Tuesday, October 28, 2014

My new area of Tolosa

It’s been another great but super hot day in Tolosa, Argentina.                     
The hottest part of summer is still to come, but summer doesn’t seem too afraid to come a little early. The heat is really coming on. It’s 34 degrees in Celsius, I don’t know what that is in Fahrenheit, but I kinda get the picture.  Let’s just say we finish the day sticky with sweat and the smell of sun screen.
It sounds like a very eventful week even though Cross Country State makes things tense. I think that Allie finishing 13th is very good! She’s only a freshman; she’ll be ok, even if she is disappointed now. Seems like she has a great future as a runner and should be happy about her performance! The fact that the boy’s team won state again threw me for a whirl. I was not expecting that, and I looked at the picture of the team, and I can’t even recognize the kids. That’s amazing and a three-peat for them. I guess Coach Dalby knows what he is doing. I also have a feeling that the girls team will be up there soon as Maddie, Allie, and Becca gain more experience.
As far as my companion goes, his name is Elder Johnstun from a small town in Oregon. His family lives on a farm and he is pretty quiet, but we get along very well. He’s a super hard worker and its fun to be with him because I know that he wants exactly what I want and that is to work till we drop!
We had a great week this week as far as missionary work. We have found a lot of people to teach and we are working toward baptism with a few of them. The only difficulty is that our church building is not in our area. We share the chapel with the La Plata 1 Ward, so getting people to come to church is a little more difficult. We will just have to keep working with them until they come on a Sunday.  The area is growing and we keep talking to a bunch of people in the streets and we are doing our best to find more people. With some new investigators, we were talking about Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon, and they mentioned that they have never heard of it before, and they never even thought that an apostasy was possible. It reminded me of the scripture that says many don’t know truth because they just don’t know where to find it! It’s a blessing to be able to see that. 
As far as being district leader goes, I’m adjusting to my new responsibilities and I find it to be mostly fun! Planning for district meetings is something that I have to get used too. Plus, I use my letter writing time to take care of administrative things so that makes me short on time. Sometimes it is hard for me because a lot of missionaries have very difficult questions, and I have to be the voice of the president in those matters. For the most part, I’m adjusting nicely to my new assignment and area.
I got your email about my low bank account mom. I will let you know next time when it’s that low. I just don’t think about it because $8 is about $80 Pesos so I figured that I still had a lot of money, but when you say $8, that put it more into perspective! So thanks for refilling it, and for the extra tid bit for my birthday.  It was very nice of you! I’ll use it wisely :)
As for me, I am doing very well. Because I was transferred just a few days before my birthday, I tried to keep it a secret, because I didn’t want anyone to feel obligated to throw a party, and I wanted to work. So to finish the day we bought a kilo of Argentine Ice Cream, (which is super good-- by the way) and we just finished it off this afternoon. It was very good, so thank you for the extra money to do that!
Funny story:  The other day, me and the other office Elder’s were getting ready for bed and one of them asked, "How many times has your bishop written you since you started the mission?" They all responded a few times or maybe once, but they were all really surprised when I told them that I receive an email from my bishop every week! They weren’t as impressed when they learned that my bishop is my dad, but hey!
 I do miss you guys and look forward to the day when I can see you again, but I am grateful that I am here right now. I see so many miracles every day. Like on Saturday night after I wrote you guys and before my transfer, we went to a lesson with a man we found in the street. We invited him to church, and on Sunday he came! He said he loved every second of it! Also, Rodrigo´s Mom came to church and loved it, Rodrigo was ordained the Aaronic Priesthood, and another recent convert got a temple recommend.  All in one day! What a blessing it is to serve and receive at the same time!
Tolosa is kinda like a suburb of La Plata. It is just outside the main downtown city and doesn’t have a lot of big buildings, but it does have a Wal-Mart! I know that doesn’t sound too cool, but it is one of the 3 Wal-Marts in the mission, so I feel pretty lucky! The only difference is that Wal-Mart’s here are like cities. Super Big! They have movie theaters and food courts inside.
Anyway, I’m running out of time, but I hope that you have a more relaxed week and enjoy Halloween. Elder Johnstun and I are thinking of things to do for Friday, but lets be honest, we’ll probably just buy some food of some kind and say happy Halloween! Ha-ha, that’s the missionary holiday for ya!
I hope you all have a great week! I love you all!

Elder Chipman

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Rodrigo's family is getting baptized!

