To see where I am in my mission, click the link above for the detailed mission map in pdf form!
Information about my mission from http://missionhome.com/?missions=argentina-comodoro-rivadavia-mission
The Comodoro Rivadavia mission is in the southernmost part of the world. It is included in the part of Argentina also known as Patagonia. The area is a popular tourist spot, especially for glacier exploration, marine wildlife viewing and backpacking. The southern part of Argentina makes most of its money from tourism, petroleum and natural gas. Due to these sources of income, this southern end of Argentina is more economically stable than the north, tempting many from neighboring countries and northern Argentina to come live there in search for a better future.
Argentina’s population descends from immigrants that came from many different countries (mostly Italy and Spain), primarily during the 19th and 20th centuries. The Roman Catholic Church is the largest religious denomination in Argentina, and continues to influence Argentine culture and politics. The new Pope Francis, elected March 13, 2013, is from Buenos Aires. However, Protestant churches have been growing in popularity in recent years while participation in the Catholic Church has been decreasing.
Argentina has an urban society, with very little of the population living in rural areas. The country has strong traditions in literature, art, film, and theater. Tango music is a unique musical style that began in Argentina. Today The Cumbia (Argentine rock, pop, and electronic music) is the popular rhythms you will often hear as you roam the streets. Many regions also have their own traditional folk music and dance styles which they continue to teach and perform in their elementary schools. Soccer is a passion for all Argentinas alike and you will often be asked if you favor the team Boca or the team River.
The Comodoro Rivadavia Mission was created on July 1, 2013. Geographically, it is the largest of the Argentine missions. Thus, distance is a challenging factor for the growth and strength of The Church in this section of the world. There are three stakes and four districts, which consist of branches instead of wards (Rio Gallegos Argentina District, Rio Grande Argentina District, Ushuaia Argentina District, Caleta Olivia Argentina District, Comodoro Rivadavia Argentina Stake, Trelew Argentina North Stake, Trelew Argentina South Stake). Missionaries play a large role in helping members learn and providing opportunities to put their learning into action.
One of the most popular meals in Argentina is asado, the Argentine barbecue. Beef and pork sausages are the most commonly-used meat for these barbecues which are geared towards gathering friends and family, generally on Sundays or holidays. Simple pizza, pasta, and salads are other common dishes, a result of Italian influences. Empanadas are popular snack items, and dulce de leche is used in many dessert dishes. Also, to add variety, there are Peruvians and Bolivians who make delicious food from their differing cultures.
Their main meal of the day is lunchtime which falls around 1pm and then they enjoy taking a “siesta” (nap) afterwards if time allows. Breakfast is light, generally a few crackers or cereals with a cup of milk, liquid yogurt or mate. Supper, generally around 8 or 9 pm, is also relatively small, often leftovers.
Mate, the traditional drink of Argentina, is a mate gourd or cup filled with yerba mate, hot water is added and then the drink is sipped through a metal straw with a filter called a bombilla. While the bitter drink is often consumed plain, sometimes sugar, orange peel, or other herbs are added for flavoring. The Argentines can often be found drinking this at all hours of the day, even carrying around portable thermoses. Their custom is to share this with all visitors to their home. However, for varying reasons, missionaries are prohibited from drinking mate and are generally given soda or Tang instead.
Argentines are well-known for being boisterous, fun-loving, generous people. They are very open and have no problem with showing their affection, even to complete strangers. They greet each other with a kiss on the cheek, sometimes both, and often by first name.
Argentine Spanish is distinct in that it uses voseo instead of the pronoun tú. Every province has differing accents–living in the capital, you will probably encounter most of these. Argentines are quite casual with their language, using a lot of slang and other local words and phrases like “Che” (Hey you) and “Como anda?” (How are you?). However, missionaries are encouraged to maintain a formalness with their vocabulary.