Send a free letter anytime at
*delivered through the pouch system

Monday, March 31, 2014

March 31, 2014 La LECHE

Hey friends, Alec here.

Let's see. I guess we will start off with WE BAPTIZED ANALIA AND ORLANDO! It was awesome! Had to call a cab for them to get to the baptism, but hey. Money well spent. It was POURING on the day of the baptism which is really bad because apparently Argentines are made out of sugar...they straight up melt in the rain. They never want to do anything if there might even just be a CHANCE of rain haha. But, they
came, were baptized, ate some cookies, and were confirmed the next day. I'm so happy for this family. They really want all of their kids to be baptized and they are starting to remember their testimonies and
their love for the Church.

On Saturday morning, we did service for an inactive member. His grass/weeds outside of his house were chest-high in some areas. So, with one of the young men and the branch president, we cut almost all
of it down with machetes. My arm still hurts, but it was awesome. I'll attach some pictures haha. So nuts, though. Some dang long grass.

Last night when we were walking back to the pension, a gang of dogs ran out from an empty lot and got all up in our faces. They kept trying to fight us and it was a little wild because they were pretty big, but we had our rain boots on and I think it scared them a little bit. The first time a dog(s) has ever tried to attack me here haha. We established our territory pretty well.

Today, we made super pizza. It had steak, ham, cheese, and fried eggs.Straight up wonderful to the taste buds.

One other funny thing. We were out clappin' some sweet, sweet door and this one older lady comes out. She asked us what we wanted and I told her we wanted to talk to her. She asked us what we wanted to talk
about and we told her about God and his plan for us. She told us that we couldn't talk because they believe in God AND the Virgin. Elder Buckles said, "Well, what about Jesus? What about the Holy Ghost?" She
was like...oh yeah, them too. Haha so then I asked her (because I really did want to know) why she believes in the Virgin. She said, "Por que sí. Because yes." So I asked her if she could explain a little more so that we could understand her beliefs, but she just said, "I would explain it to you, but I don't have time." Then she
went back inside her house. As you can probably imagine, that happens a lot here. When it does, we try to explain the commandment that very clearly states that there is only one God and that we shouldn't worship any other god. We also try to explain why we don't worship saints and the Virgin. People are always asking us why we don't believe in the Virgin and the saints and we just explain it using the commandments and by telling them we believe they were all good people, followers of Christ and one of them was the mother of Christ, but they aren't the one God that we have been commanded to worship. Bringing up the 10 Commandments always kind of catches them off guard haha. But, this is why we're here; to teach the people!

Anyway, that's basically it for this week. A lot of rain over the weekend and this morning. When it rains here, it's nuts! I love it. But it really has a bad effect on the work and on the availability of the people here. But yeah, just another week of good solid work. We are all looking forward to General Conference. I have to admit, before the mission, I wasn't terribly stoked when Conference rolled around. Classic teen, classic skinny jeans. I regret not paying more attention to Conference. But being in the mission, it's more exciting than any other holiday or birthday haha. I can't wait to hear from President Monson and other general authorities. ¡Que leche!

Love you all so much and I hope everything is going well. My prayers are with you! Thanks 4 everything.

Elder Simplé, Bimplé, Slibblé, Slímble, and Sípple. (A couple of the different ways people try to pronounce my name.)

                                                                        Super Pizza!!!

                                                      Some of the grass before we cut it
                                                                  Me with my machete
                                                                The grass after
                                                                   More grass pixx
                                                    Baptism pictures!!! La familia Sosa!
                                                                   Tito, Orlando, and Analia

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

March 25, 2014 Greetings from Clorinda la linda!

Well, as I pressed the "compose" button and prepared to write my email, I realized that I had forgotten my journal back at the pension. The reason I needed my journal was because I wanted to share an entry with all of you. It was about a really neat experience we had with Pabla the other day. So, I will just save that for next time, I suppose.

So, as you all know, Elder Buckles is my new companion! We have been becoming really good friends and I'm super pumped that he wants to work as hard as I do. It has been a little tough for him being left in the wake of Elder Murphy, but he's all adjusted now and we're stoked for this transfer.

