Monday, December 28, 2015

It's all good here.

¡Buenos días y felices fiestas a ustedes! ¿Cómo estan?

Well, things have happened here, as I am sure things have happened. I'll write about some of my favorite occurrences of the last little bit, I forgot to bring my journal so I'll try to write them as well as I can=)

Firstly, like a week or so ago I completed six months in the mission! Yay!! Wow, I am going to sound cliche and all but it has gone by really fast. It's so satisfying to see the growth I have made in such a short amount of time, and I am eager to keep up the work. For you frequent readers, you will know that Élder Holtry and I arrived at the same time and were MTC buddies, so naturally he completed 6 months as well, and to celebrate we each burned a tie (don't get offended please Shelbie but I burned the tie from prom... it was just getting so dirty so easily). 

We finished up all of our Christmas concerts and now I am actually kind of sad to be done! It took up a lot of time, but I like to think that it could have helped some people feel the spirit and strengthen their journey to conversion as our choir shared our talents and layed down powerful testimony of our beliefs. I think it is on the Bueunos Aires North Facebook page if you want to hear some of the songs and also on YouTube, just search Buenos Aires Norte coro de navidad or something like that and I'm sure you'll find it. We gave our last concert during our mission Christmas activity and I finally got to sing my solo in Santa la noche (O Holy Night), so I was especially pleased. I also help out in another special musical number at the activity and we sang this song called ''He's Born'' I think Vocal Point has done it as well. I JUST LOVE MUSIC AND SINGING, GUYS. It's some of the things I miss the most here. I mean I do it anyways, but it's just not the same. And now that the choir is over it's back to everyday normal life in the mission field.

Christmas Eve we had our mission Christmas activity, which was great. It's so fun to see old friends that I have made and to talk with them again. We got to watch the Christmas Devotional (and choir stuff by us in between the talks) and ate hamburgers (Dad yours are still numero uno), and after lunch we did a white elephant in which I won Pringles and a back massager which is affectionately called Bug (pronounced Boog), and then we got to talk with Presiente Ayres and Hermana Ayres and receive our 'facebook', which is a pamphlet of all the missionaries currently serving in Bs As Norte and their names. My good friend Élder Parraguez brought his selfie stick and we were taking lots of pictures during the whole day, and I even snagged one with the Ayres=) 

Christmas day was  special to be sure. It was our Pday and it started off with my studies. During personal study I turned on some EFY 2014 songs to give me some nice background noise, and I as I pressed play to one of the songs and it began to play I was hit with some pretty dang strong nostalgia. I played this album almost every time I went to the temple this last year at home. I got thinking about how I was back then and all the things that were on in my life and my worries, and then about the change that I have seen in myself here in the mission (newsflash, you change a lot in the mission), and I was overcome with such a peace and a gratitude for this Gospel and it's influence in my life. I can't write down all the blessings I have received from this understanding and this belief that there is truly more to this life than existing. So, so much more. And then some other elders came over and we played Uno and chilled until the afternoon when I got to talk with my family (even Holden in Japan a little bit!), and it was just a good day. Good good goood.

That's some of the highlights of this week. The work goes on hard and stressful, but what happiness I have to believe and to feel and to testify that there is a God who loves me and helps me, who knows of my imperfections and forgives me when I mess up. I sit here content with this understanding. 

Sending out positive vibes to you all. Shoutout to my big brother Holden who turns 21 today and to Kelsey and Rees who are tying the knot this week. I wish I could be there with you guys!

Everyone, take a quick moment and think about life. And then think about Christ. How can you make these two things more complimentary in your day-to-day dealings? I promise that as we chose to follow Christ, he will bless us in the most wonderful ways. 

See you all soon enough!
Élder Hardcastle

photos
6 months, bug, and selfies with the Ayres=)




Monday, December 14, 2015

Howdy Gang




thanks Mom and Dad for the jazzy Christmas Tree Advent Calendar!


Élder Holtry and I getting some morning bulk on with some creatine we have in the apartment



 Élder Parraguez and I 



the dirty deed





Monday, December 7, 2015

The bus story and MORE!

