Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Monday, December 22nd and 29th, 2014

Monday, December 29, 2014

It was so awesome to see you guys this week! I am super happy to see that most of you were happy to see me and miss me. Ha ha, the week ended pretty good with about only one hour of rain and a lot of sun and humidity. We are drinking a whole mess of water.

This week we had 3 investigators in church and one of them has a baptismal date. We also found a new investigator yesterday who is super awesome! We taught the first lesson and then gave her a Book of Mormon to read and she said that she will read it because she loves to read. Then I told her that If she wanted to, she could read it in one day, she said that she wouldn´t, but maybe in 2 days! Ha ha, she´s awesome and super interested in our church. We also had a few less active families come to church so we were super pumped about that. Then on Saturday we started to play soccer in the evening with members and investigators. So we had to leave early to travel to the apartment and so we left Elder Smith´s ball so the others could keep playing. Then the next day in church they told us that some punks stole his ball... It was sad because it was the first time we played with it. Oh well, asi es la misión.

So tomorrow we get to go to the Temple in Buenos Aires as a mission so I am super excited about that. It will also be super hot that day so I´m hoping that we will be in the temple most of the day. Then Wednesday there is supposed to be a crazy thunderstorm so that will be fun!

Well, Have a Happy New Year!

Elder Giles

Monday, December 22, 2014

 So my comp has a recorder device, so I recorded my weekly letter there. So we decided to skype at 5 our time which is 12 o´clock your time, so I hope everyone is there. everything is going good and I am still in Marcos Paz and I got a new comp. It is starting to get super hot but it still rains every week, more specifically on Saturdays and Sundays, so not many people go to church but it cools everything down which is nice. I also called the mission offices and they said that my package wasn´t there yet so that´s a bummer. Hopefully I can get it soon!

Have a great week!

Elder Giles

Monday, December 15, 2014

December 15th, 2014

We had an ok week. We are working hard but not having too much luck finding new people to teach but we are trying. There is one member in our ward who helps us a bunch in bringing her friends to family home evenings so that´s going awesome because her friends love it! This week we will start some of them on the lessons so that they can learn more about what we believe and they are super interested. We hope everything goes well and we will continue working a lot with them.

Anyways, it is getting super hot down here but we are lucky to have a lot of rainstorms to cool things off every now and then, but the humidity is not helping at all once the sun comes out again. I sweat so much everyday and my shirts get nasty pretty quick, but we keep trucking along anyways.

So the 17th (this Wednesday) is Transfer day and also P-day Navideño or Christmas P-day so we will spend most of the day there with all of the mission and have lunch and hang out and stuff like that. I also heard that they give us our Christmas packages that day so we will see then! Then on the 30th of December we will go to the Temple as a mission so I am super pumped for that too! So we will skype on Christmas day but I don´t know what time yet because I don´t know what will happen at transfers. I will see what our member says but I will shoot for late morning-early afternoon in California which would be in the evening here so we will see.

Have a great week!

Elder Giles

Monday, December 8, 2014

December 8th, 2014

This week was super duper hot and it is expected to get even hotter! On Saturday it hit 36 degrees Celsius and the peak during the summer is supposed to be 40-45 degrees so I am not looking forward to that. Also I heard that the rain storms in summer are some of the strongest and worst and it didn´t rain that much in winter so we are expecting a lot of rain storms.

I found out some cool stuff this week. There is a member family that we visit and the father, who died about 13 years ago, served a mission in Cordoba I think, and so the daughter was showing us photos and I saw a picture of Bishop Bramwell! I wasn´t sure it was him because I couldn´t read his plaque but it looked exactly like him! Could you ask what mission he served in and if he knows an Elder Sanchez. His family would like to get in contact!

Then I was talking to one of the new missionaries in the zone and he said that he visa waited in the Camarillo stake but in Oxnard. His name is Elder Ward and he said that he worked with Brother Sawyer while he was there. Small world, huh? Ha ha, and then something funny: the streets here are mainly dirt and on either side there is a small ditch for the gutter and one day we were walking by some kids with home made fishing rods and they were looking at these ditches that were full of water. And one of them pulled out a foot-long eel! It was weird.

This week is the last week of the transfers and the 17th is Christmas p-day so we are super pumped to finish the transfer right!

Have a great week!
Elder Giles

Marcos Paz is in the middle of nowhere
This is a photo of the baptism we had this past week end! Her name is Candelaria, the rest is her less active family that we are working with to activate.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

December 1. 2014


 So we had one cool experience this week. Friday morning we decided to go and find new investigators, so before we started knocking we said a prayer. Then the whole time I felt guided by the Spirit talking to a bunch of people until we found one guy and we had a lesson about the Restoration with him. It was awesome and good to practice following the spirit.

