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November 21st, 2011

Sunday, November 27th, 2011

Dear Family,

This was another fun week here in Villa Saavedra. Every time someone asks me how much time I have left they just gasp and remind me that my time is almost up, its going by way too fast! I´m having a hard time remembering all that happened this week they are going by like a blur but it sure has been an intense responsibility being District Leader up here in Tartagal because its so far out from the rest of the mission and all of the missionaries in my district are so young so I´ve been working up close with them a lot. I had my interview with President Levrino on Tuesday and he said everything will work out with the flights they just have to make the readjustment and Dad I´m not sure how it would go if you called Pres. Levrino it would be a push to say he speaks a lick of English haha. He is a really cool guy and knows how to motivate the missionaries. I can really tell he loves us and wants us to reach our potential. I thought I wouldn´t be able to get to know him very well with such a short time left in the mission but I feel like we are pretty cool. He´s always asking us for more and is never satisfied, just a good leader.

Lately every single wednesday afternoon I have to travel to Positos up on the border to do baptisimal interviews and I did divisions with Elder Mulleneaux in Tartagal 2 he´s a cool guy from Arizona. I also worked with the Zone Leaders, Elder Parker and Elder Dillree and they are both excellent missionaries and super focused and they want whats best for the mission. I worked with Elder Parker and he was a good teacher, we talk a lot about how we need to focus on the objective of bringing others unto Christ through baptism and we start our lessons talking about how we are there to help them make covenants with God. My testimony of the Book of Mormon continues to grow, whenever I pick it up I can´t put it down and its just incredible how clearly it expresses the truth and with our investigators we´ve been trying really hard to get them to have a desire to dive in and they will know. In the Ensign there is a talk at the end and it talks about how that if you really want to know you will know and the different ways that God answers our prayers. I´ve had the opportunity to see lots of great things but also lots of sad things and sometimes I feel like we spend too much time in church meetings and we don´t get the most out of it and it causes us to just not get it. I can´t remember where I heard the quote but it says that principles aren´t true until your life depends on them and its something so true because often times certain beliefs are professed but when it times to put beliefs to the test and the natural man gives in. I guess one of the greatest blessings I have received from serving the mission is learning to live the Gospel. Its like what Pres Uchdorf said, you can´t fully enjoy all the capabilities of a super computer if you don´t even know how to turn it on and the Gospel and its many privileges are the same, you´ve gotta read the fine print and THEN we can enjoy all of the blessings… Anyways I guess I´ll get off my soapbox now I just get fired up about it sometimes but its about time for me to go… I love you guys so much, have a great week and I hope that you all have a happy Thanksgiving and remember to be grateful for all the many blessings we have! :) Love, Elder Singer

Elder Christofferson

Sunday, November 27th, 2011

Dear Family,

Well this was another adventure filled week, we had 9 investigators in church it was awesome and we saw lots of people take big steps of progression. I can´t believe my time is so little now and yeah I think the missionaries in the office didn´t check what day I was going home but yeah it makes perfect sense that you called, I´ll call them too and make sure they know whats going on. Also this week was our conference with Elder Christofferson. It was an excellent conference and it was great to see the entire mission in one place at a time and I was super impressed by his Spanish, how well kept it was. Elder Jensen (presidency of the 70) and Elder Arnold (1st quorum of the 70) were there and it was incredible. We got to shake all of their hands along with their wives. Elder Christofferson did an open discussion with questions and answered them with the help of the other brethren that were present and it formed quite the Spiritual symphony. Whenever they entered the room I knew that they were servants of God, I could feel it, and whenever they gave their testimonies of the Savior they used simple words but their was great power in what they said and you could tell that they really knew. To go we left from here at 1:30 in the morning and got there at 8 in the morning and we were back on the road by 12 so it made for quite a weekend.

