Tuesday, December 30, 2014

"It's special to be here serving the King of Kings on the day of his birth..."

The son of a lady he baptized.
Hola mi familia y mis amigos!

Espero que tuiveran una feliz navidad! I know i did. Im kinda sad this was my last christmas out here serving in the mission field. Its special to be here serving the King of Kings on the the day of his birth. I had a sweet chrsitmas! on the 23rd we were together as a zone and we went chirstmas carrolling in an outdoor mall sort of thing. It was super sick. I was a little sick so i wasnt singing but i was going around talkin with everyone that passed by to teach them a little bit of our message. It was super awesome. 

the main party here is on christmas eve at 12. It felt more like the forth of july because at 12 everybody starts cheering and lighting off some huge fireworks. We went up on the roof of the

members house what rents to us and watched all of the fireworks. it was legit. It felt like the villa was a war zone hahaha.
Ty enjoys playing sports with the youth.

on the 25th we worked and visited people which was fun and also i got to skype with my family which was awesome. Its weird how time has passed and everybody has changed!

It was so awesome to be teaching people these past days about the gift that was given us when our heavenly father gave us his son!

At the ward Christmas party
We also got to do an open house for a church in our zone which was way fun! I was in the reference thing and we got like 90 references for the missionaries which is super legit! It is fun working together with the missionaries of our zone. I am so grateful for my buddies I have made out here, missionaries and members.

Well I love you all and hope you all have a happy 2015!

Elder Whitaker

"I want to challenge everyone to look for a way to remember Christ this Christmas..."

Hola mi familia y mis amigos!
como les va? feliz navidad from here in argentina. I hope all of you are enjoying nice cold weather up there because its like an oven down here in buenos aires. We had a water fight today for a zone activity because its like the closest thing to swimming we can do hahaha. We also played soccer a lot. In this zone i play every week and im getting a lot better. The latino want me on their team now so im feeling pretty good haha.
This week was pretty good. We had a ton of activities for chirstmas. We had the branch dinner which was awesome. We had a solid turn out! like 130 people went! we had a bunch of fun. The members here are the best! Also we had a show called la Noche de Luz. Its kinda like sing noel. It was for the whole stake and it was awesome! the whole stake center was full and we had some people we are teaching and some less actives go! for all of you who know my love for singing and programs where you have to sing, you will all be suprised to know that i had to do a solo part. I think i sing better in spanish haha
we have been having some good lessons. A cool story, like 3 months ago i did a contact with this one lady that went really well but she said she didnt live in that house and was going to leave so i never saw her again. Later like about 2 weeks ago we did another contact in this house. i had forgotten about the lady i had met there before but she wasnt there and we started to visit with the family and then this week this lñady that i did the contact with a long time ago was over there and asked for a book of mormon and said she wanted to start going to church! I was stoked to see that our past efforts are never wasted. We never know what consequences will have our actions in the future.
we have also been teaching the family of our buddy that got killed. Its super sad because the dad is super bumed out and doesnt know to do with himself because the laws arent doing justice, so we have been working pretty hard with them and have built up a lot of confidence with him. This kid we were teaching was making a lot of progress and have left drugs and everything and had even told his dad that one of his goals was to pass the sacrament again. The family is inactive and go to another church but with this they are starting to soften their hearts and see how the plan of salvation that out loving heavenly father prepared for us can bring them peace.
well I hope all of you have an awesome christmas and that you can all remember the real meaning of christmas. I want to challenge everyone to look for a way to remember christ this christmas by serving someone else or sharing your testimony.. i know thats the best gift we can give to christ, after all that he has given us.
Feliz Navidad!
Elder Whitaker
A beautiful family Ty was able to teach and baptize.

The grandmotherly lady who is Ty's landlord made him put a raw onion on his nightstand to ward off illness.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

"A little Christmas gift for me right there..."

Hola mi familia y mis amigos,

haha lo siento for not writing for a while. I have been super busy and I havent had time for the big letter. but this week i do. These last couple weeks have been awesome! 

well for starters yesterday we had a baptism which was super awesome. Ady has 27 years and two little kids. Her husband iwas a less active member but we started teaching them and she was able to be baptized yesterday! and now they are working towards the goal to get sealed in the temple for time and all eternity. Its super awesome!

We have also been working a lot with the youth. I hit it off really well with some of the youth here that are about my age or a little older. they have been teaching me soccer and stuff. They didnt really attend church too much before but recently they have been there every week. We had a family home evening with one of their families the other day and he told me that I had helped him recieve his answer that he needs to go on a mission. He said i remind him a lot of the elder that baptized him. It was a super cool experience about how God puts the right people in the right place. I didn´t even talk to him about going on a mission but from seeing mi forma de ser (i forgot how to say that in english, translate it) he got his answer. Im super stoked for him. there are also a couple others that want to go do visits with us now which is awesome!

Other good news. we were doing some contacts the otherday and i found a homie, juan from back home (almost), tiajuana mexico. and even better he has a taco stand! i was so excited because i havent had good mexican tacos in 14 months. so dope. us mexicans have to stick together.

also we had a sweet sone conference this week. It was way fun because they put two zones together. I had my good buddies and ex comps Elder Flake, Elder Granados, and Elder Bastias there with me so it was way fun to be with all of them. We had to do a chirstmas performance and i was the angel gabriel. I made my own costume and it was pretty legit for only having a box of book of mormons, tape, and some wire. I would send pics but it appears that my memory has some kind of virus so i dont know if i will be able to rescue those pics. 

Also talking with Elder Granados, my first comp down in La Costa, I found out that one of the guys that lived in a tent that we were teaching got baptized. He went up mto capital to right some wrongs to be fully repented and never came back but i found out that he came back about a month after i left and he was baptized and married! His new wife got baptized because of him too so that like 2 baptisms right there. I was super bummed that he never came back but now Im super hapy to know why! a little christmas gift for me right there!

well i hope all is well back home! I love you all!

