Monday, February 27, 2017

Rhett - The Gospel Blesses Families

Hola Familia,
This week was another good week. This week we had a zone meeting and talked about goals we have for our zone. It was a good meeting and motivated me to get to work. We talked a lot about finding and what we do after we find. A lot of the missionaries in our area had a lot of new investigators and lessons but not very many of them were going to church. We can find a lot of people to teach but if we are not follwing up and helping them with the process and change and coming to church then we really arent making a difference. Every person counts, and when we find someone to teach, we need to follow up and get them to church. Because when we come to church we are coverted to the gospel. Pretty cool.

Something else cool this week. We have been teaching this around 60 year old man named Cisto. When we first met him he seemed like he just wanted to talk a lot and wasn't really listening to us that much. He is a really spiritual guy and has a strong testimony of faith in God and Jesus Christ. We talked to him about the restoration of the gospel our second lesson with him and about Jesus Christ and he just started crying. It was a pretty cool experience. He wants to change his life and he knows that Jesus Christ can help him. We had another lesson with him this week just about repentance and baptism. It was a good lesson, and he expressed to us again that he wants to change. He smokes a few cigarrettes a day so we talked to him about trying to quit smoking. We told him that Jesus Christ can help him overcome stop smoking and he said he would try. We set a date for him to be baptized and he said he would but that he has to talk to his wife first. Pretty awesome! I know that through the help of Jesus Christ and His gospel he can change! As we come closer to the Savior we all can change for the better.

We have continued talking with the Epenola family. They are such a great family. It was their little daughters birthday on Saturday and they invited us to come over. My companion and I helped make pizza and we ate and talked with them. Haha their pizza is a little different than ours in America, but it was still really good! She even gave us some cake! Which is pretty rare for us missionaries. Haha we dont get cake very often here. It was awesome. They are having some struggles with their family though. The dad drinks and smokes a lot and I guess is like a totally different person when we are not there. He is super nice when we are there and the family seems like they are doing well, but when we leave it is a different story. The mom told us that she wants to be baptized but that she wants to wait until her daughters are grown up because she doesnt want to get married to her husband, but she wants to have a good support for her kids so she is going to stay with him until her kids are grown up. It was pretty sad but I know the gospel can help them as a family. We are going to try and talk more with the father about change. If the father changes, I know that they can be a closer and happier family. The gospel brings families together! If the father has a desire to change and live the gospel I know the mother and family will want to change and have the gospel in their lives as well. I know the gospel can bless them and help them have a happy family. We are going to continue to work with them!

Thats pretty much all for this week. The work is going great. This week we are really gonna focus on getting people converted rather than just teaching lessons. I know it can change lives. When we are converted to the gospel our families are brought closer together and we can recieve so many blessings. The gospel blesses families! I love you all!
-Elder Reilly

-Some Soccer field we found. If you look closely, you can see Messi in the background. 

-My future home in a couple of years. Haha this house was pretty big so I thought I should take a picture with it.

-The Esponola Family. It was the little girl to my left, Dalma´s birthday.

-A soccer staduim we went to today for PDAY. Tres De Febrero plays here.

Trent - San Martin lets go!!

Hola Everyone!!

I finally have more than 5 minutes to write this email so thats nice haha!! This week was so great. San Martin is super beautiful and the people here are awesome and the food... oh my goodness. It is the BOMB. I feel like I'm eating Russ Reilly Italian lunches every day or going to a steak house. It is so sweet. And they feed you so much oh my gosh I freakin love it. The other day this lady in our ward fed us and she made gnocci(I think thats how you spell it) and it was literally heaven. She filled my plate 3 times. I'm talking like straight overflowing plate three times in a row with gnocci. I never turn anyone down when they ask me for more haha. I could hardly move after eating so much haha but it was awesome. But yeah the members here are so cool. They are so hyped up for missionary work and that is really awesome. The ward missionary leader is really cool too. He always wants to come out with us and stuff. 

The language is coming along a lot better. I can actually semi understand people now. I get most of each sentence and then I can make a pretty spot on guess of what they are saying haha. But speaking is a whole ´nother world. But I'm getting a lot better and I have a lot more confidence now and that is great. I just joke around with people and tell them I'm just a gringo and I'm learning anf they think its funny. It's great. Also in the street I just say stupid stuff on purpose like buenas noches at like 11 in the morning so people want to talk haha. It's actually kind of fun. Me and my companion can actually communicate really well now so that is sweet.

