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!


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