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Wednesday, July 21, 2010

July 19, 2010 Muddy and Well Fed

Church this week was kind of funny because all week Elder Nelson was talking about how many members are in our branch, and then it rained on Sunday so only 16 members showed up. Elder Nelson played the piano while I conducted. It was actually very spiritual because everyone who was there wanted to be there, so you could feel the spirit very strongly. My pants and shoes however are still very muddy from walking around that day. There is an actually church building that we go to and the bathroom has toilet paper. The members that I have met so far are awesome and have fed us everyday of the week, except for Mondays. So far I have eaten pasta twice, both times with really good carne. I have eaten empenadas twice, once at the president´s house and once at a member´s house which was delicious because they were fried. I had flan, Pasta Frola which is basically a membrillo pie, malta which is a drink like coffee (it´s not) but it tastes like toffee kind of. I also ate Polenta con Tuco, which is best described as orange grits (possibly corn flower) with chili and cheese.

Argentina is nice, but I´m not in capital, I´m in a city that is a suburb. There are a ton of dogs everywhere, almost as many as the people. They are just trotting along and sleeping on the sidewalks and so I usually say hello to them. There are all kinds. It is pretty tough right now because I can hardly understand anyone except my trainer, but he understands perfectly and I can usually feel the spirit pretty strongly. Our apartment is an adventure too, and one day we came back and didn´t have electricity all night and morning = it was freezing cold in the morning. All the people are friendly too. I absolutely love the food. And we have eaten a lot of bread. I apologize for my grammar and spelling because I´m trying to always think in Castillano but it´s tiring and to write in English is now difficult sometimes as well.

The mission life is hard, but I know I´m here for a reason and that Heavenly Father didn´t send me here to fail, and so that gives me hope that I can become the kind of missionary that I want to be. Thanks for your love and support and yes, it is easier to write emails so I don´t know how I am going to write letters, because I don´t know what to do and my companion doesn´t write them. But love you and write you again next week.

July 13, 2010 First Email from Argentina

Jordan would be happy, we are here in an internet cafe kind of like Howies, except the Spanish key board is a little bit different so excuse me if I put any weird symbols in my letter. The flight over here was fine, I actually slept and enjoyed just reading my scriptures and our search for happiness on the flight over here. My mission president is awesome. My trainer is Elder Nelson, he has been out for 16 months and has been in this area for 3 months. That was when he was with his first trainee, so I´m the second. The president of our branch is very excited to do missionary work and has called some 20 ward missionaries (I´ll double check) to help us. Apparently we never make lunch because we will always be fed lunch, and I can almost understand half of what everyone is saying, at least every native speaker. I can understand about all of what the gringos are saying :) Found how to do a smiley face.

Elder Grover contacted about 3 people in the Atlanta Airport. First was on the flight to the airport he talked to a woman and ended up handing her a pass along card. Second was when we were in line at our terminal to print his boarding pass. He was a native Argentine and we could barely understand him, ha ha. Third was in line for a burrito where we talked to someone from Mexico. We could understand him a lot more and ended up giving him a pass along card. All three experiences were really cool and thus I can´t wait to get out in the field tonight/tomorrow to start teaching. Missionary work really is the work of the Lord and it really is the most important thing I could be doing right now. I haven´t been here long enough to encounter discouragement other than nervousness at the unknown, but I know that when I do I will make it through with the help of the Lord. These will not be the best two years of my life, but they will be the best two years for my life. I also know that through my obedience angels will minister to me and provide me with the concerns that I need to address with my investigators. Bye for now and I guess I will write more next Monday! Love all of you, from Argentina!!!! By the way, no offense to Jen, but the empanadas here are much better...

July 13, 2010 Arrival in Buenos Aires

Elder Arrowchis arrived from the MTC this morning. He is doing great! He is assigned to serve with Elder Nelson who is the district leader. They are serving the Grand Bourg unit of the Sarmiento Stake. They are out working this evening.

Thank you for sending us such a wonderful young man. We look forward to serving with him.

Warmest regards,
President and Sister Gulbrandsen

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Quotes of the Day (from MTC)

14 JUN: “You use subjunctive when there’s a doubt or uncertainty involved. All feelings of doubt and uncertainty come from Satan. Therefore, the subjunctive tense is of the devil.” I don’t like the subjunctive very much.

17 JUN “The Lord hasn’t asked me whether or not I think I can do this work, but rather has simply asked me to get to work as best I can and then he will guide me and teach me during my labors.”

18 JUN “The hours between 6:30 AM and 9:30 AM make or break your mission.”

20 JUN “Believe that I can do better, work harder, and last longer than the limits my body sets for me.”

24 JUN “Could we close…and open with a prayer?”

24 JUN “I know these things are true because it feels like a fire in my hair” (pelo instead of pecho)

26 JUN “I can know the truth of all things without understanding how they work, and that’s the miracle of it.” – Pres. Hinkley

28 JUN “Fools names and fools faces always appear in public places.”

28 JUN “Every time I kneel to pray I am standing in the presence of God.”

06 JUL “I have to face very uncomfortable circumstance with courage and faith and trust my failures are for my good and that I will improve.”