Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Life on the coast...

Hi family Rice,

It's so good to hear from everyone! It sounds like everyone is doing great. Sounds like Veener (his nickname for me:) is playing some good golf. This pleases me. She will probably beat me the first time I play when I get back. Big D (his nickname for his dad:) was rollin' with a single digit handicap! That's awesome! You never told me that. Congrats.

I can't believe the Cougars lost. What a bummer. Stupid TCU, but the Broncos are playing really well, undefeated still. I like the sounds of that! Is Troy walking yet? Every time I play with the little kids here I think of Troy and Laynie and just get ganas (desires) to play with them. I feel like I hardly know them. Well, I guess it's because that is true. I hardly know them! I knew Jill was getting a latina trainer. I called it!!! An Argentine! That's so cool. That will help her with her Spanish super quick. That's funny that we both got our first Latino Comps the same day. Elder Ordonez is my first latino comp. He is from Chili and loves it there!

So, this last week we found a couple of awesome families but of course, the parents are juntado (living together). Every one here is living in adultery. I guess that is why President assigned me to speak on that very topic yesterday at Church. haha hay que aprovechar el nuevo (always got to try something new)! And they're doing it! I spoke about the whole ordeal with adultery, divorce, marriage stuff and fun chastity stuff. It was great. It actually went pretty well. How they would say it here..."it left me well"! There were probably only about 13 people there though. We don't have too many members, well we do have a lot of members, but there are a lot of inactives. There were like 8 of us for the two classes we had after sacrament meeting. We were supposed to have like 10 investigators come to Church but only one showed up. It was a bummer on that part, but things are looking up here in San Clemente. We want really bad to break the ice with a baptism and then just go crazy here. It's a great place! We've found and have been able to teach some neat people who really need the Gospel. I feel that they have been prepared to receive it. So, let's just pray that they llegar (come)!
Oh mom, how do I make rice? I tried making it again the other day and all the bottom ones burned. What a disgrace! My last name is Rice and I can't even make it! What's the secret? We have to cook basically every day. But I am so thankful to be here in San Clemente and working here with these people and with my comp. We are being blessed in the work and it will just get better and better. Tomorrow we have zone conference with just our zone. It's going to be pretty weird because there won't be many missionaries. After we will have our interviews with Pres. Asay because they kill two birds with one stone when they come all the way down here. I'm looking forward to it. I love the deep doctrine class President gives at the end.

Well, I love you all and am thankful to have you as my family. It's so true that true happiness comes through our families. I'm so grateful for mine. I thank the Lord every night for blessing me so much. P.S. Pray for Jill, the first few weeks can be rough. It's a different life slash world out here!
Love, Elder Arroz con leche

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Elder's Rice and Ordonez

Living the good life in San Clemente!
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What's "wrong" with these pictures!

I think Gavin has been working on his calves! haha

I think Elder Ordonez has been working on his height?!
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Halloween Playgroup!

We have playgroup every other week and this week I hosted it and we had lots of kids come dessed up so cute!!
Troy was Batman!!
Da na na na Da na na na....Batman!!

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Halloween 2009

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The finished projects!

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Monday, October 19, 2009

Feliz Dia de la Madre! Or, in other words, Happy Mother's Day in Argentina!

Hey family. Sounds like things are going well since I only heard from mom and Whitney, saying she doesn't understand Castellano. haha. jk. I know you guys are busy as well as am I. but, I am going to take it as that all is well with the fam. I can only imagine what everyone is doing. Scrambling with errands, working, studying, taking care of kids etc..etc.. haha. I don't have to do any of that stuff, but I do have to work. It's just that my work, is way better than yours! San Clemente is awesome! I miss Elder Harris and El Jaguel and the fact that we were going to baptize a lot this transfer there but oh well. They will still get baptized with Elder Harris and his new comp Elder Lopez. San Clemente is a tourist town. Yes. It's not as popular as the other coastal towns but I imagine once summer gets here that everyone will be headin' to the beach. I still don't know the beach. It's a few cuadras (blocks) away from the pench, but I don't think we can go there unless it's super early in the morning before the people come. The biggest difference is how "tranquilo" it is. It is a whole different world than Buenos Aires. I love it. Most of the people have manners, even though they're still pretty duro (tough). A lot of them are still pretty nice. We live above the chapel o sea (or in other words) the place where we meet as a rama (branch). A senior couple used to be here. The Shumways. Everyone still raves about them. The President of the branch is Presidente Salas from Capital. He just lives out here to take care of the branch. He's really a great guy and knows his doctrine as well as does his wife. They are very educated, awesome people. There is only a handful of people who come to Church. I have already given a talk, taught a class and I have only been here a week. haha, it's going to be awesome! This week we did really well with teaching. We were able to find a bunch and took out 7 fechas. We're hoping that they can really make it, as well as their family members who we still need to find. We have a bunch of people who could get baptized but there's always one problem or another. Either the wife doesn't want us or the husband. Satan is good at this stuff. We also are teaching a senora who is baptized and would like to get married to her husband but he is out of work. They receive money by not being married. Satan does a really good job at keeping people out of the water who are so close. We are going to work hard here and see what we can do to try and get this little rama to grow.

Elder Ordonez is way cool. He's really good at soccer. We have a good time. He's helping tune up my Castellano and I'm teaching him English, since this is my first latino comp I have had. Hay que aprovechar (Need to take advantage). But, we are doing well and excited for this transfer.

