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Steven Stucki

Missionary Journal

August 2007 -- August 2009

Compilation of letters written while serving
in the Argentina Buenos Aires North


Mission pictures (works best in Firefox)


35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?

36 As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.

37 Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.

38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,

39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Rom. 8: 35-39

Elder Stucki entered the
Provo MTC on August 8, 2007

Mailing address

Mission Letters

LetterAugust 14, 2007 top


Hey this is your son and brother Steven Stucki. Elder Steven Stucki that is:) I uh have 25 minutes left of the 30 I'm allotted for email so I'll get as much in as I can. There's a timer in the top left hand corner of the screen letting me know when my time's up.ha It is so wonderful here. Definitely crazy...but wonderful still. Before I try and attempt to fill you in on my first week I need to take care of some items of business. -Dearelder.comis a great way to write me. Rachel Judd uses it. I don't even know exactly how it works, but you can log on and figure it out. Basically you type me a letter on the computer on thier website, and then they'll print it and get it here. It's pretty fast I think so you might want to check it out. It's like email, except I will get your letters any day of the week, cuz I can only check my email on Tuesday. By the way, I can only write back on Tuesday also.

-Mom, I think I left my maroon belt at home. And I need some maroon shoe polish. Help...?
-I need my oil vile. It's on my old key ring.
-I would love so badly for you all to send me some pictures. Send some write away so I can see you, and then keep sendin anything you'd like me to see. Anything!:)
-Mom, when you get my camera cable could you send a memory card with it? There isn't one in my camera. I don't know where my old one went, and if you could find it, and send it along with the new one, that would be awesome. I think it's somewhere with Camie's camera. Maybe?
-Mom, for my scripture plaque at church I never gave you a scripture. Romans 8:35-39 or something like that. It's the one I started my farewell talk off with;)
-Last, what is the floppy disk for that you send folded inside my baptism pants?

Okay, those were just some things I needed to get out. I hope I covered everything. Like every second here at the MTC I have so much on my mind and so much to do that it's hard to even think straight. My companion's name is Elder Alex Engar. He's so funny. He's tall skinny and nuts. I like him alot. We get along real well. We've already been able to create a humble relationship where we can offer advice encouragement and correction when needed. Once I get my camera and all that jazz I'll send some pictures.

We have the opportunity to do so much here. I've been to so many edifying meetings, attended so so so sos sosososososososos so much class, went to the temple today(and every tuesday,) and we have sweet fireside's and devotionals. Tonight we even have the honor to watch President Faust's funeral. Maybe it's getting broadcast to the public, I don't know? But we get to watch it. It's exciting.

So, I've barely hit my one week mark and I love everything so far. I won't lie, last saturday I felt a little homesick and discouraged. I was just overwhelmed. Dad your letter really lifted me up thanks so much. It was just what I needed. Things are great. I can definitely see how my mission is going to change me FOREVER! For the better of course. Spanish is getting pounded into me. When I read, write, talk, think, pray, DO ANYTHING, spanish words and phrases mingle in with my English. I am in no way good at speaking, i'm just studying it so hard that it contaminates everything I do.haha Dad you asked if my mission is what I expected...? FOr the most part no. What I never realized is how much it's up to the missionary to be succesful. We have 3 hour class/study sessions where the productivity of those 3 hours is completely up to us. No teacher, no supervision, no nothing except for our own desire to learn and grow. I don't know if that makes sense, but I didn't expect it. I like it though.

My testimony is already growing. I love it here. Sorry I have to conclude already, and this email is ridiculously scattered, but my time is almost up. If I don't send this in four minutes the window closes and I loose it. By the way, I really hope this gets to someone in the family. I sent it to what I thought was dad's work address, camie's email, and amy's. They're the only ones I could remember. I'm going to try and print it just in case. Uh, email me or me. SHare my email with anyone and everyone you want. I can's wait to here back from you all. I miss you, and love you with all my heart. It's so great to be here. This work is the work of our Savior. I love him, and I'm soo happy to preach his Gospel. ALright, love you all!


LetterAugust 21, 2007 top


So I just wasted about half of the 30 minutes I get trying to print off some emails from dearelder.comI've only gotted one of your letters from them in the mail, but I guess they send me an email or something with the text from your letters I'm not sure. I was trying to print them so I didn't use computer time reading them, but I couldn't get it to work. So dad you should send your last dear elders through the mail if you have them. I don't know

Anyways, that probably didn't make any sense.ha Uh, things are going really good here. So much happens that I don't even know what to write about or where to start. When you get up at 6:30 every morning and literally don't stop goin til 10:30 your mind, well my mind, gets all cluttered. Especially today, I was up at 5:25 this morning to do laundry, then ate breakfast, went to the temple, wrote a ton of letters, and now I'm emailing. I'm learning tons. Hours upon hours i'm getting stuffed full of Spanish. It's tuff. My teachers are great, but what they give you is about 35% of what you need. I found out very quickly that it's up to the missionary to study study study if they want to learn the language.

The spirit is so strong here at the MTC. We have so many great opportunities. Last P-day, i think i mentioned this, but we got to watch James E. Faust's funeral. It was so neat. The best thing I learned from it was how much James loved his wife, Ruth. Every single speaker referred to clear it was that he cherished his wife, and his wife cherished him. I thought that was really neat.

Yesterday we had a fireside, and tonight at 7 we have another devotional. Fireside's and devotionals are so great. The MTC offers just as much spiritual learning as they do language learning.

I'm soo sorry this email is so short and "empty," but I've got to go if I want to send this. Sorry. I hope all is well. I love you and and miss you. I'm so happy to be out here, and I appreciate with all my heart your letters and packages. Truly. The days I get them are soo wonderful. Love you all!!

LetterSeptember 4, 2007 top

Hey Family,

It's raining right now. It's the first time since I've been in the MTC that it's really rained. Things are going great. Thanks so much for your letters mom, dad, and alyssa. I love hearin from you. This past week has been pretty wonderful. The highlight was probably...drumroll, Jeffrey R. Holland came and spoke to us last tusday for our Devotional. It was grand. He is one of my favorites. He taught alot about missionary work(imagine that.) One of the main themes of his talk was how much of an honor it is that we have, as missionaries, to work hard and sometimes suffer for the Savior. He compared it to us having the opportunity to "take a few steps towards Gesthamane," and carry our own cross for the Savior. Obviously nothing we could ever do could even come close to comparing to our dear Savior's sacrifice, but I'm glad to be able to spend the next two years doing everything I can for the Savior. Anyways, it was great!

I also had my first Fast Sunday here at the MTC. I bore my testimony in Spanish in sacrament meeting for the first time in my life. It went well. My Spanish was really broken, especially since I cried.ha The Spirit was very strong though. During my testimony and the whole meeting. It's amazing how it doesn't matter what language you're speaking, the Spirit will always understand and carry what you need to know to your heart. You just have to make sure it's close to the surface of your chest and ready to recieve. I'm learning alot about how to keep my heart close to the surface, and doing everthing I can to be a recipient to the revelation, guidance, and strength of the Spirit.

My Spanish is rapidly improving. It's TUFF, takes alot of work, and I still have a long long way to go. Today Eldar Engar and I were waiting in line for breakfast and there were some native missionaries standing in front of us speaking Spanish. For ten minutes I listened to them speak spanish and I honestly understood maybe 5 words. Oh man! I think they were talkin about some kind of sport or something...i don't know? The fact is, I am improving but, I am far far away from fluency.ha Pray for me that I can have the Gift of Tongues, I need it!:) SO I'm curios if you've gotten my cd yet? I want to hear what you all think about it. And I want to hear it. I'm fairly sure I'd be allowed to listen to it. I really is just up to me. We'll see what I do...duh duh duh!!(dramatic theme musice.) Anyways, that was kinda weird. Uh, everything here in the MTC is just "up to the missionary." The most successful Sisters and Elder's are the one's who dedicate thier entire soul, might, mind, hearts, and strength to the work. That's what I'm trying to do. I really love being a missionary. I often feel inadequate to this task at hand that I have, but I feel strengthened by your love, letters, and prayers, and the unending love of Heavenly Father, and the all-encompassing healing power of Jesus Christ's Atonement.

I hope all of you are well. I look foward to hearing from all of you so much. I hope school is gettin real comfortable for all you girls, work is good for you pops, and you are as happy as you deserve to be for all you do mom. Dad, and the girls, make sure mom is happy. She deserves it more than you realize. It's she's not around that you'll realize how special she is.(you really are mom:) I feel that way about all of you. Not havin you around is harder than I ever imagined it could be, but I can't imagine being in a better place at this point in my life. Email or write me back. Love you all!!

love love love- steven

p.s. mom did you get my camera. Please say you did!!ha I sent it home. I hope you can firgure it out. You're the best!
p.s.s. I hope wiring the 400 dollars a month is working. Make sure you take it from my account! :) :) :)

LetterSeptember 11, 2007 top

Family, Friends, and friends of the friends,

How are you all doing?! This past week went by soo so quickly. Can you believe it's already been one full month? Honestly, time is slippin away so fast. I know I write about this every week in my emails, but that' cuz every time I sit down to type I can't believe I'm emailing again!Time is flying.

Anyways, this past week has been really good. I've gotten many packages and letters. I'm havin trouble writing everyone back. Elder Engar and I were up at 5:15 this morning to do laundry, and I've been writing letters ALL DAY!(except for a few hours set aside for personal and comp study of course! Oh yeah, and the temple. I look foward to goin to the temple soo much. Missionary work is so wonderful, but the solace the temple offers is definitely needed.)Thankyou so much mom and grandma for the treats and such. Especially for gettin my shaver to me. That makes it a whole lot easier for me to stay clean-shaven...and you know that's just one of my biggest struggles.haha But thankyou really. Dad, I have been getting your letters from dearelder. Well, I think I have. I've gotten a few this past week so I guess it's workin. I've gotten your dearelders too Alyssa. I didn't get a chance to write you today, I'm so sorry, but I love you and I love getting your letters. Sounds like your soccer team is a bunch of real good kickas huh? I'm glad you're havin fun with it. Thanks for telling me about your talk. If you typed it up you should send me a copy.

What else this past week....hmm? My spanish is getting alot better. I still am fairly lost as to how to speak spanish, but it's better than it has been.ha I guess you could say I've improved from being completely oblivious to the language, to just lost being lost most of the time. So we're getting there everyone. Do not fear!

Oh yeah, I had a really good experience on Sunday. I taught District Lesson. It's basically the same thing as Sunday School. No, it's the exact same thing as sunday school. Anyways, I didn't know I was going to be teaching. Just before sacrament meeting Bro. Jones from my branch presidency asked me if I'd serve as District Leader. I was a little shocked, but said yes, and then remembered that District Leaders are in charge of teaching district lesson! I wasn't at all prepared. It was an awesome experience though. The topic was Christlike Attributes. Luckily, Elder Engar and I had been studying those attributes alot lately so I was familiar with them. Basically I poured my soul out to Heavenly Father to guide me on what I should teach and as our loving Heavenly Father always does, he helped me. I ended leading a 45 minutes discussion with my district about how critical those attributes are to missionary work and that to develop one we must develop them all. As I've been studying them I've realized how inter-related they all are. I felt inspired to teach that you can't develop any one attribute alone, but you need to strive to develop all of them, because they all support each other. I'm sure this doesn't really make any sense, but it was just a sweet sweet spiritual experience for me.

A little bit about district leader(ooo 6 minutes left.) I get to go to a couple extra meetings on sundays and tuesdays. They're leadership training meetings. I'm excited for them. And excited to learn how to be a better leader. I think it'll help for the rest of my mission. I know it will! I get the mail. I interview the ditrict members. I honestly don't really have a very good idea of what I do, but I'm excited about this call and the opportunity I have to serve, and I pray Heavenly Father will help me to be a chosen leader.

I've got to send this email out. I love you so much. THanks for your support, love, letters, and packages. Things are well and I'm happy. I've been a bit sick, but don't worry mom I'm taking the vitamins you gave me. The first one I started chewing and almost died it tasted so bad. I then realized I was supposed to take them with a glass of water.haha I love you i love you i love you. I pray God will bless you all, and I know he will.

love, steven

LetterSeptember 18, 2007 top

Hello my beloved family,

So about five minutes ago i stopped by the mailroom to pickup the mail for my district, and lo and behold I had a package. On the outside it said Urban Outfitters and had ALyssa's myself I thought, oh cool maybe alyssa ordered a shirt or something for me. Then I thought, I don't thik urban outfitters sells white button up shirts...why in the world would she order me a shirt from there!?haha Turns out a brand new camera was inside. THankyou soo much! I haven't had a chance to check it out yet, but it looks awesome and I am so grateful. I owe you Grandma...i think you're the one who bought it. I'll tell you what, in two years, me you and any restaurant in town. I'll take you out okay? Cool? Perfect.ha Really, thankyou so much. THe MTC continues to be an amazing place, and I am continuing to grow. I've recieved so many packages and letters from you family and friends. I can't tell you how much I apprecitate everything. Dad your letters are inspired, and I appreciate your advice and encouragement. I love when you share experiences from your life and mission. Most of them I've never heard before! Mom I love you so much. There's not much more to say than that. I cherish every letter and note I get from you. We definitely threw a nice little halfway party with all the chow you sent. Thanks. The whole pack of oreo's got knocked out in about 5 minutes. You might need to send some milk next time to help wash it down, because I think most of the Elders forgot to chew. phff.

I taught the district lesson again on Sunday. It went pretty well. I prepared alot for it. I taught on "How to Find People." I really focused alot on service and the power it has to open the windows to the hearts of the investigators all around us. WEll, not quite all around us yet...but in three weeks definitely. My district is officially the oldest district. A district left yesterday and now we are ruling and reigning with an iron fist.ha I enjoy bein experienced though. I love tryin to boost and lift the new elders, because I remember exactly how insecure and uneasy I was my first week or so.

Last Tuesday Richard G. Hinckley cam and spoke. He's GOrdon B. Hinckley's son. It was an awesome talk. One of the neatest things was how personal of a life he has with the prophet...obviously. He told stories about different experiences he had with his dad that were just so personal and awesome. He talke about how his dad has 12 major addresses to prepare for the next 6 weeks with general conference and everything he has going on. Imagine THAT!! and he's 97! whew. God bless him for everything he does for our church. We should all strive to live more like the prophet. Just like you said in your letter Pops.

Mom I was wondering if you could send me some face lotion. Just some kind of do you spell that?! THe lotion you sent also fights acne and it dries my skin out pretty bad. SO maybe just a simple face lotion/moisterizer(there's that word again!) would do. ALso, I can buy some more, but if you'd like to send another sheet of stamps I promise I would be so grateful.ha Alyssa, dad told me about your talk. Sounds like you did an awesome job. I wish I could have heard it. Just a little FYI for you all, I got a letter from Rachel Judd yesterday. She told me her dad is speaking in conference! WOAH! Cool huh? Look for him. I have no idea which session, but you're going to watch them all so it doesn't really matter right?;)

I'm rapidly improving at SPanish. Elder Engar and I taught yesterday in the TEC(teaching evaluation center) and it went awesome. THe Spirit was so strong. When we are teaching is when I feel the power of the Gift of Tongues strongest. I can't imagine how strong it will be when I'm actually teaching reall investigators. I do know though that it's going to be much much harder too.

Well I have to go. I love you all with all my heart. I think about you every day. Probably too much!ha No, I'm focusing hard don't worry. About the cd dad, I'll figure out somethin. I want to be obedient so I'll see whether or not I get to listen to it. If not, save me a copy and I'll hear it when I'm done serving.ha I love you all.

LetterSeptember 25, 2007 top

My Beautiful Family,

How are you all? I am doing abosutely fantastic. Thankyou so much for the package I just got. Thanks for the face lotion mom, and thankyou so much for your picture Emily. The girl you drew was beautiful! It was you right...?:) And by the way Em, the EmptySea is great! I love it here. But guess what?! I leave in two weeks. Holy! That's crazy huh babe? Melanie, it sounds like life is real good. I'm glad cheer is alot of fun. You'll have to let me know how that competition or whatever you had comin up goes. And good job with your Book of Mormon reading. THat's a good goal to read every single day. Everyone in the family should be doing that. Mom and dad too...they should be reading together;) I set a goal to read the Book of Mormon while in the MTC. I started over a little less than halfway through my stay here. I just started 3rd Nephi. I'll you know if I finish. (p.s. I already know I'm going to finish.ha) ANyways, keep up the good reading, and if you finish the Book of Mormon before I get home I'll pay you some smooth cash. Not sure how much yet;) ALyssa, your talk was soo good. Honestly, so so good. I loved it. I'm convinced it blew the talk I gave before I left out of the water. Well done. I loved it.

SO last tuesday, M. Russell Ballard came. It was a great talk. He made everything so real. I can't really explain it, but the way he expressed our task as missionary's was just so clear and simple. He is an amazing man. I'm so blessed to hear such wonderful speakers here. Oh yeah, mom thanks for your letter. You had some questions. Yes, I am anxious to go. But I get sick to my stomach when I start thinking about it.ha I'm super nervous. But I can't wait. Kinda weird I know. As far as conference goes, I'm not exactly sure what happens. We do get to watch it though, and I'm pretty sure all the sessions. I'm can't wait. I love conference, and I'm more prepared to learn this time than I ever have been before. You asked if I've ever had problems with my camera Not sure what's up. It sat uncarched for a few months though so maybe it was just too tired to wake up...who knows? No se?..that means "I don't know." You also expressed a little bit of concern about my safety in Argentina. Mom, I will not die. That's all I really have to say. Heavenly Father has promised me through Patriarch Lebaron that as I serve him my life will be protected." Agents who would take it from me will not have the power to do so." So please don't let that worry you. I'll be wise, and do everything I can to be safe okay? I love you so much mom. Be at peace.

Things are going well in the district. I taught a lesson on the Atonement and Christ's example as a good teacher this past Sunday. The SPirit was there, so I guess that means it was a success. I don't know what the district thought though. I liked it!ha

SO can you believe I leave in two weeks!? I can't. I get my flight plans this friday. I'll copy em and send em to you. Only so you can know when I'm leavin, and when to expect a call. DO NOT COME TO THE AIRPORT. Not that I don't want to see every one of your beautiful faces, but because it's a rule. God protects and sustains us as we follow the rules. I can't even tell you how much I've learned that lesson here. Obedience is key!

Mom, I meant to ask you last week about this. Could you maybe type up your conversion story and send it to me? I'm just really curious about it. I don't think I've ever really heard the whole story. You know? How the baptism went, how you felt taking the lessons, just all about how it changed you forever? I don't know if you can remember it all, but I'd like to hear about what you can recall. You too sweet Grandma Mann. I love you, and want to hear your story too. If nothing else I think it'd just be a good idea to record your stories for history's sake. FOr your posterity's sake! You wouldn't want all your children and thier children's children and so on to dwindle in unbelief, because they didn't know where the faith of thier mothers began would you? Okay, I don't know what I'm talking about. Just trying to be funny I guess.

SUnday we had a fireside. It was fantastic. Before each devotional and fireside we sing prelude hymns. Singing those hymns is honestly one of my most favorite things to do here at the MTC. On sunday we sang Lord, I Would Follow Thee(the hymn we sang the night I got set apart.) and I Wonder When He Comes Again(the song you always used to sing the girls to sleep with dad.) I cried. I love those songs, and it made me miss you all very much. I have a committment for you pops....

Will you sing I Wonder When He Comes Again to the girls tonight, or some night before I write you again. I promise it will make you happy, and it will invite the Spirit into the family. I know that God loves family's and wants us to be happy, and I'm certain that He smiles when Father's sing to thier daughters. You better do it too, because I'm going to follow up!Ha Take note that I just gave a perfect committment. 1. Asked a direct question. 2. Promised blessings 3. Testified and 4. Follow Up. I can't follow up yet, but I will. So there you go. THere's a perfect lesson on committments. We should committ people in that way every time we teach. Well missionary's should, and dad I don't think it'd be a bad idea for you to do it in your high priest group meeting lessons either.haha

I love this work. I'm so happy and I am trying to hard to be an effective tool in Heavenly Father's hands. I love you all so so much. I can't tell you how much. Talk to you next week.


p.s. a not for Robyn: THankyou so much for your letter. It made me smile, and was inspiring. I love you. You get a free copy of my new cd.ha
Family has that come yet? I want to hear what you think of the cd! love you goodbye. 15 seconds...

LetterOctober 2, 2007 top

Hey fam,

How are you? It's so nice to be back here in the lab writing you all. I wish I had time to write each of you individually, but P-Day is too busy. Just know that this email carries all the love that any letter could okay? Alright, soo, first things first. Flight Plans.(i actually have a alot of things that are neat enough to be the first thing to write about. I chose flight plans though.) I got them! I photocopied them and I will send you a copy. They're not too exciting, but I figured you'd be interested. I leave the MTC monday morning, the 8th, and fly out of SLC in the early afternoon, stop in Atlanta, Georgia and then get to BUENOS AIRES ARGENTINA tuesday morning around 8. woo! Crazy huh? I decided to sum up how I feel this way..."horribly excited." Horribly, only because i am so nervous and a bit scared. And obviously excited because this is going to be one of the greatest adventures of my life! COme on! ARGENTINA people!haha I'm so excited to live and learn in another country. A million times more exciting though is now I get to start teaching. Teaching real people! Watching real testimonies begin, and faith grow. I can't wait to share what I know and watch people's lives change. I've been working as hard as I can the past two months to be able to do that effectively and I can't wait to do it. It's going to be great. I know it'll be hard, but THE LORD WILL ALWAYS SUPPORT US. I know it. Thanks for your last letter dad and the wisdom you shared on that. I appreciated it.

The 2nd first thing is really funny. I have a big fat black eye!!!haha Well it's not too fat anymore but still black. I can't remember what day it was, I think last wednesday or thursday. Anyways, I was playin basketball and another elder in my district, ELder Long(he's a cowboy.ha) Elbowed my eye/cheek so hard. I can't even tell you. It killed! It was probably the hardest I've ever been hit in the face. Well probably not, but it was a nice slug. It didn't split the skin luckily, but my eye swelled up pretty good and turned real black. I took some pictures so at some point in time you will see it. I think I've talked it up way more than I should have, but It's pretty funny. And the past week I've been the most popular person in the MTC. "Hey elder, what happened to your eye..?" "Woah, elder, what happened..?" "Look at that shiner, what ha-...?"....about 400x a day.ha Pretty funny.

3rd first thing, well done on following through with the commitment dad. I had to make sure I did my part and verified with you. You already were a good example of accountability and came foward and reported your results. Fantastic job pops! ACcountability is what I taught the district lesson on this past sunday. It went well. I didn't feel very prepared, but I took some good notes during a huge two hour meeting just before(mission conference in the MTC..) and the SPirit helped me organize my thoughts and desires and ultimately basically taught the whole lesson. Once again I was reduced to solely(spelling?) a mouth-piece.ha I'm kidding, that's all we are right? Well that's all we should be. Just mouth pieces to the spirit. In 1st COR 6:19(I'm goin straight from memory here so this could be way off) we are reminded that we are temples for the Holy Ghost. It's important to make sure we're always living pure lives so that the Holy Ghost can dwell in us, and we can be mouth-pieces whenever it is necessary. SO, some random thoughts. Steven Marsden is here in the MTC. He's goin to mexico. He's been here a ew weeks, I've just forgot to tell you. It's cool to see him, and kinda funny for some reason? Not sure why...?ha Mom, I have no idea what my mission address is in Argentina. I should have asked for it last week so I could write it to people today, but hakunamatada. Nothin I can do now. Maybe though it'd still be good if you deareldered me my pouch mail address and other information you think I might need. Plus I just love hearing from you so write me anyways sweet mother. Also, I never got a response about if everything was working out with "wiring" the money for my mission from my account. Make sure you're taking the money from MY ACCOUNT okay? think I worked full-time for a year trying to save up money for after my mission?...phhff.ha

Oh yeah. Dad you asked about General Conference and flight plans and such. All class is canceled saturday, and we get to watch all sessions of general conference. Awesome! We get to watch all the sessions sunday also. Like in the "real world" church here is "cancelled" and we get to watch conference. Then we fly out monday. So Nothing really changes except for packing time will have to work around conference. Aren't you all soo excited for conference? I am. As a family let's all take advantage of it. Try and watch all the sessions, saturday and sunday. Think about areas of your life you could improve on, and questions you have, and then watch for answers during conference. WE'll find em. I know it. Well I have to say chao! I love you all so much. OH YEAH! Mom and dad I get to call home at the airport I think? I have no idea exactly when that'll happen. looking for a call sometime monday.haha sorry that's ridiculous. I'll try and let you know exactly when I'll call. LOVE YOU ALL! Talk to argentina!! woah scary... -steven

p.s. I can't believe my cd isn't finished.haha it'll come!! Let me know when:)

EmailOctober 9, 2007 top

Dear Family and Friends,

Wow. Where do I even begin...? I guess I could begin by saying that keyboards in South America are different than in America.haha I couldn´t figure out how to do the @ symbol.ha Anyways, that´s not important. What is important is I am in ARgentina! THis is so unreal. SO absolutely unreal and sweet. I´m sitting in a little corner internet cafe in the middile of who knows where...?ha It is so pretty down here, and crazy. I don´t understand anything or anyone, and yet I am so happy and excited. I´m sure reality will kick in soon enough, but for now I´m just tryin to soak the moment in.

The trip down here was good. I had alot of time to reflect back on notes, and study, and things like that. I had a cool experience on the flight from SLC to Georgia. I was sitting next to a man named Steve who lives in Georgia. He was on his way home from Palm Springs, California where he and his wife had been visitng his mother who ¨wasn´t doing very well.¨ as he puts it. He said how they´ve been visiting her alot lately...i got the impression that she probably could pass away anytime. I chatted with him alot the first part of the plane ride. Just about life and his work(he´s a pilot fof Delta!), and then we stopped cuz there was a movie playing that he watched. While he watched I took out a Book of Mormon that I had bought in the MTC beforehand hoping to try and give it to someone on my way to ARgentina, and wrote a note and my testimony for him inside it. I bore testimony of resurrection and happiness after this life with our friends and especially our family. It was a really good testimony, because I didn´t have alot of time, but I felt like I wrote what the Spirit put into my mind. As we were taxi-ing into the airport in Georgia I thanked him for his kindness during the plane ride and offered him the Book of Mormon as a token of my gratitude. I bore a quick testimony and then we said goodbye. I was SOO nervous.ha It felt good after though. He seemed receptive, and I hope the note I wrote him at least plants a seed of desire to read more. I cited Moroni 7:41 I think it was? Can´t remember exactly. ANyways, that was kinda my first experience with real life missionary work I guess.

SO in Atlanta we jumped on another plane and headed out for ARgentina. 9 or so hours later we arrived, and man is life different.ha We walked out of the security checkpoint in the Airport and there was a man waiting with a sign that said, ¨President ARgyle.¨ So we followed him to a little passenger bus and got on. There were nine of us, and we couldn´t understand him, and he couldn´t understand us.ha We drove to ARgentina MTC right next to the Temple, and picked up 3 Hermanas(sisters) and another Elder who were all natives. THen we had about an hour drive to the Mission Home. It was fun. I did my best to talk with the four natives with us, and we all laughed together as we tried to understand one another in a mix of broken SPanish and English. Once we got to the President´s house we met the AP´s and they started introducing us to just random mission information. PResident and Sister Argyle weren´t there yet. Once they arrived we had interviews and then our first ARgentinan lunch. It was way awesome. (remember, I´m giving you a very quick, watered down version of all of this.) PResident ARgyle is amazing. I really really like him. He seems like such an amazing and spiritual man, and I am excited to get to know him. AFter lunch we had interviews and then met our companions. My new companion is Elder Asper. He is from SAlt lake I think..? He´s nice. ANd he plays the flute. That´s about all I know.haha We´ve only been together about 2 hours. I´ll have to tell you more about him in the next email. Oh yeah, he´s really skinny. I only say that cuz ELder Engar was a skinny fella too...not that that is a good reason for mentioning it.ha It was weird saying goodbye to Elder Engar. We had become so close and we knew what each other were doing every second for two months, and now I have no idea where he even is.ha

I´m sure this email is just so scattered. I´m sorry. I have a million fahillion things going through my head. I have so much to learn, and I feel so lost. It´s funny, if I even for a second let myself forget my purpose and what it is I´m doing down here I immediately become homesick and scared. As long as I stay focused and remember that GOd is with me, then I feel good. I´ve waited my whole life to get to this point, and I am so excited to teach, and learn, and grow. THis is amazing, and I can´t get over how unreal it is. I really want to become a good missionary right off the start. I hope that my companion values obedience and hard work. I think he does...? HE is a good fella. I found out that we are allowed to play instruments. I could even have a guitar! We´ll see though. I don´t want to become distracted at all, but I think that it could be a blessing to be able to play. Maybe I can use my talent to teach and such. Oh yeah...I think I already have an assignment in the ward....WARD PIANIST. what? My companion has been playing for a while, and he´s pretty sure I can play better than him so..there you have it. I´m the piano player. SHould listened to you mom, and practiced more!ha It´ll be okay.

WEll I think I gotta go now. I hope all is well with you. I´ll try and gather my thoughts better next time and fill you in more on this new Argentinian life. I´m happy and safe. Love you all.


LetterOctober 16, 2007 top

Hey Everyone,

How are you all? GOod I hope! I love and miss you all so much. I want to start with that...Just that I cherish you with all my heart and i yearn to see your smiling faces everyday. We´ve got some time to wait for that though. THere´s work to be done here in ARgentina first;) I love you all so much though okay..? WHew...okay.

Anyways, I´m not sure where exactly to even start. I am so overwhelmed.ha Oh SO overwhelmed. As I expected I can´t understand anyone hardly, and can´t communicate too well. Of course I can testify and share thoughts and express my feelings to some extent, which I try and do at every chance I get, but as far as just communicating and talking with people....phff. CHao!haha It´s okay though. I´m trying to have patience and more faith. I won´t lie, it´s easy to get discouraged and I´ve had some tearful moments, but Heavenly Father is with us, and we always have hope through his love and through our Savior Jesus Christ that we will be able to overcome our challenges and ¨come off conquerers.¨ ROmans 8:35-39.

SO I´m sure you´re all a bit curious as to how it is down here. I´ll try and share a few things. First, I´m in a zone called Zarate. My area is Campana 2. It´s about as far away from Buenos Aires as Utah county is from Salt lake. Besides the SOuthern tip of argentina this is somewhat on the edge of the mission. Campana 2 is a cluster of Barrio´s...or neighborhoods. Picture the most run down part of Geneva Road in Orem and that´s probably a fair standard for how everything is here. Ha, that sounds a little bit negative, I´m not trying to sound that way, just give you an idea about hmm, I don´t know how to say it exatly...maybe just the quality of life here. ALot of the roads in our area are just dirt. There´are dogs running around everywhere, ha, and a million fahillion people driving around on motorcycles or scooters. WHole families with four or five people will cram on motocycles. I don´t know how they do it, but it works for them. And everybody drives like maniacs.haha It´s a little bit scary. For the most part people are nice though. We spend time walking around(we walk around a ton!) talking to people as we head to different houses and appointments and such. I try and do as much as I can, and people usually have alot of patience with me. SO that´s good. The people are nice.

I know in my last email I mentioned that I´d be playing the piano for church...well, I did. But check it out, my companion and I played together.ha Neither of us are good enough to play the hymns well by ourselves, but if he plays the left hand part and I play the right hand part then we sound pretty good!:) So that´s what we did. Pretty funny I think. The members are really nice. I like being with them more than anything, because they´re really patient and they help me learn. Especially the kids. They´re fun to talk to. I don´t think they realize how little I understand though so they´ll surround me and all start talking at once and I don´t even know what´s going on.ha It´s fun. I´ve had a ditrict meeting and met some other elders. TOmorrow is Zone COnference. That´s why I´m writing today. Our P-day is usually wednesday but because of zone conference we had it today. It´s been good. ELder Asper and I had to head into Buenos Aires to the mission office to take care of some stuff and that took away most of our morning. I actually talked to Elder Graf too mom. He works in the office. I heard he called you. I hope that was good. I guess you know about me losing my credit card...sorry. THanks for helping me out with that. Dad you mentioned in your wonderful email(thankyou so much for your inspiring and helpful words and testimony) that Elder Graf told you about how mail is going to work? THat basically means you know more than me. As far as I know, I think we only get mail like once every six weeks. That´s a bit of a bummer, but it´s okay. Missionary work here in ARgentina is a whole new world còmpared to the mtc. I loved the mtc because I learned so much and was so inspired all the time by speakers and classes. Now I´ve got to figure out how to apply all that here. That´s a big part of this overwhelmed feeling I have. I´m trying to figure out how to be a good missionary, and apply all I learned there, in the field. At the same time I´m trying to function in a country that I don´t understand the culture or the language. This is going to take some time to say the least.:) But I need to go. I hope this email makes sense. I´m happy, safe, and well. I love this work, and am so grateful for the chance I have to serve here in ARgentina. I love you all. SO so much. THankyou for your prayers and support. I pray for you also. Loove you.


LetterOctober 24, 2007 top

My dear family and friends,

How in the world are you all doing? Sounds like there´s alot goin on at home. I´m glad everyone is happy. Dad told me about the little vacation up in Logan that the girls had. That sounds like a blast! I was jealous I couldn´t come.ha I´m glad you are having fun together mom and dad...that BYU game sounded fun too. I´m glad you beat the weather and stayed til the end:) My heart aches for all of you everyday, but I know Heavenly Father is watching over you and protecting you, and with that hope I am doing the best I can to focus on the work and figure everything out down here. I love this work, but it is hard. The tuffest part for me is just the emotional and mental struggle of a new culture and language and so much to do, but not knowing how to do it. And on top of it all the feelings of being so far from home and missing you all. It´s tuff to explain. But all I can do (all we can do!) is just go foward! Go foward with faithful hearts, keeping our eyes on our loving Heavenly Father, His beloved Son and the hope we have through the Atonement. I´ve been trying to build my faith. The more I study the better I feel.

Umm, so mom you asked about mission conference. It was good. Of course, the whole thing was in Spanish so I didn´t catch everything, no much at all,ha, but I did my best to take notes and learn. First things first, it from 9am to 5pm. LOOONG. I definitely did not expect that. It was good though, and honestly didn´t feel that long. President ARgyle, who is brilliant and inspired, taught most of it, but the zone leaders, district leader, and an assistant to the president taught some too. We discussed the weaknesses and stengths of the district, set some goals, and were all inspired, uplifted, and taught by the SPirit. We had a lunch in the middle, and interviews at the very end. Normally you have zone conference and then 3 weeks later you have interviews so you see the president every three weeks, but pres. Argyle is trying to help us focus on the work and such so we have all of it one day every six weeks. PArt of helping us focus on the work means that the zone leaders don´t go into Buenos Aires for meetings anymore, so we get mail every six weeks instead every week. Which I´m fine with, but I do miss having letters from you to read. At zone conference we also found out that Dieter F. Uchtdorf is coming to our mission November 8th. Sweet huh!? I was excited to hear that.

Mom, about the credit card. Thanks for getting on the so quickly. I don´t know the best way to get everything to me. I would just say mail the card without the pin, and email me the pin number. If you can just activate it up there, and tell them it´s going to be used here that would be best I think. And since we´re on the subject of finances...I still haven´t heard if you´re taking the $400 a month from my account. I want to make sure that´s working out fine. ALso, have you heard the tape I sent jesse the day I left the mtc. Call him and get it, and at least listen to it, and you can decide who gets to keep it. Jesse, if you read this, I miss you. ALot. I had a dream last night about you, and you were getting mad cuz I hadn´t called you in so long.haha ANyways....ha.

I want to try and share different unique things down here so you get an idea of what goes on. SOmething interesting is you don´t knock on doors down here. You clap. Well sometimes you knock, but most houses in our area have gates, and you don´t go inside to the front door. You stand in the street and clap. It´s interesting, and took some getting used to, but seems pretty normal now. Also, yesterday I had an avocado for dinner. A member gave it to me. You might wonder how an avocado could satisfy hunger´s cuz they´re as big as softballs!ha Crazy huh? I bought some fresh bread from a panaderia and chowed down on it with the avocado and it was delish. Also, I had my first Asado. Which is an Argentine BBQ. We had it with a member family. They cooked SO MUCH meat. Beef, pork, chicken, and a few other things. All were good, but I HAD to eat way more than my stomach could handle. They kept proding me to eat more and more. It was good, but didn´t sit real well during the night. In the middle of the night, I woke up sweating and sick. I got up, threw up, said a prayer asking for help, fell asleep, and woke up totally fine in the morning. SO it ended up okay. ALso, my companion and I have started weekly english classes at the the church each friday at 7. They are fun, but it´s hard to teach people your language when you can´t speak thiers to well.ha As with all other aspects of Castellano(spanish) I just try. Just open my mouth. It´s a constant battle in me head, because my ¨natural man¨ wants to just let my comp do all the talking, but I´ll never learn that way. SO I just open my mouth and sound crazy all day. I´m understanding better which is nice. Obviously I still don´t understand a ton, but I can already see an improvement. I´d like get some pictures from you all. Just whenever. I´could be in the zone for a long time, so I might not be getting packages or letters often, but maybe as a christmas gift you could send me some pics of stuff that´s goin on. Things like your logan trip, BYU games, gymnastics, dance, CHEER, parties! and whatev else is going on you know? Just family fun.haha I haven´t taken any pictures yet mom, sorry. I´ll try and get on that. I´ve been a bit overwhelmed with everythings and picture taking sort of took a back seat, but I´ll send a memory card home when I get the chance.

Well my time is about up. I love you all. I´m praying for you, and will pray harder every day. Thankyou for your love and support. Til next week.

love love love,

LetterOctober 31, 2007top

FAm, HEY! no emails from you guys... I hope everything is okay. I worry now when I don´t hear from you since I´m so far from home. You´re all always in my prayers.

SO, things down here are good. HAPPY HALLOWEEN! I wish I would have asked what the girls were going to be so I could picture it in my mind tonight.ha Halloween isn´t much of anything down here. You wouldn´t really even know it was the holiday if you forgot to look at the date today.ha It´s been pretty stormy down here the past week. It´s raining pretty hard right now actually. I´ve never seen thunderstorms like the ones down here. THere are no mountains around and HUGE immense storm clouds fill the sky, and there has been so much lightening and thunder. It´s cool, and super pretty. My umbrella broke last week too.ha It still works decently so no worries. I ate at mcdonalds yesterday for lunch. There´s one in our area which is cool...except for I don´t even like it.ha My comp wanted to eat there. I figured maybe you´d find it funny that they have mcdonalds down here. I thought it was. I gues mcdonalds is everywhere? Last week I also sent some letters to the girls. I´m pretty sure they haven´t gotten there yet. Let me know when they do just so I can get an idea of how long mail takes to get home. Also, due to my extremely poor memory I can´t ever remember when family birthdays are. Mom could you send me an email with everyone´s birthdays? AMy, I think you´ve got one coming up right? I´m going to throw a guess out...november 9th?ha I CAN´T REMEMBER! I´m sorry. I´ve been looking for something I could send to you, but I´m always lost and don´t know the area, so it´s tuff. Plus, I don´t have any personal money since I lost my credit card so I won´t be able to buy anything anyways. SO your present will be late...sorry.

Honestly, I don´t have a whole lot to share this week. Things are going fine down here. I´m becoming more and more accustomed each day, and starting to get into the swing of missionary work. I still have so much to learn though. So so much. I´m understanding the language better and better each day too. I can´t speak well AT ALL, but I can understand more. But still basically nothing. It´s tuff to go day to day feeling trapped by a language barrier. I´m excited for the day a year or so from now, where I´ll be nice and proficient speakin this language.ha I´ve got some time to struggle though. Definitely.

I do have one thing I´d like to share with you all though. It´s a journal entry I wrote a little while ago. I´m not sure why I want to share it, but it´s been on my mind the past couple of weeks. That´s one way the spirit speaks to use. It causes thoughts to stay on our minds and not leave us. I can´t remember exactly where the sciptures say that. Somewhere in the Book of Mormon. I figure you have two choices when that´s can act on the thoughts, or lose the chance. I´m trying to act. Anways, I wrote this journal entry a bit ago when I was feeling pretty discouraged, and I feel that maybe we could all learn something from it together. It´s just thoughts I had after reading 2nd Nephi 4:17-21. So read that first.: ¨Nephi, it seems, had somewhat the same problem I am having. Despite all the wonderful good he was doing his geart groanded with in him, because of his imperfections. I feel that same way every single day. I´m trying to be a good missionary, and do the best I can. I feel that I have good desires too, but I struggle tremendously becaus eI fall short in so many areas. Like Nephi, I recognize GOd´s great goodness, but still feel so down because of my weaknesses. Nephi knew who he trusted though. He didn´t forget God was his support. I guess it´s not that out of the ordinary to feel inadequate like I am. Nephi felt this way too. It´s interesting now that I think about it...before my mission my beloved bishop from the singles ward called me into his office for a random interview. We chatted about things, and had been talking for a while when I had one of those sweet experiences, where the Spirit was strong, and I knew without a doubt that what he was telling me was the SPirit speaking through him to me. I don´t remember exactly what he said but I remember him kind of focusing in on me, looking at me straight in the eyes and telling me that he felt that I would feel very inadequate as I served the Lord. He was worried about that. He told me I would do great. He told me not to forget that. I would do great. He said, ¨you´ll do just fine.¨ He told me not to worry. I still remember how deeply his words moved me. I´m sure his words will apply throughout my mission, but even if they didn´t I still know that God was speaking to me through my bishop for these first weeks in Argentina alone. I´m so amazed at how gentle and caring Heavenly Father is for each of his children. Also, my Bishop´s counsel goes right in line with a piece of my patriarchal blessing. It says, ¨do not worry if it seems, at times, that there is more than you can do¨ and then goes on with blessings and encouragement. That line has never before applied as much as it does now. I just wish I could be more faithful! Have more faith and hope in the revelation of my bishop and patriarch. I know thier words were my loving Heavenly Father´s words. I know that. I just wish I was better at trusting it. All I can do is just continue to try. THat I will do.¨

Well there you go. I don´t know why I felt like sharing that, but I hope that you can all learn something of how loving and caring Heavenly Father is. He knows what struggles we will face, and he prepares us for them through out our life. At times we can feel very inadequate and unprepared, but it´s important to recognize the good we do and the hope we have so that we can still taste joy in times of inexpressible bitterness.

Well that´s all from me today. I miss you all so much. I really hope to hear from you next week if you can find a little time. I pray every day throughout the day for all of you. I hope you´re all happy, and safe. I know Heavenly Father is watching over our family and helping us through our stuggles and he will bless us with wonderful joy if we are united in righteousness as a family, always. I love you I love you.


LetterNovember 7, 2007 top

Family and Friends,

Wow...I´ll be honest. I´ve completely lost every thought of what I was planning on writing today after reading your emails. My heart is aching so bad for the family. I´m sorry I´m not there to be with you Melanie and the family to help. I don´t know what I can do. I´m working as hard as I can to merit blessings for the family, and I will work harder. Im fasting and my heart is drawn out in prayer always for our family. (and for my friends too. DOn´t worry;) Jesse and LeeLee I printed off your emails and am going to write you back. Thanks so much for your love and support. Everytime I refer to my family I basically am referring to you guys too.ha I miss you all) Uhh, things are good here. It´s amazing to think about all that I´m doing, and how much spanish I´m speaking and understanding. DOn´t start getting any ideas that I really know what´s goin on ever, ha, but I´m understanding alot better now. It´s been a month now since I arrived to Argentina. I´m anxious for time to pass by, and to be 6 months down the road and speaking pretty good. I don´t know if that makes sense. Just day by day I can´t see the progress, but when I look back it feels pretty good.

So we had stake conference this past sunday. WHat I understood was pretty awesome;) I sand in the choir cuz I´d been going to the practices cuz my comp played the flute for them. It was fun to sing. We sang Conmigo Que da te Señor..which is abide with me tis eventide, and some other song by beethoven. It was a bit weird.haha Tomorrow we have a devotional with Deiter F. Uchtdorf. I am sooo so excited. WE´re traveling into Capital(heart of Buenos Aires) in the morning for it, it starts at 830 I think, and then headin back to Campana to work. Missionary work is tuff. You´re gone for two years just to WORK. Preach and bless. You never, well you shouldn´t ever, be lazy or slack or let anything keep you from focusing and just working. I mention this only cuz it seeems like to me meeting with someone from the quorem of the twelve would school most the day, but nope, we´ll be back by noon to work:) I love it. I´m trying to do everything I can to be effective despite the language barrier. I´ve promised myself I won´t ever not try to say something if the SPirit prompts me. Lots of time people look back at my like I´m tan loco, so crazy, but sometimes I know the spirit carried the message to thier mind and heart and they understood. It´s amazing. AN example would be just a few days ago. We have an investigator named Mariela. She´s about 30ish. I didn´t start teaching her, but I´ve been here for the majority of the teaching and she´s getting baptized next week! Sweet! A few days ago we were teaching her, and something was different. She seemed more distant than normal. I just felt something was weighing on her. I said a prayer in my heart that the spirit might reveal to me what I could say that might help her. I felt that I should express my excitement for her baptism, and reassure her how amazing it is going to be. I wasn´t exactly sure how to say all I wanted, but I just opened my mouth. I told her I was soo excited, I knew she was making the right choice, she was going to feel great and would love the experience, and just tried to lift her up. I got a little choked up while expressing all this, and then she cried. She then expressed how she felt frusterated and sort of hurt because of some recent things that had passed. We had been having some scheduling problems with when to hold the baptismal service cuz of some other minor events going on in the ward and such, and she felt like this HUGE step in her life, a life changing decision, was being put second place to her baptism. SHe was so excited for it, and was starting to feel like she was the only one you know? I hope this makes sense. I´m just really glad I let chopped up spanish fall out of my mouth for a few moments. We left the appointment all edified and happy. Mariela is as excited as ever for her baptism.

It truly is amazing how personally our Heavenly Father knows and loves us, and how powerfully blessed we can be when we heed the Spirit´s guidance. As just people, we can´t discern the thoughts of others, or know what to do in every situation, but as children of God striving to do his will and seek his guidance we are made powerful instruments in His hands for blessing others, and are incomprehensibly blessed ourselves.

Family, and friends, I love this Gospel. I am so glad I get to work serve and grow these next years. I can´t imagine my family or life without it. I know this church is true. I know we have to work everyday to have the faith necessary to trust Heavenly Father and obediently follow his will. We fall short so often, but repentance is real. Jesus Christ suffered for our sins, and also for our weaknesses and needs. We can be made perfect and happy through Him. This is my humble testimony. I wish I had more to offer all of you at home, but I know my prayers reach far beyond the walls of my apartment or the streets of Argentina. I know Heavenly Father is watching over and blessing you. THankyou for your emails, and support. Talk to you all next week.

LetterNovember 14, 2007 top

Hey Everyone,

Wow time is just flyyying by. I can´t even believe how quickly the weeks pass here. This is my sixth week here, and the last week of my first transfer in Argentina. I´m not exactly sure how tranfers work, but I´m pretty sure the president or the assistants call on saturday night, so I´ll find out then if I´m moving somewhere or what. I´m about 98% sure that I won´t get moved. New missionaries usually stay with thier trainers for more than one transfer. I´m happy enough here though so if I stay that´s great. I´ve come to love the ward and some of our investigators we´re teaching so it actually would be kind of hard to leave. Like Mariela, the woman we´ve been teaching, she´s getting baptized this saturday and I am soo excited. She is so prepared, and we´ve really connected. I didn´t really know til yesterday.ha. My zone leader(elder Barner) after he interviewed her was like, ¨man, she loves you elder stucki. It was funny. But also a sweet tender mercy. Just a reminder that despite how confined I am by the language I still can be made an intrument in the hands Heavenly Father in blessing His children. Mom you asked who is baptizing her, Elder Asper is...unless maybe I slip her a couple pesos and bribe her into lettin me do it.ha Also, we´re teaching a family who are progressing really well, and I would be sad to leave them. The parent´s names are Angel and Ana. Angel is a great man. He only has one leg, but still is quite agile;) Ana is so solid. They´re following through with commitments and thier whole family was in church on sunday. Elder Asper and I sat with them, and I was sitting on the end of the row next to one of the kids. I can´t remember his name, but I think he´s like 7 years old, and he was talking to me the whole time, and I had NO IDEA what he was saying.haha It was funny, but frusterating. I caught enough though to find out that he needed to go to the bathroom so I took him. (don´t worry I was still with my companion. The churchers here are really small, and I was still in sight of him;) So anyways...yeah, Just think how hard it´s going to be to leave areas and people I grow close to once I actually start communicating on an intelligent level. I got kinda distracted tellin you about the people we´re teaching. That´s okay, now you know!

So this week was pretty good. THe highlight, definitely the Mission Devotional we had with Elder Uchtdorf. It was amazing, and completely inspiring. He shared lots of different thoughts. I was sure exactly what to share with you all from it, but one thing I liked alot was when he was talking about obedience. He told us how when we follow the rules we can ¨walk tall¨ every day. We are blessed with confidence in ourselves in knowing that we are doing what we know we should. I don´t know if that makes a whole lot of sense, but it was neat. He also talked about how we should accept rejection gladly. He said we´ll never know until after this life that we blessed someone by kindly accepting thier rejections. He said perhaps after this life someone will walk up behind us, tap us on the shoulder, and say ¨thanks for so kindly accepting my rejection that day in Argentina. I was so impressed with you that the next time I saw the missionaries I WENT OUT TO TALK TO THEM. THat was neat cuz yeah, you get ALOT of rejection. Most people are still fairly nice, but some people can be pretty angry. I do´n´t understand them when thier mad anyways so it´s not too bad:) Also, the best part of the whole thing was at the very end. He had born his testimony and was just about to close when he said something, and I will never forget how comforting it was. He paused and then gave us a promise, a promise which I had been praying all week for. He said, ¨I bless you that the things that are burdening you now, here or AT HOME, will be lead by God´s hand to a satisfactory end.¨ I burst into tears immediately. I know Heavenly Father is aware of our struggle as a family, and I know he will protect us. Remember that Moe. I love you so much.

So I also saw Elder Engar at the devotional. THat was awesome. He looks good, and is doing good. I miss him.ha We had such a solid companionship and friendship in the MTC. Dad last week you mentioned something about sending the letters you email in the mail also or something. The place we do email at lets you print emails so you don´t need to mail the things you email. I can read and print em here. Feel free to keep sending mail, ha, but you don´t need to send stuff you emailed okay? Mom you asked if my comp and I are getting together. Yes, we get along fine. We don´t fight or anything so that´s a plus. WE´re not buddy-buddy or anything, but he´s a good elder, and I´m happy with him. You also asked if we walk or ride bikes. No, we don´t ride bikes(bikes got outlawed by one of the seventy a while ago. I won´t ever be using a bike) And yes, we walk, and walk, and walk, and walk. SO much. It´s nuts how much we walk each day. It´s not bad though at all. Our area is one of the most spread out in the whole mission, so we´re walking soo much everyday. It´s easy though. I had some blisters that were hurtin for a while, but I´m feeling good now. Don´t fret too much about the credit card. Focus on what you need to at home, and send it when you get the chance. The sooner the better though. AMy, I´m glad you had a party for your birthday. I´ve been looking in the shop windows as we walk past them for something I can send you. I think I found something today so be patient, I haven´t forgotten you, and your present is coming. I think you´re going to like it. I hope.

WEll family, I love you all soo much. I´m doing well, praying for you all with all the energy of my soul, and I miss you all. I wanted to share one last thing. This week while I was studying I read a scripture that I wanted to share. It´s in Mosiah 23:26-27. This is the story about Alma and ¨the people of the Lord.¨ They were living peacefully when one day an army of the Lamanites came marching into thier land, destroying and killing. These verses talk about how the people were working in thier fields when they saw the Lamanites and fled. THey were all very frightened at THE APPEARANCE of the Lamanites. I love verse 27. It talks how Alma went forth and STOOD among them. He comforted them and reminded them to remember the Lord and He would deliver them. I thought of our family when I read that. At times we flee in fear at sight trials and challenges...that´s normal. We need to remember the Lord though, and trust Him. I know you all are are:) Also, as a family we should be as Alma. Standing forth, comforting, strengthening, and reminding. I love that. Strive everyday to be Alma´s to those around you. Lift and bless family members, and friends everyday...the same way you all have always lifted and blessed me in my infinite weaknesses. And remember the promise in Mosiah 29:20. In all cases, no matter what the circumstances, the Lord´s arm of mercy is always extended according to the trust we put in him.

I love you all with all my heart. Thank you for your prayers, and strength. I´m sorry I can´t be with you to help out, it breaks my heart, but I´m praying for you and serving as hard as I can for you. Love you, Talk to you next week,

LetterNovember 20, 2007 top

Family and Friends, get an email Tuesday unstead of having to wait until Wednesday. Sorry, I forgot to tell you last week. This week was transfers, or today is transfers I guess, so we have P-Day on tuesday instead of wednesday. I´m not really sure why? So yeah, that´s why the email is comin today. By the way, next week we have zone conference on wednesday, so P-Day is Tuesday again. I´m still figuring out how everything works.ha Just know I´LL BE EMAILING ON TUESDAY AGAIN. So make sure you write before then if you can. Well, neither elder Asper or I got transferred so we´ll be workin together for at least another 6 weeks. I didn´t really expect to, and I´m kinda glad. We had a lesson with Angel and Ana, the family I mentioned last week, and they committed to being baptized. Awesome! THey´ve been progressing really well, reading and coming to church with the whole family...and they want to be baptized. Turns out they´re not married, which is super common down here. Tons of people live together, and have families without getting married. That´s just how it is. Elder Asper and I have an appointment tonight with them. WE´re going to teach the law of chastity and see if we, and the Spirit, can convince them to casarse...or get married, they can be baptized:) I think we can do it. I guess I´m just glad I´m not leaving so I can keep working with them.

One of the elders in our apartment got transferred, so we had a new elder come, and he brought our zone´s mail with him! I got a bunch of letters, but we left to come do email right after they got back so I didn´t have a good chance to see all who from, but dad and amy and alyssa I definitely saw some from you and I can´t wait to read ém! I got some letter´s from Tawny, and chris chord too. Just in case they read this, and are wondering if thier letters made it.

