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Tuesday, July 22, 2014

FORMOSA LA HERMOSA LA RECIBE..........July 21, 2014

Yeah, yaboii is in Formosa Capital!!!! I am finally in civilization! Transfers did me right, did me reeeeaaaalllllll nice. my area is Barrio Lujan. We live with the district leader and his companion. Our pension used to be where the branch in Lujan met on Sundays, but they combined with another branch to form a ward which is WHERE I'M CURRENTLY STATIONED. YEAH, A WARD. Holy smokes, I was in shock on Sunday. All three meetings, a bunch of was delicious. We actually have lunch with members so that's good news for my health and for my wallet. Members are super downsies to help us out and everything. It's straight up heaven here, y'all. We have a decent shower and weights that are a little too heavy for ol' Elder "Noodle Arms" Sipple, but that's okay. They look way cool on the ground, too. It gives the illusion that we are strong. It's like a symbol of a dream that isn't really reachable right now. But yeah, weights. Also, still haven't gotten used to public breast-feeding. Do NOT know why that's a thing here. God bless the USA for that reason. During lessons people will just start up the feeding frenzy and it's super weird. But, así es la vida de los misioneros.

But dang, what else? Went into downtown Formosa today and it blew my dang MIND to be in an actual big city. I'm telling you, I thought I was at home or something. The only Argentina I knew was...way different haha. Now all were missing is the fast-food game, but hey, that's alright. It's really beautiful downtown. The river, el Rio Paraguay, I believe, is in the downtown area as well. Pictures to CRUMB! So that was righteous. I want to spend my whole mission here in Formosa Capital haha. We actually have decent stores. There is a store called Chango Mas which is owned by Wal-Mart so it has all of the Great Value brand stuff. They always have killer deals so we go to Shop So Hard University there. They also have a lot of the same clothes that Wal-Mart sells back home, which is nice. Might buy some corderoy pants for 20 bones, who knows. But, long story short, yaboii is in straight PARADISE right now.

Something cool is that we had a "Mini MTC" here on Saturday. Youth from all over Formosa came to do a little mini MTC and leave to work with the missionaries for a bit. President and Hermana Franco came so we got to hear from them and talk to them a bit. It was an awesome experience. It's awesome to see the love of the Gospel and the Church in the youth here. I have been thinking a lot about the youth and I'm excited to be able to work with a lot of them here in this ward. I know how important it is to start early; to develop an understanding of the Gospel and God's plan for us, the importance of our baptism and the potential that we are all capable of achieving. I wish that I had developed a love for the Gospel earlier in my life, but for that reason I am here sharing my experiences and the things that I have learned with the people in Argentina. I know that God has a plan for all of us and that we truly can become like Him. But anyway, I love you all and I hope that everything is going swimmingly out there in North America. And wherever else my loved ones might be. I love you!

Elder Sipple

P.S. My birthday is on the 23rd...
Yaboii in Formosa

A picture of me saying goodbye to Ezequiel and Julieta

Our cool second-story pension (look how cool the weights are)

A cool panoramic of the Paraguay River    
Elder "Miley Cyrus Wrecking Ball" Sipple over here
Hotel actual nice building
The church here in my area

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Mojados.........July 14, 2013

Julieta's baptism went through! It was fantastic. We pretty much spent two days figuring out all of the stuff for the baptism. We ran into all sorts of problems, as usual, but powered on through - Elder Vera and Elder Sipple vs. the world. We filled up the font with the rain water and what not and when it was full, it was a really gross yellow color. We thought it was because of the drain in the font, so we drained it and filled it again. Just the same color. So we just went with it. Then we had to try to heat up the water. It was dang cold and we don't really have a decent way to heat the water, so we spent a morning/afternoon boiling water and pouring it into the font. It ended up not making a difference haha. But the good part is is that Julieta showed up and she got dunked REAL good. We are really excited for her and for her friend, Ezequiel, who is going to be baptized on the 26th. It's a great situation for them. Her dad is an inactive member, so she is a baller example right now.

Anyway, this last week we had interviews with P. Franco and Hermana Franco! They are soooooo righteous. They still have pretty strong accents when they speak English. Something I didn't know is that Presidente Franco is one of the owners of those watch stores "Precision Time." So that's neat. But anyway, they are both super frinedly and you can just feel their love for the Gospel and for us as missionaries. We are all way stoked to work with them.

And yes, World Cup. Sadly/luckily, none of the craziness really goes down here in Fontana. The people party and stuff, but it's pretty much just for one night. Or less. But from what I heard, in the other more populated places in the mission, the people were going buck WILD during their game against Belgium and then during the game on Sunday. They all just ended up celebrating second place. Glass half-full type of people here. Buuuuuuuut yes, that happened. I'm just glad that we can continue working and that we don't have to hang out in the pension for hours now.

