Monday, January 28, 2013

January 28, 2013

Dear Family, 

Good week. Seriously good.

Mom, you would have to go to jail with every other missionary mom in the world, haha. (Editor's note:  I may or may not have wrapped a camera in a picture of Jesus in hopes of avoiding theft in customs. Although those of you who know me can probably think of several reasons I might be going to jail!) Thanks for the camera. Also, I think I might need a converter, because everything is 220 voltage here. So the christmas lights weren't too exciting haha. Or maybe send me the computer cable so I can charge it on computers and send pics.

So the week in Durazno was awesome. Tuesday night, we went to the city itself, Wednesday morning Elder G left, and Elder Priedeman got there in the night. That was a fun day, I worked in a trio in Durazno with two elders that were in the CCM with me. What a disaster, haha. We had fun though.

The new comp is a stud. Elder Priedeman is here to work, he is an excellent teacher, and he loves batman. We still speak spanish all the time, so I'm still learning quick. I don't remember if I told you in the last email, but I finished the book of mormon in spanish last week! That makes four times, three in english, one in spanish. The 18 year olds might get here next month. 

Sleeping bag, maybe to 20 rated... I don't think it gets too cold here, but the houses are not insulated in the slightest, it's starting to cool off here, and sometimes I wake up cold in the night already.

Yeah, but I am crazy pumped to get to work now, I feel a ridiculous amount of the spirit as we work, and we're really starting to unite the branch to help us. We've reactivated a stud named Carlos, and I'm thinking he is the future of this place. My comp really knows what he's doing, he just doesn't know the area. And he's district leader, so it's gonna be fun doing baptismal interviews everywhere. 

Well my favorite scripture of the week is Mosiah 4 10-11. It's a good one. I really learned about humility and how much I don't have. 

But there it is. thanks for all the support and prayers! And Christmas cards! Thanks to uncle curt and aunt laurie for the package, it was amazing. I am having fun with eight different colored pens, haha.

Love Andy

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Jan. 22, 2013

Dear Family

Well, here's the news. My trainers leaving, and I'm staying here. My new companion is named Elder Pritman or something, I have no clue who he is haha. But this means that tomorrow I get to go to Durazno and play while I wait for him. And by play, I mean go work in some random ward. But everythings totally fine. Just as I had started to really get along with my comp too. I figured out how to make him happy, you just start talking about david archuleta. Ask me about that when we have our next phone call, there's some good stories there. 

So there it is. I'm excited to be the big man for about three days until my new comp meets everyone. 

Not too much else to say, really. OH YEAH THERE IS. So as it turns out, my trainers new companion is going to be my very own Elder Francis. So I'm pretty dang worried about that. We'll see how it goes. Elder Francis has really had a change of heart, he's working hard and he's ready to go, but Satan is really coming at him. There's been a lot of problems at home with his family, and I think he's about to have a real learning experience, haha. 

Thanks to everyone who sent me a Christmas card! That sure was cheery. And thanks to the Cutchinses for the sweet BYU gear. That was definitely lacking.

Anyway, things are marching here. Walking flying. Haha I love translating spanish sayings into english, because they make no sense. But I finished the Book of Mormon in spanish this week, so I guess I'm fluent now. There's a ton of words that I don't know, but speaking is for the most part without effort. Just vocab. It's weird to just be talking and suddenly discover a hole in your knowledge. And our investigators always laugh at me when I don't know a word. Oh yeah, we baptized Betty finally! That was a real pleasure. I thought I was gonna drown her. I explained pretty clearly that she should plug her nose, but as I finished the words of the prayer, she closed her eyes and went rigid, so I just dunked her. Moments of panic. Classic baptism, though. 

Two items of business. Unusual requests, really. First of all, after some investigation, I've found that things in Uruguay outside of candy are really expensive. That camera I had costs like twice as much here. I picked that thing up for like seventy dollars back in the states. So here's my proposition. If you guys are comfortable with this, take some cash from my account, go buy that same camera, and mail it to me. But the customs people are corrupt, so my friend Elder Hatch says to tape the package like it's government plastic and put pictures of the virgen Maria and Jesus on it. And never say there's more than forty dollars in the package. He's never had a package opened, whereas all of mine have been previously opened. So there's that. 