Amy, I sent you a package last week. I´m sure it´s probably not there yet...but yeah, happy birthday sis. There´s also a little something for the rest of the family. Let me know if you get it;) By the way, just so you all know, and I may have already mentioned this but don´t tell me if you have sent packages to me. I´ll tell you when I send them to you, but our mission president has asked that we tell our families not to tell us. I´m not sure of all the reasons, but I think it basically comes down to that he doesn´t want us worrying about when our packages are coming or if they made it, and calling the mission office asking about it. He wants us to focus on the work as much as possible...which I´m trying to do. SO yeah, just don´t tell me I guess.ha

Another update on the work down here. Mariela was baptized! It went great. She was confirmed on Sunday and she is so happy. I can´t believe the change there´s been in her since the first time I taught her. Incredible! It is so amazing to witness how the Spirit converts people. wow.

Terri, I got your email. Thanks so much! It´s good to get an update of the happenings there in moab, and to just hear from you. Sounds like life is good. I´ll never forget the months I spent there:)

Dad, thankyou so much for your email. The people that own this little cafe probably think I´m completely nuts...¨who is this weird american kid, speakin´choppy spanish, that comes in here every week and cries everytime he´s on the computer.¨ haha. That´s probably what they think. I can´t help but cry a bit when I read your testimony and am edified by your faith. Thankyou for sharing some of the tender mercies that Heavenly Father is blessing our family with. I too can´t even comprehend how merciful and loving Heavenly Father is towards His children. Where would our family be without the Gospel..? We are truly blessed. I am truly blessed, to have a dad like you pops. Thankyou so much. Melanie, I love you. You are such a blessing to our family. I think about you, pray for you, and look at your school picture on my desk every day. I´ve been writing you each week. I hope you´re getting the letters. Be strong beautiful. You are so gorgeous.

Well, I don´t have a whole lot more to say today. Things are well down here. I´m happy and working hard. Before I go I do want to share some thoughts I had this past week from the sciptures though. We read in Alma 15:18 how Alma took his friend, Amulek, who had sacrificed everything he had to preach the Gospel, into his own home and stengthened him in the Lord. Similarly, we read in Alma 17:18 how just before Ammon left his beloved bretheren to go to the lamanites and preach he imparted of the word of God to strengthen them. I think maybe I feel a little like they did. Alma loved Amulek, and Ammon loved his bretheren, and I´m sure they wanted to do all they could to bless thier loved ones, but didn´t have a whole lot to offer. I too, don´t know what to do to help the family while I´m so far away, but I do know that I am stregnthened by your testimonies and faith, and so I want to try and give back. Impart of the Word, and try and bless you that way.

My thoughts come from ALma 8. I don´t have alot of time so this´ll be quick. In verse 13-14 we read about how alma had been preaching in ammonihah and was horribly rejected. He left the city, being very wieghed down. Then in verse 16, an angel appears to him, encourages him, and tells him to return, and preach again. In verse 18, we see almas diligence and obedience. He ¨speedily¨returns...not knowing, i´m sure, exactly what he was going to do, just knowing he was commanded to return. Two chapters later in chap. 10 we can read about Amulek. How the same angel had appeared to him, telling him he should also return to his home, and there he would feed a man, who is prophet and would bless him greatly. Amulek also immediately obeyed. In verses 19 and 20 of chap. 8 we read how Alma returned to the city, and when he got there he was hungry, and asked a man(amulek) if he would feed him. Sorry this is a bit confusing, but as i studied this experience I was so impressed at how good of an example it is of how Heavenly Father´s hand is lovingly guiding all that we do when we trust and obey him. Alma didn´t know what he was going to do when he returned to the city. He got there, and was just hungry, so he asked a man if he would feed him. Amulek, didn´t know exactly who he was going to feed, or even if it was really going to happen. They both had faith though. They were both obedient to what Heavenly Father asked of them, through the Angel. Heavenly Father guided them to each other, and we can see how blessed they were, and apply it to how blessed we can be if we trust our Father in Heaven. We don´t always know what Heavenly Father has in store for us, or what end is coming from the trials tribulations, and things in the present. We do know, I know, that Heavenly Father knows all. He is guiding us. He loves us. If we trust in Him, and obediently submit ourselves to His will...we will be happy. I know this is true. I love you all with all my heart. Happy Thanksgiving...i miss you. My heart is full of love and gratitude to all of you and to my Heavenly Father. Talk to you next week:)

LetterNovember 27, 2007 top

Dear Family,

Oh my heavens Emily you lost a tooth!! That is soo cool. Way to go babe! Keep up the good word, I´ll try and baptize as many people as teeth that you lose.haha I´m not sure if that sentence even made sense...? And moe, you´re home!!! YEAH!! That is soo happy. So so happy. Way to go beatiful. I´ve been prayin alot for you. I´ll be home soon too...ha. Time is goin pretty fast though! Can you all believe we´re already heading into December. Woah. Eariler today my comp blew like 200 pesos on a christmas tree and some decorations, and another elder in our apartment made a fire place out of cardboard boxes, and we hung our stockings up above we´re going to have a nice little cozy home for this holiday season.I´ll take some picutres, and you´ll probably get them like next may.ha

Thankyou so much for your emails and info from home. Alot has passed. I´m so grateful for the many blessings the Lord has poured out upon us. My heart will be drawn out in prayer for Bishop thompson. He was such a dear dear friend, and amazing man.

Well, all is well down here. I´ll start with the bad news. Mel, and dad you mentioned some stuff in your emails about angel and ana. A little while ago angel started getting teased at work about listening to us, and that combined with some other financial problems pushed him to tell us that they were no longer interested. I couldn´t believe it! My heart was broken, but I haven´t given up hope. I suggested in our last ward council meeting we have a little get to together with the ward at the church that we could invite them to. It´s tonight, but we can´t even contact angel to invite his family to it. They won´t answer the door. We´ll see. Second bad news, I threw up like 11 times yesterday.haha Not sure what happened. I think I ate something bad. We still worked. We got our contacts done, and taught a couple lessons. One super good lesson to a family. Yes, it was a very long day, walking around and periodically throwing up in the bushes, but it´s over, and I´m glad we stuck it out. I feel better today, but not super. No bigee. Bigee? Big E...?

Thanksgiving down here was.....not like at home. GOod, but, yeah...good. We worked like normal, and for my Thanksgiving dinner I had 4 pieces of toast, an apple, some water(purified with chloro water, so it was extra tasty.ah), and some honey roasted peanuts for dessert. Delicious baby!:) Yesterday I got some letters. The zone leaders had a meeting at the offices so they brought back mail. I got an awesome letter from camie and mel with some pictures. Thankyou so much. I haven´t been able to read your letter yet cam cuz I was busy and sick yesterday, but i will. Melanie, you are so too camie, thanks for the pictures. So you know, i got your letters jesse, lauren, and tawny which I´ll read and reply to today. A christmas card from the schwartings, ian looks great, and a kind postcard from the stewarts. Thanks! And Since I´m disctracted with all this, jesse I got your email too, and RYAN CONGRATULATIONS ON THE MISSION CALL! Mexico! That´s so sweet. You forgot to tell me when you leave...?

Tomorrow is zone conference so I might actually get some more mail if any has come the past few days. Probably not. Amy have you recieved the package I sent home? Just asking. Dad, thankyou for your email. I haven´t read it all yet, but I read the scripture you shared from Doctine and COvenants. Beautiful. I actually had a scripture and thought I wanted to share that has alot to do with the thoughts you shared, but I forgot to write it down. I think it was in Alma 34, talking about how we will one day rest from all our tibulations so we should be patient and trust Heavenly Father. We must recognize He is leading and lovingly watching over us. I also had a thought this moring after pondering over Alma 32. Alma 32 has the parable about the seed...una semilla.ha How we should plant a seed of faith to give chance for it to grow and testify to us that it is a good seed. In my mind I sort of compared that to any situation, not just a seed of faith in ¨the word¨ unto eternal life and salvation. But in any situation or stuggle we ever go through, in any gospel principle, in any lesson we learn in our lives we have to plant seeds of faith. Seeds of faith in that one specific thing, whatever it may be, that we can patiently nuture and trust. And after we have nurtured these many different seeds, and they have grown into trees, I guess by the end of our lives we´ll have our own forest of testimonies. We´ll be able to look back on our lives and see the many wonderous blessings Heavenly Father has bestowed upon us, and the way He always prospers and guides us. We´ll be able to see that as we planted seeds of faith in every thing that we experienced throughout our lives that they grew, and as we trusted the fundamental principles of this Gospel we were blessed.

This probably sounds crazy, or doesn´t make sense, but my mind and spirit got carried away in this thought this morning. Seeds of faith that everything will work out for our benefit. Family, I love you so much. So much. I´m glad things are lookin up, and life seems good. I´m praying for you, and miss you. I´m working hard, and trying to be faithful. Be patient with me in responses to your questions and letters. Missionaries don´t have a whole lot of down time. Know that my heart is always drawn out in prayer for all my family and friends. Talk to you next week.
tons of love,steven

LetterDecember 5, 2007 top

Family, Hey everybody! Well, I have almost two months here in aregentina. That´s what the subject line says;) Another week has past and I´m here in the internet cafe once again. you´re right mom, time is flyin. Dad, I don´t know how long ago you sent your email, but I logged on just a bit ago and there was no email from you. I was a little surprised, and definitely sad.ha I was scannin over some other emails quickly and I hit the refresh button and an email from you popped up! So I don´t know if you just barely sent the email, or if it just wasn´t appearing for some reason. Either way, nice timing, I´m glad I got it. By the way, are you sick pops? Mom, I don´t know if I understood a part of you email where you were talkin about some of the people who have been sick lately, and then you mentioned dad? Anyways, just a bit confused....are you sick dad? Well I am definitely diving into a very different Christmas season here. It´s been way way hot this past week. Well, it rained yesterday, but the rest of the weak was steamin! It feels weird bein in december and feelin like it´s july. all is well though. I think it´s supposed to be rainy this next week so it should be nice and cool...and muddy:) This past week has been good. We had zone conference last wednesday which was so inspiring. Really really good. Probably the best part out of everything was to see the contrast between what I understood my first zone conference when I was a week or so old here in argentina and what I understood this time. Or maybe better said, what I didn´t understand my first zone conference,ha. The first conferenc I understood hardly anything. Really, nothing. Elder ASper had to translate the whole time. Last wednesday I sat and listened to the whole thing takin notes and learnin tons. I definitely miss alot of what I hear still though. Really I guess all it is is that I can´t really feel the improvement day to day, and when I realized the contrast between the past two zone conferences it felt really good. I was extra motivated. We had zone conference in a city about an hour or so away call Banadero in a little tiny chapel...which wasn´t a chapel, just an apt/house turned into a chapel for the members there. It was super cozy. After conference, which went from about 9-5ish we went out and did what´s called a ¨flood.¨ All the missionaries in the zone, instead of heading back to thier areas, worked in Banadero. I went out with an elder named Elder Manning. He goes home in just a couple weeks. It was so neat to work with him. He was super super super good at SPanish, and that half depressed me/half motivated me to just hit the language hard and learn as fast as I can. We only worked together for about two hours, but I just soaked it in. Phrases he used, effective missionary techniques he had mastered, just everything. I took it home with me to our area and started trying to apply it all the next day. I don´t really know why I´m writing this. It was just a neat zone conference and opportunity to work with Elder manning and learn from him. Honestly not a whole lot has happened this past week to talk about. I saw a kid get hit on his bike my a lady on a motorcyle with two of her kids. Lucky nobody got hurt. The kid got tossed off his bike, but was fine. We helped lift the motocycle off the kids bike, straightened his handle bars out for him, and he took off. Everyone was just kinda scared. I couldn´t help but laught afterwards. Everybody drives like maniacs here. There are so many motocycles and scooters here, tons of buses(which rule the road), and trucks, and cars.....and everyone drives fast and does whatever they want. I´m pretty sure there are no rules.ha This week in the ward we are having the primary program. It should be interesting. Elder asper and I are playing the piano together for it. We have several different investigators that have committed to coming to church...I hope they do, it should be an interesting sacrament meeting. Mom, you asked in your email if there was anything I want or am craving. Not really, well I mean M&Ms, chocolate and other delicious candies are always welcome, but I´m not to worried about recieving anything. Of course, I would never deny a package;) I´ll try and think of some stuff maybe... You also asked if we do service projects and stuff. We had one project planned that fell through. We offer service any chance we get, but it´s tuff to find opportunities, The ward coordinates most of that. Yesterday we helped the daughter of a ¨potential investigator family¨ prepare for an english exam she was going to have. SO little acts of service like that we are always trying to do. And no, we don´t any ladies do are laundry, cook, or clean for us. I WISH! We send our laundry out to some place. They come pick it up and bring it back. Sometimes dirtier than it was when we sent it.ha Kidding...sort of. We eat with members quite a bit. I have a bowl of cornflakes, with a sliced banana, and toast EVERY morning just about, for breakfast. And then just eat whatever other stuff I´ve got. I don´t do much cooking. Noodles are about all I cook. THat´s what I´m eating today. You also asked if I´s in city or a poor area. We have a little bit of both. Part of our area is in the city, but we don´t have a whole lot of work there. The majority of our area is pretty poor. Like yesterday we found a new investigator who lives in a one room house with a dirt floor, and metal sheets and wood for walls and ceiling. It just depends. We´re definitely not city-ish like the rest of the mission. Well that´s about it from me today. Sorry it was such a scattered email. Thankyou so much for your emails mom and dad...and ryan and lauren I got yours too. I´ll write you a letter back;) This morning I read a verse that was super neat. In Alma 48¨7 it talks about two different leaders. Amalickiah, and Moroni. In that one verse it tells your about how differently they chose to lead. The first, by deceit and fraud, the second, by preparing the people´s minds to be faithful to the Lord. You can read the following chapters about the success each leader had. Amalickiah had thousands of his people die in a battle, while Moroni had nobody die. 50 injured, but nobody die. Truly we learn that we are prepared to lead as we learn to follow. Moroni sought to follow the Lord, and taught the people the same. Amalickiah sought power and glory for himself, and fell. Sorry that was brief, I had intended on expoundin on this thought a bit more but I´ve used all my time. Read chapters ...I think it´s like 48-50. Moroni is an outstanding example. In those chapters we can learn how blessed we are when we follow the Lord, and trust Him. Pero ya saben eso...but you already know that;) I love you family so much. I hope everything is goin fantastic. I already can´t wait to hear from you again next week. Keep me posted, and Í´ll try and keep you posted better. I love you mom and dad. Thankyou for your emails and your testimonies and examples. Girls be good, I miss your beautiful faces. Camie, I hope school is well, I miss you alot. Thanks for your last letter. I´m praying for you all and thinkin of you. Until next week. LOVE,steven

LetterDecember 12, 2007 top

Family, Hey everybody! It sounds like there´s a whole lot of fun goin on at home. From the few emails I got it seems like everyone is pretty immersed in the Christmas season. That´s awesome, I can´t help smile and hearache a bit thinkin about tons of snow, the girls building snowmen, amy and mom setting up a nutsly huge christmas tree, and just all the stuff that´s passin at home. Sounds fun. From your emails I am able to see the blessings and happiness that Heavenly Father generously grants to those who try to faithfully serve Him. I recently read a scripture that kind of has to do with that. In Alma 58:11 Heleman writes ¨The Lord did visit us with assurance that He would deliver us...He did speak peace to our sould, and did grant unto us great faith, and did cause us that we should hope four our deliverance in Him.¨ When Heleman learned this principle he was in very dire circumstances. Him, and his army were starving to death and waiting for assistance from Zarahemla. The Lamanites were gradually recieving strength and in verses 9 and 10 we can read hour Heleman´s men were filled with great fear, but they didn´t let it overcome them. They poured thier souls to God, asking that He would strengthen and deliver them. After they did that, they started to recognize the assurances that God was with them. I don´t know exactly what kind of assurances those were for Heleman and his army, it doesn´t exactly say, but we can learn that as they prayed for strength they recognized those assurances. That´s something I´ve been trying really hard to do. There are definitely a whole lot more ¨rejections¨ in missionary work than äcceptions.¨ But I´ve felt my Faith grow and heart take courage as I´ve tried to recognize, every day the steady assurances God grants unto me that He is with me, and guiding me, and the work here in Campana. Anyways, as I read about all the sweet Christmas cheeryness at home I couldn´t help but recognize that those happy moments are assurances, God´s blessings amidst challenges that we may have or doubts or struggles. I hope I´m making sense. I´m so happy that it sounds like alot of good things are passin at home. Amy, real fast, I´m real sorry to hear about some of the struggles you´ve had with Utah Academy. Lam-o´s!:) I´ll pray for you. Stick it out, and keep your eyes peeled for the assurances God will bless you with as you hang on to your smile, and be faithful. Moe and Mel, thanks for the emails! Dad and mom, as always, I love your emails. Thankyou so much. You both seem to be making extra efforts to write me...waking up early and all. Sorry, but thankyou!! So you know, we normally get to email around 11am here. Sooo, things are going well here. Moe, you asked if ARgentina gets snow...that would be a negative.ha It has been super hot here! It´s crazy to think at home it´s snowin like mad, and down here I can´t beat the heat. It´s not too bad though. Just hot. We´re workin hard, and actually found 7 new investigators this past week, which is quite a bit. A new investigator is someone who you taught a lesson to them for the first time, left a commitment to read, and set up a return appointment. REally, finding new investigators is tuff, but not nearly as tuff as getting investigators to progress. To keep reading, and especially to come to church! We haven´t had an investigator in church for a long time. I´ve been praying and studying alot to try and recieve help from the SPirit to know what to say and teach people to help them feel desires to come to church and keep listening, but it´s super hard. My desires definitely outweigh my ability. Better said, I want to be succesful, but don´t know how to with everyone. I´m trying to do my part, and I´m certain Heavenly Father will come through and do the always when we fall short. (I especially wanted some investigators in church this past sunday cuz it was the primary program.haha Pretty funny, and fun. Elder Asper and I played the piano for it, and it went really well. It was kinda long, like almost an hour and a half sacrament meeting, but good.) We do have a few investigators that seem promising. One woman especially that we´re teaching tonight. Hopefully her family will be there tonight too. Maybe you could offer a quick prayer when you get this that I can have the guidance of the Spirit so I can teach with a little bit of power. I´ve been studying that alot lately too. How to teach with more power and authority...basically it comes down to when you´re saying what the SPirit is telling you to say, you´re teaching with power and authority. It´s tuff though...everything is tuff!!haha Wonderful though, the joy outwieghs the challenges. SPanish´s coming pretty well. My days aren´t so filled with frusteration from not being able to talk or understand anymore. Obviously, I still have a mountain of stuff to learn, but the gift of tongues is real, Heavenly Father is blessing me, and and I´m very grateful for all your prayers. Your prayers and love are such a stength family. You have no idea! I love hearin from you all, one cuz I miss you and it´s nice to hear about the things goin on at home, but even more cuz your thoughts and examples in your emails are so inspiring. Dad, I love hearing about experiences from your mission. I don´t know much about those days of your life, and thankyou for your emails filled with your testimony and scriptures. I can´t express my gratitude enough to you or my Heavenly Father for your example of faith. Every kid needs a dad like you. Anyways, all you, thanks so much. I´m grateful to you all, and so happy that you´re having fun this season. I´ll just be working down here, so throw some extra snowballs or somethin for me...just have some extra fun:) Love, steven p.s. Random thought, amy have you gotten the package I sent!!? I sent it like 3 maybe 4 weeks ago. I hope so, it was sweet...and expensive to send. p.s.s.sorry if I didn´t answer all the questions in your emails, I didn´t have time to read everything. I´ll try and answer your questions next week. p.s.s.s.Those of you that have written me, and are wondering if I´m going to write back(jesse)...I AM!haha I get mail way after your send it, and it takes time to write back. Thankyou for all of the love. Talk to you all next week.

LetterDecember 19, 2007 top

Wonderful Fam, Hey everybody. Another week has FLOWN by, and I´m so happy to be sittin here writing you again, and even happier to have your emails to read. Thankyou so much for taking the time to write. Your love, encouragement, and examples fill me with faith, hope, and joy. I can´t even begin to kiss the surface on how much love I have spilling out of my heart for all of you.ha I´m so grateful to Heavenly Father that He is blessing our family with safety and happiness. It sounds like things are going well at home. I skimmed through your emails to try and find some of the questions and things to respond to. I´ll read them later today. First off, I most definitely procrastinated putting together my Castle Valley story. I meant to type it up and send it today. I´m sorry. I´m just busy, and would forgot, and when I would remember I never had time. I guess I´ll try and write it and send it in a letter today dad...but then still, it won´t get there by the 23rd. Sorry. I´ll try and throw something together though. Mom, thankyou for your letter. I am going to study Revelations 4. I´m glad amy got the package, and you all got youirr Alfajores. They´re pretty delicious, no? THat´s crazy kyle durphey came home. oh weird! That´ll be me before I even know it. I try not to think at all about time though, it can get you down. I love this work, but my¨natural self,¨ my weakness, cause me to get down if I start trying to measure time. Too many missionaries do that. Yeah I already can´t wait to see my family, but I´m not going to spend my thoughts countin down the days;) About Christmas, don´t even worry about getting me anything. I have nothing I want to buy, or need I don´t think. If you want to put money in my account though...feel free.ha ABout my account, I haven´t touched it cuz one, I don´t have my card, and two I don´t need any personal money right now, but I was thinking for when my card does get here...maybe you should pull all my mission money out of it, and just toss it in your account or something. So that when I pull money, and check how much cash I have, I don´t have to try and figure out what´s mission money and what is my own money you know? I don´t know if that makes sense. Just so the account I´ll pull from using the new card you sent will only have MY money, or money to use. Clear? Sorry I´m so confusing. THe more I learn SPanish, the more I forget how to speak english clearly.ha ANd you don´t need to call the mission home and ask if packages arrived, they´re super busy. We´ll know if the package didn´t make it after about two months, since we only get mail once every transfer...6 weeks!.haha

Dad, thankyou also for your email. It was long! I can´t wait to read it! I skimmed some parts. So you´re doin something with the cd huh? Call jesse, see if he has any ideas. He´s got a cool style, and eye, for different designs or ideas. I´d love to do a paper cd cover. Like what jack johnsons album , In Between Dreams, came in. Jesse could tell you what I´m talking about. You should definitely send me the lyrics, and I´ll proof em on Pday and mail them home. THe stuff you shared about working with members, and the mission leader are very good ideas. I´m going to read your thoughts, and apply them. It´s interesting you brought that up, because that´s been on my mind a ton lately. We´ve been finding new investigators, and teaching new people, but having such trouble getting them to progress. I´ve been frusterated a bit lately with that. I feel like we find, and then lose...find then lose. Like yesterday, we found a new investigator, but had two tell us they were no longer interested. Ah! Maybe it would be nice if some investigators had a little ¨agency switch¨ we could use to just turn off thier agency for a bit, long enough to help them start to taste the blessings of the Gospel.ha I´m kidding, agency is everything. I know working with members is very very effective, and yesterday we had a meeting with the ward mission leader like you suggested. We´re trying to inspire the ward. The ward mission leader is a good brother, but hasn´t exactly done a whole lot to help us yet. We´re patient, and just want to help him help us help the members to help us help our investigators to progress.haha Does that make sense?:) SO thanks for your suggestions. I´m studying hard to try and know what I can do better. THankyou for sending moe´s report. I can´t wait to read it moe! I´ll let you know next week how fantastic I think it is;) Which, leads to the next item of week. MERRY CHRISTMAS!! AND.....PHONECALL HOME! I´m super excited, and kinda scared.ha Not sure why. Here´s the low down. I am just going to buy a phone card here, and call home. I have enough personal money to do that I think. I´m going to call at about 2:00pm here, that means 10:00am there in Utah. Is that okay? I hope so, cuz we have no way to notify each other before then if it´s not. I´m going to call the home phone. 756-0205 right? Oh man, I´m not even sure if that´s right, honestly, I can´t even remember exactly.haha Okay, so 2:00pm here, 10:00am there, the home phone. I´m way excited. We have an hour to talk, i´m pretty sure. Let´s try and get the most out of the precious time we have. If you have questions write em down. I know that sounds funny, but if there´s stuff you want to know, write it down so you don´t forget. I´ll try think of some stuff, but mostly I just want to hear your voices. I hope 10:00am Christmas morning is an okay time. Also, Christmas is our Pday so I won´t be emailing until the following week, and since the following week is transfers, pday is on tuesday again. So to to pdays are on tuesday, one of those is Christmas, ha!, and I´ll be calling the home phone at about 10:00am(utah time.)

Cool? Sweet.

Well family, I love you unbelievably much. Friends, I love you all too. Thanks for writing, and being patient when I don´t answer all your questions or spill enough information about argentina or my like right now. Time is going so fast, and I can´t even keep up. I am so happy to be serving here in Argentina. I can´t tell you of the peace and hope the Book of Mormon whispers to my soul everytime I read it. I can´t express fully my joy for having a family so strong in the restored Gospel. I know this church is the only true church, and the blessings that come from following the principles we have through the restored gospel are incomprehendable. I love the Lord. I love you all. I´ll give you a call next week;) yeah!!


LetterDecember 26, 2007 top

Family, Hey! I didn´t know I was going to be emailing you today. I thought I just had to wait til next week, but the zone leaders called us this morning and told us that we need to email the president, our families, and go grocery shopping like we do on P-day. We´re still working like normal today, but spending a bit of time doing the things we couldn´t do yesterday because nothing was open. So, surprise! Merry Christmas email!ha Oh man it was so good to hear your voices yesterday. Talk about the fastest 52 minutes of my life! I hung up the phone and just had a sick feeling that it was already over, yet such a wonderful wonderful feeling from hearing you all. Sorry the phonecall was so scattered. I´m sure you all had a million more questions and things you wanted to know(I know I had a bunch of stuff I wanted to say and hear more about) but an hour just wasn´t enough time to fit the last 5 months in.haha It was soo nice to talk to you all though. Out of all the sacrifices of a mission, not being together with the family is the biggest of all. You all are everything to me. It´s worth it though. Serving my mission is one of the greatest blessings and opportunities of my life, and I can´t tell you all how grateful I am to you for your love and support. You all sounded so beautiful. I could have spent an hour talking to each one of you and it wouldn´t have been near enough:) So I didn´t hear too much about Christmas during the phonecall. How was it? Emily got a new bike right? And dad in your email(thanks for emailing me so quick...i was hoping to have something from you this morning when I found out we got to do email) you talked about Dance Dance Revolution and Guitar Hero..?!?! Did santa bring an Xbox or other game system?ha You can only play those games on Xbox i thought. THey´re so fun! I guess I know what you´ll all be doing for family night the next few weeks:) But yeah, I´d like to hear about your Christmas. what everyone got, what you did, how the Nativity Play went Christmas Eve without my acting skills, just whatev else. Dad I also had a little email from you that was for amy. All it had was some scriptures really, and mentioned something that Amy did that was really good? What did AMy do? That was a question I had for you, Amy, yesterday. In the last letter I got from you, you talked about something that you were going to do, or were doing, or something you did that was tuff, but you never mentioned what it was. Maybe I just misunderstood the letter, but I read it a few times over tryin to figure it out and couldn´t. Thanks for the letter though Amy. I love your letters. I hope you´re well, and I love you so much. Grandma, I´ll probably get your package in a couple weeks. Don´t worry about it. I´ll let you know. Thankyou and I love you. Dad that´s funny what you mentioned in your email about the phonecall and how I must´ve been wondering why isn´t anyone talking...cuz you were all crying or something, haha...cuz there were a few moments in the beginning that I was like ¨this is kinda weird, nobody´s talking. I thought they´d have tons to say!? I didn´t know what to say, and it felt kinda weird.ha I was cryin to though, so i didn´t help the situation.) I love the style of our family. The love and compassion we feel for one another. I know everybody thinks they have the best family, but really, I think I have the best family.ha Dad, I didn´t understand exactly what you wanted to know about the stuff we report to the zone leaders. Our key indicators(or stuff we report on) are: 1. investigators baptized and confirmed 2. investigators with a baptismal date 3. investigators that came to church 4. number of lessons taught with member present 5. number of lessons taught without member 6. number of prgressing investigators(investigators that are following through with commitments and coming to church) 7. number of references we recieved 7. number of references we contacted 8. number of new investigators we found 9. number of lessons to members 10. number of contacts we did So there you go. Let me know what exactly your looking for, or what kind of ideas you want, and I´d love to try and help you out. I don´t think I have much to offer, but I´d love to try and give back for all that you give me. By the way, I´m glad you all liked the bit of SPanish I shared. I realized after I got off the phone that I never translated what I said. Mom you asked if there are alot of catholics...the answer is yes. Basically all I said in spanish was almost everyone we talk to says thier catholic, but none of them are practicing. They were just born and baptized as babies into the catholic church. And then I talked a little bit about the restoration, and how God has once again revealed His will for his children through living prophets, and the Book of Mormon. I said something like that...? I hope you all like hearin it. I didn´t mean to sound so discouraged about the language on the phone, I´´m sorry. It really is coming good, and I´ve had alot of elders and members tell me I speak really well for the time I have, but I still just have sooo much to learn, and still am way handicapped by the language barrier. Maybe by the next time I call on mother´s day I´ll be just about over the language barrier. Well, I´ll always be learning more, but at least just not so trapped inside the Spanish world.ha Anyways, I love you all so much. If you have more questions or thoughts about the phonecall I´d love to hear them. Thankyou for your love. I hope Christmas was fantastic. I hope the new year goes well for you all. I get to celebrate it a few hours before you all.ha I´ll be on top of our apartment again watching fireworks go off all over the city again. It´s so cool. I guess I´ll be emailing you on the new year anyways. Again, I love you all. I´m so grateful we got to talk, and can´t wait to talk again. I´m so grateful for the chance we have to remember our Lord and Savior this time of year. I pray that as a family we will always remember Him, and center our lives and family around Christ and His Gospel.

LetterDecember 31, 2007 top

Sweet Fam,
How´s it goin? Let me tell you, it´s the worst loggin on and not havin your emails! I can´t even tell you what it does for me each week to read your words. It´s like that scripture you shared one time dad. ¨News from a far country is like cold water to a thirsty soul¨ or something like that. All week I get more and more thirsty to hear from you, and when I log on and don´t have any emails..well, I just am really thirsty for a couple weeks.ha It´s okay though, and plus, I know I´m writing a day earlier than I said I would be. You were probably planning on writing me sometime this evening. Sorry. I didn´t know I was going to be writing today. I found out this morning at district meeting. We´re writing today, because tomorrow is the new year, and nothing is open. Anyways, Just know I love your emails, and the taste of your love each week. It keeps me going.
Soo, yeah tomorrow is transfers. The word is in, and Elder Asper is getting transfered. He´s pretty happy. He´s been here in Campana for 7 months. That´s a pretty long time to be in one area, and he was gettin kind of burned out. This transfer I was hoping that one of us would get transferred at least. Because if he didn´t get transferred, he would have been really mad, and so I was hoping if he didn´t, I would I wouldn´t have to be around the frusteration.haha Just kidding...mostly:) He´s headed into Capital(or into Buenos Aires...the ¨city¨ part of our mission.) My new companion is named Elder Ibarra. I haven´t met him yet. I´ve heard a bit about him from some other elders in the district, but I´ll just wait til I meet him before I tell you about him. He is from Argentina. Which is cool, I´ll be speaking a whole lot more spanish now since my comp doesn´t know ANY english. Plus, elder hansen, the other american elder in are apartment is being transferred, and a latin is coming in his place. SO that means it will be me living with three other latins now. I´m really nervous about that, but super excited. I´ll start learning spanish way faster since I will be completely surrounded by it now. 24/7. Elder Asper and I talked in English alot, and elder hansen, asper, and I always used english in the apartment. Now...nothing but spanish. Whew, here we go. :)
This past week was pretty good. It seems like it was just yesterday that I was talking to you all on the phone. I still want to hear about Christmas. I´m not sure why, but I want to hear about what everyone got. What new fun things the family has.haha I spoke in church this past sunday. It went well. I´s so busy every day that I had hardly any time to prepare a talk. I just threw a bunch of scriptures, and quotes from Preach My Gospel into a little list, tried to organize my thoughts, and just prayed for the Spirit. The bishop asked me to speak on faith, hope, charity, and love. Despite the, what felt like lack of preparation, I only used about half, maybe even a quarter of what I prepared, and I talked for about 20-25 minutes. It was amazing how the Spirit just filled my mouth. I still can´t even comprehend the fact that 6 months ago I knew like 15 words in spanish,haha, and yesterday I gave a 20 minute talk in Spanish from just a list of scriptures and quotes. It´s amazing!! I´m not boasting, I´m just acknowledging Heavenly Father´s merciful hand, and the power of the Spirit. Anything I am, or will ever become, I accredit to my Father in Heaven.
I was planning on sharing the scriptures and stuff from my talk with you, but I´ll have to wait til next week. I don´t have the paper with me. I talked about how faith leads to action. I used Nephi, and the Liahona as my examples with just several scriptures about how the Liahona worked according to the heed, diligence, and attention Nephi and his family gave to it. I talked about how charity also leads to action, and shared some scriptures about how righteous lamanites labored with all thier might to bring thier wicked brethered into the Gospel, and how that was a sign of thier charity, and then tried to testify of the importance that all of us as members labor diligently to share the knowledge and hope we have. Anyways...sorry if that was confusing. I´ll try and share the scriptures next week.
The highlight of Sunday, and this whole past week, was that we had an investigator in church, plus 3 inactive members. Yanina, an investigator we have, maybe I´ve mentioned her, came. We had a lesson with her and one of the relief society counselors, and then arranged for the member to pick her up on sunday. She almost didn´t make it, because the time changed here, and the members forgot about it. They got to sacrament like 30 minutes late. By the way, the time changed here,ha. Right now it is 3:15, instead of 2:15. So I guess that means I´m 5 hours ahead of you now. We had another investigator, Paola, promise us she was coming, and had her member friend(mariela) stop by to pick her up, but Paola forgot about the time change, and wasn´t ready and just decided to wait til next week! Darn. Yanina liked church, and during sunday school she asked me if she could bring here two young daughters. I was like YEAH baby of course!!:)
So tonight is the new year. We get to stay up until midnight again and then sleep in until 8:30...but since elder Asper is getting transferred we have to be ready to leave at 9:30 in the morning. So we´ll just stay up and then wake up early anyways and be tired all day. Missionary work is tiring all day anyways.. now matter how long you sleep. Tonight we´ll do the same thing as Christmas. Just go to the top of the apartment building and watch all the fireworks. I hear the ¨show¨ tonight is way better than on Christmas. Alot more explosions.ha Well family. I hope that you are all well. I´ll be emailing on wednesday next week, like normal. I can´t wait to hear about your Christmas, and what you all did for the new year. Fill me in! I love you all so much. You are all so beautiful, and so important to me. You´re in my prayers, and I trust that Heavenly Father is watching over and blessing you. He is so merciful and loving towards His children that faithfully serve and love Him. How glad I am that my family is one that does just that. Love you all. Until next´ll be here before we know it. Time is flyying.
Love, steven

LetterJanuary 8, 2008 top

Hey Hey!
I don´t remember exactly but I think two weeks ago I forgot to tell you I´d be writing early, right?.. and then last week I told you I´d be writing on wednesday like normal..well..I lied.ha I forgot/didn´t know that we had zone conference this week on wednesday and so P-day would be tuesday again. Anyways, sorry tengo la culpa(i have the fault.) Next week I WILL BE WRITING ON WEDNESDAY! :)

Whew, alright where do I begin. I´ll start by letting you know that I haven´t read any of your emails, well, any of your emails dad. Sorry I just have a bunch of thoughts I want to share, and don´t have much time. I´ll respond to any questions or thoughts you had next week. Cool? I did, though, look at the Stucki Family New Years Letter. I like it! Turned out really well I think, and the picture is great. What a beautiful family I´ve got!!

So, I´m not sure how to describe this past week, but it was awesome! Not sure why, not sure how, not sure of anything, but Heavenly Father has been so merciful and patient with me, blessing me with constant assurances of His love and ever-guiding hand. My new comp, Elder Ibarra is really awesome. We get along super well, and my days are just a whole lot more fun and happier than they used to be. Í´m not saying that I was unhappy with elder asper or anything, he was great, just that I´m really enjoying working with elder ibarra and and super happy with the situation I´m in now. I live with three latinos now, and so I´m speaking tons tons tons more spanish and I love it. This past week I´ve felt a huge jump in my ability to speak, and a new drive...or new ¨excitement¨ for the language. I really don´t know why, I mean, I´ve been happy and diligent with my spanish(more or less) my whole mission until now, but this past week something changed. I´ve started answering the phone, and making calls, and I used to be way too scared to do that. I casually start conversations with people at bus stops, or bakeries, or wherever, and I used to be too insecure about my ability to speak, but Heavenly Father has poured out his spirit upon me, and blessed me greatly this past week. Yes, I still have so sosososososo much to learn, but am so grateful for what Heavenly Father has blessed me with until now. A quick funny storry, yesterday right before we got home I saw a kid who is an inactive member that I know pretty well so I went over to talk to him. He was with a man who worked in Japan for a while for Toyota, and he learned how to speak english(japan=english..? not sure how or why.haha) But anyways, the man wanted to chat in english for a bit so we did, and it was hard!ha I was trying to speak english, but kept slipping into spanish over and over. Like it was easier for me to just talk in spanish thatn english.ha THat was kind of a cool experience. A chance to just recognize the blessings of the Lord, and ¨feel¨ my progression with the language. So Anyways, spanish is comin good, and I´m happy. M y comp and the other elders I live with are really fun.

This past week we set two baptismal dates with two of our investigators. Yanina, an awesome awesome lady, who is progressing great. Everything goes well she should be getting baptized the 26th of january. She came to church last sunday with her two young daughters and they went to primary and just fit in so well. It was super sweet to see Yanina watch them walking hand in hand with the other kids holding pictures they had drawn and getting along so well. And the other, Poala. She is crazy.ha I like her alot. She´s a friend of Mariela, and is planning opn getting baptized the 2 of february. She´s a bit skeptical, but with the help of Mariela and the Lord I think we can resolve her doubts, help her stop smoking, and get her ready. SO there you go, brief update on some of our investigators. I´m writing really fast so sorry if nothing I´m saying makes sense.

A quick funny story I wanted to tell you. Sometimes members give us biandas, which means basically just a sack lunch, or lunch-to-go. We can´t enter houses of single ladies, unless there is a man in the house so lots of times for lunch we just pick up biandas and eat at home or in a park when single sisters want to give us lunch. Last saturday we got a bianda from one sister. we had planned on returning the tupperware sunday, but left it on the fridge and forgot.ha The sister asked if we could bring it by her house, and of course we said yes, and sunday afternoon, after we ate lunch, we left the apartment with a few of her tupperwares in a bag. We past by her house, and rang the bell but she didn´t answer. I think she was asleep, cuz we passed by right during the siesta. We didn´t want to carry the tupperware with us all day, and weren´t sure what to do. The sister lives on the second floor of a little business, and has a big patio/deck thing, and we thought, maybe we can just write a note on the bag, and throw the tupperware over the railing onto her patio and run. Elder Ibarra didn´t want to do it so I took the bag and got ready to toss it, and we both just started laughing(I´m sure this isn´t very funny for you, but it was like the funniest thing I´ve experienced since I left home.ha) Anyways, Itossed the bag up and over the railing, it landed with a bang, and we walked off quickly lauging so hard. Not sure why I wanted to share this was just so funny. Maybe just to let you know what missionaries in argentina do to have a good time...throw members tupperware two stories high and scram.haha Don´t worry, we passed by the next day and confessed everything.

Okay anyways, Dad we talked a little bit on the phone about your highpriest group and how you wanted to help the return and report thier progress and stuff. Yesterday I was studying in either, and had a thought I wanted to share with you and the family. I don´t have much time, so this´ll be quick. In chapter 2 verse 14 of Ether I read how the the brother of jared is chastened by the lord for not praying. In verse 15 the brother of jared repents, and begins to cry unto the lord. While reading the rest of the chapter I started to notice a pattern; In verse 16, the lord commands the brother of jared to build the barges, jared goes to work, builds the barges, and then in verse 18 returns and reports to the Lord that he´s finished his task. Also, he asks the Lord for help on how they can breathe inside them, and have light. In verse 20 the lord commands/teaches the brother of jared how to breathe in the barges. In verse 21, the brother of Jared does as the lord commands. In verse 22, the brother of jared returs and reports that he did as the lord commands, and then askes him again about how they will be able to see. They need light! Verses 23-25 the Lord tries the faith of the brother of jared and asks him what he thinks He should do. Chapter 3 verse 1, jared goes to work, moltens 16 stones, and in verses2-5 returns and HUMBLY reports to the Lord what he has done. In verse six, the Lord comes in and makes the ¨things¨ the brother of jared has extraordinary. He comes in when the brother of Jared could do now more. In this chapter I just really liked the way the Lord didn´t give the brother of Jared everything he wanted all at once. Step by step, as the brother of Jared returned and reported, the Lord gave him more and more. Sorry I can´t explain more, you should all read this chapter, and try and recognize the patterns and blessings of returning and reporting, and faithfully doing your part, and trusting the lord that he will do his. I love you all! I have to go right now. Grandma, so you know, I got your package, thankyou a ton!!!! Strawberry Creams!!! :)Love you all!

LetterJanuary 16, 2008 top

Hey hey, How is everyone? Good I hope. This past week went by really fast! I can´t believe I´m already writing again. Dad thankyou so much for your letter. I can´t wait to read it all. And camie thankyou for your little message too. Yes, it did work;) So, I can sum up this past week in one word: HOT.ha Especially yesterday! What´s crazy though, is yesterday was super super hot all day, and then at about 6 or 7 a clock in the evening an insane storm came that knocked out the power to all of Campana, and completely soaked Elder Ibarra and I in about 4 seconds. We were doing some contacts in the street and there was a man who let us pass and sit on his porch and teach him, and we had just left his house and were walking in the street talking about the huge storm clouds we could see coming when it got way way way windy, started to rain like crazy, and within literally 10 seconds we were completely soaked.haha It was so funny. Luckily we were close to the chapel so we ran there, waited a bit, and then headed back out to work. The storm only lasted about 20 minutes, but caused quite a bit of damage. There were a bunch of trees and telephone poles blown over, a few streets near the chapel completely flooded, and the power was out until about 3 in the morning last night...I think? Anyways, so that was yesterday. Last wednesday we had zone conference in a town called San Pedro. It´s about an hour and a half from here. It was really good. I learned alot, and am excited to try and apply everything. I also got mail, two letters.ha One was from the family christmas party, and the other from the ward party. Thanks a ton for that. It was really nice! The next time I get mail will be towards the beginning of february or around there so if you want to send anything send it in the next two weeks or so. I want to send some photos home. I´m trying to decide whether to print photos, or send the memory card. It´d be easier to send the memory card, but I´m not sure how. I don´t want to just put it in an evelope cuz it´ll get damaged. Not sure. I´ll think about it.ha Uh, since we´re on the topic of mail. Mom, I don´t know if you were planning on throwing together a package for me with some photos and such, but I was wondering if you could send me my black Sessions Jacket. I don´t know why I didn´t pack it, but I´d like to have it. It´s all black, red on the inside, and has small white lettering on the outside ¨sessions.¨Also, this is kind of funny, but I´ve got a craving for chex mix.haha There´s a special flavor I really like. It´s the Honey Nut Sweet n Salty mix. I think is what it´s called. SO, maybe you could throw a bag or too(as much as you can fit.ha) into the next package.haha DOn´t worry too much about it. I know sending packages is expensive and takes time, so just when you´re planning on sending something throw my jacket and some chex mix in.haha Thanks!
So an update on Yanina and Poala. They are doing well. Yanina didn´t come to church, she was sick or something, so we have to push her baptism date back. Now her and Poala will be baptized the same day if everything runs smoothly from here on out. I think it will. Poala and her daughter Karen came. Karen is 12, and has been listening with her mom. She is incredible. She is helping her mom stop smoking, and is really excited about the church, and likes Young Womens. We´re hoping to set a baptismal date with her soon. This friday we planned an activity in the chapel for Yanina and her daughters, Poala and Karen, another investigator named Hector, and a few members so that Poala, and Yanina could get to know each other before thier baptism and so out investigators can get to know some members. We´re going to watch The Testaments and eat I think. It should be fun. Hopefully everything flies. I´ll let you know.
Dad, in last weeks letter you asked a few questions. HOw´s mariela? Incredible. She´s studying like 5 different church books, is about to finish the Book of Mormon for the second time!!, and is studying alot about the temple and has a million questions. She is helping a great deal with Poala, and is just awesome. We are a ward here in campana, and have about 50-70 people in church each week. Usually. Your High Priest group lesson was awesome! You asked for feedback: I think the goals are good. The extraction program in every house is a sweet idea. One suggestion, I think it´d be a good idea to help your group report on the work thier doing. The program will get installed, but might just sit there. If they report on how many names they´ve done or something like that it will help them be motivated to log on and get extracting.ha Your idea to have everyone return and report on hometeaching by the 15th of each month is golden i think. I loved the goal and ideas about Living closer to the Savior. Is there a way you could help your group report on that? I couldn´t think of anything.ha But it´d be good to have some kind of way to measure progress. Maybe just ask people in class to share something they did. I don´t know...just some way to help them return and report and see thier progress. Sorry I don´t have any good ideas. I´m all talk...I just say things that would be good to do, but lack the wisdom to do anything with it. You´ve got the wisdom to put em in play. Amy, dad has mentioned some stuff that you´re doing with some of your friends to help them get to know the church. Way to GO!! You´re doing more than I ever did before my mission. thanks for your example. I know you will be blessed for your efforts with your friends. This kind of service you´re rendering is a million times more valuable than anything else you could ever to for your friends. I know it´s tuff sometimes to share the Gospel, and do things like invite non-members to church, but stick to it. Heavenly Father will bless you greatly for it. It´s his work and glory to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of mankind. Through His Son, he´s already acomplished the first half, but He needs beautiful young girls like you who are willing to share this gospel to help accomplish the second half. You are in reality, sharing Eternal Life with your friends. I can´t commend you enough. What an example you are!! Keep it up, and don´t get discouraged if it doesn´t turn out the way you want. I get rejected a whole lot more than accepted...that´s just how the world don´t get down if your friends don´t accept. I hope they do, and I will pray that they will.
I´ve got to take off. I´ll try and have some better news from down here next week. You already know, but I love you all so much.ha I hope all is well, I pray for you, and I can´t wait to hear from you all next week. Mom I love you.

LetterJanuary 23, 2008 top

Rainin in Argentina
Hey Fam,
Oh man, I don´t have very much time to write. I had to mess around with this new format thing for emailing my mission president and the computer is going crazy and super slow.ha Plus I tried to open some of thos photos you sent pops, and the computer went to sleep on me. SOO slow. I guess I´ll just have to wait until the photos come in the mail...can´t wait! Hmm, okay well thankyou so much for the emails. I don´t have time to read them right now, so I will reply to any questions and such next week. One theme that I definitely caught though was that mom had some trouble emailin me this past week because of a mixed up address or something. Ha! Mom don´t even worry about it! Honestly, don´t ever feel bad if you don´t get around to writing me. Of course, I LOVE your emails and hearing from you, but don´t ever feel bad. Every night when I pray for you all I awe at how incredible of a family I have, and incredible of a mother I have;) I am so blessed. Also, I need to ask my mission president if I have peormision to use for that photo stuff. We´re not supposed to do anything else on the internet besides email our families. I´m not even sure if I´ll be able to figure it out anyways. We´ll see. I think I´m going to buy a cheap ¨normal film¨ camera down here, and and start mailing photos home. WE´ll see we´ll see we´ll see. By the way, as I´ve been writing I´ve been downloading the photos you sent pops.....can you so beautiful sisters...?! Holy! You girls look soo great!!!!!
So this past week was good. It hasn´t been quite as hot, but still hot. Today it´s actually raining so that is a wonderful thing. We had our activity in the chapel that I told you about last week. It was on friday, and was alot of fun. The Vezzoni Family came, Yanina and her two young daughters, Mariela, and Poala and her three kids. We watched the Testaments, I bore a quick testimony afterwards, and then we ate treats that everyone brought. Elder Ibarra and I bought a cake before hand and brought that. BUT, before everyone got there he was moving it and dropped it!!haha SO it was a bit smashed. No was still delish. The activity was awesome though. All the woman were crying at the end of the movie when Christ appears to the one guy...can´t remember his name. Just so you all now, the movie is better in English than SPanish.haha Kidding! The exciting news from this past week is we set two more baptismal dates. With Poala´s kids, Karen and Ezekiel. The date is for feb 9th. One week after Poala. Hopefully everything goes smooth and we can prepare them. We didn´t really have it planned to set baptismal dates with them yet, but a few days ago we were teaching the three of them and the SPirit was there during the lesson and I felt like I should commit them to being I did. Pretty cool. I´ll keep you updated. We´re still on for feb. 2nd with Yanina and Poala, and now Karen and Ezekiel the 9th. Also this past week I went on divisions with Elder Rodriguez, my district leader. Well he came with me i guess, cuz we worked in my area. It was neat. Nothing to exciting, but it´s always cool to work with different elders and try and apply different things they do well in yourself. Elder Ibarra and I have been struggling lately to find new investigators. Not sure why. Our days have been full full full of walking around, and not alot of teaching. We´re doing our contacts, pulling references from members, clapping doors a bit, just everything. I´ve been praying alot that I can be lead by the spirit to some peeps that are ready to recieve us. Hopefully this next week that´ll happen. Spanish is flowin smooth. It´s almost easier to speak in Spanish than English.ha Like when I try and help the elders in my apartment with different questions they have about english my tongue fights english and falls into spanish.ha
Well sorry I have got to go. I´ll write better next week. I love you all. I hope all is well and you are all happy. Enjoy the foot of snow you got and now that I´m praying for alot more blessings to fall on you guys than snowflakes. I love you!!

LetterJanuary 30, 2008 top

Yo yo yo, how is everyone? Things are good here. It´s super do you spell that..humid? Okay, well the air is really wet here.ha It rained a bunch the past two days and Elder Ibarra and i were suffieciently soaked a couple of times(to say the least.) This past week was awesome though. We got a lot done, and some incredible blessings from the Lord. So an update on what´s goin on. Mom you asked in your email why Paola wasn´t getting baptized the same day as her kids...well, now she is. We had to push her baptismal date back a week, because she´s having trouble stopping smoking. We set a goal a few weeks ago, and she didn´t meet it, and we don´t want to baptize her until she´s ready so we pushed the baptism back. Pray for her! She needs it. Last night we called her to see how things were goin with the cigarretes and she was struggling. She had smoked 3 that day, and was feeling really down. Elder Ibarra told her to sing a hymn. I was sitting in our room writing in my journal and when he said that I thought, man, we should just sing her a hymn!ha So I told him, we turned on the speaker phone and we sang ¨where can I turn for peace¨ to her over the phone. It was soooweet. She was crying, and the spirit was super strong. Amazing how a little hymn over the phone can do that. So anyways, pray for her that she can stop smoking. As of now, we have her, and her two kids ezekiel and karen, scheduled for feb. 9th. And, as of now, Yanina is still scheduled for this saturday, the 2nd. we´re not sure though. She has to work sunday, and we don´t know if we want to baptize her, and then wait a whole week for her confirmation. How we do it her is baptize peeps, and then confirm them in sacrament meeting the next day. She never has to work sunday!! THe devil is definitely trying to mess up the business we got going here, but I have faith, and am certain everything will work out in the Lord´s timing. Your prayers are most definitely welcome!! ALso, the big news from this past week........we found a GOLDEN GOLDEN GOLDEN family. We´ve started teaching a family. The parents names are Mario and Lorena. They have 8 kids!!...and are incredible. Mario has been ¨looking for God¨ and His church for over 20 years! That´s what he told us. The family is increible. We´ve had two lessons so far, and have one scheduled for tomorrow. I can´t wait. Elder Ibarra and I have some ideas planned to invite the spirit, and help them recieve the answer that this is Christ´s true church, and God´s kingdom on the earth. THey honeslty are amazing. We left them(the parents) Mosiah 2 to read the first visit. Mario read it once alone, and then once together with his wife. Trading off each verse. THey marked verses they liked, questions, doubts, and just STUDIED the scriptures. It´s incredible. The second visit the whole family, ALL 10, were sitting around the table with us listening and participating in the lesson. We invited the older children, 8 years and older, to start reading the book of mormon and praying. At the beginning and end of the lesson we all knelt and prayed, and Mario said the closing prayer. It honestly is incredible!! THe kids ages range from 2 years-14 years or something like that, and all of them are so bright and fun. The parents are amazing. I have alot of hope for this family. Only time will tell what is going to happen with them, but to me they seem soo so so prepared to recieve the Gospel. I know they still have doubts and questions, cuz they´re smart people and really are interested in finding ¨the truth,¨ but I am confident that if Elder Ibarra and I can really work with the Spirit, this family is going to be baptized. We´ll see though, I´m getting ahead of myself, but honestly...amazing, this family. I left the lesson yesterday, with insane chills(and not cuz it was raining.ha) Please pray for Mario, Lorena, and thier Family.
So there´s the update from argentina. Heavenly Father really anwered my prayers. I had been praying hard that we could find some new investigators...and bam! this family. And a few others too. Truly Heavenly Father hears our prayers.
So Amy and alyssa, a couple weeks ago I was with Mariela and we were talking about something....Patriarchal Blessings. She is super excited about all the new stuff she´s getting to know in the church and really wants to get her patriarchal blessing. I just wanted to mention real fast to you two that I think it would be a wonderful idea to get yours. Maybe this sunday during your fast, you could pray and ask Heavenly Father what He thinks. My patriarchal blessing gives me more strength, hope, and guidance than I can ever express. Patriachal Blessings are amazing, and you two are ready for it I think. Just a thought;) Emily, last week you were feeling sick. Are you feeling better? I hope so. Cuz somebody needs to enjoy all that insane snow your guys are getting up there. I hope you´re feeling good. I´m praying for you. Dad, I have gotten any package with lyrics or anything from you. If you did send a package, I´ll get it in a couple weeks at feb. 12th, around there. I´m glad you got the lyrics I sent though. About the cd...I don´t know what to do. Pictures of the grls would be cool...but I´m not sure if that´s what I want to do with the cover. I don´t know. Maybe I just don´t understand the idea exactly. What were you thinking?ha And about the money market...I don´t think i´m going to use hardly any of my personal money during my mission. Of course it depends on necessary expenses I have, and how much you help me pay for those,ha, but as of now I don´t have any plans to do too much spending. SO, transfer as much money as you want/think is wise into a money market for me. That´s be a cool way to earn some extra cash. Keep me informed on what you do, and what tithing needs to be paid from whatev money I make. And yes, we have a chapel here in Campana. It´s really nice, and beautiful. I bought a camera today, like 130 pesos, which is super cheap in dollars with some personal money I had left over from the mtc. I´ll start taking some pictures with it, and sending em home. I don´t know if the stuff is going to fly. I think I sent the camera cabels home anyways...? I couldn´t find them.(I didn´t have to look too much...3 suitcases.haha) Anyways, I gotta go. I love you all soo much. Sorry if I didn´t anser all your questions. I´ll read more completely your emails and answer more next week. Stay safe with all that snow. Know I love you with all the love I´ve got, and we´ll talk to you soon.

