Monday, May 26, 2014

Hola Argentina

Wow..where do I start? Let’s start with my travels. So I left Utah about 6 in the morning to take a train to Salt Lake, we spent around 2 hours on trains and switching around trains. We finally got to the airport and hopped on a plane to fly to Atlanta, it was about a three and a half hour flight to Atlanta, finally Elder Byrd and the rest of our 30 missionaries arrived in Atlanta. We had a 5 hour layover in Atlanta. We all walked around and ate. All my companions got to try BOJANGLES for the first time; they all fell in love :) From Atlanta we got on a plane for Buenos Aires. We had to wait an hour for the plane to even take off because there was leaks on the plane toilet. 12 HOURS, 12 HOURS on the flight to Argentina. Gosh it was so rough. I sat right beside Elder Starr, we got to speak in Spanish to many Argentines. Landing in Argentina I knew I wasn’t in America anymore. Everything is different, the smell, the people, the humidity. We got on a bus to go to the temple from the Airport. It took 5 minutes to get there and we got to go around the temple and take pictures, it was nice. We went into the Argentina MTC, I got to try my very first authentic Milanesa. It’s different for sure. Then we took a 2 hour bus ride to another airport, i got to catch some sleep on that bus ride thank gosh. We had to wait an hour for the plane to leave, so we all walked around and enjoyed Argentina for a bit. We took an hour plane ride to Bahia Blanca, and there is where my life begins.... 

Empanandas are soooo good!

After arriving in Bahia Blanca, we got to eat some empanadas...OH MY GOSH SOOOOO GOOD. I can eat them things every single day and i would be totally content with myself. We went off to the room that we would be staying at for the night. There was 12 of us in one room. The water here is so dirty, we´re not allowed to drink out of it. There was no heat in the room on top of that it was like 30 some degrees outside. The showers had no hot water, I had no covers with me and no pillows and I slept on the highest bunk in the room. There was insects on the floors, and only 3 showers. So not the best way to spend my first night, but it only gets better. After we endured through the tough night we woke up got ready and went to the chapel. We went through some training and President Parreno assigned us our companions and our areas. I got the BEST companion in the world, I´ll talk about him later.
Elder Hutchens in front of the small branch in Tandil
Elder Roberts and i had to wait 5 more hours before our bus left. It was just him and I because everyone else had left out with their companions and left for their areas. We had yet to meet our companions. After a long wait we finally got on the bus. That bus ride seemed like we was going to die. We got assigned in Tandil which is 6 hours away. The people in Argentina drive so so so crazy. This bus was going at about 60 miles an hour on back roads, I felt so nauseous and sick from how crazy this bus driver was driving. We kept praying that the bus driver wouldn’t wreck this bus the whole sick hours, on top of that i felt like i was going to vomit. Elders Roberts and I literally endured through the toughest bus ride of our lives. After we arrived in Tandil at 3 AM, our companions were waiting for us at the stop. Such a relief to see someone we was supposed to be with after 6 hours of torture. My companion and I went back to our new home and got 3 hours of sleep and woke up to start the day. At this point I started my day with 9 hours of sleep in 3 days. I took a cold shower and started personal and companionship study. At this point, my body, my mind, my emotions is absolutely wrecked. We went out knocking on doors, and I got a good taste of the culture. There are literally dogs everywhere in the streets, along with dogs comes dog poop, EVERYWHERE. I have to walk with my head down to make sure I don’t delight my shoes with dog droppings. We pass by kids that throw rocks and dirt at us every single day, the kids here in Argentina are so crude. Its cold here in Argentina but I have an awesome coat and scarf that keeps me warm through the day. 
Elder Sanchez and Elder Hutchens in frigid Argentina

There mud EVERYWHERE, my shoes are always dirty and my pants always end up dirty. We went into an investigators house, i sat in a chair that had cat pee all over it, my companion sat in a chair that was made out of a woman’s bras. I still have no hot water for showers, I get to eat about once a day and that of course is lunch and a small snack at night and a small snack in the morning. All this may seem terrible, yes I know. But guess what? I love it. I love this culture, I love the work I am doing, I love the people I love the food, and most of all I love Jesus Christ. Yes, my conditions may not be the best here, and its nothing compared to what I have at home. But the people here are poor, and when i say poor I mean dirt poor..literally. There are houses made out of dirt, there are floors with rocks, people here have terrible mouth conditions, it’s rare to see someone with healthy teeth. But these people are so proud of what they have and i love it. It makes me so appreciative of what I have back home. My companion is awesome, his name is Elder Sanchez, he’s from California but he grew up in Utah. He’s helped me out so much with Spanish. He truly is a great guy and God has blessed me with the best companion. 

Let’s talk about Spanish, shall we? The Spanish in the MTC is much different than the Argentina Spanish. I´m irrelevant in lessons because I can’t understand a word anyone is saying. Put it this way...when they talk it sounds like Spanish, Daffy Duck, Forrest Gump, Gibberish all put into one sentence. It’s tough to understand. But my vocab is increasing every day. 

We have a baptism date set for a woman that has been investigating the church for a while. June 14, so look for it ;) 
Two important books for missionaries

At times i ask myself...What in the world am I doing? Two years ago I wasn’t Mormon, I had no plans to go to a foreign country and learn Spanish, change my whole lifestyle and leave my family. Why am I doing this? These times that i ask that, I always remember the church, my family, my friends, the example I am setting, and most importantly the people of ARGENTINA. This mission isn’t about me..It’s about Christ, and his children. I love you all and thanks for the support. GO PACERS..

Elder Hutchens 

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