Monday, April 29, 2013

April 29th, 2013

Hey Familys

How goes it? It's good to hear that this week was yet another good one, filled with the burn pile and whatnot!. WOW Austin's going to Florida! That is so so so so sick! And speakin' that Spanglish! That is beyond amazing. I'm so proud of that boy. I'll have to be writing him a letter soon.

Well news for here this week: Nothing much, ha-ha. Really, like nothing happened this week. I was trying to think of interesting things that happened during the week but really, nothing. We are teaching this lady named Evelina. Well, she's an interesting duck. She is a sister of a recent convert and we just had our first cita with her. I’m not really sure what her situation is, if she takes medication that makes her loopy or if she was born loopy. We started out with questions like, "Who is Jesus Christ for you?" and we´d get back the answer "Oh yeah, my nephew is going to turn 16 this next month. I love birthdays!" It's an interesting situation. We are going to have to decide before the next cita what we are going do but for now we just “don’t know what to do with our hands”. Just a little awkward.

We are also teaching this kid name named Luis and he´s pretty legit. He has to stop using coke and get married but other than that he´s good to go for baptism. When I say he´s using coke its not like cocaine coke...well kinda, it's coca. The coca leaf is legal here and what a lot of men do is basically bundle up a big gob of coca leaves and lime (like the kind you mix in cement, not the fruit) put it in your mouth and use it like chewing tobacco. Its like an energy booster and makes your teeth nice and stinky and green. They pack their mouths with this stuff here so like, the majority of the people we talk to have: No teeth, big huge coca globs in their mouths, and they speak super fast. It's a bit ridiculous at times.

At church yesterday we sang all songs that nobody knew. Luckily, I wasn’t doing the leading of the hymns (I was blessing the sacrament). My comp was conducting the hymns and when we sang "Oh My Father" everyone was singing a different tune in a different was nuts. I guess the branch president got tired of it and knocked my comp out of his spot and took over leading. We mostly have to sing the same songs over and over at times, I'm afraid.

Sad news: My SD cards are infected. In the words of Lloyd Christmas they've "got worms". Like, they still have the pics on them but you can't upload them onto a computer. You have to get someone to take out the viruses first. In saying that, I'm too freaked out to put photos on the computer here because I'm afraid they might get erased if I keep using the cards.

Well, that’s about it for now...?´s

  • Have you had a chance to sample any of the local produce? Anything wacky?
They have this fruit here that’s like a blend of an orange and a lime. I tasted it and it's not that great, just super acidic.

  • Any suggestions from Zulauf on how to work with your comp?
He said to just be patient, take charge with the kid, and stuff like that...its so hard to do just that.

  • Any garage bands around? Any chances to jam?
Nope, alas, no.

  • Do you see the elders from Ledesma often?
Yeah, like we see them every week. Ledesma is like a 30 or 40 minute ride. If you take the bus, it's like an hour.

  • Any places to exercise?
Yeah, there’s a backyard by the pench and you can run around that. Good fun.

Well familyz that’s about it. Oh man. It's just kind of rough times right now, you know. I guess this is a trial but it's just not too fun. I'm kinda lost on what to do. It's just kinda hard to see how I am being refined through all this. Sorry for the complaining and all. I'm just kind of lost on what to do sometimes. I'm so thankful for all your great advice, help, prayers, and temple attendance. You’ll be so very blessed for that. Thanks for the letter, Mom and sharing those experiences. I'll be sure to print out the letter so I can read it with more attention. I'm gonna try and add those principles more. It´ll be all good—just keep on keeping on and let the boat do all the work. I love you guys so much. It´ll all be good, for sures. Have a most wonderful week. I'm planning on having a great week myself. 'Til later! I love you, it´s all good.

Con Amor,


Monday, April 22, 2013

Snakes Alive!