Wow, it’s been a great week in Adrogué!                                                
We were able to finally sit down and talk with Lucia, Rodrigo´s Mom, and his two sisters. We brought them over to a member’s house and taught them the lesson about the First Vision. The Spirit was so strong when the mother of the member family testified of the blessings the gospel brings to families. When we asked them to be baptized on the 13th of November, they all excitedly said yes! Then Lucia looked at Rodrigo and said "I’ve seen him change so much, and I want to change too." I will never forget that night, and the blessing that I had to be there and witness it.

The sad thing is, is that I won’t be there to see the baptisms. Transfers are coming up this Monday, and  well, I have been reassigned to the area of Tolosa in the La Plata zone to be a District Leader. I’ve been so blessed here in the office with all of the lessons that I have learned and the people that I have met in Adrogué. It’s always hard to leave an area--especially after serving here for such a long time. I have to pack, say goodbye to members and missionary friends, and then start over. It is good to know that  after a few weeks I get accustomed to where I am and it’s like home again. So new beginnings are good and I look forward to it!

Since I'm leaving, I will probably have time to write you on Monday too. I don’t know if I will write a super long letter but I’ll at least say Hi! As far as my new area is concerned, I’m looking forward to it because I’ve always wanted to go to La Plata. It is the capital of the Buenos Aires Province, and is supposed to be a beautiful city with a giant cathedral, museum, and a zoo. So there is a lot to do there, plus it’s supposed to be a very safe place. Let’s just say I will have 3 sister companionships in my district. The only reason there are Elders in La Plata is to fill some of the leadership positions.  My new companion’s name is Elder Johnstun from Oregon. He’s pretty new; in fact he is just finishing his training. He looks like a nice kid, so I’m excited for that!

On the other side of things, I don’t really know how to be a District Leader, but I know that it will be fun. I’m used to just sitting and answering a few questions during district meeting, not running the whole thing on my own, but I have a feeling I will get used to it quickly. My district will consist of 10 missionaries, 6 sisters, 2 other elders, my companion, and me! I’m excited to go, because I feel like I’m finally hitting my stride as a missionary. So it will be fun to put what I learned in practice.

That’s great news about Allie! The Highlands Ranch Herald has always been fond of us Chipman´s and it makes sure to add an epic photo too! Placing 2nd at Regionals is what I got both my junior and senior years, so Allie is just keeping up with the Chipman traditions! Ha-ha good to see. You have got to make fun of Dalby for using the word "Jelled together" in the article.  I just thought it was a funny word to use ha-ha.

So Allie runs State on Saturday! That will be fun! State week is always a hard week because you have to focus on your homework, but you can’t because you have a pit in your stomach. It will be a good day on Saturday, but if State week was rough for me, I don’t know if Allie is going to like it that much.

Anyway, I hope you guys are doing ok and enjoying life! It should be a fun week because it’s my birthday and State XC the same week! I haven’t gotten your birthday letters yet, and because I’m leaving the office, I probably won’t get them for a few more weeks. That’s bad luck, but I’ll get them soon!

The Savior lives, this is his church. I love you guys and hope that all is well!

Have a good week!

Elder Chipman

Sunday, October 12, 2014

wacky spring with hot & humid to cold & rainy

Hola Todos!                                                                           

How’s it going!

It’s been a great week in Adrogué Argentina! The weather is wacky as it is spring and it’s been really hot and humid to cold and rainy. But we get used to all of the changes as we continue along!

It’s been a pretty mellow week as we continue to move forward with the transfer. Usually week 5 is slow as an office Elder, but because we didn’t have internet, it made a slow week even slower. We were able to, however, find a few people to teach. We found a man named Alberto who is retired but still travels around and sings at parties. He’s an interesting guy who loves to talk about religion. He’s a real "Gaucho", which is an Argentine Cowboy. He always has on his cowboy stuff and on Thursday we showed us a giant pot that he uses to make Gizo, which is a type of stew. Seriously, I probably could’ve fit in his pot! I guess he’s used to having a lot of guests.

Also, after a service activity, we were finally able to teach Rodrigo´s Mom. She is pretty set on coming to church tomorrow, as long as it doesn’t rain. But she will also be bringing her two daughters! We hope to continue to teach this family.

As for the Meet the Mormons movie, we’ve seen the trailer and wish to see it, but alas, we don’t have it here... Cool story though. I think I met the Bishop from Atlanta. In fact, I think he became a Stake President. He was the Stake President when I was there a year ago. He can speak Spanish, so he came to the branch I was in for a “linger longer” and enjoyed some food! So there are connections. I would like to see the movie when I get back home.

It sounds like it was a mucky race for Allie at leagues, but leagues was never my favorite race anyway. Regional’s is always dry and hot, so Allie should look forward to that. Plus I always ran on that course well the second time, it’s a fun and fast one, so she should look forward to that one. Plus, she might as well go out with the top girls and see what happens, I mean, why not right? That’s why we have races before state, to experiment!

