Monday, December 26, 2011

Las bendiciones de Navidad (Bleesings of Christmas)

Another year has come and gone by...

Well, if there is one thing that I would tell you this go-around is that Christmas is not the same as back at home. The Argentine traditions differ quite a bit. Let´s see if I can describe kinda what happened in the past few days with all of these fiestas and good times.

After we had our fun Saturday lunch at the nearby fair at one of the member´s stands(empanadas and lomos...Mmmmm), we stopped by one of our investigators houses and tried to teach a bit but there was no hope. Everyone is preparing for the parties that night. So we went in for the day and started our travel over to 25 de Mayo(the area of other Elderes in our District) where we planned to go and festejar mucho. We got there, enjoyed some many Argentine snacks and gaseosa(carbonation) and played card games, talked and just enjoyed ourselves until dinner which normally starts at 9...and it did. Ha. Dinner was pretty fun. There was a good selection of meats(chicken, steak, sausage, morsilla(a type of blood sausage in which the elderes dared me to I did), etc), pan(as always with every single meal that they eat here), coca-cola, sanwichitas, potato salad(but not as good as yours mom), and some other stuff. It was enjoyable to make one happy and super full. After the long dinner we sang some himnos of Navidad and then followed through with our little mini secret santa thing. Soon after that we had our before Christmas toast with what I believed to be non-alcoholic wine that Elder Galati brought for all to enjoy for the Felices Fiestas and then at 12:00 a ton of fireworks all went off and we enjoyed that outside for the next while. Then a few of them walked us back to the 25 de Mayo pension for the night. Since it was Christmas we surely did not want to go to bed so we stayed up super late playing cards and chatting till about 4 in the morn. Papá Noel didn´t visit me in their pension, he left my stocking in our pension so I had to wait a little more that usual to enjoy my gifts. My comp even has to wait until this Wednesday when he hopefully gets his package from Papa Noel. But anyways, after a bit of present opening on Christmas Day, it was time to go to church. This was definitely one of the highlights of these past few days, kind of a Christmas miracle placed in our path(literally...). We saw a man named Moisés that asked us about the church and what time it was at. We told him that we only have reunión sacramental today and it starts in a few minutes. It appeared that he walked all the way to the chapel at 9:30, the time that it usually starts, and found that nobody was there so he walked back. He walked back to the church with us. He told us that he just got here in Argentina 2 weeks ago from Bolivia to work in the fields for a time( like just about half the population here does) and he has had a little experience with the church but not much. He is a super cool guy and definitely is a hope for the future. Potential christmas miracle baptism coming right up!

We have a few other investigators right now that have been progressing a little bit. Next week I will probably have more deets to inform you about their progress towards eternal life and complete, neverending happiness.

I put up a bunch of new pictures. A few of them may be worth more than a thousand words. I will let you make up your own story with the esequia incident. I don´t think I have described exactly what esequias(I have no clue how to spell it, but this is how I would spell it) are. Well, I don´t think anyone here knows quite exactly their purpose is, but they are just trenches, usually filled with water that are on both sides of the road...everywhere you go. A lot of people just use them as a garbage so it makes it look even more gross and wasteful here. They are basically just mini canals.

It was really great being able to talk with the family for a while yesterday. It made me happy that everyone was enjoying their Christmas. I´m glad that all of the parties were fun and enjoyable as always. Have fun with the iPad. I don´t quite understand why the girls would need queen size beds because I am pretty sure they are not 6' 3". I quite enjoy sleeping on these twin beds with my feet hanging all the way off. Ha ha. I hope Mallory enjoys her new pink iPod and Maggie also with all of her toys. Enjoy the little break you get from school too. I heard it is not snowing way too much. Were you able to have a white christmas? I am glad to hear that Mallory still keeps me in her prayers every night. I am really thankful for that and it makes me happy. Make sure that you pray that some people can get baptized here and that we can keep working really hard.

Elder Hudgens and I are doing just swell out here in Bombal. We are still enjoying all of the awesome experiences that we are having. He is teaching me a ton about the missionary that I can be. We both try and uplift each other as much as we can so that we can use the Lord´s time as effective as possible. We are trying to teach a lot but a lot of times the people are just hard to get to sit down with us and just take a few minutes to talk about church stuff. I know Argentines as always getting way off topic and neverending talking. The mission wants us to keep our visits really short with everyone so we can have more visits with more people. That would be nice... ha ha.

I am super tired from the past few days, so this is will be all for today. It appears that we have some other things to do today like hacer some compras and perhaps jugar some ping pong. Vamos a ver...

Thank you for everything. The continuing prayers and support that I never stop noticing. Keep praying for me that I can have some more success while I´m out here in the service. Hope all had a good Christmas! Till next week.

Signing out is Elder Deven Larisch

PS: La Iglesia es verdadera! Sin duda

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas

What a great Christmas it was and especially to hear Elder Larischs voice!!  He is doing great and loves the work and the people in Argentina.  The food is quite different and their eating times are very different--he said that he was still getting used to them.   They have breakfast when they wake up and then their lunch is their BIG meal.  He said it contains a lot of food and thats when they usually eat at the members houses and then after their lunch they have a ciesta for some time--he thinks cause it is too hot to do anything else and also, so they can sleep off some of what they ate!  Their dinner time is beween 9 and 10 at night! He said some days they are really hungry and some days they are really full. 
Christmas in Argentina is just one fiesta after another so they have had some fun these past few days!!
He was able to talk to all of us and we spent about an hour and a half with him!  The best present for me was when I heard "I LOVE YOU MOM!" 
My sweet friend Janay gave me this poem and I love it and thought that I would share...grab some tissues first!! 
Click on poem to enlarge
Merry Christmas!!

Monday, December 19, 2011

No está comenzando a parecer como Navidad...pero es el qué dirán "no necesitamos nieva para tener un buen tiempo"...(It is starting to look like Christmas..but who says you need snow to have a good time)


How is everything going on back at home? We had a good week. Ya know what they say, "When in Rome." It is now acercando(closening) to Navidad and we are sweating bullets 24 horas en un día y 7 días en una semana! I can´t wait till Christmas thought it is going to be really good this year even though I can´t enjoy it back home with the fam. Christmas here is a montón(a lot) different than back at home. Here, it is just fiestas, fiestas, and some more fiestas. And there is going to be a lot of tomando(drinking) and fun stuff like that. Oh yeah, and fuegos artificiales(fireworks). There are a bunch of rules on how to stay safe as a missionary, like you can only go outside at certain times and you can´t wear missionary clothes. We are going to be at members houses for dinners and mormon fiestas too so no se preocupe mom. Today, we have planned as a district a little festivity. We are going to be playing a bunch of games and we have a secret santa thing and a white elephant party. I will have to send pics because it is going to be something to remember for sure!

I still keep showing the pictures of family to a lot of the families that I teach and they love it. I definitely need more pictures though, you should try and print out some good pictures of me playing ping pong and other ones with family and friends that I don´t already have. I just need more variety. Ha. That would be great. Oh yeah, and if you could send some CD´s next time of some good uplifting music artists. If you could send me a CD of The Lower Lights, that would be good, I like their stuff. Thanks

Hmm, let´s see. With the investigators this week, unfortunately we did not have anyone show up at church even though we got more or less a 137 compromisos(commitments). We had a zone fast on friday for people to get baptized this month so let´s wait and see what blessings are to come and be bestowed upon us. We have a few new families: La familia Quiero and la familia Zapata. They are going to definitely have some potencial in the near future, they may have a good desire to learn more.

Elder Hudgens almost got mauled by a beardog, but unfortunately he escaped. So much for a good story...

Oh, and I gave my first discurso in Castellano yesterday which was pretty cool. They told us that we were speaking about an hour before Sacrament meeting so...we had to rush-prepare. It went really good. I talked for 10-15 minutes about how charity and service are one and how they can be more charitable and serviceful this Christmas Season.

I got my first hair cut by a ward member who had just got her hair cutting license thing. She did okay...but the definite highlight of that trip was that she lost her tortuga(turtle) because she put it outside and ran away. Ha ha. I have never heard anything of this sort until now but it was really true. We looked for it for about a half hour with no luck at all. I think I want a pet tortuga when I go home...

