Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Spring has arrived

To my awesome family,

Hey guys how’s it going?  I love you all so much and am so grateful for your emails. Yes its true; spring has started here this last week.  Right now the weather is really awesome. Still cool enough that we can sleep at night.

This week was really good and I have some good stories from the week.  I should just start talking about how much I love you all.  I could do that for the whole hour that I have.  On Monday I went on an exchange to La Calera again.  I was their until Wednesday.  I met a lady in this area who is originally from Argentina but has lived in Utah for 12 years.  Her husband died this year and so she moved back with her three grandchildren of 12 years, 7 and 5.  They were all born in Utah!  She doesn’t speak very much English.  12 years in Utah and no English.  Pretty surprising, right?  But the little kids speak better English than Spanish.  The grandma said they are going to speak English to each other so they don’t lose it.  She then told her grandkids they could talk to me in English. (At this point I had only spoken Spanish)  The littlest guy said, but how will he understand grandma?  She said, he’s from Utah!  But he didn’t believe me, so he started testing me on words.  He told me to say something.  So I said, I love the Utah Jazz.  He just got this big smile and said, oh me too!  And then he quizzed me for a little while longer and then finally believed me that I was from Utah. It was way funny. When we were leaving the little boy kept on saying, have a good night! Don’t get lost out there! Come back soon! It was way funny. I haven’t seen little kids that speak English in a long time.

Story 2. Remember the Rowley family? They are an older couple from Lehi.  He is the supervisor for the temple here in Cordoba.  Well they are now living in the Uritorco Ward.  They are so cool. We ate with them yesterday. She made broccoli and chicken casserole.  It reminded me so much of moms.  She also made guacamole which they don’t eat here.  It was the first time my comp had tried it.  We had a really great time.  My comp doesn’t speak a ton of English but he could understand a little bit.  He laughed the whole lunch because I couldn’t talk with out a como, que, si or pero slipping out.  It was a mess.  Brother Rowley speaks Spanish way good. Sister Rowley is learning.  I mentioned that I liked building and he talked a ton about his job and stuff that he has done in his life.  

I love you all. I hope that you all have a great week!!

Love Elder Watts

Friday, September 21, 2012

Four Areas

To My Wonderful Family,
The weather here is really crazy right now.  Right now it is really cloudy, but the weekend it was really hot!  I think that this summer is going to be really hot.  But its kinda nice to have a break from the ¨cold weather¨.

Dad thanks so much for the pictures of the hike. They turned out really great!  I’m so happy that you all have had the chance to go to the temple open house. I can’t believe that Utah will have another temple. That’s awesome. You will love the dedication. I can’t wait to hear about it.

This week was really great.  I was only in my area for 2 days so it was a pretty interesting week. It was fun to work with one of the Zone Leaders because we traveled all over.  I worked in four areas this week - Rosedal, Fuerza, Villa Independencia and 9 de Julio.  It was lots of fun.  I’ll tell you about the highlight of the week.  When I was in 9 de Julio we visited an investigador that they have.  Her name is Luz Maria.  She is really great.  She lives with her grandma who is a member of the church.  Her grandma’s name is Violeta and she has Diabetes.  About 2 months ago she had an operation and now can’t really speak or walk and is constantly moving her head.  It is really sad.  We had the idea to sing a hymn to her.  While we were flipping through our book for a hymn to sing she said she liked Rock of Ages.  It was really surprising because she said it so clearly. So we sang Rock of Ages.  We felt a really special spirit while we sang and she cried the whole song through.  We then offered to give her a blessing and she accepted.  We asked her who she wanted to give it to her and she pointed at me. It was really special because the instant that I put my hands on her head she stopped shaking. It was a really great experience and I was so grateful to be a part of it.

Hey mom do you think that you could send me a recipe for Chocolate Chips? I would really really love that. The cookies that they have here just aren’t doing the job. Ok that was a really random thought.

Yesterday we went with our bishop to take the sacrament to a member that is sick that couldn’t make it to church. Our bishop is a convert of 3 and a half years. He is really awesome. He has so much energy for the work.  He made a comment to me that made me think a lot. Right now he is worried about the ward because they really don’t do much to help the missionary work. The missionaries do everything. We keep hearing about all the success Buenos Aires is having because of the help the members give. He said that he doesn’t want the members to just do the basics. He wants them to truly be converted to the Gospel. He then said, Elder Watts you are from Utah, I have heard my whole time as a member that even though the members in Utah go every week to church and live worthy to have a temple recommend, they aren’t truly converted and only do what they do because it’s a tradition in their families. It made me think a lot. It hurt me to think that that is what some people think here. (This is not the first time I have heard that) Sadly I think that that may be true, in some cases. I then thought about Mom and Dad, our grandparents, my church leaders I had growing up, bishops, neighbors and even coaches, and I realized that they are truly people that are converted. People that truly live the gospel. Thanks so much for all the examples.

