coming home in...

Thursday, April 26, 2018

The Beginning of the End // Apr. 24, 2018

Happy Tuesday, 

Tranfers took place yesterday and there were some crazy changes. We had our zone cut down a little, President closed two areas in our zone which basically doubled the size of our area. Elder Teves left to Chaco(different province) and I recieved my last comp. It is the great Elder Moore from Arizona. He is a super cool, chill guy who is fanatico de fishing and hunting, like he has gone tuna fishing, spear fishing in the open ocean, and he often goes deer hunting with bows and arrows. We got to know each other last tranfer when we stayed in there appartment and now we are comps. I couldnt have asked for a better companion to ¨kill me¨since my mission life is coming to an end. it is weird to be in the last transfer of my mission, this past weekend has basically been the beginning of the end. Even though I am aware of the little time I have left, I dont really feel any different. The only weird thing is that from now on it will be ¨my last....¨. Starting with this Thursday, with my last leadership council in Resistencia. I know that the next 6 weeks will fly by, so I will be making sure to enjoy it and finish strong. 

We also had to change appartments. As I mentioned in my other letter, we had been looking for a new appartment to move into, but with the closing of the sisters area, we just moved into their appartment. We made that move yesterday and still have a couple things to move over. It is nice moving into a previous sisters appartment becuase, sisters always get nice things, and included in these nice things are washers and driers! 

We also had a church open house in goya and gave tours of the church Saturday. There were 8 investigators that came and turned out to be a success! Next week we will have another church open house in Bella Vista which is 80 Km up the road. Before our open house. I had to go to Esquina with Elder Rubisch and conduct a baptism for an investigator there. Rigfht after the interview she got baptized in the river. It was pretty cool to experience that.. but apperently the water was super cold. 

I will keep you all updated on all our investigatores because we just inherited all the investigators that the sisters had. I hope you all have a great week! 

Elder Keicher

[FHE in the Calarco house]

[A pizza I made this week]

[The baptism in Esquina]

[Waffles with Elder Moore this morning]

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

I Found A Chick // Apr. 16, 2018

How´s everyone doing. Dont be alarmed by the subject of this email... i didnt know what to put, So i copied and pasted one of the captions of one of my photos. 

have decided to write in the mornings now... so sorry if that is inconvenient for anyone. But this week was great. We had divisions, searched for a new place to live, aaaand Joaquin got baptized. 

Joaquin is a kid we found by using some member lists that we got printed off. He is part of a less active family and hadnt been baptized yet. He is 10, so we taught him and his dad over the past 2/3 weeks and his dad was able to baptize his son. It all turned out great, a lot of the family showed up with plenty of members. And yesterday he got confirmed a member. I was in divisions with Elder Hannah, that was super fun because we were in the same district in the MTC, it is kinda cool because we started together and we will now end together in the same zone. Transfers is next week and we will most likely stay in the same zone. But there is going to be a lot of change in the zone... so it will be excited to see where everyone goes and who comes. 

We have been searching for a new apartment for a couple weeks now because we have to be out of our current apartment by the end of this month. So we have been looking a many apartments but we havent had much luck because the majority are super far from our area and/or they are super crappy and run down. But this past friday we found a place that is super nice and close to our area. SO we will most likely be moving. 

ALso on Friday night, the other branch here in goya had a movie night,and I happened to be in divisions so I was able to watch Coco for the 2nd time. And Elder Rubisch made some homemade donuts to share. Then last night, the other branch threw a going away party for Elder Fernandez who is in his last week in the mission. There were a bunch of people. 

This is kind of a boring email... but I just remembered a really funny experience my comp and I had this week while looking for new apartments. As usual, we have to find real estate agencies to go to and ask what places they have to rent. But this particular night, this older man let us in and we started talking. From the beginning I could tell this guy didnt have much interest in talking about places to live. I would say something along the lines of, we are looking for some in centro with 2 bedrooms. he would respond with something like, ¨Oh yeah we have plenty of places in centro, but look, my son studied medicine in the states...¨ and would go on about his son. I mean, props to him, I mean, if I lived here I would be proud of my son if he studied medicine in the states. But the conversation turned for the better when he started asking us about, well us.. mormones. And he was really intrigued. The dude is super intelligent, he is 75 years old, a retired pharmacist and is studying to get a law degree. He told us that he doesnt want his mind to get old and slow, so he decided to keep his mind up to speed, he would study law. After talking about the book of mormon, he told us that, despite his busy study schedule, he would dedicate himself to read 10 pages a day from the BOM. haha  Usually we try to get people here to read a couple verses over the space of a couple days, but considering the type of person we were talking too(pharmacist, owns a real estate agency, and studying law) he has a different work ethic than 90% of the people we come into contact with. But, unfortunately, they didnt have any apartments that we could rent. But we will be sure to pass by and teach him some more. 

