Monday, October 22, 2012


> ¡hola familia! > i don`t know if i will be able to write next monday, but i received my > travel itinerary. it doesn`t seem real that i am already on my > home... next monday i will be with president lovell for my final > interview and i will eat lunch and dinner with all of the other > missionaries that are finishing at the same time. i think there will > be about 12 in my group. october 30, tuesday in the morning, i am > heading out to buenos aires at 0800, and i`m arriving at 0930 . i > think that i might be able to go to the temple in buenos aires. i > would love that! > matias was in church yesterday but he says that he wants more time. > he doesn`t feel like he can get baptized yet. he used to be in jail > and i think that it might have something to do with that but we feel > like he is preparing well. gabriel taught the class in sunday school! > i was so proud of how awesome he did. i am not worried at all for how > things will go for him. > yesterday was mothers day in argentina and nobody was home. it was > kind of a tough day for us but we were able to speak with carlos and > set another date for the 17th of november. it has been raining since > last night. > yesterday we ate this peruvian plate with grober and carla called > ceviche and it was really good. it is spicy raw fish with a ton of > great stuff in it. my companion says that it is like ``oka`` in > samoa. grober is doing well and carla is going to church every sunday > now. they are looking forward to their wedding in december. > we found some other people that have been inactive and we received > some great references from them. we are looking forward to contacting > them this week. we now have a stake ward mission leader, and as zone > leaders we are going to start meeting with him once a month. we met > him on wednesday and we were able to talk well with him about setting > up ward mission plans in every ward in the stake. he is very excited > about his new calling and we are excited to work with him. he gave us > another reference when we finished talking to him! > i can`t believe ryan was called to the M.A.N. mission! that is > awesome! please tell him that he is going to love it and i will put in > the good word for him with president lovell :) > on friday, i was able to do another baptismal interview for the elders > in cipolletti. ivan is awesome and he was baptized on sunday. this > week we had 2 baptisms in the zone. we are still baptizing every week > and things are looking great for the month of november! tomorrow we > are going to catriel for the day to interview the elders there and we > are going to do some divisions. the whole week is packed with great > plans and it is going to go very well. > i have been reflecting a lot lately about my blessings. i am so > grateful for everything that i have learned here in argentina and i > wouldn`t trade this time for anything. i am grateful for my family > and all of your support. i have received letters from you guys every > week and that is an accomplishment! thank you for everything. i > don`t want my mission to end and i just don`t feel like it will end. > jacob 7:26 > 26 And it came to pass that I, Jacob, began to be old;... I conclude > this record, declaring that I have written according to the best of my > knowledge, by saying that the time passed away with us, and also our > lives passed away like as it were unto us a dream... > 2 timothy 4:6-7 > 6 the time of my departure is at hand. > 7 I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: > i know that Jesus Christ is our Savior and it has been an honor for me > to teach His gospel for two years in argentina. i will never forget > the many experiences that i have had and i am looking forward to a new > chapter in my life. i love you all and i am excited to see you all > next week! > con mucho amor y ánimo, > elder summers.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

16 Days to go...

¡hola familia! i received my card and my birthday package! thank you for sending them! i had an awesome birthday last week and we took some good pictures. the Gil family is awesome and i am very grateful for all that they did for my birthday. the tacos were delicious too (because we cooked them) but we learned that martín is moving to chile with esteban really soon. i won`t be able to see the baptism... on tuesday we had a zone training. elder syddall and i planned and directed the meeting and it all went very well. we finished with a testimony meeting and it was a very special experience. our ward mission leader, hermano gomez, finally came back this week! i think that his influence is really going to help us to baptize his nephew, matias. we set another baptismal date for the 27th of october and we are praying that everything works out this time. he went to church and he enjoyed it so things are looking great. gabriel is a stud. this sunday he received the aaronic priesthood. he bore his testimony in sacrament meeting and i was impressed by how firm he is in the gospel. i know that he is going to stay solid in the church and i am very grateful to be a part of his conversion process. the ward is supporting him a lot and it is making a huge difference. his family is coming back to church. i really liked this scripture found in d&c 76:69 69 These are they who are ajust men made bperfect through Jesus the mediator of the new ccovenant, who wrought out this perfect datonement through the shedding of his own eblood. i am grateful that gabriel took things seriously and is ready to serve. carla and grober are going to get married in december. they need to take out a turn to be able to do it because getting married is very complicated here... but they are excited. they told us that carla is pregnant again so they are expecting another kid. they weren`t able to go to church this sunday. it might have been the rain but estan cumpliendo con sus compromisos por lo menos. they are praying together every day and they are reading the book of mormon. grober will get baptized shortly after their marriage. we didn`t find a lot of people to teach last week but we did receive some good references that we are excited about. we are looking forward to finding them this week. our ward is starting to go home teaching. it is part of the ward mission plan that we went over with the bishop and the priesthood holders are starting to get more involved. we went to help with some of the visits to help get the ball rolling. on saturday we went to clean a patio of this older woman that isn`t going to church. i cut the grass and my companion removed a ton of weeds. afterwards it started raining a ton and it rained all weekend. it is still raining and the streets were flooded. some streets we can`t cross because it is so deep with water! the mission office here in neuquen was flooded because of a leak in the roof and the sewage system erupted from the floors because it was so full of water! im just glad that nothing passed with our apartament :). i´m not sure what i want to study at byu... do i have to sign up for classes right now or can i wait until i get home? oh! and my driver´s licence is going to expire so i will have to get that renewed too! i love you guys! con mucho amor y ánimo, elder summers

