Monday, February 22, 2010

Transfers and a Calling!!!

Dear Family, It's always great to hear from everyone! Looks like I have a few questions to answer so lets see where this goes. First this is my new email------. It was not an easy process signing up but I think it is set up correctly. I believe my username and my password are the same, thanks for all your help. A little update on Las Heras. So I am not exactly sure where it is located but I believe we are rather far from Ramos Mejia where the mission office is located. After our transfer meeting Elder Baldomero my new companion and I took a remis/taxi to our apartment in Las Heras. The drive took about an hour and a half from Ramos Mejia to Las Heras. The taxi ride was amazing as we drove through country fields here in Argentina. Las Heras is a small city surrounded by a lot of country. We live right next to the train station. Everything we need is within the block which we live on, which is pretty nice. There are a few paved streets and then as you start to head out to the rural areas you start to find the dirt roads. Las Heras is a small and quiet town and is known to be on the safe side ( that was for Mom ). The Sister missionaries have been working here for many years but last transfer they took them out and put in the Elders. Las Heras is pretty calm, the people are not as busy, and during the middle of the day everything is closed and you can find no one out and about. Everyone goes home during the middle of the day to take the (siesta) or in english you can say nap. Elder Baldomero is great and has been doing all that he can to help me get comfortable with the area. This is Elder Baldomeros second transfer here in Argentina and he seems to be getting comfortable as well. In Las Heras we have a branch. We do not have enough members or active members to build a church so for now we meet in a house. This past Sunday I had the opportunity to give a talk and it went well. Also Elder Baldomero and myself have the opportunity to work with two other small branches. One of the other branches is Navarro which is about a 40 min bus ride from Las Heras. We usually travel there two times during the week to work with the investigators and members there. Also I am very grateful for the opportunity to serve as District Leader. Tomorrow we will hold a district meeting and will meet in an area called Mariano Acosta which is about an hour by train. There is only one other companionship in my district and they live in an area called Lobos, Elder Barraza and Elder Marshall who I will get to meet tomorrow. I would like to share a quick story from this last week. We just happened to run into a Sister from our branch and she told us about a family who needed a blessing, the Garcia Family. We called them that night and arranged a time to pass by the next day. They ended up living farther than we thought. We traveled by train to the next train station called Hornos. When we got off we met Brother Garcia. He then walked us over to this tractor, which just so happened to be his farm tractor and after climbing on board he drove us to his house/farm. We drove about 2km. We where in the middle of nowhere nothing but country. It was an amazing experience and the spirit was present as we were able to give the Garcia family a blessing. I hope everyone has a great week! I appreciate your love and support, I am praying for you. I look forward from hearing from you soon. Con amor, Elder Brooks.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


Dear Family, Happy Valentines Day to everyone! Honestly I forgot about that holiday also, it is one of those holidays that is not very big here in Argentina. Sounds like Mackenzie had a Valentine who went all out and now Dad is ready to go all out as well hah. Well I have a lot to fill you in on so lets see how this goes. Well this past week in Billinghurst we had some miracles. To start out we went to the church this Saturday to help clean. We went with expectations of being more than there usually are but when we showed up there were only three of us. We entered the church and to our suprise the whole church was perfectly cleaned. We were in shock . We are not sure who cleaned the church or when but it was perfectly clean and we were very grateful. That went well that the church was nice and clean because that same day we ended up haveing a baptismo for one of our investigators named Dálida! It was a miracle! We were able to find Dálida a few weeks ago in a house of a member who lives around the corner from us. When we met Dálida that day we were able to share a message of the plan of salvation. We invited her to go to church with us that Sunday and she ended up going. We contiued teaching her, inviting her to read in the Book of Mormon, pray, and go to church with us. Dálida was able to keep all of her commitments and in result was able to receive the blessings. Dálida has a disease in her leg which makes it very hard to walk. With the strength of the Lord Dálida was able to attend three Sundays in a row and was able to be baptized right before the end of the transfer! It truly was a miracle. We were worried with the short time span to teach her that she would not be prepared in time for the baptism date we had set. After she was able to have her baptism interview it was confirmed to us that she was prepared and ready. The baptism went very well and Daniel, who we baptized with Elder Grant was able to perform the bautismal ordinance. I know that our Heavenly Father is a God of miracles and that we were able to relieve this miracle as we continued to work diligently throughout the transfer. Elder Garcia and I were very grateful for this experience as it has strengthened our testimonies. I was able to learn a lot this past transfer and I am grateful for the opportunity to be companions with Elder Garcia in Billinghurst. Now switching subjects. Today we had transfers and Saturday night I recieved the call that I would be getting transfered and that I would need to bring all my luggage to the transfer meeting. Usually when the elders have to bring their luggage to the transfer meeting it usually means that they will be sent pretty far which we call campo or you could say country. So I ended up getting transfered. I am now serving in the zone called Marcos Paz in an area called Las Heras. I have been called to be the District Leader. My companion is Elder Baldomero who is from Hawaii. Elder Baldomero seems like a great elder and is excited to start his second transfer in the mission field. That is a little update on what is going on here. I look forward to keeping you updated. I appreciate your love and support. I look forward to hearing from you soon. Con amor, Elder Brooks.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

