Monday, July 21, 2014

Building a New Area

Dear Family,

I think that the list you have is good. The only thing that I would add is to try to have a personal testimony before you go out because your testimony will be tried many times. Just ask God if it´s all true and find the answer for yourself so that when people question your belief or start saying things against the church you will not be shaken up and will be able to stay true to what you believe. I would also reccomend that he starts getting ready to live the mission schedule, that was one of the hardest things to get used to at first, I was tired ALL the time. But, outside of that I think he´ll be fine. 

Also, thanks for the updates about all of the people and the things that are going on in the family. When does Tyler fly out to Peru? You should also send me his myldsmail adress. I think that ties is an awesome gift. You should give him colorful and fun ties because boring ties get old really fast. Give him a good variety of colors and patterns. And I look forward to seeing/hearing the arrangements that you bought for the choir. They sound like they´ll be beautiful.

Elder Sirrine Standing on Ice
As far as my week we´ve basically been opening an area. They have now finalized what the limits are and so we´ve really been working hard in my area. We have been contacting basically all day every day because at the moment we don´t have any investigators that live in my area. But, we now have a bunch of people to go back and visit and we are still finding more. My comp has been getting really down lately because he feels like the whole contacting thing doesn´t work for him and all that I could tell him is that it´s the trial of his faith. In Ether it says that we will receive the blessings after the trial of our faith and I am seeing that here. We have had a ton of days where we have spent a ton of time contacting without success and when we are ready to give up and we decide to knock one more door it is then that we have success and find the person that will let us in or that will let us go back another day. It is the greatest feeling when at the end of a long, hard day you find someone that tells you that you can come back another day or that says that you can come right in. 

Cow Head on House

Elder Sirrine By City Sign

And so that´s how we´ve spent the last week. Looking for the people that want to listen to us and finding a couple here and there. It´s been a good experience for me. I feel a lot better at contacts now and it´s been cool to meet a ton of new people. The other update from the week is that it looks like winter is finally coming to Ushuaia. We had a little bit of snow on the hills around the city yesterday and today and it looks like snow is going to be here soon. I am super excited and so are the people because the winter tourism is super big for Ushuaia for all of the skiing here. So, things are looking good for me. Hope you all have a great week!

Love, Michael

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Settling In to Ushuaia

Dear Loved Ones

Looking to the Beagle Channel
First of all we did not get to watch the finals. =( Because it was a Sunday and the missionaries needed to keep the day holy. But I did get updates from the members that live in front of my pension. Apparently it went into overtime and Germany barely won with a miracle goal. I think that this is the best Argentina has played yet or the worst for Germany because Germany totally destroyed in the other games and against Brasil they won 7-1 which is unheard of in a world cup. So, props to Argentina. Also, I absolutely still love my area, I am in Monte Olivia and all of the branches have two or three companionships and some are going to get more next transfer. My area is green, that is the biggest thing. It is green, there are trees, mountains and it is BEAUTIFUL. No other city that I have been to has been like this. I am in love with Ushuaia.

Welcome to Ushuaia

Member's Home
Also, about my companion. He is from Mendoza, he has a problem speaking in that he can´t pronounce his r´s and a lot of what he says comes out slightly garbled, also he has a totally screwed up family and mental history so.... I´m just trying to be a positive influence for him and trying to gain his trust. He really is a good guy and he has a good heart he just has trouble opening up to people and he´s pretty asocial. But, president told me a bit about how I can better help him and that I can call president if things get really bad. So, we´re going to see how it goes. The best thing so far is that we are living in a pension with two other elders so we have a lot of fun all the time. It´s spectacular. We party it up when we can and are totally obedient when we should be. I am loving the experience so far.

About Sunday, no I didn´t have any investigators because my area is "new" in that my comp didn´t know which part was ours and which wasn´t until recently so we have nothing to work with yet. We´re totally going to find and work for a miracle though. I know it´s going to happen. I don´t play the piano here because one of the youth plays. Also, my language skills are amazing. The majority of the people that meet me for the first time are surprised when I say that I´m from the states because I talk basically like a latino now. My comps all tell me that my accent is more latino than gringo so I´m pretty happy and I don´t miss like anything now. The only things that I have to learn are the slang and I will be golden.

Now, this week the coolest updates were that we found an investigator that said he was wanting to get closer to God right when we knocked on his door. I got to give him a book of Mormon and we taught him a good deal about the Plan of Salvation and the Restoration. It was totally awesome to get to know him. Even if he did end up insulting my comp by calling him a "closed person". My comp will be fine though, he just needs a lift. So, we´ll see how that goes down for us. And we had a conference with president yesterday, he talked to us a lot about using the Book of Mormon more in our teaching and to use it in contacts. We also talked about if we were sacrificing our all for the gospel. Why do we obey? Is it because we want to? Or because we have to? And president ended by telling everyone that if they don´t want to change and if they don´t respect him the door home is always open and they can make that choice whenever they want. Nobody is forced to be on the mission. It was an awesome conference and I really did love it. I hope you all have a great week and that you enjoy the pictures.

Love you all tons!

Monday, July 7, 2014

Ushuaiah, Chile and Lost in a Forest

Dear People I love,
I am finally in Ushuai after four days of travel. I got to stay in Rio Gallegos for a couple days doing paperwork to be able to cross the border into Chile because the only way to get to Ushuaia is through Chile, at least if you go by bus. We got to ride on a huge ship and I even saw some Chilenan police officers. It was a ton of fun to travel. I wish I could say that I saw a lot of Chile but all that I saw was a whole bunch of desert, sheep and llamas. But at least I can say that I have now been to two countries in my mission. I feel really cool now. Now I am in Ushuaia, my comp has trouble pronouncing his r´s and he also has a weirdly childish way to act. I´m still not sure if it´s a mental thing or if that´s just the way he is. But I totally love my area. We have a huge chunk of the outside part of Ushuaia and it is odd. It would technically be the ghetto of Ushuaia or the part that has no money, gas, nor water and it is HUGE we went out there on Friday to one part called Dos Banderas and we got totally lost. We spent an hour or two walking around in a forest with a flashlight trying to find the house of an investigator. We finally found it and they called a taxi to take us home. That was a very fun experience and I am totally ready to take photos.
The best part about my new pension is that I have a gorgeous view of the ocean from where I study in the morning and that I have a perfect view of the city from my bed. I am extremely happy to be here in Ushuaia. Also the chapel is huge and the branch here is a bit bigger than the other wards that I have been in. Ushuaia is totally awesome. I love you guys tons and hope you all have a great week!
Love, Michael