Monday, June 29, 2015

I've Got Clapping Skills

Me and Hna Palma at the bus station

1.  Alan wants to know if you have to clap outside houses instead of knocking.  He has been told that in Brazil they don't knock on doors but have to clap outside the house instead.

Yeah, we clap. I was sure that I mentioned that. And let me just say that I can clap LOUD. Seriously, sometimes when we are in the walkways between apartments I can clap and the whole street will answer their doors. That is clapping skill.

2.  Dad wants to know if there are any Argentine superstitions that you have heard about.

Well, I don't know if its a superstition, but there is Gauchito Gil.  Look that one up on google and tell me what you find. He is kinda like a saint but I don't think he's an official saint...


(I found Gauchito Gil on Google. Following is a summary, based on the articles I read about him. 

He was a sort of Robin Hood, taking from the rich and giving to the poor.  He was arrested and before he was executed he told his executioner that he should not kill him because he had been pardoned (though the pardon arrived too late).  When it was clear the execution would be carried out, Gil told the executioner that his son was gravely ill and that the only way for him to be healed would be for him to invoke the name of Gauchito Gil in prayer.

When the executioner returned home he did indeed find his son ill, and when he prayed to the gaucho his son was miraculously cured.  A cross was set up at his burial site and word spread.  Eventually the land owner became tired of all the people visiting the burial site and had his remains moved to a cemetery in the town of Mercedes.  The landowner then became seriously ill and didn't recover until he also prayed to Gil.

While not an official saint, he has many devotees.  About 100,000 pilgrims travel to the town of Pay Ubre as his cross is marched in a procession to the church in Mercedes.  It is not uncommon to see shrines, candles, and other representations of Gauchito Gil throughout Argentina.)

3.  How is your new area?

WAY DIFFERENT FROM MY OTHER AREAS. In my other areas there were lots
of fields and dirt roads and stuff. Here it is just straight up city. There are three parts to our area: 

1.  The normal city part where we work most of the time, 
2.  The SUPER RICH part that looks like the United States but way, way richer, and it is where Presidente lives,
3.  The part that I can't say is poor or not because I'm not allowed to enter that part of my area. Its restricted - haha.

4.  Tell us about your new companion.

Hermana Child is taller than me, brown hair that is ALMOST red, some freckles, she is from Utah, and she's soooooooooooooooo funny. I'm her
second comp in the field.  We're already friends and we're working hard! She's pretty laid back and chill. People here pronounce her name as "chilled."

5.  Do you know when your new mission president will arrive?  They are creating a new mission in Buenos Aires and the date for the new mission to begin is July 1.

He will arrive on July 1.  Apparently all mission presidentes change then. We got to say good bye to them again, just this morning. We all took pictures and they shared some thoughts with us and we were able to wish them farewell.

6.  The Women's World Cup has been going on in Canada.  Have you heard anything about that there, or are they just concerned with Men's Soccer?

They've been all about the American Cup here, so that's all I hear.  And I know that Chile is winning because everyone has been telling us about it - haha.  They don't really consider soccer to be a woman's thing out here. But I'm sure some people watch it. They love soccer.

7.  How is the new district/zone?  Have you had a meeting yet?

Yeah, I had my first meeting last week. Ha-ha it was great, but in the beginning kinda boring. They seemed to all be zombies. But at the
end of the reunion we all got to go to a baptism service that they had planned for after the meeting. It was kinda funny and weird at the same time. Its really different here from my other zones. Hna Child told me that this past Tuesday wasn't normal.

8.  Last week you said you were waiting at the bus station for Hermana Childs and you were also sending me an email.  Was there an internet cafe at the bus station?

Yeah, and it wasn't that bad either. I'm writing in centro in Bahia Blanca now. Cool, huh? I've gone in a circle on the mission.  I started in Bahia, and now I'm here again.

