Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Week 58: Outside the Box

Hello to all of my friends and family!

Another week has just flown by! It's been incredible all of the things we've been able to do and learn! 

On Monday we headed on over to Spegazzini A to spend the week with Elder Martinez and Elder Affleck. We spent the week teaching lots of repentance and almost baptizing some converts. We taught lot's of lessons, and found lot's of people I guess you could say it was a successful week!

On Tuesday we had District meeting, Elder Martinez was our District leader for the week, we've been talking lots about teaching repentance and baptizing converts, so that was a lot of his focus. Elder Lima and I, we gave a little workshop about teaching repentance to the people, we did a practice with the missionaries and we could all learn a little bit better how to put in practice what we always say we should do. Elder Martinez then whipped out a few examples and then for the last 15 minutes we all left the church and we went out looking for people to teach and contact! It was super great being able to put in practice what we had learned right away. Sometimes we finish the District meeting and then we go back to our areas and we eat lunch and then when we finally get back to proselyting we have already forgotten the majority of what we learned. This time instead of waiting  we were able to get right to it and try it out!

On Wednesday Elder Lima and I we had to head on over to Banfield to have our Leadership Counsel with all of the leaders of the mission. We all talked about what we think the mission needs to change, what are the things that we need to make better and what we can do to achieve all of these things! And at the end we had about 35 minutes really quick, we did the same practice that we did with the District leaders, the ETM's were the "leaders" of 4 different teams and we went out and we did proselyting for a short time! One of the new sayings of President and the assistants is "The best way to learn is doing!" Which I think is 100% correct! So we're trying out lot's of new things!

On Thursday, I had to come all the way back to Burzaco, which is super close to Adrogué (where the mission offices are) I came with Elder Martinez so he could do some of his Visa paperwork. So this week I had to do a ton of traveling, but it was good, I had some time to get to know Elder Martinez a little bit better, we talked about how good the changes are that President is doing with the mission, how it's hard when some of the missionaries don't want to accept the changes and we talked about how we're trying to put in practice what President has asked us to do. There are lot's of changes, but change is a great opportunity to learn and to try new things.

This week has been such a great learning week for me, throughout all of the week we've been talking about how we can think outside the box, how we can change, how we can break the old traditions and try different things, just because our forefathers taught us something in a certain way, doesn't mean that we can't try something new! We've been trying lot's of new ways of teaching, lot's of new ways of talking with the people of doing follow-up of planning lot's of different things. And we've been seeing great results. We fought all week long so that we could have a baptism, but then the one girl that was ready to be baptized on Friday she decided to go to her dad's house for the weekend. But this week we're coming in with some new ideas, new plans new everything! It's going to be a great week!

This week we're going to San-Vicente! San-Vicente is right next to Alejandro-Korn! In the Zone of Longchamps!! So I'll get to pass through my old area real quick!! Whoo!! We're super excited for this week!

On Thanksgiving we ordered some empanadas and we ate them in memory of Thanksgiving, but I hope that the rest of you all had a great week! That you enjoyed thanksgiving and that you could eat some pie and enjoy Black Friday! I love you all!! Chau chau!!

-Elder Slack

PS: Here are the photo's from the week!! I forgot to tell you all! We also did a service project on Saturday! We helped a sister in the ward to replace her roof, but right when we finished taking off the old roof it started RAINING! A ton of rain! We all got soaked! And we couldn't even finish putting on the new roof because the electricity went out because the rain got to the electricity box! AHH!! So we through some chapas (as they call them here, it's like metal serrated roofing) on top and covered up the majority of it all. We ate some asado, and the ward decided that we would finish on Monday! Elder Martinez and I we had to go back to the pench to change in the pouring rain so we got just a little wet! haha! But don't worry we got all dry and changed before we went out to work again! That's all Folks!! Until next week!
-Elder Slack

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Week 57: What a week!

Hello World! You're hearing from me tonight, we're back and it's Sunday! Here as an ETM we get back from the area after lunch on Sundays and now we're here in the offices of the mission. We have  a little bit of time to relax, go over the week with the other half of the team and when there's time we can do part of our emails! So I'm going to write this email to all of you right now, and then if anyone wants to send me an email you can send it and I'll look at it tomorrow! 

