Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Arrived in Argentina!!!

After one month in California Riley has finally arrived in Argentina.  We received his first email yesterday and he begins by describing his long journey that began last Wednesday.  His description reminds me why I don’t like to travel.

Alright. We started in Anaheim meeting at the mission office at 830 am. From there we went to the airport and our flight left at 11.  So our flight left and we got to Atlanta. It brought back great memories of our fam there. ( running through the airport to catch a plane, getting our flights canceled, then canceled again) Great memories! There we met a guy from Kaysville. How funny. Then I talked to dad and Alex.  It was so great to hear your voices. You both sound good. Next we got on the plane. It was pretty rough, 10 hours about. Good food though so I was grateful for that. I actually slept a lot though. Of course I got up to go to the bathroom and the dumb kid in front of me put his seat back. So annoying. But the flight went fast. I was so happy to have Elder Anderson with me. We have become such good friends since the MTC. On the plane I could have sworn they were speaking a different language. The Spanish here is not Spanish! It sounds so different. But really cool. Our plane landed and we got our stuff and went through customs. No problems there. Then we met our guide guy named Aleberto. We went with him to the LDS embassy place in Buenos Aires.  It was about an hour away.  When we got there it was about 12 Argentina time. At this point we had been traveling for about 25 hours.  By the way Buenos Aires is crazy!!  It’s so big! It’s like London.  Really, really dirty though.  So we were at the Embassy for 10 minutes is all... We picked one paper and got back in the car.  Then we drove to the domestic airport in Buenos Aires.  Now its about 1:30.  Alberto bought us pizza at the airport.  He was so nice to us.  And so patient with our Spanish. ha ha. It was funny.  We were SOO lucky to have a plane to Cordoba.  I guess a volcano erupted in Chile and some planes couldn’t fly.  Without plane it is a 12 hour bus ride ha ha. But we got on our final plane.  It was about 1 hour and 15 minutes.  I tried to sleep but couldn’t.  The plane was too small.  Luckily the seat next to me was empty.  When we were flying I was so grateful I am not in the mission below us.  Its just corn fields the whole way.  Cordoba is gorgeous though!  Its so pretty here.  So green.  So we flew in and got our luggage and had no clue what to do ha ha.  We kinda walked around for a little and then decided to go to the curb pickup.  We waited there for a little while and after a few prayers our president pulled up.  I’ll talk about him later.  So then we got in a van with some of the office workers and drove to this embassy in Córdoba. This was to start the renewal of our visas.  We signed some papers there and then left for the mission home.  We finally got there at 6:00.  There we officially met the president and his wife.  Let me just say he is the coolest guy ever.  I love him so much.  He told me what he got out of his mission and how I will be able to do the same and how he’ll help me.  It was like an answer to my prayers and cleared up so many doubts.  He is so amazing.  Then we got all of our information and had a little orientation and ate some Empanadas. (Argentina’s claim to fame) They were very good.  At 10 pm we left the mission office with the assistants to go meet our new companions in Ville Maria, about 100 miles away.  The bus terminal was crazy.  People just running all over.  So we missed the bus at 11:00 but got on the one at 12am.  Pretty much slept the whole way.  I have never been so tired in my whole life.  Finally made it to Ville Maria at 2:20am. It was weird I woke up right when we pulled up to our stop.  It was really lucky.  We took a cab after that to our Pencion.  Last time I looked at the clock before sleeping was 3:00 a.m.!!  Then we woke up at 6:30 to start the day ha ha. So that is my journey here. I have counted the total hours, but its a lot. I’m so grateful for our safe arrival.

The first couple of days were so crazy. Oh my gosh.  I am still so tired. I’m not caught up on sleep quite yet.  The people here are so different.  I can’t describe them.  Some look really native with dark skin and are really short and others look really European and are 6 2.  But regardless, I’m the tallest person so far.  And the tallest in the mission, President says.  I’m not used to walking in to a store and having every person in there look at me. Or have heads turn on the street.  Sometimes I forget how tall I am. But it’s cool.  I like it.  I really like my Companion Elder Maude.  He went to Lone Peak.  He loves basketball too. I think he was a little bugged at first that his last transfer he has to train a greenie.  But he has really came around.  We will be good friends.  And we live in the same Pencion as Elder Anderson and his trainer Elder Puma!  I’m still getting used to it because its weird having 4 people in a place half the size as my apartment in California. But they said that next week they’ll send us desks and beds so that will help me adjust more.

I’m not going to lie.. I had planned on telling you all this stuff that was hard to get used to or that I didnt like about where  I live, but after going to members and investigadors houses I have no reason to complain. So, I´ll tell you what I love. The bottom of our pencion is a little argentine bakery! After working all day we usually buy a little something there. Then right next door is the grocery store. Its so sweet. We live kinda on the outside of town of Ville Maria. We mostly go to investigators houses that are outside of town. It’s so crazy because some streets are like the ones Dad and I saw in Honduras. No grass, no doors, lots of houses made of wood and brick. Some without roofs! Then you turn the corner and the houses are pretty nice. They have grass, and some even have cars. It is the weirdest thing you have ever seen.  I love it so much.  I feel like I am either just in some fantasy land, or I am adjusted well.  I mean I already saw how it was in Honduras.  Elder Anderson is shocked out of his mind ha ha. But I am feeling awesome.

Ok so about letters: I think you have the address but oh well

Letters and Packages:
Gay Lussac 5270
Apartado Postal 49-X5009ZAA
5009-Ville Belgrano, Cordoba
C.C 17 Suc. 9
Cordoba Argentina

So with packages you have to get this green form ---2976 custom form (green). Otherwise customs will charge me lots of money and it will take lots of time to get here. I think you get it at the postal office. They say not to use Fed Ex or UPS. Only USA mail or national service or something.

You can also send letters to the Pouch.  The address is:

Elder Riley Watts
Agentina Cordoba Missioin
P.O. Box 30150
Salt Lake City, UT 84130-0150

Last story. Church was awesome! The ward is the bomb. They all love me so much not going to lie. I have to duck through all the doors so they really love that.  I only understood about one person while at church-- I was sitting in the chapel after sacrament and this little girl came up to me.  She said Hi and I asked her what her name was. He name is Valentina.  She is 4 years old and has long dark hair and big brown eyes. She is so cute!!  I talked to her for a little about where I’m from and stuff.  I could help but think of Olivia and realize that she is my sister too.  And we lived together before this life.  And the next two years I’m going to be sharing the gospel, this thing that makes me so happy with my brothers and Sisters in Argentina. I couldn’t be more happy.

As you can see Riley is doing great.  Thank you for your love and prayers.  They are working!


  1. An amazing letter and experience from an inspiring Elder. I Love Elder Watts and am so thrilled he is enjoying his missionary experience!

  2. Thanks Brian! Riley sounds so great. What great experiences (and parents) he has had to prepare him to be there and be grateful and love the people. I'm sure the people will just love him back, especially the children. I'll have to see if our kids know Elder Maude or his family.