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Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Hoooola Hola Hola, Chamigos. December 31, 2013

Well, you can call me "Bed Bug" now...because I'm pretty sure I have bed bugs. Woke up one morning, legs were just done for. Totally got pwned. Haha anyway...I'm just like one walking mess. Some weird rash on my arm, probably have lice, I look like I just got out of a pool because I'm sweating so much. It's wild. But I am glad to be here in Clorinda.

Where do I even start...So my area is on the border of Paraguay, so a ton of people speak Guarani (?). So thats weird. A lot of them speak it better than Castellano. Crazy stuff out here, man. ANYWAY. I literally always forget everything I want to say to you when I sit down to email. Fetch. Oh yeah, I never thought I'd be a "fetch"guy. Always hated that word. But all of the Latinos say it, so it just catches on haha. So this week, Elder Murphy and I had a real week full of walking and finding. Since we are white washing this area, we have nothing. And we still don't have a pension, so we are living with the zone leaders. It will be way nice once we have our own place so we can organize all of our stuff. We dont have hardly any active members, so references are hard to come by. We spent all of Sunday afternoon and evening using MLS, which is the program where you have all of the members names in your area. You pray about which ones to visit, visit them, find out why you were guided there, either reactivate them, help them with whatever it is they need, or get referrals. Totally struck out. Couldn't find any of the people on our list. Just walked and walked and walked. We asked a ton of people if they knew the family or which house it was, but they all just pointed us in different directions. We tried our best to find them, but we just got pwned haha. Kinda discouraging, but that's okay.

Earlier on in the week, we taught some good lessons. We had this one guy who was saying he liked our church and that he belived faith could move mountains. He then went on to say that his work schedule wont permit him to come to church or meet with us. I reminded him of what he had just barely said...that through faith, all things are possible. He kinda dug himself into a hole there haha. But he said he would meet with us if we are in the area and he happens to be outside.

We had another funny lesson with a lady who is Catholic and doesn't plan on changing. We talked to her about baptism and about needing to have the proper authority and what not. So then we asked her if she would pray about what we had taught her and if she received an answer if she would be baptized. She said no. So we were like...Okay, pretend Jesus was right here. Sitting right next to us. If he said to you "Hey! This is the right church. This is my church. You need to be baptized into this church." would you be baptised? And she goes, "No." Hahaha it was sooo lame. She was super nice and wants to learn more though. She was saying how she learns more from us than she does from her own church. Anyway, we will see how that pans out.

My FAVORITE part of the week was this. We received and investigator from the Hermanas who used to be over our area. The family is the Benite family. The moms name is Romona and she has three daughters and one son. We didn't know about the son until we picked them up for church on Sunday. He can't talk, and I think he may be deaf. Not sure. Anyway. They are super poor. The kids are always outside just playing in the dirt and stuff haha. And they LOVE it! They have a mattress laying out in the dirt that they play on and what not. The daughters are 11, 9, and 4, I think. Romona and the two older girls have baptismal dates, so we get to baptize them! We also are teaching them and preparing them. It has been so neat to teach them and hear how Romona has progressed. Her prayers are straight GOLDEN. Soooo good. I used that wooden Plan of Salvation puzzle when we taught them last. I guess her husband died like 8 years ago, so we taught them about eternal families and what not. The kids loved the puzzle. Solid tool. I believe we are baptizing them on the 11th of January! I'm so excited. It'll be wonderful. It's super humbling to see how they live. The kids are just happy as heck because they don't know any different. It's just incredible!

Gosh dang. So in sacrament, we didn't have a pianist. There also weren't that many people, so you can imagine how it was. Like the worst singing I have ever heard haha. Everyone is starting at different times and with different notes because we didn't have music. We sang "God Be With You Til We Meet Again" or whatever the title is. Hahaha holy smokes, I was hitting up the low part, and I was the only person so it was super hilarious. Ohhh my goodness. Sounded like a bunch of pregnant dogs going into labor. But it was awesome and the people in the branch are great. We also had the Benite family with us at church which was sooo great. Romona originally said she was only going to come for an hour, but ended up staying the whole time with her kids! So cool. I can't wait to baptize them.

