Monday, April 9, 2012

Hello Everyone!

How was Easter? I had a great one. I gave a talk yesterday in church. I used a talk given by President Hinckley from 1995 It is interesting to read. First he talks about his plans as Prophet of the Church (He had been sustained a year before) It is interesting because he did exactly what he said he was going to do. Kind of like a... a prophet! Plus the second part about Easter and the Resurrection was great.

Camila was confirmed yesterday as well. It was such a great experience. She and her mom could not stop smiling the whole hour of Sacrament Meeting. It was also a momentous day because her mom, Paola, got her patriarchal blessing. They were definitely very happy yesterday, and still are, I imagine.

Elder Narvaez and I were able to visit one of the less active families in our branch this week, and it was a wonderful experience. I don't even remember what scripture we shared but we all felt the spirit so strong. The dad has been the root of their inactivity, and was planning on leaving the church for good. He had not been reading or praying either, so he was not enjoying the companionship of the Spirit. While we were there, we testified to him of the importance of activity in the Church and the Gospel (thanks, Donald L. Hallstrom) On Sunday, they came to church, and told us that they had read and prayed as a family the past few days! It is amazing the work the Spirit can do. All we had to do was show up and testify!

Our Branch President, who is single, and the First Counselor and his wife all went to the temple last week. They were all baptized within the last 2 years or so (well, the first counselors wife has been a member since she was 14, but reactivated when her husband got baptized.) They all had a wonderful experience. They all received their endowments, and the Ferreyra's (first counselor) were sealed as a family. On Sunday, there were so many faces shining with peace and joy. It was amazing!

Today we are down in Dolores for a district activity with the Zone Leaders. Basically we are just playing ping pong, eating, and watching Kung Fu Panda 2. I am actually missing part of the movie right now, but it's ok. I will see it in English when I get home. This might be the last time I see Elder Benavides, one of my Zone Leaders. He has been my Zone Leader since I got to Chascomús, and has been my Zone Leader for longer than any other. He has been a great example and leader for me these past 5-6 months. He is going home in two weeks, to Colombia. I am so grateful for all of the great missionary friends that I have made on my mission. There are some that I will never forget, and some that I will see often after my mission. It makes me happy to know so many good faithful servants of the Lord. I feel honored to be part of this missionary force, now numbering over 56,000!

Dad, thanks for sharing that story about Matt. Members helping members is such a huge part of success in the Church. And we are all examples, whether we know it or not. Thank you for being an example for good! Also, I love that video of Mr. Bean! It is one of my all-time favorites, because it is something that happens to all of us, especially the part with the candy. ha-ha

I am not sure who Trace and his wife are. But I am glad Martha is still our Sister/Aunt/Second Mom! I miss her, and all of you so much!

I know that this Church is true. I know that you all being good member missionaries. You probably don't recognize the huge help you are to those who see you. But as a missionary, we see it all the time!

I love you all!

Have a great week, and Happy Easter!

Good luck in your basketball tournament.

Elder Scoty Stobbe

Dear Family and Friends


It was 7:00 on Thursday night. My companion and I were on our way to visit a less active member. I felt our cell phone vibrate in my pocket, and taking it out saw we had received a text from Camila. I stopped my bike, and Elder Narvaez pulled up next to me. "Listen to this," I told him as I read the text. "Elderes, o me bautizo el sábado o nunca.".... "Elders, either I get baptized Saturday, or never." This was very interesting to us, seeing as we hadn't been able to talk to her for about a week. I thought it was a joke at first, because her mom (Paola, you'll remember) had her phone for a while, and I wouldn't put it past her to joke with us like that. My suspicions were heightened when we immediately called Camila's cell phone, and Paola answered. I asked her what was going on. "What do you mean?" she asked. I asked her if Camila was with her, and she said that she was. I asked to speak with her and she passed her the phone. "So, you're getting baptized on Saturday then?" "Yes" was her response. "Ok," I told her. "Don't go anywhere. We will be there in 15 minutes." She had to run home (she doesn't live with her mom) but she said she would meet us at her mom's in half an hour.


As you can imagine, we were very excited. We had worked and prayed for her so much, and just days before, it seemed like she wouldn't be getting baptized any time soon. We immediately called the Zone Leaders, who were going to have to come down here on Friday to do the baptismal interview. We got to Paola's house and talked with her for a few minutes while we waited for Camila to get back. She told us what had happened that had made Camila make that decision. To explain it we have to take a step back. There is another member in our ward named Cholo. Well, his real name is Eduardo but everyone calls him Cholo. He is almost 90 years old and one of the best people I have ever met. He doesn't know how to read or write, but has a firm, strong testimony of the gospel. He got baptized about 30 years ago, here in Chascomús. Because he is old, and can't get around very well, it is hard for him to go visit other members, even though he really wants to. He had been wanting for some time to specifically visit Paola and Juan Cruz, who live on the other side of the city. He has a car but neither him nor his wife can drive. Finally, on Thursday afternoon, he decided he just needed to visit them and took a remis (taxi) to their house. When he arrived, Camila was also there, visiting her mom. Unless we had a fixed appointment with her, she only went to her mom's house about twice a week, and normally in the night. That day though, she had decided to go earlier. (Chance? I think not.) Cholo talked to them both for a while, then asked Camila how she was doing. He knew that she had had a baptismal date, but that she was struggling. He talked to you about her problems and doubts. One big stumbling block for her was being afraid her friends and other family who aren't members would make fun of or reject her for being a "Mormon." He told her how he went through the same things when he got baptized. He had a group of friends that he worked with, drank with, and did whatever else together. When he got baptized, they laughed at him and rejected him. He was sad because they had turned their backs on him, but he knew he had done the right thing. Camila also was waiting to receive a solid answer that the Church is true. Cholo helped her see that she had already received that confirmation while we had been teacher her. Her heart was softened, and she realized that she could find reasons to put off her baptism forever or she could go with her heart and just do it. It was right after Cholo left the house that she sent us the text.


When she got back, we talked with her about her baptism, did a pre-interview, and asked her again why she wanted to get baptized. She said she wanted to change and that Christ would help her if she took this step. We explained that other missionaries would be coming to give the interview, and she was really nervous. She doesn't like meeting new people (just like her mom) and felt like it was going to be a test. She said she couldn't remember everything we taught her, which we proved wrong by giving her the pre-interview. She may not have been able to just spout off all that we had taught, but she remembered with just a few words to remind her. She still told us straight up that she did not want to get interviewed by other missionaries. In the end we asked her if she would make this one last sacrifice before her baptism to have the interview with a stranger. If she would, she would be blessed and comforted. Finally she agreed, and we set the interview for Friday at 7:00.


