Thursday, April 25, 2013

Pictures - April 22, 2013

Elder McMurray and I. We snapped this right before writing today. Elder McMurray thought it was a serious face photo. Thats why he isn´t smiling

 This is really cool. Elder Stout (my mission brother) did this when he was here in the area last year.
There is a group in Resistencia that goes around the city and writes huge poems on the walls. Some of them are pretty cool. The actual translation for this is "Your Time Is Today." which would be more in English like "Your time is now

Presidente Sandoval y hermano Ruiz-Diaz jugando ping-pong
Main plaza in Resistenica

More of our apartment. This like the outside areas. Dont worry, I cleaned up all the dirt that was there when I arrived!

Stairs to the upper-chamber! :O

The loft/old jail where we sleep. Elder McMurray has an American flag, so we put it up haha.
Marriage of Graciela and Luis! Small, with a few members from the branch. But, they are married! and now she is baptized.

Enzo and his family! I really am going to miss this kid. I hope the elders in San Martin will baptize him soon
Presidente Sandoval in San Martin. Fresh off the mission!

Friday, April 19, 2013

April 15, 2013

Sounds like all is normal at home!
A lot of unexpected and crazy things happened this week so I am going to spend my time telling you all the new news!
I was transfered to Guiraldes, Resistenica! It's part of the city of Resistenica and is a really cool area. I had a feeling before I started the mission that I would end up sometime in this city, so I'm really excited to be here. The interesting thing is that my "mission family" has a lot of history here. Elder McGarry, my trainer, first trained Elder Stout here more then a year ago. So my "dad" and my "brother" in the mission have both served here before me haha. That's pretty cool and thought I would share that.
I was first kind of upset to leave San Martin because we had just finished the marriage of Luis and Graciela and were preparing for the baptism Saturday, but had to leave Wednesday morning! I heard from the other zone leaders though that all went well with her baptism Saturday! So that's good news.
When I arrived here and got to know the area a little bit more and meet all of our investigators I got pretty happy and excited to be here. I'm finally in a ward! That's really a big blessing after being in branches for almost a year. The ward here is really strong and there a lot of faithful members and we have a really good bishop, so I am also excited about that. This area has also been knowing to have a lot of baptism's and we have a good number of people that are preparing for baptism in April and May! So that also is good news.
Our apartment is an old police station. I always remember Dad saying he had some cool apartments above records stores and what not, so I thought I'd tell you guys about this one. It still has a "Policia de Chaco" logo on the wall outside. It has two stories and the second story is a loft with really small windows and wooden panels as the floor. I personally think the upstairs was an old jail, because it kind of has that feel. I'll ask the owner if he knows an history about the place and let you guys know.
My new companion is Elder McMurray! Another "Mc" Elder haha. He's a really cool elder and I've already gotten along really well with him. This is his last transfer in the mission which means I will only be with him for a short period of time until he finishes. Good news is he's still working really hard and I can tell he's not going to be one of the elders that die's out his last month or so of the mission. He still has a desire to work hard and I am pretty sure we will be having success this transfer. He's from Virginia, wrestled in high school, and he studied at BYUI the same time I was there. So there's plenty of things we have in common. In my opinion we have the same teaching style and work well together. So I'm pretty happy to have him as a companion.
That's pretty much the big news for now! New area, new companion, new ward, new investigators, new everything. I was pretty bummed when I left San Martin because we were teaching a good amount of people that were close to baptism and I had grown to have a really good relationship with all the members, but when I arrived here I was really happy because there is a lot of potential here and the Church is a lot stronger.
I am going to wrap this up and try to get some photos over to you guys! Hope all is well at home. Love you all and have a wonderful week! :)
Elder Deniston.

Pictures - April 15, 2013

La conferencia! Viernes en la noche.

I asked some guy to take a picture of us, I wanted him to get all of the
horse too, but he couldn´t manage to get his head haha.

