Hola y Hola!!!
Wow it´s very different to be emailing you in an interent cafe here in a little place called Argentina!!! Wow! I will relate what´s happened so far through my journal entries. Today is my 7th day in this blessed place!:
I said my first castellano word to a full-blown Argentinan on the 10-hour plane flight over. It was ¨aqui!¨ (¨here¨). I said it to many Argentinans, in fact, who were looking for the bathroom in the back of the plane. It was fantastic! Sometimes they said some other things and I just smiled and said ¨Yo soy un misionero¨ (I am a missionary).
I had the opportunity to talk to some people about the gospel during travels. I found them at the airports and was able to bear my testimony and give them pass-along cards and one family a pamphlet of ¨the Restoration¨.
When I stepped off the plane the humid smells of Argentina swept over me and it was perfect ha. It´s much greener here than I had thought! I thought it was more dirt. We passed the Buenos Aires Temple! After 4 hours we made it to the Mission Home. It´s funny, just like we thought, a lot of Argentinans have the same look of North Americans. President and Sister Giuliani are great of course. He and I had a good interview. It was a fun, new day. The beginning to an adventure. The beginning of a mission!
My first companion and trainer is Elder Holloway from Boise, Idaho. He likes baseball. He and I get along well. Something I’ve learned is to be a good trainee. There are some things I wanted to get right into…like converting the whole country. At first I didn’t really want to be led. But I’ve humbled myself and adhere to his teachings and counsel and his decisions. First of all, I don’t know the exact whereabouts of this whole place yet and he’s helping me get a grasp. Second, something I’ve learned is that people need to learn from themselves if decisions are correct or not…and not just be told. Just telling someone to do something doesn’t change things and can hurt someone. But being an example and showing the way with patience without saying too much helps others to learn better. Elder Holloway makes great decisions and he is good with his Spanish so I´m very blessed to have a companion that works and can talk for me! I can’t really talk yet. But when I feel an impulse by the Spirit to say something in my broken Spanish I do. That’s all God asks of me right now is to go by the Holy Ghost and the language will come. I study the language a lot and I´m slooowly beginning to understand the people.
My first area is called Empalme! An area under the San Nicolas area/stake. The ward is called Villa Constitucion, which is another slightly bigger area next door (this place has 2 Elders too). So 4 elders in the ward. Church yesterday went well. Harder to stay awake when you can´t understand too much! But my focus was on the ward members because I want them to know that I love them and that they can trust me and my companion with their friends or even with themselves. It was testimony meeting of course so we all bore ours. I was able to say what was on my heart. About 35 people probably were there yesterday. It was storming and that kept a portion away. It´s been storming these past 4 days and will probs continue for another 2.
Empalme! Wow. It is a humble district with its more kempt and less kempt sides. You´ll find a lot of trash hanging around. Perros, perros, perros (Dogs, dogs, dogs). Some horrid looking some nice. They make things fun. Some dirt roads that get us all muddy because of the rain and some actual roads around the store area. It a small area. We walk everywhere and it´s not much walking. I didn’t think it would happen so fast but I already love this place and more especially the people.
We are working with a small group of people right now. Some less-active members and some part-member families. We´ve recently received a new investigator. Something I want for us to do is show the people that we are here to serve them and actually do service for them and not simply preach. Most people need to feel love before they will take in anything else. I´m working on that with my companion about how to serve and show forth more love like Jesus Christ would do!
Some moments during my first few days were a little frightening just because everything was way over my head. Mostly just because of the language. I can´t wait to speak anything I want to these people!
Being here also makes me love my family and friends that much more! I love you all! Read the scriptures…a lot! Especially the Book of Mormon. And pray everyday alone, with your spouse, and with your family.