Monday, May 31, 2010

Parque Leloir- Week #101

Well family,

This week went really well for us here in Parque Leloir. The bicentennial thing was crazy. There was no one in the street on Tuesday. We walked into one house and they wouldn't let us talk because in downtown Capital they were putting on a huge artistic parade of the whole argentine history. I learned a lot at least. Also I watched Maradona live say that he was going to the obelisk naked if Argentina wins. Except he used some vulgar slang and everybody just thinks it is funny, and the doctor’s advice to the team is all in the news as well. Everyone is pumped about the Canada thrashing that occurred. I totally know who Gary Coleman is and we used to watch Different Strokes on Nick at Nite...also there is an Elder Gary Coleman in the Seventy. I already got some magnets. I got the Pringles. I bought Ebin and Rhainanainainain Messi jerseys for the Cup, but I don't have any idea if they are going to fit. I am actually not trunky, despite last week's email. A sister missionary at zone conference told me that it is a girl car, and she drove it before the mission, I told her she was just jealous that she doesn't go home until 2011. She apologized, and I accepted.

So, today Elder Hinton and I went golfing. It was really fun. We had to go onto an Air Force Base. It was intense, and we were going to take pictures, but were afraid that they would shoot us with their big guns. It looked almost exactly like Barksdale, except it is a lot easier to get into...haha...we just walked up and the 20 guards looked us up and down and asked what we were doing there. I said that we had heard there was a golf course nearby and asked if they knew where it was. They said, yeah it is on is open to the public? He was like, yeah just go down a few blocks and to the right. It was weird. Basically anybody could just say they wanted to play golf and get onto a national air force base. Luckily we really did just want to play golf, so we did, and I had a lot of fun. The course wasn't very good and it just rained a ton last week, so it was interesting, but served our purposes.

Tomorrow we are having our meeting with Elder Aidukaitis. I am kind of nervous, but it is going to be great. Right after the normal meeting, we are having a meeting with just him and the zone leaders. So this should be a really good week. Yesterday I was also pleased to baptize Leticia Rojas. It was a great service, and she looked so happy all day in church. We are hoping to baptize her parents as well before I leave, which would be great. We also have another date with a kid named Maxi who we just found two weeks ago, but already has come to church twice and wants to get baptized. He is 13, and understands everything! He should be getting baptized as well before I go home, so we are looking at some success to end my mission. I am kind of living in a surreal moment. It doesn't feel like I am leaving in 3 weeks, so I am not sad yet, but I guess it has to hit me sooner or later. I would prefer later than sooner, but it’s all good. I don't even know what to write anymore...I am doing great and will have more to say next week about the Elder Aidukaitis visit!!!

Love you bye

Monday, May 24, 2010

Happy 21st Birthday, Sean

This is the reason Sean is so excited in his letter today. He will get to drive it in 29 more days!

Parque Leloir- Week #100

My birthday is a national holiday!!!!

Hey family!

I think Elder Hinton's arm is bruised pretty badly from how many times I hit him in the arm from the pure excitement that was running through my body as I looked at the pics of my birthday present. Now just put some beautiful spiritual girl in the front seat that is willing to marry me, and I think I will be set for eternity. You outdid yourselves parents! Thank you! Also, I took some money out of my 1st national bank account. I don't think I will be taking any more out. Also, FELIZ DIA DE LA PATRIA!!! It is the 200 year anniversary tomorrow of the start of the revolution here in Argentina. Let’s just say it is a really big deal right now. So that mixed with world cup excitement is making the end of my mission pretty interesting. We just got back from the ward party they were throwing and it was pretty fun. I love this ward. I am blessed that it is my last ward. The members are just great. We had permission to play soccer with the members so I jumped in and showed them how I won a trip to Disneyland from my Dad. They also had an improv talent show where they pressured people to get up and sing something acapella. They obviously twisted our arms so we gave them a little show on the spot. They wanted to hear songs in English, so we sang My Heart Will Go On by Celine Dion to show them our range, and then Here Comes the Sun by the Beatles for some novelty. They were screaming for an encore. Everyone knew it was my birthday, and I got a ton of birthday wishes, so that was nice. President Benton called me to wish me a happy birthday, as well as the assistants, and then the secretaries called me and told me that Elder Sabey called them to call me and tell me happy birthday as well. So it has been a good day.

