Tuesday, September 25, 2012

El Sábado de pantalones blancos (white pants Saturday)


White Pants Saturday is a new holiday that we are trying to start up here. I don´t know what the president is going to say about that one, but hopefully we can keep it up.

There is one big highlight for the week...We had a baptism! Yeah, É Johnson got his first water experience and got to perform the ordinance. Agustina and Joel Rodriguez, two kids from a family that is recently getting activated. They are a super cool family. The service was way good, even that we had multiple investigators show up and they had all of their friends and family come. It was a super spiritual experience because they had been passing by many hard times and challenges with the wife´s dad passing away last week and all of the complications with Agustina´s cancer. The dad bore a very strong testimony and brought the spirit in there a ton. I was even able to make some baptismal gifts out of the package that Omi and Opi sent me. The other elders were able to help us out to make sure everything else went well with the service.

We are hoping to be working with the Rodriguez family a lot in these next few weeks so that we can start baptizing their neighbors and friends that came to the baptism. We are also working very closely with another Rodriguez family(no relation), Omar and Elizabet, in the which Omar should be getting baptized this next week before conference and Elizabet the next week. Same thing with Nicolás Vega, the next week he will enter into those waters to make covenants with his Heavenly Father.

I was able to receive a few more letters and a package this week. The package was from Ben, Tara, and the rest of the fam. Thanks for all of the sweet ties and letters! The blue tie is now my official baptismal service tie. Look for it in the ´white pants saturday´ pics in the future!

Well, don´t have way too much time this go-around to write a lot. Élder Johnson and I are working miracles and doin work everywhere we go. We are just praying to see more success as we are working with these people.

Spiritual Thought: I just wanna share a little portion of a talk that I gave yesterday in sacrament. They gave me the topic of ´La Obra del Señor(The Work of the Lord)´. In my reading in the Bible, in the Gospel of John, I was reading across some really cool chapters(I would highly suggest reading John if you never have, the writing is different when it is someone that followed Jesus around basically everywhere and had one of the best relationships with Him), 6 and 7, where it talks about Christ being the bread of life. So I thought, and I pondered a bit about what the work of the Lord really is. Isn´t it what Moses 1:39 says about the bringing to pass of immortality and eternal life and all that? Yes, that is exactly what His work is. The way the Lord gets that work done is through Jesus Christ(bread of life). Take a look at John 6. Are we "evermore" wanting Him to give us of the bread?:

27 aLabour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the bSon of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father csealed.

33 For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world.

34 Then said they unto him, Lord, evermore give us this bread.

35 And Jesus said unto them, I am the abread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall neverbthirst.

Un Abrazo,
Elder Dev Larisch
La Iglesia es verdadera
 Agustina and Joel Rodriguez
 All the people who came out to support these great kiddos
 E. Johnson getting ready for his first baptism
 What do you think...Do I need new shoes?
 and a new belt??
 my new best friend...
 Good ole mac and cheese and hot dogs

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

15 Questions....

Thanks to a friend of mine, we got the idea to ask Deven some questions.  So here are a few of his answers that he had time for this week:

1. I miss a lot of food. I really could use some Panda right now though. I was cravin Costa Vida the other day though.

2. The traditional argentine asado includes every part of the cow. Some of the main delicasies are mondongo(stomach), chinchulín(intestines), lengua(tongue), cerebro(brain), corazón(heart), and many more. I, personally, am pleased by each of these plates, if and only if they are cooked well. I have had good and bad experiences with some of them. Ha ha. We usually eat pretty well though. When we do have lunch with members, they tend to spoil us with really good food.

3. Laundry depends on the area. Here in San Juan we live with a member that lets us use here washer in the morning if we do it before 9:00. Godoy Cruz was a bit different. We had to go to a Lavandería(Laundromat, I think they are called there) every Pday, and very seldom would a member wash clothes for us. In Maipú, we always left our clothes in the church and a member would do it for us every week.

