17 January 2011

Wacky Weather Way Down South


¿Còmo estàn?  I`m doing great!  So, Rio Gallegos has probably got to have the most confused weather in the world!  When I got here, everybody told me that you can see all 4 seasons in one day, and its true!  I leave the house with a coat on because its cold and windy.  Then, about lunch time it gets hot, so I take the jacket off.  But, just about then, a rainstorm comes in and it rains for about an hour.  Then, it gets cold and windy again!  That`s about how a normal day is. 

But, anyway, this week was great.  We`ve been transitioning a lot in the mission from working with street contacts to working with the members.  We especially worked with part-member families and less active converts this week.  And, we had success!  Several of them were at church this week and we already have a lot of the members committed to bringing their friends to church, to activities, etc.  Since the branch presidency just changed and a  lot of people have left Gallegos on vacation, the branch was kinda dead when I got here haha.  So, we planned a game night and invited all the branch, plus all their friends.  We had a good turnout (no friends, but a lot of members) and everybody loved it!  We played four square (like the good old MTC days) and another game Elder Wright knew where you have to say something you`ve never done in your life or something like that.  And, the best part is that a lot of the youth are excited about bringing friends to the next game night.  We`ll probably keep up the activity every other week.  Elder Foster (in the area presidency) taught us that if you want people to change their behavior, you have to help them understand two things: That its worth it to change and that it is possible to change.  Its the same with working with the members.  We have to help them see (while being super excited and friendly) that its worth it to share the gospel and that its possible (by commiting them and following up).  Maybe they won`t follow through on their commitment to invite the first time, or the second time, or the third time, but eventually they`ll do it.  And the people they invite will be so much more prepared for the gospel than street contacts (even though we are still doing contacts).  
Also, a side note, I think I heard that the gypsies are ukranian, and their language is like a mix of spanish and russian or something.  Anyway, if my buddy Wilson was here, he could prob translate for us haha.

And, speaking of street contacts, here the dogs are unusually mean.  I think I`ve come to the conclusion that they are just kind of bored of the wind and cold, so they just wait for a ripe young missionary to walk in front of them.  So far, I`ve only been attacked by a tiny little dog that just tried biting my shoe.  But, like every day we have to throw rocks at crazy dogs!  Its great.  

This week we have zone conference and President Gulbrandsen, along with an assistant, Elder Labra, are coming down from Buenos Aires.  Elder Labra is going to do divisions with us, which will be saweet. 

So, the funny story this week is about Aldo, one of our progressing investigators.  Aldo loves the church, but he`s stuck on his "vicios" of drinking and smoking.  And, he`s a pretty young guy, like 30 years old.  Anyway, we had a lesson with Aldo with a family in the branch and we commited him to stop drinking and smoking, just starting for one week.  He refused.  Then, we made a list of the blessings he`d receive for stopping and what we would lose if he didn`t quit.  He refused again.  Then, we shared a scripture and he refused.  He said he liked smoking and drinking and didn`t want to quit.  So, as we were closing, I said kind of desperately, "Aldo, we want to invite you one more time to quit, will yo do it?"  I don`t know if he didn`t understand the question or if the spirit helped out or what but he immediately said, "OK, yes."  And he made a face as if he didn`t even know what he had just said, like it just slipped out!  We all cheered and then he said, "Well, I don`t know if I meant to say that or not, but now that I`ve commited, I`ll have to do it"!  HAHAHAHA!  Man, it was awesome.  So, I`m sure we`ll see some good progress with Aldo.

Man, I love you guys and hope you are all doing great.  Don`t forget about me down here at the bottom of the world with the icebergs and penguins and polar bears.  (haha and I played soccer today with a short sleeve shirt).


Elder Hales 

P.S.  Hey, so I forgot to mention as well that this week we had a 3 day training on the preach my gospel fundamentals.  Anyway, we obviously can`t all fly back to Buenos Aires, so we did it on skype.  It was all good until the last day we lost internet in the church.  So we went to an internet cafe and the six of us in the district all crowded around a tiny compu in a phone booth and watched the conference!  i`m pretty sure all the other people in the internet cafe thingy all know how to put a baptismal date now!  HA!

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