Monday, August 31, 2015

One more week, many changes

So this week I have come to a new area, have a new companion, etc. It has been a week of changes. Sorry, the keyboard is really terrible (missing the enter key) so I don't want to write much. Enjoy photos from me saying goodbye to the members in La Favorita and the such.

So basically there are a lot of pictures of the members of La Favorita, as well as a picture of my new desk and new companion here in Maipu.

So, also, I met Mirna Retamozo's sister, who is a member who lives here in the barrio... Small world!

Anyways I hope that all of you have a good week. I'll be writing a bit more about the area next week as I learn it a little bit more!

Goodbye to La Favorita!

 New Companion!

Transfer Day!

Transfers. Goodbye to La Favorita. Sad Face.

So it's more or less transfer week. No, it is transfer week people. and I have transfers. However they are a little sad, or even very sad transfers. la Favorita is getting washed, and they are sending me to Maipu (almost like a part of Mendoza city but sort of separate? like it has it's own mayor, but it's not technically a city) and Elder Paz to San Rafael (in the south of Mendoza province).

Those transfers are sad because a lot, if not all of the effort that we have put towards developing a good relationship with the members, so that we can work in unity with them, is sort of down the drain, and the new elders will have to work from scratch. The members are also not too pleased and I can imagine why since this is the fourth time in a year that this area has been washed... That's hard, since right now, and any time an area gets washed, the investigators sort of get lost since there is no one that knows them, and it takes time to gain confidence again with active and less-active members, and especially with recent converts. I'm going to do all I can so that the elders who arrive are well-oriented, with maps and the such, but beyond that there is not much that I can do. Ah well.

This week we actually found five new investigators.. what irony! right when we start to have a lot more success finding people to teach, we have to leave all of them behind. Such is the mission.

Well, so that this email is not so boring, I will include some pictures form last p-day, when we went to cerro de la gloria,a monument that is here in Mendoza that appears on the back of the Argentine 5 peso bill.

oh yeah, and also a picture of all the elders that came with us, and a final picture of some escaped goats in the zoo licking a broken water tank to drink.

Well, have a good week everyone.
Elder Backstrom out-

Enjoy the Day of San Martin's passing to the Immortality

So! how is everyone?

I, in the personal, am fine. I have, sadly, less time than usual this day because our normal cyber cafe is closed because it is the holiday of San Martin's death. So.

Well this week we've had a fairly good labour- however not like a normal week- the ward was having in general a weak week so we spent a lot of time helping the members and trying to get them more enthused to come to church, as well as some very urgent special needs that we had to attend to. However, on the investigator side of things, we had three lessons with Pablo this week, and two where we brought members as well. it is astounding how much a member can help in the teaching process, even when they might not be as active as would be desirable.

In other happenings, here are some pictures of food I ate this week.

Delicious milanesa con papas

good old home-made potato-carrot-bean-pumpkin soup from my very own hands
So, in other Argentina news, Daniel Sciolli, the current governor of Bs. As. province, won the eliminatory presidential elections by total votes. he's from the party of Cristina, the current president. From what I've heard so far, he will probably be president.

hmm. what else?

Well I also got a new shampoo and did not realize until I read the label that it is a woman's shampoo. I mean, I simply presumed since it had nothing on the label that it was unisex! Bah. since all the men's shampoos have men in big letters on them. but I guess that just means that any shampoo that is not specifically for men is for women. However, I'm actually really liking how this shampoo in particular works, since it makes my hair very soft. So I guess that it doesn't really bother me that much that it is meant for women.

Hm, have a good week I guess, enjoy the Day of San Martin's passing to the immortality, (Today) and peace.

Elder Backstrom

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Quickly I'll Obey

So this is another weekly email update from elder Backstrom! Get ready to enjoy some photos, because I have taken various photos.

But before all that! a resume of some important things I did in the week. This week both my companion and I put ourselves the goal of being more obedient, but I also decided to make that a personal focus. That means that each day in the morning in my personal study I studied the topic of obedience and how to develop that attribute of Christ, and I sure did learn a lot of things- and actually I'm still continuing the study because I started a little obedience project and did not finish.

Why would I want to be obedient? for those of my friends who are not of our faith, it might not make sense that I should be way excited to be more obedient. However, when I know what the will of God is, I feel a strong desire to obey, and it also brings me sadness to know what God desires me to be doing and not be doing it.

