First week of the year: check! It went well and also crazy. I will start off with New Year's Eve. So that day we ate our last lunch with members ever. We ate with the Tapia family. They are super nice and it went well, but the lunch was a bit sketchy haha. So we got there and the dad had just got home from work and the mom wasn't even there. Then the mom shows up and asks her kids if they got all the food ready. Their oldest is like 14 and they have three others that are under 10. Not to be rude, but I barely trust food that is cooked by ADULTS here. So that was a nice surprise. We had burnt milanesas (breaded chicken pretty much) with a salad that I'm pretty sure was prepared by their 3 year old. So we smiled and ate it anyway. After I felt like drinking my hand sanatizer cause I knew it was going to come back to bite me.
So that night we go over to the other Elder's house in Independencia (Searcy and Tew) along with the Elders from Azul (Miller and Howlett). We all pitched in some money and Elder Searcy had made us some steaks, fries, and salad. That was delicious. Then we played cards and hung out until it got closer to midnight. Around 10 or 11 I could tell my stomach was getting a little upset... that days lunch had arrived in the station with a bomb aboard... dun dun duuuun. Haha I was scared. So 11:45 we were watching from their balcony, which I was fine with cause the bathroom was nearby. Then one of the Elders said "Let's go to the roof!" I was down for the view so we all went up. Midnight came and the fireworks were so cool! Our view was so cool as we watched fireworks in all directions. Everyone else there goes home this year and I was the only one going home in 2017 so I was getting a lot of comments like "Wow Elder... you're gonna be here a looong time..." ha what do you say to that? "Yaa... thanks buddy... happy new year?" haha it's ok though I don't mind. Anywho.. so as fireworks came to a close... fireworks began to go off in the depths of my stomach. Ha so I took off downstairs aaaaand... spent the rest of the night celebrating new years with the toilet. I went to bed at about 3 or 4am haha. Happy New Year! New year, new digestive system. yay :)
Things have been pretty normal as far as the work and everything goes since then... stomachly as well, thank the heavens. Sunday was so great this last week. Nadia and Nicolas came again which always makes me so happy. Also, I am getting really close with all the members in the ward. I LOVE my ward here. It is the closest thing to how a solid ward should be that I have seen so far in Argentina and I love it. They give us referrals and people ask us if we will take them out with us to work, ward council is productive, our bishop is one of the coolest people I've ever met, so funny and Christlike and works hard. I love him and everyone else in the ward, it's so great.
Things are going well with Nadia. We unfortunately haven't had too many lessons with them lately due to random complications with Nicolas's job or whatever comes up, but she still keeps a lot of interest and self-drive in her conversion. I can tell that she is trying and wants to know this is true for herself and I love it. I also see a lot of effort on Nicolas's part to be supportive and change himself to come back into the gospel. We have an appointment on Saturday and I'm excited. Rafael and Shanina will be joining us (I sent a picture with them in it a couple weeks ago). It should be great. Pray for us.
A few changes to the mission. So this week President announced a huge change in our monthly funds. Long story short, the mission won't be giving us reimbursements for travel and almost every other cost. He raised our personal funds a bit and is basically handing over the wheel completely to us to budget our money. It's hard because that's a lot to manage on top of the work. I did the math and when you take out random costs it leaves us about 5 dollars a day to cover breakfast, lunch and dinner. We also have to make and buy all of our own food now without members to help feed us. I think I will be able to handle it ok with some careful budgeting, but I really worry for the missionaries that don't know how budget, or cook/eat well, or live in areas where you have to travel all the time (like Pedro Luro) and are left with maybe 2 dollars a day to feed themselves. It will work out fine and I really do trust President and support him in what he's doing. It will just be interesting to see how people handle it for the next little bit. From here on out there will be the good budgeters... and the hungry haha.
Love you all. Sorry no pictures this week.