Tuesday, November 20, 2012

November 12, 2012

It´s definitely one of the worst things ever to end the mission, I understand why they call it "dying" now. I still smell good though! haha!

This week has been really good. We had so many blessings come our way. We´ve been praying a lot for Nicolas and his family, his mom Virginia wants to be an eternal family so bad but her husband hasn't ever really been convinced. He´s a great Dad, a HUGE family guy and just loves being with his kids and wife. We fasted for their family yesterday and guess what!! HE CAME TO CHURCH WITH HIS WHOLE FAMILY!! It was awesome! It came totally from him! He said he felt comfortable and is going to keep coming. Their is an Argentina family here visiting the Mederos. Hermana Mederos is the one who introduced us to Gladis who is getting baptized this Saturday! But we invited them to come to church and they came! Then we had the primary program yesterday in sacrament meeting and so there were a couple grandmas who weren't members visiting to see their grandkids. We are going to go visit them for sure this week and see if we can get them living the Christian life-mormon style. The truth is I just love being a missionary! I always will be of course. I really liked what you said mom about always working in the mission field no matter the calling. It´s true. After I gave my testimony last Sunday the bishop got up and said something really similar. He said don´t be too sad Elder. Your mission will end, but a new one will start. You will also have a compañera instead of a compañero! (SUPER TRUNKY MOMENT!!) hahaha

Im about to finish the Book of Mormon in 84 days which has been really awesome. I love that book so much!

Well. I can´t wait to hug you guys. Thanks to each of you who have written letters, sent packages, said prayers, helped pay for my mission, or even thought about Elder Kellis. I thank you so much and may God Bless you for your love and support!!

For the last time from Uruguay,
Elder Daniel Kellis
La Mision Uruguay Montevideo Oeste
Enrique Martinez 1167
Montevideo Uruguay CP 11.800

November 6, 2012

Hey Everyone! 

We had a baptism this weekend! Man I was missing the baptismal font so much!! Brian looks like the MAN in his shirt and tie. The baptism went really well. I dont have the camera cable with me right now so you will just have to wait to see the pictures. 

It was kind of fun to go on a 2 day companion exchange this week...my comp went with one of the APs and I had a young man from the stake come with me. His name is sebastian and is such a MAN! he was a great companion, super fun and talkative, did a great job of teaching, He is especially the MAN because he is from URUGUAY!!! did I mention that Uruguayos are the coolest people on the entire earth! Sebastian was named KING at the Gala Dinner and Dance that the Stake YSA put on here. He finished the exchange Thursday night and went to the dinner on Friday night.

Another one of my highlights this week was going to see Mirthas grandson in the hospital. We went with sebastian to the Military Hospital in downtown Montevideo. It was a time eater for our area but It was Mirtha´s birthday and I just couldnt tell her no. She really loves her grandson and really loves us. We´ve heard a lot of stuff about his guy. He was in a bunch of shoot outs, is on every drug accesible and has tried setting his moms house of fire with her in it a couple times. They can´t put him in jail because he is still a minor. The laws here are messed up. but anyways he got shot in the leg and tried taking the bullet out with a knife and basically just tore up his entire leg, then refused to go the hospital. they finally convinced him to go. When we got there, I felt like he was a brother of mine. I felt so much love for him and saw him as a really calm and sweet dude. He sat down and talked with us and had a smile in his eyes. We gave him a for the stregth of the youth pamphlet and talked for a while. too bad he escaped the next day hahaha he got in a fight with the surgeon because he wouldnt let him walk around...so now hes out in the streets again...they told him as he was walking out that they would have to amputate it when he gets back.

Sunday was my last fast & testimony meeting, so obviously I couldnt miss the chance to get up. It was a very hard thing for me to do. I cried so hard. I love this work. I love this country. I am so grateful for the time I have been given to serve my Heavenly Father.

this next letter you send me will be the last one I will read...CRAZY or what! 


