Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy Holidays

Jaydan's comp climbing the wall.
right after we talked to Jaydan on Christmas he killed this mouse...the rat got away. (puke)
Jaydan's Christmas package made it on Tuesday, December 28th (Larry's Birthday)
Jaydan said that the drawing of the girl on the wall was done by the dad of the mission. He drew it and sent it to Jaydan and kept one for himself. It is a picture of the girlfriend of the cockiest missionary.
The work is getting super hard. The branch is ridiculous and not in the best way. They don't seem to love each other like they should..especially the inactive members. It is really hard to reactivate people because of it and also for those investigating the Church. There are only a few members that really love others like they should. Jaydan said he could count them on one hand. When inactives do start coming the members will criticize them and put them down and then they don't want to come back. (ya think?)
Jaydan said they need to fix the members first so that they can do their work. This work is impossible without the help and love and support of members. All of Jaydan's baptisms have been from the help of members and are still active because of the members so he knows it is really important. Jaydan has a hard time having patience when he sees things like this. Jaydan didn't really think this would happen to him and can even see how it affects his own obedience. He said he is having a hard time being completely obedient and feels like he is in a bit of a rut. This last week was just harder than normal.
Since the new year is coming Jaydan wants to recommit and do things right and to work hard.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Happy Christmas & Merry New Years

This week Jaydan had interviews with the President and also a little Christmas party. The Christmas party was pretty good. They exchanged gifts and Jaydan bought a little puffy potty seat (the kind you put on a regular seat). Jaydan received a laser pointer, a sucker, and a pen that lit up when you wrote with it. The pen also had a little stress ball on top that you could shoot off with a little button.

Jaydan and the missionaries set up for the party on Saturday and did a great job but since Jaydan didn't have his camera we will just have to take his word. Jaydan and another guy also made a bouquet for the chapel and he said it turned out "purty good" for two guys.

The members are really taking to Jaydan and like him a lot. (what's not to like?) They tell him often and sometimes even say that they like him better than his comp. The people aren't afraid to say anything. They say what they if they think you're fat they say so or if you're ugly they will let you know so Jaydan believes them when they say they like him.

One lady thought that Jaydan's mom (me) was his girlfriend when she saw a picture of us together. When Jaydan said that it was his MOM she couldn't believe it. Jaydan says a lot of people think I look too young (right on). They also think that I am really pretty (oh ya...I like people from other countries!)

The lady that had the dream about Jaydan has two really cute little grand daughters. (4 & 6) They really love Jaydan but are quite abusive with hitting and kicking. The night of the party they started hitting & punching and so Jaydan got up and they just played around the room. He was trying to keep away from them. The 4 year old likes to bite and she came up from behind and bit his "butt". (ouch!) Jaydan thinks she had better watch out before he pulls a Justin and passes a little gas to her face. (he said he was just kidding...but I bet if she keeps it up he won't just be kidding)

The branch presidents wife and other lady members always say "que divino" which is how divine. (pretty much) They love Jaydan's eyes and love how they change colors. They really like it when they are blue. (which I bet is most of the time)

The area is hard since there are so many girls that flirt (snakes). The numbers are never high in this area but Jaydan likes the competition. Jaydan loves his comp and says they get a long "grrrrrrreat"!!! His comp is a bit trunky for his Christmas call so that makes things a bit hard right now. Even though it's tough Jaydan likes it. Jaydan likes the challenges and know he will just learn from them....he says it doesn't bother him much.

Jaydan dove for a ball today while they were playing volleyball on the cement and cut his elbow pretty bled pretty good too.

Since it is the week of Christmas you should go do something for someone else or give something to someone and not worry about receiving anything. The spirit of giving and the feeling you get are indescribable. So go do something for someone else...the blessings will be phenomenal. Like it says in Mosiah 2:16ish when you are in the service of your fellow men you are in the service of your God.

What ever the weather is at home it is the opposite here!

Oh and the best thing that happened this whole week was when we went to the rest home to sing and share scriptures with a member that isn't able to attend church. Jaydan said he could feel the spirit really strong and the lady even put her hand up in front of her face like she was blocking out the "light". She even got a little teary. Jaydan said the feeling was so strong and wonderful that he is certain there were "Angels" in the room and that maybe this little lady was even seeing them. He loved this experience so much and said it was probably the best experience of his life. Awesome spiritual experience. He is looking forward to going back on Christmas.

