Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Week Forty-Seven: Monterico

Hey fam!
Today starts a new transfer. Nothing happened to us, we are together for another transfer and this is the last transfer for my comp. So we will see how it goes. 
Nothing really too interesting happened this week. We were able to meet with the Chavez family a few times. They are reading what we leave them and they pay attention in the lessons, but they are listening with their ears and not with an open heart and mind. They are just super Catholic, but the more and more we talk and answer their questions, they are starting to realize how much this gospel and the doctrine makes sense and how theirs really doesn't. Basically they ask questions that have to do with the Catholic church, like why we don't worship or pray to saints or the virgin Mary, and why we don't baptize babies. Through the answers we give them, we are basically disproving their church and proving ours. It's not the preferred method to convert people, but for them it seems to be working. 
This week we had to travel to the mission headquarters in Salta so my comp could talk with the president. Luckily we aren't too far from Salta so we didn't lose too much of our day. 
That's crazy that school starts already!! That was a pretty fast summer! Katie, some advice is to really pay a lot of attention in seminary. I know it's early and sometimes it's not the most interesting, but it is seriously worth it. You really do learn a lot and I wish I paid more attention, because the things you learn there are really important. So pay attention, participate, memorize the scripture mastery,... do everything and I promise you it will be worth it. 
Glad to hear that Gavin is back and running! Did they fix the fuel pump or replace it? Either way, do you still have to leave a half tank? Or is he back to normal? Oh yeah the lama that I bought is from the salt flats and is pure salt. Don't worry, I licked it to be sure that it was legit... and its legit lol. 
It's been pretty warm recently, really comfortable weather. But this week out of nowhere it got super cold. So I was able to use my new scarf and even the gloves! But then the next day it was warm again. Yeah, I don't understand it either. 
Oh and about the backpack. My senior year, the classes were pretty easy so I literally carried a folder with all the papers I needed for my classes and a pen and pencil. That's all I needed lol, so the small backpack worked perfect! 
But I think that's it for this week. I hope everything keeps going great! Have a great first day back a school Katie! I'll talk to you guys soon! Kiss the puppies for me!!

Monday, August 15, 2016

Week Forty-Six: 8/15/16 Monterico

Hey Fam!
We had a pretty good week this week. We were able to teach family Chaves a couple of times. The first time we went, we went with a member and we taught the Plan of Salvation. It was a really good lesson. As were were finishing, we asked the member how this plan has blessed her life and she began to bear her testimony and how families can be eternal. Throughout the lesson, I found myself talking a bit more about eternal families than normal. I wasn't really sure why until we asked the mom of the family to say the final prayer. She started out normal but then she paused for awhile and started to cry. She then asked God if she really can be with her son again. We had no idea that she had lost a son until she prayed. After, I realized that it was the Spirit guiding our lesson to talk more about eternal families. We set another appointment and that was it. We figured it was best to let them think about what they heard and felt in that lesson. We were really excited for the next lesson because we thought for sure they had gotten an answer and would accept baptism. But when we went by, we found out we were wrong. We asked them if they were able to pray about the message and how they felt. They said they didn't. They also said that they were talking (the husband and wife) and said they they were born and raised in the Catholic church and they want to stay there. I was pretty bummed to see them deny the Spirit that they felt, but we didn't lose hope. We put a lot of emphasis on the apostasy, the restoration, and prayer. We were a little more direct with them this time becaue we noticed that their hearts are pretty hard. Everyone committed to pray and ask God if this is His church. We visit them tomorrow so we are praying for a miracle.  
I was able to get my retainer this week. It fits nicely, but I do notice a bit of pressure on my front left tooth. I don't think it's a problem, but also the orthodontist is about 28 years old and this is his first year out of school. So I didn't have my expectations too high. But if it keeps my teeth in place until I can get to Dr. Hamelton, it works for me. 
Today for P-day as a zone we went to the salt flats. It was pretty far so we had to wake up pretty early and it was about 3 hours there and 3 hours back. So it took a lot of our P-day but it was pretty fun! There wasn't too much to do, well, because they are salt flats... there is nothing. But we were able to take some pretty cool pictures. We had to go pretty high in the mountain to get there and some of the missionaries weren't used to the windy roads so we had to stop a few times so they could throw up but all is well. Everyone had fun! 
After emailing the president and talking with the zone leaders, there were some new rules set in place for our zone. It's not hard to wake up on time or keep being obedient for me. I see it as something you have to do in order to have success in the mission. So even though others don't always obey the rules, I still do. What happened to Gavin?! I'm not surprised that Devin, Charly, and Dalton are worried. Gavin is just as much as part of the group as anyone else. Gavin is well known and a vital part, you can ask anyone. But how is he doing? Is he going to make it? Let me know! 
The olympics aren't really popular here, but we did walk into a member's house and they were watching water polo! it was awesome to be able to see just a little for a few seconds. I think Japan was playing against Siberia, I'm not sure. 
The story about mom getting locked in the bathroom and Justin breaking her out really made me laugh! That's funny! Lol I think that's it for my week! I love you guys! Talk to you soon! Kiss the puppies for me!