Hello hello hello. 

One week DOWN. Five more to go this transfer. 

Well well well it has been a week. WE FINALLY FOUND SOME PEOPLE! So that is nice. Lamentably we didn't have lessons with them this week, but we have one scheduled for tomorrow and one person we are going to call and one person we'll pass by his house to see if he's home, and then we'll have a lesson with him=) he scheduled to meet him this last week but he was at medical so we'll try once more and if he's not there, we'll drop him. THE SECRET IS TESTIFYING, I know it probably sounds basic, but it's the key. This last transfer I was kind of scared to testify... well I would try to contact and then they'd tell me they're Catholic or something and I'd be like ''Oh, great!... and lose everything in my brain. I made an effort to testify one day with all my contacts, and while I wasn't able to do it with all I did it with the majority and I just felt so much better. Now I just have to find members to accompany us and I'll be a testifying machine. I say a member because the vision is that we incorporate the members and the missionary work. We have been told that the miracles of the mission lie with the members, and so they really stress lessons with members, referrals, and having members accompany you while you are working. Thus, it's kinda of hard to motivate myself to contact if we don't have a member, because I don't want to waste time with people who really aren't ready for the gospel. It's a mental tug-of-war that never ends it seems, because there is only one member (50 or 60 years old hermana) that is really active in helping us, and she is amazing, but we need more. 

Fun story of the week. We spend a lot of our time looking for less actives. We have a pretty large list and we look for them and stuff. Our branch has about 30 active members and 200 less active families... or so it says on the list. Most of them have died or moved! Anywho, we were looking for one less active this week and his address number didn't even exist. So I went to a house that was close to his number and decided to ask if they knew this person. A woman came and we started to talk with her about this person but them later changed to the Gospel, because, you know, I'm a testifier now=) and it was super great. She goes to a church in the capital (that's like 2 hours away, wow) and we start talking about our church and we gave her a quick version of the lesson of the Restoration and we talked about the Book of Mormon. As we were going over the introduction and talking about Christ, we got talking about when Christ came to the Americas and she was like ''Christ came to the Americas?'' with this look of utter shock, and we were like '' Yes, He did!'' and she said ''Ohh... I didn't know!'' and she looked so content. We have a meeting with her tomorrow, POR FAVOR pray that all goes well tomorrow. That was probably my favorite finding experience so far in the mission and she could be someone who is ready and willing to listen to our message.

Now for the fun bus story of last week, slightly less spiritual but nice none the less. =) Actually, it was more than a week ago (Nov. 27 to be precise) but ya fue. We were on our way to choir practice on a rather rainy Friday morning. In order to arrive in San Fernando where we have the Mission Office and choir practice. We left the apartment at around 6:55am and needed to get to San Fernando at 8:30. Like I said before, you need about two hours to get to the Capital, and San Fernando is just outside the Capital, so we usually plan our trip to be an hour and a half. So we were going to be cutting it close. Anyways, we leave the apartment and it is raining. Flooding, better said. We get to the bus stop and the bus comes pretty quickly. Usually the bus is pretty busy, but I think because of the rain nobody wanted to go anywhere, and it was empty and the bus driver let us on for FREE! Which was a small miracle because I was running short on my Sube card (public transit card) so we sat down pretty dang happy. Were on on our way, and the bus is cruising, I think most the cars were going pretty cautiously because of all the rain, and there wasn't much traffic because, well, rain (did I mention it was raining?) but Mr. Busman was driving as if there wasn't any problem. Literally water was flying up the sides of the bus. We landed in San Fernando just after 8am. Almost less than one hour for a trip that is usually an hour and a half or more! We had time to kill so we went to this bakery I really like called Bruno's and I bought facturas with some of the money I was going to use to fill up my Sube. There was this little peach one that I think is one of the best things I've eaten here yet (Mom and Dad, when we come back one day I am taking you here and you will try them. Sooooo good). So, it was a good day. =) God is good.

That's some of the biggest excitement I've had these last few weeks! We began our choir performances, so if you are in the River Plate area, come on down and watch us! 
Thank you all for the support. Happy Holidays from Buenos Aires! See you all soon enough. =)

Sincerely, 

Élder Hardcastle



Elder Parraguez has a selfie stick... =)
Today we played volleyball and soccer.


