Wednesday, December 29, 2010
Dear Family, Hey! It was great hearing and seeing you during the video chat! Everyone looks great and it sounds like everyone is doing good. I appreciate all of your love and support. We had a great Christmas here and now we are getting ready for the new year. I love the new year it's a great time to put down some new plans and new goals. What are some of your goals for the new year? We have a pretty busy week with interviews with President Benton and then having our combined meeting with the zone leaders and President Benton this week. I love the mission and I am very grateful for the opportunity to serve. I love you and I am praying for. Have a great week and I look forward to hearing from you soon. Con amor, Elder Brooks.
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
Dear Family, Hey its great to hear from you and sounds like everyone is getting ready for Christmas! Sorry I have not been able to write to you sooner but we have been prettty busy with everthing that is going on this week. This last Monday we had our big mission Christmas P-Day and it turned out very well. I sent you a picture of the staff that we took during p-day I hope you like it. I am guessing you are wondering at what time I will be calling this Christmas? I am not sure, I am pretty flexible and should have the chance to call whenever is best for you. I was thinking you can talk with each other and give me a time that would be best to call you. Please send me an email and let me know. I love you and I look forward to hearing from you. I will try and prepare myself for Moms questions, hah! I appreciate all of your support and I am very grateful for this opportunity I have been given to serve. Have a great week and know that I am praying for you. Con amor, Elder Brooks.
Monday, December 13, 2010
Dear Family, Hey it sounds like everything is going well and everyone seems to be staying busy. I am not sure if I mentioned in the last letter home but I received the package from mom and a few cards from Dad, Beckie, Mackenzie, Isaac, and Nellie. I just wanted to make sure and let you know i received them and say thanks again. Last week we stayed busy and this week we have a rather busy schedule with missionary interviews with President Benton as well as preparing for our Christmas P-day that we will be having this upcoming Monday. This last week went really well as we went to Chivilcoy to have missionary interviews with President Benton and the missionaries that work in Chivilcoy which is located pretty far from the mission office, its basically considered the country part of Argentina. After the interviews Elder Palacios and I stayed to do divisiones with the zone leaders Elder Baldomero, a former companion of mine and Elder Latorre. The divisiones went very well and it was great to work with Elder Baldomero again. He is a great Elder. The highlight of this week was a baptism that we had for one of our investigators named Adriana Graciela Lezcano! A couple of weeks ago as we were ending our day Elder Palacios and I did one more contact before going home, and that is when we met Adriana. At the time Adriana did not want to talk neither did she want to listen but we set up an appointment to pass by another day. The lord was preparing Adriana to hear our message. We began to talk to her and get to know her. As we shared the gospel with her she felt that this is what she needed in her life. Adriana is a great example and has a great testimony. She was so excited for her baptism, when we visited her she always told us she was just waiting for the day. This past Saturday the day arrived and Adriana was baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. The baptism went very well and the spirit was very strong. I am grateful for having met Adriana and for the faith that she has and her desires to follow our Saviour Jesus Christ. I love the mission. I appreciate your love and your support. I am praying for you. I look forward to hearing from you soon. I will you know with more details about Christmas and at what time I will be calling! I love you have a great week. Con amor Elder Brooks.
Tuesday, December 7, 2010
Dear Family, Hey it sounds like everything is going well back home and a thanks for all your letters, emails, and also a special thanks to mom for the package that you sent me! The package was filled with some good stuff of which the office staff and myself were able to thoroughly enjoy. Because of time constraints I was only able to briefly read your letters, since it was this week that we started a new transfer. Monday we held our transfer meeting. We have been really busy and I apologize for not writing sooner but I will try and fill you in on what we have been up to lately. This past week we have been preparing for transfers and planning it with President Benton. It's the truth that President Benton is the best of the best, he truly is an amazing man and we are very grateful to have him here leading and serving with us. This transfer as we planned with President Benton we had the opportunity to pray together and search for inspiration about what the mission needs, what the missionaries need, and what the investigators need. The spirit was very strong and we were able to understand better, as we contiuned to pray to our Heavenly Father his purpose. Monday we held our transfer meeting and I was given the opportunity to direct ( conduct ) the meeting. It was a great experience and turned out rather nice, if i may say so myself. After our transfer meeting we took the missionaries that are finishing their missions to the mission home and they had their last meal with President Benton.They then were able to share their testimonies after which we then took those missionaries to the airport and sent them home. Today, Tuesday after waking up we went to the airport to pick up the new missonaries arriving at the airport and also the new missionaries arriving from the MTC that is located here in Argentina. The new missionaries are an amazing group and they all have a really strong spirit as well as great desires to start to work and serve the Lord. This is a bit of an update on whats going on in the BAW mission. Our office staff is amazing and now we just added a new secretary of materials, Elder Bennett from Boston, Mass. We are really excited for this new transfer and especially excited to take up and accomplish the challenge that President Benton has set forth for us this transfer to all read the entire Book of Mormon before the end of this transfer. I am grateful for this opportunity to participate in the Lords work and serve those here in Argentina. Thanks for your continued love and support. I love you and I am praying for you. Have a great week, I look forward to hearing from you soon. Con amor, Elder Brooks.
Monday, November 29, 2010
Dear Family, Hey!, sounds like everyone is doing great! Thanks for your letters, birthday packages, and pictures! The truth is this was hands down the best birthhday. On my birthday President Benton came over to the office in the morning and made breakfast! Two other missionaries Elder Hughes and Elder Quackenbush had their birthdays the same day so they came over as well and we had a big american style breakfast, pancakes, bacon, and sausage it was soooo good, probably the best breakfast I have had on my mission. All of the elders from the mission office sang happy birthday to us. I received the package from dad that had some party favor type things to celebrate my birthday which worked out well. We all got to together and had a little party. Also the Valle family from a past area Billinghurst, made me an birthday oreo cake and sent it to me via the Sister missionaries who are working there now, Sister Lopez and Sister Lewis. The Valle family is a great family, I love them. But the highlight of my birthday was a phone call I received that night. As we were getting ready to finish up everything at the office I received a call from the Sister missionaries who are working in Billinghurst. They called us updating us about a baptism that they were planning and at the end of our conversation they told me that Antonela the investigator that was preparing to get baptized asked if I could and if i would baptize her! Antonela you may remember was an investigator that we found and taught when I was in Bililnghurst about a year ago. Antonela had desires to get baptized when we were teaching her but she was not married to her husband at the time. A year has now passed and this past week Antonela and Leo got married and Antonela was baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, Friday the 26 of November 2010. She was confirmed a member on Sunday! I am very grateful for the faith that Antonela has shown and for the decision she has made in her life and within her family to follow our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. I am also grateful for the Sister missionaries, Sister Lopez and Sister Lewis and for their persistence, faith, and for helping and preparing Antonela for this amazing step in her life. The spirit was strong during the baptism and I felt very happy for Antonela and her family. I love them and I am grateful for their examples. This week was also special as we had the opportunity to have Thanksgiving dinner in the mission home with President and Sister Benton their family and other invited guests. Dinner was amazing as we had the traditional turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, and pumpkin pie. After dinner we had the opportunity to share out testimonies and express our gratitude for that which our Heavenly Father has given us. It was a great experience and we were all very grateful. Thanks for making my birthday so special and unforgettable. I enjoyed your letters, the package, and pictures. Mackenzie tried to be funny and made me clean up a big mess from her letter that she sent me as glitter confetti flew all over when i opened it, hah!! it was a good birthday gesture and even in spanish. I'll give her credit for that one. Tell her I love her. I am not sure if there is another package on the way as mom mentioned something to the affect that there was another. Also mom had a question about my deferment at BYU, I believe I signed up for this coming spring term. I love you all and I am praying for you. I look forward to hearing from you soon. Have a great week! Con amor, Elder Brooks.