Hey Family!
¿How goes it? I hope all is well in the home front; it sounds like it is. This week was a relatively normal week. Well, first off, there were no changes this week—I’m still here with the same comp and what not. I guess that scripture in Isaiah has got some reason to it (55:8) cause I have no idea what Heavenly Father is thinking (I say that in the nice way) but I guess we´ll just have to see....but anyway, onto the week.
We did divvies this week with Ledesma and I went with Elder Murray to his area and worked. It was fun working with him. I hope I get to train—seems like it would be a great experience. After we did divvies we came back here to be in a trio for a day while Elder Solomon (Elder Murray’s comp) went to Salta to finish his papers.  As our area is so far from the zone leaders we have permission to go and do baptismal interviews and such were the circumstances that week. I went back to Ledesma to accompany Murray to Ledesma while my comp stayed with a member.
While I was in Ledesma I got to do my first baptismal interview. It was actually great, I really enjoyed that experience. It was for a kid the other elders were teaching. Good show it was. When I was there I also got my stuff from the bolsa (pouch from the mission office) which included my scripture covers, ha-ha! And they are not as Trish from Napoleon Dynamite-looking as I thought they might be. I’ll send some pics of them in the drafts.
We ate a large amount of liver this week. It seemed almost all the lunches had it. It’s good if you like chewing on rotten-tasting leather, I guess. As luck would have it this week we had our baptism. In a river, I might add. It was soooo cool. Very, Oh Brother Where Art Thou-like but with a change of scenery. It went really well, the baptism. It was a very hot day and, as we had to walk in the mud to get the right spot to do the baptism, I stepped on a bee while I was walking there (without my shoes). He only got my toe but it quickly developed a nice Elephant Man look to it. Then, as I was walking back (I had my shoes on then) I almost stepped on a snake and this snake would turn out to be a viper! I didn’t get bit but I did get to see a viper! So how 'bout that?! Sorry if you just fainted, Mom.
This week really went so much easier than last. You know, I could feel you guys’ prayers so much this week. My patience, my body, my soul—everything that was troubled seemed to just chill down and I could function. I know that it was a tender mercy from the Lord. While things didn’t shape up the way I thought they would today, I guess the only thing to do is press on. Yeah, like things are always supposed to be easy. And while I really don’t like the situation, I’ll keep going. Just pray that I can do it for another transfer and that all will be well and it will all be good in the end. It will.
Thank you guys so so very much. Well, questions?
  • Do you ever go to any cool places on P-Day?
We are supposed to be going to a park with the elders from Ledesma sometime soon but idk when. But mostly, it’s just stickin' around.
  • What are the demographics of your branch?
Women and youngsters pretty much. Like, the only priesthood here is 5 or 6 of us. That’s a big area of focus, bringing in the priesthood here.
  • Did Paula’s baptism go through?
Like I said, it was great! She came up from Jujuy to Yuto and we got her baptism and confirmation all done and worked. She was very happy.
  • Spanish texting, eh? Do they use any shortcuts like “LOL” and the like?
Yeah, I’ve seen of a few like "E2" (ay-dos) which sounds like "adios" and to say "hahaha" is "jajaja" cause they “j” makes the ”h” sound.
  • Has it cooled off any since autumn?
No...I think it’s got hotter since it started.
  • Your dentist called. Are you flossing every day?
Si señor. But I’m gonna be in need of some good American toothpaste soon.
Well famz. That’s just about it. It’s been an interesting turn of events I guess but hey, I guess what Elder Wirthlin's mom says is true: "come what may and love it". Sure, things are not always gonna be how I want them but it’ll all work out. I just pray for the strength and power to keep on keeping on. Pray for me on that. Thanks for all your support, guys. Lots of love—you’re golden. Till next week, I love you, it’s all good!
Con Amor,
p.s. I got a letter from you Mom about registering for classes. I need everything so want to take generals and stuff for winter semester if that’s ok. I don’t know much about the details but yeah, any more questions about that, just hit me up.

Monday, April 15, 2013

For British Eyes Only


How it be? Good to hear from y'alls and to hear about your week. That’s great you fed the missionaries! I'm sure they appreciate it. And I hope another "frog eye salad vs. Greenie missionary” thing didn’t happen...then again, it would be a great sight to see....

Sorry about you switching wards, Dad. If there’s one thing I could change about the mission it would be—the changes, GAHHHH! How they kill me. I imagine it’s the same for you having to leave people you love. But yes, in do time it’ll all be chill and dandy.

It was a good week full of mondongo soup...yea?...and yes, like always, it’s like eating a dirty sock that dissolves in your mouth and you have to say “thank you” after eating it. I just don’t know why anyone would have thought it’s was a good idea to eat it in the first place. We had it twice this week. Like I said before, the people here are humble so we really do appreciate it (but don’t always enjoy it). 

