Monday, November 29, 2010

A week of Thanks, Thanksgiving week

Hola todos,

Not too much to say again this week... Our investigators are all progressing pretty slow right now so we are trying to find new ones, but it's not too easy. Haha. As for the events of the past week- Thanksgiving. On Thanksgiving our member that was going to give us lunch completely forgot so we just bought a pizza and I also made peanut butter cookies from the mix that mom sent me. So it was decent. Nobody knew it was Thanksgiving though. Just me and Elder Ramey knew. Haha. What else... Not much... It's still really hot here and I hear it gets a little hotter still so that should be fun. Welp. Let me know if I can answer any questions or anything because I don't have too much to say... Haha. I love you all and it sounds like you had a good Thanksgiving. I really am really thankful for the influences each and every one of you has had in my life. Thank you for being the examples that you are. Love! Keep safe!

Monday, November 22, 2010


Sup ya'll,

Another week went by rapidly here in ConstiCity. This week Kim and
Carla were confirmed, but other than that we weren't too terribly
successful. Pretty much all of our baptism dates had to be changed
because they didn't come to church so this week we really need to find
a lot of new good investigators and to get everyone else to come.
Yup. I don't really have much to say today... This past week was
kind of rough because I found out another one of my friends is back
home from the mish and also I've just been feeling really pressured
with our goal and just with everything here, but I'll be fine. :) I
hear Bingham won state. Que capos (what studs). I also hear the Jazz
are doing well? Nice. And a BYU come back season?? Who knows.
Sounds pretty crazy. Anyways, for the family members that weren't
able to write me- I still love you all and I look forward to hearing
from you guys next week. Anddddd.... yup. Nothing else to really
tell you guys. Love! Read the Book of Mormon (Did anyone take my
challenge???)!! Thank you all for the difference that each one of you
has made in my life. Eat double turkey to count for me! Hasta luego.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The Baptism of Carla Ruiz and (Taehoon) Kim

Hola todos!

This past week was... interesting. Haha. We ended another transfer
and it looks like I'm going to be here for another while longer. This
is good because we are trying to achieve 30 baptisms in the ward for
the year and we're at 24. We're doing our best to prepare our
investigators that we have now and to do everything we can so the Lord
can provide a miracle here. It would be a miracle because the ward
goal for the year was 10 because the previous past 2 years combined of
baptisms added up to less than 10... So this year has been an amazing
year for the ward.

Events of the week---

1. We moved!
This past week on Monday night we found out that we were going to move
the next morning. Haha. It was interesting. The whole ward was in
fiasco and president got involved and who knows what else to get us
out of where we were to where we are now. So we don't live in the
plaza anymore and we're actually living in the area of La Boca. There
are a lot of Jews and it is really laid back and peaceful. A lot
different. Haha. Anyways, the move totally affected the whole week
and we were almost disabled by it. It was lame. It took us all day
Tuesday and then we had to organize Wednesday because we had just
dropped everything wherever on Tuesday... and then we went out and
worked and came back and organized more and then it carried into
Thursday. It was laaaaame. But the week was saved by event number 2.

2. The Baptism of Carla Ruiz and (Taehoon) Kim
On Saturday, just before the leadership training for the Stake (we had
stake conference) we had the baptisms of Carla and Kim. It was one of
the most special services yet, the Spirit was really strong. Carla
chose me to baptize her and Elder Ramey to confirm her. So anyways, I
guess I'll go from the beginning of last week. Ok. Carla came to
church 9 days ago and it was her 3rd time to church (you have to go 3x
before being baptized) and she loved it and made friends with our
amazing relief society president (Hna. Pareja) so the bishop announced
a baptism in Sacrament with Kim not being sure and Carla not knowing
(she was impossible to find sometimes) and so Hna. Pareja asked Carla
if she was going to be baptized while we were right there and she said
no and so we asked her why not? and she thought about it and agreed.
We talked a little more and set up an appointment during the week.
Then with Kim- we had talked to him just before Sacrament meeting and
he said he wasn't sure. After Sacrament meeting he came up to us and
asked us what time he needed to be there on Saturday. Such a Capo
(stud or if you don't like that word... boss??). Anyways, so we go to
the appointment with Carla on Tuesday and ring her doorbell (cuz she
lives in our old building and so we used to be able to just go by...)
and nobody answers. So we went by wednesday and thursday with no
answer.... Until her husband walked up (he wasn't baptized because he
can't go to church because he works) and he said, ¨I don't know if my
wife is here but our doorbell is broken.¨ ---No way!!!! Haha. So
lame. So we went up with him and she was confused why we hadn't come
by and we had to explain that we had moved so we could only ring the
doorbell. It appeared Satan was trying quite hard. So we had to
teach her a lot of things, but she accepted everything and we reviewed
the baptismal interview questions and she said she was ready. We told
her we would come by the next night to accompany her to the interview.
So the next night we go by and we arrived about 10 minutes late and
she was sitting on the step outside her building. She got up and told
us that she didn't feel ready to be baptized.......!!!!!! So we had
to talk to her for about 20 minutes outside the building and she
finally agreed to go grab her son and then we took a taxi to the
interview. So she entered her interview (it was with Elder Denton who
is from South Jordan as well- he is one of my zone leaders) and he
came out (because she had to do a part with Pres. Gulbrandsen over the
phone) and he told us she came in and said, ¨I don't want to be
baptized, I'm not ready for this week. Maybe in a couple more weeks.
I didn't tell them this but all of my friends are telling me the Book
of Mormon was written by Joseph Smith and then I started to doubt and
then I just got really nervous last night and couldn't sleep- I'm not
going to be baptized this week.¨ ---Crazy right?--- But Elder Denton
told us that he read a couple scriptures with her and that everything
ended up being fine and she accepted to be baptized the next day.
Then in the meantime, our other Zone leader (Elder Smith) interviewed
Kim and said he was probably the most prepared person he has ever
interviewed (Elder Smith is about to finish the mission). It made us
quite proud of him. Then on Saturday, both of them showed up super
early (before us) and were excited. So finally all the members
arrived and we started the service. Then when it was time for the
baptisms I entered first with Carla, and she was already crying. I
then baptized her and when she came up she was just crying and it was
just a special moment where we felt the Spirit really strong. Then
Kim was baptized by Hno. Chavez (kim is a family friend). When we all
were changed and back we gave them the opportunity to share their
testimonies and Carla said she felt something inside and that all the
pain that she had held onto in her life had left her. Her testimony
was so strong. Then Kim went up and shared his testimony and he
shared a story about faith (something about a barber saying God
doesn't exist and the moral ended up being how only those that search
God find him.) and his testimony and my favorite part was when he said
¨I've been searching for God for a long time, I'm happy to say that my
search has finally ended.¨ It was an amazing service. And of course
the cakes were delicious afterwards.

