Monday, September 28, 2015

Intercambios and Activities

Hey fam,

The week went really well.  Elder Flores and I had a great time in his area (the ghetto in Córdoba Capital) on Monday and Tuesday.  Having both started our missions in Rio Ceballos, we had a ton to talk about.  I think both nights we were just lying in our beds talking until about 2 in the morning.  We had a good time working together, and I "dropped cane"  in his ward's PEC.  I talked about the initiative from the stake that we have had since June, that they hadn't even started, and we got them to start it.  So it was not just a fun intercambio, but an effective and successful one as well.  

Wednesday and Thursday were both pretty normal days, teaching English.  We had 3 people show up, the high priest group leader, a less active YSA, and a youth, which is great that the class appeals to people of all ages.  I am also working a little with the high priest group leader, Hermano Sotelo, on how to make home teaching more effective here in the ward.  We have developed a program that divides the area into sectors, and each area has active members which will be the home teaching supervisor, and it will all be a lot easier for people. This hermano reminds me a lot of Brother Eccles.

Friday was the ward talent show.  We spent all morning cooking because we were worried we wouldn't have enough food.  I made cookies (they were pretty bad) and peach cobbler (which everybody loved and was asking for the recipe) , as well as a chocolate and dulce de leche cake.  My comp made lemon bars and salsa.  At the end of the day, we had a ton of food, over 70 people showed up to the activity (we had only had 90 in sacrament meeting the Sunday before)  and  bunch of participation.  I ended up singing twice with groups, as well as an act/sketch that the 4 of us missionaries did.  It was a huge hit, everybody loved the talent show.  At the beginning we were really worried, it was supposed to start at 7 and we only had about 10 people there, and nobody who had signed up to perform, but by the end we had more performances than we had originally thought we were going to have.  

Saturday we had another activity, this one for all the Melchizedek Priesthood.  It was more of a social activity, but there were several activities, focused on the importance of communication.  There were 14 of us, and 15 kilos of meat.  Cow, pig, sausage, ribs, there was so much food.  And homemade bread.  We ate really well on Saturday.  Yesterday was really good. The sisters had 3 investigators at church, and because of all of the activities we had, there were 30 more people in sacrament meeting than the week before.  It was really sweet to see the fruits of our labors.  At night we had the Stake Youth Missionary activity.  My companion and I gave a 10 minute training on how to knock doors and present ourselves as missionaries to people.  The goal was to show how to establish relationships of trust really quickly, and be invited back to the house a second time.  There were 4 groups of youth, about 25 in each group, so we had to give the training 4 times.  After the first 3 times I was pretty spent, but then an ex-mission president walked in to the last pressure!  It went really well, all of the youth said that ours was the best (the sisters and the zone leaders also had to give 10 minute trainings on other subjects).  I really enjoyed being able to teach the youth, and get them excited for the mission.  We showed them several examples on how to knock doors, and had them participate in the examples, it was really good.  Both fun and spiritual.  Just like the mission should be!

I am glad to hear that Jake had a great birthday! I am loving his shirt in the pictures. That is awesome that Granger got his call, and Dan will be getting his soon!  I am super excited for conference this weekend, 3 new apostles will be pretty exciting.  It was sad to hear about Elder Scott, he was the mission president here in Cordoba 50 years ago, he holds a very special place in the hearts of the members here. We have a washing machine for laundry, and the clothes have to air dry. This weekend after conference are transfers, so that will be exciting.  There is a 99% chance that I get sent to a different area, which is pretty crazy, because it feels like I just got here.  

Love you all!

Elder Mangum 

The District

Paintball activity with the Zone in September

Monday, September 21, 2015

FHE's and P-Days

Hey fam,

The week was good, nothing too crazy here in Carlos Paz. We found quite a few new people to teach, but once again nobody showed up to church.  It’s hard to work all week and then Sunday rolls around and nobody comes, but we just have to keep our heads up and go work even harder this next week.  Monday night we had an FHE with a family, who surprised us by inviting two of their friends to come and listen to us, it went really well and we gave them both Books of Mormon with the commitment to read and pray about it. Wednesday were English classes, we only had 2 students show up, but all in all it went well.  

Thursday we were able to have an FHE with the less active Family Pelegri, and talk about the importance of having reading the Book of Mormon be a daily habit that will help them.  We are trying to help the dad, Alberto, stop smoking so that he can be able to baptized his daughter when she turns 8 in a couple of months.  This weekend we were able to also have a dinner with the Nielson Family, the RM who served here a few years ago who is living here for a few months.  Sunday we had several good classes, I really enjoyed the class in priesthood that focused on "orgullo" or being prideful.  We talked that a lot of times the spirit of contention comes from us being prideful.  So it’s a lot better to be humble!

Things with my comp are going well, there are only 2 weeks left in the transfer, so we are trying to go out with a bang and find lots of new people to teach.  He is going to play the piano in the talent show, I have no idea what I am going to do.  I plan on making cookies again, maybe that will be my talent.  

