Friday, August 28, 2015

Welcome Home From The End Of The World


We as a family welcomed Michael home at 10:30 a.m. August 26, 2015. It was a long trip that started on Sunday August 23rd with a day at the mission home on Monday and then and early flight to Buenos Aires Tuesday morning and a flight Tuesday night to Atlanta, Georgia and finally from there to Salt Lake City Wednesday morning. The following photos show the joy and happiness of having a son and a brother returning home from a two year mission. His Homecoming report in sacrament meeting will be Sunday, August 30, 2015 at 11:00 a.m. The chapel is located adjacent to the Draper Temple in Draper Utah at 14065 Canyon Vista Ln.

Words can't express the love, joy, pride, happiness and peace that comes through welcoming our son home from a mission well done and remembered forever.













Monday, August 24, 2015

Prayer and a Baptismal Servise

Dear Family,


Well, today I am in the office on my way home. So, that`s kind of depressing. I still can´t really believe that I´m on my way home, honestly this is a lot harder for me than coming on the mission was. I freaking LOVE the mission. So, the coolest things that happened this week were that I BAPTIZED!!!!!!!!!!!!! That was quite simply amazing! So, prayers are totally answered. That was super spiritual and I´ll tell you all about it when I get home.
Elder Sirrine,Carola,Gonzalo, Elder Alvarado

Baptism last week in the field

The other cool thing that happened was that we had a little bit of snow and lots of activities. We had a really cool activity in another branch that was super fun and I had a lot of goodbye lunches and dinners. That was fun. So, I look forward to seeing you all in the airport on Wednesday and I hope that you are excited to see me.

Love you all tons!
Michael

Coming to Church

Coming to Church

Dear Family,

Thanks for all the emails and for telling me how you all are. You guys are the best! I love you tons! This week has been kind of interesting for me. On Sunday we had our interviews with the president that went from 7:30 to about 10:30 which were awesome. I learned about what´s going to happen when I am traveling home my last two days in the mission. Which was interesting. And I shared my last testimony in front of the zone. That was super sad, I didn't want to have to do that because it means that it really is the end now. I kind of still thought that it was a bit of a lie that I was going home soon. Now it's a truth. 

Then, after that we waited for like an hour and a half for a taxi to show up so we got to bed really late which was fun. And yesterday we had other meetings so today is P-day. And the only other big news is that my investigators Gonzalo and Carola went to church! I was so happy to see them there, they are so prepared for baptism. We´re going to see if they can be baptized before I go home which I think may be possible. Pray for them! And that´s really everything that happened this week. It was really boring and normal. Hope you all have a great week and I look forward to seeing you soon!

Love,
Michael

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Baptismal Challenge

Dear family,

It´s awesome to hear from everyone that things are going good for you and that life is fun. I miss you tons now that there are only like three weeks left but I am still working hard. This week we had a lot of rain, a lot of clouds and only like two lessons that were really spectacular. We have an investigator named Gonzalo that is doing amazingly right now. He is super ready for the gospel. We taught him last week about fasting and this weekend he did a full 24hr fast. I was seriously amazed that he just did that.

The only problem is that his wife wasn't super convinced about the Book of Mormon nor our church. So, last night we went to their house to visit them and we taught about the plan of salvation with Gonzalo and his wife and it was a super spiritual lesson. Gonzalo shared his testimony with his wife of what he felt when we first came over and that he has learned a lot from our lessons. Also that he had a dream where he heard God tell him, "You haven´t seen anything yet" This was when he first started going to A church and now that he is listening to us he says that he is a lot further along than he was. And I know that his wife Carola felt the spirit too.

Because you could see it, she was feeling the spirit and when we invited her to be baptized with Gonzalo she said yes. I was so happy! Because the first time we invited her to be baptized she said no. So, obviously something changed in her heart. It was such an amazing lesson and I was so happy for the progress and the spirit that Gonzalo had with him. He is so prepared for baptism. I love that family, the only thing is that I don´t know if I´ll be here when they get baptized. That´s the only downer.

Well, hope you guys have a great week and that things go well for you. I love you all tons!

Love,
Michael

Monday, July 27, 2015

Same Sociality That Exists Here Will Be In Heaven

Dear family,

Thanks for the pictures the emails and the updates. Looks like you all had a great week and a fun vacation to Mirror Lake. This week has been really normal for me. We had some good lessons with our investigators where we really felt the spirit. I know that they are going to get baptized but I´m not sure if I´m going to be here when that happens. None of our investigators came to church this week and they need to come three times to be baptized. So, if things don´t work out this week I don´t think that I´m going to be able to see any of my investigators be baptized. But, I´m going to keep working hard anyways.