So Flash transfers happen because something happened in an area and there needs to be a quick change and this can happen for many circumstances. My first flash many months ago was because they closed my area because there weren´t enough missionaries in the mission. My second flash like 2 months ago was because my comp had to go back to the offices to train the next secretary, so I needed to be moved because there weren´t enough missionaries to fill in. And now this past flash was because of things that happened in the area that I am in now and nothing to do with me. Don´t worry, I have not done anything wrong or been disobedient in order to be moved. President has had his eye on me to see how I´m doing and when he could move me up to Senior comp because I have been junior comp all my mission until now. He told me in his letter to me today that the Lord put me here for a reason so that I can bless the lives of the people here. I have been thinking about why I have had so many changes and I think that the Lord and President trust me enough to put me in these situations because I am SUPER patient and I just do what I need to do. So don´t worry, I havn´t done anything bad. In this past Flash, Elder Ritchie stayed in Rivadavia and I switched places with the Elder that was here. I am with Elder Steck who is from Ephraim, Utah and has 7 months in his mission.

Thanks for the package and I hope that it gets here!

Have a great week!
Elder Giles

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

letters from November 17 and 24

Letter from November 24th:

So some crazy stuff has happened this week. On Wednesday we had a zone conference with President where he told us about the awesome new program the the church is doing for Christmas to help people remember the real reason we celebrate Christmas. It launches 28th of November and it will be a huge part of missionary work for December! Then on Thursday we had a flash transfer! I got moved to Marcos Paz 2 and I am working with Elder Steck who is from Ephraim, Utah. I was super sad when that happened because this week was going to be super awesome in Rivadavia, but now I will miss it. At least I can go back to our baptism on Saturday so that`s good. Marcos Paz is basically out in the middle of nowhere because it is surrounded by fields and fields and we have to take the bus everyday to our area from the apartment. The area is basically the opposite of my last area in many ways but it will be good to work here. Last week the elders baptized a family of four after not having a baptism in the ward for 8 months. We also have two more people that will be baptized in December so we are super pumped and ready to work to find more.

I know that the Church is true and that Jesus Christ lives and continues to lead and guide his church through his leaders and the prophet. I love the work, even though it is hard. I hope you have a great week!
Elder Giles

Letter from November 17th:

I don´t have much time so I will talk quickly about what I learned from our meeting with Elder Christofferson on Saturday. He shared a scripture in D&C 6:9 where it says that the Lord commanded us to only preach repentance. It was a little confusing at first but then he explained that repentance is only possible because Jesus Christ Atoned for us. So really when we preach repentance, we preach about our Savior and how we can find happiness in our lives through him. Another thing that he talked about that I liked was in 2 Nephi 25:23 about that if we do all of our part, the Lord will will make up the rest through his grace and mercy and we will be able to be saved and reach the Celestial kingdom.

I know the Church is true and that only through the grace and mercy of God that we can be saved, but we also have to do all we can to keep his commandments and help other do the same.
Have a great week!
Elder Giles
Elder Ritchie and I. Our last day together as comps

These are pictures of a few weeks ago when it rained a LOT! We called our area "Lake Rivadavia"

Monday, November 10, 2014

November 10th, 2014


This week was pretty good but the heat started again so that´s a bummer. It also means more allergies... Whoo! Ha ha.

This week was pretty normal. We did a lot of visiting less active members and trying to find new people to teach. Our investigator, Miriam, is progressing very well for her baptism at the end of November and this week we had a super good lesson with a member that came with us. Miriam was super happy to meet more members. She has also come to church for the past 2 weeks and she loves it a lot! There were also transfers this week and Elder Ritchie and I will be working together until December. Also some exciting news: On Saturday Elder Christofferson will be coming to speak here in Argentina so all the Buenos Aries Missions will be going to the BA North mission to listen to him. Also on Monday the 24th we are planning to do a Thanksgiving dinner with the ward. Elder Ritchie and I are going to do a presentation before the dinner and then we will eat a bunch of food. They don´t have turkey here and if they can find it, it is really expensive so we are going to do chicken instead. So could you send me some information about the roots of Thanksgiving, like where/when it started and stuff like that and that would be great! Argentina doesn´t celebrate Thanksgiving so we want to show them a little bit of what we do in the USA.

Have a great Week!

Elder Giles

So Elder Ritchie and I are asking/looking for members to help us out on Christmas day but on the 17th of December is another transfer meeting and we are hoping that none of us will get transferred that day so we can enjoy Christmas here with the members that we already know, but we´ll see. Hopefully none of us gets transferred.

That is super cool that you all got to do the Ragnar! It sounds like so much fun! We will definitely have to do it when I get back! Did everyone have to run a leg by themselves and how long was each part they had to run?

Thanks for putting the package together! I´m pretty sure that when a package gets dropped off at the mission home that they take it to the mission offices so there I can pick it up. I think I am good on stuff right now, Thanks!

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

November 3, 2014


The week was pretty cool and filled with rain but it was really good. We are teaching a Mother who has a baptismal date for the end of November. We are working with the daughter, who is a member, to activate her and at the same time teaching her mom and helping her progress towards her baptism. They also came to church on Sunday and they liked it a lot and we are super excited for them! Also we played Soccer on Saturday in which we had some new boys come and play and the cool thing about it is that we invited all of them to come to church the next day and one of them came! He also lives a few houses down from the church so its easy for him to go and we plan on teaching him and his family on Thursday. We also had a bunch of less actives come to church again so our work is starting to pay off a little bit.

There is another cool thing that I forgot to mention earlier that in this area there are more fields and open spaces and at night there are fireflies everywhere and it is the coolest thing to see them.

Also thanks for sharing the song with me! It is a really good one!

