Monday, December 28, 2015
Man it was awesome to be able to talk to you guys and to know that everything is going good back at home! Its crazy to think that Justin’s getting married in just a matter of days and that Cameron is getting engaged soon. It definitely sounds like you guys are staying busy and having lots of fun, which is what I like to hear!
Really don’t worry about the package, I’m fine lol! From what I've heard from the other missionaries it takes about 2 months till missionaries can get it in their hands, about a month for it to get to the office, and the zone leaders only go to the office once a month before a zone conference, and they pickup all the packages for the zone.
The heat isn’t crazy bad here compared to other areas in our mission, so I’ve heard, but you can definitely feel it. It’s not really humid. It’s pretty much like California, but Argentina’s weather is pretty weird. It could be super hot one day and the next pouring rain and then the next day it would be super hot again.
My comp finished Skyping a little after me, we talked and thanked the family and we went to our next appointment. Apparently no one is home during Christmas, everyone is at some party and the only people on the streets are super drunk so we didn’t have too much success that night. That’s all right, that’s all part of the mission right? you have some good days and you have some not so good days.
Last night was pretty cool we were meeting with a less active and during this huge lighting storm started not too far away from us. We couldn’t even hear the thunder but we could see the lighting just fine and it was AWESOME! I took a video of it but I think it’s too long to send, I can barely send two pictures in the same email lol.
Tomorrow we have a district meeting and after we are going on splits, but here’s the kicker I'm staying in my area, my comp is leaving and my comp for the day is a brand new missionary, he’s only been here for like 2 week. WHAT???? idk why they’re paring the two new elders together, we will see how it goes!!!!!
Oh and my white elephant gift that I bought the sweet wooden armadillo, and this little lama made out of real lama fur, I thought they were pretty awesome! Yes I’ve gotten sister nelsons’ emails, please tell her thank you for me! It sounds like you guys have a pretty busy week this week lol! Be sure to have as much fun as possible, I hope everything goes well and Justin & Kendall are happy beyond measure! I know I need to focus on the work here, but I have to say its gonna be pretty darn hard not to think of you guys on Saturday. My heart is pulled, I know this is where I need to be - I love you guys! kiss my puppies for me! Oh and yes I did get the little video, and it was awesome Keep em coming!! Love my puppies! I’ll talk to you guys soon!
This week went by pretty quick I think time is starting to pick up alittle. Christmas really isn’t a big deal here, most people have a little plastic trees and that’s about it - nothing compared to home. That’s crazy that Austin is married already, that was really fast! Thank you Kendall for setting up Skype for us - you is the best!
It was super hot at the beginning of the week and then it cooled down. Man does it get hot here and I’m fried! We found 5 new investigators this week – this is pretty awesome!! Two of those investigators have a baptism date for the 1st of January. So hopefully while you all are celebrating Justin and Kendall’s wedding I will be celebrating a couple baptisms! I am able to get more involved with the lessons, speaking isn’t really that hard it’s understanding that’s the tricky part. They talk super fast and super bad, not like bad words or anything its just like they mumble everything – I’m sure its because people just don’t have teeth here!
Yesterday we were at a less actives house, I will save you the details as to why they are less active, but I will say that they have some problems and not your average problems – its with an old bishop. It’s not very hard to see why they went inactive. My comp did most of the talking because the topic got pretty serious and I was fine with that! Toward the end of the lesson my comp asked them if they had any questions for me. They paused for a little bit and then the grandma looked at me and asked, “How can we forget the bad things that have happened to us?” That’s a pretty hard question to answer, especially when you don’t speak the language very well. I paused and thought of what I was going to say. I had no idea what to say and I was thinking and thinking. Then I stopped thinking and just listened, (not to them - no one was talking, they were waiting for me), I was listening for the spirit so I could know what to say. I don’t know how long I was waiting I wasn’t thinking about the time, I was just praying for something to come. Then this thought came into my head, the thought was we aren’t supposed to forget the bad things that happen to us. I was a little hesitant to say it because I know that it wasn’t what she wanted to hear, but I said it anyways. I then began to talk more about our purpose and how we are here to learn and we learn through experiences. I covered a lot of stuff and I was talking for a while. I don’t remember all of what I said. I think that’s because they weren’t my words, they were from someone that knew her a little better than I did. After I finished talking the room was silent and the grandma said that was beautiful, I understood that! My comp left them with a scripture to read D&C 122 about when Joseph was in the jail, we said a prayer and left. That was a pretty cool experience of being able to teach by the spirit – this is what keeps me going! I cannot describe what an awesome feeling that was!
