Monday, March 31, 2014

Argentina is awesome!

Wow, what a week in San Fransisco!                      

Argentina is awesome. It really is. I love it, even when it is hard. Sometimes the people are hard to work with and it seems like nobody is actually married, but it’s just a great place to be. You should see how the people get excited about soccer. I’m actually getting pretty good at that sport myself. I scored numerous goals today when the missionaries played together, and even had a sick header for one of them--just so you know. It was fun.

We are still struggling to get this area off the ground. It’s a difficult area, but we’re working as hard as we can to get it going. I learned something interesting. In 3 Nephi 11: 10-11 Christ is introducing himself to the Nephites after his resurrection.  When he describes his atonement, he says that he took their sins upon him. I really like the word “take”. It shows that he willingly did it. I then began to think about the atonement and about what he was thinking about during it. He was in extreme pain; in fact we cannot comprehend the amount of pain.  My question is was he suffering?  He knew what he was doing. He knew it would free all of us from the bondage of eternal death, and he knew all this while he was experiencing it. I just think that he knew what he was doing, so it was worth it to him. So while I am not comparing the difficulty of a mission to the pain that he felt, I see a common theme. The mission is hard, I know that, but I also know what I am doing. I know that blessings await me for my service, and it will all be worth it. I don’t know if that makes sense, but that is just some of my thoughts.

We have always been working hard, but this week, we realized that the branch was struggling and needed something more than just two hard working missionaries, so we went crazy. We came home each night to our Pench exhausted every night. It was amazing and we really saw a lot of miracles --not just tender mercies, but the literal hand of God, putting us where we needed to be or God helping us out in some way. Literally lessons would come out of no where, and investigators would just pop up, ready to have us come and talk to them.

We found a family this week and when we were talking about the first vision, I pulled out my gospel art book, and showed them the picture of the first vision. Then the mom of the family told us that she has seen that picture before in a dream. She then gave us an account of a very vivid dream that she had, and she said she could distinctly remember that same forest in the picture. It was just a cool experience that the Lord blessed us with.

It was really good week, and we are set to do it again. We plan on working our tails off this transfer, and it’s going to be fun! I really look forward to it. Plus it’s already conference this weekend! That marks my 6 month mark in Argentina!

For the first time in 2 weeks, we didn't get sick or have an activity or conference or nothing and we saw tons of miracles. One was on Saturday when we were biking next to the Highway and we passed a boy that looked like he was looking for something. We stopped to see what he needed. He was riding his uncle’s bike from a friend’s house and an important screw came loose and fell off. Now to paint a picture for you, this is in the side of a busy highway in the middle of farmland. The side of the road has a skinny path that bikes can use, with tall weeds on either side. At first we tried to help him find the screw. Then my companion asked him, “have you tried to pray yet?” The kid was about 10 years old, and gave my comp a funny look. After some convincing, my comp was able to say a prayer for him.  Five minutes later, the boy stooped down and held up his screw. What a relief! But wait, it ain't done yet! The boy said to us, “great, now I just need the nut” THE NUT! That little tiny piece that could've fallen off miles back! So we continued our search, and we were praying in our hearts. Then, like it always does, the miracle came. The kid stooped down, and found the bolt to the screw only a few steps further down the road!

God hears our prayers. There are a lot of big life and death problems in the world , and many people have real needs. But God knows when a sparrow falls, or how important is for a little boy in the middle of San Fransisco, Argentina to find a screw and a bolt to his uncle’s bike. We have a loving Heavenly Father, who loves each of us. The things that are important to us are important to Him. He cares. Sometimes He won’t always give us what we want, but He will provide us with what we need.

In other news, there was a huge soccer game last night. There are two teams that are hugely popular in Buenos Aires and they are Boca and River. This rivalry is more intense than anything in the United States. This rivalry beats Utah/BYU, Michigan/Ohio State, Yankees/Red Sox, everything. Every person that I have met cheers for one of those two teams in every area I've served, and they squared off last night. Even though we couldn't watch the game, we knew when someone scored, because the whole world outside our pension was screaming and fireworks were going off. No joke. It would be completely silent, and then suddenly screaming would just fill the air as well as fireworks.  The World Cup will be something else. I can’t wait!  River won, just in case anyone out there knows what that means.

Sounds like Andrew and Connor are getting off to a great start for the Vista Track season. I won’t trash talk because I don´t want to get them too motivated. I’m not going to lie, this week I’ve been missing high school sports. They were so much fun, so I've gotta do something athletic when I get back home. I used some of that pent up energy today when I played soccer. My companion and I are still running and either exercising or playing basketball in the mornings. So that has been good.

Funny story: At the end of a lesson this week, we were talking with one of our investigators named Laura. She has been repairing her roof, so I tried to offer our help, but instead of saying “Necesita ayuda con su techo,” I asked, “necesita ayuda con su pecho,” which just happens to be the slang word for boobs in Spanish. My comp had a good laugh about that one. Oh well.  I am getting better.

Wow! It sounds like you had a fun spring break trip, but wow were those high cliffs at Zions!  I am, however, very disappointed that you were only able to eat 1 plate of ENDLESS Kneader’s french toast breakfast. You could’ve at least tried to eat 2. It was already paid for! Anyway, I´ll have to come home and show you how it’s done, because my appetite still hasn’t changed much.
I hope you know that the summer I get back, we're just going to be on vacation the whole summer---so don’t plan anything. We must go to Hawaii, Zions, Telluride (I really liked that place), and Atlanta. Oh, and New York City for Megan. Ha-ha only kidding!  It sounds like it was a great trip.

Anyway, hope all is well at home. Love you all, you’re the best!


Elder Chipman

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