Another random week. Here are some of the most interesting parts:
Letter from Nelvis and David. I found and brought them into the church during my time in Santa Fe, just right after arriving into the mission field. For a quick recap, they used to attend a congregation of Jehovah´s Witnesses but always had some doubts about certain beliefs in practices. However, they felt alright after having searched for a good church for many years. Still a littel curious about other religions and wanting to find the exact truth that made sense to them, they allowed us to teach them the missionary discussions. From their baptismal date to today, they have gone to church regularly and enjoyed every second. They sent me a letter this past week, which surprised me! They thanked me for my time and service in Argentina and told me of their many great experiences. These are the most interesting details:
-David will receive the Melchizedek preisthood this coming Sunday
-They both have callings now, one as Young Women´s advisor and the other as a counselor in Elders Quorum
-They invite their current missionaries over to eat every once in a while during the week
-All of their baptismal pictures are saved on thier computer, and they have a handful of us, the missionaries!
-David gave his first talk three weeks ago, felt a little nervous, and did a great job--at least according to Nelvis and the members :).
Simply put, it was a great letter, and I enjoyed reading about the blessings in their life. On this topic of converts, Marcelo and Araceli plan to attend the Buenos Aires open house this coming month. We are helping them coordinate with the Bishop and other members to set up travel plans! I love to see the church change/bless people's lives; it´s why I´m a missionary!
Sore Muscles. SUPER SORE Muscles. haha. I know, kinda random. So here is the quick sparknote version of what happened to me. When Elder Benson left, he gave me a great deal on all of his weights and workout schedules, totaling to close to 50 lbs of weight along with a full guidebook on exercises to do when you have little equipment. Basically, it is the perfect package for a missionary. I have run kind of regularly here, but I hadn´t dont weights since the summer before my mission. I know . . . a super long time! haha. So one morning, I decided to pull them out and work out my chest, back, and arms. Normally I just run, but I am trying to work in more exercise time! I did pushups, and other exercises with the dumbbell and weights for like 30 minutes. Then I went through our typical cross country ab workout. I didn´t think much of it but just showered afterwards and got dressed for the day. Oh man, not having worked out for such a long time absolutley killed me!! The next day, I could hardly brush my teeth since my arms were so tight. This isn´t an exaggeration! :). I had to stretch a bunch before putting on my tie too. Hahaha. Man, it was really funny but really annoying at the same time.
Despite the soreness, which lasted like three days, I am really grateful for the weights. It is kinda hard to find time here in the offices, but when I leave them, I plan to set up a regular workout schedule that hopefully involves running, stretching, abs, weights, and jumprope. It is really hard to workout during the winter here too, so right now it´s just kinda tough to exercise in the morning. When running with Elder Benson, it was cold but not THAT cold. So right now, I just do some simple exercises insdie the offices in the morning where there is a heater. Cuz in the apartment it is like 50 degrees sometimes in the morning. Don´t worry, though. I love the jump rope. I am going to use it a bunch when everything heats up here in a few months.
Sore Throat. After like two weeks of coughing and sneezing, I finally gave in and went to see a general doctor. He prescribed me some simple medication, adn it´s helped a bunch. I feel quite better, even though my throat is still a little irritated. This part of the week was pretty lame, so I don´t wanna talk about it too much more. I´m doing a lot better, though :)
Goals for the Second Year. Alright, I am currently companions with Elder Hull. Brenton Hull, as all his friends know him outside of the mission, is from South Jordan, Utah! It´s actually kinda funny because I have been companions with two secretaries to the president now: Elder Hull and Elder Benson. Both are from South Jordan, and both of their dads are doctors! haha. Anyways, just to give you a brief lowdown, Elder Hull played soccer all throughout high school and attended Utah State University for one year before the mission. We actually have quite a bit in common too, like boating and snow sports. He is cool, and we get along well! Basically, I have been really blessed with good companions here in the offices.
Anyways, so the goals. On July 27 this past week, I COMPLETELY A WHOLE YEAR AS A MISSINOARY. Yeah! 365 days with the name badge and everything. Wow, it has been FOREVER! It´s all downhill from here, or at least that´s what Elder Hull and I said this past Friday. We ate with investigators that night and had a special celebration dinner! We made 60 empanadas, which are like small Argentine tacos! It was tons of fun. Also, that night we talked about some goals for our second year and came up with some great ones. The biggest one is this: To speak only Spanish. We are striving to only speak Spanish for the entire second year. We made a list of the benefits of doing this, and here are some that we came up with:
-We will understand our investigators better
-We will have a better accent by the end of our mission
-We will later earn more credits in college since we will do better on the oral part of the exam
-We will help new missionaries learn the language
Of course, there will be some times when it´s necesary to speak in English, which is totally fine. If we are teaching English to a family or helping people with English homework, we then would speak in English. Some of the South American elders are learning English too, and we speak with them so they can practice. This happens every once in a while. Some new missionaries need explanations in English, which obviously is fine too. With these things aside, we can speak in Spanish. It can only help. A couple other missionaries in our group are game too. Elder Yorgason, my MTC companion is going to do it too!! We used to practice a bunch together, and now we are able talk to each other in Spanish, which is really cool.
Alright, i guess that´s about it for this week. I hope you guys are doing great. I love to read your dearelders and letters. I´m doing well and guess what? The mail system strike finally ended and everything is up and running again. So we have been received tons of letters and packages two or three times a week.
I love you guys. Like always, thanks for everything. I hope you're all doing well.