Family and friends,
Everything is going well. I am Argentina bound, no Visa waiting. I fly out of Salt Lake at 11 AM on the 11th, then have a 5 hour layover in Atlanta, then fly through the night and arrive at Buenos Aires at about 8 in the morning on the 12th. My entire district is on the same flight, both to Atlanta and to Buenos Aires. We're not sure what happens after we arrive in Argentina, if we then take a smaller plane to our missions or ride the bus all day to get there. This week flew, I already sent a handwritten letter talking about most of it, but a few of the highlights include one of our Branch Presidency members getting released and then replaced by somebody who just finished being a mission president in the Philippines about a month ago. Our Tuesday devotional was given by a former general authority (John Groberg), he was the Elder from "The Other Side of Heaven" and had some really cool stories. He focused on the many different ways we share our testimony. Whether it be through what we do, say, sing, pray, or who we are, we can express testimony.
I only have 8 full more days in the MTC before I'm off to Argentina, it’s crazy how fast time has flown by. This past week we were part of a pilot problem, although to be honest it wasn't much different than what we already do. Tomorrow is the 2nd Fast Sunday of the mission, only 22 more!
In regards to the questions from the family:
My favorite dessert has been a chocolate and toffee cake. The best thing that happened this week was that we got our travel plans. My favorite hymn in English is "How Great Thou Art" and my favorite hymn in Spanish has been "God Be With You Till We Meet Again". We sing it every time a district in our zone leaves. We will sing it tomorrow for the group that is a week ahead of us, then it will be our turn to be sung to. I have not learned more about singing, but I am probably better than I was a month ago. The most challenging thing about being a missionary so far has been sticking with a companion, I enjoy my alone time, which is nonexistent here. The most surprising thing at the MTC so far has been how nice everybody is, everybody likes to say hello, which is not something I am used to, or ever did myself. The most interesting person I have met so far is definitely Bob Monson. He is in our branch presidency, and is the nephew of President Monson. He has all sorts of cool stories, and can definitely hold everybody's attention.
Thanks for all the letters and packages! Everybody loves Mom's homemade cookies, and the Texas Jalapeno crackers! Hope everybody is doing well.
Elder Michael Mangum