Tuesday, May 27, 2014

8 months!! 1/3

Hey Everyone!!

This week was really awesome and it flew by really fast!! First off, I officially hit 8 months in the mission on Sunday!!! Crazy to think that I am already done with 1/3 of the mission-the time is just flying by!! Yesterday I wasn´t able to write because we left to write at the end of P-Day and the lady that works the internet café decided that she didn´t need to show up for work that day and we were too far away to walk to a different one. So, everything is okay, there was just a hang up with finding a place to write. 

I can´t remember if I have already said this, but here in Goya it´s a little bit different and we have to clean our own clothes. And, it´s not like the States-we don´t have a washing machine. Yes, we do wash our clothes with a washing board like from the videos of the 1800´s!! So, I have learned how to do that here and it´s pretty cool, but I won´t be complaining about having a washing machine in my house back in the US. 

Also, this week we had the baptism of Sofia and that went really well!! They showed up early, there were really cool talks, she had a really pretty white dress, and the water was really warm! It was a great day and I´m really happy to have been able to baptize her! Also, we had a conference in Resistencia and that went really well and I got to see Elder Wright and Elder Anderson from the MTC. And, we got there pretty early, so Elder Mauricio and I decided to walk to the church from the bus station, only 60 blocks!! Yes, it did take an hour to walk there, but it was a nice walk and it was cool to see the city and we even did the walk back at the end of the conference since we liked it on the way there. 

And, la familia Melgarejos is doing really well and it´s been awesome to see such a huge change in their family and see how happy she is now, and we are working towards their baptism on June 7th, so I´ll keep you updated on that. So, they came to church on Sunday, along with sofia and her family, AND Leandro finally came to church!! That was awesome and now I think he might change a little more now that he knows what the church is like. And we had a district conference on Sunday, where a few different areas come together for a bigger meeting every once in a while and the mission President, President Heyman, came to give a talk. So, that was really cool and I played the organ for the meeting(And I can´t remember if I already said that I´m the organist here as well). The only complication was that la familia Melgarejos wasn´t ready to leave their house until 9:45 and the meeting started at 10 and I had to play the piano. And it takes half an hour to walk from their house. So, we called a taxi for them and then sprinted to church and made it there 2 minutes before they started-SUCCESS!! Haha 

Anyways, that´s about it this week and I just wanted to add another quote this week from Donald L. Hallstrom that states, “Our future, no matter our history, can be brighter and look brighter.” I know that this is true and I testify that anyone, at any point in life, can start to change. There is no point in which we cannot be reached by our Savior and start over and start to live a better life and find happiness. There is always hope and there is always a bright side!! I hope that this week brings happiness and that everyone at hope is having a great start to the summer, as I begin my winter!! Thanks to everyone for writing me and I hope to hear from you soon!!

Les Quiero,
Elder Joshua Clarine

Monday, May 19, 2014

Goya Week 5

Hey everybody!! 

This week was really cool. Sofia came to church again this week and everything is on track for her to be baptized this Friday!!! And, la familia Melgarejos are coming along really well and they are really gaining a testimony and they came to church again. And, we´ve been visiting Vanessa Perez and she is a less active member, but this week she just gave us a giant bag of cheese puffs!! 

And, it was Elder Mauricio´s birthday this last week on the 15th, so we had a fun day and ended it by buying 3 burgers for $22, which is the US equivalent of like $2. So, that was really good and I bought a ton of potatoes and I always make fries here when I´m hungry. Plus, the sky here is really open and I love seeing the sky every day since the clouds are usually really cool. The only bad thing about being here in Goya is that we are really far away from the mission office and I haven´t gotten any mail in over a month because of that!! But, it´s okay since I think I´ll get some mail tomorrow.  And, this week I had to cut my hair and, our mission president really likes buzz cuts, so my hair is a buzzed #2. That kind of sucked, but it will grow back haha. 

Anyways, the quote I wanted to throw in this week comes from Donald L. Hallstrom and it reads, “Who we are is not who we can become.” I thought about this a lot and I love what it implies. Even if we are in a good place, we can always improve and better ourselves and if we constantly push ourselves we can´t even imagine the things that we could do. Thank you to everyone who always writes me and I hope to hear from everyone soon!!

Les Quiero,
Elder Joshua Clarine

 The cheese snacks from Vanessa Perez

 The clouds

 The 3 burgers for $22 and fries

Monday, May 12, 2014

Mother's Day!

Hey everybody!! 

