This is a photo of the entire mission during the mission conference. I am on the left on the end.
Last week I related the experience that we had with Elder Taylor and his shenanigans and the troubles and problems that ensued. Well, we went to the city of Mercedes last week for a meeting as a district and it turns out that the same thing happened there as well. Elder Taylor went to meet with their investigators and as a result, lost one of them and almost lost a second. Elder Rivera also told me that they went to go try to contact some previous investigators, because Elder Taylor was out to baptize basically anybody that said yes that day, when they found themselves at the home of this lady who had previously been going to church, but lost interest. Well,the daughter came outside and said that her mom wasn't home even though it was apparent that her mom really was home. That is something that happens all the time here; the parents send their young kids out to lie to whoever is at the door instead of actually talking to them themselves. So, Elder Rivera related that Elder Taylor began to yell loud enough for the mom to hear him from inside the house as he said, "It's not alright to teach your kids to lie. Repent!", and repeated that several times before leaving. So everyone in the zone is pretty upset with him and he will probably be leaving to another area on Wednesday where he won't have a leadership position.
As part of our preparations for the General Conference, Elder Humphries and I borrowed some buzzers from a member to do haircuts. However, we don't have a mirror in the apartment, so we cut each other's hair. I was careful and took my time as I cut his hair in order to make sure that if he didn't like the finished look there would still be length to make adjustments. However, he wanted it much shorter than I left it and when I asked him how much shorter he took the buzzers and ran it flat against his head with a three setting and said, "that short." Well, that was easy enough to do. However, I didn't want a buzz, so I gave Elder Humphries very specific instructions and then sat still and waited. I think handing the clippers to your companion who has no hair cutting training whatsoever is probably one of the biggest signs of trust and largest steps of faith that one can take, but it turned out fine in the end.
Normally we would watch the general conference in the stake center, but from where we are it is a two hour bus ride away and wouldn't be effective to go there to watch it. We couldn't watch it in the chapel either because from there we would have to watch it online and the internet isn't fast enough to run the stream. So, the branch president invited the branch to come to his house to watch it because he had space for everyone and internet that worked well enough. So, we helped him set up his laptop to his tv and get everything set up for the viewing.
Once it actually came time to watch, however, no one came. None of the members nor any of the non-members that we invited. We assumed that maybe some that had internet we able to watch in their house, but there were still plenty more that just didn't make the effort to come. Because of this, our branch president said, "It looks like everyone would rather come to the chapel on Sunday to listen to me, rather than come to listen to the prophet." His calling may be going to his head a little. We had just one member come to one of the first three sessions, but we had three plus two kids that were in the final session. We didn't get to watch the Priesthood session because it started at nine o'clock here and we didn't want to be going to bed at twelve, so we're going to download it and listen to it later.
The last time we had the general conference, Elder Clark and I were able to watch it in English, however that option wasn't available to Elder Humphries and I this time around. I was really quite interesting to hear the talks in Spanish. Although there are a few Apostles and general authorities that can speak Spanish, only Elder Scott recorded his in Spanish. I didn't have trouble understanding anything and I think it actually helped my Spanish a lot to be able to learn some new words and listen to how the speakers would pronounce things.
At the end of the day yesterday we had a stroke of luck. One of the members, Juan, we have here is a recent convert of seventeen years and his younger brother, Vicente, who is eleven. Well, Juan and Vicente both were baptized, but their parents were not. The mom was almost baptized and received some of the lessons, but in the end said that she couldn't because she had to stay true to her catholic parents who have already passed on. When she was listening to the missionaries, she actually quit smoking and hasn't returned back to it since, but now she wants to quit drinking. So she told us that when she decided to quit smoking, the Elders gave her a blessing and from that time she had no trouble kicking the habit. So, we gave her a blessing to quit drinking and we are going to start the teaching process again with her and see if she will be ready for baptism this time around. During our visit with her last night, she talked about how she wants to live long enough to see her youngest son get married and have kids, so we talked a little bit about how living the word of wisdom will help her to accomplish that, but even more than that it will be the first steps to having an eternal family where she can not only see the future generations. but live with them forever in a state of never ending happiness.
This Wednesday is transfers, but I don't think either Elder Humphries nor me will be going anywhere; except maybe a nice, larger apartment next week.
Elder Joshua Burt
Argentina Resistencia Mission
Entre Rios 435
Entre Rios 435