LetterFebruary 6, 2008 top

Hey Everybody,
Well this week I´ll begin with just a few items of business. Mom, I can attach pictures and email them home to you but I need my camera cord. I can´t find it, and I don´t remember, but I think I sent it home from the MTC or something cuz I thought I´d never use it. SO, if you have it maybe you could send it in a small package to me. Also, I´m runnin low on the Cetaphil face moisturizer you sent me, and the Differin(adapalene gel) I use for acne. I´m not sure if you could get some more of that stuff, but it would be super if so. Even if you get that stuff and send it, I´m pretty sure I won´t get it until the next leap year cuz transfers are this next week, and it won´t arrive in time for me to get it during transferes and I´ll ´have to wait six more weeks until the next transfers. That is, unless I get transferred somewhere closer to the capital and start getting my mail sooner. Either way, no big deal. I did print some pictures off this morning from my digital at a Kodak store so I´ll mail some pics home next week for your beautiful scrapbookin pages.ha
Well those were the items of business. This past week has been up and down. Some really good stuff, and some a couple bummers here and there. The bummers are just struggles and frusterations of bein a missionary. We´re struggling with Paola. I´m not really sure what has changed, but the excitement she had for the Gospel has depleted quite a bit. We´re working with her, and trying to help her, but are not sure exactly what we can do. There´s too much to really explain, basically, she´s just not progressing. As of now, we don´t have a baptism date for her, or her kids, cuz we don´t want to baptize them without the mom. We also didn´t baptize Yanina this past week like we had planned, but her baptism is scheduled for tomorrow so that is awesome!! She wants me to baptize her so that will be pretty cool. I´ve never baptized anyone before! I´m nervous...except not really at all.ha Just happy. Yanina is prepared. Another bummer of this past week, was President Hinckley´s funeral. I didn´t get to see it...well I saw about 15-20 seconds of it.ha My mission pres wanted all the missionaries to see it, so last saturday we went to Zárate(where the stake center is) to watch it live. It started at 4 here. We got there, all the members were in the sacramental hall with the big projector, and four of us english missionaries in the overflow with our own little english setup to watch it. Four o clock rolled around and the broadcast started. We watched about 4 seconds, and then the picture cut out. Then came back again for about 4 more seconds...and this happened about 5 times so I got to watch about 20 seconds total of it. I´m not sure what happened but there was some kind of problem with the satelite dish and we got schooled! I heart was aching to watch it. I wanted to see it soo bad!! I´m sure it was incredible. We did end up seeing the documentary that showed after it in the house of a member who had internet. So we did get to watch that part, but it was in SPanish, which was fine but just not the same. Anyways, I´m grateful for what I got. Maybe someday I´ll see a rerun of the funeral. Do they have re-runs for funerals...?:) I hope you all got to see it. I haven´t read your emails, but I caught the part where you mentioned mom that you went to the viewing with the girls. Sounds like fun. By the way, the 2 or 3 feet of snow you´ve all got sounds like fun too!ha I´m basically constantly overheating.ha
So the highlight of this past week...Mario, Lorena, and thier 8 stinking kids!!! I-N-C-R-E-D-I-B-L-E. I hope so bad I don´t get transferred. I want at least one more transfer here in Campana so I can see them get baptized. Yes, as of now we have 6 baptism scheduled for feb 23rd. Super Mario, Lorena, and four of thier kids(the ones who are 8years and older) all have baptism dates. I wanted to tell you about the lesson we had when we invited them to be baptized. I don´t have much time, so it´ll be brief. So, we found this family just a bit over a week ago. The first lesson we had was great. We taught only mario and lorena though. The second time we passed by, we had all 10 people in the family sitting around the table with us for the lesson. It, also, was a great lesson. Both times I left there house just on fire with the SPirit. Amazing. They are a family soo prepared for the Gospel. Elder Ibarra and I felt that we could invite them to be baptized, but were unsure. WE didin´t want to do it too soon. So on a day we had an appointment scheduled with them, during comp study in the morning we knelt and prayed to ask Heavenly Father if the family was prepared. I remember feeling the SPirit testify me to me they were prepared before my mouth even opened to say the prayer. So after that confirmation of the spirit, we planned the lesson. We taught lesson 3 which talks about being clean from sin, faith, repentance, baptism, Holy Ghost...just some good stuff. We went to thier house that evening, Elder Ibarra and I sang a hymn to start it off, we all knelt and prayed, and then had the lesson. Until this moment, Mario hadn´t recieved an answer that this church was true, but in the beginning of the lesson we told him that TODAY, with us, he was going to recieve an answer. We had faith that he would, because of the confirmation we recieved that morning. So we taught the whole lesson, and at the end we invited them to be baptiized, but they needed to recieve an answer before they made thier we said ¨we´re all going to kneel down and pray right now and Mario you´re going to ask Heavenly Father if you and your family should be baptized. And we´re going to stay kneeling with our eyes closed until you recieve an answer.¨ !!! WE did it. Mario prayed, and we waited in silence. The whole family.- After he said amen we all kept praying in our hearts. And for like 6-7 minutes we knelt in silence, and you have NO IDEA how loing that is to kneel down in silence waiting for investigators to recieve an answer to a prayer. So we waited and waited. after about 6 minutes Mario said ¨okay. okay.¨, stood up, began to cry, and walked over to elder ibarra and I and hugged us, crying. Nobody said anything. Then he left us, took his wife in his arms, and all the kids, and just cried. Nobody said anything. AFter this incredible moment he told us that he recieved an answer. I´m not exactly sure what the spirit did to him, but he talked about how sins...things he had done years and years ago that he had completely forgotten came flooding back to his mind. He said he knew he NEEDED to be baptized. I don´t know what happened between him and the SPirit, but truly he was carried away for a moment by the Spirit. This experience was one of the most spìritual moments I have ever had in my whole life. SO amazing.
WEll I have to go, sorry that was brief, and I didn´t chat more today. I love you all. I can´t wait to read your emails and marinate in your love for a bit today.ha I love you all so much. Peace until next week,

LetterFebruary 12, 2008 top

Yo yo yo fam,
Well last week I mentioned some stuff about transfers, like how I hoped I wouldn´t be transferred, but I failed to remind you all that the week of transfers, I write one day earlier. Happy Tuesday everybody.ha I did have one email from you pops. Thanks. And one from Jesse´s little sister Lauren. She wrote a bit to me in SPanish.ha! Lauren, if you read this, WAY TO GO!...your Spanish is great, and thanks for translating it all for me. I´ve got a lot to learn still;)
Well, some good news, I didn´t get transferred!! I wanted so bad to stay here so I could see Mario and Co. get baptized. They are progressing great. This family is honestly incredible. They all study the scriptures together, are praying, happy, and just awesome. They all came to church again this past sunday and really liked it. So if everything continues smooth, they´ll be baptized the 23rd of February. I get along especially good with one of the daughters, Erika. She is 5 and soo cool.ha A couple days ago she spent the whole lesson drawing me pictures, and then made me put them in my bag so I wouldn´t forget them, and yesterday when we passed by she gave me a paper bag that she decorated with mine and her name on it.haha She honestly is so adorable. This family is going to be blessed so much by the Gospel. I hope that Elder Ibarra and I can keep teaching with the Spirit and help them progress to thier baptisms, and ultimately to the temple.
Also, everything went fine with yanina and her baptism. She was baptized last thursday and confirmed on Sunday. I performed the baptism and participated in the confirmation, and was honored be a part of that. My testimony of this Gospel is growing in leaps and bounds. I´m having so many wonderful spiritual experiences and every day my eyes are opened a little bit more to the majesty and beauty of this Gospel. I can´t really explain it in words, but just every day I have more and more insights to the love Heavenly Father has for us, and the perfectness of the Plan of Salvation, and this Church. In everything from my morning studies, to lessons we teach, to sitting in my room reflecting on the day and writing in my journal I feel my heart becoming more and more firm in the gospel and more and more touched by the SPirit. My love for Heavenly Father and His Son is growing so much, and also my love for my family...all of you! I think it comes especially from seeing other peoples lives change. Like Mario and his fam. We found them, happy and religious, and now after TWO WEEKS only, there is a different light in them. A different joy in thier house. A different hope and glory of Eternal Life together as a family with Heavenly Father and His Son. And when I see this beautiful change in them, I can´t help but think of all of you and how sacred it is that we are all sealed together and nothing will ever seperate us. What love Heavenly Father has for us!! We are so blessed!! Camie wrote me an email last week and closed with, ¨we have such a great family don´t we?¨ She is write. You´re write camie!!ha And our family is the way it is, because we´ve always strived to build ourselves around the Gospel. I´ve been able to watch Mario and his fam as they´ve begun to build themselves around the GOspel and the change if marvelous. Incredible. I know this Gospel is true. I love all of you so much, and am so grateful for your love and support. How grateful I am that we are all growing in the Gospel together.

p.s. I´ll be getting mail later today, or soon, so if you´re wondering mom if the package arrived...I´ll let you know next week. I´m pretty sure it did. I heard I have to packages in the offices, and a gang of letters.

p.s.s. Dad, about the cd cover. I don´t know. I don´t have much time to think about it. What I was referring to with the Jack Johnson cd cover is how it´s not a plastic case with a booklet inside. It´s like cardboard, or heavier duty paper. I don´t know how to describe it. Camie can maybe tell you about it. It´s just a more unique way to produce a cd cover, and if it´s possible I´d like to do it that way. As far as the design goes...I´ll keep thinking, but really I don´t know. Sorry I´m no help!! Love you!!

LetterFebruary 20, 2008 top

My beautiful family,
Well it is so good to hear from those of you that wrote. Especially from you alyssa. Thanks for your happy letter. I couldn´t stop smiling while reading it. Well, I titled this email ¨blessings and trials,¨ because this past week had it´s fair share of struggles, but as always just as many blessings. It sounds like you´ve all been having some troubles of your own at home with the snow, and Grandpa´s illness. Thanks for informing me about that. I´ll start praying more specifically for him. When you get the chance, send him my love and admiration. I recently read a chapter in the Book of Mormon that talks about I think it´s Alma...not sure.... and the righteous followers of Christ. They had fled from King Noah and were leaving in peace and properity when out of nowhere a lamanite army came and messed everything up!! They were patient in thier afflictions, and put thier trust in God and He delivered them. I think the story is somewhere in like the last 5 chapters of Mosiah. Sorry I can´t remember it exactly, but you should all look it up and read it and I think it might bring some comfort to the family in this time of prayer and fasting for Granpda. We just gotta remember to put or trust in Heavenly Father, and align our will with His, and then no matter what happens, we´ll be happy. Tell Granpda I love Him.
So, mom, thanks for buying that camera cable, but before you send it you should take it back to the store and get your money back.ha I have some decently bad news...two days ago someone broke into our apartment and my i-Pod and speaker system thing, and my digital camera...with ALL the pictures from the first 6 months of my mission. I´m so sorry. I know you all were waiting for pictures, and I had planned on printing a bunch off today and sending them. I do have a few that I can send home...but besides that I´ll just have to start taking more with the regular camera a bought a couple weeks ago and send them later. This definitely was a frusterating incident. I don´t know if there´s anything you can do at home. Like if the camera or i-Pod had warranties and can be replaced? I´m not sure if there´s any kind of warranty that covers robbery.ha Let me know what you think you can do. Really though, I´m so sorry, and super sad myself. I know those things weren´t cheap too.
On the bright side of Argentina, this saturday we have a baptism. Mario, Lorena, and thier 4 childeren that can be baptized right now are all getting baptized saturday at about 7 o clock. I am soo excited. I hope everything goes well the next few days and we don´t have to move the date. We should be fine. We have the baptism interviews tomorrow, and if everyone ¨passes¨, and I´m very confident they will, we´re home free for baptizing.ha I have honestly fallen in love with this family. They are so fun and so happy. The change I´ve seen in them is just indescribable. What I´ve seen in them is what missionary work´s all about. Watching people being filled with hope and happiness of Eternal Life through the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ. I honestly can´t tell you how amazing this work is. Every bit of stuggle and ¨tuffness¨ there is with missionary work, and there´s alot trust me, is made completely worth it when you watch people recieve the blessings of this Church. Yanina for example, is honestly a different person. So happy and vibrant everytime we pass by her house now. Just so you know, we are no longer teaching Paola. She´s being having some struggles and has made some poor decisions looking for help elsewhere besides the Gospel and we need to use are time looking for others who are willing and ready to recieve us.
Emily, HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! I am so excited for you, and especially for your baptism!! That is awesome babe. Honestly...I am soo happy. WRite me an email and tell me all about your party! I love you. Mom, you asked me about Jesse´s brithday. It´s the 23rd. Wish him a happy birthday for me, and tell him thanks for the package and letter. Also, I don´t know if you sent a package in the past weeks, but I didn´t recieve it during transfers and our zone conference this transfer isn´t until march 15th, so...I won´t be getting any mail until then. Send the package with the lotions and I get it March 15th.ha i love you mom. Thanks for everything. Well, as of now I don´t have a whole lot more to write. I hope you are all doing well. Be careful in the snow, and have lots of fun with it too. I can´t wait til we can all go sledding again. With the way time is flying, that´s not too far off. I love you all, I´m working diligently for you all, and am praying my heart out for you all. Until next week.

LetterFebruary 27, 2008 top

Holy Cow...HAPPY BIRTHDAY TOMORROW!! I am so so so excited for you! And so happy that you´re eight now and get to be baptized. Congratulations Stink. Congratulations beautiful. And you pierced your ears...sweet baby. Send some pics. And TWO puppies! Chau! That is so cool. Send some pics of them too please.haha

First off, my heart just became very very heavy reading about the passing of Granpda. I´m sorry I don´t have words of comfort to share, and that I can´t be with you all. Dad I know how hard this must be for you especially, because many times we shed tears together during times of struggle with grandpas cancer and sickness. All I have to offer is my testimony. Family I know now, more than at any other time in my whole life that Heavenly Father has prepared a perfect plan for us. That Grandpa is alive. I know that. I know Heavenly Father loves us, and wants us to all be together again. And we will be together again. I know that more now than ever before. I love you all.
An update on the work. We had to postpone the baptism of the Ayala fam. A few holdups is all. We have the interviews this evening, and hopefully it´s Heavenly Fathers´s will that they be baptized this friday. That is what we have planned as of now. Thankyou so much for all yours emails. Besides the passing of Grandpa life sounds really good at home. Even with the passing of Grandpa we can be happy and hold to each other and the hope we have of the eternities together. I am so grateful for our Savior Jesus Christ. I had a neat this past week to see a broadcast of Elder Holland. He came to Buenos Aires to speak to the members here, and last sunday we got to watch it from the stake center in Zárate. I learned a TON, and want to toss out just a few thoughts. First, I learned that every one of the apostles has ALL the keys to preside over the church...but only the prophet ¨uses¨ them. He explained like this. ¨In the last breath that PRes. Hinckley took, in the very next breath Thomas S. Monson´s keys were activated and he became the prophet.I didn´t know that. He talked about how incredible it is that an organization as grand as this church can have so much authority and power and leadership changed so smoothly. Without a ripple. He doesn´t know any other organization of equal grandure in the whole world where that can happen. He talked alot about the importance of youth. The time from the age 12-22. He compared it to a tunnel, and explained how when we enter the tunnel we have to make more crucial decisions and choices in the tunnel than at any other time in our lives. He related a story about a vision Brigham Young had when he fell into a coma in Winter Quarters. Joseph Smith appeared to him, and Brigham Young pleaded that he come back. Come back!! Cuz they were failing, and had soo many troubles. Joseph Smith pointed his finger at him and said. YOU ARE NOT FAILING. Keep gong. He said Joseph SMith said 7 times during the vision ¨keep the spirit of the Lord in your life.¨ Elder Holland told us that that is soo important during our lives, and especially during the tunnnel of 10-22 years. We need to keep the spirit of the Lord in our lives in every single moment! AMy and ALyssa and Melanie, remember that please. Of course I want the whole family to remember that also, but especially you girls. The decisions you make now are so crucial. Really consider getting your patriarchal blessings too. That will help you so much to navigate the tunnel. I promise. Mine guides me incredibly. It was a really good broadcast. I felt really inspired, and was able to apply so much to my life and missionary work even though it was directed to the members in general. It´s neat how the SPirit works that way.
Mom, about the digital camera and i-Pod. I can buy another camera here. Maybe it´ll even be cheaper. I´m half and half with it though. I don´t want to spend a bunch of money on a nice digital camera, and ¨lose¨ it again. But I would like to be able to send digital photos home with email. I did buy a cheap film camera a few weeks ago so I have a camera right now. Let me know next week if you want me to buy another camera, and how much dough you wanna give me;) Dad I did get your email from last week, and of course yours from this week. Thank you so much. I am so inspired by your wisdom and example. The tranquility, and ¨not-being-mad¨ I felt when my camera and ipod were stolen I completely attribute to you, and the way you handle these situations. You complimented me, but it goes right back to you pops!
I wanted to share really fast some thoughts from my scripture study this morning. I had an amazing study, and the spirit really opened my eyes. I recognized the importance of faith, diligence, and small and simple things.haha I recognized a chain reaction with the story of Ammon. In alma 17:13-14 it talks about how ammon and his bretheren undertook a really hard task to preach the gospel among a very hardened people. The ¨chain reaction¨ begins in verse 31. Ammon saw an opportunity to serve and bless the other servants. He had faith they could gather the flocks, and win thier hearts and maybe end up teaching them. I´m sure he had no idea what he started. In chapter 18¨2, the servants told the king all about what ammon had done(of course because he had the spirit of the Lord in his life.ha) The King was astonished and wanted to see ammon. In verse 23 we learn how the king said he would believe everything ammon said, and verse 40 it states that HE BELIEVED. In 19¨9 we see how King Lamoni´s wife witnessed what had happened to her husband, and she also believed. in verse 15, the servants who were all around witnessed what happened, and began to pray, and believed! Verse 17, Abish, the servant who was ¨a member¨ saw an opportunity and ran from house to house to tell everyone. In verse´s 31 and 35 it talks how many heard, believed, and were baptized. A while later in chapter 20, King Lamoni and Ammon ran into King lamoni´s father. After the little skirmish they had verse 27 says the father(King over all the land) was desirous to learn. In vese 22 we read how religious freedom was proclaimed among all of King Lamoni´s people. In chapter 22 verse 1 we see how the SPirit guided aaron to the King Lamoni´s father´s house.(Heavenly Father knows exaclty what´s going on in EVERyTHING) Verse 11, King says ¨I will believe thy words.¨ Verse 18, King prays and ¨falls¨ in the spirit. Verse 23, we see how the wife and all the household who witnessed all of this were converted. The whole household!! in Chapter 23 verse 3 we read how the King over all the land proclaimed religous freedom for ALL THE LAND! Verse 4...ammon and the others¨began to have success.¨ Verse 5...THOUSANDS of people converted. All this came flooding to my mind this morning. Sorry if it´s a bit confusing, but you can all read the story and try and see what more the spirit shows all of you. I felt like Ammon had no idea of the influence his positive attitude, and trust in the Lord, would have when he said to the other servants ¨relax fellas! Let´s go get the sheep, and we won´t die!!¨ Through all this, Heavenly Father guided his servants and children. The SPirit made weak men, and small things magnificent, and the results are unfathomable. I´m so grateful for the knowledge we have with the Book of Mormon. I´m so grateful for you all. For Grandpa. For the Plan of Salvation, and to our savior for His atoning Sacrifice. I love you all!

p.s. mom, that´s cool about carolee and fam movin close to us. Carolee is sweet. I know exactly what you´re talking about when you mentioned the ¨special connection.¨ They´re a great family, and you should all become great friends.ha Enjoy the puppies em and fam. Take pictures, send em to me, and know that I love you all soo so much. Chaü!

LetterMarch 5, 2008 top

Oh man I´ve spent just about all my internet time writing my mission president and reading you emails. I don´t have too much time to write. I wanted to print your email dad and read it later to save time, but in the email the text and photo are too wide to fit on a printed sheet of paper. I was messing around with it to try and change the dimensions, but couldn´t. Dad, maybe you could send me the email again, but formatted so I can print it off next week. I want the photo of grandpa. Also, yes, I´m way interested in reading yours and gregg´s talks if you have them.

But hey, you all sound really upbeat and well. I´m not gonna lie. It´s kinda frusterating that so much goes on at home, and I´m missing it all. I can´t even believe all that has happened in just this first part of my mission. Don´t worry though, I´m happy, focused, and diligent. I just miss you all, and feel bad I can´t be with all of you. The funeral sounded beautiful!! How I would have loved to be there! I´m sure this past week, and especially the weekend were very spiritual and warm despite the cold weather. I can´t even begin to express my gratitude for the family I have and your examples for me. We were all so blessed by grandpa´s example, and are all so blessed by the Gospel. Truly the ¨sting of death is swallowed up in the hopes of glory¨ because of the knowledge we have.Alma22:14. I am so eternally grateful to our Savior. This past week was really good. Yesterday I was pretty sick. Luckily I was able to work the whole day, and feel a little better today. Don´t worry mom, I am eating good. Thanks for asking. Mario, his wife, and kids were confirmed members last sunday and that was beautiful. I confirmed Mario and one of his kids, Elias. I had never done it before! Not even in English, and I was pretty nervous, but the words left my mouth smooth enough and I felt really good after. It was a great experience. Last monday we had family night with them and it was sooo fun. Absolutely nuts with 8 crazy kids but really really fun. Mom, I took some film to a kodak shop today so I´m going to send some pictures off later today. So they´re coming. I don´t know if they´re good photos. I´m pretty sure the majority are of the Ayala´s. (mario and fam.) Emily I didn´t hear too much about your birthday party but it sounded really fun!! I hope it was. I love you so much babe. Good luck with your baptism. I wish I could be there to see you!! Email me and tell me all about it.

Mom, you asked if my mission is making me the person I want to be or something like that...yes. I´ve been able to feel a change, and growth...probably more than I even realize. I love this Gospel more than I ever have in my life. I just have such strong desires and yearning to be better. To read and apply everything in the scriptures and just be such a powerful instrument in Heavenly Fathers hands. I can´t really explain it too well, but it´s something I´ve never experienced in my life. Well not as strongly as now at least. I just want to be better. I want to know more. Excercise my priesthood more. Be more like the Savior. My mission is changing me, alot.

Well I gotta go. Sorry this letter was lame. I love you all tons. Thanks for your examples and love. Stay upbeat and hold to Gospel like our family always has. I love you!


p.s. dad, Tawny wrote me a while ago and wants to be added to the email list. I don´t know her email. Jesse can hook you up.ha Also, ryan leaves on his mission in like a week. That is sweet. I need his MTC address. Once again, jesse can hook you up.ha

LetterMarch 12, 2008 top

Yo yo fam,
How are you all doing? Mom thanks for starting your email with ¨hi honey!¨ It made me feel really good. Not sure why. I guess it´s just been awhile since I´ve had anyone call me honey. Yes it´s true, my comp doesn´t call me honey..ha.
Well it sounds like things are just movin right along at home. I´m glad everyone is happy and safe. That was pretty funny about camie getting bit by a dog, because it made me remember the time she got bit by the giant king goose at that little pond by our house. That was soo funny! But hey, sorry you got bit cam. That´s a bummer. I hope you´re okay, and if it makes you feel better I´m punch one of the dogs down here. It´ll be easy too, cuz there´s like 18 dogs to every human. Not really, but yes there are alot of dogs. I haven´t been bit too seriously yet;) Emily, I didn´t hear too much about your baptism but from what I heard it sounded soo great! Sorry I missed it. I´m sure you were beautiful and so bright. So you know, I sent a package home to the fam with pictures for everyone else and a bunch of golosinas(argentine sweets) for you. Alyssa, thanks for your email baby. It made me feel like a million fahillion bucks. You´re so sweet. Your testimony is so strong. Good luck wit soccer and all that jazz. I won´t make it to any games this season, sorry:) Amy, how are you? Man I miss you alot. I´m catchin a vibe that the friend situation for you is a bit bummy. Advice: Choose friends that make you feel good EVERYTIME you´re with them, support you standards, and don´t say or do things that drive away the spirit. If the people you´re hangin out with aren´t doin that...Chaü! Say goodbye, and forget em. You are gorgeous, and so magnetic, trust me. Heavenly Father blesses sweet girls like you with the best friends in the world. Melanie, how in the world are the puppies? For some reason I felt like you would be the person to ask that question.ha Do they live inside the house? Mom said they´re getting all potty trained and stuff. I was thinkin, when I get home...they´re going to love all the family and hate me, cuz they won´t know me at all and will be all grown up. How are you doing babe? Feel good? I hope and pray so. Keep fighten to stay healthy, and listen to mom and dad´s counsel. Also listen to camie´s counsel, she can tell you how to get bit by any animal on the planet.haha Sorry camie, I love you tons! Dad, thanks so much for the email. You are an unbelievable example for me. Honestly. I´m glad our family has you at the head. I hope work is going well, and your church calling. I´m sure you´re inspiring everyone around you. I hope your heart feels healthy too...thanks for your positive attitude and testimony with the passing of our beloved beloved grandpa. The funeral sounded stunning. Mom, hi honey!!I hope you´re taking pictures of life. I really really would like to see pictures of life as it unfolds at home. Like the em´s baptism, the house, family, puppies, just everything. I want to take pictures and send em to you too. I sent a package home with some. I don´t have any money in my personal credit card account. Tell me how much you want me to spend, put the money in the account, and then I´ll spend it.ha Also, sorry I forgot to answer your question. No I haven´t recieved any packages from home. I´m pretty sure they´re sitting in the offices. WE have zone conference in two days, and interviews monday so I think I´ll get mail on one of those two days. Also, Elder Bown, one of the area 70´s is going to be at our zone conference. That´s a super blessing, and I´m really excited. You asked if I´m ready for a change. I´m happy wherever the Lord wants me. Yeah, I´ve been here in campana a looong time but I´m happy. I think it´s very likely I´ll get transferred in two weeks when we have transfers. You never know though. I haven´t heard anything about jesse´s mission call. I´m sure I´ll hear next week. I am so so excited for him. He is such a stinking good friend. Are you makin friends with Leelee?(carolee.ha) About the flooding. I heard about it, but no we didn´t have any flooded. Hardly any rain. I´ve played the guitar in members homes a few times. Missionaries are allowed to have guitars too. We have a crummy one in our apartment. I play every once in a while, but there´s really not much time. Usually I read the ensign instead of playing the guitar at the end of the day.haha I try and play just enough that I don´t forget my songs. NEWS FLASH! An email from Jesse just arrived...he´s going the the Brazil, Maceio mission. He enters the MTC JUNE 18TH! Oh man, that´s far away.ha Woo hoo party Jesse!! If you read this, Congrats and I love you!

Well, I´m a bit distracted with the far as the work here goes...things are fine. Once again we´re going through a ¨find investigators struggle¨ but I´m sure the Lord has people prepared. We set a baptismal date with Yanina´s mom, Susana. So that´s neat. But yeah, I´m working hard, and being obedient, and learning and growing alot. The language is still a frusteration at times, but is no longer a heavy burden.
I love you all so much. I already can´t wait til next week:) Love you!!

all my heart,

LetterMarch 20, 2008 top

Hey Hey,
Surprise surprise, it´s thursday and I´m writing. Sorry if I caused any heart thumps or skips or worried your minds a bit for not writing on the normal day. I can explain. Myldsmail, the server missionaries are supposed to use wasn´t working yesterday. It wouldn´t let me log in to my account, and it was quite heartbreaking cuz I really look foward to your emails. We returned to the internet cafe to do internet later in the afternoon to see if it would work, and after like ten times of trying to log-in my desperate prayers were answered and yo! yo! yo! I was reading your emails. Thanks mom and dad for bein so faithful and writin so religiously. You have no idea how much I value your advice, testimonies, and LOVE. So you may be wondering why I didn´t write you all...i did. I wrote one nice big email and hit click! and the website crashed again and the email didn´t send. So sorry. But I´m here in ARgentina still,ha, alive, and doing well. I´m finally gettin ova a naggin sickness I´ve been combatin the past week or so, so that´s nice. The work is goin foward.

Things sound well at home. Emily I am so excited for your gymnastics meet. I won´t be there, but I´m still excited. I´ll toss up some prayers for you. And you too Alyssa. Good luck in your soccer game. You´ll do soooweet. And hey, even more good luck with ¨roading!¨ I can´t believe you´re doing the whole driving things already. Way cool . Be careful and don´t hit any parked cars;) sometimes those are the hardest to miss cuz they just sit there and don´t get out of your way. Man our family´s not such a ¨young¨ family anymore. Emily´s all baptized and I´m sure stickin true to that important covenant...right Em? Alyssa´s driving already, and Mom´s turning what..27 or 28 this sunday...?haha Man we´re gettin old! Happy Birthday mom!! Really, happy happy birthday. Marchs 23, one year older and way super cooler. Throw a huge party and let me know how it goes. So you know mom, yes I got your package. THANKYOU!! We had zone conferene friday, and interviews monday, and I got mail monday. A package from you, a neato collage thing from the singles ward, and a few letters from Tawny. She´s super nice and writes me the sweetest letters even though I don´t write her back as much as I should. I just don´t have too much time. Sorry I don´t write you all more straight up pencil and paper letters. Time is not found in abundance as a missionary. Emily, and Melanie I´ll definitely write you back. Thanks so much for writing me those letters in the package. Thanks mom for the treats, jacket, and pìcs. I love love love getting pictures!

Well I don´t have as much time to write today as normal so I gotta go. So you know, transfers are this tuesday so I´ll be doing email monday or tuesday. I think tuesday, but I´m not certain. For the doubts, just write me sunday monday and tuesday morning.haha I love you all. I´m glad you´re safe and sound. The work is goin on here. I´m workin hard and bein obedient. We´ve got a baptism next week so that´s great.

LOVE you all. LOVE!

LetterMarch 25, 2008 top

Dear Fam, Holy cow it´s so good to hear from you mom and dad. Our fam sounds really well and happy. I love you all so much. I feel so humbled and blessed to be part of such a wonderful family! Emily, great job in your gymnastics competition, and awesome awesome awesome job learning the articles of faith. Keep it up!! Alyssa, I am so excited that you´ll be getting your patriarchal blessing. Amy, mom told me a funny story about you, jesse and tawny, dresses, late night calls to neighbors, and alot of laughing in a restaurant...??...I didn´t really understand everything but it sounded really funny.ha Melanie, HAAAAPPPPPY BIRTHDAY!!!! Mom said you wanted to go to california, and then she said...¨it´s tempting.¨ha That was a funny line. Camie, I love you. How´s school? Mom and dad thank you so much for writing me. Things sound great. We are so blessed. I don´t have very much time to write. This is just a little short email to let you know I'll be writing saturday, because saturday is my new P-day. I´ll tell you why now. Today we had transfers. I had kinda expected a change, but not the change that came. This morning President Argyle called me, and asked to me to recieve an assignment as his Secretary..or secretary to the mission. I live in the Capital now,(I still haven´t seen our apartment.ha) and I will be working in the mission offices. The truth is I don´t really know exactly what I´ll be doing, but I have a computer and desk now.haha Tomorrow is my first ¨real¨ day. I feel so unprepared, and so humbled. I am confident the Lord can and will carry me. I am so excited to be working in the city and learning from the other Elders I will be with(the assistants, financial secretary(my comp)...). All the other Elders have like at least 18 months in the mission. I´m not sure what the Lord has in mind, bringing me and my ¨almost 8 months in the mission¨ here. I was trembling after the phonecall with the President. I knelt and poured my soul out to the Lord that he would help and sustain me, and gave all the thanks I could for this amazing opportunity to learn and grow. I will let you know more Saturday. For now, I love you all so much. I am glad you are well. I feel so humbled to be the recipient of all your love and support, and for the opportunities I am having to serve the Lord.

LetterMarch 29, 2008 top

Fam, Wow. Life is really different now here in the offices. Harder. It´s more difficult to complete with all our tasks that deal directly with ¨inviting people to Christ¨...aka...proseliting, because there is soooooo much to do in the offices, and I am super lost.ha I know I just need to be patient, but it feels like there is just tons to remember and my brain isn´t exactly recognized for it´s remembering skills. I can´t even tell you all there is! I deal with everything from ordering flights for President and missionaries, to daily tasks Pres. Argyle has for me. It´s like, there´s a Financial Coordinator, Housing Coordinator, and Materials Manager(orders office matierals, organizes mails, etc..) and EVERYTHING ELSE fall to me. It´s crazy. The old secretary, Elder Anderson, will be here for another week and a half to keep training me, and from there I´m all on my own. It´s tuff, cuz he can train me on all of the ¨set¨ assignments we have, ex. things like registering missionaries in the country, or entering mission data, but there´s so much I have to do that he can´t train me on. For example, if President Argyle doesn´t know something, it falls to me. If a missionary doesn´t know something, it falls to me. Or if anyone else in Argentina for that matter needs to communicate with our Mission, it falls to me. As you can probably tell, I feel a bit overwhelmed. But don´t worry. Everything´s going to work out smooth. I´m not scared or worried, just overwhelmed. ¨Doubt not, fear not¨ right?:) There are alot of pluses to this assignment, don´t worry. For example, Jesse wrote me a letter just last week, and I got it today, the day it got to the mission. Now I don´t have to wait like a month and a half to get mail.ha You asked about my schedule, and if I still proselyte. Yes, I still proselyte...thank heavens!! We have to be in the offices by 9. The mission is kinda like a business. ¨Opens¨ and nine, and ¨closes¨ at like 4. Well that´s the new office goal, be out of the office and in the street by four. So far we haven´t been able to meet it. We´ve left at like 730 the past two days which is horrible cuz we have the same assignments and goals that the rest of the missionaries have concerning the ¨work¨ but we have a whole lot less time to complete with the assignments. So when we leave the office late, it schools us you know. I´m super excited though, for all the things I´m going to learn. I´m excited to work with my new comp, tall guy Elder Nielson from Colorado, the financial secretary, and excited to learn how to work effectively in the city. Elder Nielson is a super hard worker. I´m going to learn alot from him, and I think we´ll be super effective together. I live in a much nicer apartment now. Not cuz office workers get nicer stuff, but because there was a senior missioary couple living there, but they went home recently and the office missionaries are living there until another senior mish couple comes. We have a little balcony that overlooks a few of the richy-rich yards and pools around us and studying on the balcony in the mornings in the cool Argentine air...oh man, beautiful!ha Dad, you asked if it was hard to say goodbye to some of the people I had gotten to know in Campana. Yes! I didn´t really get to say goodbye to too many people, because now we find out if we´re leaving Monday morning and we spend almost all day monday preparing to leave, and tuesday morning we leave. Last monday evening I passed by my converts...well, the Lord´s converts...obviously. Mariela started crying as soon as I told her, Yanina and Susana were alright, but Susana was pretty sad cuz I was going to miss her baptism, and The Ayala´s...oh man...I almost didn´t get to leave Campana because of them!haha They were devastated!! In a happy sad sort of way that is.phff. They almost wouldn´t let us leave the house! It was pretty funny, and a tuff goodbye, but I´m so happy about the life that now lies ahead of them. I have to go though. I love you all soo much!! I´ll have to let you know more about what I do, as I learn more. I LOVE YOU ALL!!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY YESTERDAY MOE!!

LetterApril 5, 2008 top

Ah! My heart is honestly just aching for you all! You have no idea. Well, maybe you do have somewhat of an idea, because I know you´re all missing me too, but I have a whole family I´m missing! You all only have one person to miss.haha Man you all sound so good. Dad thankyou so much for your email. For fillin me in on life at home and sharing your testimony and stcriptures with me. You have no idea what inspiring influence your words have. It´s amazing the way the Spirit enhances the love in a family and greatly magnifies in such a way that it kind of hurts sometimes. Incredible, no? Pops, your email made me laugh when you quickly typed...hang on a you could jump on the web and snatch a couple ticks to the Stadium of Fire.haha That is going to be soo fun. Tickets to the Blue Man Group´s concerts go for more than 100$ I think, and I´m sure seeing Hannah Montana LIVE will be just a life changing experience.ha Lucky girls..em and moe. Alyssa, I am soo excited about youre patriarchal blessing, honestly, way to go baby!! That´s so special. I´m sure it was a beautiful experience. Pretty amazing thing the Priesthood no? Stick to, and trust your blessing. I promise you those words on your blessing our God´s words. I promise you. Thanks alot for sending me that pic of Moe´s birthday. It made me very happy. About your goal to go to the temple once a week together in the morning Dad and Melanie, that´s great...almost as awesome as mine and Dad´s early-morning before school fishing trips we did in Washington. What sweet memories those are of life in washington! I know this is random, but our fishing trips, Dad, came to my mind when you told me about your´s and moe´s efforts to attend the temple. Of course, baptism´s for the dead are a bit better;) I´m envious of all of you enjoying conference together with cousins, and camie and friends down from school. I bet that´s great. So you know, I´m writing this email in between the sat morning and aft. sessions. None of our investigators could make it to the chapel today for conference so we decided to watch it here in the offices. We set up a projector, connected it to the internet, tossed a couch in front of an empty white wall and we´re watching the conference sessions here in the office. Tomorrow we´ll have investigators so we´ll watch in the chapel. Luckily, that have a special tv in the stake center for english speaking missionaries so we can enjoy it in our own language. If it were in spanish, that´d be fine, but not quite nearly as good...i won´t lie.ha But man!! How about the first session! So good!! SO so so edifying and just a BLAST of joy and gratitude for being a member of this church no? Of course, Joseph B. Wirthlin´s talked touched my heart greatly as he spoke of the importance of family for exaltation. I felt so greatful for the fam I lucked out with. Thankyou family. I´d love to chat more about conferene but time is short in the quick moving world of missionary email time.
Mom, you asked if I interact with the President family. Yeah a little. Every once in a while we take the car to run errands to the mission home and I see his family. Not alot though. You mentioned how President Argyle seemed like a powerful spiritual man. He is. I love being in close contact with him. I hope to learn alot. You asked about the packages don´t looked like they´ve been opened. I´m sure thier fine. Also, can you put money in my personal account for a digital camera and a bit of spending money. You can take if from my personal account if you want...haha. I´s thinkin maybe 300$ dollars or so for a digital camera. What do you think? For Pday we usually just go grocery shopping, do email, and hang out around the apartment. Here more in the city there´s more to do. My comp and I found a super super cool street market today that we want to visit next week...aka...the personal spending money.ha So you know mom, you´re going to get an envelope in the mail with a couple papers and pictures. I need you to take that stuff to the Triple AAA office place and get me an International Driving Permit. Can you do that and mail it back to me as soon as possible? It costs $15.
Well I think I have to go. Once again I had more to write, but lost my little paper list and can´t remember everything. I love you all so much. Thankyou for your prayers and faith. Thanks for writing me mom and dad. You don´t know what your words do for me. I love you both incredibly.
I am so grateful for conference. For this church and the joy and security it gives us. My whole soul burns as I listen to the latter-day prophet and apostles teach us. How grateful I am to preach this message of joy, exaltation, and eternal families thanks to our loveing Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. It´s amazing how the greatest of Christ´s leaders on the earth are those most willing to serve and put others desires before thier own. I fullly sustain our prophet and apostles.

...and I fully sustain all of you wonderful family, and pray you feel my love.

p.s. Sister Argyle sent the attached photo to us. It´s from a Mission Leadership counsel we had last week.

click to enlarge
click to enlarge

LetterApril 12, 2008 top

Hey fam,
Wow. Once again I´m sitting here at the computer completely awe-struck at how unbelievably blessed our families is, and how amazingly blessed I am to be a part of it. I love hearing from you mom and dad, and reading about family life, and all your experiences, faithfulness, and love. From my ¨outside¨ point-of-view here in Argentina I feel so incredibly humble and grateful for my family. I feel like you are all growing, physically and spiritually, and progressing in the gospel without me.haha I´m sorta just an eye-witness! I think it´s the same with you all how it is with me. You tell me sometimes that you see such growth and change in me, but I don´t really see it. And I, on the other hand, see such growth and change in our family and you probably don´t see it and recognize it like I do. I don´t konw if I´m really making any sense. Really I´m just so glad for family. I never really showed full appreciation for all of you like I should have. Just know any words I could write wouldn´t fully capture the profoundness of my love for all of you.
Family is really close to my heart today especially. I´ll tell you why. This morning we were studying and getting ready for the day when our cell phone rang. I answered it and Pres. Argyle said ¨ustedes tienen planes para almuerzo hoy?¨ you guys have plans for lunch today. I told him no, and he invited my comp and I, and the other two elders we live with and work with in the office, to lunch with him and his family. The mission president has four kids. 3 boys and a girl. We went to a chinese restaurant(haha) and then afterwords to McDonalds for mcflurry desserts. We didn´t have to pay a peso!!ha It was really fun to go and just be able to chat with the president and his family and hang out. It was a weird feeling too. I couldn´t stop thinking about all of you.
This past week has been good. Yes mom I´m catchin up on everthing. I can basically function normal in my assignment, but like I said, well I think I secretary alot of my job is figure out resolve problems or questions that the president, missionaries, or just anyone else don´t know the answers to.ha So therefore, I know what I´m doing, but don´t at the same time. I´ve found myself praying for help many times like you mentioned in that little story about grandpa dad. Thanks for sharing that. I can´t tell you pops what your emails do for me. You´re the rock I´ve built my life around. Well, maybe better said, you´re the example that has caused me and our whole family to build our lives around Christ and the Gospel. Mom you too. Your emails make me laugh alot. You feel me in on life, and I feel like I´m part of your crazy schedule. I love you so much. I´d like to hear more about the plane-ride adventure camie took. More than anything, I´d like to hear about this BOY she went with. What´s going on cam? Come on. Fill me in!!haha Congrats on gettin asked to prom Amy. Take a picture! and good luck with the ATC. Alyssa, I´d like to hear your thoughts about your patriarchal blessing. Email me! Moe, you still in to dillon?ha If he becomes student body pres let me know. Em, how´d your gymnastics meet go? I saw a pic of you dancing at your school! You look great! Super pretty! Oh yeah, mom and dad..that´s going to be soo fun in california! What a gift mom. Just so you know, it won´t be nearly as good as our New York trip...but enjoy yourself.haha;) Did you all end up going to Moab this week like you mentioned you might do mom? So you know, I haven´t gotten the package yet. It should arrive some time this week. How´s grandma mann doin? Do you read my emails grandma? I love you. I miss you alot alot. Mom, you asked some questions. Yes the city is pretty americanized. Especially the area we went today for lunch. There are alot of ameican brands. It´s definitely distinct here, but there´s alot of the same kinds of cars and...I don´t know... things. It took some time, but I´ve really fallen in love with the ARgentine culture. The food here is good. Because we work in the offices we don´t eat lunch with the members hardly ever like before. The food is good though. I don´t know how to explain it. We do eat alot of beef, chicken, rice, and stuff like that. And alot of noodles and raviolies and things. The food is really good here....usually. The church is strong. The new ward I´m in is alot more ¨estlablished¨ than the ward in Campana. It´s alot bigger too. Of course, the church isn´t as firm and strong here as the States, but the members are faithful and participate in all the same programs and activities.(gen. conference, seminary, mutual...) Speaking of General Conference. Holy!! Soo good, no?! I didn´t get to see the priesthood sesh so I´m really looking for to the ensign to get here. It takes alot of time though. Maybe if you guys have an extra conference edition you can send it to me as soon as you get it. It doesn´t really matter...I´ll get it eventually. Conference was so incredible.
Hmm, what else..sorry this email is so so sparatic. I keep forgetting to write little ¨outlines¨ to organize my thoughts. The work is going good here. We have recently set a few baptismal dates with some investigators and are workin around with that. We´re teaching a family, the Ledezma´s. We´re having trouble trying to help them come to church, but we´re praying for and working alot with them. Mom you asked if it´s harder or easier to find investigators here. Both. There are alot more people to talk to, but thier lives are alot do you spell busy-er...ha, so sometimes it´s tuff to find time to teach. We take the train almost every day. That´s different than Campana. We always took the bus. The train is more fun, cuz it´s bigger, and there are always people selling stuff and trying to make money.ha People play the guitar on the train asking for money, sell candy, carry stereos playing music trying to sell cd´s...I don´t know, just lots of name it and I´m sure it´s probably being done somewhere on some Argentine train.ha
Life is good though. I happy and working hard. My comp is a good cook, and whips up alot of good chow. Oh yeah, a really nice canadian lady stopped by the offices here to drop off a package for a missionary(random?) and she gave us marshmallow and rice krispies and I made rice krispy treats. I know that´s out of the blue, but I thought I´d let you know. I never knew rice krispy treats were so easy to make!ha
I´m so grateful for the anchor the gospel is to our souls. I´m so glad our family is built around the Savior and His church. I love the Lord with a deep love for that. One thing I´ve found, and am learning so much about as a missionary, is that some of the sweetest moments we have in life are the moments resulting from following the promptings of the Spirit. There are few things as rewarding as the peace of conscience that comes from knowing you just followed the Spirit and fulfilled God´s will. That our family, each one of us, will continually strive to follow the promptings of the Spirit and be filled with joy every day is my humble prayer to our loving Father in Heaven. I love you all. So much.

LetterApril 19, 2008 top

Woah fam,
Wow what a day of email. Thankyou so much for writing girls. I´m used to getting emails from mom and dad(and I savor every word every week!!!) but it´s extra sweet to hear from my sisters. Thanks for writing. You all sound soo...vibrant!ha So happy and content with life. I´m sure, well I think, you all have daily struggles and strifes cuz life´s not all cozy fires without any smoke, but it definitely doesn´t show in you girls. You sound so happy. If only I could be so optimistic and positive!
I´m glad to hear spring break passed smooth and tranquil. Man I miss moab! Too bad dad and amy got stuck home...but I´m sure that was nice too. Amy you mentioned how you had to stay home to watch the dogs...that still is soo weird to me! Camie, your email was probably the happiest you´ve ever sounded. I am so glad you love life. You deserve it more than anyone I know. Honestly. Good luck with...everything;) Alyssa, your patriarchal blessing experience sounded unreal. I want to get mine again now!!ha Thanks for sharing your sound super grown up by the way, it´s almost weird. Your letter was also really funny when you talked about emily falling down the sand dune hill, and then slapping the water off the high-dive in moab!!haha Amy, you are so sweet. Next time you head to grandma´s house to help her out with stuff give her a hug, kiss if you want,ha, and tell her hi for me. I miss her alot. I don´t know when prom is, but it sounds like it´s going to be good. Enjoy enjoy enjoy! Moe and Em, I didn´t hear from you two, but I know you have just busy busy lives so don´t worry too much. I hope you´re happy and doin well. Mom, thanks for fillin me in on life. I still haven´t gotten the package. It should be here by now,´s not. I think alot of the packages are getting inspected these days so it´s pretty possible there could be problems because of some of the stuff you sent. I don´t think electronics are allowed...I don´t know why. I was talking to the elder that handels mail, and he said you could call the offices and give him the tracking number. I think it´s a number that has two letters, then numbers, and then two more letters (ex. UT1111AR) and we can figure out what happened. Call monday if you want, but when you call PRESS 6 for the extention...DO NOT PRESS 7. I repeat.. DO NOT PRESS 7, because I´ll pick up the phone, and as much as I want to hear your voice...that just wouldn´t be a good thing.haha the number is (011) 4747- 4020, and then the extention 6. Dad, thanks for your email, I just skimmed it, and am already inspired by your example. Thankyou so much. How´s work goin? I don´t know why, but I´m curious about that. I don´t really even know what you do anymore. And the Highpriests? I love you.
Well in the subject line I wrote ¨smokey mouth, and cozy heart¨ The cozy heart comes from hearin from you guys, and the smokey mouth comes from the smoke that has filled the whole city this past week. Mom, remember the angry farmers you were talkin about a couple weeks ago, and how there were some problems with the market...well they got even more angry and decided to burn all thier fields at the same time and the whole city has just been filled with smoke for days. It´s crazy. The mission even had the missionaries in a couple zones stay inside one day. I think the fires are pretty close to Zárate and Campana where I was. I´m not sure why there´s so much smoke here in the city, but...yeah, I´ve got a smokey mouth.
The work is goin good here. Well at least the mission is still functioning and hasn´t self destructed with me as the secretary. It is so crazy how much there is to do. When you have like 180 missionaries living in a foreign country teh ¨things to do list¨ can be pretty lengthly. The president has me do a ton of stuff for him, and I still can´t even imagine how it must be for him! He´s like a dad with 200 kids! Elder Nielson and I are trying to start up an English class here. We´ve been taking flyers around and asking business if theý´ll post our sign and the majority let us. Our first class was last thursday and nobody came!ha Nuts. We´re gonna stick at it. We´ve got quite a few of investigators right now. None that are progressing real well, but we´re working with that. We found another family last night I think it was. We have a return appointment monday night and I´m really excited for it. We randomly found them looking for another family at the same address. We talked to the dad and he let us in for a few minutes. We taught a quick lesson about the blessings of the Book of Mormon. It was funny, they were eating dinner when we got there and there was a raw chicken sitting on the table. During the lesson I was talking about the importance of reading the book of mormon to know if it´s true and all, and I was like ¨Look! See that chicken on the table. I have no idea if it tastes good. It looks pretty good, but I´ll never know unless I try it. It´s the same with the Book of Mormon. you gotta taste it.¨ It was kinda funny and we all laughed a bit. We´ll see if they tasted it Monday.
Well I better take off. I miss you all a ton, but am happy. I´m glad you are all so well, and so faithful. I can´t thank my Heavenly Father enough for my family and blessings. I don´t thank him enough! Gotta get better at that. You´re right camie, tt´s crazy how the time is flying. I love you all.

p.s. oh yeah. This morning elder nielson and I parked the car in the street at a parking meter without paying the meter and a ¨parking boot¨ got put on the car.haha LAME!! We didn´t pay the meter, but we definitely paid the price.haha

LetterApril 26, 2008 top

Loved ones,
So I had some serious dejavu. De-ja-vu. I don´t know how to write that...? Anyways, I had some serious dejavu goin on today that took me back to our New York trip we took dad and camie last May was it? June? I´ll tell you why. We had a new elder arrive to the mission today. We´ll have a ¨batch¨ of 18 getting here in a week and a half at transfers, but for some visa complications we had one elder arrive early. Since elder nielson and I have alot of stuff to do dealing with new missionaries we were in charge of taking care of everything for him today. Basically,we got up extra early this morning to do a bunch of driving all over Buenos Aires. President Argyle and his wife picked the new elder up from the airport and took him to the Argentine MTC, because the president likes to pick the missionaries up, and he and his wife had a temple sealing this morning, and the MTC is right next to the Buenos Aires Temple. We picked up his trainer and took some other elders to thier new areas. We were driving missionaries around for like 4 hours! It was actually pretty fun. Eventually we met up with President, his wife, and the new elder at the MTC, had a little capacitation meeting with the new elder and then took him and his trainer to thier area which is right in the middle of the capital. President Argyle ¨ordered¨ us to go out for some food after we dropped them off cuz we spent some of our pday driving elders around.haha So we dropped them off, and then drove into the heart of Buenos Aires. This is where the dejavu kicked in. It´s super super similar to New York. Not so many skyscrapers, but it´s crazy and huge. We walked around for an hour or so and just looked at all the shops, took a few pictures, and fed a million pigeons in a little park.ha It was really fun. We ate in just a random restaurant we picked like we did every day in New York. ¨Hey that looks good, let´s go there!¨ha Remeber when we ate in that little italian restaurant all alone?haha So FUN! I couldn´t help but think how much you girls would like all the shops here. Argentinan women are honestly known for thier style, and there are some sweet sweet clothes and things here. I wasn´t too interested in anything...but we did stop in a little tie shop and looked at 200$ ties. I couln´t talk my comp into buying me one.;) Anyways, I´m sure that was completely confusing what I just said. To wrap it all up in an empanada(yummy littled breaded pastry everyone eats here) We enjoyed a day in the capital. I´ll try and send you some pictures next week. We took a bunch with my comps camera. Well, things are going great. Mom and alyssa, you asked if I like working in the offices more or just in the street. The truth...I don´t know. We have alot of really neat experiences in the offices, and it´s really unique but the truth is I miss the normal work alot. There´s alot of stress in the offices too. There´s just ALOt to do! I´m happy though. I recieved a letter from the Ayala family yesterday. They´re doing really well. Mario and Lorena(parents) have callings and stefania(oldest daughter) is faithfully attending seminary!! Yeah baby! It made me so happy to hear from them. I´m pretty sure Lorena is convinced I´m going to stay with them for a year after the mission. She wrote about that in the letter.
Mom, I don´t have the package, but we did recieve a notice that there is one waiting for me. When packages get here, we recieve notices from the postoffice, and the other elders that deal with mail go every three weeks to pick up packages cuz it´s kinda far. It just so happend that the day my notice got delieverd to the office was the day they went to go get packages...but about 30 minutes after they left so I´ve got to wait a bit to get it. Hopefully the package I´ve got waiting is your package. Probably.
Our english clash went a bit better this past week. We had one investigator and two members. WE´re growing!! We didn´t have alot of time this past week to publisize too much. You had some good ideas dad for our class. THe truth is we actually aren´t really allowed to do much in the schools, but we´re trying to target youth. English is really big here among the youth. Really among everyone. An while we were eating in Capital there was a group of chinese people and argentines. The chinese people couldn´t speak castellano the argentines couldn´t speak chinese, so, they were all trying to speak enlgish.haha
As far as investigadores go, we´re working alot with one man who´s wife is a member but he isn´t. They have two kids. His name is Raul and He´s really interested in our beautiful Plan of Salvation. It´s neat to watch people´s countenances change as the Plan of Salvation answers questions of thier souls they´ve had thier whole life, and thier spirits are touched as the hear, here on the earth, the plan they heard and chose before this life. This gospel truly is amazing. Our Heavenly Fathers is infinitely merciful.
Sorry this letter is a bit random, and confusing. My thoughts aren´t too gathered. I hope prom was amazing amy. Em, it sounds like gymnastics is just getting huge. Travelin to ogden for a meet!! Wow!!! Tell Granny happy birthday for me.
Last thing.Dad, I know the same plan that caused Raul´s countenance to lighten when we taught him is the same plan that will bring us back to Grandpa´s presence I´m grateful you have brought me up in that faith. Be strong and prayerful. I am astounded at the example you set for me and our family. For your faith and hope in Christ. Thankyou so much for lifting me each week. I hope my choppy testimony can lift you. I know that Christ knows your heart, and what you feel each day. You´ve got the strongest heart I know, but I will pray even more fervently that your heart might be comforted in Christ. I love you Dad.