Thanks for all your help and we will see each other again next week!

I know the Savior lives and that he loves each and everyone of us and that we are all special to him.

Elder Giles

Monday, October 27, 2014

October 27th, 2014

So this week was super hot. It is nice in the morning and at night but it just burns throughout the day so we are doing our best to have lessons and be inside as much as possible. The worst is that no matter what we do we are just sweating all the time. It´s really gross. But we keep pushing on.

This week we had some cool experiences. On Tuesday we had a good lesson with a part member family about the Restoration of the Church. The mother is a less active member and her sons are not members and in their 20s and her daughter has a baptismal date for the 22nd of November. So we started the lesson by asking if they had read the Book of Mormon since the last time we met and they said they hadn´t but the mother expressed to us that she thought that  only the Bible was the word of God and that the Book of Mormon was basically a knock-off. So we talked about prophets and the priesthood authority and that there is an order to Christ´s church. They all enjoyed the lesson and then at the end one of her sons said the closing prayer without us inviting him to. It was a spiritual lesson and they are all happy to continue to keep meeting with us.

Then on Saturday we went to visit an investigator who we had given a Book of Mormon to and all we did was invite her to read it. So for the past two weeks she has been reading it and loving it. She told us that every time she feels sad or mad or just can´t sleep, she opens to any page and starts to read and doesn´t stop until she calms down or feels tired. It was really surprising and so we talked a little bit more about the book and invited her to church. She didn´t come this week but we hope that she will come the next.

Sunday was really good too because My companion and I spoke in sacrament meeting about visiting and fellow shipping the less active members and also a bunch of less actives that we and a few members have been working with came to church. So we are happy that these families are starting to realize the blessings that come from the Gospel

We are doing a lot of Family home evenings in our ward with investigators and members so could you send me some ideas of fun examples or games to play. It would help a lot!

I know that Church is true and that the Book of Mormon is a True book. I love going and teaching people and helping them feel the spirit and realize that their Heavenly Father Loves them and that there are blessings and comfort that come through following the example of our Savior, Jesus Christ.

Have a great week!
Elder Giles

Last week on Saturday we had a baptism in the ward! His name is Nahuel and is 10 years old. The elders had taught him for a while but recently he decided he wanted to get baptized. He is awesome and understands the gospel really well.

Last week on Monday we had a zone activity in Castelar! We did a bunch of "minute to win it" games. The one that I sent was a game were you had to place the m&m´s on top of the straws while sucking through another straw to put them on there. It was pretty fun!

this picture is out of our front window. It´s a nice day but SUPER hot.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

October 20th, 2014


This week was pretty good! My companion and I are doing great and getting a long just fine! We are heading into summer right now so I wish that our apartment was a little bit cooler. The days are nice and sunny so I`m starting to get my tan back even though it is only on my face and arms... We are staying safe. This area is one of the more safer parts and the missionaries have worked here for a long time so the people know us and respect us but we still try to take precautions and walk in safer areas and roads.

So this week we decided to focus more on getting to know the less- actives in the ward. We went to visit one family on Tuesday night and we talked a little but about the basic things they should do everyday like praying, reading, and going to church. Then I asked the husband if he had prayed to know if the church was true. He told us that he did and also how he got his answer. He said that a few years ago he was praying to get his answer and that he wanted to know and feel and touch that the church was true. So he said that one day he was coming back from work on his bike through some fields and that he saw a piece of scrap that he wanted to take home. Then he went into the back of his house and pulled out a huge sign that said: "La Iglesia de Jesucristo de los Santos do los Ultimos Dias." It was an old wooden-like sign from an old church building. It was probably one of the coolest ways to get an answer to prayer and that Heavenly Father answers our prayers exactly.

Then on Saturday we had another baptism! His name is Nahuel and he is the son of a member family  who the missionaries have taught for some time but just recently wanted to get baptized! The primary president wanted to do a special musical number for the baptism so I had to play the piano and my companion had to sing with some other members. I had practiced the song all week and I could play it pretty good, but when the time came to play for the baptism, I choked and messed up really bad... it was terrible. But there is always next time! Ha ha.

Have a great week
Elder Giles

Monday, October 13, 2014

October 13, 2014


This week was pretty good! We focused a lot on finding new people to teach and getting to know a lot of the members, both active and inactive. We did a lot of door clapping and contacting referrals and so forth but we didn`t find much during the week. On Tuesday our zone had interviews with President in Castelar. Then on Thursday it rained super hard in the early morning with heavy thunder and lightning so our plans for finding new investigators that day all fell through. We walked around in the mud for about 3 or 4 hours and didn´t find anyone nor teach a lesson, but at the end of the day we started knocking doors and the first one we knocked, the husband let us in and we taught his family about the Restoration of the Church. It was a miracle. Then Friday we had a lesson with both of our investigators with baptismal dates, one of which will be baptized this Saturday and the other will be baptized on the 1st of November. We are super excited and they are awesome. Then on Saturday we played soccer in the evening with a bunch of investigators. The only thing that was that great was that not many members showed up. I guess we have to push more people to go next week.

The ward has warmed up to us very nicely and they are super excited to do family home evenings with us. In fact, we have one tonight and the family we are doing it with has invited their friends, so it will be pretty fun. If you have any ideas for fun family home evening activities or fun examples about certain principles, could you send me some because my comp and I don´t have that many.

