Monday, May 26, 2014

Speaking good and a dog bite! New comp Elder Carmona

Dear Family,

Elder Sirrine says goodbye to Companion leaving
Thanks to all of you for the emails and the updates that you sent me. It sounds like things are going awesomely for you. The updates for this week are that my new companion is Elder Carmona, he is 19 and has three months in the mission, he is also a meter and a half tall. I don´t know what that would be in feet. He is totally awesome. He is totally full of energy and the spirit and hasn´t been corrupted by any bad companions. I totally love him. This week we have found two or three families that said we could pass by again to teach them. It´s going to be really exciting to see how that all turns out for us. We also are starting to work a lot better with the members now. I can tell that he is going to help this ward a lot.

Elder Sirrine Says goodbye to Friend in district

Elder Sirrine and new companion Elder Carmona

The other really cool thing from this week is that he has got me to talk more in the lessons and with the people. Before him I was really quiet and didn´t talk to much. I always threw out the excuse that Spanish was a bit complicated for me but that was a lie. Most of the latinos tell me that I speak better than the majority of the gringos. I also had a family tell me that they thought I could speak really well and that I should do it more. So now I´ve got five weeks to change that here in this ward and then to keep changing it in all of the other wards that I go to. It´s going to be fun to see how that all turns out for me.

Elder Sirrine and Friend from Distric
The other updates from the week are that yesterday was Argentina´s independence day and that on Saturday I ate a TON of food. We had an activity in the church where we ate Locro. Which is a super stuffed stew that has just about everything in it. It has pumpkin, corn, three types of meat, beans, bones and you put spicy sauce on top. It was totally AMAZING!!!! I love the traditional foods here in Argentina. And then after that we went to visit our Bolivian investigators and they had all gotten together to celebrate Mother´s day. Which for Bolivia is tomorrow. They had an asado and when they saw us they invited us to eat too. That was way too much food for one day. I felt sick and my companion couldn´t finish off his portion of the meat. It was terrible, but cool.

Oh! I also got my first dog bite on Thursday. It totally took me by surprise and tried to eat my elbow. I got away with a ripped coat and a bruised arm, I have since sewed the coat up. It was a crazy experience and I don´t want to repeat it. Also the mission has a blog now, that´s the link. Visit it and you can see more of what´s going on here. Love you all tons and miss you lots! Have a great week!

Love, Michael

Monday, May 19, 2014

New Companion and MTC reunion

Dear Family,

Some of Elder Sirrine's MTC District
Momo the troll
Elder Sirrine's Comodoro North Zone
This week has been the week of goodbyes. My companion is going to Pico Truncado and I am staying here. It´s going to be interesting to have a new companion. Outside of that nothing really happened this week. We did an intense service project on Saturday digging a hole in a mountain to put in a garage and I was dead afterward. It´s been a long time since I´ve done manual labor like that. But it was good to do service and then afterward we went out for ice cream. We ate two kilos in 30 min between 6 guys. It was amazing. The weather is getting colder here too. To the point that I wear a coat or a sweater every day. I am totally loving it, the cold is the best. Also, P-day in Rada Tilly. We went to the beach at high tide so there wasn´t a whole lot of space to play soccer but it was still fun and then we went to a park and I found monkey bars and swings built for adults. That was probably the greatest discovery I have made in Argentina. It was an amazing way to spend my birthday. And the hermanas were with us too up til Hermana Bollwinkel fell down and hurt her pride and her butt. It was sad to see her hurt but was fun otherwise. I love my zone! And that´s about all that happened this week. I hope you all had a great week and that you all have fun. I´ll write more next week. Love you all!
Zone at the beach in Rada Tilly
Elders at the beach in Rada Tilly