LetterMay 3, 2008 top

Hey Hey,
Dad happy birthday!! I should have said something last week, but i didn´t realize that the next time I would be writing would be after your birthday. Oh well. I´d like to take this time rightnow to wish you one very happy birthday. How young are you now?ha Mom mentioned in her email(which just barely popped up while I was writing my mission president! I love that!) that you went to the Thai house right? Delish. You should make a reservation for the family for the day after I get back. That is, if they let you make a reservation more than a year in advance.haha I hope you had a really good birthday. Mom mentioned to me what she´s thinking about getting you. Sorry I can´t tell. But hey mom, that sounds like a really good idea. I bet he would like a !#%$&%°#". That´s code for what she´s thinking about getting.ha I still haven´t gotten the package yet mom, like you asked. Like I mentioned a bit ago, there´s a package waiting for me at the post office in Capital. When the elders go to pick up mail from this place I´ll know. I think they might be going this next week. Maybe I can talk em into it. Women´s conference sounded great. It´s awesome how many sweet things our family gets to do. And it´s it key to recognize it´s the beautiful Gospel that brings us all our happiness. I´m thinking about what you mentioned dad. There are only a few things from this life that stick with us in the life after, so we should really work to develop and focus on those things. And it´s interesting to note that those things that stick with us are the things that make us truly the happiest from day to day. So why not focus on them right?! Our relationships, character, and inteligence. True day to day happiness in this life depends on those things, and they´re the things we take with us after we day. Seems to me that if we develop them well...we can´t lose! And the Gospel helps us, and really is our greatest key, to developing those things. So basically, THE GOSPEL=NOT LOSING. Whew! Man, how unprofound I am.haha
That´s nuts that it snowed. I can´t believe that. It´s also pretty cold here. No snow though. It should be getting pretty hot there in the states by now, no? dad, thanks for you inspiring email. You wrote the words from ¨How firm a foundation.¨ I like that song too. I´m pretty sure we have like 50 different renditions of it in the apartment, and this morning we were listening to the Mormon Tab Choir rendition. POWERFUL, is the only word that comes to ming really. Dad you asked me if I work with the flight of the elder going home. Yes. I organize everything in the mission that has to do with missionaries flying in and out, and trust me, there´s quite a bit to do. We have transfers this tuesday, and this past week has been just nuts for me in the offices. This is my first time working out a transfer as the seecretary and OVERWHELMED, is the only word that comes to ming. There is a ton to plan with the missionaries flying home, those coming in from the states, those flying South(patagonia,) those returning from the South, etc... and that´s just flights. I´m looking foward to next week. Because that will mean I made it through transfers.ha Hopefully everything rolls smooth from now until then. I find myself offering ALOT of little prayers at tuff moments. Like saying a prayer in my heart while talking to a very angry argentine man on the phone because he called with a problem he has with the missionaries in his area and I don´t know what to tell him, to praying for guidance when I´m trying to organize all the changes for transfers and all the flights into spreadsheets and my mind wants to explode.ha(just two examples from this week.ha) There truly is comfort and power in prayer.
So a brief update on the work in the street(for a lack of a better term.) Well I guess I could say proselyting. a brief update on the proselyting this past week: My comp did a contact last week with a younger-ish couple at the train station and we set an appointment with them on thrusday. I called the night before to confirm the appointment and they said they´d be there. We passed by i the afternoon, and found them waiting for us outside thier house. I guess they live with the in-laws and there´s a little bit of religious ¨tension¨ in the home. Who knows? But they wanted to head to a little cafe and chat. So we walked to the cafe and it was closed, and decided to head to cozy little park a few blocks away. We went there, and had a lesson sitting on a park bench beneath a canopy of old towering antique trees. It was actually really neat. There were kids running and playing, and people walking and chatting all around us, but a really good Spirit during the lesson. Towards the end of the lesson I felt like we sure put a baptismal date for them...or at least try. I had never ever extended a baptismal invitation the very first appointment, and I was a little, I don´t know, nervous I guess. I didn´t want to miss the chance though if the spirit was indicating to do it so I just opened my mouth and extended the invitation. I kind of surprised myself, and my comp. even more.ha Right after finishing the invitation the father stared at me for a sec, and then nodded his head and said ¨sí¨...aka...YES. Then looked to his wife and said ¨¿vos?¨ argentine castellano/spanish.ha) And his wife said yes. It was really really neat. We´ll see if, and be praying that, they are prepared to make this covenant. That was probably the best part of this past week. Thier names are Andres y Carina, and they have a little boy who´s 6 months old, if you want to toss a little prayer up for them;)
Well time is just about up. I love you all a ton. Alot alot. Mom have a good time at lunch with Lee-Lee and tell her hi for me. Jesse wrote me and talked about this delicious breakfeast food his mom has been making him. It has really weird name that I can´t remember, but you should ask her about it and cook it up for the girls.ha
Love you all,

p.s. Oh yeah!! I almost forgot. We have a mothers day phonecall next sunday! May 11th. The president wants the parents to call us. So you all need to plan to call me next sunday, may 11th, at 1:00pm(utah time) That´s 4:00pm here. If that doesn´t work out, cuz I can´t remember when you all have church Let me know. I have one more pday before the call so we´ll be able to confirm everything. For now the number you need to call is 011+ 54-11-4747-4020 ext. 7. That´s the number here at the office and my extension.ha We´ll confirm next week. Love you all!!

LetterMay 10, 2008 top

ELder Nielson and I had some crazy stuff we had to do for president today and we lost a few hours of our Pday, and because we had an appointment right after Pday ends(6:00) and wanted to work anyways we didn´t have time to do email during the day. So we went to our appointment and worked in the street a bit and came back to the offices to write. It´s actually 10:26pm here right now! We´re supposed to be in bed in four minutes!ha We sacrificed a bit, so I think we´ll be forgiven.haha
Man I had soooo much to write!!! This past week was absolutely insane with transfers and Heavenly Father honestly carried me through it. I´m not sure why, but we were just so busy with ¨transfer stuff¨ and other work. We were in the office til like 11:30 one night trying to wrap things up, and after 10 a few other nights. The point mind, body, and heart were just TIRED this week. I don´t know why it was so crazy. Everything from cancelled flights in Argentina because of an errupting volcano in Chile(I wonder how cory beighley´s doing?ha) to problems with EXEL trying to put together a bunch of graphs for the president.ha Crazy crazy crazy.
Anyways, I guess it´s okay that I´m not writing very much, because WE´LL BE TALKING TOMORROW!!! I´m so excited. We have a change though.. call @ 3:30(utah time.) That´s 6:30 here. Elder Nielson´s fam had some problems so we need to do it a little later. Is that okay? Now you won´t have to miss any of church. I hope that´s okay becaue we won´t be able to confirm. Mom, yes that´s the right number. 011-54-11-4747-4020 EXT. 7. You´re going to call and hear spanish and then after English so don´t worry. My phone is extention 7. So push that one. If all else fails, I have an extra phone card from last christmas(oh man I can´t believe how long ago that was. How time FLIES!!) and I can use that to call you. Camie, I want to talk to you. So RIGHT after, cuz I don´t have alot of time, mom and dad need to call you and you can give me a call and we´ll do a little chit-chattin brother and sister style.ha I can´t wait!!
Well I love you all. I attached some pictures. I can´t even remember what they are. I have a bunch a good pics my comp took but this myldsmail is absolutely ridiculous when it comes to attaching photos. SO SLOW! So there´s tres pics. That´s three.ha
THankyou so much for writing everyone. I´m going to read your emails later. I skimmed em though and you sound well, and I am so grateful to Heavenly Father for that. We are so blessed. Gather your thoughts and questions for tomorrow, and I´ll do my best to talk clearly in english.haha I´ve been talking to a few parents of missionaries these past few days and it´s hard! I kept accidentally talking in spanish, and they thought I was crazy.haha
Okay, I´m out. LOVE!!

p.s. Phonecall Key Info:
011-54-11-4747-4020 ext. 7

p.s.s. ALYSSA!!!!!!!!!!!! Happy birthday babe!! Sweet it up!!haha

LetterMay 17, 2008 top

Man how good it was to talk to all of you! Those phonecalls are pretty ¨wicked¨ha…the fastest call of my life and as soon has I hung up I was thirsty for more. That´s okay though. Just another experience to help us learn of the importance of love in family. Thankyou all so much for chatting. It was so good to hear your voices. Amy´s and Alyssa´s voices sound the most different. Sorry I was so stuttery. I´m going to practice my English a little bit for the next phone call.haha

So mom and dad you didn´t mention too much about the California getaway you had, but I´m sure it was a blast. Which show was better dad? The one we saw in New York or this one in California. What else did you do? So you know mom I still haven´t gotten the package. The elders went to pick up all the packages, and forgot my ¨slip¨ paper receipt thing and couldn´t redeem my package!!haha What can you do? We´ll just have to wait a bit longer. Not 4 weeks this time don´t worry. They´re going to go for packages again this week.

Emily it sounds like you are just going crazy with gymnastics. Every week I hear about different meets you´re having. You´ll be in the Olympics before I even get home!! Maybe they´ll have them in Argentina and you can come down here;) I´m glad you have so much fun doing it. If you can, take some pictures of yourself and send em to me.haha That´s unbelievable that school is already getting out. What plans do you have girls? Or the family? I know a while back someone mentioned something about the family takin a trip? Is that still out for voting..? I vote you go on a fun trip together.

This past week was pretty good. Last Monday we had a couple missionaries arrive to our mission late instead of with the last transfer of missionaries. It was pretty fun. We had a little mini-capacitation (is capacitation an English word!!? I honestly can´t remember. In Spanish it´s ¨capacitación.¨ If it´s not a word: it´s like when you inform someone about all the details they need to know. You ¨capacitate¨ them. I think I´m losing my mind.haha) and then we went out to eat in a really nice AMERICAN restaurant down here called Kansas. I heard it´s like the equivilant of Houston´s in the states, but I´ve never heard of Houston´s so… We also had zone conference. It was really good. Pres. Argyle really touched on repentance alot, and shared some really powerful insights and doctrine. If I had a bit more time I´d share all my thoughts. One thing I really liked and am trying to grasp in my life is the principle of loosing the desire to sin by sincerely repenting. As we can learn to truly abandon our sins and plead for forgiveness the Lord strengthens us and truly purges our hearts and minds, and our weaknesses in sin vanish. We stonger and more capable to resist...even against our ¨favorite sins.¨ The ones that are super hard to let go of, because we ¨like¨ them. I don´t know a missionary I´ve been trying hard to grasp repentance so I can be more a more powerful teacher. I love teaching the Gospel. It´s such a beautiful thing. Now that I´ve got a better grasp on the language I´ve just fallen in love with teaching. Sharing the tender truths and satisfying the thirsty desires of the souls of God´s children. Also, ALL the missionaries and prophets in the sciptures preached repentance. How am I supposed to proclaim something I haven´t even fully grasped? I guess I´ll never really grasp it in this life, but am going to try;)

Well, ¨¨mil disculpas¨ or ¨one thousand sorry´s¨ for writing an email so scattered. I was trying to attach and send photos the whole time and was a little distracted. I´m glad you´re all well. i miss and love you, and am so grateful to be here serving. Talk to you before we know it!
love, steven

LetterMay 25, 2008 top

Hey Family,
Haha, thanks for clearing up my confusion with the word ¨capacitacion¨ dad. Orientation I´M PRETTY SURE is the english equivilant. I honestly thought I was losing my mind last week when I couldn´t remember the word in english.haha

Sounds like home life is cozy. That still blows my mind you´re all crashing into summer, and a fantastic summer at that. The trip to Yuba Lake will be ¨unmissable.¨ hmm..yet I will be missing it.ha I guess we´ll just have to plan another;) For your sake mom I hope the weather warms up PERMANENTLY and you can enjoy thawing out all summer. It´s cooled off quite a bit here, but the temperature jumps around all day every day. I never can tell if I should carry my jacket or not. OH! so you know mom, I got the package. Woo woo! Thanks a bunch. The camera is great, and I´ll start putting it to use. It was soo wonderful to get some fotos too. I kept looking at em over and over again. I think emily was in just about every single one. That´s what comes with being the cutest and sweetest in the family I guess. But really, thanks for the package. I don´t need anything for my birthday, really. All I can really think to ask for in a package would be food...but Argentina has food so... Maybe if you´re going to send another box toss some packages of flavored hot chocolate and Mac and Cheese in. Not sure why, those things just sound good right now.haha

Thanks for fillin me in pops on the family history subject for sacrament meeting tomorrow. Good luck with your talk. I can´t think of any real advice right now, but maybe by the end of the email I´ll have something. I have a question...does the church throughout the whole world follow the same ¨schedule¨ for sacrament topics?ha I know the whole church uses the new Jospeh Smith manual and has a schedule with a few things like that, but last Sunday we had a sacrament meeting completely focused on family history too. Kinda cool that´s all. Also dad, thanks for filling me in on some of the struggles people are having around us. I´ll be more fervent in my prayers for them. Maybe you could send me the address of the young man in the ward you mentioned, and I could write him a letter of encouragement or something. I´m not one of many masterful words, but would like to help. That´s bizarre you mentioned him in your letter. I´ll tell you why.

A couple weeks ago, the young man you mentioned, came to my mind. For days I thought about him! I remember thinking, ¨man I wish I would have magnified my calling better in the priest quorum and fellowshipped him better.¨ I remembered one day after I had started going to the single´s ward when Bishop Okelberry(he´s so great) chatted with me in front of our house when I was mowing the lawn or something and asked me to look out for him and invite him to church and activities, I did, but I don´t think I came through like I should have, and it´s bothered me ever since! I remember thinking I should write him and see how he´s doing...but I didn´t. While reading your letter just now I realized something that seems so obvious now, yet didn´t even cross my mind a couple weeks ago when I was having these thoughts for days....THAT WAS A SPIRITUAL IMPRESSION...and I failed to listen and follow. What a horrible feeling. It´s so easy to get caught up in our other church callings and assignments, get caught up in thinking that we´re already doing enough and so we don´t heed the simple and suttle spiritual promptings to give service and bless others. I think that´s what I did. I thought ¨ah, it´s fine. That was a long time ago, and I´m too busy here on my mission as it is.¨ or something like that. Man how short sided. Well I guess we´re all learning together right now as I think out loud in my email. You asked for insights for you talk dad after sharing your personal experience of the Brother who was so willing to sacrifice and serve in the ward. My personal insight would be what I just wrote. It all just started flooding to my mind. Maybe if we could all see the ¨consequences¨ or lost blessings of not giving service(like I did just now), blessing for ourselves and others, we´d be more quick to toss our name down on the service sign-up sheets that get passed around in priesthood and relief society.

I gotta jet. Thanks so much for writing family. I love you all so much. Sorry this email got a little side tracked, but I at least feel enlightened. I hope all you do too. All my love til next week.

p.s. this scripture just came to mind. 3 nephi 27:13. Christ came to earth only to fulfill God´s will. We should be more willing to follow His example and put the will of others over our own. Service isn´t always easy, but neither was Christ´s sacrifice in the Garden of Getsemani. Seems sacrificing ourselves in order to serve others is a good way to show our gratitude for Christ´s love.

I love you all. And am going to serve more.

LetterMay 31, 2008 top

Wow wow wow...can you say ¨chau June!!¨ I can´t believe how the time is escaping. Anyways...Hey dear family. How in the world are you all doing!!? From the looks of the pictures you sent dad, it seems like everyone is doing awesome. Thanks so much for sending pictures dad. I love seeing them. Emily and melanie you both look so happy and extra beautiful. Even prettier than I remember. Dad I loved what you said in one of your emails that had just pictures. You said ¨It's a beautiful summer day. I'm headed off to work.¨ I loved that!! Not sure why. I just pictured you typing that real quick and slippin out the door a little bit behind schedule cuz you took time to send me some pictures.ha I don`t know if that`s true, but thanks so much. It was also funny cuz when I read the email I was had just gotten to the offices and was bundled up in my scarf and jacket freezing cold...¨la ti da ti da, I´m headed off to work in our nice and toasty summer weather...enjoy the shivering cold in argentina steven¨ haha. How the tables have turned. I remember reading moms emails about how cold cold it`s it was in utah just weeks or a month ago when it was way hot down here. Mom, before I forget. To fax me something to sign, you use the phone number of the office with the ext. 4. So it would be 011 4747 4020 ext. 4. Send the documents with a page on top saying what I need to do, and I´ll send em back. I need your fax number too. Put it on your ¨information sheet¨ with the documents. And you asked if I get to play the guitar or piano. Yes to both. The piano not as much, but we have a guitar in our apartment so I play when I have a little bit of time. Just so you know, and can be super proud of me...I always make sure I leave enough time in the nights to write in my blasted journal. I write in my journal all the time thinking ¨oh nuts, if I don´t write tonight I´m going to end up stopping to write all together and mom´s gonna kill me.¨haha I love you mom. I know journal writing is good. Quick p.s. We`re in a city called Tigre right now cuz there´s like an XGames skate comp or something we wanted to come see, using an internet cafe to do internet, and a song just came on in the cafe. ¨Blue¨ I thinks it´s called. Do you remeber when I made up a dance to this song in 6th grade and danced to it in the talent show.hahaha! Oh man that was humiliating!! Don´t worry, I don´t ¨listen¨ to the music, it´s just there. ..? Anyways...
Dad your talk is awesome. I would´ve loved to hear it. Very well done. Very very good. It´s bizarre how your words humble me, and are so powerful. Thankyou.

Alright, so this past week has been been pretty good. I forgot to tell you all about it last saturday but on wednesday we had a special conference with EARL C. TINGEY from the presidency of the Seventy. It was incredible. It was just like a devotional where we sat there and were soaked with doctine and was more of a casual discussion where we participated a bunch and asked questions, and of course were still soaked with doctrine and spirituality. I really really enjoyed it. That was definitely the highlight of the week. Another cool thing. Presidente Argyle invited us to his house for breakfast this morning. We showed up at eight in the morning and had a mountain of pancakes waiting for us and ¨Keesh.¨ or something like that. Keesh is a hashbrown, cheese, and ham goolosh. Delish. After I played catch with one of the presidentes kids. Felt good to toss a baseball around for a bit. We´ll do it again in the future pops don´t worry. I figure that´s a tradition we´ll carry around until we´re both to old to lift our arms and throw a baseball. Oh man I don´t want that day to ever come!!haha

We´re still having some trouble helping the investigators we´re teaching progress. But I appreciate all your prayers, and especially yours Em. Mom told me that you´re doing alot of praying for the investigators these days. Thanks babe! I know it helps. We´re trying to put a baptismal date with Joel, the 19 year old kid we´re teaching, but it´s tuff. He accepts everything we teach, but hasn´t recieved that ¨spiritual confirmation¨ that´s so key in this work. We have a lesson with him tonight, and I´m thinking about sharing 1 Nephi 2:16 that talks about how nephi believed his father, but it wasn´t until the spirit descended upon him that he had a change of heart and REALLY believed..or knew.And Also maybe try and compare it to Mos. 5:2 when the people of King Benjamin believed all his words, but it was only when they recieved a spiritual confirmation that they REALLY changed and had TRUE desires to follow Christ. I don`t know exactly. Because of this breakfast thing this morning we didn`t have a chance to prepare a lesson, so those are just some thoughts. We´ll see and I´ll let you know how it goes.

Well I betta jet. Thanks so much for writing mom and dad. I´m so grateful for the time you take to toss me emails every week. I love you all so much. Enjoy the summer, and remember I´m praying for you all. I´m trying to give it my all here and honor you all before the Lord. Thanks for honoring me before the Lord with your faith. I love you all family. And you friends too that might be reading this;)

LetterJune 7, 2008 top

Good morning,
So this morning we leave the apartment and are walking the quick two blocks to the apartment on an unusually beautiful day(it´s not so cold today) and I´m thinking hmm, what a nice day, I think I´ll take a picture of the street, so I did, and then we got to the office, and I thought hmm, maybe I´ll check our mail slot and see if any mail arrived after we left the office yesterday, so I did, AND bam bam bam I had an awesome card from you mom! Thanks so much!!

I´m not sure why I included the taking a picture of the street part in that little story. Well I guess you know that I´m using my camera mom...thankyou.

So I mentioned the nice day today, what else is new..? Nothing. Well, I hope you´re all fine and life is good. Talk to you next week.


HA! Trick. I´m still here.haha Alright sorry, enough with the games:) Well things are going really well here. We have transfers in about a week so the tension is really starting to pull. We´ve got an unusual amount of changes and flights this transfer so that´s been a bit demanding the past while, but I´m confident things will go well. I learned alot from my beating last transfer and hopefully won´t make the sam mistkaes. Things sound like they´re going well at home. Especially girls camp. Seems like it was a pretty good time, despite the downpour. I can´t think of any specific experiences right now of rainy scout camps that were awesome, but I´m sure I had some.haha Sometimes the rainy days here are the most fun. Especially since my comp and I have a good excuse to laugh every 15 seconds...that´s about the spacing of time between my ¨casual¨ walking, and my ¨scream while almost fall on my face cuz there´s absolutely no traction on the bottom of my shoes¨ walking.ha My Hushpuppies are real soft on the inside, and turns out they´re real soft on the outside too, cuz the traction disappeared after about a month in the mision. The stuff you shared from girlscamp really sounded inspiring mom and I soaked your testimony in. Thanks for sharing that. Dad I am severly jealous of the weekend you and emily shared together while everyone else was at camp. Well, you, em, and the dogs. Tell them congrats on graduating from Dog Training School. That´s absurd. ALso, tell gregg, terry, and the fam hi from me. I hope thier race goes good today. Also, let terry know that I think it was yesterday or the day before that I had a very vivid thought...¨man, I could really go for a hot slice of Terry´s home-made bread.¨ after I thought ¨would it be possible to have here send me a loaf..?¨ scratch that idea. The layover for packages between here and the States isn´t too convinient for fresh bread.ha But really Terry, I still carry you and your delicious bread in my heart;) I´m sure the giant group family night will go well Monday. Feel free to take pictures...but don´t feel obligated. If i was you and I´d rather just chat and enjoy the night.

These days we´ve got somewhat of a lack of investigators. Partly cuz it´s been pretty tuff to find people, and partly becuase we´ve decided to ¨leave¨ a handful of investigators. They´re just not progressing and we don´t have time to watch them not follow through with commitments. I know that sounds harsh, but it´s how the work is. And I´d say it´s one of the hardest parts of the work! Leaving people. It was interesting that you mentioned what you did dad in your email. About struggling watching people not accept the Gospel. As always your wisdom and spirituality had pretty good timing to lift and inspire me. Thankyou. I know I´ve mentioned it before, but I absolutely love watching peoples faces change over a few good weeks of lessons. Until now in my mission I´d say the Ayala fam was the biggest change I´ve seen, and it honestly changed my mission. Now each investigator has THAT potential in thier eyes for me. I watch and teach people that have no idea how the Gospel will bless them, yet I know, and it´s a horrible feeling having them tell us they´re not interested, or a million times worse, having to tell them we´re not going to pass by anymore. I feel so blessed having been born of incredible parents, and beautiful sisters that set a grand example for me. So anyways, we´re working extra hard to try and find some dear newbies to teach.

Well I have to wrap up. Sorry this email is so short. Maybe to wrap things up I could share a lesson I learned from Pres. Argyle. Almost everytime I´m with him he teaches me something. He´s always sharing little shots of doctrine, or little clips of wisdom from his life and I find my self writing the things I´m learning in my journal each night. Something he shared yesterday was really interesting. He´s got a vision of going on divisions with every missionary that he has throughout his time as mission president. Which is outstanding...realizing he has give or take 160 missionaries, and new ones coming and old ones leaving every month. It is a huge sacrifice on his part. Yesterday he shared a bit of why he´s doing it. Elder Bednar once taught him a principle of personal revelation. Elder Bednar said that revelation usually comes more clearly in the environment where it is needing. Or the situation for which it is needed is at hand. I don´t know if that makes sense. For example...apostles always GO TO the stakes to reorganize stake presidencies. In stead of just praying in thier office and choosing. They go to the stakes, interview, chat, talk, experience, pray and then reorganize the stake presidency. Alot of times all in one day or weekend. That´s incredible! Pres. Argyle feels and understands that if he wants to recieve clear and effective revelation for his missionaries he needs to spend some time them. I don´t know. I just thought that was inspiring. I figure in our every day lives we could apply that principle in that if we want to recieve personal revelation we have to diligently search it. Study, ponder, BE in places where revelation can come (TEMPLE) ACT when revelations is recieved and trust that Heavenly Father will guide us. I know that is true. On almost a daily basis I feel inspired revelation guiding me. I´m confident in my case it´s not cuz I´m a spiritual giant or anything...but I cuz if Heavenly Father didn´t continually guide me, I´d end up ruining all His plans in Argentina.haha I am so grateful for the knowledge I have, and WE have as a family. Day after day I can truly testify more confidently of the vivid truth in the Gospel and the love our dear dear Father in Heaven, and His beloved Son have for us. I testify I´m not wasting time in Argentina. This work is real. I love you all. a ton.

LetterJune 14, 2008 top

Hey dudes,
Hey Grandma Mann, you know what I realized I had forgotten after I finishing emailing last week? wish you happy birthday!! Sorry. I hope it went really well, and you don´t feel as old as I do!ha

So I had a pretty good birthday. Thanks for all the good birthday wishes fam. Truth be told, not everything worked out exactly as I planned, or that is to say…after spending all week talking the other elders I live with in to taking me out to eat, I ended up not being able to go, and spending all day working on transfer stuff.ha President Argyle finished up all his last minute transfer changes late Friday afternoon, so instead of being able to prepare all the changes Friday like I would have normally done, I had to do it all today. And it took ALL day. But that´s okay.

This morning just after getting out of bed my comp put right to cookin´ me up some breakfast pancakes.ha That was nice. And we all enjoyed them, but not until after we sang happy birthday, and I blew out the candle smashed into the top of the huge stack of pancakes. It was a special treat, and a good change from the bowl of yogurt, fruit, and granola I throw together almost every morning for breakfast. After studies this morning we headed to the offices and I spent literally all day working on the transfer stuff. I took a little break, and my comp took me out for lunch. I guess you could call it a little date.ha We went to a little sandwhich café. Elder Nielson paid and opened the door for me and everything! Oh yeah, also, the Argyles cooked some brownies and left those and ice cream on my desk for me this morning which was a nice surprise when we got to the office. So anyways, that was my birthday…like you wanted to know mom. It was really great!

This past week was good. I really appreciated your thoughts dad about the struggle of finding new investigators, and also how I can improve my work ethic and technique as secretary. I´ll definitely put in practice your thoughts. This past week we were able to find a few new investigators. We taught one man named Hugo. Who seems pretty sincere about things. He lives in a humble little home with his wife and little girl, but recently the owner of the house raised the rent and he has to move and doesn´t have any place to go. When we passed taught him on Thursday he mentioned he was planning on buying a bit of lumber and hammering together a little shack to live in for a while until he can find a better place to live. That´s not very rare. Argentina is a poor country, and really humble. We offered our help builing a little home for him, and we´ll see what we can do. I´d love be able to do a little service in that way. Hopefully he´ll let us take part. I´m confident if he trusts the good spirit he felt during the lesson he´ll know we´re messengers from God, and the message we carried to his doorstep is really something that can change his life. Everytime we leave someone’s house after teaching it’s just hope and prayer, until the next time we visit them to see if they followed through with the commitment to read and pray. Pray for Hugo. I also really appreciated the scriptures dad about Ammon and his service and diligence toward the king. It’s interesting that you shared that, because this morning during comp study, my comp and I studied about and planned to serve some of the members in the ward, especially the bishop. We get along well with him, but don´t have a strong trusting relationship with him like Preach My Gospel says we should. We’re going to see what we can do to serve and help him. Preach My Gospel talks about how the Bishop is the KEY to gaining the confidence and help of the members in the ward. We really want to work better with the members and find more investigators through them so we’re going to start working on that a bit.

Mom, I am picking up on a few traditions here in argentina and learning how to cook some of the food. Don’t worry, I’ll come home all Argentined-up with some good things to share. I’d share some stuff right now, but I don’t have time. Transfers kinda stole the day away. I love you all, and I’m glad you’re all having so much fun. Will you send jesse my love and tell him good luck, and that I’ll be writing him. Speaking of writing him, could you send me his address? It was great to hear from you all. Love you a ton, and sorry for kind of a disappointing letter this week. Much love!!
p.s. honestly, sorry if this email is horribly boring or confusing. My eyes are tired of looking at the computer screen.haha Love yous all!

LetterJune 21, 2008 top

Hey so I know I wished grandma happy birthday a week late , and now I´m wishing dad happy father´s day a week late, but I totally completely and fully FORGOT last week. I´m sorry dad. Don´t worry, I still remember hair, brown eyes, super tall...right?haha Happy Father´s Day. I´m going to feel a bit silly if it wasn´t father´s day in the states, cuz it was here last weekend. Anyways, so I didn´t recieve too much news from home, but I´m sure you´re all doing awesome. Thanks for sending me Jesse´s address. I can´t believe he´s a real missionary! How SWEET! Mom your email was funning trying to explain the accent marks and everything in his address, the truth is I had no idea what you´re were talking about cuz in Brazil they speak portuguese(I just took last place in the Spelling-B I think) and it has completely different accent markings. I do read a bit of portuguese every once in a while... On the back of the Honey Nuto´s cereal box cuz they´ve got the nutrition facts in spanish and portuguese.ha

This past week was a good one. Yesterday and the day before it rained all day, and was wonderful. It hadn´t rained in a while so it was a good change. Probably the sweetest thing that happened to me this past week was I GOT TO SEE THE AYALA FAMILY!! At the end of each transfer the mission has a special fireside for all the missionaries going home. It´s for them and "thier" converts, and investigators mostly. This last transfer Elder Ibarra finished his mission so he was in the fireside, and the Ayala´s drove all the way from Campana in thier beautiful rusty old car to see him. Elder Nielson and I are in charge of opening a preparing the chapel they use, so we showed up early to get things ready. We were walking in the street from a lesson we had just had and came around the corner to the chapel and saw a man and a couple of little kids standing at the the gate waiting. The first thing I thought was "who comes this early to a fireside?" then I realized it was Mario(dad) and my heart exploded, I ran up to Mario and gave him a hug, and the kids. It was super super funny when Lorena(mom) and the two oldest girls (stefania and yamila) realized it was me, cuz they were waiting in the car and when they saw us I heard (STUCKI!!!) and then watched the car shake back and forth as they were all trying to scramble out. It was so funny, and was such a blissful moment. Honestly so good. They are doing incredible. They have callings, Stefania is going to seminary, Mario has the Priesthood, and they are super focused on the Temple. I´m pretty certain I´ll be able to go with them and watch them be sealed for time and all eternity. Converts have to wait at least a year, and I lucked out being able to participate in thier baptism early in my mission and I´ll still be around. That would be a life changing experience I think...being able to witness the progression of a family from nothing to do with the Gospel to being sealed in the temple. Let´s pray for that. Hmm, what else. I gave a talk last sunday in Sacrament. The conversation right before sacrament started was something like this, Bishop-"Hey elder stucki. Uhh, the speakers didn´t show up. Do you have something prepared you could share." Me-"No..but yes I´ll talk."haha Í´m sure I delivered a pretty lame message but it went well.

Mom you asked if I´m safe. Yes. I guess there has been some trouble in the government, unrest, if you will,ha, but I have caught a breath of any of it. Just little comments from people in the street and such. Yes there was one day this past week,Wednesday I think it was, that Pres. Argyle had us stay in the apartments all day due to a "command" from Area 70´s, but it was a normal day for us. We still came to the office cuz we only live a few blocks away and worked all day cuz we could leave to prosilyte(strike two with the spelling.) Lame. Transfers went well, there were a few little tie-ups with some of the flights but for the most part everything went really well, and a lot better than last transfer that´s for sure. Also, Elder Nielson is getting transfered out of the offices. Elder Whitmer(who right now is the Secretary of Materials) is the new finacial dude. Elder Whitmer and I came to argentina together. We´ve got the same amount of time in the mission which is kinda of strange cuz we´re comps now, but it´s cool. He´s awesome. Elder Nielson will still be with us for I think this whole next transfer training elder Whitmer.

An update with some of the investigators. Mom you asked about Hugo. We´ve had some trouble trying to get a hold of him since the last lesson so we haven´t seen him since the first lesson. We set a baptismal date with a women named Ruth. For like the middle of July. I can´t remember exactly. That´s awesome. Ruth is a middle aged women who we´ve been teaching. We met her through Joel. The 20 year old chico we were teaching. Also, We´re teaching a man named Raul. I may hace mentioned him. He is the husband of Miriam, a member here. They have two young kids. We started teaching him a long time ago, but he never really progressed much. Something changed. The Spirit was able to touch his heart and he´s been pretty sincerely lately. This past week we were able to commit them to getting married. It´s super normal, too normal better said, for people to get together and start families without getting married. I think the reason is it´s tuff to get married in Argentina, just complicated all the paper work, and even harder to get divorced so people are scared or lazy or I don´t know. Anyways, they´re going to be getting married as soon as they can get all the dovuments and paper work sorted out. That´s awesome! If they get married we´ll be on full out sprint towards a baptism and helping them take a few more steps toward eternity. yahoo. Miriam, the wife is really supported. She really likes the church and is inactive only because her husband isn´t a member.

Mom, I know it´s like the easiest recipe in the world, but could you toss me the directions for puffy pancakes. It´s like a cup of milk, a couple hand fulls of flour and a gang of eggs right? I´ve got a craving for a little bit of heaven.haha Also, update on my credit card?

Well I better be signing out now. I love you all immensly, with that kind of love that keeps growing every day we´re not together. (oo wow, that sound like a line from a song or something.haha) I hope you´re all happy and doing great, are safe, and happy, and enjoying the weather. Have tons of fun this summer and I´ll keep working hard down here. Love love.

LetterJune 28, 2008 top

Hey you guys,
How´s it goin. Today was an extra good email session. You all sound super happy, and life sounds good. Thanks for resending your letter from last week dad, and the fotos. You email was super funny. I liked how you told me when you got up from the computer to say hi to the stevenson fella that came to pickup amy, or how you kept fillin me in as more and more women got to the house for the purse party. I don´t know, I just like being able to imagine what you´re doing. You letter was really funny. And your letters mom and dad for this week were way good. Yours too girls...oh wait...NONE OF YOU WROTE ME!ha I love you sistas. Anyways I´m glad you´re all SO HAPPY! I hope me letters carry the same pop.

Hmm, alright, so first...Trek. How was trek. I bet great. That´s something that always got away from me. If I remember write I almost got to go on trek like 16 times but I was a bit too young, or we moved, or I went on a mission.. I don´t know. Something always kept me from going, but I´m glad amy and alyssa got to enjoy it. How are the blisters amy? And did you two kill any chickens? I heard that´s a popular activity. Gag. And how was the rodeo melanie and emily? Or is that tonight? Either way, you two are lucky. Don´t you have the stadium of fire this week? That will be a blast. And you are right mom, the time is fliying. It was yesterday I´m pretty sure(well not yesterday, because that means I´d be doing email on "not" p-day.ha) that dad told me about the hot tickets he snatched off the internet to the SToF. I remember thinking, "whew! july, that´s a while away." but batabing-bataboom it´s already smilin it´s pretty face. Have a blast girls. And if you talk to Hillary Duff, tell her hi for me and that there are billboards and stuff of her face all the way down here in Argentina. She´s everywhere! Emily babe, I hope state gym wen´t well. I´m sure you did awesome. I´d even venture to say better than everybody else, but who´s judging eh? Dad told me you can do flips and crazy nuts things on the grass. Did you know one time I tried to do a backflip off a light pole thing in a parking lot and I landed on my side. OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOwe! Oh man ouch. Whatever you do, always land on you feet when doing flips on pavement. Also, I caught that Melanie made the dance team. Nice work! I´ve seen a few dance studios down here in Argentina, with a handful of dancer girls chattin outside. I thought about trying to teach them the Gospel but figured they´d be more interested in talking about the perfect arch in thier foot or nice form while doing a sweet (insert dance move here.) Good job Moe. Amy, don´t get mad, but mom told me English didn´t go so hot for you this past year.haha I would help you, but my english is getting pretty bad. While I write me emails I have to go back every once in a while and edit out the spanish.haha It´s really rare that I speak any English. I just like Castellano better. It´s prettier. Good luck with studies, and work hard, oh yeah, and good look with the BestBuy stuff. I hope you get the job. Alyssa, I don´t know exactly what to say to you. I didn´t really hear anything too specific...but I guess I could share that one of the Elders I live with wants to marry you.haha I gave him permission, hope that´s okay.haha Nah, he just really thinks you´re pretty. I do to. Camie, I wrote you a little email to your hotmail account. Did you get it? If I´m not mistaken it´s the 2nd UNANSWERED email:) I hope you are having a blast in logan. What else what else...yes mom, as far as I know the mail gets here good. It´s tuff to say, cuz I never really find out if a letter doesn´t arrive or package...kinda ironic. Thanks for passin me the recipe for puffy pancakes. Not very complicated. We don´t have a blender, but a wisk, yes. And for future reference, I have yet to see an oven in argentina that has a temperature knob so I´ll just have guess at the temp. Here it´s either, a little flame, medium size flame, or big flame. Heat, more heat, lots a heat basically:) Thanks mom. Also, tell Lila congrats on the baby. That´s awesome! Tell her congrats. She served a spanish speaking mission no? You could tell her "felicitaciónes" if you want. It means the same thing. (p.s. hope the baby´s not a secret still. If so you can DELETE THIS DAD:) ) And arn goes home in a week!? Crazy. I thought he was already home, but what do I know? Tell him I love him. He served a spanish speaking mission so, maybe betterm " te amo primo mío." aka..more or less, "I love you cousin." Castellano is beautiful no?

So a quick fill in on me. I like talkin about all of you more. I think I told you about Raul and Miriam. Miriam´s a member and Raul no. They have two little kids. Alright, we´ve been teaching them for a while, and they weren´t progressing too well, BUT the SPirit helped out and BAM, they are. They´re not married but we taught them how it´s not the best thing in the world to have kids and all that without being married. Miriam already knew and needed a friendly reminder, and Raul understood how it´s our Heavenly Father´s way. And they´re going to get married! That´s great news!! It really doesn´t happen too much here in Argentina either. It´s kind of a pain getting married, and even harder divorced. They´re getting married like the last week or two of August, and Raul baptized the week after. That´s awesome! I´m really happy about it. THe work has been a bit of a struggle lately. We´re having a hard time finding new investigators, and the diligence of Raul and Miriam really lifted me up. So that was the best part of this last week. We also had stake conference which was good. Tomorrow my comp and I are speaking again, which is a nice blessing. Maybe not "comfortable" but nice. Nah, I like speaking in church. I prepared my talk this morning. If I remember I´ll tell you about it next week. I don´t have time to right now. Elder Whitmer and I had a fun little trip to the Capital yesterday. We had to take Pte. ARgyle´s car into the Area offices to have a tune up while he´s down in Ushuaia, and run a few other errands. It was fun. I love the city! Camie you would love the Capital. I don´t know why, but everytime I go I just want you to see it. Argentina is awesome.

Well that´s it for now. Maybe you´re wondering why the subject line of this email is Grapefruit spoon, and I haven´t written anything about that. Well, after much meditation, I decided that is what I want for Christmas. I haven´t found a grapefuit spoon here in argentina and I´m tired of having to cut up my grapefruits before I eat them. I just want to cut it in half and EAT!haha So Emily, if you could please foward the following letter to Santa that would be great.

Dear Santa,
I´ve been good, I think. Could you please bring me a Grapefruit spoon this Christmas or just as soon as possible. Thankyou. Oh and by the way, I´ve had a change of address. I am living in Argentina for a time. Ituzaingó 355 is the address.

Hey I love you all so much. I´m so grateful for your testimonies you share and happiness you give me. I´m to working hard and being obedient. I don´t know what else I can do to give back. Be safe and faithful. I know you are all. I love you so much steven

LetterJuly 5, 2008 top

So I´m at awe right now at the sacred blessings our Heavenly Father is pouring out on this family of ours. I´ve always felt happy and blessed, my whole life! Thanks to good parents, and beautiful sisters who put up with a gang of teasing and lamebrother lameness... but these days I just feel so LOVED by Heavenly Father and by you all. The Lord is so good to us. I guess it´s times like these that we need to write in a journal(how i loath journal writing!haha) or just remember so that when we pass through tests and trials that will always always come we can remember the beatiful blessings we have recieved and have the faith to flash a smile and go forward.

What a fun weekend you all had! Grandma, I saw a picture of you at the parade with an outrageous pink hat...of course complimented with a well kept perm and smile:) you looked great. Save a seat for me at the next...well the next after the next parade.ha Thanks for writing me Camie Alyssa and Emily. I´ll try and write you back real quick after this email. This past week has been really good. This morning we had breakfast with Pres. Argyle and his oldest son Austin. It was great. We got there, and everything still wasn´t so we all joined in. President flipped out the pancakes, while the missionaries chopped veggies and stuff and we chatted about how to help the wards build a ward mission plan. Ward mission plans are things that almost don´t exist in any ward here in Argentina, but San Fernando(my ward) is "putting in the batteries" as the Argentines say and we´re trying to throw something together. Yesterday we had a really good lesson. A member family invited some of thier neighbors to meet with us, which is SoooWEET and last night we got together. We didn´t really know exactly what we were going to teach cuz we didn´t have time to plan a lesson out(which is bad) cuz another elder and I had to go to the airport and pick up Pres. Argyle and his son who got back from the South(ushuaia/Patagonia) yesterday and just didn´t have a chance to think out a lesson outline so I went into the lesson a bit skeptical. Lots of times if we don´t prepare well to teach, we don´t have a good control of the lesson and can´t take it where we want. Maybe better said, if we don´t plan...we don´t even know where we want to take it!ha But it turned out really well. There was a young man named Alex who´s like 22 or 23 and really pretty sincere about finding the truth. He´s investigated quite a few churches and just never felt at peace. Never felt completely tranquil in any one church. He said something about wanting the same church today that Jesus Christ had when he lived... hang on a second while I scream my lungs out at how perfect that was! I couldn´t believe it. We shared some versus in the Bible and then some in the Book of Mormon to help him understand how well they compliment each other and then kind of out of nowhere I felt like he would accept an invitation to be baptized. I asked him something like "When you know, that what we share is true. That the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter´day Saints is Christs church on earth will you get baptized." He agreed. And it wasn't like a "yeah yeah, sure sure. Whateve you say yankee" kind of response. He was sincere, and almost seemed excited. So that was really neat last night. The Lord has opened some windows for us this past week and we´ve been able to find some new investigators and things are progressing pretty well. By the way ,"yankee" is a very common nickname we are so kindly given.haha Don´t worry, by the time I go home the Argentines aren´t going to be able to tell where I´m from.ha I hope! I have alot of people ask me if I´m from Brazil. I guess my accent sounds like that. It´s kind of weird. Instead of, "Where are you from. The united states?" it´s "Brizilian are you?" I guess that´s better than sounding like a yankee.haha Anyways, where was I? Uhh so yeah. It was a good lesson last night, and I´ll keep you updated on how Alex is doing.

Well I´m not going to lie. I´m having trouble thinking of other stuff to write. So I think I´m going to wrap this up and respond so some of your individual emails. Thanks fro writing me, and thanks alot camie for sending me the pictures. The ones of Oregon made me sick at how much I miss gorgeous Washington. Also, I loved the picture of the family with Jesse and Tawny. you all looked stunning in your summer dresses. Honestly....super pretty.
I´ll talk to you next week and write something better.
Love love,

LetterJuly 12, 2008 top

Hey Hey Fam,
Man Amy!! What a good gang of friends you have. Dad sent me a picture of you guys chowin down on some food and watchin a movie after your fall. You’re lucky. No I take that back, not lucky, you are super kind and pretty…and so you’ve got good friends. Being pretty isn’t a requirement for good friends, you just lucked out with the good looks;) I am sorry to hear about the little slip, but boating? Sweet! I didn’t go boating enough with my friends. Probably because I was ALWAYS with Jesse and he doesn’t have a boat.haha I hope your knee heals up well. I remember walking home from a Junior Jazz practice a long time ago when we lived in our old Orem house before Washington. I was dribbling the ball and tossin my skills all over the street for people to see, slipped on some gravel, are split my knee open. I don’t know if anyone else remembers that, but I’ve got a scar to prove it!! I love you Amy. Take it easy and careful with those painkillers.

This past week was a beautiful week here. It warmed up quite a bit. Not sure why. It’s still “cold” here but this week wasn’t so bitter. I had a few special experiences this week that really strengthened my testimony and let me recognize the Lord’s hand in my life. The week started out especially good with a birthday package I received in the mail! Thanks so much everybody. I really really enjoyed the notes and goods. I cooked up the cake, burnt my finger horribly lighting 20 candles HOT HOT HOT, and we threw a little party/just ate the cake after. Thanks for the cereal too. Who was it that remembered Cinnamon Toast Crunch is one of my favs? My guess is Alyssa, not sure why. I was really hoping this package had that picture of Grandpa that you were going to send. Or at least Mom you had mentioned something about a package with a picture of grandpa and a credit card? The credit card isn’t too big of a deal but I can’t wait for the picture! In the notes in this b-day package there was something from Robin. Thanks so much for writing me Robin! If I remember right you had asked if the mission has any traditions for birthdays. Nope.ha It’s just a normal day. But Argentina does have some traditions. Well at least one tradition that’s kind of funny. Whenever anyone has a birthday they get eggs and flour thrown all over them. It’s a ridiculous tradition that’s pretty funny. We were driving in the car just a few days ago and were stopped in an intersection. We heard a LOUD shriek and looked to see a teenage girl who just had all her friends cake here in flour and eggs and then sing her happy birthday. I laughed, and thought of you.

Okay so I wanted to share a couple things. Real quick, something that I forgot to share last week. A while ago Elder Nielson and I were walking in the street and a man came up to us, and within 3 seconds we could tell he was super drunk. Well I knew he was drunk before we even started talking by the back and forth swaying pattern he followed as he walked up to us. The 3 seconds refers to the time it took to smell his breath. Anyways! Usually we just leave situations like that right away to avoid problems, but this man called to us saying “elders” which is strange. He was a member. Turns out he got baptized a long time ago in Peru and his life has been a bit downhill lately. We tried to talk to him, but there wasn’t much use. The funny part of the story and part I wanted to share was that I talked him into giving me a tall can of beer that he was carrying in a sack. I don’t remember exactly what I said, or he said, but something about wanted to fix his life, and I mentioned how we could start with that can of beer. I told him he’d need to give it to me if he wanted to be happy. He did.haha! We kept talking and after he started getting a little bit antsy to get his drink back. I sweet talked him a bit more, wrote his address down so we could pass by another day and we took off. It’s weird, the first time in my life I ever had a can of beer in my possession was on my mission!!ha Anyways, that was just a funny experience.

We had zone conference this past week. It was really good. Pres. Argyle taught a lot about working with members and how we can better do that. He taught us how we can do little “practices” with members to help them build confidence to share the gospel with their friends. It’s something Preach My Gospel teaches, but I had never really ever considered doing it. I had a chance to the same day though. After the Zone Conference Pres. went on splits with our companionship. Since there are 3 of us (Nielson, Whitmer, and I) cuz Elder Whitmer is my new comp and is getting trained on the mission finances, Pres. worked with Elders Nielson and Whitmer and I planned an afternoon with a young man from the ward named Ary. He’s 18 and super cool. We’re going to play basketball with him and some of his inactive and non member friends this afternoon. Ary’s not too interested in serving a mission, but likes going on splits with us. After elder nielson and whitmer dropped me off at his house I had a little lesson with Ary and we did a practice. I played the role of Ary talking to his friend and then we switched. It was tuffer than I thought but went well. After we left his house and went to one of his friends house so he could try it. It went great! Nothing to big happened, but we invited his friend to play basketball with us at the church and he’s going to be there tonight. The moral of this experience is nothing more than how it surprises me that I am now the one “mentoring” other young men, rather than being the “mentored.” It seems weird, cuz I don’t feel any different and feel like I don’t know anything, but yet so blessed that the Lord is helping me grow with experiences like this. Motivating Ary to serve a mission, bearing my testimony to him, and being able to really share the witness I now have of the importance of a mission. I feel blessed for that.

Another cool experience. The same night of splits with Ary we passed by a new convert together named Domingo. He’s a good man. 40ish, married, 4 crazy kids, who got baptized last December, and receive the Melkesidec(????????) Priesthood just last Sunday. (Domingo=Sunday in Spanish.haha. Spanish lesson!) We walked into his house and the first thing Domingo said was “could you help give a blessing to Genesis”, his daughter. I was like of course!, and then remembered that he had just recently received the M. Priesthood. So I said how about if we run through how to do it, and you can give her the blessing. We sat down and I explained the two parts of the blessing and explained what you need to say and do, and then I did the anointing and he sealed and gave the blessing. It was incredible! I felt so humbled and blessed to be able to share that experience with Domingo. After leaving the house my mind wqas just screaming “WHAT AM I DOING HERE!! I´m in Argentina, speaking Spanish, preaching the gospel, and teaching humble full grown men how to give blessings” It was just a sweet tender moment were the Spirit distilled upon my soul filled me with love for the Lord.

One more experience for now. Lately I’ve been listening to General Conference while working at the computer. Yesterday I just finished this last general conference we had in April. It was so special! Throughout the whole conference there was so much love shown towards president Monson. Something especially obvious is his love for “the one.” He always took, and takes, time to serve the one and bless others individual lives. Yesterday a man came to the offices with his 18 yr old son. He somehow got into the building and knocked on our door and started explaining some lengthy situation of a sick mother and needed to travel to see her or something like that. Basically he was begging money. He said he was a member, and I believed him cuz he knew stuff about the church. Things like this happen quite a bit though. We’ve receive calls to the offices of people wanting money and things. I have now idea how they get the number, and I have no idea how this man got to the Mission Office. While he was talking to me I was just thinking “Yep, seen this before. We have nothing. I’m not going to give you anything. Please leave.” basically. But I listened. Then while he was talking to me the Spirit touched my soul and I remembered the conference talks I had just finished listening too. I thought, “who in the world am I to stand here and so cold heartedly reject this mans plea!” He finished talking and I said ok, I think we can figure something out. I remembered that I we had some left over sandwiches in the fridge from lunch, so I heated them up and gave the Father and his son something to eat and then spent about an hour making calls to the Area offices and trying to figure something out. We were able to find help and the man and his son left a little bit better than they had arrived. Afterwards the Spirit did two things…admonished me first, for almost rejecting that man like I wanted to…and then filled me with love for the Savior , Pres. Monson, and their examples. Sweetly congratulated me maybe I could say. I only share this story with the hope of being able to bear my humble testimony that I know Pres. Monson is a prophet of God. He truly is. I know the Savior is the Son of God and our Redeemer and perfect example. I am so grateful for my mission and the things I am learning. I am so grateful to you all for your love and support. I hope things go great this next week and you have a lot of fun. Amy I love you, once again, take it easy and I’m going to pray for your knee. Which knee is it?haha Love you Am. Love love,

LetterJuly 19, 2008 top

I had no idea what to put in the subject line. This morning on the way to the office I stopped by a Verduleria(Fruit Shop) and bought a gang of fruit, so..that explains the subject line and what I've done so far this morning.ha

Thanks so much for writing. As always I just soak it in. I can't believe how much fun you're all having. That's great! I'm having fun too. Can't really think of anything "FUN" from this past week, but I'm definitely happy. We stil are enduring somewhat of a lack of investigators so that's kind of tuff, but I'm enjoy the extra time to chat with people in the street and smooth spread the gospel all over cobblestone and dog filled streets. There are a lot of stray dogs in Argentina. I realize it more and more as I clean my shoes off more and more.haha Sorry. Before(beginning of mission) contacting people in the street was sorta just a heavy weight I had to lift every day. Now, I like it. It's changed alot as the Castellano has started leaving my teeth more naturally. It's like you mentioned in your letter dad. You mentioned how it was probably pretty intimidating my first discussion my first day in Argentina. I don't really remember how it was...I'd have to read my journal(did you catch that mom..JOURNAL eh eh) but I do remember I had some teary eyed nights after long days of not understanding anything all day and feeling extremely unable. It was a humble time of my life but truly like you mentioned pops. The Lord qualifies who He calls. I can testify of that. This past week started out super good. We talked to alot of people in the street, left Book of Mormon's, and set follow-up appointments with a few, but everything kind of fell through. An example. We set an appointment with one man who very willingly accepted our message, and was anxious for us to stop by his house, but when we got there the next day his wife answered the door, handed us the Book of Mormon and said they weren't interested. That was horrible! But after kind of funny cuz Elder Whitmer, right after she shut the door, was like "I need comfort food." I almost died laughing. We stopped by a little "Kiosko"..kiosk?..and I bought him some Oreos and he bought me a juicebox and we enjoyed "comfort food." Man this probably sounds lame, but in the moment it was absurdly funny. The truth is I don't have a whole lot to share from my week. Just a bunch of street contacting and office business. We coming up to a trasnfer so things are gettin a bit heavy here in the office.