We did a lot of service this week. We carried a refrigerator, 2 wardrobes, a water heater, and a table across the entire city of Yuto on a dinky little ghetto-made of rebar handcart they use here as there are like no trucks to move stuff. It made me think of my brave pioneer ancestors who carried their water heaters and fridges across the plains...oh wait...something like that. Anyways, it was a lot of work, it was. We also got new phones for the whole mission and you can now send text messages. I sent my first text message which said (in Spanish) "cool, cool—sounds great. See you then!" Just that text alone took me 5 minutes to write. I've been so long without texting that I’m now a newb at it. So very sad, it is.

We have a baptism planned this week. Her name is Paula and we are planning to baptize her in the nearby river. It’s a cool river. Please pray that it might happen this Saturday. That, and this is the last week of the transfer. I’m sorry but I don’t know about my patience with my comp. I know its God’s will in the end but if it’s at all possible, I hope I get to train this next transfer. Rosano is a good kid but the porteño-ness in this kid is just getting to my core. I’m trying to be as cool and chill  as I can be but it’s just kinda hard. You have to be like, straight up with this kid. He wants to do disobedient things (nothing serious, mind but still disobedient) and it just sucks to tell him "no dude, you can’t do that!" because he’ll get all mad and pout. He is just kinda committed to “my way or the highway”. Zulauf warned me about this kid and now I can see the fullness of his warning. I just wanna be the best I can, ya know? But this kid's just kinda slowing us down. Pray that it’ll all be good, that I can persevere and all. It’s just hard sometimes.

Well fambliys, Quezstonz?

  • I suppose the folks down there are singing “Ding-dong the wicked witch is dead” for Margaret Thatcher's passing?
Yes! That or the great "For British Eyes Only"  Look up Arrested Development for clarification.

  • How are you guys finding investigators?  Is it through referrals or good old-fashioned clapping doors?

Yeah. Mostly we are running through the old investigators but references are great here. The best thing about living in the tiniest town in the world is that everyone knows everyone so you can get like, 15 references out of one person. So, so, so very grand.

  • A very important question here:  If you could have one American thing to eat right now what would it be?

It’s a tie between like 3 things: Slurpees, a greasy spoon-type burger, or Little Caesar’s....oh I miss good, crappy food like that.

  • Do you ever conduct meetings in your branch?

Sometimes. We have been in San Pedro for conferences most of the past Sundays or have had people from the stake presidency come so President Angell conducted those meetings.

Well famz, that’s just about it for today. Thanks so much for your support, especially spiritually. It’s such a great thing to know that you’re praying, fasting, and templing. What a great blessing to have you guys in my life. I love you all so much. Thanks for being who you are. Keep on with it. Until next week. I love you. It’s all good.

Con Amor,


Monday, April 8, 2013

Argie Road

Hey Family!

Waz up? Man, oh man, wasn’t conference just the hooks? Wow! Was it tight! I’ll get to that in a sec but it’s always so good to hear from you guys. I hope this week was all splendidly good.
This week was the anniversary of the Malvinas (Falkland Island War) and Argentina is probably never going to get over it. It’s like a grand scale Robert Kearns vs. Ford but with the entire country of Argentina vs. Margret Thatcher. Like, the islands are still called the Malvinas on the map—everyone is taught this in school.  It’s a little bit touchy but I guess everyone’s gotta have their ‘Nam.

We did divies with the zonies this week. I went with Elder Thompson from St. George to his area called Embarcación. It’s a dinky little town like Yuto but with fewer street lights.  F’reals, it’s like, pioneer dark out there. It was really nice. It was good to be with someone who really wants to work and to be with someone really chill. It was kinda like spending the day with Austin Sherwin. He gave me a lot of good advice to help my comp. He was like "Yes, I’m sorry about your situation, he’s been like this with everybody. Just be patient and try to help him the best you can." It was some good advice. The trick is being patient and just letting the things that don’t matter to fly and letting the things that do matter, matter. I’ll try.
I got a haircut this week by this Joe Pesci (from Goodfellas) kinda guy. I was anticipating him saying, "Do I look like a clown to you?" the entire time.  Alas, it never happened but it’s a good haircut. 

