29 September 2009

Greetings from a Frozen Summer.... brrrrrrrrrrrr...

So everything here in Perico is going just dandy. It is cold again..........., need I say more? We had about a week and a half of summer and now it has dropped almost to freezing temperatures again. Pleasant, no? haha. I’m finding my way around slowly but surely. My comp has three transfers here and you would think that he would know his way around pretty good by now but he still gets lost a lot. So it is a good reason for me to learn right? This is his 4th transfer here so probably his last.

The ward here is good. There were aver 100 people in sacrament meeting because it was ward conference this past Sunday, so that was cool. The elder’s quorum is way cool and there is finally someone that plays piano (and there is a piano... haha) so it is nice. The bishop is a stud. He is involved in the work and we have quite a few people who are willing to help us, so that is good. I think things will be going well here in a little bit. The area seems like it didn't get worked very hard the last few transfers, but we´ll get that all turned around and fixed up here pretty soon.

I'm excited for General Conference and all the good stuff that is going on here in the near future. Sorry this entry is kind of short; they might be that way while I am with my comp. I love you all. I keep you all in my thoughts and prayers and I wish the best in all your endeavors in life. Take care. Love you all. SMILE.
Elder Rose

24 September 2009

Have you ever fallen asleep standing up?

Things here are going pretty good. The work is going alright. Like I said I am in a new area now. Last transfer with Elder Marsden and everyone there was super good and just flew by. Now I am in a different province, Jujuy, and I am in a little city called Perico. It is a little bit bigger than Pocitos, my first area was, but still a little town.

So the transfer went well; I got here all good and everything. My new comp is Elder Gamarra, he’s Peruvian. He is a cool enough kid. Perico so far is a nice place. It is cooler here which is going to be nice for the summer and it also rains a lot but that isn’t saying much considering we are in a drought. The rainy season should have already hit so it should be starting any day now. We live in a nice apartment. I’ve been lucky ever since Pocitos to have a pretty nice place to live. Of the people that I have met here, they are great people. It is always a little frustrating getting to a new area and not knowing your way around and having to depend completely on your comp, but it teaches you a little bit of humility among other things.

The first night was interesting. There was a newer elder who got transferred and got off in the wrong city so we had to go get him and take him to his area. In my zone there are a couple of elders that I have gotten to know before. Elder Vidal who I lived with in Salta is in my zone and I recently met Elder Willeitner who is from Utah and I met him once before. He is a big rock climber too so we met once in the gym. He´s a cool kid and it is cool to have someone to connect with. Today we had our district meeting and I decided we need to find a better way of getting there instead of waiting for the "sometimes it comes, sometimes it doesn't" bus for 4 hours. That is where the subject line comes from. I actually managed to fall asleep standing up on the bus today, luckily I have good reflexes even when I am sleeping and I didn't quite manage to fall over.

I have been getting to know some of the old investigators that were left from last transfer. There aren't very many of them. I’m thinking I want to focus on knocking a lot of doors in the next couple of weeks so that we have a good group of people that we can teach throughout a good period of time.

I’ve been getting over a little cold that I have had since about two weeks ago. I am almost all the way healthy again. Everything is going well.

Everything is going well here. I am going to ask all of you a favor though for at least this transfer. My comp doesn´t really like writing his family a whole lot, I don´t know why. But anyway, he likes going to write emails really early in the day on Tuesdays to get it over with. So here´s the favor… could you write your emails to me either early early on Tuesday or on Monday so that I can get them for sure if we go pretty early on Tuesdays for p-day, that would be super cool. I would hate not to hear from you.

Oh and the last update from Salta. The baptisms that we were hoping for in Salta didn’t go through. There were a lot of things that happened and then people just got lazy so they just kind of got put on the back burner until they decide what they want to do. It´s sad when that happens but every once in a while they get so close yet they just can´t take that last little step to get there. Elder Marsden and Elder Dommer are working hard there though so I have faith that if the investigators want to progress they will have all of the help that they need.

Everything here is super nice though. Just moving along and going through that awkward new area, new companion at the same time phase... I Love you all. Thanks for the very many things that you do for me. Take care, send pictures and think of me.
Elder Jeff Rose

15 September 2009

This past week was very interesting...

