Monday, May 24, 2010

MOOOO-ve Over Here Come The Missionaries!!!!

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

The people are amazing!!!!!

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

Transfers!!!!! Moreno!!! and a new calling.

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.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Reaching out to the lost Sheep!!!!!

Dear Family, Hey thanks for your letters sounds like everyone is doing great and getting ready for this up coming weekend, Mothers Day! I will be calling this Sunday and I will be calling around 8:00 pm Argentina time. I am not sure what time that would be in Las Vegas you might want to verify. I will call moms house first and I will use moms cell phone number and dads cell phone numbers as back ups. I will be calling from the office in our church using a calling card. Be ready with all your questions! This week went very well and we are heading into the last week of the transfer. As I was explaining to you in my last letter that the ex branch president from Lobos, who left the branch there, is now living in one of our areas, Navarro. We have had the opportunity to continue to visit and teach him and this past Sunday he came to church in Navarro. We are still not sure the exact reason of why he left Lobos but we are grateful for his faith and desires to at least start going back to church. We also have been teaching a recent convert named Monica who has many children who are not members. Monica has been a member for about a year and she was the only member from her family to get baptized. We have been able to have a few lessons with her and her kids and they have even attended church a few times. We talked to them about getting baptized and they said they dont want to get baptized. There are various kids from ages 8-20 but none of them are members. We tried talking to Monica about helping her kids make the decision to get baptized. We had a great lesson with her explaining the importance of baptism, the church, and the family. My companion and I even shared some experiences with her. For example, I explained how when I was younger, like all kids I was not a big fan of going to church, nevertheless my parents took charge and helped me attend, I didnt understand the importance of church as much as I do now, but thanks to my family and for their persistence in helping me attend church and participate in activities I am where I am today. My companion and I are even more grateful now for our parents and for their persistence in helping us attend church however we are still trying to figure out how we can help Monica and her family now. Our branch is doing well, and we are trying to help all of them participate in the missionary work. The members are great here, we just need to keep working hard and keep working in unity. Sounds like the missionary work is doing great back home, thats great to hear. Quick story, the other day we did divisions and I went to Lobos to work with Elder Chatwin. We worked hard and had a great experience. We ran into a less active member of Lobos in the street and began talking to him and we began setting another time to visit him. As we were talking with him another man came up to us and asked if he could talk to us. We were not sure if he wanted to talk to us or to the the less active member who we were talking to. It ended up that he wanted to talk to us. We were a little shocked but we dismissed ourselves for a second and began to talk to this other man. He began to tell us one of his family members is a member and that he had been studying a little about the church and about baptism. He then explained and told us that we wanted to get baptized in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Saints! We were pretty excited, and pretty blessed. I know that this is the true church of Jesus Christ and I am very grateful for my parents and all those who have helped me become a member. I look forward to hearing from you soon, have a great week. 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: