Monday, November 28, 2011

Two weeks worth

Here are excerpts of the last two weeks from Riley's letters.  He sounds great!

At the beginning of this week we had another AWESOME dinner. It was on Tuesday with the Rosalez family. They are way cool.  Before they got baptized they were gypsies.  The hermano has really long hair, and one of his eyes is a lot bigger than the other.  He is so funny and crazy!  So on Sunday they told us how to get to their house.  We asked for an address, but they don't have one.  You will soon see why.  They told us just to walk down this road until we hit a little grove of trees and then to go into the little grove of trees until we see a big blue bus.  So we had no clue where we were going.  But we just started walking and finally made it to the little forest.  Which was way cool by the way, lots of big vines and stuff.  Tons of parrots all over.  After 10 minutes of walking through this jungley type forest we got to this big old blue bus.  Big surprise to us, the big blue bus is their house!  It is so sweet. Elder Puma and Anderson were with us. So the parents, four elders and their two little kids were crammed in this old bus eating food.  It was so cool.  Pretty good food too.  I ate this spine of a chicken. Such an awesome family.
So Thursday as you know was Thanksgiving. We went to this big buffet in down town Villa Maria.  It was so good!  They had all types of asado still on the grill. Chicken, Pork, and beef.  Plus they even had french fries. I had 6 plates full of tons of meat.  My second favorite part about it was the fruit. They had every type of fruit you could ever imagine. Plus some I had never seen. I had 3 giant plates of fruit. And of course they had a big table full of deserts. Tons of different kinds of tortas ( cakes ) and ice cream with big bowls of Dulce de Leche.  We were there for about 3 hours.  After 11 plates in total I was so full.  It was awesome.  I definitely got my 60 pesos worth.  The workers were stunned every time I got up for another plate ha ha. It was weird all the other people around us would get like 2 servings.  Must not of been their thanksgiving.
Right now we´re still really struggling with investiagadors. We have one lady named Georgina who is really nice, but impossible to get a hold of. She is always gone and never is there for appointments. Its kinda frustrating. But we have one tonight so we will see. We have talked about the Book of Mormon and stuff with her but she claims to not believe in God. But, she always reads what we tell her to and she always lets us come back. So I know there is something there. Tonight we are showing her faith in Christ the movie. I think it will be perfect. The guy in there has all the same questions as she does. So that's Georgina. We have like 10 other people that we have taught they are just hard to get a hold of. But I know that its just as important to strengthen members and less actives as it is to find and teach. So we can still have success even when it feels like we aren't having any.
I got a church calling. Gospel Doctrine teacher for the Recent Converts and Investigadors.  It's so awesome.  You should see me up there teaching.  Sometimes I have to bite my tongue because some pretty hilarious things happen.  Some of the questions.... Kill me. "No hermana we cant still use wine to make it more symbolistic. Yes if we can't get a hold of water we could use banana orange juice."  Its awesome. I love you all!!
I got my haircut for the first time here in Argentina. A lady in our ward owns a peluqueria. She did a pretty good job ha ha... No seriously it looks good. Plus it was free. What more can you ask for? We go to her house once a week for lunch. It is always our most anticipated meal of the week. Then after she always lets me go out back and pick a bunch of grapefruits to take home. They are really good! Its awesome because Elder Maude doesn't like them. They are really an awesome family.
Sunday was probably the highlight of the week even though Hermano Mollo didn't go to church. Yesterday was our wards primary program ha ha. Oh my gosh. That's really all I can say. It was so funny! I thought our wards primary programs were crazy.. Kids were just running around, up and down the stand, hitting each other, it was a show. I was laughing so hard. But it was well done. Everyone had their little part they read and they sang songs ha ha. Then after we ate lunch at the Rivero´s house. He is the Elders Q pres. Really awesome guy. He served a mission in Buenos Aries.  During lunch his kid spilled a whole pitcher of juice on me ha ha. I felt right at home :). Just kidding.  Pretty sure I was the one that was spilling things most the time. 
I started reading Jesus the Christ before I go to bed.  I really love it.  It's so interesting to learn what his name means and all the significance.  One of the best things I have read so far is the story of the leper?  Jesus was in Capernaum when a leper came to him and said If though wilt, thou canst make me clean?  Talmage makes a big deal that he didn't say Can you heal me?  But he said Will you heal me?  He asked with 110% faith.  As I have thought about it I think that this totally applies to us.  We need to follow the commandments and guidance of our prophet with the "Will you heal me" mindset.  I know that if we were to do that we would be even more blessed and strengthened that much more.  There are countless times that I can think of when I have taken the "Can you heal me?" mindset.  Every day I strive to teach, learn, and follow with the "Will you Heal me?" faith in my mind.  Sometimes its hard.  But we have lots of help. 

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

A Different P Day and a Hurricane

Riley's P-Day was moved last week so we didn't receive a letter until Thursday so I'm posting two letters this week.

Letter #1 (From Last week)

Dear Family!
I´m so glad to finally be able to talk to you!  It seems like it has been forever... The reason they moved P day is because transfers came a week early.  I think its so people could pack up and move and all that stuff.  But I am staying with Elder Maude in Villa Maria of course.  So much stuff has happened in the last 10 days!  I'm really glad the office told you our P day would be moved.  Man I don´t even know where to start.  Last Sunday we had our first Baptism!  His name is Hernando Rinta. He is a really cool guy.  I only taught him once so I don´t know him that well.  Baptisms here are a lot different than baptisms in California.  A lot smaller.  But it was really cool.  I am really enjoying our ward here.  The people are all really awesome and really nice.  Tomorrow we have a big cook out sports night at the church.  It should be really fun.  The weather is hot!  Except we had 2 way random days where it was pretty cold.  One day it rained a ton.  The streets completely filled up with water.  It was like a river! We got soaked.  We were just walking around in the mud and water trying to find somewhere to go. Finally someone let us in.  But that day was really fun.  I'll always remember it.
OK so the pictures.The first is me on the top of our pension. Pretty sweet view huh? The wind is blowing really hard right there. I actually took that today. The other one is of a sweet basketball hoop ha ha. Isn't that awesome? I have seen some of the craziest things since I have been here. Sometimes I forget I'm in Argentina. I really love it though.

