April, 2010

...now browsing by month

 

April 12th, 2010

Monday, April 12th, 2010

Dear Family,

Well this week was quite an adventure I got to go on 2 different exchanges one after the other having 3 comps at dif times one day. I got to serve in the city of Tucuman and it made me think of Grandpa. I went through the stuff he gave me and unfortunately we didnt knock doors close to his friends but i hope so one day. I cracked up in one of his journal entries cuz he said he fell in love with Milanesa and Dulce de Leche! Its funny cuz i have both all the time! I drank Dulce de Leche straight a couple of times its really good. its basically caramel goo. But yeah i did an exchange with one of the zone leaders and that was fun, his name was Elder De La Fuente and he is from Mexico. He said i can speak really well. Also i attended their district meeting and their chapel is way bigger it was sweet. Also 3 out of the 4 (not mine) districts meet at that chapel for dist meetings and that was fun cuz i got to be with some of the missionaries from taffee on pday last week. They had me share something from the missionary manual at the district meeting. So later Elder Perez came to Tucuman with Elder De La Fuente´s comp and we rode on the bus to go to another excchange with Elder Castillo in this place called Famalla. It was fun he is hilarious and he taught me how to give super solid baptisimal commitments and he told me to do it every single lesson if you present it right. Also I was made really grateful for my warm showers cuz we had to take cold showers there and that was fun. I was told that i look like Clark Kent like 3 times this week so im pretty convinced… but idk about now, i just got my first haircut and its like hardcore jarhead cuz i told the guy to do it kinda like a military cut… you know, it just might be the best haircut ive ever had… just kidding dad, that was for you. This week we did a whole bunch more contacts and its fun to see the way people react but we actually get a decent amount of addresses. When we were knocking doors, this super Catholic lady was about to close the door and i said do you think Jesus would listen? and she just glared at me and was like NO NO NO! It was fun. We have a baptism with Azuzena this week and thats exciting! we had testimony meeting and almost all the people are members because of the efforts of missionaries and it was a specail experience cuz they have so much faith i felt really humbled to hear their testimonies. Also we took the ward list and visited some members and we went through the whole thing and we´re gonna map it all out and find everyone. Also Adolfo didnt come to church and that was a little disheartening, we visited him and he offered us wine and he kept tellin us how rich it was and we had a hard time gettin through to the fact that it is against the word of wisdom and he was offended for a couple of minutes while we talked to his brother. He walked with us to the bus and sang us a song it was hilarous. We had a member (guy) with us and he told me his favorite music artists are Cher and Beyoncé! I was so close to tellin him that my dad was a fan too but i decided not to haha. Thanks for your letters everyone by the way, I dont have a whole lot of time to reply to everything everyone said but it sounds like stuff his goin real good for everyone. Im looking forward to calling on mothers day. O yeah I gotta tell you about my experience last night. Right before we came back to the pension, i contacted this guy i had like a conversation with him and taught him about the church and what time and where for like 10 min and i felt so good cuz the words just flowed. My spanish really feels like its made a big jump this week and it feels really good, i can understand a lot of what i hear. I had a dream in Spanish last night! But i gotta go now, I love you guys so much and thank you so much for your letters!

love,

Elder Singer

Dear Family!

