Hey Family, Friends, And anyone else that is reading this quite belated letter!
It has been absolutely insane out here! So much has happened in the last almost two weeks since I wrote. I guess I should start out where I left off. Elder Martinez’s last weekend in Comodoro went by really fast. We had church for the 2nd time since arriving in our ward here in Kilometros. I love this ward. During this time President had a coordinating council meeting with Elder Costa our area seventy and the stake presidents of our mission. Things are going really well! The stakes are all pretty excited with the new mission and we are improving the work between the missionaries and members every week! After church one of our investigators Osvaldo Tapia invited us to an asado at his house for lunch. Argentine Asados. Amazing. It was pretty tough to see Elder Martinez saying goodbye to everyone. It was the first time that I have been with a companion at the end of the mission. It was pretty tough for him to realize that he was on his last day in the field. We had a great afternoon going and visiting some of our investigators, and a really good lesson with Osvaldo and his family after the asado. (He is the only non member in his family. His oldest daughter is about to go on her mission and really helps us out.)
Then the craziness started up at 5:00 Monday morning. The other missionaries who had finished their missions made it to our house for their last p-day along with Elder Almiron my new companion. Elder Rozas my first comp I had here in Comodoro last year also was going home last week. But yeah! Elder Almiron is my new companion. We were both here in Comodoro at the same time last year and that is where we became good friends. He is quite the faithful and diligent missionary. Plus he has the patience and tranquility to balance me out quite well. Plus he’s Peruvian. Gotta love Peruvians!!!
Well we had our normal day with the faithful missionaries. They had a p-day as we did our work day. We took them out to pizza and as they had their interviews I started training Elder Almiron around the office. There is a lot to learn really fast. The crazy part though was getting ready for the missionaries that were incoming the next day. After sending the fieles out on their way Tuesday morning and putting the final touches on the furniture in both the Carter house and in the Casa Grande where the Zone Leaders live, we met up at the airport to wait for the 17 missionaries. It was sooo cool to see 17 missionaries come out of security with their luggage! they looked like their own zone! We received 6 elders from the states, 4 from Peru, and one from Panama. And in addition we received 4 hermanas from the states, 1 from Colombia and 1 from Uruguay. What a sight! We had to use all three of our trucks, as well as two 20 passenger vans to transport the missionaries as well as their luggage to where they would be staying the night. The best time of the transfer, albeit the craziest is when the new missionaries arrive. They are so full of the spirit and faith and raring to charge out with their companion to go and teach. And half of them in a language they can hardly understand. Since the sisters stayed with the Carters Elder Almiron and I went to stay for a couple days in the mission home with President Rogers. Did I mention that Hermana Rogers has been gone for a while? Yeah it’s weird. Pretty sure that you didn’t mind Dad. 😛
On Wednesday we spent the day conducting interviews and training for the new missionaries. It is amazing how much information you ingest after so much time on the mission. Especially with how unique our mission is with the size and distances it is a lot of fun to explain how things work around here. This group was pretty energetic though and made it the entire day without getting too sleepy listening to us. We had a couple of really good meals in the mission home to introduce them to Argentine cuisine and ended the day talking more about our mission goal to prepare the Patagonia to receive a temple. Let me tell ya. That gets new missionaries excited. 🙂
And then Thursday came. Not only did we have all 17 of the refuerzos, we had all 17 of their trainers come in to pick them up. We had a group of 41 missionaries including the office here in the chapel for training and lunch. Helping President Rogers put the companionships together was incredibly spiritual seeing how well the missionaries fit together. Even better was the excitement of each trainer as many of them ended up with the companion that they were hoping for. I love the mission! And I am rather jealous of our trainers. But I am more than happy to be here in the office with Elder Almiron. The fun didn’t end there though we had some pretty exciting bus delays that got most of these missionaries stuck here in Comodoro until 10:30 which caused them to miss the bus that would take the 10 missionaries down to Tierra del Fuego. They didn’t make it until Saturday night. Yup. That’s what happens when you serve a mission at the end of the world.
On Friday we were in the office for a few hours working on reorganizing responsibilities here in the office. The Carters are now starting to stand on their own two legs this transfer seeing as their training time ended with the transfer. We are back to having four office workers in addition to the two assistants which is helping us be much more effective. After the meeting we hopped in the car and headed out to Trelew. We had interviews with the north and south zones on Saturday and afterwards headed to a double baptism. It was amazing! Hermana Craun one of the sisters of the baptizing area got her first baptismal experience just days after arriving! She even gave a great talk on the Holy Ghost. Points. After the baptism we headed over to the zone leader’s pension to stay the night. In the morning we headed out with President Rogers to visit some wards during their sacrament meetings. The second ward that we went to just happens to be the area from where Elder Almiron just left. They were so shocked to see him again, and we had the delight to attend the baptism of one of his investigators after the sacrament meeting. Elder Almiron and I love our areas where we have served. It’s kinda funny though. He started his mission here in Comodoro in this same ward, in the area that now has the mission office. So you can imagine how excited the ward is to have him back after a year.
This week has flown by pretty darn fast as well. Monday we were back in the office and we got quite the productive day below our belt. We also were able to go out in our area for most of the afternoon visiting Osvaldo and the Flia Torrez. They all should be coming to church this week! Victory! Tuesday we had interviews with the gigantic Comodoro zone. There are 28 missionaries here in the zone including Elder and Sister Carter. It needs to divide. Probably this next transfer. The only problem with the interviews? Elder Almiron and I had to go and do paperwork for our document renewals so we got to the meeting two hours late to give our teaching assignments. There is just never enough time! We got back out to our area again and tracked down some more investigators that we haven’t seen for a while. We had a great lesson with a less active named Vladimr. He hasn’t gone to church for years, but after an incredible lesson about the atonement and the priesthood he committed to come to church this week and start moving towards activity in the church again. Score!
Yesterday we went to Caleta Olivia for more interviews! I love that city and zone! It is now one of the biggest zones and is one of the more successful zones lately which makes me incredibly happy. The Spirit was so strong as we shared experiences to help each other resolve doubts of how to find and teach investigators. The zone is super united to helping each other baptize the prepared people that they are constantly running into. As I have said before. Nothing is more enjoyable in my assignment than learning far more from the missionaries than I could ever teach them.
And here I am back in the office. We are getting ready for the leadership conference that we will have here in Comodoro with all of the mission leaders the week of general conference. Lots of work. But it’s coming fast.Tomorrow morning we hop back on the highway down to the district conference and interviews this weekend in Rio Gallegos. It’s gonna be great! Great things are happening here in the mission. 🙂
On a spiritual tone I would just like to say how much I love the Book of Mormon. It has become my anchor here in the mission. My schedule is insane and we hardly ever stop to take a rest. But each day that I read this sacred book of scripture I feel the Spirit in my life more and more. I love what it teaches. I love what it promises. It is an amazing opportunity to help others come to know Christ as they read its pages and put its promise to the test. It is quite certainly true that a man can draw closer to God through the study and application of its precepts far more than any other book. I love being a missionary! I love serving my fellow missionaries, and learning from their examples. President Rogers teaches me tons though his example and testimony which is a privilege and an honor. Looks like it is time to go though! Have a great week! I’ll bring some more adventures to the next email! Love you all!