Sunday, January 31, 2016

December 31, 2015

Feliz Navidad from PUNTA ALTA!

So, here I am. Transfers hit. And I'm currently writing you from a cyber in downtown Punta Alta, a coastal city close to Bahia Blanca. This transfer was really weird. President took just about everyone out of their comfort zone, including me. They made me go really far. But Punta Alta's nice. It's small. We have ELDERS AGAIN. They're super great. One is Elder K, from North Carolina, and Elder W, from Arizona. Elder K's got like a year and a half, and Elder W's, got 3 months. My new comp is Hermana Leavitt, who kicked me out of Balcarce. She's pretty great. She's super funny and likes to draw, anime style. She reminds me a lot of ben.
Me, Hna Leavitt, Cintia, an investigator, and her neighbor. This was new year's day. Me and Hna Leavitt were only comps for 1 week. But it was a super awesome week. We got along super well, worked super hard, and then they fired me from Punta Alta and sent me to White. She's from Utah, she's 22 (I think) and is an art major and was studing at BYU.

Well, what can I tell you about the last week... On Saturday  they told me that I'd be going to Punta Alta. the truth is, I was pretty sad to leave Olavarria, and not super excited to go to Punta Alta, cause it's really far out of my comfort zone. But I decided to see the best in it, and thought of goals in the bus. The two most important to me were "have a working relationship with the bishop" and "have a working relationship with the ward mission leader." I was super excited by the time I arrived in Bahia Blanca. Then Elder B, the elder from Montana that I got to know in Tandil, says "your ward's really great, they're baptizing like locos. And your ward mission leader's less active. And when he got home from his mission, he tattooed the baptism symbol on his back. And your bishop's inactive." That was it. I almost started to cry and wanted to get back on the bus to Olavarria. But he convinced me to get in the cab bound for Punta Alta. So that's how I got here. And everyday's been weird since I got here. Its a small, almost dysfunctional ward. The missionaries are beloved and run everything basically  The hermana that I replaced was super beloved and nobody wanted her to leave. So that's rough. But I think they're warming up to me. 
The zone's really, really weird. Were just a bunch of really nerdy white people. All of us. We're all from the US- it's weird. And we're only 8. And 8 of the nerdiest nerds i've ever met. 

So that's what life in Punta Alta is like. Next week I'll send fotos, and more information about the ward and the investigators.

Well, i'm not really sure what stories to tell you, so I'll go for three catagories- funny/weird, Argentine, and spiritual.

Funny- there's an elder here, E K, who's super redneck. I said the phrase "hold my beer and watch this" about his redneck story, and he laughed and said, that's about right. But he's got a pretty sweet tie. It's blue, a baby blue, with bunches of cotton. It's a really well done tie, Brooks Brothers style, but super redneck at the same time. I thought it was pretty funny.

Argentine- we've got an investigator who's got a dog who loves us more than her. His name is Leo. He's a little squirt. The other day he followed us the whole time. The whole day. We went into places, and he waited. On the way home, a slightly bigger street dog attacked him in the neck, and tried to kill him. We scared the big dog off, and poor little Leo was too scared to keep going. My comp comforted him and carried him for like 20 minutes until he calmed down. Then we sent him home. Then the next day he was fine. Argentine dogs are weird. A follow up story, the same dog followed the investigator to the chapel for her son's baptism. Then we had a sports night outside. The dog really wanted to be a part of it, but he's so not allowed into the court. It look like 20 minutes to get him out. First he came in one door, then the other, then a mischievous little girl let him in. And then the elder from Montana said, I'm gonna fix this, and tried to pick him up. A member girl who was there grabbed his arm and said- elder, don't do it, he's got pulgor. And he looked at me and said- what is pulgor. And I said "ticks" And he said- oh, and tried to grab him again. And the member girl freaked out and wouldn't let him. There's the difference between Montana and Argentina.

Spiritual- the hermanas have a cute little convert of like a week. She was super attached to the hermana who left, and did not really like me. But last night, she was super sad about the hermana who left, and we had a good talk, and I was just like, Heavenly Father, give me the words to help this girl. And I knew just what to say. Then she gave me a huge hug and we started getting to know each other. In a part of Preach My Gospel it says that you know you're a successful missionary when you feel the spirt working through you, and I felt that yesterday with this sweet young woman. And I felt pretty good, like I'm not the worst missionary ever. (I think that might be the elder who has a child that he doesn't know in Balcarce. So there's that.)
Well, thats all for this week. LOVE YOU TONS!
Hermana Long

This is the front window of the Punta Alta house. 

And this is the kitchen. I was only there for a week, so there aren't a lot of fotos.

When we skyped on Christmas, we saw she was sunburned, so we asked about the weather:
When I got here to Punta Alta, it was hot and humid and I was happy. For the first time in a long time my whole body isn't itchy. So that's nice. But then it got cold again. But it's still a little humid, so that's nice. I've learned that I have a really high tolerance for heat. And I've been really good about sunscreen. It's part of my daily routine now. I'm super tan, but not burnt. It's good.

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