Monday, October 8, 2012

23 Days To Go (and Happy Birthday Elder Summers!)

¡hola familia! thank you for all of your birthday wishes! i do feel older... one family in my ward prepared lunch for us and made me a cake so i am very excited to meet with them today, and tonight, we are going to have a noche de hogar with a guy that is less active and his room mate that is not a member. they both went to general conference yesterday and they really enjoyed it. they are going to make us tacos, so today we will have lunch AND dinner! i´m so excited. in this mission, we rarely eat dinner because everyone eats really late. we usually get back to the house and eat a small snack, like a quick pb&j sandwich. this is the M.A.N. mission. (Misión Argentina Neuquen :) ).wasn`t this week amazing? i feel very grateful for all of the experiences that i have been given. we had the monthly zone leaders council this week and we went over the numbers for the mission. right now our zone is number one in the mission and we are very proud of our missionaries. i also heard that the church in rawson, my old area, is being extended because of all the growth. i am so happy for them. we are having a lot of success and i am enjoying every minute of it. this week we tried something new. my companion received an article about some activity other missionaries tried in russia and they put a table out on the plaza and had people write their questions for God. we made plans and we were able to do it friday night so we could invite as many people as we could to general conference. we had a good turn out, there were a lot of good questions written, and we received a lot of references. i attached a picture we took of the activity. general conference was the highlight of the week. i was able to watch every session, priesthood session was sunday morning for us, but it was all in spanish. i loved it. i loved hearing about the new announcements from the prophet and we are very excited to have more missionaries in the field. our mission is starting to get a little smaller because so many people have problems getting their visas. that is why a lot of people are staying in the states to serve while they are waiting. we are praying everything goes well for the missionaries in the future. i am grateful that i was one of the few to get here ok without any problems. my scripture for the week is found in d&c 64:33-34. we can`t get tired of doing good works. ¡hay que seguir firme! i love you all and i am grateful for all of the support that you give me every week! have an awesome day! con mucho amor, gratitud y ánimo, elder summers

Monday, October 1, 2012

30 Days to go...

¡hola familia! we are finally in october! this week was very busy and we were able to accomplish a lot of things. we had our noche de hogar with carla and grober. they made us pizza and it was delicious. the lesson went great and they went to church on sunday! we were very excited for them. the members greeted them very well too. they felt very welcome so i hope they will keep coming strong every week. we didn`t have a district meeting this week because president lovell had interviews with all of us. it was a really cool experience because i was able to participate as well. i was asked to give a short talk before about how the mission helps us to become better disciples of Christ. i talked about the talk from elder waddell last year about how neuquen is holy ground for us because everything we do, everyone we meet and teach, is to help prepare us for the eternities. i am very grateful to be here. we talk about giving two years to the Lord, but i feel like i was given so much more in return. elder syddall and i then separated and i was with elder queirolo, one of the president`s assistants, and we interviewed half of the zone about how they are working and how we can help them continue to improve. i really enjoyed it, and i gained more respect for what mission presidents do... my interview with president lovell was really cool. he asked me how i was doing and my thoughts about entering my last month of the mission. we talked about priesthood keys and how as a zone leader, i was given some of those keys to direct the zone. it was a neat experience for me. this weekend, we had 3 baptisms in the zone! we are working on baptizing more on a weekly basis. gabriel is doing awesome. he is going to receive the priesthood next week between sessions and he is very excited. he was asked to offer the prayer during sacrament meeting and i was amazed by how much he has progressed because a few weeks ago he didnt want to pray! we had ward council yesterday. our ward is so awesome. we are planning some more activities to do every month until the end of the year. my companion was kind of a punk about it because he kept saying how i wasn`t going to be there... but i still had cool ideas! we are going to have baptisms on the 13th and we are hoping for more after that. we met a guy named matias, he is 21 and is the nephew of our ward mission leader. matias came down from salta, argentina, and he was really excited to talk to us. now he is talking about how he is going to be baptized and serve a mission too! he is awesome. this week, i have been thinking a lot about these scriptures found in doctrine and covenants 123: 16-17 16 You know, brethren, that a very large ship is benefited very much by a very small helm in the time of a storm, by being kept workways with the wind and the waves. 17 Therefore, dearly beloved brethren, let us cheerfully do all things that lie in our power; and then may we stand still, with the utmost assurance, to see the salvation of God, and for his arm to be revealed. we can only do our part, and then trusting in God, He will do the rest. I love you all and i`m looking forward to hearing from all of you next week! con mucho amor y ánimo, elder summers

