Thursday, May 28, 2015

20 Months!!

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Hey everybody.

So, as the title says, I officially hit 20 months in the mission this week! That´s crazy! That sounds like so much time and means that I´ll be home now in less than 4 months.


Yesterday was some revolution holiday here in Argentina, so that's why I´m writing today. So, this week went by crazy fast because of how many divisions we did. I was in my area with Elder Perez from Colombia on Tuesday and then Wednesday morning. He´s cool and those went well. Then, I went to Puerto Tirol (a small city about half an hour away from the city) from Thursday night to Saturday morning. I was there with Elder Delgado from Ecuador. The 4 missionaries there share a house, so I was really with all of them. On Friday we couldn't go out and work because of the festival they had going on for some saint, Santa Rita. So, we just stayed inside and played monopoly once and then risk twice. I was getting pretty sick of it towards the end. One of the missionaries there is Elder Smith from my MTC district, so that was cool.

Then, this weekend was stake conference, when a whole bunch of members get together in one church. We had a member of the area 70 come to talk to us. He´s a higher up leader that usually doesn't come. Elder Salas was his name. We had a session for just the adults on Saturday and then one for everybody on Sunday. They were awesome and I really enjoyed them. Damaris came and really liked it and everything is going well for her baptism this Saturday!! :) Also, Martin´s brother, Jonny, started listening to us and wants to come to church and learn more and get baptized. So, we are going to be working with them. The Colombians are doing well and are still progressing and learning. Also, la familia Aguirre and  la Familia Maldonado are all doing well. Yesterday, since we had divisions planned for today, I went on divisions with another Elder. I went to his area in Fontana (another small town about 20 minutes away) and I was there from Sunday night until this morning. His name is Elder Vargas and he is from Colombia and he is really cool. We get along well and he has a cool area with good people to teach. So, I was super busy and barely in my area this week, but it all went well and we had a good week.

The quote this week comes from David A. Edwards and it reads, "Time management means making sure the things you say are your priorities actually are your priorities." I love this quote. It´s so simple and so true. We can´t expect to be efficient with our time if we waste multiple hours in front of the TV or computer while we say that our priorities are fitness and our job. Just something to think about. Thanks to everyone who wrote me this week and I hope to hear from everybody soon.

Les Quiero,
Elder Joshua Clarine 
 
A field at a farm that Elder Vargas and I went to during divisions

Baptism!

(Monday, May 18, 2015)

Hey Everyone!


This week went pretty well. We had fun and got a lot of stuff done by the end of the week. So, first off, I got my haircut last Monday. It looks okay I guess, I prefer it longer, but that`s just part of being a missionary. Then, on Tuesday I went on mini divisions with Elder Ratliff. He had to go to the clinic to see why he was sick and so we went and did that, I got some ice-cream from grido because it was on sale, and then we just went back to the apartment. So, we were suppose to go to district meeting, but Elder Ratliff wasn`t feeling good, so I just stayed with him back at the apartment and rested.

Then, on Thursday we had the multi-zone conference. So, all 3 zones here in Resistencia got together and we had a good meeting. That went well and it was actually a lot of fun. On Friday, I got to do divisions with Elder Warth. I always love that and it worked out perfectly. Elder Warth`s companion is our district leader, so he had to come to our area to do the baptismal interview with martin. So, while elder White and Elder Thomas did that, I worked with Elder Warth until Saturday morning. The interview went well and Martin was all ready. Even though I started the mission with Elder Warth, we dont get to go home together. He got special permission to go back a month early to get back in time for school. So, it`s fun working with him and we`ll probably have another division or two before he leaves. Then, there are the Colombians. They had a hard week with a few things and with a few people in the church. It was hard for them, but we had some great lessons with them and they are still happy and going strong. They had to get over one of the members in the ward being dumb, and they did. Everything is good now. Then, as infered earlier, we had the baptism of Martin this week. He wanted me to baptize him and it went really well. It was a good service and he`s such a cool kid. Also, his mom and brothers came to the service and became interested in the church and now want to learn more and participate with Martin, so we will be working with them and teaching them now!! :) Also, Damaris, the cousin of la familia luque, is doing great. She wants to be baptized and is doing everything she needs to. We have her baptism planned for the 30th. So, keep praying so that can happen and that nothing gets in her way. The work is going really good here in Güiraldes. To finish the week, we had the dedication of the temple in Còrdoba yesterday. So, we didnt have normal church and we just watched the temple dedication. That went reall well and it was a good day.

The quote this week comes from, again, James E Talmage. I recently finished reading his book, "Jesus The Christ", and it was great. That`s where I`m pulling all these quotes from. So, he said, "a man possessed of any good gift...ought to use that gift to the full, that he or others may be profited thereby." We can`t just let the talents that we have waste away idly. we have to use them and better them to help both ourselves and those who surround us. Thank you to everyone who wrote me this week and I hope to hear from you all soon.

Les Quiero,
Elder Joshua Clarine
 
 My room (I'm bottom bunk)
 The desks (I'm on the left)
 The kitchen
 Elder White and me with Martin at his baptism.
 All the Colombians and elders and ward members at Martin`s baptism
A huge turtle we found in front of the apartment

Skype!

(Monday, May 11, 2015)
Hey everybody.
 
This week was pretty good. Nothing too exciting happened, but we still had some stuff go on. So, this last week we really only had 3 days to work in our area. There were transfers Monday and I was just in the bus terminal all day figuring stuff out with other missionaries. On Tuesday we had our p-day, so we only had a couple hours of work. Wednesday we had a good day of work and Elder White met all the members and investigators. Thursday, Elder White and I had leadership counsel in the mission office. So, we were there all day getting training and doing stuff with money and all those fun technicalities. Then, Friday morning we had a meeting with the district leaders to coordinate all the stuff from the leadership counsel which we followed up by a zone meeting in the afternoon. Those both went well and it was fun to see everyone.
 
From Friday evening to Saturday evening we had divisions. I worked with Elder Ratliff (one of the other elders from our ward) in my area. Those went really well and Elder Ratliff is a really cool and chill Elder. He also goes home with Elder White in 5 weeks, so that`s kind of cool. The people in our area are doing well. The Colombians are doing well and their nephew, Robert, is listening to us. He`ll change little by little, but he`s a great guy and we like teaching him. We`re still working with Martin to get the signature from his mom and then have his baptism. So, his baptism will happen as soon as we get the sign off from his mom. La familia Luque, members, and their cousin, Lamaris, are doing well. It rained a lot on Saturday, so they didn’t come to church, but they are still cool. We also started teaching Nancy, Sheila, and Franco again. They are doing well and they really have good desires to follow God and get baptized. So, I`ll keep you guys updated with that. Other than that, we had la familia Maldonado, members, that we pass by and they are also doing really well. We have a lot of cool members and cool investigators to teach. Also, the highlight of my week came yesterday. Yesterday, being mother`s day, I got to skype home. It was my last call home before I actually get home which is crazy. It was really good and I really enjoyed it! That`s pretty much it.
 
The quote this week comes from James E. Talmage. He said, “For what is man profited if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” It`s interesting to think about how much we, as humans, lust after the things and the glory of the world, when it all dies with us. We can`t take our money or things with us when we die, so why give up our good name and our righteous deeds to do so. Thank you to everyone who wrote me this week-for enduring to the end haha- and I hope to hear from you all soon.
Les Quiero,
Elder Joshua Clarine
 
 a blue painted dog we saw...I dont know if the picture came out to where you can see it.
 
a picture from the skype call. my family didnt know I took a picture so I caught them all looking funny haha (sorry family)

Thursday, May 21, 2015

TRANSFERS!

(Tuesday, May 5th, 2015)

Hey everyone!
 
This week was pretty busy and really fun. It went by really fast. So, on Tuesday Elder Murphy and I had to head to Corrientes to do some of our visa stuff. They never sent me my card, like the actual ID, just the papers that say that I´m legal. So, they put that off for forever and just said, “no, we´re not gunna send it to you, you´ll be leaving by the time it gets to you and we don’t want to have to do more work.” Their laziness astounds me. But, it's okay, I just won´t have an actual ID. I´m still legal though.  Then, we went to the mall with McDonalds and that was really good. McDonalds had some sales going on and it was incredible.
 
Then, we had a family home evening with the Columbians. I made them pancakes with the maple syrup and they loved it. We also watched the best 2 years with them and just talked and it was a really good night. Then, one of the days for lunch we went to the city and got box. I got this calzone thing and it was super good! And, there´s another family of members that we had a family home evening with, la familia Maldonado. We had a good lesson with them and Elder Murphy could say goodbye. Elder Murphy had his last normal day as a missionary on Sunday and it went really well.  We passed by a lot of people and we had an awesome time with the Columbians. They said goodbye and everything to him and gave him presents and it was really cool.
 
Also, transfers were yesterday, that´s why I´m writing today, and I´m staying. That wasn´t really a surprise, but my companion was. I´m now companions with Elder White, and he is going home in 6 weeks. So, just like Elder Murphy, I know that we will only have 1 transfer together. He´s cool though. He´s from Arizona and we should have a great transfer together.  So, with the people that we´re teaching, the Columbians are doing great. The dad came in a suit and gave his testimony this last Sunday. They are all doing well. We are still teaching Martin and he should be baptized this week or next, depending on his schedule. And, the nephew of the Columbians moved in with them and he´s listening to us now. There´s another family, la familia luque, of members that just had a family member move in. Their cousin came to live with them, is listening to us, and wants to be baptized. So, I´ll be keeping you all updated on their progress. Also, la familia Aguirre is doing just fine and they are all happy. So, it was a good week overall, I´m happy to be staying here, and this transfer should be good.
 
The quote this week comes from James E. Talmage and it reads, “Misunderstanding is the prelude to offense.” I really think that 99% of problems stem from misunderstanding from at least one person. If we take a step back, or work towards understanding how others think, then many of the “problems” we have would just disappear. Thanks to everyone who wrote me this week and I really hope to hear from all of you soon.
 
Les Quiero,
Elder Joshua Clarine
 
 Victor making pancakes
 
 A legit pancake
 
 The calzone thing I had
 
 A funny picture if you know Spanish
 
My last picture with Elder Murphy.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

19 Months!

(Monday, April 27, 2015)

Hey everybody,


So this last week I officially hit 19 months in the mission. Pretty exciting if you ask me. Anyways, it was a pretty good week overall. On Tuesday, we had a goodbye party for Santo Vega. He was going to the mission in Uruguay. So, there was food and soda and everyone just talked to him and that was fun. Then, the next day we went and did service with the Colombians. We went and worked on their roof. They bought this stuff that you like heat up and then melt to the roof so that no water leaks in when it rains. So, we were doing that for awhile and that went well. Than, we cut 2 lawns the next day to do more service which is always nice. The families were really grateful and it felt good to do. We finished the one we started last week and got another one done. Then, on Friday, we had lunch at this place called San José and they had these really good mini empanadas.

Then, we had the meeting with Elder Oaks. So, Dallin H. Oaks, an apostle, and his wife were here all day on Friday. We all shook their hands, he had a great talk and message, and it was awesome to see all the missionaries. The entire mission came, so everyone of my old companions was there and other cool missionaries and it was a really good day. Also, while his wife was talking she asked if anyone had their preach my gospel in spanish. We were told that we would only need our scriprues, but I brought my preach my gospel anyways. So, I raised my hand and she had me come up and asked me to give her the baptismal interview. I was super confused, but she explained it and we only did the first part and she gave her testimony in spanish as I read and asked her the questions. So, that was really cool to be able to do. Also, we went to the mission office church yesterday for church. One of Elder Murphy´s converts was coming and we got permission from president to go there for this week. The Colombians still went to church at the main building. They are still doing really well and get better every week. Martin got grounded by his mom this last week and couldn´t leave the house, so we´re going to see when we can make his baptism happen. Also, la familia Aguirre is doing well. This week is Elder Murphy´s last week as a missionary which is weird. This is now the second time I´ve finished off a missionary. So, next week I will have a new companion and we´ll see if anything else changes.

The quote this week comes from Thomas S. Monson. He said, "To live greatly, we must develop the capacity to face trouble with courage, disappointment with cheerfulness, and triumph with humility." I love this quote and how it covers many aspects of life and how we are to respond to them. thank you to everyone who wrote me this week and I hope to hear from you all soon.
 
Les Quiero,
Elder Joshua Clarine
 
 A turtle I caught this week.
 The roof work with the Colombians.
 The mini empanadas from San Jose.
 
My Sáenz Peña companions from Centro-E´Mejia and E´Giles

Rain

(Monday, April 20, 2015)

Hey everyone!


So, this week wasn´t all that different, but there were some fun things that went on. Last Monday we had a zone activity (without the sisters because they aren´t allowed to be with us) everyone in the zone went and we rented out an indoor sand volleyball court for 4 hours. It was pretty fun and I could have played for another 4. Then, on Tuesday we had lunch in the city and we ate at this place called box. It was pretty expensive, but it was good I guess. We got pizza. They had a deal for 4 halves of different kinds. The hawaiian and salami were super good, the cheese and tomato was alright I guess, but then the last one had these disgusting leaves in it that cooked into the whole pizza and I hated it, I barely got through one piece.

Then, I went and did divisions with Elder Ulloa (from Canada) in a place called PuertoTirol. Those went well and they had this one lesson that was 6 miles away, so it took forever to go and come back haha. Then, we went to do surprise service for 2 families and just cut their lawns on thursday. We got half way done with the first lawn when it just started pouring rain...so that idea was ruined and we´ll finish the job sometime this week. And, we had breakfast one day with a really active family in the ward, la familia Maldonado. That was good and, like I´ve said before, they just eat some bread, cookies, and milk or mate for breakfast and call it good. But, the mom made american brownies and they were incredible for breakfast!!

Then, Hector got confirmed on Sunday and all of the males in the Colombian family got the priesthood and Johnny, the boyfriend of Jackie, had me give him the priesthood which was really cool! Their family is awesome and they are like the equivalent of la familia Gomez for me here in Resistencia. Nancy, Sheila, and Franco made some excuse to not come to church, so we´re going to let them be for a week or two and see if they take things alittle more seriously. Santo Vega, a member of the ward, came with us a few night to go teaching and he´s really cool. He leaves on the mission this Thursday to Uruguay!! He´s really cool. The Colombians also have a friend named Martin who has come to church with them like 5 times and listens to us when we teach. he wants to be baptized, we just need permission from his mom. So, we´re going to see if she´ll give us permission this week and he might get baptized this saturday. So just pray that his mom can see that it´s a good thing for him. So, it was a really good and busy week overall and we had a lot of lessons and a ton of people to teach. The time is flying by and it´ll be May before we know it.

The quote for this week comes from Russell M. Nelson. He said, "The home is the basis of a righteous life." When we, as a family, are strong at home and do the things that we should while in our home, we are strengthened in the rest of our lives whenever we may not be at home with the safety that is there. Thanks to everyone who wrote me this week, I love hearing from home and hearing how things are going, and I´ll talk to you all next week.
 
Les quiero,
Elder Joshua Clarine
 
 The trees at the place 6 miles away on divisions.
 
 Cooking arepas with the Columbians.
 
Fun hat stuff with Martin and Cristian

Monday, April 13, 2015

Baptisms!!



Hey everybody!

This week was super busy and really good. So, I´m going to start out with something that is weird about the church here that I have forgotten to mention. So, they do it backwards here. They do the priesthood hour (for the guys) first, the second hour for the other class, and the last hour from 11-12 is the sacrament meeting, which is the exact opposite of how it normally is. I don't know why we do it that way. There´s not really a reason, haha. 

