Monday, October 28, 2013

A Witch's Brew


Sup? Yes, its Lunes again and it’s still just—so—hot!  You don’t even know how much I’m looking forward to snow. There was like, NONE while I was in the MTC so I’ve had 3 years without it. I’m stoked to get back and love it for 5 minutes before I get sick of it. In the meantime, I’ll be working on my tan/melanoma.  Man, I’m pretty bummed old Metal Machine Music (Lou Reed) died. It’s not fair that Mick Jagger keeps on living and Lou-Lou Belle doesn’t.  But glad to hear things are a'Halloween'n with a witch's brewww! Here the kids just ask us about American Halloween and wonder if such a thing is really legal. I mean, free candy, after all!
It was the end of the politic madness this week. AHHH!!!!!!!!!! Yes, and I’m way thrilled about it: No more horrible campaigning! Seriously, they have these cars that go around playing super-loud propaganda and some idiot that was driving one of them was following us.  When we thought he wasn’t around we´d go try and contact somebody and he would just pop right around the corner with the loudspeaker blaring so we couldn’t hear the people we were talking to. AHHH!!! I hate it! But yes, it was a good week despite it all.
We baptized Nauhel but didn’t get him confirmed because ridiculous political campaign made it so we could only have church for an hour and his family couldn’t come the first hour.  But its good, we´ll get him confirmed next Sunday. We met a lot of good, new people this week including a young couple named Paolo and Belen. They are way chill and have a 2-year old little girl. They are progressing quite smoothly and things are going well with them.  Even though Sunday was a disaster we still had a good week.
So my district includes the areas of L______ 1 and L______ 2.  Turns out L_______ 2  is in complete rebellion.  F’reals, they don’t call to verify, report numbers, or even work. IDK why. I’ve talked to them dozens of times and so have the ZL´s—even Pres. has talked to them.  I’m going on divvies with them tomorrow to find out what the heck is going on because nobody knows what’s happening with them. Not even L______ 1 knows what’s up and they live in the same pench with them!  So wish me luck on that.
Can you believe it’s gonna be November this week! Gnarly, huh? We just keep on passing the time but it’s cool, we’ve got a great week heading for us so pray it’ll all go well. ‘Til then, queztonz?
Do they do much for Halloween there?
Nope, but on Canal Disney here they do play the greatest movie made (right behind Citizen Kane and The Godfather) namely, Hocus Pocus!  They kinda have  Día de Muertos here but nada que ver with the Aztec-inspired celebrations in Mexico.  I think everyone here  just visits the cemetery.  The cemeteries are cool. They are all crypts and such.
  • What do you want to do before you come home?
Not get sunburnt,  baptize. I can’t really think of any last thing to do. Maybe just eat some of the "You’ll never, ever, ever, ever find this in America" type of foods—cows head?
  • How are your friends, the Alderetes, doing?
They are doing really well. Oscar came to church yesterday and we stopped by and visited them. They send a lot of saludos your way
  • Do you get thunder and lightning in your area or just rain?
Just rain.  I remember in my first area we had the craziest thunder that would shake the whole house (and exceedingly sharp lightnings).  Here it’s just rain. I may have heard thunder a couple times here in Yuto, though.
Well that’s about it! I’ll send you guys a couple of more letters then I’ll be home. Until next week, thank you so, so much! I love you, it’s all good!

Con Amor,


Big Time!

Monday, October 21, 2013

It's Not The Heat, It's The Humidity......And The Heat!


As I was cybering this morn they cut the power and so I couldn’t write you guys then so we’re hoping that this email will go through—oh, how I pray. But yes, how goes it? Is it still hot in Utah? Seriously, it’s like "The Pump" kind of hot here. I believe I’ll answer your question of "What I will not miss about Argentina?" right now. THE HEAT!!! Man, and from what I heard this won’t be the worst. Like, it’s supposed to get to 120° F but I'll be peacin' before then. What a shame tsk-tsk. For the most part of this week when we haven’t had water or power I've been sleeping in a nice pool of sweat and the feeling of "Ahhh, c’mon! "  Kinda what Mick Jagger must feel like on a regular basis, I imagine.

