Monday, October 26, 2015

Welcome to the Jungle...

Austin could really use some extra love if you guys want to email him! His email is:

Hello Again!

It’s been another hot week here in Iquitos full of hard work and a couple funny stories. I hope everyone is doing well at home and that you are all enjoying the highs and lows that life has to offer. I want to hear back from you guys! Write me!

Anyway, this week was good! Right now we have 4 investigators; Diego, Anderson, and Jonathan. They are studs and way fun to teach. But we need to get them to church! The 4th investigators name is Marcos. He is a father of 2 kids and his girlfriend is a member. But we are working to get their marriage paper completed right now before he can be baptized. (Nobody here is married, I swear.) but he is super awesome and way funny. Teaching is going well and I’m starting to feel pretty confident teaching in Spanish. However, when it comes to street talk I don’t understand much at all. Here are a couple of funny stories.

So we were contacting this week and were talking to this guy, when we heard a thud on the ground behind him. We looked to see what it was and there was a tarantula the size of a Frisbee. It was huge and hairy and freaky looking. The guy we were talking to hurried and grabbed a 2x4 and it took 2 smacks to kill it. Good times…It was pretty freaky. Just a bit bigger than the spiders in SLC. Hahaha.

Next, we had been working hard all day and were starving. But with our luck, our pension (the lady who cooks our meals) wasn’t there and forgot about our dinner. So we just went to a lady’s house on the corner and bought two plates of rice and chicken that she had made. We took it back to our house and to our surprise, there were ANTS crawling in our rice. Like lots of ants. But we were starving and ate it anyway. Lucky for me I’ve been feeling fine since! Good source of protein I guess…Welcome to the jungle!

My scripture this week is Matthew 5:16. “Let your light so shine.” I’m fortunate enough to know all of you and to know how amazing you all are. My challenge is to let your light so shine. Be an example for everyone that sees you. Be happy and love everyone and be the light everyone wants to be around. I love you guys. Thanks for everything. It really does mean more than you could ever possibly know. Till next week!

Happy Halloween!
Elder Droubay

pictures: Austin and his district "mowing lawns with machetes"


Monday, October 19, 2015

First Baptism

What's up?? I hope everyone had a good week and that everything is going well back at home. This week I had some super sweet experiences. It's been a week full of hard work and great results. I HAD MY FIRST BAPTISM!! I baptized Hermana Rosa and it was amazing even though I struggled through the Baptismal prayer. I was so nervous! But it was awesome. She also received a calling as a counselor in Young Women's on Sunday. She is a single mother of 5 children and is super amazing. It has been cool to watch her testimony develop. Also, Tamara was baptized on Saturday! The spirit was so strong during her baptism and I'm just so happy for both of them. I talked to Tamara after her baptism and she was SO HAPPY. Her face was glowing, and I know that she was so happy with the decision to be baptized. It was an amazing experience and they both have beautiful testimonies. I know that the gospel is the literal way to finding happiness in this life and I could see that in their faces after their baptisms. 

Also, we've been contacting a ton, trying to find people and families to teach. We were out tracking and I felt like we should knock on a door even though there weren't lights on and the house looked vacant. A 17 year old boy named Diego came to the door. We taught him and he was very receptive. I felt inspired to bear my testimony and after I did he said that he wanted to serve a mission. We were like "woah." We then proceeded to talk about how we needed to teach him more about the importance of baptism. But we told him it's super cool that he wants to serve and we encouraged the idea. It was a super cool experience and I'm excited to teach him more. We have a super blessed area and I already love these people so much. I just wish I could speak to them a little more but I know the language will come. I just need to keep working hard and be patient. 

Here is my spiritual thought for the week: 
Don't judge others on their faith and flaws. Try to view everyone as what they can become and not as what they aren't. People are so amazing and everyone has something special about them. we just need to be humble enough to find the good in everyone. Often times we spend so much time looking for flaws in people. But why? What's the point? We are all imperfect and all have flaws but that is not what matters. I promise you that as you try to love everyone and find the good in everyone you will be so much happier with yourself and you'll see the world in much more positive way. "Don't judge someone because they sin differently than you." We are all in this together and need to focus on the good rather than the bad. That's my challenge for you all this week. I love you all and I am so grateful for your love and support! Thanks for everything! Have a great week!

Elder Droubay


Monday, October 12, 2015

Cutting Lawns In Iquitos...

