Monday, June 2, 2014

Where are the Vegetables?

Hermanas Pin and Eubanks

1.  Now that you have been in Argentina for almost two weeks, what do you think about Argentina?  Give us a description.

Argentina is a nice place. The people are nice, but blunt. The houses here are really small and pretty run down. My apartment is pretty nice compared to a lot of the falling apart houses here. It kind of reminds me of the ghetto, except this isn't the ghetto, it's just normal here. It's flat, and the roads are usually dirt where I'm at. I´m glad I'm not driving because the roads here are crazy. Its like there are no rules, you just drive where there aren't any cars.

2.  Is Hermana Pin doing a good job of training you?

 I think so. She talks a lot, but always tries to make room for things for me to say during lessons. She thinks she is doing a bad job because she talks so much, but really it is OK with me.

3.  Do you ever speak English with Hermana Pin?  If so, how often?

Yes -  right now we are maybe half English -  half Spanish. We try to speak in Castellano as much as we can, but sometimes we just take short breaks. I talk to all the other missionaries in Castellano, never English if I can help it.

4.  Do you have a district meeting every week?

Yup, I have one tomorrow. And since there is a group of sisters that have to travel 4 hours to get to the district meeting, they leave on Monday and spend the night with us.  We hid all the peanut butter and are preparing for their visit.  (Peanut butter isn't sold in Argentina and Hermana Pin's mother recently sent her some)

5.  Have you gotten any of my letters yet?  Does the mission office give out letters every week, or only at zone conference?

No, not yet :( but I might get some tomorrow. We get them weekly.

6.  Do any of the church members feed you?

Yes, almost every day for lunch! Its usually the same thing. Pasta, beef, tocco (sauce), rice, yeah. Same stuff. But it's good. I know how to make a mean spaghetti sauce here!

7.  If you only have hot water for 5 minutes in the shower, do you still have time to sing in the shower?

 I do if I had a bad day, but usually, no. Have any of the boys started singing in the shower yet?

8.  I have heard that in some countries missionaries are supposed to try to not appear wealthy (even though it is not wealthy by American standards) because they could get robbed.  Have you had any problems with that, or any counsel given to you about your area?

Kinda. We are supposed to carry a little money around with us so that we have something to give to robbers, and at night we have to be very careful where we go. We try to always stay in well-lit areas. There are some more dangerous areas that we don't go near at night. Terrada is less dangerous than some places, plus, I got my danger sense going on so I´m good. I usually don´t take my camera places, though, in case we get robbed. 

9.  What is your area like?  Is it on the outskirts of Bahía Blanca?  Is it very crowded?  Are there any American stores or restaurants, like McDonald’s?

 It's on the outskirts of the city, and, no, there are no American stores. There are lots of different brands and food here. It's hard to buy stuff sometimes because everything is in Spanish. There is a McDonald's in Centro, or the city, and it's always super crowded lol.

10. Where do you shop for food?  What is the store like? 

Various stores. There is a place where we buy fruits nearby, and a sort of supermarket place. I haven't eaten a vegetable in two weeks, Mom, because we haven´t been able to buy any and because nobody feeds us vegetables. :(

11.  What sort of food do you buy and what do you cook?

We usually buy bread, milk, cereal, eggs, dulce de leche, jelly, bananas, pears, potatoes, onions, pasta, flour, and I think that's it. Just basic stuff. If I want to cook something special then we plan for it. Today I´m making a potato omelet thing for almuerzo (lunch) since on Mondays we feed ourselves.

12.  Were you able to do any service for others this week?

Yeah, we ironed clothes for this lady in the ward and she taught me how to make tortas fritas, which is basically fried bread.

13.  Who is the nicest person you spent time with this week, other than Hermana Pin?

Hmm... I don´t know. Probably the ward mission leader Hermano Leal. Yesterday a member bore her testimony because we ate at her house and we shared a thought with her that just really struck her so she bore her testimony about  how much we helped her and how much God is in her life. Then another member talked about us, too. She called us angels. Hermano Leal said that he´s proud of the work and is really patient with us, so that makes me happy. Plus, he talks slowly. Haha

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

Well, there are always lots of funny things that happen, but the other day I was walking and Hna Pin whispers all nervously, "Do you like Nickleback?" and I was like "Oh man, if she likes Nickleback..." but I said "No" and she was like "Good, I don´t know what I would have done if you said yes". 

And she was talking in her sleep one night. My arm fell asleep so I woke up and groaned, then she heard the groan and started talking to me in Spanish. I have no idea what she said. She was sick this week for two days, so she did all sorts of crazy stuff. 

Oh, and yesterday one of the members was giving us a ride to our apartment and this English rap song came on the radio and Mom, it was AWFUL. I´m talking explicit lyrics all the way, and this family just had no idea because it was all in English. It was bad, but funny how they had no clue.

15.  Have you had any embarrassing language mistakes this week, or are you still too new to know if you made an embarrassing mistake?

Nothing embarrassing yet. I just have no idea what's going on most of the time. 

16.  Dad wants to know if you have ridden any llamas, or alpacas, yet.  (I am not sure that they have them there…)


17.  Dad also wants to know how many hours a day do you study the language?

Only an hour.

18.  What are you doing for your p-day?

Shopping for food, making invitations for a ward activity, and chilling, I think. I´m not really sure.

19.  You have to wash your clothes by hand?  What is that like?  How do you do it?

No, we don´t have to wash our clothes by hand. I think we are one of the lucky groups. We have this big barrel that we fill up with water and soap that sort of sloshes all the clothes around. We have to run it though twice to get them clean. It's a little hard to explain. I would call it a washing machine, but I feel like Americans wouldn't call it a washing machine. We hang up everything to dry.

20.  Are you doing lots and lots of walking?  Are you sore?  Are your shoes/boots holding up? 

 Yeah, I am, and I do some running because Hna Pin walks really fast.  Sometimes I have to jog every couple of steps. My shoes are covered in mud, but fine. I remember when they used to be black...

Things to be grateful for:

1.  Food variety (like if you want Chinese, or fried chicken, or something different you can just go get some)

2. The little tear edge thing on toilet paper (bet you didn't even know that was a thing!)

3. Traffic laws

4. Cheese variety

Filling up the "washing machine."  Notice the "pipe."

Cooking in the apartment

The Missionary Training Center in Argentina


  1. Amy, I am so excited for you to have this amazing experience! Before long you will be able to talk all day and finally be able to say want you want. I felt like it took forever to share my real feelings in a way folks could understand. Stay safe and know that we love you!

  2. Looks like some Girl's Camp skills are coming in handy for that cooking thing ;) Thanks for sharing your mission experiences with us!

  3. Oops. This is from Beth Christiansen, not Peter Christiansen. I'm on the wrong computer.