But that was the week. I hope you all enjoy your monday and the rest of the week! 
I will be writing on tuesday of next week! 

Elder Keicher

Monday, April 9, 2018

Coconut Rings // Apr. 9, 2018

Good morning family and friends. 

I hope everyone is up and excited to take on the day! I will tell you all how my week was! It was super fun! First off, i met the richest person I´ve met in my mission on exchanges in Bella Vista. I went with Elder Fernandez, who goes home in 2 weeks, and we visited an investigator named Jessica! Jessica is 40ish years old and has known the missionaries for 20 years. She is your classic ¨enternagator¨ or an eternal investigator. But has a beautiful home with a beautiful BMW. It felt weird not teaching on a 5 gallon plastic bucket... Instead we were seated comfortably on couches with air conditioning. Normally, it can be hard to have spiritual lessons with people when you teach them in the street because there are always trucks and motorcycles passing by with the constant hum of  the neighbor´s dogs barking. But no, the only disturbance we encountered in this lesson was the pool maintenance guys working on cleaning the water filters in Jessica´s jacuzzi in her backyard. But rest assured, because we were able maintain focus in the lesson as we taught. after the lesson I took a picture with her old ford classic that her husband is restoring. 

Saturday we had 4 baptisms in the zone... all coming from the elders in Esquina. They came up to Goya and we had the baptism here. It was great... but a little stressful because the baptism was kinda last minute. And we didnt have a key to the baptismal font. The stubborn branch president took the keys from us and gave them to the branch mission leader, which is fine because according to the manual, the branch mission leader should be the one who prepares the church for the baptisms. But these four girls that got baptized, got approval from their mom Friday night. So Saturday morning, we spent the whole day looking for the mission leader, but couldnt be found. Plus, he doesnt have a phone, so there was no way we could contact him. So we went to the church at 2pm and jumped into the font from the viewing room and started filling the font.... but we had no way of opening the doors from the bathroom. The baptism was supposed to start at 4... but ending up starting at 4: 45 because finally the branch president found the mission leader. I had the privilege the interview two of these 4 four girls and it was awesome to see the testimonies they had. They had been waiting for their moms approval for 6 months the get baptized, and I could feel the excitement they had to get baptized into the church. 

Last night, Elder Rubisch taught me how to make rings made out of coconut... So I attached a photo of that. Pretty neat! I hope you are all doing well and have a great week! 

Elder Keicher 

[me ¨mostrándote mi luz¨] 

[A birthday cake for a member in the other branch]

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Traditions of Our Fathers // Apr. 2, 2018

Hey fam! 

Well this week was filled with so many exciting events and I will make a sad attempt to relate what all happened. So to start things off...

[Gringo listening to the conference in their native tongue]

We had multi-zone conference in corrientes on wednesday. It was a typical and was pretty fun. But an hour into the training, Elder Cortés(from our zone) got sick... well he had been uneasy for a couple days and he got anxiety in the 3 hour shuttle ride and by the time the conference started, he wasnt looking very good. He spent an hour in the bathroom and finally president sent him and his comp to a medical clinic to get checked out. Turned out that he had an ¨Ataque de hígado¨ and they gave him some medication. Sister Patanía(presidents wife) didnt want him to travel with the rest of the zone. So I stayed with him in corrientes capital for the night and we traveled thursday at noon. There was an exciting change to mission rules. Now, there is a list of 55 approved movies that we are allowed to watch. Ranging from toy story, Emperor's new groove, to coco and moana.... So I will be making   trips to the local ¨Video Club¨ here in Goya and buy as many pirated  disney movies as I can.       [^^ Group of us at the multi-zona]

General conference was historical and amazing. We had a great time watching the conference from the family history room in our church as gringos. There was an endless supply of donuts made by Elder Rubisch, A sad excuse for peach cobbler from Elder Keicher, and some amazing zuccini and apple bread from the hermanas. Needless to say conference was uplifting physically and spiritually. I had so many favorite talks and loved and the new progams and reorganizing of organizations. To me, it is a way to break tradition and focus on the center of the gospel. In the book of mormon, I have been taking to notice how much it warns us about the ¨traditions of our fathers¨ and how such traditions can cause us to fall and miss the point of the gospel. I feel that our Heavenly Father wanted to break such traditions in our church so that we, his servants, can hasten the work more effectively. Without a living prophet, such revelation couldnt be recieved. 

