Monday, November 23, 2009

Special Visitors.........What a great gift for my B-Day!!!!

Dear Family and Friends, Hey thanks for all your letters! Unfortunately I was only able to read a few of them, basically from mom and dad. The other emails i was not able to be read, I think one was sent from a blog and with this email its unable to be read, also I believe you sent pictures too but for some reason I was not able to see them through the email. So I had a pretty good birthday here in Argentina. This morning Elder Grant finished his packing to go home. I received a call from President Benton and Sister Benton, wishing me a happy birthday which was very nice. President Benton is amazing but during our conversation he told me who my new companion was going to be, so it kind of ruined the surprise. It was ok, as I love President Benton. Also during our transfer meeting we went up to shake President and Sister Bentons hand and when I went up to shake President Benton's hand everyone began to sing happy birthday to me while I was up there! So today Elder Grant is on his way home, we had some good times, I am very grateful for the opportunity we had to work together. Are you going to go to Elder Grants homecoming this Sunday? I think you should go. I was not able to send any letters with him but I am getting ready to send a few, I just have to finish writing them. Also, I received my new companion at our transfer meeting, Elder Garcia from Salvador. It is pretty interesting because Elder Grant trained Elder Garcia, then Elder Garcia was companions with Elder Gneighting, two missionaries from Las Vegas. After which he had two other Elders; Elders Kirkham and Peterson. Elder Garcia has about six months in the mission. I have been called to be senior companion, but we are both young in the mission and excited to get to work. Also this past week we had the opportunity to see and hear from Elder Bednar and Elder Snow, with a special guest Elder Ludwig and Elder Olds! It was amazing! Elder Bednar and Elder Snow along with their wives spoke to us and we were taught by the Spirit. It really was a blessing to have that opportunity and I can not express how grateful I am. Instead of just giving us a talk, Elder Bednar first explained how to ask good questions. Elder Bednar has a great personality and a pretty good sense of humor. After explaining how to ask questions we had the opportunity to ask questions to Elder Bednar. At the end of the conference Elder Bednar left us with a blessing. I am truly grateful for this opportunity I have been given. I appreciate your love and support. I look forward from hearing from you soon. Con amor, Elder Brooks.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Sometimes getting WET....... is a good thing!

Dear Family and Friends, It was great to hear from you! Everything is going very well here in Billinghurst as we had the baptism for Daniel this past Saturday! Saturday we also had an Elders quorum activity for our branch and had a great turn out even with not having many members in our Elders quorum. For our activity we cooked some Argentine food (asado and chori pan) which are two types of meat that are very popular here in Argentina, I am a fan of them both ! After we ate, they ( the members ) played some soccer. We as missionaries have a mission rule that we can only play soccer with other missionaries, so Elder Grant and I just ended up watching. It was pretty funny though because as we were watching I was secretly cheering for Daniel and hoping that they would let him score a goal. You know what I am trying to say…so that he would feel good and get even more excited for his baptism! Anyway he played like a champ, so I was content. Also this week we had interviews with President Benton. He is amazing! I had a good interview, he is very happy with the success we are having here in Billinghurst. Just before we were leaving our interviews to head back to our area it started to rain again, like I have never seen before. Within minutes the streets were flooded. We tried waiting for a while but it was not looking like it was going to stop any time soon, so we left and headed for the bus stop were we waited an hour for the next bus to arrive. It was late due to the rain. We finally arrived in our area and the streets there were even worse. All the water flows downhill into our area, the side walks were covered with water, and even some houses had water enter them as well. We tried taking different streets but there was no way we were able to make it to our apartment without walking through the river in the middle of the streets. We decided to go for it, I was able to make it to the apartment a little dryer than Elder Grant, you will have to ask him why. I know I still have quite a few people on my list of those to write and I am going to try and write some letters and give them to Elder Grant and he can give them to you. I will let you know how that goes, it all depends on if I have any time. Elder Bednar and Elder Snow this Thursday! Thanks for all your love and support, I am going to try and send a few pictures so I hope you get them. Take care, I look forward to hearing from you soon. Con amor, Elder Brooks. Mom- sounds as if your talk was awesome, glad to hear that. Thanks for your suggestion as to items that i may need , but looks like I am good with everything, I have enough clothes for P-days, and I have a hand gripper, just some things like crest toothpaste, Listerine, visine, pictures, thanks mom love you!

Monday, November 9, 2009

The Book of Mormon, a Powerful Blessing!!!!