Elder Daniel Kellis
La Mision Uruguay Montevideo Oeste
Enrique Martinez 1167
Montevideo Uruguay CP 11.800

Monday, October 29, 2012

October 29, 2012

Well, I was chillin with Elder Dallin H Oaks on Saturday. We´re good buds now. I also got to meet Elder Hallstrom and got to see Elder Viñas again. Ok but jokes to the side this weekend was one that changed my life. Its something really special to be in the presence of 400 missionaries, 2 mission presidencies, a presidency of the seventy, a seventy, and the traslator...hahah...oh and the audio guy. hahaha...I think my favorite part was singing a billion prelude songs and looking over the huge chapel filled with missionaries. Oh wait! no! The part when Elder Oaks shook my hand! wait no! When Sister Hallstrom told us how much our mothers loved us and were proud of us...wait no!! when Elder Viñas remember me from our interview and gave me a special hug...wait no! When We sang our actual musical number and the director Elder Bear was directing like a super happy mad man...hahaha...it was SO TOTALLY WICKED!!! The talks were so powerful and It was awesome to see How Dallin H. Oaks actually has a really happy huge smile...you just dont see it in general conference...he is a huge goof and a stud!! haha

I learned a lot about repentance and its role in our lives, the apostles lives, the investigators lives, and Christ´s role in all our lives. I respect our mission president and his wife so much! Oh guess what!! Elder Oaks, Hallstrom, and Viñas all went to visit the President of Uruguay, the Minister of the Interior, and the Supreme Court and called all them to repentance! Elder Oaks is the man. Just in case you were wondering I love the gospel. I love the mission and I love the savior Jesus Christ!

My comp did way good this week. He had a life-changing interview with the president. 

Our ward had some very special baptisms this weekend. GUESS WHAT!! remember Tania from Rivera? well she is a primary teacher now! She loves it! oh and remember her parents! They got baptized and Luis is the 2nd counselor in the Elders quorum presidency! oh and remember her older brother Sebastian that we could never get to be baptized! he got baptized a couple weeks ago!!! they will be sealed in the temple in October 2013!!!! 

love you a bunch

October 22, 2012

Hey family! 

Alright so let me just give you a list of fun things that happened this week.
  • Our ward mission leader had us over to help him work on a ward activity for like 5 hours. We set it all up at the chapel and everything and nobody came. There was probably 15 people there. 10 under 16 yrs old. So we started this FHE thing in the YW room, and this crazy alchoholic lady started going off on our ward mission leader that original sin was in all of us since being born and just wouldn´t listen to anything we tried explaining her. We all learned a little patience and organization lessons.
  • The coolest family in the ward is moving out, they let me cut their 10 yr old son´s little tail of hair in the back of his head.
  • The other coolest family in the ward had a little problem, the Dad is jealous of the missionaries because the wife cooks better for us than for him so he brought a bed, all his clothes, and a bunch of stuff to his moms house and left his wife and 3 daughters. Hes on the high council. We were gonna bring her flowers but decided it would probably be better if not, cuz he would get mad, so we got some flowers from our front yard and had the Relief Society put a nice bow and ribbon around the 2 liter soda bottle cut in half, and we brought it to her "from the Relief Society" haha...she did an awesome job teaching on Sunday and is never discouraged. 
  • The Elder that we had some problems with during general conference was sent home. He hopes to come back out after fixing some things.
  • My comp is on a special warning and could be uddenly taken out as ZL depending on how he does this week. Im working really hard with him so that he can progess. he needs leadership experience so he can lift up Chile!
  • One of the strongest Priests (18) wont be going on a mission probably because his GF wants him to move in with her, which is now causing problems with his grandma, who was our strongest investigator, who is already upset with him because she bought him a motorcycle and it got stolen last week.
  • One of the couselors was pretty tough on the ward during his talk on sunday about sacrament meeting reverence and said "it would be better if you just stayed home" which got a lot of members pretty offended, especially since the toddlers of the Bishop and other counselor are the worst running around during the meetings. 
  • A new member moved into the ward and came to church on sunday just crying cuz her husband left her and her 2 little kids. She has nothing. shes only 19, her parents kicked her out. It was really special to see the Releif Soceity in action!
  • A lady that sends her kids to a sister´s in-home preschool had a fire in her house and burned all the clothes, so that was another good opportunity for the Relief Society. We got a couple bags of clothes all together for her. (you know those closets that the Relief Society room has? well here in Uruguay, 90% of them are filled with clothes for the poor! its sweet)
So basically we have had lots of opportunities to "mourn with those that mourn and stand with those that stand in need of comfort." Thats our week in a nutshell. Im working harder than I have in the last 6 months, making sure I finish the mission like a loco.

