Monday, March 29, 2010

It's almost April!

(We sent the boys an email letting them know that I would be home on Monday because of it being a City holiday.  Mike took the opportunity to exchange some ideas and get a few things off his chest.  It was great being able to communicate in real time... makes a real difference!  I have combined some of the small conversations with his main email... it is funny the first thing he wanted to know was how to microwave a baked potato... I almost said, wash it, fork it and stick it in the microwave and push "Potato" but then I came to my senses and figured if it was that easy, he wouldn't be asking - LOL).

Buen Día!

If you are on, could you let me know how to microwave a baked potato? I will send a longer email shortly… Thanks!

I can´t wait for zone conference in 3 weeks! I get all my mail then so I hope I have a lot.  The only bad thing is I have to carry it a LONG way back to my apartment.  Like two buses and a long walk.  I am thinking of bringing my small suitcase to carry everything.  Last zone conference I had to carry a box of Book of Mormons and that wasn't any fun…Mom, I miss your "evil cackle"… It´s kind of funny… And those kids shouldn't be complaining about a lot of things.  I´m not going to write anything bad about here but at least they have clean water coming from the tap… It´s kind of annoying to have to purify your water all the time.  I didn't realize how many comforts we have in the States that we take for granted.  I am never going to be looking at our style of life the same way as before my mission.  It´s really startling how different lifestyles are here.  But I am getting used to it; it’s a good lifestyle, just different. 

Stores… We have a supermarket here where we buy groceries… Which reminds me… THEY DON´T HAVE PEANUT BUTTER! And if they do its really expensive… It makes me sad… Oh well.  There are a lot of little shops, like at a mall, all along the street.  There is a Wal-Mart in my district I think, but I can´t go because it’s really far away and we don´t have that much time on pday.  I bought another towel so I could have one while the other is being washed.  It was like a little over 4 us dollars.  Oh, which reminds me… I only packed flat sheets, not any fitted sheets… so in the next package you send, could you include one or two for me?   Right now it’s way too hot to use my sleeping bag… I will try to soon, but I was sweating like a pig last night… The place to get first aid supplies would be the supermarket.  I haven´t really entered the other shops… Just a watch shop and a towel shop.  There are also a lot of other stores like the liquor stores in Piru.  Well, not a lot, but a fair few. 

My companion is from Biablanca, a region 10 hours southwest of here.  It´s like from home to Provo.  Kind of weird it’s so close.  He is the first in his family to go on a mission.  He is excellent and already has helped me a ton! From what we know, he is the youngest trainer (being out only a year).  I like him a lot and am working hard to try to learn Spanish so I can communicate better and help him with his English.  Right now, I think he knows best how to argue in English.  It’s actually quite funny.  We were joking around yesterday and I was talking to him in Spanish and he to me in English.  We had a good time. 

PLUMS! I bought some plums.  They were pretty good.  But they were kind of expensive so those will only be sparingly.  The oranges here aren´t very good, or maybe I am just spoiled from the ranch and in Piru.  But yea, those will be the first fruit I will have when I get back. 

We can learn a lot from Joseph.  I certainly need to.  I don´t have much time to read from the Old Testament, but I am certainly learning a lot from the Book of Mormon and Isaiah.  There are so many applications from Isaiah.  It is so COOL!!!! :D Preach My Gospel is amazing as well.  I am kind of sad I am not in the MTC anymore because I don´t have as much time to study.  But I am certainly enjoying being out here. 

We have an investigator that we are hoping will be baptized next month… She said at the end of the lesson if God answers her prayers she will do what He says.  Also, she asked us to pray for her to know the truth.  How amazing is that! We were sooooooooo excited as we left that appointment.  We are doing well, we just need to find more people to teach.  It´s kind of hard but I hope we can find more soon! :)

Anyways, I am doing well.  One of the Elders in my apartment had his birthday yesterday so we had some Torta (Cake).  He made it himself so it was nice and sweet and American.  It was good and I can´t wait to have some more! Lol. 

I haven´t used most of the money I withdrew, only 4 dollars (17 pesos) on that towel and some on mailing letters.  Not much.  I still have about 160 pesos left.  I think I took out 200.  I am looking for a jersey to buy.  I don’t know whether to get a Boca jersey or not.  It’s like rooting for the Yankees… Lol.  I think I am going to get one that has the best colors.  I don’t know.  We´ll see.  I am also looking for some Argentine stuff to bring home.  I will let you know as I spend it. 

I can´t wait to hear back from you guys! I love you and hope all is well!


Elder Michael Watson

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Boulogne, Not Villa Adelina


It´s good to hear from you and see you! [We sent them a picture by email] I don´t think pictures are against the rules because my trainer receives them from his family. I don´t have a picture of just me and my companion but I do have one of us with a couple we baptized. Next week I will get one for you guys.

The modern things are very hard to deal with. I just have to focus on what is being said and trying to understand. Sometimes I have a hard time when I have no clue what is going on.... But it´s getting better! :D

So to answer your questions:

I am getting the chance to play the piano more than I thought I would. I play every once and a while when we are at the building and I played for the baptismal service we had. One-handed, but hey, I was able to do it. :D

Honestly, I don´t know how many members are in our branch. Yesterday was stake conference and the week before we had about 70 people I would guess.

