Monday, October 24, 2011

Another beautiful week!

Dear family,

Well its been a good week. There isn't much to fill you in on about what we have been doing. We had a good week of lessons and baptismal dates but we will see how it goes. Its starting to get hot and I'm super excited...The streets smell good enough as it is when its cool.. Umm I'll tell you a little about our people we are working with.
First we have Clotilde and her 6 nietos. Martin 5, Nicolas 6, Agustina 8, Gabriela 9, Isaias 11, and Mikaela 12. There parents dies\d when the youngest was a baby and now she takes care of them. The 5 oldest are all mentally handicapped but we don't exactly know to what extent. We also just found out the other day that the kids have AIDS. Its really sad, but the happy thing is we are baptizing the 4 oldest this Saturday. They all know who Jesus is and want to be baptize and as far as we know and what our branch president and zone leaders have said that is all they need. The family is amazing. It doesn't matter if you are mad or not having a good day, we cant leave that house upset. all the kids have a special spirit about them and it is a big blessing.
Next, i think i told you about Benito. He had another stroke the other week and couldn't talk, smile, laugh, and barely walk. But he is a trooper. He bought new shoes, a new white shirt, and a tie. He is walking everyday. A couple miles...He came to church the other day and can now laugh and smile and get a couple words out. He is our other lift me up that we have. You cant help when you are around him to want to keep working hard and doing your best.
We are teaching a couple members kids and it is great. We have one lady who is very interested but wont take a baptismal date until she knows for sure its right. She has prayed and has felt the spirit but doesn't recognize it. But I hope she is ready for tomorrow!! She will know then!
Oh and my birthday was great. I had a great lunch made for me and two great cakes! i might have gained a couple pounds though,,,Tell Eric i love him and I'm proud of him. Also, ill try to stay in shape too but we aren't aloud to go outside in the mornings. But i have my good ol jump rope.
Umm last pday we played soccer with 2 investigators at the church. One we have dropped. We were his "buds" but he wasn't changing at all and it had been a couple weeks.
Chuch was interesting yesterday. it was voting and not even a member of the bishopric was there til sacrament which is at the end. And the Stake president showed up... Good thing is he taught our class for us and spoke in sacrament instead of us. We have realized our branch needs alot of help and that is our goal right now. They say, "Every member a missionary," but if we have no one coming then we don't have any help and why would our converts want to stay..But we will get it up.
Everything is good. Sickness comes and goes but that's how it will be and I'm OK with it. When did throwing up a couple times hurt anyone. Ive been out here a month and its crazy. i love the people here and I'm trying hard to show it. I'm trying my best to keep my chin up no matter what happens. I want y'all to know that i haven't always been the best or let alone tried. But, i know i am where i am supposed t be. I'm trying my best right now to serve my lord and serve the people here with all i have. One day, hopefully far far in the future i will be able to get on the plane to come home and i can be proud of the last 2 years. I can be proud of the effort I've put into it. Even though it isn't much, i want the lord one day to tell me i was a faithful servant. I want the same for everyone of you. I don't care where you are in life, you can be a good and faithful servant.

Dad) The scouting here is non existent. The young men's leader is trying to bring it in to maybe help more young men here.

Mom) Everything sounds well for ya ll. keep working hard.

Alex) I'm mad at you. your supposed to be the perfect kid..why aren't you writing your crazy older brother a\who needs words of encouragement from his little sis.
Samye)I'm writing a separate
Nicki) tambien

p.s. I know I've been here a while but i broke my ipod... oops. maybe if on day you wanted to send me a usb drive with church music efy music, talks. that would be wonderful. oh and one of those grip hand strengthener things. gracias!!!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Another week!