The next day at about 4:00, we got a call from the Zone Leaders. They were in the bus terminal in La Plata about to travel down here to do the interview. But... there were no tickets. The whole Easter week and the weekend before are busy tourist times, and it is extremely hard to get a bus ticket the day of. They had one more bus line to check, and in the meantime, I called to see if they could take a shared remis, but there weren't any spaces left with them either. Elder Narvaez had the idea to call our mission president, and ask him if the branch president, President Cignoli, could do the interview. So we called him and explained to him the situation. He met Camila when he came to our area one time and we went and visiterd her with him. We asked him about the branch president, but he said he didn't think that would be a good idea. I thought then that we were doomed, because it was highly unlikely the Zone Leaders would make it down. (There were no tickets for Saturday either.) We would have to postpone the baptism, and as we have noted, Camila wanted to get baptized Saturday or never. We probably could have helped her get baptized down the road, but we knew she could fall into the same doubts as before. Then President Stapley told me something that surprised me. He told me I had better do the interview myself. I reminded him that I had taught her from the beginning, but he told me it was ok, and as mission president he was making an exception this time. He reminded me of the purpose of baptismal interviews, a few key things to check for, and wished me luck. This was very strange, but I immediately realized it was an even bigger blessing than it had seemed at first. Not only was Camila going to be able to get baptized the next day, but the interview would be a much more pleasant experience for her. That night, when we got to her mom's house, we have her the news.She was still nervous, but she was glad I was the one interviewing her. As an interesting note, she had a small problem with the Word of Wisdom. She drank tea every day and every night. It is pretty common here. When we first taught the Word of Wisdom, that was the only thing she was worried about. Along with deciding to get baptized, she stopped drinking tea overnight. She told me that she was going to miss it, but she felt it was right.


In our mission on conference weekend, there are normally anywhere from 0 to 5 baptism. Most people don't set baptismal dates for these weekends because the newly baptized persons have to wait a whole week to get confirmed. Interestingly, this is the second time I have had a baptism on conference weekend. Both times, our investigator just didn't want to wait any longer! Camila was baptized in between sessions on Saturday. For us, that was about 4:00 in the afternoon. She was nervous through the whole first session and couldn't sit still. She was walking back and forth between where I was watching in English, and the rest of the branch watched in Spanish. Finally the time came, and we had the baptismal service. 8 weeks ago, when she first decided to be baptized, she requested that I perform the baptism. I was grateful for the opportunity, and was happy to do it. Right before entering the font, I asked her how she felt. She answered, "Ready." After, you could tell just be looking at her that something was different. She had that light of a person who has just washed away all their sins and started a new life. She told her mom that she couldn't describe how she felt other than that she was very happy and peaceful. When President Stapley went with us to teach her, he had asked her what she wanted out of life. She had responded with two things. Peace and Joy. He promised her that after her baptism she would feel these things, and his promise was fulfilled.

Mom, I mentioned to Paola that you had been praying for Camila. I think you said you put her name on the prayer roll as well. Paola was overcome with gratitude and told me to make sure I sent you her thanks and love. That includes everyone who has prayed for her, or my investigators in general. It was definitely an answerd prayer this week. (Mom and Dad, you will be able to meet this whole family when you come down!)

Needless to say, after last week we feel very happy and blessed. Another interesting thing throught this whole experience was how clearly we could see the Lord's hand in all of it. From Cholo going to visit at the same time as Camila, to the bus problems and me ending up doing the interview. We know without a doubt that the Lord was involved.

I have uploaded pictures from before her baptism to DropBox. Dad, can you make sure that Matt and Rob get ahold of those pictures?


I also loved conference. It seemed like every talk was another small piece of my growing faith. I especially liked Elder Donald L. Hallstrom's talk from the first session. I have seen evidence of what he talked about so much in my mission. As members of the Church, we must be active in the Gospel. It could be said that that the Zoramites in Alma 31 were active members of their church. They went to church every Sunday, and each got up and said the prayer of perverse thanks on the Rameumptom. But we read in verse 23 that "...after the people had all offered up thanks after this manner, they returned to their home, never speaking of their God again until they had assembled themselves together again..." Let's not be like these Zoramites, or in the vernacular of today's youth, let's not be "Sunday Mormons." Elder Hallstrom gave us three keys to help us. 1. Deepen our understanding of Diety 2. Focus on the ordinances and coventants 3. Unite the Gospel with the Church.

Mom, for the record, when you finished preparing for the relief society activity at 12:30 am, I wasn't sleeping. That is only 9:30 my time, so I would have been in my pench planning for the next day! It sounds like it was great experience. I am looking forward to one of those cupcakes when I get home. I also wish I could have some spinach dip as well. I had forgotten about that stuff.

Thanks for the Easter money. I will use it well. I have pictures of my belts and pants, if you still think it's worth it. I will survive regardless, but let me know. Oh, and you can already download the conference talks and put them on your iPhone.

We made conference waffles on Sunday in between sessions. The cream didn't really work out, so we kind of just poured in on over the pudding. But it was delicious anyway. My companion was very impressed, even though mine were mediocre. Too bad he can't taste the ones from home!

Well, I think that is all for now. I love everyone and I hope you all have a great Easter!
Elder Scoty Stobbe


This week was... tough and slow. We didn't have very many appointments set up after being out of our area for almost 5 days. Not to seem melodramatic, but it seemed like very little went well this week. People weren't home, people rejected us, investigators weren't keeping their commitments. Our three investigators with Baptismal dates are struggling especially with keepin the commitments. We need them to read! Please pray for that specifically in the prayers you are already offering.

We did have some good lessons with inactive members. A big part of our work here is with the Rescue Plan given to us by the first presidency. It is the plan where each organization (RS, Elders, High Priests), gives 5 names of inactive families (preferably part member) to visit and reactivate.

Mom, there was an activity for the Relief Society birthday, but we made it an all-inclusive birthday party for those who had their birthday in Jan/Feb/March. It was pretty much just some food and a big cake. And we played ping pong.

Dad, thanks for the sports updates. When do the NBA playoffs start?

I was very glad to hear about Shered. I can't wait to get home and hang out with him. I realized the other day that I have had 4 companions in a row that don't have any brothers. I don't know what I would have done with all those girls if Shered hadn't been around.

I am very excited for General Conference. It is coming at a perfect time to give me a boost! This time I will just be with my companion instead of a whole group of missionaries. (Well, he will be with the branch while I am off to the side listening to it in English) So I will have a lot less waffles to make!

Dad, I will have the final budget for you next Monday.

Martha, if you are reading this Happy Birthday! I was thinking about you the other day without remembering it was your birthday! Oops. I hope you are doing great!

Sorry this was short. I love you all. Have a great week, and enjoy General Conference!

Hello Everyone!

Sorry there was no email yesterday. This week we have had transfers! We were traveling all day yesterday and didn't get a chance to write. After only one transfer, Elder Tejada has gone to a new area and I received Elder Narvaez from Guatemala. I have now been with 7 Americans, 2 Chileans, 1 Mexican, 1 Argentine, and 1 Guatemalan. It is possible that Elder Narvaez will be my last companion. I am looking forward to working with him this transfer.

Your trip to San Diego sounds great! I enjoyed all of the pictures and descriptions. Thanks for the notes in the sand. Dad, you're translation was a literal one. I understood because I speak English. The translation app almost got it right. It would be saludos with and "O" instead of an "A" in saludas.

I forgot my planner from last transfer today so I don't remember all the experiences I was going to share from this last week. This email will be short anyway because we don't have much time today.

Next week I will be sending pictures, and a nice long email. For today, I will just send this one of my new companion and I.

I love you all.

Talk to you next week.

Thursday, March 29, 2012


Hello everyone!

First off, I uploaded some pictures to DropBox, with descriptions. I hope you enjoy them.

Mom, I hope you are doing better. I did not like to hear about you being sick, but I am grateful you had Dad to take care of you.

This week we had a two days of meetings. Because we are far away, we "had" to go stay with some other missionaries for a few days. We left Wednesday afternoon, and got back Saturday morning. Then we had Stake Conference on Sunday, and had to travel again. That, plus we were travelling last Sunday and Monday as well. We are all travelled out!

Dad, we could always consider shortening your stay, right? Would that drop the cost enough? We'll see what happens!

For now, Camila's baptism is on hold. We weren't able to see her at all this week because of all the travel. We have a goal for her to get baptized on April 7th, along with Margarita.

Mom, I have actually been thinking a lot that and am very excited to do Family Home Evenings when I get home.

I will let the pictures talk this week.

I love everyone!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Hello everyone!

I am so happy to be here with you today. I would like to thank my mission president for this opportunity to speak.

Yeah, so... how is everyone? I got letters from a whole slew of people today. Thank you all for writing! It makes my day so much brighter (even though it is raining right now.)

Aubri, I am so happy for you! Have a great week! I wish I could be there, but I'll see you when I get home.

Today I am feeling very happy. This is the last P-day of the transfer, and one of the Sisters is going home on Monday. We are going to miss her, but today we are enjoying ourselves. We went in the morning to a sort of carnival, but it was already closed. But then the Sisters told us that there is a maze close by that is made with bushes or hedges, like in Harry Potter, except that it is only about 4 feet high. So we did that and then went to a park and took pictures and then came back to the church to eat, play ping pong, and write our families! Also today one of the Elders in my district, Elder Jarvis got a video of his little brother receiving his mission call. He is going to Chile. It was a lot of fun to see another future missionary receive his call!

This last week we had some great contacts. We were able to talk to some people who are very promising that we are going to visit again this week. Margarita and Camila both have baptismal dates for the 24th of February right now. They both need your prayers! Camila told us yesterday that she has been praying every night and is waiting for an answer that the Church is true and that she should get baptized. She is worried that it will never come. She has the doubt that maybe the Church isn't for her, so Heavenly Father isn't going to answer he prayer. We have faith that she will in fact receive it. Margarita just needs to go to church. She was sick this weekend and couldn't go, but she told us she knows she needs to and will go this week.

Some experiences from this week:

After leaving a members house (the family of Ludmila, who got baptized in December) we were riding our bikes down the street when her little 3 or 4 year old brother runs out screaming something. He was screaming "¡Un Beso! ¡Un Beso!" "A kiss! A kiss!" In argentina they say hello and goodbye with kisses, and we only accept them from little kids. I left with "saying goodbye" and he wanted to tell me goodbye!

On Tuesday I did an exchange with the elders in Dolores, and while we were out clapping houses, we saw some Jehovah's Witnesses. This is common, but they usually avoid us and go down a different street. But this time, we were in front of a house waiting for a guy to come out, and they went to the house right next door and clapped it. It was interesting to be doing contacts side by side with them. They may have some strange ideas, but at least they are out trying to share an important message!

After lunch on Wednesday we were sharing a scripture with the family, and they had their grandkids there. My companion asked Sofia, who is 10 years old and a member to read 1 Nephi 1:1, but to replace "Nephi" with "Sofia". Now to understand what happened next we have to explain a little Spanish. When is says "born of goodly parents" in Spanish that is "nací de buenos padres". So "goodly" is "buenos" in this case. But when she read it, she changed it more than expected and said "Yo, Sofia, nací en buenos aires, y recibí por tanto..." This may not be funny or make sense in English, but it was pretty funny when it happened!

On Wednesday night, we had a Family Home Evening for the branch in the church. My companion organized it all, and was a great success! We watched the Testaments, did the "Seminary Doughnuts" lesson but with Alfajors, played a game where you had to pick up a candy with your teeth from a plate, but it was buried in flour. Then we played hangman and had a piñata. The phrase in hangman was "Appearances can be deceiving" and they got to break the piñata when they guessed it. The piñata was filled with paper and flour (appearances can be deceiving) and we taught a lesson about how the devil tries to make sins appear good, and how we can avoid falling in his trap. Then we had chips and soda and candy to finish. It was really fun, and we had about 4 or 5 inactive members come who haven't been to church in more than 6 months! In two weeks we are having another one about the Plan of Salvation.

I love you all so much! Thanks for your prayers and love.


Death is a funny thing...sometimes

This week I wrote down things to tell, and I realized today that they all have to do with death, or something related. Weird, right?

