Monday, December 30, 2013

Happy New Year from Argentina!


¡Hola Todos!                                                                                                   Dec. 30, 2013

It was a great week and a great Christmas in Argentina!

On Christmas Eve I was able to talk to my family back home and afterwards we went to a members house for dinner. Here, the big day is the 24th, because they stay up late, eat a bunch of food, and at midnight, light off a bunch of fireworks (remember its summer here). So we were able to join a family for dinner and we ate a ton! Seriously, I wasn’t even hungry for the next 3 days. The 25th isn´t nearly as exciting because everyone is sleeping, so it is pretty quiet.

After Christmas we had a bunch of things to do because we had two baptisms planned for Saturday, and one of them was getting married on Friday! It was hard, but it all worked out and we were able to baptize a woman named Paola, and another named Adriana! They were both confirmed on Sunday and are officially members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints!

The cool part is that they asked me to baptize them! Honestly, I think it is because my other two companions are a little short and they wanted to go with the bigger option to do the ordinance, but it was still a really cool opportunity! I did spend all day Saturday trying to memorize the baptismal prayer, and it all went smoothly!

For transfers I found out that I´ll be here in Budge with Elder Suarez for another 6 weeks and I´m glad.  They transferred the other two missionaries out so now Elder Suarez and I are the only missionaries in Budge. There are other missionaries in the area and I am starting to make good friends here in my district and zone. 

Thank you for the goodies! They are slowly disappearing.  I enjoyed a special Lucky Charms breakfast on Christmas day, and then some Golden Oreos! Also the Calendar is awesome! I love the little pictures of the family in every month, and also how you remembered that the seasons here are opposite.

Seriously it’s been so incredibly hot and humid. I´m constantly sweating a waterfall, and every morning when I wake up, the pillow case is soaked, because we don´t have AC in our pension-but I´m ok with it. I just remember how brutally cold it was last winter in Provo, and I enjoy the heat!

Hope you are doing ok! I love you and hope you have a Happy New Year!

Until Next Week!

Elder Chipman

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Hola Todos! Feliz Navidad!


Hola Todos! Feliz Navidad!                                                               Dec. 23, 13

Merry Christmas everyone! Its been another hot, but fantastic week down here in Budge! It really doesn’t feel like Christmas though. Its been the hottest week so far this summer, and tomorrow is supposed to be the hottest day so far! That being said, we still sing Christmas Hymns in Church, and my companion has a CD of David Archuleta with the
Tabernacle Choir. The funny thing is, is one song in the CD is sung in Spanish, and my companion replays that song over, and over, and over again. So I get to hear at least one Christmas carol everyday!

 

First off, Thanks for the Jib Jab! I loved the one with the Koala Bear, and the Reindeers made me laugh! Plus Sleigh ride is one of my favorite Christmas Songs, don’t know if you knew that or not.

We also have a lot of changes in Budge. During the time I’ve been here, we have had two different companionships in Budge, making a total of four missionaries. But on Wednesday, Elder Escobar, the Chilean, was emergency transferred to La Plata! So we have a trio left here in Budge with Elder Suarez, Elder Rodreguiz, and me!

This Christmas is a different one, but in the end we celebrate the same thing all around the world. We get to appreciate the gifts that God has given us. Family, food, and our Savior. I hope to be able to feel closer to him this Christmas season!

I love you all! Have a great Christmas!

Love
Elder Chipman

 

Ps:  We have two baptisms this Saturday J

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

I love my ward :)


Hi Everyone!                                                                                                      Dec. 16, 2013

It sounds super busy with Megan being home, but super fun and exciting! Hopefully she gets better soon. And that´s really sad about Arapahoe, its so close and we know a ton of people close to that school, its just sad that it really is a normal thing.

It’s still really hot and sweaty, but I´m starting to get used to that. And this Saturday we had a church activity to celebrate Christmas! We arrived a little late, about 30 minutes after it started and only about 10 people were there. We were a little worried. But at about 2 hours after the designated time, everyone started to show up! We had the Alanez family (The ones that we found last week) and Adriana as well! 

The youth had an awesome Christmas Pageant and we ate Asado and had a great night!

I also had the opportunity to talk in Church yesterday about Family Home Evening. Right before I got up, the bishop told me that I only had 10 minutes. I thought to myself that since this talk was in a different language, that wouldn´t be too much of a problem. And it wasn´t. I was able to say what needed to be said and it was not 10 minutes, so it was practically perfect in every way. Too bad there were only about 30 people there because they all stood up late the night before at the Christmas party.

My Spanish is getting a lot better and I can get through a lesson without problem, its normal everyday things that trip me up right now, but things are getting better! A lot better!

With all that is being said, I do feel my savior’s love and I am starting to love the ward I´m serving in. The people are really nice and the Bishop is awesome. He helps me study my language on Thursdays and he is very understanding.  I´m learning a lot about how to be a good missionary, and about the gospel, and I continue to have tender mercies that literally tell me to just keep going. Like I had the opportunity to play the piano alone when Elder Suarez was in a baptismal interview (He´s the district leader) I said a silent prayer for help and opened the hymn book to a random page. It was in Spanish so I just started to play the song and hoped that I would recognize it. It turned out to be ´Carry on´. Pretty direct message.

Overall it’s been another fast week here in Budge! Hope all is well at Home! It’s hard to think that Megan is home, and now I´m the only one away, but I get to skype with you in about a week! Have fun with Megan, but not too much fun, you have to save some for me too!

Love you all!

Elder Chipman

Monday, December 9, 2013

Being hot and eating watermellon in December!


