September, 2011

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Monday, September 12th, 2011

Dear Family,
Hey that was another great week gone by. Thanks for the letters, its a bummer about BYU, some of my comps family were there and it was quite the setback to see them go down. Ah well its not the end of the world. Deep down inside I probably don´t really care that much. Thanks for all the dental advice by the way. I don´t think its a cavity. Just so you all know I could probably count on my hand how many days I didn´t floss in my mission so you need not worry about that. It doesn´t really hurt either I think its because I brush too hard and I need to “massage” my gums. Thanks though, you guys seemed really concerned about it and you can bet on a weekly update. Just so you all know Josh told me about some of the fun social barriers and I gave him some of my wonderful and thought out advice.

Lots of our investigators are progressing, Fransisca basically admitted that she wanted to be baptized, she´s awesome and has a great testimony. She told a story about how a friend´s daughter stole 100 pesos from her when they were visiting and she surprised herself on how she reacted, she was just totally calm and informed the mother about what had happened and was just super nice about it. She said that before she probably would have gotten really mad but she didn´t. Thats conversion! I think she´s halfway through 2 Ne, in the plow through Isaiah. They´re such a nice family but we got to get them married!!! It´s hard because we can never talk to the husband but they came to church on Sunday again. Speaking of marriage, I don´t know if yall remember the couple we married earlier on while we were here but they didn´t progress and we had to drop them but all of the sudden (after not seeing her for 2 months) the wife shows up at church. It was so random. Lately we´ve been trying really hard to get up the church attendance so we´ve been going to pick people up and it hasn´t been successful but we had 7 people in church again! It was great. We´ve been teaching that one little kid named Leo and he´ll be getting baptized this saturday, he´s a funny little guy and a member´s younger brother, the free one I´ve been telling you guys about. If everything works out right, Alicia the really sweet lady will be getting baptized the following week. When her son gets out of prison we´re going to try to teach him, it sounds like what happened was an accident and he´s really not that bad of a guy. The area´s goal (south America, South) is that we have baptisms every week so we got work super hard. Baptisms are great finding experiences and the family always comes to see them.

Training has been fun and being District leader has been an adventure as always. Elder Carrari is in our district and he´s quite the character. Excellent missionary and a better teacher, he´s so good with the people and he´s great to have around if you look back in like june maybe July of last year there´s a pic of him and I eating at a BBQ in Santiago. I´ve finally admitted to being old in the mission. Its going by too fast but I think its helping me work even harder and its been surprisingly easy to focus and have excellent days. Elder Carlson is doing good too, he continues to progress and it always reminds me of when I started the mission. Its hard being a new missionary, I remember seeing all the older ones and thinking I was just a little boy and the older guys were men and now I´m one of the old guys. Anyways, while everyones back in the real world I hope you are all living it up there because I sure am here. I love you guys so much and I´ll be excited to hear from you all again. If my letters are getting a little bland hit me up with some questions and I´ll do my best to answer them or some useful suggestions.

