Tuesday, July 22, 2014

A Privileged Missionary

Hello everyone, Elder Backstrom here.

This was a good week that I had this past week. I made a roast, visited many people including a new family we found (Carina & Gabriel) and generally was happy with the things we were able to accomplish.
Cooking a roast
Sunset in San Martin
However, like many other weeks in the mission, this week was also bland. I did reach seven months, total, since the day I arrived in Buenos Aires- Which is a good deal. I purchased a new tie that was on sale for very cheap at the grocery store. I also bought socks, which, excuse me, were more expensive per pair than the tie. What sort of world is this.

Jokes, jokes! I really am a privileged missionary. Not in the way that we have ipads, or cars, or even washing machines. We have none of the aforementioned things. I am fine without the first two, but I would appreciate having a washing machine, seeing as (ahh what do you call those locations with coin washing... uh, laundromats. that's it. those.) are not a thing that exists due to high install rates of semi-automatic washing machines. What can I do?  But, the food is excellent, the language is not too hard, and the climate is downright pleasant (for now, anyways, in the dead of winter, when it's like 10 degrees outside most of the time).

Good. To be honest I don't have tons and tons to discourse about today. So to avoid the eventuality of me rambling on about nothing I'm going to try one more time to upload some pictures then send this off.
Ah! wait. Scripture of the week!

Isaiah 43:11:

I, even I, am the Lord; and beside me there is no Saviour.

Simple, but a powerful verse that I found while studying by topic this week.

(Speaking of which. Actually this is off topic but Preach my Gospel has great suggestions in chapter two to deepen your scripture study. So. Good.)
Showing off his true colours!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Week of the 14th of Julio! Yeah!

Another weekly email reaches you from the cyber cafes of San Martin, at the hands of Elder Backstrom!
I have finally obtained a computer with a functioning USB port, so today is a picture day. I have collected several pictures for your enjoyment.

Anyways more pictures in a moment.
So, things have been skipping along quite nicely here. We've had several very good contacts in our area, whilst the other elders can't seem to stop finding Jehovah's Witnesses to *Cough*confound with true doctrine *cough cough* teach.

Hmm. We have not had running water for several days due to a failed pump and a long weekend. However, due to the large water tanks everyone uses to store their water and provide water pressure to their homes (they're giant tanks that store ballpark 100 litres. and are located above the roof of the top floor), we have been living off a limited water supply instead of none at all. Exciting that today is Monday and hopefully we will be able to shower this afternoon! also how glad I am that we buzzed my hair rather short several days before the water incident, or it would still be very long, and thus very prone to accumulate lots of grease.

This week I cooked home made onion rings and corn dogs. They where very good and I discovered that chimichuri is an excellent spice mix for just about everything.
Fried Food!

Anything else. Hm. well, you all probably know already that Argentina got to the final of the world cup and then lost. Still, we had a good time celebrating and waving our Argentine flags at all the passing cars from our balcony when Argentina beat Holland, which was not something anyone was expecting to be entirely honest.

This week a lot of my study has been centered around marking up my scriptures to more easily access the best ones to teach from. That means that I have come across many scriptures that I marked in my English scriptures, and I am translating those markings to my Spanish scriptures along with a colourful tab to open to them quickly. This morning I came across a scripture I had marked in Romans chapter three, and it's one I really enjoyed so I'm going to share it here:

(Romans 3:23-26; see also JST Romans 3:24)
 23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
 24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:
 25 Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;
 26 To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.

It's a concise and powerful statement about the plan of salvation, and an excellent way to show to investigators how the Book of Mormon and the bible teach the same things: (Moroni 10:32-34)

32 Yea, come unto Christ, and be perfected in him, and deny yourselves of all ungodliness; and if ye shall deny yourselves of all ungodliness, and love God with all your might, mind and strength, then is his grace sufficient for you, that by his grace ye may be perfect in Christ; and if by the grace of God ye are perfect in Christ, ye can in nowise deny the power of God.
 33 And again, if ye by the grace of God are perfect in Christ, and deny not his power, then are ye sanctified in Christ by the grace of God, through the shedding of the blood of Christ, which is in the covenant of the Father unto the remission of your sins, that ye become holy, without spot.
 34 And now I bid unto all, farewell. I soon go to rest in the paradise of God, until my spirit and body shall again reunite, and I am brought forth triumphant through the air, to meet you before the pleasing bar of the great Jehovah, the Eternal Judge of both quick and dead. Amen.
And, well, that's all I really had for this week. Signing off and enjoy yourselves!

Potatoes, mashed and spiced. Only one of many ways we ate 8 kg of potatoes over the last three weeks.

More Potatoes

Outside Style
Apartment Style
Best contact page ever!

My companion and I in an accidental, but entertainingly candid shot.
Alright, really now. signing off.
El. Backstrom

Good Day Comrades!

I have bad news first. I was not able to send pictures today due to the fact that both of the USB plugs on the computer I am using are broken.

However, I have had another fine week here in San Martin. Argentina won both of their games 1 to 0, but sadly fewer people than would please me are paying attention to the World Cup, so I am mad low on news all the time.

We have a new pair of investigators in our area. their names are Jole (actually a less active member) and Antonela (the girlfriend of Jole). They are both super cool, and Antonela has very good questions. However they attend church in another ward and we are only teaching them because it is more convenient for them to meet in our chapel (because Jole owns a small electronics shop in our area that they both work at so for the convenience of everyone we meet at our chapel).

Hm, other interesting things? over the past two weeks, we ate 6 kg or potatoes because I have discovered that they are just as cheap here as in Canada, and also that they are a thing I know how to cook in multiple ways, rather easily. Very good. Also, various bread products.

I have begun writing in my journal more. Which is good. It still costs me to write each day, but, I am trying better.

In terms of something slightly more spiritual, I have been going through fist Nephi again this week (Got a new, less bricky triple to replace the 2 kg hardcover block they gave me in the MTC, and so I have to mark many things in it) And I enjoyed reading again through the sermon Nephi delivers to his brothers in chapter 17.

Everyone have a good week, shoot for the stars, and use old spice fragrances,

El. Backstrom

Settling In

Good, another week passes by. How are all of you doing?

The new area is still rather new, and due to the newness of everything, time has slowed down to an almost normal pace. I now live in a pension with four elders and we (for better or worse) get along rather well.

Unfortunately we have been experiencing a drought of new investigators this past week. we have planned several different finding activities for the week to come, so that we don't fall in to the rut of doing the same thing again and again.

Uh, San Martin is a little different from San Juan. We have a center in our area. um, I don't really know what else to tell.

This is strange. Usually I have plenty to talk about.

Mostly I'm just keeping busy! The other companionship in the pension has encountered a strangely high number of contentious Jehovah's Witnesses recently, so we have been studying ways to politely confound their false doctrine. Hahaha.

HM! I had a funny picture to send but I forgot the connector cable for my camera.
next week, I suppose.

My English is getting weird and I need to obtain a Book of Mormon in French to remind myself of the language so as not to forget it.

On my spiritual highlight this week, I had chapter 3 of Exodus stick out to me. It is the chapter where Moses is called as a prophet and really one of the best scriptural examples of the lord's pattern of calling prophets to bring his word to his people.

Anything else? I don't think so. Cool, till next week then,
El. Backstrom