Wednesday, March 30, 2011


Sorry for taking a long time to write but our Pdays are on Monday! Argentina is an absolute blast! Outside right now it is a pleasant 80 degrees and at night time it gets nice and cool and so we just wear a sweater. So for my first area I am in Bahía Blanca!!! What a great place to start my mission. I am working in the Maldonado Barrio (ward.) My trainer is Elder Milne from Lehi, Utah. He is another tall companion and has red hair and is pretty funny. So i can kinda say that my companion is Fred Weasley =) This past week we worked in a trio with another elder named elder hatch. he was going to be a trainer this transfer but his elder had some problems with his visa or passport. The people here are absolutely AWESOME! They make fun of me all the time and I usually don´t know what they are saying but its all good. They do say I have very pretty eyes so thats good. It was hard to speak up during lessons and stuff this past week because of the trio. But I was able to do a lot of listening and I can understand a lot more Castellano (the Spanish they speak here) But we are supposed to focus more on the work than the Spanish (we don't even have language study) But yah this past week we had a ton of dinners with members. I think i have had more meals with members than where I have to cook. Its awesome. I had the best barbecue chicken ever. Chicken asada is what its called. I´ve had chorizos, ñoquis (potato noodles), Milanessa (like country fried chicken but so much better) lots of noodles and empenadas( the hamburger of Argentina) they are interesting but apparently they get much better. I don´t need to worry about the water here really. all of the argentines only drink their water with tang (there are like 15 different flavors of that here) For breakfast I have been having cereal with milk from a bag and have fried up a couple of eggs. So i will tell about my travels now. We flew out of salt lake last monday at like 12:30 and landed in georgia like 6 then our flight was supposed to leave at 8 but the buenos aires airport's radar was down so we had our flight delayed so we didnt leave until around midnight. It was a 10 hour flight to argentina so we got their around 11 or noon. (we are 3 hours different than you) from there we split up in our different missions and were completely confused what we were doing. The church travel director here put us on a bus from the airport and we ended up at another airport. The 3 of us going to bahia blanca didn´t have our luggage but everyone else did so we were a little confused if we would be flying or driving. But sure enough we got on another flight that lasted about an hour and we went to bahia blanca. our luggage came the next day. The other two elders in my mtc district went to tourist areas (mar del plata and something that starts with an n) But i was done traveling. Our mission president doesn´t speak english but he can understand most of it. So for our orientation the assistants translated. First impressions of argentina: Its great. The driving is absolutely ridiculous. There is basically only one rule... you can´t turn rigth on a red light. other than that anything goes. Dogs are everywhere and its kinda sad to see how some of them look. The food is fantastic. In my area the roads are all dirt and bumpy and my apartment is nice (has hot water, good cooking stuff) but other than that it doesnt look great. Argentina has everything just doesnt look as great. But in some ways it looks awesome . i love it. This past week has gone by SOOO fast! The only thing I miss is all of you guys and the ability to send and receive mail a lot more quickly but its all new address for the mission: Elder Maxwell Bret Vaterlaus Misión Argentina Bahía Blanca Chacabuco 1755 (8000) Bahía Blanca, Buenos Aires, Argentina You can´t send peanut butter or jerky. I think whatever you send food wise must have an expiration date. The easiest is to keep it around or below four pounds. Dear elders (FREE) I will get every Tuesday in the pouch so that works good too. Oh the people here love to see pictures of people. So send me some pictures of us like backpacking or hanging out or whatever and i can show the people here. They love it. Well everything is good here! hope to hear from you all! Love, Elder Vaterlaus

Friday, March 18, 2011

Goodbye America!

This has been a great last week in America! It's gone by super fast because we have been busy with our teaching week!

Teaching week is where our teachers only teach for about an hour out of their scheduled 2-3 hours a day. The rest of the day we teach other missionaries or teachers as investigators. So we have taught about 20 lessons this week. It's been a blast to watch my Spanish and Teaching skills grow and it is really incredible how much I have been able to pick up (I am not even close to being fluent but when it comes to Gospel stuff I am pretty good with that vocab :)

With this being the last week we have been having a lot of lasts in the MTC. Yesterday was our last day in four square and I totally rocked it! ha I am going to miss four-square but If i get to play soccer in Argentina every once in a while I'm not going to care one bit. We had a couple of meetings this week for departing missionaries. Nothing too special just a health meeting and a seminar about how to study our language while in the field. Our last service in the MTC was Wednesday and before we got our jobs (which was to clean chalk boards) there was a room next to us in the main building (so an employee) rockin out to Taylor Swift song Fairytale. It took all of my might to walk away. I miss T-swift.... but this is so much better!

I can't wait for the airplane ride on monday! I already know that I am going to go and buy some Burger King and I can't wait to call you mom! I dont know but I always love traveling whether it be by car or plane so I am really excited to have a LONG flight. Its going to be awesome.

