Wednesday, March 25, 2015

The Backstrom Weekly

Today for p-day I made Donairs for almost the whole zone- that's right, all-Canadian (well sort of Greek/Arabic) Halifax style Donairs. yeah. I couldn't find pitas so I had to make it into little sandwiches on another type of Arabic flat bread. Attached are several photos for you to enjoy.

Moving on to the week, this week has been both an interesting and challenging one. My companion and I decided that really we were not having success like we should in the area, especially finding new investigators and getting second visits. We decided that a re dedication and greater sacrifice where necessary to begin to have the success that we desire in our area. we had a talk about the things we could change to be able to work harder and smarter, and also decided to do a special fast to be able to find more investigators in our area. Since then we have been dedicating a lot more time to proselyting activities, and have made several good contacts, but have not been able to teach anyone new yet. your prayers are very appreciated.

I hope you all have a good and safe week,
Elder Backstrom 

Success in San Luis

Well, It's been another week here in san luis. This week we had the great success of bringing out 4 less active families to church, out of the five we visited in the week. I don't know what else to tell about, so I'll tell two stories from today:

We went to "Potrero do los Funes" (A touristy place) and met this guy on a bus. He's from Calgary so I took a photo with him unfortunately it is not the best photo of me, so.

Add caption

Look who made his way into my missionary daily planer! 

Story number two comes with no fun photo, but after eating at the riverside that features in several of the attached photos, we had the chance to talk with a slightly older couple from Buenos Aires who were on vacation. They told us part of their story, that they had been married only ten years before and that the lady had adopted her husband's children. In that seemingly random conversation we were able to invite them to meet with the missionaries in Buenos Aires when they returned home and learn more about the restored gospel and how it could bless their family. That experience marked to me how even the conversations that sometimes I might think are not going to lead to an invitation to learn about the gospel can become opportunities to invite everyone to learn about our unique message.

Anyways, enjoy the photo of the next big thing in human alimentation: the double banana.
Have a good week,

Elder Backstrom

Double banana
Selected photos from a p-day picnic at a river where Dallin and the other missionaries met the couple from Buenos Aires:

Monday, March 9, 2015

Adventures in La Punta

Good morning,

Another week has passed by and another email proceeds forth to the ends of the earth from the rented cyber desk of Dallin Backstrom.

This week I did a companion exchange with La Punta, and went there to work with Elder Nelson. His companion came to the city and stayed there with El. Enriquez. La Punta is a small suburban development about 7 kilometers north of the city. the density is very low and so there is consequently a large amount of walking involved to get between the places where people actually live. We worked all afternoon in a small corner of the area. We had the opportunity to meet several people, one of whom was a trucker named William (in Spanish Guillermo) who was in town and outside washing his car. We talked to him and apparently he had spoken to missionaries before but they had only come by one time, so we were able to employ the principle "teach while you find" and explain a lot of things to him, as well as give him a Book of Mormon, which he said he was really interested in reading to be able to know what significance it had to his life- all while he washed his 80' BMW.

I also found several books from the series of manuals Teachings of the Presidents of the Church in my pension, and started to read by topic on Sunday (while my companion was in bed with a headache)
from the Joseph Smith tome. I was impressed by the relevance of the discourses and the frank, logical power by which they where delivered. I was reminded of the important, divine commission of Joseph Smith as the first Prophet of God in this dispensation and the fidelity with which he carried out his mission to not only restore but to preach and teach the correct principles of the restored Gospel. I read a chapter about peacemaking that reminded me that at times we teach far more powerfully with our actions than with our words.

Pictures attached, Have a good week,
Elder Backstrom

El. Backstrom looking cool at a bus stop maybe?
"4 Hugs a day, that's the minimum..."

It is difficult to identify the 4th person in this selfie

Cool stone structure!

Argentine landscapes

Dallin with some graffiti

Sunday, March 8, 2015

We Talk of Christ, We rejoice in Christ, We prophesy of Christ...

Wow I do not have tons of time to write this week!

