Friday, December 28, 2012

Dec. 24, 2012

Dear Family (Dad)
First of all, here's how this goes, I think we're gonna try skype, because that's the least complicated thing. So you guys can use my laptop if it's still alive, skype runs pretty well on there, and log on as rachel, because I think she already is my skype friend. And I'll log on as me tomorrow at about 7:00-7:15 PM here in uruguay. I'm gonna trust you guys to calculate that time difference, I think that makes it 4:00 for you guys, but I'm not 100% on that.
Well I'm pretty proud of Bekah, at our Christmas conference, the Presidents granddaughter sang a solo verse of I'm trying to be like Jesus in english, and I just cried, because she looked like bekah. Also she looked like Jesus. It was quite the moment. That's awesome that you got to break out the ax again, I was always a little disappointed at how awful I had gotten when we played in the nursing homes haha. Pretty similar to how I feel playing soccer once in a while.
Haha I appreciated those 12 days of christmas activities that mom sent me, most of the commanded? (sorry I can't think of the right word in english) activities were things like, "dedicate a few hours of your day to spending time with family" "Call your parents and tell them you love them". The point is, most of them were impossible for a missionary. But I did a few. Thanks Mom! And Happy Birthday, I got my first baptism on your birthday! His name is Justo, and he is a crazy old man that knows every single bible story without fail. So he was easy to teach, but also hard, because he wanted to teach us, and we were a bit squeezed for time. And we've got two lined up for next week. Happy new year!
So here's the real thing. I think I had a milestone moment in my mission. I found this mental key that has filled me with irrepressible joy all the time. So what I'm saying is, I just realized that my only goal should be to do the Lord's will. That's all Jesus did, and he's probably pretty happy right now. SO I've really focused myself in that, and the blessings are pouring everywhere. Sobreabundante. The thing was, I had desires and goals that came from me, an imperfect man, so I'm trying constantly to turn all of my desires, righteous and unrighteous over to the Lord, and he's making a lot more out of me than what I had planned. Since I had this realization, I've gotten quite good at spanish. I've felt bien clarito the spirit saying words through me to people. I wasn't struggling before, but now I'm flying.
I really miss you guys, it makes me a little sad that Ellie and Bekah will probably be unrecognizable when I get back! Also, an email from Grammy P just showed up in my inbox. Sorry, I can't answer that! Gotta have that obedience. But, I am really excited to talk to you guys as well. And the packages got here fine, the customs guys aren't too brutal, they just take a look, and I don't think they stole anything. And that peanut butter was such a miracle. I put it on everything. It lasted six days. And the candy canes lasted six days.
Glad you guys got my letters, I'm still trying to send Ellies and Bekahs, things got a little crazy for a while, but they should be off tomorrow. Sorry girls!
I was able to see my district from the CCM at the christmas conferences, they are all tearing it up. Working hard and learning a ton. I feel absolutely awful for elder Francis, he's gotta to have something big in the plans for later in life, because Satan is attacking him so hard. His parents have now separated, to add onto everything else, but I'm praying for him every night. He's a strong man, he won't go home for anything. And I heard a lot of talk that our mission president is walking around asking people to get ready to train. And like four of the guys that just got here from the CCM who recently had talked to president told me I was probably gonna train soon and just looked really sly. So that scares me.
All right, the spirit of Christmas is awesome, even when it's really hot. Christ really was born, he lived, he did miracles, he suffered and died for love for us(sorry for bad english again), and He lives today. That's it. Talk to you guys tomorrow night!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Dec. 17, 2012

Dear Family! (And others maybe)

The week was a good one. I feel like I'm learning some kind of life long applicable lesson every few days haha. This week I had a real aha moment with regards to what is going on here. Cause I'm trying my hardest to do everything exactly right, but honestly the only results we're having outside of our three stud investigators are straight rejection and borderline violence, haha. I think the missionaries that were here before offended all of the kids in this town, and apparently they sell firecrackers for christmas here, so that is just not a good combination of things. And again, sorry for the awful sentences, I'm really stuck halfway right now. Haha the other night I was verifying with the district leader, and I couldn't quite say something in spanish, so I switched to english and couldn't do it either! So let's hope I grow out of this stage pretty quick. And Mom! I already got the packages! I'm gonna open them today, and sorry I didn't already, but I gotta be as obedient as I can, I'm trying to rewrite the history of this area, But it's only been three days, so everythings probably okay. 

It's so great to hear from home. I love the news. Keep it coming. Special shout out to Angela Busath, Melanie Cox, Crystal Robinson, Elizabeth Pyper, Jacob Curtis, and Emilie Cotton, from who I received letters this week! That really lifted my spirits. It was fantastic! 

Yeah mom, that's really interesting what you said about the language being a refiner, a vehicle for testimony. I'll maybe try to tone back the amount of words I use as I teach. I think I'm just confusing people right now. But they sometimes think I'm from a different south american country when I talk to them, and not the states, so that means my accent is getting better!

It's funny that you said that thing about tears getting harder to fight back, I've been thinking that too. And I've been hearing you sing that song in my head for a few weeks. But mom said something in the card she gave me to open the day I left that is probably the most inspiring thing I've ever heard. ´Serving a mission is not a sacrifice, it's a privilege. You get to wear the Savior's name on your chest for two years, and when you´re finished, it will have written itself on your heart.´ Every time I think that, I have to fight back the tears. It was funny, cause I didn't know that card had an inside till I was already in the field. At first I thought it was just the scripture from DandC. It was a nice surprise haha. And thanks to Halmoni for the email, that was good to hear too!

