Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The Prodigal Ball

Last week on Elder Lounsbury´s Great Adventure a treasured soccer ball had gone missing. I appreciate all of the crossed fingers and toes because I´m proud to say that the Prodigal Ball has returned to his father. Last week after we did internet we walked back over to the church and when turned to walk down the driveway to the house whose backyard was holding my ball hostige, this lady was just leaving her house. She was like, "Chicos, are you looking for a ball?". Oh man, those were the sweetest words my ears have ever heard. Haha. If we had gotten there like a minute later it would have been long gone. God answers prayers. Other great news about this week is....I´m going to be a dad!!! Elder Hibbert is leaving and on Wednesday I´ll be up in Mendoza to see who I´ll be training down here in San Rafael. I´m a tiny bit nervous but I think it´s going to be great and that I´m going to learn a lot. They have a new training/study program that didn´t exist when I was trained so I´m pretty excited to see how that is and learn from it! Any guesses about where my new companion will be from? Well that´s the most excited news from this week. We´ve been trying to work a lot more with the members and it´s slowly starting to work, however even though we had a ton of lessons solidly planned this week a lot of them fell through. In order for things to turn out the way we want them too we´re finding that we need to plan for about doulbe of what we want haha. But maybe that´s the way life always is. Things don´t turn out how you want them even if you thought you planned them out really well, so you gotta plan to do more than what you actually want to happen. We´re still trying to find some solid investigators that we can start introducing members to and that will come to church other than the one´s we have right now that need to get married haha. We have a couple possibilities but we´re still kind of in that process of looking/following up on people we´ve found and trying to teach them more often. It´s starting to get a bit chilly here so the sweaters and gloves and hats are slowly coming out of hibernation and are being moved to their new home somewhere on my person. Winter here is going to be pretty dang freezing so chocolate and cider mix are quick becoming the number one item in our food storage essentials. I bought an extra pair of gloves and another hat today and a new scarf may soon be in the works. Send some bottled sunshine will you? With all the love of a cloudy day, Elder Lounsbury

Monday, April 16, 2012


Hello Family!

This week has been pretty normal. On Tuesday we had Zone Conference which was awesome as always. We talked a lot about using the less active members to find people to teach and at the same time help the less active members come back to activity. We also talked about teaching shorter lessons which I think will help us be more productive. We talked about different ways to find people to teach like through family history or doing service. There´s a lot of stuff that we´re supposed to be doing right now and sometimes it´s hard to take it all in and apply it but we´re doing it little by little and I think it´s going to pay off.

I was able to do a baptismal interview this week for the sister missionaries in my district and it was way cool. I think sometimes God gives you a little extra spirit in situations like that. The lady was pretty nervous so I had to spend a lot of time trying to help her feel comfortable and then we had to review a couple things to help her feel more prepared for her baptism. A lot of time the people are way prepared but they don´t feel like it so we have to help them see that they really are. At the very end she was still trying to kinda put off her baptism for a couple weeks so I was just like, alright, let´s say a prayer and ask God. And she did, and afterwords I was like alright, how do you feel? Do you think God wants you to get baptized this week? And after that she chose to do it this Saturday instead of putting it off. It was a way cool experience.

Other that that this week both Elder Hibbert and I have been a little under the weather so it´s been hard to stay excited because we´ve just felt sick and without much energy haha. But, we´re feeling better and I think next week we´re going to have a great week. We really want to try to find more people to teach because right now the main people we have need to get married and that takes a while here in Argentina. The good news is, the lady of one of the couples we´re teaching has started warming up to us (now that she has it clarified that we don´t worship Joseph Smith, that we celebrate birthdays and it´s alright to drink soda) haha. She still feels like the Book of Mormon is something super foriegn so we´re going to keep working on that next week.

In other sad news, I kicked that ball you sent to me for Christmas over the fence while we were playing today and so far we haven´t been able to find the people home so I´m a bit nervous/disppointed it could be gone forever. We´re going to go back and see if the people are home in a little bit so keep your fingers crossed for me will you? Thanks.

