Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Almost 1 month in Argentina!

Dear Family and Friends (which includes anyone reading this, in case you are wondering)
First a few items of business.
Dad, I don´t know what size of files MyLDSMail can handle. I would assume it is the same as Gmail, because that´s really what it is.
Mom, and others, I can´t get mail at my physical address. The mail system here isn´t too great. It´s fine if you only want to send out, like to America, but I haven´t seen mail being delivered to anyone. I will ask some members this week how they do it. For now the best option is email and DearElder/Snail Mail to the Mission Office. I have received multiple DearElders there, but no other kind of letters. The best plan is probably this- If you are directly related to me, email me (Mission Rule). If not, use DearElder, or snail mail, but send them to the Mission Office. If I am ever in an area where that is different, I will let you konw. I can print emails, and I check them every week and I get DearElders about once every two weeks. So that´s the way is.
I think that´s all in the way of business.
I can´t beleive that I almost have a month in Argentina. It seems like I was waiting for so long to get here, and now the time is just cruising by. This thursday will be a month here, and 3 months of my mission. Hopefully, I can do what I need to with the time that I have, which doesn´t seem so much now that I´m here.
This week we had a lot of good lessons with some good investigators. All the good ones are with members, which makes sense. Mom, the names of our investigators that you could pray for are as follows: Manuel (I don´t know his last name), Alejandro Antunes, Olga, Clotilde, Maria Lujan, Emanuel and Ëlizabeth. We had a missionary activity with the ward on Saturday, where we ´´reenacted´´ Lehi´s dream. I got the idea from a little book that Sister Lee sent me (Thanks!) full of missionary teaching tools. We had them in the dark, and they had to hold on to a rope and travel throught an obstacle course of sorts. And they had guides, helping them along the way, and there were also tempters, trying to make them do the wrong things. They ended in the Chapel, and we gave them a little tour of the Church. Then we had some facturas, which are basically big dougnut holes covered in sugar, with dulce de leche inside. They were the ´´fruit which was sweet and desirable above all other fruits´´. It was a good experience for everyone, the investigators who came, and the members also.
We taught Alejandro, who is the brother of a recent convert family in the ward, last night. He is very humble and loves when we teach him. At the end of the lesson (about what comes after this life), Elder Pepito asked him how he was feeling, if he was praying, and if he had been receiving answers. He answered that he had, and bore his testimony to us. He talked about how he saw the changes in his brothers life and personality after joining the Church, and wanted to have that same thing. He told us that he believed all the things we have taught him, and when asked to be baptized, enthusiastically responded with ´´¡Si, si, si!´´ He has to get married to his girlfriend first, so he will be baptized in mid-October. He is willing to keep the commandments until then, he said. It´s lessons like that that I had heard about, that made me excited to be a missionary. It´s amazing what can happen if you have the Spirit with you in the work. There are so many good people in this world who are looking for the truth but know not where to find it.
Another woman we are teaching is almost 70 years old and has a horrible memory. She forgets what she reads within 20 minutes of reading it. She is the friend of the Sister in our ward who does our laundry. So, during our second lesson with her, she was telling us about how she had been reading, and referred to Moroni. Then she stopped, and said ´´How did I remember that? I can never remember names.´´ She was really excited about it and I was happy to tell her that the Spirit could help her remember those things that she needed. To be converted she will need to remember what she has been taught, and what she reads, or at least how she feels when she reads in the Book of Mormon. I know that through the power of the Spirit, all things can be done.
Y ahora, voy a hablar un poquito en Castellano por ellos que pueden entender. Hay muchos miembros en este barrio quien les gusta hacer chistes, come quieren que yo digo, ´´Me gusta su porquería, Hermana. Eso es como diciendo, su comida es terríble. Es muy mal. Pero son muy buenos tambien. Me gustan mucho. Es muy posible que algunos de estas palabras son incorrectos, pero ojalo no es tan mal. Estoy muy agradecido por este oportunidad ser un misionero. Es una experiencia como no otro. Cuando yo tengo la oportunidad hablar y vistar con los miembros de la Iglesia, y con la gente que vive acá (aquí) en Argentina, yo sé que las cosas que estoy haciendo son buenas, y esta obra es la obra del Señor. Las experiencas que estoy teniendo ahora van a ayudarme durante toda de me vida. Estoy muy agradecido por todo el apoyo que recibo de mi familia y amigos y los miembros del barrio en Provo. Les amo tan mucho. Les extraño mucho tambien. Pero no hay un otro lugar que quiero estar. Este es donde yo necesito estar. Y eso es todo en Castellano por ahora. (You can use GoogleTranslate to read this part if you want.)
I love you all, and I am so grateful for all of you. I am so grateful for this opportunity to be a missionary.
Keep doing the things you need to be doing, and I will, tambien.

