March 30, 2009

A Bible! A Bible! We already have a Bible! But not a quad... yet.


There’s bunches of newsy stuff this week. The hours have changed again so we’re back to the whole 6:30 dealy. It’s better this way, we were getting back to the apartment about two hours after dark.

General Conference is this weekend with a new Apostle!!! WOOO!!!

Some of the most exciting news for me is this:

This September something new will hit the world. ¡¡¡LA EDICIÓN SUD DE LA BIBLIA!!!

That’s right. The Church is finally releasing our own edition of the Bible in Spanish. This means that Spanish Quads are almost definitely in the future. Maybe that will get Argentine members to read the Bible more. I’m excited for JSTs and BOM footnotes for the second half of my mission.

Like always there was something else I was going to talk about, but I have since forgotten. I’ve been kinda looking at cameras. The one I want most is a Sony and costs roughly 1750 pesos. If this is unreasonable there are other options. I’m not actually looking very hard, but I have realized that I need to get out of the 2 MP crapiness that I am now in. Oh, that little orange jobby is so old it doesn’t recognize 2 GB cards. I think the biggest it’ll take are 512 MB. But the card reader is great.

It’s really interesting for me to hear about things at home such as Paul’s new accordion. I may have to find some Argentine Foklore music for him. That’s right, Argentine folk music uses accordion.

That’s all I’ve got this week.


March 23, 2009

San Martín!

Hellos again!

Well, here I am in a new area with a new companion. My companion is Elder Gardner from Irvine, California. He has two transfers left, and I took his last companion spot in Preach My Gospel, so he hopes I’ll be the last. He also looks somewhat like Neil Steinberg.

Our area we technically opened because it was closed for a transfer. We are in the Ward San Martín I. It’s in the department of San Martín, in the province of Mendoza. It’s a cool little town. Well, little compared to DC. We have pretty much all of the city center. There’s a museum here about General San Martín. From the touristy map I saw it’s a part of his old farm. It’s also one of the places here that makes olive oil. Contrary to my pre-mission belief, olive oil here is very expensive. They pretty much make it only to export. Another reason why the economy here’s not that great, all their products that make the most money they export, so they don’t even support themselves.

We’re in a really new apartment. It’s really small, but perfect for two missionaries. But right now we have four missionaries living there until they get their new apartment. There were going to be six, but there’s no way that could happen. One of the elders living there is Elder Ortiz, from Hawaii. The other is Elder Reynolds. I don’t know where he’s from. This is his second transfer in Argentina. He also served a service mission in Nauvoo. And his uncle is the leader of Enoch Train.

We’re still working on getting to know all the members. We know almost all of the active members, so it’s time to start looking for some investigators too. Apparently the beauty queen of San Martín from this year lives pretty close to us, maybe we’ll convert her. She won the provincial title too.

As for thank-yous for grandparents, that will have to be done through you guys until you give me their address(es).

Ummm…. That’s about it for now. Until next week.

Elder Budge

March 16, 2009

T - 2 Days and Counting

Hellos again.

Congratulations Paul and Kelly on your affirmation of being Ephraimites. It sounds like, from what Mom said, you guys both have more detailed, or at least lengthier, blessings than I. Make sure to read them frequently and apply them as best fits whatever situation, mine has helped me quite a bit.

While popular support of Office 2007 is not great, I take satisfaction that I have helped someone else come to appreciate the navigability and new tools of Word 2007. Mom, may you continue to use it to it’s fullest and learn more of the tricks that it holds.

And now for the news: TRANSFERS!

Transfers are this Wednesday. I’m off to another part. I’ll be opening a new area in Maipú. (Ha ha ha. Maipú. Sounds like “my poo”. He he he.) There, now we’ve gotten all the giggles out. My new area is called San Martín 1. Other than that I really don’t know anything. I’ll tell you more next week.

Not much happened this week. I read quite a few old Liahonas and Ensigns. I found a particularly interesting article in the February 2007 Ensign about archaic interpretations of the parable of the Good Samaritan. I think that I like those old interpretations better than the “moral of the story” interpretations common today. They are roughly as follows: A man (Adam, representing, as is common, all men) goes from Jerusalem, the Holy City with the Temple (the presence of God), to Jericho (the fallen world). He is set upon by thieves and left half-dead (attacked by Satan, sin and vice and suffered the first death: falling from the presence of God). The Law and the Prophets (the Priest and the Levite) are unable to help him recover from his fallen state. But the Samaritan (Jesus Christ) applies his mission and helps the man. The Samaritan takes the man to the inn (the Church) and charges the Innkeeper (head of the Church) to take care of the man until his return (Second Coming). I like this a lot, especially as we mix new and old interpretations and put ourselves in the places of the man, the Samaritan, the Innkeeper and his helpers, respectively.

More next week.

Elder Budge

March 9, 2009

In the Tops of the Hills

Hello hello hello!

This week... I don’t remember what happened this week. All I remember is that it went by very quickly. We had a baptism that went very well. Steven Valot was his name. 21 years old. His family came. We had never met them before. We always taught him at his girlfriend’s house. In part this was because he doesn’t live in our area, he lives just outside. But President said it was okay because he was so close, had fellowship here, and that other ward is not doing so well. So, his family came, and the baptism started very late. To me this is okay because nobody showed up to mine until an hour after it was supposed to start. Or at least this is what I remember. Perhaps I’m bitter because of a fiction... Anyway, we finally did it, and we watched “Finding Faith in Christ” while he changed. The only ones really watching were his parents and sister, but they were the important ones to watch it. I know this because I had to stand next to the TV holding cables in place so that there would be both picture and sound. Both the parents were nodding a lot when the councilor in the Bishopric was talking about investigating the Church. They are from a very nonreligious background. But after the baptism the father said to me “Hey, you’re gonna have to make that font bigger for me.” Clearly implying that he’d like to be baptized. Huzzah! This is why family and friends need to come to baptisms. (Note for further understanding: The father of Steven is rather large.)

