Wednesday, May 27, 2015

LOCRO! (Rhys)

 For those of you that have yet to enterarse de la noticia, my little brother just got his mission call this last week!!! I figured out just a few minutes ago via email. He´s heading to the California Redlands mission and he´ll be heading out August 19th to the MTC. Amik (my brother, for those of you that up to this point didn´t know his name, there ya go), if you´re reading this, be careful in Cali. I was in the states on the mission for only 3 months and I got ffffaaaaat. Cuidese, chamigo.

       As for me, this past week was filled with ups and downs. . . and Locro, which we´ll get to in a bit. Basically, as far as progressing investigators go, we´re having a tough time. We keep finding people like crazy that have a really good first charla. . . and then they either don´t show for the second lesson, or they hide. Yup, though the one that actually hid was one I didn´t visit again, i had to do a baptismal interview in a colony and my comp and one of the zone leaders actually went to go find her and she hid from them. bummer.

       The good news as far as investigators go, is that one of the investigators that we´ve been working with for a while now (antiguo investigador that we got back in contact with) came to church this sunday. Along with no less than 7 menos activos that we had invited. so that was cool.

       For those of you wondering what Locro is, I´ll explain. Locro is a traditional food of Argentina that is eaten specifically every 25 de mayo (the day that the Argentine declaration of independence was signed in la casa de tucuman, a place I actually visited while in Tucuman) and is a wierd, oily, green, brothy stew with white corn, other vegetables, and every part of a cow that you would not normally eat thrown inside. Though I had the opportunity several times before, I never had actually tried until this last week.

       It´s gross.

       I don´t think that I have to explain it any other way. Not vomit gross, just more of a why-would-you-eat-that-when-you-could-just-celebrate-by-eating-a-delicious-asado(?) kind of gross. The actual broth was not that bad, the corn was agradable, but it was really the cow stomach and part-with-spiky-things-on-it- that I didn´t enjoy too much. I have a video of me eating it to show when I get back, so yay.


Elder Enright
    Here´s a photo of the missionaries at the locro activity!! Yeah, that´s my forehead behind the hermana´s head.

Amoxicillin, Queso Pata, Dunkins. (Kegan)

Something I forgot to mention last week was the fact that I had caught some sort of virus about two weeks before (or the week before, but I forget). It was just a head cold but turned into an asthmatic problem.  That was the first indications that began to make me panic, it got worse when the Nurse simply said in her nice voice, " well the asthmatic symptoms are there because the infection has now gone from your head to your lungs and your Bronchial Dilator (? I think that´s what is was) is pretty much closed, that´s why it makes that whistling sound when you breath...That´s bad."   She suggested Amoxicillin for a week straight, Morning, Afternoon, and Night, And bam it worked (it would have been better to talk about this last week when I was in the middle of everything, but that´s a short Story even shorter for you.

To continue extrapolating from the title, bet you´re all wondering what Queso Pata means, because it means Feet Cheese, but beyond that you probably still wondering what the heck Feet Cheese is.  A less active gave us some this week when we passed by to visit,  It is basically the feet and leg of a cow all chopped up (mostly the nerves and fat of the leg that is) all cooked together with carrot, pepper, potato, and the greasy fat juice (?) from the meat.  Once cooked it is frozen or cooled and it comes out much like those Jell-o Caseroles with fruit inside.

My companion and I ate Dunkin donuts with our District Leader and his Comp today to make up for it, eso.

Thanks for everything and especially the updates

Amik, congratulations on the mission call.  CALI!!!!

Elder Enright

Bellotto zone

Monday, May 18, 2015

Crossing el Riacho and Other Stories (Rhys)

So, actually quite a few things happend this week.

The Sandlot incident

Crossing el Riacho

The Urbinas' Baptism at which Gustavo gave a killer talk on baptism

The Cordoba Temple dedication

And eating at la Ribera.

