Sunday, December 13, 2015

First Week in Argentina

¡Hola amigos!

I am in Argentina! It is amazing here! I have a lot to say.

I left the United States last Monday. We went to the airport at 8:30AM and got to call home. How happy it was to talk to my Mother and sister again! I can't wait to Skype home for Christmas! We then went on an airplane to Atlanta. It was really weird being outside of the MTC talking to people that werent members of our church. I was the only one going to Resistencia Argentina, but there were about 23 of us in total going to Argentina. I got to invite serveral people to learn more about my mission on the way. Right before I got on the airplane to Argentina, I called most of my family members. At about 9:20PM we left on the plane. Wow! I got to sit next to a Lady who was searching for a job and was taking vacation in between. I loved talking to her and knowing that really good people were also going where I was going. I hope she will pray about what job to get as I was prompted to ask her.

Buenos Aires

We got through security and I met a stake counselor of Buenos Aires that took me to a church building to wait for my flight to Resistencia. I missed saying goodbye to my MTC friends, but I'm sure I'll see them again.

I got to meet a missionary that was finishing his mission the same day I came. He was really friendly and he and another lady took me for a walk around the city. Everything is so different here! The buildings are tall and old looking and the trees are exotic. We bought a buffet lunch and shortly after, I went to the airport again. I met up with two other new missionaries, one from Chile, one from Argentina.

The other two new missionaries and me
That's when I realized, I cant speak Spanish. I couldnt understand anything they were saying! While we waited in the airport, they tried to teach me new words in Spanish. It was really hard and fun. We arived in Resistencia late. The mission president, his wife, and his Assistance were there waiting and smiling. I was so excited!

Sister Franco, Mission President Franco, Me, and My Awesome Companion Elder Tacapu
They took us to a hotel and we slept. We woke up and had a really small breakfast, which is common here. We then went to the mission office and received some training in Spanish (I hope it wasn't too important ;) ) and I got to meet my knew companion! His name is Elder Tacapu. He is from the United States and his family has a Tongan origin. I'm so glad he speaks English. He is an amazing teacher for me and for each person we meet. He is very brave and already, we are very good friends.

A hamburger with fried egg. Strange but tasty!
We had lunch and I got to meet some of the really great missionaries of the mission. We sang a little and waited for a bus to take us to our area in Villa Angela (So much traveling!)

Our Zone
Well, enough history. I'm here now in this beautiful city serving the people here. We have a pension with a kitchen, bathroom, bedroom, and clothes room, a lot of space!

Home Sweet Home (Kitchen)
Little things, like how different the keys are, the sidewalk, and crazy traffic remind me how different this place is. We get to wash our clothes by hand in buckets and cook our own food, two things I have never done before. My companion and I mastered an hashbrown recipe, but it takes about an hour to cook.

Failed Hashbrowns (we realized to late we had to drain out the potato juice first. We figured it out for lunch today, but it takes way to long to make them. Still tasty!)
Hot dog spaghetti
My Spanish is developing rapidly, though I don't have to use it as much because my companion and I often speak English together. Yesterday, the branch president (the leader of the church in our area) asked us to share our testimonies and both my companion and I shared scripures and our excitement to serve the branch. God blessed me a lot! I didn't struggle with the words, they were given to me. Given to me by God. Wow!

Bird in Buenos Aires
Our branch is really great. Its really small though - maybe 50 members max. In Elders quorum meeting (meeting for men 18+), there where only 6 of us, including my companion and me. On Saturday, we had a service project cleaning a nearby clinic and we got to meet a lot of cool people. I cant wait to help each of them!

One family we have already grown close to is la familia Esquivel. They have two daughters, Brenda (12) and Aby (5?). Brenda asked me on Sunday when we were comming back. She loved having us over. We learned that Hermano Esquivel is less active. For about an hour, he told us his story, which I didnt understand very well. My companion and I then shared a scripture with him. We bore our testimonies to him of the importance of church attendance. I then pulled a picture of my family out and showed to him and his wife.

I explained how much we loved each other and how church attendance has blessed us. As we spoke to him, he began to change. He accepted our invitation and went to church this week! Latter, my companion told me how much of a miracle it was. He hasn't been to church in 12 years. I am so grateful for Gods miracles. I know that miracles are real because many other miracles occurred this week.

Bird in Resistencia
Cardinal In Villa Angela


  1. Hello Elder, I am the person who bought your journal for you in Utah, at Deseret book store.. For reading your blog you sound like your doing ok.I want wish you a very merry Christmas and a happy New year.

  2. Pam, thank you so much for your gift to our son and for caring about him! Merry Christmas to you too!