Monday, August 31, 2015

Gettin' Southern in Here



1.  How is your new companion?  Tell us about her!

Her name is Hermana Bevans. She's from...............TEXAS.  Gettin' Southern in here! She is super cool, lives on a farm, has worked in just about every job imaginable, and has been a member her whole life. She has a really strong testimony of the Gospel, so that is good. She's 19, taller than me, and looks like a Mexican because she's half Mexican. But she doesn't speak Spanish, so we're working on that - ha ha ha! She is also a direct descendant of Wilford Woodruff, so that's nifty. 

She loves me a lot, ha ha. She told me last night that I was a tender mercy. She said that in the MTC she was really worried about who her trainer would be, and so she got a blessing before she went out and it said her trainer would be someone who sincerely worries about her and cares about her. So that was sweet.

2.  How is the training going?

Its so weird. She is very independent, so sometimes I feel like she's training me. So far we have found some new investigators, and we've had some very very spiritual moments and lessons. The other day we were looking for a house on some streets in the end of our area. And so we get to one street and its a dead end and I knew instantly that it wasn't the street we were looking for, but I felt the Spirit prompt me to stay on that street. So we started knocking doors and found a new investigator. Then, as we were leaving we found another guy who wanted to listen!

3.  Does your new companion remind you of how far you have come on your mission?

Yeah. Its kinda freaky. I feel old. I am the hermana with the most time on the mission now. Everyone else has less time than me, and its really weird to think about. Its even weirder to think that this is my last transfer, and that this is my last companion, and the end. But Hermana Bevans has her whole mission life in front of her! Its crazy!

4.  How was the work this week?

Refreshing. I made some mistakes, and there are things that I could have done better, but we're working. I'm contacting, we're teaching, and I'm TRYING. We had someone committed to go to church this weekend, and even though they didn't come it was nice to just have something to plan for and think about. I really love being a missionary and I'm trying to make this transfer even better than all the other ones!

5.  Did the other two Hermanas in your apartment change?

Hermana Santos is still here, and her new companion is Hermana Diaz. Shes from Chile, she is 25 years old, and is turning 26 next week. She is a nurse, and she is suuuuper social, funny, servicial (helpful), and loving. She is exactly what La Falda needs. She is kinda like me in the fact that she stresses and always wants to be working - ha ha.

6.  How does it feel to be in your last transfer?

It hasn't really hit me yet.  I just feel like this is just another transfer and that I have a new one coming up. Everyone, and I mean EVERYONE, has been giving me marriage advice and has been predicting how long it will take me to get engaged. I say "3 years" and they say, "3 months," and then I go hide in my room in terror. 

Seriously, people give me flirting tips, and marriage advice, and whenever I escape and someone asks me why everyone is laughing at me and I explain that they are giving me marriage advice then the person talking to me just tells me to take notes and joins the crowd!

7.  What is something you have learned this week?

I have learned that I have lots of stuff to do better. Mom, I've got some kinda weird reputation in the mission here. I go to look for my companion and there are only two Hermanas training and about 15 Elders training. So we are all seated in a different room from all the new people and we're waiting for Presidente to come talk to us and one Elder goes, "Hermana Eubanks, how many people have you trained now?  Isn't this like your fourth hija?" And so I said that it is not my fourth. 

I didn't even really know that Elder. I had seen him like once in Mar del Plata! And then Presidente gets there and asks who had trained before and I raised my hand along with a few other people and Presidente asked if we could give some advice to the first timers and mom, everyone looked at me and that Elder goes, "Hermana Eubanks?" and I wanted to go hide under a rock. 

I have this rep of being a trainer. So I've decided that if people are going to think I'm so good at all this then I have to make it true. I have to live up to that rep. So I've been making lists and praying to know the things I can
change to be the best missionary that I can. I've learned that I have a ton of weaknesses and that I have LOTS to fix.


