So, Halloween isn't a big holiday here. I think I saw one person dressed up that night, and another yesterday... I think people are just a little behind on that. But I'm not unhappy that we didn't celebrate. I care for it about as much as Mom. My companion heard my rant about that one. On Halloween last year, I was in the MTC, and we traded name tags within our district for about three hours. So this year, the only real celebration we did was to eat a bit of extra holiday cake given to us from a few of the members.
Sometimes, I wonder what God's purpose was in placing me in the offices. I don't see it all that much now, but that seems to be the case with almost all of the things we receive from God, both blessings and trials-we don't understand them until quite some time after the fact. I get calls daily from missionaries informing me of some electrical problem there, a leaky pipe here, no gas for the stove every blue moon, etc. Sometimes I get a little overwhelmed with all the calls coming in, then other days are so slow all I do is sit and reorganize my desk. On the other hand, I also get calls from landlords who are unhappy with this or that, usually that certain expenses haven't been paid, to which I find out that the missionaries weren't informed of the need to pay such a charge. Miscommunication is such a problem.
Speaking of miscommunication, another part of my job involves overseeing the functionality of all of the cell phones in the mission. That provides another set of complaints every now and again, and caused me a little problem on Thursday. We went to the central Claro office in Capital to pick up an order of phones and SIM cards. What I had requested was about three replacement cards and five replacement phones for faulty this or that. They gave me eight cards and eight phones. At first I was thinking, "Awesome! We just got ourselves some extra equipment." Not so. What had happened was that the cards, when activated, disactivated the old ones that were actually in those areas. So in a period of five minutes, we lost almost all communication with five areas. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! So that was a scramble to figure out how to fix that problem. Luckily, there are many places to use public phones, so at least those missionaries were able to communicate with us, if not the other way around. The problem with be completely resolved by the end of today, so that heart attack has passed.
Continuing with other news, Jorge is progressing steadily. He has had a really rough few years and is struggling a lot to get past some of his temptations and trials. With some of them, he understands that he needs to stop, but he doesn't understand why he needs to stop. This has helped us to understand a little more about how we need to gear our lessons with him.
There is another man named Patricio who has been an investigator for quite some time. He had a really rough life until he met a member woman and they became a couple. They're finally getting married on the 16th and soon thereafter, he'll be baptized and confirmed. He is so ready to receive this saving ordinance.
Thiago is such a stud. We heard that last Sunday, his mom had taken him to a "quince," a celebration for his cousin who turned 15. But that morning he bugged and bothered his mom so much saying that he wanted to go to church, that she drove him to the front of the chapel, dropped him off with a neighbor and said, "Here, you take care of him for a while." We're hoping to be able to set a baptixmal date with him tonight for a date in about two weeks. He understands a lot and is so excited for everything to do with the church. I wish that sometimes many of our young kids and youth could have the vigor and excitement he does to go to church.
We're still in the loop trying to find more people to teach, but things are moving along.
Dad told me about the close call Meg had on Halloween. You almost had little Josh there on an interesting day... What a spooky scare. And I hope that all of your eyes just rolled at that. Plus also, did I get the name right?
Mom had a few questions for me that she asked, and I'm not sure if I had mentioned any of the partial details in my last general email or not, so here are the answers:
Q: Are you and your companion not getting along well? (asked because I had aid that i hadn't done any driving in the country yet except for driving my companion crazy)
A: Yep, we're gettin´along. Not perfectly, but we get along pretty well. We've both got some querks that grind and our personalities are very similar, so that is a little wierd.
Q: Aer we still a trio?
A: No, Elder Chase was transferred to Tolhuín, a small city in Tierra del Fuego, which is the southern most province in Argentina. Elder Abaroa is still here, though. So we're continuing the work here with two now, instead of three.
Mom mentioned that we were having perfect temps lately here in Buenos Aires... ... ... ¿huh? This place is humid, which makes me sweat in 60ºF weather. While it's between 55ºF and 70ºF, it's bearable, but passing that, I'm already dying... though not literally. But hey, that's life.
Well, family, it's about time for me to get going. I love you all and pray for you daily! Keep on Keepiin' on.