I’m sorry this letter is a little short, but we get to talk in 4 days so I think that will make up for it! I love you guys! keep up the awesome work! kiss my puppies for me!!
Tuesday, December 15, 2015
So to start off we can Skype, which is awesome, but we are only allowed 40 minutes, which isn’t so awesome. I was hoping for at least an hour. I mean we get to Skype for 40 mins. in 11 days!!!! We can call on either the 24 or the 25. I'm assuming the 25 would be better. We have a family in our ward that is going to let us use their computers and they said that the time doesn’t matter to them. I’m not 100 percent sure but I think the difference between here and home is 5 hours. The plan is to call between 6 and 7 so that’s about 1 or 2 for you guys. I don’t remember much about Skype or what username we used with Justin, so Cam and Justin you guys gotta figure it out or make a new one. To make things easier someone should download the app "whatsapp"and give me the number or username next week. It’s an online messenger that everyone uses here. Since it’s an online messenger app it’s free to text between countries, if there are problems or last minute changes we can communicate through the members phone. I think that’s it for calling, if I missed something be sure to make that known next week.
About the rain, its just weird here. It could be super hot then start raining for like 5 or 10 minutes and then stop. There is really no warning for it, but it’s mostly like Cali rain its nothing major, except for last week.
We have a zone meeting on the 23 with the president. We were all told to buy a present for a white elephant exchange. So that should be pretty fun. I know how American’s do white elephant, I’m excited to see how the rest of the world does it.
I've been looking really hard for some nativities, I haven’t found anything that really stood out to me. I'm still looking; only the best for you guys!
We weren’t able to get the rat out. The trap we have sucks! Last Monday we heard it close by so we went to check on it, we moved some stuff around and we found TWO!!! They’re really fast and ran to another location. After chasing it for a while we were able to get one of them out. At least our rats at home stay in the garage!
I’m glad ED went well and that Katie did great. I hope the take down was easy and not too crazy. I wish I were there to help, but I know you guys can handle it - you guys can do everything!
We are working which is good, but Latinos love to talk and talk and my comp is one of them. So it’s hard to keep our appointments short. I'm working on it with my comp, Cam I know this would drive you nuts!
Please don’t worry about the package. I'm totally fine. My district leader is from Utah and he’s gotten some packages. I've talked to him a little about it. He said you have to be like a drug dealer and hide the important things in other stuff. I’ll see if I can get his mom’s email or something so you guys can talk and get some tips.
I forget which day it was, but our appointment fell through so we started contacting, we came across this huge field with this little house in the middle of it. We decided to go contact that house. The field was covered with all sorts of animals. When we got to the house we found a guy saddling up his horse. We talked to him for a little bit, and he was interested about our message so he brought out some chair and we had a lesson in the middle of this huge field. idk what it is about teaching in the middle of a huge field, but man it’s a lot more fun than the inside a house lol. We haven’t been back to see him yet but we will this week because he seemed pretty interested and it was pretty fun.
I have a question, is mate bad for your teeth? I'm assuming yes because no one has teeth here!!!! Teeth are good, I wanna keep mine! I've had it once and it wasn’t bad it was actually pretty good. There are two types of mate here, the original way with just the leaves and stuff and you need the special straw to drink it and the other way is in the form of tea bags. As missionaries we can only have the tea bag kind. I don’t want to drink it if it’s bad for my teeth. The only people to ask around here are people with no teeth, well and my companion and he doesn’t know.
Well ill talk to you guys soon, literally!!!! Eleven Days!! I love you and keep up the awesome work! And kiss my puppies for me!!
