October, 2011

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Villa Saavedra!

Monday, October 17th, 2011

Dear Family,
Hey thank you all so much for your letters, I really appreciate your love and support. This letter is going to be really short but I just got back from a ton of traveling. I feel like the monster guy on Monsters Inc whenever he gets banished to Iceland haha but they tell me this area is great. If you want to look it up, its in a city called Tartagal in northeast Salta and here it gets SUPER hot from what they´ve told me. I got to finish my time in Villa Alem in a very special way with an awesome miracle!! We found a family on Tuesday and when we came back they were already towards in end of 2 Nephi! It was awesome and then on Saturday the Mom was in Heleman! It was pretty awesome and Elder Carlson and I were just about to jump out of our shoes we were so excited. That night as I prayed I felt a special excitement and the tears just started rolling, it was really neat. They had all kinds of great questions and the Mom after the 2nd visit said that she KNEW the church was true. It was such a cool experience and I have no doubt they will be baptized in the next month. We also had a conference from Elder Aidukaitis and he laid down the law, the church is getting more intense and when he gave his testimony it was incredible, I could feel that he really knew. Anyways, Villa Alem was great but I was a bit sad to go and I said goodbye to Elder Kingsford too that was in my zone. It felt really weird to think that it was probably the last time I´d be there in Tucuman, at least for a while, but it was a great area. Also we were able to convince Familia Lazarte to keep trying. But yeah my new comps name is Elder Henriksen and he´s from Holiday Utah and my area is called Villa Saavedra. It seems like a really solid place and I´m really excited to finish my mission here. Speaking of which I wanted to ask for yalls help to help me focus and not talk about how excited you are for me to come home if you can. Like yall can but just not a ton. Sounds good? Well, I´ll be excited to tell you all about my week in my new area. Btw I´m district leader again! It´ll be a blast, I love you guys!
Love,
Elder Singer

the church is true!

Tuesday, October 11th, 2011

Dear Family,

Well this was another fun week. I feel like I probably have just a week left here in Villa Alem but you never know I could stay but I´m a bit anxious to know. What is going to happen but I will be letting you all know soon. Today we did some deep cleaning in the pension it was quite the blast. I just hope the neighbors dont get mad at us for so many trash bags. In Argentina we hang trash bags on telephone poles so the dogs don´t get to them and today the telephone pole looked pretty cozy with all our junk. Anyways there were probably more exciting things that happened this week than me rambling about garbage.

I got a little conference quote from Megan and that was nice and I really enjoyed the Steve Jobs speech from dad. When I got home I wrote the quote on a note in front of my desk because the mission is kind of like a mini life and I have to live each day as if it were my last until I die! :/ but hey thats life, I cant believe how short my time is now. Ah well, this week we are going to have a conference with Elder Aidukaitis of the 70 on Wednesday and we´re all excited for that but this last week we had a lot of fun lessons. On the training program there are certain things that the trainee has to accomplish and this was the week that he gets to take the initiative on everything like planning and lessons and Elder Carlson understands just about everything and is speaking well. I bet he´ll get a Latino comp next. That should be a fun adjustment but at least he´ll have Elder Adams in the pension because those first couple of days of 24/7 Spanish is some work for your brain. I really hope I end with a Latino comp, after Elder Carlson I will have had 9 months of gringos in a row! We do speak spanish sometimes when we´re together but you can imagine how intimate those conversations are. This week we found some guy named Ariel and he only lives a block from the church and we had a solid lesson and he accepted a baptismal date. We also found a guy named Gustavo who has a sister that is a member that lives in Atlanta but we haven´t been able to teach him a full lesson yet. And another lady named Claudia and she was a reference. She has been angry at God for 17 years since her Father was killed by a robber but we read from the Book of Mormon about God´s justice and how that it wasn´t fair either that Christ had to pay the price that he paid but he allowed himself to go through it because he loved us so much. I think this week my testimony has really grown of the atonement. We had testimony meeting this week and in most of my mission I would get up whenever no one else would but this week I could feel a strong pounding in my chest, I felt like my heart was going to jump out and so I got up and I bore my testimony mostly on the Atonement of Jesus Christ. I am in 3 Nephi when Christ visits the Americas and it was an awesome feeling because the entire book it talks about Christ and the importance of looking to him and preparing for his coming and when he finally comes I felt something very special. Every moment I get I try to read a chapter or 2 and my goal is to be done in the next 2 weeks. I don´t know if I told yall but I´ve kept a mini Book of Mormon in my pocket my entire mission and I think I´m going to try to keep that tradition alive for the rest of my life. Its a great manual for life to have close by. Its like something that goes with the cell phone and keys, you can´t leave without it. I think I went through a phase that made me think that “I know the Book of Mormon well…” because I can find lots of stuff in it but I realized that contentment with anything is when progression stops and so I´ve been trying to dive in again and its true that every time you open it, the revelation just flows in to your mind so I hope you all have it close by too. I love you all so much and am very grateful for your support. I can´t wait to hear again from you all. I like this quote from Pres. Monson,  “When you treat a person as they are, they remain as they are… but when you treat a person with the way that they should become, they become what they should become” something along those lines… Anyways, the church is true!

