Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

22 August 2011

Ok, my only stress now is another baptism fell through. I know that every single person says the numbers don't matter but this new president just got on our case because we don't have a baptism, it is freaking terrible!!! As of this point another great thing is that 2 weeks ago my companion told me he has no money and he actually doesn't!! So as this is the second time on my mission I have had to cover my companion and they are always latinos!!! They recieve 700 pesos every month and some how in 2 or 3 weeks they use it all!!! So i might have to pull more money out this week from the bank if his family doesn't send him any.

Well but now to the positive, things are going great 3 more baptisms fell because wine just happens to be the hardest thing to resist here!! Three of our investigators baptisms for next week fell because they need 3 weeks to be sober. Last night we go to one of our investigators house and he is there with his rock band and we taught all of them, it was hilarious!! So we now have 2 rock bands that want to listen to us when we go over to Damians. Things are getting better though because 14 families that were inactive have come back to church and also a member from my last area came to our church. It was great to see him and talk to him he was saying how the Sunday after I left everyone was asking what happened to me and wanted to know where I was to write me so at this point just about every week I have received a letter from my last area. It is great to know that they still care about me even though I was only there for 6 weeks!!!

TODAY WAS AWESOME!!!! We woke up this morning, cleaned our pension and went at 11 to make empanadas with our investigators. I was able to fold over 100 empanadas really fast so when I came home, I can make empanadas for everyone wooohhooo!!!!!!!! We ate with our investigators and just had so much fun chatting about the U.S.A. and my family. I swear that Florencia (she is 17) has a huge crush on Keegan always asking, "is your brother good at this and this and this"? She is so funny and such a great investigator that we are helping to get baptized along with the entire family.

After lunch we rushed to the church for our activity with the teenagers to play football because the church has a grass field next to it. (only in Argentina do they have soccer courts) We played for 3 hours and I actually did good. I was shocked because these kids are incredible with the ball and can move their feet so fast. I love this work and today and this last week was great!! We are working hard and helping so many families that have gone inactive and families that just are hurting big time. I thought a person that drove an old purpleish minivan with a giant gulp cup in the middle and fishing poles in the back was poor but there are neighborhoods with metal walls and one mom and 13 kids and 5 dogs and no money. The kids eat sugar cane which is bamboo but sugar. It is terrible but they always have a smile and when they came to church it was amazing to hear how many blessings they truly receive.

This church is the true church and it only motivates us to work harder because we aren't the ones hurting but this gospel is for everyone and I love being able to understand and talk with everyone, it is just the best!!! Pray for our investigators and pray for our safety because you all know that you are in all my prayers. I love you all and let Kevin Steed know that I love him and his example for everyone. With love and a million hugs from down here in Argentina Elder Darby

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

August 15, 2011

Geez this week was tough but one to remember to never lose faith because the Lord always provides a way when we suffer!!! This week was a bad one at the beginning because first Natalia said I want you to baptize me so I was filled with such happiness to baptize this amazing girl but when Thursday came we had divisions!! So I went to Yuto to be senior comp. for 2 days and it was weird to have more time on the mission than my companion but in the morning I told him I feel like knocking some doors so we knock six and we entered in every single one which is a miracle!!!
So after 7 new investigators we start walking to lunch when I get prompted to knock one more and I say "I want to knock this blue door" and he says fine just do it!! So I walk up knock and before I could knock the senora opens the door and starts crying and my excited face turned to "what the heck happened?" I ask her what happened and she said come in please you guys are missionaries right? I gladly say yes why? and she responds and says "I have prayed for 3 days for help and when right before I opened the door, I felt like I had an angel at the door and opened to see a beautiful gringo with a nametag that says Jesus Christ". At this point my jaw was on the floor because she was so prepared to hear the gospel it was incredible so we enter as my comp. says good call on the door and we both laugh!! So we enter, sit down and she just starts talking and talking so we listened and this lady lost 2 of her daughters in the riot in my area and wanted to know what happens after this life so I nicely say "senora can we start with a prayer so the Lord can talk through us and invite the spirit" so I prayed and so I pulled out and started lesson 2 which is the plan of salvation. She was so curious it was so cool, we explained how we are the only church that recieves revelation through prophets. Yesterday, I received a call from Yuto and they said that 6 of the seven investigators that I found came to church and I told those missionaries "dont thank me because it wasn't my idea to knock, it was the prompting of the spirit".
I learned a lot this week that the Lord sent me to Yuto to inspire those people and because the Lord knows when I am prompted that I act on it. It is a miracle and a blessing to know that the Lord trusts me to listen to the spirit and to teach his children! I learned that if I wasn't obedient and if I had my mind on a different subject, I would not have listened to "knock those doors". I love this work and even though the baptism fell through, I know that the lord will bless us with more.
I know that satan is always close and ready because the companion I was with wanted lunch and was ready to eat but for some reason the spirit spoke to me to knock and she showed up to church. It is sad that I am in Ledesma and don't have the oppurtunity to teach those 6 that went to church but it makes me realize that when we receive an investigator, the investigator isn't ours and it isn't because we taught her or we found her. It is because we are here representing the only true church in the entire world.
This area we are in is hard and we have a lot of problems but 8 showed up to church and we have 12 with baptism dates so we hope to improve and work hard till we leave this area. I love this work and I know when I have the name tag, I can testify with power in a language that I just learned and I can connect with people that I just met.
I love being here and I love having all your support because the good times I had before my mission motivate me to work hard and complete with strength so when I come back, I can be happy and enjoy life even more. Everything I had in my life before has become but a blur because I am here and when I go to bed and wake up the next day, I wake up and am ready to put on that name tag, represent the family I love and the Lord who loves us. You are all in my prayers and I hope you all are being strong because these are the last days and we need our testimonies to survive.
Happy birthday mom, I cried thinking about how much I love you and all that you have done for me in my life. I wouldn't be anything without you. Like I've told you before, you and I are the most alike. Your son, brother and number one fan
ELDER DARBY representative of the Lord Jesus Christ