Elder Scot Daniel Stobbe Jr
Argentina Buenos Aires South Mission

Monday, August 23, 2010

Weekly Rundown...or Something

Hello Family, friends, and... nope. Everyone is either my family or my friend. So hello, all of you.

A couple of answers:

I can print emails.

My physical address is:

Avenida 368A y 368B No. 1857

Plátanos, Buenos Aires


Please still send mail to the mission office.

It is kind of like a four-plex. There are four little ´´departementos´´ side by side in one house type thing. If you are looking at the house, we are the second from the right. We have front area with the kitchen and study area. There is a little loft above where we keep our suitcases, ´´Book of Mormons´´ (Which is correct because it is a title), and pamphlets. Then we have a little hallway back to our bedroom with our little bathroom in between.

Yesterday we had stake conference. They don´t have the best microphones or speakers in the chapels here, and I still struggle to understand most native speakers, so I didn´t catch much of what was being said. But, they had a choir, and they were Awesome! That was the first time I have heard hymns by a practiced group of Argentines, and they were great! And it is easier to understand hymns, because I already know the words in English. So that was fun. To get to the Stake Center, the ward hired this old bus to pick up members, and we all rode together. And the same on the way back. I love all the members here. We have lunch with the same families every week, and they are always teaching me and helping me, and are just amazing people. One of the recent convert families we visit is especially cool. They are the Familia Arocha. They were baptized in March or April, and the missionaries visit them once or twice a week, for retention. We discuss a Gospel Principle with them, and they usually have food for us. The mom and dad are in their 30´s and they have to sons, Santini, and Ticiano who are 11 and 6. Ticiano is about a month and a half younger than Hunter. They all have the most wonderful spirit about them, and absolutely love us. Probably one of the reasons I love the members so much is that they treat the Missionaries almost like Royalty. It´s a little funny sometimes, but they all are just good people, and want to be nice to us.

We have an outdoor basketball/soccer court at the church, and I have been trying to figure out how to get to play, because we don´t have a basketball. So yesterday, I saw 3 boys in the street with a basketball. We stopped and talked to them, and found out they love basketball, but don´t have a court to play on. They just play in the street dribbling and practicing and stuff. And they don´t like soccer at all. Imagine that, 3 Argentine teenagers who love basketball and not soccer. To say the least, I was excited. So I made them a deal. We are going to play basketball next P-day. They supply the ball, and I will supply the court. And right before or after, we are going to have a lesson. We told about how we are missionaries and they seemed interested. I am excited for how that will turn out!

I did my first exchange this past week. I went to Quilmes, which is a few miles north of us, and our District Leader came here. There area is quite different from ours. It is much more city, with almost every road paved, whereas in Plátanos, only about half or less are paved. And the homes are a lot nicer too. It was interesting to experience the different area. I think we will do exchanges about 3 a transfer, but I´m not sure. While on exchange, we ate lunch with a member who has his own Pizzeria. He made us fresh, homemade pizza. It. Was. Amazing. We had probably 4 or 5 pizzas. (They aren´t quite as big as American pizzas).

We have been teaching a family, and having one of the young men in the ward, Nelson, come with us. (The last time he was sleeping when we went to get him, but he loves missionary work so he woke up and came) Every time, there is a point in the lesson where he shares his testimony about a certain commandment or Gospel principle, and I am amazed every time. He is a smart, very spiritual person. I love when we get to teach with him. While we are walking to the appointment, he always shares things he has learned in Seminary or Sunday School, and we get taught a little bit every time.

Today we are going to WalMart to grab a few supplies. Apparently they have peanut butter there, so I might get some. I bought a mixture for Flan the other night, and I am going to try to make that tonight. I love all the food here.

You can send me pictures if you want (hint, hint) through email. I can get them on my flash drive or camera from there. I love when I get them!

I am loving being a missionary. We get to meet and teach new people every day, and I am learning so much about the Gospel and the Scriptures. There is so much good stuff in them, no wonder we are supposed to study from them every day of our lives. I have been reading Jesus the Christ too. That book is so interesting. It gives a detailed insight into the Saviors life that I had never heard or know before. It shows the significance of His teachings and miracles, and most of all, His Atonement.

