Monday, January 25, 2010

Nice Haircut Kyle!

¡Buenos dias hermanos y hermanas!

I figured that hearing (and seeing) that Kyle got a haircut was news worthy of being the subject of my weekly email, so asi es [so it is]. It looks nice Kyle and I'm sure it feels nice too. It's always great to hear from you (mom and dad) each week and hearing what everybody is up to. Kristen I hope you have a great birthday this week and hopefully you get your card in the mail if you haven't already... We had a pretty good week here and are continuing to enjoy the sun and the sand here in Santa Teresita!

This week I had my first big missionary vs dog experience. When we are riding our bikes down the street there are always dogs EVERYWHERE, and for the most part they are all really tranquilo [mellow], but then there are also those that for some reason enjoy chasing anything that is moving quickly down the street. For the most part when these dogs chase you they just bark and follow you really closely and don't do anything, but this week I had a dog that actually wanted to eat my leg. Luckily it only bit into my shoe but it ripped a seam by my heel before I was able to kick it (it was probably really entertaining to watch as you can imagine).

This week I also had a great experience with prayer in finding something that I had lost. We were working one day in an area pretty far from our pension, riding our bikes all day in the sand all over the place. When we arrived at one of our investigator's houses I realized something didn't feel right and that my Missionary Manual was missing out of my back pocket... my missionary manual that had a copy of my Passport, all the mission phone numbers and information, and 87 pesos inside [about $23]. When we got back to the pension I was pretty bummed because I basically didn't have any more mission money for the month to use to buy food etc, and also it would be a hassle to get a new one. We made plans the next day to pass by the area where we were working to visit some investigators and to see if my mission manual was still in the street somewhere and prayed that I would be able to find it. We ended up not being able to go because we had to work in a different area and had a service project that lasted longer than we thought it would. The next day I realized that I probably would never find it again, when I noticed that we had a voice message on our cell phone. I called my companion over to make sure at least he understood what the person was saying, when to my suprise the message was from a man speaking almost perfect english saying that he had come across my mission manual. We called the number back and it turns out that it was the man who was the Translator for David A Bednar when he came to speak to us, and that his son who is here in Santa Teresita for vacation came across my mission manual when he was walking in the street one day... with all my money and everything still inside. We met up with his son and I got my mission manual back! :) I was very grateful and I know Our Heavenly Father is aware of us and our needs and listens to and answers our prayers.

That's about all the exciting news from me for this week. I love you all and hope you have a fantastic week and stay warm! I wish I could share a little bit of sun with you!

Les quiero Mucho,

Elder Ian Wheelhouse

Monday, January 18, 2010

¡Hace Calor! (It's Hot!)

Buenos Dias family and friends!

Another beautiful week in Santa Teresita! It actually rained one day this week for about 2 hours, which was actually nice because the sand is a lot easier to bike on when it´s a little wet. :) Hope you have all had a good week and are enjoying some snow?

Almost every week the people here change because one group of tourists leave, and the next day a whole new group arrives. It´s very difficult to find people to teach sometimes because either they are tourists and only here for a week or so, or they are residents and work all day long because there are so many tourists. Apparently in March things slow down as all the tourists go home, so hopefully I´ll be around to witness that change. (Also we can go to the beach in the winter to play frisbee or volleyball for Pday! :))

Also this week I was introduced to a new flavor of empanada that I have never had before. For those of you who don´t know, Empanadas are basically an Argentine hot pocket. Bready stuff on the outside, and meat, eggs, cheese, basically whatever you want inside. They are DELICIOUS. But here in Santa Teresita there is a place that makes a special Hawaiian Empanada with Ham and Cheese and Pineapple! Let´s just say we have made several orders this last week to have some delivered to our pension at night, great snack! :)

This week we had some success finding some new investigators, including some who were old investigators in different parts of the country who are excited to be in contact with the missionaries again (always a good sign). We had several new investigators in church yesterday, and hopefully we´ll see a baptism or 2 before the transfer is over! Doing contacts is never really fun here, and we are always looking for special opportunities to do a contact rather than clapping houses (even though we do plenty of that). Saturday we were clapping houses on a street when we saw a lady out in front of the pasillo [alley?] where she lives picking up her garbage that had spilled. My companion didn't see her, so I told him that we needed to go help her pick up the garbage. We had a good chat with her and asked if we could pass by one day to talk with her family, she accepted, and also told us that she had a neighbor that had been meeting with the missionaries before. Long story short, that neighbor also had another neighbor, and we now have 3 people in this pasillo to teach all from one small act of service! It was something very small but strengthened my testimony that the Lord is preparing people and directing us to them in small and simple ways.