4. My favorite food(s) in Argentina would be Pastel de Papa, Milanesas (Hipolitanas), and of course...ASADO(with some chorizo also thrown in there)!

5. Yeah, I don´t know. It is kinda hard to notice if my dreams are in spanish. I have tried to remember but I never can. I am usually always thinking in Spanish now so it complicates English a bit sometimes. If you need someone to speak Spanglish to you, I would be the one.

6. Yes Mallory, we walk everywhere. My shoes are falling apart, my calves are getting huge, and my comp complains all the time because he is getting blisters. Ha ha. I haven´t had too many feet problems though, only some athlete´s foot when it is hot. We take colectivos(buses) to get to some places in our areas sometimes and to get to other areas for other reasons, but mainly, we walk...and walk...and walk...aaaand waaaaaaalk.(Pioneer childrens song I believe).

7. My favorite thing to do on P-day. Hmm, I like to do a lot of things. I like it when we are able to get out and go somewhere cool(bodegas, places in the mountains, etc.) or just go play sports(fútbol, frisbee, basketball, etc.) The more boring ones we just play cards or write letters.

Time out. I´ll finish next week... Love ya

8. I have only been in primary a few times. I wish I could go every Sunday though becuase they always get candies and sing songs and stuff while we are reading the whole time.

9. Well, there aren´t too many argentine sports. The most popular ones are fútbol(main), womens field hockey, basketball, and padle. They have a little bit of some other sports but not much. I don´t know which is my favorite. It would probably be padle, but I still haven´t been able to play it yet...

10. I cut my own hair usually. This time it looks especially good. A lot of Elders buy or bring their own machines and I just borrow. I have gotten pretty good at it. I don´t know, I think Kim will have a little competition when I get home because the machine is so easy. Ha.

11. Yes, we are allowed to drink soda and caffeine. The only stuff they have here are mainly Coke, Sprite, and Orange Fanta. I try not to drink a lot of it, because it makes me cry(very carbonated) and it is not healthy. Everyone either drinks soda here or the little Tang juice packets.

12. Yes, I have bought a few ties. I think how much I spend money here just depends on the people I am around. Elder Daybell from my last area had a lot of collections and was always buyin stuff so it made me also want to buy. I have probably bought like 6 ties here. My collection of ties has really grown a lot though!

13. The cool Jersey that I am wearing in my pics is of River Platte. I am pretty sure I have already told you about the two main soccer teams from Buenos Aires. River and Boca. You have to choose one(it wasn´t too hard for me because I come from Riverton...). I bought that jersey for 40 pesos in a persa(flea market type thing).

14. It depends who I am with. I am usually very willing to speak spanish all the time. We usually set goals of how much we talk to each other(if we both speak english) so that we can get better at the language. We are supposed to use the language as much as possible.

15. Hmm, this is a pretty broad question that is going to bring up a long list. Some other stuff I miss from home include: Maggie, fam, mexican food, naps, Dr. Pepper, real mayonaise, long walks on the beach, carpet, full pantry, houses made of wood, public cleanliness, traffic laws, Kim´s haircuts, etc. But that doesn´t mean that I don´t like it here. I love it here, I was just answering the question.

Love ya, chau

Esta semana fue "Joya" (This week was 'Jewel')

Good day from Argentina! It´s gettin pretty hot here pretty fast... Too bad that sweater didn´t get to me a bit earlier from the package. Ha. Nothin but short sleeves till a long time.

Important notice: Last week I wasn´t able to open up and read all of the stuff in my package because we had to hurry and do some things. With that, I forgot to thank Grandma and Grandpa very much for the 20 mangos(bucks). I have been reading the "O Livro de Mórmon" actually quite a bit when I have found some bits of time at night or when my comp is in the bathroom. With my knowledge of Spanish along with the first chapters of the Book of Mormon, I am able to understand Portuguese really well. Reading and speaking are two totally different things. I am already in 1 Nefi 9!

