Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Una Fiesta Latina

August 28th, 2017

Bonjour à tous, 

T-minus thirty-one days left as I'm writing this email. Time is really short now. It's crazy how once apon a time I had two years left on my mission, and now I'm only down to a month. How crazy time is... 

It was a nice week of missionary work. It was a little up and down and all over the place with some rendezvous falling through and the wrap-up of the summer vacation season. But we had some nice things happen as well. 

We had a nice Ecuadorian mangezvous with the Castañeda family. Man, they cook so much food and it's so delicious. I missed eating South American food. 

We found a cool family from Colombia. They're actually from the same town where Elder Dorado was born. It was a young woman with her mother and like most Latinos are practicing Christians who love Jesus. They're very nice and accepted a rendezvous for this upcoming week. Dorado was thrilled to see that. 

Also, we found another lady, Vilma, who's from Ecuador. She's an older woman and she's a practicing Catholic. She kind of knows who we are but doesn't really know our beliefs. She says she'll never change religions but accepted one rendez-vous, hopefully we'll make it two. 

And also this last weekend, there was a Fiesta Latina in a huge park here in Brussels and our Ward Mission Leader told us to go check it out, so we went and it turns out it was all gated and you had to buy tickets to get in. Funny enough, right outside the entrance were two Mexican Jehovah Witness would had the same idea as us. It was apparent that they weren't seeing much success as they looked rather bored.

Mais bon, it was a nice week as I said. And remember if life gets rough or you're feeling down, just remember that the Church is true. 

Que Dieu vous bénisse. 


Elder Aburto

Picture of the Embassy of Qatar

Back to the Start

August 20th, 2017

Greetings from Bruxelles.

It's been just an amazing week to live as a missionary. It felt like an eternity, but it's going really good. Leaving Brest was a little sad, and I basically didn't have anytime to do anything besides packing. Transfer Day was stressful and hectic as usual, but at the end of the day I made it back to Brussels safe and sound.

My new comp is Elder Dorado. He's from Calgary, Alberta but he was born in Colombia. He's hilarious. He makes me laugh hard multiple times a day. Finishing a mission is easy with him as a companion.

We whitewashed in so it's like a new clean slate for the équipe. We've been doing lots of finding so we're starting out things a little slowly. We did, en fait, get a chance to meet one of our amis, Lupe. She's an older woman from Ecuador. She's very sweet and loves life. It seems like she might like having us around merely for good company, but we'll see in the upcoming visits.

I been able to see lots of the members and good friends that I made forever ago when I started my mission. Everyone else seems happy to see me, too. It feels kind of weird to be back as a missionary, because it reminds me of the young, foolish missionary I was in the past. I'm really grateful for this chance I have to serve Brussels for another transfer.

Time will really fly by. I can feel it already. My goal is to simply make these last six weeks the funnest six weeks of my mission.

I wish you all an amazing week.


Elder Aburto

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Once Upon a Mission

August 14th, 2017

What a great week.

It all started on Wednesday with a great rendezvous with Thierry. We went over the gospel of Jesus Christ with him in 2 Nephi 31. He loved it and it all made sense to him. It was his birthday the next day, so we went over and gave him a card and a little gift. He recognizes us as servants of the Lord, but also as his friends. It was nice to spend some time with him on his birthday.

Then we found this awesome new ami, Audrey. She's from Gabon and she's a very believing Christian. We had a short first rendezvous but it went great. She met with missionaries a good while ago and was very happy to be able to talk with us again. She seems pretty cool.

We met up with a potential, Mohammed, and we had dinner with him at Flunch. The food was alright, but the discussion was a lot better. He's a young Muslim man, yet he's very open-minded. He very willingly took a BOM and said he'd read it. So, on verra.

Then we had a soirée familiale with a less-active family on Friday with some other members. They hadn't been to church in a while, so we went over to see how they were doing. It went pretty good. We emphasized the importance of the sacrament and taking it regularly. Well, it turns out, they made it to church on Sunday. Go figure.

On Saturday we had a Finding Day in Lorient. Turns out, it was the last one for a while. It went good. The branch had a lot of members come and help us out.

Today is Monday and with the new mission president things have changed and we got the news for next transfer today. Well... I'm leaving Brest to another area.  But the area won't be foreign to me because I've already served there before. In fact it was my "Bleu ville". Yeah. I'm going back to Brussels for my last six weeks as a missionary and I'll go back to the Spanish équipe. My new companion is Elder Dorado, from Canada. We'll be white-washing. It's a dream come true. Christmas came early this year. These next six weeks will literally fly by.

God bless.


Elder Aburto

Monday, August 7, 2017

Keeping Afloat

August 7th, 2017

Bonjour à tous,

Well, times just gets shorter and shorter and you come to realize that you don't have much time left. I feel like it's just starting to soak in that my mission is ending in less than two months. I don't know what to think. I don't know how to because I've never completed a mission before, but I understand that there is a time for everything and one needs to appreciate life as it happens. Soon enough, I won't be a missionary anymore, and I miss serving in this capacity. So I need to take advantage of the opportunity at hand.

This week was good. Our boy, Thierry is progressing well. We had a family home evening at a member’s home and he came and had a great time. The fellowshipping of the members is making an impact on him, and I'm so grateful for them and their support.

As you may know, the branch here is pretty small, and this last Sunday we had a family move out. So the branch is looking even smaller for now. Our branch president is really pushing to have the members find the less-actives and help them. Yesterday we had two less-active families come to church for the first time in a long time. So there is hope out there.

We found this guy about a week ago who left us his address. He said he lived in a hotel and gave us the room number. We weren't sure if it was just a straight up lie or not, so we went to go check it out. It turns out there's this placed named Hotel de la Rade which is actually a refugee shelter. It looks like a hotel from the outside but everyone there is taken care of by the government. Nice, huh? We haven't found the guy yet though.

Keep having fun.


Elder Aburto