Dear family and friends,
Wow what a week! We have had beautiful weather lately but it has been a little bit cooler the last couple days. I guess I just need to enjoy it while I can before the overwhelming heat comes. Amazingly we havent seen too many mosquitos yet either! This week school was cancelled several times for all the kids here for who knows what reason. I honestly dont know how the kids even learn here with how often they have vacations. Aparently this Wednesday is the national census which should be interesting. We have to stay in our pension until they come to our house, and then after that we can leave but it is a law that we aren’t allowed to knock doors... so not quite sure what we will do!
This week I received my new companion... another Elder Alvarez from Santa Fe, Santa Fe, Argentina! Elder Alvarez said his final goodbyes the first part of this week y Wednesday I was left with Elder Nalder in Quilmes who was also waiting for his new companion to get here the next day. As tradition goes... all the missionaries in the mission went to Burger King after transfer meeting and I enjoyed a tasty meal (only thing I ate all day). We spent the evening working in Quilmes y apparently the Burger King didn’t sit well in my stomach and I started to feel really sick. We had just finished teaching a lesson to some of their investigators who got baptized this Saturday and were about to leave when I started to feel really sick and ended up throwing up several times. Talk about embarassing!!! Luckily they had a cement floor... They were very nice about it and took good care of me. I felt much better afterwards but we still ended up heading back to the pension which was a good thing because I was up sick most of the night.
The next day wasn’t much better. I was at least done with the throwing up part... but I still didn’t feel good, hadn’t gotten much sleep, and had nothing in my stomache and no desires to eat anything. I decided I felt good enough to go to a cita that morning with the people who were going to get baptized at the church to make sure they had clothes for everyone... and I made it through that OK. We went back to the pension and I rested for a min, drank a bit of Sprite and ate some crackers before it was time for us to leave for Banfield to pick up our new companions. We got to the train station to find that the trains weren’t running because someone was killed in a protest in Avellaneda... so luckily I knew how to get there in buses.
Our first bus ride was very packed (had to stand the whole trip)... and very warm. Bad conditions for someone feeling like I did. I was praying the whole time that my life wouldn’t end on a bus in Argentina. I started feeling really weird several blocks from where we needed to get off and everything went white and I couldnt see or hear anything. I knew the stop was coming up soon and somehow I was able to make my way to the door and push the button just in time. I stumbled off the bus and found somewhere to sit down and drank the rest of my sprite. Luckily the 2nd looong bus ride I was able to sit next to an open window. We got to the station in Lanus and found out the trains werent running there either... so we ended up taking a short taxi ride and we made it to the church in Banfield just in time. We had a little meeting with all the trainers and of course they asked me to lead the music. Finally we went to the mission home and met up with the group of new missionaries. We all sang Llamados a Servir walking into the mission home which was kind of cool. Pres. assigned us our companions and we all went outside to take pictures. I was very blessed to have the strength y energy to help my companion with his luggage on the trip home despite a train mix-up and 8 block walk from the train station to our pension.
Things have been going really well with Elder Alvarez. Its a huge boost being with someone straight out of the MTC who is super excited about the work and has all kinds of great ideas. He speaks really really fast which makes it hard to understand sometimes... but we get along really well! Everyone in the ward thought it was pretty funny that I was still with "Elder Alvarez" and that he had grown a little bit since the last time they saw him. Ever since he got here we have had some great success doing contacs and have really been guided to the people who would actually give us the time of day and listen to us! I am learning a lot and of course feel a bit inadequate on my own but I am trying my best and learning a great lesson on relying on the Lord and qualifying/seeking his help. Hope to have a very successful transfer!
Hope you are all doing well and have a great week and a HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!!
Elder Ian Wheelhouse