Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Letter Troubles

Alright everyone- time for some pictures.

A very bad picture of me!

Things to make me smell good

Very expensive, very small... but it's nutella. had to buy it. Imported from Brasil.

Elder Trelease went home this transfer. I was in the stake center and took some pictures with him.

That was a 4gb micro SD card that did not go into the letter I sent to my family because I made the terrible, terrible mistake of buying in it in a chrucho little nowhere cell-phone shop and they sold it to me failed. So. Sorry family, there will be no photos in the letter that I sent to you... 

and, playing some UNO on p-day Includes my cheek, the face of Elder Ribeiro (Brasil) and elder Nelson (Idaho)
So, This has been an interesting week. It was marked by the Argentina Mendoza mission's 25'th birthday party, at which we were invited to sing as a missionary choir (just the 18 missionaries in Mendoza zone). We sang "Ye Elders of Israel" although it did not come out quite as planned due to strange automatic piano misbehavior.

Last week I did not write very much and I would like to apologize for that and blame it on the above seen busted SD card which I was trying to force to function. This week I promise to write a little more.

In my gospel study and personal reevaluation this week I contemplated the important role of humility and the dangerous poison of pride. it is easy to be proud without realizing it- it is like a virus that hides inside a computer, trying to remain undetected and yet inhibiting progress and growth. You can never be free of pride- the most fatal mistake we can make is to believe we have liberated ourselves completely of the temptation to presume more, to boast, to speak of ourselves, to think highly and trust in our own strength- because then it strikes more powerfully and better disguised than ever before. I have a goal to be less proud in my words and my thoughts this week.

Things that happen:
  • Snapped a micro SD card in small pieces
  • Spoke french with an Argentine-Chilean dual citizen who was living in Toronto until recently
  • went to the supermarket twice and purchased extra fiber cereal because it is the only thing not coated in sugar; come on, I just want cheerios
  • tried to do exercise every day of the week but didn't
  • got my "trunky papers"
  • Googled the definition of poison and learned that it comes from the Latin word potio meaning potion
  • had my pen that I use to write in my journal run out of ink, leaving me no other choice but to finish the entry in terrible 5 peso agenda pen. which made me sad.
So that is a little about this week.

Some fun facts about Mendoza; there is a plaza (square) that has all of the banks in the entire city around it. to make making the banks secure easier. also to make it easier if you wanted to rob all of the banks at once.

It didn't snow today meaning that it will probably not snow this year in the city of Mendoza although they tell me there is a fair bit of snow up in Uspallata, a town closer to to mountains.

Well, I have nothing else to write about. Have a good week everyone.

Weekly email part way through July

Well, another week has gone by. 
  • I'm having trouble formatting and passing images between the memory cards that I bought to send home in a letter.
  • Both Elder Paz and I are staying for a third transfer together in la Favorita.
  • I cooked sweet omelets with celery inside them for lunch the other day.
These are all things that happen.

What should I say about this week? Lots of our programmed lessons fell through but we did have two new investigators both of which are from part member families which is a pretty big deal since it is far easier to have that type of investigator come to church. Bruno, a less active member who is reactivating now, introduced us to his pareja (Carla, 19 years old) and we also started teaching the father of the Martinez family (don't know his name. He's just brother Martinez). So that was good.

Well, have a good week everyone. I'm going to keep struggling with technology.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Q & A with El. Backstrom

Well, another week here in Argentina draws to a close.
Time for a question and answer period to inspire me more how to write.

Q: How are you doing?
A: Pretty decent, really. Nothing bothering me significantly right now in terms of health or anything, we're eating lots and lots of soup to augment vegetable intake. Shaving takes way too much time. It's just so time consuming. Probably takes twice as much time to shave as to shower. ah well. what can be done.

Q: What sort of goals have you had this week?
A: Well, Elder Paz and I set a goal to improve significantly the quality of our companionship and language study. Language study, for reasons beyond our control, hasn't been such a success, but in companionship study we set the goal to read cover to cover Preach my Gospel together. I've been learning a lot and it helps to make learning more profound to hear the thoughts of another person about what you read. We also decided to do more practice teaching to improve our teaching unity, and, several painful hours of practice later, we saw a lot of improvement. We found new ways to teach the first lesson (with big pictures. I believe that the larger your picture is, the more people understand it. so we got pictures that measure 25cm by 40cm.) and were able to find various new investigators.

Q: What is your dream car?
A: Why are you asking that?

Q: How is the climate in Mendoza right now?
A: Cold. Or at least as cold as it gets in the year, which means about 4º most days.

Q: Tell me about how sad it was when Argentina lost la Copa America to Chile.
A: We were all sad.

Well, everyone, I think that's about it. Have a good week. Pictures next time probably.

Elder Backstrom out.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Sometimes we change -- and that is beautiful!

Well, a new week means a new weekly update.

Well, what have we done this week that is noteworthy- hm. let's make a list.

  • Finally got into the house of a less active family that we had been trying to contact for a long time (the mother is not a member)
  • gave talks in sacrament meeting but postponed a special musical number for next week
  • planned another ward activity (movie evening)
  • helped another (different) less active family get out to church
  • cooked for ourselves two days out of the week, which is very strange because normally we eat with members every day. We cooked potato wedges.
Okay those are some of the things that we did this week. In good news for anyone who is following our investigators, Paloma, who was the girlfriend of Jesùs, a member, broke up with him but still wants to receive our visits.

Hm. What else to tell? This week studying with Elder Paz in preach my gospel, we were reading chapter 1 as part of our goal to read through the entire manual together. I was particularly impacted by the emphasis made on the importance of inviting people to repent and change their lives. It's very true; if we never invited a less-active member to church, they would probably never come. An investigator would never get baptized. In short no one we visit would ever change their lives, and our efforts would be very much wasted. However, when we do invite people to repent, sometimes, not always but sometimes they do- and that's beautiful.

Okay- Have a good week everyone.

Elder Backstrom out.