But it's been a great week here!! It was a great week with the Elders in Burzaco B, there were a few last minute changes on Monday night, we got there and there were a few phone calls made and one of the Elders was transfered super fast. On Tuesday morning they brought over Elder Smout! So we spent the week with Elder Smout and Elder Tolentino!! It was a great week, full of miracles and lot's of learning!!

Some good news real quick, the mission let's us use one of the cameras that they have, so I'm back taking some photos!! So all of you will be happy to see my smiling face, now with 14 Mega pixels!! Haha!

I spent the majority of the week with Elder Tolentino because Elder Smout didn't know anything about the area. We had a few exciting things that happened so I'll try and sum it all up for you guys!

All week we were working really hard to be able to find new people and with the people that we were already teaching to be able to help them be baptized if possible, we had a youth that is 14 years old that wanted to be baptized, he passed the interview and everything but the district leader said that he felt he should wait a week or 2 more. So he wasn't able to be baptized. But we found a ton of people, working together we found some people super ready and prepared for the Gospel of Jesus Christ in their lives. We left the area with 3 people and another family with baptismal dates so that they can help them by doing lots of follow- up. We hope that all of them can be baptized in the weeks to come. The 3 people, Yanina, her sister Zoe, and the youth that was preparing to be baptized came to church today!! 

On Thursday the assistants called us up and they asked us to come to the training meeting of the district leaders so we went over Adrogué (where the offices of the mission are) and we helped them out. We did a proselyting activity, they told us that the best way to learn is to do, so we went out to work and find new people for 2 hours!!  They had us be the "leaders" of 4 different groups, we went out to work and find lot's of people to teach and to help! It was great!! I went with and elder, his name is Elder Soelberg, from Utah as well. After doing lot's of contacts and finding lot's of great people decided that we needed not only to talk with lot's of people, but we wanted to teach someone! We found one man in the train station that was selling shoes, he was just chilling there in front of all the people, and none of the missionaries had ever talked to him. We talked to him for a bit, we explained the Restoration and we asked him to say the prayer to end. As he prayed he started praying for his family for the problems that he has had with his wife and his son. He ended the prayer and started to tear up a little bit, he told us about how he's been having problems for awhile and that he's been searching for help. As we talked with him that day I felt that we were able to bring him a little bit of the help he was looking for! 

On Friday we went back to work with the elders in Burzaco, and on Saturday we were able to find a few new people to teach and the hermanas in the ward had a baptism, we invited a ton of investigators to the baptism and it was great. Only 2 of them could come, but I felt that they were able to start to feel the spirit a little bit better and then they came to church this morning too! 

One exciting but terrible thing happened yesterday on Saturday, I was pedaling along on the bike with my companion, I decided that I want to go a little bit faster (bad decision number 1) so I stood up on the pedals (bad decision 2) and pedaled with all my might to get to the investigators faster (I thought, and bad decision 3) as I accelerated the chain popped out on the bike, that's alright I thought, I'll just slow down and fix it. NOPE it seems like the bike had other ideas, the handlebars bent down from the pressure I was putting on them I fell straight down hit my hangdowners on the bar in the middle of the bike and I dove for the front of my bike head first I hit the grass and did a few somersaults. WHOO! It was super fun. I was not injured seriously, but I did hit one part.... in particular pretty hard! Needless to say I was in pain for quite some time, we retreated to the church close there for 20 minutes so I could recover. 

Anyway's that was my week! It was incredible! I'll read all of your emails tomorrow and I'll respond! Here's some photos! I love you all! It's great here! This week we're off to Spegazini in the zone of Monte Grande!! Whoo!! Until next week!! Chau!

-Elder Slack

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Week 56: The Office

Elder Slack, the Lord has called you to serve as a part of the new ETM Team........ What?? 

Well, another week has come and gone folks, here I am yet again with another surprise for you all!! This week we had TRANSFERS! We were pretty sure that Elder González would be going to another area or something like that, but it looks like the Lord has other and better plans in mind for us!

