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

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