8.  Did you attend any good meetings this week?

This is funny. We had a conference for the Area this weekend. So the whole stake got together and there was a broadcast from Salt Lake where Elder Cook and Elder Hales talked to everyone and also a Seventy, and the Second Counselor of Young Women, and the Area President. It was cool!

I have no idea why, but the first talk and a half was on the wrong transmission and so all of the Spanish was being translated to English! So the whole congregation just sat there in confusion except the few people there that spoke or studied English. English translators are so funny sounding. They sound so happy.

9.  Tell us about someone you met this week.

I met a lady who doesn't believe in God, but is very, very interested in the fact that so many people believe in God and she wants to know more. She says that her parents never took her to a church ever and that she just learned to not believe in God. But she was so friendly! 

We are going to be visiting and working with her. We found this woman because we were looking for the house of a less active member. So we get to the house and I knock the door and when the person asked, "Who is it?"  and we said we were missionaries and she asked if we could visit later. I said OK and normally I confirm the name of the person who lives there to make sure we have the right person, but I felt like I shouldn't. 

So we actually did visit later and got to know her. We invited her to church and she really wants to go! She is not the person we were looking for, but it doesn't matter!

10.  What sort of things did you eat this week?

Goulash. Hermana Bevans cooks, so she made us this soup with ground beef, potatoes, squash, and a whole bunch of other stuff. Also, we ordered empanadas the other night. We had some really good ones with chicken and a white sauce in the middle. They were some of the best empanadas that I've had out here!

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

Well, I was really dumb and I broke our fridge. All you future missionaries out there, listen up. if you want to get some ice out of a fridge, DON'T DO IT WITH A KNIFE. We didn't have any ice, and Hermana Diaz had a headache and so I decided to pick out some ice from our almost completely frozen over freezer with a knife. 

Everything was fine until I hit a pipe and the freezer gas started coming out. So I yelled and closed the fridge and we unplugged it.  Slowly during the whole week our fridge defrosted and now we are without a fridge. Yeah, so I feel really, really, really bad about that. One of my dumbest moments. It was a sincere accident.

We've started keeping a tally of how many times a day I trip. I have an average of about 5 a day.

It was funny when I met my comp. When she first saw me (from a distance since they were trying to keep us apart) she thought, "I bet mine is the whiter one." It was me and Hna Colon from Colombia that were training. 


So they were announcing who were companions with who and Presidente goes, "Hermana Eubanks with Hermana Bevans! Georgia and Texas! What a pair!" 

I sat next to her and I asked her something and she responded in Spanish with a perfect accent and so I thought, "Yeah! She already speaks Spanish!"  

So then I asked if she speaks Spanish, in Spanish, and she goes, "What?"  So I asked again in Engish and she said, "No. Oh, no, not at all." and I thought, "Maaaaaaaaannnnn."  But its cool, its kinda fun teaching someone to speak a new language.

And that's all. I hope you all have a wonderful week! I love you so much and I'm always talking about yáll to my comp and every other missionary I meet. Evan is famous for his comics, several Hermanas have asked me if he  has sent me more comics yet.  

Since this is the last transfer, I'd say not to worry about sending me any more letters. OK? They might not get to me in time.

A Seventy is coming to visit us this next week!

Love you!!

Amy





Hermana Cifuentes


Presidente Cifuentes










Monday, August 24, 2015

I'm Training!


1.  So, what happened with transfers?

I'm training!!!!!! And everyone in the daggum mission already knows. There were 98 changes. I only know of two companionships of Hermanas that stayed the same, every other companionship I know has changed,. The benefit of that is that today just about everyone in the mission is here in Bahia, and I saw literally almost all of my mission friends. I was so happy, mom. I felt like Alma when he saw the sons of Mosiah when they came back from preaching. I saw: Hermanas Gomez, Chestler, Palma, Tarborda, Tovar, Morgan, Islas, Saunders, Hill, Vela (who I've been looking for forever!) and many, many more!! I was just about ready to cry with every familiar face that I saw. I teared up several times. And everyone has been giving me the big pat on the back for training. There are only 2 Hermanas coming in, one is a gringa and the other is from Chile. I'm certain that I have the one from the States.

