Monday, October 21, 2013

They Speak Spanish Here...

The flight to Buenos Aires was the most uncomfortable experience of my life! To sleep was impossible...and that's saying A LOT because I've fallen asleep in a roller coaster before...After a long and never ending flight we were led through a part that said ''foreigners" and they scanned our passports, took finger prints and pictures. She kept asking me if I had more documents and I kept giving her other papers but none of them were what she wanted apparently. Finally, some other man came over talked to the lady and they let me go. Then we retrieved our bags and went through customs which was surprisingly simple. Then we found the guy with the church logo sign where a bunch of other missionaries were waiting too. We hopped on a double-decker bus and started driving through Buenos Aires. After 20 minutes we stopped in the middle of the road. The bus driver got off and was talking to someone. We had no idea what was going on. They told us to bring all our papers and we entered a building. It all seemed so intimidating, but it turned out it was a church area office building for South America. They took care of us and fed us and all that good stuff. They said we had plenty of time before our flight so we all took a long lunch and a 30 minute break after that. Then we all got back on the bus and headed to a domestic airport. We got all our luggage off the bus and 20 of us are all standing on the curb. Then the bus driver says good luck and drives away! We didn't have any instructions or tickets or anything. Luckily, inside the airport there was another group of missionaries and some sort of director that we couldn't really understand. We checked our luggage and waited for this director where he told us to wait. He comes back and tells us we have to hurry. He hands us our tickets and we had to literally run to the airplane! We took a shuttle to the tarmac where we boarded a tiny plane. After 2 hours we were in Salta.

President Levrino and his wife picked us up and we rode another bus to the chapel in Salta. Then we had dinner. Mind you at like 10 at night when all we really wanted to do was sleep. We all slept the night at a youth hostel (which at the time seemed a little shady. Now I wish I was in a place that nice!) In the morning, they herded us to the police station where we signed some sort of paper. In all honesty, none of us had any idea what was going on. THEY WERE ALL SPEAKING SPANISH!  haha I guess I better get used to that. After that, we had training I thought was never going to end and in all honesty was quite repetitive of the last 4 and a half months of my life. There hasn't been too much of a culture shock for me but there's been a shock in the missionary numbers! Some things are at least double and others are triple like the number of referrals we IN we'd get a couple three a week. Here we get more than 30! There's not enough time in the day to see all the people. For that reason we don't have a dinner break. We eat a big lunch with members and then after lunch when it's siesta time and all the businesses close and the people take naps, we work.

Then we left for our areas. Like I said my companion is Hermana Gentry and I like her a lot! We work in El Carmen and there is only one word that adequately describes this place. LOCO.
If only I had time to explain (I only have 45 minutes on the computer though from here on out so my letters are probably going to get a whole lot shorter) But for example in the last week there were not 1, 2, 3 but 4 parades in the street.

I'd tell you about the investigators we have but it just so happens they also speak Spanish and I only understand the half of what they say. But here's one crazy story for the record books. The missionaries here have been teaching a guy my age for a bit. He actually served a mission for the Catholic church. He's very smart and he knew all the material but said he couldn't get baptized until later for many reasons. Well we set up kind of a surprise baptismal interview with the district leader. So Facundo talked with him for no more then 10 minutes and he says he'll get baptized in November. He signed the form and had to date it so jokingly I said that since he dated it for today it means he has to get baptized today. He said he couldn't because he had plans that night. But then he said either right now or in November. So our district leader said okay and turned on the font! They waited there while we went on a search for white clothing and another witness. And with that, Facundo was baptized within 2 hours of arriving at the church. What a LOCO miracle it was!

Well that's all I have time for!

Much Love,
Hermana Pearson

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