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.