We were very busy, but not necessarily in a good way. Well, okay, it was a good way, but not for us. So I already said how on Monday we did a tormenta blanca in the area of La Loma. Then Tuesday was p-day, not much time there. Wednesday we went down to Rosario de Lerma to see Gonzalo, he is still doing good by the way, then on Thursday we had our baptismal interviews and district meeting so that was most of the day. Friday we had interviews to go do in Güemes which is a ways away so there goes most of that day and Saturday and Sunday we had the whole days to work, so that left us with not a whole lot of time to do anything. So it was a busy week. We managed to complete with our goals anyways but we didn’t see the things happen like we wanted to. The one big thing was the baptism, that didn’t happen either. One of the girls said that her mom won´t let her even though her dad is a member and the other girl was sick. So that was a bummer. On top of that this week is what they call La Semana de Milagros. That is the week of miracles, which is a huge Catholic festival down here and nobody wants to see you during the nine days that the party is going on. As I sit here writing this email, there is a procession of catholic saints passing outside. That’s a fun one. So this week was a bit rough but we finished strong.

Yesterday was actually a way good day of work. We had some really good lessons and we saw some way cool things work out for us. Elder Marsden and I are convinced that they worked out the way that they did because we were being obedient, following our plans and doing the best that we could. We had a member introduce us to one of her really good friends. Her name is Elsa and she is a devout catholic but said that she would love to listen to us but will never change religions. As we left the house, the member who is her friend commented that she had said the same exact thing before she joined the church. It was a huge testimony to me in trusting the spirit and saying what you need to say in order to reach out and actually get to somebody and tell them what they need to hear. You know how it is sometimes when we want to tell somebody something but we hold out because we feel that it would be uncomfortable or awkward or something like that. But if we are trusting in the spirit and what it is telling us to do we really cannot go wrong. I learned a good time ago that the difference between boldness and overbearance is the spirit. If we trust in ourselves maybe we will screw up but if we trust in the Lord then that is never going to happen.

So here is the little update on what is happening here. First of all, the transfers come up in five days. I am pretty sure I am gone but who knows to where. The investigators are doing well. Isabelle and her boyfriend finally decided to get married so we will see what happens with that pretty soon. It really is quite a difficult process here. Gonzalo has his date to get married this Saturday and we will see if he can get baptized that same day. The two girls are still there. Jimena not so much because of the opposition from her family, but Rocío is still going strong. We are teaching the wife of a less active member now. Her name is Laura and in the last lesson we had with her last night she offered the coolest prayer. In this prayer she asked that God would give her an answer about the Book of Mormon and the restoration so that she could go to church and bring her whole family back into the church. Talk about starting off strong and with good goals right! I was pretty excited when I heard that prayer.

Oh, another big thing in the mission right is that the LDS Spanish version of the Holy Bible just came out. It was a big step and now the church has their own version. It has the Joseph Smith translations and all that but it is still lacking the topical guide and Bible dictionary and that stuff. That is soon to come though.

Today for p-day we kind of took it easy because of the festivities. We played a lot of soccer, went grocery shopping, went to the centro area to take advantage of all the vendors that come out for the festivities and then played some more soccer. My comp took a knee to the face and we think he might have broken his nose. He is doing alright though, we´re going to go get him all checked out. Everything here is going dandy; nothing to complain about. The weather is still super weird and can´t stay the same for more than two days in a row, but it´s alright.

Love you all. Take care and be smart and learn stuff.

Elder Rose

p.s. I tried to attach more pictures but it just wasn´t working out :)

14 September 2009

Life is Good!

This week has actually gone rather well. Things are still a little bit sluggish in the area of finding new people but the great news is that we have been working really hard with the people we have and have been seeing some good results. It has been the week of preparation for the next two weeks and what they will hopefully have in store for the Lord. So remember the name Jimena Nogales? I started working with her in the middle of my first transfer here. That is about five months ago. Well, Elder Marsden and I started working with her again awhile back and it has been good. Not only is she coming to church and is super cool now, but her dad is getting active too. And the best part... she´s getting baptized this weekend! But that isn't the best part! Remember the name Rocío Lozano? Well she is getting baptized this weekend too. The coolest thing is that Rocío is 16 and Jimena is 15 and they are good friends now and they are getting baptized the same day and they are totally into it. I'm super stoked about that. Gonzalo Tapia, the eternal investigator who has been trying to get married for six months. Wedding bells will ring on the 18th of September at about 11:00 am and he will be baptized shortly after. That is a story of perseverance. My goodness gracious has it been a long time coming. Okay. So lot´s of names to remember. Next name: Pilar Jeres and her daughter Maria. Elder Marsden and I also picked them up again recently and they said that they will be baptized on the 19th as well. Now that one is still a little bit up in the air, but hey, they are progressing again. And Isabel... well, still being Isabel and still stuck with her (I wouldn't think the word dirt bag would be too strong) boyfriend because he won't marry her, he won't leave her house and he won't talk to us and she is too much of a softy to do much about it. We are still working that one out.... but yeah, so things are looking up. Things are going good now. I love my bishop... just in time to leave... :) The ward is working better. There are quite a few less active members that are coming back.