Love,
Elder Singer

I choose you

Monday, September 5th, 2011

Elder Singer and others

Elder Singer with missionary friends at the bus terminal

Dear Family,
Hey thanks so much for the letters, don´t forget to tell Josh to write me too, I want to hear whats going down in Merrill Hall. I´m sure glad BYU was able to pull out, I can´t believe they´re playing Texas next week, that ought to be interesting. There were transfers this week and our pension is the same except Elder Spencer is headed for Jujuy and a missionary named Elder Adams is here now and he has about a year in the mission. One of the first things he asked us was if we were BYU fans, so if you were curious if I ever hear about BYU, a good half of the missionaries get all the updates. Transfers will be pretty insane with lots of changes because so many trainers are needed and the trainers have to stay with their trainers for 2 transfers and so I already knew that we were staying. Elder Araya was finishing his stay in Diza last night and as he entered the pension they got robbed and that area no longer has a cell phone and it is going to be white washed by Elder Carrari and his trainee. I don´t know if yall remember Elder Carrari but we were in Santiago together for a while and we always went on divisions. He´s a really great guy and I was excited when i found out he was coming over to our district. I´m really excited about our district, everything is getting really intense. Since Elder Aidukaitis came everything is way more intense and everyone is picking it up. I can´t imagine what the world´s missions will be like in just a year, the working method, training, teaching, it is all intensifying and its really exciting. Anyone thinking about serving a mission has got to be ready because the true church is a living church and the Lord has demanding more and more. Looking back just when I started my mission, I think everything has hugely improved and the demand for lots of preparation is increasing too. Its fun to talk about, President Levrino said that every moment Elder Aidukaitis had to talk to him he was training and teaching him and its all about catching the vision and having miracles.
Speaking of miracles, we had a pretty awesome week! If you all remember from last week´s episode, we had been struggling with church atendence and this week we had 6 investigators in church! We went out an hour early on Sunday morning and we tried to hit up as many people as we could and we went by 5 families!…. and none of them came! Haha I guess thats the works part of the faith that makes faith count but we had 6 people anyways so we were happy. If you look back from a bit we had Franco that kind of dropped us and out of the nada he appeared at church, he left a little early so we didn´t get to talk to him but we were so pumped to see him there! Fransisca and her daughter came to church, Leo (free baptism), Alicia the old nice lady, and then our recent convert Marta brought someone else too. Fast Sundays are a party in our ward because most of the Stake callings come from our ward and I had never seen the chapel so full! It was great.
The Familia Lazarte is progressing a bit, its just hard because they aren´t married and Walter the husband has a really tough schedule and its hard to work around. They made me pizza on Thursday for my birthday, that was really nice of them, we´re trying really hard to get them married but they want to have a big party so we´ll see how that goes. We also found some family of a member knocking doors and they were really solid, we´ll be taking them to church next week I believe. Also this week I went on Divisions with Elder Brisolara and we teach great together it was so fun. We taught a great lesson in the morning and I could feel the Spirit so strong. Elder Brisolara has been through the thick and thin with me, we were in the same MTC district and we started in the same district too. But yeah thats basically all of the exciting things that happened this week unless I forgot some. I hope you like the pics I sent, the teeth pic is for Dr. Petty to see if I can do any infield treatment while I´m out here in the jungle.

Love,
Elder Singer

Happy Birthday Elder Singer… are you back yet??

Friday, September 2nd, 2011

Elder Singer and his district
Elder Singer and his district
Elders Singer, Carlson,? ,Michaelson?
Happy Birthday Elder Singer!
Happy Birthday Elder Singer!
Elder's Singer and Angel
Elder’s Singer and Angel
Elder Singer and his district!
Don’t mess with Elder Singer and his district!

Dear Family,

Thank you all for the Birthday wishes! I really enjoyed everyone´s letters for the week. Just so you know I had a great birthday and the missionaries in my pension surprised me with an ice cream birthday cake! We also played soccer as a district and we all had some sweet goals. I was a little sad to find out that Rufio died but I guess he lived a good guinea pig life. I hope Chancho will stick it out for a couple more months so I can see him again, did any of you cry? It kinda reminds me of whenever Buddy passed away. But hey when we see them again it will be better because it will be coupled with an eternal glory. We´ll just have to wait and see… By the way I got a letter from every member of the family today so thats exciting! I´m excited for Josh and Tasha and all of the fun new things that they will be doing their first week at BYU. And also about me coming home the day I am, I´m pretty sure its in stone for all the missionaries but I´m excited to stay for one more Christmas.

This was a pretty good week in my area, we taught tons of lessons and I got to go on divisions with Elder Michaelson our Zone Leader. He´s a great missionary and loves the people. You can really see it in his eyes and is a great example. He has the exact same birthday as me too and he and his comp sang Happy Birthday to me and then we sang it to them over the phone. When I was out with him we found some really great people and had some solid lessons. This weird member guy we met did a little Kung Fu routine in the door for us I tried really hard not to laugh, he told me you just have to break the wrist and walk away, sounds like good advice.

