Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Week 5

Hey Everyone!!

I hope life is good in the states because its pretty dang crazy awesome here in the Buenos Aires MTC!! We are all way excited for Christmas. Today we practiced and came up with some really cool Christmas approaches for contacts tomorrow. We are way excited to hear from the Area President on Christmas Morning. But most of all, we are all excited to be in one of the most amazing spiritual places at the most awesome time of year!

I did´t get to read too much of your letters before I gotta write, but HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM!!! I didn´t realize that I wouldn´t be able to email you before your birthday last P-day. Thats cool that you are getting my letters every week! I got the 3 packages today! So that was pretty sweet! Im gonna wait to open them until christmas. =) All the missionaries were really jealous.

It´s crazy to think that when I leave the MTC my mission will be 1/12th over! Its just not enough time!! I love it. There is nothing happier than giving your everything to the Lord. I heard some way cool quotes this week that I wanted to share.

1. Your mission starts ending when you wake up on your second day in the MTC.
2. Missionaries leave their families for 2 years so that other families can be together for eternity.
3. 3 Nephi 5:13

So as far as proseliting, I do have a way cool expirience from Saturday. We were walking down a really really busy loud street in our new area and here in Argentina, the houses and the little markets on busy streets sometimes all look the same, so you´ll be passing through what you think is a little strip mall type thing, but then there´s a random house. So anyways, we passed by this house and in Argentina, probably 1 out of 50 houses can you actually get to the door. All the houses here have a gate in front of the house and you ring a doorbell out by the street and they have little microphones and speakers. It makes it pretty hard to get people to talk to us, but we do our best. Well we rang a door bell and a Argentinian lady came out. Her name is Ana and she is about 40ish. We started out with a quick little taste of the awesome message we had to share. She didnt seem to interested so we just talked to her for a little bit about life and family type stuff. We started talking to her and she is studying at a University down here. She told us how she was having a really hard time with school and how it was expensive. We powerfully bore sweet testimony of the reality of the blessings we recieve when we come unto Christ. She just started crying, we knew that she felt the spirit, and it was really a miracle with the crazyness of the street around us.

I hope that your Christmas is so incredibly amazing!

Our family picture from BYU is on my scripture case, and everyone always tells me how cute our family is! except i dont let them for you Caity! theyre not allowed!! haha jk ;)

Tell Tyler to at least wave to a cute girl next time he wrecks the car! haha

Love you all so much!
Tell people that email is better than DearElder. I can get them from anybody. and Dear Elders take years.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Week 4

Merry Almost Christmas!!!

I guess i´ll start off with the bad news...since i´m in the MTC I won´t be able to call for Christmas. Theres just too many Elders and not enough phones. =(

Lots of good news though!! Yes, we do get to teach the people we find. Last Saturday we had 4 appointments with people that we had found knocking doors. None of them were home though =( we have 3 weeks at each area we proselite in, then we get transferred to a new area, probably so the legit assigned missionaries can do the rest. We just refer all of our investigators to them. While out on Saturdays, me and Elder Hales have decided not to do any shopping or eating out or anything. We want to teach and find every second we can! I have bought a water bottle and ice cream at a little supermercado though cuz it was really hot last saturday, and these latino teenage guys asked us for our water, so we let them use our bottles, but they don´t really observe the "waterfall" technique when using a strangers water bottle here. So we just gave them to them after they made out with our bottles and got new ones =) I haven´t been sick at all! and my thumb is looking better each day! ;) We are excited to go sing carols on christmas and yes, we sing christmas songs to open every district meeting (class) 4 times a day. yeah. I´ve gotten pretty good at leading music =) So I found out that the comedor is the choir president in his ward! no wonder he is always whistling! We have become way cool. Yeah, I bet you didn´t know that I get to chill with an Argentenian Cook, Choir President, and Argentina Area Santa Clause every day. haha he´s the man. We also get to have a Devotional on Christmas, probably from the area presidency or maybe President and his wife. Either way, that should be way cool. On christmas eve, our schedule says "christmas activities" so we are all excited to see what that means! Its cool seeing all the christmas decorations when we go proseliting! We have tried as best as we can here. We have a christmas tree and a little nativity in the dining room, buts thats about it. We have made snowflakes in the classrooms and stuff. I also have figured out that the packages in the envelope things can be basically any size. As long as its not a cardboard box. Dont get crazy though. Oh and turns out the "Bonpland" address is way faster and better than the "Autopista" address.