Sounds like this past week was fun with Steel Days and all. Emily, I'm thoroughly impressed that you took all the rides at lagoon like they were nothing. I can't even do that! I get dizzy and die. Nice work babe. Amy, how's the knee? Sounds like you've got some extra time on your hands. Maybe you could write me a letter..? ...I don't're right, dumb idea.haha Stay happy. Dad sent me some pics of you. Gorgeous. Alyssa, I wanted to write you back, but won't have time. Maybe it's better in this email so the whole world(or like the 5 people that probably read my emails) can know how cool you are. Nice work walking out of that movie!! That is really one of the tuffest things to do. Honestly I'm so impressed and proud. Everybody, Alyssa walked out of lame movie when none of her other "friends" would turn it off after she said something. Sweet no? I don't want to be mean or anything, but ALyssa that night you learned who are a few people are who aren't worth your time. I promise they'll remember your example and will come to you if that changes. Avoid every situation like that cuz it gets harder and harder to say no. Trust me. Good job. Melanie thatnkyou for getting me a tie at the parade. I got that package and put the tie on the same day. THankyou so much for sending that picture of Grandpa. It's inspiring and almost seems sacred to me in a way. Grandpa would be proud of your wife and girls Dad. Mom, the credit card works. Thankyou. The money in the account is from my savings before the mission or a seperate account? Oh yeah, camie! How's it going up in logan. I sent you a package. Don't be excited it's lame. I didn't even have time to write you a good letter, but I hope it gets there. I wanted to send it to logan but don't have your address. It's headed home.

I've got to go. Love you all immensely. I can't wait until our summertime family nights like the one you had at grannies house. That sounded beautiful. Summer afternoon, yardwork, potluck....heaven? Almost, but in heaven EVERYONE from the family will be there. How beautiful that is. Tell sammy I miss him, and think he is soo cool, and sorry I never go to the family nights anymore.
my love,

p.s. I have no idea why this came to my mind. Interesting Argentine Fact:
Coughdrops are candy. It is the most normal thing in the world to hear someone ask "do you want a piece of candy" and then they hand you a Halls coughdrop.haha In all the stores it's right there next to the M&ms and Skittles, and Alfajores.haha okay bye

LetterJuly 26, 2008 top

Hey Hey,
So right now I'm once again enjoying the irony of having cold hands while all of you are enjoying sun rays and warm water. I'm happy for that. You all deserve it. I think I went to Yuba Lake once for youth conference. The water was really green and it was super fun. I can't wait to hear all about it(who was there, what you did, what you ate, special activities, funny stories...fill me in!!) and of course see some pictures. Please.

This morning we had breakfast with the Argyle family again. It was great. we enjoyed the usual delish pancakes and Keesh(egg and hashbrown mixture thing) Super good! We have transfers on tuesday. Things were going really well this transfer as far as preparation goes. I had all the flights organized, and things lined up perfectly....and then...BAM we found out friday that the group of missionaries from the MTC in the States aren't coming to our mission because they're waiting for visas. So, that mixed things up a bit to say the least. I can't even imagine the struggle president Argyle is having. Usually he gives me all the information friday(yesterday) but he still hasn't finished everything. If there is a siginificant change with even one missionary, it starts a chain reaction that affects the whole mission. FOUR missionaries aren't coming to the the mission. That's a horrid chain reaction. We've got some appointments tonight with a few promising and potential investigators, but after that I'm pretty sure it'll be a late night in the offices trying to organize everything to send to the Zone Leaders monday morning. Anyways...this is horribly boring, and probably doesn't even make sense. The Lord's hand is in all things, and come next week everything will be perfect. Wow, i think that's the first time in my life I've used the term "come next week".haha

So I recieved an envelope with letter's from the dear Robison Fam. I don't know if they'll read this but Thanks so much for writing me you guys! Sammy had an especially good letter ¨Dear steven, can we borrow your drums or what?" and that's it.HAHA!! It was sooo funny. I think that's a great idea sam, honestly. Dad you oughta talk to Aaron, and if they want to use my drums for a while pack em up! I'd love that. Speaking of drums...could you get me the address of Cory Beighly from your ward.I think you might have already sent me it once, but I don't have it and would like to write him. He's a great fella and a good drumma.

Well, I know this is a short letter today, but I'm going to take off. I just wanted to take one second and scream
HHHHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAPPY BIRTHDAY CAAAAAMIE!!!!!! in public. I love you camie. Happy birthday. I hope you got the package, and I hope you've had a beautiful birthday.
Love you all forever,

LetterAugust 2, 2008 top

Whoa Fam, Your trip to yuba lake sounds like a BLAST! Honestly so super fun. I know it's old news already but it takes time for news to get here to us argentines...or...for p-day to roll around. and oh man how glad I am for this pday. This past week was absurd with transfers. Transfers, like the official day, was tuesday, but the dirty work begins the friday before when president argyle sends me the information/pictures of the transfer board. I think I had mentioned something last week about some last minute changes because of the group of missionaries that weren't going to arrive to the mission for visa problems. Well, there were like seventeen thousand more last minutes changes and I honestly thought about just running to chile and then swimming across the ocean to australia just to get away from my "responsibilities" with transfers.haha It really was nuts. Usually we finish all the changes saturday afternoon, everyone finds out about all thier changes monday morning, and tuesday morning they can all travel to new areas yada yada yada. This time it was a bit different. i was on the phone with president argyle at 11:00pm monday night trying to finalize the changes so that in the morning everyone was sure to end up in the right area with the right companion. It was tuff, cuz President Argyle was trying to "wrap up the revelation" let's say and fix some of the struggles because of the complicated chain reaction of changes that was caused by the visa cancelations, and then he would just pass me the changes by phone, I organized them for the zone leaders, and was SO scared that I was missing something of forgot someone or I don't know...transfers hung heavy on my mind all weekend until thursday morning when the final flight took off for the missionaries headed home. As always everything fell in to place and The Work is going foward. Sorry if this is horribly confusing. I think I'm just trying to comunicate the confusion in my mind that there was, and just confusing all of you.

So yeah. Transfers. Mom you mentioned something about me getting transferred out of the offices. I have been here quite a while and I'm sure at any moment the Presidente could be calling me. I really have no idea. For some reason I really felt like this past transfer I was going to get moved..but the Lord I guess has something else in mind. you asked how I'd feel getting transfered. Perfect. There are things I'll really miss here in the offices, because I'm learning and growing quite a bit, but I'm excited for more time in the street let's say. There's ups and downs to every change in life, and I'm ready for what ev the Lord wills. You also asked if I see the Temple. Every once in a while I see the temple. Sometime we have to pick up or drop missionaries off at the MTC right next to it, or other random assignments and I see it. I can't wait to go inside. I haven't been to the temple since the MTC and that's kind of a sick feeling. We can go once every three months. It's just a matter of planning a trip. I definitely and planning a trip next March or April when the Ayala family are sealed together. I'm pretty sure if I'm blessed with that oportunity it'll fall right into place in the "Top 10 most unbelievably gorgeous and beautiful experiences of Steven Stucki's life" list...which I'm not sure really exists, but that's not important.

Oh yeah, Dad the story you shared about your burning feet at the lake was SO FUNNY. Oh man so funny! I was trying to imagine it and just wanted to be there laughing with you. The truth is I was kind of waiting for some kind of spiritual aplication because you're always so enlightening and spiritual, but it just ended with you running through the hot sand back to camp and "...I kept on going right into the lake. Ahhh!" That was so funny. I guess some kind of spiritual aplication, not that it's needed or anything, could be how if we enter into sin, our feet will start burning. If we don't heed the Spirit's warning the burning gets worse, until eventually we're to far out to run back, and we can't keep going or our feet will melt. That's no good though because it's forgetting the Atonement. Maybe turning and running to the lake could somehow be running to the Savior and enjoying his refreshing love. who knows.haha If I had more time, and was a wise person I'd try and write more.

Well, I better get going. Grandma I just wanted to tell you I love you. I was sad to hear about the passing of Elwood, but I'm sure he was lovingly recieved by your husband and I know we'll be with him again. Thanks for being such a great grandma and great example of faith and charity. I should tell you, when I think of the most charitable people I are the first person that comes to my mind. Honestly! I love you grandma.

p.s. dad and mom, thanks for being so faithful in writing me. I was thinking I should show more thanks. You're both so busy and for so long now you've written me so steadily. Thanks a ton! Your letters are wonderful and inspiring.

p.s.s. Mom, is granola hard to cook up? I want to try I think. Sister Argyle is going to give me one of here recipe's and could you send me yours? Thanks. I love you mom.

LetterAugust 9, 2008 top

What a subject line. Let me explain. So some of mine and my dear companion´s, Elder Whitmer, plans fell through one afternoon this past week. So we were walking around in a little shopping foodstrip boardwalk apartment buildings centerish place, ha, talking to people and preaching the Good Word a bit. I had just convinced Elder Whitmer to let me stop in a little healthfood store to by Wheat Germ for the granola I'm going to cook up today, promising him I'd do a contact with the store owner (which I did, and was very nicely but clearly rejected.ha) and we were headed to the chapel for a meeting with our ward mission leader. There was an elderly man walking towards us and we had a bit of time so we stopped him and started talking. He was such a funny nice old mine. He was smoking a cigar, and Elder Whitmer asked him if he wanted help to stop smoking. He responded "no." HAHA! That was funny, not sure why. He explained that he never swallows the smoke, just holds it in his mouth a bit, and does it as a past time or something. That was one of the most ridiculous things I've ever heard. We kept talking and he asked a few questions about the states and mentioned he had a brother that lives there. We asked him where, and he said washington. I was like "ah, no way. I used to live there. yada yada yada." He mentioned how beautiful it was, especially in the islands there and all and then asked "Do you know Anacortes? My brother lives there." (I honestly can't remember if that makes sense in English... "KNOWING" a place.) Its like, "Have you ever been there, do you know what it's like." I almost died. "Are you serious!? I lived there!" Then we talked about the ferries, and the island, and canada, and a bunch of stuff....don't worry "a bunch of stuff" includes the Gospel. It was such a fun contact, and took me back to beautiful Anacortes. (We talked a bit about salmon fishing too pops.) So that was kind of a neat little experience I wanted to share.

Random question. Dad do you know a Steven Harris that served his mission in Helsinki? I read a missionary application this past week who's dad served in Finland there. Thought I'd ask. So this past week sounded super fun. The little logan outing sounded like a dream get together. I hope you all had as much fun as it sounded. And this weekend sounds pretty packed. At least for you dad with the HP get together. I mentioned to my comp ( who loves to Golf) that you had a tee time this morning and he let out a little whimpering moan that I think that wanted to say "don't tell me that." I hope it went great. We're thinking about going to a driving range one of these p days so my comp can live it up a bit.

This past week for me has been good. We´ve had lots of time to talk to people in the streets cuz we still don't have too many investigators. It's been great. I really am starting to love talking to people. It's getting easier and easier. I think as my testimony grows my desire to do good and share this message strengthens. It's warming up a little bit, and staying lighter later which is a wonderul thing. Summer is coming! yahoo. Haha, are you all looking foward to winter? I know we've still got some time. But "time" is turning into a word that I understand less and less every day. It's flying.

Raul is progressing very well. I everything flows nice and smooth he'll have his baptismal interview not this monday but the next, get married thrusday (21st) and then the monday after (25th) he'll be baptized. I'm so thrilled. This family has truly had the veil of darkness lifted from thier lives and are filled with the gorgeous light of Christ.(Alma 19:6) We also had a good lesson with Milagros. We felt we needed to just talk of Christ and teach of his redeeming love. We used 2 Nephi 25: 23-26. "The Living Christ" proclamation thing. There was such a great spirit. At the very end, after we had finished teaching everything and we just about to say the pray she kind of half raised her hand. "Yea Milagros, do you have a question?" I asked. (and p.s. About halfway through the lesson I remember thinking, "she's got something on her mind") She said yes, and then asked one of the most sincere heartfelt questions I've ever heard..."Does Eternal Life really exist?" The spirit filled the room, just like it is now as I'm thinking about this and writing. That I remember we hadn't once mentioned the words "Vida Eterna"aka..."Eternal Life" during this lesson. We responded to her question, and testified of the reality of our Savior's sacrifice, and the Eternal Life. It was a magnificent experience. Not sure why, but the spirit was really strong. Elder Whitmer responded to her question very smoothly with the importance of gaining a testimony of the Book of Mormon, which teaches and testifies of Eternal Life. Her husband, who is a member, but way inactive, shared a testimony of how there wouldn't be a purpose without life after death. I'm sure I just sat there and soaked the spirit in and tossed a tid bit here and there. It was great. I wish you could all experience seeing the sacred change in people as they come to know and want Eternal Life. It really is amazing family. I'm so grateful we are an Eternal Family. Be good everybody. We don't want to mess anything up.haha Love you all so much!!

p.s. dad, did the Robison's pick up the drums?
p.s.s. mom, I need 1. Name, address, etc...just all the information of our new stake president. I know the change happened a while ago.
2. Same thing for our Bishop if he changed. Is it still Bishop Okelberry...? I know there were some chagnes a while ago. He's SO great!
3. Thanks for the granola recipe. I got one from Sis. Argyle too. I bought the stuff today, and am going to try it out. I'll let you know how it goes.
15. love you all so much

LetterAugust 16, 2008 top

Hey Fam,
Wow another family reunion! I didn't know anything about that? Or at least I completely forgot. That's more likely no?ha I can't wait to hear about the little mini olympics. My guess is Emily takes gold in gymnastics like the high flyin gymnastic girls of the USA. My comp mentioned that his family mentioned that someone else mentioned, that comp heard that the girls USA team took gold in gymnastics. The first person I thought of was you Em. Did you get a chance to watch that? Missionaries don't do too much Olympics watching, as a matter of fact, the closest I've gotten to the olympics was reading a billboard for McDonalds that now has a "China Menu" here. Pretty cool eh?haha So fill me in on the family reunion if you all get a chance(ALL=Everybody=Pops, Mom, Cam, Am, Lis, Moe, y Em) I'm sure it was a blast. I remember a couple 7Peaks get outs that were always alot of fun. And a great feast with Mexican Haystacks! Delish! Let me know if you'll be eating more mexican haystacks and I can help you brush up a bit on your spanish.ha! What a joke.

Well, since we're on the subject of food, I'll let you know that since the last time I wrote I succesfully cooked up my very first batch of granola. SO TASTY! I love it. I actually cooked a few batches, and got better everytime. How grown up I am these days no?

Following the subject of food. We had zone Conference this past week. Zone Conference? Let me explain. Hna. Argyle has always pressed us to eat healthy and take care of our bodies. In this last conference a good part of an hour was spent studying The Word of Wisdom...the good part that talks about what we should be eating. It actually kind of surpsised me that President and his wife spent so much time on that, but it was great. Kind of like a sweet victory for me. Since I started my mission I've been eating pretty healthy, and especially the last few trasnfers. The other elderes in our apartment would give me a hard time alot for how I eat. For example, when I'd sit down next to them and thier bowl of "Puff Nothings" during breakfast with my bowl of fruit, yogurt, and OJ. The victory, came partly after the zone conference when they breathed out in unison "Hmm, Elder Stucki was right." We laughed a bit over that. And even more today after going grocery shopping seeing them carrying bags of fruit and a few veggies. It was all just pretty funny, and I thought I'd share. My Patriarchal Blesssing(yes mom I'll toss you a copy, sorry I forgot about that) mentions a few things about not dying, ha, that sounds funny...but I've been thinking lately that the fulfillment of those blessings probably has alot to do with how I treat myself, and really taking care of my body. And that goes for us all. SO..everybody, eat well. Whole grains, fruits, veggies..yada yada yada. Ask camie to help you. She always inspired me to eat well, and is majoring in Nutrition no? Speaking.. of.. Camie...who's Nick? Hmm? HUH?! who said that?haha Fill me in baby!

The biggest focus in Zone Conference was "resolving doubts." It was so inspiring. Probably my favorite zone conference yet...or at least I'm more exciting to put in practice what I learned from this conference than any other. I realized that resolving doubts has NOTHING to do with the us and EVERYTHING to do with ths person that has the doubt. We learned and practiced resolving doubts. When we realize someone has a doubt, there are three basic steps "figure it out" 1. Show love 2. Ask questions 3. Review. Investigators(and really anyone in our lives) that have doubts need to feel that they are loved and the person talking with them is really trying to help. Asking questions is the only way for us to find out what the doubt is, and even more, help the person think through and express thier doubt. Reviewing shows that we arelistening, and understand. Once we thouroughly understand the doubt we can begin the process of determining if it's "Testimony" or "Social" and use the scriptures, and Spirit to resolve it. I don't know how much sense this is making, but it really was so interesting, and I want to get SO GOOD at understanding people, and helping them resolve thier concerns. Preach My Gospel teaches and mentiones several times that WE don't resolve thier doubts and concerns. We only HELP them resolve thier own concerns and doubts. In that way, as we ask questions to understand, and share doctrine to answer objections, they are able to make decisions in thier minds and hearts to resolve the doubts. I don't know. It was profound, and for so much time in my mission and whole life I've gone about it the wrong way!!!ha (For a more clear summary of the ridiculousness I've been typing the past 15 minutes, see Preach My Gospel 183-187 and 108) This thursday Raul and Miriam are getting hitched! That's fantastic! And his baptism is the monday after. That is beautiful. WE've still got the baptismal interview, and a couple quirks to work out, but things are looking pretty golden. Raul always has to work Sundays and can only attend the first hour of Church, which worries us a bit. He's faithful ,and his family too, but only attending Sacrament Meeting will greatly affect his spiritual and Priesthood..-al progression. We had a lesson about fasting with them and today we are doing a special fast together with the Raul and the fam to show our faith, and see what windows the Lord will unlatch for us. I let you know.
Well I better jet. I love you all a ton. Miss you too. Be safe, and have fun this school year. That spins my mind you're all starting school again already. Run for your lives! Time is on the loose!

p.s. I apologize if all my so called "jokes" that I continually try to put down in my emails are absurd and not even funny. I just enjoy making myself laugh i guess.haha like right now....oh man.

LetterAugust 23, 2008 top

Dear Ones,
Wow. It is just a gorgeous day today. Nothing less than that. It really warmed up and I'm thinkin we'll be running in the mornings again soon. Mom, I caught a tone of your...oh man I CAN NOT THINK OF THE WORD! "desesperación." It's like sadness o depressedness....oh dear. Umm, I caught a bit of something sort of sad in your voice as you talked about watching summer escape as how you wake up and it's dark outside. Hmm, that could be kind of a neat line in a song no? "Watching summer escape as we wake up to darkness outside." Nah, maybe it's just me. WOW, anyways...that's sad you're losing summer, but I'm actually quite pleased...since really what is happening is Happy Smilin´ Summer's just takin her vacation here in Argentina. yahoo baby. This morning was the normal routine in the morning, then a trip to the barber, and after to the laundry place, and after to my favorite Verduleria y Fruteria...fruit and veggies shack/stand/market. I spent a little too much this time on the greens. Careful now.

I'm really loving being a missionary. And I'm trying to just soak life in these days you know? Lately I've started to take just a few minutes at the very end of each (day) to fight sleep off and just lay in my bed when the house is all dark, and the other elders are asleep to just gaze at the stars through the window, and think about...everything. God, The Spirt, Family, friends, ARgentina, time, just this life I'm living. It's all going too fasst. Even the "long" days escape too quickly. I'm really grateful for this sacred time to serve a mission. But on a scale of 1 to CHEESE...I think my words are starting to get a little too poetic...aka, cheesy!! How in the world are all of you there! thanks a ton for writing my a nice fat email mom. I love hearing from you. Dad, I'm excited to hear about your trip to the top of the world. Or at least Timpanogas. Remember when we took on the mountain? What a fight!! We almost made it to the top even!!haha We'll get next time. A little more rest the night before, and we're there. Set the date. How does next august sound? Mom, you had a gang of questions no? Let's see...Yes, Pres. ARgyle and his family live in a different place. We are in the Offices here, and there's a Mission Home. A nice house, in a nice neighborhood. We're there quite a bit, but only for special errands and such. you asked where new missionaries stay when they come in before they go out. There's no "before they go out". I only experienced "my first day" one time, but I've gotten to know the the process pretty well, given that I order all the transportation for new missionaries, and have spent a few mornings in the airport waiting for them. Missionaries land here in Argentina, take a shuttle to the mission home, have interviews with Pres., eat lunch, meet thier trainers(all in the mission home) and then right after jump in a taxi to thier areas, finish out P-Day(shopping, email) and then go to work. It's horrible!!haha Or at least was tuff for me my first day or two. I was soo tired!

You asked about zone conferences. The zone conferences are held in Chapels. Depending on which zone has the zone conference, the conference is held in the chapel most central in the zone. Most central?..closest to everyone. And No, I've never spoken or anything in a zone meeting. I talked a bit once in a Leadership Council meeting thing, but I'm just a bum and don't have much to offer really. And, thanks for tossing me a package. I'm going to feel bad if there's an i-Pod in this package but, DON'T send me an i-Pod. I don't need it, or want to risk it. I'd rather take a rain check and maybe some day far far far in the future take you up on that offer when I get home.:) That's pretty nuts school is all started up and running. AMY!! Big senior!! Hoot hoot! That's something Dad would write in an email no? Hoot hoot?haha Work hard amy, and have tons of fun this year. My senior year was my favorite year of all. But work hard. That's really important. Oh last question...NO, I didn't burn anything at my one year mark. I never planned on it, and my intentions were confirmed when Pres. Argyle, in a zone conference, at the beginning of my mission, told everyone that "we don't burn things." And yeah. I din't burn anything. The olympics went by fast huh? you can just give me a "They were great. "They were incredible!" or a "They were so good steven!!!" rating. I'm more interested in the family reunion olympics. How was that?

But okay(p.s. you can't even imagine how many times I've had to go back and erase spanish in this email. It's getting bad!) This past week the Lord answered some long awaited prayers, and we've started to full up the bag of investigators. We've been doing some more teaching and it feels really good. I love teaching! I need so much more to be taught, but still, I love teaching the Gospel. I wanted to introduce you to the Vecciarelli Fam. They're a family of three. Parents, Julio and Maria, and a ten year old kid, Juan. They're great. Our ward mission leader set up a lesson with us and them at the beginning of this week and we had a great lesson. yesterday we passed by and had another great lesson. We had planned on trying to toss out a baptism committment but the SPirit pulled back the reigns a bit. That's okay. We read from 3 nephi 11 and stopped at verse 3 to describe the impressions of the Spirit and at verse 11 and talked quite a bit about the Atonement. It was beautiful, and there was a good spirit. I just wanted to share a few parts really fast. While talking about the Atonement we wanted to share that it's an "offer." God requires that we do a few things to recieve all the blessings of the Atonement. (with that we were going to touch on baptism) While explaining something else, an experience came into my mind that I had completely forgotten. Dad, do you remember when I really wanted a paintball gun. I asked you to buy it for me and you taught me a priceless lesson by saying No and that i should get a job and save up a bit...? Well this story came to my mind and I shared it with them. I explained how wise you were in teaching me that yes, you could buy the gun for me, but I wouldn't treat the gun as my own, and care for it, or deserve it, unless I sacrificed a bit. And even, you saw it as a little fling I was having. I remember saving up the 250 benjamins, buying the gun, and then taking it back after I realized I didn't really want it. WELL, I shared this story, and somehow related it to the Atonement. God requires sacrifice. If we're not willing to do a bit of that, we'll never understand the beauty of the Atonement. It had a really good effect. And even more. Right after sharing the story I said something like "and how grateful I am for our Savior and his Atonement. So that I can have more than this life, the eternities!, to continue learning from such a wise father." After I mentioned that, Julio, the dad shared something beautiful. He said something like "wow, in that moment, as you mentioned that about your dad. For the first time in my life I really FELT something of the shortness of our time here in this life. I felt for the first time, a true desire to believe that there really is something more after this life. Something eternal." IT WAS GOLD! Even MORE! the beginning of the lesson when we read 3nephi 11:3 we promised them that if they paid close atention, they would feel the penetrated softness of the Spirit just like the Nephites in that moment. After Julio mentioned that feeling he had, we went back and read verse 3. It was kind of like a "HA! We caught you red handed recognizing the Spirit Julio!!"haha I'll let you know how things go with them. I'm really hopeful.

I've got to jet though. Much love. A ton of LOVE!!

p.s. Oh yeah.. Raul is getting baptized on monday! Yeah baby! Raul and Miriam got married thursday, and he had the baptism interview, and monday will be baptized. It's so absurd the change I've seen in that family. I love it.

I love yous.

LetterAugust 30, 2008 top

How goes it? Things sound wonderful at home. I have a feeling this school year is going to pass by pretty quick. Hang on okay? Things are going pretty well here. I feel a little bit like you mom "so another week has flown by and nothing really exciting has happened here..." That's kind of how the week was for me. We lost a good handful of investigators which is always a horrible feeling, but a bleak reality of missionary work. Things will work out. We're still working with a few investigators, and just hitting it hard... Whatev that means? We coming up to that transfer, and it very possible that I may be recieving a telephone call from Pres. with a change, but for now I don't really think so. Not sure why. Just feel like I've still got a bit of time left here. I'm happy, but would welcome a change. Of course I'd welcome whatev assignment the Lord gives me. Also, pretty soon the offices are going to be remolded and we're moving all of our computers and work to our apartment!!! OH MY GASH! that's going to be crazy, adn I think we all just might lose our minds being cooped up in there all day. The move will be for about two months. If everything starts on time with the construction we'll be moving out of here by the end of next week. (one of the reasons, why I think I won't be getting trasnfered just yet...)

Raul was baptized last monday. That was great. His family looks really good! Brother Peñalosa from the ward baptized him, which was a beautiful experience for both Raul and and him. There was a good turnout, and I felt that delicious burn in my heart and soul listening to the words "habiendo sido comisionado por Jesucristo..." and then watching him take a smooth dive into the water. It was only after that we found out that the water had cooled off quite a bit and was actually bordering freezing! haha! Funny for us no?

Mom, I hope the strep throat has taken off. That's never to comfortable. That's exciting about Ty's engagement. I know a couple of canadian missionries. Good people. I had no idea Amy was thinking about doing Nursing stuff. That's pretty cool. Good luck with that Am. And season tickets to BYU football. Can you say "win win situation." Sweet! Enjoy that, and fill me in(just a little bit) on how they do. Mom I do have some pics and will try and send some but I don't have time right now. SOrry. Next week I'll email some. Do you like it better if I email pics or print them off andsend them in the mail? A few questions. Dad, do you know if Steve Welling has a copy of my new cd? He sent me a really nice letter I got this past week. I´d like him to have a copy of the second one. Also, I wrote two letters for the Whiltbank boys and put them in camie's package i think. Did those make it to the Whiltbanks? ALso, did my drums make it to the Robisons?

I know this letter is pretty short and lame. I'll make up for it. Camie stole a bit of my email time today so you can take it up with her.haha I lov eyous all so much.
elder stucki

LetterSeptember 6, 2008 top

Me Dearest,
yo yo, how's everybody doing. Man it's so good to hear from you, and be back here writing again already. This week fell right through my hands. So fast. I think it has something to do with transfer preparations that have seemed to continually occupy my mind from the moment I wake up, until I sleep. But don't worry, I step out of the offices and into our area and am more than ready to clear up my mind and focus on the beuatiful preaching of this beautiful gospel.

DAD, that powerpoint presentation you sent me. ABSURD! Sooo good. So so good. While watching it I felt like I was just sitting there eating a bowl of gold. I'm not sure exactly what I mean by that, but something like I love the powerpoint! Thankyou so much for sending it too me. It's raining today and I've had the chills, and the goosebumps that filled my skin while watching made me even more cold.haha Funny Spanish Note: Goosbumps=Piel de gallina. Piel=skin de=of gallina=chicken.haha

So I want to focus a few moments on your questions and comments from your emails and then will share a bit from my week. First, Dad, don't even start to worry or feel bad about the letters. I'll wrote some more. If you could send me the address of thier house I'll be able to send the letters right to them, and i think it'll have even a better personal effect. phff. Something like that. Don't worry about if pops. I love you forever. Alyssa, I caught somethin about you playing my songs on the piano..? Keep it up baby! Also, that you're going to start up a bit of guitar. Again, keep it up baby! how's my guitar at home. When I left on my mission I felt like I was going on vacation for like 6 days and didn't really "hibernate-ize" (oh my heavens) anything and just sort of left things laying around. Are you playing it? Feel free. Dad, you talked about doin some stuff with my second cd. Don't do too much...or, don't worry too much about it. Just gift it to peeps, or publicate a bit like that. P.s. Sorry about the sloppy language. (Throat clear) Just give it to people as a gift if they want, and spread the love that way. Hm, that still sounds lame. I don't want to do anything to big with the cd, and think I've got some ideas of some stuff we could do when I get back. I'd like to hear what Steve Welling thinks about the tunes. "Typical missionary letter this week"..I loved your letter this week dad. Thanks for fillin me in on life, while still keepin it spiritual. Mom, you are just a beautiful woman, you know that. I laugh everytime I read your emails. Especially this last one cuz you wrote it kind of late I think, and I smiled my face off at some of the funny worded sentences. So BYU is playing the Washington Huskies. Cool. I will for my whole likfe think of Mrs. Buchanan when I think of the Huskies. In 5th and 6th grade I fought with her constantly about who was better. Cougs or Huskies. It was fun. I have very blurry, but fond fond memories of my time in washington and with Mrs. Buchanan. I know this probably sounds weird. But honestly I'd give my sight to have the address of Mrs. Buchanan. Mom, I don't know if you have much contact with Washington folk still, but maybe by some miracle you could get that..? DO NOT STRETCH trying to get it. Hmm..don't try to hard to get it or antyhing. It doesn't matter. Tell Terri I really like short hair. Or Terri, if you read this, I think short hair on girls is super good lookin. Oh weird...uh, I like short hair, so don't worry if you cut your hair a little bit on the short side this time. Mom, dark brown huh? I bet your hair looks stunning. To answer some questions you had mom I'm just going to paste the paragraph from your email here. My comments are capitalized-

oKAY I REALLY.. Woah. Okay I really want to jump in on my week, and don't have much time. NO! This past week was filled with some really great experiences. First. On monday we had family night with Raul and his fam. It was super fun. They are so happy. I'll send some pictures. We had some taco seasoning packages, and introduced fake mexican food to them cookin tacos together. It was lots of fun, and they loved the tacos. Cesar, the 7 year old spiritual giant in the family whined alot because the taco meat was too spicy. that was funny. Also on monday we had our transfer prep meeting with president. It was soo great. I won't be able to talk alot about it, because i don't have time now. But we did everything normal, and at the end presidente Argyle went off filling us in on his "3-day retreat" with Elder Scott and all the other mission presidents here in Argentina. They had three days in the Hilton hotel in Buenos Aires of just spiritual doctrine absorbing. Pres. Argyle talked to us about the importance of Simplifying our live, and reducing. Focusing on the stuff that really counts. And also talked profundly about the importance of Faith and Obedience. Ether 12 is one of the most beautiful chapters in the BOM. I testify that with faith we can and will accomplish anything. It is so much more than just, an answer for the unanswerable, we don't understand something, or don't know how to explain why we believe. Faith may not be a substance that we can put in our pocket and feel the weight against our leg. BUT, it is something we can and must obtain more of. Through obedience and hearing doctrine from the lips of God's chosen servants. P.s. These aren't Pres. ARgyle's words. Mine. Jsut so you don't think he talks like a nutso. I know the angels minister to us. I haven't had any visions on my mission, but a stronger confirmation than any vision. I testify that God loves us, and through his angels and servants ministers to us.

SO, 4 blocks of patience. Two days ago elder whitmer and I were walking on the street looking for a house we couldn't find. I looked across the street and saw a young man (25 years) walking the same direction as us.
First block. I thought, "i should cross the street and talk to him." I didn't. Block 2."Woah, we just made eye contact. Why did he look over here at us. I should talk to him." I didn't.
Block3. "Steven, if you don't talk to him, and he turns at the corner, you are going to hate yourself after." I didn't cross the street.
Block 4. "Steven, you are the lamest missionary that ever laced up his shoes in the morning if you don't cross the street to talk to him." We crossed the street.
He was carrying an Herbalife bag.ha I asked him if he sells herbalife. He laughed said no, and we started chatting as we walked. 15 minutes later we got to his work(where he was heading) after chit chatting about the gospel, Restoration, leaving him a Book of Mormon, and setting an appointment. He works in security and had all night to read, and read the BOM for hours!! We past by his house yesterday for the appointment. HIs young pregnant wife and him listened attentively. The Spirit filled the room so strongly it made my eyes water. It was...beautiful. We're going to pick them up, and walk to church this sunday. I'll keep you all updated, but I've gotta jet. I'm so grateful the Lord had 4 blocks of patience on me.

And I'm so grateful for you family. For having a whole lot more than 4 blocks of patience on me my whole life. Love you all. Love love. steven

LetterSeptember 13, 2008 top

Hey hey,
Woah! It was so good to hear from you all this week. Your letters were great mom and dad! Sounds like things are going super well at home. Things are fantastic here too. This past week was so so busy with transfers in the office, but the Lord honestly guided and directed everything. I'm sure it probably sounds kinda cheesey when I talk about how heavy transfers can be in the offices, but honestly the 4 of us do everything! WEll, obviously president and his wife alot too, but there's just a ton to do here. Especially with my assignment because I organize all the changes, and THE FLIGHTS! This transfer we had alot of missionaries flying to and from the south, and it was a bit complicated. One example of how the Lord "guided the decisions." A group of six missionaries flew up here to Buenos Aires from different areas at the tip of Argentina and they got here at like 1-2 in the morning wednesday morning. Well, I went to sleep tuesday night, and in the middle of the night the cellphone rang with a call from the "taxi place" where I had organized the taxis at. I honestly do not remember a word I said. I WAS ASLEEP! It almost felt like a dream after in the morning. Wednesday morning when I called around to make sure everybody made it to thier apartments fine, i was happy to find that all were sound and safe.haha Anyways, the transfer went well.
Last Sunday in church was one of the most spiritual and best sunday's I've had in argentina! Do you rememer the four blocks of patience story thing..? The couple's names are Robert and Lesly. They are incredible!! We went with our Ward Mission Leader to pick them up at home and they were waiting for us. We got to church and had just the best sacrament meeting of my life!! Raul(the convert that recently was baptized. Who by the way is quiting his job to be able to attend church every Sunday!!!yeah yeah! He worked as a pizza cook for, but now he’s starting up his own little pizza shop! I claimed the first pizza…we’ll see if he comes through for me.haha) Bore his testimony and it was beautiful!! It was kind of like a testimony meeting in AF 31st. If I remember right, like a million kids bear thier testimonies no? There were alot of kids bearing thier testimonies...I've never seen that before in my Campana ward or this ward. It was great! I think Facundo and I can take credit for all the kids bearing testimonies. We set the example. Facundo is a 7 year old kid in the ward. I was sitting a row away from him in during the sacrament. When the testimonies started I felt a little push from the spirit to share my testimony but casually nudged it off like I do so well no?ha Well I looked over and saw facundo slip sliding in his seat obdviously wanted to bear his testimony. His dad gently encouraged him, but he wasn't too convinced I don't think. I thought "what a good example.." stood up and tip toed over to him and asked if he wanted to go up with me. He did! YES! We were like the 3rd and 4th people to bear thier testimony. While we waited our turn he asked what he could say. I was like "WHAT FACUNDO, YOU DIDN'T THINK ABOUT THAT BEFORE COMING UP!!haha" and then we chatted a bit about what he could say and he was super prepared. When it was his turn he got up and FROZE. I urged him on, but he couldn't unfreeze himself. So I got up and whispered word into his ear. The spirit was so stong! It was great Cuz I got to choose great words for the investigators but they left the mouth of a little kid so much more pure and sweet.haha It was a great experience. Robert and Lesly loved church.
To wrap this up…about Robert and Lesly. They are so so so prepared. Er…were so prepared by the Lord!! They understand the doctrine, recognize the spirit, read, pray, EVERYTHING! They want to get baptized. BUT …there’s a but. They are not married. They have wanted to get married for a while, even before meeting us. This past week when they went to the city office to reserve a date they were told they can’t get married because she(lesly) is underage. Legal age here in Argentina is 21. She’s 20!! The parents have to be present to sign papers and things. And the father lives in Peru and won’t be coming to argentina any time soon. I’ve been praying and meditating a ton for what we can do. We’re talking to member and trying to figure out how they can get married here, but it’s going to be difficult. We’ll see. They WILL get baptized but I don’t know if I’ll be around sadly. It’s like you said though dad. “Some are called to sow and other to reap.” Maybe I’s just the sower here.
Mom, about the missionary newsletter thing. You can juust paste clips from my emails. If there’s something specific I want to share I’ll let you know. BYU beat the huskies!! YEAH YEAH YEAH!! Camie in Cancun! whAAAATT! Sweet. Camie, FILL ME IN! FILL ME IN! FILL ME IN!(to be said as if you were in the BYU/UCLA game cheering with a fahillion other peeps) Amy and Alyssa, congrats on getting asked to the dances! That’ll be fun. Write me and fill me in too. I’m sure you’ll have such a great time. You’re both so lucky to be able to share fun experiences together like this. P.s. Alyssa, I loved you idea about putting a dead fish in an envelope and saying “I’m dying to go with you.” NICE one. Dad, you sound great. Your story about scaring the life out of Daniel at lagoon was soo funny. Good luck with the car. If carlos calls again, give him my number…maybe all he needs is someone to talk him some smooth Spanish and convince him to throw down the money.haha (yes, I am assuming carlos speaks Spanish.) Good job dad with the Ceci fam. I pray EVERY DAY that you guys have missionary opportunities there.

I LOVE YOU all. love love. so much!

LetterSeptember 20, 2008 top

Hello Family,
Hey thanks so much for writing mom and dad. I´s thinking, after so much time you still write me so diligently. Missionaries live and breath the little space of time we’ve got to write the family and hear from them, but I know for you two it’s kind of like an extra box to check off on the To-Do list. I really appreciate it though. A lot.

Well, first, I had a pretty uneventful week too. We´ll see if I can throw something spicy together for you to read.haha I say we start off with a little explination of the fotos I attached to this email. They represent one of the most absurd things that’s ever happened to me in my life. And I assure you this story is pretty lame, so if you you’re busy just skip this paragraph. So last Monday I think it was, I got up, went running, came home and jumped in the shower (showering is one of my “necessary boxes on the to-do list” that I wish didn’t exist.ha Not sure why I don’t like it..? We´ve got a nice shower too!)then got to my favorite part of the day…Breakfast. I love breakfast! Anyways, so I chopped up a bunch of fruit, put it in a shiny glass bowl, added some home made granola (specially noting HOME MADE. I love making granola) poured over some yogurt (yogurt here is more like a thick milk. Really liquidy) grabbed Jesus the Christ and then sat down to eat. So I´m sitting there eating this delicious breakfast reading towards the end of Jesus the Christ about the Apostasy(which by the way I finished this past week. I started in the MTC and little by little I finally finished it.) Every thing calm right? Everything normal no? ¡¡BAM!! My bowl EXPLODED!! HAHA!!! I honestly don’t know how to describe it to you in any other way. I wasn’t even touching the bowl!! It just exploded into like 20 pieces and scared me horribly. I called the other elders over to examine the wreckage and they couldn’t believe it either. It was so absurd. I just laughed all day about it. It still makes me laugh when I think about it. Who knows, maybe the bowl was just really cold from the fruit that was in the fridge and since bowls can’t shiver it just exploded. That’s the only thing I can think of. But it’s a pretty lame excuse for a bowl exploding no? I attached the pictures since I know this story is sooo hard to believe. Landed in the Top 10 of “weirdest things I’ve ever experienced.”

But okay, thanks for letting me share that. So sounds like things are going pretty smooth at home. Dad, did you sell your car? Mom, I got your package. Thanks a lot for the grapefruit spoon, and the…camel. Thanks. P.s. My companion is filming himself right now.haha! He’s tesfying of the Book of Mormon in Spanish. Oh man that’s funny! He said he wants to document his Spanish accent throughout his mission. That’s cool.

Something kind of interesting from this past week. So Wednesday I took a group of new missionaries to the city office building here in San Isidro to do their DNI’s (it’s like a mini passport but for people that live here in argentina. It serves kind of like a driver’s license does in the states…except for the allowing you to drive part.) and something pretty funny happened. In this new group that got here this last transfer there’s a kid name Curtis James Turnbull. When we received his application I remember thinking “man he looks familiar…and he’s from orem!!?” For weeks it hung around in my mind but I could never put my finger on who he was. So Wednesday, doing DNI’s I got to talking with Elder Turnbull and he mentioned he was from orem and I was like oh yeah I graduated from orem high. He asked me if I knew Ryan Cope and Jesse Williams. I was like WHAT? YEAH! I ran around with them all the time! And he said “CJ, I’m CJ.” And click, I remembered who he was. I got to know him just a little bit before the mission. We played futbol and sand volleyball together a couple of times.. Futbol=Soccer by the way. I only knew him as CJ, and never put two and two together. So that was pretty interesting and funny. I felt pretty dumb that I didn’t recognize him.

I’m sorry this email is a bit, hmm, what’s the word. Pointless maybe? Really there’s more happening here, and I’m dedicating myself to this fantastic work. We’ve got a pool of investigators but have the struggle of teaching people who aren’t married and can’t get baptized. It’s tuff because instead being able to work towards a baptism we have to work towards a marriage and that takes forever! Putting baptismal dates and watching people progress towards that is what gives missionaries life, and it’s been a bit, not frustrating, but yeah sort of lately with all that. The only people we’re teaching right now that are married is a family named the Vecchiarelli’s. Sadly, they’re not progressing very well either, and Elder Whitmer and I aren’t sure what to do. Lots of prayer heals a heavy heart though. I’ve learned that. I’ve also learned that lots of prayer leads to lots of waking up kneeling down for who knows how long.haha I know it’s not a really good thing. I’m sure Heavenly Father has patience with me and us. I wonder what he thinks when we’re kneeling there talking with Him, and he’s talking with us through the Spirit and then we just sort of slowly drift away into sleep. If we worked hard for and remembered Him during the day I bet he just smiles. I am exhausted a lot though. This missionary business is tuff sauce! I love it though. Serving the Lord like this is one of the greatest blessings of my life. I’m so grateful for it. I love you all a ton. A bunch! Girls if you get a chance I’d love to hear for each of you. It’s been a while don’t you think?ha I’m steven remember? I’m on a mission in Argentina right now. Did you know?haha I hope Homecoming was a blast!! I bet you looked gorgeous Amy and Alyssa. Moe, how are things goin in the Junior High? Are you cheering and dancing still? Em, you sweet little smiling piece of cake! How are you babe? Thanks for writing me a letter with the package. Or was that Erika our neighbor that wrote the letter? I think she said you have such a funny laugh. I agree. You are a weirdy Sweets. Mom Dad, Camie, I love you all so deeply. Have a great week!

LetterSeptember 20, 2008 top

Family dear family,
I think this past week has been one of the most spiritually blessed weeks of my mission. It went really really well! I'm not really even sure where to start, because there's too much. I've been getting behind in my journal because each day the Lord is manifesting His hand in my life so much.
First, thanks so much for writing me camie and alyssa, and of course you two also Mom and Dad. I love hearing from you. I love it. The family sounds happy and I love that. A few things you mentioned in your letters. Uhh, Emily, mom said your pumpkins looked great in the pumpkin walk. I remember going to that. It was alot of fun. I'm sure your pumpkin was the cutest one of all. Is cute a good word to use for you still or are you kind of too grown up now for that?ha It was a super cool pumpkin I'm sure. There were pigs in my first area, but not here in the city. I haven't seen one for a long time.haha Alyssa, I already mentioned in an email to you, but i wanted to say it more looked absurdly pretty for homecoming. Mom, yes I know blake warner. Well I know who he is. He is serving in the same place I was before, Campana, in the zone Zárate. There are two areas in Campana though. He's in Campana I, I was in Campana II. I loved my time there. Mom, also there's no rush for this, just the next time you're going to toss together a package could you put more Differin gel in it. I like that stuff. Also, camie got the address for me so don't worry about it. Don't worry too much about Mrs. Buchanan's. That would be a miracle being able to track that down. Dad, thanks for your letter and all the stories at the end. I'm talking in church tomorrow and maybe will be able to use something. I'm going to talk on Faith. I LOVE FAITH. I was think about sharing the story you told me once about you and I think it was Randy in the mountains and the truck got stuck, you prayed, and could make it home. I loved that story. Tell me more stories about your life and mission. I'm really anxious to read grandpa's journal biography thing when I'm around again.

Okay, so this week was amazing. Things have really taken off in our area and I'm scared to death the Lord is going to move me. I've got alot of time here, and it could be coming pretty soon. Whatever He wants though no? Last monday we visited the hospital here with a member family to give someone a blessing there. It went well. The most interesting part was before we gave the blessing we were waiting outside the "patients area." Inside the hospital, but they have set visiting hours so we were just waiting to go in. while we waiting more and more people starting coming. I had thought, hmm, maybe we should preach the gospel to these nutsos here in the hospital. It crossed my mind, and since I'm so good at ingoring the Spirit I didn't do anything. I kept chatting with the brother we were there with and then Elder Whitmer whispered to me, i kind of want to talk to these people. I smiled and told him he should do it.haha After about 3 minutes he hadn't started talking so I tapped him on the shoulder stepped foward and called everyone's attention and started teaching a brief Plan of Salvation. Elder Whitmer caught on and we taught together. It was super effective or anything, but there's a strange sensation missionaries get one there are big groups of people stuck in one room not heading anywhere fast. It's kind of a horrible sensation because it's scary talking to big groups of people, but the spirit has a way of eating my stomach out until I open my mouth. There were about 30 or 40 people waiting. It was a good experience. I liked it more than the blessing. The person was in the Intensive care unit and I left from the hospital a little sick and thinking life is too fragile.**
We found a family this past week. A few weeks ago we street contacted a man waiting for his son outside a catholic school and were finally able to catch him at home this past week. The Lord truly prepared this family. We taught the just the father the first appointment. His names Fabian. The next appointment we had we were able to teach the wife, Fabiana.haha Fabian and Fabiana. Funny no? We had a really good first lesson and Fabian really recieved everything pretty openly. There Spirit was there, and we left really excited. The second appointment was amazing. One of the miracles from this week. We picked up a member on the way to thier house and walked there together. The first lesson Fabian had mentioned that a long while ago (I think like 10 years) they lost a child. A son named Tomás passed away when he was two years old. I don't know how he died. After the first lesson and for a day or two before the second lesson I continually meditated on what Fabian had mentioned and if it would be a good idea to "use" thier son to help bring the Spirit. That can be a really touchy subject you know. So the second appointment(whew, I'm I confusing anyone...?sorry.) we stopped by with Bro. Cutti and had an amazing lesson with them. I felt urged by the Spirit to begin the lesson with Mos. 15:25 I think it is that says little children have eternal life. That was my confirmation from the Spirit that we could touch on that subject. We taught the Plan of Salvation and the spirit was vivid. Bro. Cutti during the lesson bore his testimony. He talked about how his mom had twins and lost them shortly after birth, and then a few years later had twins again and lost them both. He testified how he knew he would be with them again, and they are with God. Fabian and his wife both broke down in tears, as the Spirit confirmed the brother's words. We put a baptismal date with them during the lesson. Sadly, the need to get married, but we had a lesson and talked about that and monday are going to the city building to reserve a day. within 3 o 4 weeks they'll be able to get baptized I think. It was amazing.
Second miracle. For a month or more we've been teaching the Vecchiarelli family and they haven't been progressing. They wouldn't attend church and weren't following through with committments. I was really down about them for a while and this past week had another experience that that God does answer our prayers. Without a doubt I know it. I had prayed for weeks that God would change Julio(the dad) because we couldn't seem to do it. Last thursday I think it was Julio had a pretty horrible day. with just everyday tuff stuff you know? Friday morning when he woke up he just didn't want to get out of bed. The thought came to his mind that he should pray. For the first time in his life he knelt down and prayed that Heavenly Father would help him. Things went great all friday, and at the end of the day he knelt down and for the first time in his life thanked Heavenly Father. That in and of itself is a miracle. But something else happened. I think it was friday night Julio got home from work, ate dinner, and sat down to watch tv a bit. While watching he began to dose off and on. Head bobbing it a bit you know? As he kind of tuned in and out falling asleep he sound in an instant he was stand in a large open field of grass. He was just standing there looking foward, at a large group of people. They were are staring at something behind him that he couldn't see. Just starting vividly at something. He tried to turn his head to look, but something kept him from turning his head all the way around. He tried to, but couldn't. He was able to see that there was a tall figure in white standing behind him, but he couldn't see who it was. He turned his head back towards the group of people and in this moment he felt s a soft and quick tap. At this touch he said he felt something he's never before in his whole life felt. He was filled with a sensation unlike anything he's ever imagined and felt as thought he was weightless in the air. Then, before he knew it he was sitting back in his chair in his house.
I meditated whether or not I should share this vision because really it is sacred, and I felt that I could and should as a testimony that really God answers our prayers and ministers to us individually. Personally and through his angels. He answered my prayers. Julio had a 180° change. 180 degrees. Of course we still have alot to do as far as true conversion goes, but I have Faith that this family is going to be baptized very soon. Were going to stop by Sunday morning to head to church with them. Julio is horribly scared. I'll talk more about why in the future maybe.
Third miracle, and I have no time to talk about it. Zone Conference this past week. President Argyle is a man called of God and qualified through the Savior's grace. This past week my mission has honestly changed. Since the MTC I've been striving and striving that true and pure LOVE be the reason that I serve. NOt for "duty" or "responsibility" or whatev. But for love. Truly I feel that this week that became the reason why I am serving. I love the Lord. I love what He is making me and the things that he is showing me. I love this gospel.
I can't wait for General Conference. I'm so excited. I know you all are too. Take everything in. Both Saturday and Sunday sessions. The world is getting scary. I don't watch tv, read the newspaper, or hear much about anything going on in the world these days but things seem to be getting scary. I hope everythings going okay at home. People keep mentioning to us in the streets that "our country is having problems" and weird stuff like that. I don't know what's up, but trust you are all well. We need to heed the prophet's voice this conference more than ever I think.
In a couple weeks Elder Nelson is visiting our mission. I'm very excited.
I have to go though. I love you all so much. Mom, I forgot, about the newsletter. You can share this letter if you want. Is that what they want...a letter from the missionaries? This letter has some of the more spiritual experiences of my mission and I guess you could put it in if you want. I love you mom. You too grandma!! Sorry the pin didn't make it with the letter. I'll send you another. Love you all.

LetterOctober 4, 2008 top

I'm so absurdly excited for this general conference. THis past week everything has just been sort of building me up for it. While working in the offices I've been listening to past general conferences, and I think I've had a total of like 20 hours of doctrine filling my mind. I find myself quoting the aposteles and leaders of the churches during lessons. Walking in the street after the lessons elder whitmer will often say..."hmm. Bednar this time."haha It's funny. We are so blessed to have a prophet. My faith has been growing sooo immensly the past few weeks and I find myself being alot more bold in my teaching. Meek, but bold. This past week I've carried with my Book of Mormon a picture of Pres. Monson. During some I would hold up a picture of Christ from some random pamplet and ask "Who is this?" "Jesucristo" they say. Then I hold up a picture of president Monson and say something like "this is God's prophet on earth." and then holding the two pictures side by side say "He(pres. Monson) talks to Him(Christ.) He(christ) leads this church through him(Monson)" Then I lovely tell them that if they don't believe my or have doubts, to come to the sessions with us and hear the prophets voice and feel something you've never felt in your whole entire life.
Like I mentioned my faith is really growing. And my desire to preach this Gospel to every creature that can roll over is growing too.ha At the beginning of my mission I often talked with large groups of people at bus stops or in buses. One, because I felt that if I stretched myself far out of my comfort zone the Lord would train my tongue and help me speak the language. My companions thought I was a bit nuts, but He has confirmed my faith. And two, because there aren't TONS of people in the country like the city and so we had to take every chance we could to talk to people.haha I stopped preaching to large groups though a while ago. I've been inspired to do it more. I've begun again preaching to all the people in the train. It's not always the most effective, but this past week after talking to a packed train car and then getting off the train a man came up to me with a few questions and we were able to get his address to pass by another day.
Dad, it came to my mind that I never answered your question about "who´s who" in the office staff pic. I couldn't remember what picture I sent you so I attached another. The missionaries are(left to right) "Smith(ast.), Cartes(ast.), Thelfall(old housing coordinator now) Sullivan(old ast. who's gone home) fullmer(materials guy), Velez(new housing guy), Whitmer(finance guy.) Also, that’s really funny that Bro. Meregone sent you an email. Did he talk in English? He learns from the movies. Dad, could you send me Cory Beighly’s mail address, and what mission he serves in?
I heard about about the Ayala family. They’re progressing REALLY well toward the temple. Looks like we’re on track to be able to see them be sealed in the temple before I go home. They finish one full year as members at the end of February. That would be a beautiful experience, and answer to my prayers. Talking with the elders there in Campana, it turns out the Ayala´s are always a fountain of references.haha Their cousin was baptized this past week in Campana and the missionaries are teaching a bunch of other family members. Sweet no?
Alright, I’ve got to go way quick but I wanted to just share a quick experience. Elder Whitmer, a member we recently reactivated, and I visited a little old lady this past week. Her name is Nelida Medina. She was baptized years ago. Some time after her baptism she was diagnosed with diabetes. Severe diabetes. Slowly his sight began to find, and meanwhile he leg became infected. She lost her leg to the disease, and soon after was completely blind. A few weeks ago she lost her second leg. I had visited her before, but we want to stop by another time to see how she is doing. I left inspired. We got there and chit chatted a bit, and then sang to her her favorite hymn. “I know that my Redeemer lives.” After we listened to her talk a little about her experiences. She cried as she talked how at the beginning of all this she was upset with the Lord. How could he do all this to her? Her sight and leg gone? And then talked about how through prayer she began to see it more as a test instead of a trial. Less of a struggle, and more of just a stretch. While talking about here last surgery a few weeks ago she so positively talked of all the GOOD things! Instead of, “oh man I lost me other leg, life is so hard, woe is me..” She talked how blessed she felt that she never ran a fever during the operation. The anesthesia didn’t make her sick. It didn’t hurt, it went quickly. Etc. She felt blessed by the kind visits of members and family and the new wheelchair the Bishop brought her. I was so inspired. In the furnace of affliction she smiled and counted her blessing. It was yet another experience in my life where I arrived to minister, and left the ministered. (and don’t worry mom, I captured it all in my journal that night) Let’s all try to by more positive and count our blessings. I can count one HUGE blessing…all of you. I love you a lot. Next week we can share what we learning during this sacred conference this weekend. Love love.

