Hi! I'm here, I'm safe, and I'm excited. The mission president got a pretty great first impression of me when I was the only missionary not to emerge from the baggage claim. (I was in the bathroom.) Anyway, everything's been great. The empanadas are AMAZING!! Love you guys!
Argentina is awesome. Leaving the CCM (MTC) at 5:30, I was pretty nervous. My MTC companion had talked up his own mission a lot, especially patagonia, so I wasn't sure if my mission was a boring one; I had no idea what to expect. I sat next to a woman named Ursula. She speaks English and Spanish, so talking to her was a good warm up for Argentina. I was thankful that I got to sit next to a nonmember--I explained a little about the church, and even if she might not have a strong desire to follow God now, I think that this was a good experience for her. At the end of the super long flight (so long they fed us twice), we flew into Buenos Aires, which was absolutely awe-inspiring at night. There were about 40 of us flying Buenos Aires together. It was a sea of warmth and light. Then, they took us to a super fancy hotel, and they fed us steak. At 11:30. We were pretty pumped. So far, things were shaping up pretty well. Elder Clarke left me a super nice letter which I will treasure, and they we said farewell for the last time in at least two years and went to our rooms. Our respect for the hotel increased when we discovered these things called Budeis. (I think that's how it's spelled, but I have no idea. It's a second toilet, but it's job is to squirt you so no paper must be wasted. I´ve only used it once so far, but apparently they're at pretty much every house, so...woo.)
Next day, I called home in the airport, then about 10 of us flew on a smaller plane. It passed through Mar del Plata, then it took us to Bahìa Blanca. (Finally here!) The last couple of days, we've gotten a small sample of the food, the culture, and the atmosphere of a mission; the first night, there were two baptisms going on in the city, which was pretty cool--I hope I have this kind of success. I actually have understood and participated in a lot of conversations, so my goal is to be essentially fluent within two months.
I met my father [aka-mission trainer] last night! Elder Castillo is from Chile and only speaks Spanish, y vamos a enseñar en Mar del Plata. [translation: “and we are going to teach in Mar del Plata.”] Tonight, we´ve got a seven hour bus ride, and then the work begins!
The food here is awesome. Pizza, empanadas, and a ton of other things. Voy a regresar gordo probablemente...puedo dar photografìas(?). [Translation: “I am probably going to return fat…I can send photos(?)”]
I love you guys! I´ll talk to you next p-day. Not sure exactly when that is, but we'll find the time.