Monday, February 23, 2015

Not a very exciting week

Hola family! Sorry for the really depressing subject title, my week was actually a lot better than that makes it sound. Just not very much happened. That's all. Sounds like you guys had a decent week. Glad to hear that Kyla could finally start doing all of her gymnastics again. Those ankle injuries are pretty dumb. I hope it's fully healed soon. Thank you Jayson for the hilarious video of Dallin at work... I just wish I had sound here in this internet cafe. Some day I will watch it again. In slow motion. haha. Thanks for the letters and the talks you guys sent me. I'll be sure to read them sometime. Oh, and also I hope everything is going well with Hailey. She wrote me last week about her back basically exploding (her words, not mine) but I hope everything's ok over there. 

So.... Yep. Kind of a just a normal week here. Not much happened. We kind of got a couple investigators, but we still have about nobody to teach. This week we've made some goals to do some hardcore Abrir la Boca and even knock doors if we have to. We usually don't have to knock doors here because there's so many people on the streets. But, we're going to do it this week. We need some people to teach. This week we basically spent looking through our ward directory looking for the less-actives in the branch. There's a ton! We didn't have much success in that though... The addresses aren't really super great. But I'm pretty sure this branch would be gigantic if everyone in our directory came to church. Our church attendance this week was about 28... and last week was 23. So the branch isn't super big. I think we have officially met all the active members, which is a bonus. Hopefully we start getting references from them soon. Haha. So yeah, kind of a long week, but me and Elder Villatoro get along pretty well. And I can even understand him pretty well, unlike everyone else in Argentina. Haha. 

So... I guess I'll tell you about my birthday last week! We went to this place called El Cerro de Gloria, kind of this monument/park thing on top of a really small mountain. Like a 10 minute hike. So we went there with the Elders from my old area San Miguel and Marcela and Fernanda and a couple other people from the ward over there. It was fun! We kind of had a picnic thing and played UNO and Marcela and Fernanda for some reason brought these mask things that they made us all wear. It was kind of funny. But we had a good time! It was a nice birthday. Oh, and I took Elder Villatoro to Subway for lunch. We spent about 200 pesos... I think that's almost 20 bucks. It was SUPER DELICIOUS. I didn't realize how much I'd miss Subway. 

Oh, and on a side note: Marcela, our investigator in our last area who was going to be baptized and who went to El Cerro de Gloria with us has a baptismal date on the 7th of March. We should be able to go, I'm pretty sure. So that's exciting. 

That's about it! I hope to be able to tell you guys that we have more investigators next week, but we'll see! Love ya'll!

Elder Bingham

My birthday! With all of our crazy masks.
 Elder Villatoro didn't really want to wear his, and the other Elder and the other guy that 
was with us didn't want to be in the picture. But there ya go.

¿Piernas o panchos? 
Haha I just had this idea during the week that made me laugh

A little bit of a chilly week this week! 
Cold enough for sweaters! It was kind of nice.

another mask pic... haha

Monday, February 16, 2015

So...New Area!

Wassup family! First of all, sorry about the letter last week. I was a little distraught. It's kind of weird that I grew so attached to my last area in only a week, but whatever. I kind of forgot to answer a few questions I think and also mention that I DID receive the package of Christmas cards a couple weeks ago. Just those. Haha that was pretty great, I opened it up at zone meeting and all the Elder's saw Mckell's card with the big SWACK on the front and they were all going crazy. And then I opened it and read that it was from my cousin and they were all kind of sad. Haha. But it sounds like ya'll are doing well. Thank you all for the birthday wishes! And thanks you grandparents for the cash! Honestly I have no idea what to spend it on, but I'll find something. 

