Monday, July 30, 2012

She's A Brick--House

Dear Family Matters,

Goodness sakes, it’s so good to hear from you guys. I love hearing about all the activity going on and to hear we have had yet another smashtasmic week and that the Mollster has reached the ripe old age of 2. The happiest of belated birthdays to my favorite monkey.

Great week! Chuck full of good stuffs. We did see a little bit of the 'lympics as well. On Saturday we went to a menos activos (less active) family’s house to help finish Did you see all the brick houses in the picture I sent you guys? Pretty much all the houses here look like that, including theirs. We went to the house and made the cement and layed some bricks. We had breakfast first and we watched the Olympics and saw some of the men’s tennis, women’s rowing, and women’s kung-fu fighting—all of which featured Argies in them. It was so cool to watch and, yes, it’s the only time in your life when you can say, "Wow, men’s single somersaulting looks like a cool sport". As we were about to drink the tea (that was given to us for breakfast) we asked: "So, what type of tea is this?" They showed us the box. It was legit tea. We said "Ah, dang it but we can’t drink this kind of tea". They said, "Oh that’s fine elders. We forgot missionaries can’t drink tea"........Uhhhh? We tried nicely explaining that yes, as members we can’t drink tea. I still don’t think they wanted to face facts so they awkwardly shrugged it off in that really embarrassed “What-do-I-do-now”? Kind of way. Like when Ashlee Simpson lip synched on Saturday Night Live but, alas, without dancing. We did, however get the house all bricked and had a very good day!

We were walking on this one street yesterday night when I felt we should go see this guy named Bruno. Now Bruno we talked with once last transfer but haven’t seen, heard, or thought of him since.  We could never get hold of him...ever but, none-the-less, I really felt like we should try and see him. Turns out he was home!  We had a super good lesson with him and I feel really optimistic about things with him. Cool dude.

We had a lot of success this week; we just worked really well. The kids in the branch just got back from EFY: Teachers, Priests, and “Junior Gleaners” alike all went.  We got a lot of references and a lot of help from them. It was a nice blessing this week.

We were at a lunch this week at a member’s house and they put in the 3 Stooges. We thought, "Not the 3 Stooges!!!" It was a movie which I guess is relatively new.  It had Will Sasso and a fake Jim Carrey in it. IDK if it’s ‘cause I haven’t seen a movie in awhile or what but I was dying watching it. It was so ridiculously slapstick and stupid that I was crying and almost on the floor.

Other than that fambilys, this week was a good, chill, most excellent week. Now for ¿questions?

Have you got your birthday package yet?
  • Nope, not yet. I wonder because it’s a box if it’ll take longer or something. As of yet, nothing but I'm always on the lookout!

Would you suggest anything you think Zack should take to Paraguay?
  • My comp has a camel back I’ve always envied because, alas, the big, giant man-purse from missionary mall just was too annoying and sluggish for me. I bought an ok backpack at Chango Mas the other week but I would suggest a camel back to carry your scriptures and pamphlets in. Also, I haven’t had a big use for water bottles these days. Even though they give you a nice water bottle at the MTC but, then again, IDK about the water situation in Paraguay. Other than that, I can’t think of anything else. I’m gonna send dear Zacharias a letter in a little while and I’m gonna send it to you guys.  I think it’ll get to you while he is in the MTC so if you could send it to him with tray of cinnamon rolls or something, that would be swell!

Did you exchange pleasantries with your President at zone conference?
  • Just the mandatory slap on the behind.
How are you sleeping these days?
  • Great! I found a better mattress hiding in the pench so it’s been most heavenly.
So, what's for for dinner?
  • Ramen, believe it or not. We found this supermarket in Centro that sells chicken ramen at 5 pesos a bag and Snickers as well. Other than that it’s usually cereal and yogurt in a bag—and that, oh so heavenly, Malta.
Well fambles. I best be peacin'. Idk why Coldplay is always on in the cyber (The Scientist is playing right now) when I’m signing out but I guess it always adds a good touch. I love you guys so very much. Just as a warning, its transfers next week. I don’t think we are going anywhere but, just in case, here is the warning in case you don’t hear from me Monday. I hope you all have a great week in New Mexicans. I’m so thankful for all your sacrifices and prayers. I know you guys are being so very blessed for that. I’m so thankful for you guys. Thanks for the letters, the pics, and everything. Until next week. I love you, its all good!

