Happy Turkey Month !!!
I was thinking the other day about how in middle school I loved watching Strongbad emails on Homestarrunner.com, and how he always had a different introduction to start off an e-mail…well…I couldn’t remember any, so I can’t use one right now, so I will just dive right in. Sounds like everyone had a busy yet fun Halloween. It was funny here, because hardly anyone celebrates it. I never saw one decoration. I was on splits with our ward mission leader, Kevín, Friday night and we saw some kids out trick or treating…umm…Friday was the 30th. They didn’t even do it on the right day haha. Kevín is from Peru and usually comments on ridiculous Argentine quirks. He said, “I thought Halloween was tomorrow…I guess there is a soccer match tomorrow.” Yes, Argentina would change Halloween so that they could go to the stadium on Saturday and not have to worry about their kids. Whatever makes everyone happy! So despite the time of year, it feels nothing like the holiday season. It might also have something to do with the fact that it all of a sudden got really hot and humid. I almost died several times this week from heat stroke. It rained though so it cooled down a bit now.
The countdown has started for the arrival of Elder Bednar. He will be here the 19th of November. The area presidency has suggested that we fast about questions we might have for him. I have a few, but I don’t think I will muster up the gumption to ask, plus they aren’t really formed into a coherent sentence I could verbalize. I have the faith that I will receive an answer from the Spirit. They said that it might be just a huge question and answer session, so I am pretty excited for it, considering the question and answer session was the best part of when Elder Nelson came last year. So we are cleaning the offices pretty well, and a bunch of repairs are being done on the church. The temple just closed yesterday for 18 months to remodel, and somehow President worked it out so that we are getting some of the paintings and furniture from the temple to put here in the office, so that is a bonus I guess. I am sad that the temple closed, though, because that means I won’t be going again until I get home. I don’t know if I wrote this already in a past e-mail, but I was thinking about how I want this to be the longest amount of time in my life I ever go without going to the temple, especially since there are so many in the States. It really is easy for us to go to the temple back home. The members here will now have to go to Uruguay or Paraguay, but they are small temples so you can’t go whenever you want, because supposedly they will be filled to capacity. So each stake gets like three visits a year or something like that. Anyway, I won’t be visiting the temple here in Buenos Aires ever again, unless sometime after my mission.
So a lot of stuff happened this week. We were really busy on both ends of the work. The missionaries from the MTC came to our area to practice their contacting and all that jazz, and we received like 80 references, or referrals, or whatever they are in English. So we have been using all of our spare time trying to get out and contact them all. Carmen and Luis are still doing great, and their wedding is still set for the 20th, the day after Elder Bednar comes. Let’s just say that week’s e-mail is going to be good. So that is what we are working with right now in the missionary work.
Here in the office we have been swamped as well. Unfortunately we had some problems in the mission and there were some flashes. A flash here is when someone is transferred in the middle of the six-week transfer to another area. I was assigned to captain the voyage which was sweet because I have never been out to campo (the country). The only down side was that we left at 8:00 at night. So Elder Gamboa and I took the Elder out there and were received well by the Elders out there, with a box of empanadas. Elder Mills from my MTC district is out there right now as District Leader, so I got to see him and catch up a bit. Then we had to drive the two hours back…so we got back into Buenos Aires at about midnight, and I was tired. But I loved it anyway, because it was just dark open road and reminded me of driving late in Montana. The only difference was there are no mountains here, but there was some cool lightning. I love long drives, it is like therapeutic or something for me, even more because we can’t listen to the radio and I was sick of the only CD we had, so it basically forced me to think and meditate about life. Then last night we were up late playing the whole numbers game and Elder Sabey was making El Sol, the mission newsletter. So a few long nights but I’m still up and running.
I would try and get some rest today, but something horrible has happened. There is a very sporadic (I thought it was “sparatic” but spell check tells me otherwise) cycle that accompanies the correspondence of a missionary. For example, let’s say you are lucky and about 10 people are writing you. It would be hard to write ten letters every week back to them. What saves you is that they are all on their own cycles, and you might only get one or two a week to have to respond to. What I have now learned by sad experience is that if I get behind on writing back…I find myself in a complicated situation. Everyone who is writing to me has written me, and I now have to write them all back if I expect more mail. It is kind of like a big game of hot potato, and I have all of them in the drawer in my desk…now the question is whether they will sit there and rot or whether I will pass them back. Anywho, guess I’ll go get started. Have a great week! Also, we have declared it appropriate to start listening to Christmas music here in the office, so we are having a pretty good time.
Elder S. Michael Gilmore
P.S. I don’t go by Michael…I go by Elder…but I get bored putting the same thing at the end of every email, so I change it up occasionally. Although remember when we first moved to Texas and I told everyone my name was Mike, and they called me Mike for the whole youth activity in Nacogdoches, and then remembered like two months later at another activity. It was weird.
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