Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Mauro's Baptism

Dear Family, Hey it is good to hear from you! First I would like to thank the Cope Family for the very nice package! It is filled with some very good stuff, thanks! The pictures were nice, everyone is looking great and those kids are growing up fast! Also, I was able to receive a dear elder from Aunt Diane and Justin Brooks. Everything is going well here in Argentina, yes it is starting to heat up here. Mom, thanks for the updates in your email. Sounds like you had a little missionary week as you were able to have dinner with my last companion, Cameron Grant as well as attend Shane Palmers homecoming, that is pretty nice! This week we had a baptism for Mauro who is eleven years old. Mauro comes from a family who are also members but have been in-active. As we have been teaching Mauro we have been able to not only see the change in Mauro, but also in his family. Mauro is awesome! Mauro loves when we come over to teach. Mauro has been an example to me since I have met him. Every time we come over he is ready. Also, he makes sure we have something to drink so he usually makes us some juice, and when we finish a glass he is right there to refill your glass with more juice. The baptism went well. Not many members were able to attend but we had enough and Mauro had great support from his family. One of Mauro´s family members was able to baptize Mauro. The next day Mauro was confirmed a member of the Church and was able to receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. Also Sunday I had the opportunity to give a talk in church. I was given the topic of the Restoration. I tried tying the message of the restoration with the baptism of Mauro. I felt like my talk went well and received a few compliments. So Christmas is coming up soon and as you know we have the chance to call home. I believe I will be calling home on the 25th of December and I will try and let you know a time around which I will be calling this next week in my e-mail. I am going to buy a phone card like I did with our call on mothers day. What number should I call? Please email the information such as the number. Remember we only have 40 minutes to talk so if you have questions right them down. For Christmas I am not exactly sure what we will be doing but on the 21st we will be meeting together as a mission to eat and celebrate. Thanks for all of your support. I look forward to hearing from you soon. Con amor, Elder Brooks.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Thanks to all our Mother's!!!!

Hi mom and thanks for your wonderful letter it is always good hearing form you! Sounds as if you had a pretty enjoyabe Thanksgiving. Tell Aunt Diane Happy Birthday / Feliz CumpleaƱos! Sounds like the new ward is hanging in there. Are we still known as the Palo Verde Ward? I enjoy that you share the activities you have in the young womens program with me. I remember the activities i had when I was in the young mens program, they were always amazing. Thanks go out to the leaders i had as they also were able to have great activities which brought great experiences, and most importantly the spirit. Its fun to think that you are now one of those leaders. I know you are a great example to those young women and am sure you are having fun as well. I know it can be stressful at times with everything going on but if you continue making your to-do lists, yes you know those lists you used to always give me, things will get done. One thing that I have seen while on my mission is the importance of being organized and having plans. In the mission there is always something for us to do, even when we feel like we are just walking around tracting all day. I believe the better we are organized, the more we give ourselves to be guided by the spirit. It may be hard to understand the young women at times, and not just because they are girls with all that comes with those teenage years, but as you have been set apart for this calling the spirit will guide you to their needs. Also, looking back on youth activities I can see how greatly blessed I have been. In the area I am serving now, as a new branch, there are not many members which does not give the youth, which also there are not many, many opportunities to have activities. However, I have been very impressed with the faith of the youth here because although they do not have many of the same opportunities i had, they still make the most of what they have and continue to attend church as much as possible. Mom I am very grateful for all that you have given to me and also all that you have taught me, it has really helped me during this time I have been serving. Everything is going well here in Billinghurst. Elder Garcia and I, we are getting along well and working hard. We are pretty excited for Mauro´s baptism this Saturday. Tomorrow we have a zone conference, so we are also looking forward to that. I will let you know when I receive those packages and also I will let you know when I will be calling home for Christmas. Tell dad thanks for the updates and I will be looking for his dear elder letter. Have a great week, look forward to hearing from you soon! Con amor, Elder Brooks.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Music To Our Ears.

Dear Family and Friends, It is always good to hear from everyone and sounds as if you enjoyed the Thanksgiving Holiday! I am glad to hear you were able to attend Cameron Grants homecoming and sounds like he did a fine job. If you get the chance to speak with him tell him thanks for the shout out and also thanks for the picture! So this past transfer we were blessed and ended with five baptisms, and so far we have one planned for this transfer. His name is Mauro, he is about 11 years old and is a child from a less active family. However, as we have been teaching Mauro his family has been getting more involved and have also been attending church with him. Unfortunately this past Sunday he and his family did not make it to church along with many other investigators and members due to the rain. Elder Garcia and I left the apartment early Sunday morning to go look for some of our investigators we invited during the week to go to church with us. We passed by a few of our investigators homes but no one answered. We then decided to start walking towards the church in order that we would make it there on time. Due to the rainstorm some of the streets were rivers and we had no choice but to walk through them. Maybe if Elder Grant was here I could have used him and kept myself a little drier. We ended up paying for a remise (taxi) to take us to the church. Although we were soaked we arrived just in time for church. Elder Garcia and I had a pretty productive week. Working with a new branch and just a few members keeps us quite busy. Although there are not many members they are always willing in trying to help in any way they can so we are very grateful. Right now we are searching diligently to find some new investigators to teach. We have been fortunate enough to find a few investigators, so we are looking forward to see how they will progress. The other day Elder Garcia and I were walking and passing by the people we planned the night before to visit. We went through our list of visits pretty fast, no one was home or no one wanted to listen. We decided to walk to towards a different area in our zone. After quite a bit of walking, a kid from the street shouted, “hey elders.” Music to our ears! We went over and began to talk and came to realize that he and his mother are members of the church but it has been a while since they have been to church. What a blessing! We look forward to helping them and bring the gospel back into their home. Thanks for all of your support, it is always great to hear from you. I am still working on writing letters so I will try and get some out soon. I hope you have a great week, i look forward to hearing from you soon. Con amor, Elder Brooks.

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: Wikipedia.com