Monday, May 27, 2013

This Kid's Got Guts

Fam Drescher!

Hey guys! so whats up and all? So your finally taking down the great porch. That’s OK, I guess. I was also kinda sketched by it myself but it will be nice and ready, and strong enough to withstand the weight of my beach chair and cooler full of cold drinks as I begin my summer tanning in 2014...get ready!

Man, oh man, has it been an interesting week. I've had a food experience week that even the great Andrew Zimmern would sink his teeth (not tooth) into. Yesterday we had an asado filled to the brim with kidneys, intestines, liver, and cow stomach and I tried 'em all. I wouldn't say I particularly enjoy eating any of them but I can eat them without making a sour face, spitting it into the hand of the closest adult next to me and saying "MEHHHH!!!" with my tongue out. I actually really enjoyed the intestines, they are super chewy but have a really good flavor; t´was much enjoyed.

Today I am making cinnamon rolls and they are all rolled out and are rising as we speak, waiting to be cooked. They are really looking good. It's very interesting cooking in Argentina because there are no standard-unit measuring cups or anything...there aren't even metric system cups here so you just have to eye everything and substitute. Like, here in argieland there is no Crisco so we use cow fat instead (and so on and so forth) but its good fun.

It was a normal, smooth week. We had a baptism. We found this family in the old investigators section of the area book and we have been teaching them for awhile. We are really close with this one girl named Veronica (Kramer's girlfriend) but we have also been teaching her little sister Fernanda and got her baptized this weekend. We really hope that with the baptism of Fernanda it will really help Veronica to be baptized because she's still kinda iffy on stuff. A good strong spirit was felt at the service and we hope that was a good step forward for her. 

Well, I'm-a hit up the questions as my letter has much to do with those questions.
  • How are your investigators coming along?
The Belmontes are good. They actually called us last Monday and said, "Do you guys have lunch tomorrow?" We said “No” and they said, "Can we make you guys lunch?" They did and it was so cool. They are really getting into the branch and the activities we have. Javier went to Tucumàn this past week (with his little brother José who we are also teaching) so we are expecting him to come back the end of this week. Isaac and Juan are doing well. Their mom is coming back from Buenos Aries this week so we are gonna talk with her about she and her boys getting baptized—they want to but she is just kinda iffy. But its totally cool, man.
  • Any sisters in your district?
We have the 2 hermanas in San Pedro (with their 2 mini missionaries) and the 2 hermanas in Belgrano. One of the hermanas in Belgrano is a new missionary named Hermana Jeffries and she lives in Highland and knows some of my A.F. friends but, most importantly, is that her family were neighbors to the Ostlers and were in their ward and she knows all the gang (including Dón Don). So that was a cool, right?
  • Do you do any door clapping in Yuto or do you get a lot of referrals.
Not so much clapping because it's such a very tiny town. But yeah, lots of sweet hooks ups and such. I think I said before that everyone knows everyone so you ask one person for a reference and you get the whole town.
  • What do you do for FHE?
A few games and movies sometimes. That includes the flour game where you put a cup of molded flour on a plate with a candy on the top of the mold and you have to cut it without making it fall. If it does fall you have to get the candy out using your teeth only and you get flour all over your face and stuff. It's crazy man (I can't remember if I told you guys about that game) and you can make it doctrinal by saying, "This molded flour represents our faith. Every time we "cut" our faith by not reading our scriptures or praying (or etc etc) we cut down our faith. That would be my advice to all future missionaries is to learn how to do fun family night evening activities like that.
  • Any area you would like to serve in before you go?
  • How's church going these days?
The usual: Dogs chasing through the chapel so that you have to round them up and kick them out to have church, racing off and breaking in to members houses (with their permission) to get bread for the sacrament, people coming out of the crowd to give their talks then sitting back down in the crowd afterward, Cumbia music blasting from the next door neighbors house during class time. But for reals, I really cannot imagine church any other way, it's literally the best!