Ëlder Johnson and I are movin along pretty well. We have a pretty good week. Our main success was doing PEPO(an abbreviation for something we are trying out in the mission). It is kinda cool how the missionary work just advances a ton and takes on new techniques to see the great success that this true gospel needs.

This week, we were planning to have a ton at church, but as it has happened before, we divide all of the people we well committed to church by four and that is about what we get. We ended up getting Nicolás to church again(along with his whole super inactive family, which was awesome!) so he can prepare to get baptized one of these next weeks. We also got one of our other investitgators to come to just Sacrament meeting(showed up thankfully at the last second), Omar, except the whole time he was just scared out of his mind. He is a little of a shy guy, so I don´t know exactly how he took all of the members coming up and giving him hugs and greeting him. We will have to see tomorrow when we pass by again to see what his feelings were about church. He has been preparing to get baptized one of these next weeks. Agostina and Joel, who are supposed to get baptized this Saturday were not able to come to church because their grandpa passed away on Saturday, so they were at the cemetery all day. I don´t know if that will postpone the baptism a little bit or not. I guess we will find out during the week.

We have another new investigator that a member brought to the chapel on thursday who is really cool. Her name is Laura, she vistied with the Elders back in April and almost got baptized, but they were passing by too often by her house so she had to tell them to stop coming. She was going through a really hard time the other day(something to do with her ex-husband and the kids and all that crazy stuff that hopefully I will never have to put up with) and here member friend just happened to call her and ask her if she was alright as if she knew that something was wrong. Isn´t it cool how the spirit works? So she agreed to come and visit with us on Thursday. It was just one of those super spiritual visits that I will probably never forget. My comp and I kept thinking of the exact same scriptures to share with her, she received a baptism date, and I gave her a blessing of comfort and counsel.

Yeah, everything is going more or less pretty smooth here. It sounds like everyone is doing pretty well back at home. Luberta going to Homecoming...WOOHOOO. Just remember, no kissing until you are 16! oh...(Dad will probably be watching at the doorstep). That is awesome how dad is just winning first place and nothing else ever. Can´t wait to see all of the gold/blue medals/ribbons that he has stashed up. Congrats! Now it´s time to put the big boy pants on and move up to the experts and show them how it is done! Uh! Good luck in your last race for this season pops.

Spiritual Thought: It is called a "thought" because I give you something small and you have to do the thinking and pondering if you want to get anything out of it.

This week we had some really cool plan of salvation lessons. One of my favorite questions to ask members when they accompany us in the teaching of investigators is "How does your knowlege of the Plan of Salvation affect the choices you make?" It is an amazing process of how your mind and whole perspective on life change as you understand the mysteries of God. He gives us so many of His mysteries right in front of us. How amazing is it to know the answers to these three big questions "Where do we come from? Why are we here on earth? Where do we go after we die?." These mysteries of God are easily found in the scriptures that God has, out of His love, given to us so that we may treasure more the Gospel of Jesus Christ and use our agency better so that we may return to Him again. What would be your answer to that first question? I, myself, am "eternally" grateful for this knowledge and it sure gives me the motivation I need to follow my Savior and be in the right path. Other people NEED this information. Share the Gospel with EVERYONE and bear your testimony on how this knowlege affects your life so greatly.

One bundle of argentine love from your favorite Élder...in Argentina
Un abracito,
Élder Dev Larisch
La iglesia es Verdadera

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Regalitos Escondidito (Gifts)


Well, I guess I feel a bit older, a bit wiser, and a bit...more ready to do some missionary work! I am just super content now because I received another but very amazing package from the fam back home, one from Grandpa and Grandma, one from Omi and Opi, and one from the Tophams. I was able to open my birthday gifts with some other Élders and we all loved it. I loved every one of those gifts. Thanks to the fam, Omi and Opi, Grandpa and Grandma, and the Tophams! I greatly appreciate all of the stuff! I am going to put the ´Happy Birthday´ pictures right on the wall when I get back to the house. And all of the other gifts I will enjoy a lot with the other Élders here! And my converts and other lucky people will very much enjoy the things from Omi and Opi. We also received an actual blender like the ones they have back there in the states(it´s not exactly a blendtec though) along with a sweet toaster. That will make morning life about ten times better for me.

