Monday, December 21, 2015


Hey fam,

This week was easily one of the craziest I have had in the mission. On Tuesday I got a phone call, telling me that my companion and I had to travel to the province of Tucuman the next day with 30 other missionaries to do paperwork to become legal in the country again, because our visas had expired.  Its a 5 hour bus ride from our area to Cordoba, and 10 hours from Cordoba to Tucuman.  Tucuman is also not part of our mission, it belongs to the Argentina Salta Mission.  We woke up Wednesday morning, and started the road trip!

We got to Cordoba and did some paperwork that afternoon, then had 3 hours of free time to walk around downtown Cordoba and do whatever we wanted before dinner. We visited the huge mall they have, as well as the historical Cathedral.  We then had dinner at the mission home (after a trip to McDonalds to grab a KitKat Mcflurry, because what is a trip to the capital without some Mickey D's!).  After dinner we hopped on the bus and headed off to Tucuman, which is actually the city where Argentina signed its Declaration of Independence.  We traveled all night long, and pulled up to our 4 star hotel at 8 in the morning.  We dropped our stuff off, enjoyed a good ole Argentina hotel continental breakfast, and headed off to the police station to do the paperwork. We show up to the police station, and they tell us that we can't do anything today, and to go back tomorrow.  So we leave, take a picture like I had to do with the passport, and call it a day.  Its only 10AM, and we have done all that we can do.  So I headed back to the hotel with my homeboy Elder Parada from Colombia, and we take a nap til lunch.  Then its off to the 2nd fanciest restaurant in the city, to eat the famous Tucuman empanadas.  Then its free time again, so we walk around the city (its only about 110 degrees outside, but how often do you get "vacation" in the mish?!) Take a few pics, and head back to the hotel.  


It was so hard not to take a dip in the pool that was on the roof...but I managed not to.  

The night rolled around, and we headed off to The fanciest restaurant in town (at 10:30 at night- the whole mission schedule thing was kind of thrown out the window by the people in charge). We had the most diverse Argentine BBQ I had seen.  I'm talking intestine, heart, brain, stomach, blood sausage, you name it and it was on the plate. 

After dinner, we head back to the hotel (you know, its only about midnight and we are walking around in downtown Tucuman) and when we get back, the power in the whole block was out.  A transformer had blown, which was going to make for a long night.  Especially with the heat.  Luckily, I was rooming with my son, Elder Lakey, so we talked until 2AM when the power came back on and we could finally put on the AC. 

The next day, we did all of the paperwork we needed to do, had lunch at the hotel, and vacations were just about over.  They gave us another couple of hours Friday night to go shopping and buy recuerdos, so we did that and headed back to Cordoba.  We got back to our actual area about 12 on Saturday, where I was then told I had to write the transfer reports on my district.  Not sure how coherent they ended up being, but I got them done. 

Yesterday, church was pretty normal. We had branch council for the second week in a row, and I felt bad because I kind of took it over, but at the end of the day everybody left with assignments for people to visit and President told me it was the most effective meeting he had been in, so I guess it was OK.  

Last night, we went Christmas caroling with the sisters and some members in Leones, which was a lot of fun.  One of the sisters plays guitar, so we went around singing with the guitar.  It was interesting to see the people's reactions, because caroling doesn't really exist here.  But they enjoyed it.  The favorites were Din Don Dan (Jingle Bells) and Feliz Navidad.  The highlight was going into an old folks home and seeing their faces as we sang, it reminded me of doing the same thing back at home, and feeling the same Christmas spirit.  

Feliz Navidad!

Tonight we have the Christmas dinner in our branch, as well as the nativity scene.  They told me I am going to be Joseph, not sure how that happened.  It’s going to be another fun filled week!  And to top it all off, transfers are this weekend, so it will be exciting to see where I end up, or if I stay.

Love you all!

Elder Mangum

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