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

Umm....we had a baptism! This is a good story, so listen up haha. We were in a member's house and I got a phone call from the zone leaders that night at 6:30. I cut them, but they called again so I answered and they said that they found a guy who had been to church 7 times, had been taught all the discussions, and wanted to be baptized that very night at 8. So they called and said "Fill the font, we'll be there at 8."G I thought it was a joke. Seriously. I was like "Yeah, we'll fill the font and find someone on the way to baptize, right?"  But no, they weren't joking. 

So when we realized that we ran from the member's house to our house to get the keys to the font and then to the church. It normally takes about 4 to 5 hours to fill the font. Yeah, we filled it in an hour with buckets and the faucets. There was no hot water either, so we boiled water on the stove and prayed a lot. At 8 p.m. I was calling all the members to invite them when the man, Eduardo, came and we had a baptism. It was the craziest thing ever. All of my zone has been freaking out about it - hahaha. We were shocked.

10.  What is the ward like there?  Big or small?

It is a branch. And including me and my comp and Presidente and his wife...well, 14 people came to church. Lately they've gotten really, really small here. We've got some work to do. This branch has been hit by some tough boundary changes and has shrunk a lot, and now people are starting to inactivate, so we're in a kinda crisis of rescuing this branch. 

They say usually there are maybe 24 people, but these past few weeks they had 14, 6, and about 10 according to my comp. I got to give a talk Sunday and  I talked about miracles and how Heavenly Father is going to give us miracles if we all work together. Afterwards Presidente Parreño congratulated me on my talk and told me that the branch needs some help. I'm so excited to get to see all the miracles here.

11.  What sort of food have you eaten this week?

I had mashed potatoes comprised of: potatoes, squash, and sweet potatoes. I also ate a three course meal of pizza, steak, and potatoes with a fruit salad for dessert. It was pretty good :)

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

Well, we had two straight days of people rejecting us, but yesterday was pretty successful. Yesterday someone rejected us but really nicely, and so were were walking and I was just like, "That was a NICE rejection. I don't even feel hurt - ha ha."  

My first sacrament meeting was pretty funny. There were only 14 people there.  So we started the service and Hna Parreño borrowed the presiding officer's glasses to conduct the hymn. We accidentally sang the same verse twice but nobody did anything to stop it. 

For one hymn they asked, "How does this one go?" and so someone sang it but sang the wrong tune. So one of the guys who was going to bless the sacrament goes, "NO! IT GOES LIKE THIS!" and sang it. It was greaaaat. 

It was funny, too, because in Relief Society people kept looking at me to talk. Luckily, thanks to being a missionary, I can hold a conversation or make comments forever now - ha ha - so that was no problem. I really like this area, I'm so pumped to be here.

My computer has a bunch of Naruto ads on the side of the screen...

I love you so much! I always brag about my awesome parents to all the
members here, I hope you know that. They probably think I was raised
by resurrected beings in the courts of the celestial kingdom for all
the stuff I always say - ha ha. I wasn't raised by resurrected beings in the
celestial kingdom, but I got the next best thing :)

I love you! Have a wonderful week and I know that the church and the
Book of Mormon are true!


Monday, June 22, 2015

Leaving Balcarce

1.  You said they have lots of holidays in Argentina.  Was there a holiday this week?

Oh yeah, there was Father's Day. I didn't really notice anyone celebrating it though because I was on a colectivo (bus) because I GOT EMERGENCY TRANSFERRED. I've been transferred more for emergencies now than I've been transferred normally. They called me on Saturday and now I'm in Bahia again in Zona Villa Mitre. My area is called La Falda.  It's the area where Presidente lives, so that's going to be fun. My new companion is named Hna Childs, but I haven't met her yet. I'm in the bus terminal waiting for her right now.

2.  How much did your boots cost?  Can you estimate how many American dollars?  Or else just tell me how many pesos and I will figure it out for you.  I'm just curious.

1200 pesos (about $134 American dollars). It was expensive, but I thought about it a lot before I bought them. I decided that I liked them, that I'd use them, and that they'd last me for a long time. It hurt to spend that much money, though. That is one of the first things I've bought for myself here in the mission.

