I´m doing pretty well, just a bit tired. I´ll explain that later. This week is just like a big long story--haha you thought last week was crazy... well I´ve got plenty of interesting things to report, as promised! SO. Right after I sent you the email last week, we went to work, and we found this girl named Yamila. She studies in Villa Mercedes during the week, but I guess this last week was ANOTHER feriada, or holiday. I don´t even know what the holidays are, and honestly most the people here don´t either hahaha, but we ended up talking to her, because she is the daughter of this lady we´ve already talked to. Kind of an awkward situation, we were clapping at her door (that sounds weird) (in many South American countries you clap at doors and gates rather than knocking) and she walked up and asked who we were wanting, and we said the lady who lives here, then she went inside and told us no one was there. So we figured she lived there. We felt way awkward, but then she came out and said she had some time and would like to talk. So we taught lesson 1! And set a baptism date and everything. So often here, no matter how simply we teach sometimes, people just don´t understand. But she did! And it went SOOO much better, because she actually thought about questions and answered them honestly and seriously. It was a relief after such a long time preaching to brick walls, figuratively. So we have tried to get back with her, but we´ve had the worst timing this week. Everytime we showed up, she had left to go buy stuff, or was accompanying her grandma back home on the colectivo. So we didn´t get in with her again. :/ Hopefully this week we can! We also want to teach her family too so there´s another potential family to teach. So that was a really good end to a long Monday. And the beginning of what turned out to be a crazy week again.
So Tuesday we didn´t have district meeting but we went and got together as a district and the three other elders in Villa Mercedes and signed journals and things for Elder Summers and Elder Smith who left Wednesday to other areas. Then I spent a TON of money at Carrefour, but got enough for the whole transfer (hopefully!!), so yeah, I think I´m becoming a proficient grocery shopper :) I still hate it though. I shouldn´t be the one making decisions. Haha guess that's why I´m doing it, to learn.
Anyway, then Tuesday night we got another call from Elder Daybell our new District Leader and guess what he told us? That we were going to Mendoza again! :) yay!..... NOT. Another 12 hours of bus for ten minutes of paperwork I had to do to get my DNI or whatever that is. New process for the visas of all missionaries. It's getting way complicated now. I´m glad I got in when I did! But our bus left from Villa Mercedes Thursday, so we went to Villa and just spent some time getting snacks, and then went and downloaded about 50 more talks from the byu website. They´re all really good. Then we rode the bus there, Elder Day showed me around Mendoza a little since we had some time, and we ate at Subway. HOLY COW. Due to the circumstances currently, that was probably the best Subway sandwich I´ve ever had for at least the last 6 months. Haha it was sooo good. I still feel so bad spending $20 on a 6-inch sandwich, nothing mas, but then I remember that it's only like 5 bucks. So about the same price! It was really good. and then we got ice cream, so good. Then we actually got a bed in the pench this time. That was great. A new elder, Elder Gomez, had just arrived from Colombia, and we spent a lot of time talking to him. He was really cool. He gave me a 100 peso coin, which in Colombia isn´t much, but here it's worth about 2 pesos, so that was cool. But I´m not spending it. I have a coin collection comprising of... three coins! A 1 centavo and 5 centavo I found in the street here in Justo, and his coin he gave me. But I spoke to him by myself about Colombia, about my family and what I liked to do, and he did the same. It was surprisingly easy! I felt really good about it. Then yeah, we woke up, I went with one of the office elders to the migracion place and spent about 20 minutes answering two questions that I understood but didn´t know the answer, giving my fingerprints again, signing, and getting a picture. And that was that! So we headed back to here. So not worth the long bus ride. Blah. But we got back to the capilla and it always feels like home. It's so much nicer than any other pench I´ve been in.
OH but I forgot about Wednesday. So, we work in the mornings now which I wasn´t used to, but after we ate lunch Wednesday, three guys show up from Buenos Aires, saying they´re here for the next week or so to paint, replace stuff, and fix up the whole chapel. We were pretty worried they were scamming us... we called President Alaniz and he had no idea about it. But they ended up teling us they worked for the church, so we felt a little better. Anyway, yeah it was really weird. We locked our room and everything, and it was just interesting. And we went to Mendoza for two days and left them there with everything in the chapel!! It was pretty sketchy. Thankfully they´re not scammers or thiefs (so far....) and they´ve really made the place look a lot better. Although they cook for us every once in a while and it takes forever. The first night they were there we were up til 11:45 because the guizo that they made took FOREVER. Same with last night, except we made them tacos, and they weren´t even that hot, but they were all dying, it was actually very humorous. They aren´t used to anything like that. So we want to make tacos for them again tonight with the taco bell seasoning that Elder Day´s parents sent him. They´ll like that better! But we´ve become pretty good friends I think. They made me my first asado (Argentina BBQ)! And it was soo good. I got some good pictures. And we all cook together and it's actually really fun. So yeah, that was basically our week. We also went back to the Tolaba house and ended up spending too much time there, because we didn´t want to be rude and leave, sine they were celebrating his birthday, and their daughter´s who was also there. She has studied english for 11 years, since she was 11, and she loves it. She´s fluent, but she speaks with a British accent because she has studied British English. It's crazy, there´s no hint of Spanish accent when she speaks English. The head guy of the guys from Buenos Aires is a member, but he´s crazy. He likes to say Oh my gosh (but not gosh) in English because it's English and he doesn´t know any English. He also loves to say oh shoot (again, not shoot) and I crack up every time because he doesn´t sound English at all, plus it's the most random thing ever. But it's still way uncomfortable. But they´re all good guys, really funny at least. And they will only be here about two more days. They´re fixing up our room (which I'm still kinda nervous about...) but it will be a lot nicer, hopefully a little less cold too. Even though the heat is rolling in, it's still pretty cold in our room out of all of them. It's weird. Anyway, that was our week. we found some great new people, but so far all of them have fallen through :) Hopefully we find them again. But yeah, it isn´t as crazy as I thought, just lots of traveling again. And staying up late because of these guys from Buenos Aires.
