Wow, that title made me think of ward wrapup from freshman year. Good times, good times. Anyways, here is a cultural note and some other quick details!
Cultural Note. Here in Argentina we use Argentine Pesos. Different from the Mexican peso, each Argentine 4.7 pesos values about $1 American dollar right now. As you might have guessed, it takes a while to adjust to the difference in value. My first few weeks, i always had to do the conversion between pesos and dollars, until I learned the true value of each peso. For example, soda might cost eight or nine pesos. This sounds really expensive when you only pay attention to the numerical value, but when you do the conversion it rounds to just under two bucks, which isn´t too bad for a half-liter. That reminds me, everything here functions on the metric system. So just like with the peso, I had to adjust to kilometers, liters, and all sorts of random measurements you would never really think twice about while living in the States. Even when I first started driving the mission van, I had no idea how fast the speedometer registered. 120 km/hr... (72 mph) What does that really mean? Sometimes I just smiled to myself and went with the traffic, hoping it wasn´t too crazy fast. haha. It just takes awhile, that is for sure. It´s all part of the experience, though. The hardest for me right now is the difference between Fahrenheit and Celsius. My first few months, people would tell me, "hey, it´s 30 degrees outside." I wouldn´t have any idea what it meant, especially when you throw the language barrier on top of everything haha. So each day, regardless of what the dumb thermometer said, I had to go outside to feel how hot it was haha. Another difficult one was using kilometers per liter, which has basically nothing to do with miles per gallon haha. Even now, after living in Argentina for more than a year, when someone tells me their gas mileage, i don´t really have any clue about its efficiency haha, so i just smile and say, "cool." You just have to live in a foreign country to really experience the change of both simple and complex aspects of life, anywhere from the language you speak daily to how you plug in a stereo system haha. Some missionaries have blown stuff up, all due to the difference in voltage.
Actually, just to give a quick recap on last Christmas, i will tell a quick story. I just reminded myself about a funny experience! Last December, one of the missionaries couldn´t contain his excitement while opening his Christmas package, in which he found tons of Christmas lights. Super excited and with the biggest smile ever, he ran to the wall and plugged them in immediately, without thinking and completely forgetting about the Argentine voltage system. All of his beautiful lights exploded one by one, until everything was totally ruined and kinda smokey. His facial expression and excitement pulled a complete 180 in about two seconds HAHAHAHA. So yep, his Christmas lights didn´t really turn out quite like his mom would have liked last Christmas, but at least he made me laugh haha!
And that´s about all I have today. I will try to write a bit more later today, but i´m just worn out. It has been a long, routine week, without any really unique experiences. We did the normal stuff, worked hard, and had some great lessons. Many of our investigators have done some solid reading, and we have had some support from member too. I´ll probably give an update on some of them next week. That reminds me . . . next week is transfer week--"the week of chaos". I will probably have little free time, but it´s all good. Everything has its purpose, right? I have been here as the mission´s historian and data analyst for almost 7 months now. I know, pretty nuts, huh? I will probably serve in another area and get transferred from here next week, but whatever the President feels will work fine for me. I will willingly (and excitedly) go back out into the field, whereas staying here in the offices one more transfer for six weeks would really be an adventure too. Whatever the Lord wants for me. :). Rumor has it that i´m staying for one more, due to many other changes throughout the mission and since the President feels content with my work. At the same time, I have stayed here longer than most.... We will just have to see with time. I will know next Monday for sure!
Thanks for all of your support. I have had some of the busiest days of my life, starting at 630am and ended right at 1030, with very little break time. Like always, I really appreciate your letters. Malia and Kimbz, thank you so much for your mail!!!!!! I enjoyed reading your letters, and they made me laugh, like A LOT. Rojo was thrilled! haha. I will try to write back today if there´s time! Thanks again for your support. Also, i appreciate the prayers of everyone. Actually, i´m grateful for any type of support directed to missionary work. I want everyone to know of my gratitude, whoever it might be that´s reading this page right now. You help me keep going. I would like to leave you guys with a quote from my personal study this week. It is in Spanish, so you will have to put it in a translator. Those of you who speak Spanish should like it a lot. :) I just don´t want to translate it because it would lose some meaning, knowing that any translation isn´t 100 percent accurate. Alright, here it is:
"Podemos cambiar nuestro estilo de vida si lo deseamos de verdad. Si ponemos nuestra fe en el Padre Celestial, Él nos sostendrá en nuestro esfuerzo."
May we all strive to mold our lifestyles in a way that binds us closer to our loved ones and to our Heavenly Father is my hope and prayer, and I leave it with you as a missionary here in Rosario, Argentina. I know we are all one big family, and I really appreciate all you do for me.
And that´s a wrap! :)