3.  Did you see any unusual sights this week?

Yes - I saw the ocean! While we were on the bus last night on the way to Bahia we passed the ocean. It was so dark that it just looked like the land dropped off into a wall of nothing and blackness.  It was kinda scary looking actually, but it was cool since I actually haven't seen the ocean a lot since I've been here. Like three times in total. It was cool because the only stuff we could see were all the stars in the sky, and then a huge black mass which was the water and the white waves that were breaking on the shore.

4.  What fruit or vegetable do you miss the most?

Green beans. I miss the "savory green beans" thing that you do. I haven't eaten a lot of green beans in this mission. Hardly any, actually.

5.  You have a cell phone there to use for missionary work?  What is it like?

Well, my last one was old and more durable than a rock. It did have a crack in the screen, but survived me dropping it all the time, so that was nice. We can only make phone calls, and we can't send or receive texts. All phones in the mission are old and durable - haha.

6.  What was your most spiritual moment this week?

That's a tough one. I can't say I've had a ton of big spiritual moments this past week, but I've had lots of short ones. We did have a lesson that was completely by the Spirit. Our investagator that we were helping to stop smoking kinda confessed that he had been feeling stressed out because he was feeling pressure to stop smoking. So we apologized and tried to help him. The Spirit was strong in that lesson because we made real progress. He is progressing a lot slower now, but that is OK. It is better that he keeps
all the commandments because he wants to, not because he feels pressured.

7.  What was the best visit that you had with someone this week?

We visited lots of people this week and taught about obedience, and how God wants us to be obedient. He is not happy when we break commandments. He loves us and will always love us, but that doesn't change the fact that He cannot tolerate sin. So we taught a family about this concept and how there are so many blessing that we receive when we keep commandments. 

They understood what were were getting at, because there were some commandments that they were not keeping and were trying to justify it by keeping other commandments, but Heavenly Father wants us to keep ALL of His commandments. It was a good lesson because we used the scriptures and taught together really well. And the people understood.

8.  Have you played any pranks lately?

No, not lately. I've had soooo much stuff to do that I haven't even had time to write in my diary. I'm making phone calls every night until 10, and then I have to shower and go to sleep as fast as I can to make it before 10:30 p.m. (Missionaries are supposed to be in bed by 10:30 p.m. each night)  And in the mornings I'm getting ready or cleaning and stuff. Then, during the day I'm too busy to think of pranks - ha ha - but I'll try to come up with some this week. It will be fun since I have a new companion - muwhahahaha!

9.  Who cooks the most in your apartment?

Last week I cooked, the week before Hna Palma cooked. I would say that lately I've cooked the most because I made muffins and pancakes and chicken and all that good stuff. I have no idea who is gonna cook in our new apartment...or where the apartment is...or what it looks like...or what my area looks like - haha.  I'm going in blind.

10.  What was the food like this week?

Pretty good. I had a really good but REALLY unhealthy meal this past week. Fried milanesa, fried eggs, and french fries. We were basically eating oil, sal (salt), carbs, and meat. It was good, but I couldn't eat it more than once a month, or two months.

11.  What was the biggest challenge of the week?

Saying goodbye to some of the people that I had really started to love in Balcarce. When they called to tell me I was being transferred I actually cried, but then I pulled myself together and packed everything. But at church I was talking to some of the members that have really impacted my life with their examples (like the familia Gonzales) and it really became hard not to tear up. I think God prepared me pretty well. I got to visit some key people during the week before the change, so I was able to do my last bit of work and then run.

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

So on Saturday we were walking and we found the mother of one of our investigators on the street and she invited us in. We had a lesson with her and then left. 

My thoughts were like this:

"Hey! Gracielas mom!....So this is where she lives.....OK, cool, we're going inside, that must be her house there....oh, nope I was wrong. Where did this door come from? ....Wow this house looks like a gypsy's house....How many chairs are in this room? She must have lots of visitors because there are at least ten....Wow, she is JUST like her daughter...."

The room was filled with chairs and brightly colored fabric. It was a one room house hidden in an alley thing. It was pretty funny.