Yesterday wasn't the best day of my mission, but life goes on. The baptism didn't happen, but it will happen this week or the next. Everything was going perfectly. She passed her interview and everything, but on Sunday Andres showed up and said that the mom, Alicia, got mad at Leticia and so for punishment they went to a friend’s house instead of church so she couldn't get baptized. Juvenile? Yes, but what can you do? So we will be trying to work everything out so that Alicia calms down and realizes that this isn't a game. IT IS ETERNAL SALVATION!!!! Plus, Leticia is bomb! She already has started Personal Progress in Young Womens, and wrote a 5 minute talk on Faith without help that she is going to give. I think she is ready for baptism. So that is how that went. Other than that, the week went well.

We have 3 dates right now, so we are looking good for this last month. Oh yeah, really important news. Remember that story Dad always tells about his mission and the Member of the Seventy that visited his mission a couple weeks before he went home? Well, guess who is coming to our mission on June 1st? Elder Marcos A. Aidukaitis! Unlike Dad I will be sure to shave and put an extra glob of gel into my hair. I am really excited. What a great way to end my mission. Elder Hinton and I will have to give a small presentation for him on the zone and how we are doing. Uh...things are looking up? haha no just kidding we are doing well right now, so I am excited. I got all of Grandma's letters, and they made me smile because I could totally hear her voice as I read it. Tell Grandma Sherry not to worry. I am not judging her, and she is missed and loved and see you in a month and I love you and bye. All of that. Also, how big are Ebin and Rihahanahonohn, because if they are going to spend quality time with me it will be watching the World Cup and they will need Argentina jerseys. I am loving every minute of this time that I have in Argentina. I kind of wish I could start my mission over with the attitude I have at the end of it, because I have learned so much and come so far, but now it is ending, and I have to say goodbye. Ok well this is the most random email ever, but I couldn't help it. you ruined me with those pictures haha. but I am still working hard. Love you bye

Elder Sean Mazda 3 Gilmore

Monday, May 17, 2010

Parque Leloir- Week #99

Don't get trunky...

Hey Mom and Dad,

I got your package! Thank-you, and I already ate all the mango licorice…don’t send more…or the addiction might get worse. Well, today I am pretty trunky…we made the mistake of going to Jumbo today and there is a movie theater inside, where I saw the posters for all the cool movies coming out…next month…when I will be home…anyway, I also went to a sweet store and dropped some major cash on souvenirs. Elder Mackay wrote me and said he is engaged. I think he gets married in Newport in July. He wanted me to go, but we will see what is going on. Dad, my jersey has Messi on the back, and everyone is very displeased with “Diego”. They say he should go back to playing and give up the coaching bit. Elder Hinton and I had a great week. He is a pretty relaxed guy, and a big Beatles and Bob Dylan fan, which kind of sums him up in a nutshell. We are going to have a great transfer. I don’t see anything that will be a problem as far as getting along goes. Also, my grandson is Elder Shepherd from Las Vegas, who is from the same ward as Elder Gneiting (in my group), which is a ward Elder Naylor served in during Christmas of 2008…small world…also “Shepherd” is “Pastor” in Spanish…which is what we call all the missionaries going home, but with Brett, I’ll digest.

We had the zone leader’s conference on Friday, which was interesting, and my last one. Everything this transfer is going to be “my last one”. Sometimes that is exciting, but most times I don’t like it. Everything in the area is going well. I was honored to confirm Beatrice on Sunday, which she really enjoyed. It is really so amazing to have converts. Well, they are the Lord’s converts, but you know what I mean. After her baptism last week as she was walking out of the chapel she turned around just before leaving and said thank you again to Elder Hinckley and I, and said, “You two really are my angels sent from God.” No better feeling!!!! So we went by this week from Elder Hinton, and she was telling him about her conversion, and she said, “I didn’t want anything to do with religion a few months ago, and then he (points at me) just started to talk to me one day about religion in the street, and it all started making sense. So many times I wanted to argue or prove them wrong, but he is more convincing than a Nike salesman!” (That is an Argentine thing. Everyone sells fake nike socks here and they just keep bugging you until you buy them, so they say that like you can sell anything if you are better than the nike guys. Also I bought the nike socks once, they are nice.) I was just laughing the whole time, thinking of her weird random doubts she always had that we always answered with the Book of Mormon. So she got confirmed, and I felt really good after the confirmation, like I had really said what the Lord wanted me to say.

