Mathew 15:14-16

14 Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. 15 Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. 16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

Monday, December 19, 2016

December 19, 2016
It was a super great week! The Christmas spirit is hopping here in the city of Santos Lugares!

Monday- So today I realized the computers we use for writing our families every Monday has AutoCad.... My goodness its so funny sometimes how God tests my obedience on my mission haha. Then later today we had a great lesson with a new guy we found named Maxi! He is super great and we are excited to start working with him and his wife!

Tuesday- In the morning today we had a zone meeting! Then after that we headed back to our area and we had a normal day! We made several great visits and our last lesson of the day was definitely one I will never forget haha... So we visited this guy named Ezekiel that has been investigating the church for a while and is really struggling to progress, but we just passed by his house in the night quickly to meet him. So we were in the lesson and Ezekiel was listing excuses of why he doesn't want to be baptized even though he feels the church is true. And he looks at me and says, ¨¨Imagine it Elder Townsend, you, coming home, and finding your wife cheating on you with your best friend... that is how I felt when no members from the church came to visit me when I was in the hospital¨¨ ... After he said that to me I literally had to bite my tongue to keep myself from getting up and slapping the patheticness out of him and that excuse.... So that was great. But the cool part about that lesson was after my companion finished the lesson with a prayer and asking for his heart to be softened, the chair Ezekiel was sitting in completely collapsed out of no where and he fell on the ground... Super cool stuff. God is real.

Wednesday- Today was a great day! We found a great new Peruvian family to start working with and we made several great visits! Also I saw for the first time today the Iphone 7!!!! I almost couldn't believe it! haha. I am pretty sure the lady holding it thought I wanted to steal it because I was staring at it so much haha.

Friday- Today I did divisions today with Elder Marple!!!! He was my second companion ever back when I was in Marcos Paz over a year ago! Man it was so great to be with him for the day and catch up on old times!! But also super sad because he is finishing his mission and headed home in about 9 days!! I love that kid so much. It is so crazy how fast time passes by here.

Saturday- It was so hot today I am pretty sure my companion lost five pounds from all the sweating and walking around we did haha. Poor guy. But it was a super successful day! On our way back to our apartment though at night I heard my favorite Christmas song ever.... Mistletoe by stinking Justin Bieber.... I literally started running to try to get away from hearing it because it makes me so home sick haha.

Sunday- Several of our investigators came today so thats great! The rest of the day was pretty normal. Then at night we were eating dinner with a less active family and the power went out... So my companion and I finished the week with a romantic candlelit dinner haha.

Well I hope everyone has a great week and a great Christmas!! And don't forget to remember the true meaning of why we celebrate!!

Elder Townsend

This week, I taught my new companion that if he wants to gain the confidence of people and baptize a lot in his mission, he needs to learn how to make a killer batch of banana bread

Monday, December 12, 2016

December 12, 2016

So it was a super great week down here in Buenos Aires! A ton of great stuff happened!

Monday- So I realized today that my mission has made me such a clean freak. Like I literally cant function mentally if there are dirty dishes in the sink or if my desk isn't perfectly organized. I don't even know how to explain it... Mondays are the days we do a lot of cleaning in our apartment and I seriously enjoy it so much it is pathetic. I feel like Mary Poppins every Monday dancing around and cleaning my little heart out. Its the best.

Tuesday- So we had transfers today!!!! In the morning I headed to the offices of the mission and I was there almost all day waiting for my new companion I will be training. And waiting in the offices was so difficult because I saw several of my old companions that are going home in a few days:( Its so sad and crazy how fast time flies by....But anyway.... Sooooooo my new companion is Australian!!! His name is Elder Soberanas and he´s a great guy! His accent is so cute and just hearing him talk makes me laugh. Its going to be a great transfer. We are both super excited!

Wednesday- It was a super great first day with Elder Soberanas! It is such a different experience to be training. Being with him today really made me realize how much adapting someone needs to do to be a missionary haha. And also being with him today really made me feel like an old Grandpa haha. I am so outdated on everything that is currently going on in the world. I seriously have so much catching up to do when I get home haha....But something I learned from my companion is that one of my favorite songs before my mission, ¨¨all time low¨¨ was one of the biggest songs on itunes in Australia a little while ago!! 

Thursday- We had several great lessons today so that was awesome! We also had time to do some contacting and we were able to find some great new people to work with... As a missionary you kinda just do your thing and you dont really realize what you are doing in the moment. But today I just shocked myself because I realized I have become such a smooth talker on my mission haha. If someone takes the time to talk with me, I can literally get them to end up giving me there name, address, phone number, and have them willing to receive us in their house to share our message. Its great that I have developed this skill to be a missionary but man sometimes it makes me feel really shallow and not very sincere.... But hey its for their own salvation so I feel ok doing it!! haha

Friday- In the morning today we did service! I have seriously learned so much about argentine construction on my mission it is crazy!! But for some reason for my whole mission I have always gotten nominated to do the most dangerous parts haha. I am just convinced that no one wants me to make it home haha.