The Lazarte family is doing great too, there was just the final voting so they didn´t go to church again but this next Sunday is looking pretty solid and we´re all excited to have that out of the way. I think they are really starting to like us and they sent us a really nice text message for my birthday. My comp let everyone know that it was going to be my birthday today so I got a couple more birthday wishes. We´re really excited for Flia Lazarte because they´re getting into the habit of having family prayer and they have been able to see the difference. We´re trying to get the Dad more involved so I think we are going to try to set a day when we can come over and help him work on their house. We also found a lady named Beatriz and her whole family are members except her and they all live in different parts and when we committed her to a baptisimal date she said she wanted her brother to baptize her! So we´ll see what happens with her. Also theres some 9 year old kid who has a brother thats a member and told us that he wants to be baptized. Free baptism, whoo! I just feel like our area is about to explode now that we have all of this stuff out of the way on Sunday I´m pretty excited! There is a great power in enthusiasm and attitude, I think it shows God that we have faith and so he blesses us accordingly. We also had a meeting with a 70 Elder Aidukaitis and he encouraged us all to believe in miracles and that we can do it we just can´t doubt. Mormon 9 is a pretty intense chapter. I don´t have a whole lot of time to tell about it but when I get home if you all remember I have a fun story to tell about that meeting.

I think you all will enjoy this weeks fotos. The guy with the insane face is Elder Angel, he had to go home this week because of his tumor so I´m not sure if I´ll get to see him when he comes back. I think you´ll enjoy the one of my district being hard core. They chose me to be in front, I felt pretty cool taking that picture, not going to lie. Also I look tan in the pics for my birthday (with the star wars stuff mom sent) but really I´m not I just forgot to take it off sunset mode haha. Well, here I go, I love you all, have a wonderful adventure this week and write me about it!

Love,

Elder Singer

“are you smelling what I´m stepping in?”

Friday, September 2nd, 2011

Dear Family,

Hey I really enjoyed this weeks letters from everyone and I definitely enjoyed Josh´s story about his going down in a blaze of glory with the band, I laughed out loud and I told it to my fellow missionaries today.  ok I hope you guys aren´t upset but the first presidency of South America, South came out and said that we can´t travel during those days of Christmas so I´ll be out one more week!! That means my last day in the field will be Christmas so make sure you tell Santa for me that I won´t be there. I hope you guys aren´t sad but I think it would have been weird if I only missed one Christmas. I´ll probably be home the following Wednesday, pretty short time to be home but its kind of how it was when I was going out too. I promise when I go to college I will communicate more frequently. It´ll probably be easier anyways because of the limitless ways to communicate through that advanced US technology (hint haha). I can´t believe that Tasha and Josh already are in college and that they don´t have too much fun without me I hope that Josh doesn´t do anything too crazy. Just try not to get involved with the law because now you´re in real life.

This week was a great week I hope I remember all that happened. Familia Lazarte is just doing great they just need to get to church again! Argentina just loves having holidays, its getting out of hand, Day of the Dog, Grandpa, Day for Children (thats what it was this week), you name it, they´ve got it. It just inconveniences the work but after this week I think that they´re going to be baptized. They´re so nice, all of the visits we had with them they would pray for our families back home, for lack of a better word its so sweet when they do it. We were able to talk about marriage with them and they didn´t have a problem with it. They said they´ve been talking about getting married for forever (18 years!) and we told them that we were going to help them out with it. We talked about how they felt about what we had taught them up until now and they said that they said the day before we arrived at their house they were thinking about how they needed to get closer to God and she said that since we´ve been coming by they feel something different that they´re understanding a lot more and not just reading or listening. It was a pretty awesome feeling when we were with them in that moment. I´m pretty sure they´ll get baptized its just a matter of when and this Tuesday we´ll be talking about getting a marriage date. Fransisca, the mom is already in 1 Nephi 14 and she´s probably the one that has progressed the most. We just have to get their husband a little more excited but this last week I could really tell that we got a lot more of their trust.

I hope you all enjoy the pictures, its of me drinking purple stuff, pizza that we made, and some pancakes and pasta for our lunch and our new haircuts that I did of my comp and I. Sorry if the letters are getting a little short, I guess all of the weird things that used to happen are just getting normal and all of my days are turning into a big fast blur of time but don´t worry I´m havin a blast. The church is true!

