Hola todas personas!
Well, I’ve made it through week two in Argentina. I still don’t understand a whole lot of Castellano, but it’s getting better. People have stopped talking so fast, I can usually make out the words they are saying; but then I realize I don’t know what those words mean. So I have a lot of work to do with learning words, but I’m trying and praying and hope to be able to understand soon.
Let me apologize for a few things. First, I’m sorry my email last week was so rushed, I’ll try to do better on this one. Second, I don’t have my camera so I can’t send the pictures I promised. We played fútbol for p-day in another area and there is something wrong with the bus so we are doing email in the other area not our own. So I’m sorry, I will do my best to send pictures next week.
So first let me tell you about the missionary work. I have some good news and bad news; well, not bad news just news that makes the first part not as exciting. The good news is that I baptized someone! The other news is that it was an eight year old kid of a member. The kid’s (Diego) dad isn’t a member so the missionary I replaced was going to do it but he left so Diego asked me to baptize him. It was pretty cool, it was my first Saturday in Argentina and I got to baptize someone. Hopefully that was good practice for a lot more to come.
Our biggest problem here is that no one is married and they have to get married before they are baptized. There is no legal incentive to get married here and it is just a hassle no one wants to deal with. The other problem is that everyone is always working so we can never get in to talk with people except on Saturday or Sunday, and during that time everyone is partying because they have time off.
Our two best investigators, José and Margarita, were thinking about getting married but then when we went to visit them this week it was clear they were having relationship problems. They didn’t come to church so we need to go find out what happened and help them overcome their differences. They have a kid named Michelle that is four years old.
Besides that the work is good. We are teaching and finding lots of people, but then we can never find them at home for a second lesson, which is frustrating, but we are trying. We do a fair amount of walking. The villa is about ten blocks or so from our apartment and is only a few blocks long and wide, so most days when we go there we don’t walk to much. But when we go to the other part of town where there are normal streets and houses then we have to walk a lot.
We don’t take the buses too often. Usually just to get home at night if we are running late. They are fine but it is cheaper to walk. The way people drive is crazy. The lines in the middle of the street are only suggestions. Stop lights are taken a little more seriously, but are still ignored at times. At stop lights the cars stop within inches of each other, especially the buses, that always terrifies me. And the bus drivers start and stop really fast like the subway. Last week I feel into someone because I stopped paying attention for a second.
On Saturdays in the villa it is just a huge party, with music and drinks and everything else - since people have work off. Drunk people try to talk to us every now and then and a lot of people think they can speak English, which is always comical. On Sundays it is just a huge swap meet. Everyone and their dog (yes I mean that literaly) set up tents and sell things. Becca would be in pig heaven. So would Grace and Lizzy cause Disney Princesses and Faires are huge here. All the little girls have a tinker bell back pack or something.
Well, that’s all the time I got. I hope you enjoyed the third edition of Elder Gardner’s adventure in Argentina. And I hope it was better than last week’s. I try to help you understand the culture of this place, but I can’t really describe it, you just need to come and see it for yourself. O yeah, Happy Birthday to William and Sabrina this week! Hope you all are doing well.
"David walked into the valley, with a stone clutched in his hand. He was only a boy but he knew some one must take a stand. There will always be a valley, always mountains one must climb. There will always be perilious waters which some one must sail... When the world is saying not to, with God, you know you’ve got to march on boys"