Elder Whitaker

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

"I'm going to show Elder Mamani a good Thanksgiving anyway...."

Hola mi familia y mis amigos!

Hows life? Im sure all of you are stoked to eat turkey and mashed potatoes and pie and all that good stuff, but sadly that doesnt exist it argentina. Its all good though I think I´m going to show elder mamani a good thanksgiving anyway.

These last two weeks have been crazy! a lot of awesome stuff and some sad stuff too. To start with the awesome... Last week we got to have a mission conference to hear from Elder Russell M. Nelson from the quorum of the 12 apostles wish was awesome! I got to shake his hand and hear him talk personally to us. It was amazing and the spirit was super strong there. It was incredible. I know that he is a prophet. 

We have been working really well with the ward. we have 4 people with baptisimal dates right now which is awesome. We are using a lot of the youth that are preparing to go on missions to visit people which has been really awesome. The work here in Km is the best.

This last sunday the 1st councilor called me out of gosple principles and assigned me a talk for sacrament meeting (sacrament meeting is the last hour here in km so that gave me like less than an hour to prepare) i basically just gave a talk out of inspiration for 15 min and it was awesome. What I needed to say to help the branch just came to me and it went super well. Its crazy how much I have grown on the mission because I was a horrible public speaker and could barely talk for 5 min before and now i can do 15 easy in a different language. The Lord is awesome for taking people like me and making us so much better than we were before.

Our zone got drafted into just about every single choir in Florencio Varela for christmas so basically sundays we dont even work we just sing. I feel like im in primary program again... 

some sad news. one of the less active guys we were working with who has 17 passed away. It was super sad. He was making a ton of progress but stuff happens. Its conforting to know about God´s plan for us and what happens after death. I hope we can help console the family this next week.

well have a good thanksgiving! 

Elder Whitaker

One area of Ty's area is especially poor.  Ty wanted me to show this picture to his brothers and sister so they can be grateful for their blessings.

Ty and some companions struck up a friendly game of ball with some Argentinos.

Don't know who won, but they enjoyed it-on P day.

The nice thing about being in the big city, is there are fun things to do...

Here is his zone at a bowling alley on P day.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

"I'm so happy I can be out here consecrating my life to the Lord..."

Hola mi familia y mis amigos!

Ty & Lautauro on baptism day.
Well this week was awesome! I love being a missionary so much. I feel like before i was just scratching the surface. Now with our work and obedience God is opening up the paths for us. We had people call us saying they want to be baptized, awesome contacts, new families to teach and a baptism.

We baptized Lautauro on saturday. It was awesome. He is just a kid but he is such a stud. He was prepared by God so that we could help reactivate his family. He chose me to baptize him and when we came out he told me how he felt the spirit was with him and how he felt really good. He´s so cool. and now the rest of his family is active and hoperfully we will be able to baptize his dad. 

Well I am almost out of time but I just want you guys all to know that missionary work is the best. i got some letters this week and it was from people back home about some future stuff and i was thinking in the bus about how fast time is passing and what is happening with my friends back home and all the decisions i am going to have to make back home, but then a mamá and her 2 year old little daughter sat next to me on the bus and i did a contact with them and i just rememeber feeling so awesome to be out her just sharing the best messagein the world. I felt super grateful to be out here and to not have to worry about the future right now. Im so happy i can be out here consecrating my life to the Lord. Its the best.

Elder Whitaker
Ty was challenged by a family to eat this "Suprasandwich" in 1 hour.  He did it...and fasted for 2 days after, he was so sick.
Ty, and his district on Pday
Ty exploring on pday

Monday, November 3, 2014

"He was prepared by the Lord to help the rest of his family..."

Hola mi familia y mis amigos!

Bueno, this week was the exact oppostie of last week with the weather! There was a huge rain and thunder stom this whole week. We didnt have power for almost the whole week. We did all of our studies with flashlights and candles. We were walkiing around soaked in the rain every day. People were looking at us thinking we are crazy for being out in the rain all day but a lot of people thought it was awesome how dedicated we are and stopped to talk with us so we got a couple new people that we are going to be teaching in the future! 

Things with "G" are so so. He has over a week without using but he didnt come to church this week either. He feels like he isnt ever going to be able to make it so we are trying to encourage him and help him leave his old life behind but it is going to take patience.

We will be having a baptism this saturday! Lautauro, is a kid that has 10 years but he is such a stud!. We reactivated his family which consists of his mom, grandma, and uncle (he has 18. hopefully we can help him go on the mission). His dad isnt a member but we are hoping to start teaching him in this next week. Lautauro is a stud though. He got up and bore his testimony in sacrament meeting. He's just a kid but he gets it. He was prepared by the Lord to help the rest of his family become active.

We have been working super hard and its starting to pay off. we have had 7 new investigators since mamani and I started working together and some of them are super ready for the gosple so im excited! 

Elder Whitaker

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

"We felt the spirit so strong and we taught in unity..."

Hola mi familia y mis amigos,

It was a super fun week but it was hotter than Africa. I got to start off the week waiting my new comp with one of my best buddies from the mission, Elder Merkley. Dang that was so awesome to be comps with him. We only had time to do contacts and teach a lesson together but dang, when we were teaching or doing contacts it went so well. We felt the spirit so strong and we taught in unity. We taught G and his family a simple lesson about our heavenly father and his love for us and there was a spirit in that house that was so strong. It really showed me how i want all of my companionshgips to be. 

Well I am now training the Elder Mamani, fresh from Peru, Arequipa. He is super chill. He is still getting the hang of being a missionary but he has the desires which is the most important part. Its the best to have a comp with desire to learn! We are going to have a lot of sucess together I think. 