First, an update. We had several great lessons with Camila and Margarita this week. They are both progressing, but at different rates. I wish that we could just have lessons with them all day every day, because we feel the spirit so strong and care about them so much. It is a great experience. We started taking members with us to visit Margarita, and she loves it! She said she remembers from before when she was investigating the Church that members would always go and visit her, and it made her feel so good. So we are trying to help with fellowshipping that way. Camila is trying to change. Even though she is only 14, she lived a very worldly life before. She knows it is for the best to live in accordance with God's laws, but it is hard for her. One night she wrote her mom and told her that she didn't want to meet with us that day because we talked about God too much. haha. We explained to her the next time that we don't really have anything else to talk about! We are trying to organize an activity where she can just enjoy herself with the members and us so she sees that the Church isn't just missionary lessons and sacrament meeting.

Speaking of sacrament meeting, we had 12 people total yesterday, including the two missionaries and Camila. It was the smallest I have ever seen. I gave a talk, and I felt like I was teaching a sunday school lesson because there were so few people.

So this week my companion and I were looking for some addresses, and we stopped to check our map. We look on one side of the street and there is a preschool. Then we looked on the other side, and there was an old folks home! haha. My companion was like, oh look, the beginning and end of life! I wonder if someone planned to put them next to each other, or it just happened?

We were with Margarita talking about the Plan of Salvation, and she said something interesting: "The only thing you need to die is to be alive!"

Unfortunately this week in Buenos Aires there was a terrible tragedy. There was a train accident and over 50 people were killed, and over 600 injured. The brakes were not functioning correctly, and when the train got to the final station where the tracks end and there is a barrier, it crashed. The first two cars smashed together like an accordian. It has been very sad this last week. Luckily, we know that all those people are ok, and that death is not the end. It was a great experience to be able to share the Plan of Salvation with people who asked us if we had heard about the train accident.

We had a leadership and secretary training meeting on Saturday for Bishoprics and Branch Presidencies and all the presidents from each ward or branch. It was with Elder Avila, who is an area Seventy. At one point during a question and answer session, someone asked what to do in an emergency when a member needs welfare help. The answer was "Follow the spirit" But he used the example "If the spirit tells you to cut off a head, you just get up and cut it off!" It was a great example! Then he clarified by saying that that only happened once, so don't get any ideas.

This next part is specifically for the Montes Family, so can you make sure it gets to them?

En esa misma reunión, estaban hablando de qué tipos de alimentos se deben dar a los miembros necesitados. Decían que solamaent deben ayudarlos mantener la vida, y no mantener un "estilo de vida". Entonces, nos dieron unos ejemplos de alimentos que son "necesarios para sostener la vida" ¡y los primeros que dijeron eran Yerba y Azúcar! ¡Me dió tanta gracia! Me encanta estar en Argentina!

Dad, Congratulations on your sale! I am glad things are going well.

I am glad to hear Jessie is getting better at church. It makes me so happy to hear about his experiences.

In almost every email I get, I am told that you don't want to repeat each other, so sometimes you leave out stories because someone else is going to tell me. I think it might be better if you all say what you want, and I'll deal with repeat stories! Remember that I read really fast (I did a test the other night with my companion and I was at roughly 700 wpm.) So don't be afraid to repeat stories!

I love everyone. I am so grateful for your prayers and love. I know that I am doing the Lord's will serving a mission.

Have a wonderful week!

-Elder Scoty Stobbe

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Hello Everyone!

Today I have been in Chascomús for 4 months. The time really has flown.

Yesterday it rained a lot here, and almost no-one came to church. It just happened to be the Sunday it was being announced that we are joining with a stake, and the stake presidency, the stake secretary, and all the auxillary presidents came to our branch. Before they showed up there were only 12 people! Most of the streets that aren't paved were flooded. One sister told us later in the day the the water came within a meter of her front door! Because of that, Camila wasn't able to make it to church, and so we are moving her baptismal date. We are going to see her tonight to make a new goal. The stake president was going to assign a new 2nd counselor yesterday, but decided to leave me. So at least for a while longer, I will be serving as 2nd counselor. It takes some time away from missionary work, but it is a good learning experience.

Here are some more interesting/random things that I heard, saw, or experienced this week:

While teaching an inactive member named Norma, she told us she doesn't like to take the sacrament because the water makes her feel sick! I have to admit, the water tastes gross here, but that tiny amount should be fine. Of course, she hasn't been to church in 3 years so not liking the sacrament water is the least of her worries.

There is a church here called the Universal Church. They are famous for there requirement of donations. They have a system of paying for better seats. For example, to sit on the front row, you have to "donate" $100 dollars. The second row, $90, and so forth. Every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday they have their meetings, and the people are asked to donate $50 pesos each time. They call this "tithing". It is amazing that every single member just happens to earn $1,500 per week! People who don't want to pay, or can't are allowed to enter, but as sort of outcasts, and have to sit or stand at the very back. These are some of the only people that actually are happy to obey the law of tithing that we teach. They end up paying less! haha

While teaching another inactive member, my companion shared this example: A home teacher went to visit an inactive member. They sat in front of his fire, and the inactive brother told him that it had been so long since he had gone to church, that he didn't feel the "fire" of his testimony anymore. He felt cold. Without saying a word, the home teacher took the fire poker, and removed one of the coals from the fire. He let it sit there as it slowly cooled and turned white. He let it cool to the point that he could pick it up with his hand. Then, he broke the coal in half with the poker, and turned off the light. There, in the very center, there was still a faint orange warm glow. The home teacher put the coal back in the fire, where it shortly shone again with heat. Still silent, he left the house, leaving this inactive member to his thoughts. Moral of the story? Even when it seems like someone is completely inactive, and completely cold to the church and their testimony, there always remains the soft glow in their heart from when they received their first testimony. All we have to do is put them back in the "fire."

On Thursday night we had a Family Home Evening with the family of the 1st counselor of our branch. It was stormy and raining, and shortly after arriving, the power went out. We were using candles and the flashlight from our cell phone to see and cook. (It was already dark outside, about 8:00). Our cell phone was about to run out of battery, and it was the light in the kitchen. I saw on a table a couple of chargers, and asked her if she had one that fit our phone. She replied that she did, and so I asked her if she would plug it in so we could keep using the light. She just looked at me like I was an idiot. Then her 10 year-old son looked at me and said "Duh, Elder Stobbe, the power's out!" I couldn't help but laughing at my own moment of stupidity.

