30 August 2010

Well what a week, what a week! I´m not going to lie it was a pretty down week. Everything seemed to work against us. We had a planned baptism this weekend but it feel through because Juan Pablo´s family is giving him no support. He is so cool but also he wants to wait because he told us he feels like he is going at this alone, just with us.   He told us that we are his only friends right now. Another investigator Lida who is awesome too just finished up her studying for a job at the hospital and she is starting to work on Sundays! Then all our people that we taught this week are not progressing too. It seems like a dry two weeks. It is really hard right now but just gotta keep going. Time to tear is up this week and find new people and work hard.

This pench (apartment) is great, we are working hard and had a great lunch today hah. We ate at a restaurant and had some good food!!! I took a picture it was so good. 

The owner always greets us we walk by, and he gives us discounts too hah. My companion is Elder Cruz, I am sure I told you that and he is from Mendosa, Argentina.  We have a native in our pench. The pench is still a 4 man pench (Elder Kupihea, Elder Gonzalez from Paraguay, and Elder Cruz.  It is soo fun hah but we work hard too. We cleaned the pench today too, it was pretty dirty haha. But don't worry it's all good now. Today we are going to play futbol with the young men in the ward in about 30 minutes and then rest a bit then get back to work. What more, the weather is perfect right now, somedays it gets pretty hot but the normal is 15 degrees CÂș.  The Villa is going good, it´s still a shocker seing how poor people are here but at the same time I love working in there because it is humble and the people are real. But they still have that mentality of living in a free area. The people in the Villa are pretty rough and live a hard life, a lot of cholos too. This might be my last 2 weeks in this area!! I am sad because I love these people and it is my first area. I was born here!

Well that is about it. A rough week but another week ahead to work hard. I got the package from the ward! Love it, got the notes from the kids. Tell them I said thanks!

I love you guys and always look forward from hearing from you every week. I can´t believe McKenna starts middle school today. Wish her luck from me and I know she will be fine. I want to know how she likes it and how different it is from elementary school hah.

Love you guys,

Elder Shepherd

part 2

Walking in the villa at sunset is pretty amazing too. There is always Reggeatone playing and kids in the street. I love it when the kids come up to you because they know you are the Elders. Well time to work hard!

23 August 2010

Hey, how's it going in Las Vegas?

Another week right? Wow time is flying by.. It is almost the end of Agosto?! Well this week has been a pretty good week, we definitely worked hard. We found a lot of new people to teach but only one came to church this Sunday! Talk about a week killer! We call Sundays, game days because you work so hard during the week and Sunday is the big day to see the people come to church. It is so hard though in the area for people to come to church though. Everyone has to survive and work on Sundays here, let alone the Iglesia is really far away. It is so hard to see people want to change their lives but have to work on Sundays... If I had one wish in this world it would be that the Ferria ¨Flea Market¨ is not on Sunday!! The area here is pretty populated with Bolivians so they are all working in the fabricas doing their thing then they go to a huge ferria Sunday to sell what they made. Everyone puts Addidas or Nike on a shirt and somehow that makes it legit haha.

We had a killer lesson with Lida this week with our relief society president. Lida is such a baller, she is from Peru and has the cutest daughter hah. She actually walked all the way to church with the kid and loved church! I told her it was the same in my city too and she was like  ¨ wow I love it ¨ especially for her daughter too. This next sunday we are cooking breakfast for her American Style haha and her sister wants to come too. We are going to invite the 19 year old daughter too. Still waiting for her to get interested.. she sits in with the lessons when she is home but really only wants to learn English from me hah. I´m going to get her to church.

This week we are going to blow the doors down and find a lot of new people. We have people to teach now but they are not progressing. It is just not their time yet.. its hard to say that because I want them so badly to find the gospel in their lives but just gotta keep trying.