Well, cool, cool kiddies. I best be heading out. As you know, this is the last week of the transfer. Who knows what will happen but pray that it´ll be all good. It will, for sures. I best get to seeing about those cinnamon rolls now. Have a great week. Thanks for everything! Be Hinkley and all. I love you, its all good.

Con Amor,

Yes, it got cold!

Monday, May 20, 2013

Man Cold!


Hey there! Goodniss skates, how goes it all? By the way, before I forget, that picture of the chicken you sent me is how ALL of the chickens here look. Good to hear it’s all good and such.

It has been quite a week. It was a bit of a rough week health wise. I have just barely recovered from a deadly man cold! It was fun: A whole week of snoring, boogies, Selma and Patty-like coughing, Sudafed, and all. I was feeling horrible but we got out and worked. I went to Ledesma to do an interview and feel asleep in the cab and I think I snored during the ride and the cabs here are full of peeps. When I was doing the interview I like couldn’t hear because my head was so full of guck. I just kinda had a Rocky Balboa after-a-fight face on for a week but I'm all good now, it’s out of the system. I think it happened because Yuto just absolutely dropped into cold, cold (well to me it was cold which is saying something) temperatures. The folks here start putting on jackets when its 40 Celsius (104 F.) outside. I can’t imagine what most are doing now with this temperature change. They’re probably all dead.

We did have another lesson with the - - - - - family. We started teaching just the 3 of them and, while we were teaching, 8 of their family members came in and we were teaching the WHOLE family! They were really getting into it and we all felt the spirit big time at the end. The aunt of Javier (the - - - - - dad we are teaching) asked if we could give her daughter a blessing because she’s been seeing things and hearing things and kinda dark stuff like that so we did and she said she felt great, more relaxed. I hope it’s all good for her.

The  - - - - -s are going great. The whole branch is kinda hesitant to assist because the - - - - -s  are like the Kennedys of Yuto—every one knows them and they have money because of the lumber industry here.  Also, like the Kennedys, some have and some don’t have a great reputation but the branch is working on being good sports and being friendly and making them feel comfortable. They are a family who has so much potential.

We did divvies this week and I went to Ledesma with Elder Solomon, it was a good swap. Elder Solomon is a cool kid who I really get along with and we really worked well together. We were getting lunch together at a restaurant when on the TV there I thought I saw something familiar. Why, it was none other than jolly ol' Mike and Edd on Wheeler Dealers ¡en Español! it was a good episode, the one where Edd rigs up one of those Dupuy de Lôme-style dirigibles for Mike so he can sail over England snickering at the folks below with his cane, top hat, and mustache that he twists as he laughs diabolically. What a shame, that show has really gone down hill with stuff like that happening. Just thought you should know that Dad.

We had interviews with Pres this week. He is a really good guy, that Pres Levrino. He said to keep on keepin' on and be ever so patient. I like that. He also showed us a video of "Missionary Work and The Atonement". You can find it on YouTube. This clip really opened my eyes in a sense that, yes, the mission is hard; things don’t go right sometimes, that missionary work isn’t easy because, really, salvation is not an easy thing either. With this knowledge, I can be just a bit more patient; I can help my comp the best I can. If I do my best and help him to do his best, that’s all I can do. I highly recommend this video, it’s gold!

I also got my package at interviews. It’s was the one with the fancy creams and lotions (or face wash) and Reese's and stuff. Thank you, thank you! I have one request, though: Deodorant! Maybe some of that Old Spice coconutty whatnot. That would be nice.

Well that’s about it 4 this week. Quez-tons?

Other than Stewart, are there many dogs in Yuto?
  • Alas...yes. Although there are like a ton of pigs here too—just running around in the farm-y part of town. There are also horses that sneak into our backyard at midnight to eat the trees out back. You know: "secret eating"!

Do you know everyone Yuto now?
  • Just about. It’s just such a tiny town.

How are you doing with the cold weather?
  • SUPER! I love it but, at the same time, it’s messing with me. I actually feel cold outside and I'm walking with my jacket on and in my mind I’m thinking "Wow, it’s cold”. Then that makes me think “It’s almost Christmas!” F´reals, it messes with your mind.

