Sunday, June 29, 2014

I almost died....

June 28, 2014

I almost died.  Ha-ha Just kidding, I didn’t. Ok, so maybe I shouldn’t have started the letter with that, but I was just trying to change things up a little bit. It’s been another good week, but honestly nothing super exciting happened. We just dealt with mail, and sent materials to all of the missionaries. So when I said that I almost died, I was just trying to make my letter a little bit more exciting. 

It feels like fall around here where it is a little chilly but nothing too cold--which is nice. We are working hard in the office making sure people have phones, packages, and letters, or stuff like that. We got 14 new phones this week! I actually think that is fun, but again I’m having a hard time making this sound super exciting for you to read about.  We get to listen to music during the days and chat with the Senior Missionaries.  The Senior Missionaries are really fun and nice older couple from Ashton, Idaho which is right by Yellowstone. He likes to talk about fly fishing all day everyday.  I think it is something that I would like to try someday. I’m happy most of the time and I enjoy being here in Argentina, but there are times that I feel sort of alone.

We did get a chance to help a less active family come to church Sunday, and afterward they really wanted to learn more about the temple and be sealed as a family as soon as they could. So we are beginning to help them with that!  I can’t help but feel a little frustrated when I read letters of other missionaries because they have so many investigators, baptisms, and cool things happening.  It is hard for us to even get started. Our problem is that nobody trusts anybody, so it’s hard to talk with people in the street, and we don’t have time to get to know our area because we work in the offices all day.  It is hard to know who we can talk too so it is a rather interesting predicament. 

We are also doing a special musical number for Ward Conference tomorrow. It started off being a ward choir, but because we technically have 8 missionaries in our ward, it’s turning into more of a missionary choir with a couple of members. After a few practices, we are starting to sound pretty good, and it should be fun!

World Cup has still been pretty subtle in the offices, but I hear that when Argentina is playing, there is nothing to do, because everyone is fixed on the game. We also heard that there is a possibility that the United States will have a chance to play Argentina if both teams win their next game. A part of me wants to see that happen, but then I think about that a little bit, and I don’t think that will be the best thing for the missionaries here. We will just have to see what happens.

Thanks for all of your prayers and I hope you are all doing well! Keep being patient with the pooch, because I’m sure he’ll come around or maybe not.  I actually hope that he stays as animated through the next year so I get to see him be crazy.


Elder Chipman

Sunday, June 22, 2014

What a beautiful city!

Holad Todos!                                                                                      June 22, 14

It’s been another great week in Adrogué Argentina. It’s been pretty crazy also because this past week was transfer week. Elder Mason and I are staying together another transfer in the office! But with that come all of the responsibilities of being an office elder during transfer week, so there aren’t super exciting stories to tell this week.

My life has been dealing with packages. I can see why they asked us not to let our families send anymore packages.  It is an expensive and annoying process, but because of packages, we get to go see the capital every two weeks! WHAT A BEAUTIFUL CITY. If we as a family ever get a chance to go to Buenos Aires, I fear that we would use the majority of the time in Capital seeing the sites there. My mission has a lot of people, good people, but when it comes to tourist stuff, its not exactly top of the list. The capital is full of beautiful European style buildings, parks and plazas. The train Stations are HUGE! There are two that I know of that have to be the size of Grand Central Station in New York City. It’s a super cool place, and that’s defiantly one of the perks of being an office Elder. We also were able to ride up with a taxi driver who happens to be a member. He was a little crazy as he talked about how in 1956 Hitler was in Argentina and talked with him about patriotic stuff. I’m pretty sure Hitler died a long time before that year, but I just nodded my head and acted interested.

The World Cup is in full swing here so it is fun. At about every other intersection there is someone selling jerseys, flags, vuvuzuelas (those loud plastic trumpets), and crazy blue and white hats. But being completely honest, I wouldn’t say that it is super crazy ---yet.  In fact it is the opposite. Argentina has played two games so far, and it’s super quiet during the games. Nobody is in the streets. There are no cars, no people; there aren’t even any buses (the hermanas in our ward learned that the hard way). We always know what is happening because out of nowhere we hear fireworks, screams, and cheers. So we can just count those bursts of excitement.  And after the game, everybody likes talking about the World Cup. So even though we don’t watch the games, we get details from a lot of people. It actually breaks the ice easily when we talk with others.

As far as teaching goes, we are really pushing to get our recent convert, Andrea to the temple. The Buenos Aires temple is closed for the entire month of June, but we are getting her ready and helping her with her family history so that she can be ready to enter the temple in July. 

When we take a step back and look at the Plan of Salvation in its entirety, it’s amazing how the eternities are linked together, how families are bound together from generation to generation, and how it is all done with extreme simplicity and order. We have a loving Father in Heaven, and while his plan is made for all of his children, it blesses each and every one of us in a very personal way. As we find out more about our ancestors, we can see the perspective of eternity, and the importance of our actions today, and how they we can affect future generations for centuries to come.

Just a little food for thought.

