Wednesday, June 23, 2010

World Cup is ruining my life! June 23, 2010

Hello family,
How is everything with all of you? Will that question be enough to get letters from everyone who reads this? Maybe not, but I can always dream. Anything is possible if you just believe (Cinderella Story, for those of you who would know that). Well, everything in Argentina and Toay is just great. The world cup is going on right now and that is proving to be a challenge for us. Argentina won all of the games it has played so far, which means that the Argentines are going nuts. We usually leave our house at 3:30, but yesterday, there was a game right at 3:30 so no one was outside and no one would answer their door because they´re all too busy watching the game. We had an appointment at 5:30 so we went there, but they were too busy festejaring (celebrating) so they couldn´t let us teach them. We heard that Argentina is playing again on Sunday so we got really scared. If it was in the morning, there would not be a single person at church, but luckily they are playing at 3:30. United States played today against Algeria so we all went to an ice cream place to watch the game. It´s amazing how easy it is to get excited when everyone else is jumping and screaming and yelling. United States totally won in the four minutes extra time. It was so intense and now we qualify for the next games. I would much rather have the United States lose soon though so that they don´t have to play Argentina. If they beat Argentina, everyone would hate us. Also, last week, some elders in our district told us that they had done lessons with like 10 menos activos. We were kinda confused about why they would spend so much time doing that because they usually say that number isn´t very important. Later, we figured out that they have been visiting all the menos activos every time there is a futbol game for Mundial. They arrive a little bit early and share a scripture and then watch the games with them. Silly elders. I guess if someone comes back to church because of it, they can feel good about themselves. A little ridiculous though.
Also, 3 people came to church!!! It was so amazing. Last week, Hna. Davis and I went to go teach Cesar (probably our favorite investigator who is a military guy with six adorable children and a WIFE - they´re married!). He hasn´t been reading his BOM, but he really wants to change and likes it when we come over. He told us that he really wants to change, but he doesn´t want to leave his wife behind and change without her. Then his wife came home and Hna. Davis tried to tell him in a roundabout way (so that his wife wouldn´t understand) that he didn´t need to wait for his wife. Somehow it came out that we can´t wait for him to change and we´re not coming to visit him anymore. We just decided to go with it though and we gave him our address and wrote in his BOM and left. It was really sad and we kinda felt like we´d just broken up with someone. We didn´t talk to him again until Saturday, when we decided to call him and remind him about the activity at the church that night. When we called him, he said that he was going to go to church the next day. So we went to pick him up for church and he was waiting outside for us. Then he totally loved church! Everyone was super nice. All the members went out of their way to greet him and introduce themselves and he got along well with all the Priesthood leaders. After church, he told us that it was "much more than he thought it would be." Sweet! Next week, his brother who´s 20 and lives with him said he wants to go too. So there is still hope for Cesar. He would be a very solid member of the church and his family totally needs the gospel! We´re way excited for him. Betiana and Bocha also came to church: Betiana loves church and always goes, but Bocha had some reservations. He was mad at God because he didn´t have work. We went over to their house on Thursday and Hna. Davis said I was in charge of teaching them. Somehow, I started talking and kinda did a monologue about how important it is to read the BOM and that they´re going to be sad if they don´t do it. I think it got to them though because they seemed to take us more seriously after that. We taught them the Restoration and invited them both to come to church. We later found out that the Bishop went on a walk with Bocha that night (no idea what they talked about) and our new ward mission leader and his wife invited them over for an FHE at their house. I love when the members take care of the investigators!! We also have some other people who say they want to go to church.
I felt like we have been working hard, but haven´t really helped anyone the whole time we were here. This past week, there was a ton of stuff that helped me realize that we actually have helped a lot of people. A bunch of these things were people telling us," You have helped our family so much just by coming to see us." Some of our other favorite investigators said that they have been trying to come to church every Sunday for the past five weeks and every time, something totally random and unexpected comes up. She said," It´s like someone doesn´t want us to go." Oh, that´s funny. Well, there is someone who doesn´t want them to go, but there are a lot of people that really want them to go and it will change their lives when they finally make it there. Well, the church is so true and so important! Jesus Christ lives and I love him so much! I love you all and am grateful for all you do for me.
