Date

August 13, 2018

Sent By

Miranda Ashton

The_Great_Turf_War_of_Aguilares,_Tucumàn

Heyyyyooooo family and friends I'm coming at you here from a hole in the wall, super run down, most likely illegal thing called a "cyber" here in Aguilares, my first area. Aguilares is a smallish city in the small Argentine province of Tucumàn. We're in winter right now, and it honestly is warmer than an Arizona winter. I love it.
The reason this email is titled the way it is is because we actually have a turf war for our city. It's me and my companion, Elder Gustafson vs. the Nuns vs. the Jehovah's Witnesses vs. the dogs.
Ok, so to start: the Nuns and Witnesses. Basically, a lot of the time our proselyting times overlap and we'll pass each other in the street. My companion and I, being the gentlemen we are, hit em with a "Buena" or "Hola" and CADA VECE (everytime) we get hit with the same, blank, disappointed stares. Annoying.
The dogs: Hey mom and dad, remember how before my mission I practically begged for a dog? Well no more. There a millions of dogs here. Millions. Sleeping on the sidewalk, pooping in convenient places where they KNOW I'm going to step, or, more commonly, chasing us when we're on our bikes. One of the dogs got a chunk of my companions shoe the other day and took him DOWN while we were biking. Stupid dogs. Funny though.
The language here is wackkkk. They speak a different kind of Spanish here called Castellano. Basically it's Spanish with an Italian accent and some Italian words. It's rough I can't really understand people yet but I'll get there.
I am eating like a king -- it's ridiculous. The food here (thus far) is sooooo good. We have steak all the time -- just today we had an "asado" which is basically a fiesta where they throw an entire cow on the fire and cook it up and eat it. If I keep eating the way I am, I am gonna come back sooooo fat.
The members here are super nice. They like to talk a lot so getting out of their houses is a problem sometimes but they're always throwing food at us so I can't complain. The people in general here are a little rude though, but I think it's just because we're missionaries. We get lots of catcalls from the gangs when we're riding thru their hood, but they mostly leave us alone.
Sometimes, when we're cruising thru the streets on our bikes, I just get hit with the feeling like "Yeah, this is the missionary life. This is where I'm supposed to be" which is so awesome for me.
I got a ton more to say but I'll save y'alls eyes and send it next week. Love you all, you're my heroes.
Much Love,
Elder Ashton
Fun Facts:
1. There is a sugar cane factory in the middle of town. It fills the whole town with smoke and he says it is a weird smell.
2. The food thus far has been really good.He has eaten at a members house everyday. They don't really have a breakfast, just this hot drink called mate (ma-tay).
3. They have giant lunches where they eat a ridiculous amount. If they don't eat a ridiculous amount, it offends the family. Then they are so full from lunch that they don't really eatdinner, maybe more mate or a couple crackers.

4. He is afraid of the dogs. He doesn't want to get bitten.

5. He is having difficulty with people "not respecting time." He said church started 30 minutes late.




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