(written Aug 16)
Today has been a much needed P-day. I took a three hour nap and Elder Garcia and I went out to buy some fish for him to prepare as we both miss eating it. We bought some merluza (hake, a more mild fish) and some shrimp that he prepared very well. We had some leftover rice from the other day that we ate on the side. I'll attach a picture at the end. It really hit the spot and I am feeling a little more relaxed today.
This week has been full of excitement! We received a group of 32 missionaries including a very good friend of mine that went home from his mission in December. I think I remember writing an entry about how we stayed up late talking and the night before he left as his situation was very similar to mine. Well... he is back and it was a grand reunion. We gave eachother a big 'ol hug in the airport and when we pulled away we both had tears in our eyes. I was so happy to see him and catch up on all the details that weren't talked about in our email communications. He was already an excellent missionary before leaving and I can't imagine how good of a missionary he will be now. There was also another missionary that returned after receiving knee surgeries and going through therapy who I had the chance to work with one time as well. It was great seeing him and it was a happy reunion for all.
The 30 new missionaries that we received are all excited to be here and have brought a new light to the Mendoza mission. They came in on tuesday night after miraculously making their flight in Buenos Aires with confusion over a pilot strike that was going on. We took them to the mission home where they ate dinner and then sent them off to get a full night of sleep.
The next morning they received some trainings from President Goates and Hermana Ashby (the mission nurse) before eating lunch. After lunch we took them to Cerro de la Gloria (Glory Hill) which is a historic monument for the armies that liberated Argentina from Spain. Elder Garcia and I gave a spiritual thought about the liberator, General San Martin, and related his story of freeing people to our purpose as missionaries. That evening we ate pizza and then went out into the streets near the offices to let the missionaries have their first experiences talking to the people of Mendoza. I got to go out with three new missionaries and we had a great time! All the missionaries that participated had a really uplifting experience.
On thursday morning Elder Garcia and I had a training with all 30 of the new trainers while the new missionaries received training on finances and other similar things from the office elders in another room of the church. Afterwards we ate lunch and presented everyone to their new companions!!!! That was the most anticipated and excited part of the day which was followed by a small training before sending them off to their areas.
It was fun receiving such a large group but I was happy to finally get to bed on time for the first time in a week on Thursday night. Yesterday we had planning session with President Goates as we prepare for the visit of Elder Francisco J. Viñas (https://www.lds.org/church/
this next week. We will be taking him on a three day tour of the
mission so that he can speak to all of the missionaries. He will also be
having a meeting with investigators of all the missionaries here in the
Mendoza area as well as for members who bring their friends. I am
really looking forward to meeting him. Elder
Garcia and I will be the opening speakers for the three meetings with
the missionaries followed by Sister Goates, President Goates, and then Elder Viñas.
Just a little update on my health. From the tests that I have done so far everything has come out alright so some possibilities have been eliminated. I will have some more in depth tests done on Monday the 25th. My stomach still isn't all that great but I have felt very blessed this week. Last week I was really struggling with the fact that I wasn't able to perform my duties with enthusiasm and a smile as I need to be able to do as a missionary. I was trying to fake it and I couldn't even do that... this week, even though my health has continued the same, I was actually really happy. There was a moment every day where I realized how much joy I had in what I was doing even with the stress, fatigue, and dull pain. In the moments that I stopped to think about how happy I was I felt the sense of a flood of prayers coming over me from all those that have kept me in their prayers. I want you all to know that I really appreciate your prayers and that I had a really good week.
I really love being here and I am happy that I am in a place where I can continue to do what I love while receiving the proper treatment. I am really looking forward to this week and seeing what Elder Viñas brings to help our mission continually improve!
Here I have attached some pictures of my last few days with Elder Quadros and the lunch that Elder Garcia prepared today.
Love you guys!
- Elder Rainock
The first one is of Elder Quadros and I at an asado that the Perez family prepared for us. Super good!
The second one is a selfie of us in the elevator that we ride up and down on to and from President's apartament. We usually take advantage of the mirror to adjust our ties right before seeing President as well :)
The third and fourth one shows the meal that elder Garcia prepared! Hit the spot!