Monday, February 17, 2014

Yeah America!

Hey yall, Happy Presidents Day to you too!! Yeah America!
Glad to hear you guys are passing the week at home for the first time in how many years I dont know. Haha speaking of America, Rosario is pretty tranquilo, but at the same time there are some pretty rough people. Usually we don't get too much trouble from anyone, but this week a bunch went down. We have a guy that we are visiting that lived in America for awhile and we always end up talking about how perfect life is there for everyone. Uruguay is trying so hard to be like America and the people just have this idea that it is perfect there for everyone and that you have a huge house and super rich and don't have to work for anything. It's a pretty tough stereotype, and a lot of people don't really like us for that. This guy was letting us have it a bit, and when we were walking down the street the other day two kids yelled, ¨mucho plata, mucho plata¨. They were like twelve for crying out loud. But we get a lot of people that will walk by and say Hello, then we say hello back (in latino accent) and then they say, ¨Chao mormones!¨ And then we feel bad. But anyways, yeah America!
Also this week we had a crazy miracle! There is an investigator that I have been visiting since my first change with Dio named Cristina and have made absolutely no progress. I even thought she was very literally crazy. But this week we went and she is a completely different person than before. I have no idea what happened. Her mom is in really bad shape and she is looking for something to help her out. We have had two awesome lessons with her and she basically invited herself to church. I didn't know that was even possible. We went on Saturday to give her a lesson and invite her, but she couldn't let us in because she was super busy painting. She said we could come back Sunday, but we said we wanted to invite her to do something today. She said, ¨oh go to your church?¨ We said yes, then she said, ¨Alright, what time am I going?¨ I was kind of in shock. She came and really enjoyed it! We are going to visit her a lot this week and we have big hopes for her!
Also I got a new housemate this change named Elder White. We are from the same group and had a good time in the CCM together and I am pumped to have him here in Rosario! He is 18 like me but he turns nineteen on the nineteenth of March! Needless to say we are going to have a pretty sick party here in a few weeks!
You guys sound like you are having a pretty rocking time with everything and I love hearing about it all! Keep rocking it in soccer, lax, basketball, school, and all that jazzzz. You guys are awesome! Thanks for all your love and support! Have a super good week!!
Love you all,
Elder Degn
 Giving myself a haircut
My little friend

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Buenas tardes de Rosario!

Buenas tardes de Rosario!
I'm sorry to hear that the Super Bowl was a bit of a bust. But I am also glad that I didn't miss too much back in the real world. Just one more needs to be lame then they can all start playing for real again once I get back. Also, the big wedding looked great! Thats awesome for them and I'm really glad that they were able to make that step together. Such a blessing for the whole family. Changes are next week and there is a pretty good chance I could leave, so this could have been my last pday in Colonia. We went early like always and walked around a bit in the rain and it was nice. For lunch we went as a zone to get all you can eat pizza in centro. It was fitting because it was where we went my first day in the mission after zone capacitation. We´ll see what happens I guess.
This week was pretty good though. We have been working to find the families of the kids we played with and we have made contact with a couple of them and one of them is actually very promising. I really hope we can continue teaching them and showing them how much our loving Heavenly Father really is involved in our lives. Many people think it, but a huge thing is really just helping them see that He really is there to help them and that he loves us personally. Its one of the most basic beliefs we have but really it is something powerful.
Also this week I went on divisions with Elder Teloma. We were roomates in the CCM and started here in Rosario together. He is in the other area. We worked together so Elder Lufi and Elder Sanchez could work together since they are going to work here longer together. It was a super cool experience because we have the same amount of time so we basically had to fend for ourselves without anyone fluent in Spanish to help us out. I have never prayed so hard for the gift of tongues in my life. It was in my area so I was basically senior comp and took the lead in everything since I was the one they knew. It was crazy. I was able to really have a solid conversation with everyone and on top of that teach a pretty good lesson. It really opened my eyes to what the Lord can do to help me, even when I think I am struggling. Teloma and I were able to talk with a bunch of people without problem and really had a great day together and learned a lot seeing what it was like by ourselves and that we are actually capable of handling ourselves out there.
Also we had a convert from Rivera visit our branch yesterday. He is 23 and has been a member of the church for 3 months! Less time than I have as a missionary! He was here to visit his dad in the other elders area, and his story is amazing. He is on fire with the spirit and his testimony is incredible! He shared his story in testimony meeting and really was something else. He helps the missionaries all the time up there in Rivera and just said how much the spirit has been helping him. It was really a spiritual boost to the branch that we needed. However, he said that he let the sister missionaries start talking to him because they were good looking. Really not fair in that regard, so I guess I will just continue contacting the older group of women we have here in Rosario;) Yeah, just a little frustrating. But yeah this week has been great and this might be my last week here so we are really going to be working hard to boost up Rosario this week! Thanks for your love and support and I hope everything continues to go well for you guys! Love you so much!
Con todo mi amor,
Elder Degn
 A statue of this guy in every city
 Doing service--Pretty fun...

