Monday, February 23, 2015

One more transfer with Elder Flinders

Hola Todos!

Well, its only been a few days since my last letter, so there isn't too much to report. It was a good week and we look forward to another one. This week we went on a bunch of exchanges to finish off the transfer. Elder Flinders and I are staying one more transfer together in Alejandro Korn! I´m happy with that,  and we should have lots of success. It’s his last transfer and but I think he plans on working hard to the end.  He is not one to quit.

We have a few investigators that are now progressing, and its been a good week overall. Sebastian made a comeback this week and even paid his tithing. We think that we will try to set a date for him in a month and see what happens!

This week I did a lot of pondering about priorities. As missionaries, we have the blessing of visiting many people in their homes. We listen to their problems or questions, and try to help them and invite them to follow Christ. Many times we are confronted with reasons why they can't do all that their Savior has asked them to do. Some of them are weak, but others are real important questions. Now I realize, that I am in a position where I don't have to worry about other demands in life like work, job, callings, family. I am blessed with the allotment of time to think and work 100% for the Lord without many other distractions. But in the end, from this perspective, I am able to see the blessings the Lord has waiting for us if we are willing to do what we need to follow him. When we put the Lord first in our life, everything else will fall into place. My companion, Elder Flinders, puts it like this:  If you want  to be a doctor, who knows the more about the human body than its creator? If you want to be a basketball player, who knows how to play basketball better than our Father in Heaven? "Seek ye first the kingdom of heaven". If we put the Lord first in our lives, everything else worthwhile will be influenced for the better.

Anyway, thanks again for all of your prayers and support. I love you guys!

Elder Chipman

Picture: This is Hermana Nina. We live right behind her house and she´s the one that washes our clothes and gives us really good food like that pizza :)

PS: your comment about Buenos Aires: There really isn't a place flatter than the Buenos Aires South Mission. I haven't seen a single hill since I got here. But it makes biking easier!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Argentina isn't the healthiest place

Alejandro Korn
Well, its been another great week in Alejandro Korn!

Honesty,  the news you sent about Qdoba having a smothered burrito with queso sauce is probably the greatest thing that I´ve heard for a while! I can´t wait to not pay extra for Guacamole too. Now there literally is nothing that the other restaurants have that Doba doesn´t. That´s why its the best :) So put that on the list of things to do when I get home.

My companion plans on playing baseball when he gets back to BYU, and so every morning we do this jump workout that is supposed to help your vertical and quickness. I do it with him just for fun, and I think it will help strengthen my legs so that getting back into shape won't injure me the first week. II still want to be a part of athletics because I miss it a lot. I am pretty sure I will give running another chance, but I am even bigger than I used to be. I'm a little embarrassed, and hope to lose some weight before it’s all over, but we'll have to see. Argentina isn't the healthiest place.

This weekend was Carnival and consequently, our p-day was moved to Wednesday because Monday and Tuesday were national holidays. It’s the same holiday that is celebrated in Brazil, but this is only the second year they have participated in it. From what I´ve heard and seen, it’s the day where they say that God closes his eyes and won´t see any of the sins we do. Let’s just say, I'm not jealous that we don't celebrate it in the United States on such a big scale.

Other than that, we had a week of ups and downs. Good things are happening, and many people are starting to progress, whether they be investigators or less actives. It’s a great feeling when somebody walks into the church who hasn't done so in a long time. We also have seen others of whom we have been working with make some unfortunate decisions, which honestly makes us sad. One guy showed up to an interview really drunk, so we have to start again with him.  He is already re-motivated and ready to try again.  With that being said, we are able to keep moving forward, and overcome the adversities that we have to deal with.

I was able to study an account in the Book of Mormon that caught my attention. It’s the classic story of Ammon defending the flocks at the waters of Sebus. When the flocks were scattered the first time by a mob of robbers, Ammon´s co-servants began to weep and fear exceedingly. The King had killed the other servants who allowed his sheep to be scattered, and so they were expecting the same thing to happen to them. Ammon on the other hand, was filled with joy, because he knew that he could use this experience to show the Lord's power and help his fellow servants come to know the gospel. While the servants feared because of their own experience, Ammon trusted the Lord.

There is only one person whom has never failed us and that is our Savior Jesus Christ. In that case, he is the only logical person whom we should trust with all of our hearts because he will always lead us to the path that brings happiness and peace. With that comes the responsibility to act. Ammon, after helping his fellow servants gain confidence, went and searched for the scattered flocks. He did not wait for the Lord to show his power, but acted in order to show the Lord's power.

So there you have it.  Faith without works is dead but the foundation of all works is faith. The two are necessary and if we use them both we will see the hand of the Lord in our lives.

I love you guys, thanks for always supporting me and praying for me, your prayers are felt and seen everyday!


Elder Chipman
My district

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

I wouldn't be in any other place right now!

That was a quick week!

