Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Weekly Jazz 9-28-15

I just didn't know how to start out the recording so we sang you a song.  This week was a really good week.  I'll start with Tuesday we went on divisions and I was with Elder Richie, who has 6 months in the mission.  He's really cool, we went and taught a few lessons and helped a few people come unto Christ.  We went to the family Cespedes and we ate lunch there but we cooked.  Elder Richie and I took those seasoning packages that you guys send me in the mail of Chinese food.  We really switched it up eating Chinese rice with kung pau chicken.  It was so good.  The truth is there is like 3 things people here eat.  Fried Chicken, gesso (which is basically spaghetti) and empanadas with an occasional hamburger and that's about it.  There are NO Chinese restaurants and they loved it, so that was pretty fun, could you send me some more of those please.

Thursday we stayed in the pench almost all day long, my companion got sick.  I don't know what he has but honestly (this is kind of vulgar).  He has blown out more snot than his actual body weight.  It's just a fountain that keeps flowing, ridiculous.  So we had to stay in Thursday and he also had a stomach attack.  But he took like a 9 hour nap and he's good now. 

Saturday we had a baptism.  Guadalupe, she asked me to baptize her so that was really cool.  It was special for her and her mom because her mom has been less active for 6 years and has decided to come back.  They were both really happy so that was really fun to see.  And guess what?  I have, well I had, another in grown toenail.  It was Wednesday  morning I woke up and my toe was red and swollen and I knew it was coming but I didn't know what to do so I just left it.  Then it finally started hurting so right before studies in the morning I grabbed a little pair of scissors, I clipped it vertically and I grabbed the tweezers and just yanked out the ingrown part.  And it felt so good!  Oh wait it hurt so bad!!  But I don't know what happened so yesterday I limped everywhere we went but what am I supposed to do, not walk.  If I don't walk I don't work, and if I don't work then people don't get baptized, and if people don't get baptized they don't go to the Celestial Kingdom and that's a problem.  This morning I woke up and it feels pretty good.  I think my first day home I'm going to have to go get a pedicure.  The other day I was reading the scripture and I came across a scripture that does not apply to me whatsoever.  It says "how beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publishes peace and publish salvation" that's a great scripture and all but it just does not apply to me.  I wouldn't call me feet beautiful.  But that's just how life is right. 
Church yesterday H & L came again and they aren't married.  It was pretty funny because we hadn't talked about the law of chastity yet because they weren't certain about getting baptized.  We went over there and sat down and H says "you didn't tell us we have to get married to get baptized?" I told him it was a commandment from God and the first thing he said is it's impossible that we are going to get married, but we had a great lesson.  They fight a little bit and don't feel comfortable getting married.  We talked about repentance and Jesus Christ and the law of chastity.  It was a great lesson, we invited them to read the scriptures and pray together and I'm sure they are going to get married. 
Politics are huge here right now.  Every billboard here is political leaders.  Stickers on every car, posters all over.  Honestly it's incredible.  The voting is coming up in a few weeks.  Last p-day my companion and I are walking to the supermarket to buy our food for the week.  We were walking on the main road and I saw a car with men with suits and I thought it was weird because the only people that wear suits here are the Mormons.  Then I realized it was the governor of Formosa.  We were walking past and I waved and he totally ignored me, so don't vote for Gildo.  Not everyone can say they've seen the governor of Formosa. 
That's about it, next week is general conference and I'm excited for that.  We have interviews with President Franco tomorrow.  A little one on one conversation with President Franco will be good.  The mission is going so good.  It's just going way too fast, and way too good.  I'm so blessed, it's hard to describe. 

