Monday, March 29, 2010

Seek and ye shall find...

Hey family, me quedo (he didn't get transferred).
So, yes, we had transfers and I'm staying in El Parque with Elder Melenez. So that was the excitingness of transfers. Elder Taeoalii is going to Parque Baron in Banfield. A pretty ghetto area. It's his first area with villa. He's had some nice areas. It was kind of weird that he left because he was only there in El Parque for 2 but he went up to DL so I think he's kind of happy. This last week we baptized Macarena. Her dad is awesome! We didn't think he was going to be able to baptize her because he smokes, but we had a really good charla with him about priesthood authority and power. He ended up talking with the Branch President. We set them up with an interview and the whole family went. And I guess it was super spiritual. The President called us after and told us about how great it was. They all prayed on their knees in the Bishops office after and Macarena gave the prayer. President said it was super spiritual and that they have really progressed in the month. They have been menos activos (less actives) for 4 years or more. Our President, Mongelos, is the coolest president I've had in the mission. He's amazing! He and my Quilmes 3 President are the bomb. He's way cool. Oh, and before I forget, the shoes and the cards got here and the letter. Thank you so much. The shoes are pretty big. I sport the 42 or 43 and these are 44's but maybe I can wear thick socks come winter. (Sorry Gav, they said size 10 and I thought that was what you wore). Thanks a bunch for sending those to me.

This transfer is going to be great. We're going to have to work really hard to baptize. I have the Hermana's in my district now. This is my sixth transfer as District Leader. It's crazy. I got my trunky papers today. That's weird. I haven't really looked at them yet. It just seems so strange. But, I hope you guys all watch general conference next week and take notes and use them. Don't write down what they say, but how you feel and the impressions that come to your mind. I miss you all. Have fun watching the finals of March Madness on my birthday. Have a party in my behalf!
Love your son/brother/in law/friend/etc...
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Time to do this...

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After doing a little of this...

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Saturday, March 27, 2010

Word to the fam...

So, sounds like you and dad are having some great experiences serving as missionaries in that Spanish Branch. I like that. Being a missionary is awesome, and an honor. This week we found out that it is just Fortunato who wants to go back to his old church. His spouse is super excited about the Mormon church. Danget! The True Church! But she doesn't want to mess things up with her husband because he has had a temper in the past. I don't understand why some men hit their spouses. I hate that so much. So, as of now, I don't think we'll be seeing them progressing. Together anyways. But, we will be baptizing this transfer this next week on Saturday. I'm excited! I didn't think we were going to baptize Macarena, (yeah, just like the song...hey Macarena!!!) She's the daughter of a family that just got reactivated. It should be great. Oh hey...March Madness was crazy! I didn't see anything, but I called the senior missionary couple, the Fitch's. I love them! They gave me all the details. I was pretty bummed that BYU had to play Florida. I love Florida, but I was glad they got past the first round. That's too bad they couldn't beat Kansas St. Sounds like our 3 big guys got fouls early. But man, you guys should go and watch the Sweet Sixteen in SLC. That would be fun. haha mom, I like your stories about the substitute teaching. haha freaken crazy kids...(ooo my bum...haha this was a private joke). Oh and you have to register me for school soon? That's crazy! Elder McConkie goes home this week. That's crazy too! Well, I'll keep you all in my prayers if you keep me in yours. (No problem with that Gav!) Read the Book of Mormon, pray, go to Church and fulfill your callings!
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Walking a mile in my shoes...

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A mission payday!

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A little of this and that of mission life...

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X-Box in Argentina?

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He's got the whole his hands...

Well, at least he's got the beautiful moon over Buenos Aires, Argentina

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Happy Birthday Big D!

Missing the Hoybjerg's and Elder Rice...

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Welcome home Elder Chacon!

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Friday, March 19, 2010

Our little Dancin' Queen!

Hey Gav,
We thought we would show you what your little niece does for fun. I am glad you are kicking butt out there. Love ya.
Cam and Naomi... and Laynie

Monday, March 15, 2010

Rice Family minus the youngest, Elder Rice...

Hi Fam,
So, this week was cool. I baptized someone from the other side of El Parque. It was someone we found doing intercombios that I taught a couple times and when I interviewed her for baptism and asked who she wanted to perform the baptism, she asked who could do it. I told her any worthy priesthood holder could do it and then she asked me if I had the priesthood and I said "yeah" and she said, "word"! I want you to do it. It was kinda cool. So, I got to baptize. Elder Flake, the newbie, baptized another girl and it was the funniest thing in the world. He was first and while they were getting into the font, he popped out of the girls bathroom side and totally cut her off! The President was laughing so hard. We all were. It was so funny. I'll send pics from the baptism. It was 2 sisters and some other chick. We're helping the Young Women's program grow here in El Parque it seems.

