Monday, December 29, 2014

Trying to Have My Own Groove

1.  I noticed in your pictures from the Christmas devotional last week that all the Hermanas seemed to be wearing white shirts.  Was that a coincidence, or did they ask you to wear white shirts?

Coincidence. We need to call each other beforehand or something, because it's really lame how every single Hermana ended up wearing white! Seriously! How can I have my own groove here when everyone steals my style??? And even more lame, everyone had red earrings or a red belt or something red too, so even though I tried to spice it up some everyone else just copied me again! uuuuugggghhhh next conference we are going to coordinate better!!! ;)

2.  So you've been with your new companion, Hermana Greene, for a few days.  Tell us about her.

Hermana Greene is from Arizona, she's 20 years old, and she's been in the mission for about 4 months. She's kinda crazy, but also pretty cool and laid back. She knew some Spanish before so she already speaks really good. She has an accent like a Mexican, though, so that's funny since my accent is more Argentine and she's like a blond Mexican. Her favorite color is teal and she doesn't like siestas, haha,  and she's one of the most healthy eating Hermanas that I know.

3.  How did it go for you on Christmas Day?  Was it pretty much like a normal day for you there?

Yeah, except nobody wanted to talk at all. But yeah, Christmas was normal. There was nobody in the streets and everyone was either sleeping or in a kind of hangover. The whole town had an "after the party" kind of feel to it, and nobody likes that feeling. The leaders kept calling us to inspire us to work - haha - so that we wouldn't be distracted by the idea of talking to our families. 

4.  We had some problems Skyping, since you couldn't get it to work at your end.  We used Facebook video chat instead.  Could you hear us and see us OK?  We didn't get the clearest image of you that was possible but we could see you fine.  How did it feel to talk to us after all these months?

The image was OK, a little laggy. I couldn't hear everything too well, especially Evan because his voice is super deep now, but for the most part I could hear fine :) It was great to talk to you all after all these months! It felt good to just talk normally to my family, instead of having to think of questions to ask or look for a need, I could just talk and relax. 

5.  Alan noticed that in the picture of you with Olga and the two other Hermanas you didn't look short at all.  Are there a lot of shorter people in Argentina, or is it pretty much the same as it is in the States?  (Not to say that you are

Pretty much the same as the States. There are some SUPER shorties, but at the same time everything is normal. 

6.  Who was it that baptized Olga?  You sent a picture of him with her.  Was he a missionary or a member?

That's Kevin, our ward mission leader. He leaves for his mission to Peru in March, and he's 18. 

7.  Do you know if Argentines celebrate New Year's like they do in  America?

 They just drink and party with all of their family. And they eat asado. Or at least that's what I can tell from what people have told me. They stay up till midnight, too. 

8.  What was something good that happened this week?

OLGA GOT COMFIRMED!!! I was super nervous that she would leave for the holidays and then not want to keep going to church, but she told me that she read all of the pamphlets we gave her to her grandchildren. I was really happy to see that she was still excited about following Christ!

Also, I got to talk to my family this week which was pretty dang awesome!!!

9.  What was the biggest challenge you faced this week?

Pedro, our other investigatordidn't go to church. We taught him about tithing and now he won't go to church or get baptized. We`re working on him, because he KNOWS that tithing is something he has to do, but he is just fighting it. He keeps asking us to not stop passing by, and we aren't going to stop.  I`m going to try everything to help him make the right choice. 

10.  How do you like being a senior companion?

It's good. It's hard because where do I draw the line between bossy and righteous? Overall, I like it because it motivates me to work really, really hard. 

11.  What was the best/worst thing you ate this week?

Well, we ate asado just about every day, and we had this chicken roll thing with prunes in it that was really, really good, so that was nice. Worst thing? I don't really know. I can't think of anything.

12.  What was the funniest thing that happened this week?

I honestly can't think of anything! I`m super happy to have the time to rest this week. 

I guess something that's funny is that Hna Greene hates dogs, so she's always yelling at the dogs that follow us. We saved a dog from getting beat up and it followed us everywhere for further protection. It drove her crazy. Personally, the dogs here don't bother me since they aren't super aggressive like in Bahia. 

Also, just an observation, lots of people tell us to come back at another time when we knock on their door but then when we come back later they get all mad at us for bothering them. Why do people do that? If you don't want us to pass, don't tell us that we can come back! Its a lot easier for everyone. 

13.  Where do you email from each week?

The family history center in the church, There isn't another place to write, so we have to walk all the way to the church and back. 

I was in church yesterday, mom, and we got there kind of late, and one of the brethren was sharing a spiritual thought. He was sharing a spiritual thought that I shared with his family on Christmas Eve. He said he really liked that I helped his family slow down and appreciate Christmas. He then asked, "Does anyone else have an experience from Christmas or from Hermana Eubanks?" It almost made me laugh but I was really touched by that. The work we do matters and the members notice when we work hard and when we try and do our part. I really like the branch here, mom. Several times I`ve been here on Sunday and I`ve just felt a huge love for the members and people of Pigue. It's going to be so hard to leave here.

I hope you all have a great new year! I`m looking for funny things this week so I can have a more interesting email. I have interviews with President tomorrow, so that will be fun! Have a wonderful week and I love you all very very much!!!!

Oh, and thanks to Granni for the socks! I love them, and also thank you to Hermana Greene's mom for the stocking! Its awesome!!!


This is the family who let us use their computer to talk to you.

Our Christmas conversation!

Monday, December 22, 2014

Christmas in Argentina

Me and Hermana Saunders!

1.  Transfers!  What happened?   Who is your new companera?

OK, so my new companion is some chica named Hermana Greene! She's from the States, so I get another gringa. And....drum roll... I`m senior companion! Which, in other words, means I`m terrified. But it's fine, it's kinda what I wanted anyways. It's just another way to prove myself, no? Hermana Vela got transferred to an area called Olavarria, and we have no idea exactly who is the new comp of Hna Burgos. We think she's gringa too, which makes Hna Burgos really sad - hahaha. I haven't actually met my companion yet. She's waiting for me in Area Terrada, and we are going to travel there tonight and get there at about 9 at night. So I`ll have more details next week about her. 

2.  How was it in the threesome for the week?  You didn't sound too thrilled about it last p-day.  Did it get better?

Yeah, that wasn't very fun at all. Here's the thing: I have my investigators, and they have theirs, and there are two of them and only one of me. So we spent the whole week passing for their investigators and one or two of mine. My investigator, Olga, got baptized yesterday, so we passed for her everyday. Then we had to walk 45 minutes to where the investigators of the other Hermanas lived to visit them and then they just passed for people over there. It was hard because we had no time at all to work with my people. However, I still managed to have 2 people in church and a baptism, so it all worked out. Being in a trio is a lot of work, the problem is that it's hard to talk to people because 3 is a lot scarier than 2...

3.  How was the mission devotional?  Did you get a little letter from me there?

It was great, and Hna Saunders was there!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I spent basically the whole time with her and my other two companions. We got there and practiced some Christmas carols in Spanish, then we went to a home for people with disabilities that nobody claims, or in other words a home for unnamed disabled people. We sang for them and they loved it, and there was a super, super good guitarist there who played for them. Then we went to the plaza in Bahia Blanca and sang there for all the people. One sister played the violin and the guitarist played some stuff. Hna Parreño did some flamenco dancing, which was cool, too. After that we went to the church, ate an almuerzo of potatoes and some kind of meat, and then got gifts from the Mission President. I got 2 highlighters and a scarf :) Afterwards we had a talent show, and then a devotional about love and how Christmas is about loving each other. They talked about transfers and challenged us to love our new companions. Then they gave us all the letters from our families. Just about every Hermana was crying, EXCEPT ME. Muhahahahahahaha. Thanks for the letter, though! Even though I didn't cry, it touched my heart a lot. 

4.  What was the Christmas program at church like?

Well, I heard it was good but I couldn't go since it started at 9. They saved us a bunch of food, though, so that was nice and yummy :)  On Sunday they had a Christmas theme, but it wasn't super big like in the States. 

