Hola de Argentina! ay que raro! these keyboards are weird too. I know what you mean Jalen haha
SO! it's been a week since I arrived in argentina. i'm not capitalizing anything, i keep missing the shift key haha anyway, it has been AWESOME :) so we got to buenos aires at 8:30 in the morning, an hour later than we were supposed to. all our flights monday got delayed by at least an hour. but all is well. let me just say it was really torturous to be surrounded by people watching new movies like the avengers or men in black 3 or whatever else on the plane. it was pretty hard to sleep too. i got maybe 2 hours of sleep, reminded me of the spain trip for sure! except kelly was the only one able to sleep on the planes that trip it seems, haha lucky :) but yeah, guess who we found in the dallas airport????? well about 40 other missionaries, but elder johnson and hardy were there too! that was a great reunion. we all just sat and talked about our experiences in san diego and albuquerque. it was awesome. we all really enjoyed our first transfer, but were way excited to finally be in argentina.
in buenos aires we took a bus, a really nice bus by the way, to the buenos aires national airport which was right on the beach! it was cool. but the ocean was just straight brown. kinda gross haha. and we stopped at the temple!!!! it was beautiful. they´ve totally changed it from the old pictures, it's got two more wings almost tripling its size, and there are new young trees all over, plus the mtc down there was right next to it. lucky them! so we took some pictures and then picked up some of the native elders. Elder abad, elder correa, elder ayala, and elder alfaro were the four who came to mendoza with us. they are aewsome! i feel bad that i couldn't talk as much with them as i usually would. oh well. eventually one day i'll see them again at a meeting and be able to talk. we all got really close though, me, elder braithwaite, johnson, hardy, chipman, wright, egbert, and the four natives. we were all super excited. in the buenos aires airport though we ate our first meal in argentina.... pizza! just crust, a little sauce, and enough cheese to make you feel sick. but it was a blessing compared to the plane food haha, that's for sure! and me, elder johnson, hardy, and braithwaite just sat and told stories from our areas. hahahahah man..... i wish i could just bring elder hardy home for a day and let him tell his stories. we were dying of laughter for the three hours we sat at that table. then we finally got to go to our gate and waited another hour before our flight left. that flight was really comfortable, one of the smoothest i've ever been on, and they gave us this weird box thing for the snack. but it had an alfajor int it! my first experience with an alfajor here. i love them haha! make sure you go to that argentine restaurant whenever you get the chance, although i haven't had a single empanada yet! But that's okay, the food is still delicious.
So we got to mendoza too late to eat at the mission president's home, so they ordered pizza again for us, the same exact pizza as before. and they just kept feeding us. i probably ate 15 pieces. i was stuffed. then we slept at the office elders pench (not a real word, it's short for pension). (wow, this cyber cafe plays american music. i'm listening to "somebody that i used to know," making me REALLY miss BYU and all my roommates and friends haha. dang argentines and their love for american music! by the way, this song reminds me of matt mostly, because we were the first ones to hear that. where is that guy?? I want to talk to him!) Anyway, we had just a lot of capacitaciones (training) the next day, got our money and binders with info and learned about the mission rules and everything, and got our companions! then we ate at the mission president's house or apartment really, but a really nice one at that, and it was so good! His son santiago who is 12 looks EXACTLY like president avila. it's awesome. and his daughters were there too and elder ence and sister ence were there, a senior couple. they're awesome-he can´t speak any spanish at all so she had to learn for them haha. anyway, then we had ice cream for dessert from Grido's, delicious! and we had a testimony meeting and it was amazing. all us gringos still could bring the spirit to this apartment as we bore our testimonies of the truths that we know, in a foreign language, simply and basically, but that's really the best way to do it. to say it how it is. it was an amazing meeting, almost ruined by bodily functions-i had to go to the bathroom so bad i was almost shaking by the end. but all ended well! we took pictures with president and sister avila, and then went back to the office pench. we woke up the next day, had one more capacitacion, then left to our areas around 1. we were taken to the terminal of buses, holy cow it was like an airport, for buses. crazy nice buses too! double deckers with the chairs turning into beds. so we waited for an hour there til about 4, then we got on a bus, and were on a bus until about 10:30 that night. thursday night. so we didn't get to our little area in San Luis province until way later. and they showed the social network on the bus, and with the sound blasting right in my ear i couldn't sleep, so i sat there and listened to the social network. never really had a big desire to see that movie, but it seemed interesting. hopefully i'm not being punished for that. i tried not to pay attention to it haha. anyway, here's the part you've been waiting for i'm sure!!!