Anyways, the suuuuper long story was for Josh (he complained there
weren't enough stories), but I hope you all enjoyed it. Haha. Yup.
That's what happened this week. Unfortunately we don't have any
baptisms planned this week and our investigators that had a date for
next week didn't come to church so we'll see what happens. Anyways, I
hope you all are doing well. I enjoyed reading your updates. I hope
at least one of you took my challenge to read the Book of Mormon
before Christmas!! Anyways, I love you all. Keep it real and
hopefully I'll be able to send the pics of the baptism in a separate
email in a sec, and if not then I'll send them next week.

Monday, November 8, 2010

A week of preparation

Hello everyone!

This week went well. We found a lot of people who have been prepared
by the Lord. After the Church meeting we spoke with 2 people, Kim and
also Carla. Kim is from Korea and moved here about 5 years ago and is
going to head back in January. We talked to him after Sacrament
meeting and he wants to be baptized! Then we talked to Carla (a
peruvian lady that lives above us in our building) and she also said
she wants to be baptized this week. It was awesome and they both
stayed to watch a baptism of the son of a member family and Carla
loved it. After watching the ordinance I asked her her feelings and
she basically said, it's amazing. It's just something you just feel
here (with her hand over her heart). It was a special moment.
Unfortunately her husband works a 24 hour shift on Saturday night
until Sunday night so he can't be baptized because he can't come to
church, but he is also reading the Book of Mormon. They also have 3
children and 2 from their marriage but they are like 7 and 2. They
are an awesome family and we are really excited for her baptism on
Saturday and also for Kim. Anyways, this week is the last week of the
transfer so if I don't write Monday it is because I got transferred,
but I think I'll stay here. We'll see.

Anyways, Dad asked me to try and describe my area a little better so
I'll just copy what I said to him...

Uh... more about my area??? I don't know what else to say about it.
We live in front of one of the biggest train stations in Argentina???
And it is also a main bus stop as well as
subway. It's how everyone travels to the south of Buenos Aires. In
my area there really are 4 different areas really.

We have Constitucion, which is the station and the surrounding
area.... It is really old and supposedly somewhat dangerous, but it is
mostly just really.... dirty. Haha. We are going to move soon to
improve the surrounding area of our apartment and because someone (the
bishop's son) is going to move in where we are living. There are a
lot of "Hotels" like I've described before as well. Recently they
took out half the area of Constitucion and gave it to another ward.
Luckily it was probably the dirtiest area. Haha.

Then there is Barracas, on the main street it is pretty nice with a
lot of shops and tall buildings. Then in other parts it is smaller
and kind of suburby for Buenos Aires. LIke 3 story buildings all the
way down the street full of apartments.... ish. Haha. But there are
a lot less people in the streets and there are a lot of factories and

Then there is the other part of Barracas which is the Villa or the
ghetto. Villa 21(24) is what it is called according to those that
live there. Supposedly we can't (literally wouldn't be able) enter
according to our recent convert over there, but it isn't too
dangerous, but we only go during the day mostly. They are just houses
that the people build themselves with orange blocks and concrete.
Most don't have floors or anything. Yeah, I'll try to get a picture
of the areas one day or something....

Then the last one is a smaller area where there isn't much work called
San Telmo. It is the most peaceful area in our area. There are a few
hotels but it is mostly a nicer place and it is somewhat historic and
there is a little bit of tourism. Yup.

