Argentina Mendoza Mission

Argentina Mendoza Mission

Saturday, June 18, 2011

May 30, 2011

     How goes things back home? 
My comps have been:
MTC-Elder Nordblad from Palmdale, California
Zonda/Libertador, San Juan-Elder Petersen from Logan, Utah
Libertador-Elder Allen from Idaho
Salto de las Rosas, San Rafael-Elder Boyle, Texas/Utah (one week)
Malargue-Elder Martinez from Buenos Aires, Argentina
Malargue-Elder Stufflebeam from Orem, Utah

         So the names of the people we are working with are Andres, Norma, Rocio, and Kevin. Norma and Andres should be going to "sacar un turno" to get married this week. They weren't able to come to church because Andres went to Mendoza for a neices kinsey and Norma woke up sick. but they are really great people and pretty humble their house is one room and a bathroom.  They just bought a new stove/oven and put in a tile floor, Andres works construction. I did get to keep the letter that he wrote.
          We were knocking doors the other day and some lady came over and asked us what we did and she told us to come to her house.  She said as we walked by she could tell we were men of God.  She says she would like to get closer to the gospel, but she may have some mental issues.  It's hard to teach her because she doesn't respond very much and she is really monotone.  She is hoping that God will change everything for her.  She has had a rough life; she was physically abused as a child and has seizures as a result.  Her husband and kids left her and she is on the verge of losing her home.  We are not sure to what extent we can help based on her mental condition.
           Today we did service again since there isn't really anything else to do for p-day here.  We hauled logs out to a house in the campo so that they could heat their house and water.  Afterwards the Hermana Munoz cooked us fideos and carne.  They are an awesome family the Hermano Munoz is a funny guy he is always saying some things in English to us, like hasta la bye bye, or mucho thank you.  He is way funny; he used to work at the airport here in Malargue.   He said the population here is like 27,000, not too many.  It's starting to get colder, but still we haven't seen any snow. 
            My Spanish doesn't seem too bad now.  I am able to understand most things and talk to most people.  Every once in awhile I will be way lost but usually I understand.  Things are a little harder it seems for my comp right now but he is doing pretty good.  We went and got ice cream the other night even though it was way cold. 
             The other night the rama did a dinner we ate locro which is a soup with beans and chorizo and cow parts, it was way good.  Apparantley they eat it on their Day of Independance which was the 25th of May. A lot of the elders in the rama spent a long time making a ton of it and less than 15 people showed up, part of which was bad announcing and also just because people don't show up.
              Tomorrow we will be eating with a guy who is a member and his girlfriend is not.  They have two kids together but it seems like after his 18 years of inactivity he forgot that getting married is a commandment because they don't have much interest in doing so.
              I have been reading a lot latley I am in Helamen 8 in the BOM and reading about 4 chapters a day. I'm also about 90 pages away from finishing Jesus the Christ, which if you haven't read I would recommend it.  I have learned so much about our Savior. 
              On Sunday morning we went to a ladys house who's son is a member, to walk with her to church. She said she would be there but following the norm she wasn't home.  So we went to church alone this Sunday.  We did the sacrament like normal, and sat on the stand to do so.  My comp has a really hard time staying awake during church.  Being that we were on the stand all the members saw, and now he is pretty much known as "the sleepy missionary."  Another lady in the rama, Hermana Pacheko, recently moved back to Malargue from Mendoza Centro, she has been good to get us references and tomorrow we will go to see some of them.
              There is another lady in the ward, Herman Perez, who is pretty old, she washes all our clothes and sews what is torn.  She also cooks for us on Wednesdays.  She always fills the same pot with a bunch of good food and bread and we go to her house to pick it up.  She likes to make cards for people and said she could do one for me before I leave, we will see.  She has a dog that always has a hoody on.  My favorite thing to do is pull the hoody over the dogs face so it can't see;  it's funny to watch it try and figure out where it is and how to take the hood off.
              We have also been visiting a lot of people that are inactive.  Lots of them just slam the door on us and tell us they left the church and are testigos or evangelicals.  Many don't go to church because they let themselves be offended.  We ran into one lady the other night who told us she got baptized 5 years ago and after the baptism stopped going because of complications with her family and the religion.  Then her husband got a disease, which made her have to start working and have less time for the church.  But she was super nice and said she would love to go back to the church again.  We will visit her this coming weekend and see if she really has the desires to go to church. 
                I have had more meals in this area than any other area too.  We eat with members almost everyday of the week, which is nice with our money and then we actually get to eat something good instead of the noodles that us missionaries can make.
                It's pretty cold in the mornings and at night in our pension.   Apparantley we aren't allowed to use the gas heaters when we are asleep.  There is really no point in turning them on for an hour at night and a few hours in the morning.  We have a little electric heater that we turn on in the room before we go to bed and in the study room in the morning and it works pretty good.  I mostly eat cereal in the morning, corn flakes with added sugar.
                 We are also planning on starting English lessons some time this week.  A lot of the members have shown interest and my comp said he did it in his last area.  I'm not really sure how to teach English, but it can't be that hard.  We will see how it all works out.
                 It's been pretty fun with Elder Stufflebeam; the last week we have brought up some funny memories from the MTC and people that we knew there.  That's the part I liked most of the MTC-all the other people.  The best part was right before bed when we got to relax a little and just talk.
     This week I had two other cool experiences one was we talked to an atheist for about an hour, he was way nice and he just enjoyed talking on the subject.  We left him with a Book of Mormon and he said he would read it.  We got to the point that he said he could be wrong.  I asked him how he would feel if he got to the next life and he found out there is a God and how he would feel being the main example for his daughter, because she is atheist too.  It's pretty sad to think that he doesn't believe in something more.
     My other experience was with a Testigo de Jehova, it got me kind of mad.  The first thing he said to me was,  "How many books are in Psalms?"   I of course had no idea and said,  "What does that have to do with anything?"   He said,  "How can you preach if you don't know these things?"  I told him that we will not be judged by our knowledge of the Bible but by how we apply it to our lives.  I bore my testimony and wasn't going to mention Joseph Smith, but for some reason I blurted his name, so I thought it must have been for a purpose and bore my testimony of the restoration, which was the good part.  Among other things, I told him he was like a pharisee, and that counting the books in the Bible has no purpose.  That we would be judged on our actions.
     Well im pretty sure this is the longest letter that I have ever written and perhaps may ever write. I hope ya'll enjoy it. 
     I am so grateful that you are all in the gospel, it has been such a blessing to me in my life.  There are lots of people who don't have that benefit.  You have all been great examples to me.  I am grateful to you, Mom and Dad for teaching me, and raising me how you did.  I am grateful for our Savior and his teachings and the prophets that we have today. 
Elder Wharton

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