Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Querido familia,                     Primero de Abril 2013

So last week I talked a bit about this crazy plan devised by our zone leaders. They wanted to squeeze as many baptisms in this month as they could, so they went on a trip to visit all the companionships in their areas and then interviewed all the people they were teaching and basically giving everyone the clear to get baptized so long as they weren't breaking the word of wisdom or the law of chastity. I don't really agree with their approach to getting more baptisms, but I'm not the one responsible for their decisions at least.

So when they came to our area they basically wanted to force two girls, Alicia and Joana Villaba, into the water. They had us invite them and their mom to an activity in chapel, which really was intended to be their baptism. So we invited them to be at the chapel on Tuesday night at seven. Just before seven, Elder Taylor, one of the zone leaders, came with one of the members from his area. In order to avoid putting too much pressure on the girls, Nico, who is the member, and I went and talked with a less active family near the chapel and also got the baptismal clothes that we needed just in case the girls decided to get baptized.

We didn't actually get everything going until around seven thirty just because the family came late as did Elder Taylor's bus. So when Nico and I left the other Elders told us that they would call when it came time to do the baptisms. Elder Humphries thought that it would be better if I did the baptismal ordinance because he thinks that the older of the two girls, Joana, has a bit of a thing for me. So from there I tell him that he should do it if that's the case, but we'll see what happens further down the road. Joana is only fourteen by the way and all the girls have a thing for me, so it's nothing new.

So anyway, once nine o'clock rolled around we still hadn't been called to come back to the chapel, so we went back anyway just to see what was going on. Well it turns out that Elder Taylor had interviewed Joana for forty minutes and Alicia for another forty. And neither one of them are even ready for baptism. In fact, they are even less prepared for baptism now then they were before. The next day after this activity, we went to visit Sister Villaba and she told us that she wasn't happy about what happened that night and that the two girls said that they don't want to go to church anymore because of Elder Taylor. Well it turns out that Elder Taylor more or less interrogated them and didn't handle the situation well at all. Also, Alicia is mad at Elder Humphries even though he didn't even do or say anything, he was just there. So the situation with them isn't too good right now. We had dinner with them on Saturday night, but all the kids left to go to a birthday party.

On Wednesday afternoon, we had an inspector from the Church come to look at our apartment and see if everything checked out and to make sure we had everything that we need. He walked around taking pictures and notes and asking questions. He checked to make sure that our beds were good and that we had blankets for the winters and dishes and cookware that worked well. At the end of his inspection, he said that we are paying three times too much for the apartment that we have and he recommend that we move to a new apartment. He said that we could get something really nice for the price we're paying now and even spend a little bit more if we need to. So later that afternoon, we walked through an apartment building that will be open to rent the second week of April that is really nice. It's a brand new building and the units are pretty big, so we're going to talk with the owner and see what kind of price he can give us.

Friday afternoon we did service for one of the sisters in the branch that was a little interesting. The thing was that she had ordered a bunch of dirt and here in Argentina when you order something like dirt, rocks, or sand, they bring it in a truck and just dump a big pile of it on the sidewalk in front of your house. So we used two small buckets and some worn out shovels to redistribute a large pile of dirt to various locations throughout the yard. We also left about a fourth of it where it was and formed a bank from it to help keep the rain from flooding her sidewalk. I forgot to bring my memory card with me though, so I don't have any pictures of it.

The next day Irma, the sister that we did service for, made lunch for us. She spent a lot of time the day before talking up the meal she was going to make for us; saying that it was going to be a traditional Argentine meal with her own twist. So when we ate with her she served us mashed potatoes with hamburger on top and a whole tomato. The potatoes and hamburger that she made was actually pretty good, but the problem is that she, just like many Argentines, thinks that oil is a topping equal to gravy or salt and so she had liberally added oil to the top of the hamburger and potatoes. Luckily, I was able to get the oil to drain off my food by making a hole in the wall of mashed potatoes, but Elder Humphries wasn't as fortunate and took in a lot of oil with his food; eating three plates in total, while I stopped at two.

This General Conference weekend will be interesting because we're going to be watching all the sessions in the house of our branch president because his internet is much better than that of the chapel. I don't know if we should have favorites, but Elders Bednar, Uchtdorf, Christoferson, and Holland are my favorite speakers. But until then, that's all for now.

os amo,
Elder Burt

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