5.  Are you having p-day as usual on Monday this week, or are they changing it for Christmas?  I hope not because then I won't get an email from you on Monday!!!  But don't worry, I'll survive...

Yes! Thank goodness! There would probably be a riot if they took this Pday too, since everyone has to get all the skype information. 

6.  Will Christmas Day be a regular working day for you or will you have to spend time visiting members and not contacting?

Regular working day. It will probably be a really slow day, but I`m not super worried. We already have a family that has invited us over for Christmas Eve to eat dinner and a family to eat lunch with the next day. I imagine that we will find lots of people to pass for on Christmas since lots of people aren't celebrating. I`m thinking about going caroling in barrio de los abuelos (The old folks area?).

7.  Last week you said Hermana Burgos was going to make cow stomach for lunch.  Did she, and if so, how was it?

She did. It wasn't bad, it had a good flavor, but it was super, super chewy. Like bubble gum chewy. I ended up chewing it as much as I could stand and then swallowing the chunks whole. I liked it, overall, and I`d eat it again if she ever made it.

8.  What was the best thing that happened this week?

My investigator, Olga, got baptized!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It was mostly the work of Hna O`Hara, haha. Have I already explained Olga? We found her while we were searching for that lady`s lost child, and she really liked the things that we taught. She was always home because she had broken her arm and her foot in a motorcycle accident, so we passed a lot to visit and teach her. She was very ready for the gospel and accepted everything we taught. She likes the members, too, so when she comes to church we can kinda of leave her and it's perfectly fine. She was what some people called "a golden investigator", I think. She's going to be confirmed and receive the Gift of the Holy Ghost this Sunday :)

Also, we watched the movie Finding Faith in Christ with an investigator, and even though I've seen it a million times this time it really struck me. I was watching the film and I really started to think a lot about the Savior's example and all the times people have done nice things for me. I felt a huge surge of love for people and my Savior and then a very strong desire to go and help people. It was pretty awesome. I feel like this week I got a lot of personal testimonies of things. Like about Joseph Smith being a prophet, about the Book of Mormon, and about Jesus Christ living again. 

9.  How is it singing Christmas songs in Spanish?

Weird. Haha, I feel like I`m constantly surrounded by tone deaf people, mom. Some of the songs have different meanings in Spanish, so even though its the same song it feels different to sing it. But overall it's nice. I like singing in the morning, I`m becoming more of a stronger singer here since I can read music. Lots of people can't, so they have no idea how songs start and are supposed to go, but I can read the notes and lead the song well enough. 

10.  What was the best/worst thing you ate?

Best thing? We had this chicken that was seasoned really well, and that was super delicious, or as some missionaries say, super bueno (I just say ``rico``). And then there was the ever delicious asado :) 

The worst thing? I had a rice, corn, and mayo salad. Yeah... it wasn't that great...

11.  What was the funniest thing that happened this week?

So we were teaching this investigator of the other Hermanas named Stefi (pronounced eh-stefie, haha) and we were teaching outside on her front yard area place. In the middle of the lesson we see some dogs running, and then there was a ton of barking and suddenly out of nowhere like ten dogs appeared and started attacking this one dog. I`ve seen dogs trying to kill other dogs before, but from a distance. This was five feet from where I was sitting. So, there is this huge mass of dogs and I stand up and I`m wondering if they will bite me if I try and break up the fight, and then suddenly, out of nowhere, Stefi just picks up a chair and throws it in the mass of dogs and they all take off in different directions. It was so crazy! The whole thing happened in about 1 minute. 

Ok, fine if you have to make me say stuff in Spanish when we Skype you can, but I imagine that you`ll hear a lot of Spanish without asking, since I can't seem to speak English normally anymore. I tend to just switch to Spanish in the middle of my English. We`ll be Skyping between 2 and 5, and I only have  about 40 minutes to Skype :( But whatever, 40 is better than nothing, right?

I`m so excited to see yàll!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I`ll have a ton of stuff to say, don't worry, but I mostly look forward to having a conversation. Will all of you be there, or is Christine still going to be in Florida?  I`ll send some photos today!!