I did get a haircut about 2 weeks ago. This argentinian guy comes in 2/3 weeks and he is ridiculously fast! he can whip out like 20 haircuts in an hour, no joke. Its pretty amazing to watch. Actually, im gonna go watch see ya!!! haha jk Im not sure how i feel about how it turns out but its fast and decent so lifes good.

The latinos are all way cool, I think I like the last group better, but everyone says that you always like your first group the most. There is this one little tiny mexican elder who is way cool though. We have been playing basketball together during sports, and he is like this little fireball tazmanian devil. its really funny to watch latinos play basketball and even funnier to watch gringos play soccer. the Uruguayan has become easier to understand, but its not uruguayans in general becasue this other elder from uruguay is way easy to understand and way cool.

It´s getting hotter and hotter, not as bad as AZ though!! So whats the deal with Jake? let me know what happens!

I have really been just loving the Book of Mormon this last week. Its becoming more and more real to me. We had a really awesome class this week with Hermano Milerio. He was a really really awesome awesome teacher. Imagine the sarcasticness of the Robert Downey Jr. in Iron Man, plus the spiritual giant and great example of like john bytheway or a really awesome missionary, then make him argentinian, single, and a stud. anyways, he taught us the LAST class, and made it really special. He talked about A successful missionary, and then we listened to a bunch of testimonies of the savior from apostles and prophets. It was incredible. I really was able to feel the power of an apostle or prophet of Jesus Christ, and feel the power of their testimony.

So wednesday is our p-day this next wednesday, and thursday is proseliting day! so write on wednesday instead!

I miss the English hymns, and a lot of times wish I could read them and look up scriptures along with them during study time.

Elder Hales and I are getting along way good. We teach great. We´re great friends, and life is good with him by my side. haha ;)

Hope everythings going really well!! I love you guys so much. Know that I think about each of you specifically and love you so much!

Lots of Love,
-Elder Daniel Kellis

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Week 3

¡Que Tal errrybody!

I am loving it down here! Every week just gets better and better. The time is going faster and faster! It seriously seems like yesterday I was writing email. The days are starting to kinda blurr together. We have the same schedule almost every day! 4 classes, 3 meals, and an hour to play sports!

Speaking of sports, we have basically converted 100% to soccer after the turkey bowl on thanksgiving. We figured we better get good if we´re gonna be stud missionaries in Uruguay. Well, I haven´t played soccer since I was like 6 in that little league team where we all just attacked the ball. So needless to say, I have had a lot of embarassing moments on the futbol court. yeah its a court. I have been getting better though! (as in....ive been getting better at just cherry picking next to the goal, and scoring sometimes) The Elderes and Hermanas have a fun time watching me. I scored like 5 goals yesterday though! So im getting better. Its funny, the goal is right inbetween the court and the temple construction zone, so we kick the ball over the 2 fences and 100 ft into the constructionness all the time. ITs awesome though...the Guys working at the temple love to kick the ball back, and they kinda fight over it. Its awesome.

Sundays are my favorite day here, I don´t remember if I told you already, but we have 2 hours of personal study time, sacrament meeting of course, sunday school as a district, and priesthood with president George. Then we have some free time to write letters and stuff, then we get to watch a recorded devotional from the Provo MTC, usually Elder Holland from the last 10 years. They are so amazing. He is such a missionary motivator. I have learned so much from him. In fact, I was wondering If you could send me in the mail some missionary talks, not necessarily all from Elder Holland, but just some good ones, that would be great!! (theres on inparticular by elder rasband that talks about how elders are called and the proccess. its from priesthood session) But anways, after the recorded devotional we eat an amazing dinner, usually like a nice meat and pchopped otatoes or something. Then we get to watch a movie. So far we have watched the movie about Gordon B. Hinckleys life, The Mountain of the Lord, and the Joseph Smith movie in the visitors center. All three have been awesome, and I have learned from them. I wanted to share an experience from the Mountain of the Lord one though. The movie is about the Salt Lake Temple. It really teaches well about its history and the early saints. I really came to love the work that they did and the sacrifices that they made, and more than usuall. I remember how my parents were sealed in that temple. I remembered that because of all of thier labors and 40 years of sacrifices, my parents were able to get married there. I came to really appreciate temples and the incredible blessings that they bring. I am so grateful for that opportunity that my family has to be sealed in The House of the Lord. I hope that you get the opportunity to watch it!

Today we got a new round of Latinos at the MTC, they are all way cool. I love having them here, we learn spanish so much faster being able to talk to natives all the time. One of my new roomates is from Uruguay! He has a way thick accent, I can BARELY understand him, so me and Elder Hales are hoping that its just him. Its also interesting, he is about the same height as me, if not taller! I have never met a Latino taller than me!

Yesterday we had an Asado. It was amazing. Steak. It was beautiful.

Our teacher, Hermano Melerio is leaving to Provo. He is a returned missionary from Argentina and is such an awesome guy. He is way funny and a great teacher. We are sad he is leaving. We all think he is going to Provo because he wants to find a nice Americana.

Oh by the way Dad, the Peruvian Latinos here are the coolest, by far!

The chef is so cool. He wore a Papa Noel hat yesterday for the asado and repeated Feliz Navidad!!! for each person as we got our steak. He whistled christmas songs the rest of the meal. Gotta love that guy.

I´m glad that my written letter got there! I honesty was like OK! here it goes! hopefully this thing gets to halfway across the world where the toilet flushes the other way and its cold instead of hot! haha

We had a rougher day proseliting this Sat. Everyone just seemed in a horrible mood. We got a LOT of dirty looks and people wounldn´t even recognize that we existed as we waved and said hello. We even ran into an Argentinian Anti-Mormon who had Anti-Mormon pamphlets in his hand before he even saw us. Everyone we did talk didn´t even believe in God. It was really really an intersting and wierd day. I couldn´t believe it. We did manage to reach out the heart of one 18 year old young man. He answered the door with piercings all over his face and told us he didnt really believe in religion and stuff. He was really a humble and nice guy though. We told him the story of Joseph Smith, how he was confused and didn´t know how he felt about religion as well. I really loved his humble attitude, because he was willing to go to church, and let us come again. He told us of his desire to know for himself like Joseph Smith did. We are really excited to teach him on Saturday! Pray for him, and us!

My favorite part about the MTC, and probably my whole mission, wow, this is hard. But one thing I have really come to love is personal Study. We have an hour each morning for personal study. I learn so much, and really dive into the scriptures during that time. Its hard to stop when the clock hits 9. It really is!

Oh by the way mom! I have shaved and made my bed EVERY day since you last saw my face. just sayin.

Besitos, hmmm...well Elder Lopez is gone...but Besitos, and any american candy would be amazing!! They have good candy and sweets here..WAY BETTER THAN MEXICOS. But the Latinos love to try American Candy! I really miss mexican food though. I havent had a single bite of ANYTHING mexican. Its sad.

Luches and Dinners...hmm...lots of spinach. Its in half of our meals, and surprisingly its not that bad. SPINACH PUFFS!! i always think of Emperors new groove. We have meat. We have casseroles, spaghetti, These wierd sausages that its better if you just dont look at what it is and just eat it. We eat a lot of potatoes and I eat fruit every meal. Lunch and dinner are usually the same as far as size. But they always have the better food for lunch. and dinner is u sually lighter. Humidity. yeah definately getting more used to it. The temple isnt doing anything because its still in construction. bummer. but its coming along really great!

We get to go Caroling Christmas eve! Have an amazing week and I love each one of you so much!!!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Week 2


I'ts been a typical gringo-missionary-in-south-america week!

We got to go into the city on Saturday for "proseletismo" which I don't remember how to spell in English anymore. But it was so incredibly awesome! We got to go out on our own with just a map, a BOM, (LDM) and a couple pamphlets, and our 1 week of spanish! The bus drove us through the huge city of Buenos Aires, about 30 minutes away from the MTC and dropped us off and said be back here in 8 hours. We had about 20 missionaries from the MTC in our bus, and we split up the area into little areas for each companionship. Our area was a pretty weathly area. They had gates and speakers and microphone things in the front of all their houses. So they weren´t to excited to hear over a intercom thing that missionaries were at their house. We didn´t have any success that way. But we talked to EVERYBODY, even construction workers on the job, and it was way cool. We eventually found a train station, and right next to the train station was this plaza with a park and bunch of benches and we spent the rest of the day there because it was a perfect place with SO many people always just sitting and waiting. So we got about 6 investigators that day, Sweet huh!? The bad news is that none of them are in our area, they just were in our area to get on the trains. But one 20-25 yr old girl, Astrid, was awesome. She is from Argentina, was born here, and she knows Spanish, German, and......ENGLISH!! So of course we were able to teach a heck of a lesson in English. Elder Hales and I had already given out all of our BOM's for the day so I decided to let her take my Spanish Missionary-Hardback one that I had been marking up in classes for the last week. She was having a hard time letting me give it to her, so I said that the only reason she would have a reason to feel bad is if she didn´t read it. She would have read it anyways, because she seemed so pure in heart and ready for what we had to say. It was cool because before we left the MTC, EVERYONE was getting ready to get on the buses, and I had a feeling I needed to go back to the classroom which is on the top floor and get my other BOM. So I'm so glad I followed that prompting! so proseletismo was awesome! I can´t wait to get out there in the real mission in Uruguay!