Thanks for your letters this week! It’s been super hot here and only getting hotter, but I´ve always loved the heat better than the cold, so I´m ok with it!
Dad, you´ll be proud of me, I figured out a way to exercise really well in the morning. Outside our pension is a staircase of 17 stairs. I run up and down, do an exercise, run up and down, do an exercise for 10 minutes. Honestly I´ve gotten a little chubby during this time so I hope this helps, but I think it will, plus I´ll be able to run outside!
As far as the Christmas Devotional goes, it is being shown here next Sunday. I guess they have to translate it into Spanish. But we´re taking investigators so we get to enjoy it too!
So funny story: Right after we emailed last week, we finished up with a little grocery shopping. When we started it was a beautiful sunny day, when we finished, seriously, it was as dark as night. Giant Dark clouds filled the sky. We quickly walked to the bus stop and while we were waiting the storm came. There was a ferocious wind, and giant drops of water. The cover over the bus stop didn´t do any good because the rain was coming at us sideways anyway. Finally a bus came and we enjoyed the refuge from the storm. The storm only lasted about 15 minutes, but it did a ton of damage. There were trees blocking major roads, and telephone and electric lines lay in the streets. Nearly our entire zone lost electricity and water for about 3 days. Our pension was one of the lucky few who didn´t lose anything.

The next couple of days were really frustrating, because when the power goes out, the people go on strike and cut the roads. They literally take tires and barricade the road by lining them up and lighting them on fire. So the buses can´t travel anywhere. They even cut off the major freeway that connects Banfield to the capital.
Luckily after about 4 days, the majority of people received electricity and stopped blocking the streets, so things are back to normal.
Elder Suarez and I had an amazing week filled with miracles, but the coolest one is that we found a family! We were just walking down the street from one place to another when a woman and her daughter called us over. They literally started by saying ´When can you come and teach us a lesson´ We didn´t know what to say to that, but we were able to make a time for a return appointment. On our first visit we walked in and they already had a picture of the Salt Lake Temple hanging on their wall. Apparently their cousin is a member and took them to see the temple, there they felt the peace the comes with the temple, and they decided they wanted to find out more. So, they found us! They are a beautiful Bolivian family of 7, and all of them attended church on Sunday! They got two popped tires while traveling to church and even though they were an hour late, they still came! The ward took them in super well, and it was just beautiful!  The Lord has blessed us with the opportunity to teach this family, and I feel so happy.
Our other investigators are doing very well also! As of right now, we have 9 people with a date for baptism, and we keep on finding others to teach! The lord is really blessing us with this opportunity to help many people.
Cool Thing, The Bishop here actually speaks English very well, and he is really dedicated to the missionaries. He offered to help me study Spanish the same way he learned English, and so I´m really blessed to have him.
Also, while all of you are freezing your tails off, just don´t think about the fact that I´m quite comfortable here in the warm sun chowing down on Watermelon! It is a little weird eating watermelon in December, but I can get used to it!
It’s been a great week, and I can´t wait to tell what happens this week!
I love you all! hope you´re all doing great!
Love
Elder Chipman
Pictures of Budge

Monday, December 2, 2013

The miracle of the basketball!


¡Hola familia!                                                                          Dec. 2, 2013

Its been a great week here in Budge! Right now, its super hot! Don´t know how hot, but for some reason, the sun feels so much stronger here than at home. Maybe we´re closer to the equator or something. I don´t know.

Honestly it has been a pretty good week. I continue to understand more and at least my companion works hard.  At night we also get to talk with the other two elders in the pension, and they are nice and like to joke around with me. Last night I was able to unwind a bit, play the harmonica, and me and the other two elders talked about Pokemon. Which is childish, but fun.

Other than today, this week was actually rather chilly. Again, don´t really know how cold, but it was rainy and windy, and I was actually able to sleep inside my sleeping bag, which is something that I usually can´t do because of the heat. The sudden change of temperature made Elder Suarez sick and we stayed inside all day Wednesday. It did give me a chance to do laundry which I haven´t exactly done in a while. The day after was thanksgiving and instead of having a turkey dinner, I decided to focus on gratitude that day. I gained a lot of perspective on how many blessings the lord has given me. In True to the Faith (One of the books we study from) it explains how a spirit of gratitude is a happy spirit, because it is impossible to be sad and miserable and grateful at the same time. So, it turned out to be a very good Thanksgiving!

Today we had a miracle in itself, one of the new elders in our district has a Basketball! We were able to play a short game today after we finished our usual soccer game. It took me a while to shake the rust of my bones, but it was a lot of fun! Even in this heat. Also got to eat at McDonalds and had a Big Mac (Yes Allie I know you´re jealous) with a Vanilla and Dulce de Leche (kinda like carmel) Ice Cream cone, super good!

Right now we have 3 people with a baptismal date for December. Two are for the 14th, and another for the 28th. They are all really solid and seem to be progressing really well, so I hope to be sending baptismal pictures soon!

I see movie posters for Catching Fire all over the place here. Was it really that good? I know the book ended on a cliff hanger as well, which drove me crazy.

Oh I almost forgot! I got the Package! I think it has been in the office for a while, but we had zone conference this week and that is usually when they send mail! I haven´t opened any of the presents yet because I have to wait. The other Elders in my Pension don´t understand why, but tradition is tradition. Unless there is something that I need to open now then I will. Also please send thanks to the Waltons, they sent me a very nice card. I also got you´re Halloween card with the leaves! Thank you.

Anyway, hope you have a happy week. Get Megan Home! I´m glad she´s getting better though! ITs weird, only 8 more days!

Hope you guys aren´t too cold! And hope you all enjoy the holiday season!

Les Amo Mucho

Elder Chipman

Monday, November 25, 2013

A bunch of success!


Hola Todos                                                                             November 25, 2013

 

 


It’s been a good week serving here in Argentina! I can honestly say that I have never been this hot in November before—or this tan!  I think it’s been about 27 degrees Celsius (whatever that means) so if you have some sort of conversion method, you can figure out what that is in Fahrenheit.  They say it gets even hotter in January and February, close to 40 degrees Celsius, so I don’t know what to expect.

 

We are starting to have a bunch of success!  5 investigators came to church yesterday which is really awesome!  Two of them are a mother and son. The son is about 26 and the mother is, well, older than 26.  she is the aunt of some members of the ward.  She is very open and feels like this is a good thing.  She is very active in another faith, but is very open to listen to what we have to say in order to make sure she is following our Heavenly Father’s plan for her.

 

The other two are some neighbors to a family in the ward.  We taught them once about prayer and they have come two weeks in a row!  The only problem is that they are about 15 and 12 years old, so we need to start teaching their parents as well.

 

Today is a holiday here in Argentina.  Nobody really knows why.  Apparently there are 21 holidays in Argentina, and for every one of them, nobody works.  We were lucky to find an internet café that was open!  But this morning we played soccer with a bunch of the men in the ward and it was a lot of fun!

 

It’s been pretty good here. The Lord is really helping me with the language, and I’m starting to get the hang of it more.  That being said, I don’t understand the details to what is going on, and usually I have things repeated to me, but I’m finally seeing improvement.  I feel more peace.  President Thurgood sent a quote today from Lorenzo snow saying that we can’t be perfect in an instant, but we can improve everyday.  So that is what I’m trying to do.  And it is helping me put my head down and move forward.

 

I’m also trying to figure out how best to do the work.  It is hard when I’ve got what I learned in Georgia from the mission president and my trainer, and now what I’m learning from President Thurgood and what the missionaries here tell me to do.  But I think I am starting to figure out how I best want to work and what I need to do.

 

It is funny how I sometimes don’t see miracles until after the day end and I look back on what we did.  In those times it is really easy to see the Lord’s hand.  Just yesterday I had a miracle.  It was a hard morning because I was tired so it war hard to get started.  The day before, our apartment didn’t have water so I couldn’t shower.  On that day, we had water but it was cold.  The other two elders took cold showers before my turn.  I was starting to get sad, so I prayed for the Lord’s help.  When I turned the hot water knob just to see, there was hot water!  After I showered, my comp showered and it was cold again.  It was something that really wasn’t that big of deal, but it was a tender mercy and a miracle for me.

 

Funny story:  Sometimes my comp tries to speak English to me. He doesn’t know a lot, and he can’t pronounce anything worth beans, but the fact that he tries is pretty cool. The funny thing is that if I can’t understand what he is trying to say, he throws his hands in the air and says “Chipman no entiende su propio idioma” or “Chipman you don’t even understand your own language!”

 

Thanks for the sports update Dad.  It is kinda fun to see what is happening and honestly I’ve seen about the same amount of Bronco games here as I did in college anyway.

 

I would love to go on a run sometime, but w shouldn’t.  our area isn’t the most safe area in the whole world.  The mornings are pretty dangerous because all of the drunks are just coming out of their all-night parties.  So running in the morning is a bad idea.  That being said, know that I am safe and doing well.  I try to do some pushups and stuff in the morning, but I’m just getting back into it since I was sick.

 

We don’t have a lot of food in the pension, but every night after planning I make a little plate of fideos or spaghetti to king of relax and finish up the day.  It gives me something to look forward too.

 

I got the Conference Ensign Magazine this week.  Seriously the best thing ever!  I also got dad’s letter, but nothing else.  They say that anything over 4 lbs will be taxed and is difficult to get, and also to wrap everything in brown paper or use brown boxes.  Anything that even looks valuable will be held and taxed no matter the size, but if you stick a Jesus Sticker on it, it usually works out fine!

 

Happy Thanksgiving! Anyway, that is all that happened this week!  Hop all is well at home!  Don’t eat too much turkey without me ok!  Or if you want, you can mail me the leftovers!

 

Have a good week, Love you all!

 

Elder Chipman
Here is a hat that a member knitted for me!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving?


¡Hola!                                                             Nov. 18, 2013
 
¡Feliz día de gracias!
 
It’s been another great week here in Budge! I finish my first transfer in Argentina today and begin my second, but nothing is changing. I´m staying in Budge with Elder Suarez for another 6 weeks! We are excited and ready to keep moving forward in this work.
 
Budge received a new bishop and he can actually speak a little bit of English. He lived a Colorado Springs a little bit before returning back to Argentina, and so I enjoy it because he clarify things that I don´t understand.
 
Also on Thursday I was on exchanges in a place called Parque Baron, just a little south of Budge. We went to go contact one of their contacts, and guess what, he spoke English! It was broken and hard to understand at times but it was English! In fact he refused to speak Spanish because he only wanted to practice English. My poor Peruvian companion had no idea what was going on!
 
President Holland was awesome. The chapel wasn´t in the city, bummer, but we got to go about 10 minutes out of the mission which is kinda fun. Elder Holland was, well Elder Holland. It was very powerful and emotional. Seriously awesome talk about conversion and how it’s not what we say that matters but who we are. He talked about how missions are hard and how it’s because salvation is not cheap. It was never easy for the Savior, so why should it be easy for us. Every road to salvation travels through some sort of Gethsemane. We can´t compare ourselves to his pain because honestly that just is sacrilegious, but we figuratively follow him up our Calvary with our cross, and we will have eternal life. Seriously I wish I could send you the talk, truly beautiful day. Also we heard from Elder Gonzales and Soares of the Seventy. I took a lot of notes and plan on studying them.
 
When is Thanksgiving?  Seriously in an apartment with only Latinos, I don´t know about things like that. Oh well.
 
I talked with Elder Austin Hansen (from Highlands Ranch) at the Conference, he leaves home today, but probably doesn´t get there till tomorrow. Told him to tell you hi for me!
 
Spanish is getting better. I understand a lot more than I can say. I just can´t think very fast in Spanish, so its hard to talk. But usually I get 75% if what´s being said. But it just depends on the day. I guess I need more faith that I´m going to learn it and be ok. I´ll be a good missionary because I want to be, and that´s just the attitude I´ve got to have. Its hard when you are almost a quarter of the way through and you haven´t even been close to a baptism, but then again, I have another 18 months to get one, so there you go.
 
Also a little birdy (my last companion in Atlanta-- Wes Bakes) told me that two of our investigators that we found have successfully been baptize, so even though I didn´t actually see the baptism, it makes me feel like I´ve done something these past few months.
 
We were able to teach many people this week and even set a baptismal date, so the work in Budge is moving forward! 
 
They say I have a lot of mail in the office, I just need to have the opportunity to get there.  I think they bring it for zone conference but I´m not sure.
 
I am grateful for this opportunity to serve my lord, and also the opportunity I have to build a better relationship with him. I´m grateful for my family and friends, and I truly have been blessed in my life.  I´m grateful for my Savior who did everything for me, and through him I can do all things.
 
Thanks for everything everybody and happy thanksgiving?
 
Elder Chipman

Monday, November 11, 2013

About Budge and my apartment


Hola!                                                                                                   November 11, 2013

Its been a long week. It started out all good! I went on exchanges with Elder Whetten, he is from Arizona and has been on his mission for 3 months. He doesn’t speak very good Spanish, but I was finally able to speak English with someone! We had a pretty adventurous day, and between the two of us we were able to get by with the Spanish we knew.

Two days after that though I woke up sick. You probably don’t want to know what with... Just know that I was in bed all day Thursday and without TV or anything.  It was a pretty long day! Friday we went to see a doctor and they said I was fine, just change my diet for a few days. So I´m in the process of doing that right now. Luckily I felt well enough to work Saturday and Sunday. 

We have been working with a woman who’s name is Adriana, and we aren’t the first missionaries to talk to her. She has been seeing the missionaries consistently for the past 4 years? She hasn’t been baptized because she refuses to follow certain commandments, but finally, this week, she said that she’ll just do it, because she knows she needs to. Finally!

Funny Cultural note: Many people ask if we want a carmelo or a hard candy. Sometimes it’s actually a piece of candy, but more often than not, it’s a cough drop. For some reason they love them here. They eat cough drops all the time, and apparently if you´re sick and take some to church all the members ask if they can have one as well. So now whenever I´m asked if I want a carmelo, I still say yes, but I kinda know what to expect.

Love you and miss you all!

Elder Chipman
map of our area

 


Me and my pumpkin (birthday) cake.  The apartment only has a kitchen, a bedroom, and a bathroom.  The kitchen area has our desks & laundry stuff (we do ours by hand, I'm learning how to do this little by little)

  Our bedroom 
Hi Mom!

You are right, I haven’t described a lot about Argentina, so I hope to do that a little now!

We are in the city of Budge. Its only about a 30 minute drive south of the capital. There aren’t any big buildings or anything, just houses and shops, occasionally a park or a field. Literally every square inch is covered up, there is a person living in every corner of every block of road. People build their own houses, and so they can form it to anything they have to. The governments roads are paved with cement, the roads made by the residents are all dirt.

There literally is garbage everywhere. Seriously. People carry their garbage out and light it up with fire, and that’s that. 

We take buses where ever we go. I’m glad I don’t have to drive because they have speed bumps randomly everywhere, no signs, lines, or laws in general. Motor bikes and horse carts are also very popular forms of transportation. 

I am in a poorer area, but they seem to get by, and honestly, they seem to live very comfortably. Outside their houses is filth and dirt and grim, but then you walk in and they have flowers and granite countertops and tile floors. It just depends.

Thanks for everything, hope all is well!

Love you

Elder Chipman


 

Monday, November 4, 2013

Buenos Tardes!


Buenos Tardes!

It’s been a great week here in Budge! 

We have two new investigators, and they have baptismal dates for the 30th of November! Their names are Alejandra y Angela. They literally live under a mountain of garbage. Their front courtyard is about 10 feet by 10 feet, and it is filled about 5 feet high with garbage! But we taught them about the plan of salvation, and they seem to have a desire to do what it takes! We meet with them again tomorrow--which might be a problem because we have exchanges tomorrow.  I’m going with an Elder who is from Arizona, and has only been here for 2 months, so our Spanish isn’t exactly good. Luckily the Spirit does all the work right? 

Anyway, about the soccer here. Every P-day we play soccer, and seriously, I get destroyed. A chapel in our zone has a small soccer court and we play games of 5 on 5. My companion played on a professional team in Paraguay. It is the equivalent to a minor league team in the States, so he’s really good. Then there are the rest of the Latinos that move so fast and quick, and I just can’t keep up. Luckily there are about 5 other Gringos that play like me, so we laugh and have fun, and dream about the day when we can play basketball again!

Mom: First off, forgive me but I completely forgot to tell you thank you for the Birthday Presents. Seriously, the CD was exactly what I wanted, and the ties are perfect. I’m actually wearing one right now. And the Candy Corn is gone. But I shared it and Latinos don’t really like it, so I didn’t have a problem!

I baked the cake (pumpkin cake) on Halloween, but it was really difficult. The oven doesn’t have degrees, it’s a fire oven and there is only a dial for how much fire you want. But it turned out to be perfect. The frosting was what I failed on. They have different measurements here, so I just did it by sight, and honestly, didn’t work out super well. But the cake as a whole tasted great! Again, my roommates didn’t like it very much, which is exactly what I wanted! I finished eating it this morning!
About the Aves, it’s about time they started to win some games!

Anyway, hope all is well at home! Love you all!

¡Chao!

