Thursday, December 22, 2011
Elder López. He is my companion, my friend, and my brother. He helps me be better, see things from a different point of view, and helps me eat healthier! He has taught me how to play ping pong better, and that real tacos are not made with ground beef or grated cheese. He has taught me phrases like "chafa", "chueco", and "no tengo idea". He showed me how to eat empanadas with lemon juice, and how to survive when you didn't eat breakfast, church ends at 12:00, and we don't have lunch until 3:00! He has taught me that often the most commonly used and simplest scriptures are the best, and that sometimes you have to teach a 50 year old like they are 10,and a 10 year old like they are 50. I love my companion and am grateful for him!
The missionaries in my district. They help and teach me so much. They are hard workers, and are willing to do what our Mission President asks us to.They are diverse. In our district we have 2 Americans, 1 Mexican, 1Colombian, and 2 Argentines. They also have all taught me how to play ping pong better. I love my district and am grateful for them.
My Branch President. President Cignoli is one of the most humble people Iknow. He leads our branch thinking about each person individually and how his decisions will affect them. He is patient with his son, who is very difficult at times. He works 6 days a week at a factory that makes cotton thread, standing the whole time, so he can support his family. He gives us lunch every Sunday. He loves the Lord and has an unshakeable testimony of this Gospel. He supports the missionary work, and does all he can to help us. I love President Cignoli and am grateful for him.
My Mission President
My Zone Leaders
My Family. I cannot fully express the love and gratitude I have for every member of my family. Just thinking about any one of them fills my heart to overflowing. I miss them, and think about them, but I know they will be there when I get done. I know that they love me too.
My Friends. They are on a level with my family. Their examples help me, and their words of love and support carry me.
The Bible Dictionary
The Joseph Smith Translations of the Bible
Principles of the Gospel Manual
A Living Prophet
Technology that lets me communicate with my family weekly, even though theyare over 5,000 miles away.
Fireflies (I saw them for the first time in real life the other day! Theyare awesome!)
Rain, Snow, and Sun Summer Sno snow-cones (even just the memory of them!)
Wrinkle Free Shirts
Personal Sewing Kits
Fans when you don´t have air conditiong
Windows when you don't have a fan.
Many other things that I am blessed with in my life, that aren´t going to make in on this list. And last, but not least, My Savior. I am so grateful for His life and example, and His Atonement. I learn from Him everyday, and grow to love him more every day as well. He helps me through the hard times and the good. He manifests Himself all around me. He is my Rock and my Redeemer. I am His servant, and hope to serve him well. I love Jesus Christ, and am grateful for Him. A few answers to questions/comments. Sorry about the checking account. I'm not sure what happened. I thought Icould only pull out what was in there. Apparently not. I will be more careful in the future. For now, I do not need any extra money. I seem to remember you saying I would get my old number back when I got home, is that still the case? Just wondering. Also, how is the 4S comparedto the 4? How is the voice command thing? I can write normal letters whenever I have free time. Emails are written on P-day, and we have an hour, though I can print off the emails, and read them outside of that hour. I have a letter for Shered written, and am in the process of writing a few others as well. Did you hear back from SisterMontes? As far as clothes go, maybe just one more tie for Christmas. A pink or purple one from Missionary Mall would be cool. For the other stuff to come in a Christmas package, I would want whatever Mom or someone else thinks of. In addition to what I put last week (gum and beef jerky in a ziploc bag) Iwould ask for Red Vines and a Symphony bar, candy canes, and Wint-O-Greenmints. As always, pictures and notes too! A missionary I knew had a book called the Little Book of Missionary Quotes. There is also one that has inspirational stories. They are all called the Little Book of... I already have the Teaching Tools one. I would like those, if you can find them. Well, that is all the time I have for today. I love you all, and am grateful for all of your support and love. p.s. I upload some pictures and a video to DropBox.
