Sunday, October 20, 2013

October 14

Well it sounds like everyone at home is doing pretty good! Thank you to those who wrote me and told me how everything is going. I was writing this email and lost my internet, so I had to spend 15 minutes trying to figure it out. So sorry if it is a bit shorter than usual! Sorry about the whole Monday/Tuesday thing this last week! I am so lost I have not know what is going on for 3 weeks now haha I feel like a lost puppy who has no idea where he is or what all the weird people around him are saying. But oh well it is starting to get better and better! Thank you for your prayers as well I can definitely feel the strength I receive from them each day.

This past week was interesting. We got to write home Monday but it wasn´t actually Pday, so we just wrote home and worked the rest of the day. Then Tuesday we had a mission conference and then President Ayre took the entire mission to the largest zoo in Argentina. It was way cool and a good break from everything. He even paid for everyone to get in and gave us money for food and drinks. It was really nice of him and we figured he used almost $5000 USD of his own money!! Needless to say he is a pretty successful guy haha. But yeah it was way fun and everything. The day was really tiring though because we had to get up at 5 to get there on time by taking buses and trains and then we didn't get home until 8:30 that night. It was pretty much a waste of a day but hey I will take what I can get!

Other than that our week was like a roller coaster. We had some really good things happen and some really bad. We had two of our investigators who have been living together for 10 years and have kids agree to get married and baptized! That was really cool to get them on that path and we still have a lot of work ahead of us with them, as they didn´t go to church because they were up all night at a party drinking... but we haven´t taught them the word of wisdom yet so we can´t really blame them haha. Oh well at least now we know what we need to teach them! They are amazing though and have a lot of faith so I am confident that they will progress and be sealed in the temple in the Lord´s due time.

 Also we were supposed to have a baptism this week but our investigator got really offended by two church members yesterday and she told us that she wants to put of the baptism for a while because of it... we were devestated and we are trying to mend the situation but we really just need to pray for her heart to be softened and realize how strong of a testimony she has. Hopefully we can figure it out this week and go forward with my first baptism saturday. I will let you know how that goes! It is funny to see how when all you do is think about your investigators all day every day, you really start to get emotionally attached to their progression. It is all I have to do all day is think about helping others come to Christ. When they fall or make mistakes we really do get downright sad. Then when they agree to baptism or make good decisions I feel so happy I can´t hardly describe it. I think that might be part of the reason why the language frustrates me is that I am so attached to the progress of my investigators that it kills me not to be able to tell them what they need to hear or just talk with them and be their friend.

Days here are pretty busy. We get up at 6:30 and study time starts at 8. Then we have companionship studies from 9-11, then language study from 11-12. We almost always have lunch with a member and the other two elders in our ward. Then we have teaching appointments rest of the day until we get back to our pension at 9, plan for the next day, and get to bed by 10:30. There was an all night drinking party in the apartment above us last night though so both my companion and myself are very tired today. Hopefully we will get some good sleep tonight!

I am doing good. There really isn´t much to complain about! I am finally starting to get in the groove of things even though I still struggle to have a regular conversation with someone. I honestly think I need the gift of patience more than I need the gift of tongues haha. I can tell that I am improving though it will just take time. I just expect perfection too quickly so I think the Lord is trying to teach me something here haha.

It is so weird to hear that Barry is back home. Please get me his email so that that punk will finally email me. I havent heard from him in nearly 2 years!! Also tell Joel to email me too I havent heard a thing from them since I left. I talked to Marshall today and he said he flies home next tuesday and is way sad to be leaving. I am sure they will all do great at home though. It is just weird and kinda sad to see them all coming home just as I get started.

It sucks to hear about the government and West Point. I guess it is a good thing I am out here now and not there. Keep me updated if I will still have a school to go back to when I get home or if they end up shutting it down haha.

There really isn´t much going on around here. I am doing good and really haven´t even gotten sick yet, which is suprising for someone coming here from the states. My body is doing really good with the adjustment. I think the two years of West Point and Army food made my stomach able to handle anything this place throws at me haha. 

But really there isn´t a whole lot to report on this week. Just enjoying the mission life. We did hear that the old mission president´s wife, Sister Gulbrandsen, has breast cancer. They asked us to keep her in our prayers as she goes in for surgery this Thursday. I didn´t ever know her as President Ayre got here before I did, but it never hurts to keep our fellow saints in our prayers even if we don´t know them personally.

Random thing, I don´t know how to use the key bank card... haha not many places around here accept debit cards. That and I think if I pull money off of it we will get a big charge from the bank for the money change. I will try it this week and see, hopefully we don´t get charged an arm and a leg!!

That´s about all I have for this week. Just chugging along finally starting to get the ole train rolling. Keep up the prayers for me, they are really helping a lot I can tell. Thank you all for your love and support! Also I should finally be able to send some emails with pictures this week, so stay tuned! Love you all!

Elder Zollinger

Tory at the Zoo
Tory at the Zoo

Tory's Apartment
Tory's view at his Apartment

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