Monday, November 28, 2011
November 21, 2011
Right now in Buenos Aires its in the 80s or 90s everyday, and I am always always sweating. My shirts armpits are gradually turning yellow.....mmmmmm. Thanksgiving doesn't exist in Argentina. I asked President if we do anything special for Thanksgiving and he said, "You work. Working is always special." I said, "Ok, sounds good." Maybe Elder Jolley and I will cook a chicken or something.
This week was so good and so wild and so stressful. Elder Jolley got here on Tuesday. He looks almost exactly like Elder Borgersen, and everyone we have been visiting have been saying, "Elder Borgersen came back!" Elder Jolley is so great. Everyone says that in the mission, one is bound to get lots of companions that one doesn't get along with. I have been getting so lucky, or I don't know what, and getting so many companions that are so great. Elder Jolley is from Highland, Utah and went to Lone Peak High School. He speaks way better than most yankee newbies because he worked a few summers on a golf course with all Mexicans. He is crazy nice and makes me laugh and the time and tries to help me not be stressed on Sundays. The first few days with him were so fun. It was fun watching Elder Jolley see everything about Argentina and react about it. I now realize how clueless and lost I was as a newbie in Argentina. Things that every new yankee missionary figures out once he comes to Argentina: milk comes in plastic bags, that toilets don't have automatic flushers but buckets instead, cars don't stop in any case for pedestrians, you clap houses instead of knocking doors, not drinking out of any water fountains or sink unless they have filters, everyone shouts even if they aren't mad, 3-inch cockroaches and so much more. I'm just glad I don't have to go through it again.
The week was pretty normal up until Saturday. We worked and found a lot of new people to teach, there is a weird phenomenon in the mission that Nuevitos and Trainers always have way more success than other people. This week I figured out why. Coming from the MTC, missionaries are so on fire and ready to work that they have a super strong spirit about them that no one can ignore. At this point in our companionship, I teach the majority of the lessons, but Elder Jolley does more of the work, because people feel so different around him. There were a lot of times this week where he suggested that we clap a certain house or when he bore his testimony that resulted in us finding a new investigator, or help someone feel the spirit. I feel lucky to have him.
Most trainers play little jokes on their newbies. Some of the jokes are really mean, like staging a fake robbing with one of the members acting as the robber. I decided to do just a little joke. We had just finished eating at a members house and told Elder Jolley that he should now say, "Hermana, la comida fue un asco." or "Sister, the food was really really gross." Elder Jolley took the bait and confidently told the hermana that her food was really gross. She immediately looked at me and told me that I was mean.
When Saturday rolled around, it was like the week hit a different gear, and everything sped up and got a lot more crazy and stressful. On Saturday night, we got invited to a birthday party at Oscar´s family's house. Once we were close to the house, I started to smell asado and felt kind of scared for me to eat another asado, but kind of savagely happy to see Elder Jolley to eat his first asado. I started to explain to Elder jolley what an asado was, and what it would do to his stomach afterwards. We ate the asado including blood sausage and intestines, and Elder Jolley threw up. But only a little. haha I felt like the experienced, old missionary as we walked home and I told him that he would probably be sick for the rest of the night. The whole next night, I got really sick and rode the porcelain pony as Elder Jolley slept comfortably. Talk about humbling. =( I guess I just have a weak stomach.
Sunday was one of the craziest days of my whole mission. As we were walking to church on Sunday, in a pretty nice area, a guy ran up to us and robbed us. He kept on reaching in our pockets and screaming at us to give him our phones and money. We don't know if he had a weapon or anything, but he kept reaching in his pants and acting like he was about to pull out a gun. Luckily we forgot our phone in the pension and I threw 60 pesos (15 or so dollars) at him and he ran away. In this situation, you would think that the newbie would be the scared one, but yet again Elder Jolley was cooler than me. haha After we got robbed, I kind of hyperventilated and got really pale while Elder Jolley rubbed my back. Humbling Experience part 2. We got to church and started the crazy process of getting sacrament meeting going. In the middle of sacrament meeting, two police when walked into the chapel and asked to talk to the two missionaries who were robbed. The bishop talked to them and told them that we would go to the police station after the meetings and baptismal service. (The baptism is another story.) After church, we went to the police station, waited in the lobby for 2 hours, and then were questioned for a good hour or two. In those two hours, we talked to every person in the waiting room, and took down about 11 addresses to visit. Who knew the police station was so good for contacting? They then told us that a man had seen us getting robbed and had chased the robber down, beat him up, and taken him to the police station. (I like to think this man was Batman.) We got to identify our robber. I asked if we could take pictures with him and Elder Jolley wanted to tell the robber that he forgave him, but they wouldn't let us talk to him or anything. hahaha When Elder Jolley asked me how to say "I forgive you." and told me that he wanted to say it to the robber I laughed so hard. The police men thought we were so weird because we were happy and laughing about the whole situation. We settled with taking a picture of the woman cop who interviewed us. Elder Jolley started doing a contact with her, and we ended up taking down her address. I guess ever moment in a missionary opportunity.
The baptism we had yesterday is a different story. We baptized a woman named Norma, and her son Lautaro. Norma is so humble and shy and good. She accepted the things we taught so quickly and has such a strong want to do good. What she didn't tell me before the baptism was that she has an intense fear of water. The whole baptismal service went well with a few talks and singing and then we headed for the baptismal font. Once Norma saw the baptismal font she started crying and saying, "no, no, no no, no" I had no idea what was happening and asked her what was up. She then told me that she had an intense fear of water. We decided to baptize her son first and have her watch to know it was okay. That made it worse. She ran into the women's bathroom where a few nice ladies from the ward tried to comfort her. I felt awkward and didn't know what to do as all the people waited for about 10-15 minutes for the baptism to happen. She eventually came out from the bathroom, still crying, and I led her with both of her hands in my hands to the baptismal font. She cried the whole time. I performed the ordination and started to put her underwater while she screamed "NO NO NO NO NO NNO!" I just kind of pushed her under water anyways. She came out screaming and crying and ran out of the baptismal font. I didn't know what to do and was so nervous. All the people watching the baptism were kind of scared. The ladies in the word comforted her as she changed and Elder Jolley and I went to change too. When I came out of the bathroom, I saw Norma with a little group of kids around her giving her kisses on the cheek one by one. Norma smiled at me and said "I'm so embarrassed." I was so relieved that she didn't hate me and the church because of the baptism. She then expressed that she knew it was a good thing that she did, she is just scared of water. I let her know that the good thing is that you only have to be baptized once. She is such a great lady and I'm sure she will remember her baptism forever. Crazyyyyyyyy!