We have not seen the Meet the Mormons video and I don´t know if we will be able to see it...

Thanks for the safety tips and prayers! They are working!

Christmas List: (in order of most importance)
New pair of proselyting shoes. Missionary Shoe would be fine
Garments 3-4 pairs
Ties. 4-5
Skittles! :D
I don´t know how big the package is going to be so start from the top of the list and put in what you can! Thanks!

Have a great week!
Elder Giles

This is our apartment! It is super small with two rooms and a sweet spiral staircase!

We made an American breakfast today with a part member family! We made Pancakes, eggs, bacon, and sausage. We tried to do hash browns but that failed miserably so we dumped that idea. They said it was good!

Monday, October 6, 2014

October 6th, 2014

October 6th, 2014

So this week was pretty exciting. Elder Bartold had left last Monday so Elder Lee and I worked hard until Thursday when he got a call from President Robertson that he will have to go work in the offices again because the current secretary was having back problems, so the next day, Friday, he went to the offices, and I got transferred out and our area would be closed again. So Friday I got sent to Rivadavia in the Castelar Stake with Elder Ritchie! He has been working in the area for only a week. This is the third time that I have been sent to an area where my companion and I hardly know anything. So it is another great opportunity to learn and grow.

Then on Saturday and Sunday we watched General Conference at a member`s house in English and we also brought investigators to watch it too! It was awesome and they really enjoyed it. It was interesting that they had the General Authorities speak in their native language! So I got to listen to the voices of the English translators, which was cool. Did you have subtitles or did someone speak over and translate? I like Elder Joerg Klebingat`s talk and Elder Bednar`s talk. Elder Joerg Klebingat talked about 6 things that we should focus on during our life and it helps me understand and point out things that I need to work on. Then in Elder Bednar`s talk I liked when he said that we invite people to learn about the Gospel in order to enlarge and expand people`s knowledge and beliefs and not to change their or destroy them.

I have had some really good experiences with the Spirit this week in teaching and testifying of the power of the Atonement and that we can all be forgiven. We went to visit a less active member and talk with him a little bit about why he doesn`t go to church and stuff like that when I got the impression to ask him about how he is doing in keeping the commandments. So I told him that the only way to resolve his doubts about the church was to go and talk with the bishop to help him. When I said this the Spirit struck me in a way that I had never felt before and I am pretty sure he felt it too. It was like as it is described in the scriptures: like a javelin that pierces the heart. Then I continued on saying that through repentance and the Atonement, he can truly be happy.

I know that the Spirit of the Lord is in all of us and that if we focus on helping others and reaching out to meet their needs, He will tell us exactly what to say

Have a Great Week!

Elder Giles

Monday, September 29, 2014

September 29th, 2014


This week was really interesting! We had transfers on Wednesday and I got transferred out again! My comp and I both thought that I was going to stay and finally be senior comp but I got put into a trio instead. I am now in Parque San Martin in Merlo with Elder Lee and Elder Bartold who are both from Utah. Elder Lee has about 19 months in his mission and Elder Bartold only has about 2 months. We live in a really small apartment with 2 other elders: Elder Washburn and Elder Pribyl. So this is my first time with another companionship in the apartment, companions that are North Americans, and we basically only speak English now in the apartment which kinda stinks. I miss Latinos...

So this week we didn`t have time to do very much because after the transfer meeting we had to go to the Dotcor`s office to get Elder Bartold`s x-rays. His knee has been hurting him ever since he got to Argentina and we found out that his meniscus is gone in his right knee and that he has to go home to get surgery. So as of tonight, we will be back to the normal 2 which is sad because the trio was super fun. But we did a good amount of walking and meeting members and our progressing investigators. We also had some good lessons with them and they have plans to be baptized in October so we are super excited! I also had to give a talk in church on Sunday. For the first time I didn´t feel super duper nervous giving a talk and they told me that it went really well. I talked about missionary work and how important members are in fellow shipping and sharing the gospel to friends. The members liked it and one or two came up to us and gave us references, so that was cool. It is finally starting to warm up! But it also rained a ton on Sunday and we are looking forward to working a lot this next week.

Have a great Week!

Elder Giles

Elders Lee, Washburn, Pribyl ,Giles and Bartold

Monday, September 22, 2014

September 22, 2014


It´s so good to hear that more from our ward are going on missions! I´m also happy that Cassidy got her first medal! That´s so cool that they changed the course and that she got to run under the lights. The Woodbridge Invitational is one of the funnest races! I'm glad that everyone is busy.

This week is a lot warmer and I am finally starting to get back my farmer´s tan! The days are really sunny and perfect for proselyting. This week we had a cool experience. On Tuesday we decided to contact some referrals we got from playing soccer on Friday and we ended up finding two new families to teach! It was a different experience clapping these houses because we already had their trust so it was a little easier to enter in their house and teach. We a good lesson about the Restoration of the Church and gave him a Book of Mormon and he said he will read it! We also did some service for a member family Saturday night shoveling dirt and at one point during the night a car stopped in the street in front of the house, a man got out of his car and said to us: "Tengo que sacar un foto. Esto es la primera vez que he visto alguien cargando tierra en camisa y corbata!" Then he left. It was pretty funny. (translation: "I have to take a picture, this is the first time I've seen someone shoveling dirt in a shirt and tie!")