It doesn't matter if I´m here to see them be baptized or if I´m somewhere else, what really matters is that they can make this important decision, take this step and then stay faithful so that one day we can see each other again in Heaven. Like it says in Doctrine and Covenants 130:2 The same sociality that we have here will exist there (in Heaven) only that it will be accompanied with a Celestial Glory. That´s one of the greatest promises for a missionary that serves outside of his home country. Because the probability that I see any of the people that I have taught thus far is kind of slim. Just because I don´t know if I´ll have the opportunity to come back here to Argentina to visit them.

Cool Garfiti
But, I know that if we remain faithful we WILL see each other again in Heaven. That is what makes saying goodbye less difficult. It´s still hard to say goodbye to people you love but I know that I´ll see them again one way or another our paths will cross. The other thought from this week is learning to perservere with patience and with faith. Because a lot of the time this week it has been cold and rainy. Yesterday my comp and I spent about two hours walking around in the rain trying to find somebody that would talk to us and let us visit them. We didn´t have any luck but we did have a good experience. I know that I gave it my best, I really don´t know anything else that my comp and I could have done in those hours but I am proud of what we did. We invited everybody that we saw to listen to us and we tried to visit just about everybody that we know. It was a fun day and definitely helps you to realize that God is the person that is in charge of this work, it isn´t us and it isn´t the people we visit. God has His hand in everything and everything that happens to us is to help us learn or to allow us to be the answer to somebody else´s prayer.

Grafiti

I´m so grateful to be a missionary and now that I´m getting closer to the end I realize a lot more that it doesn´t matter how much or how little time you serve God He will use you as He needs you and you will ALWAYS keep learning. It´s such a wonderful thing that we can always keep progressing and learning. I love this work, I love God, I love Argentina and I am so grateful to be able to serve others. Hope you all have a great week and that all goes well for you.

Love you tons!
Michael

Monday, July 20, 2015

A Day with Elder Cardwell

Dear Family,

Michael with Elder Cardwell and Alvarado
It´s great to hear from everyone and to hear that things are going well there. I´m really happy for all the great stuffs you are doing and having fun weeks. This week was pretty great for my comp and I too. On Tuesday we got to spend the day in a trio because one of the two Elders that I trained was passing through Gallegos on his way to Ushuaia to go to my old area! It´s kind of crazy how that worked out. But it was super awesome to spend the day with him. I had really missed him and spending a whole day together was amazing.
Michael and Elder Cardwell on his way to Ushuaia

So, all of the pictures that I have from this week are of our day together. We did just about everything that day, we cooked (he made American style pancakes and I made banana bread) while at the same time eating a vianda, we taught three really powerful lessons, invited someone to be baptized, and took a bunch of pictures of the graffiti and the cool places to see in my area. It was an amazing day and felt like a whole week and then when we had to say goodbye to him in the terminal on Wednesday it was really hard, it reminded me of the first time that I said goodbye to him about six months ago. It´s really hard to say goodbye.

Graffitti
Ready for Pancakes
And after that the rest of the week was really normal. We visited our investigators, had a birthday party for a member family that are really good friends with the missionaries. The husband (Mario) is normally in the mental hospital because he has problems. I´m not really sure what he has but at one point he thought he was a prophet, then he was Jesus and now he´s kind of in and out of crazy. For his birthday he was pretty chill though and it was a lot of fun to be with them and talk to him. 
 
Time for a minute to play
Pancake Art





More Art

More Art

More Art

Art and Entertainment

Scripture Study

 I´m doing great things are awesome here with my comp. I think that we´re going to be learning some new Peruvian foods this week which will be really cool. As of now we´re working for the 15th of August with a couple named Gonzalo and Carola. I hope that they can come to church this week because that would make the date more firm so we´re going to work with that.

And outside of that the only other updates are that we have new investigators German,Belen, Gonzalo, Carola and Monica that are all progressing right now. Gonzalo has a date for the 15th to be baptized and I think that he can make it. With the rest of them we are working to invite them to church and to read the Book of Mormon and to be baptized. So, we´ll see what happens this week. Hope you all have fun and I love you lots!

Love,
Michael


Monday, July 13, 2015

Staying in Rio Gallegos!!!

Dear Family,

Barbeque
Thanks for the emails and the support. I am really looking forward to being able to see you guys again really soon. I´m glad that you got to see some friends from Norway that´s really cool. My week has been pretty cool too. Last P-day we did an American style barbeque in a member´s house that turned out really good. We made hamburgers, hotdogs and Shish Kabobs (I really don´t know how to spell that) But the point is that they turned out freaking amazing! I miss barbeques.

