Monday, March 30, 2015

How about I share some interesting things about Argentina with yall.
One thing that´s different is that everyone says hi with a little kiss on the cheek, the beso Argentino it´s called. Another thing that´s different is that there are bars on all of the windows. Instead of using cars some people here go around with a horse and buggy type of thing. It´s kind of strange. I´ll try to get a picture of it sometime. Also the people here love to talk. I think that´s still the hardest thing for me, chatting with people. It´s like I have to listen so closely to people to understand them that by the time their done talking I then have to figure out what I´m going to say. It´s difficult to have a lively conversation like that. But I know that practice makes perfect, so I´ll just keep on trying to talk to these people no matter how awkward the conversations are. It´s starting to cool off here, I even had to wear a sweater one day.

One thing I really enjoy about the mission is that we get to study the scriptures for at least an hour every day. I love reading the scriptures now, but more than that I love studying them. The other day I was in my personal study, and I think that I was looking up cross-references for a scripture and Elder Sparks whispered to me, "Why are you breathing so hard?" I didn't realize it but I had started breathing as if I was exercising. Really I think I was just excited about what I was studying. I guess I´m just a nerd like that; once someone starts talking about the scriptures my heart starts racing. Ha ha. But in reality there is a power to reading the words of the prophets. It´s different than the excitement you get from watching an action movie. The power that comes from reading the scriptures and learning of eternal truths is a power that can actually help you change for the better. I know it because I try my best to live according to what I learn from the scriptures and I can see the difference. Wherever you are, I hope that everyone is safe and sound.

Elder Lulich    

For Zachary

Here´s a picture of our zone enjoying some tacos one p-day just before starting exchanges. and FYI tacos are not a normal Argentine food. I miss Mexican food so much! But Argentine food is pretty awesome too. There is nothing like the asados here.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

 My typical day here is: at 6:30 I get up, pray, try to muster up the willpower to do some exercises, eat breakfast and shower, pray, personal study, pray, sing a hymn, pray, companionship study, and pray. As you can see I´ve had a lot of practice saying prayers in Spanish, I think that I´m pretty good at it now. We always eat lunch in the houses of the members. Lunch is always the biggest meal. (I have had dulce de leche. It´s like a caramel spread that people put on bread and things around here. It´s true what we read before the mission that there is french bread at every meal.) It´s nice to be with the members, because there´s less stress and when we share a scripture with them it´s like practice for lessons with investigators. Here in Santa Isabel we work with less-active members as well as non members. 

This past week we spent a whole day in exchanges. I stayed in my area, so I was the missionary in charge for the day. It was a lot of fun and I learned a lot from the other missionary. The missionary I was with really liked to contact with the Book of Mormon. He told me that the Book of Mormon is the best missionary, and I saw the truth of this in the success we had while contacting.  

 Service really does help you get to know and love other people better.  Another thing I learned this week (although it's pretty obvious) is that, although I'm a missionary now, that doesn't mean I can´t also be myself. Lately I've been pretty bothered by the other missionaries in my district. It just seemed like every little thing they did bugged me. I never got mad at them, but I was just not having much fun either. Towards the end of this week I've let myself relax a little bit more and let my weird side out too.

I can´t send pictures this week. I don´t know if I've said this before, but sometime´s we write from public computer´s called "cybers" and the one I´m at today doesn't have a USB port that works. So next week... 

Monday, March 16, 2015

We got our power back on Wednesday. Apparently, the breaker got flipped! Ha ha. None of us knew where the breaker box was, so we didn't know that could happen. But on Wednesday we found it! We still paid the bills though. This is a picture of us sleeping on the roof.

Also on Wednesday I got to go to the new missionary welcome at the mission home. When I got to the mission home for the first time it was just me and my companion from the MTC so we didn´t get the special treatment that most of the new missionaries get. But this Wednesday the group after us arrived, so I went with my companion and had lunch at the mission home. It was cool to see the new missionaries. I knew exactly how they felt. When they walked into the mission home it felt so good, I wasn't the new guy anymore!

The door handle broke in Elders quorum Sunday and we spent 20 minutes trying to get out.

