Here are free resources about the Argentina Resistencia Mission:
- Mission address and phone number
- Mission map
- Missionary blogs
- Facebook groups
- LDS Mission t-shirts and gifts
- List of past mission presidents
- Cultural articles written by returned missionaries
- Survey with RMs
*Other Mission Pages: Argentina LDS Missions.
Resistencia Mission Address
Here’s a recent address for the Resistencia Mission. We try to keep this information up to date, but it’s a good idea to check the mission address with several sources, including your mission packet or the mission office.
435 Entre Rios
Mission President: President Rodolfo C. Franco
Argentina Resistencia Mission Map
Here’s a link to the mission map for the Resistencia Mission (LDS). To access the official, up-to-date LDS.org map for the Resistencia Mission
Resistencia Missionary Blogs
Here’s a list of LDS missionary blogs for the Resistencia Mission. This blog list includes the missionary’s name, URL and when their mission blog was updated.
Argentina Resistencia Mission Groups
Here are Resistencia Mission Groups- for LDS missionary moms, returned missionaries, mission presidents and other alumni of the Resistencia Mission.
- Argentina Resistencia Mission Facebook Group (1,076 members)
- Elder Ulloa…Resistencia.Argentina.Mission Group (625 members)
- La Gran Mision Argentina Resistencia Group (345 members)
- Mision Resistencia con Presidente Pincock Group (238 members)
- La Mision Resistencia con Pte Monroy Group (174 members)
- Mision Argentina Resistencia Facebook Group (108 members)
- Mision Resistencia Presidente Spitale 2002-05 Group (66 members)
- Mision Resistencia Pres. Christensen 1999-02 Group (57 members)
- Resistencia Mission Moms and Friends (LDS) Group (9 members)
- Resistencia Mission – President Christensen Group (2 members)
Resistencia Mission T-Shirts
Here are T-shirts for the Argentina Resistencia Mission!
Shirt designs include Argentina Resistencia Mission logo/emblem shirts and Called to Serve shirts. The shirts make great gifts for pre-missionaries, returned missionaries and missionaries currently serving. LDS Mission shirts come in all sizes: Small, Medium, Large, Extra Large, up to 4XL. The mission designs are printed on white shirts and are shipped to you.
*Simply click on a shirt design to view the details and submit an order. The designs on mission t-shirts may also be printed on other LDS mission gifts, including: Argentina Resistencia missionary aprons, Christmas stockings, ties, pillow cases, teddy bears and Christmas ornaments.
Resistencia Mission Presidents
Here’s a list of current and past Mission Presidents of the Resistencia LDS Mission.
- 2017-2020, Alejandro S. Patanía
- 2014-2017, Rodolfo Ciro Franco
- 2011-2014, Raymond Scott Heyman
- 2008-2011, Jorge Luis del Castillo
- 2005-2008, Donald V. Shakespear
- 2002-2005, Ruben Spitale
- 1999-2002, Shirley Dean Christensen
- 1996-1999, Carlos Monroy
- 1993-1996, Blair D. Pincock
- 1990-1993, Wilfredo R. Lopez
Argentina LDS Statistics (2015)
- Church Membership: 432,007
- Missions: 12
- Temples: 2
- Congregations: 765
- Family History Centers: 107
Helpful Articles about Argentina (Written by RMs)
- Tomas is Argentina
- Crime and Safety in Argentina
- Argentine Pasta Sauce “Tuco”
- Argentine Cookies “Galletitas”
- Argentine Barbecue “Asado”
- Pizza in Argentina vs. Pizza in the USA
- Shopping for Food in Argentina
- Building Architecture and City Layout in Argentina
Resistencia Missionary Survey
Here are survey responses from Argentina Resistencia RMs, to give you a snapshot into what it’s like to live in the mission.
When did you serve?
- July 2014-Novenber 2015 (Cassie)
- May 2013-November 2014 (Rachel)
- 2008-2010 (Caleb)
- 2001-2003 (Dustyn)
- 2000-2002 (Mark)
- 1998-2000 (Kolby)
- 1996-1998 (Adam)
- 1990-1992 (Paul)
What areas did you serve in?
- Formosa, Clorinda, Campo Largo, Campo Medina, Posadas, Apóstoles. (Adam)
What were some favorite foods?