Love you all!
Elder Daniel Kellis
La Mision Uruguay Montevideo Oeste
Enrique Martinez 1167
Montevideo Uruguay CP 11.800

October 15, 2012

Sounds like you had a fun fall break! Do you have any awesome stuff like that planned for when I get back? Oregon? =D I really love hearing from you. Thank you for always being so good at writing me. There are lots of missionaries that don´t have that privelege.

Changes were kinda fun. I really like the new missionaries in our zone. 2 of them just started the mission. Elder Silva from Brasil and Elder Nelson from St. George, UT. They, along with the other new missionaries are really young, excited, focused missionaries. We had our zone meeting this week. It was pretty stressful becasue we hadn´t even prepared anything with all the transfers and stuff going on. The night before, Elder Navarro got a little sick. It went really well though. We had some fun activities and I got good responses. 

The ward here is so awesome. Sunday was such a good fast and testimony meeting! Probably the best in my whole mission!

The weather is starting to change...its getting pretty hot. I think I got a sunburn. We were helping a older couple fix some problems with their antenna on the top of their roof and I got a nice sunburn line from my flip flops and then a little red on my neck. You can imagine how white my feet are after 2 years as a missionary! haha

Uhmmm...Im trying to figure out what would be cool to bring home as souveneirs...Haven´t found anything AWESOME yet but still looking. I dont have too much time to be trunky which is nice. 

Im dead from playing soccer...so I think Im going to go relax at home for a little...I love you guys a bunch! sorry for the lame letter.

October 9, 2012

Alright so guess what! Im being sent to the Mexico Puebla Mission for my last change! haha nah just kidding. I will be staying here for my last transfer here in Cerro with Elder Navarro. Yes Mom, Please send my umbrella...Susana, convert in Rivera made me promise I would send her a US umbrella (the ones here are all imported from China and break super easily) So I will probably just send it to her. She even paid me months ago for it. Thanks for the last package! ahead of time...haha dont let any empty space in there! If theres boxes, take the stuff out of the boxes to fill it up more! =D I am just going to copy my letter this week from my daily journal entries if thats cool...

Monday October 1st 2012
At our zone activity today I felt like there was some contention going on. A missionary from a different zone came over and just poisened everybody. The rebelious missionaries were all heated with all the obedient missionaries and when we made teams for soccer some how the teams turned out rebels vs. obedients.I will let you guess which team I was on ;) So this little rivaly started. For the rest of the day there was dirty looks and contention. Im just worried about the work.I dont want us to be unworthy of any blessings! Today, honestly I was so ready to go home. Im starting to enjoy the teaching and proselyting time on pdays a lot more than the free-time part of p-day. We had another lesson with Pablo. It was such a fulfilling feeling to see himunderstand the atonement of Christ. As he nodded his head and vocally agreed as we watcheda video from the Old Testament DVD collection "Sacrifice and the Sacrament" his wife came to tears of joy. HE UNDERSTANDS! I love these kinds of lessons. We also taught Mirtha´s neighbor, Brian. His mom was really worried about his behavior and Mirtha told her about the missionaries. We read through the 10 commandments and Brian (13) cried as we read "Honor thy Father and thy Mother that thy days may be long upon the Earth" I was expecting a little more of a behavior-improvement baby-sitting time opportunity, but he is a really humble, good kid. Hes marking up his scriptures like crazy!

Tuesday October 2 2012
Tuesdays can get pretty busy with all the errands and responsibilities of a ZL. The last district meeting of the transfer went really well. A missionary in the zone lost his mission VISA card, so we had to go downtown to the offices and deliver that to him. The best part of the day was our lessons. We visited a referral of Hna. Suarez. She was basically ran over by a huge cargo truck. Its amazing how little damage was done (just broke her pelvis and fractured her femur) no big deal right? She had been way humbled by that and wants the gospel for her children. We also unintentionally ran into Shirley and decided to drop by again later. We met her brother and had an incredible lesson. The message REALLY seemed to touch Victor. We were 50 minutes late to our next lesson though. I hate that! Its so hard to help EVERYONE and be on time. You just cant do it. There are so many people who want our visits and there is just no time. 

