|"Goodbye" Daniel and Carla|
Wow! What a week it was down in the ARG! It was probably the most exhausting week of my mission, so far. On Monday night, I kissed Salto “Goodbye.” I also had to say, “Goodbye” to all of my homies whom I came to love so much. To be honest, it was pretty hard to leave them. A mission is always full of changes and unfortunately some of these changes include saying, “Goodbye” to people and never knowing when or if you’ll see them again.
On Tuesday morning, I hopped on the bus to San Luis. It was four long hours in the middle of nowhere Argentina. LOL. Then, I had another two-hour ride to Villa Mercedes, which is my new area. We are still apart of the San Luis Stake but Villa Mercedes is it’s own little town. There are two wards here with two sets of missionaries and a we have a ton of ground to cover. Our area is soooo big and we walk everywhere, so I come back to the pench dog tired every night. But, that’s a good thing. There are tons of houses to knock and the people here are so nice and welcoming. Literally, at the first house I knocked here we were able to set up an appointment. But a new area, means new accents and the people in this town are from all over so each person has their own little way of talking which has been frustrating. It’s definitely a good challenge for me.
|"Goodbye" Elder Mena and Salto de las Rosas|
My new comp, Elder Martinez, is such a boss. He is almost 22-years old and has been a member of the Church for less than two and half years. He has been on his mission for one year and he became a member only a year and half before he left. He got in contact with the missionaries through a friend and was baptized 4 months later. The missionaries found him at a really trying time in his life. At age 17, he was living alone, supporting himself and running with a pretty tough crowd. He has a lot of stories :). But as a missionary it is so nice to have his testimony and his personal experiences to share with investigators and everyone we talk with.
The work in Villa Mercedes is really going strong. This week we basically ran all over the place from one appointment to another and we were always so busy. We have a really nice pool of investigators right now, including a lot of couples with young kids and a couple of teenagers. I’m still trying to remember everyone’s name but next week I’ll be able to provide more details about the work. One cool thing we did this week though was knock on a “menos active” door and they were so welcoming. Since Elder Martinez hadn’t contacted them before we weren’t expecting anything but they invited us inside. We got in there and saw that they have this type of dog called a “dogo,” which is the MOST dangerous type of dog. Of course, this family has three of them! So, one of the first houses I entered here and I find out they have three of these beasts! The family saw that we didn’t know what to do so they had to teach us how to handle ourselves with the dog. I sat down like they said and the dog came running towards me and I was freaking out inside thinking, “This dog is going to eat me,” but then everything seemed cool so I went to pet it and apparently, I did something wrong with my hand and the dog started freaking out and the owner had to yank it away from me. I turns out that I didn’t have the confidence of the dog yet so, I couldn’t pet it. I was so confused and freaked out and my companion was just laughing. It was awful! To make things even better (or worse), one of the dogs just had 14 little puppies so, we’ll see how that goes. But, we had two awesome lessons with this family and when Sunday rolled around we were able to take the Hermana to church with us. It was the first time she’d been to church in almost four years. It truly was a great experience. I like to think of “menos activos” as people who are dangling from a cliff and they just need someone to come help them get back on their feet.
Sunday was such a good experience because it was my first full block of church meetings since I’ve been in the mission field. We had 70 people in church and for Argentina, that is really good. It was the best feeling to be surrounded my families, little kids and just more people. One of the best parts about the Church is the family aspect and in reality, we are all one big family and I felt the love of my new family here in Villa Mercedes so much.
We also have a new schedule here because people are more available later in the night so we work until 10-10:30 in the night and don’t fall asleep until 11:30. I still wake up at 6:30 because it’s just a habit now. Since we work late in the night we can take an hour nap during the siesta. So, I just grind in the morning and try to stay awake. Then, after a big meal with the members, I take a nap for an hour. It’s pretty awesome! I’m not going to lie.
I’m so happy here in my new area and it’s been an adventure adjusting to everything. Even so, I love the change. Like coach Benson would always say, “You’re either getting better or getting worse, never staying the same.”
I’m so humbled to be a missionary during this time and it is truly an honor to share the Restored Gospel and be a servant of our Savior, Jesus Christ.