Well I am drawing a blank on what else to relate. The work is moving along. We had an investigator come to the sunday morning session who hadnt gone to church in over 2 years. It is an investigator that we dropped because she wasnt progession at all and was flat out lying to us . But we decided to go back this past week and invite her to conference. andshe went! So we will be doing some following up with her. Joaquin wont be baptized this saturday abecause we need him and his dad to come to church first. So I´ll keep you updated on that! 

I hope you all have a great week and will follow the prophets adivce to really study these conference talks as they come out!  have a great week! 

Elder Keicher

[FHE with the Rodrigues family]

[Me with one of my favorite comps in the mission]

[This was my friday lunch!!]

[The zone (most of it)]

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Goya Vision // March 27, 2018

Happy Monday! 

Another week down and things are starting to roll again in our area. I made my second TV/Radio apperence on Argentine AIR. This time it was a TV interview on your local ¨GOYA VISION¨ tv channel. This past week, the branch president and his counselor gave a church tour to two ladies. Well turns out that they were incharge of a parade against abortion that took place yesterday. But they asked our church to provide a representative to appear with them on a TV interview talking about the issue on abortion. Well, the branch president got cold feet and told us to do it! So we went and did our best. It was nerve racking though because we were talking about a sensitive subject on TV representing the church.... I wasnt too excited but everything turned out fine!  

[GOYA VISION studio]

We suffered a bit of a dry spell the past 2-3 weeks but this past week was very productive and we will be seeing some results here in a couple of weeks. If you rememeber last email I talked about the leadership conference in Resistencia. Well part of this conference the mission president gave us a new initiative to put into action in our zones. To explain, we were tolded to print off 2 lists, ¨New converts from the past two years, and ¨children older than 9 that havent been baptised¨. We then use the branch directory to find these people and their families and try to reactivate and/or teach their unbaptized kids. Well, it worked!! We picked 3 families to visit, One we found and had a lesson. We have to go back and follow up. Another family we found and turns out that all are baptized but they gave yus a reference to their nephew that is 10 and has yet to be baptized. So we went over to that house the next day and initiated teaching with them. And the father wants to baptize his son. Turns out that the 10 year old(whose name is Joaquin) is the only child in their family who isnt baptized. So we put a baptismal date for the 7th of april and will be working along side with the family to get everything arranged and ready for that date. We have a FHE tomorrow night with them! 

[Us with the Rodigues family]

This week we have Multi-Zona in corrientes capital on Wednesday. I also love recieveing there trainings from president. They always drag on but its nice to see other missionaries and travel with the zone. and of course we will be watching conference this weekend and are super excited for that. It is actually perfect because in corrientes captial there is a wal-mart, so we can buy somethings to prepare for conference Saturday

We also came across another less active this week that got baptized 5-6 years ago and then went completely inactive a year after getting baptized! She basically ran us down in the street and wanted us to go visit her. When we arrived to her home, she brought out all the pictures of her baptize and while showing them to us, began to cry. It was a very tender moment as she looked up at Elder Teves and I and said, ¨I want to go back¨. The spiritual hunger and emotional pain inside this inactive sister was so real. It really hit me when she then went on to tell us about the death of her son that happened 6 months prior. I couldnt find the words to comfort her as she continued to relate how since then has fallen into a smoking and drug consumption habit. As my companion and I sat with her all we could do was thank her for her running us down and opening her mouth. We promised her that she would recieve the help she would need. We read with her Alma 7: 11-13

11 And he shall go forth, suffering pains and afflictionsand temptations of every kind; anthis that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will take upon him the pains and thsicknesses of his people. 12 And he will take upon him deaththat he may loose the bands of death which bind his people; and he will take upon hitheir infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, thahe may know according to the flesh how to succor his peoplaccording to their infirmities.13 Now the Spirit knoweth all things; nevertheless the Son oGod suffereth according to the flesh that he might take upon him the sins of his people, that he might blot out their transgressions according to thpower of his deliverance; annow behold, this is the testimony which is in me.
That was the week. Enjoy conference and we´ll meet back here next monday
Elder Keicher

[The hermana Rodgriques  taught me how to make a classic argentine ¨Guiso arroz¨]

[Found my first GOAT since Ibarreta]

Monday, March 19, 2018

WORST internet connection in the world // Mar. 19, 2018

Well the truth has finally been revealed. I´m not talking about what happened in 1820 nor am I referring to the fact that I finally found the source of the stereotypical cricket noise in our apartment(shockingly it was a cricket underneath the fridge). No, I am talking about the fact that it has been proven that Argentina has the As I was passing by businesses the other day, I saw the completely reliable ¨Todo Noticias¨ news channel headlining what I have known since august 2016. But now it has been made official. Just today I waited 2 minutes after clicking on an email for it to open up. But I dont intend on going on about this so let´s move on the what happened in the week! 

