¿Como le va?
Well, this is it! The time that we´ve all been waiting for. Argentina is Asombrosa. There may be way too much to say in this email for just this one week so don´t get too down because you won´t be able to learn about and experience everything that I have experienced the past week or so. I kind of wanna do this in chronological order so...a ver si puedo hacerlo...
Left the MTC last Monday at about 11:30 en punto! It was the ride of a lifetime getting to see the true outside world once again, what a privelege that was. We went right on to the SLC port and took off to good ol Dallas/Ft. Worth port. That airport was huge! You have to take monorail things around to get to the spot you need to be. Kinda reminded me of Disneyland. That was also where my comp and I placed our first and last Book of Mormon, it was pretty smooth. This guy wrote a book about networking or somethin like that and wanted to just give it to us to advertise it a bit, so...as missionaries of the Iglesia de Jesucristo de los Santos de los Últimos Días we knew what we were supposed to do. So we proposed a trade, one book for another and gave him some info about the Church. Hopefully he read a bit and visited mormon.org. The flight to Buenos Aires was más or menos the longest 10 horas y 32 minutos of my life...but I did get to meet Ándres, the kind man that sat next to me and talked to him about religion and about his life. He was a pretty cool guy! That flight was where I finally started realizing that speaking English a lot was not going to be my hobby anymore. Okay, I can´t go much more with this chronological order thing. Let´s see I´ll just talk about some of the awesome stuff that has been goin down here in Mendoza. Well, the Pres and the A.P.´s picked us up at the Mendoza airport and we had dinner with them at the casa del presidente. It was pretty fun. We slept over at the pension where the A.P.s are where I had my first amazing experience with a Bidet(I believe that is how you spell it...). What a whole different world it is when you use a Bidet. Before I used it for the first time one of the A.P.s gave us an introduction because some did not understand the importance. He related it to the story of the bird poop. He said something like: if a bird were to poop on your arm would you just pull out a napkin and wipe it off and be off with your day? I don´t think that is what you would do... You would probably get some water to wash it off first. That was his introduction to us of a Bidet. That is one of the many new things I have been introduced to in the past week. The familia Fajardo is a member family that we have been visiting a few times because they love to invite us over for meals. I had to go to the bathroom while I was there so one of the other missionaries guided me all the way to the back of this place and believe it or not there was just this rectangle hole, I´ll let you use your imagination for the rest of this story. Let´s see, what else...the food is very different here. At the airport I enjoyed my last bag of some american treats that will be very much missed here such as sour patch kids and starbursts. Some of the foods that I have had so far are empenadas(one of the main dishes here), argentine salad(whish solely consists of lettuce, salt, and oil), sub-like sandwiches with usually either breaded chicken or beef with added fried egg. Sorry grandma but Elder Larson is not my companion. He was one of the three that is training another elder. I think he is with elder alberro. My new comps name is Elder Hudgens. He is from Heber and went to Wasatch High. He said he knows Sarah Arnold pretty well. He is a pretty cool missionary. I think that I will be learning a lot from him and will be looking forward to the next 12 weeks of my training that I will get to work with him. My first area in the mission is called Colombia Bombal and is pretty cool. It is in what is called the campo here in Argentina. That means that it is just nothing but farms everywhere. This place came as quite a surprise. The people here are very poor and have shacks as houses. There are even a few groups of shacks called villas that are just the most povertous/dangerous places in this area. I will try to get a picture of some of this area for you but I will be careful because I guess if you pull out anything looking somewhat expensive they are not scared to walk up to you and try and steal your stuff. Don´t worry Mom, nothing to worry about...really. I´ve got the power of God with me wherever I go. Hakuna Matata! Hmm, this email isn´t my most organized one ever. Next week this will be a little more easy to read and more interesting. Argentina is pretty awesome! There is much more that I need to tell ya´ll but it is just going to have to wait for next week! Don´t worry, it will come fast. Thank you for all the prayers and support(oraciones y apoyo). Oh yeah, the language here isn´t even spanish...what they tell you in the MTC is true. When you actually get to your mission, you will find out that the language you learn in your mission is different than that that you have learned. Here in Argentina, the people speak Castellano, which is a dialect of Spanish. The people think that Español is from Spain, Castellano is the language(
idioma) that they speak. ha ha. Brilliant! It is awfully hard to pick up what these people are trying to say to me. After I meet them and tell them my name and stuff they don´t really care much to talk to me more because I am new and they know I will not be able to understand. One other thing about every Argentine that I have met so far is that they are a very nice people and love families. I have learned to carry around pictures of my family and friends and other stuff and they just absolutely love looking at the pictures and talking about them. We have gotten a few new investigators interested in listening to our message through this finding method. Pretty cool! Whenever american missionaries show their families they think that they are so hermosa(beautiful) and think that we are all models. Ha ha. It is pretty funny.
Yep, so the language is very difficult right now. But I have already noticed the amazing increase in understanding this week so it´s all good. The younger the people are, the easier they are to understand. We just happen to be in an area that is just filled with ancient people that are not understandable. Some of the old señoras that we talked to spoke a different language that they speak in Bolivia called Quechua. It is pretty crazy!! Well, at the mall today I bought some ping pong gear because the word on the street is that they have tables in all the churches. Grandma, this time it is actually not a joke. We have about a half hour to play so I am going to end this. Don´t worry, I´ll only play on P-days. I am here to work the rest of the week. The mission is stellar! Estoy muy animado for the rest of my mission to gain new knowlege and experiences to share for the rest of my life. Again, thanks for everything! I am doing awesome here! I send my love to everyone back in the hometown. Paz fuera(they don´t say any of the dumb phrases that we made up in the MTC here in Mendoza...ha ha). Sorry for not much of a spiritual thought this week...lets see: The mission is awesome and very spiritual. That is it for this week. But no lie, I have continued having many amazing spiritual experiences here during studies all morning and trying to teach. Well, chau(that is the most common good-bye phrase here).
Con todo mí corazón,
Elder Deven Larisch
P.S.- I will try and send home a bunch of pics home next time!