06 January 2011

Headin South

Well, I got transfered to...Rio Gallegos!  President called me and told me he I was going to be a zone leader in the south.  I`m in the southern part of Argentina, about 1300 kilometros from Buenos Aires.  Even though its part of our mission, its honestly a completely different mission!  Its insane! 
So, I left Parque Chacabuco last tuesday, went to the boca stadium (the compu I`m writing at doesn`t accept cards, so I can`t send pics this week), and then went to San Cristobal.  However, after about 2 hours there, I got a call that I was going to go to the offices to help train the new apartment coordinator, Elder Sampson, while I waited for my flight.  So, from tuesday to friday night, I stayed with the office elders, worked in the office, and even got to see some of my converts (Lidia, Ana, and Roman Vega).  It was so legit, I got the chance to go back to my first area (P.Chacabuco) and my second (Virreys and the offices)!!!!  Haha, man the Lord blesses me so much. 

So, anyway, Friday night (aka New Years) I went to the airport with the office Elders and Elder Beck, another Elder who traveled with me down here to Rio Gallegos.  We had to go at about 10:30 pm to pick up other Elders that were coming back up from the south, so we got there about 12:00 am and right as they came off the plane it was 12:00 and we all cheered and hugged and laughed as the security guards turned on sirens in the airport haha.  Anyway, after the little fiesta that we had, the elders dropped Elder Beck and I off at our gate...however our flight didn`t leave until 5:00 am the next morning!  So we camped out in the airport and talked...and talked...and talked haha.  Well, come about 4:00 am, they still hadn`t opened up our gate and there was no plane.  And, there were like 4 flights that were supposed to leave through the same gate between like 4:00 and 7:00 am.  None of the planes arrived!  So there was an angry crowd that just kept building up in front of the gate.  Well, it got to be about 7:15 and they still hadn`t let us through!  There was a huge crowd, everybody angry.  Elder Beck was asleep on the floor, so we weren`t really in the crowd.  Then, we heard them call our flight and they said we all had to board super quick, so we had to push and shove our way through the crowd and barely made it on the plane!  Haha, anyway we got off the ground and slept most of the 3 hours to Rio Gallegos. 

On the plane, we flew off the Argentine coast southward, over the atlantic ocean.  It was way pretty seeing the patagonia coast from the plane.  When we were getting close to Rio Gallegos, I was a little worried because it looked like we were landing in the middle of nowhere!  Seriously, its like Wyoming, there are no other cities around for like 3 hours in car.  But, we landed and found our comps waiting for us!  My companion is Elder Wright from Oregon.  He`s way cool, a super chill guy.  We went and worked all that day, and I was super, super tired!  But, we made it just fine. 

So, I`ll tell you a little bit about this place.  First of all, its cold!  Right now, its actually a great day, probably 75 degrees (super rare).  But, normally its about 50 degrees here in the summer with a TON of wind.  And, as it gets close to winter, the cold and wind increases!  A lot! 

In the summer, the sun comes up at 4 am and doesn`t go down until 11:00 pm!  So, when we are awake, we only see 30 minutes of darkness!  But, in the winter, I guess its the opposite!  And, I guess we are closer to the sun here because even when its cold you can get sunburned really bad.

The people here are awesome!  There are a lot of chileans who cross the border and live and work here.  Everybody has little houses and cars and is a lot nicer than the porteños in Buenos Aires haha!  There are actually really nice streets and one neighborhood that has houses exactly the same as Bridlewood, except they are all one story.  Kinda wierd.

There are also a lot of gypsies, which I`m not really sure what the story is on them, I`ll have to find out and tell you guys.  They live in normal houses and stuff, they just dress weird and are all hard core christians...cricket...cricket...I`ll let you in on that later haha.

Also, to celebrate new year, the people go out to the "country" and camp!  Haha!  I guess there is a big cowboy (gaucho) influence here and the people love going out and making huge asados.

There aren`t really any mountains in Rio Gallegos, just little hills.  Everything is rocky and it reminds me of Utah a little bit.

The church here is established, but small.  Its a district, which means all the wards are branches and president gulbrandsen is their stake president.  However, there is a district president which shares some of pres. Gulbrandsen`s responsabilitites.  President Gulbrandsen (and Elder Wright and I) wants to see a huge growth here and we are already working with the local leaders to be able to create a stake here.  The members are awesome and I`m positive it will happen very soon.

Right now we are teaching Gastòn, a very lonely man who has a bunch of problems in his life and is kind stubborn, but he came to church this week and is slowly progressing.   Also, we have a baptism this week:  Carlos.  I don`t really know him very well, but he seems to be a great guy.

Yesterday we had a zone leader`s conference via Skype in the mission home.  Pretty legit. 

Here the zone Rio Gallegos is just one district of missionaries, which also includes El Calafate, which is on the other side of the country near Chile!  Haha they just kinda live out there by themselves and don`t see other missionaries until divisions or zone conference once in a while.  But, they are great missionaries, I^ll probably have the chance to go out there too.  Also, there`s a place like 2 hours away from here where a ton of penguins live.  We`ll for sure go one of these p-days. 

Honestly, I had some culture shock when I got down here, but doing a little better.  Its just weird not having polluted air, a bunch of cars, tall buildings, and chorros (gangsters) everywhere!  But, I`m sure I`ll get used to it pretty quick.

Well, I love you guys and am loving being down here!  I hope you are all doing good up there on the other side of the world!  Haha, well I`ll let you in on some more detalles next week.


Elder Hales

1 comment:

  1. That is just an amazing transfer and what a wonderful opportunity to be down that far south and hopefully he will get to go see those penguins. Such amazing experiences on top of the wonderful joy of being a missionary. Thanks for sharing his letters!