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

Driving

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

Exchanges



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



Monday, March 14, 2016

Baptismal Interviews & Music

Hey fam,

Another week in the books.   It was a good one, I did another baptismal interview.  We ended up with 3 investigators in the chapel, all with baptismal dates for the 26th of March, so we are pretty excited.  Jessie, Milagros, and Micaela.  Plus we found a boatload of new investigators to start teaching this week.  

Crazy stories this week, I don't have any.  We did have a zone conference with President and two other zones, we recieved trainings based on the talks given in the worldwide missionary training in January.  It was enlightening, a big focus on the doctrine of Christ. The importance of baptizing everybody.

Friday we had a huge BBQ and I did another baptismal interview, he got baptized on Sunday night,the nephew of a member. It was cool because all of his family came, and none of them are members, and the grandpa (who is 82) asked "Can I be baptized right now too?"  But he was dead serious, he said that he felt like it was the right thing to do and that it was what God wanted.  He lives in our area, so we will definitely be working with him this week!  Another miracle in the MAC.

You asked about the missionary choir I am in.  We will perform for the 5 stakes of Cordoba Capital for a big regional Easter conference. The whole choir sings 8 songs - Hallelujah, Come though Fount, He is Risen, I Believe in Christ, Simple Gifts, Bound for the Promised Land, Lillies of the Field, and Where Can I turn for Peace.  Then you have various duets, solos, etc. But I'm not a good enough singer to be asked to do that haha. They actually did cuts, and kicked people out of the choir who couldn't sing...luckily the guy in charge of doing the cuts was Elder Lakey, my son, so he didn't cut me haha.  And I don't sing THAT bad, I can match the guy next to me at least.  

Speaking of music, I am the ward pianist now! I have the gift of tongues, and music is definitely a foreign tongue!  I play the piano 10 times better in the mission now (having hardly ever practiced) than I ever did back home.  Pretty crazy when I sit down and start playing.  I actually help out a little in the choir with piano as well (playing the parts, the easy stuff). 

This week is key to end March on a high note and start the next transfer on a good foot.  Transfers are the 28th, this week I get to write reports on all 22 missionaries in the zone.  And exchanges with Rio Ceballos and the assistants, it will be a packed week. 

Glad to hear that everybody is doing well! Tell the fam in Dallas hi! 

Love you all!


Elder Mangum

Monday, March 7, 2016

Lautaro's Baptism

Lautaro and Elder Mangum


Hey fam,

It was a good week.  Not too great as far as numbers in our own area went, but the zone had 4 baptisms on Saturday, 3 of which were in our area.  The meeting on Tuesday with the Stake President went well (our mission president wasn’t able to make it, an emergency came up.) With President Paolantonio (an old friend of mine from back in the day in Rio Ceballos, Catalina the convert we baptized is his neighbor) we made a Stake Mission Plan.  Every companionship in the stake (all 11) need to have 5 FHE's in the month of March with active members, and somebody else invited (less active, recent convert, non-members).  That way we can improve not just the baptisms, but also the retention and reactivation in the stake. In addition, the focus of these Family Nights will be the Book of Mormon.  The theme from now until stake conference (May 15th) is to Flood the Hill Country of Cordoba with the Libro de Mormon. We will be giving copies to the members so that they can give them away to their friends, the goal is 15 copies given away by the members in the month of March in every ward/branch.  

Wednesday we had a zone meeting, where we presented the Stake Mission Plan to our missionaries and reemphasized many of the things taught by Elder Bednar and in the World Missionary Training.  We passed the vision of the month to the missionaries, with a big focus on the Book of Mormon as well as verifying commitments.  With those two, we are ready to see the zone explode with baptisms.  De hecho, we are already seeing it.  

The rest of the week was business as usual, teaching and finding.  Saturday I had the opportunity to do 3 baptismal interviews, and in one of them the youth asked me to baptize him.  I had seen him around the church (the other elders were teaching him) and played basketball and soccer a few times, and at the end of the interview he surprised me by asking me to do it.  It was neat, because with almost all of the baptisms I have had, we almost always have members perform the ordinance, it was fun to get back in the water.  

Sunday we only had 1 investigator in church, Jessica, the girlfriend of a member.  She would already be baptized, but she is currently living with her boyfriend, so we can't baptize her until they get married, and they are in the process of doing that, but it could take a while. So we have a lot of work to do to find people this week so that we can complete our goal before the end of the month.  Did I mention that I am in the mission choir?  We have rehearsals every Sunday, and we will be doing a sweet Easter Program.  I love Easter, my favorite time of year (and not just because my birthday is 3 days later...)

Sounds like y’all had a pretty busy week!  I always love hearing what y’all are up to. The apartment is fun, but today we got a phone call, there is an emergency transfer and one of the other elders is leaving, and they are sending another elder to live with us.  Should be interesting!  We shall see how it goes.  The hardest part of the area is the bikes.  I definitely prefer walking, but it’s hard to argue that the bikes aren't more efficient as far as time goes.  

