Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Sick Comp / World Cup

June 15

Okay so yes it is Monday so that means it is PDay!

This week has been difficult.  My companion and I are not getting along very well.  I feel like my companion does not want to go out and work.  He will go because he knows that he has to but is having a hard time putting forth much effort.  But we are working on things.

Cooking Lunch
We had a leccion with our investigator that came to church and she was asking a ton of questions - like a ton!  But I was giving her answers by asking questions back to her.  But not sure if she will keep coming.  She told us that she doesn't want us to look for her.  Just if she feels something like going to church she will come.  She wants to just do it on her own.  But we plan to pass by another time and help her along.  I explained to her that we are here to help people come unto Christ not to make them.  We will do everything to help you out to receive an answer to your prayers.  She had a hard time understanding, but we will see what happens.

My comp has a problem with his foot.  It has been going on for about 5 months.  We headed up to the doctor in Resistnecia to see if he could help.  We always go to the "rich" hospital and its like 200 peso for a 5 minute interview.  The doctor ordered a test so we had to go look for another place.  Found it but the place was  closed be cause of the siesta.  So we headed to the mission office where Elders work on visas.  My good friend Elder Ratliff is there so I helped him pack things in boxes to send out to other areas of the mission.  We went back to the doctor to set up an appointment for the test.  We got a call a couple of days later to tell us the machine was broke so we weren't able to keep the appointment.  My comp got sick that same day.  We had to stay in the whole day.  Woke up the next day and comp still sick.  Had to stay in the pension the whole day.  That was tough for me.  But I made banana bread and I ate it all.  Yeah fatty.  My comp was sick for 4 days.  Lets just say I was dying a little bit every day.  We didn't get a chance to look for people to go with us to church due to my comp being sick.

Burning Dad's Ornament - Growing mold!
World Cup is going on.  They have all the games scheduled in the paper with a big score card to keep track of everything.  I have members help me out with how wins and loses.  All of the Elders call me and ask me who won and lost.  My comp doesn't enjoy soccer.  I tried explaining it to him, but he doesn't get it.  Today Matia invited us over to have some food.  We made empenadas which were great.  Matia had the game on while we were making the food.  We watched Germany v Portugal.  Matia is just the best person ever.

This week we have to go to Resistencia for our meetings and maybe for the doctor again.  Next week we will meet to say goodbye to President Heyman.  That will be fun.   Loved the pictures of Danny and of all the cousins at the BBQ.  My throat hurts but is better.  I have a stuffy nose but got something for that.  It is cold sometimes but we have a little heter in our room now so that is good.  Love ya all and hope everything is going well for you guys.


Finally Investigators!

June 3

Just read the about Gary's Wedding . . . really touched me.

Right now it is only cold if you are not in the sun.  A miembro gave me a sweater so don't worry.

This week was tough.  But we have found some people to teach.  We have talked to soooo many people.  We found one person.  We pass by her house all the time.  We passed by and this young mom with a boyfriend and brothers and hija were there.  The boyfriend did not want to hear.  He just made his Mate (tea).  But during the leccion everything was great.  She really felt the espiritu!  When I was telling her about las familias she was like I was waiting for something like this to come.  Yes!!!!  Finally found someone to teach and progress.  We passed by again another day and the boyfriend and some of the other familia wanted to hear this time.  We left some things to read for the family.  Explained to them to keep los madamientos de Dios and the you will have a great familia.  She said that she wanted to come to church, but she didn't wake up in time to come.  WHY??????  But we passed by Domingo and she was really sick so that is why she didn't come.  Is hard to see that.
Storm coming in

This other person that we found has a huge familia. They liked how I talked so I was able to teach really well.  But they didn't come to church because they don't trust their neighbors when they are not at home.  The neighbor's mom died so they will just come into the house and make themselves at home.

So my throat is still bad.  The doctor said not to talk for two days.  That is bad.  So I started with no talking on Tuesday and ended on Thursday.  I communicated with my comp by testing on the phone and showing it to him.  So this was the first time that my comp had to do everything.  He was nervous teaching the lessons.  He was getting stuck quite a bit with the teaching so I texted the leccion and he relayed it to our investigator.  Was tough not to talk.  Had some tough questions to answer from the investigators.  That was day one.  The next day was worse.  People were asking really hard questions and just took a long time to write and answer them.  But my voice is getting better.  The doctor said with time it will be better.

