Monday, July 25, 2016

Little tiny miracles

Well hey family!

So we're still getting used to the whole working-in-2-areas thing. But hey... We had a tiny bit of success this week. Our week wasn't completely lousy. Plus... I didn't get robbed! So, that's a bonus. 

Well, where to start? Honestly not much happened this week. But one really good thing did happen! So I'm not sure if I ever told you guys, but we've been teaching this part-member family for quite some time now. There names are Alberto, Diego, and Yassir. Alberto is the grandpa, Diego is the son, and Yassir is the grandson, and the nephew of Diego. Alberto and Diego are inactive members, and Yassir isn't a member. He's 12 years old. And he's super dope! He had a baptismal date for the 30th of July, but he went to Chile with his mom for winter vacations. So his baptismal date fell, because he hasn't come to church yet. So we haven't had contact with them for these last 2 weeks. But he got back on Friday! And so we went on taught them on Saturday, and put a baptismal date for the 20th of August, my last Saturday before I come home. His mom was there that night because she was the one who brought him from Chile, and we talked to her about everything, and she's not a member. But she gave her permission for him to be baptized! We came by to pick up Yassir on Sunday for church and left the baptismal record with her to sign, and we've got permission now. And Yassir came to church! So he's progressing super well! We're going to have a baptism for sure practically. I'm so excited! 

What else.... I don't really know! Ricardo's getting a little bit better. He still hasn't been able to come to church, and we haven't seen him either. But I talked to him on the phone this week and he's getting a little better, he's just busy going to the doctor like all the time. 

I get my final transfer call this week... I think President is going to leave me in my area. I hope. I've got an end of mission miracle baptism coming up. And I don't really want to go to a new area for 3 1/2 weeks. But I just hope he's able to make a change about the current rut we're stuck in, working in 2 areas. It complicates everything. The problem is that President has sent home a ton of missionaries this transfer, and there's a ton that are leaving at the end of the transfer, and the number of elders coming is about the same. So he won't be able to fill many areas back up. And he's closed a lot this transfer. There just aren't missionaries in the mission any more! Or at least a lot less than there should be. So I have no idea what President is going to do with me for this transfer, for that reason. I'm not making it easy for him either, cause I'm leaving early. We'll see what happens. 

But for now, I'm going to keep looking for the little tiny miracles like Yassir. The days have been hard recently because we haven't found much to do, but what we have we're holding onto. And I'm grateful for that at least. 

Love you guys! Have a great week!

Elder Bingham
We tried making chicken. It turned out okay.
Elder Yugsi is a goof. He bought these glasses and likes to scare the primary children

Selfie with some statues.

Monday, July 18, 2016

The struggles of living 2 lives

Hi guys! 

This week was fun. As I already told everyone... Elder Yugar went home this week. I'm now solo with Elder Yugsi. And it's been a blast. But it's also been a huge struggle. Let me tell you how we do things here now. 

So... Basically we switch between areas every other day. We work one day in Sarmiento (my area) and one day in Estanzuela (Elder Yugsi's area). We sleep in whatever area we're working in that day, and then in the morning we travel back to the other one, because the morning's aren't as effective for working. 

Perks of having 2 areas:
  • We have 2 cell phones.
  • We have 2 apartments. 
  • We have double the lunches! We won't ever go hungry this transfer.
  • I'm exploring new places! I was getting a little tired of Sarmiento.
  • I've now worked in every single ward in the Godoy Cruz Stake. I've been in 5 of the wards, and gone on intercambios in the other 3. I haven't left the stake for 13 months. 
Downfalls of having 2 areas:
  • We have to travel every day
  • It's a lot harder to visit people. Because they tell us "Come by on Wednesday!" But on Wednesday we have to be in the other area. It's a little difficult to find new investigators for that same reason. We're just trying to hold onto what we already have.
  • We have to do intercambios on Sundays with the office Elders so that we can each go to our own wards.
  • My food and clothes are scattered between 2 apartments. 
  • My new area is kind of dangerous, and we got robbed yesterday. 
Yeah... Not to freak you out or anything. We're both okay. They just pulled out a gun on us and took our cell phones. It was stupid. Oh well. Don't worry about us. We're fine. I was grateful for the Lord's protection. It could've been worse. We were probably about a kilometer from one of the more dangerous areas of the mission. We thought we were at a pretty safe distance, but I guess when you're there on Sundays at 5 in the afternoon when nobody is outside that complicates things a bit. 

So all in all... We're getting the hang of things a bit. It's a new thing for me. We've got 2 more weeks of living like this. But, even though it's way hard to teach people. I'm really grateful to have a comp that I not only get along with, but that I enjoy being with. And I'm not babysitting anymore. It's a nice change. We've also seen the Lord's hand this week, even though we've hardly taught anything. We've talked to a bunch of people on the street, and we've got a lot of names to contact this week. 

I love you all! One more thing: Pray for Ricardo! He's been super sick recently and hasn't come to church for 4 weeks. I've forgotten to write about that in my last letters. But he could use the blessings. 

Elder Bingham

District foto
Final pic of our trio
The aftermath of the robbing... They shot us a couple times in the face with their gun but we put band-aids on so we're okay.

I'm totally kidding we just put BBQ sauce on our faces. 

Monday, July 11, 2016

Some big changes

Well hi family! I feel like there's a lot of things I have to tell you guys this week!

So for starters, I've got a new comp. I'm in a trio actually. His name is Elder Yugsi, from Ecuador. He's a hoot. This week has been a lot more fun than I've been used to thanks to him. But the reason why I've got two comps now is that our mission right now is lacking a lot of missionaries. The group that just barely went home was gigantic, and there's been like 5 missionaries that have gone home in the middle of the transfer. Elder Yugsi is in my district, and he had a mini missionary. There was actually a lot of mini missionaries in our mission at the beginning of the transfer. But they've run out. And Elder Yugsi's mini missionary went home last monday, for unknown reasons. So now he's stuck with us because he doesn't have a companion, and that also means that we have to work in our area and his area. That's been really difficult. We have to spend a lot of time traveling, and there's not really a lot of time to find new investigators in either area. So we're just focusing on really small parts of both areas where we have things to do and finding more people in those parts of the area. It's interesting. Plus is sucks to teach... Because everyone's so used to teaching in pairs, that when one missionary stops talking it's like "whose turn is it to talk?" And it's just awkward. But we're getting used to it. 

On Wednesday I had my last interview with President Goates, before the FINAL interview, where he talks to everyone about stuff like marriage and stuff. That's coming up. But it was my last normal interview. We had a good chat about how I can help Elder Yugar, how to work in 2 different areas, how to be in a trio, etc. It was great. 

Thursday we had intercambios with the zone leaders. I went with our new zone leader Elder Hakes and also Elder Yugar. And WEIRD CRAP went down. Our last lesson for the night was with some recent converts and ex-investigators of mine, two girls that are 19 and 18 years old. The older one has fallen into the temptation a couple times since her baptism of drinking when she goes to big parties and stuff. So we were helping her with that. But Elder Yugar went nuts. I've never seen him like this before. He started attacking them really hard and made them feel really bad, and he didn't do it with any love. They felt really pressured and offended, and me and Elder Hakes were trying to stabilize the situation. But in the end we just shared a quick thought and left. And then we tried to make Elder Yugar understand and learn why he couldn't be like that in a lesson, and we're not really sure what happened after that. He didn't talk to anyone else the rest of the night. 

We got to the pensh and he isolated himself from everyone else. He was standing in the open window leaning out, and we got kind of nervous so Elder Hakes convinced him to move away from the window. He sat down on the floor facing the wall and didn't say anything. Then at 10:30 it was time for bed, so we tried getting him to go to bed but he wouldn't budge. And that was when we realized he was actually unconscious. UNCONSCIOUS! We called President, called the bishop of the ward to come take him to the hospital, and tried waking him up. We loosened his tie and collar, elevated his legs, and he finally woke up coughing. They went to the hospital anyway. They tested his blood and stuff, and everything was normal. Nobody slept much that night. 