So our new area! We're in a MEGA GIGANTIC area in a SUPER TINY branch. Only me and Elder Villatoro. Still in Mendoza, and this place is called Algarrobal. We've got the Mendoza airport in our area, so you might be able to GoogleMaps stalk that. So there's 30 active members more or less when they're all there. They're all really great, our Branch President is this really young guy who's super willing to help us with whatever we need. And the rest of the members are the same way. We have like no investigators at all right now, because we got here and found a basically empty Record book.  Or whatever it's called in English. Oh, and I believe the reason we did come here is because one of the Elders that was here went home for some reason, and the other one had been there with like 4 companions so they just moved him too. I think that's the reason. Also we arrived to a super flithy pension, so when we got there we basically unpacked and cleaned the pension our first day there. Blah. We have to take the bus basically to whereever we need to go in our area, and it's about a 30 minute bus ride to the other end of our area. So yeah. It's mega gigantic. There's about nothing here either, just lots of little poor neighborhoods scattered across a giant area. So we have to walk a lot too. I'm pretty sure we walked about 6 kilometers yesterday, for example. Sorry, that was a lot of jumbled information. I hope it made sense. 

I had a más o menos bien birthday yesterday. I really just decided to postpone it until today, because yesterday wasn't super fun or anything. It was good, but today's going to be a lot better. Elder Villatoro made me a nice Guatemalan breakfast, some eggs with some homemade salsa on top. It was pretty good. Then church was weird. Me and Elder Villatoro had to give talks, which wasn't too bad. We just spoke about hastening the work and how we need to work with the members because we really need help right now. Haha. And then because this branch is so tiny they don't have a young men's president so we had to teach young men's too. Talk about a great birthday right? I didn't bother telling anyone in the branch. I just don't really like telling people it's my birthday you know? I did make flan last night though. It's super easy! I had no idea. It just comes in packets here that you just add to milk and then cook it. ANYWAY, today for P-day should be more fun. Remember our investigator Marcela in our last area who's probably getting baptized really soon? Her and her recent convert sister Fernanda are coming hiking with us and a the other Elders in our old area. (Haha Elder Clarke also got special transferred like the day after us last week) Fernanda studies tourism I guess and so she knows all the hot spots of Mendoza. So today should be fun. Oh, and also we still should be able to go to the baptism of Marcela is she does get baptized. We're still super close to our other area. So that's at least good. 

I really think that's about it for now! I think this letter is pretty loaded anyway. Hope you all have a fantastic week!

this is Marcela and Fernanda! In that order. They're super cool.

Goodbye to Elder Clarke... again. So sad.

New pension selfie. I guess. Yeah we basically have to sleep on the floor. That's fun. 

I MADE FLAN! Hahaha!

Monday, February 9, 2015

Well...Things just suddenly got very different

Hola familia! I had a más o menos bien week here! Don't get me wrong, it was really great. Just this morning things took a turn for the weird. I'll tell more about it later. But, great to hear from you guys! As always. Thanks for sending shirt sizes. Hopefully I can find the right ones, because I'm not sure if they do sizes like that down here. I know if I find NIKE shirts those ones have S, M, L, etc. but we'll see. Sounds pretty warm over there! It's cooling down a little bit here. I'm still waking up drenched in sweat, which is kind of gross. But hopefully that'll be over soon. We actually had a little bit of cooler weather this week. And a super giant rainstorm. That was fun. 

So... "Why are things suddenly different?" you might be asking. Well, everything was just fine and dandy until right when we got into the Cyber this morning. Elder Cubilla (our district leader and Elder Clarke's companion) gets a call from the zone leaders and finds out that me and Elder Villatoro are getting special transferred. I guess we're just getting transferred somewhere else in the zone, but I'm not sure why. But I'm kind of like "Seriously?" I'll be honest... I'm not super happy right now. I was just starting to get to know the ward, and we have a super awesome investigator who is most likely getting baptized in 2 weeks. So we're like leaving tomorrow, and Elder Clarke and Elder Cubilla get the whole area to themselves. GRRRR! And I was really looking forward to catching up with Elder Clarke too. So, FA! (Argentine expression that would be the equivalent of "dang," but also sounds like a really bad word in English) 

I really don't know what else to say this week, now that we're leaving. We taught some great lessons to people, including our awesome investigator Marcela, but I'm going to miss this area. It's a little frustrating that we're already leaving. But, I'll keep working hard in this new area. We're both going to be new to the area though, so things will probably start out slow. 

