Mis queridos amigos,
It has been another week here in beautiful Santa Teresita but it´s starting to get very cold! It has been very windy the last couple days and I finally busted out the sleeping bag to put on my bed instead of sleeping with just a sheet. I´m actually looking forward to the cooler temperatures after having 2 summers in a row, but I´ve heard it gets VERY Cold. It´s probably time to buy some sweaters, gloves, and a hat to prepare for the cold nights in the pension. Luckily we have a nice small pension that should keep pretty warm with the 2 electric heaters we have.
Started my week off with my 5 hour bus ride adventure to Capital with Elder Day. We were looking forward to spending the night with Elder y Hna. Fitch, a senior couple from Orem, eating a nice AMERICAN home cooked dinner, sleeping in a nice soft bed, and waking up to pancakes and eggs for breakfast. And it came to pass that when we arrived in Adrogue that their apartment was the ONLY appartment without power, and they decided since they were already going to be arriving home late, they would rather spend the night in the mission home with power. So Elder Day and I went back to the pension of some of the office Elders, ate halls cough drops and coca cola for dinner, and slept on a super hard mattress without a blanket or pillow. (It was nice of them to clean up the room and set the beds up for us.) The next day we headed off to capital to do our documents and it turned out that most of us didn´t even have to do anything. 2 days worth of work and about $400 pesos down the drain. We finished "not doing our documents" early around 11 o clock, so the rest of the group dropped us off at the Bus Terminal in Retiro where we had to wait for our bus that didn´t leave till 3 pm. We walked around and bought some super panchos for lunch (gross hot dogs) then walked down to the port of Buenos Aires where they had a cool Boat show thing with Navy flag ships from a bunch of different countries on display. We did do some contacts and met an awesome member lady throughout the day as well.
This week we also had our interviews with Pres. Asay. The work here has been pretty rough the last several weeks and this week wasn´t much better. We lost another one of my favorite families that we have been teaching for about 2 transfers because he recently lost his job due to the ending of the Temporada and he says he doesn´t have enough time to listen to us. (Obviously there is a bigger problem than just that). After speaking with Pres. Asay about some of the problems we face in our area, he left us to think for ourselves and solve the problem as he always does, but told us to carefully take a look at what we are doing to see the things we need to do to improve. He also gave us the promise that as we testify more in our contacts that we will find more people to teach. Nothing terribly profound, but as always its a great privilege to talk with and learn from him and we are starting to apply what we learned. We did have some success this week working in an area we haven´t worked in much and found a great lady named Ester and have a cita set to go back and meet with her family this wednesday!
We also got to do intercambios with our Zone Leaders so I spent a day in Mar de Ajo/San Bernardo with Elder Alvarado from Panama. He is a great elder and actually reminds me a lot of Lavar Burton from Reading rainbow in the way he talks and acts. It´s always fun doing intercambios to learn different ways of doing contacts and teaching lessons, especially from our leaders who have more time and experience. On most of the intercambios I have been on before I mostly just sat back and observed, but it was nice being able to participate and contribute to the lessons this time. It´s amazing seeing how the spirit can work through you to help people you don´t even know.
Yesterday we had a great Branch Conference but unfortuntaly there wasn´t a very good turnout. We had probably 20 - 25 members who showed up out of the 30-35 who usually come... out of the 200 - 300 that we have records for. There is lots of work to do with less active members here for sure. There were some great messages shared about the importance of everyone working together and "lifting where you stand." Home and visiting teaching here is basically non existant and greatly needed. I also got another chance to teach Gospel Principles and we had a great discussion about Prophets with one of our investigators who were there as well as several other recent converts who are in the class. Elder Adair and I were a little suprised when during Priesthood meeting a delivery man from a local pizzeria showed up with 5 boxes of empanadas that our Branch President had ordered to feed all the district leaders who were staying to have a meeting. (Our Branch President is a convert of about 3 years).
Anyways that´s all for this week! I´m glad to hear everyone is doing well and will be looking forward to hearing from you all again next week!
Elder Ian Wheelhouse