Sunday, January 19, 2014

Five Months!

Hello all!
Well if you could not tell by the subject, tomorrow I hit 5 months in the mission. I just realized it this morning and I can´t hardly believe it. I am still pretty new here but the time is starting to slip away from me. I still have plenty of time left but I guess I may not have as much left as I thought!

Anway this past week went pretty well. I am still working hard to bring this area back to live and keep my comp alive in his last 4 weeks in the mission. He is doing pretty good but I can see his mind starting to slip from missionary to home. It is a good reminder to me that we really have to keep focusing and working hard until the end! Anyway this past week we finally had an investigator attend church! Her name is Ayelen and she is the little sister of a less active member here in the ward. We will be working hard with her this week and are going to put a baptismal date on here today or tomorrow. She is great and really smart even though she is only 9 years old. I am prayerfully hopefull that we will continue to improve our success here and eventually we will be able to see a baptism before my comp heads home. He goes back on Feb 13, so we dont have much time left!

Anwyay I am doing well, just working my way along. We had a conference this past week with the two zones in my Stake and the mission president. It went really well and he is great as always. I really am very blessed to have President Ayre as my Mission President. Every time I see him he inspires me to be a better missionary and person.

This next week we are going to be really focused on finding new investigators. We really need to find those who are ready to recieve the gospel. I know that they are her we just need to run into them! I will let you know how that goes this next week! Anway we are just working our way along each day!

I am glad to hear that everyone seems to be doing well out there. It seems as though work has been keeping everyone pretty busy, especially Mom! I also hope nobody has frozen over yet. I am told here by members about how cold it is up there and it sounds pretty bad! The weather here is good and hot. The really bad heat wave has passed so it is a little bit more bearable but it is still hot. I am enjoying it though even though I still get really confused when people tell me that it is January right now haha. There really isn´t a ton going on around here, just working every day. We walked a ton and a half this past week so my comp and I are actually really physically tired. I don´t know exactly how much it is but I am certain that it is more than a few miles

When my district leader asked what I think we could improve on I told him "you know, it would be great if we could talk more and walk less". Haha he thought that it was both funny and true. I am going to try and work on that this week. It is the best because I can be less tired and have more success if I do that! It is funny how revelation comes sometimes haha!

Well that is about all I got for this week. Just pushing along and learning a ton every single day. I am so blessed to have such great family and friends to support me through everything! I love you all and I hope you all have a great week!

Elder Zollinger

Here are some photos I took today. It is of a veterans memorial park here in Escobar for the war for the Faulkland Islands, which Argentina lost. It is kind of sad though because it is all run down and there is grafiti on most of it. It is just sad when a country loses its identity like Argentina has seemed to do. Anwyay I hope you like them!

P.S in two of the photos you can see the spire from the church house here! Kinda cool cause I absolutely love the Church!!!

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Happy New Year

Dear Friends and Fam,

It was sure great to be able to talk to the whole fam this past week for skype. That was by far the fastest hour of my life haha. I am sorry that I did not have much time to talk to each family but that is what happens when you are blessed enough to have so many people to talk to! Anyway our Christmas here was great, but really really hot! The bishopric had all of the missionaries in the ward over to the chapel for an assado, where we basically just eat tons of different types of meat. Then Tuesday we had dinner at a members house and Wednesday we spent the rest of the day after the call going around visiting members. We did not have a meal with any of them but each of them did give us a little something to eat and something to drink. When we got back to the apartment we opened up the rest of the gifts that came in my packages. Thank you all for the gifts! The Cache Valley picture book and the family picture calendar are great gifts but they do nothing to help with trunkyness haha. Thanks for them though and I will use the calendar this year at my study desk! Also thank you for all the other things I got, we are promptly eating the candy and enjoying it!
The rest of the week went by pretty well! Also I hope everyone had a great rest of Christmas and enjoyed the time together as a fam!

My area here is pretty hard I won´t lie. The members are a little hard to work with and we still don´t have many investigators. We are working hard though and this past week we had a good increase in the number of lessons even with the festivities and other activities. I am certain that we will be able to have some success in this area before my companion goes home in 6 weeks. It will be hard but as the scriptures say nothing is impossible with God! It has also been extremely hot here. I am not entirely sure what the temperature is in farenheit but in celcius it has been like 40 degrees ish. Also the humidity is a killer. It makes it hard to walk around so much but we always have the strength and feel good enough to keep working. We drink plenty as every visit we get something to drink because everyone feels bad for us haha. And yes mom I am eating well. We eat breakfast every morning which is usually cereal and then we have lunch most days with members. We don´t really eat dinner very often but instead we just eat things at visits and I am never usually hungry when I go to bed. If I am I just eat some cereal or fruit or a left over lunch and I am good. We have enough money given to us to buy what we need. If I ever need anything more I will just take some money off of the key bank card.

It is kind of weird to think that 2013 is ending and here comes 2014. It is even weirder to think that I will spend the entirety of 2014 here in the mission. I am excited to get going on it though and I am sure that it will go by fast if I just focus on the work and keep going. On New Years day I am pretty sure I will hit 20 weeks in the mission, which is incredible to me. I can almost feel the time speeding up. I have plenty more time left but I don´t know if I realize just how fast that time will fly. I have been reading Jesus the Christ lately and it has really helped me to realize a little bit more just who Jesus is and what he did for us. As you begin to realize the greatness of the man and the reality of his sacrifice for us, it becomes a little bit easier to give up yourself unto him, as there would be no such thing as ourselves without him.

Well that is about it for this week. I had a great Christmas week and I´ll be looking forward to hitting the sack at 10:30 on New Years Eve and sleeping right through the beggining of the New Year as the mission manual says I will hahaha. Anyway I wish all of you a great New Years festivities and a great start to 2014. As my mission experience of 2013 draws to a close and the entirety of 2014 ahead of me to serve, I thank the Lord for giving me this opportunity. It is definitely on of the hardest things I have ever done, but also the absolute most rewarding. I love you all and thank you for your love, prayers, and support. ¡Feliz Nuevo Año!

Love always,
Élder Zollinger
Sunset outside of Tory's Apartment (don't you love the barbed wire?)

Nativity scene and ornaments nieces and nephews made for Tory

Christmas tree we sent to Tory.  He ran out of tape so he couldn't put the ornaments on the tree. haha

Tory and all of his goodies for Christmas