Well, after riding the crazy train tracks from the MTC to the airport in Salt like (while getting separated into two different trains because the train didn´t give us enough time) taking a flight to Dallas after our plane was delayed and having to run like crazy to even get on our flight to Buenos Aires (10 hours), taking a bus for 2 hours to the church headquarters, taking that bus another hour to the other airport and taking a 2 hour flight to Posadas, then after a meal boarding a 5 hour bus to my area, I am finally here in the City of Ruta near the city of El Dorado. It was a crazy couple days of travel but I am very happy to be here.
My companion is Elder Peña from Chile. He is the only member of the church from his family and was baptized when he was twelve. He is really cool and a good trainer, or at least i think he is good because it is kind of hard to understand this whole Spanish thing. haha He is Chilean and they are notorious for talking super fast, so he has a hard time slowing down for me, but he is really doing a great job and is really patient. Luckily, he knows how to say some things in English so that makes it a tiny bit easier.
So, the language is coming along really well. The first day I pretty much could understand nothing which was kind of frustrating and I hadn´t yet talked with Elder Peña about how he could help me so I wasn´t understanding much. I also wasn´t talking enough because I had no idea what was happening. also have been praying and studying and trying my hardest and Heavenly Father is helping me to learn. Honestly, without His help I wouldn´t be able to do anything. The people here speak super fast and have a weird accent and leave out letters a lot but i am starting to figure it out. I actually have been able to understand a crazy amount these last couple days and we have had several amazing lessons where I was able to understand and also bear my testimony with power all in Spanish. I am feeling really good about the language right now because I have already learned so much and I know the Spirit will help me to continue to learn super fast.
The work here in Ruta 2 is going well. On 9 of November we have committed 4 people to baptism at this moment I believe. I even challenge Rosalia to be baptized and she said yes! It was pretty sweet! Write now we are focusing a lot on less active members and trying to help them come back to church. the families and the branch here is awesome! There were probably like 50 or so people at Sacrament meeting and it was testimony meeting so I got to hear a lot of really powerful testimonies. AND i bore my testimony in Sacrament Meeting. I talked a little about why I decided to go on a mission and that I don´t know the language and I don´t know the culture and I don´t really know all that much of anything, but I do know that my Savior lives and that God loves us and that he will provide a way for us to do his work. I know that He is going to teach me Spanish and teach me how to be a better teacher and that through Him I will be able to do all that he needs me to do. I said that I was going to work my hardest and do my best and that I was thankful for all of them and that I loved them. It was so cool to bear my testimony like that in Spanish. That really is my favorite thing to do-- bear testimony of the gospel. Luckily, I get to do that for 2 more years!!
The weather is incredibly humid and pretty hot so there is a lot of sweating. The food is really good! We had chorizo the other day and the empanadas are the most delicious things I have ever tasted. They also have this like weird crumbly bread stuff that is super salty that isn´t too bad. The use a crazy amount of salt in everything which will take getting used to. Also, the expect me to eat like 20 pounds of food every time I go to their houses so I am always full. It was raining like crazy the other day so all the street (they pretty much are all dirt) are super muddy so my pants are covered at the end of every day. We do a lot of fast walking and visit a lot of people. The people here are so amazing. They have very little, but have such amazing faith and trust in God. I wish i could tell you about all of the awesome people that I have met but I don´t have time. Also, the little kids love those little alien parachute things! The kids here are so stinking cute and there is one kid who is probably like 2 and he always runs to the gate and says hola elder! and I talk to him a little in Spanish and his sister is teaching me twinkle twinkle little star. haha The people are all so kind and are helping me so much.
Right now I am in this tiny store with 4 computers in Argentina! And all of my words are underlined in red because I don't know how to change it to English, so sorry for the spelling mistakes. But I really am so happy! There have been some rough times but My Heavenly Father always provides and always lifts my Spirits. The work is hard and it is difficult to be a missionary, but the work is good and true and it makes me so happy.
Yo sè que nada soy; en cuanto a mi fuerza, soy dèbil; por tanto, no me jactaré de mi mismo´sino que me gloriarè en mi Dio, porque con su fuerza puedo hacer todas las cosas -Alma 26:12
Les amo mucho!
Con amor, Elder Hawk
|Elder LaPierre, Elder Peña, Elder Hawk, and Sister LaPierre|