Monday, September 24, 2012

37 Days To Go! (and a BAPTISM!)

¡hola familia! gabriel was baptized this weekend!! it was so exciting and he is very happy. he asked me to baptize him and he was confirmed yesterday at church. it was a very special day for me too. it has been almost 2 years since the elders in this ward have baptized and i feel like we have broken the ice! we haven´t had credit on our cell phone all week but the ward helped us pull everything together for the baptism. everyone is very excited. gabriel was a reference from one sister in the ward so the members have a lot more trust in us and are giving us more references. elder syddall and i are looking forward to a lot of success. even the attendance at church is getting better and there are more priesthood holders attending. we are already seeing the fruit! everything went well with the transfers this week. we gained 2 more missionaries to the zone so now we have 24, 4 of those missionaries are being trained right now. our district leaders are studs and we are baptizing every week. i have been looking over the numbers over the last few weeks and we have dropped a little in lessons because we are working more with the leaders, but we have more news, references from the members, and things are looking great to be baptizing every week. the vision of president lovell is to have at least a baptism in each district every week. we are getting there. right now we are having at least one in the zone. we are working with the bishop and the ward leadership. we put a ward mission plan together and set some good goals for the rest of the year. one new thing that we are doing is present a short message before priesthood meeting. yesterday, the bishop had us present how we would give away a book of mormon to a friend and we had a quick practice to show how easy it is. our friends aren´t looking for answers to deep doctrine, they just want to be happy. only the gospel gives us lasting happiness! there are some members that told us they are preparing lists of their friends that they want to share the gospel with, and we challenged them to talk to them first and set a day that we can pass by and visit with them. we had divisions with the assistents to the president, so i had the opportunity to spend the day with elder page again! we were companions in the mtc, so it was cool to be able to work with him and share a lot of things that we have learned throughout the mission. it was really cool. we are going to go on divisions this week with the elders in the office. i have never done divisions with them because they are always really busy with all of the conferences that we have, and the transfers and money stuff... but now things are calming down. 2 missionaries showed up at our apartment last night at midnight, saying they came in from plaza huincul, about 2 hours away, to do their ID documents. i was surprised... but today is a holiday and they can´t do anything so they have to go back. the elders in the office didn´t think about the holiday... but now they bought the tickets for these guys to return later today and they will come back to neuquen some other day. carla and grober are excited too. they are going to get married in december, their daughter is a 1 year old. we prepared a family home evening with them for tonight and they are going to cook something delicious for us. i am really looking forward to it. roberto se enfrió un poco... he doesn´t have the same interest that he had before. pucha. i had a miracle this weekend! at the baptismal service, one family gave me a piece to play on the piano for a musical number half an hour before the baptism. i tried playing it through and i couldn´t... it was very difficult. they looked at me and said, ´´well, maybe we should have said a prayer first´´. it made me laugh a little, but then we said a prayer. i played it through again and it still didn´t sound good. the brother told me to have more faith and just play it louder because they felt that this was the perfect song for the baptism. i said a silent prayer and then i played it louder and with feeling, and the song just came out of my fingers! it was amazing! everything went great and i am very grateful for that divine help. if you would have heard it, it would have blown you off your feet to hear the difference. i felt very good and i am glad for that experience. i know we can do anything with God´s help. i have been studying the bible this week and i loved the passage i found in acts 3:6-8 peter and john went to the temple and see a crippled man outside begging. they called out to him 6 Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk. 7 And he took him by the right hand, and lifted him up: and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength. 8 And he leaping up stood, and walked, and entered with them into the temple, walking, and leaping, and praising God. i love how peter reached out and physically lifted the man. i have been thinking a lot about the blessings that come from the Gospel and how we can help others have the strength that we have if we just reach out. i can imagine the joy that the man would have as he went to the temple leaping and praising God. i saw that joy in Gabriel this weekend. i am very grateful for the opportunity to serve and see these miracles every day. isn´t being a missionary amazing? i love it. i hope that this week goes as well as the last. i love you guys! con mucho amor y ánimo, elder summers

