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!

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!
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