|Rio Ceballos, in the Providence of Córdoba|
How is everybody doing? First couple days in Argentina have been crazy busy. I didn´t think anything could be longer than the first week at the MTC, but this definitely comes close! The flight to Buenos Aires was good, I was on an aisle and slept probably all but 2 hours of the trip. It was good to talk to everybody for a little while before I left the States.
We spent the first night in a hotel in Cordoba city, then the next day we got to watch the temple construction and the Angel Moroni be put on top of the temple. That was pretty sweet. If I can figure out how to put pictures on in these old computers that are in the cyber cafe, I´ll send them to you. My companion is Elder Gravelle, and we are in the Rio Ceballos ward. He is from Maryland and has been on his mission for 15 months, he´s a cool guy. Spanish is progressing quite quickly, the members here were surprised that I could understand so much, even though I don´t really talk a lot. We only have a couple of investigators, we need to fix that. I actually have to go on an exchange with one of the zone leaders in their area for the next day or 2, my companion is a district leader and they have to do splits with him.
There is an amazing sister in our ward, Hermana Martinelli, who is so kind. She is in charge of making sure we have meals (and we usually do, for lunch because that is the big meal of the day) and whenever we don´t she expects us to go to her place. Her children and grandchildren all live with her, but are inactive, so we go over there and teach lessons to them. I have met just about everybody in the ward, there are about 100 active members, and a lot of less actives (menos activos) that I have already met and visited. The days are long, and it is hot already and it is supposed to be winter! I´m always tired, but I think it is a good tired. For church they have sacrament last. This week I helped teach the youth Sunday School class about Celestial marriage. I didn´t do too bad seeing as I only have about 4 real days in Argentina under my belt. I live in an apartment with another set of elders, Elder Perez from Nicaragua and Elder Richardson from Vegas. 3 gringos in the apartment, and none from Utah, the members call that a milagro. Today for Pday we all met up as a zone and played sports and ate together, that isn´t typical of a pday here though. The mission president is awesome, he lets us watch movies, we watched Frozen in Spanish this morning. I think it helps with the language, because I was definitely recognizing words and translating in my head. All is well here, already have had some of the best steak in the world, delicious. The gift of tongues is real, no doubt about that. Hope everybody is doing well, love you all!
I am in the mountains! Not what I expected at all. Walking for hours a day, I will definitely not gain any weight in this area! I can understand about 80 percent of what is said when I concentrate, so that is good. It is not cold at all, it is HOT! Surprisingly, usually in the 80s during the day, then down in the 50s at night. My apartment is tiny, 4 elders. A sister in the ward washes our clothes for us though. We live at the top of a hill, so it is always SO much fun climbing at the end of the day! Lots of wild animals, dogs EVERYWHERE. I sent another email with a lot of information, but I have not taught a lesson in a house, only on the street. We can do the Restoration really quickly, and we have done that a couple of times. We may have a baptism of a 9 year old boy this Saturday, we will see what happens! My schedule is wake up at 6:30 and get ready for the day, study from 8-11, then work for a couple hours, have lunch at a members home, then work til 9 or 9:30. Long and hard days, but I enjoy it. The most unexpected thing has been the mountains, the most enjoyable has been getting to know the members.
I miss everybody a ton, but hopefully this ward will become like family in the next couple of months for me. Tell Jake that he will learn a ton from that teacher, she may be strict but she has been there for a while and knows her stuff! Tell Luke that kindergarten will be a blast, and that new teachers are always fun and will try to make everything exciting for him.
Give everybody my love.