So right now we are just lugging around tons of stuff. Ha. Then we have to hit up Wal-Mart after...should be interesting on the bus. This P-day is just going to be pretty tranquil. Probably just going to go get all this stuff done here in Centro then go to the pench and kick it back writing some letters or something productive...

It still hasn´t really hit me yet that a whole year has come and passed me right by. I have made some sweet goals that are going to help me make the best of this next year of my life. Who knows, I may even learn a new language(thanks to Grandpa and Grandma for the Book of Mormon in Portuguese that I now have in possesion). To celebrate the year mark we just bought tons of ice cream(don´t worry ma, I won´t get too fat because we(my comp and I) are going jogging in the mornings...well, we want to start. And just partied for a small bit with the Camargo Fam(the members we rent from). I also was able to burn a shirt...but it wasn´t exactly mine. We found this shirt that some other Elder left a couple months ago that was super gross(yellow with sweat stains everywhere, I don´t think he took care of it very well). It burned pretty well. Ha.

Yesterday, we got the awesome opportunity to go to the Buenos Aires Re-dedication vía satelite in our stakecenter. There were three different sessions, but I went to the 2nd and got to hear President Eyring´s amazing testimony. So powerful are the words that come out of his mouth. Incredible!

This week has been a pretty good week. We have some really cool investigators that are referrals from members(we are starting to focus even more on just referrals, because that is where we can see the most success) and we are looking forward to preparing them for baptism in a couple weeks. Agostina and Joel Rodriguez may or may not get baptized this Saturday(because we weren`t able to have our normal meetings this Sunday due to the Re-dedication). It may be postponed till the next week. We´ll see...

It is basically just a whole different experience when you are training someone in the mission field than when you are not. I feel like the Lord is trying to teach me a lot of things right now. Élder Johnson is having a little trouble with the language and all but we have a pretty good language study plan for him to learn faster. We are focusing right now on getting him into the beginning of the Libro de Mormón so he can be able to dive into it and read it aloud himself.

Spiritual Thought: Just a little something that I picked out of some words from President Eyring.

"God will put prepared people in the way of His prepared servants who want to share the gospel. You have had that happen in your own life. How often it happens depends on the preparation of your mind and your heart."

"Prepare to share by filling your mind every day with the truths of the gospel. As you keep the commandments and honor your covenants, you will feel the testimony of the Spirit and more of the Savior’s love for you and for those you meet."

Always be prepared when God places someone in your path. Carry around an extra Book of Mormon in your car or maybe just some pass along cards in your wallet. Whatever the situation, follow the impressions of the spirit so that you can help all of God´s children receive the restored gospel in the precise time and moment.

Thank you for all of the prayers for me, I know that they are still reaching me(they don´t take as long as packages through the mail). Amorcito.

Un Abracito,
Èlder Dev Larisch
La Iglesia es verdadera
That is the coolest news ever that Cade is soon to be an Elder Bullough! He has just gone through a huge change in his life. It looks like he has good influences in his life right now. Maybe he´ll get called to come here and we could walk the streets of Argentina together! I am super stoked for him!

Monday, September 3, 2012

Un nuevo traslado de entrenamiento (A new transfer of training)

Dear Familia,

It has just been a super crazy week with saying goodbye to families, picking up my new comp, and starting a whole new transfer. There is nothing better than big changes.