Monday, April 5th, 2010


Dear Family,

So this week has been rather slow, its Semana Santa or Holy week but yeah its rough cuz they are either sleeping or drinking all day and the city is completely dead and everyone had bad numbers. It was also kinda crazy cuz i was in a 3 some for a couple of days with my comp and Elder Rose. Its nice to ask him questions cuz hes like a spanish and english dictionary not just spanish. it wasn´t too fun though cuz they would talk to each other and  i would just kinda listen cuz i cant quite think quickly enough to lend to a decent conversation but i figure with time ill be up there with them. I think ive been gettin a little impatient with myself though just cuz the fact that my brain is trying to make the transition from thinking and speaking in spanish rather than english and because what i know is limited in spanish and its the only thing on my mind it makes me feel less intelligent to put it nicely. But yeah its gettin better ive been writing down every new word i learn and speaking a lot. my spelling in english is already getting worse so thats a good sign. i feel blessed to have a latino comp cuz i talked with this other guy who was with me in the MTC and their comps like to speak english cuz they only speak spanish the rest of the time. Also i went on another exchange and that was cool, they had the nastiest pension though, and their shower was gross, you had to boil water and then mix it with the cool water from the faucet and it would spray out from one stream and shower with that stream so… i just decided to wait till i was back at my pension later that day and later that night when my comp called for their numbers they were like how come your gringo didnt wanna use our shower?? it was funny. remember coke leaf guy? i saw him again and he was stuffing his face with coke leaves. The ice cream is way good… it could compete with aggie ice cream im afraid to say. Speaking of which tell grandma i loved her letter it was great and thats so cool that she did the same Book of Mormon thing as we are. That was really nice of her to call Grandpa Singer and see how he´s doin and im glad Grandma Singer is doing a lot better. Also i got a letter from Megan and that was really nice. I have seen UP and its a great movie but i cant say i remember that song. Im glad to hear that she´s dissecting a fetal pig. Every time i smell formaldehyde, i remember that day. We got in trouble cuz we twisted our pigs head off. Good times.  Dad i like how in your letter you talked about how you really liked the talk on patience, and then how you told me you got mad at josh, which of course is understandable, but still funny. The time with the Whites looked way fun, i thought about yall doin the egg roll and i was kinda sad cuz the Easter Bunny never found where i lived but thats ok. Its probably cuz i didnt give him any eggs to hide. i have a scripture for Josh that i want him to really really study its Ether 12:27 and James 4:4 i think. Dad your question about BoM´s handed out, we usually give em the pamphlet first and then come back if we didnt teach them a lesson but as we were walking here to email this guy stopped us and was like do yall have one of those blue books?? (BoM) and we said of course and we´re gonna visit him later! dad extreme is playing right now from the bourne movies. Mom you said somethin about acclimating to the culture? funny story, at the start of conference i shook about 75 people´s hands and so i hand sanitized after and one of the Elders was like come on Elder Singer this is Argentina you dont need that and then this other Elder said Elder… be IN argentina.. not OF it. It was hilarious. Speaking of conference, i loved it, it was so great. Having a living prophet has never been so real to me because i bear testimony of it to people of every day and this last week was like waiting for the superbowl ive never been so excited to have conference. we shared D y C 1,37 to 38 and it has never struck me so hard that we are listening to exactly what God wants for us. It was a real special experience to. All the people in our District attended and our mini Chapel barely fit everyone and i was so excited to see so many Argentine members. fortunately i watched conference with some other English speaking Elders in a room so that was fun. i loved all the talks and how most of them focused on family and how we need to learn to build our own foundations around Christ. They always seem to know just what to say and i didnt know the topics are not assigned that was really interesting. One of our Investigators came, her name is Azuzena to 2 of the conferences but Adolfo didnt cuz i think the time change threw him off. we reminded him like 3 times when it would be and we´re still convinced that he showed up to church at the regular time. poor guy, but we found out he has some mostly sane siblings that live close to him and we´re teaching his brother now who reads the bible every day. I think Adolfo led us to a very special opportunity and im really excited to see what happens. And we figured out his story, he´s been babied his whole life by his father who died like 5 months ago and he´s like 60 years old now. its pretty sad but we´re tryin to help him. Today was sweet, the reason why im emailng so late cuz we did a dual zone activity and we went to this place called taffee de valle and its way up in the mts. i took some good pics. There was some way dense jungle that we drove through and it was cool cuz it was like legit jungle area and suddenly we were in this place that looked super dry and we bought some stuff. Im legit now cuz i bought myself a little man purse to carry my stuff in and a sweet hat, both are made of Alpaca. I got to hear Elder Johnson talk to me too so that was REAL exciting, his comp wont speak english to him its funny. I got to hang with 2 other guys in my MTC dist also so that was cool. Well im out of time now but sorry if i didnt answer all your questions and if you guys could tell me somethin about my battery charger that would be nice. I love yall so much and im so grateful for your letters and all of your prayers.

Love,

Elder Singer

:)

