Wednesday, March 19, 2014

March 17, 2014


Well it finally happened. It came. The email. August 5th. *sniffle* No I already knew that was the date, but it still stinks to see that. Well, the Lord knows best, he will have even better things in store when I get back. But for now, the work continues. 

Okay, honestly I have no time today because we spent all day at the zoo (so fun!!) so I´ll do my best. First you asked about school. My plan is to head back up to Utah State and get to work. Scholarship will be a must (I don´t know how I´m going to survive even with it). Speaking of all this Matt emailed me today too asking about housing. He says his sister is helping him out with everything and he asked for mom´s phone number to give to her so that they can work out the housing thing. Basically we´re looking to room together in some sort of off campus student housing. What do you need for registration stuff? Just let me know. Also, I have to go back fall semester or I lose the scholarship. Just remembered that. It´s only deferred for 2 years.

Glad to hear that everyone is doing well.That´s crazy about the bishopric! I guess it has been a long time. Nearly the whole time we´ve lived there. Still, that will be strange to come back to a different bishop. 

Sorry that I don´t have time to talk much about the week. Just know that I have seen lots of miracles this week. The Lord is blessing us a lot. We´ve seen some really hard challenges as well, but the week has ended well and now we start another one. One miracle: we contacted a guy on Saturday who is super prepared. He said that he would really like to meet with us, that he has been looking for some more in his life. So we invited him to church and he came and stayed for all 3 hours! His name is Hernan and we are super excited for him. Hopefully we will have some fechas by the end of the week, maybe with him and with Jennifer. Hector is still having a hard time, which is really hurting Alejandra, but yesterday we met with Alejandra and she said things are getting better. She has a faith that is absolutely outstanding! She is an amazing person and the Lord is really blessing her and I am so grateful for that.

Sorry again, but I have to run. Here are some pictures of me and some monkies. And Hermana Caballero (not a monkey). 

Anyways, thanks for everything. I love you all a ton, more than I can say. Have a wonderful week and take care! 

Elder Cousins

Thursday, March 13, 2014

March 10, 2014


What a week! Let´s get right to it. . .

Joaquin got baptized!! It was so awesome! Even though NOBODY from the ward came, it was still awesome. And they missed out. Literally only the 4 people who were assigned to do stuff in the program showed up. Pretty sad. I was pretty upset for at first, but it was still something really special to see Joaquin baptized. And Emilia was able to come, so that was super cool. In fact, thinking about it right now, maybe it was better there weren´t many people there because she gets really dizzy and upset when there´s a lot of noise and people. Maybe that was one of those blessings in disguise. Interesting. . . 

As part of the baptism we did a special musical number. My companion played the violin, Elder Alhouvori played the recorder and Elder Alvarez and I and the Hermanas sang. We did "Divina luz" which is Lead Kindly Light in Spanish and it´s about a million times better in my opinion. It´s one of my favorites in Spanish. Sadly I can´t attach it. You´ll have to watch it some other time. Sorry. :P

Actually I lied before, Juan was also there. He was an angel at the baptism! He is the person most excited to see Joaquin baptized, maybe even more than us. He also did the confirmation yesterday, which was a great experience. You could tell how happy and excited Joaquin was when everyone raised their hand to support him. After sacrament meeting there were a few people who were asking about him too, so that was good. He has made some serious changes in his life and even right before his baptism he had to face some serious temptations, but he did it! Super happy for him!

With Joaquin being baptized, we are basically left without investigators. I knew that was going to happen so I´ve been a little worried, but on Sunday miracles happened. Fernando, the husband of Caty, a member we´ve been visiting, showed up to church. He´s not a member and we´ve been working with Caty to try to be able to teach him, and all of a sudden there he was in church! It was amazing to see their whole family sitting together in sacrament meeting! They have 3 kids, 2 of whom are old enough to be baptized too, but he hasn´t given his permission. Yet. . . I am so stoked to start working with them. He is a super nice guy and I really feel like now is his time. Then we also had an old investigator, Jennifer, that my companion taught before I got here, come to church with a member family. That was awesome too! The mother of the family went to go pick her up and everything, all on her own. We didn´t set up any of this! And now we have a lesson with her on Tuesday. And one on Thursday with Caty and her family. So the future is looking bright. Yesterday was the boost I needed. For a little while I wasn´t sure how we were going to keep going, but now I´m excited for this week. 

