Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Ramos Mejia- Week #52

Lunch with President,after a night in almost jail! This one is good!

Hey, it is me again,

Well I missed last week’s quote by President Benton so I will do four this week…just because

“When we are completely surrounded by the enemy, we can attack in any direction.”

“If you’re doing something, do it over the top. If you’re going to steal some cookies, just steal the whole jar!”

“There are two things you can do in a bad situation—you can do something about it, or you can say ‘oh crud.’”

“I married a high-class lady.”

So this week was pretty eventful, so I have a bunch to cover in not so much time. First I will answer all your questions. With regard to the mail, we really have no idea what works best, other than the packages usually make it safer and in better condition when sent to the CC 92 address, and not Ballesteros, because Ballesteros is the literal address of the offices, and if we are not here they leave the stuff in our small mailbox and the rest gets shipped to Capitál for me to go pick up, so it takes a little longer. Only the packages in Capitál we have to pay postage for, and it runs from 2 pesos (60 cents) to 20 pesos ($6.50 about) so it isn’t that much of a problem. Like I have been charged a bunch over my whole mission, but they have always taken it out of my monthly money and I have never even noticed. I don’t know why some people run out of money in the month. I always have hundreds of pesos left over. People say I will probably be rich because of how I budget my money, reminds me of Grandpa. They send DearElders out Mondays and we usually get them like 10 days later on Wednesday or Thursday, and then the Elders and Sisters would then get them on the following Monday, so about a two week delay, one and a half for me…

So we had our two baptisms on Saturday! Fiorella and Sandra were both baptized, but it took some planning. Obviously every person needs an interview to make sure they are good to go, and if they have big problems they need interviews with President, and it can go even as far as needing President Monson’s permission. Well, I won’t go into details, but Sandra needed an interview with President Benton, so she had one, and they walked out of his office with thumbs up for the baptism, but President says, “Let’s go Elders, we have people to visit.” So we hop in his car with Sandra and drive to her house, and had a lesson with her whole family, with President…it was pretty amazing, and funny because it was like rapid fire questions from him. “Elder Gilmore! Why do we believe this is the true church? (I then teach about the Restoration and all that jazz) Elder Sabey! What happened to the priesthood after José died?”(He teaches about living prophets and Thomas S. Monson) So it was an interesting way to teach to say the least. So the baptisms were great. President came to the service and took a few minutes of the program to tell his conversion story, which was really interesting. He was 22 and in New York. He said that his life was full of everything he wanted, he thought, but soon realized it was only filled with things of the world. He was invited to a baptismal service by his cousins, so he went and it was in a seminary room, and when the baptism was being performed he heard a voice in his head say, “Evrett(correct spelling, he spells it different), you are following the wrong path, you need to change your ways.” He said all he could do was put his head down on his desk and start to cry, and that started his conversion process.

Speaking of President Benton, for our one year mark, we watched a horribly long training video with him from Salt Lake on a new mission office system they are uploading to every mission in the world that is going to make everything more connected and easy to run. So we are leaving the legacy of being the office crew to switch the office to a different system and get her running, but it really isn’t that complicated, actually it is pretty easy. So after that was pretty fun because President took us out to lunch at a place called Texas…and they have burgers and stuff…so that was interesting. President sat with Elder Sabey and I at a separate booth than the rest of the elders and it was so funny, because we figured he would talk about the work, but instead he just shot the breeze with us, asking us about our families and lives. I really think President is trunky for us…because he is always talking to us about what to do after the mission. I try to remember everything but he just shoots out advice like a machine. Then he started talking about his life…and I found out that he is very wealthy…especially when he talked about that one time he bought an 87 million dollar company, but then regretted it…I am pretty sure that Elder Sabey and I were just sitting there with food falling out of our mouths. I can’t believe I know someone like him…like he is a big deal people…google him…I bet there are like 1,000,000 hits. Evrett Wade Benton. So we are having this conversation, and I look up, only to see some kid had written something on the booth in white-out, and what does it say? “Voldemort estuvo aquí” (Voldemort was here) I looked at it, looked at President, looked at the white-out again and thought, “I am not sure how this moment could get any better.” Never thought that is how I would spend my one year mark.

Two more things: Dad received direct revelation when he bought me that international driver’s license! Last Wednesday I was about to be thrown in jail, but it is alright because Elder Sabey was willingly going with me…that is what companions do…we actually wanted to be thrown in jail, how sweet of a story would that have been! Anyway, none of the other Elders have any kind of certification to drive here in Argentina, other than their US license. Well the other Elders called the other night saying that the car had been stolen…not good…so we get over there and ask around and some old man said the police took it…better but not great…at least we knew where it was. So Elder Pollock is trying to figure out how to get this car back without any papers…and I mentioned I had that international drivers permit…bingo! So I grab that and my passport and head to the police station…an interrogation was involved, but really calm and professional, I was really impressed with the officers, because there are bad rumors about how corrupt the police are, but these were some really great men just doing their job. Some kids were throwing rocks at the car and so the police towed it to the station to protect it. He thought we looked a little fishy, but I had international papers so he let us go. He didn’t think I was American…he said I “defended” myself well in Spanish…thanks? So that was exciting.

Last thing is yesterday was zone conference and I am sending pictures because it was in Luján and there is a huge basilica there that is famous, you can probably google that too, and I have a ton of pictures by it…which I will send today…also I think I am sending my memory card in the mail tomorrow so heads up. Lots of pictures and videos…

Love, Sean

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