Monday, December 21, 2009
Other events of the week include emergency transfers in which a good friend of mine left my district and zone (he actually received the phone call while I was working with him on exchanges). I've ran into quite a few esnakes (the Argentine girls who are into missionaries/gringos). I finished the Book of Mormon in Spanish and working my way through the New Testament. Three missionaries devoured three liters of ice cream. Oncativo and surrounding areas suffered from some slight flooding. And I have stayed the night in Rio Segundo (the other area in the district) twice for splits and both times I believe I was dinner for the mosquitoes.
I got sunburned really really bad about two weeks ago but now I'm working on my goofy looking tan. I met a lady who speaks English today. She is from Argentina but her grandparents are from England and she went to an English school. Speaking of schools, there are a couple of schools near me, and their Christmas break is three months long! (it is their Summer break too.)
Things are going well. My Spanish is finally reaching a place where I am mildly content and can understand what people say.
Monday, December 14, 2009
While I was in the city I purchased some shoes and the official Argentina national fútbol jersey. Try to hold back the tears but I still don't have a guitar, still looking. The weather is hot, but I love the rain :) it rains a couple times a week (not hard but it's nice). But I don't love Christmas in the summer. Good memory--temple lights...and cold...and hot chocolate afterwards...sounds like a good Christmas activity.
Saturday I worked with a nineteen year old in the branch (Eduardo) and now that school is out I'll probably be seeing him some more. It reminds me of me before the mish haha.
Monday, December 7, 2009
My second week of Latinism has come to an end. I'll leave it at this - North Americans and South Americans think in very different ways, luckily we have the same goals and desires so it all works out.
Saturday was, after a long wait, the baptism of Eduardo (Padre) Liendo. Elder Frias and I had the baptismal clothes in our house as well as our suits. We were returning to collect the clothes and to change into ours when we stopped and talked to a promising young lady. While talking to her we received a phone call from our branch president asking where we were the baptism was supposed to have started. We left Paola, ran to our place changed quick, grabbed the baptismal clothes and made it to the chapel late, out of breathe, and a little over heated. Nonetheless it went forth flawlessly from that point on.
The following day Hno. Liendo was confirmed and for his first time bore his testimony. It was incredible. Something else incredible transpired this week. We had 28 people in church! We had our plan, our backup plan, and our double backup plan fall through one afternoon. Of course this happened during the siesta when there is not one person to be seen, and you get yelled at for knocking on doors. So we stopped and prayed and asked for help finding a family. About forty two seconds later we found a family who came to church yesterday! It was incredible and it was a very rewarding week. Our average church attendance has been 18-21 for a long time now were at 28 and the chapel holds 36, I am going to fill this chapel before I leave (which I'm scared may be Jan 5). I could serve two years here. Also the branch really wants a real chapel and they were told if they could hold an average of 40 in sacrament for three months they would purchase the land for a building. I want it to happen way bad.
Another little note from this week, I sung my first Christmas song of my mission! In Spanish...and warm weather, but it's all good :)
That's all for now.
Monday, November 30, 2009
Elder Frias and I found several people this week and had several people committed to coming to church. Early Sunday morning we tried stopping by as many houses as we could to help our investigators to church. It went unsuccessfully. So we went to the chapel with hopes of someone being there. Zilch. We left in the middle of class to try to find people, whether they be new or our investigators. Our investigator Estella recently had her two daughters from Paraguay move in with her, she and one of her daughters came with us. As we returned to the chapel with two people there were three people I had never seen sitting in the back row! Because of our diligence and our hard work we were blessed with new investigators. Tomorrow we are visiting them and I'm very excited!
What else from my week...pants from Sam's Club are unworthy of missionary work, seeing how I have four pair of pants and the two from Sam's have large holes in them. Yes I will buy them here, too bad Walmart is out of my zone maybe next transfer I'll be near Walmart and can shop for some pants. Our refrigerator broke. And I received some amazing photos, letters, comics, and a tie from my family! (the comic about vampires for Halloween and the sister says he needs to get rid of the cape and wear a cute J Crew sweater was awesome). Thank you very much for sending it all. I still have yet to purchase my guitar, but the 11th I will be in Córdoba and I am getting it then and nothing is stopping me.
I'm happy everyones week and Thanksgiving went well. About Thanksgiving, I worked all day and was exhausted and when we returned home we saw an hermano from our branch who wished me a "feliz día de gracias" which confused me. I had completely forgotten one of our most legendary holidays! Next year I'll celebrate for sure.
Well that's it for now. Talk to you all next week.
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Okay where to start…let’s go with this transfer business. Today is transfers. Saturday night the zone leaders called and informed me I was staying in Oncativo. They then told me that Elder Abraham was leaving to serve in Rio Tercero. So yesterday was a day of goodbyes and packing (for my companion, and I tagged along and helped out). Then this morning Elder Ab left on a bus (they were out of seats so he had to buy a standing ticket). I returned to the house cleaned a little and awaited a call from my new Elder Frias. He was born in Ecuador but left for his mission from Chile. He speaks less English than I do Spanish so I’m excited to educate myself in this language I need to conquer. I’ve also already done more work today (p day) with Elder Frias than I have the past couple weeks. SO transfers are as simple as getting on a bus and going to a new area while those who stay wait for their new companion to arrive.