So I got my haircut! It´s a Curt Whitaker buzz haha, yeah I got it short all the way around. The weather is starting to heat up so its nice. The weather is perfect but its humid so sometimes it gets too hot. Its crazy how last week was freezing and now its perfect. All I am missing is the beach! The pench is going great, we are having a lot of fun too hah. Somehow we are all talking castellano 24/7 but with a Brazilian accent as a joke hah. Just another week in Argetina.. I love it here. I am seriously getting lost in the work. All I can focus is bringing people to church, it is still hard as ever. Somedays you just want to get back to the pench but somehow the next day has something little that makes it all better. I love being here in the streets too, the kids playing futbol in the dirt fields or the enviroment here. Most of the area is really poor and rough but there are amazing people here. I still cannot I am walking in the streets of Buenos Aires speaking Castellano hah. Unreal!!

Well thats all I can think of right now hah, so much happens in a week. Just one thing to know. I love these people!!

Love you guys too back in the States!

Elder Shepherd

Marcella, me, Santiago, and Elizabeth (first convert family)
Boca Stadium

16 August 2010

It was great getting the email from you guys. Sounds like summer is going really well. Everyone is growing up!! It's crazy. It´s hard to think that I have been here for 5 months ya. Matt's heading off to the MTC? He is going to love it too. I had a great time at the MTC. McKenna is growing up so fast? Tell her to stop, she will be in Young Womens in no time. Yes I did receive everything in the birthday packages and everything is going great!  Thank you everyone for the birthday email and gifts.

Wow so a birthday week with the best ward in South America! haha. Where am I able to start? The ward is awesome and everyone remembered my birthday somehow.  I received a Torta from a couple of members and Hma. Cisneros gave me a birthday present! Everyone did something for me when we had lunch with them or just stopped by for a visit. I love this ward, everyone here are studs! One member wants to take me to Boca´s Stadium on a p-day for a trip or something.

Hermana Cisneros and her son

This week had been a hard working week but at the end of the week, no one was able to come to church! We had 10 people commit but every single one of them had something come up. Plus it was freezing so that did not help at all! We got up early to take people to the church but everyone we stopped to pick up was not able to come. Man, the hour of walking around and getting the bad new was killer. We worked so hard this week to find the people and to have them progress but at the end of the week it felt like it all went down the drain. It only makes me want to work harder this week! I´m so ready to bust the doors down and get people in the church! I wish the church was closer but you have to work with what you've got. It was still a great week though.  The members and recent converts are all awesome and are my family here. Everyone did something special for me hah, even the kids. I had some birthday dinners too. I´ll have to send the pictures another time, still waiting for the complete set of pictures to send you guys of the birthday week.

Well off to another hard working week. I just want people to come to church! They are so ready but it is just so hard for them. We found an awesome family in the Villa, we have a bunch of awesome ready people too! I´ll have stories about everyone when I have the chance to write about them but there are just too many people and I can´t write it in an email!

McKenna, I translated the email you sent to Marcella.  She is going to write you something this week.  Still waiting for the hard copy but it should come tomorrow, I hope.

What more?

The ward is awesome, I am everyone's son here hah. Everyone is taking care of us and tonight we have a Family Night with the ward, so I´ll have some more pictures to send next week. We have to do the lesson and games! I might even get my haircut by a teenager in the ward with his buzzer, who knows haha.

Well off to a week of success.

Take care everyone back home and keep it real!

Elder Shepherd

City of Buenos Aires in background

Cooking at our pench, in my In 'n Out hat mom sent me for my birthday.

Alley behind our pench

09 August 2010

Happy Birthday Elder Shepherd!!!!

Well, here I am in Argentina on my birthday.... emailing! Ha ha!  Thanks for all the emails and wishes for the birthday. I got the fotos and they look awesome. Thanks family! I am lucky my birthday falls on a Pday.  So today we ran to Walmart and now we are emailing. When we get back to the pench we are going to cook some Hawaiian food with the help of Chef/Elder Kupihea!  He´s going to hook me up he said.  We're going to have a mini party, as missionaries do hah.  I got the packages about two weeks ago and they were in good shape so thank you!

