Thursday, March 18, 2010

Week Four from the Argentina MTC - March 18, 2010

Sounds like things are going well there at home! The weeks here are going by faster and faster. Today is the one month mark and it just flew by. I'm about 4% done with my mission. For some reason, that seems like a lot.

Sounds like you're finally getting the kind of weather we enjoy every day. It's a little humid, but I'm used to it by now and it's really not very hot.

Glad Emily's move is working out. I hope everything goes well with that.

I wish I could have been there at Jack's farewell. It'd be nice to talk to everyone. Oh well. I guess I'll get to go to his homecoming. It's so weird to think that this mission is going to end at some point.

Of course Jordan's not having as much fun this semester as last semester. He doesn't have me in his room. Fun fact: my companion tells me I'm a nerd all the time, but I tell him I'm proud of it and...I'm not quite as bad as my roommate.

I just got your package today that had the swedish fish, chex mix(very smashed, still delicious), the eye drops and the New Era. It was much appreciated. I also got the notice of death. Every week or so someone gets a notice from Correo Argentino that says they got a package that got stuck at customs and there's no way of getting it,'ll be getting a package at some point. People can pick them up, but we're not allowed to and no one can pick them up for us because of security issues. I'm guessing it was the shoes? I'm still fine on those, so don't worry too much.

Thanks for the updates on mission calls. It's good to hear. it'd be interesting to know which mission Jack Griffin's going to. We definitely won't run into each other, but I'm basically serving in the Buenos Aires (north?) mission right now every saturday. he won't go to the CCM. All of the gringos that go to the CCM serve in Uruguay. Anyways, keep me updated on mission calls and farewells.

Thanks for all the scriptures, Dad!

Glad you enjoyed hearing about the daily schedule. The citas at night aren't real appointments outside the CCM. They're just practice lessons with other missionaries. As we stay here longer, we're expected to teach Latino Élderes more than the other Norteamericanos.

Thanks for the tip on the finger thing. I don't think I'll worry about it too much. I can hardly snap normally and I keep telling the older guys how annoying it is. I'll probably pick it up eventually and they'll tell me they were right all along.

The one thing that's surprised me about Spanish is Indirect and Direct Object Pronouns and the fact that they're not the same as reflexive endings. When I was using tú conjugations all through high school, i didn't have to worry about it because you always use ´te´ but in Usted, it's le for one and se for the other, so you have to keep track. Other than that, Spanish is getting more natural. Part of every day with me and Elder Pike is an ´´english fast´´ and we can't speak english. It's really helpful. We always teach the best spanish lessons after spanish fasts. I spend about 20 minutes just talking to Latinos in the hall before we go to bed, so it's good practice. We don't have any latinos in our room now, so we don't get that practice, but it's still good.

Thanks for the emails and your prayers! Now I''ll tell you a bit about my week.

The highlight of every week...except for my second week. This last saturday was amazing. We got to drive(be driven by the same crazy lady that picked us up from the airport) an hour away from the CCM. (If you want to look up where we were, it was the ciudad(? provincia? barrio?) Morón, which was interesting.) I'd be curious to know what mission it is. We ran into the full time missionaries on our first street. One of them was a gringo from Wyoming and didn't speak a word of us. I thought he might be grateful to see some Estadounidenses he could speak english to, but he didn't. He spoke amazing spanish. I'm really excited to be on his level. Anyways, I'll just tell you about my favorite lesson from saturday: We taught Silvia and Matías about the Plan of Salvation because Silvia's aunt had just died and she was having a really hard time. She was the perfect investigator for us to have the week we were focusing on the Plan of Salvation lesson. I really felt like we helped them. Matías had read some of the Book of Mormón. Silvia seemed really hesitant about going to church, but Matías seemed interested. We gave them the address to the chapel on the back of a folleto(pamphlet), and testified over and over again. (Testifying is a powerful tool...especially when you don't always understand what they said and you need to say something. You can never go wrong with a testimony) So...I'm really a missionary now. We taught 4 or 5 really good lessons. I couldn't believe my understanding and speaking spanish and my ability to just know what they needed to hear. Desafortunadamente, we're not in that area next week because they do each area for 3 weeks before rotating, but we're in the CCM for 8 weeks, so we're finishing the third week of the group that just left. We get our next area for 3 weeks though, and the next for 2 and then we're in the Campo Misional(Mission Field.)

The other 3 elders in our district had hardly any spanish experience, and i feel bad for them. I'm very grateful I got called to a spanish speaking mission and not something else. This is definitely the right mission for me. All the Uruguayos tell me I have a really good Uruguayan accent because I make my ll´s sound like sh´s.

Our teacher brought in a Uruguayan elder the other night to tell us about his country. It was really cool. He was bragging about how they have perfectly pure water, but a week ago, the South American Area Doctor for the church warned us not to believe any members or local missionaries about the water, so I'll have waterbottles with me all the time. They´re just starting to give all the missionaries in South America one of those filtered bottles that they have at missionary mall now, so I'll have that. This Uruguayo elder was also bragging about how they had the best Dulce de Leche in the world, but our teacher is an Argentina, so she disagreed.

I love the atmosphere here. The Chilenos try to to convince you that their accent is the one you should use. The Colombians try to convince you to use theirs, but we've been told to pay more attention to the Argentinians and Uruguayans for obvious reasons.

Everyone speaks perfect Spanglish (Or Castiyanqui as they call it here-combination of Castellano, which is South American Spanish, and Yanqui, which means Yankee.) All the gringos understand broken spanish better than correct spanish. All the latinos understand broken english better than correct english. It's just a lot of fun and I hear the spanish speaking missionaries in provo are nowhere near as prepared to serve when they get out. They're looking into shortening the time for everyone here because people learn so fast. It's such a blessing to be here.

And to end, I'd like to share an uplifiting missionary anecdote that's been floating around the CCM.
There were some missionaries who had been teaching an investigador for several months and were trying to get him to finally commit and set a baptismal date. He said it was too hard because of various circumstances for him at work. One missionary decided to share 1 Nefi 3:7 (I will go and do) to show that the Lord giveth no commandment too hard because He will help us through whatever it is. On accident, he mixed it up with 3 Nefi 3:7. ´´As you read this verse, Hermano Gomez, think about what it is the Lord wants you to do in this situation--what Nephi did--even though things might be hard.´´

3 Nephi 3:7 - Or in other words, yield yourselves up unto us, and unite with us and become acquainted with our secret works, and become our brethren that ye may be like unto us—not our slaves, but our brethren and partners of all our substance.

Depending on various versions of the story, the investigador either did or didn't get baptized. No one's quite sure.

Buena semana, everyone. Hope things are going as well for you as they are for me.

Now the Lord of peace himself give you peace always by all means. The Lord be with you all. The salutation of Elder Parry with mine own hand, which is the token in every email: so I write. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.


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