This last week we went to go contact a reference we had received from a street contact. She had told us that her mom used to go to our church, but never got baptized. When we got there, we met Margarita. She is 78 years old. About 3 or 4 years ago, her and her "husband" (they were not married but lived together as a couple for over 40 years. He had a previous marriage and had never gotten a divorce) were investigating the church with their two children. The kids got baptized, but Margarita and Ceferino couldn't, because of their marital status, or lack thereof. In the time between then and when we met her, she had had some incredibly difficult trials. In the space of 3 years her daughter was hit and killed by a car, her house burned down, her husband died of a heart attack, and her left leg was amutated from the thigh down due to complications with diabetes. The last one happened less than 3 months ago. She is currently using a wheelchair, and waiting to get a prosthetic leg. In spite of all of this, she is positive, and knows that God has his reasons for allowing things to happen to us. A huge blessing she had was that she had almost gotten baptized before, and therefore has a testimony of the plan of salvation, and knows that she can be with her daughter and husband again. She was so happy to see us, said she has felt even better and positive since we visited. Right now, the only thing in the way of her baptism is her leg. We have to make sure she can be immersed, and then there is the issue of physically performing the baptism. My companion told her that we would be her missing leg ---'s+legs#daytons-legs ---. She told us in our last meeting she told us, "¿Con pata o sin pata, me voy a bautizar!" "With our without my leg, I'm going to get baptized!". We have a tentative date for her to get baptized on the 10th of March, but we will have to see.

Another common sight in Argentina. 3, 4, and sometimes even 5 people riding on one scooter! Small familes use their scooter like we would a minivan. Mom, Dad, and 2 or 3 kids all on the scooter! I will try and get a picture of this at some point.

I have a goal of learning new words in Spanish until I finish my mission. Specifically, I want to learn a new word my last day in Argentina. I have been writing down words I see or hear and asking what they mean. I have realized that there are so many that I don't know. Even though I can speak great, and always understand conversations, every once in a while there are specific words that I don't quite understand. Hopefully I can keep learning.
I love you all!
--Elder Stobbe

Here we are on another Monday, starting a new week.

This week I remembered something that I did early in my mission, which was
write in my daily planner little things to share on Mondays. So here goes:

We clapped a house and did a contact with a guy, and he let us in. He lives
with his brother, and they are both very poor. We started teaching them and
immediately realized that they didn't understand us very well. We found out
that one doesn't know how to read, and the other has about a 1st or 2nd
grade reading level. It is sad sometimes the level of ignorance we find. We
continued teaching, because obviously you don´t have to be able to read to
accept Christ and repent. We finished the very short lesson on the
Restoration, and invited them to Church. One of them, who was evangelist,
told us that he didn't want to go because he didn't believe in us. Then he
said something that made me want to laugh. We asked him why he didn't
believe, and he said "You know how in the Bible it says that there will be
false prophets?" "Yeah..." we responded. "Well I'm not saying you guys are
false prophets, but you know...." So it turned out to be an interesting
lesson. When we left they told us they did not really want us coming back.

Teaching an inactive member sister, my companion asked the question "Who
wants to be like Christ?" Everyone but this sister raised their hand. When
we asked her why, she said "Well, wasn't Christ a man? I don't want to be a

Teaching a group of kids the 10 commandments using our fingers, we got to
number 4: Remember the sabbath day to keep it holy. Or in modern terms, go
to church every Sunday and keep the day holy. We were reviewing and it was
one kid's turn to say what number 4 was (these were all members). He yells
out confidently, "Go to church every Thursday!"

Another thing about Argentina that I don't think I have shared is that there
are a lot of frogs. At night they come out and often they get ran over on
the road. It is a very common sight to see flattened frog bodies in the road
as we ride by on our bikes.

I was talking to Elder Martindale the other night (he was in the MTC with
me) and he knows that I love Apple products. He asked me which of them I
want to get when I go home. I told him, a MacBook Pro, iPhone, and maybe and
iPod. Then he tells me; "No, wait. I know which one you really want. It's
not the iPod or iPhone, or even iPad, but just the "i" (eye). I was laughing
for about 5 minutes. He is the same elder who gave me the nickname Stobbe
One-Eye Kanobi.

A member told us this short story: There was a man who was a faithful
member of the church almost his whole life. But when he turned 80, he
decided he had done enough, and wanted to rest. He had had church callings,
gone to the temple, served a mission, and raised a family. Now he just
wanted to rest, knowing he had done his duty. A few years after, he passed
away. When he got to heaven, there was a little group of people gathered
around St. Peter, who was getting ready to show everyone to their mansion.
The man was very excited, knowing that his manision must be very large, and
very nice. The started out, and one by one, the people were shown their
mansion, and the group dwindled to just him. They finally approached his
mansion, which as he expected was huge! He went in leaving St. Peter to
himself. He look around at the beautiful furniture and craftsmanship, and
was very pleased. But then he look up, and with alarm ran outside to catch
up to St. Peter. "There has been a mistake" said he. "My mansion is missing
the roof!" "There is no mistake" replied St. Peter. "The angels who built
your manion worked just as long as you did. They were about to put on the
roof, but when you decided you had done enough, and stopped working, so did
they!" Let's all remember that instead of worrying about the size of
our mansion, we should make sure it has a roof when we get there!

Proof that the Book of Mormon answers all of life's questions: Think of any
question you have always wanted to know the answer to, that you haven't
figured out. Then go to 1 Nephi 13:22 for the answer.

Mom, I am doing much better. I just got trunky for a few days. I feel great
now, have been healthy for a few weeks! Thanks for the Valentines Day Gift.
Listen to that CD! It is awesome!

At least where I am, there is no custom to use the table cloth as a napkin.
Here they use paper towels. Very rarely do they have normal napkins. In
fact, the word in Spanish "servilleta" is used for both napkins and paper
towels, at least here.