La Zona Sarmiento, traslado uno





Elder Cunningham and I at his despedida.



It was raining really hard one day so we went to the house of a member.  He ended up giving me some pretty jazzy rain wear.  I felt like Sherlock Holmes or something.



¡Vengan!



Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Los Polvorines take DOS

Greetings all! 

Transfers came and went, y me quedo en Los Polvorines (that mean I'm staying my area) with Elder Molina. It has been a bit of a struggle this last transfer, and with lots of prayers I am settled that God wants to stretch me a little (or a lot, we'll see) so I can become better. This is my new moment of growth in the mission and I need to step it into high gear, get out of my comfort zone a little bit more and make some changes in Los Polvorines, so stay tuned!

Elder Santos left the apartment and now we have Elder Holtry, and for all you dedicated readers, he was in my district in the MTC! Así que, vamos a divertirnos este traslado=)

I was going to share my fun bus story from this week, but I am running short on time, so I'll save it for next week okay? Also I brought the wrong SD card to the cyber cafe so no new photos =(  oops. Don't hate me, okay?

Sending positive vibes to you this holiday season,

Élder Hardcastle

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Just Some Good Clean Fun

Feliz Lunes a todo de ustedes,  =)

Well this week we had a lot going on. Jokes, literally. Wednesday my companion, Elder Molina, became sick with some serious pains in his stomach. So I spent the week playing doctor, until Friday when we went to the Hospital Austral (we drove through some of my old area, how precious) to have real doctors look at him. I had been on and off the phone with Hermana Ayres this last week as we were trying to figure out what was wrong. Friday night we both got concerned that it was apendicitis. We did some at home tests to see if it could be and we felt as though going to the hospital would be the best way to find out. You don't want to mess around with appendicitis! So, that night at around 2100 we left for the hospital. We went through triage, waited, met with a doctor, waited, my companion got an ultrasound, we got lost trying to find where he needed to get his blood taken (it was on this floor that didn't have any lights down the main hallway... sketch), and then waited another two hours to get the results, only to find out that they couldn't find anything wrong. We got back to the apartment around 0350, I woke up at around 0900, But we got special permission to sleep in=). My companion fully woke up at around  1515, and told me he felt loads better, so hey! All is well now. AND THEN because of the elections Sunday, we were told to stay in our apartments, so we spent yet another day inside. The other elders had what they liked to call Dormingo (Domingo=Sunday, dormir=to sleep.) But I tried to be a good little missionary and got some more studying in, and only fell asleep for a little bit when I was reading el Libro de Mormòn=) so yeah, that's been my life. 

I figured this week's email would be a little small for the lack of new news, so I decided to put in a few fun facts of Argentina, so here you go.

1- Here it is custom that when you greet someone you kiss on the cheek. As missionaries, obviously we can't have ladies kissing us, so get that out of your heads right now. I have refrained from kissing anyone up to this point, but I can honestly say that I have been kissed by more men than women in my life. Moving on...
2- The people here are very patriotic. If you know anything about Argentina, you know that once upon a time there was a war over some islands off the coast, which are called the Malvinas. As missionaries, we are not supposed to talk politics with people, but sometimes you try to talk to someone and somehow they change the  topic to the Malvinas, and then you are a goner. Some people are very passionate about these islands.
3- There is a super rich area in the mission called Belgrano. I have been there twice now, And let me tell you, it is Fancy Town. My first time there I was with my District Leader Elder McIllece because we were in exchanges and we were supposed to go to a conference there (the one with our area seventy Elder Gonzales), and we found the Thai Embassy. Or was it the Embassy of Taiwan... I don't remember, I'm pretty sure it was of Thailand. Anywho, I had a total Elder Hardcastle moment as we were walking trying to find the chapel. I was thinking about how fancy this place was, and then I thought of how it smelled like a clean bathroom. I know, I am awkward. 

Hope you all have a GREAT week! Eat a lot for thanksgiving. 

