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.