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

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