Sunday, April 29, 2012

February 13, 2012     Tartagal   Argentina
 Wow! Alot is going on back home! It is so amazing how fast Monday goes and we still didn't get everything done we needed to... the house is very clean though! I get up and clean in the morning. I have come to realize that it is therapy for me. ha ha
This week was a crazy one! I got bit by a dog too! ha ha it didn't bleed or rip my pants so I was happy but it stung a bit for a while. I threw a rock at it when it came at me again but missed by a mile. My companion is quite good at it and got another dog really good that is always a threat. There are so many dogs here!

We visited with one of the druggies (the son of Lucia Lopez (the mom of a lady we baptized here)). Lucia is progressing amazingly and has received an answer and will be baptized this weekend. She is having a very hard time with her son who is in the drugs. I guess the same day we came and talked to her they had verbally fought a bit and so she picked up her book and opened it to a part about repentance which we had planned on talking about. Later, the spirit directed our lesson very smoothly. Then she left to go next door to her mom’s so we could knock on her son’s door and talk to him. It was a very positive lesson but he had just been smoking too. This drug makes people look like a skeleton in a week depending on how addicted they are. They just lose all the fat and muscle on their bodies. He knows he could die from it soon and wants to quit but he didn't go to the meeting his mom had planned for him at the rehab place. She wants us to see if he wants to go to it and we would then take him. I guess up on the hill where they live (their house is in the picture of the soccer field I sent you) alot of kids go there at night so it’s all very close and very hard for him to give it up. His mom found him asleep the morning after we came with the book of Mormon on his chest so we are hoping that is one way he can get the strength he needs to quit. 

The member we have been taking with us to these appointments had a similar lifestyle before he got baptized. He came to church the first time randomly in October to the general conference. His little brother just got baptized and so will his mom and dad. One of the missionaries was waiting for a family outside the church and invited this kid and his friend in to listen. The other one left and wants nothing to do with it but Cristian stayed and wanted the missionaries to come over to his house.  He didn't come to get confirmed after his baptism because his older brother took him out and pressured him into drinking and he fell back into it all but then started going out with the missionaries to their appointments so he could have something to do and got confirmed this weekend. He even got offered to smoke and chew on the way home from church with his little brother who just got baptized and turned it all down. We took him to all the people we are visiting who have kids in the drugs and he was a huge comfort to the parents and families to know that it’s possible. He also felt the pain that the families were going through and didn't want it for his family again. He bore his testimony and is super excited to prepare for a mission. He is 19 years old so that should be possible in the coming year! 

Along with the baptism of his little brother, a little kid got baptized who turned nine that same day. He should have gotten baptized a while back but his mom never told him what he should do and just let him stay home from church all the time. The family is getting a little bit stronger now but the dad is still inactive. He has a chewing problem he doesn't feel he can give up. The funny thing is that his grandson didn't want to give him a kiss because he said he eats weeds. The grandson is in the picture I will send. He is the one with the toy gun pointed at his head. The kid that got baptized is quite a handful. None of us knew he had it in the pictures. ha ha. 

We also got to do some service on a farm where we are visiting a kid (Walter the uncle of Franco who got baptized in November). It was really cool. I love going out there to teach him because the breeze comes through his farm. It’s so nice and quiet. They have huge avocado trees which will be ready in a month. And they have a couple fig trees too which I got to try. It was almost all the way ripe. What we did for service is we ground up, by hand, a bunch of corn for the chickens so he could come to church in the morning. It was fun! They gave us a juice called "chicha de maiz". They bake some dried corn just right then they grind it up really fine and boil it for 2 days! And then strain it a bit. It looked like water with D.E. in it! Or like mud but it was actually pretty good. The corn is naturally sweet so it doesn't need any sugar.
Before leaving we took a few pictures with my companion’s camera so you can see what the farm is like a little. Also before leaving I went to the bathroom... that is a very misleading word to use for that "outhouse" or whatever you want to call it. I first asked my companion if I should use the "outhouse" or the cactus plant... he told me to use the "outhouse". Reluctantly I walked over and opened the wood door that was about the height of my neck and ready to fall off... I ducked in and looked around the 3 foot square wood-floored room only to find a hole in the floor... I thought "where do they go?"... Then I saw a clue half way hanging in the hole and the other half on the wood floor. I was then hoping with all my heart the floor was not rotten because I was a good 30 minute walk from home... luckily it wasn't and it turned out to be a pretty entertaining discovery. I guess they just squat and there was no sign of paper so I really didn't want to ask. When I left it I told my comp. we aren't leaving until he checks it out. He came out quite entertained as well! ha ha Sorry to gross you out.
It was really hot so I washed off afterward to cool off. That’s why my tie is undone and my hair is all messed up. Don’t worry, I don't walk around like that. ha ha
In some of the pictures you can see the house they live in but not the outhouse. We’ll get one next time. We just happened to have his camera for the baptism later that day.
On our way out to the farm this kid on the corner jokingly told me to run away fast and then I realized he had a big knife in his hand. Then all his friends started laughing. I don't know what he was doing with it but I wasn't wanting to find out. Looked like he was thirteen years old! 

I’ve got to go. We stayed a bit late cause we went to find someone at the hospital today during visiting hours. I love you all very much!

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