Monday, April 26, 2010

Parque Leloir- Week #96

A Bazaar Turn of Events

Hey Family,

Random things happen at home when you are on a mission. Aunt Kim is getting married…I mean that is awesome though. At least we are kind of still in wedding mode this summer? Let’s go to Disneyland when we are there! I am seriously happy for her though. Also, that is great that Chris got a job. I don’t have travel plans yet, Dad. The offices already have them, but they don’t give them to me until Transfer Meeting on the 10th of May. Don’t worry Mom; I wouldn’t waste the room in my suitcase on a girl, when I could fill it with cheap soccer jerseys, alfajores, and random wooden trinkets that all say “Tango” or “Argentina”. I thought about it though…tomorrow we have interviews with President, so I will ask him what I should do. Also, he still has yet to answer my question about what to do with my life.

So this week was pretty interesting. We had divisions with the Assistants, and I stayed in my area with Elder Sheldon Evans from Wyoming. He is the only other person I have ever met in my life that lives in Wyoming. We talked for hours about all the things we love about our home state. Haha ok maybe that last part was a little sarcastic. The divisions went really well, and I learned a lot from him. You know, you can feel kind of guilty when you realize you haven’t been doing some things in the most efficient way, but you find out at the very end of your mission. Oh well, there is always room to improve, and I will definitely be improving these last two months.

So there was definitely a miracle that occurred this week worth telling. On Wednesday, Elder Hinckley and I took our ward list around with us and were visiting random families to see if they had any kids that weren’t baptized or something, and we ended up at one house. We clapped at the gate and waited, and out walked an older chap, who sometimes can be cranky when you try and talk to them about religion. We introduced ourselves and he presented himself as Carlos. We chit-chatted for a little bit and he invited us in to share our message. He wasn’t cranky at all, probably because he had already taken his siesta. We sat down and noticed his wedding pictures that were taken over 40 years ago. Carlos is Catholic like a lot of people in Argentina, and was a good hard-working man that is now retired. He seemed like any other old man in Argentina while we were teaching the first lesson. He was kind of listening, and told us a few stories of his youth, his perfect love with Lydia his wife, (Most Argentines are overly dramatic romantics…I love it) who was sick in bed, and what life used to be like before all the filth and drugs infested the society. Good stuff. So we teach the lesson and Carlos asked a question that transformed him from being a nice old gentleman to a golden investigator. We talked about everything and he asked, “Terrific boys! How many times do I have to go to church before I can be baptized?” …what? Nobody ever asks that! Who are you!?! Ha, it was pretty shocking. So I went by again with Elder Evans, and he was STILL GOLDEN! It wasn’t a fluke. We walked in the second time, and before we said anything he said, “So I can get baptized in three weeks, right?” RIGHT!!! He asked all about how baptism is and what he has to bring and everything. Then he asked, “What do we wear? Are we naked when we get baptized? I mean, I don’t have a problem, but I thought I would ask.” HAHAHAHAHA WHAT? That is faith people! We thoroughly explained that we wear white clothing and are fully covered the whole time. He still would have done it if he had to do it in the nude! Oh Carlos…

So I don’t have time to write about another investigator we have, but here is an excerpt from Elder Hinckley’s email home about Andres Rojas: “There is another family that we had found named the Rojas family. The dad is named Andres and E' Gilmore and E' Evans also took out a baptismal date with him in divisions. He promised he would come to church and he did come all the way to the church on his bike alone. He has a wife and a daughter (although they are not married....dang it!) too that were going to come with him so when he walked in the door I asked him where they were and he said they didn't come b/c they are "satanic." haha. It was funny too. It doesn't seem like he has the best relationship with his "wife." But he is awesome. We gave him a Book of Mormon in church and he started crying and saying how he just felt so good being there and how he could just feel so much peace. When you hear that from an investigator's mouth it makes the whole week's work worth it. So yeah he is a BALLeR but he is just not married so we have so see if they can get married, but I don't know if he is going to want to marry someone that he calls "satanic." So anyways we'll see what happens with that too.”