Transfers are this week.  We will get the call tomorrow, but tonight Matia invited us over to the house to chill for a bit.  That will be fun.  Our duenos we will visit tomorrow and out good familia Caballero we will also visit.  I will send pictures next time.  Franco is cleaning my memory card right now and hopefully the bugs will all be out.  It rained a lot lately.  I have two more months until I change out my shoes and start wearing a new pair.  My shoes have small holes in them but I wear little plastic bags inside.  I have been getting lazy working out in the morning but that will change.  My comp doesn't want to run in the mornings so that has been tough.

We are going to Walmart again tomorrow and I need to get some things.  This will be our last Reunion de Distrito in Resistencia.  Send me pictures and let me know how Danny's homecoming goes.  Miss him!  Love ya all.  Have fun with work and love ya!!!


Sunday, July 13, 2014

Freezing Water Warm Feeling

May 26

Flying with Harry Potter
Comp, Fabian, Me, Matia
Okay this week was good.  We have teaching Fabian.  The amigo de Matia.  We have been meeting with him everyday cause this is his baptismal week.  Our zone leaders came down for the interview with Fabian.  I paired up with Elder Galindo and we went to do the entrevista.  Fabian has really changed.  He really came to see how much he has changed during the interview.  So on Saturday Fabian was ready to be baptized.  We met with Fabian at the house of Matia at 4.  Because we met so early we had some time.  It was the Champions League Soccer Final, Real Madrid v Aletico Madrid.  We just had to watch it.  The game was so exciting.  It ended in a tie so there was suppose to be over time, but we had to leave to walk to the church so we missed the end.  The other elders de la Leonesa told us all about it.  Love soccer!  We arrived at the church and was great.  Fabian was really really nervous but was ready.  The water was freezing.  I thought it was going to be okay when I stuck my hand in but when I got in all the way it was really cold.  Fabian had chosen me to baptize him.  My arm was shaking and I had never said the prayer soo fast.  I dunked him and he came up with a huge smile on his face.  Made me feel better about the cold.  After Fabian forgot a towel so I gave him mine and I used it after and was cold.  After we had to walk back to Las Palmas - just the wind chill kills ya!!!

Its getting pretty cold over here.  Gets 7C but I found a sweater and the duenos gave me one without sleeves so I wear that too undermeath.

Sunday came along and we usually take turns who goes first in the shower.  So was my comp turn first.  He takes about an hour shower so I always have to hurryt.  Was about 7:10 when I heard him finish and we needed to leave at 7:50.  So I got up to get ready.  When I looked at the door handle it was broken.  He was locked in the bathroom!!!!  NOOOOOO!!!!  So for 30 minutes I was trying to get him out.l  I was close to kicking the door down like Matt Damon in Bourne Identity, but I cvalled Franco and he came up with his brother to break him out.  They tried everything.  Looked funny cause the looked like 2 robbers trying to break in.  Finally they just broke the door and got him out.  So now it is 8:45 and chruch starts at 9 and its a 30 minute walk.  Hurried and got ready and another missionary called me from the La Leonesa and told me Fabian was not at church.  We had to run over to Fabian's house.  Matia was over there and waiting for him to come.  Fabian had slept in but got up and quickly got ready.  We had to speed walk to church.  My comp was having a hard time keeping up so he would run ahead of me and walk then I would pass him and we kept doing that the whole way.  We got to church at 9:50 and at the last second was able to confirm Fabian.

Warm Feet
In our pension you can see your breath.  So I got a brilliant idea to turn on the stove to dry my shoes.  I turned it on and held my shoes over the fire to get them warm.  Really worked but my comp doesnt' like it.  But we have had to do it the past couple of nights.  Its cold here but our good familia Caballero always lets us in.  She is like my other mom here!