That's pretty much it for this week, though. I didn't have some super weird/gross experience this last week, unfortunately. Just posted up here in Fontana. Transfers are tomorrow, so we'll see what happens. Oh yeah, I hit my 8 monther. That's kind of weird.

Spiritual thought real quick. Just be like Christ. In everything you do, just think about what Jesus would do in that situation. Obviously we aren't going to be perfect and make the right choice every single time, but I know that if we strive to live more like our Savior and give it our best effort, we will be blessed and we will be able to develop Christ-like attributes. Always seek to help others and lift them up. It is so easy to judge people and place ourselves above others. But the truth is is that we don't know or understand anyone like our Heavenly Father does and for that reason, we should always seek to lift another. Christ didn't only go to the people that accepted him and treated him well. He preached to all; He always sought to help and to bless the lives of all of His brothers and sisters.

Thanks for all of the prayers and love. I love you all REAL good and I hope that everyone is just balling their way through life.

""Don't be afraid to shoot the outside 'J'." - Troy Bolton" - ALEC SIPPLE

Peace and Blessings. :)

#RT #1RTequals1Pray 

Oh yeah, I made some chili with one of my chili packets. It was sooooo dang good and I felt so American.

Elder Sipple stirring up the hot water

E'Sipple and E'Vera straight slaying it on boiling duty

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Maple Syrup and Sweet, Sweet Success.....July 7, 2014

This week was interesting. We went on divisions with our zone leaders on Wednesday. I went to Ibarreta to work with Elder Taylor from Provo and Elder Vera stayed in our area to work with Elder Mudrovich from Chile. Elder Taylor is a fantastic missionary. He is about to finish up his mission in October. Anyway, I stayed there with him until Friday morning. It was a real trip haha. First of all, in their pension, their shower is broken so you have to boil water, mix it with some of the rain water that we have to collect and then shower with a cup. But the good part is that no one can really take a long "shower." I love experiences like that haha. A good reminder of Clorinda. Then, Elder Taylor doesn't have a bed frame or anything, just an old foam mattress on the ground. His companion has the bed frame. E'Taylor's back was killing him from sleeping on it for months on end so I took one for the team and made it my home for the division. Another highlight is that he has some maple extract so y'already KNOW that we made pancakes and syrup. The syrup turned out to be more of a sugary water-dip, but it still tasted a little like syrup haha. Then, he GIFTED me his other maple extract so y'all don't even have to ax me...FRYNNA BE COOKIN'. So juiced on that. But now to the cooler part of divisions. They also have a colony of natives in their area. Their colony is within walking distance, so they work a lot there. Also, they are having a ton of success there. They have totally transformed the colony. You can literally feel the Spirit being poured out on the people. The missionaries have the confidence of all the people. Everyone is always saying "hega" to the Mormons. They literally have people finding THEM and telling them that they want to be baptized haha. It's so nuts! We found like nine new investigators and they all have baptismal dates. It was righteous and I learned a lot from Elder Taylor. We taught some sweet, simple Gospel and I had the time of my life. Now to the best part of the division. We were visiting a member family in the colony to help some of the daughters with their English homework. While Elder Taylor was helping them, a bunch of the little kids were climbing all over me and wanted me to take pictures with them. This little girl who is about 3 or 4 (I think her name is Julie) climbed up and sat on my leg. She was just having a great time and I was loving playing with the little kids. Then, I caught a whiff of a really strong, pungent odor. I looked Julie right in the eyes and she looked back, seemingly reading my mind. She knew exactly what had happened. All I could think was, "No, no no no no...NO!" But as she slid off of my leg and scampered away, the nightmare became all too real. Julie dang PEED HER PANTS ON MY LEG! Straight up peed her pants on MY pants! Julie peed MY pants. I sat there and stared and the big wet spot and felt the moisture seep into my clothing. With a big smile on my face, I told Elder Taylor, in English, what had happened. We laughed and laughed because we couldn't believe what had happened haha. We took a little video of us telling the family what had happened and how they felt about it, but they couldn't understand us because we were talking in English hahaha. They just laughed and laughed like the natives always do. We didn't tell them what happened, just left a sweet blessing on the family and their home and went on our way. So yeah, that was neat.
Couple other random things. The lider of the group in our colony, Presidente Ernesto Flores, is such a funny guy. He was in an Evangelical church (I have forgotten how to say 'Evangelical' in it the same?) before he joing our church. So, when he is up there bearing his testimony, he gets a little wild! Also, every single time he refers to the Book of Mormon, he says, "The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ." I love it.

