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