December 28, 2009

Gospel Principles


So, like Dad said, not much to say after having talked on Friday. Nothing really new. Some exciting news on investigator fronts, though. Carlos Santana came to Church. His wife and children did not because of illness or something of the sort. He really enjoyed it. Turns out that he is the former boss of about half of the active members, so he felt at home. The lesson in Gospel Priciples was “Exaltation” and proved interesting. Carlos was there, as were an investigator of the other Elders and a young couple that has been baptized for a few months and just come here for the Summer. I was watching Carlos carefully to see how he would react to things in the lesson such as “in exaltation we become gods” and “God was once a man like us.” Some of those truly unique doctrines that are fun to find in the Gospel Principles book. He didn’t seem too upsetted by them, just had a look of “wow, I’ve never thought of that before.” I hope we can get him and his family baptized before he moves.

We have another investigator named Marcia. Her mother recently died and she has found our meetings very helpful. She even told us that she knows the Church is true and that she wants to be baptized. She understands that you have to go to Church first, though. This is the problem. She feels bad about going to Church because her mother died hating the Church. She said that one day she’ll get over that, but doesn’t know when. All we can do now is pray that that day is sooner than later.

I was very excited on Sunday when we got the new Gospel Principles manual. I’m so happy that it is half the size of the old one. I honestly don’t know how Priesthood/Relief Society will be studying it for two years. I checked the last lesson to see if there were many changes, and they cut down an 18-point list of things that you need to do to reach exaltation to 10 points. A happy change.

Well, that’s all for this week. Next week I may have transfers news.


December 21, 2009

Sun Fun


In the words of the Red Barron to Snoopy: “Merry Christmas my friend!” That song was stuck in my head this morning, by the way.

So, not too much happened this last week. The biggest news is that Elder Tillery has about finished his World of Warcraft Risk game. We play it on P-days and during the siesta sometimes. It’s pretty good; an interesting twist on Risk.

Other than that there was a lot of walking, and not a lot of teaching. This week is the Christmas party. That should be fun. And then, of course, I’ll be calling you guys on Friday. I will buy a phone card in Mendoza and use that to call, they don’t sell international cards in Malargüe for some reason. I’ll be calling at sometime during the afternoon, not exactly sure when. But, if you’re snowed in, you should be home anyway, right?

It’s getting hot here. I'm tanner than I've ever been. Mostly the sun is killing me, there is such little atmosphere here. That’s why one of the world’s most important observatories for studying cosmic rays is here. We’re actually going there this evening.

Not much else to talk about. Nothing really new here.


December 14, 2009

Oh Well

Hey all.

We had a decent week this week. We got four new investigators. One of them is Carlos Santana. No, he does not play the guitar. Unfortunately he and his wife are moving to another part this week, so we don’t get to baptize them. Sigh. They’re very interested and a whole family. I haven’t baptized one of those yet. Oh well, the important part is that they get baptized.

The other investigators are not so prepared. One amazing lady refuses to go to Church because of something in her past. Sadly, I don’t think I can help her get past it much. Then the other guy is the typical, probably won’t progress type, we’ll see.

Not much else going on. The Christmas party is next week, so that means fun sandwiched between two six-and-a-half hour trips. Oh well. That seems to be the phrase of the day: “oh well”.

I really can’t think of what else to say. One of the elders in San Rafael got Risk for Christmas. It’s a really weird version that looks rather communist.

As for Christmassy stuffs here, Argentina just does not have the Christmas Spirit at all, so no concerts or other such goodness. All there is is fake snow and santas all over the place. Just commercialism.

I plan on (tomorrow because today I’m in San Rafael) buying a copy of “Martín Fierro” that has a wooden cover. It costs about 70 dollars, but I’m going to try to work the price down. I figured that a nice copy of the only cultural thing to come out of Argentina would be a good souvenier. And it has an English translation in the back so you could read it if you wanted to (or if you could read the small print).


December 9, 2009

Zone Conference

Hellos again!

Well, I’m writing late this week. We had Zone Conference on Monday. That was really good. They tried some new formatting stuff and, well, it was a change. Not sure if it was good or bad yet, or even if I liked it. The worst part is that it is in San Rafael. It’s the closest city, but it’s 3 hours away. Ugh.

We decided that we would work yesterday and take P-day today, but then Elder Tillery got sick from eating something at Zone Conference, so we barely even worked and are only taking P-day until the end of the siesta. We figured any points of interest would be closed yesterday for the Day of the Immaculate Conception. Surprisingly, many stores here were open. One of the perks of being in a tourist trap town, I guess. I am still unsure of the origins of the Immaculate Conception, however. Was it the conception of Christ, meaning that Mary had a 23 month or 20 day pregnancy, or was it the conception of Mary even though the bible says who her father was?

So, we’re on the hunt. Investigators are scarce here, and everyone has been talked to by the missionaries. They all think that knowing the only dentist in town (a member) is good enough. Gack. But we are also hunting for white elephant gifts for the Christmas party. Well, I am anyway. Elder Tillery found a cheap bowler hat and cane and is giving it as an Oddjob costume.

Elder Tillery and I are co-companions, something that President Lindahl actually does quite a bit. President has also given me permission to do the Jerusalem application stuffs online, so no worries. I have not, as yet, received the flag, but got (and eaten the contents of) the package a couple weeks ago. Thanks.

Well, that’s about it for this week.


December 3, 2009

Malargüe! You lucky dog, you!


So, biggest news: I am NOT in Rivadavia. President made some last minute changes. I am now in Malargüe, about the most alone town in the mission. I got to go to the offices and do nothing all day until my bus left at 4:30 in the evening. I didn’t get in until 11 PM. Gack. I hate long bus rides. At least the movies were not horrible Argentine sexy things. Rush Hour and Rocky Balboa. Both pretty good movies.

My new companion is Elder Tillery from Alaska. He has six months remaining in his mission. He was previously the Mission Historian, and now we’re trying to do missionary work while fixing up the branch’s horrible secretarial work. There are two other elders in Malargüe, Elder Lucas (Texas) and Elder Rojas (Chile). Both have six months on the mission. Malargüe, as the members will tell you, is a place where missionaries come to be born or to die.

It’s a pretty little town. Small. One branch. Very touristy. Very expensive because everything has to be shipped way out of the way to get here. We’re up in the mountains. I would’ve sent a picture, but haven’t taken one yet. The mountains here are always snow-capped. I'm lucky, though. I spent the winter in the warm (hot) place, and now am spending the summer in the cool place.

There was a surprise baptism on Thursday, but for the other elders. Our division is an arbitrary line that we alter as needed, as we are both working in the same branch. Yesterday we were going to knock a big, nice looking house, only to discover that it is, in fact, an abandoned train station. It would make a very nice house, or bed and breakfast. You could probably make a bundle on that in the winter, as we are very close to one of the largest ski resorts in Argentina, Las Leñas.

Other than that, not much going on. Body’s adjusting to the new climate. That’s my least favorite part of going to a completely new area. I should be alright by next week. But, I’m happy. Everyone wants to go to Malargüe, and now I have been to all parts of the mission. San Luis, San Juan, Mendoza, and the south of Mendoza.

There was a Thanksgiving Feast with President and Hermana Lindahl, but only for the Zone that won a competition. We did not win, so I didn’t do anything. I had ... Um... Something for lunch, I don’t remember what. Elder Lucas tried to get a chicken, but failed until Saturday.

Not much else to tell you. I think I’ll be able to print off the Jerusalem application here, so no worries.