So 2010 is over and 2011 begins!
It´s really hard to remember what happened throughout the week anymore. Last Tuesday to Wednesday I had my first Divisons with my Zone Leader. It was great that he could explain a ton of things to me in english that takes a ton of time or I don´t get the entire idea when my companion tries to tell me. I got to see his area and it was a bit poorer than ours. I noticed there was a lot of shoes tied and thrown up around the telephone wires along the streets. He said that those were indicators that the house next to them sold Drugs. I thought that was kind of interesting. Apparently the cops don´t really care either. We talked with a women who was a member but she didn´t go to church for some years. She even worked at the temple. We talked with her for a long time and I knew she had a concern but I couldn´t completely tell what it was. After the visit Elder Lewis explained what it was to me. As soon as he did my mind raced with things I could have said. Fortunately I can write her a letter and pass it along through Elder Lewis. Elder Lewis was confident that he got her to agree to go to church and hopefully my words will help her a bit as well. Thursday we worked a ton and walked so much. That only downside was that not one appointment or investigator was home because of the upcoming New Years.
When New Years Eve actually came, it was nuts. I described Christmas being like a warzone and this was basically WW3. New Years here is a much bigger deal than in the states. It´s more important than Christmas in South America ( or at least in Argentina and Columbia ). I get to find out a lot of things about Columbia through my trainer. When midnight struck the sky exploded. My companion was super homesick. He said Christmas was time for his family and New Years was the time for his friends. He missed them a ton. We went outside to see if we could catch some close fireworks on camera and because my companion couldn´t stand being inside, neither could I. The entire sky was lit up with continuous explosions and flashes and bangs and thunders and all kinds of craziness. I saw fires actually floating through the sky, like a paper lit of fire just lazily hovering around. Since our apartment is in the city the tall buildings blocked all the excitement from the neighborhoods and all the craziness from our view, which sucked. I could only see the flashes going non stop. There´s a nearby soccer stadium that had a fireworks display going on. But here in Argentina, there´s a soccer stadium every five blocks, so they were everywhere. Also every person was out in the streets shooting off fireworks that dwarfed the ones in the States. Every one of them sounded like a rifle. Even the normal people had the biggest of fireworks that you only see in the large displays at home. It truly was a war zone. It was a spectacle that was tough to miss out on, especially for my companion.
Last weekend was my first baptism and this sunday we confirmed him a member of the church! I could see the change in his eyes as soon as we finished the laying on of hands. He was with his girlfriend and son in the pews and they looked so happy! I couldn´t stop smiling! Also this sunday was Fast and Testimony meeting in the church. A lot of members walked up and bore their testimonies on the pulpet infront of the congregation. My companion and myself too of course. It was a very powerful sunday. With the lack of sleep from New Years Eve, combined with the lack of food for the fasting sunday, my body felt a lack of energy I never would have imagined. I was so thankful for the lunch that the ward mission leader offered us. It was also my first time eating something with Tuna in Argentina! Also they had empanadas with chicken, egg, and potatoes inside. It was basically the best thing ever.
Another P Day has arrived! I´m kind of tripping out. In 3 days I would have been here for an entire month already! I´m kind of worried if my spanish is where it should be at this milestone. But I know I will learn it eventually. Mondays suck trying to get money from the banks. The lines are huge and we don´t have the time. I bought some more Arpargatas! And they fit this time! They´re so sweet and cheap. We walked all over the big city shopping part to find a soccer jersey for my companion. He wanted the jersey for the soccer team of Moron (which is our area), so it was kind of ironic how we couldn´t find a soccer jersey of Moron, in Moron. For lunch we went to a buffet place which was kind of expensive but really good! The best part was basically our whole zone arrived! Everyone kept looking at the huge table with 20 white missionaries all wearing white shirts and ties laughing and eating and talking in English. It was great! I smirked at the idea of me eating in an all you can eat buffet in Argentina and first grabbing some chinese food. We were overcharged ( probably because most of us are from EstadosUnidos and look like gringos ). Which leads me up to this point now writing this email.
I´m so grateful for this opportunity I have to be here! I´m so grateful for all of you who read my words and about my experiences 6000 miles away! For some reason I´ve felt the strongest desire ever to want to hit a baseball with a bat. I haven´t played little league for ten years so I have no idea why now. Thank you all so much for your support and your love! I miss all of you so much and can´t wait to see you all again when I´m done. But for now this work is true, I know that for a fact. I have a chance now to touch so many lives and I take every opportunity here I can. So many examples and ideas I have been able to apply here are because of the amazing people who read this blog like my family, my friends, my ward, and all those I´ve met during this mission. Thank you all so very much!!
Til next time
Con Amor, Elder Jones