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Sunday, March 22, 2015

The first week in Argentina

It was a long flight but we survived! We spent the first two nights in the mission home with the wonderful hospitality of President Goates and his wife. The first day was Zone Conference with all of the missionaries in our zone. We were thrown in the pool so to speak with regard to Spanish. We got about 60 percent of it! On the way to the conference Pres. Goates took us down town to change money on the "blue market". The official exchange rate at the banks is 8 pesos for one dollar but the blue market is higher and is comprised of a bunch of individual entrepreneurs. The more you exchange the better the rate. Well we brought $5,000 in cash so we decided to exchange it all in one swoop. Linda and Sis Goates stayed in the car and Pres Goates and Fred went to do the deal. It was in a cage located under a large building in Central Mendoza. Pres Goates and Fred took off their name tags and went in. We got a 12.6 to 1 rate which is very good. The guy behind the counter kept a poker face and never uttered a word as he counted out packets of cash. Problem was that Fred got a stack of money about 6 inches high and had to stuff it in four different pockets in his suit and carry it around all day at the conference. They went in one way and left via another for security concerns. It had a little taste of doing a deal with the Mafia BUT ALL LEGAL!! We finally got to where we will be working. La Consulta is a little town of about 8,000 people. Well we are in a "suburb" of La Consulta called Eugenio Bustos. We are making friends with the people in the local shops and dining establishments. Kind of a podunk little town but we love it. Siesta is from 1pm to about 5pm and the town literally shuts down during that time with the exception of an ice cream place and a little shop like a very mini 7-11. Our house is not ready yet so we have been staying in a hotel. Very tiny rooms. Sort of like a Motel 3. We have to move the suitcases around like checkers so we can get around. The house should be almost ready tomorrow but we are moving in regardless. Found out Fred's iphone 6+ is worth over $2,000 here. Gotta keep an eye on it. Linda's iphone 6 is not much cheaper. Went to church this morning. Still trying to figure out what language they are speaking! They speak very fast and we are going to have to up our game. We will have appointments this week with some inactive members that we can start working with to try and get them back into activity.

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