Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Letter Home 2/21/2011


Hola family and friends, 

I am sorry but i only have about 30 minutes
to write this email but I will try to answer all the questions. So to
start off, I love this place. I am in Perico which is more north than
Salta and it is the best area in this mission. It is perfect weather
everyday and our pencion is actually pretty nice. 

Mother, my living conditions are obviously way different here than in your 
perfect house. There is a huge kitchen, a now warm shower and I have a
great room with big windows and outside is grapevines. I will upload
tons of pics next week of the mtc and my mission so far. Funny story,
so the other day I came out of the shower and a 4 inch cockroach was
on my foot and, of course, knowing me and my love for these things, I let
it go but my comp. came and just smushed it in the hallway. My
companion and the 2 other elders I live with are crazy fun to be
around. They are elder Johnson from los angeles, elder Silva from lima
peru and, of course, my comp. from Buenos Aires who knows approximately
20 words of english. 

I love this mission and I am working my freaking butt off. We get about 
20 new investigators a day which is leading the mission but no baptisms 
so far. Of course it is only my 13th day so it is not expected yet, but we 
have a few potentials. One is Diego, he is 13 and just a hoot, he loves 
our lessons but we need to teach him one more lesson before he is baptized. 
He was sick 2 days ago so I bought him a Flash Incredible doll, it made 
me think of going to Pixar in Berkeley with the family and Kevin Peters. 
Anyway, it was 3 pesos which means 75 cents in american money. 
Diego is an amazing boy and he has been changing so much since we 
first saw him. We have taught him 4 lessons so far and he is so mature 
and receptive to the spirit. 

What else, oh right, mother do I spend money? Well yes, don´t I always!!! 
The church gives us a credit card with 600 pesos each month and I buy
mangos and oh my goodness tons of juice. I was a juice fiend before
the mission but now I drink about 3 liters a day and spend no time in
the bathroom because you sweat it all off. I love it here and
especially the power outage last night. It was out for 5 hours and boy
was it dark but wait, mother, thanks to you I had my head lamp and I
actually cooked brownies, carne empanadas and even oatmeal and I am
gonna eat my jello I made tonight. I am now elder Darby the chef so
Danielle, look out - I am gaining more skillz everyday. Besides the
Spanish, everything is literally perfect and I mean perfect. 

I am not sick even though 90% of the missionaries that arrived in 
Salta the same day are and there are 30 of us, so I am one lucky 
son of a gun. The best part is that in my apartment (dad you will love this) 
we can drink from the tap and boy do I hate the taste of water here, but it
keeps me hydrated. No, I don´t really drink from the tap but I would
love to see Rustys face during that one haha. 

As you can tell I am happier than ever even though we walk a lot, 
sweat a lot and my jaw is dropped a ton by how fast they speak spanish.
FOOD!!!!  It is amazing here and I mean that. Empanadas stuffed with
chicken, meat, jerky, and ham and cheese. They are amazing. Also
pasta, chicken with the head on and off and just the best tasting with
no preservatives. The members here are so nice and we have dinner
appointments on Sunday and usually 2 or more during the week. I love
teaching and eating with members because they ask me all about my
family, famous singers and of course, my novia meaning girlfriend. My
comp. tells everyone I have an angel girlfriend and he has as big of a
crush as I do on Danielle. No, he is amazing- I love my comp. and I love
the people here. 

One thing I hate is dogs and wow!!!! there are easily about 20 dogs 
per 2 houses and I am not kidding. You see cars hitting
them and you see them doing otherthings which aren´t really appropiate
but the worst is a lot of missionaries get attacked, it is nuts. I
haven´t had one problem but every other missionary I have talked to
has. I don´t get it, no sickness, no dog attacks, no discouragement,
no bad roomates,and no bad moments. It makes my prayers full of thanks
because I am in a new place and so many things can go bad in an
instant. I freaking love Argentina and I sent Danielle a letter and my
teacher in the Mtc, I lost the letter I wrote for the fam. but I will
rewrite another one. Also Bro. Toole, I would love to write the priest
quorum every week that would be great and very inspiring. I will get on
that tomorrow for sure. Well no mas tiempo para mi so yo amo ustedes
mucho. I love all of you tons and know I am here working for the Lord
and inviting others to the gospel that we all love. I will upload pics
next monday. I love you all but for now nos vamos. See ya later

Monday, February 14, 2011

How to write Elder Darby!