So, i am now with Elder Day from springville utah. and.... the moment you've been waiting for...... i'm serving in....... La Ciudad de Justo Daract! :) i smile because NO ONE knows where that is. It's the smallest little town haha, on the edge of the mission by cordoba. the only way to get here is by bus, which we have to take every tuesday for district meeting, an hour drive from the district leader and the rest of our district in Villa Mercedes. but it's nice. so we live in the church! it's a house pretty much, and it's all ours except for 3 hours on sunday. it's way nice. i wish people took care of their bathrooms here, but oh well. it's still better than like an outhouse, although it's almost that bad sometimes. but we have bedays or however you spell them. i think that's just awesome :D reminds me of spain too! Eric, nick, chris, you know what i'm talking about haha, but it's definitely a change, that's for sure. i forgot they weren't going to have toilet paper very often. thankfully, the church goes all out for their buildings. haha so we´re pretty well set. we have some nasty looking spider friends living under our kitchen sink, but other than that, the place is relatively clean, just a bunch of tile that freezes every night and makes the mornings miserable! But it is pretty easy to clean. it can go both ways haha! i do miss carpet a lot though. all of you, just go lie on your carpet for five minutes today and think of me, ;)
but everything is great! we have about 20 people at church every week, and we eat lunch with president alaniz's family every friday at 1, and with hermana giordano every saturday at 1. other than that though, we don't get fed. not in this area. oh well. eventually i'll have an asado i'm sure! But the way it is here, you eat a HUGE lunch and you aren't even hungry until like 10, and that's when we're back at home, so it works out good. we made a really good lunch yesterday, made chicken like orange chicken from panda express (did i ever mention i miss panda express a lot?), and it was pretty good. but it was pineapple. but hey, i'm good with whatever food whenever i'm starving. i'm not picky anymore, you can't afford to be! mom i'm sure you're glad to hear that haha, and anyone else who has eaten with me before.
but the work here is crazy. it's definitely different than my last area in la cueva east ridge and bear canyon. we had lower numbers there, but people were usually pretty solid. here it's the exact opposite. our whole town is like a ghetto basically, and the people aren't super well off of course. but we talk to everyone and have super high numbers of new investigators and lessons, but then it's just hard to get people to keep committments. there are ups and downs to every place. but i do love it here. i just have one complaint... there are no mountains ANYWHERE: we´re in the middle of the plains. i hate it haha, i want mountains! but the people here are awesome. we talk to a lot of kids, and all the kids know us as Elder!! and we hear them scream that everywhere we walk. oh yeah, we walk everywhere. haha there's a change i knew was coming. my shoes are so dirty just after two days. a car (in Albuquerque) was a blessing for sure. but it's good exercise. so we talk to a lot of children and teach them actually, but we can never get the parents to be involved. but we are praying and working hard to get that to happen. it will happen eventually! i want to try and implement that family mission plan here too, i think the members would be a big help. there are only about 20 active members, but the ward roster has, oh, probably 90. it's crazy, we see people and we're just like-oh there's one of our less actives. oh there's another one. they're ALL OVER. it's crazy. we're working on it though.
