Monday, June 15, 2009

Ya me Fui a Jaguel!

So, this transfer was quite a surprise. Elder McConkie's been in Quilmes 3 for 7 months now. He's been there ever since I got to the country, and...he will remain there training. I got kicked out to El Jaguel in the Zone of Monte Grande. I'm replacing little Elder Chavezito who I lived with in Solano. My comp is Elder Jensen from Gilbert, Arizona. He goes home in 2 transfers. The worst thing about leaving is that the family that we were going to complete will be getting baptized this next week and I won't be able to be there. That's a bummer. I was finally getting used to Quilmes 3 and the members and now I will just have to start over. I guess there's a need for me somewhere else, digamos. (so they say). Elder McConkie will be training and also be the District Leader. He's a great missionary. He and Elder Fafai were awesome workers.
We met Elder Moody's parents and showed them around a bit. They are really nice. Sister Moody said she is going to call you mom and tell you I'm good. I'm sure I will learn a lot from my new comp. There's a reason we're together. We're going to work hard. We've got a ward of about 80 people I think. I'm not sure of anything about the area as of yet since I have never been there. It's pretty close to Ezeiza by the Temple. Just one station before the Temple. I can't believe I'm leaving. I would have bet tons of money that I would have stayed, not pesos either...dollars...pero, que se yo. Nada, obvio! (But what do I know?! Obviously nothing!)
I heard Laynie broke her leg. That's sad. That's awesome that Brandon blessed his new baby. What a great family we have! Soooooo blessed. I have hardly slept the last 2 nights. I was just packing and thinking. It's so crazy that I'm already out of here. Yesterday we found a family of 7. Such an awesome family. They were playing outside one day and I was like WOW! A family! So I was like, "Conk, we've got to go clap that house sometime soon". So, we did a few days ago and set up a cita (appointment). They're super interested and their kids are awesome. They all listened and said they would read and pray about our message. I wish I could be in Quilmes 3 right now. I'm not going to lie. Plus, our pench was amazing. But since when does it matter what I want?! I've got to work with what I've got and I will. I'm excited for this transfer. Our zone should be awesome. Elder Lewis is in our zone. He's the one I lived with in Solano. Paula, the girl we baptized and her family bought me a cake. They pretended to take a photo and smacked it in my face last night. I didn't even see it coming! Elder McConkie got it on video. Son locos! (They're crazy). It was pretty funny, I'm not going to lie. Well, I love you all so much and am so grateful for each and every one of you. I love my family! You're great. I Love the Church. I know it's true. Now more than ever. I love the Book of Mormon. I'm still reading the New Testament, but it's so hard to not just want to pick up the Book of Mormon instead.

Since Gavin has not been able to send me many pics as of late, I am combining last week's email with this one. I'm hopeful for new pics real soon!

Hi Family,
So you're going to be mad at me, but I forgot my USB plug for pics again. So this week was kind of weird. It's always interesting adapting to a new area, esp. when I had just gotten used to Quilmes 3. Wanna know the worst thing though? Elder McConkie is training Elder Tayler from Canada. (Gavin golfed with Elder Tayler's brother at UVU). Small world. Oh man, I was going to take a video from our roof in El Jaguel to show you the area. It's a way nice area. No j/k. It's not, but super tranquilo (mellow)and it's right by the airport so planes take off and land over our heads every ten minutes.
I got sick again this past week. I don't understand it. I've always got something. I had a gnarly fever that woke me up every 5 mins. sweating or being super cold.
As far as the work goes, we found 4 this week and doubled our investigator pool. The people here are super duro (tough). But I think that one of them will be baptized. He's from a part-member family. El Jaguel is my most unattractive area so far, but it is the safest, so mom, don't worry!
I can't believe that Ashten is going to go to Honduras and Mike will be heading to Russia. Chris served in the Philippines so they have all served in different countries. That's awesome!
Tomorrow we have zone conference with Elder Aiudukytis. That will be awesome. He seems like a great guy. That's too bad that my package got "lost".Stupid ladrones (thieves). Sorry if this email is lame. It's probably because I'm feeling kind of lame. I'm sick of being sick. Today for P-day we played basketball and soccer and the hermanas made us tacos. It's weird having hermanas in my zone. We have 6. Our district consists of us and 4 other hermanas.
This last week we had stake conference so I still don't know the ward too well. I'm looking forward to next Sunday so I can get to know them better. Welp, that's pretty much it from Argentina. Mom, I had a dream that your neck was hurting you and you said you wouldn't be able to get your strength back. It made me nervous, so's your neck? And yes, the weather is cold here. It doesn't matter what I wear. The humidity goes right through to your bones. Even with wearing gloves, my hands and feet are so cold. I'm not cold, but my hands and feet are literally so cold that every time I shake someone's hand, they freak out. haha...well, les amo mucho!
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Monday, June 1, 2009