So this week nothing really major happened, but I have some cool small experiences. I’ve been praying to be able to see my progress with my Spanish - it’s really hard to tell. This week we were talking to one of the less active sisters in our ward and I was able to understand most of what she was saying and carry on a conversation with her. It was pretty awesome, but I think I got a little too proud because after that we talked to some other people and I had no idea what they said. So I think that was God’s way of saying you are on the right track, but you still have a ways to go. Lol!!
We also had a little rat in our apartment. It was really little and pretty much stayed behind the stove so we didn't really care. One night it was just making a lot of noise while we were trying to plan so I decided that I had had enough. I got a bucket and the plan was to scare it out so I could trap it. It didn’t really go as planned. We scared it out just fine but it was a lot faster than I thought it would be. We chased it around our apartment for 30 min. eventually it just ran outside. The things you think are fun once you’re on a mission! Now we have another problem, either it came back or it has a friend and this one is a little more brave and got into my bread! The things that make you mad once you’re on a mission! I just bought a rattrap today so we can finish this sucker! Do not mess with a missionaries food!
Another cool story was we were teaching a lesson to one of our investigators. The lesson was going really well, the Spirit was really strong, and during it we heard this weird noise kind of like white noise but stronger. We just thought it was the fan or something and ignored it. Then we heard thunder so we looked outside and it was pouring rain. Like Virginia rain, buckets. That was our last lesson for the night and we needed to get back to our apartment, we were not close and we were not prepared for the rain whatsoever. It had been hot that entire day. We decided we had to suck it up and embrace the rain. We were completely soaked in like 10 seconds. It rained so hard that the streets began to flood, we had to walk back almost the entire way it about shine high water. The scary part was about every five seconds everything would light up blue from crazy strong lighting. I was wetter than any person has ever been. IT WAS AWESOME!! I was having the time of my life! The really cool part was that the rain was warm so I wasn’t cold or anything. It was like taking a shower, but with clothes on. And my bag held up perfectly, nothing got wet inside it. The next day it was raining pretty hard in the morning and I didn’t want to be caught off guard again so I broke out the boots and my rain gear. Right as we left it stopped raining and didn’t start back up again, so that was a bit of a bummer! I did break in my boots a little bit which was good.
I did some math this week and figured some stuff out. The exchange rate here is 15 pesos for 1 dollar, and we get 1,800 pesos every month. That is 120 dollars a month. So things here, compared to the US and pretty cheap which is always nice lol but I as also wondering so you guys still have to pay the full 400 if I only use 120. How does that work?
I set up my Christmas tree its Awesome!! I set it up right next to my bed I forgot to take a picture of it but I will this week. I love it and I’m going to take good care of it so it’s in the same condition for next year. Dad, make sure you get some extra help for ED because that’s a lot of work! But I know you can do it! I love you guys I will talk to you soon! Kiss the puppies for me!!
Wednesday, December 2, 2015
So we didn’t have the baptism this week. Our investigators just seemed to drop off the face of the earth. They don’t have phones so the only way to communicate with them is if we go to their house and you just never know if they’ll be there. Even if you make an appt. it doesn’t mean they’ll be there. I think it’s more of a cultural thing than a noninterest in the Church kinda thing. Basically we were only able to meet with them once this week and that’s not enough to get them ready for baptism. That was a bummer, but we did find some new investigators and they seem really interested, so hopefully we can get them to baptism real soon!!
Studying is going good! We do have A LOT of time to study. For personal study I mostly just read the Book of Mormon and a little of PMG, but I really like reading the Book of Mormon its a lot more interesting and I'm able to get so much more out of it now that I’m a missionary. It’s awesome!
I kind of forgot it was Thanksgiving - there’s nothing here to remind me of it, so no worries about me being homesick! That night my comp and I bought this big sandwich and we ate it in our apartment before we went to bed to celebrate Thanksgiving.