Con amor,


Monday, July 23, 2012

Dia Del Amigo

Oh, well hey there!
How goes it? Glad to hear this week was most excellent and fantasmic semana.
This week was full of fun stuff but on the work part was kind of a bummer. It was, and still is, suuuuuppppeeeerrrr hot all the sudden and everyone has been dodging us this week. It was bad! I’m praying we have a good week this week, though.
We had some good, fun birthday stuffs this week. We started out the festivities on the 20th with what we do every day: Work. Since this week was kind of a bust, we didn’t have a lot of success that day and we were walking the whole time. After much and much, and even more walking, we headed to the Millians for the Dia del Amigo party. We did a white elephant gift exchange and I got Daniel ***** who is in the branch presidency. I had absolutely no clue what in the heck to get him. I did the best I could and the best thing I could think of getting him I got: A Rolling Stone’s wallet—you know, with the big, ugly Rolling Stone’s tongue on it. Argentina is like the king of tacky, crappy dollar-store trinkets so I had nothing to go on. Turns out he loved it! Poor guy. The party went off well. We had a cake and everything and they sang Happy Birthday (Spanish then Engrish). It had a stirring, even eerie resemblance to the Chinese guys singing Jingle Bells in the Christmas Story—it was nice.  As per birthday tradition here, you have to bite the corner out of your cake. I did it only to get pushed into the cake (and I still have butter cream up my nose). My white elephant gift was an address book.  You can imagine the overwhelming and unquenchable joy that filled me when I found out I was the lucky son-of-a-gun to get—an  address book! Naaaahhh, I was nice and was grateful for it (or I may have thrown it on the floor, stomped out of the house, and stormed back to the pench only to find Jake Ryan sitting by my window holding a cake with 16 candles on it).
Good birthday! F’reals.  I I thought I was getting my birthday package at zone conference but it turns out it was another package you guys sent me. It was the one with dad’s mission tie and all the other cool jazz. Even though it wasn’t the b-day package, I was so happy to open it on my birthday—what  a great gift. I proudly wore that tie all day.
 Funny you said you noticed the clock at exactly 5:10 p.m.*  I was kinda having a bum day: Super hot, nobody home, comp talking about how stoked he is to be going home.  I just wasn’t having that great of a day. I was sitting in a chair kinda by myself and I noticed it was 8:10 p.m. (which made 5:10 p.m. in the States). Just then I had this feeling that “it’s all good” which was very nice and I knew everything was all good and well.
The next night our neighbors decided to have a party. This is the mentality when it comes to parties: "Let's see, we have 1, 2, 3, 4...14 people here. Ok, now we need enormous amounts of boxed wine and crappy 80´s music blasting at 100 decibels and let’s do it until about 4:30 a.m. " So that’s what they did. When they played the Hot Rod mob-scene song, we thought it was pretty funny....that is until about 4:30 a.m. when we could feel the walls and windows shaking from the music. Luckily (and hopefully) that was a one time deal.
