February 5, 2018


5th Mission Assignment - San Rafael


Elder Sosa

Half paralyzed, cranky investigators, Water boy duty, and false alarms

Hola amigos y familia,

We'll start with the last item of the Email heading first... So - this last Thursday we received news that our beloved Elder Richardson (our zone leader) was going to be swapped out with another Elder (Elder McCabe), and so with heavy hearts we packed his bags, made lists of investigators and families that Elder McCable and Weaver would need to be visiting (since Elder Weaver's only been here for around 4 days), and I even delayed my wash cycle so Elder Richardson could pack his clothes clean. Then, the night before he was to travel, right after having said his goodbyes, packed his bags and finished his list, the Mission President's assistants called us to say that Elder Richardson was to sit tight. False alarm…

Next on the list was our day of playing water boy... For those of the readers (and I'd include the writer as well) who suffer from a deficit of memory, I've a story to tell... In our charming little Mission area lies a neighborhood by the name of El Molino that's a fairly poor neighborhood, and admittedly - a little dangerous by night. In this picturesque little corner of Argentina where the diseased dogs dig in the piles of trash and the mosquitoes buzz, nestled neatly between the open air sewers and cookie cutter houses, lies the children's restaurant of Hilda Rodriguez. This blessed sister who seems to get a good share of attention in my weekly emails, wakes every day and cooks for around 50 children of ages from 3 to 13 from the neighborhood. Otherwise, as she says; “they wouldn't eat.” She serves them, then cleans up shop, and goes back to bed (because she does it all alone, and it's a lot of work and takes a lot of time). Also she doesn't get payed for it either… In fact it is quite the opposite; she payed out most of her retirement money to kick-start her program locally called; "caritas felices" or 'happy little faces'. As time allows, we help her out and she is always very appreciative.

Referring back to the title, a few other context clues might be helpful to provide the reader with some idea as to how I found myself on a rusty, pink, beach cruiser bicycle, wearing a bright green helmet, with a 5 gallon bucket of water in one hand and a bag of 3 liter water bottles in a side-bag.

Summer is really picking up here in the southern hemisphere of the planet, and we're seeing the worst heat we'll have to endure all year. We are not equipped with anything so high-tech as a thermometer, but a rough ‘guestimate’ might come down around 38-49 degrees Celsius (100-120 degrees Fahrenheit) for daily highs. In this season, Argentines like to fill up erectable swimming pools and also do something that they call "watering" where they throw crazy amounts of water all over the floor outside to keep the dust from picking up and getting into their houses. Needless to say, there's ALOT of water used, and consequently, the water utility likes to cut the water to the neighborhood in the afternooons so that it doesn't get expended. Obviously, this has ramifications for other activities… Cooking without water isn't easy. And so, a not uncommon sight here is two LDS Missionaries on their rusted, pink and purple bikes with neon green helmets on their heads (Mission HQ sent them to us from Mendoza - at least the fast moving cars see us), toting buckets, bottles, and other water containers rolling down the highway. We get lots of funny looks and another notch on the counter of times on my mission where I'm asking myself "what the heck am I doing?"

Other than that, it's been a good week. Lots of walking, bike riding, and fun times with half paralyzed and cranky, yet roaring with laughter investigators, and a great time in the work of the lord...

That's about all for this week! Take care! I love you all!

Saludos Cordiales,

-Elder Bigley


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Argentina Mendoza Mission

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