Buenos Dias!
I hope everyone is doing well and has had an absolutely amazing week because you all deserve it. It’s been a roller coaster week here in Iquitos. Full of some really good things and also some really tough challenges, but it only makes us stronger, right? First off, we have 2 baptisms coming up on Saturday. Tamara, who is 11, and Rosa who is in her 40’s and is the only member of her family who isn’t a member. It has been so amazing and fun teaching them and watching them gain testimonies! I’m not a huge help during lessons with my limited Spanish, but I keep trying and I always bear testimony and I know they can feel the spirit even through my broken Spanish. The tough part this week was that a couple of investigators lost interest, which is a bummer but I keep praying for them. Also, I got a little frustrated with my Spanish because I can’t communicate very well but I need to be patient and trust that it will come. Also, kind of cool, for service this week we were able to help people move dirt for them to build houses and we also got to cut peoples “lawns” (3 foot high patches of grass) with machetes. Haha, I just can’t escape the lawn business I guess. The rain here is crazy. It comes out of nowhere, dumps for 15 minutes, and then goes back to hot and sunny. But I’ve never seen it rain harder in my life than here. Also, the sunsets are so pretty. Even better than the good ‘ole Utah sunset. It really is such a pretty place filled with great people. 

This week I watched a video of an apostle. The message was this, ”take what may come and love it.” This is a good motto that I have definitely been able to apply to my life in the mission. Because for me, it’s been touch and I don’t know why at times it has been so hard, but I know it will be for my good. I just need to accept it and make the most out of it. This is a great message for all of us to apply. We are all going to have hard times and trials and struggles in life. That’s why we are here, to make mistakes, to learn, to change, and to grow. So I challenge all of you, when tough times come, just make the most out of them and keep moving forward, allowing it to make you a better person. I know it’s easier said than done, trust me, but try it. Everything we go through is for our good. We just need to stay strong and follow the teachings of the church and we will be happy, I promise. D&C 6:33-37. Read it, trust it, love it. 

I love you all and I miss you like crazy. At times I get so homesick just thinking about you all. I hope you’re all well and know that I’m always praying for you. Thanks for all of the love and for the birthday wishes. It means the world. I love you guys!

Elder Droubay 

                                                    Elder Droubay and Elder Plaza
                                                 Austin and Elder Plaza in a Mottocar
                                                        Sunsets in Iquitos
                                                                 Houses in Iquitos

Monday, October 5, 2015 Spanish??

Hi everyone! I dont have a lot of time this week, but I want you to all know I am doing well. Conference was awesome and we have a baptism for October 17 progressing. I'm super excited conference was awesome but I had to watch it in spanish so didn't understand too much. So  iquitos is crazy, it's so much different from home. We live in a nice house, it is tile and pretty big, we study a lot and teach a lot of lessons. The streets are dirt for the most part, and people live in houses similiar to what I made  for my wilderness survival merit badge. The people here are really nice but talk super fast. I can't communicate very well. But thats ok. We have a pensionista, and she is awesome. The food is pretty good. We eat a lot of rice and chicken and potatoes and this weird looking pink sausage thing. Sometimes we just have yogurt and a roll. Except one time we had a fermented fish casserole. I wanted to puke, but i put it down. You know me, never passing up food. The people here all make fun of my spanish when I talk and I can't understand. hahah so thats kind of sucky, but I know it will get better. I am sorry that I have to go, I promise all of you and its my testimony that this church is the way to living a happy life, follow the teachings of the gospel and you will be happy. Its not always easy but it is worth it. I love you all and I have a lot more to say next week. 
Elder Droubay