And then there was TWO !!!!!

Dear Family, Hey sounds like everyone is doing great! Everything is going well here in Argentina. Elder Garcia and myself have continued to work obediently and diligently each and everyday and we are grateful for the strength that our Heavenly Father continues to give us each and everyday. This past weekend we had the opportunity to help clean the church again. This time there was a total of three of us. This includes Elder Garcia, mylself, and another member from our branch. We noticed that each time we clean the church, less people have ended showing up. If this is true this can mean that Elder Garcia and myself will be cleaning the church by ourselves this week hah! This week we had the opportunity to teach and talk with Antonella and Leonel. We were pretty excited to finally meet with them but it turns out that Antonella will not be able to reach her goal to get married and baptized this week. It turns out that had some troubles with their paper work. It was a little disappointing but we understand it is all part of the Lords plan. I am very grateful for the opportunity to be part of this great work and help those around me come to know of our Heavenly Fathers plan. Also, our other investigator Oscar has decided that he does not want to attend church anymore as he is looking for something different. We have been able to continue to find new investigators and we look forward to helping them progress in the gospel of Jesus Christ. Today we had a zone activity and it went pretty well. We ended up playing some volleyball, soccer, made some tacos, and ended with a water balloon fight. This week is the last week of this transfer, I am not sure if I will be staying or if I will be called to another area but I will try and keep you updated. I am grateful for all of your love and your support and I look forward to hearing from you soon. Have a great week. Con amor, Elder Brooks.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

If your refrigerator is running.... Go catch it!

Dear Family, Hey it is good to hear from you, sounds like everyone is doing great! I received a few letters this week so I would like to say thanks to those, Dad, Cody Collins, and Connor McKenna. Everything is going well here in Argentina. The weather here has been pretty nice and at times rather hot. This week we faced a pretty big challenge as our refrigerator stopped working and the light in our study area stopped working as well. They took our refrigerator to work on it and they should be sending someone to come and fix the light. As for now we have been fine as we have another area to study and the Valle Family has been sharing their refrigerator with us. This past week we also had our interviews with President Benton. He is amazing! The interview went very well, I am very grateful for President Benton and his example. We had a pretty good week here in Billinghurst. A few of the members have left for vacations but the branch continues to grow. This week we were able to bring two of our investigators to church, Oscar and Dálida. We have been teaching Oscar for a little while, and he has a good attitude and desires to learn more. We have put a baptism date for the 13th of February and we look forward to helping Oscar with this opportunity and blessing in his life. Also, we were able to meet Dálida in the home of some recent converts. Dálida has spoken with the missionaries before and is interested in continuing to learn more. Dálida also has a baptism date for the 13th of February. The challenge that they both have for now would be to continue gaining a testimony of the gospel. We believe as they continue to keep their commitments by reading in the Book of Mormon and by praying for guidance they will receive the faith and strength to continue in the gospel of Jesus Christ. Now, our other investigator Antonella has not been able to make it to church and we have not been able to communicate with her. We know she has the desires to learn and the desires to be baptized but it seems that she is very busy with work. We will continue to try and call and pass by this week in order to help her prepare herself for her wedding and baptism date the 10th of February. I know that our Heavenly Father loves us and that we have the opportunity to receive His guidance through daily prayer. I am grateful for the guidance I have received in my life through daily prayer. I know that our Heaven Father listens to our prayers and will give us the guidance we need according to our faith which is in His Son Jesus Christ. I appreciate your love and support. I am praying for you always. 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: