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Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Week 48: Eldorado, Argentina

Hollllaaaa, this week was actually super good, really eventful. My companion is actually getting changed, kinda weird cause he was only here for one change, but I'm finally going to have an American companion, haha and he's from my group. We weren't in the same MTC group, but we came out at the same time, his name is Elder Thornton and he's from Brigham City, Utah. He's pretty cool, I like him alot so it should be good.

We actually did find a lot of cool people this week. We found 3 families that are pretty interested in listening, didn't make it church Sunday though, I think the cold drove them away. It was like 35 degrees out and humid so it was pretty chilly, but they are pretty cool people. And we still have Zulma who is coming, and Augustine, the 16 year old kid that seems to like the church still. So everything is going pretty well. We baptized a girl that is in a part member family, her dad was recently reactived and her mom is sitll on the edge, but I think the baptism and the confirmation Sunday helped the mom feel the spirit and I think she is thinking about coming back. So that was pretty cool, her name is Candela.

And wow that's awesome that Austin got baptized.

I haven't been eating too much weird food lately. There are fruits and stuff here that I really never have eaten before. I've been eating lots of fresh mandarin oranges, mangos, avocados, papayas, oranges, and making fresh lemon juice. There're tons of fruit trees here, so I've been taking advantage. I'll try to take more pictures of my area cause it's a nice place actually. And I have been learning a little bit of Guarni, not too much but a few little phrases like, "Shey bare" is "I'm hungry" or "Ja ha jakaru" is "Let's go eat", "Shey canneo" is "I'm tired." and a few other things like that, but not too much.

But yeah everything here is going pretty well, can't complain. Hope everything in Hagerstown is going well as well. Thanks for the letter!! Have a good week!!!!!!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Week 47: Eldorado, Argentina

Holllllaa, hope everything is going well up there. This week was pretty good, kinda slow, I think we are realizing just how many other churches have sprung up here in the city… it's like practically in every neighborhood there is a different church. I mean it's not bad I guess, because there are lots of people going to church, but it's not really good because the churches are kinda just pastors that made themselves pastors and are creating their churches and basically treating them like a negocio... I forgot the word in English. (business-according to Will) So it's been kinda tough to find people to teach because the whole city is basically joining these little churches and kinda already has their ideas in their head of how things are and they don't want to change. Also, there're lots of pastors that preach against us and tell their congregations that everything we teach is false and that we are crazy. There're even people that come up during our lessons with people and tell the people we are teaching not to listen to us in another language, Guarani, but the joke was on them cause my companion is from Paraguay and speaks Guarani..... but its pretty crazy. So it's an interesting experience but its all good, there are still people that want to listen, we just have to find them. But we obviously respect all the religions, nothing against them. 

But other than that everything is going well. The weather was pretty nice this week. We just got done planning a little skit that we are going to do for the members of the district Eldorado- it's like 5 branches and one family group that are invited for this Friday, so that should be fun. And then Saturday we are going to baptize, so it should be a good week. Transfers are next week, so we shall see what happens. 

And we walk a lot still, we take buses sometimes, but not too much. 

But President LaPierre is super inspired. I've leared a lot of things from him. I really like what he taught us about consecration and what I guess we call stewardship. I had never learned too much about it until the mission, I learned about mayordomia.. which is stewardship, but it was interesting. That we are given a responsibility, but not really responsibility, like something to watch over and we need to do the absolute best to take care of it and that we need to try hard, it's basically a principle of try hard. Like he used the example of taking out the trash. If we treat it like its a terrible choir and we just take the bag out and that's it, we didnt really fulfill our job. But if we take it out, wash out the trash can, sweep up around the trash can, put a new bag in and spray air freshener around it, and do the best job possible, that's what we should do. And that could be applied to anything- studying for a test, work, chores and anything really, but going above and beyond what is expected of us. So that was good, but there's lots of stuff. 

And yeah I'm keeping warm, it basically only gets cold at night so I'm fine, I have blankets and sleep in a sweater, showering is the only tough part, haha, but no I'm fine for now. 

Zone leader duties are going well, there is always stuff to do and places to go, and interviews to do, and midnight bus rides to take, but everything is going well, I'm enjoying it. I don't really have a preferred lesson, we almost never teach complete lessons, but I do enjoy doing the cups and the restoration, thats always good. 

But thanks for everything and hope everyone has a great week!!! 
Love, Ben 

Monday, July 14, 2014

Week 46: Eldorado, Argentina

This week was pretty good, not too much rain and the weather was nice. The soccer games were kinda crazy, but we survived.  I didn't get to watch it, but I heard all about it. 

You don't need to send me a package, I'll let you know if I need anything, but it's really fine. I'm probably going to be an expensive child when I get home and have to go shopping for college, so you can save all the money you would spend on packages towards that, but thanks! 

But yeah it's interesting, I was thinking about the cultural, religious and governmental differences here, in Paraguay, Germany and the States, places I've been- they are all really different. Like the churches down here are really different from churches in the States, even big religions like the Catholic Church and other Christian churches, and it's interesting to see the differences-even though it´s just a different country.  It's cool that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is the same here, I feel basically the same in church. And even though there´re less people, it's still the same objective and the same gospel, so its cool. 

But this week was pretty good and I'm enjoying my time here. Thanks for the letter and tell everyone I said hello. Love and miss you guys!!

Friday, July 11, 2014

Week 45: Eldorado, Argentina

This week was pretty good; it didn't really rain too much, it got hot and then cold and then rained Sunday morning.... and then got cold again so church was tough, not too many people showed up for the huge thunderstorm but just gotta keep going haha. Right now it's cooled down a little bit. But today was good; we got together and played volleyball and went out to eat for lunch and I think we are going to go take a nap after this, pretty tired week. 

But it's been interesting, here where I am serving there are lots of churches... lots and lots of churches haha like 49 new churches were created here last year. Its mainly pastors that go into really poor neighborhoods and build up a little wooden shack that holds about 35 people and call it church, mostly evangelical churches which are supposedly branches from the pentocastal church. There are big churches down town but out in the country where I am there are lots of little ones and lots of pastors that like to talk bad about us and the Church of Jesus Christ... lots of people think we are here to spy on them or for every person we baptize we get like 500 dollars or the younger kids of like 8 to 15 years old that we baptize we like take their brains or soemthing haha some really weird stuff. So in that aspect its pretty challenging. But there are lots of nice people here, lots of people that are really poor and kind of sit at home all day and like listening to people that talk about God. So we get to talk to a lot of people but there are lots of people that have the mindset that they are where they are because they didn't study or didn't do what they should have when they were younger and now they kind of just think that their lives are like that and don't feel like they can progress or change. So it's pretty sad. 

But things are getting a little happier now that Argentina is winning and made it the semis of the World Cup.  The same day they won my companion and I went to present a plan that we made up to work more closely with the Church leaders of the area, the district El Dorado that consists of 5 branches and 1 Family group. But there was lots of traffic and we got on the bus and didn't really go anywhere so the bus took a side route and we ended up getting off in the town center where there were tons and tons of people all dressed with their Argentina hats and shirts and flags and painted and screaming honking their horns and dancing setting off fireworks haha, so it was a cool thing to see, kind of scary but cool. But that's great that you guys are having fun on vacations and are enjoying Utah; tell everyone that I said hi, and happy anniversary!! But thanks!! have a great week and enjoy your vacations!!!!!

Love, Elder Roberts