Like I was telling you guys, we had 9 investigators in church and we´re seeing lots of progress in our investigators and having lots of cool experiences. The thing is, we should have had even more people! We found a big family this week and we were only able to take 2 of them but I think they liked it and are going to progress and also we had a cool little miracle that we found a lady named Susanna and she has a daughter that is handicapped and when she showed us where her wheel chair was from it turns out that it was from our church! Whenever we went back to visit her one of her friends were there and he was a member! Unfortunately she didn´t come to church but we´ll be seeing her tonight to see whats going on. Also there is a really big family that has one kid that is a member and the rest weren´t really interested but it looks like the parents are starting to get interested and they came to church and when we went by after it seemed like they loved it, I´m pretty positive that they´ll get baptized now! And for the last but not least experiences of the week, we have an investigator thats really evangelic and she´s read the bible a ton and she said she would only come to our church if we went to hers and I called President to ask for permission and he said we could. It was quite the experience, ask me when I come home haha. I think she liked our church though she just felt a little weird, she said she´s really trying to find the truth she´s really got to get down on her reading in the Book of Mormon. I´ve read just about all of the Ensign about the Book of Mormon and its helped me with my testimony a ton there are some pretty awesome talk especially about the one about being the keystone of our religion by President Benson. Elder Christofferson also said that he has a testimony of this gospel thanks to the Book of Mormon!

Well, thats about all for the week, I hope you all enjoyed this letter because its getting close to the last ones! Sad huh but I guess it´ll be good to be with the family again and I´ll get everything worked out we need to. I love you all! Portense bien

Love,

Elder Singer

:)

Tuesday, November 8th, 2011

Dear Family,
We had another great week here in Villa Saavedra! I was glad to hear from you all and it sounds like everyone had a fun week even though yall thought your letters would be lame haha. But we had a handful of cool miracles this week and we´re planning on seeing a handful of people get baptized in the future. Grandma asked how old a nice old lady has to be in order to be a nice old lady and I asked my comp and he said 65 so we´ll go with that haha.
Anyways, this week I got to go on divisions to a place called Salvador Mazza, or Positos and its literally on the border with Bolivia so I was only about 20 yards away from Bolivia at one point. Its a pretty cool little town and apprently its where my trainer started his mission, Elder Perez, thats like 3 years ago! I asked a member if they knew him and they did. I was with Elder Martinez and he is from Mexico and he´s a super nice guy, he´s the oldest Mexican in our mission time wise in the mission but I don´t know if you guys know this but Mexicans and Chileans can go out on their missions when they are 18 and he has a little over a year and is 19 years old! While I was there I did 2 baptisimal interviews and both of them when we got to the house didn´t want to be baptized so we talked to them for a bit and resolved their doubts and by the end of it they both decided to do the interview and they both passed!
The next day I had a leadership training meeting with President Levrino and it was him and 5 missionaries so it was a nice upclose and personal meeting for a couple of hours and it was excellent. Every time we have a training meeting I feel like my eyes are opened up and my vision widens for what we have to do in the mission. There have been some awesome changes and the mission is baptizing more than it ever has in all of its history. I had quite a bit of traveling those 2 days and I slept like a rock but the weekend was awesome. We had a guy contact us from a car and his name is Victor. He was super excited to see us and he said he had some problems when the missionaries taught him and thats why he didn´t get baptized but now he wants to see us again. He is a really funny guy and he is a shoe tailor that works outside and we went by and this Sunday he wasn´t able to go because he went up to Bolivia but we´re going to make sure he goes to church this Sunday. Another good thing that happened this week was that we went on divisions with some members and I was with Hermano Rojas and he was bearing his testimony about how it took him a while to find the true church and that when he was baptized in our church it was his third time to be baptized and his pastor told him that God would condemn him if he got baptized in our church and as he shared this story our investigator, named Silvana, started to cry because that was the same problem that she was struggling with and then there was a silent pause and I looked at her and asked her what she was thinking and she said “Now I want to be baptized!” It was super awesome and the spirit filled the room! Anyways I hope you all have a great week, its getting super hot here and I can guarantee you all that I´ll be coming home with a pretty intense farmer tan, especially with my collar! I´ve been told that it gets up to like 120 degrees outside! Well hope you enjoy the letter, I love you guys so much!

Love,
Elder Singer

district conference

Tuesday, November 8th, 2011

Dear Family,
Hey thanks for the letters, we had another great week here in Tartagal. My area is cool and so is my comp we get along really well. I´m not sure what I think about being in the same Biology class but if they grade us on a scale I guess thats good for me… haha jk! But yeah I think that would be fun because we would be forced to see each other every time we have that class! Maybe yall could put me in some spanish classes idk and about ROTC I know their are 3 class sections I have to be signed up for but maybe yall can call and ask them what you have to do. Here´s some random cool news by the way, I cant remember if I told you but on the 12th, we´ll have an all mission conference with Elder Christofferson of the 12 and Elder Arnold and Jensen of the 70. This is going to be intense I´m really excited.

