July, 2011

...now browsing by month

 

hijo en camino!!

Monday, July 25th, 2011

Dear Family,
Hey everybody! Congratulations to Tasha on completing an excellent mission! I can´t believe her time is already up. It truly is the best, one of a kind experience that anyone could ever have! I can only imagine the mixed feelings that shes experiencing right now. But guess what………… (drum roll… it was transfers)….. I´m staying in Villa Alem, the only bad thing is that Elder Ackerman is gone but only to the other zone of Tucuman so I´ll probably get to see him again some time I don´t really know. But, if you´re wondering who my new companion is, you´re in the same situation as I am because I don´t know who it is either because I´m training!!! I´m super excited I was hoping to train because there is this new study program thats super intense its 4 hours of study every day and the trainer has to stay with his trainee for 2 transfers so that means I´ll have a least 6 months in Villa Alem. I´m a little nervous/excited because now its back to the old way where we go up to Salta to pick them up and eat lunch with the President like it was whenever I started the mission. Its weird because we all sit in the same room and they announce it and in front of everyone you find out who your new companion is for the next 3 months… well thats how it will be for me, maybe something similar I don´t really know but you´ll all be finding out next week.
This week was really great by the way, as you can see from the pictures we had our baptism it was great! One of the members baptized her and we had 2 other wards their and the place was busting out its sides. I got to do 3 baptismal interviews too and that was great too. My district is just the best and we´re all like buddies. Micaela´s mom came to the baptism and we had a little intermission and we talked about the Restoration and whenever we invited everyone to ask God about it I looked over at her and I saw her head nodding. We talked to her after and she said that she loved it! I sure hope we get to teach her again soon. Also Franco the 18 year old kid came again to church (3 times in a row!) and he came to the baptism! We´ve been trying to work a lot harder with the ward and getting them pumped about missionary work and they´ve been visiting our investigators and inviting them to activities and its been helping a ton.
This was probably one of the scarier experiences of my mission but Elder Araya one of the members of my district called me at like 11:30 at night and said I needed to call the doctor in Buenos Aires because he only spoke english and while I was talking to him Elder Angel (Elder Araya´s comp) went into a seizure and the doctor was giving me instructions through one phone and I was translating and taking symptoms to the other phone as they were trying to deal with the situation, the whole thing ended up being like an hour it was pretty scary but it turned out ok and we´re going to see what the doctor says today.
In my final moments with Elder Ackerman, it was bittersweet to see him go and he cried a little bit but on Sunday night we were knocking doors and we found a family of 5! They were super great and understood a ton and had lots of great questions. We´ve been having to drop a lot of people because they weren´t progressing but we were pretty pumped about them. I got go pretty soon here but I love you guys so much take lots of great pics of Germany for me and I will be updating you all next week. Thank you so much for the birthday package by the way!

Love,
Elder Singer

New President!

Friday, July 22nd, 2011

Dear Family,
Thank you all so much for your letters they were great, by the time you get my letter you´ll all be dispersed across the country. I´m really excited to hear about how the Nauvoo trip goes when mom and everyone comes back. Dad I really enjoyed the story about the little Primary girls. I can´t believe Josh is already headed off to college soon, its scary to see how fast everyone is growing up. Also this week was exciting because I got some of the letters from the Miamaids with a narrow range of comments… “hey Elder Singer this has got to be a page so uh…” but it was fun to read them and tell other missionaries that I was the vicitm of the summer challenge. Apparently a package came in for me this week too but this time around I gotta pay a lil bit but don´t worry its not that its expensive, it just means I have to wait to find out what it is but thats ok :)
This week we got to know the new President and let me tell you he is the man. On Wednesday we had interviews with him and he is just a super direct guy and we had a great talk. He just nails you with questions and then he asked me about something I want to do in the mission or improve and when he responded it was just like alright, do this, this, and this and you´ll do it. Will you do it and report to me every week and how you´re doing with this?… Something like that and then this week we have to do a leadership training on Friday so I´ll get to see him again. On Thursday we had a half day 2 zone conference and I got to see Elder Kingsford and Elder Carrillo from Chijra. It was great to see them again and talk to them about the good ol days. President talked about what Elder Uchdorf talked about in Priesthood sessions that we are so privledged and blessed but we don´t live up to our full potential when we don´t give our best, disobey, or magnifying our callings. He also talked a ton about the Doctrine of Christ and how are purpose is to help people live according to the Gospel of Jesus Christ, not just to baptize them. Speaking of which it looks like we´ll be having a baptism this week! We´re really excited, its Micaela and she´s got a great testimony. I can´t remember if I said his name but the kid that came the first week, Franco, is doing great. He´s 18 and he has really enjoyed church and this time around he brought his little brother. Our last lesson we had with him we focused on the Book of Mormon and the spirit was really stong. We´re making progress with some other families too but we still have to get them to church. I´m pretty sure this will be my last week with Elder Ackerman, we´re a bit sad to part ways but excited for the future.  Well, gotta go now, I love you guys so much and I hope all have an excellent week full of great experiences!