The bakery is so good. I usually get what are called facturas. They are like 30 cents. They are really flaky and in the morning warm. Some are cream filled and others are just sprinkled with sugar. Dad I don't know if I am gaining weight. Nobody here has a scale thus far. I'm trying to eat somewhat healthy though. We eat just about everyday at members houses. We have had some really good stuff and other stuff that isn't so good... But its a great experience to try all the food. So far we have only had the Famous Argentine Beef twice. SO GOOD! Its expensive and members just cant afford it. Tomorrow will be really awesome at the cook out i bet.
Halloween looked awesome!! Sounds like you all had lots of fun. Joseph and Olivia I really love your costumes. You both looked great. It was hard to be away from you on Halloween. But we had a really cool day on Halloween to make up for some of the sad feelings. We spent the whole day helping this family move houses. And get this we only had a little cart thing to move everything! Luckily it was only 3 blocks down and 2 blocks to the right. But they didn't want to throw anything away. I felt like we were just hauling tons of junk. Its also kinda hard to move when you have no clue what the person is saying ha ha. So after we got them all moved the Dad made Asado. That is like the best known Argentina Dish. He bought tons of steak and sausages and then you cook it on coals in this little brick oven thing. It takes about 2 hours to cook. It was so good! Definitely the best meal I have had so far. The funny part was we were all just sitting around the table and I just felt like something was missing... It was plates!! Everyone just started diggin in ha ha. It was so funny. You´d grab some salad with your hands and then pass it around. And there was 1 cup ha ha. I have never experienced anything like that. It was so crazy. What a Halloween. 
 This last week we on Saturday the coolest thing ever happened. We had another service project where we actually helped some people to build a house. We mostly just moved rocks around but it was still fun. I have always wanted to combine my 2 favorite things into 1 while I have been here. That is teach a lesson, and play basketball. On our way home from the service project we did just that. We walked through a park and these guys were playing. We asked if we could shoot with their other ball ( of course we knew they´d invite us) and they invited us to play. It was way fun. I don´t think they expected us to be as good as we were ha ha. We kinda killed them. I even broke a piece of the backboard off with a dunk. It was really fun. Then after we talked about the church and what we are doing. some of the guys were interested in the libro de mormon so were going back in 2 days to share it with them. What a great way to do missionary work ha ha.
I miss you guys lots. But I'm having a really good time here. Its so so so amazing! I'm so glad to be doing the Lords work. I'm learning a lot everyday. Even though its hard its so rewarding. This is truly the greatest mission ever. I guess Ill talk to you all on Monday!
Letter #2 (This Week)

Dear Family,
This week was really awesome here in Argentina. I feel like i learned alot. Both my Spanish and my Gospel knowledge. I also am getting to know our area pretty good also. I feel like I'm getting more and more settled in so that's nice. It still seems weird that I'm in Argentina though. So last Tuesday a Hurricane hit Villa Maria! Seriously! It was crazy. Elder Maude and I had 30 minutes left before we had to be back at the pension so we decided to go to this less active members house. He lives 4 blocks away so we thought it would be perfect. Out of nowhere the sky totally just got way dark and there was tons of lightning. The lightning was so cool! It wasn't vertical, but horizontal! So so so weird. and there wasn't a single second where the lighting would stop. Then the rain came. One minute we were dry and the next we were soaked. We were knocking doors like crazy to try and get into houses, but nobody would open up. Its the most rain I have seen in my whole life. Just buckets and buckets. The streets filled up within minutes. There was tons of wind also. you couldn't look up without getting tons of rain in your eyes. So we started for home. Then all the power in the whole city went out. Not one single light anywhere! We were trying to cross streets with water up to my knees. The only time you could see was when the lighting would light up the street for a split second. It was the weirdest thing, I was completely wet and cold, but I was warm. I was happy. Just happy to be a missionary and to have the Gospel. We finally made it home after 35 minutes. 4 blocks is all! So crazy. Me and Elder Anderson went up on the roof of our apartment and watched the storm until it stopped about an hour later. I thought about the Nephites when Christ visited them. It had to be like that. The thunder was deafening. The wind was knocking down trees and stuff. So so cool. Its funny how you can feel the spirit in a time like that. The sad news is... My camera broke. Everything in my bag got soaked. Luckily my memory card is OK. Does it have a warranty or what? I don't really know what to do. Cameras here are pretty cheap? I don't know tell me what you think.
OK we had another cool meal. We ate at the same house that we helped them move  on Halloween. We ate rabbits ha ha. It was so weird. Yes without utensils or anything. No beer this time though so that was good. Also they had raw pork that was salted a ton. It was very weird. I don't know why they didn't just cook it. But it was a way cool experience. Other than that haven't eaten to many weird things.
We found 3 new investigadors that I am really excited about  this last week. I know that we can help them. Its good because now that we have set progressive investigadors we have something to do. Its alot better than just knocking doors ha ha. As fun as that is..
Well I love you all very much! Thank you so much for your emails and more than anything for your prayers. It really means the world to me. Have a good week everyone.
Love Riley