Love you all tons...THEE Elder Ropelato

Monday, December 13, 2010

Dreams & Snakes

Jaydan and his comp with some girls they are teaching. (one of the girls mom is a member)

Busy week with changes. Jaydan is now comps with Elder Pardo from Uruguay. Elder Pardo is super cool. Jaydan says that they get along really well and that he is learning the language quickly from him. That's because he has....or gets to speak it all day.....he really likes it though. Jaydan is hoping right now that they will get more time together....stay comps for a change or so.

The new area is super hard...not the hardest in the mission but still hard. The Church is kind of weak there. One of the first days that Jaydan was there they went to a members house to visit her and when she saw Jaydan for the first time her eyes got really big and she said she had a dream about him. She had told Jaydan's comp before changes that when his comp leaves he was going to get a Yankee comp. (that'd be Jaydan) One that is short (Jaydan), has glasses (Jaydan) and was skinny(Jaydan if he lost the weight he had put on). She described Jaydan to the "T". Every bit was exactly right. So Jaydan knows that he is there for a reason and that he is suppose to be there. It was a good start for Jaydan in his new area!

Jaydan is already getting comfortable with these people in this area. He was at one house and two really cute grand daughters of the lady kept biting him before he left. (I hope they were little like Zaden)

In this area they don't find very many people that want to listen to their message. So when they do find people they will have quality lessons at least.. This area reminds Jaydan of what he would imagine Italy being. There is a Big Catholic Church and most the people are Catholic. The numbers aren't real big in this area and so Jaydan thinks it is probably similar to what a mission in Italy would be like.

On Sunday instead of having the regular 40 people at church they only had 19. Two of those 19 were from the Stake and two were the missionaries. (Jaydan was the youngest even) So yes, there is a lot of work to be done. They aren't a ward yet....just a rama or branch. Jaydan had to lead the music, pass the sacrament and even speak for just a few minutes. So he was busy his first Sunday.

After lunch they went to an old folks home to visit a member that isn't able to go anymore. They sang for her and talked with her a little and the spirit was so strong. Jaydan loves going there and he loves feeling the spirit! Even though they aren't suppose to accept kisses (not chocolate) from others they couldn't refuse this little lady. It's their custom to kiss like it is a lot of places in Europe. Jaydan said they are going to go back for Christmas and sing to everyone.

One bad thing about this area is there are a lot of "snakes". (girls that are really flirty with the missionaries) Jaydan said there are tons and it is bad. Even the wife of the Branch President is a snake. (says Jaydan) She was talking to Jaydan in a tone that he wasn't comfortable with. It's a hard area and the "snakes" just make it even harder.

Thee Elder Ropelato

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Getting a New Area and a New Comp

These are flowers that you will see during this time of year. Complete opposite of home. It's very hot and humid. The trees are full of blooming flowers. (the girls would love it)There were changes this week and Jaydan is leaving. He is headed for a place called Colonia and his new area is Carmelo. Colonia is one of the most expensive places in Uruguay. The Wards don't have a reputation for being very strong so it will be keep Jaydan busy. He is looking forward to working hard though. Jaydan's new comp is Elder Pardo from Uruguay. Jaydan is excited to have a native comp and knows that he will be forced to learn the language better now. He had been asking for a native comp and his prayers were answered. He is really looking forward to this change.

Jaydan bought the things he needed in Rivera since the prices there are really good and the quality is good too. Jaydan is starting already to get a Christmas package ready for our family for next year. (Yay...keeping the season going)

This week the missionaries were trying to get ready for a White Christmas with the mission work. They have been really busy and have had some great days and some hard days. One lady that they contacted didn't want to listen to the missionaries because she believed if she did she would go to Hell! So she walked away from them and went into her house. It kind of stunned the Elders but gave them something to laugh at.

Lately they have had to do a bunch of "this is your last chance" kind of lessons because the people that they do it to know the things that they are told are true. They even say they know that they are true but they just won't go to Church. Like Franci who can't walk very far and who's only about 30, he doesn't like others to help him. He always has tears in his eyes when we leave so we know he knows its true and so does he. But even knowing he will still not go to church. Jaydan and members are going to his house every week to pick him and his family up for Church but they always have a reason or excuse not to go. It's hard on Jaydan when he knows they know and just won't finish things out. He has a strong Love for them.

Jaydan had a feeling he would be leaving this area and so on Sunday he bore his testimony to the ward. He told them thanks and also how important each of them were in this work.

Jaydan went to the family that they have been teaching. The one with the genius kid, Bruno. And the one where the mom was smoking 40 + cigarettes a day and then went to church 3 weeks ago and hasn't smoked since. She quit in one day which is amazing and proves that anyone can do anything if they put their mind to it and want to bad enough.

Jaydan is thankful for his latino companion and excited to learn the language better. He is excited for the challenge of his new area and plans on working really hard.