His email: blake.darby@myldsmail.net


Send letters thru the pouch at the following address:

   Elder Blake Russell Darby
   Argentina Salta Mission
   POB 30150
   Salt Lake City, UT 84130-0150

Pouch Mail Instructions:  To prevent possible fines,
only postcards and letters that are single sheet, folded
into three-panels, and taped at the top only (no envelopes)
may be sent through the pouch.
Packages cannot be sent through pouch mail.

Mailing packages to the Mission:
The follow address may be used to send packages to
the mission office:

   Elder Blake Russell Darby
   Argentina Salta Mission
   Casilla de Correo 429
   4400 Salta
   Salta
   Argentina
   Phone:  54 387-439-8119

FIRST LETTER FROM ARGENTINA!!!


it is time again for an email and boy do i have a lot to talk about. i am in argentina and am loving every moment even though i barely understand anyones spanish. sorry for the typos in this email the keyboard here is way different and slanted. ok so i love you all and it is so nice to be out of the MTC, thank goodness eventhough my spanish is terrible. The flights out here were long but way fun, i placved 2 books of mormon on the flight and taught 4 people the gospel in spanish. It was way hard but somehow it worked it in the end. So the weather here in argentina is humid and overcast, thankgoodness because the sun makes it super hot here and the rain feels so good. So wednesday we arrived in buenos aires argentina and boy was it a culture shock but seeing the temple right next to the freeway was so great. Then our driver took us to the Salta airport and we flew to salta and only one man on the plane spoke english and he sat next to another missionary. Knowing my luck i sat next to a lady from France that spoke half french and half spanish so understanding her french spanish accent was way tough but i loved getting to know her and others on the plane flight in a new launguage. We arrived in salta and boy is it green here WOW!!!! we walk out of the baggage claim and are greeted by the mission president and all the green trees and plants. It was so amazing to finally arrive in an unknown country teaching the gospel i love in a new launguage. Then we drove to the mission office and had the best pizza (yes dad it beats round  table and X pizza combined.) We then drank so much juice and i recieved 4 dear Elders from Erik and boy were they funny as can be i mean they asked about my first day in the MTC, so Erik i am proud to say you are my brother haha with love. So anyway after the mission office was the bus station and wow what an experience. One thing they don´t tell you in the MTC is to not look at the magazine stands because they are really bad. Anyway we arrive at the bus station and get on a bus and take a 2 hour trip to my first area PERICO and the saying in PERICO IS RICO!!!!! Which it totally is and i love it like no other here i mean eating pollo for lunch and dinner and drinking about 4 liters a day of Fanta soda or Juice. You all know i love my juice and i ate a mango on friday OH MY GOSH BEST MANGO OF MY LIFE. I have yet to find a guava fruit but i will. So we arrived in Perico and it is kinda ghetto i took many pics so don`t worry Alix i know you love pictures. Lets see my companion my new companion, Elder De La Cruz!!!! no joke in spanish it means of the cross. I have not laughed harder when i met him and he picked me up and swung me around, from that first moment i knew i would love this mission and that i am blessed. My companion is a native from Buenos Aires and he is about 5 foot 2 just tiny. Oh wait this whole country is tiny!!! they call me gigante which i love and i know keegan will because that is our favorite basebal team and they won the world series so booyah!!! Another thing keegan will like is keegan here Gatorade is 2 pesos which means 50 CENTS in american money 50 CENTS and they have different flavors like green mango strawberry and guava they are amazing just like every type of juice in this country. I drink about 3 juices a day and it is so freaking amazing i love it!!! So money wise as i said 4 pesos to a dollar and the church gives us credit cards with 700 Pesos for 1 MONTH it is a lot here. So i spend about 6 pesos a day and love being the rich one here it is so nice to be a foot taller than everyone, have nice clothes, and a real shower which i found out was warm the other night thank goodness. I had 5 cold showers and that first warm one was unbelieveable oh man i was loving it so much. Keegan about the Gatorade i will buy a few juices and candies before i leave and i will fly home with them so you can try some real real juice. COCA COLA IS EVERYWHERE. There is a coke stand about every 4 houses and the best part we aren't allowed to have any coke i am so sad but they have so much other stuff.