- I loved empanadas, the pizza, and also the fruit salads. Oh, and the ice cream is to die for. (Cassie)
- Empanadas. Milanesa. Arroz con queso. Ñoquis. Asado. (Rachel)
- Empanadas, Milanessa, Salad. (Caleb)
- Milanesa, choripan, empanadas, guiso, hamburguesa con huevo. (Dustyn)
- Milanesa, Choripan(street food, sausage and bread), Carpincho, Ensalada rusa. (Mark)
- Milanesa, Gnochis, Empanadas, Cannelonis, Puchero, Asado, Lomitos. (Kolby)
- Asado, empanada, guiso, ńoqui, polenta, chipá, milanesa. (Adam)
- Chipas, Asado, pasta hecho de mano, dulce de leche, pomelos, sandia, facturas recien hechas. (Paul)
What was a funny experience?
- One time, when my companion and I left the apartment, it was super hot and there was not one single cloud in the sky. So, we left with as little as possible. As we were teaching in one of the furthest away areas from our home, a huge storm rolled in. Thunder, lightning, and “cats and dog” type rain began to fall from the sky. It was incredible! We got soaked, and kept slipping in mud. It took us twice as long to get back to the apartment that day. (Cassie)
- I fell in the zanja and had to wash myself at a member’s house while she was cleaning cow guts. (Rachel)
- We once had to help a member gather wood and he was hurt and unable to drive his motorcycle back. I had to drive it. Lol (Caleb)
- Watching the buses slide back and forth on the muddy streets. (Dustyn)
- We came to a part member house for an appointment and they couldn’t meet because they were literally taking apart their house and moving it. So my companion and I helped them take apart their house and carry it 3-4 blocks away. During one of the trips with huge support beams a man shouts out a window, “that’s not in the bible”. (Mark)
- First Christmas Zone conference, we made Jack O Lanterns out of watermelons. (Kolby)
- Being stopped by the police on a highway check point and being ordered to give them a ride to the next city in the mission van. We had 5 police officers in the van with 4 assistants to the president and we taught them all the discussions because they could not leave. We even drove really slow to be sure we had time to get all the lessons in. That was the last time they tried to take advantage of the Mormon missionaries. (Paul)
What was a crazy experience?
- We had to leave for the city to visit an hermana in the hospital, and as we were coming back, the whole city lost power. So as we were on the bus, you started to hear people screaming, and saw some shadows running outside the bus. It was as if the zombie apocalypse was happening. When we got back to our area and stepped out of the bus, it was pitch black, and you could see every star known to man. We couldn’t even see our hand in front of our faces. We had to move slowly and use our tiny 2005 cell phone to make it back home. (Cassie)
- The police tried to take me and my companion away. (Rachel)
- Getting robbed at knife point. (Caleb)
- Getting robbed at gunpoint in a bad neighborhood at night. (Dustyn)
- We visited one house for an appointment and a guy was obviously drunk and carrying around a large kitchen knife. He ripped my companions watch from his belt. Luckily his buddy helped calm the situation and got my companions watch back. (Mark)
- An elder in my previous zone was killed in a car accident in Chaco in 2000. (Kolby)
- The highway between Resistencia and Formosa is famous for sunbathing snakes. At the time, our mission president, Willy Lopez hated snakes. So one trip from Formosa to Resistencia, we noticed that there were many dead snakes that had been sun bathing and were run over by cars. They were still in tact, and fresh road kill so we stopped and loaded up the mission van with all of them. By the time we arrived to the mission president’s house, we had over 50 snakes ranging in size from 2 feet to 8 feet. We lined them up from his door step to the street and rang the bell and ran away. The best ding dong ditch ever! (Paul)
What was a spiritual experience?