First off, happy mothers day to all the mothers yesterday!! This week was pretty awesome actually. We passed by la familia Vera a couple times and they are members and they help us go and teach so that is cool. And, we started teaching la familia melgarejos and they are really cool and they came to church and there is Lidia, the mom, and then her kids florencia, jonathon, and mawuel. And, sofia from la familia gomez came to church and it looks like she will be baptized a week from saturday!! :) And we also started teaching another family, la familia ayala. And they are cool, but they have a lot of family problems and we are working with them and I have a lot of faith that they will progress and better themselves. 

And, I had wanted to say that we walk a lot here, like 10 miles a day, and so it was weird getting use to that at first, but sometimes it´s pretty cool because we are right on the side of the Río Paraná ad the river is really pretty! I´m pretty happy with the weather here and the apartment and my companion and everything. I really like Goya and I´m excited to be here!! 

I don´t have a lot of time today, but the only other thing I wanted to put in here was a quote from W. Craig Zwick that says, "We have all regretted saying something before we understand the other persons point of view." I really like this and it made me think a lot and it is true. Everyone says things in defense of what they think is right and true and we should try to see from the other persons point of view first before we respond. Many times we can see where they are coming from, and even though we may not agree, we can responf more calmly and with a better presence. So, I hope that we can all do that a little bit more with our coworkers, friends, siblings, etc. Anyways, thank you to everyone who constantly writes me and keeps me in the loop and I look forward to hearing from you all next week.

Les Quiero,
Elder Joshua Clarine

 A snake I saw this week.
 The beach by Río Paraná
 Skype with the family on Mothers Day!!! :D

some homemade french fries

Monday, May 5, 2014

Another Week!

Hey Everyone!! 

This week was pretty good, it had some cool parts and a couple lame parts. But, overall I had fun this week. The city here is really cool, but after the newness wore off I realized that the people here are really tough! They are CRAZY catholic and don´t want to change in a million years. Every house has a box outside with a saint in it that they pray to, and if it´s now outside, then it´s inside. If they don´t have a box then they have pictures to pray to. They worship the saints so much and it´s hard to explain to all of them that even though the saints are awesome people, that we pray to God because we get all of our blessings from him, and none of them want to accept that. 

And, this week we got a ton of rain, there were giant rainstorms and thunderstorms and we just had rain, rain, and more rain. And, this week one of the members got out their acoustic guitar that they can´t play and I got to play for a little while and it was the first time I´ve touched a guitar in awhile and I loved it so much and forgot how much I love to play the guitar!! Oh, and one of the days this week there was a truck that purposely drove through a giant puddle in order to spray us and we got SOAKED!!! And, we were only one street away from getting back to the apartment for the night…so that sucked. But, I just had to smile and laugh, I guess it makes for a good story. 

And there´s this guy named Leandro that´s dating one of the members and he is progressing well and really starting to like the church, so I have a lot of hope for him and I like talking to him and he´s really cool, he´s 19 like me. And then there´s Sofia who is 9 and most of her family is baptized, la familia Gomez, and she wants to be baptized and we are working with her. But, this week they couldn´t come to church because the giant rainstorm flooded their house and, even though they don´t have carpet, they had 4 inches of water in their house. So, we helped them take water out for about an hour so that they could finish quicker, since they don´t have a guy in the house and the oldest kid is 12, and they seemed to appreciate that. 

Oh, and I got the care package that my mom sent me and I just wanted to say thank you to everyone that wrote me a letter. Those meant a lot to me and I am really grateful for everyone who took the time and effort to do that for me!! But, I don´t have nearly enough money, or time, to respond to all of those with a physical letter so I just wanted to say thank you to everyone through this!! 

The last quote for this week comes from Richard G. Scott and he said, “It may be difficult to trust others, but people can and will do amazing things when they feel trusted.” I really liked this and it made me think, and I realized that a lot of times we are guarded and shut off, but if we give others our trust, then we will see them do great things and we will build stronger and longer lasting relationships in this way! So, I hope that we can all be more trusting towards others and the good and the potential that is in everyone. Thanks again to everyone who wrote me and I hope to hear from you all soon!!

Les Quiero,
Elder Joshua Clarine

 With the Gomez Family before leaving Saenz Pena
                                                                              In Goya
The Virgin Statue
                                                                       The gringo!

                                                                      Making pretzels

                                                                    Baptism Bread/Pretzel

My Companion
 Rainstorm :)
                                                                      Our bathroom
                                                                         My bedroom

                                                                             My desk

                                                                            My kitchen