Tuesday, December 11, 2012

May 28, 2012     Tucumán   Argentina


Hi mom! This week was a great one! Mainly for the baptism we finally had. Aside from that it was a little slow but we are trying to make some plans to pick things up a bit. Liliana and Rafael got baptized and were super excited! Might not look so much in the pictures but they were having a great weekend. She is the one that learned how to read while we taught her. We are having a family home evening with them and a few other families tonight.

This week I didn’t sleep the best until the last two nights so I was running on very little energy. It was a long week but a rewarding one. We are lacking progressing investigators right now except for a new family we found last week. The dad still hasn’t joined us but we are working on that. They are four in total and are very nice and hard working people. The kids 16 and 18 are very well taught and they don’t have a TV in the meal room!!! That was one of the first things I noticed. They didn’t make it to church but I think they will this week. I love the missionary work when you just keep finding new people like that. We need to focus on that a bit more. We are trying some knew things that the zone leaders helped me out with and it worked great for first visits and helping the people know why we are there. We try to get a baptism date in the first visit and try to teach all by questions – it is tricky but it makes the people think and feel the spirit in return. We are teaching the Book of Mormon first thing now since it’s the strongest tool for the conversion but since we are out of Books of Mormon we are going around to members and converts that have more than one. We are even now lending the book out under the condition that they read, to help them feel the urgency to read or they will lose it. It’s worked with a few people now just to get them going to church.

Well I have to get going.

I love you!


May 21, 2012      Tucumán   Argentina  


Thank you mom for the informacion! The more people we visit with the more I am hearing about cancers and health problems. I better not say anything else because everyone is interested! They all want to know more - maybe I’ll start putting them onto the Clark website in Spanish. I didn’t know they had that.

So this other member has liver attacks... I guess it’s when she eats a heavy food(fatty I am guessing) she gets sick with vomiting and the runs. It’s not the first time I have heard of liver attacks here but I never heard that before the mission. Must just be all the fried foods they eat here...(Q)

She used the oregano and it helped alot and she is not getting the shots anymore! She was super happy! I am going to give her the liver cleanse info because she is excited to get that as soon as possible.



May 14, 2012     Tucumán   Argentina


Well it was great talking to you! After leaving and heading to lunch some little kids thought it would be funny to shoot us with slingshots. They all missed but came pretty close! I turned around and started walking towards them and the little one started running off. Right on the other side of the street the parents and tons of other people were having a huge party (normal Saturday). One older kid walking by them told them to knock it off so we left. We had a huge lunch! It was so good. I found out she has a bad tooth ache that she gets injections every 6 hours for to ease the pain and so I gave her the oregano oil I had with me so she could try it. She is super excited to give it a try. She also wants to do the liver cleanse and anything else she can. Sounds like we might have to put together a book when I get home for them down here! There are lots of people interested in it all.

So when I got to my computer there was a dog under the desk! He just stayed there for a bit and got up and went to a different desk... only in Argentina! haha

Well I love you!


May 7, 2012       Tucumán   Argentina

You might have an email in Spanish from a family here who would like to learn about the liver cleanse. They have a brother who has epilepsy and all the meds he has to take have been killing his liver over time. I think only a percentage is working now. They are also interested in parasite herbs and what not and are a bit more capable of looking around for the stuff then the other family. I will try to see if they can find a place to get some of the products. The sister who will be writing you is Marcela Balderrama (bucket branch ha ha I find it funny but they find mine funny so it’s OK). They are such a wonderful family! And treat us so good! She makes salad and desserts to go along with the lunch.

The little kid who had the spots like zits is looking really good. He has been taking DE and says it tastes really good! haha. The family of Jose always gives us fruits and stuff to take since they have a little fruit and veggie store at their house. We left their house and this time she had a couple kiwis and mandarins since they are starting to come out again along with apples and oranges. We went to the family of where the little kid is and since we had so much and it was fast Sunday and we start Saturday after lunch we decided to just leave it all with them after eating a mandarin. The little kid had never had kiwi and I have never seen fruit in their house. In fact they are fortunate to have dinner or lunch aside from bread and mate (a tea that everyone drinks here. it smells like teas you would make and strain in a jar). He was super happy and loved the fruit! The parents did too. She works for a lady every once in awhile cleaning her house from 7 in the morning to 5 in the evening and gets 15 to 20 pesos. Enough to make noodles and sauce for the three of them... It’s amazing to see how little people have here. She is waiting for a member to put together a little BBQ thing so she can cook a type of bread in it to sell in the street. She wants to work but has very few options. Her husband gathers recycle to sell to the different places that take it but he might get 40 pesos every month from that. He goes and does other stuff when can too but not too often.

In the stores here everything is going up in price almost weekly. It’s crazy! Things are a few more pesos now than 3 months ago...