Tell Soda to have fun in Kiev, Ukraine.. wow that's pretty sweet. Summer is coming to an end, eh? Have a good last trip to Newport for me. I´ll be freezing my buns off but it's all good, haha.

Well this week has been really hard. We worked soo hard, but at the end of the week the people just weren't able to make it. We found an awesome complete family in the Villa and they said they have been waiting for a message like this. They weren't able to make it to church, but that just makes me want to work harder to bring that one family to church. The members in the barrio all want me over for my birthday haha. I've got to spread this out so it will be a birthday week! Nah, all I want is for my investigators to come to church! Best birthday present ever. It was a hard week but when you look back I had some great moments especially with the members and investigators and just being here in Argentina. I still can´t believe I am here. It´s feeling like home now but not Home Home, hah.

So I have been working hard with Elder Cruz. I´m leading the Area again and I´m doing so much work.  I got a call from President this morning wishing me happy birthday and he told me I´m leading the area for a reason.  He cried a bit when he talked with me.  President is such a sentimental man.  I love that man. He told me to work hard because you are a natural leader. He also told me Reese was one of the best missionaries he has ever seen. Make sure to tell Reese that. I've got some big shoes to try to and fill (but in my own way)!

Well, it is off to another week. I can´t wait to work hard and find the people that are ready for the Gospel. Even if it is hard, you have to go through the hard times to really appreciate that one person you can share the gospel with.

Well thank you everyone for all the birthday wishes and everything. It´s great hearing from all you guys! Sorry the email is so spread out. I´m super tired and ready to enjoy the 2 hours I have left of my birthday.

Love you guys so much!
Elder Shepherd or  ¨Sheffy" as the kids say it ¨´

Self explanatory
District Meeting without a companion
Real athletic creativity!
Yum, Pizza Time with Elder Kupihea!!!

Making empanadas at Flia Caranza's house
Elders Shepherd, Pickett, Kupihea

02 August 2010

Hey family!

How is everyone doing? I am here emailing right now and it is the beginning of a new transfer. I have a new companion!  His name is Elder Cruz and he is from Mendoza Argentina and can barely speak English, so it's time to talk Castellano 24/7. It will be hard but will be a blessing too.  First impressions are good but he is really shy and quiet but we´ll see what the week brings. It is a new start to the translado(6 weeks) so I´m ready to go work hard and start off the week well!

It has been an interesting week no?! A lot of changes but now I´m back on schedule but I still have to teach my companion the area again so it is a bit stressful. I've never been so tired in my life. The mission really wears you down. I understand now why they say.. You´ll never know what tired is until you go on your mission, hah.

This past week has been really fun. Elder Pickett was a fun companion to be with for the short time we were together. We had a lot of fun in the Pench and I have pictures to send you guys next week and don´t worry mom I'll be in the pictures!! We taught a lot of lessons and I´m learning everyday. It feels like I am climbing a mountain with the mission but you have to take it one step at a time. Castellano is coming along hah, slowly but I'm still amazed I can speak Castellano, what a blessing!

We have a promising tranfer ahead of us. Juan Pablo is on his way to being baptized. Tonight we are going to set a date for his baptism next week. We have a couple more investigators too. Lida and Elizabeth. Both are mothers from Peru living here in Argentina. They are so awesome and they are teaching me ¨Quechua¨ and I´m helping them with their english haha. They want to come to church and are really interested in the church and even have dates for their baptisms, but they dont know their work schedule. They get a call a couple of hours before and they have to go. This is what happened with them this week. They were not able to make it to church but she said they are going to go next week. Church is so hard for people because it is so far away and people aren't priviledged with a car here. It really is the bottleneck in this area. Without asistences, you cannot progress. So we are trying our hardest to bring them to church.

Well that's about it, just looking forward to this week. We had the transfer meeting today and it reminded me of 6 weeks ago with Reese. I wonder how he is back home in the world hah. I miss you guys and hope all is well. My birthday is in one week. I can´t believe it!! Miss you guys so much.

Elder Shepherd