The work is hard. I still have a fear of contacting and my companion doesn´t really like doing it either so it's hard to learn. But I guess I've just got to jump in. Recently we've been teaching the girlfriend of a less active member. She wants to get baptized and he wants to come back to church. They have been reading the Book of Mormon together and they have a testimony that it's true. I´m sure that she will get baptized, but I don´t know when. She knows that baptism is a big commitment and wants to make sure that she is completely ready. That another thing that I´ll have to learn how to do, how to encourage people just enough without being too pressuring.
The other day I was watching a video of The District as part of my new missionary training and I heard something that I really liked. The missionary speaking said something along the lines of, "we have been given a part of the lord's vineyard and it's our job to care for it". I liked that because it gave me a new perspective on my area. I have the right and the responsibility to serve all the people in my area. So when I leave the pension everyday, every person I see is someone that the Lord has put in my trust.
Elder Sparks and I in front of the almost finished Cordoba temple.

Monday, March 9, 2015

 We´re in a pretty big ward here. I guess there are like 700 people in the registers of the ward, but about 100 come each week. It´s a nice ward. The first week I was here I had to go up and give my testimony for the ward. It was a little scary, but I think that everyone understood me. I haven´t had to say the prayer in church yet, but I've prayed  in the members homes. I think my Spanish is improving a lot . I've been studying how to use the present subjunctive tense and a bunch of other things I didn't even know existed in Spanish. 

On Saturday night the lights went out. Apparently we haven´t paid the electricity bill for about 3 months, but we haven´t gotten the bill delivered to us either. Since the electricity didn't work the fan didn't work either so we were all sweating in our sleep Saturday night. To solve this problem last night we slept on the roof of the apartment. We moved the mattresses up there and everything. All of the houses are made out of cement here so we were pretty secure up on the roof.  It was much cooler up there, but I got bit a bunch by mosquitoes. Hopefully we can figure out the electricity problem soon, because I do not enjoy the heat. 

Man it has been hot here the past few days! I don´t think that I´ve ever sweat so much. It´s just the perfect combination of heat and humidity and walking to make me perspire. And let me tell you, it is not  very fun. I don´t mind walking all the time, but being sticky with sweat all the time is just a little annoying. 
Well last night I was complaining and being bitter about being sweaty all the time and the district leader Elder Barrios asked me why I was so "amargo" (sour or bitter). I told him that I was just tired of being uncomfortable. His reply was, "welcome to the mission". He told me that there are going to be times when the mission really stinks and when it´s hot and uncomfortable, but that I just have to enjoy it all and give it all I've got. Now this would have been easy for me to brush aside, but I took it seriously. It reminded me of a scripture that says, "wickedness never was happiness". The flip side of this would be that righteousness is always happiness. There is always happiness and joy in this work. I just had to change my perspective and see it. After I decided this the rest of the night was much nicer (and it cooled off so that helped me change my attitude too  Ha ha.

Transfers were this weekend. Everyone in my area is staying. I think that I´ll probably stay here for a few more transfers, I've heard that´s how it usually goes. 
Here´s a picture of our zone. Zona Sur. My companion Elder Sparks is in the first row with the blue tie. 

Monday, March 2, 2015

I just realized the other day that I´ve been a missionary for a month now. What? How is that possible. I still feel really new, but I guess it´s time now to drop that excuse that I´m a new missionary who doesn´t know anything and just start making mistakes. I trust that my companion Elder Sparks can fix it if really mess up bad. I´ve got to make him work somehow.
Things are going well here in Santa Isabel (that´s the name of my area). In this area we walk to all of our appointments and lessons so my legs are sore every day. At every house we go into the people offer us mate and juice, and I´ve enjoyed that. Yesterday I ate grilled cow intestine and it was pretty tasty. Also this week we committed an investigator and her nephew to baptism so that was exciting. We also worked on street contacting the other day. just walking up to people and talking with them about the gospel. Man is that a thrill!   
The other day I was reading in the Book of Mormon about an army of youth called the stripling warriors who fought for the liberty of their country. What was amazing about the stripling warrior was that none of them died in the fierce battles in which they participated. It was said that because of their great faith and their righteousness they were able to fight with the power of God. What impressed me about this story was that fact that even though none of them had died, they all received wounds from the battle. This shows me how dedicated they were to the fight. They did not avoid the fight, they were right there in the middle of it. What I got out of the example of these boy warriors is that I should not "shun the fight", I should be working with all the force I have and keep the faith that God will deliver me. And at the end I may have some wounds, times where I make a mistake, but I will receive blessings from God for my devoted service.