Anyways, on Tuesday we had leadership counsel, so we were just at the office all day and listened to president and heard all the new stuff for the mission. So, we officially can no longer eat lunches with the members. We can accept sealed food and like cake and sugary stuff, but no real meals and no meat. So, it kind of sucks, just because we had lunch every day here, but there are some good sides. The members can buy us food, other than the meat, we just have to cook it at the apartment. So, a lot more people are just giving us stuff. and, we can cook and eat quicker than normal so we have a little time to rest which is nice. 

Then, we had out zone meeting on Thursday. We just had a meeting as a zone and talked about what we are doing well and the things we need to change and it went well. then, I went on divisions with Elder Warth after the meeting. That was super cool and fun and I love every time I get to do divisions with him out here and it´s crazy how many times we´ve had the opportunity to do so. On Friday my back hurt for no reason which was weird. It wasn´t the bones or the muscles...it was just there. So, I rested for a little and got some Icy Hot on it and it was all basically back to normal on Saturday...just super weird. 

Then, we had our baptism on Saturday along with the other elders. We had 4 baptisms for the ward and Jackie, the daughter of the Colombians, was our baptism. That was awesome and she gave her testimony afterwards and it was awesome. Their whole family is really cool. Then, on Sunday we had record numbers at church. We had 111 people at church. The previous record in Güiraldes, the ward, was 104 and my previous record in the mission in my other areas was 92 (or 96 I cant remember). So, it is awesome to see the growth of the church and the faith of all the people that go. And, we also had the baptism of Hector Aguirre on Sunday. He works every day, so he couldn´t on Saturday. So, he was baptized after church and he´ll be confirmed this next Sunday. So, now everyone in the family is a member of the church and they are unified which was awesome to see. 

Elder Murphy and I are working with a ton of people, investigators, less active members, and recent converts, but that was the most exciting news of the week. The Colombians are my favorite family here and they are really progressing and making a change and have all gotten better since their baptism. 

The quote this weeks comes from David A. Bednar. He said, "Our individual load is comprised of demands and opportunities, obligations and privileges, afflictions and blessings, and options and constraints... Sometimes we mistakenly may believe that happiness is the absence of a load. But bearing a load is a necessary and essential part of the plan of happiness." Our difficulties in life are what shape and create us. Life would have no purpose if it was all easy and we just floated through and didn´t have to make any real decisions. So, our trials really help us to become these better people that we can be. Anyways, thanks to everyone who wrote me this week and I hope to hear from you all soon.

Les Quiero,
Elder Joshua Clarine

 The Zone after Zone Conference
 before Jackies baptism

 At church with Jackie and Johnny after her confirmation 
(I forgot to say that I did her confirmation which was cool!)
 La familia Aguirre before the baptism.

 Hector Aguirre and Brother Perez after Hector´s baptism-Hector is on the left
Johnny and I. Jackie´s boyfriend. (He´s also colombian)

Monday, March 30, 2015

18 months!!

Hey everybody!!

This week was really good actually. So, first off, I officially hit 18 months in the mission!! That´s so cool and it´s crazy that I´m ¾ of the way done and that I´ll be seeing all of you soon. So, everyone who said that they would write me on the mission and hasn´t yet, you´re running out of time haha. So, as you know, we had P-day on Tuesday last week and then the new missionaries got here on Wednesday. I got to play the piano for that meeting and it´s always fun to see the new missionaries, especially the gringos, because they have absolutely no idea whats going on haha. 

Then, there´s this family in our area that is from Columbia. They are really cool and they give us food all the time. They made us Columbian empanadas one night and they were incredible. They are my favorite empanadas I have ever tried. Yes, they are better than the normal argentine empanadas. They are all members except for the 15 year old daughter. She´s been to church a lot, but just wasn´t as sure about baptism. We are teaching her and she´s progressing a lot and has a baptismal date for the 18th. Then, there´s another cool family. Nestor, Nancy, Shayla, and Frano. Nestor and Nancy are the couple. Nestor doesn’t want to be baptized, but he supports his whole family in whatever they want to do. Shayla and Franco are the kids. They came to church a few times over a month ago, went on vacation, and just came back. So, we refound the family and are teaching them and have a baptismal date with the kids for the 11th of april. Nancy wants to get baptized, and we are working with her to get married. They want to get married, they just have to do all the papers and then we´ll have her baptism.  Then, there´s a part member family, la familia Aguirre. They are all members except for the dad. They found him a couple weeks ago and we´ve been teaching him and he came to church!!! He has a baptismal date for the 12th of April because of his work schedule, but hopefully everything works out. We went to the wedding reception of a member and a lady that was going to be baptized by the other elders in the ward. But, they showed up late and we had to leave before they got there to get home in time. Her baptism was gunna be the next day, but the reception went til 7am (not odd for Argentina) and she was tired/sick. So her baptism will be this week. 

Oh, and like I mentioned. I am in a ward and not a branch. It´s the first time in my mission that I´m in a ward and not a branch.(A ward is just bigger and has more money and opportunities to do things). Other information. We have a water filter on the sink, so we don’t have to buy water and it´s not disgusting. Elder Murphy is going home this transfer. I will be his last companion and he goes home on May 3rd. The other elders had a baptism on Saturday that we went to which was really cool. The ward has some really cool members and they are all willing to help. And, the other elders that live with us have a weight set. So, I´ve been have some good workouts and I´m trying to get back in to better shape so that I look like I did when I left. I don´t want to get home and just have everyone tell me I look old and fat haha. So, it was a really good and busy week and we´ve had a lot to do as leaders and I´ve really liked it so far. 

