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
Sunday, June 5, 2011
at 8:32 PM
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
at 8:21 PM
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
at 8:12 PM