June 14, 2010

The Last Email

Well, here it is, the last email. This means that the end is eminent.

The World Cup began this week. We have permission to watch the Argentina games, if we have our open the mouths. This is a far better use of our time as we spend time with members and investigators instead of in the street with nobody.

As far as other things go, I'm doing alright. This will be an interesting week. On Tuesday we have a dinner appointment with my first convert. Should be fun.

Well, I guess I'll be seeing you all in about a week and a half.


June 7, 2010

Let the Penultimate Adventure Begin

So, it's the beginning of my second to last week. Fairly exciting. We have one perspective baptism. It is the grandson of the other Elders' landlord. He recently started coming back to Church since his wife died. At least we have some motivation to work.

My companion and I have been analyzing our experiences the last two years. We have decided that there is a great difference between missionaries in South America South and missionaries elsewhere. One of those is the members. We have virtually no help from the members. That means that we have far more exposure to the common people, or the non-elite. (The elite being the Lord's elite) This has made us very tired of the people.

As for the coat, it was big, heavy, took up a lot of room, and was starting to break, so I left it in Malargüe for some poor Elder without a big coat for the cold winter there.

Many thanks for the flight info. I am very glad to be on only two flights.


May 31, 2010

New Week


Well, it's been yet another week. Elder Civic comes to the Zone Conference this week. Should be fun.

It's getting pretty hard having a companion who finishes with me. Especially since he doesn't help me get motivated to work. Really we have to work super hard this week and get someone to Church, or else we won't baptize this transfer. Ugh.

As for those other things, I don't really need a home coming thing. If you want to do one, go ahead. And the misison email is 2012677@ldschurch.org The secretary is the Hermana Alvez from Buenos Aires, but she knows enough English to get by. Apparently my comp's travel info got to his family last week, so I don't know what's going on.

That's all for now.


May 24, 2010

Happy 200 Argentina!

Well, tomorrow is 25 of May. The bicentennial of Argentina. Everyone is more patriotic than I have ever seen them. I guess it's cool that I got to be here for the bicentennial. Not much too special. I did divisions the other day in Justo Daract and there was some shindig in the plaza. The announcer guy started talking about 25 de Mayo. "May 25th, 1810, was a day like today; 200 years ago..." Yup. I never would've guessed that.

Not too much else happened. We are going to have a big tallent show type activity. Should be lots of fun.

Now news on my flight plans. I will find out the day before I get home. I think that they will email you saying when I will get in. I hope. All the dates were wrong on the Stewardship Letter instructions I got today, so I hope they get it right.


May 18, 2010

Another Week

Well, I'm going from a different email today, and a day late. It's a long story, and I don't really care to remember too much about yesterday. In short I didn't realize that the cyber had faulty keyboards and got my missionary account locked out because I tried by password too many times when one key didn't work. Grumble... Unfortunately I'm still locked out, I have informed tech support about this. So much for starting the week without stress.

There was some fun stuff this week. I talked with a guy from Blackfoot, Idaho on Saturday. He has been living here for the last twenty years. He seems to enjoy himself, but doesn't "want anything to do with Mormons." It is weird to me talking about the Gospel with people in English now. We also went to the Sony Music studio here in Villa Mercedes to take a tour. It was really fun. It is the best music studio in Latin America. They have a really big studio. One that is on par with Abbey Road. It was pretty impressive.

Transfers come every six weeks, on Wednesday. The newbies come in, and the old guys go home on the Tuesday before. My companion and I from last transfer have stayed together, and so will finish together. President told us that he is closing the area when we go because more are leaving than are coming. Those are my newsy things.

I am incredibly envious. Little Shop is one of my favorite shows that I have always wanted to see.

Hope all is well.


May 10, 2010

Another week

Well another week. We find out about transfers today. I'll let you know next week.

We sent an Elder from the zone home yesterday. He looked very happy.

I need to learn to write things down. There was stuff I was going to tell you about, but I forgot.


There is a member here who does microminiatures. We went over and saw them yesterday. Camels passing on an eyelash through the eye of a needle. Pioneers on the head of a pin. That sort of stuff. He also has ships in bottles. And the Tree of Life in a light bulb. Cool stuff. I forgot my camera.

