(Photos: These first ones are at Cerro de la Gloria, the district with the hermanas at the top by the big monument, and then me and Elder Connolly with a view of Mendoza. The last two pictures are from the top of a member's house, who live on the roof of this building, and we climbed up to the highest point and took pictures. Our eyes both look really blue in the picture, except I was sunburnt that day and I did NOT like being in the sun, so I happened to blink at the opportune moment.)
Well this last week was just crazy, it was hard to get into houses, and then there were a few days with crazy wind, even zonda (was hoping to escape that leaving San Juan) and we are just worn out! But it's all for missionary work, so oh well!!
I sent pictures already today, I got my card fixed so that was a huge relief. Now I just have to print a bunch of pictures off to send back to Albardon!
So yesterday was a really good Sunday again!! It wasn't freezing, and there were a ton of people in church, it was awesome! But the best part is when we´re standing outside the Gospel Principles class waiting for an investigator to show up, and M_____ and her daughter walk into the church! We were super excited! They both loved the class and Sacrament Meeting, and they were welcomed by first the stake president, then the stake secretary, and then even Carla and Leticia, President Ávila´s daughters came and sat by them the whole time! It was just perfect. We´re trying to get their baptism set for this weekend, since last week we couldn't meet with them at all! But that shows commitment, not a single visit during the week and they show up to church even earlier than last time! They are so great!! And they are already really good people so it's not a huge change for them!
The hermanas in Uspallata had their baptism this past weekend!!! We were super excited for them! Bad news, we didn't get to go up and do the interview, and even worse news, we never will, because President did give the branch president permission to do the interviews. So much for going up there :/ We´re still trying to come up with some idea to go up, such as an activity in Uspallata, and we already have permission to go up with the other hermanas in our ward (not the favorita....but oh well). The hermanas told me last night that the choir there in Uspallata wants to go and sing in the plaza and hand out little pass along cards between songs, and so they wanted us to go up there for that, which sounds good to me! I love Christmas songs. It won't quite be like jazz choir, but it will be cool to go up there anyway!!
Wow I can't believe you´ve already sent the Christmas packages, it seems like it's NOT time for that yet... why is this year passing so quickly?? But I'll be looking for the packages. If they are just the envelope ones, they should be here in a couple weeks. I got a package from Kenzie last week!! That was super cool! Thanks favorite cousin :) A bunch of blue raspberry Tootsie Rolls and a card. I´m rationing them out, so I don't eat them all in one sitting! They´ve almost lasted me a week now, with quite a few left! :)
I will be looking at prices and stuff for shoes. Of course Adidas and Nike are just super expensive, but I'll try and find a not so expensive pair, and of course I'll fill you in on any details. Thank you very very very much for the Christmas money, by the way. I'll use it wisely. I might save a bit for souveniers for a time that is still far in the future... (Tyson's mission president asked them not to buy lots of souvenirs until they're about to go home.)
I hadn't heard anything about the Philippines, that is so crazy. I am glad that all the elders and hermanas are alright! I hope the members and people can put things back in order soon... A recently returned missionary (home 2 months) gave the class in Priesthood yesterday, and it was about service, and the spirit was super strong, I loved it. He shared an experience about a family he was trying to teach in Buenos Aires, and they were somewhat interested, and then there was a flood, and their pench was filled to about torso height. And the family they were teaching was outside trying to save all their stuff because it was just an adobe house, made of dirt, and the elders passed by on the way to lunch. He said they didn't even think twice, they just walked over, got the normal "Elders you´re going to get dirty!" response, and just told them we don't care about our clothes, what needs to be done still? And so for the next hour they swam in and out of the house, taking out the stove, the fridge, and they brought their son out who had been stranded inside as well. And they didn't stay and hang out after. They finished, and kept going on their way. But he said when they came out of the house, there was almost the whole neighborhood just watching them. I can't even imagine that, it's like a dream service that I would love to do. But I would never wish upon anyone a flood or anything. But he said that the next week, they started teaching 21 of the other families in that neighborhood, just because they had seen them help that one family. Service is just so simple but it can work miracles! I wish so much that it was easier to find service to do here, but everyone just says no... we will keep on trying! If I was an elder there in the Philippines, I feel like I would be super sad to leave the area without being able to help all those people. When there was an earthquake in San Juan, the taxi driver Ariel that we always called in Albardon saw the elders in their white shirts and ties helping people with their houses, their belongings, their families and kids, and that's what opened him up to our religion a lot. And he said he saw the change in a lot of people in the area as well. Service is so awesome!!
Speaking of service, we did service for a member on Saturday, scraping off old paint in his bathroom, but we had a blast, I´ve never had so much fun doing that haha. But he came in about halfway through and told us a quote that his brother or companion had told him. Dad if you could translate, that would be great ;) "Servicio is como hacer piss (that's not a bad word down here, sorry for any expletives) en los pantalones, todo el mundo lo puede ver, pero solo usted lo puede sentir." Hahaha I cracked up when he said that. Then I had to explain it to Elder Connolly. Fun times :) I have pictures, but on my sd card, and I forgot to bring that right now. All my other pictures that were saved from being erased got taken off my sd card and put onto my thumbdrives, and that's what I have with me. So next time I'll send some more!
I can't believe that you´re going on your trip so soon! That sounds so crazy. Make sure to get some good pictures!
Whoa, Ben and Emily are dating?? Well that's just awesome. Haha I feel so weird being out of the loop with all of that stuff. I wish them the best though! Hopefully Ben will shave his beard a little :) That thing was crazy! At least 8 months ago when they were in the birthday video haha. Love you Ben!
Anyway, today we´re going to eat some empanadas and go to Soppelsa, a really good ice cream place to celebrate (don't want to say it....) a year and a half last Saturday! It's so crazy. I try to forget it, but these 6 months are going to be great, because I'm not going to waste a day. I know so much already and I can speak, so I´m going to use it all to my advantage!! It's all just coming too fast.
Anyway, we need to get going, the cyber is going to close. But I hope you all have a super exciting week, especially my family in Morocco! Can't wait to hear how things are going next week! I love you all and am very grateful for your support and letters and everything else! I really wouldn't be able to do this without any support!
Elder Tyson Gibbons