Other than that, the quote this week comes from Thomas S. Monson. He said, Let us-all of us- have the courage to defy the consensus, the courage to stand for principle.” We give in so many times to the easier way or the worldly way because it is the conclusion that the world has come to. When we separate ourselves from the standards of the world we separate ourselves form the troubles of the world. Life only becomes easier and we become happier when we stand for correct principles. Thanks to everyone who wrote me this last week and I hope to hear from you soon.

Les Quiero,
Elder Joshua Clarine

 We each ate 2 footlongs at subway last week (This is why I´m fat)

 The columbian empanadas

The wedding reception.

I´ll have pictures with Elder Murphy and the apartment next week
.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Transfers!

Hey everybody!!
 It´s transfer week, but I´ll talk about that more at the end of the letter. So, this week was pretty exciting actually and a lot of stuff happened and we were able to have some fun. So, on Tuesday we were studying and the lights went out, or so we thought. The lights were still on, the AC still worked, but all the outlets didn't work. The breaker box had burnt for those, so we had to fix those. We lost the outlets on Tuesday and they didn't end up getting fixed until Friday which was a kind of pain, but it worked out. 
Then, on Thursday we had to travel to Resistencia for the conference to listen to the member of the 70. his name is Elder Nuñez and he was really cool. But, after 2 hours of other people talking, he talked for like 2 hours straight and I was just tired and hungry and I lost him at the end. The first hour of his talk was really cool, but then I just wanted to eat and I was kind of tired of listening. But, it was a good day overall. I got to see all of my old companions in the mission (except for Elder Mauricio who´s already home) and that was cool. They talked to us about a new initiative of the church called "He Lives" and it´s really cool. We´re going to be focusing more on Christ´s Resurrection and what is possible for us because of that. Apparently the church will even have a thing on youtube in a couple weeks about it, I´m not really sure. And we got back that night in time to play volleyball with the branch, even though we cant keep score. But, that was really fun and we met some cool people there and I even saw a couple people from Ensanche. 
On Friday we had the English classes and they went really well and I even got a surprise birthday party afterwards. They had snacks and drinks and some cool decorations which was really cool. And, on the way back to the apartment I bought a Hawaiian pizza and it was super good. Then, on Saturday I turned 20!!! Crazy to think that I´m in my 20´s now. I had a good day and I got to have dinner with La Familia Gomez just like I did last year. It was really cool and then I had some more food, pizza, with Darian and Mayra (2 youth of the ward). It was all really good and I had a really good day. 
On Saturday I also got a call from the assistants that I would be leaving Sáenz Peña. The transfer calls are always on Sunday, unless you´re going to be a leader. So they called me on Saturday and informed me that I was going to be a Zone leader in Resistencia 3. So, that surprised me. A zone leader basically just talks to like 16 missionaries in a big area and makes sure everything is going well for everyone. We just help them if they call us and need help. We really don't do all that much haha. So, I got to say goodbye to everyone on Sunday and I even got a little bit of time at church to give my testimony and say goodbye. Julio, Gerardo, la familia Ponce, and la familia Alvarenga are all doing well and I hope that they continue even though I won´t be there. They also told Elder Mejia on Sunday that he would be leaving. He went to Corrientes. The mission is going to get smaller, so they closed down one of the areas in Centro. Now there are just 2 elders and 2 sisters. 
I got here to Resistencia yesterday at noon and met my companion. Elder Murphy. He is from California and he finishes his mission this transfer. So I´ll only be with him for 6 weeks. It´s also probable that I finish my mission here. We´ll see what happens I guess. I met some of the members and investigators yesterday and they are really cool and I think that I´m really going to like this area. So, it was definitely an exciting week. 
The quote this week comes from Spencer W. Kimball. He said, "If we can create a strong, steady current flowing toward our goal of a righteous life, we and our children may be carried forward in spite of the contrary winds of hardship, disappointment, and temptations." It´s a great quote and it just clarifies the fact that if we fill our lives with the good things and good living, the pull of the bad things that take away from our happiness will be diminished. Thanks to everyone who wrote me this week and wished me a happy birthday and I hope to hear from you all soon.
Les Quiero,
Elder Joshua Clarine

 Our burnt breaker.
 All of my old companions at the conference.
 The surprise party decorations (I know Birthday is spelled wrong
but they don't speak English and they did their best haha)
 The surprise party!
 Dinner with la Familia Gomez
 The cake they gave me.
Me with la familia Gomez
Saying goodbye to Elder Mejia at the terminal.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Birthday Week!

Hey everybody! 

This week went pretty well. And, I´m getting excited because I turn 20 this week which is pretty cool! I have some fun stuff planned that I´ll tell you about next week. So, we started out the week with divisions on Tuesday. I went to the area of Obrero with Elder Gonzalez. When we were getting lunch on Tuesday and waiting for the place to make the order, I saw the Argentine version of Jake Israelson. It was like the same person and height and everything, just Latin/Argentine. It was pretty funny. So you can tell him that. 

Divisions went well and we just ended them when we went to the church on Wednesday for the Zone conference. The conference went pretty well and we did a fun little activity to see our knowledge on The Book of Mormon and what scriptures we would use to answer people's questions. And, I actually won it, haha. I had the highest score in the zone...so the zone leaders aren´t as smart as they think they are, haha, just kidding. And, I got a packet from home that had a taco seasoning packet which was awesome. Then, we got some pretty sad news that night. The mission informed us that Sister Scadlock, a sister missionary that was serving in Formosa, died from E Coli. The hospital just didn't have the right stuff they needed to treat her and she wasn´t in good enough condition to travel to Buenos Aires. So keep her family in your prayers. 