Weekly Jazz Stuff Cool

Good morning, how's it going?  Another week went by way too fast but that's ok.  How are you family?  I'm Elder Simmons and I'll tell you what happened this week.    I don't know what's up with Elder Tapia and I eating so much crocodile.    We made crocodile empanadas and they are super good.  Crocodile we decided tastes like chicken and tuna mixed together, so good stuff.
Another story, about a month and a half ago I'm on divisions with Elder Espinosa and we're in his area.  He has 1 month in the mission and he tells me I don't really like contacting and I've never really done it before.  So I tell him the first person we see we're going to contact.  We walk to this person and we talked to him and long story short he ended up getting baptized.  That's cool and now he wants to serve a mission.  After he was baptized he put his information on so the missionaries would contact him.  I called him and said I hear you want the missionaries to stop by.  He says ya I already got baptized so I got to talk him.  Another cool Story, S from Resistencia that her 2 kids got baptized, she ended up getting baptized this week.   That was super cool.  The assistants called me Saturday morning and told us they were coming to do divisions but they'd just seen S get baptized.   I asked if it was possible that I talk with her and so they passed me the phone and I talked to her and that was really special.  I'm not going to lie I was so happy, hard to describe.
We had divisions with the assistants, they came and stayed the night with us Saturday.  We had the baptism Saturday too.  4 people got baptized.  M, his dad is not his legal dad came up to us in church and said he wanted to baptize his son.  We went by Tuesday and taught lesson 1,2,3 and then Wednesday we taught all the commandments and baptismal interview.  He's only 8 years old and there's one baptismal question that asks if you have ever committed a crime or killed someone or gone to jail and he answered it yes.  I asked M what he did and he said he used the middle finger one time so it was really funny.  Thursday we went to Resistencia and we listed to President Franco on how to be better missionaries and it really helped me.  I got to see some missionary friends, took pictures, and hardly slept.  Next Saturday we're having another baptism.  Guadalupe, she is a daughter of a less active member that recently has started coming back to church.  She's 9 years old and really mature, she knows her stuff.  That's pretty exciting.  The baptism was great, I made another cake.  The cake didn't turn out so well but at least it looked good, but didn't tast super good.

I assigned some people in the ward to give some talks and one man spoke for 20 min and the lady spoke for 25 min so our baptismal service was nearly 2 hours.  But oh well.  Brother Cbaptized Alcias and that was his first one.  The family C are like little kids about the gospel, like when a little kid gets a new toy at Christmas the play with it all day long.  That's how C family is with the gospel.  They are so excited about it and sharing it with their family that lives next door.  We'll see how that goes.  We're teaching another couple H & I.  They were a reference from another family.  Young couple with 2 little kids.  We've been teaching them for 3 weeks and they've been to church multiple times.  They said they liked it and that it felt like it was their own house and that they'd been there before.  They've committed to be baptized but they aren't married yet so we'll have to have another marriage.  It's been super hot.  There's a picture I'm going to send you guys and it says 111 degrees, but we go out and work.
  Yesterday it was so humid, 105 degrees and the humidity almost killed me.  We walked about 15 blocks to a lesson and by the time we got there I was completely soaked in sweat.  Fun fact Formosa is the hottest part of the mission, I don't know why but it makes it fun.  Technically it's still winter here.  111 degrees and it's still winter.  I don't even know what to say about that and not sure how it will be in summer.  Hopefully I won't melt.  Pray for me.  Anyway love you tons, talk to you later.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Todo Bien

Another audio file for Tanner's weekly letter.  It's transcribed below

How's it going?  I'm Elder Simmons, I'm 19 years old and I'm a missionary of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  I'll start by telling you what happened last week.  Last p-day we went to one of the most expensive restaurants in all of Formosa and we bought Alligator, it was so good, it had a four cheese dressing on top and it was $15 a plate.  We spend $80 between 5 missionaries but it was so worth it. 

It was right on the coast of the river of Paraguay and that was really cool.  I got my shoes, thank you so much for the shoes.  I'm going to look so good in all my meetings now with my new brown shoes and the other shoes too.  It just so happened that I had holes in my shoes so that was perfect because I have some new ones.  
Elder Johnson came back with his parents, I met his parents and that was really fun.    We went around with them a little and visited a few people.  Elder Johnson took us around in the car he rented so that was really sweet because I haven't been in a car for over a year.  Last Saturday was my companion's birthday so we ate 3 lunches in 2 days.  Woooohooo.  On his birthday we made ourselves cheesecake
and we already had a lunch planned with a family here in the ward and then they cooked another BBQ after so we had a BBQ and a lunch and I was way too full.  The day before that we had 2 lunches too. 