Kinda sad but G had another relapse. He will have to wait another 2 weeks to get baptized. Please be praying for him. He wants to overcome his addictions so bad but after so many years his addiction has become a think chain. He will make it though. I have faith. We met a bunch of cool new people contacting and 4 of them turned into new people to teach so that is cool. In two weeks we should be having 2 baptisms so that will be aesome as well. We had 100 people in church the otherday which was the first time which was awesome! 

Working has been freaking hard because with all the humidity and the heat I feel like im cooking. it is the worst. California is hot but it is nothing compared to this. My poor comp who isnt used to walking like 10 miles a day is dying. haha the otherday a drunk was all mad at nothing and started cussing us out and threw his bottle at us. He missed but it got alcohol on my pants so it smelled bad. Fun expirience for my comp for his 3rd day in the mission haha. good stuff. Its funny how i have changed on the mission. Im not going to lie, before the mission i probably would have clocked him, but i was just super calm and only felt sad for him. 

Well thats my week. Have a good one.

Elder Whitaker
Ty's new companion

Elder Merkley & Ty

Ty's zone

"If I put Him first, all of the other things will fall into place..."

Hola mi familia y mis amigos!

Como estan todos? this last week was awesome! it was the last week of the transfer but we finished strong. We had 23 lessons this week which is super good for this area and for my other areas. In La Costa we worked our butts off to get 10 lessons a week. we have been seeing a lot of progress in the area and with the people we are teaching. We had 94 people in our branch this last sunday. it was a really good sunday because my first week in kilometro was 44 people. we have found like 7 new people to teach this last week. Some of them are in some complicated situations but we are trying to help all of them out. We had to move "G"´s baptism date back because he had a problem with drugs but he is still firm and wants to be baptized so hopefully he can be baptized the first of november. keep him in your prayers. 

We had some solid lessons this week and a theme that a lot of them had was about putting God first. A lot of people don´t even remember but the first commandment is not to have other gods before God (sorry if its not word perfect because i forgot how it is exactly in english). A lot of people have forgotten this commandment and why it is so important but we had some solid lessons about this. I was thinking the other day of all the blessings i have had in my life for putting God first. I could have waited a little to go on my mission because things were tough for my family, or a variety of other reasons that weren´t bad reasons, but it would have put God after my family or something else. I remember praying to know what i should do and i felt strongly that if i put Him first, all of the other things would fall into place. I followed that impression and waited a while for the blessing but I can promise you that they came and that I have been so blessed for that decision. Every prayer has been answered. Something to think about for you guys: "what can you guys do or change in your lives to put God first?" If you dont know, maybe you should ask Him.

Well I am staying in Km 23 but i have had a change of companions. I got assigned to train a new missionary! Im so stoked. I will get assigned to a new missionary tomorrow! it is going to be way fun! For now i get to stay with my buddy from La Costa Elder Merkley! We have been passing the P-day fun. I dont know if that makes sense in english but i think so. We are both going to be training and for now we get to be comps for the day. 

well thats all for this week. Have a good week todos!

Elder Whitaker

Monday, October 13, 2014

"I love being a missionary here in Kilometro 26!"

hola mi familia y mis amigos,

I was a great week. I love being a missionary here in Kilometro 26. It is the best here. We have so much work to do now. We are working well with "G". He is making a lot of progress and the best part is that he is super excited. He is always on us for when we can teach him next. I hope he can keep on going stong and overcome the obstacles. The lessons that we had this week that were awesome for him and for the others we taught was all about the atonement of Jesus Christ, and the gift we have to repent and be clean becuase of Christ´s sacrafice. They felt the spirit and so did I as we testified of the plan God has for us to return to him. The path has been laid for us by our savior, all we have to do is change our hearts and follow him. My favorite experience as a missionary is to be able to watch the change that happens in people as they learn what it really means that christ suffered for all of us and died for us. It has definitely changed my life and my point of view as i have been learning more, and i still have a lot to learn.

With all the contacts we have been doing they finally produced a couple of people to teach. We found a mom of 4 and one of her neighbors to teach. The only problem is that nobody in argentina is married and they all live together so they need to get married first.

The activities with the youth are going good. We are having a good turn out. I came out second again in ping pong. "G" is really good. I lost 27-29 so at least i went into overtime with him. From this activity we have started helping a less active kid come back to the church and in a lesson yesterday he told us he wants to serve a mission! I´m so stoked for him!

Well thats my week. Hopefully I will hear from more of you because as i realize that its been a year since i have heard from a ton of people and i have been bad about writng because i have only been writing my family and my buddies on the mission. Lo siento but send me letters hahaha que les vaya bien!

Elder Whitaker

Monday, October 6, 2014

"I'm so grateful I have the opportunity to be here and help him out...."

Hola mi familia y mis amigos!

This week was awesome! General conference was the best. It was so great to hear from the prophet and apostles. We also had a good week as far as the work. This week we started teaching a guy named "G". He is a stud! He is married to a member but never got baptized because he has some problems with addiction to drugs. He has been coming to some of our activities wen we play soccer and ping pong and the other day he asked to meet with us. When our appointment came around he was waiting for us with one of his daughters who is 9, and told us he wants to get baptized! we had a super awesome lesson about repentance and the doctrine of Christ. We focused on the atonement and how it can help us if we choose to come unto christ by repentance and baptism. He has 2 weeks without using drugs but he told us at the next appointment how the temptation was taking hold of him but then he remembered our lesson and the spirit he felt and refused. He is awesome and his daughter wants to get baptized too. He and his family can get sealed in the temple for time and all eternity and im so grateful I have the opportunity to be here to help him out. They came to general conference with us and watched. They got to hear the first conference talk given in spanish and it was perfect because the message was perfect for him. We felt the spirit really strong.