We did have some pretty cool experiences this week, here’s one. We were walking to an appointment when this drunken guy stopped us. There are a lot of drunks here and its not unusual for them to come up and talk to you. We normally just ignore them and walk by and that’s that, but this guy wouldn’t let us by. I was getting nervous and looked to my comp to take the lead, but I could tell he was struggling to get out of this situation as well. Then some guy on a motorcycle came up and started talking to the drunk. I didn’t get much of what he said but I did hear him say that these guys talk about the word of God. Then as he talked he looked at us and gave us a signal to go and get out. This guy saw that he was bothering us and decided to help us out. After I asked my comp who was that and he had no idea, It wasn’t a member or anything. This was one of God’s tender mercies. Idk if God takes special care of his missionaries or that I'm just more able to see the hand of God in my life now, but I sure have experienced a lot of tender mercies in my short two months out.
On Sunday after church we went back to our apartment to study. I was reading the book of Mormon and I kinda dozed off. My comp knocked me out of it when he asked, did you feel that? Apparently there was an earthquake. It was nothing major, but I was just bummed I missed it. I brought a bit of California to Argentina and I wasn’t even awake to appreciate it!
So I don’t know if the package thing is still on, you guys mentioned it last week but not this week. If so I thought of some stuff, I would like those Ensigns that I send home back, I wish I hadn’t sent them in the first place. Floss or those little floss toothpick things, plastic tabs for marking pages and stuff - they are impossible to find here for some reason and when you do they are a lot of money, a cheap watch, the watch I have now is great but I've herd that it wont last very long in other areas, its a little too nice, its fine for where I'm at now but I just want something a little less nice. One or two of dads pens, I really like those, and there are these videos of Jesus’ life on lds.org and they look like they took clips out from a movie, (idk if they are from a movie), but if it is that would be pretty awesome to have. If the package thing is off or if you can’t send a couple of things its no big deal.
Oh yeah I forgot I gave a blessing this week. We were at ward council (we have it at night during the week) and one of the brethern came up to us asking if we would give him a blessing, I thought for sure he would pick my comp – nope he picked me. ARE YOU KIDDING!! I got pretty nervous, and my Spanish was struggling, my comp noticed I wasn’t doing so hot so he whispered one word to me “English”. I started to speak in English and then it was good! I felt free, I was truly able to say what I wanted to say and not only what Spanish words I knew. The spirit was really strong!! I was wondering if he felt the same because most of it was in English and he doesn’t speak English, but when he stood up he was crying and I knew that he felt that same spirit. Great experience for me! Cannot wait till I can say what I want to say in Spanish!
Well I’ll talk to you guys more next week! I love you! Keep up the great work. Kiss the puppies for me!!
Thanksgiving Dinner, it was actually really good!
Wednesday, November 25, 2015
So to start off these computers are meant for Spanish so everything I write, the computer says is wrong even if it’s spelled right. I’m trying to write as fast as possible so I don’t worry about punctuation or spelling that much lol. I'm actually glad you correct my letters because I only have an hour to read all my emails, respond, and write to the president. No time for corrections.
I've been drinking a lot more water in my apartment now, and we pretty much only get juice or soda in members or investigators homes, but I haven’t had any problems with the water yet. I have an old juice cartoon that I just fill with water and I drink from that throughout the day. Stop worrying Mom!
Our teaching pool is good. I think we are about half and half with investigators and less active members. We had three going to be baptized this week but two are a little unsure as of right now, but we are working with them to get them ready. Our day is pretty much just like every other missionary except that after lunch our mission president says that’s when we should have comp study because in Argentina they have siestas where everything is closed and no one is on the roads.
Yes, laundry it's done in this bucket type thing. You fill it with water, put detergent and your clothes in it and then it just slowly rotates back and forth. We just let it sit for awhile then we rinse them off in the shower and let them dry. It’s not too bad!
The homesickness has been better this week. It doesn’t come very often anymore and when it or if it does its not very strong, It’s definitely improving!
This week I had some pretty interesting stories. We were teaching a lesson and my comp asked me to talk and share a scripture about caridad (charity) but I herd castidad (chastity) so I started to talk about chastity. And from there on out our lesson plan was changed. After we left my comp told me what I did, and I just started to laugh - that’s pretty funny!! Also during comp study we were role-playing about asking good questions. I started off just asking basic questions about his life. (He was playing the role of a 16 year old in high school) so I asked how is your third year of high school going. But the word for third and the word for booty are very similar. So I asked how is your booty in school doing. That was also pretty funny! But now I know the word for booty lol.