See you all soon enough,

Elder Hardcastle=)



Catching some zzz's in the Hospital while we wait for blood results.



MERRY CHRISTMAS from my Mommy  =)
I had a little bit of free time this week to do some coloring.  
Now it is proudly displayed above my desk.




Friday, November 20, 2015

"Are you from Italy?" And a Trip to the Temple

Greetings everyone.

Remember when I said last week it was raining? Well, I should have said flooding, because when we got back on the street there was much water to be had. But It was nice for the day. The weather here is really so crazy during spring. There are days of incredible heat and then rain. We had another rainstorm this Thursday while we were on splits with the Zone Leaders. I was with Elder Edmonds from Utah and we had quite the splash and even though we couldn't do very much he really helped me understand how I could improve my efforts. 

One thing President wants us to do is try to find people through the multi-dimensionality of members, and Elder Edmonds helped me see how I can make more of my contacts THROUGH members. It may seem a little tedious, but I know that it works. Here's how:  Yesterday we were cleaning out our list of less actives and I applauded outside a house (you don't knock here 99.8% of the time) and they didn't answer, so I decided to try next door to ask if they knew this person and maybe invite them to learn more about the church. The neighbor answered and was super cool. He asked me if I was from Italy (I'm so exotic you guys and I never even knew it) His name is U____ and is from Cuba and had interest! and he is MARRIED! So basically he is exactly the type of person we are supposed to be looking for. It added to my testimony that President Ayres really is receiving direction from the Lord, that there are people ready and the key is the members! Even if they are less actives and didn't answer the door and probably don't even care about the church anymore (which happens here sometimes and is kind of sad). We have an appointment with him tonight. I also found a woman this week who has a lot of possibility, named D___. Two of her kids are really worldly, and she has another kids that's deaf, named S____. I just want her to accept the gospel so bad. She has lot's of desire. We haven't been able to meet with her much because our lesson with her fell through Friday because we were at the temple, but she has been reading the pamphlet we gave her and liked it and she told us she's heard bad things about us but doesn't believe what she heard. How amazing. She was really excited to go to church Sunday with her son but unfortunately she never made it. I think something must have happened and we take partial blame because we could have arranged someway better to get her to the church. We'll try again this week.

Like I mentioned earlier, we got to go to the temple this week! Oh my goodness the Buenos Aires Temple is so stinking beautiful. The grounds, the inside, the CCM, all of it! I even bought a cupcake in the cafeteria they have by the visitor´s area. and I bought grapefruit juice. and a super hot dog and empanadas, and a salad because I'm healthy (haha...). Elder Molina and I even got to go with the secretaries of the mission because I also had visa stuff to do this day. Satan didn't want us to go to the temple it seems because this other car ran into the side of us. Luckily God looks out for His missionaries and it only left a little scrape in the truck.
That was some of the plusses of my week! The Christmas Choir is going along great. I get to sing a solo in Santa la Noche (O Holy Night), so that is pretty cool=) 

Thanks for all the emails you all send me! I love getting them. If I don't reply or don't say much please don't kill me, but know that LES AMO MUCHÌSIMO.

Hope you all have a killer week. See you all soon enough=)

Elder Hardcastle, NOT from Italy




I LOVE TO SEE THE TEMPLE. 
Especially in an air conditioned truck and not a hot bus (buses have AC too but hot bodies and hot air from open windows kind of overwhelm the system)





Just a lil' rainstorm for you all





Monday, November 9, 2015

Things are Getting Roasty

Howdy Gang! How ya'll doing?

I'm feeling a little emotional, a little bit overwhelmed, a little vulnerable and could probably use a hug, but one thing I am not right now is hot. This nice Cyber cafe has air conditioning. It's actually a bit chilly but I won't complain too much because this week has been hot hot HOT. 