Elder Chipman

Monday, October 28, 2013

My blue eyes and my height makes me exotic in these parts

Driving by the Buenos Aires Temple

View from our Villa

Enjoying good food



¡Hola Amigos!
It’s been a great week here in Budge! We have been working hard, and we’re finally making some progress with our investigators.
This week we were able to talk to a man named Alberto. He lives in a little shack, and his form of transportation in a horse and a cart, which honestly isn’t that rare here in budge. He lives with his brother who has a drug problema, but has honestly thought about God a lot in his life. We were able to talk to him about the first vision and were able to invite him to be baptized the 30th of November. And he accepted! Now we have the hard part of actually getting him there, but he is really sincere, and wants to do the right thing. Plus the lord is on our side, and if the Lord be with us, who can stand against us?
Also had the awesome opportunity not only to have Asado once, but twice! Asado is a special, delicious experience here in Argentina. It consists of chicken, chorizo, and steak being cooked over hot coals. Honestly its super good, but it wasn’t my favorite thing I ate this week. The couple who rent us our villa fed us on Saturday, and we had steak with eggs and onions. IT was supèr delicioso, and I look forward to learn how to cook that! Seriously, I don’t understand, they only season with salt here, yet the meat is really good! I guess all I need is Mayo and salt, and I can be a professional chef here in Argentina!
Also something funny: ever since I got here, I’ve been told how tall I am, and how weird it is that I have blue eyes. I´ve never thought of myself as foreign or exotic, but here I´m about a foot taller than everyone.  No one can pronounce the name Chipman, which is honestly the first time I experienced that problem. I´ve been compared to two things, the Hulk, and Kronk from the Emperors New Groove. Honestly, if I ever feel self conscious, I think I´m just going to pay a visit to Argentina to feel better.
The Lord has blessed us a lot this week, and I know that he will continue to bless us. The work will go on!
Yo sé que Dios les ama todos sus hijos, y ayudará todos con sus problemas y desafíos en esta vida
Its not perfect but its getting better!
Les Amo Mucho
Elder Chipman

Monday, October 21, 2013

In South America, the toilet flushes . . . .


Another Great week in Buenos Aires!

So Argentina is weird, and they have Mothers Day on the 3rd Sunday of October. Only Argentina does this, but anyway, Happy Mother´s day!

Things are becoming more normal for me here. I can usually understand what people are saying to me in one on one conversation, but I struggle with groups--especially lunch appointments. Here, lunch is the biggest meal of the day. It usually consists of a salad, either beef or chicken, and mayonnaise. Seriously, they eat mayo with everything, beef, chicken, salad, you name it. The water is also undrinkable down here, so there is a ton of Coca Cola and Tang. I haven’t yet tried Asado, but I hear its something to die for!

We’re still trying to get settled in our area. We´re opening up a second area in the Budge Ward, so we literally have 1 investigator that was there before the area split, so most of our time is spent visiting members for referrals. We are making good relationships though, and are helping many inactive members come back.

As far as the question that you have all been wondering: What direction does the toilet flush?

From my personal analysis, it flushes clockwise in Argentina. To be honest I don´t know what direction it goes in America, so you need to check it out for me!

Other than that, I don´t have much to say. We´re getting stuff done!

Les Amo
Elder Chipman

Monday, October 14, 2013

First week in Argentina!


Wow, what a week. Luckily the mission president here has given us an hour and a half to email.

On Sunday the 7th I received my call that my visa for Argentina has arrived. We then enjoyed conference and left for the airport on Monday the 8th. We had a two hour flight to Houston where we met up with other missionaries. Some had been waiting in California for 6 months! Others, fresh out of the MTC. We then had a grueling over night flight of 10 and a half hours. I slept about 4 of them. The rest of the time I had to read or do something because the person sitting in front of me was watching Man of Steel. But I stayed strong, and haven’t seen it yet!

We arrived in Argentina around 8 am. We then grabbed our bags and met our mission president. We were then taken to the mission home, about half an hour away from the airport in a very nice place called Banfield. The mission home is beautiful with a great yard filled with Ivy walls and a swimming pool. We had dinner and I was introduced to my companion Elder Suarez from Paraguay! He doesn’t speak a lick of English. But thats ok. We were then taken to our area, Budge (Bood-hey), Only 20 minutes from Banfield. That night we went to our villa right above a member. Its super nice, and has running water!

Budge is not beautiful, at. all. But that´s ok. There aren´t any buildings higher than 3 stories, and there is trash everywhere. We are staying with two other Elders, Elders Escobar and Rodreguiz from Peru and Chile. So yes, I am the only one speaking English in the villa.

What is it like down here? Crazy! The buses here remind me remotely of the night bus in Harry Potter. The roads don´t have lines, but I´m not sure if the drivers would follow them anyway. Once you get on, they take off. The insides are like a jungle gym, with bars everywhere. Mostly so you can make it to your seat without flying out the window.

We are very close to cities like Banfield and Lemus, where there are lots of American companies like Mcdonalds and Burger King. We actually ate at McDonalds today, but its expensive! When I tell the other elders that a burger only costs one dollar in America, they Gawk.

The wildlife consists of Dogs. There are more stray dogs than people it seems like, but they are all really nice, and honestly act like normal dogs, chasing cars, and eating trash. They truly are everywhere. I see them on roofs at times, just walking around. The stray dogs are better behaved than the domesticated ones though. The member we live above has a big golden lab named Toby, and every time we walk in and out, he tries to hump our leg.

All of the buildings are surrounded by gates, even the stores and churches. You usually have to have a key to get in and out. I have yet to see a window not barred, even the churches. Robbery is a problem here, and nobody takes any chance.

Soccer is a huge deal down here. Seriously, Saturday, everyone is playing it. Apparently there are two major teams in Buenos Aires, Boca and River. The majority of people ask which one I go for. Right know, I don´t know, but I think I´m leaning more towards River.

This isn´t everything, but its all I can think of. I love you all and hope you’re doing well! ¡Chao!

Elder Chipman

Monday, October 7, 2013

On his way to Argentina!

This morning Stephen called from the Atlanta airport.  He is finally on his way to Buenos Aires, Argentina.  He got notice that his Visa was ready just yesterday. Today, he will fly to Dallas for a two hour lay over and then board a plane for a 10 1/2 hour flight to his destination.  He was really excited about everything.  We look forward to getting his letter next Monday to hear about his new adventures and assignment.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Life is still going good...

Hola Todos!