Anyway...trying to think of other things. It was Elder Murphy's birthday on Saturday, so that was cool I guess haha. Elder Sotelo is one of the ZLs and he is from Peru. So is the other ZL. But ohhh my heck when they speak English it is the funniest thing ever. They know little phrases and things, so Elder Sotelo always says, "Take it easy, cowboy." It is claaaassic. We all have fun with each other, but we need our own place haha. Elder Murphy and I, since we don't have a ton of members and are brand new to the area, have to pretty much buy lunch and dinner. We have had like one lunch with the branch president. So we bought milanesa and I cooked that for us. We also made egg burritos two nights in a row. We are pretty much the Lord's hobos hahaha. It's so classic. We cook with my Leatherman. The ZLs only have like 3 spoons, a knife, and 1 spatula. We use my leatherman to cut stuff and to grab hot pans. The struggle is soooo real. La lucha es super real. I gave him the rest of my peanut butter M&Ms for his birthday. He was so happy because you can't get that stuff here.

Totally forgot. So one day last week we were walking in our area and this guy comes out of his restaurant and goes "Hey, amigos! Come here!" So it turns out its some American guy who has a restaurant called "Guacamole." He has American food and Mexican food, but the Mexican food is a little different because Argentines don't like spicy stuff so he has to change it a little. Anyway. So we talk with him for a while. His parents are both from Buenos Aires. He moved down here for a girl haha. He is originally from Florida. Super nice guy. Now he has a different lady. He also originally came here to export beef to China, but that went south so he istrying to do whatever he can for money haha. His restaurant is kinda expensive, but we were so stoked. We both ordered chicken quesadillas and a big thing of fries with cheese and bacon. I'll try to send pictures. Aaaaanyway...everything is great! It has definitely been hard, especially because we have to walk extra since we aren't currently living in our area. I am sooo grateful for all of the stuff we have back in the States aha. It's nuts here. OH! One more thing. So when we were heading back from Resistencia last night, we got on this bus. The entire dang bus was full of mosquitos! Whaaaat the fetch, right? Soooo awful. So we sit there and sit there then finally start going. Then we turn around and go back I guess everyone needed to switch buses haha. Anyway...super disgusting. But it was funny. I keep seeing all of these cool little bracelets and rings I want to buy for Ally, but I'll probably do more of that stuff when I only have a couple months left. Also cool necklaces and other things for Kyle. And stuff for Mom and Dad and all of you. Hmmm. What else. I'll hopefully get that package this week. Dang secretaries. Trying to think of other crazy things. Hit me up with more questions, dang!

Just a helpful tip with packages - there really isn't a limit to how many you can send. But I know it is expensive for you to send them. But if you are going to send one, make sure you put like a piece of paper in there that says everything in it is only worth like one dollar. They have to open it with one of the secretaries and if you already have a paper in there saying it's worth a dollar, that's how much they'll charge me to get it. So, don't worry too much about packages! Also, the bubble wrap envelopes don't count as packages I think. So yeah! Also, please let the Dastrup's know I got their card and letters on Christmas Day! Thank them for me and tell them I'll write them back as soon as I can.

Flip, guys. It still doesn't seem real that I'm in another country. In all honesty, it has been super hard. Total change of lifestyle. But the lessons we teach and the people that we talk to make it all worth it. There was nothing better than seeing Romona understand the Plan of Salvation. I am so excited to continue to teach people and tell them about this wonderful Gospel that we have been blessed with. I love all of you so much! Sorry if I missed anything. I have to go, but feel free to ask me questions and stuff! Looooove you all so much and I hope you have a baller New Years!


Elde Sipple

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