Mom, here are the answers to your questions. there are four elders in my district including our companionship. They are all latinos except for me. Our Zone Leaders are Elderes McCord and Backman. Son Yankees (They're Americans). For P Days there really isn't anything to do. We can get together as a district, but to do what...we can't watch Disney movies anymore. Not any type of movie actually. We are going to play tennis here one day. The thing is is that everything is way more expensive here. I'm going to miss playing futbol with everyone. The office's are way up where the mission is. It was like 6 train stations away from me in El Jaguel. I wish I could send you a map of the mission. I think it would be like driving from Salt Lake to Vegas, and maybe a little further still. So yes, the office's are way out of reach. We don't have zone conferences with other zones. Just our own which includes a bunch of hermanas who are all latinos. I think there are 6 of them and other missionaries. For zone conference Pres. Asay will come down here, as well as for interviews. As for the work in a tourist area...it's still not summer so I'm not sure how that will be. I know we won't be working in the part that tourists will be in so that won't be a problem. We have been doing tons and tons of contacts, and finding friends of friends of friends! That is the good thing. We are teaching a handful of mom's which is funny because instead of teaching 4 separate lessons, they always get together and we teach them together and answer all their questions. It's just annoying cause their kids are everywhere! There used to be a senior couple here, yes, I think I already explained that. The church maybe used to be a store, I don't know, but we live above it. The pench is awesome! The Shumways (the senior couple who lived here) stocked it with tons of cooking supplies. Too bad I don't know how to use them! That's one thing I miss. Eating with members. We do eat de vez en cuando (once in awhile) with members but not too often. Well, I love you all and the Church is soooo true! Tell your friends about it's truthfulness. As well as mine if you see them. Que todos tengan una buena semana. (Have a great week everyone).
P.S. Go Cougs and Jazz and Broncos!
Elder Gavin Phillips Rice

La Siesta?

Good look...Argentine jersey with a tie! Not sure about the hat, but it has potential!
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Families and missionaries from El Jaguel

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How to get from here to there!

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Finding grape soda! Once in a mission opportunity!

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Monday, October 12, 2009

Adios El Jaguel...Hola San Clemente...

Well, they know me too well I guess...they sent me out to the coast the day before Jill gets here! haha. I am in San Clemente with Elder Ordonez. I was super surprised that I left El Jaguel as well as Elder Harris behind. I felt like that 6 weeks just flew by, literally! I needed another 6 more weeks with him and the area. But, that's what happens I guess with the mission sometimes. I am just finally getting here to San Clemente. The assistants had to drive us out to Dolores cause today is a holiday. El Dia de la Raza. We were going to celebrate it with the people in El Jaguel this Saturday with stands of food from all different countries. We were going to make pancakes and syrup and of course, root beer. Good mixture, no? But it turns out I've got other plans this week. I am in the Coast!!! It's awesome. I really haven't seen anything yet. We've only walked one block so far and the beach is like 5 cuadras away. I know the branch is super small. Like 10 people attend church on Sundays. The Branch Pres. and his wife are not from here. He doesn't have any counselors. It's going to be such a different mission out here so far away from everything. It's super tranquilo. (easy going) I'm going to love that part. But, I'll be separated from everyone. I won't even go to transfer meetings. We won't meet as a zone. Just me and Elder Ordonez. He is from Chile. He likes soccer like all latinos. He's tall and pretty nice. Hasta ahora (for now) haha. He's been here for 2 transfers. He's the only member besides his aunt in his family. I'm really excited to work here with him and the people. It's going to be awesome. I'm kind of confused about what goes on here. It's just all new for me. New area, comp, situation, branch, just everything. And of course, Elder Bednar would be coming to the West mission this transfer and now I won't be able to go because I'm too far away on the coast. Also, you have to baptize 2 people in order to be able to go for us in the South mission. Pres. said if you have a friend or a novia (girlfriend) you can't go either. But, Elder Harris will be able to go for sure.

We had 3 fechas (baptismal dates) coming up for this next transfer and 3 others that I think will be ready soon. I was hoping to be there to help them get to that point. I was really starting to enjoy the ward and the people that we were teaching. I was pretty bummed but at the same time, excited, just cause it's the Coast! I won't be able to see Elder Fafai give his farewell talk or meet his mom either when she comes to pick him up.

Remember Ramon from Solano who we baptized from the familia Gonzalez? He's the one who can't see very well. He served a mini mission for 3 weeks. He spoke at transfer meeting and gave his testimony. His whole family was there. I love that family so much! I was so happy to see them there, all dressed in suits and with the Melchizedek Priesthood. Even Lucas "the black sheep of the family" (that's what they call him) baptized his friend. He has the Aaronic Priesthood. Ramon and I gave a blessing of health to Lucas after transfers. I can't believe how awesome they are...so great! I'm still shocked I left E. Harris. He was an awesome missionary. We got a long really well, the last few weeks especially. He's just a super hard worker and super happy to be here on a mission. A really good kid! He'll be awesome. I trust him with the area. I just hope he doesn't get lost too much!

I was going to take a picture of Jill's plane as it flew over my head in El Jaguel pero que va hacer (what are you going to do)! Me echaron con proposito!

Happy 1st birth Laynie. I'm your uncle, your favorite one. You may know me more as a cardboard cutout designed by Big D. But I'm real! Well, I love you all. The Church is true! So true! Give references to the missionaries!
Elder Rice
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