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!


Elder Chipman