Seems like its been a day or 2 since i wrote to yall. Time definately flies and it kind of sucks. Anyways everything is going good.
Well last monday night I had my first experience with good ol food here on the street not settling too well with you. We went out but to say the least we hurried back to the pench as soon as posible and were there for the rest of the night.
Tuesday we had district meeting in the morning then in the afternoon we went out and taught some lesons and contacted. One lady we have been teaching is super nice and love her to death. She wont let us have a lesson but we always find ways to work it in there somehow. There is a light in her both elder judd and i see but we have to get there. We then walked about 6 miles back to the pench, bought ice cream, and sat on the roof and talked.
Wednesday was a crap of a hard day. We contacted in the morning...nothing. Had lunch with recent converts and had a lesson which was good. when we left it was pouring rain. we contacted and went around to appointments but no one let us in because we were soaked and muddy to our knees. Finally we stopped at a members house to get warm and relax for a second til we went to a meeting witht he ward mission leader. These are the fun days :)
Thursday we went out to an area that is very nice, very spread out and way out there. We found a couple people to teach and even a couple innactive members. It was great to get out in the country for a minute. It turns out the man i told you about who had a stroke had anohter one this week and isnt doing so well. We gave him a blessing and we go see him often. He cant speak at all now but we just stop by and try to encourage him, give him a hug and beso, and tell him we will seee him soon.
Anyways going day by day is boring. The elders we live next to had a baptism that we went to. we have 8 that will soon be there hopefully. We had the grandma who has 6 kids come to church with us. The always lift up your day. 5 of the kids have special needs but are absolutley amazing.
BAsically all is going well. Havnt gotten sick again yet. Its getting warmer each day. The dogs are super nasty. We are working are butts off and trying to influence and uplift as many people as we can. Besides that everything is great! Oh, and side note, for some reason lots of people think i look like mr smith from matrix or sometimes i get this other guy but idk who he is.
Im getting better witht the language but still working on it. The work here is amazing. It really isnt bad walking in the rain anmd mud as long as we think about the blessings we have. The members here are amazing. The people here are generally reallly nice. I have been given 2 years to work my butt off so i can save someone elses. I caught myself this week wanting t take a quick nap after language study (or during sometimes) but im going to have plenty of time to nap in the future. Ive only got 2 years to work my butt off, prove i can be successful at something, and help people without focusing on myself.
I hope all is well back in the states. (btw first thing i do when i get home is lay on the carpet).
Dad-Yall have been busy with byui stuff it seems. glad to hear its progressing.I had a member ask me about scouts. i didnt know if you could get your hands on any scout stuff in spanish and send it my way. thank you.
Mom- you do sound like a retired couple now. All these dinners and activities. Im guessing you already sent the package but maybe in the next one you could send a light weight black raincoat that is cheap but nice :)
Samye, D, and kids- Hope everyhting is well. I think about yall every day and hope everything is smooth.
Nicki-youll see
Alex- Keep working hard in school and everyhting else
Love yall, Elder Martino

Monday, October 10, 2011

Here in El Parque

Well its gone by super quick. kind of scary. First off, I'm getting better. The last couple days its rained and just been muddy and muggy and all of the above. It hasn't helped getting better when your soaking wet and cold. Oh and the umbrella broke in 5 minutes...Here is a couple things about my area. We walk every where. We would get bikes but they would get stolen very quick. Most the people are very nice and rarely do things happen to us. We have to watch out for cars because some people like to get those mormones when they are driving. Umm, there is an unreasonable amount of dogs. Most the dogs i could kick away but there are alot of people who like rottweilers and they don't like us. :)
Food. I'm kind of sick of the fried food. It is super good but that is all we eat. the vegetables and fruit are super expensive. We eat Milanese, guiso, pizza,empanadas, and asadas. I had my first big asada on Saturday night and it was ALOT of food. Churipan, bloodsausage, and alot more meat. oh and we do eat a bit of rice. The food is amazing just not a big variety. The bread is very good here and the facturas are great in the mornings. Oh, and we live down the street from an ice cream shop and a kid that works there we are talking with and working on him. Needless to say we have ice cream pretty often. People like to give the missionaries a warm glass of milk and cookies or juice.
The area is good. mud streets for the most part. Lots of babies and nice people. We have had quiet a few lessons but alot of people wont progress and its hard to figure out if its us or them. We do alot of tracting. Its fun using different random approaches and we come across interesting situations.
Elder Judd from Utah is my trainer and we live in a pench next to 2 other elders. Elder Judd and i get along great and have a fun time while we are working. He will leave next august.
Lets see, elections are in November and the streets are covered with posters and people driving down with speakers talking about the elections.
We have quiet a few investigators. They are awesome people. Yesterday at church we did sacrament, bore my testimony, almost taught primary, helped teach sunday school. There is alot of responsibility when not many people come. We were supposed to have 6 investigators at church. 1 showed up. After church we went and ate at a members house and then went contacting til a lesson later that night.
I got to give 3 blessings this week. super hard and I'm glad they knew my intentions but it was a really good experience. It was a rough week but we are staying happy and working our best.
Oh our pench is right down the street from our chapel. You cant mail things straight to me. Everything has to go through the mission home to get to me. Oh and we ended up not singing in church but we sing everyday so its ok. Umm as far as a package goes, whatever is good with me. Umm oh and anybody should feel free to email me. Its a whole lot quicker and its ok to do.
A couple times since last sunday people have asked me if i knew James Martino. They said that we looked alike. Ill take that as a compliment.
Mom. Hope everything is good. Sounds like ya ll are staying busy. Tell everyone i say hi!!

