Sunday, August 27, 2017

"Washing" and a Clothesline


One thing I will always remember about Argentina is the number of holidays the people celebrate. Yesterday they celebrated “Dia del NiƱo” or “Kid Day.”  Apparently, it’s the biggest holiday, after Christmas, and all of the kids receive tons of presents and there are tons of parties. Another thing I’ve learned about Argentina is that at every big city plaza there is a Catholic church on the corner.  The Catholic church and the Argentine government have an agreement to do this.  Legit, there are Catholic churches everywhere!
            To be honest, this week was a long and exhausting one. Every night when we returned to our pench, I was dead but I’ve learned to love this feeling.  I keep telling my companion that a mission is two years without sleep. We had a full week of trying to avoid getting lost and trying to get to know everyone in the ward. We walked a ton but we made a lot of progress.  “Washing” the area has actually been harder that I thought, but at least we didn’t get lost.
            Well, I took another L this week.  Behind our pench we have a nice strip of grass where I’ve started to do my exercises.  One morning, I was doing some sprints behind our apartment in this strip and it was about 7:45. The sun wasn’t completely up yet it so, it was still a little dark.  I was running and without even realizing it, I ran right into the neighbor’s clothesline. Legit! I almost clotheslined myself!  Then, I was slowing down to see what I just hit, and another clothesline came out of nowhere and nailed me right in the face again. It cut my mouth pretty bad. To be honest, this was one of the biggest Ls I’ve taken so far on my mission.
            This week as we were getting to know the area we set the goal as a companionship to talk to as many people as possible, so we talked to everybody we saw.  It was actually really fun because I put on the act of the “lost gringo” and pretended like I was totally lost. I approached people to ask them where a street was and then turned the conversation to the church. One morning we saw a lady sweeping off her porch so, we went to help her and we talked with her for a while.  She was such a nice lady and we set an appointment to come back and talk to her whole family.  We went back later that night and met Roxanne and Marcelo who told us that they received lessons from the missionaries about four years ago, but when the missionaries were taken out of the area, they lost contact with them. As we were getting to know them, they told us about some recent problems they’ve had and they told us that we had come to them at the perfect time to help them.  As they were telling what they had been going through in their life, I came to admire their faith.  They know God has a plan for them! It’s just amazing how the Lord puts people in your path and prepares them to hear the message of the Restoration.
We are also teaching a young girl named Emily, who happens to be the first person I’ve met in Argentina with the same name as my Princess Emily.  She is the daughter of a less-active family and she hasn’t been baptized, due to the lack of permission from her dad. Emily has a grandma who has always been firm in the church and so it’s really nice to have her grandma join our lessons because she is supportive and guides Emily along. Our lessons are usually filled with grandkids and the grandma does most of the teaching, with just a little help from us.  I’ve learned to love working with the less-actives because they always have specific needs and when the missionaries come over, it’s a great way to get the whole family together.
            I love this area of Villa Krause and as I met the members on Sunday, they gave us a warm welcome and made us feel right at home.

I love you!

Elder Roderick

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Farewell General Alvear


          Well… I’m not in General Alvear anymore. The big news of the week is that I got transferred. Elder Ramos and I are now in San Juan, in the city, Villa Krause. We had a nice travel of about 8 hours yesterday that kind of killed me. Haha!  I was pretty surprised about the transfer but this providence of San Juan is known as the “Zion” of the mission where people are just a lot more receptive to the gospel.  As well, the weather is pretty nice in Villa Krawse right now. But in the summer, it gets up to about 110 so, we’ll see how that goes.
Like always, it was really tough to leave all of the members, investigators, and friends I made in Alvear. That city was actually such a fun city to be in. The people were amazing and I made so many good friends! I’m grateful for the time I spent there.
On Monday, we had a lesson with a family who, after a long fight with an illness, lost their daughter about 3 years ago. During the lesson, they told us about the story of their daughter’s illness and how they literally lost everything when she died. The family feels like they literally lost everything when she died because they were praying so hard and waiting for a miracle but then nothing happened and she died. It was actually such a sad lesson because they lost so much when she died. They lost their faith and don’t believe in anything anymore. I was just sitting there trying to think of what I could say to this family and it made me realize how grateful I am for the Plan of Salvation and the comfort that the plan gives us! We don’t know what is going to happen tomorrow but God really has a plan for every single one of us. I know this!