Yeah. That's all I can think of for now. I'll remember to tell you something interesting next week. Sorry.


May 3, 2010

Ho Hum

So, the big news is, everything is still about the same. Nothing much new. Some guy stopped us in the street the other day and started badgering us about "What day is the seventh day of the week?!" He also started talking about whatever thing like the Waldensians. He said that he would love to be their descendant and worship on Saturday. He was weird. I, personally, think that the Seventh Day Adventists should stop getting all caught up on the Sabbath day and just stick to making cereal. Some of the best and cheapest cereal here (Granix) is made by the Adventists.

Well, that's all for now. Transfers are next week. I'm probably staying here. I'll let you know what's going on when I find out.


April 26, 2010

District Leader

So, new news. I'm now district leader. Exciting. Other than that not much new. I think something happened this week that I was going to tell you, but I don't remember. I really should write these things down. I got a new mattress. It was hard as a rock, but it's softening up. We had an activity on Friday. A guided tour of the Plan of Salvation. It's always really fun every time I do it.

Other than that not much. Great that you got my Jerusalem packet. It probably would've been a good idea to open it in case you need some information from me. The packet I have with the dates seems to indicate that after the application date all of the other due dates are pretty quick. Oh well, I guess there's next week for that. If you need to know, I haven't decided if I want to do the Hebrew or Arabic track. I think I would enjoy Hebrew more.

I have enough contacts to last me until I get home, but I will need a new prescription. I don't know if my eyes are better or worse (I suspect possibly better), but they have changed.


April 19, 2010

Elder Budge - Cat Saver

So, this week has been fun. Fun things like saving a cat that was stuck up a tree. Unfortunately the old lady didn't want it. Don't know what happened to the poor cat.

Later in the week we were going to an appointment, but still had time. Some guy on a bike called us over and invited us into his house. He was clearly drunk. He went to the bathroom, came out, and pulled out a knife. He pointed it at me, spun it around so the handle faced me and said "want to look at my knife?" Then he gave us hot chocolate and some rolls. All in all not the funnest experience as we had no idea who he was. It turns out that as a kid he played soccer every week with the missionaries. It is a very good practice because then scary situations like this turn out fine, and we can go into dangerous neighborhoods just fine because the dangerous people have good memories of playing soccer with the missionaries as kids.

Not too much else going on. Thanks for the Jerusalem news. And I did get the package. I thought I had told you that, but I guess not. I got it and finished it about three weeks ago. Thanks.


April 13, 2010

Another Week

So, another week, another adventure.

Except this week there wasn't much adventure. Just the same old stuff. Zone conference was yesterday, thus the writing today. It was good. Next transfer will be a conference with Elder Zivic. This will mean that I will have had conferences with all of the Area Presidency during my mission: one for my first conference, one in the middle, and one for my last. Interensting.

My best finding technique has been to strive for obedience mixed with fervent prayer. That's really the only way I've been able to find people who are ready for baptism.

If, perchance, I do not go to Jerusalem rooming with Neil would be a fun thing for me. And also very convenient on the mathamatical front. It's a good idea that I think we should go for. The Jerusalem packet says that you should know by the 16th, so keep your eyes peeled on the mailbox.

As for the homegoing date, everybody here pretty much knows when they're going home. It's usually two years and four days after you started. You find you two year date (June 18) project out the transfers date (June 23) and the tuesday of that week (June 22) is when you go home.

I hope all is well with you all. Keep chugging along.


April 5, 2010

Transfers again

So, another week has gone by. This was an interesting one. On
Tuesday we went to the annual commemoration of the Lord's Supper
with the Jehovah's Witnesses. It was an interesting and
enlightening experience. I learned, for example, that only
those who have been annointed by the Holy Ghost
the 144,000) may take the sacrament.

Then came transfers. I got transferred. I am now back in my
first town, in my first apartment, sleeping in my first bed.
How 'bout that. I'm back in Villa Mercedes, but this time
in the other ward, 25 de Mayo. It should be a good time.
My companion is Elder Alvarado. He is from El Salvador,
and has the same amount of time as me. We are looking to
have a lot of fun.

