Dear Family and Friends
Wow what a week! Sounds like you already got the news about who my "trainee" is. I am very excited to be working with Elder McClurg and I think we will have some success here in Santa Teresita. That´s exciting to hear about all the missionaries who are getting home this month. Can´t believe it! It´s amazing how the time flies in the mission. Here´s a little about my week.
Monday after the long bus ride up to the mission home I enjoyed a nice homemade Hna. Asay dinner of Chili with homemade bread and honeybutter with some cake and ice cream to top it off. :) I spent the night with an Elder Zarco from El Salvador who was finishing up his mission and heading home the next day. It was fun talking to him and it turns out he served in Santa Teresita as well for 6 months of his mission. Also got to have a 1 on 1 meeting with Pres. Asay to talk about my area and he gave me some great counsel and expressed his concerns and hopes for the branch here. He told me I would have a great companion and that we will have a lot of work to do. When I finally got to sleep I slept GREAT and it was nice to be able to walk around without shoes on nice soft CARPET.
The next morning we had a great French Toast breakfast with 100% orange juice which was very tasty. We met up with the other missionaries who are training this transfer (including Elder Hinton) and had a trainers training with the Assistants and Pres. Asay. Had a good time catching up with Elder Hinton and some of the other missionaries we knew from the MTC. (I think we were all hoping to train Elder McClurg). Finally the new missionaries arrived from Capital and the assignments were made. Very excited to hear Elder McClurg would be my new companion! Unfortunately we had to eat lunch really fast and leave to catch our bus to come back to our area. We were both exhausted but had a good chat on the way to Santa Teresita.
We had a pretty rough first week and were sick for several days. We were still able to get out and work and had some success finding some great people. Elder McClurg already speaks spanish and teaches really well after serving in the Provo Mission for 6 months. He definitely speaks like a mexican, but that will change with time! It will be a big adjustment for him getting used to life here in Argentina based on what I have heard about how missionaries live in Provo. We don´t have a car, we don´t live in a nice apartment building/basement of a members house, we don´t have several families who want to give us dinner every night and sometimes we don´t even have lunch citas, people don´t honk or wave at us and shout words of encouragement... actually it´s quite the opposite. But it´s something every missionary here has got to get used to sooner or later. Also I find it funny to be "training" an Elder who has taught more lessons than I have and has baptized more people.
We are going to work hard this transfer to get the members here excited about missionary work and especially get our Branch President more involved. We both had the opportunity to speak in church yesterday (my 5th time speaking here in Santa Teresita). I spoke on Weaknesses and Elder McClurg spoke on conversion/witnesses. Preparing my talk I realized how many weaknesses I have, especially as a missionary, but realized how our weaknesses and trials are really opportunities to progress and grow given to us by our Heavenly Father and to humble us to recognize where true strength comes from.
Hope you all have a great week and that all you who are finishing up school can Endure to the End!
Elder Ian Wheelhouse