Hello from Mendoza!!!!!!!!!!
I hope you all are just doing spaztastic. I sure know I am.
To start off, this week was crazy. And I loved it. On Tuesday there was a Viento (wind) Zonda (pronounced sone-da) which is basically the name of these giant wind storms that Mendoza gets a lot. A member explained it to me a while ago so I´ll try to do the best to explain it to you all. Basically what happens is as air travels over the mountains that border Argentina and Chile it drops precipitation and by the time it reaches the top it´s super dry. Then it starts going down the other side really fast causing friction with the mountain side that creates some kinda energy in the air (it´s supposedly also called the witch´s wind because apparently a lot of people get agitated or sick when this happens). Usually there´s just a lot of dust and there will be a surprisingly warmer air flow (in the winter or fall for example) and that´s how people know it´s a Viento Zonda. But a couple times a year the viento zonda comes with super-extra-duper strong winds. We were teaching in the house of an investigator (lucky, because it would have been horrible to be outside) when the wind really started to pick up. By the time we left it was pretty much over but the damage was incredible. Full grown 25-30 foot trees were literally blown down. Some smaller trees were split in half and the majority were missing branches. There were leaves everywhere. You can imagine the mess it was for power and phone lines.. I wish I had better pictures but I only had my camera after the fact so I only have one decent one, and it doesn´t do the situation justice at all. It blew my mind (ha, get it) to see how wind could do so much damage. Me and my comp made a nerdy scripture comparison about how we need to have deeper roots like the trees that didn´t get blown over. It was great fun.
Also, this week we took a weekend trip (since we have P-days on Saturdays now) to this man made lake in the mountains. One of our investigators wanted to go and to try and make our friendship better we decided why not. Just so you know a little about her, her name is Adriana, she´s about 45 years old, she´s in love with her two dogs, listens to and knows how to play a couple songs by the beatles, was a literature professor andddd is a terrible driver. Haha. We got permission from President to leave our area go with her and a priest in our ward who is about to go on a mission. To be honest the lake wasn´t that great, I mean it was water....like all lakes...but the surroundings were more mountainous and dead-looking like Arizona and the super boring parts of Idaho you drive through to get to Utah. Not exactly the luscious green Oregon forests I love so much. But, it was definitely an adventure. At one point she pulled out in front of a Semi coming down a hill and then didn´t really speed up at all to account for it. He ended up passing us on a double yellow line. I´m grateful to still be alive and do not plan on driving with her again haha. The good news is after telling us she didn´t want to come to church or listen to us much anymore, she came to all three hours and loved it. We´re being super persistent with her so hopefully something will come of it.
While we´re on the topic of investigators, I should probably tell you we plan on baptising a lady named Carmen next Saturday! We´re super excited. It´s ironic because probably a little over a month ago I was supposed to give her a baptismal interview but her anti-mormon kids freaked out on her and sent her to Chile (that´s where´s she from). The funny thing is...is that when she showed up the missionaries were teaching the family member she was going to stay with in Chile! Apparently he has completely changed his life (stopped smoking and doing drugs, leaving all his friends etc) and we don´t know what happened but when she came back from her trip she had changed. Before she was really afraid to be baptised and said she didn´t really have a testimony even though before she had said she knew it was true etc. And now she´s totally and completely committed. We´re way excited.
Going along with the theme of storms, Saturday night we were caught in a giant thunder storm. We were teaching this man named Jorge who we randomly contacted in the street this week. Turns out all of his family are members and that he already has a testimony of the book of mormon and Joseph Smith. He should be getting baptised the week after Carmen, if he´s not too good to be true (we still haven´t really found out why the heck he wasn´t baptised before). We walked all the way home in the pouring rain. It was delightful. Elder Ostler is from Washington so we both felt at home. Anyways, the point of the story is that we had invited Carmen´s daughter named Florencia to come to church the next day but she said she couldn´t because she works. BUT, apparently it rained so much that her boss called her and told her to come in late on Sunday, so we got a nice little surprise when she showed up at church with her mom. We have high hopes for her as well, we just gotta find a way to get her work off on Sundays.
Alright, the last couple bits about this week is that Hermana Packer (the nurse here) made rootbeer from extract and I had rootbeer and rootbeer floats. A sweet reunion was made between two long lost friends. On the opposite end of the spectrum, I had raw fish on Sunday. Apparently they put it in a ton of lemon juice to kill the bad stuff but that means it was just weird fish meat that tasted like lemon juice. Haha. But, it all adds to the experience.
With all the love of fish eyes,