Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Feliz Navidad!! 

Como estan todos por allà?? Im not even gonna lie, I am super ridiculously jealous that you are all gonna be all cozy cool in Oregon! Thats just awesome!! and TYLER WHOA!!! BYU Hawaii!!! SANTA VACA!!! thats awesome man! Congratulations! Thats gotta be one of the hardest decisions ever! I think BYU Hawaii would be sick! My comp Elder de Hoyos played Tennis for BYU Hawaii and he loved it. I had a counselor at EFY that went there too and she loved it. You are gonna miss out on the Provo BYU awesomeness....the football games...the basketball games...the huge freshman wards and huge campus and stuff. When would you start and stuff? My comp said that it is pretty expensive to live there but tuition is cheaper. Did they offer a scholarship?

I am so happy to hear that everything is ok with the whole cancer scare thing Mom. I was very deep in prayer and fast on Monday and Tuesday but after that it was really cool. All my worries just kinda flew away and honestly I forgot for the rest of the week. Friday I remembered and kinda wondered what the results were but felt like I already knew. Thats a sweet story about Reagan and your piano lessons. 

My backpack is about to give up the ghost. Being out in Colonia 18, far from the city and everything...we end up carrying lots of heavy things in our backpacks. I also have to carry books and packages from district meeting on an hour bike ride...so as you can imagine...my little hiking backpack from when I was a deacon is just ready to give up. I have had Hermanas sew it about 5 times already and it just comes back apart. I havent had too much time to look for a new one here...and the majority of the backpacks here arent very good quality. 

I cant believe Nick is married! Thats awesome! Congratulations!

We had a pretty good week. Especially getting the new bikes. They were such an awesome Christmas gift and Im kinda extra bummed I dont get to come home with them!

The branch is kinda suffering right now. I dont know what it is but theres just been kind of a general lack of will to get to church every week. So we had 15 lessons with recent converts and less active members this week. It might just be with vacations and christmas and stuff but we`ll see. 

We tried setting it up to talk to you guys on Christmas on Skype but we couldnt get a member with skype. Its hard because out in the fields not many people have internet or great cell service for a mobile broadband signal. Oh well it will be great anyways!

Pablo just got back from Mercedes and he is doing great! We had a lesson with him and the Terechenco family last night. He is so excited to get baptized and wants to be a faithful strong member. He said he has really gained a special relationship with God as he as started praying daily. When he visited his Mom in Mercedes, at her bedside he really prayed hard and she had a very smooth sugery and miraculously survived.

We might have a white christmas! Rosa is kinda undecided still on being baptized this Friday but we`ll see what happens!

Transfers were this week. Im staying here of course with Elder de Hoyos until the beginning of January and then we´ll see!  Im excited to be here another transfer! Colonia 18 is the best!

Today for Pday we had an awesome district breakfast. I made biscuits and hamburger gravy and bacon (thanks for the packets) Elder Shaw and Chamberlain made pankakes and homemade syrup and the Hermanas made Fruit salad. It was dang good!

Talk to you on Sunday! Ill just plan on calling grandma`s number at 9pm my time on the 25th

Monday, November 14, 2011

from Daniel

Well I definately have got to say that we had an awesome week in Salto Colonia 18! Elder De Hoyos and I are tearin it up real good out here! Its interesting because we have started a new study schedule as part of the new missionary training program which requires an extra hour and a half of studies. It also requires that we study our 4 hours of study every day even if we have things going on in the morning like church, weekly planning, or district meeting. So almost 4 days a week we dont start working until 5 or later. But Sin embargo, we are being blessed with some great investigators, and lots of help from the members!

On Wednesday poor Elder de Hoyos had to do his first splits with the brethren in the ward. I remember the first time I went on splits my first couple weeks in the mission and I had no idea how to speak spanish, and even worse, not being able to talk to your companion. He said he just followed the hermano and his moto on his bike and then when they got there he just looked at the hermano like ok....talk! hahaha....Im sure it was great. Our side of the splits were AWESOME! Weve been trying to get through to Daniela`s husband. He has been hiding from us and stuff. He`s kind of a motorcycle, buff, cool guy that likes to joke around, but is super cool and chill and down to earth, kind guy. So I told Jorge, the hermano to come in a polo and sunglasses or something. haha...it totally worked. He broke him down a little bit and he even accepted to come to church with him on Sunday. He ended up going hunting all weekend with some guys so that was a bummer...but...we`ll get through to him. 

We are also teaching Fabian (23) and Diana (17). Fabian is the young men`s presidents son and was baptized but I guess never confirmed. Diana is his pregnant girlfriend. Fabian has always wanted to go to church and stuff but I guess she was never too excited about it, but after a couple lunches with the Young Men´s President and his family, she has gotten a little more interested in the gospel. They want to get married and baptized!

We also have Claudia, she`s the one who`s husband beat her for listening to us. Well, Juan, the one who was just baptized a couple weeks ago is his neighbor and has been going over every day explaining to him about the pamphlets and the book of mormon and stuff. They went to Elementry School together. Claudia and Dolores were arch enemies because of some old rumors a while ago, but we had her read in For the Strength of Youth pamphlet about friendships and she decided to forgive Dolores and come to church with them. The crazy thing was "them" included Claudia`s husband!! 

Gerardo is doing awesome....He will be baptized on Saturday! 

We had a great week and my time is really short today but I know the church is true and love the work!

Love you guys!

I couldnt even think about what else you could send but....definately a big bag of skittles!!!!!

Tell grandma I love her and hope she gets better! 

Monday, November 7, 2011

Hey Family!

My time is very short today but let me tell ya. This week was absolutely ridiculously awesome! I picked up Elder De Hoyos from Montevideo on Friday...You`ll NEVER guess where he is from! its this little place a little north of Provo called Pleasant Grove haha...yeah he is American. He is the MAN. He is doing really well with Spanish even though he cant really talk that much..he is doing better than I did at first! He played tennis for BYU Hawaii! Isnt that awesome! President totally spoiles me everytime with my companions. I am super excited to work with him and we are already seing so many blessings and miracles!
Church yesterday was the crowning event to the week. Do you remember me telling you about Gerardo (25)? Well he is the one that came home and cought his wife (not married though) cheating on him with another guy. He came over to his parents house last Sunday and was just DESTROYED. He had 2 kids with her. I have never seen a human being so torn up and hurt. He looked like the life was taken out of him. But we gave him a priesthood blessing. His family is all sealed in the temple except for him, and they are all awesome. Missionaries have taught him lots but he hasnt had any support from his ex. So I think the Lord was kinda preparing a way for him. But he came to church yesterday and his mom asked us to give him another blessing with the branch president. His little brother, Gabino (21)  helped us. As soon as we put our hands on his head he just started weeping. Hard. Then Gabino started the blessing and he started weeping. The blessing was powerful, tender, and perfect, counseling him and blessing him to follow Christ, be baptized and join his eternal family. Well then I started crying and after the blessing we all just embraced. It was one of the most powerful moments on my mission. After Church we went over to his house and gave him a baptismal date for the 19th of November. He is super excited and the gospel is helping him ALOT.
Then we had Daniela. She`s the 21 year old who came to stake conference and met Elder Bradley Foster. She is the first investigator I have ever had that came to church with a skirt on and that wasnt the only thing that impressed the whole branch. She bore her testimony in testimony meeting as well. She didnt want at first but I told her the story about Quinn Mitchells simple AWESOME testimony that God loved him that one day. That must of really touched her. She asked me to walk up there with her...I just kinda stood up in the back..haha..but she left the pulpit after her awesome testimony and then SHE started bawling. I think she was either REALLY nervous or had a really special experience. Hopefully the 2nd...but an Hermana came over and hugged her and told her to come sit down with her. We need to start working with her husband so that she can get baptized. They arent married yet. But she is definately going to get baptized one day!
Well I wish I had more time but just know that we are gonna have an awesome next 3 months here in the coolest part of Uruguay! Well...weather wise...right now its not so cool...its getting SUPER HOT!! but its all good...
Love you all!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

