Monday, July 26, 2010

Constitución week 2ish

¡Hola todos!

I hope you are all doing well. The work in Constitución moves on. Haha. This week was a lot better than last week. Even though I was in another area for 3ish days because Elder Fernandez had to go to training for leaders (he is district leader) it was good in our area. I really liked going to the other area. I was with an Elder named Elder Witherspoon who is Navojo from Arizona. The area is called Parque Patricios. I think that is how it is spelled. Anyways. I enjoyed going there. They have a villa (sounds like bee zsha) Haha. It basically just means slum. I thought it was awesome. They are sooo much more laid back there. It was so much easier to contact people and the people were so much more open to the gospel. Anyways. The work in that area is going well. It was interesting because Elder Witherspoon only has 3 months in the mission and I had one week. Haha. But we got by. He can understand 99% and me 25% haha. Yup. Anyways. Then I took the Subway back to Const. and got back to work with Elder Fernandez. The week before this Sunday we had 0.5 investigators in the Capilla (cah pee shj uh) Haha. Yeah, it was pretty frustrating. Anyways. This week it didn´t rain and we had 8 investigators. I am most excited for familia Cordoba. They´re so awesome. Here is their story.

So. Before I got here I guess they just started taking the lessons. I guess the mom and one son were baptized a long time ago, but were never really members... Anyways. Then I got here and when we went the father was never home so we could never go in, but then one day we went in with a member and the mother told us that the father went to peru for work for a while. Turns out a few visits later that she found out he was going out with other women and things and so now they are separated and he left and isn´t coming back. It is a really sad story, but it is amazing to see how she has moved on. At the home we teach 6 people. Her and her 4 daughters and 1 son that has 5 or so years. The other son never comes because he has a girlfriend, he is about 21. It is rather unfortunate that he never comes because our dream is to have all of them baptized and have him serve a mission. So far we´ve taught him once or twice. Lame. Anyways they´re so prepared for the gospel and are progressing really fast. Their baptism is scheduled for the 12 or 14th of August. I can´t remember. It is because one child is turning 8 the 10th or so. This way they can all be baptized together. It is going to be awesome. Most of our other investigators just have to get married, but it is hard to get them to act. Haha. We´re doing our best though. At least they went to church. :) Yup Yup. Well. Rach asked for pictures so hopefully I can attach some in this cafe.

Other random tid bits. Uh... The food is good. Tons of noodles and pasta, not really meat. However, we´re going to a parilla (par ee shj uhh) or something like Rodizio today. Should be most excellent. The people are cool, but hard to understand because their are tons of different immigrant nations here. However, the biggest problem is how they are so lazy and don´t really open their mouth to talk. Hahaha. It´s all good. I´m starting to get used to it. Elder Fernandez says I´m actually doing pretty well with Castillano (spanish... haha). Hopefully he starts thinking I´m doing other things well... It is hard with him... Oh and one last tid bit. I actually played the cello last week. Haha. Their is a family here that does Suzuki!! Haha. They´re all really good, but I couldn´t even remember a song because I hardly practiced the past year. I played half or so of my concerto and then I couldn´t remember any more. Haha. But it was fun. Pretty crazy eh? Anyways. I love you all! The Gospel is true and I´m so grateful I have it. It changes lives and brings happiness! I´m starting to see this in my investigators. It is awesome. I hope you are all doing well! If you have any questions you´ll have to wait until next week! I love you all!

Oh the photos are of me and elder fernandez and my old mtc comp elder hunt and his new comp and the train station right outside our apartment. :) And some others for kicks and giggles from the mtc.

Elder Zachary Trayner

Monday, July 19, 2010

Elder Trayner, in the field. Week 2... kinda. Haha.

