Saturday, June 21, 2014

1/4 Report

From the desk of Elder Backstrom!

I am pleased to announce to all of you good friends and family and whoever this email goes to anyways, I have reached 1/4 completion of my mission, or will on the 19th of this month, which is this week. This email will contain a brief report on the first six months of my mission.

Also, I am pleased to be finally headed of to a new area, after nearly double the time it is normal to spend in one place. (I will be going to San martin in Mendoza. Not exactly clear about where that is, but, luckily, it sounds like I will still have a washing machine in the pension.)

So? How were the first 6 months? you ask. Well, I say, reclining in my large office chair, That's a longer story than I think you realize; however, I'll resume it in compressed form.


Elder Harris (Mission: Argentina Bahia Blanca), MTC
Elder Ford (Mission: Uruguay Montevideo), MTC
Elder Spice (Trainer), Progreso San Juan
Elder Veintimilla, Progreso San Juan


Progreso branch, San Juan stake


Mission President:

Presidente Avila

Well, there it is. Basically I have meandered about, learning Spanish and talking to people and doing things and drinking an unhealthy amount of mate. Fun stories that happened:
-Walking through a line of rioters
-Building houses
-Going to the San Juan planing and development department office

Lists of top ten things!

Favorite things
3-pretty places
4-nice members
5-people who are willing to help me speak spanish with them
6-difunta correa idol worship
7-Mission president
8-other missionaries who are chill

Least favorite things

1-Cumbia ripped from youtube videos that has random pauses in it because of buffering
2-Difunta correa idol worship, when it's an actual thing I have to address in my teaching and not just something we laugh about
3-not having a piano in the pench
4-Alfajores, because they make me fat
5-Mean people (who are luckily few and far between)
6-Being with a companion LITERALLY ALL THE TIME
7-not sleeping nough
8-being sick
9-cumbia in general
10-Zonda (Hot, dusty wind of misery and death)

Yeah.  mean, that's really all I had to report, I think.


Pictures, but first a story.
Dallin with a map!
So, my father is a city planner, by the by, so that this makes sense, if you didn't know. (Sorry this is a boring story about city planning. But I do have a soft spot for municipal politics.)

There was a big earthquake in San Juan about forty years ago, and since all the things where made of adobe, they all fell over and, more or less, the entire city was completely destroyed. So, on the chance that there be another earthquake (They're quite frequent here) they decided to start building things out of actual bricks. this meant (Also the fact that everything got trashed by the earthquake) that they needed to start from scratch, essentially, so they set up a planning department and result being, san juan is a very well planned city, and also relatively new. And we went to this planning department to get maps because we didn't have any maps and it reminded me of where my father works. Just proves, there are planners in all places. hahah. I almost bought a big 1.5m X 2m roll up map of san juan city for father's day for my father, but it was a little big to fit inside of an envelope.

Yeah. On a slightly more spiritual note, I was readying in Moroni 7 this morning and found a couple of verses I liked a lot:

40 And again, my beloved brethren, I would speak unto you concerning hope. How is it that ye can attain unto faith, save ye shall have hope?

 41 And what is it that ye shall hope for? Behold I say unto you that ye shall have hope through the atonement of Christ and the power of his resurrection, to be raised unto life eternal, and this because of your faith in him according to the promise.

 42 Wherefore, if a man have faith he must needs have hope; for without faith there cannot be any hope.

Faith and hope are two of the Christlike attributes in the chapter 6 of Preach my Gospel that I've been focusing on this moth, because they are so absolutely essential for missionary work, and also so tightly intertwined.If we don't have faith, we don't have hope; if we don't have hope of something better hereafter, what are we sharing with people anyway? something of no worth. The light of the Gospel is "A perfect brightness of hope... (that we may have) eternal life".

Anyways, signing out for now,

Elder Backstrom

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