HAPPY BIRTHDAY SUMMER! I hope your´s was as good as mine!
Second off, Thank You to Summer, Stacia, Chuck, Sierra, Shered, Hunter, and Kyler, as well as everyone else who contributed to my birthday package! It was AWESOME! Luckily, we had Zone Conference last week, and I was able to get the package on Thursday, so I had it for my birthday. I waited until Sunday morning to open it (you were probably all sleeping) I could feel the love spill out as soon as I opened the top. The pictures are wonderful, and the letters too. I love, love, love hearing about your precious little families and all the fun things you do. Tell all the kids, including ´´the bun in the oven´´ that I love them, and not to be too naughty (Jessie and the product made me laugh and cry) Of course, the presents from the kids are priceless! And the treats! I am so excited to slowly enjoy them! I spent about 20 minutes eating the Symphony bar last night and just enjoying it thoroughly. And I got a 3-pack of Ferrero Rocher from Olga at church! She is the nicest little abuela!
Mom, you were right. I was taken care of for my birthday. After church, we had lunch with a member family. After, we went to another family, the Mendoza´s (See the picture of the white cake with strawberries) to have cake! Then we went and worked for about an hour, contacting some referrals, and visiting an inactive member. Then we went and had cake with the Galarza´s, and taught their parents, who are investigating the Church right now. Then we went and had cake with Olga, our recent convert at her friend´s (Hermana Inchiostro) house. We taught her every time at this house. Then, finally, we went to the Arocha´s, who are a recent convert family that was baptized in May, and had homemade pizza, soda, and yes, cake. It was a very nice day, even though we didn´t accomplish too much in the way of work.
Speaking of nice days, Saturday was one of the best in my life! We had a double baptism for Manuel Alejandro Araneda Miranbio, and Margarita Olga Gonzalez Blanco. (See the pictures) They are both amazing! Olga was a little afraid of the water, but Elder Pepito, who baptized them both, helped her out, and she made it! She is roughly 70, and Manuel is 28. They both have the strongest testimonies of this Gospel, and are now started on the Strait and narrow path. On Sunday, I received yet another present, in that they both asked me to do the Confirmations. (Speaking of which, Dad, how did you know I had done that?) I practiced all morning in Castellano, to be able to say everything right, and when the time came, the Spirit picked me up and said it for me. I really didn´t have to think of the words. You could see in both of their eyes afterward that they, in reality, have the Holy Ghost with them. I am so excited for them to start their adventure into the eternities.
Speaking of the eternities, I have been thinking about them a lot lately. We have almost no time on this little earth, and if we don´t make the right decisions, we could end up with less than everlasting joy in the life to come. How important is it then, that we do all we can to be worthy before God, and share this message with the world? (See 2 Nephi 2) There is one way only by which we can be clean, in order to live with Heavenly Father, Jesus, and eachother after this life. And that is by faith in, and obedience to, Jesus Christ. He performed the Atonement for Every Single Person Who Ever Lived (Again, see 2 Nephi 2). All we have to do is accept it, and live by the commandments that he has given us. And these commandments are all there so that we can be happy, and so that God can bless us. Because as we know, every blessing we receive is dependent upon the commandments we keep (D&C 130:20-21). Therefore, let us all have a renewed desire to keep the commandments. Only good will come of it! Pretty soon, all that will matter is our family, and if we were obedient, bringing more people the truths that we have, so that they can live with their familes as well. I already told Dad this, but I am so excited to live for eternity with each and every one of you. All of our friends really are family, so I´m talking to you too. It´s going to be glorious beyond our comprehension when that day comes. I am trying to do my part right now to bring this marvelous message to the world, and I hope you are all doing the same!
I love you all so much, and I hope you are all doing great!
It´s too bad BYU isn´t doing to well, we´ll just have to wait a year or two.
Today we went to ´´Capital´´, the actual city of Buenos Aires, to do documents for our visas. I rode a subway for the first time. It was fun!
Thank you everyone for you prayers, support love, birthday presents, thoughts, and testimonies. I think about everyone, including ward members, frequently. Every one of you has made in impact on my life for the better, and I draw from those experience to help me in this ´´marvelous work and a wonder´´.
I miss you all, and I love you soooooooo much. (ask Kyler about that, he knows.)
Until next week...
-- Elder Scot Daniel Stobbe Jr Argentina Buenos Aires South Mission
*(make sure to read the post below from last week)...
(Sorry this letter is being posted so late, I was out of town)...
I have been out of the MTC for the perfect amount of time. 7 is the perfect number, and I have been here 7 weeks of 7 days.
How is everyone doing? I´m doing great. I have received emails and letters from a bunch of people, including a package from Rob, so thank you all! Thank you, Marylin, for you letter. I miss you and David so much! Keep working hard (but not too hard haha)
Shalet, thanks for the birthday wish! I love you! It sounds like you are having a lot of fun in school. Keep that up, and don´t end up like me.
Sierra, thanks for the pictures. I didn´t have time for all of them, but the ones I saw were SOOO cute! Those kids never fail to get cuter every time you see them.
