October 3, 2011
Argentina!!!! Semana 1. Castillano y otras cosas locas!!!!
I am in Argentina!!!!! It is NOTHING like I imagined it at all. You’ll have to figure out my punctuation and all that. The letters on this key board are written on with a white out marker. So this country is crazy. I am in an area called Avellaneda which is 50% city and 100% awesome!!!! It is completely destroyed! Looks like a bombing just took place with half built and decaying buildings and trash everywhere!!! There are more dogs than people and it just smells like poop ALWAYS!!!! That is what makes it fun though right!!??? So I found out that Porteno and Spanish and Castillano are all different languages and I know none of them. Really just awesome! I can figure out what people are saying most of the time and just smile at them for the rest. The church is strong here and the people everywhere are just awesome. I really like them. They are very humble in this part of Buenos Aires. Most of them live in abandoned warehouses converted into commune type set ups. Most have running water and some have plumbing. The really poor parts are called villas. We have a lot of those in my mission. So ya. That is Argentina. I am on THAT side of the tracks. Most people don’t ever come here I’m told and we don’t go out after dark in the villas. My companion is Elder Hope from the very foreign place of Salt Lake City Utah. He is a great guy and we live on the 16th floor of a tower on the north end of Avellaneda with the zone leaders.
We are white washing this area which means we are both new to the area and Elders haven’t been here for a while. This means we do a lot of contacting and haven’t taught many lessons, but we will!! It is a lot of walking in muddy poopy unpaved and some paved streets. Really interesting.
So here has been my past week. Monday we woke up at 2 am and got ready and headed down to the travel office. Here are the instructions we got. ¨Here is your ticket and give the little envelope to customs and the big one to the name on the envelope when you get to Argentina.¨ That was when I first thought ¨Holy Cow what am I doing?¨ So that was fun and then we got there, everything went fine and we flew to Buenos Aires. I got here Tuesday morning and sweated through customs and got through fine. We got out of the airport and my mission president and his wife were waiting for us. So awesome!!! It was such a relief! We got to the mission home, ate pizza and empanadas (muy bien) and then got our companions and when to our Pensh or Pension or apartment. So mine is really nice compared to others. No worry mommy, we have hot water and a toilet. And I am happy with it.
Then we got to work. We walk all day and talk to everything that moves!!! So fun to get to know people and talk to them about the Restored Gospel. It makes people happy! Plus they get a kick out of me trying to speak Castillano!!! We got to go to conference except for the priesthood session and it was so great!!! I have very little written down. Turns out conference in Castillano is hard to understand. So I just watched and smiled as each speaker came up and I imagined what they were saying off of the few phrases I caught here and there. So great.
I love you all! I have to go now!!! I’m working hard and doing my best!!!! Keep praying for me!!! I really need it!!!! You all are the best Chou Chou!!!!