Wednesday October 3 2012
CONCILIO!! I love first Wednesdays! We talked a lot today about retention, working with Less Actives and Converts. Lunch was AMAZING. LASAÑA!!! but the real kind! here they just kind of make these crepes and layer them with ham, cheese, and sauce. Not the same. Our lesson tonight with Brian was awesome. (for me at least) we watched Finding Faith in Christ. I cried the whole way through thinking about Juan Diego (my blind buddy we met on the city bus (July 14) I knew I had the priesthood, I knew I had the power and authority of Christ to heal, but would my faith be enough to heal a blind man?? I would sure hope so! There is also God´s will...but anyways. The other day I studied the Atonement like crazy and the video hit me a little harder today. Volleyball with the ward was WAY fun tonight!

Thursday October 4 2012
Im sitting on my bed right now listening to Elder de Hoyos playing an incredible song on the guitar. He plays so good! Today was just great. My companion and I are getting a long really great. Elder Navarro is actually a really fun guy. We visited a referal today from Hna. Suarez.(She is the best ward missionary in the WORLD!) It was really cool. We just knocked on the door and in the most sincere way possible we just asked how she was doing. She said "good" then we asked without saying any words "are you sure" and she said "mas o menos" She then said "do you guys want to come in?" =D yes please!!! we talked about being a missionary, showed us pictures of our family, then asked about hers. She brought us to the kitchen table and gave us some yogurt and sandwhiches. SCORE! and poured her soul out to us. Turns out her son is in drugs and has gone insane. He tipped the fridge over on top of her. She doesnt want to tell his Dad the truth because she is scared he´ll beat him up real bad. Sad stuff. Modern day secret combinations...definately drug cartels..its messing up stuff so bad!

Friday October 5 2012
One more day till conference! I ate cow tongue today! my comp is in a bad mood because we had a bad lesson. These two 20yr olds were more flirting than listening..but i respect him for fasting today for a companionship in the zone. 

Saturday October 6 2012
CONFERNENCE! YES! RAIN! we went to the feria to get stuff to make torta de puero. It was my first time making it. I like it a lot! I think I did good. I hate getting late to conference! Especially the opening session because the announce cool stuff. today president Monson announced that young men can serve at age 18 and women at 19. WOAH! Also a temple in Tuscon! During the two sessions I did a baptismal Interview and had to tell her no. Ive been praying for the spirit to help me decide becasue the Elders had told me a couple days before that she smoked on Wednesday. She came into the interview with her stomach hanging out and a peircing in her eyebrow, and Elder X was sure that she was ready. After the interview I think Elder X was a little upset with me but we talked it out. During Elder Oaks talk, at the closing of the afternoon sesson we a had a fun problem. We couldn´t find Elder X for a while. His companion didnt know where he was. I missed all of Oaks talk going around with 4 other Elders looking for him. We finally found him in a dark storage closet with a young woman. We don´t know what happened dont need to know but I had to call President and make him take time from his confernece afternoon and interrupt all his transfer preparations to come do an emergency interview for an Elder in my zone. He was NOT happy.. Never a dull day in the mission!

Sunday October 7 2012
After the crazy situation last night, we were super stressed out today, yet conference was still awesome. We were super strict about staying together with companions and conversating (I think thats a word Pres. Bush made up) with SNAKES! Its a bad habit here in our mission. 90% of the time before/after church meetings ALL the missionaries are "talking" to all the young women 15-25. I was running around trying to break it up but the snakes were faster that I was so I called for an evacuation. "All missionaries come with me!" We hung out in the nursery room until a couple minutes before the afternoon session started. Like always, Elder Holland literally shook every soul within the sound of his voice. I thought a lot about the investigators, put myself in their shoes as we listened. After every confernece I feel my conviction of this church and its organization flame like loco.

Monday October 8 2012
IM STAYING WITH NAVARRO IN CERRO FOR MY LAST CHANGE! I figured it would happen but was a little worried President would send me as a rescue comp for Elder X. I made him a chocolate cake saturday night. Sunday morning I guess he was pretty discouraged and still in bed around noon. I called him and got him excited about conference and Cake. Im glad I could help him get up and moving. He must be real messed up. Anyways, presdient had mentioned to me he was going to put an Elder with him that was finishing the mission this transfer. We got to watch priesthood session this morning.I liked it a lot. Check out this poem I wrote to Shirley in a hymn book I gave her.

Nos gusta la música a usted y a mi,
El Creador la hizo con mucho amor.
Muchas veces el Espíritu mas fuerte sentí
mientras cantando del Salvador.
Está tocando con una nueva orquesta
mas queda el gran director.
Yo se que no hay mejor que esta
porque es la elegida del Señor.

