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