Monday, October 28, 2013

First P-day in Elder Sirrines First Area -Trelew North

Dear Dad,
I´m gald you guys got my letter and I look forward to getting whatever letters you guys send me. Thanks for all the updates on the family. My first área is Trelew North, but I don´t know the address of my apartment yet. I´ll tell you when I know. I am definitely looking forward to all of the fun stuff. It´ll be awesome. My companion is Elder Salas he´s from Argentina and speaks basically only Castellano. It´s fun.
Love, Michael
 These photos are from the airport and the flight.
Michael's companion calling home

Elders trying to sleep during the flight

Hermana (Sister) Kuhns one of several sisters going to Comodoro
 Dear Mom,
You got all of that right. I´m glad you guys are updating my blog, it´ll be fun to read that. I am defintely enjoying myself here in Argentina. The people and the food here are awesome! I went to church last Sunday and there are only 28 people in my Ward. It´s tiny! One of them is a recent convert and I think that he and his wife are amazing people. I also got to help teach my first lesson and that was when I realized that while I can understand a lot of what the people say I am nowhere near fluent. I have a lot of work ahead of me to learn this language but thus far I think it´s going really well. My trainer tells me that I can speak a lot better Spanish than most of the Elders that came in with me. I hope he´s right. I miss you guys a ton and I´m trying not to feel homesick but that isn´t going super awesome. I do really love my misión president though. He´s a funny guy. I´m in Trelew as my first área and I think that it is great! I am having a lot of fun and I love all of the elders that are around me. Today we´re going to play sports at one of the various capillas or chapels. I think that will be fun. I´ll let you know more when I have more experiences and stories to share.
Love, Michael

Luggage had a rough ride

Buenos Aires LDS Temple during transit to MTC for a meeting

Elder Sirrine arrives in Comodoro Rivadavia

Dear family,
I made it to Argentina safe and sound.  Turns out there is an airport in Comodoro Rivadavia, so I have now spent 36-hours on planes and busses to get to my mission home in Argentina. We ended-up flying from Buenos Aires down to Comodoro instead of a long bus ride, but I will probably take a bus to my first area. I met a couple of Elders serving in Comodoro and I think this will be a good mission.
I met President Rogers and think he is an awesome guy. I like him a lot and think he is a great president. I think that the Spanish accent in Argentina is really cool. They speak with more of an Italian twist. It’ll be fun to learn it. I am so tired right now. I apparently can’t sleep on a plane so in the last 36 hours I have slept for about 7. I am just ready to sleep while writing this letter. The good part about being down here is that I realize how much Spanish that I can actually understand and it’s pretty cool.
President Rogers speaks Spanish well and he actually served his mission here in Comodoro and other areas. I learned from him that there were some Sirrines living by him in Lindon, Utah. Are we related to them at all? That would be really cool to know. I need to sleep a lot more or find out how to stay awake on less sleep better. The schedule for missionaries gives us 8 hours of sleep and I don’t think that will be enough. I’ll figure out how to do it though, it shouldn’t be too hard.
I think that I am less homesick now that I am in Argentina then I was in the MTC. It’s probably because Argentina is a rather poor country and a lot of the neighborhoods here look like they have been bombed. It’s definitely going to be interesting when I get to my first area and start walking around the city. I learned today that most of the cities and the people in my mission are along the coast. Some do go farther inland towards the mountains but not a lot. It’ll be way cool to see the different areas.

So have fun at home and I will try to do the same down here. I’ll email on P-day and send some photos I have taken. Love you all.
Love Michael
Elder Sirrine with President and Hermana Rogers

Elder Sirrine with President Rogers and his wife
and all the new Elders and Hermanas for this transfer.
On Friday, October 25th Elder Sirrine was able to call his family from the Dallas, Fort Worth airport as he waited for his flight to Buenos Aires. The kids had some question and Michael answered as follows:

How was the MTC?
o   It was awesome but I am ready to go to Argentina. My district was fun. I love these guys. It is pretty amazing that we can get so close in just 6 weeks. My best friend here at MTC is my companion, Elder Tingey (who is related to the general authority Elder Tingey). It feels pretty much like a family.
o   Brother Haugh (sp?)was my favorite teacher. I had 12 different teachers during my time here at MTC for a variety of reasons. Our district was the orphaned district – we had several really good teachers.
o   The best decision I made here at the MTC was to join the choir. We got to sing every devotional which I loved. I liked the choir director and how he shared with us background information regarding the hymns we sang. It helped me get a deeper appreciation for the hymns.
o   I feel pretty prepared as I leave the MTC.
·         Who will travel with you to Argentina? There 20 elders and sisters that went to the airport together. On the flight from Dallas there are six elders that are going to the Comodoro Rivadavida mission.
·         What was your most fun experience in MTC?
o   The most fun experience was when we were a little board and a lot of elders tied their sheets together to make a “sheet” sled. Being pulled on the sheet sled down the hall was really fun. I also enjoyed our activity last P day when I delayed the exposure when taking pictures. To draw with the light was pretty awesome.
·         What was the best experience in the MTC?
o   I loved the devotionals that we had on Tuesdays and Sundays. A question I had was answered at each and every one. The best one that we had was the fireside we had the last Sunday where Elder Robins of the 70th talked about making connections – that investigators or less active members are not just numbers. He shared an experience where a missionary and an investigator played pool. The investigator said if I make this shot (which was an impossible shot) he would attend church. The Elder said a prayer and miraculously the ball went in.
·         What are you most looking forward to as you leave the MTC?
o   I am looking forward to being around people again. I look forward to talk Spanish and not just being around missionaries but some variety.
·         What was your most spiritual experience so far?
o   Elder Tingey and I were invited to share our testimony with one of the new groups that came to the MTC. While I shared my testimony, I felt that I was given words to say. Afterwards everyone came up to me and thanked me for my testimony and message and how this had meant a lot to them. I knew that I had the spirit with me and that I was given the words to say.
·         Best meal?
o   It was actually the fried chicken we had at the Dallas airport. I loved it.
·         I have used all the ties and the grey suit is my favorite. My bags – one was 47 and one was 49 pounds.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Last week in the MTC; Heading for Argentina October 23, 2013


Thanks for the advice Mom! I will let you know if I have any questions.

The apostle that came to the MTC to talk to us was Elder Oaks. It was way cool to hear him talk! I learned a ton from him. The coolest thing that I've learned over the last week was that the guy who wrote Praise to the man, W. W. Phelps was the best friend of Joseph Smith and a way strong convert but because of some things he did wrong he got excommunicated from the church. After that he went and testified against Joseph Smith and the other leaders of the church and was the main reason they got sent to Liberty Jail. Then, years later some missionaries found him and he had had a huge change of heart. Things in his life were really not going well. He talked to the missionaries and tried to get them to send a letter to Joseph for him but the missionaries said that they would write a letter and he would write a letter and they would send them together. The letters that they wrote to Joseph Smith were really powerful and spiritual. I would recommend that you look them up. In the end W. W. Phelps was reaccepted into the church and was in Carthage with Joseph Smith and would have died except he got sent away. The song Praise to the man was written after Joseph died. It's got so much more meaning for me now. I love it.

Love, Michael




Dear Dad,

I'm gald you all are excited. I am super ecited! It's crazy! I'm pretty much over my homesickness for now but I don't know if that will change. All of my district is leaving at the same time and four of us, including me and my companion are going down to Comodoro Rivadavia. There are also three sisters going down with us. I will get you the flight numbers later today. I will have plenty of time to call you guys. I will definitely contact you guys when I get to the mission home. I will be careful. Thanks dad.

That's awessome! I think that sounds like a good bishopric. Congrats on the calling too! I think you'll do a great job.

Love, Michael

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

As far as news from me I have put on 8 pounds of muscle and am starting to get  6 pack! I'm so proud and happy right now! I think that at the end of my mission I'm going to be super fit. I also got my travel plans! I'm leaving Wednesday of next week and I'm going to be in the airport and able to call in the morning sometime before noon. i will arrive in Argentina on Friday of next week at some crazy time in the morning. It's going to be fun to travel for two days. it'll be like 17 hours on plane and 21 hours on bus. Fun times.

As far as spiritual things go I have a new love for Mormon messages. One of them that I watched and loved was from Elder D. Todd Cristofferson it's a three part video that talks about our "Daily Bread". He said that it's no accident that we need daily physical sustenance. The Lord made it so that we would remember him. With the Israelites in the desert He gave them their daily sustenance in the form of Manna, it came from heaven and didn't last more than a day. That way they had a constant daily reminder that the Lord is and was their provider. For us our Manna is more spiritual than physical. Just like we can't go for a while without eating and drinking without having problems we can't expect to not read our scriptures and pray without having spiritual problems. We need to pray and study the scriptures daily to get our "Manna" from the Lord. He also said that during the hard times of our life we shouldn't pray for a miracle. We need not think far into the future. We should just focus on the day to day things in life and pray for the strength to get through one day. And then start over again the next day. If we do that before we know it we'll have gotten through our trials and be to the point that we can be hapy again. I think that's what I'm going to apply to my mission. I'll pray for the strength to get through one day at a time and it'll be alright.

