Monday, January 27, 2014

Transfers Tomorrow

Hola once again!

Crazy that transfers are tomorrow!! We still have no idea what´s going to happen, but if I had to guess I would say that I am staying here and I am getting a new companion since Elder Burnham has been here FOREVER. I really don´t even want to leave. I love the people here and am really excited for February in Sáenz Peña. We normally only have like 50 people in church and this last week there were 16 investigators in church from the 3 companionships in Ensanche Sur. It was crazy! We set a record in the church, in or district, and helped set the zone record of 29 people in church in one week. It was super awesome! So, I would love to stay here another transfer but I will gladly go wherever the Lord needs me next transfer. 
This last week I got to do divisions in Quitilipi again, but Elder Warth wasn´t there. This time I did them with Elder Valverde. He is super cool and it was really fun working with him for a day. This week was awesome!! We ended up having 6 people at church with us. 5 from the Pereyra´s, Mauro, Luciano, Camila, Manuel, and Cristian, and then Elena. We had some incredible lessons with Elena where she would tell us the doctrine or principal before we even explained it. She is super prepared, but she isn´t married so we have to wait for her to do that and down here that usually takes a month. But, I think we will baptize her the same night she gets married, she is awesome. The gypsie girl, Maira, broke up with her boyfriend because he doesn´t like her family or her beliefs and the straw that broke the camels back was that he said that the Book of Mormon is from Satan. She said that she prayed and knew that it was true so she left him to follow God. So, that is an awesome story and I feel like she will progress. But, she is going to Buenos Aires for a month so her baptism won´t be til March. 
Also, we found another lady, Yanina, and her son, Emilio, and they had taken lessons from the missionaries before but her husband didn´t want her to get baptized, but her and her husband broke up a year ago and now she wants to listen again. So I have faith for her and we will see where that goes. Lastly, I want to talk about Mauro from la familia Pereyra. 2 weeks ago he was smoking 3 packs of cigarrettes a day and now we are going to baptize him this saturday and he completely stopped smoking yesterday!! It´s incredible what the Lord can do when people are willing to follow him. Mauro is the coolest person I have ever met on my mission and he asked me to baptize him and I´m super excited to do that!!! He wants to get the priesthood so that he can baptize Luciano when Luciano gets back from his trip to Sante Fe, and Luciano wants to get the priesthood in order to baptize his son in 6 years when his son is 8. Luciano even asked me to be his kids Godfather but I told him that we can´t as missionaries haha I really love their family and am super happy that they like me too. 
This week was awesome and I just wanted to leave everyone with a quote from Elder M. Russell Ballard that says, "I am so thoroughly convinced that if we don´t set goals in our life and learn how to master the techniques of living to reach our goals, we can reach a ripe old age and look back on our life only to see that we reached but a small part of our full potential. When one learns to master the principles of setting a goal, he will then be able to make a great difference in the results he attains in this life." I hope we can all strive to do our best in life and to push ourselves a little further than we think we can go. Also, this last saturday I hit my 4 month mark in the mission!!!! Crazy how fast the time is flying! 1/6 of my mission is already gone!! I am always greatful for the support I get and I love getting emails and cards from you guys. Talk to you all soon.
Les Quiero,
Elder Joshua Clarine
 My part of the room :)

 A painting of a soda brand, Cabalgata

Luciano and me

 Us teaching Luciano and his niece

Brother and sister Mercado and I

Monday, January 20, 2014

Last week of training

Hey everyone!! 

Crazy that this is my 12th and final week of training and then I´m back to a good old normal missionary. Transfers are a week from tomorrow so I can´t wait for that. We think my companion is leaving and I will probably just stay here but no one knows yet. 

Also, last week with the pic of the dog following us, I don´t think I even explained it. The dog followed us from the middle of centro, walked with us for 40 minutes to chango mas, waited outside for another 45 minutes, followed us back to where we were going to write and waited there for an hour and eventually left. It was just crazy because we didn´t give it any food or anything, it just liked us for some unknown reason. 

And, last week we had to drop a really promising family because the moms boyfriend moved in and he is super catholic and hates us and wouldn´t let us talk to them and always flipped us off when we walked in the street and this last tuesday he tried to hit me with his car but someone from the street yelled at me soon enough and I dove out of the way just in time and then we left that neighborhood right away. But, we still teach there, we just make sure not to pass by their street. And, we are teaching another awesome family where the mom is a member but is less active and hasn´t come to church in over 15 years. So, a lot of her kids are working towards their baptism and two of them told us that they want to quit smoking so we are helping them with that and 3 of them came to church this last week so we are really excited for them to progress. They always want us to come over more and do family home evening with them and it is awesome, because at first they all hated us and only the mom would talk to us and now she is like the most uninterested one, they all love to have us over. and, we met another old lady named Anita that said that she is catholic but she doesn´t feel right there and is looking for more truth and trying to change and she feels like god sent us to her so we have high hopes for her. But, her husband is really catholic and we don´t know if he´ll let her change. 

Also, we talked to a gypsie this week who isn´t heavy in their religion and wants to learn more about us. But, something new I learned, is that the gypsies don´t actually get married, they just put their hair in a bun if they are married and down if they aren´t. So, since she is married in the gypsie religion she will never have her hair down. Kind of interesting. 