Then, we started teaching English classes at the church. Elder Price taught with me. We were going to do 2 classes and we had everything planned, and he changed it all last minute and did one class and kind of ruined it and that was frustrating. But, it should go better the next time and we´ll just put our foot down and keep it the way it was. haha Both la Familia Alvarenga and Julio are doing well. Julio couldn't get to church because of his health, so we´ll hope for his baptism next week. We had to go to a baptism on Saturday, and I knew that they were going to start late, so I was able to bring my notebook of piano music and play and practice for like an hour and a half which was really nice. Other than that, transfers are this coming Sunday, and I would really like to stay. I like Elder Mejia and I could do another transfer here. So, I´ll let you all know what happens. 

The only other thing is the weekly quote and it comes from Dallin H. Oaks this week. He said, "Even as we seek to be meek and to avoid contention, we must not compromise or dilute out commitment to the truths we understand." I like this quote a lot. We must not contend with others, but that doesn't mean that we have to compromise our beliefs and values to do so. Sometimes we just have to walk away to do both. Thanks to everyone who wrote me this week and I hope to hear from you soon.

Les Quiero,
Elder Joshua Clarine

Monday, March 9, 2015

Apostle and 70!

Hey everybody! 

This week was pretty good overall I think. We got some pretty exciting news to start out the week. So, in the church, the highest leader is the Prophet, then the Apostles, then the 70. So, we got news that on the 19th of this month a member of the 70 is going to come and talk to us which should be fun, that´s only happened one other time in the mission. And, the most exciting is that an Apostle is coming to the mission in April. 

We don´t know which one or when in April, but it´ll be cool either way. So, there has been a circus that came to town here in Sáenz Peña and it has been here for like a week now. The truck with the microphone to announce it is always driving around. It´s actually kind of annoying. And, today we went to the zoo again. But, today we went as a zone activity. We went and looked at the animals, had a barbeque, and play ultimate frisbee with a football...because we can´t play real football or even 2 hand touch. But, it was still fun. Other than that, it was a pretty normal week. 

Some contacts here and some lessons there. We have some good people that we´re teaching, but, like always, they all just get lazy on Sundays and can´t wake up to get to church. I don´t think they understand sometimes that I´m a 19 year old...I want nothing more than to sleep, but I still go haha. They just have to get to church and they´ll realize that they like it. La familia Alvarenga is still doing well and getting better every week. And, Julio came to church again! He really liked church last week and wants to keep coming. He even gets dressed up to come. Most people just come in a t-shirt and shorts, but he has his button up shirt and shined shoes and everything! It´s super cool. But, that´s pretty much it for this week. Nothing too exciting or interesting. 

The quote for the week comes from Mark Twain (via my mom who sent it to me). He said, "The two most important days in your life are the day you were born and the day you find out why." I love this quote and it motivates me to really find out why and then follow that path. Thanks to everyone who wrote me this week and I hope to hear from you all soon.

Les Quiero,
Elder Joshua Clarine
 
 Multi-Zone Conference
 BBQ
Fake Smile.
 Done playing.
 BBQ
 A peacock that ate lunch with us.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

17 months!

March 2, 2014 (Mon)

Hey everybody. 
 
So, as the title indicates, I officially hit 17 months in the mission a few days ago, pretty legit. Starting to get pretty close to the end :O 
 
So, this week was pretty fun and interesting. It all started off I guess on Tuesday with the multizone conference. So, we all had to travel to Resistencia to get trained and all that fun stuff for a day. I got to see Elder Goodwin which was really cool. He looked kinda different with his super short hair. And, I was able to see elder Giles. He´s doing good now and it was good to see him. He pretty much hung with my companion and I all day which was cool. I also got a package from my parents that day that had peanut butter in it, yes I already ate it all. It was probably one of the best things I´ve had in awhile. I don´t know why it isn´t popular here. People think it´s like sour or something, so there´s only one store that sells it and they almost never have it. 
 
Then, apparently they had opened up a new subway in Resistencia. So, we went on over to check it out and see if they actually had a meatball sub. The line was super long, but we thought we had time, so we stayed. They did have meatball, although they jipped me on the amount of meatballs, didn´t have oregano or parmesan, and didn´t have buffalo sauce, but it was awesome none the less. But, we were almost out of time. Our bus left at 8 and we left subway at 7:34. So, we started going back to the church, and Elder Giles was with us since his companion didnt want to come, and we got lost. So, we start sprinting to find the church (the rest of our zone was already at the bus station by the way) and we got there, at the church, at 7:47. We dropped off Elder Giles, got our bags, and got in a taxi and told them to get to the bus station as quickly as possible. It normally takes 5-10 minutes to get there, and this fool took 15. We showed up at 8:02, ran to where the buses stop, and saw our bus with all the missionaries pulling away, so we start sprinting to the nearest stop light, it turned red, and we flagged down the bus and got in right before it turned green. Probably the most intense half hour of my mission. But, we made it. 
 
