Monday, April 15, 2013

Hey everyone!

Ok, so I am in San Martin, and it is very very very tiny. There is a lot good and bad here. So let me start with the good:

First, my companion is Elder Solis. He is from El Salvador and speaks absolutely no English whatsoever. This is helping my Spanish a lot, because I can´t speak anything else. But, it also made me realize how much I dont know as well. I still have a lot of improvement I need to make.

Ok, next, the food here is awesome. Everything is completely fresh and farmland out here. They kill the cows and chickens right in front of you. The vegetables are picked right out of the ground and it´s great. They also have amazing bread, which is ground out and cooked right in front of you. Also, the food is cheap. Today I bought a kilo of chicken breast for only about 3 US dollars. It´s pretty cool.

Also, another thing that was cool, is we were ¨white washed¨ in this area. So it is new for both of us. So we are learning things together. On Wednesday night we had lesson with girl named Graciela and committed her for baptism that Saturday. She asked for me to baptize her and I did. I´m trying to send a picture of her and her husband. We also have committed another girl to baptism for this Saturday, but it might get pushed off for the following week.

Umm, haha one thing that is kind of funny is the Branch President of the Branch, is a 21 year old kid who got back from his mission 2 months ago. President Sanduval. He is a really good guy and he knows a couple of English Phrases that he likes to use with me. He really likes to talk to me.

So about San Martin. There are about 3 paved roads for the main part of the town. This is where the main stores are. There´s a supermercado that is about the size of our kitchen that sells some things, but to buy food you don´t use that. People set up little things in the street that sell vegetables or fruit. The next sells eggs and milk and so on. It´s pretty cool. THen you bargain with them for a fair price. Also, there are very few autos here. The richer people (which are still extremely poor) buy old dirt bikes and ride those but most people walk around in bare feet or on a horse. It´s so cool! Basically how ever you are imagining it is how it is. There are tons and tons and tons of trees that people build their houses into with bricks or wood and there is just dirt floors. Honestly, if someone was walking around in a loin cloth and a spear in their hand it would be completely normal. Also, tons and tons of walking. Everyone houses (huts more like) are miles and miles apart. So, we don´t have time for dinner ever and I can feel myself dropping like a fly.

Ok, now for the bad. So, it happens to be that in San Martin the people absolutely hate people from the United States. Like, a lot. They won´t sell me anything, they won´t talk to me or anything. My companion has to take my money and buy things for me because they refuse. They are honestly as racist as you can possibly imagine. Graciela got harassed for letting me baptize her and was so embarrassed that she didn´t even come to church the next day. I was talking to the Branch President and they said that the people here think I am here to steal from them. He also said that if I wasn´t as big as I was (the people here are small) I would´ve been robbed and mugged by now.

We went to a lesson with a girl named Macarayna and she only agreed to let us talk to her if I would promise not to say anything. And in other lessons the people just laugh hysterically when I try to speak. They really don´t like me´s really really discouraging. I feel like I´m messing it up more than I am helping. Well, for now, that is really all I have to say. Hopefully they´ll start to warm up to me a little more, but for now, it´s honestly a living nightmare of a mission area. Haha...anyway. I hope you all are doing well. I´ll talk to you soon!

Elder Benson

                                   The temple in Buenos Aires

                              Elder Benson,  Elder Barker and Elder Howell in Houston, TX

                                 Elder Solis, Graciela and her husband with Elder Benson

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