This email is a short one because I’m busy but, I’m really excited to be here in my new area, a great providence of the mission! 
I love you!

Elder Roderick 

Saturday, August 12, 2017


Since I hit my one year mark as missionary, this week was a big one. Just one year ago I made the crazy decision to leave my family, friends and home to come and serve the people of Argentina.  It has been one of the best decisions I’ve made in my short life.  The things I’ve learned and experienced have been unforgettable. Time has flown by and it doesn’t feel like I’ve been gone for a year so, “Here’s to one more!”
            I started the week by strengthening my talent for cutting hair. On Monday, I went to town on my companion’s hair and then I ended up cutting my own as well.  It actually turned out pretty good. There’s nothing better than finding a way to save some extra money!
            This week I had the great opportunity to get better acquainted with President Panzacchi.  We had an interview together and as we were talking about how I’m doing on my mission, I could feel the love he has for me.  To be honest, I felt a little bit like an investigator because I could feel how much he cares and how much he wants me to succeed as a missionary and as a person. I’m really excited develop a strong relationship with President and learn all of the things he has in store for us.
            On Tuesday, we had an awesome lesson with Herman, who is twenty-one-years old. He has turned into one of the best investigators we have. I love teaching him because we are close in age and we have great chats about life and especially about how everything relates to God and religion.  Like the majority of Argentina, he is Catholic but he likes to listen to us. We had an awesome lesson with him where we were able to open his eyes a little bit about the Apostasy and the Restoration.  As we were teaching, it felt like we made a lot of things “click” in his head.
            On Wednesday, we had our Zone Conference and we talked about the power and authority of our sacred calling as missionaries. It’s kind of cool to think that, as missionaries and representatives of Jesus Christ, we are literally separated from the world. It made me realize how fortunate I am to have this sacred calling to serve as a missionary and serve God’s children.
            We also talked about the faith required to be successful. Last PDay, Dad sent me a talk that addressed our understanding that “faith is power.” Then, in my interview with President, he brought up the same phrase again and THEN, in Zone Conference we talked about “faith is power” again.  In the span of three days, I heard that phrase ten times. I felt like someone was trying to pound it into my head.  I came to the conclusion that our faith is something we need to strengthen every day.  We can’t just say we have faith and move on.  Every day is another opportunity to strengthen our faith and when we do that, we received help from God and that is power!
            This week we did some service and dug a huge hole.  It was about two yards deep and three yards in diameter. When we finished, we were legit dead.  We were dead the next day too but the best part about it was that the members who we served paid us back with a nice big asado and ya’ boy grilled the whole thing!  I’m almost Argentine now!
            We also taught Gustavo and his family this week. They are the family we found last week who doesn’t know how to read. Due to this, our lessons have been a little different but it just means we have to be better teachers.  More than anything, we have to rely on the Spirit so we can soften their hearts a little bit so our message really enters into their hearts and they can feel the truth of our words.  Our goal is to actually help them learn how to read and we’re going to try to do that by helping them read the Book of Mormon. So, we’ll see what the Lord has in store for this great family.
            One of the best parts of the week was the night I completed one year.  We went to get some ice cream and we’ve made friends with the workers at the ice cream shop because we go there a lot.  Without saying anything to him about my big day, my homie, Jesus, hooked me up with a kilo of ice cream… for free! We were also invited to lunch at a member’s home and it just happened to be her birthday.  To celebrate, they put an entire pig on the grill for us to eat, so we ate pretty darn good this week!  A full missionary is a happy missionary!

I’m over the hump! #teamJesusstillwinning

Have a great week!    Elder Roderick