A place called Empalme in Argentina

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!:

Last day with Reagybaby.
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Departure to Argentina!
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Arrival to Argentina!
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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!

With the President and his wife
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Mission home
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View from the mission home.
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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.

When I first met elder Hollaway and we pointed to Empalme!
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A close up of my mission boundaries.
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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.

Inside our apartment
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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.

Empalme, the dirt road area
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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.

Love,
Elder Orme

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All the Works at the MTC

Hello!

An Elder in my district dropped his half gallon of milk right after buying it last week and it just so happens that my companion tripped on it, smashed it with his foot, which propelled the dairy contents into the air and onto me, the poor soul standing behind him haha!  I was drenched…it was weird how perfectly it worked haha.  My brown shoes need a reshining :)

I also walked on the ice, over the little river in our classroom complex…and it actually broke through  this time after many other successful attempts!  I was wet from shins down but was heading to a devotional at the time, but I had to go right away so I walked in with squeaky shoes and warm moisture inside.  What’s good!?

Mom asked what my daily schedule is like and this is it: We wake up around 6:20am-ish (can’t sleep after 6:30).  Get to breakfast at the cafeteria at 7:00.  It’s a nice cafeteria, got the works, and has rice milk for me to use for all my cereal desires! At 7:30 we have study time until 10:30am.  We do personal study from the scriptures and also language study and then companionship study to practice what we will teach our practice investigators that day.  We gots GYM from 10:30-11:30!  We go play volleyball and it’s da bomb diggity!  It’s so fun and I’m getting so good.  Then lunch at 12:00. Class at 1:15pm-4:15pm. We have truly AMAZING lessons by our teachers.  We also teach a lesson also during this time, in companionships to our practice investigators, which are our teachers acting as investigators.  A lot of good stuff happens during those lessons.  That’s where we learn a TON on how to teach better and what to improve upon.  I’ve enjoyed some spiritual experiences during these lessons.  There are moments when I feel my soul on fire with the spirit and I teach with power.  I have felt my companion’s power as well.  He brings a lot of good insights to the table and the spirit works through him as well which is awesome!  My teachers are the hip to the hop! They are INCREDIBLE.  We have two.  Hermana Savage (female…hence the “a”) and Hermano Dolbin (male…hence the “o”…teach you all some espanol.)  Hermana Savage is good at teaching the fine details of understanding investigators like why people who are happy are still in need of the Gospel. and Hermano Dolbin is good at teaching us how to find out the needs of an investigator and how they are fulfilled by the Gospel.  Finding out investigator’s needs are the most important part to teaching lessons.

4:30 is dinner.  5:15-8:15 more classtime.  8:15-9:15 study time.  9:15 sing a hymn with the whole branch…really fun. 9:30-10:30 personal time.  10:30 bed.

I am learning to never look at people for their faults.  It’s downright mean and makes you feel awful.  I did that to my companion early on and it was a huge mistake.  My thoughts have to be directed towards his strengths and that is all.  That’s when God blesses our companionship and we work well in lessons together.  I hope I can ditch all dumb habits I have here and acquire the new and good during these last 8 days I have in the MTC.  So as to not waste one moment further here and in Argentina.  I have flight plans for Argentina on Jan. 27!  Going through Atlanta, Georgia (just like Dad always says, “you pass though Atlanta before you reach Heaven or Hell” hahaha something like that.)  Then onward to Buenos Aires, Argentina. 8 days!  Gotta learn so much more before then!

Hey! I love you all!

-Elder Orme

P.S My Spanish is still slowly yet surely coming along.  Still a lot broken but it’s pretty good.  Please continue to pray that I may have the gift of tongues, the discernment of tongues, and the discernment of feelings.  Thank you!  And sorry for no pictures for a while…memory card went berserk.  Got a new one so lots of pics will come.