The Assistants called us the other day and they told us that Elder González is going to be staying in Alejandro-Korn, and I would be a part of something new here in the mission, it's called the ETM-Team. Which stands for Expertos en el Trabajo Misional Team, (which means in English, Experts in Missionary Work)! "Wow!" I thought... "What's that mean?" Haha! Well, they told us that what used to be the "asistente viajeros" (traveling assistants) in the mission are now going to be a group of 4 missionaries that would travel week to week in different areas, the first week 2 missionaries would go to an area and find a ton of people to teach, they will go and find the people the Lord has prepared. Then the second week the other two missionaries are going to go in, teach, prepare and BAPTIZE everyone that is possible! So... I'm going to be a part of that team. I'll be in the second group. So that means that every week I'm going to go to a different area and help out the missionaries so that they baptize as many people as possible! To tell you the truth, I was not expecting anything like this this last week, I was waiting around expecting that I would be staying in Alejandro-Korn until Christmas and everything, but it seems like the Lord has other plans for me! I'm a little nervous for all that we are going to be doing. My companion will be Elder Lima, I shared a pension with him back when I was in Villegas. We are going to go the area and we will do splits with the elders there all week, every day we'll changes companions. We're super excited, I know that Presidente Calquín is trusting in me a lot with this assignment. Now I'm just going to go and give it all I've got! Oh, and Elder Miller, from Brighton High School is part of the team too, but he's part of the first group, but we'll be working together still!

Well, that wasn't the only big excitement of this week, It's been a crazy last week in Alejandro-Korn, we've been planning and preparing all week the Kermese, which is like a carnival type thing. It went SUPER great!! We put soooooooo much time into planning and preparing all of the games and activities, but at the end of everything, it turned out amazing!! About 60 people came, the cultural hall was stuffed!!! I was on the basketball stand the whole time, so I had to pass the ball to the people, mark there ticket and cheer them on as they took there 3 shots! 

This week we passed by Olindo, who was going to be baptized, he's 81 years old and is really awesome, but the woman that is the owner of the house where he lives thinks that we are wizards or something like that. So he said that he can't have anything more to do with the church, that he wants to go, but he doesn't have anywhere else to live. So that was really really sad. 

Anyways, I'll attach a few photos of the families from Alejandro-Korn and the 1 photo I have of the activity of one of the members playing my basketball game!! I love you all! I hope you have a great week! This week I'm going to be in an area that's called Burzaco, with Elder Tolentino! My trainer!! Love you guys!! Chau!

-Elder Slack

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Week 55: A storm is coming Mr. Wayne

HELLO! Hey hey! Welcome back all of you to this weeks news, coming straight from Argentina where you can get all the up's and down's, all of the left's and the right's, and if you even want we can give you the zig-zag's! Coming up right now straight from the life of Elder Slack, don't miss a chance like this to hear directly from me what's been going on!

Well well my friends and family, this last week there have been some mild changes in the mission. We received an email from our mission president this last week, there have been a few changes in the rules! We now have the exclusive opportunity to listen to only music from the Mormon tabernacle choir, or from the church! WOW!! #blessed! Am I right or am I right? As well, a few other changes, in the photos that we take, president has asked the we always look like representatives of Jesus Christ, because we are! So, I guess you will all have to say farewell to the funky faces of Elder Slack because we're just going to be all smiles here :D!! As well, we are not going to be having any more zone activities, we can have 1-2 district activities every transfer, Disney movies, that would be a no, because we are going to be having cleaner and safer and more productive activities from now on!! WHOO!! :D And as well, we can't visit the temple, even with investigators only if we have a convert who goes to receive their endowments or be sealed or if we go with the mission president. A few changes, but we're all good! It's all for the better of all the things! WHOO!!

Anyways, outside of that this week we've been doing a ton of prep for a ward mission activity that we are going to have this week, we're going to put on something that's called a Kermese here, it's like a fair or carnival type thing, but we're going to do it in the church, all of the members are going to invite tons of friends and family and we are hoping that we can help all of the people to get to know the inside of the church, and we are going to relate it to the plan of Salvation. Everyone will be given a certain amount of tickets, they can play all the games they want, and depending on how well they do on the games they will receive a ticket of a different color, at the end of it all the different colors will represent the different prizes that they will receive, the prize will represent the three kingdoms of glory. It's going to be great!!

And!! Just to make this week even better than ever, we had exchanges, you are not going to believe with who! With ELDER CORDEIRO!!! WHOO!! Yup! With my old companion from back in Villegas Elder Cordeiro! It was super great, he's a district leader here in our zone so we got to go on exchanges and be companions again for a day! It was super awesome, we got to remember a few of the fun and crazy things we did back in Villegas and we got to see how much we have both grown and changed!! It was great!!