Happy June Christmas in two days!
Hermana Seegmiller
P.S. Our hot water broke in our house so we have been dumping buckets of boiled water on our heads to shower this week. I felt like a real South American missionary. So hardcore. :)
I sent some pictures. We never take pictures with any people here because we always feel like it´s awkward to just whip out your camera when you´re at their house. We will try to take some pictures this week that aren´t just of us two. One of the pictures is me in front of a store window that they decorated for Father´s Day. Everyone here was apalled that we can´t call for Father´s Day. They feel for you, Daddy. The other picture is the Pokeballs that Hna. Davis and I won for being obedient this past week. Our district got the most points this past week and so we got to evolve! We´re not Bulbosaurs anymore! No one can remember what the next level is though... oops. And another picture is just me and Hna. Davis hanging out in the church last P-day.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Facturas are my life-June 16, 2010

Hi family!
It sounds like the wedding was a success! i was pretty sad that i couldn´t be there, but i kept telling everyone we talked to here that my sister was getting married. They all got sad for me that i couldn´t be there, but I´m happy that she´s getting married. Ít´s so sad that she got sick though. At least everything turned out well in the end though. also, the new TV sounds pretty cool and I´m excited to see it when we get home. Where do you put it though? Is there room in the little corner?
I´m sure you´ll be glad to hear that Hna. Davis and I have stopped eating bread. We stopped buying it and that helped. But we have replaced our bread with chocolate and other delicious, fatty snacks. i´m just going to get fat. Oh well... also, Betiana is still coming to church. She´s only 18 with three daughters and a lame marido, but she wants to come to church every week so that is good. We taught her about the law of chastity this week and baptism. She says she wants to get baptized, but her marido doesn´t and also, she can´t get a free house from the government if she gets married because they give free houses to single people first. So...we didn´t really know what to do about that. We´re going to visit them again this week and try to teach Bocha (the marido) and hopefully convince him to go to church too.
also, the Larry the cucumber scripture case that Kayela let me borrow for the mission is a big hit here. All the little kids and the elders totally love it. I always tell them it´s a pepino and they get totally confused because it´s really just a green scripture case with a face on it. One little member girl asked me where my "sapito" (means little frog) was and I had no idea what she was talking about. Silly argentine child...Larry is a cucumber. in that same family, the mom was trying to get the little girl to eat her food and she was teasing her about liking this boy named sebastian. to convince her to eat, she said," A Sebastian le gustan las gorditas." meaning Sebastian likes fat girls so you should eat so you can be fat. her daughter is like five. It was pretty entertaining here. My goal on the mission is to not be remembered as the "gordita" or "feísima" fat or really ugly, which i have already heard members describe sisters that way. They don´t mean it in a rude way, but i just really don´t want to earn those adjectives. i guess there´s not much you can do about being ugly.
So I keep forgetting to tell you guys, but tragedy struck a few weeks ago when i accidentally left my memory card in the computer at the cyber we were at. Some argentine picked it up and now has all my pictures from my first transfer in the mission. I was really sad so I refused to put my other one in, just in case it miraculously came back to me, and now I have hardly any pictures at all. I´m trying to move on though. and I´ll probably need a new memory card in a while. Sorry... but i´m sure you were just waiting for me to lose something. after all, i´m an expert at losing things. I attached some photos. The first one is me drinking mate! That is against the rules here, but some of the missionaries have invented this delicious sugar drink that is kinda like mate so we bought a mate and were drinking it. The second one is me when it got really foggy the other day in Toay and it was really cold. hna. davis told me to make a face like I was scared so this is what came out. and the third one is a very attractive picture of me and hna. Davis when we tried to make milanesa and egg sandwiches. it turns out that´s not really possible so when i ate mine, it totally fell apart. I think I¨m just actually really bad at eating because hna. davis´s stayed in one piece. Also, my food always ends up all around my plate at all the members´houses and all over my hands and face. So basically i´m a slob. I´m working on it...
