May, 2011

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Natalia y Dolores

Monday, May 16th, 2011

Dear Family,

This week was great! Thanks for your letter mom and the video, I wasn´t able to hear it though maybe next week I´m hoping. It sounded like everyone will be finishing up school pretty soon here I bet you´re all excited. School here starts at the end of march its all the opposite.   We had a super great start to the week because on Tuesday morning we found 5 new investigators and ended the week with 10. Of those 10 there are 2 super cool families and we are really excited to teach them. The first one is a couple with a little kid, named Maxamiliano and Maria and then the Quiroga Family. We´ll see what happens with them but basically since I´ve been here we have been adding and dropping people, starting a little new with some things. It was really funny whenever we found Maxamiliano and Maria, we clapped and Maria came over and I told her I liked her house and then she asked me if I wanted to come in and I said “sure…” with a surprised look on my face, definitely inspired words. For a lot of the week we were also preparing Natalia and Dolores for their baptisms. Natalia is the younger looking one and Dolores is a lot older and I was able to baptize Natalia. It was cool because it was Elder Ackerman´s first baptism. I´m pretty sure all of the opposition in the world was coming at us to stop the baptisms from happening but with a lot of prayers we were able to overcome it. As you all know, Argentines are really afraid of the rain and Natalia and Dolores got there just barely on time. The whole time they both had a big smile on their faces and they were so excited. Dolores especially surprises me because most elderly people are really unwilling to change but she has a great testimony of the church. The next day for the confirmation the both of them weren´t coming it looked like and all the sudden right before we started they both showed up. Dolores showed up during Natalia´s confirmation and a member tapped me on the shoulder and I found out she was there… it was a little too close. Natalia almost didn´t come either because something happened at home. Something that I´ve seen in the mission is that there is always a ton of opposition in the weeks before and after baptism. Sorry this letter is a little boring but it was really a great week, the time flew. Also Ana and Felix called me both in separate times and Ana is down here in Tucuman and it looks like she´ll be coming to our chapel this Sunday! When Felix called me he was going out with the missionaries on an appointment and it sounds like he´s doing good but is also going through some tough times. Also this next week every area except mine will have 1 baptism and that means I get to do 3 interviews! I´m super excited and I heard that baptismal interviews are the coolest experience. I´ve been thinking about it and it seems like a really intense responsibility. But hey its about time for me to go. I love you guys so much… have a great summer!

Love, Elder Singer

PS I´ll send the pics next week but put them on with this weeks letter the computer is being weird

Happy Mother´s Day!… and Hangin with the Governor

Monday, May 16th, 2011

Dear Family,
It was so cool to be able to skype with everyone it was like having yall in the room and then when I turned it off and stepped outside it all just disappeared and I realized that we are on 2 different sides of the world. It was great seeing everyone though and how you all have changed, I told some of the other missionaries that they really missed out if they didn´t use skype it was definitely way cooler than the phone call. Yall probably already know about whats been going on in my life because we all talked yesterday but I figure for just some of those fans I can add a little somethin extra for this weeks email.
Villa Alem is a really solid area and it is probably one of the most well established wards I have ever been in. We even have ward missionaries and unfortunately I don´t get to play on Sunday anymore because they have someone that plays on Sunday. Whenever I talked to yall in Spanish I told you about our investigator Natalia. She is way awesome and she´ll be getting baptized this Saturday. We haven´t been able to contact her but the other investigator thats supposed to get bapitzed soon is named Dolores, apparently she´s an older lady thats a mom of a member. Anyways, Elder Ackerman and I are really excited about our area and working together. He´s a really funny guy and sometimes he´ll switch personalities on me. This week we were in a lunch and I won´t give you all the really gruesome details but the lunch that he had originally eaten magically appeared on the ground to his left. I thought the same would soon happen to me because I laughed so hard but luckily I was able to hold it down.
Today for Pday we went around centro and we went to the governor´s house and we took some really cool pics and our tour guide could speak english, she said she has been to the US a ton of times. As we were walking out and she was showing us one more thing, she suddenly looked behind us and there went the Gov walking with a ton of security and he shook all of the missionaries´ hands it was pretty cool. I wanted to tell him I was there to baptize him and his province but it looked like he was in a bit of a hurry. The “white room” was really cool and apparently they have really important meetings there. I felt pretty cool and in that picture thats Elder Ackerman and I taking a picture where they sign important papers. Anyways, the week was great and this one will probably be even better. By the way the other missionaries I live with are Elder Spencer and Elder Petersen and they are really great missionaries. Well, time for me to go, I love you all and I cant wait to hear from you next week!

Love,
Elder Singer

Transfered… to Villa Alem (Tucuman)

Monday, May 16th, 2011

Dear Family,

Wow I was pretty stunned to find out that Osama is dead, its pretty amazing that they finally got rid of him I got shivers when I read the story from Dad. Anyways, if the title wasn´t obvious enough for you I got transferred to Tucuman. It was really bitter sweet to leave, I think I grew a great love for the members and the people that were there and it kinda stinks because there will probably be a bunch of baptisms this next month but I guess its more important that they get baptized if I´m there or not. Macarena wanted a little more time but apparently she´ll get baptized this next weekend. She is really great and I´m really excited to see get news from whats going on up there.

