June, 2011

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I´ll be home for Christmas……

Thursday, June 23rd, 2011

Dear Family,
Hey everyone how´s it going? Thanks for everyone´s letters it was great to hear all of your exotic stories. Also just wanted to say Happy Father´s day to dad. Yesterday when we were in lunch we were at the end and I said to the Father of the family and I asked him if we were going to sing the father´s day song. I was just making it up and there wasn´t really a father´s day song and all of the sudden Elder Ackerman jumps in with a “Have a happy father´s day!” like there was a song. It was really funny, Elder Ackerman has me rolling all the time he´s such a funny guy. This week was a really solid for me and I think the highlight was that it was the last Zone Conference for President Northcutt and it was pretty bittersweet. I´ll tell a little more about it but if you read the title of this email you´ll notice that I´ll be home for Christmas. I wrote it with the title so you´d think of that song but yes its true I´ll probably be home for Christmas. President told me my ending date will be December 20th so I´ll probably be home around Christmas Eve ish. I don´t really wanna come home early but you gotta do what you gotta do… Speaking of which, Josh asked for some suggestions about his college classes. The advice I would give to you right now is that you should take all general classes instead of that kind of focus already because you could go on your mission and want to do something different I´ve seen a lot of missionaries do that while I´ve been here so I would just take some generals and play it safe. Maybe some civil engineering stuff, just Construction Documents, sounds like the most boring thing I´ve ever heard in my life. Of course you should also try praying about it, you won´t be shown everything but choose something and seek approval. Tonight I´ll be headed for Salta and I get together with my group again and talk about the mission and all the fun stuff we´ve been doing. I´m with Elder Brisolara and Elder Robbins from my MTC group and so if my letter becomes a little incoherent you´ll know why.

Something good that happened this week is that that couple we´ve been teaching got married and we went to their party for a little bit because we couldn´t go to the wedding. She´s been an investigator for a while but she hasn´t been to church in forever and she didn´t go on sunday so we´ll see what happens. We keep finding really solid people but its been hard for us to get them to church but we did have a guy named Nahum that came and he is really intelligent and understands everything. He´s from Honduras and he has an accent thats a lot different. The only problem is that he´s got to get married so we´ll see what happens. Like I was saying about conference, it was President and Hermana Northcutt´s last time to be here with us and it was really sad to see them go. President ended with 2 big life lessons the first that God loves us and answers prayers and how to choose a wife. They were really quite incredible stories about things that happened to him and at the end we all said our hugs and goodbyes they had me cryin like a baby. I´ll never forget the Hermana´s testimony of the Savior, you can look into her eyes and you can really tell that she has a testimony. She told me at the end that she really loved me it was hard to see them go, you´ll see the pictures attached.

Well I´ve gotta go, we went to Burger King as a district and I got the 5.0 burger with 5 patties and it turns out that it was actually only a 4.0, it was quite the letdown but it was ok. Fastfood is like healthy food for me now because of all of the many months of Argentine food I´ve put down. I love you guys have an excellent day!

Love,
Elder Singer

stayin in villa alem!

Sunday, June 19th, 2011

Dear Family,
Hey everyone! So I´m stayin here in Villa Alem and the good thing is that I´ll also still be with Elder Ackerman! I can´t believe Tasha got transferred but I guess thats how the mission is sometimes, full of wonderful surprises. Congrats to Josh on completing his eagle project! Don´t forget the rest of the fun paper work so it all counts. There will be a lot of changes in my district too! Elder Spencer got a new comp and it was kinda sad to see Elder Peterson go but it was bittersweet. Also Elder Brisolara from my MTC District came down from Jujuy and we were super excited to see each other. We were born in the same district and now we´re together again! Thats about all to tell for super exciting stuff but I´ll be District Leader again. Dad said something about his sad feelings of when kids go, last night we were talking about goodbyes and I told them about our epic final pingpong game that was super sad between Dad and I before I left for college. I think Grandma asked if I do all the Baptismal Interviews but I only do the one´s that aren´t mine and in my district but its a really fun experience. I never told yall but I did one for a super shy nine year old girl and she didn´t want to talk hardly at all and was going to write her answers on paper so I sat down with her in the baby chairs in primary and I sang her I am a Child of God. I think she liked it because after she started talking to me. The baptisimal interviews are a fun experience. Attached are some of the pics we took at the stake conference and before Elder Peterson left.
Its been a hard decision to come home a lil early or to stay but I was thinking about it with school and being with Josh and Tasha at the same time and AForce and I think President is going to have me come home a bit earlier. I told him as late as I can to stay in the mission but early enough to make it for school. I think it would be better to come back and visit later on too. I`m really bad at goodbyes and it would just be a round of goodbyes anyways but I would love to come with you all again later on. Maybe we could swing by Brazil in 2014 for the world cup! That would be quite the soccer experience.
We found a family that was almost awesome this week… I say that because we taught some of the sons and apparently they were close to baptism but when we went back, their mom didn´t want anything to do with us and she wasn´t really open to anything. It was sad but later that day we found some great contacts. We knocked a little bit in a rich area for a change and it was weird because we actually found some really nice people which was a nice surprise because usually it turns out different. Also something cool that happened, we were walking somewhere kinda dangerous and this girl with her Grandma asked us to walk with them to their house just 2 more blocks because a sketchy guy was following them. It looks like we made it just in time he kept slowing down and looking back but the next time he looked back we were standing next to them and the guy took off. It was cool because we were like protecting angels that came out of nowhere and saved them. They they said we could come visit them at any time!
This week we will be getting one of our investigators married but it turns out that President Northcutt´s last Conference will be this friday too! So we won´t be able to go so that kinda stinks for them. Also Gisel, Mirta´s daughter asked a great question, “Why do we need to get baptized?” It was a pretty golden question and they seem really excited to go to church but they didn´t really want to go to stake conference but they´re all being going this week. Speaking of which, we had a super stake conference and it was great because we heard from Elder Zivic of the 70 (by satelite of course), Elder Packer, Elder Anderson, and the Primary President I can´t remember her name. But Elder Zivic is from Buenos Aires and he said something I really liked. He talked about the 2nd coming and he asked how would we act right now if we knew how much time was left until that moment and what would we change. I thought it was an excellent way to look at things, the Stake Conference overall was great and we could all feel the Spirit really strong there. Well, I gotta be heading out now my time is up and we gotta go teach the Good Word ;). I love you guys so much! Portense bien.