I think that I call you, I'm not sure when, I'll let you know next week on Pday, the twenty fourth.

Lately the Lord has been pouring blessings out on me. It's impossible to deny, really. During my personal study of the scriptures, the eyes of my understanding get opened a little more every day. I'm really starting to get what's important in this life. I'm sure two years from now I'm gonna look back at that statement and laugh, but for now, I feel it's true. And often when I read something in the scriptures, my perspective is drawn out beyond my mission, to the rest of my life, so I understand what the Lord has for me to do, and at times my perspective is expanded even further, to beyond this life, beyond this earth.

I can testify that this work is unstoppable like an army. I can testify that the plan of God is massive, meant for this whole world, but at the same time is personalized for every single one of his children. I feel privileged to be able to take part in this work.

Love you all!
Elder Pyper

P.S, Thanks for the capybara facts, ellie. I'll try to tame one if I ever go near Brazil. I don't think they live here in this area.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Dec. 12, 2012

And a Happy new Year!
It doesn't really feel like Christmas at all. It's super weird to hear all this talk of papa noel and stuff, yet we're walking around drenched in either sweat or rain all the time. People have a few christmas decorations up, but it's not too crazy. Seriously, I'm not kidding when I say they're a few decades behind here. For instance, when I buy food, I have to walk into a small log cabinish type thing and give them my order, and they chop off the meat with a saw or something, it's just nuts. So, that's why we're writing two days late. The powers been out for a while after a storm we had. I actually was just thinking about that yesterday. This time last year I participated in like six of eight musical numbers in our christmas program at BYU haha.
It's not really that hot here, or at least the heat doesn't really bother me. I'd guess it's about 85 at the hottest, but these people are dying. They've never seen real heat. They don't have spicy food either. I've had to stop myself from laughing out loud a few times when I get warned of spicy things.
I am highly entertained by the missionary bear. That's pretty hilarious. Also, in other news, aka the things I wrote down in my agenda to tell you this week, I found a small note in my star wars journal after three and a half months of being away from home. It said "Bekah was here." Also, thanks for those premade letters, mom. I've already opened three. Hahaha. And I don't know if you sent stamps already, but If you could, that'd be great. I wrote ellie and bekah letters, but i haven't been able to mail them yet! I probably will on friday though. And who knows how long they take. Also, for my missionary journal, what are the names of the stake presidency?
So crazy. It feels like august still in my head. At night, and this happens quite often, cause it's impossible to sleep in our house till after midnight, I lay in bed and try to remember what I did before my mission. Sometimes when I see a piece of fruit I can remember the produce code for it haha! But mostly I just remembering hanging out with my family while I was in my wisdom tooth coma. Those were the days. And plus I miss batman. Luckily I have that little action figure you guys got me.
So here's how the gospel situation looks. I stayed here this cambio, and so did my comp. So we're in it to win it for another six weeks in El Carmen. I've been praying really hard that we can find a full family to baptize. That would do wonders for the branch. We just need some leadership, and some new member enthusiasm to share the Gospel. Our three investigators, Justo, Betty, and Washington are looking really good to be baptized soon. We also found an old Guy named Jose who may be baptized the same day or a week later. But these people actually read! They want to learn! They feel the truth of the gospel! I've never seen anything like it. So awesome. So we try to see them everyday, but they're a bit eccentric, haha, but it's been really interesting to watch the spirit smooth over their weird objections.
Not much else has happened. We're trying really hard to find new people still. My district leader went home, and the new one loves to speak spanish, so I actually never speak english at all anymore. Only here. And in my journal. I've reached a weird stage in my language, where I'm almost fluent, speaking wise. I don't really have to think about what I'm saying anymore, but my vocabulary is awful because I'm not understanding very well still. So, I'm sure that'll resolve by the end of this cambio, but it's so weird to be talking normally, and then just mentally hit a wall. Never had a feeling like it before. Like today, when I realized I didn't know how to say glass. Threw me for a loop. And I already forgot it. OH YEAH. Dad, you asked me how to say hiccups right before I got on the plane to leave to argentina. It's Tengo hipo. (I have hiccups) I've forgot to send that in like twelve consecutive emails. So, I'll talk to you guys on the phone in twoish weeks!
Love you all!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Dec. 3, 2012


That's totally fine. The back injury is a pretty good reason, I'd say. And
I'm glad you healed. The first transfer actually has one more week, and who
knows what's gonna happen. I don't. But usually you get at least two changes
in your first area. Or so I've heard. But honestly I feel like anything
could happen. I don't want to leave, I love it here. It's hard, but it's
humbling. And this week, I finally found out the full legend of my oro area.
Apparently this is the area that breaks missionaries. Some members in our
stake found out that I started my mission here, and they were astonished.
Anyway, it's definitely been a refiners fire for me. Honestly, the
relationship with my comp is still a bit rough, but it's just cause of the
language barrier, I think. He actually doesn't understand at all what it's
like. He thought I was shy, or scared of talking to people, but it's
actually just that I don't want to screw up the contact or destroy trust by
moving in for the kill too soon, but it's starting to become a nonfactor
because I'm starting to understand people. Anyway, I started just contacting
people which keeps him happy, I guess. I love my comp, but he's not really
the leader type. So I basically initiate all the contacts now. Good times. 