The Rojas family came as well, and they are still trying to get their papers together for their marriage. It is coming down to the wire. However, drumroll….their daughter Leticia is going to be baptized this Sunday!!! We walked in this week, and the first thing she said was, “This is going to be my third Sunday, so I am getting baptized, right?” RIGHT! I have a theory that the Lord makes it easier for the missionaries going home, or else we might say that this is too hard and we are going home soon anyway so we will just give up now. So my fear of not having a baptism my last transfer could be soothed by next week. It would be like a birthday baptism. My last day of being 20, I could be down in the water performing a saving ordinance, or Elder Hinton could. Alicia was completely fine, and she gets better every time we go see them. I think the influence of the Spirit is really chipping away at the bad influences in that family. Also, they feel really bad because we went by last week and while we were clapping at the gate, someone threw a huge rock at my head, and it whizzed past my ear…close one. I guess the neighbors make fun of them and stuff for going to church, but they are intent on staying in the Church. So a few more rocks to the head shouldn’t do too much damage in the long run. Well, that is it for this week. Elder Hinton and I are making some great birthday plans for next week, besides the baptism. I love you all!

Elder Gilmore

Monday, May 10, 2010

Parque Leloir- Week #98

Demon Kidney Stones and I'm a Grandpa !!!!!!!

Hey Family,

Well, I just got back from transfer meeting with my new companion,
Elder Carlton Royce Hinton. He is pretty cool, and my fears of having
an awful companion to end my mission have been put to rest. He has
lived in a few places: Utah, Idaho, California, Indiana…but his
parents are currently back in Lehi, Utah. This is his first transfer
as zone leader, and he goes home one transfer after me, so we are a
pretty old companionship. He went to BYU before the mission as well,
so we were there at the same time. Also, I just love his name.
Anyway, it was a great meeting! I am now officially a “pastor” which
is what we call the missionaries going home. Elder Sabey came in from his area as well because his companion got changed, so it was really fun catching up with him. Today is our last first day of the transfer…TRUNKY!!!!! Anyway, President, during his message had all of us in our last transfer stand up, and exhorted us to give it all we have. We are 16 in our group, and we have 1 AP, 1 Branch President,
10 ZLs, and 4 DLs. So everyone is a leader, and pretty much the whole
face of the mission is going to change when we go home. There hasn’t ever been such a loaded group. The mission is really young right now, too. So President had us stand up, and said that we are the best of the best, and that the mission needs us right now to teach the missionaries and prepare them for leadership positions. I can’t really express it well in writing, but in short it was like an
inspiring war speech. Kind of like in the Lord of the Rings when
Aragorn gives his pep talk to the small army of men about to take on
the orc forces of Mordor, and in essence, all the forces of evil. It
sent chills up my spine. I am a leader in this mission. People are
counting on me to act, and to succeed. I have never really felt the
pressure like that until after the meeting. This is my last transfer
to leave it all on the table, leave it all in the street, and give it
my all for my missionaries and for the Lord. It has definitely
heightened my sense of dependence on the Lord. President really
inspired me to sprint to the finish and work until my last minute in
the field.

So in other news, I also got my flight plans. How do they expect me
to be a focused machine when they throw trunky stuff like that around
in front of my face? So I get into Billings on the 22nd at 12:37 or
something like that. I go from Buenos Aires to Atlanta to Salt Lake
to Billings….fun fun fun. But I guess I will suffer it if I have to.
Obviously the best news I have to give is that my hijo, Elder Latorre,
is training this transfer!!!!! My posterity continues in magnificent
glory!!!! I am a grandpa!!!!! So the Gilmore curse really HAS been
broken, Dad, and I will meet my grandson before I die. That was about it for transfer meeting.

So I already told you the story about Beatrice. For the rest of the
family I will quickly tell what happened. Beatrice was baptized on
Sunday, but not in our chapel. We got to the chapel in the morning
for PEC meeting and Bishop said that there was no water, because the
pipe was cut or something like that…for the record it is hard to have
a baptism without water. So we kind of sit there dumbfounded and ask what we could do. He just looked at us and said, “Call another
building! Tell them to fill the font! We are going to baptize
somebody today!” It was kind of dramatic. So we knew that the
Hermanas in Ituzaingó 4 had baptisms so we called Hna. López and Hna. Hobbs to see if we could crash their service and baptize someone as well. Obviously it was fine, so after sacrament meeting a fleet of members took us all over to the other chapel to perform the baptism and everything turned out great.

