Monday, July 18, 2011

The Last Letter Home

Family!

All is well in Argentina! This last Thursday we had zone conference, so I got to know the new Pres! The new president is President Levrino from Santa Fe. It was a good zone conference. He is very direct about what he wants and what we need to do better. His wife seems to be equally as knowledgeable as he does and twice as loving. They have 5 kids. One of 15, twins of 13, a 9 (maybe) year old and a 5 year old. That's a lot of kids. The twins and 5 year old were present. They seem like normal kids in a very abnormal situation.

The work is moving forward. Today we had a big choripañada (I guess in English it would be a sausage cook off) and I washed some clothes.

I suppose the elephant in the email is the fact that this is the last one I will send and that this is my last week, etc. To be honest I am trying not to think about it and be focused. I will miss Argentina so terribly I am not looking forward to leaving. That said it will be great to see you all again. I hate to make cliche comments but, the mission has been the greatest blessing in my life next to my family and all I want to do is live it and serve until the last second.

I love you all.
Thanks for all your support, letters, packages, and love I received from you all these last two years.

I guess I can end this saying "see you soon."

Elder Barnes

Monday, July 11, 2011

Siete Once


FAMILY!

Good week. Argentina also had its independence, the 9th of Julio. We ate choripan with members and it was TERRIFIC! They fed me 3 choripanes! That's insane!

Some really cool news is that LA MAS just got a married couple senior missionary thingy. Ya know? A married couple is on a mission here. They got here on Saturday and JUSTO they live in my area! So they went to church in our ward! This is the first time we have had a married couple companionship since I have been here. I am not sure what their "mission" is. He told me that he is here under the direction of the presidencia del area. That was it. The man served here as a young missionary and returned and married a Tucumana. They lived in Idaho and I told him about Downey and he knew it existed. This is their second mission, their first was in Mejico.

ANYWAY! Life continues.

Attached is a foto of me at Tafi de Valle.

Much love,

Elder Barnes

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

4 de Julio

Dearest Family,

I hope all is well. This last week was a good ol´ hard working week. Unfortunately my comp was sick with stomach problems, ya know...but now he is WAY better.

Today! We went to the tourist trap of Tafi de Valle. It´s where one can buy many souvenirs and things. It´s great. A very pretty valle. Anyway I am still there and the bus leaves in 20 minutes so I gotta be out.

Happy 4th of July!

Love,
Elder Barnes

Monday, June 27, 2011

LAST CHANCE

A note for all of you from Elder Barnes. He returns home exactly a month from today on July 27th.

If you really want something cool from Argentina you gotta let me know NOW! so I can get it for ya. I don´t think there is anything the states really die to have from here, but I am just letting ya all know...you got a week, and after that there is no promises that I will be able to get anything...I am referring to specific souvenirs that you all might want.

Much Love,
Elder Barnes

San Javier



Dear Family!

I am sorry for last week...let me explain...
What happened was that it was a national holiday and to our dismay all the cybers were closed! So we wandered and wandered and finally found one. I was able to log in and everything was shim shimmy until 20 minutes in, when everything froze up on me. 30 minutes later I was able to get back on, but by this point it was time to go. A complete PAIN. But life goes on...

Like I said the only thing that really happened this last week was that there was Zone conference. I pretty much said all that needed to be said but Pte Northcutt told us about the Elders going home and all the problems the volcano was causing. Turns out that the chilenos ended up going home in bus, a 36 hour ride home...OOF. THEN Elder Fuentes (ex compa) had a 7 hour bus ride. During the conference (Thursday) Pres got a message saying they all got home safely (they left Tuesday). And yes, now Pte is going home, this Friday at 9 in the morning. The new Pres (still don't know his name) comes Thursday. Pte is going to give his homecoming talk on Sunday...I hope they record it...

This week has gone by well. The area was pretty dry for investigators when I got here, so we are finding like crazy. The area is normal sized with a chunk being rich "unworkable" neighborhoods. We have lunch with two well-off families, one of which who has a nanny who cooks. The members are amiable, what more can you ask for. The stake president also lives in our area. He works for CES and must be payed very well because that´s how he lives.

Tucumán never really grew on me before, mostly because I always come and go, but it is finally warming up on me. This last week was rainy and cold. For whatever reason the rain fits this city so well and made me appreciate it more. In Salta it was cold, but stopped raining...here it looks like the rain never really leaves...