So I had better get started.
First off, the Sandlot incident. A few nights ago, Elder Tracy and I did divisions with the zone leaders so that I could do the baptismal interviews of the Zone leaders investigators that were going to be baptized. The interviews went great btw. Upon getting back to the pensh at night, we all kind of hung out talking about all the cool things that had happened that day and I was kind of thinking "jeez, what is Elder Tracy waiting for? Why don´t we open the door?" of our pensh. A few seconds after I wondered why we were waiting so long to get into our pensh ELder Tracy looks at me and asks, "are we going to open the door?" or something like that. That´s when we realize that we each had thought that the other had taken the keys and that they were, in actuality, in the pensh. In order to find out where the keys were, we hopped the wall between our back patio-thing and the Zone Leaders back patio-thing and we looked through the window to see the keys sitting on our desk. Now here are a few things that you should know before I explain the rest. 
1. Our back patio areas are very small.
2. Behind both of our patio areas is the backyard of some family that has a big scooby-doo-like dog.
3. The Back window has bars on the inside (actually, all windows here do) and the glass on the outside can be pulled out but can only come out at about a 45 degree angle.
Now, back to the story.
We began to tape long poles (from brooms and curtains and whatnot) together with a wire coat hanger on the end that we can stick into the window to snatch the keys from the desk. Elder Tracy commented that "this is just like the Sandlot!" While taping all the poles together We had to get the pole to go over the wall a bit in order to work it into the window because the pole had to be way longer than we have room for in the back patio. But we were careful to look out for the dog because we didn´t want it to be EXACTLY like the Sandlot. We had to try and take it back out a few times to adjust it and make it longer to reach the Keys and just as we got it worked into the window and through the bars and we were about to get the keys, something grabbed the pole and started yanking it from ELder Tracy´s hands. We both looked at eachother in terror and I´m sure that Tracy thought the same thing that I thought "this is TOO much like the Sandlot!!" But then, some one starts yelling too. Well it was our neighbor, he succeeded in tugging the pole out of Tracy´s hands and snapping it and throwing it at us over the wall all while yelling really bad stuff at us. He thought, as we later discovered, that we were trying to annoy and mess with his dog with the big stick and had snuck up without us noticing and grabbed it from us all while yelling really perverse things, like I said. I feel like if we had been in the states he would have asked us what we thought to be doing first off.

Yeah that was interesting. After admitting defeat on the pole idea, One of our other neighbors showed us a disturbingly easy way to break into the arpartment door here.

Story number 2, crossing the riacho. Basically the riacho is a small river that runs across all of our area. A few days ago, in the morning, we were trying to get to a cita on time but found out that the road that we were taking was blocked by the Riacho that had wrecked the bridge a few months ago due to flooding. Not wanting to go around and be late for the cita, we took off our shoes and socks and rolled up our pants to cross. That was a short story.

Number 3, The Urbinas' baptism. The Urbina family is the family that the zone leaders have been teaching for a bit. They had a great  baptismal service this last Saturday at which Gustavo gave the talk on baptism. There was also lots of cake at the end. The part that I liked best was Gustavo´s talk, he nailed it. He basically talked very clearly on the actual purpose of baptism (reading from his favorite chapter of the Book of Mormon, 2 Nefi 31 AND even reading his favorite verse from said chapter, verse 20) and ended the whole talke by reading 2 Nefi 31: 14 and just saying, "in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen" which, duh, we say at the end of EVERY talk and every lesson, but it sounded great hearing it from Gustavo and he didn´t even add any words after reading verse 14, just dropped cane and boom, he was done.

Story D, Temple dedication. Not a lot to be said about this one, we went to the dedication and it was awesome getting to hear ELder Christofferson speak in Spanish (it was broadcasted to all the stake centers in Argentina) and it was funny listening to Dieter F. Uchtdorf refer to Todd just as "Todd". Pretty cool, but I´m not sure what else to say.

Story V, Eating at la Ribera. So a few weeks ago, one of our zone leaders had the idea of going out to eat at a nice resaurant for P-day, and we planned it for today. In preparation for this event, I ate sparingly during the week and the Zone Leaders talked to one of the Bishops from the stake (the one from South Africa that served his mission in Chicago, used to play rugby, and speaks like five languages) which was the nicest restaurant in all of Formosa. So he investigated for us. The Ribera came up as the nicest, so that´s where we went today. Easily the best meal I´ve eaten so far in Argentina. We ate Alligator, which honestly doesn´t actually have a super distinct taste, but it´s good. It was REALLY good. We followed up lunch with some Grido Ice-Cream.

SO, that´s all for now, my pic is of me crossing the Riacho, even though it´s not too deep at that part, it got pretty deep later on and we crossed walking over the old piece of bridge railing that reached the other side.