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Week Forty-Five: 8/8/16 Monterico

Hey fam!
So this week was pretty good. We had exchanges with the zone leaders. I was in my area and my comp went to the area of the zone leaders. It was pretty refreshing to wake up at the same time as my comp for a day lol. But on a more positive note, we are getting along fine.
This week we have been trying to visit all the new investigators that we found last week. We have narrowed the group down. Some people didn't have any interest and things like that. We are working with one family, family Chavez, and they are awesome. They have a lot of interest and God has really prepared them to receive this gospel. They are a family of 5, they have 3 kids, 2 are in high school and the other is about 4 years old. But they are reading the Book of Mormon (all of them!!!). We have had some really good lessons with them and they are progressing really well. They still need to pray and ask if this is the true church, but we really put a lot of emphasis on praying during our last lesson. We visit them again tomorrow so fingers crossed!! 
Today during the morning was really fun. Sisters in our district are teaching a guy that rents out bikes for tourists. They were able to get bikes for the whole zone free to go and ride today. We rode to a lake and it was a lot of fun! It's been a while since I've been on a bike, but don't worry, I didn't forget how to ride one. But the road to get there was super beautiful. Mountains on both sides with fields with horses and cows. It was awesome. I took pictures but this computer is super slow. So hopefully there is time to use the church's computer and send them. 
The olympics here aren't too big, but every now and then we walk into a home and they are watching them. I want to watch so bad! My mouth is asking if they could turn off the TV, but my heart is screaming no! 
That's awesome that you guys were able to go the the beach so often this week. Are you guys tired of it yet lol? As far as I know, there are no members working in the tobacco factory. I dont have my retainer yet but I called the orthodontist and set an appointment for Wednesday. He said he would call me when he finished but what can you do? I got the package, thank you so much!! It's awesome! I made the guard thing right away and I'm wearing it every night. There are A LOT of bad teeth here and it has really put the fear of God in my heart! I'm brushing 3 times a day and flossing 3 times as well. I don't know what else I can do. But I think that's it for this week! Love you guys! I'll talk to you soon! Kiss the puppies for me!!

Week Forty-Four: 8/1/16 Monterico

Hey fam,
In order to send pictures we have to go to the church to send because the internet everywhere else is super slow. So I was able to send a few today. 
But this week was pretty good. It started out pretty hard. Actually really hard. Most of our appointments fell through and we were stuck with nothing to do, so we went to knock doors, but no one wanted anything to do with us. Which wasn't the most fun. But we didn't lose hope and we continued to pray and ask for help to know what to say and that the hearts of the people here will be softened. Long story short, God hears our prayers and saw that we weren't having much success so He helped us out. In three days we, with some divine help of course, were able to find 18 new investigators. We found various couples, young couples, a family of 4, and a couple of single investigators. We went from knocking about 15 houses and no one listening to almost every door we knocked let us in. It was incredible!! It was really a testimony builder that God really is aware of us and if we bare our afflictions with patience, we will be blessed and that he really does hear and answer our prayers. These investigators vary in their interest in the church. Some really have a deseo (ask Justin what that means, I can't remember) [I'm pretty sure it means desire] to follow Christ and others just like to listen to the word of God. But we are pretty excited to work with all of them. Some of them live pretty far from the church, so it's a little hard for them to assist the church. Really, it's hard for most people to assist because like I said, Monterico (the name of this area) runs off a big tobacco factory and that's the source of work for the majority of the people here, and it runs 7 days a week. So it's not too easy to get the people to come to church. But God can do all things according to His will, so there is still hope. 
Tomorrow we have a conference with the president so I should be able to get my package tomorrow. Hopefully the orthodontist will call soon saying that my retainer is done. The sooner the better! 
This week we got new beds, tables and chairs. We got new beds because the others were terrible. My comp's bed was bad lol. It looked like he was sleeping in a letter v. His legs were higher than his head lol. Mine was actually pretty comfortable. Actually more comfortable than the new one because the new one has springs that are pretty hard. So I put the old one on top of the new one and sleep on that lol. The tables and chairs are pretty nice. I like them a lot. We had to get them because we were borrowing tables and chairs form the church and they needed them back. 
I think that's it for this week. 
My comp is doing good. We are still working hard. He is pretty trunky so he tends to sleep in and go to bed late. I'm trying to stay as obedient as possible. I remember Justin and Cam telling me the importance of being obedient. 
But it sounds like you guys were able to have a great weekend. You were able to work hard and relax too. Sounds like a great week! Mom has braces?! Haha the first thing that came to my mind was when Cam got braces in Modern Family lol, does mom have the same lisp? Lol how long do you have to have them? 
A little more info on the branch. It's kinda funny. There aren't very many members and they don't know the songs very well, we don't have a piano, and my comp is extremely tone deaf so I'm the only one really singing, the members are really just saying the words and who knows what my comp is doing lol. So I'm trying to lead and guide the song to sound somewhat like how it should. So needless to say we sound great!! You know how Lehi saw the heavens open and angels singing around God sitting on his throne? I'm pretty sure our choir sounds pretty similar to the angel chior lol. 
But I love you guys! Kiss the puppies for me! I'll talk to you soon!

