Monday, June 22, 2015

Elder Gonzalez last P-day!!!

Hey what's up everybody!! Sounds like everyone is doing good, it's hard to believe that it is summer full-throttle out there because here it is super cold. I definitely like it more than the heat, so I won't complain. (And because every house we go to gives us hot chocolate or cebada, that helps a lot too:) Today has been really fun, Elder Gonzalez´s last free pday! We went for one last  pass for the ciudad vieja, ate at subway (his favorite) and then went and played a  couple of  games of pool at the same place we go to do bowling. Haven't played pool for a long time but it was super fun and Gonzalez plays super well. He took me to town the first game but I was just breaking the rust off and handed it to him pretty good the second game. Really fun though!!

This week has been awesome, even though we had a lot that didn't pan out our way. First off, Edrian and his family are doing sooooo goood!!! This week they sent us a text asking when we could come by to start teaching the boyfriend of the daughter. Out of no where this guy is super motivated and is really interested! We had a good ward activity and talked with him a lot there and built a good relationship, then went to their house the next day and the guy has already read all of first Nefi! We just looked at each other shocked! He knows a ton and understands really well and we have some really big hopes for him, he would help this family out a ton. Out of no where this family has basically become the most active family in the ward, so awesome! 

Juan is doing well, just a  bunch of little things keep getting in the way. A big miracle that is happening in his life right now is that out of nowhere he has re-kindled the relationships with all of his siblings that live close in Montevideo,  which has been awesome for them, but almost every weekend someone invites him to go spend a couple of days with their family and he always goes with the intentions of getting back for church, but we all know how it is to get away from family sometimes....joking;) But that is really the only thing that is keeping him from getting baptized right now. A little frustrating but it will work out here in a couple of weeks. 

We are also in the full fury of the copa america, and on Saturday afternoon Uruguay played thier last placement game, and we knew there was no way we would be getting into anybodies house without getting stuck watching the game, so we went out to  Santa Catalina, a litte part of our area outside of casabo, looking to have a charla with Katy, but no dice. We started walking around with no one to visit, and a guy that we  had talked with before in the street (while he was  really drugged up) invited us over, he was outside of a little shop cutting wood with a axe. We talked for  a minute  and  asked if we knew how to cut wood, my comp said no, I said yes, and he wanted me to go for it. The family that ran the store came out and we talked with them, and the guy really wanted me to cut wood, so I took off my coat and chopped a little bit for them. After hitting the huge stump as hard as I could a couple of times the owner showed me how you've got to cut it in pieces and work towards the center because it was rock solid. Then they put up a smaller one and in two swings I split it real good and  left them all impressed. There is a video on the girls facebook page somewhere...I´ll be looking it up when I get back:) It was really fun and we built a good relationship with them, but my hands and arms still kind of hurt...;) 
This is Elder Gonzalez´s last week and we are super pumped! It really doesnt feel like he is going home, we joke about it but it doesnt seem real. Its gonna be a great week!

I have learned a ton recently about the Law that God has and the proccess that is requiered to fulfill the law and recieve mercy. Really awesome stuff, Alma 42 is full of it, something so simple yet so profound. Look it up. 
Thanks for everything guys, I love you all so much!!!
Elder Degn
ps. Edrian and his brother Nicolas!

Thursday, June 18, 2015

We look cool in our jackets:)

Hey everyone, glad to hear that you are all keeping busy now that school out for you boys...;) That is so crazy that dad "found" KJ! How was that even possible? Super crazy! Luckily dad doesnt ever have to travel to Uruguay so that he doesnt "run into" us here in Montevideo:) Haha but for reals though that is sweet and funny that he waited till the last month of Elder Patterson, couldnt have waited? Nah but we are doing super good here, today we are just doing the normal, trying to stay out of the cold. It is now freezing cold, inside and outside. I had a cold on Saturday because it dropped so fast, but I'm doing a lot better now. Like it never even happened. 

This week was great though! We had interviews with Pte. Smith, which felt kinda wierd because it was my last one until I leave. It was nice to be talk with him and receive some last council. We also had divisions with the APs this week, I went to their ward in Downtown Deo with Elder Trucolo (Argentino) and had a great day! I learned a lot from him and we taught really well together, it was different for me because I have never had an area in this part of Montevideo. I felt like I was a tourist the whole time. I probably sounded like an idiot the whole time making comments about how nice everything was and such. It would be wierd for me to have an area like that, so I'm glad to be out in Cerro.  

We also finally got back in touch with Juan, and true to his word, he is all set and ready to go! He has quit smoking, he is reading the book of mormon, and is getting ready to be baptized next week! He brought his whole family to church this week and is just doing great!! 
Then on Saturday we had the baptism of Edrian that was awesome! The whole family went and a bunch of people from the ward went to support them. Like always there has to be something that goes wrong, this time it was the water-heater. Didnt want to run for a long time, by the time we got it going there wasnt enough time to fill it with just hot water, so the water was just a little-lot colder than enjoyable, but he was a trooper and got it done! It was great for the family because the brother did the baptism and the dad did the confirmation. They have a daughter that lives with the boyfriend and now they are going to church and he is really interested and doing a lot to learn about the church. I've got a really good feeling about him, he is a great guy and really open to learn more.
Needless to say, we are really excited now for this week and to see how everything pans out! Thanks for everything, I love you guys so much!! 
Elder Degn
ps. Somos de PeƱarol!!
and I did recieve the package that dad sent before mothers day, thanks for the protien!!