Have a great Christmas, and nos vemos (see you)!!!!!! I love you all and I love the work  I`m doing here. 

Do my emails make sense most of the time? I hope so. Its kinda hard to organize all of my thoughts super fast. 

Love you! Bye!!!!

Hermana de Leon!

Hermana Saunders!

Presidente Parreno

Monday, December 15, 2014

Three's a Crowd

1.  Were transfers this week?  And if so, what happened?

Well, transfers were supposed to be this week, but they pushed them back a week since we are having our mission Christmas celebration thing on Thursday. However, I "killed" my companion, and she went home and left me here without a companion, since I didn't receive a new one since we don't have transfers until this Sunday. So now I`m here in a trio with Hermana Burgos and Hermana Vela, but I`m also still a separate unit with my own separate numbers and phone and district leader. Yeah, I`m confused too. I wish I could have my own companion...

(FYI - "Killing" a companion means you are with them at the very end of their mission before they go home)

These questions are from Evan:

2.  Do they have Santa Claus in Argentina?

Yeah, but not like in the States. Its just a merchandise thing, nobody believes in Santa or does anything Santa related, its just a decoration thing.

3.  What type of presents do they typically give each other?

Well, so far the presents I've received are a red belt and some red earrings, and a TON of this stuff called pan dulce, which is kind of like fruitcake but it tastes better. I like it a lot. As for what people give other people, I have no idea. Christmas isn't a really big holiday out here. Its about as big as the 4th of July in the States. 

4.  How big is the Primary there?

There are maybe 9 to 12 kids who come every week, I think

5.  Do they have Christmas trees there?

Really tiny, cheap, plastic ones. But most people don't really have even that, from what I can tell. 

End of Evan's questions.

6.  Last week you sent a picture of a pizza.  What exactly was on that pizza?  Was it mayonnaise and ham?

Some kind of cheese and ham, but I`m just waiting until I eat a mayonesa and ham pizza. Now that I think of it, I`m suprised that they don't put mayonesa on pizza... Pizzas here are weird, they put the ham on first then slices of cheese on top.

7.  What is the best thing that happened this week?

I guess the best thing that happened this week was that I got to just be a missionary. I was scared that my old comp would be trunky and that we wouldn't work a lot the last week, but we worked until the end. It feels good to work and contact, and when I`m not doing my job as a missionary it kinda stresses me out. I`m always worried that I`ll get a comp who doesn't want or will not work because I know that I wouldn't be happy in a situation like that. 

8.  Do you think there will be a Christmas program at church or is that an American thing?

Yes there will be a Christmas program here next week. Also a Christmas party, I think. A party means a Christmas "get together and drink mate". 

9.  Did you have your Christmas devotional with the mission?  If so, what was it like?

Ask that question next week and I'll let you know then since I don't know what our Christmas thing will be like yet. 

10.  Tell us about someone new you met this week.

Someone new? That's tough since I meet new people every day.... I met a returned missionary who is from Arkansas who came to visit. She gave us some references and told us about her time here. It was weird to talk to a former missionary like that in the middle of our almuerzos - haha!

11.  What was the best/worst thing you ate this week?  (did you eat more prunes?)

I have eaten more prunes.  :) 

Ok, it wasn't the worst thing ever, but it was kinda weird. Its called a torre de panqueques, or in English a tower of pancakes. It's kinda like a sandwich. You have a crepe (you know, those super thin pancakes) and you put mayonesa and ham on it, then another crepe on top, then lettuce and tomato, and then another crepe, then mayonesa and ham, crepe, lettuce, etc. until you have a huge tower. Its good and all, but there is wayyy too much mayonesa for me to like it a lot. 

Also, yesterday I had a rice, mayonesa, chicken, and tomato salad. It wasn't bad, but it was... interesting... 

Today for almuerzo Hna Burgos is going to make cow stomach, I think, so we`ll see how that goes. If it's bad I have a ton of pan dulce to eat, so I won't go hungry.