LetterOctober 11, 2008 top

Dear ones,
Hey thankyou so much for your emails and flood of love and affection. I love hearing from you all, and it makes me so happy that among the "things of life" at home, which I do enjoy hearing, there is always a good vibe of spirituality and love towards God. I'm very grateful for that. It helps me keep my focus, which is BAPTIZE HUMANS, and fills me with gratitude for the family that he has sent me to. I love you all.

So Mom you asked if I have transferes soon. Yes, and yes, the Lord has called me to another part of his vineyard. Presidente Argyle called me two days ago and let me know that after consulting with his wife(which he recieved counsel from the Area Presidency to do) and then the Lord he feels the Lord has called to to another area. He's not sure where yet and so didn't tell me. That's normal though. Nobody ever knows where they're getting transferred to until the day before transfers. On the phone he told me, something like (in spanish of course) "Well I began with me wife. Asking her how long she'd like you to stay in the offices, and she responded 'until the end of his mission!!'haha But after consulting with the Lord He has other plans in mind." That made me feel good, mostly because I KNOW it is the Lord that leads and guides this work. I've seen and felt it more times than I can count or remember. I'm so grateful to the Lord for my time in this assignment, and the many many things I've learned and experienced, and I am way super excited to work more "full time proselyting" In stead of "full'time job/half'time proselyting".haha I'm really pretty excited.

I'm always excited for this Monday. Elder Nelson, from the quorem of the 12, is visiting argentin and we're going to have a special conference with him. I can't wait!! I'll fill you all in about it next week.

Didn't you all love conference!? SO inspiring and interesting. A conference unlike any other that I can remember. I love also how I've been somewhat brainwashed,ha, into thinking 100% of the time in missionary work and enjoying applying all the talks to that, and searching for answers to investigator's questions or my own doubts and questions about what to teach or do with our investigators. This past week was a little bit tuffer that I had expected, but good. We have 7 baptismal dates. Which is very nice to say the least. I'm grateful the Lord has given me the chance to be able to really trust his will, and sacrifice my desires, being transferred right as things really started getting going in our area. It's going to be harder leaving the area than leaving the offices. I'l be here for another week or two I think. It depends how quickly I can train the new secretary. It's tuff stuff, that I wasn't looking foward to honestly...having to train 7 months of experience into somebody new in just a few weeks. I don't know why, but change has always been tuff for me. One of my fahillion weaknesses I suppose. It's what makes us grow though. General Conference talked alot about change, and how important it is to be prepared and adapt, but of course always holding faithful to our eternal values and foundations. I'm so grateful for a family that remembers those things.

Amy, sounds like your sugery was pretty absurd. I'm glad you're doing well. You also looked stunning in your homecoming picture. Thanks for sending it to me dad. Mom, I forgot my pin # for my credit card. Could you remind me?ha Also, that's pretty neat about the hardwood floors in the house. My how things are changing.

Sorry this email is really very short. I know it's always good hearing stories and stuff, but I've got to go already. Here's a quick story...I cut my hair shorter today than I ever have in my life! Woah. Basically a buzz.

One more thing, do you remember Elder Aidukaitis from General Conference. He had a weird accent and talked about the power of the Book of Mormon and how it converted his dad...he is in the Area Presidency here in Argentina. Pres. Argyle did some traveling with him a few weeks ago, and told us all about it. He is an amazing man. He is from Brasil. About 4 o 5 months ago he finished serving as a Mission President there, and weeks later was called as a General Authority here in Argentina. He didn't speak Spanish. He read the Book of Mormon in Spanish and in one month could speak fluently. The Lord truly qualifies those he calls.
I love you all.
p.s. good job with the car pops. What are you going to drive now? I say you buy a Subaru WRX. I'll take care of it.haha love you

LetterOctober 18, 2008 top

Hi Everyone,
This morning one of the missionaries in our apartment asked another elder, "If you could ask Heavenly Father one question, and recieve an answer about anything you want...what would you ask Him?" I heard the questions from another room and I thought about that for a bit. After reading you emails today, and experiencing a sort of emotional low I don't think I have ever felt before, I think I've got my answer to that question: "What could I say to my family to make each one of them the happiest people on earth?" I pray that the Spirit might just guide my words and bring a little bit of brightness to your days.

It's beautiful here. Today is one of the most gorgeous days I've seen in a while. Elder Whitmer and I did a little bit of shopping this morning. I've never bought anything in argentina here for me, but I broke my streak today. I guess you could say I learned that " Do you accept credit card here?" is just as deadly in spanish as it is in english.haha ("Aceptan tarjeta de credito aca?") haha. Of course I didn't spend much, a shirt and some pants that will fit nicely in me luggage instead of around me waiste for a handful of months more. This past week was okay. Well, Monday was incredible...with the special conference with Elder Nelson, and the rest of the week has been okay. Alot of work and not a whole lot of results but things are going okay. In the trains here, men walk up and down the aisle selling candy and other goods. A few of them, one in particular, don't ever look to pleased when they arrive to "my" train car and find that I'm already occupying people's attention with the gospel and they have to wait or just keep moving on to the next car. I've gotten good at trying to "sell" the gospel without interrupting them.ha We don't ride the train for real long anyways, just a few stations until we get to our working area, and there's never too much time to contact the people. I'm really excited for my change this transfer. I don't know exactly when it's going to happen. President Argyle hasn't let me know where or when I'm being trasnferred. Tuesday is transfer day, and Elder Clegg and I already organized all the changes information for the Zone Leaders, but president Argyle purposely left my picture in the "dark abyss" of the transfer board, not paired up with anyone or any area and I really have no idea where I'll be.ha Right where the Lord wants me right?

Robert and you all remember them? It's the young man from the "four blocks of patience" email...are progressing fantastically. THey are so happy. Lesly recieved the authorization from her father in Peru to be able to get married here, and they will be able to reserve a date Monday. Within a handful of weeks they'll be married, and baptized. I am heartbroken I won't be there, but so glad I was able to participate in introducing them to the Gospel and watching thier conversion process. Continually I am reminded of how wonderful all this missionary stuff really is. So wonderful.

Especially last monday. We had an AMAZING conference with Elder Nelson. Of course I didn't need this conference to know that God really has called apostles to minister among His children here, I already knew it, but this conference strongly confirmed my testimony. He is called of God. He spoke of many things. A "theme" during his talk was how God uses the unusual to achieve the impossible." It's so true. He shared examples like the Virgin Mary having the Christ child. Virgins having babies? Or Joseph Smith becoming the Prophet of the Restoration. Uneducated 14 year old...prophet of God? It was inspiring. He mentioned how Christ chose to be baptized in the Jordan River in the exact spot that the children of Israel crossed the river jordan with the arc of the covenant...which spot just so happens to be the lowest freshwater on planet earth in a deep valley just before the river spills into the Dead Sea. I'm still trying to capture exactly why he shared that, but it was just super interesting. Thought I'd share it with you. Something way interesting also. Do you remember this story in judges:

1 Then Jerubbaal, who is Gideon, and all the people that were with him, rose up early, and pitched beside the well of Harod: so that the host of the Midianites were on the north side of them, by the hill of Moreh, in the valley.
2 And the Lord said unto Gideon, The people that are with thee are too many for me to give the Midianites into their hands, lest Israel vaunt themselves against me, saying, Mine own hand hath saved me.
3 Now therefore go to, proclaim in the ears of the people, saying, Whosoever is afearful and afraid, let him return and depart early from bmount Gilead. And there returned of the people twenty and two thousand; and there remained ten thousand.
4 And the Lord said unto Gideon, The people are yet too amany; bring them down unto the water, and I will btry them for thee there: and it shall be, that of whom I say unto thee, This shall go with thee, the same shall go with thee; and of whomsoever I say unto thee, This shall not go with thee, the same shall not go.
5 So he brought down the people unto the water: and the Lord said unto Gideon, Every one that lappeth of the water with his tongue, as a dog lappeth, him shalt thou set by himself; likewise every one that boweth down upon his knees to drink.
6 And the number of them that lapped, putting their hand to their mouth, were three hundred men: but all the rest of the people bowed down upon their knees to drink water. 7 And the Lord said unto Gideon, By the three hundred men that lapped will I save you, and deliver the Midianites into thine hand: and let all the other people go every man unto his place.

The Lord wanted to show His power by causing 300 men to stand against about 150,000 enemies I think is about what Elder Nelson said there were. It's another example of how the Lord uses the unusual to bring about the impossible and bless his children. Another example, me serving as secretary...talking about the unusual achieving the impossible. The Lord truly is with us. I know he is working among our family and His angels are with us. Especially in our times of trial and discouragement. Try not to shed tears of sadness. Let's be happy. Like Elder Wirthlin taught, take what comes and love it. I know I'm not one to talk, and am no example, but I feel very confident the Lord is with our family and protecting each member for my service here in Argentina. I don't say that in pride, but humility. Only in faith and confidence.

Elder Nelson also left with each missionary an apostolic promise that our families would be protected during our service. D&C 31: 5 "Therefore, thrust in your sickle with all your soul, and your sins are forgiven you, and you shall be laden with sheaves upon your back, for the laborer is worthy of his hire. Wherefore, your family shall live." He shared that scripture and promised us in the name of Jesus Christ that like so it will be for us if we serve the Lord diligently. I am serving Him diligently. That's what I have to offer you all now, and when I am home I will be able to hug and kiss each one and show my love in the way that for so long I have wanted to. The Lord is with us, and will not ever leave us. I love you family.

LetterOctober 25, 2008 top
My new pday is wednesday. I'll write a little bit this wednesday I think. love you!!


Hey I’m glad you all sound happier and that the blessings are too many to count in our house. I truly am grateful to the Lord. He leads guides and protects us just like you mentioned in your email mom with the whole “I’ll go before your face, and be on your righthand, and on your left, etc…” Dad has always shared that scripture with me as one of his favorites. Thanks dad. Did you notidce that that scripture and the “stone cut out of the mountain without hands…” scripture that you also have always shared with me since I can remember were both “big hits” in General Conference? I heard them a few times and thought of you.

Along with the Lord I am very grateful to you too Grandma! Thanks a lot for the package. It arrived safe and sound, and full of sweets that I think could last me until Christmas of 2010.haha My companions are enjoying the goods too. What a great grandma I’ve got! I really enjoyed your letter. I want to write you an email right now, but I’ll be honest, I’m not 100% confident you will be able to read it. I need some kind of confirmation that you’ve got a hand of this technology stuff, and then we’ll get chattin okay?haha I wanted to tell you your outfit for the big Halloween Square Dance sounds fantastic!! The witches hat is going to be a big winner I’m telling you! P.s. Did you notice that in the pictures from my temple trip today(btw, I went to the temple today) I’m sporting the hip happenin new tie you sent me Gracias.) Amy and Emily and Moe thanks so much for putting letter in the package. The letters are always my favorite part. Honestly. You all sound beautiful and happy. Moe, how on earth are you baby!? I hope all is going well. It’s kinda tuff bein away from home no? You’re about 4x tuffer and cooler than me so I’m pretty sure it’s a lot easier on you. Are you happy? Having fun? Smiling? Smile a bunch. The world, and especially those that surround you need your gorgeous smile.
So this morning we had breakfast with the Argyles which was delish and fun, and inspiring just like any other moment spent with Pres. Argyle and then after we went to the temple. It felt SO good to participate in the goodness the temple offers. I loved it. It was interesting to do it all in Spanish, and it all felt the same. After we some how got lost in Capital Federal trying to get home. That was ridiculous, we have a GPS and we didn’t use it, got off on a wrong exit, and were thoroughly lost in the middle of the Capital. It was one of those “elder Wirthlin talke” experiences. Just in case you haven’t already realized, I attached pictures.
Mom, I’m about four thousand percent sure I’ve tried that pin number before, but I’ll try it again. If it doesn’t work , I’ll do..something. I don’t know. Your ?’s: So how is the missionary work comming? Fantastic. I still love being a missionary. My life gets a little bit brighter permanently ever time I see Robert and Lesly. I almost hate that I’m not going to see their baptism. It’s okay though. Really, I’m enjoying missionary life. Do you know where you are going and when? No and yes. I think I will be heading to my new area Tuesday morning. There’s a new missionary from mexico arriving Monday and I’ll work with him in the afternoon and President will let me know what’s up some time around then. Are you going to miss the office? Also, yes and no. I’ve loved my time here, and especially the area I’m working in(san Fernando) The ward is great and I could go a few transfers more. 7 months is a long time though, and change can be fun. I’ll serve wherever the lord wants You talk of the great hole without your picture-can't you sorta tell where the vacancy is if the changes are done? Surprisingly, I have NO idea. You’d think that I could no? I try not to think about my change and just keep working so I haven’t given it much thought. President has been slick in not distracting me or letting me know. It does eat at me a bit, especially because Pres. Argyle cracked a little joke during breakfast today “So I bet you’re a bit curios where you’re going Elder Stucki?snicker snicker snicker.” Why I outta…. Why is it that many there don't ever get married? I think it has something to do with THE WHOLE WORLD IS DEGENERATING VERY QUICKLY INTO A STATE OF DARKNESS APOSTASY AND SPIRITUAL SADNESS. I really have no idea. People just don’t get hitched. Bro Beighly said that Cory has the same sorta problem in Chile. I love Cory. Tell Bro. Beighly hi for me. He is a great man.
I like those little question answer sessions.ha

Well, I’ve got to get going. I love you all so much. A few quick items of business.
1. Mom could you find out what we need to do to so I can send an application in to a few
colleges. I’ll want to start studying as soon as I can. Could you check into Utah State,
University of Utah, BYU, and BYU Hawaii? For starters…
2. I finished my Christmas wish list:
- Some kind of teeth whitening kit. SO I can flash you all a brighter smile
- PICTURES PICTURES PICTURES. So I can see all your bright smiles
- Dried fruit.haha It’s expensive here, but truly I’d like a bunch of different kinds of dried fruit instead of candy.

I loved all your letters. I love you all so much!

LetterOctober 29, 2008 top

Hey Family,
How in the world are all of you!? Good I hope. How are you doping mel? Fantastic I pray. Have you recieved my letter yet? I am doing well here in my new area. Hmm, I bet you all are asking yourselves what unlucky town is going to have to put up with me for a time...
So Monday morning a new missionary from mexico arrived to our mission. We’ve been waiting for him for like 2 transfers, and he never arrived because of visa problems. Well Monday he got here, a week after transfers. President Argyle wanted elder whitmer and I to go to the airport to pick him up and then take him to Belgrano(one of the zones) where Pres. Argyle was having a zone conference. WE picked him up, and it was one of those from the very first moment we just hit it off well. He’s just a perfect short dark little mexican with a heart the size of Buenos Aires honestly. He is great. Well we took him to the zone confernce so he could have an interview with President. I went with him to the room where President was and waited outside the door while they talked. Then the door. While I waited outside I felt a twisting spiritual impression that somehow I was going to be involved in Elder Lopez’s assignment...but I had no idea where president argyle was planning on sending him. So the door opened and president argyle called me in to the room. As I walked in President argyle said “well elder lopez I usually make the trainers sing Called to Serve to thier companions when they first meet but we’ll go easy on elder stucki since he’s alone this time.” In that moment I found out that I would be training Elder Lopez!! I was so happy. Then I sat down and President Argle said something like, well elder stucki, to get to your new area you’re going to have to catch a plane that leaves tomorrow afternoon!! I was so surprised. Elder Lopez and I have been called to Ushuaia down here in Tierra del Fuego. If you’re not quite finding yourself on the’s the southern most tip of the world(except for antartica) at the very bottom of Argentina. President argyle sent us here to open up a new area and split a branch so we can turn the District here into a Stake. What a sweet blessing no!!? And huge assignment. WE’re in the most southern area in any mission in the world. Ushuaia is an amazing little city nestled in between tall sharp mountins and a large dark ocean bay. It reminds me alot of Washington. I’m so nervous, excited, and grateful all at once. It is absolutely beautiful down here and I am to anxious to start baptized the people I feel greatly blessed truly. I attached a couple pictures. I’ll attach more in the future. We started email late though, and we’ve got to go to be able to start working on time. I love you all so much. Thanks for writing me. I’ll be on again next Wednesday and be able to tall you more. I’ve been here less than 48 hours.
Love love love

p.s. mom, the pin # doesn’t work. I mailed my voting ballot. I had no idea who to vote for. I put straight republican.haha
p.s.s. dad, I can’t wait to talk about the temple and a thousand more things with you. It was wonderful the temple. Send melanie my love and give her a huge kiss.

Map Ushuaia Patagonia Boliva and Beyond Videos

LetterNovember 5, 2008 top

Hola Family,
Haha. Mom I like how you say hi to me in spanish in your emails. It makes me laugh for some reason. I should probably share more spanish tips with you all, but I figure at some point during my week I should focus on bettering my English, and stop thinking in Spanish.ha I’ve been doing more thinking in English lately anyways. Eash morning I teach Elder Lopez. English. He really enjoys it and I do to! Today I was teaching him how to pray. It’s so funny watching someone who has just about NO backgrand with the english language try and pronounce english words. It’s tuff business! Elder Lopez and I are getting along really well. I really enjoy this whole training stuff. It’s probably just because I’m super selfish...I get to do everything my way.haha Being campanions with an experienced elder is good because there can be alot of power in the teaching and all, but it’s kind of like painting a picture. With a campanion who’s been out in the field a while you have to paint around the lines he’s already drawn. Elder Lopez is my clean slate.ha Of course, like you mentioned dad, new missionaries many times are on fire and very diligent, and such...Elder Lopez is one of those. He has so much to offer and helps me a ton. He is willing to be obedient, and studies and tries very hard to grow learn and do things right. He is truly an example for me. Plus, he teaches me Mexican words they use in Mexico that don’t exist here in Argentina. It’s kind of funny how different things change from country to country. The Argentines understand me better than Elder Lopéz lots of times, and I find myself teaching Elder Lopez spanish words and stuff from here in Argentina.ha Something that made me pretty happy this morning...I asked Elder Lopez if my accent sounds pretty Argentine or if I still sound like an american and he told me that when we picked him up in the Airport his first day he thought I was an Argentine.} Dad I loved your email and experiences from your mission. I feel like I’ve never heard anything about your mission. Honestly, everytime you write me about it it’s something new for me. Thanks so much for your example. Mom, I really really enjoyed your email.alot. Thankyou so much. You inspire me. I know you asked me for my patriarchal blessing. I’ll send it to you soon.

This whole past week it has been snowing off and on. It doesn’t ever stick, but the mountains that are like a stone’s throw area are covered in snow. It’s gorgeous. This morning though when we woke up there was snow all around. We went outside and took a picture. If you look close you’ll see I’ve got a snowball in my hand...Just after the picture was taken Elder Lopez was hit for the very first time in his life by a snowball.haha It was funny. We moved into a new apartment last night. It’s the District President’s apartment right behind his house.(p.s. district president is like stake president, but with “less” members and stuff) It’s a small little department and nice and new. Today we bought a bunch of stuff for it. Like pans and bowls and stuff. We also went with the Pres. Tossen(district president) to buy a fridge kitchen table and bunk bead. They should be arriving some time this afternoon.

This branch here is great. Mom you asked how ushuaia is. It’s kind of like Moab, in the way that it’s a little tourist city. Lots of little shops and hotels and things. Very similar, but bigger and nicer. It’s like campana, because it’s small and country-ish, but not way way poor or anything. The cost of living here is very expensive, and I’m surprised at how nice lots of the houses are. It’s completely different from Bs. As. I’m never scared.haha It’s alot safer here. My first day here I couldn’t believe that there were houses without bars outside the windows and that people left thier gates unlocked and bikes and stuff in the front yard. It’s a different world and I love it. It’s cold here, and never really gets too warm, but the summer months are the best and most beautiful, so I lucked out with the timing of getting called here. The people seem pretty receptive. The Lord is already blessing us. We’re getting to know the members and will work better with them in the future, and this first week, even though we got here mid week we were able to find 10 new investigators(that’s quite a bit) and witnessed a few miracles. Yesterday morning we were heading to lunch and a man called to us in the street and said, “hey, you dropped a paper” I looked back and saw a paper blowing across the street with the snow. I knew it wasn’t ours but I ran and grabbed, said thanks to the man, and we kept walking. It turned out to be a water bill for a house a few blocks away. Elder Lopez said, “hmm, we should take it to the house and contact them. It’s not just luck we found this paper.” (a sign of his pure faith) I was thinking the same thing. We went to lunch, and then after took the bill to the house and ended up talking with and teaching a lady in the door. She recieved the Book of Mormon and we have a return appointment tomorrow. It was cool. “I don’t ever talk with o accept anyone from other religions...I’m not really sure why I’m even listening to you.” Those were, more or less, the words of this woman at the end of the little 5-10 minute lesson in front of here house.haha The Lords works in strange ways. We’ll see how this works out with her. I’ve got like a fahillion more things to write and talk about, but I’ve got to go. I’m sorry. Know that the Lord is with us here in Ushuaia. I’m very happy and working I think harder than any other time in my mission. I’ll try and answer your questions next week. I’m praying for you all and love you all.

p.s. Ushuaia is pronounced Usuaia. You don’t make the SH sound in the word. You say it just like you would with the Shhh, but with just ssss. Like in Snake.ha

p.s.s. Tierra del Fuego= Land of Fire

ps.s.s.s I hope you enjoyed your spanish lesson

LetterNovember 12, 2008 top

Yo yo, what’s up? How are all of you? Sounds like things are looking really good there at home. Thanks for writing me mom dad and camie. I really appreciate, honestly. Dad you mentioned how you don’t want to distract me with details of things going on at home. Don’t worry! Your emails inpspire me, and when you share details I am able to spend less time trying to imagine exactly what’s going on in the family and get back to thinking about missionary work.ha If that makes sense...I like details. So I continually recieve updates from people here about the elections and lots of stuff in the States. It’s funny, people ask me questions thinking I’ll know everything that’s going on, and I just tell them they know a whole lot more than I do about my country right now.haha Mom, how do you like your new hardwood floor...WAIT...AAAAAAAAAMMMY!!!! HAAAAAAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!! I almost wanted to punch myself last Wednesday! I got back to the apartment and was sitting on my bed and remember it was your birthday and that I forgot to say something about it! SSOORRY! But hey, happy birthday baby. I hope it was a beautiful day. Alright mom, how’s the new floor? Good I hope. And thanks for working on my pin number thing and the college applications. I too would like to teach in the MTC, but you have to attend BYU to teach there, and I don’t know if my brain has quite reached the IQ level required, or my wallet the smooth cash required.

Things are good here. This past week had pretty good weather. It changes super quick here. Yesterday I went on divisions with our district leader and we had a good day. We found 5 new investigators and put a baptismal date with a young man. We’ll see how firm the date is tomorrow for the return appontment. We´re finding alot of new investigators but having a hard time helping them progress. Elder Lopez and I had a little service project the day before yesterday. We shoveled and moved dirt for about an hour and a half for Alejandra, the single mom we’re teaching. I know the Book of Mormon and our service is touching her heart. Two Sundays have gone by and she hasn’t come to church, and that worries, and bothers me a bit. It doesn’t bother me as much as the constant flow of unmarried people we keep teaching. I truly am ffusterated with that. We contact families, pass by to teach them, have good lessons, and find out they’re not married. It is such a horrible feeling. We put two baptismal dates with an elderly-ish couple only to find out after that the’re both married to other people, got seperated, and are now living together. GAG!! It makes me sick. The devils attack on the family has filled the whole whole whole earth. Even down here in the farthest south city in the world.

I’m giving a talk in Sunday on the the Saviors love. I’ll try and remember to let you all know how it goes and what I share. Also, president Argyle calle me and asked me to interview on the our District Leaders baptismal candidates. The Zone leader usually does it, but he lives 3 hours away, and President can assign other elders to do it. I feel blessed to know the Lord and Pres. Argyle are trusting me with something like that.

Mom, about traveling to Argentina to pick me up...No, I don’t want you to come. Don’t take that wrong, but it’s against church policy, President Argyle doesn’t really like it very much, and I want to come home to all of you. We’ll make it back some time in the future. The food here in Ushuaia is the same as Buenos Aires, BUT alot alot alot more expensive. Everything is alot more expensive. Sadly, especially the fruits and veggies. Dad, thankyou for filling me in on some of the “plans” we’ve got. I can’t wait! In the meantime Im going to just keep preaching my heart out. I truly love being a missionary. I hope the family is recieving some of the blessings for my service, because I feel like I am recieving them all!

Melanie, How are you doing babe! Sounds like you’re really growing alot and being really strong. I’m so proud of you, and look up to you alot. I can’t imagine how firm your heart must be and determined your mind to overcome such a tuff challenge. I’m glad you’re doing well. I’m sure my prayers are reaching heaven and the Lord’s blessings are falling down on you. I hope and pray the love of your big, but little next to you, brother rests continually upon your soul and gives you strength to smile each day. I smile every time I look at your picture...every morning;) I love you Moe.

I love you all a bunch. Take care okay! Can’t wait to hear from you all again.
Love love

LetterNovember 19, 2008 top

Hello Family,
I love you all very much. It sounds like things are going pretty well at home. That’s great that you found work Alyssa. I’ve heard of Rue 21. That’s too bad they aren’t closed on Sunday. Be careful with that! Things are going well here. I interviewed the young man for his baptism and tried really hard to stump him, but the missionaries just taught too well! Nah, the baptismal interview is really simple...used just to make sure the person has a testimony, understands thier covenant, and is worthy. My talk went great! A bit more on that in a moment. Do you all remember Robert and Lesly, two great investigators from my last area...? Robert is the young man(24 years) from the “4 Blocks of Patience email.” Well they got married this morning and this afternoon are getting baptized!!! Awesome no?! How I wish I could be there. My heart honestly is aching. We put this baptismal date with them a while ago, and really is was just a waiting game until the Marriage Date they recieved from the city office. I talked with Elder Clegg, my replacement, last night and he is going to send my love. I told him to take a picture for me too mom!

Mom, yes you should send the christmas package soon if you want me to get it befor christmas. Very very soon.ha All our mail goes to buenos aires, to the office like normal, and then they mail it here. SO it takes ages to arrive. That’s okay though. I can’t remember what I told you before, but here’s some stuff I’ve got in mind...

1. Teeth whitening kit thing. (Something serious and good. Not because my teeth are serisouly yellow, but because I want seriously white teeth)
2. Dried Fruit
3. Trail mix/nuts
4. Honey Roasted almonds...those kind they’ve got in University Mall!haha
5. Grapenuts. Yes grapenuts. I’ve got an urge to crunch my teeth on those delicious little stones.
6. PICTURES!!!!!!!!!!

Pack as much of this stuff as you can in, but don’t send a huge box. I don’t know if they’ll be able to mail it here from Buenos Aires.

Anyways, don’t fret too much about it. I’d be happy with a letter from the family and pictures., it doesn’t surprise me you continue being a role model and example for so many people. That’s great daniel asked you to ordain him. I’ll try and write him a letter and congratulate him. I’ll just send it to you guys, and you can deliver it to him. P.s. What!? “I’ll try and write him a letter”.... OF COURSE I’ll write him a letter!

That is so wild it’s already thanskgiving. I remember thanksgiving last year and how horribly I missed the family. I still miss you, and am jealous of the getaway in Paradise...moab... with Gregg and Terri. Especially since a slice of terri’s homemade bread is making my mouth water right now. Have a great thanksgiving though!! I’ll be thinking of all of you while I walk around in the street being the only person in Ushuaia celebrating thanksgiving...and only in my heart.ha

Melanie, it sounds like you’re really progressing and growing alot!! Nice work baby. Keep it up. I think of you and pray for you alot. I’m going to write you a letter today don’t worry. (since I know you’re always worrying about when your lame brother is going to write you) Girls,(for those of you that aren’t members of my immediate family: When I say “girls” I’m directing my comments to my 4 younger sisters. NOT the general female population!) the invitation to write me an email is still valid. But for a short time only!! If I don’t recieve emails ffrom you soon I’m going to just delete them when they come without reading em!haha Love yous.

So my talk went well. There’s not a whole lot to share, but I thought I’d toss you the scriptures and thoughts I shared. I spoke on our Saviors love. I began with the Scripture in Romans from my farewell talk. Romans 8:35...who shall seperate us from the love of Christ? I expressed that I wanted to answer that question during my talk. After I turned to Alma 7:11-13 and called attention to how the Savior demonstrated His pure love for HIS PEOPLE.
11 And he shall go forth, suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of HIS PEOPLE.
12 And he will take upon him death, that he may loose the bands of death which bind HIS PEOPLE; and he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to csuccor HIS PEOPLEaccording to their infirmities.
13 Now the Spirit knoweth all things; nevertheless the Son of God suffereth according to the flesh that he might take upon him the sins of HIS PEOPLE, that he might blot out their transgressions according to the power of his deliverance; and now behold, this is the testimony which is in me.
Then I asked, so how do we know if we are part of “his people?” and turned to 1 John 2:3
3 And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments.

After, I wanted to express how important and how much of a blessing it is to be a part of “His people”, so I quickly recounted the story in Mark 5 of when Christ healed the daughter of Jairus, and then shared the story you shared with me dad, from the meeting you had with our Stake President and the revelation he recieved in John 11:4. No for your quorem, but for you and our family. It was really powerful! I could truly testify of the blessings that come from being part of Christ’s People.

Then I shared Alma 5:38 and testified that only WE can seperate us from the love of Christ...if we are not willing to heed Christ’s call.
38 Behold, I say unto you, that the good shepherd doth call you; yea, and in his own name he doth call you, which is the name of Christ; and if ye will not hearken unto the voice of the good shepherd, to the name by which ye are called, behold, ye are not the sheep of the good shepherd.

But if we do heed: 1Nephi 22:25
25 And he gathereth his children from the four quarters of the earth; and he numbereth his sheep, and they know him; and there shall be one fold and one shepherd; and he shall feed his sheep, and in him they shall find pasture

...and I finished testifying that truly we will find pasture, comfort, peace, joy, love, etc, you name it if we heed his call.

I’ve got to go. That is my testimony, and I am so grateful for this chance to call others unto Christ. I love you all.

LetterNovember 26, 2008 top

Yo yo,
Hey how in the world are all of you? Happy HAPPY THANKSGIVING. I imagine you’re probably all busy with the holiday. Perhaps in Moab? For some reason I can’t help but worry when I don’t hear from you, but I’m sure the Lord is keeping you.

Today is a really pretty day. Cloudy, and humid, and warm. Last night was probably the prettiest day I’ve had here in Argentina. Last night we were arriving home at like 9:30 and the whole bay here was very calm, the sky and clouds were a brilliant pinkish orange, and the temperature was nice and cool and for like 3 seconds I felt like I was on my honeymoon or something because it was so beautiful. ...? It get’s dark super late here so at our bedtime at 10:30 it’s still light outside! I guess deep in the heart of summer here, like december and january, it gets dark(but never pitch black) at like 1:00am and then the sun comes out again at 4:00am. HA! Honey Nuts no?

So this is the last week of the transfer. Can you believe how quickly these last six weeks went!!? The fastest of my mission...of my life! I honestly can’t believe it. I think it’s because this last transfer has been more work than any other tansfer in my mission. Tragically we weren’t able to see too many fruits from our labors as far as baptisms goes, but we’re well on our way to that. This next transfer should be a little bit more wet...wetter. NEWSFLASH: I talked with Elder clegg the other day and he mentioned that Robert recieved the Aaronic Priesthood. Thought I’d just fill you all in on that. Sweet.

Recently we’ve begun teaching an incredible 7th Day Adventist couple. Thier names are Julian and Mirna. We contacted them in the street and they told us they had thier faith, we casually slipped that aside, and were able to set a time to pass by and chat with them. We taught the first lesson, which is the lesson of the Restoration. It was good, and they listened well. At the end they had about 300000 million doubts and questions which was alright. The lesson was actually pretty amazing. For the first time in my mission we were able to chat over gospel subjects, read the Book of Mormon and the Bible, and testify with people FIRM in another religion without any contention whatsoever. Of course, at any hint of contention we politely finish the visit and excuse ourselves, but to my surprise we didn’t have to do that with them! In fact, we actually were able to set a return appointment and lunch with them! We returned for lunch and the appointment... hmm, I think if I say we returned for the appointment and lunch it sounds better no?:) Julian had been reading the Book of Mormon like a nut! He read a bunch and was ready with alot of questions and doubts which we answered with the Book of Mormon and Bible. He didn’t read with the goal to prove us wrong or anything, but they do have alot of doubts and still hold firm to thier religion, which is okay. They have alot of interest in how we see death and the Plan of Salvation. More than anything we focus on just trying to help them understand that anything and everything we share with them really is in vain if they don’t pray and recieve an answer that what we are sharing is TRUE! Really I thought I’d just fill you in on them so you could pray especifically that they feel that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is Christ’s true church.

Another interesting story. We’ve also recently begun teaching a couple named Javier and Salome. They are super nice also, and Javier is kind of nuts, but cool. Every time we talked with him he talks a ton and is just really animated when he talks. Like he waves his arms and laughs and is just nuts. He has an icecream shop. We contacted him in the street and passed by the next day and were able to chat with him. The Spirit was in the lesson. Two days ago we stopped by his icrecream shop and chatted with him. It was a normal chat, and Javier was normal Javier, lots of action and emotion in his words. His wife, Salome, arrived about 20 minutes after us and we started talking with her. We had another appointment to get to so I started to try and wrap things up. (ps. I’ve just been giving a bit of background on them. Here’s the climax of the story.ha) So I said something like “I know that what we are sharing with you is true, and that this Gospel is the answer to all your questions and desires in life.Blah blah blah... and most importantly, I know that you both can KNOW it too through the Holy Spirit. THE SAME SPIRIT YOU FELT THE FIRST TIME WE TALKED TO YOU JAVIER, AND AFTER IN YOUR HOME WHEN WE TAUGHT THERE.” Right in that moment Salome turned to her husband and asked “Javier, did you feel the Spirit that morning when they stopped by our house?” We paused and I stared at him like a hawk! He paused and said... “yeah, I felt something. And I felt it again 10 minutes ago.” WOAH! I didn’t even feel the Spirit ten minutes ago like he mentioned. But after he said that I realized that it had been 10 minutes since he had talked much, or been “normal.” I kow this story isn’t super cool, but it was just really interesting to hear an investigator really be able to detect the Spirit, and then after be able to realize it myself that he had felt the spirit.

One last story. We are teaching a single mom named Sandra and here kids. I think maybe I mentioned something about them. Well since last week we’ve stopped by a few times and taught. She is very receptive and nice. And humbled by recent events in her life. Yesterday we stopped by with our Ward Mission Leader and had an AMAZING lesson. We had planned to watch The Restoration with them, but the DVD remote wouldn’t work and we couldn’t change the language to Spanish. Blast! So we just shared the scriptures we had prepared, and sort of improvised. Throughout the lesson I noticed that Sandra’s eyes swelled with tears off and on. For some lame reason I don’t always think things through when I see them. I should have asked here what she was feeling or had on here mind, but didn’t just kept teaching. The lesson was really spiritual, and everything was going great. And then, at one point while I was talking, She just got up, and excused herself and headed into the bathroom. I thought, “hmm, strange.” And we kept talking with the kids a bit, while we waited for her. Five minutes later she returned pretty red in the face, and we could obvisouly tell she had been crying in the bathroom. Finally I came back from space and asked her if everything was okay, and what she was feeling. She choked back tears as she said. “Earlier today when I got back from work I sat down and read the part in the Book of Mormon you left me. And I did what you said to do. I pondered the things you shared. I thought about what I was reading and prayed. And I just started crying and haven’t been able to stop since. All day I’ve been crying!” The Spirit filled the room! I told her a quick story about how that happened to me once. I don’t know if you remember Alyssa, the story I told you about in an email recently, when I recieved my testimony of the Book of Mormon. Tell the family the story. Really all it was, was one Sunday afternoon in our basement my junior year in highschool I was reading the Book of Mormon in 3rd Nephi. I had read for more than an hour and for the first real time in my life I felt strongly that what I was reading was true. When I got to 3rd Nephi 17 in the middle of the chapter while I read I just started crying. And cried and cried and cried, and couldn’t stop! I remember vividly feeling that God loved me, and that he knew ME! Steven Neal Stucki! I shared that with Sandra, confirmed that what she was feeling was the Holy Spirit confirming our message. Then our Ward mission leader and Elder Lopez shared beautiful testimonies, We finished with a prayer, and left her marinating in the Spirit. It was really really neat. We’ll see what fruits we see from it. As far as Elder Stucki testimony grew, and I was able to feel very strongly that the Lord leads and guides this work, and the Holy Ghost knows how to specifically and perfectly speak to our souls.

I hope you all feel the Spirit often each day, and that your souls feel my love for all of you today and forever. I love you. Happy Thanksgiving.

LetterDecember 2, 2008 top

Hey, sorry this email is going to have to be pretty short. Forgive me. And sorry I forgot to remind you all that I would be writing on Tuesday instead of Wednesday. I mentioned we had transfers, but forgot to remind that the week of transfers we have P day on Tuesday. Things are going well here on my half of the globe. (what a selfish statement! My half of the globe!!) Summer is really starting to smile, and the days have been beautiful and of course long. It’s lighter later and later. When we go to bed at 10:30 is perfectly light outside.

I have been thinking alot about tribulations and difficulties these days. Things have been pretty tuff. Really I think I’m probably just a little bit negative, and hard on myself, but We’re having a hard time finding new investigators, and some of our investigators that I thought were going to progress have chosen not to continue. That includes Julian and Mirna. They are such wonderful people, and have chose to continue in thier church. We have to respect that, and love them anyways. I could learn from thier great examples of faith and diligence, and way of quickly loving all around them...inviting us to have lunch with them the second time we visited them.

Other investigators are showing signs of progress. Sandra came to church on Sunday! It was the primary program and I think she liked it. Her kids didn’t make it, because they were up late at a cousins party or something, but we’ll get em next week Javier and his wife Salome are showing signs of progress. We had a lesson yesterday and in the middle of the visit he was like “you know, I think we’re going to go to the church on Sunday Salmoe. What do you think?” He just said it. Without any invitation or comittment. That was neat. He’s feeling the Spirit. I’ll keep you updated.

President Argyle called yesterday and asked me to serve as District Leader here in Ushuaia. In the picture I attached Elder Bloxham, in the middle, got trasnfered to Buenos Aires and I am replacing him. I’m nervous and excited. I really want to boost the district and start having alot of success here in our part of the Lord’s vineyard. I need to start having more success in our area. Our district here has 4 companionships. Elder Lopez and I, two more companionships of elders, and a companioship of Sisters. I’ll of course fill you in on things in the district as time goes.

I know the Lord love us and gives us trials to help us grow. I like Romans 5:3. That sometimes he tries us just to help us learn patience. That’s a Christlike attribute, and a Godly trait I need so much to develop. I love you all, and I hope you had a fantastic thanksgiving holiday. I bet it was divine. Talk to you all soon.
Love heart, turkey, christmas trees we have a christmas tree in the house yet?

LetterDecember 10, 2008 top

Hello dear ones. How are all of you doing. You sound well. Sounds like Utah needs to get into gear and start tossin snow around to help get the Christmas Spirit burning. Down here the Christmas spirit doesn't really come out too much either. Did you all have the chance to see the First Presidendy Christmas Broadcast? I bet it was good. I'm going to send off a Christmas package to you all here really soon. I bought the stuff already, and just need to send it off. It should get there on time. Whatever you do, don’t be excited…I basically sent a box of lameness. Thanks mom for sending something here. Depending on when you sent the package we'll see if I get them before Christmas. I'm pretty sure if you sent them off this past week they`ll get here to the south around the end of January or beginning of February.haha Things just take a long time to move around in the mission, and especially here in the south. I am grateful no matter when the goods arrive :)
This past week has been pretty good. I’ve really enjoyed the last few days especially. We have zone conference tomorrow and I am so anxious. Very very anxious. President Argyle came down with Elder Smith, one of his assistants, and since one of the elders in our district here doesn’t have a companion still since the transfer, we sent my comp, Elder Lopez, and him to live and work in another area and Elder Smith and I have been living and working together since Monday. I got to know elder smith in the offices and he is a great missionary. We get along well and have been able to accomplish some pretty great things.
We had a neat lesson on Sunday. In church one of the Sisters asked me if we could come to her house and teach a young man she had invited to hear the missionaries. We didn’t have any set appointments so I told her of course we can. Elder Lopez, Elder Olsen (another new missionary who doesn’t have a companion for now) and I arrived to the house and got to know Mathias. He is an 18 year old young man. He’s had some stuggles in his life with a lot of different things and has carried a lot of guilt and burdens for quite a while. He has a fairly religious background and a broken family. We had planned on just teaching the message of the Restoration but at the beginning of the appointment I felt that we should teach the 3rd lesson-The Gospel of Jesus Christ. I took a pamphlet out of my scriptures and set it on the table in front of my companions so they knew what I felt we should teach. I began the lesson and we ended up having one of the best lessons I’ve had in my mission. We taught very clearly and the Spirit was present. It was surprising to me, because it’s kind of tuff to teach between 3 missionaries, and especially when two of them are pretty new, but they taught like champs and I was able to learn a great deal from their examples and words. Mathias listened well, and I felt that we could invite him to be baptized. I waited to see if the Spirit would confirm that thought, and He did. Immediately I invited Mathias to be baptized in this Church, according to the answers he receives to his prayers after reading the Book of Mormon and praying. He said okay. At the end of the lesson we asked him to offer the prayer. Without any doubts he said yes. We had listened as he prayed for many different things(it was a beautiful prayer) and then at the very end of the prayer he asked “and help me know if this is your will that I be baptized in this church.” Or something like that, and the spirit FILLED THE ROOM. It was amazing. He said amen, and nobody said anything. We were all just frozen, marinating in the spirit!! At times we invite people to pause and pay attention to their feelings and thoughts, but we hadn’t said anything this time! The Spirit was so strong that everybody just didn’t want to talk, or move. Mathias sat with his head bowed for about 20 seconds…which is forever…and then was like “what is this crazy knot I’m feeling in my chest!!” HA! It was sweet. We confirmed that it was the spirit confirming his decision. It was a sweet tender mercy. We’ll see how he progresses.

I’ll write more next week. I’ve got to run though. Love you all!!

p.s. Mom, there are no penguins in Ushuaia right now, because it's summer. You have to travel in boat more like Antarctica. Let’s go sometime!haha

LetterDecember 17, 2008 top

Dear Family,
Hello. I was in the little airport here in ushuaia this morning to pick up an elder who arrived here to Ushuaia today, and they were lots of tourists, and it just made me laugh listening to people “salutate” each other with “Hello, how are you?” That just sounds weird to me! So strange. I teach elder Lopez english, but its not like we ever chat or talk in English and it sounds so weird to hear people talk in Enlgish. I have no idea why I am writing this...hmm.

How are all of you!? I’m very excited to talk on Christmas!!!! Is Melanie going to be there? Moe, are you going to be there? I hope and pray and pray and pray that you will babe!! Ask for permission!! GET A PASS!...if you can. Be thinking of some questions and subjects. I will too. I’ll try and fill you in on things here with investigators and the mission life and that way I won’t get too distracted if you know what I mean., but I do want to hear how you all have been. We’re going to have 40 MINUTES to talk okay? It’s going to go by very very quick That’s okay though. Also, so you know I will have time for internet also so if you want to write me...feel free. My Pdays are Dec 25th and Jan 1st make sure you write before those days. About the phonecall. I will call you this time. I have a phonecard I bought last Christmas that I need to use. I’m going to call around 10:00am there in Utah. That’s 2:00pm here. I hope that works out. If you’ve already got plans I’ll just leave a message!haha Fantastic. Also, I sent a package off today. It’s not going to get there by Christmas, sadly, but you should have a little surprise for the new year perhaps. Mom, you asked about the Branch here. No, it’s not super small. There are about 90-100 people attending each week. It’s probably the best branch/ward in the mission.ha! There’s alot of potential of success with the members so we’re focused on them alot. You also asked what my plans are for Christmas. Nothing. Talk to you guys and nothing.haha We’re going to follow the same mission schedule as always. Bedtime at 10:30pm up at 6:30am. Presidente Argyle wants us to maintain our focus as much as possible. I love it. The same thing for the New Year. We’re not going to miss anything anyways. Fireworks are illegal here in Ushuaia so there’s no NUTS firework show like last year.ha

Okay, well I don’t have much more time. Sorry. I know the emails with stories about the investigators are the best, but I’ll have to just fill you in on the phone. Javier and Salomé are doing VERY well. They’ve attended church two times and have a baptismal date for the 10th of January. The Lord is truly changing this family. Salomé has alot of doubts and questions. Things like God having a body, and us having bodies after this life for some reason are hard for her to accept. Javier, is really changing and feeling the Spirit. It’s great. I’ll tell you more about it next week, and try and focus my emails a little bit more on the progress of the investigators. Thanks for being patient with me. And Thanks for writing me so diligently mom and dad. And thanks cam for writing. I love you all. I’ve got a family of gold. Love love.
steven They’re random. The one of the shoes is for you mom. I think you wanted it for your scrapbooks. Both shoes have giant holes in the middle and in the heel!!! I took them to the cobbler to get fixed.ha!

LetterDecember 24, 2008 top

Dear Fam,
Happy Christmas EVE! I love Christmas Eve. It’s probably the best part of Christmas really. I’ll be thinking of you all eating on the floor, and acting out the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ...that is, if you plan to try and pull of the act without your best actor there;) Here in Argentina Christmas Eve is called La NocheBuena. Which directly translated = The Good Night. It is a good night indeed. I hope you all enjoy it fully. I love and miss you.

So last week I had told you that I was going to do internet on Christmas because our pday was changed. Turns out during the week there was another change and today is pday like always. We’ll still be chatting tomorrow on the phone. Don’t worry. Can’t wait! The same goes for next week. My pday will be Wednesday as always...Dec 31st. So you can make sure you write before Wednesday is you want. So this past week has been pretty good. I had an interesting chat with Elder Velez. He is in the offices, and he works in my old area. Do you remember how I was in San Fernando with Elder Nielson, and after when Elder Nielson left and I was working with Elder Whitmer I mentioned something about how we split the area. Well...Elder Velez works in what was my old area. I called the offices with some random question, and during the conversation elder Velez asked me if I remembered Federico. I said no, who’s that? He then began to fill me in on how one day they were walking in the street and a man stopped them and asked if they knew Nielson and Stucki? They were like yeah!! Stucki’s on the southern tip of Argentina and Nielson had already returned to the USA. I had no idea who this man was...Federico, but after he told me a bit about him and reminded me where he lived I had a flashback to one day when Elder Nielson and I contacted a man outside his house, and he let us come back another day and teach him. We taught him two or three times, and there wasn’t much progress, and he never came to church and so we stopped passing by. Elder Velez told me that since we left him OVER 7 MONTHS AGO he had begun to read the Book of Mormon and just read and read and read, and was converted alone by that!! He stopped them in the street, they had a couple appointments and he wanted to be baptized. When they taught the Word of Wisdom he opened his cupboard and said “Okay, what do i need to toss out.” By just reading the Book of Mormon he was converted. Talking with Elder Velez made my day. Who knows? Maybe it just wasn’t his time. Too bad Elder Nielson and I weren’t able to see his potencial so long ago. But who cares!! He was baptized this week. Kinda neat no? The Lord knows how to cultivate His vineyard. Even though us workers don’t realize the potencial of a spot of land, or dead looking tree, His eyes are perfect and he sees the heart. And he knows how to harvest the fruit.

We recieved mail this week. I recieved letters from friends, a nice little package from the Laurels(thanks am and lis. Tell the other girls thankyou please!) and a beautiful letter from you MOE! Thankyou. Your letter was the best one I received. Mom, the other packages you sent off will arrive in the coming weeks sometime. Not sure when. But thanks! I love you. Also, I recieved letters from some of the people I helped join the church. Remember Mariela? She is doing fantastic, about to enter the temple, and is going to get married soon. I’m not sure when, or to who. She didn’t tell me, but I’ll keep you updated. The Ayala Fam continues faithful and diligent. They are so happy. Stefania, the oldest child who is 15 has mentioned a few things to me about wanting to serve a mission. Mario Ayala(dad) has recieved the Melchezidek(spelling!?) priesthood, and a while back baptized Rocio, his who recently turned 8.

Javier and Salomé are progressing well towards thier baptism at the beginning of January. They should be ready. We’ve got some things to work out, but they are doing thier part, Elder Lopez and I are doing our part, and of course the Lord is doing His part...which basically is He just does EVERYTHING.

I feel so blessed to serve the Lord. I feel so blessed to have all of you. You are all gold to me, and I love you soo much. Have a great Christmas Eve. I’ll be thinking of yous.
Talk to you tomorrow.

p.s. i attached a handful of fotos but just lost them all for some reason. Sorry. Next week...

LetterDecember 31, 2008 top

Aahh! I felt completely nuts alter talking with all of you. Partly because I felt like we had only been talking about 4 minutes, and partly because I felt bad that I was so lame on the phone. Honestly, i had so much trouble expressing myself in english. It’s weird. I can sit here and write fine in English(even though I know I have alot of spelling and grammar mistakes) but when I sat down to talk to you it felt so strange...i just didn’t feel like myself in English!haha That’s kind of weird. Spanish feels more natural. I’m sorry. But hey, I loved, absolutely loved hearing your voices. Wow I love you all.

Things are very well here. Kind of an interesting story from Christmas. A short time after we talked Elder Lopez and I were in streets visiting people. WE stopped by the house of a young 18 year old kid we contacted a few days earlier. He is from Bolivia and came here to work. His name is Julio Cesar. He lives in a small, dirty, one room apartment. We stopped by and here was there all alone listening to music. We taught him a bit, and towards the end of the lesson i thought “hmm, who wants to be alone on Christmas? At least I’ve got nice mexican friend to enjoy Christmas with!!ha” So I thought about what our plans were for the evening, and decided we’d eat dinner a litttle bit earlier than usual. Normally we don’t even take an hour for dinner, but one of the members had prepared us some food for Christmas. So I invited Julio Cesar to come with us to eat something. He said he wanted to and so we prayed and then left. WE stopped by our apartment and gathered up the dish the kind member prepared for us and then looked around for whatever other food we had to eat, and went to the chapel with Julio Cesar. We set up a little table, found some left over drinks from the Branch Christmas party and had a little christmas dinner together! It was really neat. I actually felt really blessed to share the little we had(because there wasn’t very much food) with someone that had even less. Who knows if Julio Cesar will be baptized. If nothing else he had a little bit better of a Christmas in 2008 with two Mormon Missionaries. Julio Cesar did come church also. We stopped by his apartment and the door was slightly open. I knocked and he didn’t answer, so I pushed the door open a bit more and saw him sleeping on his bed. I looked over at elder Lopez and asked what we should do. He shrugged and said I don’t know. So I thought for about two and a half seconds, opened the door, walked in, and gently shook Julio Cesar....he woke up, and was pretty surprised. He didn’t want to come because he was so tired, but I had already done the hard part entered his house and waking him up so I wasn’t going to leave without him!! I didn’t know what to say though, haha, it was really funny. I was like “come on, you wanted to come yesterday, and I think the only thing that has changed is you’re super tired right now” He was like “How about next Sunday?” I didn’t know exactly how to convince him. So I just sat down in a chair next to his bed and started chatting...chatting about whatever came to my mind. His work, friends, weekend...” And after about ten minutes he realized I wasn’t going to let him go back to sleep so he said “Vamos!” which means “Let’s go!” got up out of bed, put his shoes on, brushed his teeth, and we made it to church 2 minutes before the meeting started. Nice.

Also, I don’t know if you all remember Ariel. We began teaching him our first week here in Ushuaia. He hasn’t missed a Sunday. He his living with a women and they are not married and so he can’t be baptized until they get married, and they plan to to work that out as quickly as possible. His “wife” is a member that was inactive for a long time, and we reactivated her, and now the whole family comes to church. They have a son, Franco, who is a child from Claudia’s(wife) first marriage. He is super cool! He’s ten years old and wants to be a missionary like crazy Since Claudia is now actively attending church we decided to baptize Franco. He will be baptized January 10th. I’m happy.

Javier and Salmoe are doing okay. WE taught the word of wisdom and they calmy accepted it. It’s going to be tuff though. Javier smokes and drinks and I’m not sure if they’re going to make it to thier baptism date on January 10th. We’ll see if the Lord can’t work a miracle. Pray for them. Pray for them please.

Speaking of miracles. I spoke with Elder Whitmer yesterday morning and he filled me in on some REALLY neat stuff in my old area. Things are going great in San Fernando. Elder Whitmer told me about Raul who is doing absolutly great! He said something like “He is SO converted.” He also told me about Robert and Lesly and said they are so happy, and have completed FOUR GENERATIONS of geneology. When he told me that I felt my heart begin to beat against my lungs it made me so happy. Can you imagine that? I really felt for a short moment the grand effect the missionary work has. Robert is the fellow from that “4 blocks of patience” email. Think about it. One afternoon the Spirit pushed me across the street to talk to a man walking to work. A handful of months later: him, his pregnant wife, and four generations of family have found the Gospel and have been baptized or will be baptized. I feel true joy thinking about that.