Hey one more thing, I would like to invite all of my family and friends who are following with my blog but aren´t of our faith to read this talk from the general conference this past weekend. It descibes perfectly why I am out here in argentina for these two years serving the people and teaching of Christ. Elder David A. Bednar of the twelve apostles descibes it perfectly and i want to invite all of you to read it even if its just for curiosity. Les prometo que es muy bueno!"


Well thats about all i have time for. I hope you are all doing well!

Elder Whitaker

Monday, September 29, 2014

"This week was awesome...It was super fun and super productive..."

The roads are very muddy, due to frequent rain, and dirt roads.
Hola mi familia y mis amigos,

como les va? I hope you are all doing well. This week was awesome! it was super fun and super productive. well i guess ill start with the fun stuff.

Well for P-day we had a district activity. our distict is small, its just the elders from la Florida and the hermanas de El Dorado, but we still had a bunch of fun. We got together and made tacos and stuff and they turned out good. My cooking skills from the coast came in strong for me! Other fun stuff, we started having activities for the young men and young single adults. We go and play soccer and ping pong every wednesday now and we get a solid turn out. we always have like 15 guys which is pretty solid. Im getting better at soccer. I scored some goals. One of them nailed pipe top shelf. It made me kinda trunkie to do thet playing lacrosse but it was fun. Also all my years of training against Dad in ping pong are coming through for me. This branch has some guys that know how to play but I am in second place. I lost to one of our investigators but i got to go win my honor back this next wednesday. Also our pench shares a wall with a church. Every tuesday, thursday, saturday, and sunday we get to go to bed listening to them sing. its pretty funny. 
Ty working out with paint cans filled with cement.

Well for the work... We have been working pretty hard and we are seeing sucess. We have been contacting a lot of people and we have been fininding a lot of people. Less active members and investigators. When i got here we werent teaching anybody but now we have like 3 soild investigators and a bunch of good contacts that will hopefully turn into something this next week. We have felt the spirit pretty strong in the lessons and the people too. The branch´s average attendance it about 60-70 and this last week for church we had 92 which was super awesome. 

General conference is this weekend! For those of you who arent of my faith, general conference is a conference that happens every 6 months. We are a church that believe in Prophets, apostles, and revelation; and in this conference we get to hear from them. I am so excited. Before the mission i didnt realize how great of a gift it was to have general conference but many times during my mission the words of the prophet have helped me. He recieves revelation to guide us in these days just like moses did to guide the israelites in the olden days. I would like to invite everyone to watch it! Even if it is just for curiosity you will enjopy it. (Mom, put up the information on my blog of when the conference takes place and on what channels they can watch it).

Well i hope you all have a good week! I love you all!

Elder Whitaker

(Hi all-see below for info on how to watch general conference in your area).

All members of the Church are invited to participate in the 184th Semiannual General Conference of the Church, which will convene in the Conference Center in Salt Lake City, Utah, on Saturday and Sunday, October 4 and 5, 2014, with general sessions each day at 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. mountain daylight time (MDT).
Viewing Options
To view conference sessions at local meetinghouses, check with local leaders on the availability. Find a local meetinghouse at maps.lds.org.
For those not able to view the broadcast in a meetinghouse, the live broadcast will be available via radio, television, satellite, or digital channels such as YouTube. See How to View Live page for details. The event will also be streamed live on the home page of LDS.org beginning 1 hour before the event.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

"It's the best to be sharing this message that blesses the lives of others so much...."

Hola mi familia y mis amigos,

It was an awesome week. I´m definitely enjoying my time in Km 26 and as a missionary in general. Its the best to be sharing this message that blesses the lives of others so much. I couldnt even believe it when i looked at the calendar and saw that in exactly a year from now I will be on a plane to go home. Its so crazy how time passes.It makes me think about what I have done with this last year, and what I want to do with this next one. Im grateful that I can look back at this last year without regrets, and Im so grateful that i still have a year left to be a missionary. I still have a lot more people to help.

This week was a good one. It was a little more tranquilo than last week. I am getting to know my new area a little better. We are working hard to find new people. Its a little harder to contact here because there are certain places we cant go in the nights because its pretty dangerous but we make do. hahaha i found out imthe 3rd american here in the last 10 years. Its all good though. Bad stuff only happens when you dont follow the rules. I have been tranquilo here. 

We meet all kinds of people here. Here in argentina it is a custom to greet people with "besos" (kisses on the cheek) as missionaries we dont do that but there will always bee people that get mad when you dont give them besos. This week the mom of this one girl we are teaching came and met us to listen to usa as well and she wanted to give me besos and just went for it. It was pretty weird and then shewas making fun of me for going all rigid haha. We met a guy that diciplines his kids by telling them that if they dont behave pepé the frog is going to eat them, and the best part is that these little girls believe it. I had to hide my face in a lesson we had with this family when we asked if we could say the prayer and the little girl said no. The dad just starts calling, "Pepé!!!!" and then she screamed and behaved. Good parenting. I might have to break that one out on my kids one day hahaha.

Well lately we have been meeting a lot of people that are really firm in their beliefs. I have strengthened my testimony of the book of mormon. It is such an inspìred book, written for us. We had an awesome lesson the other day with a catholic woman (the one who wanted to besarme) about the Book of Mormon. She is very firm in her beliefs but we explained the book or mormon to her and then gave her the challenge, "Pray and find out if this book is the truth. If it is, then there are prophets on the earth again and this is the church of jesus christ restored to the earth. If its not the truth, then its all a lie. Whats the harm with asking God for yourself." I know that this Book is true. I know that this woman and anyone else who wants to know, will recieve an answer from the holy spirit that this book is from God if they study it and ask with faith. I invite anybody not of my faith to take the challenge from the bible in James 1:5. Ask God, He wont lie to you. 

Well i hope all is well back home! thank you all for your prayers!

Elder Whitaker

Monday, September 15, 2014

"There is a lot of potential here, and we are going to do some good work..."

