Wednesday, October 19, 2011

WOW!!!! ¡¡¡¡Una semana de Diez!!!!

Oct. 10-17th, 2011

Hey Family!!!

Another week gone here in Argentina!! It blows my mind how fast time flies. We worked really hard this week and are finding a lot of people to teach. It is starting to get hotter and hotter and I'm getting a little tedious for Christmas time! They (the other Elders) say it gets really hot middle of Decemberish and that wearing a collared shirt and pants all the time is crazy hot!!! Stuff to look forward to I guess!

This week in my studies I've been focusing on family. It is an interesting topic for missionaries because for two years we are pulled from our families and asked very blatantly to not focus on or think about them very often. So teaching families about the importance of family is just kinda funny to me. It is funny because my family is the most important thing in this world. And this gospel is the foundation for all the good things in my family’s life. For that reason I'm willing to leave for two years and try and give that same gift to other families. Weird concept. Hope you can all wrap your minds around it. But I was studying in Alma 50 in the Book of Mormon and thinking about how the cities were fortified and as such we need to fortify our families against all the powers of Satan that try and tear down and destroy.

Alma 50:1-4

1 And now it came to pass that Moroni did not stop making preparations for war, or to defend his people against the Lamanites; for he caused that his armies should commence in the commencement of the twentieth year of the reign of the judges, that they should commence in digging up aheaps of earth round about all the cities, throughout all the land which was possessed by the Nephites.

2 And upon the top of these ridges of earth he caused that there should be atimbers, yea, works of timbers built up to the height of a man, round about the cities.

3 And he caused that upon those works of timbers there should be a frame of pickets built upon the timbers round about; and they were strong and high.

4 And he caused towers to be erected that overlooked those works of pickets, and he caused places of security to be built upon those atowers, that the stones and the arrows of the Lamanites could not hurt them.

 The fortifications to the city can be compared to the things we need to do to fortify our families. In verse one it says they fortified with great mounds of earth. This is prayer. In verse two it says the built walls of Logs as tall as a man. This is reading our scriptures. In verse three it says they put up espadas, and I can't think of the English word for that right now, but they are like a bunch of big pointy sticks. This is going to church. Lastly they built towers and placed guards on the towers. The tower and guard is the living Prophet now. As a Prophet Seer and Revelator, he has the power and authority to see out over the great expanse of life, the past and the future. He can warn of us impeding danger, and prepare us so that the stones and arrows of the enemy will not be able to reach us. When we have all these and make them an intricate part of our lives, our cities or families will be protected from failure and stand strong against all that attacks us in everyday life. Will all of you take the time to read Alma 50 and think about how you can better fortify yourselves and your families against the bad influences that surround us daily? Yes? Awesome!!! I can promise that as you do you will see the influences of Satan disappear from your life, and when the temptations come, you will have no desire to do evil, but to do good continually.

So now for some pictures,

Picture 1: Yo en la Villa Tranqila. This is the villa or one of the kind of slum areas we have. This is one of the nicer pasillos or alleys. It rained all day. We were drenched.
Picture 2: Yo, Elder Sypherd, Elder Argueddas, and Elder Calderon. Arguedas = Gordo Calderon= Poquito Sypherd = Blanco. This is us at the Casa de Presidente Stapley. We were eating Asado. RICO!!!!!
That is all I can load up this week because it is going so slow! But it is great here!!! This week is going to be even better!!! I can feel it!!! I've already been serving for 3 months (1/8 of my entire mission). Time is flying by!! I can't even explain to you the Joy I have doing what I do! It is the strangest thing ever. I go out every day for 10 hours and talk to people and get rejected 90% of the time, but I love it!!! Because that other 10%, people listen and we invite them to change their lives, to improve and to come unto Christ that they may have peace and satisfaction in their lives. I get a front row seat on watching God touch people’s heart so that they change fundamentally who they are in a matter of weeks and become more amazing than they could have previously imagined. I have the best Job on earth!!!!

