Monday, November 17, 2014

Call Me Mahmushka

This means "We are a circle without beginning or end"

1.  So your name is difficult to pronounce in Spanish.  How do most people pronounce it?  Or do they just give you a nickname that is easier?

Oh, yeah. Everyone here struggles. They pronounce it like this "Hermana... oh chica, that's really difficult to say."  Usually they say "Eh oo bonk". Or "eh oo bonks".  A lot of people here say "yoo bankies" and there are some who kinda have it right.  I do get lots of nicknames. Like Hermana Smith, or "mahmushka" which means "Russian nesting doll", I think. There is a family here that thinks I look like one of those so they just call me "mahmuska".  It's kinda funny, and kinda weird, and sometimes kinda tiring, especially when people call my name and I don't respond because I didn't recognize what they said as my name. EVERYONE wants to know my first name but I never tell them because it's way easier to say and they`ll use it. 

2.  So the Latinas laugh at you - why?  Because you do funny things or because you say funny things?

I think it's both. Honestly, I have no idea, but seriously, they think I`m hilarious. It's kind of annoying sometimes, because then they try and provoke funny reactions and things from me. 

3.  Who are some of your favorite people in the ward and why?

I really like this young family here, the Lopez family. They are really nice and do a lot to help us. Plus, their accents aren't that strong, so it's easy to talk to them. They are just striving to choose the right and put their all in the gospel.  I also like the other Family Lopez (there are two) because they help a lot in the ward and visit the menos activos (less active) a lot. Then there is Family Clair who are really good about working with us and giving us references. They like to work with the missionaries a lot. 

4.  You said you still have no idea what you are doing as a missionary.  What do you mean?  Is it the language that is making it hard?

It's like you get out here and you think you know how to teach and plan and be a great missionary, and then you learn that you can't control anything. Seriously, the only things we kinda control are when we get to sleep, how clean our house is, and how we start conversations in the street. Everything we do is dependent on someone else. I feel like being a missionary is just kind of wandering around trying to teach people. We offer material and then it's their choice to accept it. There are lots of moments when our investigators say something or all of our appointments fall through and we have no idea what to do. Plus, I only understand about 70 percent of everything everyone is saying, so that doesn't help. I feel like I`m just kinda following the Spirit the best I can and good things keep happening but I don't know how they happened or even what happened. 
Good things like miracles, or baptisms, or really good lessons. I hope all this made sense. 

5.  Is the weather really windy there now that it is spring?  Or is it always windy there?

It's always windy. It's hot, though. It's a good thing there is wind. There's no air conditioning here, so you can't really escape the heat, but it's a dry heat so it's not super bad yet. 

6.  How much does it cost to ride the bus there?

There are no buses in Pigue, but in Bahia Blanca it's 5 pesos for one trip. 

7.  What is the most beautiful thing you saw this week?

There are these trees here that during the spring let off these fuzz things, so the air is constantly filled with these floating fuzzies. It's really pretty when the sun is going down and the light is lighting up all the fuzzies in the air. I don't know if that made sense, but I like it...

8.  Did you have an experience this week where the Spirit directed you to do or say something?

Yes, actually . We saw a lady outside her house and we went up to contact her. I felt prompted to give her a Book of Mormon, and I started talking to her about choosing a religion. She isn't looking for a specific religion in this moment, but she was a while ago. I talked to her about how to know if the one we choose is right and I talked about feeling that things are right and true. Then I gave her the Book of Mormon and told her that if she ever has questions she can read that book and get all the answers she needs. I felt really directed in that conversation. We didn't make a return appointment or anything, but we gave her the church address and left it at that. I hope she reads the book...

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

Rosa, one of our investigators, made us some lamb, apple, potato roast that was reaaaaaally good. Yesterday I also had some really good chicken and noodles, too. The worst thing? OK, so it's not the worst thing, but my companion just informed me that I ate liver this week. I didn't realize what it was because it was in deviled eggs. It was good, too. And I didn't eat this but this one lady was telling us about how she's going to cook down some cow tendons into a jelly and eat it on some bread, and just hearing about that one grossed me out. I feel like the only thing they don't eat is the fur on the cow...

10.  What is the Sunday School class for investigators like in your new ward?

Exactly like the other ward. They sit us all down and we teach from the Gospel Principles book. People here participate more, I think. They are obsessed with calling on the missionaries, which is probably good because it forces us to pay attention. The lesson yesterday was finding and using our talents. 

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

Hermana Saracha. She's a member who moved here two years ago from Paraguay. I felt super good at Spanish because I noticed her accent, haha. She has ten kids, and all of them but 2 are members. We passed by to get to know her and ask for references. She's a good lady, and you can tell she works hard to raise her family and choose the right. 

I also met the 1st member in Pigue. Her name is Rosa. She's menos activo and has been asking that we pass by. It was a weird conversation because she literally only talked to and at me. That happens a lot, its weird. She's a nice lady.

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

That's a hard question.  Honestly, I don't think this was a very funny week. There was a strike where a bunch of students covered in mud blocked some streets and were wearing capes with the green mushroom from Mario on them. They were beating on plastic buckets and singing and chanting. There was another group, too and they were dressed up like red and yellow bugs, I think, and they, too, were covered in mud. Strikes are really common here in Argentina. The teachers strike like every week. Well, I think its a strike. I`m not really sure. 


I hope you`re having a great week! Thanks for the letter! I pray every night for you guys and I love you soooo much! We`re getting pretty close to Christmas, so we get to have a face-to-face conversation soon!!!! wheee! Love you, have a great week!  Amy

 Not a lot of people on this road...

It is spring!

Our Zone

Me and my new companion, Hermana O'Hara

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