November 3, 2011

Hey! so your probably wondering why my email hasnt come yet...President Heaton has a meeting in Buenos Aires and so transfers were moved back 5 days to today! We woke up monday morning thinking it was Pday...we had nothing planned for the day, we were in basketball shorts and pjs...I was super excited to hear from the family and rest after a stressful week...We called our district leader about a question we had and he told us it wasnt pday and that we had transfers on Thursday...WHAT?!?!?! We were totally taken back especially because we had to postpone the baptism to this saturday for some smoking problems...so we decided..well...its most likely that Elder Olivares will be gone on Saturday...and hes gotta be here for the baptism. so we made a bunch of quick calls and moved it to Yesterday, Wednesday. They were baptized yesterday and it was an awesome service, and a really special last day for Elder Olivares.

I also got some good news from our zone leaders last night! I am going down to Montevideo with Elder Olivares tonight...TO PICK UP MY COMP!! I`ll be training for the next three months! Is that sick or what!? Ima be a Trainer! but I have no idea who he is until I meet him. It will definately be a new experience and I know it will be sweet. Im excited to see a bunch of old friends from my district in the MTC who I am sure will be going down to pick of their oritos as well.

So Juan and Dolores were married on the 28th. We all packed into a little tiny really old car and drove out to constitucion. I made pizza and we bought some drinks to eat at this really nice picnic area by a lake out in constitucion. It was an awesome day! Then the car wouldnt start...so the groom, and us two pushed it halfway to the courthouse. It started miraculously and we made it. The ceremony was WAY fast...only a couple minutes long. The judge had a cool Uruguay flag thing wrapped around his waist. He spoke like a hundred miles an hour and they kissed. We attacked them with a bunch of rice and ate the wedding cake. 

The baptism was great. I have a bunch of pictures to send but this junk computer here in downtown Salto just wont survive such a hard task. its a PC of course. We are in the mall at a cyber. But as Dolores bore her testimony after she just started bawling. She couldnt finish and was about to faint. She just finished with "Im just so much happier now that Im in the church" and sat down. It was really special and made all the sore legs and long viajes to their house and surprise food and wierd meat dinners all worth it. I just couldnt wipe the smile off my face yesterday. Juan was baptized by his older brother who was just baptized an married a week before I got here. Sweet huh!

Today we bought choripan (Chorizo & Pan) its a super unhealthy delicous sandwhich. and anyways, the guy at the little carrito asked me how he could find a Bible. I told him I was gonna be in Montevideo and that I could get him one from the distribution center. I am excited to deliver it to him! 

Man! Your letters sound just like Christophers and Jakes letters! You guys are really into the missionary work out there and thats so awesome! I know that the sisters must be so grateful for all your help! 

To answer your questions Dad, the nearest computer isnt too far...there is a little place in Colonia 18 (about a 2 mile bike ride) that has free computer service...its government owned and its to teach the students how to use computers better and do their homework on the computers. The guy there is was nice. Hes like "you guys dont have to just come mondays, you can come all the time if you want!" haha...the nearest groceries are about 10 minutes away. We usually dont have to buy too much food cuz the members and investigators and nieghbors here just stuff us with food. There is a swap meet but its only on sundays mornings. But there is still all kinds of shops and stuff downtown. We dont go downtown too much though. They kinda celebrate halloween here. They take it really seriously and a lot of families dont support it because its all about withcery and devil stuff. Some families were upset because the missionaries set up a halloween activity in the church. They thought it wasnt appropriate for a church activity. Its intersting the cultural differences huh? 

Well...It wont be too long till I write again on monday...but Ill tell you a little about my new companion and stuff. I love you all you family and friends lots and hope you have a great weekend! 


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

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Man this is one of the greatest transfers of the mission! Elder
Olivares and I have been tearin it up real good ova herr. Its crazy
how tranquilo it is out here in the campo. Theres no cars, motos, or
movement. Just two horses from the neighbors mowing our grass for us
and a bunch of missionary work!

Juan and Dolores are doing pretty good. I am a little worried about
them just cuz they are having lots of problems financial, maridal, at
work, quiting tobaco. We are praying a LOT for them. Its hard to have
spiritual lessons because his alcoholic uncle always comes over and
doesnt let us talk. The other night we were over there talking about
the sabbath day and their super cute little daughter, covered in mud
and barefoot said that they couldnt go to church with their parents
because they dont have shoes. Its sad because they both have brand new
nice cell phones and a new dvd player, but their kids are barefoot. me
da pena. :( Virginia, Dolores´ sister was in a lot of pain with a
urinary infection. Its sad because they literally use the woods as
thier bathroom. She is a incredible little girl for the family
situation she lives in. She has a lot of faith and a lot of love. She
is only 9 but is very very mature and smart. She asked us to pray for
her and we told her we could give her a blessing. Its really special
to stand around a little girl in a box house of metal sheets with a
garbage bag roof and pronounce priesthood miracles. I felt the spirit
so strong and I know she did tool. After the blessing she was crying.

Sunday we had a fun time getting all muddy. Its been raining since
saturday. So Sunday morning we left for stake conference in basketball
shorts and tshirts. We got completely soaked and muddy. We got on the
rented church bus and went with the driver to pick up a couple members
and investigators. I got off the bus and ran to knock on a family´s
door, but i didnt notice the wire fence without wood stakes and
totally clotheslined myself. It was so funny but hurt really bad haha.
I totally face planted in a pile of mud a horse poo pie. I looked
around and the only person that saw me was the bus driver. Elder
Olivares said he died laughing and said to my companion hahahha! THE

We had an awesome stake conference and Elder Bradley Foster of the 70
presided. I shook his hand, thanked him for his talk and he came and
shook our investigators hand. Daniella, a 21 yr old new mom who has a
bunch of problems in her family and with her husband came. The topic
of the conference was temples, marriage, and family. Sweet huh!

This week is gonna be crazy! I hope everything comes out as planned.
Its not gonna be easy but I know we will see some miracles.

Tuesday we had interviews with President Heaton. My favorite part was
Sister Heaton´s cinamon rolls. The stake president came and talked to
the zone and told us to have lots of patience with the members here.
That we are used to a different world of mormonism and 1/2 the members
here if you ask them cant tell you what the atonement is. He asked us
to love and help them. It was great to be with President Heaton even
though it was only for a couple minutes. Poor old guy stays so busy!

Mom, the relief society down here is a lot different. I cant tell you
how many times I have seen a sister get a huge bag of clothes together
for a family or investigator that dont have much. They dont get
together very much, or have presidency meetings. Sometimes they do
visiting teaching. They dont really do all the organized stuff but
they love and serve a lot.

I love you all so much! Cuidense mucho les quiero!