Also, because all the houses in this country are just nothing but concrete, apparently there's a big problem with missionaries being frozen to death at night. So again, advised by other missionaries, I'm supposed to ask you to send me a sleeping bag, because it will save my life. 

But the work goes well, I'm always learning about the importance of faith. I'm really starting to finally figure out spiritual promptings. I'm becoming a real missionary! But yeah, I hope you guys are having the best week! 

Love Andy

P.S. I need a favor. Can someone(Rachel, if she's not too busy) tell Jeff Nielson this message. Ask him if his mission is pouch, and ask him for his address. Tell him I said I am super pumped to be a collegiate Kronum player. I want to write him back without disobeying, haha.

Monday, January 14, 2013

January 14, 2013

Happy Pday to you as well!

This week was way way better. I thought we were gonna have the same issue, my comp still wanted to baptize her the same day even though she missed church, but he came around eventually when it became really evident she wasn't ready. But my other two converts received the aaronic priesthood yesterday! They're so flippin crazy. But they cut their hair and shaved off their beards, so now they don't look it.

Items of business. First of all, thank you for all that Christmas stuff, it was divine. The cookies are fun. Trying to cook in that oven is hilarious. The lowest setting is 290 celsius, haha, so really just a lot of guess work. The lob city shirt is perfect. Second, the email issue. Here's what we can do to fix this problem, because I'm not supposed to get emails outside of immediate family. Everyone else just pretend my email is and use Elder Andrew Pyper as the subject line. Then they get printed off and delivered to me.

Rachel, first of all, how the heck are you? SEND ME AN EMAIL. Or letter. Bekah and ellie are beating you. Secondly, can you please get Sam Williams mission address for me? he's in salt lake city somewhere. Also, this one is super important. I have a friend named Mike Hollinghaus. Tell him I said Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, I love him, and I want to hear about his mission call. And did you talk to Bishop Heaston when you got that address? Anyway, love you Rachel, don't work too hard. Senior year is for goofing off. Follow my example. Remember how much I was laying around doing nothing that year? Me neither.

Ellie is not turning 12. That's gotta be a lie. Everything is happening without me, haha. But I'm not missing out, cause guess what I just found out like 20 minutes ago? The Jonas Brothers! Are coming to montevideo the 19 of march. I'll have to find a way to ditch my comp and get out there. Or maybe I'll already be in montevideo. This is the last week of the change, the next email I'll let you know if I'm staying, going, or what. The almost certain thing is that I'll have either a new companion or a new area or both. We had interviews with the president Wednesday, he came out to Durazno, the nearby ´big city´ and I asked him what he thought about where I was going. He said he'd like to get me a little more experience. So I don't know what that means, but he called me a superstar missionary. He probably calls everyone that, but it lifted my spirits a bit.

So good to hear news about everyone. I'm proud of all of you, you're doing great things. I'll be happy to stop by chipotle with you after I come home. Maybe that very night. I miss spicy food. The taco mix was a miracle. And here's some news, my mission got cut short 4 or 5 days, so i should show up pretty close to my birthday. This happened because of the mission age requirements, they speeded everything up and had to change the transfer cycle of the mission.

But here's something inspiring for you guys. I learned something about faith this week. It was one of those sweet little instances where a piece of spiritual knowledge just clicks into place and never goes away. I'd been struggling with the idea that is presented in the scriptures por todos lados, Ask and ye shall receive. Whatsoever thing ye shall ask in my name... all that. I realized that as a missionary, trying to search for the will of God and pray for it is hard. Because I'm human, it's just hard. So I'd pray for 3 new investigators one day and it wouldn't happen. What I realized, through study and prayer, is that, and you can quote me on this, haha, when you think that God hasn't answered your prayers, it's because he's giving you something better. Think on that for a while.

Anyway, gotta go, my comp just accused me of going over. (no)

Love you all! BYE

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Jan. 6, 2013

Hello Family,

What a ridiculously crazy week that was. I'll tell you about it in a minute.

First off, tell James that he's a stud, and that he'll make a great servant of the Lord. One of my companions from the MTC is in that mission, I've heard it's like the boonies of Argentina. But way cool, we'll be speaking that castellano together.

Oh yeah, and what ever happened to Jory? He get a call? I'm gonna be training him in a few months right here in the Guay, right?

And I need jacob curtis's address, so I can respond to his letter. Thanks!