Also, yesterday for emergency transfers it was funny because I felt like all forces were working against us to keep us from leaving at the scheduled time. These are all the things that happened:

1. There were no taxis to help us get to the bus station and our bus was going to leave Balcarce to Mar del Plata in 20 minutes.

2. We got to the bus station and our bus was delayed, meaning that we would arrive late to Mar del Plata and miss our next bus.

3. We managed to board a bus and get there on time, but when we got there
Hna Palma didn't have money and nobody was there waiting for us and we didn't have a phone.

4. We managed to contact some Hnas and they told the Elders to come help us.  The Elders came running and told us to board one of the buses. We got to the bus just as it was backing out. I told the guy to stop and he said, "No," and left.

5. We missed the bus.

So I had to leave at 10:30 last night and travel the whole night and try and sleep on the bus. Wheeee. I got to do divisions with the Hnas de Pompeya again. Me and Hna Machado worked together.

I love you so much! I'll have more info about my area and my comp next week. Have a wonderful week! There are no pictures this time because I can't send them.  My card reader is in my suitcases. Have a wonderful week and thanks for writing me like always!


Monday, June 15, 2015

I've Seen Tons of Shooting Stars!

1.  Dad wants to know if people drive mopeds around there.  He said when he was in Europe lots of people used mopeds.

Yes, there is a high quantity of people who ride scooters, mopeds, and motorcycles here. And dirt bikes and four wheelers sometimes, too. And horse and buggies and then just horses sometimes - haha. But mostly cars and motorcycles. Lots of motorcycles.

2.  Did you have any interesting discussions/lessons this week?

Well, we had a lesson with a family last night. We were walking and were on the way to drop in on someone we've taught before, and on the way there I thought "Is this really the best use of my time?" So I thought about it and the obvious answer would be, "Duh, you're visiting an investigator - this is what you DO."  But then I thought about it and I realized that there was something better we could do.  So I talked to my comp and we changed our plans to look for someone new to teach. We found a new family and taught them a lesson. I thought it was interesting because  the Lord prompts us to use our time wisely and consider our every situation to be able to do the work in the most efficient way possible.

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

I met a lady who is the husband of a contact. She let us right in and listened to us teach the gospel of Jesus Christ. It was cool because she listened and participated well.  Then we saw her again last night and she told us she has been reading the Book of Mormon. She has two small children that like to have all of her attention all the time, and she is friends with some members. So we'll see how that goes :)

4.  Tell us a little about the new Hermana in your apartment.

Well, we had emergency transfers, so now there are two new Hermanas. I'm still with Hna Baldwin in Balcarce, so don't worry. Their names are Hna Palma and Hna Lupion.  

Hna Palma is from Chile, and she's got 5 months on the mission. She is pretty laid back and likes chocolate :)  

Hna Lupion is from Spain and has 6 months on the mission. A good word to describe her is "sexy," since she says that all the time in every situation. Both of them are really funny and really caring. 

Me and my comp both got food poisoning this week and were sick for bit (I was sick for 12 hrs and my comp 2 days), so they helped us out a lot. Hna Lupion is a convert of a year and a half. So she went on the mission as a recent convert - haha. Hna Palma teaches like a pro!

5.  Did anything wonderful happen at church this week?

I took the sacrament, so yeah, something wonderful happened! That and we had a cool class about spiritual gifts and Patriarchal blessings. 

Lately I've bugged my companions about knowing their spiritual gifts.  They usually respond "Why does it matter what gifts I have?" and I say, "If you don't know your strengths how can you use them?" 

6.  Argentines make lots of asado, meat cooked on grills, in the summer.  Do they ever do the same in the winter?

They eat asado year round, but mostly in the summer. I haven't had any in the winter yet, but I have had lots of it in the summer. Actually, I've had the asado that they cook in ovens in the winter, but nobody has cooked some in the winter on a grill for us yet. Its pretty good stuff :)

7.  Have you ever seen a shooting star in Argentina?

Yes I've seen TONS. It's because we're outside all the time and there are stars at night, so if there is one we can usually see it.

