Monday, February 29, 2016

I got to use the subway today.

As you can tell by the topic line, I am quite content because I love the subway. 
Really, I am so happy.
Greetings people!

So I figured I should give you all a littler fill in from two weeks ago. I was just kind of in awe and I forgot to write some of the important things that had happened! Like Baptisms! So remember those Valentines baptisms that never happened? Well, they finally did. We baptized two grandkids of a less active that is re-activating herself, and the wife of a part-member family. My testimony is growing so strong that the secret to missionary work lies with the members! Members, members, members. 

I also forgot to mention that a cockroach attacked me during one of my last days in the Sarmiento Zone. There was a 4 cm roach on our balcony window/door and I went over to investigate. Well it charged me and jump/flew onto my arm I freaked out a littl bit and then stomped it to death. So yeah. I am really happy that this new apartment that I am in doesn't have the same cockroach problem that we had during our time in Los Polvorines.

And now for the new news!

Okay, so let me start out by saying that I love love love love love this transfer. My Peruvian companion Elder Juzga and I get along really well and have the same teaching style, and so we have been able to do some pretty good lessons! The problem is that we get so into them that we just keep rolling on! We need to keep an eye on the clock! 

I love Villa Soldati! It's like a little city inside a bigger city! The members that live in the Villa are sooooo great. They give us so many referrals and always are willing to help us make visits! There are also two families with twins! and they are about my age too and we get along great. We also have a great investigator named Felicia that is probably one of the greatest investigators of all time. She takes notes on what she reads so she can ask us questions and whatnot the next visit. We have a family home evening with her tonight and she told us she was going to cook for us=) I don't have any complaints. 

My chef skills have resurected and I am once again the designated cook. We didn't buy food this last week and so cooking ingredients were pretty slim, But twice I made pasta with 'alfredo sauce' which consisted largely of powdered milk and mozzarella, but hey in my humble opinion it tasted pretty dang good! I guess I was pretty inspired to take all those cooking classes back in the day. 

That's all for this week! Love you guys and see you all soon enough!
Elder Hardcastle

 Three of the four of us

 Hno Lozano, from Los Polvorines

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Bright Lights Big City

Really it's just one bright light and it is called el sol, but hey, I MADE IT TO THE CAPITAL. I am currently serving in Soldati 3 which is a villa or for lack of a better word, it is basically the ghetto. Once upon a time when we would have family Survivor time there was a lady from New York or somewhere over there and she said ' the hood is not the wood' and that just keeps coming to my brain and I keep laughing to myself. I do that a lot. It's fun. But it is true. It is a completely different vibe but I am in love with it. 

Let me explain what a villa is, for those of you who don't know. Villas are property that the government doesn't own, and therefore the people that live there do not need to pay taxes. So everyone flocks to them, and when you can't build out, you build up. They kind of just pop out every so often here. They can be slightly dangerous at times, but they have another thing coming if they think they can mess with Elder Hardcastle.  Haha procedure is if they try to rob us we give them what they ask, so I will be doing that.  =)   But DON'T FREAK OUT WE HAVE THE PROTECTION OF THE LORD. I am in an apartment of 4 again, so that is jazzy. Us elders share the area, which sounds a little weird but it's all good.  We do not share investigators, they are first come first serve.  =) Right now we don't have anyone with a baptismal date, but I hope we can change that up soon. 

For my last Sunday in Los Polvorines, I was blessed with three baptisms. It was good to see the fruits of my labors pay off, and I was able to baptize a chica we were working with. =)
I will miss my friends in Los Polvorines, but now we are off to another area in the Lord's vineyard!

Love you all, got to go but see you all soon enough!
Elder Hardcastle

Baptisms, Me and My favorite Brasilero, 

Elder Lobato (please note the cute heart in the back), 

and we seriously had some of the best views in San Miguel

Saturday, February 20, 2016


and happy birthday tomorrow Grandma!
and happy birthday to all of you too!

Whelp, there goes another week in the life of Elder Hardcastle here is Los Polvorines. Here's the low-down.

So remember a few weeks back when I said we had around 14 possible baptisms for February 14? Well we had zero. But it is okay! As much as I want to make people come to church, I can't do it. Because I'm not Satan. In choir one time we sang a song that says 'Satan ain't nothin' but a snake in the grass' (Elijah Rock, if you even want to look it up. It's pretty magnificent), and I feel that. There is always some sort of obstacle for these people every Sunday in the morning! But this week we have a few baptisms lined up, so I am hoping for my first baptisms here in Los Polvorines and if we don't have them, We have transfer calls that next day, and with 4 and a half-ish months here it is likely that I will be leaving, and I can really feel like I have seen some progress here. We had lunch with our branch president and we ended up talking about transfers and he said he hopes they let me stay a bit more. Probably just because he likes to sass me a lot. I could do another transfer here, I think. 

We had a pretty interesting week, as far as work goes. Early in the week we stopped by the house of our branch mission leader and had a mini correlation and then after I asked if we could share a message with him and his family, because, you know, Elder Hardcastle is my name, extracting referrals is my game... when I remember (my memory really is not one of  my fortes, just ask my family). We ended up leaving the with our mission leader to look for some people. The first house was kind of a no go, but the second house was great. The person we were looking for wasn't there, but we ended up talking to his niece, who was semi interested, She told us she had lot's of doubts about God, and luckily we were able to answer some of her questions. She wanted to know that if we are supposed to be made in the image of God, why is there so much bad in the world? Does that mean God is bad too? We talked a bit about the Fall of Adam and Eve how yes we look like God, but we aren't of his nature, because we are in a fallen state. It was interesting but neat and she was satisfied for the moment. 