Monday, November 22, 2010
Dear Family, Thanks for all your letters and emails and especially for the birthday package! It's great to hear from everyone and thanks for the birthday letters and packages. The birthday package was very nice and has a lot of cool little stuff to throw a little birthday party with, so we will see what we canl do. Mackenzie even wrote a pretty nice letter. Also the Ludwig family sent me a nice card so please tell them thanks from me. Everything is going well here in Argentina and now the weather is starting to heat up. This past week went well and we had our Stake Conference with Elder Aidukaitis of the Seventy. It was a great opportunity to hear from Elder Aidukaitis. I was able to learn much and the spirit that was present was strong. Saturday during the Priesthood session went really well because he talked about the church mission plan that came down from the first presidency. The plan which will consist of working with 15 families in the ward that can be either inactive, incomplete families, and so forth. I loved as well as really enjoyed our Stake Conference because there was a big focus on missionary work and being prepared and worthy to enter into the temple at all times. I also enjoyed conference for personal reasons as I was able to see many members and converts from my old branch of Billinghurst. Everyone seems to be doing rather well and it was really great to see them. I think it has been almost a year since I served in Billinghurst, WOW! Mom mentioned in her e-mail that she saw a video from the preach my gospel dvd the district 2. I love that dvd, and we use it a lot as we have been teaching the new fundamental principles from preach my gospel. I believe she saw the movie about an investigator named Jynx which is a good one that focuses on the importance of the Book of Mormon. From what we know Jynx is still waiting to get baptized. I still have to look at my trunky papers and fill them out, I will do it this week. This week looks like it will be great week to work and we will also be celebrating Thanksgiving. We will probably be some of the only ones to celebrate Thanksgiving here in Argentina because it is not a holiday here. For Thanksgiving President and Sister Benton have invited us "the staff" to join them for dinner. President and Sister Bentons daughter and her family will be here also for Thanksgiving. I am very grateful for this opportunity to serve our Heavenly Father I love the mission. I know that this is the true church of Jesus Christ. I appreciate your love and support. I am praying for you have a great week. Con amor, Elder Brooks.
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
Dear Family, Hey! It's great to hear from you and sounds like everyone is doing great thanks for your emails and letters. I love hearing how everyone is doing and what everyone is up to, keep staying busy and keep sending pictures. This week went well as we finished all the zone confereces, we were also able to do some divisions with several of the zone leaders. Things are also going pretty well here in the office. The Elders form Ciudadela, Elder Parker and Elder King had a baptism this past Sunday so we are pretty excited for them and they are also rather excited as would be expected. We stay busy here in the offices but we are also trying to use our time wisely and work in our areas more and more. The Lord continues to bless us. We are very grateful for what we have been able to accomplish and we look forward to working hard and effectively with the time that we are given. The Elders from Haedo, the secretaries Elder Millard and Elder Rodriguez are also doing well in their area and they stay pretty busy in the offices so we are very impressed with their examples and their service. This weekend we have Stake Conference and Elder Aidukaitis from the Seventy will be attedning so we are preparing for that this week. Now that the zone conferences are over it looks as if will have more time to work in our area and do divisions with the other missionaries. Elder Palacios and myself are doing well. He is a great companion and a great example for me. He really does a good job with explaining everything that we have to do here in the office and we are always thinking of things that we can improve on. Elder Palacios also was pretty big into sports before the mission as he was very competative with soccer. He played a lot and he was given the chance to continue and play professionaly but he decided to serve a mission. All of his family are members and his father works for the church. His dad is a architect and he was given the opportunity to design the temple in Santiago, Chile were they are from and now I believe his dad is working with the temple that is being built in Concepcion, Chile. The temple here in Argentina is still being reconstructed and I am not exactly quite sure when it should be finished but they say within a year. I love the mission and I love the gospel of Jesus Christ. I know that Jesus Christ is our Savior and that with faith in Jesus Christ everything is possible. Thanks for your love and support, I am praying for you. I look forward to hearing from you soon. Have a great week. Con amor, Elder Brooks.
Monday, November 8, 2010
Dear Family, Thanks to all for your emails and your letters as it sounds like everyone is doing great back home. Mom, thanks for the pictures as it looks like halloween turned out pretty well with all those little trick or treaters. The work is going great here in Buenos Aires and the weather is starting to warm up too. This week went really well as we started our zone conference meetings and we had a baptism as well in our area of Caseros 2! Let me just say It takes some time to prepare the zone conference but should i say they have been turning out really good. President Benton and Sister Benton have given some powerful messages for us missionaries to help motivate and keep us focused on the work at hand. The Lord continues to bless us each and everyday. As a companionship we have been pretty busy but the Lord was able to lead us to those that were ready and waiting for our message. This is what happened when we showed up to Eduardo and Noemi´s house about three weeks ago. Eduardos mother, Bilma, was baptized a few months ago but the missionaries never really got a chance to meet her son Eduardo who lives on the second floor of Bilmas house with his own family, which includes his wife Noemi, and their three boys. A few weeks ago we randomly began to speak to a boy in the street by the name of Martin. The conversation went well and he ended up telling us that his grandma, Bilma, was recently baptized and that he lives above her home with his family. The following week we were working once again in our area at night and about to wrap things up and head back home. With a little time left we decided to stop by one more house, that being the Aguirre Family. We climbed up the stairs and knocked on the door, That's when we met Eduardo and Noemi Aguire. They kindly let us in their home and we were able to get to know them. They explained to us some of the situations that they were dealing with in their lives and in their family. They then explained that they needed something to help save them. That's when we were able to share our message with them about the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ. We explained the importance of the family as well as the importance of prayer. Eduardo and Noemi understood everything clearly and then and there commited to start praying to ask if our message was true. As they continued to pray, read, study, and attend church, Eduardo and Noemi were able to receive the answers they sought and have begun to see and feel the blessings of the gospel in their lives. But most importantly with in their own family. Every lesson there was an incredibly strong spirit as well as strong emotions. Eduardo and Noemi have faith in our Saviour and in his gospel and I am grateful for having been able to meet with them and help them to find and experience the blessings of the gospel. I love them and I love their family. They treat us very well, always trying to invite us to stay and eat, they are both very good cooks, we love their food. Eduardo and Noemi have decided to follow our Savior Jesus Christ and I know he was calling to them. Also we had the oportunity to baptize Mauro who comes from a family who is strong in the church but not all are active right now. We had the pleasure to eat lunch with Mauro and his family and that's when we were able to invite him to be baptized. Mauro recently turned 9 years old and he knows allot about the gospel and loves reading the scriptures. What a privilege it is to participate in the work of The Lord. I love this mission. I love this gospel. I know this to be the true Church of Jesus Christ. I appreciate your love and your support. I love you and I am praying for you. Elder Rodriguez just handed me what they call "trunky papers" they are papers that I have to fill out and explains the process about getting everything ready to go back home. I will try and read it later and fill you in. Tell Elder Squires congratulations what a great missionary. I am still waiting for the package dad sent and I will let you know also when that arrives. Have a great week I look forward to hearing from you soon. Con amor, Elder Brooks.
Monday, November 1, 2010
Dear Family, Hey, its great to hear from you and sounds like everyone is doing great. Happy Halloween, unfortunately there is no Halloween here in Argentina but that's good to hear that it is still celebrated. I'm sure everyone has a bunch of halloween candy that can not be found here in Argentina. Everything is going well here and we have been able to get a little more sleep this week. I love the mission and I am grateful for the opportunity I have been given to serve here in Argentina. President Benton and Sister Benton finished their seminar this past week with Elder Andersen from the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles along with some other members of the Seventy and leaders from the area. President Benton was able to share a little about what took place and what they did in the seminar and it seems like it was a great spiritual and motivating experience. He was in the seminar for a total of four days during the week, along side and seated next to an apostle of the Lord Elder Andersen, words were not enough to express the experience. He mentioned the love that Elder Andersen has for all the mission presidents and all the missionaries. President and Sister Benton were very grateful for the experience. We were not able to participate in the seminar but we are looking forward to hearing more and how it went and what we will be applying. This week we start zone conferences and we will be going around to all the zones and having conferences with the missionaries. We are in charge of getting everything set up, the program, food for the conferences, preparing our own message/ workshop as well as other tasks. We are pretty excited for the conferences and we look forward to learnig from all the missionaries. They are the best and I am grateful for them as they truly are examples too me and I continue to learn more and more from them. As far as things go in our area in Caseros 2 things are going well and we have a family and a few other investigators that are preparing to be baptized. Their faith is really strong in our Saviour Jesus Christ and I know that Heavenly Father will bless them becasue of their faith. Also I am not sure if I mentioned this but during transfers we received a new Elder in the office. Elder Angulo, secretary to President Benton finished his time in the office and was transfered out to an area called Bragado. Now we have a new secretary, Elder Rodriguez from San Antonio, Texas. When I was in Billinghurst Elder Rodriguez had just started his mission and we were in the same zone. Elder Rodriguez knows my cousin Justin Brooks and if he remembers well he said Justin served in his ward in San Antonio. Elder Rodriguez is a great Elder and we are excited to work with him here in the office. I appreciate your love and support. I am praying for you. I know that through constant prayer we can receive the guidance from our Heavenly Father. I look forward to hearing from you soon and seeing some of those pictures! Have a great week! Con amor, Elder Brooks.
