Contacting Elder Rainock:


Address: Elder Cordell B. Rainock
Mission Argentina Mendoza
Cabildo Abierto 161
5501 Godoy Cruz
Mendoza, Argentina

Sending Elder Rainock packages: It´d be best if any packages are sent in the large padded envelopes instead of boxes and contain very little value. (time frame: letters - 3 weeks, packages - around 1 month)

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

"Carrying me to new heights"

Written May 27

Lots of missionary work is going down over here and we have two families that are progressing smoothly. One of the families is a family of influence around here so it`s a pretty big deal for us.

This mission has 5 curses:
1. falling into the acequia (drainage system that runs along the road and is always filthy)
2. getting bit by a dog
3. getting dropped on by birds
4. getting kissed or kissed at by women
5. not making it to the bathroom on time

If you are wondering.... I have fallen victim to one of these curses since being here. It wasn`t that bad but I`m sure there are plenty in store for me. Elder Egbert had some poor luck with the curses this week... dang. 

I started doing lots of door contacts this week and I`m getting a lot better at it each time. My language is progressing so quickly... I can`t even believe how far I`ve come since being here. 

The kids here either wear a dress shirt and tie to school or lab coats; it`s pretty funny. It looks like a bunch of little Argentenian scientists walking around. They always come up to us and show off their english skills... 

I bought a watch from one of three black guys in all of Valle de Uco. The other two black guys are his brothers.. haha.

We had interviews with President Ávila this week and mine was short but sweet. There is only so much we can communicate at this point in time. He is such an inspired man!

Saturday was my first Argentenian holiday! It was their independence day. Our branch had an activity which was a huge success! Lot of members, inactive and less active members, and investigators were there. We went and ate choripán (bread with chorizo in the middle) fresh off the grill and it was soooo good! Then we went back to work and had a huge night. 

I`ve been reading the Christlike Attributes section in the Preach My Gospel book and taking the assesment at the end to see which attribute I need the most help with. I can feel the Lord blessing me and carrying me to new heights as I strive to become more like Him. You all should try it too because becoming like Christ is a lifelong pursuit. 

Here is the link to the Christlike Attributes section:

And the Assessment:

One thing I've learned about missionary work is that pushing through the hard times and working when it isn't easy always brings blessings. 

Things are going great here and I`m pushing through the hard times (which are few and far between) with the Grace of God. 

Elder Rainock

"A big week"

Written May 20

Elder Egbert and I had a big week this week! We worked hard, put up some big numbers, and have a lot of people that are very close and excited for baptism. Our lessons have been going smoothly and we do well as a companionship. I have felt the Spirit shake me to the core many times while bearing my testimony. The church is still young here so we have been very busy fortifying the branch and its members as well as doing some finding for new members.
This week I went on exchanges with one of the Zone leaders. He is a Brazilian and doesn´t speak very much english. It forced me to speak spanish (the only language we have in common) the whole day and my spanish improved so much! Many think that he is from the states because he has an accent. People were calling us gringos (which is a daily thing) even though he is from Brazil.. pretty funny.
People here really like my blue eyes and "blonde" hair. I´ve even been told that I look like I should be in the movies. Also, in church yesterday after reading a section in gospel principles, I was told that I was a very special person and have the voice of an angel... haha. Good stuff.
Speaking of voices... yesterday a man in church sang a solo and he had one of the most magnificent voices I have ever heard! He never had a chance to show the world his talent because he was born here.. it´s so sad. I´ve always wondered how many angelic voices there are in the world that will never be discoverd or that haven´t been discovered just because of cultural walls. I just found one yesterday.
Again, speaking of voices, it seems like the only english things that kids know how to say here are "hello" and "---- you"... I´m sure they don´t mean any harm when saying the latter, though. It´s just something they know and when they see two americans walking by they have to show off their english. Honestly, people really love us here and there aren´t any problems with missionaries getting robbed here in Tupungato.

This week I had my first asado! An asado is like a cookout but they cook the meat on a wood-burning, brick grill. The meat here is fantastic and it was some of the best steak I have ever head. While on the topic of food I´ll mention something kind of interesting... people eat cough drops for candy here. They aren´t called cough drops, though... it´s just candy.
Last night I had a very spiritual experience that I can talk about. We were having ward council and Elder Egbert was not able to attend because he had a district leader meeting; it was up to me to speak on behalf of the missionary work in our branch here. I was able to understand almost everything and able to express myself in ways that I wanted to when asked about the missionary work. When it was over I was filled with warmth and wonder... I am in another country, understanding what is going on, and speaking another language well enough for my ideas to be understood. The Lord is truly helping me and the gift of tongues has never been more real to me.