The gospel makes me so happy! The zone had some fun changes this transfer. Im super excited. We had a couple rough hours today in the rain when everything was falling through. We just kept going and the rest of the night was awesome. We had a sweet lesson with Pablo tonight. He is finally understanding the simple pure doctorine. I even learn so much in our lessons with him. His heart has softened so much its the coolest thing.

Tuesday October 9 2012
Im sitting in the Montevideo Temple right now very grateful for the house of the Lord. Its beautiful and peaceful. We got up early this morning and got on the 5am bus to Carrasco fot the 8am session. It was full of missionaries! I learned a lot about the covenants we make and who advances to each kingdom after making and keeping certain covenants. After the session, I was the last to leave the Celestial Room. I love it in there. I went over some scriptures that I remembered from Conference. Later we did 175 baptisms in the baptistry. I baptized so much my arm was DEAD! I did quite a few in Spanish and luckily the Temple President was working at the desk, so I asked if I could do a couple in english. It was really special. The couselor of the temple presidency gave a little devotional for the 5 of us before starting. (desk worker, 2 witnesses, my comp and I) He read in Doctorine and Covenants how the faithful Elders after leaving this Earth are sent to work in the Spirit World. He reminded us how excited we get when we have baptisms and asked if we had ever thought how excited and happy the missionaires on the other side are today for what was about to happen. I felt their joy, and imagined Grandpa Kellis and Moore all young, with white shirts and ties and nametags standing there super excited. It was just awesome!! haha I decided one of my new date ideas is go do baptisms.

I love you guys a whole BUNCH!! 

Monday, October 1, 2012

October 1, 2012

Hey hey hey!

Dad, you asked about general conference. It is live here, but due to the time difference we start at 1pm. the second session starts at 5 and the priesthood session at 9pm! The missionaries can´t be out that late so we all get together Sunday morning and watch the recorded version. I CANT WAIT FOR CONFERENCE!!!!!!!!!!!

Mom, I was one out of the 5 missionaries that had the blessing to be interviewed by Elder Viñas. It was interesting reading all my friends and cousin´s letters, sounds like the 70s have been visiting lots of missions. 

Well, this was quite a week! I am reading the book of mormon in 60 days, and I am a couple pages behind but MAN! I am so addicted to the Book of Mormon! Its so good!

Saturday we had a stake service project. It was way fun! We had about 80 volunteers there and we did some WORK! we were all there from like 8am-5pm and the project wasnt done. What we did was basically completely re-landscape a special school for disabled children. It was cool to see how no matter what stake you are in, the young men will ALWAYS start a paint fight with the young women. The stake presidency will be the men who work the hardest out of all the priesthood. The women will pass around food. The mormon culture is so fun! haha Dad, I want to thank you for always setting the awesome example. I remember many times after ward/stake activities when us kids were pretty rushed to get out of there and go home, but you always made sure we didn´t leave until all the chapel was clean and that everything was taken care of. You saw the bigger picture than we did. Maybe you didnt realize but you were leaving a huge example for us for the rest of our lives. At about 1pm everyone was hungry and started heading out. I was helping the stake president level some bricks and overheard him talking to his couselor pretty worried that they werent going to get the huge job done. My comp and the other 2 missionaries from our ward were pretty ready to go. I was determined to stay until the stake president went home but we had a baptismal interview to get to at 7:30. But anyways, thank you dad. Im sure they appreciated our help.

I have a bunch of pictures but I forgot my camera.

Sunday was such an awesome day at church! The stake presidency came for fun and they all took a couple minutes in sacrament meeting. The four of us missionaries taught 5th sunday priesthood/releif society. Each Elder took 8 minutes to teach and demonstrate a stage of missionary work. (The members part of conversion) My stage was finding investigators for the missionaries to teach. I love teaching!

Well...There is so much more to tell but you will just have to read my journal when I get home. Im at page 300.

If you are really planning on sending a last package. I would just say peanut butter and like a whole bunch of halloween candy to share with latin companions and members. Im only 7 weeks from being home so its not like im desperate for a package either. 

Everyday I get closer I am so much more ready to be home and so broken to have to leave!
Elder Daniel Kellis
La Mision Uruguay Montevideo Oeste
Enrique Martinez 1167
Montevideo Uruguay CP 11.800