Camila is doing great! We had 4 lessons with her in the last week, inluding
that first one on Sunday. On Monday night we talk about her desire to get
baptized. When we asked her when she wanted to get baptized she said "ya"
which is means "already". They use it to mean ASAP! So we challenged her to
be ready in 3 weeks, and she agreed! She is going to get baptized on the
25th of February. She is reading and praying. Last night, we went to teach
her but she was very sick. She had a stomach ache and was feeling nauseous.
Her mom, Paola, asked us if we could give her a blessing. So we briefly
explained priesthood blessings to her (luckily we had already taught her
about Priesthood Authority) and gave her a blessing. It ended up being a
miracle, because 20 minutes later she was feeling fine! We told her to rest,
and we could teach her another day. She left smiling!

I have a temporary assignment as the second counselor in our Branch for a
week or two. We are about to join with a Stake (we have been part of a
district, which is the equivalent of a branch to a ward) and the Stake
President is going to assign a High Counselor to be the Second Counselor. It
was interesting to count tithing yesterday, and see how it is all done!

Dad, I loved your thesis. I have already used it in my teaching. Thank you
for your wisdom!

I love you all. Have a great week, and feel the Love of the Savior, as well
as the love of your spouses, families, etc.
Dear Family and Friends

I am writing this letter on one of the worst computers I have seen in
argentina. It only has Internet Explorer (won't let me download anything
else), runs Windows XP only in the basic, gray ugly mode, and the internet
is slower than molasses. Because of all this, my email account is acting
weird, so I hope this gets there ok.

I have a new companion! His name is Elder Tejada, from San Juan, Argentina.
He has been on his mission for 8 months. I have now had companions from the
4 major groups in our mission: American, Argentine, Chilean, and Mexican. He
was actually in the same ward with me in Adrogué for 2 transfers, so I know
him already. Chascomús is going to be weird without Elder Lopez, but we'll
just have to get over it. We are in Banfield right now (where the mission
home is). We are traveling back later tonight. Mom, I have pictures but my
camera is in my area, so I will probably send them later tonight or tomorrow
morning. I don't want to use up my full writing time here because it is a
very uncomfortable experience (did I mention the keyboard is horrible as

Dad, I'm not sure what you mean by the 3:00 testimony thing. Is that on
Monday? President Stapley said he was going to send you an updated letter
about parents coming, did you get anything like that? Can you send me a copy
if you did? If not, then the way it is done is that on Monday, you can go to
transfer meeting at 9:30, which is where all the missionaries going home
bear their testimony, and then you have to go do something else for a few
hours while we eat lunch with President and Hermana Stapley, finish up some
final administrative things and do some other stuff..., and then when the
other missionaries are ready to be taken to the airport, you come back and
pick me up. As far as Sunday, I would like for you guys to at least go to
church once here, for the experience. If you want to fly in on Sunday
morning and miss that one, it might be better because after church you have
to go "away" again while I finish out my last day of missionary work anyway.
The next Sunday though, we choose where we go to church, and stay together
after. So that is my opinion. Today I had the opportunity to talk with the
parents of Elder Taylor, who was my Zone Leader, who came to pick him up.
They came on Saturday, and apparently just cooled their heels all day. They
told me some interesting things, like the fact that you each will have to
pay about $140 USD to enter the country when you get to the airport, just so
you know. Also, it cost them quite a bit to take a taxi from the airport to
the hotel. For them it was over $100, but they brought their other two kids
with them, so they had to take a little shuttle bus type car. For you, it
will be less with just the two of you, where you can take a normal car. They
said the only reason they didn't rent a car is because it would be too hard
to find their way around. With me, that's not a problem. Everything would be
much easier and faster with a rental car, but cheaper to do it the
missionary way. I believe we already decided against renting, as it is
expensive. Maybe Lance knows more about that, and can shed some light.

Ok, I am going to cut this, and finish it later. I can't handle this


It's later...

Dad I just got your note where you realized about the meeting Monday. I
stick to my opinion stated above. If we were to to use a rental car, we
would not need a GPS for things in the mission, and some places in the main
city of Buenos Aires. I think we could manage with my knowledge and Google
Maps. Going to Iguassu falls doesn't seems worth it to me, but who knows.
They it's pretty impressive, but for some reason, flying and spending money
and a whole day or two for a waterfall doesn't seem too exciting. If it's
something you guys really want to do, let's go for it. If not, I say skip
it. We could save that money and go to a tango show, and visit other
historical places.

I am working on a budget for food. I should have it done next week. I think
you meant the mission home and church, not the mission office, when you
mentioned getting there by train. I think you could handle getting there by
train. You just have to know where you are going, which I can help you with.

Mom, I am normally fine for food money. My only money problems are with
little unexpected expenses like fixing a bike, or having to travel for a
meeting. And anyway, I am used to living off eggs and rice towards the end
of the month.

As far as who we are teaching, our teaching pool is kind of dry right now.
We are working on getting it back up, and with my new companion, we are
going to work harder than ever to find new investigators. One who we met
recently is a friend of a recently reactivated member. He just showed up to
church a few Sundays ago saying he hadn't been to church in years, but
decided it was time to go back. Then we had a sports activity to play
soccer, and he brought his friend. At one point his friend (Daniel) told me
he didn't actually like soccer, so I told him (honestly) that I didn't
really either, so we sat and watched. Then I sneakily snuck out some
Restoration pamphlets and taught him the first lesson right there! We are
waiting to hear from his member friend (Ernesto) for when we can go by his
house to teach him more. He seemed interested, so we will see where that

We are also teaching a friend of a member family named Fernando. I may have
mentioned him before. He has a lifestyle completely oppposite of the gospel
principles, but wants to change. He has addictions to recover, and quite a
change to make, but we are working with him to show him that it is indeed
possible. He also went to our sports activity.

We are also working several inactive members and families. Since a few weeks
ago that we talked to her, we haven't been able to find Rosa Alluson, the
inactive sister I told you about. We have a list of more names to go and
find that the branch gave us, so hopefully that brings about some fruit.

I'm not sure if I mentioned our Ping Pong Playing to you guys? We play quite
a bit, every P-day and after district meetings. I never really like ping
pong, and it has been more difficult since my accident, but it turns out
that it is really fun, and I only whiff it once in a while! (And that may
not even be because of my eye!) We have all gotten pretty good, and we have
little tournaments. We play doubles alot, and it is way fun! Herman Rios
and I were teamed up two weeks ago, and at the end of the day, we had 9
wins, while everyone else had 2 or 3! It is one of the only things we have
to divert ourselves down south. So that is what we do!

