Thursday, December 22, 2016

We´re getting in the christmas spirit here. A few weeks ago we made a chistmas tree on the wall with christmas lights that were in the pension so were feeling pretty festive.

Some stuff that happened this week:
-My companion shaved his legs and being the faithful companion that I am I acompanied him (see photo below). Like I said its hot here and having badly shaved legs helps a little. But I think it´s just going to be a one time thing...

-On Friday and Saturday we did an exchange and I went to Ancasti. While there we had to help out an offended member of the church, That's probably one of the hardest things to deal with as a missionary because you can´t take sides. You just have to think "what would Jesus say?" and then say it. 
-On sunday I had to speak in Catamarca and Valle Viejo and I also had to teach the book of mormon class in Valle viejo.When the missionaries who were dedicated to valle viejo were taken out Elder Jones and I were left in charge of helping the struggling branch, So our area is now a lot bigger, but that just means that we have even more people that we can help. It´s amazing to me that I can do this as a 20 year old kid. But the mission really changes us. Although it doesn´t change the fact that I turn pretty red when I get nervous. so I was pretty red sunday. haha. 
I hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas time and can take time to remember the birth of our Saviour and think about what he did for us,

Love you all,
Elder Lulich

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Some happenings of the week. 
On the 8th it was the day of the Virgin. I don´t know if it was a worldwide thing or just in Catamarca but there were a ton of people who came to walk in the procession. And they pretty much filled up the city. Catamarca is a center for those devoted to the virgin because there is a patron virgin of the city and has to do a lot with the religious culture here. We don´t worship the Virgin, but we work with the people who do. Out of curiosity we went to the main plaza before heading back to the pension that night. There were SO many people. Streets that we usually walk down normally were so full that we had to scoot by people. I was afraid that someone would be trampled. But finally we made it to the plaza. My comp even saw someone there that he had met in Córdoba. It was pretty crazy.

Also this week we were able to participate in giving the Aaronic priesthood to Jesus the recent convert. It´s really cool to see how he´s been progressing. I really believe that he will stay firm in the gospel.
  Here´s a totally fake picture that we took. But it turned out pretty well. I guess this is what we usually look like when we walk down the street... Except in this photo we were down in one of the huge drainage canals that the city has.
Also an explanation of the weird picture. I have a hot water thing for mate on top of my head with a knee brace. I was able to serve a mate like that. Now that´s skill, or an obsession... who knows? 
Then the other picture is of today when we played regular football, and then a little bit of rugby... 
which is a lot harder than it looks.
Anyway I hope you guys are doing great! 
 Lots of love! 
Transfers were yesterday. I will be staying here in Catamarca with the Elder Jones. (His middle name is Indiana. For real! How cool!) We had some good times with Elder Velaztiqui but I am also excited for this new transfer and a new companion. my district leader said in his farewell testimony to the ward, "if there is no change there is no progress". So I´m hoping to progress a lot this transfer.
This last week Carlos was baptized! It was a miraculous baptism because that day he was feeling very sick and he didn't think he would be able to be baptized that day, but he wanted to do it so much that he went anyway with a terrible stomachache to be baptized. He has so much faith, it often astounds me. 
Also we had some crazy changes in the zone. Our already little zone of 10 elders has now shrunk to a zone of 8 elders. I will be the district leader of the only district in the zone. Like it or not we are going to be one unified and tight knit zone ha ha. It will be a challenge, but it will be fun. I know that things won't be so hard if I really love what I do. 

 The beginnings of a parade. These next few days Catamarca will be full of people from other provinces for a religious festival on the 8th.

The baptism of Carlos

 A beautiful Catamarca street

Friday, December 9, 2016

We didn't really do anything special for thanksgiving here, but on Friday we had a Christmas conference as a mission. Well actually half the mission, all of the zones that are outside of the city of Cordoba got together. It was a lot of fun because I was able to see a a lot of missionaries that I haven´t seen for a while. And just like last year there was a talent show. Plus the missionaries of Cordoba made a Christmas choir just like the Easter choir last year. Elder Fantham, who I was with in Parque Liceo was in the choir. He is super 'talented musically and he had a few solos. It was cool to see him again. And our convert Jesica also came to see the choir so we all were able to catch up. good times.