Well this is about all the time I have to explain the mission life this time. Time for a good Spiritual thought Christmas style. Okay, here´s a new one: This Christmas season, look past the gifts and Santa Clause and focus on the true meaning of Christmas.

Ha ha. Okay, maybe that´s not the most unique Christmas thought I could ever give. But really, that is the most important thing that we need to remember. I love Jesus Christ and this time of year even though it does not feel the same here. One of the finding ideas that we have been putting through initiation is sharing Christmas thoughts and testifying of Christ. What an amazing opportunity it is to go and be able to tell people my feelings of Christ basically every single day. Since I do it everyday, I am throwing out this challenge to all that are within the radius to hear this. I hereby challenge YOU to go out to one of your non-member friends or less active friends(if you don´t have any, just go talk to the nearest person) and share a message of Christ. Let´s see if you have the will to do this small task.

Thanks for all of the prayers and support that I always feel coming my way. I hope that you can all have a wonderful Christmas season and watch "It´s a Wonderful Life" or something like that.

I have attached a few pics. But even better news I have just recently thrown an album together on your account @ so check it out. I hope Mallory likes it.

1. Zombie Dog

2. My Favorite Towel and future white elephant without the cropping

3. Our Goal for a White Christmas...

4. Baptism 1

5 Baptism 2 (Can´t remember if I sent these yet...l)

6 The other dumb dog that always comes to the pension begging for anything

7 Lexi´s best friend

8 Classy 1

9 Classy 2

Monday, December 12, 2011

¡Navidad se acerca! (Christmas is coming)

Buen Día Amigos y Familia,

I am doing pretty good this week. We were so-so successful this week because we are having some problems with our investigators just keeping their commitments. On Saturday night we thought that we were going to have a bunch of people at church with us because we were rockin the references and almost did half our goal for the week in one day! But unfortunately, sometimes Latinos just like to say "yes" and don´t do too much about it. That´s why it is kinda hard to misionar(the verb for "to do missionary work", yes it is a real word) sometimes here. For some of our investigators, they are part of part member families and they don´t really feel too much about the church and really just need to humble themselves a bit, so my companion and I came to the conclusion that the best approach is to pray for trials directed towards them. Nothing too hard, just some burdens that they will not be able to bear themselves.

I am still getting trying to get the hang of the language but every week I am definitely seeing progress. If there was one thing that I could wish for, it would be just to be able to understand what the natives are trying to say to me. I can always fumble around in my own words and still get the point across but I would be able to teach a lot more if I could understand them better. We have been spending time with this one member family(actually it is one of the part member families, we are trying to talk to their sister Rosa who is just lost in her life right now) that has been helping me a lot with the language. Before I came to Argentina, people were telling me that the Spanish in Argentina is very beautiful and almost sounds like they are singing the language. Correction. That only applies to certain people because I have heard some terrible slurry Spanish and I have heard some that is just fun to listen to because they tone up and down a lot when they are talking. I have also noticed how a lot of gringo Elders that are about to go home haven´t really picked up to good of an accent. My goal is different, I hope to leave looking and sounding like a Mendocino. Eh, we´ll see. Ha.

I am still getting used to the Spanish Church here. It is so different to hear everything in a different language in all the meetings! I think I was supposed to give a talk in Sacrament meeting yesterday but it ended up that there was a primary program. Oh boy was that a treat. You know how they are really funny to watch when you are in Utah, well it gets just about tripled when you come to Argentina. Ha. All the kids are so funny because none of them knew what they were doing and it appeared like it wasn´t very well prepared. But nonetheless, it was a very good sacrament meeting. I just wish we could have had some of our investigators there to enjoy it with us. Oh well, next week! One other thing that is different is that Argentines do not have very good voices. A lot of times they don´t have anyone that plays the piano so they just sing A´capella and it does not sound very good... ha ha. My comp plays piano well so maybe I will dust of the good ol´ piano skills a bit and play some Himnos while I am here. Lucía, the old crippled lady that we baptized last week is doing amazing! She is so spiritually strong right now that she could move a mountain. She knows a lot and wants to help us out in the missionary work because she has some friends that she knows that need this in their lives. Superb!