Speaking of which, Happy Birthday to Kyler and Ellie, my favorite Prina niece and nephew! Tell them I love them and sorry I forgot last week. I can´t beleive how old all the kids are getting!
Lets see if I can´t answer some questions, intermixed with commentary.
Dad, I have heard from Grandma and Grandpa Stobbe a couple times. To all my grandparents, I love you and thank you for everything!
Dad, I´m so excited you guys are moving on Halloween. We´ll say our little move to Summer´s didn´t count in the books, since we didn´t choose the date. Keep letting me know how the business is doing. I love hearing about that stuff. (Also, if you woudn´t mind throwing in a line or two about how the BYU games go, that would be great!) I would like it if you continued to send Matt and Rob´s letters through DearElder. I can read them at different times, and it makes it so I get mail every week! Thanks.
Mom, Manuel and Olga are nowhere near a couple. Haha. Manuel is a 28 year old single guy, and Olga is a 70+ year old widow. They are about to become united in the Faith, though. This week you can add these names: Carlitos, Mario, Ashelyn Tártalo, Jessica Contrera, and Carlos Ramos. Not all of the names I give you are necessarily investigators. Some are members who need prayers. For example, Ashelyn is an 8-year old girl who´s family are already members who is going to be baptized this Saturday with Manuel and Olga. And others are In-Active and Less-Active members who need help.
Speaking of Manuel, we had an awesome experience this week when we were giving him his ´´practice´´ baptismal interview. We were going through the questions, and he was able to bear is testimony on every one. He is so ready and willing to make this commitment and follow these commandments to change his life. We could feel the Spirit so strong, and every time we talk to him, he is so excited about the Church and his baptism. The one thing he asked us though, is if he would have to serve a mission. But he is past the age limit, so he was relieved on that one. Haha. If everyone could keep him in your prayers, as well as Olga, it would be greatly appreciated. Their ´´Servicio Bautismal´´ is going to be at 5:00 PM our time on Saturday, which I am pretty sure is 2:00 for you guys in Utah. Maybe you can remember them during this time!
Can you guys tell me how much you put on my card for birthday money? Then I won´t spend more than I have. Thanks. I will probably buy myself a nice pillow, since I am using a $15 Peso one right now (yes, less than $4.00 US.) And some Ferrero Rocher! I can´t afford those usually. I am going to get a 3-pack and savor them!
A few random things about Argentina. I hear the song ``Hey, Soul Sister`` by Train at least 2 or 3 times a day. The Argentines love it. (Those youth will know what I´m talking about, and Sheyene, but she´s and Adult now. haha) And it is in English. They listen to a lot of English music here. There is a radio station that only plays English.
Y ahora por aquellos quien pueden entender, un parte en Castellano. Estoy aprendiendo la idioma, y yo puedo hablar con muchas personas, pero hay otros quien habla muy rapido, y es mas dificil para mi entenderle. Pero, yo se que con El Espíritu, puedo cominucar con ellos, y ellos pueden entender la mensaje que tenemos. Es muy divertido aprender Castellano. Estoy feliz que tengo este oportunidad servir, hablando Castellano. Va ayudarme mucho en mi vida, la idioma, y los principios del evangelio que estoy aprendiendo tambien. A los Montes, ¡Hola! Estoy muy animado hablar consigo cuando vuelvo. Hay muchas familias acá que me recuerda de ustedes. Me encanta todo de Argentina, especialmente la gente, y los alfajores! jaja. Hasta luego...
Those parts may not make too much sense, because I don´t have very much time, and I´m still learning.
I love everyone. Thanks for everything you do and the lives you live. I know that as you continue following Christ in your lives that the Lord will ``pour out his blessings upon you, so that there will not be room enough to receive them``
Next time I write, I will be 20 years old! Not a teenager anymore. You´re going to be all alone in that realm, Shalet! haha
Our monthly asignation of funds is sufficient for all of my needs. We receive our money on the card the 1st of the month, and take it all out of the ATM at the first, because ATMs are hard to find, and in my current area, nobody accepts cards. I slept with my sleeping bag as an actual bag with the insert for the first few weeks, but now I just use it as a blanket. As far as money on my card, if we could just keep a balance of about $20, that would be great. I will let you know if I use any. For example, I used about $10 or maybe a little less last week to buy a backpack, because I had no cash on me. (Sometimes my shoulder bag isn´t as convenient as a backpack). $20 is about $80 Pesos, so that should be sufficient. Mom, if you are going to send a package for my birthday, I like your idea of pictures, letters, and notes from the nephews, and Ellie. haha Also, in order for me to use the Pouch Mail, I need American stamps. So, if you could send me a supply of those too, that would be awesome. ------ We had transfers today, but Elder Pepito and I are staying together. I´m glad, because I love him, and I love my area.
And now, a random list of information, greetings and other miscellaneous items.
