Argentina, Buenos Aires West Mission
May 2012 - May 2014

Monday, October 15, 2012

Adjusting to Argentina

Hello family,
Well, I´m in Argentina. Weird to think about huh? Man, talk about CULTURE SHOCK. EVERYthing is different. Every single thing. Except the gospel of course. I´m still in the adjustment process and will be for awhile. I do NOT like the¨"adjustment process." Not one bit. But I guess what I like and don´t like doesn´t really matter anymore, right? So we got here after the flight and went through customs and all that stuff, then we went on a little mini tour of a part of the city with president. We ate at a restaurant and then had a meeting at the mission home. Then we went to the mission office and had a meeting there. We stayed that night in an apartment in a highrise overlooking the craziest street I´ve ever seen. Buenos Aires is HUGE. So many buildings and people and garbage and smog and traffic and a billion other things. It´s quite overwhelming. Anyways, the next day we had the transfer meeting where I received my trainer (or should I say he received me...?). His name´s Elder Tolaba and he´s a native, from a province in northern Argentina called Jujuy. He doesn´t speak any English. At all. Then we took a taxi for about 45 minutes to our area. Oh my GOSH people here drive like drunk nascar drivers! I literally thought we were going to wreck about 15 different times! It´s INSANE!!! No wonder this city has the highest driver death rate. Anyways, we got to our are, and I saw our apartment (pension) for the first time. It´s one tiny room with a bathroom/shower. The floor/walls/ceiling are all concrete. There is no ventilation to speak of besides the windows. The shower is a part of the bathroom, so the floor´s always wet in there. There´s always a centimeter of dust on the floor because everything here is dirt roads. My bed has a dip in it; it kinda feels like sleeping in a hammock. We have water that leaks out of the ceiling from the shower upstairs. So that´s where we´re staying! Pretty different from anything I´ve ever seen. We are in a neighborhood called Rivadavia. We live on one of the main streets which is really noisy and dirty. Well, EVERYthing´s dirty here =P. We spend most of our time out in the more suburbian parts where all the houses are. If we´re in Rivadavia, we walk everywhere. We take el colectivo (bus) and el trén (train) to get to farther out places.
I have NO idea how I´m going to find my way around here on my own. The public transportation here makes no sense. Nothing here really makes much sense to me yet. But, the people are awesome. Everyone is very cordial and the members are very strong. Everyone keeps telling me (including my companion) that I speak Cstellano very well. They say I sound like a Porteño, someone from the city who has a very distinct and presice accent. Although I can´t speak/understand a LOT of things, I CAN speak/understand a lot of things too. I´m getting a little better every day. I even bore my testimony yesterday. We have a lot of investigators. We have 6 baptismal dates for this month alone. SIX! The people here are very open with us. The food here us really good. A lot of meat: chicken, churrizo, and beef. And bread. The members usually feed us almuerzo (lunch). I only wish I KNEW more. Such as: Spanish, where the members and investigators live, how to use the public transportation, etc. The expectations of this mission are VERY high. Both in regards to our numbers and our obedience. I hope I´ll be able to live up to everything that´s expected of me. A lot of times I don´t feel like I will, because there´s a LOT. The weather has been pretty nice: pretty warm during the day and pretty chilly at night. I´m not too excited for the summer thought. With no ventilation in the apartment, it´s going to be an oven. Anyways, I feel like I´m complaining a lot. I´m not trying to, it´s just a completely different world here and I definitely am not acclimated yet. To send mail, we have to go to another city to do it because we don´t have a place in Rivadavia to do it. We have a member that washes our clothes, but we do our garments by hand. Hmm what else...? Oh the exchange rate is about $4.60 pesos for &1.00 USD. Anything else......? Oh yeah. Please please pray for me as hard as you can. I´ve been doing pretty good so far and I don´t want to crack now. I need all the help I can get. I am in a completely foreign world and I don´t know how long it will take to get used to it. I miss you all. I love you all.

Arriving at the Buenos Aires Argentina Airport

MTC Buddies - WooHoo!

Elder Bentz made it - finally!!!

Elder Bentz and President Carter - Buenos Aires Temple

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