So I will let you guys in on who Sandra is because I imagine you have seen her blast feeding my comp and I on facebook. She is an investigator we are teaching right now. Her three sons got baptized the 3rd and 10th of February and right now we are working with her so that she can get baptized. She has to either get married or get separated from her novio. The problem is that they dont want to get married because they both have government pensions for being single parents. So if they get married they lose that pension. The pension runs out to be like $250 dollars or 5000 pesos. But we put a date with her for the 14 of april and set the goal that she could make a desicion by that date. She has a great testimony and has gone to church like 8 times since we found them in January. But yes, she has the habit of taking pictures of us during our lessons and then uploading them to ¨face¨. We are also trying to find more people because that is an issue right now. The branch is going through a transition so we are finally going to get a branch mission leader to work with this week.

This week we had leadership conference in Resistencia! We got up there Wednesday night and the next day we had our meeting. Presidente Patanía announced that the 1st presidency sent a notice saying that they wont be sending out as many missionaries to the mission... mostly because the amount of missionaries going home is a lot higher of the amount of missionaries leaving for missions right now. Apparently a lot of missions are closing and missionaries are being focused in different parts. He talked to us about the difference between effective and efficient. Making the point that even though the amount of missionaries in the mission are going down, we need to be efficient and maintain, if not increase, the amount of work we are doing, despite the drop in numbers. When I got to the mission there were 180 missionaries in this mission and when I leave there will only be 130. Thats 25 areas that will have been closed in 2 years. Our zone has 7 areas in it and its the biggest zone in the mission with the smallest having only 3 areas. Just realities that the church is facing right now and the hand of the adversary in our lives. 

We had lunch yesterday with a family. They made us an argentine BBQ... this is a common experience that usually I dont mention in my emails but this BBQ was different because afterwards we went to their backyard and in the middle of the yard there was this random matress. I couldnt resist this golden opportunity to capture what I see on the daily but at this point has become normal to me. Seeing this matress in the middle of the yard didnt strike my attention at first but then I thought that if this was my first week, I would be caught off gaurd by such a scene that you may only see in west virginia. 

Well that was the week! Saludos! 

Elder Keicher

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Water just started spewing out mid prayer // Mar. 13, 2018

Hey fam! 

So this week was transfers. Honestly this past week felt like the moment in Deal or No Deal when they are about to reveal to the contestant if they chose the million dollar brief case and as the suspense builds, Howie Mandel declares, ¨...we´ll be back right after this break¨. Well I was expecting a lot of things to happen to the zone, but there was basically no change. So I am in my third transfer with Elder Teves in Goya and this ¨break¨ will last at least 6 more weeks. 

So this week we had a little complication in our apartment. Wednesday morning my companion and I were literally saying our prayer before leaving for the morning and water just started spewing out of out water heater  in mid-prayer. Obviously the water leaking out was boiling hot lava water and we couldnt figure out how to get it to stop. We put a huge pot under it and thought we would just wait for it to drain all out. But 15 minutes passed and water was still spewing out. At this point there was water all over the apartment and I started looking for the water vaulve in the apartement. So we got the water turned off and spent some time cleaning the apartment back up. But it was quite the inconvenience

Considering it was the last week of the transfer there was a lack of motivation amongest a lot of the missionaries because we were all expecting something to happen. We had a great lesson anyway with one of our investigators named Azucena. We were in a lesson in which, my companion and I decided to figure out what her need was. Well, turns out that the problem was that she didnt want to open up to us while her husband was there. Because he got up after 10 minutes and left to go run an errend and while he was gone, she completely opened up to us about some serious things that she has kept in for more than 15 years. It was a great experience and we were able to get the ball rolling with her. I´ll have to share that experience more deeply later on. 

So this week we will be going to resisetencia for leadership conference with my comp and this time the district leaders are coming with. So it will be super nice to change up the routine. Plus going to resistencia makes me think of my first six months in the mission so its always nice to go back. 
Right now I am reading the Book Of Mormon, and this time I decided to use a study manual and I am really enjoying it. It really makes you read and see certain scriptures in a different light and with different background information that helps you understand the context and meaning of the scripture. 

So that was my week. I didnt really take many photos this week, but I´ll be sure to take plenty this week. Love you all! Have a great week! 

Elder Keicher
I got a bracelet made from a sister in the zone!