Week Forty-Three: 7/25/16 Monterico

Attempt two:
I was in the middle of my letter when everything stopped working, so I refreshed the page and it deleted everything I wrote so that's a little frustrating, but what can ya do. 
This week we have been working on our contacts. Because this is a small town, everyone is super catholic and no one wants to listen to us. So it's a little hard to find new investigators by just contacting. But we are trying to find new ways to call their attention. 
The smallness of the branch doesn't really affect us too much. I was in a pretty small ward before, so its pretty familiar. But it is much smaller here and there isn't much priesthood. So we bless the sacrament every week, we are also the counselors for the branch president, and usually we give the talks most of the time because the people that have the assignments don't show up or something like that. Funny story this week, I went to put my shoes on and after I was walking around the apartment. I felt something weird in my shoe. I got worried, thinking that the inside was beginning to break. I took my shoe off to see. Turns out that it wasn't breaking, it was just a giant cockroach. So that was an interesting experience. Today we woke up at 4:30 to go to a place called Pumamarca, AKA the hill of seven colors. We went with our zone. It took about an hour to get there but it was super cool and we took a bunch of pictures. In the city, they were selling a bunch of stuff, souvenir type of things like sweaters, keychains, mate cups, hats, gloves, scarves, rings, everything. I was finally able to by some stuff. I bought a really cool sweater, a mate cup, and I was able to find a nativity for you, Mom. I have been looking for one forever and when I finally found one I bought it. It's a small one and as we were walking around just about to leave, I found a bigger one and I really wanted to buy it for you, Mom, but I didn't bring enough money. But it's pretty likely that I will go back at some point, so I will buy it then. Also if there is anything you guys want, tell me and I will get it. Everything is llama themed. I guess they are pretty popular here. Everything has a llama on it. I saw a sweet pair of shoes for girls. They are like high tops and look really cool. I would have bought them for myself if they had them in my size. But if there is anything you guys want, tell me. They sell pretty much every type of clothing with a lot of patterns and a lot of souvenirs, I don't know how to spell that word (good thing your sister-in-law fixes all your spelling mistakes for your blog). 
Oh also this week while walking, we found this big field of flowers like you guys found in Idaho. Of course we had to take some pictures. I'm going to try to send you them on the computer in the church because this computer is super slow!! 
I wasn't able to get my retainer this week so I have to wait another week. Bummer. But everything is going well here. We are trying really hard to work and baptize. But that's easier said than done. But we aren't getting discouraged. I talked with my comp a few times this week about his flirting problem. Sometimes I said something little and other times I said a bit more, but now he is doing better. He even called the sisters and apologized. So that was pretty sweet. But there is still room for improvement. But line upon line, precept upon precept. 
We have lunches everyday. Well almost everyday. But my comp worked in a restaurant before and can cook pretty well, so there is no problem there lol. We are staying warm actually we have had really nice weather this week. It's been warm in the morning and a little cool at night. Really nice weather. But I love you guys! Keep working hard and doing great things! I'll talk to you soon! Kiss the puppies for me!

Week Forty-Two: 7/18/16 Monterico

Hey fam,
Well first, I was able to find an orthodontist. It wasn't easy but I found one. He took a mold of my teeth and he is going to make a new retainer for me. It's not covered with the insurance we have as missionaries, so we have to pay for it. Everything costs 1200 pesos. That, if I have the right exchange rate, is about 85 dollars. It's not too cheap, but I figured it's a good investment not to come home and need braces again. He said he will try to finish it by this Friday because he has a conference in Corduba all next week. That's another part of Argentina. So if he doesn't finish it this week we have to wait till he comes back. So let's hope he finishes it this Friday!! 
But let me tell you about my area. We are literally in the middle of no where. That is not an exaggeration. The next closet area or city is about an hour ride by bus. We are not close to any other missionaries or anything. This city is ran off a tobacco factory and we are completely surrounded by fields, fields, and more fields of just nothing. My comp says that is where they farm and grow all the tobacco, but I guess we are in the off season. We don't have a supermarket like I've had in my other areas. So we go from place to place buying the things we need. We have a pretty small branch, I think we had about 20 or a little less people in the church on Sunday. We live directly above the church. I forgot to take a picture of where we live, but it's pretty nice. It is not a very wealthy area. Let's just say that in this area, it's not hard to see why Argentina is a 3rd world country. But I'm adjusting nicely. I'm trying to learn everyone's names and the streets. I'm still pretty lost, but that will come with time. 
My comp has two transfers left. He is pretty hard to describe but he doesn't have a problem working so thats nice, but he does bring up the fact that he is finishing soon quite a bit. He also has a tendency to flirt with the sisters in a way. Nothing major, but it is noticeable. So I'm keeping my eye on him. But I don't think he is going to have any problems. 
Coca is pretty popular and has been in my other areas too. We teach it as a part of the Word of Wisdom as the sixth thing we can't partake of. So there is no problem there. And also it smells terrible and completely destroys your teeth, so there are zero problems there. 
I haven't noticed anything about the Bolivians, but I never thought about that, so I'll start to pay more attention to that and let you know what I learn. 
But I'm doing good. Still working hard and learning a lot. I love you guys and hope everything is going great! I'll talk to you guys soon! Kiss the puppies for me!

