Tuesday, May 31, 2011

¡Feliz 25 de Mayo!-May 30, 2011

Hola familia,
Well, another week went by here in Argentina. On Wednesday, it was the 25 de Mayo, which is Independence Day here in Argentina. Luckily, we had a ward activity, so we had something to do that day. No one really wanted to talk to us. We went to the church and had empanadas for lunch. Then we all played games. An hermana had arranged all the games and everyone would win points for winning the game and then they could buy treats and stuff from the prize table. We got put in charge of the Memory Game, where you had to make matches with the pictures on the cards. It was a favorite of the older ladies in the ward. They each came by five or six times, trying to win more points because it was the least embarrassing game. I think they were also trying to test their real memories, but it didn´t go that well. Haha.. :) They would try forever and then a little girl would come up and win in like two tries. Pobrecitas. There was also this other game where you had to run up to a bowl of flour and look for the little candy that was hidden in the flour. But you had to look for it and take it out with your mouth, so your face got covered in flour in the process. It was pretty entertaining to watch, but not too many people wanted to play it. Our investigadores, Ricardo and Patricia, came to the activity and they totally loved it. Ricardo got put in charge of the Pin the Tail on the Pig activity. He was having a great time and everyone treated him like he was already part of the ward. One of my favorite parts of the activity was when Ricardo and Hno. Galli, who both like to throw out little phrases of English that they know sometimes, sang "Row Your Boat" in broken English. It was probably one of the funniest things I´ve ever seen. I´m pretty sad that I didn´t get it on video.
We also haven´t run out of creepy men in our area. This week, we were walking down the street and this old man with a cane yelled," Lookin´good!" in English at us. Just some random guy. Good times. And then we met this other guy who speaks English pretty well and he was wearing an I love Obama hat, with a picture of Obama on it. Pretty entertaining. I think I want to get one of those hats, even though I know more about Cristina (the presidenta here) than I do about Obama. Oh, and we found this lady whose name is Blanca Nieve. She told us that we weren´t going to believe that that was her real name, but she said it´s true. Her mother actually named her Snow White.
Well, life is pretty good. Just looking for some new investigators and enjoying the ridiculousness of living in Argentina. I hope you are all doing great. Thanks for the support and prayers. They are always needed. :) Love you!
Hna. Seegmiller

Monday, May 23, 2011

Se me acabó la creatividad...-May 23,2011

Hello family,
Well, this was a fun week full of walking and clogged showers and investigators that don´t want to get baptized and WALKING and coldness and a lot of eating and WALKING. That pretty much sums it up. But overall, it was a pretty good week. :) We did find out that you can fix a clogged shower drain by using a plunger. Our doorman taught us how to do this and we were excited to learn something new.
We also went out with a member in our ward who´s thinking about going on a mission this week. We did some contacts and we found some lady who had just moved from La Pampa. She was really excited when I told her I had lived in Toay for four months. Then she was saying the normal stuff about how it´s only one God that we´re all worshipping so it doesn´t really matter what iglesia we go to. And Hna. Clark said that she was right and told her," Yeah, God is THE God." It was such a funny thing to say and didn´t really make much sense that I couldn´t hold it in and started to laugh. Then Hna. Clark started laughing because I laughed at her and la Pampa lady just looked confused. That same day, we passed some Testigos in the street and were shocked when we saw one of them, a super old grandma lady using a stick to hit a puppy over and over again and yelling at it to leave her alone. It might be the funniest thing i have ever seen. That same day, we went to see a nice man we had met on the street and walked into his house in the ghetto to see him and three old grandpas being super drunk. We invited them to church anyway and one of them said he was going to go. He didn´t show though.
I was also talking with Hna. Clark one morning about how so many members of the church have been on their missions and have seen the people that no longer go and have thought, " I will never become like them." And we were talking to one of these less active members this week and he said that he thought that when he was on his mission and then life hit him. It scares me because I have always thought like that - "that will never happen to me" so maybe I´m more susceptible. I said I´ve always thought that i was pretty strong and Hna. Clark said that if I think I´m strong and I´m just depending on my own strength to overcome my temptations then I probably will fall. I thought it made a lot of sense. If we just try to be strong be ourselves and use will power to overcome everything that Satan throws at us, we might not make it until the end. But if we allow Heavenly Father to help us overcome the temptations and stay strong throughout our lives and pray nonstop for his help, recognizing that we aren´t strong enough, then we will probably arrive in one piece. I wrote it down in my journal too so maybe Future Kasidy will find it in just the right moment and it can help her... me. Well, that´s my thought for the week. Stay strong and rely on God for pretty much everything. We´ll ber here all week looking for some chosen people and hardcore relying on God to help us find them. :) Have a lovely week!
Hna. Seegmiller