Yesterday I also had the opportunity to speak in Sacrament meeting again. I found out that I was going to speak on Friday morning... through my companion... through the ward mission leader... basically it was a little weird not hearing it from someone in the bishopric, but he told me that I needed to speak about Missionary work for 5-10 min. I figured it would be a piece of cake. I prepared my talk the next day and finished it up Sunday morning before church, and when we got to church I was informed that I was one of only 2 speakers and that I would be the last speaker in charge of filling the rest of the time. After some last minute preparation and lots of praying, it was my turn to speak, and I was able to speak and fill the remaining time. I felt very calm and grateful that the Lord listened to my prayers and blessed me with his Spirit to be able to speak in this moment of need.

I hope you all have a fantastic week and I am excited to here from you again next week! Thank you for your prayers in behalf of Elder Gonzales and I and for missionary work in general!

¡Les Quiero Mucho!

Elder Wheelhouse

Monday, January 11, 2010

Hello family and friends!

Wow so much has happened in the last 2 weeks or so and I feel very behind! = I hope you all had a happy New Years and a happy birthday Mom! ...and to answer your questions, Elder Spence is still in Fiorito with his 3rd companion in the area, this will be his 5th transfer there.

Here in Santa Teresita I was surprised to find out that we don’t really have any investigators that are progressing very well, so we’ve got lots of work to do! It is a big area (Mar de Ajo is part of our area as well) but luckily we have bikes.... bikes that work great on concrete! Here in Santa Teresita almost all the streets are sand, which makes it very difficult to get around at times, but I’m getting a lot of very good excercise!

Our pension in Santa Teresita is a lot nicer than the one in Fiorito. If you want to look it up on Google earth it is on Calle 4 between Calles 43 y 44 (Directions are very easy here because all the streets are numbered!) We aren’t allowed to go within 3 blocks of the beach unless we have an appointment with someone because apparently people prefer to walk around without clothes in this area sometimes.

Elder Gonzales is a hard worker and I am learning a lot from him (especially Spanish!) Sometimes it is difficult to understand everything he is saying and to be able to respond with what I want to say, but we get along pretty well! He wants to learn english so he can be a translator for General Conference someday, so I am trying to help him out with learning some english when we are in the pension. At least 3 times a day he asks me if we can listen to music on my picture frame. I am getting a lot more practice with Elder Gonzales teaching during lessons and doing contacts, hopefully it will continue to get easier and easier to do.

The weather is PERFECT here. The sun is always shining and even though it gets a little hot and humid sometimes there is always a nice ocean breeze! There are some great members in the branch here and we have an awesome mission leader. This last Sunday I got to bear my testimony in Sacrament meeting as a "welcome to the ward" and also played the piano in Priesthood meeting. The Church was very full because apparently there are a lot of members that are here for vacation.

Recently in my Personal Study I have started reading the New Testament and I’m in the book of Luke right now. It’s amazing to read the accounts of the life of our Savior and the amazing things he did and the example he set for each one of us! Every day I find things that I can improve in my own life to become more like him.

Thank you for your letters and support and I hope you all have a fantastic week!

Les Quiero Mucho!

Elder Ian Wheelhouse

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Hola from Santa Teresita!

Hello family and friends!

Sorry I wasn´t able to write yesterday, and today I really don’t have any time. I just wanted to let you know about some changes. I had my first transfer yesterday and I am now in the area that every missionary in the mission dreams of going to... the COAST! I had an "Other Side of Heaven" experience getting down here because I had to go catch a bus on my own to get down here. Luckily my zone leader and his companion as well as my new companion were there at the bus station waiting for me when I arrived after the 6 hour trip. My new companion Elder Gonzales is from Peru and I am very excited to get to know him better and learn from him. Our pension is about 4 blocks from the beach... I haven’t really seen much of our area yet, but what I have seen it is Beautiful! Very different from Fiorito! It was sad leaving behind all the people in Fiorito but we got to pass by and say goodbye to most of them and exchange contact information etc. Anyways, that’s all I have time for for now so until next week!


Elder Ian Wheelhouse