District with Mission Shirts
American barbeque style
We also had a baptism in the branch this week which was really cool. I helped to play the piano as I do on Sundays too during sacrament meeting. It was really cool to see the family all there as the daughter got baptized I love going to baptisms because you can always feel the spirit there and it helps you remember your baptism and the covenants you made. It´s such an amazing experience. Also, I am going to be spending my last transfer here in Rio Gallegos with Elder Alvarado which is good because I know that we are going to work hard and I know that my comp is going to help me out. He´s been a great support for me on days that I feel a bit homesick in that he gets me out of the house and working. Once we´re out on the street both of us are fine and we work well.

 
Going Away Cake for District Member

Graffetti

Bus Terminal with Puppy and District

Recent Snow and Flooded Street
I´m really excited as well to stay because we have people that could be baptized in August which would be really awesome, to end the mission with baptisms would be the best! So, we´re going to see what the Lord has planned for us this transfer and how things will all play out. Hopefully for the best. I love you all tons and miss you a lot. Hope you have a great week!

Love,
Michael

Monday, July 6, 2015

New Baptismal Challege

Dear Family,

It was awesome to hear from ALL of you today! I still find it hard to believe that there is so little time before I go home. Really crazy. I´m also super proud of Zander getting the priesthood and using it all in the same day. Kind of awesome. He´s such a Boss.

Well, there is only one really big thing that happened this week. Yesterday my comp and I went to visit some future investigators we had talked to the guy like twice and wanted to see if we could teach them both. They let us in and immediately we started off good. He wanted to know what it was that we preach and what makes us different from the other churches. His name is German and his girlfriend is Belen. They are seriously awesome people. German knows a lot about a lot of different religions and has had a lot of experiences with churches that were good and bad. Now he knows about our church a little bit more and is going to start coming and reading. He told us that he wanted to change his life and be closer to God and be stronger on the path so we told him that all that he needed was the gift of the holy ghost after baptism and he accepted the challenge to be baptized! My comp challenged them to be baptized and it was the first time that he had done that on his mission! It was a really crazy lesson and I felt the spirit super strongly and when we left German told us that he loved "the peace that we bring to his home" It was a super amazing experience. Goes to show that hard work and diligence really do pay off. Now in August they are probably going to get baptized. I just hope that I´m here to see it. Hope you all have a great week! Love you all tons!

Love,
Michael

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Glacier Road Trip

Dear Family,

Thanks for sending me the emails and the thoughts that you shared. I really liked them a lot. Now, to answer your questions Damian and Sabrina are doing great. They are still working on getting married and right now they are studying hard because Damian is having his final exams in the police academy. My other investigators are kind of sort of iffy right now. We have RaĂșl who works in oil and isn´t home a lot but is a really awesome guy, Jesus who we need to track down this weekend and teach again, Carlos and Sonya who are an elderly couple that are really nice. I love them, we need to see how we can help them to come to church but if we help them I think they would do it. And that´s about it for the moment. The rest of the people we visit are contacts and less active members.

Pushing the Van to get it Started
Unexpected Help
Well, this week we went to the glacier for real this time as you can tell by the pictures I sent. And that was probably the coolest thing that has happened to us. It was also one of the most spiritual, the traffic (van thing that we rented to take us to the glacier and back) Broke down on the side of the road several times. The first time we all got out to push it to see if it would start, we pushed it three times and it didn't work. Then, we decided to say a prayer. I offered a prayer asking for the van to work and immediately afterwards we pushed it and it started right up. It was crazy. God answers prayers in a big way, there is no more doubt in my mind of that. And one act of kindness happened about 20 or 30 minutes later. The van stopped again and a semi-truck driver pulled over to help us out which was awesome of him.


Glacier Edge

Michael and Comp

Michael and Some District Members

District Pose

District Pose By Glacier
Trucker Stops to Help

Michael By The Glacier
The thing that I love best about my comp is that he knows and lives the Gospel. He has an incredible knowledge of the scriptures which helps me out a ton in the lessons and what not and he lives what he knows. He´s an example to me and he helps me a ton. Especially now that I´m getting towards the end of my mission and kind of getting more trunky. I freaking love him, also because he´s Latino my Spanish has gotten a lot better this transfer. I had kind of lost it a bit with so many gringo companions in a row.

And one thing that I look forward too when I get home would be eating fast food and watching movies. I am really looking forward to movie nights and being able to eat out without worrying about having enough money to pay for a hamburger. I miss you all and love you guys tons! Hope you have a great week!

Love,
Michael