Elder Enright

Elder Frambuesa y Yo ! (Kegan)

(Elder Frambuesa just happens to be what everyone calls my companion whose name really is Elder Sanhueza, the pronounciation is similar but Frambuesa is Raspberry in Spanish)

I´m unsure how to properly express my jealousy to those of my Family (okay, all of you minus Rhys and I) who were able to see Jeffery R. Holland speak in the Stake Center (or via satellite).  Thanks to Aislin for her very detailed recounting (does that work?) of the experience.  The fact that he yelled at you guys to grow up made me laugh a lot.  It´s something we all really have to do (and some people in particular, that´s not directed at anyone, just a comment, I´ve seen a lot of grown men act like children here in the Mission)

On that same Subject something about Chile that I´ve realized I haven´t told you guys (okay it´s not just Chile, un hno told me yesterday that it is all of Latin America).  Children here rarely "grow up" in terms of moving out of their parents house.  It´s very normal here to find an elderly couple living with several children all above tha age of 20, sometimes thirty or forty, and occasionaly also their wives and/or husbands and children.  We got to know a less active family yesterday who is in that same situation (minus the wives and children, very few people are getting married young nowadays) and we were talking for a short amount of time about just that and it reminded me that I hadn´t yet said anyting about it. 

Something maybe completely different (not really, but it is diferent)  We´ve found several families in that same situation this week.  The more normal situation of the two happens to be Alvaro and his daughters who all live together with the son of Alvaro´s oldest daughter (her name is Constanza, her son´s name is Facundo)  They are old investigators that we began teaching again.  Alvaro has a lot of questions about us and the Book of Mormón.  One of those questions came out of nowhere when we were reading a bit of the Intro with him. He asked "...And what does the Book of Mormón have to say about homosexuality, because I frankly don´t approve of that" 

We also found a young man named Arturo, His situation is slightly different.  He lives with his ex-girlfriend and their son along with his ex-mother-in-law and her other two daughters, their respective boyfreinds and their kids, oh yeah, and the ex-mother-in-law´s yoiungest son.  

That is all I have time for.  I honestly want to tell you guys that although the end of my mission is getting closer I do not feel that way.  I sincerely feel as if i am recently begining.  

Amik, happy Birthday once again and Felicidades (happinesses) on graduating. 

Love Elder Enright

The cute hummingbird that got caught in our balcony during studies one morning

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

The picture has nothing to do with the subject (Rhys)

So, ELder Tracy and I are kind of in the slump where a missionary finds him or herself  after baptizing the only really progressing investigator that is being taught. We still visit Gustavo and we´ve already begun to re-teach the lessons and he´s going to be recieving the priesthood soon, but as missionaries, we have this constant hunger for baptisms and we´re looking for more people who are ready to be baptized. We are finding people constantly and we´ve even taught a lot and left folletos with a lot, but we slowly see who keeps their commitments and who doesn´t and so far. . . . . lot´s of people haven´t kept their commitments.

      The good news is that Hermana Fatima Avila, the ex-missionary that has been coming back to church, came to stake conference and thus, officially became reactivated. another good piece of news from this week, we visited her with the help of the first counselor in the bichopric and another menos activo that we´re teaching to invite her to a noche de hogar (for tonight) and she gave us cake.

      So yeah, cake.

      Sunday, we talked to our families on Skype and it wsa easily the BEST skype conference I´ve had so far in the mission with 0 dificulties and actually getting on almost on time. 
      Due to the fact that I already talked to my family yesterday and the fact that not a lot seems to have happened this past week, I donñt have a lot to talk about.

      Here´s a pic of the Formosa Cross at night.

Elder Enright

Liahona (Kegan)

My new ward is called Liahona, as in the Liahona that guided Nefi and his familiy in the Book of Mormon.

The day before changes Elder Vera y yo recieved a call from the asistants to the president and they told us that I would be training again.  So we knew we would be changed, however we had thought that he would be going.  

In the changes meeting, when my name was called I stood up and President put a look of a little bit of regret on his face and said, " Oh, you`re not going too far Elder, we should have called you before. " and then gave me the change.  He said I would be finishing the training of Elder Sanhueza.  Elder Sanhueza yelled, "what?, but I´ve finished my training already", to which President responded, "really?, well we can always learn new things Elder"

Elder Sanhueza, he is from Chile, Concepción and is a very interesting companion. We are working to talk with more people and I am certain that he is going to learn a lot on his mission that is going to change him.  He is very lovable and so we are going to baptize here soon, I´m certain.  Our first week (ish, it hasn`t been an entire week) has been very fun, we have gotten to know the leaders and they are all very focused, especially the stake President. He reminds me of Brother Christensen.

