Monday, August 27, 2012

I (Heart) Lentils!


How’s it going? Nice to hear all is good and that Argie snail mail is slower than ever (we just received a letter from Russ that he sent the second week in June).  I sent a letter to Zach through the Argie mail service this morning.  I found his home address on the web last week so I’m sending it to his house and then, hopefully, the Hulseys will send it to him. I’m trying out the system. They said it should get there in 10 days so we´ll see.

You’re missing all the fun here! It was the "Éxodo Jujeño" last week.  Everyone dressed up as gauchos and rode horses around town. I thought the dressing up and riding horses was for the big parade thing they were going to do in Centro...but no. They just dressed up and rode around town. The horses got good exercise though. I saw one man walking his horses at a slow pace while he rode his scooter so there’s that.
 I’m just officially lost on the weather here. It was blistering hot for about a week then just 2 days ago it dropped like 40 degrees and it’s just so cold. Really, one day I left the pench in a short sleeved shirt and the next day I was in my giant navy coat but I’m keeping warm.

Today was a good day so far.  We met up in Centro to have breakfast with one of Adams´s old pench mates from months back. His name is Elder Carlson and he is a cool kid. He´s from Orem, went to Mountain View and played baseball there.  He knows some of the kids I know. He’s  way nice. Afterwards we went souvenir shopping since Adams is going home soon. He said his suitcases have plenty of room and if I have anything to send home I can send it with him so I’m sending home my SD card and some Christmas presents for you guys. It’s not like super big stuff but it’s some(hopefully) cool stuff.

I went to withdraw some money from the ATM because I thought the souvenirs were going to be pricey and I think I withdrew too much money because the souvenirs turned out to be not all that expensive so I’m sorry about that. I’m still on the hunt for a couple of things but yeah, just saying.

Bruno is going well. We had a great lesson with him the other day. He is really making progress. So is this other girl named Florencia. She is doing really well too. She even went to church while she was out of town yesterday. Huzzah! So cool! We are really putting a big focus to try to find newbies this week. It’s kind of been a hard week and all. But I have hope for a better one this week.

Well famz, now it time for ?´s

  • Was that pimento loaf on your Milanesa sandwich?  What the heck?
Yes, I know, its gnarly looking but its just so good! They also sell a hot dog that has cheese, celery mayo, chimichurri, etc and its just soooooo good
  • Do the branch members help you with referrals?
Kinda... 2 really help with the work: President Millian and his consular Daniel Corque.

  • Are the Argentineans aware that a Mormon is running for president?  Do they care?
No, not at all really. Around here not a lot of people even know who Obama is .

  • Did we see a foosball table, a pool table, and flat screen TV at your arcade/stake center?
Yes, what you saw is the institute part of the stake center. They have all the hookups, I guess.

  • How old are the dear elder letters when you get them?
About 2 weeks old.

  • Are the members still feeding you?  And what are they feeding you?
Yes, yes they are and when it’s cold out, that only means one thing: Lentil soup.......I can’t begin to describe my loathing for this dish. It’s so JUST NOT GOOD!

  • Are you still walking everywhere?
Yup...10 miles or so a day.

  • Now that you’ve been there 8 months, what’s your favorite thing about Argentina?
The food, the people, the ridiculousness of things sometimes. The whole thing in general is just so much fun.

Well well, that’s about it. Sorry for the blandness of the letter.  It just hasn’t been that great of a week. A lot of citas falling through and not finding people.  I’m really just hoping for a better week this week so pray for the investigators and such and it’ll be all good.  Again, sorry about the bum letter fam.  In general, it’s all good. It’s just one of those weeks.

Well fams, until next week! I love you and it’s all good.

Con Amor,


P.S. Do tell Steve and Chris and Craig a thousand thanks for their contributions.