I am doing well! I hope you all are well. So first off so I don´t forget. We only get mail and letters 7 times my whole mission so.... Make sure anyone that wants to keep in contact with me keeps in contact with you?? I dunno. I was super bumbed when my comp told me that. We only get our mail at Zone Conference which is once every 3 months. So I hope these letters are getting posted?? I dunno. Haha. If not that is ok. My poor friends... I hope Pres. Gulbrandsen changes it so we can email friends.... I had like 5 friends writing me in the MTC.. Haha. Oh well...
Anways... My first week was pretty rough. We had a really hard time meeting our goals and it ended up that we had one investigator come to church that we basically dragged there 20 minutes late and then we left the room for like 5 minutes to call a family that didn´t make it and he left!!!! It was horrible. He was the one I challenged to be baptized my first day. So I guess he isn´t progressing anymore. We were hoping to baptize him this week or next because he had attended church a few times before in another area. Oh well. His name is Hector.... Anyways. We have a family that is quite sure. It is an interesting situation. I guess one of the sons is a member?? He is 22 and has a girlfriend... So our hope is that we can baptize the rest of the family and get him ready to serve a mission. Although the father was planning on being baptized earlier (before I was here) he left for work in Bolivia..... We actually found out yesterday that he had cheated on his wife and so now they are separated, which is probably for the best. They are an awesome family. They are the Cordobas. We are waiting for a few weeks for their baptism because one of the children turns 8 in a couple weeks. Awesome.
Ummm.... My comp. Elder Fernandez. He is the man. He is a really good teacher and has tons of experience. He has served in every leadership capacity there is in the mission. I found out that he only has one more transfer here in the mission so I am likely his last companion. Sweet. This week was trying with him though. It gets hard sometimes because we can´t communicate precisely with each other. He also thinks differently and so I told him that is totally fine with me and I think it is cool, but he thinks it isn´t good enough. He thinks we have to have the same opinions in everything?? I dunno. It is weird and sometimes I feel excluded and unimportant, but we talked this morning and so I hope this week is going to be better. We´ll see. Haha. He is the man though.
Um.... other random experiences this week. We had to "cast out a demon" out of a little boy... Haha. Elder Fernandez was mad after because the Catholic uncle insisted that we bless the child because "he had a demon." E. F. was mad because he thought the man was the one with the bad spirit, not the child. Which was actually quite true. Haha. But it was good. We gave the blessing and after the child wasn´t crying or wiggin out anymore. It was good in a way I guess. I thought the child had Pneumonia at the beggining though cuz the word is demonio and that sounds like Pn. when said really fast in a latino accent. Haha. Yeah. Anyways. Interesting. Oh and then there was our solo investigator who left after the first meeting.... Umm.... We unknowingly drank tea with milk at a less active members house and found out after. Haha. It was weird. The food here is of course really good. The serve us spaghetti a lot. I am always really grateful for the food they give us because they don´t have much, but they are really willing to give it to us. Americans are so stingy with their things and money. I like that a lot about here. I guess that is probably all the exciting experiences this week. Other than the annoying rain yesterday and today that magically makes everyone too sick to go to church. Dumb. Haha. Oh well.
How are all of you doing? It sounds like you are doing well. I am doing just fine here. My spanish is coming along. I feel like I´m understanding a lot more and getting worse at speaking. Haha. It´s because my brain is meddled with all this Spanish I´m hearing. It´s good though. Well. I look forward to your emails next week. I love you all ahhh the stupid exclamation point isn´t working. Weird keyboard. OH well. Love you allª Let my friends know that I love them even if I don´t write themªª Haha.... Hasta luego

Elder Zachary Trayner

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

So I'm in Argentina...Haha,,,

Hola Familia!

So I´m in an internet cafe with my companion Elder Fernandez!!! He is from Uruguay (spelling??). He is a baller. President Gulbrandsen told me he is pretty much the best I could have gotten and so far we´ve got along great (at least from what I can understand from his Spanish and a few words he knows in English... Hahaha). No but really, he is an awesome Elder. I guess he used to be A.P. and he is in one of his last transfers but he won´t tell me how many haha. He has two younger sisters and he is super diligent. I am really lucky I have him.

Argentina- So far the only 2 things I have eaten are empanadas, spaghetti, and a bowl of strawberry corn flakes??? Haha. Awesome. The empanadas are quite nice. I like ham and cheese the best. It is huge here. I am serving in Constitucion, you can look up Plaza Constitucion to see. It reminds me a lot of Mexico City in a way. The people here are really hard to understand. They all speak a million miles an hour and they sound like they´re singing. Haha. Old people are the hardest because they have scratchy old voices and they don´t annunciate. Haha. So yeah. Anyways I made my first Baptismal commit on my first day yesterday and they accepted!!! Haha. It was awesome. He is a really cool guy so we are going to try our best to make sure he can be baptized. So much Spanish!!! Haha. But yeah. I´m good. It´s pretty shady and we cross lots of streets, but nobody needs to lose any sleep hahaha. It´s awesome. My companion tells me we are in a historically difficult area. The bishop set a goal for 10 baptisms this whole year. We have 7 people with dates right now so we are hoping to at least double the goal. I am so glad he is such a hard worker and he is pushing us. I am trying my best to learn Spanish. :)