                                                   Elder Meacham and Austin at Conference

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Hot, Humid and Humbled

Buenos Dias,
Well It has been my first week in iquitos, and it has been quite the adventure. Full of ups and downs, but regardless, I am so happy to be a missionary and to have the opportunity to serve. So, I have not stopped sweating since I got off the plane. It is honestly a sauna here. Im always dripping sweat, haha its funny, my investigators look at me like I'm dying. Its great though.
I have been very blessed this week. My trainer,  Elder Plaza, is from Ecuador and is a great missionary and super nice guy. We work very hard and it is nice to have a 100% obedient companion. He has been able to help me out a lot. We also have probably the nicest house in the area, which isnt saying much but it is ok.. So I am serving in Iquitos, in an area just 15 mins outside of the city called Seceda. It's very humbling, the people here live a lot differently then back in the states. They have wood houses, dirt floors, and not much of anything. But they all seem to be happy. I was definitely humbled this week because I dont know any spanish. Everyone just laughs at me and when they ask me something I just nod my head, say si and hope that yes is the correct answer. I really hope to pick up on the language soon, its hard not having anyone to talk to. I want to help these people very badly, but dont have the vocabulary to say what I want to say. But i know it will come. I need to be patient. We have two baptism dates for the end of October which is amazing, I was able to ask one of them to be baptized and he agreed and said he would really like that. Things are going well here, and I know they will get better. Keep me in your prayers and I will do the same for all of you. We are also in a very blessed ward. Every night we go out on splits with some return missionaries from the ward, and they are awesome. They treat me very nicely and help me out with spanish. I miss everyone and hope you are all doing well. I have a lot to learn and adapt to out here, but I know I'll be fine. Ether 12:27 is my scripture for the week. Be humble, trust in him, and he will provide the way. Much love!
ELder Droubay

                                             Elder Droubay and Elder Plaza (from Ecuador)
                               All of the new missionaries with Presidente and Hermana Gomez
                                                                            Elder Droubay

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Last week in the CCM

Hello Everyone,
It has been another great week here in the CCM. It is crazy to think that I leave to Iquitos on Tuesday next week. I am so excited, but also super nervous. I  feel good about teaching the basic principles of the gospel in spanish, but I am sure that I have a rude awakening coming to me next week. But it will be awesome and I'm so excited. This week has been great. Nothing too exciting, just a lot of hard work and studying. We have had a lot of laughs and good times as a district and have just been trying to make the most out of our limited time here. It has been pretty cool, every monday wednesday and friday, the elders in our District have a testimony meeting and it is amazing to see how much everyones testimony has grown and it is cool seeing the spirit that we bring. I love being a missonary.
So there was a sister companionship that was not getting along and really struggling so they decided that everyone in our district would switch companions so that the Hermanas didn't feel bad. So my new companion is Elder Horton, He is a stud, and we have a ton in common. He is from Syracuse Utah, and played baseball, basketball, and football. I feel like we have been able to help eachother out a ton here, and it has really been a blessing. He also is going to Iquitos, so who knows maybe later in our missions we will be companions again. 
We still have had the same food here everyday, rice and chicken, and we have toast and eggs for breakfast. It´s great though. P days are the best. We go to the temple, which is gorgeous, and then go shopping and then come back and email our families and play soccer. It is a blast. My Spiritual message this week is to have faith. Sometimes I struggle with believing that I am good enough or that I can do this, then I remember that I am not good enough alone, but with Christ I am good enough and I can do this, and I will help many people, with Christ working through me. He is real, he is there, and he loves you more than you could ever imagine. Keep me in your prayers this week as I start my new adventure into the rainforest. I love you guys, and hope everyone is doing well!

Elder Droubay

                                         Elder Droubay and Elder Horton


Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Time is flying at the CCM...

Hey Everyone,
I cant believe its already Wednesday. This week has been awesome and has been full of so many great experiences. I´m doing well, and time is flying here. Now that I´ve adapted to being here at the CCM it has gotten a lot better, and I love the spirit that I have felt here. I also love the guys i´m here with. They are all studs.
Where do I even begin? So on Saturday, we got to go out into the field on splits in the Lima East Mission with a fluent companion. It was so cool I was actually able to get my point across. I was super scared at first because I know my spanish sucked, but I was able to do my best, and then my companion just took over the conversation. I learned what being a missionary is like. We knocked on about 25 doors, talked to 7 people and had 18 doors shut in our face. But it was still awesome, and I loved the experience. It was nice to be able to get out of the CCM. We were able to teach a member family, and I bore testimony, but before I did, I apologized in advance for my poor spanish. The lady in the house quickly stopped me and gave me a big long lecture. What I could understand was something along the lines of, It doesnt matter what your spanish sounds like, because the spirit is the one who is teaching and leading and guiding the conversation. It was awsome to hear, And there was a lot of truth about what was said. I just need to do my best, and Invite the spirit, and he will be able to enter the hearts of the investigators and tell them what they need to hear. Lima is crazy, there are so many people, cars, and stray dogs running all over the place. The companion I was with said he had been bitten three times. Haha kind of funny. But one very valuable lesson I learned just while out in the field for one day was that you dont need very much to be happy. As long as you have your family, and the gospel, the rest will fall into place. 
My spanish is coming along, sometimes I beat myself up about it, but I just need to be patient. I know that I was called to serve here for a reason and I know that Heavenly Father will help me a ton along the way. I have only been out for 4 weeks and have had many struggles and many difficulties. However, I have had many great things happen to me as well. At times I think as members of the church we focus too much on the bad rather than truly looking around and noticing everything that we have truly been blessed with. Attitude really is everything, Right when we wake up in the morning we decide whether or not it is going to be a good day. So my advice to everyone reading this is that you stay happy, and realize all that you have been blessed with and how fortunate all of us really are.
Another cool thing. I was having a hard time on Monday, it was just a rough day. I was able to recieve a blessing from Elder Obrien, A highschool friend. He is a stud and the blessing he gave me, allowed me to feel so much better. I testify the the priesthood is the literal power of god, restored to the earth in this generation of time. Im grateful to be here with Colin, He has helped me a lot and its been nice to have a familiar face here. I love this gospel and love the opportunity that I have to serve. 
I hope everyone is doing well at home, I really miss you guys and would love to hear from you all! Email me! Thanks for being great influences in my life. Everybody read tonight Alma 7:23. Its amazing and we receive some great council in this verse. It gave me a lot of comfort this week and overall helped me out a lot. I love you all, and cant wait to hear from you next week. Thanks again for everything.
 Mucho amor,
Elder Droubay