I have been more than super studious when it comes to the scriptures lately. I love my study time and this week I’ve made it a goal to read a chapter in the New Testament everyday along with the habit I already have of reading a chapter of the Book of Mormon every day. I’m also trying to find at least one thing in every chapter of each book that I like. I’m writing them down in a notebook and there's just so much good stuff. It’s so cool the things you can find. So many good examples and stories, it’s great! Other than that, that is the news for the week. On to the Q´s...
  • Have you had any sleep walking fun on your mission?
In the MTC a little bit. I walked out of the room once and fell asleep for a couple hours in the hall but woke back up and went to my own bed. Other than that there is really "no deal with the lobsters".
  • Can you understand the things they’re saying on TV?
Yeah, sometimes. The sopas talk really fast along with the talk show people. But like, the overdubbed cartoons and stuff, I can understand them for the most part.
  • Did you have zone conference?
Yes! It was a very nice conference. We learned some good stuff. We learned to be more optimistic and such. It was a relatively fast conference, though. They are usually really long but this was quick because we are getting a new Area Seventy and, from what I heard, I think Pres had to go run and pick him up at the airport.
  • Do you ever go on splits with the ZL’s
 In my last zone, yes, we had divisions a couple of times but here not yet.
  • What do you like best about teaching?
Everything. I love teaching something now because people can actually understand what I’m saying—that’s what I really love (both language wise and gospel wise)! When someone actually gets the importance of making a commitment it is just soooo cool. We have a couple of legit investigators that have that: Where they see the importance of something. That’s what I love.
  • What’s your favorite thing to eat these days?
¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡Milanesa sandwiches!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! With chimichurri  sauce—and celery mayo—it’s so stinkin' good. We have a place by our pench that makes a really good sandwich for 15 pesos. Awesome!
Well fambilliys, it’s been good once again. I love talking to you and getting letters from all you guys—thanks so much. Make sure you tell Grandma Molly I’m so thankful for her letters as well. They are always so nice. Oh, and also tell the ym/yw thanks for the letters too. I totally forgot that about 2 transfers ago I got letters from the activity day girls. Tell 'em “thanks” as well. Except for the girl who hoped that I was having fun in Chile—how dare she strike the royal hand! Anyway, I digress. I love and miss you guys so very much. Have a super awesome week. Pray we´ll have some success this week and that all will be well. Thank you so very much. Until next time, I love you. It’s all good!
Con Amor,
P.S. I do have a list of things I would love for future packages if that’s cool. Mac & cheese (I promise I won’t call you guys to make it for me...that’s what comps are for) melatonin, peanut butter.  And do you think you can send me like a scanned pic of my baptism. I have an idea for that. I can put it on my memory card and print it off in Centro. Thanks! I love you!
I'm sending some pics.  This was the party.  The kid in the leather jacket is my friend Gabi.  The other picture is the soccer field in the neighborhood.