Wild week. President Ayres is really pushing us to achieve 1600 baptisms for the year 2015. right now we are around 450 short, so if there was ever a time for a miracle it would be now. In order to help achieve this goals, our district has to have 11 baptisms this month, and my companion and I are responsible for 3 of those baptisms. 3 persons who are elegidos, people who are basically the ideal investigators. A hard task? Oh yes. With our three week track to baptism this is our final week to baptism, and right now things aren't looking too promising. President Ayre is super motivative for us to obtain this goal; we have had a conference with the Area Seventy Elder Gonzales and his wife, as well as a training convention in San Fernando. It was all super good, but this last week we lost a lot of time of trying to find people because we had problems with our apartment. But all is settled and I hope this week we can increase our faith a little bit to find some solid investigators. The tough part is trying to find some solid investigators. There is almost NO ONE in the streets because it is so blasted hot. We had a slow week and with some of the pressures and being sick again I've felt a bit unmotivated and overwhelmed, but now is the time to kick it into high gear and work harder and smarter. I have already started setting things up so that we can have a great end to the year. 

We start English classes this week!  So pray it goes well.

Not much more to report. Hope you all have a splendid week! Pray for some miracle here in Los Polvorines if you have a spare second. Love you guys and see you soon enough! 

Love,
Elder Hardcastle

ps It's raining super duper hard outside. I can hear it from here. the plus side: rain = not sun:)

DROPBOX: Okay, so I put a video on dropbox. The username is this email, the password is argban. Enjoy a video of me eating Morcilla (blood sausage)

Monday, October 26, 2015

Quick Little Update

Hello everybody! Just a quick up date this week.

Me and Elder Molina are basically the best of friends. We kicked it off great and are constantly laughing. He's super helpful in assisting me with Spanish, I just wish I was better so he didn't have to correct me so often! Haha 

The ward really is small (attendance this last Sunday was around 20), but I asked the branch president for a list of members so we now have a more organized list of who we can contact. We are going to work on contacting less actives and asking for references. We have been ask to contact 10 people every day, every missionary (20 per companionship), and it's really difficult. It may sound easy, but a lot of the people you pass in the street don't really want to stop and talk to you, let alone have you stop by their house! I was able to get my 10 contacts once this last week (I actually contacted 11 that day just saying), and we got one new investigator so it does work, it's just a matter of faith. 

So a fun fact for you all. Yesterday was elections for the people here in Argentina. I'm assuming Presidente Ayres was scared there'd be some sort of public manifestations out in the streets, so us missionaries were told we had to be in our apartments by 3 in the afternoon. Elders Danneman, Santos, Molina, and I spent the afternoon chilling and eating and talking. I love these elders, we all get along so stinking well. Fortunately nothing too major happened in the streets, aside from we heard a car do something. Really I don't know what happened but we ran up to the roof to investigate and were slightly disappointed because we couldn't see anything crazy exciting. But I feel as though it was unrelated to any public outcry =)

I'm in the Mission Christmas Choir! Have I said that yet? If so oops. But we are practicing for Christmas (obviously) and have various gigs reserved. =) Oh how I love to sing. It's so nice to take a break twice a week and head to San Fernando (where the mission office is) and do something that I love to do. We have some talented voices and it looks like it's going to be a fun concert.

Hope you all have a really fun Halloween! Don't get too fat and don't stay out too late! 
See you all soon enough.

Elder Hardcastle


Pics 1-3 Cooking and posing ft Arroz Chaufa 
(basically Peru's version of Asian Fried Rice)







Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Goodbye and Hello

A hearty wingapo to all my friends and family!

Wowzers two weeks of fun and festivities! So two weeks-ish ago we received a call that Elder Sousa might be training this next transfer. I was fairly certain I would be leaving Pilar, so yesterday we spent the day saying goodbye to my dear new friends and family I have made here. It was especially hard with the "A" family. Literally they are mi familia latina. Hermana "A" made me a cake because she knos well I am a fan of all things sweet, and we took pictures and said our last goodbyes for the time being. What is crazy amazing about this mission is the last Sunday in the transfer, President  and Sister Ayre put on a ´´despedida´´ (farewell) for those missionaries that will be headed home that next week, open to anyone that wants to come (there are requirements in order for missionaries to go... just hold up a sec). Elder Sousa and I went with some of our new members and it was so good! There're musical numbers, testimony of the missionaries that are going home, and short messages from the Ayres' and other stuff, and it's crazy crazy amazing.  In order for missionaries to go though, they need to bring one convert from that transfer or a progressing investigator, or be a part of a musical number, so we  already know I am going to look into that. =)  It's also an opportunity for missionaries to see their converts, so the plan is to meet up there with the "A's" this next transfer.