It is fun to hear about the dog Chips. I love the picture of the way he sits. What a corky dog. That’s just weird. Maybe Dad should watch his Yoga videos with him; it looks like Chips would make a good partner.
Chips knows the "downward dog" yoga pose

Anyway, that´s it for this week. Next week should be fun. Its amazing how quckly time passes by. I love you and hope to talk to you soon!

Thanks for all that you do for me. I love you all and hope you are enjoying the summer there! It’s amazing how quickly time passes by here.

Nos Vemos!

Elder Chipman

 PS: I made this guy out of a coat rack and some extra clothes that left by some missionaries. We´ve been using him to scare some of the Senior Missionaries couples in the offices. We got one couple pretty good yesterday, and so in turn, they hid it in another couple's office, and we will see what happens on Monday!

Sunday, June 15, 2014

I really like working in the offices

Hey Everybody!                                                                                         
It’s been another good week here in Adrogué!  Happy Father’s Day Dad! I hope that you can rest and enjoy a nice Father’s Day.

This week we had a very cool opportunity to have a visit and hear from Elder Viñas from the seventy and the Area Presidency. The mission had 3 meetings with 3 to 4 zones in each meeting so that he could talk to everybody in the mission in 3 days! But even though we listened to him on the last day and he was starting to lose his voice because he was speaking so much, the spirit was still present when he spoke. It is an amazing thing that the spirit can help us personally receive the revelation that we need. There are specific answers to prayers and guidance that we can receive even when the person is speaking to a large group. There were many times during the meeting when I received the specific answer that I needed to hear. So overall it was a great experience.

Other than that, it’s been a super busy week. Monday are transfers so we are doing our best to get everything organized and ready to go for them. It’s difficult at times to prepare for it because every day the President changes some things around. We never know what to expect, but at least we are ready and waiting for the changes to be made now.

It’s been a good week, still lots of packages and stuff like that, but it’s all good. I like working in the offices, and it’s an interesting assignment that I am lucky enough to have. I have gotten to the point where I really like working in the offices. I find it fun and different, and plus it’s where the Lord has assigned me to be. Other Missionaries sometimes don’t seem to understand that this is where I’m supposed to be right now, but I’m very happy here. I get to see different parts of the mission, and I get to see some of the good things about this country. It really is a cool place. Lots of cool things to see, cool buildings and just the way people live down here. 

We had an awesome lesson with Augustina this week. We taught her about how to find an answer and know if the Restoration really took place and that the Gospel is again on the earth. The spirit was strong when we invited her to be baptized on the July 11. She accepted and we hope to help her as she prepares for it.

The World Cup as of right now hasn’t gotten too exciting. Argentina plays tomorrow though. I’ll let you know because I think it’s going to be big. I’ve heard about the protests in Brazil. Maybe they are trying to earn a lot of money for the world cup and that’s why they spent so much money to prepare. It must put a damper on everything. Everybody here still watches it and tells us what is going on, so the protests haven’t dampened any of the spirits in Argentina.  I guess we’ll see if they are as interested if they lose. Only time will tell!!  It is impossible to not know what is happening because wherever we go, people are watching it and when we enter a home they just start telling us the results of the day. It’s a fun thing, but a little obsessive at times.

I love hearing stories about the puppy. He sounds like a cute little fur ball. I hope that he is still just as fun in a year from now!

That’s it for this week! I hope that you have a great week! Time is really starting to fly!


Elder Chipman

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Argentina is excited about the World Cup