Well that descibes decently well the different areas... you'd have to
ask me more specific questions to get a more specific answer haha. I
guess I'll throw out what I make for breakfast or dinner/snack.... In
the morning I usually eat cereal (super expensive but oh well) or they
sell dough to make basically simple scone type things and so I eat
those a lot too with Dulce de leche. And sometimes if I have a lot
of time I'll make ham and cheese empanadas. Also, I have lately been
a fan of making a smoothie deal of 2 bananas, ice, milk, and a bunch
of dulce de leche. Then at night... I eat some cookies or oreos....
or one of those things I eat for breakfast. Haha. With Elder
Fernandez we ordered empanadas a lot more often but lately the price
went up and Elder Ramey doesn't like to order things.

Welp. It's been super hot here lately. Luckily it has been raining
today. Haha. What else.... I saw a sign today saying harry potter
is coming out... Lammmmme..... Haha. Oh well. Let me know how it
is. Anyways.... I don't know what else to say. Let me know if you
have and questions for me. I love you all! Keep safe!

Monday, November 1, 2010

The Baptism of José Robledo!!

Hola todos.

Another good week in ConstituZion. Haha. This week we had the
baptism of Hugo Robledo's father- José. It was crazy. We told them
we were going to do the interview Friday at 6 UNLESS we called. Then
on Friday we called Hugo and he said he told his dad that we must not
be having the interview because we hadn't called. Anyways, we
couldn't ever find him and then Saturday he (José) was upset about
what happened and he didn't even want to leave his house (he is really
old and has a lot of pains and he has epilepsy...). We had to talk to
him for a bit (keep in mind this is at 4 30 when the baptism was
scheduled at 6 with our mission President, President Gulbrandsen
coming at 5....) about all the blessings and everything and what had
happened the day before and so in the end he agreed to come. He then
had his interview with President but President wasn't too impressed
with José even though he passed and he said we have to take good care
of him and stuff. That was kind of lame. But José wanted to be
baptized and in the end he was baptized by Hugo. Unfortunately
because of us being super stressed, I forgot to take my camera to the
baptism. However, the bishop´s wife says she should be able to get
them to me sometime.... I hope soon... Then on Sunday he came nice
and early to church and was confirmed. Unfortunately we had only 1
investigator in church. It was bad. However, this investigator is
named Kim (technically that is his last name.... his real name is
Taehoon...) and we met him the week before at church because he is a
friend of a family here in the ward (Flia. Chavez). He is an amazing
kid. He is from Korea and he is 18. He has a date to be baptized
next week and he is progressing really fast and he loves the church.
Unfortunately he basically lives alone because his parents are in
Korea and he lives here with his uncle and aunt. I love teaching
people that are smart and understand!!! Haha. It's true though. I
very much prefer (excluding families) to teach young people around 18.
They just get it. Haha. Anyways, studly. As I said, it was very
unfortunate that we only had one in the church because we had a lady
that was going to be baptized this week but she didn't come so she'll
have to wait another week. Anyways, we found another couple families
this week and ended up with 10 new investigators (which still isn't
very many... but at least they are good ones). Anyways, our goal now
is to get 8 more baptisms before the end of the year because we have
22 in the year so far and the ward goal was 10. So we are aiming to
triple the goal (The 2 past years they had 5 baptisms each). So the
ward is really excited and everything is changing around here.

Anyways, hearing about snowfall and skiing made me pretty sad this
week. Haha. And a lot of other noticias malas (bad news). But it
sounds like at least all of you are living. Yesterday in church we
were all combined for preisthood with the relief society and we talked
about service and forgetting ourselves. I loved it. I especially
loved what the Bishop's wife wrote on the board towards the end. It
said, "A boy sat in his house and cried because he didn't have shoes,
he went out to the street and saw a man without feet." My spiritual
upliftment this week is to encourage all of you to really look at what
you have. Sometimes I wish everyone could come to Argentina or some
other part of the world and see how it is and they would realize that
we almost never have reason to complain. The Lord blesses us so much
and yet we look for what we lack. Anyways, I wish I could look up
Pres. Monson's talk, but I can't. But I would recommend reviewing
Pres. Monson's conference address. Being here in Argentina, and more
specifically, here in Constitución has really made me so much more
grateful for what I have. Here we have lots of hotels where 6 or more
people live in one tiny room and they are often too embarrassed to let
us as missionaries enter. They also share a bathroom which is just a
room with a toilet and a water spout from the wall with a drain in the
floor. They also share one kitchen for around 40 inhabitants for each
kitchen. We might cry that we don't have a new TV or a car. Those
things are dreams for most people here. As well, we have the villa or
the ghetto. People construct their own houses and their is always
violence. A lot of people live in fear. Anyways, just some things
that have really made me think here and maybe will help you all to
take a look around at what you have. I love you all so very much. I
hope you are all happy and safe. I hope you are living the gospel of
Jesus Christ, because it really is the only path of happiness and the
only way to live with God again one day. I love you all. Keep safe.