Monday, October 3, 2011

From: Daniel Kellis 
Date: Mon, Oct 3, 2011 at 9:46 AM
Subject: Craziest Week of my mission life

Hey so Im alive! haha man its been quite the crazy week! Im excited to tell you all about it and all about my new area and companion.
So the zone leaders always call us on Monday nights of transfer week. Tuesday is P-day (mostly for packing and stuff) and Wednesday is travel day. Tuesday we said goodbye to everyone and made tacos with a family (they didnt like them at all because they were too spicy...I think they got kinda mad) haha
So there isnt really any direct busses from Cardona to anywhere, you have to go to Colonia first. So we left Tuesday night from Cardona, took two busses to get to Colonia. my bus to Salto was gonna leave at 5am Wednesday. The missionaries in Colonia on transfer night always have a full house because everyone from the little towns in Colonia come in to wait for their bus. Well, right when we got to Colonia the zone leaders let us know that a bus strike had just started. So we left Colonia and the Senior couple brought us to another companionships house with extra matresses. We stayed the night there (all my bags and everything were in the other house still) and I was out of money for the month. (no food) so we just cleaned their church and worked in their area for the day. It was funny, we did a joke with some recent converts that I was the new missionary coming into their ward and that I was brand new and didnt speak Spanish.
Wednesday night the strike ended and I was able to get on the bus to Salto at 5am Thursday. So I was on that bus alone for a while (which is super weird) until a SIster Missionary got on half way to Salto in Fray Bentos. That was even more weird. She was super flirty from Chile. My comp greated me in the Salto Terminal. He seems super cool. He is from Lima Peru. He was recently trained in this area. We took a taxi to our house and I started getting confused as we left the city for about 10 minutes into the wilderness towards artigas. We drove down a dirt road for about 5 minutes and we passed a couple houses on the way super spread out with huge citrus orchards and green houses between each house. There was a house out in the middle of nowhere that we pulled into. We`re here! 
So our branch is only about a year old. It has about 60 active members and they are all recent converts. The church has been in Salto for many many years but Elders opened the area im in to missionary work about a year and a half ago. We have a huge handful of investigators and they all work in the orchards and green houses. Every lesson we go to is about a 15 minute bike ride on bumpy dirt roads. Im definataly physically getting used to that! Especially with these piece of junk bikes! The pedals are broken, theres no brakes or shocks and the only gear that works is the lowest one so im always pedaling super fast to go super slow. But its all worth it because the people out here are amazing. There is a bus that picks everybody up each sunday and brings them all the the little rented house that we use as a church. I definately am used to being out in the middle of nowhere but I feel stupid for ever complaining about having to take an hour and a half bus ride to district meeting in Cardona because now its a 40 minute bike ride (8 Km-i dont know how many miles that is) to the closest bus stop with then takes us to the stake center on a 20 minute bus ride. The closest place to buy food is about a 20 minute bike ride. Which isnt too bad. Its just the dirt roads and the bike that kill me. Im gonna be super in shape though! haha The house we live in is actually only a year old so it is in decent condition.
There was a HUGE storm on friday. We rode our bikes through this one spot in the trails where the water was up to almost the top of my bike tires. I just got off and walked it. I was impressed with Elder Olivares. He didnt think twice about crossing it to get to that lesson. He loves our investigators so much. He is an incredible young kid. He is super obedient and super strong. Hes been a member for 3 years and has about 3 months in the mission. He could be a trainer already. I took a shower with all my clothes on because I was completely drenched in muddy water. We came into town to watch conference at the stake center, and stayed in another Elders house. Two nights on the ceramic floor with diaheria and a fever and super sore legs. The conference was incredible and just what I needed to hear. President Uchtdorf`s talk brought tears to my eyes as I felt the love of God through all the suffering. It was such an incredible conference. I love how the talked alot about missionaries and the work. I started thinking about Tyler and imagined him in a white shirt and tie with a name tag here in Uruguay out in the orchards on a bike and I just started crying. It is such an incredible experience to be here doing this work and I love it so much. I love Tyler so much and thinking of him receiving these blessings was super emotional for me.
I know the work we are doing is the work of God and that it may not be easy but it is so important. I cant wait to start another week in the best two years.
Elder Daniel Kellis
La Mision Montevideo Oeste
Enrique Martinez 1167
Montevideo Uruguay CP 11.800

Monday, September 19, 2011


Today we are in Nueva Helvecia for P-day! This morning we played tennis again and we also played basketball with a private basketball club for teenagers. We played a group of 5 dudes and totally wasted em. poor guys haha.We have a family home evening with the Stephens here tonight, then we are gonna stay the night with the zone leaders and we have district meeting here tomorrow morning. Nueva Helvecia is so awesome. Its so hard to leave! Its crazy, Its also called Colonia Suiza because it was founded by Germans and some other Europeans. So all the people here have German descent. The town is really really nice. A lot more like America and Europe but with all the good things of Uruguay also. The branch here is very strong and the members are awesome! We went and visited a family today and all 9 of thier kids play piano or guitar or violin and stuff. We just played around with music and played uno and she gave us homemade ice cream! 

Cardona on the other hand is kinda suffering a little bit. We had a small turnout at church on Sunday. We didnt have Priesthood and Relief Society because nobody showed up. We had a small Sunday School and Sacrament meeting, but it was a beautiful meeting. Khali Stephens and Lucas love to help me lead the music. Alexia Stephens loves to bang on the keyboard while her mom is playing. Its all so fun! I wouldnt trade it for anything.  Elder Garcia conducted. That was an awesome experience for him! 

We found a couple this last week. He was about to be baptized but the branch president Lagos saw him smoking at work and let the missionaries know. So that kinda was a mess cuz the president made it more of an attack than a opportunity to help him repent. So he decided to make a covenant with God to never go to church again. haha. But he still reads the scriptures and prays!!! SAVED right? ...mmm..not quite. So we are helping him. Im starting to realize that the only people that really like to go to church or listen to us in Cardona are the drunks, the kids, and the straight up crazy people. haha...hes 30 and his girlfriend is 16. D= but we love em and are gonna help them get baptized

The family that brings all their neighbors, kids, friends, cousins, dogs, pet birds and everyone to church were without work and food for a while, they were super active, but they got blessed for their obedience and stopped coming. Its so sad. But we are gonna help them be an eternal family. 

On Saturday we had a service project...supposedly it was a world wide thing? did you guys have one too? We cleaned and landscaped a plaza. It was an awesome project and we had lunch and played ping pong after. All the young men came and got their fingernails dirtier. We had a huge turnout which really suprised me cuz it was raining! and NOBODY leaves the house in Cardona when its raining. its like life is cancelled. But I was really impressed!

We visited an Hermana yesterday who is innactive, but is endowed. She told us that she didnt ever want to be sealed because her kids arent very intersted in the church and just dont really care or want to be part of a religion. She said she loves her kids so much that she would rather be in hell with them than in the celestial kingdom alone with her husband (who has cheated on her many times) She told us a lot about her life story. Her mom aborted her when she was pregnant but somehow she lived and was born as a premature baby. Her mom left her in the hospital and she stayed there until she could walk and talk. Then she lived in the streets of Montevideo. The Firemen gave her food. She said she doesnt remember one time ever being treated badly. She slept in the streets. The people loved her. She remembers waking up one morning cuddled up with an old lady that felt bad for her and the viejita had died in the night. She was dropped off in the train station in Cardona when she was 8. She studied and now has an amazing job and is one of the better off families in Cardona. The crazy part is!!!! She is a descendant of ENZO FERRARI!!! and so she owns a huge house in Italy just chillin. I left their house last night feeling lots of different feelings. Mostly incredibly grateful for my family, my parents, my life, all that I was spoiled with. Also sad that she is missing out on so many blessings. Also thinking a lot about my future family. 