On Tuesday I went on my first split. I was with the district leader Elder Sandberg. We had an appointment but it fell through so we started to contact people. We contacted this one guy from Texas who SPOKE ENGLISH!! I was so excided to speak English that I didn’t really let my comp say anything. (He was from Utah so he spoke English too) I talked the whole time and I thought it actually went really well. After I was super happy because I was able to communicate and have a conversation with someone. My comp then told me that was actually really good. You crushed that contact. I don’t remember what I said because the Spirit was directing me what to say. After that it really motivated me to work harder on Spanish so I can do that with everyone I talk to. I have so much I want to say, I know that what I have to say can truly bless their lives, but I have trouble converting it into Spanish. I’m working on it. Members are saying my Spanish is improving, but I just wish it would go faster!
We had an opportunity to do some service this week. We had to cut down this tree in one of our investigators yards. When we got there she had an axe, hatchet, and two machetes. But the head of the axe was held on by a hope and a prayer so we decided it would be best not to use it. The hatchet was duller than the smooth side of a spoon so that was no good. We were left with the two machetes and I’m pretty sure one was just and old cooking knife. The tree we had to cut down had about 16-inch diameter trunk. Cutting that thing with machetes got old real fast, but we did it. Now I can say I cut a tree down with a machete!
Not much else happened this week, but I’m starting to see the Lord’s hand throughout my day. During lessons when its my turn to talk I kind of don’t really know what’s going on because everyone talks so fast but I know the topic so I just bare testimony of what we are teaching. I don’t really know what to say at first, but then the Spirit comes and helps me. I can feel the Spirit helping me with what to say and also with my Spanish. And I can tell from their faces that they feel the Spirit too. Pres. Monson said that there is a universal language that everyone can speak and that is the language of the Spirit. As long as we have the Spirit anything is possible. I can testify to that. It has helped me so many times since I’ve been here.
I love you guys so much! I'm so glad to know that everything is going good back home! Kiss the puppies for me!! Happy Thanksgiving! I’ll talk to you soon!
Some pics of my area
You can see the city from my area - looks legit!
Monday, November 16, 2015
So I’ll start by answering some questions. We can print our letters. We just copy and paste them to a word doc. and the guy comes and puts it on a hard drive and we print away.
I'm getting along great with my comp. I still don’t know that much about him because I don’t speak Spanish but we are getting along. Spanish is a little difficult to say the least! There are sometimes when I feel I can understand stuff and then other times when I know nothing. I'm working on it!!!
Right now we have a pretty good teaching pool, I think. This is my first area so I don’t know if its good or not to be honest. We have some good investigators with a baptismal date for the 28 of Nov. The ward is bigger than I thought it would be. Everyone is super nice. We always have a member come with us to our lessons because 2 of our investigators are girls. We either have Alvaro who is 14 or Carlos who is 21; he’s not a young man but he’s really cool and working on his mission papers.
I've mostly just been reading the BOM for my studies. I don’t really know our investigators that well so I don’t know what to study to help them. But I'm working on that. I noticed that during personal study and comp study that is when I feel most homesick because we are just in our apartment but once we get out and work then it goes away. This week has been a lot better in the homesickness category. It wasn’t as strong as the first week. Its still comes, but I'm finding new ways to handle it. I know that if I could just speak Spanish better than I could communicate better and get to know people better and form better relationships. Yeah – better, better, better! I think that’s why the MTC was so fun and went by so fast - I could communicate with everyone!
People don’t really drink water here. You have to ask for it specifically, and sometimes its some sketchy looking water. I have definitely said some prayers while drinking the water. But we have a filter in our apartment so ill try to drink more there. My stomach I think is fine now. I just needed some time to adjust.
And about dad’s costumer, I can’t think of anything right now that I need. I know there have been some thing’s I've thought about - I can’t remember now, but I trust your guy’s judgment. (Shelly here…. Tony has a customer who is from Argentina and they plan to visit family in Buenos Aires during the holidays. We’re checking to see if they can take a package down to there and mail it to Andrew for us.)
Katie that’s awesome that you are getting your P. blessing!! If I have any advise for you it is to read it a lot! It will help you with hard times and it will motivate you to work hard and stay worthy to receive those blessings that will be promised to you. I want to hear all about it!
