Monday, February 22, 2010

Monday, February 22 2010 -- Hard Work Helps Homesickness

Wow im so jealous of the trip to yellowstone!!! ah thats so crazy awesome! Ya it will definitly be worth it when i get back haha, well this week has been good, very busy. To answer dads questions, Ramon is the old 72 year old man, and the Zarate family turned out to be flakers, they arent interested, they dont believe man can see god, and they wont give us the time to explain. haha and pretending to be an aussie is pretty sweet, haha it doesnt cause problems. This week we have worked really hard with the inactives in our area to try and bring them back to church, there is no point to the baptisms if we cant keep them in the church so the bishop has asked us to work with 5 families in the area, and we had a little success, one of the five familes came to church and we are now teaching the brother of the family, but the others wont come to church but are more than willing to let us come visit them, so thats good.
Our work with our progressing investigators was really slow this week, not much progress, except with the gomez family! The mother and daughter came to church yesterday, so it shows that our hard work is working out, but the father isnt giving in, and if we cant get the father then we cant have the family... so thats been tuff! Juan, who is 14, needs permission to be baptized and his grandma wont give it to him because he is disrespectful and he is not taking what we teach him seriously so we are going to try and work with him and teach him the importance of this gospel. Ramon is supposedly going to be married this friday, i hope so, hes been taught everything since november and so right now its just reviews and pass bys and service, which is nice but im ready for him to be dunked haha, there are some promising investigators that we have, we couldnt find the construction worker this week but we talked with his daughter who is interested so that should be a helper to him, and we are teaching a guy who played soccer for yugoslavia and mexico and he knows alot of languages haha, it was really sweet to talk with him, hes very mature which is very difficult to find here haha, everything else is about the same with all of our other investigators, but i love teaching them. Interesting fact that i should have already known but i found out the hard way yesterday, this weekend has been tuff, saturday night was a day to just perservere, we walked for 4 or 5 hours without teaching anyone! and it was hot hot hot, and there was no wind so it was a beating on me haha, and i have felt soooo homesick this week, but while i was working yesterday i was talking with a inactive and i was explaining that we have to do things we dont want because she is having a hard time wanted to come to church, we always have to search for the kindgom of god first and sometimes its things we dont want to do, and i shared how i didnt want to come on a mission but that its what heavenly father wanted and i was willing to trust him and now im here, and i explained how hard it was to leave my family and everything, and after she said she would come back and then she said, with a testimony like yours your homesickness will pass, and then i as i was working i realized that its the cure to homesickness, to continually work! So thats what i do when i get homesick! I work haha, sorry if you cant understand what im saying, its getting hard to speak english and i have to think pretty hard to remember words and stuff, well i have to go, i miss you so much and im just trying to work and be patient, i hope to become like taylor haha! how cool it will be when i want to stay here! Well i love you and i know that this gospel is the only way to happiness! Goodbye until next week my family!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Monday, February 15 2010 -- The Definition of Blessings