I got a little sick this week. Monday I just wasn´t feeling great, but felt good enough to play basketball, so I did, played hard, of course, and the rest of the day, I just wasnt doing so good. I shoulda taken it easy. I just had a nasty cold. Nothing horrible. But then the next day, I woke up feeling the same, and Tuesday was Vaccination day. Entonces, I had a Typhoid Fever shot. I got a headache immediately. Which was followed by a fever. It sounds like to me that all my immune energy was going towards my cold, and then BAM, here comes typhoid fever vaccine and so yeah. I got a nasty fever. I took my temperature, but I had no idea what it meant cuz it was in Celcius. I was wearing my V-neck sweater vest, long sleeve white shirt, and my suit with a bunch of elders wearing short sleeve shirts. Typical Me right? But I took 2 tylenol and my fever broke in like 10 minutes, and I was burnin up in all that wool missionary studliness. My cold is wearing out, and I´m doing a lot better now. One of the Elders in my District was like, yeah Elder, usually Doctors don´t give vaccines to patients with colds, and then another Elder said "THEY DO IN ARGENTINA!" Speaking of different things here..

I ate cow tongue yesterday. No big deal.

OK yeah it was kinda ridiculous. haha IN THE MTC?? yeah thats what I was thinking. It was funny cuz the Cow tongue was in the Salad Bar and it just was in cubes with seasoning on it, so Elder Hales just grabs one in his finger and eats one, and says, hmm..thats a wierd meat. Then one of the Latino Elders looks at him like he´s crazy, and points to his tongue and makes a moo-ing sound. So then of course all the guys in our district had to get a cube of this delicous meat and have a special district bonding moment. It was epic. Turns out that in Uruguay, they eat the intestines, brain, testicles, and liver as well. So Im glad I will get to have more "bonding moments" =D

So we don't really have zones or zone leaders. Zones are basically the NorteAmericanos and the latinos.
We have all kinds of meals...Italian...Lots of american food, ALWAYS meat. today we had this pumpkin casserole nasty stuff. but its all good. We have ´pineapple and all kinds of fruit a lot. 8 elders and 4 Hermanas en mi districto. responsiblities are to lead meetings (5 times a day in the MTC) and work with Elders on goals and things. Sometimes help out with companionship disagreements or things. im here for 9 weeks. I only get letters on p-day. but I get packages as soon as they arrive. padded envelopes, basically just fit in a mailbox size. any size. Elder hales is related to the Apostle. cousin of his grandmother. The presidente and his wife are so amazing guys!! they are incredible. They have served a couple missions as presidents, and were temple presidents in Paraguay. She is so cute! she is like the cute gramma you always wanted. She reminds me of my MOther all the time =)

I love you all so much!!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Week 1

¡Hola from Buenos Aires Argentina!

It´s been quite the week! I guess i´ll start by answering questions!

