sorry for all the wait! i have arrived in Argentina, and i am safe and sound. i have so much to tell! so i´ll start from the beginning... mon, we flew through the night, and our plane was huge! 5 seats in the middle and then 2 on each side. i kinda slept, but it was hard to sleep sitting up. but we arrived about 7:30am, and went through customs and what not, and then someone met us on the other side. going through customs the officials were trying to talk to us, but we had no idea what they were saying, and then they just let us pass through, it was funny. but someone met us, not the president, some man....i don´t really know who it was, but when another man came they kissed each others cheeks. that was new.
so the elders and i got into a van, and we started off on our way to Rosario, which was about 3.5 hrs away. my first thought when we started off was that the people here are the worst drivers! they basically do whatever they want. they get super close to other cars, cut in front of anyone and everyone, stop in the middle of the road to turn around. i don´t think i ever want to drive here, i think i would die.
anyway, we drove for about an 1.5 hrs and then our driver (who only speaks spanish) realized he had forgotten to pick up a missionary at the MTC here, which is right next to the temple, only 5 min away from the airport. so we had to turn around and go back and get this missionary and then start again for Rosario. so, we had a lot of traveling! a-lot! when we got to the mission home in the late afternoon, Pres and hna Villalba greeted us. along with a bunch of missionaries (not our companions). we had some empenadas (not quite as good as the ones you got for my birthday though mom) and we just talked. the APs had a surprise for us, so we just walked with them to the surprise. it turned out to be a baptism! so that was cool, and then we contacted a guy in the streets that the elders had talked to before and i had to pray in spanish. that was kinda scary.
but we had dinner with the pres and his wife, and we just had stuff that we had to go over, like rules and what not, and then off to bed. next day, same thing in the morning, just rules and what not with the APs and also an interview with the pres. pres villalba told me that my companion would be with Hna. Redfern, and our area is called Venado Tuerto and that this is a white wash...meaning, neither one of us have ever been there. Then we got to meet our companions. we walked out of the house, and all the companions were lined up waiting for us, mine was easy to spot, she was the only girl:) She is super happy, and cute. I was excited, because i was told she is a hard worker!
we all had lunch together, took some pics, and then it was off to work! we got in a taxi, and drove to a big bus station where all the missionaries meet on transfer day. I actaully got to meet a few of the other sisters there, including hnas. dunford and kusilek! so that was cool! but then me and hna. redfern got on our bus and were off to venado tuerto! the bus ride was 3 hours so we had a lot of time to talk! we are in the southwestern part of the mission, and it´s pretty cool here!
so i am in venado tuerto, in the province santa fe, we live behind some members, who are awesome! seriously, the members here are so rad! we went to church yesterday and there were only about 50 people there, but they are all very sweet. we have lunch basically every day with a member, they really take care of us here. and we have some really great investigators!
the culture is very different here. and oh ya, i´m sick, i got sick the first night we arrived in venado tuerto. so i have to blow my nose all the time! and i am coughing now...but i´m on the way to recovery and the members still want to kiss my cheek even though i am sick. ya, everyone greets you with a kiss, but not really, it´s more like cheek to cheek and you just make the kissing noise. but the men only get a handshake of course! but everything here is so disorganized. it´s pretty dirty, a lot of houses we go to are very run down, but that´s just how they live. everything is really close together. when i walk i have to look down so i don´t fall in a hole or trip over something. and alot of the roads are dirt roads. and they have the weirdest trash system...every house has a pole with a metal basket on top just outside their house, and they place the bags in the basket and someone i guess runs by and throws it into the back of a truck to take to the dump. but if they don´t put the trash up high, the dogs get into it. and yes, there are lots of dogs here! they don´t hurt you, but they will follow you everywhere.
But i am well. i don´t want to be sick right now though. I was really tired the first few days, but am getting better! that´s what i want though, to be tired, so i know i am working hard. we walk a lot, but luckily no blisters yet, just sore feet (not too bad). it´s kinda cold here, not as bad as i thought. but i really love the members here. they are so funny and nice. they joke around with us all the time. But i am excited to work here, we have been trying to find people and get referals from the members a lot. the biggest problem is retention, there are a lot of members, but they don´t come to church. so we´ve been talking with some menos activos (less actives).
the language is hard sometimes, when i want to help teach. lots of times hna. redfern will turn to me in the lesson to bear my testimony, but i have no idea what is going on, so i don´t even know what to testify about. it´s hard, but already i can understand a little bit more. also, yesterday (sun) i had to bear my testimony in church, but it was easy, we had already met most the people in the ward last week anyway. but ya, i ask lots of questions, and am doing my best. i am trying to rely on the spirit so help me with the language.
p-day is mon by the way:) and i´ll have to send pics next week! sorry! i just don´t have time. but thanks for your letters! you now know where i am. you should look it up on google earth and see if you can get a picture of my house:) dad, i laughed when i read your letter about the rolly pollies. ok, i love you, i wish i could have written to you earlier, but ya, you´re right mom, the pres doesn´t really roll that way. hasta luego!
todo mi amor