The Draper Temple Celebration...

May 27, 2009. Thousands of our youth performed song and dance in celebration of these beautiful Temples in our valley, under the direction of President Thomas S. Monson. Something I hope to never forget!

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More great men who love their country...

This was a slide show at the Draper Temple celebration performed at the conference by the youth of our Draper Temple district. An amazing night!
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Proud to be an American

Remembering Grandpa this past memorial day. Grandpa proudly served his country in the U.S. army and every memorial day he would dress in his uniform and present the colors with a 21 gun salute at the cemetery. He is missed very much by all! I love this view from grandma and grandpa's house. The gazebo was decorated with many American flags. Of course our beautiful mountains make for a perfect background.
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Vegas Baby!!!

Celebrating Grandma Whetman's 85th birthday with Donny and Marie in Vegas! What happens in Vegas...stays in Vegas! A pretty wild bunch don't ya think?!!
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A day in the life...

Wow...I still can't stop thinking about what you told me about Elder Nelson. (Him getting attacked in Africa). That's messed up. This world is messed up. That's just crazy and wrong! There are way too many people who don't understand what they're doing attacking an apostle of the Lord. But anyways, that's awesome that dad get's to go play in a golf tournament in Mississippi with the retired pro's (baseball, basketball, football and hockey guys). He'll have to take some good pics. This cyber (internet cafe) has holes in the ceiling. Water has been dripping on me during my whole cyber sesh para que sepas? (but what can you do?) I kept thinking people were throwing little things at me, but no, it's dripping a ton.

Ok, so this week was sweet. I had my first confirmation in Sacrament meeting. Paula was confirmed. The one we baptized last week. I did the confirmation and it was an awesome experience. More spiritual than doing the baptism, (digo yo). (That's what I say anyway). It was awesome though because it's been raining a bunch here and so not many come out to church. But, at least we had 5 investigators! And Tina is the biggest trooper. She's the lady we found and baptized last transfer. She never faults (misses) a Domingo (Sunday). It takes her an hour to get to the capilla (Chapel) and that villa gets so muddy and gnarly when it rains even a tiny bit. She's super firme (strong). Also, yesterday we did divisions with the coolest joven (young man) in our ward. Se llama (his name is) Javier. Such a cool kid. We got stood up for 3 of our lessons so we did a bunch of contacts. I made him do one, and before he could muscle out a few words, the lady slammed the door HARD in our faces. It was awesome! A good experience for him haha. And me too! But, we got like 3 or 4 "finding" citas (appointments) out of it and 2 family possibilities. Transfers are next week, so I'm pretty sure McConkadonk's out. If I could choose, I'd choose to keep us together one more transfer as co-comp mayores and then train the next transfer, pero, que se yo! (but what do I know) Nothing! Transfers are fun. Everyone get's so excited. It makes me laugh.

This week we found 4 but I, unfortunately, wasn't there to find them. I was on intercombios (divisions) 2 times. One in Pineyro and one in Avellaneda with the zone leaders. That area was sweet. It has the two extremes of living, that's for sure. We taught 11 that day which was awesome, and found a few more. Today we did our documents so I might be a legal Argentine for these two years. If I ever see the documents that is. It takes 3-4 months to get them so hardly anyone ever sees them. It would be a lot easier to have them then I could show the people in the street that yes, I'm a Yankee AND Argentine too!

