Argentina, Buenos Aires West Mission
May 2012 - May 2014

Monday, July 23, 2012

Alabama Birmingham Mission

Well, here I am in Sweet Home Alabama!
Everything here is going well. Well, it is now. I'm not going to lie, the first few days were really hard for me. Me and Elder Thayne are both visa waiters, and we are living in an apartment with two other elders who've been here for quite some time. The first day in the field, they took me and my companion up to an apartment complex and dropped us off. They said, "Okay go knock on some doors. We'll be back in four hours to pick you up." Neither of us knew what to do. I was scared out of my mind!
So, we just started knocking. It went better than I thought it would, the people here are very nice, especially the blacks and hispanics. Just about everyone is willing to at least listen or talk to you for a little while. The next few days were pretty much the same. I felt so lost. I did't know the area, the people, or enough spanish to maintain an effective conversation. It was really difficult, but it taught me to rely on Heavenly Father like I've never before had to. That experience taught me how to have faith. Real faith. Luckily, Elder Abac, one of the other elders living with us, told me that we'd be doing a lot of team-ups, which is where me and Elder Thayne go out with one of the more experienced missionaries. I've been going out with Elder Abac. He's so awesome. He's from Guatemala, and speaks really good english. We have a kind of trade off, he teaches me spanish, and I teach him english (: I've learned a lot from him about doing door approaches and the mechanics of being a missionary. Elder Thayne is great too. He's a really hard worker, and a very dilligent missionary. He's waiting to go to the Buenos Aires Sur (South) mission. I am assigned to a spanish area and we do go to a spanish branch and work with the spanish members. One family, the Frias family, is actually from Buenos Aires. They live three blocks from the temple! They're very excited that I'll be serving in their former home. The weather here is.... interesting. I honestly did not think it was possible for a human being to SWEAT so much. The humidity mixed with the heat is just incredible! It doesn't bother me too much, though. Or, I should say, I don't let it bother me. I am going to have very strong legs by the end of my stay here. We do have bikes that we ride frequently. The other two elders have a car, but we use the bikes for team ups and other things since only one of the elders had permission to drive. Riding bikes through the streets of Hoover (a part of Birmingham) is.... fun!!! =D There's no bike lanes, and virtually no crosswalks. I've had to learn the art of "urban biking." The first time me and Elder Thayne had to ride home on our own was pretty intesne. I had no idea what I was doing and neither did he, because he comes from a small town in Utah called Aldemont. After going out with Elder Abac, I learned how to do it right, so it's all good now. There are a LOT of hills here. Big hills. Very. Big. Which makes for good biking exercise! First gear has become my best friend (; I have 4 potential investigators now, two of which are very promising, and one of which me and Elder Thayne found on our own yesterday!!! I'm very excited. Him and I are going to teach our first lesson on our own tomorrow to a guy who's dating a member in our branch. He's not hispanic, but he comes with her to the branch meetings and uses the translator headphones to understand what's being said. I can understand about 50-60% of what's being said at this point. I'm going to be so much better at spanish by the time I get o Argentina. This Alabama mission will be such a blessing for me. I will only be that much more confident and prepared by the time I get to Argentina
I am still doing my exercises in the morning and my spanish is actually really really good for how new I am (according to Elder Abac). Living on my own (without parents) is a cool experience for me. I've found out that I actually know how to do a LOT more than I thought I would (thanks to awesome parents who made me do chores and learn how to cook and such). MY confidence level is so much higher now. All in all, I'm very happy. (: All is good here in beautiful Alabama. There's probably sooo much more I want to say, but I can't think of it right now. So much happens in a day, much less a week here. Hope to hear (start getting letters) from you soon!
para siempre dios este con vos
elder jacob bentz

1 comment:

  1. Wow! Sounds like he is learning to be a missionary the hard way. Glad that he is getting more confident. Riding a bike when it is so humid is probably no fun. Thanks for his address. Love you.