Monday, September 12, 2011

Love from Argentina

* Elder Zimbelman's first letter from the field, 
we discovered more of the story of his arrival in Argentina as he answered questions in personal emails and from a phone call from the mission office... after the letter*
Hola familia,

¿como estan? Yo soy aqui en aero puerto una area k tiene casi no arbols and muchas tierra..   

Anyway, the name of the city I am in is Cutral Co it is West of Neuquen. Our house is pretty small, but the toilet works, the shower  is warm, and we have running water, and the place stays warm, so it  is all good. It is definitely a different experience here than in the states, but it has not been nearly as hard as i thought it was going to  be. The language is super difficult to understand, and if it´s someone that speaks clearly and we are talking about the gospel I can
understand close to 80 percent of what they say. But there are some  people, like our president´s wife.. haha, that I can't understand at all. But everyone here has been saying I am really good at Spanish. Usually missionaries come and cant speak at all, but I have been able to contribute a lot in all of our lessons and it has been a good experience so far. 

We have about 10 investigators right now, and I  haven't got to meet all of them yet, but I look forward to be able to meet them. Sorry this is kind of jumbled, but there is just soo much to tell, and I am kind of tired. It seems that I am tired here all the time! But its OK, the Lord strenghtens me when I need to be strengthened. My companion Elder Pack is from Holliday, Utah, (a suburb of SLC for those not familiar with Holliday) and only has about 14 weeks left in the mission. He is a good guy, and I enjoy being here with him.

 As some of you mentioned, the field is definitely different than what you think it is.. Sometimes I feel that we could be doing more, or using our time better, but its all right, I will get accustomed to being here, and being on a mission, and then I will work more on what is the best way to do things, for now I mostly just trust that he knows what he is doing.. he has been in this area for 4 transfers or something ridiculous like that, so he pretty much knows the area back and forth, and knows a lot of the people. It isnt nearly as beautiful here as it is in Utah, there isnt really anything green... mostly just dirt. But I really have come to love the people, and the food, we have empinadas and pasta alot, and I am loving it here. 

We have one new investigator, and it was an amazing experience for me. His name is Martin, and it was late in the night, como 8 and we were having a hard time finding places to go, because we had visited all our investigators and knocked some doors, but no one was home. So we went and were knocking an apartment. The first door I knocked, I gave a really broken introduction and this guy let us in. He was super open and told us how important his family is to him, and so we talkd with him for a while, and he was super receptive. I feel really good about it, that was probably the highlight of my time here, just being able to see the light in someones eyes and to be able to testify with all my soul that I knew that what we have to share will change his life forever. It is such an amazing opportunity. 

Another investigator I found, my first night in Neuquen, was when I was with one of the Elders from Peru, Elder Leon, he was soo amazing. We found this kid named Christian, and at first glance he was super rough looking, had multiple gnarly pearcings in his ears and in his nose I think, and lived in the most humble circumstances. But when we went in there he just had such an open heart and was very receptive. We gave him a Book of Mormon. He had questions about how could there be a God with so many bad things happening  in the world, and we were able to help him, and turn him to the Book of Mormon. It was really special for me, and I really have started to love the people here. They are so nice to me, and try soo hard to listen to what I say, I love it. 

Well fam, there is soo much I could write, but this is what is important: I am healthy, happy, and in the service of the Lord, so for the moment, I don't know how things could be much better. I love it, thanks for all you do.

Love from Argentina,

Elder Zimbelman

Travel saga below if you haven't had enough to read yet... 

Christian left the MTC in Provo around 10:00 am Monday morning (Sept 5) He and his traveling group flew to Atlanta and then overnight to Buenos Aires arriving Tuesday morning around 8 AM. Tuesday afternoon those continuing on caught a flight to Neuquen. A two hour flight I believe. About 7 minutes from Neuquen the plane turned around and headed back to Buenos Aires. We are not sure the reason. The woman from the mission office speculated that it may have been because of the volcano in Chile although there was no ash in the air... she just didn't know. They arrived back in Buenos Aires, around 9:30 pm and went straight to the bus station and caught a bus to Neuquen leaving at 10:30 pm. The 710 mile bus ride took them 18 hours. It pains me just thinking about it... no wonder he's tired! They were fed at the mission home and got a good's night rest before a day of training in Neuquen and then off to his area, Cutral Co.

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