Ok, so a lot has happened. First off I'm in my second area. It's called Salto de las Rosas and it's about six hours south of where I was before. I'm in Mendoza now, but not the city area. I'm about 3 hours south of Mendoza, Mendoza. The zone is San Rafael. My comp is Elder Boyle, originally from Texas. This area is super, super pretty. I'ts really campo or fieldy, there are a ton of grape fields or fincas. This is the last area in the mission that had bikes, and we need them, but President doesn't want to risk us getting in an accident. We walk like 3 hours or more to get to a house. It's a lot slower work than it was in downtown San Juan. But the people here are awesome, many of them are illiterate. The church is actually in our pensh. We have a little room with a pulpit and our church is only 1 and 1/2 hours long. We teach Elders Quorum. We are supposedly a branch of a branch, so we call ourselves a leaf. There were like 18 people in church on Sunday.
Our shower is a bucket that you fill with water and then plug in, after about thirty minutes the water is hot, so you unplug it and turn the valve and then you have about 7 minutes. The pensh is pretty poorly insulated so it's really cold in the morning.
I put some pictures up under "Transfer 4" on Costco's website, and there are also new ones under "Transfer 3." You will see how pretty the area is. The thing is there are not too many people; but it's great, the people are super nice and friendly. I heard the area I'm in is one of President Lindahl's favorite areas in the mission. He loves it and thinks it's really pretty.
I don't really know what's going on with old investigators or anything but I got a picture with the convert, Jessica and her grandma, the familia Contrerras and Cristian from Grido. I don't have much more time left to email but I put a lot of pictures up, so you will see the huge fields that go on forever. It's really cool. It's apparently one of the most campo areas in the mission. I'm also learning a bit of cooking here, I can now do a decent spaghetti and pastel de papas thing. It's made with empanada shells then mashed potatoes then meat, more potatoes, sugar and cinnamon. Then baked in the oven. It's pretty good.
Well I'm gonna cut it short, thanks for the email, and hope you enjoy the pictures, I'm sure I will have more to tell you next time.
Monday, April 18, 2011
Hello, so I'm here in San Juan sitting at a cyber and on the wall it says "prohibido fumar," and yet right across from me a guy is smoking. Weird how that works. Anyways it's the end of another transfer, I will tell you next week if anything has changed or if I'm in the same area or what. So lets see, Elder Harvey the Zone leader that I have been living with for the last 4 months is now an assistant. It was really a blessing to be able to learn and work with him. So we haven't been able to get a hold of Silvana again. I'm sure some day we will be able to get another lesson with her. We found a family whose two oldest kids have been baptized but the parents haven't and neither have the three youngest kids. We are planning on going back to their houses and watching a church movie.
The streets here are pretty much all paved and most have sidewalks but the sidewalks are all jacked up, so part of the time it's broken tiles, dirt and rocks or the road, we seem to walk in the road alot. All the homes are right next to each other. They are seperated by a cement wall, and the houses are more long than wide like back home. But everything is made out of concrete and brick. Lots have fences so that's when we clap, there are lots of dogs everywhere, and yeah I'm in an urban area compared to the other areas in the zone. Our area is probably one of the richest. It for sure has some of the richest people, but we don't really try to much, because they look at you through their cameras and say nope.
Here is an orgulloso moment so I went on splits with Elder Hyer (the other zone leader who has 1 year and 2 months) and we talked to this lady. In the end she wasn't interested at all but we asked if we could end with a prayer and she said that she wanted me to do it because she could understand me better than the other, so that made me feel really good, but I still need to learn alot more.
Let's see what else is new? We met a lady named Fani who can't walk very well because she got in a car/moto accident. She is super Catholic but super good. We said a prayer in the first lesson and when I looked up from the prayer she was crying. She knows her family might not like her talking to us, but she told us that she knows it's ok. She read the folleto we left with her and loved it, the next time we went by she asked where she could get a Book of Mormon, so I pulled mine out and handed it to her. She loved it, she held it against her chest and said how beautiful about 30 times. This last week she wasn't able to make it to church but hopefully this next week she can get there. Elder Allen and I are doing well, we work really well with each other and we really get along. So, can't complain here. I really can't remember much else of what happened this week, it really flew by, but I just don't remember. I am writing in my journal about every other day, but I think no matter how much I write in it, I will wish I had written more. That's really cool that you guys got the Rossetta Stone. Maybe when I get back we can be a bilingual family. We met a guy and his wife today on the bus, the guy is from French Canada, and his wife from San Juan, they both speak, French English and Spanish.
We went to this kid, Cristian's house, he works at Grido, the huge ice cream enterprise down here. We taught him a little and he listened to the first lesson. Maybe he will take the initiative and pray to receive his answer. He is really a cool kid and really nice, he wants to go to the states someday. Anyways I know this email was kind of lame, I just can't remember much. The weeks seem to mold together.