A little bit about some of our investigators: Our iluminado is la familia Sosa. The familia Sosa is a family of aboriginals and one of the sisters served a mission in Salta. They have all been inactive for a pretty long time, but the missionary, Cassilda, still has her testimony and wants to get all of the kids baptized and back into the church. Pretty much the entire family lives between two houses in the viviendas, which are like the houses from the government. There are a million kids running around back and forth so it's a little wild. Also, the aboriginals are really different from the other people. Spanish isn't their first language because they all have their different native languages. They are just a really slow and really socially different people. But, this family isn't as odd haha. Anyway, there are four sisters (the moms) in the family. We know three - Cassilda, Benjamina, and Ada. Cassilda doesn't have any kids. Benjamina has four and we have baptismal dates for two of them. One, Orlando, for this Saturday and the other, Sergio, for the 12th of April. We would do it sooner but we can't due to General Conference. Her other two kids are 19 and 20. They both said that they want to take the lessons from us and come to church. Their mom, Benjamina, has been inactive since she was 13, I believe. A little while ago, she had a dream (the aboriginals always have dreams) about two missionaries coming to her house. Then, Elder Murphy and I showed up. A little later, she had a dream about the Bible and the Book of Mormon being separate but one in purpose. They were liked stacked on top of each other or something. She has been going to an Evangelical church for a long time but is super down to come back to church. I think the reason that she has been going to the Evangelical church is because it's super close and our church is like 3 kilometers from her house. But, we walked with them the first Sunday and last Sunday, her boyfriend brought everyone on his scooter! Also, we are going to baptize the daughter of Ada, who is 9 years old and is named Analia. She is super excited about the church and remembers everything we teach her. We are super pumped for this family and their desires to come back to the church. When Cassilda walked in during sacrament meeting, the whole branch was so juiced haha. Juiced. Then after, they were all like, "Cassilda Sosa! It's been so long! So happy to see you!" SUPER awesome experience.

One other cool experience. Yesterday, we did an activity with the young men in the ward and the branch presidency. We went out on divisions and visted some of our less active members or investigators. I was with Junior and President Rojas. Junior is 15 and like the other young men in this branch, he is planning on serving a mission. The few young men in this branch are seriously so awesome. They are always up there during sacrament giving talks and sharing their testimonies (sometimes out of nevessity of the branch). They love talking with the missionaries and were so stoked to go on divisions. They were all taking selfies with us to post on Facebook hahaha. We visited the Perez family. They are an inactive family that I believe I have talked about before. Anyway, we brought with us Elder Holland's talk "Safety for the Soul." We shared that with them and talked about the importance of the Book of Mormon. Seriously, the Spirit was so incredibly strong in their house. We were testifying and laying down some sweet, sweet testimony. Also, Elder Holland's testimony brought the Spirit in with such power! It was amazing. Anyway, they were all super pumped about this activity and President really wants to work with us in our area because he knows a lot of the people there. We have been praying for an opportunity like this and our branch is finally getting things moving.

Not a whole lot else this week, just working and trying to bring souls unto Christ! I'm feeling pretty comfortable speaking Castellano and can pretty much communicate myself clearly. Obviously I have a lot of work to do, but it's nice finally being able to teach and talk with the people here and be myself. I can't believe that I'm almost at five months...yikes! Time flies, man.

I just want to take a quick second to say that I know that this church is true. I know that the Book of Mormon is the word of God and that it has the power to change lives. I have seen people completely change their lives because of this book. I'm so eternally grateful that I have had the privilege of being born into the Church. Serving a mission and giving two years of my life to the Lord and His children is the least that I can do to show my gratitude. The things that I have felt in my heart over the past few months have changed me. I know that God has called a prophet in these latter days and that we have the power of the priesthood here on the earth to bless the lives of others. I know that the Lord loves all of us and has provided us with a way to live with our families forever in peace and happiness. I know that we are never alone in this life. Heavenly Father wants to bless us...we just need to open the door for him.

Thank you for your thoughts and prayers. However small they may be, they help. Everything is de diez here in Clorinda. No near-death experiences, sadly! I love you all so much!

Elder Sipple


Had a righteous chicken lunch today
 So during our zone meeting, an investigator of some of the other Elders brought us some BAKED GOODS. Little did she know, "Baked Goods" is my middle name. Anyway, she loves the missionaries so much and wanted to bake for all of us. She brought us donuts, cookies, brownies, and cinnamon rolls! The cinnamon rolls were straight up like the States. She speaks English, too! She learned from the TV, then studied it, then taught it haha. She also loves YouTube. Super awesome lady.

Me and La Beach with Maria

 Never met a spider that I've liked
 Cool picture after some heavy rainzz

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

March 17, 2014

March 17, 2014 

Hello, my dearest family and friends.

Not a whole ton to write this week, but...we had TRANSFERS! My new companion is Elder Buckles. He hails from the Northwest, from a little village called Seattle. Elder Buckles knew Tanner Tucker earlier on in his life. Neil Buckles is his full name in case Tanner is interested in this. Anyway, we get along really well and he is SUPER down to do work here in Clorinda with me so I am really stoked about this transfer.

