Hola querida familia,
¿Cómo va? Espero que todo esté bien. Everything is good here in lovely Bahía Blanca. A lot of stuff has actually happened this week. I forgot to tell you last week that this week on Friday, I was going to be participating in divisions with the other hermanas in Bahía. The other hermanas are Hermana Acosta, a Paraguaya, and Hna. LaPray, my companion from the MTC!!! I was excited to be in the same city as her, but we were sure we wouldn´t get to work together for divisions because we came together. But we asked our leaders who would go with who for divisions and they put me and Hna. LaPray together!! So I got to go spend the night at her house on Thursday night and work in Hospital (her area) all day Friday while Hna. Acosta went to La Falda. It was so fun! It was so good to see her again and we got to catch up on four months of mission life and what´s going on in our families. We couldn´t stop talking and laughing. It was so good to be funny again. I still haven´t figured out how to be funny in Spanish and I don´t speak a lot of English anymore. All of the citas she had planned fell through, but we spent some time with a recent convert guy who´s having trouble understanding the scriptures and I think we really helped him. We did a bunch of contacts, none of which were really successful, but the most exciting thing - we totally spoke in Spanish to everyone and understood them!! At the end of the day, we were thinking about how four months ago, we couldn´t have done that and now we can. We accomplished something! It was a very good 24 hours and divisions are super great, I decided.
We also had our Stake Conference this weekend so we got to go to that. Elder Aidukaitis, 1st counselor in the area presidency, came to talk to the Argentines. He was super bold, which was good because I´m pretty sure that´s exactly what they need. He said things like," If you´re less active, REPENT and go back to church. Forgive whoever offended you and come back to church." Then he made each group stand up, like boys from 19-25 and told them that God would be offended if they didn´t serve missions. Pretty intense. Then he asked the girls from 12-18 to stand up and told them that it´s "better to die single than to get married outside the temple. And if you marry outside the temple, you are basically writing your own bill of divorcement because you´re going to be separated at death." It was super good to listen to and I loved everything he said. It was a super good conference until right before the closing prayer when some random guy went up to the pulpit and said," I just want to clear something up. I was a little offended by what the authority said because we got married outside the temple. I just want to tell my wife that I love her." And then he turned around to see his wife, who was sitting on the stand in the choir and said," Te quiero, Luciana. No voy a divorciarme de vos!" (I love you, Luciana. I´m never going to divorce you!) The stake president got up and escorted him away and left everyone with their mouths hanging open, not really knowing what to say. It was pretty entertaining for me. He´s actually an eternal investigator who´s married to a member and she was bawling, probably of embarrassment. I don´t think he understood very well what the elder said. But it was definitely an experience. Then everyone started moving and the whole congregation started kissing each other (traditional Argentine besos) and shaking hands and it was impossible to get through. My first Stake Conference in Argentina... unforgettable.
This week, I was explaining to my companion about how I would always joke with Hna. Davis when she would say "Mission accomplished" about some little task she had finished. I would always say," Mission accomplished? Sweet. I guess we can go home now." I think it got a little old for her after a while, but I was always entertained. So I was telling Hna. Abarzua about this and she said," It´s more like Mission impossible." and then she started singing the theme song to Mission Impossible and hiding behind bushes and shooting a cat with a fake gun. It was pretty funny. And now sometimes when people on the street reject us or a cita falls through, we start singing the theme song to Mission Impossible and it helps us feel better about life.
Also, we had Zone Conference yesterday when Elder Aidukaitis came to talk to our mission. And after all the stuff he said in stake conference, I was kinda scared of what he was going to do to us. He asked us what we all had put for our goal for baptisms this week and almost everyone put 0. You have to have an investigator go to church 3 times before you can baptize them so none of us could have a baptism, but he told us that we had put that as our goal because we didn´t have desire to baptize people and we didn´t have faith that we could. It was kinda hard to hear, but in the end, it was really helpful and I think we needed to hear it. All the missionaries in the mission have kinda come to accept lately that our mission just doesn´t baptize people and we have to come to grips with that fact. But that is not true. There are people prepared in Bahía Blanca just like there are in every other part of the world and Heavenly Father can tell us where they are. He also taught us how to challenge people to get baptized on the first lesson and it´s not as scary or hard as I thought. So that night after the conference, we went to our investigators´ house and challenged two of them to get baptized and they said they would. Their date isn´t until December because they have to get married first, but they said they want to do that too. The problem is that they are moving houses this Thursday so some elders will have to continue teaching them, but that´s totally fine. I feel good about handing them over with their baptismal date and it´s totally fine if someone else gets to baptize them. So now we´ve decided to do that with all our investigators. I think sometimes people don´t get baptized because we don´t ask them to. But that´s what we are here for so that´s what we need to start doing. We still need to find some new investigators because we´re lacking a little bit, but I´m excited for this new view.
Also, I was pretty sad to hear about Big Girlie dying. She´s been around for so long, but I had a feeling she might not be there when I got back, so I said bye to her when I left. And we have the Plan of Salvation...so I know I´ll see her again? haha. No, I really had to try hard to keep from crying, but it´ll be okay. Also, Bahía´s weather is crazy. We never know whether it´s going to be hot or cold or windy or nice weather and it changes halfway through the day. I´m really scared for summer here and I think it´s already on its way. I´m pretty sure I´m going to die. But at least we have the Plan of Salvation.... oh gosh. Well, family, I hope everything is good at home. Good luck with everything! Know that I love you and pray for you multiple times a day. You are great.
Hna. Seegmiller aka Kasidy :)
P.S. We go to a really ghetto ciber so I can´t send pictures, but hopefully next week, we´ll go to a nice one and I can send some. We went to the Walmart in Bahía today and the Argentine equivalent of Costco so I have some fun pictures of that. Love you!