The mission is great. Uruguay is great. Cardona is great. You all are great. and, this church and our savior and the book of mormon are excellent. I am so excited for conference!!

Tell everyone hi and thanks for the prayers! 

Les quiero muchisimo!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011


Happy Birthday to me!!
Yes. I had cake. No ice cream though. Too cold! Haha Its actually a pretty funny story. Hermana Escobedo, lives next door, came knocking on our door on thursday morning and asked me for all the ingredients to me make me a cake for my birthday. It turned out really tasty though! It looks sad but it was dang good. I taught Elder Garcia how to make chicken fingers and we ate with Juan and his mom. Then we did a LOT of laundry and President Stephens came up and we did some visits. It was a pretty normal day. We did most of the celebrating yesterday, well, as much as you can really celebrate as a missionary haha with the Villegas family and Estefania (turned 20 on the 4th). They are struggling financially pretty bad lately. So I made a pretty delicious Sunday dinner for all of us (If I can say so myself) Milanesas and Puré de papas. Its kinda like chicken fried chicken and mashed potatoes (except I baked them instead of fry) Elder Garcia made a mean fruit salad!!
I got stage fright really bad this week during sacrament meeting when I played the piano. It was so embarrassing! I did horrible. Poor Sister Stephens trying to lead with what sounded like a kid banging on the piano. President Stephens filled me in on all the football from this weekend. Sounds like there were some exciting games!!
I had a crazy dream this week that our ward totally went off the deep end that the meetings were a joke, that the bishop and leaders all went crazy and into apostasy and people were being just ridiculous. It was such a bad dream!!!!! I was so confused when I woke up. (I think I have been in Cardona for a long time) haha Its so sad the stuff that has happened here.
During Sacrament meeting last week I had a spiritual impression that we should go visit one of the sisters in the branch to do a referal activity. It was kind of a weird strong out of nowhere thing. But I followed the impression and we went on Friday. She gave us 7 referals!! WOW! It was also cool too, she is living with a SUPER SUPER old mother in law. I guess she asked for a wheelchair from the government (they have universal free healthcare here) and they sent her one from Montevideo. Turns out it was donated from the church! She said she was just so surprised and happy. That was a cool feeling for me to see that the church is helping. I remember in Artigas one time we helped a guy push his wheelchair home from buying groceries. As we pulled up to the house I looked on the back and realized it was donated by the church! Sweet huh?
So we have been helping Jorge get his house in decent shape right? Well they don't have water cuz the line is broken. So we called a plumber. We were going to meet at Jorge´s house but he ended up going to the church (I think cuz we are missionaries he just figured) Just so happens that there were some Brothren from the church offices there working on the leaks in the bathroom. So the plumber we called for Jorge was all confused and thought we hired someone else. Funny story.
Well, I love you guys! Thanks for all the birthday wishes!

Monday, August 22, 2011

August 22

Hey Everyone!

My new companion and I had a pretty awesome week this week. We got back into a good work schedule, found lots of investigators, and went broke. haha

So Wednesday after 5 taxis, and 4 buses, Elder Garcia and I arrived into the little town of Cardona. It was quite the shock for him. He had no idea we were the branch conselors, that we were hours away from any other missionaries, and that the members dont feed us here. he was like "wait!, do we have to do interviews!? D=" hahaha it was awesome. He has come to love it here real fast though. Turns out I was wrong. he is from Honduras. He is a 22 year old convert, joined the church 3 years ago. He has quite the past! I guess its pretty dangerous where he is from, lots of drug salesman, shoot-outs stuff like that. His mom is half paralyzed from being shot in the head. His whole Dad´s side of the family is drug dealers, and his whole mom´s side are doctors. After his mom´s accident about 6 years ago, his dad starting drinking and getting into crazy stuff but was blessed by a heavely visit from two young men one day. Now he´s got a son on a mission, and one more coming up in a year. Its quite an awesome story! He is a great worker, and has a special testimony. He is straight up and not afraid to bear powerfully testimony. He´s the man.

Sadly, la Hermana Eva passed away this week. It was a sad news for the branch, since she was the pioneer of Cardona.

Jorge was put in the hospital for a couple days, just to get out of the freezing weather and to get a shower and some good food. Heath Care is universal here so a worried neighbor called in for hiim. the people here are so loving to the poor and needy. Its incredible. We visited one of Jorge´s neighboors who has a pretty huge nice house. She said she cooks him a soup everyday and brings him bread and stuff. I would say that that is just what any Uruguayo would do. Makes me think alot about what I would do if my neighbor didnt have food or clothes. We visited him on Saturday and he said to tell the branch hi, and to bring him a pair of clean clothes from his house. We took his old jacket and shirt home to wash them for him. I rinsed that bad boy like 15 times in a bucket and the water never came out clear. 30 times, yes. It did. haha.

We had pretty poca gente in sacrament meeting this week, so we just gathered in a little classroom, used the little table as the sacrament table and stayed nice and warm in that little room. It was a special experience.

We are thinking about doing an ASADO with some members for my birthday! Im excited!

We had a baptism this week! One of the kids (which make up half the congregation) who has been coming as long as I have been here has never been baptized. So that was special for thier family and Elder Garcia. He came from the center of downtown Montevideo so their wasnt much baptisms.

Well, I better get going. Ive learned so much this week. Hope you guys are all doing awesome!


Thanks for sending all your love and letters and prayers down this way!
Elder Daniel Kellis La Mision Montevideo Oeste
Enrique Martinez 1167
Montevideo Uruguay CP 11.800

