Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Milagros and Micaela's Baptism

Hey fam,

Another solid week, Milagros and Micaela got baptized on Saturday. We finished the month of May with four baptisms as a companionship, not too shabby seeing as the average in the mission is less than a baptism per companionship. We have 5 more investigators who could easily arrive to baptism before I head home, 2 of those being the son of Esther and his wife (Ricardo y Ana).  The best part of recent converts, is that they are the biggest source of future converts! 

This week I was on exchanges in Arguello with Elder Calderon, from Chile, and I was able to go and do a baptisma interview there.  I was hardly in my area, and when I was, my comp was sick, so there wasn't too much going on in Villa Allende workwise, but we were still able to have the font full when the weekend came around.  Sunday no investigators showed up which is always a bummer.  

Yesterday we had Mission Council (which is why I didn't write y’all yesterday). We talked about the problems in the mission and how to solve them.  The topic just about every month is how do we get our missionaries to realize that "all we care about" isn't numbers, but numbers is how we measure the work and progress we are doing.  There are missionaries who won't baptize, because they feel like they're calling was to "retain" or "reactivate."  Truth be told, while those are important aspects of the work, only the mission president, and via delegation, we have the priesthood keys of baptizing converts.  If we don't do it, nobody else can, that is our primordial calling. Personally it took me a while to understand that, but once I made the "click" the mission really picked up rhythm and I started having a lot more success.

Right now I am on another exchange, this time in my own area, with Elder Ramirez from Colombia.  Wednesday we have a zone meeting, where we will train on the Doctrine of Christ and Augmenting our Faith as missionaries. The food has been pretty mas o menos lately, we have had a lot of cow stomach stew and stuff like that.  Studies right now are Charity and the Atonement. And a little bit of Eternal Marriage ;)

Love y’all!

Elder Mangum

Monday, May 23, 2016

Esther's Baptism

Hey fam,

Another great week full of stuff, such as exchanges, zone conferences, and capped off with the baptism of Esther! Starting off with Monday, I headed up to Rio Ceballos with Elder Card and was able to work until Wednesday up there.

Monday night we had an FHE with the stake president's family and Catalina my convert, ending the night eating pancakes and waffles with real maple syrup, and knock off brand Dr. Pepper.  It was a good Family Home Evening to say the least.  Wednesday we had a zone conference, with half of the mission, with a huge emphasis on Chapter 10 of PMG.  I gave my "Testimonio Fiel" which is what all of the missionaries in their last transfer do.  Thursday was another day in the office, Friday was the baptism of Esther, and Saturday I had to accompany an Elder to a different area to work a little bit. 

The week flew by, and when I opened up my email this morning, guess what was waiting for me?  My flight plans for the way home...pretty hard to believe!  I don't want to leave, I love the mission.  But they say that all good things must end.  2 more baptisms set up for Saturday, Micaela y Milagros, the mom already gave th A-OK for the baptism. 

Love you guys!

Elder Mangum

Monday, May 9, 2016

Mother's Day & Last Transfer

Hey fam,

Another transfer in the books!  No crazy changes for my last transfer, me and my comp stayed the same, so it will be 6 more weeks of sweat, blood, and tears.  Bueno, tears no tanto.  As far as the week went, we taught a bunch of lessons, found some people, threw down a couple more baptismal dates here for the end of the month, and had Stake Conference.  Stake Conference was fun, got to see a bunch of people from my old area that I hadn't been able to when I would go there to work.  Funny story, while I was talking to the fam my comp had left with the other assistant to do a baptismal interview, then they came back when I finished and still hadn't done the interview, so I went to go do it.  I was once again offered the keys to drive the car, but I humbly declined, we were in a hurry and I'm not THAT confident in my stick shift driving abilities to go on an Argentine freeway!  

The investigators that we are hoping get baptized this weekend are Leo, Stefania, Micaela, Milagros, Ester, and Ignacio.  We will be working very closely with them this week to help them be ready for their baptism, my comp and I are super excited.  Just about every day we are finding new people and committing them to baptism, which is awesome.  

