It´s so good to hear from you. So first off, before I forget, we can get DearElders here. I don´t know how, but I know it´s possible. On average we get all of our DearElders, packages and letters about every 6wks. It´s whenever we are at President Gulbransen´s house. We see him every transfer and sometimes in between.
So anyway, things here have been moving along. I´m being eaten alive by mosquitos. The bites swell up a little bit and yesterday I got bit on the eyelid. (don´t ask me how, because I have no idea) Now my eyelid is puffy and it looks pretty odd. Yes, I do use bug repellent. We´ll see what happens. I´m still having fun though. It´s a lot of hard work and yes I still have a hard time going up and talking to people, but I can feel the Lord in everything and I have a wonderful trainer. Hermana Reed is 23 and from Colorado. She has been out for 7 months and loves the work as well.
The elder in charge of helping us with the apartment gave us a good reference the first day and we love it. I will have to send pictures next monday. The kitchen has pink tile. I know that doesn´t sound appealing, but it was tastefully done. Also, the bathroom was just redone, so it very clean and neat. There is actually enough room in the kitchen for us to eat. We drop off our laundry to an outside sourse and wash our garments by hand in the laundry sink. I did not know this until today, but because of expenses, we only send out our clothes every other week. Other then that, we wash them by hand. It´s interesting. We move into our new apartment in about two more weeks.
The weather has been nice. There is almost always some wind; which is nice during the summer. It rained last p-day on the way back to the apartment, and when it rains, it pours. We got drenched. It lasted for about 20 minutes, but we got more rain in 20 minutes here, than an entire average year in Vegas. In reality it really rains like that every time, so we never have time or are close enough to our apartment to get our rain gear. The rain is kind of spastic so it could be sunny and clear one hour and raining the next hour.
We get as much time as we give ourselves to write emails. On average, it´s about an hour. Helps me a lot, now that a lot is going on.
The food is pretty good. I have not really seen any staples. Argentina is definitely not your average Latin culture. Europe has played a huge part in its culture. I think I have seen rice once in a meal and beans once as well. Pasta is a usual staple as well as cheese. They love cheese. Unfortunately, for me, since a lot of cheese makes me naucious. Oh, chicken, potates, and beef is huge too. They have this kind of potato salad with peas, potatoes, and carrots. It´s pretty good. Some things that they don´t have here: mapeline, ketchup, and pickles. There is more, but I can´t think of them right now. The chocolate here doesn´t really have any taste. It has the texture, but I don´t taste anything. So, that is one thing that I miss. Instead of syrup, we use jelly and just eat that. It´s not bad. It´s actually growing on me.
None of the people from my MTC district are in the same zone as me. I´m kind of sad about that, but I know that we will all probably learn better this way. I don´t know how many blocks are in my area. Since we split it, it´s smaller, but still very large. Like I said, the original area is about the size of north las vegas. I wish you could see the people´s faces here when I tell them that I am from Vegas. It´s pretty funny, but a good conversation starter.
It is hard asking people to be baptized in the first discussion. I still don´t understand it fully and am still uncomfortable with it, but Preach My Gospel, my mission president, and MTC teachers told me that asking in the first lesson is something we need to do. The fact that it is a commandment is good for me but I still agree that it doesn´t make all that much sense. One way that it was explained to me was that, we need to let them know our purpose right off the bat. I know that sounds bad, but the thing that the church can offer is the saving ordinance of baptism and everyone needs that, therefore, membership and baptism is our goal. President Packer (I believe) said that we can have both quantity and quality. It´s hard work, but we are trying to find the people that the Lord has prepared. I know that I am not doing a good job of explaining it now, but hopefully I can do better in the future.
We had 4 investigators come to church yesterday. I was so happy. They all enjoyed it and thursday, we have an open house in the chapel. It´s a tour to show people (member, nonmember, investigator, etc) our beliefs. Right after, we have the christmas dinner. That is going to be very fun. I don´t really know what is going on with that.
Well, we are playing fútbol again with the elders today. Last week was pretty fun. They were surprised at how good I was. I was surprised how good I was. Although, to be fair, half the ¨good¨ passes were me tripping over my own feet. I was a good goalie though. Yes, I have lost weight. Yes, I am eating enough, but the walking and the healthy diet do wonders. At least, that is how it is in my area. One of my room mates lost 40lbs while she was here. (don´t worry, it was healthy weight loss. She is no longer overweight) Any way, I should probably go.
I love you all very much and I am working hard. Hopefully I will learn how to be effective as well. Good luck. I know things are hard right now, but the Lord is with you and has his angels helping you every step of the way. ¨In the end everything will be ok, and if it´s not ok it´s not the end.¨ Have a wonderful Christmas season! Tell everyone hi for me.
I´ll talk to you soon!!