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
Dear Family, Hey! It's great to hear from you and sounds like everyone is doing great! We had a busy week and everything seemed to turn out quite well. This past week we held our transfer meeting on Wednesday and the whole mission was ableto get together here in Ramos Mejia. We were able to finish planning with President Benton, Elder Palacios, the office staff, and myself finished getting everything ready for transfers. There is shall i say, a bit of work that goes into transfers and there is not that much sleep hah. It is amazing how the Lord continues to bless us with the strength that we need each day. I am very grateful for my Heavenly Father and the strength that he gave me this past week, it truly was a blessing. This past Sunday the 17th of October was also celebrated as Mothers Day here in Argentina and together as a staff and as a mission we were able to plan a little something special for Sister Benton. Each transfer meeting we have the opportunity to go up and shake President and Sister Bentons hand and say hi. We decided that this time each missionary would bring a flower for Sister Benton and tell her happy Mothers Day. It turned out very well and Sister Benton was very suprised and also very grateful as she told us that she has never received so many flowers like this before. The transfer meeting turned our well and also the spirit was strong with the messages from President and Sister Benton. When I have more time I would like to explain more about transfer meeting and what we have to do to plan and get everything ready, I am sure mom already has questions hah so Ill try and fill you in more when I have a little more time. I sent some pictures of the tour that we went on with the missionaries that were going home and also some pictures of the transfer meeting. I appreciate your love and support. I am grateful for the gospel of Jesus Christ in my life and for the opportunity to share the gospel with those around me. I know that this is the true Church of Jesus Christ. I am praying for you, have a great week. Con amor, Elder Brooks. Mom- I love you Dad- Ill let you know when I get the package thanks I love you
Monday, October 18, 2010
Dear Family, Hey! Sounds like everyone is doing great and thanks for you letters, emails, and pictures. Everything is going great here in Argentina. This past week was pretty packed and busy with all the interviews, meetings, planning the transfers with President Benton, and working in our area. This past week we were not able to work as much we would have liked to in our area but we feel good with that which we were able to do. This past Sunday Julia Herbas was confirmed a member of the Church of Jesus Christ! The confirmation went very well and the spirit was strong. Julia was very grateful and very happy. We had a very nice sacrament meeting and I also was given the opportunity to speak. I was able to talk about missionary work and the importance of sharing the gospel with everyone. I was able to share a few scriptures, experiences, and share my testimony. I received some very nice comments from our members and investigators which was nice. I love the members here and I am very grateful for the assignment to serve with them. Also during the week we had the opportunity to have a tour in the capital with the Elders who are finishing their missions this week. Every missionary has the opportunity to go on the tour before finishing their mission which gives them the priviledge to see the capital and get to know a little more of the culture and history of Argentina. I will try to send some of those pictures when I get a chance. President Benton continues to amaze me as I continue to learn from him. This week we were able to plan transfers together and the spirit was very strong and helped us as we made a few changes in the mission. We have had a very nice transfer but it has also been short as we are having our transfer meeting this coming Wednesday. We had to move our transfer meeting up a week earlier because of a mission seminar that President Benton will be attending. We are pretty excited for this transfer as we have set some new goals and plans to help us complete our purpose as representatives of Jesus Christ. I am grateful for this opportunity that I have been given to serve and represent out Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I testify that this is the true church of Jesus Christ. I appreciate your love and support. Have a great week I am praying for you. Con amor, Elder Brooks.
Monday, October 11, 2010
Dear Family, Hey! It's great to hear from you and sounds like everyone is doing great. Thanks for your emails and letters, I received a letter from Dad and Mackenzie and I should have time to read them today. Everything is going well here in Argentina and the work is also going well in our mission as we just had a "día de diez" which is a phrase in spanish here that means a really great day. This last Sunday was the 10th of October of 2010, 10/10/2010. In the mission we set a goal a while ago to have every area in the mission have a baptism on this unique and special day. This past week was jam packed and spiritual as well. We fasted as a mission and focused on helping our investigators prepare to be baptized. We are very grateful for what we were able to accomplish as we had a total of 56 baptism, all in our mission! Although we were not able to acheive our ultimate goal we feel very blessed and humble for the miracles we were able to see as a mission. Elder Palacios and myself were also able to see the miracle of our Heavenly Father as we prepared Julia Herbas to be baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ. We found Julia last Saturday, the 2nd of October as we assisted some of our investigators attending general confernce. As we were walking to one of our investigators house we saw Julia and her family entering her house and we decided to contact them and invite them to general conference. At that time we did not know Julia but as we talked and got to know her we found out that her daughter is a member of the Church. Julia is from Bolivia and she is 63 years old and has a few kids that are members of the church that live in Bolivia and also one here in Argentina. Julia has been staying with her daughter Rosaesela here as things have not been going well with Rosaesela and here family. When we met with them Saturday we were able to tell that something was amiss and that they needed to attend conference. After talking with them and testifying of the gospel Julia, Rosaesela and her boyfriend and kids came with us to watch general conference. Julia was able to feel the spirit and Rosaesela was able to recognize that she needed the gospel back in her family even though her boyfriend is not currently a member, and her two kids are not old enough to be baptized. The following week after general conference we continued to visit Julia and we invited her to prepare herself to receive the belssings of the gospel in her family by being baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ on the 10 de October, 2010. Julia used to listen to the missionaries in Bolivia when her kids were preparing to be baptized but was not able to be baptized with were family at that time. Julia has a lot of faith and was able to receive and recognize her answer as she asked our Heavenly Father in prayer if this was the true Church of Jesus Christ and if she would receive the blessings of the gospel by being baptized. The 10th of October of 2010 Julia Herbas was baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ! I am very grateful for Julia and the faith that she has exhibited as she has chose to follow our Savior Jesus Christ. It looks like we will be staying busy this week as we will be finishing missionary interviews with President Benton, divisions, working in the office, working in our area, and start planning for transfers with President Benton. Tonight we are going to the mission home to have dinner with President Benton, the staff, and Elder Evans and his family. Elder Evans was one of the other assistants and was a really great missionary and example for me and for the mission. His family has recently arrived and he will be spending his last week with his family here in Argentina. I am grateful for your love and support. I love the mission and I am grateful for the opportunity to represent our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Have a great week. I am praying for you, glad to her Beckie, Isaac, and Mackenzie are ok with the car accident and everyone else. Did Mackenzie receive my email that I sent a week or two ago? Tell her to write me when she gets a chance. I would like more updates and pics about Homecoming. Mom I love you thanks for your email. I was given the opportunity to write a message in "el sol" for this week and I invite you to read it when you have the chance. Have a great week. Con amor, Elder Brooks.
Monday, October 4, 2010
Dear Family, Hey! It's great to hear from you and sounds like everyone is doing great and enjoyed General Conference. Everything is going well here in Argentina and we were also able to enjoy General Conference, I relished hearing the inspired messages of our beloved prophet President Thomas S. Monson as well as the other leaders of the church. We were able to watch General Conference here in Ramos Mejia which happens to be the Stake center for the West Stake. We were pretty excited and very grateful for the turn out that we had at General Conference as we had many investigators who were able to attend. In total we had 323 investigators in our mission that attended this years General Conferece! We know that this was a great opportunity for those investigators to hear from a living prophet, to feel the spirit, and to feel the love of our Heavenly Father. I loved conference and the many messages that were given. I was able to learn, strengthen my testimony, and feel of our Heavenly Fathers love that he has for us. I had a nice experience in conference that I would like to share with you. After we arrived to watch conference, we sat down with a few of our investigators and we prepared ourselves to watch conference. Shortly after sitting down I recognized several familiar faces of a few people sitting in the front row watching conference as well. Daniel Gomez, a convert from one of my old areas Billinghurst, was sitting up front watching and taking notes. Daniel was also accompanied with three young men, Kevin, David, and Alan. You may recall a former companion of mine Elder Garcia and I had found David and Alan in my last weeks of work in Billinghusrt, they were baptized shorty after I left Billinghurst. Daniel was with another member from Billinghurst who was inactive during the time while I was in Billinghurst but we began helping him and his family find again their faith in Jesus Christ shortly before I had left. This family also had a few members from their family who were not members but now they have recently been baptized as well into The church of Jesus Christ. It was awesome to see them and see their faith in the Lord as they attended all of general conference. I can understand better how Alma felt when he gathered with the sons of Mosiah. "Alma did rejoice exceedingly to see his brethern, and what added more to his joy, they were still brethern in the Lord, yea, and they had waxed strong in the knowledge of the truth" (Alma 17:3). I know that this is the true Church of Jesus Christ and that we have the true gospel of Jesus Christ. The gospel continues to bless my life and also the lives of many others. I know that the gospel of Jesus Christ is for everyone and that it blesses the lives of all those that live it. I appreciate your love and support. Have a great week. I am praying for you. Con amor, Elder Brooks.