Its been another great week here in Marietta Georgia! We've been teaching the gospel and seeing a lot of miracles everyday! We are continuing to teach Angela and Gladis, and continue to find new people who have been prepared to listen.

First off, there has been a new rule given out that we are to have mail sent directly to our apartment and not to the mission home. SO if you sent a letter this week, I probably won't get it until transfer meeting next Wednesday. Here's my apartment Address

Elder Stephen Burgoyne Chipman
1788 Austell Rd. Apt. E2
Marietta GA, 30008

Honestly, you probably shouldn't send anything after Wednesday, because if I don't get sent to Argentina this week, I will probably be transferred somewhere else in Georgia.

Honestly nothing out of the ordinary has happened this week. We had a lesson with Angela on Tuesday and we brought a member, Hermano C. He is this old retired Costa Rican who we like to call the "Camacho Bomb" because whenever we bring him to lessons, he just goes off, and teaches the Doctrine of Christ like nothing else. Anyway, we taught Angela about Faith, and she committed to come to church. She didn't come, but we'll keep working with her.

The rest of our lessons went a lot like that. Life is still going good, and I love being a missionary. It is the rare opportunity that I have to bare my personal testimony everyday, and in a different language! I feel the spirit direct my life and its just a great feeling! 

Hope all is well at home, I love you all!

Elder Chipman
Found the graffiti right outside our apartment door on Tuesday!
We literally are the only white kids in the complex.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Como Estan?

Como Estan?

Its been a great week here in Atlanta Georgia! We're teaching lots and slowly but surely progressing with our investigators. Again none of them came to church, which means we definitely need to do something about that this week! 
 
As far as interesting stories go, we went to visit one of our super investigators on Friday. Her name is Angela and we found her one of my first days here. We talked with her a little bit, and she's really been going through a rough time in her life. She said that sometimes she gets really sad and lonely, but every time she feels that way, we always knock on her door! That makes me feel good because it means I really have nothing to do with this work other than being obedient and working hard, the Lord will always put us where he needs us.
 
Angela has also been reading the book of mormon and is already near the end of 1 Nephi, and she says its a beautiful book, and she believes it to be true, now all we have to do is get her to church!
The Adversary has definitely been noticed this week, and we've had to do a lot of humbling and extra work, but we hope to come back and have a crazy successful week this week! 

Just something cool about where I am serving, there is an air-force base nearby so everyday there are these giant army planes that fly right over our heads! Its really loud, but I feel like a little kid again. Every time one flies over our heads, I can't help but gawk, its so cool!

Fall is also on the way! Its still hot and humid, but there is a chilled breeze in the air! 

Anyway! Hope all is going well at home and that y'all stay safe!

Love ya
Elder Stephen Chipman

Monday, September 16, 2013

Another great week in Georgia


Hola!                                                   September 16, 2013

How are you guys? Its been another great week here in Georgia! Still very hot and sweaty, but occasionally there is a cool breeze in the air, reminding us that Fall really is on its way! It sounds like it raining like crazy at home! We haven't had rain this whole month so its kinda the opposite.

We had a lot of success this week, and have many new investigators. We're teaching a man named Miguel, who has a lot of questions, and gets frustrated when we don't answer them right when he wants them answered. But I think we finally got to a place where we can start teaching him without too much deviation. We're also teaching a wife and her son. They are both very interested and have been reading the Book of Mormon, we were unable to meet with them this weekend, but look forward to seeing them sometime soon.

As far as exciting goes, we have a giant puddle in the middle of our closet because of a leak. We reported the leak to the apartment's maintenance a few weeks ago, but apparently the are really busy. So we kinda feel like Indiana Jones jumping over this giant puddle in order to get in and out of the closet!

My Spanish is better, and its improving, but I still don't know what people say half the time. That's why I have a companion there I guess! 

Well I hope everyone is having a great week and is staying dry! Talk to ya soon!

Love
Elder Chipman


Hey Mom!                                                                                           September 16, 2013

Things have been good, and bad. It just depends on when you ask. We're working our tails off, but Hispanics in the United States are so inconsistent, that we can never teach. We have appointments dropped, or no one is there. Something always seems to happen almost every time. When we do teach, I think we do a good job. I'm a little frustrated about not being able to say what I want because I'm still learning the language, but I just need to be patient. None of our investigators showed up to church, which is hard because it makes me feel like all of our efforts aren't getting anything done, but I know that that's not true. Maybe I won't see the fruit, but we're doing good work.

Seriously, we've been working our tails off this week, and I'm pooped. We haven't played any sport in any form yet, but I'm going to really try and push for something today. 

We have had a very miracle filled week though. We've found a few families and so I know we're doing good things here! I guess I don't like having this pressure of being sent off any day because we have investigators that I want to finish off just so I know they make it. But my companion heads home at the end of this transfer, and they say most visa waiters leave near the end of the second transfer. This week is the halfway point of the transfer, so I don't know what to expect. 

I do know that they are going to get baptized; they just work all of the time. So the process is slower.

I've already found a lot of peace in the harmonica though. I can play simple hymns on it, and it calms me down right before I go to bed after everything is done. So I really do appreciate it! 

We taught a man named Miguel, and he's frustrating, because he's also taking lessons from the Jehovah's Witness's so he asks a lot of questions that are weird that we could answer, but don't build the lesson at all. He also reads their pamphlets but not ours, and says that what they say makes sense because their pamphlets explain it, and ours don't, but he doesn't read them. This week though, we brought a member named Hermano Montenegro. He studied with the JW's before he was converted, and when he told his story, he really focused on the Book of Mormon and how reading it helped him. So we think we can get in to this guy now, but I think its going to be a long process with him.

We also have been teaching a woman named Angela and her son Jordan. They were one of the first doors I knocked on here, but they are really ready to be baptized, we just need to teach them the lessons!

Anyway, stay dry, help out those people, I'll write letters and hopefully send them off before Thursday so you can actually get them!