I called Herman Heyman about my throat.  Its been bad.  She suggested we come to Resistencia to see the doctor.  We went down and ended up staying at the pension of the lideres and Elder Creer.  They don't have appointments set at the doctors office.  You just show up and they will see you when they can.  We waited for a bit.  As you know when you are sitting anywhere in Argentina there is a dog sitting under the chair.  The same is true at the doctor's office.  The doctor called me in and told me to quit talking for 2 days.  So for two days I am not going to say anything and my comp will have to do it all.  That should be interesting.  I had to get a shot too.  I acted like the shot was killing me and it kinda scared the nurse.  It really didn't hurt at all.  She laughed with me.

This week will go by fast.  Getting along with the comp but he steals my food all the time.  He always denies that he is taking it but I can always get him to confess.  I just laugh it off.  I am getting to be a good cook.  I cook for both of us.  Comp doesn't even try.  Things are good here.  Love you all.  Til next week!


A Little Homesick

May 19

So another week is down.  Everything has been going so fast.  I hate seeing people come home.  It was very tough to see Hunter leave.  It was so tough reading Hunter's note that he left for me.  It brought tears to my eyes.  I hope the others can make it out here with me.

This week we had a multi conference zone.  We left to Resistencia.  We heard a mensaje from Pres Heyman about the Espiritu Santo and just soo many good things.  Everyone we asking really deep questions.  Pres answered everything for us.

After we had huge sandwiches.  They were really good.  I saw my good old best pal Elder Menjivar from Reconquista.  He is about to end his mision in 2 transfers but told me to keep in touch.  It was good to sit by him and talk to him about a lot of stuff.  He is just like a good friend that I would hang out with at home.  We had sandwiches, watched a slide show and then played bingo.  Hermana Heyman always does stuff like that.

I still don't have a voice.  It has been 2 weeks now.  I called our area doctor and he told me to buy this pill and just give it time.  It is tough cause I want to talk.

This week was hard.  I was thinking about home way too much.  We couldn't find anyone to teach and half of our investigators died.  The end of the week was the hardest.  Came home Thursday night and had to plan.  My comp does not participate.  He just sits and waits for me.  But I was planning and I just couldn't find anyone.  Our hours were blank - like nothing.  I told my companion alright we will be walking alot tomorrow to try and find people.  He just said okay but I know that he hates it.  During these days we walked and walked.  No one would let us in.  I was getting sooo mad.  One lady was being soo rude and kids heckling us.  Was tough.  Was thinking while I was walking that I could just come home and it would be so nice and easy.  Wouldn't have to do this.  I felt the same on Friday and Saturday.  But later on Saturday we went to Matias.  After that it was so hot and still couldn't find anyone.  I just wanted to stop.  I wanted this transfer to be over.  I am ready to leave this area.  But then I started thinking.  I need to be here.  I need to help these people that don't have anything in their life.  I want to get this language down.  So I got myself back up, I put my head forward and then thought about all those times in soccer and basketball and football when I was hating life.  I could remember those good times in sports even though there were some really tough times.  I remembered a lot of lessons learned about tough times.  I picked myself up when all my thoughts were of home.  I just decided to talk as best as I could with the voice that I have right now and move on.  People have a harder time understanding me but I thought to myself look how far you have come - why quit now.  This is a new week and we are looking forward to 2 baptisms.  I just need to enjoy the things we have and not the things we want and don't have.

Sunday came and it was good.  Monday came and we found a mother and daughter.  I think the daughter is more interested in me than the gospel but hopefully they can progress.  Matia told us that he has been keeping Fabian under his wing and Fabian has not been smoking.  Unfortunately Nilda has smoked twice so we will have to put her off for a while.

It sounds like everyone is doing great.  tell SJ to keep up the good work and have fun with soccer.  I am glad dad is having fun with the Mountain Men stuff.  I tell people over here about it and they think he is a cowboy but more super.  I always laugh.

Until Next week - Chau

Moving Day

May 12

Thanks for the great Skype really made my day so much better.  Its amazing to see all of you guys.  Everyone is really changing and growing up.  It is weird to see the time flying by.  In 8 months I will be able to see you all again and talk.

