Saturday, August 23, 2014

Every day is a once in a lifetime opportunity!

¿Como le va?                                                                                      

It’s been a beautiful week in Adrogué Argentina this week! Even though it’s supposed to be in the middle of winter, we are enjoying weather around 80 degrees. Everybody comments how strange it is, but nobody is complaining! Everybody likes a little sun! It’s in the middle of winter, and I’m sweating like summer because it is super hot and humid.  

As far as the office goes, we are still plunking along. We got lots to do, but there is nothing really new to report. So I am very comfortable with where I am.  It’s  actually fun. We play basketball or soccer in the mornings and I get pretty sweaty. Overall, things are going smoothly--well, as smooth as a mission can get!

The work in Argentina is still moving forward. Some weeks it seems slower than others, but one of the best parts of this work is that there is no way we can go backwards! Everything we do and every contact we make is a step in the right direction that will never change directions. This week was a little slower than others as far as the work goes, but we still got a lot done. We had an amazing lesson with our investigator Cristina on Tuesday. We taught about Baptism, and when we finished the lesson we asked what she wanted to do. She said, ¨well, I guess I want to be baptized¨.  So we hope to be having a baptismal service soon!

I feel like I’m running out of time on my mission.  Some days I want to go by quickly and then other days I want to stay forever. In the end, having 9 months left helps me realize that I can live without certain things for only 9 months. I don’t miss American food, music, movies or other things.  I’ve already gone so far without them so the thought of a little bit more time is nothing. It makes me feel more focused, and less overwhelmed by the two year thing.

It sounds like it has been a very rewarding week for Allie. I am very surprised that she won the Vista XC time trial by that much already!  It will be a change in the Dalby Tradition if she runs varsity at Arapahoe meet next week. Allie is being thrown right into the furnace.  I can’t wait to hear what happens!

Every day I am so blessed to be here in this country, doing the work that I am doing, meeting the people I am meeting, and serving the Lord I love. Every day is a once in a lifetime opportunity!

I love you all, hope y´all have a good week!


Elder Chipman

Monday, August 18, 2014

I'm exactly where Heavenly Father wants me to be.

Well, How’s it going?                                               

It’s been another great week in Adrogué! It’s starting to get warmer already, and while there is sometimes a chilly wind in the air, we can already tell that Summer is on its way! 

Office life is still fun and keeps us busy. There is always a project that has to be done, or an errand that has to be run, but I enjoy it! We distributed supplies to 4 zones this week, and started a big mission wide map project.

As far as teaching, we have continued teaching the Bustamantes, and began teaching the sister of Andrea, a recent convert in the ward. So we are gaining momentum. My companion, Elder Evans and I get a long well. He’s the first companion I’ve had here in Argentina that has helped me be obedient and helped me work hard. We are on the brink of having a lot of success in this area. With only 3 working hours a day, it’s hard to tell, but we are trying hard and we may have found a family to teach. We plan on teaching them a lesson on Wednesday so we’ll have to see if they really want to listen or not. We also got a referral from that family on Thursday, and they plan on coming with us to teach!

Thursday night we had dinner at the Ward Mission Leader’s house, and he has 4 return missionary sons. They were all there and for the first time in my entire mission, our Ward Mission Leader said that I didn’t have a lot of time left on my mission. To make things worse, all of his sons agreed! Usually when I think of the END, it’s a far distant thing. Now I know my perspective is off, and the END is still a long distant thing, but like I told Megan, I don’t want to be like the penguins in the movie “Madagascar”.  They work so hard to get to Antarctica and when they finally get there they realize that there is nothing! I want to make sure that I use the remaining time on my mission well.

As far as the other news goes, I already heard about Robin Williams. I’m pretty sad about it. He was one of my favorites, and he made some of my favorite movies. It’s sad that he went like that too. Everyone in Argentina knows American Actors, so it’s no surprise that I heard about it. I also heard that the country of Argentina is bankrupt--which can’t be good. Inflation is already out of control. We bought a 90 peso pizza today that two weeks ago was only 85, and 2 months ago was only 80. Bus fares are rising as well as little snack foods.  It is just going out of the roof. It hits us hard because we don’t get lunches with members, and so we buy everything. Our monthly allotment of money can’t keep up with the inflation either, so that can  make it fun. Dollars are very good and valuable on the street, but the country is trying to control it, so trading with the bank or taking money off the card is about 8:1, while on the street you can find up to 11:1.