As for today we went to the top of the mountain that shades all of Tucumán, San Javier, and went to see the giant Jesus statue. They claim that it is the 9th biggest in the world. It was fun. We went with the district, which is 100% American Made, it´s a fun group of young men. There are three fotos attached. The first is of me and my comp, the second is of me and bubbles I brought with to take fotos (found them in the apartment the night before and thought "why not?"), and the third is of the whole district. One Elder, Elder Rassmusen, (top left) is from Pocatello, Idaho and knows Downey. He said there are small towns and then there is Downey. To me they all seem the same.

The work goes on! Thanks for all your love and support.

Love,

Elder Barnes

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Please Write Elder Barnes

Dear Reader,
Today marks the winter solstice in Argentina. Consider celebrating the change of seasons by sending Elder Barnes an encouraging email.
Just 5 more weeks until he is released. He's on the home stretch.

Thank you for following this blog and for cheering Greg on to good things.
--C.B.


Dear Family,
This cyber is the worst I have ever been to...

Looks like this will be all I will be able to write...
what a bummer...
I promise a great letter next week.
Just a heads up this last week was the last zone conference of Pte
Northcutt. It was a doubly emotional one..

I mean the zone conference was emotionally filled, or
better put, it was sad saying good bye...
I will write a little bit more...
Pte's last talk to us was about 2 completely unrelated topics. One was about how God loves us and he told us a personal story about how he knows that. The other topic was How to find a wife. He basically just told us about how he got to know the Hna and how we should use personal revelation...

The zone conference ended with a ultimate prayer by Pte Northcutt...
And when I had to go I got to give a hug to Hermana Northcutt!
Afterwards she told me I was always a hard working
Elder they trusted. She told me to end the mission well, but she knows I will..
It was sweet of her to say such things.

Anyways it was a good hard working week. The area needs lots of work.

Thanks for everything,
Elder Barnes


Tuesday, June 14, 2011

PARQUE GUILLERMINA

Dear Family!

Here I am, a new transfer and a new area. I am now in Parque Guillermina, Tucuman. Which is an interesting area because it borders my old area Universitario, which borders another old area of mine, San Filipe. I suppose to some it may seem weird to go to an new area but I expected it. President is pretty firm about the idea of Lideres de Zona being in the position for 4 transfers, no más no menos. SO! I am now with Elder Olsen, my third Yankee of a companion. He has like 7 months in the mission and is from Texas.

BUT! How was my last week? Super good! The area is definitely stronger than when Elder Fuentes and I first got there, so that puts me happy. This last Sunday was the stake conference that was special because it was vía satellite. Elder Zivic, the Primary President, Elder Anderson (of the 12), and Elder Boyd K all spoke. Elder Anderson spoke in Spanish, which was pretty funny because he also speaks French and Portuguese fluently and you could totally hear that in his accent. In his talk he shared a story about a young man preparing for his mission, Elder Guitierrez, who got his call to the Salta Argentina mission. It was one of those "hey I know that guy!" moments. Boyd K. Packer's talk was good, too. It was weird. At the end of it he basically said that this would be the last time he addresses the people in Argentina. Not a huge surprise seeing as he is...old. All in all, enjoyable conference. We were able to have a family come with us, along with another investigator. Both of which are progressing well. That was really great to see. What was also great was that along with being able to say goodbye to all the members in my ward there were all the faithful members of Mitre present. Two birds with one stone. One of the members from Mitre there was the father of a family Elder Fuentes and I taught and later the Hermanas baptized. The father was presented to get the Melchizedek Priesthood. That was super great to see. I could hardly believe it when they called his name. He has been a member for about 2 months. Pretty fast to get the priesthood mayor, but Argentina sure needs all the help it can get. As per norm, saying goodbye was saddening but I have gotten used to it. Packing took a little longer than usual, I decided to do a pre clean which resulted in me leaving lots of stuff behind, including my less expensive suit.

Last night I was able to talk to Elder Fuentes before he goes home. He has NO idea about how he will get home, seeing as there is a giant volcano o algo...

Today I left early at 9. At 10 we stopped at, what seemed to be a gas station in the middle of nowhere, and after a little waiting another bus pulled up, and next thing I knew about 6 more Elders coming from Jujuy got on. Including Elder Smith, my old comp from Santiago. It was a sweet surprise.

And well, here I am! Once again, TUCUMAN. I did some grocery shopping , ate at McDonald's (which is in my area), and am doing cyber. I suppose the bare necessities of an Elder on his Pday.

The work goes on!

Much Love,

E L D E R B A R N E S