Love,

Elder Singer

fiesta de pipza

Friday, September 2nd, 2011

Dear Family,

Thank you all for the letters, I´m still somewhat adjusting to being the only missionary to receive mail and it seems like yall write a little bit differently but it was great to hear from you all. I can´t believe that Josh and Tasha are already headed for BYU, the nest is on its way to being empty! Its kinda sad to think about it that we´re all growing up. Make sure for next weeks letter, yall include like a motivational quote or some awesome spiritual story so I don´t miss you all too much. But don´t worry I´m fine, this week was full of great experiences. That was a neat story about the Petty family, I think he would be proud to know that I have only missed a handful of days flossing in my mission. One of my comps gifted me dental floss because I was so faithful in doing so on a daily basis. My head feels a little heavy after a bit of bballin and pipza (pizza in Tucumano) partyin so if this isn´t super coherent you can guess why.

This week was solid because when we went to go visit the Lazarte family, I don´t know if you all remember who they are but the mother and the daughter both prayed and recieved an answer! The described it has a complete joy that they felt from head to toe. In Argentina it is required by law to vote and they do it on Sundays and we think it might have been because of that that they weren´t able to go to church because we had a member go by and they told her they weren´t able to go. We´ll see what happens this week but we´re way excited about them.

We found a handful of other interesting people this week too one guy who really wants to change and had been involved in lots of bad stuff before and he gives us a big smacker on the cheek everytime we say goodbye, thats how they roll here though. Roxana didn´t come to church either but she recieved an answer and wants to be baptized but she has to get married too. The person that did come to church this week was Adriana that we´ve been teaching a way back, she´s in a pretty tough situation but she has a really hard time believing because of the things that happen to her in her life but little by little she is making progress. All and all lots of great things are happening in our area its been quite a blast. Ever since the change of the goals we just teach and teach all day long its great and the progress is much more rapid. Elder Carlson is such a great companion and he impresses me all the time. He said that his Bishop knew Mom and Dad from college, his name is Matt Peterson, that sounds familiar to me too…

Also I went on exchanges with Elder Spencer and that was awesome he is a great guy and I have learned a lot from him. He´s one of the other missionaries here in Villa Alem.

Here´s quote of the week said by your very own Elder Singer: “In God´s plan everyone can be a winner, just some people choose not to play!” I hope you have all been inspired and have an excellent week. Also read a talk by Elder Oakes called A Challenge to Become, it just might blow your mind like it did mine. Sorry if this was a lil short you guys just keep writing fun things to answer back too! I hope I have more fans than you guys for my blog by the time this writing thing is over.

Anyways, I love you guys have an excellent week!

Love,

Elder Singer

I did the Rubix cube!

Friday, September 2nd, 2011

Dear Family,

Hey thank you all for the letters, it definitely felt a little weird to have them addressed to a single missionary instead of two. It sounds like everyone is having fun adjusting to the changes that are happening at home. I can´t imagine what it´ll be like when I come home and we´re all together again and I figure I better not imagine anyways but being a missionary has been great. Yall asked me some interesting questions and being DL and training has been somewhat stressful but great. District Leader is cool because we are the missionaries that get to train other missionaries more than any another. Also the new program for trainers requires an additional 1.5 hrs to the 2.5 and if you couldn´t do the math that gives you a total of 4 hours of study. It focuses a whole lot on the new missionary taking the initiative in everything and by the end of the 12 week program (Napoleon Dynamite! haha, its actually 12 weeks!) its expected that the new missionary be ready to train another new missionary. Its a bit harder for the gringos I imagine because of the language barrier but Elder Carlson learns pretty quickly, and by putting him on the spot all the time in the lesson to teach it makes him learn fast too. The key is the practices too I would say, its been really cool because not only are the studies long but they are efficient so when we go out to teach almost exactly what we practiced comes out and it makes for some excellent lessons.

