26 August 2009

Here´s the update from the other land down under!

August 25, 2009

Well the good news is that we had a baptism this weekend. The bad news is that there was only one. Gonzalo still hasn't gotten married yet. I guess if you think about it there were 2 baptisms cause another kid from the ward got baptized but our baptism was Gustavo Vilte. And boy do I have a story to tell you. So we had a meeting in the church around noon and started filling up the font. Then we went to pick up lunch and brought it back to the church. Everything was going well and all of the sudden the church ran out of water. Who´d have thought that that would happen right? So we run out of water and we decide to go out and knock some doors and see if we can make good use of the time that we had. When we got back to the church we had water which was a blessing. The baptism was scheduled to start around 6:00 and around 5:30 everyone started arriving. Everything was on track until someone made the comment "doesn´t the font need more water?" We were like "what" and we went to look at it. Apparently one of the little kids that was running around had pressed the button to start the pump to drain all the water out of the font. So now we have about six inches of water and a baptism in five minutes. What to do? We asked the families and left it up to them and they said to go on and so we had to stall for time. We did everything in reverse order, ate refreshments first, did the talks and all that and when it came time for us to enter the water there was still only about a foot and a half of water. So needless to say it was interesting trying to get the kid completely submerged. The first time his feet floated up so I had to kneel on the ground with him sitting with my leg covering his legs to keep them under and hold him under for a couple seconds to make sure everything was all right. That was fun. The story of a week! I don´t know if I will have a baptism that crazy ever again in my life. It was good though. He was confirmed on Sunday. Needless to say I had a huge headache from all the stress and it still hasn´t quite gone away. I think I need to be drinking more water. So it was a blessed thing that p-day was today.
This past week has been super crazy. It is getting hotter here, the crazy religious festivities are at their prime and it seems like the adversary is working harder than ever against us. The work moves along as long as we are doing the things that we are called to do. If there is one thing to learn or rather re-learn from all of these experiences is that the harder you work, the harder it seems that everything else is working against you. We have tons of great experiences that I would love to share with you but honestly there just is not the time. I have started writing in my journal more frequently in order to have the stories to tell when I return home. I would love to hear what is going on at home and know how all of you are doing. The best things to hear as a missionary are those things that keep you inspired and remind you of home but at the same time they don´t make you think about home or wish that you were in a place that you cannot be. I am so thankful to all of you for the things that you constantly do for me. If I can be extremely sincere for just a second I would like to tell all of you that each and every one of you has had an influence in me being here, getting here, staying here, and all that. I want to thank you for all that you do and the constant love that I feel through your emails and letters. Keep doing what you are doing and showing your love. All the missionaries really need it. We have all come to the conclusion at some point in time during our missionary service that more than numbers, more than fun times, more than anything else, really the only thing that we need is a friend to feel that someone cares and on top of that that our God is there for us and that he will always be with is. Mira que te mando que te esfurces y seas valiente; no temas ni desmayes, porque Jehová tu Dios estará contigo en dondequiera que vayas. Josua 1:9 remember that guys. I love you all. Take care and be smart in what you do and say.

Elder Jeff Rose

P.S. - While I am waiting for all the pictures to attach I’ll let you all know a little something. There is something that is really cool that happens in the mission. You get to see a lot of people that you have worked with in the past progress more than they did while you were with them and sometimes even get baptized. That has happened to me twice so far. Maybe I have already told you about these experiences but they are super special for me. There was one man named Ramón who Elder Nichols and I taught in Pocitos who got baptized a while back. Then there was a lady that lived in Bolivia but was coming here for bone cancer treatments. Elder Jara and I taught her all the lessons but she had to get baptized in Bolivia because she lived there. I say lived because one week after her baptism she passed away. The little miracles of God´s work are so cool. I hope sincerely that at least once in your lives you can experience the joy of knowing that at least one soul has returned back to our Father in Heaven due to some small effort on your part. Love you all. Take care.

Other little notes: I’m still no good (absolutely no good) at playing soccer; at least not compared to here in Argentina. We have been playing a lot lately on p-days and we have plans to go to the church next door to play soccer for exercise in the mornings. We keep running into gypsies who want to rob us. Ever seen a gypsy before? If not you´re lucky.

Oh yeah, and for this weekend, hopefully Gonzalo will get married, baptized and confirmed.