Monday, August 8, 2011

JuJuy August 8, 2011

The cold water shower is really funny because it is always a battle between my mind and my body because at night or at 7 in the morning you don't want freezing water!!!!
We do have 2 heaters, they are incredible for the pension that we have, I love having those on and waking up in warmth (something I am not use to mother)!! haha, no it is a joke because I would give anything to be in our beautiful house, have a hot shower, a nice foam bed and my own room and bathroom!! It is one thing to live with a latino because the word clean isn't in his vocabulary!!!! My companion is the funniest and I love the guy to death but man when it comes to cleaning-he hates it but when he cleans, he cleans every inch. So every day, I clean a little to try to get him on his good day-haha.
Oh man I love the mission. Fact is-I am with my companion more than I was with my family!!! I mean 24 hours 7 days a week not a minute apart, it is incredible!!! But my companion is incredible, I love Elder Chavez and we are so obedient because we want protection in this crazy, dangerous town that the president said we can't work past 7 pm making it is hard to have appointments antes. But everything is going great and this upcoming Saturday I get to be reminded that I am doing the work because we have a BAPTISM!!! Her name is Natalia, her parents want baptism but aren't married so I get to baptize her this Saturday and she is so cute, oh my gosh!!! Her sister the other day said, "Elder Barbie" and Natalia said, "sister, you need to respect Elder Darby for his name because he is the best servant of the Lord"!!!! I almost cried.
I bought her an alfajor which is an oreo but with chocolate, caramel,and it is 3 or 4 layers of pure amazingness!!!
Natalia always asks me, "Elder Darby, how are your shoes always so pretty?" which mom, this should answer another question that my shoes don't even have a scratch, I mean my comp is losing the soles after a year but me, no change they are so perfect and I mean it.
I really, really love the people here and the members, oh my goodness they all called us when the riot and protest went down-every one of them worried about us and that is big for these people!!!
Our schedule is a little funny because our lunch here is at 1pm and ends at 3pm so usually on the mission the rule is an hour for lunch and an hour for dinner but we have 2 hours for lunch and eat something small at night like rice with just the cheapest vegetables and soup cubes for flavor, it is the best idea ever!!! But we have lunch with members everyday except Friday so on Fridays I cook lasagna, hamburgeres (yes they do have blue cheese) also salad which I've created a few dressings from scratch and they are GOOD!!! And many other foods and occasionally empanadas or chicken milanesa. I love the food here-it is cheap and good and my new favorite drink is COCA WITH RED CHERRIES!!! They don't have syrups here but I can buy a can of red cherries for a dollar, it is a ghetto rigged wild cherry coke!!!
Today I made a cherry coke for all the lats in my district and they said it is the best soda they have ever had haha, I love serving american things to lats because they get so amazed at things that are normal for us. Now I realize they think the same of me because I smile when I eat their food here and drink the awesome apple gatorade and apple sodas!!!
TODAY WAS THE BEST DAY EVER. Next to our area is a national park and we hiked around 10 miles today through jungle and saw footprints for freaking mini tigers and who knows what other animals. I saw my first TUCAN bird it is so pretty and I named it fruity tootie because of fruit loops (it wasn't my idea to name it) but it was gorgeous, I have a ton of photos. It is gorgeous here with no laws-nothing, they have a free bus that takes you to the park and back and it is free to enter with free campgrounds!!!!
Yosemite is like 50 bucks a night and here nada!!! What else, oh yeah I am never around gringos at all-I mean my district now has 10 people and I am the only who knows english besides another gringa from Pennsylvania that doesn't talk so I never get to speak english!!!! But today in the park, I spoke with 3 people from france in english and it was so challenging to understand my own language and respond because I kept forgetting words but I talked with 2 girls around 20 years old and a older lady from germany!!! It was so fun because no one in our district could understand what I was saying-it was a classic!!! They asked our group in english where the trail was and I was like "YOU KNOW ENGLISH"!!! They said yes and we ended up talking about germany and jujuy and what to visit in front of all the lat missionaries-it was so funny!!!!
But anyway, baptism this Saturday and the miracles and protection we have are so high, I mean just the other day my comp. said we have to go to this family and I said I think we should visit the Mamani family first, so my comp. said fine and we missed a brutal protest while we were with the other family because the protest it was in front of the family's home that we were gonna visit!!!!
It is incredible how close the Lord is to us. At times I feel like there are 3 of us walking in the street. I mean as well in the lessons I always feel impressed to say something and it happens to be what they want to hear, it is incredible!!! The spirit is with those who seek to be the best followers of the best example of all time, the Savior!!
I love all of you and if you aren't going to church, remember 3 hours in one week is nothing to sacrifice for the blessings you all have to live in the United States!! Well this is Elder Darby once again I want to say I really miss you all and I want you all to stay strong and follow the Lord because he knows you the best and he knows what you need.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

