Monday, April 27, 2015

La Favorita

Sorry to everyone I didn't write!

wow. cyber is EXPENSIVE here in Mendoza. (18$ the hour!)

So, I've been in my new area for four days- but when you don't know a place- that feels like forever! We've been learning the streets of La Favorita. It doesn't appear in google maps, and the two previous missionaries didn't leave us a map- so! An adventure for sure. Luckily for us, we were able to meet a lot of the members quickly, and they have helped us get on our feet a little. I've more or less got the locations down now. At least it's not half of the residential area of San Luis capital! it's a good deal smaller than my last area.

My new companion is elder Paz (would love to send photos but this computer doesn't accept my camera :P) He is from Uruguay, and has 18 months in the mission. He's both cool and dedicated, and we are moving forward well in our new area.

Don't even ask about the apartment. They left it a disaster. but! one good clean later- much better!

okay. I have ten mins. left. I'll tell you guys some more stories about la Favo next week, sound good? have a safe week everyone!

Spiritual learning highlight of the week: I was reading in the first epistle general of Peter and was particularly appreciative of his admonitions in the last chapter of the same. Remember, God resists the proud, but exalts the humble.

Elder Backstrom

So Long Farewell to San Luis

Well, I will be leaving my area in this week. we received changes and I will be headed  to the real streets of Mendoza-capital, in barrio "La Favorita". My companion will be staying here in San Luis (he really hasn't had much time to get to know the area- it's really big- but I'm sure he'll manage. the maps are good). My new companion will be Elder Paz- But which elder Paz? There are two- one who arrived just recently, and one who will be going home soon. I suppose we will have to wait and see. We will be "washing" the area- that means that the two missionaries who are there now are both leaving, and so we'll be a little in the dark till we get our footing. Never a dull moment.

Well, I think that's about all I have to tell- Elder Alvarado, our district leader, went home on Sunday so for now we are in a trio with his companion, Elder Nelson. it's made life complicated since he was not the only one going to Mendoza- there were visa trips and a whole bunch of things. so.

Here is a picture of me with a small dog that our neighbour recently obtained to employ as a toy for the larger dog, Lucy.

​have a good week all.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Special Changes Means a New Companion for El. Backstrom

Well, here we are- after a very crazy week!

Special changes.

I received a new companion, one week before regular changes- Elder Saavedra, from Chile. we were in Mendoza almost all week- from Monday in the morning till Thursday at night- Although we returned briefly to San Luis ("Briefly" signifying four hours in a bus both ways) to pick up Elder Eriquez's bags on Wednesday.

Also, there is a new 2015 corolla in the offices (For a missionary couple who just arrived), and boy, it is fine. also goes fast. we got driven around in it a little bit, and I think I broke the last of the ten commandments (Hahaha... for everyone who didn't get it, not coveting is the last of the ten commandments) but have since repented. Sorry that that is a little boring, but I mean, it's that sort of week.

This week I also read a book by a certain Scott Marshal on the subject of tracting, which although it is not an official publication of the church, was lying around in the mission office library. I must say, I have never seriously dedicated time or thought to knocking doors- but the book was very good and gave some practical, applicable suggestions to do "inspired tracting" and to find the people who will actually receive us without bothering too much those who are not interested. I found it was very practical and realistic, and this week we are going to apply some of the techniques that Elder Marshal suggests in his book. (We actually already did it once, and it worked out very well for us.)

Well, I wish everyone a good week, one full of hopefully a lot less traveling than I have done in my past week- I am so tired of buses...

Elder Backstrom

Monday, April 6, 2015

The words of the living prophets

Good day, family and friends-

If you where not aware, a general conference of the church was held this weekend. The Prophet and other church leaders spoke.

General conference is always an inspiring and unique experience- one of the two chances annually to hear the voices of the watchmen on the wall, those holy Prophets and Apostles of God who speak the words of the Almighty. This weekend I was impressed to prepare myself to be more spiritually receptive to the messages given through fasting and prayer, that my invitation to others to participate in the conference might be more sincere since I was really applying it in my own life. and although almost none of the people that we urged and invited to listen to the words of the Prophets actually followed that invitation, I found myself deeply impacted by all of the many messages shared (My hand is still cramped from frantically scribbled notes that are probably completely illegible to anyone but me)... Family and life at home was as strong theme throughout the conference, which I found myself relating to my companionship and the ways I can improve in my love and compassion and the other ways I direct myself to my companion. Also, my favorite quote from the conference came early on, from President Boyd K. Packer- "the end of all activity in the church is to see a man and woman happy at home, with their children, sealed for time and all eternity." It can be so easy to forget that everything we do to build up and establish the church is done only to bless the lives of individuals and allow them to create families that will last beyond that cold and unforgiving grave. "It is hard to see the forest for the trees," said one of the general authorities who spoke in Spanish- and I thoroughly agree. If we overlook the true purpose of our daily labour, attendance statistics and lesson numbers can quickly block out the real motives of our endeavors- rendering them totally and completely useless. God will not support anyone who is working to put up "Potemken Villages" as Elder Uchtdorf put it. The Kingdom of God is established as people are truly converted to the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ, which brings ever-so necessary water to the spiritually fainting world, and live faithful to their personal covenants in their personal lives.

On the other side, I wish to invite you all to watch and share this video that centers on the resurrection
of Jesus Christ and the universality of the blessings this provides for each and every one of us.

Also, saw this on and it made me laugh. takes much better notes than me.

Well, keep safe and happy and in-tune and dancing,
Elder Backstrom