2.  Last week I noticed you were wearing a BYU shirt at the beach.  Where on earth did you get a BYU shirt from?

Hermana Cifuentes gave it to me. Everyone here has been trying to convince me to go to BYU Idaho...and its kinda working... sigh...

3.  So you saw three dead sea lions at the beach.  Have you seen any live sea lions?

Sadly, no. I'm always on the lookout.

4.  What did your mission president teach you about finances?

He taught us about capital, liabilities, and how to determine how much capital we have and how to save money and better our lives in our own countries. We talked about getting out of debt and how to cut expenses. It was kind of like a college class on finances.

5.  Last week you said your mission president talked about the atonement and that I could ask you for more details this week...

He taught us about how every person has a different "plan" for their life. I was born in different circunstances that someone who was born in Peru, so my plan is different that the Peru persons plan. That being said, we both have standards and requirements placed on us. Christ's grace makes up the difference for our circumstances. The atonement really gives us all the opportunity to make it back to the presence of our Heavenly Father. We talked a lot about how we were all together in the pre-mortal life, and when we go back to the celestial kingdom we will be able to recognize that we are all really family. We are all brothers and sisters.

6.  I was looking at some pictures that Hermana Cifuentes posted on her Facebook page.  She has pictures of parrots, vicuñas, and whales!  Where are YOUR animal pictures???  (ha ha)

Ummmmm.....the most animals that I see in the week are parrots, dogs, cats, and dead animals.

7.  Did you do anything fun this p-day?

Today we are gonna chill. I have some things to get in order and prepare for my hija (FYI - mission slang for a new missionary that one trains), the newbie that is going to get here Wednesday.

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

had this whole week to pick myself up and get ready to train.  Presidente told me last week that I would be training so I already knew.  

9.  Who is someone new you met this week?

I met this 88 year old guy who KISSED ME ON THE LIPS!!!! Oh man, mom, it was terrible. I didn't see it coming, and most people kiss on the cheek here, so I wasn't expecting a straight up kiss!  Hermana Child and Hermana Santos got a real kick out of it.  They bullied me about my first kiss the whole week.

10.  What was the most important thing you learned this week?

I learned that God knows everything and He knows exactly what everyone needs. He let me see all of my friends in the mission for maybe the last time, and now I have an opportunity to work as hard as I can for my last 6 weeks. He is so aware of all of us...

11. What sort of things did you eat this week?

Canelones, fish, lots of flan, and lots of flavorless food. The food here is pretty flavorless in general, compared to the food I am used to eating, so I think its gonna be a wonderful adjustment to go back to eating food with flavor! The food is still good and all, but we had some pretty bland stuff this week. The fish and canelones were really, really good.

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

This morning the hose on the washing machine got lodged out of place, so the water couldn't leave and started leaking out of the side. So there was water and bubbles and foam all over the kitchen when I went to go make some oatmeal for breakfast. So that was exciting. My conversation with the Hermanas that I am now living with was like this:

Me: Aw man! look what happened!
Hna: Oh no! We need a flashlight! Hermana Eubanks, where is your flashlight?
Me:What? No, its fine, I can see. We don't--
Hna: Your flashlight! Where is it?? Hurry!
Me. Seriously, its not--
Hna: Where's the flashlight?????????
Me: Fine, its in my bag next to my bed.
(Brings flashlight and shines it around and behind the washing machine.)
Me: Yea everything looks normal....
Hna: Oh. yeah. Why is it always YOUR clothes that have all the problems?


Mom, I love you a lot and I hope you have a wonderful week!!!!!!!!!!! An Hermana here had her mom visit her in the mission, and I got to see it. It was funny because they just cried the whole time. But I thought to myself, "Yeah, I'll be crying the whole time when I see my mom again, too."