So the mission is good. I like Toay and we have some promising investigators. We´re working hard as a district to be able to evolve into the next level of our pokemon. Hermana Davis and i have a lot of fun together. She might get transferred at the end of this transfer and then I will be left alone in Toay. that´ll be scary, but I´m sure it will be fine. hna. Davis and i actually went running this morning. Last week, we almost missed the bus so we ran across Toay to the other bus stop. all the people were in the streeet so they were just staring at us, wondering what we were doing with our lives. i´m sure we looked really strange. But as I was running through Toay, like ten feet behind Hna. Davis, i kinda felt like I was going to die. I honestly felt like my heart might stop beating and that´s when I realized that the exercises I have been doing in the morning don´t ever make my heart pump faster. Oops. So I had to make sure that I wasn´t going to keel over any day now that i eat a ton of greasy noodles and meat and never make my heart pump faster. it felt good to run this mornign and I didn´t even die. that run will probably sustain me until the end of the mission now. Well, everything is just dandy in toay and with our investigators. We are working hard and hopefully people will come to our activity this Saturday and to church. also, Zone Conference is this Friday so that should be fun. I love you all and I´m so happy for Kortni and her new husband. also, i hope everything goes well with the funeral. I´m happy for grandpa that he can finally rest with grandma. I hope everything is well. I pray for you all the time and always thank Heavenly Father for giving me such a wonderful, ridiculous, funny family. I love you.
Hermana Seegmiller

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Ah la obra misional-June 9, 2010

Hola ¿como va? Todo bien aca en Argentina.
My Spanish is actually improving. Well, I actually noticed that it´s getting a lot easier to understand people when they talk. Before, if people just started monologuing, I would kinda tune them out and think about where we were going to go next and mostly what I want to eat (I always crave cookie dough that Mom makes or alfajors or cookies or even fruit... basically anything that´s edible. But now I actually listen to people. When they pass ten minutes, I lose interest and think about food again, but I´m working hard to concentrate more. We have a really good investigator named Florencia who is 15 years old and she always reads everything in the Book of Mormon that we leave her. She used to smoke, but one day when we came, she told us that she had stopped smoking (without us even asking). She wants to change and be a better person and she loves reading the Book of Mormon. She was going to come to the ward activity this last week, but when we went to pick her up, her older brother came out and told us that she can´t go because her mom is Catholic and doesn´t want her going to another church. Rough life. So now we are praying that she will be able to come to church somehow and the activities with the youth because they would be so good for her. We also visited Cesar this week. We´ve been working with him for a long time and he has the most adorable six children I´ve ever seen. I love all of them and I love going over there and seeing them. Cesar is complicated - he wants to change and he knows we can help him, but he´s not really willing to make any real sacrifice. But this week, he realized that he loves the feelings he has when we come over and he wants to learn from us. He also told his wife that it´s really good for him and she actually started listening to us too. They would be such a solid family in the church and they´re so great. We just need them to come to church. The problem for a long time was that he thought we were just stupid white girls (nice, but stupid) from America who didn´t know anything about him or his country and couldn´t really understand us. So we finally brought an Argentine member with us (Oscar, who just got his mission call to Paraguay and is so solid and good, ´he´s a convert of about a year) and he answered perfectly all the questions Cesar had about being a member of the church in Argentina. It was so awesome. We really hope that Cesar and his family will be able to come to church now and their lives will seriously be changed.
Everything is going really well here. We have a bunch of investigators now that are progressing kind of. We need them to come to church, but we feel good about them. We´ve been trying to find some new ones too, but with minimal success. Our mission president told us that we have a goal in our mission this transfer that every companionship will baptize in this transfer. We really want to be able to comply and fulfill this goal, but it´s harder than it sounds. I definitely think we can do it, but we are having trouble finding out how to baptize people like the elders do. I think it´s something that we have to learn, but it is going to start this transfer. I´m excited to see what is going to happen. We actually had a zone meeting this morning that was Pokemon themed. Our zone leaders dressed up like Ash and did a dance to the theme song in Spanish. It was pretty entertaining. They also said all the districts were a certain Pokemon (we´re Bulbosaur) and that by the end of the transfer, we need to get enough energy to evolve into a higher Pokemon (Venosaur). We get points by getting people to church and stuff. Then we played a bunch of Pokemon themed games like finding the Pokeballs hidden outside. It was ridiculous and actually stresses us out more than pumps us up, but it was worth the entertainment.This morning, my companion was in my bed so I sat on her bed for a while. Nothing like a good old bed exchange (mhhmm.. Cory - this is the secret message I put in for you. I guess it´s not a very good secret. Oops) Well, everyone is leaving so I better go. Good luck with the wedding! I´m so excited for Kornti and really sad that I can´t be there. I love you all!