This week was another adventure, unfortunately it went without bats but we do have a pet spider named shelob (named after the one from Lord of the Rings) and we feed it cockroaches and its like watching the Discovery channel whenever it gets fed. Not that you guys are too interested about that… but yeah we did have a good week, we had another baptism and it was the sister of the girl that got baptized last week. Her name is Mierna. I cant remember if I told yall but last week we invited their brother to come with us who has some problems and he came with us and liked it! Well with that it kinda seemed like we gave a glimmer of hope to the parents because for the longest time they would avoid us and all of the sudden they are really interested so we´re excited, I just think they need to get married and come to church and they´ll be set. We also had a cool lesson with one of our investigators that is having a bit of a hard time committing to anything but she already has an answer. Her name is Magi and she´s a really nice old lady and we were having a lesson at night outsider and all of the sudden the lights went out and we were teaching the Plan of Salvation under the stars! It was a pretty cool experience because we could hardly see one another´s faces as we taught the lesson but we were like stargazing it was pretty cool. Also I finished the Book of Mormon again and I spoke about the Holy Ghost in the baptism and I got to share my experience how I received an answer to my prayer from the Holy Ghost that same day it was really neat.

Something special about this week was that we had our district conference and President Levrino and is wife came with 3 of their kids and they both gave excellent talks! I think my asked me last week but to answer their question about where they are from, they´re from here in Argentina from a Province called Santa Fe, it actually borders our mission. Hermana Levrino talked about forgiveness and it was so great and then President talked about how to live a happy life and he used 2 Nephi 5:27 and the beginning of the chapter to base his talk off his subject. They both did a great job, President is such a big guy and he barely fits in front of the pulpit its kind of funny. Did yall figure out where I am on the map? Its just about Bolivia its pretty far out there. Anyways my time is just about wrapping up, thanks for everyone´s love and support and I´ll be hearing from you guys next week. Make sure you write me Josh!

Love,

Elder Singer

first week in Villa Saavedra!

Tuesday, November 8th, 2011

Dear Family,
Well, it was a great first week I love my new area! I have never seen an area with members that help so much! I was super impressed. We went on divisions like 3 times with the members and the presidency is just super pumped about missionary work and they hand out references like crazy! They went to an FHE with us and they were pumping up the family to send their sons on missions and they take the initiative in helping us out. I was lucky to get here now because we had 2 baptisms and I got to be the interlude entertainment and I spoke about the Restoration of the Gospel. I was the hero too because the missionary that I replaced was playing the piano for the choir in the district conference and I´ll be playing in that it looks like. Our area is really large, really hot, and there is sand everywhere. The streets are mostly sand and the sun is pretty strong. I left my cowboy hat in Tucuman and Elder Carlson is going to send it up to me. It hasn´t been too hard of a transition being here though. Apparently back in Tucuman with the flia we found the mom finished the BoM already! We have lots of cool investigators here too and its been fun teaching them. The people that got baptized are named Monica and Mauro and Mauro was a little miracle because we lost him the whole week and then Saturday morning sent us a text asking if he could still get baptized today because I think he was going to get baptized last week. Elder Henrikson is super cool and we get along great. He´s from Holiday Utah and went to Skyline and maybe yall have heard of that. We´ve had a couple of funny things happen this week to us already. While we were planning, a bat had entered into the house and it was flying all over the place and around our heads and we were kind of freaking out. I´ll have to show yall the video some day but it was quite the experience! My district is awesome by the way, I´m so old!! I think the next oldest missionary has 13 months in the mission! There are 7 gringos and 1 Latino from Mexico! They´re really cool though, we went and played soccer with some people from church and I decided that I need to keep playing after the mission in intramurals or something its becoming really fun. I happened to have my football with me also and that was… interesting. We tried to teach some argentines American Football and I think they thought it was pretty lame. Anyways, basically I´m really excited about dieing here in la Villa. Also I wanted to congradulate Tasha on her MTC job I´m really impressed and I already told dad but I hope he had a great birthday and for next year we can have parents day all together! Sorry if this one seemed a bit short just this spacebar requires a double thumb pound to put spaces between my words and I think my thumbs are getting tired haha. Well, I love you guys, I read Ether 3:4 and I had a really cool experience I can´t really describe it but yall should read it. I´ll probably finish the Book of Mormon tomorrow if not today!
love,
Elder Singer

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