The MTC has been one of the best experiences of my life. I have learned so much about my self and why I am here and why I am devoting two years of my life to this gospel. I have been so blessed these past 9 weeks. I have drawn so much closer to Jesucristo y Dios. And I have learned that they love me and everybody so much! I am so blessed to have this opportunity to go to Argentina to share what i Know. I have made life-long friends here at the MTC who have been incredible influences to me in my life.

I miss you all and love you all, but I am so grateful for the opportunity I have to serve the Lord I love ya mom!

Con amor, Elder Vaterlaus

P.S. Tonight is the last night i will get dear elders because they dont hand them out on saturdays or sundays. So I probably wont hear from you until I am in Argentina! Dear elder works there too though

Friday, March 11, 2011

Flight Plans!

Hello Everybody!

Lots of exciting news from this past week! The most exciting is that Clare got her official reassignment!!! Sister Vaterlaus is now called to serve in the New York Rochester Visitors center in Albanian when needed. She will report to New York around April 18th. So she will finish up her Albanian training and then have two more weeks with a visitor center district here at the MTC. But, she is SUPER EXCITED! She is really happy. She will get to call the parents Sunday night or Monday night! That is where she originally wanted to go so she is feeling pretty good.

My big news is that I got my travel plans! I will be leaving the MTC March 21st! I am flying Delta and my flight from Salt Lake leaves 12:15 pm and I will land in Atlanta, Georgia at around 6. I have about a 2 hour layover in Georgia and leave there at 7 and fly to Buenos Aires, where we will arive there at 6:50 am March 22. So I will be leaving in 10 days!!! I am a little frightened to go to a completely different part of the world but at the same time I am so excited to learn the culture and to learn spanish much better and to do the missionary work!

Other than that not much happened this past week other than studying, teaching, and studying! Yesterday Clare, Talbot, and I took pictures with their new places before Talbot left the MTC! It was really fun. I wish i could attach pictures onto my email yet I can't.

The other exciting day this past week was March 9th aka National Registered Dietitian DAY!!!! IT was the best National RD day EVER. I hope Emily had the best RD day ever! She deserves it.

My Spanish is still coming along. I surprise myself when i start talking and I don't even know that I am talking in Spanish. Its one of the greatest feelings ever. Its been great to start understanding the scriptures when i read them in Spanish too! Our teaching experience yesterday was to meet with a progressing investigator and follow up on their commitments, get to know them, and give them directions to how to get to church. we then taught about commandments and God's plan for us. My Spanish was very poor that lesson but it ended up being a pretty spiritual lesson. Its frustrating when i can't connect Spanish in my brain as easy... but i notice it happening less and less so i am grateful about that.

Well that's all I have to say! Make sure if you send me a letter that I can get it next week by Saturday! after that I wont be at the MTC. So make sure you all write me a letter one last time before i leave the United States! Thanks for all of your support and prayers! I love you all

Con Amor,

Elder Vaterlaus

Sunday, March 6, 2011

More MTC

Hola mi familia y mis amigos!

I am a little jealous and caught off gaurd mom and dad that you are headed on a cruise this weekend! I never knew about stuff like that when I was home anyways! :) But I guess that I will be able to go to Argentina in like 17 days so I am not too jealous!

But yah I am down to the last couple of weeks here at the MTC. Time has really flown by and I cant believe that I've been here for over a month and a half. Everybody that is leaving march 14th got their travel plans yesterday which means I should be expecting to get my flight information and plans next thursday because I should leave around the 21st. I am super excited.

The Spanish has been going great! I can speak all that i need to speak at the mtc (which means i dont know anything) but I'm working hard every day to learn something new about it. There are some crazy rules in spanish but i feel that i understand the principles pretty well.... just need to practice and practice! We have been teaching in complete spanish for the past two weeks now and our spanish has greatly improved. For our teaching experience yesterday (not a teacher or othe missionary but a volunteer) we went "shopping" and had to buy clothes. then we had to talk to the store clerk about her family and relate that to the gospel and ask if she wanted to learn more. Then we went and taught her in her "home" about the restoration of the gospel. It was awesome and we had a good experience. We didn't struggle as much with our spanish as we usually do.

This past week we have been teaching and teaching! Elder Flamm and I have 4 progessive investigators (our teachers and missionaries in our district) and it has been fun to teach alot. Still need to improve a ton in my teaching.

Nothing else too much has happened. Can't wait to get out to Argentina so my e-mails will be a little more exciting! But yah same ole over here; four-square, studying, food, studying, sleeping, and some more studying.

I guess i could share a quick thing i learned last sunday in a meeting that was awesome! A member of our branch presidency gave us a message about who we are (meaning everybody in teh world) He started off by saying that Identity leads to values,beliefs, rules and that leads to attitudes and behaviors, and that to actions, and ultimately to reality. If we know our identity and who we are we can improve our lives drastically. So what is our identity? Everybody is a son or daughter of God. If we can always remember that simple statement when we are faced with a difficult choice or challenge or attitude, satan will have no effect and even no POWER over us. It is incredible that knowing that being a child of God can make the devil powerless over us. Well sorry if i rambled a bit! but I would love to hear from everybody! Tenga un buen Semaña!


Elder Vaterlaus