Any ways we have transfers in 2 days so we will see if my companion will go or we will work together for another 6 weeks

Have a great week!

Elder Giles

Monday, September 15, 2014

Sept. 15th, 2014


Ha ha, it´s so good to hear that the missionaries are finally baptizing in our ward! That´s so cool! I´m glad you went to the baptism because Marcia needs a lot of friendly hands to keep her active.

This week was pretty cool and Elder Navarrete and I are pretty active in the ward. On Friday I had to teach seminary. It was a little hard because I am not the most enthusiastic person and I´m learning Spanish so, yeah. There are only about 6 students and the class was a little boring, but I did it and it was a good learning experience. Also, every Friday about 40 young men come and play soccer at the church so Elder Navarrete and I go and play a little bit and then ask for the address from the players. Last Friday we had a few lessons with some and we got about 20 references so that was cool. This week we are going to contact them and their families! Then Saturday was the Mormon helping hands project in which our ward painted the play sets and walls of a pre-school and also the doors of another elementary school. It was fun and I got paint all over my hands and most of the ward participated. I don´t have many pictures because my camera died :( My comp and I are in charge of mutual too so we played soccer with the young men after the service activity. The leader for the youth in the ward is not very pro-active in having activities for the youth and my comp didn´t like that so we do mutual with the missionaries every Saturday!

This week we also focused more on finding new people to teach, so on Tuesday we dedicated the whole day to finding new people and following the guidance of the Holy Ghost. We found one lady who´s name is Gladys. She met the missionaries about 21 years ago in Formosa, a province in the north part of Argentina, and has listened to them for all this time but was never baptized. So when we knocked on her door she came out looking like she already knew us. We thought it was a little odd because we didn´t know her so we asked if she was a member of the church. She said no, but said that she had taken the lessons for quite some time. She is our miracle for this month because she really wants to be baptized and is excited to go to church and keep all of the commandments!

I know that the Lord answers our prayers and that if we learn to follow the promptings of the spirit, we will find miracles where ever we go!

Have a great week!

Elder Giles

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

September 8th, 2014

It´s good to hear that you all are super busy! We are busy too! We have so many people to visit that the time doesn´t allow us to visit all of them, especially this week because Elder Walter F. Gonzalez, The Area Seventy and President of the area South America South, came and spoke to us on Wednesday when he took a tour of our mission. It was really cool to have him speak to us and share his insights in how we can be better missionaries. One part that he stressed a lot in his talk was about the Book of Mormon. The Book of Mormon is what makes our church different form all other churches and it is the only way we can know if the Church of Jesus Christ is the true church. Another thing is that in the Intro to the Book of Mormon it has the testimony of Joseph Smith that the Book of Mormon is the most correct book on the earth and is the key to our religion, and Elder Gonzalez mentioned that it is the most correct book because Jesus Christ himself proofread it when he visited the Americas! Ha ha, I thought that was pretty interesting.

I learned a lot from the talk from Elder Gonzalez about teaching a testifying about the Book of Mormon. Elder Navarrete and I have set a goal to teach from and talk more about the Book Of Mormon and I have definitely felt a difference in the week. I have felt more of the presence of the Holy Ghost in our lessons. Also, we started giving Books of Mormon to all of our investigators so that they can read it and discover for themselves and not us just talking the whole time. I have not seen any results from our efforts so far but I have faith that next week we will see more miracles as we continue to share the Book of Mormon!

The weather this week was pretty wet, it rained for basically the whole week so we have to trudge through mud to get to all of our lessons. But it´s fun! we are teaching a lot of people, especially a part-member family and all that are not members have baptismal dates for the 27th of September and went to church yesterday, so we are super excited for them! We also found about 5 new investigators yesterday so we have high hopes for more baptisms in October. we are teaching about 3 families continually throughout the weeks and they are progressing well! I will have to take and send pictures of them sometime.

My companion and I are doing great! My companion is really fun and is teaching me how to talk like people in Chile. It´s pretty funny. I am learning so much from him about Spanish and also how to be a better missionary.

Have a great week!

Elder Giles

There is a giant mate cup in our area!

My companion found a skateboard when we were running one morning and he decided to do something creative with it.

Monday, September 1, 2014

September 1st, 2014

Last week I got a cold with a runny nose for 3 days straight (it was terrible) so one of our investigators told me that the best remedy was to put a cup of water on my head.... So I did it, and I felt so much better!

Elder Navarrete and I in the apartment after playing soccer!

 My new soccer ball!

These are pictures of a little bit of our area outside of the apartment. It´s really only houses and small stores and whatnot. I will take more fotos of our area this week.

 This is basically what the rest of my area looks like: a bunch of fields and dirt roads with little groups of houses. Our area is pretty big so we do A LOT of walking.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

August 25th, 2014

Thanks for the chocolate chip cookie recipe! Now I just have to find the ingredients!