On Thursday, we had a super Family home evening in the ward, Elder González and I, we put on a little musical show, we put on santa hats and we were able to sing a Christmas hymn for part of the ward. And we planned with those who were there what kinds of activities we can do as a ward to help the other people get to know the church through the Christmas season!!

And, the week's fun doesn't stop there, on Friday we had interviews with our mission president! Presidente Calquín! He's super awesome, I can see that he really loves every one of the missionaries and has lots of desires that we can become even great than we are! And in the same day we received a little bit of training from the assistants to the president, wow, I mean WOW! We did a practice of a whole lesson, it was super great, we learned a ton from what they taught us!!

And, I think I told you last week that we were going to have a baptism, well..... The investigator didn't come to the interview again! NOO!! So close! But we understand, he's 81 years old, what can you expect? We're hoping that this week we can get things together and he can be baptized this weekend. 

Anyways, it's been an incredible week, full of miracles and fun! This week is the last week of the transfer, so probably my last week with Elder González, but I'm still super excited to keep working hard here with my new companion if I get one!! Anyways, until next week, we'll be seeing us!! I'm still in search of a camera, so we'll see what we can find. Anyways! Chau chau!!

-Elder Slack

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Week 54: Hey Hey! It's Haloween!!

Hello world! Welcome back to the world of Elder Slack, where you can get the latest updates and news about the world and life about Elder Slack in Argentina!! Haha!!

This week has been amazing, very interesting, I learned a lot, and we ate a lot. That's about it! Until next week!! Chau!
-Elder Slack

(I, Stockton's mom, thought that was it for the week, and then Stockton sent the following email. I just love my son! I'm glad he can still have a sense of humor and finds joy as a missionary.)

Just kidding mom!! Haha! But Now for the real letter!! Haha! It's been a great week, we started off with the district meeting on Tuesday, it was super great, our district leader did a game where we all got to know eachother better, where we started conversations one with another and we talked. Then he connected it to our contacts, that we need to get to know the investigators, that we can't just talk to them like "Church church churchidy church church" But we should talk to them like normal people because they are normal people, and so are we!! Haha! It was super great!! 

On Wednesday we've been preparing a bunch of stuff for a ward activity we are going to do, well we made some errors with my companion and people said things and well, at the end of everything my companion was super duper mad. I felt pretty bad, but I didn't know why, well I talked to him after a bit and I found out he felt like another missionary and I were attacking him. Well, after a lot of confusion and an apology we got mostly everything fixed out. We're still working with a few things, but all in all we are doing better now!

I had 2 exchanges this week, the first I was with Elder Hernandez! He's an awesome missionary from Mexico, he's 26 years old and he's being trained right now. A great missionary, we were able to talk to some great people in su area of Brandsen, it was pretty awesome! The other I stayed here in Alejandro Korn with Elder Juarez from Tucumán Argentina, it's a different province. That went really well, there was a ton of wind and we were getting blown all over the place, but we lived! Haha! We were able to teach a few people really quick then we went to the welcoming home ward party of a missionary from the ward. He's super awesome and now here in the ward we've got another member that can help us out with lessons with members! He gave a great testimony and everyone was so happy to see him again.

On Friday we finished the exchanges and me and my companion were back together again!! That day we received a call from the offices of the mission saying that we needed to call every companionship in our zone and ask about 15 questions to everyone of them to be able to send a report to the mission president. We started that night at around 9:30 and we called a few of them, then we finished the rest of the calls the next morning, which in total took about 3 hours!! Whoo! haha! but we finished it all and we sent them the report and they were very pleased with our efforts!

And! Just to brag about how good the ward here is, we have Lunch everyday with a member or family, and we had 2 dinners this week too! It was super great! The members are so nice here, they help us out a ton with the lessons when we ask them and they give us food! which is even better! 

And The crazy story of the week! Yesterday morning, we went to go out the door to go to church and...... The door wouldn't open! They key couldn't turn the lock!! We were locked in!! Ahh!! So what do we do? Well, while my companion kept trying to open the door I tried to take off the hinges, didn't work. So we looked to the windows!! There was luckily 1 window that didn't have bars on the front. It just had a mosquito net. So we had to use some tricks learned from my father and my construction work with my Uncle Kevin and we were able to take it off and jump out! We ran to the church and we only got there 5 minutes late! Haha! What a morning right? 

Anyways! Work calls! The world needs saving and more happiness! Until next week on Elder Slack news!! Chau!!

-Elder Slack