Last week we had nothing.  I mean like nothing to do.  No Reuniones de Ditrito or anything.  Some days were long but not I look back and really time flew by.  We are teaching Fabian and Nilda that are going to get baptized on the 24th of Mayo.   So that is good.

Nilda is having trouble leaving her smokes but we have found seeds that you chew and she is getting better with that.  She came to church so she is ready to be baptized.  This week she will be in Resistencia for some reason so we will have to wait for her to get back.  But she is ready.  She has a niece that gives me little things everytime I go over.  They range from little candies to little toys.  I have been adding to my collection.

Fabian went strong all week.  We kept passing by and bringing Matias with us so we had a member with us.  Fabian wants to get baptized but tells us that it is hard to drop smoking cause his younger brother smokes.  Those two are always together.  This week he will spend a lot of time with Matia so that will be a good influence.  Had a great leccion with Fabian on Domingo.  I had studied right before meeting with him about the iron rod and staying on track.  So I talked to him about that and then the plan of salvation.

Matia and I are having a race to see who can read the Libro De Mormon first.  If I wing he will make a asado and if he wins he gets a new tie from me.  He needs the tie.

We met a lady that is young and has a familia.  Her name is Patricia.  She doesn't have clocks or calendars in her house.  We had taught her one lesson and then she told us she was moving.  We told her we could help out.  We got to wear normal clothes for the day. It felt weird, didn't love the style I was rockin but I can live with it.  We got over there and there was a huge truck to put all of her stuff in. We loaded everything in.  No order to the moving.  It would have driven dad nuts.  But we finally got her packed up.  The move was about 5 minutes away from where she lives now.  We start going in the truck and then the driver gets all nervous and just stops the truck.  He is looking around panicked.  He finally asked if either of us knew how to drive a truck.  I thought, well, I do know how but I don't want to drive this huge truck.  My comp said no.  The truck guy looked right at me and asked me to drive - something just blurted out yeah.  The guy gave me a quick lesson because it was different then the cars I have driven before.  He said things I didn't understand.  I was just watching his hands.  My comp was freaking out and couldn't watch.  The truck driver got out and hung on to the side of the truck, and just watched so things wouldn't fall out.  So off we went.  Just as we started out there was a speed bump so I just put it in neutral and coasted.  Looked back and the truck guy flew up in the air when we hit the bump.  He was screaming so I took it that I needed to put it in a lower gear.  So the next speed bump I put it in the lower gear - just grinded the crap out of it.  Ahh that is bad - but it was all good.  Had to make a turn.  Did that part great.  Then the next turn was tight.  In my head I was like oh crap I don't think I can do this.  So I just thought to myself hey we got to do this so just go for it.  Boom hit the turn really fast and I kind of tail whipped the guy in the back.  He was hanging on for dear life.  He said some words that I didnt understand again.  Finally got to the house.  Just put it in park and told the guy in the back that he had better back it up.  The guy just smiled - It was great.

We all helped unload.  We each got assigned different jobs.  I was assigned to make the bunk beds.  okay had no idea what I was doing, but hey its all good.  They can sleep in a slant - its good for your back.  Then there was a big pile of sand that needed to be moved.  One bucket and only one shovel.  Comp couldn't do it.  He was too hot he said.  So I just moved this huge mound by myself and got it done.  Finally we finished and walked back to the apartment.

It was the birth of Las Palmas so there was a huge party.  Told my comp we needed a pictures.  We really couldn't go in but could see alot of cultural things going on.

Hope you guys had a good week and love hearing everything.
Love you all til aproximo semana!


Thursday, April 10, 2014

Conference / Some AC

April 6

Sarah is getting married?  Really had no idea that was going on but that is exciting.  I bet Laurie will throw a bumpin party for that!