Then, we had to walk back from church in the colony yesterday. I made some videos, sang some songs, etc. Can't wait to show you all my videos from the mish embarrassing. But anyway, we tried to hitch-hike our way back but only caught a ride in the back of a pick-up when we got to the outskirts of Fontana. It was great, though, and we got some sweet, salty exercise.

Also, last night, this guy found us outside of our pension and started speaking in English to me. He told me that he is an English teacher here and that he wants me to come in and speak to his class. Present myself, talk about my country, etc. Not sure if we are allowed to do it, but I'm going to ask for permission! I think it would be super sweet and a great way to meet new people.

But yeah, that was my week. We have transfers coming up this next Tuesday/Wednesday. Also, we have interviews with President and Hermana Franco on Thursday! So stooookkkeeeeeddd to meet them.
Anyway, the Lord is bound when we do what He says. He will always, ALWAYS make good on His promises. All we have to do is keep the comandments that he has given us. :) I know that this Gospel changes lives and that the Atonement of Jesus Christ makes possible the great plan of salvation. I love you all and I hope you all enjoyed the 4th of July in our blessed, wonderful country! GBA, baby, GBA. Luvzz.

Elder Sipple

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Elder Sipple gets chopped......June 30, 2014

I'm not sure what my problem is...I just keep putting my trust and my hair in the hands of these people who are nowhere near qualified to handle it haha. It's a real joy. This time, I went to "Papatto," a 65 year-old "hair veteran." He's a bit rounder than most. As he sat me down in his chair of doom, I saw his sign that listed the many different types of cuts that he could perform..."The American" and the "Kind-of American." Without any questions asked or suggestions taken, he just started to cut me down to a fragment of what I used to be. I think I ended up with the "Kind-of American," but there's no way of knowing. I have an appointment to fix the left side of my noggin, as it appears that I recently fought head-to-head with a powerful Black&Decker weed whacker. 7 horse power. So yeah, look good, preach good!

Well, things here are pretty rockin', to say the least. We lost about two days of work in our area due to the mission conference and other travels, but we TOTALLY made up for it. Elder Vera and I straight tore it up this week. We were crankin' out the lessons and finding new investigators like never before. It rained a bunch, the weather got really cold, and the entire town turned to mud, but we plowed through. Elder Vera was bragging about how he had never fallen in the mud in his year and a half in the mission...and then totally ate it in the mud haha. This week was so wild...running in the mud with our big boots on (when Elder Vera fell) to catch buses and pretty much just giving it our all. That's how I want it to be every single week! My feet are killing me, but I'm so happy about it! We had seven investigators in the church, which is above the number of excellence for the mission. We are really starting to see a lot of the tasty, beautiful fruits of our labors. It was a straight up miracle and I know that we couldn't have done it without a lot of sincere prayer and blessings from Heavenly Father. We're looking at a pretty milky month of July. Which reminds me, happy dang 4th of July this week! Can't believe it haha. It's soooo weird, I feel like it should be Christmas.

Let's see, other highlights...YABOII BOUGHT HANDSOAP! First time in the mission that I've had some handsoap in the bathroom. :) Funny Mango scent, too. It's a beautiful thing. Oh, we found some cool parasites in our water, but luckily it's just the water that we use to shower, wash dishes, wash clothes and our hands...but now I can't stop thinking about the times when the shower water entered into my nose, mouth and eyes...what I've decided is that I'm si o si (for sure) coming back with parasites. I'm going to come home just a complete mess haha. But it'll be s'dang worth it!

Elder Vera and I are trying to learn a little Tova while we are in the colony working. I can say a couple phrases and greetings, so I feel pretty cool. We kept saying "hello" to people in Tova and they looked like they had just seen a white boy speak their native tongue...oh wait...THEY DID SEE A WHITE BOY SPEAK THEIR NATIVE TONGUE. SUP! I'm excited about it.

The other cool thing is that the US hasn't been eliminated yet and I'm really banking on a win against Belgium because I REALLY want to play against Argentina. Then when we win, I'll be the only person out partying in the streets and they'll probably capture me and end my life. :) No, not really...but maybe...

Anyway, I know I wrote less than a week ago so not much has happened. But I love you all so much and I want to thank you for the emails, thoughts and prayers. We out here strugglin', bumpin', grindin' and preachin' the fiery Gospel. I love it and I love y'all. I know Heavenly Father knows and loves each and every one of you and that he has so many special things waiting for you. Peace and blessings!

Elder Sipple

#GodBlessTheUSA #GBA #GodBlessAmerica #GameBoyAdvance #SmallTownGirl

E'Sipple knockin' some sweet mahogany
 A cool dome house in the colony