and we´re getting better and better everyday, every week, and every month. So thursday of this week I just recently started working and we were getting ready for Licia´s baptism!!! She got baptized on Saturday and it was an awesome service!! Her grandson David, who´s getting ready for his mission, baptized him and it was really cool. David´s dad who isn´t a member was also there and he seemed to really like it too so we´re hoping to start teaching him here pretty soon. Licia is an awesome lady. I call her my argentine grandma cause she is the sweetest lady ever and you can´t help but love her. She is literally the definition of a sweet little old lady. Sunday she got confirmed a member so that´s one more for the new stake here in Mar Del Plata and another person who has found the truth and made covenants with our Heavenly Father. I love this work and that quote that you sent me mom is really true. The greatest joy ever is missionary work. I don´t care what anyone says. This is the greatest time ever to be in the service of the Lord!!! Oh on sunday a random homeless guy we talked to in the street came to church which was really unexpected. He was pretty drunk so that was interesting but luckily there was no harm done. This week was full of insanity and not a whole lot of time to think which is good but now I can´t really think of anything else to write cause I don´t really remember what else happened this week. The mission is going by way too fast and it´s hard to believe where I am in terms of time. A missionary just barely returned who left from Santa Monica and he said it´s super weird not being a missionary and talks about how he misses it and how he wants to go back haha. We´ll see if I´m like that, I would guess yes!! I hope everyone is doing well. 
Love you guys! 
Thanks for all your help and support!!!!
-Elder Nicholas Gaughan

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Finding Great People to Build the Kingdom of the Lord

Hey everybody what´s going on? It seems like everything is going well back home which is good to here. It´s crazy for me to think that alex and tara are gonna have the kid soon. How´s alex handling that? That´s good that everyone is doing well though, I´m really glad to hear that. Things down here in Mar Del Plata have been going pretty good. This last week we found a couple new people that are pretty legit. We starting teaching the grandmother of one of the members. The member´s name is David and his grandmother´s name is Licia. Licia is the sweetest old lady I have ever met. She listened to the missionaries a little bit a really long time ago in another part of Mar Del Plata. She´s amazing and has a baptismal date for the 5th of March so that´ll be awesome. Yesterday she came to church and seemed to really like it. In the Gospel Principles class she was super atentive and was answering a bunch of questions. She already knows a lot about the church cause most of her family are members and the missionaries have been going there forever and I guess they just never really tried to teach her or the opportunity never really presented itself. Her grandson, David is an awesome kid too. He turns 19 in May and he´s getting ready to go on a mission. This kid is great. We went over to his house on one of my first days here and I loved the kid from the start. He´s a champ and I´m really excited to have him in the ward and be able to work with him. He took his grandma to church on sunday and is a super great kid. He´s really excited to go on a mission and he´s always asking us questions about the mission, what it´s like and what he can do to get better prepared. We also found this lady named Andrea who was pretty cool as well. We found her knocking doors and she was really excited to listen to us and have the chance to learn more. She loved what we taught and was really interested and involved in the lesson. Unfortunately she didn´t go to church this weekend but we´re gonna go by her today to see what the deal is and for now she´s also gonna get baptized on the 5th of March. I think I already told you all about the goal to have the new stake out here in Mar Del Plata so we´re trying to work really hard and have a lot of success in order to get that new stake and help the church grow out here. We got an email from President today that said there hasn´t been a new stake formed in the mission for 16 years so we´re gonna try to break that skid and do what we can to get a temple here in this mission. Mar Del Plata would be an amazing place to have it too. I love this town and I´m super excited to be here and be able to work and help build the kingdom of the Lord. The more time I get here in the mission I realize how little time I the mission lasts and how although I have 6 months left right now, it´s gonna feel like nothing cause time has been flying by. I can´t believe I´m at the time I am. It´s crazy to hear about Josh Davies going out on the mission and all these kids preparing for their mission calls. Ahh!! Well I gotta get going. I hope everyone is well and that this email was somewhat coherent. I love you guys. Thanks for everything you do. The mission is amazing. Hay que hacerlo. Chau!
-Elder Nicholas Gaughan

Thursday, February 17, 2011

BIG News.....

