Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Buses, Buses and more Buses

Zone Conference May 2015

Hey fam,

It was great being able to talk and see you all I did get a little bit more sleep last night.  The family pretty much got the rundown of the week, but for everybody else here it is.  Monday was the new district leader training in Cordoba on the temple grounds, which was a once in a lifetime experience.  I got to have dinner with the mission president because out bus was going to leave at midnight, we had tacos.  Argentine tacos have nothing on the real stuff back home.  Tuesday I got back to La Rioja at 6 in the morning after an all night bus ride (the 4th "red eye" bus ride in 5 nights)  to a zone meeting.  I then got to stay in the capital and do exchanges with Elder Agren, one of the zone leaders.  We found a couple of new families there in his area, then I headed back to Aimogasta on Wednesday in the afternoon to work in my area for the evening. Then Thursday morning at 5AM I was traveling again, this time to a zone conference with all of the missionaries in La Rioja and Catamarca, 2 whole states here in Argentina.  That was a neat experience, to be instructed by our mission president and get to know some other missionaries.  Then came the exchange with the assistant to the president, Elder Burton, from Arlington, Virginia.  He went to the Air Force Academy for a few years before coming on the mission, so he is kind of an intense guy to work with.  An excellent missionary, in 2 hours we found 7 people to teach that accepted return visits. 

Saturday we had the baptism of Emilia Barrionuevo.  She is the wife of a member, who had been coming to church pretty frequently, and she made the decision finally to get baptized.  The husband performed the ordinance, and we got special permission from the Stake President to confirm her at the baptismal service because this week is stake conference and next week is the dedication of the Cordoba Temple, so there wasn't going to be any normal sacrament meetings.

Emilia being baptized in the canal on Saturday.

Sunday was Stake Conference, which was cool because we were in the capital, but really different because the stake covers 2 whole states in Argentina and there were less people than my ward back home in Maplewood.  It was a neat experience as well, and then came talking with the family, which was fantastic.  Today was the zone Pday, we actually didn't end up playing basketball like they told me we were going to, just soccer, Frisbee, and ping pong.  But we had a good time. All in all, a really successful week, highlighted by the baptism and the fact that the temple dedication is in 6 days!  I am really looking forward to that!

Sounds like you guys had a great week, and another good one coming up!  What are the missionaries in the 2nd best mission in the world going eat on Wednesday?  The most challenging part of being a district leader is getting the other companionship in the district to work when we aren't on exchanges with them here in the capital.  The most rewarding part has been being able to see the affect a "leader" can have on the missionaries, and really learning how to be a better leader.  Plus being able to go to Cordoba last Monday was pretty rewarding in and of itself.  It is mostly box homes made of complete cement in Aimogasta.  It shouldn't be too hard to find a new place...I hope!  I did get a special white handkerchief from the mission that has the temple embroidered on it and says "Mision Argentina Cordoba" it is pretty sweet! 

Love you all!

Elder Mangum

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