Monday, September 7, 2015

Sometimes the Reward is Just Making it to the End

1.  You said last week that a Seventy was coming to visit this week.  How did that go?

He hasn't come yet, he is coming Wednesday to teach us . They are getting the whole mission together. Half in Mar del Plata and the other half in Bahia. This morning we had to wake up early and go clean the stake center so that its clean when they all get here. So this whole morning I swept, mopped, and shined pews.

2.  This past week we received your return itinerary!  You will land EARLY in the morning on October 7 in Atlanta.  How does it feel????

YOU'VE GOT MY FLIGHT INFORMATION???  I don't have that yet!! What time am I getting there in the morning? I just want to know that. I think they're waiting to give me my itinerary. Can we got to the temple in Atlanta since we´ll already be there? And can we get some good American food? And also, I´m gonna need to visit a dentist, a chiropractor, and a doctor to get a check up. Maybe not that first day, but you know, later on in those weeks. And don't forget that I have to get released.

3.  How is your hija coming along?

So great!!! She works hard and does basically everything I tell her. But when she gets an idea she gets excited about it and we always try it out. You can tell when a companionship is good - when you want to be the best you can for your companion, which is how I've been feeling. She catches on fast, and now is teaching entire parts of lessons and doing contacts by herself. We take advantage of her newness and use it to help find more people. People always listen better to the newbies... 

She is also making her best effort to make me as hot as I can be for when I go home. We talk a lot about fashion, style, clothing, pedicures, etc. It's fun.

4.  What sort of area do you live in?  Do you have to be careful about locking everything up?

Ummmm, I wasn't going to tell you that kinda stuff. My area, la Falda, has the richest area in all of Bahia, and also has the most dangerous area. The dangerous part, Villa Perro, is completely off limits. Yeah, its my area, but I can't ever go into it.  I can't even get close to it because the area that's close to it is off limits. So we are pretty safe from the dangerous area. 

But I live kinda close to the area that's close to the Villa that is off limits. You get me? So, where I live is sketchy, but our house is really secure. It has two floors, so if someone wants to get in they have to get through two locked doors, and our neighbor has a camera. Plus we have a ton of security rules in the area, so we lock everything good and we have to come home every night at 8 instead of 9. So, we're pretty safe, but we're not too happy about the location, so we're looking for a new place to live.

5.  Did your refrigerator get fixed?

No. I'm still in shame, but they're gonna take it this week.

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

Hanging out with my companion  :) And eating lunch with la familia Bravos. They're like my grandparents here in Argentina.

7.  Have you been buying any souvenirs lately?

Today I bought a mate to bring home to show you how to drink out of :)

8.  What are some things that you will miss about Argentina?

I'm gonna miss the sky. It is huge here. And very, very pretty. I'm also gonna miss all the cool flowering trees, and the parrots. I think I'll miss all that. Ask me this question again next week so I can look for some more things.

9.  Tell us about a discussion you had this week with an investigator.

Well, we visited this lady who is really, really Catholic. She teaches Catholic classes and loves to study the Bible, and so we taught the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. 

As we taught we discussed the line of authority for the priesthood. That Christ gave the "keys of the kingdom" to Peter. We know that was priesthood authority. We shared the First Vision, and the Spirit was very strong. And then I explained that shortly after, Peter, James, and John descended from heaven to pass on the authority to establish the Church of Jesus Christ here again. 

It was a good lesson because me and my companion were testifying, the investigator was participating, and the Spirit was present. I could tell that the investigator felt the Spirit, too. It was nice :)

10.  What are you studying right now?

The life of Christ, by request from Presidente! And also I'm reading about all the wars in the Book of Mormon (you know, in Alma) and I'm going through the white handbook and marking all the rules and rating myself on how well I'm doing. I'm learning a TON from that. 

I've also been studying the importance of commitments and keeping them and extending them. Commitment is the only way to get things done in the world, I think.

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

OK, so I went to a buffet this last Monday with a bunch of Hermanas. It was a Chinese Argentine buffet thing. While I was there I ate octopus tentacles, and cow tongue. It was pretty dang good, too! I also ate some dried weird ham thing that tasted like a shoe smells. Hermana Sprenz liked it and told me that my shoes must smell like ham.

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

So, yesterday we were looking for an investigator who lives on a street that we never work on. So we get there and there is this dog barking at us. It is all black and has a broken paw and its barking and growling and tries to bite me. So I back up and the dog is following us and then runs ahead and goes and sits in front of the very house that we needed to knock. 

It just sits there and growls at us and looks at us like we're the enemy. So Hna Bevans says, "That dogs is from Satan or something. He is trying to stop us from bringing salvation to our investigator!" and so I thought about it and said, "Really? Because I think it could be a sign from God telling us not to visit this guy right now." 

So we argued for a while about which one it could be and decided to try to get the dog to move by tempting it with some apples. So we tossed it chunks of apple as a snack...but it didnt fall for it! 

So, then we gave up and decided that if one of us got bit we wouldn't want to have to go through the process of making sure it didn't have rabies. So we left.

Also my companion eats food all the time. I've never seen someone eat as much as she does. Its funny because she gets distracted from the work all the time because of food.

13.   Dad wants to know what is the most common type of fast food there?

Empanadas. Fast food isn't like how we know it in the States. Restaurants aren't the biggest deal, but there are lots of places that sell empanadas and stuff like that. That is always yummy.

14.  Dad also wants to know what sort of food you are looking forward to eating when you get home?

I've been craving waffles with syrup and blueberries, or something like that. Also, green beans (like how mom makes them), cheesecake, that steak with blue cheese on it, pork chops, salads, and also I've been thinking a lot about cheese burgers.

On another note, I was studying my notes from my

last conference with Presidente and I saw a note I made in English (the only English thing in the notes) that said, "Sometimes the reward is just making it to the end."  That really struck me when I read it.  

I had considered telling Presidente to ask someone else to train because I wasn't sure If I was up to it. But I decided that if he received revelation that I needed to be training this transfer then I better just go with it.

These past couple of weeks I've been trying to find some more people and hoping that we can have another baptism or something like even though we've been starting from scratch here. So when I read that note it struck me that progressing investigators and baptisms aren't my reward here. My reward is making it to the end, but not just surviving until the end, but working until the end. This transfer is my time to work and do everything that missionaries do, and the reward is finishing after having done everything that I want to do. I'm thoroughly enjoying all of it. So yeah, I'm happy this transfer. And I'm a happy missionary :)

I love y'all. Have a wonderful week! Love yooooouuuuu!!!


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