The most surprising and sacred of all. Do you remember the Vecchiarelli family. They are the family who I attached to this email. (ps. I was going to attach more pics but this computer is miserably slow for some reason.) Julio, the dad, is the man who I wrote to you about a sacred spritual experience he had when he was carried away in the Spirit, and had a vision. Where he was in a great field and some heavenly being touched him on his back...remember? Alright, well shortly after I was transferred Elder Whitmer and his comp stopped passing by because they wouldn’t come to church and weren’t progressing. A few weeks later while they were walking in the street Maria(wife) ran into them in the street and asked them if they could come by. Ever since the missionaries had left them they felt a big change in thier life. They felt like something was missing. They began to read the scriptures, ALOT, and pray. Turns out, they’ve attended church two times and LOVE IT. Just like I always told them. The biggest reason they didn’t attend with us is because Julio struggles with obesity and was just scared. I always told them that they would love it, but it just wasn’t thier time. Elder Whitmer said they are crazy about the church now. Studying the scriptures, and praying constantly. The family will be baptized in two weeks!!! I don’t know exactly why the Lord tries me in the way he does, because honestly hearing that almost made me sick because I wish so bad I could be there, or at least could have been THE instrument in the Lord’s hands to baptize them. Really though, that doesn’t matter. I am so grateful for what the Lord has given me, and for having been able to introduce them to the Gospel and teach them the importance of scripture study and prayer, which beings true conversion.

Pretty neat no? I love you all alot. I’ve got to go though. Mom you asked me what you could do for Elder idea came to mind this past week. Could you send him a small little package of spicy sauces? Like tobasco sauce, and other spicy sauces. The HOTTER the better!!! It’s possible we won’t even be together when he gets it, but send it anyways please! You can take the money out of my account. Just send a package like you normally would to me, but put his Name ELDER ANGEL MARIO LOPEZ instead of mine.
Okay I’ll talk to you all next week. Love love

Ps. Girls, write me and fill me in about your Christmas. I’d like to hear what the family got!!

LetterJanuary 7, 2009 top

Sweet sweet family,
No first…Sweet sweet Emily. I LOVED your email Em!! It made me so happy and I honestly could’t stop laughing as you told me about your trip to the zoo, where you saw a giraffe that came like 5 inches away from you!! And the elephants!!! One eating snow and the other a tree! Yum. Thanks for writing me Emily. And don’t worry I remembered your birthday is coming up soon.

So family, how are all of you?! Thanks for writing me girls. I really enjoyed your emails. I wrote you each back. This past week has been pretty good. We had a good number of investigatores in the church again (6) and were able to progress with some of our investigators. Javier and Salome won’t be baptized this weekend like we had planned weeks ago, but they will be baptized. Dont worry. Franco, on the other hand, will be baptized this weekend. He is such a great kid. He’s really excited about his baptism, but not quite as excited as his younger brother who is 4 and is convinced he will be getting baptized too. “ old are you?”...”FOUR!!!!” he screams back. “ four more years you’ll be baptized too okay?” “ NOOOO! NOW! I’m getting baptizd now!!” haha I think we’re going to have to have an after hours swimming party in the baptismal font for him or he’s going to go crazy.ha

So I’m really happy about this baptism. It’s been a while. Besides that we’re just working along preaching the gospel. Things are well and Elder Lopez and I are working HARD. Sorry I dont have more time to write. The internet went down earlier today and we had to come back later, and it’s almost time to go to work.

Elder Lopez shared a scripture with me this morning that I really liked. It’s in 1 Nephi 14. The world is becoming more and more dangerous these last days, and our need to be spiritually stong is more crucial than ever. I feel so blessed that our family is safe in the Gospel of Jesus Christ...that is, as long as we live faithfully. Our times were seen by the prophet nephi and he saw what it was that protected the saints of God in these last days. Pay attention to verse 14.

13 And it came to pass that I beheld that the great mother of abominations did gather together multitudes upon the face of all the earth, among all the nations of the Gentiles, to afight against the Lamb of God.
14 And it came to pass that I, Nephi, beheld the power of the Lamb of God, that it descended upon the saints of the church of the Lamb, and upon the covenant people of the Lord, who were scattered upon all the face of the earth; and they were aarmed with brighteousness and with the cpower of God in great glory.

Our rightenous and the Priesthood of God is what protects us in a world and society full of danger and temptation. I’m so grateful we have a family that strives for righteousness and a father who honors his priesthood. Be faithful. Strive to be examples and share the gospel so others can have the same blessings we enjoy. I love you all so much.


p.s. My next pday is either Monday or Tuesday next write before that!!!
Ps.s.s I got like 6 packages today from the family and grandma! THANK YOU SOOO MUCH!! Grandma Mann...i thank you with all my heart. You are sooo sweet!

LetterJanuary 13, 2009 top

Hey family!
How is everything going!? I really enjoy hearing from you girls. Thanks alot for writing. Thankyou too Mom and Dad, for writing. Everybody sounds really happy. Things are going fine here. I’m really happy, because I didn’t get transfered. Elder Lopez didn’t either so we’ll have at least one more transfer together, and I’m grateful for that. Of course, it’s not ALL ROSES with elder Lopez but we’re happy and working well together. Things have been good this past week. We were able to find a few new investigators, and had a handful in the church on Sunday. Julio Cesar came to church again, and that was good. WE’re not exactly sure how interested he is, because he honestly does not hardly ever talk!ha But he’s reading the Book of Mormon a bit, and coming to church, and I’m content with that.

We had Franco’s baptism this past weekend. It was great! It was a small little service. Short and sweet. We didn’t have as many people there as we had hoped, but there was good support for the family and Franco. I baptized him on Saturday, and Elder Lopez confirmed him on Sunday. There is such a sweet feeling missionaries get when we baptize people. I don’t know what it is, but I just really like it.

Salome, Javier’s wife, left on vaction for 20 days so we’ve kind of had to put things on pause with her. We’re of course still working with Javier, but his progress has slowed down also without her. I’m confident they will be baptized. I’m hoping it will be during this next transfer. Elder Lopez and I have a handful of investigators from these past two transfers that I really want to baptize together. We’re working hard, and are very obedient, and for some reason have just had a bit of trouble helping people progress towards baptism. Our investigators read, and come to church, and we’re trying to help them get to know the members, BUT we’re struggling with sincere progress towards baptism. It’s okay though. The Lord is with us and guiding the work.

I feel so blessed to be serving the Lord here in Argentina. Mom you asked if our area is big here. No. Ushuaia is a small city and is divided into four different areas of missionaries. It’s my smallest area yet. (I know it’s only my third area so it’s not like there are many other options to choose from.ha) I’m really happy here though. I feel like Ammon who when asked by the king how long he would stay among his people responded “No clue. Perhaps until the day I die.” I’d like to stay in this area until the end of my mission. It’s not very likely but possible. Mom you also asked if elder lopez has family support Yes. They are members. I reallylike your idea about sending him a little package. I wrote dad an email with a little note in Spanish you could write to him. If you write in english he’ll understand a tiny bit and probably have an american companion who can tell him what you’re saying.

I attached a couple fotos. Two of francos baptism. The group shot is is family. The man on the left is Ariel, who we have been teaching for a while. He will be baptized when him and Claudia(the woman) can get married. The other foto is elder lopez. I thought I’d send it so you could get a taste of how weird he can be. If you look closely you’ll see that each one of the sandwhiches he prepared has a smily face of mustard drawn on it.haha Weirdy.
Love love

LetterJanuary 21, 2009 top

Family, I'm soooo happy that you are all soo happy. I wish I could participate a bit in the madness of events and activities that seems to be going on at home. But I have to be honest with all of you....I'm happy where I am, and would rather be here than there with you.haha Take that!! NO really I just smile and water up as I read about the family each week. Thanks so much for writing me.

So I had a real eye opener a few days ago. Elder Lopez and I contacted and taught a man on his porch a handful of days ago. At first he wasn't very interested, but we were able to follow the Spirit, and find out he has a child who is struggling with drugs; So we began to talk about the family and he opened up a bit and showed interest. We left him with a book of Mormon and a return appointment. We stopped by the day before the appointment to say hi, and confirm the appointment, and he him and his wife would be there. The morning after when we got to his house he came before we got to the door… “Ramon! Hey how’s it goin friend?” “Bad.” He responded. We asked why and he told us that his oldest son had died the day before in a motorcycle accident. I didn’t know what to say. I looked through the front window to the house and saw all the family and I’m sure some close friends gathered together. I didn’t know what to say. What do you say in a moment like that!!? I wasn’t about to pretend like I knew what he was feeling. I prayed for words and thought all I could do is testify. I said “Ramon, I’m going to tell you something and I don’t want you to forget it okay? Your son lives. You can and will see him again. I know it. We’ll come back in a few days to tell how okay?” He said okay, I shook his hand, Elder Lopez gave him a hug and we left. A few blocks later elder Lopez and I sat down on a park bench and offered a prayer for him and his family. I can’t imagine the pain a father who doesn’t have the restored gospel of Jesus Christ would be feeling to lose a son like that. It’s very possible nobody in that family even has an idea of the comfort that comes from prayer, trust in God, and the Plan of Salvation. Soon they will, I hope. I thought I’d write that story for two reasons: No matter how weighed down we feel, there’s always someone who feels heavier. The night before this experience I was very sick. I don’t know what happened. I felt fine when I went to bed, but woke up in the middle of the night with horrible stomach cramps and heart burn. I threw up, and couldn’t sleep for hours. When the morning came I was tired and sort of grumpy. Just feeling sort of “woe is me” you know? After talking with Ramon suddenly my tiny tiny tiny little problems became nothing. The second reason, I told you that story, LIFE IS GOLD. Life is so beautiful and wonderful. Filled with such happiness and joy, especially when that joy is founded upon the Gospel of Christ. We need to enjoy every breath. Like Pres. Monson taught in conference, we need to find joy in the journey. As I read about the changes and events in the family “from a distance” It really surprises me how quickly things change in our lives, and the grand things that take place so quickly. If we don’t make an effort to recognize the sweet that is life, one day we’ll be left with a bitter taste in our mouth when it’s gone. I’m trying to do that in my mission as these last months begin to pass. Lots of times we just need to focus on the good and accept the hard. AS we strive to forget ourselves and remember others our vision of the world around us changes. I’ve experienced that in a great way throughout my mission.

I love you all forever. I’m glad you’re happy. Keep writing. Congratulations CAMIE and NICK with the wedding jazz!!

p.s.Dad if the wedding is a secret…delete that last sentence before forwarding this.haha
ps.s.s dad could you add an email to your forwarding list: (Rachel judd)

LetterJanuary 28, 2009 top

Hey Family,
AS always, Thanks alot for writing me mom and dad. I appreciate it a ton. Alyssa and Em..thankyous also. (p.s. In spanish there are a few ways to say You. One is for talking to more than one person, and others for talking to just one person. I figured I’d try and adapt it to English by just adding an “s” to thankyous since I’m “thanking” two people.) I’m pretty sure what I just wrote makes absolutely no sense. Either way, I’m very grateful for having been able to learn Spanish. It is going to be a tremendous blessing I think after my mission like it is now. Elder Lopez and I had to head into downtown Ushuaia so I could send a package. (I sent Jesse a little birthday gift.haha Don’t TELL!!) Today there were a few giant cruise ships in the port and so dowtown was filled with foreigners from all over the world. The majority were speaking English. It was really funny to listen to the people. I had forgotten so many little tidbits about english that are just funny. For example, we passed a family and a little girl was shouting to her dad “DADDY! Hold up! Hold UP!!” What does she want her dad to hold up? Really, it’s just that I haven’t heard a little kid shout in English in over a year! And it just made me smile huge for some reason Also, while we were in the post office I helped like 10 different people find thier way around, or translated for the post office worker people. It was kind of fun.

This past week was pretty good. We found a new family that came to church on Sunday. That was awesome!! We haven’t been able to line up an appointment with them since Sunday to see how they liked it, but I’m sure they enjoyed it. It’s a family of 6. The parents, 3 daughters, and a little boy. The daughters remind me alot of you girls Melanie and Emily. The first time we met them I couldn’t stop looking at one of the daughters and feeling like maybe if I said “Melanie?” she’d answer me? We have begun teaching a small family. Roxanne(mom), Elias(15 year old son), and Santiago(10 year old son extremely handicapped) Did I tell you about them? They are references...referrals? from some recent converts and seem really prepared to recieve the gospel. Last year they had a house fire, and lost alot of stuff, and are just really looking for a better life. I can’t wait to see how the gospel blesses them. This is going to be good. At this point in my mission I’ve learned to pay close attention to the countenances of new investigators and watch how it changes over the weeeks until thier baptisms. That’s one good way we can tell how well an investigator is progressing. At the beginning of my mission I doubted alot if people would accept baptism, or the commitments of membership in the church, but now it’s all about just helping them read and pray. Motivating them to “test” our Heavenly Father, by keeping the commandments... and see if he won’t bless them until thier so filled with the light of Christ they can’t even figure out why they’re so happy. I feel that way these days. I’m not sure why it makes me so happy hearing from all of you, and hearing about how the Lord is blessing the family, but man how I smile reading your emails. I love you all so much.

P.s. Mom, Where do the penguins go in the summer? Antarctica. I think. I was talking to a tourist today and they were on a 16 day Antarctic Cruise that honestly sounded divine. I’m pretty sure one of my new life goals is go on an Antarctic cruise. Alyssa, maybe we can cancel the road trip when I get home and go on a cruise to antarctica? Do you have a bahillion fashillion dollars lying around? I think it’s expensive. Elder Lopez and I are feeling alot better. I think you’re right mom, we probably just ate something bad.

LetterFebruary 4, 2009 top

Hey Family,
Dad, sorry to hear you've been a bit sick. That makes two. I also have been a bit under the weather you could say. I'm not sure what for. Last Pday(wednesday) we left the house at 6:00 to go to work. I felt perfectly fine all day!! but at about 6:15 I said "hey Elder Lopez I feel a bit lightheaded." At 6:20 I couldn't walk anymore I was so dizzy. I sat on the curb for 5 minutes and didn't feel better so we stopped a passing taxi that took us home, and before I could get inside the apartment I threwup. It was really weird...immediate lightheadedness, and nothing else. The exact same thing happened yesterday at about five in the afternoon and I had to lay in bed all evening which was horrible because we had some really important appointments last night. Today I feel a bit better, but still have this dizzyness. It's kind of weird, this is something that's happened to me since I can remeber. I remember days working at Monavie when I would be working feeling 100% and then BAM dizzy dizzy as if I had just finished going on the "teacups" at disneyland for 6 hours.haha I eat super well, and sleep well at night so am not sure what it could be. I have had some sore knots on my neck just about my whole mission..haha, maybe it's that. Anyways, sorry this is completely boring.

Wow, what a great introduction to my email. Sorry!!This past week was pretty good. We had some really neat experiences. First, we recieved mail. Thanks so much for the package with the Moab shirt, and Grapenuts. Oh! And the little pciture slideshow keychain. I loved the pictures!! Mom, I also recieved letters from the Ayala family. They said to tell you all hi, and Stefania, the 15 year old daughter wanted me to tell you thanking for having me.haha Like for giving birth to that I could preach them the Gospel.ha We had zone conference on Monday which was great as usual.

A bit over a month ago Elder Lopez and I began teaching a man named Guillermo. He is a young divorced father. He is 29 and has one son, like 5 years old. Maybe I've already told you about him...? Well we have been visiting him off and on, because he didn't show too much progress, and made himself very clear that he has no intentions to change his religion. He's catholic. Something he would do though, which kept us visiting him was he read the Book of Mormon. Each chapter or part we left him he read, and he began reading from the beginning alone. These past two weeks we've been visiting him a bit more and with each appointment we could see a bit of progress. We would read the Book of Mormon together and discuss what he was reading alone. He began to open up alot and would explain how since the first day we talked top him on his porch and gave him the Book of Mormon each time he reads it it's harder and harder to put down. He said at first he was interested at all, but he read, and sometimes can't stop. He would explain how as he read it he would feel "sensations." Sensations that he feels with us sometimes. We had invited him to church before but he didn't want to come. Last saturday we visited him and read a bit together and we watched The Restoration together. The movie about Joseph Smith and the First Vision. The SPirit was present during the lesson, but not super super strong or anything( at least I didn't notice/feel anything to strong at least) But after the video we talked a bit, and Guillermo expressed how he felt alot like Joseph Smith, and I could tell even though he had been very catholic his whole life he was converted to that religion. We invited him to pray at the end and we knelt to pray. (He had prayed many times before with us.) He prayed for us and his family and other "normal" things and then he asked God to show him which path was the correct one(which surprised me quite a bit) He had never asked that before. And as he finished off his prayer I heard his voice shake and he choked up a bit. We said amen, and stood up. He was teary eyed, and apologized for the tears. Of course we were like Sorry? For what!!? And then we asked him what he was feeling. He said he didn't know. So we filled him in that it was the Spirit, and I felt these words come into my mind "Invite him to church." I thought, "but he's already rejected us before..." AFter 18 months as a missionary I've learned to recognize the Spirit and follow His guidance a bit more diligently so I said "Guillermo, is there anything that would keep you from coming to church with us tomorrow?" He said no. And so I said we'd stop by in the morning to go together, and he said okay. It was fantastic!!! He came on sunday, stayed all 3 hours, and really enjoyed it. Turns out knew some of the members, and one brother invited him to go fishing. HA! Sadly, he leaves on vacation today for 20 DAYS but I think his interest in the Book of Mormon will keep him alive in the Gospel and we'll be able to work with him when he gets back.

Truly there is great power in the scriptures and especially the Book of Mormon. I love it. I love it so much.

I love you all a ton. Have a great week. Get better DAd!! I'll try too.

LetterFebruary 11, 2009 top

HI everyone!
Happy Valentines Day on Saturday! I had completely forgotten about Valentines Day until last Friday when Elder Lopez and I were having our normal weekly plannig session and he was like "hey hey hey, and saturday what do we have?!" I had no idea what he was talking about. Turns out Valentines Day exists in Mexico. I guess that's pretty selfish of me to think that it would be a holiday only in the United States. I can't remember if it exists here in Argentina. I think so.

Monday evening Elder Lopez and I took a bus three and a half hours to a city called Rio Grande to go on divions with my Zone Leader there. I worked with Elder Demars, our zone leader, and Elder Lopez worked with the his comp. It was a fun little change, but I won't lie, I like working in my area more. Honestly I feel like my area loses momentum even spending one day out of it. I think that might be a reason why OUr P-Day ends at 6 pm instead of being all day like I think it used to be. Missionary work only progresses when the Gospel is being preached. Elder Lopez and I are trying to remember that every day and everytime anyone crosses our path. PREACH THE GOSPEL!!

I recieved a letter from The Ayala family a bit ago. It was great to hear from them. Bro. Ayala is the ward mission leader and apparently is going nuts in the missionary work. A few of this family members, like aunts uncles nephews and cousins have been baptized, and they just keep giving the missionaries referrals. I really enjoyed a letter from Stefania, the 15 year old daughter who always had a special interest in the scriptures and learning spiritual things. She told me about an experience she had one evening reading the conference edition of the Ensign from this last conference in October. She said she was reading Sister Allreds talk from the Relief Society Session "Holy Temples, Holy Convenants." She told me that as she read about the sacrifices of members to attend the temple, and thought about her own family who will soon be heading to the temple to be sealed for all eternity she was filled with the spirit in a way she has never felt before. She spoke of how she was just filled with love and gratitude and couldn't stop the tears, and even as she wrote the letter she said she couldn't stop her tears. It was so amazing to read that letter. I am so grateful the Lord gave me a chance to help them find the Gospel. It was so interested to read such a wonderful PERSONAL spiritual experience of a young women who found the true church with her family just under a year ago. SO neat.

I love you all so much. I’m glad you’re all doing well and the wedding prep is going well. Thankyou so much for writing me Mom Dad and Alyssa. I’m glad you’re feeling better dad. I’m feeling quite a bit better too.

LetterFebruary 18, 2009 top

Hey Family,
So we don’t have transfers for another web, BUT I recieved a call from President Argyle two nights ago and he let me know that I would be transferred to Rio Grande. Rio Grande isn’t too far from Ushuaia(it’s on the same island.) It’s about three hours in car from Ushuai. It’s not too far, but really different. Ushuaia is really green and gorgeous. Rio Grande…not so much. But I´m happy to be here, and do whatever the Lord asks. I was actually really hoping to stick around in Ushuaia until the end of my mission. I like staying in my areas for a long time. I had less time in Ushuaia than any other area in my mission. I was a bit bummed, because elder Lopez and I had so much going. We had a large pool of investigadores, and were having some really spiritual experiences with them. I’m sad to leave them all, but what did the Romans do when Rome was destroyed in 515a.d. THEY BUILT ROME AGAIN!! (p.s. I have no idea if Rome was ever destroyed and rebuilt, and that date I wrote there is definitely made up. I thought I’d just try and liven this email up with some sweet historical jazzJ) We’ll see if some of the investigators I was teaching get baptized. Ramon and his family(the dad who’s son past away a few weeks ago) have begun reading the Book of Mormon and we had a couple visits with them. They wanted to come to church this past sunday but when we stopped by to pick them up…they were still asleep. That’s okay. We’ll just have to build their faith a bit/Elder Lopez will just have to build their faith a bit.

Also, Roxana and Elias who I have mentioned are progressing slowly but steady. The last appointment with them was kind of tuff. Roxana just had a lot of doubts and concerns. The Spirit guided our words and we were able to finish the visit with a stong peace and spirit. The best part was at the end when Elias asked “…and if I pray the God tells me that the Book of Mormon isn’t true…what should I do?” I basically said “Don’t worry. That won’t happen. What you say we pray and ask Him right now together?” We knelt in prayer, and Elias, who’s 15, prayed and asked Heavenly Father if the Book of Mormon is true. After the prayer we all stayed on our knees for about two minutes(one of those unplanned spiritual moments where everyone just kind of knew we should keep praying in silence.) It really surprised me actually!! After we sat down again I asked Elias what he felt and he said “Man I don’t know?!…like this burning in my chest.” HA! That was sweet. I don’t know why it surprised me. That’s the promise in the Book of Mormon and the invitation we make to the whole world to pray and ask if this Book is true, but the visit had been kind of ruff and the Spirit was very present, so I was a bit surprised, but so grateful. We’ll see if they can keep trusting in the power of prayer.

Real quick before I forget. I don’t know if this email gets circulated to Jesse’s family, but I think it does. I can’t remember what day it is exactly, but jesse’s birthday is this last week of Febuary and I want somebody in his family to email him and tell him HAPPY BIRTHDAY!! For me.haha Thanks. Oo, and speaking of Birthdays. Emily, be watching for the mail man in like a week or so, because a little box should be arriving for you okay? What are you planning on doing for your party? Take some pictures. I love you.

So I’ll have to fill you all in next week a little bit more about my new area and the work here. I don’t even know if I have an assignment(like district leader or anything) President Argyle didn’t mention anything about that to me. He just told me he was grateful for what I had done in Andino, to work hard in Chacra(my new area), and that I have 6 days to learn the area!! I guess that means Elder Lattin, the Elder here in Chacra will be transferred in a week on the “normal” transfer schedule. Who knows? Sorry if this is all just confusing. Next week it will be a little more clear. Don’t forget that because of transfers I will be doing email either Monday or Tuesday next week so it’ll be a good idea to write me before that.haha

Mom and Dad, thanks so much for writing me such great and inspiring letters. Camie it was great to hear from you!! Keep smiling even though it might hurt after getting your wisdom teeth pulled. I’m really excited for your wedding…I’m sure it’ll be such a golden day. Amy and Alyssa, I’m glad MORP was super fun. Mom said you two are doing great and are happy. Melanie, I love you forever. Enjoy your time at home with the family. You are so beautiful. Emily, you’re cool dude.haha

LetterFebruary 24, 2009 top

Dear Family,
Wow. Your letters were great this week. Of course, they are always fantastic but I really enjoyed what you shared today. It sounds like the Lord is really blessing our family and things are going very well. Things are going well for me too here in Chacra. To answer your question mom, yes I got transferred. Today is the normal transfer day, but President Argyle(the Lord) moved me a week early so that I could have a few days with the Elder that was serving in this area before(who got transferred today) and “learn” the area a bit…Try to get to know the members and investigators and such. Both missionaries that were in this area before got transferred. One, because of health problems, and the other for who knows why..? It’s what the Lord wanted. Does this make any sense? Basically I’m reliving what I had to live three transfers ago when I got moved to Ushuaia with Elder Lopez, and in more than just having to get to know the area without a “guide.” I will also be training a new missionary again! And on top of it all Presidente Argyle asked me to serve as Zone Leader here. When Presidente Argyle called me the first thing he said was “Elder Stucki, are you ready to run a little bit faster?”

New to the area, training again, and serving as zone leader. I’m not sure who’s passing the reports to the Lord telling him that I am a good candidate for assignments like this.ha I honestly feel like I’m falling short in so many things, and am not really achieving all that I should be. I am grateful for each opportunity to grow that the Lord give me though. I sort of expected to be called as the Zone Leader here in the zone, but the whole training deal was a bit surprising. I wont lie though, a few days, before I found out I felt the Spirit press on my soul that I would be training again. I just began to have thoughts about it that I knew weren’t my thoughts. I don’t think that makes sense.

I don’t know much about my companion. He’s Latin, but I’m not sure from which country. He gets here to the South tonight and will travel to Rio Grande in the morning. I’m kickin it with another companionship until he gets here.

I spoke in Church on Sunday and the talk went really really well. I actually felt pretty good about it, and think I was able to win the confidence of some of the members. I also was able to spend Saturday morning with the Branch Presidente visiting Less Active members which was a great opportunity to get to know him.

Dad, thank you for your uplifting letter. I feel that I didn’t accomplish all that I should have in ushuaia. I can assure you I worked hard and was obedient. We’ll see if they don’t start baptizing soon. I can humbly say that in each of my areas since the beginning of my mission the # of baptisms significantly grew while I was in the area or shortly after. Campana and San Fernando are some of the highest baptizing areas now. We’ll see if that doesn’t happen in Andino.

Mom, I really enjoyed your email. You’re so sweet, and I’m so grateful for your dear example. Granny Stucki, I almost died when I saw your email! I wrote you back! Thanks so much for writing me.

I love you all so much. I’ll try and be better about answering your questions and will continue filling you in on Chacra as I get to know things here.

Love yous,

LetterMarch 4, 2009 top

Hey Family,
How are you all doing? Sorry this email is going to have to be pretty short I think. I just spent like 40 minutes tyring to organize and print emails from president and sister argyle, and the offices that have to do with everything from baptisms to the zone money. I’m trying to get used to all this zone leader stuff, and having a million things to do always. It’s not way complicated or anything but sort of stressful at times. I spend the majority of each night on the phone, and often times am answering phonecalls or making phonecalls in the morning. I’m not sure why. I can’t figure out where all these things to do keep coming from!!haha It’s just that when any missionary here in Tierra del Fuego (the zone) has any problem, or question, or wants permission for something, etc. they call me. Just when I think everythings finally calmed down, the phone rings. And on top of it all, cell phone service is pretty crummy here in Rio Grande and the line breaks up or cuts just about EVERY PHONECALL!!ha BUUUUUUT…I’m happy Easily the biggest challenge of being a leader in the misión is having to maintain a “perfecta area.” That is, mine and Elder Urra’s area should be the model for the zone, successful and lots of baptisms. We’re working on that. We started here together without too many investigators or anything. We’re worked hard this past week and were able to begin teaching a handful of people. It’s kind of tuff starting out in an area without any progressing investigators. I feel like that’s how it’s been in almost every area throughout my mission.
Elder Urra is a great missionary.It’s pretty interesting training and serving as zone leader at the same time.. Usually president puts two zone together or a zone leader with an experienced missionary. Elder Urra has quite a bit of experience in missionary work though since his dad is a mission president. And guess where!!??? The Antofogasta chile mission…which just so happens to be the mission Cory Beighley is in!! Crazy huh? Elder Urra told me that his dad was a mission president in chile, and when I checked what mission cory was in I was so surprised. Just kind of an interesting is all.

Mom, about the college stuff. I’m not really sure what I want to do. When do I need to make a decision? And to answer your questions:

How has the new area been treating you? Good. It’s been kind of tuff without many investigators, and not knowing any of the members, but we’ll start having more success and working a bit more effectively with each day that passes. Are you liking the situation over there? Yes. I’m happy to serve wherever the Lord wants. I’ve felt a bit stressed out recently, which I don’t like, but I’m learning alot. Are you with all new missionaries to the area? I’m not sure if I understand this question. Elder Urra is the only “new” missionary…like straight from the MTC. There are four other missionaries in our district here that were recently transfered to this district. Elder Urra and I are the only missionaries that got transferred to our area both being “new” to the area and not knowing anything about it. Is the church strong in this area? Yes. It’s a district here though, and not a stake. There are three branches. Is there a ward or a branch there? Branch. How big is the town you are in? The town isn’t tiny, but not big,ha Our area is pretty spread out though which can be kind of tuff at times. I think we were looking it up on world quest or something and it looks like it is on the coast right? Yes it’s right on the coast. Elder Urra and I went running this morning along the coast line. But don’t get me wrong…when I say coast I don’t mean like Hawaii style coast. Honestly, Rio Grande isn’t too beautiful or anything, but luckily I came to baptize, not enjoy the view right?:)

Well, I’ve got to get going. Thankyou so much for your emails mom and dad. I really enjoyed them. I’m glad the Lord continues blessing our family. I hope you all have a great week, and we’ll see if I can’t respond a bit better to your emails next week.

p.s. one question…Dad, i enjoyed your email. Thanks alo. You mentioned something about changing Grandmas tv for a digital tv change….what in the world is digital tv???haha

p.s.s. The first picture is of the three elder I live with. (ElderWheeler, Cane, Urra, and I) The other foto is one we took this morning of some grafitti.

LetterMarch 11, 2009 top

Hey I really really enjoyed your emails today. Thanks alot mom dad and camie!! Things are good here. I’m really excited for this coming Monday. We have zone conference in Ushuaia with Presidente ARgyle and his wife, AND Elder Zivic and his wife from the area presidency will be gracing our presence there. Pretty neat huh? I feel like I’ve had a ton of sweet opportunities to have close contact and learn from great spiritual giants among the Lords servants.

Honestly, I dont think I have ever worked so hard in my with such little results. Things have been REALLY tuff lately for some reason. Investigators we have been teaching have chosen to not recieve us longer, or just aren’t progressing. WE haven’t been able to work very effectivly with the members, and for some reason I feel like we’re recieving more rejections while street contacting than usual.haha I’m not sure what’s up. The last two days we’ve had EIGHT appointment fall through. That is alot. So things have been ruff. I’m happpy though, and really appreciate your uplifting letters. I can’t write much today because I’m short on time, but I would like to share a quick story from yesterday.

Yesterday, after all our appointments fell through and we had already used up all our back up plans we found ourselves with an hour our so left in the day unsure of what to do. (and this had happened several times the past week, even though we spent more than double the “set” time each night to plan) I wasn’t sure what to do, and my new companion who’s new to the misión was pretty depressed, and his feet hurt. So I suggested we say a prayer and ask HEavenly Father where we should go. I talked my companion into praying and he offered the pray there in the street corner where we were. During the prayer a man we had contacted a few days befote came to my mind who lived just a few blocks away. I honestly wasn’t very excited to visit him, because the contact wasn’t very good!! But elder Urra and I headed off. While walking there I felt an impression that the reason we were going wasn’t for this man, but somebody on the way. Just as I thought that my companion walked up to a man doing some gardening in somebody’s front yard. My companion talked to him, and I’m not lying when I say that until that momento I hadn’t heard my campanion teach with such power like he did with this man. After I shared my testimony and the man began to tell us how he had recieved the missionaries before, and was going to go to church with them, but they never stopped by to pick himup for church like they promised. He has th eBook of Mormon and asked us if we Could pick him up to go to church with him this Sunday!! It was Amazing. Truly the Lord blesses and guides us when we humbly seek his will.

Sorry this is so short. I’ll write more next week!! Love you!!


LetterMarch 18, 2009 top

Well My dear Family,
Looks like I got on the computer here to do internet before you all had the chance to get email me! Camie made it though. Thanks so much for the wedding update sis. It sounds like it’s going to be unforgettable. I cant wait til the day comes!!! It should be….COMPLETELY NORMAL for me.haha Have fun getting married. I’ll keep trying to baptize.

This past week was great. Really great. Things in the area have gotten a bit better. We continues to work hard to the end of each day and into the night and we’re starting to see fruits of our labours. Nothing too big still, but yes, fruits. (By the way I love fruit. Gospel fruit, real fruit, all fruit) So sorry about my email last week. I know it was kind of depressing. I hope I didn’t make it sound like all of Argentina was falling into apostasy. There still or a lot of people prepared to receive the restored gospel don’t worry. One of those people is Miguel, at least it seems like it for now. He’s the young man I told you about last week. The miracle contact we had at the end of the day when we were completely distraught in what we could and should do to try and have a successful day. He has a baptismal date for the weekend of general conference. Maybe we can take a picture and make it into the Ensign like those sister missionaries in Ukraine(or somewhere over there) from the last conference edtion. Did you all see that foto? Don’t worry though, I’m not trying to baptize so I can make it into any magazineJ Miguel attended a baptism with us last week of one of another companionships investigators. It was great. I told him to picture himself in the baptismal font when the other man was baptized and pay attention to his feelings. I asked him after how he felt and he said he felt like desires to be baptized. He also came to church with us on Sunday. I think he was a tiny bit drunk from the night before, ha!, but he came!! Also, don’t worry, we haven’t taught the word of wisdom, and with that, and constant reading in the Book of Mormon he is going to change his whole life…whole eternity. Also, do you all remember Guillermo from Ushuaia. He is the young divorced catholic father who I contacted outside his house one day on divisions with one of the asistents, who never showed much interest because he was soo attached to his catholic faith…? Remember him? I think I told you a story about a lesson we had when we watched the Restoration, and he finished the lesson with a prayer, and the Spirit filled the whole house, and every heart, and he began to choke up a bit and Elder Lopez and I felt we should invite him to church and he came. Even though he had rejected previous invitations…? Ring a bell any of that? Well, he is being baptized this weekend. He converted himself alone by reading the Book of Mormon. I found out from a testimony Guillermo wrote for the program of his baptism that just days before I gave him a book of Mormon outside his house months ago he had been praying for help from God, and to find the Truth. The first few days after he didn’t read the Book of Mormon. Just set it down on the table and left it alone. But after 2 or 3 days he felt desires to read it. He began to read and couldn’t stop. He’s found the truth, and will soon enter into the fold of God, the Family of Faith, the True and Everlasting Church, etc. Pretty neat no? I feel like I do too much planting in my mission and not enough harvesting!! I’m so happy though that he will be baptized.

We also had zone conference this past monday. It was fantastic. Elder Zivic one of the 70 from the area presidency and his wife came with President Argyle and his wife. The Spirit was intense the whole conference and wel all left inspired. There was any real specific focus or theme throughout the conference. We talked about a little bit of everything. Like with every missionary and every mission, the theme is BAPTIZE SOULS, and so we talked about all sorts of things that help us do that. One thing I really liked was how Elder Zivic talked about a successful missionary. Through a study done by the missionary department they chose three words that describe a successful missionary: OBEDIENT, WORTHY, and GOOD HEALTH. I still am frustrated I haven’t been baptizing more, but that helped me feel pretty good. I can answer YES to all three of those things.

I hope things are going well for all of you. I love and cherish you. I pray the Lord protects you and gives you chances to participate in the joy that come from preaching the Gospel. God bless every one of you. I love you.

p.s. I was going to send a couple pics today but I couldn’t get the computer to cooperate. Sorry. Next week.

LetterMarch 24, 2009 top

Hey Family!!,
How’s everyone doing. First I just wanted to give the girls another official invitation to toss me an email. Just a brief update of how things are going with school and work and such. I haven’t heard from any of you for a while. Thanks mom and dad for writing me. I really enjoyed your emails. All that Draper Temple dedication stuff sounded pretty stunning. I bet it was really special. Mom you mentioned something about an Oaker Mt. Temple or something…? Where is that? Also Mom, you mentioned something about a delicious thai food spread on Sunday. OH how I miss thai food!!! That sounds so delicious. I’m pretty sure you already received an email from the mission offices about the change of address for our mission right? Just in case I wanted to send you the address:
Gral. Lavalle 1828
1646 San Fernando

Things sound really web at home. Melanie, are you just over excited to be home with the family??! I bet. I love you a ton, and hope you are doing really well. I’ve written you a couple letters the last handful of weeks and I hope they’ve all made it to you. Write me an email and fill me in on life!! I love you way too much.

Things are going well here too. You are right Dad. Time is whizzing by. With each passing week I feel more and more urgency to be successful. I don’t know why it’s been so tuff recently in my mission. I feel like since Ushuaia I haven’t been able to achieve much. Really it probably just has to do with my attitude. We’re very obedient, work hard, and are thrusting our sickle with our MIGHT!! I’m not depressed or anything, but I just feel like I’m always SO close to baptizing, but we never make it. Things will Miguel(the miracle contact from two weeks okay) have been a little bit ruff. He’s had to work a lot and we haven’t been able to progress with him as much as we’d like. We haven’t given up though. And won’t ever. I know my Heavenly Father expects so much of me here in Argentina and I’ve promised Him I will give it all I’ve got until the end. Really a mission is like a mini life. The Lord expects His missionaries to dedicate their lives to Him for two full years and endure to the very end, and in life it’s the same. I’ve been reading lots of general conference talks recently(because I’m OVERLY EXCITED for general conference in two weeks) and many of our faithful leaders talk a great deal about service, especially from the priesthood holders. The Lord expects us to be a serving and happy people. He desires us to dedicate our whole life in His service. Lifting and building those around us. Like you said dad…BUILD BUILD BUILD!! I feel more than ever in my life that true happiness comes from forgetting ourselves and serving others and the Lord. As a family I feel like we do pretty well with that, but I know we can always get better. As a family I think we should make a little extra effort to always be aware of those around us and the way to better serve one another. Even though I’m having a hard time baptizing, I find much comfort knowing that in no way have I lessened my efforts to serve the Lord, and his children, rather, I’ve tried to stretch myself more.

I love you all so much. Mom I was going to send pictures today but I CANT FIGURE THIS COMPUTER OUT!! Sorry. I’ll send some soon. Next week. I promise!!!(maybe.haha) Have a wonderful week, and we’ll be hearing from each other before we know it.
Love love forever
p.s. sorry this is so short.

LetterApril 1, 2009 top

My dear Family,
HEEEY!!! MOE YOUR HOME!! How does it feel?!! Incredible I bet. I was so happy to read that in moms email today. Good job babe!

Here, a bit far from home, things are going really good. I am happy and healthy. This past week has been just a bit brighter. I’ve felt a bit weighed down the past couple weeks, well honestly the past few months,ha, because I feel like I haven’t seen too many results from our efforts, but this past week the Spirit just sort of rested over my soul and I felt peace. I also did divisions with 3 missionaries here in the district. Really, I’ve never liked divisions too much. I just like being in MY area with MY companion but these divisions were different. I feel like I was actually really able to offer something to the missionaries I worked with. Maybe I should clear up just a bit what divisions are: That’s where I go and stay the night in the area of the other missionaries and we spend the following day working together in their area..or, a missionary comes to stay the night with me and work in my area. They are great opportunities to learn from each other. I learned a lot from the missionaries this time, and I pray I was able to contribute a little taste of success to their missions. Elder and Urra and I continue struggling to help our investigators progress. At times it seems like there is an infinite supply of trials and hurdles that are too high to jump with our investigators. But like President Monson taught in a talk on patience from the general conference from October 1995(which by the way I’ve been reading lately.haha I found it in the chapel library. We gave away our ensign copy of the last general conference to an investigator a while ago, and I haven’t had anything to help me maintain my “excitedness” for the conference in a few days!! So I’ve been reading that. I was seven years old I think during that conference so it’s all new stuff to me) But anyways, President Monson mentioned that many times in trials we forget that we need to have “el atributo celestial de la paciencia”, that is, the “celestial attribute of patience.” I don’t remember exactly word for word what he said, but either way he’s right. So often we want instant solutions to our problems, but we shouldn’t forget that the Lord will almost always try and test us. I’ve seen a lot of that on my mission. I am grateful for that.

We continue to find new investigators and there are always people to teach. We continue working hard, and our obedience is a great blessing and comfort to us, and so I know the Lord will guide us to His children that are prepared to receive us and the saving ordinances in the restored gospel.

Mom, you asked about the Ayala family. I haven’t heard from them in a while. The last I heard they were doing GREAT! Progressing quickly in the Gospel and preparing to enter the temple. Bro. Ayala was/is the ward mission leader in the ward and working a lot with the missionaries. If everything has gone well they should have already entered the temple to be sealed for time and all eternity. (Like you and Nick, camie. Cool eh. How are all the wedding plans going? Good I hope. I bet it’s going to be a stunning wedding.) I would have been able to join them for the sealing, but due to the two or three thousand miles between us I won’t be able to make it. How my heart wrenches just thinking about missing that!! It makes me happy though.

I’m really happy about how things are going at home. Alyssa, I hope choir tour was fun. I went on choir tour and it is one of my most cherished memories. I won’t lie, not so much for the singing though.ha If you want to know more why, write Jesse a letter and he can explain.ha (p.s. that line will basically only be funny for Jesse if he reads it.)

Dad, that’s pretty cool about the new ride. I’m…surprised.haha You are the dad of my dreams!! Thankyou so much for your example. And thankyou for your advice about school. Sign me up for UVSC/UVU. I’d like to save money not having to rent, and I think that’s probably the cheapest school in Utah no? I’ll transfer somewhere else when I’ve got an idea what my major and all that jazz will be. Emily, thanks so much for your little note. You are an angel. I love you so so much. Alyssa and amy…WRITE ME OR ELSE!! Good luck on the ACT!! Mom…I’m going to be honest……..oh man….I uh, think you had a birthday and I forgot to say something about it. I honestly don’t remember when your birthday is. IM SO SORRY!!! But you know I love you more than life. Thanks for writing me. I loved your letter.
I’ve got to go.Love you all so much.

p.s. I sent three pictures. One from the last zone conference we had a few weeks ago. The other two are from today. Theres one of my companion. If you look closely behind him there are two parrots. They talk and say “hola” and everything!!ha Golden.

The other is of Elder Urra and I and the tacos we prepared today with the other two elders we live with. Delish! Love you all so much!

Ps.s. I am soooo terribly excited for General Conference!!!!!!!

LetterApril 7, 2009 top

Dear Family,
Surprise! Tuesday. Sorry I forgot to remind you last week that I would be writing on Tuesday instead of Wednesday. Today are transfers. Really, the only one who suffers from my lack of brain disk space to remeber things is me; Since you’ll all recieve my letter, but I opened an empty inbox today!haha No biggy!

So what a conference no? I honestly have never felt the words penetrate so deeply into my sould like this conference. I felt, and feel so extremely blessed to be a member of this church and be able to recieve such wise counsel and guidance from a loving Heavenly Father through His chosen servants. I’d like to hear some your thoughts about conference. Especially your thoughts about the Pristehood session Pops since I wasn’t able to see it. It’s 3 hours later here in Argentina so it is too late for us to attend that session. I can’t wait til the Liahona(Ensign in Spanish) gets here with the conference talks. I’ll try and share my thoughts too, from the conference. First I wanted to share something with you all. I’ve mentioned a bit to you all about Guillermo, the man Elder Lopez and I found and were teaching in Ushuaia who was baptized just a few weeks ago. (The catholic man I contacted in his front yard and left him a Book of Mormon to read...ring any bell?) Well, I was able to recieve a testimony he wrote for the day of his baptism. I translated it to Spanish quickly, but didn’t take too much thought to change the wording so it sounds more Englishy(if that makes any sense) but I wanted to share it with you all so you could here the power in the words and testimony of someone who recently stepped on to the restored gospel path which we have been blessed to walk our whole lives:
“Why I joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (2 Nephi 4:28-30, Alma 32:28, 2 Nephi 31:11-12):
After having continued for a time, feeling lost and confused, without direction, serching all over, without finding anything to fill the emptiness inside me; Asking God in my prayers before sleeping, ‘Lord, I am not worthy to have thee in my home, but a small word from thee would be sufficient to heal me.’ Day after day, and months passed, until a missionary asked me if I had faith. And if he left me with the Book of Mormon if I would read it, and I answered him, ‘Yes.’ The Book was in my house for three days without being opened, until something incredible, a beautiful sensation, and I couldn’t stop [reading] At times more and other times less, because it was a blessing, and answer to my cries. This book brought me close, once again, to God the Father, and Jesus Christ. It was the “seed” and word that grows day after day and ‘enlarges my soul and begins to enlighten my understanding and begins to be delicious to my soul.’ I joined the Church because I once again found God, because I always believed in Him, and I believe He is our Rock to grow and become men of righteousness. And I want to be reborn in His love” –Guillermo

What. Golden. Words. Every time I read that testimony if feels my with the Spirit, and love for the Lord and the great work of bringing sould unto Him. I just wanted to share that with you all.

So I really liked General Conference. I liked how much they talked about the temple and covenants. Did you all catch that? Many talked about those two things, and really inspired me and hepled my understand a little bit more the importance of simple, sacred, and sincere temple worship. I especially felt a special spiritual witness during Elder Bednars talk(like I’m sure many of you did too) that sincerely worshipping in the Temple blesses us with so much more than just peace and reflexion. Of course it is the most sacred place on earth to go and read the scriptures and ponder and meditate eternal things, which is soo important, but what I felt while listening to his talk is that something so much more deep happens when we worship in the temple. We, in a way too profound to understand, are truly endowed with power from on high. We recieve a protection and armor that isn’t superficially recognized but internally felt over time. Honestly I have no idea what I’m saying! I just really liked the talk and was inspired to attend the Temple more faithfully. I hope you all feel the same.

I had another special spritual experience Sunday after the conference. The final session finished at 7pm here. We caught a ride to the neighboorhood we had planned on working in after with some members. We stopped by a man named Maximiliano. He’s 30ish and single, and has had a certain interest in religion his whole life. He’s attended and participated in many churches but has never really felt certain of what God wanted. We found him a few weeks ago by going throw the Area Book and we saw his name on an old teaching record from a while back. He’s showed signs of progress and has been reading the Book of Mormon. But anyways, at about 7:30pm we arrived to his house, and began teaching him. We had planned on watched The Restoration and reading a bit in the Book of Mormon. Around 7:45pm during the movie I felt such a special feeling come over my and stunning gratitude to be one of the missionaries of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. What came to mind was simply the thought that less than an hour ago I was listening the the voice of a Prophet of God on earth lead and guide the whole human race, plus, many other teachings of Apostles, and great leaders. I felt so inspired and so protected by thier words and counsels. And now, I’m sitting in the humble home of another child of God searching for security and peace in an ever-changing world, watching the beginning of it all. The story of Joseph Smith. I felt such a humble gratitude to think that while millions of Saints throughout the whole world were returning to thier homes and everyday lives moments after such a sacred conference, I was sitting next to a man who honestly has no idea what is in store for him if he continues to diligently satisfy his thirst for truth.

I know that we are all involved in such an important work of bringing souls unto Christ. I hope you all feel my love and gratitude for the Lord and His countless blessings He pours out on me and all of you. I Love you all with all my heart. I hope you enjoyed conference, and have had such a wonderful week. I can’t wait to hear from each of you next week. Love you forever.

P.s. The Spirit was incredible during the lesson with Maximiliano. We put a baptismal date with him at the end...

LetterApril 15, 2009 top

Dear Family,
Hey guys. It was so great to hear from you mom and dad. Thanks for writing me. You too Camie, thanks for the quick hello! I really cherish your letters and admire of spiritually firm you are mom and dad. I feel so blessed to have parents and family that are such great examples to me and so faithfully stand firm in a world that trembles more each day from the cracking weight of our society. Dad, I’m not sure why you mentioned that you feel bad for not writing so diligently…? I relieve letters from you every week! If you stop to think about it a while, you and mom have dedicated countless hours the last 20+ months writing me each week for which I am soo grateful. Thankyou for that. BUT DON’T GET LAZY!!haha It can be tuff enough teaching the principie of endure to the end to our investigators and I don’t want to have to worry about the same thing with you! He haw, what a joke. AMY, ALYSSA, MELANIE, and EMILY: I think at least two full moons have passed since I’ve heard from you girls. I mention full moons just for the fact that I’ve never seen the moon look bigger than here in Rio Grande(and Ushuaia). It is AMAZING. I think it may have something to do with being so far here in the southern tipo f the world that the moon seems to be so much closer and almost be leaning over us. In Ushuaia I bought I pretty neat picture/poster of the moon over the bay, so you’ll see when I get home what I’m talking about. But anyways, I miss you girls terribly. I really would like to hear how things are going and how the school year is wrapping up. I love each of you alot. Amy, sorry I won’t be around for your graduation. Ill make it up to you. LIVE IT UP these last days of school, but make sure you work hard and keep your grades up. I remeber one year of school in my spanish class I spent the whole year enjoyed a nice pretty A, until the last two weeks of school I slacked off and when I recieved my grades I had a big fat C. To this day I’m not sure how that happened, and I’m still convenced it was unjust,ha, but I just thought I’d try and inspire you to apply the whole “endure to the end” theme I mentioned. If I Could go back now I bet I would have finished off with an A…maybe I Could even teach the class now.haha…Two years of pure spanish. The other day Elder Urra, a brother from the branch, and I visited a less active family. They had two teenage daughters that reminded me SOOO mucho f you two amy and alyssa. They were 15 and 16. As we sat teaching them, and trying to motivate them to return to the church I couldn’t help but think how great it would be to have you two by my side teaching them. I felt so grateful to have sisters so virtuous and beautiful and so steadfast in the Church. I think I’ve got to be one of the most blessed brothers around. The Sunday alter we taught them one of the two daughters came to church. If you were there Amy and Alyssa, they both would have come...(and would have stayed all the way until young womens also!!haha)

Things have been well here. It’s starting to “make alot more cold” here, as you would say in spanish. That is, it’s starting to get cold. Our investigators are progressing fairly well. Elder Urra and I have been teaching one of the most choice souls I’ve gotten to know here in Argentina. This man is so prepared to recieve the gospel. He came to church last Sunday and has been reading th eBook of Mormon and the Spirit has just been flooding him with incredible sensations. He is very converted, and will be baptized when he returns home. I mention “returns home” because sadly, he is here in Rio Grande on vacation and returns home in a week or so to the North of the country to a province called Chaco. Thousands of miles away. I’ll tell you more about Alberto next week, but I’ve got to jet.

I love you all so much. Thanks for writing me mom and dad. I hope you all had a beautiful easter, and enjoy your week. Love yous.

LetterApril 22, 2009 top

Hey Family,
How glad I am that you are all doing so well. Dad once again made it sound like life is perfect and everyone is happy as ever. He has a gift of doing that. How blessed we are to have a father like that. Camie, I hope your wedding shower went well. Was it fun? What did you do? What do you do in wedding showers? I wrote you a letter last week. Alyssa, thanks for writing me that quick note in YOUR CERAMICS CLASS.haha For some reason it doesn’t surprise me that it was in your Ceramics class that you were able to write your brother an email. The arts and crafts class seem to be more laid back like that. Lucky you. Lucky me.
Things are going well here. Each week goes by faster than the last. It’s catching me by surprise. I mentioned last week that I would tell you a bit more about a man named Alberto. Alberto first recieved the missionaries about 12 years ago in his home in the northern part of Argentina- In a place called Chaco. He was intruiged by the things the missionaries shared and often felt the spirit with them, but because of social pressure from family and “friends” in an all too catholic society he was forced to tell the missionaries they could no longer visit him. I don’t know much, I just know that his wife would not allow him to investigate the church. A few weeks ago, Elder Urra and I were looking for the address of a referral we had recieve and couldn’t find it so we knocked on what we thought might be a neighbors door. Alberto answered, and had no idea who the person was we were looking for, but since we had him there in the door we contacted him. That’s when we found out about his history with the church and such. We began teaching him, and he absorbed the lessons and Book of Mormon unlike any other person I’ve met here in Argentina. It was incredible. We felt the spirit in every visit, and he had many spiritual experience on his own while reading the Book of Mormon. He wants to be baptized, and is sure that this is the Lords church. Sadly, this past Monday he had to return to his home. Sorry, I forgot to mention he was here on vacation with his daughters who are living and working here in Rio Grande. He plans to continue meeting with the missionaries in his home there in the North. We have his information and will pass the referral on to them. We said goodbye Sunday after church and he cried as we hugged and said our last farewells. Really, who knows how things will turn out with him. I plan to do all I can to make sure he is baptized. How grateful I am for how the Gospel helps join our hearts with complete strangers and forge our relationships into strong bonds of friendships. I will never forget Alberto, and the 3 weeks we spent together.
I truly love being a missionary. There are not words to describe the blessings, growth, learning, and spirit.
I’ve got to go. I love you all. Thanks for writing. Really, thankyou so much.

LetterApril 29, 2009 top

My so blessed and dear family,
Wow. And Wow. Thanks for the emails mom and dad. You all sound too good. Honestly, too good. I’m not sure what’s going on around there in Utah but it sounds like the Lord is just pouring his blessings out on all of you. The Lord’s hand is also very evident here in Argentina. Don’t get me wrong, Elder Urra and I are having some really tuff weeks, but still, I am able to recognize God’s mercy and caring love each and every day in small ways. Hearing good news, and things from home really does help me to keep smiling even though the going has been getting pretty tuff lately. Thank you for all the good news. I don’t know if that Hawaii trip you, mom and dad, and the girls are going to take is in some way secret stuff, and I shouldn’t put it in this email, but I can’t help but share my feelings: Wow. Wow and sweet! As I read “We are arranging a Hawaii trip in June” the first thing that came to my mind was, “woah woAH WOAH, Scheduling error!! They forgot I come home in August not june..not JUNE!!” But then. like the sloth that slept too much and the caravan left without him, I accepted the reality. But instead of going back to sleep, I’m just going to go back to work here in Argentina.ha But that that is soo sweet. You all are going to have such a good time!

