Monday, May 26, 2014

My First Week in Argentina!

Hermana S and Hermana Eubanks on the shuttle in Utah

Here are your weekly questions:

1.  What was your first impression of Argentina?

My first impressions went like this : Whoa, the trees are different. Whoa, that’s a lot of Spanish. Look -  graffiti! Oh wait. . . I can´t read it because it’s in Spanish. . . but that’s probably a good thing.

2.  How was the travel?  How did it feel to travel so far and for so long?

Uuuuuuggggghhhh -  the travel was awful! I ain’t gonna lie, I looked so rachet (that means terrible, for those who don't know) when I met the mission president.  I hadn’t showered, I was upset, my carry-on was lost (don´t freak out they found it and I´m getting it today, actually).   I had stains and sweat and stuff all over my clothes. Yeah, 36 hours of traveling ain't fun.

3.  Who is your new compañera?  What is she like?

My new compañera is HERMANA Pin!!!!!! She is soooooooo awesome! I found out who she would be before I met her, and as the missionaries arrived at the church I was waiting for her.   Our mission president would announce the missionaries as they came in.  They announced her and she walked in like a super star!  Then I was supposed to learn some more things but she needed to make a phone call and go to an ATM so, instead of learning things, I went on an adventure through the streets of Bahia Blanca. Hermana Pin is just like me.  Serious.  She’s from Utah, is 21, and she’s tall, tan, skinny, and hilarious. She rocks!  (Note from Mom:  I am no longer going to use an initial, but will use a word to represent actual names to protect their privacy.  I was finding the initials too confusing!)

4.  What is the name of your area?

Terrada. I´m on the outskirts of the city, I think. I´m not in the country.  (On the map it looks like Terrada is an area of the city of Bahia Blanca)

5.  Have you learned any new Spanish jokes?


6.  What was it like going to church for the first time in Argentina?

Happy and sad and weird. First of all, I had to bear my testimony, and it was embarrassing because I had no idea what I was doing, but I did it anyways like a gringa boss!  Everything was in Spanish, excuse me, Castellano. People don´t speak Spanish here, they speak Castellano.  Anyways, I didn´t understand a thing, but 3 investigators came! Hermana Pin said that this is the first time she’s had that many. It’s sad because there are maybe 50 people who show up to church. There are tons of menos activos (less active, or those who are members but don’t go to church). We pass by menos activos homes pretty often if we are finding in an area around them.  We say “pass by” because the verb we use in Spanish is pasar, which means to pass by or to visit.  (Note from Mom:  Amy and I had previously discussed how a couple of missionaries who are serving in Spanish-speaking countries always say they “passed by” so-and-so’s house.  We figured that in Spanish they must be using a word that translates to English as “pass by.”)

7.  Did you have to lead the music?  Ha ha!

Nope, I just sat there smiling and being confused.

8.  Have you and your compañera been able to teach many discussions this week?

Not a huge amount.  We teach maybe four or five a day.

9.  Were you able to perform any acts of service this week?

Yeah, we helped decorate for this girl´s 15th birthday.  15 is the big birthday out here, so we helped put up balloons and decorations and stuff.

10.  What do you think of your mission president and his wife?  Do they speak any English? (They are from Spain)

They are super nice! They speak a little bit of English, but not much. I got to stay the first night in their house, which was nice. They greeted us at the airport and helped us all the way until we got to our companions.

11.  What did you do in the mission home?

Sleep and shower. All the orientation stuff was at the mission office. Sleeping was nice! I had been running on like 7 or 8 hours of sleep for two days so I needed it.

12.  Evan wants to know the temperature and if it has snowed.

Dang cold and, no, it hasn’t snowed.

13.  What are the trees like?

Like giant ferns. It’s weird.  They look like trees but they have ferns for leaves.

14.  What sort of food did you eat this week?

Pasta.  Pasta.  Pasta, empanadas, and tons of bread. The food is really good, but it’s so rich that if I eat a bunch I feel really sick. I made homemade mac and cheese for lunch one day. Thanks for showing me how to make that white sauce. Oh, lunch is the big meal here, by the way, so I don´t have an hour for dinner but we have huge lunches.

15.  What is the funniest thing that has happened to you this week?

Mom, I don´t even know. I think it’s funny how every person I meet can tell that I know nothing. Funny things happen all the time, I just don’t understand them.  Oh, on my first day when Hermana P was dragging me through the rain to get to the ATM, this dog saw us and was like "Hey, they look like they have a purpose" so it followed us the whole huge walk to the ATM. Dogs check us out every now and then but that’s the only one that stuck with us.  lol

Things you should be grateful for:

1. Heating that you can keep on at night. I sleep in my sleeping bag, it’s the best thing ever.
2. Being able to drink water anywhere. I can´t just drink water here, I have to use that special water bottle that they gave me in the MTC. I´ve become a fan of juice because I have to.  lol  (Amy has never liked to drink juice.  She drinks water almost all of the time.)
3. English keyboards.  Lol  Typing this is hard.  Every word is incorrect and there are different letters on this keyboard.
4. Hot water that lasts more than 5 minutes.
5. Washing machines.

Yeah, I´m not complaining, I´ve got it great here, it’s just really different.  The houses that people live in are kinda sad, but they are all so happy.  Its super muddy here too, so I have to clean my shoes all the time.  lol

How is everyone??? I love you all so much!!!

Amy didn't send any pictures this week - but thanks to Hermana S's mom who sent me a few pictures, I have a few to post this week.

Hermana Eubanks and Hermana S

The MTC zone

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