 Lucky photo--I like it!

View from our church rooftop

Creepy clown at pizza place

Monday, February 3, 2014

Sauna Life...

Sounds like you guys are rocking it up like usual! Im glad to hear you guys had a good time with the sisters, even if it was a little slow on conversation. I was just thinking to myself how I have not done that once. Have a nice structured meal like that then have a great lesson teaching the kids. It doesn't really work like that down here with our ten members. But we do what we do right? That really sounds like a good time and I'm glad you did that because there are missionaries down here that basically live through the members. They are awesome! But this week has been a crazy combination of a lot of things. We had an awesome cold front with a couple days of rain followed by some of the hottest days of my life that really were just the most humid days of my life. It wasn't that hot really, there was just so much liquid in the air. We walked from our house to an investigator about six blocks away and she let us in to her garage to talk and closed the door and it turned into a sauna. I was really sweating from every pore. It was running down my arms and dripping off my fingers. She was a little alarmed but I just kept a huge smile on my face which made it even weirder for her I think but it was just funny.

I also did divisions this week with our ZL Elder Bulloch from St. George. He is a huge wrestler and a stud missionary. We went to a part of our area I didnt know very well to contact a bit and found a couple folks and at one house we were basically yelled at to leave and that they already have their religion. Elder Sanchez and I went back to this area two days later to visit someone else and asked if they knew anyone we could visit. They gave us this house that the woman screamed as out. So we went back and tried again. We were starting the same way with very short, smart, high-pitched answers until Elder Sanchez said he was from Paraguay. I have never seen anyone change so fast. She turned into our best friend in about three seconds. She has lived in Paraguay for thirty years and just loved chatting about it. It turns out she is a super-evangelical woman and was just giving us blessings the whole time which was pretty cool I guess. She also can speak in tongues (watch out) but was a super nice woman that we have an appointment to visit tonight. It was crazy how fast she changed.

Also this week was one of the coolest things that have happened to me. We were out in this nieghborhood outside of the main city looking for a prior contact. We were confronted by a group of 10-14 year old boys that wanted us to play soccer with them. So we did. It was the mormons with a 14 year old and an 18 year old Uruguayans verses about ten younger boys. We just played in this little field on the side of one of their houses and it was sweet. After we played and we said we had to go, they just swarmed around us asked tons of questions. Where we were from, which team we are from, here and in American (PeƱarol and Real Salt Lake) and stuff like this. One of them asked to go to the shade to talk more so we moved to the shade to get out of the sun and they all just sat down in a perfect semi-circle and it felt like we were giving a sermon on the mount kind of thing. It was awesome and they all asked tons of questions about God and Christ and were super excited to just learn about it all. We have all of their names and almost all of their addresses to go back and teach their families like they asked. It was amazing. We are really going to work this week to find them and keep teaching them.

Well my dear friends, I hope that you guys have another great week and keep living it up back in ol South Jordan. Enjoy the snow and the time off! I love you guys, thank you so much for everything!!