Monday, September 27, 2010
Dear Family, Hey! Thanks for your letters and your updates. It sounds like everyone is doing well. Happy birthday Nellie! Wow little Nellie just turned three years old and Mackenzie is picking out a homecoming dress. They are growing up way too fast. Everything is going well here in Argentina and the weather has been quite nice as winter has ended. This past week we stayed busy as we have been traveling to different zones during the week with President Benton. He is having interviews with the missionaries. During the Presidents interviews we have been trying to make good use of the time and have been doing lesson practices with the missonaries. Also we have been doing alot of divisions with the missionaries. Usually Elder Palacios and I go to a zone and we do divisions with the zone leaders and the traveling assistants do divisions with other missionaries of that zone. It has been a great opportunity to be around the other missionaries and learn from them as they continue to motivate me and strengthen my testimony. This past week I was able to see a miracle from our Heavenly Father as Isabel Puerta was baptized and confirmed a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. A few months ago you may recall Elder Aidukaitis, a member of the Seventy came to our mission to talk to us and train us in the Lords work. My companion Elder Bunn and I arrived in Ramos Mejia for the meeting and we were pretty excited. Elder Aidukaitis was still in a meeting with another group of missionaries and asked our group to go out and proselyte for a little while and then meet back in an half an hour. We paired off with our companions and we worked close to the church here in Ramos Mejia as we waited for Elder Aidukaitis to finish his meeting. We were able to contact and invite a few people to listen to our message. Just before returning back to the church in Ramos Mejia we contacted Isabel Puerta outside in the street. Isabel was outside in the street looking through a trash can/ trash dumpster. We contacted Isabel and invited her to listen to our message. We continued to teach Isabel outside and we were able to feel the spirit of The Lord as we taught her. Isabel then explained to us that she was passing through a difficult time in her life and with her family. We continued to teach her and explain more about our message of the restoration and how it would change and bless her life. Isabel was very interested, we said a prayer with and for her and gave her a little booklet to read about the restoration. Isabel gave us her contact address and invited us to pass by to continue to teach her more. Elder Bunn and I returned to the office in Ramos Mejia and gave the missionaries there her referral information. Since we lived in a different area Isabel continued to receive other missionaries at her home to learn more. Soon after, she began to attend church regularly in a city called Ciudadela. Elder King and Elder Parker were the missionaries who work in the area of Ciudadela as well as work in the office continued teaching her the lessons. When I arrived in the mission office last week Elders King and Parker told me about how they contacted the referral of Isabel that we had left a few months ago and they explained to me that she was preparing to get baptized with her two kids. I was amazed and grateful for the faith of Isabel and her family. I had the opportunity to talk to Isabel and congradulate her for the decision that her and her family have made. She gave me many thanks and the spirit was strong and testified to me that this is the Lords work and that this is his chuch. I was later informed that the day that we contacted Isabel in the street near the trash can she was looking for food for her family and she explained that when she saw us she saw two angels. I know that our Heavenly Father loves us. I am grateful for the opportunity that he has given me to serve and represent his son Jesus Christ. I know that he has a plan for each and everyone of us. Have faith. I appreciate your love and your support. I am praying for you. Have a great week, I look forward to hearing from you soon. Con amor, Elder Brooks.
Thursday, September 23, 2010
Dear Family, Sounds like everyone is doing well and staying busy. I appreciate your love and support. We personally are working hard in our area, coupled with our work responsibilities in the mission office keeps us busy . I would like to fill you in on what is going on here in the office and what we do, and also our daily work schedule. But first I would like to share a miracle that I was able to experience the last week in my prior area of Loma Grande before being transfered into Caseros 2. The miracle began in the first week of work while in Loma Grande after our sacrament meeting. After sacrament meeting ended my companion Elder Vita and myself were checking to see if there were any other investigators that attended church that we did not know or have record of. As we were talking with the Bishop we found out that there were a few names we might check up on. One of the names he mentioned to us was Hugo Romero. The Romero Family is a rather large family that was baptized about two years ago. Their baptism two years ago consisted of Mirta Romero, who is the mother of the family along with a few of her children. The two years since they were baptized a few other children from the family have been baptized as well. However, Hugo Romero, the father was not interested but gave permission for his family to join the church. Hugo has been to church several times within the past two years but he had not expressed any interest in joining the church. Even with all the missionaries that have past by within the last two years. Also Hugo, has a few addictions and had chosen a different path in his life. As we read in the scriptures we come to know that our Heavenly Father is preparing his children to receive the gospel. "Angels are delcaring it unto many at this time in our land, and this is for the purpose of preparing the hearts of the children of men to receive his word at the time of his coming in his glory" (Alma 13:24). I have been blessed to see the fulfillment of this scripture in the life of Brother Hugo Romero. I mentioned earlier that many missionaries have passed by within the past two years and have invited Hugo to be baptized. But for some reason or other he would decline the invitation by the missionaries to be baptized. The following Sunday we attended church and again Hugo Romero came with his family. After the church meetings we talked to the Romero Family and set a day to pass by and visit with them. They invited us to have lunch with them in which Hugo would also be able to step out from work and eat with us as well. After our lunch we shared a message with them and watched the dvd "The Restoration". The spirit was present and strong and we were able to invite Hugo to be baptized. Hugo accepted our invitation! Hugo then explained to us why he was now ready to except the baptismal invitation. He related this to us by telling us about how he had went to church a few Sundays ago to say goodbye to his family.( permanently ) Hugo had decided that he wanted to leave or abandon his family leaving them alone. He was going to tell them when they got out of their last meeting at the church. As Hugo was waiting for the meetings to end he decided to enter and sit in the sacrament meeting and listen while he waited for his family to come out of their meeting. In that sacrament meeting Hugo heard a testimony from a member that changed his life. The spirit testified to Hugo that the church was true and that this is what he needed in his life. The following Sunday, which was a fast Sunday, Hugo had the opportunity to share his testimony and he did, expressing his willingness to follow the example of Jesus by being baptized in his church, and explained how he wished he wouldnt have waited so long to be baptized. He went on to say he now knows he is on the right path. We continued to pass by Hugo helping him prepare to be baptized. Hugo had an addicition with smoking but with his faith he was able to stop smoking in order to prepare for his baptism. We encouraged Hugo to read in the Book of Mormon and pray every day and in every moment. One night Hugo felt a prompting as he was sleeping, he heard from within "read Alma 2:30". Hugo ignored the prompting the first night but the following night he received the same prompting read "Alma 2:30". At first Hugo did not understand the prompting of the spirit as he was not very familiar with or know much concerning The Book of Mormon. But this time he listened with his spiritual ears and decided to follow the prompting. Hugo began to search from the pages of The Book of Mormon. Hugo read Alma 2:30-31 and received a testimony that The Book of Mormon is true. We continued to prepare Hugo for his baptism and Hugo Romero was baptized September 10, 2010! I am grateful for Hugo Romero and for his faith and desires to follow our Saviour Jesus Christ. I know that the gospel of Jesus Christ will change our lives if we will let it. I know the gospel of Jesus Christ blesses our families as I have seen the blessings in my own family and in the lives of many other families, specifically with the Romero Family. Now to answer a few of your questions. I am currently serving in the mission office which is located in Ramos Mejia. We live in a house a few blocks away. There are two houses connected to one another. In our house the assistants along with the two secretaries live there. As of now there are four assistents, Elder Palacios, Elder Evans, Elder Ibañez, and myself. Elder Evans and Elder Ibañez are the traveling assistants in which they spend most of their time traveling and doing divisiones with the missionaries. Elder Palacios and I work in the office and we also serve in area in which we work, Caseros 2. Caseros is located close to one of my old areas, Billinghurst, it is in the same stake. Elder Palacios served as a sercretary earlier in his mission and is now serving as one of the assistants. This is his second transfer as an assistant and we both have the same time in the mission. The two sercretaries are Elder Angulo and Elder Millard. Also in the office we have Elder King, who handles the finances along with Elder Parker who is in charge of the apartments. Elder King and Elder Parker live in the house that connects to ours. During the week we stay pretty busy as we have conferences, interviews with President Benton, other meetings, and working in our area. This past week we had a baptism for a lady named Josephina Aguirre which went very well. Also President Benton and Sister Benton recently celebrated their birthdays this past week and we went to the mission home which is located in the North Mission in San Isidro. We were able to make breakfast and then we put together a video slideshow. I am very grateful for the opportunity I have been given to serve in this capacity. I appreciate your love and support, I am praying for you. Have a great week and I look forward to hearing from you soon. Con amor, Elder Brooks.