8.  Did you hug anyone this week?  (Strange question, I know...)

Yes, I hugged a less active member.  Her husband died this past week.  I know him and we were working with the family so I had visited them a lot. But she lost her husband and she is totally destroyed. 

I'm scared to lose someone because I've never seen a human being so sad before.  I'm really blessed to have all my family good and healthy.

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

We've got a really good investigator named Cristian who we've been teaching. He is preparing for baptism, but the best thing this week was that we had a lesson with some members with him and all the members were completely blown away. They talked about how deep his conversion looks and how much he has changed from when he first started going to the church. I felt so happy to know that we have so much support from
the members with Cristian

10.  What sort of food did you have this week?

We had gizo, which is like stew, we had really good tasting chicken, and lots of bread and milanesa. It was all yummy :)

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

Well, I thought this week I'd share some of the things I do with my English speaking companion. Frequently she doesn't know what people are
saying to her.  

One time she had a cold and a member was explaining to her a homemade remedy to cure her sore throat. She didn't understand anything so I translated. 

It was like this, "She's saying that you need to heat up some milk and mix it with honey, not sugar, just honey, and then drink that, and take some kind of pill and go to bed. Just go with it and nod." So Hna Baldwin made a concentrated face and nodded. 

Then yesterday we were talking to a member's non-member husband and the member told us, "To get him to understand you'll have to get all the apostles over here to explain it. Then he'd have to die and get his brain reorganized and brought back to life before he would understand."  My comp asked me to translate, so I asked what she understood first and she said, "That all the dead apostles are in his brain, or something like that, right?" ha ha ha ha! I laughed and translated for her. I'm pretty good at translating these days.

I hope you have a wonderful week, mom.  I love reading your letters so much, and I always love all the pictures. The cat ones always make me laugh. They're still going with those mocking birds, huh?

Be safe, and remember that I'm using all the stuff that you taught me growing up, and it all works so you are a successful parent! 


We were sick this week

My new boots!

Hermana Lupion



Monday, June 8, 2015

I Love Being A Missionary

1.  I noticed in your pictures of zone conference that the sisters were wearing coats.  Is it normally cold in the church buildings in the winter?

Yeah, its usually pretty cold. They don't have indoor heating like
they do in the States.  They have gas heating and califactores (a type of gas-powered heater) in the church like we have in our house. So bigger places are usually colder.  So yeah, the big old church can get kinda cold. Its funny because all the people usually sit around the califactores on the walls so all the people are always crowded around the same spots.

2.  Can you send me a picture of your new boots?  I want to see them!

 Yes, I'll take one today and send it next week.

3.  As a missionary learning Spanish, is there still a study program for you?  Or is the language study program mainly for new missionaries?  I was wondering if the studying continued for your entire mission.

The mission manual says that we need to continue studying until
the end of our mission, so yes, I still study. The difference is that
a newbie gets one hour to study the language but an "old lady"
missionary like me with lots of time gets only thirty minutes. But
since I'm training I get an hour.

4.  Did you visit Ana and her family this week?

We did. We actually bought groceries from them today, too. They sell
some cheap stuff. Yesterday we visited them again. It's so weird to
teach in English. 

Their beliefs are very very similar to ours, but they are very exact to the Bible. Well, I mean, we are too, but we have the Book of Mormon and modern revelation to help us make sense of the things that confuse people. 

For instance, they asked why we don't drink tea and asked where that is in the Bible.  Well, its not in the Bible, but modern revelation has revealed that in this dispensation we shouldn't drink coffee or tea. It was interesting.

At one moment Ana asked how I knew that I needed to serve a mission,
so I told them about my conversion story. I explained that when I was
a kid I felt the desire to serve God, then I talked about when I was
fifteen I really had the desire to know if these things were true and
so I started reading the Book of Mormon to find out. I think they
related to the story. The Spirit was very strong when I shared that
experience, so I felt like Heavenly Father was giving me some
reassurance that I'm doing the right thing by visiting them.  I really like visiting them!