12.  Have you been sweating from the heat this week?

Yeah, I have been, but it's honestly not that bad. I`ve come to the conclusion that all these people are just wimps. All of the missionaries told me that the summers are terrible and that I`m going to die, and I`m waiting for the extreme heat to start and I still haven't experienced it yet. I think I`m just more used to heat than other people are since I`m from the south, so to me it's not that bad. Georgia is more humid, too, so the humidity here isn't bad either. 

13.  What was the funniest thing that happened this week?

We had an English class this week, and one old lady showed up. So we tried to teach her and she was making all these typical old people comments. Then in the end she asked who is going to teach the next class and I told her I was. Hermana O'Hara explained that she was going to leave and the old lady started asking why. We explained that transfers are decided through revelation from God, and she said, "Revelation? well, I work by REBELation, so I don't care!" It was hilarious. She's a member, but I had never talked to her until this English class. 

Yeah, sorry that this wasn't the best question/answers today. I guess I`m kinda down because I have to wait an extra week to get a new companion and I`m in a trio. I don't find trios to be very fun...

I hope you all have a great week.   Hermana O'Hara is going to send my letters to you all! Today also isn't p-day, even though we still get to write you guys. I have to work after this, so there's no time to sleep or anything, how sad. Anyways, they want us to Skype between the hours of 2 and 5 Argentina time on Christmas. I still don't have a definite plan or place set up to Skype. Can you send me the Skype account names so that I will know who to call? I`m so excited!!!

I love you so much! Please have a greeeeaaaat week and enjoy the holiday spirit! Listen to some Christmas music for me! Bye!


Monday, December 8, 2014

He is the Gift

1.  Last week I looked up "pastafrola" so I could find a picture and find out what it was.  One thing it said was that there is a saying in Argentina:  "La vida no es una pasta frola."  Have you every heard that saying?

Nope, but you can be sure that I`m going to ask everyone what that means now. I`m so saying that now, too, that's really funny!!!

2.  Have you learned any good Argentine sayings?  (You know I love English sayings!)

I have but I can't remember them, since people say them and I don't understand and have to have them explain it. Then I forget it shortly afterwards, haha. 

3.  You said people have Mary's in their yards and also "those little saint card things".  What are saint cards?  Actual paper cards of saints that are taped or nailed?

They kinda remind me of Yu-Gi-Oh cards. They are little cards about the size of Pokemon cards that people tape to their doors or on the walls in their house. I think some people collect them. There are lots of different saints.

4.  Have you received the package I sent yet?

YESSSSSSSSS. I`m probably the first missionary down here to have a conference issue (General  Conference issue of the Ensign Magazine) in English and I love it!!! I haven't eaten the marshmallows or the chocolate (thank you, thank you, thank yoooooouuu), but I probably will this week. I`m saving the chocolate for a rainy day. Also, I love the music, especially the Christmas CD (Mormon Tabernacle  Choir). Its cool, and I like the Temple Square Orchestra :). It made my week!!!!

5.  Aren't transfers coming up next week?   Any predictions?  I was reading the blog of Hermana Long who is leaving the MTC for your mission next week.  It will be an exciting time for her and the other new missionaries!

Well, I`m pretty certain that I`ll be staying here in Pigue, and I`ll certainly have a new companion. Lots of people seem to think I`m leaving, though (I don't know why...). Personally, I am very nervous about this transfer. I have a feeling that this will be a bit of a big trial. I don't know why, though.  Maybe I`ll train Hermana Long - hahaha!  Naaahhh....

6.  You know that if you run out of money you can take money out of your account.  Please don't go without eating!  That being said, that was a neat story about praying for the Lord to help you have enough food to eat.

Yeah, that's what I did. Don't worry, I don't skip meals here unless I`m fasting.  One of the Sister Training Leaders unnecessarily lectured me about skipping meals. What she didn't know is that I ate breakfast while everyone was showering. 

7.  Does each companionship get a card to share with money to buy food?  Or do you each get one?

I have my own card. We get 1,000 pesos every month, but when you have to travel and the members don't feed you a lot then you start to pray for lots of miracles. Luckily, we don't have to travel this week (it's not really my favorite thing to do), well, we will at the end of the week depending on transfers, but right now we are pretty good on money.

