Wednesday, April 30, 2014

"you are now hearing from an older wiser Elder Tyler Whitaker..."

Hola mi familia y mis amigos!

Como andá? you are now hearing from an older, wiser Elder Tyler Whitaker. Ehhh posiblé no mas sabio pero a mi yo creo que sí hahaha. but yeah this week went super well! We have gotten more used to working in a super huge area so we were a lot more effective this week and more than double our lesson from last week. My new area san clemente, isnt going to be easy because we have only one active member that goes to church because nobody wants to travel the half hour to church and half hour back every sunday so i have a feeling i am going to be doing a lot of reactivating but im excited. Our mission president always says that baptizing somebody counts the same as retaining a new convert in the church or rescuing somebody that isnt active. It will be hard but it will be really good. 

As far as people we are teaching we only have 3 but they are all getting baptized. This saturday we are having a batism for Rosa, a single mom of 3. She is super awesom and her kids are so awesome. They have 9, 6 and 1 years and they are so funny. One of the reasons im so stoked about this baptism is because i am helping these kids so that they can grow up in, and have the same blessing that i have had from growing up being taught about christ and his teachings. There is a drastic difference here between the kids my age who have the gosple mand don´t and im glad that i have the chance to help some people have what I had.

The other two are going to be baptized the 17th of May. Luis y Nahuel are so awesome. They are so strong. They live in a tent and have nothing to eat but some of the best lessons i have had have been sitting on the bricks outside his tent talking about the plan God has for us. They have been awesome because they werent easy. They didnt just believe on the spot. they question everything but now they have recieved their answer, they have felt the answer in their heart that its the truth and that the book of mormon is true and now they are super stoked to take the next step to baptism. Transfers are in a week so hopefully i´ll still be here to see that happen. 

My birthday was awesome. The president and his wife had us over for lunch and made a super bomb lunch and made me lemon pie. i didnt even know that was a thing in argentina but it was legit. We then went and taught some lessons to Luis Nahuel, and Rosa and then after we went to visit a family of the church. one of the kids found out that it was my birthday and planned a "surprise party" for me and mad a bunch of treats and stuff which was super bomb. In my english class i teach i always talk about how peanut butter is the best food ever and she heard that and gave me the best gift ever!!! She made me a jar of peanut butter from scratch!!! they dont have peanut butter here (triste i know) so i was super surprised when she whipped out a jar of home made peanut butter.I shed 3 tears. So basically it was a good day. 

Well I want to leave you guys with my testimony that I know that  this message i am sharing out here on the other side of the world is true. I have felt it in my life and i have seen it change the lives of others. I know that God is our heavenly father and that Jesus Christ is our Savior. I know that They have a plan for us and that through the knowledge of this plan, it will bring a joy and peace that you cannot find anywhere else in this world. For those of you who know these truths, continue faithful, and for those of you who havent had the chance to get to know these things for yourself, I encourage you to, for the least, hear the guys that live in your area that are doing the same thing as me. I love you all. 

Elder Whitaker

ps from Marisa:  When your son is thousands of miles away, and you're missing him on his birthday especially-it is such a blessing to think he is being loved by those he is with....  I am so grateful for these kind children who threw him a party, and for the bishops wife who made him, from scratch, the thing Ty misses most, peanut butter. (and a lemon pie too!)
Ty's birthday "lemon pie"

Homemade peanut butter made by the bishop's wife


Monday, April 21, 2014

"My brain is all mix up (sic) from Spanish" :)

Hola mi familia y mis amigos!

i cant start my letters without writing the first sentence in spanish now. My brain is all mix up now from spanish. I cant speak a whole sentence of english without spanish jumping in. Well, this week was difficult in the fact that im working in two areas that are super far away. Basically my mission is a lot bigger than i thought. From the capital where most of the mission is, to where i am, is like the drive from where i live to vegas. 4 hours in a car and there is nothing in that 4 hours in between. Then when you get down to my zone it's super spaced out. The two areas im covering for the next two weeks are like 30 min away from each other in a bus and i have to make that trip like twice almost every day so you can imagine that its pretty hard to get a lot of work done but hey, thats life. 

We have been having some really good progress with some of the people. The people we are teaching are going slow but they are actually learning. Its super common to find people that arent active in the church down here because some elders taught them really fast and became really good friends with them and then they got baptized for the elder specifically. Then when that elder leaves they dont go to church because they werent converted to the message. My goal isnt to baptize a ton of people but to actually convert people to this amazing gospel. If i get a bunch of people in the way i won't complain. Thats what we are doing down here. The people we are teaching are moving along really well. They didnt make the date that we set for their baptism, but they have told me that they are going to be baptized they just have to take the time to study and apply our message to make the baptism real in their lives. Luis y Nahuel are studs!!! They are so bad off  but they dont complain and they just keep moving forward. We teach them in the sand out front of the tent that they are living in and we have had some super powerful lessons. It was so awesome to hear him say that he is going to be baptized this last lesson we had. 

