Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Just Some Good Clean Fun

Feliz Lunes a todo de ustedes,  =)

Well this week we had a lot going on. Jokes, literally. Wednesday my companion, Elder Molina, became sick with some serious pains in his stomach. So I spent the week playing doctor, until Friday when we went to the Hospital Austral (we drove through some of my old area, how precious) to have real doctors look at him. I had been on and off the phone with Hermana Ayres this last week as we were trying to figure out what was wrong. Friday night we both got concerned that it was apendicitis. We did some at home tests to see if it could be and we felt as though going to the hospital would be the best way to find out. You don't want to mess around with appendicitis! So, that night at around 2100 we left for the hospital. We went through triage, waited, met with a doctor, waited, my companion got an ultrasound, we got lost trying to find where he needed to get his blood taken (it was on this floor that didn't have any lights down the main hallway... sketch), and then waited another two hours to get the results, only to find out that they couldn't find anything wrong. We got back to the apartment around 0350, I woke up at around 0900, But we got special permission to sleep in=). My companion fully woke up at around  1515, and told me he felt loads better, so hey! All is well now. AND THEN because of the elections Sunday, we were told to stay in our apartments, so we spent yet another day inside. The other elders had what they liked to call Dormingo (Domingo=Sunday, dormir=to sleep.) But I tried to be a good little missionary and got some more studying in, and only fell asleep for a little bit when I was reading el Libro de Mormòn=) so yeah, that's been my life. 

I figured this week's email would be a little small for the lack of new news, so I decided to put in a few fun facts of Argentina, so here you go.

1- Here it is custom that when you greet someone you kiss on the cheek. As missionaries, obviously we can't have ladies kissing us, so get that out of your heads right now. I have refrained from kissing anyone up to this point, but I can honestly say that I have been kissed by more men than women in my life. Moving on...
2- The people here are very patriotic. If you know anything about Argentina, you know that once upon a time there was a war over some islands off the coast, which are called the Malvinas. As missionaries, we are not supposed to talk politics with people, but sometimes you try to talk to someone and somehow they change the  topic to the Malvinas, and then you are a goner. Some people are very passionate about these islands.
3- There is a super rich area in the mission called Belgrano. I have been there twice now, And let me tell you, it is Fancy Town. My first time there I was with my District Leader Elder McIllece because we were in exchanges and we were supposed to go to a conference there (the one with our area seventy Elder Gonzales), and we found the Thai Embassy. Or was it the Embassy of Taiwan... I don't remember, I'm pretty sure it was of Thailand. Anywho, I had a total Elder Hardcastle moment as we were walking trying to find the chapel. I was thinking about how fancy this place was, and then I thought of how it smelled like a clean bathroom. I know, I am awkward. 

Hope you all have a GREAT week! Eat a lot for thanksgiving. 

See you all soon enough,

Elder Hardcastle=)

Catching some zzz's in the Hospital while we wait for blood results.

MERRY CHRISTMAS from my Mommy  =)
I had a little bit of free time this week to do some coloring.  
Now it is proudly displayed above my desk.

Friday, November 20, 2015

"Are you from Italy?" And a Trip to the Temple

Greetings everyone.

Remember when I said last week it was raining? Well, I should have said flooding, because when we got back on the street there was much water to be had. But It was nice for the day. The weather here is really so crazy during spring. There are days of incredible heat and then rain. We had another rainstorm this Thursday while we were on splits with the Zone Leaders. I was with Elder Edmonds from Utah and we had quite the splash and even though we couldn't do very much he really helped me understand how I could improve my efforts. 

