Saturday, May 20, 2017

Seventy Two Weeks

Hello Everyone!

This has been a really awesome week! We have transfers in 2 days, and so all of us in the offices have the opportunity to write home today since Monday we are going to be loaded up with tons of stuff to do. Needless to say, life has been really busy here in the offices, but we have been able to get out to our area some and have some cool experiences all the same.

Okay, so first normal missionary stuff and then office stuff. 

There was one day that Elder Durfee and I were headed to our area and we decided to talk to a guy that was standing there outside of his car letting his dogs run around and get some exercise in the park. We started talking to him though and he was just a super cool dude in his mid to late 20s and when asking about his priorities in life, he said he just kind of wanted to be a father, and that him and his girlfriend were even considering adopting in the not too distant future. Well we ended up talking with him for about ten minutes and then he kind of disappeared for a moment to take care of something with his dogs, and so as we waited for him to come back, his girlfriend got out of the car, walked around back, propped herself against the back of it, and said "I´m Mormon." It was a pretty unexpected twist but we ended up just talking with her (and her boyfriend - Diana and Jesus) for about another 30 minutes more, and it was one of the most spiritual and also coolest conversations I had since I have been here. It turned out that she was 26 but wasn't really going to church. What had happened is that she had an older sister that had gone a mission, done everything right, and that had always tried her best but all the same life didn't turn out all that great for her and so Diana got kind of confused on how that could happen and kind of stopped believing. It was really cool though, because we were able to share a lot on just different points of view and things that both of them could do to bring themselves closer to god and have a better relationship just between them as well to be able to be more prepared for whatever life gives them too. As we walked away, Elder Durfee and I were just kind of awestruck. We didn't end up getting their address, but we left them our phone numbers. Maybe one day we'll hear from them, but I wish them well. They were pretty awesome.

Last week as well then, Elder Smellie was in our area with one of the Assistants and they found a new investigator that was super awesome. She was super excited to listen to them and really wanted to get her entire family to listen but she was home alone at the moment, and so to do so we would have had to come back later. All the same, they taught just her and left her a Book of Mormon with a part to read. Well Elder Smellie and I went back a few days later, and she had actually read it and loved it! Again she was home alone though (and this time cooking) so we weren't able to teach her, but we plan on passing by in the next few days to visit her and her family when they are all together.

Also, we have an investigator named Tamara who had her birthday this last week and so Elder Durfee made cookies bars and we took them to her on her birthday. Elder Smellie and Elder Durfee then passed by the next day as well when she actually had a little more time to visit, and she hooked us up with some of her leftover birthday cake and so that was a fun little win too. :)

As far as the office adventures go, we had perhaps our most fun one this last Monday night. At 10:30 (the time we normally go to bed), the Hermana Robertson (the mission president's wife) called us and asked us to arrange a remis (a form of taxi) to take a couple sister missionaries to a health center that same night since one of them had been sick for a week and was developing bronchitis, which was causing problems with her asthma. She said we'd also need to go get the truck from the offices and just leave it parked outside of our apartment so we could pick them up from their appointment when they finished and take them to a nearby apartment we have for Hermanas when they have to come in and stay the night. Well, upon calling the remis, they said it´d be 30-40 minutes before they could get a car even headed out that way, and so after consulting with the Hermana Robertson, it was decided that we could just pick them up and take them there ourselves. Thus we were on our way. By the time we got them, got them to the health center, and then got back to our own apartment it was already 1:30 in the morning. We were able to get a couple hours of sleep then, but at 3:30 the hermanas called us so that we could go and pick them up. Thus, we were on our way again and after picking them up, dropping them off in the nearby apartment for hermanas, and getting back to our apartment it was 4:30. President Robertson luckily gave us permission to sleep in a couple hours more to make up for the lost sleep, but it was quite the adventure. I just about died laughing at the point when we were walking down the street to the offices at 10:40 at night, and Elder Smellie came out and said "Well, I did not think I'd be doing this 20 minutes ago." I thought it about summed it up perfectly.

This last Friday, I was also able drive Elder Dosdall to his medical appointment for his in-grown toenails and all went well. He is recovering fine. I did want to include though a picture of perhaps the craziest intersection that I have seen yet in Argentina (and that is saying something). It was the second time I have been through it, but the first time was actually worse. Basically though, you have 3 lanes of traffic coming from 3 different directions into the middle of the same intersection and all are turning to go out the 4th direction onto a metal bridge that is only 2 lanes wide. It would be crazy enough in and of itself, but what makes it worse is that there are no stop lights or even stop signs and so everyone just floods it at the same time and goes for it. As I said, this time wasn't as bad but last time there was less than a foot of space between me and the cars around me on all 4 sides (including in front, because if more than that opened up, another car would wedge itself in there). This time there was a little more breathing room, but I hope you enjoy the picture.

Lastly, last P-day as stated I was able to go to the Zoo in Lujan with the other office Elders and pet a Lion, a Tiger, and hold a 2 month old Tiger Cub. We also enjoyed the other animals, but it was a really cool experience. The way it works though is that all the big cats grow up with humans handling them from the moment they are born, and then they grow up with puppies and dogs. Thus, the puppies and dogs act as though they are bigger than the cats and the cats stay super passive, even when they are older. It is really interesting though to be able to see that when the big cats can't even see their true potential or see themselves for how big and powerful they really are, they just kind of make not a lot of themselves. I imagine the same happens a lot with people when they really don't realize all that they can make of themselves, and so I thought it was kind of something interesting to note.

Other than that though there hasn't been all that much new, so until next time I hope you all have a great week!
Elder McCollum

01. Us on our way to the offices Monday night.
02. The same.
03. Us in the health clinic waiting room at 1am, waiting to find out if it'd be better to wait for the Hermanas or go back to get some sleep. 
04.The crazy intersection that I mentioned on the way to the clinic with Elder Dosdall.
05. Selfie with a tiger.
06. Me petting a tiger.
07. Me holding a two month old tiger cub that was falling asleep cuddled into my arms. :)
08. A 21 year old elephant. She was fun.
09. Us feeding said elephant.
10. A very expressive monkey.
11. Same.
12. Same.
13. Same.
14. A sad looking chimpanzee.
15. One of two hilarious llamas that liked following us around.
16. A bear.
17. Me petting a lion. (It's yawning).
18. Same.
19. Same.
20. Same. (Once again yawning, they are more active at night.)

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