Saturday- Another great day with lots of lessons! One of the houses we visited today had 10 dogs.... 10 stinking dogs.... Before my mission I always dreamed of getting a dog when I am young and start my family but after all the times I have gotten bit and chased I am going to need to go through rehab before that ever happens... 

Sunday-Today I woke up super sick and sore. I felt like I had literally been in five bar fights the night before. I had the huggest headache and a super weak stomach and everything hurt. Sitting through church was such a struggle. But I made it through the day and at night we set a baptismal date for Lucas on the 30th of December!!!!!!

I hope everyone has a great week!

Elder Townsend
So for my whole mission I have been trying to mast card throwing... This is how far I have come...

My companions first taste of argentine meat. They grow up so fast😥
December 5, 2016

So I have realized I have really slacked lately on this big weekly email the last few months for several reasons. I feel bad I haven't given it much importance but I have promised myself that for the rest of my mission I am going to step it up and make it less pathetic haha.

Anyway, so today is the start of a new transfer. I am staying in this ward and I am going to be training a new missionary. So that will be good. I am overly excited to teach him how to use a bede! 

So here is a summary of my week:

Monday- normal pday. In the night we had a great lesson with a 19 year old recent convert named Marlene! She is so awesome! She has such a strong testimony and she never lets any outside influence change who she is and what she believes. She also makes some of the best juice I have ever tasted!

Tuesday- I realized today that my mission has made me really racist haha. In the city where I am currently at, for some strange reason, there are a lot of Peruvians. And words cant even express how much I love them haha. They are seriously so kind and receptive it is ridiculous. When I walk through the street, I literally feel like I am on a safari hunt for Peruvians. I have gotten so good at picking them out and I never let one walk by without contacting them! Sometimes I wonder if I should just go live in Peru after my mission instead of going home. But then I realize how much I miss my mom and how much I miss Red Robin.

Wednesday- Our lunch appointment today was crazy. It was with a younger lady in our ward we didn't know. At first she seemed really nice and cool but then all the sudden she went nuts. After she heard how long I have until i go home she decided to give me a load of life advice on marriage. Out of everything she could have told me about she chose stinking marriage.... She literally corned me and railed me about the importance of waiting several years after I get home from my mission to get married and how I better ¨for sure know that she is the one¨... I agreed with her 100% but the way she turned loca on me honestly made me wet my pants a little... 

Thursday- It was a super great day because we got to teach the law of chastity twice! Then at night we did some service for a member in our ward. I realized today that I feel naked without my missionary clothes. While we were traveling to go do this service, I tensed up everytime someone walked past me because I felt like they could see my nakedness.

Friday- Today we saw a girl that looked really sad outside painting her nails. We wanted to contact her and to see if she was ok but we couldn't think of a good approach to do it. And then all the sudden I remembered ¨Wait! I know how to paint nails!¨ and I was just about to ask her if I could help with the clear-coat but then I realized that was super not missionary appropriate...haha

Saturday- In the night we had to travel because I had to do a baptismal interview for a 20 year old girl in another city. So because of the circumstances in the house the only place her and I could go to be alone to do the interview was a bathroom or her bedroom... I know...eww... So we did the interview in her stinking bedroom haha. Afterwards I felt so guilty because I had always promised my mom I would never be alone with a girl in her bedroom. But I was comforted because I think my mom and God understood the circumstances haha. At night today it was so hot too! My body is silly because I cant sleep without socks but I get so hot leaving them on!! Ahh!!

Sunday- Such a great day. Today a girl in our ward brought her 20 year old boyfriend named Lucas ,who is not a member, to church. After the meetings, my companion and I were able to meet him. He is a super nice guy and his girlfriend and him are great together. Later in the night, we went to his house to get to know him more. My companion and I shared our life stories and we taught him the restoration. The spirit was so strong in the lesson. It was so great. He had already been reading the book of mormon and now he wants to be baptized and serve a mission. It was such a special experience.

I am sure everyone has already noticed, but in these emails I send, I filter out a lot of things. The truth is, in my mission, I have had a lot of good and bad experiences. I have been blessed to have some of the most sacred, spiritual experiences I will probably ever have in my life. Experiences that I hold very close to my heart and that I don't share because I don't feel comfortable sharing them. And on the otherside of things, I have also had not so great experiences... In my mission, I have seen things, and experienced things, no one my age should. These are things I will never share with other people and I myself try to forget them... But I am grateful for each and every one of theses experiences because they have helped me grow up and become a better person. 

But the experience I had today with Lucas was so special. After leaving his house on our walk back to our apartment everything just hit me so hard and before I knew it my face was dripping with tears like a baby.

I have come to have such a strong testimony that God does everything for a reason. He has such a divine and personal plan for each one of us. I am so grateful that before my mission, God blessed me with a variety of experiences in my life. And I feel very blessed that one of these experiences was the opportunity I had to introduce one of my best friends to the gospel and take her to church for the first time. And I am so grateful, that for these two years of my life, God has put people in my path that I can help receive the same blessing I had, by sharing my personal experiences.

I know that what I am doing is so important. No matter how many good or bad experiences I have, nothing can take away the beauty of this work. Being a missionary is the best. 

Elder Townsend