I do not even know where to start with this one. This week was just something else. I guess I will start with the interesting/ funny stuff:
Elder Holt and I were out contacting when this loud and obnoxious guy with a cigarette in his mouth stopped us. We did the whole routine and he invited us to his house without us even asking. While Holt was writing down his address, the guy shook my hand then went to shake Elder Holt’s hand who did not see it because he was writing. I whispered in Spanish twice that the guy was trying to shake his hand and when he did not hear me I said it in English. As soon as I said that the guy had me by the arm and was coming in for the kill. He thought I was talking crap in English so he could not understand.
At this very moment a woman we know started talking to Holt so he didn’t see what happened so I ended up having to put the guys arm in this painful lock that targets the nerve bundle on the inside of the wrist and knee him in the soft tendon on the back of the knee. He dropped to the ground, got up, apologized quickly, invited me over for dinner, then limped away holding his arm. I freaked on Holt and told him to stop talking to the ladies long enough to bail me out of stuff like that.
We ran into the same guy later that day but this time he had peed his pants badly, obviously broken his nose, and was PLASTERED. He stopped me, probably for stability, and told me some guy had beat him up and he wanted me to come over and teach him whatever I did to him earlier. Before I could say anything he gave me his sunglasses and planted a big kiss on me and then Elder Holt. At least I wasn’t expecting it. Holt got pulled in by the arm like a rope. Longest 3 seconds of his life.
From there we went to Mamita´s house and she told me she had heard about my new nickname. I had no idea what she was talking about and she told me the meaning of this word which up to this point Holt and I had assumed meant ´gringo´. The word ´muñeco’ means ´doll´ and two seconds later everything made sense when we passed a group of 20 high school girls. They all started whispering and calling to each other about the muñeco. Holt gave me endless crap for that one and kept trying to hold my hand.
This is where the week turned a little bit. We got a call from Elder Petrovelli saying that President Obeso had just called saying that he had been told from down the line of authority that Petrovelli had beat up his companion. Having just had surgery it obviously wasn’t true and we also found out it had come from President Bello, our branch president. Holt and I stopped in the church to use the bathroom and the new second counselor, Mauro, pulled us into the office to inform us they’d had a council as leaders of the Rama [Branch] and decided to kick Petrovelli out. When Mauro saw he wasn’t convincing us with his lies he threw out some other accusations against Petrovelli´s companion Elder Perkins.
We went straight home and called up the line of authority to try to get some help and all they told us was that they would work on it. Long story short the next night we set up a meeting with Bello to figure out what was going on and where all this was coming from. He fed us a bunch of lies about the stuff Petrovelli and Perkins were allegedly doing and when I, after not speaking the entire time, tried to explain we just wanted to work, he told me that I needed to go too because of my threats and intimidation against families in the ward to basically kill them with my wrestling mojo. Two problems with that: 1. I have maybe talked about wrestling twice when people saw my pictures of me wrestling. 2. I don’t know enough Spanish to put together a threat if I wanted to. We tried to explain that if we left a lot of members would go inactive and all our progress would be lost. He said he didn’t care and that is where we stopped talking.
We left the office pissed off and right outside Mauro, who had been one of Petrovelli´s friends and lied behind his back and started half the rumors, told Elder Petrovelli to quit his mission. I told Mauro off and we left just hurt and confused.
We went straight to Mamita´s where Elder Petrovelli broke down in tears because all this town has done is pick on him and persecute him, Elder Holt called Obeso who got mad at us for meeting with Bello in the first place, and I just stood in the corner mad as could be.
Eventually we went home where Perkins broke down listening to a talk by Elder Holland where he talks about why a mission isn’t easy, Elder Petrovelli went into the bathroom and locked the door, Elder Holt disappeared out back to think, and I just did push-ups and pull-ups until my arms were jelly. We all ended up out back and ate burnt cookies I had made earlier and ate frosting with spoons.
The next day we didn´t do anything. Just sat around the house because we were waiting for instructions from President Obeso. About seven in the evening we got a call that we were having an emergency transfer of all four of us which means we are all going to sectors we don’t know at all. We had three hours to say goodbye to everyone and then in the morning we were shipped out. We kind of had a little party that night and TONS of people showed up including a bunch of inactive and less active people. It made it all worth it to see everyone there and how many people we had touched. It wasn’t planned; it was just as people heard we had to leave that they showed up to say goodbye and mostly cry. There isn’t a whole lot that can make me cry. I wrestled for 5 years and never cried because of an injury, which I had MANY of, but I will admit I cried looking at all their loving faces.
Elder Holt and I arrived in our new sector of Entre Lagos which means ¨between lakes¨, and it is the most beautiful place on earth - I am convinced of it. There are about 20 members who assist, including 4 missionaries and a couple babies, and we don’t know our sector very well. We got our work cut out for us.
All of that aside, Holt and I are pretty happy. I will admit my last night in Rio Negro I broke down a little looking at pictures of the family and wondering where God was and why it was so hard. However, all questions were answered as soon as we entered Entre Lagos. Holt and I are still together and in the first hour of walking aimlessly around our sector just following promptings, we found FOUR INVESTIGATORS!! Two already have testimonies of the Book of Mormon! LETS GO!!!
The members are all solid as rocks in the faith and the wife of the president is our mamita and is known for miles around for her cooking. We live with a bunch of non members who are so cool, in a cool house, and soft beds. You can’t even understand how much I almost cried laying in a SOFT BED. You don’t need to worry about me either. Yes it is hard, I don’t want to lie to you guys about that. But Holt and I are always happy, always singing, and I make a game out of EVERYTHING. We are looking forward to our future success here in the beautiful city of Entre Lagos.
I love everyone so much. Stay in touch and don’t forget lots and lots and lots of pictures.
Elder Aidan Rich
These are photos of us saying good-bye to Rio Negro.
These are photos of us saying good-bye to Rio Negro.
Talking to the kids of Rio Negro that we play with on the street for the last time and giving them our information.
The Family of Jacob. My first baptism that I kind of walked into on my first day in the area.
|JoseLuis and Eugenia. They're inactive but so so awesome. Good people.|
Ricardo and Carla for the last time. My absolute favorites.
|Josepha (the daughter of Ricardo and Carla) after I gave her her first princess dress ever. Priceless moment in life right there.|
|Our departing view of Rio Negro|