Monday, May 12, 2014

Santiago, May 11, 2014

Hello Dearest Family!
It was such a pleasure to talk to you guys yesterday! And I do not have an accent. Anyway, here's the stuff that went on this week.
I love talking in church. I've had lots of chances to do that lately with my ward-hopping. My talk yesterday was super-well prepared (they never tell the missionaries that they're going to talk, but you can just kinda assume when you get to a place), but they ended up cutting my time, so it turned out a little meh. Anyway...
First off, are you guys studying Preach My Gospel? My comp did a follow up with his family the other day and reminded them that it was a prophetic counsel from Elder Ballard. So I figured I'd just pass along the reminder! It's such a great manual! I hope you put the time in to study it!
So on the way here I already told you the majority of my bus ride, but I missed a part that made my journal. I really had to go to the bathroom when we got to Tucuman. There was one on the bus, but I figured I'd wait until Tucuman. When we got there I got off and started taking a couple steps toward the bathroom, when I felt compelled to stop. I had no clue why. I tried taking another step, but something just felt off. After about 5 feet I realized what it was. I didn't have a companion. I was travelling with a sister missionary, and she was still on the bus. I kinda stood there for a bit, looking like an idiot, then decided to just get back on the bus. I always laughed at those stories of RMs that want someone with them when they get home, but I gained a new understanding of it.
We have an automatic washing machine and a super great shower here! It's amazing! Yep... Just wanted to share that. I'm happy.
I love being with an Argentine! He understands all the dialects and the culture. It's my first time with a real latino that hasn't lived in the US. It's great!
Our baptisms this week are named Rocio and Ayalen. They're two girls that have gone to the church for a ton of time, but their mom hasn't let them get baptized. She's holding off to give them permission because there's a lack of respect there. It's really not hard to find a reason every week to be grateful for my amazing parents. Like really, I feel so blessed that my parents aren't crazy or anything like that.
Planning was really fun this week. I didn't really have to do much. My comp already has a ton of time in the area so he knows the area well. It's relaxing.
I found out something awesome! Elder Purser is in the area next door. He also started in Almirante Brown. I found out that my last baptism there, Manuel, got the Melchizedek Priesthood recently! That's so cool! I love hearing stuff like that!
I was given a second chance this week. We were looking for a direction and asked at a store - the stores here are the same as the people's houses who sell stuff out the window. She didn't know where they lived. I thought about contacting her, but we ended up just moving along. We went to another store. She didn't know the person we were looking for either. Feeling bad for not having contacted the last one, I contacted her. At the end, she gave us the reference of the first store owner! We went back and the family there was super great! God knows his children, and he'll make sure that the gospel gets to them, even if the missionaries are a little dense and slow to respond at times.
Church was really great. The attendance wasn't so wonderful, because in the words of President Levrino, "Elder Willey, you'll have to help the people in Santiago. They're a little affraid of the rain. And the cold." It wasn't raining Sunday, but the clouds did look a little threatening. In their defense, the majority of the streets here are dirt, so they get really muddy, which can really complicate driving or walking. Even so, during the sacrament, the very strange Santiagueno accent made me listen a little closer to the words. The part about ALWAYS remembering Him stuck out to me. I promise it every week, but I never come even close to remembering Christ in every moment. I put it as a goal for this week. Also, the stake president visited and gave an awesome talk on the sealing power. It was a nice reminder of the fact that we really do have the only weddings that don't include the divorce papers.
Today I spent a lot of money. There was a sale on ties and I gave into peer pressure. I bought three nice ties for what normally would be 50 dollars for 25 bucks. I felt pretty good about it. I also bought a really awesome carved mug! It was only twelve bucks. I was kinda on the edge - you know me, I'm cheap - but they offered to personalize it with my name and the name of the mission for free. So I bought that too! Then I went to a restaurant for the second time on my mission. Calzones! They were pretty delicious!
Anyway, that was my week! I hope you all have a wonderful post-mother's day week! Don't forget to read PMG!
I love you guys a ton! Especailly you, mom! And happy mother's day again!

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