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.
Monday, November 9, 2015
Week Six 11-9-2015 Salta
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!!!
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!