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   :)

Monday, September 14, 2015


Oi. Meu nome é Elder Hardcastle. estou otimo?

So yeah basically I'm fluent in Portuguese now. HAHAHAHAHA not even. But! I think my Castellano is improving. We have to talk in Castellano almost all the time because Elder Sousa has a limited understanding of English and I just maxed out on my Portuguese (see above phrase... and he had to help my with that as well). Patience will be the virtue of the transfer I think. Elder Sousa is super duper charitable with me, which is good. I JUST WISH I KNEW THIS LANGUAGE. But, I am living. So that is always a plus right? I think I am getting better every day. I sure hope so. 

We cooked this week. It was nice, and you can make more with two people! Our resources are limited because our budget is limited, but it was . Una Hermana in our ward gave us a vianda and it was seriously enough for 10 people so right now we are swimming in bananas which isn't a problem with me. I am having scares about gaining weight here... Dulce de Leche and Alfajoresare worth it though. I have had this cough for the past couple days. I don't feel sick and I'm pretty sure it's just stuff in the air (remember it's springtime here), but it has been a really nice ab workout even though at times I can barely get a few words out between coughing fits. 
have I mentioned Alfajor before? Look them up they are a little bit of heaven on earth.

As of right now we have 6 progressing investigators, a wedding this week, and a baptism set for next Sunday. How blessed are we! I really want to find a new investigator this week though, so I will be trying to ´´abbir mi boca´´ and all that jazz more this week. One of our investigators ask if I could baptize him this last week! ahhhh SI SI SI SI SI! Actually, he wanted Elder Carrasco to do it, but since Elder Carrasco probably won't be able come back for the baptism He said he wants me to do it. Second place but I'll take it.=)

Short, sweet, and slightly sassy is all I have for this week. Remember who you are and that the Gospel path is the Happy path. It changes people. 

Love y'all. See you all soon enough!

Elder Hardcastle

We are writing from a Cybercafe thingy and at first I couldn't find a photo port but My companion found one on the computer so you all are in luck.

Pancakes con mermelada de ciruela y dulce de leche

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Tengo un Padrasto

¡Buenos dìas ustedes!

I hope you all are doing well. What a wild couple of days! Currently, I am sitting in the la Iglesia  writing you all with my NEW COMPANION. Yessirs (and ma'ams), Elder Carrasco is now a Lìder de Zona in Belgran, and I recieved Elder Sousa de Brazil. Things are looking good for Pilar this tranfer. As of right now we have 4 baptismal dates, and hopefully two more after two of our investigators set up a date for their marriage. Guys, this is so fun! People literally change for the gospel. There are LOTS of people here that aren't married but have families and stuff... I really don't know why, I don't think getting a marriage license here is tons of money, but yeah. Also, Elder Carrasco and I credited our success to our obedience. Exact obedience is not easy, and at times we fall short, but really we have been busy and it has been paying off. So yay for us! now Elder Sousa and I just have to keep the good times rolling, which doesn't seem like it will be too dificult. The big challenge I see now is the language... because Elder Sousa doesn't know much English and so we will be speaking Castellano a lot a lot a lot! But hey, that's a good thing right?

I must tell you of a special moment of the week. This week I received a package from my super duper amazing family. Remember last week how I told you they were the cream of the crop? Well, they are. There is this member that lives in my zone that puts together packages from those missionaries from the States. USA and Argentina customs laws are no bueno, so really I can receive nothing from home because it will be stuck in customs forever, but this guy goes and finds American foods and sends them within Argentina to missionaries if parents want to send their missionary something. And food is the best sort of something=) I got Mentos (manufactured in Brazil but they still tasted pretty good), pretzels ( YASSSSSS), these banana taffy things that I'm pretty sure were from Argentina but tasted delightful, cheese sauce (this with the pretzels was pretty dang swell) and Hershey Kisses. CHOCOLATE IS SO HARD TO FIND HERE FOR CHEAP, so this was a blessing to be sure=)

I went on Exchanges with Elder Cunningham this last week. Wowzers he is super great. He was (he got transferred today) one of the leaders  of the zone. He has one crazy story of his life before the mission. Man, missions are so cool, and people change on their missions. If anything, I know that this Gospel truly has the capacity to change people's lives for the better. 

Well I have a new Companion, like I said earlier. Elder Sousa is pretty dang cool. He says he is going to teach me Portuguese but right now I am more focused on the Spanish. But he also cooks so we are going to be laying down some serious culinary skills in the kitchen this transfer. Seriously, I am pumped. 

Eso es todo para ahora. Hope you all are doing just peachy and I want ALL OF YOU to sit down and read some of the Book of Mormon. 2 Nephi 31 is a pretty good chapter, maybe go read that.

Love you all! See you soon enough,

Elder Hardcastle

my package=)

la Zona Austral

Milanesa with these great Abuelitos en our ward. Milanesa is a dish of Argentina, and is suuuper good. look it up.