Yep, basically Monday and Tuesday were spent saying goodbyes to the families here in San Juan for Elder Wahl who is now is Mendoza. I actually just ended up taking a very early-morning bus with a few other Elders here in San Juan over to the offices on Wednesday morning to start the training. It was just a full-day capacitation, but at least we got paired up with our comps after lunch. I feel like I am very blessed to have Elder Johnson as a comp. I guess it´s not even a surprise anymore and you don´t even need to know that much because Presidente Ávila already emailed you all. Ha. Elder Johnson is from Hooper, Utah. Waiting for his Visa, he was sent to San Diego, Cali for one transfer (6 weeks). So actually, President told us to only do one transfer of the training program instead of two. He went to Freemont(yeah, he knows Kyle and some of his family, mom) and he graduated in 2010 like me. He threw shotput and discus(state champ in discus his senior year). Yeah, he is a pretty big guy so people are intidmidated by us in the streets. Ha. We actually have a lot more kids approach us and talk to us for some reason now. He is having a little difficulty with spanish, but he is an awesome elder that loves to work and has an awesome testimony. I already know that we are going to see more success this transfer because of his awesome attitude and work ethic. The transfer with him so far has not quite been too normal. We got back late on Thursday to clean the pench a bit, Friday was just planning all day long wih a couple appointments at night, Saturday we had a crazy event happen with one of the elders here so we had to take care of that without being able to do any work. Nevertheless, we were able to FINALLY get some people to church. Agostina and Nicolás were able to feel the spirit in the house of prayer. Later that day we had an awesome lesson with an ALB(street contact), Rosa and Jesús, so Elder Johnson got his first fechas bautismales(baptismal dates). He was pretty pumped after that because I guess in San Diego he wasn´t seeing very much success at all and they were getting very low numbers.

I am more stoked now that we have been getting a few of these people to church so that they can start preparing for baptism. We are working with some amazing people that have incredible stories and are definitely in need of the peace that the gospel can bring. Agostina and her family went to church. We are probably going to baptize her(10) and her brother Joel(8) the next Saturday. Nicolas(9), we are hoping that everything goes well for this Saturday. He just needs a bit more teaching and he will be ready. If not this Saturday we will definitely see him in white the next week. Rosa(50) and Jesús(21) just had their husband/dad pass away two weeks ago and they are really looking for something that is going to give them peace in this world and the world to come. Like I said, it was just an amazing lesson being reminded once again how the spirit works through the missionaries. Elder Johnson cannot speak well yet, but I definitely felt that burning feeling in my heart and I know that they did too. We are going to give them a tour of the chapel on Wednesday and they are scheduled to get baptized on the 22 of this month. We love miracles.

Oh my goodness, has that year passed me by already? I blinked and a whole year flashed right by me? What is this? I am going to start begging president for an extension if I know that this next year is going to shoot past me like that too. Ha. I don´t really have way too much planned to do to celebrate other that White Pants Saturday. Whatever else I do, I will be sure to inform you more the next upcoming week.

Well, instead of church next week, we get the awesome privilege of watching the dedication of the Buenos Aires Temple. We are going to watch it from satelite but we have to have our temple recomends because it is just going to be like going through a temple session. It is going to be quite the experience!

Spiritual Thought...taken from lds.org. I like what it says a lot about how we can share the gospel because that is our focus right now, helping the members and giving them more ways to share the gospel. You can check out that scripture in the bible, I believe in one of the books of Timothy where it mentions being an example of the believers. Good stuff! Number one way to share the gospel!

LIVE YOUR RELIGION. A Latter-day Saint’s life is his or her best sermon. Our conversations ought to be open, genuine, and engaged in with a spirit of kindness. As followers of Jesus Christ, we are most believable when our actions are in harmony with our beliefs.

I hope that everything is awesome at home. Love y´all!
Un abracito para todos,
Elder Larisch
La iglesia es verdadera

That is awesome that dad just killed his old time! Tell Boogs that I will respond next week, but thanks for the letters(from both her and Luberta)
 Elder Wahl 
 My district