elder day and i get along really well, and even though i may not say much at the moment, it's slowly coming. i can understand basically everything everyone says, until they speak to me haha, and even sometimes then i understand, i just can't come up with an anwswer right away yet. but it's coming, i've seen improvement just in the last three days. i really have. thank goodness that we have the spiritual gifts like gift of tongues. it's such a blessing, i need it that's for sure! But i'm eternally grateful that the Lord has blessed me with at least this amount of being able to understand. i know it will just keep growing as i work for it, and trust me, i'm wokring for it! i can't work without it! Anyway, things are going great here. only been here for 3 days, walked through the entire town probably 4 times, and i'm sore, tired, and exhausted, but most importantly i'm satisfied. i'm completely happy because i love it down here, and i already love the people. they´re great. they're so much nicer than in the states. you say hola or ciao to everyone you walk by, no matter what. haha in the states they're plugged into ipods or something, and you kinda just ignore each other or maybe smile. it's a lot nicer here in that regard :) so yeah, today we have some cleaning to do and some shopping, then we'll have some good appointments tonight! I'm excited for this next week.
i am really glad to hear about all these great things happening, like nathan's soccer season and kate making the a team!!! felicitaciones! :) you will do well kate, you are tall, strong, and skilled, so use that to the best of your ability. you will be a great asset to your team as long as you always give your best, remember that you're part of a thing called a TEAM, and that if you've done your best, you can walk away from every win, every loss, with no regrets. you'll do awesome, can't wait to hear about your first game! and nathan, it sounds like you're enjoying it all already, so please just keep that attitude. the times that really stunk when i was on the team were when i got frustrated or upset, which was way too much--ask anyone who talked to me after a loss, and they know. so keep the good attitude! plus you have three more years to build up even more skill and confidence, so just keep pushing through. it's the best when you can just enjoy it as you play, and not worry about it after the game or before. it took me just about my entire time playing on that team to figure it out, actually it took me longer, even during college. don't make that same mistake please. soccer is the best when you just enjoy it and love every minute of it! Just ask kelly or jalen or chris or any of my friends. they always told me that, but i didn't always listen. so listen to them! haha and me if you want. i'm just your older brother, nothing special. anyway, keep up the good work!
I'm sorry you had to miss the other reunion, but you can just think of me and we'll all be happy because i missed it too haha :) and i'm just fine! Hopefully all works out well. and you said the boat is now working--sweet!! enjoy that too. tell justin, karissa, and the kids hi for me and i love them all!
well it sounds like everything is going really well at home. i got an email from jalen too so i'll have to answer that now, but i'm glad to hear from any of you whenever you want to send something! about the mail, i can't answer all the questions at the moment, but yes you want to disguise things in a package. like the sd card could go in a stick of gum, and Elder Day said to definitely put pictures of the Virgin Mary on the package hahaha. i have no idea where to get those, but he said whenever his parents send things they do that, and he always gets it. and other elders haven't and their stuff has been opened and reclosed again. so yeah, just to be safe! and about the addresses, i'm not sure if there are two. Elder Day says to use the same for both packages and letters, the mission office address. i'll make sure though. and as for the timing, yeah i'll probably only get mail whenever one of my leaders or we go into mendoza for a meeting, because we're seriously the farthest area from mendoza. it was 7 hours on a bus haha. so yeah, i got three letters before i left mendoza, from sis glasgow, tindall, and sis eagley. they had been sent to the mtc a couple days too late so they got forwarded. kelly i didn't get anything from you, so it's obviously not down here yet. but yeah i'll probably get it in... five weeks! Let's just say i'll have stuff to look forward to at the end of each transfer haha :) i don't know how long i'll be here, but this town doesn't really have addresses... so yeah just send it to the mission office. i'll get it eventually! Anyway, there are those answers, hopefully that helps.
other than that, i've really enjoyed these three days for sure! i'm excited for five more weeks and probably more here, i just want to get the language down quickly! I speak it as much as i can, but i'm still going to improve on that even. so hopefully i´ll be adequate before i leave here, just so i can talk to these people i've already met and see almost every day. that would be great :) anyway i need to write a couple more emails, so i will finish this up now. I love you all and just remember, we really are never alone, even in the most desperate times when no one is around. i've learned that EVEN MORE being in a foreign country, and it's rough sometimes, but don´t let it get in your head. know that you always have someone there. i've never felt so alone before, but i've also never felt so comforted and loved by my Heavenly Father. I guess you have to go through the hard times to get to the best times ;) now there's a profound statement. espero que todo les vaya bien! Hasta la proxima semana (I hope everything goes well. Until next week,),
Elder Tyson David Gibbons