Love you all


Elder Mangum


Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Baptisms and a Training




Hey fam,

It was a solid week.  Didn't go quite as planned, but then again we kind of get used to that in the mission.  Of the 8 people we had lined up for baptisms on Sunday, only 2 made it to the water, Richard and Lacus (there was a third one who had his interview and showed up to be baptized, but his dad said no at the last minute and they walked out right before the baptismal service, second time that has happened in the mission). 

Wednesday we had an Area Training from Elder Bednar (for the countries Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, and Paraguay.)  It lasted 3 hours, and was the first training of its kind.  Almost 10% of the missionaries in the world are located in those 4 countries.  The end was a Q&A session, which was pretty interesting (Elder Bednar was in a chapel in Buenos Aires, we were watching by satellite, so only the 4 missions there could ask questions).  I learned a ton, a huge emphasis on the Spirit and other things (I can't remember any of the words in English...compromisos, el modelo de aprendizaje, y la verificación.) 

The rest of the week was business as usual, Sunday night we baptized which is always a good way to end the month.  Yesterday was Mission Council, where all the ZLs and Sister Leaders meet together with President and we talk about the things going on in the mission.  President gave us the preview of the Easter Initiative, there is a new video that will come out March 15th for the members, but Pres already had access to it so we watched it.  Unfortunately, only the English version is available for now, so my comp volunteered me to do the translation.  It’s a really good video, I am excited to put a big focus in the zone in using it.  The title is Hallelujah.  Easter is a great time of year to be a missionary.  

Sounds like y’all had a crazy week! Britt couldn't wait a couple weeks for a brotha?  Haha that is awesome, I am glad to hear that all is going great in casa.  Love you all!


Elder Mangum



Monday, February 22, 2016

Working Hard



Hey fam,

It was a good week.  Pretty busy, a lot of work, being a ZL isn't as easy as they make it seem.  My hairline is receding even faster than before.  4 districts in the zone.  11 companionships in total, including the assistants to the president.  But it’s been fun, we have 8 baptisms lined up for this weekend in my area (between us and the other companionship), so we're praying that it will all work out!  Truth be told, I don't remember a ton of details from the week.

Tuesday we worked ourselves dead finding people and putting baptismal goals for the 28th with 3 people.  We had ward council as well that night.  Wednesday we stayed in our area and went to the District Meeting of the DL who lives with us (every week we choose a different meeting to go to)  and guess who decided to make a surprise visit?  The mission president.  First time in my nearly 2 years here that he has done that, but it was cool.  We did intercambios with one of the areas, Arguello, and afterwards ate 3 litros of ice cream in one sitting between the 4 of us. (The ice cream here is super cheap...a cone with 2 scoops here is the equivalent of a dollar back at home). 

The rest of the week was work, work, work. Friday we went to the temple, which was neat, the first time since Carlos Paz that I have been able to go. Being a ZL, and over the temple, I can pretty much go whenever I want. Special privileges, it’s pretty cool.  Sunday was good, it’s nice being back in a ward where my only worry is that my investigators get to church. 

This week I hit 2 Nephi 2, a chapter full of "nuggets" as Brother Brame would say, I encourage y’all to check it out.  There is an opposition in all things, but we are free to choose for ourselves. Or as President Hinckley said "You can be smart and happy or you can be stupid and miserable. The choice is yours." 

We are teaching a boat load of people, but the ones who should be baptized this weekend are Javier, Richard, Jessie, Ruben, Lautaro, Lucas.  A normal zone baptizes 10 a month, in the zone we have 12 lined up for this weekend alone.  Nothing too different in this area, although I am on a bike for the first (and probably last) time in my mission. This week we have a Broadcast/training from Elder Bednar on Wednesday.  4 months from today I land on Texas soil, hard to believe.

Have a great week!
Love,

Elder Mangum

Monday, February 15, 2016

Hill Country of Cordoba

Hey fam,

This was a good week.  Learning the ropes as a Zone Leader has been fun.  I love the area, it is great to be back in the hill country of Cordoba.  Both the areas of Rio Ceballos and Carlos Paz were this type of scenery and climate, so it feels very familiar.  Those were also my two favorite areas, so its an added plus.  In the ward we have 4 missionaries, my comp and I, Elder Coombs from Utah, and Elder Aldaz from Ecuador. We are all in the same pension, which is fun.  Everything in the pension works as well, the fridge, the microwave, and we even have a washing machine, perks of being a Zone Leader. We have the biggest zone in the mission, with 22 missionaries.  The zone includes the mission offices and the temple, so we have permission to go and teach investigators on temple grounds whenever we want.  