Love,

Amy


Monday, August 17, 2015

We Went to the Beach


Misión Bahía Blanca


1.  Dad wants to know if you still hiss at people. (FYI -  Amy likes to hiss at people from time to time, like a cat hisses...)

Yes, only at other missionaries. But lately I've been practicing roaring to relieve frustration. So now I hiss, roar, and growl. Its pretty fun. I like to practice when there is no one in the street - ha ha ha!

2.  Have you been able to practice the piano this week?  How does it feel to be playing?  I know you haven't had many opportunities on your mission to play, have you?

I have not practiced, but maybe I can practice tonight at Presidente's house. I have had hardly any opportunities to play - ha ha ha - but you can bet I´ll be jumping right on that when I get home.

3.  What did you learn from your studies this week?

Whoa, get ready for this, this might blow your socks off. Death is the wage of sin. In Jesus the Christ it says that He could have lived indefinitely, because He lived a perfect life and had no sin. So Christ wasn't just killed, He LET them kill him, and if He didn't want to he didn't have to die. But I was thinking today that if He wanted He could have just died at an old age and then been resurrected, but He didn't. He let those people kill Him and then rose from the dead and showed everyone that Satan can try all he wants, but he has NO power over Jesus Christ and God the Father.

5.  What is the best new Spanish word you have learned?

Foca, which means sea lion. I saw three dead focas today.

6.  Can you tell the difference between different Spanish accents?

Yes. I can tell the difference from different countries and even different parts of Argentina. I mean, I'm not perfect, but I can usually tell. If they are from Spain or Paraguay, Brasil, Peru or Chile I can identify it, The others I just know that they aren't from here.

7.  On a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the best, how would you rate your ability to speak Spanish?

A 7 or 8. I'm pretty dang functional, and I have a  lot of confidence. My strongest part of my language is my grammar, I think. I study that a lot. I would say my weakest would be my accent, but I've been working on that a lot so its not as bad as it was - ha ha ha.

8.  When are the next transfers?

Next week end. Presidente already told me what is happening to me, but I´m keeping it a secret until next Monday - ha ha ha - and because I would like to know officially. 

9.  What are some of the things you love about Argentina?

The sky. Its huge here and has some of the biggest, bestest sunsets. I also like that just about everything is closed on Sundays, and that people are obsessed with family here. They spend all Sunday with family.

10.  How was your zone/district meeting this week?

We had our conference with Presidente.  He taught us about finances and the Atonement. He taught the Atonement in HUGE detail. It was incredible. I don't have enough time to write everything today, but if you want to know more make it a question next week. In summary, the Atonement is personal. Its not only for baptized people, but its for everyone in their different situations. We have to apply it personally. They also gave us smoothies and lectured us on health, which was really nice because nobody here, including myself, knows how to eat healthy.

11.  What sort of things did you eat?

I've been on a baked potato phase lately. I eat those about every night with cheese and oregano. And then last night Presidente and Hermana Cifuentes made us spaghetti, but like real spaghetti. With actual sauce and flavor. And meatballs. It was GREAT.

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

This morning we went to the beach!!!!!!!!! We went to Monte Hermosa with everyone that I live with (Child, Snyder, Santos) and also Hermana Hall and Hermana Sprenz. I kinda have a crew going on here, have you noticed? I would say that I've become really, really close friends with those two lately. So we went to the beach, looked for shells, took a ton of pictures, and all that good stuff. I know that's not very funny, but it was kinda cool to see the ocean, especially since I'm in mission Bahia Blanca, which means "white bay." I´ll send the pictures today if I can!

I love you, mom, and I hope you have a good week!

At the beach!  In the winter...

Me and Hermana Saunders!





A stingray!





A dead sea lion, so sad!




Monday, August 10, 2015

Oh, La Falda...

Last week at Sierra de la Ventana


1.  Last week you said that on p-day you had gone to the Sierra de la Ventana and had done "some sports and stuff."  What kind of sports?  Anything besides football/soccer?