Through the smoke and flames we managed to have a baptism this week—a young chap by the name of Misael who is the nephew of Pres. Angel. It went great! It was a hot, hot day so we planned to have the baptism in a pool at a place called (in Spanish and English) "Camping".  We got there to find—GASP—no agua in the pool! I panicked because we hadn’t filled the font in the capilla since the water was being weirdly gross there so we did the next best thing: I went with Angel and we found a good-sized irrigation ditch in an orange grove, dammed it up with an old tin roof, and had the baptism there—on the spot—yes! It was a most last- minute thing but it worked and it was a blasty blast.  He got confirmed the next day.

Speaking of the scripture in a bag thing (suggestion that he keep his scriptures in a plastic gallon bag), I really wish I would have done that because my scriptures got soaked. I have my fancy leather cases but I'm not going to use those out in the field. I’m using the scripture covers you guys sent me way back when. The zipper broke on my triple combination a few months ago so it’s just been open this whole time and bwahhhh! It got drenched.  They are all marked up so 1 Nefi had the pen all washed away and the paper stained. Yet, not to fear, yesterday I embarked on some serious scripture surgery.  After 2 hours with white out, tape, etc. they’re back to normal with just a few great battle scars.

Yesterday, Gabriel passed the sacrament for the first time. I was blessing it and told him if he ran out of bread or water he must go to the front, spin around 3 times and that will signal me tol go get more bread and water(I know, he thinks I am hilarious).  Alas, neither the bread nor the water ran out :(  

Well, other than that, it’s been a week of searching for newbies so my comp and his next comp will have a nice, fresh batch of people to work with. It’s kind of hard finding people right now because Yuto has a lot of stuff going on right now: Local bingo at the high school (no joke) selling bread and, of course, POLITICS! Every Yutan down in Yuto likes politics a lot, but the Elder Allphin, who lived in the middle of Yuto, did not. F´reals, I’m about to swallow a knife listening to all the politics here. They put up huge speakers and play propaganda with Chacarera and Cumbia music at volume levels that makes a train horn sound like a ladybug sneeze. We have the headquarters of the Peronistas right in front of our pench so every day they play the Peronista march song to wake me up. Nothing says “Good morning anti-radicalistas!” than Eva Peron (except without Madonna). That’s about all the buzz in Yuto. Everyone is practically naked with the heat on and I’m tempted to join them in on that. But first, some queztions.

  • How is the dog situation?  Has Angel’s dog stopped following you?
Good. Stewart doesn’t follow us anymore. I trained my comp to dislike Stewart too so he doesn’t follow us. When he wants to we both give him a stern "I’m not, and never will be, your friend".  In return, he whines and gives us a "I just wanted to help" look and walks away crying. Then me and my comp laugh and high five each other. Dad and lad I tell you.  Yes, we are heartless,

  • What will you not miss about Argentina?
HEAT!!!!!!!! I’m starting to dig the cumbia now (I think that’s a sign I need to come home and listen to "The National".) We had Tito y La Liga come to the club right by our pench. La Liga is like the ratty cumbia band of all the ratty cumbia bands in Argentina so it was kind of a big deal. I got to hear them blasting from a distance and Vanessa got me a poster. So tight!
  • When and where do you have your final interview with the Pres?
We did it last Friday. In our zones he goes from area to area because we are all so spread apart.  It went really well. We had it in the chapel, I got my temple recommend renewed and yes, IT’S IN SPANISH!

  • Will you be able to go to the temple when you swing through Buenos Aires on your way home?
I heard the rumor that the group that went home in August got to go but idk, I hope so. It’s a way cool temple I heard.

Well kiddlingz, that’s it for this week of the weekly stuffs. I’m currently in the process spending my change collection from my whole mission. It’s a healthy $26 pesos and a kilo of strawberries are running around $20 pesos. A kilo of strawberries for 5 bucks—good luck finding that in the States. So I gotta go hit that up. ‘Till next week, I love you all so much, thank you for all you do. Happy belated Argie Mother's Day Mom and everyone. I love you, its all good.