Today for Pday we played a little soccer, and now it is nap time.  The temple is closed for maintenance until next week, but I have been going as regularly as President allows us to.  My recommend expired last month, but President already knows.  This week we will have a zone meeting, and talk about our baptismal goal for the month (30) and encourage everybody to give it their all.  Sounds like y’all had a great week! 

Love y’all!

Elder Mangum

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Put Your Faith to the Test

Hey fam,

It was a good week.  No more driving experiences, but we did throw down a couple more future baptismal dates, we have 7 lined up for May 14th.  I was able to do 3 intercambios during the course of the week, which was a lot of fun.  The most eventful of which happened with my buddy Elder Troncos, I went to his area one night and told him "OK bro, take me to an investigator who has attended church several times, but hasn't accepted baptism yet."  We went, asked the mom (less active member) if she wanted her daughter to get baptized.  She said yes, I sat down with the daughter, had a nice chat, and did the interview then and there.  That was on Wednesday, she was baptized on Saturday.  We have a big push of urgency in the mission, and in making things happen.  Like in the Old Testament when they had to carry the Ark of the Covenant across the River Jordan, and the water didn't part until after they had gotten their feet wet.  We have to put our faith to the test y hacer que las cosas sucedan. 

I was also able to do an intercambio in Rio Ceballos on Friday/Saturday, found one of my old investigators, and put a baptismal date with her as well.  We had lunch with my old buddy the Stake President, which is always fun. Sunday the Gospel Principles teacher didn't show up, so I talk lesson 3 with a big focus on faith leads to action, that action being repentance, and that the first fruits of repentance is Baptism.  It was what we needed, because we had 6 investigators there.  

Yesterday was Mission Council, which was good.  As a mission we baptized the most that we have in over 2 years, so we are progressing.  We talked about D&C 101 & a few things that we need to improve, and then we all played soccer with President as always to end the day.  All in all a solid week.

Sounds like y’all had a pretty crazy week!  This next weekend is Stake Conference, so it will be great to see everybody from Rio Ceballos at once again.  I might call on Sunday, if I do it will be between 1 and 3 your time :)

Love y’all!

Elder Mangum

Bowling on P-Day last week

Monday, April 25, 2016


Hey fam,

Another great week!  We didn't have any baptisms, we had a few hiccups during the week en cuanto a ellos, but it’s all good, we hope to have at least one more before the end of the month.  This week I did an exchange with one of our elders in an area called Unquillo, and was able to participate in their ward council, which is always "fun."  

This week we also had interviews with President!  That was definitely the highlight...mainly because he gave me and my comp the keys to his car to go pick up lunch!  I can now say that I have driven here in Argentina. I'll send the pictures next week.  It was only about 6 blocks, but it was stick shift...so that was a first.  Didn't stall out though, which is more than my companion can say!  We had a good interview too, he asked me what I had learned in my mission, and I replied by telling him that I still had 2 months left to learn, don't run me out before my time! He laughed and we talked about other things, including opening a new area.  

Friday we did another exchange, this time I was with my buddy Hansen from the MTC, we threw down a couple of baptismal dates and found a bunch of people, it was cool to see that we couldn't talk to each other in English, everything would come out naturally in español.  I started the Book of Mormon in Spanish again, every time I read it there is something new to get out of it.   A good week all in all, not too eventful aside from going for a spin in President's car.  Hope you are all doing well!

Love you all!