Dang, I can´t believe there are already Christmas parties going on. Isn´t it like 95 degrees outside...yep, it every day...Ha ha. We as a companionship are acually dreaming of a White Christmas. How could this be? you ask. Well, we actually are planning to have a few baptisms on December 24th. I wanna be dressed in all white on that day, so we are going to try our hardest to get these people feeling the spirit and knowing how important being baptized is. One thing that really helps in the missionary work is being bold and we are going to do just that.

The verdict is that they do not allow Skype-ing in this mission. It has something to do with obtaining the number or code for the U.S. or somethin. I don´t know. I will be calling though for sure and I will follow up with more information at a later time.

That is really awesome that Brandon is finally gonna leave and be a missionary. I bet he is just dying to get to be in the MTC for 3 months learning Ruso. Good luck to him!

Well, this is about all that I have time for this go-around. The Spiritual Thought of Elder Larisch this week is going to be more of a Spiritual Compromiso for you. Do missionary work! It helps out the missionaries SO much when you as a member are helping them out in their full-time work. Always remember that you have also partaken of the fruits of this Gospel and have the knowlege that others are searching for. Share your testimony with others. When you see missionaries, go up to them and give them a reference to someone who is maybe going through a hard time or who is going through important times in their life like a marriage or death or a newborn. A lot of times, that is when people may be searching the most for help with burdens and challenges. How amazing is the gift of the Atonement that we can be relieved of our burdens. Go and share this! Every member a missionary, as some general authorities would say it.

Thanks for all of the prayers and support. It is amazing how I can just feel the love. Lo envio atras donde vino, a mi familia y amigos.

Con Amor,

Elder Larisch

¡La Iglesia es verdadera! ¡Sin duda!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Navidad en el verano esta Veniendo (Christmas in the summer is coming)


Yes Mom, I am getting all of your e-mails and it is probably definitely the best way to keep in touch with me. It is always good to open up the email and see lots there waitin for me. I am not exactly sure about the exact amount of time that it takes for the letters and pouch to get to me. I got a dearelder from Grandma this week. First letter of the mission! Woo hoo! And yes, the baptism all went well!!! Woo hoo! I´ll have to tell ya bout it later in the email. Yep, you should go on the google maps thing and find Colonia Bombal and drive around in it. It is definitely one of the most farmiest places I have ever seen! Going into the city here in Mendoza is just a whole different world, people everywhere and lots more stores and stuff. My area basically has nothing... ha ha. I just sent another copy of that other email and tried to make sure that the pictures went through. Hope you got em. Hmm, what do we do on P-day? Well, the first couple P-days we went to Shopping, which is just the mall, and basically just did whatever was fun over there and did some compras but I never bought anything. I am on the lookout for a stylin jersey that is cheap but classy. In Argentina there is a pretty big rivalry which could be related to the Yankees and Red Sox but in Fútbol. The two teams are Boca and River. I need to choose one soon because everybody is asking me team I am a fan of. I think I´m leanin a little more towards River. Ha. I don´t know. We haven´t really had the best P-days ever. We can´t even go to Shopping anymore because the offices just sent us a message that we have to stay in our Zone for P-days and Shopping is just about 100 yards out of reach. Bummer. Today, we are getting some of the Zone together and playin games and stuff in the church after we are all done doing our stuff today. I just always look forward to Ping Pong, even though there are only a few that actually like to play. I hear that there are some really good Latinos in the Ward. But yeah, there aren´t very many cool sight-seeing spots in this area at all. I would have to be in more of a tourist town area. Maybe in the future. The mission pres is one of the coolest guys I have ever met. It is always just awesome to go and have him teach us stuff. Thats how all mission presidents are. He is making a lot of changes in the mission so it may be a bit hard to adjust our ways but I know that it is just going to revolutionize this mission. The language is coming very slowly. I really just hope and pray that it will start to come a little bit faster so that I could participate more in the lessons and be more of a help. But even though I haven´t been able to speak much in Castellano, I feel like I have still been able to communicate my feelings and teach the people. The gift of tongues is awesome. I need to start praying more for the gift of the interpretation of tongues now. And last question, yes my comp is pretty awesome, I am learning a lot from him and we are doing pretty great as a compañerismo.