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Queridos amigos,
Si, la verdad is que esta semana fue buenisima!! y si, tuvimos cuatro bautismos! We spent the whole week getting ready for an awesome and perfect baptism. I have seen a lot of failures on the mission. (not having clothes, nobody from the bishopbric notified, incomplete paperwork, cold water, all kinds of stuff) So we planned out every little detail with our ward mission leader and he did all the planning. haha chiste. we dont have one. pero igual, it was a very happy and rewarding week. We had lots of bumps in the road but Sunday was an incredible spiritual and COLD day.
Tuesday we had our last lesson. We talked about the word of wisdom and turns out one of them (12 years old) had a tiny little drinking problem. His Dad always offers it to him during soccer games and his mom runs an "almancen" (basically a little tiny grocery store that they have on every corner) They also use them as their huge pantry since its right in their living room. So there is always free access to the alcohol. The poor kid just doesnt have the same story that nephi had haha I nephi having been born of goodly parents....its a sad thing isnt it. That was a big surprise. But we went over to his house the next day and had a talk with him and his family about it. He was ready to go for Sunday!
Wednesday we had a good day getting paperwork done, printing off invitations, and assigning talks and inviting all the inactive members to the baptism. It was great to sit down with thier families and get to know them. We are hoping to attack them next haha ok not attack but pretty much. One of my other favorite parts of wendesday was helping Jorge clean his house and get it ready to install a new roof. He lives in an old burt down house with lots of holes in the roof. I guess there is a law here that if you enter into a abondoned house and noone kicks you out in 3 months its yours. But the rainy days just destroy the poor guy.
Every thursday night we have a meeting with President Stephens and Juan. Kinda like a Branch Council, but its the night that he does interviews and we clean the chapel and stuff. We also planned the service and the luncheon for after. We tested the water heater and got the font set up. Its a portable one, like a baptismal-font-in-a-box type thing. haha
Friday we went shopping for all the food and delivered more invitations. Got safety pins in case the clothes were too big for the "gudises" Those came in handy real well! And now I look like a high school wrestler with a bunch of safety pins pinned onto the shoulder straps of my backpack haha
Saturday we visited all of our investigators and invited them, picked up our huge bakery orders, made cookies, and stopped by all thier houses to make sure they were all good for Sunday. Turns out the parents of one of them decided to go out of town. The daughter was like wait im getting baptised! so they decided maybe she could stay with her God-parents. Well her God parents are catholic and did NOT like that idea, especially of having the responsiblity of taking her to our church in the morning. They also convinced her that it would be way better to have her get baptized with them in thier church. Aghghghghg...bummer....So we are gonna see if we can get that worked out.
Sunday was awesome. We got up early to go start the water going. Church was great and everything went smoothly. It pays to plan well! We had one of the entire families come and they really liked it! So we are excited to start working with them. Brian (curly hair is solid and wants to serve a mission! He is always the first one to church on Sundays out of the whole branch! He is a neighbor of ours and has always liked talking to the missionaries and stuff. His family is the family that came...He got a haircut for his baptism and everything! haha.
It was my first time ever performing a baptism and so it was a really special experience for me. We were asked by President Heaton to do the confirmations right after the baptism, (its the 31st so I think he wanted them to count for the month of July) haha. We had a luncheon as a branch after and it was just an awesome day for Cardona. Dad, I love your example of always staying after all the ward activities and cleaning up. It was really cool to see the whole branch jump in and help get the sandwhiches and hot dogs ready and clean up afterwards. It was a long day. After getting tithing done, and doing some visits with President Stephens at the hospital we didnt get home till about 4. We went and visited Hermana Eva. She is the first member in Cardona. Such a sweet lady! It was really humbling to see president Stephens kneel down and hold her hand. The first time he has ever met her. He just talked to her with so much love. It was a really tender moment. She cant really talk but you could see the gratitute in her eyes.
Well I better get going but you guys are awesome, the church is true, and awesome, and Im loving the mission! I cant believe its august already.
Tyler you are a such a beast at life. Bringing girls to church and #1!! haha thats whats up bro!!! keep it up and be a good boy this year and take care of your sister for me! I know you will a way better bigger brother than I was when you were a freshman ;) dont throw her in the dumpster like i did to you ;)
I forgot if there was anything else cool to reply about but I love your letters so much!
Im pretty sure the post service is on strike again...but not too sure. The hospital had a sign on it this week saying "national strike Thursday 28th" yikes! Well..I guess we´ll all just plan on not having any emergencies! haha...ohh boy..

Friday, July 29, 2011

26 de Julio

Hey hey hey!
haha Mom I loved how you started out your letter screaming the church is true. I hope you know that I definately agree. The stories you shared with me about girls camp and EFY and stuff were way awesome! I love to hear all your special spiritual experiences! They are awesome! I will send the primary kids a letter for sure! I just want to get a picture with these 5 kids getting baptized all wearing them! Thank you for getting that recipe and the journal! You are the best!
So we had some complications yesterday with the bus schedule and a pday in another city so thats why im emailing today...
The packages turned out great. no nosy postmen as far as I could tell. Theres a picture, is it all there? Yes, I did get the card.
The week was pretty awesome! The most exciting parts were
1. President is letting us get bikes! we will be 1 of the 2 areas in the whole mission to be allowed bikes! Yay! haha only 4 out of 190 missionaries in our mission have bikes and I get to be one of them! Elder Huston was a professional mountain biker so hes twice as excited as I am!
2. Uruguay took home the Copa America! It was quite the party. The ENTIRE country was in the plazas, in the streets, waving flags, honking horns, shooting off fireworks, instant parades formed in every downtown. It was quite the experience! It was impossible to get any missionary work done so we just walked to the plaza and got some cool pictures and enjoyed the fiesta for a couple minutes.
3. We will have a baptism on sunday!! all 5 are good to go and they are all ready and excited!
Ok yeah thats pretty much all the exciting parts.
Its heating up a little. The Branch is doing great. It was awesome to read what president Stephens wrote. That was so nice of him and I felt really happy inside. haha no but really. that was a very kind compliment. He is an awesome branch president. He has literally saved the church in Cardona. It wouldnt exist anymore if he hadnt come and saved it. They were thinking about shutting it down. Its now a pretty strong branch! Did you know he played football for Utah State? and he met his wife Sister Stephens who played tennis there. They´re awesome!
Caity Im so proud of you and your awesomeness. I wish I could see you cheer and give talks at girls camp! Thanks for writing me! I really love it so much hearing from you! You set a great example for your older brother haha
Tyler I know your all buff, tan, popular, and good at high school life. Duh. Your my little brother. haha its in your blood. but just remember always that you could be in some tiny little town in the middle of south america and none of that will matter anymore, noone will care, but you will need a strong testimony and you will learn the things that are way more important. ironic how that works.
I love this part of Elder Ballards talk "Small and Simple Things"

“Behold I say unto you, that by small and simple things are great things brought to pass; and small means in many instances doth confound the wise.

“And the Lord God doth work by means to bring about his great and eternal purposes; and by very small means the Lord doth confound the wise and bringeth about the salvation of many souls.” (Alma 37:6–7.)

To illustrate, let me read from a letter written by one of our faithful sister missionaries, serving in South America, to her brother who had just received his mission call. She wrote:

“It’s really interesting with the people from the country—they are so quiet, timid, shy, and embarrassed. You are never sure exactly how much they understand. They will live and die in this small town. They are so poor and so simple and so childlike. They may never see a General Authority, never attend general conference, never go to BYU. They’ll never be Boy Scouts, never play basketball in a huge Church gym, never drive a car to stake conference, regional basketball finals, or anywhere. Many of the things we think about when we think of the Church—and take for granted—they may never see. [Now, the point.] But they have faith, they repent, they are baptized, they receive the Holy Ghost, and they renew their baptismal covenants each week when they partake of the sacrament. They pray and read the scriptures daily. They know God lives and that Christ is our Savior. And, I believe, they are going to the celestial kingdom. I do all the things they never will, but I’m not so sure about my own salvation.

“At first glance, the Church here looks absolutely nothing like the Church in downtown Orem, Utah. I have to keep reminding myself it is the same church and we all follow the same prophet. We have a sacrament meeting in the country each week because the members there really can’t afford to come into town. And as I sit there outside on a wooden chair on the plain ground, with the sun setting and the six people in attendance, as we sing hymns, pray, and partake of the sacrament, I wonder if that isn’t closer to Christ’s church than at home. But I guess it is really the same. The things that matter, the true elements of the gospel as Christ taught in 3 Nephi 11, are the same here as they are in Orem, Utah.”

I love you guys lots!

Take care thanks for your letters! they are so awesome! especially yours tyler!!