The Lord helps us in the lessons so much. Im just able to talk and testify and it's sweet!! And we are really workling on asking inspired questions that open the hears pf the investigators! Ok im out of time but I want to leave y'all with a spirtual thought. Remember that every soul is important. Everybody you see desires the happiness that comes from the Gospel and the message we have. See through the eyes of Christ and you will start to see everyone as your brothers and sisters!! Love EVERYONE because every soul is important! And that means every one of you is special and important too!! Love you all!! Hasta la próxima semana!!! 

Elder Reilly

Monday, February 20, 2017

Rhett - Two Weeks In

Whats up everybody,
I love this place. The work is going great, the people are the best, and the food is great, what more could you ask for, haha. I'll just start off by sharing two cool things that happened last week.

Last week we were walking around a neighborhood just contacting trying to find people to teach. We had been walking around for awhile not really finding many people when all of the sudden this girl that was outside her house yelled "Elders." We were like what the heck so we went over and started talking to her. When we were talking to her she showed us something that was in her hand. In her hand she was a holding a picture with a past sister missionary that had talked to her a few months back. I don'tknow why she was holding that picture at that moment but I think it was kind of a miracle. She wasn't even in the records or anything when we looked for people to teach. She was super excited to talk with us so we came to her house and talked to her and her mom. I guess she really likes the church and wants to come to our church but her mom is a hard core Paraguayan and doesn't want her daughter to go. Her mom basically only speaks Guaranee so its kinda hard to understand her. Her name is Rosalina. She is super awesome, we just got to gain her moms trust.

Another cool thing that happened. I think it was later that night, we were walking by this pizza shop and this guy yelled out "Hey, where are you from?" This happens a lot here because everyone can tell I am an American. I told him I was from California and he told us that he lived in New York for like 14 years and that he could speak some english. We got talking with him and his wife and his wife is Columbian. The guys name is Jorge and he is from Paraguay. They live here now and work at this pizzaria. They actually cook real pizza too, haha. Normally the pizza here isnt really the same as US pizza so I was pretty excited about that. Anyways we started talking to them outside there pizzaria about the Book of Mormon and how it talks about the people living in the Americas. They seemed super interested and the lessom was great. We are going to try and teach them again this week. They are super awesome. We always pass their pizzaria when going to contact other people and always stop by and say hi. They are always super busy so we are just trying to find a time to teach them. I thought it was kind of a miracle that we found them because he could speak a little English. I feel like we made a connection with them through communticating a little in english and talking about pizza, haha. I love it.

Lastly, I just want to talk about this family we have been teaching. They are the Espenola family. The parents were not married legally but were married in another church many years ago. They have six kids. A 20 year old boy, 18 year old girl, 16 year old girl, 12 year old boy, and two younger daughters that I think are like 4 and 7. I love this family, they are awesome. They have been taught by two other sets of missionaries before us but have never been baptized. I feel like they know the church is true, but they are just scared to act. In one of our lessons this week we talked about the Gospel of Jesus Christ and about some of the steps we take to live the gospel. Faith, Repentance, Baptism, and the Holy Ghost. As we were teaching them I could tell that they thought that missionaries were just there to get them baptized. It seemed like they knew what we were saying was true but they just thought a lot of previous missionaries were just trying to baptize them and that's it. I was able to testify to them that we were not there just to baptize them. That was not why we were there at all. We were there because we want to help them in their lives. The gospel has blessed our lives so much that we know it can bless theirs. We know that if you take these steps you can recieve so many blessings from the gospel. After I said this, the father said that he could feel the Spirit and that he felt good about it. This was the best lesson of the mission so far. It was awesome. We told them to pray about what we said to know if it's true. We are going to keep teaching them and see how they are feeling. I know that they are ready for the gospel in their lives, they just need to act.

Sorry this letter is so long, but the work is awesome here. I love this place and the people. I know that the Gospel brings joy into the lives of those who find it. If we live the Gospel and follow the Savior, our lives will be changed! This week I was reading in Alma 26. It really inspired me as a missionary. I want to challenge you guys to read it in the Book of Mormon. The Gospel brings Joy!

I love you guys and hope you have a great week!

