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!