Hola! I´m doing well. My companion is Hermana Reales. She is from Córdoba, Argentina. She speaks English very well and I´m sure I´m going to learn so much from her. A lot of times I don´t really know what she is saying because she says it so fast, but she is trying to be patient with me. I understand a little bit more of the language every day and I´m getting a little more confident in speaking. Usually one of two things happen. Either I can understand almost everything and can´t say anything in reply, or I can´t understand barely anything, but can think of a ton to say. It makes it difficult when we´re supposed to teach to our investigators needs.
Down-town Buenos Aires isn´t actually in our mission, but we´re not out in the boonies too much. I think there´s only one or two areas in the mission that are actually out in the country. I´ve been put in an area called Libertad. There are a lot of blonde people, but not many natural ones or people as pale as me. People stare at me a lot and kids always ask me where I´m from or try to speak to me in English when we pass. Some of the people really pay attention when I talk because they know I´m really trying, and others look at me like I´m the biggest idiot in the world.
The people here are mostly nice, but in a different kind of way. They say yes, just so they don´t seem rude, but aren´t really interested and pretend to not be home when we come by later. It´s very rare for us to actually get into a home to teach, too. Most of the people aren´t very trusting, hence all the gates and bars on the windows. We do a lot of our teaching on the porch or in the street. It makes it really difficult and it´s not at all what I imagined missionary work to be like.
We have a couple of investigators that I really feel good about. Aleida has a baptismal date, but hasn´t been able to come to church because she´s pregnant and has morning sickness. She´s married, too, which is a miracle for missionaries here. It doesn´t cost anything to get married here, but a fortune to get divorced. Silvia, one of other investigators, has been taught all the lessons, but won´t commit to getting baptized because her ¨husband¨ has to divorce his first wife and they have to get married before she can get baptized. She´s been with him for like 20 years so it´s a pretty difficult thing to do. I don´t think they even know where the first wife is.
We met a family in the villa (ghetto), which I think are truly interested in the gospel and how it can change their lives. We have an appointment with them tonight. Germán is another one. He is really looking for an answer, but is having a hard time recognizing it. Hermana Reales feels that he won´t receive an answer until he goes to church. 9 am comes really early for the people here, who don´t eat dinner until 9 or 10 at night and have parties all the time until 2 or 3 in the morning.
I guess something really funny happened the other day, but I couldn´t understand what was going on. We were teaching the mother of one of our recent converts and his 42 year old brother, who still lives at home, sat in on the lesson. Hermana Reales said he was crazy, but I didn´t understand what she meant by that. Apparently he said that he believed the Bible was written for people who believe in a dead God and that he believed in a living one. He also believes that he is that living God and all the apostles. He read us a page in the Bible in which he had replaced all the names with his own (Tito). All I heard was Tito, Tito, Tito.... over and over again. It was weird. Needless to say, we didn´t get very far with him.
Hermana Reales set a really good example for me on the first night. On the way back to the pensión (missionary apartment), she contacted the remis driver and basically taught him the first lesson. I wished I could have helped out, but couldn´t follow the conversation enough to be able to say anything really relevant. She is definitely an example to me and I hope I can be as good a missionary as her. Everything is so planned out and organized. It´s so efficient. I really am so lucky to be in this mission and have the leaders I do. I´m sure they call it the best mission in the world for a reason. I can tell that the next little while is going to be very difficult for me, so thank you for keeping me in your prayers.
Something that one of the assistants, Elder Godfrey, has shown me is something I want to develop during my time here. He has so much good to say about everyone. Whenever he´s presenting something, he always thanks the person who spoke before him and talks briefly about why they´re so great and what he loves about them. He seems so grateful for everyone and everything we do. I hope I can develop that in some amount while I´m here. It´s so fanastic to see the change in people during their missions. The elders in my MTC district have already grown so much. I can only imagine what kind of men they´ll be by the time they go home. I hope everyone who has the opportunity to serve a mission does so. I´ve only been out 2 months, but I´ve already seen so much of what this dedicated time has to offer. It is definitely hard, but so incredibly worth every moment of difficulty. This really is the biggest and best adventure I´ve ever embarked on.
Every day is so hard, but I go to bed happy. Thank you for your prayers. I have really felt them this week. Thank you for letting me know what´s been going on in your lives. Let everyone know how much I love them and am praying for them. I love you!