Monday, February 4, 2013
San Salvador de Jujuy - February 4th
First off, I totally realized right after I finished last week that I forgot to mention where I am. I´m in San Salvador de Jujuy, up north around where Acey was about a year ago I think. It´s not a city city, but it´s more like a Layton size area. Salta, the biggest city in the mission, is more Salt Lake size. I´m a little further away from the city center, so more suburban kinda area. It´s great! The weather is really hot. The two weeks before I came it rained a ton, but it´s only rained a little once or twice since I´ve been here. The food is pretty basic. Lots of milanesa, which is like flattened meat, either beef or chicken. Also lots of tomatoes, some rice, and potatoes. As for mail, I believe I sent the mission office address for all the letters people want to send. There´s a separate address for packages and stuff and although they´ve explained it a couple times, I still don´t quite understand how pouch stuff works. But it does work if people feel that urge. As for e-mail, anyone can e-mail me (firstname.lastname@example.org). I just can´t respond by e-mail. I haven´t really brought it up before because it takes computer time to read it, but printing down here is dirt cheap, so I decided it´s faster to just have people send stuff and print it.
We have some fun pets in our apartment. Gatito ("literally kitten") y Beethoven (dog). They´re so fun, and great food disposals! They belong to the neighbors downstairs from whom we rent the apartment, but they´re awesome! We have the only automatic laundry machine in the mission and probably one of the smallest apartments. Even so, it´s plenty big. Plus they have nice bathrooms here. Just like home, more or less!
We had our first district meeting this week! Only one other companionship. I made friends with the zone quickly with a bag of Twizzlers. It was great. I made a trip down to Salta this week. I should be legal now! Yay!
Crazy thing... I got kissed twice this week. Once right after I e-mailed last week, this lady came up and was talking and crying so fast that not even Elder Sant could understand. We gave the hand to shake in the end and she just went right in and got us on the cheek. It all happened so fast. Next we were visiting a less active. Some of their friends came in and before she realized what she was doing, one of them gave me the traditional Argentine greeting of a kiss on the cheek. Elder Sant said my face looked totally devastated. After she realized (she was a member) what she´d done, she felt really embarrassed. It was definitely a different experience!
So every once in a while we get some interesting food, some good, some bad. Today for a dessert we had yogurt with m&ms and bananas. That was good. Earlier this week we had noodles with beef and eggs. That was bad. But good for Gatito and Beethoven.
Best part - spiritual experiences. We´re teachig a guy named Rene. He´s partially deaf, so we have to talk really loud. Yesterday when we were talking about church and its importance, he said he didn´t feel really comfortable going because he couldn´t understand much. It was a perfect opportunity to share my testimony. Earlier yesterday, I hardly understood any of the testimonies, however the Spirit was so strong. I really felt good about sharing that even though we may not understand it all, we can still feel the Spirit.
This week we a zone leader training on how to be more persistent. One of the biggest excuses here is, "I'm on my way out the door." They told us that as we all know, it isn´t always true unless they´re actually in the process of walking out the door when you see them. Usually we´re able to set return appointments when that´s the case, but they taught us it´s better to leave with a prayer and a short, brief truth before conceding to just a return appointment. Later that day, we tried it. The lady told us she´d love to talk a little later, but now wasn´t a good time. We asked if we could just say a prayer and she said okay. Turns out she´s a long time former investigator of about 16 years. The Spirit was there, as were some of her kids. We said a prayer, shared a bit of the plan of salvation, and it was awesome.
My last favorite of the week was when we visited a less active. Everything seemed fine, but as we talked to him longer, it came out that he really didn´t know if this was the only true church - he just knew it was good. Also, with all the new doctrine he´s learning, he feels a little confused. I love the Book of Mormon. It´s so powerful. We were able to read the introduction with him and testify that if he truly wants to know, he can ask God and receive an answer. I felt the Spirit strongly. I only hope he did too.
Well, that´s my week! And this week is going to be even better.
Love you all!