Hey guys! So, I am alive!!
I left the MTC on Tuesday. It was kind of sad since I was leaving some good friends and the safety of the MTC, as well as the really good spirit there. Everyone left at like 4:00 in the morning, then the Latinos and myself left at like 10:00 am. We met up with some missionaries from the Provo MTC and I could understand and speak better than them, so that was a really awesome confidence booster! But my Spanish is still very “malo.” We took a 4 hours bus ride to Rosario. I mostly slept and talked with the other missionaries on the bus. It was good. When we arrived at the mission home we waited in a room for a while. The mission home is super massive and super big!! It has some very nice stuff! After we were greeted, we had interviews’ with the president.
It was really nice to talk with the President. I like him a lot!! His wife reminds me so much of you mom!! Ha-ha funny!! Anyways, President Zanni doesn’t speak any English, so the interview was done in Spanish and I guess I was the only new North American missionary that he didn’t have to use google translate with, so that was pretty cool. He spoke really slow and really simply but it was good! I promised him two things; 1- to be one of the hardest working missionaries in the mission and 2- to be obedient with exactness, even if I did not understand the rule. So in the best Spanish I could come up with, I was able to promise him these things. I think he really liked that I said that and I think he likes me, or at least I hope.
After that, we had dinner and it was yummy! All the new elders slept in the same room that night, which was pretty gross! There was like 16 guys in one room, nasty!! Ha-ha- I made it through though. Ha-ha lol. Then next morning we woke up and they gave us some training about what to do, money.... etc. then we went to meet our trainers which was really fun! They make a pretty big deal out of it and announce it in front of everyone then everyone cheers. It was really good!!
My companion’s name is Elder Stanworth, first name Cody. He is from Grantsville, Utah and just finished being a zone leader. So that is cool!! We get along super, super well!! I can tell we will be best of friends, which is really fun! He is 17 months into his mission and likes sports and stuff, so it is really good. He is super nice because I pretty much just bear my testimony at all the lessons that I’ve been to. He is carrying a lot of the weight right now. I hope I can help with that really soon.
After I met my companion, we found out our area and took a “collectivo” to our area. I am presently serving in a small town about two hours north of Rosario. It is called Venado Tuerto. I think it is pretty close to the southern boundary of my mission. So, we took a collectivo, which was pretty cool. It is a double decker bus- I thought Bentley would really like that! Instead of airports here, they have these big bus stations that look just like airports. It was like a 2 hours bus ride to our new area.
We arrived and the zone leaders showed us to our pension (apartment). Man, Elder Stanworth said it was the best one he’s ever lived in, but it is NOT nice. Stuff is breaking down and it is super gross and we don’t have a ton of running water. It is just not what I am used to, so it will take a little bit to get used to my new home.Elder Stanworth says it’s the best apartment for three reasons; it has a washing machine, the show water is warm... (sometimes not) and it has a super old ac unit, but it works!! Ha-ha! People live so differently here!! It is crazy.
I guess our area is super small but we do a lot of walking. I would say our area is about the size of Sundance. People here do not live nicely. Some of the people are living in shacks!! My area is not very rich so we have a little bit of ghetto in our area. It was a little scary but now I am fine. Fear is the absence of faith. The Lord will protect me if I am doing the right things. So our area isn’t rich and it looks like people live in dumps and never get around to fixing anything. But that is okay, it’s just how people live here. I guess compared to our area, our pension is super nice. We don’t live in our area so I would say that if our area was Sundance we would live in chaparral. We do lots of walking all day. We opened a new area, so we have been doing a lot of contacting lately!!
Church is really different here. For lessons we pretty much just read something and explain it. There really isn’t much teaching going on. But the church is pretty big. I introduced myself in Spanish and that was scary because my Spanish is still not good. Often I am in a lesson and all I can do is bare my testimony which is kind of annoying because there is so much more that I want to say, but I am trying my best! I hope I will be able to do better in the future!
Something that I’ve really noticed is the strength of your prayers. I think I can really feel when you guys have prayed for me and when you haven’t- super weird, but at like 6:30-8:00 am, when you guys haven’t been up or prayed yet because it’s like 4:00 in the morning, I feel a little sad. But after that, it just changes, it’s weird, but just keep praying for me and don’t forget!! Please, it really helps.
This week I said the closing prayer in one of the lessons. Anyway it was with someone we contacted and his name was Ernesto. Anyways, I said, please bless Estevan in the prayer. I totally got his name wrong!! So much to remember...But I don’t think he noticed. I hope…
It is different here, but I am doing good! It has been a little hard for me this week because I’ve been thinking about home a bit more. It’s just a huge adjustment from what I have grown up with, but I am doing pretty good! I am feeling more comfortable, so that’s good. It will only get better from hereJ
I know I am supposed to be here right now in this area serving these people and nowhere else! I know if I trust the Lord, I will be blessed. Thanks for your prayers and advice. Keep praying for me!! I love you guys and I love hearing from you!!
Feeling excited to be here, with President and Hermana Zanni
My new bedroom
My fancy kitchen
Just having fun
My new area