Hola mi familia y mis amigos!
I´m finally in Argentina! Well actually, I´ve been here for six days now. I didn´t end up needing to Visa Wait in Idaho Falls because my background check went through on time. 🙂
Anyways, I´ve been good. Nothing horrible has happened: No ringworm, no Dengue, and no robberies. So that´s good 😉
My trainer is Hermana Barraza, and I still cannot pronounce her name correctly! The two R´s make a rolling r sound and I just can´t seem to get it down. Someday I´ll get it! Anyways, she´s from Mendoza Argentina and she doesn´t speak a lick of English, so that´s super fun. Still, she´s super patient and she seems to be a really responsible missionary. One of the Elders in the office told me she´s one of the best 🙂
My first area is Oberá! I will be spending the next 5 weeks at least here. I don´t know where exactly I am on the map but wherever I am, it´s super far from Posadas! The car ride up here took forever! It was fun though, some of the Elders from the mission office drove us up (or down?) and they were super cool. They spoke mostly in Spanish so I didn´t understand a word of what was being said, but it was fun.
The driving here is INSANE! I seriously thought we were going to die on the way to Oberá! Seriously, cars cutting off buses, motorcycles weaving through lanes, etc… It´s so crazy, I hope I never have to drive a car here. I´m pretty sure it´s just an office missionary thing anyways, so I think I´m safe 😉
Anyways, Oberá. I live in a small city, but most of our members live in the surrounding rural areas, so we take the bus or the “collectivo” to the places we need to visit. The buses here bring a whole new meaning to the phrase “hold to the rod”! They start and stop driving super fast so when we come towards a stop, we have to hold on to the bars so we don´t fall over. I tried to make a pun about this to my companion, but I didn´t know how to say it in Spanish, so I just opened up to 1 Nephi 8:24 and said “Estamos haciendo esto literalmente” (We are literally doing this – that´s what I was trying to say anyways). She gave me a little pity laugh, but that´s okay, it made me smile and that´s all that matters 😀
Okay, again, back to Oberá! The members here are super friendly, even though I can´t understand a word they´re saying. Literally I can sit in a members house for an hour and a half listening to my companion and them talk, and have no idea what´s going on. So that´s frustrating, but they´re super kind to me and I´m starting to be able to pick out words in the conversations, so hopefully some day I´ll actually be able to contribute! 😀
We have a lot of menos activos here (This sunday there were probably about 15 adults in church, and maybe around 20 youth/children), so a lot of our work is going to be focused on reactivating members, which is good! When we work with less active members, a lot of the times they have family that aren´t members, so we´re really hitting two birds with one stone when we teach in the homes of less active members 🙂
We haven´t met with any less active members or investigators yet. This whole week has been spent getting to know the members because we´ve been Whitewashed! That means that my companion and I were both put into a new area where neither of us know what´s going on yet. So we really need to work on gaining the trust and friendship of the members. I think my companion said we´ll start reaching out to some less active members tomorrow.
Funny story: My second day in Oberá we went with the Elders in our Area: Elder Madder and Elder I (I have no idea what his last name is but it starts with an I), to eat lunch at one of the members houses. While we were talking with the family this little girl, about 9 years old starts talking to Elder Madder. “Do you want to see a monkey?” and he just kind of laughs and says “You have a monkey? A real monkey?” The little girl said yes and motioned for him to stand up and follow her, when he does she just points to the mirror that was right across from him and starts laughing. What a stinker 😉 No but seriously I love that little girl, her name is Gilary (prounounced, Hillary) and she´s so fun 🙂