-Elder Scot Stobbe
Sunday, November 20, 2011
This last week was great. On Monday the two companionships in my district and our zone leaders all came to Chascomús for P-day. It is about and hour and half travel for each of them, so they stayed the night to be here for district meeting the next day. On Monday night we all split up and went out to clap houses in our area. I went with one of my zone leaders, Elder Benavides. It was a great learning experience. He is very good at working around people saying no, and helping them see that actually do want/need to hear our message. He taught me that whether or not they know it or are willing to listen, our job is to bring the world His truth. The important part is that we bring it to them, do everything we can so that they reach out and take it, but in the end, it is their decision. Tracting is receiving rejection for the most part. We just have to remember why we are there so we don't give up before clapping that one house that has people waiting for us. In my mission, I have never really been that good at doing door contacts, so helped me a lot to see my zone leader at work. I have been trying to apply what he showed me since then. We had been struggling to find new people to teach, but thanks to this little "tormenta blanca" or "white storm" that we did, we were able to find 13 new investigators! Now we can barely handle them all! A tormenta blanca is when a large group of missionaries go to one area, and spend 2-3 hours just finding new people for the missionaries in that area. The name comes from our white shirts, and that fact that we are "storming" the area. Dad also had given me a similar idea a while back. This whole week since we did it, people have mentioning all the different missionaries they had seen, and were especially confused by the Sister Missionaries! But they are great, so we welcomed them all the same.
We have two girls getting ready for baptism right now. Their names are Ludmila and Magalí. They are cousins, and both have parents who are less-active but are coming back to church. They are both 9, and are getting baptized on December 3. We are also working a lot with a guy named Agustin, and his Grandma. They are next door neighbors to the second counselor in our branch, and know a lot about the church. They had talked to the missionaries before a few years ago, but never got baptized. They have both told us that they feel like it is time for them to make a decision about which is the correct path in their life. They are willing to read and pray and see if this Church is true. We are praying hard for them that they receive the answer they are looking for. Other than that, most of our investigators are pretty new, and we are doing our best to help them progress in the Gospel. Please pray for us as well as for our investigators.
A few answers to questions:
When I said that I received that many packages each week, I did not mean me personally, though it seemed for a while that I received at least one package every week. I got them from Summer, DeeAnn, Mom/the Family, the Summit Ward, the Highland 12th Ward, and some others I believe. I am very greatful for everyone who has sent packages, letters, postcards, newsletters, etc. I love hearing about what is going on in my two wards. I don't remember the name of the Sister from he Summit Ward who has been sending me letters, but if someone knows who she is and sees her, tell her thank you for me! And to keep 'em coming. I feel bad for not sending letters back. I should be better about that. I feel especially bad about Sister Montes. She used to send me letters and packages, and I don't think I ever sent her even a letter back. She probably thinks I never got them. Mom, are you in contact with her? Could you try to find her and get an address so I can write her and her family. I always remember them as my first connection to Argentina, and I tell people about them all the time. Ellos son la razon que soy de River Plate. I always take pride in telling people that I am a River fan because of some Argentine friends of mine back in the States.
I loved both my Birthday and Halloween packages, Mom. Don`t get mad, but I actually gave that wallet to my companion as a gift, because I already have one, and his had just broken. I did appreciate the Moroni stamp as well. I have enjoyed all the other candies and toys that came in it as well.
As far as what I need for Christmas, nothing. I would like some things. All I can think of right now would be more gum, and teriyaki beef jerky (I suggest sending it in ziploc instead of the original packing to save space/weight). I will think of more stuff and let you know next week.
Well, that is pretty much all for now. I love everyone, and hope you are all doing well. If you are not, follow the three basic steps to happiness. Read the scriptures, say your prayers, and go to church. I guarantee that while doing one of those things, and likely during all three, you will find a way to either fix your problems or be able to make it through them.
Have a wonderful week.