Okay so this week was really busy.  We had stuff going on everyday of the week.  Monday was PDay.  Martes came and we had to go up to Resistencia for a Reunion de Distrito.  Was good.  One of my good buds in the office so I got to see him again.  He was in the same pension as I was when we lived in Santa Fe.  Our hours have changed back to the regular schedule.  We get up at 6:30 and study all morning then leave for an hour then come back at lunch and leave at 130 during La Siesta.  It is so hot - it really is terrible some days.  We hit bed about 1030.
We had a great conference.  We met up with one of the Lideres de Zona.  His name is Elder Creer.  He is about 6'3'' and so funny.  The leaders have a nice place to live in.  Their area they teach in is really run down and people like to rob the missionaries.  I decided not to take my backpack with me when we visited.  I just took my  Libro De Mormon and folletos  The kids on the street like to say stuff to us but no problems.  At the end of the day we went to a members house.  When we left the husband had to walk us past this road cause it is where the kids hang out and rob people.  Nothing came of it.

The next day was good.  I had to use a leader's hat because it was sooooo hot during La Siesta.  Got up to 36C.  We were walking down this dirt road.  About 20 feet ahead of us was a horse eating grass.  He was tied up.  Then a little ways down there was another road.  As I was walking down the left side of the road I saw 2 people come out.  They had on nice clothes like us but was a man and a woman.  I was thinking that they were JWs.  I looked down the street to see if there was an Iglesia (church).  Elder Creer and I were right next to each other.  I started to slow down right as the JWs were walking past and just as that moment the horse decided to kick its back legs.  It kicked its legs right between us.  I am talking right between us.  You could put two fists between us.  The horse actually scraped my arm with his leg.  If the horse would have made contact I would have broken my arm.  This really taught me that Dios is looking over us every minute and will help us out in strange ways.  Even if he sends JWs that makes me look down the street out of curiosity to make me stop right at the split second I need to.

Conferencia General came around the corner really fast.  We did a lot of walking on Saturday before conference.  During the first session we had a young kid named Ismael that is going to get baptized that was coming to watch conference with us.  We had to walk all the way down to the church.  So we picked him up on the way.  It got up to 39C (102F) and Ismael couldn't make it.  I was proud that he made it as far as he did.  But I didn't want to be late to conference.  I wanted to see if Pres. Monson was going to make some crazy announcement again.  We were about 10 mins away and it was about 3 mins before it was suppose to start.  I said okay, get on my back.  I picked that kid up and ran . . . made it on time.  I just went in and found a fan and sat right in front of it.  Really loved conference could really relate to everything they spoke about regarding missions.  Ismael got squirmy.  I gave him one of my sandwiches to make him quiet.

After it was over we started to walk back.  It was really hot.  About half way I decided to try to hitch hike our way back.  A truck stopped . . . it was during La Siesta and usually nobody is out.  It was a nice ride.  We dropped off Ismael and got dropped off at our pension.  We stayed over night at the other missionary's pension since it was closer.  We hitch hiked again, and we were so lucky we got a ride there too.  Liliana is our other investigator that is suppose to be baptized this week.  She came to the next session with us.  I am not going to tell you what I liked about conference because that would take a whole letter in itself.

I got to talk to Renfro!  He called.  He was in Resistencia with my zone leaders watching conference!  Ahhhh was good to hear what is up.

After the first session had about an hour.  I said okay we are keeping the tradition alive and go out and buy some food or ice cream or something.  The other Elder are from Buenos Aires and don't get why we wanted to get food.  I was like everyone in the US buys food and need to make this a fun night.  They still didn't get it but we found some ice cream to buy.  Got the ice cream and ran back to the church.  Had to hurry so we were jumping over dogs and running through the bushes.  Got to keep it fun.  Sacerdocio was de died!!!!  Uchtodorf's talk was really good and Pres. Monson's was really just what everyone needed to hear.  Those 2 talks were great.

The next day we didn't have food for lunch.  We found some arroz and just had that.  We went over to Domingo session and that was good.  Afterwards we were just sitting there and dying in the heat.  We went in the President's office, took a nap with the AC on!  AHHHHHH!  Really loved hearing conference during the mission!!  After we walked home and cooked so much food cause we were starving!

Today was my comp's birthday so we just bought some ice cream and relaxed.  It has been so hot here and I thought it was getting into winter.  We had interviews with President on Friday.  We went back to Resistencia and bought facturas.  They are like little doughnuts but smaller.  The President just told me that I was in Las Palmas for a reason and to keep teaching.