Anyways, this week was, well, lets just say it was quite a week. Lots of changes and new unknown challenges. It was the first full week with Elder Carlson and also President Levrino is making lots of changes but I like them. I feel like doors are opening. He always says that everything we do needs to be focused on our purpose and also the goals have changed too so things we do every day and the way we have planned have had to adapt. I like it though because its more teaching focused and less knocking doors. Not much time to tell much more but the future is bright! Little time to have lots of fun but here I go. One of my fav quotes, the future is as bright as your faith (Pres Monson). Well gotta go, I love you guys a ton, sorry this was a lil short I was writing Tasha, have an excellent week and if you could, send me an outline of Tasha´s talk!

Love, Elder Singer

any pair of peas can fit in the universal pea pod

Friday, September 2nd, 2011

Dear Family,

First of all, Happy Birthday Megan!!
Pobrecita has to spend her birthday with everyone gone! I hope its a good one
though! This week was really long, I had to wait until Thursday to be with my
comp because of the volcanic ash thats in the air and so I got to work in La
Loma in my old area for a day and then in another part of Salta. I got to be
with Elder Ramos for a couple of days and that was really fun, every time we
get together we just bust our guts he is a really funny guy and was a little
sad when I told him I was heading out a little bit early. I really enjoyed the
pictures that Dad sent of you all vacationing/saying goodbye in Germany but Dad
I don´t think your tie matches at all. Dad asked me about how much time I´ll be
in the area, maybe I didn´t explain very well but I already have 3 months in
Villa Alem and I´ll have 3 months more because I´ll be with Elder Carlson for 2
transfers (Gringo comps for 9 months in a row!!!). Thats my new companion´s
name by the way. He´s from Orem, Utah and a super cool guy and we get along
well. I was wondering if we might be cousins, he said one of his ancestors was
a body guard to Joseph Smith (Its not shadrach roundy though) and there´s
somebody called Mary Anntonette, I think I heard that name some time at a family
reunion but I´m not sure. Training has been somewhat stressful though, Pres
Levrino made me realize how big of a responsibility it is to train when we went
up to Salta for a training meeting. We went to the President´s house and it all
went down how I explained and we were all in little groups and called us out
one by one to say who we would be with and there was lots of applauding and
cheering. It happens that in this group Elder Wells one of Brad´s friends
happened to be there and I snapped a picture with him, I figured Aunt Carol and
Brad would enjoy that too. I think I had forgotten how hard it was to be a new
missionary but since we met the new missionaries and I´ve been with my
companion it has brought back some fun memories with Elder Perez. I remember
feeling like a little kid in a big world were I didn´t understand most of
anything. Elder Carlson is a great companion though he has a lot of desire to
be a good missionary and wants to learn a lot and it makes it really easy for
me to focus too. It brought all my MTC memories back too and it made me really
miss it. It has also been interesting to see how much the church is changing.
It is truly a living church and every generation of missionaries is getting
better and better and the programs are getting more and more intense and
demanding.

Missionary work wise it was a pretty good
week. To start off with, we worked Monday night in my area and found a family
of 4! Their name is the Lazarte family and then on Saturday night we invited
them to church and two of them came! They are super great and the 2 lessons we
have had with them have been super solid. Also the family of 5 we taught on
Sunday now has baptisimal dates and we´ll see what happens this week. We had
something kind of sad happen too with Franco. We don´t really know all of the
details but he came to church to give back his Book of Mormon but I wouldn´t
let him and the day before we fasted so he would come. He came but then it
turned out being to say goodbye. We´re going to try to still talk to him but we
don´t really know what happened. I guess I will be updating you all the next
week. Other than that, thats about it but we´re working real hard and having a
good time. I´m really excited to see how things go with this new program but it
has been quite the learning experience. It has helped me just in a couple of
days, improve my ability to study for the people we serve and we get so much
more out of it. Well I´ve been great, I hope everyone has a great week and I
hope to hear lots and lots of exciting news about whats happening in your
lives!

Love,

Elder Singer

PS I think
you can see the pics from our mission on Facebook. Thats what Hermana Levrino
said so check out Misión Argentina Salta I´m sure its along those lines…