Wow... All i can say is that someone has alot more faith than i have, whoever prayed for me to help my mission i thank you! This week has definitly been the greatest week of the mission. The weather has been a steady 95 degrees during the day and 80 during the night! Which is perfect! I dont remember sweating until last night haha! The weather has been amazing and the sunsets absolutley rediciulous! They are so beautiful! I think a key thing that helped this week was that my companion had to leave to Resistencia so I spent Tuesday with the Zone leaders, and we rocked the day up, it was so fun to teach, because they assigned me parts to teach which i like because then i feel comfortable not having to interupt the other missionaries, and i am totally comfortable with the language because i realized for the first time that i havent spoken english in three or so weeks! Haha crazy! Im forgetting words and stuff haha, and while i was with the zone leaders we did alot of contacts and i really found excitement in trying to figure out what part of the gospel will spark their interest, ive started to make everything a game right now, to make it more enjoyable! I realized that i do not like being in my apartment but out trying to find new investigators and strengthening the progessing ones. One quick story, everyone here calls me a Yankee, which i think is really cool but they use it just like the britans used to use the word, as a disgrace, but i think its an honor to be called a yankee just like the revolutionaries! One time i was contacting and this guy exploded on me because i am American and he was saying a bunch of awful stuff about our country, but i just stood their smiling and listened to him, because it was interesting, but my zone leader who is from Buenos Ares demanded that he apologized, in a very nice way. Anyways i found interesting that i wasnt offended by it but that my other companions that werent from America were. This week we have found two new families that are golden, one is a reference from Ramon, they are named Zarate, and they have 6 little girls and have a huge interest in the book of mormon, they have been prepared, i just hope that they have been prepared fast enough that i will be able to baptize them, they are the only family in the neighborhood who also has air conditioning haha(random fact) and the other new investigator is a man who is 44 years old and his job is to build lds churches throughout Argentina, so hes had contact with the church which will help alot and the spirit is working on him, but he was injured on his last job so he has to stay at home, which made it possible for us to find him and we will be able to teach him whenever we want for a few weeks which definitly is a blessing, his name is Ignacio and he is defintly one of my favorite investigators yet, and the only who read the book of mormon the first time we challenged him! But he didnt come to church which was a bummer. Ramon didnt get married because the judges here are really lazy and take holidays practically every week so we dont know when he will be baptized... But we have Juan, the 14 year old, he will be baptized in two saturdays which will be awesome! I have absolutley loved this week, and it flew by!
Oh one story i thought was funny for mom is that everyone knows the Engall Family, they are like the perfect family for everyone here, i thought that was really funny, the Engall family is so cool to the people here and i just laugh everytime the men want to be just like Charles Engall, its so awesome! Oh we had a dinner with the Gomez family, and that was really fun! We had empanadas as usual haha, the food is always the same no matter where you go. But i found out the reason why they are not going to church, or the reason why the family isnt, the mom knows its true, you can see it in her eyes when she talks, but she is afraid of her husband because he doesnt know yet, and hes not focused on what the truth is, he has really deep roots in catholicism and its really hard to teach him the gospel, he is always talking, its stressful to know that i bear really strong tesitmony of families and really good questions to him and the spirit is really strong and then he wants nothing to do with it! He says he wants his family forever and we have shown him the path, but he has a doubt that i do not know, anyways patience and studying and prayer will help, and in time we will deroot his doubt!
My companion and i are doing well, i am definitly practicing patience though, alot of the pet peeves ive had in my life he has haha, its quite hilarious all of the things that bug me, but i never let it show. Once or twice i let it get to me but other than that we work really good together, he has a problem with obedience but we are working on it, he has seen that through disobedince he can still have baptisms and its hard to help him see that obedience is the key to everything.

Well that is defintily scary for steph! Gosh she has had a tough few months physically, ive never gone through anything like she has, she has definitly had a few rough spots in life that ive never had to experince, which makes her so much better than i ever could be, she is always so positive and i definitly look up to her, i cant even imagine what i would do if i went through everything she has gone through, i love her and miss her so much, a long with everyone else in my family! Tommy was telling me how he was playing basketball with collin and tommy couldnt even stand because collin plays just as horrible as i do, that we are exactly the same, that made me miss my brother alot and i really look up to him, there isnt a cooler kid in my eyes. Thank you so much for your influence dad, ive realized this week that i only have two years to enjoy Argentina, and after that ill be back home. Im really starting to enjoy my mission, and i continually strive to loose myself in the work, if for nothing else the time to fly by, but i know that when i have lost myself i wont want to leave, i love you dad, and my mom, i love you so much and i miss my pancakes! haha you did so much for me that i cant even start to pay you back! Well i love you all and have such a good week!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Monday, February 8 -- The Definition of Hot