The weather here is really kinda awesome/horrible. When you just wanna eat dinner, or relax, or read scriptures outside, its wonderful, anytime of day. But when we play basketball or futbol or football or something, its disgusting! I can feel it getting hotter and hotter each day. We have an hour and 40 minutes each day for "actividad fisicales" basically sports at around 2pmish. We usually all play some basketball (all the gringos and a couple latinos) for an hour and then throw a football around for 20 or so minutes. But it is ridiculously humid! This one night I woke up probably 10 times, and had to go to the bathroom twice in the middle of night, I don´t know why, but I did. And when I would lay back down on my bed, it felt like I was laying on a boiling water bed. I think we forgot to turn on the fan that night. =/

The food. Well. At first it was a little different, never bad or gross. Just different. Every meal has meat. Its awesome. The chef is so cool, he is this latino Brother that doesn't know a word in English and is always humming "Hark, All Ye Nations" while handing out the dishes of food. The food has definately gotten delicious though. I love it now. Its soooo dang good. They have these french fries that are like the size of Big marbles, and they are WAY better than any american french fries I have ever had. Oh, and their normal stick shaped french fries are way better too. They are even better than America´s french fries when they are cold. Every morning we just have 3 cereals to choose from. One is a nasty really hard version of fruit loops and the other is a really hard nasty version of coco puffs. The other is this granola/kix/raisin cereal that tastes like heaven. They never have cold milk though, which is kinda wierd. Its always warm. They also have mango-orange juice for every meal. Its way good. Its not like the Provo MTC as far as all you can eat, but I have never not gotten enough food.

The mattress is fine. Just gets really hot at night. But im getting used to it.

Language. My spanish is better than ever and I have only been here for a week. I have learned so much, and will continue to learn more. Yesterday, I had a conversation with a Latino Elder from Nicaragua. We talked for about 15 mintues at Lunch without a single problem. I felt like I could say whatever I wanted to say, understand all he said. I loved it. A can testify of the reality of the Gift of Tongues. It is a real thing. I can feel the strength of my calling as I learn the language. I wish we had more spritual type classes. We have so much on Missionary Teaching Skills and Language, but I wish we could have a little more personal testimony building-focused meetings.

My head has been doing very well. I did have to bust out the Tylenol the first day of playing sports. I haven't had a headache since!

When we got to Argentina, we had to wait in lines for hours and hours. A line for Visa, a line for Luggage, a Line for customs. It took about 3 hours to get from the seat on the airplane to the seat on the bus. Its all good. I couldn't fall asleep at all.

Shoe insoles are great, but I havent walked really that much. We do everything in this one building. I think theres a picture of it online. Even the Hermanas and the Elders sleep in the same building, on different sides of course. But EVERYTHING is all in this building. its 3 floors. theres even a sacrament room in it. Its pretty sweet. It holds about 96 Elders total. I guess the only gringos that come here are the ones that go to the Uruguay mission. Because theres no room.

For thanksgiving, the Argentenian cooks attempted a American Thanksgiving meal. It was yummy, but not the same. The meat was great of course, but there was no mashed potatoes.

I am definately feeling blessed in so many ways. I haven't felt homesick at all. I still love you all. dont worry. haha

Elder Hales from the airport is my companion. Hes really quiet as far as our social relationship but hes awesome. We get along great and work hard. We teach great together and study well together.

We are super super busy busy.

My day is wake up at 6:30
Breakfast at 7:25
Personal Study at 8
Companion Study at 9
Districto or District or Class at 10
Lunch at 12:15
Class till 2:15
Sports till 3:30
Companion or Personal Language study at 4
Class at 5
Dinner at 6:45
Class till 9
Teach latinos spanish lessons
Bed at 10:30

It gets pretty crazy! I wish I could say more. I gotta get off the computer but ill say more if I can in a written letter.

I have 3 more hours of P-Day

You can send padded envelopes. Small ones-like the same size as envelopes. No packages though.

I was called as District Leader last Friday.

Love you all!!!!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

His First Email!!!

Hey guys!!

So Im here in the MTC. Im using a spanish keyboard for the fist time so bear with me haha

Today is P-day! but we have a lot of registration type stuff to do, so next thursday I will have 40 minutes to write all about the flight and stuff. But everything is going great and there are about 15 elders and sisters all going to the same mission as me, all reported the same day as me! crazy ¿ey? the work must be rockin in montevideo!

the people in argentina are way cool, and the MTC is way sweet. its RIGHT next to the temple so there is a lot of construction goin on out there. The food has been good so far, and my companion is going to be Elder Hales from the airport in PHX.

So now I have an interview with the presidente of the MTC. Then with his wife. Then more unpacking type stuff...

hope you guys are having fun with grandma and I love you so much!

PS Which email would you like me to send these letters home to?

They suggest that you ask a bunch of questions in an email before wednesday, that way I can answer them all when I send my email next thursday.}

Sorry for the rushed email!

con <3

Elder Daniel Kellis