Monday, February 9, 2015

The Bomb

1.  You said you are finishing the training of your new companion, Hermana Antuna (sorry, can't make the squiggly thing over the "n").  What do you have to do for her training?

Well, we have an extra hour of studies in the morning, and also I take a lions share of responsibility. Literally, just about everything is mine. To help her learn I have to assign stuff for her to do and monitor the way she does stuff. For instance, I ask her what she does for her studies, explain what I do for my studies, and verifiy every night if she has a plan for her studies. Then I make sure that she's doing it. I also just show her how things are done. It's not super hard because she has the desire to work hard and already speaks the language. 

2.  What is Hermana Antuna like?

She's very serious. Like, she doesn't have a bunch of fun, so naturally I´m the crazy, weird fun one in this companionship. She's also very consecrated. Very focused. The problem is that she's new and pretty inexperienced, too. She likes to tell stories and joke around when I provoke it, hahaha. She's a super hard worker and very nice. She thinks a lot and is very willing to serve the Lord. She loves talking to lots of people because she's super eager to learn. She hammers me with questions all day about the work and what we should do in just about every situation imaginable. She can be really hard on herself so I try and help her relax some. Hermana Antuña didn't really connect with her last companion, so to help us have a great relationship I give her tons and tons of hugs. That has made a huge difference. At first it was kinda funny because I´m acting all super huggy, but now she's returning the favor. Last night she told me that after her first companionship she didn't think that her companion could be like her friend.  But then I got here and changed her mind.

3.  How do you find your way around your new area?  Do you have a map?  Is there an area book with lists of people that other missionaries have spoken with?

The streets here are numbers and everything is a grid, so it's easy to find my way around, and we do have an area book. I like to use the area book, and contacts. We talk to people in the streets all day and two days later pass for all the houses we can. Also, my companion already knew a bunch of people and menos activos (less active members), so we always have people to visit. Sometimes the number thing confuses me but she knows her way around really well.  I just kinda follow her when it comes to directions. 

4.  Where do you go for district and zone meetings?  Is it close by or do you have to take a bus?

We have to travel. I think we take a taxi to Mar del Plata for the meetings, but I haven't had a normal meeting since my first week. I´ll update you with more details this next week after I´ve had a normal meeting that isn't my first one. 

5.  I liked your story of the sketchy hospital visit last week and am glad it turned out well.  But I do have a question.  Why are you carrying around money like that?  Isn't it dangerous, and isn't there a danger you could get robbed?

I usually only have about 15 to 50 pesos with me, but because I had to travel for transfers and because I had no idea just how many bus tickets I needed to buy I carried extra for an emergency. And then when the hermana got sick I took the money that I already had with me instead of leaving most of it in the house like I usually do. It is dangerous and there is a chance that we could get robbed, but I trust that the Spirit will help me avoid those kind of situations as long as I´m smart. I usually don't have so much money - hahaha.

6.  In your pictures last week I saw a large, orange tag that you had hooked over your name tag at the bus station.  It said "Pesado", which I see means "heavy."  What was that tag for, and did you need to wear it or were you just keeping it there so you didn't lose it?

It was a tag form the airplane from when I first got to Argentina. It was on my suitcase because it was heavy. It was funny because it's like "Look, I´m heavy - hahaha". I guess it wasn't super funny. An Elder took pictures with it, too 

7.  How is it having a native Argentine for a companion?  I realize your Spanish has certainly improved, but is it a little easier knowing that your companion will absolutely understand everything?

In some ways it's good and in some ways it's bad. It's great because she helps me a ton with Spanish and she understands all the culture stuff.  It's bad because it's easy to slip into a habit of letting her do most of the talking and because people don't try to understand me as much because they understand her perfectly. But its great when I literally have no idea what's going on. She can translate everything. 

8.  Have you seen any protestors this week?  The President of Argentina, Cristina Fernandez, has been in the news in America recently, and they have pictures of people protesting in Buenos Aires.

Nope, but I´m not in a big city. Maybe there's some in Mar del Plata. I hope they aren't crazy protestors. 

9.  What was your biggest challenge this week?

This week I got really bummed out. I was stressed out because of the Arizona thing (but I´m good now) and then I had to keep trying to work super hard. I felt like I wasn't really giving my all. I fixed that with changing the plans that I had been doing. Then sometimes it's hard because my companion talks a lot in lessons, but I need to be leading the conversations because I have more experience and I know how to help these people progress. It's been a challenge to train. I know this wasn't a really good answer to the question. I can explain more in a letter. 

10.  Do you get fed more, less, or about the same in your new area as compared to your last area?

More :)

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

We called it "The Bomb". It was a normal cake, but we soaked it in a mixture of milk, cream, and sweetened condensed milk, covered it in dulce de leche and peaches, and ate it. It was soooo heavy. It was sooo good but so bad for us at the same time. Its called 3 leches torta. It was the best and the worst thing of the week, haha. 

12.  What was the most wonderful thing that happened this week?

We had 4 people at church!!!! That's my new record!!! We really worked hard for that, looking for all the people that could go and who could progress. We worked with some members and they helped us get two people there, and then we visited a couple who we weren't able to pass for earlier in the week and they wanted to go. So we managed to get 4 people at church. One of them is preparing for baptism :)

Also, we helped a couple return to church. They were inactive for 4 years, and we passed and helped them get back to church, and mom, the señora in this couple was so, so happy. She cried in Relief Society, and then again when she took the sacrament. I was so happy to see them be so happy to be at church. 

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

How about my companion has had a nose job! Yeah, I told her I liked her nose, and she told me that it looks so great because she had surgery. I didn't believe her for 2 days, and then she explained the whole process to me and how she was able to get a nose job and now I believe her. But it was funny because she just made it as a kind of off-hand remark and I reacted kinda funny.

Also, I can´t remember if I already told you this one, but we were in an almuerzo (lunch) and the lady put a plate of beans and salad in front of us and went off to prepare more food. When the lady had her back turned my companion got her fork and started doing something with her salad. I thought, "What is she doing, we haven't prayed yet..." and then she scoops up a bunch of salad and puts it on my plate! The lady came back and she stopped, and then left again and my comp kept putting food on my plate. I was like "WHAT ARE YOU DOING?" quietly, of course. She looks at me and says "I don't like salad." We prayed and the lady left the room and Hermana Antuña put all of her salad on my plate, and so I had to eat super, super fast so that the lady didn't notice the change. It was funny!

Thanks for the letter, I really look forward to hearing for you guys all week. I love the pictures and everything. We just found out we have a bunch of problems with paying our light bill, so I have to go now. I love you all so much and I can´t believe I´ve been out here for 10 months now! It feels like I´ve been gone for 2 months. I miss you and love you! Be safe!


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