Well, I just had to finish this up, and I will "see" you all next week.

I would like to send a huge thank you to the Summit Ward, and the Andersons.
I got two amazing packages last week! And thank you to everyone who writes
and contributes to my mission. I love you all.

-Elder Scoty Stobbe

Wednesday, January 18, 2012


I got your recordings. Thank you. It was great to hear some updates! I
always find myself wishing for more when you finish! That is probably how
you feel with my letters, so I am not asking you to make them longer. I
normally listen another time just for good measure. It was good to hear that
Jessie is going to church and is a little Sun Beam! How cute! I got the
picture of his new church clothes too, which were also very cute.

Happy 5th Anniversary, or something? I'm not sure how to congratulate you on
that. Way to still be here!? It is crazy to think it has been 5 years. Have
fun at your basketball game to celebrate!

I did see that you put money on my card for the bike repairs. I used cash I
already had to pay for that, and will use the money on the card at the
supermarket to save the cost of withdrawing from the ATM.

Say hi to all our basketball buddies and tell them I'll see them in 5

I haven't gotten anything from Grandpa Stobbe. I checked my Gmail account to
double check and there wasn't anything from him either.

I know you are probably planning on it anyway, but keep me up to date with
your basketball team and Shered's. I want to know how his superstars are
doing! : ) I am going play terrible when I get back, I'm sure. I'll have to
get into the rythm again. Oh, speaking of basketball, I have some bad news
that I never told you. While I was in the offices, I had a few things stolen
from me. We are pretty sure it was the cleaning guy (who was a member) but
we could never prove it. On several occasions food went missing when he was
the only one there. I believe he also took my backpack and basketball shoes.
I had my shoes in a cupboard for when we played on P-days, and one day after
not playing for more than a month, I went to put them on... and they were
not there. The same with the backpack I bought myself for Christmas last
year. Didn't use it for a while, went to look for it, wasn't there, etc. I
didn`t want to make a big deal about it because I can live without them
both, but... just so you know. In the end, because there was no proof, and
we didn't want to make a scene, President Stapley quietly let him go, and
hired a new cleaning crew (who cleaned better anyway). On two separate
occasions, the Assistants also lost my flash drives. Luckily, President
Stapley gave me one and I have one of Matt and Rob's that I am using til I
get home. I haven't really had too much of a need, since I can back up my
pictures for now on the computer. I will probably DropBox them all home
towards the end. I don't think I lost any pictures, but I am not postive

These past few weeks we have had an interesting experience with Paola, the
sister in our ward who is the Primary President. She sent us a text message
on New Year's Day (we can receive but not send them) saying that she wanted
us to call her about something very important ASAP. We called her and she
asked when we would be able to visit her, because she had a question about
something. I told her Tuesday night, because we were going down to Dolores
the next day. She ended the call by saying, "Ok, but I don't know if I'll
still be a member on tuesday night!" Knowing her, I knew she was
exaggerating, but that it was important. Over the next two days we tried to
think of what it could be that was such an issue. Finally, when we went to
visit her, she told us she wanted us to explain completely about Baptisms
for the Dead. She had gone to say hi to an aquaintance of hers who is kind
of like a preacher in another church. They hadn't seen eachother for a
while, and catching up, she told him she had joined the Church. He
immediately started spouting some anti-mormon garbage about worshiping
Joseph Smith and how baptizing deceased people was an abomination. Long
story short, he scared her! (She has been a member for about 7 months, and
hasn't taken any temple prep classes) He showed her a scripture that proved
it was not approved in the primitive church (ironically, the same
scripture/chapter we used to help her understand). It was in 1 Corinthians
15:29 "Else what shall they do which are baptized for the dead, if the dead
rise not at all? why are they then baptized for the dead?" Her "friend"
used this to try and prove that the dead do not rise, therfore we should not
be baptized for them. This, it seems, is a typical example of how people
take scriptures out of context to try and confuse us. He did not realize, or
maybe was ignoring the fact that this was used in a facetious manner. It is
interesting, because for me, reading the whole chapter, it is perfectly
clear what the meaning is. Paul used what to him and those who he was
preaching to was a given truth: that baptisms for the dead were in fact
performed and approved by the Church. That being the case, we realize that
he is making something clear to them. In the vernacular of today's youth: Do
you really think we would be baptizing people for the dead if they weren't
going to have the same chance at salvation and resurrection as us? If not,
why would we even bother? In the end, we were able to help Paola overcome
her concern and understand a little more. We left her with the assignment to
do her own studying, and more importantly, praying, to be at peace on this
subject. Interestingly, after we finished teaching, she told us something
that gives me hope for recent converts all over the world who face
situations like this. She told us that even though she was extremely
confused, and felt like she didn't know what to believe, she knew one thing:
She had a testimony that the Church is true. She knew that she would
eventually figure it out, but in that moment, the only thing that kept her
from simply never going back to church was her testimony. It reminded me of
a quote from my little book: "A testimony is something we keep up during the
good times, so that it can keep us up during the difficult times" (or
something like that)

I am grateful for all of the prayers and love that I receive each day. I can
truly feel them. It seems I have been here for a lifetime. It is a life I
love and it will definitely be bittersweet when it comes time to finish.

Mom, I will send pictures of my clothes next week.

Peace out.
Hello everyone,
This week we went and visited a lady name Rosa Alluson. She was baptized
almost 30 years ago, and hasn't been to church in about 25 years. For a long
time, she was forgotten and nobody visited her. Then, about a month ago, one
of the ward members saw her name somewhere, and thought to go see if she
still lived in the same place. It turned out that she does, and they asked
her if it would be all right for the Missionaries to visit her and re-teach
the lessons. She agreed, so we went over and met her last week. We had a short
but sweet visit. She remembers almost nothing about the church, except that
she felt good there. We have scheduled to visit her once a week to help her
learn all the important stuff she has been missing. She had an accident a
few years ago, and now cannot walk very well. She rarely if ever leaves her
house, and it seems that she feels like she would not be able to go to Church, even
if she wanted to. So we are going to work on that with her. Please keep her
in your prayers.

Other than that, this last week was filled with a lot of rejection, and very
few opportunities to teach. We talked to a lot of people, but it just seemed
like nobody was interested. I think one of the difficulities is that for the
most part, the people who live here in Chascomús have good comfortable
lives, and can't imagine that they need anything more. Please pray for us so
we can find some prepared people to teach.