While meeting some of the members here, I learned something
rather interesting. We all know that Butch Cassidy and the Sundance
Kid ended up in Bolivia. Well, they apparently passed through
Argentina on theway and robbed a bank here in Villa Mercedes.
Fun stuff.

That's about it. I've finalized my schedule for Fall semester. It's
more to my liking now, but I would still rather go to Jerusalem in
September. We'll see.


March 29, 2010

Another Week

Well, another week has gone by. Not much new. We're pretty burned out from the last few weeks. Still enjoying our time here in Maipú, though.

Transfers are up this week. No word yet as to what's happening. We'll find out tonight. I'll probably stay here.

Yes, you saw right. I have decided that I want to major in Information Technology, which means taking a calculus class. Physics I would have to take anyway, but this particular class (I believe. This computer won't let me open the PDF to see what the exact requirements are for the IT major) counts for the IT major. This isn't perfect how I'd like it, but it's the best I can get.

[I extracted his class list - editor]

Thanks for helping with this. I'll do the fine-tweaking next week during my internet time.



March 22, 2010

More Baptisms!

So, another week, another baptism. That's how things seem to be here in Maipú. Crazy. Still working hard, though. Very tired. We are both almost fed up with baptizing here because the members don't hardly do anything for the baptisms. For example, on Sunday there was the baptism of a girl who just turned 8. A baptism that does not count for us but for the ward. (See picture of little girl baptism) The bishopric kept trying to get us to plan it. But it all came off alright in the end. The other baptism was of Franco. He would've been baptized a year ago, but his father would not allow it. His father has since died (I was given his pants) and Franco got baptized.
In other news, you can see by the picture that Estefania (the girl who ran away) came back. We will be working more with her and have given her a later baptismal date to make sure she is ready.
Other than that, not much going on. My BYU class registration date is April 5 at 12 am MT. I am getting the class selecting stuff ready, so that you, Dad, can simply get on at 2 in the morning and click "add". Thanks.

March 15, 2010

Another Baptism

This week was crazy. The other two missionaries left Maipú, so we were all by ourselves. It was a lot of work, and we were both dead by Wednesday night. We then decided to take it easy. We still finished the week with nine new investigators. The baptism went well (see attached picture). Sadly we lost an investigator. The older sister of the kid who got baptized last week. She had run away from home before, but we noticed a change from our first meeting with her. I guess it wasn't really that much of a change, though. She went to a seminary meeting on Saturday and was telling everyone how excited she was for her baptism on the 20th. Then she didn't go home. On Sunday her mother found her and took her home. She then left again with a backpack. I guess she didn't really change that much.

Today we went to a museum. The mansions of Giol and Gargantini. The picture is of the Gargantini mansion. These two men were the biggest wine tycoons of Argentina. In one year they produced half of all the wine in Argentina. The mansion was pretty cool. It made me very sad to see the state of disrepair and only half-restoration of the mansion. But, all in all, it was a worthwhile activity.

Next week's going to be another big one.


March 10, 2010



These have been an interesting two weeks. First we went to the dentist so that Elder Linares could have his teeth looked at. When we got home I had a massive fever. I stayed home that next day. Then I had a sore throat for about the next week. Finally I started on some antibiotics and am now feeling back to normal.

We had a baptism yesterday. It was really good. It was a kid named Juan Pablo. He is very excited. But the best part of the story is what happened later that night. We went over to their house, planning to put a baptismal date with his older sister. We were going to go about it tactfully, but before we even got a chance to mention it she said "I loved the baptism. I want to be baptized!" The mom then told us that the younger sister turns 8 on the 20th, so we put the date for then. It will be a great day with two sisters getting baptized at once. The family is very excited.

We also have a kid named Franco getting ready for his baptism this week.

The other elders here in Maipú are leaving tomorrow, and it seems like it will just be the two of us for three weeks. That means we get the baptisms they are leaving behind. In short, this will be a transfer full of baptisms.

Hope all is well with you.


P.S. Mosiah 2:41 is a very good scripture.

March 1, 2010

School's Started

Well, today is the first day of school down here. What fun for all the kiddies.