Well guys I love you all so much. Thanks for all that you do. I hope that you have an excellent week. You are always in my prayers. Until Next Week.

Love Riley


Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Temple Dedication

Dear Family!

Hey guys! How are you all doing? I’m sorry that I’m a day late; we had a really crazy p day yesterday.  We did a very deep cleaning of the garage that took hours. I think we are the only missionaries that have ever cleaned this place.  It’s a pretty depressing thought to know that you are cleaning up after hundreds of missionaries (one of them being my dad aka Elder Maude haha. yep he was in Uritorco)  But now it is really clean.  Then we got together as a zone and made food and watched Work and the Glory.  I forgot how much I really like that movie.  It’s awesome.  At the end of the day we went on exchanges with the Zone Leaders.  I’m in the Zone Leaders area with Elder Lopez who is from Puebla Mexico. His area is called Rosedal.  It’s a pretty cool area but I’m glad its not mine though, its really tough.  All the neighborhoods are really wealthy. I guess that’s why the Zone Leaders are here. 

Well this week was pretty awesome mainly due to the rededication to the temple in Buenos Aires.  I wrote about 6 pages in my journal, so I hope I am able to explain and remember the parts that I liked.  So first we watched the cultural activity on Saturday night. Member and non member were invited to attend this event.  It was held in the River Stadium in Buenos Aires. (River is a huge soccer team here in Argentina. They are like the Heat of the USA).  The stadium is enormous and it was packed!  There were so many people. The camera showed all the people there and then all at once they all started cheering and screaming. The camera panned over and showed a golf cart coming into the stadium with President Eyring, Elder Christofferson, Elder Ballard and Elder Arnold of the 70.  They were all just smiling and waving.  It was so cool.  It was so cool. If someone didn’t know anything about the church they would wonder who are these men and what did they do?  They drove up to the stage and walked on. Then the area seventy gave them a present.  Immediately President Eyring opened it up.  They all got big red ponchos.  President Eyring put it on right then and there. Then the others did too.  It was great to see them all standing there with their ponchos.  Then they each gave a 5 minute talk. Elder Christofferson spoke perfect Spanish without any accent at all.  It was really impressive.  Elder Ballard said Buenos Noches haha.  He talked about how his Grandpa dedicated South America and had a dream that this place wouldn’t be like a sun flower that opens up over night, but that it would be like an oak tree. Slow to grow, but one day would be strong.  It’s so true. Argentina isn’t like Mexico or some other countries where the Gospel has grown really fast.  President Eyring said that the Savior approved their welcoming and is pleased.  Then tons of kids did tons of dances from all around Argentina.  Last but not least the missionaries from the Buenos Aires North mission came into the stadium singing called to serve.  I saw 5 people that I knew from the MTC.  The girl from dads ward was there also. I can’t remember her name.  It was really awesome.

I really didn’t think that Saturday would be able to be topped, but it was big-time. The dedication of the temple on Sunday was so amazing. We went to the 3:00 session with all the other missionaries.  We wanted to go to all 3 sessions but they didn’t let us because we had to stay at our church building in case someone forgot and went to the church and not the stake center.  It was very spiritual and very uplifting.  Elder Christofferson told an awesome story.  He said that when the Salt Lake temple was being built, a man was working alone one day when his brother who had died years ago walked in the room.  He asked him if he was real and what was going on.  The deceased brother told him that he only had a spirit and that he had returned from the spirit world.  In the Spirit world he went to a Mormon church and accepted the Gospel.  But he needed his brother to do the work for him.  The living brother said that he would and the dead brother left.  While he was thinking about what just happened another deceased brother entered the room, yet this brother looked a lot different. He appeared like an angel. In Kirtland the living brother had done the work for this brother and the brother was able to advance a little in the spirit world.  But he needed the living brother to finish the work.  He said he couldn’t take one more step forward until his temple work was finished.  How cool huh?  It was really awesome. President Eyring talked a lot about how the temple is the most important thing on the earth. I really loved it. I can’t wait to go to the temple again. We are so blessed to have temples!!

Well guys thanks for everything.  I love you all so much. Thanks for all that you do for me. I couldn’t do it with out you. I love you!

Love Elder Watts