Hermana Seegmiller
P.S: Thanks for the letters, Cory and Stephanie Lee. Love you guys. And everyone else who has written me.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Our Investigators Came!!- June 2, 2010

Hello family,
How goes everything back home? It sounds like fun, everybody preparing for Kortni´s wedding. I sometimes randomly get sad that I can´t come, but I´m happy that I´m here. This week, Hna. Davis and I realized that we love Toay and the people here. There are so many nice people around - the really nice guy who works in the bookstore who gave us a free map of Argentina, the meat guys who get so excited to wave at us when we walk by, all the bus drivers and remiceros (remis=taxi) who honk when they see us walking, the Chinos who own the grocery store, all the people who´ve met with the missionaries a thousand times and won´t get baptized yet but let us come in and talk to them, all the investigators that we are actually teaching and they are excited to see us when we come over, all the solid members who work so hard to keep the ward going and give us food when we visit and during the week for lunch, and Oscar (the recent convert of about a year ago who just got his mission call to Paraguay Norte and is so excited about it). So it´s kinda exciting that I realized that I love my area and the people in it and I´m enjoying being a missionary. My good mood might also be influenced a little bit by the fact that investigators came to church this week! It was the first week that we´ve actually had people in church who were above the age of eleven. All the members were totally welcoming and great! It turns out they are good at missionary work once the investigator gets to the chapel. We´ve been trying to work more with the members lately and I think it´s going pretty well. We brought the stake president´s wife, Moyra, with us to two lessons this week and she is totally great. We brought her to this super awkward house that we always hate going to because their kids are running around everywhere and we can´t ever teach anything and she totally difused the awkwardness. Then that investigator, Betiana, came to church with her two little girls and Moyra showed her around the chapel. Also, Moyra brought her car when she went to the lessons with us. It felt pretty weird to be riding in a car with a seatbelt, even though it hasn´t even been four months yet.
The other investigator that came to church is named Raul Sanchez. He actually found us when we were walking down the street on the holiday last week. He stopped us and asked if he could come to church. Umm....yes. He told us that he used to talk to the missionaries, but then he moved. He goes to casinos and spends all his money, but knows that it´s a bad habit and he needs to stop and that we can help him. We told him when church is and that sometimes we have activities on Fridays or Saturdays. He said that he couldn´t tell us where he lived or his phone number, but that he would see us on Sunday. We were a little less than hopeful that he would come to church. On Friday, we were visiting a member who used to wash the missionaries clothes (she said she´ll wash them again, but it turns out the last missionary who was here was really rude to her and she got offended so she said she was too busy) and the bishop called their house and said that a guy named Raul had just wandered into the church, saying that we told him there was an activity. Good old Raul. Then he showed up to church on Sunday and totally loved it. The bad news is that we have never helped anyone get unaddicted to gambling before and he got super excited that I am from Las Vegas. He wanted to know everything about it.. maybe I should have just said I´m from Nevada (that´s what I usually say because people can never understand the way I say Las Vegas). We had another lesson with Raul last night in the chapel and we invited the bishop to come. He did come, but for some reason decided that Raul needed to know everything about the church in one hour. He talked about Lehi´s dream and baptism and his own conversion and a ton of other stuff while Hna. Davis and I just sat there, helplessly watching while our investigator got more and more confused and our lesson just fell to pieces. We managed to teach him part of the Restoration before the bishop interrupted again by saying "What the hermana is saying is good, but there are three things we need to consider - where did we come from, why are we here, and where are we going." Yeah, it was a mess. We usually try to teach just one lesson at a time so they understand something. We´re having another lesson with Raul this Thursday during ward council. The bishop won´t be able to come... what a shame. That probably sounds really bad. He´s a great bishop and a really solid guy. It just turns out that he´s not the one to invite to lessons with new investigators. Now we know. :)
Also, it turns out that I still talk in my sleep. Hna. Davis said she woke up the other night to me saying," Bendigas las flores" (bless the flowers). I can´t even think of any flowers I would be blessing, but I think I´m kinda different when I´m half asleep.