We didn't eat anything too crazy this week, quite a few lunches and dinners of empanadas. A normal breakfast for us is a cup of chocolate milk or maybe mate.  My favorite thing to do on pday is rest, maybe take a nap, and write everybody who takes their time to write me.  Today on Pday we went to the zoo in Cordoba and then played soccer with the zone. 

I am currently on intercambios cruzados in a different area, it is exchanges with all of the zone.  I am with Elder Flores from Mexico, the elder who replaced me when I left Rio Ceballos, so we will have a lot to talk about in the next day or so!  I am looking forward to it.  The exchange is from today until Wednesday.

They haven't told us anything about when we will have fast Sunday, before or after conference.  I do get to give a training to all of the stake youth next Sunday, they are having a huge activity for future missionaries, everybody from ages 12-25, and the Stake YM president, who lives in my ward, wants me and my companion to give a couple of workshops.  I hope I can be able to help the youth, we are doing a pretty good job in the ward, so hopefully we can make an impact on the stake level. It will be fun.  

I am glad to hear that everybody is doing well at home.  I hope everybody has a fantastic week, and that Jake has a very Feliz Cumpleaños!


Elder Mangum

Monday, September 14, 2015

Temple Trip

Hey fam,

The week was good.  On Tuesday we went to the temple as a district, and ran into the Tanners- the senior couple that is serving in La Rioja.  We got to participate in a session together and talk afterwards, which was really a neat experience.  They just happened to be in town because President had invited all of the senior couples for a BBQ at his house, and they were taking advantage of being in town and going to the temple as much as they could.

Tuesday night we also played a little volleyball with the ward as well as helped out with the Family History class.  Wednesday was English class, and a grand total of...0 people showed up. 

Thursday we had interviews with President, along with 5 hours of training by the assistants.  It was a long day.  The rest of the week was fairly normal, I attempted to make Mom's cookies...didn't come out anything like them, but we ate them just the same.  They don't have brown sugar like back at home, or shortening, which made it slightly difficult. 

Not mi madres cookies!

We did service on Saturday, loading a truck full of about 200 "tejas" (roof tiles) that took us a solid 5 hours.  My comp sliced his finger open.  It got pretty fun.  We were all in a line tossing them to one another until they reached the truck.  If you stopped paying attention, you get hit in the face.  Church yesterday went well, no investigators in church, but several inactive families came for the first time in years.  All in all a solid week, looking forward to General Conference in just a few weeks, that is always a really good time.

We ride busses and walk, it just depends on the day and if there is money to pay for the bus.  Nothing new this week, it was all pretty normal.  We do have a few dinners and FHE's with members set up for this week, which means we will be eating quite well.  The Talent Show is on the 25th, I am looking forward to it, although as of now we have all of 5 people signed up to do something.  But I have faith!  My favorite part of the area are the people.  I think I say this with every area, but it is the people you meet and the friendships you make that really make or break the area.  

I did hear that BYU pulled out another Mangum Miracle, that is awesome.  Sounds like y’all had quite the fun car ride home from Dallas! :)  

Love you all, hope everybody is doing well,

Elder Mangum 

Our District at the Temple

Carlos Paz at night

Monday, September 7, 2015


Hey fam,

The week went well.  Nothing too crazy, no eating of cow heart this week.  We got to teach quite a few lessons, and put more baptismal dates on people as goals for the 19th of September, but alas, they did not show up to church.  Looks like this week we will be spending quite a bit of time on the importance of the Sabbath day. All in all a good week, the ward started playing volleyball as a ward activity every Tuesday night, and the elders quorum president asked us to go.  We also decided that we would start doing English classes every Wednesday night, starting this week, so that will be fun.  All 4 missionaries in the ward are from the States, so hopefully we will be able to teach a little something.  

Sunday went well, the sisters had an old investigator of ours in church, so that was good.  Fast Sunday went pretty smoothly. Today for Pday we went to Cordoba Capital and a zone and played paintball.  It was a blast.  Definitely not something I was expecting to be able to do on the mission, but President gave us permission, so we went for it.  There are rumors that this week we will have interviews with president, and there is also a shot that we go to the temple as a district again. My comp will be participating in the talent show, we will see what I do.  This week we did set up an FHE where I will be making Mom’s famous chocolate chip cookies, so I will let y’all know how that goes.  The most interesting thing that happened this week was on Saturday night, I wasn’t exactly in the best of moods, and my comp had us stop in the middle of the street and pray to find somebody to teach.  He prayed, and then said "the next street over, house on the corner."  We went, knocked, and he just asked for a glass of water in his limited Spanish, and the woman let us pass into her house and we taught both her and the people who were there visiting the restoration.  

I did hear that Argentina was in Houston playing Bolivia, I think they won 7-0 or something like that.  I also heard that BYU had a crazy comeback win against Nebraska.  We had a Utahn move into the ward this past week, Kenny Nielson is his name, he went to BYU, and told me all about the game at church on Sunday.  Definitely made my day.  

Hope everybody is doing well.


Elder Mangum