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Monday, October 31, 2011

Water, Water, Water.

Wow, what a week. I don´t even know where to start. To briefly summarize, we had flash floods, two days of rain and service, two baptisms, and a crazy sickness that upset my stomach like a beast. I´ll talk briefly about everything with my available time. Anyways, here we go!

1) Flash Floods. So on monday night (last P-day), it started to rain. We work in the rain pretty regularly here and just went along with our usual routine. We taught a lesson in a member's home while the storm raged outisde. When we left, we got absolutely hammered by the tempest. We half walked/jogged to the bishop's house for shelter. With our raincoats and stuff, working in the rain isn´t a problem at all, but this wasn´t just your typical rain... It was a HURRICANE! haha. Not really. But it did remind me of the tropical storms we have back home. Äfter like an hour in the bishop´s home we left for the pench. We had waited for an hour with the bishop´s family, hoping for the rain to stop but didn´t have luck. We took off running into the storm. There wasn´t very much lightning, but it rained, and rained, and rained. Our pench is like 25 minutes away from the bishop´s house. No bueno. haha. The streets had already flooded over the curb, and on some of the worse roads, the water was above our knees!! This reminded me of the flood we had in Kingwood we had that one time guys! haha. Lucky, there were emergency buses running and picking up stranded people. Many people had cars stuck in mud or simply were stranded under trees! It was crazy. And guess what? The rain just kept coming! Finally, the bus dropped us off and we trudged our way to the pench, soaked and freezing, where we found something horrible. Our pench had flooded!! There was about two inches of water all over the floor. Luckily, two of the other Elders had arrived a bit earlier and had moved our stuff upstairs. Everything was soaked. Anyways, we all crammed into the small two rooms upstairs and slept through the storm after verifying with the zone leaders that we had all arrived safely. Then the next day can be defined with two words: service and sickness.

2) Service. This topic is a little bit more fun for me to talk about, so I´ll start with it. We spent the whole day--literally almost every hour--going to all the members' homes and helping. We also assisted a bunch of people in the streets with their cars and stuff like that. I obviously don´t have tons of time to describe everything, but we shoveled so many gallons of water out of people´s houses. To better paint the picture for you guys, a member owns an all-cement house that lies in a really low elevation, surrounded by mud mounds and a dirt road. He had a foot and a half of water in his house! It was really sad. Almost everything had been water damaged. It´s actually a good thing that it was made of cement. Had it been constructed with wood, who knows what would have happened. So anyways, we did service ALL DAY. It was actually a good experience. It was very similar to the service day we had after Hurricane Ike in Texas. We were a team of missionaries going from house to house, offering a helping hand. A bit crazy, but it was still a great day. You guys might be able to find the Argentine news about this flood on youtube. We watched a bit of it in a member's home. The entire city of Sante Fe experienced flash floods and waterdamage. Terrible loco.

3) Sickness! Uggghhh. All of the other elders had told me that everyone gets sick at least once during their first six weeks. I was hoping to be the exception, but nope... they were right haha. The morning of service I felt a little weird. I ate breakfast and then felt even worse. While doing some studies on my desk, my stomach was making weird noises. You guys know where this is going.... and it´s NOT FUNNY. haha. I ran to the bathroom, and we´ll just say that I didn´t have the best experience of my life. Then about two hours later, I threw up three times in the road. Yuck. I got some kind of bug. We think it was from the food that we had eaten in a member's house, but aren´t entirely sure. The next day, I felt a ton better. Then with a little more time, I was back to normal. It was something I ate cuz I didn´t have a fever or anything. My stomach and intestines were just killing me. Anyways, that´s enough about my infirmities. I´m sure more will come in the future. Hopefully they will pass quickly. Now, on to probably my favorite experience of my mission up to this point: My First Baptism.

4) Ba-ba-baptism! We had our servicio bautismal directly alfter sacrament meeting. Elder Birky and I had worked with this family for almost a month. They are great people, and the ward had helped us out a lot too. Changing into all white clothes and seeing Juan and Mikaela in their ropas bautismales (baptism clothes) couldn´t have been better. I don´t have very much more time, but we had an incredible experience. When I entered the water with Juan, there was just a great feeling. There were like 30 people watching, so I was a little nervous. I gave the prayer in spanish (obviously) haha, and then affter looking at the witnesses, baptized Juan. We took tons of Pictures before, and the entire bautismal program went really well. I think it was mentioned in another email, but Juan is 8 years old and Mikaela is 14. Their mom is an active member, but much of here family doesn´t attend and some of them haven't even been baptized. Her husband and older children still don´t talk to us very much as missionaries. We are working on it though. We also have two more baptisms scheduled in two weeks for another family! Hopefully all goes as planned. I´ll try to always keep you guys updated.

To end, I´ll leave you guys with a few funny Facts:
-while we were doing a contact, a bird pooped on my head!
-We were at a member's home, and they offered us a snack. Usually this is crackers, bread, or something similar. Guess what the gave us. Cow Stomoch! Ugghh!! Haha. I´ll try to describe it. It tasted like soggy beef jerky lined with weird ridges. I Only ate like two bites and then stopped. Haha. My companion had to hide a gag. It was really funny!
-The hot water didn´t work on the bautismal font, so it was freezing!

Anyways, that´s about it for now. Things are going great here, and I hope that all of ya´ll are doing well too. Thanks for everything guys. You are in my prayers.


Elder Jones

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