And Camie!!! I can’t believe how close your wedding is!! Oh man what on earth is happening!! I bet you are soo excited. I know I am….in a sort of distant boring way, but I am really happy for you. Mom, and everyone, one thing I’ve learned a lot about is if we stress too much about the details we miss the big picture. That would my artsy way to say, enjoy every second of all this planning and carrying out of plans. Don’t stress, things are going to go great, and please, for my sake, just soak in the beauty of these sacred days. I’ll pray for you all. I’ll pray for you Camie. Tell Nick hi for me, and send him my love.

Also, Dad, thanks for sending me some info about the family reunion. Sounds like it’s going to be a good time baby!!

So like I mentioned we’ve been having a couple tuff weeks lately. It seems we have lost more investigators than we have found! A couple people I was pretty excited to start teaching returned their Book of Mormon, saying they wanted nothing to do with the Church, or others just avoid us, and others just don’t progress. So it’s been tuff. We had zone conference two days ago(monday) which was great. I was able to teach a bit, and present a little workshop I prepared for the zone about how we can commit members to participate with us a bit more effectively in the missionary work. It went well. Could have been better of course.

We have good spirits though and continue to work hard. The Lord has shown me innumerable times that if we do are part, success will come. In one way or another it will come. The way I see it, by blessing all of you the Lord has already blessed me ten times more than I deserve. I love you all soo much. Have such a beautiful day and week.

p.s. I’ll give you the details for the mothers day call next week
p.s.s. I don’t know how to say this… but Dad you’ve got a birthday coming up right? I am soo sorry my memory is so bad. When is it? May 2nd, 5th…or am I way off? I love you. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!

LetterMay 6, 2009 top

My dearest Family,
This email isn’t going to be very good. I’m warning you…please fogrive me. It’s that when we came to the Internet place earlier today the Internet was down, and we came back now to write, and only have a few minutes because soon elder Urra and I are going to be traveling to Ushuaia so I can do divisions/splits with the district leader there. I’m excited to return to Ushuaia to work a bit!! Supposedly theres a bunch of snow!! Wooh!
Things this past week were pretty good. Once again it was a pretty tuff week, and we had another Sunday without any investigators in church with us. That is horrible!! There were a couple less actives/recent converts so elder Urra and I were able to teach the Gospel Principles class which I enjoy doing. It went well. I’m grateful to have had so much time to practice teaching. I imagine it should bless me my whole life. Lets hope so. The Lord blessed us with a handful of new investigators this past week though, which is great! It looks like a couple of them might progress pretty well. That’s what I always say though!!! But it helps to always try and take the first step with a positive attitude. I figure someone could walk in mud thier whole life, but if they’ve got a positive attitude it’s like walking barefoot on a warm Beach. I feel I’ve been walking in mud for months as far as “success” goes,haha but the Lord has a special way of carrying us through stress, trials, and tests.
Sorry I whine so much though. Things are great. I love being a missionary.

But hey, I have to jet already. Sorry!! Really really Fast:

I’m not exactly sure what the “code” is to call out of the United States, but 54 is Argentinas country code 2964 is for Rio Grande and the rest is the number of the chapel.

# that you should call.(54)-(02964)-421-226

CALL AT 8PM ARGENTINA TIME. THAT’S 5:00PM UTAH TIME. I hope this Works!!! I can’t wait to talk toa ll of you. Except for you camie!!! NO!! But I love you so much. I can’t relieve you’re getting married. I LOVE you engagement Pictures. No, I LIKE them alot…like you always taught me dad. I don’t LOVE things…i like them alot!haha
I’ll respond better toa ll your emails and stuff next week. LOVE LOVE!!


LetterMay 13, 2009 top

Wow Family,
Oh it was so good to talk to you all on Sunday. I honestly loved it. I felt like I was walking on clouds returning to the apartment at the end of the day after hearing your voices. You all sounded so well and happy. A few(3) observations: 1. Emily´s voice has changed more than anyones. You sound more grown up babe. 2. I can’t tell the difference between amy’s and camie’s voices. (If I didn’t know camie wasn’t going to be there I think you Could have tricked me…puting amy on the phone and saying it was camie.) 3. Grandma Mann’s hearing has gotten worse.haha…but her voice is as sweet as ever!

So this past week was very blessed. We only had ONE invesitgator in church but that’s better than NONE like we had the two weeks before. And the investigator that came with us is BUENISIMA!! Super awesome. Her name is Maria. Her parents were baptized about two years ago and are way way active in the Church(in Buenos Aires) and are great examples and support for her. Maria’s mom visited our branch two weeks ago and invited us to her daughters house to get to know her. We stopped by a couple times last week, she came to church this Sunday and we had an awesome lesson yesterday with her. She is progressing really well already, andi s really Keeling the Spirit alot! If we keep things up with here, tt looks like Elder Urra and I are going to baptize together. We’ll see though, because we have transfers this next Tuesday. OH! That reminds me! Don’t forget that next week I have PDAY on TUESDAY!! So you need to write before that. If you want of course…

So yeah, we’re pretty excited about Maria and I feel like the Lord has really blessed us. It’s kind of funny how we work and work and look and look, searching our investigators and chosen souls and all in all, without success. And then our loving Heavenly Father, in his perfect wisdom and love, leads us straight to a waiting soul without us even doing anything!!

I feel so grateful and humbled to be serving the Lord as one of His missionaries. So many times, just like with María, I have been able to see that without His help we are, and can achieve, nothing. I know it’s the same throughout life. We MUST always trust and follow Him. If we do it, we will be happy.

Sorry this letter is so short. I was a bit busy with Zone stuff today during my email time. I love you all soo much. I’ll write more next week. Have such a wonderful day EVERYBODY! Camie and Nick, CONGRATS! I hope mexico was dreamy! Melanie, you are so gorgeous. I love you so much.

I love you all.

LetterMay 19, 2009 top

Loved Ones,
Well I’m going to have to apoligize for this email ahead of time because I don’t think it’s going to be super positive. Don’t worry, not because I’m in a bad mood right now or anything, ha, …this past week sort of fell apart is all!! Mostly just with Maria; The woman I talked about last week. So in the days after I wrote you all last Wednesday we continued visiting Maria and she was progressing greatly!! We put a bautismal date, and was excited to take her young 6 year old son to church on Sunday. She also wanted to invite us over for lunch or dinner sometime, which I know isn’t anything big, but just a sign of high spirits. So anyways she was was just really excited and happy about everything. We were too. On Saturday the sister missionaries had a baptism which we invited Maria to attend and planned on meeting here there in the Chapel. She didn’t make. We were pretty surprised. So later that night we gave her a call, and she said that she had had some personal problems or something like that and didn’t sound to happy. We reminded her about Church in the morning and she said she’d be there. She didn’t make it! We were even more surprised! So after church, and lunch we stopped by her apartment to see how she was doing and what was up. We knocked on the door, and nobody answered, and when we were leaving the building we ran into her and her son. We excitedly said hi and asked how she was and began to talk. Then out of no where she said “sabe chicos, no pienso seguir con las lecciones o llendo a la iglesia…no quiero que pasen mas” (I thought I’d give you the punch in Spanish first so it doesn’t knock you off your feet like it did me) “You know guys, I don’t plan to continue receiving your lessons, or going to church…I don’t want you to visit me anymore.” ¿¡WHAT!? We could not believe it!! I honestly did not know what to say. I was caught completely off guard. But I started asking a couple questions to find out a bit, and she didn’t open up at all. Since we were just standing there in the stairwell it wasn’t a very good moment to try and resolve her concern. …So we were just left wondering. This has happened too many times lately!!! I feel like every time someone starts to show smooth signs of progress, something happens and we loose them! I was pretty distraught but not angry. The Lord works in wisdom and knows how we can rescue her. I’m confident if we can have just another chance to visit her in her home, we’ll be able to resolve her concerns with good questions and doctrine. This happens with many investigators, and the majority of these types of cases are due to social pressure. But like I said, we were left wondering…I’ll keep you updated though. Pray for her.

I wanted to also let you know the today are transfers, and submitting ourselves to the Lords will Elder Urra and I said goodbye today. He got transferred to a far away city called El Calafate near Rio Gallegos. (Don’t worry, I know neither of those places ring a bell.ha) My new companion who will get here Wednesday morning is named Elder Lowry. He is from Heber, Utah I think. I only know him a little bit from the past zone conferences, but I think he knows a handful of people that I know from before the mission. He is really new to the mission…he’s been out like 3 o 4 months I think. So I’ll fill you in on more about him when I know. We had a lot of changes in the zone. I’m continuing as zone leader, and it is very very likely I will finish out my service here in Chacra(Rio Grande.)

The Lord has blessed me greatly. Don’t think that I’m mad or upset about what happened with Maria. Just surprised and disappointed. Things will get up soon. This past week we began teaching an incredible man named Mareano. He is a professional basketball player here in argentina..can you believe that!!haha Don’t get me wrong, we’re not talking about a John Stockton , Malone, or..hmmm…another basketball player anyone?...Basketball’s not too popular here. He’s super tall, way smart, and really nice. He has read a lot a lot a lot about the history of our church and knows quite a bit, but never had the chance to read the book of Mormon. We ran into him at the bus stop. I took our a Book of Mormon and asked him “if he had ever seen this book.” He said yes, but had never read it. We talked for 10-15 minutes waiting for the bus, 10 minutes on the bus, and 5 mins after getting off the bus together. The day after we had an appointment and it went great. He couldn’t make it to church on Sunday but wanted to come. I really want him to attend because he’s like 2 feet taller than everybody else, and every person in the branch will notice him and realize that in fact the two missionaries here ARE working. (I say that just because lately we haven’t been having many investigators in church, and oft times that’s the only time many members meet or investigators) Unfortunately, Mareano and his was and son are planning on moving to the north of the country very soon, but we’ll see what the Lord has in store.

Well I love you all soo much. I really enjoyed your emails today, and will review them a bit better and answer questions next week. Amy, congrats on Seminary Graduation. I’m so happy for you! What a light you are to your friends and our family. Be happy, and smile all you can until I get home and we start having lots of fun together. Hanging out, playing, and yes at times studying.haha It’s going to be great. You too Alyssa, I love reading your emails and hearing your testimony. Make sure you stay firm firm firm to the things you know are right, and be a good example for all your friends. Dad mentioned a bit about your friend Chase, who isn’t a member. Have you invited him to attend church with you? I dare you to do it;) I promise you the Spirit of the Lord will confirm in your soul you did the right thing…even if he doesn’t want to. But do it okay!? I love you all so much. Emily and Melanie, I’m going to need you two to attach a picture or two to an email. For some reason I really feel like seeing your beautiful faces. Have a great week and day everybody.
Love love steven

p.s. Mom, send my love to Lee Lee and her family. I’ll pray for Jesse. Thankyou for filling me in about his situation. Maybe you could have his mom tell him hi and I love him for me. Will you? Thanks. I love you so much mom.

LetterMay 27, 2009 top

Hello. I’m happy things are going well for all of you at home. At least from what you shared with me it sounds like things are going pretty good. That’s absolutely nuts school’s already getting out again. I remember this time last year when you all got out. I can hardly believe another whole year has passed. I wanted to mention dad that I really enjoyed your email last week in which you shared the story of the young rich man in the Bible. I studied your email, and the story and ended up using it in the District Meeting we had last week. I just wanted to thank you for your insights. I’m excited to read the talks you emailed me today. Mom, thanks for sending me the “week in a nutshell.” It’s always so nice to hear news from home; what’s going on and what you’ve been up to.

This past week has been incredible. Really. The Lord has blessed Elder Lowry and I greatly. Incredibly. First of all, Elder Lowry is a really great guy. He is from Midway, Utah, likes a lot of the same things I do, and we get along great. Until now I think I get along better with him than any other companion I’ve had. He only has about 5 months as a missionary, but has a great testimony, and a lot of energy in the Work.

I attached a couple pictures to this email. One is of Elder Lowry and I in our house, one of us at a church activity this past monday (25 de mayo is a big patriotic holiday here in Argentina) standing in front of a GIANT pot of Locro. Locro is a crazy stew filled with veggies, hogs feet, pig skin, cow stomach, beans, and sausage. (…I only ate one bowl.ha) No, it’s good, but not THAT good. The last foto is of Mareano and I. He’s pretty tall huh? Mareano, and his wife Agustina are SOO incredible. They are basically the reason this past week has been so incredible. They have begun to progress in an incredible way and we’ve had a couple really really spiritual appointments. I have so much to tell you all about them, but for times sake I’ll share a quick story with you that Mareano shared with us. Evidence that the Lord’s angel’s help us in this Work.

About two weeks ago was when I first met Mareano. We ran into him at the bus stop like I told you last week. What I didn’t share about this morning is that just a few blocks before we got to the bus stop, we saw the bus pass in front of us, and thought “ooh no!! 15 more minutes of waiting the next one!” That’s significant for one reason…Mareano was at the bus stop waiting for that bus to arrive, but didn’t get on. He told us that that morning he had been waiting at the bus stop for a while with a group of other people waiting for the bus. When the bus arrived he said something told him not to get on. He had NO idea what it was. He said that he waited while all the others got on the bus and he just didn’t get on. Finally, everybody else got on and the bus driver looked at him like “well..? are you comin or no?” And he said, “no.” BUT HAD NO IDEA WHY!!? He said he just didn’t want to get on the bus. 3 minutes later we arrived and began talking with him.

I know the story is really insignificant, and if I had more time it would be better, but the idea here is that the Lord’s angels are with us in the grand work. I am certain of that. Absolutely certain. I love you all so much. Sorry this email is so lame, but have a great day and I’ll fill you all in on more next week. LOVE YOU!!

A letter from Steven's missionary companion (May 27)
Hello family,
Wow I have so much to say and not enough time to say it really is what I am getting at. Ok but I will try my best.
First thing, I would like to tell you all about my new companion Elder Steven Stucki.
Elder Stucki is Marshall I kid you not. Mashy this is liking serving with you. He is super dedicated to the work and super focused but he is a dork just like me. We have so much fun in the nights and planning and in the streets just talking and everything like that but when we teach it is unbelievable! You have no idea. I have never felt the spirit so strong and we have it every lesson. I want to talk about that a little bit later but my companion is pretty much the bomb that’s all there is too it. I am so so so happy its incredible.
Ok, so a little about him. He is from American Fork and he has 3 months left in the mission. He is exactly obedient and smart in the gospel. He loves to work out so we run every other day and then the other day we are in our house and we bench and sit ups pull ups all kinds of things like that. I said last week I was fat, well I am pretty sure I lost like 10 pounds this week. He eats incredibly healthy so I started eating healthier. We serve each other a lot and we are incredibly clean in our house. Wow pretty much I just love it a lot.
So I am in Rio Granda an area called Chacra. It is pretty much like Wyoming with an ocean. It is really windy, cold, and ugly hahaha. The ocean is beautiful but that’s about it.
Ok so how was the first week with my new companion. Teaching wise and all of that you might ask. Ok lets start with the story of Emanuel.
This guy served the mission and after his mission got into a little problem with the Law of Chastity and to say the least his life got ruined. He had a kid and one day his girlfriend and his baby left him and he has no idea where they went or anything like that. So for the last 5 years after his mission he has been unhappy and sad and not living gospel standards. So we go to his house to ask his dad a question, I don´t know any of this story and this point I might add, and his dad is not home. We asked him if we could talk to him a second and he said fine. SO we sat down and start to talk to him. He told us a little bit about what was wrong and then my companion just dropped the cane. He said, Emanuel I know you know what we want from you. And that is what the Lord wants from you. Now is the time to repent and be better.
He shared this and the spirit kicked me in the face and said, “ Back your companion up with so scripture ok?” So I opened my scripture to 2 nephi 4 where it says,” Despierta Alma Mia! Or wake up my soul and no longer droop in sin.
I shared this and the spirit said, “Good and now go to Doctrine and Covenants and read section 122 where it talks about Joseph Smith.”
So I turned to section 122 where it says thy oldest son will grasp your coat and ask you where you are going father.
I shared this and started to cry thinking of this man who I don´t know who lost a son that he loved whether it was sin or not it was his son. And Emanuel started to cry. I waited about 30 seconds in complete silence and invited him to repent this night and attend church sunday. He said ok.
Guess who was at church this sunday.
This experience was incredible! I don´t even know what to say. WE walked out and my companion just hugged me and said wow its going to be incredible serving together. I felt the same.
Ok SO pretty much that was one of the coolest experiences of my mission right there! Second thing I want to share is a story about an investigator Mariano. He is 6 foot 11 and the coolest person I have ever met in my life! We started teaching him and let me tell you he is unbelievable.! To make a long story short he is progressing incredible. Oh did I mention he is a professional basketball player! Ya rad!
Anyhow, we had a lesson about how is woman and him needed to get married and we taught the Law of Chastity. In the middle of teaching he was kind of just chill and then we said that this was a commandment from God. He stopped us and said ok I am going tomorrow.
WHAT!!!! Ya you read right. He stopped us and said he is going tomorrow. He said I need to get married then baptized then live a year in the church then I can go to the temple and get sealed for eternity right? Because that is the dream of my heart.!
That was a horrible story of an incredible spiritual experience but I don´t have any more time. I want to compare my experience right now with 1 month ago. Elder Ravanales and I, my prior companion, Had a ton of success. But I didn´t like it. It was hard to live with him and work together. WE did it, and we had got along ok but I didn´t like it. BUT we had TONS of success because of individual talent and not from unity.
Then I get here to Rio Grande with Elder Stucki and we have NO Investigators, no baptisms and nothing. We have to start from scratch. So we walked like 30 miles almost literally this first day and then we worked and worked and worked. IN HAPPINESS. WE are in a very tough area but we are happy.
I want to relate this to life. How many times do we have SUCCESS but no HAPPINESS. If you have 100 billion dollars but don´t like the road or don´t like your life cause your not happy what do you have? If you have a wife and you are living frugally cause you don´t have lots of money and cars and houses but you love your wife, which is “Success” I dare to say this is my life right now. I am working easily 3 or 4 times harder here. Every day I hit my knees at the end of the day and can barely crawl in to bed I am so dang tired. I have to talk in all Spanish cause my companion gets mad if I speak English haha but I am so happy. I feel like I am serving with Marshall haha. I love it.
I want you all to look at your life and see if you have SUCCESS or if you have HAPPINESS. I have happiness now and after working really hard then we will have SUCCESS. But it doesn´t work the other way. Success doesn´t come without happiness.
I don´t know if that all made sense but I hope it did.
I love you all so much and The work will go on. I know the Lord always knows what is going on in our lives.
Elder Lowry

LetterJune 3, 2009 top

Dear Fam,
Wow, thanks alot for the emails!! I really enjoyed them…at least what I’ve read so far. Since Internet time is short I usually breeze over them quickly to try and squeeze the juice out, and respond to your questions. I always print them and ejoy reading your words more relaxed in the apartment. Thanks a ton Amy and Melanie for writing!! I’m writing the family email first, and if I do it quickly I’ll write you two a quick note. I love you so much. Amy…YOUR GRADUATED!!! Nuts. I’m super excited to see you too. We’re going to have some fun. A quick note, you mentioned that mom and you signed me up for some clases. Sweet. I don’t know how all that works, but in case it helps, or I have some kind of choice I’d like to have some clases like these: something with Health and Nutrition, Journalism(writing,) and Sociology(some kind of study of human cultures or something like that)….just some idea. Maybe you could help me out? Melanie, your summer sounds like it’s going to be tooo much fun. I’m jealous!! Not really, because I’m happy doing what I’m doing. But really, things are going to be a blast for you. You sound really happy. Keep smiling sweetheart.

In your emails you mentioned some stuff about my companion talking good about me, and how some people in his family called you or something. I don’t know what he said, but I’m happy he’s happy. I don’t remember what I said about him, but he is an incredible guy. I really enjoy serving with him. He’s got a lot of energy for the Work, and teaches with a lot of excitement. Obedient, diligent, WEIRD, and “willing” to eat healthy with me.haha We’re working on that;) Maybe to sum things up I could say this: Throughout my mission at times I would ask myself, “how would it be to serve with one of my friends?(I usually put Jesse’s name there) With elder Lowry I feel I’m as about as close as I could get to that. So I feel really blessed to be with him.

Things are going well too. We’re not being flooded with success or anything but the Lord is merciful and is guiding us many ways. Especially with the Tagliotti Fam. Can you say “what an italian last name!!”…aka Mariano and Agustina. They are progressing soo well. I haven’t EVER had investigators like them. We have such edifying and spiritual visits, and they accept all the teaching. NOT because they’re as my companion puts it “minor intelligences” as my companion leveling describes some people, haha! But because they’re smart enough to see that the Gospel is the answer to ALL the problems we have in the world, and the key to HAPPINESS! There’s not time, and my hand are too cold to type, all the tender mercies we have seen with them, and tell you all about the “small things” that brought us together but suffice it to say that angel’s minister with us in this work, and the Lord prepares his children to hear and accept the gospel. We have their baptisms date in a just a couple weeks, and they’re progressing very well. There’s work to be done, but I am confident we will see them baptized. How grateful I am. Mariano is 27 and LOVES elvis. He writes, and reads a ton, and is a professional basketball player here for the Province. Agustina is 24 and super nice. Valentino is their one year old son who is a TERREMOTO. That means earthquake. He is huge, and insane, and such a fun kid. Each visit with them is like teaching the gospel with a little dinosaur roaming around.haha I a picture to this email. It’s of the Garcia and Tagliotti families, and I during a sweet Family Night we had this past Monday. The Garcia family was inactive until about three weeks ago when we found them and began teaching. The two "whiter" people, haha, sitting down are Mariano and Agustina.

I am doing well. Yes I am safe mom. I have heard of the swine flew of course, but it’s not too much of a problem here at the end of the world still. In Bs As. They’re having some problems. I’m healthy, but I have had some weird abdominal pain the past week and a half. I’m not sure what’s up. I’d call it something like “weird cramping syndrome.” Sister Argyle talked with the mission doctor and I’m taking some medicine. Don’t fret at all.

I hope you all are doing awesome. I love you soo much. Have a fantastic week, and we’ll see you next week.

p.s. Dad can you set up a Gmail account for me. Put the email as something like that, and then let me know next week what you chose. Thanks so much pops. I love you!!

LetterJune 10, 2009 top

Hey thanks so much for writing me. I really enjoyed your letters mom and dad. I Briefed them quickly and will read them over and over at home.haha Yes, my companion is the son of Dan Lowry Doors. You should have been there were I realized that. It didn’t even cross my mind…even after Elder Lowry told me his dad works with garage doors and stuff. I never put two and two together. Until one night we were walking along the street, and I don’t know what we were talking about but my companion was telling me a bit about his dads work, and was describing where it’s located and he said state street and 8 north and I was like WHAT? ARE YOU LOWRY DOORS! Are you THE Lowry doors.haha It was pretty funny. So yes, the answer to your question Terry is yes. Also, thanks dad for creating a gmail account for me. I wanted that so I can let people here in Argentina know and they’ll be able to write me. We don’t use myldsmail for anything but family biz really.

Camie HANSEN, yes I got your announcement. Two days ago!!! I MISSED THE WEDDING!! MAN!haha My companion thinks youre pretty. But hey nick don’t worry, shortly after I showed him the pictures I handed him the wedding announcement.ha You’re going to Hawaii too? I thought it was just our family. This trip is just getting better and better!...well really worse and worse for me but I’m happy for all of you of course. Who else is going? Take pictures. Have fun. Dad I don’t know when Father’s day is, but I have a feeling it’s this week too. Maybe the same day as my birthday? Happy Fathers day! Does the United States still put flags out to celebrate my birthday like they used to?

So This past week has been pretty good. I am short on time(I wasted time trying to toss little dumb jokes all over this email. Sorry.) What I just wrote in parenthesis would be a perfect example of a little dumb joke. But okay!! This past week was good. We’re having a few struggles with Mariano and Agustina. They are perfectly fine. It’s the city office here that’s causing problems and they’re having a hard time getting married. Just paperwork, and other weird problems.

We had a really special experience with the Ibarra Family. We have been teaching them for a couple weeks, and having been progressing pretty well. We’ve had some really special and spiritual lessons. This past Sunday we visited them in the evening and early in the lesson both my companion and I sensed that there was something strange about them. Just something fishy. We taught about faith and felt like we were talking to blow up dolls instead of the happy and sweet family that we were used to. But we kept teaching. At the end of the lesson Rita, the mom, began to talk and tell us how she feels confused, and torn between what we share and her church. They’re like a mix of the evangelist and catholic churches. They consider themselves catholics for now. She talked how she doesn’t want to confuse her kids, and she feels bad listening to us because she felt she was going against her church or something like that. Basically she was trying to tell us Thanks but no thanks. We don’t want any more. While she talked I prayed. Hard. My companion too. We prayed to know what to say and for strength and for the spirit. I didn’t have anything come to mind until just before she finished talking to words came to my mind. SEA OSADO….BE BOLD! All I felt was that if they were going to drop us I wanted them to know what they were losing. So she finished and I opened my mouth and began to talk. At times when we teach the Spirit fills us with power and we feel we could go on for hours. I felt that. But don’t worry, I didn’t go on for hours. Just a few minutes of opening my mouth and letting the spirit talk. It felt great. I know this sounds weird, but I’ve felt it a handful of times in my mission, and I can really testify that the WORDS are given in the VERY MOMENT of need. We calmed their fears, and committed them to reading and praying that night after we left. If God didn’t answer them, we wouldn’t continue teaching.

What was really interesting was after the visit my comp and I were talking about the lesson and how amazing it was at the end and he told me how while Rita was talking he prayed and prayed to know what to say. Just like I was. And he said that nothing came to his mind. He couldn’t think of anything!! But then just before she finished he said he felt a strong peace. He didn’t have anything to say but felt very peaceful. While talking we realized that was just about at the same moment I heard BE BOLD. I know the spirit spoke to us both. The great thing about Elder Lowry is that this time it was my turn to be the mouthpiece, and I have 100% confidence in him and that at any given time he can be the mouthpiece. And he has been many times before.

The Lord answered the Ibarra Family’s prayers. In a return visit they said they woke up the next day after praying completely at peace. Nice.
I like being a missionary.

I love you all soo much. Gotta Go. Have fun in Hawaii!!

LetterJune 17, 2009 top

Aloha, Hey Hey Hawai. How’s it treating you? My hands are the “normal cold” as usual here typing, but for some reason they feel a bit colder as I think that you’ll be reading this email on the beach. I bet it’s beautiful. Rio Grande has beaches also. They’re really nice!!… There aren’t any “no swimming” signs, but nobody swims! Maybe all the people as they walk towards the water on freezing ROCKS they think twice and turn back. This past week has been a great one. I have good news, and sad news. Sad news first: Our dear dear dear friends Mariano, Agustina, and their little earthquake sone Valentino…moved. We knew it was going to happen at some point, but were hoping they would be able to be bapitzed before hand, but the Lord had different plans. They left Sunday morning. The picture I attached is of us just hours before theyleft. It’s pretty sad, but we made friends for life, and they’ll be baptized soon. I hope they missionaries that receive this amazing family are greatful!!! We had zone conference this past Friday, and after were able to do divisions/splits with President Argyle afterwards. He joined us during a few lessons with our investigators. It was a great opportunity to learn and hear some good “constructive criticism” on what we do well and what we could do better. We visited the Ibarra Family with him. It was a good visit. Presdident’s boldness and directness helped a lot. The Ibarra Family is progressing quite as well as we expected, but we’re still working with them. We have an appointment on Friday. The best part of this past week has been the work we’ve been doing with two young men named Ignacia and Lucas. They are both boyfriends of two girls from the Tello Family, who are really active members. Both have listened to the missionaries before, but for one reason or another didn’t really progress or chose not to continue. We began teaching them about two weeks ago and they are doing awesome!! We spend more waking hours in the Tello’s house than our house almost! We have lessons with them both almost daily, and since we have all the lessons in the Tello’s house between th two we’re there a lot. Lucas actually has a baptismal date for this saturday. He’s prepared to be baptized so we challenged him. He’s unsure still, but I think he’s going to make it. We visit him every day. Lucas is 20. Ignacio is 22 I think. Our visits with Ignacio especially spiritual. EVERY LESSON is edifying and filled with the Spirit. Yesterday during the lesson Brother Tello was telling a story about his conversion and the pressure his mom put on him when she found out about his participation in the church(the same think is happening with Ignacio) and while he told the story the spirit FILLED the room. I asked Bro Tello to pause for a second, and asked Ignacia how he felt. He said “way good.” It was gold. And that happens almost every lesson. So the Lord is helping us a lot right now in the area. I have to go already, but feel my love and joy towards all of you. I love you so much. Have so much fun in Hawaii. Send pictures and write me all about it. Steven p.s. thankyou GRANDMA, AMY, and ALYSSA for writing. And of course you too dadJ ps.s.thanks jesse;)

LetterJune 24, 2009 top

Aloha Family, How’s it there in Hawaii? Snowing like it did here this past week? I hope not. I do love the snow though. It snowed about two or three inches here, but that was more than enough to cause me to fall down a couple times Turing the day thanks to my now nice and smooth bottomed hush puppies. Before I forget I wanted to mention that next week my Pday is Tuesday okay? We have transfers. This is my las transfer! That is fairly unbelievable. I’m about 102% sure that I’m not headed anywhere. I don’t think Elder Lowry will get transferred either. I hope not. Another thing. If you send me the shoe sizes, I can buy some alpagattas(the cheap shoes I sent to nick and camie) for whoever wants. Here in Rio Grande we’ve only found a one store, and they only sell black and white. Another item of business, I can’t remember if today is Pioneer Day or not. My companion says it’s July 24th, but I was almost convinced it was today. Happy Pioneer Day just in case! Speaking of holidays, what are the plans for the 4th of July. I’m planning on seeing if we can’t baptize somebody. Fireworks are sweet, but that’s better. I can’t remember the other items of business I had. I hope you are all enjoying Hawaii a ton. I plan on seeing some pictures next week in my email. Deal? So guess what? We baptized Lucas!! It was such a spiritual baptism, and a miracle we achieved it. Lucas was NOT planning on getting baptized. He had basically decided he wanted to wait a couple more weeks. Our faith said that that was out of the question. We fasted and prayed a lot that the Spirit would touch his heart and help him feel the same urgency we felt. This may be hard for you to understand, but in our mission there is GREAT urgency to baptize. Our time is short, and this is the last harvest. Even two weeks of waiting(like lucas wanted) is too much. He had his baptismal interview the day of his baptism(Saturday) just two hours before the actual service. When he arrived to the interview he wasn’t planning on being baptized that day. Due to a handful of miracles that helped Lucas make the decision, we confirmed his baptism 45 minutes before we actually had the service! It was an incredible test of faith. With prayer, fasting, and determination…and of course the all powerful hand of the Lord we were able to achieve what to many seemed impossible and honestly unnecessary. It’s hard for some of the members to understand why we didn’t want to wait. Two weeks is a long time for the Adversary to “stick his tail in” (like they say here in Argentina) Lucas’s spiritual progress. The service was really amazing. Elde rLowry and I sang Abide with me tis eventide which was powerful, thanks to my companion, and Lucas shared his testimony. His girlfriend, Yanina Tello, and her dad, also both shared their testimonies. The whole hour and a half that the baptism lasted there was at least one person crying at all times.ha Lucas will receive the priesthood this Sunday hopefully. Ignacio, the other boyfriend we’re teaching… of Stefania tello…is progressing so soo so well. We are really excited for his baptism july 11th. We’re going to get together with him, lucas, and a few other members this afternoon to play soccer. Talk to you all next week!LOVE! steven

LetterJune 30, 2009 top

Hey my dearest Family,
First off. Thanks alot for writing me! I really really enjoyed your letters. Sorry this letter is going to have to be sort of short, because I got lazy and enjoyed your letters instead of just printing them for later like I tend to do. I feel so blessed. You are all so wonderful. I’m glad things haved warmed up there in Utah. I’m happy the Hawaii trip was a success. I can’t wait to hear more. I prayed for your safety and well being, and am certain the Lord protected you. Seems like things are just going by so quickly. I think life has gotten to the point that it’s just so busy that before we realize it we’re like 75 and we don’t know where the time has gone. I’m grateful for the many opportunities and experiences the Lord gives us. Lucas was baptized and this afternoon has his interview to receive the priesthood. Ignacio is progressing very very very very very well. He is one of the greatest investigators I can imagine. He reads the Book of Mormon daily and is in Chapter 20 of first nephi. He understands WAY too well and asks us questions that at times are difficult to answer. I am soo excited for his baptisms which until now is planned for July 11th. We also have July 11th as a baptismal date with a young 14yr old girl named Carolina. She is the granddaughter of and elderly couple in the branch. She is progressing very well too. She’s in an age with a lot of opposition and social pressure but is reading the Book of Mormon and praying and I feel that she will be prepared. I wasn’t there, but a few days ago when I was on divisions with a missionary in another area Elder Lowry and another missionary taught her, and at the end of the lesson they knelt in prayer and she asked if the Book of Mormon is true. Elder Lowry said the Spirit was incredible and she recognized the answer. She attended a branch baptism last Saturday and also felt the Spirit.(the baptism was of an 8yr old girl name antonela Garcia. She is the daughter of the family elder Urra and I found and reactivated just 2 months ago) And after the baptism we went to the Tello Family’s house and watched the Joseph Smith Movie with Ignacio, Lucas, the Tello Fam, and of course Carolina. It was great. I wanted to mention that after Antonelas baptism I was able to participate in the confirmation. The Priesthood is real. I felt a deep power the moment I laid my hand on her head with the other brethren. It was amazing. Literally I felt an incredible power has I rested my right hand on her head, and my left on another brother. My companion felt the same. When we put our hands on her head my companion gave me a soft squeeze on my shoulder. I knew he was feeling the same. Our branch president confirmed her and in the moment he said “recibe el Espìritu Santo”(receive the holy ghost) I felt a rush of the spirit. I’m sharing this just as another small testimony that I know we are members of Christ’s restored church on earth. What a blessing.
I enjoy hearing from home,. It excites me. I also appreciate your encouragement in enduring to the end. Thankyou. As I have always been able to say, and always said, and will be able to say until the last day of my mission. I am working hard. You can all have the confidence that I will not slack off(and elder lowry wouldn’t let me anyways!) My obedience, and diligence, which has been firm since august 8th 2007 will continue firm until the end. Moroni 9:6 and Jacob 1:19 have inspired me my whole mission and continue encouraging me. I share this only because it means a lot to me that you all can have confidence in me. I love you all so much. steven

p.s. hey not so short the letter! I wrote fast!
Ps.s. Dad please give jesse a great hug for me when you see him. I pray for him often.

LetterJuly 8, 2009 top

Hey Family,
Hey hey hey. Hows it? Things are going goood here. It has been raining quite a bit the past week which meant it wasn’t so cold, but wet feet all week! Shoes don’t endure to the end as well as missionaries. Things are going really good here. I can’t believe how quickly each week passes by. We have a baptism tomorrow. Ignacio is going to be baptized! We are so so excited. He has progressed so incredibly well and is very very ready to be baptized. He is excited, and so is the Tello family(his girlifriend is Stefania Tello) I really feel this baptism is going to be really really special. Brother Tello is going to baptize him. He honestly has been one of the best investigators I’ve had my whole mission, which is amazing because it was quite a challenge at the beginning. But the Spirit touched his heart, and as he has come through on the commitments we left him he has changed an become an incredible person. He understands the scriptures so well, and reads the Book of Mormon daily. After he’s baptized he’s going to be a great strength and help for us with other investigators. He already has been really!

We also have begun teaching a man named Luis WHO IS AWESOME. He lives right next to us. Like literally we can touch his house from our front door. We rent a little apartment and there are two other small house apartments on the same lot and he lives right in front of us. He is a single man about forty years old. He’s lived there about two months, and finally we were able to make contact and begin teaching him. The Spirit indicated it, so we invited him to be baptized our very first visit. He accepted, and if he continues progressing like he has been this past week he will be baptized July 25th. The Lord is truly blessing us with His chosen and prepared children. Luis came to church with us on Sunday and enjoyed it. We only had sacrament meeting, because the Flu epidemic is pretty bad here so they are trying to eliminate big meetings and stuff. Luis, on two different occasions, has prayed and received strong spiritual confirmations of the truth in our message. He reads the Book of Mormon, and prayers with great faith. He invited us to get together with him This evening to eat.
I love you all so much and pray for you. God bless our family and friends. He always has and will.

LetterJuly 15, 2009 top

Fam, Alright, the baptism of Ignacio...which I am now realizing sounds better as Ignacio`s baptism.ha, was excellent!! It really was one of the best services I’ve had in my mission. The Spirit was very strong and Carolina and Luis were present. Brother Tello baptized Ignacio. Right after the service he had his interview for the Aaronic Priesthood and on Sunday after Sacrament Meeting he was ordained a Priest and recieved the Holy Priesthood of God. That was really special. And is really special! To think that our Heavenly Father allows his imperfect sons hold and maintain His power is such an amazing thing!
I mentioned that Carolina and Luis were in the baptism. They are two of our best progressing investigators. I’ve mentioned them before. With Carolina we’ve hit a pretty tall speed bump. She is only fourteen, which is obviously underage, and so to progress very well she needs the support and permision of her mom...WHO is not helping us. We’re not exactly sure why, but her mom refuses to see us and let us talk to her. We don’t understand why?! How could a mother see her daughter changing her life like this; promising to avoid tabacco, alcohol, drugs, sex, all that scum the world so freely vends, and not want her to continue. So many families end up broken to pieces for the vices of society, and I’d think that a mother who sees her daughter trying to overcome all that would be happy. None the less, we’re struggling quite a bit with that, and yes, I am a bit bitter. Hopefully we’ll be able figure the situation out. Pray for her.
Luis is progressing incredible. Less than a week ago he was a two pack a day smoker. Before we even taught the word of wisdom he stopped smoking. He knew we don’t do that. Two days ago we taught the Word of Wisdom. He comitted to stopping drinking, and drinking coffee. At the end of the lesson he went into his kitchen and opened his fridge so we could see that he didn’t have any alcohol. We didn’t even ask him to do that!! He also came back with a jar of coffee which he gave to us, and we took home. (when I write “took home” that literally means a two foot distance.ha) Until now, we are progressing so well towards his baptismal date on August 25th. Luis is also making plans to take a fishing trip to Utah.haha
So we’re really happy about how things are going with him. The Lord is blessing us greatly here in Rio Grande. We are continuing to establish the kingdom of God with strength and faith every day. My companion and I get along very well and are very happy together. My testiomy continues to grow, and I feel so extremely blessed for every minute as a missionary. Thankyou for your prayers and letters. I really appreciate it! Love you all.

P.s. Camie, I think you have a birthday soon no? The 21st? Happy BDAY BABY!!
Ps.s. Mom, how much money have you put in my account to snatch a couple things here before it’s too late? I’ve already bought some stuff don’t worry. What’s the girls’s shoe size in european sizing. I’m a 41. Which is like 9 or 10 in the states...

LetterJuly 22, 2009 top

My feet kill right now. This morning we got together with a couple young men, including Ignacio and Lucas, and another nonmember they incited and placed a bit of futbol today…soccer. We rented a Indro soccer field/court for an hour. It cost 75 pesos which we divided between nine people. It was very cheap to say the least.Considering that the cheapest court my companion found in the states(he playes soccer a ton) cost 80benjamins.ha It was really fun, and felt good. Me feet kill like crazy though. These latins here have skills with their paws, and tripped me up quite a bit

Things are going really well. This past week was fantastic. I’m trying to do a bit of what Nick suggested in his email…soak in the surroundings. We’re working like crazy but the fact I’m leaving soon is starting to seep into my heart, and yes mom, it does make me a little sad. I try not to think about. Yesterday we had zone conference in Ushuaia. It was such a fun day. Our district here traveled in a shuttle the Tello Family has and we enjoyed good company, an amazing spirit, inspiring teaching from Pres. Argyle, and delicious food. It took like 5 hours to get there and back instead of the usual 3 because of poor road conditions due to SNOW!! Pretty funny, the roads are nuts here because of the snow, and there in Utah the tar is melting.

Another great thing from this past week. Last Sunday Lucas blessed the sacrament. That was awesome. He was way nervous but we had a couple lessons to encourage him, and he did a great job. His voice was shaking like crazy as he got towards the end of the prayer for the bread. Moments like that are so precious.

Something else from this past week. I fell down the stairs in our house.haha Honestly I don’t know why I wrote “haha” because it hurt like crazy. We have a set of wooden stairs that are more like a cliff because they’re so steep. A few days ago I missed the very first step and fell on my back all the way to the bottom. I hit my elbow pretty hard, and had some cuts on my arms and hands. Luckily I didn’t die…so we just laughed…like some of you probably are right now

Luis is doing super well. He is right on track for his baptism this Saturday. He is excited and so are we. About the fishing trip dad…we only joke about it, but there is a chance. He loves to fish and wants to take a trip to the states. I told him if he can make it to Utah I’ll take it from there.

Thank you for your prayers for Carolina. Things are about the same. We still haven’t been able to talk with her mom. She is doing okay. I just worry that the stress and challenges will weaken her faith. She is strong though, and we are stickin in out. I appreciate your suggestions and comments mom and dad. I forgot to mention to her how you had the same age when you were baptized mom. I’ve used you as an example my whole mission mom. You made eternal decisions at a young age and look at the results!! Thankyou. I love and honor your faith and example.

I feel an extreme gratitude for every minute I have. For the zone conference we had to get up at 3:45 to be ready to leave at 4:30am. I couldn’t sleep that night until like 12:30am. That’s been happening to me a lot. I have too much running through my mind each night. But anyways, we got up way early and during the trip to Ushuaia I couldn’t sleep. Not because I wasn’t tired, but because I felt that I didn’t want to lose a second of my time as a servant of the Lord here in Argentina to sleep. So I just read and studied Preach my Gospel and the scriptures, pondered, and like Nick said, “soaked it in.” I don’t see my growth and the changes in myself like maybe you all do from your point of view, but what I feel in my heart is a grand appreciation to the Lord for trusting me, and guiding me. I desire to be more faithful to Him. I love being a missionary. I love preaching the Gospel. I can’t believe how profound yet simple all of this really is! We have the path and example before us. We must only endure with faith, hope, and charity. I am so so grateful for all of you, and I can’t wait to see you. I’m not sure though if I feel more like I’m leaving home, or going home. Either way, I love you all. I love the Lord. We should each try to change one thing each day, from what we might normally say or do or think so that we might live more closely to the Lord and be brighter beacons to those that surround us.

LetterJuly 29, 2009 top

Hey Fam,
Wow. Hello again. This past week has been really great honestly. First things first, Luis’s baptism was awesome. Hey is officially a member of Christ’s true church. It’s really fun baptizing your neighbor.ha Sometimes he comes over early in the morning while he is drinking mate and chats with us before he heads to work, the same style thing each night when we get home. He is happy, and feels very comfortable with the members, and of course with us. A funny story: The day before the baptism we planned an appointment to try on the baptismal clothes and such to make sure everything was ready. We took some white pants to his house and asked if he had a white shirt. He said no so we said, “okay, hang on a sec.” And stepped out of his house and into ours basically, ran upstairs(yes, I’m still running up and down the “cliff-hanger stairs” I fell down last weekJ) and grabbed one of Elder Lowry’s shirts, went back down, outside, and just opened Luis’s door and walked in. What we saw almost made us die laughing. Luis was posing shirtless in his white pants waiting for us to enter, and he said while tapping his toe “que tal eh?” which means like, “whadda ya think eh?” I’m not sure what was funnier: that he was waiting for us to enter to say that line, that he was shirtless, or his giant beer-belly. It’s possible nobody is laughing right now. If that is the case I’ll just say, YOU HAD TO BE THEREJ But yeah, the baptism was awesome. One of Luis’s friends from the branch baptized him. I had the chance to confirm him a member on Sunday.
Random, but I wanted to mention that Ignacio received a calling in the branch. He was called as Secretary in the branch young men’s presidency. Cool huh? The recent converts in the ward are just being a long beautiful process of endure to the end.
Now, the best of all. CAROLINA IS GOING TO BE BAPTIZED ON FRIDAY!!! We could finally arrange an appointment with her and her mom on sunday evening-. It was so great. The mom and concerns, and doubts, and lots of questions, but we were able to calm her fears and she gave her daughter permission to be baptized. We are so happy. I am thrilled!! The branch seems unusually excited also! The best part of it all was during the visit with her mom we asked Carolina to share while she wants to be baptized, and to recount us the story of when she prayed over the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon and what she felt. She began to share and almost immediately broke out into tears. It was so powerful. She said when she prayed ´she felt a peace she has never ever felt in her life, and she wants to feel it for forever.’ That was awesome. So she’ll be baptized this friday at about 7pm.
We are going to have a special fast in the branch for the missionary work which my companion and I proposed to the branch president(ps. Inspired by your letter from a few weeks ago dad when you told me about the ward fast you all did.) and my companion and I are putting together a missionary fireside for Sunday night. It should be good. A member from the branch lent me their guitar on monday, and this morning I finished writing a song for the fireside. It should be good. It was the first song I’ve ever written in Spanish and it’s not so bad.ha My companion has it stuck in his head constantly.haha Like right now, my companion doesn’t realize it but he is humming the song!!hahaha oh man.
Oh by the way, before I forget. Mom to answer your question: No, I haven’t seen any penguins. Sometimes they make it to the shores in Ushuaia, but almost never. And they never make it here in Rio Grande. You usually have to take a tour ship from ushuaia to see them. Also, thanks dad for sending me the shoe sizes for alparpagatas. I want to be honest, I am not sure if I am going to be able to get them. I leave Rio Grande monday august 10th sometime. I will have P-day the day after and I hope to be able to get some in Bs. As. I am not sure if I will be able though. So don’t be upset. I will do my best of course. Mom you asked what the my last day is like. Like I mentioned I leave Rio Grande monday the 10th. Sunday the 9th there is a missionary testimony meeting for members and converts in San Fernando(my old area) but I won’t make it to that. Wednesday morning the 12th we all get together at the mission home for interviews, random stuff,ha, a delicious lasagna lunch(I think,) and then we go to a temple session with President and his wife. Sweet huh?! From there we go to the airport, and fly all night to the states, and eventually to Utah….woah, that’s so nuts to think about. I’m so excited to see all of you. I love and miss you. I’m working hard, focused, and loving being a missionary. I love you all so much.

Ps. Oh man!! Bishop okelberry was released!? He was such a great bishop, and man. Well he’s still a great man…send my love and appreciation to him. Who is the new bishop?

ps.s. dad, this family reunion sounds ridiculously fun. wow. wow.

LetterAugust 5, 2009 top

Hey Hey,
Mom you mentioned in your email that this past week has been the slowest of the whole two years. It’s funny to hear you say that. For me it’s exactly the same, BUT at the same time every day is going by soo unbelieveable fast! Finishing up a mission as a missionary is strange because you continue doing exactly the same thing until the very last minute. Or at least that’s what I will do. Everyday is the same: wake up, follow the same schedule, work as hard as we can to find people to teach, and continue striving to baptize God’s children. As nuts as it is finishing the mission, I feel like the end is so distant, or at least will never arrive because WE LIVE AND BREATH THIS WORK, and I feel that that will never change.I love it. Maybe this doesn’t make much sense...
Let’s continue...
Uhh, Carolina’s baptism was so fantastic. Truly it was a great spiritual experience. I have never had any investigator be sooo nervous before a baptismal service. I actually even had a few moments of “worry” thinking she might lose it and change her mind! She was at the point of tears/crying as we prepared everything in the chapel, and so my companion suggested we say a prayer and so her, a few other member friends, my companion and I said a prayer and we felt alot more peaceful. My companion and I sang “Come unto Christ.” I played the guitar. It was good. Carolina’s grandfather baptize her. That was beautiful. Carolina told us afterwards that in the moment she came out of the water all of her fears and nerves left. She felt so peaceful and happy. Which if you had seen her before the service you would be able to say with me that that is truly a testimony of the authority and sacredness of the baptismal ordinance. It was a great baptism.
Luis is doing great. He was ordained a priest on Sunday. Both Lucas and Ignacio joined in during his ordenation. Now that was neat. I feel so happy for how things have sort of wrapped up here in Rio Grande. At least as far as my chapter in the story here goes. I feel so blessed for the success we have had after so many struggles.
The Missionary Fireside was, how could I put it?... A HIT!! The members honestly loved it. A sister from the branch made invitationes and programs, and it was all really organized. Better than I had planned really since we threw everything together so fast. We began singing “count your many blessing” and then I shared a brief message. After which elder lowry and I sang “I know that my Redeemer lives” accompanied on the guitar. After that Elder Lowry shared a short message, and we had two more musical numbers. “I am a child of God” that a trio of members sang, and then elder Lowry and I sang the same rendition of “Come unto Christ” from the baptism. After Pres. Gomez spoke. His talk was awesome! ¨Probably the best part of this whole fireside was that I think we really touched Pres. Gomez’s heart and converted him more to the missionary work in the branch. After he spoke I played and we sang my song i wrote, “Si Tú no estás.” The english translation is “When You’re not here.” It’s pretty good...i’m not going to lie.ha I figured I’d toss you all the words:
When You’re Not Here
The world so dark leaves me today
Lost and confused I’m trying to find my way
Sometimes when I’m alone I think that I’m fine,
But as hard as I try

Chorus- When You’re not here, I can’t go on
My struggling heart fails me when the feelings are gone
I need your refuge. Please save me.
With your blessing, and your love

“Put your hand in my side and know me
Come, don’t be scared, my touch is comforting”
To all He gives the same invitation
And do I dare reject him?


It’s better with the music But yeah, the firseside was great.
We were also able to find a few new investigators this past week which was good, and we’re trying to put some more baptismal dates.
Dad, you asked me about the “invites” for the dinner thing. You basically mentioned the only other people I could think of. Since Jesse can’t come,ha, maybe you could invite Race Ostler and Shandon Gubler. Maybe they’re already married?!! Tawny could help you out with finding thier numbers. I’m excited to enjoy time with the family.
I’m pretty sure I’ll be writing next Tuesday so if you feel like sending me at least a quick note..feel free. I Love you all so much. Have alot of fun this next week. I’m work hard.

ps. Amy I hope you’re as excited as I am to start studying. It’s going to be good! You’ll have to throw together your schedule and then help me organize mine;) Mom told me about some weird math test we have to take. Have you taken it yet? I hope’ll be able to help me know what to expect! Love you!!

LetterAugust 11, 2009 top

Wow. Can you believe where we’re at? This is almost unbelievable. I am in Buenos Aires now, in the new mission offices that are actually just a “wing” to the San Fernando chapel. Yep, that’s right, my old area and chapel. It feels good to be back. I had my flight yesterday that was planned to leave from the airport in Rio Grande at 10:45 and arrive around 2:00pm in Bs. As. Well when we arrived to the airport they said things had changed and “the flight was now leaving from Ushuaia. There are two tour buses outside waiting to take you there.” So we headed to the buses, I said goodbye to my dear companion and friend Elder Lowry and we began the three hour trip to Ushuaia. I ended up arriving to Buenos Aires at about 7:30pm. So it was a bit of a extravaganza(?) but I enjoyed it. I have no idea why our flight changed like that. Let’s just say it’s an argentine thing.
You’ll never believe where the Lord placed me in the plane to Buenos Aires. Well, it’s not that amazing, but a miracle to me. I set next to a couple who were beginning their “Luna de Miel.” Luna=Moon. De =Of. Miel=Honey. Yes, their honeymoon. It’s pretty funny the translation is so direct. Where in the world did HONEYMOON come from? So this couple already has kids, 4. Three of them are more than 8 years old. They had just began living together, and began a family and 15 years later finally got married. That’s pretty common here. And so frustrating for missionary work. So, eight years ago they were investigating the church. And when I say investigating the church I mean they attended and received missionaries in their home for about two years! Can you believe that? I’m about 100% certain that they were never baptized because they weren’t married, hence, not keeping the law of chastity.(like I said…so frustrating for missionary work.) Well we talked and chatted it away about lots of different things. They showed me pictures of their wedding and gave me an invitation. I showed pictures of our family I had and showed them Nick and Camie’s invitation which I happened to have in my journal. They said you are all crazy for not waiting for me to get home before getting married.haha I told them I was happy they didn’t wait. They asked me about Nick and I said “I know he’s super tall, wears a size 13, and seems like a really great guy.”ha They were really really great people. This is the best part. I told them my companion, Elder Lowry, was still there in Rio Grande and I wanted him to visit them when they get back. They didn’t have any problem with that, and when I wrote down their address I realized they live literally HALF A BLOCK from our department. Crazy. I was a bit upset that I had found them on the plane LEAVING Tierra del Fuego, but either way I feel that the Lord’s hand was truly made manifest on that plane ride. I didn’t have time to call Elder Lowry last night and tell him, I can’t wait to call him. Who knows, maybe he’ll baptize a full family here soon. I hope and pray so.
Today I have an appointment with Robert and Lesly, the couple who were married and baptized just two weeks after I was transferred from the offices. Do you remember them? Afterwards a lunch appointment with the Vecchiarelli family who were also baptized just weeks after my transfer. Last night I saw a few special member families here from San Fernando, and on the way to the apartment when the office elders live we passed right by Raul Rosales Pizza-Shop that was in construction when I was transferred. I looked in and saw Miriam, his wife, taking an order on the phone, and after she hung up I waved and she looked out the window and oh how sweet the HANDSHAKE we shared was after. (How I love being a missionary) She called back to Raul who was preparing pizza and he came out and we hugged. That was such a sweet moment. They are both very active and very blessed. Same as Robert and Lesly and their baby girl who I knew while she was still in her moms tummy. And the Vecchiarelli family. They are all active. Bro. Vecchiarelli, and Robert are in the Elders Quorum presidency.
I feel a sort of fullness of joy. Seeing old converts, and so close to seeing all of you. Tonight I think I’m staying in the Mission Home, which is nuts and kind of weird. In the morning all the missionaries who are beginning their service at home get together in the Mission Home at 8:00am: Final meeting with president, lunch, then a session in the temple, and then an all-night flight from Bs. As. to the states. Hmmm. Wow.
I love the Lord with all my heart. I feel so blessed. Let’s pray for a safe return and joyful reunion together.

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