Ok, three items of business. One, the card works now, but I can't see how
much money is in my account, so, how much money is in there? Two, another
tidbit of advice for sending packages, apparently they leave it alone if you
write `"mission supplies´` on the box. And pictures of Jesus work as well.
But the last one made it through just fine, who knows? Also, I can't really
do anything with gum, we're not allowed to chew it outside the house, so I
probably have enough for my whole mission now. Thanks mom! Three, I opened
up a journal today to see what mom wrote in there when I was a baby, and I
found that I had written in there eight years ago on the day that bite sized
bekahs were inceived. I can't believe I recorded that legendary moment.

Thanks to rachel for all you do. I sent a letter to mom, dad, and rachel,
but ellie and bekahs should come the next few weeks, there was a mail
problem or something.

It's great to hear about things at home! Make sure to let me know about the
Jeeve's call! Tell the Alley's best of luck in the ole San Antone. And
Rachel, dang, go to college already. It's the best.

So here's how it goes. We actually got three investigators in the church,
and I think they're actually gonna get baptized. BAm. I didn't think this
was gonna be such a problem here, but the literacy rate is a little lower.
It makes keeping commitments difficult for people, because they don't like
to tell us that they can't read... But anyhow, these three read quite well,
so they've got that going. 

Dang, what else? I feel like the Lord is using this area and this companion
to make me rely on him so I can become who I need to be for later in the
mission. I feel different than I used to feel. I've been doing a lot of
seeking in my prayers, seeking answers to all kinds of stuf. And the Lord
loves to answer me through scriptures, which is delightful for me. This
weeks big spiritual lesson was found in DandC 10 2-5. So I've applied that a
little, and I'm feeling a lot more satisfaction. I don't have to be the best
missionary there ever was, the fastest to learn the language, have the most
baptisms in my first six weeks. I just have to do what the Lord wants me to.
I love you guys, and really feel the prayers. It hit me yesterday that I'm
probably not gonna recognize Ellie and Bekah when I get back. Don't grow up
too much, you two.

Well hey hey. I don't think I'm gonna be fluent in spanish in a month, but
it'ç won't be soon after. I have a hard time thinking in general, and
writing in english. It's so weird.

Also, how do you make sauce for pastas? Is it something that could be done
quickly? Or would I have to make a ton on pday and store it? There's not too
much premade stuff available in this town at least. It's seriously like the
1890's I think.

Ok, I think that's it! I love you all, and don't stop! Talk to you on the
phone in Twenty TWo DAAYS!

Ciao Ciao!
Elder Andrew "El Comportamiento" Pyper

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Nov. 26, 2012

Dear Mom, 

No, they don't have a celebration at all here. I think about the time you guys were eating, three or four, I was teaching a discussion to this dude and his girlfriend. They were both handrolling cigarettes, and their cat was trying to dig into the space between my back and the wall. A little different from banana cream pie right now. And honestly, that package was heaven sent I think. But I hope you didn't actually have to pay the price it said on the outside! Ouch! A few more requests... Could I have a bottle or two of melatonin and a bottle of contact solution? I do not think they sell it here, cause everyone just wears glasses or something. I haven't been able to find some anyway. 

Ok, we'll take care of business first. These two things are for rachel. Could you send my address? And if you already did don't worry about it, I'm just trying to be exactly obedient and not communicate more than one email haha. And also could you try to get me the address for Pat Heaston, who was my bishop in provo? His phone number should be in my phone if ellie didn't delete everything. And if not, just ask one of my friends who lives in provo, Melanie Cox, Brooke Wolfgramm, those should do the trick. And mom, this is for you, have you called the bank yet? Because I tried to take a little cash out today and got rejected, so I hope they don't think I stole my identity...

Anyway, that's the story of my life. We've been starving for a bit because we had to travel to montevideo three times this change and the mail service lost the pouch for a few days. Therefore, no reimbursals. So I had spent like more than half my allowance on bus tickets, and didn't get reimbursed for anything. So, the package was awesome. I could eat an andes mint and imagine it was a piece of red chicken or something. Thanks so much, family!

Anyway, tell dad that he fights like a younger man. I miss football. I got to play a little soccer today, we bummed our way to the zone activity on borrowed cash. It's a little frustrating because I'm awful now. I haven't practiced really for about a year and a half haha. Also, how'd BYU do in football, and how's basketball going for them? Also, Chargers, Spurs, Thunder?

But awesome. I'm loving it out here. It's crazy how on edge throwing your whole soul into something without seeing many results will make you. I finally had it out with my companion, (editor's note-this probably means Andy said, dude, you need to just relax a little. :) )I had to stop on the street and talk it out because my irritation level was such that the spirit was totally gone. But anyway, that's resolved, I think we're good now. He's just really awkward with people haha. And plus he's never trained, never been a senior companion, It's really like I'm training myself. But the work goes on. 

Had some really cool experiences lately. Yesterday my companion was feeling really discouraged, because honestly we're attempting a miracle in this branch, but two days ago we lost practically all our investigators and had to start de nuevo. So he was a bit mopey, but I had the premierest spiritual experience of my life. I studied a little of a talk by richard g scott, and started receiving inspiration like crazy. Specific specific stuff that I can do as a missionary to be more powerful. It was really amazing. I have it written in my journal, and my posterity will quote it for generations, haha! And my spanish has taken another jump up recently, I realized the other day that not knowing what to say just in general is a bigger obstacle than understanding now! So I can basically teach like a normal missionary, it's just halting, cause I'm only like an eighth fluent. And if the people are old or use a ton of slang, it's over. But anyway, I am really starting to love this people. They break my heart every day. But I'm sure I'll get used to that. 