In regards to the earthquake, we were all surprised when we went out on Friday and everyone started talking about "that earthquake last night! What? You didn't feel it?" Nope. We didn't feel a thing. We were all very asleep. But, many other people wobbled about quite a bit. Nothing fell over.

We are very excited. We have a baptism coming up this Sunday. And then another next Saturday. And quite possibly one after that. Zone conference is this week. It should be fun. The Elders in our pench are here only for another week. It will be much quieter after that.

As for birthday things, I'm sorry I keep forgetting. Double-stuff oreos and resees and such things are good. Fun eaty things.

Hope all is great with you.


February 22, 2010

Transfers again

Well, transfers came as a surprise this week. I found out at three in the afternoon the day before transfers. Gack. Oh well.

So, now I am in Maipú 1. My third area in the Maipú Stake. It's very city, unlike my last few areas. There are lots of people, and we already have a baptismal date. Things should go well this transfer. There are four of us in this area for three weeks. The other two Elders are going to be assistants to the assistants. Sort of the Dwight Schrute of the mission. We have fun.

My new companion is Elder Linares. He is from Panama. He's fun. We work hard and have a good time.

I got the Jerusalem Center application scanned and sent to the JC peoples, CC'd to you, dad. I hope it wasn't too early. If so, I can send it again, I guess.

Not much else to say. Hope all is well.


February 15, 2010

New E-mail

So, as I am sure you have already figured out, I have a new email address. They have updated myldsmail.net so that it runs gmail now as opposed to the old netscape thingy. The old one will die at the end of March. For the record, my new email address is XXXXXX@myldsmail.net. [Editor's note: this email address is for family members only. The mission wants all other correspondence to go snail mail, so I have altered the email address.] There you have it. Complete with handy-dandy hyperlink.
So, other than that not much going on. We went to the planetarium last week and it was really cool. They have a big dinosaur in the gift shop for some reason.
We had three people in Church. One of them, a 12-year-old kid named Fernando, has a baptismal date for the twenty seventh. That's fun stuff.
Transfers news comes in today. Sorry, but I don't know what's happening yet. I'm 99% positive that I'm staying in Malargüe. We're still working on finding more people who will progress.
P.S. I'm so happy I don't have to type in Word anymore! Woo Hoo!!!

February 8, 2010

Not much


Not too much new. Sadly the pattern of having six investigators in Church died this week, and we were back to 0 in Church. But that’s what happens. We think that our big investigator family was out of town this week.

Other than that, not much new. We found a place here that will make leather scripture covers with whatever picture you want on them for a 60 pesos (for the most expensive: the English normal quad). I’ll be getting a 40 peso mini-quad case for the one I plan to buy when I get home. If you want one, send me the pictures you want.

Not too much else to say. Transfers are coming up next week. I’m pretty sure I’m staying here. Seems I may finish here. But that’s fine.

Today we’re going to the planetarium. Should be fun.

I can’t remember if I told you, but my area is bigger than Switzerland! Yup, by a whole 42 square KM. Fun stuff.


February 3, 2010

The Cave of the Witches!!! Oooooohhhh, scary...


So, they last couple weeks have been very good for us with Church attendance. Both weeks we had six in Church. That’s six each week. Still a challenge finding more people, though. It would also seem that people don’t like me. I did divisions today/last night with Elder Lucas so that we could go to the Caverna de las Brujas, and he was very surprised that every single person I talked to was mean and nasty. He noticed that we both said exactly the same things and in the same ways. People just don’t like me.

But Caverna de las Brujas. It was great fun. When we went to Luray Caverns I thought it was going to be like what this was. It was a blast. I’m sending pictures. We went in the cavern. It was very cool and nice in there, except the rock was very cold and wet on my hands. Then we had lunch at the Cascada Manqui-Malal. I had a pizza. Then we walked up to the waterfall, drank some fresh-out-of-the-mountain water, and chilled in a little cave up behind the waterfall. All in all it was a very fun day.

Kinda funny you should mention world (Latin America) travelers, Mom. One of the guys in the tour group was a guy from near Bristol, England. He was having some language issues, so we hung out with him and helped him be understood and translated the tours for him. It was really fun. So, it is possible that Laura could make it down to Malargüe. It is a very touristy/exciting things to do type place.