So now I’ll tell you about my week. I’ll start with the small stuff. Like I realized that the apple juice is super good here. Idk what it is but its crazy good! The food is really good to. Even though it’s prepared in some pretty scary kitchens its good! They have the things called facturas, it’s kind of like sweet bread, YUMMMMM. I tried one with dulce de leche and powdered sugar all over it. It was Stupid Good! Mom you should look up the recipes and make ‘em.
I saw Shannon this week at the conference with Elder Cook. I didn’t say hi, but I asked my comp if he knew her. And he said he did. So I said that she is my brother’s ex-girlfriend and he freaked out. Apparently she has talked a significant amount about an ex boyfriend from California. I thought that was pretty funny and interesting…… hmmmmmm!
Oh I forgot to say. On the first day I got here. I forgot about the power difference so I just plugged my clock into the wall with just a normal adaptor and it fried my clock. That was a bummer, but I’m so glad it was my clock and not my shaver or camera battery. That would be way bad!
Now for the highlight of the week, month, year, maybe mission……….. Elder Cook!!! We had to wake up at 5 on Saturday in order to get to the building on time – not complaining… it was well worth the sacrifice!! Once we got there we took a pic with the mission and Elder Cook. I hope they send it to you guys and if so send it to me! There were 2 members of the 70 with him as well. I can’t remember there names and they both spoke in Spanish so I didn’t get much out of their talks. Then Elder Cook spoke, in English and it was awesome! I sware he was speaking directly to me! Then he bore his testimony and he said, “As an apostle I have many spiritual experiences many of which are extremely scared to me, but I will tell you this……… I know the Savior’s voice and I know the Savior’s face.” When he said that the spirit was so strong and I felt it testifying to me that what he was saying was true. I will NEVER FORGET IT and neither will anyone else who was at that conference!!!! CRAZY POWERFUL!!! HE LIVES!!!! On Sunday he came and spoke to our stake. It was another GREAT talk and when the meeting was over he walked down the middle of the aisle and shook hands with the members. My comp and I were sitting on aisle seats. Once he got to us he looked us both in the eyes and he said, “Elders, thank you so much for doing what you’re doing.” Then he shook our hands. It was awesome!! That is something you just don’t forget! I really felt that my sacrifice of leaving my family and struggling to communicate was validated and Elder Cook appreciated it all, everything! And I shook hands with someone who has seen the Savior! We are so blessed to have a prophet and apostles on the earth today! All this definitely made it into the journal!!! I took lots of notes of his talks, but my time is running out. Hopefully I’ll have time next week to touch on more.
Nothing much else really happened this week. Oh I did get my first door slammed in my face!!! That was pretty exciting. I wasn’t mad or upset, actually I was kind of excited because it was my first one! But I can kind of see how that would get old after awhile.
Did you guys get the packages that I sent from the MTC? You should be getting two of them. Oh and can you guys go on my Insta and maybe post a pic and change the bio to something like serving a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of... in Argentina or something like that. Maybe I can do some missionary work there with the English speaking folk since I’m not hitting it home yet with the Spanish speakers! That’s all I got. I love you guys so much! Keep up the Great work!! Give my puppies some extra lovin for me! Ill talk to you guys soon!
Me and Elder Lemus
Apartment tour..... self explanatory
It's sugar - I'm sure that's why it better!
Don't see this in Upland
Monday, November 9, 2015
So I only have an hour to write so I’m trying to write as fast as possible. I’ll start from the beginning. The flight to Argentina was good. It didn’t seem terribly long at all. They gave us food and drinks and even a blanket and a sleeping mask on the plane. I didn't sleep much though, I don't know why I guess I just wasn’t that tired. I mostly talked to the missionaries around me. There were also TVs and the back of everyone’s seat so you could choose to watch a movie. I watched Mulan. I don’t know if that bad or not but I figured its just Mulan. Once we got to Argentina we were met by some people, Idk who they were, but they took our luggage and piled us into vans. They took us to an airport about 40 minutes away. When we got there, that is when we separated. It wasn’t too bad saying goodbye to the others because there was so much going on and it happened so fast. No 22-hour bus ride, we took a plane to Salta! I was not sad!!