*A note to explain.  Russ was born at 5:10 in the afternoon.  It just so happened that on his birthday last Friday, we were in the celestial room in the temple and noticed it was 5:10.  We talked about that in our letter to Russ this week.
Dia del Amigo

Thanks For Shoving My Face In A Cake

Butter Cream Beard
Russ Looking Really Swell With His Friend Gabi

Soccer Fields Forever

Monday, July 16, 2012

Happy Birthday To Me!

Dear Jeffersons,
How goes it? Splendid, I hope. I just got back from having lunch—cheese and garlic hot dogs—not as absolutely horrible as they sound. But anyway.

Yes, I presume word got around that I will be 20 so say goodbye to hanging with this old person (teen girl squad reference). It’s a little weird though but hey, only one more year till drinking and gambling! I got that going for me....which is nice! As of birthday plans, I believe my package is still in Salta. I just saw on the list that it got picked up today so maybe, since we have zone conference this Wednesday, Pres will bring it. If not, no biggie, more to celebrate later. In Argentina the 20th is the "dia del amigo" which is "the day of the friend" so we are having a big party at Millian's on Friday with the entire branch. We are gonna have cake and pizza and a white elephant exchange, it’s gonna be incredibad! But yes, that is that.

Now the week....not much. Adams got sick this week after we ate lunch with the same family that made that bizcochuelo I ate and got sick from last week. So we didn’t get a whole lot done but we still had a good week none-the-less. We found this one street on Saturday that we had never seen before. We decided to knock it and got a couple good investigators out of it. We found this one girl who we were teaching and, while we were teaching her on her front porch, we saw a man running toward us. Remember how I told you guys about that drunk ex-contra vet that is harmless but was like our stray dog and wanted to accompany us all the time? Yeah, it was him. We have officially named him Mike. He ran up to us and began to talk to us incoherently, right in the middle of this lesson.  C´mon! We told the girl: "Ok we don’t like this guy, he just follows us sometimes" and she said, “Yeah he’s kinda the town drunk”.   So it was all good ‘cept Mike would not leave—even when we were teaching the lesson. So we cooked up a plan: My comp would quickly teach her while I distracted him. So I did. For 15 or so minutes I listened to the ramblings of Mike talking about Reagan, Jesus, Nicaragua, his woman, back to Reagan, and so forth. It was some goodtime babysitting and another reminder why it’s a good idea to drink. We ended the lesson with a return date for us (thank heavens) and we lead Mike away from the house and got him back to his hang-out spot and took off. That’s Mike for ya: harmless and he likes us but soooooo dang annoying!
Yesterday we were walking home and we saw, like 16 police cars, 4 fire trucks, and news crews down the street. It was on our way home so we passed by to see what’s up. I guess there was a car that crashed on its side so when an accident of any kind happens here, it’s news worthy. Unbeknownst to us, as we were passing by on the side walk, there was a news camera and we walked right in front of it. So I think we were on the news last night! Maybe. And I may or may not have done the up and down eyebrows thing in front of it. Who knows? But yeah, as in wacky events for the week, those were about it.
We have a few new investigators this week. One, who is a friend of Rodrigo (the Mohawk kid) and another one, who is the sister of a member. Also, we heard of some Americans living in Bajo la Viña so we might go see what’s up with that this week. But other than that—quesssstion timez!
  • Any new investigators?
Yeah, just with the one I told you about. We got about 6 newbies this week.  Were gonna pull out the big guns this week to find more.
  • Are people still nice to you, even when they don’t want to listen to you?
Oh yeah. They never get mad or anything at us. Everyone usually has very good manners to strangers.
  • Is your peace treaty with the dogs still holding up?
Oh, so-so: They keep their distance I keep mine. It’s the cats I’m getting sick of. Every cat in Jujuy is in heat now and that means non-stop meowing. There is a very heavily sex-deprived cat that lives below our building and it constantly meows, day and night, to the point where I might have to kill it. But other than that, it’s all good.
  • Are you still hiking up to Alta La Viña?
Nope, not as much. Our investigator there fell through so we stopped going. But we may go back in a few days because a hermana in the ward is gonna get us a reference who lives up there.
  • Josh Torgerson mentioned the “snaky” girls in Chile who are always trying to cozy up to the missionaries.  Any problems with them in Jujuy?
Oh yes, the “snakes". We’ve got a TON of them here. I think I remember telling you guys about them awhile ago. Yes, you do run into a lot of them here but you just brush them off like its nothing ‘cause mostly they’re just goofy, flirty 16-year olds.
Well Peeps, I best be headin’ out. Thank you guys so much for everything. I love hearing from you. Thank you so very much for the birthday wishes. Have a happy July 20th and celebrate it to the max! I love you guys so very much. It’s all good.
Con amor,

Monday, July 9, 2012

Do The Parrots Have Large Talons?


This is going to be about the fastest-typed letter ever. We have been trying to find an open cyber all day cause its the 9th (Argentina's Independence Day) and it has been a hunt for sure. So sorry if this is a quick letter. But, oh well. 
Hello! Glad to hear from you guys and that this week has been a smash! Ours was too. It was the ninth today and we played some soccer in the morning and mostly chilled at the pench. This week was, without exception, insanely cold! It was just so cold! No joke. A fog set in all over the city one day and it was inhumanly cold! Did I mention how cold it was? We have flocks of parrots that fly over the city and they got lost in the fog so all you could hear was parrot squawking. It was horrible. It sounded like thousands of Gilbert Gottfrieds--what a mess.