We have explored almost all of our area and it is very large because most of it is fields. I will try and take pictures this week so we will see how that goes. Spanish is coming along REALLY well. Everyone tells me that my Spanish is good even though the only reference they have is an elder who recently has finished training (one of the elders before us was from Utah). I am comfortable with speaking Spanish and I love teaching and talking with everyone. Elder Navarrete ( my companion) likes to speak English so I help him improve his English and he helps we with my Spanish. For meals, we eat with members for lunch everyday (except P-day) and occasionally we will have dinner. Dinner in Argentina is usually around 9 but when members invite us to eat dinner with them, it is usually around 7 or 8 because we have to be in the apartment at 9. When we don´t have dinner, we have a little snack in the apartment because there isn't much time for anything. In Santos Lugares and here in Pontevedra the members wash our clothes! It makes my life a little easier. In winter it was really easy to keep my clothes clean because I could wear a sweater and I didn´t sweat as much, but now that we are entering summer, it will be a little harder. Yes, I have emailed Elder Penaia for a few weeks and he is feeling a lot better and is so thankful for your support and in sending him stuff in Arizona. He is training a new missionary right now and is having a lot of fun with it!

Another thing about the weather. This week was super hot Monday through Friday, then Saturday it cooled off a little bit and then Sunday it hailed and then rained super hard and then the sun came out. Today it is super windy and cold. The weather in Argentina is crazy.

Have a great week!

Le Amo!
Elder Giles

Saturday, August 23, 2014

August 18th, 2014


We had transfers this week and I got moved to a city called Pontevedra with Elder Navarrete! We were transferred in an "event" that´s called a "white wash" where they take out both of the Elders in one area and put two new ones so my companion and I don´t know anything about our new area. So this past week we were getting to know members and some investigators. This area is completely different than my last area. In Santos Lugares the city was paved, clean and small and the people had a lot nicer houses, but here in Pontevedra, the only paved streets are in the city center and the main highways and the rest are dirt roads. The city isn´t the cleanest and the people are a lot more humble, but I am not complaining. I feel a lot more humble here and a lot more excited to work and teach and serve as much as I can. My companion is Elder Navarrete from Chile and he has 20 months in the mission. He has been all over the mission and the cool thing is that I met him in my last zone so the transition was a little easier. He and I are super excited to be working in our new area!

Could you send me a recipe for chocolate chip cookies? I have been dying to bake some...

I will send pictures next week!

Le Amo!
Elder Giles

Monday, August 11, 2014

August 11th, 2014


Wow! Summer is already over? That was really fast! I bet the summer was great for you all and that you had a great time enjoying the sun and warmth and rest! I am glad that everyone is doing great and are active in doing stuff! Is Summer still there with you guys and did she find a job?

Argentina continues to be cold, but we press on with the work. This week went by pretty quick. On Saturday we went and helped out in another city called Villa Tesei where they had an Open Chapel. It was like a mini tour where people went and learned about the different organizations and about the church and stuff and my companion and I where in charge of doing contacts in the street and bringing people in. We did a lot of contacting and inviting and a good amount of people went.

Then yesterday we did divisions with two members from the ward because we had a lot of people we wanted to visit. It was really good for me because I had to basically do everything solo and it helped me gain more confidence in myself. This is something that I have been lacking but yesterday helped me realize that I can do it!

Have a great week!

Le Amo!
Elder Giles

 We went to the Cathedral Lourdes again today and this time the top part was open so we took pictures up there too!

Monday, August 4, 2014

August 4th, 2014


Last week was pretty good! We had a Zone activity on Monday and divisions on Wednesday and Thursday with the Zone Leaders.In the Zone Activity we ate lunch at the Peruvian Restaurant a block away from the church, played soccer, and played a game like charades. It was hilarious.

Then we had divisions with the Zone Leaders and I went to their area in Villa Tesei. It was really good because I was with Elder Collins from Wyoming and I learned a lot from him. It was also a little difficult because we, being native English speakers, don´t understand everything that the people say and our Spanish isn´t the best so some of the people had a hard time understanding us. But it was awesome because we found a bunch of new people to teach and I got to practice my teaching skills.

There was also a big change in the mission. President did away with a bunch of the rules for all of the missionaries and many aspects of proselyting. In effect, he gave us less rules to follow, which is good for some and bad for others. However, it shows that he trusts us a lot, which is pretty awesome.

Summer finally started creeping in this week with warmer weather, but winter is not giving up without a fight so it is expected to drop a little this next week.

Have a great week!
Le Amo
Elder Giles

playing charades with the zone

playing charades with the zone

enjoying Orea cookies with Elder Collins

Monday, July 28, 2014

July 28th, 2014

Everything is going great! The weather is getting a little colder and we haven´t had that much rain. I think it only rained on Monday and a little on Tuesday but we are expecting more this next week. Sunday was really cold in the morning and then warmed up with the sun.

My companion and I are getting along great! We haven´t had any problems and we are working hard to find and teach a lot of good people!
On Saturday we had three baptisms: Maria ( in the middle), Abril (left), and Jesus (right)!!! Marcos is their little brother and he is only 6 years so we couldn´t baptize him even though he really wanted to! I baptized Abril, Elder Cañari baptized Jesus and... Julian baptised Maria! It was great! We had a lot of members attend and we are so happy for them!

