Tuesday, December 23, 2014


My first week in Aimogasta went pretty well!  Elder Muñoz and I get along great, no language barrier between us with the Spanish which is fantastic.  Mission Conference yesterday was a blast, President dressed up and Santa (Papa Noel) and we had a ton of food and games.  I got some packages, which will make this Thursday a lot more enjoyable!  Saw a lot of old friends from the MTC and my first couple of transfers.  We put together a basketball team, with my trainer and a couple of other guys from my first zone, and dominated the mission.  It was a lot of fun to catch up and talk with old people, and of course I am never going to complain about a little basketball!  

The week was good, we are teaching a ton and time is flying by.  The good thing about the branch is that all the people are either less active or recent converts, so everybody that we visit has a purpose and a necessity that we need to help out with.  We had 8 people show up on Sunday to church, including the missionaries. 2 were investigators.  Definitely a little different than back home!  I gave a talk on the birth of Christ and the meaning of Christmas, which went pretty well.  I will be pretty comfortable giving talks by the end of this area, it is a weekly occurrence here.  The branch comes to the apartment to meet up every Sunday.  We run the branch as missionaries, the mission president is trying to get us officially called and set apart so that we can have the keys and make everything run more effectively. My comp and I are the branch presidency, unofficially. There is no branch presidency called, we are an annex of a branch that is over 2 hours away. There is not another area like this one in the mission, so I'm not sure if that means I am on the President's naughty or nice list. I would imagine nice, he must have some trust in us to put us here. It's been fun so far, the first week flew by.  

We have electricity in about half of the apartment, but not the bathroom.  We bathe ourselves with a bucket in the dark every morning.  The most different thing about the new area is the lack of people.  There may have been more people at Lamar than there are in this town.  The food is all noodles that me and my comp make, there are no members to feed us.  No plans for Christmas, just me and my companion celebrating solo.  We have a small blow up pool that we use for baptisms in the apartment. Hopefully I will get to use it within these next couple of weeks!  

As far as what you can pray for, just I guess that I´ll stay healthy and well. This will probably be the most difficult area, we talked with President yesterday and he said there is a reason that it is us 2 serving in the branch.  There is not another area like this in the mission.  We´ll have some fun though, and baptize!  The people are really humble and receptive to the teachings, so that is great!  Thanks for the update on the fam, it is always great to hear that everybody is excelling. I will Skype home on the 26th in the morning. Hopefully the skype will work. The are no members to do it from their house, so we have to go to an internet cafe and all are closed on Christmas day. We should call between 7 and 9 in the morning your time. Hope its not too inconvenient. In all honesty it may end up being a phone call with the technology of this town. But we will see what happens!  

Love you all!

Elder Mangum

PS:  Y’all might get a laugh out of this.  The address of the chapel is: The house of the ex-mother in-law of Ringo Luna.  It’s a little different, but everybody knows it!

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