Tuesday, May 29, 2018

One Last "Send" // May 28, 2018

Que tal fam! 

I am not sure if we will be able to write anything to you guys on our last day so we´ll just act as if this were my last email. 

So this week while walking down the street, I saw a ladder about a block away, so I asked elder moore what the odds were that he walked under the ladder! Well, for those of you that know how ¨what are the odds¨ works, the person gives you the ¨odds¨. In this case elder moore said, 1 in 10. Then on the count of three you both say a number between 1 and 10 and we both said three! HA! So he walked under the ladder and that after noon he fell 2 times and one of those times in a ditch! it was kinda hilarious but also felt bad for the guy! Aside from the shananagins, we saw a lot of progress with a new investigador we started teaching  this transfer. His name is Juan Palacios. He is 15 years old and lives with his aunt and uncle(kinda a messed up family situation that I wont go into detail about). But he is super cheto and educated. During the week we sent him a couple texts to verify some commintments we had left with him to read the book of mormon. we asked if he had read the first chapter and he responded, ¨I only got to Ch.6!¨ I saw that text and I was just filled by sher shock and lost my breath for about  3 sec. WHAT! people here actually reading and keeping commitments! whats happening? Then this past friday in the lesson on the plan of salvation, he asked us how we can know if someone holds the correct authority to baptize. That time I about past out right there in the charla. I didnt believe what he had just asked. GOLDEN Q´s. Then to make the lesson even better, he showed us some HILARIOUS video on youtube called ¨Y Eña¨. I love teaching adolocent teenage kids who are interested in learning about their God! Sunday he showed up all by himself and stayed for two hours. If things keep going well, I believe this kid should be getting baptized in June! Super capo! 

Tomorrow we have multizona in corrientes. Wednesday-Sunday are just normal days of work. Then monday early morning I got to Resistencia to spend the day in the mission offce. There I will deal with administrative things. Have my exit interview by my mission president. I believe we will have a preparing to return home training by president. Then at night we go to the mission office to have dinner. I will stay in a hotel (not in the mission office). 

So here I am, last time at an argentine computer on p -day. This will be my last contact with you guys from this side of the equator! This time next week I will be in RESI spending my last day in this country! It doesnt seem real... but it has been a slow realization over the past two weeks! It has truely been a blast. It never ever feels like one will actually, truely end their mission. Honestly, from day 1 till day 706, the end just seems like a myth... something that doesnt really, actually happen. You see missionaries come and go throughout this time, but you never think that your time is ever really close. I obviously knew that it would come to an end at some point, but it always seems so distant that it isnt worth thinking about. I think that could relate to our mortal journey here on earth. We see people come(birth) and go(death), but when we think about our own death, we just push that aside because we think, ¨thats so far off that it´s not even worth worrying about¨. That is how we fall into a casual, idle habits. We dont feel the pressure to keep going, to keep PREPARING for the end. Even if we have messed up in life, we think, well I got a lot of time to fix that later, and we put it off. until we have put it off too long and its too late. 

So here´s to one last ¨send¨, to all the latino dogs that barked/bit me, all the ¨no esta nadie¨ shouts at the doorstep, all the endless ¨uno¨ games played on p-days. Here´s to all the ¨Flecha bus¨(look it up) buses i have riden/slept on, and to all the sketchy eletric shower heads i´ve had to use. I think I will strangly miss you. and just a quick shoutout to all those argentine pizzas i´ve eatten, I believe you will make me forever think twice before criticizing any little ceasers 5 dollar hot n ready... or any americanized pizza for that matter. Finally, so long to these 102 consecuative weeks of emails that I am sure only my mom read! I enjoyed writing them anyway. Keep it real. Adios! 
Elder Keicher
Argentina Resistencia Mission
June 2016 - June 2018

Monday, May 21, 2018

A Pleasant Surprise // May 21, 2018

Hey Fam,

Well the time is winding down. We had a great week here in Goya. This transfer has absolutely flown by. This is my 2nd to last p-day of the transfer and what will be my mission. But Elder Moore and I are getting a lot done with this massive area we are in charge of. Unfortunately, we havent had our normal multi zone conference because presidente patania was sick when we were suppose to have it... but rumors have it that we will have it in our last week of the transfer. There is so much going on in the area and a lot of potential. We had a pleasant surprize investigators come to church yesterday. One was Humberto, who was the 75 year old pharmasist who is owns that real estate agency. We have kept contact with him and taught a little to him and he showed up Sunday. It was a little complicated though because elder moore and I went in Taxi to pick up an investigator and her 2 sisters who live really far away. And when we called for the taxi, the guy said that it was going to take awhile because there was only one taxi driver working that morning. so he picked us up late and ended up showing up to church at 9:25. As we walked in, I noticed Claudio and Humberto and was super happy to see them there. It is possible we will be able to baptize the investigador who we picked up on my last saturday here.... but we will see. 