- It gets super hot in this mission. Some days it gets so hot that your water almost boils in your water bottle. As we were walking down this long dirt road, I was thinking about how I would give anything to have some green mint ice cream. As this thought entered my mind I looked up and right in front of me I saw this mint green house. Little did I know it was a huge prompting for me. So, we knocked on the door of this house and the man inside was super receptive and came to church. Later he got baptized, then he baptized one of the next converts unto the Lord, and later he received the Melchizedek Priesthood. It was a neat way to learn how the Lord speaks to us. He meets us on our own level. (Cassie)
- Too many. (Rachel)
- Finding a Family of 6 non-members the last month of my mission and being able to teach and baptize them all before I returned home. (Caleb)
- Being guided street by street to a man named Cachilo who accepted baptism half way through the first discussion. (Dustyn)
- My first day in the field we came across a woman who had been baptized a year before but was never confirmed. It just so happened that she saw us my first day and decided to come talk to us. During the two years I was out the rest of her family was baptized. (Mark)
- Seeing a couple we helped marry and baptize, getting to see their sealing in Buenos Aires when I finished my mission. (Kolby)
- We were able to baptize many Toba Aboriginies during my mission. They were true Lamanites and live in very humble mud huts in the jungle. At the end of my mission, a fund raising effort by members in the United States raised enough money to pay for 2 buses to transport the first Arboriginal members to the Buenos Aires Temple to receive their endowments. (Paul)
What are some interesting facts about the Resistencia Mission?
- Our mission is the poorest part of Argentina. It is one of the hottest. The people are the nicest. Also, the people here all drink a strange tea drink called mate, and they all pass it around. There are a lot of indigenous communities, and there are many cultural dances. Another interesting thing is that they love celebrating birthdays. They love to celebrate their children’s birthdays. (Cassie)
- They don’t give change…they always round up or down and if they don’t round, they give you candies to make up the difference. (Rachel)
- It was the size of California literally. It was massive but has since then been split into 2 separate missions. Elder Scott (former Apostle) used to be the Mission President there. (Caleb)
- There are crocodiles, piranas, tucans, pumas, and jaguars. It has one of the 7 natural wonders of the world (Now in the Posadas mission). (Dustyn)
- I served in Chaco, Corrientes and Misiones. Very humble and poor living conditions in many areas. Loved the people and continue to keep in contact after 15 years. (Kolby)
- It bordered 4 countries (Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay and Bolivia), and the languages spoken fluently in certain towns or areas included Spanish, Portuguese, Toba, Pilaga, German and Guaranie. (Paul)
What was the weather like?
- It is super warm all year long. There was only about 6 weeks of cooler weather. Enough to get cold and wear a jacket, but not cold enough to get to freezing. Also, it rains about every other week. It rains for one day, as in it downpours, but then it drys up super fast the next day. Rain boots are a must here. (Cassie)
- September-April= HOT AND HUMID. May=pleasant (can have cold storms). June-July=chilly (with 3 weeks of cold cold). August=pleasant. (Rachel)
- Hot and Humid. Nothing more to say very… Hot and Humid. (Caleb)
- Hot! And Humid! (Dustyn)
- Hot and Humid. Everything but 2-3 months in the winter I always planned on being wet(either from sweat or rain). (Mark)
- HUMID!!! Hot in the summer and cold in the winter. Lots and lots of dirt roads and in Misiones the Tierra colaroda (red dirt) stains everything. (Kolby)
- Hot, humid and sub tropical. Other parts were arid, and had 20 foot high cactcus. But also very hot. (Paul)
Any things you really like about the area/people?
- I loved everything about where I served. I loved walking everywhere, and being out in the middle of nowhere. I loved how humble and loving the people were. Random strangers treated us like we were family. A lot of the people were innocent and loved where they were at. The people take pride in working hard and they love their family. It is something of value there. It is amazing. Best mission, place, and people in the world. (Cassie)
- They are so generous and open. (Rachel)
- Very genuine kind people. They have very little but offer to give more than they have. (Caleb)
- Their kindness and love. I love everything about the area. (Dustyn)
- They will give you the shirt off their back. (Mark)
- Very opening and loving people. They care about the missionaries if you care for them. (Kolby)
- They are the most humble, loving people in the world. They are closer to nature and the Spirit than anyone I have ever met. The technology of the world has not destroyed them, and sitting and talking is still more important than anything else that can be done, except watching the Argentine soccer team play. (Paul)
Any packing/clothing advice?