How are things with the investigators?
  • So far, so good. We are working with that Veronica girl to be baptized this Saturday. She’s meeting some opposition from an aunt of hers who came out of nowhere and said "Don’t be baptized" but that’s not really worrying us too bad,  she’ll get through that. We are also still working with Juan and Jose. They were all sick this week too so we didn’t get to talk with them much but they are all walking well.

Are you making cookies for the folks in Yuto?
  • YES! I made some for the Familia Ponce last week and the next batch will be for the Belmontes.  As we were talking about American food the other day I told about making cookies and I said that you can make chocolate chip cookies here but you need to cut up the chocolate into pieces. Annabel said that there is a place in Ledesma that sells chocolate chips in a bag and she said she’d buy them and she did! I have them in the pench and I’ll have to be making them soon. Here, and for all of my mission the people are always asking the missionaries for banana bread, lemon pie, brownies, pancakes, and chocolate chip cookies. Running a bakery can be very demanding.

Did you have a good interview with the president?
  • Yes, the interviews went well. Like I said. Pres gave a lot of good advice said to keep hanging in there. I’m down with that. With the good mercy of the Lord I can surely do that.
Well Scramblys I best get movin', it’s about that time but do know that I’m so very grateful for all of you, thanks for everything. Keep on doing good and keep on prayin’ for us down here in Yuto. Have a fantastic 80th birthday, Grandma Molly, I love you!!  Have a great week everyone. I love you! It’s all good.

Con Amor,


P.S. Granted, I’m obviously on the other side of the equator but, none-the-less, is there anything I could do for you guys?

I gave this guy a piggy-back ride and got a free hat!

Monday, May 13, 2013

Monkey Business

Deary me family!

What is up! I must say that the call yesterday was nothin' but a hoot! I was so happy I got to talk with you guys and that everything is going well and everyone sounds good—and that Molly can talk!! That still just weirds me out. It’s a bit sad that is my last mish phone call but it was all good. I gave my best wishes or "saludos" from you guys to the family that let me use their phone. Good stuffs, I tell ya'!

Thanks for the advice for the comp. I have been doing that a lot lately: Praying that he´ll get better, gentle reminders and such (about having a purpose when going to members houses and that). There are still some things but the majority of stuff is settling down. I’ll do my best to talk with him and all. It’s true, there are second chances. I’ll pray for him and you guys pray for us. It’ll be a good system. I’m pretty sure it is.
Man, oh man, it has been a fantastic week! Like I said, we found like 4,000 (rough guesstimate) people last week and it was so cool. It started off with just one lesson: With a brother of a recent convert (Juan) and his friends. From them we got the other brother to listen (Isaac) and one of his friends as well. And through his friend (whose name is Jose Manuel and reminds me of Zach Hulsey) we found his brother (Javier) and his soon-to-be wife (Annabella) and his mom (Paula). They are all like, totally open and cool with us and want to go to church and all the activities and José and Javier want to get baptized. I told you when we talked to the mom she was like, "It’s not a coincidence that we met".  It was just the coolest blessing ever! I’ve been straight up giddy for about 3 days. You can’t stop da funk! We hope to continue working with them. What a blessing!!!

