Monday, September 11, 2017

Eighty Eight Weeks

Hello Everyone!

This was a pretty interesting week. There were some changes in the mission with the new mission president that were perhaps a little difficult to swallow at first, but we have since been getting used to them and have had a pretty successful week - finding various new people to teach that are really great.

One such person is an 18 year old named Ulysses. He is a really awesome youth that lives in a pretty humble area, but regardless has already finished his secondary education (suprisingly uncommon, but even more so that he is already done at 18 years old - normally people finish at 19 or 20 years old) and is preparing himself for college. He´s super easy-going though and way open to us visiting with him and so we hope to be able to help him keep progressing in this coming weeks. 

On another day then we contacted a house and a 15 year old (more or less) opened the window. We presented the Book of Mormon to him and asked if he had seen it, to which he responded "Yes, I actually have a copy. Dan and Jeremias (two youth from the church) gave me one." It was really cool to just by chance have come across someone with whom the members (especially the youth) had tried sharing the gospel with. He was home by himself though (and busy) so we weren't able to teach him, but we are going to pass by again this week to hopefully find him with his parents.

Two more funny stories from this week:

One takes place in a meeting with all the ward leaders as we are talking about people that we are visiting and teaching. There was one person that we asked them to be able to visit that lives in an area a little more lively than maybe the other neighborhoods in our area. One of the women asked us though "Isn't that area dangerous?" My comp and I both responded in unison without even thinking "Eeehhh...." That got a good laugh out of all of them. Hopefully we'll be able to get them to go with us though at some point during the day (when it really isn't problematic at all). 

The other story has to do with a person named Santiago Maldonado. It is someone that people for various reasons thought that the governement had abducted and nobody had heard from him or even knew what was going on with him, which lead to a few small riots against government buildings and pickets and all that kind of thing (more in capital than where our mission is at). It has been one of the main news topics for the last couple of weeks though. Turns out in the end though, that he had just gone on vacation to Rio and didn't have a phone or any sort of technology with him and so he had just slipped off the grid for about 42 days. It was pretty entertaining to see the anti-climatic resolution of it all though haha.

Other than that though, threre isn't really all that much new for the week. Yesterday we visited Pablo again (the stay at home dad) and this Friday we are going to have lunch with them (supposedly homemade ñoquis - a delicious type of Argentine pasta). Everyone else that we have been teaching has been doing really well too so no need to worry about them either.

I hope that you all have a great week though!

Love, 

Elder McCollum 


Photos:
2081 - So in Argentina there is a cracker branded Don Satur that is about 30% grease, but somehow tasty all the same. The other day while shopping though, I found that they have now started making Yerba too (for making/drinking mate). I really wasn't disappointed. The two of them make a pretty killer combination since the crackers really were kind of meant for eating with Mate.

2088 - Elder Dosdall, the missionary that I trained now made it back to the mission! I didn't even know that he was coming back, but just came across him in a zone conference this week. I was pretty happy to find him. (He had gone home to have a few different ingrown toenail surgeries).

2095 - "How's your week going so far?" Take note of the Mate that ended up on the floor (by accident) and the spinner in hand. (Spinner is a spinny toy that is super popular here and supposedly stress relieving). It was a pretty funny moment.

2099 - Well this week we found a bike that had a built in popcorn machine. It got our minds thinking of what it'd be like to see said bike compete in the Tour de France (or any bike race really). It'd be pretty entertaining to see...

2101 - We found a Yankee mailbox this week. Honestly not something that I expected to find in Argentina. Thus we contacted the house. We'll be going back to teach them later this week (the guy is Argentine though).

2104 - A vehicle that we saw that had an interesting match up of decals. On the back window was Joker (from Batman) and on the side was a catholic Virgin Mary with the name of a church - fountain of blessings. It got a good laugh from us.






Monday, September 4, 2017

Eighty Seven Weeks

Hello Everyone!

This has been really easy going week. To be completely honest, there hasn't been all that much exciting that has really happened and so this email will be kind of short. 

Two fun stories to share however:

First: I did divisions again in Loma Hermosa this week (an old area of mine) and we went and visited Transito (the person's name) and it was a really awesome experience - he was super friendly and super receptive to the missionaries and had lots of great memories of them from the past. What made it really interesting though is that I had passed by for him before when I was in Loma Hermosa and he did not let us in (he mentioned it while we visited with him, not realizing that it was me he had rejected, but said that a few days later he felt really bad about it and then kind of felt bad too when they never passed by again). The problem was that he really got to know the missionaries but shortly thereafter there were various flashes (out of the normal changes) and various missionaries passed through the area in a very short amount of time and he got tired of them always changing without letting him know and told us to just not pass by anymore (and really wasn't too happy about it). Well now, 8 months later the Elders found his name and passed by and he let them in, and so it just goes to show that everyone has their time I suppose.

Second: As we were contacting somebody in their front door the other day, somebody walking down the street saw me and shouted ¡Polaco! (Pollack!) Both me and my comp, as well as the guy we were contacting just went quiet for a second as we watched him keep walking down the street grumbling under his breath. As he turned the corner though we looked back to the guy we were contacting (who apoligized for his neighbors and gave an explanation) and just kept on with the conversation. It was pretty entertaining haha.

Other than that though, there isn't really anything else new that happened, so I hope you all have a great week!
Love,
Elder McCollum

Photos:
2020 - An interestingly branded box of hamburgers I saw for sale here...
2021 - (Same)
2075 - Divisions in Loma Hermosa with Elder Winward

p.s. The mission offices asked me today for my information to program my flight back home. The official date (unless something happens) will be December 18th (leaving Argentina) and December 19th (landing in the USA).