Monday, September 17, 2012

44 Days To Go (And Last Transfer)

¡hola familia! another good week in the books! right now we are handling transfers and we are going to have some really good changes. today, elder page came by to the apartment with one of our missionaries and he asked me how i felt to start my last transfer... crazy thought! we are going home together and i can`t believe how fast things have gone. i am really looking forward to the next six weeks because we have a lot of good things going for us. gabriel wasn`t baptized this weekend. we had the baptismal interview on friday and he said that he knew everything was true and that he wants to be baptized but he wants to wait one more week so he can feel more prepared. so we are looking forward to this weekend and his baptism was announced in church on sunday. we found a new family to teach this week! it was a reference that we received online from the office and that has never happened for us before. apparently, carla is a member and she is living with grober and they have a daughter together. she is from bolivia and he is from peru. they have the goal of getting married in december and grober has a lot of interest in the church. they didn`t make it to church yesterday but i think it is because they weren`t able to find the building. we will make a map for them this week or something... but they are very excited. we also found a man named roberto. he is going to be baptized on the 29th of september. a really cool guy. i am very glad that i wasn`t transferred this week! i know of a lot of elders that were transfered this week because president lovell likes to change things up so the elders stay focused working until the end. this week was our zone training and it went awesome. elder syddall and i prepared this conference to get the zone inspired to work better and we practiced a lot of things that we felt the zone needed. it was great and we got the zone to participate a lot. i felt like everyone was edified and we felt the spirit a lot as we reflected on our areas and practiced. we were very proud of how everything turned out! we had a baptismal interview in cipolletti so we had divisions with them, and then on thursday we took a bus to 25 de mayo for another baptismal interview. it was a great weekend :) we are looking good for the next few weeks too. things are really turning around in the zone and we are very happy. i attached a picture of our zone that president lovell took a few weeks ago. we are a bunch of good looking studs, right? only the best for neuquen! mom- i`m glad you enjoyed your birthday this week. i was thinking of you all day. can you believe we are already half way through september?! crazy. i have been thinking a lot about some things that we talked about in church yesterday. it was about staying on the Lord`s side and making little decisions to stay on that side. we talked about how the devil tries to deceive us by making us think things or by doing little things to inch our way over to his side, but if we focus on staying on the Lord`s side, we won`t have the desires of leaving or lowering our standards. it was a cool message that got me thinking about how i can stay strong for the Lord. don`t have too much time left so i have to stay strong til the end! i still can`t send pictures but i have some awesome ones to show you! now i have to head off for the terminal to help with the transfers but i will write more next week! i love you guys and i hope you have another awesome week! con mucho amor y ànimo, elder summers

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

50 Days to go....

¡hola familia! > i really enjoyed this week! we had the zone leaders council and the > rededication of the temple in buenos aires. it was an amazing > experience being able to participate. on saturday night, there was a > cultural celebration and the youth of argentina sang and danced. > president eyring said that he felt as if the youth were like the young > nephites that greeted the saviour with their smiles and enthusiasm. i > felt so proud to be here serving in argentina and i can`t describe how > happy i feel to be here. i really do love the people. president > eyring said the dedicatory prayer, and elder christofferson translated > it to spanish. it was very powerful and i felt the spirit very > strong. the talks before were very edifying. elder arnold spoke > about the things that really mattered in life, and the ability to go > to the temple is such a great blessing. one man at the rededication > told us that he has been through the temple 4 times and i was grateful > to see how faithful and dedicated he is to continue visiting the > temple throughout his life. it was an incredible experience that i > will never forget. i made a personal decision to go to the temple as > much as i can. it is a holy place and i won`t take it for granted. > elder syddall and i are preparing our zone training for tomorrow. all > 22 of the missionaries in our zone are coming in and we are very > excited to encourage, enthuse, and execute. our three E`s. :). this > week, we had 2 baptisms in the zone, and we are looking really good > for this weekend. we are preparing gabriel for the 15th. we haven`t > seen him all weekend because he has been working out of town. we are > praying that everything goes well and that he feels prepared to make > this new covenant. > i have been thinking a lot this week about the things that really > matter. i have been studying about covenants that we make with God > and how we can keep them better. i memorized the sacrament prayers in > spanish this week because i felt like i needed to. i read a quote by > elder oaks that says we renew all of the covenants we have made with > God by taking the sacrament, and it made me appreciate taking the > sacrament even more. > i know with all of my heart that our Heavenly Father loves us and > wants us to return to live with Him. i know that He listens to us. I > love my Savior, and i am grateful for His sacrifice, His gospel, and > His authority to make eternal life with all of you possible. it > wouldn`t be worth it without my family. i love all of you and i am > grateful for the support you have given me in the greatest decision i > have made in my life. > con mucho amor y aún más ánimo, > elder summers