The guy that had his hand cut its doing great! I was amazed that a few days after I gave him the oregano it was not swollen and was looking really good! He was really grateful and is now back together with his girlfriend and daughter so we are going to try and get them married now. I had him taking golden seal too because I think you said that was for infections(Q)

This week was a hard one because my comp went to Salta to do some papers and I had to get a member to be with me for one day. Between two members I was able to visit some families. Tuesday was a holiday so they made Monday one also... when we went out looking for new people everyone wanted us to come in because they want to quit drinking or smoking... we don't go in if they are drunk and so when we came back to see them the next day none wanted anything to do with us... lot of wasted time or so it seemed. Every block we passed music was blasting out of the houses. Alot of them have their huge speakers outside right next to the table where they are eating and "visiting". It was like that since Friday night since it was a long weekend.

This guy in a car stopped us in the street saying "man you guys look American!" haha he was born here but at 5 years old moved to Utah with his family and got married there and now 8 months ago he moved back here. Being that his whole body was covered in tattoos I had to ask if he was going to church and he said that he was inactive and loved the lifestyle here! He lives in our area and is a really nice guy so we might see if there is something we can do.

Well I better get going.

I love you all thank you so much for everything!



April 30, 2012     Tucumán   Argentina


Thanks for the update on stake conference. It’s very interesting how the same things are very much so needed to be said here. I’ll be interested to hear what ours will be about. I am not sure when it is though.

A couple inactive people/families came to church Sunday. That was pretty cool! The branch has been doing alot to help there.

It is sunny today but it’s the first sunny day this week! It was about 55 and rainy all week long! My raincoat bleeds on my white shirts but it washes out in the wash so that's good.

We had a great zone conference that helped me change or start working on changing some things. There was a great talk by Neal A Maxwell called Absorbida en la Volutad del Padre [Swallowed Up in the Will of the Father]. You should look it up. The president applied it to the mission for us and how we serve. He is a great president but it’s hard not to feel bad about your work you have done too after he talks. He could be a future Elder Holland pretty easily. I have to change what I know I can, and do my best and just feel good about the results because lately I haven't been feeling the best about my work - feeling like I’ll never get better - but than I look back and see what I am learning in these harder times and it makes me feel better.

I have to go but thank you for everything! I love you all!



April 23, 2012     Tucumán   Argentina

This week was a learning week like any other I guess. Just with a little more patience involved. A family we found who was really interested doesn't want us to come back for now and some others just aren't progressing. We need to keep finding new people so that we can always have people who let us in to teach and help them progress. Sometimes it’s hard to stay cheerful like Alma and the people who escaped from King Noah did while receiving so much persecution and affliction. I just read that today in a conference talk after reflecting on the week. I am excited though to try to apply it for this week everyday. I think it will help me and my outlook on how the work is going and my faith in what we can achieve.

Saturday we stopped by a less active family and found out the dad had to give his first talk ever. He had been asked before but never came to do them in church. He was pretty nervous so we helped gather some materials together since they do have alot of books from the church. It was on agency and Sunday I was going to give a talk in his place since he hadn’t come yet - until just before sacrament meeting. I was happy to see him come with his talk prepared and it turned out to be a great talk. He had been back for one Sunday and they asked him to do it because the few people that go are always giving talks. I know his testimony was strengthened and that many others who attended were also. He was the one last week who we talked about fam. history with and helped them get started. It’s really amazing what looking for family history can do to someone’s excitement. In teaching it to them it really made me want to do more of it. Hopefully we can get some more through Felicia (don’t know how to spell it) in Poland

I know that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ live and love us more than we can imagine. I know that families can be sealed by the priesthood of God to continue together forever. I know our lives on earth can be difficult and trying at times but if we make decisions with the future (life after this) in mind, we will be able to live with our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ and our families. I know that it is only by baptism and receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost by the power of God that we can return to live with Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. These are all truths that we know to be true through the restoration of the church of Jesus Christ. The church was restored by the power of God through Joseph Smith. I know this to be true because my Heavenly Father has told me through the whisperings of his spirit. I know without a doubt that everyone who reads the Book of Mormon with an open mind and heart continuing with diligence(in reading and pondering), faith, and a sincere desire to follow the answer given, that you will know by the power of the Holy Ghost that it is true. You will also receive the blessings promised to those who read it that you will bring yourself closer to Heavenly Father and bring more peace and joy into your life. 

One of the people we are teaching said that she has always argued with her 23 year old daughter throughout her life but since she started reading it, overcoming her preconceived thoughts about it, she said it has changed the atmosphere of her home. She doesn't argue with her daughter or other family members and it prepared her to forgive her brother who came back to see her after having had an argument a year ago. She told us that she knows it because she has been reading but she still doesn't want to leave her religion yet. She is a little afraid of leaving something behind after having been with it for so long. She has told us she has felt an answer that the Book of Mormon is true. She said that when she first started reading she was very reluctant and had many doubts about its origin but when she continued reading even though she felt bad about it she was able to break through these thoughts and feelings and come to know of its truth. She cannot put the book down now.

