Monday, April 28, 2014

I'm called Elder Grandote (Elder Giant)

Hola Todos!  

It’s been another good week in San Fransisco.  We’ve been working really hard in this area, and we haven’t had a lot of success, but we have a baptism coming up this Saturday! Pablo has come to church and is super prepared. So we hope to have him baptized this upcoming Saturday, and confirmed the following day. I’ll keep you posted. He should’ve been baptized 12 weeks ago, but hey, it’s all good. We think the hurdles have been cleared, we just need to finish.

So with that, it’s been great! We’ve been working closely with the Elders Quorum President this week and have visited a lot of less actives members with him. He taught me a lot about the blessing that we have when we sing hymns. When we go out with him, he tells us only to sing hymns. So that’s what we do. There are very few things that can bring the spirit faster than a hymn, and it doesn’t mean that you have to be able to sing, trust me, I would know.

If things go as predicted, I’m probably heading to a different area next week. I’m a little bummed because I really like it here. Plus, I don’t like getting transferred. You get in a routine with your comp and with your area, and it’s comfortable. With transfers, you just feel lost and you don’t know what’s going on for a long time. Let’s just say, I have a little bit of hope that I can stay for another transfer or two, but we’ll have to see.
Overall, life is good, I’m getting along with my companion, and the weather is that beautiful fall weather. The leaves are changing colors, and the farmland is really pretty now.  It is just a good atmosphere all around.   Dad, it is good to see that my experiences are similar to your mission, because if I become just like you, I will be a very happy man--just so you know.  I’m also starting to learn how to have fun on my mission. It’s impossible to be too serious for too long and I’m not really good at being serious.

Thanks for the money.  Inflation has been up and we had to use some money from my checking account for food.  The mission recently made the adjustment so we will get more money, so I don’t plan on using more soon.  I just get so hungry =)

As far as the food of the week: I made a super good pasta mixed with fried onions and bell peppers. I think that I should just buy a deep fat fryer or something like that because that’s all I seem to know how to cook, but it’s so good! As far as the impressive donuts that I made last week: They were really just bread in the shape of a circle, fried with extra sugar in the dough. I’m still trying to figure out how to use yeast. It’s a process.

Anyway, Thanks for everything! I love you all, thanks for all of your support.


Elder Chipman

PS: You don’t need to worry about me being robbed.   I’m a giant here. Nobody remembers my name because it is hard to pronounce for them, so they just call me Elder Grandote, or Elder Giant.  So there you go.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Happy Easter!

Feliz Pascua Todos!                                                

Its been a great week! We remember the Savior and his sacrifice every day, but there is no denying that there is a special spirit of the Holy Week, where we can really focus on what he did for us, and why it is important. 

It was really great because the majority of our lessons were about Easter and Christ´s sacrifice for us. It is amazing that through our savior´s sacrifice, we are all able to live again, overcome challenges, sin, sickness, and death. That because someone was so selfless, that he wasn´t just preoccupied about his own salvation, but the salvation of every living soul that has or ever will live on the earth. We cannot understand how great the atonement really is, but we can appreciate what he did, and understand that it is the only way to be happy, have  peace, hope, and it is the only way to reach our eternal destination, and live with our loving Father in Heaven, and our Savior Jesus Christ. All he asks is that we follow him, keep his commandments, be baptized, and he will be with us everyday until the end. 

Sorry its a little late, but its only a day late. Just know that I know that he lives, while it is important to respect, and worship his sacrifice for us, his death and suffering in Gethsemane, it is even more important to celebrate and appreciate the fact that he rose again, and lives today. I know that my Redeemer lives, and loves each of us in a personal manner that we cannot understand.

The Easter custom here is to make the Easter eggs out of chocolate and fill the insides with candy. They don’t have an Easter egg hunt, but the chocolate is good! We got a lot of them because we are missionaries. All right! 

I also tried to make donuts today, and it worked well! I just need to figure out how to make a glaze or something, but I’m learning how to cook!  Pretty cool right? (Don’t show dad =)  )

We are still having troubles getting our investigators to church, and that is frustrating, but its a process I guess. Chances are that I leave the area in 2 weeks. That’s just what we are guessing. It would be nice to have a baptism the weekend before I change, but we’ll see.

Overall, it was a pretty good day. We visited the Stadium of Defensa y Justicia of the soccer team in our zone called Florencio Valera. They have really cool murals on the walls outside the stadium, so I, took some pictures, and it was fun. The other shields in the mural are other teams in Argentina. The Blue one that says CABJ is Boca and the Red one that says CARP is River, they are the biggest teams,

Love you all and have a great week

Elder Chipman

Monday, April 14, 2014

Rant of the week :)

 Hola Todos, Como Andan?                                                                

All I can say, it’s about time we got a dog =)

I didn’t believe Allie´s email at first, but the pictures have me convinced. What a beautiful dog! Maybe it’s because I only see dogs that have been flea stricken, beat up, missing eyes, limbs, diseased, or dead. But I still think it’s pretty! How weird. It changes the family dynamic a little bit, and I like it. It will be fun having a dog at home. If you ever get mad at the dog, just pet it behind the ears. There are very few things cuter than a dog being petted on the head and it will help you remember why you got it =)

It’s been another great week in San Fransisco, and let me tell you, very cold as well. Fall hit all at once with a freezing wind on Saturday. Sunday was equally as cold. This morning, I wore my sleeping bag like a giant cocoon as I did my studies, and probably had the shortest shower of my life. After a year of summer weather, the slightest sign of a chill sends me running for my scarf, gloves, and hat.