...just in case you guys didn´t hear haha.

They use these as taxi´s! The poor people that don´t have enough money to pay for a regular taxi can use them. They are all over the place here in San Martin. on a Muddy street after the rain, pero con botas!

This is the main plaza in San Martin. Nothing to crazy, just a normal small argentine town.

Monday, April 15, 2013

April 3, 2013

Hola familia!

Sounds like things are pretty normal at home! Sounds like all is well with the ward and calling and what not. I am sure you will see some new faces and families in the following months and the ward will begin to grow to what it was.

Dad, pretty cool that you ran into the missionaries. I will be on the lookout for elder Calliston. Maybe I`ll end up training him or be in the same zone or district or something. Would definitely be cool. I will let you guys know. I do think they are using the new curriculum here for the youth but starting with the stronger wards with more youth. But I`m not completely sure. Right now we aren`t using it in the branch I know that, but maybe in Resistencia and Posadas and the cities where the church is really strong.

Also, I hope you still have been keeping up the painting because I want you to paint some photos or Argentina for me! I`ve been seeing a lot of really cool painting lately and I can`t buy one because there too big and fragile to put in my suitcase. Plus it would be a lot cooler if you did them! Let me know if you`re up to it! Maybe I can send a photo or two over that you can use or give you some ideas. Let me know!

Bueno, now for the news! This week was pretty good. A lot of the Argentines take the Semana Santa really seriously and use it as a time to reflect more on Christ, others use it as week to eat, drink, drink some more, and be merry, so it was pretty interesting. Friday the city was literally a ghost town, there was nobody in the streets, more empty then the siesta. Everyone has the day off and they all stay home with their families or travel. It was pretty strange.

We had a lot of investigators at church this week and a lot of them have baptismal dates and preparing for baptism. Graciela will be able to finish everything for their marriage this week when the Semana Santa ends and she and Luis are really excited for the wedding and she is excited for her baptism, so all is well there. Just have to wrap everything up with marriage.

Enzo is still coming to church and doing everything he needs to do to prepare for his baptism, so he is still progressing well. We have started to talk more with his family and have been strengthening our relationship with them. We feel that when they understand more about what we teach and more about what Enzo is learning and feel the Spirit, they will give permission for his baptism. We actually had lunch with them today and it went really well. So I feel we will see his baptism soon, hopefully in April. We just need to work with his parents a little more. They said they want to come to General Conference this weekend, and I`m sure that will help a ton. We`re focusing on getting permission for Enzo first and starting to teach his family as well.

We found a new family this last week and one of the girls came and visited yesterday. The youth helped us out and talked with her and made her feel welcome so I was really grateful for that. We are going to be passing by this week to teach them, I want to see the entire family at church! That`s are goal and I feel really good about them, so we will see what happens!

The most exciting news of the week is that Presidente Fernandez came with his counselors from Resistencia and called a new Branch President! and they happen to call exactly who I was hoping they would call. We now have Presidente Sandoval and his counselor Hermano Martinez. Both the returned missionaries that just got back from Brazil. Their young, 22 or 23 years old I believe, but I really feel like they are going to help the branch grow a ton and they are what the branch needs right now. We have a really good relationship with both of them and they are excited to work with us to grow the branch. So I`m excited for that!

We are really excited for General Conference this weekend and Elder White and I made some really fancy invitations to give out to everyone. Elder White is a computer geek and good with all things computers haha, so we made some really nice invitations. We`re hoping to have a lot of investigators go and watch and listen because hearing the Prophet and Apostles always help with the conversion process. General Conference on the mission is always a lot cooler then it is at home. I don`t know, its like a little kid knowing that he`s going to Disneyland for the weekend and is really excited throughout the week. That was the best metaphor I could think of to describe it. But we`re excited, and doing all we can to get as many people as possible to go.

