Monday, March 26, 2012

Who let the dogs out?

Holaaaaaaaaaaa. Man, I am just feeling on top of the world this week. It´s been a pretty decent week, we had a couple long days where it seemed like no one was home and that we just walked around everywhere (which feeling was probably exaggerated in my mind due the fact that I was ridicously sore from playing soccer on Monday) but all in all it was a pretty great week.

I can´t remember if I told you all about the family we met at the end of last week but they are awesome. The mom´s sister is a member so she already has a basic concept of what the church is and we´ve been teaching 4 of her sons and they´re all just great. The first time we taught her her kids weren´t there so when they were there we repassed over everything we had taught and it basically turned into the mom explaining to them the apostasy and the restoration. It was fantastic.

On Sunday morning we had agreed to walk by their house at 8:45 and walk with them to chruch and when we got there a little late at 8:50 they had already left and were like a block ahead of us. It was so great to see that, it is super rare to find people who have that much dedication and will actually do that kinda thing. The only kinda of odd thing is that their dog followed us all the way to the church and somehow got inside during the middle of sacrament meeting. Luckily they were able to get it out super fast or else maybe they would have felt embarrassed or maybe someone would have said something that offended them and they wouldn´t want to come back. We´re super excited to bring them to General Conference next week. Seriously I love General Conference so much. I can hardly wait. I am going to buy so many oreos and chips and chocolate.

The other main investigators we have need to get married so it´ll be a little bit of time until they get baptized but their both super solid and have been to church multiple times. I just love teaching awesome people like them.

I hear things are kinda starting to warm up over there--well maybe not in Oregon since apparently it snowed over spring break but at least from what Cheryl says it´s getting nice in Utah haha. Things over here are starting to cool off a bit. In the morning and in the nights it´s getting a bit chilly but during the day it feels great. Since this zone is pretty south I think it´s gonna be a pretty cold winter. I´m excited to break out the apple cider and hot chocolate again.

Welp, that´s all I got.

With all the love of an obsessive dog,

Elder Lounsbury

Monday, March 19, 2012

El Cerrito!!!!

Hellooo family!!!! I am currently writing you from San Rafael! It's a zone more to the south of our mission. It's like an hour north of Alvear where I started, and my area actually remeinds me a ton of my first one. It's a lot bigger (we actually have a ward) but a couple times I've seen/heard/smelt something that gave me a flashback to my first area. Most of the roads are just dirt or rocks, there are a couple paved roads but they're mostly broken apart. Just like my first area I see people outside watering the dirt infront of their house or outside talking and drinking mate and it's just wonderful. I think I've gotten too used to the whole Argentina culture so I'm making it goal this transfer to try to take note of them and enjoy them in the moment. For example, the other day we had a lesson with a couple and there were chickens walking around in the yard like they owned the place. I gotta start enjoying those weird things that seem completely normal to me now haha.

I love my companion. His name is Elder Hibbert and he's from Arizona and he's a great worker. I think we're going to have a great transfer together. It for sure has started out great....we had a baptism on Saturday!!!!! I kinda just walked in to that one but it's still awesome!! Her name is Paula, she's dating a member and her investigating the church has kinda started getting him active so that's also great. I've only taught her like twice but she seems pretty cool. It was definitely hard leaving my last area, just because I'd been there for so long and I got to know both the members and the investigadores so well, I seriously felt like I was walking into my home ward when I walked in that place, but so far this ward seems great as well. Before the baptism on Saturday the Elders quorom cleaned the church and had an asado and even though the majority of them just showed up for the asado and didn't really help clean much it was still awesome haha.

Yesterday we started teaching a family who seems super cool. The mom is the sister of a member in a different ward here in San Rafael and she's kinda going through a hard time so they invited us over. We basically just got to know them yesterday--there's the mom and the dad and then 4 kids--but we have an appointment to come back and I have pretty high hopes for them.

Basically I'm just having a blast down here. I hope you all are too.

With all the love of a little hill,

Elder Lounsbury

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Jello and Flour

Yesterday we had the greatest ward party ever. We were a little nervous people weren't going to show up or that they weren't going to like the games that we had planned but it definitely turned out better than we were expecting. We knew that people were going to show up late (it always happen here) so we planned a game we could do while people were stilling arriving. Everyone got a piece of paper that had a list of things they needed to make out of newspaper and a number which corresponded to someone else playing the game to whom they need to give whatever they made. So for example, my paper said I needed to make a hat for number 18 and then make a shoe for number 7 and give him a hug. So everyone was frantically trying to make all of these ridiculous things out of newspaper and some tape. It was fantastic. I got a pretty sweet hat belt and watch. Other people had newspaper ties or bowties, masks, swords you name it. I can definitely say it was the most fun I've had with newspaper. It sounds pretty simple but it fantastically to break the ice and get everyone comfortable.