Elder Scoty Stobbe
Saturday, November 12, 2011
I would like to send a belated happy birthday to Stacia! I feel like I am
missing everyone's birthdays here! I love you, Stacia!
Thanks for the updates. No basketball huh? Perfect timing I might say. I'm
not missing anything. I also hope everyone loses money. I say we pay
everyone 1 million a year, and that's it. That would be perfect, right....?
I will take some pictures of the city. There is not any place called Bolivar
near us, that is just our street name.
I wrote on Thursday because p-day was changed last week. I guess I forgot to mention that in the email. You can expect a letter every Monday from now on though.
About my studies. I think you are absolutely right about the websites. The
fact is, the "art" is only a small part of what I want to learn. The degree
is called Graphic Design, and if I remember correctly emphasizes pretty
heavily in website design. I think there is something you can download that
outlines all the classes necessary for the degree. When I think about what I
want to do for a living, it is almost website design. When I have my own
company, it will most likely be a web design company that offers other
graphic design and print services. I also want to get involved in
designing for mobile devices, both websites and apps. specifically for the
iPhone, but I have heard the there is quite a market in apps for Android as
well. Being in the offices I learned a little bit of the structure and uses
of databases, and I want to be able to incorporate that as well. I want to
be able to create "programs" online. So that's what I'm thinking as far as
what I want to do.
Yes, you can send me audio files and I can listen to them just as easily as
The missionary work is... going. We haven't really been able to find many
new people to teach, and people keep not showing up to church. I am in a
little branch that maybe has 35 people in church each Sunday. We are trying to make it grow. The city I live in is one of those where everyone knows or is related to everyone else. They are all very nice, but aren't really interested in religion or going to church when they could be sleeping in, watching futbol, or drinking their mate. (not mate like friend, but like
mah-teh, it's this little drink made out of a special type of plant that
looks and taste like grass, and hot water. And EVERYONE drinks it. It's like the national past-time drinking this stuff.) So we are doing our best to
help those investigators that we do have, and are praying for those who are waiting to hear our message.
My companion is from Mexico, and is pretty cool. He is way into music, and sports. So pretty much the same as most teenagers. He turned 19 just a few weeks ago. Apparently in Mexico you can go on your mission at 18. I have noticed something different with him than with my other companions. It is not that he is immature in bad way, but he is young. He is about the same age as Matt Freeze, to give perspective. He is strong in the Spirit, and is a great missionary. I am very glad to be working with him. His name is Carlos Lopez. How's that for a mexican? haha. I can't imagine how many people there must be in the world named Carlos Lopez. In fact, the ward mission leader in my last ward was named Carlos Lopez!
Well, times up again. I spent some time writing to the twins for their
I love you all.
Elder Scoty Stobbe
Well, it has already been two weeks since I came to Chascomus. Time is
Mom, Dad, and Gene, thank you for your advice and love. I will be taking it
all into account in the coming weeks and months. As for bribing, I already
did that one on a suggestion from one of the Sisters in my district. We had
a goal to each challenge two people to be baptized during the week and to
take out a baptismal date. She circumspectly mentioned that a previous
District Leader had offered ice cream as a prize. I told them I would buy
them a Kilo of ice cream if they hit the goal. I focused on the real purpose
of the goal, and they understood that the ice cream was just an added push
to do what they knew was right anyway. It helped, in the end, and they
challenged 4 people between the two companionships.
I have attached a few pictures. The first is of Elder Lopez, and Sister Rios
playing ping pong after District Meeting. The next is a picture of the buses
we take down to Dolores to have District Meeting. It takes about and hour
and fifteen minutes. They are really comfortable. The next is of a family in
our branch. The dad is the first counselor. They are great! The one of the
little girl is of their daughter, Maitena. She is already my little friend.
The other day when we were at her house, she told me "Mañana te voy a
comprar un nuevo ojo para que no te quemes más." "Tomorrow I'm going to buy
you another eye so it's not burned anymore". I just about died. Little kids
are so kind and think of the nicest things to say. The other picture is of
the little Halloween toys I got. I had already eaten all the candy! oops!