This is a national day of service where they cleaned up a park.

We are teaching a couple.   We dug a hole for them and then after we dug the hole they gave us like 5 hamburgers each and then they gave us a piece of cake.    After that we went to lunch with another family and oh my I was so full. 

Let's get to talking about the work.   We are teaching this man name Miguel some English classes.  I did English classes in my first area Clorinda a year ago but I didn't like it at all.  I didn't feel like it was very efficient.  There was a man that found us in downtown Formosa in his truck and yelled out at us "I no speak English, teach me teacher."  We said alright we'll teach you and so we started teaching him and it turns out that I'm sure he wanted to learn English but it looks like he wanted to learn a little bit of the gospel too.  He's kind of worried about his son that is passing through his teenage years.  We gave him a Book of Mormon and invited him to come to church but he's not in our ward so we'll ask him if he went to church when we teach him again tonight.  That should be fun.
Also we are teaching named A.  A is the husband of the Sister D that got baptized a month ago.  He lived in Paraguay but he came back to Argentina so he is going to get baptized. This one is complicated.  There is a family that all the kids are members but the parents aren't members because the dad doesn't want to get married or baptized, he doesn't want anything to do with the church but the mom goes every week with her kids.   When the parents aren't baptized and one of their kids turned eight but it's a convert baptism because the parents aren't members.  So we're teaching her and she's going  to get baptized this week.  Also the same situation there is a kid that is adopted but not legally and he's living with a member and he turned 8 and he is going to get baptized this weekend too.  
After that we found a less active family.  The family R,who the mom was baptized 20 years ago but she hasn't been going to church for a long time.  Some of the members in our ward told us to pass by and they have a daughter that is 9 years old and she wants to get baptized not this week but next week.  So we have some good work.  Other than that we need to start looking for some new people.  We have a lot of people to teach but they aren't progressing very well, they don't come to church because of some obstacles. 
Funny story,  N, the kid that was baptized 4 weeks ago.  The other day he was walking and he sees some police and they are looking through a house for drugs.   He looks suspicious because he's looking more than he should be and the police see him.  Before N drank, smoke and did drugs so the police know him.  So the police see him, this is after he's been baptized, they pull him over and throw him up against the car and start patting him down and take his backpack off and they open the back pack and there is one thing in the backpack and guess what it is?  His Book of Mormon, that day he was headed to his brother's house to give him a Book of Mormon.  On Saturday we did divisions with him, he's only 17 and he's super cool, I went with him and Elder Tapia went with another kid in the ward.   We went and taught his brother and that was really cool.  That's about it for the work, there's a lot to do here in Formosa.

Today we did something special.  Today we went and bought ground meat but it was ground crocodile.  I don't know what's been going on with eating so much crocodile lately but it seems to be the theme.  We threw some onion, some bell pepper, little bit of egg, little bit of salt and we put it in an empanada.  You guys remember those things from Taco Bell called empanadas that had apples and cinnamon.   They make those here but they aren't sweet, they always put them with chicken or ham & cheese or any meet.  We made empanadas with crocodile and it was really good.  Right now we are getting ready to go out and do the beautiful work again.   We are going to teach the family Cespedes, the ones that got baptized last week.  They are so cool, honestly.  Elder Tapia thought they were members that were baptized 20 years ago because they seem so faithful and come to all the activities and the brother passed the sacrament on Sunday.  I love them so much.  We are having Family Home Evening with them and we are going to share our alligator empanadas with them.  Sunday they made us an asado.  Which is a BBQ with way too much carne, way too much meat.  Wow it was so good and hey guess what.  Even though I'm eating a tone here I've been losing weight.  I lost like 2 pounds this week.  Elder Tapia and I run a little and do a lot of pull ups, so that I can get ready for that beach body when I get back.  Even though I have 10 months to worry about that.  If you have any questions or comments you can reach me at but you can only contact me on Mondays unless it's transfer then it's Tuesday.  Love you tons, have a great week and I'll see you later.

Love Elder Simmons

Saturday, September 12, 2015

weekly cartita audio

Transcribed from Tanner's audio letter 

Hello my eternal family, good morning, it's so hard to speak English.  I'm here new week new companion, Elder Tapia from Costa Rica.  Elder Tapia is learning English from me. 