I received a recipe for Elder Stobbe Ice Cream. First off, how cool is it that I have an ice cream flavor named after me? I feel so special! Gracias, Hermana Montes. Estoy muy agradecido. Secondly, can someone take that recipe and write it with me in mind. And by that I mean, think of what I would need to do to make it here. Because I really want some! Also, along those same lines, Mom, can you send me the Cookie Kid´s Cookie recipe? But maybe talk with Sister Montes and make sure I could actually make it here? Thanks.
Summer, your garden sounds so fun. Talk about being self-sufficient. I was talking to a member the other day about how you have grown your own pumpkins, and that time we made pumpkin pie with sweetened condensed milk. Yum!
Prices here are cheaper than the U.S. Sometimes. At other times they are a little more. For example, today after transfer meeting we went to Burger King (the whole mission goes. It´s a huge one with 2 levels.) Between me and my companion we got 3 Burgers, 2 Large Fries, 2 Large Drinks, and 2 big ice cream desserts for about $21 US dollars. So, whatever that means to those of you who are still in the states, there you go.
Sister Lee, they do have the special Spanish keyboards. They are a little different, but it´s easy to make the spanish accent marks and other things. Thanks for the codes! Now I will be set if I ever need to use them! I hope Brother Lee´s arm is doing ok, and Richard. I pray for them. Thanks for everything you do, I love you and your family!
So, I heard that the Summit ward was the victim of a boating accident. I hope everyone is ok, and for those who owned the boats, I´m very sorry. Sometimes bad things happen.
Mom, here are some more names for you: Leonel y Eduardo Serventi, Marcos, Elsa Castillo, y la Familia Ibarro. Our current baptismal dates are Manuel and Olga on the 25th, and Alejandro in mid-October. I don´t remember the date exactly, maybe 16.
Elder Pepito is from St. George. He was baptized in 2006. He met the missionarys one day when they came to his apartment looking for his friend. His friend wasn´t there, so the missionaries asked if he would like to hear their message. He said yes, and the rest is history.
You may have noticed this letter was dated. If everyone could do that for me as well, that would be great!
Summer, do you have that paper you wrote on during my Setting Apart? If so, could you send it to me somehow? Thanks
Ok, sisters, you know how we all like baby food? (Everyone will think we are weird now) Well, there is this brand of juice here that tastes exactly like the kind that comes in the little jars. It is fruity, I´m not sure of the flavor, but the juice is AMAZING. It´s called Baggio Multifrutal. I thought you guys would all like it.
On another food note, I have been making toast in a frying pan, becuase we don´t have a toaster, and it is way good. I put butter in first, then fry normal bread slices, then add raspberry jam. Its almost like a dessert!
Thanks for the pictures, Dad. If you send them like that, that is perfect. I can look at them just fine.
This next week is Ward Conference, and we have a little choir and we´re going to sing ´´Abide with Me´´ but not "Abide with me tis eventide". It´s the other shorter one. We had to learn the bass part, and we practice after church. I´m really excited to sing it! Summer, I don´t know if I´m going to hear that new primary song. I haven´t heard any thing about a Primary Program, and we only have like 10 primary kids, so I´m not sure what´s going to happen.
I have letters written for a few people, and I´m writing more. Expect letters in the next few weeks. Or month.
We are struggling to find new people to teach right now, but we are going strong with those we do have. Hopefully we will be able to find more soon. I love when we get to teach people. It makes all the walking and clapping worth it. My feet hurt the first few weeks, but now I´m good. I can walk all day, and I get tired, but it´s not painful. It´s just tired. (Aaaah, it´s really tired in here.)
By the way, Dad, I have asked a few questions in my emails, that I haven´t gotten responses to. I know I do the same thing, but if you could look through the emails, and answer all the questions, and just send me an email with all the answers, that would be great.
And now, the ever-present ending to missionary emails: I´m out of time, again.
I love everyone so much, and am so grateful for all the support and love I get.
I will try to share more Spiritual stuff next week. This was more of a ´´worldly´´ email. Just know that I have spiritual experiences each day, and I am strengthened each day by my study of the scriptures and the Doctrine of Christ. I know this Church is true and that I need to be here at this time and in this place to share this message.
This is going to be extremely short because we have only 20 minutes today, and I already spent 10 writing to my President and printing out the other emails.Hopefully there was nothing that needs to be answered right now, because I didn´t read them! I will make sure to answer everthing next week.
Sheyene- Did I see a picture of your car with the hood smashed in? Maybe i´ll read about that later.
I got letters from Sierra, Shalet, Matt, Sister Lee, Mark, and a little note from Mom, Thanks so much! I love getting mail. I will be writing people back soon.
This week we had some good lessons. Last monday right after I emailed, we went to a members house for a Family Home Evening and I got to use another idea from Sister Lee´s Book! Thanks!
We have two baptisms scheduled for the 25th of this month, so the confirmations will be on my birthday. That will be an awesome present, to have two new members of the church!
Mom, I´ll answer the birthday questions next week, that will give me a chance to think and decide.
I have to go, I love you all! Thanks for everything.
-- Elder Scot Daniel Stobbe Jr Argentina Buenos Aires South Mission