Monday, August 20, 2012

A Nice Mutton Lettuce And Tomato Sandwich

Wud umph, familyz?
How’s it all going? Glad to hear all is well and yes, high five Kevin! How cool is that of him? What a good boy, that kid. Radiohead is playing in the cyber right now and it only seems fitting that it is a tribute to him—awesome! I really do love hearing from you guys and that you all had a good week.
We had almost the same week, well, besides a few things. I got to give a talk this week. I gave it on “our baptismal covenants” which was, oddly enough, my farewell talk. So yes, I got to use that "close to, roundabout, or nearby" story. People loved it and a few wanted copies of it.
We almost had to teach YW´s yesterday—well, kinda. I told you that Jujuy was celebrating 50 years of Mormony goodness in its boundaries. Yesterday they had a big activity at the stake center in which like, no joke,  1,200 people showed up to attend this event which included a documentary about the area with stories about when the church was just starting here. They had the original members of Jujuy come to share their stories.  They also had a choir of us missionaries and we sang The Spirit of God with all 4 verses in Spanish but then choruses 2 and 4 in English. Idk why we did the 2 choruses in English. It was kinda like saying "hey Argentina, happy celebration of Argentine pride, have some English!" It was fun though. They also had the classrooms decked out to represent the different organizations of the church and the missionaries were each put in charge of a different room. We got the YW´s organization and we thought they wanted us to explain to all the people about the organizations. Here’s the thing:  Adams sister and his mom all worked in YW´s, I have 3 sisters that did YW´s and a Mom who works in YW´s but we hadn’t  the slightest clue what to say.  We were in a panic saying, "Just make something up like ‘the young women's organization was formed in 1825 by General Custer’ or something!"  We were saved when we found out that we didn’t have to explain anything—we just had to guard the rooms.
It was a really fun event. President Levrino and his wife were there along with a bunch of members from Aeroparque so I got to see all of them:  David *****  (the first time I went on divisions I went with him.  What a good, good kid), Bishop Sardinas, Hermana Lopez (the first house I ever went into in the mission and taught was her house.  She reminds me a lot of sister Otterstrom; she is soo, soo, very nice.  She said she almost gave me a hug when she saw me) and a lot more including turtle man’s wife. Luckily I avoided her.  What a scare though. It was so nice to see everyone.
In food news:  We went to Debbie’s house and her mom was there and she had some meat on the table. She asked if I wanted something to eat and I was super hungry so I said “yes”. I had some of this meat and, as I was eating it, I said "Ok this tastes like somebody cooked it in a microwave for 4 hours, hid it under the fridge for about 5 or 6 months, gave it to the dogs but the dogs didn’t want it so, after leaving in an old shoe for a few weeks, it ended up on my plate and I’m eating it." Yes, that is what lamb tasted like. I was highly disappointed. Lamb chops always looked so tasty on TV. I was able to eat my portion and pull it off smoothly—success!  I also just barely read in an email that a parcel came for me that cost 120 pesos so I presume it’s my birthday package. Dope,  I’m stoked to get it. Anyways, onto other stories.
Remember Bruno? That I guy that we taught once and totally forgot about and then one night I had an impression that we should visit him? Well, I’m so super grateful for that impression because we are having a lot of success with him. He came to church yesterday and he is a really good guy; really humble and so nice. A little socially awkward but a super good guy. He´s 22 and he has a little boy who’s about 4. We are hoping to have him baptized pretty soon, I do hope. We are kinda in a baptism drought as of now but we have faith he´ll get in the water. Keep praying for him! Well family guides, I do think is about time for:


Do you have another pair of Eccos?
  • Yes!
Do you have any package requests?
  • As of now, not really. Maybe tootsie pops and like, tootsie roll candies but, other than that, I can’t think of anything at the moment.
What city in Kansas is your comp from?  Are his parents picking him up or anything?
  • Salina. And no, he just got his travel plans.  He’s gonna fly into Wichita or something.
How’s the humidity?
  • Pretty good.  Luckily we’re in the drier part of Jujuy so not much humidity.
How are your penchmates doing?
  • Good good. They are doing fine and we’re all getting along most swimmingly.
Do you know where Zulauf is serving?  How about Mo?
  • Zulauf is in Tucumán with Elder Huston and I think Mo is in Salta now.
Do you have a favorite concept/principle you like to teach?
  • The 10 commandments, word of wisdom, lesson 1—pretty much all of the above. I really do love teaching the commandments, though.
Is your Spanish pretty bueno these days?
  • I hope so. There are times when I can’t say something I want to say or can’t understand something but, for the most part, it’s on a survivable level.
Have you had your suit dry cleaned since you’ve been there?
  • Nope....I have hunted high and low and have not seen one single dry cleaners but the hunt continues.
Is your comp staying motivated?
  • Yes, for the most part . It’s hard for him to be focus because he just wants to go home sooooo bad but for the most part he’s doing good.
What’s the best quick snack in Argentina?
  • Oreo alfahores and this soda called “Pritty Limon”. I loved it so much until one day I was drinking it and came to a realization: It’s just Mountain Dew. Its good but it’s the same thing as Mountain Dew. Kind of a white trash bummer. But I’ll still take it.
Well Fams, I best be peacin' out. I’ll leave you with a few fotos of my adventures at the activity last night:  Touching the ark with my giant suit (seriously the suit feels really big now) stealing the golden plates, hanging out with David, and my lunch today (milanesa sandwich with Sprite and an alfahore). I’m so glad to hear from you guys. Thanks so much for your letters and thoughts and for your prayers. I’m so thankful for prayer because it just really works. Although some prayers always aren’t answered right away you can always see through time when they are being answered or have been answered. I’m so grateful for that. I’m so thankful for you guys. Keep on keepin' on. Happy first day of school to all and remember I love you all so much, it´s all good!
Con Amor,
P.S. Speaking of Richard Heaton, tell Brother Sandberg when he sees him to say I said thanks for the MTC talks, they were great and I really appreciated them!

Now where did I leave my Urim and Thummim?

The Stolen Plates

Russ and David

What's for lunch?

Dancing with the Ark of the Covenant

Do the Dew!

Monday, August 13, 2012

When Bad Things Happen To Good Shoes

Dear Family Matters,

Oh how goes it? Splendid? I hope so. I love hearing from you guys.  P-days are just so stinkin' amazing for this very reason. I'm glad it was a good week.

We had a good week this week too (except it was so insanely super hot for awhile) full of good times. It started off with a new name I have been called. Now here they have multiple names for the missionaries: Hermano, Señor, Élderes, Che (and the goodly amount of names the drunks call us that are so slurred that it really defeats the purpose—keep trying me hearties).  Anyway, we went into this “authentic Argentinean garb” store this week where the guy called us "Padre" and, goodness sakes, I thought it was about the coolest thing ever. I felt so highly distinguished and still do!

In investigator news we had a lesson the other day with one of our investigators named Jessica. Jessica is a 14 year-old goofball who’s crazy but loveable. We had the Ten Commandments lesson with her. When I teach the Ten Commandments I like to teach them using hand symbols. For example:  When it’s commandment number one, I hold up my hand with one finger pointing up because its one finger for commandment number one which is: We have one God. All the commandments have hand symbols—I learned it in the MTC. It was designed for little kids but I started using it for the adults because it actually helps them memorize the commandments.  We did this with Jessica while explaining commandment number 3 (and putting 3 fingers together over your mouth like you just said a bad word because commandment number 3 is not taking God’s name in vain).  About 5 seconds after teaching her this she broke it so we reminded her not to then 3 minutes later she broke it again. Repeatedly through the lesson, she kept trying to remember not to say it and every time she said it she put three fingers over her mouth—good girl.  She just has to work on this. It so true, though, that’s the human mentality: We are told not to do something but we do it anyway (but we always try to choose the right because we know its right). So true.

In sad news:  My dear, beloved Eccos have finally met their end. After trying to wait them out for so long and just getting blisters and tripping in front of a bunch of cool high school kids, I had to throw ‘em out and switch to my Brazilian mailman shoes. They are good and bulky but I do like them. Good shoes, those Eccos, RIP.