I love being here in Chascomus. The members are great, the city is great
and the other missionaries in my district are great. I am enjoying the work,
even though we don't have very many investigators. The ones that we do have are strong
though, and almost all have baptismal dates.
The other day, we were with a part member family. Both of the parents are less active, and
their daughter Luzmila has not been baptized. She is 9. We were talking to her about being
baptized, and she said she wanted to.
Whenever anyone we talk to agrees to be baptized, I like to ask them why, so that they
have to think in that moment why they are going to get baptized.
She was a little shy, and didn't want to say it out loud, she whispered
first to my companion, and then to me "Por que creo en Dios" "Because I
believe in God". I realized that as a base, that is the only reason she
needs. The first principle of the Gospel is Faith. As long as she has faith,
she will understand the rest and really understand why she should be baptized.
I love you, and everyone!
Ok, So there have been some major updates since yesterday. I got a call from
President Stapley this morning and have been assigned to be a District
Leader in the area of Chascomús. I am leaving on Thursday. If you want to
look on Google Maps, you will see that Chascomús is south of the main area of the mission, pretty much on it's own. I will let you know more next
I love you and I´ll talk to you on Monday!
Wednesday, October 12, 2011
Today I would like to share with you some things that have happened in my
life in the last few weeks. First, let's talk about prayer, and answers to
prayer. Mom, you often comment that you hope I am having spiritual
experiences while I am here in the offices, even though the majority of what
I do is mundane. (Fun Fact: the word for mundane in Spanish is mundano. This
same word also means worldly. Coincidence? I think not.) The answer to your
question is yes. Allow me to share a few with you. The first happened just
this last weekend. As part of my duties here, I am in charge of entering in
all baptismal records from the mission. I use a system called CDE (Convert
Data Entry) to send the information to the Area Office, where they make it
official in the church records. As I enter them in, I keep of track of how
many I do, to make sure it is the same as the number of baptisms we have
recorded for the month. This month, due to a hectic schedule, I had to enter
the majority of the records in a very short period of time. I had done 7
earlier in the month, and had 95 to do, all on Friday, which was the
deadline so that they would count for the month of September. We have had a
goal of hitting 100 baptisms per month as a mission for quite a while, and
this was the first month we actually met the goal. President Stapley wanted
to be sure that they all got counted (we have had problems in the past)
because he had already told the Area Presidency that we had had 102, and has
a meeting with them in a few weeks. He did not want to have to show up and
say "Oops! We only had 98!" So I was under pressure to make sure that there
were no problems, and all were counted. So after a day of feverish entering,
I emailed my contact in the Area Offices asking him how many baptisms showed
up in his system as being entered for our mission. I got his reply, and my
heart sank. We only had 98! I knew that even though these people had been
baptized and would be counted eventually regardless, this was very important
to my Mission President. I emailed him back saying I was confused, because I
was sure I had entered in 102 in total. After sending the email, I went
downstairs into an empty room, knelt, and said a prayer. I was very worried,
knowing that this meant so much to President Stapley. I asked that
everything would work out, and that somehow the numbers would show up that
we had entered in those records. As I finished the prayer, I felt peace. I
knelt thinking about anything I could have missed, or any other solutions,
but all I could think of is that it would be all right, and I just needed to
wait and see. As it turns out, I didn't have long to wait. As I headed
upstairs, I found my new companion, Elder Fitzpatrick in the hall (more
about him later). He just looked at me and said, "We have 102." I knew that
my prayer had been answered. Even with such a small thing, I know that
Heavenly Father cares about each little problem we have, and wants to help
us. In retrospect, I should have gone and offered a prayer of thanks right
then and there, but instead I waited until my nightly prayer, and expressed
my gratitude to my Heavenly Father, telling him how much I appreciated his
blessings in my life.