Also, today for P-day we went to a swap-meet / fair type place that sells all kinds of stuff for almost nothing, and I was violated. Elder Hinckley and I were walking and these two ladies were walking A GOOD DISTANCE behind us. Then we stopped to look at something, and one of the ladies ran right into me from behind and was like, “Oh sorry, excuse me, sorry, sorry, excuse me!” and as she “brushed” by me she grabbed a handful of my backside! She just walked away laughing. She must have been like 30 or so. I couldn’t believe it. I was in shock. It was the most random thing that has ever happened to me. I had been taken advantage of in a foreign country in a little bazaar that sells fake Nike shoes, and bootleg DVDs. Also, I saw that iron man 2 is coming out…anyway, back to the story. Well, that was the end of the story. Good thing I have an interview with President tomorrow, because I need to talk to someone to help me get over that traumatic experience. Well, love you all!!!!!

Elder Gilmore

Sunday, April 25, 2010


Baptism of Raquel

White Chocolate Easter Egg

Eating at Chinese Restaurant after Zone Leaders Conference

Elders Bunn, Gilmore, Hinckley, Klein and Lee

Sean, the Argentine

Monday, April 19, 2010

Parque Leloir- Week #95

The Traffic Wolf !!!!!!!!

Hey mom and dad and lacey and grandma and grandma,

No I did not know that the 18th of April was such a significant date in family history, but I did know that it was my 22 month mark! I only have one MTC stay left…heavy stuff dude. Just kidding I don’t say things like “dude” anymore…just sometimes. Haha, actually I was thinking the other day, after being with Elder Sabey for so long in the office, I now have the habit of saying “Elder” after every sentence. I will probably be calling all of you elder when I get home. Also, Mom that was a pretty awesome story you told me in the email, and I vaguely remembered it from when Grandma Sherry would tell us all about “Big Mama”, but it was a great refresher for the memory. That is a great family story we should write down or something. Glad to hear that things aren’t as rocky at home. I’m sure things will be fine.

Well, this week started kind of shaky, but ended on SUCH A HIGH NOTE!!!!!! First off, we had zone conference and our presentation of the Book of Mormon went well. Then I had divisions with Elder Heims from Reno, NV in his area, Ituzaingó 1. He is going to be such a good missionary. He is in his second transfer and already speaks really well. That reminds me that one time in divisions with Elder Gneiting from Las Vegas I was looking at his pictures and saw one of his family at Christmas time with the missionaries at their home, and wouldn’t you know it, Elder Naylor was smiling up at me in the picture. I think it was Christmas 2008, though. So anyway, another great moment this week was the 15th birthday party of the bishop’s daughter at the church. Here in Argentina, a girl’s 15th birthday is like sweet 16 in the States, so it was a pretty big deal. They invited us, but we had to leave almost right when it started because it was late. However, we did get to see a little bit of the culture and traditions of Argentina. So I guess it is like the girl’s social “coming out”/”becoming a woman” event. It was interesting. All the young men formed a line at the door, and each had a white rose in their hand…or teeth…haha but only the jokesters…and were waiting for her. Then the lights went dim when she arrived and a song she previously selected started to play. I was loving it. She picked “My Heart Will Go On.” PERFECT!!!! I love Celine. So Celine is just belting it and the girl walks into the room in her formal dress, escorted by her father. He lets go of her hand (symbolic?) and she walks down the line, accepts the rose from each muchacho and gives him a kiss…on the cheek. Then one of the boys dances her “First Waltz” with her, and then we had to leave so I don’t know any more of the traditions. I was just loving the titanic song though. Some of the young women made fun of me for knowing the words. They were just jealous they don’t understand Canadian.

So that was kind of fun. However, the best experiences of the week are always BAPTISMS!!!! Raquel del Transito Lobo entered into the healing waters of baptism and had her sins washed away. First off, her name is Rachel of the Traffic Wolf…I am not sure how someone gets so lucky to have such a sweet name, but she has the character to go with the name. She is awesome. I had the privilege of baptizing her. It was as always a great experience. We had practiced a few times before in her house, showing her how her hands should go, and practicing plugging her nose and everything. Haha, so we get into the water, and I say the prayer, and start to lower her down in the water. She plugged her nose like a champ, but then got really tense, and kind of resisted. She was fine though and went under, then I pulled her up and she kind of choked a little bit. She was laughing though, and said, “I was so focused on plugging my nose; I forgot to close my mouth.” HAHAHA it was so funny. Everybody laughed. She is going to make a great addition to the ward. She is really social, and makes everybody laugh. We have dinner with her on Wednesday, too. She is going to invite a friend as well, so she has already got the fever for the work! Elder Hinckley confirmed her the next day in Sacrament meeting, and she officially became a member of the Church. For the closing hymn we sang, “Called to Serve”, and she loved it! She couldn’t read it fast enough, but she got the chorus down by the fourth verse (there are four in Spanish) and was singing at the top of her lungs, which still wasn’t very loud haha. She is great! I love these people. I love that we connect so well regardless of language or nationality. I love my converts!