Oh, and in the zone conference we were allowed to watch Meet The Mormons, the new movie thats in theatres. It was in spanish so we didn´t hear their real voices, except for the people from Costa Rica which was cool. It was an awesome movie and it got everyone pumped up. Then, the next day I went on divisions with the zone leaders. I was with Elder Mendoza and Elder Marrin in a trio. Elder Marrin just came here for the week as a mini missionary. He´s only 16, but is a full time missionary til tomorrow, just to see how it´s all done, so it was cool to be with him for his first day as a missionary. He´s only 16 and has already read the Book of Mormon 6 times and read Jesus The Christ once...he goes hard. Then, on Friday we helped Amalia and her family with the water again, and then it rained pretty hard from 2-6, but we were allowed to stay inside til it stopped which was nice. La Familia Alvarenga came to church and basically became "reactivated" with us this week. When a less active member comes to church 3 times, we count them as activated, not coming to church for 2 months makes nthem less active again. So, that was cool to see. And, Julio and Patricia came to church. They were dressed super nice, payed really good attention, liked the classes, and I really think that they´ll be able to progress. We have a baptismal date with them right now for March 21st AKA My Birthday!!! :) So, hopefully I can get to that birthday present. So, it was a pretty good week overall. We had like 2 or 3 days that were hard and that we got rejected most the day, but the other days were pretty legit and we had some pretty good success. 
 
The only other thing I wanted to put in here was the quote which, once again, comes from Quentin L. Cook. He said, "Our daily conduct and choices should be consistent with our goals. We need to rise above rationalizations and distractions." So many of us have goals, but never reach them because we get in our own way. If our goal is a priority, then our life, the way we live, needs to reflect that. Thanks to everyone who wrote me this week and I hope to hear from you all soon...when one of these computers reads my camera, you´ll be getting like 20 pictures haha.
 
Les Quiero,
Elder Joshua Clarine

Monday, February 23, 2015

:)

Hey everybody!!! 

How´s it going?? This week was pretty cool. Some fun things happened I guess. So on monday and tuesday, as I think you already know, we had to be in the apartment early at 7 for the carnival thing. It was kinda ridiculous because I never saw anything about any carnival, but I gladly accepted the extra rest. Then, on wednesday, I had to do divisions with our district leader, Elder Price. He´s from Idaho, he´s a little awkward, but he´s pretty chill I guess. We had a pretty golod day. But, we got a text at like noon that say that we had to be back in the apartment at 5 because there was going to be a nation wide protest against the government. So, we just got back and rested and played uno for awhile with the other elders that live above us. But, I don´t think there was any protest. Because, at like 7, the strongest storm I´ve ever seen in Argentina happened. It only lasted like an hour and a half, but it was SOOO windy and there wasd a ton of rain. But, everything was okay. 

Then on Thursday I found a beetle in my sock...just a fun fact haha. Oh, and I wanted to tell everyone about bag lady. She´s a crazy, old, homeless lady that lives in sáenz peña. She just walks around everywhere with a ton of bags and always asks us for money. We say no, because missionaries cant give anyone money, because then people will think that the church gives away money. So, she always asks us anyways, and when we say no, she proceeds to call us every swear word known to the spanish language. It´s kinda funny actually, because she only does it with the missionaries. And then the next day she asks us for more money haha. 

Anyways, the week of work was good. We´ve been working well with a few investigators and less actives, and they are progressing, they just can´t seem to wake up on sundays to get to church. But, we´ll keep working with them to help them overcome it. Oh, and I got to see Elder Giles this week on this last saturday. His companion had to come to the church here for some leader training since he is a branch president, so they stayed the night with us. That was pretty fun and it was cool to see him and we got some burgers from the gringo loco and it was a chill night and it sounds like he is doing well. So, it was a pretty good and successful week overall if I say so. 

The only other thing would be the quote, which comes from Quentin L. Cook this week. He said, "Many choices are not inherently evil, but if they absorb all of our time and keep us from the best choices, then they become insidious." I love this quote. It follows the good, better, and best principle. Many things we do may not be "bad" but we have so much more potential and these good things keep us from doing great things. So, just strive to make the best choices. :) Thanks to everyone who wrote me this week and I hope to hear from you all soon.
 
Les Quiero,
Elder Joshua Clarine

P.S. The computers have been bad with the pictures, sorry. We shall hope for next week.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Forgot 500

Hey everybody. 

So, last week I had noticed, but forgot to inform you guys, that I hit 500 days in the mission!! that´s a lot of days to me haha anyways, with last week and this week included, I have yet to lose a single game of ping-pong. So, I guess thats one of the nice things of Elder Giles not being here anymore since he´s the only one that could really beat me. 

So, The week went pretty well. On thursday we had our district meeting and we are trading off weeks for a companionship to bring a dessert. so, it was our week this week and we decided to get everyone little ice cream bars from grido. So, that was fun. Oh, and I realized this week that, not counting the MTC, I have now had 3 latin companions and 3 gringos. Elder Mejia is my third latin companion, and the one with the least time. He only has 3 months in the mission. He just barely finished his training. Oh, and today we are only writing for an hour at the church because everywhere else is closed today and tomorrow for some carnival thing. So, we will be writing the other hour tomorrow if possible, or wednesday or thursday depending on when places decide to open back up. 

