Dear family y friends!
¡Tanto tiempo! Hope you all had a great weekend y that all you students are enjoying being back in school. Every one here is always super excited to tell me about how cold it is in the USA from what they see on the news etc, so hopefully you are all staying warm y staying safe in the crazy weather! Still nice y warm down here, but I think they are expecting some rain in the near future. Hard to believe I will be coming home this year 2011!!! The only song that came to mind this New Years with much added meaning as I was looking through my limited playlist was "I´ll be home for Christmas". That being said I have greatly enjoyed my holiday seasons here in Argentina y there is definately nothing like the Holidays in the mission!
It has been an interesting last couple of weeks with all the schedule changes due to the holidays, but its nice to have things back to normal now! New Years went really well here! We had to be in the pension early Friday night y we ended up doing some much needed cleaning. I think we killed every cockroach y spider in the room where we sleep y study... y did some rearranging. It took us the better part of the evening, about 4 hours, but it is sure nice to have it all clean y organized. More space too. :) Of course this probably means that 2 weeks from now when transfers come around I will most likely be sent to another very messy pension y have to start all over with the cleaning/organizing. Seems to always happen that way! The landlords made us some delicious food before they went off to celebrate with the neighbors, but unfortunately left us with their annoying dog who went CRAZY during the fireworks. After cleaning we climbed up on top of the roof around 1130 to watch the fireworks. Got some good pictures.
The next day we ended up going to Avellaneda for Pday to have a little party with the other Elders in the Zone. We played some soccer y had a little barbeque. All the other companionships bought frozen hamburger patties... and my companion y I were the only REAL men who bought ground beef y made our own patties. :P We also enjoyed some tasty ice cream y watched "Buscando a Nemo" in the nice air conditioned church. :) Of course not the same as watching it in English, the jokes aren´t the same. But some ended up being funnier than the english equivelant. Needless to say we all had some good laughs. We found out that we werent aloud to work that evening which was a little frustrating since we had several citas planned y last week they told us we were going to have to work. O well, we enjoyed another evening relaxing in the pension y I enjoyed the time to catch up on my journal, write some letters, reflect on the year, y think of some goals for this year.
Sunday was great but there were lots of disappointments. We left early in the morning to pass by Estela y family to accompany them to the church. When we got to the house all the doors y windows were closed y no one answered when we clapped. We also tried calling several of her kids cell phones with no answer. Also Soledad y here family are on vacation for the weekend so they werent in church either. First week in a LONG time where we didn´t have a single investigator in church. :S Great testimony meeting. I ended up having to play the piano again. For me it is always very sad sitting in sacrament meeting and always having the names of several families or individuals who I wished were there with us. Hope to see some fruits of the new 15 family rescue plan that they are recently starting to put into practice in all the wards here. Apparently it came straight from Pres. Monson y we have had several trainings on how it is supposed to work, but a lot of it depends on local leaders who until now haven´t received the same training or just havent seemed to put forth much effort to do anything about it.
After church yesterday we passed by to visit Estela y her family again. Apparently they were all just very tired y didn´t hear our clapping y all their phones happened to be turned off... We had a good chat with them, but they still arent really consistent with the reading y praying. We ended up reading Alma 37 with them, which has become one of my favorite chapters in the mission! I could go off y talk about why I love it and the things I have learned from reading it, but even better than that I invite all of you to read it sometime during this week y find out for yourself! :) Lots of great promised blessings for scripture study y prayer! We talked with them a little bit about those blessings y how it can help them with their Word of Wisdom problems y they all commited to read y pray this week. They are great people y have desires to do what is right. They have accepted the invitation to be baptized, just lack keeping some important commitments y going to church!
Anyways, thats all for this week (Weekend). Hope you all have a great week! I love you and can´t wait to hear from you soon!
Elder Ian Wheelhouse