Yeah, I love you guys. Oh yeah, someone tell me how the muse and killers albums were. 


Monday, November 19, 2012

Nov. 19, 2012

Dear mom,

I am doing fantasticly these days. It's getting more and more rewarding every day. Granted none of investigators showed up to church, so now we have no chance of meeting our goal, but honestly I'm not really hung up on the numbers. It's been a real learning experience for me to get myself back in the right mindset, it took a lot of prayer and scripture study, but I honestly think I know why I'm with this companion now. As soon as I'm fluent, we're gonna be a pretty awesome force in this area, cause honestly, everything he's lacking, I bring to the table. And vice versa.

Got the package last wednesday, but I waited till PDay to open it. I'm not sure that's a rule, but my companion said so, so I just generally try to do what he says, so as to avoid contention. Thanks for the letters and green stuff! I think the skittles and mikeandikes made a convert out of my comp. All he'd had from America was licorice, and he didn't really like it. But that is some good stuff! Thanks mom and Ellie and Bekah. And rachel for the trogdor letter. That was cool.

Turns out I can still use that same system of mail, with the pouch, so if you send me some more stamps, I can send letters for everyone! Also, I wouldn't mind a jar of peanut butter here and there. I guess it doesn't exist here. But I've settled into a pretty regular diet of Yogurt, eggs, rice, and whatever members give us for lunch (Deliciousness, that's what). And ellie, turns out they have awesome steak in uruguay too, but they don't eat it as much. We almost always have some kind of awesome pasta or rice dish. Delicious. It's hard to walk back for language studies after lunch with Hermana Ester on tuesdays though. Gotta flex my abs the whole way to prevent pure and unadulterated pain.

That banana cream pie sounds so good. I've also learned to fry everything in butter to add calories and flavor, and that little hint of america.

Our little branch. I think we're about ready to have some good progress. Elder Gallardo and I made a plan for a birthday present for you mom, I'll tell you about it on the phone on christmas! Anyway, the branch has about 15ish active members, and I just found out that we're counselors. The president didn't show up on sunday, so we had to make a program on the fly. But we're trying to get the miembros really excited about missionary work, and I think they're starting to help.

And about my spanish, this really picked me up, actually. I went on an impromptu exchange with my zone leader, and he told me(I say this not to brag, just so you'll have an idea of how awesome I am) that he has never ever seen someone come out of the CCM speaking like me. So I think I'm a few months ahead of schedule, and therefore, right on schedule. I'm really starting to get emotionally involved with the people as well, and that's what's making me so tired lately. They're killing me. Why don't they know they need the gospel? It's awful. I need someone to get baptized so I have hope. I guess the rest of Uruguay baptizes a lot more than this area, and that was my mission presidents big plan for me. To come here and change the face of missionary work in El Carmen. We're gonna do it. I'm one hundred percent committed and there is a plan in place. And most of the plan involves the Lord, so I'll keep you guys updated.

Buenissimo, tell everyone to keep up the good work, I'll be writing again in one short week. (The time really flies here)

Love you all, BYE
Elder Andrew "Manteca" Pyper

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Nov. 12, 2012

Sorry this one is so late!  I had a crazy week and am just getting around to posting Andy's email.  He will be reading his emails tomorrow, so if you have a minute, drop him a quick line tonight!  

Dear Family,

First of all, I'm only allowed to write one email a week now, so sorry to those who won't get one, I can just talk to you in here. I have actually been fantastic this week, it really didn't take long to get over my problems, I just realized that everything was stemming from my inability to speak spanish. We are both focused on Christ and advancing the work, but my frustration over the language was kind of a roadblock. Just had to admit to myself I don't really speak spanish and get back to my old personality of chillin and laughing at everything. So, problem solved. Thanks for the advice though! 

Notwithstanding my having already said I don't speak well, I'm really pleased with my progress for having only been speaking two and a half months. I just want to be the best I can, and it's frustrating seeing where i will be able to be in another month or two. Patience.

As for the photos thing, that's another story... My camera got robbed in the CCM, don't really know by who, I doubt it was a missionary. BUt maybe it was just one of the contractors fixing the lights, checking to see what was in everyones lockers... Humbug. Maybe I lost it, but I don't think so.

Anyway, here's a list of things to know. I haven't got the package yet mom, but I guess packages here have to be under $40 in value or something weird happens to them. Also anyone who wants an easier way to write me letters physically can email them to this address,, with Elder Andrew Pyper as the subject. I found Batman and an ostrich in my bag while we were walking around, and that made me laugh. 

I realized the other day that someone needs to do a Come thou fount stars were gleaming mashup. I'm looking at you Dad. 

One more, can someone call Tinker and tell them I'm in Uruguay so I can use my card? I forgot to do that before I left.

So, here's the good stuff. The mission is a rough life. Filled with joy and the spirit, but it's all sandwiched in between cancelled appointments and secret girlfriends and seizures. We're finding it really hard to connect with any of our investigators, but regardless, I feel super happy now. This is really the best way anyone could spend their time. And the food here is sooooo good. Yeah, so I have also learned that eating about a pound of yogurt a day will not aid your digestive system in adapting to a new country. Really, food is just a problem. We take an hour for lunch and another for language study during their siesta, but we don't have dinner. So I've had to start improvising random stuff. Eggbread is an old favorite. Last night I made applerice with potatos, which was actually really good. Anyway, my comp is a stud at missionary work, but he surprises me by being alive with the amount of food he eats, and the quality thereof. So I'm basically on my own when it comes to providing for us.

