Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Don´t Forget Where You´re From

This week has been pretty interesting. First of all, we had Christmas here. Christmas... It´s actually really sad here, because only about 30 percent of the people here actually understand the true meaning of Christmas. Since nobody really understands how holy it really is and how important the significance of the holiday, at 12 oclock on the 24th, everyone sends off a ton of fireworks. Even though it looks really cool and normally I would really enjoy it, it made me sad to know that so many people don´t have the background that we have as members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. So many people have a limited knowledge of their Lord and Savior´s birth, let alone the knowledge of His atonement and eternal sacrifice. Which brings me to the story of the week. We ate lunch with a less active family from our ward on Saturday and they were telling us about how a family member invited them to another church one Friday night. Well, they were standing in the meeting and the loud, evangelist, rock music was playing. The dad (who lacks a testimony of Joseph Smith and the Restoration) started dancing right along with everyone and the wife told me the he looked as though he was possessed. Haha well, she felt in that moment what we should all feel in every moment. She said, Stop, stop, Don´t forget where we are from! We´re from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints! Even though the family is less active and doesn´t go to church, the mom had the courage to remind everyone in the family where they came from. I know where come from. I know that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the true church of God and that it has been restored through the prophet Joseph Smith. I hope that everyone can always remember where they come from in every moment. It´s like the primary song that goes,¨I´m a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I know who I am, I know God´s plan, I´ll follow Him in faith.¨ Don´t forget where you come from. Don´t forget that God has a plan for you. If you don´t know God´s plan for you, I know two guys with white shirts and a nametag that can stop by your house to tell you :) I´m a Mormon. I know it, I live it, I love it!
Elder Philpot

Monday, December 22, 2014

Feliz Navidad

Well this week has been pretty awesome and it´s even starting to look almost like Christmas here! It´s been raining a lot lately so at least it isn´t blazing hot for Christmas. But this week hasn´t been super eventful actually. I was hoping to have a fun story but I can´t really think of one that I had this week. Ooooh, now I remember! I do have a funny story! Haha this week we had our Christmas Conference with the Mission President on Wednesday and we all had to bring a gift for the gift exchange that was about 50 pesos or so. I decided to bring a key chain thingy that said Tucumán on it and I was hoping to get a pretty good gift. Well when the gift exchange started, everyone was getting either good gifts or funny gifts and the majority were just funny. When they called my name, I went up and grabbed a gift, unwrapped it, and found.... dirty pajamas that fold up into a pillow/envelope thing. I´m going to be honest, I was pretty pissed! Hahaha my actual thoughts were,¨Who in the world would bring dirty, old, pajamas to a gift exchange?¨ But it actually has a good ending. I know, how could there be a good ending to that? Well, Elder Salvioli, my first companion, my trainer, my papi (as it is called in the mission), came up to me and said,¨Now you´ll never forget about your papi!¨ Haha the gift was from him! Then asked me to please wash the pajamas before I wear them. I was actually pretty entertained afterwards and now I think that I´ll wash them two times and wear them from now on. But, what message can we receive from a story like this? Well, I want to start off by reminding everyone of the true meaning of Christmas. Jesus Christ is our Lord and Savior, whose birth is celebrated here in a few days. It is said that the tradition of gift giving comes from the 3 wise men who brought gifts to the boy Jesus. But I want to be more specific and say that for the most part we give gifts because we honestly enjoy the look on the kids/parents/friends faces when they receive them. I want everyone to think about the story again. When we look at Christmas for the gifts the we receive, we are always going to say,¨Who in the world would bring me these old pajamas?¨ There will always be someone with a gift a little bit bigger or more expensive or newer or more advanced.... Forget about the gifts that you get from friends, from your parents, or from Santa Claus. Remember that what matters is the love that follows the gift. My gift was aweful... But I will never forget the love that I have for an old companion because of those ugly pajamas. Christ gave us all the gift of His love. Why can´t we all just give a little bit more love to the family and to our friends? Well, I have a quote for an answer that is simple and prophetic (literally): Do it! In this Christmas, Discover the Gift, Accept the Gift, Share the Gift. The gift of love. I love all you guys! Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night! Our Father in Heaven loves you. I know it, I live it, I love it!
Elder Philpot
I´m really sorry that I don´t have pics this week! I brought my camera but the stupid computer won´t let me download the pictures.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Paciencia y Peleas