This last week was a little hard to find new investigators and Elder Kingsford and I were fightin a battle to find them all. We were able to do it too it was great we found like all 9 in 3 days. Also we had 7 investigators in church but we were excpecting a ton more. We found this cool kid and his brother, Juaquin and Ulisses and the older brother came to church. They were good kids and I guess I´ll find out if they progress.

In my new area its right in the Capitol and I´m going to see if any of the contacts Grandpa gave me are around here. I´m going to be district leader again and I know a lot of the missionaries already in my area. Its crazy too because I will be living with 3 other gringos… again! My comps name is Elder Ackerman from South Jordan. He is the youngest of 9 kids and every single one has served a mission! Apparently his parents met at Utah State too (Jim and Susan) but I think they are a little older than yall. He´s pretty new in the mission, he was only 1 transfer with his trainer and I get to teach him lots of Spanish I´m actually excited about that.

This last week I was talking a lot with Elder Carter and there are tons of really odd parrallels between our 2 missions, its like we´ve been following each other its crazy. He and I arrived from Salta to Jujuy on the same bus and then we both were called to Tucuman (the same zone!). We´ve been talking about maybe one day coming back together to visit our areas

I´ve been thinking about coming home a little bit earlier and it looks like I´m leaning towards that. I guess we will see what happens. Elder Kingsford says to go home a lil bit early because I got to be thinking more about my future or something like that. It just kinda stinks because it wouldn´t quite be the full 2 years. I´ll have to see what the new mission President thinks. I can´t believe that Pres Northcutt is going home in 2 months thats really crazy. He´s such an excellent guy I´m going to miss him and the spirit he brings.

For the phone call I already told mom what time it will probably be. If I want to I can skype with yall I just gotta find a computer with the capabilities! I love yall and hope to you have a great week and I can´t wait to talk to you all this mother´s day!

Love,

Elder Singer

Happy Easter :)

Sunday, May 1st, 2011

Dear Family,

I had a pretty great week :) Thanks for the letters from everyone, I really enjoyed the Egg Roll videos but I´m not going to lie I didn´t miss it TOO much… I don´t think I have ever won. My comp and I were busting up at the announcement that Josh gave for himself. Btw can you send me that music for the piano music for the song you were tellin my about, thanks. (the question mark key doesn´t work today so if you see a question, could you do the favor, thanks). Dad I can´t believe you forgot where we went for my city… Fredricksburg! Remember the fun memory of eating traditional German food…. and not at Dairy Queen! Ah good times… I can´t believe Billy has a girlfriend, I didn´t know there was a girl that fit into his standards but like my German teacher said, there´s a lid for every pot.

Well, this was a fun week, the first highlight was probably another training meeting with President. It was really helpful, we continue to talk about the quality of our teaching, teaching really is an art. We applied some of the stuff we learned this week and it worked great. Macarena continues to progress. She said that after Sacrament meeting she really wants to go up and bear her testimony whenever shes a member. She is really cool and her family that are members are really fun. If you don´t remember she lived somewhere else and now she´s living with her older sister and she´s really excited about the Gospel. Also Felix´s mom is getting a little worse but tomorrow she will be going to Tucuman tomorrow finally but all of the sudden she told us that she read the Joseph Smith story and that she has always known that its true, it was kinda crazy but after her operation and gets going to church she´ll get baptized for sure. Also an update on Felix… He told us the other day out of the blue, he finished the Book of Mormon, again!! He´s super awesome, on Sunday he received the Aaronic Priesthood and whenever President Millan ordained him he blessed him in his preparation to be a full time missionary, I think he would be an excellent missionary. Another highlight from this week was that I got to go on divisions with Elder Carter, it was great. He´s such an awesome guy and super intelligent. I´m impressed every time he opens his mouth. We found 5 new investigators together that was pretty cool. Speaking of which, on Sunday, we had to find 5 new people to complete the goal for news and we found 6 people that Sunday night it was awesome. Also Lurdez and her daughters Erica and Julieta are all really excited about their baptism. They´ve been a little sick and we need to get them going to church a more frequently but now all they talk about is their baptism, it´ll probably be sometime next month! Tasha and I are on the same transfer cycle so I´ll be finding out this week if I´ll be staying or going, I´m nervous because I have lots of mixed feelings. Elder Carter gave his well thought out prediction and he thinks that I´ll stay another transfer with Elder Kingsford. We´ll see what happens!

