Argentina Mendoza Mission

Argentina Mendoza Mission

Saturday, June 18, 2011

June 13, 2011

Hello Family,
        Well that's news to me, they never told me I was a senior comp, so I just assumed we were co- companions.  So to answer your questions it's going good!  I think being senior comp is just to say you make the final decisions and report to the district leader; it pretty much doesn't mean anything.  I should have another Latin comp sometime.  It sounds like the Wharton family reunion was successful.  That's great that so many were able to get together. It sounds like it was a lot of fun.  One of the things I miss most is being in the outdoors, especially campfires.
     I will finish with the BOM this week; I think then I will start it in Spanish.  I am also trying to read Acts to Revelations there is some pretty interesting stuff in Acts I didn't know about.
     So the family that is closest to baptism has hit some bumps in the road.  The dad doesn't have his documents he needs to get married so he has to buy new ones and wait for them which is more time and money he doesn't really have.  Their little girl who is closest to getting baptized has apparently been acting up, so her parents sent her to live with the grandma for a week, and that has been time when we couldn't teach her.  She came back the other night, but apparently they got into an argument right before we got there, so we are working with that.
     There is also the familia Rojo that we met with once and we will continue passing by Norma Hernandez who has epilepsy and  mental problems.  We were walking one day and she followed us and asked us to come to her house where she told us, she saw us walking by and thought we must be men of God so she asked for our help.
     We helped three inactive members come back to church.  Familia Lobos, the mom and the son, the son served a mission in Buenos Aries like 20 years ago, and also Hermana Alfonso who  hasn't been to church in a few years.
     So here's a funny story.  We were walking to a house and a drunk guy on a bike stopped us and told us he can't stop drinking and he needs help.  So we tried the best we could to get his address from him, we got his mom's address which will help.  But anyways this guy was wasted, he skipped work that day and spent the morning drinking.  When I shook his hand to leave he grabbed my hand and gave it a big, wet, alcohol 8 second kiss.  I just said, "oh crap" in English and my comp just started laughing.  I could see saliva on my hand, so I went to the closest member's house and washed my hands.
           I'm up here in San Rafael right now, we took a bus at 6 am and came up for p-day.  We leave to go back down at 6 pm.  It's been a while since I had seen the other missionaries.
Thanks for everything.  You are all in my prayers.
Elder Wharton

June 6, 2011

 So lets see if I can remember any of your questions. 
     Yeah the time flies really fast, today is my 1/3 mark!  That still means I have a lot left, but it's crazy how fast the last 8 months have gone.  The rama is alright here; there are definitely improvements that could be made such as home teaching and more people having callings, but they have apparently improved a ton.  Next week is a special broadcast to all of Argentina from the Apostles and First Presidency, so that's pretty exciting!  We might have an area Seventy visit the rama.  We are still teaching the Sepulvedas; he needs some documents to get married and his daughter just needs a review of what she's learned, the daughter will probably be baptized this or next Saturday.
     I like doing service, it's relaxing to me.  I actually really enjoy doing manual labor in the mission, because it's really rare we get to do much. All the service I have ever done in my mission is for members, usually people here won't accept help but members sometimes will because they understand.
     The woman with mental disabilities we are going to go over there with a member and get his opinion on it.
     I finished Jesus the Christ and I will finish the BOM again in about 14 days, I have started reading Acts and I'm going to finish the New Testament.  I want to start reading the Book of Mormon in Spanish cover to cover.
    Each day it varies a lot how much we walk but I think one day we marked it and it was like 13 miles but that was a lot.
     It's cold in the apartment, but at night I sleep fine we have plenty of blankets, and we have a little electric heater we turn on in the room before we go to bed.  It's just in the morning and at night the kitchen and study rooms are cold.  I just need to bundle up is all.
     The main reason I don't use the debit card,  I don't have anything to spend money on.  I don't think my comp has a sleep disorder, he does snore sometimes though.  The other night he was kneeling on his bed praying, and he prays for a really long time but then like 10 minutes into his prayer he started snoring.  He often falls asleep during his personal prayer.
     I think Hermana Perez would do a card for free we just have to spend the time to tell her what we want.
    Anyways we have started English classes I don't really do anything but be there my comp likes doing it. We will see how much success we have with it.  So, this week I invited a rather punk looking  kid to the English classes he said,  "Wow it's like you fell from the heavens.  I need help with my English."   It was just funny to me that he said, it's like you fell from the heavens.
     Oh and last night President Lindahl called and told us to write you and inform you (if you have heard anything about the volcano) that we are really far away from it, like 200 miles.  Apparently there is a volcano  spewing a bit of  lava, but I haven't heard anything about it other than that.  He just doesn't want our parents thinking we are in danger of dying from a volcanic eruption.  Anyways that's all I can really think of this week.
Love you all, thanks for everything!
Con Amor,
Elder Wharton

Chile volcano keeps spewing ash, grounding flights across South America

Chile volcano ap june 12
The Puyehue volcano on the border between Chile and Argentina continued to spew ash over the Andes and Patagonia regions of South America on Tuesday. The eruption is now entering its 11th day and shows no sign of stopping.
Flights were grounded from Argentina to Australia and New Zealand as ash clouds that could harm jet engines blanketed the region and moved west across the South Pacific. Flights were also being canceled in Santiago, Chile's capital (link in Spanish), as well as in Brazil and Uruguay.
The Associated Press said "booming explosives echoed across the Andes" on Monday as ash and lightning rose from the Puyehue-Cordon Caulle volcanic complex, which is in southern Chile just west of the border with Argentina. Activity at the volcano began on June 4. Thousands of nearby residents have been evacuated.