The church building has an all tile floor. It´s shaped kind of like D--! with rooms off of the exclamation mark. The d is the chapel and we set up metal chairs for church. The stake center looked more like a ward building.

My area is kinda like Santa Paula I would guess, just a bit bigger.  There are a lot of businesses.  There are lots of trees. FLAT! I can´t tell north from south from east to west when the sun is high in the sky. It´s crazy, but I´ll figure it out. :)

I am sleeping pretty well. If there weren´t so many mosquito bites on me it would be better but that is only a slight problem… Nothing more. The best food...Hmmm... Well, mostly I have had a lot of fried carne asada or steak... But I did have some spaghetti that was good… Not AMAZING like yours [moms], but it was good. My companion didn´t like it. OH! He looked at me so weird when I had some peaches after the spaghetti and then had some more spaghetti.

I was laughing. It´s normal for me but so weird for him. For breakfast I usually have cereal or oatmeal with an apple or banana and lunch I have some kinda steak or pasta. More steak than pasta.  I haven´t had any weird food yet.

My apartment is one of the nicer ones from what I´ve gathered. It´s in a smaller building kinda like the building the missionaries used to live in across from the High School. All the houses here have gates in front of them. Well, almost all. So instead of one key to get to our apt, we need two. We also have 4 elders in our apt, the district leader and his companion. I haven´t really seen the neighbors... They aren´t around when we are.  Oh yeah, I live on the outskirts of Boulgne (I am not sure how to spell it), Not Villa Adelina... We have a part of Boulgne in our area.

The office is a half hour bus ride and a 10 min train ride away. There are 8 in my district. They are from Chile, Peru, Utah and Washington, I think, not sure. I haven´t been able to talk to them much.

On P-Day we go to the bank, send letters, e-mail, shop for food, go back to the apartment and cook a good meal, and clean. The service we do is clean the church once a month and whatever we can find. The only other service I have had was we helped move a family.

We have about 7 investigators that we visit. We are trying to see more people so we need to make our visits shorter.

Well I still have to write my letter to the president so I have to go. Love you and I hope all is well!

Con Amor,

Elder [Michael] Watson

Monday, March 15, 2010

Update 3/15/2010 - Cyber Cafes, Queen and Counterstrike?????

 Hi Mom and Dad!!

I am writing in a cyber cafe and just heard Queen playing.... And the kids next to me are playing counterstrike.  Just thought that was funny.

The language isn't too daunting; it's trying to understand the people that is the hard part.  I can only catch the themes to conversations. But, I am learning so much and am so happy to be here!  The humidity isn't so bad. I am adjusting and everything is great!

So there is a lot more English here than what I thought. I’ve already heard 3 songs from the US and there are a lot of English T-Shirts down here. It's really crazy!

We are teaching a lot here in Villa Adelina. We are in San Isidro (or close to) if you want to find it. Oh, by the way we are supposed to triple the baptisms from 1000 to 3000... I misinterpreted the figures... It's really hard to be the one left out on conversations. I kinda know what's going on but not really. I really just have to rely on the Spirit on what to say and when I do, I make sense and am a great contribution to the lesson. (Or so my companion tells me.) Every day I am speaking more and giving more of the lesson.

My companion is the district leader so we have to travel around a lot. It´s alright though, I get to see more of Argentina. We are still teaching a lot and having a lot of success.  I love being a missionary! It's great when you can see people's faces light up because of the gospel!

We are going to the Capital for zone conference tomorrow and that is where I will receive all of my mail. We get our mail every six weeks so I will probably have a handful (Hopefully LOL).  I will be getting mail again in 6 weeks so that´s probably when you want me to get my packages. Just letting you know. On Wednesday morning I am going to the Capital again to fill out some papers so I can be legal here.

Well, that's all I can think of right now.  I love you and thank you for all you do!

Con Amor,

Elder Michael Watson

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

First Area and Companion - Villa Adelina / Elder Garay

We were able to speak with Elder Watson yesterday while he had his layover at the Dallas/Ft. Worth, TX airport. It was wonderful to hear his voice and how excited he is to enter the mission field and start teaching.

As part of his trip, a couple of things we noticed were, that he left the Salt Lake City airport about 4 hours after David and arrived in Dallas about 15 minutes after Dave left for Miami. They both called us at the same time, so we had to shuffle the calls around so we had one on each phone (I called back the payphone in the Miami airport). In addition, they both left about the same time for Argentina but Dave arrived about an hour earlier than Mike. We don't know if they were able to greet each other in Buenos Aires because Dave said he had to get to another terminal right away or he would miss his flight (even though his layover was about two hours).

This afternoon we received an email from President and Sister Argyle (Mike's mission president) that he arrived safely and that he was assigned to work in Villa Adelina with Elder Garay. We are very excited for him. We will post his first letter home when he writes us on his P-Day.