Well, transfer calls came yesterday and Elder Sousa is not going to train, he is going to be Lìder de Zona in PILAR 2!!! President Ayre received revelation that the new area of Zone Leaders in the Austral Zone should be in Pilar not in Derqui any more. 

So anywho, I was kicked out of the apartment and am now currently in the Zona Sarmiento, àrea de Los Polverines with mi compañero Elder Molina from Mèxico (and Canada, and USA). All is super well over here. This has the potential to be my best companionship yet. We are both slighty crazy and keep pulling faces at each other, and we are both fans of the Hunger Games (but I have started wondering how I used to like that book so much... it's pretty dark if you think about it). We live outside of our proselyting area in the area of San Miguel (this area is BEAUTIFUL), and we live with those elders there. One of them is Elder Danneman whom I already knew from my time in Austral, really I am cien por cien tranquilo over here. I hear that los Polverines is an area a bit difficult to work in (Branch of 30ish members), but if we work hard, we don't have reasons to fear. Trust God and go to work.

Things seem almost too nice right about now. I am scared this place will become my testing ground as a missionary, but until then I am as happy as a clam. As two clams, maybe even three. 

I hope you are all doing super well and remembering to be your best selves. Try a little harder every day to be a bit better, and by the end of this transfer let's track our progress, deal? deal.

I love hearing from you guys, thanks for all the letters and emails. Sorry if I don't write back all the time, Preparation days are crazy and really try to answer back, if I don't I am sorry. Just know I love you=)

All righty that's about it for this week, Paz Fuera and see you all soon enough!

Èlder Hardcastle


Welcome to San Miguel, 
view from our apartment 
(really I'm dying over this place)



Never escape the selfie 
(Me, Elder Molina, Elder Santos, Elder Danneman)




Saying goodbye to the "A" Family


Monday, October 12, 2015

There's not much time to write this week, so I'll spam you all with photos =)

There's not much time to write this week, so I'll spam you all with photos=)

1- Pilar 2 and Presidente Ayre, the coolest president of them all

2- Heaven on Earth. I bought a box of 40 Guaymallen Alfajores for 80 pesos (Around 8 USD) I shared with my Zone but still have 15 or so left

3- I made brownies this week and Elder Sousa and I ate them all within 24 hours




Pilar 2



The Baptism of the Familia "B"! 



Monday, October 5, 2015

Be Kind and Eat Cake

Monday, September 28, 2015

Spring is Here and Jasmine is in the Air

Greeting to all from the Southern hemisphere.

While y'all will be watching everything wither away, Springtime has hit us in Argentina, and one thing I looove is the smell. Seriously, EVERYWHERE there is jasmine and that brings zero complaints to the nose of Elder Hardcastle. Lots of times I smell it before I see it, so I have a fun little time looking around trying to find the blessed plant. It reminds me of Arizona when Mom had a jasmine plant (insert trunkie moment). One thing that has been a bit of a downer is that the sky can't decide if it wants to be sunny or raining. It seems like every few days it's going back and forth. I Really love rain, but I think we get it a little bit excessively here, and I keep having to return to wearing long sleeves and a sweater, and walking in the mud isn't my favorite things to do. But I do it anyways because I AM A MISSIONARY! 

It was a bit of an off week. We've found lot's of new investigators, but almost none of them have a real drive or lied and gave us the wrong addresses, so we've thinned out a lot, almost all of them! But that's okay. We are supposed to be searching for those that are ready to hear the Gospel, so if they aren't interested there's no  point in wasting our time with them. Elder Sousa and I really want to open up a new proselyting area in Pilar 2, because our area is pretty dang big and we spend the majority of our time in Villa Rosa and could use some new excitement as things seem to be slowing down there for us. 

