Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Two worlds, One family

¨Every moment now the bond grows stronger. Two worlds, one family! Trust your heart, let faith decide to guide these lives we seek....[and baptize!]¨

I apologize if anyone doesn´t like my Tarzan humor.

This has been quite the whirlwind of a week! I thought that I would be coming onto the emails loaded with stuff about Whitney´s homecoming, but it turns out she hasn´t come home yet. Cool! I got her blessings for one more week. We have the promise as missionaries that our families will be blessed! But now I have no one to share the load...dang it.

Well wednesday, like I think all of the world´s missionaries, we got some cool training from apostles and other general authorities! That was GREAT. It took up much of the day, because we also had an area seventy visit the mission and give us a message of his own. We ALSO had the mission pres from the misión Comodoro Rivadavia visiting. Haha the training from the apostles in SLC was given in english, but translated into spanish, kinda like conference. ¨So close, yet so far.¨ I learned a whole lot though. One thing that really stuck out, and something that has been on my mind lately, is that we have to ¨cry repentance¨ to EVERYONE. Our job, as is the job of all members, is to testify and invite others to come unto Christ.....THROUGH repentance (among other things). It is not easy to do that. But if we aren´t bold and declare the word, who will? I think it´s PMG that says, ¨Some missionaries are so scared of offending people that they never ever save them.¨ Wow, that´s a bold statement. That´s something I am working on improving: extending loving and humble invitations to repent and be baptized.

Well Elder Campos is district leader, right? So this week we did divisions with the zone leaders. I was with Elder Healey, total stud from Canada. I have had him as a leader my whole time here in Arg. He taught me lots, and helped me realize my potential and strengths and weaknesses.

One thing we are doing in the pench now is praying as a group at bedtime and first thing in the morning. This helps us with our schedule obedience, and maintaining the Spirit. We started it after one of the Elders in the pench, I won´t say who, asked us all to straight up teach him the first lesson. He wanted a new perspective, and fresh enthusiasm, he said he is struggling a bit. I won´t say much of sacred experiences, but I have new respect for this Elder with enough faith to simply ask for help.

Bus Adventures: some of the buses are nice, and some are more like Nacho Libre´s ¨big bus¨ he bought for the orphans ha! More often than not, they are PACKED to the brim. And the drivers dont care at all, they are going full speed no matter what. Many times, I´ll climb on just the first step (becuase there´s no room to get onto the actual bus part) and the driver will go full speed w/out closing the door. And you can imagine how awkward it is to be squished standing next to someone on a bumpy road bus.

Anyway, just a great week loving my life! There were many flecks of gold to be found. ¡Ciao! Have a great week.

Love Elder Wilcox

Pic: went to the depths of humility this morning playing futbol with these guys!
Pic: Walter (investigator) made us a great asado yesterday! yum

Monday, January 18, 2016

Six Months Down

Ok first I swear I am not trunky, just wanted to acknowledge the fact that I am already past 6 months in my best two years! WEIRD. It was last week I realized that, and I immediately thought ¨but.......I´m still pretty much clueless.¨ Well, in these siguiendo 18 months I will get a clue, no doubt about it! AND, on the exact same day, Elder Campos hit his year mark. He has exactly six months more than me haha.

Second order of business, WHITNEY YOU ARE GOING HOME! Congrats ya chotch! I have thought about you much and all your adventures you have had and are yet to have and couldn´t be happier for you. I do want to be there....but don´t. It satisfies me enough just thinking about that happy moment in the airport. Please don´t get married.

So much happiness! That´s what this gospel brings! I have had hard moments this week, just like EVERY week, but who cares?? It always seems to wrap up in a delicious juicy interesting mission burrito by preparation day. (Ooohh, a burrito. That sounds good.) This week was great, I am learning more and more about the importance of PLANNING. Something that my Papi Elder Stuart said frequently is that it´s better if you plan tomorrow, today. As in, make plans DURING the day. Make appointments and call people, and then you´ll be successful the next day, and on and on. Our lesson numbers and such have really jumped.

Something else that I am improving on is enjoying those great little ¨flecks of gold¨ that I think Elder Scott(?) talked so wisely about. Life in the gospel, or even just happiness in general, is NOT about finding that very rare chunk of gold. It´s in the little flecks, which are much more plentiful. One great example was last tuesday. We were walking along, heading to someone´s house we were planning on visting, but it was more than likely that they wouldn´t be home, or ¨wouldn´t¨ be home. (As in they would pretend they weren´t there.) I stopped pretty abruptly in a street, and looked farther down. There wasn´t anyone out, it was during the siesta. (sorry gotta explain-everyone takes a massive nap from about 2-4 and the whole world is dead during those hours). I said ¨I feel like we should contact here instead.¨ I blurted that out kind of without thinking, but it made more sense the more I thought about it. So we started clapping doors, and long story short we found a lovely woman named Dora and had a GREAT first lesson with her! That´s a good story for following the spirit AND enjoying the flecks of gold.

Some other flecks could just be a nice cool breeze that God sends to say, ¨Keep going!¨ I also had a really quite spiritual experience the other day, I was reading a poem about a missionary. The missionary had a dream where he talked to Jesus, and Jesus compared his own life to that of the missionary´s. When we suffer and have hard times, we are standing shoulder to shoulder with the Savior of the world! And then we can stand tall, and keep going. That´s what is is all about! To keep trying, and to keep going. That´s what the sacrament is trying to teach us: to never to give up and to always ´perseverar hasta el fin´!