Oh man, the worst thing ever happened. That family that we were going to baptize (Fortunato and Adriana) told us, well, he told us, how happy their old pastor is because they've decided to go back to their old church after 2 1/2 years. I was so super bummed. It was the worst thing ever. That's happened before, but I was so excited to baptize these great people, esp. after having had some super spiritual lessons with them. So, we said a prayer together and he asked if he should keep being taught and be baptized in the TRUE church. jk. He didn't say that but, we're going by tomorrow to see what's up. We took out another fecha with some lady. We'll see if she'll start coming to church. She's attended once. Beatriz and her mom Angela came to Church for the second time. I know they'll be members. They just say that they want to participate for now without being baptized, but they like it a lot. They feel like it is a lot more correct than the Catholic Church, even though they love the Catholic Church. But, they'll come around.

I'm glad Troy is doing better and Whitney as well. (He's been sick with RSV and then Whitney got sick as well). This past Sunday I was thinking about how much fun Sundays were spending them all together, eating dinner and playing ping pong and jazz. Movies, card games, skippin' Big D in Phase 10. Jon saying "it's getting personal", when he would get skipped. Ha, Ash always passing cards under the table. Cam always being funny and Venna always providing the drinks and snacks of all sorts, and me, partaking of them. I miss that.

Today, we played soccer, kickball and frisby with the zone of Avellaneda and Quilmes, even though we're not from their zones. We just got invited. It was fun though. No one broke ankles this time. That was a plus. Well, at least up until the time when we had to bounce, but wow, this transfer has been going by super fast. The first one in a new area always goes by fast. The work is pretty hard here. It's like the Coast, I swear. Just not as pretty and with tons of mosquitoes. It takes a mental toll, but, we're working really hard and I know the blessings will come and we'll find people who are ready to get baptized. We've got to baptize this transfer.

But, anyways, I love you all and miss you and hope things are going well. Write me. It's great to hear from everyone. Oh yeah, read scriptures, pray, and go to Church. If not, you might find yourself somewhere where you never thought you might end up! I love the Church and know it's true. I'm so grateful for it.

Love, Elder Rice

P.S. Happy Birthday Big D!!!!!!
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Monday, March 8, 2010

Short and sweet news today...

Hey Family,
Well, the work has slowed down a little bit. I feel like we've already contacted every house in El Parque. Our side of the area is pretty much like the Matera, which was one of the Villas that was in Solano. Super poor but spread out Campo Villa. Fortunato and Adriana are still reading and praying but couldn't come to church again this last week. We're going to teach them the law of chastity this week and tell them that they need to married. That comes straight from the Pres. We had interviews and talked about this family and the best way to help them and how to go about doing it. We don't really have tons of investigators. I wish we were in the same mess that Jill is in with too many citas to go to. I feel like all we do is contacts here, and that's not getting us anywhere.

We had stake conference yesterday. It was so great to see all the members from Solano. That was the best branch ever. The familia Gonzalez and Laticia Rayer the mom. Freak, I love those people. Everyone from there is so nice. I can't believe it's been over a year since I was last with them. There were a few families that had babies and I didn't even know that they were pregnant. It's crazy how fast things change in so little time.

Today for P day was the best thing ever. We played Xbox on a projector screen here in Lomas. It was way nice with A/C and stuff. I LOVE A/C! We had a lot of fun.

You'll have to let me know how Vegas is. I'm so jealous. I love college basketball. And Vegas. And March Madness. And Vegas. and March Madness in Vegas. And the Vegas tourny in Vegas! Take pics, oh hey, so I was thinking on things that would be nice to have in the next package that comes my way, if there is one...Ranch dressing! Not packets...they do me no good. I can't find sour cream here. Reeses puffs. Pictures like scenery ones of where we live like snow, mountains, the Draper Temple. You know the goods.

This last week we also did service for a lady named Lorena. She is an investigator and lives with 5 kids. She's young too, it's so sad. She lives in a little box of a house made out of wood and tin. They don't have a bathroom and here they dig holes way deep and all the crap just goes and sits for like ten years until someone comes in and cleans it out. But, we dug out the nastiest hole thing. Oh man, they just told us that they're closing down the cyber so I've got to run. I love you all. Hope things are well. I'll keep you in my prayers if you keep me in yours! (Deal Gavin)!
Love, E. Rice

Rest in peace good buddy Mark Whetman July 14, 1960-March 1, 2010

A few good men with Whetman family ties...
A few good Whetman women...