A little story about why I need to learn Spanish better. Last Sunday the counselor in the branch presidency asked me if I wanted to give a talk the next week. I laughed and said sorry I will be sick. I had lunch with him that afternoon and he brought it up again. So I caved and said sure but I told him to beware my Spanish was bad and my talk would be short. Elder Abraham turns to me after the conversation and said he was joking. Not wanting to give a talk in a language I don’t speak well I told the hermano I wasn’t talking and it was a joke. Well I still don’t know what happened but yesterday I had to wing a fifteen minute talk in Spanish. This hermano, his family, and my companion all found this hilarious. I spoke studying, and told this story of how I maybe if I had studied my Spanish a little harder I wouldn’t be having to make up a talk. However, I’ve given my first talk as a missionary, it had to be done sometime.
Oh, a funny story, my comp called me from the bus terminal and I came to try and find him but he had been walking the wrong way so we called a cab because it was raining and he had A LOT of luggage. The cab showed up and who was it? Our neighbor and owner of our house (he is a cab driver just like at home my neighbor speaks a language I dont and drives a taxi) good stuff.
Happy Thanksgiving. I'm not doing anything special for Thanksgiving, because they don't have it here and they don't have turkey. My comp is Latin, so I'll probably drink a fanta and eat a milonesa (thin breaded chicken you cook in vegetable oil it's the main stapel of the Argentine diet). Other food here is a lomito, it is like a hamburger kinda and it has huevos (egg) on top.
Well, that’s it for my week. Hope everything is safe and fun this weekend.
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
My week...way uneventful. No lessons or anything...keep trying. The church is somehow still growing. Miracle? I think so, missionaries are sharing the work somewhere.
You want a story do you...well you know how there seems to be an uncanny relationship between when it rains and when you wash your car. Well over here in Oncativo a similar phenomenon between rain and laundry.
Our days look like this: we wake up, study, work, eat, work. We just have no success at lunch because everybody is home asleep. Supposedly it's easier to work during the siesta in the city where there are more people, but in Oncativo the city literally shuts down for five hours everyday. Language, still not good, but better. I am having fun, I just need to speak Spanish better.
The temperature has been in the 90s so we are still using the fan from the church, we return it for meetings then go home with it. Some parts of my area are pretty but right now we're running out of water so not really. Some cities have no water (no showers, no sinks, toilets anything) and we're getting that way too.
Transfers take place next week. I don't think I'm being transferred, but everybody thinks Elder Abraham is. But p-day changes regardless of being transferred so it will be on Tuesdays now.
Monday, November 9, 2009
I don't really have any stories this week :/ We talked to a drunk guy, walked three/four miles to get home down the train track because the bus never showed up and we can't find two people who we placed baptismal dates with. We set the dates but now they won't talk to us and they send their kids to the door saying they're not there.
I did not get a guitar this last week but I've been playing the church's keyboard, I'm the best pianist in Oncativo branch. The baptism is a go. The font is in our building, it's way cool. You'll see pictures eventually.
Missionaries move a lot more here than they did in Baltimore. The longest anyone stays somewhere is three transfers, like that is the absolute max.
Some fun little cultural news: the tooth fairy doesn't visit Argentina, but Raton Perez does (he is a rat named Perez). And you place your tooth under the leg of a table and in the morning money is there in it's place. Thought that was fun and you might enjoy it.
I'm enjoying my quest I just want to work harder. It feels like a waste of time if I'm not talking to everyone or anyone. Amongst all the rejection I'm still bright with optimism knowing in time I'll find someone who is open to what I have to offer.I love you all,
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
Air conditioning units do not exist in this country, neither do heaters. For warmth, add clothes, to cool off, remove clothes, like all that's possible without getting in trouble. It's tempting, I admit, to follow the Argentines in their way of dealing with the heat. So because it's ridiculously hot, I haven't been able to fall asleep till three all week till yesterday! Twas a miracle. In church they had three fans to help stay cool, the church building isn't used lunes thru sabado (Monday thru Saturday), so we stole the big one. We'll return it on Sundays, but for the first time all week, I slept last night.
And a Spanish update. I have been here a month. Four weeks ago, I could not tell the difference between an Argentine speaking Spanish and a Chinaman speaking Mandarin. Now, however, it's starting to sound like Spanish!! Do I understand it all? Not even close. Can I say what I want? Not even close (in fact I'm often harassed for it). Can I carry a conversation and respond to questions or comments made by friends in their home or strangers in the street? Yes. Was that a yes? Indeed it was. It's miraculous the improvement that has come over the past month, makes me curious/excited for next month.
To answer some questions that have come my way: A tip for packages, stickers/pictures of the virgin or Jesus, otherwise the post office will open it and take what they want. And transfers are crazy, nobody knows when they are this time, President said it was a five week transfer but another time said the transfer date was the twenty ninth of November so I don't know.
I live in a house that our neighbor is renting out. It's made of cinder block (everything in Argentina is cement and some type of block, and when you say we build stuff out of wood, they smirk, laugh, giggle, and say to themselves "haha idiots, wood is flammable"). The walls aren't thin, they're cinder block thick, everything is just poorly made. Every door has an opening above and below, and many do not have handles, and the ones that do I stopped touching after I broke two (which had been previously broken but still a tad embarrassing and hindering). Oncativo is almost all the same type of house as mine. Mine is actually big though. Most consist of a kitchen/living/everything-other-than-a-bedroom room, and a bedroom. My house has a separate kitchen. Córdoba has lots of apartments (it is set up like a big city, even though it has a fourth of the population of Phoenix it's tall and crowded like normal big cities). Jobs are varied. In my branch, two hermanos (brethen) own stores (half the branch works in one of the stores), one hermano (brother) works in a paint shop, and our soon to be hermano works at a dairy. School is two six year schools, the majority however never graduate (our branch president is fourty something and is working on finishing high school). Kids per family range from 2-4 with 2 being the mode.