The Baptism of Jesus
Well this week was great. And this week that we are in is going to be great. And the next one too... and the next one too.   
On Sunday Jesus Nieva and his daughter Valentina were baptized. It was a super special day. In the sacrament meeting before the baptism took place Valentina and her sister Zaira sang in the primary program. They are special little girls. It was only their third time in the chapel, but they were such good students that they memorized most of the songs for the program, and they weren't afraid at all to stand up in front of the congregation. Then came the moment for Jesus to be baptized. His mother had told us earlier in the week that he was very excited to be baptized and that he couldnt stop talking about it. We were also excited for him. I know that Jesus got baptized for the right reasons and I am excited to see him and Valentina progress now as a new converts.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Yesterday it rained all day and we went out to visit. It was the first time that I had worked in the rain for quite a while. And it was great to have a little change from the constant Catamarca heat. We have a few really stellar investigators that are progressing super well. One of them, Carlos Palacios, has his baptismal interview this evening so we are pretty antsy to see how it turns out. 
One cool experience of this week was when my companion and I were able to visit a two of our investigators in the hospital. They are from different families, but they both happened to be there for surgery. It was special to be there with them and share a few words of comfort. I think that it brightened their day just a little to see us there and know that they were important to us. And we felt pretty good afterward also. 
It´s like I heard President Eyring say in a Mormon message, "True happiness comes from putting others before ourselves".   

I hope you can all have a great week.  HAPPY THANKSGIVING this Thursday! Say hi to all the family for me:)
Elder Lulich

Here are a few photos of us. 
The second just shows how excited we were to see the rain, finally.   

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

We´re good here I didn´t feel the earthquake at all. I think that the center of the quake was in La Rioja. The province that´s next to us. 
Sounds like that was a pretty awesome game to see!(Kylie's state finals soccer game) I´d like to see Kylie play in college some day.
I´m doing well. I´m just suffering from a cut finger. I cut it this morning putting a bottle of water in the freezer. How do you cut your finger putting a bottle of water in the freezer you may ask? Well about two week ago I left a glass bottle of water in the freezer for a little too long apparently forgeting what I had learned in chemistry that water EXPANDS when it freezes. So the next time I opened the freezer it had a shattered glass bottle frozen in place. And I haven´t taken the time to unplug the fridge and let everything melt... So I guess my cut finger is kind of my fault. Someone´s probably reminding me that I need to clean out the freezer. I´ll get to that later...

I love you guys. Have a great week!

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Well one story I have is that this past week I had a terrible stomachache. I had eaten morcilla the night before (blood sausage) and I´m pretty sure that was the cause of my troubles. We took a taxi to our mission leader´s house because we were going to do a visit with him. I lied there in pain for a while and then hobbled to our appointment. We taught the lesson and the lady gave me an herbal tea to make my stomach feel better. After the lesson we took the bus home. It was kind of cool because right when I stepped off the bus I felt better. I was just glad that God gave me the strength to get through that lesson. 
As for the elections the people here are pretty interested also. The other day we were in the supermarket buying something for lunch and out of nowhere a lady came up to me and asked me who I would be voting for. I guess it wasn't that hard to tell that I´m from the united states. I told her that I wouldn't be voting and I didn't really have a preferred candidate. 
Congrats for the win Kylie! Good luck today! (Kylie's soccer team is going into the semifinals)
Well I think that the best thing that happened since the last time I wrote was our zone meeting last week. The different missionaries in the zone weren't getting along very well and there was always an air of contention when we got together. But yesterday in the zone meeting we were really all able to remember that we all have the same purpose as missionaries and that we are are all on the same team. There was a really special moment when we all got together and watched a short video and then all had the chance to share our testimony about the mission and why we are here. It was super special to here the stories of all of the Elders and see that we all are here for a personal reason and that we all have our own circumstances here on the mission. We´re not just a bunch of preaching robots. When everyone was finished there were a few dry eyes and I think that we were all much more unified. 
As missionaries we are all on the same team. We aren't working for our own benefit but rather to serve others and glorify Christ.

Have a fantastic week!
Elder Lulich

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

This first week of the new transfer was pretty intense. My companion and I put our shoulder to the wheel and really worked hard to find new investigators. We talked to about everyone that we could in the street. We were rejected a few times, a few times pretty nicely and a few times not that nicely. But the majority of the people that we talked to were willing to here our message and set up another time to meet with us. Every day we got back to the pension exhausted. It was great. 
What made this last week even more intense was that it was the last week of the month and we wouldn't receive new funds until Monday. As they say necessity is the mother of all invention, so when we ate in our our apartment it was always a mixture of whatever was left in the cupboards. But don´t worry mom we all survived. It definitely taught me the importance of following a budget when it comes to what I eat. Maybe at home I would freak out in this situation (I did get close in a few occasions), but in the mission is the perfect place to experience hard things and learn from them. 