5.  What was your biggest challenge this week?

I decided to put into practice EVERYTHING that they told us in our
zone meeting, and it was HARD. The hardest thing was putting baptism
dates in the first contact. I can't ever seem to get the hang of it.
It's a great practice, but for some reason I can't figure out how to do
it well in real life. We had some good results, and lots of people
listened to us.

6.  What vegetable did you get to eat this week?

We had some carrots, we had some broccoli, we had some tomatoes, and
lots of olives because people kept giving us ground beef and stuff.

7.  How long is your hair now, and how do you like it long?  You should send a picture! (Note:   Amy has always preferred short hair, but said it is easier to have it long on a mission so she has not gotten it cut for her entire mission.)

It's long enough for me to have to keep moving it because it covers
my name tag. It's long enough for me to be annoyed with it - ha ha. I can
feel that my hair is starting to get kinda dead on the tips too. It's
pretty dang long for me - ha ha.

8.  What was the most wonderful that happened this week?

Well, I keep getting reminded about how much I love the mission,
mom. Seriously, I'm completing 14 months this Tuesday, and everyone
keeps reminding me since they have only a little time and like to imagine
what its like to have so much time on the mission. When I think about
it I just feel so happy that I get to serve a mission. I love being a
missionary so much, and I was so happy this week that I can just keep
on working and not waste time. Plus, we have another investigator
getting ready for baptism named Cristian. If Hna Antuñas parents are
reading this, tell Hna Antuña that he is gonna get baptized. I found him
with her.

9.  How is it going with a new Hermana in the house?

It's soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo different. But it's
a nice change. She keeps us going strong on keeping the house clean,
and she helps us all with Spanish in a non-aggressive way, so that's
nice. She is really, really focused, so it helps us all have good spirits
and stuff.

10.  How was the food this week?

Really good. We ate lots of empanadas this week, but the best
thing we ate was a cheese, chicken, broccoli, pepper, carrot soup. It
hit the spot and made me very happy.

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

I noticed some funny stuff this week. The other day we were walking
and noticed a kid sitting on a skateboard with a rope tied to his dog.
In his hand he had a long, thin tree branch and he hit the ground with
it like a whip and the dog started running.  He pulled the kid on his
skateboard but he lost his balance and fell off. 

The the next day two kids stopped us on the street and gave us their autographs. They said they are going to be famous one day, so my companion explained that she's a famous model (as a joke) and they started saying "Yeah, we've seen your face before on a magazine!" but then we told them the truth. 

Then later in the week we saw another kid riding a horse leisurely down the street as about 20 dogs barked like crazy at them.

Out of all the people and the places and the hobbies that I gave up when I came on my mission, the thing that I miss the most is my family. 

I love you so much! I´m not trunky (when a missionary starts thinking about going home when their mission is over) but yeah, I'm looking forward to
having long conversations at night again. Its been a while - ha ha!

Have a wonderful week, I love you!


Monday, June 1, 2015

I Had Pickles!

Me and Hna Gomez (and some photo-bombing Elders...)

1.  Did anyone get transferred?

Yes, Hna Gomez got sent to Viedma and her replacement is Hna Palma from Chile. Me and my comp stayed the same, so that is good because we've got lots of things to do. Hna Gomez had been here for 5 transfers, or 7 and a half months - whooooa!

2.  Did you get to shop yet?  Just curious...

Yeah, I bought some shoes today. They're really nice quality. They're boots and are going to last me forever, I think. They were kinda expensive, but they're the only thing I really wanted at this moment. 

3.  What was the best Spanish word you learned this week?

I've been working a lot with the word "ojala" which means "I hope" or "I wish."  Lots and lots of people use it but I've been having some trouble remembering to use it and apply it. 

4.  Is there one particular word you have trouble pronouncing correctly in Spanish?

Yeah, but its normally not just one word that is the problem.  I have trouble pronouncing things when people just tell me the word.  I try to repeat the word. If they spell it I can pronounce it really well, but any time someone teaches me a word without spelling it first - it takes me forever. And the last name of the family which we skyped with is something that I can't ever pronounce... 