So I'll just tell a quick story from my week and then send some pictures. This week we had a lot of rain and not a lot of open doors. We actually got to Thursday without having been able to teach a single lesson. However we had planned a game night with a member family and even though it was raining we were still able to go. We got there and one of the young women from the family had invited a friend from school to the activity. We were able to play some games, eat some ice cream and then share a brief but powerful scripture that summarizes in one our faith in Christ:

2 nefi 25:26- Y hablamos de Cristo, nos regocijamos en Cristo, predicamos de Cristo, profetizamos de Cristo y escribimos según nuestras profecías, para que nuestros hijos sepan a qué fuente han de acudir para la remisión de sus pecados.

(Here it is in English for all us non Spanish Speakers: 2 Nephi 25:26  And we talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ, and we write according to our prophecies, that our children may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins.)

Whoops, that's in Spanish. oh well. The experience was a very positive one and the young lady accepted the invitation to learn more about the gospel. Working in close coordination with the members of the church is essential to help people experience the gospel in a non-confrontational way- and always results in a higher degree of curiosity and openness in the people who are being prepared to receive the gospel in their lives.

Have a good week, I included some photos.

El. Backstrom

Argentine Car, not sure why he included this.
Dallin got a new soccer outfit. His dad says he looks bigger, what do you think?

Serious Selfie
Dallin's favorite little dog
Another note from an e-mail Dallin sent me:

I am now officially a fan of "Racing Club", a professional Argentine football team that was champion of the Argentina league this year. They are probably the third biggest club in the nation; the classic two are River Plate Athletic Club and Club Atletico Boca Juniors- sort of like the maple leafs and the Montreal Canadians- but racing is pretty important too and I like it for a variety of reasons. anyways hopefully they'll win the south america cup (called "libertadores" sort of like champions league in Europe) and then go on to the world cup of clubs. The Racing club was the first champion of the world cup of clubs. ever. ever. yeah. anyways, that's that. have a good week,

El. Backstrom

By the way how is FC Edmonton doing, do they even still exist? I hope so...

Hockey. You just can't explain it!

Well, what a week we've had! It's not been the most productive one, to be entirely honest- we went out with members accompanying us three whole afternoons, and there was no one who was available... Well, those are the things that happen sometimes. Ha. I just thought of a joke, but it wouldn't be funny for anyone but me. (Para de sufrir!) (Because there's this Brazilian church called the universal church and they go around placing their hands on people's foreheads and saying STOP SUFFERING! and it's very funny. so many Argentinians make this joke when someone has a problem, they just say Para de sufrir! and everyone laughs. but you had to be there.) Still, it was a very interesting week and we had the good experience that one of the less active members who did not seem very excited earlier in the week made it out to church and stayed all three hours, which was very nice.

Slightly more serious P-day Photo
Goofy P-day fun!
Some photos from p-day.

Okay. I had a very interesting study this week on prayer and meaningfully waiting for an answer to the same. I tried throughout the week to place my mind in the state it needs to be of calm and sensitivity in order to receive spiritual answers to my prayers. It allowed me to really examine the weight of emotional turbulence that builds up and how many things can be distractions from the smooth, soft voice of the spirit.

Well, I don't have much more to write. Have a good, safe week everyone!

El. Backstrom

I am including an excerpt from an e-mail Dallin sent me that I thought some of you might enjoy:

How are the Oilers doing? still losing embarrassingly?  What about Montreal, are they still doing pretty good?

Hockey. It's so weird to explain hockey to people here because they're like, ah, yes, field hockey for women. I think I understand. but it is completely different blah.

Well since you have no questions- what did I do this week? well, on Friday it rained really hard and we got drenched and then finally got back to the pension only to have a less active member knock on our door and tell us her son had fallen eight meters our of a tree that same morning and fractured one vertebrae and so we scarfed down our food and went as fast as we could to the Italian clinic in the center to give him a blessing. he's a very nice man. he said that the doctors had told him that really a fall of that height had come cheap for him. pity he lives outside of our area, or we might just have had the chance to teach him.

Well, that was a little bit of my week- have a good one. I saw dad has a beard. it's pretty great. did you know I can grow a beard now? it makes me quite pleased