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Zone Conference-May 16, 2011

Hello family,
This week was totally hectic and crazy, pretty much just like every week when you think you will have a baptism. You feel a lot better when the crazy, hectic week actually ends with a baptism, but that isn´t the story this week. We thought Rocío was totally ready to get baptized, but then she had to turn in a ton of papers for school and do a ton of stuff and said that she would feel better if she could wait and get baptized another time. We don´t really know what to do with her. We look at her and we just see how much better her life would be with the gospel and how much it would change all her situation. We can´t force it on anyone though, so we´re just waiting for her to realize and looking for other people who are going to be a little faster in realizing.
We did have Zone Conference this week though and it was totally awesome. It gave us that boost of energy that we needed to not collapse at the end of the week. They didn´t even make us do any practicing, which we were probably a little bit too happy about. But President talked a lot about the Atonement. He said that as missionaries, we probably don´t understand the Atonement like we need to. We need to try to understand it better and apply it to ourselves. We definitely aren´t perfect and will not become perfect while we are in this mission. But the work we are doing is so great and important that we really need to rely on that power to help us. Then we had a workshop about having "the vision." They said that we need to see the vision of our area and what it could really become. So we thought about what that means for Puerto and Mar Del Plata. In our area (South America South) there hasn´t been a new stake in over 5 years. That´s such a long time, but now we are getting ready to split the stakes here and there would be three stakes in Mar Del Plata. That means that we all have to be working really hard so that we can actually achieve this goal. And we also talked to President and he said that he´s going to put another companionship of hermanas in Puerto! So cool! So basically we have to get our ward clued in on the vision so that we can all work together to achieve this huge goal. A new stake! And there is always the vision of a temple in our mission, Bahía Blanca. We are always talking about how someday we will have a temple in our mission and we will hear it announced in Conference and we will jump up and shout for joy (Prez said that we will do it when we´re in the Conference Center without even thinking and then we´ll look around and notice that everyone thinks we´re crazy, but we´ll see someone else on the other side of the Conference Center who served like ten years before I did and he´ll also be shouting and jumping. I think I would probably just bawl uncontrollably for like an hour instead of jumping.) I can definitely see that happening and I know that one day, we really will hear that announcement and it will mean so much to all the people here and so much to me. We have a ways to go before we get there, but we´re on our way.
So now Hna. Clark and I are really excited about getting the ward excited about missionary work and putting a new plan in effect to get people working and inviting their friends. We´re aware that it´s going to be really hard and probably not give any results for a while, but we´re willing to stick with it and really get the ball rolling here.
Also, Hna. Clark sings really well and she can do the alto part on the songs so I like to take advantage of that and make her sing with me in the houses of investigators. It´s really awesome because it would probably be an okay performance in the States, but here it´s "hermosa" and the best thing they´ve ever heard. It makes us feel good. The other day, we found this new investigator named Mariana and we sang a song for her and her son, Salvador, who´s like 4. He liked it a lot and even asked for another one so we sang a verse of " I Know that My Redeemer Lives." He totally loved it. He loved it so much that he couldn´t contain himself while we were saying the prayer and started singing" Señor, vive..." He couldn´t remember the words or the tune, but it was really cute hearing him try to sing.
Well, I think that´s pretty much it for this week. That and also, the secretary sent me my travel plans to go home. It totally freaked me out. I have a seat number assigned on a plane so it´s pretty much sealed that I am actually going to go home. I still don´t think it´s hit me yet. I´m going to Miami! Woo! That´s where all Argentines have relatives. Maybe I´ll be able to find some of them and baptize them real quick before my layover. We´ll see... But I´ll be getting home on Wednesday, July 27th at 2:40 pm if everything works out well. Pretty freaky. I´m excited, but it´ll be totally weird to not be a missionary anymore. I have been doing it for a while now. It definitely has its hard times. It is hard. But at the end of the day, I´m always still happy to be here and grateful that Heavenly Father let me come. It´s taught me how true this church really is and how much it can help us in our lives if we just let it. And how the Atonement really can change us if we let it. That´s the challenge we have - letting Him help us. Well, have a lovely week and good luck with that challenge. Love you!
Hna. Seegmiller

