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!