A few hours ago, Elder Slighting and I got back from a week of splits with the Zone Leaders in the 2 southern provinces - my dear Santiago, and Tucuman. It was awesome - pretty tiring too. We made the trip in a nice little Peugout.
1st - last weekend. Long story short we've got a GREAT young family that kinda just came out of nowhere. Saturday we taught them and they committed to church, and then Sunday they actually gave us a ride to church!! Wow. That just never ever happens here. They were welcomed SO well by the members and LOVED church. I gave a last minute talk on fellowshipping and I think it came out ok.
Well, Monday morning we verified with the ZLs and then hit the road around 1. It was a good trip - dropped our secretary off in Tucuman (3 hours trip) to do some paperwork, and then went 2 hours further south for Santiago. One of the best parts of these trips will be getting to know Elder Slighting. We're gonna be road-tripping a lot. He asked great, deep questions and we got to each share some of our very influential experiences in life and the mission. I can't say enough about him - he's a servant of Christ and really doesn't focus on himself. Spent 2 nights in my old house in Santiago with Elder Edwards and Elder Reynolds. I was kinda expecting to go around my old area catching up with old friends but then I realized that after being gone only 2 weeks, it was like I'd gone on vacation and then came back - more than anything I just kinda confused some of the people I saw again - EXCEPT, the Alagastin fam (see pics). They've progressed a ton since I left - that's one of the best feelings, to see that a great fam keeps progressing and converting even when you aren't there. It's almost even better that way because it helps prevent them converting to the missionaries and not the Master, Jesus Christ. They're great and have the goal to get to the Cordoba Temple in a year (about 4 hours from Santiago!!!). Pray for Fernanda, who's a few steps behind her (future) husband in terms of enthusiasm and commitment.
Wednesday I worked with a great friend, Elder Torres from Piura, Peru, in his area in Concepcion, a smaller city in Tucuman. We did good work. We drove away from there around 10:30pm and made it to the Capital in good time, but then got lost in the city for an hour :( - the doggone main streets change names every 10 blocks. Well, we made it to the ZLs place, but when we got to the gate of their apartment building, the gate was locked, and it was 1 AM! We waiting for 30 mins before they finally picked up their cell. I thought we were gonna sleep in the car...
The next 2 days I worked with 2 "normal" companionship in the 2 zones in Tucuman. 1st with Elder Urmston (Spanish Fork, UT - 6 months), then Elder Garrett (Eagle Mountain UT, 10 months, trainer). It was good to work with them, and I was impressed - they work well and are pretty committed to the work, with desires to bring about much good in the lives of others!
Spent the last night in Elder Slighting's old apartment in the Tucuman Zone, with our good friends Elder Hymas (Pleasant Grove, UT - we came here together), and Elder Huaman (Peru). We love Elder Hymas - he's just great in all that he does. He was Elder Slighting's last comp, and it was great to see him.
Well, here we are, today. I learned this week the importance of good exercise when your traveling, so you don't get wiped out. Also, I'm trying to really improve the quality of my prayers and studies when I'm on the road and out of the routine so to speak - it's really a great transition to the real world. Still a missionary but without the cushion of the rigid schedule and some-what mechanical day-to-day.
Love life and love the Gospel. I know that God lives and loves. Let us all speak kind words to each other!!
Elder Isaac Blake
Our car - let's play "I spy Elder Blake"
|Asado in a restaurant - rip off, although good food.|
An investigator opened up a street cart selling sausage. Don't worry, he's got a permit O.o -