Another ridiculous week has come and gone here in the mission field. We have a highlight reel ready, and here are this week´s top five!
1) Elder Benson recently finished on the race tracks with the mission home´s van, steering through Argentine traffic and maneuvering like a pro on his way to the bus terminal, where he and Elder Jones had to drop off some fellow missionaries. With all six cylinders raging within the Volkswagon six-seater, they made great time.
"These young men show great faith with their hands at the wheel," said Hugo Giuliani, the current president of the mission and director of all driving affairs within--and without--of the mission home. "We don´t know what we´d do without them."
It´s true, these two men have had great success these past few weeks working under the President and driving when needed in the popular mission van. Just like many of us have already seen and heard, ALL Argentine Volkswagon vans on the current line accelerate like a cheetah chasing its prey and utilize the latest, high-tech manual transmission systems.
"I couldn´t believe the control I felt at the wheel," said Elder Jones, a newly added missionary to the offices and the companion of Elder Benson. "We just took off, and I learned how to drive stick faster than expected," he said later, while discussing the helpful assistance he had received earlier from Elder Benson, the well know veteran of the offices and manual transmission guru.
We´ll just have to see what happens as the mission season continues. Up to this point, it´s safe to say that President Giulinani seems to have a pretty solid grip of new coaching position over the current driving staff. Time will tell.
2) Four brand new missionaries just called off the MTC bench and onto the mission field arrived at the mission home this past week, bags loaded with gear and suits looking spiffy. Despite the long trip, many of them almost exploded with excitement.
"I can´t believe we finally made it this far," exclaimed Elder James, one of the new missionaries in the crew. "We´ve been training our hearts out for the last nine weeks, and now we finally feel ready."
As you can see by the excitement in their voices, we have some solid rookies ready to dominate out here in the field.
It couldn´t have been said better by Elder Donjuan, the most energetic rookie of them all: "We came to win, and we know what we need to do."
And that´s exactly what we like to hear down here in the mission home. We receive all types of information, the good and the bad, ranging all the way from sicknesses and injuries to the successful baptisms and confirmations. "There´s just nothing better than the camaraderie of a new squad ready to hit the ground running and replace some of our older players," President Giuliani said during a video conference earlier in the week.
3) The office missionaries have seen some vast improvements over the last few weeks due to a recently acquired exercise regimen. Each morning just after the break of dawn, they hit the roads running and leave the mission home in their tracks as they make their way down the three mile stretch of pavement.
"I´ve never worked out quite like this before, but it´s just great," said Elder Buhl, the current assistant to the President who has worked in the offices for the last six months. "And I really want to get ripped for my future girlfriend," he confessed later, during an interview with our team here from ESPN.
Life habits get formed on the mission, and regular exercise has been proved to help by its release of endorphins (Editor's note: nice "Legally Blonde" vocabulary! haha), not only for current missionaries, but for all ages. And why not? We all know of the benefits from exercise and eating healthy foods.
To a question asked about his perspective of running during the most recent press conference, Elder Jones answered, "It´s just a way to live, and running has always been a hobby of mine."
And no one can argue that one. Elde Faldmo, Elder Jones, Elder Buhl, and Elder Benson, the current office workers of the running club, have seen great results.
"Working out helps me feel motivated and stay awake throughout the day," said Elder Benson, the current secretary to the president who has worked out for most of his mission. "You can always do a little more, and you get just great results."
There you have it. Working out is essential and pushes us forward in life. We´ll see if they can keep it up at such a rigorous level over the course of these next few months.
4) Elder Banks has finally come off the bench! Hold on to your seats, folks, because the champion missionary from last year has already come back and will tear up the field here in a few weeks. After finally ending with his grueling back surgeries, his fitness abilities have reached their peak once again.
"I can´t wait to get back out there," he said during his first interview. "I had been on the DL for an eternity."
And we agree one hundred percent with that one. Having too many players on the DL always hurts a team, especially someone as good as Banks. With his natural abilities and renewed desire to serve, we should get knocked off our feet once again as he racks up the baptisms.
"It´s just great to have him working for us again," said President Giuliani. "The whole ordeal with the back surgery seemed to never end."
Just as the President stated, the back surgery ordeal lasted FOREVER, calling for the help of some of the most prestigious doctors in the world and lasting for nearly a whole year. To describe the scene better for our readers, this young missionary named Elder Banks had served out in the field for just a mere couple of months when small back spasms and random pains shot up his vertebrae. Driven by his strong testimony, Banks fought the situation for a few months, but after awhile realized that he needed some serious medical attention. Later, five doctors' appointments and one attempted quick-fix left him with almost nothing--just a plane ticket back to the States, where he would seek out further medical help. Finally, after having endured all of these exams, tests, and surgeries, he is ready to go. We need him, too, at least according to the president and coach of the mission, Hugo Giuliani.
It will be great to have one of our stars out there again.
5) Elder Benson and Elder Jones completely dominated in the kitchens this week, inventing the new banana pancake wonders.
"I couldn´t believe the taste," said Elder Faldmo, now a pancake addict. "I just had to eat five."
He´s not the only one, as more than half of the office staff has started making these new breakfast treats. Pancakes, though a standard breakfast food in the States, serve as a real treat here in Argentina.
According to Elder Buhl, these pancakes "are absolutely incredible and should get eaten after every hard day of work."
As each day goes on, we might see a lot more of this pancake craze. They have already become a regular here at the mission home and might spread like an epidemic here in the next few weeks.
"Everyone needs energy, and if it comes in the form of pancakes, that´s fine with me," said the Hermana Giuliani, the spouse of the president and health guide for all missionaries. "What matters is that we have success."
Success has already come, and we hope it doesn´t leave. The mission is taking off with rocket force, and hopefully it will last.
Just like Elder Donjuan said, "We came to win, and we know what we need to do."
I hope you guys liked it. Mixing up my weekly email home sounded like a fun idea. All of the events are true, and I just tried to put a journalism spin to it :). I will be sure to write more details next week. I am so grateful for all of your guys' support and everything. The mission has been a great experience for me.
Your Missionary and Historian in Argentina,