Monday, July 11, 2011

July 11, 2011

Hey Hey Hey!
Guess what Mom!? yes I did play in sacrament meeting. but not for the sacrament hymn because I had to lead while Elder Huston broke the bread. Then I jumped over and he blessed then I passed. It was way different! haha Elder Huston was presiding so I gave him the bread first! gotta love the mission! haha So yes. Sunday it was just me and Elder Huston. Juan got back from EFY in Buenos Aires Saturday but hes pretty sick. President Stephens gets back from the states tomorrow. President Heaton will even be here on sunday for the disciplinary council. We have been having soccer on Saturday afternoons for all the youth and their friends, and then after soccer we bring them in the church and teach a lesson. 4 non member youth came to church on Sunday! And the coolest part was the members brought them without us even asking them to! Members are golden in missionary work! are you doing your part? oooo...now your thinking arent you..haha
This week was pretty cool. We had a lesson with Jorge, and he never fails to impress me. This week we came to his door and the first thing he said was "DID YOU BRING IT!?" Elder Huston knew what he was talking about and we turned around and came back with a tithing envelope. I guess he had asked Elder Huston at church last sunday to stop by with a tithing envelope to help him fill it out and stuff. This man is really poor, really sick, really new in the church, but his faith and diligence is so inspiring! He is one of the VERY few tithe payers in the branch, and his nicest posesion is probably his MATE. haha. what a man! we asked him if he knew why we pay tithing and what it goes to. He said no, but that President Cabrera from the District presidency spoke on sunday about how it was a really important commandment, and that he wanted to obey all the commandments. We explained that the money goes to building churches, missionary work and things like that. I was just so impressed with his faith and desire to fulfill his baptismal covenants. After that lesson, Elder Huston and I almost at the exact same said hey Jorge can we get a picture with you? He may be really dirty and old and poor, but he is a bigger hero to me than any celebrity or sports star. Reminds me of a scripture I was reading today in 3 Nephi 13
  1. 19 Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and thieves break through and steal;
  2. 20 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal.
  3. 21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
Another kinda awesome experience more on the funny side, we were bringing a bunch of youth to the church for a lesson on Saturday and a little van-bus thing was parked on the street on the way. All of the sudden like 4 kids ran out and started coming with us and like hugging me and Elder Huston. I recognized them as grandkids of a family in the branch that come to church pretty often. A lady comes out of the bus with like a nice suit on and calls them back. I had no idea who they were but we told the kids they should probably be with them if thats where their parents thought they were. Turns out it was another church! The kids were like fighting to come with us and almost crying, like grabbing our legs begging us to let them come with us. It was SO AWKWARD!!!! haha look! they obviously like our church better lady! haha no...but its cool how even little kids know whats up.
Yes, I am getting used to the season changes. I feel like im 100% used to living in Uruguay now. Not excited for summer to come though! I hope im in the south for the summer! Its starting to warm up a little this week. Its a perfect day today!
So we talked to the post office in Cardona, turns out that package is probably headed back your way. I think they are sending back anything that gets here. so if anyone reading this is planning on sending a letter. hold it for a little. or just send it through the mission email adress. urugoest@gmail.com so frustrating and a real bummer!
Yes MOM! I should have kept going with piano! It was awesome to hear about Oregon!
Its been rough in Cardona with the work. I have a great companion but sometimes he just doesnt have the excitement, the drive. He is such a great guy though! I want to help him get more excited about the mission and the work but its so hard. Our numbers are horrible. I feel like I teach all the lessons. I pray hard for help, for patience. Any advice? Elder Huston is still a stud though! His Dad played BYU football! His Grandpa was the BYU basketball coach that had cancer! He is a professional mountain biker and is a awesome guy!
I want to see pictures from Oregon!
Well, I gotta go.
Take care! Love you guys!
Elder Kellis

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Dear Everybody,

Just like every week, its been quite crazy here in Uruguay! We had lots of anticipation all week to find out the changes. 28 missionaries are going home this week so there are lots of holes to fill, and lots of changes to be made...Elder Rios is going to train in Artigas Barrio 6 and Im going tooo........................................ dun dun dun DUN DUN dun.....
So the American Cup is starting up here pretty soon...its a soccer tournament with all the latin america countries. Each World Cup and American Cup they do this thing called The Album. Its kind of like trading Pokemon cards but way cooler. and adults can play too without loosing thier dignity. haha. so Elder Rios and I jumped in. Basically its a bunch of stickers in the shape of little cards, and you buy 5 for 50 cents, then you go around trading your doubles. Its way fun and an awesome way to do contacts and get into houses. Lots of people do it, but Im worried cuz Im not sure if there are many people who are going to be playing in my new area....which is in...
Friday we went to a couple friends and wished them happy birthday. One of them, Ruben Gonzalez, a less active member. He didnt know we were coming, but we knocked on the door and he answered with a ciagarette and a glass of beer in his hands. We already knew he had problems with that stuff, but his reaction was hilarious. He answered the door and was like OHHH!!! ELDERS!!! YOU CAUGHT ME!!! haha NOOOO!!! then I sang him Happy Birthday in English but I sang the MOnkey in a zoo version. It was funny cuz He had no idea what I said.
Saturday we had a stake talent show. It was way fun! We did a couple funny skits and there was a little of everything. I sang some Coldplay and John Lenon. I dont know if you knew, but Artigas is overflowing with precious stones and rocks. Like all those rocks that you can buy in gift shops and stuff, I wouldnt be suprised if they come from Artigas. 1 out of every 10 people we talk to works in Precious rocks. So there was lots of displays of Hermanos that work with the stones.
Sunday was my last sunday in Artigas, Rider wore a suit to church and passed the sacrament! That was so cool! Its awesome to see them growing. Its incredible the changes they have made in thier life. Maira, his wife, has a talk in church on Sunday! Im so bummed im going to miss it! We went to Rubens house to have a lesson and Claudia, the Mom of that house that totally ingnored us and everything, the one who almost got baptized and stuff...she knocked on the door. It was dark so I couldnt see to well but I was sitting right next to the door. I opened it a little and barely saw her. I think seeing her the other night was even more sad that when she hid from us, because she was completely wasted. I smelled the alchohol as soon as she asked Can I come in? Her eyes were almost yellow, hair all messed up and just looked like a disaster. She couldnt even stand up straight. We let her in and she just started apolagizing a million times to us. "Im sorry I hid from you, that note you left me the other day made me feel so bad" She just kept saying sorry, kept telling us that she is feeling horrible, and then she wanted us to preach to her, wanted us to help her. She said that Lilian (rubens mom) is all she has. We are her only support, that things are really bad with her husband and she is just BAD. Just kept saying that life was BADDDDD. It was so sad. LIlian covered her daughters eyes it was so bad. She started crying and just begged us to come again. My heart breaks for that family. They have nothing. They beg their neighbors for bread. And they were so close to turning everything around. It was probably the saddest thing ive ever had to see on my mission.
Im sad to leave Elder Rios and Artigas, They both have treated me so well. Its hard to leave, but Im excited to get to know other places and people in Uruguay!
Thats pretty awesome that Jennifer and Kyle got married! I never even imagined that! It was so cool to hear about all the cool stuff going on in the last week of school and everything. Those weeks are always so fun. Everyone is so chill. Thats pretty funny the parents called to ask what to do in the rain.
So im definately going to be super obedient Mom!!!!!! because I could be a branch president coming up here pretty soon! Im going to Cardona which is in the zone of Colonia. Colonia is the oldest city in Uruguay and everyone says its really pretty. I will be out in a little pueblito though. All the missionaries are teasing me cuz ill be with my comp and we`ll be the only ones within an hour or so from any other elders. The branch has about 20 members. Im kinda nervous but really excited. Pray for me! =) Im leaving tonight at 10pm to Montevideo. Ill get there about 6am, then ill take another bus to Cardona and arrive at about 9am. So its gonna be a long night. My new comp is Elder Huston. I dont know too much about him but ive heard he is a stud!
I couldnt sleep last night haha
Did you guys here that the world was supposed to end on Saturday? everyone was talking about it here. I guess some preacher said it was gonna end at 6pm. Que Bolaso, no?
This week i have felt a lot of gratitude for the family that i have, for the standards that i have grown up with, and for the parents that I have. I hope you guys know how much I love you, how grateful I feel to have been blessed with the family, ward, friends, and youth that I had. Its really rough in a lot of families, and I dont know what I did to deserve you guys!
You are all in my prayers!
Elder Kellis

