Saturday, May 22, 2010
Buenissimo! May 19, 2010
Picture 1: Me wearing the hat Kayela made for me and hermana Davis, making a face that looks less than happy
Picture 2: Me and Hermana Davis in Acha with their famous grafitti, Jesus drinking mate
Picture 3: Hermana Davis, me, and our zone leaders - Elder Taggert and Drennan on our P-day in the campo. We took a picture next to a horse while having fun with the color accent feature on the camera
Picture 4: Hna. Davis and I having our asado in the campo. We got the elders to buy and cook our meat for us and it was so delicious! I love meat!
This week has been quite the entertaining one. Many things have happened, but unfortunately, I forgot my journal where I wrote all of them down so I will have to try to remember the good stories. I do remember that I was going to tell you that I was eating lunch with some members last Saturday (also, we have the same meal with every member family - some form of pasta with some really watery sauce and little slices of meat added to it. And for dessert, fruit! I like fruit, but it's not chocolatey so it's not a real dessert. I don't really know how to break that to the Argentines.) and I was eating an orange for dessert when it was really slippery and it totally slipped out of my hands and rolled away on the floor. I was pretty embarrassed and the dad wanted to give me a different piece of fruit, but the mom just wiped it off and gave it back to me. It was still delicious, but just so you know, your daughter probably looks like she doesn't have any manners. They always make sure that I have a towel on my lap when I'm eating because they know I always make a mess with the bread (it gets a lot of crumbs when you break it!).
We also found this lady last week that we thought was golden. I contacted her in the street and she said that she used to meet with the missionaries, but she stopped when her friend told her they were a cult. She invited us to her house the next day. So we stopped by Rafaela's house, taught her lesson one, and challenged her to be baptized. She said that she had goosebumps when we were telling her the Joseph Smith story and she definitely believes it and that she needs to pray about baptism. So we went back on Monday, all excited to teach her the next lesson and she met us outside her door. Then she gave us our back and said that it's not for her. We asked her if she prayed about it and she said that she did and the answer was negative. So we took it back and walked away. It kinda felt like we'd just gotten broken up with, but we had only known her for like two days. We were all excited about her life changing and her finding the church and getting baptized, but I don't think she's ready quite yet. It was pretty rough, but I'm sure that it's not the last time that will happen to me. I can hope that it won't happen that many more times.
We went back and taught twice more last week and he seems like he is actually progressing. He told us that he wants his daughters to someday be as sure of themselves and as pure as we are. He also said that he knows we're here to help him and he wants to learn more and become a better person, but he feels like he has sinned a lot in his life and he needs to change in order to get baptized. He's really great and we like him a lot. Getting people to church is way hard though so we are working hard to get him there this week. The hard thing is that he started working again this week so he's not always at his house.
We also found another couple this week - Ornela and Rodrigo, who we met on the street and they are way nice. We went back to their house one night and Ornela answered the door and said that she was busy right now, but that we should come back tomorrow and that she told Martin that she was going to go to church this next Sunday. We were totally confused because we didn't even invite her to church and we have no clue who Martin is. We went back the next day and had a really good time talking to them. They have a ton of questions about suffering and the purpose of life so we're going to teach them the Plan of Salvation. And they said they're definitely coming to church this coming Sunday. And she said that when we come back, she's going to make us tortas fritas (a delicious fried Argentine treat! It's my favorite thing when people offer us food when we go to their houses because I thought people would do that a lot more than they do).
This week for Pday, we actually did something way fun and we went out to the campo to have an asado like real Argentines. So basically we went out to the middle of nowhere to grill some meat and eat it. We also walked around in a field for a while and chased some cows. They had some horses too so some of the elders tried to ride them and two of them totally fell off. I tried to tell them not to because they would die, but they really wanted to. It was so fun. Then we went to the chapel and played some card games and had our district meeting. We have to take the bus back to Toay tonight so we're not going to get home until late, but the meat that we ate was so delicious. It was totally worth it. I think it's better that we actually do something on Pday because then we're more ready for the craziness of the week and the disappointment that Sunday always brings when no one comes to church (except this week... because a bunch of people will come!).
We're also teaching a brain surgeon! We ran into his super nice wife when she was watering her bushes outside and she said we could come back. They have a big house and like four cars (no one else here has even one and if they have one, it doesn't work very well and it's like 1000 years old). They were really nice and really smart and seemed receptive. We're going by to see them again next weekend because they have no time because they're too busy fixing peoples' brains during the week. We were kinda intimidated that they're so smart, but the gospel makes a lot of sense and the spirit will tell them it's true so we have faith that they will understand how important it is.
Oh, also.... I gave a talk this week. It was missionary Sunday so Hna. Davis and I both gave talks. I talked about the joy that the gospel and living the commandments brings to our lives and then about small ways that they can better share the gospel with their friends. I was kinda nervous because I hadn't planned it out very well, but I got up there and started talking and I gave like a ten minute talk totally in Spanish. The people in the congregation understood it too! I talked about how mom's friend, Connie, shared the gospel with her. I hadn't really realized before now how much that one act of sharing the gospel affected so many lives. Mom got baptized, got married, and had six kids. A bunch of them have now served missions and so many lives have been affected by her just sharing with Mom. I also realized how much my life has been affected by that because Mom is so solid in the gospel and her example has taught me so much about what I need to do and the kind of person I need to be. I would definitely not be in Argentina right now, sharing the gospel. I talked about that in sacrament meeting and I was shocked that I started crying. But one lady in the congregation who is kinda inactive and going through a hard time right now, totally started crying when I was talking and later she told me that her mom also joined the church and that the children of converts have a special testimony. I had never really thought about it that much, but it is true and now that lady likes me so it was success on all sides! Also, I was so proud of myself for speaking in Spanish for ten minutes and sharing things that I wanted to say. It was great.
I got my memory card and a bunch of pictures of Jarrett at prom and stuff from Daddy this week. It was really fun to look at all the pictures. Then I got to show Hna. Davis who Najee is because I didn't bring any pictures of him. She was also shocked by how big Jarrett is. He has gotten very tall.. my little hermanito. Well, I hope everything is going good on the homefront. Everything's all crazy in preparation for Kortni's wedding and I am very sad that I can't be there, but I did write it on Hna. Davis's calendar and we're going to do something special on that day in celebration. Maybe a dance party to MoTab on that day in her honor. I love you all so much. The gospel is so important and it is changing lives every day, mine included. I miss you and love telling people about each of you and showing them my cute picture of my redheaded family + Jordy. The Argentines love it too. I hope you enjoy the pictures and the stories. Get excited for next week when I will tell you all about the people that went to church and want to get baptized!
Love you so much,
P.S. I almost got hit by a car this week. I was just walking across the street with Hna. Davis and a suburban-like car was turning next to us. We had plenty of room and we were going to finish, but then the suburban swerved to hit me! I screamed (my screaming reflexes are in tip-top shape) and ran to the side of the road. The driver's face was totally calm so we don't know what his problem was, but it was quite scary. I'm alive and well though. :) No worries.