Mom could you send me more fotos of the familia?  Someone took all my pictures.  Don't know who would do that, but its kind of funny.  Just need pics so I can show people.

Thanks.  Love you all


Sunday, April 6, 2014

Starving Missionaries

         March 30

Well hello familia Wester,

Thats how the people say my name. 

Well umm this week was calm nothing really big happened. Let me think.. really nothing happened this week so this might be a lame letter... okay so we started off with just going out and teaching our people that are getting ready to get baptized. Most of them are kids like 9 to 12 years old.  Hey, if they can get a testimonio then they are ready for bapitsm. Our investigator, Liliana, didn't come to church so she has to come to church next week to get bapitzed. She is the one that we have been seeing and she has a testimonio of the church so I don't sé why she didnt come.. we will pass by today.

We had a lección with one of our kids.. His name is Gaston. We have taught him every lección in the book so he just needs to come to church.  We stopped by his house and he was up, but he didn't want to wake up his parents to let them know he was leaving the house.  He let us in his backyard to wait. He had a look on his face like I can't go and I don't want to tell you that I can't come. We waited for about 30mins and now we were going to be late for church again.We told him we were going to pick up another kid and we would come back. SO this other kid is 9 and he cant really read or anything but he loves us and the church so why not. He was waiting for us outside shooting rocks at cabillos and trees. He was worried we were not going to come. Swung back to Gaston and he told us that his parents said no that he couldn't come with us. I think he lied but its all good we will talk to his paretns on Martes to see if he can really come to church or something. Walked 30mins to church and I had to give a talk.. wow thanks for giving me a heads up on being prepared, but that is what the misión is about suprises.. but its all good. I gave a talk on faith and the talk that Eyring gave.. Mountians to climb. Wasn't bad just gave some quotes and told a story that I saw about a USC professor. Some people could understand me and others not so much.. Ismael (the 9 year old) was doing good until Sacerdocio.. he got all poudy and I had to take care of him.. he didn't want to be in there and then his pen broke and he started crying. He kept looking at me when his pen broke and tryin to get my atención to confrot him or something.. but I thought to myself I am just going to ignore him and he will stop.. It worked finally. He stopped crying and got him in for the last 10mins. Matia the big guy got the Aronic Sacerdocio too so he is going to baptize Ismael.

Was the end of the week and end of the month so we had no food at all.... for a couple of days we just had rice and eggs and sometimes just rice and what ever we could find cause we ran out of money for some reason.. but now we have food and money.. we were just throwing whatever we could find with the rice. Our dueños had a Asado (bbq) going so I thought to myself.. I will get their atención and they will give us some.. I was up in the window trying my hardest but I couldnt get their attention… darn! Then our lighter ran out that we have to use to lite the stove. Was Domingo so couldnt go out and buy one.. was thinking hard.. I thought that our neighbors had one. They haven't been home for like a month now.  I went out on our balcony and jump over to theirs. I looked at the sliding doors and knew doors aren't that good and you could just slide it open. I pushed up on the door and pop, it opened right up. I was feeling like a theif but we are hungry boys so I jumped over some things on the ground and grabbed their lighter and closed the sliding door. I was talking with my comp and said go return it. But then I couldn't.  The door was stuck.. but said hey its good they always smoke so now we have helped them stop. 

But besides that things are going good this week.  It is Conferencia General this weekend and can't wait for that. We are trying to find ways to watch it in English because its just not the same in spanish.. but we will see. We have entrevistas with Presidente this week too. I think this will be my last interview with the President Heyman until he leaves. 

Hope everyone had a good week and hope SJ had a great birthday.. was thinking about her and hope she had a great day. SJ Feliz culpe años! Hope that you had a good time in Moab and hope that this week was a good birthday week. Was thinking about ya and saw a pic of ya and you have changed into a big girl ahhh its soo weird! You will be driving when I get home!! AHHHH!! But make the most of the time you only live once a wise man said. Love ya hope everything is going good!! As for the rest of the familia love ya all.  Have a good week. Make the most of it!