Monday, June 27, 2016

Rio Grande

Mom n Company,

Pday has been switched to Monday! Also found out my mission is the ONLY MISSION IN ARGENTINA THAT CAN GET PACKAGES AND LETTERS!! As long as its not food like cookies or anything perishable. Although I did hear somewhere beef jerkey is okay!

It took me 4 days to get down here to Rio Grande! It is the 3rd lowest point in our mission and I was told after its the coldest place, even colder than Ushuaia, because it literally sits right off the Atlantic Ocean! Ushuaia is surrounded by mountains so it just has a lot of snow but no wind like here, its like Cache Valley. Elder Harris is in Ushuaia though!! So, after spending all monday night in the Atlanta Airport (biggest in the world), a 10 hr flight to Buenos Aires, 2 hr flight to Comodoro, 11 hr bus ride, 20 min boat ride, and another 5 hour bus ride, I made it here by Thursday night! I´m 3 hrs ahead of you guys at home I think. Almost none of the 30 missionaries going to Argentine missions got into the country since none of us have visas or could speak Spanish. A lot of passport and visa checks on the bus too, so they were longer than 11 and 5 hours.

When I arrived at the mission home Wednesday morning, it was OFFICIALLY confirmed to me that I AM THE FIRST BLACK MISSIONARY IN THE HISTORY OF THIS MISSION!!! Its an honor. Our Zone Leader told my trainer, that if he didn´t come back with me, to just not come back at all haha. President Rogers said we were assigned to trainers and areas by revelation. I guess it was true here. There was literally a bidding war throughout the mission to have the 1st black missionary in their zone. Apparently I was famous in the mission about a month before I even got here. 

Elder Llactahuaman ( pronounced ´´shaq-ta-woman´´) is my trainer. He´s a convert of 8 years, is 20 years old, and has been out 20 months. He was born in Lima, Peru but has lived in Buenos Aires the last 10 years. Both places my parents served! The only English he knows is what he´s learned from other companions and what I teach him. So he helps me a ton with Spanish though I am struggling a bit.

The place we live is one of the nicest in the mission. SIDE NOTE: we dont have toilet paper.We have one of those European things that sprays off your bum after you use the toilet. SO COOL!!

Friday, all of our lessons cancelled so we contacted all day. One lady told us she was a witch of Satan... Saturday though, we taught my first 2 lessons! A lady we´d contacted just Friday named Aimada said we could teach her Saturday so we did. She´d never been taught by the missionaries before so we taught her the first lesson on the Restoration AND SHE COMMITTED TO BAPTISM!! My very first lesson in the Field haha! Elder Shaq (I cant say his full name correctly) did most of the talking but I did teach a little and it went well. She also came to sacrament meeting yesterday with her little 1 year old boy. They had me speak since I´m new and it went pretty well! Everyone after said they could understand me so that made me feel a little better. No one speaks English though except the other U.S. missionaries and there is only one other in my ward haha. Saturday night we also taught Joana. Shes been an investigator for awhile but is very Catholic. She told Elder Shaq she thinks I´m a spy from the United States. Its interesting here haha. Also, no one believes I´m 18. One guy thought I was 35.

Well, I´m just out here trying to prep the Patagonia for a TEMPLE! Yes, a temple.

Much Love,

Elder Christensen

A few added facts.  He is in a branch.  He was really glad his dad warned him about women breast feeding openly.  In the letter to his dad he said "Thank you for warning me about the breast feeding because it happened in MY VERY FIRST LESSON EVER WITH AIMADA!! Elder Llactahuaman and I actually practiced that situation THAT VERY MORNING! If I wouldn't have known, I would've fallen right through my chair haha."

A few notes that made facebook, but not here.  The plane they were supposed to fly out on from Atlanta on Monday night had a problem with a door, and the flight was delayed until the next morning.  Max was a travel leader, and they were trying to figure out how to notify the mission presidents with no international phone plan on the cell phone they had and no phones in the airport.  As they were talking a man approached them.  After talking to them for a while he told them that he worked for the FBI and was over the Argentina, Paraguay, and Uruguay areas.  He was a member and was good friends with one of the Buenos Aires mission presidents.  He whipped out his phone called this mission president and had his pass word on to the others.  The airlines offered them a motel room, but there wasn't going to be much time to sleep, and no one had a change of clothes any way. (Max's carry on had more than 25 lbs of leftover goodies everyone had sent the past few weeks).  They spent the night in the airport and the airline fed them all night.  

The last week in the MTC, As they were eating dinner, President Burgess, the MTC mission president came and sat down next to Max and Elder Harris.  He talked to them all during dinner, and then invited them to his office, because he wanted to hear more of Elder Harris' story.  They sat on a very comfortable couch while they were there.  Just before leaving President Burgess told them that they had bought the couch so that President Monson had a comfortable place to take a nap when he visited for training.  Max was pretty impressed that he had sat someplace the Prophet had been.  


Elder Lloyd, Max, Hermana Wilcox, President and Sister Rogers, Elder Harris, ?, ?

Rio Grande (Elder Llactahuaman)

Elder Hoth (From Smithfield)


No comments:

Post a Comment