Gálvez is amazing. Okay I am just going to describe one of my days to you, because it is just so difficult for me to say exactly what life is like here.
A few days ago we had quite the day. First we went to Veronica´s house. They live in a villa (which is the poor part of town. Metal and scrap homes mostly, and just really humble living conditions). The home is dark and cold and very dirty... and she has three children. Her job is to clean the bathrooms in the Boliche (a club where people dance and do drugs and such). She works late nights and early mornings. But her and the father of her children want to join the church. As we spoke with her, she told us of how much she loves the Book of Mormon. I can just see that it is a light in her very dark world. She told us of the three Kingdoms: and how she wants to live in the Celestial Kingdom with Heavenly Father. Not the "moon or stars." She knows! She knows that this is good, that it makes her happy. She is discovering that she has self worth and potential! It truly is beautiful. But all the while we talked with her, a dog was ripping apart a chicken right beneath my chair. Bloody and gross and it smelled like something had died (because something really had. And it was being torn apart right under my legs). It was so hard not to cringe as her sickly children were lighting paper on fire and we had to pause the lesson because we didn´t want the house to burn down or a child to get hurt! They don´t have time or money to do the paperwork for marriage. So pray for them, as we are!
It is just so hard to see people in such difficult circumstances, but I see the light in their eyes when we come and discuss Jesus Christ and God´s plan for us.
Later that day we went to visit an old woman in our branch that is a menos activo (less active). Her name is Ebelia. I noticed that she had a lot of artwork, and I asked her if she liked art. She said that she does, and she teaches a class. She has good taste! But this meeting was really hard for me, because I could see how alone she is. We asked her how old she was, and she said she just turned 74 on Tuesday. We said, "Oh, what did you do for your birthday?" You want to know her answer? "Nothing, no one remembered that it was my birthday. I didn´t celebrate it." She has no husband and no children and lives with a lot of dogs. As we talked and talked I just felt her loneliness. Hermana Boren said that she was excited to live with Heavenly Father again. And Ebelia said, "Me too. I think I am ready to go." It was like a knife. Good thing I didn´t really understand what was going on. She then proceeded to tell us about how she has had times when she just can´t get out of bed because it´s so hard; and then she remembers Jesus Christ. And she can do it.
This led us to make a new meta (goal) for our branch. We want to make a ward family. We don´t see the love and friendship in our branch like we have in the past. We want everyone to love and lift one another. So, our goal is: Create a ward family.
Anyways, we planned a birthday party for her on Sunday and Hermana Boren made an amazing cake. My companion is amazing.
The last lesson of the night was with José and Sol; a couple that are on date for baptism on August 16th. José is 28 and Sol 17 (this is really common in Argentina. Most couples are about 10-15 years apart...). We went to their little store that we always teach them in (I don´t really get it. Basically there´s just a few pencils and pens for sale..), and when we got there Sol was crying. She was quite hysterical. We were super confused and concerned, so Hermana Boren asked her if she was okay. José says that they had just been talking about their relationship. We walked in right in the middle of a DTR! So awkward. So we said we could leave and come back another time... but we both felt that we needed to stay. We began with singing "I am a Child of God." Wow. The spirit just flooded the little, weird store. They told us that they feel something everytime we are there. And I´m guessing you know where we went from there.
Anyways... I went home that night with a really heavy heart. I feel a large mantle on my shoulders, because I love all of these people and I want to give them all I have. But I also have so much to learn. I am so inadequate. I only pray that I can learn fast so that I can do my best! I have been blessed with the best trainer out here, no joke.