Familia, amigos, conocidos. I hope that everyone knows how much I love them. I know that if you´re reading this, it means that you probably love me too, or at least care enough to read my awesome blogs. Haha this has been one of the greatest adventures and I owe it all to those who have helped me along the way on my journey. This week has been better and I I´m glad to say that I´m also still learning and improving every day. The only thing that isn´t improving is the weather... One day it´s burning hot and then it starts to rain for days! Yesterday was the really test of faith for all the members and all the investigators to see who would show up even with the rain and the flooding. Well, I think now is when the Lord would say,¨Oh ye of little faith.¨ Haha Because of that, I´ve been a little down because we were hoping to see a few investigators in church. After church, we studied personally and as companions and I felt that God immediately gave me a hand to lift me up. Turns out that the both of us read about Patience, an attribute of Christ, and shared about the need to, first show patience in oneself, then show that patience with your companion and with the decisions of others. In one of his emails, mi papá told me that many times life is filled with boring routines mixed with a few bursts of excitement. I´ve kind of been expecting those short bursts more often and when I don´t see them... Well, I´m not showing patience well enough. Haha but when we stop to smell the roses, we are able to see the daily miracles that are often passed unnoticed by those who are expecting the things that are a little bigger. Sounds a lot like our Christmas experience in the U.S., we wait the big gifts on Christmas day and forget the miracle of the Atonement daily in our lives. We wait to see all the family on Christmas day and forget to enjoy being with Mom and Dad on a Sunday night before starting the week again. I hope that everyone can show that kind of patience, great enough to recognize the thousands of miracles that go right under our noses. Be grateful for a mom and dad. Be grateful for brothers and sisters. Be patient with them, love them, give them a hand. Be more like Christ. It´s the least we can do for the life and eternal life that He gave us freely. Be kind. Be submissive. Be patient.
Often times when these things are lacking, the family gets fighting. Here in Tucumán the whole neighborhood was fighting because a Division 2 soccer team lost against another one. Haha it was so sad to see people getting reading to throw fists and bricks because of something so wordly and stupid. Even more, this Saturday there´s supposed to be ¨saqueos¨, or days where the people just go super crazy and rob all the grocery stores and all the shopping centers. We have to stay inside those days so don´t worry. I only wish that the people could remember this holiday in a way so much different than the way that Satan has grabbed and twisted it. 
All in all, the Spirit of Christmas is in the great Gift that God gave us. His Son. Christ is pleased when we show patience and love as He shows with us. I know it, I live it, I love it. 
Elder Philpot
I dont know if my pics are getting to the blog but I´ve been trying to send some every week! I miss a few times because the computors don´t always work.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Él es la Dádiva

Well, I have a new companion again! Haha I can´t remember if I told you guys the last time but on Monday we had transfers again and I thought that for sure I was taking off for some other area. Well, on Sunday night, they broke the news that my companion was headed to Santiago del Estero and that I was going to stay in my area as the District Leader. Here I am... still. Haha my new companion is Elder Valenzuela from San Antonio, Chile. He´s a pretty cool dude and I sent a picture in the last email when we first met eachother. He had just got in from a five hour long bus drive at 2 o´clock in the morning, poor guy. Plus, he got sick afterward so I´ve been suffering right along next to him since then, but luckily now he´s better. If there´s one thing that I know is that transfers are not fun, both physically and emotionally! The truth is that I miss Elder Blake a lot because we were such good buds and we were working so well and so hard. But I just need to strive to have that friendship with my new companion.
Familia, este mes es un mes muy especial y quiero que se trate así. This month we get to celebrate the birth and life of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Recently, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints put out a video that I would rank number 1 of all the videos that the Church has made until now! I´m pretty sure that in English it´s ¨He is the Gift¨ or you can look it up in Spanish, ¨Él es la Dádiva¨. ¨For God so loved the world that He gave His only Begotten Son.¨ In this month, we have the great opportunity to remember the most essential and priceless gift that can be given by a Father to His children. Without the life and sacrifice of Jesus Christ it would be completely impossible to return to the presence of our Heavenly Father and live as a family unit forever. This Christmas, Discover the Gift, Accept the Gift, and Share the Gift. If there´s one thing that I regret more than anything is missing the opportunities to share what I know with my friends and with my family. So I would like Elizabeth, Elijah, Nicholas, Nathan, Caleb, Sadie, Mom, Dad, and all my friends to know: I know that Jesus Christ is our Savior and Redeemer. I know it. I know that He loves each and every one of us and gave His life for us. I know that He has revealed His Gospel through the prophet Joseph Smith. I shared my testimony in church yesterday and afterwards I left an invitation. I invite you, brothers and sisters, to search and find something that we don´t have a lot of right now... Time. Take a little time to read about Jesus Christ. Take time to actually think about the impact that He has had in your life, because I promise that it´s huge. And after all, ask God if He is the Christ. It will make me sad if you don´t find that sacred precious time. I try to find that time because believe it or not us missionaries are busy. But there´s nothing more important than a testimony of the truth. I´m a Mormon. I know it, I live it, I love it!
Elder Philpot
I´m sorry but I don´t have any pics this week. I know, I´m a bum. Haha