I was asked to speak at my cousin, Mark Whetman's funeral. He passed away at the prime of life at the age of 50 from a terrible debilitating disease known as Lou Gehrig's Disease or ALS. Since Mark was able to attend the Daytona 500 Nascar race just 3 weeks ago as his final wish, my talk was on the flags of the Nascar races compared with Mark's life and a Gospel message. As a Ford man (Whetman Ford) Mark didn't want his last ride to be in a Cadillac. My Uncle Kent arranged for him to be taken away in a "pimped out" Red Ford Truck complete with Mustang and Ford emblems on his casket. Rest in peace good buddy. The checkered flag says that your earthly race is finished! You've been declared the winner.
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Sunday, March 7, 2010

Cute lil Boy

The first picture I thought was so cute so I had to share it with ya Gav. The second picture is in honor of Ashla Wrice from GerMANtown, Tinesee at Space Camp!!!

Hey, anyone going my way?

This is the pench where Gavin lived in San Clemente. The Elder's live above, the Church is below.

Hey family,
So this week was amazing! I had a really neat experience, but before I forget, dad I figured out that 8 gig card so hopefully that will help out the picture virus problem I've been having. I heard from Elder Nalder. I'm glad he's doing good. I hope he gets back soon. (Elder Nalder broke his ankle playing soccer on P-day).
Anyway, my area is kind of out in the boonies. We're like 30 minutes from the nearest train station. I did intercombios this week with my district and the zone leaders. So Elder Harris, (not my son o sea (in other words) not the one I trained) but our zone leader rather, we found a guy that works in my old area in Quilmes 3. We walked back to his house out in the boonies with him to an abandoned house that he's lived in for 10 years. It had the most wasps you've seen in your life, and butterflies and cocoons and all that jazz. The grass was taller than me. We asked him for his phone number and he told us he hasn't even had electricity for the past 7 years, nor water. He showed us how he collects rain and drinks it! Freak! That's what I call a real man! We were going to give him a tour of the church but he never showed up. Bummer. I also had an intercombio with James, aka Elder Taeoalii. It was getting late and we had already had a way good day but we had like 45 minutes and no where to go, so before going back we started doing contacts and we got in to a house of two gay guys. One was an atheist. It gave us some pretty strange feelings. The guy he lived with was Evangelist (my spelling is so bad now), but he listened to us. The other one was super smart. He has studied everything and read everything, but didn't believe in God. We talked forever about a bunch of things when I finally just said, "you know, you asked me why I'm doing what I'm doing being so young and following this church, well, it's because of this book!" And then I testified about the Book of Mormon and the power of prayer and the guy said he'd read it, so we left on a good note. The Atheist wasn't going to do anything, but man, it was pretty funny. We get to experience all sorts of things on the mission.

When I was with "nature guy" I was thinking back to the time on South Mountain when me and Cam were wackin' wasps swinging those metal bats we had. haha Freakin' Cam. That guy's so funny. I love our family.

Some lady told me on intercombios that I have something special and am really going to help the branch. She said she and her sister had talked about that. I don't know why, but these members have been so great to me. Except, they called me during Sunday School to talk again in Church. That's two for two! Where am I? San Clemente?" "Dang Gina". I had to speak about Seminary. I didn't mention that Seminary was a great class to get away from the world while napping. haha.

Oh, but the neat experience with Fortunato and Adriana I mentioned at the beginning...we took out fechas with them! After we invited them to be baptized and after they accepted, I bore my testimony and streams of tears started flowing from the eyes of Adriana. It was amazing! That was probably one of the best moments of the mission for me. We watched 'Together Forever', cause they're not married. They really liked it. She wants to get married but he's worried because he doesn't have work, but thanks to the 2nd counselors testimony of his marriage, it really helped them see the importance. 2 weeks before the counselors marriage, he too was without work, but he's so humble and amazingly cool. He served here. He's from Paraguay, Hermano Roa. He looks like Joe Webber so that makes me like him that much more. Fortunato and Adriana have lived together for 10 years. I think they'll get married. They're going to pray together and talk about it. They're little daughter Brisa after watching 'The Restoration' movie went and knelt and prayed as well. She says she knows it's true. She did this when we weren't there. She wants to see God and Jesus like Jose' Smith. haha. I told her to do what I did when I was little and call 1-800-heaven! But, anyways, I love you all. Hope all is well. Thanks for sharing that experience mom about your cousin. That was neat and just another testimony of how true the church really is!

Love, Gavin

Some more good men...

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Saying good by to San Clemente

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