Mathew 15:14-16

14 Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. 15 Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. 16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

Monday, November 30, 2015

Well another week down in Argentina. It was very similar to last week but it was still ok. I hope my spanish is getting better, but I really can´t tell. It´s super easy to get so frustrated sometimes but then I just have to remember to take a step back. 
I hope everyone had a great thanksgiving! I didn´t realize it was thanksgiving till  Thursday night, which was pretty depressing. But at least I remebered to tell my companion happy Thanksgiving later that night! Honeslty, I think I am more depressed that I missed Black Friday... Hahaha
We have been teaching a lot of less active members. They are all very nice. We haven´t done a single bit of contacting though. Which has been kinda lame because for some reason I have kinda been looking forward to that. We have been teaching this one family that has been progressing a lot. Their baptismal date is December 12th and we really hope they will be prepared by then. 
My companion has been sick for most of the week. He was so bad on Wednesday that we had to stay in the apartment all day. Which really stunk because we were going to have a zone meeting later that day. Which means I could have met other missionaries. I was thinking the other night and I realized that for the whole time I have been here, the only family or friend I have within thousands of miles is my companion. Which isn´t very comforting so I´m looking forward to meeting more people at our district meeting tomorrow. But even then there are only two other companionships in our district and I´m pretty sure most of them are native so it´s not like a will be able to talk with them anyways.
We have been walking a lot. Which has been really nice!! Sometimes we take a collecitvo which is like a bus, but they are always really crowded and uncomfortable. 
Nothing too crazy has happened this week. The jokes about me being white and not knowing spanish haven´t stopped but it´s not like I´ve been expecting they would. Actually, now that I think about it, one night, we were walking home in the dark and this crazy guy got all up in our face and and starting trying to tussle with us while quoting scriptures about Jesus being crucified. So that was actually really fun and exciting. 
Anyway, I´m realing looking forward to finally learning Spanish and feeling more like an affective missionary. But it´s just going to take time. 

I also miss carpet... They dont have it here and for some reason it bugs me...

Elder Townsend

November 23, 2015
Such a crazy week. I´ll start out with when we left the MTC. So we left and headed up to salt lake on the train and got to the airport. We then flew to Atlanta Georgia and then to Buenos Aires. The flights were miserably long. On the way down to Argentina, all the Argentine women around me were watching Magic Mike and Fifty Shades of Gray. So that was basically 11 hours of trying to hold back the puke in my mouth. Anyway, eventually I got here. When we landed we went through customs and everything and my mission president and his wife were waiting for us. We then went to the temple really quickly and then to the mission home. After we stayed at the mission home for a while, we went to the mission office. There, I was assigned my trainer. His name is Elder Bell. He has served for about 21 months. He is awesome. I´m the third missionary he has trained. Our area is in the suburbs of a town called Merlo. Apparently it is one of the bigger cities in the mission.

Anyway, Argentina is crazy. It is a lot different than the states. The people here are nice, but they talk so stinking fast! I can barely understand anything. Which has been lovely.... not... It´s super frustrating but it is slowling getting better. The time flies by so fast here. It is kinda scary. We wake up in the morning, we excercise and do our studies, we then go have lunch at a members house, and then we are out working for most of the day until 9:00. They dont really have dinner here. The food here is awesome. Tons and tons of meat. You cant drink the water from the tap here so everyone drinks soda. 

The missionary work has been going well. The ward is super awesome and they give us a lot of support. We have a few progressing investigators, but there is one family in particular that is really close to being ready to be baptized which is awesome. I´m kinda getting tired of being called the new missionary who doesnt know spanish but it is what it is. Luckily, my companions spanish is good so he helps out a lot. He sometimes does a little to much socializing wich is frustrating because that is the part I cant understand. We havent done to much contacting. We have to be really carefully because if we talk to women, especially women close to our age, they will try to kiss us which is custom here. Thats when we have to just shove our hands in their face. Hahah good times. Im slowing getting to exept the culture. It was hard at first but it is getting better. The only thing that is really the same down here is the gospel and the importance of family. Our whole mission is in a very poor area. It is a humbling experience daily. The poorest house i have ever been in in the States makes the nicest house i have been in here look like a dump. 

The people in general are very nice though. They all try to help me understand what they are saying for the most part. Some of our investigators call me Ken because to them apparently my face looks like ken the barbie. grrrr... 

At church yesterday the bishop asked me to bear my testimony and i actually did pretty well! Sunday was also the day the people here voted for a new president. We had to stay inside most the day in case things got crazy. I tried to take a nap so i went to bed at 5:00 and accidently slepped through the night till this morning at 6:30....oops...

Anyway, this week has probably been one of the most hardest, uncomfortable weeks of my life, but it is getting better and better each day! 

Sorry if my spelling and grammar are terrible.This computer is in Spanish and it says all the words im typing are incorrect....

Elder Townsend

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Last week in the MTC!!!!! We are all so excited to leave. This week was fast but very long at the same time. Class was absolutely brutal because they packed so much information in to make sure we are ready to leave. Most of my district is leaving Monday morning, and the other part is leaving Tuesday. It is going to be crazy awesome! 
We have been mostly busy with class work all week but here are a few fun things that have occurred:
- On Wednesday we had an ice cream eating contest. My companion won at a startling six bowls. I was very proud.
- On Tuesday we practiced teaching the law of Chasity. When we practice we usually practice teaching our companions but because we are a trio, usually one of us has to go with our teacher. So of course our teacher picked me to go with her... I think it was partly because she was curious if i could keep from laughing.... Anyway, the first time I taught her, it went great; my Spanish was on point and I asked good questions and used great scriptures. But then i had to teach it a second time, and i wasn't expecting this. I didn't want to teach it the same way so without even thinking, I started with the question "Le gusta su cuerpo?" which honestly was a bad question to begin with because technically i asked her if her body pleases her, and she answered "ummm... si" and then without even thinking I said "yo tambien"... After a few seconds I realized what I just said (basically I agreed with her implying that her body pleases me) and then we both start dying of laughter. It was so bad we had to leave the classroom and take a break.... so yeah that was awesome...not... At least I got that mistake out of the way with before I get to Argentina.