Hey everyone how´s it going? Well let´s get the big news out of the way, I GOT TRANSFERED!! I´m back in Mar Del Plata but in the other zone. My area is called Santa Monica and it´s actually pretty close to Jorge Newbery which is pretty cool. My new companion is Elder Rivarola from Paraguay. Today´s the first day so I still don´t know him all that well but he seems like a pretty cool kid and we´re gonna do work here. There are also now 2 other Elders in our area so we´ll be 4 missionaries in one ward. Apparently Mar Del Plata is really close to making another stake so President is putting a bunch of us out here to do everything possible in order to baptize/reactivate people quickly so that the 3rd stake is made and the church keeps growing strong. I´m really excited cause we´re trying to get another stake here in Mar Del Plata, another one in Bahía Blanca, as well as make one of the districts a stake which would be amazing. This last week with Elder Walker was the best week we´d had yet. To start the week off we did divisions with the Elders from an area called Pringles who was in my district. I worked with Elder Nolan who is actually my grandson in the mission (Elder Thackeray who is my kid trained Elder Nolan, hence he´s my grandson). We had a great time working together too. We found 3 new investigators who were all really cool people. Elder Nolan is still really new and I always like working with new missionaries cause they´re always full of energy and ready to try anything. Elder Nolan was great because although he couldn´t speak all that well, he taught and did everything that was asked of him. When he taught he bore his testimony more than anything but he did it in a great way which brought the Spirit really strong. Then I got back with Elder Walker and we were able to keep having success and finding a few new people. Elder Walker is gonna be training is Dorrego so he´s really excited and it´ll be a great opportunity for him to keep learning and growing in the mission. Saying bye to people in Dorrego was weird but it´s always kinda tough saying bye to people. More than anything it´s tough saying bye to converts cause those are the people you grow closest to and you see all the changes they make in their lives to come unto Christ. It´s was also tough for me saying bye to the bishop. He´s a great guy and working hard in a tough place. I worked a lot with him and was able to learn a lot from him about humility and diligence. As missionaries we come and go and we´re only in those tougher areas for a little while, but he´s always there and everybody looks to him when things aren´t going well and how to solve all the problems they have. The bishop is a great, worthy man who always had the Spirit with him and was someone who I really looked up to in my time there. Well I´m excited to get working here in Santa Monica. From what I´ve heard it´s a good area and we´re gonna get to work to have some success and help build the 3rd stake here in Mar Del Plata. It feels like just yesterday I was here only in Jorge Newbery. Thanks for everything, I hope everyone is doing well!!!
-Elder Nicholas Gaughan

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Working along!