It is pretty chilly here. Every day this week I have been wearing sweaters and my north face jacket because it is quite fresco out. so that has been nice but makes me nostalgic because I get taken back to chilly thanksgiving mornings and brisky friday afternoon football games. But then I turn the street and see a 7 year old boy driving a motorcycle down the street and I am reminded that I am in Argentina.

This week will be a fun week because wednesday is the elders qurome president´s birthday and we will go to his house for a nice argentine BBQ. Then on Friday in the Argentine independence day(25demayo) and we will be having a big branch activity. I am pretty excited for that! It will be combined between the two branchs here so it will be interesting to see if there are any luchas or verbal assualts. I´ll keep you updates! 

But as for me... I am doing great. I am at peace with everything and excited to take advantage of these last 14 days in the mission! Kinda crazy, today it kind of hit me, that it is actually coming to an end. I think it is because usually at the 5 week mark in a transfer is when you start thinking about what will happen in transfers. Will I go? will I stay? will my comp go, or will my comp stay? But there is no guessing this time. Thats all I got for this week! I love you guys and hope you enjoy every day. 

Elder Keicher

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Surgery Performed on a Baby in the Dark // May 14, 2018

Happy Monday again, 

Well it was great to talk to you guys yesterday. I hope you will forgive me because I have developed weird linguistical habits that I am sure you will notice in more clarity when I get back. But everyone looks great. We´ll continue that conversation in t-minus 22 days. 

Today for p-day, Elder Moore and I got bikes from the tourist center and took them around goya all morning. We went to a snake museum which was quit interesting. They even had baby allegatores. I asked the lady if I could hold one of them and the lady almost let me... but that didnt happen. after that we went and played ¨Padel¨. But before that, we had district meeting and celebrated elder rubicsh´s birthday. Then tonight we are going to watch the empires new groove... super pumped for that. Elder moore and I have been having fun with food recently. To give you all context, when I got here in Argentina, the ARG peso was 15 to 1 dollar. it has since rose to 20 to 1 dollar and over the past 3 weeks, it has risen to 24 ARG pesos to 1 dollar. This is making everything super expensive so we are cooking a lot and getting creative. On Thursday morning when we were stuck in side, we really didnt have much food. So we made Buscuits and Gravy using with flour and a little milk. The next day we made some really good hamburgers that blows any argentine burger out of the water. So I attached a pic of that. I kind of got side tracked talking about food, but like I said yesterday, its my weakness and the onlt thing that gets me ¨trunky¨. 

So this week was the first week that felt like fall. The tempurature has officially dropped and now the leafs are starting to turn colores and fall. That was acompanied with an abundance of rain that dropped so much water in Goya... to the point that tursday morning we had to stay in doors because of flooding. All the success we had 2 weeks ago was followed by a mediocure week. All the investigadores basically stopped progressing. Marta was supposed to get baptized on saturday but she sent us a text message on thursday telling us that she was doing well with everything but that she hasnt been able to kick the smoking vice. So that has been suspended until that gets resolved. Claudio and Marcela, like I mentioned yesterday are doing well, going to church, adn all that jazz, but are still trying to talk about it as a couple to decided if it is right for them(to get married and baptized). Their obstical would be fear, fear of change and what will happen once they make that decision. So that is still pending.  

[Baby alligators] 
I hope you all have a great week, Love you! 

Elder Keicher
[A head line I saw in a restaurant that says ¨While operating on a baby, the power went out and they lit up it up with their phones¨ ...I´ll just end there]

[Playing ¨Padel¨]

[Us at church with Claudio and Marcela]

[Us in district meeting this morning.]

[Us on Goya bikes]

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Everyone Has Their Agency // May 7, 2018

Hey Fam! 

¨Everyone has their agency¨. As a missionary it is difficult to not get frusterated becuase others(investigadors) dont use their agency as ¨I¨ would like. For those who arnt aware of the religous meaning of agency, it is the ability and privilege God gives us to choose and to act for ourselves. This week we had a lot of success in our lesson and commiting a lot of people to baptism and going to church. Elder Moore and I were running all around Goya on foot and by taxi in order to get to everyone we are teaching right now. We had some great lesson with some really promising people,and to help all these people keep the commitment to go to church, we had set up 9 teaching appointments for Saturday. We had to leave a little earlier but ended up getting to 7 of the 9 and commiting all of them to go to church. The majority have accepted a baptismal date to be baptized and are reading and interested. We then sent out text reminders saturday night and sunday morning and even went and picked up some people to get to church. In all we had 4 out of the 9 we were wanting attend church. I was super happy but at the same time kinda disappointed that the other 5 didnt come. But all in all one of the 4 that did come will be getting baptised this Saturday! So that will be exciting! Her name is Marta and I will write more about her and her story next week. 