No, just football and soccer, and you know, hiking. Soccer is now allowed, so everyone in the whole mission is suuuper happy about that - haha.

2.  How were your divisions with the sister training leaders?

Actually, they got cancelled. Hermana Kroska got sick, but that's OK because really it was better that they didn't come this week. Certainly we'll have divisions this week since we didn't have them last week, but who knows.

3.  Do you and Hermana Snyder work out together or do you each do your own thing?

We do our own thing because she works out for about an hour and I only work out for 30 minutes. I do some arm exercises and we have some weights that I lift. I try and do upper body stuff and squats and abs since we already walk all day. But lately my exercises have been kinda lame - ha ha.

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

Hermana Sprenz and Hermana Hall! We went in for interviews with Presidente on Saturday and my comp was interviewing and I was sitting alone and I felt kinda lonely and hungry, so I thought to myself "Wouldn't it be great if the hermanas in this area (Hermana Sprenz and Hermana Hall) had lunch here in the church today?" They sometimes are given food by a member and they eat it in the church building. But then I thought to myself, "Yeah, right, that's not gonna happen. What are the odds? Its Saturday, they are probably gonna eat with someone in an actual house," and I pushed the thought away. 

Well, 15 minutes later I see them out of the window picking up a delivery lunch. They didn't see me though, so I decided to just leave them be and wait for my interview. But then I had to use the bathroom, so I snuck to the bathroom, and BAM. There they were. It was a straight up answer to my prayer mom. The invited me to eat with them, so I got empanadas and company. 

5.  Does your branch schedule temple trips that they talk about in church?  Is it a hardship for many members to travel so far to the temple?

I think there is one every 3 months, but sometimes smaller groups get together. Its hard for people to pay and take the time off of work to go, but there are still a ton of people who go. You have to reserve a seat on the bus waaay in advance. They go as a stake here, not as a branch.

6.  What were those weird, spiky things stuck on Hermana Childs and Hermana Snyders teeth?  You sent a couple of pictures of that.

Thorns. There are these deadly trees here that are just COVERED in thorns. You gotta keep your eyes open so that your don't run into them. So Hermana Santos almost ran into one and Hermana Child broke off some thorns and put them on her teeth. Hermana Snyder followed her lead - ha ha ha!

7.  Is there some sort of history or explanation of your refrigerator decorations?  It looked pretty funny.

I have no idea how it started, but I'm pretty sure Hermana Rosza started it. Every picture is a person that has lived in that house. Its super funny because the pictures either look just like the person who put it there (examples: Hermana Toka, Hermana Hall, Hermana Child) or it is completely different (Hermana Rosza (the black person) and Hermana Gomez and Kroska) or it describes something about the person (Hermana Chestler, because she dances, and mine, because I have a ton of time on the mission -  I'm an old lady) . I love that tradition. The Falda has some funny history. We're always finding weird stuff in our house .

8.  I saw the picture of the tights you sent where the feet have totally broken through.  How are your clothes holding up in general on the mission?

All of my tights have holes in them. Everything is breaking - ha ha ha - but my skirts and shirts are still going strong. My shoes are going good, too.

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

I'm way better friends with my new mission president and his wife!

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

Fish milanesa and tacos! I loooove fish milanesa. I just like fish in general, actually. 

The tacos were really, really good, too. I also ate a beet and potato salad (with mayonesa, of course) that was really good, too. We acted like the beets were lipstick and rubbed them on our lips so that they turned pink. The member got a kick out of that.

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

I was playing the piano in church and Presidente and Hermana Cifuentes were there and I told them how much I regretted not learning any hymns before the mission and they both said, "You just need practice!!!" and offered to lend me a piano that they have in the mission home. 

Then after sacrament (I sat in front of them) Hermana Cifuentes whispered, "Your hair is SO healthy!!" and so I said, "That's because I haven't used a hair straightener in 16 months." Then they invited us to lunch today (which is great since we had another interview anyways and now I don't have to cook :) ).