I want you all to know that I love you and think about you (not too much though)

I am so grateful for all the support and love I receive from you.

Until next week...

--- Elder Scot Daniel Stobbe Jr

Argentina Buenos Aires South Mission

Monday, August 16, 2010

Hello Everyone!

I´m going to start with an apology that I may be disjointed in my writing and forget things. I have to try and take a step back from my day-to-day life to tell about it. I try to write things down but I often forget.

Sierra, FELIZ CUMPLEAÑOS! You are so big! haha I love you and happy birthday! I hope your party was off the hook!

I don´t know who else has had birthdays, but I love you all and Happy Birthday!

Well, I have been here for almost two weeks now. It’s starting to feel a little less like a foreign place. The people are all really nice, even if most of them aren´t really interested in listening to us ´´chicos´´. I made a list of little experiences or characteristics of Argentina, so I’ll just go through that.

I love almost everything about this place, with one glaring exception. There are dogs EVERYWHERE! They are barking in the street, behind fences in houses, and even on the train! You can´t be outside (or inside for that matter) without being able to see or at least hear a dog. There are all sorts shapes and sizes, but they all bark. Every time we clap a house, all the dogs in a 3 house radius go crazy. Sometimes we can´t even have a normal conversation with people because of all the noise. And you have to always be on the lookout for the little mines they leave behind.

Another thing that has a connection with dogs (you´ll see why in a second) are the sidewalks. There is an interesting thing here that the ´´state´´ doesn´t build sidewalks. If you want a sidewalk, you make your own, or hire someone to make it. Because of this, the sidewalk changes quality, color, width, style, and sometimes existence with almost every house. As for the dogs, there are dog footprints in about half the sidewalks. Because they are laid by the people, they don´t always have stuff to block it off while it dries. So that is an interesting thing. It seems almost normal now. I think it would be fun to build your own sidewalk. Some of them are really nice, done professionally most likely, and others look like a 10 year old did it. (No offence to any 10 year olds reading this)

Every once in a while, we take trains or buses to go to our zone/district meetings and to the Mission Office. They have a train system for the ´´suburbs´´ It cost about 75 centavos, or about 20 cents to go to the Stake Center and 1.25 pesos or roughly 35 cents to go to the mission office. To take the buses or ´´collectivos´´ it costs a little more but is faster. We try to talk to people but most don´t want to hear it on the train and bus. And we are all too busy trying not to fall over or out of our seats, because the ride is very crazy. All the people here drive very fast, but there are rarely accidents. Instead of yielding at intersections, they honk their horn to alert others that they are coming.

We have a district meeting once a week, where we go to the stake center in Berazetegui and meet with our zone and district. All of the Elders in our zone, are awesome, and the meetings are helpful. I will go to my third tomorrow.

After those we go to lunch as a zone. The first time, we went to what is called a ´´Pizza Libre´´ Basically you sit down, and they bring out argentine pizzas one at a time and you take a piece. there are lots of different kinds, and they keep bringing more out until you are full. With a drink, it only costs about 6 American dollars to eat there. The pizzas here have thicker crust more similar to bread, almost no sauce, and lots of different toppings. Toppings like crumbled hard boiled egg, tiny french fries, tomato slices, corn, as well as ham, other meats, cheese, pineapple, and things like that. I like them a lot.

And it´s pretty much Sprite, Orange Fanta, or Coke to drink here. (and water) There is absolutely no Dr. Pepper here. Que triste.

The food in general is great, but a little different than I was told. I haven´t even seen a steak since coming. Chicken is way popular, but they generally just boil it bones, skin and all, so it takes a little getting used to. There is also a lot of pasta and empanadas, which I was expecting. In our pension, we eat pretty standard food. Cold cereal, bread (little loaves like from Aladin, when he feeds the little kids),

hot chocolate, yogurt, bananas. It is all a little different than the States, but a good different. My favorite is the milk, and hot chocolate. The milk comes in bags, cold not warm, and the chocolate mix has this distinct flavor that is hard to describe. Also, they have Malta, which I think is the stuff Grandpa likes as a coffee replacement. It is kosher for the missionaries and we’ve had it a couple of times. Dad, you’re right, it smells like burnt toast, but it tastes quite good actually. I don´t know if you can still buy it in the states, or if you still want it Grandpa, but if not, I will bring some home with me. (Only 21 and half months away). One of my favorite desserts here is very simple. It´s cold (not frozen) bananas with dulce de leche drizzled over the top. It is soooooo good. I bought my own bananas and dulce just so I could make it.

