Hello sweet family - I have been longing for this day!! I miss you all terribly...and am feeling a bit like deer in headlights...but am happy and doing well. I have not had time to read any of your emails but I will print them out and read them before next week. It looks like from what I have read that you have not received a letter from my Mission President. They told us in the MTC you would - feel bad. I won't lie that kind of makes me a little upset. That is cruel for you all. So I will tell you about my travels jounrney and all of that. First, I am kicking myself because I don´t have my camera with me so I can not send pictures. I promise to send some next week. Our P-days are on Mondays. I will email at 5pm here so I think that is like 3pm there.
So we arrived in Buenas Aires safely and boy - what a different world!! We waited around in the airport for the church travel agent to help us. We then got all of our luggage which was such a blessing. I was worried about it not arriving okay. We then boarded a small white bus and went to another airport. The drivers here are absolutly nuts!! Ha Ha. We arrive at the next airport thinking that we will be flying to Bahia Blanca - turns out our flight gets canceled and we then take a 11 hour bus ride to Bahia. hat joy! So we then get on a little small white bus, chicken free Mom! Then off to Bahia Blanca. We were are all starving because the only breakfast we had was the airplanes attempt at one...but we are happy and get snacks at a gas station. It is so flat here I tried to sleep as much as I could on the bus. We arrived at the mission home in Bahia and the APs and the Preseident are there. We then go to another house and crash on the floor with little matresses. We wake up and go to the mission office and meet our trainers and etc. I was so out of it... My trainers name is Elder Perez - he is from Mexico and gratefully does speak English. I am in a town called Miramar. You will have to Google Earth it. We live kinda close to the chapel so if you find that you are close. Then Elder Perrez and I traveled by bus to Miramar it is like a another 8 or 9 hour bus ride from the mission office. We get in Miramar at like 2 in the morning. We walk to our house. I role out my sleeping bag and crash. That all seems like several months ago actually. There is only a small branch of about 50 members here. It reminds me of Stanley. I am so grateful for all of your prayers. This has been a rather hard week. I don't understand anything. I feel like I am just watching a movie in Russian and then my companion turns to me and asks me to contribute to the lesson. There are so many dogs here -more dogs than squrrierls, deer, and bears (crazy pictures) in Stanley. My companion is awesome. I really like him and I would be so lost without him. The reason I forgot my camera is because I am in a town called Mar del Plata right now with another companion. My companion Elder Perez ( my comp) had to go back to Bahia for a meeting because he is a District Leader, so I will spend the night here and return to Miramar which is about a hour away tomorrow sometime. Since I got here I have been able to give a blessing in Spanish, teach a lesson in Church, and bear my testimony alot. I love it here and am happy, but I do miss you all. Mom - thank you so much for giving me those pictures and making me take that small photo book. I would not make it without it.
I know that with time I will be able to understand this language. I have felt the blessings of your prayers everyday. I have prayed for you all so much. I found a scripture in Mosiah 24 like verse 18 that talks about how the Lord says that on the morrow your burdens will be lifted. That helped me. I love the people here - they are really nice and understanding. Matae the drink is everywhere like you told me about Mom. Luckily we can not drink it. Everyone kisses everyone on the check here - not us missionaries much though. We have two progressing investagators right now - Patricia and Laura. They are doing well. The branch really needs some strong families. Well, I hope that I have said enough about me. Next week I will have pictures and more time. It was so great to talk to all of you last Monday. What a blessing that was to hear your voices. It did me good. I felt like I just picked up where I left off. We have a special family like that.
Dad - How are you? I am excited to read your email. How is the lodge? I love you so much Dad. I hope that being a loner up at the cabin there is going well. I love you and you are in my heart every second of everyday. Thank you for your prayers. What is going on with the bear?
Mom - It was so good to talk to you. It broke my heart to hang up and say goodbye. But like you said - how blessed we are!! I am happy here - I have everything I need. To answer some questions about so mail. All mail goes to the mission home and then we get it at district meetings and things - it takes about three weeks. Dearelders do work here. It takes at least three weeks to get a letter here. Just use internatioal stamps. I guess they have a wierd tax here, so any package you send I need to pay a tax on it. So they say not to send expensive or large stuff... they also said to not send any peanut butter or like beef jerky because they will send it back. Oh and it still takes about three weeks to receive dearelders here also. So use my firstname.lastname@example.org email address and I will get it within the week. Maybe next week email me some questions you have and I will answer them. For Christmas if I could just get a small backpacking pillow that would be awesome - because I dont have a pillow and I don't have room for one. If not that is fine I will just buy one somewhere. I feel so terrible for forgetting my camera!! I love you Mom!! Your letters are so encouraging to me.
Mikesell - How did your test go? I prayed for you so much. I know you dominated it. God has his eye on you. I am very excited to read your email. I hope your Wood River Race went well on Friday!! I love you.
Brennen - I love you so much bro!! I hope your first week of school was awesome! High school is great. You are in my every prayer. Hope Wood River was awesome - I am so proud of you. You were designed for great things.
Alex. I love you bro. I am almost out of time but I hope that school is good!! How is XC going? Are you chasing many girls these days?
Harrison. I love you!! It was so good to talk to you. Stay strong and keep reading your scriptures like you do each day!! I love you!!
McCall- I love you Angel!! I loved talking to you on the phone!! I hope your school was awesome. I can't believe you are in school ALLL day!!
I love you all with all my heart. Say hello to Grandma and Grandpa Crouch and Clegg for me. I love them so much.
I am happy and well. I will read your letters and you will here from me next Monday and I will send pictures.
I love you all!!!
Love, Elder Clegg