Love,
Elder Singer

Marta se ha bautizao

Tuesday, June 7th, 2011

Elder Singer the district leader

Elder Singer the district leader

Marta se ha bautizao (her daughter Mirta on the right)

Marta se ha bautizao (her daughter Mirta on the right)

Dear Family,
This week was a great week! Remember Marta from last week? Well, we found out stake conference was the week of her baptism so we just figured since she already had everything ready we´d go ahead and do it right now. Luckily she didn´t have a problem with it and she got baptized this last Saturday. In the picture, thats her daugther thats been a member for 13 years! Anyways, congrats to Josh and graduation! I really enjoyed everyones letters and I´m not gonna lie I think the pics of everyone made me miss you all because it seems like I´m missing out on you guys growing up but its alright I can´t wait to see how much you´ve all changed because I can tell that you all have. I´m also excited to see how it goes with Josh´s eagle project, finally! Man you were gettin close. Dad, whenever you go to South Africa, if you´re feeling extra generous, could you find me something from the World Cup like a Tshirt or something? Its huge here, but keep it for when I get back :).
Well, I´m afraid this letter might have to be a little bit shorter because I was transferring and backing up and resizing some pics for everyone´s enjoyment. I think you all will like the pics I´m going to send. I made squeezed orange juice for everyone in the pension so thats what that is and then Elder Ackerman was messing around while I was calling for numbers and so I played along, thats what I get to do twice a week its really fun. And last but not least, there´s the baptism of Marta with her daughter Mirta at her side. It was funny how it all worked out but the baptism ended up being great. I think she had had random contact with the missionaries here and there for a long long time and finally she was able to step into the waters of baptism. Lately thats what we´ve been focusing on in all of our lessons and in district meeting. The first thing we say to people when we enter in the door is that we are there to baptize and that is our purpose.
This week we also went to one of the areas in our district for a morning because they were having a hard time finding news and we found 10 news as a district! It was great, I really like our district but I think there will be a lot of changes in the next coming week, I´m nervous to find out what will happen! Sorry this letter has been so short but I´m excited to hear back from you all next week!

Love,
Elder Singer

PS Tasha is almost done! and our new President is coming in less than a month!

hurra por Israel!

Sunday, June 5th, 2011

Dear Family,

Hey how´s everyone doing? I can´t believe another school year has gone by and that Josh is graduating thats just insane. I only have about 7 months left time is going by too fast! Make sure yall send lots of pics from the graduation party, man Josh, Dad thinks you are quite the ladies man I´m impressed. Before I forget, I learned something interesting that has nothing to do with missionary work. Dad, remember how you told me some guy got on you for reading the abridged version of Les Miserables? Well, it turns out the auther (sp?) was paid by the word to write the book, hence useless details that have nothing to do with the story, so, don´t feel bad for reading the abridged version. Elder Ackerman has a sister named Stephanie Casperson that lives in Logan Utah and is a professional (I think retired now) ballerina and I was wondering if Aunt Steph would know her. AND I´d like to ask a favor :) The Gen conf. magazines are like golden here in the mission and I was wondering if yall could send me one from the most recent conference… thanks :)

Anyways… this was an excellent week we had lots of fun and we keep finding good families. We found a family of young men and they have a single mother and they were all really good kids, we just got to get them all to church so we can get a bunch of future missionaries. I don´t know if yall remember Mirta but she is now done with first Nephi and I think she is starting to recognize the opposition that comes when we try to do whats right. Also Marta came to church on Sunday and I could tell she really enjoyed it and she finally committed to a baptismal date for June 11 and she´s really excited! We have lots of good investigators just we need to get them all to church and I think the rain and the cold winter scares them away a bit so we´re going to see what we are going to do this next week.

