It is true.... I recently turned 22 years old. I don´t know where my life has gone. I feel so old. And also, I´m going to complete 9 months in the mission this week. I don´t know where my mission has gone either. But both the life and the mission are going well so I am happy. My birthday was actually a really fun day. In the morning, Hna. Abarzúa gave me the cutest present that she had bought me when we were on divisions (so sneaky) that was a birthday mate with a pink straw. I told her I´m going to drink out of it on my birthday every year and tell my kids about my mission companion that gave it to me. It was really thoughtful and it´s really cute. Then it just happened to be Wednesday (when we always eat lunch at President´s house) so we went there and the Hermana had made a ton of food and a cake for my birthday. They sang me happy birthday and I enjoyed a few pieces of the torta. Super delicious. It was funny because I don´t think there are very many missionaries who said they celebrated their birthdays with their mission president. I´m pretty lucky, I guess. And in the nighttime, Hna. Martín in our branch had invited us to come over for cake at her house. When we got there, she had invited all the hermanas from our branch and cooked a ton of food. Only two hermanas showed up (I felt bad for her), but I was super happy and felt very loved. There wasn´t too much love on that day from North America, but the lovely people here in Argentina made me feel very special and I would say "la pasé re-bien."
The rest of the week went with trying to prepare Dora for her baptism. She was feeling good about it and was excited to be baptized before Hna. Abarzúa left. Dora is our investigator that is like 60 and her husband of 38 years died like a month and a half ago (we actually met him right before he died so that was weird) and her oldest son died like a year ago and her other two kids only talk to her when they ask her about their dad´s money or car. She has a pretty rough life and she has been struggling with the situation. We always visit her and talk to her about the Plan of Salvation, but it´s hard for her to pay attention because she´s so distracted. But we know that all of these really hard things in her life have helped her be prepared to receive the gospel in this time and that she is going to receive so many blessings as a result of her baptism. She looked so pretty in her little baptismal dress (she´s really short and skinny) and was so happy right before. The baptism was right after church so right when the closing prayer was said, she looked at us and said," And now I´m going to take a bath?" and laughed. She´s a cool lady and I was so happy to be able to help her make this decision in her life. She´s really going to receive so many blessings from that moment. And yes, she is the first person that I have helped get baptized in the mission. But I can honestly say that if I came just for Dora, my mission is a success. Even if I came to baptize no one, my mission is a success because I am helping those people who need me right now and Heavenly Father is helping me because I need Him. The mission is helping me realize just how much I need Him.
And.... there were transfers and Hna. Abarzúa left to go to 3 Arroyos. And Hna. Olsen from Utah came to join me in La Falda. She´s really cool and funny and I think we´ll have a good time together. It´s really weird to be talking English again. It´s actually really hard for the words to come out sometimes so we end up talking "casteyankee" or Espanglish. Don´t worry.. we still speak Spanish in the street and to all the Argentines. Well, the mission is going good and I´m excited for the new ideas to come to this area. I´m good, happy, and healthy. I hope everything is good at home! Love you so much!