Hey everyone how are things going? This week has been an interesting one to say the least. My companion and I have yet to pass a full week here in Dorrego this transfer. This last week we had the opportunity to go to a place called Punta Alta for a day to do a baptismal interview for the Sister missionaries that are working there. We were there almost the whole day cause the bus schedules are kinda weird so we left from Dorrego around 11 in the morning and didn´t get back until about 7 at night. We had a good experience there though and were able to help out the Sisters in their area. They sent us to one of there investigators named Antonio who still didn´t have a baptismal date. We went in and starting talking to him. Turns out Antonio is a great guy and really liked what we taught. We talked to him for a while, were able to resolve some doubts that he had and we took out a baptismal date with him for the 19th of Feb!! He´s great and we hope that he progresses well and keeps going good. He lost his wife in Dec and has been having a hard time since then. Here in Dorrego things have been going a little slow still but we´re doing what we can. We had another lesson with Facundo and Gisela earlier in the week and they were having a really tough time. Basically they´d been having a bunch of problems and trials that they had been going through and they started doubting if God even existed. We had a really good lesson with them and tried to help them to keep believing and explain why we have trials in life and how we can get passed them. We set another appointment, when we went they weren´t there and now we can´t find them again! It´s tough and we´re not exactly sure what to do but hopefully we can keep finding them cause they were great people and they were doing good until all these dificulties came and made things more difficult. This week we found a really cool guy named Pedro who´s a reference of some members here. He listened to the missionaries before a while ago but for whatever reason he didn´t get baptized and the missionaries stopped going by his house. He´s great though and we have a baptismal date with him for the 19th as well which was way cool and today we´re going to try to teach his wife and kids if they are there. It was funny cause the first time we went he was working outside cutting firewood and had a big old trailer full of wood that needed to be unloaded. We went up and talked to him and he said that he couldn´t really recieve us in that moment cause he was busy. We asked if he wanted help unloading the trailer and he said yes so Elder Walker and I, with shirt, tie and everything, jumped in and started unloading everything for him. It actually turned out pretty fun cause we don´t always do a lot of service so it was cool to have some random, improvised service there. Then besides that not a whole lot has been going on. Daniela hasn´t been to church in a while which has been dissappointing and frustrating. One day we went over and she was acting kind of weird, just not really her normal self and now when we go by we can´t really find her at home. That´s been really weird and something that´s been throwing me off a bit. The other day we also went by Jonathon and found out that he´s been having a ton of health problems which was pretty shocking. He had some problems with one of his arms, his leg and now his head. He got operated on his head a while ago and they had put staples in there to hold everything together. But in his job he´s been working really hard physically and it´s taken a toll on that operation and now they might have to operate again cause things in his head were coming a little undone. Crazy huh? Please pray for him cause he needs a lot of help. That´s what has been going on in Dorrego. From today until thursday I´m on divisions here in Dorrego with Elder Nolan who´s one of the Elders from my district. He´s in a little town called Pringles about an hour away from here and the only way we could do the change was to take a taxi from here to Pringles and back, it cost 180 pesos which was a bit of a shock. Pretty big taxi ride huh? haha. Well I hope everything is going well with you guys. Sounds like your all doing great and that makes me really happy. Thanks for all the love and support. Mom, sorry I forgot my camera so I can´t send the pictures of my shoes but I´ll do it next week. And tell Daniel I´ll be waiting for him when he comes home in April hahaha I miss that kid a lot! Love you all, thanks for all the support!
-Elder Nicholas Gaughan

Grateful for the little things..

Hey everyone how are things going? So yes I did get one of the packages you sent so THANK YOU! Really loved it. The tie is great, I definitely sported it the next day and the pics are awesome too! Thanks! This week in Dorrego was a little slow like always but we´re looking to start turning things around. So this last week we thought that two of our baptismal dates, Facundo and Gisela had dropped us. We were going by a lot but never could find them. Then on friday we went by and Gisela was totally there! Turns out they had traveled and just didn´t mention anything for some reason. But when we went by she told us that she had been reading and that a bunch of crazy good things had been happening to them. For example Gisela needed contacts cause she didn´t have contacts or glasses but didn´t have enough money for them. So she goes to look and see what she can do to get them and she finds out that she had a 1000 peso scholarship for good grades cause she had been going to school to be a kindergarden teacher. Well turns out her contacts cost 950 pesos more or less so with that scholarship she could buy the contacts she needed! Basically their lives are turning around cause Facundo also had a job interview to see if he could get a better job and not have to keep working nights! So we have an appointment with them on tuesday to see how their doing and see if they´ll progress. They´re great and we were super excited when we found them again! So things are still going kinda slow but we´re doing ok. Our biggest challenge right now is that it´s summer time and a lot of people have gotten up and gone for summer vacation and when you´re already in a small town, and then half the people go on vacation it feels like there´s no one there. We´re figuring it out though, with a little divine help we should be ok. This weekend we also had stake conference which was way good. We heard from President Detlefsen and his wife which is always great cause they´re just amazing and then we stayed here in Bahía cause we were gonna have to come back down to Bahía tonight so we talked to President and stayed to save money and a bunch of traveling time. Apparently there´s a little bit of a money crisis here in Argentina right now. More than anything there are just never money in the ATM but we´ve been getting lucky so that´s a big blessing. Things are still tough like I said but we´re pushing along and trying to make things better. We´re being blessed and trying to realize those blessings more so we can be more greatful for the little things that happen. Thanks for all your prayers and all your support. It really helps!!!! I hope everything is going well with you guys. Con amor
-Elder Nicholas Gaughan

