Monday, January 25, 2016

A week spent everywhere except my area

Dearest family....

Well hello! How's everyone? Everything here in Lujan is just the greatest. Let me tell you about it. 

This week was a strange week for us! It's not every week when literally every day is spent somewhere not in your area. Unless you're in the office. I know how that is. But that doesn't mean this week went without learning a thing or two! I actually learned a lot of things this week. Where to start? 

So... obviously Monday was p-day. So we spent not very much time in our area that day. 

On Tuesday we had interviews with President! So we made the hour bus trip to the office in the early afternoon, and we were there from 2-6:30ish. Some people had some really long interviews. But they were great interviews! Hermana Goates talked to all of us about making better goals so that we can accomplish them better, something the mission has kind of struggled with recently. And she also talked to us about things we can do to change the culture of our mission, to make it the best mission in the world! :D And then I had a great interview with President. Nice and short, he basically just asked me about my experience reading the Book of Mormon this last year, and how I'm going with the challenge he's given us as a mission, which was to write down 5 blessings we receive every day. It's really been cool so far, as I've done it I've found a lot of things that I didn't know I was grateful for before! But that was that day... We got back at around 7:30 and couldn't do much after that. 

On Wednesday was the worldwide missionary training! Also, I randomly got really sick! Blech. That morning I woke up feeling like poop, and then we had to come to the office again to watch the broadcast. It was great! Got to hear the apostles talk about the doctrine of Christ and our purpose as missionaries. But the whole time I was trying to put up with the gigantic headache I had and the urge I had to throw up. It was awful. I felt SO bad, that when we finally made it back to the pension at 5:30ish I just had to stay in bed. We then figured out I had a fever! Being sick stinks. 

Fortunately on Thursday I felt better. But, once again I wasn't in the area the whole day. Cause once upon a time I need new shoe inserts/insoles cause mine are really destroyed. So I went to a foot-doctor appointment in centro so they could measure my feet and make the insoles for me. And that took all day cause the first doctor I went to made me go to another doctor and the other doctor was closing for the ciesta. So we had to go back 4 hours later for the appointment. Grrr. 

And on Friday/Saturday we had intercambios! But our intercambios are weird now. For some reason our mission just changed the way we do intercambios. Now both missionaries go to the area of the district leader and do splits instead of just changing areas. Apparently the area of the district leader has to be "an example" and so now we all go over there. It's kind of weird. But hey, it was great! Lately I've felt kind of stressed that there's lots of things that I have to get better at like RIGHT NOW. And I've been kind of stressed about it, and I don't know why. But Elder Solomon (my district leader) helped me realize that I obviously can't improve all those things at the same time, so I need to just focus on one thing and work on that. We both learned a lot from each other and it was a great intercambio! 

So all in all, this week was hardly ever spent in the area. We came out of the week with just 1 lesson with a less active! Almost less than what I usually got in the office. But hey, this week I think we should be in the area every day, so we're looking forward to applying what we learned this week so that we have a killer week this week! I'll let you know how it goes. Love you all! And sorry for the really long letter. 

Elder Bingham

Monday, January 18, 2016

God has a sense of humor

Hi everyone!

This week was pretty normal. Elder Castillo and I have basically gotten to know the whole area now. I think. I'm pretty sure we know about all the members and less-actives and investigators that live here. I hope. The good news is, there's a lot of them! So that's why it's taken us 3 weeks to do it all. But it's been fun! The members have been really helpful to us and have shown us literally EVERYONE that the missionaries were teaching before we got here. Which brings me to my subject line! FUNNY STORY! 

So. On... Saturday? Yes. Saturday. We were having a very slow evening. There was really no one to visit in the moment. That evening we were working in the tiny part of Lujan that we have in our area. (The other elders in our ward have the rest of Lujan, we have this other city that's part of the ward called Perdriel.) So we just were working in this tiny part of Lujan and there wasn't a whole lot of people to visit, so we were doing a lot of street-contacting and knocking doors. And I just wanted to find somebody. And then something funny happened! I had to POOP! What?Yes! I had to poop. So we got thinking. It was about a 30 minute walk to the pension, or a 15 minute walk to the chapel. So then I had a stroke of genius, and I was like "Let's go to the chapel!" Cause it's closer obviously. Plus we really wanted to talk to a recent convert that lives really close to the chapel that is really good friends with some of our best investigators! So we wanted to also make an appointment to go with her on the way to the chapel to poop. 

So, we made it to the house of Franca, the recent convert. And we did what we went there for. We should be going with her one of these days this week. And she gave us a reference! Wahoo! Bonus! And then we went to the chapel. I did my business, and we were about to leave when some members walked in. They were there to finish up cleaning the chapel for Sunday. And so they asked us if we could help them put up the chairs in the chapel so they could sweep. We're like, "Okay!" And so we did. And what do we get for a reward? 3 MORE REFERENCES! It was like Christmas! All because I randomly had to poop! So that was a really good day. I call it a miracle. Also, returning to the subject line, God is really funny sometimes. 

So, when in need of a miracle, just poop! That's probably terrible advice. But hey, that's what happened. We're definitely going to be contacting those people this week. And hopefully we see more progress with our investigators this week. This week we didn't have a whole lot of contact with them for some reason. But this week we will! I love you all! And I'll let you know what happens this week! 

Elder Bingham

More fun with my new selfie stick. That's basically all for this week. 

Monday, January 11, 2016

The selfie stick

Dear people who read these letters: 

Well hi! How is everyone? I feel like I haven't gotten to write anyone in forever. I think it's cause I got deprived of writing people during the holidays. I'm still recovering apparently. 