How did I get my holes (in my pants)? I have no idea. From scrubbing, doubt it, I've washed them once. My companion has not has that problem. I don't know how bad to consider them, one isn't too bad the other is iffy, and Oncativo might have 15,000 people but it feels like an Argentine St David (a small town in southern Arizona), so I don't know about a seamstress. As for purchasing pants, I'll have to do it in the city. Favorite food, probably empanadas. The asado last week was legit, it was just Elder Abraham and I. And I bought him lunch today while we were in the city (we had a zone instead of district meeting and we stayed to chill). And another good food is their yogurt (yogurt pronounced jscho-goor) is like flavored milk not yogurt (they eat cereal with it and think milk and cereal is crazy).
Well that's about it. Love you all, catch ya later.
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
'Tis been a week of up and downs. Like a slide, with the angle perfect enough that your initial inspection tells you that it'll be a fun slide, until you get to the bottom and realize the huge oversight of the horizontal ledge at the bottom (I wish the computer would let post photos but I am unable it make it work).
Well this week started with a slumber party at Elder Lamb's pad the night before zone conference. We did work, made tacos, and some of us slept on chairs. And I got to finally see the big city. I'm an hour away from the closest missionaries, and two hours away from the next closest, but I met some new elders at zone conference!! But a couple are going home soon. I get along with my comp really well, I hope we stay together next transfer so we can have Christmas and New Years together (both of which are celebrated with massive amounts of huge fireworks).
Saturday, the water in our chapel did not work, so the baptism has been postponed three weeks. hXc bummer.
Fútbol (soccer) is exciting down here and it's an easy way to talk to people haha. Btw chapels have outdoor soccer courts and not indoor basketball courts here.
President Olson came by my casa to inspect it and give me the ole interview. I have two large holes in a pair of pants-idk how i have holes but theyre big and ill sew um and see about getting some here. I've been clapping at some houses - clapping is how we knock because everybody almost has fences or gates in front of their houses. I survived a massive sand storm that had me trapped on the opposite side of town while dirt filled our home. The sand storm was a freak thing but our windows were open and I had clothes on the line. And I purchased what I thought to be juice but later found out is flavored soy milk.
This place is awesome. I love my mission, the people, the food, the friends, everything. But I also love you all! Stay awesome.
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
So Saturday was zone meeting. I met the rest of my zone and we had a meeting and talks from the leaders, and then we got mail! Three letters, holla at yo boi. After the meeting Elder Abraham and I were walking back to the bus terminal very hungry (twas five in the afternoon and we didn't have time for breakfast in order to get to our bus on time to get to Córdoba). We pass this big building called Dino Saurio Mall. My companion informs me all malls have a Burger King and he could go for a burger, I'm still trying to indulge in my Argentine foods but was very hungered and was not going to argue. Well they didn't have a Burger King. That morning as we were trekking to our zone meeting I was reminiscing of rice and beans and tortillas (none of which exist here). My comp reassured me that I needed to stop complaining and it would be a good idea to forget about mexican food because it simple didn't exist in Argentina. Well forget about Burger King, Dino Saurio had a lil place with fajitas!! For 22 pesos (cheaper than BK). Also, this was the first place Abraham has been to that serves refills. So my second week in and I know where to go for food and refills! Good day.
The following day was Stake Conference, so I got to ride a colectivo to Córdoba again! w00t. It was good, the accents are still hard to understand but I'm doing a little better, especially when gringos speak. President Olsen spoke and I got it all. Not only was yesterday Conferencía de Estaca but día de la madre as well! So, although you're not in Argentina, feliz día de la madre Mom! :)
The weather comes and goes. It's usually hot during the day and cold at night. It's cold every morning when I get up but Argentines are crazy. It'll be hot, I'll be sweating as I walk around, and they wear sweaters, I don't get it. Maybe I'll change and be like them when I get home though so Phoenix will be a lil more bearable. And as for pretty...it's flat with no vegetation, so not really, no, it's not pretty. At least between where I'm at and the big city of Córdoba at least.
Elder Abraham had been in the area for five weeks before I showed up. It's a new area, just like where I was in Balmer, it's also one of the wealthiest parts of Argentina, just like where I was in Balmer. And we don't do dinner appointments. The Argentine schedule is wake up at eight or so and work till twelve, eat a big lunch (main meal of the day) and take a big nap. Then return to work somewhere around five of six, and work till nine, then eat a dinner which isn't really much. There are four families in the ward and three of them feed us lunch every week. And one night we were visiting an investigator (one of our two, nobody is receptive similar to Balmer) who started cooking dinner and fed us, so three/four times a week. I cook myself a lot eggs (they're cheap and easy), pasta (but the sauce isn't as good), and Elder Abraham loves cooking deserts, and since we're one of the few pensiones with an oven he makes breads and tortas and stuff. We have a mini fridge and live across the street from a member's store so we go there every day since the only thing they sell in quantities large enough to last more than a day is eggs. I love their milk, but it comes in tiny bags that suffice for two bowls of cereal. This week we're gonna have an asado!! That's an Argentine bbq were you use carbón (what they made at the Coke Ovens) and cook a ton of meat. According to my trusty comp we're gonna have more food than we can handle for thirty pesos. I'm stoked.
