Cultural Note. Our mission contains 12 zones, and almost every zone is based off of a major city. Some of the most populated cities within our boundaries are Rosario, San Nicolás, Venado Tuerto, Pergamino, Santa Fe, Paraná, La Paz, and Concordia. In Argentina, every main city has a Peatonal (Pay--at--toe--nal). Unknown in the U.S., the peatonales in Argentina always excite new missionaries and tourists. First off, I'll explain about "centros," which will help when describing about the peatonales. Each main city has what´s called "Centro," which basically means "downtown." Many small cities and pueblos (small villages) surround every main city, and in Centro you find all of the modern buildings, businesses, banks, etc. So it´s actually a little similar to the set up back home for me, just on a smaller scale. The coolest part is the Peatonal. Each centro has its own main street called the peatonal. No cars drive along the road, the architecture has an older/formal feel, and people always pack into the stores. The closest comparison would be an outside mall or group of outlet stores. Even though it´s only one street, it usually runs a length of 20 blocks or so, just jam-packed with stores of all kinds: sports, Argentine culture, leather workshops, restaurants, computer cafés, museums, and even more. I didn´t get to go until my third transfer since the Centro and Peatonal are pretty far from most of the areas. We could have gone like my second week if we had planned well. Overall, it is a great thrill, and I feel kinda strange there :). It kinda has an amusement park feel to it! As far as I know, it's a specialty to the Argentine goer. So if you ever come down here, be sure to hit up the peatonal!
The Jehovah´s Witnesses. Well, it´s been forever since I left the small part of Santa Fe called San Martín. However, I still have some great news! I called the missionaries working there for some details, and found out about some converts. You will have to prick your memory, during my service there a senior couple joined the church after listening to us for a little over a month. Always faithful but with a few doubts, they had been Jehovah´s Witnesses, the faith to which they found the most comfort and understanding according to their thoughts and ideas as a couple. Leonardo y Nelvis are now faithful, active members in the church. The missionaries serving there told me that Leronardo has already provided service for the church, accompanied by his wife, and that he will receive the Melchizedek priesthood soon. They have attend church regularly and now serve without being asked by other members. They have many friends within the ward as well. :) Hearing this news made me smile, and I hope to hear of their first temple visit in the future. Long story short, they are doing great and feel happy about receiving the message of the restored gospel. They love cruising through lds.org and mormon.org online just to watch videos and to learn more. I gave them a few internet lessons before leaving, knowing that some senior people struggle a bit with technology haha, and it helped a lot!
And guess what? We plan to head to the peatonal today, so I don´t have much more time. I haven´t been in over two months, so it should be fun since we actually have some time today! Below are just a few more quick facts you might like to hear:
-The mission home is over 100 years old. I knew it was old . . . but not THAT OLD!
-Our mission broke 200 new convert computer records this week. Since I joined the offices last March, we have brought over 200 people into the church as a mission.
-I have driven the mission van close to 1000 kilometers, running errands for president, helping with apartment moves, going to the terminal to pick up new missionaries, or just doing other random tasks!
-I made sushi again this week. I think we will order some really good rolls from the restaurant here this week too!
-We had five people come to church this past Sunday, a new record for me!
-We burned some food in the kitchen this week, and it smelt terrible!
Anyways, I guess that´s about it for now! I hope you guys are doing great. :). Thanks for the dearelders!