Well, awesome, I'm gonna get off, cause it's been a turbulent pday, we're running out of time to do stuff. Allright, love you all, Ciao!

Elder Andy

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Nov. 7, 2012

Hello, people who speak english...

The first week in uruguay has been a blast. The keyboard situation has changed again, this time to accomodate portuguese letters as well, so please forgive any weird typos. Really, the last three weeks in the CCM were difficult just because I didn't feel as if I was learning as fast, my companion just really didn't understand what I was and wasn't capable of, and it was just weird since I was way more experienced as a missionary than he, but I was just crippled because I couldn't say exactly what I wanted to. And various other vaguely racist things. Anyway, that's over now, and the new challenge begins. 

I won't lie, even though I love it, I am facing a challenge harder than anthing I've ever had to do. My companion is from Chile, Elder Gallardo. He's a really good missionary, been out about 10 months, and apparently has worked a miracle in this area that we're in. I see that, definitely, it's just so strange cause this has never happened to me. I love him, but just about everything he does annoys me. So now I'm trying to overcome that, and it's so so weird. I always loved people. So I'm really just trying to focus on the people and learn to love them. I figure that's probably the fastest way to get over this. I don't know. It's a struggle, though, cause it totally interferes with the Spirit at times. Anyway, probably just a language barrier issue. He speaks no english whatsoever. So I would really love any advice or input anyone has on that.

The investigators are slightly scarce, but through small miracles, I think Elder Gallardo and I are going to revolutionize the church in this town. It is out in the boonies. It looks just like the countryside of nacho libre, except green. Horses, cows and all. But I'm thinking we're gonna have anywhere from three to six baptisms on the twenty fifth, depending on who comes to church. The branch here has about twenty active members. But there's a possibility of two new families getting baptized.

The Spanish is going pretty good, I can basically have a labored conversation about any gospel topic I want, and my vocabulary for other things is slowly expanding. I think my language goal is really looking achieveable. 

I've been thinking a lot about Alma 26:27 and Alma 44:4. Those verses are certainly helping me right now. I just want to feel like I can help teach more effectively. Once the language issue is gone, I feel like all my problems will be solved.

The mission rules here are about as strict as you can imagine, so probably no to the videos. The music yes, if its church produced, like motab or something. Also, it costs like three bucks to send a letter from here, so sorry to everyone, probably not gonna be too many letters flowing from my wallet.

Ok, that's it for now
Love you all
Elder Pyper

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Elder Pyper is in Uruguay!

October 31, 2012
Dear Pyper Family,

                Tuesday we went to the airport in Montevideo, Uruguay, to pick up Elder Pyper and welcome him into our mission.  He arrived full of excitement and enthusiasm to get to work.
                We have spent the day getting to know him, and we recognized that he will be a great asset to us here in the mission.  We know that he will bless the lives of many wonderful people.
                Wednesday was transfer day and after meeting with his trainer, he headed off to his first area so that he could start ¨ [bringing] to pass the immortality and eternal life of man¨.
                We are now sending you a photo that we took with him.  As you can see, he is extremely excited and ready to start.  We are so excited to have your son with us and hope that you receive this photo with excitement and pride in all that your son has done to prepare himself for the opportunity that he now has to serve the Lord for the next two years.

                                                                                                                                             The Armstrongs
Elder Pyper and his trainer,  can't read the name tag, but I am sure we will hear all about him!  I think they are pointing to their area...looks like the boonies!  I bet they will have some great adventures!

Andy with the Mission President and his wife.

Andy and the group he arrived in Uruguay with.  They have all been in Argentina in the Missionary Training Center.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Oct. 22, 2012

Well Dad, things are cooking right along.

It was a good week, I'm slowly but surely starting to understand more Spanish. My companions a great guy, it's just weird not having an american. He has some weird South american habits, like brushing his teeth seven to eight times a day. But whatever, I'm doing it too. He's promoting good hygiene. Or advanced gum disease brought on by too much brushing.

I'm glad to hear the normal world is still happening without me. I'm pretty much insane in here. I'm starting to forget how to spell in english, and that's pretty awful for a former champ like me. Several cool experiences this week though. 

I was actually kinda discouraged after our proselitismo. It's me and Elder Alcaraz now, instead of me and elder Francis, so it was really different. Usually during a proselitismo I do great talking and really listening to the people, but it's way harder to stay involved when they realize they can just talk to my comp and he's fluent. So I was still able to help out listening to the spirit and talking to people, but once they got into it, I was totally lost. The times I did open my mouth though, it was filled. Just got to have a little more faith. Sin embargo, it was a wildly successful venture, we taught like seven lessons in one day and gave a catholic priest a book of mormon and committed him to read it.

Also, today, like a few hours ago, I met and talked to Elder David Bednar. He came to the CCM for a devotional, cause all the mission presidents are here for some meeting. After his excellent devotional, I shook his hand, and he recognized my name and inquired after one Brian Pyper. Both Elder and Sister Bednar said that he's a good friend. So that was cool. He's a very powerful presence, just a really Christlike man. So then after that, my mission president came and found me during class and said he's got big plans for me. Hopefully not, haha. I still can't really understand exactly what people are doing in spanish. I feel like I'm about to break through a wall though. Just gotta be developing those Christlike attributes, and not worry about the language at all. So far that approach has served me well, and I don't intend to change it.

So that's the only Apostle I've met, but I've seen four speak in person since I've been here. Good times.

So here's my spiritual thoughts for the masses. Read John, chapter 1. That part about nathanael at the end. I have decided that what Jesus says about faith right there is a really powerful lesson for us all. Pray about it.