I´m also still totally addicted to bread here. The other day, I was eating some bread and jam when Hna. Davis was in the bathroom and she heard me and said," What are you doing?" I told her I wasn´t doing anything, but she could tell that my mouth was full so she said," What are you eating?" I couldn´t think of anything good to say so I told her "I´m just chewing on a tissue." Then she heard me take the lid off the jar and she said," What´s that noise?" Again, I was lacking something good to say so I said," Oh, it´s the neighbors. They´re playing some game with a jar. I don´t really understand it." She thought it was really funny. I guess I´m not as clever as I think I am sometimes. We ran out of jam last week and I was too lazy to put butter on the bread and toast it so I just dumped some sugar on the bread and ate it like that. I told Hna. Davis," I´ve sunk to a new low... sugar bread." That definitely landed itself on our new quote wall. I might gain some weight when I´m here, which is ridiculous because I walk all the time. My feet are paying the price for all the walking. They are getting hard on all sides and it is gross. I think some kind of foot care kit would help a lot. I´m just not sure they´re going to last all 18 months.
Something else that was fun that we did this week was enter into the house of an old man named Elio. We ran into him in the grocery store the other day and he seemed nice and invited us to come visit him. When we stopped by his house, he let us in and asked us a ton of questions about America. We tried to direct the conversation back to the Book of Mormon, but he just kept asking us about ourselves. He asked us where we were from and our full names and then wrote them down. Luckily, I always tell people my first name is Katarín because they don´t understand Kasidy anyway so now he can´t stalk me on the internet and kill me or something. He turned out to be really creepy. He kept asking us if we were afraid and then taking our hands and rubbing them to see if we were telling the truth. I could tell that Hna. Davis was really nervous because she kept lying to him. She told him that we don´t have a cell phone and that she has a boyfriend. She wanted me to lie about everything too so I told him that Erik Bonn was my boyfriend. It was the first name that came to my head - I hope Erik won´t mind, but Hna. Davis thought he would be creepier if we didn´t have boyfriends. And before we left (at this point, we weren´t sure that we were going to be able to leave), he asked if he could take a picture of us. Yeah, that´s creepy, but whatever. So this guy gets his camera and starts videotaping us, asking if we feel comfortable in his house and asking us to state our names and what we´re doing here... you know, like the kind of video people make right before they kill someone. We were pretty nervous, but then he opened the door and I´m still alive to write this email. Don´t worry... we´re not going to go see him anymore and I convinced Hna. Davis that we would have been able to overpower the old man anyway.
It´s freezing here! It has just gotten colder and colder, which is weird because it´s June. Hna. Davis told me that it doesn´t really feel like Christmas in December because it´s so hot and it totally feels like Christmas time right now, so we figured we might as well go with the weather on this one and have Christmas in June! It´s such a good idea. We´re going to drink hot chocolate all the time, listen to Christmas music, start a paper chain countdown, walk around outside all the time in the cold weather, and get presents from our families and friends ;) ;) Genius, right? Okay, but seriously, I did think of something that would be really awesome if you would send it to me. A Snuggie! We don´t have a heater in our kitchen study room so we´re always freezing when we study for two hours every morning so the idea of a Snuggie came to me the other day. I´m going to be here for two winters and it would totally be worth it. I also need gloves because my hands get really cold in my jacket. Maybe I can find some here, but i would really love to get some. Also, some Sour Patch Kids or Reese´s would be very appreciated. Don´t worry about it getting here - Hna. Davis says she always gets everything her parents send. You just have to send it through regular mail. And an elder got a Snuggie from his mom already so I know it´s doable. You think on that... but it´s going to be a very lonely Christmas in June without presents. Feel free to send anything else that you think would bless the lives of me and Hna. Davis in this freezing cold pueblo way down south. Well, everything is going good and I´m happy here in Argentina. Life is good. I love you all and I hope everything is going well for you. I pray for you every night and am excited for when I get to see you all again.
Hermana Seegmiller