Bueno, I have to wrap this up no! Don't have time to send over photos this week, but I didn`t really take any this week. I know mom said she wants to see photos of the branch and members and what not. So I will snap some this week and make sure to send them over next Monday!

....thanks for the NBA statistics, let me know what's happening with the playoffs! Lakers didn`t go? Clippers killin` it? Update me!

Tenga una buena semana!

Elder Deniston.

March 25, 2013

Sounds like things are pretty normal back at home! If you feel different in the new ward because there isn't as many people, just think about the branch here in San Martin haha. You said there was 10 people in Relief Society, sometimes we only have 10 people at church! Pretty cool about dads new calling! Also cool that Dave came to teach seminary. Tell him that he needs to teach the In-N-Out lesson, he´ll understand what it is.

I will try to get an email off to Mckenzie. I´ll try to save some time to write something off to her. Has she entered the field yet? Or still in the MTC? If she´s still in the MTC it´s normal for some missionaries and sisters to feel that way. She´ll get used to it and be fine.

Keep me updated about the information with dads work! I want to hear the news.

Pretty crazy about Ricky! I´m sure that will be a cool experience and gives you sometime to hangout with Chelsea and Otto. I´m sure that will be a fun time. I want to see some pictures when he goes.

The show you watched about the missionaries we watch her in the missionary field haha. It´s called "The District" here, I don't know if it had a different name on television. But every missionary that is being trained will watch those videos. The church originally made them for the missionary's, but I guess they are showing to all of them. Sometimes I don´t like to watch them because it makes me think about San Diego and California haha. But they are really good and they show how the mission is. Bueno, it shows how the mission is in the States haha. It´s a lot different here haha.

Alright, now news from me! I´m kind of frustrated right now because we worked extremely hard the past few weeks and we are suppose to be having two baptisms this weekend but now we have to wait a little longer. We´ve been working with our investigator Graciela to help her do everything we have to do for her marriage and like I said last week it has been a headache. We have been planning all month to have her baptism this weekend but now have to wait a little longer because the Rigistro Civil (place where you do marriages) will be closed for La Semana Santa (The Holy Week) from this coming Thursday until the next Wednesday and won´t give her a date to the marriage after the holiday. So I´m kind of upset about that. We´re still going to have the baptism! We just have to wait a little longer.

With our other investigator Enzo, his parents won´t give her permission to get baptized. He´s 17 and his parents say that he needs to wait until 18 when he an adult and independent. I was really upset when she told us that because we´ve been working a lot with him and he really wants to get baptized now, but we can´t do anything if we don´t have permission from them. But, we still have a few plans and ideas to see the baptism soon and we are going to continue working with him. I personally feel we will his baptism sooner. He just needs to show his parents that he has a testimony of the Gospel and that he really wants to get baptized. The good thing is his parents really like us and love to talk with us. So I think if we just continue to work a little bit more with them we can get permission. Pray that all goes well with this! Because I see a future missionary is Enzo.

Other then that things are good. Just a little bummed because we were suppose to be having two baptisms this Saturday and now were not. But we´re going to keep our heads up and keep working! Another good thing is that this week Elder White and I found a ton of new investigators that have a lot of potential to progress. The other good thing is that they are complete families! So this is exciting news. I feel really good about them and am hoping we will be seeing a lot of baptisms in April.

That´s pretty much the most exciting news for now. I´m going to wrap this up and try to get some photos over to you guys and a short email off to McKenzie! Have a great week and I will more from you guys next week. Oh also, remember to get your emails off Sunday night! Gracias! Te amo mucho y voy a escribir mas la prosima semana! Feliz Semana Santa!

Elder Deniston. :)

Pictures - March 25, 2013

Outside the mission office in Resistencia. We had our Zone Meeting this last week and we snapped this photo.

 A member here in San Martin plays the accordion really well. I wanted to snap a photo with it because I think they are really cool!