The country in general is amazing. I would never live here permanently, but I love it for now! Food is good, culture is fun, & soccer is fun.  People are generally discouraged with the economy and the lack of jobs, but they are good people. That makes missionary work here a little difficult right now.  It is not just because we are in the office, but in general throughout the mission. We are baptizing people, but nobody is staying long because they are discouraged.  We’re still working hard to keep the church growing.

I hope Allie enjoys her 15th birthday.  Just don’t buy her a car,  that would be cold.....

The spiritual thought of the week is about forgiveness, but more focused on the forgiveness of others. I have thought a lot about the parable that our Savior gives about the king and his servants. One of his servants owes him an unpayable debt, but in an act of mercy, the king forgives the servant his debt, and sends him on his way. We would think that the servant, grateful for the mercy shown to him, would be more merciful to others, but as the parable goes, he goes straight to a fellow servant, and demands that his fellow servant pays him a very small debt. When his fellow servant can’t come up with the money, he is sent to prison until he can pay off the insignificant debt. The king hearing this is angered,  and wondered how can one who received so much mercy show so little? It’s the same with our lives. We have received forgiveness for an unpayable debt that each of us owe. We could not be saved with sin, which all of us have, but our Father, through his mercy sent our Savior, to help us return to him through repentance. How can we, receivers of such mercy, then turn and hold grudges with our friends, or even our enemies? Anything that they do against us is only a small offence compared to the eternal debt we are in to our Father in Heaven. So the lesson that I have learned this week is that I need to just forgive others just as our Savior has forgiven me.

I learned today that I am exactly where my Father in Heaven wants me to be, both physically, and spiritually. In the past, I have always thought that I had to be a perfect missionary from the start, but I wasn’t, so it was hard on me. Over the past  few months, I’ve been able to improve on the things that I can such as make goals for teaching, follow the rules better,  keep my appearance and pench cleaner, and other things like that. I’ve always tried my hardest in everything, and because of that, I am improving which is what He expects of me. It makes me feel good to know that.

Thanks for all of your support! I love you all!

Have a good week!

Elder Chipman

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Culturally satisfied, but we won't go back!

Well, how’s it going?                       

It’s been another beautiful week in Adrogué! Its still technically winter but its been beautiful and sunny all week, so its been very enjoyable!

Today is my companion’s Birthday, so, we decided that we wanted to try an authentic Argentinean Parilla, which is a restaurant that specifies in meat! We went and ordered a big platter for all of the missionaries in our district to share. When the food came it was filled with sausage, beef, chicken, and to our surprise, other things.... We finished off the normal foods pretty quickly, so we were left to experiment with what was left. The first weird things to go was the Blood Sausage, this is actually pretty typical in Argentine Cuisine. It is, well, a sausage with thickened blood in it, honestly, not too bad. Next was what we think was a braid of intestines. A little chewy and it was not on my list of favorites to say the least. After that, the other participants in the dinner became less adventurous.  About half of us tried the big, dense, black thing in the middle. We never figured out what it was, but our guesses were either heart or liver. That was followed with what we concluded was just fried fat. Then there was something that I don’t even want to know what it was. In the end, we are full, culturally satisfied, and I don’t know if we will ever go back....

As far as teaching goes, the Bustamantes brought their two grandchildren to church the other day. They enjoyed the meetings and primary! We hope that their parents will let us teach them soon! Other than that,  we knocked on a lot of doors this week, and honestly, at night, people don’t usually let you in. We are still looking for a family, but we might have potential with one we tracked into, time will tell though!

