Sunday, October 5, 2014

A day in the life of The Secretary

My Dearest Family:
I write to you today on this beautiful day – September 27th. It’s an overcast day here in Salta, Argentina 17°C – just perfect for a cup of Mate y una hora to write my family.  I have been transferred to the Office in Salta to be the Secretary for the Mission. Along with that I have also
1.       Lost 2 hours of sleep each day
2.       Run twice as much in the morning
3.       Drink 3 times as much Mate
4.       Watch mormon messages and play the piano to break up the day
5.       Live in a town very simmilarly looking to Westwood/Beaverly Hills.
Along with my life being changed (and it feels at times like I am living in the suburbs of Los Angeles) my resposibilities have also changed. As a secretary I am the sole provider of legality for the entire Mission.  Of the almost 300 missionaries in our mission, over half are illegal. But don´t worry. Argentina doesn’t “ship out”. It is written in their constitution that they will not deport any good willed man who abides within its borders.  As much as the US stresses about illegal immigration, Argentina really doesn't care. If your leaving the country and they see you were here illigealy, you pay $30 bucks at the airport and then your on your flight home. My goal in the offices is to have every group of new missionaries legal with Visa and DNI (Argentine Documentation) with in their first 2 transfers. That way as the time goes on, our new legal missionaries will push out all of the old illegal missionaries. My focus is on what can be done next not what needs to be fixed. In 1 year all missionaries in our mission will be 100 percent legal and with proper documentation.
                As a missionary, I’ve really learned to look at the end results and then work backwards - Faith. It is so easy to see a person smoking or a lot of illegal missionaries and think “How will this ever change” or “Where do I even start”… Faith has taught me to see the end and then work backwards. What do I need to teach to touch the heart of this person to get him to stop smoking, How can I most effectivally start today with all of the missionaries to get them legal. Faith is hope now for the future. It places the worry in the hands of the Lord and allows you to work through things… I used to get very overwhelemed when loaded up with a lot of resposibilities. I used to put much more of my trust in my own abilities, only trusting in my way of doing things… People often have a difficult time seeing the need for Faith. They precieve Faith as something needed by those who are weak; however, only through Faith may we receive the strength we need to overcome the trials and obsticales of this world.
                I bear my personal testimony of the power of Faith that it is Power. I cannot begin to express the power and abilities I have received when I have put my faith in Jesus Christ and His attonement. I have been freed from the blinding power of stress and the crippling insecurrities. Knowing that Crist’s atonement can make me whole motivates me to use it every day. My Faith has changed me and I’ll preach this change to all that will hear it. This I know to be true. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen
I hope you are readding your scriptures every day.  I hope you are having personal and family prayers every day. I pray you’re doing this daily.

I love you I love you I love you.
Elder Devin G. Hampton

Elder Hampton's Secretary Schedule
Time      Description                         Place                                     With Whom                             
06:30     Wake Up!                            Casa                                       E’ Purser to run up “el cerro”
07:30     Breakfast                             Offices                                  The Illegal's
08:00     Residence Certificates   Police Station                     Illegal's and The neighbors
08:30     Take Pictures                     Kiosko                                   Shady Cheap Photographer
09:00     Take a number                  Migrations                          The Illegals and a bunch of Bolivians
11:30     Pay for legal work            National Bank                    Take a random poor missionary
13:00     Finish legal work              Migrations                          Me and Migrations workers
13:30     Prep missionaries to return                                         Semi-legals and Taxi Drivers
14:00     LUNCH!                          Offices                  Every Freaking Elder in the zone b/c I pay…
15:00     Office Work                     Offices                                  alone… por fin
16:00     Take Shipments                Bus Terminal                      us and nice chubby workers
17:00     Buy Groceries                   Super Market                    my companion and I
17:30     Do missionary work        South of Capital                  my companion and some member
21:30     Get other illegals              Bus Terminal                      Me and the not-so-legal missionaries
22:30     PLANNING                          Apartment                          Every One Snuggling Together
23:30     Cook Popcorn for the Illegal's               Kitchen Alone, with a bottle of oil and a jar of corn

Interesting Things That Have Happened in the past 2 weeks:
·         Have deleted over 40G of memory on this computer.
·        Taught myself how to make popcorn with out a fancy popcorn popper – 2 Gallons of popcorn latter every
Elder in our house is addicted to sugar and cinnamon kettlecorn.
·         Was asked if I was from Buenos Aries… Language Study and Prayers from family/friends work!
·         Spend about $5,000 pesos a week… that’s like $600 USD
·         Have fallen in love… with Buenos Aires accents and the smell of burring trash (Very Argentinan)
·         Don’t like calling parents on the phone. It is near impossible to carry a conversation in complete Engligh
·         Listened to Elder Tafur from Perú play “Let the Holy Spirit Guide” at least 130 times on the piano in the offices. I think he’s got it down.
·          Organized 4 years of filing and paperwork.
·         Slept on average 5 hours every night.
·         Seriously contemplated living here after my mission.
·         Spent $8600 Pesos in Ink.
·         Got my own personalized “sello” or stamp for being secretary
·         Loved being in the offices: I get my packages and mail same day it arrives in the mission!

 Thank you Mary and Karen and Cambria and Mom and Natalie and Savannah for my packages J

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