Another really special experience, a couple of weeks ago we were asked by a group of nurse students to come and talk about our religion.  It was Elder Carter, me, Pres Millan and one of his counselors and we all got to talk a little bit about some of our beliefs. It was this morning and it seemed like they all really enjoyed it, I felt famous because everyone was taking pictures of us while we were up front but it was cool to share the Gospel with so many people at the same time. I think a lot of seeds were planted and even though all of them were too shy to come up and show interest, I think the next time a missionary comes around to their house they´ll open up the door. After, Elder Carter and I stopped at an art museum and took some cool pictures just playing around. Also Elder Kingsford and Elder Carrillo prepared some special Mexican steak for all of us, it was nice to have something of a little different flavor. Argentines are funny because they don´t eat bitter, sour, sweet, or hot foods, its all in the middle and nothing at the extremes, I guess they´re sensitive. O yeah almost forgot, the 4 of us missionaries all got to speak in church and I got to speak about the Resurrection, it was a privilege to be able to speak about it on Easter Sunday. The common Argentine tradition is that they make their own chocolate eggs and paint them with different frosting colors with rabbits and cutesy little things like that. Well, gotta go, I love you guys and hope everyone is doing great. Be excellent to each other.

Love,

Elder Singer

PS I had to send this really late because the internet went down where we were earlier… have a great night!

la subida

Sunday, May 1st, 2011

Dear Family,

How´s everyone doing? My week was pretty excellent we had a lot of success finding new people to teach and with some of our investigators. Before I start out, I hope you all enjoyed the voice clip from last week, Pablo sure did enjoy talking to you all and practicing his english. He has a really strong desire to preach the gospel and when he is with us he´ll point at a door and say, lets go there I know them! This is probably one of the most crazy things I´ve heard from Pablo so far, I told him he had a cool tie and he was like yeah its from one of my comps, he´s famous now and plays football. At this point I didn´t really believe him and he goes, yeah Austin Collie! He told me he would have them run pass routes on Pdays and they played lots of football together. If you don´t remember who Austin Collie is, he´s a wide reciever for the Colts who played for BYU. It was pretty crazy. Anyways, I really enjoyed everyone´s letters, I can´t believe another school year has almost gone by! By the way, the pictures are from a hike that we did this morning by a hill in our area and then the model shot is from goin up to the Salinas. There is another one of Felix and I talking by the river by his house, thats like his meditation place where he goes to play guitar and stuff like that.

As I was saying, this week was really great. I think Elder Kingsford and I grew a lot last week unity wise. We taught better and worked harder it was cool. A little update on Felix, lately he has been having some trials, especially his Mom Ana. He didn´t go to church on Sunday so he could take care of his mom. She´s really sick and she has to go to Tucuman to get her liver operated on. We came by and gave her a blessing and she has gotten better but she has to wait until she can get out of bed so she can travel to Tucuman, so if you can try to remember them in your prayers. Also Macarena continues to progress and she has a baptisimal date this month for the 30th and we are going to try to work really hard with her while she´s got 2 weeks left. She said she feels more identified and special in the church and everytime she does anything with the church she feels really good inside.

This week in district meeting I taught again and we talked about improving the quality of our commitments. I thought it turned out pretty well. This is interesting news, in my district, there is an area called La Quiaca on the border of Bolivia and Argentina (where Elder Hale finished his mission) and they are going to close it and combine it with the area on the other side of Bolivia and Pres Northcutt went up to have the final branch conference. The missionaries from La Quiaca came down today and are going to work in the Hermana´s area in Almerante Brown (another area in my district) and in 2 weeks when the transfer ends they are going to take out the Hermanas. They were a little sad to go but excited for some change. Its sad because a lot of our mission we have had to take out the Hermanas because it is just too dangerous. Hermanas means sisters btw.
I don´t know if you all remember or if I told you all but the Lopez family is a family that has a less active mother that is the only member is coming to church and their father has been making lots of changes in his life and  said he is willing to do anything to make his family eternal. He said that he wants to be baptized just they need to get married and they might do it May 4th! Its a little hard to teach though because the Sister LOVES to talk but she is really nice. We helped her make empenadas last night for her daughter´s birthday and while we did that I was using my convincing powers to get her to want to be married ASAP because she is being a little indecisive now that shes getting what she wanted for all these years.

Elder Carrillo the break dance guy bought this huge stereo and we´ve been jammin to MoTab while we work out in the morning. He made some roasted corn for us and apparently its the same kind of corn that Nacho threw into that one guy´s eye in the movie. I was pretty impressed, it was quite delicious. About the Military dad, I´m not sure I can even do Lasic surgery because its “too new” (thats what they told me when I was there) and I have to do it with some other method. I´m not very familiar with any other way but apparently there are other surgeries. Speaking of after the mission, do yall think it would be a lil difficult to come home a couple of weeks early and then go straight to school? Its a tough decision but I guess I have to pray about it. I guess I just really wanted to finish with the rest of the guys in the group but maybe its better to come home early. I would appreciate your input on this subject (hint: respond to this part.:)) O and apparently I can skype with you all on mother´s day that would be awesome! I´ve gotta go now but just wanted to say I love and miss you all and hope that everyone is doing their best!

Love,

Elder Singer