Elder Gardner

Elder Gardner will enter the MTC on Wednesday, June 23rd. We will keep this blog up-dated every week with his letters and pictures. If you would like to write to Elder Gardner, please click on the "write a letter" link on the right hand side for directions and his address. If you don't know much about Mormon Missions read the "about missions" page to learn more; it may help you understand some confusing terms in the letters.

Monday, November 1, 2010

I weigh 67 kilos! (Par. Chac. Week 10)

According to our conversion tool on our cell phone, 67 kilos is 147 pounds. That is still pretty skinny for my height, but it is the most I´ve ever weighed in my life! I´ve gained about 8 pounds since I got to Argentina.

Well, this was by far the most interesting week on the mission so far. On Monday night we went to the villa to visit some people and there were cops in full body gear all over the place. We were in one house teaching a lesson and five of them walked in. I was worried they were going to search us (not that we have anything, just that it would waste a lot of our time) but they just wanted to use the bathroom. Then we went to a family home evening with an investigator family at a member family´s house. But when we got to the member´s house there were police blocking the entrance to the manzana (alleyway) where they lived. Apparently they arrived at about 2 in the afternoon and started a drug search of all the houses in that manzana. They didn´t leave until about 9 at night and during that time no one was allowed to leave or enter the manzana. They ruined our plans.

Tuesday was fairly normal, except that the villa was really quiet and empty. There weren´t the normal drug dealers and there wasn´t music blaring in the street. It felt entirely different after the whole drug bust thing.

Wednesday was the Argentina National Census. In Argentina it is pretty different from the states. Instead of filling out a form and sending it in or whatever we do, Argentina shuts down the country for a day. No stores were open, there was no school, everyone had to stay home and wait for the census workers to arrive. The census workers went to every door in the country and got the information they needed. So we had to stay home all day. It was so boring! There is only so many times you can play monopoly in one day without going crazy. But I was counted in the Argentina National Census, which is pretty cool. I´ll be on the stats for ten years until they do it again.

Also on Wednesday the ex-president of Argentina died of a heart attack (I´m not sure if he got counted in the census before he died or not). He was the president before the current president, and the current president is his wife. I guess there are the Clinton couple of Argentina. So everyone has been watching the funeral services for the past few days.

Thursday we had a member take to a restaraunt for lunch (which has never happened before). I got pizza, which was a mistake. Argentine pizza isn´t that great, they cover it in way too much cheese. I wouldn´t mind not eating pizza again for the next two years, but I know that won´t happen.

When we went to the villa on Thursday there were a bunch of people walking down the street right outside the villa. We asked some members and it seemed to be some sort of protest connected with the ex-president´s death. A lot of people went to the funeral services so the villa was kind of empty and we were advised to stay away for a few days until things got back to normal.

On Friday the ward had an activity at the church were the members made food from their native countries. There was food from Peru, Paraguay, Brazil, Bolivia, Argentina, China, and the United States. We were asked to make food from the states so we made tacos. Everyone made fun of us for making "fake tacos" but they all liked the tacos. They don´t know what real tacos are here anyway so what do they know. And the best part was that members don´t let missionaries pay for things, even when we try to. (I think it was five pesos for a dish) So I got some free food from Peru, Paraguay, and Bolivia; it was all pretty good.

On Saturday and Sunday Elder Ludwig and I took turns not feeling good, and the members were still saying we should stay away from the villa, so we didn´t do a whole lot. We had lunch on Saturday in the villa and we walked through without any problem. From what the members were saying I thought it was some sort of disaster in there; they just worry too much about us. It seems fine. But we have stayed away anyway just in case.

So that was my week. There wasn´t a single normal day during it. Of course normal on the mission is still crazy. We didn´t get to talk to a whole lot of our investigators. I hope they are all still doing well. Hope everyone has a great week! Stay safe, work hard, have fun, read your scriptures, pray, and go to church. That´s my best advice.

Con amor,
Elder Gardner

Those are our tacos in the finished version. I prefer a little less lettuce, but they were still delicous. Members asked us for the recipe... Ummm, we used seasoning packets that Elder Clarke´s mom sent him from the states.

Empanadas! The Argentine clasic. I really like empanadas, they are kind of like tacos all wrapped up, but better.

Elder Amasio and Elder Ludwig making the tacos. Elder Clarke (you can see his arm) got chewed out for putting the lettuce on with his hands. This is Argentina!! The food they eat is ten times more dirty, why did they care!

This is the Peruvian booth. Most of the members who feed us are Peruvian, and their food is really good.

I believe that was the Bolivian booth.

Elder Ludwig and Elder Clarke at our booth in at the ward activity. Ours was by far the least decorated booth, but at least we had some cardboard to draw a flag on.

The view from the roof of the apartment builing. Sometime I forget how big Buenos Aires really is. My area doesn´t feel like a huge city, but seeing those buildings reminds me.

Some ghosts the 9 year old girls in my home ward sent me. Thanks! The best part was the kleenex, they were so soft! Everyone here just uses toilet paper and it is not very soft at all.

A package my companion got from home. The mail is pretty safe, the decorations aren´t necessary, but they are funny.


Jenny Gardner said...

Glad to see you're doing well, you look good. Keep eating Dougie!!

Mom Laurie said...

Love the pictures! OK if I use some of them? I haven't gotten any for awhile.