May 30, 2011

     How goes things back home? 
My comps have been:
MTC-Elder Nordblad from Palmdale, California
Zonda/Libertador, San Juan-Elder Petersen from Logan, Utah
Libertador-Elder Allen from Idaho
Salto de las Rosas, San Rafael-Elder Boyle, Texas/Utah (one week)
Malargue-Elder Martinez from Buenos Aires, Argentina
Malargue-Elder Stufflebeam from Orem, Utah

         So the names of the people we are working with are Andres, Norma, Rocio, and Kevin. Norma and Andres should be going to "sacar un turno" to get married this week. They weren't able to come to church because Andres went to Mendoza for a neices kinsey and Norma woke up sick. but they are really great people and pretty humble their house is one room and a bathroom.  They just bought a new stove/oven and put in a tile floor, Andres works construction. I did get to keep the letter that he wrote.
          We were knocking doors the other day and some lady came over and asked us what we did and she told us to come to her house.  She said as we walked by she could tell we were men of God.  She says she would like to get closer to the gospel, but she may have some mental issues.  It's hard to teach her because she doesn't respond very much and she is really monotone.  She is hoping that God will change everything for her.  She has had a rough life; she was physically abused as a child and has seizures as a result.  Her husband and kids left her and she is on the verge of losing her home.  We are not sure to what extent we can help based on her mental condition.
           Today we did service again since there isn't really anything else to do for p-day here.  We hauled logs out to a house in the campo so that they could heat their house and water.  Afterwards the Hermana Munoz cooked us fideos and carne.  They are an awesome family the Hermano Munoz is a funny guy he is always saying some things in English to us, like hasta la bye bye, or mucho thank you.  He is way funny; he used to work at the airport here in Malargue.   He said the population here is like 27,000, not too many.  It's starting to get colder, but still we haven't seen any snow. 
            My Spanish doesn't seem too bad now.  I am able to understand most things and talk to most people.  Every once in awhile I will be way lost but usually I understand.  Things are a little harder it seems for my comp right now but he is doing pretty good.  We went and got ice cream the other night even though it was way cold. 
             The other night the rama did a dinner we ate locro which is a soup with beans and chorizo and cow parts, it was way good.  Apparantley they eat it on their Day of Independance which was the 25th of May. A lot of the elders in the rama spent a long time making a ton of it and less than 15 people showed up, part of which was bad announcing and also just because people don't show up.
              Tomorrow we will be eating with a guy who is a member and his girlfriend is not.  They have two kids together but it seems like after his 18 years of inactivity he forgot that getting married is a commandment because they don't have much interest in doing so.
              I have been reading a lot latley I am in Helamen 8 in the BOM and reading about 4 chapters a day. I'm also about 90 pages away from finishing Jesus the Christ, which if you haven't read I would recommend it.  I have learned so much about our Savior. 
              On Sunday morning we went to a ladys house who's son is a member, to walk with her to church. She said she would be there but following the norm she wasn't home.  So we went to church alone this Sunday.  We did the sacrament like normal, and sat on the stand to do so.  My comp has a really hard time staying awake during church.  Being that we were on the stand all the members saw, and now he is pretty much known as "the sleepy missionary."  Another lady in the rama, Hermana Pacheko, recently moved back to Malargue from Mendoza Centro, she has been good to get us references and tomorrow we will go to see some of them.
              There is another lady in the ward, Herman Perez, who is pretty old, she washes all our clothes and sews what is torn.  She also cooks for us on Wednesdays.  She always fills the same pot with a bunch of good food and bread and we go to her house to pick it up.  She likes to make cards for people and said she could do one for me before I leave, we will see.  She has a dog that always has a hoody on.  My favorite thing to do is pull the hoody over the dogs face so it can't see;  it's funny to watch it try and figure out where it is and how to take the hood off.
              We have also been visiting a lot of people that are inactive.  Lots of them just slam the door on us and tell us they left the church and are testigos or evangelicals.  Many don't go to church because they let themselves be offended.  We ran into one lady the other night who told us she got baptized 5 years ago and after the baptism stopped going because of complications with her family and the religion.  Then her husband got a disease, which made her have to start working and have less time for the church.  But she was super nice and said she would love to go back to the church again.  We will visit her this coming weekend and see if she really has the desires to go to church. 
                I have had more meals in this area than any other area too.  We eat with members almost everyday of the week, which is nice with our money and then we actually get to eat something good instead of the noodles that us missionaries can make.
                It's pretty cold in the mornings and at night in our pension.   Apparantley we aren't allowed to use the gas heaters when we are asleep.  There is really no point in turning them on for an hour at night and a few hours in the morning.  We have a little electric heater that we turn on in the room before we go to bed and in the study room in the morning and it works pretty good.  I mostly eat cereal in the morning, corn flakes with added sugar.
                 We are also planning on starting English lessons some time this week.  A lot of the members have shown interest and my comp said he did it in his last area.  I'm not really sure how to teach English, but it can't be that hard.  We will see how it all works out.
                 It's been pretty fun with Elder Stufflebeam; the last week we have brought up some funny memories from the MTC and people that we knew there.  That's the part I liked most of the MTC-all the other people.  The best part was right before bed when we got to relax a little and just talk.
     This week I had two other cool experiences one was we talked to an atheist for about an hour, he was way nice and he just enjoyed talking on the subject.  We left him with a Book of Mormon and he said he would read it.  We got to the point that he said he could be wrong.  I asked him how he would feel if he got to the next life and he found out there is a God and how he would feel being the main example for his daughter, because she is atheist too.  It's pretty sad to think that he doesn't believe in something more.
     My other experience was with a Testigo de Jehova, it got me kind of mad.  The first thing he said to me was,  "How many books are in Psalms?"   I of course had no idea and said,  "What does that have to do with anything?"   He said,  "How can you preach if you don't know these things?"  I told him that we will not be judged by our knowledge of the Bible but by how we apply it to our lives.  I bore my testimony and wasn't going to mention Joseph Smith, but for some reason I blurted his name, so I thought it must have been for a purpose and bore my testimony of the restoration, which was the good part.  Among other things, I told him he was like a pharisee, and that counting the books in the Bible has no purpose.  That we would be judged on our actions.
     Well im pretty sure this is the longest letter that I have ever written and perhaps may ever write. I hope ya'll enjoy it. 
     I am so grateful that you are all in the gospel, it has been such a blessing to me in my life.  There are lots of people who don't have that benefit.  You have all been great examples to me.  I am grateful to you, Mom and Dad for teaching me, and raising me how you did.  I am grateful for our Savior and his teachings and the prophets that we have today. 
Elder Wharton