I love you all very much!!! Pray for all us missionaries out here!! We're working hard and doing our best. And all the good things you do in your lives make a difference. You can be the change in someone’s life for good. By small and simple things are great things brought to pass. Keep doing those everyday small acts of kindness and who knows, you might just change someone’s life. I've seen it. It happens!

Les quiero,

Elder Anderson

Here is additional info and pictures about the food in Argentina.

The food here is strange. I can't figure it out- sometimes bland and sometimes super sweet. They hate spicy and only ever season meat with salt and pepper, but it tastes amazing. The other thing is that all they eat is meat. I had my first veggies since getting here Saturday. They take their salads and drench them in olive oil and salt and tomatoes and that is it. They eat super plain and their tortas are like the ones in the Mexican store that we always went to out past Belmar shopping center. Really bready and bland and everything has dulce de leche. Something new I've had a lot of is Tang. No one drinks water. Tang and soda ALWAYS and they have like 50 flavors of Tang. It is crazy! Deep fried or meat everything. It is a wonder everyone here just doesn't keel over dead!!!

Here is a picture of some food we got from a member last week!!! She is pereguano or from Peru. They eat a lot of chicken and rice and potatoes and noodles. Really good! So far my favorite food is from Peru.
The second is me with an avocado from the mission president's yard. The Castillano word for avocado is palta. It is one of the biggest I have ever seen!! Blows my mind! So excited to eat it! Reminds me when we used to sit down and eat avocados with salt plain! So delicious!!
The last picture is me cooking. We had toast with the middle cut out and an egg cooked in it for the buns of a hamburger. It was great. Wanted to die from cholesterol overload afterwards but it was great!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Week 2 in Argentina

Hi Family!!!

This week has been crazy!!!! We have been working REALLY REALLY hard and having some great experiences. This week Elder Hope and I contacted almost 100 people! 94 to be exact!!! It was crazy. We talked to everyone!!!! Of those 94, 31 asked us to come back and talk with them. Of those 31, 10 were actually home, of those 10, 3 actually had time to talk to us, and of those 3, 1 is going to be baptized-Alan on the 5 of November. We told him about the Book of Mormon and started reading with him and his eyes just lit up!!! He was so excited!!! We read with him and his friend Guillermo in 3 Nephi 11 where the Savior comes to the Americas. It is such a beautiful part and both of them expressed how much they loved their Savior. And they wanted to be as close to him, as close as feeling the prints of the nails in the Savior’s hands, as they possibly could. It was an amazing experience. I felt such an incredible power and peace in the room as the Holy Spirit bore such sweet testimony of truth. Because that is what the Spirit does. He gives us that warm and fuzzy feeling when something is right, and we just feel...good. Everything bad seems to ebb away and we are left feeling embraced by the warm arms of deity. It is so beautiful. I would encourage all of you to read the account of Christ coming to the Americas in 3 Nephi 11 and pray to know if this actually happened. If it is for real!!! I have prayed to know. And I have received my answer. That is why I am here. But each of us has the incredible blessing and responsibility to ask and know for ourselves.

So ya. That was the beacon of light and hope this week for me. We walked alot and talked alot, but at the end of the week it was all worth it, because we found 1 person that would listen. What else happened this week? Well I had an Alfahore for the first time. That was incredible. They are like cookie caramel covered in chocolate goodness. WOW!!!! They make my life!!! And Milanesa!!! I think I ate it everyday. Milanesa is like a thin meat, either carne or pollo and they bread it in this super rich breading and it is so rich!!! I love it!!!! But we kinda got too much of a good thing this week with it and now I think this week I’ll be avoiding it. What else? I got a cold. Probably because I went to give this one guy deep in the Villa a handshake, watched him wipe his nose all over his hand and then shake my hand. Ya. Loved that. That was fun. So I'm sick. But that is the life of a missionary I guess.

Sunday was fast and testimony meeting and it was really great! I loved it. I could understand almost everything but a few words were still lost in translation. I am getting alot better though!!!! I can feel myself improving as I understand and talk more. It's like a game for me. I like it!!!! So the language isn't really getting me down. I just feel like a child. I see people once in a while yelling at me and I can tell they want me to do something but I can't tell what so I just kinda stare at them- it's fun. Then they get real mad and I hide behind my companion and make him handle it. He loves that!!!