Your Perfect Son, (Just to tick allie off)
Elder Chipman

Monday, September 9, 2013

It's been a great week here in Atlanta!


September 9,13

 

Hey Everybody! How goes it?

 

It’s been a great week here in Atlanta! We're getting a lot done and it’s been really fun! We have a lot of people with Baptismal Dates! We have one whose name is Gladis. We knocked on her door the third day I was here! It’s hard to get a hold of her which is difficult, but she came to church yesterday which makes it her second time! We also had an amazing lesson with a woman named Angela and her son Jordan. They were really interested and we set a date for September 28! Jordan said afterward that he believes everything happens for a reason, and knows that we were sent to him and his mom for a reason! So that was really exciting to see!

 

As far as Spanish goes, people still have no idea what I'm trying to say, but I can't understand them that well either! Actually it is getting better! I'm slow, but I can say what I need to, and I understand about 50% of what people say, which is good!

 

On Wednesday I went on a companionship exchange! It’s when we switch companions with another group of Elders. I went out with Elder Owens, a brand new Missionary from Sugar City Idaho! He only speaks English, so I really had to take the lead in a lot of conversations, or I guess, most of the conversations. I gained a lot of confidence from that and it really helped me feel better about Spanish! We talked to a lot of people and it was really cool!

 

Anyway, hope all is well where ever you are! I'll let y'all know if I get a visa or not, I guess we'll see!

 

Love 

Elder Chipman

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Given y'all insight on my creative diet

Mission Facebook picture of  the transfer meeting
 
 
Hi everyone! Its been a good week down here in Georgia! They put me back with the Spanish Branch, which is awesome, but it only reminds me of how much Spanish I have to learn before I go to Argentina! I'm back with Elder Bakes and we've decided to walk and bike around instead of share a car with other Elders, so we get nice and sweaty every day!

Yesterday we were asked to work through Labor Day so that's why my letter is coming today, but I'm very grateful we did. Everybody was home. We were able to teach tons of lessons and bless many lives. I think I might be a little spoiled now and might be disappointed when someone doesn't open the door, but it was a great experience for the day!

Other than that the work is moving forward. As a mission we baptized 56 people in the month of August, and there are hundreds more who have a date scheduled! The work is really moving forward here in the South and I'm grateful that I can be apart of it.

I'm just grateful for the opportunity that we have to see miracles everyday. The funny thing is, is that I've seen miracles everyday my whole life, and I just didn't see them. Our Heavenly Father really loves each and every one of us, and he shows us everyday, we just need to look for the little things that he does to help us along in our lives.

Anyway enough preaching--I want to let y'all know what I usually make for myself, maybe I don't want my dad to know this, but I even find it a little amusing. There are 5 major food groups as a missionary. Quesadillas, Hotdogs, Pasta, Peanut butter, Toast, Hot Sauce. Usually I combine a couple of these to make some delicious meals, (yes I've had a hotdog and peanut butter sandwich, not that bad!) But this is what keeps my engine running right now. Just thought I would give y'all that insight!

Hope all is well, and I love you all!

Elder Chipman

Monday, August 26, 2013

Green hotdogs for the greenie


August 26, 2013

 

Well I'm only 2 days away from completing my first transfer, or my first 6 weeks! Wednesday will be the day! They are sending me back over to the Cunningham Branch which is the Spanish Branch in the same area, so I'm kinda just going back to where I started! Most people who wait for their visas go through about two transfers or 3 months before they get clearance to go, so I'm almost there! I think.

I've been enjoying English though! We had a family come to church yesterday, the Hendersons. The father is deaf and the mother is Kenyan and they have three kids! All of them came and the wife signed for the dad, but he lip reads really well, so she wasn't too busy. But we also found a ward that has a lot of resources for the dear. It’s outside of our mission boundaries, but we might send them there just so they can relax a little bit more.

We also met a lot of other people, and we have a baptism this Saturday! His name is Kamrick , and he is the son of a member who was less active when he turned 8. So his parents set up the appointments, we taught him, and that was that.

The work here is booming! The mission has had 48 baptisms in August, and the mission goal is 70. We had 24 baptisms on Saturday alone, and we will probably hit the mission goal after this next weekend. The mission president really gives us a "Vision to Baptize," and it has really motivated us to work as hard as we can!

So a fun story that happened this week, we have a sister in our ward who makes all the Greenies (new missionaries) a greenie dinner. So we had Green Hotdogs, green buns, green mac n cheese, green everything. It felt weird eating, but it tasted fine! I mean where can you go wrong with hot dogs? On a mission I guess I've expanded my menu a little bit. I've eaten Quesadillas, peanut butter sandwiches, and hotdogs---Unless members have us over. Let’s just say I love member dinners.

Anyway, hope all is well at home!

Monday, August 19, 2013

It is legal here to take road kill home to eat


Hey Everyone

It’s been a very good week with a lot of miracles seen everyday. On Friday I found out that they are planning on keeping me here in the Smyrna ward until the end of the transfer. Which really is just next Wednesday. I've kinda gotten to the point where I just need to put my trust in the lord. He knows where I can be the most useful, and I think he's just going to move me where ever he sees fit. And I guess if he can split the Red Sea, he can place me where I need to be.

I do admit though, I enjoy understanding everything. It’s very nice to be able to say what I want to say, and hear what everyone is saying, well I guess almost everything. Sometimes the southern accent is a little too much for me, but I'm trying.

We've been teaching a lot of people this week, and one thing that I've really learned is how important the Bible, along with the Book of Mormon is in our lives. I was just flipping through it the other day, and came across one of the most powerful scriptures I have ever seen. Its Romans 8: 35-39. I encourage y'all (haha I've wanted to say y'all for a long time) to look up and read this scripture, mainly because its a little too long to type, but it only takes 10 seconds to read. Seriously though, this scripture says that nothing on the earth or not on the earth can separate us from our Saviors love. Nothing. This is a comfort to me.

Everyday I seem to gain a testimony on our Saviors love for each and every one of us and it’s on a personal level.