I did my first confirmation yesterday! I was pretty nervous, but not as bad as my first blessing a few months ago. It is so good to use my priesthood a little more! My companion and I also do a good amount of blessings of health, and after church one Sunday a family asked us to give a blessing to their youngest child and the father asked me to do the sealing and blessing. I am getting a little better now that my Spanish has improved a lot but, still, it´s difficult.
Just wanted to share something quick and if you have any ideas how to improve, they would be welcome!

Les Amos, Elder Giles!

Monday, July 21, 2014

July 21, 2014

Last month we were looking for new people to teach by contacting people in the street and knocking doors. We contacted one woman who was coming our way, we talked for a few minutes, and then my companion suggested that we go to her house to teach her and her family. She accepted and we taught her and her kids. The next week we meet the father of the family and had a powerful lesson about how the gospel blesses families and we set a baptismal date for everyone in the family! We taught the family for four more weeks and she and her kids came to church every week and they are going to be baptized next week! This family moved here in my area about 3 months ago and me and my companion have been working here for about a month and a half. There have been missionaries here for many years and they could have moved here anytime and other missionaries could have taught them but I have realized that our Heavenly Father trusted us enough to guide us to this family, all we needed to do was be diligent in His work. I know that if we do all we can to keep His commandments and be diligent in the work of salvation, He will guide us to people who need our help. Heavenly Father has a specific plan for all of us and all we need to do is trust Him and follow Him.
Les Amos,
Elder Giles

Monday, July 14, 2014

July 14th, 2014

The World Cup finally ended this week so now we can go back to our regular lives! Ha ha, just kidding, but now we, as missionaries can focus entirely on the work of salvation and not have to worry about the scheduling of the games. Argentina lost so everyone is bummed but not too bad, at least they got 2nd place so its not too bad. Argentina was super bummed,  but people were still lighting off fireworks and honking their horns and everything after the game. I guess they were bored. We had to stay in the apartment for the game and afterwards. But Wednesday, when Argentina won the semi-final, everyone went crazy! The new mission president let us watch the Wednesday game in a member´s house so that they could drive us directly to our apartment after the game. 
This week was great, but also hard with respect to the missionary work because we didn´t have as much time as we usually do in a week. We finished everything we needed to but we had to work harder than normal.
Wednesday we also met the new mission president: President Robertson!
He is pretty awesome. He and his family have spent many years in Latin American and he came here straight from Perú so he, his wife, and son and daughter can speak Spanish pretty well. We had a meeting with him and another zone and we got to know a little bit about his family. Then we had lunch of empanadas and pizza then short interviews with him. There are going to be a lot of changes in the mission in the next few months and I am excited to see what will happen.

Yesterday we had a bunch of investigators go to church like last week. One of them was a partially deaf and mute guy. He came halfway through the second block and met the bishop first (who had a hard time communicating with him, I heard) and then he handed the investigator off to us in the middle of class. The last hour we had the sacrament meeting where we sat with the mute guy in the back row and "talked" with him. He had some questions about the Sacrament and other things and we had him read some chapters in the Book of Mormon especially 3 Nephi 11 (Which is Jesus teaching about baptism) and then inviting him to be baptized, which he accepted! Ha ha! The only thing is that he lives within the boundaries of another ward so we handed him off to the Sister Missionaries. It was the most interesting Sacrament Meeting yet.

This week was a little warmer than usual and it rained pretty good on Saturday and we didn´t have our umbrellas so we got soaked. My zone leader told me once that this is the only time to enjoy the rain as a missionary. I enjoyed, but I don´t think my companion did!
Have a great week!

Les Amo!
Elder Giles!

In front of the Cathedral Lourdes

Empanadas for dinner while watching the World Cup

dinner with a family to watch the world cup

World Cup Shirt

Hamburger lunch with Sis Missionaries in honor of the World Cup

inside the Cathedral Lourdes

statue inside Cathedral Lourdes

Sunday, July 6, 2014

June 30th, 2014


It is the end of June and we are in the middle of winter. This winter has been basically nothing but sun and humidity, an improvement from the last winter I am told. It has been pretty cold still but we are still working hard to find new people and progress more towards baptism. This week we found a very good family! We found them early on this week and have taught them multiple times already! They have yet to attend church, but I have high hopes for their baptism at the end of July and I have faith in the Lord to help us accomplish his work.

I have experienced many blessings throughout my time here in the mission and especially the blessing of knowledge about Heavenly Father and his plan for us. I have learned so much from my companion and from teaching our investigators and especially how we can apply it to our lives. I love this gospel and this church!

Have a great week!
Les Amo!
Elder Giles

Monday, June 23, 2014

June 23rd

It is the last week of June and the World Cup is in full swing. We are not allowed to watch the World Cup at all and we should try not to talk about it when we can, but that´s a little hard to do when every single person in the country is talking about and watching the World Cup. When Argentina plays, we have to return to our apartments during and a little after the game. On Saturday, we were in the apartment and at one point near the end of the game, every single person in the streets and houses around us shouted "Goal!" all at the same time. My companion and I thought it was funny.