Elder Mangum

Monday, April 18, 2016

Selene's Baptism

Hey fam,

Another week, another couple of baptisms!  We are being extremely blessed here in Zona Sierras.  Monday was a great day, we went to Rio Ceballos and an old buddy of mine, Chango Funes, made us the good ole Argentine BBQ. The whole zone came out, as well as a bunch of YSA, we played a ton of basketball, and challenged a group of guys to a soccer game, we ended up beating them (it helps when we have the All World team- Brazil, Argentina, Peru, Chile, etc.) Then we did a splash, which is where the whole zone takes a few hours and contacts people in one of the area.  I went with Elder Willis, we contacted a family and within 10 minutes we had put the baptismal date for the 30/4, they were ready and dispuesto. He and I spent the night in Rio Ceballos, then headed back to my area, where we proceeded to put 2 more baptismal dates (one of which being Selene, who was baptized on Saturday!). It was a great intercambio, I was in the same zone with Willis when he started the mission, and it is crazy to see how he has grown and improved.

The rest of the week was pretty normal, trying to prepare everything for the baptisms, doing a couple of interviews and all that good stuff.  Saturday a 2 girls were baptized, one that was an investigator of the sisters, who I did the interview and she asked me to baptize her.  That is always a great experience. The other was Selene, who one of the ward members baptized.  We have 3 more baptisms lined up for this weekend in our area, so we hope that all will go well!  Scripture of the day: D&C 18:42.  Al agua no mas!  

I am glad to hear that everybody is doing well.  Church here went great, my comp is a professional piano player, so he has taken over the piano playing duties.  I am eating mas a menos, my teeth are probably jacked up, and my shoes have holes in them.  Life is great!  

Love y’all!

Elder Mangum

Monday, April 11, 2016

Gabriel's Baptism

Hey fam,

It was a good week, capped off with the baptism of Gabriel!  It was a long week, trying to get him ready and plan everything, and we ended the week with him and 2 others getting baptized from the other missionaries and the sisters.  Elder George and I had another successful week in terms of finding and teaching, in addition to the baptism. This weekend we hope to have a couple more, namely Selene, Don Gally, and Ester.  Last night we gave the YSA FHE message, which was a lot of fun, most of the people there were from Rio Ceballos, including Catalina my convert!  We talked about 1 Nefi 3:7, that it is a scripture that has nothing to do with obedience, sino with testimony and humility!  Study it!

Today I am headed back to Rio Ceballos for Pday, we are going to have a BBQ next to the river, play some ball, then the whole zone is going to go out and contact people for a few hours.  Then I will go on an exchange until Wednesday with one of our DLs, and we have a zone meeting/training on Wednesday morning.  We are getting halfway through the month, so it is important to keep the fire going to work, work, work!  

Glad to hear that everybody is doing well!  Love you all!

Elder Mangum

Baptism Pictures

Birthday Pictures

Alma & Elder Mangum

Monday, April 4, 2016

Birthday and Conference

Hey Fam,

Another month in the books.  This week was great, Elder George and I really get along well and we put up some decent numbers.  With my new comp we are moving at a pace that I really enjoy.  We had more new investigators last week than anybody else in the mission, with 19.  We are both "experienced" so we want to take advantage of every moment and baptize the most people possible.

Wednesday was my birthday, and we celebrated by finding 7 new investigators and eating ice cream that night.  Nothing too fancy, tonight I have a belated birthday BBQ with some of the YSA in the ward. 

We were able to put a couple of baptismal dates, so we are hoping that this weekend to have a full font.  Gabriel and Selene por lo menos, if not more. On Friday we had a zone meeting, where we set the vision for the month and how we are going to fulfill our baptismal goals.  It was a lot about working effectively, taking advantage of every moment.  If an investigator isn't progressing, we gotta drop 'em (as harsh as it sounds). The Lord is hastening his work, and we have to hasten our pace to keep up.  

Hey, btw, my last area Marcos Juarez was part of  the District Belleville Argentina.  It just got announced that in a month, they will make it the Argentina Bellville Stake!  Crazy that I was a part of that for 4 months!

General Conference was fantastic, for the first time I was able to watch all 5 sessions in English, which was sweet.  I particularly enjoyed Elder Holland's talk, and the many, many talks on the importance of family and making temple attendance a priority and a habit.  Something I definitely have a goal of doing when I get back home.  