La Iglesia Católica aquí en San Martín. Yo pienso que nuestro Iglesia es mas capo y mas lindo. :)

March 11, 2013

Craziness about the ward! I´m not to surprised though because that has been the big rumor since I was a deacon. Bummed that Bishop Hughes was released! But he luckily he is still in our ward. I think it´s awesome they called Brother Aaragon as Bishop though. Is it the Brother Aaragon I know? That taught my sunday school class a few years back? Because if I remember correctly his brother was in out ward also. But maybe not and I´m just going crazy. Let me know!

Cool that Brother Piscitello is bishop with DeCocq  and Johnson. I can see those three working well together and I am sure they will be an awesome bishopric, although it will be weird to return home from the mission and not see them and my other horsethief people. Did dad get a new calling in our ward or still with the Elders Quorum? Keep me updated with everything.

Wasn´t to thrilled to hear about what happened with Tanner! Let me know if all is well with him and tell him to me an email please. I want to hear from him.

Bueno, news from me! Still loving San Martin. There is still a ton of stuff to do and work to get done but my love for the members and my desire to help and grow the branch is still growing, especially after this week. I´ve never seen so many youth that want to help with the growth of their branch. We worked a lot with the youth this last week and got to know them a lot more and they all want to help out with the missionary work! Supposedly the branch was really strong years ago but kind of halted in it´s progression due to people not fulfilling their callings and the missionaries being disobedient. But I really feel like things are starting to turn around! We have two returned missionary that just got back from Brazil, youth (some preparing for missions) that are starting to re-activate their inactive families and are doing weekly visits to other families and youth in the branch that also aren´t currently active, Elder White and I have progressing investigators that have baptismal dates for the next few weekends, and next Sunday President Fernandez, the stake president of the Resistencia Stake, is going to come to call a new branch president. Despite only having a handful of active members, there is a lot of positive and spiritual energy in the branch right now. I really feel like the Lord is beginning to hasten his work in San Martin. So we are just going to keep working and keep pumping ore excitement into the branch.

The mission conference was probably my favorite experience so far on the mission and gave a lot of elders, including me, an extra push to be a better missionary. Hermana Haymen gave a talk, which was more of a run down about what happened between the time she had her stroke and now and her recovery process. She basically explained all of the miraculous stuff that happened, including a blessing from David A. Bednar that happened to be giving youth firesides throughout Argentina the time of the stroke, and how nothing is coincidence with the Lord. The counselors of President Haymen shared their testimonies about the growth of the church here in Argentina which was more of a "thank you" to the missionaries because they have lived here their entire lives and have seen first hand the growth of The Church. So that was really good! But my favorite talk was President Haymen´s talk about obedience. I know without a doubt it was inspired talk and a talk I will remember forever. He centered it around the story of King David and how he had lived a life of righteousness. How he had unified the tribes of Israel together and had a government where the will of Lord was the law and how he was a man after the Lord´s heart, as the scriptures say. Although, despite living a life of righteousness he lost basically everything due to his sin with Bathsheba and the murder of her husband. He tied the story into obedience, not only as missionaries, but as members of the Church and disciples of Christ. How we should be obedient because we convented with God to be obedient to because we should we truly love Him when we are. It was similar to Elder Holland´s talk last general conference, but instead of using the story of Christ and Peter he used King David. After his talk we had one hour to ask questions, and as you can imagine with a group of 200 missionaries you are going to hear some pretty profound questions haha.

After that we had lunch and had time to talk with everyone and take photos! I saw everyone. Elder Gallardo, Child, Bowhill, my district from the MTC, and all of the elders I got to know in my old districts and zones and what not. Overall it was really good and we all left spiritually uplifted and with a desire to be a better disciple of Christ and harder working missionaries.

That´s pretty much all of the excited stuff that happened! I am going to wrap this up because I want to send photos! But I love you all and look forward to hearing from you guys next week. Keep me updated with all the craziness at home! Will write more next Monday!

Elder Deniston. :)

...Photos on the way!