Dear family and friends,
As always, we have action packed weeks. Lots of crazy new experiences, learn new things, learn more about yourself, others etc.
First and foremost, Happy Birthday Brandon! I love you dearly little brother. I´m sorry I can´t be with you for this birthday. You are getting old man! 11 years old! That means you are starting to develop crushes and stuff dude! How exciting! But you better not date till you are sixteen you little turd. Play a ton of Minecraft, eat a bunch of cake, be lazy, make them sing to you in class etc. Sorry I didn´t get you anything before I left. I should have. But I´ll definitely try to bring stuff back for you man. Don´t even worry. You´ll get your present.
Also, reguarding my hives, I finally got rid of them after I asked the Mission President´s wife for the Doctor and she just gave me Benadryl which got rid of it within 24 hours. How relieving.
One of the most traumatic experiences we had was the opportunity to proselyte in Buenos Aires for about 6 hours this last Saturday. First of all, you would not believe how awkward we were. I tried stopping and talking to people but it was always awkward so I gave up and just said, ´´Nosotros misioneros!¨ which means ¨We missionaries!¨ and I didn´t even stop to continue the conversation. It was super awkward. Then we kept trying, and I suggested we stop and say a prayer. Then about five minutes later, we started talking to a real poor man and his wife and they invited us over for this Saturday to have lunch and teach a little lesson. That was truly an eye-opening experience. This man lives in smaller than Brandon´s room back home and he invites us rich white missionaries from the United States to eat his food. You just cannot comprehend what that invitation means to me and how humbling it is. I think of the Widow and the Mite parable when that happened. I definitely starting tearing up after we said bye and our prayer of thanks. But instantly, discouragement hit again and it was a very long afternoon. All the people we met, we could barely understand and some would laugh at us. It was not easy at all. Then we met the craziest man I have ever met. He is an Argentinian who lived in the United States for 35 years and he has done cocaine, marijuana, drank, smoked cigarettes and so forth for about 30 years. He was a legit druglord. When he approached us, we asked if we could teach him a lesson and he just laughed and said, ¨You think I come over here to hear your message? No, I come over here to talk English when I see you white boys.¨ So he goes on for an hour and fifteen minutes about his experiences in jail in the US, here in Argentina, how he fled the US because they were going to put him in jail for 35 years for possession of 200 AK-47s, 500 kilos of crack cocaine, 200 kilos of marijuana and other stuff I don´t remember. He sold drugs and guns to the biggest gang in the world, NS13 or whatever. He supplied them guns for ¨hunting¨ and also sold to bloods and crips there. He just got out of jail for 2 years here for drugs. The guy was a nut! I hope we see him again on Saturday. He smoked two cigarettes while he talked to us and ripped off the orange filters both times before smoking them. He also spit a lot when he talked, got only 6 inches from your face, and swore in every sentence. Me and one companion were cracking up the whole time while the other awkwardly stood there because he wasn´t used to people like that. The drugee promptly said that me and my companion that because we were laughing, we need to read scriptures more and pray more because we thought it was funny and our other companion didn´t. He said he was closer to God than us. It was such a terribly funny experience. There are some real loonies down here. Apparently a lot of problems. The Hermanas that went tracting with us that day but in a different area were told by women there that they shouldn´t be here. There are a lot of dangerous people here, and that´s what the drugee said too. He also yelled at random people who walked by which was awkward and probably made us look bad. I really shouldn´t have laughed about it. It probably just encouraged him. Anyways, great experience. Some wonderful Hermanas with voices like angels sang hymns to people to get them interested. We all had a lot of fun. I just had a lot of Culture Shock and fun, and a good spiritual experience.
Other than that crazy experience, it was very quiet for a little while. All the Latinos from the past group left and the other North Americans so it was only 12 of us in the whole MTC for a few days. Now we are back up to about 40 total missionaries again but that is still not much. Latinos are insanely good at Soccer. I made the mistake of playing with them once. How embarrassing. One missionary from Paraguay was on a Professional club team back home. And in Volleyball. The kid is wicked good. Paraguayans here are the skinniest people I´ve ever met. I feel bad for some in our district who are going there. It is regularly like 100 with the humidity. It´s apparently like a Rainforest in some parts. Glad I got Uruguay! It´s supposed to be like 72 today! I got the right mission. Plus those who go to Paraguay have to learn the native language ¨Gwatense¨ in the field. Sorry for not knowing how to spell it.
The language is coming along well. Not as fast as some but most took it in high school and are just ridiculously smart.
Our district leader is such an inspiring person. He knows so much about the gospel, has read the BoM 11 times, the D&C twice and New Testament. I ask him how to back up answers all the time. He is such a great example, so patient, so kind. One of the best people I have ever met in my life. One of a kind person.
By the way mother, you gave me the Portugese Hymn book so that doesn´t really help me… I bought a small Spanish one at the Distribution Center and nice Spanish Scriptures so it´s okay. Also, I bought a new vial of oil so don´t worry about sending one. Thanks though! Also, I washed some slacks last week and someone left bleach in the washer so it got on there a bit which sucks but it´s not bad. It´s at the bottom and not too noticeable so oh well.
Our Hermanas are truly inspiring people. We finished a devotional early this week so we had 25 minutes of free time before lunch. I grabbed a Ping Pong paddle with my companion, played and then noticed all Sisters were outside helping the custodians clean windows. They never cease to amaze me. So we all helped and it was great. I don´t know where our district would be without the sisters. So inspiring and dedicated and effective.
I am always so tired here. I am surprising I haven´t dropped dead. Wake up, eat and prepare and then learn, teach, learn, lunch, learn, play outside, learn, teach, dinner, learn and learn, plan, go to bed, repeat. How wonderful but so tough to get used to!
I hope you guys enjoyed the letter and pictures and whatever else. Did you happen to check the skydrive and post them mom? I posted like 100 pictures in my skydrive and a couple videos. It´s a very picturesque place and we have a lot of fun.
I can´t remember specifically but I have found some awesome scriptures that are very comforting and lovely. I hope you guys enjoy them. I believe they are Romans 15:13 and Alma 26:27. Can´t remember for sure but they are very comforting, give me strength and just awesome overall. I hope you guys enjoy them and I hope the references are correct. Thanks for everything! The letters, love, concern etc. It has been much needed for the first few weeks.
Keep strong in the Faith and good luck with daily prayers and scripture study. Don´t forget how important these things are. I love you all very dearly. Have fun in America and have a fun birthday today Brandon.