Hope everybody is doing well, and some final words from the prophet this weekend, Choose the Hard Right, and not the Easy Wrong.   The decisions we make on a daily basis have an eternal impact.

Love ya!

Elder Mangum

Printable from adashofsalter.com

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Transfers and Easter

Hey fam,

Another transfer come and gone.  I am still in the same area, but my new companion is Elder George from Holiday, Utah.  I have about 2 months more in the mission than he does.  He is an old friend, we have been in the same zone several times, I remember when he was brand new in La Rioja, we did a few exchanges together, and now we are companions, crazy how things work out. The zone changed quite a bit, one of my buddies from the MTC, Elder Hansen, is now in my zone whitewashing an area and training, so it should be a fun transfer.  The week went well, minus the baptism in our own ward.  We had the font filled, but there were some last minute complications and we ended up not baptizing anybody, maybe after General Conference we will be able to.  However in the zone we had 5 baptisms, including one in the river in Rio Ceballos!   I was able to do the interview for the guy, who has really given his life a complete turn around from what it was before.  It is amazing to see how the Atonement can help anybody and everybody who allows it to. 

The Easter concert went really well.  We had over 1000 people show up. The Spirit was super strong, with the music and the testimonies from Presidente and Hermana Alliaud.  When we sang Handel´s Messiah to end in Spanish, everybody ended in tears, it was almost overwhelming the witness that He will reign forever and ever.  King of Kings, and Lord of Lords. There is no doubt in my mind that is the truth.  

Yesterday we had mission council, and for the 3rd straight month, our zone baptized more than all of the others. We hope to keep up the streak here in April, I am really excited for this month, we have some really great missionaries and with General Conference coming up this weekend, we will all have a spiritual feast and be ready to work, work, work afterwards.  

It is great to hear that y’all are doing well and staying busy.  Love you all!

Elder Mangum

Monday, March 21, 2016


Hey fam,

Today was a pretty solid week, the highlight being able to go work in Rio Ceballos and put a couple of baptismal dates with my old investigators that I left there. Didn't get to visit my converts or a ton of members, but that will come in time, I will be here until the end of my mission (unless something crazy happens on Saturday with transfers, but I doubt it). 

Tuesday I went with Elder Christensen to my old area, and we put in work.  I showed him around Salsipuedes, one of the towns that is also in the area, a place where President is thinking about opening up a branch there again. I worked quite a bit there a couple years ago (its fun to say that) and it really has progressed a ton.  The only thing different about my old area is that the missionaries no longer live in the same apartment, which was weird, but the new one is pretty fancy, so nobody is complaining.  Wednesday we had a zone meeting, where my comp and I gave a small training on asking inspired questions and extending strong commitments.  And if we commit somebody to do something without verifying afterwards, it's as if we had never done it in the first place. 

The rest of the week was business as usual, visiting and teaching the people we have set up for baptism this next weekend.  At church on Sunday we had 4 investigators at church, Natalia, Jessica, Serene, and Gabriel.  We were expecting three more, but they couldn't make it for various reasons, but they will be getting baptized in April now so its all good. We still hope to have at least 3 in the water this weekend, and in the zone at least ocho.  The choir is coming along really well, y'all need to look up "Hallellujah Motab virtual choir." We sound like them now.  

In my pdays we usually hit up downtown Cordoba because we are so close.  We teach at the temple once a week mas o menos, on the grounds or in the waiting room. The choir practice is in downtown Cordoba, not too far, its the place where we always have mission and zone conferences. The stake BOM/FHE challenge has died down, the first couple weeks went well, but I don't know if we will be getting to the goal that we set with the Stake President..uh oh. All the contacting we do on the street is the Easter Initiative. The 82 year old grandpa didn't get to church, but next week he should.  

Sounds like you all had a busy week, and have another busy one ahead of yall!  Love hearing how everybody is doing.

Love y'all,

Elder Mangum

Hallelujah Chorus Video

P-Day Pictures