How's it going up in cold Utah? So here it is still pretty hot but a lot nicer than 118 degrees. Well general conference was awesome, although I think that to follow the prophet I am going to have to look for a wife a little sooner than what I was planning. Conference was really awesome. I listened to all the sessions and only fell alseep during one speaker. I made sandwiches and drank coke during the first session. It was also really dissapointing; all of our investigators knew about conference and we spent three days just focusing on telling people about conference and none of them came. So that wasn't so cool, but there isn't much I can do but keep on working and finding better more commited people to teach.
I don't think that I will be getting a Latin comp this next transfer either. The ZL told me that the mission doesn't have a lot of Latins so chances are I won't get one. I have a feeling that I will be staying in this area for another transfer with the same comp Elder Allen. I'm ok with that because he and I get along really well. We have some people that seem pretty good right now too. So, if I stay maybe we will be able to get some baptisms. I will find out what happens next Monday night, so you guys will probably know in two weeks.
Well the familia Contreras is really flojo but we put a baptismal fecha with her friend her name is Andrea and her mom died several years ago. We told her she could be baptized and then do baptisms for the dead for her mother. There was also a reference we received this week named Fabian, his dad died on Friday, and he was having a really hard time with it. Hopefully this will be a time when he can accept the gospel.
I did divisions with another kid from the zone this week. He and his comp don't put very many fechas but here in our mission we are supposed to put a fecha bautismal the first lesson that we have. The day of divisions I put 3 of them pretty much on my own. It sure helped me to feel like I was doing well, for the small amount of time I have. Speaking of time I will complete six months in the mission this Wednesday.
We watched conference in English (all the Amercian elders and some of the Latins that spoke English) in an upper room in the church. I'm grateful for that because I actually get to hear the prophets voice.
I have gotten to know my area pretty well and most of the ward members too. Have I mentioned that I hate alcohol and how the Catholic Church slows the work. Speaking of, I went to misa the other week not sure if I told you that or not. But we just watched them recite a bunch of memorized prayers. It was good becasue then when people say, "No I'm Catholic, we say, "That's ok we went to misa last week!"
We finally went back to this lady named Silvana who is awsome. We shared the restoration with her because she said she already knew the plan of salvation. She loved the Book of Mormon and she was so excited and anxious to learn more about Christ coming to America. She should do really well, but she always leaves town on Sundays, kind of hard to progress if you don't go to church. Anyway she lived in LA for a while. so it's kind of fun to talk to her about the cultures.
Oh and one story. So one of the fechas that I put was with a guy in another area during transfers. He told us that he has a drug problem and that he wants to change but doesn't know how. So we talked to him about baptism and how he can wash away his sins and start over and have the Spirit to help him with his addiction. He gladly accepted the fecha and seemed excited to read and prepare for his fecha. About two hours later we were walking by a different house and he was outside and wasted. He yelled at us "I'm really drugged right now." It was really sad to see that just hours after that he had given right back in. But maybe the other missionaries can still help him get baptized.
Anyways, thanks for your letters and pictures of all the snow, that's really crazy. Love you all and thanks for selling the dirt bike.
ps How much money do I still have to pay for the mission?
So I don't have a ton of time but I will try and answer your questions. One person from the four of Villavicencio's came to church this Sunday her name is Antonella and she has fifteen years. She seemed to enjoy church so we are going to try to get her to general conference and then baptize her. It might be difficult though because she only comes to stay with her grandma on the weekends. The people that asked lots of questions we haven't been able to talk to them but we will soon. We have found all these people by knocking doors--usually it's clapping though. Right now we only have Antonella as our progressing investigators.
I will get more pictures with people the day before I leave the area. That's when I will go visit them, tell them I am leaving, and take pictures with them. I might have had my last asado yesterday because the family who feeds us asado has a wedding coming up, and I might leave this area before we go back.
For general conference I'm not sure what's going to happen but I will tell you next week. I am still doing my personal and comp studies, sometimes it's hard because there is so much I want to study but not enough time, and I haven't decided whether to do it in Spanish or English, when it's Spanish, I get less out of it, but I'm sure with time I will understand a lot more.
My testimony is good. I know that Joseph Smith restored this the true church and that Christ is at the head. I know that God lives, knows, and loves me personally, and that challenges are given to us so that we can become stronger. I believe that the mission is the best place for a teenager to be.
We haven't moved yet. I can get socks here if I need them. I have given up on the Propets brand shoes until I can find and buy some shoe inserts. The blog thing looks cool, do friends and family know about it?
You will have to ask Kurt how my Spanish is, I wrote him a letter and part was in Spanish. You speak pretty well though.
The bee sting is fine. I'm doing good, will you remind me next week to write about Baby. And sorry but I probably won't use the recipes they are too difficult and I don't even think I could get all the ingredients down here. I haven't had hot food since I've been here. In all the fruit and vegatable places I haven't seen one jalepeno.
Anyways love you and thanks for your letter. Hope I answered most of your questions.