Love,

Elder Singer

Conference week!

Tuesday, October 11th, 2011

A baptism

A baptism

Dear Family,
Well it was good to hear from you all again, next week you´ll have to tell me of all your favorite talks. I´ve always been a big fan of Elder Christofferson and Elder Oaks about repentance and being what are covenants require of us. Overall I thought it was excellent. Because it was the last of my mission, I decided to watch most of it in Spanish. As I watched the talks and listened to the words of the music, I felt the Spirit testify to me with a profound manifestation of the divinity of the Savior and of his servants that he has chosen to teach his Gospel. I hope you all could feel this too, lots of firey feelings (good firey feelings haha) came to me and it made me want to fight in the battle against Satan. I know the women weren´t able to hear it but Elder Holland gave an incredible talk at priesthood, he did what we call in our mission dropping cane. It was quite the discourse and it sure made me excited to be here. I can only imagine how much the church and the Lord´s work will change for future generations of missionaries and I feel like there will be lots of incredible things in the future. I´m not sure if you all remember but one of the talks about gifts a missionary receives and that this is not the best 2 years of our lives but FOR our lives. I can definitely say that this is true. I would definitely say that there is no hotter nor rewarding furnace of affliction than the mission. It makes me sad whenever people don´t accept the Gospel or members don´t accept their commitments because they don´t know what they´re missing! Elder Brisolara and I went on divisions and we taught some semi crazy lady and she was convinced she was a seer and she asked us if we believed in seers and my first thought was “you have no idea…”. Later that day I was sick all afternoon and at about 9 at night, my body freed itself from lunchtime through the mouth and I suddenly felt full of energy and excitement. Our joke is that it was like repentance. To tell you all the truth, the week has been a bit of a sour one number wise and investigator wise. I´m not sure what happened but I think it has something to do with her husband but flia Lazarte dropped us. I know she had a testimony though, one day missionaries are going to go knocking on their door and they are going to let them in. I would have loved to see them baptized but it´ll be another day. We´ve got several options and a whole area of people so we haven´t lost hope. I love you all so much and it was great to hear from you. Pray for me and I´ll be praying for you, thank you so much for all of your love and support!

Love,
Elder Singer

Alicia´s baptism

Tuesday, October 11th, 2011

Dear Family,

Well… another week has gone by and I can barely remember it! I think baptism weeks are just so stressful that the days are just like a big long blur and I forget what happens but as I write maybe something will occur to me. Basically everyone´s letters this week started out like well… this was a boring week… but I guess you can´t have all great weeks. I was telling one of the missionaries how Dad would say if life was perfect 50 percent of your days would be great and the other 50 percent would be just terrible. Every week they just keep nailing us in church and we´re in there in Principles of the Gospel asking to tell stories about our family and its made me miss you guys a little bit but I guess thats ok, I can´t believe I only have 3 months left in the mission :/ its gone by too fast! I can´t really remember who Gladys Knight is though but I think I have an idea, sounds like a nice lady with some cool music.