Conference was a crazy good experience. I think I’ve said it before but I feel like I look forward to conference in the mission more than Christmas just because it’s sooooo good! We took taxis and rode buses for 2 hours to and from conference on Saturday. The English room had only me and Elder Murray so it was a fairly relaxed setting compared to how it’s usually been during conference in the mission. A year ago I was packed into a tiny room of like, 24 we’re down to two.  Sunday was a great day. The branch rented a bus so we all rode down together. We went to the plaza and took some pics with the Elders and our branch. We did the Abbey road pic which was a dream come true. Even though it’s horribly inaccurate it’ll somewhat suffice. And of course, it’s so memorable. While at conference I saw my mini missionary Rollei and he had a giant envelope in his hands. It was his mission call! He opened it in the middle of the conference break. He´s going to Curitiba Brazil! WOW! I have no clue where that is but man that’s cool. It was such a awesome moment when he opened his call. What a good kid that Rollei. 
Man, I loved every bit of conference but Elder Holland took the cake. His talk was an uppercut to the soul. It was hard not to tear up at times during his talk—I loved it! That’s always gonna be a goal of mine:  To try to get to know my Savior more and more. To try to have a better testimony about Him, His mission, His life, His sacrifice, everything. It’s obviously a lifelong pursuit but, as we learn more and more about Him and have Him planted deeper and deeper in our testimonies, then this life and the life after will be something grand.

On that subject, as I was doing my study this morning, I came across a scripture that really impacted me. In 3 Nefi 9:22.  In this chapter we read about the voice that comes to the people after their cities had been destroyed and they were in pitch black darkness. It’s the voice of Christ Himself and, in the very last verse, he says something amazing:  If we repent (or in other words, try to be the best we can because, as we repent, we acknowledge our faults and promise to try to do better) and come unto Him as little children (or if we are humble and willing to be taught and helped) then such is the kingdom of God. He then says something here that is incredible: Christ says "For such I have laid down my life"...that got to me. He loved and still loves us so much that he gave His life so we can accomplish this goal. If we repent of our mistakes (through His atonement) and be as little children (to be ready to learn and follow the gospel of Christ) then we will be saved. He did so much for what little he asks us to do: To follow His gospel, to keep His commandments, to come unto Him and follow Him. He leaves this promise at the end of the scripture. He says in effect, "Just repent, and come unto me and be saved."  What an incredible thing the gospel really is. To know, as imperfect human beings, that we will make mistakes, that we can be lifted up to and become a little better each time then, in the end, become perfect. What a gateway to true happiness that is. What a great knowledge to know that we are being helped by our Heavenly Father and His Son Jesus Christ. It’s more than words. Man! If only everyone could know about this. Well, I guess that’s why I’m here right? Now anyways, onto dem questions…
  • Did you get to see all of conference (even the priesthood session) and where were you?
Yep, I did! I saw them all in a classroom in San Pedro (Argentina, not California.  Sorry Grandma).

  • Have you been able to sample all of the locally grown delicious fruits?
I still haven’t tasted sugar cane and, oh how I dream of the day when I can try it. When our bus stops along the road by any of the thousands of non-existent towns, we always stop by a sugar cane field and it’s only like, 10 feet away from me. I’m going to send a member to go find a stalk for me. I’m getting close.

  • Are you staying well and sleeping well?
Yeah! Really well, actually. The health is good and all. I haven’t blown out any knees so I got that going for me—which is nice…

  • Did the SD card work? 
Yes, I have heard some of the music so far and am awaiting the joys of what else (like the conference talks) on there.

  • Are the townsfolk nice in Yuto?
Oh you know it! It’s a regular Argie Mayberry (minus Goober Pyle but I think that’s really for the best).

Well familys that’s just about it. Man it’s hard to think I got 7 months left tomorrow and one more conference... a bit sad. But all the more excuse to be missionarying it up I guess. It’s a good life ya know. I love you guys. Have a great week back in school. Be Hinckley. And all that. I love you. It´s all good.
Con Amor,


The Yuto Crowd At Conference

Dieter, My Dieter
Abbey Road

Argie Road

Monday, April 1, 2013

...Spun From The Beards Of Shellfish


Oh good sakes kids! How’ve you been? It’s great to hear the week was all good. Sorry about the shoulder dad but I'm glad that Easter was all terrific and frolicsome and that Molly had a ball.

Here Easter wasn’t as hoppin' (Easter bunny pun intended). Everyone here buys giant expensive chocolate eggs for Easter and watches Mel Gibson’s Passion of the Christ. Oh, and the Ten Commandments, of course (the best part being when the pharaoh asks Moses (Charlton Heston's) to hand over his staff and he replies "Not until they pry it from my cold, dead hands!" Good times. There were little processions here. Like, for example, on Good Friday a man goes around town carrying a giant cross and a bunch of people follow him singing songs. It’s quite the hit.