                                Austin and Colin Obrien with new hair cuts?

Monday, September 7, 2015

Elder Bednar comes to visit...

Everything is going well here in the CCM. Listening to ELder Bednar was the coolest experience ever. As soon as he walkeed in the room, I could feel the spirit so strongly, and new without a doubt in my mind that he was an apostle of God. The overall message of the meeting was to act, and not be acted upon. This concept is so true. We need to go out and act, and make good choices, and be good examples, rather than sitting back and waiting for everything to be done for us. If we want to be in tune with the spirit, we need to work for that. It was a great talk, and I loved it. Sorry, I dont have much time to write this week. 
Spanish is a struggle, but is coming, slowly. I taught my first lesson without any notes this week, and I felt pretty good about it. My companion and I do a good job at teaching lessons and bringing the spirit. Its pretty amazing to feel the spirit so strongly, because I am sure we are speaking like 3rd graders. This week has been good, however it has had its challenges. I get super homesick at times, and got a little sick this a week, but I am good. I will keep putting my trust in the lord, hoping and knowing her will deliver me. I am sorry for the lame email this week. I'll write more next week. I know without a doubt in my mind that this church is true and that God loves each of us so much more than we could ever imagine. I listened to a very cool talk this week that I would encourage you all to listen to, speaking of gods love and Christs atonement. It is called "his grace is sufficient" by Brad Wilcox. I love you all so much, and you are all in my prayers everynight. Please keep praying for me as well. It means a lot. I love you all! 
Elder Droubay
                           Elder Droubay and Elder Yates at the Lima Peru Temple
                                          Elder Droubay, Elder Yates and Elder Green

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Rice and Chicken or Chicken and Rice??

Whats up everyone!
This week was great! I had some really cool opportunities, and learned a ton. First off, as the district leader, I had the opportunity to give a blessing and participate in others. We had two people who had really bad colds, and one kid who was having a super hard time being away from home. After everyone recieved a blessing they all began to feel better, and everyone was able to continue working hard. The spirit was so strong during those blessings and it was seriously so amazing. I just want to testify that the priesthood is the literal power of God, restored on the earth. We are so blessed to have the priesthood, and at times I think we take it for granted but it really is such an amazing gift and blessing. Today, we recieved new elders and hermanas in the CCM, I wil be sure to put my arm around them and help them out becasue that first week was definitely rough. It is sad, though, because all of the Latino elders that came in with us, left yesterday and are now out in the field. They were the nicest guys ever, and were so incredibly humble, loving, and faithful. They will all be great missionaries, and I'm super jealous they are already out there. 
Fransisco, the fake investigator that we have been teaching, committed to baptism this week! it was awesome. However, we need to continue working with him because he has a problem with smoking, and is having a hard time quitting. Spanish is coming along, poco a poco (little by little). I just need to continue studying hard, and losing myself in this great work. I pray for the gift of toungues, every night, hoping that I will continually progress with my spanish so that I can help my investigators out. Being a missionary is the greatest blessing in the world, I love the constant companionship that I have with the Holy Ghost. Ive never felt the spirit so strongly. At times, days are really hard, and I get frustrated, and doubtful and down on myself, but at times like these, I pray for guidance and support, and I remember all of you at home who are praying for me. Thanks for all the love and support. In Ether 12 verse 6 it says something a long the lines of you dont receive an answewr until after the trial of your faith. I have had many trials, but I know if I humbly perservere them, that I will be blessed and rewarded. My district and companion are so amazing, we are all in the same boat, and all get along so well, and are always able to joke with one another and comfort eachother when we are having a rough time. Same food for every meal, rice and chicken, its pretty funny. We all say 9 times out of ten we are having rice and chicken, the other time we are having chicken and rice. The church is true, and although I miss you all more than I could ever explain, I know that this is where I need to be, and I know that my Heavenly father has prepared many people in Iquitos for me specifically to help. Im so excited to get out in the field. Just four more quick weeks. Also, Im super excited because president Bednar is coming to speak to us this afternoon, and its going to be awesome, He always tell the brutal truth to missionaries, and Im super excited for the spirit that will be felt at that meeting. I miss, and love you all!