The last week sounded pretty crazy for you all too! I had no idea the choirs were soooo small now. Has Mr. Olmstead returned to see any concerts or anything? He´d be pretty disappointed surely. I´m glad Nathan and Kate are keeping it going though. Although I´m still surprised with your descriptions of Nathan. He´s actually social now?? ;) I´m glad he´s not reading books all day, although I loved that too. People are in the long run a lot better. I´m glad things are going well, and I´m really sorry about the pneumonia Kate!! :/ I hope it goes away soon. I´m sorry you missed a lot of volleyball. It reminded me of when I sat out because of my leg for the end of the soccer season, and even though I played in districts, I didn´t do much. It's not fun, I know how you feel! But remember, you still have four more years! And it's going to get more fun, if you will let it. Didn´t I have pnemonia when I was like a couple months old or something? There you go, I know how it feels to have pneumonia too ;) just kidding. Don´t let it beat you down! You´re one of the toughest girls I know. Of course, how couldn´t you be after growing up with three numbskulls like me, Jalen, and Nathan? :)
I wish I could´ve been at Logan´s farewell!! That sounds like it was really good. I´ll be honest, I teared up a little just reading that. Sorry Logan. If you read this, don´t be embarrassed, crying is manly. The world better prepare itself, not just because of a bunch of 18 and 19 year old missionaries, but because our generation is going to be dominating the mission field for the next 2 years. Hurrah for Israel! And all my Mountain Home buds! "Shall we not go on in such great a cause?"
Anyway, I´m glad to hear that Cara shared her words of wisdom about missions with everyone, because that's definitely the best way to go about it. Sadly, although I was way excited for all the 18 and 19 year olds who can go, I was worried a little about people just rushing in, and that's not the best idea. But hey, I trust the prophet and the twelve, so I´m not going to preocupy myself with it. I am pretty curious as to who I know is going to go earlier now because of that announcement. If anything happens, let me know!
Alright there´s one more thing I´ve learned this last week, and it happened yesterday. So we stopped to talk to these people out in their yard, and ended up talking to them for about 2 and a half hours. Well Elder Day did, I didn´t really say much, because basically he and the son, and then later the dad when he arrived, were basically Bible bashing. I felt so uncomfortable. I didn´t feel good or anything. As missionaries we are privileged to teach with the spirit and testify to people, but in my case, I didn´t feel that at all. They just went back and forth on different doctrines. Oh yeah, these guys were Jehovah´s Witnesses. So that just made it even crazier, since there are the two different Bibles and everything. So yeah, I´ve just realized that as a missionary I´m NEVER going to just bash with people, it doesn´t bring the spirit, it doesn´t get either of you anywhere, and it's a huge waste of time. Since we spent so much time there, we didn´t find Yamila again, or get to the house we were heading to before. I´m not blaming Elder Day or anything, afterward he told me he was tyring to wrap it up so many times, and he tried to give them a Book of Mormon about 10 times, and every time they just said no. I take part of the blame because I didn´t say anything or try to end it or anything, I ended up just standing there feeling awkward and uncomfortable and honestly annoyed with these people and Elder Day and I. And that's not what a missionary is called to do!!! We´re called to love all people, teach with the spirit, bring the spirit into their lives, and plus get along with our companions too. So that was just a really bad experience. Never going to do that again, we´re not supposed to be in situations where people are basically trying to convert us instead, because that's just a waste of our time. Blah. I feel terrible just recounting it. Anyway, I´ve learned another valuable lesson, never Bible bash!!!!!!!!!!!! Anyway, that was my experience yesterday after a long day at church and everything.
Alright well I´m going to wrap this up, I don't have a whole lot more to report for this week. But we hope to make this week great! Our numbers haven´t been the best since we´ve gone to Mendoza twice in two weeks, this week HOPEFULLY nothing comes up! I hope all of you continue forward and that everything goes well with whatever you may have to do, in school, work, at home, cualquiera cosa! I love you all and hope you can find something every day to help you improve yourself or be motivated to do so, because we all have little things to improve on. And also try and find something every day to make you laugh and smile, because life shouldn´t be so serious every second of every day! "Men are that they might have joy" so make sure you are getting the joy part into your life! It's way important, especially during two years when you are called to be focused every second you are wearing the name of the Lord.
Elder Tyson David Gibbons