1 August 2011

It is hard to keep track of the days here and what happens but my blog is not my journal because I have a journal and write in it every day so dont worry haha. Mother this blog is for you all to remember me and the work I am doing down here in Argentina.
Freaking crazy here the change from one area to the next takes a toll because you come from an area that you know to a new unknown area. My companion is great!!! He sometimes likes sleeping a little more than usual but I am helping him to really straighten up and work his heart out. Which this week we did!!!! Mom, I know you said you don't like the number thing but every district or group of 5 companionships has a number goal for news found, investigators in the church baptism fechas and members present. So we have these goals but to me it isn't about the numbers but Preach my Gospel says that "work that isn't being tracked is not work at all". So great, Preach my Gospel is incredible.
Man this week was crazy with many problems in the town that I can't really write because we are told not too-but the fact is that my comp. and I are safe and I have a good story when I come home!!!!(read the news for Ledesma, Jujuy) Anyway we worked hard this week, we were able to find a lot of people but our investigators somehow all picked up a bad habit. We had 4 baptisms planned for this weekend but now it can't happen. Cigarettes, tea, chastity and honesty took a toll on our investigators. When a investigator confesses these problems to you, it rips your heart out! It is nothing to put yourself down because this is not my church and we are not here to find new members, we are here to invite help and teach the true gospel of Christ.
We have one man he is 56 and has been smoking and drinking alcohol since he was 12 but my comp. and the elder found him and he hasn't touched anything for 5 weeks!!!!!!!!!!! His testimony is incrediblle and everyday he tells us how good he feels and how he loves the church but he works on Sunday. Satan truly became realistic this week to me and my companion because we say the strongest fall and the weakest succeed. Satan does know us and he wants us badly but we need that firm faith in Christ to reject his ways and stand with our heads high and our roots deep in the gospel.
The things I am learning on my mission are incredible and I have never felt so comfortable in my life. When I teach a lesson, as long as I listen to what they say, the spirit ALWAYS AND I MEAN ALWAYS tells me exactly what to say. The language is as easy as english now and I can easily understand everything and respond just fine. Every day I smile because it is amazing I am here in Argentina, living with my companion from Peru speaking spanish all day everyday. It is a blessing to be here on my mission, mom, dad and family I thank you for all the support you have given me. There is not a person in the ward or in my family that hasn't made an effect on me, I love you all so much.
LEDESMA JUJUY: Just like my first area Perico with all paved roads, grocery stores the size of the vegetable area in Safeway-and rich and poor people. A lot of people drive motos and cars but their cars here are smaller than a prius. The biggest car they have is a Ford 100 truck which is half the size of a Toyota Tundra. We live in a pension that has no hot water because our heater is broken and the plumbers here never come when they are suppose to, it sucks. It is funny when my comp. showers because he screams cold and breathes loud so we have challenges to see who can shower the longest. My companion and I are missionaries in the sreet but just young children in the pension. Last night he threw me a plastic soda bottle and in english said 'let the force be with you' and we started smacking each other with the bottles (yes with sound effects) he is so funny and it helped because we are seriously best of friends. His english is terrible but I am teaching him. Anyways things here are tough but never am I ever sad or mad because each day is a new day and even if we have a problem with a person, I just realize I am blessed just to be speaking a language that I didn't know at all before my mission. The Lord is with me and I feel his love everyday.
Love always ELDER DARBY
(Newspaper headlines for Ledesma, JuJuy read: Provincial police forcibly evicted 700 families from land, squatters fought with rocks and stones. 4 killed, 60 injured)