Well hello everyone!
Its weird to think that I’m starting my 4th week here in the field! Things are going great though! I think I’m finally starting to adjust to the field life-style here.
I got to go on my first exchange this week! Actually, all three in our companionship went. E´Sangripanti is the district leader, this means that if any of the companionships in our zone has someone that is ready to be baptized, he has to interview them to see if they are ready. So, this week we headed over to the area “Chacubuco 4”. Right now there are four Elders serving in that area.(two companionships) That means there were seven Elders all cramped into one pension, but I’ll tell you more about that later. Let me tell you a little about the area first.
So, Chacubuco 4 serves in a villa known as “Villa 1114”. Let me just start by saying that this villa makes the one that I normally serve in look like a peaceful children’s playground. Villa 1114 is home to the single most dangerous street in all of Buenos Aires…maybe even all of Argentina. Once your inside the villa, things are pretty safe because the local drug lord has placed “Marcadores” at every single corner. These hombres just sit there the their handguns in their pockets and monitor the peace. I also learned not to try and give them a Book of Mormon…bad idea. Running is not allowed inside the villa. One of the elders that serves there said he made that mistake when he first got there. The Marcadores get all tense if they see you running and well, lets just say that is how he got a gun pulled on him his first day in the area. The tricky part is getting out of the villa when its time to go. By now, the moon is out and you have to hike the back way to the pension. Its a good 30min walk out where it only took 10min to get into the villa.
Don’t worry though, nothing bad happened while I was there, to me at least. We got in and out perfectly safe. Probably the craziest thing that I noticed about this are though, besides all the drugs and gross sewage stuff we were stepping in all day, was how strong the members were there. I’m not just trying to be all spiritual here, I’m completely serious. When I first got in there I was like “man, they must have the hardest time here with members and all this stuff.” But I was way wrong! I would almost go as far as to say that they have it better there than we have it in Soldati! All they members that we stopped by to talk to had references to give us. And they were solid refrences too! It honestly just blew my mind. They all wanted to come with us and teach their friends the gospel. It reminded me of something I think I heard in my first few days in the field (I say think because looking back, I knew nothing, now I just know more then I did then but its still very small.) The President of all of the Sudamérica Missions came and held a conference with us. He said that it is important that we are always acting as if we have a name tag on. Even when the time comes for us to take the one that we have now and place them in a box as a keepsake. (he was directing this comment to missionaries that were on their way out) We should constantly be looking and trying to make missionary opportunities every chance we get.
Well I’ve got another week ahead of me here in Soldati 1. If I understand right the weather should be picking up as well as the humility so maybe the fact that we dont have hot water in our pension will turn into a blessing here pretty soon!
All is well!