Hola Todos!                                                                        
Sounds like you have had a very “pupee”, I mean, Puppy filled week. Thanks for the pictures. He looks very cute and fun to have around. Does he like to snuggle? That’s important too. Just enjoy the fun cute puppy, even if he likes to do his business where ever he wants too.
I am also very excited to see Chris (cousin) get his mission call to Peru. It will change his life for sure!
So Cassie comes home in a month,  and I guess that means Seth only has a little bit left as well. I guess it’s about that time where people are finally starting to come home again. It does actually happen, and it’s going to be happening a lot for the next year.
The only thing happening right now in Argentina is that every body is getting set for the World Cup.  Argentina has their first game a week from Sunday, so it should be interesting. I’m excited to see what it is like, but there won’t be any work to do. I am not exaggerating when I say schools shut down when there is a World Cup game on. Honestly, Argentina doesn’t even care about the NBA finals, even if their own pride and joy is playing.
It’s also been a good week in the offices. Its interesting stuff, but it’s not stuff that is worth writing about.  There are just a lot of forms, packages, and supplies that we order. It’s getting to the point that when we enter the post office, all the workers there treat us like we are their best friends and they always treat us very well! The packages keep on coming and we are preparing for transfers on the 16th, so this next week should be a busy one.  I’m learning a lot about life and about my Heavenly Father and Savior at this time. It’s weird that I would be learning so much in the offices and not on the streets, but that’s what’s happening. I’ve been studying hard, and trying to find a lot of answers. It’s interesting stuff.
As far as the proselyting side of things goes, we are now working with a less active family called the Bustamonte family. We had an amazing lesson with them on Friday and they told us how they were really feeling that they were doing ok in life, but they were missing something. They knew it was our Savior. So we hope to help them come back into the gospel. We are also teaching a sister of a recent convert in the Ward. This recent convert is very excited about the gospel and is sharing it with everyone she meets, and she has invited her sisters to come many times. The one we are presently teaching is a 15 year old, but she is very interested in the teachings of the church. We invited her to prepare to be baptized, but she said that while she likes attending our church, she also likes another church in the area, which she also attends regularly. We were able to explain the importance of the Book of Mormon and prayer in gaining a testimony, and left her with the challenge to know whether these things are true. We plan on visiting them again this week to see her progress.
I had an experience where I answered my own prayer by something that I said.  Right when it left my mouth, I knew exactly who it was from, and that it was really intended for me. A scripture that always helps me is D&C 101:16. If we keep the commandments, we are promised that everything will be ok, maybe not the way we want it to be, but it will be ok. If we keep His commandments, we are promised the blessings of heaven, but if we do not what He says, we have no promise. I am grateful to have examples like my parents. You two have always kept the commandments no matter what. It’s what I want to be like. You can know that everything will work out, even if we are dragged through the mud to get there. 
To be honest, it’s been a week of reflecting and goal setting. On Thursday, I passed my one year mark in the mission. It allowed me to look back and see how I’ve changed, what I’ve learned, and what I can improve on. 
I know that the gospel of Jesus Christ has been restored to the world. Este es la verdad, ésta es vida real. Estamos acá con un propósito, y si guardemos los mandamientos, vamos a recibir felicidad para eternidad con nuestras familias. Si tenemos problemas o pruebas en nuestras vidas, podemos saber que hay alguien quien conoce como sentimos, por que él lo sintió también. Yo sé porque yo oré, y pide por ayuda, y esta ayuda vino. Y cuando estamos en la noche lo más obscuro, podemos encontrar esperanza y luz en nuestro Salvador. Venid a él, porque no hay un otro manera a tener felicidad.
You can all look that up on Google Translate if you’d like. 
I love you all, hope everything is well at home, see you next week!

Elder Chipman

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Packages & Puppies

Bueno, Hola Todos!                                                    May 31, 2014

Thanks for the Pictures. That is a really cute puppy, and honestly from what you tell me, I already know that “Chips” is going to be my new best friend when I get home--especially if he likes to snuggle sometimes and run into walls at other.  I’m sure I’ll enjoy playing fetch with him!

I’m super happy for Eric’s (cousin) mission call! LA will be a fun mission, especially with Spanish! We’ll be able to have a Spanish party.  I’m just surprised he didn’t go to Brazil like the rest of his family, but I guess he’s always done things his own style. It is nice that he only has 2 months to prepare, which makes the call ideal. The worst part for me was just waiting so long to go. So I’m disappointed that he’s not coming to Argentina with me, but he’s at least is speaking Spanish with me!

It’s been a good week in the offices!

This week we went to Capital to pick up packages at the big International post office. After we waited about 2-3 hours, we were finally able to get our 8 packages and then we took the train back to the offices. After a long morning, we finally put down the packages and ate a little for lunch.  Before we were able to get started with a new task, one of the Senior Missionaries asked us to accompany her to the small post office near the mission office to pick up another package. Both I and my companion had scary flashbacks of what we had just gone through that morning with lines, passports, and all sorts of paper work. I got out of it by pulling the “I’m still new to the office” trick, so my companion was stuck.

So about an hour after they left, I began to wonder what was taking them so long--I mean it only was one package. Then one of the Senior Missionaries in the office answers the phone. After listening for a little bit, in awe he exclaims ¨You’ve got to be kidding me.¨ By this point I thought that my companion had just been sent to prison or something. After he hung up the phone he then told us that instead of receiving one package, they had received 56 packages!  Some of them have been waiting in the post office for 7 months and we did not even knowing about them. When they finally came back, they had 2 giant mail bags full of packages! Let’s just say, we spent the rest of the day sorting packages for the mission.

While office life isn’t super interesting at times, it gives me a chance to strengthen my own testimony a little bit. We don’t have investigators to prepare for, but I can take study times to build myself up a little bit, which needs a little bit of strengthening. I have learned a lot this week, and hope to continue to learn a lot as I continue to study the scriptures, fast and pray. 

I had a dream last night that it was my last day in the mission, and I was crying because I was sad to see it go. I have a feeling that is what it is going to be like to leave, and I see myself loving this country and calling a little more everyday. It is weird to think that a year from this Thursday I began my mission, but that’s how time goes sometimes. Our Mission President wrote in his letter this week that our missions and lives go by as if it were dreams, and I’m starting to see that. While I wouldn’t say time is running by me, I think its just that two years really isn’t that long.

Dad I’m hoping that you can make it through this difficult time of when all the other  fun sports are ending, and only baseball is waiting for you at the end of this month. Remember, that it is through the bitter  that we enjoy the sweet!

I’ll talk to you next week! Don’t kill the Puppy until I get home!

Elder Chipman