Tuesday, March 19, 2013

An Argentine Pope

Querido familia,                          18 de Marzo 2013

Early on in the week, we had planned to have some exchanges for a couple of days with me going to the city of Mercedes to work with Elder Paredes, but we had some troubles that changed our plans. Elder Paredes and his companion, Elder Rivera, came to Curuzú for a district meeting we had and from there our plan was to go to the bus station afterwards. However, when we got there, the lady selling the tickets was working very slowly and leaving her work station while there were still seven more people in line waiting to be helped. So, the bus showed up (the last one of the day) and there were still five people that didn't have tickets. The bus driver came over and talked to the girl and then he left and pulled out of the station five minutes later, just as she was handing me my ticket. Well, everyone that was waiting was a little upset to say the least and all she said was that she doesn't have any of the blame for what happened. So, Elder Paredes and I walked around the city visiting some people.

I feel bad for his companion though because Elder Paredes just is not a good missionary. He basically condemns everyone we talk to and tells them that they aren't going to heaven. I'm just glad, and so is Elder Humphries, that we didn't visit with any of the people we were already working with; although he did offend one of the less active families that we visited, so that doesn't really help anyone. The problem is that he thinks that he is a great missionary and that everyone else is the problem.

So the next day, Elder Rivera and I stayed in Curuzú and Elder Humphries went with Elder Paredes to Mercedes because Elder Humphries had to go there anyway in order to do an interview. I was just glad I only had to spend half a day with Elder Paredes instead of two. 

Well that night that Elder Rivera and I were together, we were walking in down the road on the way back to the apartment and then a bunch of cars started coming down the road honking their horns. The first car that passed someone yelled out the window, "La papa!" Which means potato. So we weren't sure what was going or if that person was trying to sell french fries or something. Then a few more cars went by us, honking their horns and waving those tiny plastic flags you have at parades (only the were Argentine, not American). So we asked some people on the sidewalk what was going on and they told us that the new pope, Francisco the First, is from Argentina. So the person who yelled out the window made more sense because "el papa" means pope. A subtle, yet very important difference in grammar and meaning.

There was a little worry that perhaps this would effect the work and make it more difficult, but as of yet we haven't had any problems with it. That night that Elder Rivera and I learned about the new pope, Elder Humphries and Paredes had someone open their door only to yell that the new pope is Argentine before slamming it shut again.  So it will be interesting to see how much of an effect this will have on the work.

The family who just got married, but after their baptism, has a few kids who are progressing towards baptism now. One of them is Alysia, who is twelve. In order to help her get to church on Sunday, I asked her if I could see her cell phone and while I was "just looking at it" I set an alarm for eight with a note that said, "It´s time to go to church." Luckily she didn't need it, because her mom got her up and they got ready and came anyway. So we could actually see a baptism this week with her if she feels ready since she has already been to church three times.

There is the couple where the wife, Sylvana, wants to get baptized, but she can't because she is living with her boyfriend and they can't get married because he is still married to his ex-wife. So some other Elders had an idea that might work to get her baptism taken care of sooner rather than later and the idea was that we could build a small house where he could sleep at night and then she could be baptized without waiting for the divorce papers and then marriage papers to go through. So we shared this idea with the two of them and they both laughed and Sylvana was kind of like, "Yeah, we could do that," with kind of a nudge and a wink in her tone. He thought it was funny, but didn't consider it; or at least didn't take it seriously enough to ponder the idea. So right now we're looking at the end of April for the soonest that she can be baptized. 

That's really all for this week. We didn't get into a whole lot of houses, but we are seeing progress with a few other people, so that's always good.

os amo,
Elder Burt

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