- Only pack basic t-shirts. Gap basic tees are the best! They cover your garments without an undershirt. Also, bring lots of flowing skirts. Anything light is recommended for sisters. Also, buy Keens for shoes! They last forever. Buy three pairs of those. Two won’t last you if you are walking and working all the time. Also, an insulated water bottle. (Cassie)
- For sisters: bring flowy skirts you don’t care about. 1 pencil skirt for meetings. 1 pair nice flats. 1-2 pairs STURDY walking shoes. Don’t bother trying to be trendy…it’ll only get you robbed. Bring lots and lots and lots of ballet flat socks–they don’t sell them there. (Rachel)
- Bring light clothing…it will be hot. The winters can get a bit cold. But winter only lasts 1-2 months of each year. Then it is Hot again. (Caleb)
- Short sleeve shirts. Good shoes for walking. Cotton not synthetic socks. (Dustyn)
- Good shoes, thermal underwear for winter, lots of short sleeve shirts, scarf for winter and gloves. (Kolby)
- Bring waterproof, durable work boots because it rains a lot, the roads are rough and the dogs bite ankles. Also wear thick socks to prevent blisters from all the hiking (you can also double-sock. (Adam)
- Bring money to buy what you need beyond what you take with you. There are many dirt roads so I found a pair of soccer cleats were helpful to wear when the roads were wet and slick as ice. I was the only missionary that did not slip and fall in the mud. Also, even though it is hot, don’t wear short sleeve shirts. The mosquitoes will eat you alive. (Paul)
What blessings did you receive from serving a mission?
- I still haven’t seen the end of the blessings from serving a mission. I recently have returned. I have been home for a month, and I have this incredible peace that comes over me every day. Even after being away from what is happening in the world, and seeing how bad it has gotten, God provides His faithful with peace and love. I have also seen many blessings of opportunities opening up. It is wonderful. I know there will be more because my companions that are home tell me as we continue faithful, and do the things we have done in the mission, the blessings multiply. Incredible! I don’t deserve it, but I sure do love God more for it all. (Cassie)
- Still figuring it out. My family was safe. I was safe. (Rachel)
- Greater testimony. Stronger ambition to follow Christ. Love for others and family. (Caleb)
- I have never done anything more important or that has had a greater impact on my life. It has affected my decision making, my career, my family and has all been for good. I love my mission and love Argentina. (Dustyn)
- Stronger testimony and love of the gospel and memories for eternity. Fluency in Spanish to use in my career today but also allowed me to meet my wife in Utah after the mission. She is from Argentina also. (Kolby)
- Not a day goes by that I draw on my mission experience in some way. (Mark)
- A stronger testimony of the Gospel and a surprisingly greater capacity to love others. (Adam)
- I have been back twice since I came home in 1992. My family knows my mission experiences, and have seen the places I served in person. The Argentine companions are my friends for life. My oldest son is serving his mission in Peru and one of the missionaries he served with is the son of one of my companions from Argentina. My mission president is still a central figure in my life and my best friends are those I made in the mission. (Paul)
What are some skills you gained?
- The main skill I have gained is how to communicate well with others. Even those who I do not see eye to eye with. God has also blessed me with a rapidness to forgive myself as well as others. Diligence and perseverance are also other things I have gained due to the strenuous schedule and sacrifice. Finally, I learned the skill of balance and how putting the Lord first is the main factor of that balance. (Cassie)
- Self reliance. Independence. Spanish. People/social skills. (Rachel)
- Communications, Spanish & people skills. (Caleb)
- The Spanish language. Conversation, perseverance, love. All important skills. (Dustyn)
- Money Management, surprisingly. (Mark)
- Responsibility. Maturity. Communication skills were a key because now I have no fear of talking in public places or events. (Kolby)
- Spanish language fluency. (Adam)
- Spanish, cultural understanding, and a love for different people. I have become an instructor at the Simon Weisenthal Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles where I teach classes on diversity and ethics to law enforcement. The doors to this career were opened as a result of my mission experiences. (Paul)
What do you wish you knew/did at the beginning of your mission?
- I wish I let myself see the fun of it all. I thought if we were having fun it meant we were not working. That was totally false, I wish someone told me to laugh too much, and to treat the mission as your life. I eventually learned these lessons, and the mission is still closer to “real life” than my life I had before my mission. I didn’t have any other wishes. It was all part of the great process of the refiners fire. (Cassie)
- Argentina IS NOT America and America IS NOT Argentina. (Rachel)
- Knew Spanish. Haha. I struggled for a few months. (Caleb)
- Nothing really. (Dustyn)
- You will walk and walk and walk, I lost over 60 lbs on my mission and I didn’t even try to lose weight. (Kolby)
- Read the Book of Mormon cover to cover before I went to Argentina. (Paul)
Any advice/testimony for pre-missionaries going to Resistencia?
