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Monday, January 24, 2011

January 24, 2011 Dreaming in Spanish

Spanish is starting to get to me, I´m forgetting how to speak proper English. This past week I´ve hit a huge stepping stone on my mission, I had my first dream in Spanish. All of us were in a classroom with a ton of other people to take a test to see how fluent we were in Spanish. So amongst doing other things at one point I started speaking Spanish to practice before the test. It was soo cool!!!

We found a dog who was actually friendly while walking and even though we didn´t do anything to attract it, it started following us until we got all the way back to the house! It was really friendly but then we went inside and it went away. Then during the next day it found us again and did the same thing! So we called it Casper. We don´t feed it because we can´t have pets. I´ll send pictures next week, but it looks like a big Mika, definitely brought back some homesickness (for Mika, not for any of you :p ).

I was also reading True To The Faith about family history and I came across this awesome quote "As you receive priesthood ordinances in behalf of those who have died, you become a savior on Mount Zion for them. Your effort approaches the spirit of the Savior´s atoning sacrifice. You perform a saving work for others that they cannot do for themselves." I love receiving confirmations from general authorities about personal revelation I receive!

We also found this amazing family who invited us in and then we spent an hour talking with them about the restoration. They were all paying attention and at one point my companion pointed to a picture of Christ holding a lamb and he asked what they saw. They said love. Then he pointed at the wife holding her baby and asked what they saw. That really opened her eyes! The father was also eager to listen after he asked a question and the 11 year old daughter even read the introduction where it talks about what we need to do to know if the Book of Mormon is true, and she understood. Really cool family.

Yesterday we also had divisions with Elder Labra, an assistant to the president, and passed by our other two families that we are teaching. That experience was great and really taught me a lot. Elder Labra is really humble and was able to teach directly according to the needs of our investigators and really invited a spirit that helped them all understand. President Gulbrandsen also came to our sacrament meeting and talked with our investigators who showed up (8, a personal record!) and really helped them a lot. Today I am really gratefull and can see a little more clearly all the blessings that the Lord has given me. I´ve also been studying a bit about Grace and it said that without the grace of Christ we cannot participate in building his kingdom. In other words, without completely relying on the Lord for help I will not be doing missionary work, just walking all day or becoming lazy and trucho.

Glad you liked the photos and sorry that I ´can´t send any this week because I forgot the cables to send them back in the house, but next week I´ll send photos of the full hot dogs that we ate (also called Italianos) and pictures from today, which was the best P-day in the history of P-days! I don´t want to ruin the surprise because the pictures will bring more shock and awe than my simple words, so I´ll hold off until next week. Needless to say I got my wish answered in coming to Ushuaia. Also, I´ll attempt to do it phonetically: U (like in you) suai (like s•why) a (like Arrowchis). Hope that comes out. Also, a suggestion for scheduled scripture study could be to read the chapter from Gospel Principles that you are going to study during the week and write a talk. Or get a preach my gospel and study for topic and lesson. There´s also a section on Christlike attributes that is very helpful for seeing where you should start studying, with a personal test and everything. Thanks for sending all the letters and for praying for me. Don´t be afraid to get to know your neighbors, I´m always surprised at how we ask random people the names of their neighbors and they actually know! I never the names of our neighbors... Love you.

Con amor,
Elder Arrowchis

January 17, 2011 Geneology

That´s cool that you are starting genealogy stuff because in church Sunday we actually had a talk from someone about genealogy. I realized that by spending time doing genealogy work we are doing more for our ancestors than anyone on the otherside of the veil can do. Even if Joseph Smith and Ammon are teaching our ancestors they can only get to a certain point and it would all be for naught if we don´t look for their information and send it to the temple to do the ordinances. It wouldn´t matter how spiritually strong the lessons are, they can´t get baptized! So I realized a bit more how important genealogy work really is. I also realized that eternal life is to know God and Jesus Christ, and to know God is to know perfect love and complete happiness.
This past week has been pretty rough in the way of finding investigators. We are really reconsidering how we are going to work with the members to find more investigators because I´ve found that the references that the members give us almost always result in investigators who have more interest and progress faster towards baptism and are more likely to stay active after baptism. The two baptisms that I almost saw in Grand Bourg came because the members invited them to listen to us during the week, checked how they were doing the other days, and took them to church. All we did was organize well when we could show up at their house to teach no more! Other than that it is really fun being companions with Elder Martinez because he is Chilean and is really crazy. It´s kind of like a Matt and a Jordan mixed together.

I was thinking and I realized that i already have 8 months in the mission. It feels so long ago that I started for the MTC. I feel a lot different than I did in the MTC, a lot more relaxed. I´m not being trucho (disobedient as they call it here) but I feel like I´m not so quick to get down on myself for little things. Elder Martinez and I are studying quite a bit right now about repentance and he told me that it´s a matter of not justifying yourself in any way, just repent.