-Some of the Elders in our zone at Pizza Hut today during PDAY. Yeah they have a Pizza Hut in the Centro where the big city is haha. You can pay like 15 dollars and its all you can eat pizza. Haha its the best!

-A cool bridge we found walking around in someones backyard

-Some of the food we ate at a members house. We pretty much always have some kind of pasta with chicken. Its the bomb

-We got to play pool during Pday, You already know who won​

Trent - This week was LIT

Hola Everyone!!

I have like no time left to write. I am so sorry!! But his week was really great. It is still super hard with the language and the new culture and everything but its getting better every day. It is super beautiful and cool here. It has been raining a lot actually but it's still hot. Pretty weird. My comp speaks 0 English. It is crazy and really frustrating sometimes but it's all good. I'm learning and it is really humbling haha. But, I love it here!

We have done some service but I want to do a lot more. There's a volcano here that might erupt soon so there will be a lot of service needed if that happens. Pretty crazy. We had to buy masks and food for a week and a half in case we can't leave our pension. 

So, we're starting to see the fruits of our labor here a little and that is so exciting!! We have an investigator named Cecilia and she is so prepared. She accepted the invitation to be baptized so that's awesome!!! We also have a family of four who we are hopefully going to get baptized too!

If I can just bring one soul to Christ then all the hard work is worth it!!! Love and miss you all! Thanks for the emails and encouragement! I can feel your prayers strengthening me!!!

(We have no idea why Trent didn't send any pictures with him in them!)

Monday, February 13, 2017

Rhett - Posadas Baby!

Man where to start... So many things have happened this week, I love it! It has been very difficult at times but the good outweigh the bad. So last Monday, we left the MTC, and flew to Atlanta, then Buenos Airres, then from there to Posadas. We didn't have to take a bus to Posadas which was a blessing cause it would have taken around 10 hours by bus. From there we drove to the mission home and met President Svec and his wife. The are both super nice and and seem like great people but they only speak Spanish! haha. I was very shocked when I met them because I thought all mission President knew how to speak at least some English but they speak none at all. That was a little bit discouraging because I couldn't talk to them much, but they were super nice and fed us a super good meal. We had about 8 missionaries sleep in the mission home that night. The next day we found out who our companions were, where we were going and then we headed out to our missions!

My companions name is Elder Cabrera. He is from Uruguay and has been out in the mission for about 21 months, so I will be his last companion. He can speak a little english so that helps a lot because I can ask him for help with translating and with words and stuff. He is awesome. We get along really well and he is super funny as well. He always tries to yell things in English, but he has a super funny accent haha... its great. He has a love for the work and is super good at talking with people so it makes it a lot easier for me to talk in Spanish.

A little bit of a surprise for me and to all you guys, my first area that I am in is actually not in Argentina. haha I'm in Paraguay. My mission is called Cuidad de Este area 4. Our area is a town in the outskirts of a big city called Cuidad de Este. In my mission we have the Northern part and a lot of the southern part in Paraguay. I guess a lot of missionaries get sent to Paraguay in my mission. So I could be mostly in Paraguay on my mission or in Argentina, it just depends. Paraguay is awesome though! The people here are like the nicest people I have ever met. They are pretty much always willing to listen. The weather is pretty crazy here. It will be super hot and sunny one second and then all of the sudden it will just start pouring rain, haha its crazy!

It's discouraging at times with the language because these people are so nice and I want to talk to them but sometimes I just cant really get the words out it Spanish. I am definataly learning a lot here though every day which is great. I can see the improvement and Ive only been here for one week! I know I will get better with time and that the Lord will help me. Im sorry but I dont have much time to write, because the place Im writing in is about to close. I will talk more about my experiences and stuff next week. We had some miracles this week! I am sorry, but I will talk about them next week. Im am doing great, I love you all, have a great week!

Elder Reilly

Saying goodbye to my District

Saying goodbye to Trent in the Airport

Eating at the Zone Leaders house in another area

My area in Cuidad de Este

In the center of Cuidad de Este for PDAY, Its like the Las Vegas of Paraguay...

My companion Elder Cabrera

Trent - First Week in Argentina!!

Hola Everyone!!

Wow this week was honestly really crazy. All the flights and everything were really wack and I couldnt understand anything in the Argentina airports and it was kinda scary, but I love it.

