Thursday, September 26, 2013

Genealogy and Evil Spirits

Hello everybody!
Well, I got my first bit of sun this week!  I was stoked cause it wasn’t just completely freezing the whole time.  We had intercambios this week and biked and helped a guy reroof his house.  I had broke the bike the week before and so we got the pedals replaced but when they got the new pedals they were for a child’s bike so I felt like a clown as my feet went around hundreds of times before my wheel went around once.  But it wasn’t that bad and I got a good workout from it, right?  My bike seat still has a mind of its own so I’m getting some ripped legs standing the whole time while we are biking.  We helped him pull off all this tar and wood and then we sat on the last patch of open area on the roof and taught him a quick lesson.  After that we went to this way cute 99-year-old grandmas and talked to her and her daughter wanted help with what else but Genealogy!  Haha My class with Sarah helped a little bit, but it is like explaining the newest IPhone to a 100 year old.  They don’t really get how to use it and so you have to explain it a bunch, and then I didn’t REALLY know what I was doing, kinda guesswork, and then to make it more complicated it was all in Spanish.  So it wasn’t that successful but we did do a bit of work there.  After that she made us the dankiest chocolate milk with croissants and Dulce de Leche (Kinda like Caramel)  

After that we had Zone Conference and he had to give a presentation in Spanish that we didn’t practice for.  It ended up not being a presentation but a practice investigator with the President as our investigator in front of everyone.  We went up there and my comp shared his story and bore his testimony and then I did the exact same thing and then after that I was feeling it so I invited him to be baptized and then he asked me "what’s baptism?" and then I didn’t know what to say and I thought to myself "well... there goes this lesson..." but then my comp recovered it pretty good and we kept on going.  When I sat down everybody was giving me thumbs up and saying good job to me and all that stuff and when the APs asked for critics of the lesson and nobody said anything and then on top of that the President got up and said that he thought that we were working with the Spirit and that I asked the right question at the right time and that he was feeling it too.  And then after that we were doing some more practices and I described to a girl how we know that God loves our families and us and then after she told everyone in the review that she loved it and was blown away. Haha some much needed confidence booster cause 99 percent of the time I feel like I am not saying the right thing at all.  So after that I made more of an effort to talk to the members and the families that we visit and I finally felt like I can kinda start to be myself and talk to people again.  I’m stoked for when I can finally talk to people and make real relationships.

On Saturday we had a pretty relaxed day.  We helped one of our investigator families with work.  We helped them make these sweet women’s dress jackets and then we went to lunch, which was some real good meat, bread, and potatoes.  And then over to the church for the first baptism in the field! Woo!  It was an older woman by the name of Maribel.  She was an investigator for like 4 months but I think that it is kinda better that way, instead of them getting baptized and not be fully dedicated, ya know?  But her family is super awesome and nice and everything went perfect.  Neyra baptized her and I just sat next to some of our investigators. She looked super happy and I was stoked about the whole thing...

... Until my companion told me after that I had to confirm her the next day, during sacrament, in Spanish.  I would have been all right with it but we also had another baptism the next day and for some reason they have the world’s longest most complicated names. We showed up to church and I was dang nervous and then the Bishop asked me if I could bless the bread too.  But everything turned out great. And I was stoked about it.  I had my first baptism this week!  She was a little 10-year-old girl named Sol Cena.  I was worried that it would be hard to lift her up with only one arm but she was light as a feather haha.  It was just overall a great Sunday.

Crazy experience of the week.  We were at a member’s house and I knew that we were going to give a house blessing but I didn’t know why.  So we were eating and talking and having a normal conversation but I was kind of zoning in and out cause I couldn’t really understand all of it and then I heard something about Satan, and the devil, and evil spirits so my ears perked up and they had us come over to bless their house because they just moved in and they think that there are some evil spirits hanging out in their house.  They had 3 experiences from what I understood.  1.) They were sitting in the kitchen and their curtains started moving.  2.) The grandma was ironing and then she turned around and the cord was unplugged and way far away from the wall and 3.) They have a shelf and everything started flying off.  So they kept on talking and we found out that their neighbor underneath them sacrifices animals in her religion. So we went to go give a house blessing and my companion made me give it.  When I asked if I could give it in English he told me I need to in Spanish.  Hopefully I didn’t make the situation worse, right?

