Thursday, November 14, 2013


But yeah, everything down here is going pretty darn well. The missionwide goal is to double the attendence of church, and our branch has a base of 15, and we have been in the twenties for three weeks strait which means we are getting there. Its crazy how full it feels when we have all these people come. Can't imagine what it is going to be like when I get back. We are one of the only places that does not have a church built chapel, but I really like the building we meet in. Even though the chapels here are really nice and I would really like one. 

 The Zone Conference in Mercedes was soo good! We learned so much and Presidente Smith really showed us some awesome ways to commit people to pray and read. He is asking everyone to memorize them and our creencias for when we are visited by the a member of the 70 in December. Im pretty sure my zone is going to Montevideo for this, pretty pumped. But Mercedes is a pretty big city surrounded by just open countryside. That is basically all of the country. We literally drove for two hours without seeing one city. Colonia is one of the only zones that has more than two cities big enough for missionaries. This country is just wide open space. But it is soo beautiful! I love the sunsets because even when the sun is completely down the horizon is still orange because the country is so flat.

But the work is definitely moving and the spanish is coming along too! We have an investigator that we found last week that is ridiculously smart. Usually we give very simplified lessons because that is what the people can understand, but this guy was studying to be a pastor of a different church awhile ago so he just asks us about our doctrine and beliefs. I wish I could talk better because I can answer his questions very well in English but it takes me too long to put it together in Spanish to help too much. But yeah we have already covered the crazy backstory of the LdM and put all the Mormon rumors to pasture. (polygamy) But he really likes us and is preparing more questions for our next visit. I know the church will work for him because not only is it true because we feel the spirit confirm it to us, but also because from an educated standpoint, it works. If you have faith and believe in a God, then everything else can work so easily. He asked us to sign his book of mormon too, and that was pretty cool.

The thing that I always am suprised by is the kindness of the people here. They give us so much when they have so little. Even people that are not members will still give us something to drink or a snack or something, when I can see there is not really any sign of food in their kitchen. It really warms the soul and makes me want to help them. There is a family that we go to to sing to their 92 year old deaf grandma. We go so we can build a realationship with the family and hopefully they will allow us to teach them. They arent religious at all so its a bit of a tough start. But their little kids are the best. They have three little boys that like singing with us and they like praying too. Those are the best part of my day. When a little kid tells the lord he is grateful for the pastors that are helping his grandma, thats when I knew its worth everything to be out here.

It sure sounds like you guys are going to be having a pretty crazy week, and I cant wait to hear how everything goes! I love you all and love hearing how well everything is going! I am almost done with my first change! six weeks here, crazy how time flies.

All my love, Elder Degn

Monday, November 4, 2013

Hola muchachos!

If there is one thing that I love about being in a pretty tough area, it is that you really appreciate the little miracles that happen everyday. That is about all we get. Some have been things that I would not even think about happening to us. Elder Diotaiuti and I were walking down a street the other day looking for a woman we contacted earlier and wanted to talk to us again, but she didn’t really have an address so we were walking blind. Dio asked me to say a prayer and I asked Heavenly Father to guide us to someone that would help us. We went up a different street and went to a house that had been contacted a long time ago but we gave it a shot. This young woman came out and it turned out she is related to the person we were looking for! Crazy! We are going to go back and teach their family sometime too, it was just crazy!

Also, our mission president has asked every chapel to have activities every day of the week to invite people to things other than our weekly services. The only day we dont have anything is Monday(noche de hogar) and Tuesday we play basketball at the plaza de deportes, Wednesday is futsal in the capilla,Thursday is ping-pong and more futsal, Friday is clases de ingles, Saturday is noche de rama(branch night), and Sunday is tarde de pelicula(movie night). We have a bunch of young kids that have never talked to missionaries come and play sports with us and it is super fun to get to know these kids and slowly introduce them to the gospel and just give them a good idea about missionaries. We have a ten year old kid that lives right next to the chapel who is in a less active family but they let him come to all our activities. He is super quiet but we like hanging out with him. On Sunday we have our movie night and watched the Testaments and that movie brings the spirit so strongly at the end. When it was over we explained everything about the Book of Mormon to him and gave him one. I hope that he is able to read it and enjoys it. I know the spirit was there and hopefully he felt it too.

We have one real progressing investigator right now that has been investigating the church but never came through with baptism. We discovered a pretty serious problem he had and called the Mission President for guidance. He was going to be in Colonia on Saturday for a meeting with all the branch presidents here and he said he would stop in Rosario on his way back to Montevideo and go visit him with us. I couldn’t believe how well it worked out. He came and gave one of the best lessons I have ever heard. Dio and I just watched in shock. He just taught verse by verse chapter 31 of 2nd Nephi. The doctrine of Christ. He made it so simple and brought the spirit sooo strong. It went a totally different direction than either of us were thinking it would go. At the end he commited him to be baptized in three weeks, and he accepted! I really hope he will be able to go through with this, he has the faith for sure.

So we are moving forward step by step, slowing getting into more houses and meeting more people. I am proud to say that I have been cooking some pretty good stuff lately. I can make a pretty good pasta and sauces for rice. That’s about what we eat every day, we just mix us sauces and meat and stuff. That’s just the cheapest and easiest. So any ideas besides that would be great!

Halloween was super mello here and it’s hard to believe it’s already November! It is getting warm real quick and we had a rainstorm that was crazy and lasted two days! Water fills the streets pretty quick.

We are in Colonia today and staying the night with the missionaries here because our district meeting is here tomorrow morning so we don’t want to spend the money to go back and forth so many times. We are going home Tuesday afternoon then leaving super early in the morning on Wednesday to go to Mercedez for our zone conference. I’m super pumped because we are learning a new way to teach the atonement. I have already heard pieces of it and it amazing. I also get to give my oro testimony in front of everybody. Oros and the people leaving all do it at every Zone Conference.

Well thanks for all of your love and support! You guys are seriously the best! I love you all and miss you guys tons!

All my love,

Elder Degn

ps, this is my first haircut. Pretty nice huh?