Friday, July 9, 2010

Update from Argentina

July 5, 2010


Sorry that my letter didn't go through last week! You'll just have double for today.


This week has been so so. We didn't get much forward, and I kinda feel like if you're not moving forwards, you're moving backwards. We have had a lot of challenges this week that made it hard to buckle down and get it done in our area. Monday and Tuesday we were in Esquel and Trevelin working with some missionaries there. They were tough divisions down south-- some elders really struggle because they choose to not like the situation they are in and as a result shut down as a missionary.


Wednesday we were back here and working. This week I think I've had some of the best studies in my entire mission. About a week and a half ago, I put the goal to read the whole book of Mormon in Spanish before I go home. I still haven't done that yet-- and i need to read about 10 pages everyday. I've been doing it, and I'm actually ahead of schedule. And I have learned more this time through the book of Mormon than any other time I have read it in my entire life. It's been really incredible for me because I've really had to pay more attention as I read in Spanish and I am finding a lot of little things-- words that have a bit different translation or connotation in Spanish that just bring the scriptures alive. Then in our companionship studies, we just sit and talk about what we learned for an hour and we debate some stuff and try to figure stuff out. It's easily the best studies I've ever had in my whole mission. Even on the bus ride back from Esquel I pulled out my triple to read-- I love it!


We had a fun Saturday here. Argentina got crushed by Germany in the mundial. We were instructed to either stay in the house and study or go to the chapel to do something productive. We went to the chapel in Centro to be with the other missionaries. This weekend (the 10th) we are having a `white baptism.` we've got  a baptism in our ward, and three others in the other wards in Bariloche, so we are all getting together the next weekend and baptizing the 4 in 1 ceremony. It's going to be really good. Everyone already has passed their interviews and is all ready to go. So we were in the church Saturday morning preparing a musical number for the baptism. Then we realized the hermanas weren't filling the font for their baptism that day, so we rushed over to the font to start filling it. It was filthy, so I took off my shoes and socks and got in there and gave it a good Nan Jensen scrubbing! Luckily we got it going-- the poor hermanas don't get any support from their ward. We missed our lunch doing that, and then ran over to our chapel to have our fecha interviewed, then ran back to Centro because the baptism of the hermanas asked me to baptize her. After that baptism, we went over to another chapel in Bariloche to attend another baptism and do an interview for the district leader there. It was a crazy crazy day.


The rest of the days this week have been filled with snow and rain. It gets really cold here! It's gorgeous as it snows, freezing cold as it rains, and terrible when its windy. But this is the best looking area in the entire mission-- I have zero complaints. I'm willing to get a little chilly and wet if it means working here in this area!


Today we are going up a mountain-- its going to be gorgeous. Get ready for some incredible photos.


Stomach update of the week—I'm going to get my parasite test done next Thursday or Friday when im in Neuquen. The transfer ends this week, so next week I'll be up there for zone leader conference. I've been having pain these past few days, but i think it has something to do with what I've eaten-- pasta with sauce that has tomatoes. The doctor told me to avoid that, but it's a touch difficult to avoid when you're with members. I've also gone completely off milk-- I am back on my soy milk with cereal. A member gave us a big glass of milk last Wednesday, and Thursday morning I about died, so I'm going to wait a bit to try milk again. Like 2 or 3 months ish :) one elder told me if I have a parasite I've got to get a bowl of milk and put my head close by it with my mouth open and the parasite will come crawling out. Gross. I think i might try it just for fun! Elder Crandell wrote me a note in my journal the other week and he put a sticker of a worm and said `thanks for all that milk you drink-- its great down here in your gall bladder!` ha. My parasite is the zone's mascot.


Anyways, this week we are going to teach 20 lessons. We are going to just go out and get it done. Our zone has really dipped these last 2 weeks and I feel a bit responsible because we haven't been as constant in animating the zone as we have been in past weeks. But we've put some good goals for the zone and we are going to work really hard to help them have a good week 6 so that we start next transfer out well. As a zone we've had 5 baptisms so far and we are looking forward to 5 in total this weekend. Our meta was 15 but we'll get 10. I'm nervous for next transfer because we only have 3 fechas for next transfer. It's kinda like we're just fading out and dying. President got some new instruction on preach my gospel from the general authorities this week, so I really hope that is going to spark us to know what to do to have more success. Onwards and upwards!


Elder Jensen


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