Also no crazy dog stories this week.  Just the usual stuff. 

Here is some crazy stuff about Argentina.  The buses will leave you if you aren’t fast enough pulling out your card to get on. haha It’s pretty sad but a little bit funny to see the look on the other Elder’s faces when the bus shuts the doors and leaves them.   Also the more I watch, the more I see 3 people on bikes.  Whether street bikes or motorcycles the Argentines are loving squeezing 3 people on a bike and going for it.

I love you guys. Best of luck out there.


Monday, September 23, 2013

Stabs into your Bones

Well... nothing too new this week.  Mucho and mucho lluvia (rain) and this isn’t your normal rain.  This is liquid snow.  It pierces your jacket and stabs into your bones.  Everyday when I get home I feel like I have been skiing, just without the snow, and the skis and all of the excitement of skiing. There is still the excitement of spreading the word of course, which we weren’t able to do much because of all of the rain. It has been dumping buckets here so there were 2 huge pools of water and the only way through it was a tiny strip of dry cement.  I don’t want to walk in it cause I hate having wet shoes but I don’t want to get my bike muddy so the obvious answer is to pick up the bike and walk, very carefully, on the dry cement.  So that’s what I did.  I forgot to take into account however the wind and how off balance I was picking up the bike so when I was half way through the cement, the wind picked up and I started to go into the water.  So I made a leap of faith, trying to jump over the water not realizing how far away I was and that I was holding a bike and jumped 2 feet into the muddy water, sinking like a brick. So great.  There is nothing better than some wet socks and shoes.  
My companion and I gave a couple more blessings this week.  One was to a family that I love--the ones that invited us to their daughters birthday party. Their son had a fever so my comp made me bless them.  I didn’t know what to say and I got nervous but it kinda went well...  I said it in English but its cool with me.  It was only my 3rd one ever, ya know?  The next time we went the son was great.
We weren’t able to teach that much this week cause of all of the rain but we did do something called a tremor blanca? I think it means white storm and it’s where all of the missionaries in one zone go to one area and all of us go to all the investigators and talk to them and see what is going on. So we had like 10 missionaries (some didn’t show) going around in a 2 missionary district.  This is where I fell asleep on the bus.  Also dealing with sleep this week we had a huge bus ride that was like an hour long and I gave up my seat and so I stood the whole time but I was super tired and slowly I started to drift off.  My eyes were getting heavy and then my arms, and then my whole head but somehow I perfectly propped it inbetween my arms and fell asleep for like 5 minutes standing, impressive right?  It was pretty sweet on splits and I got to see how other missionaries teach.  I would tell you more about the people but I don’t know that much about them cause I’m still working on the language haha so sorry about that.  
My companion was snoring way bad and even I couldn’t fall asleep so I started to clap and snap to wake him up and then when he woke up I was softly snoring to make it seem like I was asleep.  The next morning we were making breakfast and he was telling me that I was talking in my sleep again and I was even clapping and snapping.  
I went to a member’s house. He is way awesome and has earrings and his mom made some of the best meat I have ever had in my entire life for us a couple weeks ago. But anyways in his yard his dogs were fighting over something and when I went to go see what it was I found out that it was a whole cow leg. Haha just a huge bone just hanging out in their yard.
I saw a dog straight up climb a 5 foot chain link fence.  I have never seen anything like it.  I wish that I could have gotten a video of it cause I am still in awe...   When we were teaching a lesson my comp told me, "that dog is a bad dog" when I asked why he just made the chomping gesture and then said "otro perro” so I thought.  Oh man he bit another dog, that’s not nice.  When we got out of the lesson he told me that it wasn’t only bite, that dog killed another dog and then ate it.  Haha I’m pretty freaked out when I see it now.  I have also learned some of the dogs that wander the street cause they are the aggressive ones that always chase you and how we have to sneak past them.  
Some more things about Argentina.  They don’t really like throwing their trash in all of the bins they have here.  So they just dump in front of their houses and when it gets to big, they burn it and just let it burn until it is all gone.  They don’t have speed bumps on their dirt roads so the people will just go and dig their own trenches.  Haha its kinda freaky sometimes cause it is like a foot and a half deep and a foot wide so you gotta try and dodge it or get over it somehow.  
Anyways, we gotta use all the time we have to do sweet things in life.  I love you all and I’m praying for you everyday.