I invite once again all to read the Book of Mormon which testifies clearly of Jesus Christ and the sacrifice he made because of the pure love that he has for us. Even though the prophets weren't present for his ministry in Jerusalem they testify clearly of his existence and his ministry and love by revelation given to them (prophets) as special witnesses of Him. Heavenly Father loves all his children. That is why they knew of his existence even though they were in other parts of the world. 

I know the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the only true church of God which is organized to prepare his children for the second coming of his only begotten son Jesus Christ.  In the name of Jesus Christ amen.

I love you all so very much!   


April 16, 2012               Tucumán   Argentina

I gave some oregano oil to a guy who was coming back to church then got in a fight with his brother who lives on the same property for selling drugs there. He blocked his face with his arm from a blow with a machete and got hit in the wrist. He cleaned it out and super glued it shut and it’s kind of swollen and so I told him to put it on there a couple times a day. His wife who was investigating the church with his daughter and soon to be born kid left him because of the problems at the house. It’s really sad because he needs her support - just getting out of jail for two years and trying to change his life. The night we came (after that happened) he had started smoking. He had gone to church the week before and sees that Satan is trying to get in the way and knows he needs to keep going but says it’s so hard. It really hurts to see these things happening because if they could get out of the hole they are in they would be great members in the church. The brother who hit him had come to church a few weeks ago with his member girlfriend and 2 year old kid and wanted to change his life around but couldn't find work and so he started drinking and selling drugs again. We kept trying to help him and he loved reading the scriptures with us and with his girlfriend when we weren't there. They were doing really well and then he felt bad because he didn't have much of anything for his family to eat. We do what we can with the ward to help them out but the church wants them to become self sufficient. So we leave that in their hands. The problem is that alot of the members are barely getting by and are working alot of hours. It just makes you want to give what you have but we can’t do that either. 

A family finally came to church who live a ways away and who have wanted to get baptized for months now. She told everyone in church that she only has two times to come to church then she can get baptized! She asked to say the last prayer in the class which was really full - the Sunday with less actives and investigators. It was a great feeling after having one of the toughest weeks ever. We had less than half of the lessons we should have this past week. We just had the hardest time getting in to teach. The one lesson we had Sunday lifted us up alot too. It was after 6 hours of church because the members that were going to help us out didn't come to do divisions again and since we don't have any minutes on the phone we couldn't get anyone else to come. So we talked to a few people after church at 8:30 about coming over because they have spirits bothering their kid and want someone to give him a blessing and dedicate the home even though they have the priesthood. We have to talk to some of our leaders about it first to see what we can do. After we talked to them we ran over to an investigator with very little time who had come to church earlier in the morning. His sister sat down to listen and is excited and is 9 years old. The kid we are teaching there is 19 with a little daughter and a girlfriend who doesn't want to listen yet. He still wants to come and keep learning though. He has been reading for the last 3 days consistently now and said he feels amazing and loves the book of Mormon. I asked him if he had prayed to ask if it is true and he said "I pray before I read like you told me every time but I haven't ever asked to know if its true. But I don't have any doubts that it is true." My companion asked him if he would follow the example of Jesus Christ and be baptized and he said "FOR SURE!" He is not married and we have yet to talk to him about it but with the excitement he had he should be able to pray about it and change that. 

Ya trying to picture it here would be difficult but here in this part alot of people have grass and roses and stuff in their yards but in the really poor places not so much. It’s weird because you get people with money living right between the others and some how it just all fits in.

A missionary tossed out a peanut butter jar his family sent him and I grabbed it and cleaned it out since he didn't. It was pretty tasty but it might be hard to fit in the package. I’d rather you just send the DE and ww and stuff for the people here. I don't have too long till I’ll be able to eat it haha.

Time is just flying by. I am already starting my third week with my new companion and we keep learning alot. He is so positive all the time even though he is super tired. He gets lots of compliments on his Spanish which is good. Whatever he says people understand him because he pronounces clearly.

We are trying different ways to get to less-actives here and one way which worked was to help them start their family history. They came to church and are excited to prepare themselves to go to the temple to do the work for their ancestors. It really brings the spirit into their lives and gives them strength to keep going. It also helps us understand how merciful our heavenly father is for all of his children.

I know this church is true and one can know for sure if they read the book of Mormon and pray about it.

I love you all so much! Take care!


April 9, 2012    Tucumán    Argentina

 We made it back late because of studies and laundry and cleaning the house (which we didn't get very far with) I guess that's where the atonement comes in. I felt like we did the best we could to get everything done but at the same time learned a few things to get better next week. We are expected to baptize every week and when it doesn't work out for a time it’s pretty disappointing but I guess it’s the process of learning. Anyways I love my new companion. He is really tired but still has a great attitude about everything. He is from California (Sacramento area) and is learning really fast! He remembers the Spanish we practice very well and is an honor to work with! I was very blessed with my new companion. We’ll see what the future brings but I guess it’s like a marriage haha. You’ve got to keep it going like it started from the beginning. It’s just our outlook and patience. Well I have to go. Thank you so much for the pictures and everything!


I will be writing probably anytime before noon.  Right now I have to get a haircut! I’ll talk to you later!


Love Alex