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Tough Stuff

Hey everybody how´s it going?!?!! Things in Dorrego, like it says in the subject are a little tough as of the moment. Well to start things off when we went into Bahía I woke up the next day not feeling too hot, went and did district meeting. Then we head down to the bus terminal to buy our tickets and come back to Dorrego. Well turns out there were about 25 people in line at the place where we needed to buy and we had 15 min to get out tickets and get onto the bus. Turns out we miss the bus and have to wait until 515 to come back to Dorrego. Get back here to Dorrego around 7 or a little after, head out to an appointment we had with Facundo and Gisela. Had a pretty great lesson with them, taught about going to church, why it´s important and why we do it. We invited them to church and set up a return appointment. Then wednesday comes around. I wake up on wednesday and have a fever of 99.5. Needless to say I didn´t feel all that great So then we head out to lunch with bishop cause he said he had some news for us. Turns out the news hadn´t arrived yet or couldn´t tell us for whatever reason and he and his wife kinda scolded me for being outside at all. So wednesday we couldn´t really do anything cause I was passed out trying to get that fever to go away. Then the rest of the week just resulted kind of tough. We´re still struggling a bit finding new people and we´re trying to work more with members but they´re not super animated either. Things are just challenging lets say. But it´s ok, nothing we can´t handle with a little divine help right? Right. On the bright side Franklin and Tobias went to church and got confirmed which was legit and we were really happy that they finally got confirmed and that we don´t have to worry about that huge detail anymore. Facundo and Gisela were doing really well but we haven´t been able to find them since we went on tuesday so that was a bit scary/weird. We´re gonna keep going by them cause they´re amazing and were doing so great. We just gotta find them again and get back into their house and I think they´ll do find. The district is doing well too which is always great to see. One of our areas, Pringles, who historically doesn´t really baptize that much finally baptized yesterday which was great!! The Elders out there have been working super hard finding a ton of people and it´s finally starting to pay off for them. My grandson, Elder Nolan, is out there and got his first baptism which was way cool to see. I was way happy for him and excited that he is starting to see success and learning a lot. I can´t believe how fast the mission flies by. I swear it feels like just a couple months ago I was in Santa Rosa just barely starting. It´s great to hear from Eric and I can´t believe he is almost done! It´s so weird for me to see all my friends starting to end and go back home. I´m not gonna lie it kinda scares me/gives me a weird surreal feeling. That´s just life though I guess. Thanks for all the support and love you guys give me! That christmas card was awesome and it was great to hear from everyone! Take care y nos estamos hablando!
-Elder Nicholas Gaughan

