Monday, April 10, 2017

Illegal Resident Status in Argentina & Uruguay

Hey everyone!

Crazy week. Yeah let me just start off by explaining a little about what I have been up to. This week we had our zone conference with President Olsen, but instead of him coming here this time, we had a tri-zone conference in Paysandu. So on Thursday, we went to go buy bus tickets to travel at 1:00 in the night, as that was the only bus that crossed to Uruguay that day. But when I tried buying mine, the guy looked at my passport and wouldn't sell me the ticket because apparently I was only allowed in Argentina for 90 days, and it expired, meaning I was illegal for a week. 
Most missionaries usually have their cedula who come to Argentina, which basically means our official residency here in Uruguay/ Argentina, but I haven't been sent to Montevideo to get mine yet. So yeah, we ended up having to call back and forth with the zone leaders for like the whole day, to try and figure out what to do, and how to get me to Paysandu for the conference the next day. 
After HOURS of calling around and talking with members and everything, President finally called us and said to go right then to the border and try to cross anyways. He was in Paysandu already and said he could come pick me up and figure it all out. So familia Cacosso drove us up to the border and dropped us off, as they couldn't cross. We wanted to wait for President to cross over to Argentina and then help us, but the guards started filing us over to cross as they said we weren't allowed to wait there. And of course, as I expected the guy pointed out my 90-day limit had expired and I wouldn't be able to cross. Luckily just at that moment, President walks across the border from the other side, pulls out his wallet and says, `Alright, how much is it?` Haha, after he worked some other wise words, and I finally got through :). 
That night we got to the zone leader's house super late, but we had at least made it. The conference on Friday was really awesome and I saw a lot of people from my CCM group. Our bus back to Argentina was supposed to leave at 4 in the afternoon, but the time was kind of getting cut close because there were so many interviews. 
After all the zone of Argentina was interviewed we had to book it to catch our bus since again, the next one didn't leave until the following day. So ALL of us piled into President´s truck since we had about 5 minutes until our bus left and it was 20 minutes away to walk there. The two assistants in front, four hermanas in the back seats and the eight of us Elders crammed in the back... Not comfortable; especially because the AP Elder Layton was driving like a total maniac to get us there haha. We made the bus in the end, but that wasn't the end... President was supposed to do something online to get me another 90 days until I can get my cedula, but apparently, he had problems doing so, so when I got to the border again, they wouldn't let me cross. Some other people in the zone had problems as well but in the end they were able to all get back on the bus, and we were stuck. The zone leaders called President again and he said he would be there in 30 minutes to pick Elder Opazo and I up again so we needed to wait there. And oh course as the bus left, the border people started shoving us in a taxi to take us back to the terminal in Paysandu saying, we couldn't wait there. 
It would have been fine but we didn't have any more money on the phone so couldn't call President to let him know we wouldn't be at the border. Luckily on the way back, we asked the taxi driver if he could take us somewhere us and he ended up saying yes. He took us to the church, and we got with President Olsen. So yeah, for the second time he had to bring us over. This time there were a lot more complications and we ended up waiting hours at the border, but in the end I got through again :). 
It was actually kind of a fun day though. We were with the assistants all day too. President bought us all dinner, and finally we made it to Colon. Haha, looks like I will be heading to Montevideo this change to get my residency.
We also just got word that our house owner wants the apartment next month and so we have to find a place to move. It´s been an interesting week haha.
We had a super awesome day at church yesterday. There were 72 people there, which is apparently the most Colon has ever had! Woooooo! Record! It is crazy considering we usually have had around 40-45 since I have been here. A couple of investigators came and a bunch of less-actives. Also, [...] came the 13-year-old girl we were teaching before and passed to the hermanas when they came. Apparently, she has a baptismal date for April 29th, and is progressing a lot! Super awesome.
We have also been working a lot with [...]. She is probably the smartest little 9-year old I have ever met! She went to church on Sunday, and when we had a lesson with her last night she learned so much. She basically taught us the Gospel of Jesus Christ haha. Super awesome. We are hoping she will get baptized this change! We have also been teaching English to she and [...]Candi, which they really enjoy haha. Our investigator [...] is doing really great as well and is reading the Book of Mormon a ton.
That is about it for this week. I love it here on my mission. I know this Gospel is true and am so grateful for the Book of Mormon in my life. I hope each of you are reading it TODOS LOS DIAS as our wonderful prophet challenged us to do! Love you all :)

Elder Layton

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