As a perk to the sector the Bishop´s wife is an amazing baker, she would love to trade recipes with my mother and sisters.  I have never met anyone here in Chile who can make desserts so close to the desserts you guys make and we just happen to have a Noche de Hogar with them and some future investigators tonight. Smiley face.

Love Elder Enright

Ciao Elder Vera (I understand what you mean Rhys, we became brothers)

Elder Sanhueza 1st night

Elder Barton, interchanges.  Now he`s my district leader 

Finally one of my favorite flowers here, the "Bird of Paradise."

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Gustavo Baptizes Himself (Rhys)

In Spanish, to say that someone "gets baptized" you actually say that "Fulano se bautiza" which means "Fulano (a spanish word meaning whatshisname) baptizes himself. Just a fun fact I thought that I ought to include.
There are lots of things that I could include in this letter, things that happened this week. Lots of things that mostly had to do with preparing Gustavo for his baptism and a few that had nothing to do with that - like walking by the little girl that almost got creamed by a truck a few weeks ago, realizing that it was her, pointing it out to my comp, and both feeling a lot more comfortable seeing that she was sitting in her mom´s lap and not in the street.

        But, I´m going to skip all of that just to describe the baptism crisis that we had Saturday, just a few hours before the baptism. But it´s going to require that I fill yall in  on a few details first.

       So, during the whole week leading up to the baptism and the week before, me and my comp had been giving out assignments to the members for the baptism all in anticipation of turning the handwritten version of las minutas to our ward mission leader (WARD, WARD mission leader, that´s still cool for me) for him to make the official little print out version. Not a necesity, but a nice little touch. We turned it in the Wednesday before the baptism during our coordination meeting.

       Also during the weeks prior to the baptism, we had talked thoroughly with the Bishop about la pila bautismal and he advised us that it would take 4 hours to fill up and he didn´t have the key, the Zone leaders (who live next door) DO have the keys. So, rather than getting them early on like I should have done, I just stayed tranquilo thinking that in any minute that we need said keys, we could get them.

       Elder Tapia from Costa Rica (an Elder from another far away part of Formosa) got sick and had to come here to get exams done in the hospital. He and his companion had a baptism as well this week and he just happened to be in Elder Johnson´s (our Zone leader) old area. So Elder Tapia came to be with Elder Conway for a few days while Elder Johnson went off to his old area to be with his old comp (who just so happens to be Elder White from Reconquista) until Elder Tapia gets better.

        I think that that´s everything. Here we go

       So Saturday morning Elder Tracy and I work normally, planning on dedicating la tarde to all the last minute things we have to do for the baptism. We got back for lunch in la tarde and got a text from our ward mission leader that he was too sick to come to the baptism. Okay, well, the part of that that really stunk was that he hadn´t made las minutas ni nada, so I got the information from him by phone just to be sure I don´t make any mistakes because now it´s up to us to make las minutas. Just as we finish lunch and are wanting to head over to fill up the baptismal font, we discover that the other Elders aren´t next door. We had assumed that they were being super quiet no mas. Nope, they were gone, the font keys with them. So we call and find out that they´re in centro, far away from the chapel, looking for another clinic to take Elder Tapia so that he can go back no later than Lunes. Well, we need to get in the chapel AND fill up the font. So we get a key to the chapel from Bishop so that we can get in the chapel, but we still need the font key, but we can´t get an exact location from Tapia and Conway because they are going from one place to another. After several phone calls, we find out where the next place they´re headed to is and take a Remis there. Btw, at this time it was about 3:00-3:30 and the baptism was going to start at 6:00.