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
Dear Family, I apologize for not being able to write to you yesterday as we had our transfer meeting. The Lord has called me to serve in another area. My time in Loma Grande was short but I am very grateful for the experiences that I was able to learn from and enjoy. The Lord has called me to serve in the mission office as one of the assistants to President Benton. I feel very humbled and at the same time grateful for this opportunity that my Heavenly Father has entrusted to me. We are quite busy here in the office, and we are also working ( proselyting ) in an area called Caseros. My companion is great. I love him, his name is Elder Palacios and he is from Santiago, Chile. I do not have much time to write at the moment but I just wanted to give you a quick update on what is going on. I appreciate your love and your support. I am grateful for our mission president, President Benton. When he called me , he told me, Elder Brooks i want you to know that this calling is not a suprise for the Lord and this is not a suprise for me, the Lord trusts in you and I trust in you. I know that this is the Church of Jesus Christ and I know that we have the true gospel of Jesus Christ. I know our Heavenly Father loves us as I have felt his love for me. Know that I love you and I am praying for you. Have a great week I look forward to writing to you and hearing from you soon. Con amor Elder Brooks. Mom- I love you
Wednesday, September 8, 2010
Dear Family, Hey! It's good to hear from you and sounds like everyone is doing well. Sounds like it's still pretty hot in Las Vegas and it's starting to get a little warmer here in Argentina as well. It rained pretty well this past week but by the end of the week it had stopped raining and it started to warm up. It is usually a pretty nice challenge when it rains here in Loma Grande because the streets get pretty muddy. This past week was very nice as we have seen a progression in some of our investigators. This past week we held a family home evening in the church for the members and for our investigators. Due to the weather conditions not everyone was able to show up but we were suprised on how many did. The day of the family home evening we were in divisions and I was with one of our district leaders Elder Gamboa, from Colombia. Elder Gamboa is a great elder and is getting ready to finish his mission this week. Elder Gamboa and I had a good time during divisions although he was a little sick. For the family home evening night in the church we taught a lesson about the importance of unity. We presented an activity that had to do with unity and they were able to identify the theme of our family home evening. We then talked about the topic of unity, read scriptures about unity, and then made a list of areas where we can improve our unity in our lives, families, and in our ward. The lesson went well as everyone participated and enjoyed. After the lesson we ate some home made pizza which was pretty nice. Also this week we had a fast and testimony meeting in church. The meeting went very well and the spirit was present. Many members, converts, inactive families, and investigators where able to attend. Everyone was wanting to share their testimony even some of the investigators were able to share their testimonies. Their testimonies humble me and strengthen my testimony. I am grateful for each one of them and for the examples they are to me. The spirit was present and strong throughout the meeting and people continued to go up and share their testimonies until we realized we went past the church schedule by fifteen minutes. It was a great experience as we were all able to enjoy the spirit. Everything is going well and Elder Vita and I are doing well and he continues to impress me as he speaks in english. He has been able to progress very well and I am very grateful for his faith and his example. We are excited for this week and we look forward to helping those we are finding and teaching strengthen their faith in our Savior Jesus Christ. I know Jesus Christ is our Savior and that he lives. I am grateful for the gospel of Jesus Christ which continues to stregthen my faith. We have a few investigators that are progressing well and preparing to be baptized and confered. I know that as they strive to live the gospel of Jesus Christ they will receive the strength and blessing from our Heavenly Father. I know beacuse I have felt the strength of our Savior in my life. I pray that I may can continue to live the gospel of Jesus Christ and also to help others live the gospel as well. I appreciate your love and your support. I am praying for you. I hope you have a great week, I look forward to hearing from you soon. Con amor Elder Brooks.
Tuesday, September 7, 2010
Dear Family, Hey it's great to hear from you and sounds like everyone is doing great. Everything seems to be going well here in Argentina and the weather started to warm up a little this past week. I am greatful for this opportunity I have been given to serve my Heavenly Father and His children. This past week went pretty well and we are working with a few investigators and trying to help them overcome their challenges and obtain a testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ. We have been teaching a young girl named Yamila who is nineteen years old and has a baby girl. Yamila is starting to progress as she has been praying, reading in the Book of Mormon, and attending church. Yamila listened to the missionaries before and even knows a little bit of english. Yamila has a little challenge with smoking, she doesn't really know why but at times she finds herself smoking. We have been trying to help her stop smoking and she has been trying to quit. Yamila does not smoke that much only when she is around others and has that temptation. In the situation where she lives she is around people who smoke often. I believe Yamila does not want to smoke but with her situation, where she is living the temptation makes it hard. Yamila has a lot of faith, this psat week we taught her the law of fasting. Yamila never fasted before and she decided that she would give it a try. This past week we fasted with Yamila, it was a great experience and a lot of faith from Yamila. Yamila also has a few brother's and a sister which we are also teaching. Also Yamila´s mom is interested in our message however she is never home because she is always working and works sunday and is not able to attend church. I love the gospel of Jesus Christ. It gives us strength and guidance in our everyday lives. I have seen and I have felt the strength and guidance in my life. I know that the gospel of Jesus Christ blesses our lives. There are many people who need the gospel of Jesus Christ in their lives but do not know it. I am grateful for the opportunity to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ here in Argentina, and help those receive the gospel in their lives and in their families. This past week we had the opportunity to eat lunch with some members, the Ramano Family. It was great to get to know them and we also found out they lived in Orem, Utah for two years. They are starting to lose a little of their english but I offered to help them if they wanted to continue with their english. Brother and sister Ramano got married here in Argentina before going to the US to work, Brother Ramano was not a member until they moved to Utah and Sister Ramano introduced him to the missionaries in Utah. After lunch they shared their testmonies of the gospel of Jesus Christ and how it has blessed their family. It was a pretty nice lunch and the spirit was present as they shared their testimonies with us. I appreciate your love and your support. I am praying for you and invite you to keep living the gospel of Jesus Christ. Have a great week I look forward to hearing from you soon. Con amor Elder Brooks.
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
Dear Mom, Hey! it's good to hear from you sounds like everyone is doing well. Mom thanks for the package! I received the other package that you sent this week and my companion and I love it, Elder Vita says thanks. I gave him one of the towels that you sent and we are going to be making some pb and j sandwiches this week so we are pretty excited. Things are going well in the apartment, we have a pretty nice apartment, clean, organized, and we have hot water. Elder Vita and i are getting along pretty well, he is a great companion. This week we had zone conference and we gave our workshop to our zone which went really well. We talked about finding new investigators by our own initiative and the Elders came up with some pretty nice idea, we are excited to see how that goes and see if we can find some new investigators. As for things here in Loma Grande things are going well with our investigators, we have a few that are progressing but have a few doubts and challenges. We are trying to help them as we pray and read with them. We are trying to focus and help our investigators have a true conversion in their lives and we know that as they continue to pray and read in the book of mormon they will be able to have a true conversion. Thanks mom for the pictures everyone looks great. Looks like Mackenzie went with a little change in her hair color tell her it looks nice. You look happy mom which I am glad to see. I am praying for you always I hope you have a great week. I know that our Heavenly Father loves us and that as we continue with faith in his son Jesus Christ he will bless us. I love you mom! Con amor, Elder Brooks.
Monday, August 16, 2010
Dear Family, Hey it's great to hear from everyone and sounds like things are going well. Everything is going well here in Loma Grande. This week I received the package from Mom! Thanks Mom I love you! This week went pretty well and we stayed busy with our district meeting, leadership meeting, and our stake meeting which we had with President Benton and our stake president. In our leadership meeting we are learning new lessons from "preach my gospel" which are really going to be nice. These new lessons are helping the missionaries focus on those to whom we are teaching the gospel and meeting their needs. The meeting we had with the stake president also went well as we were able to talk about the missionary work in our stake and we were able to set goals and put plans in motion in order to continue to improve as Elders. The highlight of this week was a baptism which we were able to have for one of our investigators, Ruben Fernandez! Ruben has been investigating the church for a long time now and he has been attending church for the past few months. As Ruben has been praying, reading in the Book of Mormon, and attending church meetings he was able to make the decision to follow the example of Jesus Christ and be baptized in his church this last Saturday the 14th of August. The Bishop was able to baptize Ruben and Damian who is preparing for his mission was able to confirm Ruben member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. The baptismal service went very well and we received a lot of help from the members. One of the members was able to give Ruben a suit that is not being used and other members were able to make a chocolate cake for Ruben. Ruben is very grateful and enjoyed his baptism. I am grateful for my companion Elder Vita and his example. Things are going well and we are getting ready to plan our lesson/workshop for the zone conference which we have this week. I am grateful for the opportunity I have been given to serve. I appreciate your love and your support. I am praying for you. I know that the gospel of Jesus Christ changes lives. I know that the gospel of Jesus Christ changes our lives, gives us the strength we need to continue and finish strong, and gives us hope. I know this is the true gospel of Jesus Christ and the the Book of Mormon testifies that it is. I look forward to hearing from you soon. Have a great week! Con amor, Elder Brooks.