Ty loves the people of Argentina
Hola mi familia y mis amigos!

Como les va todos? This week has been crazy but fun! I landed on another planet here in KM 26 (*Note from Marisa he was transferred from a rural area 6 hours south of Buenos Aires-into the heart of Buenos Aires-an area called Kilometro 26) but it is awesome here. There are no more horses and cows so i feel a little out of place but what are you going to do. I have met so many awesome people in this new branch. The leaders here are awesome and ready to help us! This is the first time that has happened for me so i am super stoked. The work was kinda dead when i got here but we are going to get cracking this week now that I am getting to know the people and where stuff is! There is a lot of potential here and we are going to do some good work.

We got to go to a stake service project and paint a school which was super fun! we were with all the missionaries from our zone. It was nice to get to know some other missionaries. La costa is basically like a separate mission because it is like 6 hours south of the city and we never had any contact with more than the same 18 missionaries. I feel like a stranger and a newby here because everyone knows eachother except me but i have met a bunch of cool new missionaries and reunited with some old ones i knew. We also got to do an open house of a church in the stake. It was a way cool expireience. A lot of people came! we got about 30 references for that area which is awesome. We need to do that back home! 

Well i hope all is good back home and to hear from all of you!

Ty found himself a spiffy little jacket
Elder Whitaker
Ty's district in La Plata

Some mission buddies

Monday, September 8, 2014

"It was weird leaving behind a bunch of families I had grown to love..."

Hola mi familia y mis amigos,

como les va? Well this last week has been really bitter sweet for me. I got transfered from Santa Teresita after 6 months serving there. Despite all of the challenges that there were to face, I will miss that place a lot. There were a lot of people that i grew to love muchisimo. Its crazy how that happens. 

Well before i tell you where i am i want to reflect a little on the last couple weeks. I did a bunch of fun stuff. I got to milk a cow on P-day. We got caught in a big lightning storm which cut all the power and then we had to walk in knee deep water back to the pench, one of my best buddies, Elder Merkley, played some sweet songs on his hermonica that some members gave to him ç, and a bunch of other stuff. Some good memories that i wont ever forget. I will miss all the missionaries from La Costa. They are the best.

Yesterday at church was awesome. We commited the hermano lopez to go to church 3 weeks consecutively and if he did he was going to bless the sacrament for the first time with me. I have been working with this family from the start and I am so glad that after all the work with that family that they are on a good path and have the desire to keep on going. It was an awesome moment to be up there with hermano lopez. 

It was weird leaving behind a buncch of the families i had grown to love. There was rosa and a 3 families that we reactivated that were really hard to say bye to but I have faith that i will see them all again one day, in this life or the next.

Well I am now serving in an area called Kilometro 26. Its in the city so i feel like a fish out of water right now, but i hope i can adjust good. Im not really sure what to expect but i hope everything will work out good. Well Thats all for this week. I love you all!

Elder Whitaker

Friday, September 5, 2014

"I felt the spirit so strong while testifying about Joseph Smith being called as a prophet..."

Hola mi familia y mis amigos,

Hows it going up there? I had a pretty solid week this week. It was probably one of the best weeks i have had in santa teresita. We started off this week and it felt like spring had already arrived. We were in short sleeves and sweating in the sun and it felt great but then all of a sudden a huge storm came and it had been thunder storming on us for the past 4 days straight. Its pretty awesome out here with the lightning and stuff. Its so much easier to see the road at night haha. My waterproof jacket stopped being waterproof so i have been using this emergency camping parka over my jacket. I found it in my camping stuff and brought it as a joke but now im super stoked that i brought it. All the roads are super flooded so are having to blaze trails and jump over puddles and mini rivers to get to visit people. my long jump has improved a lot. 
As far as work it has also been a good week. We finally found soime investigators. We have been doing a lot of contacting in the streets and stuff and we found a couple solid people. theres one family that im really excited about. We had a really good lesson about the restoration with them. I felt the spirit so strong while testifing about joseph smith being called as a prophet and the book or mormon and i believe they felt it as well. Hopefully we can continue working well with them. 

Because it was raining so hard it was a little hard for people to get to church. but the familia lopez, familia elias, and hermano ruiz went! half the church was people we have reactivated. That made me super happy to see. We have had some good lessons with them. Its amazing how the spirit will let you feel in your heart the truthfulness of the book of mormon or of gods plan for us, or the atonement. We have had some really spiritual lessons this week just focussing on the basics and letting the people feel the spirit instead of trying to explain all of their questions. If you can know with a surety that these basic things are true, you can go forward with faith that the rest wil work itself out for your good. 

Well thats all for this week. I hope all is well with all of you. 

Elder Whitaker

The rain is making  tons of frogs come out everywhere.
This trailer serves as the hospital in Santa Teresita (fingers crossed Ty never needs it).

"I feel like I'm just sowing a lot of seed to be harvested in the future..."

Hola mi familia y mis amigos!

Que tal? I didnt have time to write last week so im sorry for that. It has been an interesting couple of weeks. Well my new comp is pretty cool but with one flaw, he doesnt know how to cook. I have had comps that cook my whole mission until now so now i have been forced to learn. luckily from watvhing my other comps so much i kinda have an idea. My cooking is getting better and i cook more than slop now. I can make empanadas, milanesa ( argentino fried chicken) pasta and i am inventing with sauces, and burgers. im still trying to learn and get a little more variety though so if anybody knows some basic recipies that a beginner could pull off let me know.

We have contacted just about all of the people that live in santa teresita. now we are breaking up our work so we are in santa teresita one day, then in mar de Tuyu another day and then in las toninas another day. We havent spent too much time in the other cities before so we dont have many people to teach. Im using my boyscout skills to read all the maps and stuff because neither one of us knew where we were. We have been doing a lot of contacts and just talking with people in the streets. Hopefully we can find a couple solid people to teach. we will see this week what happens. 

