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

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Que loco esta semana pasada‏!


This past week was... different. Elder Flores and I were having a good week in the work of the Lord and had many plans to progress a handful of investigators, but Friday night we got a call from our Zone Leaders that we both were getting transferred out of our area in a sort of "flash" transfer and would be in a different area on Saturday. It was a huge surprise because flash transfers are very rare and even more when both missionaries are transferred out. In this case, our area is now closed, which is a bummer because the members are the best and Elder Flores and I wanted to work as hard as we could in order to baptize many people. So now I am in Santos Lugares with a different companion: Elder Cañari who is from Perù. One good thing is that I am in the same zone so I can say "hi" to members in Loma Hermosa every once in a while.

Sunday and Saturday was Stake Conference! It was really awesome! There was a stake choir and all the missionaries were invited to sing in it too! We sang "El Christ Es,""O Mi Padre (words from the Hymn book but set to the tune of `Come thou Fount of Every Blessing´)," and "El Amor del Salvador." We weren`t the Mormon Tabernacle Chior, but we sang well and felt the Spirit very strongly. Presidente Carter (President of the Mission), The Stake Presidente and the President of the Temple of Beunos Aires all spoke. I like a piece of what the President of the Temple said that the repetition of the ordinances of the Temple help us receive revelation and through this we learn more about Heavenly Father and His plan of salvation.

Everything is going well in my new area. We havn´t done much yet because of Stake Conference but I am looking forward to this next week with faith and the hope to learn a lot more about how to be a better missionary and servant of the Lord.

Les Amo!
Elder Giles

June 1st, Caseros Stake Conference

The Mission President, President Carter writes: "The missionaries sang in a choir with the Young Single Adults called JAS here. It was really beautiful. I love walking in the door of the chapel and seeing the corridors lined with missionaries. They have expectant smiles as they wait hopefully for their investigators to join them on this beautiful Sunday morning.I also like it when the buses arrive and dozens of members and missionaries and investigators pour into the chapel for Sunday Service."