Date

September 28, 2015

Area

Obera Argentina

Companion

Elder Vinces

Week 1 (Argentina)

Hello Everyone!

Well......I am here. And I guess I should start out with, this isn´t Kansas anymore Dorthy....

I have to be up front and honest. I was absolutely shellshocked when I got to my area thursday night. And not for anything bad, but just because it is so different! It is a new culture, new food, new way of living, and new people, but all is well! I will say that the last couple of days were some of the Hardest of my life, but the Lord is helping me and I already feel 100x better today! Everyday is improving!

The Basics: My area is Obera, it is a pretty large city (which is good for me). My companion is Elder Vinces and he is a native of Peru. He has been out for 4 months and this is his first time being a father (mission terms for trainer). His Testimony is super strong and he has helped me so much! Without him I am sure that I wouldn´t be where I am now!

Obera has one branch! We have an average of 50 people attending every Sunday, but this week we had 58. It is really awesome! The people here are amazing and yesterday helped a lot because all of the members here are so welcoming!

Apparently Elder Vinces had a companion before me who was dying (mission term for last transfer in the mission) and so he didn´t really want to work! And on top of that President had already told me that this area is really hard and it is in some ways but hey I am here to work and honestly working with the people here is what helps me lose the loneliness and homesickness that comes with being new!

As for teaching, we have a few investigators but it is really hard to have people progress here. It isn´t your typical baptize everyone like South American missions sometimes are! Which is fine with me! We work a lot with the less actives and the members to help them stay active! Which when I think about it, is super super important because these people have already made commitments with God and they need to be keeping them! There is no way to tell but Elder Vinces said that there is probably over 1000 less actives here! Absolutely crazy! And the even weirder thing is, most of them have testimonies, strong testimonies but the reason they don´t come to church is because they get offended by other members, I dont know what happens but it is so common! In fact the branch president just went inactive for the same reason so ugh it is hard but I am happy to help people!

In Obera it is only me and Elder Vinces and two Hermanas! The Hermanas are great and have helped alot too when I needed to relate with Americans...so I am thankful for them! And we have a Zone Meeting tomorrow so I will get to speak some more English!

In all reality the language hasn´t been my biggest problem! I mean of course when Elder Vinces and a member are talking I can´t follow as well as I thought I could but for being a nuevito everyone says my Spanish is incredible! Which is comforting...but still it is a different world than the MTC! The people here have a different accent and it is super hard to understand with some people! But my spanish is improving each and everyday and so that is good and I am not overly concerned about that!

Like I said the change has been the hardest part, and most if it is because I feel so bad. Life isn´t fair, we really have so much to be thankful for in the States so never take it for granted. I thought are pension was so different when I arrived but then we went tracting and I kid you not, some of these people literally have nothing. It is so humbling. The Lord really has blessed me and I have so much to be grateful for. But with that said, the people here are amazing! So kind, so genuine, so everything! It really is aweseome!

But like I said I am adjusting more everyday! And you know what, I love it! I am a true Argentine! I washed my clothes in a bucket today, and you know what? It was fine! Different of course, but it is possible! The Lord is so good to me! He has been with me every step of the way and sometimes I don´t realize that because I am too stressed or anxious but really God is good and I wouldn´t be here still without his help...he never leaves us alone!

Well I love and miss you all but we only are permitted an hour here too and I have to write President so this is all for this week! One Picture I am including is one of my companion and I´s pants after a day in the rain on all the dirt roads here! Super fun! I will talk to you all next week!

Love Always,

Elder Willardson




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