  I'll tell you what happened last week.  Last p-day was SUPER hot, I almost died of heat.  Basically what we did  is we went to down town Formosa and bought a bunch of souvenirs for Elder Johnson and then we ate a delicious pizza.
Tuesday we had lunch with a member from another ward that was so good.  He cooked us empanada's and ice cream and cake and then after all that food he got out his guitar and he and his wife started singing to us.  I recorded it was really cool.

This week we had 3 BBQs, all the members here loved Elder Johnson so they just kept giving him food so I ate way too much last week.  The Family C and O both got baptized this week.  Everything  turned out great with that, it was probably one of the coolest things I've seen on my mission so far is one full family completely baptized.  That was so cool.  O was baptized too , he's a cool kid super spiritual.

The members made a huge cake for it, one layer of chocolate and a layer of coconut with a frosting on top and dulche de leche inside, super good.    The baptism was on Friday and then on Saturday we had an activity where we watched Meet the Mormons and invited everyone, members non-members.

What happened is an Elder in Clorinda had the DVD so they had to sent it to Formosa on a bus.  It got here Saturday morning and we went to go get it but the place where we picked it up was closed.  We didn't know what to do so we went to an internet Cafe to try to download Meet the Mormons but that was really difficult because the church has it pretty protected so we then tried getting on Netflix, Youtube, and  Amazon to rent the video.  That's why I sent the email asking for the password.  That didn't work either so then we went back to the place to get the DVD and it's 5PM at this point and we asked the lady again for the DVD and she said no it's closed you can't have the DVD and then Elder Johnson pulls out 50 pesos, which is like $5, and said we need the DVD.  She said to us wait right here, I'll get the DVD.  It took about another half hour for her to get the DVD to us so the other Elders and Sisters just stalled at the activity, we got the DVD, took it to the activity, watched Meet the Mormons, and one of the recent converts here in our area decided to go on a mission after watching the DVD so that was pretty sweet.  Last Sunday fast and testimony meeting with Elder Johnson and then we went and ate with the Bishop at another BBQ, and then he packed all afternoon long and left at like 6PM, poor guy he was so sad to leave.  He really helped me a lot.  He really loved the people and was a good example for me.     I'm walking the road right now because I didn't have time to record this earlier.  It rained yesterday and the road is destroyed.
That's about it.  Me and Elder Tapia are going to work our bums off to find more people to baptize.  We should have a great transfer.  It's a beautiful day in Argentina, love you guys, talk to you later.

Elder Simmons

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Weekly Letter Audio

This week for Tanner's letter he sent it in MP3 format.  In summary he said.....

All the young people get together and play soccer every Tuesday and Thursday at the church so he and Elder Johnson went told everyone to come and watch a video about Jesus Christ.  Now they are teaching 4 or 5 of those youth and a couple have come to church.

O, who they met playing soccer, stopped smoking and is probably going to get baptized next week.

Last Tuesday the father of the C family read Ether 12 and decided it's time to get baptized.  Their kids have already been baptized but the father wasn't quite ready.    When they got done teaching this family it was late , close to 9:30, and they had to be back in their apt by 9:30 and they had to run the whole way home.

Last Sunday M, who is 17, had to go to Clorinda to get his mom to  sign a paper to give permission to get baptized.  He left Monday and said  he'd  be home Thursday but he didn't get back until Saturday morning so they thought they'd have to move the baptism back.  But a member  called them Saturday morning and said get over to the church and get M ready for his baptism.  They ran around all  morning getting everything ready and he got baptized.  About 14 people attended the baptism and M was very happy.

Stake Conference was Sunday and he sang in a choir,  he said they sounded pretty bad.  Elder Johnson, his companion, only has 1 week left before he goes home.  He's paying a little more attention to all the streets so that he's ready.  Since they keep baptizing they have to keep looking for new people but the members are helping a ton and the Lord is blessing them.  He said he'd stay in Formosa the rest of his mission if he could, it's easily his favorite area.  "Formosa is the best and the hottest!"