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Hey Family¡¡
Yeah, I got stuck with this dumb keyboard again ¡¡¡ the one that does only upside down exclamation points and no numbers . .. only 5 and 6
Anyways that doesnt matter.
It was so good to hear that grandma is doing ok. It was a long week waiting to hear news today. I fasted on sunday for her and the family. Caity you are the best. Thanks for telling me about Obama. and Cheer. and Beef stroganoff. It was the best.
So youre getting ready for the cruise hey?¡ haha mom dont be scared¡¡ theres only been like a million tsunamis lately¡¡ you¨ll never drown¡ besides you go swimming all the time¡¡ hahaha.
Everyone here was watching the wedding too. I saw like seconds of it. I thought that the car could have been way cooler. Like a ferrari or something. But it must have been really cool other than that because everyone is like wow it was so beautiful¡ are all weddings like that in America? uhmm...that was in England...haha
Dad I want your job. Its sick. You get an iPad, an Apple TV, and all kinds of other stuff for free. And you get to wear suits all the time.
We arent allowed to skype because we cant use members houses computers, and so we would have to pay to use a cyber on sunday and thats breaking the sabbath so yeah, its all complicated. You should just send me an iPhone 4 and we'll call it a day haha. No but yeah its a bummer cuz christmas is on sunday too..so all 3 of my calls home, which is 4 for most elders will all be on sundays, but its cool cuz thats a really awesome sabbath day activity and woo hoo. So yeah, Ill call you at 8 my time which im pretty sure is 4 your time. And we´ll figure out if you want to call me right back or what cuz I didnt get a answer yet.
This week we had a really awesome baptism from the zone leaders ward. They have an investigator that is a taxi driver and he always takes all the missionaries to zone meetings and stuff. His wife was already a member. They got married on Thursday and his baptism was friday. It was a awesome service¡ Its cool..here in artigas, the stake president has made it really clear that he wants convert baptisms to be really well planned and well organized, he wants special musical numbers and stuff. So we as missionaries have been working really hard on that, all 16 of us go to any baptism there is in Artigas and support and sing and stuff. In my fist transfer we didnt do anything like that.
We got home from the baptism friday night after a rainy day and these little kids that live next door were pretending to have a war battle with us. So me and Elder Longfellow got our umbrellas and we had a really intense battle. We won of course because we had the new 2011 edition machine gun umbrellas that also serve as a shield when opened. We also had a nice base, the house, and made better pretend gun noises. haha it was really fun.
Me and Elder Rios are working really hard and seeing lots of miracles. Ever since my first couple weeks here in January we have been working with an inactive family, and their neighbors who are investigators, but their oldest boy Lenon is baptized 9 years old. We knocked on thier door every sunday morning for the whole first change and they never went. We dropped them. Then our first week with Elder Rios she asked us how come we stopped coming. We had a really awesome lesson with her and Lenon and they got excited to go to church and then talked to the inactive family across the street and they all went to church yesterday¡ I couldnt believe it I was so happy¡
The weather is getting colder and colder and rainier and rainier. Im loving it so far. Sometimes the rain catches us when we arent expecting it though and we get SOAKED in our shirts and ties and everything.
Well, I cant wait to talk on Sunday¡¡ Love you guys¡ P.S.
You can send something to the gmail account today and it should get here by tomorrow in the district meeting, so let me know what your plan is. but you gotta hurry today before they send off to artigas.
Love you so much¡
Ps, can you send me some cards, like UNO, RAGE, Phase 10 type cards for Pday, and a jump rope for excersices for the next package whenever that ends up being? thanks¡¡
Elder Daniel KEllis
Whats up!

Gosh this week went extra fast with transfers and everything! Elder Rios is such an awesome comp! He trained last change and now we are tearin it up in Artigas! He is from Montevideo, his ward goes to the building on the temple square. He speaks perfect English. He has a girlfriend, nohelia, theyve been together 3 and a half years! She is waiting for him. haha Tomorrow is his birthday! He is turning 20. I want to make him cinnomon rolls but I dont have a recipe. =/ He has about 13 months in the mission. He is a legit pianist. He is short haha. Hes a good friend. He is so humble and loving, but is still cool and funny. his teaching-style is sweet. Much more friendly and less
doctrine shoving down their throats dropping the cain. We get along way good, and the mission just took a 180 for me now that I am with him!. Inostra was the man. But we were two very different people. I get to talk more in lessons, I feel much more confident as a missionary and in my spanish! I spent a night

So the 30th we are lookin at a baptism for the neighbors of Lilian! We are way excited! The Trindade Family is the name. They live in a little shack, half with like dried mud crumbly bricks, half with little metal sheets. The kids always ask me about my house, and if my family has a car. The floor is dirt and rocks. But the Dad has already read the BOM two whole times! And her favorite hymn is -Tu Me Has Dado muchas bendiciones, Dios-. or Because I have been given much. Read those lyrics and Imagine thier little house! The kids are so cute! One of them always writes me little love notes shes 11 dont worry. The other always wants to sit on my lap but thats against the rules haha.

So I know I told you about Daniel and Sabrina that everything was all pretty. haha. OH the DRAMMAAAA. So this guy on a moto stops, turns around and talks to us. Turns out its Daniel. Sweet! Rios can meet him and stuff! He lifts up his shirt, and Sabrina had poured something on him and light it on fire or something, his whole front was all burnt. It was ugly. He is the bigger and more violent one, so im worried about Sabrina. )=

We had a surprise Investigator in church yesterday! The Boyfriend of one of the sisters in the ward. She is 25. Her dad is a High Counselor. So anyways. We had an awesome lesson with them! Member missionary work is the way to do it guys! Help out the missionaries in your wards! Talk to your friends and stuff!

Well. I love you all lots! I love being a missionary and I love Uruguay!

-Elder Daniel Kellis

Monday, April 4, 2011


So this week was pretty dang crazy!

Tuesday and half of wednesday Elder Inotroza and I both were in bed all day. We had some kind of virus.I had a fever. I used my little alarm clock thermomter under my armpit to take my temperature and I hit 99.9 degrees. Im not sure how accurate that is though haha. I threw up. He had to poop like every 10 minutes. Ill leave out the details. haha But we are better now!