8.  Have you learned the sign language sign for "witch"?  I learned it on my mission and we liked to do it for fun.  You make a sort of hook with one finger and put it over your nose.  Ha ha!

I have!!! We spoke a whole bus ride in signs. It was kinda funny. We use it in lessons, too, when we are trying to figure out how to leave a house without being offensive, like when the situation turns bad and we need to leave or when we just feel uncomfortable or have another appointment to go to and the people aren't letting us leave. 

9.  What was the best thing that happened this week?

Our investigator Olga came to church by herself!!!!!!! She's been progressing nicely :) And she has a baptism date for the 20th of December. We usually walk with her to church, but we had trouble communicating with her and so we didn't know if we would walk with her or not. We stopped by her house and she wasn't there, so sadly we walked to church thinking that no one would be there but when we entered Olga was right there waiting!

10.  What was the most beautiful thing you saw this week?

Alright, maybe it's not the most beautiful thing in the world, but the Church has released the "He is the Gift" video ( I think that's what its called) that we are using a lot to help people come closer to Christ. If you have seen that video and haven't watched it, watch it. If you`ve watched that video and haven't shared it, share it. If you haven't heard of the video, look it up. 

Seriously, we are trying to fill the world with the gospel here! But yeah, I watched that video a lot this week and it's made me think a lot about my Savior and how He really is the biggest gift for Christmas. There is nothing more important that what He gave for us. I know maybe this wasn't the most beautiful thing, but it was the most thought provoking thing. I hope everyone reading this can take some time to ponder exactly who Jesus Christ is and what He has done for us. 

He is the Gift 

11.  What was the most difficult thing you had to deal with?

We`ve been trying to do special messages about Christmas for people to help people invite the spirit of Christmas in their house. We thought, "Who in their right mind would reject a message about Christmas?" Well, just about everyone we talked to would reject a message about Christmas, as it turns out. Seriously, some people have been down-right nasty to us. It doesn't matter how long we talk about Christ's birth in the beginning of the contact, the minute we mention that we are missionaries they stop listening to anything we say and tell us very bluntly that they aren't interested. We aren't even trying to invite them to be baptized! We`re offering to share the story of the birth of Christ in the Bible with them! I thought people would be more accepting this time of year, but I think they are tougher than before! 

On the bright side, we did find some good new people that were really nice. I was really frustrated about everyone rejecting us, though, and said a prayer asking how could so many people reject something like this, and I got the impression that lots of people rejected Jesus while He was there in the flesh offering people eternal life, so now I just get to have a taste of how that feels. 

12. What was the funniest thing that happened this week?

Well, everyone and their grandmas has called me fat this week, hahaha. I`m not even offended any more, I`m so used to it. I don't feel like I`ve gained weight out here, but I feel like my body fat has figured out some new places to hang out. Still, Hermana O`Hara told me that every one of her companions has been called fat since Hermana O'Hara is so skinny. 

Also, just a shout out to all the sisters going out there. There are so many sisters who stress about gaining weight on the mission, and I have one thing to say to them: forget about it. You can't control every meal here. I`m not saying that you should be as unhealthy as you want, you still need to eat fruits and vegetables and try your hardest to exercise and be healthy, but don't stress about weight. There is already enough to stress about on the mission without that. 

13.  What was the best/worst thing you ate this week?

Awwww I have a food story. Alright, maybe this is kinda gross, but I`ve been having some constipation problems. So my stomach started hurting and I told my comp what was going on and she told me that she had a companion with the same problem. So her old companion took some medicine and it didn't work, but then some Latinas brought her some prunes to eat.  Her companion ate the prunes and it worked. So we decided to save money and buy some prunes to help me out. So we bought them and the next day I was more than perfectly fine. The problem is that I discovered that I actually really like prunes. So I ate some more to see what would happen and now I`m having some difficult times... too many prunes!  Ha ha!

