So… week 2 has been good.
My Spanish is coming along nicely, and I am no longer the worst Spanish speaker in the whole MTC. Go me!
The MTC is the same as usual: class, language, study, meals, sleep, repeat. So, I won’t bore you guys with any details about specific days, except for a couple.
It is too hot here. I don’t think I’ve stopped sweating since I’ve been here. Church is brutal in a suit and coat all day long.
The food is amazing! I have yet to find something I haven’t liked, and I’ve eaten it all every meal. One of my favorite things is what the Latinos call “pastel de cholco” although the spelling might be wrong (pastel de cholco is a corn and meat casserole – native to Argentina). Also the meat is always sooooooo good. The fruit is very good as well. I’ve only had the apples and bananas, but they are delicious. I eat some fruit with every meal. The fruit juices are even better, probably the best part of every meal. We also usually get flan in like a yogurt cup for dessert. It’s been good!
Let it be known that the North Americans beat the Latinos in futsal and soccer last week. (Futsal is an indoor version of soccer, but played with fewer people). It is probably a first for the MTC. It does help when 4 of us played in high school. But still, we won!
Also, Friday was a unique day because for the first time at the MTC, we got to leave the walls of this prison -- funny story about that later. But anyway, we got to go out and walk around the temple and go into the hostel for members going to the temple. Our job was to communicate with them and share a short spiritual message. But, of course, it’s in Spanish, and we’ve been here a week. Luckily for us they were all members and so they were kind and dealt with our poor grammar sentences and our complete lack of knowledge on most verbs and things they said. But it was very good to get out there and see how real proselyting would be. Our best moment came when we were talking with a guy and kinda of running out of things to say and not really understanding him when another man came and asked to join. We, of course, said yes, and he proceeded to share with us a scripture and bore his testimony to us. It was amazing. If only Saturday had gone as well.
So on Saturdays down here, they actually have you go out and tract. So we got loaded up on a bus and dropped off in north Buenos Aires. We had an area to ourselves and 6 hours to find as many people as possible and to teach them about the gospel. We were all very excited even though we knew our Spanish was bad. We prepared and were ready to go, and then we got there. We found most people would not even stop and respond to a simple, “Hello, how are you.” Even less would actually listen to our message. And the 3 guys that did listen, we could not understand much of what they said except they wanted no part of the church. One was homeless. One was drunk. And the other was trying to sell us a plant. Oh, by the way, that guy kissed us. I know it’s part of their culture, but it is still weird. Anyway, we basically walked around for 5 hours trying to find people who would listen. We got 15 or 16 contacts but nothing more than saying, “Hi. How are you? Can we share a message?” The other elders in our district didn’t do any better. But of course the sisters got the cush shopping area where people were outside, and they didn’t have to knock doors interrupting siesta time so of course they taught 2 lessons and gave out two copies of the Book of Mormon. Such crap.
Anyway, I’m almost out of time, but it was still an amazing experience we wouldn’t trade. Also, their gas stations down here have prompted a great business idea for when I get back. ;)
Finally, we said goodbye to our first Latino group today, and that was depressing, but hopefully the next group will be good as well. We also exchanged contact info so hopefully in 2 years we can be Facebook friends or something.
And, as always, if you haven’t written me yet, do it. We love mail.
Love Elder Anthony Frost