We had a pretty successful week for being out so long! Sunday we were like a parade in the street going to church! There was the Mom, Lilian. her friend Carla. and 13 kids from the three houses on that little corner! haha they have this little wagon made out of 2 bike tires and a big barrel cut in half. They use it to go around the neighborhood and find 2 liter bottles to recycle to help their parents out financially. 20 bottles = $1 They like to pretend that one is the horse and the others are in the wagon sitting on top of all the bottles. But this week we piled kids in the wagon and me and Elder Inostroza were the horses! haha it was awesome. You should of seen all the smiles from all the neighbors and people driving by! The primary president was like Im gonna kill you Elders! (hna. Mora) There is usually 1 kid in Valient primary. (her son) this week there was 7! Instead of teaching gospel principles this week, we were in the primary.

Sunday night we found a family! They are awesome! Their name is even awesome! Falco Family haha. The mom said she has been praying for God to show her the truth. The dad is a super chill dude that reminds me of like Bishop or Bro. Stevenson. They have a teenage daughter and a teenage son. We are so excited for them! We will see how it goes!

The weather is slowly getting much better! The mornings during study I usually wear my hoodie and open the window for the nice breeze. Me and Elder Longfellow go chill on the top of the roof sometimes before bed. It rained a lot this week! The trench coat and umbrella are money!!

This week the Patriarch of Artigas passed away. It´s interesting. Here in Uruguay they have the funeral really fast. He passed away about 6am and the funeral was at 3pm. It was a beautiful service. I was really impressed with the talk his wife gave. She seemed so happy for him. I love the spirit of funerals in the church. I havent been to a funeral since grandpas when I was like what 10 years old? I thought a lot about my grandpas the other day. The viewing brought the plan of salvation that we teach all the time into reality for me.

So we are continuing to teach Daniel and Sabrina. Daniel is progressing very quickly and Sabrina just isnt very religious. This has been causing problems between their relationship, Daniel wanted to know why trying to follow God more would bring such sadness and problems in his life. He admitted that he was very discouraged. We read in Alma 32 when the poor are rejected from the synagouges. How Alma teaches them that God gave them these trials to be humbled, that humility leads to repentance, and that repentance leads to mercy, mercy brings eternal life. He understood. But just looked sad. It was tearing him up. It was raining. Thier tin sheet metal roof was loud but kinda beautiful. I remembered my first couple days in Uruguay and how they were hard and I was discouraged. I remembered the scripture Joshua 1:9 which I had read from a letter from Grandma earlier that day and which literally changed my whole world those first couple days. We read it together and he just started to cry. He explained that this scripture he remembered hearing a lot earlier in his life from his parents and at church. He held his wife´s hand and his little 2 year old (cutest kid on the earth!!!) hugged his leg looking up at him. He left the room and got his guitar and played and sang a song for us. It was a christian song and he is really good! His little boy went and got his little tiny plastic guitar and sat next to his daddy and started singing. He doesnt know how to talk yet but he was just trying so hard. It was such an incredible memory. The rain. The guitar. The little son. But most of all the spirit that was there. This is what its all about. Families. Love. True unbreakable happiness. I love those little things.

Yesterday Rider and Maira didnt go to church. They have gone once in the last 6 weeks and are recent converts. We stopped by their house after dropping off the neighborhood of kids. We were just kinda sad. We didnt have much to say. They just kinda gave some excuses. I looked at my hands. They were torn with blisters and scrapes and cuts. We tore out all of their huge bamboo in thier backyard (bamboo is ridiculously crazy plant by the way!) I felt a wierd feeling. Like Come on guys. We come here like 3 times a week. We teach you all the time. We give our sweat and blood to serve you. We pray for you. Why dont you go to church! I had a really special moment as I looked at those hands. I thought of Jesus Chirst. I thought of the marks on his hands from His sweat and blood. His infinate love for us. And I thought about how sometimes we don`t always do what we should.

Well thats Elder Kellis in Artigas, Uruguay for you. I Cant wait for conference! I should be able to watch it all in English with the other missionaries except for the priesthood session. It is broadcasted here at 9pm and thats when we have to be at home so bummer!

I love you all so much. Thanks for your prayers. Your support. Your letters. All of you!

Elder Kellis


Monday, March 14, 2011

march 14th

Yeah! Those are pictures!! haha

whats up errybody!

Sounds like the world is going crazy! Artigas definately is as calm as ever! Theyre still all just chillin out in front of thier little houses sippin on mate! haha

So yesterday stake conference was so awesome! It was cool because the District from Quaraì Brazil came as well. It was so cool to see the stake center full!! Usually there are only 40-50 people on sunday. It was almost motivating to see the chapel that full! One of my favorite parts was the music. The primary from the stake sang "Yo se que me ama el señor" or I know that my savior loves me. It was so cute! It gave me lots of memories from teaching primary in Copper Canyon ward. The missionaries all sang a special number as prelude. We sang Joseph Smith's First Prayer to the melody of Come Thou Fount. It was so powerful and I could barely sing! To look over a huge chapel and think about that morning that started all of this, I knew the words I was singing were true. The spirit of missionary work hit me like a brick as I sang in a different language in a different country. Its awesome to see how the church is growing around the world. I wish I could see more countries and sing in more languages!

The temple president and our mission president came to the conference, so we had a lot of time with our mission president. We had interviews on saturday and on sunday we had a zone conference. It was way sweet! We talked about the power of the book of mormon in conversion and how to help investigators keep commitments. Then after our conference, president offered to go proselyting for the rest of the night with a companionship, and guess who got that opportunity!? yeah. President and his wife came with me and elder inostroza! It was way awesome! they are still learning spanish but they bore such strong awesome testimonies and really helped our lessons! It was funny to see the looks on people's faces as we drove around in the really poor neighboorhood in our suits and President Heaton`s spaceship car.

We have seen miracles this week! I havent had one investigator get a testimony of the book of mormon my whole mission. Its not that God isnt answering them or anything. Nobody has done the steps you gotta do! Read, Ponder, and Pray. This week, we had 3 investigators receive an answer about the Book of Mormon! We were walking down the street on Saturday and saw one of our investigators reading the BOM, we were surprised and asked her how it was going. She had read 3 chapters more than we had assigned her! She read the restoration pamphlet and loved the Joseph Smith story. She is 17, her name is Ana. The coolest part is that in our first lesson she had explained that she wasnt a fan of religion at all. Now she wants to get baptized! We are excited for her. It will be a while because she needs to get married, but we are way excited! Our other investigator, Daniel =D, is a huge fan of music. He is also a huge fan of religion and the bible. We knocked his door last week and taught him the first lesson as his extra stud cute 2 year old son played tackle Elder Kellis for an hour! haha He let us in immediately, offered us water. It was an awesome first lesson. Saturday we went back and he had read, pondered and recieved and answer! Elder Inostroza have left so many houses this week just looking at eachother and raising our eyebrows as if to say WOAH! miracle or what!?

Im excited you are sending the BYU shirts! OH yeah! I got that tie finally! That pink one! haha thanks mom! you went back and bought it didn't you!

Is iPhone on verizon yet? Keep me updated on BYU and Japan and all that stuff! Dont forget to read you scriptures every day! and give grandma a huge hug for me! Tell tyler to ask the missionaries when he can go teach a lesson with them. Seriously. Go do it. You better! Tyler are you applying for colleges and stuff yet?

Love you all!

Elder Kellis