Happy Mother´s Day!- May 9, 2011

Hello family,
It was a very happy Mother´s day here in Argentina... for me and Hna. Clark. Everyone else here is still waiting until October to celebrate it. They´re weird and celebrate it then so we didn´t even get any chocolate or roses because we´ll "be mothers someday." But it was still a good Mother´s Day because I got to Skype the family and it was so fun. Fun to see everyone and discover Jarrett´s ridiculous sideburns. Without the miracle of technology (el milagro de tecnología), I would never have known that important fact. It was actually really weird listening to Hna. Clark talk to her family because we actually have the same first name. So I listened to her family say," We love you, Cass." and "Hey Cassidy! Did you know...?" and it was totally weird. She said the same thing happened to her listening to you guys. Pretty freaky. What are the chances that I would have a companion whose name is also Kasidy?
This last week was pretty good. We got ditched by two investigators. We went by their houses and each one of them tried to give us the BOM back and say that they didn´t want to change from being Catholics. Pretty sad, but sometimes that happens. It´s pretty hard to change. But we told them to keep it and to give it to their friend if they didn´t want it or to keep it and keep reading it. Not the most fun, but they just aren´t ready yet. Someday they will be... In the meantime, we are going to keep looking for those that are ready now. Speaking of those that are ready, we went to the Familia Roberto this week. They are our beautiful family that we are teaching that just moved into our ward from Barrio Centro. We thought of doing a Family Home Evening with them where you use big rocks, little rocks and sand and show how it doesn´t fit if you put in the sand first, but only if you put all the stuff in the jar in a specific order. It´s supposed to be used to teach about how you really have to do all the important stuff like pray, read your scriptures, go to church first and then you will have time to do all the other stuff - like go to school and work and have fun too. But if you try to do the other stuff first, it really doesn´t all fit in. Well, it was a great idea, but we really didn´t have any rocks to use. So like any good missionaries would do, we went to the street to look for some rocks. We found some really small rocks and some medium sized rocks in the road and spent a good fifteen minutes picking them all up and putting them in the pockets of our coats (by the way, it is really starting to get cold here. I´ve already whipped out my wool tights). Every once in a while, a car or a moto would go by and the people would look at us like we were nuts. I would look up and smile at them like I was normal, but Hna. Clark tried to keep her head down "so they won´t think that Mormons are crazy." Pretty entertaining. So we took our pockets full of rocks to our apartment to see if we could make it work (with about an hour before our FHE was supposed to start) and found that the medium rocks weren´t big enough. So we ran out of our apartment, remembering that a road was under construction right next to our building. On the way down the stairs, we saw some planters with the perfect size rocks in them and I really wanted to borrow them (with every intent of returning them), but Hna. Clark wasn´t up for it. Probably better that way. So we sprinted to the road and found a bunch of big rocks and sprinted back to our apartment, tested it out (and it totally worked) and then sprinted to the FHE at the member´s house. Well, it turned out that the rock thing didn´t really work because it didn´t fit in the jar no matter what order you put it in, but they were all nice to us and pretended that it worked and got what we wanted them to out of it. But overall, it went well and was a totally crazy, rock-hunting filled day.
Also, Hna. Clark has been overjoyed this past week that it is getting colder. She says that she likes winter better because we have big coats that cover our bodies and it looks like we have no form and the men aren´t as creepy. I thought it was pretty funny, but so far it has proved to be totally untrue. We had the creepy police officer that asked us for our number. I thought he was totally nice so I gave it to him and took his, just in case we were ever in danger. Then we got a text from him on Sunday morning that said," How is the most beautiful woman who´s ever crossed my path? Are you leaving to preach the word today or are you resting?" Yeah, we didn´t text him back and my trust of Argentine men went down even more. And then we left our house and a guy said to us," Will one of you marry me?" Umm, no. Gracias.
But life is good and we are planning on helping Rocío get baptized. She´s really going to make it now and we know that she is so ready. We just have to have our bishop and ward on board with us. But the mission is good and we are working hard. It´s getting cold and we are looking for new investigators, but feeling more and more support from the ward every day. This ward really is great and I feel lucky to be working here, even with the fish smell. Love you all! Have a lovely week! Go to church and it will probably be better. :)
Hna. Seegmiller

