Monday, February 22, 2016

Week Eight

First of all, my camera is broken so no pictures this week, sorry :/ I took it apart and found the problem - the circuit board the shutter button is connected to was seperating from the main circuit board so the shutter button wasn't working. I'm hoping that I can take it into a shop this week and get them to resolder it back on but I don't know if that will fix it for sure. I hope so though because I bought the camera for $70 on Amazon (Nikon S2800) but the same exact camera here costs $250 (Nikon S2900) so a replacement is not necessarily possible. :/

Other than that, it has been an awesome week. We've gotten a decent amount of new investigators that we can try and make appointments with this coming week and were able to teach 2-3 lessons a day. I'm getting way more comfortable and confident with the language but this coming week I have a goal to really push myself in contacting new people so that I make it outside of my comfort zone and am able to better my language skills. I am understanding more and more but I still miss some things and still need to speak more so I feel as though that will help me a lot. We might pray for god to help us with something (in this case it's the language) but we also need to have faith to act on it and help make it happen, so that's my goal.

Most exciting event of the week though is that one of our investigators (Diego, the one that was passed to us by the Hermanas) had his baptismal interview and passed, and so there will be a baptismal service for him this next Saturday, with Mario (the convert from December) being the one to perform the baptism, so that'll be way exciting. He finished the Book of Mormon this last Wednesday as well and has started re-reading it and every time we teach him something he reinforces it himself with what he has been reading so I have high hopes for him staying an active member. I too am starting to read the Book of Mormon again but I'm starting in Helaman so that I can get a running start into 3rd Nephi where Christ visits the Americas since that is the part that I feel would be the most useful to help teach investigators now and is one of the areas I am the least well versed with. 

For my birthday as well we actually ended up just ordering Argentine Empanadas (so good) and eating neopalitan Ice Cream (which here is Chocolate, Vanilla (tastes like Vanilla tootsie rolls) and Dulce de Leche instead of strawberry. It was way good and I also found out that you can get a sour cream sized container of actual Dulce de Leche for just under $1 USD so I have been eating that with crackers for snack food. It's way good.

I also promised to tell about our bikes so here goes: They are both single speed bikes with pedal brakes only and when brand new were solid black but now have patches of somewhat rusty bare metal showing through as well. Since being here I have had a series of things break in just two weeks though: Week one I had a pedal randomly shear off the right side while I was riding, leaving the threads in the crankarm (the thing the pedal screws into) so I had to ride it back to the shop with just one pedal. After that they put two new pedals in (they only come in pairs) as well as a new seat (the old one was in rough shape) and a few days later the right crankarm broke off (but the new pedal held up so it was still attached) at a time when we were a good mile or so from our pension down rough dirt roads. Because of that I couldn't pedal either, so we locked the bike lock onto the back of my companions bike (which had issues of it's own - the pedals would just spin and spin for a good few seconds to a minute before they finally grabbed and he could start moving forward) and I held on to it while he pulled me back. We got both bikes fixed then (I needed a new crankarm, and they replaced the bottom bracket at the same time which they figured was causing some of the issues, and my comp needed a new rear hub). These last couple days though my handlebars broke (they would bend and flex a lot before), so I am riding around today with just the right handlebar until I get it into the shop again today or tomorrow. Good times though haha. I'm also pretty sure that neither of my wheels is 100% straight but that's not a big deal.

I'm doing good though and loving it here in Argentina. There's not really that many new experiences I've had other than eating at Daniel and Claudias house where they cooked up a pasta with Chicken and all the Chicken innards too. I don't know exactly what all I ate but I'm pretty sure it included multiple hearts and some livers, as well as other things and after I was done I definetely saw a set of lungs sitting there on top of the serving dish so I probably got some of those too. It was definetely interesting... Elder Bednar is speaking to all 4 Buenos Aires missions this Wednesday though so tomorrow afternoon I get to take a 2-3 hour bus ride back to capital and make the same trip back on Thursday so there won't be that much work this week. 

Time is up for me though so love you all and talk to you again next week!

Elder McCollum

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