Wednesday, May 30, 2012

25 de Mayo

Dear Family,

The highlight of this week was Sunday. Finally, we reached our goal for church attendance.  We had 70!  It was really great.  We completely filled the chapel.  My companion gave a talk and then 6 other brothers’ and sisters spoke about their conversions.  It was really great.  I hope that every single week we can continue with these numbers.  Eduardo Lopez taught the class in Quorum.  Way awesome.  He is a good teacher because he really has conviction behind his words. He humbly taught the lesson on service with great examples from his life.  You could really tell that he wanted people to get something out of it.

Saturday we helped Eduardo work on his new house.  They have been working on it for 5 years.  He has built everything himself.  Every last brick.  When they stopped going to church they didn’t have extra money to work on the house.  Now they do.  Hmmmm, coincidence?  We put in a window and prepared a wall for painting.  It was lots of fun.

This past Friday, the 25th of May was Argentina’s Independence Day.  We were invited to an Asado at the Cabrera’s house.  Elder Mahr went as well as another member and her husband.  Her name is Marilina.  She is the most faithful member in the ward I think. And her husband isn’t a member (yet).  For the first time he accepted the invitation to eat with members of the ward.  He is really cool.  We got along great because he loved basketball.  He is loving the playoffs right now.  He invited us to com watch Game 7 of Boston and 6ers.  Elder Mahr was hilarious because he said, “Elder Watts I give you permission to watch as much NBA as you want because you work so hard”.  It was way funny.  Unfortunately the game didn’t start until about 10:30 so we didn’t go.  But he said he’ll keep us posted for another game.  Maybe I’ll see some finals action. The asado was way good though.  Beef, lamb, pork and chicken.  These people really know how to cook. We brought pudding ha ha

This week we are going to focus more on investigadores than members so we’ll see how it goes.  Thanks so much for everything.  I love you all so much. You are always in my prayers.  I love this work.

Love Riley

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Mother's Day Phone Call

Riley called home on Mothers day.  We had a great conversation even though it didn’t last nearly long enough.  After about an hour he said he needed to go so that he could set a good example to his companion who is a brand new missionary.  He sounded so good and is enjoying his mission immensely.  He commented how fast the time is flying by.  He can hardly believe that he’s been out almost 10 months.

His letter on Monday was short due to our phone call on Sunday and a full P-Day on Monday.  Here is a little of his letter and a few pictures he sent: 

This week will be way awesome because we have the baptism of Joaquin Lopez.  It has really been the greatest experience to reactivate a family and now be able to see their son get baptized.  On Sunday he stood up in primary and said that he had an announcement. He said that this week he will be getting baptized and that his daddy will be baptizing him because, like the elders his dad has authority.  I thought that was pretty profound. They are such a special family.  They have a daughter that is 17 that was way active before.  Eduardo (the dad) says that she had the strongest testimony out of everyone.  She wanted to serve a mission.  But now she has a boy friend and doesn’t want to go. But she is really friendly to us.  After she sees the baptism this week we’ll see what happens.  It will be really special.  Elder Yasima and I are going to sing with 2 other women in the ward.  We practiced last night and it actually sounded pretty good. One of them knows how to mix the voices really well.  Plus she plays the guitar.  It’s a good thing she is really patient and I don’t mind too much if people laugh at me haha.  But my companion doesn’t exactly have the voice of an angel either.  It will be good.  I’ll see if I can have somebody film it and send it to you.

This week I decided that I am going to share the same message with every single member of the branch here. I am going to pray and find a special message to share with everyone. Something that excites. Something that picks you up. Something that makes you say yeah I can give it another day. And then we are going to make lots of brownies and then see what happens this Sunday. One thing that I have learned in these last 9 months is you can always do better. That’s why we are here on Earth.

Love Riley

Wednesday, May 9, 2012


Dear Family!

This week was way sweet.  I feel like we really saw some success.  Now we didn’t get to our 70 in church, but there is a reason.  The first counselors dad died and so he his wife and their 5 kids went to Catamarca for the week.  So there is 7 there.  The Beas family didn’t go either and so there is 6 more.  With those 13 we would have had 70 J  But its ok.  

Ok the news of the week is the Lopez family.  When I got here I was reviewing the list of the members and saw the Lopez family on the list -  a mom a dad and 2 kids.  Elder Robles didn’t want to go to their house because he had heard some stories about them and how they don’t want to see the missionaries anymore and some other stuff.  But when he left and Elder Medina came I decided to go.  So we went and the wife answered the door and told us we couldn’t enter and that her husband would be way mad if he saw us.  Right when she said that we saw him in the house and we asked if we could come in.  He hesitantly said yes.  So basically we forced our way in.  So we sat down and then my comp (the little rat) asked if he could go to the bathroom to avoid the awkwardness.  So he got up and abandoned me.  I was going to kill him.  At first it was so awkward.  I was basically talking to 2 walls.  But it loosened up.  Hermana Lopez is a very sweet lady with a very bubbly personality.  She tried to act otherwise but I won her over in about 5 minutes.  She was laughing and I was showing her pictures when my comp finally got back.  We were there for about 40 minutes and the dad, Eduardo was still pretty closed. But we were happy to get in the house.  So then we went back the next week and it went even better.  In the third visit we brought up the church and found out why they had stopped going.  By this time Eduardo is really open and talking to us.  In the 4th visit (which happened to be with my son) Eduardo told us this hilarious story about how when he stopped going to church he tried to go back to being Catholic.  He could not do it.  He had a testimony and he couldn’t deny it.  Pretty interesting what the holy ghost can do to the heart.  Hilarious story though.  Well I am happy to announce that the Lopez family came to church yesterday.  It was so awesome.  The best part about it in my eyes, they got their ten minutes early.  That’s unheard of in Dean Funes.  For me this family is key here. 1- They both have testimonies 2- they will both be leaders 3- their son Joaquin isn’t baptized.  It’s the perfect package. 

This week we have a baptism. Her name is Yamil. She is the daughter of a member. They moved from Buenos Aires about 3 years ago and the sister was reactivated about 8 months ago.  It will be fun though.  I am pretty sure that Elder Yasima will baptize her. It’s great though because this will really strengthen her mom also. Since she has been listening to the lessons she has really changed. On Thursday we have lunch with them. 

Everything is going really well here. We are learning to work harder everyday. I love the members and love working with Elder Mahr and his wife. They are machines. We spent the majority of the p day in their house today. He taught me how to make this argentine pudding and then I taught her how to make beanies. She is thrilled out of her mind haha. Elder Mahr told me that he and I should switch companions haha. 

I have really noticed a difference in me these past weeks. I am truly being helped.  My Spanish is better. I’m more confident and have more excitement for the work. I am being so blessed.

Talk to you in a few days!!

Love Riley