Argentina Sunset

Elder Rose, Sister Vilte, Gustavo Vilte, and Elder Marsden

Elder Rose and Gustavo Vilte preparing for the baptism

Solis Pizarro Zone

Lucas Miño and family prior to baptism

18 August 2009

Greetings from beautiful Salta Argentina

So things are going super well here and I am happy to say that the progress of the work is speeding along. Since Elder Marsden and I have been working together we saw a little bit of a slow start but the work picked up and we worked hard the first week and the fruits are being seen. This weekend we have two baptisms scheduled along with a ward baptism. The people who should be getting baptized that day are Gustavo Vilte and Gozalo Tapia. Gustavo is the son of a member who had been less active for 15 years when we found her. Now her son wants to get baptized and she says that she is never going to fall away form the church ever again. So that is sort of a double whammy because it is almost as if she has been reconverted, and we actually may have to re-baptize her because nobody can find her records.

The second, Gonzalo Tapia is the guy we have been working with forever in Rosario de Lerma, and technically we are not sure whether he will be able to get baptized because he is still not married but he said he is doing it this Friday. So that would be the wedding on Friday, interview and baptism on Saturday and the confirmation on Sunday along with the Aaronic priesthood maybe.

What a weekend right? We have also been spending a lot of time with Isabel Cayo who still needs to fix her situation with living with her boyfriend, which she is trying really hard to do but he isn’t making it easy, and she has the goal of a baptism not this Saturday but the next. Along with her we have Rocío Lozano. She is the 16 year old daughter of a family who listened to the missionaries a long time ago. We are teaching the mom and one of the brothers as well but they aren´t progressing as quickly as she is. She has a baptismal date for two Saturdays from now as well.

Elder Marsden and I have been having a lot of fun while working and have seen some really cool stuff happen. Like I said, it started off slow but now we have gotten into a rhythm and we are just cruizin´ along. We have found a few new investigators, had some good experiences with members and I have been learning a little bit more about what it means to run your area since this is my first experience with being the companion with more time in the area. It is a great experience though. I am super glad that I have the opportunity I am having to learn at this point in the mission and not later.

Well, some of you have asked about some interesting expressions that we have down here in Argentina. Let’s see what I can think of. It is kind of funny how many English expressions sneak there way into Spanish. For example: “a Full” means exactly that... like “to the max.” A lot of the kids down here say “de diez” which literally means “of ten” or “out of ten.” It could mean something like “that´s awesome.” I figure it comes from on a scale of one to ten who is it... so it is 10. Instead of saying “como está” which means how are you, they say “como anda” which means “how does it walk.” When someone asks you something or tells you something and you want to say you agree all you have to say is “meta.” Which means “goal.” There are a lot of expressions that also mean absolutely nothing in the real world but in the mission among missionaries they have there own special meanings. Here is an example of a typical conversation between two people.

¿Che! Como andás?
Todo bien! Y vos.
Acá estamos. No pasa nada. ¿Y que pasa con vos?
Todo de buena honda.
Ese partido anoche, ¿lo viste loco?
Nah che, estaba renegando con trabajo, me dio bronca el jefe.
Que lastima, che... bueno, nos vemos la proxima.
Que bien, cuidate ¿no?
Dale che. Nos vemos.

Yeah, so that is pretty much it. It is super cool now being able to pick out people´s accents and tell where they are from and understand pretty much everyone says. It is a huge difference when you hear someone talking as they pass you in the street and you can just pick up on what they are saying right away without having to listen too intently. I still have a lot to learn though.

So everything here is just going great. It is good to hear from all of you and know that you are doing well. Thanks for your emails and for letting me know that you care. I keep you all in my prayers and think about you every day. Love you all a ton. Talk to you later.

Hasta vernos juntos algun día. Les quiero todos. Cuidense. No hagan nada que no lo haría yo :)
Elder Rose

16 August 2009

New Companion

August 11, 2009

Hey everybody. Elder Rose again. Well, transfers have come and gone once again and there was actually a change this time. I am still in the same area, Solis Pizarro, and I am now working with Elder Marsden. It is actually really cool because I knew him up in Tartagal when I was there. If you find the picture of my whole zone up there right before I left (it will be near the one of me with the branch president and his wife and daughter) you can see a picture of him. He is one of the taller ones, light hair, skinny, he is a super cool kid. He got here last night and there are some other changes too. We live six in our apartment and all but two of us changed, so there are some new faces. One is yet to be known because he will be a newbie, but I’m super pleased about whom I am living with. Elder Jara was transferred to Tucuman and he will be zone leader there too.