Thank you for your prayers and I am praying for you back home. I´m doing splendidly down here so don´t worry ´bout a thing.
Elder Rainock

Elder Egbert and I at my first district meeting:

A vineyard we walked through to get to an appointment:

My first asado:

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Arrival Photos

"We have a lot of things in store for Tupungato"

written May 13, 2013

It´s really nice to be back in the field and to feel like my days are being filled with wholesome experiences. I'm learning so much during my personal and companionship study times - it´s been very uplifting so far.

Monday night I flew from Richmond to Atlanta and met up with some other missionaries there. We had trouble boarding the plane right away because they had never seen visas like ours but we were finally permitted to board. The flight was a little over 10 hours and I got a few hours of sleep. When we landed in Buenos Aires we went through customs and it all went smoothly except I couldn't understand anything... I could tell they were speaking Spanish but they seriously sounded Italian; the cadence and voice fluctuations they use in Buenos Aires make them sound that way. We were met outside of customs by two Argentinean men who copied our passports and took us on a crazy ride through Buenos Aires... traffic laws are not enforced and motorcycles were squeezing between cars at speeds well over 100 mph on the highway. It was the same thing through the city but just not as fast. Buenos Aires is huge! I thought I was in a Bourne movie by the look and feel of it :) We spent a couple of hours at a headquarters of the church in South America and were taken on a bus from there to another airport in Buenos Aires. We flew from Buenos Aires to Mendoza and that only took a few hours.

We were met in Mendoza by the mission president, his wife, and the assistants to the president. They took us to their home in Mendoza and it was super nice! Standing on their balcony and looking out at the city made me want to live in Mendoza one day. We had a delicious dinner there, took pictures, and were taken to one of the apartments to sleep. There I had a nice little reunion with Elder Hone (one of the guys from my MTC district a year ago). Elder Hone and I were standing on the balcony of his apartment and I saw something in the dark running across the power lines about 20 feet away from us. I said, ¨Oh cool, they have squirrels here¨ and he replied that it was a rat... a giant rat.. that´s when it hit me that Mendoza wasn't quite so perfect after all :)

The next day I got to talk a lot with Elder Morley (another one of the guys from my MTC district) and met my companion Elder Egbert, from Sandy, Utah. He is a district leader so we stayed another day for his training. That next day I saw Elder Marsh (MTC companion!) and it was great reminiscing on old times with all of those guys.

Elder Egbert and I left Mendoza for our assigned area late Thursday evening. On first arrival we went to work right away and conversed with people on the streets of Tupungato (that´s where I´ll be for at least the next six weeks). I practiced taking the initiative in talking to people but Elder Egbert took most of it from there because I couldn´t understand anything...

The next day I had my first Tupungato meal. It was a pasta with some cow kidney chunks in it and about an inch of oil at the bottom of the bowl (oil is it´s own food group here... they put tons of it on everything). The dad of the family is kind of a jokester and he asked my companion, ¨Have you told your companion how to thank the women for dinner here?¨ to which Elder Egbert said no. The dad then told me to tell his wife, ¨gracias por su porkeria¨ which basically translates to ¨thanks for your crap¨ but I didn't fall for it.

This is my first blog post since being here so it´s kind of long but thanks for sticking in there with me. I´ll say some more interesting things now.

Tupungato has tons of vineyards and lots of the wine that Mendoza is world famous for comes from here. It is a town along "el camino del vino" which roughly translates to "path of the wine." They also grow garlic, onions, tomatoes, walnuts, peaches, pears, cherris, apples, corn, and the list goes on and on and on... it is pretty impoverished except for the few people that own the wineries and what not. Almost everyone here works in a field picking during the harvest season and don´t work at all the rest of the year.

There are dogs everywhere on the steets here... everywhere. At any given moment I can turn around in a 360 and see at least 8 dogs.

In Argentina they speak castellano.. not spanish. It actually is spanish but they will never call it that. I have to tell people that my castellano isn´t very good.

They have Sondas here which are very strong, warm winds that come down from the Andes and blow dust up everywhere. We had one on my first day here.

There are tons of Bolivians here in Tupungato that work in the fields... most of the people that we talk to are Bolivians.

The Andes are pretty far away from where I am but they are still huge! And I´ve been told that those are only the foothills...

Everyone here eats a huge lunch and then takes a siesta. We take an hour during siesta time to do language study and then get back to work. They don´t really eat dinner here - they stay up late drinking mate and relaxing. Also, alcohol is way cheaper than water here.

In respect for the people that we come in contact with I won´t ever be too detailed about our lessons but I will say that we have had A LOT and there is tons of work to do here. Elder Egbert and I are going to be making a big impact together, he's a great trainer and we have a lot of things in store for Tupungato. We've felt the spirit guide us many times in our planning and lessons (some times very strongly).

My first Sunday was great (about 40 people were there) and it´ll keep getting better as we keep working and get people coming back. My castellano is progressing rapidly. There are still so many things that I could say but I have very little time.

Emailing is the easiest way to contact me and I can now email anyone.

The work is plenty, the harvest is over here but not for missionary work, time to gather.

Elder Rainock