Monday, August 9, 2010
Dear Family, It's great to hear from you and sounds like everyone is doing well and now my baby sister, Mackenzie is 16 years old! Happy Birthday Mackenzie! Everything is going well here in Argentina and i am enjoying my new area here in Loma Grande with my companion Elder Vita. The first week of every transfer can get a little crazy with the many changes and getting adjusted to your area but things are going well. I am enjoying the area here in Loma Grande which is located near a pretty big city called Merlo. Loma Grande is not located in the city but it is close enough that we can take a bus and get must of our stuff for p-day taken care of in Merlo. I love our zone, we all got together last week for district meeting and we are all pretty excited to get to work. Also there are still a few Elders in the zone from when I was in Las Heras so its good to see them. Our zone Marcos Paz basically starts at the train station in Merlo and goes to the last train station in Lobos. If you get off at the train station at 34.5 km you would be in our area, Loma Grande and our apartment as well as the church are located pretty close. My companion Elder Vita is a great elder and we are getting along well. Elder Vita is from Cusco, Peru and has seven brothers/sisters with Elder Vita as the youngest. I am not sure if I mentioned this before but Elder Vita and myself are scheduled to finish our missions at the same time. The members of Loma Grande are great as well and I have been trying to get to know all of them. The bishop is also very nice and he is from Paraguay. This past Sunday I had the opportunity to give a talk in church and talked about the importance of the scriptures, specifically the Book of Mormon, and how it has blessed my life. I believe it went well and it was a great opportunity to share my testimony about the Book of Mormon. After church we had lunch at the Robledo's house. Damian Robledo is one of the kids and he is preparing to serve his mission, and at times he goes out with us to teach. Damian received his mission call Sunday and he opened it before we are lunch. It was pretty exciting to be there because it reminded me when I opened my mission call. Damian is called to serve to Mexico, Mexico City West mission and he is very excited. This week we have a few meetings planned such as district meeting, leadership meeting, and also a meeting with the Stake President. I am grateful for the opportunity I have been given to serve. I know that our Heavenly Father has a plan for each and everyone of us. He loves us and is willing to guide and help us as we live the Gospel of his son Jesus Christ. I hope you have a great week. I love you and I am praying for you. Con amor, Elder Brooks.
Monday, August 2, 2010
Dear Family, It's good to hear from you and sounds like everyone is doing well. Everything is going really well here in Argentina. Today we had transfer meeting in Ramos Mejia. This past transfer went by pretty fast and now we are ready to start a new transfer. As for me I will starting this transfer in another area as I have been transfered. I am now serving as zone leader in the Zone of Marcos Paz in a area called Loma Grande. I was in Marcos Paz a few transfers ago when I was serving in Las Heras and now I have returned to serve as Zone Leader and I am pretty excited for this transfer as well as our zone. My new companion is Elder Vita and he is from Peru. Elder Vita seems like a great Elder and we both have the same amount of time in the mission. This transfer I have a few goals but one of the goals that I want to focus on is developing the Christlike attribute of charity, the pure love of Christ. I feel that there is always room to strengthen our charity and I want to serve those around me with charity that they may be able to feel our Saviors love. I am very grateful for the opportunity to serve and I want to challenge myself to strenghten the attributes of Jesus Christ. It was a little hard leaving my last area as I spent a short time there and I had begun to love those I was serving, more and more each day. Sounds like everyone is doing well back home and that things went well with Justins wedding, I am glad to hear. Well this was a little update on what is going on here. I appreciate all your love and support. Also I recieved a package from Aunt Diane today! Thanks Aunt Diane I love the package and I am ready to try that protien shake that you sent along with all the other treats and I will be looking to put some more weight back on. I hope everyone has a great week. I am praying for you. Con amor, Elder Brooks.
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
Dear Family, Hey its great to hear from you sounds like everyone is doing great. Everything is going well here in Argentina and the weather is staying pretty cool. This past week went well and we have a few investigators that we are working with. This past week I was able to study and learn a lot about the importance of prayer. Teaching our investigators and showing our investigators how to pray is very important. Although prayer is a common princilple there is always something more to learn and to better. I learned how thorugh prayer not only ourselves but also the investigators can receive revelation, their answers, guidance, and blessings from our Heavenly Father. This past week we focused many of our lessons on the importance of prayer, why and how. At the end of our lessons we had the opportunity not to just pray with our investigators but to also kneel with our investigators in their houses, in their front yards, or even in front of their house and we were able to communicate with our Heavenly Father. It was a testimony to me to see the faith of many of our investigators as the knelt and prayed with us, and with the majority of our investigators giving the closing prayer. I know that our Heavenly Father commands us to pray to him and I know he blesses us when we are obedient and obey his commandments. This past week he had four investigators in church and I believe they were there because they received their answers to their prayers or they wanted to go to church to receive their answer. Elder Gonzalez and myself look forward to continue to put this in practice and we continue to learn more about the importance and power of prayer. We have many be able to find many investigators that are interested in our message but many have challenges to overcome. I am grateful for the principle of prayer and the role that it has played in my life, I know that we truly can receive the Lords help as we pray with faith. So sounds like everyone is doing well and getting ready for Justins wedding, very nice I am happy for him. There is an Elder Rodriguez here in our mission who is from San Antonio, Texas and he mentioned that he knew Justin and if I am right he might have lived in the Rodriguez's house because they have missionaries that live there. I am glad to hear that everyone is doing great. I am praying for you. I appreciate your love and support have a great week. Con amor, Elder Brooks. Mom I will be looking for the packages thanks I love you also tell aunt Diane and the Cope Family thanks I love them!
Monday, July 26, 2010
Dear Family, Hey its great to hear from everyone sounds like everyone is doing great. Hey mom thanks for sharing your experience and story with me I appreciate it and I appreciate your testimony. Good to hear Mackenzie is back and safe and had a good time up in Utah, and from what I hear she is driving, and I dont meaning driving dad crazy. I sent some pictures I hope you recieve them let me know if you do. I sent a picture of Alejandros baptism and a few pictures of the church her in Mariló. Everything is going well here Argentina and as you know its getting pretty cold. This past week was pretty cold and the rain on sunday topped of the week. Elder Gonzalez and I we are doing great and getting along well. I love helping him with his english he as improved a lot. His favorite phrase that I have taught him so far is "go to bed. He is pretty good at saying it and when it doesnt know what to say in english he just says "go to bed", I love it. We have been working diligently together and he helps me a lot with my testimony and faith in our Savior Jesus Christ. This past week went well as we were able to find some new investigators so we are pretty excited to start and work with them. We were pretty excited going into Sunday as we had a lot of investigators and members that were also excited about going to church as well, but as we recieved the rain Sunday it kept quite a few people from attending church here in Mariló. In total we had a total of 40 people in church this past Sunday. We were a little disappointed as we felt we worked very well and felt that we had prepared many people to attend church this past Sunday. However we did not stay disappointed, as we know being and acting disappointed weakens our faith. We were grateful that one of our investigators did show up which was very impressive. I am grateful for the example of our Savior Jesus Christ and the example he has set for us. I want to be like Him. I know as we live His gospel we too can become more like Him. I know that we have the true gospel of Jesus Christ. I am praying for you and that you can continue to live His gospel. I love you and look forward to hearing from you soon. Con amor, Elder Brooks.
