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