Love, Michael

Monday, May 12, 2014

Happy 19th Birthday

Dear family,

Rada Tilly is a beach village on the Atlantic Ocean near Comodoro
Thanks for the email and all the updates. I loved talking to all of you guys on Skype yesterday. The only thing that I didn´t tell you there that is new is that we are going to go to Rada Tilly today and are going to finally get to see the beach. I am totally looking forward to getting some awesome pictures and to have fun with all the other elders. The other thing that happened or that is happening to me is that I am growing a lot more spiritually and as a missionary. On Friday Elder Fleitas my zone leader told all of us that the Paraguay mission is a whole ton better than us and why. It was interesting to see all of the things that the mission isn´t doing and to see how it all affects us. I made the personal goal to step up and in days I saw results. It´s totally crazy how a change of attitude can change your perspective on like everything. 
Beach in Rada Tilly

Sea Lions near Rada Tilly

Now I´m in week six of the transfer and I get to think back on all that I did here. I´m proud of what I have been able to do and learn here and I love all of the people in this ward. I may not be leaving yet but if I do I will know that my work will help some people out. Daniel and Maria are going to get baptized in June and I know that this ward has changed while I´ve been here. It has also changed me. I Love you all tons and loved seeing all of you yesterday.

To Naiah my favorite animals are the penguins. They were way cool. 

To Isabel I think you should all fast dinner because I can´t be there to enjoy it. ;) No, eat spaghetti because it´s still one of my favorites.

To Callista, my companion is Elder Abarca. And I miss you all tons!

To Max, I miss you tons bro. I look forward to seeing you all when I get home.

To Dad, Thanks for all of the updates about the family and all of the support. I love you guys a ton. I am sort of looking forward to being a trainer I think it´ll be a lot of fun and a cool experience. All of the elders here tell me that I´m going to be a district leader soon. It´s going to be interesting to see how the transfers all work out. I love you all and miss you tons. Hope you all have a great week and I´ll see you all for Christmas.

Love, Michael

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Mission Conference

Dear Mom,

Thanks for all of the updates about the family and for the cool quote about love. It was awesome to read. The baptism did not happen this week because Daniel thinks that he needs more time and felt too pressured. My other investigators are all fine. My comp is a good listener and he´s really chill. He´s a cool guy and it´s been nice to get to know him. What I study is the new testament and the Book of Mormon. I just read til I find cool things to teach and if an investigator or member has a question I look that up til I find a good answer. And I´m going to Skype you guys at about 6 p.m. my time which should be like 3p.m. for you. I really look forward to talking to all of you guys. See you all then and I love you all lots.

Love, Michael
President and Sister Rogers and Elder and Sister Gonzales

Three Zones in Comodoro Area

Dear Dad,

Well, the baptism didn´t happen this week. Daniel thought that he needed more time to learn about the gospel and so they are going to set a goal as a couple and are going to tell us. We´re still trying to help them do it as fast as possible and now we´ve got ideas about how to do it too. Yesterday we had a meeting with the President all day and that´s why I did not email you. I am going to be able to Skype you all on Sunday and I´m going to do it at about 6 pm my time so it´ll be about 3pm for you guys. Please invite Kendall over too. The only other cool update from the week is that we had our conference with Elder Gonzalez. He was totally awesome! He told us basically that to be good missionaries we need to be like Christ was. What did He do when He taught? How did he walk through the streets? What kind of a man was He? And then from what you learn apply that to your life and be more like Christ. The other thing that he taught us is that we need to be direct in our teaching and our preaching. Call the people to repentance and those that are prepared will respond to the call and recognize the saviors voice. That was a totally awesome conference. The other cool thing that I learned from the other conference from the Hna Rogers was about manners. Apparently in Argentina the table manners are that you need to have your hands above the table at all times, you CANNOT put your elbows on the table, you need to say hello to the patriarch first and then the oldest to the youngest and you need to say goodbye to everyone individually also when you are done eating you need to leave food on your plate so that they know you are full. That was the weirdest for me because I am used to cleaning my plate when I eat. Now I know why they always ask me if I want more. It was definitely nice to learn that. And that´s really all for this week. Look forward to seeing you guys on Sunday! Love you all and have a great week!

Love, Michael