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.