Alot of firsts

Hello, what’s good?
This week was a bit slow.  Last Pday we just went and played soccer for a good 3 to 5 hours.   We didn’t have much planned the first couple of days and it was freezing so I did a lot of memorizing.  On Wednesday we had our Zone/District Reunion so we went and I saw Elder Stowell who went to Brighton and I played football with him for 3 years. I’m trying to learn everybody’s names here so that I can bond with them cause multiple times in the lessons and in church people didn’t know my name or just called me Elder Nuevo (New Elder.)  
I had my first rain day here. It was crazy.  It started the night before, rained all night, I woke up still raining, and then it rained all night.  We couldn’t use our bikes cause it ruins them sitting in that much rain so we had to walk everywhere so places that we could usually get to in 5 minutes took 30 but walking in mud.  
I learned how to make some Empanadas the other day so I will do my best to perfect it and then make it when I get home.  I am still getting loaded up with food.  I think Pdays are the only days that I haven’t gotten fed.
So some things that happened this week. We were right in the middle of a lesson and this baby started coughing a little so the mom picked her up.  Then she started coughing a lot so the mom started patting her back.  And then out out of nowhere she just started puking so much.  It was the grossest and cutest thing I have ever seen in my entire life.  I couldn’t decide if I should think its adorable or start gagging, so I did both.  
The sink exploded on me in the Pension, I was filling up my water bottle just like I do every morning when the faucet tipped over and a tiny stream of water was coming out of the back, so I tried putting it back in place, then when I tried to put it back in place the whole faucet came off and water started pouring out every where, all over me, right into my water bottle, onto the floor.  Everywhere.  It wasn’t calm either.  It was launching so I started trying to yell for help and finally some of the Pench mates came and helped a brother out.  I felt like an idiot but its pretty funny now that I look at it.  
A lot of firsts this week. I placed my first Book of Mormon on my own to this kid named Alejo. Then after then I blessed my first thing of oil, I had my first rainy day, I went to my first party, and then I gave my first blessing to the sick.  The blessing to the sick went awful.  I couldn’t pronounce half of the words and I was way shaky and nervous.  I had to repeat one sentence 4 or 5 times and I was stuttering way bad.  
We taught this family and I studied the lesson before we taught it and I had everything down so we taught and killed it.  We did so dang good that they invited us over for their 14 year old daughters 15th birthday on Sunday, so we said yes and bought her a little chocolate for her birthday.  We showed up and clapped and nobody answered.  We stood out there, listening to the music people singing to it while we awkwardly stood outside and clapped 9 or 10 times.  We finally went on their property and started clapping and then they finally answered.  We walk in to the parents, a baby, and six 15 year old girls...  There was no singing, no dancing, no clapping, just silence.  It was so awkward.  My comp went in, we introduced ourselves and then we stood there in this smaller house, all touching one another.  I tried making some small talk but it’s hard in Spanish and my comp was silent.  So I tried to ask where the music was and then things started to go better. They all looked at my family pictures for 40 minutes and then it was time to go.  Those pictures have been saving me.  Everybody asks who everybody is, especially Asher, Addie, and Ruby.  
Ok well here are some strange things about Argentina. It is normal to see a horse or a car parked in the middle of a field.  Just hangin out. There are hundreds and hundreds of dogs here. Just wandering the street. They are fine most of the time but is freaky when there is a pack of little ones and then a pack of big ones. The little ones are freakin annoying and start barking and then they attract the big ones who chase us on the bikes and try and bite us. It is so freaky.  I am starting to not like dogs as much. Everybody is blunt here.  The worst ones are the kids.  When I talk, they say they don’t understand him or what is he trying to say? And I’m pretty sure one called me fat the other day. haha Great self confidence booster. They are all obsessed with Angry birds and Dragon Ball Z.  You see it in all of their houses and on all of the backpacks and binders, its everywhere.  
I am picking up a tiny bit more Spanish now but it still isn’t enough to have a good conversation haha.  I like the food a bunch and I am trying to learn as much as possible so that I can come back and try and make it for everyone.  The music here is interesting, way overplayed and I don’t understand it but It is starting to grown on me one of the songs is called "Tu Padre No me Quiere"  by El Perro.  This isn’t my favorite but it is definitely played the most.  
I love you guys and I hope everything is going well.  