Sunday, April 4th, 2010
Hey everyone!
Ok. so i wrote up a good paragraph earlier and it got erased so hopefully ill be able to remember i said everything i said. We had to go drop off a missionary to get some papers worked out in Salta and save it but now im startin over. o well. Anyways… it sounds like dad your havin a good time in hawaii and you do look a lot skinnier, your neck is gone! Mom thanks for the letter, dont worry about money and stuff i only take out a bunch at a time and in particular now cuz the first month in the mission they dont give the missionaries a whole lot of money and the exchange is pretty nice for Americans here. estoy un poco rico aca :) sounds like the womens conference thing was nice thanks for the letter btw megan i really enjoyed it! mom said the concert was great btw… you said that mom thought differently haha… but yeah its ok that your honest. But yeah stay in band cuz your actually good at it! The place im typing my letter is playing tengo la camisa negra right now!!!… and they played the other mexican song i know right after, la vidas un carnival or somethin… crazy… im kinda worried about grandma she doesnt sound to good to be honest… but she´s in my prayers i hope everything is alright. and mom you asked about my apt, well, its pretty decent compared to most of the others is what the other missionaries have said too that its nice. we have an wall thing with a open top washer thing and then to dry we have this thing that spins around and the water is squeezed out of the clothes and then we hang em. when i first got there i kinda went into dad mode and i was thinking what… people live here?? so we spent like 3 hours of my first p day cleaning. we have an oven and a stove and we only use it to cook eggs pretty much. there´s all kinds of old junk everywhere and ive found some pretty good books. ive been reading as much as i can. in the mission we´ve started reading the Book of Mormon searching for all references to Christ and doctrines of Christ and scripture study is so much more effective when you are constantly searching to get something out of your scripture study. I also found this book from a missionary called remember the promise in like 2001 and its really good. sometimes if we use too much water, we run out. like today for example, it ran out during my comps shower and… his was first. but its ok cuz i filled up 4 6 liter jugs to lift weights with and so we can flush for the day and i could splash a lil bit on me but its all good. o yeah tell Jeff Burger thank you so much for the letter it was quite a surprise to hear from him and im glad he´s doin well. for gen conference i think i can sit alone in some room in our chapel and watch it in English and im really excited for this session! ok so there´s somethin i gotta tell yall, only use us postal service to send stuff and nothing else and they open everything so if you need to send electronics you need to disguise them. like so: put the item inside of a plastic bag in peanut butter and smooth over the top. or, in a bag in side the cereal like the toys and  glue the bag and the box closed cuz they charge you for whats inside of the box. does my visa card need to be internationally activated? im not really sure but could yall let me know and its ok if it charges 5 bucks for now cuz of what i said earlier. this week i held a pidgeon in my hands and a parrot on my shoulders. people treat their animals so bad here but it was kinda funny this guy grabbed his cat by the skull and threw it. and they slap their cats off of tables …they´re nuts. this week was exciting too cuz i got to go on an exchange with Elder Rose. He´s a really cool guy and he gave me a bunch of advice and about how you can always learn somethin from your companion no matter what they´re like. it was nice to speak english for a bit. in his city there are gypsies and they´re crazy and they´ll say you have bad fortune and they wont take it away unless you give them money and the men just steal cars and sell them. They all live in tents so they were legit gypsies. The city we were in i cant remember what its called but it has the world record for the highest amount of alcohol consumption per person. We visited Tucuman again for a while cuz of my Comp had an ear appt and apparently its the most dangerous city in our mission. O yeah, because my comp is the district leader, i get to go to a different area every week on an exchange while he stays with the other senior comp so i get a lil area change up and experience with dif missionaries so thats fun. I feel like Spanish has gotten better im havin more and more thoughts in Spanish and i set some mission goals and one was to stop speakin english unless its to ask a question for spanish. We have this investigator, she promised to come to church and she didnt the next day… so idk its just i feel like we cant blindly trust that they´re keeping committments just cuz we only have so many investigators. and we wanna work with what we have. and then the other thing that is bothering me is that people have labled my area as “a tough area” so they like limit themselves. like even the members say it to us but we have to believe that the field is white. we went to this family the other day and they just seemed so ready to receive the gospel ive been praying that they will pray. we found a magnifying glass for adolfo to read with, with a light built on it, and it was so exciting cuz he could actually read the scriptures now! he´s still not understanding very much but i guess he realizes it now cuz we had a member present and i think he was embarrassed that he had like a bad memory but i tried to reassure him that it was ok. i think Tasha would really love this old guy. he´s way funny. Before we were walking here this guy im pretty sure who was completely gone on something he was chewing coca leaves (yes thats what cocaine is processed from) spewing out of his mouth and i didnt get one word from what he said and he did this weird eye ball popping thing to me for like 3 seconds and then ran off. i cant even explain it but it was hilarious. In that book i found there´s a quote about Christ and temptation and how when we resist it strengthens us and Christ understands resisting temptation better than anyone because he was perfect. My MTC branch pres told us a quote i think its by CS lewis and its like he who swims with the current or against it, who knows the current better? and another was like we have to walk into the winds of temptation side by side with Christ and not let the wind blow us away. somethin like that. But yeah this week was good but i gotta go now. I love you guys and thanks for all of your support and prayers!
Love,
Elder Singer
Addendum: i was gonna say we had an opportunity to give 2 blessings for the sick. i had no idea and suddenly for one of em, we were at the hospital, it was crazy.