This week with Elder moore, we had a cool lesson with an investigador named Claudio who is 32 years old. He has a strong testiimony of the gospel and will for sure get baptized one day.... but he needs to get married with his ¨wife¨. So that will be a process. But in mid lesson, he went and grabbed his accordion and started playing us some classic ¨Correntino¨ Chamamé. Which is the argentine version of mexican Ranchera. It was super funny and I snagged a pic of him with his accordion. 

It rained a lot this week so we were walking a lot in the mud. At one point we had just arrived to a ladys buiness we had contacted the other day and right when we entered and started the lesson, it starting dropping buckets and the lightning was literally stricking teleaphone poles across the street from us. It didnt flood luckly but just lots of wet dirt and soaked missionaries. 

There is a lot of drama in the branch here that has been going on since I have gotten here. Basically in Goya there are 2 branches, The centro branch and the Belgrano Branch. and they both hate each other. The members act as if it were a sport team riverally. This week in paticular was bad. Two weeks ago president patania had to move the belgranos branch church to the afternoon so that the two branches dont see each other on Sunday. So we are facing with that right now. Doesnt really help the missionary work either. 

But that was my week! I hope you all have a great week! Talk to yáll on skype next week! 

Monday, April 30, 2018

Tranquilidad in Goya // Apr. 30, 2018

Well week one of the transfer went by super fast. It always does, plus we had a lot of things. It was such a busy week that we could only work Friday. Last wednesday we finished the move, then on thursday we had our leadership conference in Resistencia, and then Saturday we had a church open house in Bella Vista. It is kinda rediculous how big our area is right now. We have a lot of ground to cover and a lot of people to visit. Unfortunally since we only had one day to work this week, we werent able to visit everyone. We will sure be busy this week. There is a lot of potential... hopefully we will be able to see some results. 

In the leadership conference for the ZL´s, we listened to President talk about how to respond to the common excuses people give to not keep commitments. Basically asking us to be more bold with our invitations and to teach with more power and authority. But it was all good. It was weird leaving though because the next time I go to Resi will be to go to the airport there... it honestly feels weird cause it doesnt seem real. People keep making jokes because I´m leaving but it honestly doesnt feel like that. President also talked about some issues that are going on in the mission thatI wont get into detail, but it just shocks me that kind of stuff that happen to missionaires. And us as normal missionaries dont know of half the things that really happen in the mission. Even as a ZL we have to help out all the missionaries in our zone and make sure everyone is okay, and I couldnt imagin being a mission president and having to watch out for the Spiritual/physical well-being of 140+ 19-21 year olds . It would get over whelming for sure. I bet my buddy Pat could relate to some of this stuff. 

This past weekend Goya hosted ¨La Fiesta Nacional de Surubi¨ which is a massive fish convention/competition. It basically looked like Parker days but just all focused on catching fish. They had over 1,100 boats registered in the competition. They had a ton of venders around goya so I bought some souvenirs and got a foot long ¨pancho¨or hot dog. It was super good and I´ll attatch a photo of it. 

Yesterday, we had a really good lesson with a mom(Luciana) and her 16 year old daughter (Ayalen). It was a great lesson and they were super intrigued on our lesson on The Book of Mormon. They are more on the wealthy side, Ayalen actually went to Disney World a little over a year ago, so we were able to talk about that a bit. I´ll keep you updated on them. Also had a funny experience with an investigator that is progressing this week. He was the sisters investigator and is now ours since the sisters left. His name is Claudio. We went and formally met him and his house last friday, and invited him to church. He is like 30ish years old, and after the 2nd hour,. he showed up to church just to tell us that he wasnt able to attend church. haha then he left. He for sure should be getting baptised... just depends on if his wife wants to get married. 

But that was my week. I hope you all have a great week! 

Elder Keicher

[They gave Zone Leader motos... sike... i wish]

[Our crew traveling from the Resistencia]

[The Open house set up in one of the rooms]

[Elder Moore and I with a HUGE sloth]

[A gnarly Saber tooth tiger (don't think they really exsisit)]

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