But, the last thing before I wrap up is another good quote from Richard J Maynes. It reads, "Our life is designed for us to learn the lessons that we need to live eternally." I really like that, in the sense that we can see all of our trials and problems and weaknesses as the things that we have to do and the things we have to improve and that these are the reasons we are here on Earth. To progress in these ways and always make ourselves better people. I love all the emails I get and love hearing from everybody.Thank you for the support and I will talk to you all next week.

Les Quiero,
Elder Joshua Clarine
 We got excited to find a basketball court, went to play last pday, 
and it didn´t even have a hoop :( just a ghetto backboard
An awesome family. from left to right: Brother Ilario, me, Santiago, Samira, and Sister Rosa. Ilario is the brother of rosa and she takes care of him because he is blind, and she also makes us lunch once a week and cleans our clothes!! She is awesome.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Week 11 in Saenz Pena

Hola everyone,

There isn´t a ton this week but there were a couple fun stories. My companion from the MTC, Elder Warth, and I got to do divisions this last week which meant that we traded companions for a day and I got to work with him for a day. That was an awesome and cool experience and I hope we both stay this transfer so we can do it again!!! When we were working we started teaching 3 little boys in the street and by the time we ended we had a crowd of 12 people around us that all accepted a baptismal date but this was in his area so I don´t know where that will go but it was still cool to experience. Then, on thursday we made tacos with la familia mercado which was really cool since they dont do tacos here. They all loved them but two of the daughters thought they were really spicy and they weren´t spicy at all!! haha There are now only 15 days til transfers and when I finish my training! It will definitely be fun to see where I go and who my new companion is. There was another group of like 20 boys in our area that are like they thugs and they make the neighborhood the most dangerous in Sáenz Peña but we started teaching them the lessons and teaching them english here and there and now they love us and said they would protect us so the only dangerous people we had to worry about before are now on our side haha. There isn´t that much more this week and I don´t have a lot of time to write but I am always thankful to those that write me and keep in contact. I just wanted to share a short quote before I finished. It is from Gordon B Hinckley and it says, " The best antidote I know for worry is work. The best medicine for despair is service. The best cure for weariness is the challenge of helping someone who is even more tired." I think we can learn a lot from this and if we focus more on helping others then we will be happier and won´t feel as bad about our own lives. I love it here and can´t wait to hear from everyone!
Les Quiero,
Elder Joshua Clarine
 The end of the goat that we ate on christmas. This is hermano Mercado!

our christmas present to ourselves of 108 empanadas

 Elder Burnham and I with all our christmas presents (But most were his
since I still haven´t gotten my christmas package.

Elder Goodwin, Elder Anderson, and I at the Christmas activity

 All the food we had after shopping the week of christmas. This was the first
time our fridge and cupboards have been full for awhile.

The pizzas we make in our apartment when we don't have a lunch appointment.

Before the baptism of Catolina, Andrea, and Mercedes

After their baptism

Elder Warth and I in Corrientes (his companion in the MTC)

At the river in Corrientes

At the only Mcdonalds in the mission in Corrientes

The dog that was following us forever

The dog 40 minutes later after we did our shopping

Tuesday, January 7, 2014


Hola everyone. 

So I didn´t get my third Pday in a row yesterday because I had to travel to Corrientes to do stuff for my visa (Tramites), but I get to write now. And, I´m sorry but this letter will probably not be the longest one yet. But I had a good week this last week with my training in Resistencia and with teaching  a lot of people. And, 2014 will be the only year where I will be in my mission all 365 days, CRAZY!! 

I love getting emails and letters from everyone and I am really thankful to everyone that puts in the effort to keep in contact. We are now in week 4 of this transfer, and week 10 of my training overall, so that means that we are coming up on transfers pretty quickly now!! 

This week we did divisions with the zone leaders so I worked in a place called Obrero for a day and that was fun to work in a new area and see new things and teach new people!! And, this one lady in our area had a meeting with another church and she had a Book of Mormon from missionaries a long time ago, and she was reading that before the pastor of her church came, but he never came and we showed up exactly when he was supposed to be there. We were just walking down the street at the time and had no idea about her story, So I think this is too much to just be coincidence, that she was reading the book of Mormon, her church was supposed to come but didn´t, and we felt like we needed to knock on her door specifically. But, She chose not to accept this gift from God and just said that she didn´t want to talk and was going to continue waiting for her church!! Too sad!!! But, every has their agency to accept or reject us and we respect her ability to reject a sign from God haha. 

But, yesterday was still good with going to Corrientes and all my Visa stuff is going well and we got to go to the only Mcdonalds in the mission which is in Corrientes which was awesome because it tasted exactly the same as it does in the States!! That may or may not have been the happiest I have been on my mission while eating that! (UNA BROMA haha) :) but it was really good. Thanks again to everyone for contacting me and for being so awesome while I am 6,000 miles away in Argentina!! I should finally get a real Pday this coming monday, but if not just expect my email on tuesday again haha

Les Quiero,
Elder Joshua Clarine
This computer is once again broken so I will get up pictures as soon as I can, maybe later today or next monday for sure if not today!