Dodgin some cars

Hello everyone!  
We walked outside the airport (in Buenos Aires) and the air was nice cool and crisp.  It was cold but not bad, exactly like Utah in the spring.  We went on a huge bus tour and saw all of Buenos Aires by a bus.  One thing is that they are some of the worst drivers I have ever seen in my life.  haha The laws are more like guidelines that nobody cares about.  We were stopped at a red line and there was a bus behind us that goes on the other side of the road, passes us, and runs the red.  Haha they just don´t care.  We were in a car and the driver backed into another car, turned around to see if they were there, saw that they weren´t and drove off.  Haha No rules on the road.  I have seen a 2 laner made into a 4.  My bus was going in reverse on a one way.  They don´t stop for pedestrians, just slow down a bit and honk a lot.  
After the bus ride we went to the presidents house and hung out there for the rest of the day.  We had interviews and met the A.P.s and what not.  After that we went to bed. I was lucky enough to be chosen to stay at the presidents with hot water and a fresh breakfast while a couple of the other elders had to go to the elder’s house. 
We woke up, got dressed and had some breakfast.  For lunch we had pizza and then we were introduced to our companions.  They all came in singing Called to Serve in Spanish.  Then the president called out the names real, real slowly to help increase the anticipation.  Finally my name was called out with an Elder Neyra. It was sweet meeting him.  After we met I said goodbye to my homies from the MTC and we got on a train.  We went to my first area Guernica.  It is different here, dirt and paved roads. There are people who look like they are 100 percent American but then they start speaking Spanish and you realize that they aren’t haha.  So the first night we went to a members house and talked for a bit—(by we, I mean my comp)--and then we went to another members house and talked for a bit, and then back to the first members house and had dinner.  
The next day one of my pench (apartment) mates and I went running for a bit. There is a bakery right below us so we bought some croussants or however the heck you spell that and then ate some eggs and bread.  My area got bikes for the first time this week and I am one of the first elders to have a bike here.  So my comp and I went to teach a less active.  I didn’t understand what he was saying but I was doing my best.  I was staring at the woman that we were teaching, trying to see what they were saying and then her baby started crying.  Right there, in front of me, without thinking twice about it she started breastfeeding haha.  I had absolutely no clue what the heck I should do so I just did my best to look 2 inches above her for the whole lesson.  We had lunch with some of the members. Pasta is very common and I have had it everyday I have been here. When you finish your plate it means that you want more so without asking they stand up and shovel some more on. haha Its good food but I have been eating so much and not working out enough so...  One day we had Carne Asada.  Some of the best meat I have ever had in my entire life.  So good.  After that we talked to them for a little and they had a guitar so I played for a bit.  Then after that we taught some more and then we went to the bishops and ate (We get fed at least once a day)
That’s about it. That’s my life--dodgin some cars, gettin chased by some real freaky dogs, and teaching.  I have seen some real strange things here--like a 8 year old girl with a huge thing of beer or a mom with a kid sitting on the handles, and one standing on the seat and she was crouched in the middle steering.  I was dang impressed with that one.  
I hope everything is well.  I love you.
Yo man,