So we recently did divisions with the elders. Elder La Loma and I worked with a new Elder in the mission. His name is Elder Ayllon and he is Bolivian but he grew up in the states since he was 6. He's a way cool kid. We ran into a really funny old man while knocking doors who wouldn't tell us his name then we got him laughing making a couple of jokes and he told us he doesn't believe in anything then went on to tell us how he prays to god every night. That is good at least... right.

I have been having a cool variety of experiences in the mission lately and I am loving it. I have got to tell you, the best part of the whole thing is the entertainment. You get the whole gamut walking the streets in another country. If I could I would take more pictures to show you but sometimes it just isn't practical. For example, an 80 year old woman with no teeth but so many cocaine leaves in her mouth that they were falling out. You know the good life!
Chaucito queridos.

Elder Rose on left and Elder Marsden on far right. Elder Marsden is Jeff's current companion.

Bowling for preparation day

Enjoying a little American cuisine at McDonald's

Elder Rose and Elder Marsden

Desperation while tracting - teaching two donkeys!

01 September 2009

All is Great!

Hey Y´all.

Fantastic to hear from you this week. Thanks for the emails and not forgetting about me :) I am glad to hear that all is going well. Things here are going good. They have slowed down a little bit lately but they are more consistent I guess. It has definitely been getting hotter here lately. This past weekend was the weekend of the Santa Rosa, which they say is always when the weather changes. It is kind of like Groundhog's Day in the states. If it is cold on the day of Santa Rosa, it's gonna be cold for a while and vice versa. And guess what! It was about a hundred degrees yesterday so I guess that means that it´s gonna be hot. It has been pretty hot but I like it.

I got my haircut today and we ran into the mission president in the barber shop. It was actually kind of funny because the guy cut my hair super super short. Luckily president went right before I did and he didn't get to see the hack job. The mission president is a really cool guy and way smart. I am glad to have him around. So today was good. We did our studying and all that in the morning and then we went out to get our hair cut, ate lunch at McDonald's :) a little taste of America. And then we went to centro and I bought a couple of jerseys from some of the teams around here. Oh and I also took two of my pairs of shoes in to be resoled and fixed up. I'm on my third pair of shoes already... we´ll see what happens, I will be alright, I think I will just have to get them resoled every so often. But yeah. On that note, if there are any soccer jerseys or anything like that that you would like, or any sort of souvenirs you would like tell me now while I am in a big city cause I will probably be leaving in a couple of weeks. Okay!

So the question about holidays and festivities unique to Argentina. The thing that you have to understand is that the people of Argentina live to party and sleep the siesta. There is a special holiday for some saint or virgin about twice a week and when there isn't a holiday; they usually find a reason to party anyway. That is one thing that they've got on us, they definitely know how to party. This whole month that is coming up starting on the 15th or something like that is the "Month of Miracles" so that means that it is a month of people being permanently in party mode. It is enjoyable as long as you know how to steer clear of the drunks and all that stuff.

This past week went pretty well. We had the zone conference on Friday so that was a whole day and then all the stuff that went on that my comp and I had to do to organize since he is zone leader. We didn't have the baptism but she is still on track and went to church and all that. The mom also went to church again so that was cool. We are working with Rocío for this weekend if possible. Then Jimena Nogales we have started teaching again and her dad who is a less active has been coming back to church. Gonzalo still isn't married. And Isabel is still trying to figure out what she wants to do. We did divisions yesterday and we resurrected a couple old investigators. Pilar, the lady who almost got baptized is listening to us again. Along with a young couple who never really progressed but we wanted to give them another chance. We went around looking for old people that other missionaries before us had taught also, and we found a couple of people that still live at the same addresses and we will see what happens. I will also have to meet the new investigators that Elder Marsden found on his division as well, so I am happy about that.

Things really are going well here. I can´t really complain about anything. I would send you a picture of my haircut but you would probably laugh so I better not. It may just be the shortest I have ever had it cut. EVER! I am doing well. I am enjoying the work and I am gaining the confidence and abilities that I feel I need to be able to have success. The young kid, Gustavo, we baptized got the priesthood last week so that was super exciting. It is cool to see that sort of thing happen because sometimes you don't really realize the extent of the change the gospel can have in someone´s life. I keep learning and trying to remember everything that I learn every day. I´m super stoked to hear that you are all doing great. Thank you for bringing blessings to my life by praying for the Lord´s work and praying for me. Enjoy the blessings of the gospel that you have and make sure that you share them with others. I Love you. Take care and I will be thinking of you all the time so don´t even worry about that.

Be Good and Learn Stuff
Elder Jeff Rose