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Justice & Mercy--June 1, 2015

Hey everyone thanks for all the good wishes. Sounds like everyone is doing good getting ready for school to get out. Hard to believe that it is that time of year already...Time really flies by! This week has been great and today was really fun, we headed out early to the centro for probably the last pass through for Elder Gonzalez. We might get out there one more time before he leaves, but we kinda just treated itlike it was going to be the last one, so we spoiled ourselves a litle bit:) You know, nice gifts and a subway lunch, doesnt get much better:) Gonzalez and I have been getting really well and we have a great time with each other. I am learning a ton from him and I feel like he is my brother. Just the other day there was a moment where I said something and it was one of those things where right as I said it I knew it came out wrong and because we know each other so well I knew he didnt take it right either, and we talked about it and fixed it all not allowing it to grow and become something big in between us that is really something super little. It is awesome to have a comp that you get along with well enough to recognize those little things and avoid little problems. I jsut felt like I was talking with a super good friend avoided a unwanted problem. The little things you learn in the mission....;) 

This week was really a great week though! We visited the family of Juan that is still really tied up looking out for his grandpa in the hospital, but he was operated on this past week and should soon be released and is going to stay in the house of Juan´s family and so we will be able to get back to teaching him and getting him back on the track to baptism! He is super excited though and doing great!

We are also working with a family that is recently re-activating themselves and they have a son that was married to a girl that is also a member, and now they are really active as well and getting things set up so they can be sealed together in the temple which is really exciting! They also have a nine year old son that we are teaching, just helping him get ready so he can be baptized as well, which they are all super excited about! They are a great family and are really excited to be back on track. They have just about every cool thing ahead of them in the church, and their excitement is obvious and  just shines off of them. We are excited to help them out as well, and they are  really just doing great, families are so happy when they are progressing in the gospel. 
We had a lesson this week with a young couple named Rocina and Christian. We had a lesson with her about a month ago which went really well but then it got complicated and we couldnt get a hold of her again until just barely and her and her husband (they arent married, even though it seems like it...) were both really excited to have a lesson with us, and they came out to the church to do it. We taught them about the restauration and answered a bunch of questions they had, which always makes for a good lesson. During the part of the first vision there was a very strong spirit and it was one of the few times that you see in the eyes of the  other person that they understood, and that they felt it. I dont know how this will all turn out, but Rocina has a special spirit, we felt it and saw it. She is really smart and has a strong catholic backround, but we could feel the desire she had to know more. I have high hopes with them and the future!! 

Well folks, I sure love you all and love so much what I  am doing! This gospel is amazing, Elder Gonzalez and I have been studying a lot together about the Justice and Mercy God and the role and conditions of the atonement...something so profound, yet so simple. Alma 42 amongst many. Great stuff. I know the plan is real and perfect and true! And that we all need the atonement to make it back. We are on His conditions, not ours. Thank you for everything you do for me everyday! I love you all so much!
Con todo mi amor,
Elder Degn
ps. The great city of Montevideo!

 I finally got my scripture covers!!  I love them!

 The great city of Montevideo!
 It is getting colder...

Still got the throwing arm...skipping rocks

Eloy! I love this man...

Hey my dear family!! With a full heart I send you my love and especially to my boy Mafatu. I had a sharp feeling of deja is impossible to forget the sweetness of victory or the bitterness of defeat. I'm grateful to have experienced both. Defeat makes us work harder and be better. There will be more games to be played. #traditionofexellence 

This has been a great and very, very, very, busy week. It was the week of changes and all the ZLs of Montevideo spend the day in the bus terminal sending and receiving missionaries to and from all over the country. It was very exciting seeing all of the missionaries ending the mission arrive early in the morning and head to the mission home and then later see all the new missionaries arrive with their companions to head out to their new area, mixed with all the friends I saw in between and it was a crazy mix of emotions the whole day! Thankfully everything worked out very smoothly, and we were able to sleep all night;) 

We were running around like crazy after that trying to get to all of the people that we needed to visit. We gave Katy her first triple (Book of Mormon, D&C, Pearl of great price) and she was so excited and we explained it and read some together and she understands so well and wants to just keep learning! We visited the mother of Juan, he is still in the hospital taking care of his grandpa, so we have only been able to talk with him over the phone, but he was so disapointed to not be able to be baptized on the day we had set up, but he is reading the Book of Mormon still and has completely quit smoking! His mom was telling us how she can't believe that he just up and quit. She offered him the other day a cigarette and he told her that he doesn't want to smoke and doesn't feel the need to anymore. So he quit!! It was awesome for us to hear and we are really excited to see him again and help him get to his baptism! 

Speaking of victory and defeat, I recieved a call on Saturday from the missionaries in Cerro 1, my old ward, and they were with the bishop who told them to call me because my good friend Eloy that was baptized while I was there was killed in an accident while he was  riding his bike. It was very unexpected news, and I felt that sudden surge of mixed emotions thinking about my old friend, and I felt peace. Grateful for the knowledge I have and for the privilege that was mine to get to know Eloy and help him learn about the true gospel of Jesus Christ. The Gospel that allows us to find peace and comfort in this hectic world in which we live, and to have faith and hope for something more glorious than we can presently imagine, the eternal life. Eloy was one of the most simple and practical person I have ever met. He was so humble but had a large heart, always helping people without being asked. I was looking forward to seeing him again before I headed home, but now I will be waiting a little bit more to see him again. But I know that I will! I love this gospel and I know that this is the true church of our lord and savior, Jesus Christ. In his name, Amen.

I love you guys tons and am so grateful to be in this family!!
Todo mi amor,
Elder Degn
ps. I sent Elder Bentley off to Brazil this week, most likely the last time I will see him in the mission. I love this guy so much! Brothers for life!!   

 My friend and awesome missionary, Hermana Dow.

Elder Bentley!!

My sweet friend, Eloy.