The past several days have been mostly taken up by Elder Jara saying goodbye to the people he wanted to and him packing and all that. As for the investigator situation: Gustavo has a new date for the 15th of this month. Isabel is still waiting on her boyfriend to move out. Gonzalo, I’m not completely sure because I haven’t talked to him in a few days but he should be getting married soon. And then there are all those other investigators that are out there slowly progressing.

So I heard some super awesome news. Last night when we were getting dinner, Marsden and I were talking (he was still in my old zone after I left) and he told me that Ramon, one of the guys me and Elder Nicholls were teaching in Pocitos, got baptized!! I almost flipped out with excitement. He told me that a lot of the people that we found up there and were teaching have gotten baptized or are super close. It was one of those moments that just make being a missionary all worth it. I hated thinking that all my time up there had just been a waste, but now I know that there is something that has come from mine and Elder Nicholls’s efforts. It was a moment of pure joy.

Today for p-day 8 of us elders went to go shopping for the week, then went out to centro, developed some pictures, looked around some stores, went to eat lunch and just hung out, got to know each other, shared stories. It was a good time. I’ve got high hopes for this transfer. Things are looking good.

I just want to tell you all how much I love you and I want you to know I appreciate your prayers and thoughts on my behalf. I appreciate each and every one of you who are reading this email so much. Just for the fact that you are interested in what is going on makes me happy. Stay strong, do it right, and always remember that we rely on God for everything. I wish you all well and I keep you in my prayers.

Fuerza Chicos!

04 August 2009

This week has been a pretty good one.

The investigators that we are teaching are still all on track apart from the baptism that we were supposed to have on Saturday. That didn’t happen which is actually a sad story because it resulted in us stopping teaching her. She told us that she really does have interest but she was mostly just listening to us because it was like having a good friend. She always followed through with the commitments we gave her, but she just wasn´t willing to take the step yet. But what can you do?

At least I can say that I have been free of pit-bull fights (don´t worry dad, all 10 fingers still intact) and that we have been working up a storm and have some good stuff planned for the weeks that are coming up. Our eternal investigator, Gonzalo Tapia, who lives outside of our area, is actually very close to getting baptized. He should be getting married in a couple more weeks. Isabel Cayo and Gustavo Vilte have baptismal dates for this weekend but we are still waiting on a few things before that can happen so we will see. (But they have the goal firm in their minds). Then we have found some super cool investigators lately, one of which is the Lozano family. It is the dad, Guillermo, the mom, Marcela, and the three kids Nicolas, Rocio and Augustine.

Nicolas was actually a kid we were teaching a while back who lived with a ward member but we found the rest of his family, the other four. They actually live on the opposite side of the street from our area but we got permission from president to teach them. The mom and the two kids went to church on their own on Sunday and they loved it, I have a good feeling about them. They have listened to the missionaries before so we will see if that means that they will eventually just stop listening again, but I have a lot of faith in the Lord that He will help them along and I feel like at this point they are more prepared. It was actually interesting the story of how we found them. We had been teaching Nicolas and one day we ran into his mom in the street but we had never met her but she called to us and asked if it was us that were teaching him. We talked for a bit and she asked us if we could pass by her house. It turns out that it was in the other are but we live with those elders so we gave them her address and they went by. After a while though they stopped going by because it is the far edge of their area and they had a hard time finding her at home. It is super convenient for us though so we asked president about it and he said of course we could do it as long as she was going to get taught. So we went over and found the whole family at home and taught them the first discussion. It was kind of wild because they have tons of questions and there is a little bit of sibling rivalry and step children versus step father thing going on, but the second time we went by it was super good, I felt way good about it. So we will see. The moral of the story is that we really have no idea how things are going to work out, we just have to trust that the Lord does and things are going to work out good if we are doing what we should be doing when we should be doing it.

I hope you are all well. I love you all a ton and I hope to hear from every single one of you soon (That´s my guilt trip :) take care.

Elder Jeffrey Rose