Querido familia, 17 December 2012
We'e had a few different things going on this week from baptisms to transfers to finding new people to teach.
So on Tuesday night, we got a call from our zone leaders while we were out working and they told us that Elder Clark would be leaving in the morning at five to go to Bella Vista. We weren't really sure if they were being serious because they've pulled the prank before, so we talked about it for a minute and then called them back to confirm. On the other end, Elder Garcia, one of our zone leaders, said that we could use the rest of our time for the day, about an hour, for Elder Clark to say his good-byes. So we visited the people we could and he called some others. We got back to the apartment and started packing and then the next morning he left at five.
We weren't the only companionship that got changed in our zone though. Elder Mojica left from Vera, so his companion, Elder King, and I were together on Wednesday so that we weren't alone. The plan originally was that we would work until a little later in the afternoon and then Elder King's new companion would arrive and I would be companions with a member from the branch until my companion arrived. That wasn't quite the way it happened because of the bus schedules, so Elder King and I were together the whole day. It was actually good that we didn't split up that day, because if we had then we never would have found the family that we taught that night. We had a really good lesson with them, but we haven't been able to visit them since, but we're going there today at a better time, so hopefully we can sit down with them.
So it wasn't until late on Wednesday night that I was finally able to meet my new companion, Elder Waldron from Philadelphia. He is a convert to the church of four years and is already twenty-three years old, having started his mission at twenty. He just hit his twenty month mark and only has four left, which has me a bit concerned because he already is starting to have that 'I'm ready to go home' attitude, but I'm gonna keep him busy and focused.
We had a couple of things that didn't go down so well our first couple days between us though. First of all, Elder Clark and I walk very quickly from place to place so that we have plenty of time to find people and teach as much as possible; Elder Waldron does not like to walk at all. So we spent part of our Thursday morning looking for apartments because he is going to try to get us moved closer to our area (it's a thirty minute walk from our apartment to get to the neighborhood where we work the most). The problem with moving is that the Elders used to live where the other apartments are, but the church moved us because those apartments just aren't good at all. I really wouldn't even mind that we have to slow down for him, but the thing is that he has no health problems or anything like that, but rather that he simply isn't willing to walk at a faster pace in order to facilitate our schedule. For example, we already had plans made before Elder Waldron arrived to go to visit a family before church in the morning so that they could be awake in time and prepare. This plan included leaving the apartment at seven in the morning. Well, Elder Waldron said that he isn't going to do that, so our other zone leader, Elder Sharapata, walked in our room and said, "I was listening and you have to do it." So we did it and they people we visited came to church.
I don't want to make Elder Waldron sound like a bad guy, he is a nice guy, he just needs to make a few adjustments in his willingness to serve the people. So for now, we're all good and we're making plans that work for both of us.
Saturday we had the baptism for Juan Pablo and it went pretty well. His mom couldn't make it, or just didn't come perhaps, but his younger brother, Hernan, did. A good amount of people came to support Juan at his baptism and I was able to get in the, somewhat frigid, water with him. As we taught Juan, he didn't really have to make any changes to his lifestyle in order to comply with the commandments, but his mom says that he has changed quite a bit since we started teaching him. We're told that now he goes home and helps take care of his siblings and cleans up the house and things like that instead of doing his own things.
Juan's younger brother, Hernan, is really cool too. He wants to get baptized now and has already been taught a couple of things (he can even name some of the ten commandments by their number because we taught them signs to make with their hands in order to remember them). Hernan even came to church for the first time yesterday to see Juan's confirmation. Hernan is only nine, so he was in primary for the rest of the meetings, but he said he really enjoyed church. After church, he asked me, "When can I get baptized?" I told him that he can get baptized whenever he wants, we just need to teach him a little more first. So yesterday later in the afternoon,we talked with Hernan about what he needs to do to be baptized and he said that he'll be wherever he needs to be so that we could teach him. So now we're planning the baptism for Hernan on the twenty-ninth of December.
Just as a side note, Hernan calls me Elder Capo, which would either translate into Elder Stud or Elder Cool depending on how you´re using it.
There are two people hat we've taught a few times already named Domingo and Lorenza. They have four kids, three that live with them. Domingo and I have an interesting problem in that I have a hard time understanding him and he has a hard time understanding me, so I´ll say something and he will kind of just be like, "uh-huh..." and then Lorenza will explain what I already said. They were the ones that we left early in the morning to visit before church, but it was more than worth it because they both came and had a good experience. They only stayed for sacrament meeting, but they said that next time they're going to bring their kids and stay for the classes. Even better, they found out that they have friends who are Mormon and go to the church too.
So for our call home for Christmas, this is what we've been told so far: That we have the option of either thirty minutes on Skype or a forty-five minute phone call. But it will be on Tuesday, Christmas day and we'll be writing home on Christmas Eve, so we can have more confirmation on what is going to happen before then. For now, send me a Skype address just so that we can be prepared either way.
P.S. I havn't recieved my package yet, but I think I will get it today when the zone leaders come back from their monthly trip to the mission office in Resistencia