Monday, January 5, 2015

Bienvenido 2015‏

Argentina Cordoba Mission, Dec 2014 
(M is in middle, behind seated older couples)

Hey fam,

This week flew by.  I didn't get back into my area until late on Wednesday.  I was on an intercambio (exchange) in a trio on Monday, and we did another intercambio with different missionaries on Tuesday and Wednesday.  It was awesome to not have to bathe with a bucket, but with an actual functioning shower!  Wednesday was New Years Eve, which we celebrated with the family we reactivated on Christmas.  Definitely not the same as back home, but it was a good time.

Thursday through Sunday flew by again, only half the week in our actual area but we were still able to get quite a bit of work done.  We met quite a few new people who are interested in learning more about the gospel, so this next week should be one of a lot of success.  It will also help being in the area for an entire week too.  It’s getting really hot here, but that's all the more reason to work harder.  More sacrifices and afflictions, more blessings to come down the road!  Sunday was interesting, we only had 7 people in total at church.  It ended up being just a really short testimony meeting, only my companion and I got up.  I directed the meeting, and got the sacrament first as the presiding "authority," it’s been that way every week since I got here.  The meeting lasted about 25 minutes.  Really not sure what the best thing to do to get more people to church, all we can really do as missionaries is teach and invite, the people have to make their own decisions.  

One experience that was really sweet this week happened during the exchanges on Tuesday in La Rioja Capital.  I was with an Elder Southwick, from Utah, and we went to go visit a member who hadn't been to church in a month to find out why he hadn't been showing up.  Turns out he got offended by a comment by the Stake President, nothing actually serious.  The less active told us "I'm not going to let them see the worst of me, so I am not going to go to church so that way I don't blow up in their faces and yell at them. I am done going to church, never going back there."  He's an interesting fellow, slightly dramatic.  But then I said "Well for me I would think, to let somebody get in the way of my relationship with my Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ, that would be the worst thing somebody could do.  To have somebody who really doesn't even know me, impede me from renewing my baptismal covenants and participating in the sacrament.  I would think that would be worse than anything."  After that he said "'re right.  But still...I have to buy a bus card.  I won't make any promises for this Sunday, but the next one I will be there."  Talk about a 360 degree turnaround!  

The songs we sang on Sunday were The Lord is my Light, I Stand All Amazed, and I Know That My Redeemer Lives. Nothing too fun in the Capital, I had to ride a bike during the intercambio, I definitely prefer walking to riding a bike. Today is my first normal P-day in nearly a month, so that is definitely something to be grateful for!  I’m not really in the soccer loop here, can't say its something that interests me a whole lot, so no, I have not picked a team.  Glad to hear of the little miracles that occurred throughout the week, including finding the dog.  Guess we’re meant to keep him after all.  Letters here cost me a fortune to send, each one is 50 pesos, its better just to give me email addresses.  I love receiving letters, but I don't have the money to send very many. Glad to hear everybody enjoys the ties, it is something really special that really does tie us all together, as Luke said. ** 

Love you all!

Elder Mangum

Tied together - June 30, 2014

**Before Michael left, we got matching ties for the guys in the family that everyone would wear together on Fast Sunday (Hayley is still working on a way to make a hair bow out of some of the tie material so she will match as well!).  Each month we fast together on the 1st Sunday of the month for important things to us.  The tie is just a physical reminder that we are all "tied together" both as a family and in our fast for missionary work and Michael, no matter where we are in the world. The idea came from reading about the Sons of Mosiah in the  Book of Mormon, as they prepared to go their separate ways on their missions to the Lamanite people - "they fasted much and prayed much that the Lord would grant unto them a portion of his Spirit to go with them, and abide with them". We know that great strength, blessings and miracles happen when we unite our faith together in Jesus Christ through prayer and fasting.

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