I finally got out of Nephi 4, and have spent all my free time this week reading Jesus the Christ. Great book. The book pointed out to me that Jesus literally died of a broken heart. I want to be able to love people like that someday.

Anyway. The church is true. 
Love you all, keep on doing your thing.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

October 18, 2012

My good father,

I'm doing pretty good. Studying with the latinos is righteous. Elder Francis got a latino comp as well, and he's in some other district. 

We had such a weird last proselitismo together. Just a bunch of weird spiritual promptings, and I only got to see one of them pay off. I'm sure the others will though, I've been really practicing following the spirit, and hopefully it paid off. One time I just thought we should go to this road that only has like one house on it. On the way there, I felt like we needed to walk a little faster, so we did. We show up, and right as we ring the doorbell, some couple on a motorcyle comes screeching into the street improbably and gives us a reference for a non member friend, then just rides off again. So, stuff like that all day. Everyone else was mean.

So, spanish. It's difficult now that I'm in a class where the teacher isn't going easy on me, but when i get in the field, I'll be accustomed to understanding.

Sorry, I gotta leave
thirty minutes ain't enough

Love you!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

October 10, 2012

What's up familia?

It seems that you finally forgot about me, or quizas you were just confused that I couldn't seem to email on a consistent day. I'm not offended at all. Just kidding! Nothing could wreck my good mood write now. It's almost time. Time for the real world. With real investigadores. I am beyond ready. And plus, in my last interview, presidente said I was too, so cool beans. I think I'm his favorite or something. 

So I'm leaving with the next group of latinos that comes through the CCM. I will be assigned one of them as a new companion and I'll attend only gospel classes for three weeks. But everything will be in spanish. I plan to go totally native. So I went and purchased myself a nice pair of spanish scriptures at the distribution center, conveniently located next door. I'm going to attempt to read the entire Libro de Mormon in spanish before I leave. I've already done it in english, but I can feel the effects of studying the BOM in the mission language. I'm a believer.

So, every girl I've ever known is going on a mission, right? Rachel's starting her papers this summer or something I bet. Crazy business. We're starting to get real serious about preparing the way and gathering the house of Israel. Seriously, everyone that just got the opportunity to go, do it. Just the month and a half I've been gone has been amazing, and I would love for all of you to have this experience.

General conference was way cool, answered all my questions and concerns.

I don't know. Life is good, but I want to leave éste carcel.

We didn't do proselitismo because of conferencia general, so i don't have any cool stories this week. Sorry. And sorry about the weird spanglish email, that's just how I think these days.

Love you all, and read Mosiah Chapter 2 in honor of me ésta noche.
Elder Pyper.

P.S. The pictures are of an alfajor. They're these awesome cake things that cost solo uno peso. I buy like twelve every time we proselyte. Note the dulce in the middle.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

October 4, 2012


I can't believe it's been another week already. It's unreal. I'm leaving with the next group of latinos that comes in, either the night of the 29th, or the 30th. I'm so pumped. I love learning about the gospel here, but I need to go. A month of my mission is already gone, and I've only given out like five book of mormons. Gotta get working. 

It's good to hear about things from home. I'm proud of everyone and I miss you all.

Thanks to everyone who emailed or sent me a letter, I just barely got stamps, so you'll start getting letters soon.

Well, the biggest thing on my mind has been my calling lately. I really evaluated how I do my personal study last week, and since then I've been having really spiritually intense studies. We're talking revelation here. It's so crazy. I've been reading in 2 Nephi 4 for like two weeks, haha I just can't leave. It's so beautiful and I feel like I can use that doctrine to become more like Christ and become a better missionary. A few scriptures that come to mind are Alma 13: 1-5 and Mosiah 21:35. They contain awesome messages.

Spanish is going fine. Just truckin along. I feel like it's a stretch to be fluent when I leave, but I'll do my absolute best. 

One thing that's really changed is how I look at life. My district, and being their leader has really taught me a ton about life and the gospel. I look at them and I realize how much I want them to succeed, and it's so weird. I really love all them.

Proselitismo was pretty rough this week. We went to the actual richest area in all of argentina this time. We were like ringing the doorbells of mansions and maids or security guards were answering the door five minutes later. Nuts. We had the most success with the people just passing through, because they weren't puffed up. I feel confident that two of the people we talked to will get baptized though. They were hungry.

Elder Francis is starting to do better, I kinda tried to give him a wake up call in my own way, and it worked, so he's working hard now and feeling exhausted, but way better at the end of the day.

Ok, I'll have way more time to write a longer letter next week, so see ya later. Good luck with your endeavors, everyone.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Sept. 27, 2012


It is going real well here in the CCM. Things just keep going. I can't believe I've been here for four weeks already. Only 23 months left :( I feel like I should get an extra two months stuck on the end of the mission for all the time I spent not being in Uruguay!

That does sound like a fun time. I'd be happy to participate in any of those activities. Especially chick fil a. It seems as though it's been years since I've had any kind of americanish food. OH MY GOSH we had steaks the other night. So good. I was speechless after it was over. The meat was more tender than a marshmallow. Or bread or something. Good cows. And congrats on second place. That's a job well done.

So, I'm still learning fast. It's definitely some divine intervention. At some point during this week, I started understanding a lot of what people are saying, which is exactly what I needed. I'm thinking I'm going to be quite functional when I leave the CCM for Uruguay. And about an hour ago, we were doing this activity where we read the book of mormon in spanish and comment on it, how it could help our fake investigadores, stuff like that. Usually we have our english scrips open as well so we know what we're reading! But today, something just clicked, and I read like Mosiah 4:1-4 before I realized I was understanding every word. That's some sweet business. Then I came back down to earth when he started talking about succor.