Con Amor,

Old Group Foto

Authentic Argentinean Garb!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Drink 8 Full Glasses Of Scorpions Each Day

Hey y´all,

How goes it? It's going pretty good here. Lots of rain which is kinda good, kinda bad. I like it in the sense that its not so horribly hot but bad in the sense that it got my scriptures wet and I gave my rain coat to Elias to take to Brazil. It's cool. I have my umbrella-ella-ella still but its kind of a pain.

This week went relativity well except there was a massive fire by Yuto and it cut the power and water for about 3 days but the great part was that for all those days it was awfully hot and with the smoke clouding the valley it made for a nice greenhouse-type feeling over us so it was even hotter and we got ashes all over our clothes. All this with no AC. I ever so envied the Vesuvius victims, lucky bums! Due to the power out (during which I was singing "Power Out" by Arcade Fire for those 3 days) at night it was impossible to work because the whole city had no power: So, DARK was the night!!! A lot of the work we have here is in the sketchy parts of town so we didn’t dare to walk there at night. But later we got power and water back just as it started raining. I'm soooo happy!! I missed the water so much. The baptism didn’t go through, alas, but we are planning on maybe 2 this upcoming Saturday. Pray for that.

The branch is doing fine. We had the primary program yesterday which was an adorable train wreck. I got to lead the kids in singing their songs. We sang "I know my Heavenly Father loves me" and a whole slew of others. I say we were supposed to sing that song but the kids were actually singing another song as I was singing that one. After the meeting I got to set Gabriela apart as the 2nd counselor in the primary presidency and I got to give Gabriel the Aaronic priesthood. It was a cool moment. They are doing so, so well and are gonna be a big help here in Yuto. And well, that's the news from Yuto this week. Quesztionz?

We heard that the fires drove the animals out of the jungle. Did you see any?
Kinda...with the lack of water and light I went to go pick something out of the sink and in the dark I saw something in there. Thinking it was just a cockroach or something I went to go get my flashlight to see it (as we haven’t had cockroach problems for a long time here). Turns out it wasn’t a cockroach but a scorpion! Nice! I always wondered what they were putting in the water here so now I know.

Well, that's about it. Thanks so much for writing. I love you guys a bunch. Keep on praying for Yuto and all. Have a smashing week. I love you. Its all good!

Con Amor,

Raise your marshmallow stick!

Monday, October 7, 2013

Merry Michaelmas!


Dang it all, how goes it? Sorry about not writing to you last week but El Presidente said, “No Señor”.  Buts its cool.  I hope you guys didn’t think I was dead.

Last week was chill, it was St. Michael the archangel day (he’s the patron saint here) and with that comes the biggest bash Yuto has ever seen! Yes, that included (but was not limited to) gaucho parades, fruit salad, fancy drinks, and all ‘dem skankity-dressed lady folk. It was almost forbidden to go out in public unless you’re sporting fishnets, mega pumped heels, and spaghetti straps. Even if you’re a size 15 you will wear a size one. Deal with it!! Despite all the mayhem I managed to get some souvenirs (hence the money withdrawal) last p-day. I got a bunch of cool stuff for you guys so just hold out for one more transfer and it’ll all be yours.

The festivities were great except one thing—IT WAS IMPOSSIBLE TO TEACH OR TO GET ANYONE TO CHURCH THAT WEEK!!!!AHHHGEEERAHHH!!!! Even the members got sucked into the "church vs. fun-party" dilemma. There were only about 7 or 9 in attendance for Elias’s farewell but he didn’t care. We had a good last lunch with him. Pres. Levrino called to tell me of Elias’s plans. The boy left early Tuesday morning for Salta then onto Brasil. We had a last dinner at his house Monday night and said goodbye to him there. I'm-a  gonna miss that kid a ton but I know he’ll do great. Those were pretty much the highlights of last week.