May 23, 2011

     So transfers came, and I'm staying in Malargue and my new comp is Elder Stufflebeam, we were in the MTC together. We will learn alot because we have the same time in the Mission.
    I'm pretty sure we will be able to baptize this family of four.  They should be gettting married in a few weeks and then baptized.   They are awesome and we have seen such a change in them.  We had tacos at there house the other night and my comp played the guitar a bit for them.  The dad, Andres gave us a letter thanking us for sharing the gospel with them.  He is way awesome and the letter is way awesome too.  Other than that there is not much work in the area.  The elders that were there before didn't do much apparantly so we need to find a bunch of news, so we can have people to visit and to teach.  There are some really sweet people in the branch.  The president is a stud a lot of his family is inactive including his wife who wants nothing to do with the church.  But he is always cleaning the church or in his office studying the scriptures or visting members.  He has only been a member for like 5 years.
      I loaded more pictures up to costco under transfer 4 there are pictures of gauchos, Los Catillos de Pincheira (rock formation), and the family that we are teaching, the kids are way sweet.  This letter will be pretty short but hope the pictures make up for it.
Elder Wharton
p.s. When is Fathers Day?

Friday, June 17, 2011

May 16, 2011-Malargue

Hey Dad,
     I heard it was your birthday and it sounds like you had a pretty good time hiking for your b-day.  It sure looked sweet from the pictures I saw.   For p-day today we helped a member take some logs for firewood out to one of his houses out in the campo.  I think they have about 7 turkeys out there and a bunch of chickens some horses and chivos.  Afterwards, the member took us on a drive to see some of the pretty landscape.  We saw a real guacho out herding his chivos.  I put some pictures of him up on the website. I am uploading the pictures to the Transfer 4 album.    
     It's looking like we are going to baptize a family this month.  They need to get married first but they are excited and want to get married and  baptized.  Their last name is Sepulveda, and I think mom has relatives named Sepulveda.  They are really poor and super awesome.  This week we are going to make tacos at their house.
       The work here in Malargue is kind of slow.  Oh,  I ate asado 2 x in the last three days.  The first one I ate more blood sausage and decided it's not too bad, but it's not really good either.  I like chivo, carne and normal chorizo.
        We just walk. I dont think they will ever give us bikes.   But we will be getting a new mission president in about 7 weeks.
        Spanish is still coming along.  I think it might be harder for me than a lot of other people, but oh well.  I've got a lot of time to practice.
       I'm not sure if the pictures will load; the computer here sucks!
but I will try next week if not.
Elder Wharton