We were walking down the street and this one guy summoned us to come over. He had been drinking but he asked about us and we told him why we are here. He said that was cool. He then proceeded to tell us he is a neo-Nazi....awkward. I heard he had a band playing in his house and I told him I play guitar and we talked about music a little. His favorite band is Guns 'N Roses (if he was a real skinhead he would have listened to Oi). I gritted my teeth and said “cool”. But he is cool with us being here and is not a threat to us. But yeah, Nazis, am I right? We went to a birthday party at the familia Millian's and the same lady that made us liver milanesa was there and she made bizcochuelo which is a cake they have here. Once I had some I knew I was in trouble. I kept denying I was sick all night until I finally had to make a dash to the bathroom and I chucked it up. Nice huh? I thought you would just like to hear a good barf story. I wasn't sick after that, though. It was just a fun little food poisoning trip. Well, that was pretty much it for the week yous guys. Now onto q´s.

How do you want us to forward email from other people?
  • Dear Elder would be the best for that I would think.
Are you keeping warm?
  • Yes, with 2 heaters in the room and my dashing sweater vest, I have been able to survive.
Are you getting a say in planning?
  • Yes ma'am! we made some planning goals as of recent so that's helped a lot
Did you have your Fourth of July BBQ?
  • Yes, it was sketchy and, hopefully, there wasn't any carbon monoxide in the pench but we did and it was very tasty. We had steaks, and this stuff called Choripán which is like this sausage sandwich stuff that's most tasty and that's about all we did.
Well famz, I gotta peace out but I just want to tell you guys I love you a lot and I'm so very grateful for you guys. 8 months...crazy, right? It's still a blast. I hope you guys have a great week this week and that all is good. Thank you so much for your prayers and advice, I'm always so grateful. Until next week (with a better letter) I love you guys, its all good.

Con amor,


p.s. could you get me Jeff's MTC info and make sure to tell him to get the peach Fuze in the vending machines and the m&m ice cream cookie sandwich....sooooo gooooood.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Arrrgh, Me Hearties!

Well a-hey, waz up now?!

Family! Hello! How are you guys? Girl’s camp sounds fun. I know it’s a barrel of fun to not shower, be sun burnt, sleep on the ground, having to run the Jerry Springer show with the snippy gals, and kick bears in the face. But all good things must come to an end soon, no? But f'reals I’m glad it was nice and moosetastic. I presume you’re all glad to be sleeping in your own beds (and without dogs biting your feet).

That’s so coooool to hear about Spencer and Liana! A baby! I stood up and danced to Footloose in the cyber once I read that. I’m so happy for them. Give them my best! I’m sorry to hear about Traci and Dan, though.   That would be really tough. Give Traci and Dan a big virtual hug from me. They are in my prayers.

Well familys, I had a pretty tight week. It started off when Langston got not one but both of my packages with the contacts and candy in them. TTTTTHHHHHAAAAANNNNNKKKKKK YYYYYOOOOOUUUUUU SSSSSSSOOOOOO MUUUUUCCCCCHHHHH!!!!!!!!!! I was so stoked to get them. I wore the contacts for one day but it was kinda weird not having my glasses. That, and the members and missionaries were weirded out by me not wearing my glasses. But when I want to use them, they are here, so there. Thank you much!

We had a good week this week. We are progressing slowly but it’s happening and I’m happy about the improvement. For example: We have this investigator named Rodrigo. He is a punky kid with a gnarly Mohawk and he’s legit. We did divvies this Sunday and I picked him up. We walked to the church from his house (which you get to walk across a huge dry riverbed to get to and from his house) and I gave him a tour of the church. We went to the baptismal font and talked around it and the spirit came on strong in the room and it was more than obviously present. I was impressed to ask him, "so what do you think about baptism?" He responded, "It’s really something to think’s interesting." He then proceeded to ask me a lot of positive questions about baptism.  This kid’s legit (for that and the fact that he said he really wants to learn the bass....he's gold)! We're hoping for a lot of big things for that kid and this other girl named Melina who is suuuuUUUUuuuper pregnant. She’s 21 and going to have her baby any moment. Her family were investigators a long time ago and they dropped the missionaries but we talked to her and she seems very interested. She seems to have potential as well. I’m so happy. We’re starting to find a lot more people. It’s awesome!