In Preach My Gospel (the Gospel guide for missionaries (and others should read it too because it's crazy good)), there is a chapter on developing Christlike attributes, and every week I like to spend time studying one of the attributes for part of my personal study time. My Christlike attribute I am working on this week is patience, Today marks two months as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Two hard months down, 21ish more hard months to go! May 30, 2017 seems pretty far away, not going to lie, but I'm also looking forward to being able to say I spent two hard years doing hard things and thinking how proud I will be when it's over. And it's worth it, because the Lord promises us blessings for this work. 

Fun story of the week: Me and Elder Sousa were looking for a contact and we pass a kiosco (little store) and there was a man inside that I'm pretty sure owned it, and I was like, ''Hey, I should talk to him'' but we were on the move and I let it pass. We arrive at the reference (which turned out to be wrong) and were walking back, and I was like ''I am going to talk to him'' So I tell Elder Sousa and we go to the kiosco. I don't want to seem ridiculously forward, so I decide to buy two alfajors to get the conversation going. I ask for two alfajors and start searching for my money and I CAN'T FIND ANY! Crap. But I still wanted to give him a passalong card, so I asked if I could give it to him and he said no. I hope he didn't think the passalong card was my way of paying, But when you think about it eternal salvation is a lot more valuable than two alfajors.

Food of the week: Chori-pan with this killer tomato herb salsa with a member family Saturday with some craaaaazy good beef something (it was like a roast but better), and asado and chorizo and asada with another member family yesterday. Yummm. But, I think dad is still the grill master When it comes to steak and hamburgers.

Also, I gave a talk in Sacrament meeting yesterday. A member of the bishopric called us Saturday night and asked if I would give a 10 minute talk the next day... so I did. I mostly just used the talk I gave at my farewell about how to cultivate our faith and stuff, just a bit shorter and in Castellano. People told me the understood it so three cheers for me (woot woot woot). There were errors, but what's important is that the message gets across. 

I hope everyone has had a week full of wonder and that you all are super excited for General Conference! Because I sure am. Take this advantage to listen to the prophets, seers, and revelators of these latter days and to those others leaders in the church to strengthen your commitment to follow Christ.  REMEMBER Faith=Blessings.

Sending Goodness to you all from ARG-BAN.

See you all soon enough!

Elder Brock Hardcastle
No pics sorry=(

Monday, September 21, 2015

Muffins, Baptisms, and a Wedding

Well, another week has passed in Pilar 2!

Goodness, what a week we had.  To start off, last Pday I decided to buy a muffin tin and try my luck in the baked goods department. We had bananas so I whipped up some banana muffins and to be honest they weren't too bad at all, especially with my two favorite condiments (plum jelly and dulce de leche). I just need to figure out a way for them to cook a liiiiiiiittle more evenly. The first batch was a bit burned on the outside, but the second was good. Now if I could just find some chocolate chips I'd be a happy camper!

Let's chat a bit about the Familia "A". This family I LOVE.  With some last minute surprises, this family is now happily married, and also BAPTIZED.  Woot woot!  And guess who got to baptize them? I will say baptizing this family is probably the biggest highlight of my mission so far. I was hoping they'd ask me to baptize them, but I didn't expect all three! We weren't planning on having a baptism Friday, but we figured ``Why not?´´ and a baptismal service we had. Married by morning, baptized by night, well on the way to eternal salvation. THIS IS GREAT!

Between the hustle and bustle of Friday, we also had interviews with Presidente Ayre.  Man, That man is so great. So nice. So happy. Between the coughs we had a great conversation about where I feel like I am at right now in the mission and where I want to be, how to get there. 'Twas marvelous. 

I know this is super short, but Pday is almost over and we are 91% out of food so we need to do some serious grocery shopping at our local Carrefour. 

Side note: yes there is Walmart here.

Love you all and I hope your week is thrilling. Go out and be a little bit kinder today. 

See you all soon enough:)

Elder Castillo Duro

Just a fun fact for you, I think I am getting fatter. In fact, a sister in our ward told me such at our almuerzo yesterday, bless her heart. I love that about Latinos, they just say what is up=)
Okay bye for reals for this week.


BASICally satisfied with my muffins




the "A" Family and I   :)