Today was our Preparation day and all was going well till we started playing futbol and I took a pretty good digger and twisted my ankle and jammed all my toes on my left foot pretty darn good. That is going to make for a long week. I have a tree stump for an ankle!!! I´ll take a picture and send it next week. No worries. I think everything is all good. No brake or tears or anything. Just a good old sprain. Nothing like having a sprained ankle and having to walk 10 to 15 miles everyday to keep you real nice and humble. I’m gonna be doing alot of praying I think this week!

So that is week two here in Argentina. Nothing but fun and games!!! We are working hard, trying to eat healthy, and staying optimistic!!! Life is good.

I just keep saying to myself, Look up, step up, cheer up. I can do hard things! AND SO CAN YOU!!!!

Elder Anderson

Bowling on Prep Day

The latin Elders are Elders Castillo and Argueddas. Arguedas is the bigger one. And the white guys are Elder Hope on the left, Pratley, and Rhoton on the right.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Argentina!!!! Semana 1. Castillano y otras cosas locas!!!!

October 3, 2011
Argentina!​!!! Semana 1. Castillano y otras cosas locas!!!!
 I am in Argentina!!!!! It is NOTHING like I imagined it at all. You’ll have to figure out my punctuation and all that. The letters on this key board are written on with a white out marker. So this country is crazy. I am in an area called Avellaneda which is 50% city and 100% awesome!!!! It is completely destroyed! Looks like a bombing just took place with half built and decaying buildings and trash everywhere!!! There are more dogs than people and it just smells like poop ALWAYS!!!! That is what makes it fun though right!!??? So I found out that Porteno and Spanish and Castillano are all different languages and I know none of them. Really just awesome! I can figure out what people are saying most of the time and just smile at them for the rest. The church is strong here and the people everywhere are just awesome. I really like them. They are very humble in this part of Buenos Aires. Most of them live in abandoned warehouses converted into commune type set ups. Most have running water and some have plumbing. The really poor parts are called villas. We have a lot of those in my mission. So ya. That is Argentina. I am on THAT side of the tracks. Most people don’t ever come here I’m told and we don’t go out after dark in the villas. My companion is Elder Hope from the very foreign place of Salt Lake City Utah. He is a great guy and we live on the 16th floor of a tower on the north end of Avellaneda with the zone leaders.
We are white washing this area which means we are both new to the area and Elders haven’t been here for a while. This means we do a lot of contacting and haven’t taught many lessons, but we will!! It is a lot of walking in muddy poopy unpaved and some paved streets. Really interesting.
So here has been my past week. Monday we woke up at 2 am and got ready and headed down to the travel office. Here are the instructions we got. ¨Here is your ticket and give the little envelope to customs and the big one to the name on the envelope when you get to Argentina.¨ That was when I first thought ¨Holy Cow what am I doing?¨ So that was fun and then we got there, everything went fine and we flew to Buenos Aires. I got here Tuesday morning and sweated through customs and got through fine. We got out of the airport and my mission president and his wife were waiting for us. So awesome!!!  It was such a relief! We got to the mission home, ate pizza and empanadas (muy bien) and then got our companions and when to our Pensh or Pension or apartment. So mine is really nice compared to others. No worry mommy, we have hot water and a toilet. And I am happy with it.
Then we got to work. We walk all day and talk to everything that moves!!! So fun to get to know people and talk to them about the Restored Gospel. It makes people happy! Plus they get a kick out of me trying to speak Castillano!!! We got to go to conference except for the priesthood session and it was so great!!! I have very little written down.  Turns out conference in Castillano is hard to understand. So I just watched and smiled as each speaker came up and I imagined what they were saying off of the few phrases I caught here and there. So great.
I love you all! I have to go now!!! I’m working hard and doing my best!!!! Keep praying for me!!! I really need it!!!! You all are the best Chou Chou!!!!
Elder Anderson