The mission pres was at the airport with the APs. We got on a bus and went to the mission home. We talked with the APs while the mission pres gave interviews. He seems like a cool guy, I don’t really know a lot about him. He doesn’t talk that much, but he is very big on following the rules. So there you have it - I wasn't planning on breaking any anyway! My comp Elder Lemus is from El Salvador and does not speak any English. So that makes things interesting, but he’s really good meaning he follows the rules, he’s really nice, and he really wants to work hard. I like that and I know you like that to Mom! He is actually going to Stanford after his mission so I got a smart one! We seem to get along good. I just wish I could speak more and understand more. It’s true I DON’T KNOW ANYTHING! I felt pretty confident leaving the MTC, but I was wrong. Its like they speak a completely different language at lightening speed. I feel like that one elder from the Best Two Years movie, I just need thick glasses and know how to play Chess. My comp said they speak way faster here in Argentina than in El Salvador, when he got here he had trouble understanding the people here to (that’s coming from a fluent speaker with a Stanford acceptance). Oh and he has been out for 11 months.
Our area is interesting to say the least. There are a couple of paved roads, but the rest are dirt, I’ll send you a pic. The houses are humble. They look like they were made in 5 minutes with some bricks and cement. Most houses are missing a wall and parts or all of the roof. They maybe have one or two lights for the whole house. We live in an apartment and it isn’t that bad. We have hot water which is REALLY nice. Its nothing spectaclular but I LIKE IT. Its kind of small but it will do lol.
Oh I forgot to say our area is in Salta, but we are on the outside of the city, that’s why it is so poor. The people here are super nice and humble. They will always let you walk in the door first before them. It throws me off sometimes because they will just stand there until you walk in first. So there have been many times when I am just standing there waiting for them to go in, but they wont until I do.
Since I can’t understand anything and I can’t say much I’m mostly pretty quiet during lessons and while walking. It doesn’t help with the homesickness because all I think about is home. So it does make things a little hard. Also everything is so different from America, so that also directs my thoughts to home. I'm fine though, I'm doing better, and I can only improve from here. You guys were right, it does hit you like a ton of bricks. I recognize it for what it is, I’m taking everything in stride, and I know this will pass shortly and I’ll be accustomed to the Argentinian way of life real soon.
My body isn’t quite used to the food yet, that was made clear yesterday. I’ll save you the details but I’ll just say I went to the bathroom a few times. That gave me the opportunity to become more familiar with the toilet situation here. The toilets have no flushing power whatsoever so you can’t flush toilet paper. Instead they have another toilet that washes your butt for you with water. I know the name of if but I don’t know how to spell it. (Shelly here…. Lol – bidet). They are actually pretty nice! Out of all the things I’ve heard about Argentina, no one said anything about the butt washer! Besides my body needing to get used to the food, the food here is pretty good. I can’t remember the names of anything I ate but its all really good. As soon as it stops going through me I know I'm gonna gain weight - finally!!
Since the water isn’t good to drink they only drink soda. You can defiantly tell from their teeth that soda isn’t healthy. It has definitely motivated me to brush more and longer and always wear my retainer. It’s not unusual to see someone buying multiple carts full of soda. You can’t just buy cans of soda here, they only have 3 liter bottles. These suckers are huge. And they buy as much as they possibly can. I’ve always taken clean water right out of the tap for granted at home – not anymore!!!
My time is out, I didn't even talk about the work or the ward. OK I'll get better at this and prioritize my emails accordingly.I'm so glad to hear that everything is going great back at home. Katie, keep up the good work and yeah I think you're definitely ready for your patriarchal blessing. Mom and dad keep doing what you’re doing by being the world’s best parents. I love you all so much; I can’t wait to hear from you again. Kiss and give my puppies some extra love for me.
I’ll talk to you soon.
P.S. - I forgot to mention that Elder Cook and a member of the 70 are coming to our stake for conference and they're going to meet with all the missionaries in our mission. So that’s pretty cool!!
P.P.S – I’ll take more pics this week. Sorry!