When I got to the mission home, I met the President and his wife and they are super nice. They fed us super well it was awesome. Maybe the last time I say that for two years but its all good haha. They made empenadas(I dont know if that is spelled right) and they were seriously the bomb. I ate like 10. It was great. Then they assigned me my new companion and area. His name is Elder Llontop and he is from Peru. He doesnt speak a lick of English haha. The first day I for real could not understand a single word he said. It was frustrating, but humbling too and I needed that big time. He is super nice and now we can kind of understand each other so thats pretty neat. Our first area is San Martin. It was like a six hour bus ride from Neuquén. The buses are super nice tho. They had recliners and they brought us meals. It was not bad at all.

San Martin is super awesome!! It is one of the most beutiful places in the mission so that is sweet. The members here are super awesome! Theres ths one family and they have literally like 30 of 'em in San Martin. Its insane. Theyre the di Stefano family. They gave my comp and I like 15 references so that is awesome. 

We have to walk a ton here like every day haha but i love it. People are super nice and they are always willing to talk so thats sweet. Our apartment is pretty nice actually. We got beds a shower a toilet and a fridge and thats all we need!

Ok I have like no time, but I want to share something cool that happened this week. It is super hard for me to actually open my mouth and say stuff to people because my Spanish is not exactly up to par. But, we were looking for this investigators house for like 20 minutes and we couldnt find it and it was supér frustratimg. But we passed this man and just said hi and kept walking and I REALLY felt like we needed to talk to him. So I finally said to my comp we neede to talk to that guy!! So we turned around after like a block of walking and went back and he was gone. But that spot where he was happened to be the spot where the house was where we needed to go! The Lord needed us to go there so he prompted me to turn back and find that man! It was awesome. Love you all!! See ya! Peace!!

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Rhett - Hola!

Hey mom and Dad, sorry for not being able to talk much on the phone yesterday. And mom sorry I couldn´t talk to you at all! I had to board the plan and just didn´t have much time. I am here at the mission office in Posadas right now. It is awesome. My mission President and his wife seem like great péople. Tonight we are going to sleep at the mission home and then tomorrow I think get sent out to our missions. Posadas is sweet. It is green everywhere! Its pretty awesome. Luckily we got to take another plane to Posadas instead of having to drive here. Sorry I dont have much time but I love you guys and Im doing good. My PDAY will be on monday now. I will talk to you then. Love you guys!

Trent - Argentina!!

Hola Mom and Dad! Ive arrived here at the mission home in Neuquen. It was really crazy getting here haha because I didnt know what to do and didnt understand anyone haha but they had some people to guide us sometimes. Im not gonna lie, its a little overwhelming here, but I think Im gonna love it. The mission President and his wife are very nice. Oh and I didnt lose any of my excessive amounts of luggage! Truly a blessing honestly. A few Elders and Hermanas lost some luggage so Im very glad that didnt happen to me. All the Elders and Sisters that we came here with besides me and Elder Jones and Elder Morgan and one other Elder are foreigners who only speak Spanish haha. That was the only part that was really shocking and kind of scary. The guides only spoke Spanish too so I literally had no idea what I was doing haha. It is very hot here!! Oh my goodness shouldnt have worn a suit. Sorry that I couldnt talk to you Mom! We didnt have any time in Atlanta to call again. Umm.. what else... everything is good. I will stay at the mission home tonight and then get my companion tomorrow from what I can understand from the Spanish haha. Its real now. Im scared, but I have faith its going to go great! Love you and miss you both!!!!! Adios!!

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Rhett - We Out

Whats up,
This week has been good. First off I just want to give a shout out to my dad, Regan, and Dan for the In n Out burgers. And to everyone else that send all the food. Thanks. You guys are awesome. My district is loving it haha. My district and I are pretty much just waiting to leave to Argentina now. Im so excited to get out to the field and serve. Monday couldn't come sooner. Today we are starting to clean our room so that we are ready to go by Monday. A little room with 6 Elders, is no bueno. We pretty much have crap everywhere haha. That should be interesting to clean up.

