Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Division Splits (week 8)

This week went by super fast. We met a lot of cool people. Some really kapo people (kapo means "super awesome"). One guy we found read the Book of Mormon and he now knows that..........evangelicalism is false, which was not our real goal but we will take what we can get. We also met this really nice kid, he's a kapo too. He came to church yesterday and seemed to really like it. We also went on divisions this week. Divisions are where you switch companions for a day and proselyte in your area or the other elder's area. So on friday we divided up and I went with elder oaks (who has been here as long as me)! We stayed in my area so I had to kind of be the leader, but since it's only my second week here, it was like the blind leading the blind as we walked around in this foreign country, which I still don't really know, using a language that neither of us can really speak or understand. I was very scared and nervous about  this experience unfortunately, so I decided to say a prayer which did end up helping with my faithlessness. So elder oaks and I walked a lot that day. We prayed a lot that day too because we had no idea what to do and I did not want to make the decisions about where we should go, but in the end I did have to make most of the decisions because we were in my area! Thank goodness God helped us or else that would have been a really wasted day. Towards the end of the day we saw a man peeing on a wall in public, so that was interesting. And some members tried to rob us right around the time of day we saw the peeing man. It took us a good while to realize it was a joke haha. Actually, Elder oaks was able to figure out that the members were trying to fake "rob" us but I just thought they were asking for directions. If I ever got robbed for real, I think I would end up telling them a joke or something. One of the scariest points of the day was when I got a call on the phone right before we were going to give a lesson to an investigator, because I didn't know who was calling or what they wanted or how I was going to understand and talk to them. But, in an act of faith I answered and it was my real comp Elder Ortolano (I sighed so hard it made the investigator laugh at me).  Unfortunately, I couldn't really understand what he was saying to me, even in english. I found out later that him and his "division comp" had just got robbed for REAL and were telling me but because I couldn't understand what he was saying, I just said "okay. good". And then hung up the phone. They told me later that that really confused them hahaha. They said some "pibes" (street thugs) (there's lots of kids here that just smoke and drink all day and annoy people. The older people hate them and call them pibes which is almost like "street rats" or something) were following them around and then they just came up from behind and grabbed them and held them up at knife point. My comp said one of them had a gun too. They took my comps bag and phone and the other elders bus card and then took both there watches. We had to go get a new bag for elder ortolano the next day at the office and they gave him a sick fanny pack. I want to get robbed now to so I can get one. Just joking mom (but not really). The funny thing is that because we didnt know they had been robbed, me and oaks were trying to call them all day and we were getting super mad that they weren't answering their phone. The other scary point was when we tried teaching a first lesson to this scary grandma who looked a little like ezma from the "emperors new groove" movie. 

the food here is fantastic, really unhealthy, stuff but totally worth it by the way. Also they give me grief here because I love honey and use it with everything here becuase its like the only flavoring I get, besides my beloved Tabasco sauce that I had to smuggle into the country. My mom bought me 400 little packets of Tabasco. They look like ketchup packets. Going two years without Tabasco was a deal breaker for me. They took up a big section of my suitcase, but it was worth it. Every time I whip out one of my packets I have to explain what it is because they don't have Tabasco sauce in Argentina. Of course my mission friends from America think I'm a freak, but I don't care!

Moving on, my spiritual thought for the week is this. This is based off of experiences I have had all this week. God cares deeply about each one of us and He knows perfectly how to help us. That being the case, me as a missionary am suppose to help these people come closer to Christ. And I'm suppose to do this with complete strangers. I know full well I am not capable of helping all these wonderful people here without Heavenly Fathers help. I am so grateful I have this opportunity to put my trust in my God and submit my will to His. All I want to do is let Him take the reins over the lesson and just help me to be His voice as I teach and say the things He wants these wonderful people to know. I had the opportunity many times this week to express the love He has for these people. And I was able to feel a mere fraction of that love He has for them and that "mere fraction" was more love than I have ever felt for anyone, ever. I have prayed in all earnestness and supplication for Heavenly Father to allow me to help some of the people I've met and I've been able to watch the spirit testify of Christ. Sometimes I think I'm to blessed. I love this work and this country.  I miss home a lot, but I'm so grateful to be here serving the Lord and His children. 

Elder Ren porter
Ren's email: ren.porter@myldsmail.com
Ren's blog: elderrenporter.blogspot.com
Also, my new favorite scripture is still Isaiah 49: 15-16

My pictures for the week. I can't take any outside because my comp says if I step outside with a camera, I'm basically asking to get robbed. 

This is the view from my apartment window.
My bedroom that I share with 3 other elders. I sleep on the top bunk (just like I did at home)
Our desk/work area
This is my bathroom. One thing everyone forgot to mention is that Argentinians don't use toilet paper, they use a bidet! Everyone keeps telling me I'll get used to it, but I won't! I hate it!

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