September 1, 2014 (week 1 in Argentina)
Everyone, please strap yourselves in for the stories of my first week! Holy Moly, it is so different!
So… first, days of travel (two whole days to get to Argentina Resistencia). I got to meet some very awesome people on the plane! I gave out two Book of Mormons on my flights and got to meet some new people. We got to Argentina and it is so different here! I don´t have any mountains around me anymore, so I obviously have no idea where I am at! They dropped us off at 11 at night in a hotel because our flight was late. They showed us around the temple the next day and welcomed us!
The whole first day of being in Resistencia, we went to the chapel and were assigned new companions! I am now with Elder Allen and he is so freaking awesome, you have no idea. We ate empanadas which are to die for! Oh my gosh… so freaking good! Then we took a taxi back to the pension (house). We went around at taught so many different families and as you can probably tell... I have no idea what anyone is saying! The Spanish is easy to figure out, the accent and language of “Vos” though... they don’t even say half the letters in a word and it’s so freaking hard to understand, but with time I’ll get it! Sorry for the bad English and typos everywhere, the Argentine keyboards are really rusty and broken.
So elder Allen and I are teaching a lot of less active members who are in the area I’m assigned to (Fontanegro II) and these people are so kind and loving. I have learned that you can show someone you care about them not just by saying something. The familia de Junco is one of my favorites! They are a part member family that we are working on. Every time I am over there they try to feed me their entire pantry and fridge. They just give their food to us all the time. Another family that we have been seeing is the Castillo family, they are farmers and not active in the church. They left because the branch president said some rude things years ago. We have been helping them on their farm with service and seeing how they are doing. Their father is very sick, so yesterday we stopped by to give them a blessing. I anointed the oil and elder Allen gave the blessing. We talked to them about change and how no one is perfect, which is why it takes time to learn all things. They realized that that´s why we have classes after church and that we try our best to endure to the end. There are two brothers that work with that family and they are Sebastian and Aleidas. Both are extremely good fighters and no one messes with us in the mission area because we are good friends with them.
I’m sorry mom, dad and Brianna and Alex that you won’t be down here to see Resistencia. We sometimes don´t eat dinner because we have so many people to teach. There is a lot of walking as well. It´s very poor and there are a lot of misguided people, not to mention a ton of dogs. It looks like a Sarah McLachlan commercial every day. Some try to eat you though. But many of the people are nice to you when you’re nice to them first. We live on a second floor pension that has one bedroom and a bathroom. It is very poor, but I knew that coming here. There are a lot of people who literally have a brick wall house with a metal sheet over it. There is trash in the street. Many of the people are catholic, evangelic or just don´t care. But, you can tell that whenever we enter a member’s home you can feel the spirit and that it is blessing their lives. They all have enough for their needs, which is proof to me how Heavenly Father blesses those who are willing to do the things He asks.
Our church is in a little building on the side of the street and I got to bear my testimony. The Spirit was so strong and church helped me get over the fact that I am totally lost here. Everyone loves this gospel and the Lord has people for us to help. For example, just three days ago we went to go to a meeting and we were contacting (tracting) and I just looked at a house and just went straight to it. It was my first contact and I said all I could in Spanish while elder Allen clarified our purpose. We said we could stop by another time and she said yes. Last night we did that and her husband was there. He was screaming at his wife to not let us in, but she ignored him and let us give them a book of Mormon for them to read and introduce ourselves. She was very nice and her husband slowly was softened by the Spirit. It was a miracle! My first contact is a real potential investigator!
I got to invite Mercedes to be baptized and she said yes! Elder Allen taught her before and we got her to come to church a second time! She’s going to get baptized Oct 4.
As always I love all of you, and I may not have time to tell all of my adventures but I’ll tell them when I get back.
(No pictures came this week with his email...I saw this picture and it reminded me of Taylor and how he is unable to speak the language very well right now...but he is able to show them he cares about them as he mentions in the comments above)