Well, that is all for this week. Also, for my birthday I think it would be best if you don’t send me anything and just save the money for when I get home. What would you send anyway that I would use for three weeks? Also, now that you don’t have other large expenses to pay for during the summer, I guess you can come pick me up, or have a Porsche waiting for me at the airport. Also, I have learned here on my mission that the material things aren’t what matter MOST in life. Haha ok just kidding. But I am serious about the birthday thing. I don’t really see a reason in sending me something three weeks before I get home. Love you all, have a great week, don’t buy stuff on Sunday.
Elder Gilmore

Monday, April 12, 2010

Parque Leloir- Week #94

Into the depths of eternal doctrine !!!!


Wow…ok that was interesting. Don’t worry; things will work out like they are supposed to. Stay faithful, and HONOR THE COVENANTS you have made, and see the promises of God fulfilled. He doesn’t promise something and then say, “Just kidding!” “I, the Lord, am bound when ye do what I say; but when ye do not what I say, ye have no promise.” Pretty simple if you ask me. Remember that the consequences of two principles are taught there: Obedience and Disobedience.

Sounds like you are doing well keeping me socially active on Facebook, Dad. Good job! No, I haven’t heard from anyone from my past life for months, but then again, when someone does write me, I am pretty bad at responding, so I’m not complaining. I figure I can answer them back in a couple of months. Also, did anyone realize that I call home again in less than a month? I am not sure how that happened. Other than that…I am not sure what else to write.

This week was pretty good. Elder Hinckley and I got a lot done, and we are pretty pumped for all the success we are seeing in our own area and the zone as a whole. Raquel is still doing great. She came to church this week and they had her stand up as her baptism was announced for this weekend, and she just started laughing and waved at everyone and said, “I’ll be there, and I’ll see you there.” The funny thing was she said it under her breath and no one could even hear her say it, so I started laughing. When we got to the chapel in the morning the power was out, so all the classes were in the dark, and there was no microphone during Sacrament Meeting…so that was interesting, but it was a good meeting anyway. Raquel really is a great lady. If we ever go over to her house around lunch or dinner time she automatically starts cooking for us. Sometimes we have to get creative to get out of it when we already have lunch appointments…or we just eat two lunches…mostly I am just always full. So everything is looking good for this weekend. Tomorrow we have zone conference in Ramos Mejia, and Elder Hinckley and I have to give our whateveryoucallitinEnglish on the Book of Mormon, and how to use it more effectively in the work. It should be good.

So Beatrice now has a baptismal date for May 1st, as well. I don’t know if I already told you that. She is more prepared that almost anyone I have met in Argentina. The only problem is that she smokes 40 cigarettes a day…haha but other than that she is good to go. This week I was on divisions in my area with Elder Marshall from Vernal, Utah, who is in his second transfer here, and we went by to teach Beatrice. Elder Hinckley and I had taught her Word of Wisdom two days before and she walked out and immediately told us that the day before she had only smoked 20, and she hadn’t even smoked her 10th that day. It was the late afternoon…so that is progress. It was a really funny/spiritual lesson for me though. (spiritual things are usually funny for me in the sense that they give me joy…and I laugh when I feel joy) We could see her understanding increase right before our eyes. She explained how she has looked for the true Church all her life, and that she has been to various, but never has found what she was looking for. She explained to us how her head is filled with a ton of different theories, and we need to break through it. So I got out my sledgehammer (Book of Mormon) and got to work. She had a bunch of questions about random doctrines and for every one we read a passage from The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ together. It really does answer every question. Beatrice proved it. So finally after one question she just looked at me and squinted at me…like saying in her look, “how in the world does this 20 year old kid know so much about religion?” I said to Elder Hinckley the other day, “You know, when you think about it, we really are some religious freaks. How many twenty year olds would choose to do this?” Anyway that is beside the point, back to the story. She then brought out the big guns. She said, “Ok, one more question?”

Me- “Sure.”

Beatrice- “This is the most messed up question of all that I have asked. I am sorry if it is too profound, and I don’t ask it to shake your faith, or make you doubt what you believe, but…what happens after death?” She then sighs and covers her face in her hands.