Like I said, we like to work. We have been doing a ton of work this week and we had three of our investigators in the church. I can't remember if I mentioned this family before, but we have been working a lot with the familia Sosa. The mom is a member but stopped going to church when she was like 13 or so. Her sister served a mission in Salta but is inactive now. Not bitter, just lazy. Anyway, Elder Murphy and I happened upon them and lo and behold, they want their kids to be baptized. They live in the farthest part of our area, so it's a good solid 40 minute walk to the church haha. We have been teaching them and Elder Buckles and I put four of the kids on a date for their baptism. So on Sunday, we took a cab to that part of our area to pass by their house and walk with them. We were also passing for some other investigators in the area but we totally got hung out to dry. Totally dogged us. BUT, the familia Sosa was ready to go! One of the little girls didn't want to come, but she said she'll come next week. It was super neat to see the willingness of this family to wake up early and walk over three miles to go to the church. When we stopped by later that afternoon, Hermana Sosa asked us about blessings and if we could give her one. She is having some health problems and is kinda scared. We explained about how we have the Priesthood and where it came from. Then we explained to her that blessings are predicated upon the faith of those involved and ultimately on the will of the Lord. Anyway, we gave her a blessing and it was really spiritual. We had to translate the words in the anointing and sealing into Spanish because neither of us had our manuals in Spanish haha. Classic gringos. Anyway, super stoked for this family and they need your prayers!

We walk a lot...

Anyway...Elder Sotelo had his birthday on Saturday. I bought him a doll and it's pretty creepy. Perfect. Just about to move out of their pension, which is sad.

We were walking the other night and I kicked something and it flung some sort of foul mixture all over my pants. It appeared to be a smooth, flavorful lemon yogurt mixed with dog vomit and alcohol. A little burn in the nostrils when you smell it.

Everyone here is sad that Elder Murphy left. Buckles is kind of annoyed that he has to live up to the legend of Murphy. He keeps telling everyone, "Sorry I'm not Elder Murphy. He's gone. I'm Elder Buckles." Hahaha it's classic. He's doing great though and we work really well together.

Well, I'm pretty sure that's all. I love you all so much and you're all in my prayers. ""Don't stop believing...hold on to that feeling." -Journey" -Alec Sipple

Take care of yourselves out there.

-Elder Sipple

This is us at the house of the familia Rodas yesterday for Elder Sotelo's birthday lunch. That's me feeding E'Sotelo his birthday cake and the other white person is Elder Buckles! Also, I know my head looks like it's about three feet long and I'm not sure why. I promise it's not real, it's just an optical illusion. Maybe. Peace.
 Our zone before transfers
 Papa Murphy leaving his boy, Sipple.
 Elder Morrin and I getting another one of our signature awkward pictures before he left.

Monday, March 10, 2014

March 10, 2014

Not too much action this week, but I will start out with some of the highlights.

So, we have been trying to find people because really, after we baptized Pabla, we didn't really have many people progressing. So, we have been clappin' houses like our job is to go to houses and clap our hands outside of them. Like that. ANYWAY, we were out one evening and we came up to this house. A man was outside with his daughter and their neighbor. We started talking to him and asked him what he was doing. He said that he was cooking, so obviously we asked what he was cooking. He told us he was cooking carpincho, which is the same thing as a capibara. Anyway, we hadn't heard of people eating it before (apparently it's super common) so we were kinda surprised! He was telling us how it really was carpincho and then he invited us to come over and eat later that night haha! Our response...MAS VALE QUÉ SÍ! You know it! So, long story short, we returned later that night, a little to their surprise because they didn't think we actually would come back ha. We ate with Sosa, the guy who was cooking, and two of his friends. His friends were a little awkward at first, but they warmed up to us and we were all talking and laughing for an hour or so. The meat was straight up incredible, too! These guys were telling us how they are hunters and eat carpincho, yacaré, lion (like a mountain lion I guess...or puma...they said lion) and a bunch of other stuff. THEN they asked us if we like fishing and if we wanted to go with them. we said we didn't know if we could, but that we would love to go haha. All of this on the first night that we met them! I would normally be a little more cautious, but the people here are seriously so friendly and nice that stuff like this happens regularly. So, cool, random carpincho dinner with people we didn't know. Next.

The ZLs pay the hermana's rent to this guy that works right by our pension. When we were in his office, he had this stuffed yacaré. I asked where I could get one or how much one would cost. He said he didn't know, but he would ask the guy who owned it. When the ZLs returned to his office, the owner was there and he just straight up gave it to them hahaha. So now we have a stuffed yacaré in our pension!!