Have a great week everyone. (I won´t say "have an intense week" because I hope you don´t all have to eat what´s leftover in the cupboards).

Elder Lulich

 This was right before the wind picked up. We were walking down a street on the edge of town and the wind made the sand in the air almost-lethal.

 In the house of a recent convert named Ramon. He is the brother of Dimitrio, who was baptized not too long ago.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

here are some photos from our p-day today. a member took us out to a little pueblo about 45 minutes from the city of Catamarca to a house that he has there. it was super pretty there. my companion and i climbed up to a statue of Jesus on the hill. there was an amazing view from up there. on the way back from the pueblito the members car started to smoke. turns out that a tube broke open and was leaking water. so we ended up getting back late. so that is why i´m writing so late.  

also here´s a photo of a miracle baptism that we were able to help in on Saturday. the man being baptized is Oscar Chayle and his grandson was able to baptize him. Oscar Chayle, nickname coco has investigated the church for many years. many of the members of his family are members of the church, his wife was baptized last year. he finally decided that it was time for him to also join the church. in our first lesson with him he asked us directly, elders i want to be baptized, what do I have to do? Elder Velaztiqui and i didn't have to do much to prepare him because he had heard many discussions and attends church about 2 times every month. it really was a miracle baptism. a miracle that his family has been awaiting for many years.


yesterday for the first time in about a month that I've been here in Catamarca it finally rained. it was nothing too intense, but it was very welcome and long-awaited. the weather today is also pretty fresh. i hope it stays like this for a while. 
this Sunday was mothers day here in Argentina so happy 2nd mothers day to the moms back home! one of the mothers in our ward, maria, received her mothers day gift on Sunday with the baptism of her son Dimitrio. it was a very special baptism. Dimitrio is about our age and is super cool. i hope he serves a mission. 
these past two weeks my comp and i were trying to get to know the members of our ward better so that we can work better with them. i think that this has really helped me work with more dedication because now i know who i´m working for and who i´m helping. 

i hope everyone is doing great!

elder lulich

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Hey all
Here are some pics of sunday and p-day.
Pic 1- this is the Ramos family. The kids were baptized about a year ago and now we´re working with the parents so they can get married. 

Pic2 -4 our area is inside of the city, we hardly ever walk down a dirt road, but just outside of the city is a desert with huge cactus, cow skulls and... the mocking jay!

Have a great week! 
Elder Lulich

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

This week we got to do service twice in the garden of one of the members. We had to weed out a big space in the garden to get it ready for planting. Then we had a fire and burned the weeds. It reminded me of working in the garden back home. It´s pretty theraputic to hack at weeds and clean up a garden. I felt pretty relaxed doing it.

Here are a ton of pictures. I've started carrying my camera around a lot more. 
Giovani an 8 year old kid that was recently baptized and confirmed and whose family we are working with.

The street during the siesta. Here in Catamarca it´s pretty hard to find people outside from 2 to about 5:30 or 6 and it´s because they are all sleeping. 

We always play sports on Friday nights here. The zone only has ten elders so we all get together in the chapel and bring our investigators and play. This last Friday we played a different version of dodge ball called quemado.

The service last night. There was a ton of smoke! The sister made pizza for us after the service. Later that night President Correa who is now visiting us out here in Catamarca came to our pension. When he was getting ready to leave he paused and asked us if we had made an asado because we all smelled like smoke.