I'm so excited to leave now. Proselitismo is the best time of the week by far. And it's hilarious that I love it, cause it's like the worst part of missionary work. Anyway, here's a cool experience me and elder Francis had. In between the last proselitismo and now, we discovered that relying on the Spirit is really the way to go. So we stepped up our game this time. After meticulously planning out our six hour block of time, we were carrying out the plan, working Quadrant O on the map, just clapping doors, talking to people, when I see this guy with a sweet Jamaican hat. And I have this thought that I should go talk to him. But I hesitate, and he walks off. Dang it. So about two o clock, I see him again, right as we're knocking on a door, and I missed him again. And I'm just feeling like we really need to talk to this guy. About thirty minutes before we're supposed to go, we've basically tracted our entire area, and we have no clue what to do. So we stop at an intersection and pray for guidance, that we can know which direction to turn for one more person. So we spend about thirty seconds surveying the options, then the thought enters my head that we should go back the way we came. So I turn around, and Fancy Francy is already walking back that way haha. So we're knocking doors along that street, and I see the Jamaican again, and this time he's carrying some kind of strange blue apparatus. Ignoring the fact that he's carrying that, and also that Elder Francis just clapped a door, I take off in pursuit. So Jamaican sits down on the corner and we walk up and offer him some gospel, which he gladly accepted. We gave him a book of mormon, taught him about the atonement, and got his info for the real missionaries. He then commended us for being from America, but being good guys who don't discriminate. I said, Todo dia, cada dia. Then we left. And his name is Walter, which is totally fresco.

Overall, proselitismo blows my mind, because we barely speak spanish, but we're possibly changing people's lives forever. Nuts. And the americans always do better than the latinos somehow. No sé por qué. 

Out of time, but love you all!
Elder Pyper

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Pix from before Argentina

We also took some family pix the day before he left.  I love this one!  He is holding out his CTR ring, which stands for Choose the Right.

Some Pix from Argentina

Hey there!  This is Andy's mom.  Here are some pix he sent us this week.  I don't know why his shirt is so BIG or what kind of goofy face he is making in the bottom one, but enjoy!
Andy and his companion.  They are together 24/7.  Literally.  You really learn to love each other!

I am not really sure who this is- Andy says it is his favorite Latino!  I think it is a fellow missionary.  That's all the info I have.

Andy's desk in the MTC.  He spends many hours a day there!  

Andy and his district, aka his class.  They spend pretty much all day together studying .  I think they are the only Americans there right now.  

The district goals.  #1 is learn spanish!  :)

September 19, 2012

Hello family and everyone that reads this thing!

So the last week was a good one. I was starting to feel a little down, the CCM life was getting to me, but I made it to Saturday, and that reminded me why I'm out here in the first place. On saturday, we had proseletismo, which basically means that a bus drops us off in the middle of buenos aires somewhere and then comes to get us again six hours later. In between, missionary work gets done somehow. The major drawback to all this is that Elder Francis barely speaks spanish, and I think I sound like a four year old.

So, down to the miracle. Being the responsible district leader I am, I'd forgotten the map of our area. I just know the names of the streets that border it. So we're walking around, trying to talk to people, but we're literally in the most wealthy neighborhood in all of argentina, so not too much humility going around. People would hide from us when they saw us coming. One old lady literally ran away, probably at risk of falling and dying. She was like a hundred. So, somewhere during all this chaos, we walk into this guy just standing on a street corner. So we talk to him and it turns out that's his job. So we took advantage of him not being able to leave to teach him about the Gospel of Jesus Christ. WE talked to this guy for like an hour! It was so amazing. His interest in the gospel was actually piqued by my terrible spanish. I was trying to tell him about what Jesus taught on the earth. But I hadn't learned past tense at that point, so what i said is, what jesus is teaching today. So Luis cracks a joke about jesus never coming to argentina. We have a good laugh about that, and then I'm like, "actualmente..." The point is, we gave him a book of mormon, and i told him that missionaries who speak better spanish can come teach him haha. So we got a referral and taught a lesson. Made a totally crappy day of walking miles and getting insulted in spanish worth it. 

Yo sé que la Iglesia es verdadera, y por medio de la Expiación, Jesucristo puede ayudarnos para vencer todos nuestros pecados. Tambien Dios puede ayudarme superar mis debilidades. Including my terrible spanish. 

Todo dia.

Anyway, all the americans that were here when we got here left yesterday, but a new batch is coming in in the morning. We're the only district in the whole CCM. It's lonely. Also, forgot to mention, I met like four seventies and saw president eyring at a devotional. AND GARRET STRATFORD, I found Spencer at the cultural event for the temple dedication. That guy is way cool.

Love you all
Elder Gaitero

P.S. Rachel, can you find out Breck Henson and Aaron Daines addresses for their mission homes? Thanks

Friday, September 14, 2012

Sept. 11

Hello dad and world,

The week was indeed great. My comp is way cool. Elder Francis is from Palm Desert california. He's a white boy. Just a little guy, too. He's struggling with the language a bit, but no worries. 