We had a pretty fun P day the other day. we went to the dunes on the beach as a zone and messed around out there. I invited Marcelo and Julian to come with us. The are 2 of the 4 young men down here and we have been trying to reactivate them. They have the same ages as my brothers so i feel like they are my brothers. I invited them because i remember when i was at home waiting to go on my mission with no firends the missionaries from back home invited me to do stuff with them so i wanted to pay it forward. They dont ever get the chance to be around other mormon kids so it was cool that they could see how things can be for them in the future. We all had a really good time together. 

Well the work goes on here. I feel like i am just sowing a lot of seed to be harvested in the future but i am fine with that. I know that I probably wont see a lot of sucess in numbers while i am here but the other day in church i was thinking about how amazing it will be to see in the future and on the other side of the veil how my work went here. I feel good because im working my hardest to do whats prepared for me now in this moment and because of that im tranquilo.

Elder Whitaker

Monday, August 4, 2014

"una otra semana gloriosa en la costa..."

Hola mi familia y mis amigos,

How is everyone doing? enjoying the summer sunshine? Que suerte because down here it rained a ton and because my area is just a big field next to the beach with sand for streets it turned into a swamp. Our bikes were practiaclly useless (yeah we got new bikes) so we were playing crocodile hunter in ties trying to cross our area to visit people. Also because we have searched out almost all of the list that lives close to us we are starting to go deeper into our area and look for new people so we are ridding like 14 km on our bikes to find people and if we cant use the bikes, on foot. I weigh the same as i did before my mission but now my jeans that i had before that i use for service now are getting a little closer to skinny jeans on my thighs because of my leg muscles after so much biking.

This week went pretty well. We had some pretty solid lessons with some less actives that we found. I can tell all of you with a surety that God listens to our prayers, especially to those of little children. The little girl that wanted to be baptized and came to us has been praying for her dad to stop smoking and come back to church and this man, who never wanted anything to do with us, agreed to meet with us and we had a really spiritual lesson and he was at church yesterday which was a miracle. 

Some cool stuff from the week: on our way to church yesterday we saw an old guy trying to kill another guy with a shovel. That was a fun time. Its a good thing the old guy was old and couldn´t run. Also we had Elder Merkley and Elder Rachummi with us for lunch the other day and we made some slop. Elder Merkly wanted some picante so he started to cook a jalepeño. He didnt know how though so he cut it all up and let out all the liquid inside and then it evaporated and the picante gas spread thoughout our whole pench and we all felt like we got pepper sprayed and were crying. it was a good time hahaha Well i hope everyone has a good week!

Elder Whitaker

ps.  The title of this blog he wrote says "another glorious week in La Costa".

p.p.s  Ty wrote me a special little note that made my week!  "You probably thought I wouldn´t remember but....HAPPYBIRTHDAY Mom!  I don´t remember how old you are either so i can´t make a good joke but i wanted to wish you a happy birthday. I went down to the beach with my new comp and took this picture for you! thats a genuine Argentina sunrise right there! I hope you have a really good week! I love you so much! Its crazy that it has been so long that i have been away from you but i owe you a big birthday hug when I'm back. I hope all the jackwagons are nice to you for your birthday! 

Love you!

Monday, July 28, 2014

"one of the greatest lessons I have learned down here, is how to love..."

Hola mi familia y mis amigos!

Que tal todos? I hope you are all doing good. I got some letters yesterday that some of you sent in april so it was a long wait but i will be trying to get back to you soon! Its awesome to hear from you though. I will be staying another 6 weeks in La Costa in the bottom of the mission so my communication will still be a little bit limited. I am excited though for the chance i have to be down here though. 

La Costa is one of the hardest areas in the mission but it is also a really rewarding place because we are down here establishing the church. In all the other zones there are stakes but we are a district down here with only branches. the average attendance when i got here was around 20ish and yesterday we had 43 which made me really happy. We work a lot with the less actives but I have found a lot of joy in that. Less actives or new people. Its all one work. I never realized how big a deal home teaching really is, but now I am going to promise to never miss a month. I know that if this branch had home teaching there wouldnt be 250 somehing inactive members. I have had a lot of challenges down here but it has taught me a lot. One of the greatest lessons i have learned down here is how to love. Im not going to lie, before my mission i was pretty self focused. This area has taught me a new way. I could have gone to a new area but my comp was going to leave too and i didnt want to leave all these people who i had grown to love down here to get lost. If there were new missionaries they wouldnt have known how to find them and they werent going to recieve visits from anybody else. As i have heard about the struggles and stories of the people down here I have been filled with a love and desire to help them. Sometimes i feel discouraged like we arent making progress but this past week we have had people share with us the difference we have made in their lives and one of the families asked that we ask that one of us can stay. How could i say no to that? I hope that we can do more than to just help support them in these next 6 weeks. 

A cool story that happened this week. there is this family that is less active. They have two girls, 12 and 8. The dad doesnt want anything to do with the church and smokes but the little girl had hopes that her dad could baptize her. It was hard to see because we knew that the dad didnt want to change. this last sunday the two girls got up and went to church by themselves and the littlest asked me if she could be baptized by one of us. She told us she did her homework and prayed to her heavenly father and that she had read in the pamphlet we left for her and red the scriptues in it and wanted to be baptized. It is amazing to see how the spirit has touched her, even being so young she has the faith to follow the savior. I was amazed by that. 

Well thats all for this week. I hope all is well. I love you all.

Elder Whitaker
Ty made "slop" for dinner!

Ty lost a bet and had to shave his right leg...

Monday, July 14, 2014

"We got to see a guy that wouldn't go to church a month ago, give a talk in sacrament..."

Trey said Ty probably likes Argentina because he looks so much bigger than everyone there!  :)
Hola mi familia y mis amigos!