Other than that, not much news. The Zone went up in the mountains today, this is why my email is so late. It was fun, a long hike up a steep path. One of the two hermanas didn’t want to finish. The other wanted to be the first up. Finally we all made it. It’s cool, all of the missionaries who were in my district in the MTC except one are in my zone now. Of those in the Zone one didn’t go because he’s in the offices and has P-day on Saturday. It was fun. I got sunburnt. But it’s nowhere near the worst I’ve had. Not even the ones I’ve had in Argentina.

The other week (sorry for the delayed news), we were eating lunch with a member and they had the TV on. So, we had one eye on the food and one on the TV. The news was on and they started talking about and with a young couple. Wanna guess how old? The girl was 16, now guess for the guy. 80? I said a YOUNG couple. Fine, I’ll tell you. He was 13! Ugh! How horrible is that? Just wait, it’s about to get worse. They (the newsy people) were making it out as this great thing, a wonderful achievement. Gack.

As for the shoes, I frequently use two pairs. My brown dockers are reserved pretty much with my brown suit for conferences. I use a black pair that has no insole other than the ones I cannibalized from my Deer Stags. They are still in pretty much working order except they are not waterproof in the least and the sole is loose around the edges. The other pair, the newer pair, is a pair of brown slip-ons. They would still be great, but the sole of the left one is cracking just like the Deer Stags did. The crack isn’t as deep yet, but I think that it is slowly growing.

And the camera, it should be fairly easy getting a decent camera here. I just have to look at them. There is a sony cibershot here that costs somewhere around $1534 or something like that. But remember that that’s pesos. That is the most expensive one, I think. But I don’t particularly feel like getting one now, maybe in a few weeks. I also don’t much like the idea of having to pay to take it out of Argentina. That is the problem if I buy one here.

Well, until next week,


March 2, 2009

A Mantis! A Mantis! A Mantis Tonight!


Last night we had a close encounter with a praying mantis. Elder Gonzalez had a closer encounter than I. He was about to turn on the water to wash dishes, but there was the mantis, sitting on the faucet. He called me out, and we looked at it for a while. It was covered in dust, looked more like a weird mutant dust bunny-mantis thing. It didn’t care about us much, too bothered by the dust and cleaning itself. When finally clean we learned something interesting: Mantises (Manti? I really don’t know what the plural would be) fly. We got it on the ground where it finished cleaning itself, then flew back up to the sink. Elder Gonzalez kept trying to get decent pictures of it, but was too scared that it would fly at him. Finally I provoked it and it ran up the wall. We opened the door with the plan to proad it off of the ceiling and to get it to fly out the door. This plan worked rather well. Until, when halfway to the door, the mantis caught sight of the most recent proader, dressed in bright yellow and orange, and changed course. It landed on Elder Gonzalez’s side, and he ran screaming into the bedroom where he began beating himself with a towel. This was a bad idea as that room has no light whatsoever and if the mantis got loose we would never find it again. Fortunately it rode out the storm and stayed on his shirt. I got him outside and brushed the mantis off. All in all a rather entertaining way to end the night.

Yeah, all the pics are gone minus the few that I emailed home. I guess the first third of my mission will just have to live in my memory, no pictures.

The chiropracty is because I told the mission nurse that I was having trouble sleeping in part of stress and a very lousy matress. She reccommended that I see Elder Jarvis, the chiropractor. So, I am. And I’m loosening up. I’m sure you remember how tense and everything my back was before the mission. And I have a nice new mattress to replace the horrible one. Huzzah!

A note of warning from a member in the ward at Estanzuela. Do not clean your microwave oven with steel wool. It will only end with an electrical storm withing your microwave.

I’m beginning to forget about the season change. I read that school was cancelled for Monday, and thought to myself “Huh? But school STARTS today. Hm…. Oh yeah! It’s still winter there, school’s in the middle.” Yes, school here started today. Woohoo! That means I’ve been here all Summer break. Wow.

There is a zone-wide activity this Wednesday. A sort of grand open house type jobby that is happening the same night in every chapel in the stake. And it has successfully helped estrange us from the branch. We were advised at Zone Confrerence, all of a week and a half before the proposed activity. We were supposed to get some sort of public official to come and talk as a hook. We asked the firefighters to come talk about fire prevention and to water the grass for everyone to watch. They haven’t gotten back to us. I very much get the impression that this activity will only be a success for the Zone Leaders. They had been planing with adequate time, and have a speaker (relative of someone) who can come anytime. The firemen can only come at 5 PM. The issue of planning time was brought up at Zone Conference, but the ZLs answered with “What? Don’t you have faith, Elder?” I absolutely have faith in an activity of this sort. But, I also know that for success in this stuff it needs full involvement of the wards/branches. Our branch has refused to participate. Our ward mission leader flat out told us that we couldn’t do it and that he’d talk with the bishop.

Thus is my life right now. We (hopefully) have a baptism this Saturday. Elder Gonzalez has been going around advertising it to everyone in the ward. Before the convert has even had his interview. A rather rash thing to do, I think. But I have noticed that he likes to do things last minute. Especially the important things like baptismal interviews. Oh well, what can I do, he’s senior comp. It’s his decision.

‘Till next week,