Well, that’s about it for this week. Hope you’re all well.


January 25, 2010

Zone Conference

Hello all!

So, yesterday was Zone Conference. It was really good. President talked about the nature of Christ and bodies and stuff, one of those “open your minds” type things. My mind was not really further opened, but I did have some things confirmed, which is always nice. An elder who went home a year ago came to the Conference to tell the Latins to learn English. He is now a supervisor working for Microsoft, just because he speaks English. I talked to him later and all he is really doing is supervising people helping people upgrade from Vista to Windows 7.

Things are going well. Seems like I’ll be in Malargüe for a while, possibly until the end of my mission. This is fine. I like the town, but the branch is tugging at my nerves. Nothing I can really do but try to help them. It is really amazing that the end is so near. 3 and a half transfers left. Wow. Just gotta keep on chugging.

The Jerusalem Center application is finally in. Huzzah! I also sent my normal BYU ecclesiastical endorsement in, so now I just have to send in the special Jerusalem Center one and get the rest of the application filled out. Hopefully things will work out.

Hope all is well with you.


P.S. Next week for P-day we're going spelunkingish in the Caverna de las Brujas (The Cavern of the Witches)

January 18, 2010


Hello again!

Well, it’s been quite the week here in Malargüe. We started off by going to the Chivo festival for P-day. I’m including some pictures. (If you hover the mouse over the pic you’ll find a lovely caption describing the picture) There was some fun dance competition going on. We got to see some Malambo and some Samba. It was very fun to watch some gauchos (or at least people dressed like gauchos) dance. Then we went and ate a chivo. Goat is actually rather good, but if I had to eat it every day I’d get sick of it really fast. It’s very greasy. It was one of the better P-days I’ve had. Sunday was the world record breaking chivo cook-off. They roasted 1011 goats at the same time. We stopped by to take pictures on the way to lunch. I would love to come back some day to go to the whole festival, especially since pretty much everything happens between 9PM and 5AM.

Not too much else going on. We had some investigators at Church, which is very exciting. It’s very pretty in Malargüe, and I’m getting some nice landscapes. Very interesting cloud formations, too.

Still no Jerusalem application available, but all I have left for my BYU reapplication is the ecclesiastical endorsement. Perhaps instead of emailing, I could fax. That may be easier from this side, I’m not sure. I’ll see what I can do once the thing actually becomes available.

Well, that’s all for this week.


January 11, 2010

Transfer news


Not much to say this week. Still working. Got to send the Branch trimestral report and tithing settlement yesterday. That was exciting. Other than that, a lot of walking around.

This week is the national Chivo festival. They cook a messload of goats. They’re going for a world record of 1011 goats this year. It should be fun.

Transfers news is that I stayed in Malargüe with Elder Tillery. We should have fun this transfer too.

It seems that the Jerusalem application is still not yet available, but BYU has got stuff for my readmission process going. I’m not sure if going to the Jerusalem Center means not going to BYU or not. I’ll try to figure these things out.


January 4, 2010

Happy New Year!

Hellos again!

Not too much going on this week. Transfers are in and not right now, it’s pretty hectic. So, I don’t really know what’s going on. I’m sure I’m staying in Malargüe, but I was sure last time, too. We’ll find out soon enough. Maybe even before I’m done writing.

Well, I just checked on the Jerusalem application and… It’s not available yet. Gack. Oh well, hopefully next week.

I told you somewhat about the branch at Christmas. It’s not a really fun group of people to work with. Nobody wants to take responsibility for even giving a tiny talk at a baptism, let alone a calling. The only one who tries to work is the EQ President who is too old and sick to do anything. It’s frustrating. But I try to do what I can. The problem is that I don’t know exactly what is within my limits to do.

Our best investigators move to another area today . Sad day. But, I’m sure they’ll get baptized, and that’s what ultimately matters, right?

Other than that, the search continues. We don’t really have anyone else who is progressing, but miracles are always possible.

Keep on the sunny side, always on the sunny side. Keep on the sunny side of life.

Wow, I haven’t heard that song in a while even though I have it. Oh well.


P.S. Not much went on for New Years. An investigator invited us over for dinner when she found out that we weren't going anywhere.