Monday, September 15, 2014

Letting the Weird Flag Fly

I had to give a talk and they passed me this note while I was speaking.

1.  Last week you said you had a big p-day activity.  What did you do?

We played lots of games, like Duck, Duck, Goose, and Steal the Bacon, then we ate chicken and potatoes together, which was fun and funny, then we played this game that involved three teams. We had to fish these poker chips out of buckets of water with our mouths, so we were all soaked and locos (crazy), then we played another game that was like Musical Chairs, but  involved making a bunch of animal noises and finding the person who had the same animal and sitting with them. Then we all went home haha.

2.  Last week I asked you if Argentines were dramatic and you said they are more dramatic about some things - like rain.  How are they dramatic about rain?

When it rains here, people don't do anything. They don't go to church, some don't even go to work, and they don't talk to missionaries, ha ha, even when they are in their nice, dry house and we are outside in the rain. It's more like people are dramatic about the weather, and they do have to go outside and be in the weather a lot more than people in the States, but I´m outside all the time, so it's easy for me to say people are dramatic about weather when I experience all of it. 

3.  What are the things that you really like about your area in Terrada? And what will you miss most about Terrada?  It may be your last week there!  (Or maybe not!)  And if you do transfer will you still have p-day to write an email?

I hope I´ll have a p-day to email, but I don't know. I will miss the Bishop here, he´s really, really good with our investigators and really supportive of the missionary work. I´ll miss the people, mostly. My converts, investigators, the people in the ward. I feel like I´m going to leave, but we all know that that doesn't mean anything. I´ll miss not seeing these people progress. 

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

Se llama Daniela. (Her name is Daniela) She's this girl who has been going to a different ward with her boyfriend. She's 23 years old, and she is sincerely investigating. She's very social, really nice, and very funny. She's super easy to get along with, and even though we haven't had a lesson with her, and we only met her yesterday, I can tell teaching her is going to be fun. She has a lot of real sincere questions, and is investigating for her self. 

5.  What has most impressed you in your studies this week?

I´ve been studying the story of Ammon in the Book of Mormon. One thing that impressed me a lot was the part about Abish. God was preparing her for this moment for a long time. He converted her before Ammon came, so that she could pull a sister missionary and go door-to-door to bring all the people to the court and start believing in God. He prepared a way for tons of people to hear the gospel and be converted through her and Ammon. You should read that story with the perspective of Abish as a sister missionary. It's awesome!

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

I can't think of one. I can't say I´ve learned a lot of new words this week, but it's getting way easier to understand people.

7.  How did it go with the lady you were teaching and her doubts?

We haven't talked to her yet, actually. We are going to pass by a lot in this week and start teaching her the lessons again and help her develop a firmer testimony and try and answer her new doubts. I think everything will be OK in the end. 

8.  Did you gain any new understanding from your reading of Doctrine and Covenants 132?

Yes. 1) I have no idea what heaven will be like, or well, I have an idea but there is a lot that I don't know and I´m just going to have to put my faith in God, and 2) God is not a God of confusion.  What is going to happen after this life will make sense, and we will understand even if we can't understand it now. I just gotta trust. And, 3) God makes the rules, and the number one rule that is above all is to do what God commands. 

9.  As a self-described introvert, how do you feel about just going up to people on the street?  Especially when they speak a different  language?

Talking to people still is not my favorite thing, but I think it helps that I´m speaking another language, because I can use that to distance myself from the feelings of not wanting to talk to people. I feel worse when I give into the introvert and say nothing, so it's better to talk to people in the streets. I´ve learned that it's just best to let the weird flag fly out here. I just kinda act like my normal weird self and accept that people are going to judge me by my name tag, whether I say something or not, so there is no point in having fear. That being said, its not easy to squash the fear of talking to people that everyone has. 

10.  What was the best experience you had this week?

Pablo went to church!!!! He want to church and he loved it! And now he has a baptism date for the 30th of this month! We try and give people dates to help them work with a goal in mind, and we are supposed to set 2 dates every day, but literally every person we talked to this week refused to be baptized or have a date, so when he accepted, we knew it was an answer to our prayers.

11.  What was the most difficult experience you had this week?

People rejecting our dates. OK, "dates" sounds weird, I´m going to say "fecha", which is the word in Spanish. We tried to invite people all week long, and we extended fechas to just about every person we taught, and we taught a lot of people, and EVERY SINGLE ONE said no. We couldn't figure out what we were doing wrong, and I learned that we aren't doing anything wrong, people make their choices, we need to do our part and accept their decisions

12.  Did any miracles happen for you in this past week?

Pablo and Daniela both went to church and accepted fechas. We had been praying so much for people who will progress and accept a fecha.

13.  Your cousin, Grace, in the sixth grade, is in band for the first time and picked the trumpet for her instrument.  Any advice or words of wisdom for a new trumpet player?

Practice, and keep trying, even when it's hard and even when you're not the best. Love music, and love playing the trumpet because IT'S THE BEST!!!!!!

14.  What was the best/worst thing that you ate?

We had some milanesa that was really good, and we didn't really eat anything bad this week. 

FYI:  Milanesa, as its known in Argentina, is the gastronomic version of Madonna (bear with me here): immensely popular around the world and constantly being reinvented.  While in Argentina it's called Milanesa, in Austria it's known as Wiener Schnitzel, and in the Southern United States it's called Chicken Fried Steak.  The same dish is known in Chile as Milanesa Kaiser or simply as Escalope.


15.  Just how big is an Oreo alfajor?  Is it the same size as a regular oreo cookie or is it more the size of a moon pie?  They look really good!  I looked up a picture online and posted the picture on your blog so we could all see what you were talking about.

The size of a moon pie. Haha - I´m glad you posted a picture. Someone gave us a recipe for alfajores, so we are going to try and make some today. 

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

We had a baby shower in the ward, and there was some fat in the oven and it started to burn, so the whole half of the church was smoky and crazy, and you know what? Nobody noticed. We opened a bunch of windows, but everyone just kept partying and had no idea. That's the only thing I can think of right now, sorry that it's not too funny. 

Advice to all future sisters: Respect and love your leaders, even when they frustrate you. It's so much easier when you like your leaders, so make an effort to support them. 
I love you all so much! I´m sending my letters home with another sister missionary, so expect some letters soon. Because of all the crazy p-days, there aren't a lot, but I´m going to keep writing! I´m nervous about transfers!!!!!!!!!!!


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