Tuesday, February 24, 2015

 I´m serving in an area called Santa Isabel. It´s about 15 minutes from downtown Cordoba. The ward here is very nice. I think that they´re used to having missionaries that can´t speak spanish very well so they´re pretty patient with me.
I´m having a good time here, but I just want to work more. Or maybe better said I want to teach more.
 We've been spending a lot of time following up on references from the splash. the splash was when all of the missionaries in our zone come to our area and contacted people. We´ve already gone through most of the references, but there are few who want to meet with us. It´s been kind of discouraging. I need to develop my finding skills and just talk to everyone that I can. 
We have found one family through the references that I´m hopeful for. We had two lesson´s with them and the husband has a cousin who is a member here in Santa Isabel. I´ll let you know what happens with them.

Monday, February 16, 2015

When I left the MTC on tuesday for Argentina I was ready to be humbled. I really expected the worse. but actually things aren´t too bad here. I´ve had to get used to hearing spanish all the time, but it is much easier to understand now. And the people are pretty patient with my slow speaking. Every time I speak I imagine how I must sound to them. I bet I have a pretty thick accent. I have a new respect for anyone who speaks with an accent. I´ve tried mate and blood sausage and neither made me sick. The rest of the food is pretty good (if I didn´t cook it I can´t complain).
My story for the week is from yesterday. It poured for most of the day. After church we got a ride to our lunch appointment from a member of the ward. While we were driving I felt like I was in some kind of documentary about climate change. The rain had turned some of the roads into streams. I would not have been surprised to see someone kayaking down the flooded street. But there were still people on the roads driving just the same as ever. It was pretty surreal.
However more important than the new language and the new country is the fact that I know that the LDS church is just as true here as it is back home in Oregon. God loves his children here the same.  I have only been in a few lessons. And most of the time my trainer Elder Sparks is talking. But I can still feel the spirit strongly. And I make sure that when I do say something, it is prompted by the spirit. Because those are the things that the investigator needs to hear.
View from our apartment

Missionary apartment
Elder Sparks and I

Saturday, February 7, 2015

I got my visa and everything so I will be leaving on Monday. I first fly to Georgia. Then I have an 11 hour flight to Buenos Aires Argentina. I will be able to call home from the Salt Lake airport before I leave. Our flight is at 11am.

I'm pretty nervous to go into the field after only 11 days in the MTC. I know the doctrine of the lessons, but I'm still working on explaining this in a way best suited to the investigator. The other day our class was helping out one of the beginner spanish classes who has already been here three weeks. They were practicing teaching the plan of Salvation and we were the investigators. Even though they were the beginning class, it seemed like they were able to speak the Spanish of the lesson better than we were. Having a new spanish speaker explain a principle simply and effectively that was a struggle for me to teach definitely put me in my place. I am studying a lot more effectively now.

Another thing that happened this week is that we got to teach a TRC investigator. This is different than when your teacher is the investigator because you don't know the person you are teaching and you don't know if they are a member of the church. These lessons were by far the hardest. My companionship taught a Catholic man who was from Ecuador. During our 45 minute lessons we would only get about two sentences in because this investigator was talking the whole time. We could ask one question and he would talk for 20 minutes. This would be great if I could understand everything that he was saying and could have a nice conversation with him, but I was spending most of my time smiling and trying to figure out what exactly he was talking about. I guess I need to master the art of asking people to speak slower. 

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

It's real now, I'm a missionary. I have my own name tag and everything. Woo hoo. I'm not in Argentina yet. I'm at the MTC (missionary training center) in Provo, Utah. Honestly I'm not really sure when I'm going to be going to Argentina. I'm in the advanced Spanish class here thanks to my Woodburn, OR upbringing. Since I'm in the advanced class I should be leaving on the 9th of February. However I don't think my visa has gone though or something because all of the official papers and stuff that I've been getting all say that I'm leaving the 9th of March. So yeah I'm not sure. I hope that I am able to leave this next week though. The MTC is a special place, I can feel the spirit everywhere I go, but I can't wait to get into the field. I have two companions here at the MTC: Elder Black and Elder Clayburn. They're pretty great, but it is different to have to spend every hour of every day with two other people. It's something I have to get used to. 

I have learned a ton in this past week. Most of my learning has been about how to teach by the spirit. As a missionary, my job is not to be a lecturer. I have realized that I cannot depend on my own knowledge to be a great missionary. I got to teach an "investigator" my third day here. It was actually my teacher acting as an investigator, but it felt real. It was pretty difficult. I didn't know how to greet him. I didn't know what to ask him about his life. I didn't know anything. But that's what the spirit is for. I'm not going to Argentina to teach people why the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is the best church. I'm going there to teach them how, if they come to Christ, through faith, repentance, baptism, the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end, that He can take away their pain and help them live up to their divine potential.