  • There is a difference between doing obedient things and being an obedient person
  • There is more to being obedient than just keeping rules, there are many more things that the Lord expects of me
  • Being obedient makes blessings for keeping other commandments more available

Here are some things I did to be obedient:

  • Write a note about my day in my agenda each evening in daily planing to give an account of my work to myself and the Lord
  • Made a list of things that I do and things that the lord expects of me
  • Set goals and made plans to improve on things I am lacking in aforementioned list.

Well, that was the biggest focus I had this week.
We also found 4! new investigators. That's a lot! I'm way stoked because they seem to be genuinely interested.

This week we also visited several times a less active sister who is also a returned missionary. we challenged her to start her change today and to begin feeling the effects of the gospel of Jesus Christ in her life as soon as possible. she seemed really touched and we hope that she really begins a change.

Anyways, photos, as promised

I'm watching YOU!.... (no, i'm not)

Cerro Arco 2.0: The Rematch!

BACKSTROM 1 HILL 0!!!! yeah! no more bronchitis!

there was some ice in the freezer.
First time I had seen ice in a good while.

look pesos! for me they are normal. but then I thought, I guess my family & friends don't know what real Argentina cash money looks like.

that bill in the middle has Eva Peron on it.
they are new.. and... controversial, to say the least.

Some pictures of me the day before I cut my hair!

Have a good week everyone!

Monday, August 3, 2015

Email from a 20 Year Old

So, I am now 20. the whole time I was 19 I was in the mission. Weird, no?

So we're going to show some photos but first I'm going to tell a story about why everyone needs first aid training.

So, last Monday I finished writing my emails and all, we ate some food, and went to the stake center to play futbol etc. I was inside and at about 3:30 pm several of the people who are outside burst in to tell us that an elder has cut his leg. I go outside and he has a deep cut on his inner thigh. I lay him down, elevate the leg, and staunch the bleeding. another elder brings a first aid kit and we put pressure on the cut a bit better. President comes and brings him away in his SUV to the hospital.

So. The moral of the story? don't cut yourself. It's dangerous. And when someone else cuts them self, help. It was a pretty dramatic moment. But, elder Ribeiro will be fine. he luckily only cut muscle, and now has some stitches and is recovering.

So moving on, it was my birthday this week... and I FORGOT

So I get a call around 7 am, and there is a lady who brings me breakfast.

Because my parents (sneaky parents) had arranged for this without telling me anything. How sneaky!

this is a little card that was also attached. it is in Spanish evidently but says happy birthday

And here is an image of the very impressive breakfast! it came with A LOT of food (we were eating it still the next two days), and, impressively, with real mugs.

So thanks, family, that was very nice.

And here is a roast beef with vegetables that I cooked during the week.

This week we did a LOT of service projects. Seriously! from Thursday to Saturday we had one every day. working is good, it helps release stress (for me at least.)

Anyways I wish all of you a good week.

From a newly 20-year-old correspondent in south america,

(Fun fact: did you know that only about 75% of Toyota's ever get to be as old as I am and still be working? I'm just getting started!)

Edmonton Buses in Mendoza CIty?

So! it's been a good week for me here in Mendoza. I'm sorry I'm not going to write tons because I spent a good amount of time writing important particular emails but I will compensate with PICTURES!

Okay to my father in particular: there are these trolleybuses in Mendoza that are way old and they have a little ticket that says Flyer bus company Winnipeg 1960 or something like that and everyone says that they are imported from Canada (used) like ten years ago or so which makes sense because they have little signs in English and French which are not Argentina languages (photo included)

but see I was wondering, are they from Edmonton? because of a certain tell-tale no boom-box no food no smoking sign right up front that is identical to the ETS signs. So, if you recognize theses buses...

here I am in Kingo with elder Jacobsen and elder Fernandez and my companion and Fernanda who is a recent convert from another area in Mendoza that my companion was in previously, on p-day.

Good lookin'


Okay so everyone we did lots of service projects this week which was good including cutting tree branches and digging a septic pit. Service is way good because it helps you gain confidence with people who would otherwise not ever listen to you (like the less active but way less active guy from the septic pit project)

So have a great week everybody,
Elder Backstrom

Note: Dallin's Dad looked up where the buses in Mendoza city were from in Canada and they are actually from Vancouver (sold to Mendoza in about 2005). Edmonton did sell some of it's buses back in about 1985 to Mexico city!