August 3, 2015

              I did it man! It was hard, but I did it!

              Friday in my exit interview President said, on behalf of the Lord and the First Presidency of the Church who called you to this assignment we thank you for your dedicated service and want you to know you will be returning home with honor. Awesome man. So pumped.

 Last letter:

Well, can’t believe it, but this is the end of the dynasty. It’s been a great run and I’m really glad i made the decision when i was young to come out here on a mission. I can honestly say I did all i could these past couple years and have no regrets of things I did or didn’t do. I’m returning home happy with the work I did here, and sad for having to leave the people and country. I’ve really grown to love both.

On Saturday we were able to baptize Kevin Ríos, a 16 year old kid that had a baptismal date last year. It was a good baptismal service and I was really excited when he asked me to perform the ordinance. The 2-year sacrifice is worth it when you can see the people you visit change. More than anything, that’s what I am going to miss. Watching people change.

As we share the gospel with others and see them make changes in their life to be able to feel the spirit constantly and also receive forgiveness for their sins by being baptized is crazy. This brings us one of the greatest joys we can feel, just by knowing that we are an instrument in the hands of the Lord.

I’ve been able to feel that same joy and energy for the past 2 years. There are always ups and downs, but seeing people change and come unto Christ as a result of my service is what it’s all about.

I’m grateful for the atonement of Christ and know that through that, we can receive complete forgiveness of our sins. It can carry us through any challenge or obstacle we face. It gives us hope when everything seems to be going against us. It can make us feel loved when we feel alone. It’s also the best motivator we have.

Thanks for all the support you all gave me these past couple years, I’ll see you all this week!

Elder Slack


July 27, 2015

this week was really good! we saw a couple of cool miracles as well.

On Saturday we passed by Marlon, our date, to make sure he was going to be going to church yesterday. We got their to find him sick with chinkungunya which means he wasn’t going anymore. We gave him a blessing but he didn’t end up going to church yesterday because he was still pretty bad. With him, pretty much all of his family members are members except for him and his cousin. Well, as we were leaving, we talked to his uncle who told us that he had talked to his other nephew, the unbaptized one, who was saying he wanted to get baptized now. So we hoped for the best!

Yesterday morning we were waiting for investigators to enter the chapel. A lot of times, missionaries go look for investigators, but we use members to get them. What happens a lot of times is that when the missionaries have changes, the converts stop going to church. But if they always go to church with active members, they wont go inactive for something dumb like that.

We see that cousin, Kevin, enter the church. He is 16 and is a pretty cool kid. I asked him how he was and he said good… here i am preparing for my baptism! We were shocked! He had came to church like 3 or 4 times in the past couple months but showed no desire to be baptized. We said, oh yeah? When is that? He said well, the 2nd of AUgust, right? Haha uhhh yeah! He’ll end up getting baptized on the 8th, but still a huge miracle! Im pumped that kid is getting baptized. He is one of my favorite people here.

The rest of sacrament meeting was really rough. During the first speaker, my 14 year old convert had a seizure and was carried to the hospital in an ambulance; it was really bad. The intermediate hymn was literally sung by only my companion and I because no one else knew it, and the final hymn was just as bad and they ended up changing it in the middle of the 2nd verse. It was pretty bad.

I’m really happy and excited for this next week. We have a baptism on Saturday which will be my last one. Excited for one more week of work! Gotta leave it all out on the field.

Elder Slack

July 20, 2015

Hey guys!