All convert baptisms are a miracle by the fact that one is able to see how God prepares and directs a person as they choose to follow Christ. Having that said, this weekend I saw the most miraculous baptism of my mission. The baptism of Joaquin Gomez and his wife Claudia Mamani.
It´s a pretty crazy story. I had my first lesson with them on Saturday. We were just able to talk to Claudia because Joaquin was tired and sleeping after working the whole night. During the lesson we read a scripture and invited Claudia to be baptized. We told her that because she had attended church before she could be baptized the next day, Sunday. She was willing to be baptized, but she wanted time. My companion then invited her to pray right there in the moment and ask God whether she should be baptized. After a little explaining and persuading Claudia offered a simple, but extremely sincere prayer. When she had finished she kept her head bowed and stayed silent. We all stayed silent for about 3 minutes. I think all of us were feeling God´s answer in that moment. Elder Velaztiqui then looked at Claudia and said, "you know what you need to do" and she agreed. 
Then there just happened to be a baptism going on thirty minutes later and Joaquin had gotten up by then so we invited both of them to see the baptism. They went to the baptism despite having there motorcycle tire pop halfway to church. And then they went to church the next day for all three hours. Joaquin looked very thoughtful the whole time during church. Claudia´s baptism was going to be that afternoon and the two of them were going to come. 
At the baptism as we were going outside with my companion and Claudia already dressed in white to take pictures, we were surprised when Joaquin looked at us and asked "can I be baptized too?" The answer was obviously yes. So we hurriedly found more white clothes and I had the marvelous opportunity to baptize Joaquin. It was so special to see a couple take the decision to be baptized together. I really have high hopes for them in the future. God has prepared them so well to hear the Gospel of his son Jesus Christ and accept it for a reason. I´m super excited to see how they progress.

That´s all for now folks. Have a great week. 

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Hot and windy
That´s basically my summary of how catamarca is. Hot and windy. This week we already had temperatures in the 90's, and "technically" spring doesn't begin until tomorrow. From what the catamaqueños tell me, in the summer the temperatures get up to 110 and more. But it's a bearable heat because it's dry, very different from the "sweaty blanket" heat of Córdoba.
For only having about two months in the mission Elder Velaztiqui is already a natural at this missionary business. He has no fear to meet new people or to testify of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

I don´t have to much time to tell you all of my adventures, but here are some pics.

Pic 1&2: reunited! because my bus to catamarca left super late I took advantage of the extra time and visited Parque liceo. I saw David and Jesica

 and also Mabel Pineda

Pic 3: our awesome ward mission leader 

Pic 4: a giant hot dog I ate today

Pic 5 Elder Velaztiqui and I

I love you all!
Elder Lulich

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Well after only 6 short weeks in Carlos Paz I´ll be heading out to another area in the province of Catamarca. What happened was that the assistant to the president were going to be moved to our area to work. We knew about this new change for a few weeks, but we heard that we would be staying in the area to work with the assistants also. Boy did we get a surprise Saturday night when the zone leaders called and said that both Elder Jackson and I would be leaving the area. It sure was a bummer to hear that. 
I still haven´t gone to my new area or met my new companion. I´ll be finishing his training. His name is Elder Velazti, he has a little over a month in the mission, and I've heard that he's pretty cool. I´ll be meeting him on Thursday after I go to the trainer training tomorrow. So next week you´ll get a photo. 
One cool experience of the week was meeting Daniela. We met Daniela on Saturday while getting on a bus to another part of our area. in the 10 minute transit we shared what we do as missionaries and invited her to chuch the next day. And she came! And she didn´t only show up at church  but she really liked it too! In the class of Gospel principles we talked about obedience and even though she was only there for the first time she shared a beautiful testimony about how obedience is love. It was awesome to hear. I hope she can keep on learning more with the assistents now. And I hope I am able to meet more people like her in Catamarca! 

Have a great week.
Elder Lulich

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Just a little announcement now the p-day has been changed to Tuesday. So I´ll be writing my letters on Tuesday now. 
This week was pretty hectic, with lots of trips to Córdoba for exchanges with the other Elders in our district on Thursday, and the zone leaders on Friday and Saturday. Sunday we had the baptism of Mirta and Paula, a mother and daughter. It was super special. Mirta especially was so grateful for the chance to be baptized. 

Just a fun story from this week. Sometimes I can be a kind of light minded person. What some would even call an airhead. It´s because of the blonde hair... But on Wednesday night we saw evidence of this. I decided Wednesday night to make banana bread for lunch with some investigators the next day. But I guess I started to make it a little late because my body went on autopilot and I ended up getting ready for bed and falling asleep... with the banana bread still in the oven. When I woke up on Thursday I took a shower and was getting ready for the day. It wasn't until Elder Jackson asked me, "are you cooking something?" that I realized that the banana bread was still cooking. *GASP* I took it out and it was perfectly cooked! Nah kidding it was basically a piece of charcoal. Luckily the apartment didn't burn down and we were able to make another banana bread before lunch. This whole week when we entered in the apartment we were greeted with a smell of melted butter. I learned my lesson pretty easily- banana bread is EVIL. 

