So first thing we learned from speaking with our missionary, Elder Inman, was that the internet connection in Rojas Argentina is almost modem like. But after finally getting a stable connection, we were able to get a good look at our Elder and first impression was he’s lost a lot of weight. About 20+ pounds according to him.
He was so cute in the beginning because he was having a hard time speaking English and you could tell he was trying to say the correct English words. But that’s what happens when all his companion knows is Spanish so he never gets a break from it.
Well first things we talked about was just how he was doing, what the area was like, and of course each one of us had our own individual questions. Mine, his dad, of course wanted to know what kind of Computer System he was sporting and what kind of connection they had. He was using the Church’s computer, which they happen to live about 5 minutes away from, and according to his specs, the computer was over 5 years old. I was half expecting to communicate in straight byte code but it was a little more advanced than that.
Kalon of course talked about his video games and how much he enjoys Counter Strike and Call of Duty. Elder Inman said they don’t play video games but they do play volleyball and don’t tell anyone, but a little bit of soccer too. I mean real life outdoor games; his younger brother was astonished.
Kyler spent some time talking about Star Wars and the new expansion for our favorite game World of Warcraft. That really seemed to get Kenny excited as you could tell he was able to step away from the current situation for just a brief moment.
Mom of course asked all the essentials and this is the breakdown of the responses:
1. For washing clothes, Elder Inman actually wears his clothes outside in the rain which it happens to rain a lot. He’s decided to bypass wearing a raincoat because he said he sweats so much that it’s better to just get wet by the rain. It’s nature’s washing machine as he put it.
2. The refrigerator they use is actually their oven, and he reiterated to us the miracle in the fact that neither he nor his companion has died from food poisoning yet.
3. There are no air conditioners only heaters, but 91 degree temps is not the time to be using heaters.
4. He did finally get electricity but showers consist still of heating water in a bucket and washing from the bucket.
5. This is where Kalon and I, and no this isn’t due to age, asked about using the bathrooms. Well let’s just say Kenny got really red and said the sewer systems in Rojas Argentina leave a lot to be desired. For some reason, Kalon and I really got a kick out of this.
We continued on just seeing how life was there. He said they eat a lot of meat which is really good but one thing he wasn’t thrilled with is the fact they don’t use ketchup. Instead, they use Mayonnaise, and I quote, “ON EVERY THING!”
He also said they only eat one meal a day and those meals can literally consist of every part of an animal.
Elder Inman also talked about dogs, dogs, and more dogs. He said there are so many dogs that it can be quite interesting. Usually they are very territorial but he has not run into any issues that were too bad.
Mom really found interesting the fact his companion has been mugged three times, once by gun, but Kenny said they only came close once so far.
Also, they are forced to stay at the Church during Christmas because the Catholics in Rojas are pretty extreme about seeing Mormon Missionaries. Also, due to the fact they like to shoot guns on Christmas, the Mission President has instructed them to stay at the Church all day until they inform them it is safe to go home.
Kenny also talked about, once again, just the difficulties they are having with people not getting married or not getting divorces because of how expensive it is. Kenny said it’s a definite trial in patience but he and his companions keep praying about it.
On a funnier note, he brought up once again just how uncomfortable it is with the nursing mothers. He said during those times, much, much scripture reading is done until the nursing is complete.
He also mentioned he only gets an hour at the Church each Monday for writing/reading letters so it’s really difficult to answer everyone. He did want me to mention he does read them all and they give him so much strength.
A very special moment with Kenny is a tradition we’ve had as a family since his first Christmas. We always read the Night Before Christmas on Christmas Eve, which was when he called. I had sent him photocopies of the pages to read since the connection was horrible, so he was able to read along with our family. I will say my allergies acted up quite a bit because I remembered the first Christmas when I held my little baby Kenny on my lap and read the book. It was a tradition carried on ever since and it meant the world to be able to read that with him.
Also, a funny experience, when we showed Grandma him on the IPad Screen, she gave him a kiss, not realizing it was just a picture. She was really glad to see him though.
In ending, we asked if he would bear his testimony to us in Spanish. I won’t go into details because it was a personal gift to our family that I will cherish everyday of my life. But what I will say is this, no matter whether you believe in the LDS Church or not, whether you choose to bring up archaic events from Prophets of old or question the decisions of today. I know my son, period. I know what I feel inside, and there is no doubt that my first born has given up EVERYTHING to serve the Lord and spread his word. There is not greater faith than I could have then looking into the tear streaked eyes of my son and seeing his testimony explode everywhere in the room as the spirit could not be contained. My son was a mouthpiece for the Lord and it was all about the love our Savior and our Heavenly Father has for each one of us. I will never deny that testimony and it is the belief that our family has built our foundation upon.
In closing he wished us all a Merry Christmas and to let every know how much he loves them.
Proud Father of Elder Kenny Inman