Monday, December 29, 2014

Christmas Skype

Dear Family,
To answer your questions, the last time I laughed with my companion was last night and we were joking about Spongebob. Something that makes me laugh in my area is how frustrated my companion gets at the uneven sidewalks. My president is going to give us a new Book of Mormon for New Years that we have to read and mark before April 6th. The people work here all the time. There are really weird hours that people are home, and I do my laundry at least once a week if not more.
Michael saying goodbye

Family and Kendall Skypeing with Michael

Now, thanks for the updates about all of you and for the pictures. I also have pictures to send to you. Also, I had a totally awesome Christmas and I loved being able to talk to you. I told you most of everything in the Skype call so today is just an update of the rest of the week. On Thursday I watched the last 20 min of Frozen (showed up late) and we watched How to Train Your Dragon 2. I really loved that movie and I want to watch all of Frozen when I get home. And then nothing really happened until Sunday night when we challenged one of our investigators to get baptized and he accepted. He has been listening to the missionaries for a year and now he has stopped smoking and is planning on moving out so he can be baptized. He is an amazing person and I hope that he gets baptized. Love you all and hope you have a great week!
Love, Michael

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Merry Christmas

Dear Family,

This week has been a bit odd for us. We had the opportunity to help our Bishop and one of our investigators build parts of a kitchen. That was a lot of fun, we got to chisel walls, dig pits, and we helped put up drywall. The sad thing is that our investigator is going to Misiones (northern Argentina) for the holidays but he is going to come back for a week or two in January to finish the kitchen and then he´s going home forever. It was good to say goodbye to him though. 

We also helped the bishop from another ward who lives in our area with some service as well. We helped clean out his backyard a lot and we started to help him dig out the foundation of his house because the wood is starting to rot. His house wasn´t built well by the person who owned it first. That was a lot of work and it was a lot of fun. That bishop (his last name is Jerez) Has a lot of family over and on Sunday we got to eat lunch with them which turned out to be a very spiritual experience. His family are all converts to the church and his mom and one of his brothers started telling us their life stories basically. They have had some crazy experiences, when  his mom started investigating the church her oldest son (now the bishop) got Meningitis and they had him in the hospital. She said that the only thing that she could remember about the missionaries was that they could give blessings so they called the Elders and they gave her son a blessing. Her son was basically in a coma before and when the Elders blessed him his eyes started to twitch and she knew that he was going to be okay. Then, about five years ago, she had a grandson that died at 10 that wasn´t baptized because her daughter and her son in law are really against the church. But, she took his name to the temple and did his work and she said that she could feel her grandson there with her and when she told her son in law that she had done the work for his son she said that he could also feel the spirit and that he has started softening his heart to come back to the church. And then they told us that we were exemplary sons of God and that missionaries are valiant because the mission is like going to the frontlines of the war. It was a really cool lunch and the food was delicious which is a plus.
Mission Christmas Card

Comodoro North Zone

The other thing that happened this week is that we have started knocking all of the doors in our area and it has been interesting. We haven´t seen any miracles yet but it has been hard to keep going. The patagonia is a really cold place in terms of people. Nobody trusts anybody and very few people really want to talk about God. So, as we contact we get rejected more often than not and it wears on you. But we keep going because we know why we´re here and what we have that the people need. I have also been talking to my companion a lot about that this week too and one thing that I found in my personal study that helped me a lot. It is in Alma chapter 21 which talks about Aaron and his mission. When he started all he found were people that mocked him for his beliefs and kicked him out of various different cities and he ended up in jail, starved and bound when Ammon came and freed him. But, after he bore with patience his afflictions it says that the Lord started to bless them and they were able to do great things. That is the hope that I have, that I can bear my afflictions and that you can all endure the hard times so that we can get to the part where the Lord blesses us. There is a light at the end of every tunnel you just have to hold on long enough for the light to appear.

Also, I am looking forward to Christmas and I am going to Skype you all on the 25th at about 11 my time. Which should be 7 in the morning for you. Look forward to seeing you all! Love you tons!


Monday, December 15, 2014

Christmas Songs

Well, this week is going to be a shorter email. Sorry.

This week the big things that have happened are that we did another service project and got to move a lot of trash and help out na hermano a lot. Then on Sunday we got to sing in a choir of missionaries and show people a lot of songs that we normally sing around Christmas time in English. It was a lot of fun and my comp did amazingly with his solo. He sang and played the guitar. IT was beautiful and we had the Disney princess of the mission sing with him. It was awesome. She has a beautiful voice. And that´s really all that happened. Also, O holy night is a gorgeous song and when we performed it you could really feel the spirit. And transfers came and went with no changes I´m still with my companion for 6 weeks. Love you all tons and I look forward to Skypeing with you on Christmas!


Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Thanksgiving Dinner in Comodoro

Dear Family,

Thanks for the emails and the pictures. You guys look great! I´m always happy to see you all and I am really happy that you get to see Christmas lights. It is a very different feeling here around Christmas. The people don´t get the Christmas spirit the same way we do. Or very few of them do. IT´s really sad.
Comodoro Rivadavia District
Thanksgiving Rolls
This week we had the opportunity to eat a mock Thanksgiving, totally delicious. With stuffing, gravy, mashed potatoes and meat. The meat was the entire leg of the cow. It was awesome! We also did a play and had a story of the first thanksgiving to help the Latino missionaries understand why it is so important to the Gringos. It was a lot of fun. Then we had a zone meeting on Friday which went really well. We talked about our personal testimonies, what to do if you get a dear John, and about offering our "whole soul" to Christ. Read Omni 1:26 it´s a good verse. 

Thanksgiving Stuffing

Thanksgiving Potatoes, Corn, and Garvy

Thanksgiving Meat, Leg of Cow
Then on Saturday we did service for a member family helping them to weed and clean up their yard. It was long hard work but it was a lot of fun. It reminded me a lot of home and I thought, "dad offered to pay me to do this work and now I´m doing it as service!" Weird thought that. And that family also invited us to go over to their house for Christmas. And I think that´s where I´m going to Skype to you guys from, I totally love the Rotondo family. They are seriously amazing. And that´s really all that happened this week. It´s been really chill. My investigators are doing good. One man is stopping smoking and we have other people that are getting testimonies step by step. It´s all going great here. I would love if you all shared things from the scriptures that you learn. I absolutely love the scriptures now. They are amazing. Love you all tons and hope you have a good week!


Monday, December 1, 2014

Baptism Interview

Dear Family,

First off, thanks for the emails and updates about how things are going for you all. It sounds like things are going great there at home and that you are all happy. It makes me happy.  Also, I got the package that you sent me for Christmas. I haven´t read all of the letters because I´m saving some for Christmas.  But thanks a ton for all of the things that you sent.

Now, this week has been super crazy and super spiritual. The hermanas in my district had a baptism this week! That was the spiritual part. I got to interview one of the people and that was an experience. Also, my zone leader and I  (we did divisions for the interviews) were treated like general authorities by the members in the rama (branch). It´s about 3 hours away from the city of Comodoro and they almost never see Elders or other members. So for us to be there was a big deal and they thanked us several times for the spirit we brought and for being there. It was cool.

The crazy parts were that on Thursday we went out to Sarmiento (the little city) to do the interviews and the couple didn't think that they were ready and were doubting the baptism. So, we tried to help them as much as we could but they didn't say yes there. So we went home sad and planned to go back the next day, Friday. We go back and the hermanas told us that they had talked to their investigators and they had changed their mind. They had prayed and decided to get baptized. So we did the interviews really quickly right before the baptism and had a very spiritual experience. Then we stayed after to help clean up and to sleep in  the chapel because there were no buses that left after 7, which is when the baptism was. So we stayed up´til midnight draining the font (it was a swimming pool font) and then slept on the floor in the chapel. A fun  experience and totally worth it. That was the highlight of this week and for the moment of the transfer. Hope you all have a great week!

Love you tons,

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Comodoro Centro

Dear Family,

The ward I am in is Comodoro Centro, the people in my district are Elder Smedley, Elder Soto, Hermana Tumbaico, Hermana Zanuttini and Elder Cardwell (my comp). And it is just great being a district leader. =) Love it.

Elder Cardwell
Nestor and Elder Cardwell
This week has been pretty fun for us. We had a lot of time talking to Nestor, the nearly blind and deaf recent convert. He´s a really cool guy. I love him a ton. He got a really bad cut on his hand this week and because he can´t see it he thinks that it´s totally fine but it really isn´t. So, we´ve been trying to take care of him and help with his hand so that´s been interesting. We also have a couple of other investigators that are doing really well. They are Gaston and Evelyn. Gaston has been listening to the missionaries for a while now and the only reason he isn´t baptized is because he has to get divorced and then married. So, it´s complicated but, we´re working with him on that. And he´s also been doing a lot more to try and get his family interested in the gospel too. It´s been a lot of fun to work with him and to help him get that all figured out. 
Elder Cardwell and Atlantic Ocean
Elder Sirrine overlooking the Atlantic Ocean

Elder Sirrine

Comodoro Art
And Evelyn is amazing. We found her last week and she has already gotten a testimony of the Book of Mormon. She loves to read it. We also taught her on Sunday and her friend that was kind of against the church before helped us in the lesson to teach Evelyn and to help Evelyn find answers to her questions. It was a really cool lesson and I was really happy that Carol (the friend) Helped us out as much as she did. God definitely works through mysterious ways. 

Love y´all tons and hope you have a great week!


Monday, November 17, 2014

A Prophet Visits Comodoro

Dear Family,

Thanks for the package, I look forward to getting that around Christmas!

Well, this week has been kind of crazy. We had Elder Christofferson in Comodoro on Wednesday for the members and on Thursday for the missionaries and because my area is really close to the stake center my comp and I got asked to help out with chairs and ushering among other things. So we spent Monday night moving chairs to the stake center from other chapels because there wasn´t enough, that was fun I also saw a member family that I haven´t seen since I left Comodoro. They´re amazing people. And on Wednesday we spent nearly the whole day in the chapel helping to get everything cleaned and set up and then helping to usher people to seats. The worst part was that a couple of kids were running around the whole time making a scene. It got to the point that we forcibly kept one of them out of the room. My comp had a fight with him in the door too which was funny to watch but was terrible to have happen. But, despite all of that the meeting was really cool. Elder Christofferson talked to the members about the importance of the NAME of Christ, his wife talked about the Book of Mormon and the area president and his wife both talked about the sacrament. It was a really cool meeting to be in. And on Thursday we had our meeting as missionaries with Elder Christofferson. We had nearly the whole mission together. It was amazing. I saw a ton of people that I knew and got to talk to a lot of good friends.
Elder Christopherson Visits Comodoro Rivadavia Mission

In our meeting on Thursday Elder Christofferson answered questions. My favorite answer that he gave to us was to the question, "How can we stay happy and not get down when so many people reject us?" He answered with Romans 10 and told us that our calling is to give the people the opportunity to accept Christ and that when they reject us they are rejecting Him not us specifically. It was a really cool answer and I liked how he did it. The other really cool things that happened this week are that we have had three lessons now where we had planned to say something to another person but the people we visited were the ones that really needed it. It´s amazing to see how the Lord guides us in doing His work. Also, as a zone we had the goal to invite more than 12 people to be baptized this week and we invited 15. It was really cool to see that when we do as much as we can the Lord will give us the success. I went with my zone leader and we ran to an investigators house to invite him to church in the morning and then at 9 we did nearly the same to a different house to teach them and we were blessed with success. Some of his investigators came to church and we were able to invite a man to be baptised when the day was ending. It was definitely a testimony building experience for me and I know that the Lord will give us the success when we put all of our effort into acheiving what we have planned to do. Hope you all have an awesome week and i love you all tons!


Monday, November 10, 2014

Pray For Diego!

Dear Family,

Ushuaia District
First of all, I would love smaller shirts but I think I´ll be fine with whatever you´ve sent. I´m looking forward to getting my package on Christmas. 

Now, this week has been pretty intense. As you all know I got to Comodoro on Tuesday and from then til now I have done a ton. We have contacted a lot, visited people and done crazy things. The coolest experiences from this week are that I met Nestor, he´s a recent convert that is nearly blind and nearly deaf. He´s such an awesome person though. I am still surprised at all of the things that he can do and I totally love spending time in his house. My comp has a photo of us together so I´ll see if he can pass me that today or next week. Also, the weather here is really nice. The last couple of days it has been really windy and like 60´s and while everybody else is wearing a coat I´m walking around with just a long sleeved shirt. It´s a lot warmer here than in Ushuaia. And now it´s sunny too and I am really happy for that. I missed the sun. 

Bus Trip During Transfers Elder Tingey on right

Bus Trip with one of the Hermanas

Sunset During Bus Trip to Comodoro

Sunset on way to Comodoro
I am still a district leader here and on Friday I got to meet all of my district. I have the zone leaders and a companionship of Hermanas. It´s really fun and I think that we are going to do great things this transfer. I am looking forward to it. Also, my zone is going to do a thanksgiving feast and play on the 1st of December to celebrate the holiday and to teach the latinoes why it´s such an important day. It´s gonna be fun. Also, I´m going to see Elder Cristofferson on Thursday when he comes to Comodoro to talk to all of the missionaries. I am su`per excited for that. And that´s really all for me this week. Oh! Pray for Diego. He´s an investigator that is hopefully going to be baptized on the 29th. He needs help to stay strong though and to feel good. Love you all tons and miss you lots!


Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Back in Comodoro

From this week not much really happened. Elder Bartlett and I worked as much as we could in our area, I said goodbye to the members and some investigators and to Ushuaia. And on Saturday we went to a baptism in Andino (A branch in Ushuaia next to ours) and there the zone leaders told us the transfers. I´m going to, or I should say I am in Comodoro again. But I´m in a different part of the city. It´s gonna be fun to be back here and I look forward to it. Here´s probably where I´m going to be for Christmas too. That´s gonna be cool. Well, after a 27 hour bus ride I made it to Comodoro and now I´m ready to work. My new comp is Elder Cardwell and he seems like a really cool guy. I´m finishing his training and helping him learn the area. With the blind leading the blind (Both of us are new to this area) the Lord is sure to provide miracles. Hope you all have a great week and I love you tons!


Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Zone Conference Fun

Dear family,

Thanks for all of the pictures and for the emails. I really do love hearing from all of you. It´s also crazy to see how much the house has changed from what I remember. It´s weird.

Ushuaiah Zone
My updates from this week are that first, we had conference with our mission president on Friday and the coolest part of the conference was when we learned to use a truly random verse from the book of mormon to help an investigator find an answer to their question. That was hard, funny and really good practice for teaching with the scriptures and following the spirit. The worst part of the conference was when I had to stand up and teach all of the missionaries in the zone about MMT it´s a program that our mission president started where once a week the missionaries go out with the members to visit less actives with the goal of a temple. I talked to them about the preparation for the visit and how it can make things a lot better for all the people involved. It was really suckish having to teach all of them and I was super nervous but apparently it turned out really well and people commented on that. Then we had a conference Saturday and Sunday with a visiting 70, Elder Spannaus. He´s from Argentina and I have to say it was really interesting listening to him speak. The problem was that I had to sit towards the back both times I listened to him because of transport issues and so we couldn´t really hear him very well. But what I did hear was totally awesome. One thing that he said that I really liked was when he talked about repentance and forgiveness that when God forgives He forgets and He doesn´t want us sitting around with the memory of our guilt either. He shared the story of Alma the younger and his miraculous repentance and it was awesome.

Elder Sirrine

Sea Lions on Island in the Beagle Channel
Lighthouse on Island in Beagle Channel

Elder Sirrine on Boat Light House in Background

Elders Sirrine and Bartlett
And then the last update from the week is that today we went on the boats to see the lighthouse at the end of the world. That was totally fun and freaking amazing. I got to see sea lions, the lighthouse, be on a boat and we got off at one of the islands to take pictures. It was a really fun trip and I absolutely enjoyed it. The only weird thing was that there was a group of school kids on the boat too and they all wanted to take pictures with the gringoes. It was cool to be popular but it wasn´t really awesome. And after that we went to a soccer field and played for a while which was awesome. I really missed playing soccer, it´s been a while since I´ve played a lot.

And the other cool thing that I just thought of is that we did divisions on Saturday with the Elders from Rio Grande, another city. And we saw miracles. I taught three lessons in three hours which almost doesn´t happen and it was really spiritual too. I have to say divisions always bring miracles. It´s kind of crazy how different a missionary works with a different companion or in a different area. Pretty spectacular. That´s all for me this week. Love you all tons! Hope your week goes well too.


Monday, October 20, 2014

Argentine Mother's Day & Super Friday

Dear family, 

Thanks for the emails, support and everything else y´all have done and are doing for me. It is really appreciated. Also, I took some money out of my card because we are going to go to the lighthouse next week with President and he is only going to pay half, I also took some money because here in Ushuaia things are expensive and my monthly money doesn´t go quite as far as it used too. My size would probably be a 32 waist. I know that I wore 34 and now I´m quite a bit smaller. And my shoes are holding on. I already had one pair die, my boots that I was gifted are now being maintained and fixed as much as I can do and the other boots are still holding out. And my normal shoes are still alive and kicking. I haven´t payed a fee that I know of. Kendall is doing great and she may have something to send in the package but her schedule is really full so she may not get around to sending something when you send it. I look forward to getting that package then.

Mother's Day Craft Project
As for updates from me this week on Friday we had a freaking awesome day and were able to teach 4 lessons and find three families that want to listen to us. I am really excited to see how they all progress and I know that day was a day of miracles. My comp and I managed to find one family in the morning that we had contacted before but not taught and we taught them about the Book of Mormon and how God blesses us and guides us, they said they were going to read the Book and that they were going to pray about it. Then in the afternoon we went to do follow up on some contacts and got in to teach again about the Book of Mormon, then we taught a less active member about how the Book of Mormon can bless his life and he read with us in Mosiah talking about Noah, we helped him see how his actions can change the course of his life and his son´s life and he said that he was going to be better and come back to church. And then at 8 on the way home we went to another person´s house that we hadn´t seen for a long time and he let us in and told us that he had been reading the Book of Mormon and that he believed it. We invited him to church and he said he would think about baptism. Friday was probably the greatest day that I have had yet in Ushuaia and I felt super energized coming out of that last house. I know that God was with us that day.

Mother's Day Craft Project

Happy Mother's Day

And then on Saturday we got to help the Elders quorum make little gifts for Mother´s day that was this Sunday. Happy Mother´s day mom!  (I know it isn´t Mother´s day there but still. I love you tons!)  It was fun then on Sunday to hear the talks about mothers and one of my favorites was the talk by the branch President who told a story of a mother in Florida. One afternoon her little son decided to go out to the lagoon behind his house to swim so he ran out of the house and jumped right into the water without looking, so he didn´t notice the crocodile in the water. The little boy was swimming away happily without a worry and the crocodile was getting closer to him. The boy´s mom, looking through the window saw the crocodile and ran out of the house yelling to her son to ´get out of the water´ the little boy heard her, saw the crocodile and started swimming as fast as he could towards his mom. He reached the dock and his mom grabbed the little boy´s arms right as the crocodile grabbed his legs. The mom pulled with all of her strength against the crocodile and managed to keep her boy from going into the water. A neighbor hearing the screams came out with a pistol and killed the crocodile and the boy was fine even though his legs were damaged. A reporter went to see the kid in the hospital and asked if he could see the scars on his legs. The little boy showed him and then rolled up his sleeves to show the scars on his arms where his mom´s fingernails had marked him and he said "those scars are cool but the ones you should see are these. These are the marks from my mom´s hands when she didn´t let me go and saved my life." Then President Nuñez (the branch president) told all of the moms to not let go of their kids when they get trapped by spiritual crocodiles so that when they see Jesus they can show the scars on their arms and say "these are the marks of my mom´s hands when she didn´t let me go and saved my life." 
P-Day on the Beach, Beagle Channel

Elder Bartlett and Sirrine

Elder Sirrine Visiting a Preserve

Needless to say that story was super spiritual and it made me miss my mom a ton. I love you tons mom and I just want to say thanks for all that you did and do to keep me out of trouble and to help me have a great life. Love you tons!