Well it sounds like the weather isn't  too different there than it is here and we are in the middle of summer! Well, I mean that it’s sunny at least. It’s been a super hot, but we're enjoying it. Whenever I get tired of the heat, I just think of how I didn't want to go to Russia, so I brought this on myself.

Honestly, it’s been another great week in Alejandro Korn. We are working hard and doing what we can to teach the gospel here in Argentina. We had to drop a few investigators this week, which is always sad, but then there are always new options. We have been going through the old investigators in our area book, and have found a few gems. We hope to continue teaching them, and we have some follow up lessons with them tonight.

On Sunday, our good friend Sebastian came in with a white shirt and tie! He´s been investigating for over a month now, but is really making progress. It’s great seeing him change and improve as he continues to learn more. We hope that he chooses to be baptized in a few weeks.

In my studies this morning, I came across an interesting story that really helped me understand more about the sacrifice of our Savior Jesus Christ. I was reading in Mosiah in the Book of Mormon, about Alma the Younger. The chapter starts out by describing Alma.  He wasn't  just a rebellious teenager, but he was also described as the vilest of sinners, idolatrous, and really evil. He wasn't just against the church of God, but sought to destroy it. While in the process of seeking to destroy the church of God, Alma and his friends were confronted by an angel, whose voice shook the earth, and who called Alma to repentance. This event astonished Alma to the point that he collapsed as though he were dead. For three days, he lay in this state,  and then on the third day he rose again. Alma was a new man, and he said that he had been born again. He then gives a powerful testimony of Christ, and then went about to undo the wrongs which he had done in the past.

This story is a very surprising and powerful witness of the change that can take place in a man´s heart, if willing to repent and use the Atonement of Jesus Christ. In my opinion, what is even more amazing is that this isn't the only example in the scriptures of  a sinner becoming born again. In the Book of Mormon, we can also see Alma’s father named Alma, Zeezrom, and Enos. In the Bible we can see the life of Paul. All of which are very strong and real testimonies that there is no heart that cannot be healed, and there is no sin that cannot be erased by the powerful Atonement of our Savior Jesus Christ.

I know that Christ lives and I have felt his love and the cleansing atonement in my life. I am so grateful for the opportunity I have to teach His gospel so that others may feel the same way.

Thanks for all the support, I love you All! Have a good week! I´m doing well and I’m super happy.   I wouldn't be in any other place right now. Life is good!

Elder Chipman

Monday, February 2, 2015

Out of the loop in Argentina

Hows Life?

Well, to let you know how far out of the loop we are here in Argentina, my comp and I were finishing our day yesterday right at sundown. We were unlocking the door, and putting the bikes inside the apartment, just chatting about the day. The conversation slowly drifted off to sports, and how we don't even know what is happening in the NFL. That is when I realized that it was Superbowl Sunday. Just kinda snuck up on us this year I guess.

Overall we had a great week in Alejandro Korn. The ward is starting to grow and do well due to the hard work of past missionaries and good leaders. Our investigator, Sebastian, is starting to progress and came to church on Sunday. He should be baptized by the 22nd of February.

We were also blessed to be able to attend the Buenos Aires Temple last Tuesday! What a beautiful building! We are only able to go once a year, and this year I was able to understand a whole lot more because I speak better Spanish. It’s amazing the things we learn when we enter the Lord´s house, humbly looking for answers.
Me in front of the entrance of the temple
My Zone in front of the temple

Other than that, Life is good. Our days are filled with lots of lessons, laughs, and pancakes (because they are fast and delicious). In Fact, we are having a family night with a family tonight. They are giving the lesson, so we are bringing the food. Since we don´t know too much about cooking, we are planning on making about 35 pancakes tonight! Like I said, easy and delicious!

That being said, I´m a happy, healthy missionary. I'm not going to lie that I'm excited to come home, but I'm living it up out here at the same time. I'm already starting to get sad about some of my favorite things here in Argentina, and realizing that the majority of my life right now won't be there at home. So I´m trying to work hard and enjoy it while I still can.

This week I learned the important lesson that a testimony has two parts, the spiritual and intellectual. First we receive the spiritual, and then the testimony can be continually strengthened by other spiritual experiences, but also by intellectual and logical realizations. My testimony is simple. I know that Christ lives, that Joseph Smith was called as his prophet to restore the Lord´s Church on the earth again, and that the Book of Mormon is sacred scripture like the Bible, to guide us in our lives. How do I know?  Because I read the Book of Mormon and asked God. I received a chain of spiritual experiences that have eventually taught me the truth of these things. I also know that logically it all makes sense. I invite everyone to either find or strengthen their spiritual testimony by reading and praying about the Book of Mormon. I know that everyone who does will receive and answer, because I did.

Thanks for all of your support and love. I love being a missionary, and I love it here in Argentina. ¡Nos Vemos!

Elder Chipman

I got to go on a split with Elder Cobb