Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Moving to the city!

Hey guys, how goes it? I'm sure glad you all had a good week, and I'm super glad you had fun in Cali mom because I really miss it! That is the only reason I'm glad Im leaving Colonia, it makes me super trunky for California. Oh yeah, hey I'm leaving Rosario. Like in two hours so I dont have much time! I am going to Cerro! Barrio Las Torres! It is the outside part of Montevideo and super sketchy. It is one of the three zones in Montevideo and the farthest away from downtown. About 30 mins from centro. Everyone is scared of Cerro (the people in my rama) and they just kept saying how lucky I am that I look latino and am big. And my comp is Elder Davis. I dont know anything about him besides he is a big american that plays baseball too, so I'm super pumped! Also Dio is in Cerro right now too so I will get to be with him every now and then too! Sooo Sick!! I leave tonight so we´ll see if all the horror stories are true starting tomorrow. The upside is the church is booming there! I will be in a WARD!!

As much as I am excited to leave, it hurts to leave these guys here. When we are so few we have gotten pretty close. They had a party for me on Sunday and the sisters gave me a super nice tie to help me never forget them in Rosario. It was touching to be honest. I have learned so much here about how to be a good missionary and how to be a good member of the church. Our branch president is a convert of three years and his life before the gospel could be a crazy action movie. He was raised here in Rosario and his life was nuts with everything you can think of. The things I have learned from him are priceless. He has shown me how to be a good leader as well and work by the spirit always. He and his wife are some of the best people I have ever met in my life, and I really am going to miss them.

The other thing I am going to miss is Cristina´s baptism in three weeks. We really went over a lot with her this week and worked with Presidente and we set another date for three weeks from now. She will make it, I know. I was here when we found her with Dio and when we told her I had to leave she just cried and cried. It was really heart-breaking. She has grown to love us because we offer her so much light in her life that is so hard. I felt super bad that I have to leave before her baptism because I know how much it meant to her to have us both there. I know Elder Sanchez will take care of her though, so she is in good hands.

Yesterday just about all of our plans fell through so we just contacted basically all day and it was one of the best days we have had all change. We talked with a ton of new people and I wouldnt have it any other way to leave Rosario with now four or five more people to work with. I will always be grateful for having served in Rosario, and I will never forget the genuine friends I have here. I really was blessed to start here.

I also got a package from grandma and grandpa this week with a sweater which was just in time because it got super cold this week! I wore it everyday. Blessings everywhere!!
You guys are awesome! Thank you so much for everything! I love you all so much! have a good week!!
All my love, Elder Degn

ps. THis is my farewell party.


Best Birthday Card Ever!


Working Hard!!




Sunday, March 23, 2014

A little rain never spoils the party!

Happy post birthday! It was definitely a different experience, but it was one of my favorite birthdays I've had. I really missed being with you guys and for the most part it really doesn't even feel real. It mostly just came and went. Haha we do the same thing everyday so its different when we have a reason to celebrate. But the mission pays for you to buy ice cream which was amazing! Haven't had ice cream in such a long time. So we went and visited some investigators and then went and had a little party with some members and it was actually super fun. One of the sisters made a cake and I don't really know what kind it was but it was fantastic! I felt super special too because basically everyone that lived over there knew it was my birthday and they aren't in my area so all these people I didn't even know came in and wished me happy birthday! It also rained more than any other day in my life, so we walked through the streets flowing with water to the party, but it was definitely worth it.

And the best part was that on Satuday we (Rosario) had a baptism! It was the investigator of the other elders but its a super big deal for the branch! She is such a solid person and is the sister of one of the members that was baptized a year ago. They are such good people, they are the ones who did most of the work for my party. Her baptism went perfectly and afterwards she bore her testimony and it was rock solid. She quit smoking in less than two weeks to be baptized, it was fantastic to see how happy she was.

We are working with Cristina right now still hoping for this week. There are a couple of things we still have to address with her but it I'm hoping it all still works out for her this week. This is the last week of the change, so I dont know if I will be here if we have to wait another week for her. Its going to be tough to leave Rosario, I really love the people here. We´ll see what happens, I will know on Sunday what happens.

Well kiddos, I love you all and missed you guys tons this week! I hope you all have another great week, and I would be perfectly fine not recieving any photos from California if its alright! Thanks!

Todo mi amor,

Elder Degn

ps. Its Elder White´s birthday this week, so we are going to be partying de vuelta!




Thursday, March 13, 2014

Thanks for Birthday wishes

Hey you guys, thank you so much for the birthday wishes!! I can't believe its this week. Something about being down here just makes me feel like it isn't real. I don't think there will be anything special going down, but hey, there´s a baptism on Saturday!! Also, happy birthday to me. I will say I am fluent in Spanish. When we went to zone conference this weekend we slept in the hostal for one night and there were six in our room. I apparently had a discussion with one of the elders from chile in my sleep. I didn't know that I sleep talk, but I guess when I do, its in Spanish! Buenaso.
But this week was awesome!! Zone conference was one of the best meetings I have ever had in my life. We started early in the morning in the chapel next to the temple and Pres. Smith taught us about the plan of salvation for about two hours. It was absolutely mind blowing. He talked about space and the fact of the worlds out there and how space is always expanding. (basically the human mind cannot comprehend space.) And how amazing it is that this God loves each and every one of us perfectly. It's amazing to be honest. We went to the temple after and it was amazing! I haven't been in five months and I needed it and the spirit came through like always. The temple is such an amazing place, enjoy it. We finished the day talking and practicing teaching the Plan of Salvation and it made me realize how much I need to work on just knowing the doctrine. He emphasized the importance of teaching with your own words, and it really does make a difference. It is just using my own words that I know in spanish to put it all together. I learned a lot and it was really an awesome day!!
Also Cristina is coming along very nicely and we are getting set to teach her the big commandments this week. She has shown so much desire to learn as much as she can, and she doesn't have any problems with smoking or drinking miraculously, so it should be great! This week the other Elders are baptizing someone named Raquel. She is an amazing example to me. She has accepted everything so willingly and this week quit smoking so she can be baptized! Its going to be a good weekend down here!
It is also cooling off really fast, and Im sooooo glad we are finally pulling out of summer!! Get ready for a humid winter! Can't wait to see if all the horror stories the members tell us are true!
One of the investigators of the other elders gave us meat to cook from their cow they had the day before. I prepared everything, and while I was cutting all the fat off it still smelt like a live cow. But for the record, it was amazing. Im getting pretty darn good at this.
Love you all, Happy Birthday to dear Abby!! Happy twelve girl!
Todo mi amor,
Elder Degn
ps. this is me and Elder Bulloch, my ZL that has been in Colonia all this time with me. Champ.