Thursday, July 15, 2010
Dear Family, It's great to hear from you and sounds like everyone is doing great. Everything is going well here in Argentina and it is starting to get a little colder. As you have mentioned Spain won the world cup but not too many people were really interested after Argentinas loss. I received a wedding invitation from my cousin, Justin Brooks he looks pretty happy tell him i'm happy for him. Also I did receive the dearelder from Aunt Pam and Sister Tyndall please tell them thank you and I will try to write them back soon. This week went very well and it was pretty busy with our interviews with President Benton and also zone conference. I really enjoyed my interview with President Benton, I love him, he is a great example for us. He gave me some great counsel to help strengthen my faith and confidence. Zone conference went well and our workshop/lesson also went very well. As a zone we are focusing on the quality of our lessons and making sure the investigators better understand our message. We have noticed that we have been finding many new investigators but few of those that we are finding are going to church and keeping their commitments. This past week Daniel, the man I contacted on the bus a few weeks ago was able to be baptized! The elders in our zone that are in an area called Trujui were able to baptize him and said that everthing turned our very well. I am very grateful for the opportunity to have met him and for the faith my Heavenly Father gave me to go and contact him. This past week the young men were able to have an activity on Saturday where they played soccer and ate chori pan. The activity went well and it was a pretty good turn out. Many members, converts, and investigators were able to show up. We had a great turn out Saturday but not as many showed up Sunday for church. I appreciate your ideas that you gave me and regarding activities, we will try and put those into practice and see how it turns out. Elder Gonzalez and I are getting along very well. He is a great elder and we are always looking for ways to improve. Elder Gonzalez wants to learn english so we have begun to say our prays at night together in english and we try and study english whenever we have time. Also sometimes to practice our english when we are walking in the streets we talk to the kids in the street in english. It is pretty funny, sometimes they look at us like we are crazy and sometimes they even try and talk back to us. I love the mission it truly is a blessing and a privilege to serve my Heavenly Father. I appreciate your love and your support. I am praying for you. I love you. Have a great week. Con amor Elder Brooks.
Thursday, July 8, 2010
Dear Family, Hey its great to hear from everyone sounds like everyone is doing great. I received an email from Dad and he said he sent it from an I phone. it was also good to hear from Phe, tell him hello from me and i am praying for him. Sounds like Mackenzie is still at track camp, tell her I want an update on how it goes. So it sounds like you heard about Argentina losing to Germany in the World Cup. We were given permision to watch the game Saturday with some rules. We watched the game in the home of some recent converts where there is still a member of their family who was not baptized, Alejandro. Alejandro is fifteen years old and has attended church with his family many times but has not made the decision to be baptized. Last transfer we worked a lot with his family, the Saucedo Family and Alejandro to help him make the decision of being baptized. Alejandro is a good kid and is a pretty big soccer fan like most of the kids here in Argentina. The past week Elder Gonzalez and myself taught Alejandro and again invited him to be baptized. Alejandro accpeted our invitation and we set a baptismal date for July 3 at 3:00. Saturday we went over to their house to watch the game and prepare Alejandro for his baptism. It was rough to watch Argentina lose and also to see Alejandro disappointed, we were not sure if he would randomly change his mind about the baptism. Alejandro ended up being pretty good about the loss and was still exctied for his baptism. We had Alejandros baptism and I believe everyone felt better after. The spirit was strong as Edith, Alejandros mom bore her testimony during Alejandros baptism. Edith expressed how grateful she is to have the gospel in her life and now the gospel in her entire families life, now everyone being members. The baptism turned out very well and Alejandro was confirmed a member of the Church the following day in Church. Elder Gonzalez and myself are getting along well and working diligently. We are always looking for things to improve in our area and in our zone. This week we have interviews with President Benton and also Zone Conference. We are excited but sometimes it makes the week shorter with a little less time to work so we are going to try and be smart with our time. We have a few investigators that we are teaching right now and we are planning to continue to work with the members and set up some activities. I know we cannot match the Palo Verde Ward activities but we are going to see what we can do. We noticed that we have not had activities in the ward for a while and that the ward is just functioning on Sunday and seminary during the week for the youth. We know that the activites will help strenghten the members and also bring back some of the less active members and we would like to see some investigators as well. We will be thinking and working with that in order to help our ward and our investigators so we will see how is goes. We are accepting any ideas if you have any. I believe I received Dad's dear elder letter but maybe I just forgot to let you know that I received it. Mom I love you. Sounds like you are trying to put together a package, for now I think I am fine, I will think of anything i may need and let you know. I think the best thing as of now would be taking money out of my account to buy things that I might need, for example maybe to buy new shoes. I have not taken money out of my account yet so I believe there is money in there. I will let you know. I appreciate your love and your support. Have a great week I am praying for you. Con amor, Elder Brooks.
Monday, June 21, 2010
Dear Family, Sounds like everyone is doing great thanks for your emails. Everything is going well here in Argentina. This past week we ended our transfer. We had a good transfer but we have a lot of room for improvement in our area and also in our zone. Today we had transfer meeting in Ramos Mejia. We met together as a mission and went over the last transfer and began to prepare ourselves for this transfer. President and Sister Benton spoke to us and both of their messages were very good. Sister Benton spoke about patience and she shared a very interesting story with us. She shared a Standford study on patience. The study consisted of young children being tested with their patience. The children had the opportunity to eat a candy bar immeditately or they had the opportunity to wait 15 mins and they would be able to eat two candy bars. The results of the study showed that thirty percent of the children were willing to show patience and wait in order to receive the second candy bar. Stanford contined to study these children throught their lives and later found more information concerning those that had patience and those that did not have patience. Those children that had patience when they were younger grew up and had a very successful life. I found the story to be very interesting and I invite you to read more of the story if you have the opportunity to find it. I want to continue to strengthen my patience in order to continue to complete Heavenly Fathers will. Now we have started a new transfer. Elder Bunn my companion was transfered to another area and I received another companion, Elder González from El Salvador. Elder Gonzalez is a good Elder and we are excited to work together. Elder Gonzalez has a little more time than me and this will be his first transfer as zone leader so we are excited to get to work and help the zone. Elder Gonzalez is from El Salvador like my other companion Elder Garcia but they did not know each other before the mission. Also during transfer meeting Elder Gneighting, Elder Sheperd, Elder Hart , and myself all had the opportunity to talk and take a picture together being that we are all from the Red Rock Stake. Elder Gneighting gave his farwells today and will be heading back home. I invite you to go meet him as he will propably be giving his homecoming talk in the Town Center ward. I love the mission and I am very grateful for the opportunity to serve and participate in the Lords work here in Argentina. I appreciate your love and support. Also I want to thank Sister Tyndall for the dear elder that she sent me. It was a very nice letter tell her thank you and hi for me when you get the chance. Hope you have a great week! Con amor, Elder Brooks. NOTICE: This email message
Monday, June 14, 2010
Dear Family, Hey its great to hear from you! Sounds like everyone is doing great, thanks for your emails. Sounds like mom and the young women had a good experience at girls camp, and dad is doing great with his girls camp as well hah, I say that because he lives in a house with all girls, except for Isaac. Everything is going well in Argentina with a little rain this week. This past weeek we had a pretty busy schedule. During the week we had the opportunity to have divisiones with President Benton! It was amazing, he came over Tuesday night and spent the night with us and then we had the opportunity to plan, study, and teach together Wednesday. Lets just say it was a great opportunity to learn. We had a great day and we were able to visit many of our investigators with President Benton. We were able to ride around to all of our appointments in his car also, that was quite a change. We had some great lessons and some great experiences during our divisiones with President and I am very grateful for the opportunity that we had to work with and learn from him. We also had a little fun as well. Due to the many dogs in the streets President carrys a can of dog treats in his car with him. At times we would be driving and we would through dog treats out at the dogs or before entering a house of an investigator we would throw some treats to the dogs. Everyone loved President Benton and the spirit was strong during our visits and lessons with those we taught. We also took some time to get on one of the buses to make an announcement to everyone. He really liked how we have started to do that and now the mission is starting to do it as well, to get on the bus and make an announcement to everyone. I have an expericene to share about the first time we did it. Elder Bunn and myself were pretty nervous our first time but we did and I was able to talk to one man in particular who was very interested. Even though he mentioned that he did not live in our area I still felt impressed to take down his name and directions to pass to the other Elders in or zone. I passed the information to the Elders this last week and they went to visit him as soon as they were able to. This mans name is Daniel, now Daniel and his wife are receiving the lessons and have a baptism date for this month! As for how things are going in our area, Mariló A, things are going well but we still have a lot of work ahead of us. We have found some great investigators that we are preparing to be baptized but some have gone out of town and one family is getting ready to have a new baby. We also had an investigator planning to get baptized, Leo, this last weekend but he went out of town so we had to cancel his baptism. I know that our Heavenly Father has a plan for each and everyone of these people, I am going to continue to work hard and have faith. I am grateful for the opportunity to serve my Heavenly Father. I know that his son Jesus Christ is my savior and that he lives. I know that this is the true church of Jesus Christ. I appreciate your love and your support. Mom I love you! I pray for you always. I look forward to hearing from you soon. Have a great week. Con amor, Elder Brooks.