Week Forty: 7/4/16 Tucuman

Hey fam!
Okay, first things first before I forget. I was brushing my retainer when i had the "great" idea to put it in some hot water and that it would steralize it and clean it faster. So that's what I did. I took it out, put it on and it fit fine. When I went to wear it that night, it was super tight and hard to put on and take off. I think it may have shrunk from the heat and then got cold. I tried heating it up again and wearing it for a while so it would form to my teeth, but it shrunk as i was wearing it and it started to hurt. So I'm not wearing it right now. And that kind of worries me. Could you talk with Dr. Alder and see if he can make a new one? I don't know if it costs anything or not.
But this is the last week of transfers and since I have 6 months in this area, it's pretty possible that I will leave. But I don't want to. When I got here, there wasn't a lot of work to do. We didn't have any investigators. But now we have a lot and quite a few of them are progressing really nicely. If I could have just one more transfer here that would be awesome. But we'll see. 
This week was pretty good. We were able to find a lot of new investigators and have a lot of lessons, which I like. We are teaching a couple. They aren't married but we still call them family Veron. They are both about 25 years old and have 2 daughters. It's the couple we found when we were doing splits and i was with the new gringo. I love teaching them. There is such a strong spirit in their house and we always have great lessons with them. They are progressing really well. We taught them the Law of Chasity and now they said they are willing to get married. Nicolas, the guy, is trying to stop drinking and is doing really well with that. They both have received answers and know that Joseph Smith was a prophet and they know that this is the true church. I really hope I can have just one more transfer because I know they will get baptized in that time. They are super ready! We are really seeing some great thing happening in this area. 
This week, our heater broke so in order to prevent being cold at night I wore a bunch of layers. And in the morning when I had some more time, I was able to take it apart and fix it. So now all is good. I was able to download the music from the Scotts and it all works!! 
Everything is going well here! But next week I might be writing from another area. I think that's it for my week! I love you guys! Kiss the puppies for me! I'll talk to you soon! 
Oh and I don't know if the package has arrived or not. I don't have an email but the zone leaders are going to the offices today so if its there I'll have it this week.

Week Thirty-Nine: 6/27/16 Tucuman

Hey guys,
Man it sounds like you guys had a great week!! The pictures are awesome!! I love pictures!! 
This week was pretty good. The English classes went really well. We had some members come, some less actives, and some non members. We had two that had graduated from high school and studied English, so they knew more than everyone else. So we split it into two groups. I taught the more advanced group and my comp taught the beginners. I really didn't know how to teach English. but luckily my comp is learning and he has some books, so that helped a lot. But it's working really well to find people to teach. I don't know why we waited so long to try it. 
This week nothing too crazy happened. I had exchanges and I was with my district leader's newbie from Brazil. We went to go teach an investigator for the second time. We taught the first lesson and everything was going really well. We explained it nicely and they seemed to really like it. But then the son... There were two of them that began to ask some questions and quote stuff from the Bible. Everything was fine and we answered the questions, but then when we invited them to be baptized, things turned around. The dad is super Catholic and he started to defend his religion. My comp for the day is very new and started to defend our religion and kind of started a Bible bash. the Spirit was lost and I had no idea how to bring it back. So I did the only thing I could do when you don't know what to do, and testified. I spoke for a while and I don't remember what I said, but I felt the Spirit really strong. My comp felt it and I knew they felt it. It was almost impossible not to. They recently lost a younger brother, so I mostly focused on how the restored gospel of Jesus Christ blesses families. When I finished, we waited to see what the dad would say, but his heart was too hard at this point and he denied the Spirit we know he felt. We ended the lesson and invited them to pray and read. Then we left. After, I then explained to my comp for the day how it's not the best to Bible bash. But I think that was the most interesting thing that happened. Oh actually we had stake conference this Sunday and a 70 came in from Buenas Aires, Elder Romeo. Also the mission president and his wife came and spoke. It was a really good meeting and I was able to learn a lot.
But I think that's all for this week. I love you guys! Kiss the puppies for me! I'll talk to you soon!

Week Thirty-Eight: 6/20/16 Tucuman

Hey fam!
So first of all, because I didn't get to say it last week, happy Father's Day Dad!! I know the week before your day was a little lonely but i hope Sunday was a good day! That sucks about the TV! But that's awesome you got a new one, but then it sucks again that one was already broken!! Can you take it back and replace it for a new one? That would only make sense right? But what kind of new TV did you get? The same one or a different one? 
This week was pretty good. It wasn't as cold as before so that's always nice. My comp is really trying to learn English, so in the morning he asks if I can speak English till 3:00, and then after 3:00 all Spanish. But it's really hard to speak English now. I never believed the people when they said you will start to forget English but it is so true! The first thing that leaves my mouth is Spanish now. I begin to speak or tell a story in Spanish and then my comp reminds me it's time for English, so I switch to English. But without noticing, I somehow go back to Spanish and my comp has to remind me to talk in English multiple times during the conversation. And I'm staring to forget words and phrases in english. Sometimes its frustrating like when I'm trying to teach it to my comp but sometimes it's funny lol.
But on Saturday, we had a lesson with the Bonano family. The husband, Bruno, is a recent convert and the only member in his family. His family is really hard because they never want to read or go to church. So we figured we needed to change our lessons a little. We did a small activity with them to demonstrate the principle of faith. It got the whole family involved and paying attention. At the end, we didn't invite them to go to church, we just asked who was going to go. And they all said "yo," which means "me." So we left feeling pretty good. Sunday came and we were waiting for church to start. Right as it started, Bruno walked in and sat with us but he didn't have his family. So we were kind of bummed. But about 15 or 20 minutes later, his whole family walked in. We stood up and gave them our seats and we had to go find a new row to sit in because they took the whole row. But I didn't mind that one bit. They couldn't stay for the classes but they said they liked the meeting. We meet with them tomorrow so lets hope it goes well. 
Also today we are going to teach English classes in the church. We are going to teach them today and Wednesday. We made some signs and have been putting them around the city and have been telling everyone about it. Everyone seems really excited to go. And so far a lot of people have said they will go. Last night as we were walking a lady stopped us and asked if we were really going to have the classes. We said yes and asked how she knew. She said she saw one of our signs. So we are pretty excited for tonight. We talked with the bishopric (I had to think for a while to remember that word) this week about our idea. They are all on board, we just need to find a date when they are all free. But I think it should go great. 
Also I don't know if you guys know this but Cup America (soccer tournament) is going on right now. And tomorrow, USA is going to play Argentina. People here live, eat, and breathe soccer. That isn't a joke. If USA ends up winning, that means Argentina can't play in the world finals, and that also means that the people here will not be to happy with USA. So it is highly possible that the president will say that the companionships with a gringo can leave that day to go work. So we will see what happens lol. I hope all is going well! Enjoy the summer!! Make the most of it! I love you guys and will talk to you soon! Kiss the puppies for me! 