Anyway, some fun facts about Georgia. We were at a member’s home for dinner and they have deer that come into the backyard and eat their garden. So they plan on doing what any normal, civil human being will do. They plan on waiting in a tree so they can shoot it with their friends bow and arrow. And yes they were being serious... So if I visit them again and we have deer burgers, I know why.

Also apparently it’s legal to take road kill home with you and use it as food. I guess its better than just leaving it on the side of the road, but still, I'm a little disturbed that enough people are doing it that they had to make a law about it.

Last thing, mainly for Allie, Sarah, Zach, Natalie, and Elsie: I talked with this one guy who’s from Arkansas. And without me even bringing up the topic, he talked about how many Armadillos lived there. He said that they were everywhere.

Anyway, Have a fantastic week everybody, I love you all!

Elder Chipman

Monday, August 12, 2013

I need to inform y'all on some changes

Elder Chipman at Zone Conference

So before I say too much on what has happened, I need to inform y'all on some changes that have been made. One of the English Missionaries in the area had to go home due to medical reasons. He was having troubles with some of his medication, and so needed to go home to get that fixed up. As a result, guess who is in the Smyrna Ward now, ME! For at least the next week, I will be the companion to Elder Evans teaching and preaching in English. Honestly its a little weird, you know, going to church and understanding what people are saying. I think its only temporary, they say only until Friday, but until then I'm going to be speaking in English!

That change happened on Saturday Morning, so the majority of the week was spent speaking Spanish. The only really eventful thing that happened was when Elder Bakes locked the keys in the car. We were heading in for dinner at the apartment, and as we approached the door, Elder Bakes reached in his pocket, and a stunned look came over his face. He said that he forgot the keys, and at first we thought he was kidding (He's tried to pull that stunt before) But as we went back outside, we say the keys, still sitting in the ignition. So the last three hours of the day were spent waiting for the office elders to come up and bring us the spare. We met some of our neighbors who were really nice though. She brought us cookies and sloppy joes and we were able to talk to her and her family for a little bit.

On the English side of things, I had a really cool experience. In D&C it talks about how if we are obedient, we will not be confounded. Yesterday we were knocking on doors and we met this heavily Christian Couple. The Man was 86 and started out like he wanted to bash with us about what the Bible said about Hell and Baptism, and stuff like that. We were able to turn the tables into more of a conversation than a debate. We were able to teach him a lot about the Plan of Salvation, and how we can baptize those who weren't able to be baptized in this life. We talked about the Bible, and a lot of his beliefs were the same as ours, in that through tons of translations, certain truths were lost. I was then able to bear my testimony, how we could talk and teach all day, but the only way for him to know is by Praying, Searching, and Asking our Father in Heaven. I really felt good, saying what I wanted to say, and I really felt the spirit there. It was really cool.

Anyway, things I learned from Georgia.

1. I really do sweat a lot
2. Mosquitoes are my worst enemy
3. There are actually hills (I didn't figure that out until I started riding a bike)

I'm sure that list will grow longer the longer I stay out. Any way…..

Yo se que mi Salvador vive, y yo se que el Libro de Mormon es verdadero, y podemos crecer mas cerca de dios si leyemos el Libro y oramos a DIos.

I know that my Savior lives, and I know that the Book of Mormon is true, and we can grow closer to God if we read the book and pray to god.

I lean so much every day, thanks for all of you prayers!

Elder Chipman

Ps: I'm still snacking on my hidden stash of Oreos!
 
Elder Chipman at the Atlanta Temple
 
 
 

Monday, August 5, 2013

My Oreos are safe!


Hola                                                                                                           

It’s been another great week in Georgia! We've seen many miracles and I know that we will continue to see many as we continue to work hard, and do what we're supposed to do! One of those miracles is that none of the other Elders have discovered my stash of Golden Oreos. I made the mistake and shared my Honey Mustard Pretzels, and let’s just say that there aren't any left. But my Oreos are safe!

Another Miracle is that we had two investigators come to church yesterday! Their names are Juan and Gladys and they are neighbors with some of the members in the branch. We're going to be having Home Evening with them tonight and I really think they are going to be having some really cool experiences in the future with them.

The coolest part about this week was when we were tracting through a kinda shady trailer park. We were knocking on someone's door when a neighbor yelled at us and told us that they weren't home. So, we thought, "They're not home, but I know you are!" So we went over to talk to him. He invited us on his porch and it reeked of alcohol. He sat on his chair and next to him were at least 10 empty bottles of beer and another one he was in the process of finishing. As we talked to him, he said that he has a lot of problems, and that he needs help. As we talked to him, I think we gave him a little bit of hope because he decided to allow us to come back. On our second visit, we talked to him some more, and he has a lot of problems. But as we told him what he needed to do, he had us pour out his beer in the sink, and he said that he wants to start repenting. We taught him how to pray and shared with him some scriptures. We then invited him to be baptized, and he said yes without hesitation. He's got a long ways to go, but I know that he can find forgiveness and be healed through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. One of my favorite scriptures is Philipians 4:13.

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

I know that he can change his life around. I look forward to working with him and seeing the gospel really make a difference in his life! 

I know that our father in heaven loves each and every one of us including Carlos (the guy I just talked about). He wants to help him, and I can't wait to see him if he allows the Gospel to change him.

Spanish is still going well. I feel like I know a little bit more every day. But I still have a long way to go! Its going to be a process, but something that Preach my Gospel says is that the Lord provides a way for us to accomplish what he commands us. I've heard that before, but I never thought of it in a language sense. I've been commanded to speak Spanish, so it’s really cool to think that I will have help accomplishing it.

Anyway, we're starting to get stuff done here in the Cunningham branch, and I know that we are going to receive a lot of success as we continue to do what is right. I just feel like there is a ton of potential in this area, we just need to get out and get it started!

Anyway, it’s been a good week! Hope all is well.

Elder Chipman