Welp, with all the love of a fence just a couple feet too short,

Elder Lounsbury

Monday, April 9, 2012

Valle Grande

Hey family! Sorry I didn´t get to write much last week, how did you all enjoy General Conference? I absolutely loved it to death. Like seriously, I am pretty jealous of all you people who can download them and listen to them on your way to school or soccer practice etc. because I already want to listen to them again and I don´t want to have to wait to read them in next months Liahona. haha. I suppose patience is a virtue huh?

General Conference was a great booster which was great because this week was a bit tough. It wasn´t terrible but there were a couple disappointing moments. The family that we were teaching who came to church two weeks ago dropped us because the mom read something in the bible and interpretted it weirdly and made it out to mean we don´t need churches and that she´s "not looking for a label" even though we know that the name we carry is that of Christ. I just felt awful that night because I knew she was missing out on so much and I had seen true desires to find God. But in the end she relied on her own wisdom and wouldn´t put the promise in the Book of Mormon to the test by reading and then asking God in sincere prayer. Everyone has their agency and at least she now has a good relationship with the missionaries and maybe will have her heart softened sometime in the future. We´re told no effort is wasted but sometimes it´s still hard to feel like that haha.

I don´t know if you all noticed but to me it seemed like there were a lot of talks in General Conference focused on fullfiilling our callings and the role we can play in bring inactives back to the Sheperds fold. I especially noticed it in Priesthood Session. As missionaries we definitely see a need for that, there´s been a new focus on "real growth" which means families sealed in the temple and that every member can have a current temple reccommend. In every ward I´ve been in I think it would be safe to say less than half the people on the ward directory are active. So we´re definitely seeing the need for a bigger focus on less actives and with so many people inactive the missionaries can´t do it by themselves. We´ve been working with a couple of these families in our ward. The idea is we can teach them, help them feel the spirit again and remember what they´ve felt before and then strenght them by helping them share the gospel with a neighbor and a friend--which is where we can come in and do what we´re called to do. That last step is vital because if we don´t meet any new people that we can possible teach through those families then we´re just full time home teachers instead of full time missionaries. So this week we´ve been trying to find new people to teach specifically from these families, and like three times this week it looked like it was going to work perfectly--we were in the house talking with non-members--and every time it pretty much failed. haha. Either they left right when we started sharing our message or they refused to keep listening in another date. Sooooo, that part was also kind of a bummer this week. I think we might have thought of it like every person we teach who fits that situation will listen to us and obviously it´s not that easy. But we´re going to keep working at it, because if we can get it right our productivity will double by simply focusing our efforts more effectively.

Last but not least, we took a little escursion today and went to this dam that everyone talks about here. I think I kinda had my expectations up because seriously, anyone you talk to here will tell you it´s the most beautiful thing on earth. I also think it doesn´t help that I was raised in the most legit tree-filled state ever, but to me it was just a lake surrounded by some pretty ugly idaho-like rocks and dirt. haha. Nah, it was fun to get out and do something different for P-day. It made me super miss hiking and backpacking though.

Welp, with all the love of a big thing of water,

Elder Lounsbury

Monday, April 2, 2012

General Conference

Hey thanks for all of those notes from the fam! You´re right, I loved conference to death. I was on such a spiritual high, I didn´t want it to end at all. I pretty much loved all of the talks but priesthood had some great ones about our responsibility and in the others I loved the focus on family. I had a pretty decent week this week, we were a little bummed because that awesome family we taught has kinda lost a bit of interest and we had a lesson that was kinda all over the place but we haven´t given up hope yet. However, the mom is the one most interested and she needs to get married and before she can do that the guy she´s with needs to have his divorced finished. THe good news is that they´ve already started the divorce, but the bad news is the legal system is horrible here and so it always takes forever. Besides that this week was pretty normal. Sorry I didn´t have more time to write a bit more but just know I´m doing great and I appreciate your love and support! Thanks for everything all of you guys do.

Love you all a million,

Elder Lousnbury