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Oh the mission...-May 2, 2011

Dear family,
How goes life? My life is pretty good. Another transfer has ended and my mission life is slowly ebbing away. And it´s kinda freaking me out. But I am happy to be here and I have another new companion. I´ve had five companions in the last five transfers. I just can´t seem to hold on to them. But my new one is Hna. Cassidy Clark. I lived with her in Tandil and we always got along really well. We have the same trainer, Hna. Davis, so she is actually my little sister. She´s cool and excited to work. We´re going to have a good time and work really hard. She came from La Falda so she brought a letter with her from the Familia Soria, the family that got baptized when I was there. They told me that they are doing so good. She´s the Relief Society teacher and he´s president of Young Mens! Their kids are doing great and are excited to get baptized. It was so beautiful to hear from them and hear that they´re doing well.
Meanwhile, Hna. Collette left me a good memory to remember her by. She bore her testimony because we always do on the last Sunday in a ward and she tried to tell everyone that she was going to miss them, but mixed up the words and said," This ward is going to miss me so much." Everyone understood what she was trying to say, but I still laughed to myself. Then a bunch of members came up to her afterwards and told her to keep practicing her Spanish. Pobre. She´ll be fine though. And at least it´s something to laugh about. :) I´m just going to keep practicing my French. Je te vais couper la tet! Haha...
Puerto is doing well. This past week was Hna. Collette´s birthday so I tried to do everything I could to help her celebrate it well. I made her a cake that turned out pretty well and the whole zone sang her happy birthday. I bought her a scarf and a cute alpargata keychain and made her a classy homemade card. Then I told our Ward Mission Leader that it was her birthday and he told her that she needed to have a member cake! So the next day we went over and ate cake with him and his wife. And then we ate more cake on Sunday with the Bishop and his family. So basically a lot of cake... and Argentine cake is not the best. Just use a lot of dulce de leche and you´re good to go. But a lot of dulce de leche will make you throw up or feel very sick to your stomach for a while. So it was a fun week!
We also have found some new investigators, but since it was REALLY cold and windy this Sunday and all our investigators are Argentine (go figure... actually one is from Chile), they didn´t show up to church. It was pretty sad, especially because Rocio and Franco said that they would FOR SURE come this Sunday. Well, hopefully they do come and can get baptized, but we shall see. But life is good in Puerto. Still smells like fish. Still full of chosen people just waiting to be found. So Hna. Clark and I are going to go find them! Wish us luck... and pray for us. Love you all!
Hna. Seegmiller