This week? Not much to report on except conference was awesome. Man, I love Elder Ballard’s talk a ton—so good!!! We took a Balut bus up there Saturday with Gabriela and Gabriel (the recent converts) and Alicia. It was nice. We ate a ton (including a hefty bag of sunflower seeds). We got back late on Saturday. Then on Sunday we took a bus with the rama (branch) up to conference. We managed to get 3 investigadors there (A GRAND FEAT!) and had a picnic with the branch there. We took a picture for the Ensign magazine with all the conference attendees, so maybe that’ll happen. All–in-all it was great. It was an awesome conference (last mission conference) and I learned a lot. I really got the message of putting God first and being wise with priorities both now and in the future. Man, I dig conference a ton.

I got the news that my buddy Elder Jara from Buenos Aries is gonna come open another part of Ledesma so it will be Ledesma 1 and 2. I'm excited because he’ll be in my district. It’ll be awesome to have him there for my last transfer. And speaking of which, yes, today marks the beginning of my last transfer. I’m still in Yuto so I’ll die here. Today the head honcho inspectors from the South America area came and inspected the church house. They were really nice guys (they all had apple products *gasp!*). I was talking with one and he asked me about my time left. I told him I had a few more weeks. He then told me something that really hit me. He said "Keep on working, even until the very last minute!" Everyone says that but what he said after really got to me.  He said,  “Can you imagine what would have happened if Christ didn’t work the last 24 hours of his life?"....Whoa! Kinda puts the "enduring to the end" thing in a bigger perspective, no? I’m going to keep working on and on until I pull the same move that guy does at the end of the short favorite film of mine "THE PUMP". There’s still so much work to do and still so much time. So many people waiting! Pray that we’ll find them and we’ll have the energy and strength to do so. Well anyways, questions?
  • Did you have a favorite conference talk?

YES! Like I said I LOVED Elder Ballard’s talk about the missionary/member work. He impressed a lot of things from the capacitation that we saw in June that I really want to study and apply more. I also loved Dieter-Dieter’s talks a lot. He’s a conference fav of mine as well as is Holland. And I loved the talk McConkie from the Sunday school presidency gave. Lots of nuggety goodness there.

  • Do you get the chance to do much service in your area?

HA! *The Mrs. Krabappel laugh* no, not really. People here are kinda like the British guy the Griswold family nearly kills several times in European Vacation. They could be bleeding in the street (I’m not kidding. that happened once with a guy here) and they will politely say "No, no I’m totally fine! Thanks, though!".   A few months ago we moved a fridge from one house to there’s that.
  • So, how do you feel about riding buses now?  What is a typical bus ride like?
In the words of Sufjan Stevens: "There’s so much traveling!". I like bus rides. Granted, your riding on an old, rickety bus, with graffiti covered greasy seats but meh, you just get used to it. Here you really just get used to sketchy living. I can only imagine the cultural shock that’ll happen when I’m back in America.
  • Your branch president seems to be really doing a great job.
Oh yeah, for sures. He’s getting a lot done. The branch is getting a lot stronger as well.
Well that’s about it for the week. Have a smashing week as well. We are hoping upon hope to baptize Ishmael this week so pray for him and that we can keep finding people to teach. Thanks so much for all your love and prayers. Until next week, homies. I love you. It’s all good!

Con Amor,

With the branch at conference (and looking swell).

Gaucho Marx

Farewell to Elias


Tuesday, October 1, 2013


We received a short message from one of the members in Russell's branch.  She said the network was down at the cyber so there will be no letter from Russ this week.  In the mean time, enjoy these fine pictures Russ sent a while back.

Marcie also got a nice message from Russ's branch president reassuring us all was well:
     "Hermanita, su bebe no se pudo comunicar el lunes por que no habia seal de internet . Pero le manda  mucho besos y abrazo y que todo esta bien y lo quiere muchisimo y lo estraña y el lunes estara escribiendolo . Su hijo esta muy bien no se preocupe hermanita lo estamo cuidadndo."

Of course, we had to run it through Google Translate...

Old-Timey Preacher Man

Patty Hearst has got nothin' on me.