I hope you guys have a great week.

Monday, August 29, 2016

This week was fantastic. Here are some highlights
- On Monday we met a great new investigator, Jonathan. He is 23 years old and has been looking for something stable in his life for a while. He was super excited to here our message and is now preparing to be baptized.
- On Tuesday we went to the temple as a district. It was great to have that time to reflect and receive some guidance. Afterwards I was able to do two baptismal interviews for investigators of the other missionaries in our district.
- Thursday we called one of our investigators, Mirta to see when we could pass by.  We thought she wasn't really wanting to learn much more. We were surprised when she said that she had been feeling bad about the recent death of her mother, but she started reading and praying and thinking about the things we had taught her and she was able to feel better.
-Friday was a day of service. Elder Jackson and I left the house in the morning with our service clothes to cut up some wood for a sister that has a wood stove. But we were also blessed in the afternoon with the chance to do some service for the family of Franco and Analia, some investigators of ours. They had cut down a few trees on their property so we helped them put the branches in a huge pile to dry out for firewood.
- On Sunday we saw a huge miracle, Franco, Analia and their kids, Jonathan, Mirta and her daughter Paula, and Andres all came to church.

We have gotten to know some great people here in Carlos Paz. I am SO greatful for the steps that they all are taking to really draw closer to God and Jesus Christ. It really fills me with joy to see when people put the teachings of Christ into practice and can really feel like they are doing the right thing.       

I hope y´all have a great week.
Elder Lulich

 the district in the temple

 Me and Ciara, one of the daughters of Franco and Analia, on the way to church in their car 

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Being a missionary really brings out some strong emotions.There´s a story in the Book of Mormon that helps describe how my companion and I felt on Sunday. In the story Moroni a righteous captain of a army was getting pretty ticked off at all of the people who were falling into sin and following an evil leader. He got so heated that he tore up his coat and wrote on it, "In memory of our God, our religion, and freedom, and our peace, our wives, and our children," then went out among the people and shared with them that declaration. His actions were so impactful that many people swore to follow God instead  On Sunday I was getting ready to go Moroni and tear up my suit coat when our investigators didn't show up to church. Ha ha. I doubt I would ever get to that point, but it sure would be memorable huh? A North american missionary waving his ripped suit coat in a park in Argentina... Maybe we would get a few new investigators...         
Also a ray of sunshine: We were able to get together to teach Andres. Turns out that on Sunday  when he came to church he was with his girlfriend Valeria who is a member that is starting to come back. The two are new to the ward from another province and they are pretty awesome. Andrés is super willing to learn about the church and live the gospel of Jesus Christ. He came to church again this Sunday. He would like to get baptized as well, but him and Valeria aren't married  so that makes it a little difficult. But before we know it he´ll be dressed in white.

Have a great week and remember to be patient with others and their weaknesses. 

Here´s a picture of a birthday we went to. Someone turned 20.
 I let a few people know it was my birthday. My companion prepared a "surprise party" for me Saturday night. I knew that he was organizing it (he told me) but we agreed that I would pretend to be surprised when the family brought out the cake. We went to the Salgado family´s house. They are a big family of members that are always super nice to the missionaries.  I've got to say it´s pretty crazy  for me to think that I'm 20. It just sounds so...old.

Monday, August 15, 2016

This Wednesday we had our first multi-zone conference with president Correa. And to tell you the truth I can't tell you all very much about how it was because I spent most of the time sick. When we got to the conference I headed to eat a little breakfast. There´s always a little something to eat before the conferences. So I helped myself to a banana and a cup of chocolate milk. And man do I regret it. I don't know if the milk was expired or the banana was bad, but it gave me a crazy stomachache. And for the first time in my mission I vomited. So that was a fun first experience... Luckily by the end of the conference I was feeling better and I was able to listen to the visiting speaker, Elder Texeira from the Seventy.  

Apart from that, this week was pretty great. Elder Jackson and I found a few new investigators that really have potential. Sadly we weren't able to have the investigators in church that we were expecting, but two non-members showed up at church with the families there and we have dates set up this week to teach them. I'm pretty excited for those lessons! Like Abraham said the Lord will provide!   

Have a great week! Careful with the chocolate milk, it can be deadly

Elder Lulich 
Today we had a super fun p-day. The whole zone came to Carlos Paz. It was a blast. Here are some pics