Ok you now know my english is worse the people here are short, everything is cheap and i eat chicken and empanadas a ton now for a story. So 1 day it was so freaking hot with son and me and my comp. are new to this area so we contact everyday but anyway so it is hot i am out of clean water and we are both dying in the sun for 5 hours of no responses on doors or the common response"otro dia por favor" which meansd another day please. But wer are walking and there are no stores i look up and say man i need a blessing companion and a minute after i kid you not a member calls our name. Elders come here!! my heart jumps i was so excited because it was our new investigator Sabastian he is this big guy short but stalky and he says here elders. He hands us each 4 pollo, potato,queso,onion empanadas and a glass sprite each. I looked at my companion and i swear i could have cried i was so happy and felt so loved eventhough the only thing i said in that lesson with sabastian was my testimony. Love the lord and follow his commandments because he will answer your prayers. That was a blessing and another story is the other 2 missionaries in our ward had a baptism last saturday and so of course i have to give a 5 minute talk in spanish on the holy ghost. I wrote it and my companion checked it but man up came the baptism and i have never talked with a better accent than at that moment and after i8 realized God was my companion and i am in Jesucristo`s shoes. Well the investigators love me and my comp and for luches we eat pollo and rice and boy do i love it like no other plus jello is the best here.
So obviously tons has happened and as everyone says you get discouraged it is not true because i laugh aty my self all day. Yesterday i said "A traves de el ejemplo de Jesucristo nosotros perdonado por nuestros pescados" in english it means "through the example of jesus christ we can be forgiven for our fish" yeah the word for sin is "pecados" not "pescados" so i had the best laugh after when the investigator looked totally confused and i realized i said fish not sins. I love it here and the people love seeing my english scriptures and hearing about my family and california. I love thinking about my family and my novia and of course  my friends , i love you all and will send a letter hopefully this week so expect a letter in about 2-3 weeks maybe a few letters who knows haha. My time for email has come to an end and i love you all so much and honestly i am having so much fun i mean today we played basketball and soccer and i was with elder seipert all day today. He was in my district and my bro. I love you all and keep me in your prayers because there are a lot of dogs here and they attack just not me yet and when i say a lot of dogs i mean easily 12 per house no joke. I am taking pictures and am not sick so with me luck i love you all till next time your
son, friend, amigo but always everyones brother ELDER DARBY!!!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Video!

video

Goodbyes...

Blake left the Provo MTC on Monday February 7th to go to Salta Argentina to continue his service as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints for the next 22 months!

I was able to go to the airport and meet up with Blake so he was able to call all of our family and say his last goodbyes! Here are some pictures!

His Flight to Dallas! ( yes I was in the airport 4 hours early so I was slightly bored)

Making his First Phone Call! 

The District Heading to Argentina Checking In!

Elder Darby


On the Phone with Family

Ticket to Buenos Aires!

Elder Rassmusen made a little workout contraption on his backpack straps! 


Elder Darby Has Arrived In Salta Argentina!

Just received an email that Elder Darby has safely arrived in Salta, Argentina.

Here is a picture of him and his Mission President Dan Northcutt and his wife Sister Cynda Northcutt