Me-First I chuckled, then I said, “Uh…we actually have a whole pamphlet that talks about that. Here it is.” I then handed her the pamphlet of the plan of salvation and read Alma 40 with her. I have never seen anybody’s eyes get so big. She loved it! I don’t think she thought we would have an answer. I learned that in primary…it was really interesting. So it was a great lesson, and she is progressing really well. Viviana is about the same. She is a great lady, but likes to pick and choose commandments that apply to her. So that is the update on my week here.

I love you all.

Elder Gilmore

Monday, April 5, 2010

Parque Leloir- Week #93

Conference Weekend makes me trunky....

Hey Family!!!

First off, HAPPY BIRTHDAY DAD!!!!!!!!!!!! WOW THE BIG 6-0!!!!!! Ha…ha…just kidding, I haven’t been in the mission THAT long. I hope your day tomorrow is a blast. Any plans? Work? No work? Alright my gift to you is…MY CLASS SCHEDULE!!!! It might be good for you to do it, since I can’t be getting on all the time. So here it is. Also, this is just a rough outline that I will probably be changing later when I have time, but for now these are what I am looking at. Some of them will be full already, but you just have to play the poaching game and check in randomly to see if someone has dropped it. Go ahead and sign up for the twins religion class, but not American heritage because I already took it. Why are we doing it at 9 in the morning, because the same guy does it at 10 as well…and then we could use that extra hour…more effectively…but whatever, 9 is ok with me I guess if they will wake me up? I already had a religion class planned but if is probably full already. We will see what I do. REL C 324 Instructor: Bott (supposedly like byu legend celebrity guy, it is already full because everyone signs up for him, but maybe if you keep checking you will find an opening somewhere) SPAN 321, ECON 110, MUSIC 113…and that is it. Obviously I will take something else, but I haven’t decided on a few classes so just try and get those ones for now, and I will figure the rest out. Tell Brett to sign up for the same Spanish class if he can and wants to. Maybe his schedule will conflict or something, you never know with those engineers. If you notice Dad, I have artfully created a schedule so that I don’t have to go to school on Friday. So never fear, even though I have been through two years of Refiner’s fire, there is still some kind of juvenile teenager in there somewhere. The pictures of the wedding were cool. Ebin looks like a stud in his shirt and tie!

So…CONFERENCE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Was that sweet or what!?! I loved all of it. Maybe a little harder to relate to considering that almost all of it was about teaching your children in the home. They were still great talks though. I am not sure how Elder Holland does it, but he always just GETS THE PEOPLE GOING!!!! I love it! Every six months I don’t get my hopes up because I think that he won’t be as fired up as last time, and then, BAM! It was funny and inspiring. I loved Priesthood session as well, especially Elder Rasband who told that great experience of how missionaries are called. President Monson of course was great. Did you hear that story he told about the girl in the Buenos Aires West mission whose brother passed away? She was in the MTC with me, was on the same plane as me to Argentina, and went home a few months ago. We were all in the room watching in English, and Hermana Benton (President and Hermana were there for some reason) was like, “He is talking about Hermana Gurr! That is her brother! That is our mission!” It was kind of surreal…kind of like I didn’t realize President Monson knew about our little mission down here. Obviously he does, but that was kind of the realization of it for me. It was also interesting for me because I was in the office when her brother passed away, and was the one who picked up the phone when her dad called with the news. That is so great that President Monson mentioned them in Conference. I loved President Uchtdorf’s on “can-food Mormons”, too.

There is a problem with that here, too. People look down on others too much. Most things don’t even matter when you think about it. Who cares if someone needs some help. There were so many good talks, I can’t remember all of them, but we had five investigators there so it was great. Viviana could only come to Saturday Morning, so at least she saw all the great mother daughter talks going on. Then we had Raquel there as well on Sunday Morning, and she absolutely LOVED it! When she walked out she shouted “¡¡¡¡¡¡hermosisimo!!!!!!” which is like saying “beautiful” but with a lot of emphasis. Then she looked at me, GRABBED my hand, squeezed hard and said, “THANK YOU FOR INVITING ME!!!!!!! IT WAS WONDERFUL!!!!” I almost couldn’t stifle the laughter erupting from inside of me. It was great. So that was a plus, and we are on track for her baptism the 17th of April. That is all the time I have this week, sorry it is short this week. Have a good birthday, Dad! Love you all!

Elder Gilmore