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


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 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
Fake Smile.
 Done playing.
 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