- I would say make it your own. Do not give up after the first 3 days, first 3 weeks, and first 3 months. It isn’t easy, but just take one day at a time. Also, the way to make time go by quicker is to be 100% obedient and to work so hard that you fall asleep during your prayers. It makes all the difference. Finally, have faith in the people. There are a lot of different religions in Northern Argentina, just like the rest of the world, but just be loving to everyone. Everyone knows who we are. Love the members, involve them in all your lessons, don’t get caught up in teaching too many less actives. Treat all inactive like investigators. If they don’t come to church, you need to let them go too. Don’t let the heat get to you. Have faith in God. Pray like you have never done before, and love all those around you. (Cassie)
- Be real: to yourself and to others. If you’re struggling, that’s okay. It doesn’t mean you’re a terrible missionary. You’re going to have struggles and trials even when you’re doing your best. Welcome to the mission. (Rachel)
- Remember that all missionaries go through hard times, but rely on the Lord and he will lead you through the trail. (Caleb)
- Go! SERVE! Love every minute and leave every ounce of energy and heart you have in the mission field. Never do anything you would regret. Enjoy each precious moment. (Dustyn)
- Love the language and speak as much as you can even with the other American elders. (Kolby)
- Be humble and obedient, and miracles will happen in your life and in the the lives of those you serve. (Adam)
- Being from the United States of America does not mean you know more than the people you will be serving. Humble yourself and realize that they will teach you more than you will ever be able to teach them. (Paul)
What was a funny language mistake?
- There are cognates and be careful with the words that are and that are not. Also, when you are asking for something you don’t say it in the English way such as, “Can I have…” That doesn’t work in Spanish. In the Spanish language, you learn how to command people to do something in a nice way. So, when people just tell you, “Do this!” without the please in the beginning it isn’t rude. (Cassie)
- Carne y Huevos instead of carne y huesos (meat and eggs instead of flesh and bone). (Rachel)
- I always confused Cup (Vaso) with Cow (Vaca). (Caleb)
- My mission president told me of a time when he taught about prayer using the old flip charts. He accidentally had the picture of Joseph Smith in the grove instead of the steps for prayer. When they opened their eyes during the prayer, the investigator was in the same position as Joseph Smith. (Dustyn)
- Nothing I can repeat without offending someone. (Paul)
Jamie (Argentina Resistencia Mission)
–Paraphrased from Jamie’s mission interview–
One thing that a lot of people assume is that they eat spicy food like other latin countries. They don’t at all. They eat a lot of pasta. Mayonnaise goes on everything. They have simple salads. Rice and mayonnaise was big. Spaghetti with whatever meat they had was good too. They have a dish called mondongo, which is cow stomach. This one member gave it to me and wouldn’t tell me what it was. I think it tasted like chicken but a lot chewier. It was pretty good. They eat this thing called locro too. I despised it. I think maybe it’s because I had some bad experiences with it. They chop up a pig and throw all of its innards in there. They one I ate had no meat, and it was all fatty. Everyone is just convinced that they make the best locro. There is a communal bread stick on the table because they eat bread with every meal. Pre-sliced bread isn’t very common. Empanadas are like mini calzones. They put chicken, beef, or ham and cheese in them. Sometimes they are fried and sometimes they’re baked. I loved them. They’re so good. One of the main desserts they have are called alfahor. It’s like cake with dulce de leche or chocolate. I loved those. Be careful buying from street vendors. Hygiene is not what it’s like here. I saw a vendor take his utensils over to a park fountain to wash them off. Some street food is really good, but ask the members before you buy.