I hope all of you have a great week and I look forward to talking to you for Christmas.


Friday, October 17, 2014

Service and Miracles in The Monte Olivia District

Dear Family,

Thanks for all of the updates about the family. It´s great to hear that you all are well and that things are going good at home. Also, thanks for sending me the conference talks. As to skypeing I don´t know where I´m going to do it yet. I´m pretty sure that I won´t be in Ushuaia but I think that if you send me the camera I should be able to download the software. I think that the most likely would be that we find a person or place with cameras to use. But, if you want to send me one I won´t say no.

My updates from this week are that we tried to hike up to the glacier today which is why I´m writing as late as I am. It´s been super cold and snowy here for the last couple of days but we´ve been fine. Today on our hike up we were hiking on the mountain through 6 inches of snow into a storm. I had a blast. We´re all wet cold and tired but it was fun. At the end we didn´t manage to get to the glacier because one of the guides at a station towards the top told us we still had a good long walk and the storm would make it really dangerous. We still got to play in the snow and some of the elders made a snowman. It was a very fun and productive P-day.

Also, on Friday I got to do a couple of service activities. It´s been a while since I´ve done service. We helped a member move a bunch of logs, it was hard work and Elder Smith (who´s new) had a log roll down the hill at him and he almost didn´t get out of the way and almost had his ankle crushed by the log. That was kind of scary but the rest was fun and difficult. The other service we got to do was to help another person move into a new house. They are moving into our ward and are a part member family, the husband is an investigator, so we´re going to see how that goes down for the Elders in that area. 
Spring in Ushuaia

Mountain Homes

Also, we had a bit of a miracle for our district. On Sunday two people came to church for the second time and seem really interested in the church. They are students of one of the members that teaches dance, they seem like really awesome investigators which means that my district may have baptisms this transfer. I´m really looking forward to that. I hope it happens that would be freaking awesome for my branch. 

And outside of that everything is going well here. My comp and I are doing the work as best we can but it has gotten harder to do it since I got here. I don´t know why but stuff just falls through a lot more for us than it used too. But we keep moving forward doing as much as we can and things are looking up. I´m pretty happy with my area. Love you all tons and hope you have a great week!

Lots of love,

Friday, October 10, 2014

Conference and Super P-Day

Dear Family,

Thanks for the emails and the updates about the family. Sounds like you are all doing great.

This week has been fun for me because we got to watch the conference all of Saturday and Sunday. That was basically all that we had time to do both of those days. In between sessions we goofed off and played games while eating food. It was really fun to be together as a zone. Also, it was really nice to be able to listen to two of the general authorities speak in Spanish. That was a really nice change, to have the general authorities talk in their native tongues. I thought it was cool for the church to show a bit that they are more worldwide and that it isn´t just the "gringo church" or the "states church" But that we come from all over the world and that we speak different languages. It was really nice.
Elder Sirrine on a Mt Stream

New District

Elder Sirrine and Missionary From Zone

Elder Sirrine Super PDay
Super PDay

Super Pday Zone Name Tags
And today in the morning we went as a zone on a hike up a mountain. There is a ski slope that is above the city and we went there as a zone to hike up and have a picnic on the mountain. That was a lot of fun. But, because of the recent snow melt the path was super watery and slick. It was sort of hard to get up the first hill but once we made it up it was fun to walk around in the woods and we found a lake, some snow, had a snowball fight, and did a lot of entertaining things. I had a blast.

And on the way down it was really funny because my comp went running on a part and hit a really slick patch. He sat down really hard and slid about six feet, and the Elder behind him went rolling too. I laughed when I saw that my comp was okay because it was really funny to see him slide. I have to say that today was one of my favorite pdays in Ushuaia. It was a very nice trip.

Also this week I went on divisions and got to see the part of Andorra that we call "Narnia" it is really pretty and I want to go back there. 
I took a ton of photos and we had a great time on divisions. And that´s about all that happened to me this week. It was fun, tiring and a great learning experience. I hope you all have a great week too and I love you tons!