We had a great baptismal service on Saturday. We had 8 baptisms in our zone and 1 for the ward. There were a ton of people and it was really spiritual. We brought one of our old investigators, Ramon Ayala. He basically just wants to try to speak English with us and talk deep doctrine. He is a Seventh Day Adventist. Anyway, he came and he was singing all the hymns and stuff. When we sang "Nearer My God to Thee," he was asking me if it was that song was on the movie Titanic hahaha. I didn't know that it was, but apparently some people are playing it on their violins in the movie. Anyway, super awesome baptismal service and our zone is well on our way to reaching our goal!

Our two new investigators that we are really excited about are Sara Vallejo and Jorge Villalba. Sara was a reference from some of the hermanas in our zone. She doesn't really know anything about God, but she believes in Him and is suuuuuper golden. She loves it when we come over to teach her and her kids and she accepted the baptismal date. Super excited about her!
Then we have Jorge. One day, during our contacting spree, I decided to clap a rich house. This big shirtless guy with some good facial hair came out and talked to us. He invited us in to sit and talk. He was actually 21, but he looks 35 haha. The house is his parents, but he lives there. He played on a professional soccer team in Paraguay. He is suuuuper nice and loves talking to us. Him and his family believe in God but they don't have a religion. We actually had lunch at their house yesterday after church haha. We were going to make mashed potatoes for them, but they didn't think we were coming so they used the potatoes for something else. Anyway, we had an awesome lunch with them and talked a lot. They attend a church pretty consistently and have a lot of faith. We gave Jorge a Book of Mormon and a Restoration pamphlet. He said it was really interesting that the authority had been restored to the earth as well as the church of Jesus Christ. We feel like they are ready to learn about the Gospel. It'll probably take some time and a lot of work, but they are suuuch a nice family and are really humble. Anyway, those are our two iluminados right now.

I think that's pretty much near death experiences this week haha. Anyway, thank you all for your love and prayers. I know that I am here for a reason and that the Lord has a plan for all of us. I have been really happy this week and I think that's in direct correlation to the fact that we have been teaching a lot of lessons and working hard. I know that serving the Lord is the way to eternal joy and peace. I can't explain why walking around in the heat and dust makes me happy, but I feel such happiness when I know I am doing my best to serve the Lord and the people here in Clorinda. That's it for this week. Peace and blessings to all, and to all a good week.


Elder Sipple

El Bautismo!


 Straight flooded!
 A duck eating the fleas and other bugs off of a dog.
 Eating carpincho with some friendly strangers!

Our yacaré!

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Photos of crazy bus incident, et al.

Soooo here is the bus...wild.

This is a picture of the wilderness of Argentina. 
Me grabbing a bit of nature.

 Bad picture of our  zone at the conference.

Baked the sugar cookies mom sent me. 

Super burgers!


Cool hat I bought.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Oooooookay, heck of a week. March 3, 2014

Hello, all.

WILD week.

Had a lesson with Job again in which he told us about a dream that he
had about two weeks ago. He said the a disciple of Christ, whose name
was Juan, was talking to him and asked him, "Do you know me?" Job said
no, and this happened three or so more times. Juan told him that he
knew him and that it had been a long time since he had seen him. Then
Job saw a stair case leading up to heaven with a bunch of people on
it. When they were just about to get to the top, the whole thing
crumbled and turned to dust. Then Juan said to Job, "It's your turn."
Job told him he wasn't afraid and he started making his way up the
stairs. He got to the top and was about to meet Jesus when he woke up.
He told us he was crying tears of joy and that while we were talking
to him, his dream had been completed. Still don't exactly understand
all of it, but hey, sounds like an answer to me!

Had another mutual activity which was awesome. Elder Murphy and I were
in charge of the games and we totally nailed it. We played this game
where you pack a bunch of flour into a cup and pretty much make a
little flour tower. Like a sand castle. Then you put a coin on top and
take turns shaving the sides off with a card or something. Whoever
shaves a side and knocks over the tower has to get the coin with their
mouth haha. It was hilarious! Then we played charades and it was a
disaster hahaha. The people here do NOT know their animal sounds or
motions. But, it was hilarious nonetheless. Super awesome night.

