Monday, February 16, 2015

Oh, Someone Else Will Handle This

1.  Tuesday is Mardi Gras, the day before Lent.  Since you are in a big Catholic area, will there be any Carnival celebrations?

I haven't heard anything about Mardi Gras, But I´ll let you know if there are any problems. Hahaha - there are so many holidays here that I stopped paying attention. 

2.  I have read Hermana Long's blog - is that weird, or what?  Ha ha!  She had a picture of a bird on a nest - looks like a barn swallow to me - and she said that you had given all the birds names.

Yeah, that nest is outside the window in my room. Their names are Solomon, EzekielFreddie, and Ruth. That's super weird that you read her blog, hahaha because I heard that her mom reads my blog. We are connected in the weirdest ways in the mission!

3.  Tell us about your district and/or zone meeting.

It's so different. Our zone has about 20 people in it, and I´m used to about 40 people in my old zone. There are only 8 Hermanas in total. Our zone leaders talked and did a practice that I thought was really good. They extended a baptism date in the practice, but then someone started protesting that they didn't do that with the Spirit. Then everyone started debating on how we need to extend baptism dates, and THEN people started pulling out their scriptures and sharing a bunch of stuff. I asked Hna Antuña if the meetings are always like this. She said no. I was kinda startled. In the end the zone leader had to remind everyone that Presidente Parreño and the prophets are inspired about how we need to extend baptism dates, and that we need to follow their counsel. 

That took all of the time in our zone meeting, so then we went off to district meeting. We had just gotten started when our zone leader came in and asked me and Hna Antuña to go downstairs for emergency divisions with Hna Morgan and Hna Estigarribia. We were already scheduled to do divisions with them that afternoon, so we were prepared. We get down there and it turns out that Hna Morgan was really sick and they needed to buy medicine, so I stayed with Hna Morgan and my comp and the other Hna went off to buy medicine. We ended up not doing divisions with them because of the sickness of Hna Morgan. We did, however, work in their area and find some people for them to teach. 

4.  What are some of the hardest things for you to say in Spanish?  By that I mean what things are hardest for you to pronounce so that people there can clearly understand you?

Anything with "rr". I can´t seem to roll my r's at all. I keep practicing and nothing is working. If anyone has some advice, PLEASE HELP ME. Also, I´ve been pronouncing words with "b" and "v" wrong. Yesterday my comp practiced with me for about an hour with those two letters. B and v are pronounced the same in Spanish, and your lips don't touch when you pronounce them, so that was my problem. 

5.  Have you learned how to cook anything from Hermana Antuña?  If so, what?

Nooooopppppeee, but I´ve learned how to cook a good spaghetti sauce from Hna Gomez. Also, I've learned how to cook a cake in the microwave from Hna Gomez. It's great for when you don't have anything good to eat for breakfast. It's just like a normal cake but in the microwave. 

6.  Last week  you said you had a problem paying your light bill?  What was up with that?

Yeah, so here is what happens in the mission:

Missionaries receive a bill for light or gas or water or something.
Missionaries think, "Oh, someone else will handle this".
All of the missionaries think, "Oh, someone else will handle this".
Nobody does anything.
Debt builds up 
One missionary in the future ends up having to pay months of debt all at one time. 

So, that's what happened to me. Nobody payed the light bill for 5 months, so they were going to cut our lights if we didn't pay the bill that Monday. The problem is that it was SUPER high. The bill and the debt together was 990 pesos. I get 1,000 every month for food and stuff. I used almost all of my money to pay that. Luckily, I always have some in reserve and I had about 200 peso left over to survive in the week. Also, I have 500 pesos on my card still, so I´m good on money for a few weeks, but I need to call our finance elder so he can send me money. 

7.  Tell us about the other two Hermanas in  your apartment.

Hna Long- she's from Texas, but was born in Utah, and she is like a fountain of knowledge. She just knows how to do a ton of things. She does yoga, Tai-chi, surfing, skateboarding, lives in Hawaii, dances, all forms of exercise, and seems to know about a lot of different cultures. She's very friendly and very funny and super outgoing. Her and my companion are homies, and they both have the same amount of time in the mission field. She's funny, too. 

Hna Gomez- Hna Gomez is from Utah, but her parents are from Venezuela  so she doesn't look like a Utahn. She is SUPER funny, and she has exactly the same amount of time in the mission as me. We were in the MTC together for the first 2 weeks, but because she already knew a bunch of Spanish she didn't stay for the 6 weeks like me. She teaches with the Spirit like a boss and really cares about her areas and the people. She also gives really good back massages and cooks really tasty food. 

8.  What was the best thing that happened this week?

Pedro and Mabel, two of our investigators, went to church! They really like it. The problem is that they haven't had any of the lessons yet and they are planning on getting baptized in a different church. But they love our church and want to keep going as much as they can. Pedro said that the peace that he feels here helps him so much, that it's changed his life and that now he can sleep easily at night!

9.  Did you experience a miracle this week?

This week we were really focused on finding people to teach, so we started talking to everyone, but nobody wanted us to pass by later. So we were frustrated because we weren't finding any new people. Then one night our leaders called us and I expressed my frustration. More to myself than to the Elder, I expressed my testimony that I knew that there were people here that need the Gospel and that there are people prepared for us. I felt the Spirit very strongly in this moment, and the next day we managed to find 3 new people to teach. In Ether 12 it talks a lot about faith and how it brings miracles. One thing that I´ve learned in our mission is that we can provoke miracles with our faith, if our miracles are in line with the will of God. If we have faith that we will find people, then we can find them. If we really have a faith strong enough, we can´t NOT find the people. As long as we act with our faith we will have miracles. 

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

An old ham and cheese sandwich. It was pretty gross. The best thing was pastel de papas, which is basically shepherd's pie but without vegetables.

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

We went to buy some bread in a bakery, and started talking to the guy who owns it. In the middle of our conversation he says, "Hey, do you two want a tart? I made a cheese, squash, and onion tart but I made too much. It's free, I can just put it in a bag and its yours." We were like, "Yeah, free food!" and so that's how we got a free lunch. It was good, but kinda salty...

Also, we stopped by a less active member's house and she was watching soap operas with her friend. I guess it was the season finale because it was SUPER dramatic. They let us pass and gave us something to drink, then we left without sharing anything. But when we were trying to finish our drinks I saw a part of the soap opera. I was trying to ignore it. I don't know what was funnier, the dramatic crying actors and the ridiculous situations that they were in, or the reactions of two old ladies watching it. There was lots of gasping and stuff coming from the old ladies - haha. It was SUPER dramatic!

I´m very happy in this companionship. Keep it cool and thanks for the email! It's starting to be a little bit cooler here, temperature wise. I love you all sooooo much! I know that God protects y'all. 

Love,
Amy

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