Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Chad's New Companion, Cockroaches in Argentina

Dear Family,
This week had a lot of happenings.  I got my new companion.  Elder Sellers is huge, about 6’ 4”, and is from Orlando, Florida.  He doesn’t have a southern accent, and he speaks pretty good Spanish.  He really does speak good Spanish for having so little time in the mission field.  He is really humble, and doesn’t complain.  His parents are converts, and his only sibling, his step brother, is less active.  He comes from a town where there aren’t many members, so he has lots of good ideas on how to share the gospel.  He baptized his friend, and this last Saturday, his 24 year old cousin got baptized in Georgia.  It was even cooler, because Saturday was also his birthday.  The Muñoz family, and the Withers family of this ward, organized a surprise birthday party for him.  It was a fun evening, with a few of the members, and we even had time to share a quick spiritual thought, on the TV.  

I don’t know if I ever told you guys yet, but with Elder Vasquez, we organized all the Mormon messages onto a flash drive.  When we visit members who have computers or modern TVs, which is more than half of them, we copy all the videos onto their computer, so they can have quick access to them, and they are great to share in family home evenings.  

Well, son of a nutcracker, I know this letter was short, but I ran out of time.  Next time, I will read all the other letters faster.  

With love,
Elder Withers


Dear Family,
I am in a new area and I am working on getting to know everyone, and it’s taking time.  I am also very aware that Mothers Day is coming up.  So don’t worry, I already asked a really nice lady who gives us lunch on Thursday if we can Skype using her computers (because she has 2 :) and we are good to go.  We haven’t heard anything from President regarding when we can Skype home, but it will be sometime on Sunday.  So we can all rest tranquilo with that.  (Translation:  rest easy) 

There is so much I want to write home about to you guys, but there is just no way my little fingers can type it all in one hour.....so it’s going to take a few weeks to really explain this place.  

Turns out that Elder Hill is only in my zone, my zone leaders in La Paz got my hopes up and told me we were in the same district too, but it’s just the same zone. Which is fine with me, I will still get to see him.  I am also super excited to be in a much bigger zone with lots more missionaries......new adventures!  

My new companion is Hermana Ospinal, from Peru.  She is great, is very patient, and loves to eat.  I have never had a companion who can eat so much.  It’s impressive really.  My new apartment is awesome, much nicer than the one in La Paz.......but this new place has cockroaches....really big cockroaches.  The biggest one I have seen so far was the size of a stick of butter.  Horrifying!  I made us buy cockroach killing sprays and traps and it’s making a difference.  Hopefully little by little we can at least get it under control.  I’m not especially interested in living with bugs.  We also had to go and get groceries.  There wasn’t ANYTHING in the fridge when I showed up.  They had water, and freezer burned watermelon and bananas.  Ha... food storage?  The fridge and cupboards have some food now, and the cockroaches are slowly dying... every day its feeling more and more like home. 

Beltran is a cute town, about the size of Boise, and it reminds me a lot of the town from Toy Story 3 for some reason.  With the picture perfect trees lining the streets, lots of kids riding bikes to and from school, and ladies outside doing yard work on the weekends.  It’s about 45 minutes outside of Rosario (awesome.....you better believe we will spend a P Day there seeing the sites!) and the majority of the people have lots of money.  So when we go contacting, it’s a little harder to find people who are willing to listen.  The fall season is really pretty here and it’s still fun to step and crunch all the leaves :)

But this branch here in Beltran is INCREDIBLE.  On Sunday there was a whole bench full of Priesthood holding leaders who show up to church and activities, and who anxiously fulfill their calling.  And there is excitement in this branch and amongst the members that is sooo fun.  We really are going to see miracles in this area.  I have been slowly getting to know everyone....and I have been very careful to make good first impressions.  I’m always on my best behavior, but this first week is going to be really important in terms of gaining everyone’s trust. Especially because I am the first yankee Hermana to serve in this area.  Before it was an Elder’s area, and in December it got switched to Hermanas......and up until now all they have had is Latinas.  It’s been really fun to get to know everyone :) Here in Beltran we don’t have a chapel because we don’t have the attendance to have one......so we meet in a big, old fashioned two story house.  I will have to send pictures next week :)  It works great though, there is a room for all the classes, a kitchen, bathroom, and big living room space where we have sacrament meeting. I also had to give a talk in church this last Sunday.  I met the Branch President last Wednesday, about an hour after arriving in Beltran...got to know him and he said, well since you are new you have to give a talk and share your testimony this week. And you speak well enough that you can talk for 15 minutes.  Sweet.....it’s been fun to start over in a new area.  In La Paz, all the members could remember how bad my Spanish was when I first arrived in Argentina, but here they have no idea!   I was assigned the topic of charity, and it went well.   

We have a few investigators, but not many.  The majority of our time we have spent contacting, trying to find really good people.  I’m excited to see who ends up progressing out of the people we have talked to.  

Overall it was a long week with traveling and adjusting, but also a really great week too.  I hope you all know how much I love you all.  I love you more than all the new streets and new people I have been getting to know this week!  

Love,
Hermana Withers



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