Friday, October 31, 2014

More changes in El. Backstrom's area

Today is the 27th of October.

Well, Elder Freeman left yesterday, so now we are in a trio with Elder Perkins until this afternoon when we will have a new Elder arrive. So many special transfers. It is quite... stressful, to be entirely honest. Ah well. What can be done.

This week we had very high temperatures; I'm not sure exactly what they were, but it was unpleasantly hot and difficult to sleep- so we were all grateful for the cooling rainfall that we had last night that dropped the overnight temperatures to reasonable levels.

This week we had interviews with president, which only happen once every three months- so that was very good. Had I mentioned that on November eighth Elder Christofferson is going to be visiting in this area, and will give a special training to the missionaries? It is a very exciting opportunity.

A funny thing happened today; the church accidentally sent me an email with the subject line "Active Shooter Training Enrollment Notification" that informed me that as a member of church staff the church security department now requested that I complete the  "Surviving and Active Shooter Incident Training" which was a little bit of a shock to me, but I suppose that it is fine to take a lot of precautions. So I clicked on the link it gave me, and it asked me for my LDS account, which I gave, but then it told me that I didn't have authorization for that training module. So, I suppose it must have been an accident, especially seeing as no one else received any notification. Weird.

This week in my personal studies I finished reading all of Jesus the Christ, which I was about halfway through... So, that was a lot of pages. James E. Talmage's book is very intelligent, although quite opinionated, and I cannot say that I agree with ALL of his views. Still, it was informative and enlightening, and gave me that opportunity to ponder more deeply many of Christ's parables, his analysis of which comprises one of my favorite parts of the entire book.

I also continued in several reading projects I have in the scriptures, and read some of the first chapters of Alma again, and particularly enjoyed Amulek's rebuttal of Zeezrom (Alma chapter 11) and my favorite verse was the forty-fourth, which reads as follows:

 44 Now, this restoration shall come to all, both old and young, both bond and free, both male and female, both the wicked and the righteous; and even there shall not so much as a hair of their heads be lost; but every thing shall be restored to its perfect frame, as it is now, or in the body, and shall be brought and be arraigned before the bar of Christ the Son, and God the Father, and the Holy Spirit, which is one Eternal God, to be judged according to their works, whether they be good or whether they be evil.

Anyways, I hope you all have enjoyable weeks, Elder Backstrom

Short and Sweet

I was considering today splitting up my emails and doing personal emails only. then I decided not to in order to keep this as a log of things that happened to me each week of my mission.

This week Elder Fernandez was quite sick a few of the days. He is lactose intolerant but loves yogurt; so, he got himself way backed up and then took a hard laxative so we were in the apartment for a couple days.

There is a new elder in the pension, Elder Perkins. He has four weeks in the field and is being trained by Elder Freeman. Yeah. lots of changes. Not a lot of time.

There is an investigator in the area of the other elders who has a baptismal date for the 25th of this month.

We made an asado last Monday. I think I mentioned that already in my last email, but regardless I mention it again because it was great.

The spiritual thought I have for today is from the book of Ether; As I was studying this chapter, preparing to leave it with a less-active member, it impressed me that Ether is concerned immediately for the salvation of others after his own prayer is answered. I brought to my mind that many times, although we may not hear a voice as Ether did, our answers to prayers may come in the form of feelings we might not expect, for example, love towards others, or a desire to go about doing good.

Anyways, have a good week,
Elder Backstrom

Sunday, October 19, 2014

El. Backstrom saves the goal and other news!

Well folks at home this will be another edition of Elder Backstrom's weekly letter. Still exciting, or are they loosing a bit of novelty already? That's right! always exciting! Yeah!

Well today I have pictures.

You see the three elders in this photo? they've all been special transferred out of here. I alone remain in San Martin.
Here is my new companion Elder Fernandez. I'm not sure if I sent this photo before so I'm sending it now.
It rained and it doesn't usually rain so I took a photo.
I got a much needed haircut and I am very much more attractive and less messy now. it is very good.
Here is a picture of the time that I did math and found out all the days of all the transfers for the rest of my mission. My mother wanted it and I don't know if anyone else but there it is.
Last p-day we were playing football and I made an AWESOME dive and successfully saved the goal and have a trashed hand to prove it (Ha it was actually not bad at all)
Coins from Argentina! I have collected all of the kinds.
Here is a picture of Elder Freeman flossing. I am sending it because he is one of the new elders in the pench but this is the only photo I have taken and have not taken a group photo yet... so. that's why.
So, today I am writing in the afternoon because we had to go to Mendoza this morning. then, for lunch we did an asado which is kind of similar to a barbeque but involves smoking the meat for a long time over hot coals. It is super extra delicious.

The spiritual note that I considered sharing today is from the Doctrine and Covenants. I was having a bad morning, then I read this scripture and it really impacted me a great deal:

Doctrine and Covenants 84-

60 Verily, verily, I say unto you who now hear my words, which are my voice, blessed are ye inasmuch as you receive these things;

 61 For I will forgive you of your sins with this commandment—that you remain steadfast in your minds in solemnity and the spirit of prayer, in bearing testimony to all the world of those things which are communicated unto you.