MY FAMILY! I cant believe it is already monday! Its crazy, this week has flown by! Well the weekdays fly by, the weekends drag here, i dont know why but they are soo slow! So my first week in febuary here on a mission, i thought that January was hot, but this week has definitly made me wish for the heat of January and when i first got here haha. My thermometer in my apartment read 100.8 degrees! haha and outside was a killer! haha and what was worse is that i had parasites thursday friday and saturday! so i spent alot of time in my apartment slowly dying from the parasites and from being cooked in my oven! haha wow talk about the hottest week yet, but i have had many escapes this week from the heat, mostly the wind has helped alot, even though the wind is really really hot, when im soaked from head to toe its pretty refreshing haha, and my garments are such a gift! haha its amazing how where the garment covers is freezing and where its not is hot! partly because dry lux rocks! haha but i think the other part is because of god. Saturday night, as i looked at the country side next to my area it was totally engulfed in brown smoke, i asked why and my companion said because of the heat, it was aweful looking, really intimidating, and really hard to breath haha. But its amazing how much that your body can adjust to the heat, it is usually 92 or 95 degrees in my apartment when i go to sleep and i dont really sweat that much, its hot but only a little uncomfortable, even though i still want air conditioning haha.
Our investigators... The girl who i baptised in the picture im forwarding isnt going to stay a member for long... We found her smoking again and she doesnt really have a strong testimony, so ive decided im not going to baptise her sister right now, maybe when i know that shes ready. The old man without the shirt (ramon) had his birthday yesterday and when we went to go wish him a happy birthday he was totally drunk, so their goes our baptism for this weekend... But do not lose hope family! For we have another baptism for the 27th of Febuary, a 14 year old kid who is in love with the church, and has alot of friends in the church to help him, his name is Juan and hes a cool kid (oh a little side note, its really funny here, but there is only like 10 names for guys here, Juan, Angel, Ramon, Alejandro, Jose, Miguel, David and one or two other names, so when we are contacting its really easy to remember names or to guess because there is hardly any names!) The gomez family is starting to progress, the mother knows its true, it was really cool to help her realize, but the dad is scared of the truth and has to anaylze it out alot, so we are working on that, but once we get him we have a whole family of 6 for baptism which will be sweet, the Silva family is shaky, not sure what we need to do, visit them more often and give service is the best way i think, but the mother has a brother that we ran into and he has potential to become a member, he has alot of faith and knows that we can help him with his problems. One of the families i have been working with since i got here, an inactive family who started to come to church and ive worked really hard with them, well their family just broke and the wife wants a divorce and its all bad, pretty depressing.
This morning it rained, if you remember the rain as we came out of Navoo, and how much rain that was, well that was nothing compared to this! My companion and i went downtown to eat at a chinese buffet with the zone and while we were in the bus the street had at least two feet of water and the wheels of the bus could barely hit the ground! haha it was crazy! then while we were walking to the meeting place we had to cross this street which was a river, up to our knees! My umbrella couldn´t hold the amount of water that was coming down! so amazing! Then we had to run 13 blocks to the restaruant! haha talk about being wet! It has been a blessing though because its going to be cold tonight and i can sleep in peace! Well I love you all so much! I have two pics im sending, one of my baptism and one of my zone! They have helped me so much! I would definitly not be were i am without them! Oh and i just found out that at the end of this transfer i will have been out on my mission 6 months! 1/4 of my mission already haha, but its going to be a very long transfer in this heat!! haha but im ready for it, thanks dad for the scriptures! Those from d and c 100 helped me alot! Oh and i recived the letters from robin and grandpa cow! so whatever way is fine! Snail mail or email! I lvoe you all so much! pray for me will ya ;)