I`m super excited to Skype! I`m already trying to set it up with the members. The times that are best for us to Skype are between 2 and 5 o clock here in Argentina. I`m not worried at all about what we are going to talk about, but there is one thing I don't want to talk about:  speaking Spanish. By that I mean I`d rather not have everyone ask me to say something in Spanish. We only have maybe an hour to talk, if not less, and I don't want to waste a second of it.

I love all the pictures and I love hearing about everything in Maryland.  I`m sending my letters home with my companion next week, so hopefully you`ll get some more. I really like being a missionary, mom, and I`m working hard to learn everything I can out here. I know what I`m doing is God's work. 

I love you so much!!! Thanks for the emails and the letters and the package and for thinking about me and for the recipes and your love!!!!!


Monday, December 1, 2014

Thanksgiving on a Mission

1.  Sister Barg in our new ward is the seminary teacher here.  She went to Argentina on her mission.  I believe she was in Buenos Aires.  She wanted to know a couple of things:  

"Have you had pastafrola made with dulce de batata or membrillo (quince)? And what kind of alfajores has she seen in her areas? (Every region of Argentina has a different favorite).  really miss the Havana ones we had in Buenos Aires."

Sweet, question from a member. Yes, I have had the pastafrolas but only with membrillos, which has became my favorite type of jelly here. I have to say, I LOVE dulce de batata. We eat it on crackers with cheese. Dulce de batata is kinda like potato jello (I`m not sure how to explain it). A batata is like a sweet potato. The most popular alfajor here seems to be fantoche, but that one is not my favorite. I`ve seen the Havana ones but I haven't tried them yet. I`ll put that on my to-do list. I like the one kind with a golden wrapper, but I can't remember the name so I`ll tell y'all later. 

 - Marian BLazes
Pasta frola is a wonderful dessert made with a cookie-like shortbread crust and dulce de membrillo (quince paste) filling. Pasta frola is another example of the influence of Italian food on Argentinian and Uruguayan cuisine - its name comes from the Italian word for the shortbread crust, pasta frolla, that is used to make Italian crostate (jam pies).  The filling has evolved to match South American tastes: usually quince paste or dulce de leche. 
There's a saying in Argentina: Life is not a pasta frola. (La vida no es una pasta frola).

2.  When I was in a predominately Catholic area in Louisiana there were many people who had statues of the Virgin Mary, or sometimes another saint, in their yard.  Do people in Argentina do the same or  is that just an American thing?

Oh yes. People here do the same thing. There are virgins EVERYWHERE. And these little saint cards, too, all over peoples' houses. People are always talking about the virgin Mary. Also, people have these little shrines by their doors in their houses with little statues of saints and of virgins, too. 

3.  Last week you sent a picture of you trying dulce de batata on a cracker.  Did you like it?

Yeeeessssss. We eat that a lot, actually.  It's a good We-just-got-home-from-a-long-day-of-working snack  

4.  You said you got your Argentine ID last week.  Why do you need an Argentine ID?

So I can use a card to buy things or so that I can go to hospitals. They won't accept people in doctor's offices and hospitals without ID. That's why when I was sick way back in June it was so hard for me to get to a doctor because nobody would talk to us... I know Hna Parreño has ways around that stuff, but it's easier to have an ID. 

5.  Is it getting hot there?  I'm not sure how accurate my weather information is, but according to it the temperature will be going up to 97 degrees on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday.

It's actually been kinda cold lately, but yeah, it has been getting hot. I have no idea if that reading is accurate, but thanks for the warning. There's no air conditioning here, so you can't escape heat, hahaha...

6.  Do people there seem to stay inside their houses or do you often see them relaxing outside?

Relaxing outside. It's cooler out there. Lots of people go to parks and drink mate. 

7.  What was the best thing that happened this week?

I`ve got two things. First, we got a reference from a member and found this guy named Eduardo. He is AWESOME. He has a ton of faith and really is searching for the things from God. The members work with him and called us in the middle of the day to tell us about him and asked if we could pass by that afternoon so that they can introduce us to him. 