I received a phone call on Monday from the mission secretary, Elder Miles,
asking me what airport I would be flying into when I go home. This is known
in the mission as the "Trunky Call" because it means he is organizing our
flight plans for going home, and therefore tends to make missionaries
trunky. I told him my parents were coming to pick me up, and he said in
that case, you guys need to call in to the Church Travel office (I believe I
sent you a letter with the information) and tell them when we want to fly
home, so that we will be on the same flight. I think we said we were going
to stay a week, right? So we would leave Monday, the 11th? So I think that
there is no more need to wait to call. Go ahead and do it!

Dad, thanks for all the work you are doing with Collins. Keep me updated
with whatever happens.

Mom, you're calling sounds like a lot of fun, but a lot of work. Kind of
like being a missionary!

I have not been able to watch that video because YouTube does not work here
in the Church where we write from. Maybe next week we'll go to a ciber so I
can watch it.

Am I fat... - Me posing on the dock. It is pretty cool, it goes out about
60-75 meters, then opens up into a big circle where you can sit and fish, or
do whatever.
Birds and Wind - there were a couple of birds trying to fly into the wind,
but they must not have realized they were't going anywhere because when we
left they were still trying to do it, after over 5 minutes.
District Chascomús - From Left to Right: (The Zone leaders aren't actually
in my district, they were just visiting)
Elder Benavides, Zone Leader, from Colombia
Elder Jarvis from Arizona

Elder Arpires from Catamarca, Argentina

Hermana Rios from Jujuy, Argentina

Hermana Price from Virginia

Elder Taylor, Zone Leader, from Arizona (you might remember him
from some pictures I sent from the 4th of July. He was Elder Allens
companion at that time.

Elder López from Pachuca Hidalgo, México

Elder Stobbe from Utah.

Laguna 01 - Here in Chascomus we have a lake, which they refer to as a
lagoon. The shoreline is 37km. This is me on the shore, on a very windy day.
Laguna 02 - A picture of the shoreline

Laguna 03 - The coastline taken from the end of the dock.
Laguna 04 - This was to show how black the water looked. It was about to
storm, and the water went from green to this in about 30 seconds.
Lone Bird - One of the hopeless birds.

López Goku - My companion getting ruffled by the wind.

Map of Chascomús - I am pointing roughly to where we live.
Weird Tree - López - For perspective

Weird Tree - Me - A funny tree we found on the shore of the laguna.

I love you all!
p.s. Let Shered and Shalet know I sent them emails.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Happy New Year!


I was wishing and hoping you would include that phrase of yours in your email, and I almost cried when I read it. I miss you so much. I miss our whole family. It's interesting when you think we can love so many people so much. All of my sisters, Shered, my brother-in-laws, nephews, nieces, cousings, grandparents, and my parents. I can think of why I love each and every one of them. Imagine how it must feel for Heavenly Father. He feels that way for EVERY PERSON WHO HAS EVER LIVED, OR WILL LIVE! I stand all amazed at the love he gives to all of us.

I have my own little family down here with my district. We are quite apart from the rest of the mission, and we have become really united. I feel a similar love for each of them. I try to do my best as their leader to be an example and show them my Savior's love. And in return, I know that my love is reciprocated. Today we are in Dolores for P-day, and are staying here tonight for District Meeting tomorrow. The whole day I have been thinking that for now this is a suitable substitute to being with my family for Christmas and New Years.

Just for fun, I will tell you a little about my district. There are two Sister missionaries. One is from Argentina, named Hermana Rios, and her companion, Hermana Price is from Virginia. They both make us all better! The other comanionship is Elder Arpires, who is also from Argentina, and Elder Jarvis who is from Meza, Arizona. Elder Jarvis just got here this transfer, but he already feels like part of the family! I will send a picture next week of all of us.

I made a short video and took pictures from New Years, but I left my camera back at the church, so I'll send them next week. I can't believe that is is 2012 already! I mean, the world is ending this year! Crazy!

New Years at home sounded fun. I missed the Russian tea cookies and Martinellis.

Yesterday we had a lesson with Maria, who we haven't talked to in a little while. Her grandson, Agustin, kind of cooled off and isn't too interested anymore. But she understands the importance of baptism, and all we have to do is help her get to church. She is very old, blind in one eye and can't see out of the other. (well, she can barely see out of it) We are going to do everything we can to help her get baptized.

Dad, I got the link for DropBox. I am not at my "home computer" so I am not going to download the stuff, but I checked the link and it is all good. Thank you, and feel better! Don't lie around all day, go bounce! My companion has had the flu this past week. Luckily it is passing and I didn't catch it.

Mom, did I understand right that Shered is using my email address ( So should I write to that one? It just seemed weird so I thought I'd double check.

With that $20 I bought fruit, milk, and chocolate mix, and made several smoothies. I also bought some other food necessities. As far as my clothes, nothing is really broken, but dingy...? a little. About half my socks are a weird brownish color from getting bleached one time, the faux leather covering on my belts is coming off in places and I have a few short sleeved shirts that are less than pristine white, but I have been fine with these. You can decide if you want them replaced.

I have been thoroughly enjoying those books I got for christmas, I used two stories and three quotes in my talk in church yesterday. It was about goals and the vision to accomplish them. Thank you for those!

I hate to ask, but my bike is in need of a few repairs (again!) It seems like the bikes always need something fixed here. It is something that could wait a few weeks maybe to be fixed, but it might get worse and be more expensive. The guy at the bike repair place said he could do it for about 100 pesos, which is a little less that $25 dollars, if that is possible. (Also I don't know if I mentioned this, but i get charged 17 pesos every time to take out money, roughly 4 dollars, just so you know.)

Dad, no pressure, and don't worry about it while you are sick, but didn't you say that we had to wait for the new year to do anything more about Collins College? I saw on the website that classes start on September 1st or October 15th, but the graduation date for those start times is the same. Could you ask about that? I don't know if it would be worth it spend a little more time at home before moving away for good? (For your's and mom's sake, of course...)

Also, I never got that application or any information about the Re-Fi for the Maxima. Let me know if I need to do anything with that.

I love everyone! Have a great week and a wonderful new year.

-Elder Scoty Stobbe

P.S. Food for thought: When you judge others, you do not define them. You define yourself.