Something that was cool this week. Every Wednesday new missionaries come into the MTC, and for their first day they have a bunch of things they do.​​ One of the things they do is they get into a big group of new missionaries and go into a room to help teach an investigator. To start off the lesson, two Elders who have been in the MTC for awhile come in and get to know the investigator to help get the lesson going. Elder Thompson and Elder Moore got picked to be the two Elders to start off the lesson. Elder Moore was sick though, so I got to take his place. The first investigator we helped teach was Braulio. We got to talk to him before the whole meeting started. He said he was from Peru and is gonna try and study at BYU. He is living with a Mormon family in Park City, but is not mormon. It was super cool to talk to him about Argentina and about his life. He gave me his email after and told me he wanted to send me a bunch of cool scriptures to help teach people. It was super cool cause he's not even a member but still was willing to help me out with my mission. Maybe Elder Moore got sick for a reason so that I could meet Braulio. I thought that was pretty cool.

Yesterday we had our In-Field orientation, which is a meeting that all the missionaries that are leaving have to go to. Its pretty much all day. During the meeting we switched classes a bunch of times and learned about different ways we can talk to people about the Gospel and about how we can share the Gospel with everyone. The meeting was pretty inspirational and really made me think about my purpose as a missionary. As missionaries we do what we do to share the gospel that we have been blessed with to everyone around us. What a great opportunity I have to share this Gospel with the people of Argentina.

That is pretty much all for this week. There will be a lot more to come for next week. Just to end off I wanted to share something from the Book of Mormon. In Mosiah 24. This chapter talks about how the Lord took the burdens off of Alma when he put his trust in the Lord. This can apply to us all. When we turn ourselves over to Christ and put our trust in Him, he will ease our burdens. If any of you are struggling with something, don't ever feel like you are alone because Christ is there. He is there to ease your burdens for you. If we trust in the Lord and prayer for help, Jesus Christ will be there to help us. I know that this is true. I hope you all have a great week! Love you all!
-Elder Reilly

At the temple

Us soaking in the In N Out burgurs

Saying goodbye to Hermana Dibb, she got married this week.

Elder Bues's ankle after playing volleyball

Study time with Gramps​

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Trent - In n Out of the MTC

Hola Everyone!!

This week was another awesome one! Regan and Dan thank you for bringing me the In n Out and visiting me on the Temple walk! That was so fun seeing you and that was great to get that In n Out for the last time in two years. Of course someone in my branch presidency came up to me right when you were visiting haha but I didnt get in trouble so its fine. Dad thanks for arranging that and getting my order perfect and everything!!

THIS IS MY LAST WEEK IN THE MTC! I got my flight plans and Im heading to Argentina on Monday and im so excited!!!! Rhett and I and a ton of guys from our district are all on the same flight! Its going to be so fun! Understanding that Argentine accent is going to be really hard, but I know I can do it! I can speak pretty comfortably, but understanding people who speak really fast is super hard. Sometimes I can only get like a couple of the verbs and the nouns that they are saying and then i can understand what they are saying for the most part. Then the Spirit guides me and I am somehow able to answer it is pretty sweet. Yesterday we had a skype lesson with a member from Argentina and he spoke soooo fast and the accent was super hard to understand haha. It was really awakening and humbling I loved it. My poor companion tho... after the lesson he told me he literally couldnt understand a single word the guy said and he was so discouraged. So please pray for him(Elder Jones)! He is great when he trusts in himself and he brings the Spirit. I am so excited though for Argentina. I cant wait to go love and serve and teach the people there!

On Saturday we had our last TRC lesson and it was so great! It was so sad saying bye to our investigator Marco. I love that guy! He asked for our emails and said hes going to email us every Monday for our entire missions! I almost began to cry when he said that. He told us he loved us and that we brought the Spirit really strong. He also told us all about the food in Argentina and about how the people are and everything. He said to not worry about the Spanish because as long as we keep bringing the Spirit everyone will understand that. And he said all of that stuff in Spanish and I actually understood it haha. I can understand Gospel terms all day, but normal and fast conversation is hard. It was a really cool experience.

Tuesday night we had a super good devotional. They told us that we were all like soldiers on the front lines in a battle against Satan and that we were doing the most important work in the world. It was so inspiring and motivating and true! We're out here everyday serving and studying and teaching so we can bring souls to Christ. And even though its hard, there's so much joy in doing it!! I love this work! I wouldn't want to be doing anything else!

Thanks again Bonnie and Bill for the package! My district and I enjoyed the cookies! They are almost gone and I got them yesterday haha

Thanks to everyone for all the love and support! I can feel it strengthening me! I love you and miss you all! Next email i'll be in Argentina! Bye!

-Elder Reilly