Hello friends and family =)
I am here, in Argentina! I am currently in San Bernardo where I should be for at least the next three months!
Leaving the MTC was hard, I loved my district there and my teachers. I am glad I am here now though. The plane ride was awesome!!!! I love flying and that was my first time ever in an airplane! It's cool to look out and be above the clouds!
It is beautiful here. There are parrots and parakeets and bright colored birds all around. All of the streets are either normal black roads, or made of sand.. And the best part.. I live a five minute walk away from a beautiful coastline! The ocean air feels and smells great!
I love the sand streets. On the sides, between the sidewalks and the sandy two way streets, there is grass with so many different kinds of trees! There are oak trees and maple trees and palm trees and evergreen trees! It's like Colorado and San Diego morphed into one place. It's so weird to see palm trees that are about 20 or 30 feet tall growing under evergreen trees that I would see in the La Plata Mountains! It is incredible!
The sights and sounds here keep me going =) It is hard to be here where I can only understand about 5% of what any of the people say! I thought my Spanish was alright, but I guess I have a ways to go!
On the bright side, my companion is this awesome white kid from California! Back while I was training in the MTC I sort of hoped for a Latino companion that didn't speak English, so I would be forced to learn Spanish.. but now I am glad I have someone that I can talk to about everything. He is a great guy, his name is Elder James Bavelas. He is about as tall as me, great at talking with the Argentines, and very funny!
In lessons, all I do is testify and state simple parts of lessons. Everyone can understand me, but sometimes they laugh at my Spanish! It's good times to laugh with them! They are really kind to me, and will repeat things sometimes and try to help me understand. After a few tries, I can usually understand.
Since I live on the coast, lots of the people here are fairly wealthy. Lots of them don't have time or do not want to listen to the Gospel. I read a talk before I left home though, and in that talk it told me that if I want to help everyone that will possibly accept this message come unto Christ, I need to talk with everyone I possibly can! So I am going to talk with everybody even though I don't speak the language! Haha I have already been trying to, and after I say, "Hello" and "How are you?" my companion takes over and we've found a few people to teach from that.
The investigators and members feed us a lot! The meat here is sooooooooooooooo good! The first night two people invited us over to eat to welcome me to the area.. and they get offended if you say no.. So we had two dinners and I almost died from eating too much! I haven't gotten sick yet, I have enjoyed all that I've eaten, and I'm excited to try the other foods. I love the people here.
I love it here. It is hard and I miss home, but it is a great work. I literally started out in one of the best areas of the entire mission, so from here on out the homes I'll live in will be worse and worse! When I look at the fact that I'm here for two years, it seems crazy. So I am just living this day by day, and it seems to work well =) I'm excited to be here though, and I'm excited to work hard.
I love you all! Thank you so much for the letters and emails you have sent me, thank you so much for your prayers. Remember, Jesus Christ is real and He has a glorious plan for each of us. Study His life and try to model yours after it, there is nothing better!
Hurrah for Israel!
-Elder KeeleyAdditional information from letter to Mom and Dad:So, I couldn't get lots of the candy to fit in my suitcase.. so my zone at the MTC and I ate a ton of it before I left the United States! Of the candy I did bring, my companion and I ate it!
The spices however, remain in my suitcase. I am waiting until important occasions to bust those bad boys out! I am so excited to have them! Lots of the missionaries say I am very lucky to have them, and they wish they had some because you can't buy those things here! So thank you very much mama!
My meeting house is about two miles away from where we live, I've been having lots of trouble with my knees so I've been having trouble riding the bikes. My companion is kind though, so we walk as often as we can. My knees are becoming stronger, I got a blessing to help them and I bet I'll be riding bikes like a pro soon! There are no thieves in this area, ever. People don't get robbed here! I am lucky to have started out in the safest area!
There were only 20 people in Church Sunday! Including me, my companion, and the two sister missionaries here!
If I can get it to work, I'll send everyone a photo!