Then we moved on to the group games. Everyone sat down and pulled out a little piece of paper that had an animal on it that was taped to the bottom of their chair. They had to find their group by making the sound of their animal so all at once the whole cultural hall was filled with mooing and quacking etc. It was hilarious. There were 5 groups the corresponded to 5 different games. One game consisted of picking up an M&M by sucking through a straw and putting it into a bowl 10 feet away. In another people rolled marbles from one end of a table to the other trying to get it stuck on certain strips of double sided tape. We had the classic game where you have a bunch of candies inside a bowl of flour and the group members have to get it out without using their hands (aka search for it with their nose and dig it out trying to get as little flour as possible inside your mouth). Even though it's a classic watching people like the bishop and his wife doing it was just way too funny.

However, my personal favorite consisted of all of the group members laying down face up, covering their top half with a towel and opening their mouths as wide as possible as one group member went from one to the other trying to drop jello in their mouths from a standing position. We had so much fun with that one. At the very end we still had parts of two bowls of jelly left so I got down to volunteer and ended up pretty much just getting heaps of jello poured on my face. I think after the first spoonful they stopped trying to get it in my mouth and starting aiming for my face. haha. But it was so great.

Other than that this week has been pretty calm. We've just been finishing up the last things in the offices I feel like I absolutely need to do/teach before I leave (I should be emailing you from a different place next week) but I'm starting to feel pretty ready to leave. It's going to be a strange experience because I feel like the last time I had a normal missionary schedule I didn't really understand much of how to teach or deal with the people and I kinda just followed my companion around. Now at that I'm going to go back to that normal missionary schedule I feel like I understand wayyyy more of how to be a missionary so it's going to be great seeing that difference.

Welp, hope you all have a fantastic week!!

With all the love of a jello-and-flour-filled nose,

Elder Lounsbury

Sunday, March 4, 2012


Once every 12 full moons there comes a time of special celebration here in Mendoza known throughout the vineyard capital as "Vendimia". The word means "grape harvest" and I don't really know where it comes from or why they celebrate it here but they have festivals for pretty much every other fruit (there was a plum festival when I was in my first area) so why shouldn't they have one for grapes as well? --especially because that's what Mendoza is known for. Like I said, I don't know who planned the details of how to celebrate it, but somehow they fit in a kind of Ms. Mendoza pageant as a central focus. The preparations for this big party start somewhere in February when all of the departments in Mendoza (aka different sections of the city) and other outlaying cities (like Alvear where my first area was) select a queen who will represent their city or department. Later in February, posters of said representatives start lining the streets, filling bus windows and probably also filling the trash because they're just everywhere. I'm not really sure but I've heard it's possible that the city or departments get money if their queen wins, hence the propaganda.

Anyways, pretty much all of that is just build up to this giant parade that happened today. Since today is our p-day, and since the parade goes right in front president's house, and since he invited us over to watch it, that's what we did today. There were a ton of floats. I think each queen had a float but there were also a lot who didn't seem to really have a purpose other than to be a cool float in a parade. The coolest/strangest part about the whole parade is mostly all they do is throw fruit to the people on the streets. Like almost every float had something to throw out. People usually bring buckets to catch it all in. We got some grapes, apples, peaches, pears, plums, and a bag of noodles. haha. There were also a ton of dancers, I can't imagine how they survived because I was almost dying watching them from the shade. And at the very end there were about a million "gauchos" on horses. The whole thing was quite the showdown.

So, besides that slight excitement, things in the offices have been super busy. The end of the transfer is coming right up and I still feel like there's a million things to put in order and get ready to pass down to Elder Wheeler. We're in the middle of making some pretty big changes in the report we send to the missionaries about how the mission/zones are doing because right now pretty much no one reads it or gives it any importance. It's gonna be a little bit of work to get it off the ground but I think once we get it going it'll be pretty cool.

Things with investigators didn't go so great this week. Rusbel called us on Monday and said he wanted to get baptized but then we could never get in contact with him (we still haven't gotten in contact) and we're kinda thinking he might have gone back to Peru a little earlier that he was expecting because school is starting up soon for him. And, Eduardo didn't get back to his house on time when we had an appointment with him so he's kinda gone back to the same super-hard-to-find-and-teach status he's been at for so long. So hopefully we can get back in contact with him next week and he'll get baptized this month.

Welp family,

With all the love of a bucket of fruit,

Elder Lounsbury