Hola mi Familia y mis Amigos!!!
Well im in Argentina. It is so crazy here. I love it. I have never been pushed so hard as now, being thrust into another culture and being expected to integrate and thrive. It has been so crazy but an awesome expirience. Its a good thing I have God with me or I probably would be dead from exhaustion or something. I don´t even know where to start this letter so I will just write stuff as it comes to my mind...
Well I arrived in Buenos Aires after a whole day of traveling. Then we, me and the rest of the greenies, got on a bus and got shipped out to the mission home in Banfield. A lot of the pics I took are of the city on my drive to Banfield. Once at the mission home we got to kinda chill. We all got interviews from the mission president, President Thurgood, and then we had an awesome lunch! pizza and empenadas. Can´t go wrong with that. I should have Cherished it a lot more but I´ll explain more about that later. Then we got assigned Trainers and Areas. My companion is Elder Silar. He is from Colorado and has been out a little over a year and a half. He is going to be a good trainer. He knows his stuff. He told me straight up the other day that he is just going to keep pushing me so that I can be ready to run an area in 6 weeks, instead of the typical 12 you get trained for. I guess there is the possibility that he is going to get reassigned a new area next transfer so I need to know the area and the people. Que Fuerte! Well as for my Area... I am serving on the outskirts of the city La Plata, in a barrio called Villa Montoro (I´m sure you guys could look it up on google maps). It is down south a little ways from the main city of Buenos Aires. It took 5 hours on the busses and trains to get to our Pench.
our Pench (pension-place where we stay) is... yeah I dont really know how to describe it. Its Me, Elder Silar, and the missionaries from Villa Montoro B, Elder Rios from peru and Elder Corry another Greenie. I love Elder Rios and Elder Correy. Elder Rios is so funny hahaha he reminds me of Trey a little. Everything leaks but I do have running water and a shower. Its not always hot though. Its like 3 blocks from the chappel so its pretty nice. The food... well its awesome when I have it. Argentina is weird in the fact that their only real meal is lunch. Breakfast and dinner are practically non-existant. Ladies, I dont think you will have to worry to much about me gaining a lot of weight hahaha. Pretty much for breakfast I have a bowl of Copos de Maiz, otherwise known as cornflakes, lunch I will have either this type of fried chicken called milanesia or chicken and noodles and some red sauce, and for dinner I typically heat up 3 not real hot dogs and eat those with some picante sauce and a piece of bread. Its a feast.
My area is kinda a campo(field). I am one of the few areas that has bikes becasue i have such a large area to cover. my legs are getting pretty jacked. There are just horses in the street sometimes so its pretty cool. It is a realy pretty area. As far people I love them. Villa Montoro B kinda took all the peeple we were teaching but we have been finding more and we have two baptisms coming up on December 7th. Gabriel, a 9 year old, and Matias, a 10 year old that reminds me of my cousin Diego. I have to say my favorite part about my area and Argentina in general is the kids. The other day we were looking for members on the registry that we hd never met before. They dont have addresses here so pretty much you go to the block and clap doors( yes clap. you dont knock on doors here) and ask to find people. We were clapping a door and some kids came out. I showed them some tricks with my watch and a picture of my family and long story short, I pretty muched just played with the 3 kids for like 30 min while my comp taught the mom about the Book or Mormon and now they are coming to church on sunday. Score! the kids reminded me of my brothers and sister. Its so hard seeing kids like that cuz it makes me homesick, or seeing babies because it makes me think about how you, Mom, would be picking them up and playing with them and talking in that voice you always make to babies hahaha. I´ll survive though haha.
Ok well just as predicted...I don´t know what people are saying. In the MTC I learned spanish and it was with a bunch of other gringos. Here they speak Castellano (pronounced casteshano). and they speak way fast. pretty much my first night we had a cita and the lady started talking to me and i was just like ´´what´´. I didn´t understand half of what she said. It is getting better and I can kinda participate in coversations but it is way hard. I am trying though and I guess I am doing well according to other people but pretty much its going to feel like a really long road till I´m fluent.
Well I love you all and miss you so much. I hope all is well back home! Also as far as mail since im kinda out here I will get it once every 6 weeks when I go to transfers becasue since lack of addresses I cant recieve mail directly but dont stop to write because it will be like christmas when I get to read them. ¡Hasta Luego!
Elder Tyler Whitaker