Well, I better go. I could tell you all about dozens of little golden flecks I have had. There´s a challenge for everyone! Keep an eye out for the flecks, or in other words God´s hand in your life. And then you´ll be happy.
Love, Elder Wilcox

(ok, I´m tired of all this ¨sent from my Ipad¨ business. So here goes..)

Sent from a slow computer in a small, cramped ¨ciber¨ in Argentina

Pic: Elder Campos and I on our year and 6 month marks
Pic: got my first missionary haircut from Elder McCardell!

The Power of the Priesthood (Jan 11)

Another wonderful wonderful week in the life of Elder Wilcox and Elder Campos! I am really finding out the blessings of a focused mind and hard work. The Lord commands us to open our mouths to EVERYONE. Does that mean that you won´t get mean people? No. But you´ll eventually find the ¨elegidos¨, the ones ready to accept the Gospel in their lives!

This was a great great week. Every week is really. We are finally over that awk first- week-or-so-of-companionship-stage. I have also been loving getting to know Elder McCardell. We did divisions this week (which were SO simple! Same pench, don´t have to worry about anything) and he is awesome! He is from Murray so automatically we have a lot in common. I also realized how much I appreciate having a Latino comp. With white Elders, you have to switch a LOT between languages. With Elder Campos, it´s just spanish no más. That actually REALLY helps! He taught me how to do the Rubik´s cube this week so that was cool.

Anyway: the power of the Priesthood. There´s a lot of it. We had interviews with President this week. He is such a powerful example of always always having the spirit with you. He gave me some great counsel that stood way out. First, I need to keep the sacrament sacred. That is MY time to worship and ponder and learn. Don´t worry about investigators, noise, or anything. Also, he said he keeps cards (he showed me) with him about topics of things he´s gonna pray for or scriptures he liked or anything like that. ¨Thought topics¨, digamos. Anyway, I am so grateful for a powerful mission president who I really look up to.

Another great experience was yesterday right after church. An hermana requested a blessing from us and a member of the bishopric. She said she is down on both ¨ánimo¨ and health. She doesn´t feel any excitement to go to church or anything like that. We gave her some good advice and told her to never lose hope. That´s what is great about the gospel! HOPE. Like Uchtdorf in that awesome talk, if we step back and look at the bigger picture, it will ¨definitely work for you.¨ Also, I can finally do an annointing/blessing in spanish without reading from the white handbook haha.

Funny culture thing. No idea why but HUGE groups of people gather in public places ALL the time and bang on their drums. They have terrible terrible rythym, it´s just loudness. Everyone who isn´t drumming just steps back and forth, ¨dancing¨ kinda like Will Smith´s simple move from Hitch.

Got to go! Make sure to drink water! Ha that´s what our President told us this week. ¨Make sure to drink water and take breaks if you need them!¨

Lot´s of LOVE. Keep the faith. ¨Be not weary in well doing, for you are laying the foundation of a great work. And out of small things proceedeth that which is great.¨

Elder Wilcox

Monday, January 4, 2016

The Consecrated Year

This subject line was taken from an email from Elder Hemeyer, who retains all the rights and privileges. What a great way to put it! Let´s make this a consecrated year and be the best we can be! Just recently we got a talk from Tad R. Callister that he gave at the MTC. It is about being consecrated missionaries and putting every single bit of uncleanliness ¨on the altar of sacrifice.¨ Great great talk, and it helps me to start off this year right! There are ALWAYS things to improve on.

Right now we are in a nice cyber in Ramos Mejía, and for some reason they have Shania Twain´s ¨Man! I feel like a Woman¨ playing and I think it´s the happiest I´ve ever been.

This week has been great! Just a good old missionary week. Lots of work, and lots of miracles. With Elder Stuart gone, I am leading the area(ish) at least until Elder Campos can learn all of it. I was really nervous at first, but I know Rafael Castillo a lot better than I thought I did! I just had to learn that I know..does that make sense? Elder Campos is a total ¨bestia¨, and a REALLY good teacher. He is really good at holding people´s attention, and simplifying things down, so that people will get them. I was pretty nervous to get a comp with no english at all, but it´s turning out to be a lot better than I thought! There is still somewhat a barrier, but we talk about home and normal things still. He is SUPER funny, but also a good, soft spoken leader when needed. It is a four missionary pench. We still have Elder Estrada, but now we have an Elder McCardell from MURRAY UTAH. So great to have another utah guy to talk to! Just recently his brother´s traveled here to visti old comps and delivered a SUITCASE full of candy, ties, and cool stuff. He got some cool star wars socks, and a small lego model of the millenium falcon. Needless to say, before bedtime I have been having fun with that! New Years was the exact same as xmas, just a lot of fireworks and drunk people. The Hermano we live with did feed us DELICIOUS asado though..mmmmm.

The ward is doing great too! The more I get to know these people, the more I see their strength. Nahuel has been greeted with open arms into the tiny Elder´s quorum. We have had a couple good visits with his mom, Dora. She is a recent convert as well, but completely inactive. She didn´t come to Nahuel´s baptism. But he just loves her the same, and even shares scriptures with her! I think we are gonna try to have a movie night with them and watch the Joseph Smith movie. He is great guy.

Ain´t got much time today, but CONGRATS to Daniel Ernest Ellis the 5th for your mission call to Ecuador! That is super rad, and another friend I´m gonna be able to speak spanish with!

¡Ciao! Great quote i heard ¨He who says he can, and he who says he can´t are both usually right.¨

Love from Elder Wilcox

The new Castillo crew up on the roof on New Year´s

Last week, Elder Stuart´s last visit with the familia Espejo (bishops´s family) They are an AWESOME family. And they made me hold their nasty no-hair dog