Just to let you know, almost 99.756% of the time someone is blasting regatón music down the street (it's a mix of rap with heavy rhythmic beats and usually inappropriate lyrics, when I can understand them). The other day (yesterday) we were walking down the street (like every day) to look for a less active and his neighbor decided to get in on the trend... and was blasting classical music. He's done it other times but I have just so much respect for this guy trying to bring some culture to the area. The best part was that on the other side of the street there was some sort of fiesta and lot's of teenagers were outside and had to endure a little bit of refinement, 'Twas delightful.

Another fun fact, My fanny pack wonder bag that I bought from the mission offices came this last week and have been proudly sporting it throughout my proselyting time. Basically all the other elders think it is hideous, but I figure there aren't many other times in life where I will find myself wearing a fanny pack, so I need to take advantage of the moment. Hay que aprovechar. 

We found a man on the bus that wanted a magazine of the church, so we gave him the second best thing, the pamphlet of the restoration, Maybe a Book of Mormon would have been good too, but we didn't have much time and we can give him one when we meet with him this week.

We had a zone conference with President Ayres on Thursday and we talked about the importance of working through the members, He showed us a lot of numbers, like how we don't have a lot of new investigators in comparison with other missions in our area, but we have lot's of baptisms, and President Ayres credits that to working with the members, and I do too! It is really the best way to do the work.

Hope you all have a great week! And use your agency to do something good this week! And invite a friend to church! Or if you are not a member just find the nearest chapel of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and go and visit this Sunday! 

See you all soon enough!
Elder Hardcastle

1- A quick trip to San Fernando because I lost our cell phone in a bus... oops. But yay for Facturas from Bruno's!

2- The Church building in San Fernando

3- The Mission. 
They posted this in the mission offices a little bit ago and it is so nice to actually know where I am in the mission. 
Before, I was a disoriented mess.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Happy Birthday to me!

Hey thanks everyone who has been wishing me a happy birthday. I'm all new and 19 and ready to take on the world! haha

In reality, the first birthday in the mission was basically just like any other day, but that was okay with me. We had lunch with our branch president and his family, and they went to the trouble of blowing up some balloons for me (your Castellano word of the day is globos. it means BALLOONS!) which was nice of them. It really good and they also made me a cake, also really good. I do love cake.There is a man in our ward that also has his birthday either the 28 or the 29, I am still really not sure, and we tried to go to his house but he wasn't home=( ALSO I need to send a little shout out about him because he is super cool and had the collection of Liahona magazines from 1997 and he gave it to me last transfer, I'll show you guys when I get home. The January one is General Conference from that October, I assume because they needed to translate it and stuff. anyways...

Later we went to the house of the part member family that we are working with. We had a really good lesson about the Plan of Salvation and I really like this lesson even if it is hard for me to teach in Castellano. We have all these promises that God wants to give us, We just need to live worthily and even though hard things will come, God will help us live happy. I love that promise=) They also fed us an we left happy. 

The next day I got a package from my parents! or should I say, TWO PACKAGES! AND THREE BOXES OF CEREAL! Thanks family I love you. (Future wife, the way to my heart is cereal. Just so you know and read this one day.) We had lunch with another family and we got another cake=) ¡¡PERMITANOS COMER LA TORTA!!

We worked hard this week trying to maintain our group of investigators, but lessons fell through and we got denied and so our investigating pool has gotten small. But hey, that's all part of the mission, right? We are doing a lot better job at getting members to help us, but this week with lessons canceling it took away from the lessons we could have taught. BUT this week we had more Lessons with Members  than I have ever had in Los Polvorines, and they were all pretty good quality lessons. One of my favorite things about being a missionary is listening to an investigator's first prayer. They are so sincere and so humble, they make you so happy!

One of my favorite parts of the week was yesterday, it was an example of the life of a missionary. We were waiting on 2 families and one other investigator in the church yesterday, 8 investigators total. They all had a plan to get to the church, we had taught the importance of church attendance and we were hoping for a good little group at church. Not one came. I kind of just have to laugh about it, I mean we can't take away their agency, but Satan is working really hard on these people here=) This is one of our biggest problems here I think with investigators. JUST COME TO CHURCH AND FEEL HAPPPY OKAY! But there is always something in the way. Personally, I'd take the happiness thanks very much.

Also we were invited to my very first Ward Council in this area!  It was really great, they talked about there goals of the branch and now we have a better understanding of what they want to accomplish. They also bumped up the baptisms from 4 (what they had originally told us) to 10. They also want to have 60 people in the church every week. Right now we have right around 30, but I like their attitude. They have big plans for the year and I really want to help them achieve them. 

This week I completed six months as a missionary in Argentina. This place is crazy, but I love it. Give me a little bit more time (or like 15 more months) and I'll be a true mormon porteño. 

Keep being really great and do something nice for your family. Or for my family, they are a pretty cool crowd. See you all soon enough!

Elder Hardcastle

1. Elder Gutiérrez and and I. He is one of the Zone Leaders and I have known him since I got here. He was doing exchanges with the missionaries of San Miguel so we had a party and a half that night.

2. Birthday lunch with the Juarez Family=)

3. I put the balloons to good use

4. Cereal

5. Soccer. 
Yes I still hate it. Yes I still can't play it. 
Yes I yell a lot like I did in tennis to distract from the fact that I don't play well.