The second experience took place over a period of about a week. The week
before General Conference, I listed to an audio recording from Dad. He was
telling me about how he had been investigating what I need to do to get
ready for school when I get home. At one point he mentioned what the overall
tuition would be, noting that it was quite high. He asked if I knew it was
that high (I did) and mused a little on how we would deal with that. I got
the impression from his tone of voice that he wanted to make sure that I
really wanted to choose this school, but that if I did, he would support me
in it. (I don't know if he was actually thinking all that, but it's how I
felt.) That got me to thinking, was I certain that I wanted to go to this
school? Was I willing to sacrifice to stick with my choice. I decided 3 or 4
years ago it seems, that I wanted to go there. I felt right from the moment
I made the decision, and moreover, I haven't wavered in that decision since
making it. But, I realized I was lacking something. For all my certainty, I
had never prayed and counseled with my Heavenly Father (Alma 37:37). So
before, answering back to Dad, I wanted to make sure this was the right
thing. I remembered that General Conference was coming up, and that it
suggested that we go into General Conference weekend with something specific
in mind to find an answer. This, I decided, would be my General Conference
question. I had already made the decision, so all I asked of Heavenly Father
was a confirmation that my decision was correct, or at least acceptable to
Him. I pondered and prayed during the week about this subject, focusing my
studies and thoughts on receiving this confirmation. Now, I didn't want to
be thought a sign-seeker, so I made it clear to Heavenly Father that I would
understand if I didn't receive or recognize His answer during Conference. (I
believe that Heavenly Father likes us to be up front with Him!) When
Conference arrived I listened intently to every talk, waiting and praying
for my confirmation. On Saturday I was uplifted and filled with the Spirit,
but received no recognizable confirmation. During Priesthood session I was
hopeful, since last time they talked a lot about post-mission life. (I
watched it online on Sunday morning, by the way.) During the Sunday morning
session, I was again uplifted, and learned some wonderful principles. I
especially enjoyed President Monson's talk, and his story about the $5 bill.
(I was reminded of that again when I had my previous experience.) At the end
of his talk, he told the story about the Frankfurt Germany temple
dedication, and his experience in being prompted to announce Brother Peter
Mourik as the first speaker. I was instantly and completely zoned in on his
talk. I was strange, like I needed to pay more attention to this than just
the fact that it was about my patriarch. As he told the story, it made me
think briefly on my Patriarchal Blessing. It mentions my schooling, but
nothing too specific. It hints at the type of school I would attend, but
nothing more. It didn't seem enough to confirm my choice. As President
Monson finished that story, he concluded with the following: "Following the
session, Brother Mourik and I discussed that which had taken place prior to
his opportunity to speak. I have pondered the inspiration which came that
day not only to me but also to Peter Mourik. That remarkable experience has
provided an undeniable witness to me of the importance of being worthy to
receive such inspiration and then trusting it-and following it-when it
comes. I know without question that the Lord intended for those who were
present at that session of the Frankfurt Temple dedication to hear the
powerful, touching testimony of His servant Brother Peter Mourik." I
remained thinking about what he had said until he closed his talk. I could
feel the Spirit, and knew there was something special about what I had just
heard. In that brief interval between when I closed my eyes, into my mind
came 3 distinct thoughts. Number one, I felt that Peter Mourik was a worthy
servant of God, entitled to, and receptive of revelation. Number two,
(having to do with the first), I received a confirmation that my patriarchal
blessing was indeed direct revelation from my Heavenly Father. And number 3
(seemingly connected by the thinnest of threads to the first two, but just
as clear in my mind) that my decision on where to go to school was
acceptable before the Lord. It was a very soft, very simple thought, but
just as clear as it was soft.
So, with that in mind, Dad, let's go full force in getting everything set up
for Collins College.
I was going to write more about a few other things, but I have to run so
this will have to suffice.
Expect more soon.
Elder Scoty Stobbe