       So we get the key from Conway and Tapia and rush back to the chapel (btw, in the remis on the way back a song came on the radio by Bruno Mars called Uptown Rythym. Probably the first Bruno Mars song that I actually liked, It got me pumped!) and we run to the font to get it opened. As I open the door I can tell that the font is already full. "Hallelujah" I thought. until I opened the door all the way and saw how filthy the water was. SUPER green with algae and dirt covering the bottom, don´t ask me how that happened. So now we have to figure out how to drain AND clean AND fill up the font in 2 hours, and did I mention that I only got the double front font doors open? The one that your supposed to enter and exit by wouldn´t open. So I climbed in over the little glass wall that stops little observing children from falling in and SKILLFULLY worked my way around to open the other font door from the inside. Then we have to figure out how to empty the font.  No matter what we do it doesn´t empty. I call our Ward Mission Leader and he says "Esperáme, ya voy" and he shows up in about 5 minutes, a miracle in and of itself because he really was pretty darn sick and he shows us where the motor is and we fix that up (we had to wet it a bit so it would suck the water out). So the water is draining and we express to him our worry about whether or not it´ll be full in time BECAUSE IT TAKES FOUR FETCHING HOURS!!

       Well, he let us know "no no no, Ekder, lleva una hora, quizas una hora y media para llenarlo." and he left. Well, now that we knew it wasn´t going to take 4 hours to fill (something that I feel ashamed for believing in the first place) we easily cleaned it out and filled it back up just before 6 and just before the baptism started, which went great btw. I wish we had asked another professional opinion on font-filling-time, but then again, maybe it´s good that we thought it was going to take 4 hours or we wouldn´t have had time to do any of what we did.

       The next day, Sunday, due to rain, there was a considerably low number of people in church, but Gustavo was one of those people and was confirmed a member of the church.

Yeah, that´s my story for this week.

Elder Enright

P.S. Transfers happened Sunday night and yesterday (calls on Sunday, the transfers really took place Monday) and it looks like I´m staying with my baby to the end.

P.P.S My baby is ELder Tracy.

End of a change (Kegan)

My baby, Elder Vera, has already got one whole change!!  Time goes by so dang fast.

This week went by faster than any other, we had a lot of work to do (some of the members here and 1  recent convert have gone inactive).  The work was made lighter by my companion´s renewed energy and excitement to work ( Every new missionary has some time at the beginning when the shock of it all changes some things, it seems Elder Vera is past that). Además, in Paraguay they blend Avocado up with milk  and suger to make avocado juice, it´s super good and we´ve been making it all week.

We´ve been teaching a man named Leonardo ( yes man and not ninja turtle, this time at least) I can´t remmeber if I´ve mentioned him before, in case I haven´t yet I´ll introduce him a little.  Leonardo went blind 5 years ago and has been very depressed by this life impacting change since, he lives with his wife and younger sister, Ana Maria.  Ana Maria is a member, she was baptized in October and in Santiago before moving up here.  Leonardo is very intelligent therefore he has a lot of questions when we teach him and of course being blind he has dificulties finding his own answers, although Hna Ana Maria reads to him daily.

This Saturday we taught him about the Day of Rest and the lesson went pretty well.  However as we moved from that particular commandment and began to teach as well on Obedience in General and the way Faith works miracles the Spirit became very strong.  We ended by giving Leonardo a Blessing of Strength (?, Bendición de Fortaleza) during which the spirit rose to an indescribable amount, so much that it impressivley demanded reverence.  

Many times in my mission I have felt this way, however ( I do not know if it is the same with others) I have many times thought to myself. " Is that REALLY the Spirit, or have various moments and their results collected to make me feel this way, or could it be something I imagine to myself?"  These thoughts are imminent upon feeling the spirit and it hadn´t occured to me before that I am not the only one who thinks them.  Moses, in the book of Moses (in the P.o.G.P), speaks with God and God shows him many, many things.  As the vision closes Lucifer imediatly arrives to tempt Moses and tries to make him depreciate his "status" as a Son of God.  Moses too was attacked by the adversary who tried to convince him of anything other than the truth and the reality of God´s miracles and works.  I hadn´t made the connection before, but it ocurred to me that Satan tries the same thing with us today.  Attempting to make us depreciate the Spirit and reason ourselves out of our testimonies.

As those thoughts entered my mind after having Blessed Leonardo, I was worried that the same thoughts could be entering his mind (I also questioned whether or not he had actually felt that same spirit).  So we asked him how he felt and his response was a testimony to me that the Spirit WAS there and that I was not convincing myself.  We then Identified that spirit for Leonardo, so that he could not be tricked into thinking otherwise either.
It was the stongest moment in which Elder Vera and I have felt the Spirit together.

I sincerely never want to leave the mission (that doesn´t mean I don´t ever want to see you guys again). I am having the time of my life.

Love Elder Kegan Enright