One thing President wants us to do is try to find people through the multi-dimensionality of members, and Elder Edmonds helped me see how I can make more of my contacts THROUGH members. It may seem a little tedious, but I know that it works. Here's how:  Yesterday we were cleaning out our list of less actives and I applauded outside a house (you don't knock here 99.8% of the time) and they didn't answer, so I decided to try next door to ask if they knew this person and maybe invite them to learn more about the church. The neighbor answered and was super cool. He asked me if I was from Italy (I'm so exotic you guys and I never even knew it) His name is U____ and is from Cuba and had interest! and he is MARRIED! So basically he is exactly the type of person we are supposed to be looking for. It added to my testimony that President Ayres really is receiving direction from the Lord, that there are people ready and the key is the members! Even if they are less actives and didn't answer the door and probably don't even care about the church anymore (which happens here sometimes and is kind of sad). We have an appointment with him tonight. I also found a woman this week who has a lot of possibility, named D___. Two of her kids are really worldly, and she has another kids that's deaf, named S____. I just want her to accept the gospel so bad. She has lot's of desire. We haven't been able to meet with her much because our lesson with her fell through Friday because we were at the temple, but she has been reading the pamphlet we gave her and liked it and she told us she's heard bad things about us but doesn't believe what she heard. How amazing. She was really excited to go to church Sunday with her son but unfortunately she never made it. I think something must have happened and we take partial blame because we could have arranged someway better to get her to the church. We'll try again this week.

Like I mentioned earlier, we got to go to the temple this week! Oh my goodness the Buenos Aires Temple is so stinking beautiful. The grounds, the inside, the CCM, all of it! I even bought a cupcake in the cafeteria they have by the visitor´s area. and I bought grapefruit juice. and a super hot dog and empanadas, and a salad because I'm healthy (haha...). Elder Molina and I even got to go with the secretaries of the mission because I also had visa stuff to do this day. Satan didn't want us to go to the temple it seems because this other car ran into the side of us. Luckily God looks out for His missionaries and it only left a little scrape in the truck.
That was some of the plusses of my week! The Christmas Choir is going along great. I get to sing a solo in Santa la Noche (O Holy Night), so that is pretty cool=) 

Thanks for all the emails you all send me! I love getting them. If I don't reply or don't say much please don't kill me, but know that LES AMO MUCHÌSIMO.

Hope you all have a killer week. See you all soon enough=)

Elder Hardcastle, NOT from Italy

Especially in an air conditioned truck and not a hot bus (buses have AC too but hot bodies and hot air from open windows kind of overwhelm the system)

Just a lil' rainstorm for you all

Monday, November 9, 2015

Things are Getting Roasty

Howdy Gang! How ya'll doing?

I'm feeling a little emotional, a little bit overwhelmed, a little vulnerable and could probably use a hug, but one thing I am not right now is hot. This nice Cyber cafe has air conditioning. It's actually a bit chilly but I won't complain too much because this week has been hot hot HOT. 

Wild week. President Ayres is really pushing us to achieve 1600 baptisms for the year 2015. right now we are around 450 short, so if there was ever a time for a miracle it would be now. In order to help achieve this goals, our district has to have 11 baptisms this month, and my companion and I are responsible for 3 of those baptisms. 3 persons who are elegidos, people who are basically the ideal investigators. A hard task? Oh yes. With our three week track to baptism this is our final week to baptism, and right now things aren't looking too promising. President Ayre is super motivative for us to obtain this goal; we have had a conference with the Area Seventy Elder Gonzales and his wife, as well as a training convention in San Fernando. It was all super good, but this last week we lost a lot of time of trying to find people because we had problems with our apartment. But all is settled and I hope this week we can increase our faith a little bit to find some solid investigators. The tough part is trying to find some solid investigators. There is almost NO ONE in the streets because it is so blasted hot. We had a slow week and with some of the pressures and being sick again I've felt a bit unmotivated and overwhelmed, but now is the time to kick it into high gear and work harder and smarter. I have already started setting things up so that we can have a great end to the year. 

We start English classes this week!  So pray it goes well.

Not much more to report. Hope you all have a splendid week! Pray for some miracle here in Los Polvorines if you have a spare second. Love you guys and see you soon enough! 

Elder Hardcastle

ps It's raining super duper hard outside. I can hear it from here. the plus side: rain = not sun:)

DROPBOX: Okay, so I put a video on dropbox. The username is this email, the password is argban. Enjoy a video of me eating Morcilla (blood sausage)