It seems that I wasn't the only one who had a long week! Also not a lot happened this week. It was just slightly slow for some reason. So... Where to start? Well, I don't know. Really NOTHING happened this week. We went around our entire area to every house we knew of and tried to teach all of our investigators and less actives, but they could never attend us. So, we basically just made appointments with every person we're teaching in our area for this next week. Hopefully we see some results. But, that really was about all of our week. So I'll just write about our investigators instead. 

So we're teaching this 15 year old kid named Axel. And we finally met him this week! These last few weeks when we've tried he's been gone and only his sisters have been there. We're also teaching them, but Axel is progressing the most by far. He's a way cool kid! Also he's a great investigator! Apparently when Elder Gray and his comp were here they left him with the Book of Mormon, and Axel went and read it in 3 days! BAH! I've never heard of such a thing from an investigator! Also whenever we go he asks us for a new pamphlet to read, cause that's what Elder Gray always did before. And he'll go and read the pamphlet and explain it back to the missionaries on the next visit. It's kind of really strange for a 15 year old kid to read so much, because Axel especially doesn't look the type to read so much. But, he does! And I've never had an investigator like this before. He also has mentioned that he wants to get baptized, but his only problem is that it's hard for him to get to church. He lives really far away. There's a bus that goes by, but he's got to wake up realy early to catch it. So we're working with him. He's a good kid. And this last week we took the young men's president with us to teach him, and our young men's president here is AWESOME! He basically became friends with Axel right away, and invited him to all the upcoming activities and stuff. So WAHOO! 

We also have this family named Albornoz. They were really close to getting baptized awhile back! But then the previous elders left and due to the next elders constantly being gone at the doctor's and stuff like that they didn't get taught very much. They actually only need like 1 more lesson and to come to church a couple more times each and they'll be ready! They're just a family of dry members... Waiting to get dunked in a baptismal font! The problem is we haven't ever been able to find them in their house recently. So... We're working there as well. 

And then we've got this other guy named Hugo that's living with a less-active named Rosario but they aren't married. They're working on divorcing their ex-spouses so they can get married, cause once upon a time Hugo was investigating the church and wanted to get baptized! He just had to get divorced and married first because he was living with another woman. Something very common in Argentina. And it's also very difficult for people to get divorced. There's just a bunch of things they have to do. Rosario is basically done with her papers and stuff. The problem with Hugo is that he's scared that if he does get divorced and married to Rosario that his kids are going to reject him. So he's a little scared. And they haven't been coming to church recently. So we've got a little work to do with them as well. 

So all in all, we've got a lot of potential in this area! We just need to get into their houses this week. Pray for them and pray for us! Love you guys! :D

Elder Bingham

So upon thinking of what I wanted for my Christmas present this year, I decided today! Elder Castillo and I went and bought selfie sticks! :D I guess Amaya convinced me of the coolness and the usefulness therof. 

I had no other photos this week, so I just barely took these. This thing has got some pretty long reach. I was able to get a pretty good photo of Elder Johnson who's like 10 feet behind me. 

Monday, January 4, 2016

A Happy New Year!

Well hello everyone, and Happy New Year! And Merry Christmas as well, for those who I didn't talk to on Christmas. I hope the holiday seasons were just splendid and full of snow and fun. So we're in 2016! That means I come home this year! That's all I'm going to say about that, cause it's really bizarre. Anyway, I feel like I've got a LOT to write this week cause I haven't written for 2 weeks! I'm not a huge fan of how we decided to do p-days for the holidays this year, cause I haven't gotten to write anyone in forever, but it's fine. I'm here now, so I'm happy. 

So... New transfer calls! And I was kind of expecting it, but Elder Gray left me here. He took off to San Juan, poor guy. It's really hot there right now. It's really hot here right now! And humid for some reason, it's weird. But I've got a new comp now, his name is Elder Castillo. He's from Trujillo Peru, but he moved to Buenos Aires about 6 years ago. He's got almost 5 months in the mission. And we're both basically brand new to the area! I was here for about a week before he got here, but due to all the craziness of the holidays and only being able to go out and work a few days that week I don't know the area hardly at all. So we're basically washing here. We're going about a little bit lost. But it's cool!

It's actually really amazing to see how much the Lord has helped us here in just our first week together, completely new to the area. I kind of didn't expect to find very many people to teach this week, because we're new and we don't know very many of the people that the other Elders were teaching before. I know a couple, but just that many. But we ended the week teaching 6 less active families, finding 4 new investigators, 2 lessons with members, and getting to know a whole bunch of other members! I was really surprised how this week turned out. God clearly blessed us. I highly doubt we would have been able to find so many people without his help. 

Fun fact: I'm learning Portuguese! :D Elder Castillo learned a little bit of Portuguese while he was in the MTC because his entire group was basically Brazilians. And ever since I've started being able to speak Spanish I've wanted to learn Portuguese as well, cause they're almost the same. So here's my chance! I now basically know how to read it already, so I'm reading O Livro de Mormòn, or the Book of Mormon in Portuguese. It's really fun! Portugese sounds weird. I'm teaching him English as well, because he wants to live in the States when he goes home. He's got an uncle there that's invited him if he learns English. And I'm his first gringo comp. So we're getting along just great. 

So all in all, it's really awesome to be out here in the field! I kind of feel bad for Elder Oveson, my financiero replacement. All these new governmental changes and inflation are really making his job a lot harder than it was for me. Plus I left him early. It's crazy here... I hope he's doing alright. 

I think that's all I feel like writing this week... That's really all the important stuff that happened. I hope you all have a great week, even though the holidays are over. Love you guys!

Elder Bingham

Happy new year! We went and watched the fireworks on our roof. My firework setting on my camara actually got some pretty cool pics!