Dad. I heard you were pretty sore from some gardening..Maybe just maybe yall should get some cheap help..Hope everything is going well.

Samye and D. Samye there is a Lady in my ward who is due a week after you so she told me she would need our help. Not sure what that means but thought id tell ya. Hope all the kids are well and yall are doing great.

Nicki. Sounds like you've been visiting home and that you look really happy. Keep it up and don't let guys get you down. They are dumb anyways and everything will happen in its own time.

Alex. Keep doing well in school and making good friendships. Hope to hear from ya soon.

Love you all.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

How to Write to Elder Martino

If you want to write to Elder Martino:

Pouch mail: Write on only one side of an 8x10 piece of paper. Tri-fold the paper with the writing on the inside. Secure the long side with two pieces of tape about one inch in from each end, but do not seal the ends. In the top left corner write your name and complete return address. Affix first class postage in the top right corner. In the middle write the following address:
Drew Richard Martino
Argentina Buenos Aires South Mission
POB 30150
Salt Lake City, Ut. 84130-0150

Packages can be sent to:
Elder Drew Richard Martino
Argentina Buenos Aires South Mission
Quintana 447
1846 Adrogue
Buenos Aires
* Packages are rather expensive to send!!

Thanks for all you support! I know it means so much to Elder Martino

First Week Here!!!

Well I'm sick like a dog right now but doing my best.
Lets see we landed here in buenos Aries Tuesday morning. quickly tried to straighten up in the bathroom. went through customs and then met our president. Sister stapley actually knows grandma and grandpa. Her maiden name is Beck. I contacted 3 people in the airport waiting fro all the missionaries and then we left to the mission home. We stayed there for a while and then met our trainers and left. It took 1 bus and 3 trains and about 2.5 hours to get to our place. Next morning we got right to work. At first i was completely lost as to what people were saying. I don't feel like everyone said i would though. Now sometimes i can hold a conversation on my own and understand i think quiet a bit for my first week here. I will most likely be in this area for 18 weeks.
Now i know everyone will get a kick out of this. we teach an English class every Wednesday night and we have been teaching the people A Childs Prayer in English. Turns out we are singing it in sacrament next week we think... it gets better. I'm singing the first part of the song as a duet with a member here.
We got to watch all of conference on a tiny TV in English actually. except priesthood was only in castillano. i tried to understand but i kind of zoned out a little.
The people here for the most part are very nice and very welcoming. Others not so much but that is fine. In one lesson the other day, we asked the guy to be baptized and he jumped up and said yes! what day? We accidentally picked one too soon and the lesson the other day when we told him he had to marry his wife first didn't go so well..At one point i thought he was going to attack us but i love the guy. He has good intentions just doesn't understand it all the way.
Anyways I'm happy to be here and its going well besides being sick like a dog. Everyone says if you send a package, plaster it with Jesus and Mary and crosses. You can even call me saint elder Martino if you want on it. Dear elder still works to me but takes longer.
Oh and i had 2 letters waiting for me when i got here. One from Kerry Sherksnas and one from Sister Mower. I don't know if ill reply but ill try! The food here is usually pretty good but very fattening :)
Dad- I'm trying my best out here and i hope everything is well back home.
Mom- Thank you for the emails. Everything is going well.
Samye, Dustin, and family- It was nice getting to talk to all of you. Ya ll sound like your doing well and are excited for a new member of the family.
Nicki- Tell Estrella i saw her in a video yesterday. It was Christmas and they were all singing a song. Also there is an Hermana Ramirez who is serving in my mission and she knows you. She is from Rosario. Hope school and boys are treating you well.
Alex- I hope school is going well along with everything else. Stay busy and stay happy.

Love ya ll, Elder Martino