Yeah my companion is able to speak english fairly well and we are able to communicate in english when we need to talk in english. We contacted 155 people on the streets this week, and taught 30 lessons, brought 2 people to church and have 18 new investigators. I´m helping with the lessons but I am able to do only so much for now but I´m bearing my testimony, talking with the members, and teaching part of the lessons. The ward is about 50 people and has a small town feel to it. They don't have a piano. The ward members are really cool but I can't really communicate with them. Villa Celina is the area I am working in right now. It's one of the poorest areas in the mission boundaries.
My keyboard is weird so ill not waste time trying to capitalize stuff because the shift key is like smaller than a spec hah. well the first week is pretty crazy. a lot of things to get adjusted to, the MTC is a piece of cake compared to the field, but you experience the real fruit in the field. I have so much to say its hard to put it into words in an email but ill give it a shot.
The bus ride to the temple to meet up with the rest of the missionaries that came to serve in Argentina was pretty tight. The bus driver had the radio on and Oasis Wonderwall played over the radio and some other American songs. Hah, nice start, right?
So the first day was the biggest life changing experience ever. You are like, what did i get myself into? because you can´t understand anyone and you just follow and you don't know anything!!. First day was a killer because we walked, walked, walked so much... like Disneyland x 100. It was pretty hard for me because the transition hit me pretty hard. Sometime during the beginning of the week I had enough and just wanted to give up but I kept going and at the end of the day, dead tired, I saw how well the day went. There were some times though where I just went into the bathroom and just broke down.
But the week went on and slowly I have gotten used to it. The members are super cool and especially the kids. The kids here are so cute and awesome and they love me haha. The relief society president's daughter is 4 and she is like my best friend. When we walk home from church she always holds my hand. In church I had to introduce myself in front of the ward and I did pretty well and said what I had to say and when I went to sit back down she came over and said hi and gave me a kiss on the cheek!. The ward is nothing like back home but the people make it what it is. But we had two investigators come to church this week and they are really interested. One has a baptism date set for the 23rd of this month and her name is Elizabeth and has already gained a strong testimony of the church. She's about 50 and has 3 kids. She is the only one that comes to church out of her family but we visit every other night and give lessons and make sure she is doing alright. Then one 14 year old girl came to church and is interested in being baptized, so we are soo stoked about that. So church was great this week. I love how where ever you go, church feels like home.
The people here are different. There are a lot of Bolivians and Paraguayans. So sometimes when I try to contact people they don't understand me and that's the reason hah. I´ve gotten pretty good at talking to people on the street and asking to come teach them in their house about their family. We usually eat everyday at a member's house and they give you so much! They don't have much but they love to feed you. The bishop's family is considered well off in this area (it´s a poor area so well off is nothing compared to our lifestyle back home) and other members are alright too. The church is far away so it's hard for people to come to church. There is a spot called the Villa which is the "ghetto" in this area. It's like nothing you have seen. People live in cement buildings like the size of our closet and they have a lot of kids and it is really hard to see people live dirt dirt dirt poor. I ate with a family that had just a tarp and a couple of plates. Chickens were running around too. So be grateful for everything you have. Even the cement sidewalks, streets and everything. Everything.
There are dogs everywhere, and I mean everywhere. Dogs on roofs, streets, etc. They run the town and they are soo homeless too but I get a good laugh out of dogs here because they remind me of Ollie Moments and how dogs seem to make me and dad laugh every time we see them. The food is really good, I love it. The lifestyle and culture is different here too. People think 50 degrees is really cold so they always ask me if I am freezing but I'm not hah. And no one can pronounce my name too haha.
lol. But somehow they said they seem to know me from somewhere. I really want to work hard and baptize them.
Ahh there is so much to say in just the first week but I´m trying to tell everything in the short hour I have here at the internet cafe while typing away and having American music play in the background hah.
My companion is Chilean and he is 22. You really get to know your companion well and wow these first couple of days have tested my patience to the max. I mean the max. He is a robot and more obedient than the Mission President I think. He does stuff that would make me appreciate anything my wife will do in the future hah. But he is a good elder and knows the gospel super well and we have a good time. It was hard to adjust to him but I´m adjusted now
We have another companionship in our ¨pench¨ the crib and they are super cool. One if from Hawaii and we totally hit it off and have the same personality, and the other is Chilean too. The shower is sooo tiny! The bathroom you can barely stand in. So be grateful for a nice bathroom and water that is hot. Not constant hot water. It is hot for like 3 minutes then goes ice cold and you have to deal with it. We have to pull a McGyver and fool around with the sink in the bathroom too.
Wow, it´s hard to type everything. This first week has been the biggest change in my life. The hardest week but at the same time a week to really be grateful for what you have and the experiences I have already felt. I will have to send some pictures next time but I don't want to carry my camera around because I'll get robbed. We have had some close calls but you just have to be smart but the Villa is really dangerous.
Pday was sweet today. We got up, cleaned the pench (the place we live in) and then went to Walmart. We took the bus and then walked about 2 miles to get there. The Walmart is sooo different. It´s like a mall inside a Walmart, with kiosks and clothing stores. Then there is the actual Walmart. After the Walmart experience we came back to the Villa, got our hair cut and bought some food. Now I´m here emailing you guys.
Pres Benton is awesome and is soo enthusiastic and Sis Benton is really humble and super momish. I get to see them tomorrow at Zone Conference along with Reese. So tomorrow is going to be sweet. I´ll get a picture for sure.
Will you tell Cage to update my facebook with the dear elder info that is for Argentina?
Alright that is all I can think about now but just living in another country is crazy. The lifestyle and everything. I´m getting used to it though but this first week was hard but I´m doing better now and I´m adjusted. Just be grateful for everything you have and I love you guys so much. Miss you every second and you guys are in my prayers. Have fun back home and I miss you guys and love you.
Tell McKenna great job on the Great American Award and keep working hard and that I love her.
Love, Your Son and Older Brother