I have to go now, but I love you all sooo much. I am still trying to send pictures. And I will write more about day-to-day life next time.

I wish I had more like 3 hours to write, but we have to follow the rules!

Thanks for all your support and love.

Hasta la proxima vez, Les Amo Mucho!

P.S. FROM SIERRA!!! I added the pictures to be funny since there are so many picture-less posts.

Also, when I read the part "every time we clap a house" I was so confused and I asked John. He said instead of knocking there, they clap outside to get the people to answer the door! haha! What the! I did not know that and figured some of you wouldnt either. That would be so funny, you are inside making dinner and you just hear someone CLAPPING at your door?! " Honey, can you get that?!"

Monday, August 9, 2010

I Am In Argentina

Its been a while, but hello everyone! I have been in Argentina for almost a week now. Life is quite different, but I have started to get used to it. I absolutely love it here. The people are amazing, especially the members. We have had lunch with a few, and visited a recent convert family twice, and every time I leave there house, I am filled with love for them.

I am in an area called Platanos. We work kind of in two cities called Platanos and Ranelagh. I will send our address later. I don´t have the exact one with me, nor my companion. We are stopping by the offices later today and I´ll send a quick one. (please edit this as you think best for the blog)

One thing to know is that we don´t speak Spanish here. We speak Castellano. (Pronounced Casteshano).

My companion is Elder Pepito from St. George. He turned 27 yesterday. He is a convert of 4 years, and decided to come on a mission right at the ´´26´´ age deadline. He is great and has really helped me since I got here. His Castellano is awesome, and he has helped me inprove mine a lot.

The place where we live is called a Pension or ´´Pench´´. Our pench is not bad. We have running hot water, comfortable beds, a kitchen, and plenty of space. It is old, and cheap, but there are a lot worse house on the same block. We visited a member whose entire house was a sqare brick room of about 14´x12´, with no running water.

Yesterday for Elder Pepito´s birthday, we had lunch with the Bishop´s family, empanadas and spaghetti, and a really good grapefruit soda. and cake. We also had dinner with the recent convert family. The papá of the family made us pizza, and we had coke to drink. They also made us a cake. The mamá knows some English, so to practice, I was speaking to her in Castellano, and her to me in English. It was confusing, but fun.

This is short again, sorry. I am going to record all about my trip and how things are going and send that soon, so maybe that will be better. It´s hard to think of all the things I want to tell you guys about when I sit down at the computer.

I love you all, and I think about you every day.

Hopefully soon, there will will be pictures with posts.

I want you all to know that I know that this is the most important thing I can be doing right now, an I am so grateful for all of your support.

One more thing, we have 5 investigators right now, name Manuel, Margarita, Flavia, Leonardo, and Celena. They are actually 3 groups, but 5 total people. More will be on them next time.

I am trying to attach some pictures to send. I don´t have time to describe them, other than they are pictures of my trip, and my pench. I will try to take more.

As far as my situation with emailing and computers, we get an hour every p-day, and they are fully functional computers. I can send files, manipulate them (sort of) and I think send them through email.

It costs roughly 2 pesos per hour to used the computers. (Thats about 50 cents)

I am going to take your suggestion and record all about my trip and what I´ve done so far on my recorder. Then, I will send that file, probably along with some others. Feel free at any time to send the correct type of file, becuase I can easily stick them on my recorder to listen.

As far as mail, just use email, and DearElder. We live in a place with pretty much no mail system. Just stick to those. It may be a tiny bit slower, but oh well.

As far as packages, FedEx is going to be the most reliable, but more expensive I think. You can also use the USPS. My companion said he has seen both be used. If you need to anything with customs, always just say it contains ´´Missionary Supplies´´ regardless of what is in it. And the first time, don´t put anything perishible, and put a slip of paper with the date you send it inside so we can time it. Everything should be sent to the mission office, which is the one you already have with ´´Quintana 447´´ Then, I can get it whenever I can.

Ok, I am having trouble sending pictures, but I will try again next week. For now, you just get this email.
Elder Scot Daniel Stobbe Jr
Argentina Buenos Aires South Mission

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Dear Stobbe Family,

It is a great pleasure to notify you that your missionary has arrived safely to the Argentina Buenos Aires South Mission. He is in a very good area with an excellent Trainer, Elder Pepito . Although we have known him for a very short time we love him already. He will be great!


President and Sister Stapley