Well, it sounds like Elder Kenyon made it home safe and sound. Now he just needs to remember all of the amazing experiences he had on his mission and never forget it. And always carry around a small photo album of his mission pics so he can show them on dates so he can win a heart of one of those BDOGs(Beautiful Daughters Of God), wow, I haven´t used that abbreviation in a while. Jason, follow the advisement of the profeta, go find a woman!

Mom, that´s awesome that you got that new calling as a Missionary Correspondent! I have never heard of that calling before, it must just be special for you because we have a ton of missionaries in the Ward! So are you going to be gathering all of the other missionaries stuff so I can find out how everyone is doing? I guess both of the mail addresses that we have work, but people are sayin that the one that says casillo de correo is a bit faster. I don´t know. Try it out.

I´m sorry to hear about the passing away of Sister Wiscomb. I think I remember who she is now that you said that she worked at Southland. I hope the family is doing okay. I bet it was really hard for them. Wasn´t she pretty young?

It sounds like everyone is done with Thanksgiving and getting ready for Navidad over there. Thats cool that you got two trees. We are thinking about going and getting one at some market. Chirstmas is gonna be a lot different this year but it will still be really good. We got some good stuff planned. They celebrate Christmas a lot different here though, I will have to tell you more next time about their Christmas traditions. It has a lot to do with fuegos artificiales y tomando mucho...

This week for definitely had its very high ups and some más o menos days. Aight, I´ll start off with the downers for us. We can´t really say right now that we have any progressing investigators but we have a lot to work with. It is just impossible to catch anyone when they are home or have time to charlar(have discussions) with us. But we have a few that are just definitely in need of the Gospel in their life and are willing to listen. I don´t know if I ever told you this but the Area of Colonia Bombal, the area that my companion and I are in right now is the only area in the mission that uses bikes. But the news is that they have been arreglando(fixing) for the whole time I have been here. But, they are supposedly supposed to be here tomorrow. I´m hoping for the best because another big problem and reason why we can´t do much work is that the area is just HUGE! And we need some better way for fast transportation. The baptism and confirmation this week all worked out as was mentioned earlier and was one of the most awesome experiences ever. I got to do the Castellano so it was a bit different than when I baptized Micah. We had to have both of us in the font because of her broken leg and stuff and the water was really cold because the ward had no gas for the water heater. I also had to dunk her twice because the first time she didn´t feel like she wanted to plug her nose so when I dunked her she lifted her hands up out of the water. She really did not want to do it again and tried to walk out of the font, but we were able to pull her back and do the ordenanza de nuevo(again).

Some other stuff that happened this week...Well, we saw a few little boys just squatin next to their houses and doin their business right in front of everyone. That was quite the experience. I guess it is one of the customs that they don´t have in the US... ha ha ha. Oh, yeah, and there is this dog that looks like it just went through infierno and back that has been hanging out around our pension quite a bit. I think I may or may not have had a few nightmares about that dog. If I see it I will have to snap a pic of it so you can have nightmares too from its creepy stare. I haven´t seen the crazy Bolivian man this week at all. Well, this email is draggin on a bit. I have even more stuff to tell ya but that will have to wait till next week. Let´s see if I can attach a few pics to this email for ya...

Thanks for everything and for all the prayers and support. I know I say this like everytime, but it really does have quite an effect for us that are out here doing our best to serve the Lord. We really can feel the Lord´s hand in all that we do as long as we are being obedient missionaries. Enjoy the Christmas season!

Con Amor,

Elder Larisch

La Iglesia es verdadera!

PS: You should make an account on or some other picture website and give me the password and username and stuff and it may be a better way to give you all of my pictures. It is what my comp does and it seems to work good. Let me know so I could do it next week.