Last Monday was fun, a bunch of missionaries from my old districts hung out and we went to a Peruvian restaurant, and did bowling and walked around downtown. Tuesday it was back to work, we visited a few people here in the area, and had to organize a splash in Villa Belgrano, the area where the mission home and temple are located, because the 14 missionaries who were going to train had 3 hours of free time, and President wanted to put them to work, so he called us to organize it.  We got a map of the area and split it up into sectors, and made companionships of those who were going to train (the greenies still hadn't shown up yet) and we got to work.  In less than 3 hours, we found 20 new investigators for the area, which in that area, is unheard of.  Think of the neighborhood where the Houston Temple is located, it was the Argentine equivalent of knocking doors there.  I found a pretty cool family, Daniel who is a doctor, has his wife and 3 kids, the Elders who work in that area went on Saturday and have another appointment with him tomorrow, hopefully it will keep going well!  Wednesday and Thursday it was working in our area, and on Friday we had a zone meeting.  Elder Castro and I gave a small message, sharing the zone vision of baptizing 33 people this month and using all of the mission tools that we have at our expense.  We shared the last chapter of John as motivation.  I then went to a "rendir cuentas" (in English that would be...Accounting?  Basically giving reports of investigators) of one of the districts, it was..interesting to say the least.  Can't go into too much detail, not a ton of time to write it all out. That night I went to Rio Ceballos to do a baptismal interview, the girl never showed up, but it was cool to go back to my old area, truth be told it felt like coming home, I got to talk with the bishop of the ward for a solid hour and catch up on how things were going.

Saturday was more work, and Sunday we had 2 investigators in church, Ruben and his dad, who is also named Ruben.  Ruben Jr. has a baptismal date for this next Sunday, so we'll be praying for that.  Today we went to Rio Ceballos for Pday, we hiked up to a waterfall (truth be told, pretty pathetic waterfall) and grilled choripan (sausage on a bun mas o menos). It was a long day, I am pretty beat, but the whole zone came out and we did it together, which was the goal.  More zone unity, something that had been missing.  It is harder, trying to do these things with a zone, in a district there were 4 or 6 of us, now we are five times that amount.  But all in all, it went well, no complaints from anybody por lo menos!  I started the Book of Mormon and the New Testament again this week, hope to finish both by my birthday.  Read your scriptures every day, it may seem like something small, but it will make a huge difference! 

I have had some pretty good meals already, it feels so much better to be back in a city type of area.  There is a shopping (like a mall) a couple blocks from our house, and it feels like walking into First Colony Mall back at home.  Mickey D's, a smoothie place, stores, and it’s even got a movie theater.  All with AC, which is pretty awesome, especially since we are burning up down here this summer. (Did I mention our house has AC?  only in our bedroom, but it’s still awesome to come home a the end of the day to a freezing cold room after being out suffering in the heat!) My tooth is good, don't even notice it.  Valentine's Day is a thing here, but not as big.  Church was good on Sunday, they had me bear my testimony.  Glad to hear all is going well back at home, crazy that Maddie is already heading out on her mission!  Time is flying by, February is already halfway done.  

Love you all!  Take advantage of every minute this week!


Elder Mangum

Monday, February 8, 2016

Transferred!



Hey Fam!

Another area come and gone.  Saturday night I got the phone call, my new area is Villa Allende as Zone Leader.  It will probably be my last area.  It is the same zone where I started my mission, so it’s kind of cool that everything has come full circle.  I will be doing an exchange or two in Rio Ceballos, that's for sure!  My new comp is Elder Castro from...guess where...Peru! My third companion from Peru, which will be a lot of fun.  He has about 14 months in the mish, I actually was in the same zone when he started the mission and remember him as a greenie.  I am pretty pumped, I am in another one of the strongest wards in Cordoba (well, technically I am right outside of the city...again.)  It’s funny, half of my areas have been "strong" wards, and the other half have been tiny little branches or annexes.  The best of both worlds!



This last week in the area was fun, we did some service for our branch president, helping him clean up his backyard and move some things.  Wednesday we had a zone meeting and were in Bellville all day, but it was good to be able to do the end of transfer interviews with the sisters and really see how much each of them had progressed in the past 6 weeks.  Truth be told, I might miss being in charge of sisters, sometimes it wasn't easy, but I definitely learned a ton!  The rest of the week was pretty normal, Sunday half of the branch decided to go on vacations to Carlos Paz, so there were only about 20 of us in the chapel, but really it was probably the most spiritual Sunday that I have had in the area. All of the old timers in the branch in testimony meeting shared their testimonies and conversion stories, which was neat.  We studied 2 Nephi 2 in Sunday School, which is always a fun class, there is definitely an opposition in all things!

Sounds like y’all had a great time this week, minus Jake.  Hopefully he feels better!  I am pretty excited for my new zone, it is the zone that baptizes most in the mission, and we intend to keep it that way.  Crazy to think that, unless something crazy happens, this will be my final area.  It is crazy how time flies!  Love you all!

Elder Mangum


Some older pictures from Marcos Juarez in Nov/Dec