Anyhow, have a good week everyone!

Chow chow,
Elder Backstrom

Sunday, October 12, 2014

"Listen Together" D&C 1:1

Wow! so this week, It was general conference. For me, that's got to be the best weekend of the year (ha, and it happens twice every year. What about that.) It is an inspiring and motivating opportunity to receive training and strength, as well as revelatory warnings from seers and revelators who it has been given from God to know through revelation the words they must convey to us. I was particularly impacted by many of the messages, Including Jorg Kelbingat's discourse on spiritual confidence, and also many of the messages that focused on building testimony (President Uchtdorf's and Tad R. Callister's to name a few.) There was also a remarkable talk in the priesthood session given by President Uchtdorf about introspection and how to take a moment to evaluate ourselves in the gospel. I really enjoyed that one and found it helped me to apply the rest of the messages from the conference better to myself.

Ha! If I keep linking in talks I might as well direct you all to the whole stream of the entire conference! But, in all seriousness, I would encourage everyone to watch or listen or read the messages from conference again. There was an abundance of powerful talks on a wide variety of topics. Remeber that "the greatest blessings of general conference come to us after the conference is over" (Robert D Hales, General conference: strengthening faith and testimony). As we re-study and apply what we have been taught we will gain additional light and understanding about the messages; we will have our testimonies strenghtened and we will begin to see the blessings promised by the prophets fullfiled in our lives and applied to our personal circumstances. Remember that the inspired speakers in the general conference have the right to revelation that will guide us and protect us from things that we do not know may be coming. Like a watchman on a tower they can see the enemy approaching long before they reach us and tell us to prepare ourselves adequately. I was particularly impresed by the large number of talks dedicated to strengthening our testimonies of the Prophet Joseph Smith and the reality of the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ. I would move to suggest that in coming times our testimonies of these precious, important and fundemental doctrines will be tested to the breaking point. We will be "backed up to the wall of faith, and there [we] must make [our] stand." (Ezra Taft Benson, The Book of Mormon is the Word of God

So this week, that's that. I Had a wonderful experience with general conference, and hope that as many of you as possible willl be able to share the joy that comes from listening to and studying the words of living prophets as well. Also, Conference is a unque opportunity to be able to practice foreign languages; I would encourage all of you who know a different language to use this as a chance to brush up on your language skills by listening to a talk or two in that other language. (Mostly this is for those people who speak french but I'm also looking at you mom, Thai is on there too)

Okay, everyone have a great week,

"I will cause them to walk by the rivers of waters in a straight way, wherein they shall not stumble: for I am a father to Israel..." (Jeremiah 31:9)

El. Backstrom

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Alfajors and other notable news (it's always about food with Dallin)

It's another Monday!

Look at that. Weeks leap by like nothing and I'm not sure if it pleases me.

We had a special conference this week in the stake centre, which is in Mendoza, in which a member of the area seventy came and divided the Maipu stake into the Maipu stake and San Martin district. that means that the five congregations which are close to San Martin: San martin 1, San martin 2, Rividavia, Tres porteñas, and Palmira, are all now branches that are below the jurisdiction of the mission. the goal is to have the district be able to become it's own stake in the next few years! It's very good because it means that basicaly all the distances are shorter now, and that the general leaders will be local instead of from Mendoza, so able to be more involved. The previous bishop of San martin 2 was ordained to be the District President, one of his former councilors in the bishopric is his first councilor, and the former branch president of Rividavia is his second councilor. Good stuff.

(Also Elias and Janet came to the meeting, which was a happy surprise, because to get to the stake centre the bus left from the chapel at half past eight, which is even earlier than church normally starts. So that was a great alegría para nosotros -- translates as "joy for us")

Hm. other things?

This an alfajor. Being eaten. to make all of you jealous that you do not have access to fun Argentine sweets. but unfortunately it also makes me jealous, because I already ate it about a week ago and now I want another one.

Ah yes, there were transfers.
Left to Right: El. Backstrom, El. Ortez, El. Leguiza and El. Trelease

Anyway! I didn't take tons of pictures this week, but that's  Elder Leguiza there behind Elder Trelease. He's a mini-missionary, which means that he's just a normal youth who's here helping us out while we have an odd number of missionaries fro a transfer. He has his mission call to leave on December 12th for Uruguay Montevideo. He's real radical.

In my studies this week I concentrated on preach my gospel and doing some of the personal study activities from the study suggestions sections after the chapters. It was quite different from how I normally study and forced me to make a little bit more use of my study journal, which I realized I had been forgetting to use. Keeping a study journal is very helpful for remembering things that you've learned in the past, as well as forcing yourself to concrete your thoughts in writing allowing you to ponder the scriptures more clearly.

Anyhow, please all have a good week. And find out if there is anywhere I can obtain alfajors in Canada. Jokes. don't actually do that. I would die horribly fat.

El. Backstrom

(note from the editor mother: if any of you are dying to try an alfajor after all of Dallin's ranting about them; they can be purchased @ Tienda Latina which is located at the corner of 99 street and Argyll road next to The Brick)