Love all of you guys,

Monday, October 7, 2013

October 7, 2013 email and pics from the MTC

These are some pictures of my companion, my host (in the black shirt) and of my teacher. Hermano Haug. He left the MTC though which is really sad.


Elder Sirrine and his teacher Hermano Haug and his companion Elder Tingey


Elder Sirrine and his MTC Host, I think the Host acts as an investigator.



Elder Sirrine and his MTC District


Elder Sirrine and his MTC teacher “Hermano Haug”


The MTC cafeteria. A place of full filling reflection.


The MTC classroom where the learning is intense.

The language is going great! I am nearly conversationally fluent and I've heard that within three months out in the field I'll be fluent. I have heard nothing on my Visa or departure date, from what I've seen though I think that they tell most missionaries about that on their last week in the MTC. I'll let you know when I hear anything more.


An MTC Zone that is leaving for their missions in Argentina

Dear, Callista

Thank you so much for the picture! I love it! I'm so happy that you are learning to read, write and do math. Keep doing good in school and keep being a good girl. I love you tons and miss you a lot.

Love, Michael

Hey mom,

Conference was the BEST!!! I felt the spirit so strongly and I knew that a lot of the talks were specifically for missionaries and I felt loved. It was the best. To quote Brayden it's like spiritual Christmas. I loved Elder Eyring's talks but I think that one of my favorites was in the Priesthood session, maybe? Elder Uchtdorf talked about standing up every time we fall down we need to get right  back up and keep going. But sometimes it's hard to stand up on our own. During those times we usually have people come along and say, "You can get up now." And then just like that we're up and running along again.

That was a good message for me because I know that here in the MTC when you are happy you are really happy and when you start to feel a little down it feels like you are depressed. All of my emotions are a lot more powerful and to have that talk say that sometimes we just need a little bit of help and that the Savior is ready to help us all the time was a huge boost to me.

I'm glad you all enjoyed my letters and I love getting all of the packages.

I love you guys too and I'm glad that things are going well at home.

Lots of love, Michael

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Temple Blessings

Last night we heard from the temple president of the Provo temple and he talked about how important the temple covenants are. One thing he said that hit me was that none of us are below the reach of Christ's Atonement and that we need to have a daily "interview" where we account for our doings of every day to the Lord and ask what He thinks about what we have done. I tried doing that last night and I felt really good being able to open up completely to him. Today I got an answer to a question I had asked him while I was in the temple and I feel really happy. That was a great experience for me.

Elder Michael Sirrine

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Week 3 in the Provo MTC

Hey mom,

Thanks for the prayers mom, I think they help a lot. Thanks for the advice. I definitely have been praying for support. I can't believe that it's happened so fast, it's crazy! I'm glad that you and Mormor were able to go to that meeting and were able to see the sisters sing. I think you'll be an amazing choir director mom. I will be sending out my response letters to the family today or tomorrow. I just haven't had a ton of time to write to all of you guys because they keep us really busy here. That's a really cool message. Last night we had the Provo temple president and his wife come and talk to us and they both talked about the importance of the temple and the changes it can make in our lives and on our attitudes. I really took that to heart and thought about it. They thoughts I had were if I had actually been paying attention to what had been going on in the temple and if I had ever thought really hard about what it meant to me. I went to the temple this morning and did just that and I know that I felt God's love for me and felt His spirit close. I know that he loves me, that a mission is where I am supposed to be and that i don't need to worry about what's going on at home because everything will work out just fine in the end. Thank you guys so much for the support you all have given me and for everything that you have taught me. I have definitely felt your love in your emails. I plan on losing myself in the work as much as I can.

This last week I had an experience where I met a guy who had lived a rather interesting life. One of his experiences was that he after he had been inactive for more than 40 years he decided to pray and ask God to help him out with his situation. In less than fifteen seconds things started falling into place and he went back to the church. He was a really weird guy and I think he was also kind of crazy but talking to him made me appreciate all of what I have and my knowledge of the Gospel. I know that we can receive answers to our prayers and that God loves us. I have read through most of the Book of Mormon again while I have been here and I can testify that it is a true book and that through that book I have been able to receive answers to my prayers. The gospel and my family are the two best things I have and I love them both very much. in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Love, Michael