So the first day yesterday- Hahaha. First we arrived and were greeted by President and Sister Gulbrandsen!! Yay! I was really happy it was them. They arrived about 6 days ago. Then we ate and had a couple meetings at their house and then we got our companions and rolled out to our areas! I drove past the famous obelisk and in the huge avenue. It was awesome. The people here drive as crazy as in mexico and the buses are pretty crowded. It is awesome. So anyways, we arrive to our apartment and we are standing outside about to go in when my companion realizes he doesn´t have the keys. Hahaha. So we went through this huge ordeal trying to find some and it took hours and anyways... we ended up at the bishop´s house and then we had 3 appointments so we went to those. The first one was difficult because it is a couple that have a child and they live together, but the wife doesn´t want to get married. We didn´t make much progress last night, but we reissued the challenge to pray. Then we went to our next appt just down the hall. He is a man who lives in a small room with 3 other people and there are 2 bunk beds. An old man was sleeping in one of the beds and he refused to even talk to us. It was lame. Haha. But anyways it went really well with him and he had already been to church a while ago. He is trying to prepare for the 31st of July. Then a youngerish woman walked in and at first she wouldn´t listen but then she agreed and we gave her a summary and we all testified and we said how her friend was going to be baptized and so we challenged her to be baptized and she said she would prepare as well. They have a ways to go, but I know the Lord can provide a way. Oh. By the way, she already had gone to church a couple times and spoke with the missionaries 4 years ago. Turns out she is only 16! Crazy. It is really different here. Then we went to another appt with a member, but the mom (who was the one we wanted to talk to) wasn´t home, but we shared a message with her 3 daughters (I guess one is already a member??) I don´t really understand the situation, but we just shared a message about faith. My companion makes me teach large portions of the lessons and I can never understand their responses to my questions. Haha. It is kinda tough that way. Anways it was a good day and we finally got picked up at the bishop´s apartment by the office missionaries and taken to our appartment. And today has been swell as well. We did all of our morning routine and then we had lunch with the Patriarch and his wife in their home where they gave us spaghetti and some dulce de leche stuff or something. It was all really good. So far the food is quite good.

Anyways I think we have to go soon. I just want you all to know that I know this Gospel is true and I´m so excited to keep sharing it with everyone! The Spanish will come. . . :) I love you all! I´ll email next Monday!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

General update... Leaving the country!!!

Hey everybody!

I leave for Argentina on Monday! Huzzah!! Yup. We leave the MTC around 8 AM and don't get to Buenos Aires until 8ish the next day. Haha. Lots of flying. We're going through ATL.

I can't even think what has happened this past week. Everything goes by so fast. Haha. Basically I've just been really working hard on my Spanish and teaching a lot, it is going well. My teacher (who served in McAllen) complimented my Spanish and said even though it isn't perfect the investigator will have no question of what I am trying to explain so that was nice. Lots of work still left to do, and I'm sure i'm not going to understand them for the first at least month. We just learned Vos (the tu form they most commonly use in Argentina) and it was super easy, but it's going to be really hard to understand for a while because that is how mostly everyone is going to address us and we're supposed to address children in vos. Crazy.

What am I most excited for???? Real food! Haha. Argentine food too. Yum. I'm way excited. Uh... a lot of missionaries have been delayed with visa problems going to Argentina, but for some reason us heading to BA North don't need them? I dunno. But I really hope our new president and his wife (Pres. Gulbrandsen) received theirs so that they will be there to greet us. They are amazing people. If not, it will be ok. haha.

Oh yeah. I've lost 10 pounds here so far. Yup. I dunno what else to say. The stupid timer is flashing 1 minute 10 seconds. Um.... I dunno. Oh. Mom and Dad. Your mission sounds a lot like what my teacher described when he was there. He said a lot of people in Corpus Christi would just slack off on their spanish, but I'm sure you will get them excited.

Well i love you all. No time left!

Next week from Arg!-