I had an interesting experience in church on Sunday. I was sitting in sacrament meeting thinking about all those people who are having trouble and I just felt inadequate. I thought, how can I handle all these people´s problems. I felt like the pain was more than I could take. And then I thought about the Lord and how He feels that, but for everyone! And for a moment I wondered how He could be happy feeling all that, all the time. And then my companion leaned over and said "Fernando just came in!" I couldn´t believe it. Then I thought: Now I get it. He feels all that hurt for the wrong choices, but also feels this incredible joy when His children step up and make good choices. Humans are interesting creatures. So often we fall below our expectations and yet at the same time, we so often surpass them in incredible ways.

I think that´s it for the news. I´ve been District Leader here for about 4 weeks (whenever the transfer started) and it´s going awesome! I really like it. We have an amazing district here (again! you remember how great b5 was? I don´t know how that happens.). We are 6 Elders and 2 Hermanas. Actually Hermana Hone I was with in B5 for a little while. Small world. She is the Sister Leader for the Zone and is training Hermana Pavez. She is Argentine but lives in Malaga in the south of Spain (speaking of which I want to go see the south SO badly! It looks amazing!) She has a very interesting accent. Elder Alvarez is one of the Zone leaders here (lots of leaders in our district) and is from Chile. We live with him and his companion Elder Alhouvouri (I´m sure I spelled that wrong) from Finland. They are both good missionaries and we all get along really well. Then there is Elder Moreland from Orange County (pijo!) and Elder Collazos from Peru, but lives in Bilbao (north of Spain. PaĆ­s Vasco actually. (Basque I think you say in English.)). Also your letter came from Elder Rockwood, President just signs it. I would know. You remember when I accidentally sent that one letter about me going home? :P 

Still feeling a little sick. I´ve had a cold for like 3 weeks now. Weird. Just so you know, I plan on sleeping for like 3 days straight when I get home. Haha. I haven´t used Grandpa´s money yet, but we are planning on going to the zoo next week and that should be just about right to get me in. :) Ha ha, you have to send me Erin´s movie when it´s done! That sounds great! 

Well, I better go. Thanks for reading and again for all you do. I love hearing from you and about everything you´re up to. Thanks for all your love and support. I know I can always count on you guys. I love and think about you often. Take care this week.

Elder Cousins 


Monday, March 3, 2014

March 3, 2014

Hello Family!

Well it is not Spring here, just so you all know. It´s cold. And really windy lately. :/ 

Let´s talk news for the week. It was a bit rough at some points, mostly because I´ve been sick. One day my eyes were super red and bloodshot. I´m pretty sure I scared away some of the people I contacted :P But I´m feeling a lot better now, so no worries. 

This week we shifted our focus over a bit from Patricia and on to Joaquin! He had his interview last night and passed, so it´s all ahead for Saturday! Hopefully we don´t have quite as many problems with getting his baptism ready as we did with Patricia´s. Honestly the hardest thing may be finding clothes that will fit him. He may be the skinniest man I´ve ever met. You´ll see next week. He is the best though! I am so, so happy for him! He has been looking forward to this for a long time. And you can tell how excited he his. His face lights up every time we talk about his baptism and about eternal life. He is such an example to me too, of charity and of faith. The way he dedicates his life to caring for his mother is something truly touching. I have never once heard him complain either. Quite the opposite. He is always talking about how well they are doing, about how blessed they are. It´s truly amazing. There are people in the world who have everything and I know they don´t smile like Joaquin does. 

Other news from the week. We set a date for baptism with Nabel, but haven´t seen him since. I´m a little worried. He actually started off the lesson telling us that he couldn´t be baptized (before we invited him) because he is moving. But we invited him to prepare to be baptized wherever he is. He said yes and I think he understands and wants to, but it is a scary step to take. I hope we can meet with him soon and help him. 

Those are the main events for the week, along with an awesome Zone Conference with the Area President. Super good :) I feel like this is the most successful time of my mission so far. I hope it continues to feel that way until I finish. Know that I am doing well and am happy. I love you guys and I am so grateful for everything you do for me. It´s so cool to see how much the girls are growing as well. Sounds they are both really finding their place and the things they love to do. I´ve seen how much they are growing in testimony and faith too, and I´m so impressed. Sounds like they are ready to be a couple of amazing missionaries too. :) I hope what I wrote for Missionary Month was used and that it was helpful. Please tell Grandma and Grandpa thanks for all they are doing to support me too. And thanks for the gift :) I´ll put it to good use. 

Thanks again for everything. I´m grateful to be here in the mission, for all that I´m learning and for all the blessings you are receiving too. You guys are amazing! Thank for all you have done and are doing to provide this amazing experience for me. It is worth it. I love you all so much! I have the best family! Take care this week and don´t ever forget what matters most. I love you

Elder Cousins