Good morning folks, around the world;) sounds like you guys are all in the thick of things, and I'm sure you wouldn't have it any other way. To answer some of your questions, Poor Elder Toledo still hasn't had a doctors appointment yet, so he is in the same place, but maybe this week will be the week. And yes, I was released from the bishopric for two reasons, one because two awesome new families moved into our ward and one of the brothers is going to be the new counselor. (such a miracle en serio) and the other is because this week we had changes and I am leaving Rivera!! WHAT!? This week every Zone had a conference with Presidente and the APs as they taught the new from that our mission has to work, and in the conference they told everyone their changes. So I was sitting there all tranquilo thinking I was safe, but it turns out that I am going to the city of Paysandú to be the senior zone leader, opening the zone (both me and my comp are new to the zone) and obviously opening area as well. My mind was like, ´you kidding me right now?´ I feel like I was just barely getting a hang of this whole zone leader thing,now I'm the man running the show. My mind is still tripping, but I've been getting better preparing myself, and now I'm pretty darn excited! I'm also really pumped because my new comp is going to be Elder H. Silva from Brazil!! The Portuguese continues!! He has more time than me in the mish, I'm not exactly sure how much, but I met him in Cerro like a year ago (Crazy) and he seems like a super chill guy. It is also nuts because Paysandú is right on the border with Argentina, just across the river. That part of Argentina is now part of my mission, and we have a little mini-zone there that will be its own thing this change, and then we will see how it works. Another crazy side note is that seven months ago, that Argentinian city, Concepción, was the first area of none other than the Hermana Audrie Robinson. Is that crazy or what? Such a small world sometimes! So anyways the truth is that I am super pumped to go and start over to get a huge jump start on the home stretch of my mission!!! Elder Toledo started the mission in P-dú and he says that my area is the most dangerous outside of Montevideo. Kinda like being in Cerro again. Oh gee, I was just starting to miss being worried for my life, but I'm all good, this happy-go-lucky lifestyle of Rivera has gotten me ready to retire just about;) But yeah, tomorrow I leave at four in the afternoon for the fourish hour busride to my new zone!! Can't believe it!!
So the truth is that this change has taken me a bit by surprise, so I wasn't really emotionally prepared to leave Rivera, our ward is on the verge of exploding, we had 59 people in church this week, nearly double what we had my first week here. We have had the Lord put families in the ward exactly when we needed them, and we have found some amazing people to teach. I was so excited for this next change because we have gotten a couple of awesome people lined up to get baptized, and I was super excited to see it. One is a eleven year old kid named Matias. His family are members, but inactive, and we have been working with them. The dad is a little bit tougher than the mom, but she has been going with Matias to church recently, and he is really excited to be able to be baptized. We have been trying to get his dad there to do the baptism, so hopefully that still happens. We had a really good visit with Mirian as well, she is in a tough spot because her preacher is pressuring her to choose one religion or the other, and she doesn't really know what to do. I'm sure it must be very hard, and I know that in the end, she will come around as well. Someone I will never forget from this area is Aldo. I don't know if you guys remember me talking about him, but he is the smartest man I have met here in Uruguay. We went almost two months without visiting him, due to medical complications of his wife, and it turns out that within four months of being diagnosed, his wife passed away from cancer. It hurt me so bad to see the pain he went through, I had never seen him lose control of his emotions like that before, and I just wanted to hug him. As we shared the plan of salvation with him, I was so grateful for it in my own life. Thanks to that knowledge we have, we will never have to suffer the pain and agony of losing someone forever. He is also progressing very promisingly as well. Ahh the list goes on and on, there are some families in the ward that I honestly feel like I am in my own home with them, they are awesome! I am going to miss them like crazy!! We have a last family night tonight with them, so we will be able to say goodbye. My good friend Elder Bedoya that is one of the other guys that lives with us is also leaving, and he is awesome and everyone loves him, so we have basically been going around saying goodbye to everyone together. YO AMO RIVERA!! NUNCA LE OLVIDARE! I am so grateful for the opportunity that I had to serve in this beautiful city. But as the missionary line goes, ¨I will go, and I will do.¨
So kiddos, I hope that you guys have a good week and that this time of year is treating you guys nicely, getting everything ready for hannah and everything...;) jaja jk, love you guys, thanks for everything!!!!
Todo mi amor,
Todo mi amor,
Elder Z. Degn--Rivera, Uruguay
The Bishop's Family from Rivera
A really big frog!