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DJ with his new washer

DJ with his new washer
Piedra Alta, Uruguay

Ramon's Baptism

Ramon's Baptism

DJ and new Companion Elder Craynor

DJ and new Companion Elder Craynor

Friday, January 22, 2010

Week 2

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Hello all,

This past week was very good. It definitely flew by a lot faster than the first one. I’m going to try and answer all of your questions.

Um let’s see, proselyting last week was actually fun. It was kinda scary, in the sense that we know next to no conversational Spanish, and people talk really fast, but it was great. We went out for 2 hours in a beautiful neighborhood nearby (Yes the MTC is on the temple grounds, the temple is literally 100 feet from our building). We had fun talking to people, and it really wasn’t scary at all to just walk up and talk to people. The first guy we met was sitting at a bus stop and he gladly talked to us so I think that helped to calm our nerves. There was one guy that was really interested and asked us to come back. Regrettably he isn’t able to see us this Saturday, so we’ll send the real missionaries in, you know, the ones in Buenos Aires. But this guy was really awesome and he spoke a small bit of English. He was telling us that he was atheist because he believed in evolution and stuff, but more importantly he didn’t understand how there could be a God with all the bad stuff in the world. He was really nice though and we enjoyed talking to him. He was the last person we met during those 2 hours, so I think it was the Lord’s reward to us for working hard previous to that.

So I got letter #1 on Friday the 15th...7 days travel time...and I got Dads postcard on the 20th...10 days travel time. Go figure. Anyways, thanks for both. I really appreciate them. It was nice to hear. Hopefully you guys got (or will soon be getting) the letter I sent last Thursday...I had too much to put in email. (We received DJ’s letter today and I have included excerps from it at the end of the email.) Um, in response to Dad’s questions. Yes, a lot of the missionaries here who are leaving next week are heading to my mission. They are very awesome. Actually, everybody here is really cool and just fun to be around. It’s great. And then on Feb 18th or thereabouts, the next group of missionaries for my mission should be coming in (from North America)...the Latinos who come every 3 weeks for only 3 weeks kinda go everywhere.

Pres George arrived this past week, replacing the Wilson’s. They are really nice and friendly. I haven’t really gotten to know them, but they seem nice in passing.

Um...congrats to Kelly and Chris for their baby boy. That’s awesome.

I do get to write in my journal every night, which is really nice. Sundays are also the best day of the week. We have Church meetings from 8 to 11 and then personal study time, lunch, a bit of prep time to sleep or whatever, and then a large group meeting (with all the North American missionaries), dinner, movie (devotional or church videos, etc.), and then another large group meeting before bed. They’re really nice and relaxing.

So the food here is great. We consume a lot of meat, but it’s all good. However, the kitchen seems to feel the need to pick one meal a week that is pure squash, and it’s horrible on a scale from 1 to disgusting. I don’t usually eat much during those meals. hardly anyone likes them. We have termed them to be GBDs (green bricks of death), but they are good for a nice laugh.

Spanish is coming along. We just keep plugging away, and pray that it comes. I think it is...slowly, but surely. We can teach the whole first lesson in Spanish now...not well, but we can. I like it though. It’s way fun.

Um, my companions are great. We get along well.

Um, that’s about it. I look forward to receiving stuff from you guys. The Spirit is really strong here and the guys are great. I’m definitely enjoying myself here, but it’ll be so nice to get out in the field, finally.

I hope that everything is going well back home. I really can’t imagine snow right now, not with this weather we’re having here, but I’m glad it’s warming up a bit.

Oh quick message for Cy: Just let him know thanks for the well wishes and tell him that I hope school and everything is going well for him. I’m sure he’s heard about what’s going on here, at least in part, so that’s good.

It’s still kinda hard to believe that I’m in Argentina training to be a missionary, but all is well. Life is good. Have a great week, and I’ll look forward to hearing from you guys again next week. God bless.

From DJ’s letter dated 14 January 2010

“So, like I said, it’s hard to believe that it’s only been a week and a day. It feels as if we’ve been here for a small eternity. Spanish is coming along really well. Everybody in my little district sometimes gets frustrated about how much we don’t understand and with the issues we have remembering, but then we remember that it has only been a week. We can effectively teach somebody the basics about Heavenly Father, the Restoration of the Gospel and Joseph Smith, the Book of Mormon, and the Holy Ghost along with bearing our testimonies. God truly does bless the missionaries. I love the language itself, particularly its easy pronunciation. The vowels always make the same sounds so it’s relatively easy (oh and most of the consonants do too) to pronounce unknown words. My brain is going roughly a million miles an hour though. It only took about 5 days for the Spanish to creep into my journal entries and one of my companions randomly shouted a Spanish word in his sleep the third night here. It’s definitely on everybody’s brains.

Oh, I know, let me tell you a little bit about this MTC. It has a capacity of 88 people, but we’ve only got about 50 right now. Most people are going to the Montevideo and Montevideo West missions, but with other missions represented as well. There are 13 North Americans here right now; 11 boys and 2 girls. I think we have determined that I’m either the one or one of the ones located farthest east in the US. Most North Americans are from CA, AZ, NV, and UT.

Take care and I love you all."


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