Monday, February 1, 2010

February 1, 2010 --

My family! This week has been really tough, the hottest yet, and the most exhausting, but as i look back on it now i kind of liked it, haha which is a change, wednesday morning it rained so hard that we couldn´t leave the members house we were eating with, it was crazy, and then it just got hotter and hotter each day, haha which didnt bug me until friday, when inside my apartment was 97 degrees, which about killed me! Haha but it got hotter and sunday was about to the point that i couldn´t focus at all, neither could anyone haha, but at least i was teaching all afternoon and not out contacting, i probably would have died, haha oh and we havent had water since saturday afternoon so showering has been out of the question and all we have had to drink is the ice in our freezer, when were at our apartment, so its been pretty crazy, so hopefully our water is back tonight, its been tuff but as i look back i survived so its not that bad, i woke up today and my apartment was 91 degrees! at 6 in the morning haha, its usually 85, which is quite chilly for me right now if you can imagine! haha but its been worth the pain, i had a baptism this past weekend, i baptised one of the sisters, Yessica( or Jessica in english), it was pretty fun! it was a very small baptism, my companion and i, the two other elders in my ward, two litte investigators, and the best family in our ward who we asked to make us a cake and come welcome her, her family couldnt come and she had to leave one of her kids at home, we set the appointment for 7 pm saturday and at 7 45 she wasnt there, i was worried that she backed out but ten mins later she showed up and we had a very good baptism, i enjoyed it alot.
This week we have three promising families that want to be baptised, the gomez family is almost there, they need a few more lessons and need to attend church more and they will be ready, then there is another family, Silvia, who is very, very poor and they dont have a dad, we met them by visiting with a group of ladies in the street and one said she had a sick kid, so we went and gave him a blessing and he was better the next day, we talked and they are really excited to come to church, all are really wanting to hear the gospel, none can read so we are teaching them how to read and pray right now, they are prepared to hear us, and then a young couple, Vincinte, they found it a miracle that we decided to stop by their house and teach them, the husband was especially excited, they just had a kid and i feel like they will be ready in time, hopefully in this transfer. Ramon, the old man who is 72 and doesnt wear a shirt, will be married on febuary 12 and we get to be the witnesses and then the 13 he will be baptised! so im really excited for that! The sister of yessica, yisel, is asking for permission from the judge to be baptised because she is on probation for trying to sneak back into argentina because she forgot her papers here, her friend lives in paraguay which is like twenty mins from my apartment. So she might be baptised this weekend or the next, im pretty excited about that, my companion is very loving with the people here, very opposite of my trainer, and its amazing to see the difference of talking to everyone, we have encountered huge amounts of inactives in our area and people who have family who are members, which are the best people to teach because the spirit has or is working on them, the work here is progressing and i love teaching now, not only because we are out of the sun but because its so cool to see how interesting the gospel is to people who have never heard it, and i just love teaching people about the book of mormon! its crazy funny to see peoples faces when you say you have another book just like the bible, they wont believe and its really fun to testify of the book of mormon, most wont accept but there are a few who find it interesting and i love that, i love telling people about temples and about my testimony of temples, im so grateful for me calling before my mission! This week i have been addicted to the gospel of John, i love reading about christ, i used to never like the bible because everyone uses it and i always thought it wasnt as true as the book of mormon but i have realized that it is true, that it testifies of Jesus Christ, and i love reading about Jesus! It helps me so much. My companion has a mp3 player and there are alot of songs about Joseph Smith and Hyrum and ther was a song about their martyrdom, and it hit me really, really hard, and that day as we were dragging our feet under the killer sun and trying to catch our breath, because its really hard to breathe in this heat, idk why, i couldnt stop thinking about how i cant let Joseph and Hyrum die in vain, i kept seeing them in the final moments of their lives in the movie and it really helped me, that even though i was pushed to my limits that i wasnt going to give in to the heat and give in to despair and let Joseph Smith and hyrum die in vain, so that is my moto for this week and its helped me so far.
Man it sounds like such an awesome week for me at home!! Man i have so many friends and family who i know love me, and i cant express in words how much all of you mean to me, seriously, i dont deserve any of them and thats why im so lucky and im so glad that i have who i have, in time i will write everyone but im just getting used to the life as a missionary and ive gone from liking hours to liking parts of the day, and i know that soon i will love days and then weeks, and then months and then all of the sudden ill be home, time is starting to move, i feel like ive started in high gear so i dont have that much acceleraiton but im moving, there are days when all im living on is patience and faith, and prayer prayer prayer, i cant wait for the day when i can be like judd and andy and stop focusing on myself and trying to repair and build me, and start to repair and build my investigators, its starting and i am excited for the first time for the future, Febuary is supposedly the hottest month of the year and im starting to believe it, but i do not have fear, only the desire to endure and to start to thrive in the mission, its funny that ill be talking with someone and ill start speaking in english because i am so used to the language, Steph i miss you and it sounds like your life is great! Dont look forward to anything but only live in the moment! Live every second steph, your gonna miss this part of your life just like every part of your life in the future haha, work hard and live by the spirit!
Josh i cant think of someone who i want to be just like! I cant believe that time has flown since we last worked out, time is draggin right now but when i look back it flew! Your my hero, ill always be Rugerburget 2.0, ill never be as good as the original, know that i look up to you literally and spiritually and emotionally, i cant ask for a better friend to uplift me,
Amanda! Ill write you also, so give me a few weeks, life sounds great! Live up the cold because there is none here and i miss it so! haha i would love to have your job! Maybe ill try for that when i get back! I love you and your love for me, we had a lot of fun times Amanduh, the prom dance with the handicaps was awesome!
Grandpa and Grandma Cow! I cant stop thinking this week about the ranch, and building those cheesy log boats and the canal and the three wheelers, but most of all i just miss relaxing in the house with my grandparents and grandpas cheesy jokes and stories and grandmas endless love for me! I have been thinking about how much i cant wait to go back to the ranch and spend time with my grandpa and grandma cow! I love you so much, thank you for all of your love and support, i look up to you soo much!
Mom, idk about a evelope with padding, ill ask this week and see if it will work! I lvoe you and your support for me! Im trying hard to forget how delicous your food is because is hard to eat here sometimes because it cant compare!
Dad, you dont know how much i look up to you and your inspiration, i look forward every week to read what i can do better, i know you are recieving revelation specifically for me, more that i can recieve for myself, you are so in tune with the spirit, as shown by your vision of me in Argentina, i really cant wait to spend time with my dad when i get home, but ill have to wait and in the mean time try to become just a little bit like my dad! I love you
Collin, work hard, study hard, live your life, take every advantage possible to learn cool skills like tiling, welding, buildng things, yard work and all of that stuff, these are things that i wished i would have taken advantage of, of course you are much more handy than i ever wil be, i know that you will be far better of a swimmer, friend, and brother than i ever will be, collin i miss hanging out with you, more that you know, even though you only write a sentance to me a haha, take advantage of every situation, be what i couldnt be, the church is a great place to make yourself better, collin i feel like i lost alot of my life doing stupid things, dont be like that, you can and will be so much more than i could ever be, for that your my hero collin, more than i can explain.
Abbey and Hannah, my sisters, i cant explain how much i miss you guys, it kills me to know that hannah will be so different when i get back! I love my little sister and miss doing the little things with her, i talk about how you always want to know the color of apple i like, which is green, and i dont know why you ask haha, abbey your detailed letters are fantastic, i love your enthusiasm and your upbeatness, your going to go far in life and be someone great, if i can be anything like you i cant even imagine what i would become!
I love you all so much and ill talk to you again next week!