I told you that we always get the road blocked by protestors (striking sugar cane workers) on our way to district meeting. It happened this week as well except worse. It often happens on the bridge about a mile before Ledesma and then we walk the rest of the way but this time we were stranded in the freeway with a big line of cars and trucks and we had to wait forever to find a cab in the long line of cars. We finally found one and got to Ledesma but by the time we got there district meeting ended but it was ok. It’s common thing for with the missionaries in the surrounding area here. While I was there in Ledesma I got to do a couple of baptismal interviews and it’s was so very cool. I love doing those interviews because you can really see that these people want to be baptized and want to follow Christ. It’s so great to see that. But really, other than calls home, blocked roads, golden families and such, it’s been a relatively chill week and I’m hoping for another good one this week.  If there is nothin’ else, any preguntas?
Are you thinking about what you’d like in your birthday package?
  • A CTR ring would be great and just candy. I’m good for ties and such. I’m just missing like, candy and peanut butter.
You say you have monkeys in the area.  Have you seen any?
  • I haven’t seen them nor heard them but Oscar, one of our investigadores says he saw monkeys like the ones in the movie Río by the river that is close to Yuto. Also here we have "El Ucumar" which is supposed to be a Bigfoot-like creature that lives around here and causes all sorts of ruckus. Have I seen any monkeys yet? Alas, no :(....   but there is still hope!
Tell us about some of your investigators.
  • Those guys I told you about on the phone. Also, we have a lady named Veronica who has a little girl and she’s way cool and for sures is gonna get baptized. She’s kinda hard to hear during lessons, though. It’s (and I am not exaggerating) like talking to Kramer’s girlfriend (the one who makes Jerry Seinfeld wear the puffy shirt). I may myself have agreed to wear one but just don’t know it yet. Also, we have a guy named Luis who is in the process of getting married and is quitting coca and smoking. Then we always have Oscar who is an eternal investigador but lately he’s been really opening up with us. One of his sons is on a mish and the other one (Elias) is preparing to go on one—he’s got his papers in and everything. Oscar’s wife is super active but he’s just kinda got the John Lennon form of religion: "I don’t believe in Beatles, I just believe in me".  He’s way good and we know that he knows everything is true but there is just a wall that needs knocking down. We are getting close though, I hope.
You told Carly you were going to eat a cow head?  With who?
  • With Oscar.  He is a 100% fishing/cooking/hiking/exploring/etc. guy and just knows about all of the best of Argentina. He says he knows how to bake a cow’s head. They are selling for 60 pesos so I think we are gonna go splitzys on it. I’m hoping for next Monday. We´ll see. I’ll be sure to give you a "heads" up but don’t lose your "head" over it, just use your "head" and you’ll "head" in the right direction beause the next great thing in life is just a"head" of us.  I’ll have you know no puns were intended in any of above.
Well familyz, I can’t thank you guys enough for all you do. Keep on praying for us, the investigators and all. Thank you for doing all you do. Have a most splendid week. As for me?  It is a cold, rainy day here in Yuto and I believe I will go make cookies while watching the President Monson: On the Lord’s Errand movie for perhaps the 143rd time.  I may have that movie memorized. I love you guys. It’s all good!

Con Amor,

Down by the river side

With the Yuto Branch

Right back at 'ya

No, this isn't Stewart

Monday, May 6, 2013

I Hate Stewart

Hey diddly! How goes it all? Choir concerty, FHE and such? I’m glad, I’m glad. I’m just sitting here in this cyber on this lukewarm day, swatting at bugs while the cyber’s phone is ringing off the hook with the “Fur Elise” ringtone that’s slowly decaying—like the birthday card in Wallace and Grommit's "The Wrong Trousers".

This week has been an interesting one: A busy week full of (for the majority) giving blessings and setting people apart. Lots of opportunities like that to really get the spirit more. They were really great. Well, with the exception of one. Idk if I told you but we have the branch president’s dog that always ALWAYS follows us and I can’t stand this dog (his name is Stewart) because he attracts all the other dogs to fight with him and constantly attacks cats and chickens.  Nobody in Yuto can stand this dog—well, except my comp and the branch president. So we went to this Hermana’s house to give her a blessing and she had chickens. I was giving the blessing and right during the very beginning of it there was a very loud commotion—buckets being kicked over, chickens squawking, dogs barking, the sound of a lady yelling angry cuss words while hitting something. I peeked to see what was up and Stewart had a chicken in his mouth and everyone was trying to get it away from him. There were feathers everywhere, it was a disaster. To make things worse, I was like, right in the middle of the blessing. There was no concentration from any of the participants. We wanted to like laugh ‘cause it was just too ridiculous then we wanted to kill Stewart. I quickly finished and took Stewart home. I will never be a dog person.