People in Argentina really value soccer. It was one of the things I could use to get into doors. I was there during the World Cup which was a crazy experience. As soon as I would talk about soccer we would be best pals and they would invite us in. They love the sport and they have two teams called Boca and River. Those teams dominate the country. People would ask us which team we were fans of just point blank. Whenever they play it’s a big event. During the World Cup or other big games the country just shuts down completely. So many great players have come through Argentina. Learn to love what the people love because that gets your foot in the door. Even now I keep up with what’s going on. Christmas is awesome. Christmas Eve is a bigger deal than Christmas itself. Everyone buys fireworks and shoots them off at midnight. Huge parties. Everyone gets together and celebrates. They have a lot of little holidays like day of the worker and children’s day. They get all of these days off. A lot of people are hungover the next day and can be a little bit grumpy. They love finding reasons to hang out. The people seem to believe in Jesus and God but kind of at a distance. They believe in Him, but they don’t do that much about it.
Chad (Argentina Resistencia Mission)
–Paraphrased from Chad’s mission interview–
The mission covers four provinces. It’s a really big mission geographically. It’s also northern Argentina so it’s close to the equator and very hot. It can get up to 120 degrees Fahrenheit. There are little straw hats that most of the missionaries buy. There are three stakes in the mission. Two in Resistencia and one in Formosa. Formosa is right on the border of Argentina and Paraguay. We really really wanted to go to the temple in Paraguay, but we couldn’t get permission because there were so many missionaries from different countries and it was impossible to get visas for everyone.
Almost everyone in Argentina is religious. I think maybe 2% would claim they are atheists. Most would claim that they are Catholics. Most were raised Catholic but they don’t really do anything with it. They might have a statue of the Virgin Mary in front of their house with candles and roses. There is also a growing branch of Evangelicals. They are really varied and have a lot of different beliefs.
Getting People to Church
No one really asked me if I had 12 wives. Most people recognized us as good people and even if they rejected us they were nice. In the mission you had to go to church three times and pass a baptismal interview in order to get baptized. Getting people to church was the hardest commitment. A lot of people accepted baptismal dates, but then never showed up to church. Imagine having church at 9 am every Sunday, but the people of Argentina prefer to be laid back on the weekends. After a time, our mission president told us that the biggest commitment should be reading the Book of Mormon and so we focused on getting them to read it instead of focusing on bringing them to church. Keep the Book of Mormon as a key.
Two Different Mission Presidents
My first mission president was from Arizona and he had already been there for a long time. Our next mission president grew up in Buenos Aires and had lived in Utah for a long time before he came back to Argentina. He understood the culture and what the people needed. He was focused on building great missionaries. He was willing to give us room to make mistakes and grow, but he was also willing to correct us.
Every Area is Great
I heard a lot of negative stuff about some of my areas, but they aren’t true. The people are great.
Clorinda is a very nice city. It’s super hot in the summer. I served there in the winter and it was hot then too.The people are really nice. You have a huge variety of houses. Sometimes you see houses like the ones here, but then you see houses made of brick or plywood or tin grating. They use whatever they can. The range is just so wide. It’s close to Paraguay so there are a lot of Paraguayans. There is a large aboriginal colony of native Argentines. We never had any problems with crime and safety. P day is kind of kicker. There is a mission rule that you can’t play sports with anyone besides your companion. Most missionaries there sleep. Missionaries in the past have made poor decisions and have gotten hurt. Talk to as many people as you can there. They are so accepting. There was one time we went fishing with some members and we would catch little piranhas and cut them into little pieces and we stick the bits of piranhas on the hook and we could catch really big fish.
Corrientes is the biggest city in the mission. You’ll have more paved roads and more established cities and businesses. You’ll also have a lot of poor neighborhoods. It’s the most touristic city in the mission. There are a lot of things to take pictures of. You can go sightseeing around the capital. There are museums and great big malls. It has the only McDonald’s in the mission. It’s also where you do your paperwork so you can be legal to stay in Argentina. There is a movie theater there. The members there are great and were willing to go out to teach with us. The investigators were very well-supported by the members. They would feel very welcome in the ward. I felt like they were just so solid.
Ryan (Argentina Resistencia Mission)
–Paraphrased from Ryan’s mission interview–
Geographically, when I arrived, the mission was Argentina Resistencia, which was about the size of California. It bordered Brazil, Uruguay, and Paraguay. It stretched all the way from Formosa to Posadas, or Misiones as the province was known.
