27 November 2009

A Long Letter!! YEAH!

So I´m going to try to answer all your questions and give you some good details haha. My apartment is fairly big for Argentina. I took everybody on a video tour, but you´ll have to see it when I can get you the card. We live with 2 other elders that are from an area touching ours, Nueva Pompeya. Its cool to have the company, but more work because I´m always washing / cleaning up after everyone else. but its all good. It doesn´t bother me too much!

We get $125 pesos a week, which is about $35 dollars! We have to pay for food, travel, letters, laundry, and everything else with this money! At first it was tough, but I´m starting to fine tune it pretty well. For example, I eat cereal (plain corn flakes with sugar), pancakes, french toast, and omelets for breakfast. For dinner I usually chow down on some noodles or ham and cheese grilled sandwiches. And the fruit here is awesome, so I always buy some.

I´m feeling good physically. I´ve only been really sick once, other than that I´ve been good. Allergies a little bit, but I still have meds I bought before I left and you can buy the same stuff here. With Elder Jimenez we ran in the mornings 3x a week and I had more energy then. Haha now it doesn´t happen. But I do pushups-situps p90x style.

P-days are great, but we don´t have much time! We study normal until 11:00, then leave to shop, wash the clothes, write emails, cook (or order pizza), and hopefully sleep for an hour or so. Then at 6pm we start working again. So really, p-day is p-afternoon! haha. During the week we wake up at 6:30, exercise, shower, eat, and study from 8-11 (personal, comp, lang). Then we head out to work. We go to the barrio (the ghetto neighborhood in between the normal city and the villa) and the villa almost every day and sometimes spend all day there. We also try to work in other zones if we can.

For lunch, the members feed us every day! Half of the time we sit down with them, and the other half we carry the food in a "vianda"to our apartment or the church and eat there. Every Monday we eat in the villa and every Friday we eat in the barrio, with two of the members. Ironically, these 2 meals are always better in quality and quantity! hahaha.

At the end of the day we come back to our apartment at 9 pm. We plan for the next day for 30 minutes, eat, and go to bed at 10:30pm. Sunday morning we usually go bring investigators from their house to the church, which is from 9:30-12:30. Our ward is gigantic for Argentina (167 last Sunday) and the Nueva Pompeya branch meets at 9 am in the same building. So, in between classes the tiny hallways in the church are packed! Its always a battle to get everyone to the Gospel Principles class. The ward mission leader (who is awesome by the way) and ourselves switch off teaching the class every other week. The schedule is the same: sacrament, Sunday school, priesthood or relief society. After church we come home, change, eat (usually with a member) and go to work.

We try to have 3-4 appointments every day. On good days like Sat, we can have up to 7 or 8. When we are busy it's way better because time flies and we teach a bunch. The worst is when it's slow and we have few appointments.

The weather is getting pretty hot here. Its not as humid as NC, but its close. Its weird seeing Christmas trees and stuff when its so hot!

So this week I had an amazing experience amidst the trials. I had a conference with Elder Bednar of the Quorum 0f the Twelve Apostles! I went to a conference in Ramos Mejia, a chapel in the B.A. West mission and president Snow and Elder Bednar were there! There were about 700 missionaries. President Snow, his wife, and Sister Bednar all gave like 5 min talks. Then Elder Bednar stood up and taught us for three hours! It was amazing. The whole time, he answered our questions and taught doctrine from the scriptures. As he taught, themes and motifs started to take shape. Although I didn´t ask any questions directly to E Bednar, I had questions that I wanted answered. They were all answered through the Spirit, because most of them weren´t talked about directly. He listened to our questions, observed, and discerned what we really needed. He then taught by the Spirit. By doing this, the Spirit was able to give everyone in the room, collectively and individually, the instruction that they needed and that the Lord wanted to give them. He also extended many invitations.

After asking questions for 2 hours, we then told Elder Bednar answers to his question, ¨what is the pattern, and what have you learned?¨ We discussed teaching by the spirit, obtaining the strength of the grace of Christ, putting off the natural man, etc. After all that, President Snow and Elder Bednar bore their testimonies. Elder Bednar´s testimony was specific and powerful. He then gave us a blessing as if he was putting his hands on all of our heads. We then sang a hymn, which was an experience so special I´ll have to tell you about it later. Haha I learned a lot.

I haven´t gotten any packages yet but should on Friday. Love you guys! Hope this was long enough!



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