Monday, August 29, 2011

Impromptu talks

Helloooooooooo family!

I hope you are all doing as fantastic as I am. I know I probably say this a lot, but this week went by sooooo fast. It was such a strange thing. We didn't have anything too big this week so we've mostly been working on this program in Excel to help with the baptismal records that we have to send to Buenos Aires. It used to be that when someoen got baptized, the missionaries would take a picture of their baptismal record and send it to us. Then we'd have to try to read the sometimes bad handwriting through the sometimes bad quality pictures and fill out an online form that we send to Buenos Aires. A week or two before I came here, the old Historian came up with a program in excel that made our job a lot easier. Instead of taking pictures the missionaries could fill out this form and send it via email. The problem is a lot of people still aren't filling them out right and it makes putting them into the online system a lot harder for us. For example, the missionaries are supposed to fill in the name of the stake and ward they're in, as well as corresponding numbers which were on the right side of the sheet in a chart that they could look up. But some missionaries were too lazy and still didn't fill it in. One person put "nose" (instead of "no sé" which means "I don't know") which I thought was pretty funny. But, when people do stuff like that it means we've gotta get out a sheet and look up the number. And when you have a lot of missionaries doing that it takes up a lot of time to look all of those numbers up.

So this week we've been working on making that program a little better, which has been way cool because before I knew hardly anything about excel. I came with a way so that they can select their stake from a drop down menu and then the corresponding number automatically gets filled in. Then, depending on which stake they selected, they can select a second drop down menu with all of the wards in that stake, and when they do so, the cooresponding number for their ward also automatically gets filled in. That's the biggest change we've made, the rest of the other stuff has been pretty minimal. But we've got a couple more programs in mind that will deal with other tasks that we have to do and hopefully will make those a bit easier too.

Alright, story time. Once upon a time, Elder Lounsbury was sitting in church on a normal Sunday in Argentina. He was happily sitting waiting for the priesthood meeting to start when suddenly the bishop comes up and says to him, "Hey, you know you have a talk today, right?" Elder Lounsbury pleasantly laughs at the joke. And then his laugh turns to sobs when the bishop continues talking and he realizes it isn't a joke. Okay, maybe not sobs, but they definitely weren't laughs. And yup, that's basically the story. So I spent the next two hours of church furiously trying to think of a topic/come up with a talk on that topic before sacrament meeting. Luckily we have preisthood and sunday school beforet sacrament meeting but still, even in english I like taking a lot of time to think through and practice a talk, and I definitely didn't have any time to in this situation. In the end I spoke about the scriptures and how we can recieve answers to our prayers or problems through the scriptures. I told one story about when it happened to me and one story about when it happened to a companion, both through completely random scriptures that seem normal but that in certain situations were a specific answer to a prayer or problem. It was a pretty cool talk if I do say so myself. haha. But I was definitely way nervous... Apparently that sort of thing happens a lot when you're a missionary and someone doesn't show up who was supposed to give a talk, ect. So it was good practice I guess.

Oh, also, my ward is pretty big. I think it's the biggest one I've been in so far. And we even have two wards that meet in the same building, which I've never seen before so that's also pretty cool. We have some way cool families and I think I'm really going to like working there.

Welp family, that's about all I got for now.

With all the love of an oreo,

Elder Lounsbury

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