A year after I left, they split the mission down the Parana river, so it ended up being Chaco, Corientes, and Formosa on one side, and then Misiones on the other. It’s a huge mission, and you get a whole spectrum of different terrains. On the Misiones side and parts of Corrientes, It’s really tropical. It’s technically called a south american Mesopotamian plateau, which means it’s try but there’s grassland and a really pretty place. Formosa had the reputation of being very barren and desert like
The Church in Resistencia
The church is not very strong in the region. For example the closest temple is in Asuncion in Paraguay. For some members, this was only 15 minutes away, but for others it was 8 hours. The mission itself started in 1991, and before that, Elder Cristofferson served in Corrientes when it was only the Argentina North Mission. The church is somewhat old in the region, but it is really starting to pick up now that there are more missionaries. There were only two stakes in the whole mission, and the rest of the church units were all districts and branches, so you were lucky if you got to serve in a ward.There were even some missionaries who served as branch presidents. One of the biggest challenges facing the church there was that of baptizing good priesthood holders. The women were very faithful and believing, but the men were a little bit harder of heart, and you can’t have the church grow without priesthood holders. The Church has really grown a lot in recent years; during my time there, I saw wards and branches split, and the splitting was great because it allowed the areas to be covered more effectively.
Culture and Holidays
In one of my areas I had a comp from Argentina and he wanted to make sure us Americans weren’t doing anything silly. One thing we would do was pointing at things and people especially. In Argentina pointing at someone is offensive. Usually the things like that I would do I got a lot of slack for because I wasn’t from there and they knew that. Another thing is sarcasm. I’m pretty sarcastic, but they didn’t get it and would tell me I was lying when I said things jokingly. It was hard for me to make that transition and as a representative of Jesus Christ you don’t want to be seen as a liar. The humor in Argentina is very different. Another thing is that if you walk away from a person without excusing yourself, that’s really bad etiquette. Those are the biggest things I had to deal with. Argentina is close to Brazil and that’s where Carnvial happens each year. It’s a big party with alcohol and dancing and scantily clad women. Usually when people get baptized that’s the first thing they stop doing. One time during Easter weekend we were walking around and we saw some men dressed as Roman soldiers walking around. I didn’t understand that one because they were the ones that crucified Jesus. Most of their holidays are just times for families to get together and have big barbecues. We loved holidays because families were home and we could teach them together.
The main dish that they have down there is called guiso. I think it means stew in English. It’s chicken, rice, and vegetables and they make it all in the same pot. I didn’t think it was that special, but since I’ve left I’ve really missed it. It’s a hearty meal and it gets you full. Another thing that they eat are these potato noodles. It was a very similar style. When it comes to eating out, which missionaries do a lot, there aren’t restaurants. They have places called comedores. It’s not as common of a practice, but you can get empanadas. The main kinds are beef with eggs, ham and cheese, or chicken. Milonesas are another good thing as well. When you eat with members you need to remember that everyone is low income. Most of the time the food they have on the table is all they have. Eat everything that they give you. They will eat bread with every meal. Use that bread to finish the rest of the soup or pieces of rice from your plate to show your gratitude. In the white handbook it says not to eat in the carts on the street. For us, dinner is the most important meal of the day. In Argentina it’s lunch. Everyone gets together for lunch. Lunch is the main meal of the day. One time we had crocodile empanadas that were really good. There is another food called locro that I really like until I found out it is made of intestines and cow foot.
Living in the North
The people are great and really humble. Resistencia is a lot different than Buenos Aires. Up north it’s kind of like the farmland. They’ll always invite you in. They’re really warm and really friendly and happy. They are relatively poor. The government and economy is socialized so most people live off the government checks they receive. In one of my areas we were in charge of two towns. One was normal Argentines, but the other was an Indian colony. We had to go out with a translator and they did have a branch there as well. There are a few other reservations as well. There is another city that has a bunch of Hungarians that came over during the World Wars. Everyone is Catholic. Whether or not they are active in the church varies a lot. A bulk of people’s incomes is from government plans and funds. Argentina is known for its beef and lot of the beef comes from Corrientes. I never had a probably with crime. There was a companionship that got robbed in my district. Generally if they steal your bag and find that it just has pamphlets and scriptures, they won’t come rob you again. The members were really good and would tell us which areas to not go into at night. Safety and crime was never a big deal, but about every month or so we would hear about someone getting robbed.