I suppose I'm kind of a spanish spaz. There are only 13 english speakers in this whole joint, so I get a lot of practice speaking to native speakers. They enjoy slapstick humor, it's totally great. And it turns out that saying 'sensual' in spanish is a big hit. Basically the same thing, except everyone is latino, so they laugh harder. It's good on the old self esteem. I exercise my spanish muscles all the time. I live in a room with three latinos, and they help me out a lot. I feel really confident talking about the gospel in spanish, and also describing why las chicas love other elders. Everything else, I kinda stumble around and say como se dice a lot. It works. Overall, i'm impressed with my progress. That sounds a little conceited, but I know the Lord's helping me out a lot. I actually have set a goal to be fluent by october 30, which sounds totally crazy when i say it. But i guess good goals require a lot of faith. We're teaching one or two lessons every day in spanish, so i'm learning super fast.

I was staying pretty healthy, until the great dulce de leche binge of September 10. I think i ate about two pounds in 24 hours, and my stomach just barely stopped feeling like a brick haha. The food is pretty good, but i'm a little disappointed, i expected more spice. 

P-day is all about speaking english. Gotta play basketball all day or something that the latinos won't go near haha. Español dishes out some pretty gnarly headaches. Also, i need some addresses so i can write some letters. Tell rachel to get on my facebook and send out a call for addresses. I'm trying to get a haircut today, and this dude who comes to the ccm is just so strange. He just cuts hair and looks like his name should be fabio.

So a day looks like this. Wake up at six thirty, shower, eat at about seven fifteen, then personal scripture study at eight. Then nine o clock we have either companion study or teaching a fake investigator. Ten o clock is language study, eleven is gospel doctrine type stuff, noon is lunch, one is computer lab for spanish instruction, then a spanish class with a teacher from like three to six, then dinner, then at seven more gospel stuff and more spanish until nine o clock, when you plan your next days studies. Days are packed. I am nearly always exhausted. It's a good time though. I'm trying to get Elder Francis caught up with spanish, i'm basically teaching lessons by myself. When we practice in english, his testimony is like a spiritual sledgehammer though. I need that in spanish. Can't do it on my own. We'll get there though.

Tell Ellie I said happy birthday! I got all your letters today, along with emails from Halmoni and the curtises. They're all good people. Congrats to rachel on the victory.

All right, it¿s time. Love you all!
Elder Andy

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Sept. 5, 2012

All right, here's the lowdown. First of all, good work on the anniversary. Happy twenty years. That is something to be proud of. Thanks for being such a good example to me. So here it is. I walked into the dallas airport and saw one elder and one sister chillin in front of the gate. Then i found another one on the plane. So i totally won that bet. It was probably inspiration. Four of us. So we land in Buenos Aires, and go through security, customs, blah blah blah. When we get through, we{re looking around for a guy holding a sign or something, just someone to pick us up, but there's no one. Then a dude walks up, just jabbering in spanish, and tells us to come with him. So after jumping through a bunch of hoops, (they weren't expecting us, i guess), we got a ride to the CCM. Since then, it's been a blur. I'm now the district leader over those two hermanas and an elder that i found in the airport. The days are long, but the weeks are flying. I can't believe it's been a week already. I'm learning more every day than I thought was possible. I can get along in spanish. It is flying so fast and so thick. My companion is elder francis, and he is pretty awesome. Very faithful, but he really misses his familia and that kinda affects him. So i'm working on cheering him up with my cheerful and bubbly attitude. There's only twelve americans here. And a brit. There's about seventy latinos. Nowhere to run. I thought I was gonna die when Hermana Arcos told us we were teaching our very first lesson in spanish. With an investigator that didn't speak english. Serious stuff. So me and Elder F said a prayer that we could communicate the ideas of the gospel to her, and we totally got it. Fue un milagro. Since then, the español has only gotten better. i love these latino guys, they're so happy and enthusiastic about the gospel, but they are actually insane. I almost got my head knocked off the other night while i was walking through the hallway to the bathroom. A bottle of water comes flying like a foot in front of me at about50 mph. Haha they tied an exercise band between two beds and were trying to shoot people. It was great. The spirit is strong here. Next saturday we get to go out on the streets and talk to real people. I am so excited for that. Anyway, the gospel is true. Just gotta keep working. And eating alfajors.

love you all
Elder Pyper

1st email from Argentina!

Hey guys, I´,m safe and sound in argentina. It's pretty awesome here, these guys are super nice. But the keyboard is totally in spanish. This is the most difficult email I've ever typed. Also, there were only four missionaries in dallas, so I totally win that bet. Pday is on wednesday, so I'll write again then, things are pretty rushed right now! 

Love you all!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Andy's Off to South America

Hello everyone!  Here  is a picture of Elder Pyper at the OKC airport off to catch his plane!  

I thought I would give you the info on how to send letters, packages, and emails to him.  

Right now he is in the Argentina MTC.  If you want to send him a letter while he is there, you can send one directly to the MTC:

Elder Andrew Douglas Pyper
Uruguay Montevideo Mission
Argentina Missionary Training Center
Autopista Ricchieri y Puente 13
1778 Ciudad Evita
Buenos Aires

If you would like to email him, his email address is  He can check his email once a week, but is only allowed to email his family.  He will write you an actual snail mail letter, so please include your snail mailing address when you email him.  

If you want to mail a package, you can mail it directly to the mission office in Uruguay.  He will not be there for several weeks, and I have no idea how long it takes for a package to get there, so you might want to wait a couple of weeks before you mail one.  The address for packages is

Elder Andrew Douglas Pyper
Uruguay Montevideo Mission
Dalmiro Costa 4635 Bis
11400 Montevideo

Thanks for all the well wishes and support!  We are all so appreciative!