Monday, July 26, 2010

¡Volví a Fiorito!

Dear Family and Friends,

Hope you all enjoyed your Pioneer Day weekend and have made a good start on another great week! I can hardly believe that it is the last week of transfers again and in a little over 2 weeks I will complete 1 year in the mission! Crazy how the time flies. I am hoping to have another transfer with Elder Gundestrup but he has been in the zone since January so it´s pretty likely he will be transfered.

This week was pretty exciting. I spent Tuesday afternoon and night as well as half the day Wednesday working in my first area in Fiorito on intercambios with Elder Connolley. It was crazy to see all the familiar places. Not much has really changed in the last 7 months that I was away. We were lucky enough to have the assignment of passing out invitations for Branch Conference, so it was fun to get to see and visit with a lot of the members and actually be able to talk with and understand them! We also passed by several families I had taught when I was there but they weren´t home. :(

Thursday morning we got to go do service for some members, which is always a nice change of pace and they fed us lunch. :) In the afternoon my companion was sick in bed so I was able to make some good progress on my Book of Mormon reading and finished it the next day! My testimony is strengthened each day that I read from it and there is always so much more to learn! I have also begun to study Preach My Gospel again from the beginning and am always excited to be learning and improving myself and my abilities to be a more effective instrument in the Lord´s hands.

Anyways, sorry this is short. My comp is already out the door.... Hope you all have a great week!

Les amo
Elder Ian Wheelhouse

Monday, July 19, 2010

Nuevo Pres. Stapley

Dear family and friends,

Another cold rainy week and as always I am rushed to write this and get back to my area to go to work! With the rain the last couple days we have discovered some new holes in the roof of our pension and I got a nice cold shower this morning while I was cooking my oatmeal in the kitchen. Luckily it hasn´t rained enough to flood the streets, but from what I have heard the city I am in (Lomas de Zamora) is famous in Argentina for their flooded streets.

The highlight of this week was definitely our Zone Conference Tuesday morning with Pres. Stapley. Before the meeting started he and his wife went around to each missionary from the 4 zones that were there (40-50 missionaries) and briefly got to know us! Embarassing story... his wife got to me before he did and asked me what my name was, which i thought was odd since we all wear name tags. I must have had a really confused look on my face because she didn´t give me too long to react before she asked "where is your plack elder?" Then I realized I had taken my coat off with my name tag still on it. I guess I should consider myself lucky to have her notice before President! They are great people and his wife actually speaks really good spanish and I imagine will learn quickily seeing as she already speaks 2 other languages besides english (one being portugues helps too).

There were several great messages shared and all of Pres Stapleys presentations were very business man like (HE was the CEO of Deseret Mutual for 12 years or so). He gave us 2 spider web charts... the 5 focuses of the mission and the 5 principles to be more effective missionaries. (Maybe you´ve already seen them dad in La Estrella). He also commited us all to read 2 Nephi 31 five times during the week and that the principles in that chapter are what we need to improve as a mission. Very inspired and inspiring message! There were also some interesting changes made... such as Zone Conferences and Interviews will now be held once every 3 months instead of once a transfer cycle. Also the first presidency wants us to be focusing even more in Preach My Gospel and they have come up with 8 new Workshops for missionaries to apply the principles taught in the book that we will be doing in Zone meetings, District meetings etc.

Overall it was great getting to know Pres. y Hna Stapley a little bit and I am looking forward to the many things that I will be able to learn from both of them!
Anyways other than that it´s been a pretty normal week! Hope you are enjoying the busy summer and keeping nice and warm for me!

Les amo,
Elder Wheelhouse

Monday, July 12, 2010

¡11 meces en las misión!

Hello family and friends,

Another cold week here in Argentina with several small (thankfully) rain storms. We are thinking of moving our study desk into our bedroom because it is the only warm room in our pension and the rest of the rooms are somehow colder than it is outside. Still haven´t brought myself to buy gloves, a beanie, or a scarf... because it still hasn´t gotten "that cold". I suppose I am better off being prepared than finding myself without when that day comes.

This week we actually had a service activity... it´s been way too long! I always try to offer to help with stuff but usually people just turn it down. We didn´t have a lot of time to help (a little over an hour before lunch) but we were able to get quite a bit done helping them get a couple rooms in their house ready to paint. All that experience from working at home helped pay off and it felt good that I actually knew what I was doing!

This Sunday Norma came to church again (the one that came with her friend last week). She was actually a little angry because we didn´t show up for our cita... but here is what happened. She lives in an apartment building in our area on the 8th floor. Apartment buildings here are always locked, so you have to ring a bell/intercom thing at the building entrance to have them unlock the door for you. We showed up to the cita on time and with a member y rang the bell several times with no answer. We even went by her friends house to get her phone number but she wasn´t home either. So we ended up just going on with our day assuming that she wasn´t home and forgot about our cita. Luckily she was understanding and so we got her phone number and hopefully we won´t have the same problem again!