Yesterday there was a bit of luck. We stopped by the Millians to get something and what was on the TV?  The closing ceremony of the Olympics. And, “who was on this” you may ask? Why none other than Oasis, Captain Annie Lennox, Russell Brand, Kaiser Chiefs and yes, MUSE to my complete surprise! I was so excited to see them that I was jumping up and down. I was telling the Millians that they are one of my favorite bands.  So good to see them! Unbeknownst to me, the Millians were filming me jamming along in my chair as I watched Muse and all the other bands play. Nice! But yes, that was the week. So good and so chill.

I hope you guys have a great week this week and it is most successful. I’m really so thankful for you guys, I’m thankful for your sacrifices for letting me be here. I’m so very happy to be here doing the work. It’s hard, the language gets to ya’ sometimes but it’s good. It is. I love you guys so much, it’s all good!

Con Amor,

Christmas Shoes

Monday, August 6, 2012

Virgin Parade


Ahoy! It’s just so good to hear from you guys! I’m glad you had a really great week there in New Mexico and that you guys got to go to the temple. That was so cool about meeting someone named Elder Russ—what a cool thing. We will def have to hit up that Manti temple when I get back.
It’s been a great p-day so far. We hunted high and low in Centro for marshmallows so we could make s'mores. As I was waiting in line at one of the stores "Sultans of Swing" came on and it reminded me when Carl took me to see Mark Knopfler in concert. I tried explaining my excitement to my comp but it comes out as an absolute different language to him. He does the same thing to me with sports, though. He can talk and talk and talk about sports all day and I maybe pick up on like 6 words out of a 20 minute conversation:  "Touchdown....Kobe.....Final Four ....Hoobastank...." and so on and so forth. Good kid though, absolutely insane, but a good kid.
It was a great week here. In transfer news, there is none. I’m killing Adams (mission term which means I’m his last comp) and no one in the pench got switched up. In news of you-should-be-jealous, you guys are missing out on the “virgin parades”. Yes, it does sound like it should be a group of 28 year-old Weird Al fans that work at Chuck-E-Cheese walking down the street but that’s not the case. In the month of August the Catholics go around town with a little Virgin Mary statue and play drums and pipes and say prayers and swing around lamb meat—It’s quite the sight. During priesthood meeting a parade went by the street outside the church and they were shooting off fireworks and playing snare drum rolls. It was super hard to hear the meeting for awhile.
We found some cool new investigators this week. One’s named Jessica and is a nice girl who is very interested.  The other is named Karina.  She is an atheist but is very interested as well.  We had a few very nice lessons with them both this week. We were going to pick them up this week for church but they weren’t home but as we were walking down the street we heard a noise. Who should that be? Mike, the town drunkard but this time he was surprisingly sober. He was a little nutsy but normal...ish (at the moment). He said he wanted to go to church so, without really thinking, we said "Ok". My comp and I were kinda worried. We asked each other "What do we do? Can he go to church? Is he drunk?" I said a little prayer to just have the Lord take care of it. Once we got to the gate of the church he said, "Oh dear boys, I can’t go in. I’m drunk. God will kill me".  And just as fast as he said that, Mike was gone. He just took off. He’s harmless, really. He’s just goofy.
Jujuy is having the 50th anniversary of having the church established here. They’re gonna have some sort of pageant for it or something—sounds cool. I think I may have already told you but they are rededicating the temple in Buenos Aries in September and Elders Eyring, Ballard, and Christofferson are coming down for it and it will be broadcast to the stake center here. I believe we are going to get to see it. It would be so cool--especially if Elder Christopherson gets up and sings "Old man River"--we can only hope.
Well parentels, that’s about it. Sorry it’s a bit of a short letter it was kind of an uneventful week in some ways—successful but kinda boring. I’m writing a little earlier than normal so sorry if that throws off anything. Can you believe that on Thursday this week I will have completed a pregnancy? 9 months! That’s sick! Time just keeps flying, it’s crazy. Well, I hope you guys have yet another success-filled week! Keep on keeping on and remember that I love you all very much! It’s all good :)
Con amor,
p.s. A most happy belated birthday to dearest Grandmother Ann! I love you. Keep keeping that Shy Guy cat in line... I mean it! Oh, and thank you so much for the letter!