Friday, August 12, 2016

Week Thirty-Seven: 6/13/16 Tucuman

Hey fam!
So we had a pretty good week this week. On Thursday night we were walking around and working, just the normal Thursday night. We left an appointment and we had 4 missed calls from our district leader. We called him back and he said that a member of the 70, Elder Teixeria, was in Tucuman and that he wanted to meet with the missionaries tomorrow morning. We went to the stake center in centro and all the missionaries from Tucuman were there. He talked with us really about one thing; thinking outside the box. Like having activities or teaching English in the church to find new investigators. He gave us a lot of ideas and encouraged us to think of our own. He said that we should change things up a bit and think bigger, so my comp and I are trying to think of some ideas. We have some ideas and we are going to meet with the bishop to talk about them tonight to plan it better. Saturday I was having a really good night but I don't know why. It was a normal day but for some reason I was in a really good mood. I could feel the Spirit more in the lesson and I could really feel it working through me. Later in the night, a couple of our plans fell through so we were going to visit a recent convert that lived somewhat close. As we were walking down the street passing a bunch of houses, I heard/felt something very quiet and soft, saying that we should talk with this person that lived in a house that we had just walked by. I didn't think much of it at first because it was really faint and I thought it could have just been my head. But I figured we should stop and talk with who lived there anyways. We talked with the man that lived there and he wanted nothing to do with us. But we still asked if there was someone that he knew that we could visit. He said we could go by his neighbor's house. So we went. We talked with his neighbor and he let us in. We sat down at his table. We asked if there was anyone he could invite in the house to join us. He said that everyone was busy. But I saw a girl in the other room when we walked in. I leaned my chair back so I could see in the other room. I saw the girl and we made eye contact so I invited her to come join us. Without hesitation she stopped what she was doing and joined us. So we started teaching. Long story short, this girl, Anabela, is super chosen. She has and had some serious family problems and she was and is super interested in our message. I really feel good that she is going to progress. So we are pretty excited to teach her again. 
Oh and also we found out that this Thursday we are going to have interviews with the mission president in our apartment. So we spent most of the morning cleaning for that lol. My comp knows quite a bit of English. He likes to translate Spanish to English and then I check his work after. Or I help him with his pronunciation while he reads out loud. We are staying warm and working hard. And getting along good. I have no complaints lol.
It's crazy how fast the school year went by! I was just thinking. Exactly a year ago I graduated high school! Wow!! Time flies by!! There is one thing I want to ask you guys. I don't know if you know how, but it shouldn't be to hard to learn. But to send songs through emails, so I can download it on my USB. Some songs I would like are pretty much anything Josh Groban that is mission appropriate and Vocal Point's Nearer My God to Thee. I love you guys I'll talk to you soon! Kiss my puppies for me!!

Week Thirty-Six: 6/6/16 Tucuman

Hi guys,
So I bet you guys want to know a little more about my companion, right? I really didn't know anything about him when i heard he was going to be my new comp, and neither did anyone else that I talked to. The only information I had was that he got along pretty well with an elder who isn't the most obedient, so that made me kind of scared. But luckily I was wrong. He is a really good worker and is really focused. He has a great work ethic and he really wants to work hard. We get along really well. Usually there is a wall between new comps in the beginning because they aren't familiar with each other, but we didn't really have that problem. He wants to learn English so he can study at BYU. So if there is any spare second in the day, he is practicing his English. I'm teaching and helping him with that as he helps me with my Spanish. 
The weather here is pretty cold and wet. Luckily it hasn't rained too hard but it does drizzle a lot. It's still pretty humid, so when it's only like 50 degrees it feels way colder. But we are staying warm. 
In this area we are noticing that a lot of the recent converts don't really have a testimony or really know much about the lessons we teach. That happens when people get baptized, because they like the elders and not because they know the church is true. So when the elder they liked leaves they don't want to go to church or read anymore. For example, we went to go visit a recent convert and before we were able to clap our hands, she walked out to take the garbage out and she was smoking. I was pretty shocked. So we are finding a lot more work. We had a lesson with a recent convert, Bruno. He is the father of his family and is the only member. He is super awesome but his family is really hard. We are really trying to focus on his wife because she has taken all the lessons but just won't commit to baptism. As we were teaching her, we started to talk about the Spirit. Then she asked us a question. She never asks questions, so I was pretty excited because I knew she was paying special attention. She asked how she is supposed to feel when she gets an answer that all of this was true. We asked Bruno how he felt when he got an answer and then my comp and i shared some experiences. The Spirit was really strong and I really think that she is going to get an answer soon. So I'm pretty excited about that. 
Everything here is going great. I was talking with some elders about packages and they said that now a days sending a package to Argentina is a lot safer. No one has heard of anyone having taken stuff out of a package. I guess they changed some laws and stuff to make it a lot safer. They only sometimes open a package if there isn't a list of what's inside, to see if there are drugs or anything like that, but they don't take anything out. I hope everything is going great! I love you guys! I will talk to you soon! Kiss the puppies for me!!
PS That is how we stay warm durning studies.