Our district is doing well, we had some missionaries getting frustrated but we had a really solid meeting on thursday and we focused on a quote called “Think in Baptism”, I think its by Richard G. Scott and it talks about how we can´t make excuses or blame the factors that supposedly effect our success in missionary work when in reality its our own attitude and faith that makes the difference in our success and thats why we need to plant baptism in our thoughts so that the rest of the things that we do will reach that same point and it´ll flip our world upside down in a good way, I firmly believe that its this way in just about everything we aspire to do, its a really interesting principle of life and the Gospel.

This week I also got to go on exchanges with Elder Spencer and it was really fun. Elder Spencer loves the gospel and is really intelligent. He graduated early and studied at BYU and wants to be an electrical engineer, Dad maybe you could hook him up I definitely recommend him for some type of internship or whatever. Anyways, we had a blast, I only have 6 weeks more than him in the mission and we had lots of fun together. He started in the same zone as me and I remember him saying when he was new that he didn´t understand anything haha. Now he speaks really good spanish.

There was also a wedding this week for a couple thats already been sealed and everything just they got married down here for the paper. Their name is the Gonzalez family and they are basically gringos, she is from Idaho and she is married to a guy from down here. It was fun to speak english with them in church they were really nice. Anyways just to tell yall something fun we did we got to go to their wedding party for our lunch and they´re moving back to the states this wednesday. I also met 2 gringo RMs who are selling this New Skin thing that served in Bahia Blanca, another mission of Argentina. They made me realize how bad of a culture shock I was going to have because they pulled out all of the new apple technology and I just about got blown away, it made me realize how blessed we are in the US now that I´m an Argentine. Well, I gotta be on my way, I love you all so much and I can´t wait to hear all the great news from next week!

Love,

Elder Singer

PS AH Almost forgot!!! Macarena, Julieta, and Erica from Chijra got baptized and Julieta and Erica wrote me a letter last week telling me that they were going to get baptized, for lack of a better word, it was so cute!

distrito villa alem

Sunday, June 5th, 2011

Dear Family,
Thank you so much for this weeks letters from everyone it was so great to hear from you all! I was pretty inspired by the Iron Man competition stories, sounds pretty intense and I am totally in. I know I´m not in the best shape in the world right now but I definitely think I could pick it up when I get home, here time just doesn´t allow it. I guess I didn´t tell yall but I was talking  I thought the miracle about Josh´s eagle project was pretty awesome thats really exciting yall had me doubting there a bit but now it looks like you´ve gotten the ball rolling. This week was pretty excellent there were so many great spiritual experiences and its just been a blast.
This week I did 3 interviews and it was great! All of them passed but one of them didn´t get baptized, all of the sudden (she´s about 15) her parents made her move to another part I think with her older sister, something along those lines I´m not exactly sure but its really sad. The other 2 were really great too. Monica from Diza (an area in my district) was really great. She´s kinda had a crazy life I can´t give you details but she told me she´s been shot twice. She has had a pretty rough life and where she lives its really dangerous. The missionaries got there right in time to rescue her and found just what she needed. The other guy José was probably the most prepared I´ve ever seen, it was absolutely incredible and I have so much respect for this guy. He was loaded and if I could describe him in one word it would probably be classy. He´s just a well mannered witty wise guy and he has done so much to change his life around and become a disciple of Jesus Christ. He said he was willing to do anything to change his life around and know that he´s doing what God wants him to do. I was super impressed about his knowledge of the Gospel and his desire and I was just about in tears in was great.
For the week we also did exchanges and I went down to San Felipe and worked with Elder Castro. If you go back to my blog at the start of my mission he´s there when I started down in Concepcion in southern Tucuman. We have the same time in the mission and he´s a great guy. He´s got an awesome story about how he became a member and now a missionary, he told me he was a golden investigator haha. We worked really hard and had a blast.
Our investigators are doing great. We are teaching one lady who has been talking with the missionaries for a long time but has had lots of doubts and every time we go over we just talk about the importance of baptism and her testimony of the Book of Mormon. This is the great part of the story. Elder Boyd (Clarky) wrote me a letter and he told me to read Ether 4:18-19 and it was a great scripture about baptism and then I sat down and read the whole chapter and we used it as a lesson for her. In that same chapter it has basically a Moroni 10 invitation to pray about the BoM and then it tells us to be baptized. In the lesson we were able to make a great connection that if she feels that the Book of Mormon is true, she must follow the counsel of the book and be baptized it was great! That saturday she came to the baptism and we talked to her daughter later and she said that she wants to be baptized. I was watching her and I think that she really liked it. We have another investigator named Mirta and her family and they are really solid. She told us the other day that she was up until 4 in the morning reading the Book of Mormon and she told us that she feels a great peace whenever she reads it and she said that she thinks that its true! We taught her niece who´s also a mother and the lesson with her was so solid it was just perfect for her.
I almost forgot about what we did for Pday today it was sweet. We started off the morning to the hill called San Javier and theres a huge statue of Jesus Christ and the coolest part was probably being up in the clouds.  Well thats about all I have time for but thanks so much for everyone´s support, I love you guys and I can´t wait to hear from you again!

Love,
Elder Singer