Anyways I´ve been good and everything has gone well for us, at the end at least. I felt like we were running around all week long but it was quite the adventure. Alicia´s baptism turned out nice and she was all happy to be there. We were teaching her in the week and she asked us who was going to baptize her and the whole time before Elder Carlson was saying he would be too nervous to baptize her and that he would rather have me do it and when she asked my comp looked away and I did a head nod with a big smile towards him and she was like “oh so you´re going to baptize me!” It was really funny and I still don´t think my comp realized yet, I´ll probably tell him later though, he was really nervous for it but after it all turned out just fine. I got to speak about the Holy Ghost in the baptism and that was nice too. Also Fransisca came to the baptism with a member so we´ll be finding out what she thought. After our baptismal service, San Felipe, one of the areas in my district had a baptism too so that means I got to do another interview, it was a little long but it was great! They baptized the wife of one of the guys that got baptized like 2 months ago so they were able to complete their family. And to make yall feel happy I played the piano in both services too.

Another one of the highlights of the week was also our Zone Conference. President Levrino gave quite the conference and he sure does know how to motivate us. He talked a lot about how President Hinckley said that we need to pick up the pace. We´re getting baptisms but we´re not getting enough, and the goal is to baptize every week and that if we have faith and give everything we can we´ll be able to do it. In the month the mission baptized a ton and we´re its exciting to see all the big steps we are making. I think at the end of this transfer I might be ending my mission somewhere else but we´ll see. Did you all read the first presidency´s message about conference? It was a great message because I´ve found that every conference is full of more wonderful opportunities to receive personal revelation. Its going to be my last general conference of the mission! This week I´ll be telling you all which talk I liked most and if you all can, let me all know what talk you liked most and why. Thats about all for the week, I love you guys so much! I forgot the right card so I´ll be sending the pictures next week.

Love,

Elder Singer

:)

Tuesday, October 11th, 2011

Dear Family,
This was another great week. I thought your letters were great and I really enjoyed the letters you all wrote. Poor BYU and poor Texas weather. Things will surely make an improvement in a couple of months. I´m glad to know that you are all doing well and I just want you all to know that I´m doing fine and am well protected if you heard any strange things from the street. We ended up having our baptism this week and it was great! It was slightly insane because I kinda had to run the show but it was nice and spiritual and Leo got baptized and confirmed. There was also an 8 year old kid and his mom asked me to baptize him and Bruno, Leo´s neighbor, baptized him. This Saturday Alicia is going to be baptized and we´re really excited about her. She is such a nice lady with a really sweet heart. I went on divisions with Elder Robbins, he´s from my group and it was nice teaching with him he´s a really solid guy. If you wanna see what he looks like you´ll have to find the short red head guy from the MTC.
We were flipping through the area book this week also and we found a family and they were awesome. They didn´t come to church this Sunday because they are used to visiting family but we´re going to get them to church this week. We had 4 people in church but we were expecting like 15 but thats kinda how it goes. Fransisca and fam are doing good but they got invited to a baptism from another church but they´ll be there next Sunday BUT the kids did make it to the baptism on Saturday so thats good. Whenever we pray with them they always include us in their prayers and they pray to have us continue helping them live the Gospel. We´re almost halfway through the transfer and I´m a little nervous about what could happen because we´ve been having lots of success and I just don´t want to go because I´m really going to miss the people we get to work with. It will be a bit strange because this will be my first area with 6 months and with the new President all kinds of fun unexpected things are happening but I guess thats how revelation is sometimes. Whenever we had the trainers meeting Pres. Levrino said of all his time in the church he has never had such powerful experiences with the Spirit when he had to choose what to do. Sorry if this one is a bit short, I´m in a bit of a hurry but I just want you all to know that I love yall so much and for being such awesome examples to me. The mission is awesome and I´m going to make these last moments the best ever, I´m having the time of my life. I still sometimes look up into the sky and I think whoa… I´m in Argentina and I´m a missionary! I just hope it doesn´t seem like a big dream after! Well, I´ll talk to you all the next week and I hope to hear lots of great news. Include some wonderful spiritual messages please! :)

Love,
Elder Singer