Monday, October 31, 2016

Forty Four Weeks

Hello Everyone!

This has been a very eventful first week in a new area, with plenty of stories to tell. I am pretty excited to be here, and my new comp and I get along great. I look forward to the time that I'm going to have here and it should be awesome. Now, on to the stories:

1) Man with a box of wine 
So one day we were walking down the street when a man sitting on a low fence at the edge of someone's property drinking a box of wine called us over. We got as close as the edge of the street because he was really poorly dressed, missing teeth, and drunk. He then proceeded to ask "Where are you from, English?" (Argentines hate the english, but that is a different story. He also said "English" in english and not spanish). I said no, and so he asked "Where then, USA? (USA in english as well instead of spanish). I then said that I'm from Arizona. "Where?" I told him Los Estados Unidos.  "Oh, USA." "What do you think of Trump?" I told him sorry, but I don't talk about politics. "Why not?" So I told him because I am hear for two years to share the gospel and talk about Jesus Christ, not politics. "What does Jesus Christ have to do with the USA then?" I told him the same as the rest of the world, he is the savior of mankind. "No, die USA! It's your fault that we are all down here in the state that we are." was his response. My comp (who is Argentine) almost told him that it was his fault that he was sitting on a corner drunk on wine instead of working, not another country's but bit held himself back and we thanked him for his feelings and we kept on.

2) I predicted it all
So there was one day that we had just really terrible luck. We had five appointments planned (coordinated with the people, with the hour and everything) and we went to the first and they weren't there. I then told my comp: "Watch, all the rest are going to fall now too, and the new investigator that we plan on visiting later is going to live outside of our area." (The new investigator was someone who worked in a store close to our pench that we talked to that invited us by to teach her in her house instead, but we weren't sure if her house number was in our area so we planned on visiting her at the end of the night to see). Well it happened exactly like that, and we didn't enter a single house that day but we walked the entire area (a lot) and couldn't even feel our legs anymore, so I decided I wanted to buy a pizza to share with my comp at a pizza place close to our pench to finish off the night. On the way there I said "Watch, it's gonna be closed and after all that we aren't going to be able to get one." It wasn't closed, but the line was way too long for the time we had, so I said that we could make smoothies instead, but I'd need to buy a box of milk and fruit to do so. "Look, after all that bad luck, the grocery store is going to be closed." We got there and made it in, but there was a huge line for the register, and the lady locked the door behind us to close for the night with only the people she already had. Thus, we left and kept on our way. "At least we can buy fruit though, given they aren't closed" I said. The fruit shop was right in front of our pench though and as we turned the corner they were also closing up for the night. We asked if we could still buy though, and they let us so at least we had that, but I learned to not be so negative with my predictions haha.

3) Contact in the street
Yesterday we saw a man sitting on a bench resting and I felt the need to talk to him, but we kept on walking. At the end of the next block though I told my comp and so we walked back and contacted him. He said he doesn't go to any church, for no particular reason, but we gifted him a Book of Mormon and he opened it up on the spot and read two verses (2 Nefi 4:33,34) before closing it and thanking us. He said that he would try and make it to church this next week but wouldn't give us his exact direction (though he did give us the street and the general area where it is at) and though I don't know if he'll make it or not, it was a really cool experience.

4) Baptismal Date
On Tuesday when I first got here, we didn't know who our district leader was so we called our zone leaders to ask them and in the same call, they gave us a challenge to pull out a baptismal date/appointment with someone before the end of the day, and to call them back and let them know once we had done it. So, we immediately went and visited one of our investigators (anamed Enrique), told him that we felt he was ready to be baptized, and said we were planning a service the 26th of November, and asked him if he would be baptized that day. He accepted, and so at the end of the lesson, we called the Zone Leaders back and told them, and they were super surprised because not even an hour had passed, told us we were capos, and to keep it up. It was very satisfying hearing the surprise in their voices though.

I have a few other stories as well, but not that much time left so if next week isn't as eventful as this one, I'll see if I can share a little more. More or less though, they involve other contacts we made, seeing a couple having a very intimate moment on the porch while leaving their baby in the stroller facing the other direction on the sidewalk, and a member pulling a prank on me. Nothing too crazy though. Hope you all have a good week and love you all!

Elder McCollum


1) Me and my new comp, Elder Dominguez. He's from San Juan, Argentina.
2) Me, my comp, and the two other elders from our ward. They stayed the night in our pench last night so that we could make pizza together and have a little fun going into P-day.
3)Our sleeping arrangements - I strung up my hammock between the framing of the closet and the bars on the window and slept there, with Elder Aguirre (also new to this ward, from Salta) sleeping on the ground and Elder Pulli (very new to the mission, with not a whole lot of spanish experience) sleeping in my bed. 

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