So, Satan is a real jerk. We had a lady ready for baptism this last Saturday, but she fell and hurt her knees and wrist. It may be broken but she won't go to the medico (dr.) So, she didn't come to Church and is depressed. Hopefully we can go help her. The mom of the 3 girls that we are teaching came up with a bunch of dudas (doubts). We are going to go and try to talk to her tonight without her daughters and see how we can help her too. If we can't help her, then we won't be able to help her kids either. They still might make it to their baptisms this Saturday which would be awesome! The little girl said she received a testimony of the Book of Mormon!!! We were pretty happy about that last night. The other girls are doing awesome too, but one of them looks up things on the internet about Joseph Smith and asks ton's of questions. Of course you can find all truth on the net! (sarcasm)! I'm pretty sure we cleared up all their dudas (doubts) and after we talk to their mom tonight, we will get the ball rollin' again. That's been our main focus. They go to Church and one is in Seminary and goes...every time...once they get that testimony firme (strong) they'll be super firme hasta el fin! (strong to the end)! I LOVE this work and am so blessed to be a part of it. Thanks for all you do for me. Tell grandma I said cuidate!!! (Be careful) I hope you all have a great week. I pray for you everyday. I'm not sure if I told you my quote that I fell in love with or not but I read it a few weeks ago and it's done wonders for me. "Pray as if everything depends on God, and do as if everything depends on you!
Love, Elder Rice

P.S. They're playing "The Cure" here in the cyber! I love my life!

Could this be the dog from Sandlot?!

Golf Argentine Style

These are some old videos that Gavin sent but I'm just now learning how to blog a video so there will be several to look at :) He's only been golfing once during his 9 mos. as a missionary. Did I say 9 months! Wow...that's amazing! Well, since he hasn't sent any pics the last two weeks I will update you on his latest Argentine adventures. So here goes:

So, this week, we didn't find anyone new to teach and other lessons were hard to come by. We made a ton of contacts and got turned down by everyone. It was a shame. We weren't able to give out any copies of the Book of Mormon to anyone. But, we have some super awesome investigators who are progressing super, super rapido and it's awesome to see. I love it! We did have a baptism this week. Her name is Paula. She didn't make it to Sacrament meeting though to get confirmed, so I'm going to confirm her this next Sunday. We are teaching 3 sister's who are progressing very fast. Natalia, Laura and Sofia. Sofia and her mom Alisia are the ones who found us in the street a few weeks ago. They're so cool. The mom is a less active member, but the girls should be getting baptized June 6th. We are so excited. They are reading and praying and coming to Church. They make us lunch and are so awesome. Sofia, the 11 year old had a birthday last week so we went over. Her uncle called who is an Obispo (Bishop) and wanted to talk to us. He said if we didn't baptize his family he would have to kill us! Such a Capo (Stud)! It was way funny. He's from Misiones. We went on a division with the bishopric that went really well. I took out a fecha (baptismal date) with a lady we've been teaching, an older lady who has the coolest voice in the world. It's kind of like Korihor's from the Testaments, but in the voice of a lady. It's rad.

Today we did some service for Hermana Figueroa, the Bishop's mom. We cut down her trees. It was rad. We felt pretty manly climbing trees and cutting huge branches off with axes, saws and meschedes. It was a good time. After we had a lesson slash lunch with Alisia Buzo and her 3 daughters, (the girl's we are teaching). It was super good and since we worked in the morning instead of the afternoon we're going to get some nice Phase 10 action in and maybe another nap would be nice. Today is Feriado or in other words, free day, (like every other day) but today is Argentina's Independence Day. Doesn't matter what day it is though. It's another a day to celebrate and drink! Yay! If there was one thing I could do in this country it would be to shut down every factory that makes beer and wine. There are some big fans of that stuff here.

Our Sacrament meeting went well. We had 104 which is a record! We were happy. We were in charge of it so that was pretty nice. We had 7 investigators but it seemed like even more because the familia Gonzalez and Adrian came to our meeting. It was awesome. I love those guys! They're from my last area in Solano. Such Capos! Such a strong family in the Church now...and so cool! It was great to see them.