Elder Droubay

                                                          Me and Elder Castillo
                                                          Austin and Elder Zagarra

                                                  Austin and his Companion Elder Greene

Saturday, August 22, 2015

1st Official Email & 1st Week at the CCM

Buenos Tardes,
This week has been a week filled with some super high highs, and some pretty low lows. I miss you all and I hope everything is going well. We arrived at the CCM last wednesday at 3 in the morning. It was a super long trip, and the next day we were all exhausted. I have never felt the spirit this strongly. It is pretty awesome. The CCM is kind of weird. It is all gated in with huge fences so that no one can come in and no one can come out. Its kind of funny, everyone here makes jokes calling it the high security prison. The City of Lima is cool. All of the houses are so close together, and the drivers are crazy ( the pedestrians DO NOT have the right of way.) I love being a missionary, but it is the hardest thing I have every done so far. All of the teachers speak spanish and there are very few teachers and instructors that speak english. I feel like Im moving forward very slowly with the language, however, I am getting better and starting to pick things up. I can now say a prayer, give a small testimony, and greet people, and do my best to teach lessons to fake investigators. All of us newcomers have been able to help eachother out and have been able to relate to one anothers stresses and issues in the mission field. I just need to continue pressing forward with faith. And so do all of you. Always choose faith over fear. Trust in god, he loves you and is there for you. We had a devotional last night. A peruvian member of the qourum of the seventy spoke to us, and it was translated to english. I really like what he said. He said "Work as if everything depends on you, Pray as if everything depends on God." This quote is what I feel I really need to focus on. I just need to work hard and do my best to obtain as much knowledge as possible, and then god will do the rest. The Holy Ghost is the real teacher. We are just there to provide the information. 
After arriving to the CCM, I was made the district leader of my district. They are all awesome. Both the Elders and Hermanas. They all have such strong testimonies, and all of them have the spirit with them. I was truly blessed with a great district. My Companions name is Elder Greene from Queen Creek Arizona. He is a Goofball and has so much energy. I have to keep him on task a lot of the time, but he is awesome, and I love him. We also have Elder Yates from Sandy Utah ( he is the greatest kid ever. So nice.) Elder Holt from Arizona, Elder Fiame from Lehi, Utah, Elder Horton from Syracuse, Utah. We have an awesome district and have fun and are all able to relate to each other. It has been fun week, but I have also had a super diffcult time. I will keep getting better and working my hardest to be the best I can. The food is super plain. We have rice and chicken every day for lunch and dinner, and eggs and toast in the morning. But its food, and I appreciate it. Its not nearly as good as yours mom. 
I love you all and miss you all like crazy. I hope you are all doing well. I'm praying for all of you and hope you guys can keep me in your prayers as well. Trust in the Lord and work hard. He loves you and wants what is best for you. Thanks for all of the love and support, I love you guys! I love being a missionary. It is hard but worth it. I love the spirit that I feel each day. Even when I doubt myself and my abilities and feel like I am not good enough, I know that the lord loves me and is looking out for me. He is there for you too. You just have to let him into your life. 
Much Love,
Elder Droubay
                                                                           Elder Droubay and Elder Greene
                                                                       Our Awesome District
                                                                       My official name badge
                                                                        A crowded bus