Cíao familia! I'll start working on buying shirts and getting my cardboard cutout me!

Elder Bingham

Not many new pics this week, but I'll send a few that I got in my last area with some of our families right before I left.

the Rosales family! I think I told you guys about Ramón awhile ago, but this family was super helpful. 
They'd always help us in our lessons with people and set up Noche de Hogars with investigators and stuff.

This is Leonel! He's a convert that is leaving on his mission in like a week or something, he was in my last area. 
But he gave me this compass thing right before I left! He's pretty cool. 

Monday, February 2, 2015

Reunited... After only 2 transfers?

Hola familia! Haha I've got some crazy stories this week to compete with the fact that Amaya's getting engaged! Maybe not as cool as that, but it was a fun week. But congratulations Amaya! And Charlie! I'm going to have like a new brother! Haha this has been on my mind for like 3 weeks straight... Kind of stinks that I'm missing all the action, but at least I get a cardboard cut-out of me. Haha. And also congratulations to Jayson for not getting an F. That's a bonus. 

So first things first, with this whole getting married thing. I've been thinking about something I can kind of do for a wedding gift or something these last few weeks. Elder Stocks is going home in like April and he said he might be able to take a package with him. I think I want to send you all jerseys of like the 2 biggest soccer teams down here. Their names are Boca or River.... Kind of weird. But I think I'm going to send all of you one. I'm personally from River, so bonus to whoever gets the River jerseys. Haha. The jerseys can be like 100 pesos each, so they're not too expensive. So once it gets closer to April I'll let you guys know with more information. 

So, I'm in Mendoza now! My companion's name is Elder Villatore, from Guatemala. He's pretty cool. He's a little quiet and shy, like me, but that just makes it all the better for us to practice talking to people on the street. Plus he only has like 2 more months than me on the mission. But the crazy part is is that I've been reunited with Elder Clarke! We are now living in the same pension. It's a much smaller pension than my last one, and unfortunately doesn't have air conditioning. Sleeping is a little rough sometimes. But Elder Clarke has been in this area for these last two transfers training but they didn't make him leave yet. He's got the same comp and everything. So we've been doing a lot of catching up these last few days. This ward is pretty cool, I think. They seem like nice people. They actually do have someone who plays the piano, unfortunately. But oh well. We've got some great investigators already and one who is probably most likely getting baptized in like 3 weeks! Wahoo! She's pretty cool, her name is Marcela. Her sister got baptized like 2 weeks ago too or something. Not a lot happened this week though. Me and Elder Villatore are both basically new to the area. This is his second transfer here, so we're still getting to know the place. 

This place is a little bit harder than San Juan, which does have its benefits actually. Not as many let us come to their houses to let us teach them, but I think the ones who do let us will be more rewarding. And there are way more crazy people here. For example: we have a less-active who believes God is a woman, there's this crazy lady that's sometimes on the street who came up to us the other day with her arms sticking out like a zombie and was like "I'M HUNGRY. GIVE ME FOOD." I was like really scared for my life, and we really didn't know what to do, so Elder Villatore gave her 20 pesos and we walked away very quickly. Also, someone tried to rob me this week! Wahoo! I think he saw my planner in my pocket and thought it was a huge Samsung Galaxy or something so he came up to me, with a knife and everything, and said "Give me your cellphone!" He reached into my pocket and pulled out my planner, which had a picture of Jesus on it, and then he dropped it and ran away. He didn't even take anything! Hahahaha. I think Jesus scared him off. So I hope that doesn't scare you too much, Mom. 

That's about it for this week! Congrats on the engagement! Love you guys!

Elder Bingham

Thought I'd get a picture of English class. This was a little bit staged.

Here's a picture of Cesar! That less-active I told you about. He's pretty cool.

Good bye to my dad! It was sad. 

Some of the members in my other area. I will miss them. 

funny pic of Elder Cupilla. He's totally black.

Here's our pension! 
From left: Elder Villatore, Elder Clarke, Elder Cupilla (from Urugüay) and me!