Monday, February 15, 2016

Hill Country of Cordoba

Hey fam,

This was a good week.  Learning the ropes as a Zone Leader has been fun.  I love the area, it is great to be back in the hill country of Cordoba.  Both the areas of Rio Ceballos and Carlos Paz were this type of scenery and climate, so it feels very familiar.  Those were also my two favorite areas, so its an added plus.  In the ward we have 4 missionaries, my comp and I, Elder Coombs from Utah, and Elder Aldaz from Ecuador. We are all in the same pension, which is fun.  Everything in the pension works as well, the fridge, the microwave, and we even have a washing machine, perks of being a Zone Leader. We have the biggest zone in the mission, with 22 missionaries.  The zone includes the mission offices and the temple, so we have permission to go and teach investigators on temple grounds whenever we want.  

Last Monday was fun, a bunch of missionaries from my old districts hung out and we went to a Peruvian restaurant, and did bowling and walked around downtown. Tuesday it was back to work, we visited a few people here in the area, and had to organize a splash in Villa Belgrano, the area where the mission home and temple are located, because the 14 missionaries who were going to train had 3 hours of free time, and President wanted to put them to work, so he called us to organize it.  We got a map of the area and split it up into sectors, and made companionships of those who were going to train (the greenies still hadn't shown up yet) and we got to work.  In less than 3 hours, we found 20 new investigators for the area, which in that area, is unheard of.  Think of the neighborhood where the Houston Temple is located, it was the Argentine equivalent of knocking doors there.  I found a pretty cool family, Daniel who is a doctor, has his wife and 3 kids, the Elders who work in that area went on Saturday and have another appointment with him tomorrow, hopefully it will keep going well!  Wednesday and Thursday it was working in our area, and on Friday we had a zone meeting.  Elder Castro and I gave a small message, sharing the zone vision of baptizing 33 people this month and using all of the mission tools that we have at our expense.  We shared the last chapter of John as motivation.  I then went to a "rendir cuentas" (in English that would be...Accounting?  Basically giving reports of investigators) of one of the districts, it was..interesting to say the least.  Can't go into too much detail, not a ton of time to write it all out. That night I went to Rio Ceballos to do a baptismal interview, the girl never showed up, but it was cool to go back to my old area, truth be told it felt like coming home, I got to talk with the bishop of the ward for a solid hour and catch up on how things were going.

Saturday was more work, and Sunday we had 2 investigators in church, Ruben and his dad, who is also named Ruben.  Ruben Jr. has a baptismal date for this next Sunday, so we'll be praying for that.  Today we went to Rio Ceballos for Pday, we hiked up to a waterfall (truth be told, pretty pathetic waterfall) and grilled choripan (sausage on a bun mas o menos). It was a long day, I am pretty beat, but the whole zone came out and we did it together, which was the goal.  More zone unity, something that had been missing.  It is harder, trying to do these things with a zone, in a district there were 4 or 6 of us, now we are five times that amount.  But all in all, it went well, no complaints from anybody por lo menos!  I started the Book of Mormon and the New Testament again this week, hope to finish both by my birthday.  Read your scriptures every day, it may seem like something small, but it will make a huge difference! 

I have had some pretty good meals already, it feels so much better to be back in a city type of area.  There is a shopping (like a mall) a couple blocks from our house, and it feels like walking into First Colony Mall back at home.  Mickey D's, a smoothie place, stores, and it’s even got a movie theater.  All with AC, which is pretty awesome, especially since we are burning up down here this summer. (Did I mention our house has AC?  only in our bedroom, but it’s still awesome to come home a the end of the day to a freezing cold room after being out suffering in the heat!) My tooth is good, don't even notice it.  Valentine's Day is a thing here, but not as big.  Church was good on Sunday, they had me bear my testimony.  Glad to hear all is going well back at home, crazy that Maddie is already heading out on her mission!  Time is flying by, February is already halfway done.  

Love you all!  Take advantage of every minute this week!

Elder Mangum

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