Also, since it was the last week of the month we were really, really running low on money. I withdrew some personal money since we were out. Anyways, we had no money and all the members went to the temple this week, so we had no one to give us food. On Tuesday I realized that we aren't going to eat this week and I started feeling the stress that comes with realizing that you have no food. So I knelt down and prayed that Heavenly Father can provide a way for us to eat this week so that we don't have to worry. I got the impression that we should go and shop for the week in that moment, so we left and were shopping for the cheapest necessities, and then we got a phone call from a recent convert asking us if we had lunch the next day. We told him about our situation and so he invited us to eat with him the next day! Then we cooked cheap meals and ate cheap things for the next three days and made  it through the week without being hungry. Lots of people gave us food this week when we passed, too.  It was really a miracle. 

8.  What was the most profound thing that you learned this week?

Well, forever ago Dad wrote me a letter about worrying about numbers and about finding people. He said in the letter that the Lord knows who will be receptive to our message and who will not and that I should focus on listening to the Spirit. I was getting frustrated with numbers and the work we had been doing these past weeks. My comp has been stressed about it too, so I pulled out the letter and read it to her and we decided that we were going to try and work as smart as we possibly could. So we made a bunch of really good plans. I also read a talk by Elder Bednar about being "quick to observe" and I`ve started trying to apply the things I learned in that talk. We`ve seen results.

Also, this week I was thinking about the whole senior companion thing. I know Hermana Saunders is training someone, and that there are other people from the MTC that are already senior companions, so I was kinda stressed out that I`m still a junior companion. I thought about that a lot and I realized that it really doesn't matter. I realized that the title doesn't matter at all, and that here in Pigue I`m already kind of the "lead" missionary since I`ve been here the longest. All the members come to me when they have questions, and they give us lots of referencias (references).  Also, all the other Hermanas here and the leaders come to me when it comes to the problems and matters in Pigue. It doesn't matter a lot who is comp mayor (senior companion) or whatever. What matters is that we are doing our job right. I may not be comp mayor but I have a ton of responsibilities already so I should be happy with what I have and work with those. 

9.  Do you ever go on exchanges (or whatever they call it now) with any members in your ward?

Nope. Sometimes they come with us to lessons, but not a lot. 

10.  What is the most useful Spanish word you learned this week?

Vacío. It means empty. I realized that there are a lot of people here who just kinda feel empty, so they try and fill the big hole in them with lots of different things. Some learn about tons of different religions and form their own belief, others party, others try and fill it with all the saints, others follow the things of the world. Regardless of what they are putting in the hole, it's never going to ever feel full because that hole is for the Gospel. Only the Gospel can fully fill it up. I used that word a lot this week to descrbe this concept to members. 

Also, Hna Ohara is teaching me American sign language. No joke, we pray in signs sometimes and we talk in the streets in signs. I can't say I can use it, but I can very, very, very simply and slowly. Next to nothing actually, but it's fun all the same. 

11.  What is the funniest thing that happened this week?

Extracts from our Phone conversations at night with Elder (our district leader):


Me: Good, and you? 


Me: Yeah we basically live in the baptism font.

* * * *

Me: Holaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa.


Me: ARREPENTIMIENTO!!! (repentence)

Elder:... what?

Me: You always answer the phone by saying baptism (bautismo), but repentance comes first, so I said repentance because it comes before baptism.


Me: Repentance is important! And what about the confirmation? That's super important, too!


Me: Elder. That is apostasy. 

* * * * *

These are real. I`m being serious.

I cannot believe that Evan is already taller than you. What in tarnation is happening?????? Also, I missed you all on Thanksgiving. We ate hash browns and french toast for Thanksgiving. Well, it was the day after Thanksgiving since I was sick. I woke up Thursday in the morning with stomach pains and throwing up. So I spent the day in the bathroom and we stayed home that day. I feel great now. 

I miss you all a lot! Por suerte (luckily) I only have to miss one Thanksgiving and Christmas! Speaking of Christmas, I'm really, really excited about this year! I have so many plans for missionary work and I`m so happy to get to skype with you all, too. 

Have a great day, I`m out of time so I can't send any photos this week, sorry. But you`ll get some for sure next week! Byyyyyeeeeeeee