Interesting Week

Hey everyone how are things? Well like it says in the subject this week was an interesting one to say the least. We don´t have a whole lot of people that we´ve been working with so we´ve been doing a lot of contacts and a lot of looking without much finding. Dorrego is an interesting town cause it struggles economically, in the sense that it doesn´t progress. Because of that a lot of the young people that grow up here end up moving cause they can´t find work or they go out to study and preaching the gospel to older people is a little more challenging because they´re more set in their ways and not always really willing to change. We´re doing ok though and we´re keeping in there. Things are going really well with Elder Walker. He´s a great kid and we get along well. This last week we had a meeting with President Detlefsen. Because I got made district leader again I have an oportunity to go to these leadership conferences we have once a month as a mission. This one was great. I learned a lot from President as always but I also learned a lot from Hermana Detlefsen. She is an amazing lady. President let her teach a lot in the conference and I learned a ton! She has so much love for us, for the gospel and for our Savior Jesus Christ. It was amazing to be able to listen to her and have the oportunity to learn from her words and her example. She actually reminds me of mom quite a bit, just an argentine version. Elder Walker also came with me because the missionaries that are going to train also are invited so it looks like Elder Walker could train and I might be out of Dorrego at the end of this transfer. We don´t know anything for sure cause anything is possible. They could put 4 missionaries here or send Elder Walker somewhere else to train. Like I said at the beginning this week was a bit of a tough one but on saturday we were really blessed. We went to the house of a contact we did and they let us in!! That was amazing cause we hadn´t been getting in hardly anywhere all week! They´re a young couple named Facundo and Gisela and they have 3 little kids. They´re way cool and super prepared! Facundo lost his job a little while ago and has had to work as a taxi driver at nights which has been really tough on him. We were blessed enough to show up just at the right time to be able to start teaching them. We taught them the Restoration and it went really well. They were super involved, asking questions, making comments and just participating a ton. They´re both great and we were also able to take out baptismal dates with them for the 29th!! It looks like they need to get married but hopefully we´ll be able to take care of that quickly and there´s not a huge wait to get married. They had almost stopped believing in God for everything that had been happening and we showed up and seems like we´ve helped them to keep that faith and hopefully strengthen it in the end. They´re great people and we´re praying really hard that they progress well. Please pray for them so that they can progress and be blessed by our Heavenly Father. On the other hand sunday was a little tough. Franklin and Tobias didn´t make it to their confirmation which is a little nerve racking. We gotta focus more on them this week to make sure they make it and get that second part of baptism that is so important. Basically they just slept in and their mom did too so that didn´t help at all. It´s ok though, we´re gonna get them this coming week and then hopefully not have to stress about that as much anymore. Well I hope everything is going well and that everyone is doing good. Thanks for all the support and all the love!!!


-Elder Nicholas Gaughan

Monday, January 3, 2011

Working along, Doing great!

Hey everyone how´s it going? It was great being able to talk to you all on saturday too!!! Since then not too much has happened. Sunday was Elder Thomas´s last day in church so they asked him to get up and bear his testimony. Quite a few people were sad to see him go. He´s an awesome kid and a really good missionary and he´ll be sure to have a lot of success throughout his mission. So last night we had transfers. Elder Thomas and I got into Bahía around 8 PM and there were already a bunch of missionaries there at the bus terminal. My new companion Elder Walker wasn´t gonna arrive until around 530 AM cause he was coming from Mar Del Plata. So I stayed in the terminal all night with Elder Stout my zone leader seeing people off and looking out for new people coming in. I think I slept a grand total of 5 or 10 minutes the entire night, it was pretty long but in the end everyone left and got in somewhat smoothly so that was good to see. My new companion is Elder Walker who´s from Salt Lake. He´s got just over a year in the mission and came from the other zone in Mar Del Plata. He´s seems like a really nice kid and a hard worker. He´ll have some enthusiasm to get going in Dorrego which will be great. We worked hard in Dorrego with Elder Thomas but he was also there 6 months and being 6 months anywhere can get tough towards the end of that time. We´re gonna do good though, I´m excited to get going with Elder Walker. Tobias came to church on sunday by himself which was awesome. We´ll be baptizing him this weekend and hopefully baptizing his brother Franklin next weekend. This week we also found this really cool guy named Miguel who I think I already told you about him but we went back to teach him on thursday and he´s doing really well. He read the part in the Book of Mormon we left him and when we asked him what he thought about it he said "looks like I need to get baptized" so that was awesome! He´s a great guy and got a ton of potential to progress and do really well. And if we baptize him he can go on a mission cause he´s only 22!! So pray for him so he makes it to baptism and keeps going strong!! Again it was great to talk to all of you, I miss you guys a lot but I´m excited to keep working. Everyday I realize I don´t have a whole lot of time left till I´m done here so I gotta get going to reach my goals and keep having the Spirit to help change lives of people! I love you all and am glad to see that you´re all doing well! Hey alex you should name your kid Fernando.
-Elder Nicholas Gaughan