Tonight we have a dinner again with the Mena family (from facebook that sent you the friend request the first time) and we are going to eat panchos completas. I´ll take pictures and send them next week. I´m also learning how to fix ruined food so it is at least edible. Um, I can´t think of what else to write, so I´ll start sending pictures. Love you and que les vaya bien!

Con Amor,
Elder Arrowchis

Monday, January 10, 2011

January 10, 2011 Forgive your neighbor 7 x 70

I am having a good time with Elder Martinez. He is very funny and really Chileno. Hopefully after our time together I´ll have more of a Chilean accent. I´m also taking more pictures because nothing happens here in the South, it is very safe. Right now we are teaching 3 families. One family is really cool even though they aren´t married the husband is completely ready to get married so that they can get baptized and he understands everything and is incredibly smart. The other day he showed us his collection of religious books he´s been reading and it was gigantic. For example yesterday in our visit he taught us that he learned when Christ said to forgive your neighbor 7 times 70, he didn´t mean 7 times 70 for one person, but 7 times 70 for every offense from that person. I never realized that before. The only trouble they have is that the girlfriend isn´t convinced about our views but last night we invited her to pray specifically about the Book of Mormon. We are also teaching another family that went to church this last Sunday, or at least part of the family went and it seems like it went well. We are still getting to know our area but we are basically oriented now. I´ve seen miracles everyday but up til now they have only been small miracles. Now I am really working hard to help my companion learn English because he is thinking about working as a travel agent, or in a travel agency, or something like that and will need to know English to do it. That´s the other cool thing about Ushuaia, there are a lot of people who speak English! Everyone also pronounces my name right almost the first time! It´s incredible.

Yeah, so can you please tell everybody who asks that I am doing fine and the members here take care of me like their baby (the relief society president who does our laundry stitched the holes in my socks!). Next very important item of business, last night you should have received a friend request on my facebook account from ofelia puntano. Please accept it. She and her husband are members here and he is from Chile and is awesome. I was showing my pictures and he found out I went to West Point and got all excited and showed me his navy dress coat that someone gave him and how he knew a missionary who went to annapolis and the merchant marine academy. So can you accept and also put up more pictures of me in West Point, especially if there is one of me in As-For-Class (I don´t know if I have a photo in As For Class). Thank you! Another funny note, I saw kids playing baseball the other day for the first time in my mission.

Sorry I don´t have more spiritual experiences to share for the week, I need to write more in my agenda on Mondays to remember them, but I´ll send you some photos I took today. We went to the glacier and hiked all the way up to almost the top with a member here named Emanuel. Now I´ll send pictures [below] until my time runs out. Chao Chao.

Con Amor,
Elder Arrowchis

Pictures of glacier hike

Map of the glacier hike

Elder Martinez and I are excited

We came

We saw

We yodeled

We conquered!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Pictures from Ushuaia, Argentina

Where in the world is Elder Arrowchis?

Mi compaƱero Elder Martinez.  He is from Santiago, Chile and has spent a year as a zone leader, so I am really blessed to be his companion right now.  He likes skateboarding, playing soccer, and taking pictures.

The sun doesn't really go down until after 11pm

Me in the apartment/mini cabin.

January 3, 2010 El Fin Del Mundo!

Alright, so there`s more news for yah...  I hope you enjoy the photos becuase guess what?  I got transfered again!  I was in Capital, Juncal on Friday with my trainer again (that was cool and fun) and I got a call from the asistants saying that there had been transfers for me.  I was to get packed and ready to go the next day (new years day) by 5 AM to leave for the airport becuase I was going to go to Ushuaia!!!!!!!!!!!  So right now I am writing to you from the bottom of the world.  I don´t think there is a mission any further south than mine right now.  The town I am in is called Monte Olivia and is on the Island of Ushuaia.  It is actually still cold here, and there are mountains with snow on them.  If you want to picture what my area looks like just look for pictures of Utah or even Alaska, becuase it is awesome here.  The sun doesn´t really go down until after 11 (I don´t know because I´m always asleep before it fully goes down) and rises at 5ish.  I went from sweating in bed [in Buenos Aires] to wearing a sweater outside!  The even cooler thing is that my companion was my first zone leader and we both arrived here together.  In other words, we don`t know the area and are completely lost!  But he is really cool and is really excited to be working here. 
The president told us that if we want to find blessings we need to work mainly with the members, otherwise we won´t baptize (apparently it`s been a long time since there has been a baptism here). But that`s okay becuase I know Presidente sent us down here because we can start baptizing.  Today I read in 1 Nephi 7:12 where it asks why do we doubt that the Lord can do anything as long as we have faith.  I realized that applies a lot to us right now as we are struggling to learn our area and not get lost.  This is going to be equivilent to a crash course in how to work with the members, because we have no other option ha ha.  The south, I`m in the South!!!  I also heard that Elder Grover (my companion from the MTC) went to Capital at the same time I came down here, so it doesn´t look like we`ll be seeing eachother for awhile.  Anyway, I don´t know what else to write right now so I´ll spend the next 20 minutes trying to send photos.  Estoy en el fin del mundo!!!