Month One

Last Friday marked one month in Argentina for me.
One month! It is a really weird feeling though. I feel like I have been here for a really long time, but I also feel like I have only just arrived.

This past month has included the following.

  • Twenty-five hours of travel to get here.
  • Eating horse bologna. No joke. (It tasted like normal bologna, by the way. Salty and underwhelming.)
  • Passing out cold the first time I went to church.
  • Several Asados. (Argentine barbecue events) Lots of delicious meat, and other food. I don’t think I will get sick of Asados.
  • Flunking my first interview terribly, which was immediately followed by twenty minutes trying to find my way to the bus stop, and ending up right back where I started, which, in turn, was immediately followed by leaving my debit card in the ATM in downtown Cordoba. It was gone 5 minutes later when I realized my mistake and returned for it. Needless to say, I was not the most optimistic I have ever been. I laugh about it now.
  • Plenty of time on the public bus, and plenty of time waiting for it as well.
  • More Burger King burgers in the last month than I have consumed in the last 2 years. (They beef they use here is better than in the States.) Only 5 total, if you must know.
  • Two days of camping in the mountains on a sheep-farmer’s property. No electricity and RV hookups at this campsite. We did have running water though… Cuz it was a stream! #theoriginalrunningwater
  • Climbing my first two rocks. So hard, but so fun.
  • Beginning work as a teacher’s assitant at a great language school called Stepping Stones. All of my coworkers are a hoot.
  • Sharing Yerba Mate with a homeless Argentine family on the street. #drinkingmatewhilesimultaneouslyprayingIdontgetanycrazydiseases
  • A lot of Spanish, but not enough Spanish.

It has been a good month overall. I am still very much in the settling into life phase. I feel a little bit comfortable here. I have learned how to survive; how to get around, how to get food, etc. On the other hand, I have only been here for one month, and I haven’t really established a routine. So much is still so new for me.

I am encouraged. God has been ministering to me a lot, and working on my heart a lot in this last month. He has been working to bring me to a place of truly laying all my plans and hopes and dreams down and just trusting Him for whatever He has for me in the future. It has been hard, but so so good.

I have been making a lot more of an effort to learn and practice Spanish the last couple weeks. Man it takes a lot of brain power. I am doing Spanish lessons 3 times per week with one of my housemates, and have been studying some thrilling books such as “501 Spanish Verbs”, and “The Spanish Frequency Dictionary”. They are real page-turners, let me tell you. I have become a lot more motivated to really study heard though. I can’t begin to tell you how frustrating it is to not be able to communicate, to just have to shake your head and smile sheepishly when people try to say something to you. I want to just know it so bad!

Awesome testimony! I sat next to this lady at Church today. She doesn’t normally come to this Church, but she is friend of my friend and we all walked to Church together. During the service she turned to me and said intensely, “I need to teach you Spanish. I need to help you learn. I’m a Spanish teacher. I teach Spanish online. The Holy Spirit just told me that I need to teach you English, that you need to know it, because He has things for you to say, and you need to be able to speak. Do you want to learn from me?”

I was blown away. And stoked. “Yes”, I replied, “I’d love to!”. It really was an answer to a prayer, and the desire of my heart. I’ve looked into taking Spanish lessons at the University, but the classes are really expensive, and everyone has advised me not to take it. Someone who is a Spanish teacher who is willing to teach me is just what I’ve been hoping for. God is so good! It has been a little bit frustrating because I can’t really do very much ministry without being able to communicate.

God is working to answer my two biggest current needs: to get more work, and learn more Spanish. I have had two job leads come up in the last couple days as well, and I am pursuing them this week.

So life is still in flux, I’m still figuring out my groove here. I think it will take a little while. I need to be patient and just let God direct me and do His thing.

Prayer Requests

  • That I would learn Spanish quickly. I go between being really motivated to learn, and really weary of trying to learn it.
  • That God would open up the right door for another job for me to work. I am currently working 8 hrs/week at my job, which is great, but I need more like 20–25 hrs/week to pay all my bills and live comfortably.
  • That the Lord would give me opportunities to minister and encourage people, even with my very limited Spanish.
  • That I would have a patience and a good perspective as I continue to be immersed more and more in the culture. I haven’t been too homesick…yet, but I know that it will come with time. Also the other aspects of “culture shock”, loving the newness, then hating the differences, etc. I just want to transition well, and be able to truly be here with all my heart for this season, and not be counting down the days until it’s over.
  • For the Church Youth Retreat this next weekend. It will be good for my Spanish, but also difficult, since it will all be in Spanish. Pray for strength, as it is physically exhausting to be constantly trying to communicate and listen in a new language.

That’s all for now folks, nothing crazy, nothing extreme. Just a good ol’ update on my little slice of life down here in Argentina, which, I might add, is nowhere near Mexico (a surprisingly common misconception).

I love you all.

-Rog.

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