This week was also Independence Day here... but I was suprised they didn´t really do anything to celebrate. Just another day to get off work and relax and drink mate. Luckily the World Cup is now officially over so the work should pick up a bit this week! ¡Aguante España! The people here seem pretty content that at least a spanish speaking country won. Also everyone was impressed by "el pulpo" in Germany that guessed so many games right. (I dont know if you´ve heard much about that in the states but it´s BIG NEWS here)

Anyways, short email this week but it was good to hear from all of you and looking forward to hearing from you again next week! Should have some news about our new mission president and I´m looking forward to meeting him tomorrow at Zone Conference!

¡Les amo!
Elder Wheelhouse

Monday, July 5, 2010

FW: ¡Feliz 9 de Julio!

Dear family and friends,

Hope you all enjoyed a fantastic 4th of July and all the festivities that come with it! This week Argentina also celebrates 200 years of independence from Spain on the 9th of July. Somehow I think the celebration just won´t be quite the same. The people of Argentina are very prideful of their country, but patriotic... not exactly. I could sure go for a nice firework show and a good american barbeque right now!

Weather wise this past week has actually been very warm, to the point that I had to dig out my short sleeve shirts. A couple overcast days but luckily no rain. (The streets in our area flood really bad when it rains, i´m sure I will get some pictures of it at some point.) I must say the weather here is just as unpredictable as Utah. It´s looking like it will be a pretty mild winter!

Pres. Asay has been home for almost a week now, and Pres. Stapley won´t get here until Thursday due to visa problems. Next week we will be the first zone to have Zone Conference with the new President, so I´m looking forward to getting to know him.

Pretty interesting weekend with Argentina getting eliminated from the World Cup by Germany 4-0. As you can imagine the people were not very happy, and there was much weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth. Luckily the drunk people were nice enough to ask us if we were Germans, being American just happened to save my life this week! We still had some people yell some pretty nasty stuff at us in English... which makes me think that a lot of the people here think that Germans speak English. I have no doubt the Lord watches over and protects us here each day and I´m grateful for your prayers in our behalf!

We have had some successes in the work this week. One day working in the richer part of our area we were walking down the street and we saw a really cool japanese carving in the door. We decided to "clap it" and talked with an elderly lady who said she had a dream of 2 young men coming to her house to talk to her about God. She has a lot of questions and we are looking forward to meeting with her again this Wednesday. Also this Sunday we had the all to rare occurance of a member actually bringing a friend to church!! (I still don´t know all the members so I had no idea she was even there at first). Luckily another member pointed her out to us and we were able to talk to her and had a great lesson with her on Prayer in Sunday School. We gave her her own Book of Mormon to use during the class which she was pretty excited about, and set a cita to go meet with her and her daughter this Friday. She has already made some other friends in the church as well who offered to come with us to the cita!

In my personal study on Wednesday I started reading through a fresh paperback copy of the Book of Mormon and marking all the names and references of Jesus Christ. From the very first page to the beginning of Mosiah I have only found 1 page that didn´t have a single one. It has really opened my eyes to realize that the book really contains the words of God as given to his prophets, and that they were obedient in writing the things that HE taught them although they didn´t always understand the reason. I have gained a strong testimony and love for the Book of Mormon and hope to continue to "master" it throughout my mission and throughout my life.

Hope you all have a great week!

Les amo
Elder Ian Wheelhouse


Hey family and friends. I am alive and doing well. We just had a crazy day yesterday and weren't able to make it to do internet before it was time to go out to work, so i have just a minute right now to let you all know nothing happened! I love my new area! It is a mix of really rich and really poor areas, but the people are super friendly and its nice having lunch citas every day! And no we weren't really dying of hunger in my last area, Elder McClurg is just getting used to the new meal schedule of eating a somewhat big lunch and then not having dinner... after being accustomed to having food whenever he wanted in the Provo mission. Everyone goes through it, just a little bit bigger adjustment for him. My new companion is awesome! We are having fun in our pension of 4 elders. The other companionship is a brand new elder and his companion is a district leader in our zone. Our pension is HUGE and very dirty (We will see what i can do about that) and luckily our bedroom is the warmest room in the whole place. :) The rest of the pension is very cold, usually colder than it is outside... The last 2 days we have had activities in Lanus, and on the bus ride there we pass through Fiorito, so it was pretty crazy passing by all the places where I used to work! Looking forward to doing intercambios with my district leader in that area and being able to pass by some of those families now that I can actually talk to them. :) Anyways, I was really hoping to write more and to send some pictures home this week but I guess it will have to wait again. I love you all!

Les amo
Elder Ian Wheelhouse