Week Thirty-Five: 5/30/16 Tucuman

First things first, thank you so much for the package!! It is awesome!! I've already had a couple of Nerf wars with my comp. I haven't eaten the candy yet but don't worry, I will get to that lol. The box looks awesome!! I love it! 
For my birthday, not very many people knew about it because I didn't tell very many people. So it was pretty relaxed. One family made me hot chocolate and some cookies, and another member made me and my comp and dinner so that was pretty nice. On Sunday, just after church everyone somehow found out because they all came up at once wishing me happy birthday lol. So that was pretty funny. 
Elder Siebers left at 8 this morning. It was pretty sad to say bye because we were working pretty well together, but we will stay in contact. My new comp came in at 12. So I was waiting with the other elders and sisters that were waiting for their comps. Elder Lemus was there, my first comp, so we talked pretty much the whole time, just catching up and stuff like that. My new comp is Elder Silva. He was born in PerĂº but lived most of his life in Buenas Aries. I don't know too much about him yet. But he has about 15 months in the mission. He wants to learn English and has been learning from his comps from the states. He talks pretty fast, so that should help with the Spanish a little. He seems like a hard worker. The first thing he did when he walked in the apartment was start to clean. It wasn't too messy, but I guess he likes things really clean, so thats pretty nice. He is asking a lot of questions about the ward and the area, so that gives me hope that he wants to work, so I'm excited about that. So we will see how he works. 
This week was pretty good on the work side, it's just that it's really hard to get people to come to church. They say a million times that they will go, but they end up not going so we are working on that. Everything here is going great. If you have any questions ask me, I think I forgot to mention some stuff but I can't remember. I love you guys!! Kiss the puppies for me! I'll talk to you soon!

Week Thirty-Four: 5/23/2016 Tucuman

Hey fam!
Thank you for the birthday wishes! I know that it's this week but I don't feel anywhere near 20 years old yet. So we will see what it's like when i actually turn 20 lol. This is the last week of this transfer and also the last week of my comp's mission. This transfer has gone by super fast, it's nuts. So the next time you hear from me i will 20 years old and have a new comp. Pretty exciting! 
This week it was pretty hard for us to find people. Last week everyone was home and we were teaching lesson after lesson. But this week for some reason, nobody was home so we couldn't teach as many people as we wanted. We weren't able to talked to Nicolas and Fabiana this week either, which was a bummer. We went by their house throughout the week and they weren't there. But hopefully we can find them this week. 
Today we got the two zones in Tucuman together to play soccer and have a bbq. There were a lot of people so we split up in teams. Our team was our district minus the sisters but we destroyed. We won 8 games in a row (we were playing to 2 goals). We only lost because everyone was so tired. But it was super fun! And this time we didn't get burned which is nice. 
This week we went on splits again with different elders. I was with another gringo in his area. But he has been in the mission for more than a year. For our last appointment we taught the Trejo family. Everyone in the family has listened to the missionaries at different times and they all got baptized at different times. So they have gone through quite a bit of missionaries. Now the missionaries are teaching the the only nonmembers in the family. We were teaching the Plan of Salvation and it was going super good. The Spirit was super strong and everyone was super focused. At the end of everything and as we were about to leave, the mom came up to me and started to talk to me. She looked at me and said, "There is something special about you. As you talked, I could feel and see the Spirit in you. As you talked, you brought a very powerful spirit that everyone could feel. You have a way of speaking that can touch anyone's heart. Thank you." So that was a pretty special experience for me. I've never gotten a compliment like that before. Getting complimented on your sprit is way better than any other type of compliment. I'm super grateful that the Spirit was able to be present in that lesson and that they all could feel it. 
My leg is pretty much all better now, there is no problem there. I wouldn't say I'm more scared of the dogs now but I am a little more cautious with some of them. But everything is going great! Thank you for the birthday wishes and that seminary pic is DE DIEZ(of ten) which basically means it's awesome lol. Thank you guys so much! I love you and will talk to you soon! Kiss the puppies for me!