So yeah. Everything was back to normal in the morning. But on Saturday morning I got a phone call from President. He wanted to talk to me and Elder Yugar. So we went to the office for more interviews. I went in first, and President told me that the area doctors want to send him home. President was trying to get an idea of the situation, and we basically came to this conclusion: I can handle Elder Yugar. It's worked well so far. But we don't know what will happen when I go home. He might have another episode like this one. So President talked to Elder Yugar, and he's going to fast and pray to decide if he's going to send him home or not. We still don't know what he's decided, but I imagine we'll find out this week. 

Sorry for the long letter, but I felt like there was a lot of important stuff. I'm going to end now, but I hope everything goes well this week. I love you all! 

Elder Bingham

So I didn't finish my Cyber time this morning before we left for our p-day activity, but since then there are MORE BIG CHANGES. 

So we went with a bunch of other missionaries to this place called Potrerillos. It's this really pretty lake in the mountains. We took lots of awesome pictures that I'm going to send now. 

But on our way out I got a call from President Goates. It seems that Elder Yugar is going home tomorrow. So.... Looks like I'll be solo with Elder Yugsi now. It was so sad to tell him. It felt like I was breaking the news to someone about the death of a family member. He was really sad. I was really sad. It seems I've really come to love the guy. Even though he's really bizarre. He's good now... I think he's gotten used to the idea now. But, there's another update from here. 

You can add this to the other letter. 

Elder Bingham

Porfa? Or por favor? Or please?

Porfa? Or por favor? Or please?
I found a cat!
Making empanadas and eating chorizo with the ward for the 9 de Julio!
Making it rain

Monday, July 4, 2016

I'm getting old

Well hi guys! 

Not a bad week here. I'm still doing great with Elder Yugar, no problems there. We had a pretty decent week, we've got a couple investigators that are progressing really well. I'm actually feel a lot better about the work I'm getting done with Elder Yugar than I did at the end of my time with Elder Huaman. We're actually getting lessons with member now at least, whereas with Elder Huaman it was hard to actually teach anything. The problem is still finding new investigators, but we're working hard. 

Speaking of Elder Huaman, I got a call from him this week. He called me from the airport, I guess he went home. I don't know why he went home exactly, but I felt bad for him. Even after how difficult the transfer was, he's still my hijo. I hope everything is well with him. 

Returning to the subject line... I felt really old this week. On Wednesday we were walking and my left knee felt like it kind of needed to pop or something, it was a little uncomfortable. But then on Thursday we went out in the morning and my knee just started FREAKING OUT. I don't really know to describe the pain exactly, just random sharp pains whenever I stepped kind of badly. It didn't feel to great. Needless to say I stayed in the apartment the whole day, cause I couldn't walk. 

On Friday it felt a little better, the sharp pains were less frequent but there was more of a constant very small pain/stiffness in my knee. We had zone meeting that morning, and then afterwards I decided to go see a doctor. The mission nurse is in my district, so it wasn't too hard to get permission for that. And then that morning Elder Castillo (one of my more recent comps, he came back to the zone this transfer) was eating something and one of his fillings fell out. So he had to go the dentist. So we got permission to do special intercambios and go do our medical stuff while our comps worked. It was nice to hang out with him again. 

I went to the traumatologist (is that how you spell it?) and it was kind of weird because as soon as I got there I couldn't feel any pain in my knee. So he obviously didn't find anything wrong with it. And then I left and it started to bother me again. Grrr.... 

But really I'm fine now. It's not impeding me from walking anymore. It bothers me a little bit, but I'm good besides that. No more soccer though. Darn it. 

So yeah... I felt old this week. But that's the only update I've got for now. Love you all!

Elder Bingham

Zone meeting selfie!

On my special intercambios with Elder Castillo we got to go by and visit the bishop's family in the ward we served in! 
I love the Montenegros. Unfortunately bishop wasn't there. But it was nice. 

MANSO! This word means something like "awesome" in Argentina whereas in other countries it means "humble." But I found this wall art and I was way happy!

I'm not sure how appropriate this is. But you have to be careful in Argentina, or you see things like this. I pass this freaking wall like twice a week.