Okay, time for the end of this ridonculously long email after I give you some exciting news!! There is an incredible young man named Eduardo in my ward (but he lives in another town so we don't see him enough :/), well he has been a member since he was a child but went inactive since his family wasn't in the church. Well, recently his mother and sister were baptized and came to conference with us, and this Saturday his dad is getting baptized. Eduardo is one of my favorite people I've met since my quest began back in julio and I'm excited for him and his family and his dad. Oh but wait, there's more. Sunday not only are we having a confirmation of Eduardo padre (senior) but Eduardo hijo (junior) is receiving the big MP. It's way awesome and I'm excited for him and his family, it will be a big blessing and this weekend is going to be amazing.
Well, that's it for now. I love you guys and Imma be emailin yall in seven days time.
Paz y amor.
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Yes we walk everywhere. The town isn't too big but we will walk to all four edges in a day, it's cool, because even though our success is nonexistent it feels like we're accomplishing something because of how far we walk and how tired I get (just like the guy in Buenos Aires told me).
It's much too hot to wear a jacket outside, so the answer to if I wear a jacket all the time or only in meetings is, only in meetings.
I sleep about three hours a night because the dogs don't stop barking and the houses do not block sound, they are kinda like a real sturdy tent.
Church was awesome. There were twenty one people (including Elder Abraham and I). When people walk in it's like a big family reunion, everyone is greeted with hugs and kisses from every person. It was testimony meeting, and as Presidente Daniele was conducting he mentioned that there was a new missionary "whose name he was not going to try pronouncing because even when I coach him through it he can't get it right" and everybody was looking forward to hearing his testimony. So I got up first and in butchered castellano (they look at you funny if you call it Spanish) I bore my testimony and told everyone how to say Lamoreaux. The joke amongst all nineteen members is to call me Elder Lamer - say something funny sounding. But after I was done every member of the branch bore their testimony (except Benjamin, he's 1). We hung out for awhile after church then I had lunch at the familia Abate Daga's house. When they said I got to ride in the back of the truck on the way to their house I shouted "dulce", literally translated it means "sweet" but it's not an expression down here and Hermana Abate Daga started going crazy saying whats this and stuff but then after lunch she was saying it.
Another funny language mix up: I was eating with the familia Daniele and they asked about my family (which reminds me everybody wants to see pictures of my family so send me some, I can be in them too if you want, or not, just send me pictures!!). I said everybody and lil about them and then said I was "el mejor" (best) instead of "el mayor" (oldest) everyone laughed and the eldest son present (the other is serving in Texas) said he was "el mejor" as well.
And no it's not a Cyber Café, it is a business where all it is is a room filled with computers, there are several around town, in every town. And it's spelled ciber, I apologize for the poor grammar.
So some fun cultural differences for the week: laundry is done in a bucket by hand. Cars drive around town advertising stuff through large speakers they have bungeed to their roofs. Dulce de leche is possibly the best food ever invented, I put it on foods from bananas to bread to hamburgers (that one wasn't my best idea).
About mail...I get it once a transfer at zone conferences, so hopefully I'll have some by then.Well that's about it. I've yet to teach a lesson. People use the same excuses and stuff here that they do in Baltimore, but I still enjoy it, I just want one person to listen.
Love you guys, catch ya later.
Monday, October 5, 2009
Tis Monday and I guess you would like to know of how these first couple days have been. Here is a brief summary:
Thursday night I made the tenish hour flight to Buenos Aires. I sat between two Spanish speakers so I practiced a little, but it was the middle of the night and they were watching the movies and stuff. I landed safely, got all my luggage without a problem and looked around for a fellow named Alberto. I found him and he gave us some papers and took some papers and we waited awhile in the airport until he told us to leave all our stuff we were going to the temple to wait for other missionaries. We went to the temple, ate breakfast, went to the temple, ate lunch and left. One of the men in the cafeteria across the street asked if we were hungry, I replied with more or less, he said, "No no no. Los misioneros buenos siempre están cansados y siempre tienen hambre. Uds. son élderes buenos, tienen hambre." (No no no. The good missionaries are always tired and always hungry. Elders you are good, you are hungry.) Those of us who understood laughed and were in good spirits.
The other missionaries showed up including Élder Blackhorse (a friend from Phoenix) and we all got on a little bus to go to another airport. Out of all of us there were three different missions, those going to Bahía Blanca left us, then Salta, then all of us for Córdoba (Lambchops included, Elder Lamb). We missed the flight we were supposed to take so a guy from the church was there trying to help us out, we were running around like crazy trying to get all these flights. Five of us ended up on standby but then somehow this guy ran off and came back with a couple tickets for three more of us and they all left for their flight to Córdoba. Lamb and I had to take another flight (1523, I know), so we were gonna be late. Well as we were walking to our gate we pass all the other guys whose flight was delayed. We boarded this sketch Argentine plane but it got us there. President and Hermana Olsen were there waiting for us. I had a chat with President Olsen in a Catholic airport chapel, 'twas interesting. In time the others showed up putting us all only three hours behind schedule.
We drove to the mission office (traffic boggles my mind) where we got a rundown on the mish, had dinner, met our trainers, and left for home. I took a long bus ride from Córdoba to Oncativo and finally got home around 12:30. I was dead tired after having not slept for a couple days (my last night in Baltimore and the night on the plane).
Then I spent most of Saturday in the cyber watching conference in English, but the connection sucked and I really didn't get to watch much, and I didn't get to watch Priestood session. Sunday morning we to the family Abate Daga's house. The four of them and the two of us ate an awesome lunch (the main meal down here) and then the branch president and his family of five showed up and the eleven of us crammed into a small house and watched the morning session on a twelve inch computer screen. It was awesome though!! I loved both families, and after having met them and the man that owns a tienda (store) across the street from our pensión (home) I know half the branch in two days. Everything I've eaten has been way good except bread pudding :/ The good stuff was pizza pasta empenadas weird chicken sandwich thing and breakfast pastries it's all been way good except the bread pudding. Their pizza and pasta is a little different than what were used to but still good.
That afternoon we watched (or tried to) the afternoon session in the cyber again.
The people here are way nice but speak way fast. In Córdoba they did sound like they were singing, here, not as many people do. The dogs are not the domesticated best friend they are back home, they're everywhere and it's weird haha but cool. Everybody and their mother drives a "moto" but the biggest displacement I've seen is a 200cc motorcylce. I'm getting better at military time. It's def different but I like it and I haven't really had shock, I just smile and love everything that's different.
My comp is from a tiny town near Cody, WY. He's served in sixish areas. Missionaries have been here since '06 I believe but it wasn't its own area until four weeks ago. It was covered by the same missionaries who served in Rio Segundo as well (which is an hour away) so now that we live here it should start doing a little better. I'm excited for church, it's in a business building!
Alright, if you have anymore questions shootem at me. I love you all and I'll catch ya later.
Saturday, October 3, 2009
I'm in a "cyber" watching conference, because I´m in a town with fifteen members and there´s no church building (we meet in an office building) so we are watching it online for two days.
I'm so happy and grateful I have this opportunity.
Paz y amor (Peace and Love),
Thursday, October 1, 2009
My flight to Miami leaves at three thirty. From Miami I fly to Buenos Aires and will arrive at six thirty in the morning. I don't know any other details, but I'll be able to call from one of the airports tomorrow probably around twoish so eleven AZ time if I'm correct. Hopefully I can talk to someone. And I have a travel companion because Elder Lamb got his visa too! It'll be long but fun and I'm super excited :)
I've really enjoyed my month in the MD but Cordoba is waiting.
Talk to you soon, literally,
ps I was excited to watch Conference in English but now Imma see/hear in Spanish only, hope I can follow and learn something good.
Monday, September 28, 2009
Imma start with some bad news...I guess you haven't received my letter yet but I'm probably not leaving this week. They said beginning of October (which is this week but I'll still probably be waitin' a lil longer).
Friday we had a special zone conference with Elder Robbins from the Seventy. I met with him, spoke him, and we all got a stellar lesson from him and his wife. It was way legit. After a member took us to Five Guys (Baltimore's own In'N'Out). It was way good, then thirty minutes later I had dinner at an inactive members house for burgers again (that's where I gave my number to the awesome lady from South Africa - she asked if she could have your number and I was happy to give it to her. She has a son in Guatemala speaking the espanol as we speak :) and I'm glad she said nice things and I made a good impression.) [insert from Levi's mom - we received a call from a member who is originally from South Africa who lives in Idaho now and was visiting her inactive father-in-law in Baltimore. She said they had just had dinner with Levi and he was great and looked good. She was very impressed with him and could not believe he was a "greenie". It was wonderful words for a Mother to hear!]
I had a couple Spanish experiences Saturday :) I'm gettin' good at racial profiling. I went on 24 hour exchanges with the District Leader. We had nine appointments scheduled and only one worked (kinda), but I still had awesome experiences and hopefully the Essex area elders have some new investigators :)
Quick funny story: Saturday we were teaching a family from Africa who spoke French but one and a half of them spoke English. It was the best lesson. They weren't too accepting but we ran late and were about to be late to another appointment so we had to wrap up and leave. We said a prayer and tried to bolt. The mother/grandmother who didn't speak English and who couldn't really follow what was going on because of the language barrier stood up and said "you come into our home and bless us with the Spirit of the Lord and you don't even stay for drinks!" It was funny in the moment and our appt was the floor under them and he wasn't home so we returned briefly for a glass water.
Allison's week was good. I love watching her testimony grow! It's probably my favorite thing about the mission so far. Everything she experiences helps her grow stronger which in turn helps me. It's incredible. She went to the Relief Society General Broadcast and loved it so I'm feelin' General Conference will be good for her.
Elder Janke and I have a new investigator who is fourteen, frosh, plays guitar and violin, her favorite bands equal that of Tate's, she's cute...after baptism I'm thinkin' she should move out the PHX to meet the lil LMX...if ya know what I'm sayin ;) Any who, things are going well. The area is slowly improving. I'm workin hard and excited to hear some visa news in the next week or two!
Love you guys thanks for being amazing and for your support, updates, prayers, love and everything.
Talk to ya next week.
Monday, September 21, 2009
Monday we went to downtown Baltimore again and hung out at capitol hill, it was pretty cool but the best thing about it was the Russian guy we met. He flew from Russia to Oregon and has been traveling the United States hitting all the cool stuff he cans before he goes back home. How is he traveling? Hitch-hiking. He has seen Oregon, Washington, California, AZ, and everything else on his way and a week ago he was in Baltimore! So flippin' cool. He was reading The Acts in an English Bible so we chatted with him, gave him a BoM and later we saw him again and he was reading it. It was a way cool experience.
Tuesday I went on exchanges (intercambios) with the nearby Spanish elders. I've placed more BoM's and taught and taught more lessons in one day of Spanish work than three weeks of English work. I spoke to 26ish people on the street with no help. And during lessons and conversations I wasn't getting lost in their Spanish or anything. It was hXc (hardcore) legit, especially for taking a couple weeks off.Wednesday a man in the ward hooked me up with an Arizona Republic. His sister brings him back a newspaper from wherever she goes and she just happened to be in Phoenix the other week. It was muy capo (Argentine for cool/studly).
Skip to Saturday. Allison's baptism! It was incredible. I gave the talk on baptism and was a witness. We ended up changing the time like 26135679 times because she was afraid of people showing up. She wanted it private, and that's what she got. Bishop's family, one fellowship family, and missionaries were the only people there. Afterwards everyone was asking her how she felt and she kept saying "sorry, not that much different, I'll let you know if something changes." When I got home that night she gave us call saying something was different. She felt safe for the first time in a long time and calm and all the other good things. I was/am so happy for her. But that wasn't the end. Last night there was a fireside titled "Why I Believe" in which the mission president asks recent converts to give talks on why they believe. One speaker had been a member for a year, another four months, and the last, one day. She didn't tell us she was speaking until yesterday afternoon. And she did awesome. She didn't prepare a talk just spoke from her heart and she was the best one no doubt (but the whole thing was good). She also has this joke about her life being the Mormon version of Seinfeld, so she calls in Smithfeld, and embarrassingly enough she talked about that from the stand, but it was good.
It's been a good week, and I do have some visa news. I received my "permisso" which is basically a document saying you'll obey the laws and stuff and the consul will be signing my visa the end of this month, so I should leave the beginning of next month..my money had been on today though :/
Love you guys.
Monday, September 14, 2009
Some lil deets I haven't shared yet. Church is in the opposite order here, it's a lil weird but I'll deal. They don't have any priests so the missionaries rotate on the sacrament blessing. I still have yet to receive any of your mail. I've gotten one piece from a sister in my MTC district. It was awesome :) it was from Hermana Barfoot (one of the coolest sister missionaries or people in general to ever live). She sent it from the SLC airport while she was waiting for her flight to Buenos Aires! She was stuck waiting for her foot to heal and a visa. She got her visa and the clear from the doctor and her travel plans all within three days. I was super stoked hearing about all that. Made me excited :)
Saturday the six elders covering my ward and two others assisted at this huge family history workshop. And afterwards we took Allison to the DC temple to see the Testaments. We took a tour of the visitors center with her and walked round the temple. It's ginormous. It's ridonculously gorgeous. As you're driving down the freeway to get there it all of sudden rises above the trees and it looks like you're driving straight towards it. SO cool. Maybe you'll see some pics. Anyways, at the visitor center that night there was a Hispanic Culture celebration goin down. Lots of people who didn't speak English and I got to conversate with them a lil bit.
That's bout it for the week.Hope y'all are doin' good. Don't forget to talk like a pirate Saturday.
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
My area: Perry Hall.
Goal: fix it up and get it going.
There is not a single investigator or recent convert in the area, and it's the biggest area in our zone. I know not what the elders before Janke and I did but I'm guessing it was nothing. The last time the area book was updated was 2005, and that is all we have to go off of. We've done a lot of contacting and a lot of tracting with no success, but I can feel it in my bones that we're about to hit a lucky streek. It's fun trying and talking to people and everything but I'm kinda jonsin' for a lesson to teach.
The only person I've taught is a wonderful woman named Allison. She isn't my area but is my ward and I've had the chance to visit her twice. She is an ex-ballerina, music major from U of Miami, plays guitar (she has a $800 Taylor acoustic), she can sing like no other, is crazy sarcastic, just super hXc cool, acts like she is 25 but just turned 50, and she is getting baptized Sept 19 ;). Instantly she liked me..probably a little too much and this is why. She gave two missionaries and I a gift the other night. A hand made Italian silk, one of a kind, two hundred dollar tie (she knows the guy who owns the label but still). I'm scared to wear it but I'm def throwin it round my neck on the nineteenth. I actually had a dream I got my visa the eighteenth and missed her baptism and confirmation and freaked out when I woke up because I thought it was real. Soo hopefully it comes the 21st :)
Yesterday was my first zone conference. Pres Belliston is flippin' awesome. His wife is super legit as well. 'Twas a good experience and I rather enjoyed it.
Life is going well. It's still beautiful here. Oh yeah, hehehe, the ward calls me Elder LMX because Lamoreaux isn't too simple and there is also an Elder Lamb. hXc legit.
I have no news on my visa, nor will I until I leave. Elder Godfrey (one of the elders in my apt) has been waiting for his visa for India for fourteen weeks. He is training someone and it's not even his mission. But the day my visa comes I get a phone call saying pack your bags, and I leave the next morning, but perhaps I'll be able to call again.
Love you all, talk to you next week :)
- Elder LMX
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
Glad you got a message letting you know I made it safe. And even though I made it safe I'm sure you're wanting a story of my travels. Here it is: After we spoke I had two hoursish before my flight. I was chillin chattin with Elder Lamb from Henderson, NV. Randomly a man asks us if we speak Spanish (in Spanish). I told him a little and he asked for some help because he couldn't find his gate. I was able to walk him around, talk a little and point him in the right direction. Totally awesome to use it in the real world. (Random thought: but the real world was scary at first). Then we made our four hour flight to MD, flying over UT, WY, NE, IO, IL, IN, OH, Pennsylvania and finally MD covering roughly 1930 miles. I spoke to a man who just finished serving as a mish pres in Mexico in Spanish while waiting for our luggage. Then my pres showed up drove us around and took us to our apartment. I'm serving in English :/ but Imma study hard on my own and hopefully the visa comes soon, even though things are good here. It's really pretty. And even though I'm practicing my Spanish as I'd like I did with my Spanish elders and spoke with them quite a bit and they were impressed. I also know the gift of tongues is real, I can now give the first vision in three languages: Spanish, English, and Ebonics. It's shorter and a lil more exciting in the third.
So yesterday I made a couple appointments taught the first lesson on a store step, did some service and placed a bomb, sorry, BoM.
Today was P-day we hit up the zoo and downtown Baltimore, ate some lunch, took some pics, it's been a good two days. Elder Lamb (from the plane) is also in the apartment with his comp, my comp and me. It's like a missionary party every day except quiet cuz we're studying and stuff.
I'm doin good, enjoyin myself, workin hard, and waiting to leave. So I kinda miss the MTC district but...I'm glad I can't see them anymore cuz it means I'm in the field!
I hope everything is going well back home. Keep me filled in. I get a lil extra time for email here than in the MTC, it's pretty legit.
Paz fuera. (peace out)
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
I picked up your son along with another Elder going to his mission at the airport at 4:30 today, August 31. He looked great. He has been assigned to Elder Janke from Idaho Falls. They are serving in Baltimore.
Your son is a very impressive young man! I am confident he will be a wonderful missionary. We will do all we can to provide him with some great training and experiences while he serves in this beautiful part of the country.
Sincerely, President A. Brent Belliston
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Sunday, I attended a broadcast of the Oquirrh Mountain temple dedication. Monson's talk was hXc good. The others were good too. And I could not help but smile when Pres Eyring blessed the missionaries in the dedicatory prayer. it's crazy to know that people all over the world include me in their prayers, and my family :).
Okay my teacher Hermano Anderson has a cruiser (some Honda model), and talks about it quite often. Well I had told him about the VFR and the coast trips and flippin sweet they were and all that shizzle and he was impressed and jealous and now is looking into more fun bikes. just a brief funny story of what happens in class when we're supposed to be learning. We do learn, and the whole conversation was acceptable because it was in Spanish.
I lol'd over Dad and my mandals. [Wade wore Levi's sandals to Tyra's baptism.]Today was my last temple session for two years..kinda sad but it was my best time out every visit thus far to the Provo temple.
Anyways, I love you all! Thank you for all the letter's and emails and everything. You're the best family ever.
Love, Elder LMX
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
The meeting with the consul went well. I still do not have my visa, and I won't have a date until I get it but hopefully I'm not pushed back. He let us do a Q and A about Argentina and I found out fast food costs three times as much as it should because people want to be "modern". Business men will eat at McDonalds over another restaurant because of this. There some other interesting things, but in gen I'm just pumped to get out.
Speaking of getting out...I left the MTC!!!!! Elder Goodman had been feeling ill for bout a week so we finally went to the health clinic here who let us walk to the real Dr down the street!! Omgsh! I saw people. I saw magazines. I heard music. It was nice to know that the outside world still existed. I really wanted to contact every person I saw..then I remembered it was Utah and I left it at hello and other friendly salutations. No worries, Elder G man is good just a lil pneumonia.
My female teacher, Hermana Cochrane is also a high school volleyball coach so she wasn't in class last week for try outs and I had two awesome subs. One of them, Hermano Dallon, was straight up legen..wait for it...dary. He helped me a lot and totally an awesome teacher.
Well I have thirteen days left hopefully. John Greenleaf Whitier once said "Of all sad words of tongue and pen, the saddest are these: 'It might have been'." Just a lil daily gem I thought I'd share with you, and it's a lil of how I'm looking at these next twenty two point five months. It should be good.Next week is hopefully my last P-day here so it could be my last email for awhile. I don't know but I'll keep you updated with what I do know.Love you all.
ps: HAPPY BIRTHDAY TYRA!!!!! Eight is a totally awesome age. Live it up. Enjoy your baptism, and third grade! :)
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Other good news, the new roomates I was supposed to get never showed up. E' G-man and I were anxious to meet them and we had some pranks ready and some intimidating lectures rehearsed just in case we didn't like them. So as our anticipation was about to end and we returned to the room Wed night nobody was there. Soo we don't know what happened but we're glad it did.
There is a new Hermana in my district (which now makes it four girls to two boys, we probably have the oldest average age for single missionaries). She is in our district because she had to have an inch and a half piece of glass surgically removed from her foot, so she is here for four more weeks while the rest of her district left. Okay so having foot surgery is funny, right? Well it gets ten times funnier when you find out that her name is Hermana Barfoot. It's hard not to laugh about it, but she is really very nice and will be serving in Bahia Blanca with Elder Blackhorse.
Oh yeah, crazy story time. During volleyball an elder who doesn't know how to play ran into a sister in my district. He knocked her over and she screamed and looked at her knee and her knee cap was not where it was supposed to be. They took her to the MTC Dr and he said it was dislocated and she probs would have a miniscal tear as well. They ambulanced her over to the hospital where they did xays and MRI and all that jazz and popped her patella back in place.
Well there was absolutely no damage and she is back to normal. fue un milagro (translated-it was a miracle)
You shouldn't need to send me any packages in Argentina, but if you do, tape a picture of the Virgin Mary on there. The mail people open up all packages and take the stuff they want, but they leave it alone if the Virgin Mary is on there. Kinda funny, and helpful.
I had the priviledge to watch a talk given by Pres Uchtdorf in which he gave some interesting new doctrine. Apparently, we will speaking German in the Big C. Maybe it was a joke, I can't be sure, but interesting to think about nonetheless.
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
Yesterday a native district I had become close with departed for their respective missions. It's always sad but exciting to watch people leave.
Elder Goodman and I also received some bad news...we're getting new roommates! We are the only obedient reverent mishs on our floor. Security is called almost nightly by the floor under us because they can't sleep with noise my floor makes. I don't wanna have to hurt someone so these new guys best not mess around.
I know nothing new on the flu but nobody has left for Argentina in a month and a half and none of them have leaving dates.Thank you for the bread and for the letters and the emails.
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
My Spanish is improving and I am learning but still far from fluent. I've been teaching in Spanish recently which is hard but helpful. One of my teachers is a teacher for a native district and sometimes we practice with them which is humbling but very helpful.
Tomorrow, English dies. We're a holding a funeral service and everything. Then it's strictly Spanish.
Some cool news about Argentina: because of the swine flu, church is cancelled. This news doesn't make me feel any more comforted about my visa.
No new elders have been placed in my room. It's just Elder Goodman and I. It's really quiet now, rather different. Some interesting news on Elder G-man: he has Lamoreaux relatives in Gilbert! He doesn't know who the Lamoreauxs are. His dad just told him in a letter they had Lamoreaux fam in Gilbert.
Last week our guest fireside speaker was the guy Other Side of Heaven was based on. Tuesdays are GA firside nights. Sundays are other random people. But the big GA's always take July off from coming to the MTC so I've been getting retired 70's coming to talk but hopefully August will have some big people. The week before I came Bednar was here. Week before that, Holland (who has become my favorite apostle).
Elder Goodman and I decided to join the MTC Choir. That should be exciting since we'll be here a couple more months.
Sorry, I can't think of anything else new. Every day is a repeat of the previous and they tend to blend together, but it's still going good. Anyways thanks for the support and your abundance of optimism.
Talk to ya later.
(that's how my district spells Lamoreaux)
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Thank you for the shoes and gel and such. I didn't think hair product was allowed either but it is and the shoes fit. I was ahead of you on the Sharpie and bought one in the bookstore to mark all my clothes two weeks ago but thank you nonetheless. We can do a camera SD card exchange whenever you'd like =]
You can't imagine how weird it is knowing if I had been called somewhere else I would be out of the MTC today. I've come to learn that the Lord does prepare people to hear the gospel as well as the missionaries. Not very many coincidences in the mission field.
I have not talked to a visa agent and there is a 95% chance I won't leave on time. Argentina is being gay and every missionary that has supposed to have gone lately has been delayed a minimum of two weeks.
Sorry to hear about Jarrett that sucks. (Levi's cousin broke his leg.) However it reminds me of an experience here. I was playing court volleyball during gym and someone went up to spike and jumped up to block--I won--and he now has some ligament damage due to his foot landing on mine and rolling off. He's on crutches and I feel guilty everytime I see him (which is a lot since he is in my zone).
And nothing else I can think of for now that I want or need. I'm doing well and I'll see if a can take a picture with my name tag. Anyways, thank you for all the letters and emails!
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Gym time is thrown in for fifty minutes Mon and Wed - Sat. Still don't sleep much but I enjoy being here and I'm learning and really love the three sisters and three elders in my district they're awesome (and three of us are from the AZ so it's pretty legit...speaking of legit, apparently no one else uses this word outside Phoenix) .
Thank y'all for the letters you should get yours by the end of the week. I was supposed to meet with an Argentine visa agent today but for some reason it had to be rescheduled.
The elders who help the n00bz are the ones on their way out so I don't do that for several weeks. But yeah hopefully I'll get to see Andrew and D and Colton. I don't really see people outside my distict and zone. But speaking of n00bz...when you're new your name tag has an orange sticker on it. At the end of my first day I didn't throw it away, I just moved it to the back of my badge. Last Wed I moved it back to the front and everybody was welcoming me and being very friendly and giving me the rundown of what I knew and the lady in the cafeteria gave me extra ice cream (they have ice cream on wed for the new elders and sisters). I'm really tempted to do it again but my sticker is losing its stick.
Oh yeah...today was my first mish haircut. Twas interesting but I still have my devilish good looks, so no worries.
Love y'all. -Elder Lamoreaux
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
The fireworks show on Sat was pretty legit...but I didn't get to hear the Jo Bros unfortunately. It's impossible to sleep here but it's gotten a lil better. The swine flu quarentine is in my building!..not my floor, but I walk by it everyday. It makes me think of the Verizon dead zone commercials. The MTC mission pres (President Smith) is very awesome and has given two great talks so far.
I was able to go through the Provo temple today which was totally sweet. It was beautiful and a lil confusing the way the layout is and such but I loved it.
My companion is pretty awesome and everyone in both my first and current districts were great to have.
I know this seems very random and quite sporatic but there's so much to say and so little time to say it.
If you haven't received my second letter yet, my new mailbox number is 320, but everything else is the same.
The food is decent, nothing to gross but I haven't gone back for seconds yet.
Gym is fun. I've been playing volleyball a lot. One of the sisters in my district is really good, and the district leader in my first district played for BYU.
Thank you guys very much for the notes. It took me awhile to figure it all out haha but I loved reading the lil rolled up scrolls.
Not like you need to or anything...but Pioneer day is coming up and I'm kinda jonezin for a Spanish CTR ring ;). Not a spinner preferrably, I don't wanna replace the awesome one I have, just have a second in the mission language =]
I'm sorry you haven't received any pictures yet but they're kinda pretty strict on having cameras out and stuff, but hopefully you'll get a card coming in the mail soon.
I love you all very much. Thank you for the support. Feel free to write. Again, I love you guys.
-Elder Levi Wade Lamoreaux