The Rojas family came as well, but unfortunately Alicia, the mom, is
crazy…haha. We think she might be possessed, because something is not right with her. In the middle of Sacrament meeting she got up
screaming, “God help me!!!! It hurts!!!!! It hurts!!!!!” over and
over again. Then she started crying, and trying to make her way to
the door. A hermana tried to help her and was supporting her to the
door when all of a sudden she just passed out and hit the floor face
first! It was crazy!!!! I don’t know why I didn’t remember to tell
you on the phone. This was all when the deacons were passing the
water around during the Sacrament. So she obviously gets swarmed by
members wanting to help, but she is out cold! I thought she literally
died. After about 30 seconds she came to and they helped her out
where an ambulance came to check her out. The cause? Elder Hinckley
and I say a demon…the medics said kidney stones. Either way, it was
an interesting experience.

Well, that is all the time I have for this week! Here goes nothing!
6 weeks left…

Elder Gilmore

Monday, May 3, 2010

Parque Leloir- Week #97

Go Team Win !

Hey Team,

I just got back from another fun zone activity. We played volleyball
and soccer. I have a love-hate relationship with competition. In
some of those matches my heart was beating so hard, and I think I was
a little too into it. It was definitely a surreal experience as well,
because I was watching everybody play, and I came to the realization
that this is all about to end for me. I am not trying to be sappy or
poetic or anything, but it was a weird feeling. With the cool
breeze blowing wistfully through my crusted gelled hair, I realized
that I have one zone activity left. Obviously I am so excited to be
with my buddies again in BYU, but I have some good friends here as
well, and it might be hard leaving. Oh well, I have time still before
I have to fully come to terms with the whole thing. Speaking of BYU
buddies, I have gotten letters from Brett, Joseph, Zach Smith, and
Brenden Abbot, and I just wanted to say that I love them, but I will
not be writing back…haha…I don’t see the point. I’ll see them soon.
I never was good at keeping in touch. As for Kyle, he has only
written me once my whole mission like a year ago…but then again I have
only written him once, so it’s all good. We are lucky that we can
email, or else I probably would never write home. Transfers are next
week, and I will probably be getting my last companion of my mission.
It could be anybody.

So I have also learned to not have any idea what to expect when I
open my emails. Send pictures of the wedding I guess? I just have no
idea what is happening at home, or with anyone in the family. Talk to
you on Sunday! That went by quick. Don’t worry, Dad, I wrote down
the number haha. Anyway, enough of that kind of talk.

So my interview with President was SO GOOD!!!! First of all, he gave
me the trunky questions to think about for my last interview. He
talked a lot about my first year back from my mission, and how to set
good goals for my life so I can progress. I can tell you more about
it on the phone. What else…….

I can’t think of anything to write about…oh…the investigators…we are
doing really well right now in Parque Leloir. We have a few potential
baptisms for next transfer. La Familia Rojas that I wrote about last
week all came to church this week, even the “satanic” ones. They went
today to go get a date for their marriage at the…civil register? I
have no idea how to say that in English. Courthouse? Anyway, I just
hope that the calendar is open and the county gives them a day before
I go home. Bryan’s parents got their date for a month and a half
later…so if the Rojas family got one for a month and a half later it
would be my last week. That would be awesome. They are progressing a
lot right now, and the ward has just totally surrounded them and made
them feel welcome. Andres, the dad, loves it, and now refers to the
ward as “our family”, or “our church”, instead of “your church”. He
includes himself in it. It is great to hear. We also have a
potential baptism for this weekend. Beatrice! I don’t know if I ever
told you about her, but she went to General Conference by herself, and
was smoking 40 cigs a day. She is the one that we have seen so much
progress with using the Book of Mormon. Last Monday she smoked her
last one, and she hasn’t touched them since. So she has one week down
and one to go. I think she can make it. The only downside was that
the addiction is unleashing fury on her body. She has a horrible
cough, and she had to leave church early, because her blood pressure
shot up at a rapid rate? And she couldn’t walk without almost falling
over. That is at least what the Hermana Vera said, and she is a
nurse. So hopefully it wasn’t like a bad experience for her that
causes her to have doubts about her baptism. Carlos has completely
disappeared! They had to check his wife into the hospital and he
hasn’t been in his house for a week, so we have no idea what is going
on with him. Other than that, we are pressing forward. I just want
to do my best, and show the Lord that I am not letting up, and
whatever else happens doesn’t matter much. He will take care of

So that is about it for this week. If I forgot something ask me on
Sunday. Elder Hinckley will be calling around 5-6 my time and I will
go after him, so yeah just be by the phone I guess. Love ya bye

Elder Gilmore

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Zone Leader Conference Photo

Here is a picture of the Zone Leaders at a recent Zone Leader Conference in Buenos Aires West. Sean is in the second row, third from the right (just at Sister Benton's left) with blue suit and burgundy, blue and black striped tie. You can click on the picture to enlarge it.