- On Thursday we had a mini testimony meeting as a district. It was so nice to talk together. We have all grown so much and it will be very hard to go our separate ways. One thing that I have been thinking a lot about lately is a quote I heard earlier in the week that I think is from Joseph Smith that says, "Hell is looking into the eyes of the man you could have become". I love this because it is absolutely true. I don't want to end my mission, and i especially don't want to leave this life, knowing that I had more to give, more to offer, or more to sacrifice. I'm so proud of my district and I know we will all serve honorable missions. They are the best. I love them so much.

I'm not quite sure when my next email will be. I will start to have preparation day on Monday but I'm not quite sure how that will work out this next week. 

Have a great week!!

Elder Townsend

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Crazy week once again! 
So on Monday, we headed to the travel office and did all the paperwork to redo my FBI clearance. We got all of that done, but we couldn't do the fingerprint part because the cop they have that does it wasn't on duty that day. So we were told to just wait and that they would call us back in when the cop contacts them.
So on Tuesday night they called us into the travel office again and told us they made me an appointment for the next morning. Which was fantastic because I was super eager to get that taken care of. 
On Wednesday the cop picked me and my companions up (they were super excited to tag along...) and took us to the police station on BYU campus to get fingerprinted. It was awesome!!!!!! We had temporarily escaped!!!... under the watchful care of a police officer of course... I can't even explain how nice it was to get away and see new scenery. When we got to the campus and parked I was looking around like crazy for anyone I would know... Sadly no one:( He dragged us straight into the police station.... But it was still really nice to have that feeling of something familiar! I've actually  run into several friends at the temple which has been really cool and fun as well!!... not planed meeting of course because that would be breaking the rules....Anyway, we got the fingerprints taken care of, which was a huge relief. 
In regards to the people we have been teaching, we have finished our lessons with Angela and Jose. Both of them to committed to "baptism" which is awesome but won't happen because they are both members of the church acting as investigators. We are still teaching Lucio though until the day we are leaving.
Friday this week was our teacher's birthday!!! Which was a super fun change!! We threw her a surprise party with the limited resources we have at the mtc. We even made her a pinata in the shape of an Orca Whale out of tissues and cardboard.  It was pretty fun!!
On Friday everyone got there flight plans, and I got mine too! I don't know how the travel office does it, but I am headed to Argentina next week when I am suppose to!!! Which is awesome! And I guess that means I will have some sort of visa because they didn't give me any instructions on how to sneak past security. 

And today we got haircuts. We were all pretty nervous because we have heard some scary stories about the haircuts at the MTC. The barbers are basically just local BYU or beauty school student so you never know what you are going to get. I even heard one kid got a haircut so bad he went home..... But honestly they turned out pretty good!
It was a pretty great week! Only one more week to go!

Elder Townsend
Week 4, Received on 10-31-15
Well, this week has been kinda crazy. My whole district is really anxious to leave this place because we can see the light at the end of the tunnel. 
On Tuesday, Elder Neil Anderson (an apostle) came and spoke at the mtc for our devotional. It was a pretty big deal so there was a lot of excitement, which was fun. It was broadcasted to all of the mtc's around the world. He did an awesome job! He is such a sweet guy. The focus of his message was on sacrifice. 
Also, later that night we had a district meeting and our branch president sat in with us. At the end he basically told us that he had been a branch president at the mtc for 4 years, was a mission president in Chile for 3, and had been in charge of thousands of missionaries in his life and he had never seen a district as awesome as us.... Pretty cool stuff. I love my district.
On Wednesday things started to get crazy. I got called down to the travel office after dinner and was told that Salt Lake hadn't received my FBI clearance I applied for at the beginning of the summer. Which wasn't good news. Lucky it was just a mix up on who the government sent it to. They sent it to me instead of salt lake for some reason. I got it at the end of August and luckily I kept on to it and brought it to the mtc because i just thought it was a receipt or something. So all i had to do was go back to my room and get it and turn it in. Apparently, a lot of people have been having this problem and it hasn't stopped them from going to Argentina when they are supposed to. They apparently just give the missionaries a travel visa while the rest of the paperwork for the real visa is processing. Which was great news to hear. 
The bad news is, last night I got called to the travel office again. Apparently, the name on my passport and my FBI clearance don't match. My passport has a space between the "c" and the "L" in my first name and my FBI clearance is correct... thanks Obama... Not so great news. It wont be accepted until it gets fixed. So on Monday, I have to  get another FBI clearance. And it sounds like im going to be picked up in a police car and taken to do my fingerprints again. Which is kinda exciting because I get out of class but still is just a big hassle. I asked the travel office guy working if this was going to delay me going to Argentina in the next two weeks and he said he didn't think it would and that they could work around it... But who knows, he is just a minimum wage paid college kid... If it turns out I cant go to Argentina in the next two weeks, I will be temporarily reassigned to a new mission for a few weeks until they get it fixed. Which is again, kinda exciting but still a big hassle. The most frustrating part however is that I have no clue what the heck is going on.... which is great.... Anyway, my district and i get our flight plans next week so I will probably find out by we next email. I know it will all work out but it is still pretty stressful.

Elder Townsend