This past week we were able to put a baptism date with Marlon Perez for August 2nd. We baptized his mom and sister last change, and he finally accepted the date for the 2nd! We’re pumped! We have 2 people that will probably getting baptized on the 9th as well. They already have enough assistance to be baptized, they just live really far from the church it is hard to teach them. But they’ll be baptized on the 9th and we should count the dates this week.
On Thursday and Friday I ended up going to a couple of different areas to do interchanges, on Friday I was with Elder Rietveld who is from Murray. Haha we had some funny things happen that day. My comp and I had set the goal to put a ton of baptism dates in these 2 days and so that was what we were going for. Well, in one lesson, E Rietveld had told me that there were 3 teenagers that had potential of accepting a baptism date that we would be teaching in a family home evening. We got to that appointment and it was game on. We started teaching and stuff and the spirit was there and I ended up asking the first person if they would be baptized. She gave a common response that we almost hear daily. ”I was already baptized.” So i replied with what I feel is logical and said, ”But in the church we represent?” ”Yes.” E Rietveld whispers, that’s our cook’s daughter. Hahaha so awkward. I said oh, that’s great, and then moved on to the next person. I tried playing it cool even though i just wanted to leave haha.

Yesterday when we walked into church I saw my convert from 16 months ago! It was awesome! He ended up looking into where I was so he could say bye to me. Turns out he saw a lot of people he recognized and will be going there again next week. It’s about a half hour away in bus from where he lives.

We were sitting in sacrament and the counselor comes over and tells my comp and I that we would be speaking after sacrament. Thanks for the heads up. My comp talked about the sacrament and the atonement, I talked about… something else. I’m not going to say what, because I think i’m going to use it for my homecoming talk. I hate speaking on the spot but at least feel like I dont do too bad at it anymore.

Overall it was a good week! Lots of rain, interchanges, and sweating. Excited for another week more. 🙂

Elder Slack

July 13, 2015

First off, thanks for all the birthday wishes! It was awesome this year, a lot better than last year! I had cake on like 3 or 4 occasions and some members grilled some steak and chicken for me as well. Never been a huge fan of cake, but… it was good! haha. The members here are great!

So this past week we had a couple of crazy things happen.

We met this little family and found out the 13 year old daughter lives with her boyfriend and 6 month old kid in her house with her mom. Even though they don’t pray, read scriptures, go to church, etc. they say they are good right now and don’t need the help of God to have a happy life. Sad, but i guess we can choose how we want to live.

We went to the house of someone we are trying to reactivate Saturday morning and ran into a couple evangelical missionaries. We asked if we could go in and participate and they said sure. They began asking why we were there and we explained our mission objective, and then they began attacking our beliefs on the great apostasy, saying the church of God was never lost. They began using a ton of boring scriptures and when we asked them to look up Amos 8:11-12, they freaked and started attacking Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon. We bore testimony of both and they asked what time it was. We told them it was 1130 and they said they had to leave and without skipping a beat, they got up and left. Haha, we began going over the little visit they had had with the less active, asking if they had prayed, invited the spirit, invited her to participate in the lesson, etc. We asked her what differences she feels when we are there compared to when they are there, and we shared scriptures about how contention doesn’t come from God. It ended up going well, just those evangelicals that were there for like 5 minutes were annoying.

We have a few positive people we are teaching right now, 6 of which have told us they will be baptized on specific dates. So we have 6 baptism goals but aren’t counting any sure dates right now. We could easily baptism 2 people, DIna and her son Jefferson, but they live really far from the chapel and we can only talk to them in person on Sundays. I imagine they get baptized on August 2nd or August 9th, but again, we don’t have any set dates for right now.

Sacrament meeting yesterday was rough, you know it is going to start bad when someone who can barely read begins reading a manual for his talk. He reads 2 pages and then said, well, that was my talk, now I am going to bear my testimony. haha. He gave a powerful testimony, but it was kind of a rough meeting. Next up was a long time member, and wife of an ex-stake president. No worries there, right? Nope. She began my singing a hymn from another church and then talked for 25 minutes before inviting the congregation to sing How Firm a Foundation to finish her talk, right before singing the rest him. haha oh man. It’s not that they were bad, but really different from the good ol 4th ward.

The rain this week hit hard as well and we walked through one street where the water was up to the middle of my shins! It was crazy and i felt bad i didn’t have my camera. But i’ll get a picture the next storm.

Everything is going good here and i’m still learning a lot. Sometimes people make the mission harder than it should be, but it all helps me learn more. Excited for another week! Thanks again for all the happy birthdays.

Elder Slack