Week Thirty-Three: 5/16/16 Tucuman

Hey hey,
This week was pretty good. We have been teaching a lot and our investigators are increasing every week. We had splits two times this week and I was in our area for them both. The first one was with the zone leaders so that was fun, and the second was with an elder with literally 3-4 weeks in the mission from the states so he didn't speak Spanish. I was pretty nervous because I look to my comp for Spanish help, but then it was the other way around. All of our appointments fell through in the beginning of the night, so we were walking around trying to find somebody to teach but we couldn't find anyone. We went to an investigator's apartment that we haven't taught in a while, but they weren't there either. As we were leaving, I looked at the other side of the apartment and saw the lights on with the door partly open. I said to my comp, "Elder wolf, you know what that means? That means someone is home." We knocked on the door and a woman about twenty-four years old opened the door. We started to talk to her and then her boyfriend came up and he is this HUGE dude. We introduced ourselves and the first thing he said was to come in. We went in and taught the first lesson after getting to know them a little better. As we taught, we asked them questions and they had great answers to everything. At the end they seemed really interested and so we asked them to be baptized. They said yes so we put a specific date and they agreed to that too. I was kind of surprised and didn't really know what to do because it is never that easy. Then they asked us, "What do we have to do to get baptized?" That's a question I've never heard before. We said the the very basics, that you need to pray, read, and go to church in order to to gain a testimony that this message is true. They agreed to everything with zero hesitation. I don't think I've ever met someone so ready to accept this gospel. It was a great experience of feeling the spirit work through us to touch the hearts of this couple. And I'm so excited to teach them again. Oh and their names are Nicolas and Fabiana. 
On the other side of this week, I got bit by a dog. We were just walking down the street like normal when my comp wanted to go knock on some door. He turned to walk towards the house and I followed. He walked in front of a group of dogs with no problem, but then when I walked in front of them one of them walked behind me and bit me on the calf. Ouch! He is not my friend! After he bit me, I turned around and they all ran off. It didn't really hurt that bad and luckily it didn't rip my pants at all. That's what I was most worried about. But it was bleeding a little so we called the president's wife. She said to wash it with soap and water and just watch it for the next couple of days. but its pretty much all better now. This happened earlier this week and it's pretty much all healed. There is just a bruise. But it doesn't hurt or anything lol. We are working really hard and seeing miracles every day. I hope everything is going great at home! I love you guys! I'll talk to you soon! Kiss the puppies for me!

Week Thirty-Two: 5/9/16 Tucuman

Hey guys,
Man it was awesome to talk to you guys!! Everyone looked so good! And it was so good to hear from everyone! I don't really know what to write about now so this might be a pretty short letter lol. But I'm really having a good time here. I'm really trying to focus as much as possible on my purpose as a missionary. And once you do that, it just makes things a lot easier. We are having some really good lessons with the people we are teaching, both investigators and less actives, but the trick is to get them to come to church. We try explaining it as plainly and directly as possible but it doesn't always work so we are working on that. My studies are going well. There is no problem studying, I like studying because the more I study, the more I learn, and the more I can help and teach the people here. 
I don't really know what to say lol, what do they want to know? You can share whatever story you want lol. I love you guys and hope everything continues to go great back at home! I love you guys talk to you soon! 

Week Thirty-One: 5/2/16 Tucuman

Hey fam,
Ok first things first, we will be calling from our stake president's house. We are planing on going over and calling at 7:30. We aren't too sure if we, my comp and I, can call at the same time or different times. But I think we have planned that my comp will call first, then me, so that means I would be calling around 8:30 Argentina time. The calls are still only 45 minutes though. If there are any changes in plans I'll ask a member or someone to send you a message through whatsapp. So make sure that's still up and running lol but I think everything should go smoothly. Everything was planned pretty last minute because no one in our ward or that we are teaching has a computer that would work. So I was starting to stress but when we went to church we saw the stake president and his family. It worked out perfectly because they just came back from a month long vacation in the states. So everything just worked out nicely. 
This week was pretty normal. We are still working hard and we are having some really good lessons with a lot of people. Everyone loves my new comp. He is really good with people so we are able to see a lot more success in our street contacts and in forming good relationships with the members and people we are teaching. Time is really flying by now and I'm starting to realize there is my too much work to do, and we don't have enough time. 
It has gotten pretty cold here. I'm still able to stay warm though. We just got our shower fixed so now we don't have to use a bucket to wash ourselves lol. I know I didn't say that before but now you know lol. We have actually had some interesting times with our shower here. When I got here we didn't have hot water for a while, then we got that fixed but then the shower broke so we filled a bucket up with hot water from the sink and then used that. But now everything is back to normal lol just a fun little story. 
Oh yeah about my USB drive. It turns out that it's completely broken. We have no idea how it happened but every time you put it in something it heats up super hot to the point it burns to touch the metal. So that's a bummer but I'm going to buy a new one today. I just have to start from scratch again so that's not too fun. But all is good over here. I'm super excited to talk to you guys this week! I hope it all works out nicely! I love you guys! I'll talk to you soon! Kiss the puppies for me!
Oh PS I got grandma's card the other day. I haven't read it yet because we have to wait to p-day to open and read letters. But you can tell her I got it and am super grateful!