Dear Family and Friends, It sounds like eveything is going well. We also had a good week here in Billinghurst as we were able to have the baptism for Veronica and her two children, Nahuel and Belen! The baptism went really well and I was privlidged to baptize Nahuel, he is awesome, he is 11 years old and about to turn 12. It is amazing to see the change in the lives of those that we are teaching, they are definitely examples to me! We also have another baptism planned for this Saturday for an investigator named Daniel! Daniel is in his fifties, and has a burning desire to learn about the gospel like I have never seen before. The first few weeks we were teaching him he did not come to church but now he is coming to church every week, participating in all the classes, attending baptisms, and most importantly reading in the Book of Mormon. He is anxiously waiting for his baptism this Saturday along with us. Also some more good news from this week is that I received a package from Mom! I received the package Tuesday at our district meeting which was also the day of Veronica, Nahuel, and Belen´s baptism, lets just say Tuesday was a really good day! I will admit that night after the baptism we went home to open the package and celebrate. It definitely was a package from my mother, it was perfect, she knows me too well! Thanks mom. Mom- I love you! It sounds like you have your talk for conference ready, that’s awesome. I am sure it is stressful with everything going on but hang in there mom, you were called to give the talk for a reason, someone needs to hear your message. The only advice I have for your talk is share something from the Book of Mormon (scripture or story) and bear your testimony. The Book of Mormon is the word of God and testifies of Jesus Christ, it is very powerful and a blessing in our lives. Do not worry mom you are going to do great! Alright so last suggestions for the Christmas package: Crest toothpaste ( they have toothpaste here but not Crest) any kind or flavor, Listerine ( they have it here but its an item I use a lot, and pictures ( maybe some of the pictures we took from the MTC or whenever, I still do not have pictures of my family and people always ask) I appreciate the pictures from the emails but there is not really a way to print them off I think it would be easier if you sent some. Well mom thanks for everything look forward to hearing from you soon. Con amor, Elder Brooks. Dad- Hey dad thanks for the dear elder I received one this last Tuesday. I was thinking if you could send one dear elder every month or so of a story, maybe from something that you have read or heard (sports, church,…) that can be applied to the gospel, and then I can use it in my lessons and such. I think it would help and make some of the lessons a little more interesting. I appreciate all you have done for me dad, your continual support and love. Take care, and have a great week, I look forward to hearing from you soon. Con amor, Elder Brooks.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Still Raining, or rather i should say " Pouring Blessings" !!!!

Dear Family and Friends, Hey sounds like everyone is doing well and had a pretty good Halloween. Honestly I forgot all about Halloween, we have been busy working here in Billinghurst and also they just do not celebrate Halloween here. Well the baptism was very nice! Susana, well here actual name is Mercedes, was able to get baptized this week, receive the Holy Ghost, share her testimony in church, and complete her first fast as this past Sunday was fast Sunday!! She does it all hah! She really has a lot of faith and is a great example. She is our newest member in the Billinghurst Branch and she is going to be a very strong member. Like I have mentioned she fasted this past weekend and bore her testimony during the sacrament meeting. The weather has been changing on us pretty good here in Buenos Aires, it has been pretty humid and rainy. This past week was the last week to go to the temple here in Buenos Aires as they well be closing it for quite some time as I think they are looking to expand and add more to it. The members were trying to go as much as possible, trying to go and visit one last time. I got thinking of how sometimes we do not really realize our blessings until they are taken away. Everyone knew that the temple was going to close so everyone tried to make it their priority to go. What if they did not know that the temple was going to close, would it have still been their priority? What are our priorities? I am very grateful for this opportunity to serve and for those who have given me this opportunity. This transfer we have the opportunity to hear from Elder Bednar, as he will be coming to our mission and will speak to us in Ramos Mejia, November 19th! Things are going pretty well here in Billinghurst. Elder Grant and I continue to work hard and find those who are ready here in Billinghurst. We have a baptism planned for tomorrow. A mother, Veronica, and her two children, Nahuel and Belen. They are pretty excited for their baptism just as we are. We have also been able to find a few more investigators so we are interested to return and help them get to know the gospel of Jesus Christ. I appreciate your love and support and look forward to hearing form you soon. Con amor, Elder Brooks. Mom- speaking in stake conference? That is pretty nice. Christmas, I am not sure what to ask for, still looking for the birthday package. I know that I do not need music , maybe some peanut butter since its been a while since I had a PB& J sandwich. I love you.

Slideshow of Elder Brooks' Mission

Cameron reads his mission call

Flag of Argentina

Flag of Argentina
The national flag of Argentina dates from 1812. The full flag featuring the sun is called the Official Ceremonial Flag (Spanish: Bandera Oficial de Ceremonia). The Official Ceremony Flag is the civil, state and war flag and ensign. The sun, called the Sun of May, is a replica of an engraving on the first Argentine coin, approved in 1813, whose value was eight escudos (one Spanish dollar). It has 16 straight and 16 waved sunbeams. According to tradition, during the Argentine War of Independence General Manuel Belgrano was commanding a battle near Rosario. He noticed that both the Crown's forces and the independence forces were using the same colors (Spain's yellow and red). After realizing this, Belgrano created a new flag using the colors that were used by the Criollos during the May Revolution in 1810. The flag was hoisted for the first time in Buenos Aires atop the Saint Nicholas of Bari Church on August 23, 1812. - Ref: