Monday, December 20, 2010
This week started with intercambios (exchanges). I was with Elder Tanner Bryant (Mesa, AZ) in the small town of Las Varillas. We had a good time and worked hard and it was awesome (for lack of better words). That was Tuesday and Wednesday. Then Thursday we woke up at 3:30 to get on a 4:00 o´clock bus to Córdoba for the Zone Conference. I saw some good friends and had some good times. It was a half p-day half zone conference. After the spiritual part, we all played soccer, volleyball, obstacle race, tug of war, sack race, and water fight. We had an asado, and received an engraved mate cup from the president and his wife. I also received a package from my family! However, I still have not received an SD card letter, I am assuming it is not going to make it here. I greatly appreciate the candy! And I am saving all the gifts for Saturday...mainly because Elder Hebertson is lame and won't let me open them :(. He also received two packages. One with Christmas decorations! So we have a little tree, snowflakes, and lights. This Christmas feels a lot more Christmasy than the last. He also received music so that adds to it. He also received two stockings (one for him, one for his comp). Each stocking contains twelve gifts, so every night we get to open one until Christmas and each one has a scripture reference and the scripture is related to the gift. For example a scripture about clean hands is accompanied by a bar of soap. It's fun :).
As for other things going on, although it's way hot and humid, I will see a white Christmas. How? White in baptismal clothing! We have been struggling a little bit lately, we haven't been seeing the results we want, but the Lord has seen our faith and our diligence and has blesses us with a baptism I didn't see happening till January! I'm so excited! It will be Elder Hebertson's second and he will have baptized every month of his mission thus far (MTC excluded).
Now for the Christmas call. Pres Salas recommended us calling instead of being called. So, Saturday morning I'll be calling around 10/11 my time, if you have any problems let me know, it can be later if you'd like.
Tell Kayla happy birthday and all our family Merry Christmas and I love and miss them.
Paz fuera che,
Monday, December 13, 2010
The following day (Thursday) we had a lesson with Marcela. She is going through a lot of rough problems right now, with her husband and just life in general. Well she had an important court meeting, she was really nervous. We explained Priesthood blessings and offered her one. I have never in my life felt so inspired as I gave a blessing. I have never been so bold nor specific. I was impressed with myself afterwards wondering what happened. The next day (Friday) was the ward Christmas party. Marcela came with all her kids and her neighbor with her husband and their kids. While at the party she pulled Elder Hebertson and I aside to tell us how court went. She said everything I had said in the blessing came to pass. She said she had never felt so peaceful in such a rough situation. It was way awesome hearing that from her. The rest of that party went really well, and there was enough food haha.
Those are the two big events from this week. Thursday I'm going in to Córdoba, so hopefully my package has made it and I get it before Christmas! Also, Summer does have a home, but on exchanges Elder Hebertson and Elder Bryant found an even younger puppy that was going to die in the street and ended up giving him away too haha. We're not only saving souls, but dogs too! As for the photo of me with my guitar, that is Villa Maria, on top of our apartment complex.
Well I love you all and will write and talk to you next week!
Monday, December 6, 2010
Could you do me a favor and send the talks given by the First Presidency yesterday in the Christmas devotional. The messages were really good and I would like to be able to share them with others. One of the part member families were visiting came to the devotional! It was way awesome. It was broadcast live here so I watched it at ten o'clock and made it home around twelve. I felt so cool, and kinda like Levi instead Elder Lamoreaux walking around at that hour.
Well transfers came this week and I am here to inform I have six weeks to get to know Elder Hebertson even better. Interested in hearing a story about Elder Hebertson and I? Wednesday afternoon we heard some crying sounds coming from a weed covered field. I went to investigate. What did we discover? Five abandoned puppies! I said oh that's sad, let's go. Elder Hebertson said no, he said they were "cute" and "tender" and he "wanted to keep them and sleep with them". Well I said no but that we could call some members and see if anyone wanted a puppy. They were about a week hold. Nobody wanted one but he still was not leaving them, so we took them up in our arms and walked through town asking who wanted a free puppy. We were able to give away Che, Nigger, T-Swizzy, and Lodo. We were left with, however, Summer. She was the ugliest of the bunch and no one wanted her. Elder Hebertson was so stoked to have a pet dog we ended up taking it home for the night, then we were going to give it away the next morning, also under the condition that Elder Hebertson took care of it. Let's say he did not. The dog cried all night and I took care of it all night. All morning I took care of it and when I got out the shower my companion was just looking at the dog with hatred in his eyes. He has never had a pet and after this week I don't think he ever will haha.
That was my week haha. Lots of work, lots of heat, no changes with transfers, and a dog for a night. Also interesting side note. My two mission Christmases are going to be spend with Elder Frias (he is serving in the same branch but with a different companion). I wonder how many missionaries spend two Chirstmases with the same elder. Have a great week and enjoy the Christmas season and don't be Grinch's! (it comes from President Uchtdorf's talk).
Love you, chau,
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
I do not have a list of things I want to do other than serve with all my heart before I leave Argentina. We have been experiencing the taste of Argentina on a regular basis, but we don't know where we can get ñoquis or canelones (two of my favorite foods and Elder Hebertson hasn't tried them yet).
On Friday we were sitting on a curb waiting for the other missionaries to show up so we could start an activity and while sitting a dog peed on my comps back pack haha. Juan Imerson gave his first talk on Sunday and it was amazing. It was much better than the other two who have been members for ten years. The other elders had a baptism this week, so we were able to go to that. Yesterday we had a man try to quiz our knowledge on our church. He asked if we knew why we were called Mormons and I asked him if he knew and he told us it's because the man who started the church, his surname was Mormon. We said no, he said yes because he read it in a book, then his son in law said no the man's name was Moroni, we said Jesus started the church, the first man told us we were wrong because his name was Mormon then the wife said no his name was Joseph Smith, the husband said she had no idea because if someone named Joseph Smith started the church it would be called the church of Smith not the church of Mormon. It was fun. One thing that I find hard about the mission is the massive amount of ignorance. I understand not everyone will listen and I don't expect them to, but everyday this week I had to deal with people that were extremely ignorant and proud and it makes me a little sad. However, I visit with flia Imerso or some of the other amazing people I've met and it helps me realize how important this work is and how essential God is in it. I can't achieve anything myself, yet I've seen miracles through the hand of the Lord.
I'm glad everyone is doing well and that you all enjoyed your Thanksgiving. I enjoyed ours as well, it was better than last years. I hope you all have a terrific and enjoy and embrace the transition into the Christmas/New Year season. It's my favorite! I love you all.
Monday, November 22, 2010
I don't know if you remember, but last year I entirely forgot about Thanksgiving. It's not happening again. I'll probably just eat spaghetti since turkey doesn't exist here, but I at least will know it's Thanksgiving!
This past Wednesday, President Salas came out and gave us an all day training session. It was way good. I love President Salas and how much help he is, he really is great. A couple other things out of the regular happened this week other than the surprise conference. Elder Hebertson gave his first Sacrament Meeting talk. He did awesome, and even though his Spanish wasn't perfect, everyone understood and really enjoyed what he said. I feel like every week I say something about the Imerso family but this week Juan received the Levitical priesthood. I had never participated in the ordinance of confirming the priesthood, and he and the branch president invited me to participate. He then blessed the sacrament in Sacrament Meeting. It was awesome.
Funny story for the week: we didn't have lunch on Saturday, so we called around seeing if there were anyone available. We ended up going with our last resort. Why are they your last resort? you may ask. Well it may have something to do with the nineteen, eighteen, and sixteen year old daughters. My comp was in heaven, I was a little uncomfortable..but luckily the food was good and the parents are awesome.
Summarizing the week I would say it was a good one. We found lots of people. We provided some service. We celebrated someones birthday by making them banana bread (it doesn't exist here so missionaries use it a lot haha, they call it banana cake). I'm doing well. My comp is doing well. We're happy and working hard.
I love you all and hope you have an awesome Thanksgiving! Next year I'll be back for it :)
Monday, November 15, 2010
We found a woman last week and taught a way spiritual great lesson and committed her to coming to church and being baptized, she accepted. This week, we returned and we mentioned that she had accepted a baptismal date, and she said, "Yeah, we need to talk about that." I was concerned and had a million things rushing through my head, but what came next I was not expecting. "Elders, eighteen years ago I was baptized in your church." I almost laughed, this is the fourth or fifth time it's happened. But, the good news, she would love to come back, so we'll have one more person on Sundays.
Two more stories from the week. We were hungry one night, so, we ordered pizza. We were told it would take thirty minutes. We thought, perfect, we'll eat and still be in bed on time. Thirty minutes turned into an hour. We were outside our apartment complex waiting for the pizza to show up, when we see a man on a bicycle peddling towards us. Sure enough, we ate cold, bicycle delivered pizza that night...and got to be a little late. As for the other story. I've become accustomed to the barking, snarling, sometimes biting dogs here. My companion has not. He is absolutely terrified of every canine we see in the street. He is my first companion I've heard swear, and it was caused by fear of a dog.
As for stake conference. There were about 400 people that came. It was way good. I love President Salas. He gave a great talk. Quick part I can share with you. In Córdoba they have recently started the construction of the temple. A man walking past asked one of the workers what he was doing, he responded laying bricks. The man not being satisfied with the answer asked another worker what he was doing, the worker responded raising a wall. A little more descriptive, but the man was still unsatisfied, so he asked a third worker who responded I am constructing the House of the Lord where families can be sealed for time and eternity. What do we see with our daily tasks in this life? Do we see ourselves laying bricks? Do we see us building a wall? Or do we see past the bricks and the wall? I really enjoyed it.
I'm glad you can use me to share the gospel with people. I use the five of you to share the gospel with people. Which is why I love and need photos. People don't trust a foreigner in a tie until they see he is a normal person with a family who he loves too. I show the pictures I have and explain that the gospel of Jesus Christ blesses families with peace in this life and the promise of being together in the next. So the whole photo thing helps in the missionary aspect, and also in the I love my family and like to be reminded of them aspect. So thanks a lot for emailing me some, even though the family isn't in it, I love the last photo you sent me.
That's the rundown of my week. I greatly appreciate the photos and the words and the prayers and every conversation where I'm mentioned :) Have a great week!
Monday, November 8, 2010
This week started off in the town of Las Varillas. It's about an hour and a half from Villa Maria, and I spent Monday through Wednesday there on intercambios with Elder Madariaga (Chile). They were struggling a little bit, having problems finding people and getting them to church, but they ended up having a great week. It was really good.
Well Thurday I ate lunch and instantly felt sick. No one else did, just me. Well this sick feeling (and other side effects that accompanied) it lasted till last night. So I had a "fun" four days. And miraculously, in between trips to the bathroom we were able to get a decent amount of work done. We even had a baptism! María was baptized by Elder Hebertson Saturday night. It had been years since Elder Hebertson had seen a baptism and didn't remember anything about how it was done, but he did well. Next month we are hoping to baptize her two kids too.
Speaking of converts, Raquel Imerso received her first calling! She is a primary teacher already. She is excited and will do awesome. It's my first time seeing a convert of mine receive a calling. It was way cool. Also, yesterday two converts of mine here shared their testimonies and it may have been my favorite Sacrament Meeting I've been to in my mission.
Yesterday a super strong wind started up and Villa Maria was losing power and getting it back all day long. Well we had choir practice (preparing for District Conference next week), and afterwards there was going to be a fireside. Well the power went out and wasn't coming back so choir practice was cut short and the fireside was rescheduled.
You started your email with a lot of questions, thought I might answer them. P-day, today like every p-day in this area was soccer. The weather yesterday was wayyy HOT and windy. Today is really nice. Food, I like ñoquis, alfajors, asado, and canelones. I'm planning on making ñoquis for everyone post mission (they're not super amazing, but they're good, and it's kind of more of a cultural thing). Pictures, I'll see what I can send.
Love you, thanks for writing, have a great week!!
Friday, November 5, 2010
Two-Thirds Complete with My Quest in Argentina...Missionary Conference...Cordoba Temple Groundbreaking...Baptism...Great Stuff !!!
Some other things that occured this week include the Argentine census. We had to, by law, stay in our apartment until we were interviewed and counted in the census. Luckily they came by around eleven, so we didn't have to wait around all afternoon. The former president, and husband of the current president of Argentina, passed away on Wednesday. And a new family we found told us they couldn't read the Book of Mormon because their pastor told them so. When we explained that knowledge comes from God, not from man, and he needed to pray about it, he informed us his pastor told him he couldn't pray either. It was kind of funny that preacher told someone not pray, but it's sad at the same time...but that's what happens. Now, to throw a change up and hit you with happy news. This week we found an inactive member, who is married with two children (one of baptism age). Reminds me of someone in Rose Garden from about a year and a half back (the Hammontrees). Anyways they are awesome and are going to start going to church and listening. Also we are baptizing a woman named Luna (in English it means "moon") this Saturday! Her children are going to follow her example, it's just taking a little more time.
I am extremely happy and can't believe I've made it this far in my quest. I appreciate every prayer and every email I couldn't be here without all you and your support. Thank you so much.
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
My mission conference is this Saturday, I'm excited to see everyone and Elder Andersen. I've been reading up on all his recent General Conference addresses so if he asks any questions I can respond with his own answers and impress him ;) That in Spanish is called "sucking socks" or in English commonly referred to as "brown nosing", for some reason I enjoy the Spanish way of saying suck up more.
Villa Maria is doing awesome. Ludmila Imerso (12) had to give a talk on Sunday...let's just say I taught her well.
I did take some money, it was because I needed to travel to Córdoba to pick up Elder Hebertson, but there is a little leftover and I'm thinking of putting it towards a skillet so I can actually cook...but I'm also leaning towards a tie for the mission conference. I don't know if I'll actually be able to see the temple groundbreaking, but I hope so. In Spanish it's called the "palada inicial" or literally the "first shovelful" haha.
So I don't know if you noticed, but today marks two months until our next phone call, and Christmas. If you were thinking of sending a Christmas package it would be greatly appreciated. Here is a list of suggestions: consecrated oil thing (IDK what it's called in English), American breakfast cereal, photos!!!!, a 2011 calendar (if were church related that would be sweet, just for reference my favorite church artist at the moment is Walter Rane), and whatever else your hearts desire.
Awesome story of the week: yesterday morning all of our investigators were sick or out of town or we still don't know why they didn't come to church, but a quiet sister in the branch who I had never said more than hi to brought one of her good friends. Well her friend loved all three hours of church and before we could, she asked when we could come and visit her. Miracle! Every time I work and work and work and I feel like nothing is going to pull through God repays me for the work. I'm super grateful and know that he directs this work.
Hope everyone has a stellar week, next time we talk I'll be two days short of twenty and a half years old.
Thursday, October 21, 2010
As for the Imerso family...they are members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and happy! It was awesome. They are some of the best people I have ever met and are future calling holders. Super awesome!!!
As for Mike (a friend called to serve in Donetsk, Ukraine), that's crazy! Not just Europe, but Eastern Europe. The crazy hard angry languages haha. He's gonna love it! I'm excited to go to his homecoming in twenty five months.
Sunday was Argentina's Mother's Day. I tried to get permission to call you saying there was mate in my house which basically made you Argentine, but it didn't fly, so it looks like I have to wait till Christmas. I'm glad everyone is doing well. Tell my sisters I love them too and today we were talking about Wii tennis and I thought of the book Po made me because there is a Wii tennis photo in there :)
Love you all tons!
Thursday, October 14, 2010
That same day we found out due to members of the branch leaving for the long weekend (Columbus Day), we had to change the baptism of the Imerso family to this week. Speaking of the Imerso family, yesterday all the kids in Sacrament Meeting were running around and being loud and irreverent while everyone was sharing their testimonies. Hermano Imerso got up to share his and the whole room turned quiet and still and filled with the Spirit. Awesome! Also, Friday night while planning what to teach them the following day Elder Vasquez and I were stuck. We had taught everything. He suggested teaching more specifically about temple work, but neither of us felt that's what they needed so we continued thinking when the story of the Liahona came to mind. In Alma 37 it describes how the Liahona functioned and how we can apply the Liahona to the words of Christ. We both felt this would be a better lesson. So we read the last part of Alma 37 with them and they started talking about how it was so clear. How following the scriptures and the prophets and Christ will guide us to a better future just like it guided Lehi's family. Then hermano Imerso told us he was exhausted from work and was contemplating taking a Sunday off, but that would be being lazy and not following the "Liahona". Super awesome. Also in church we had two new investigators. One is a simple woman and she loved it. The other is a lawyer with a lot of doubts but wants to learn more, so he is reading the teachings of President Kimball, haha.
I also ate dinner with the head of the missionary department last night. He's buddy with apostles and stuff and has a touch screen laptop thing. Coolest technology I have seen in awhile, haha. He is staying with the owner of the Zone Leaders house. He served here thirty years ago and continues his friendship with her. She is not a member, but her cancer disappeared after a blessing from Elder Scott when he was mission president here. It was pretty cool to meet him and eat dinner with him and her.
I became district leader when transfers happened. I have to give training in district meeting every week, do baptismal interviews, do exchanges, and make the zone leaders happy. The white bible explains it better than I can, I'm still trying to figure it out. Being a missionary is enough responsibility, but now I have to concern myself over four areas instead of one.
I'm glad everyone is doing well! Sports, school, work, callings, motorcycle rides, everything. Keep it up.
Monday, October 4, 2010
I enjoy being a city again. It's so big it has two branches! And my branch is four elders away from being a ward. I'm working on that and we're adding one more male to the branch this weekend! I too am watching a family enter the waters of baptism this week! And luckily the only thing that has been stolen is one of my t-shirts, unlike your Elder's bikes.
I don't know where you get your weather information but I hope it is warm and dry. I had a cold, wet week. One of the coldest, wettest days of my quest was Friday (my day without the Panamanian and with the Nicaraguan). During this cold, wet day, my companion stopped by the chapel to dry his socks and shoes on the heater. Well, he now longer has those shoes. They completely melted! Luckily he has some others haha.
So the general conference was awesome. I enjoyed all five sessions, and every time Thomas S Monson talked I'm more convinced of his role, responsibility, and that he is telling us what we need to hear. Who would have thought we needed to hear about gratitude.
Tis it for this week. I hope you all have a super duper week and apply all we learned this weekend ;)
Monday, September 27, 2010
When I was born did you ever think someday I would be playing soccer in Argentina in the middle of a rain storm?
It has been raining a lot all week, today harder than any other day. Would you like to know what we did for preparation day with all this heavy rain. We played soccer for five hours straight. It was cold, wet, vicious, yet ridiculously fun. Several missionaries were saying it was the funnest they've had in a long time. When I was born did you ever think someday I would be playing soccer in Argentina in the middle of a rain storm? I'll be honest, it never crossed my mind. Yesterday while working in the rain we knocked on a door. The street on which this house was located was completely flooded. We were walking through thick mud in people's front yards to stay out of the deep water. Well here in Argentina the two most common excuses to not listen are "I'm breast feeding at the moment" or "We're leaving", this door we knocked the man decided to go with the classic "I would but we're leaving right now". I couldn't help but turn around and see a river instead of street and couldn't help but ask where. It was a little funny.
It's good hear that every one is doing well. I was blessed with the best family. I love hearing about all five of you. Have a great week!
Monday, September 20, 2010
This week we found a great nineteen year old young man named Roque (pronounced like Rocky Balboa) and a couple others and are working on several exciting dates in October. As we were returning to the apartment to eat lunch this week, an investigator passed by on her bike and stopped us and as we were talking to her the branch president drove by and stopped, introduced himself and invited her to church and it was way sweet. Things are going well. I'm exhausted, but I enjoy it. Fun fact, there is a sister missionary from Mesa in the district, and like Elder Flaherty knows Lamoreauxs that I don't haha.
I played soccer for a couple intense hours this morning. It's funny, every companionship in my district is made up of one Latin and one Gringo. So we played gringos vs latinos, then senior comps vs junior comps. It was so much fun, but it got cut short because we popped the ball! haha To me football fields don't exist anymore, they are all soccer fields.
Well, that sums up my week. I'm glad everyone is doing well and I hope that your weather takes a chill pill soon. We're gradually warming up here, today is super humid.
Paz fuera (peace out),
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
The day after the conference we received transfer calls. Elder Flaherty and I are no longer living together after close to six months. And I am now living with a Panamanian named Elder Vasquez in the city of Villa Maria. Villa Dolores had become my home. As much as I wanted to leave (I felt like I had talked to everyone and knocked every door), it was really hard. The Ceballo family is one of my favorite families I have ever met and I didn't want to say bye…Same with the Tello family and Beatriz and her family and so many others. It wasn't fun, yet I am excited to be here in Villa Maria with Elder Vasquez. He comes from a family of seven girls and three boys, he doesn't have a camera so I told him I would take photos for him and we can print them out. He has several months here and says there is a lot of work here and is pretty stocked, so I am too! I'll probably be with him six weeks and then have another companion, we’ll see. We live alone so I will be speaking Spanish 24/7 again, so I apologize if my English starts going downhill over the next couple weeks. My new area is pretty big. I’m in a city not a town this time, it’ll be interesting. My branch has about 80 active members, so that’s a good change, and the city is of decent size, so there are lots of people to talk to. There are two branches here and six elders. We're going to work hard and have fun. Elder Vasquez is awesome.
I need to learn how to cook some new foods. Argentina meals stop at meat and noodles. Hopefully with my Central American comp we can find something new. Like a thai soup :)
It's kind of funny, about 40% of the missionaries in this mission serve in the city Córdoba. I was there for a little bit but this is my third area outside the city, but I like it, it's a different experience.
The photo from last week about “companion inventory”, there may have been a sharpie involved at an investigators house who raced motocross and BMX until he destroyed both his knees.
Sounds like everyone is doing well, maybe a little too busy, but healthy and happy. Love you all. Have a fantastic week, thanks for the pictures. Catch you on the flip side.
Monday, September 6, 2010
Back on the subject of tacos from last week. Funny joke: why can't Mexicans play pool? They eat all the tacos (pool sticks are called tacos here). Saw some circus lions and tigers. Interesting fact about circus animals in Argentina: due to the massive amount of stray dogs and cats, the circus workers collect and use them as the main staple of the African animals´ diet.
And cool missionary story for the week: while working in a little town across the river from Villa Dolores, Elder Flaherty and I knocked a woman's door whose husband had just passed away. We were unaware and were caught off guard when she asked who had sent us. We were able to share Alma 40:11-12 with her, it went well and we're going to go see her again this week. We also have a big conference with our new Area President Elder Arnold this week, so I get to go to Córdoba and see almost the whole mission.
So I have some cool news. Our world focuses on where the money is, meaning United States of America, Europe, etc, which has helped the beautiful creature Nessi gain her popularity (being from western Europe). Well, of not so famous standing is possibly an equally cool natural phenomenon. His name is Nahuelito. In the province of Bariloche is found a large, lake creature resembling that of Nessi. I was soo stoked when I found out. Too bad it's out of my mission :( but still cool that I'm in the same country!
Love you all! Enjoy your holiday. Imma try to send some pix like always haha.
Monday, August 30, 2010
Work related, it was a difficult week, but there was still some miracles that occured. First of which took place in a grocery store. A young married couple invited us to eat lunch with them Wednesday, they live about as far as possible away and still be in Villa Dolores. Out in there direction we had a contact we were planning on seeing since we would be out in that direction. Well we saw her in the grocery store buying Tuesday's lunch. We talked to her and she informed us she had just recently moved, so we didn't end up wasting time looking for someone that didn't live there anymore. Next was a friend of ours, Romero. He has found himself in a poor health situation. As he left the hospital he thought of us and how it had been awhile since we had talked. Elder Flaherty and I had had a rough day with no success and found ourselves standing on a street corner at night not knowing what to do when Romero happened to drive by us. It was a really cool experience and it turned the night around. The third, to round off this trilogy of miracles, involves Beatriz. According to President Hunter someone is truly converted when the desire to share the gospel with others. Beatriz brought two of her daughters and three grand kids to church on Sunday. Super cool.
Funny story. Missionaries all miss Mexican food and we all make makeshift tacos, and somewhere along the road every missionary has cooked tacos for a member. Well, yesterday Hermana Tello made 108 tacos for lunch. They were way good...except for the Argentine spin: mayonase, katchup, and mustard.
As for Eli, she is one of my favorite peopele in Argüello. She is a convert who has gone through some rough times and I had the priviledge of helping her and her children. She is honestly one of the nicest people I've ever met. What she said is "I know ELMX. He baptized two of my kids Agustin and Rocio. We love him, he is a blessing in our lives and an excellent missionary. With much love, Eli (short for Elizabeth)". I can't believe she remembers me and found you on facebook. Tell her "mi hijo manda saludos y dice que extraña a su familia y que les quiere mucho"
Well that's my week.
Have a great week.
Monday, August 23, 2010
On Saturday a young boy in the ward (Facundo...which I plan on naming one of my children) turned seven so we crashed his birthday party and I felt like I was celebrating Po's birthday by proxy haha. Beatriz is doing awesome and sharing her testimony with everyone, and she is trying to get her family to come with her to church or to listen to us. The armadillo was just in the road so we grabbed it last week and took a picture.
This week we also had an attendence double that of last week. We were over forty and neither missionary spoke! We each have spoken six timesish I've lost count and don't even remember all my topics.
Well that was my week. I'm glad everyone is doing awesome and making me proud.
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
Congrats to Megan. Salta is just north of me. It includes the provinces of Salta, Tucuman, Santiago del Estero, Jujuy, and one other that escapes me at the moment. She will be dealing with more natives and hotter temperatures, and spicy food (here if you add a pinch of pepper people freak out and think your tongue will fall out...a little different than I had anticipated).
Sounds like everybody is doing awesome. I'm doing pretty well myself. We were meeting with an investigator named Alicia who was explaining her real estate problems. We explained to her how we could receive blessings if we put God first and follow His Spirit. We read 3 Nephi 13 (towards the end) and 2 Nephi 32 with her. Just as we finished the subject and she was said she would try to do those things--ring--went the phone. Someone wants to buy a house she has been trying to sell for six years. It was super cool. It was funny as the phone rang Elder Flaherty said someone wanted to buy the house...sure enough. Then when she came to church on Sunday (for her first time) we gave her a little tour (little because our chapel is small, it's a room haha). For some reason I pointed out a picture of the temple in Buenos Aires. I felt kind of silly afterwards wondering why I pointed it out and started talking about it. I still wasn't sure until Hermana Sanchez started her talk...on what? Temples.
It absolutely is amazing watching Beatriz grow. At the end of hard weeks or hard days seeing her transition into Christ's church makes it all better. I have a feeling her husband is going to come around before next July as well. A lot marriages are like that. One person eats it up and the other takes their time but makes it in the end.
Other cool story from the week: we went out the small town of Luyaba to visit the Maldonado family and teach their daughter-in-law. Well we did a lot more than that. That had made several appointments for us all with family and friends. Amazing member missionaries. They just surprised us by saying do you have time to visit a couple families with us and we did! So we just sat in the back seat of their car as they drove us from appointment to appointment, allowing us to teach and find some people. We even found and taught a nun who is on vacation until February. It was a fun day. One reason why it was so fun will be demonstrated but what we found in a photo.
Well another week come and gone. And the seasons can't make up their mind. We have both cold and hot days. Yesterday I was wearing my jacket, today, short sleeves. Another week filled with the Spirit and adventure and this work that I've come to love so much. I love Monday's coming into the cyber and seeing what's going on with my family. Thanks for keeping me updated and sending me the love e'ry week.
Monday, August 9, 2010
Another big holiday came rolling through Argentina this week, Día del Niño (Children's Day). In the town's amphitheatre, thousands gathered to watch acrobats, juggling, magic, and other things to entertain children. In church, Sunday school ended early so we could all eat alfajors (pronounced alpha whores, which you will all be experiencing in eleven months because I am bringing as many as I can home to share), and drink hot chocolate.
My funniest story of the week occurred Saturday. After a lot of knocking and talking Elder Flaherty and I stopped to drink a peso Coke (glass bottles cokes that cost a peso, but you can't leave with them, because they exchange the bottles, so you just drink them on the curb, or if you're lucky a chair outside). While drinking we had a crazy looking man wearing large dark aviators, a large llama fun beanie, and trench coat, with maybe three teeth and crutches approach us. He told us to send our regards to President Obama. We laughed and he said no I'm serious. And started asking us if we were agents for the CIA or FBI or CTU. We said we were missionaries and introduced ourselves and asked for his name, he responded with--in English--"Indian Chief". We continued to converse a little, but he was one of the most interesting men I have a met. Oh Indian Chief, hope he's doing well.
Well, another week come and gone. This time goes by too fast sometimes. I feel like I just arrived to Argentina, then I remember it's been awhile, then I feel I just arrived to Villa Dolores then I remember it's been over four months and that I'm over half done with this quest. It's crazy to think, and I feel so blessed to have this opportunity and to have the support I do. I thank you all. Love you all tons. Stay awesome.
Monday, August 2, 2010
Hard to believe I have been away from home for thirteen months. It flies. Yet, I look back and it seems like sooo much has happened. It's a crazy time, but I love it. Not sure what to say. I walk around the streets of a foreign country every day trying to find people who want to find peace in this life and life eternal in the here after. I can testify that God works miracles, me being here is one. I truly appreciate the support and love I receive from everyone. I'm still a little overwhelmed thinking of the calling I have, and the little time I have to do it. Hope everyone has an awesome week.
With much love,
Monday, July 26, 2010
Next day...a bird pooped in Elder Flaherty's hair. Next day, our branch was having a party for the birthday of one of the young women. Elder Flaherty and I crashed the party with guitar in hand to surprise everyone and play a lil somethin. Beatriz (our awesome investigator was there) so we were talking to her, when the Cordero family arrived. Brother Cordero didn't know Beatriz but we had invited him to the baptism that very day. He introduced himself and then the first thing out his mouth was "I heard you're getting wet". She laughed and said yes, and he continued talking to her, bearing testimony and sharing his first experiences with the church and it was awesome! The next day (Friday) was filled with what most would call luck, but those in this work know there is no such thing. On the outskirts of town there is a neighborhood where neither Elder Flaherty nor I had previousle ventured. We were told there was a member family out there. Without much idea of where in the neighborhood we went searching. We completely passed their house, but they happened to leaving in that moment and stopped us to talk. They invited us over and we're excited to go see them again this week. Next we had planned to visit a couple other member families to invite them to Saturday's baptism. First house we knocked, no one was home, as we walked down the driveway they pulled up. Next house they were leaving when we arrived, next house, as we were leaving they arrived. We barely found everyone on our list that day, but we did find everyone! Saturday we ate lunch with the Cordero family and told them of our blessed Friday, Sister Cordero said there are no coincidences in missionary, then we left to catch a bus, and as we walked out the door, there it was, and she yelled no coincidences as we got on. We didn't know exactly where this bus went but we knew it went in the right direction. When we realized it passed the chapel (where we were heading) we got off immediately, where? Directly in front of an inactive, returned missionary's store. We went in and invited him. He was super excited for us, and told us he would give up his siesta to be there (not only did he come, he brought his nonmember wife, who loved it, and got along super well with everyone).
So that leaves us at the baptism. It was super d00per. We had a lot of people come, we had to set up more chairs. Five investigators came. A lot of members (including hermano Cordero). It was beautiful! The hot water heater didn't work, yet Beatriz told us she wasn't cold at all. It was just indescribable. The first in Villa Dolores in a year, and my first in three transfers. Everyone loved it, and we had a good turn out in church the next day. I live for weekends like that.
Now to finish this timeline of the week. A member in Merlo recently opened a paintball arena. We called our mission president and he said I don't see how paintball is less dangerous than soccer, wear masks, be safe and have fun. So we did just that. We played with three 18 year old nonmembers and their 19 year old member friend. It was super fun. We played gringos vs Latins and won two of the three games. Los amo un montón. Tengan una semana de diez.
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
Life is good. We're working hard, having fun. Definitely enjoying my quest, as I hope you are.
Take care stay awesome chao,
Good story number two for the week. My area is geographically ginormous. I cover Villa Dolores and almost everything between it and Córdoba. We have some members that live about 45 minutes away in a town called Cura Brochero who really want us to work with them to help Cura Brochero strengthen the members, create new members, and eventually form a branch. Well when someone wants to work with us we can't say no, so Elder Flaherty and I journeyed out to Cure Brochero for a day and worked with this awesome family and a member (Mateo) from Córdoba. Mateo served a mission in Costa Rica and recently returned. Before serving he tried to do missionary work in Brochero by himself. Well as we started worked we prayed and he had a specific house come to his mind so we went to this house. Three years ago he knocked a door that nobody answered, but it had an open window. He placed the BoM inside the window and left not thinking much of it. When we found and knocked the house a woman came out with a smile and asked if we were the people who left a Book of Mormon inside her window. Mateo responded yes and said he assumed someone had been sleeping and didn't answer the door. She said she had been at work but left the window open for the cat and when she came home she found the book and started reading it. She loves it and thanked us for giving it to her and for coming back (even if it took three years). Well we are going back to see her again with Mateo and I am super excited! I also am meeting my new Mission President this Thursday. Should be fun!
Love you, enjoy your week,
Tuesday, June 29, 2010
I did not expect it to go so quickly. I think I am half done and it makes me want to work even harder. I only have 370ish days to devote all my time to this work and there is soo much work to do!
Well Elder Flaherty and I had a super good week. We found some people, three investigators came to church and there was just good things going on all week! I saw President and Hermana Olsen for the last time. Saturday evening the Villa Dolores branch had an activity filled with ping pong, empanadas, monkey in the middle, coca (coke), do you love your neighbor, and a surprise song from our branch president and a member for our departing president and wife. President Salas, Hermana Salas, and their fourteen year old son arrive the 29th and President and Hermana Olsen leave the 30th. It is really weird to think they are gone. They have helped me learn and grow in these nine months together, and seeing them for the last time was sad, but President Olsen gave Elder Flaherty and I some really good advice towards the mission and one of our investigators who came to the party, but I took it more as life advice. They are two awesome people. However, I am also anxious for President Salas to come. He has the same authority and same calling and same objective and same Spirit, so it shouldn't be too different. It's sad and exciting at the same time, this change.
Also, Elder Flaherty and I are German. Everyone yells things at us all day long, all of them are negative comments about us and Germany. They say Germany sucks and go back to Germany and stuff all day long (especially on soccer game days). However, the funniest thing about it all is that they yell things in English at us. For example "Yay Argentina, boo Alemania (Germany in Spanish), we win you". It´s fun..sometimes haha. When Argentina wins a game the country goes crazy. They shoot fireworks, they place a brick on their car horn so they can make noise to let all the other Argentines know they won. Every store closes (grocery, tire, appliance, whatever) and we get yelled at by everyone. Every town is centered around a plaza and everyone goes there after games. Elder Flaherty and I had to pass through the plaza to get to our appointment yesterday and people starting swearing at us and threatening us because we weren't from Argentina, and telling us we weren't worthy to walk across their plaza. It's fun.
I love you all! This work is amazing and it's weird thinking I only have a year left to do it (in this way). Thank you for the love and support. Have a super week,
Monday, June 21, 2010
So some fun stories, grilled some good food for Father's Day, used vanilla cookies for sacrament because no one brought bread, and I was asked Friday afternoon to give a talk on any subject Sunday (better than some weeks in warning though). I also provided service in the form of helping a family move. U-haul does not exist here, so we caried everything to their new house. Luckily it was only two and a half blocks away, but we looked a little silly carrying bed frames, washing machines, dressers, etc in the middle of the street.
I'm excited for this new transfer. There wasn't too much work before, a lot of time was spent trying to find, but now that two areas are combined into one I am looking forward to more teaching and getting people to church and helping people strengthen their testimonies.
I'm glad Tate is continuing practicing his spanish. None of you will know what we are saying next summer (except I'll have to learn Mexican, it's quite a bit different from Argentine). Yesterday was my first time hearing the primary sing for the first time since I started my mission, it was awesome!!(although our primary is three children).
Thanks for everything. Talk to you next week after I get some work done these next six days.
ps thank you for sending me pics every week
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
Zone Conference was definitely good. It may have been my last time seeing President and Sister Olsen (but I think I am staying here another transfer and they are coming down for a day, so we'll see). He gave us his parting advice and then I had my last interview with him, received a blessing and he drove us to the bus terminal and we barely made it on time. It was also good to see the other missionaries, since apart from my district I hadn't seen anybody for nine weeks or so.
I had to scrape paint off a wall all morning in the chapel in the city of Merlo. But it's okay, because I then was able to watch the Boston Celtics beat the LA Lakers in game five of the NBA finals and watch the Italy/Paraguay soccer game (they tied 1-1).
This week Elder Bushnell and I put in some good hours and did some work. We found a twentyish year old young man who had been taught a little over a year ago and invited us to come back. So I'm excited for him, especially after having an additional year of preparation :)
Thank you all for your love and support. I have been blessed with an amazing family and an amazing support group of family and friends...speaking of friends: Hannah wrote me a letter and attached with it a knitted beard so I can feel like I don't have to shave everyday (I'll attach a picture next week). You're the best and I thank Heavenly Father everyday for the blessings you are and for all the prayers I receive. Have an awesome week.
Monday, May 31, 2010
Those two events make up my week. Today I taught the district how to play Shanghai (our family card game) and they all enjoyed it haha, but I need help remembering the scoring system.
That's my week. I am feeling better now and even helped a member chop some wood...and I'm a little sore, haha. I walk all day, apart from that my body is pretty inactive.
Hope everyone's weeks went better than mine :)
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
Hope you enjoyed your temple dedication! And yes I have purchased a handkerchief and feel way cool. I think I will be handkerchief user all my life. I have definitely bought into the life style. I also use a fanny pack to do missionary work everyday. Some missionaries choose to make fun of the fanny pack, but it has had a lot of success (I'm the third Elder to use it and the first two were legendary missionaries).
Usually talking or hearing about Mexican food makes me hungry, seeing how nothing similar is easy to find here and when you do it's almost always disappointing. Today, however, I am ridiculously stuffed with like 15 empenadas (six is usually plenty) for our branch party for the bicentennial of Argentina (which is actually tomorrow but we celebrated this afternoon with lots of food, some games and the film Old Dogs). An interesting fact...all movies in this country are American with subtitles or dubbed.
Well this week I had two really good experiences with some less active members and some of them came to church and church was three hours of inspiration and I have this strong urge to grow a mustache. Sorry there aren't too many stories we knocked 999654135579513 doors and talked to like 12 people. It's cold so people just tell us no through their closed windows and are not out in the street.
Love you all, take care and I'll catch ya next week.
PS - Since I have been supplied with jokes and facts periodically, I felt I would repay you, and help you get a feel for what it's like being a missionary:
You know you're a missionary when...judge the quality of each door you knock.
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
That's crazy to think Harrison is home and so many of my friends are out serving(Hunter, Andrew, Alex, Robert, Jeremy, Stuart, Weston, D-Rise, etc).
Anyways, I love being here and am super grateful for this chance to serve. I am grateful for the support I have and for the five of you :)
*Posted two pictures that Levi sent along with his e-mail. Found some graffiti on a wall which just happens to spell LDS (Latter-day Saints) so he couldn't pass up a great picture opportunity. Great pictures along with a buzz haircut. Enjoy!
Thursday, May 6, 2010
We were cooling down but the past two weeks have been way hot. I don't know what happened. But the leaves are falling off trees which is cool to see, seeing how I've only been stuck in one continuous summer since May of 09. I did buy an overcoat off an elder who was going home, and it's come in handy a couple times seeing how I am in a country without heating. We as missionaries have electric floor heaters (just the hot air fans), and they do not work too effectively.
I traveled to Merlow again last Wednesday and I happen to be back today for the last p-day of the transfer. I'll have transfer news Sunday when we talk. My camping adventure was fun. I have no idea if other people do it. We are all relatively young in the district. And we got the idea because it was nice outside and we wanted to sleep under the stars..it's a natural male instinct.
I am eating lots of pasta and a new interesting meat called locro. Locro is cow stomach. Different but not bad. And in the pasta category there are these things called ñoquis which I have come to love. They are mashed potatoes then mixed with flour then rolled and cut into little potato noodles then thrown into boiling water and when they float in the water they are ready and they are one of my favorites and something I can bring back to the states seeing how it's just potatoes and flour then
whatever sauce you want.
I am always speaking English (more like Spanglish). We are four gringos in my house. We are also now teaching English classes on Saturday nights so some people like to practice English in church or lunches or whatever it may be.
Well thanks for wishing me a happy birthday and sending me all your support and love. Love you all. Take care. Talk to you soon.
Sunday, May 2, 2010
Yeah...seven days till I'm twenty. I'm not ready for it, my youth is slipping from my fingers slowly and it's not cool. But you know what is cool...the Gila Valley Temple. That's grrreat.
I am enjoying the cooler weather during the day for sure. But at night we are lacking blankets and heaters so it's not quite as enjoyable. However, Elder Flaherty (Gilbert, AZ has Lamoreauxs in his ward back home) and I camped out on our roof last night. It was cold and we woke up soaking up from the dew but it was as close to camping as I'll get and it was fun and I slept in one of the hat's Hannah made me to keep the ole head warm.
So this week was way cool because Elder Hyder (one of the assistants I lived with last transfer and his companion Elder Zarate) came out for a day to exchanges and it was good seeing Elder Hyer again for the last time before he goes home (in two weeks). He is an awesome Elder and friend so that was a fun day. And we were able to have a couple inactive members come back to church this week! And yeah, I love my area more every day. And this work and this life and you all. Cannot wait to talk to you next week! Take care till then.
Monday, April 19, 2010
Every Thursday we eat lunch with an inactive member. He asked us what we learned in ZC. The first thing that came to my mind was journal writing of all things (Sis Olsen told us to write in our journals). Just saying journal writing sparked a big gospel conversation and he agreed to having us come and visit with him and his nonmember wife for a family home evening. Way capo.
Funny side story in Córdoba city. The bus terminal is downtown. There is a Subway restaurant there, and five of the six elders in our district wanted Subway and I knew where it was since I've had the privilege to spend a little time there (unlike the other five). We get to Subway and the two men working starting saying the ingredients in English as I would ask for something. "Quiero queso," "Cheese" like that, so I thought they spoke English. I said something I do not remember what in English and they both just stared completely perplexed and stopped saying ingredients in English.
As for Merlo, it was us four missionaries from Villa Dolores. Merlo is a hardcore tourist town so it was like money. I had the best pizza of my life (which I never ever would have guessed would happen in Argentina).
And yeah next time you hear from me by email and the next time you hear my voice I'll be twenty. Pretty sweet, and weird. I am not ready to be an adult, after the mission I wanna be eighteen again.
So work wise, we found a couple new people even with our couple days of travels. And that's my updates.
I love you all and I'll write you when I'm twenty years old.
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
I eat the same food here as everywhere fried chicken and pasta. Argentina does not like cooking complex meals or anything that takes time...with the exception of ñoquis (pronounced nyokee). It is mashed potatoes then mixed with flour and rolled into noodles and eaten with some sort of pasta sauce. They are wayy good and in my top three favorite foods. Not only are they good but the twenty ninth of every month is ñoquis day and I plan on continuing this tradition in our family and after the appropriate amount of years in my own (I just trying to freak you out Mom, your son is almost twenty and one day you'll be a grandmother).We have lunch probably three/four times a week with members (dinner is eaten at nine or later, when we are supposed to be home).
And I am pretty close to a mountain. I hiked up a lil mountain today. I am actually in a town called Merlow for the day which is out of the Córdoba province but too far from the Mendoza mission so it's in my district, and it is at the foot of a mountain.Well Villa Dolores is still moving really slow. We have nobody and I do all I can and the work is still moving nowhere. However, a new member moved to our ward from Buenos Aires who I truly feel is going to help the branch. They were temple workers back in BA and have tremendous faith so I'm hoping things can pick up soon.
According to the elders in the office my package is waiting at customs to be picked up, which means I am going to have to pay to get it out, but I don't know how much yet. I have zone conference this week so I'll be doing some travel and losing a working day and a half but I still wanna get out and find some people and help the branch.
Thanks for the updates on everyone. Sorry I don't have too much to update, hopefully next week will be full of good news!
Love you all so much. Take care and have a good week.
Monday, April 5, 2010
My favorite talks from conference include President Uchtdorf (on patience) and President Eyrings (on diligence and accomplishing what the Lord expects of you, probably my fav) from Priesthood session. I also enjoyed Pres Eyring's talk from Saturday and Elder Bednar and Elder Holland (I suggest watching Elder Holland's, not reading it). Sunday afternoon there was a way good one on mothers :) and just to let you know all five sessions were almost entirely about families and their duties and their importance and all that. I think it's incredible that no subjects are assigned yet the talks, their themes, and the songs all coordinate together to make--as Elder Andersen put it Sunday afternoon--"a beautiful symphony of revelation".
So my week consisted of getting to know the area, the missionaries, the members, and trying to get to know my neighbors (btw we are gringos, under us extremely odd old man, to the right a gay couple, to the left a blind couple, we are an interesting stretch of houses).
I love you all! Thank you for your prayers, for your love, for your support, for the nineteen years I had at home to learn from all of you (big theme from conference: teaching in the home). Cuidense mucísimo. Les amo. Hasta luego.
Monday, March 29, 2010
That's way awesome about Dad's coworker!!! I love baptisms! I'm sad I'm not going to see a couple in Argüello that will be happening the week after conference, but the important thing is that they are making covenants, not that I'll be there to watch them do it.
Alright something that I have come to dislike about missionary work. You become very close to people; to the members, investigators, the girl who works in your bakery, etc. Then comes transfers and you have to say goodbye. It's not fun, especially when I know I'm going to come to love the people here in Villa Dolores as well then I'll have to say goodbye...at least till the Big C.
Anyway I'm stoked to be in the middle of nowhere again. Thank you for the prayers and support and the love. You're great.
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
My trainer Elder Shae Curtis Abraham is back in the states. I painted a house and ate a huge asado and had root beer for the first time in my mission (it does not exist down here a member buys a ton of extract when he goes to the states, which is regularly). I was able to work up in the mountains for an afternoon, way sweet! Elder Haacke and I started changing ties when someone leaves the room to see if they'll notice, no one has caught on yet haha. I received the biggest, sloppiest, drunkenest kiss (on the cheek) by a man in the street. Elder Haacke's girlfriend completed another year of life on Saturday so we celebrated with an ice cream cake some lil banners and a baptism.
As for some miracles this week: Elder Haacke and I clapped a door and when a woman answered we saw one of our old investigators sitting in her house. So we taught a lesson and kind of used Mariana like we would a member to help teach. I think it went very well for both Carolina (the new girl) and Mariana (the old one). Other miracle: Elder Haacke and I were talking to a lady in the street when a car pulls up next to us and asks us where our church is and when we can come visit them. This family has five children and we were able to teach them all and half the family came to our baptismal service Saturday.
Way awesome week. So this is the last week of the transfer so next week we'll see where I'll be (I'm hoping to stay, due to the awesome area, companion and other roommates).Well I'll catch ya next week.
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
Elder Haacke and I are working hard and loving it but sometimes it's hard, but never discouraging. I'm still loving this work and my time here. I don't want to leave Argûello but I think I only have two weeks left.
We have an investigator named Miguel who reads every reading assignment before we come and his countenance is brighter every time we see him. Also, an investigator named Noelia who we took a family with to teach her turns out to be even closer to the family than we were told making it more of a miracle that we chose to take them to a lesson with her (she was their late daughters best friend for many years, and we had no idea).
We received some more crazy rain which was my fault. As we were eating lunch that day I commanded it to rain without a cloud in the sky. That night it rained, and it did not stop for the next day and a half. I'm still waiting for cold weather, I'm tired of this hot sticky weather.
I want to be the best member missionary when I return (which I'm sure all missionaries say, but I really do want to do so).
So one adventure. Elder Haacke and I wanted to take a different bus one day to shake things up and have ourselves an adventure, well this bus eventually turned and took us in the wrong direction, making it more of an adventure than we had planned for, but it all turned out okay :)
Love you all! Take care and have a super d00per spring break.
Monday, March 8, 2010
Thursday: I was almost eaten by a dog.
Sunday: Elder Civic (from the area presidency) visited our ward and I got to meet him and we gave him the last fifteen minutes of the testimony meeting, it was pretty sweet. Then that night we taught an investigator with some members and they asked us to give one of the children a blessing. We explained how blessings work and asked who she wanted to do the anointing and who to do the sealing. The young girl chose Elder Haacke for the blessing, so with less than three weeks in Argentina he gave his first blessing in Spanish and it was way awesome.
Monday: We ate Mexican food...kinda :)
That's my week. Fun and rough and awesome and I'm still loving it here. Thanks for the updates. Congrats on all your certifications. And congrats to Shea for braces and Tyra for her speaking part. You're all the best. I love you all and I'll talk to you next week.
Monday, March 1, 2010
I do not have any word on the Chile earthquake. Elder Pacheco tried calling his family but they did not answer because there are no communications, but they live in Chillon near Concepción so I really want to hear how they are. I still have yet to feel an earthquake (or at least recognize it) so I would say I felt nothing from Chile nor Salta, I wasn't even aware Salta had one.
Is there any temple news for Phoenix, Gilbert, or Gila Valley?
So this week was challenging. We are working way hard, talking to everybody (without exaggerating), and praying and doing all we should, yet we aren't seeing many fruits. Elder Haacke is great. We get along very well, and work all day long. His Spanish frustrates him but I've already seen him improve a lot. I still cannot believe I'm training when I have so much to learn still. We found a promising young man of seventeen years this week, however, and he made me laugh way hard. When we met him we asked if we could come in and he said he would like us to but his mother is a little "freaky freaky" which neither Elder Haacke nor I knew was an expression in Spanish.
I'm loving this mission, this time in my life. I'm excited that Tate is excited to serve because I would not trade this for anything. Regardless of how difficult some days are, everyday you go to bed feeling good that you did all you could to help people. I love you all and I appreciate your prayers, your letters, your love and your support.
Till next week,
Monday, February 22, 2010
My companion is Elder Andrew Haacke from Farmington, Utah (that's where Lagoon is at). He is a stud and we get along great. He works hard, doesn't speak but tries and when in doubt he testifies but he is going to learn quick. He is the middle of three children and his favorite band is Brand New. We work hard and I'm learning a ton. I didn't feel my Spanish was as good as it could've been but now I have to understand everything people say because I don't have somebody backing me up (in the understanding department), but I'm way happy to be serving with him.
We finally received a new window Friday (the night a storm blew in) and we're almost done undoing the damage done.
I had to go do some paperwork for immigration today, giving up the majority of my p-day, but it's cool.
I ate lunch with an American family on Sunday! Elder Guthrie's parents and older brother came down to pick him up from Argentina, spent the week here and ate with us Sunday afternoon. His older brother was proof that there is life after the mission. I already knew there was but sometimes it seems like a myth. Like in "Logan's Run" you think they're leaving and going to another place and all is good but you never really know.
I ate this way good thing called ñoquis this week. It is a potato noodle. Yeah sounds weird but try it, way good.
Anyways that's about the week. I'm happy to be here. I love the ward, the investigators, the missionaries, it's a great place to be. God has shown me many things in my short time here and I learn something everyday.
I love you guys. Take care.
Monday, February 15, 2010
1100 hours: Work day begins. A couple lessons. A couple more rejections. Your normal morning.
1330 hours: Lunch with the Campos family. Lunch was way awesomely delicious. As we are eating a storm rolls in from nowhere and it starts raining hard. We finish eating and pray the winds and the rains die down soon so we can leave and fill the baptismal font. Neither the rain nor the winds ceased, and we could not chill in their house and we had things to do so we left in the pouring rain. As we make it out to the main street we only see a river where the road once stood. We removed our shoes, rolled our pants (which still got wet) and waded the rushing stream.
1700 hours: In the chapel we start filling the font and were going to set up chairs and all that when we realized we had forgotten a key, so we return to the apartment (only two blocks away). As we approach the corner on which we live we noticed the window on our top floor was missing. We climb the stairs to our apartment and open the door to a flooded apartment. Everything is soaked. Elder Guthrie (one of the APs) just finished his mission and all his luggage was sitting on the now flooded floor. So as we go up to our second floor we see shattered glass everywhere. The storm had blown the window which gave us trouble a couple weeks back and shattered the entire sliding glass door, permitting all the rain to enter upstairs and filter through our wooden floors to the lower level. We salvaged what we could but there is no time, there is a baptism and it must go on. Then we make it back to the chapel and finish setting everything up and we get a phone call from the missionary in charge of all the apartments, and the APs to assess the damage. So we had to return to the apartment again. Then finally make it to the chapel for the last time.
1900 hours: The baptismal service begins for Agustin and Rocío. It was one of the best I have ever been to (and not to brag or anything but I kinda planned it). A ton of people showed up and everything was awesome. It was, dare I say, legendary.
2100 hours: Elder Pacheco and I are feeling crazy good from what happened and everyone is having fun eating refreshments and enjoying one anothers company. We are enjoying our cake and Elder Pacheco and I start joking around like I'm president and he is Elder Guthrie and we are reenacting his exit interview (of how we thought it went), when who happens to call, President Olsen. I love President Olsen but you cannot be a little nervous/anxious when he unexpectedly calls. He speaks to Elder Pacheco and tells him of his transfer news. Elder Pacheceaux (as he likes to write his name now haha) is now a zone leader. I gave him a ZL high five but then President wanted to speak with me. He delivered me my transfer news as well (which is usually done by the DL (district leaders) or ZL(zone leader)), let's say it was a little surprising and I'm not sure how I feel.
0030 hours: we finally finish getting all the water out of our apartment and get to bed.
As for Sunday I had the privilege of confirming Rocío a member of the church and giving her the gift of the Holy Ghost.
As for my new companion and his description, I apologize but you are going to have to wait till next week for that information. Why? Because he has not arrived to Argentina yet. I meet him tomorrow afternoon.
Well I am very grateful for this opportunity to serve and have such awesome experiences regardless of flooding, I love what I am doing and this gospel and the power it has.
Catch ya next week.
Thursday, February 11, 2010
Fun story number two, Saturday's baptism. We show up to the chapel to fill the font and all that, but the there was a little problem. The last baptism in Argüello was about seven weeks ago, the water was still sitting in the font from that baptism. The font does not drain like a bathtub, you have to use a pump, so of course the pump was broken. We tried to use buckets, but it took about three seconds to realize that we could not pail out a significant number of liters. So we scratched our heads for a long time and called the whole ward roster and finally got it fixed at 6:20 (fourty minutes before the baptism was supposed to start). Then at seven one of our baptists disappeared and I don't even remember the rest, but I do remember it was a super spiritual packed with people dunkfest (baptism). I also learned how to improve on the baptismal service this weekend.
I cannot remember anything else from the week because those two events are occupying my mind at the moment (the baptism more so than 28 dogs and 8 cats).
I'm stoked the Saints won and that my family is hXc awesome. I love y'all and I'll catch ya the fifteenth.