As for funny stories this week, we were playing sports with the young men this afternoon, and one of them asked if they could use the basketball. We let them but went back to playing soccer on the other side of the court. When I looked back they were just playing soccer with the basketball in the end. Apparently they tried to play, but the ball was too heavy, so they went back to what they knew best! 

So as for how I feel about transfers… It’s a little weird and scary because I haven’t worked like a normal missionary for more than 5 months. I have also gotten along well with my companions and so its always scary going into transfers because you never know who you will wind up with. I’m excited because like you said, I feel like the end is coming near, and so I have a chance to work hard until that point! I am sad to leave the office staff and it is fun to be in the office. I will miss the washing machine, and the p-days on Saturdays, but I know that I will adjust quickly. I have no idea what will happen, but I wouldn’t mind a little challenge, we’ll see what happens though!

Something that I have learned on my mission is that I noticed that when there seems to be an impossible amount of stuff to get done, there is a guiding feeling that helps me prioritize and accomplish what needs to be done. I have a feeling Nephi felt like getting the plates was an impossible task for him, but he knew the Lord would take care of him, so he went into Jerusalem not knowing what he should do. Sometimes I just need to get my hands dirty and trust that it will all be ok. And it always is, no matter how many things I have going on, I always look back a few weeks later and realize that the hard times have already passed. These are things you guys already know because they are things that you taught me, but hey, at least you can hear them again.

As for my birthday, all you have to do is enjoy “Meet the Mormons”, pray that we find a family in my area this week, and in my new area, and, if you’d like, you can buy the movie “Man of Steel” and have it ready for my welcoming party in May :) That’s it!

Other than that, it’s been a pretty slow week! We hope to pick things up again next week! Maybe we will even have some baptismal dates in a week from now! Thanks for all of the support! I love you guys! Have a good week! Cheer Allie on this week for me!


Elder Chipman

Sunday, October 5, 2014

No toasters, bad milk, & dirty underwear

Hi Everyone!                                                               Oct. 4, 14

Wow, that was a great first session of conference that we had! I’m writing between sessions right now.  I didn’t know that they were going to have the foreign speakers speak in their native languages, so when President Eyring announced that someone was going to be speaking in Cantonese, it caught me by surprise, but I like it. It makes it fun to see the diversity in the church.

In other news, last Sunday, Rodrigo was confirmed a member of the church! And now begins his journey as a disciple of Christ. And I get to see him grow! As far as teaching goes, we have been doing a lot of finding, so it has been a little slower. But we know that there is someone waiting to be taught.

Honestly there isn’t a lot to write about this week. I had an interview with President this week, and he said that I will leave the office at the end of the transfer in two weeks, which is expected. It’s amazing how fast these transfers have passed by. It is a blessing to serve here and I will miss it. It’s been fun, and I have learned a lot about who I am and what I want to do. Plus it will help me work even harder the last little bit of my mission. 

It sounds like you are having a fun autumn trip in the mountains! It is weird hearing about changing leaves and pumpkins when leaves are sprouting and people are selling flowers preparing for Mother’s day (it happens in October in Argentina). So it’s hard to picture a fall day at home.   Some other quirky things about Argentina is that toasters don’t exist, and milk goes bad after 3 days of being in the fridge. Oh, and sometimes we have to wear underwear 3 days in a row because we wash our clothes by hand.  If we don’t have time, we got to wear something! Plus it takes about 2 days to dry in the humidity. Lastly, there are no Falkland Islands, they are the Malvinas. Argentina still can’t get over the fact that they lost that war, and so they plaster propaganda everywhere that the Malvinas are always Argentina’s. Let’s just say Argentina doesn’t like Great Britain very much.

Something that I learned this week is the role of the spirit in our lives. Being a confirmed member of the church, I have always been told that I have the gift of the Holy Ghost and its constant companionship. I always thought that I knew what that meant. But this week I was able to ask President Thurgood how we can differentiate our own thoughts and the impressions from the spirit. He told me that he is convinced that the grand majority of the uplifting, good promptings and thoughts that we receive in every day are from the spirit, because he really is our constant companion. If we really are worthy, we can trust that we will receive guidance in every aspect of our life. That’s why it truly is the greatest gift that we can receive in this world.

Anyway, thanks for all of your support! I love you all!  I’m sorry all of your flowers are dead from the hail storm. If I get a chance, I will take pictures of the flowers here because, well, they are still here!

Hope you have a good week!

Elder Chipman