Monday, August 8, 2016

Arriving in Argentina!!

So I arrived in Buenos Aires on Tuesday, August 2nd, in the afternoon. Then we flew to Comodoro Rivadavia that night on "Aerolineas Argentinas." 

In Comodoro Rivadavia, we met the mission president, President Claudio Salerno, and his wife, and had dinner at their place. 

We then were taken to different apartments with missionaries to sleep for the night. 

Wednesday is when I learned who my trainer was going to be. All the trainers and the noobs were there together in the main building which had the mission office and the capilla (chapel) in one building. So we were all in there, like 32 missionaries in total, and we were sitting in the chapel and we were assigned our companions. We were all sitting in the seats, and they had a projector on the wall where they would show the area first, the name of the trainer, and then the noob missionary.

The feeling I had then was pure nervousness and excitement. It was super crazy! All of the missionaries had their trainers there....except me. My companion is Elder Araujo from Sau Paulo, Brazil, and we were called to Calafate! Elder Araujo was in Buenos Aires that day doing some paperwork, so I didn't meet him until that night. But he is way cool! He speaks fluent English, and he doesn't even have much of an accent. So he is now fluent in Portuguese, Spanish, and English. 

But yeah, we met Wednesday night, and then we slept at the AP's place for the night. On Thursday, we waited in the mission office all day for our bus to come at like 9 pm to Rio Gallegos, and then on to Calafate. So I didn't get to Calafate until Friday afternoon! Needless to say, I was pretty tired. 

Calafate is one of the missions a little more south, so it's pretty cold at times. It is actually supposed to snow this week so that will be fun! It has a huge glacier here which I haven't gone to see yet, and it's kind of like a touristy town. There is a huge lake, Lago Argentino, right next to us that we can always see, and all these super cool mountains. 

All of the trainers were saying that I was super lucky to begin in Calafate since it's like the best area apparently. So yeah! I am one of four missionaries here. Just me and Elder Araujo, along with Elder Quintanilla from Peru and Elder Tiffany from North Carolina. But we each have our own pensions (apartments). So we don't live together. 

There are a ton of stray dogs here. Everywhere you look there are stray dogs. They are always barking. Well, actually, the stray ones are chill. They just kinda walk around and hang out. The ones that people own are annoying. They just bark all day long.

So down here, in all parts of my mission, they speak Castellano. It's just a different type of Spanish where they do like a "j" sound for y's and double l's. So capilla would be pronounced capija or capisha, kinda. It's a bit hard to explain. I'm honestly like decent at speaking, but I can hardly understand anything. People here speak sooo fast. But I just need to be patient I guess. 

We went tracting already and knocking doors for a bit on Saturday, but it hasn't been too effective. A lot of people aren't home a lot because they are always working in the tourism business or in shops during the day. Plus everyone takes a siesta here from 1-3 in the afternoon so the city just shuts down then. So it's pretty hard to find people. Plus, the branch is tiny. Only like 30 members, give or take, and apparently we don't get many referrals from them. This is gonna be interesting. But they do get baptisms here! So it's not like there is no hope! Haha

Sunday here was way cool. It's such a small branch, but it was all the same. Even all the way here in Argentina, it's the same. The church is true!! I had the opportunity to bless the sacrament in Spanish my first Sunday here! So that was awesome! The people are super nice, and I feel like I'm gonna like it here for sure! 

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