Sunday, June 13, 2010
Dear Mom and Dad, Hey thanks for your emails sounds like everyone is doing well. Mom do not worry about me not receiving the email last week I received your email this week, glad to hear you are ok. Well you are probably interested in hearing how this week went. This week was not so easy as we had many meetings to attend and little time to work. We met with all the zone leaders Thursday night in Ramos Mejia and we had a special leadership meeting with Elder Aidukaitis. The meeting went very well and the spirit was strong. The meeting focused on our faith and setting and acheiving our goals, something that I needed to hear. Later in the week we met again with Elder Aidukaitis with our zone and three other zones. The conference was amazing and it woke us up. Elder Aidukaitis told us the truth and showed us that we have a lot of work to do. We focused alot on faith and baptizing. He told us, ¨Our heavenly father is happy, but he is not satisfied." Our mission was increasing very well but recently we have lowered in baptisms over the past few transfers. I believe the transfer when we had 13 baptisms in Rafael Castillo our mission was at our peak and I believe we also set our mission record for 195 converts in one transfer. From then we have slowly lowered but now Elder Aidukaitis came to help us change our vision. He explained to us that every area and every companionship can be baptizing every week. We are now focused on that, baptizing every week. We have a new vision here in the buenos aires west mission, baptizing every week, we know that by our faith it is possible. We ended the week with another meeting. President Benton called all the zone leaders to meet in Ramos Mejia Sunday to have a meeting. No one was sure what it was about, we had an idea that it would have a little to do with our conference with Elder Aidukaitis. We met with President Sunday night and reviewed together what we had learned from Elder Aidukaitis and we received some counsels from President Benton and his assistants on how we are going to put what we learned into practice, baptize every week. It comes down to our faith and our mind set, knowing that we can baptize every week. We are all excited to get to work and bring all those unto Christ. After the meeting we had a quick dinner and then returned to our areas just in time to go to bed. These past weeks have not been easy but we continue to work hard and the Lord continues to bless us with the strength we need. Elder Bunn and I are continually trying to give it all we have, we know that through our faith we will be able to see the miracles of our Heavenly Father. Now instead of trying to talk to one or two people on the bus or trains we try and talk to everybody. Now everytime we get on the bus we ask the bus drivers permission to make an announcement in which we say something like, "ladys and gentlemen we are men of God and we have a message that will bless your life and your family, we know that there are some people here that want to hear our message, we will be passing by to ask you if you are one of these persons, thank you." I have learned many things these past weeks about myself and about my Heavenly Father. I know that he loves me and that as I show my faith unto him he will bless me. I am smiling and I am ready to start this week, to step on the field and give it all I have. I am not sure who will get baptized this week but I know we will find somebody. I love you mom and dad. I appreciate your love and prayers for me. I am praying for you. Have a great week, I look forward to hearing from you soon. Con amor, Elder Brooks.
Monday, May 24, 2010
Dear Family, It's great to hear from you and sounds like everyone is doing great! Dad congrats on your new calling, who the Lord calls the Lord qualifies. Mom it sounds like everything is going great, thanks for your updates. This week went really well for us and the whole zone! Our zone may be pretty young but we are trying to give it all we have each and every day working diligently and serving those around us. In "the sol" both of the districts in our zone ended up in the top ten best districts for the week. We are pretty excited and very grateful for the week that we had and we are ready to start this week. Tomorrow is a pretty big holiday here in Argentina, 25 of May, it is Argentinas Independence Day. Today we are going to the church to be with the ward and celebrate a little, I think they will just have some food and be playing soccer. Our ward is doing great here in Mariló. I believe it is the first ward that I have served in. We average about 110 members every sunday and many of them are recent converts. We share our area, Mariló with two other elders, Elder Lopez, from Peru, and Elder Heddy from New Jersey. We share an apartment together, and everyone seems to be getting along well. It is starting to get colder here in Argentina. This past week our gas heater stopped working so we went a couple of days with a nice cold shower, hey its better than no water and no shower. Also this past week we had interviews with President Benton. I love President Benton, our interview went very well. I asked President Benton if I could get up a little earlier in the morning so its not too crazy in the morning with us four elders. We have enough time but I just wanted a little more time to excercise, eat, get ready, and have a little more time to study in the morning. President Benton was fine with it and has allowed me to get up at 6:00 in the morning. Its not that easy getting up, we are busy every day and come home every night exhausted, but I know that as I am obedient and diligent the Lord will continue to give me the strenght that I need. Elder Bunn is great, and he is an example to me, he has a lot of faith and patience. We are working well together and have found a few investigators. The other day we taught a family who just moved from Paraguay. They talked to the missionaries a few times when they lived in Paraguay and enjoyed going to church. They are very interested in learning more of the gospel, they our looking for our Heavenly Fathers help, they feel that our message is true and they asked us what they need to do in order to be baptized. We explained to them about prayer, reading, going to church, and also about getting married. They accepted our challenge of getting married! We will be working with them and helping them continue in the gospel of Jesus Christ. This week we have zone conference, Elder Bunn and myself will be planning a workshop/ lesson for our zone concentrating on our goals for this transfer. I appreciate your love and support, I look forward to hearing form you soon. Have a great week. Con amor, Elder Brooks.
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
Dear Family, It's always great to hear from everyone! Also I would like to thank Desi for the card and pictures that she sent and I would also like to say happy birthday to Jaxon! So everything is going great here in Mariló A. Elder Bunn and myself are doing great and had a pretty good week even with the little time that we had to work with. This week we had our district meeting and we had the opportunity to get to know everyone in our district and we also had the opportunity to talk to the zone about what we want to focus on this transfer and what are goals for this transfer will be. Our zone is pretty young but we are excited to get to work this transfer. This transfer we are focusing on teaching lessons with members, helping our investigators attend church, and focusing on the power of prayer. As a zone we had a good week and look forward to continue working hard. Also during the week Elder Bunn and myself had the opportunity to attend a leadership meeting held in Ramos Mejia for all the zone leaders along with the assistants and President Benton. As a new zone leader I was given the opportunity to share my testimony. We were able to hear messages from President Benton and his assistants concerning our focus for this transfer as a mission. Also each zone had the opportunity to give a review of what they were able to accomplish last transfer and what they will be focusing on this transfer. After the meeting we had the opportunity to eat lunch together and we had a really solid meal! Sister Benton made taco soup and we also had chori pan, (one of my favorite meals, its like a sausage/hotdog). After lunch we then played some basketball and had ice cream. I am very grateful for the opportunity that my Heavenly Father has given me to serve and for the opportunity to work and serve with all the Elders in the zone of Moreno. I feel very humbled and I want to continue working hard in order to help all those come unto Christ. Our area Mariló A is similar to Rafael Castillo and Billinghurst. Mariló is located closer to the city, its a poorer area with dirt streets, but the people are amazing. Elder Bunn is a great elder and has a very positive attitude. We are getting along well and we are excited to work and serve all those around us. I appreciate your love and support, I am praying for you. i hope you have a great week. I look foward to hearing from you soon. Con amor, Elder Brooks.
Monday, May 10, 2010
Dear Family, it was great speaking with everyone and sounds like everyone is doing great! So today we went to Ramos Mejia for our transfer meeting and it went very well. We took the long drive from Las Heras to Ramos Mejia and arrived just in time. I love transfer meetings, being around everybody and hearing whats going on in past areas, especially about how the members and converts are doing. We had the opportunity to hear from President and Sister Benton and their message was great and helped us to prepare for this transfer. After their message we found out what the new transfers would be. I have been called to serve as Zone Leader for the zone of "Moreno"! Our area is called Marilo A and I am serving with Elder Bunn from Los Angeles, California. I am truly grateful for this opportunity that my Heavenly Father has given me to serve and I hope I can continue to fulfill and magnify my calling and serve with and for those around me. Elder Bunn is a great Elder and we are excited to work together. We will be thinking of goals and plans for our zone in order that we can do our best in bringing those unto Christ this transfer. As for Las Heras, two Elders have been placed there, Elder Pinzon, who was my Zone Leader when I was in Billinghurst and the other Elder is Elder Copper who is also a good Elder. I look forward to seeing Las Heras grow and strenghten and I know these Elders will work hard and continue to help the branch in Las Heras. For now I do not know very much about my area, it looks a little like my first area, Rafael Castillo and a little like Billinghurst. That is my update on transfers and I will try to continue to keep you updated. I appreciate your love and your support. I am praying for you. I look forward to hearing from you soon. Con amor, Elder Brooks.