Hope you all had a happy world cup. Argentina almost did! it was crazy. i was locked up in the pench but we could here everybody yelling and lighting off rockets and stuff which was legit. So close. In a way I am kinda glad its over though because people will start letting us in again and we wont have our appointments fall because people are watching the games. Less walking in the cold for me hahaha. 

This week was pretty good. We have been working with the youth a lot and im actually tutoring some adults in chemistry and math. Its pretty funny that i am having to remember how elements react and bond and stuff and how to work with equations after so long. Its been more than a year since i had to touch the stuff but my students are passing their tests so thats good hahaha. We had some more less actives come to church. We got to see a guy that wouldnt go to church a month ago give a talk in sacrament meeting this week which was super awesome. We had 2 kids that we have been working with get up early and walk to church without their parents which was pretty awesome. The work here is slow but it is progressing and it feels awesome to see the progress. 

One of the things that we have been teaching a lot to the people down here is that we arent just here to drag people to church. A lot of people think we are here to boost the numbers of the church but they dont understand that we dont gain anything from that. None of the leaders of the church get any money for their service. We are here because we want to serve them. We know that they are our brothers and sisters, children of God, and that we are here because we have prayed to know if this message is true and if it will bless our lives and have recived the answer, "YES". It is true because we have felt the spirit say it is and then we have lived the teachings and seen our lives be blessed. The gosple is simple. We are here in the earth to become better and return back to live with god and our families and the only way to do that is by following christ´s example. By following in christ´s footsteps and what he taught, if we have faith, are constantly repenting to change ourselves to be better, are baptized, and recieve the gift of the holy ghost and follow its promptings we become better people and will have the opportunity to live with god and our families forever. Its is something simple, but beautiful. And the best part of our message is not that we are trying to convince them we are right, we teach that they can know for themselves the same way we have come to know. Prayer and living the teachings. Thats the part that makes this work possible. If it was just me trying to convince people nothing would happen but when people feel that its true, that is where it changes their lives. Im grateful that God answers prayers and helps me out here everyday and i hope that all of you back home always remember that, 

well I love you all and hope for the best with all of you. ¡Que esten bien!

Elder Whitaker

Monday, July 7, 2014

"I finally got a bunch of letters and stuff...Thank you!"

Hola mi familia y mis amigos,

Como están todos? We had interviews with the president of mission the other day so I finally got letters and stuff for the first time in a while! that was super nice. I got the letters that a bunch of friends and family wrote me back during conference weekend and I want to thank everybody for those. It was so awesome to hear from so many different people and the stuff you guys all wrote me really was awesome to hear. I will try to write back but i dont have the adresses of everybody so if you dont get a thank you note. This is me thanking you. It is golden to get letters! Hopefully people keep them coming hahaha.

Well this week was pretty good we had a lot of fun stuff. We played soccer with some of the youth, we got to walk around in a pretty awesome storm trying to find people that werent sleeping, and I found some sheep. Sheep are pretty fun to play with. It made me remember when my little brother Trey rode a sheep for the 4th of july rodeo up in utah and the sheep had "demon eyes" and bucked him off. hahaha love you little bro. We have been teaching a lot of less active members and we are starting to see some sucess. We have reactivated about 3 families and are working on getting some references so that we can teach their friends too. It is starting to work so hopefully we can find some people to teach this week thats coming. It was super awesome to be in church and have one of the guys we helped come back to church go and bear his testimony. Maybe we arent baptizing a bunch of people down here but we are helping in other ways and it feels good to see that work paying off. The woman that me and my last comp baptized like 3 months ago is still going really strong and now she has a calling as the secratary of the relief society which is super cool!

It was super weird to be outside of the states for the 4th of july. It is crazy that last year at this time I was back with friends and family. I was kinda tempted to buy some fireworks for 4th of july but i decided I had better not. Hopefully you all blew some stuff up for me. well i hope all is well back home!

Elder Whitaker

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

"The best way to lighten your load is to lighten somebody else's..."

Hola mi familia y mis amigos,

I dont know how to describe this past week I have had because it was an awsome week but also one of the hardest i have ever had. Its weird how that works. I suppose it was a good week because I learned a little bit more about how to forget if it is a hard week for me and focus on making it a good week for others. 

This area is a really hard area, but i found a quote somewhere in my stuff that says "Bloom where you are planted" and "Lift as you have been lifted" Thats what I have been learning how to do. Sometimes the only thing you can do is forget

the circumstances and focus on doing the best you can. I have been trying hard daily to shift my focus from myself and how I feel to helping out others and because of it I have done a 180. The best way to lighten your load is to lighten somebody elses. The moments where I have felt the best is when I made a difference in somebody else´s life. 

I have also had some fun out here too. In the spirit of the world cup we gathered together some of the youth and we played soccer this past thursday. it was super fun to let loose and play for the first time in a long time. Im no soccer star but i can hold my own mas o menos hahaha. I think I´ll be ready for team USA if i keep practicing every week haha. We helped some people repair their roof and plant trees. We found this one member that has cows and they gave us real milk! (thats a treasure here becauseall the milk here is from a powder and comes in a bag).

We got our bikes robbed the other night so we are all on foot now. that was pretty awesome. My comp got mad but i just laughted because there is no point in being mad and now i can say i got robbed on my mission. fiesta. 

well thats my advice for all of you guys this week. Bloom where you are planted. Lift as you have been lifted. Sometimes thats all you can do and it makes you life a whole lot better. Love you all. Take care.

Elder Whitaker

Monday, June 23, 2014

..."the United States is doing pretty good.. but hopefully they dont come up agaist Argentina or I am going to have to crawl into a hole for a couple weeks haha..."

Hola mi familia y mis amigos,

This week was pretty good. It was the first week of a new transfer and we are starting to do some new things to change up how we have been working and to keep the work going down here. It has been a week with some ups and downs.