So I guess that the theme of this week is just being tired. It’s been a super busy ! We had a lot of materials to deliver, and stuff like that. We went all the way to capital only to find out that the mail was on strike, so we had to return all of the way back! Man, that was a pain! But overall, life is good. We still run every morning and it gets me up in the morning, but there is no escaping the afternoon slumps. Man it gets old sometimes in the afternoon after spending all day at the computer! Anyway, that’s all I have to say for this week! I have a feeling the upcoming week has a lot of the same planned, but I hope to sleep better, we’ll have to see what happens! I’m just plunking along in the office, getting what I need to get done, done, and trying to make people happy ( probably the hardest part). But it’s all good anyway. 

I know that Christ lives! He is with us en every moment of our lives, rooting us on! He will never forsake us, and he always has his arm extended to help us change and follow his example. I love being a missionary and feeling the way I do everyday!

That’s all for this week! Love you all!

Elder Chipman

Saturday, August 2, 2014

I really like it here in Argentina

Familia Bustamante con Asado!
Well, How is it going?  

It’s been another great week in Adroguè Argentina!

I really don’t have much to say this week. It’s been super busy but fun! We’re really trying to get out and teach, but keep up with work in the office. Its a juggle. But we try! Elder Evans is really cool and we get along well. Its funny because he went to High School in Utah, but before he lived in California. With that he says he’s from California because if he says Utah, all of the members role their eyes and say La Fabrica, which means the Factory. When they ask where I am from and I say Colorado, they all still think that the Grand Canyon is in my home state, but I just kinda gave up on that. I am working hard trying to get things done while teaching Elder Evans how to do things in the office at the same time! He`s a super quick learner though and very excited to work, so I think that we are going to have a lot of success! This week begins Zone Conferences so we will be giving materials to all of the missionaries this week, and we might be able to sneak a capital trip if possible. So it should be fun.

Sounds like it was fun in New York! You even got to try empanadas so you can get a taste of what I eat probably at least once a week! When I get home I can cook you up some Argentine ones, but I just got to get the recipe down first! This week I mastered my Donut recipe and I have my Latin pench mates gushing over them. Makes me feel like a master chef!

I don’t know if anybody would hug and cry  for me if I walked into my wards here like people did for Megan in New York, but I hope that what I learn in the office will help make me a better missionary so I can serve better when I leave the offices. I still have time, but it’s amazing how 10 months doesn’t seem very long anymore. I’m still trying my hardest, and improving or at least trying to everyday!

Dad, thank you for telling me about our heritage because it is interesting. I like the fact that we had people in all of American History! We had them in Plymouth, Barnstable, Cape Cod, Revolutionary War, and we left our traces throughout the history of our nation. So I’m pretty solidly American Blood thorough and through!

Teaching is slow. Really slow. We knock on doors but we all know that it is a slow and discouraging way to find people. It’s all we got right now. We have a goal to get a baptism this transfer and find a family to teach. So we hope to be able to find a few people to teach this week! We know that there is always a family out there, we just need to find them!  We are super obedient so I think we will start to see miracles. Just when you pray for me ask for some guidance on where to look for find investigators to teach.

With the Bustamante family, we are still working with them. They made us a delicious asado today with homemade chimichurri (Argentine Vinaigrette for MEAT!) And it was a very stomach filling experience. They are still progressing and moving forward in their progression toward being sealed in the temple. And everyday, more and more of their grandkids come in and listen. It’s only a matter of time!

Anyway, I really like it here in Argentina! It’s fun, cool, adventurous, and all of the fun stuff! I’m sorry this letter is short, but like usual, materials, mail, and cell phones usually doesn’t make headlines, but it keeps me busy. Its weird to think that I’m might already be finishing my final transfer in the offices, but we’ll see. Whatever my plan is, I’m up for it! 

I had a really good week! It’s been busy and fun! I love being a missionary. It’s hard, but rewarding! I will have other bad weeks and hard times, but as for now, I’m doing pretty well! Elder Evans runs with me every morning, so that might also help!

Thanks for your prayers and letters! I love you! Miss you! And look forward for the big hug! 

Until next week

Elder Chipman