Week Thirty: 4/25/16 Tucuman

Hey guys,
So i bet you guys are probably wondering about my comp lol. I'll start off with some details about him. He is from Salt Lake, he loves music and can pretty much play any instrument, he sings a lot, and he is just a couple months older than me. He is pretty much fluent in Spanish. When he talks, people always think he's from a Latin country because he doesn't have that english accent and he can speak really well and fast. So he is helping me a lot with my Spanish, which is nice. He is a really good worker and obedient, which is nice because Elder Hogge had some problems with some things. I am learning a lot from him every day. He has been a zone leader for the last 8 months and usually most elders die as a zone leader, but he said the president called him and said that his name came into his mind and that he needed to be transferred. So he really wants to work hard and find the reason why the Lord needs him here. Our second day together as we were having comp study, he said that he was going to give me a leadership training so at the end of this transfer I will be ready to be called to any leadership position in the mission. So I'm trying to learn as much as possible. We get along great, there are no problems there. But I never had a problem with that with my other comps either. We have been working really hard and trying to visit as many people as possible, but we are in a tough area and its hard to find the fruits from our work. That just means there is something we are supposed to learn from it. So we are going to continue to work hard and do what we are expected to do. 
Man it sounds like everyone has wedding fever! There is no escaping it lol.
My shoes are doing fine, there is no major problem with them yet. I haven't been wearing my boots but I am now. We are able to stay warm during the day and at night. We have a little heater in our apartment and it works great. I want to take a bunch of pictures but I'm a little hesitant to bring my camera with me here. But i will see what i can do. 
The only thing I can think of that I would like is a little booklet of pictures of the fam, friends, pups, and stuff like that to show the people we teach. Oh and some of water polo, nobody here has any idea what that is. 
My USB isn't currently working. I think it may have downloaded a virus. That happens a lot when using these computer cafes. But i gave it to a member that knows a lot about that stuff. He said he could fix it so no problem there. 
That's super crazy what happened to Maddie!! Oh man that has to be so hard for them. I remember what it was like for dad. How is the family doing with everything? Are they dealing with it well or how is it going? I'll be sure to keep them in my prayers. 
Everything here is going great! We are working hard and making the most of every second. I love you guys! Kiss my puppies for me! Oh and that pic of the cupcakes was super funny! I'll talk to you soon! Oh yeah I don't have any info about mothers day yet. They haven't said anything yet but I will have info for you next week! Talk to you soon! Love you!

Week Twenty-Nine: 4/18/16 Tucuman

Hey fam,
So this week not too much happened. But we were still able to see a miracle and the end of the week. We have been teaching this inactive family for a while and the entire time I've been here I've never seen them in church. We've taught them a lot and they always say they are going to go, but they never do. We had a lesson with them on Friday and we were really trying to help them realize that church is the most important thing in your entire week. Something we said must have gotten to them because they finally came to church. The ward was so happy to see them there and we were too. 
About transfers, this is actually the first week of the transfer and my comp just left and I'm now with Elder Siebers. I've heard a lot about him so far. He was a zone leader and sounds like a really good missionary. Everyone has only good things to say about him so I'm pretty happy about that. But this is also his last transfer so I'm going to be killing him off. Which means that I'm going to be in this area for at least 2 more transfers, that means a total of 6 months in one area. God must really want me here lol, but I don't have any problems with it, I like this area. But he is from Utah and is 20 years old. We haven't been together for too long but he keeps on saying that he is super excited to go work so I think this is going to be a good companionship. I'll let you know more next week about him. 
About your questions about my companion: We worked but he only has 3 more transfers so he was starting to get a little trunky. He would sleep in sometimes and then sleep throw his studies, but I still always got up on time and did everything I should be doing. He was a good missionary but he didn't really try to teach too much by the Spirit, more just from his knowledge of the scriptures and the lessons. I always try to teach by the Spirit and really try to help them feel it as strong as possible, so our teaching methods didn't really go well together but he was still and good missionary and we got along pretty well. 
I'm so happy that everything with the wedding went so great!! Don't worry, I wasn't thinking too much about home and I was able to focus. I got a lot of pictures and that's what I love!! Man everything looks so nice!! I bet it was a blast and nuts at the same time lol. It's so weird but also super awesome that Cam and Justin are married now. Just try to keep them from having kids until i get back lol.
I think that's it for my week. This next one should be a little more interesting. I love you guys! I'll talk to you soon! Kiss my puppies for me! Oh and yes I have a fan so I will start doing that, it's just not a very good one but we will see. I also noticed the other day that my shoes are starting to get little holes in the bottom. But nothing to worry about, there are a whole bunch of shoe fixer guys so if the holes get bigger I'll get them fixed. Love you!

Week Twenty-Eight: 4/11/16 Tucuman

Hey fam,
That's awesome that the wedding and everything went so well and also that so many people were able to go! That's what I like to hear! I got Cam and Hailey's wedding invitation this week and also I got the package for my birthday! 
This week was pretty normal but we did have a zone training meeting so I was able to learn a lot about working more with the members, using our time more effectively, and how to help the people we are teaching more. 
This week we had an appointment with a family that we have been teaching for a while, family Mamani. They are really nice and they love talking with us. They always listen to us and we had good conversations about the gospel, but they would never come to church or accept a baptism date. We were begging them but I think that they just like having us around but don't really want to change anything. So we changed our way of teaching a little bit for them our last appointment. We were a lot more direct with them. Not too direct, we still did it with love, but we really tried to get our point across. They were a little thrown back but we really think that they needed it. They like and agree with everything we say and even say it's true, but they are die hard Catholics and are nervous to change. We really tried to assure them that this is the one and only path that Jesus wants us to follow. We felt pretty good after the lesson and we are going to teach them again tonight so we will see how it goes. I think that is something that we need to do more. We need to be a little more direct with some people so they know why we are here. We aren't here to have nice conversations about Jesus; we are here because we know that this message about Jesus can and will change your life for the better in more ways that you can even imagine. I know this gospel can bless these people and I really want them to accept it because I know how much it can help them. 
But on the other side of things, the weather here is starting to get pretty cold. I think it rained everyday this week. It gets pretty cold at night so I'm now starting to wear sweats and a sweatshirt to bed. The only thing I don't really like about it is that my feet are always wet lol. My shoes get wet and they don't really dry out all the way so they are always a little damp. But that's really not too bad lol. All is well over here. 
I think that's about it for my week. I'll talk to you guys soon. Enjoy every second of the wedding and take lots of pictures for me! I love you guys! Kiss my puppies for me!