We have had some fun adventures too. Today my comp elder Falke got chased by this giant pitbull that was the size of a bear and it tried to bite him in the leg
but he hit it in the head with his bag so that was pretty legit. Today i got to celebrate my birthday a little bit early and we made some tacos. One of the guys in our district, his family is from mexico, so we made some most excellent tacos. We had interviews wioth the president the other day which was awesome!. I also got my letters and stuff. Thanks to all of you who sent me a letter for my brithday! well i have to get off but yep that was how my last week of being 18 went. Wow im going to have 19 years. i dont want to get old. hahaha i hope all of you have a good week!

Elder Whitaker
Ty's taco bday celebration with his companions.
Ty'c companion.  He says it is starting to get very cold, and veery poor heating systems.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

"...some tough points, but I love my mission more every day."

Hola mi familia y mis amigos!

This week was super crazy. We had some really good points and some tough points too but i love my mission more every day. Its awesome to be out here serving. This week was kinda hard because there arent a lot of people recieving us. a lot of rejection and stuff like that. We have out 3 solid people we are teaching that are progressing a lot, but after that we dont really have much. There have been days when all of our plans bail on us and we are out there in the cold for the last 3 hours of the day till 9 clapping doors trying to find somebody that will hear us and that is sometimes hard to handle. Me and Elder Granados have a little fun with it to liven up the day but still it gets a little hard. one of the encounters in the door we had was pretty awesome. It was a 50 year old man and when we introduced ourselves and asked his name. He thought he was super clever and said " i dont have a name" and without missing a beat my comp in his joking voice said, " en serio?!" (seriously). It was super funny bucause the guy realized he was dumb and chuckled a little and then slammed the dorr in our faces. Its little things like that that make clapping doors more fun. We actually found a super good investigator that was looking for some kind of sign about fiding a direction in her life and we felt like we should clap one more house before calling it quits and heading home and we found her and had a mini lesson on her door step. Our little reward for our faithfulness.

Well i found out that im going to be white washing the other half of the rama im in now, called san clemente. super funny because i feel like im going home because im at san clemente on the beach. but yeah for these next 3 weeks ill be in a trio jumping back and forth between my area i have now and the one i need to learn for next transfer. I dont know if my comp will stay with me or if ill be whitewashing solo with a new comp that doesnt know anything about the area but it will be an adventure. 

Well i hope everybody has a good easters. I hope that everybody can take time to remember what the significance of that day is. It is the day that our savior, Jesus Christ, completed his sacrafice, his atonement for us. I testify that he, in truth did sacrafice his life so that we could be made free. I testify that he lives and because of that, we will all live again. I testify that only though him can we recieve all of the blessings that our father in heaven has for us.

Hasta la próxima semana!

Elder Whitaker

p.s.  whitewashing an area means that in the new area he is going to, both of the missionaries will be new to the area.  Usually, when missionaries are transferred at the end of 6 weeks, 1 stays and 1 goes.  That way the one who stays knows the area and the people, and the needs of the area.  When Ty gets transferred to San Clemente in 3 weeks, both he and his companion will be new to the area.  So, he is spending some time with the missionaries in San Clemente now to learn the area, comprende?

Monday, April 7, 2014

"I am learning so much and changing..."

Hola mi familia y mis amigos!

I hope you all had a good week and enjoyed general conference! This week was awesome and Im loving my time down here in argentina. I am learning so much and changing to become somebody better. Its been 6 months since i left home and I am starting to notice the difference that the mission is having on me. For one thing, mom i know you will love this, I am actually starting to be organized. I dont know what happened but i am a lot more organized now. I love studying. Befopre my mission i never studied for school and i felt like if i studied the scriptures for like 30 min that i was doing super good. Now i can´t get enough I have my 2 hours in the morning and language study and now i wish that i had more. also this transfer now that i have 6 months, i am done studying in english. All my scripture study and everything is all in spanish now and i found that i understand it good. I am reading the book of mormon now in spanish and im not losing any of the meaning and its awesome! You can read the scriptures a thousand times and still get something new out of them. I now dont like down time. I used to like having some time to relax in the pench before i went to bed and stuff but now i find myself bored if im not out working. Its so weird because i always had in my mind what i liked to do, but now that im out here serving others 100% of the time its changing me, and for the better.

This week went  super good. I´ll start with who we are teaching. We had a slow week this week but the lessons we taught made up for it. quality over quantity. one woman we are teaching, Rosa, had been hearing from the missionaries about a year ago but she stopped listening. We started teaching her again and we commited her to be baptized last week. She was tentative but when we taught her the other day she talked to us about how she had felt the spirit during out lesson and she had prayed and she felt good about the decision to be baptized! It is one of the best things in the world to hear that and makes it worth all the people that have rejected you! We also are moving along really well with Luis and Nahuel. They are studs. They have had such hard challenges that make anything that I or anybody else has expirienced look easy but they are seeing how this message can help them have a better life. They went to conference and really liked it. Conference was super awesome! I used to think when i was little about how hard it was to watch two hours of talks, but now that I realized who these men are, the prophet and apostles of the Lord Jesus Christ, their words mean so much to me and i have learned so much from them. I encourage everybody to go and read the talks again and study them and you will learn a ton. 

Well life is good here in Santa Teresita. I hope alñl is well with all of you.

Elder Whitaker

ps Ty has asked for recipes because he has to learn to make dinner, the custom down there is to eat 2 meals, breakfast & lunch, and he is hungry at night, especially after walking much of the day.  Those empanadas are looking pretty good!