5.  Do a lot of people have fireplaces there to help warm their houses?

Not everyone, but yeah, lots of people have fireplaces. There are some roaring fires going on here now. 

6.  How are you washing your clothes now?  Do you have a washing machine or dryer?

We've got a washing machine and a dryer thing that does dry the clothes, but dries them by spinning them around really fast, using the centripetal force to get the water out. 

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

The best thing was that we got to go to a special conference this week and hear Presidente and his wife for the last time. He did a question-answer thing and told some good stories. I really felt the Spirit strongly, and I felt a lot of the love that they have for us. 

Me with Presidente and Hermana Parreño

8.  What was the most frustrating thing for you?

I think the most frustrating thing is that I feel guilty sometimes when I'm not perfectly obedient. To the point that it makes me want to give up sometimes. That frustrates me a lot - that I can't be perfect. But lately I've been able to see my gift of obedience more like a gift and less like a curse, hahaha. Me and my comp have had some long, long talks about this one. 

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

I´ll answer that on question 11. 

10.  Did you eat anything new or interesting this week?

I had pickles!!! I haven't eaten a pickle since the States. I'll explain that one in question 11, too. 

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

I guess it's not super hilarious, but it caught me so off guard that I want to share it with you. 

This is a long story, but way back in the old days with Hna Antuña, I met someone here who speaks English. I don't know if I told you about it, but we went to a store to buy some fruits and the girl at the counter looked at me and asked what language I spoke.  I told her "English and Spanish" and she just started talking in perfect English. It caught me off guard so bad - ha ha. 

It turns out that she and her family are from Russia, but lived in the USA for 13 years.  Then they moved here and have been here for 3 years. Since that moment I had seen her a couple of times in the street, and sometimes we've stopped to chat.  She asks us lots of questions about what on earth we are doing here. 

Well, yesterday me and my comp had a rough night. All of our plans fell through and I had no idea what to do, so I decided that we should pray. So we prayed and.....nothing. I felt nothing. I looked at my comp and said "What do you think?" and she immediately responded by saying the name of an investigator that we hadn't visited in a while. She said that she felt instantly that we should go there. So we took off and started walking. 

Just as we got to the house that we needed our nice Russian English-speaking friend (her name is Ana) appeared. We ended up talking to her. She was on the way to church, but invited us over to her house later and we made the appointment. 

While we were talking, her mom came over and offered to show us where the house was, so Ana left and her mom showed us the house. As we got there she said "Do you want some food?" 

At first I responded, "No thanks, we are fine," since I was so confused about what was happening, but she said, "Now is a proper time to eat." 

She invited us to come in her house and talk. It was very interesting. We walked into the house and...BAM!  It was just like the USA!  It was weird. 

And then we sat at the table and she gave us a full on meal and explained how they got there and told us about her family and how she has 9 kids and that she doesn't speak Spanish. (She has a Russian accent.) Then she pulled out pickles to give us, and then a huge jar of peanut butter. I was shocked!  Ha ha!

Then suddenly all of her kids started coming home. Only 3 of them still live with her.  Ana was like, "Oh, you're here!!" and I was just like, "Yeah. surprise!"   

We met her other two children. The whole family is very, very wonderful and very spiritual. They believe a lot in learning through the Holy Ghost, which is basically everything we teach - ha ha. I feel very strongly that God has put this family in our pathway. They have lots of questions about our church, and a few weeks ago I had asked for an English Book of Mormon so I had one to give them.  

It's funny though, because I have no idea how to teach in English. It's sooooo hard!

So yeah, that was our strange event of the week. We took a mini-trip to the States and got to share a bit with a very wonderful family.

That's all I've got for now! Mom, I love you so much and I hope you have a wonderful week! I know that God is protecting you guys in ways that we can't even imagine :) Be safe and be strong in the church! 


Zone Conference

The Hermanas!

At the bus station with Hna Gomez