Yeah, technically I'm not supposed to get email from anyone more than my family. So I can't endorse people sending me emails. But they can pass messages through you guys if you want, I guess.  Editor's note: you can email andy at, with Elder Andrew Pyper as the subject line and he will get a hard copy in the mail.  I think the restrictions are just for him spending time at the computer reading emails, so either that email address or a regular snail mail letter would be great!

Ok, so here's the week. The baptism last week was named Washington. He's Justo's brother. And to be honest, I felt a little weird about it. Like should we really be baptizing this guy. And plus I directed and presided at his baptismal service, is that even allowed? I mean, we had permission from the branch president, but it felt so weird. Anyway, their sister was meant to get baptized this week. But she hasn't been to church in like a month, due to various circumstances, and I never really saw her keeping commitments wholeheartedly, changing, you know? She has a testimony, but I just felt weird about it. So then my DL calls and asks how she's doing, and I said we would pray about it to find out if we should go through or not. So we prayed, got up off our knees, and my comp skips off to the bathroom whistling. Meanwhile, I ponder, I pray again, and I can't deny that I feel we have to wait another week. I just felt bad about that Sunday. So he comes out of the bathroom, I tell him, and he about blows a gasket. (We say that in english, right?) Basically he told me that everyone should always get baptized, they can grow afterward, and that I was confusing my emotions, cause I'm a really emotional guy. There are some golden quotes from that conversation, honestly. But the point is, he tried to overrule me and just act like I'd never said anything. So I had to call in the DL, he called the ZL's and eventually the zone leaders called my comp and bajaron la caƱa. So later that day my companion called the mission president. Ayayayay. He spun it pretty well, but I think president saw through everything and said to go figure it out with your leaders. So she didn't get baptized. And she didn't come to church yesterday. Again.

Other notable experiences. This one is quite impressive as well. My companion told a catholic priest, well implied, anyway, that he didn't know the bible. That left me feeling awful. Gotta represent Jesus Christ better than that. And now he's got this image of missionaries as insolent upstarts who don't read the bible.

Nevertheless, I am very grateful for this experience I'm having. I think I learned how to be happy regardless of circumstances in my first two months here. I learned that baptism should be a goal, yes, but never a motivation. You can really tell the missionaries that are caught up in the numbers, because they are insane. They get discouraged and sad very easily. All my friends who are leaving soon on missions: Don't get caught up in the numbers. Just work.

I'm super grateful for all the prayers and thoughts coming my way. They lift me up. It's very tangible.

So are you guys moving, or what? Where are you going?

Tell bekah that my favorite food here is called rosca. It's a big C shaped pastry filled with dulce de leche and topped with powdered sugar.

Mom, my wisdom teeth are good. I wear my retainers every night.

Love you all! Have a great week! 


Dec. 31, 2012

Happy New Year's Eve to you too!

The week was joyous indeed, I'm not gonna lie, that was a heartbreaker that we didn't get to talk that long, but we've got mother's day coming up quick. This just means that you all have to send me really long and detailed letters. It was super good to get to see you guys as well, hope your lives are marching along splendidly.

Regretably, this pday was totally screwed up. This country is so whack. They just do whatever they want haha. So we had a really hard time getting everything done that we needed to, and I'm racing the clock as I type this letter.

I miss Christmas time at home. Like I said on Skype, these people are nuts. They think Christmas means you run around till three in the morning blowing up stuff. They  were doing professional grade fireworks like right outside our house for most the night. Didn't get too much sleep, and I'm expecting something similar tonight.

But here's the thing. We baptized again yesterday! Happy birthday emilie! And I taught elder's quorum and had a weird fight with a less active brother who was trying to call out the church for not being anxiously engaged in a good cause. And then later in the week I saw him hand rolling cigarettes with white powder covering his forearms. Welcome to south america. I didn't even have the heart to tell him that I don't think you can do that with cocaine. But he would know better than me haha. So nuts. This branch is so crazy. But maybe we'll see some real growth soon. I'm starting to feel real satisfied with the effort I'm putting in every day. It's quite lovely to feel like you're serving your God effectively, cause honestly this first two months in the field has felt like my own personal Mosiah 23:21-23.

I hope Mom's hand gets better soon. And that sounds like you are going to have a crazy new years eve. And no joke, the time is flying. I've already been a missionary four months! only 20 left!

All right, have a great new years, everyone! Love you!