I also had this talk on the mp3 by Jack Christiansen and I liked his talk. He’s a funny, goofy guy but I loved his talk. But I’ve never heard of him. Who is he? Anyway, I digress.  We have this stuff here called Malta (Postum) and it has all the benefits of coffee (smell and taste) without actually being coffee and it is sooooo stinkin' good. I have it almost without fail every morning. I highly recommended you guys trying it. You’ll probably throw up but its good! Right?

We have a member in our ward named Debbie. She’s the dancer girl who gave me the yoga DVD and she’s super cool. She has a parrot that Adams and I got to play with today. Adams is a parrot expert so he showed me the parroty ropes and it was fun. Those birds are super cranky but I can see why pirates like to have them on their shoulders. They certainly add pizzazz. Other than that family, that’s about it. Other than being super unnaturally hot this week for no reason it was just another week: The grouchy lunch lady-type catholic women at the carniceria are still handing you your milanesa order with their bare hands (that just two seconds ago they were using to count the money). "I was made for loving you baby" by Kiss is still being blasted in the streets and I’m loving every little bit of it. Now onto the questions...

  • Anyone in particular you’d like to give a shout out to?”
Ethan, Austin, Kevin, all my dear, good friends and my boy Biggie Smalls, of course.

  • I know they told you there wouldn’t be a lot of fruits and vegetables in Argentina but have you had any?
I’m starting to think that that was a dirty lie; we have more than enough fruit here. It’s the best fruit I have ever had on earth. It’s like, super sugary and tasty (and cheap). Like, you can get 10 bananas for 7 pesos that’s like what $1.25 in dollars. It’s awesome!

  • Are you still taking lots of pictures?
Yes of course! As always. I sent some pics in this email so hopefully you’ll get them.

  • Tell us about some of the members in your branch.
We have a cool branch. We have the familia Millian. The dad is the branch president and his wife is the young women’s councilor. They are soooo cool and so nice. President Millian is the spitting replica (attitude wise and image wise) of brother Southard and the hermana Millian looks like Auntie Chris but she has the attitude of Traci Stone—they are sooo cool. I think they are throwing me a birthday party from what I heard. Next we have Gabby.  He is a recent convert who’s about 16 years old and he is so cool. He speaks English and he loves electronic music and is just about my best buddy. Next we have Gustavito who is a tiny, 17 year-old kid who loooooves the soccer team River. He and Adams get along super good. They always give each other crap cause one likes Boca and the other likes River so it’s always funny to see them. We also have Debbie who is the dancer parrot girl and she is super nice. She was the young women's president for awhile but she got released yesterday for another calling. She was pretty bummed about that. This branch has a bunch of funny characters, I love it so much!!

  • Did you get a new penchmate?  If so, who is he/she?
Yes we do! We have Elder Morales of El Salvador and he is awesome. He's quiet, doesn’t talk a lot but, then again, I was the very same. It was hard but he’s fitting in. He a good egg!

Well fambiliys it’s so dang good to hear from you. I’m so thankful for your letters and advice; they mean so much to me. I think about you guys a lot and I’m so thankful for your prayers and sacrifices. I’m also thankful for the prayers and sacrifices of everyone of my friends and buddies, it means so much. Well, I’m gonna go get my hair cut now. I’m thinking about a nice bowl cut this week for the Fourth of July! We are planning an asado for that day so everybody do something cool for the fourth as well. Hope it’s awesome and that grandma got an endless supply of m-80´s to light. I know she did. I love and miss you guys so much. Until next week. It´s all good.

Con Amor,


P.S. by the way, it’s 9 de Julio this next Monday (Argentina's independence day) so I don’t know what will be open (cyber wise) and what won’t be open next Monday so that’s just a warning. We should be good but just sayin’.

I have seen the future and it has parrots in it

Rusty want a cracker?
Adams making out with the parrot
Meet the Parrots