We helped the same family cut a branch they wanted down from their giant rubber tree. I saw a youth in the ward doing Tarzan swings from the vines and—I don’t know what I was thinking—but in my mind I it was like, "Oh, a rubber tree. They must be so strong.  I think I’ll swing from that branch." So I did a Tarzan move to try and reach said branch.  In pure hindsight what happened next was inevitable. The vine broke and I fell on my back and bottom. But it’s cool, it’s cool. Nothing is broken and I’m fine. I’m sure there is a talk in this somewhere but we´ll just have to see where it goes.

We planned a baptism for Evelina (that lady I told you about) but it didn’t go through this week. I’m not so sure about her mental capacity. She seemed kinda loopy before and so we put it off.  Just a few days ago she told me "Hi, I’m Evelina. It’s good to meet you"....yeah...It was altogether awkward but it was all good.

Man, I gotta tell you guys like this week has been something impressive. Like, I’ve just been doing the best I can this week: Trying to be a good example, saying that we gotta get better at some stuff and really, I can feel a difference. I really felt better this week just trying to do the best I can no matter what my comp wants to do. There are some goals and things that have worked just instantly but others that are going to take time and I guess that’s ok. There have been a couple of scriptures that have helped me big time. One is in D&C 88:78 that says: "Teach ye diligently and my grace shall attend you." I thought about that and it’s like, “Wow, I need God’s grace like, always and He can bless with His grace in so many ways. I think if I do that: "Teach with diligence" and just try my best to do that then it will really help me. Another scripture for confidence was in D&C 121:45. Where it says "Let virtue garnish thy thoughts unceasingly and then shall thy confidence wax strong before the presence of God." It’s very true. If I’m keeping my mind positive and focused and filled with the good stuff then my confidence will be strengthened and all will be well. I hope so.

It’s difficult with this kid because he has the most massive ego/pride that I’ve ever seen in my life. It’s just painful. He always wants to be the super stud and wants to be everyone’s friend but at a level where it’s: "Dude, we can be friends with the members, absolutely, but on a missionary level. We can’t just go and hang out and chill with them and watch TV with them, etc." He just wants to chill with the members, do his exercises for an hour and a half, or listen to electro music. Then when we teach he´ll go on about temples and sealings and such and this would be the first visit and people have no clue what the heck a temple even is. I know he’s kinda new so I can understand but he´s really not teachable. He already "knows it all" and refuses to be obedient or listen to what I say.  I’m for sure gonna talk to president in interviews about what can I do for this. But yeah, if there’s any advice please, do tell.

Know that I’m doing better and feel a lot more confidant and so so so so much better than I felt last week. I’m just kinda lost on what to do with this situation but yes, I'm guessing patience and enduring to the end are gonna be key here so it’s all good. That’s basically about it for the week and all. Quin-tins?
  • What time does your church start?
9 am every Sunday. It used to be in the afternoon here but it just got recently changed to the mornings.
  • What’s good to drink on these hot, hot days?
They have Coke, Sprite, and Fanta (orange, grapefruit, and apple only) in glass bottles that you can buy and drink there at the store then chill for a bit.  After you take the bottles back it’s only two pesos and they are so sugary tasty.
  • I can’t remember, can you drink mate now?
When Elder Viñas came he said we can drink mate cocido which is like, the mate in the little tea packets but, alas, we still can’t drink the good stuff—mate yerba which is the mate in the cup. We will keep praying that the ban will be lifted. One day!
  • Do you need us to send anything?  Do you need new shoes or shirts or anything?
Know that I’m totally set on shoes, shirts, pants, clothing, all that. I’m 100% OK but I’m in short supply of good Garnier shampoo and melatonin so maybe, like in a future package, I could get that. Super thank you!

Well familys, thats about it. Man, oh man, I love you guys so much. I love your hands-on willingness to help and pray and just do it all. I really loved the part in Elder Holland’s recent talk when he said, “Hold fast to what you already know and stand strong until additional knowledge comes.” I know that to be so very true.  Millions of thank yous. Oh man, the cyber is about to shut down and I didn’t get to read Carly’s email. So sorry. I will get to it next week. Gracias equal Carlita, un abrazo! But well, I guess we´ll talk this Sunday guys. I can’t wait. I love you all so much and it’s all good!

Con Amor,