On Wednesday we said goodbye to the Mission President. All the missionaries in the mission were there, all 236 of us! We had a short transfer meeting in the cultural hall in which we watched the video for Los Pastores, or the missionaries that left to their houses, some funny videos about the mission, and the new assignments. Then we had a lunch of Subway! After we went into the chapel for the spiritual part of the meeting where we heard the testimonies of Pte. and Sister Carter and some other videos. At the end, We sang the mission hymn, during which almost everyone was crying and I felt a great sense of love for our dear president. Then all the missionaries said bye to the President and his Wife.

On Saturday we had the baptism of Lucas! He is truly a miracle. He has known the missionaries for about 2 years and had not been able to be baptized this whole time because he smoked, a lot. But about 4 weeks ago he decided that it was enough and completely stopped smoking! He is awesome and is truly and inspiration to our other investigators!

Everything is going great here in Argentina. The weather is a little cold and rainy, but it is basically the norm here. I have been told that it is supposed to get colder in July!

I hope everything is going well with you all

Les Amo!
Elder Giles

Everything is going great here in Argentina and my companion and I are getting along just fine. The new mission president will be President Robertson. He becomes the new mission president this Saturday. There is also a little bio about him and all the new mission presidents in the Liahona in June or July.

Everything is doing fine for me. My jackets, sweaters, shoes, bags and everything work great. If I need anything there is a super market here where I can buy almost everything I need, especially saline solution. All you can do is pray for me and not worry too much! I like the spiritual thoughts from John Bytheway and others, keep sending those!

Also, Try to write me on Sunday because my companion wants to converse with his family through email in the mornings here.

Thanks for everything!

Te Amo!
Elder Giles

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Farewell to Presidente and Hermana Carter

President and Hermana Carter, leaving as Mission President after 3 years of faithful service in Argentina:

Hermana Carter wrote on their mission blog: Wednesday, June 18th

When we pulled in the church parking lot this morning and I caught the first glimpse of this sign, I just burst into tears and that is how the day started.

We had a great transfer meeting, which was fairly normal, right until the moment that my husband decided to surprise me with a huge spray of flowers. It was totally unexpected, but what made it even more special were the lovely words that he said. The missionaries know that I have worked for our entire mission to learn and improve my Spanish. It is not as easy as you might imagine to learn Spanish. Much of the work that we do at the offices is done in English and there are always people around to translate. I have felt incredibly blessed for the help from the missionaries and from our Heavenly Father most of all. We have a goal that every missionary leaves the mission with two languages. “Lucia” Carter took the Spanish test, and today the missionaries gave me a standing ovation! It was a first. I no sooner sat down than the assistants asked us to come back and they asked Brianna to join us and they thanked our family for our service here in Argentina and gave us an engraved silver tray and another spray of flowers. Each of the missionaries wrote us a personal message.The letters have all been combined and bound in a book. We will treasure it forever.

After that, we had a break for lunch. Oh, I forgot to mention that when the missionaries arrived this morning they each got to choose a number and I had brought all the leftover items from the pantry at our house and numbered them. It was a fun little thing and kind of amusing to see the missionaries walking around with random items like a spice jar of cinnamon or a can of green beans!

After lunch, we moved to the chapel and the pastores shared their testimonies. Three of the zones had prepared special musical numbers which were amazing! The third however, was God Be With You till We Meet Again. You can only imagine what it was like for me trying to speak after that. Presidente then spoke and then we showed our own Pastores video, which I will share on the blog another day.

We sang our mission hymn which is a song called “I’ll Find You My Friend.” The missionaries all stood and sung an additional verse about us and I am pretty sure that everyone was crying by then. One of the assistants left immediately after the closing prayer to get boxes of tissues.

Then the missionaries came one by one to say goodbye to us and give us a hug or shake our hand. It took about an hour and I have to say that it was one of the most spiritual experiences that I have ever had in my life. Even now, I still feel wrapped in the glow of their love which was demonstrated to us in such a beautiful way.

Words are truly inadequate to express our emotions and gratitude.

Below are some pictures from the morning. I hope to always have the mental images from this afternoon engraved upon my heart.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Letter from June 9th and 16th with some pictures

June 16th - Elder Giles wrote:

Yesterday I compeleted 5 months in the Mission! This past week we did divisions with our zone leaders Elders Garay and Aramabarú and they are awesome! The weather is getting a little colder, we have transfers on Wednesday and we have a baptism this Saturday!

Sorry this is a little short...

Les Amo!
Elder Giles

June 9th - Elder Giles wrote:

This week was pretty good. Since Elder Cañari and I are new to our area (I have one week here and he has 2), We spent most of the time getting to know the members and former investigators in order to get a feel of the missionary work that has been done here. We have one investigator that is getting ready to be baptized on the 21st of this month and he, and we, are super excited for it. He has gone at least 3 weeks without out smoking and other things and it is a real miracle that he has changed so much. He has known and been taught by missionaries for almost 2 years and it is amazing that he is going to be baptized now after all this time.

The weather is starting to get colder and it is expected to get close to 5 degrees Celsius in the coming months.

Everything is going fine here in Argentina. My area right now is a little more peaceful and a little more well-off economically so it is a nice area. In the middle, more or less, is the huge Catholic Cathedral Lourdes. It looks amazing and Elder Cañari and I are going to visit it later today!

I hope everything is going well with you all and I will right more next week!

Les Amo!
Elder Giles

The Catholic Cathedral Lourdes