July 4th, 2011 Salta Argentina
This week we planned to meet a member on a street corner after lunch(yesterday actually) and we were on our way there and just about 10 minutes late. We were rushing but we found out that there might have been a reason for being late! We were approaching the corner and there were a bunch of riot police there blocking the streets, so we walked around the block to see if the member was anywhere. There was a big pickup truck with a bunch of people standing in the back and the police were talking to them. They were fans of a soccer team that had just lost and were driving up the street from the game throwing rocks, bricks, and beer bottles(which are about like a brick here) at cars houses and anything they could use as a target, including a fan of the opposite team who is a son of a less active member. He got hit in the head but was fine, I guess, just really mad! If we were waiting on the corner we probably could have seen it coming but better just not to have been there like it turned out! The houses are all brick and cement so it didn't do much there but the cars were all dented and had broken windows.
I don't know if they do it every Saturday but the Gauchos here all get dressed up and put their leather chaps on(ones that actually sit on the horse and look like a hole cow hide dried to a form that looks like wings or something) that are made to protect them from cactus and brush. I will try to get a picture of one sometime for you. I guess they get together and carry the Virgin Mary statue where everyone walks down the street and sings and prays. It's interesting how much it is in the culture here. There are alot of Catholic schools too.
Some of the members on the record we have found are now Catholic... I think it's just easier or something. They tell us they have their religion but are usually very nice about it and invite us in to talk anyways. They usually have good memories from the church though.
This lady who we have been meeting with for a long time just came to church Sunday. She has hurt legs that don't heal because she has diabetes or something and the blood doesn't flow to her legs very well. I didn't know exactly what was wrong but she fell at work one day and somehow hurt them both. She walks around the house slow but she has a wheelchair so we had a member volunteer to pick her up before church. We met him there and brought her to church. She loved it and wants to come back because she feels like she has a family there. She has yet to read very much but is starting to a little now which we are thrilled about. It was really nice to see how well the ward welcomed her and made her feel like part of the family.
A stray horse walked down the road out front of our apartment while we were studying! ha ha
It is so cold here! I am using my gloves I brought, scarf I found, 2 sweatshirts. my heavy jacket and a headband. They keep saying it's going to snow but I don't know yet. It was 3 degrees at the lowest so far but I think it's been hanging around 8 or 9 or something. I really don't know though.
I love you all so much! Take care!