Picture in front of my house
I know I said that last winter was the coldest winter of my life, but this winter is starting off colder than....it's really cold. I just broke out the insulated/longsleeved underwear. I am never leaving the pinch again without them.
I am slowly getting to know Avellaneda and it has been a blast. It has been really hard, but really good. Pretty much the whole mission is generally the same except for the zone I am in right now. Our area is divided right down the middle into two different parts. On one side, all the streets are paved, there are skyscrapers and high rise apartments all over the place, and everyone is wearing suits and going to work. We live on this side. The other side of our area is the opposite. The eastern side of our area is the coast. But it's not a pretty coast. The whole eastern side of our area is filled with huge loading docks and factories and dirt roads. All of the poor people made their shantytown in between, and sometimes inside of the deserted factories. This is the villa. All of the neighborhoods on this side of the area are illegal, but the people don't have enough money to buy a plot of land to make a legal house and the government just leaves them. All of the houses are about one meter apart, and the street is about 2 meters wide. that is where we work the majority of the time. It's wild.
Our house is a giant refrigerator. We live in the shade of a skyscraper, so the sun never touches our house. It gets cold, and the house keeps the cold in the house, even when it is warm outside. The worst part is is that we don't have hot water. hahaha To take a shower, we have to wake up early and boil water in the kitchen, take it to the bathroom and put it in a bucket with a shower head attached. It's not that bad, its actually kind of fun. But, I won't be sad when I have hot water again.
Elder Ruvalcaba is great. He is from Mexico. He came out on the mission when he was 18. Apparently there is a rule that Mexicans can leave on the mission a year early. He is a machine. I have never seen a more exactly obedient Elder. At 10:25 every night, he sits upright on his bed in his pajamas (pajamas for Elder Ruvalcaba = jeans and a cardigan hahahah) and looks at his wrist watch, waiting for 10:30 to arrive. At about 10:29:58, he lays down and says, "Buenos Noches Elder" and nothing else. He wakes (shoots out of bed and starts doing super fast push ups) up at 6:25 everyday. We have to wake up at 6:30. He walks about 27mph and I struggle to keep up. I never thought you should get shin splints by walking. I'm lucky to have him. He finishes up his mission in August, so I will probably be his last companion.
I don't know if you guys have heard, but the Buenos Aires temple will be getting rededicated this coming September. It's gonna be real good. President Eyering, Ballard, and Chistopherson are coming to take part. All of the Missionaries from Buenos Aires North, West, and South will be going to all ceremonies. During the whole month of August, the temple will be having its open house. The zone leaders from every mission will be the guides for every Saturday in August. That's me. It's gonna be way too good. There will be a festival in the Stadium of the soccer team, Independente, which is in my area. (You can probably find the stadium really easy on GoogleEarth.) All the missionaries from the three missions will be singing in the ceremony. The three apostles will be having a special fireside for only the missionaries. They will be showing the temple dedication in all stake centers, and in that moment, the stake centers will serve as extensions of the temple. I don't really know what that means, but I'm excited. Every missionary companionship will be allowed to got to the open house once with investigators of their choice. That's all I can remember right now. Surely I will let you guys know more in the coming weeks.
Everything is going real good. We don't really have many investigators right now because the Elders before me baptized all of them the week before I got here, but I'm not very worried. It's pretty easy to find people, and a lot of things can get started real fast. I am super grateful for each of you. All is well. Life is good.