On Tuesday we spent the day with Elder Murray from Oklahoma. He’s got about 3 weeks here in the mission and he’s a companion of one of the elders in our district who asked if we could watch Elder Murray while he went to Salta to do papers. So we stayed with him and it was fun. It made me so grateful I am where I am now in the mish. I remember the first bit. Man, it was tough. It was really great to work with him.

When we dropped him off the next day, his comp (Elder Solomon) asked if we could help with their "mini MTC". We agreed and the next day, on Friday, we headed back to Ledesma. Elder Solomon needed to do a baptismal interview in San Pedro so my comp went with him and I stayed there with Elder Murray. Elder Solomon said that the missionary’s part of the mini MTC thing was that we would speak for like 5 minutes.  So we were only expecting to talk for 5 minutes and be done. When we got to the chapel it was just me and Murray in front of an audience of like 30 youth.  The Y.M´s director got up and said, "Ok, welcome to the mini MTC, thank you for coming. Now we’ll turn the time over to the elders.” I forgot to ask what subject we were speaking on so I whispered to the leader "What should we speak on?" He said "Idk but I gotta go. You guys will run this show until one in the afternoon...bye!" and he left...It was 8 in the morning and the guy just ditched us. Murray doesn’t speak a lick of Spanish, I have no topic to go on, and we’ve just been abandoned in front of a big group of youth.

So with that, we commenced the mini MTC—out of nothing. I was just trying to think of the things we did in the MTC: Practices, talking about our purpose as missionaries, etc. I got to teach the whole thing and it was actually way, way, way, way super-fun cool. The kids really got into it and I felt really great and comfortable teaching them. After all that, the leader came back at around one o’clock and told me, "Thanks for running the thing Elder, could you also direct the choir?"  I said, "There’s a choir?"  The guy responds, “Of course...but it hasn’t been formed yet and the youth must be in the choir. They are going to sing Called to Serve...And the district president is coming in just awhile to see it." Ahhhh!! So we fashioned up a choir, made parts, practiced, etc. It was like being a regular Sue Sylvester but without the whole “Glee” thing. The district president came and that’s when things all the sudden started to get organized.

They had a little devotional that night and while I was there I saw a kid come in with the district president. It was Elder Rolleli, my mini missionary from Aeroparque. We hugged and talked and laughed and smoked (Ha! April fools). But we talked and he’s been mini-missioning for like a month in Tucumán and Salta, etc. His mission call got lost in the mail so he’s still waiting for it but I get to see him next week for General conference.

The mini MTC was really fun while it lasted, just horribly planned, but it was fun. My comp came back from San Pedro a short while after and we headed back to Yuto. While I was there I got my package from Elder Solomon—the one with the SD card and candy. Thank you so, so much—much obliged.

Yuto is going well. I’m best buds with this member kid named Elias who’s going on a mish soon. He’s awesome. He only loves British and Scottish bands like Travis, Foals, etc.  He works at a store making facturas (pastries) with his dad and they always leave us a bag of them in the window every morning. It’s a good life.

The comp is getting easier but rough at the same time. The kid is nice but just SO INSANLEY PRIDEFUL and has his own schedule and requires more than a little patience. I’m really trying to be the best I can with him. It’s just sometimes he needs a smack in the head. Pray for the both of us. We have some investigators getting close to baptism. This one girl named Paula is possible. She went on vacation to Jujuy Centro and so we are just waiting for her return and interview. More to come on that. Pray for her. Well, that just bout it....questions snoitseuq?

I have heard from my missionary mom group that they are going to start sending missionaries into the country with a travel visa which will allow them to stay for 3 – 6 months while they get their real visa.  Have you heard anything about that? 
  • No but that sounds cool. Man, I really want to be a papi. I was told by pres that I was gonna train in Aeroparque but nope no missionaries. I know if I just do my work then I’m doing my purpose but I really want to do something like train. I just kinda feel bummish about that. I shouldn’t though.
What are the members like there?  Who is your branch president?
  • They are really good nice folk...A like skippity but nice people. The president is Ron Togerson. He’s a fun guy-- cool guy.
Well famz, that’s about it. I love you guys so much and am so grateful for all you do; you’re all amazing. Well, it’s that time—the World of Warcraft kids are starting to ooze in and that’s when I start to lose my mind. I love you guys so much. Pray that I can be chill this week. Have a great week. I love you, its all good.

Con Amor,


Our Fair City

Sugar Caned!

This must be the place!