Monday, March 3, 2014


Hey kiddos. This week was crazy!! Carnival has started and the country is going crazy! We are a pretty small town but it sure knows how to party. If there was any reason to celebrate nothing but to throw all morals out the door and just party, it is carnival! It started last night and will last all week. This morning when we left early for Colonia we saw a lot of people just going back to thier homes. We just kinda have to steer clear of the plaza once it starts getting dark. But hey, party on.

Also this past week, one of our investigators, Ariel, {that judges me for being american sometimes} had us over for dinner. And it was FANTASTIC!! He said he was going to cook something spicy. And Uruguayans are such whimps about spicy food. Like just a little bit will kill them. So he had us over and cooked something mexican. It was a huge pan of grilled meat, chicken, potatoes, onions, peppers, and it was amazing. I was just laughing the whole time because I felt like I was at home. And because it was sad to watch them suffer. It was pretty hot, but he had tobasco sauce to put on it, and I layered it on and enjoyed it while I watched them all drink a glass of coke after every bite because it was too hot. American pride right there. Thats how you know I was brought up right. They all thought I was crazy, but it was the best thing I have eaten down here. Hands down.

Also this week we had another lesson with Cristina in the chapel and talked about the doctrine of Christ. We invited the wife of our Branch President to come with us, and it was awesome. She taught a ton and just shared her pure testimony of the gospel and how it can make you happy and really can change a person. Cristina was just crying the whole time and saying how that is all she wants. We went into the room with the baptisimal font (pool because we dont have a real church) and we talked about baptism. We explained how baptism is literally the beginning of a new life and we felt the spirit so strong. In this moment I asked her if she would be baptized. She said yes!! We are working to get her ready for the 22 of March! It was awesome and it felt so good to have a lesson so strong with the spirit. It was also a testimony to me to the strength of the testimonies of the members. That is really one of the key reasons she felt the spirit so strongly. Va arriba!!
Well this week is going to be super sick too because on Thursday night we are going to Montevideo for zone conference! We are staying in the hostel over night and going to the temple in the morning!! So pumped!! I havent been to the temple since my first day in Uruguay, and I need it. Then we are having Zone conference after then coming home late Friday night. Its going to be a super sick week!!
I have heard from a lot of friends about Lexi, and it is hard to believe. I know that I only know a bit, but it sounds miraculous already. That must be so hard for the family, but they are such strong people. Lexi has one of the strongest testimonies I have ever known, and I know that God is with her and will stay with her and her family through this. Pray on!!

Well my very dear friends, keep on keepin on!
Love you all so much, thank you for everything that you guys do!!
Todo mi amor,

Elder Degn
We helped a teacher move her things into a school.  Fun to be back in school!

Look!  I've grown!

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Hastening the work...

Wow sounds like the party just never stops with you guys! Keep living it up and good luck to all of you guys! Sometimes I really do miss how crazy our lives used to be(still are I know). But those days just bring back a lot of good memories with yall. But the world keeps turning, sometimes too fast. I dont really know where you guys got the idea that changes were coming up, Ive still got a month to go. Thanks for the support though:) Also, if you still have that birthday package open, fall and winter really are kicking in pretty soon and I need sweaters or the like. Black and grey por favor. That is how you live down here. The mornings are pretty brisk already, which I really enjoy, but it still gets humid enough to sweat your lunch off. And thank you for the shoe! It looks sweet! I cant wait to wear it when its companion gets here! They are probably the nicest shoes I have ever seen. Thanks!!

This week has been pretty crazy. Like usual I guess, but it still hits me every time. We had the opportunity to go to Nueva Helvecia to see the broadcast of the general priesthood area broadcast and it was awesome! We heard from the area seventies and Elder Rasband and Elder Ballard. It was awesome to be able to translate everything ahead of the translators and be more than 85% right. And it was nice to hear a talk in english too. But they talked about the how the Lord is hastening his work and how we need to do our part. It was crazy because I felt the spirit soo strong. I cant really describe it but when Elder Ballard testified that the Lord is hastening is work right now, it gave me the chills. I am a part of that work and we are all asked to help Him in His work. Really loved it. A nice spiritual boost I needed.

Also things are progressing very well with Cristina! We had some good lesssons with her and she came to church again and is reading the Book of Mormon with us explaining the things to her. She really likes it and we are going to extend her a date this week!!

We have also had more really good discussions with Dante and we are really trying to find out the best thing we can do to help him. Its interesting how different every situation is but that the gospel fits in with all of them. Its just a matter of acknowleging how He can help us.

I know that He can help us in every aspect of our live. It is just up to us to accept him!

Keep up the work you guys, I love you so much! Thank you for everything!

Love you all!

Elder Degn

So there is a member here with an artistic talent and he makes stuff for our chapel. We like the sword. A lot.