Monday, January 19, 2015

FELIZ ANO NUEVO!!! January 5, 2015

Hey everyone, Happy New Year!! I can't really believe that it is really a new year already and it really freaks me out how fast time goes by...we are in the last week of our change!! New years was really fun, we couldn't stay out late like Christmas Eve, but we still got some goodies from some members and just passed a fun time in our house counting down the new year. In South America it is absolutely crazy and a really big deal, and Elder Toledo was feeling kinda trunky for his family parties, so he had us all dress up a little bit (Crazy) and then we went out on top of our house to get  a good view of all the fireworks! Rivera certainly did not disappoint. Our neighborhood put on a good show, but we can see the Centro from our house, and those guys went all out! It was really like being in a warzone for about fifteen minutes, it was nuts!!! Then we went to bed and started like nothing had ever happened the next day. Ah the mission:)
Apart from the big celebration, we went to Montevideo for our leadership council with President Smith where he gave us the new plan for the mission this year, and man, it was crazy. It was really a call to the church in Uruguay and the changes that we are making as missionaries to help the church edify itself here. We are changing all of the key indicators, or the things that we count and measure, like baptisms, lessons, news, that stuff, and now it is just six things: Attendance in church, baptisms, investigators with a baptism date, progressing members, new investigators found with a member (a member working with us), lessons with investigators, and hours spent working with a member. That is it. We don't count anything else anymore. It will be a very big change, but they are all things that we have already been working with but not really counted like this. It is not what PMG says, but it is the revelation that the Lord has given to our area leaders and our Mission President, and I trust 100% in what they believe. I have seen the need and the results that come when these things are done. It is going to be really interesting to see how the mission and missionaries adapt to the change, here we go!!! I also got to see Dio one more time before he goes home in two weeks which was awesome, and got to hang out for a bit with Elder Bentley, living the high life down there in Montevideo! Really a fun day apart from all of the traveling. It was about three days in a row with less than 5 hours of sleep....feeling better now though!
We had a great week after getting home from the conference and passing the holidays, and we are really seeing awesome progress in our ward and area! We have had two families move into our ward in the past two weeks, and they are both awesome!!! One is from here in Rivera, the other is from Montevideo that moved here to be closer to family and start over, really a big sacrifice from them. With these two new families we are seeing a new excitement that is coming over the members of the ward as they can see the potential that we have. We are working with a lot of the less active members to get them going to church again, and we are seeing a lot of promise. If everyone went every week it would be soooo gooood!!!! But we are getting there...Ernesto is doing awesome still! He gave the prayer in sacrament meeting yesterday and has an interview this week with the bishop about the priesthood, so we are really excited about that! We also have a great investigator named Marian that read the whole first chapter of Nephi in between our first and second lessons, and is doing soo good!! Now we just have to get her away from the church on the corner of her block...little steps at a time.. 
So right now we are doing really well, excited for this new week and for the changes that are going to happen in the zone this change! I should be staying here with Toledo, so we´ll see what happens!! Also, its soooo hot. 
I love you guys so much and I know this work is sooo true! Yo se que el Señor esta bendiciendome a mi y a ustedes todos los dias. Gracias por todo lo que hacen para mi!! Les quiero mucho!!
Elder Degn

ps. The new years party krew!

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