Thursday, we had to go to Formosa for our multi-zone conference. We
had rented a mini-bus for our zone, so we were stoked on that! When we
got on the bus around 6 in the morning, there were just 4 random
people hangin' out on the bus. This was a problem because there was a
specific amount of seats we needed. It ended up working out because
one of the random people sat on a stool next to the driver for the
whole three hour trip. BUT LISTEN TO THIS.
So we are just driving along, talking, resting our eyes, looking at
the plains of Argentina, when all of a sudden we hear a super loud
noise and the bus starts vibrating. Then we look in front of us and
there is a big huge transport truck coming towards us. We barely move
over a couple inches and the truck flies past us. Honestly, it was
probably like five inches from our bus. And I was sitting on the side
closest to the truck. So, we are all just kind of in shock. We think
we have a flat tire, so we eventually get to the side of the road and
get out to help. When we get around to the back left side of the bus,
we see that the tires are completely missing! The bus had two wheels
on each side in the back, and the two tires from the left side were
just gone. At this point, we are all wondering how we didn't lose
control and die. Anyway, we start walking with the driver to recover
the tires which had apparently hit that truck I mentioned earlier.
They did a pretty good amount of damage since we were on the main
route going pretty fast. As we were walking, we looked at the lane
that we were in and saw a straight white line that went on for about a
half a mile and ended where our bus was pulled over on the side of the
road. This was the mark our bus made when the tires came off. If that
line was just a little bit closer to the other lane, we probably
would've been hit by the truck and that would not have been a pretty
sight. But we were all just so amazed that we were able to stay
straight for so long and that we didn't lose control. We called
President and told him what happened and that we might be a little
late. But guess what - we still made it to Formosa on time! Also,
while we were walking to the tires and thinking about our precious
lives, we saw a tucan flying through the air with such grace and
majesty, leaving a trail of Froot Loops behind it. Maybe those weren't
Froot Loops...we'll never know. But, in all seriousness, I know that
we were protected that day and I know that the Lord was and is always
watching out for us. We were all just stunned when we learned what
actually happened with the tires. I don't know what usually happens
when the tires come off of a bus while it's going about 80 mph, but I
think the fact that no one was hurt and that the bus didn't crash is a

Friday was a good day haha. We worked on applying the practices from
the conference in our teaching. We had a realy successful day and
taught some great lessons. That night, we had dinner with Pable and
her family for the birthday of her nephew's son. Some of the
neighborhood kids were there and we had a great time talking and
laughing. We ate pizza, empanadas, and the ham, mayo, and cheese
sandwiches with the crust cut off that everyone loves here.

We had Carnival again this weeked, so we had to be in our pension at 7
on Saturday and Sunday. Laaaaaame. Lost out on some work, but all is
well. We had an amazing branch council on Sunday. This lady, who none
of us missonaries know, and who is apparently a counselor in the
Relief Society, was talking about how this is the first time in years
that she has had confidence in the missionaries in the branch. She
told us that she can see our desire to work and to serve the Lord and
the people of Clorinda. She said she hasn't felt comfortable giving
references to the missionaries in the past, but now she would love to
hand us some sweet, sweet references. This was awesome to hear! Then
the meeting was just absolutely baller. The members all were talking
about plans to help boost retention here and trying to think of ways
to help the missionaries with our investigators. They were so willing
to help us and to make a plan. I'm kind of nervous for transfers next
week because things here seem to really be improving. We're starting
to see a lot of the fruits of our labors and it has been super
exciting. It makes me not want to leave! But anyway, the branch is
doing a lot better with attendance numbers and we're hoping to keep
boosting attendance and retention.

Elder Sotelo and I made super burgers. These burgers had meat patties,
chorizo, eggs, hot dogs, cheese, french fries, lettuce, and tomatoes.
We each ate two and I almost died. Again.

On Sunday, we had lunch with Tito and Sylvia Rodas. I FINALLY got to
try the blood sausage that I had heard so much about. Morcilla is what
it's called. I had heard that it was really gross and that it's easy
to get sick from eating it. Even Elder Murphy's grandma, who is from
Buenos Aires, can only eat about half of one. It's this deep, deep
reddish purple color. Needless to say, I ate it. It really wasn't
terrible, but I definitey couldn't eat more than half of one. Just
straight up blood or something haha. Anyway, that was neat.

That's pretty much my week. Pretty wild, but we had some cool
experienes. Through different experiences that I have had so far, it
has been made very clear to me that I am here for a reason. This week
has been one of the most incredible weeks in my mission so far. I have
been able to receive protection from our Heavenly Father and see the
Spirit working on the people here in Clorinda. I am so blessed to be
able to have this opportunity to serve and to share the Gospel. Thank
you all for your prayers for the missionaries and your thoughts. As
you can tell, we need them haha. Stay righteous and hold down the
fort. #USA #ARG #OneLove #OneRepublic #Apologize

Amor, Paz, y Bendiciones,
Elder Sipple

P.S. I will try to send pictures of the bus and other pictures from
the week another time. The Internet is puttin' up a
reeeeeeaaaaaallllll lucha right now.