Elder Cobb says that this is the hardest area that he has ever worked in, which is funny, because with him as my comp, I wouldn’t mind staying here for the rest of my mission. We are working our tails off, and even though numbers don’t matter, we have the highest in the district, and we’ve been doing well.  As far as the teaching goes, we are working and finding. We were finally able to talk to Pablo again this week, and he’s been having troubles with work, but is ready to keep going for his baptism. One thing that I have learned from my mission is the importance of the commandments. As missionaries, we hear a lot of trials, problems, and afflictions of others. While these are difficult things that people deal with and have to overcome, I’ve noticed a distinct difference between the one’s who keep the commandments, and the one’s who abandoned their faith. Life is not difficult if we keep the commandments exactly the way we are taught. In Matthew 11 28-30, it says that the Lord’s yoke is easy, and his burden is light. Also in D&C it says that the Lord is bound when we do what he says, but if not, we have no promise. He promises us support, strength, and faith if we come unto him and do what he asks us to do. Not because he is oppressive, or because he likes giving us rules, but because he knows the easiest way. He will always lead us to happiness, not exactly ease, but happiness. Anyway, here is the rant of the week.

So even though we can’t get packages, letters are ok! Stickers and things like you have sent are definitely spendable. If you want to send me that picture of Allie and Dakota in the car (the one it looks like Dakota is smiling) I wouldn’t mind that either. 

On a cultural note, I learned to fold empanadas, and we ate a ton of them on Friday. Yes they were delicious. The primary foods with every Argentinean meal are Pasta Potatoes and Bread-- with a good Dollop of Mayo. I’m still maintaining an athletic figure, for now.  Let’s just say that  I plan on working out a lot when I get home.  I hope that will help.

I love you all,  and hope you’re all doing great, and doing what’s right. We should never overlook the classic primary saying, “Choose the Right, its really what brings happiness in this life.”

Until next week!

Elder Chipman

Monday, April 7, 2014

I enjoyed conference weekend

Hola todos,                                                                           

Well, like everyone else, I’ve enjoyed conference this weekend. Probably was the best conference that I’ve ever listened to. There are always answers found to our questions when we listen to the prophet’s voice. There is a scripture that we used a lot this week when inviting others to come to conference. To paraphrase it says, ´whether by my own voice, or the voice of my servants, it is the same.´ So what does this mean to us? Like President Monson said last night (or in your case, in the afternoon) We have a loving Father in Heaven who is personal. He knows each and every one of us personally. So when we listen to his words, through the prophets, it is personal. I hope you all felt the Spirit testifying to you and that the Lord was answering your specific question , because I sure did.

Now to my conference experience- We were lucky and were allowed to watch conference in English in the Family History center in the Stake Center. It was a tiny room with about 12 missionaries crammed inside. It was squishy, but the spirit was strong. We watched it at 1 and 5pm. And as of yet, I have not yet seen the priesthood session which started at 9 and ended at 11pm.  It was a rainy weekend, but really great.

I noticed a lot of talks about the commandments. Including one from Elder Zivic of the seventy (He´s from Buenos Aires). The commandments aren´t going to change, they never will. It’s a rod of Iron, not a chalk line drawn in the sand that can be erased and redrawn again. That is the theme that I have seen this conference.

We worked hard again this week. It sometimes feels like we’re just running on a treadmill. We find investigators, teach them, they have a problem, and then disappear. So when the Skalla´s son-in-law said that this was a difficult mission, I can attest to that. It’s a great country and culture, but their way of life is far from the way of God, and very few people seem to be willing to change. It’s a lot like Elder Holland said, “some people just want a God that pats them on the head and sends them to pick marigolds in the grass fields.” It makes the work stressful, but I also have learned that Heavenly Father is a God of patience, and satan is a god of instant gratification.

On a higher note, I played soccer again, and it was great! I’m still getting chubby but it’s because I am only eating bread and pasta everyday. It is pretty much the only food in Argentina, but it’s good. I haven´t had a meal I haven´t liked! Haha maybe that´s a bad thing.

Also just to notify y´all. The government here is being difficult with packages, so our mission president asked us to send this to everyone,

Due to the constraints imposed by the government of Argentina for imports, we are having trouble receiving packages from other countries. Because of these constraints, we recommend that the next time missionaries communicate with their families via email, that they ask them to not send any more packages. If packages are sent, they will probably remain in customs and never reach their destination. We want to clarify that there is no malice in this action. When we receive these packages from customs, it is a costly process for the Church.

Sorry you can´t send anymore packages. That kinda stinks, but I got your last letter with the articles, and also a letter from Elsie Burgoyne with 3 little airheads in them--I ate them in 3 seconds flat. Delicious!

So that´s just the way it has gotta be. IF you want, you can continue to put together packages, but you just have to wait another year to send them to me when I get home. Sorry.

Thanks for everything. Hope all is well! Have a good week!

Elder Chipman