Anyways, as far as the people of the area go, Sara Quintana is doing well. She was going to come to church and was all ready and everything, but then her son showed up to bring her to his house for something. :( so, we shall hope for next week. And, la familia ponce is still doing well. The kids are always a disaster when we go over there, but they´re a good family. and, we found a family this week that is pretty cool. The familia Sandoval. They were really interested in the lesson and I think they have potential. The only other people would be Maria and her family, the less active members. They are starting to do a lot better and they came to church this week as well. So, now they have been to church 2 of the last 3 sundays! Hopefully they keep it up. That´s pretty much it for this week I think. It was a pretty good week overall and I´m happy with the work right now in the area. Hopefully we´ll have some more success this transfer. 

But, other than that, I just had the weekly quote that I wanted to put in. This week it comes from Carlos A. Godoy who said, "We need to be prepared for the challenges that will come. The best paths in life are rarely the easiest. Often, it is exactly the opposite." I love the quote and the boldness and clarity it uses to show demonstrate a better perspective. We shouldn´t search for the easier way, because it is not the most gradifying. The things that are worth the most, are the hardest to get and I love how true that is in all that we do. Thanks to everyone who wrote me this week and I hope to hear from you all soon. You now even have an extra day or two to write me before I write the other hour! :)

Les quiero,
Elder Joshua Clarine

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Transfers!!

Hey Everybody. 
 
So this week was probably one of the most interesting weeks we´ve had in awhile. So transfers were yesterday! I am in Sáenz Peña still but with an Elder Mejia. They already happened!! We got a call on Sunday that said that transfer calls would now be on Sunday instead of Tuesday. And, they sent Elder Giles off to campo largo and my companion showed up yesterday. It was sad to say goodbye to Elder Giles, even more so because it was unexpected. I will miss him for sure, but am also excited to have another latin. Not counting the MTC, I now have had 3 gringos and 3 latins as companions. And Elder Mejia is from Mexico. 
 
Anyways, more on the week. Elder Giles was still a little sick to start the week off and so we were just in the apartment while he recuperated. Then, Darian, the convert of the sisters that Elder Giles baptized, had his birthday this week. He invited us over to his house to have some cake and soda and it was pretty cool. It went well and he´s a pretty cool guy and a really solid convert. And then on Saturday we had to be in the apartment early again. They say that there are festivals and stuff in the streets, but there is absolutely nothing. But, I´m not complaining. I´ll take the rest. And then church went really well and I taught a class and I really liked it and there was a lot of participation. And, as far as the people of our area go, las familias ponce, Ramirez, and alvarenga (maria´s family) are all doing well and continuing to move forward. Oh, on a sidenote, by staying here this transfer I will officially have 1 year of my 2 year mission in Sáenz Peña haha 6 months in Ensanche Sur and 6 months in Centro. I´m lucky I don´t hate the place haha 
 
Other than that I just had the weekly quote. This week it comes from Dieter F Uchtdorf. He said, “Let us acknowledge that most often gaining a testimony is not a task of a minute, an hour, or a day. It is not once and done. The process of gathering spiritual light is the quest of a lifetime.” I love this quote. A testimony, or belief, doesn´t come or stay from one experience. We have to constantly try to grow in faith, in knowledge, and in all aspects of life.Thanks to everyone who wrote me this week and I hope to hear from you all soon.
 
Les Quiero,
Elder Joshua Clarine

P.S. Mail takes about 5-6 weeks to get to me and my birthday is in just under 6 weeks…and I put letters on the wishlist this year ;) haha

This computer doesn´t accept any device being plugged into it...we´ll hope for pictures next week.

Monday, February 2, 2015

10 months!

Hey everybody. 

I officially have 10 months of my mission in Sáenz Peña now. I´m semi hoping to get to a year just to say that I did haha. Anyways, this week went pretty well I guess. the only bad thing is that Elder Giles and I both had our times of sickness. We had district meeting on Tuesday and I wasn´t feeling crazy good. From like Tuesday to Thursday I was just feeling a little stuffed up, almost like allergies, but they weren´t allergies. But, they were never that bad so that´s the good thing. 

Amalia and her family are still doing well. Sara Quintana is progressing pretty well, it´s just hard for her to get to church; partly for her age and partly out of pure laziness. but, we´ll get her there. And, these less actives in our area, Nicolas Dezcano and a lady named Maria and her family have all started to come to church. We have been working with them and it´s awesome to see them start to come back. On top of that, a long time investigator (of like years) of the sisters got baptized this last week. It was pretty cool and he actually asked Elder Giles to baptize him. That surprised us and really came out of nowhere, but it was a nice little surprise for Elder Giles I guess. 

And, on Saturday we had to go in to the apartment early. Only, I have no idea why. There was apparently some carnival or circus or protest or something going on. I have no idea honestly. Now, the bad news. Elder Giles started to get pretty sick on Saturday and was dying at night and was so bad on Sunday morning that we couldn´t even go to church. That was the first time in my mission that we haven´t been able to go because someone was so sick. So, keep him in your prayers and hopefully he gets better soon. 

Other than that I just have the quote of the week. I´m claiming that the quote is just something that I came up with, I just thought of it and wrote it down and have it on the wall in the apartment, but if it belongs to someone else, then I´ve never read it before haha. It says, "You cannot become patient without opportunites to act impatiently." I like it and I´ll just leave it to you guys to think about :) Thank you to everyone that wrote me this last week and I hope to hear from you all soon.

Les Quiero,
Elder Joshua Clarine
 
 A Catholic Church in Cordoba.
 The city.
 The temple.

Elder Giles baptizing Darian.