Down here everybody is going crazy for the world cup which is fun and also annoying because nobody wants to let us in. No i know how the missionaries must feel when we watch the super bowl but at least it is just one day and not for the whole month. The United States is doing pretty good which is awesome but hopefully they dont come up agaist Argentina or I am going to have to crawl into a hole for a couple weeks haha. One of the things we are trying to work on down here is the youth. There are like 3 or 4 active youth which is pretty hard but we are going to try to get some activities going on down here to help them out. We are going to be playing soccer on thursday so we will see how i do against the latinos haha.

We finally have an investigator after the longest time and we commited her to be baptized. Her name is Beatiz and she is a single mother of 4 and has 30 years. she is at the point where she wants to learn about God because she wants what is best for her family in the future so we had a really solid lesson and hopefully we will be having a baptism here in a couple of weeks.

We are really working hard to bring some less actives back and we are seeing some fruits. We have  a couple families that finally came to church this part sunday which was really awesome. Basically we are just going to work really hard this week to find some new people bacuse we dont have a lot to work with right now but I nam hopefull.

I was having a pretty tough time the other day. Just a bunch of stuff piling up and i felt like I couldnt handle it but I had a really good experience. I got back to the pench and was just super stressed out and angry and my comp knew it to so he told me that we are going to kneel down and pray. I prayed and I felt all the tension that I  had inside of me vanish. As I was praying I felt the truth that while i was going through a hard time Christ had carried a weight more heavy and suffered a lot more. It helped me refocus on what I am here to do which is not worry about my incomfort but to help others. I know that the same thing works for everyone of us. When life gets too hard to stand, sometimes you have to kneel and pray. I know that when we think we are passing through things  and think nobody understands how hard it is, that we are wrong because our savior does. We just need to remember him and then focus on what we can do to lift somebody else. I know its true because I have lived it. I know that Jesus Christ is our savior and i know that any burden can be made light if we come unto him.

I love all you guys and love hearing from you all! I hope all is well with everyone.

Elder Whitaker

Monday, June 16, 2014

"I will be staying her in Santa Teresita for another 6 weeks..."

Hola mi familia y mis amigos,

Como anda con todo? As you guys are all getting ready for summer I´m freezing down here. Its funny getting letters from my little brother about surfing and down here I´m like an eskimo. This week was kind of short as far as the work because we had a zone meeting ( there is so much space between the areas it is almost a whole day to go meet with all the missionaries have the meeting and go back) and we went to La Plata which is 5 hours away to go to a conference with a gerneral athority. For the conference in La Plata I got to spend the night in my first area, Villa Montoro. It was cool to be beack in my old bed for a night and talk with my budddies about how the area is going. Mari is still going strong, despite her many challenges she is still firm in the church which is awesome.

As far as teaching goes we had a couple of cool lessons. One was with a guy we found that has about 30 years and he doesn´t have any family anything going on besides work in his life. he hasnt gone to church since he was 17. We have been doing service for him and stuff and the other day we had a lesson with him.It was super cool because as we walked into the room to go and teach him i knew exactly what he needed to hear. We talked about how this life is the time to prepare ourselves to meet God and about what he wants to do with his life. I know that the only life that brings true happiness and fulfillment is a life based on the teachings of Christ. we taught him that and he felt the spirit and he commited to come to church for the first time in years.

One of the best things of my week every week down here in Santa Teresita is taking the sacrament to and elderly couple, the familia ledesma, that can´t come to church because of their health. They are awesome. They are so funny and so appreciative when we bring the the sacrament. I have felt the spirit and the saviors love so strong during my visits with them. We are the first to come by in a long time so it is awesome to see how happy they are. It has really helped me to understand how important the sacrament is.

Well I will be staying here in Santa Teresita for another 6 weeks with Elder Varela so hopefully we can keep on working good and accopmlish some good things down here!

Elder Whitaker

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

"I can't imagine a better way to use this past year of my life..."

Ty and some missionaries in his District
Hola mi familia y mis amigos!

How goes life back home? Its super weird for me to think that school is just about to get out up there and people are graduating and stuff! time goes so fast! I was chillin on my bed last night thinking about stuff and I realized that exactly a year ago I recieved my mission call to serve in Buenos Aires Sur. How crazy is that! i still remember opening that letter and finding out my future for the next two years. Those days when me and all of the guys were getting our mission calls were some of the best days ever. I am so greatful for all my brothers that are out there in every part of the world doing the same thing i am. Maybe a different language or climate but the same thing. I cant imagine a better way to use this last year of my life.

The work here sometimes is difficult. Things don´t always go smooth but then again things weren´t ever made to go smooth. I have grown to apreciate the little moments where you can feel that good feeling inside your chest, the spirit, telling you that what you are doing is good or helping somebody else. i couldnt really tell you anything crazy that happened this past week, just things that i have gained a greater appreciation for. When i had the opportunity to take the sacrament to an elderly couple i felt the spirit testify of how important it was and the love that the savior has for these brothers. Teaching somebody about the gift of repentance and how they could leave behind their past life and start fresh, i felt the spirit, helping the other missionaries when they are feeling down to remember why we were sent here, i felt the spirit. Little things that you could pass by if y

you arent paying attention. I know that when i was taking the sacrament to brothers and sisters in my ward before my mission i didnt take the time to realize what i was doing. Something for you guys to think about this week, Enjoy the little things. look for what you are greatful for and look for the little blessing that you have everyday. Try to feel the spirit when you feel down or lost and it will be there.

One thing im gratful for is the missionaries down here in La Costa with me. We always have fun and i can always look forward to Pdays and our meetings. we play volleyball, make BBQ wings and tacos, and just mess around and lighten up a little. Im glad i have the opportunity to serve with these elders and hermanas. Well i hope all is well with you back home! 

Elder Whitaker