Oh, la Falda....

I love you so much, Mom!!!

Love,

Amy



I'm standing up right in the middle of the branch with the gray jacket.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

We Went on a REAL Hike!

Hiking to the field last week


1.  Brother Jason Starkey asked that I tell you hello, and then said he'd like a shout out on the blog.

Brother Starkey!!!!" What whaaaaaaat!!!  Keep going strong. How's the ward mission leading? Your calling is SO IMPORTANT, I hope you know that. I have no ward mission leader in my branch, and its rough, so keep up the good work!

2.  School starts here on Aug. 3.  When does school start in Argentina?  Or is this the time of year that they are in school, since it is winter there?

Winter break ended this week, but the teachers are on strike (which happens after every break) so it hasn't started again.  I think they are on strike, that is.

3.  Last week you said you were going on a hike.  Where did you go and how was the hike?

Well, we went to some field near our house and walked around and stuff, ha ha. 

But yesterday we went on a REAL hike with the zone. We went to Sierra de la Ventana!!!! And we didn't hike up Sierra de la Ventana (it's a 6 hour hike) but we hiked up a cerro (hill) nearby. We climbed up some nice rocks, ha ha, and got some great exercise and pictures. The whole zone was there and it was cool. 

Then we played sports and stuff and got back really late, and then Presidente Cifuentes invited me and my housemates over for a family home evening so that's why I couldn't write yesterday...

4.  Now that you are in the same area as the mission home, do you ever get to go there?

Yes, I went yesterday for the family home evening. We made pizza, played charades, and learned about the difference between transgression and sin. I also went there when I was doing divisions with Hna Kroska. We stopped by to drop Hna Kroska off over there. We see them a lot here.

5.  Are the mission home and the mission office in different locations?  In my mission they were different.

Yes. The mission office is in the stake center in the Villa Mitre Stake. The mission home is in Palihue.

6.  Where did your new mission president learn to speak Spanish?  I was wondering if he has a different Spanish accent.

He's from Chile, but I think he moved to the States when he was 15. So he speaks both English and Spanish fluently. He and his wife lived in Nicaragua for 5 years, so she learned how to speak it there, too. They both speak lots of English, ha ha, its weird.

7.  What do you like best about doing divisions?

I like it when I can leave the area and get some fresh air - ha ha. I like learning from other Hermanas. Actually today one of the sister training leaders said, "Hey, Hna Eubanks, we'll probably do divisions with you next week!" and I said, "Good, I can't wait!"  and then literally five minutes later both of the
sister training leaders came up to me and said, "Hey, divisions this Friday!" so they changed their schedule just for me. siiiiggggghhhhh


8.  Tell us about Hermana Snyder.

Hermana Snyder is very healthy and very strong. She broke her knee when she was younger and can't sprint, but she doesn't use that as an excuse for not working out.  She does yoga, tai-kwando, and pilates and stuff. She's also very energetic and very good with working with people. She has 7 siblings and she's the second youngest.

9.  Tell us about the other Hermanas in your apartment.

Well, one is Hna Child, who I already told you about, and the other is Hna Santos. Hna Santos is from Peru. She's 21, kinda sassy, and is in the middle of her mission. She's been in this area before, so she is enjoying being in La Falda again.

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

I'll answer this next week. I'm not being a pessimist, but I can't think of anything.

11.  What sort of things did you eat this week?

I had this weird fried chicken salad thing. It had shredded chicken with a white sauce all rolled and mashed together and then fried so that it looked like a potato. It was really, really, really good.

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

We were contacting in Palihue and we saw a couple next to a huge green cloth hanging from a tree. So, we went up and asked what the cloth was for and they said that it was for acrobatics, and then showed us some acrobatics! It was cool and a nice twist to the day.

I love you so much! Be safe and choose the right! Keep praying for me and I'm always praying for yáll!!

Love, 

Amy



















Our refrigerator decorations

This one is me....

My tights are starting to wear out!