Love
Elder Singer

tap dancin

Friday, July 22nd, 2011


Dear Family,
This week was great! I can´t believe that Tasha is on the final stretch. Yall should give Tasha a question thing to do like they did with Tyler right before he went home. I´m on the final quarter when they put the fastest guy in, I guess that means I gotta put in my best for the finish. Anyways, It has been another awesome week out here in the mission field, but maybe a little better than normal. I know that numbers aren´t the most important thing in the mission of course but over the course of four weeks there has been a big jump in the progress of my district and it just feels good to set goals and accomplish them. Also happy birthday to Grandma and Josh!! I hope it was/will be wonderful! Josh can now buy permanent markers whooo. Also Grandma asked me about the weather here and it very well could snow here but the weather is really similar to Houston weather so not too likely but a possibility.
We had a solid start of the week and we found a group of boys in the street and they asked us a question about english and we asked if we could sit down on the curb and talk. Two of them are 18 year old twins and they have 2 younger brothers. They are really good kids and they understood everything really well and accepted the baptismal invitation. The cool thing was is that we had a member go by on Sunday to pick them up and one of the oldest boys came. We´re hoping that all 4 come home soon but it was still great to see someone we talked to in the street come to church that week it was great. Also we found a couple who we could tell were real searchers of the truth. They kinda like sleeping on sundays and they found it a little abrubt to go to church on Sunday but we´ll see what happens in this next week. It has been a blast this whole time working with Elder Ackerman but we think we´ll have to part ways at the end of this transfer, I think he´s one of the funniest guys I know. This week we were at a lunch appointment and the family said that they liked to dance and talked about different types of dances and the sister said something about how she thought tap dancing was cool. Elder Ackerman then said that he knew how to tap dance and I looked at him with my “no way” face and told him that he didn´t know how to tap dance and he defended himself and stood up out of his chair and started to do a little tap routine. The sister was just blown away but I held the same expression, I just knew him too well and the whole time I wasn´t really convinced but the rest of the family was and right when we walked out and probably took about 5 steps and he says “Man… I totally just made that up.” He always has me busting up, its just stuff like this all day long its great with all of the fun stuff we get to do as missionaries on top of that. Sometimes we´ll be walking together and we´ll just look up at the sky and say “whoa… we´re in Argentina on a mission…”
The best thing that happened this week was that we had 5 investigators in church! We hadn´t been doing to well with church asistances so when we did weekly planning we decided that we would fast on the following day for our investigators. We recieved the immidiate blessings on sunday morning with all of those investigators and it was just a special experience to be able to strengthen my testimony of the fast. Elder Carter would say that fasting always works and I think its true. Lately I´ve really been trying to dive into the Book of Mormon and I´ve realized how closely associated that prayer and fast are in almost every case (if not all I don´t know exactly) that when someone searched for spiritual guidance or strength that didn´t just pray but they fasted too.
Well… I gotta be on my way soon I´m excited to hear from you all again, I love you all so much!

Love,
Elder Singer

show me your guns

Monday, July 4th, 2011

Dear Family,
Just so yall know this might be a little less because all the missionaries are going to write their most special mission experience to Hermana Northcutt so it´ll take me a bit. I loved everyone´s letters and just so you know mom, dad was able to send something to us on his blackberry I can´t believe he has been doing so many things in a row like that. Did yall go to the same high adventure that we went to a while back? You gotta see if that same hippy tour guide is there from last time, I can´t remember his name right now. Congrats on swimming too by the way. I was pretty impressed by yall´s times. Here is the attached pic of some of the missionaries that are in my MTC group:

Elder Day, me, Robbins, Johnson, Silva, and Brisolara

Elder Day, me, Robbins, Johnson, Silva, and Brisolara

. Thats about half of them in my group, I hope I´ll be able to see the rest of them before I go home.
This last week I have done a lot of pondering and reading and all kinds of similarly intense things (caught up in visions etc.) and I can´t believe how fast the time in the mission has gone by. I just can´t believe a missionary could get tired of doing what we do because its starting to hit me how little time I really have and how fast its gone by. I know lately I´ve been talking like my mission is already coming to an end but I know a good chunk is still left, I just know this part will go by faster than any other because its like the final stretch and I know I wanna do like Tasha said and give 100%. I think seeing President and Hermana go made me realize how hard it would be to leave the mission at the end. My title for this email is our phrase that helps us get on task or correct one another between Elder Ackerman and I. Anyways, this was another solid week, we keep finding good people, the hardest thing is just figuring out who is the wheat and who the tares are. A special experience from the week was that week asked a member for a reference and it was their neighbor in front and next door too and we went over and we taught both neighbors together and one of them came to church on Sunday. Church assistance has been a bit annoying though because our investigators have been a little inconsistent, they just get scared when it gets super cold like it did yesterday.
At Zone Conference President talked about doing missionary work exactly as Preach My Gospel says and we talked about some of the things the Manual tells us to do that most missionaries probably don´t do and we talked about the quality of our studies. Usually we talk more about teaching and goals, things like that, but we talked a little about that and we had excellent results. The missionaries said that they´ve never had such great study sessions before after they changed a couple of things and make it more investigator focused, there just isn´t time in the mission to study deep doctrine and you can probably bet that you will never teach it. We have to focus it a lot more on the quality of our teaching and the basics of the gospel. President told us that Elder Bowen, a 70, said that if people understood the doctrine better we wouldn´t have any inactive members in the church… interesting huh. Anyways, I got to be on my way, I love you guys very much I hope you all have an excellent week!

Love,
Elder Singer