Monday, November 11, 2013

Si Dios Quiere....

Hola Familia!!

Que tal?! I can´t believe I´ve been in Argentina for ...2 weeks? is it 3? is it 18 months? I don´t know. I have yet to figure out where the time is going...

Glad to hear the Craig meister-meister Craig is still doing well in hockey. How´s TDT for Kimberly? And Hope you´re all doing well. Sounds like Em is keeping busy...when is Thanksgiving? Hope everyone had a good halloween!!

So...starting with last monday. We went to Trelew to celebrate Elder Holland´s birthday. Empanadas and pizza (although do not be´s not really pizza.) Apparently it´s a custom in Argentina to crack eggs on the head of the birthday person and then shower them with flour when they´re least expecting it. Hilarious, yes. But there´s no chance that I´m going to let anyone know when my birthday is:) was a really fun day. At 6:00pm we were back out on the streets!

Throughout the week we taught several lessons with members and contacted tons of people. But people in Argentina are very strong. They make decisions and they stick to it. Religion is no different. It´s hard to get people to listen to us, but if we can get them to let us into their home, it´s usually pretty successful. We have a few investigators. Since we´re both new to the area we´re starting from scratch so it´s really hard, but we´re getting there. I´ll let you know more about the people when things move a little farther. We´ve been working a lot with inactive members and trying to bring them back. Our goal as a mission is to qualify for a Temple to be built in Patagonia. We had two inactive families return to church yesterday which was AWESOME. There are two kids, Brisita, who is the granddaughter of the lady who owns the pension Marlen Mirantes, whose parents are members but she is not. She has a baptismal date set for the 7th of December, and another boy Giuliano has a baptismal date set for the 14th of December. Most likely neither will actually be baptized on those dates because despite the desire the kids have to be baptized, the parents have to be in agreeance. As of right now, they´re not. We´ll see. Fingers crossed. Lots of prayers:)

On Thursday was Hermano Chemin´s birthday!! He turned 59 years old. That night all of the missionaries in our district surprised him with a cake and card. His whole family was at his house celebrating. Hermano Chemin has the most amazing family. They are all wonderful. Only two of his kids are active in the church, but they´re all soo great. Love them.

One day this week we ate lunch with a family who had a son that served in Brazil Sao Paulo North. He returned home almost a year ago and he knows Tyler Ostlund. His name is...Rodrigo(??) Velazquez. Not sure on the first name...we don´t usually use them very often except with children. on Friday night there was a night of traditions that the missionaries were in charge of. It was like a great big family night with the ward. So, we, the missionaries of Rawson, got to DANCE!! Elder Verges and Elder Elliz (both from Argentina) taught us Argentine Folklore. Oh dear. As Kimberly would say, bless my heart. The struggles. It´s the easiest thing in the world, and yet so hard. The Elders were very patient with the Hermanas. They´re great. The activity was really fun and I have lots of pictures and videos, but I can´t send them :(

SI DIOS QUIERE...if God wants. This is the phrase I´ve heard more than any other since arriving in Argentina. Will you pray? si dios quiere. Will you read this chapter in the Book of Mormon? si dios quiere. Will you attend church this Sunday with us? Si dios quiere. Will you follow the example of Jesus Christ and be baptized? Si dios quiere. Oi. Haha...the Spanish culture is very layed back compared to ours. Everything is uncertain. For example, will you go to church this Sunday? Si dios quiere. Maybe, maybe not. If I wake up then sure, but my cat might die so then I wouldn´t be able to make it. Oh, and there´s always a chance that my great aunt from Norway will pay my family a surprise visit that morning. Si dios quiere.

I´m eating better, but still not great. Yesterday after church (which is my favorite part of the week) we ate lunch with the Chemin Family. Once a month we eat with their family as a district. So it was all 6 missionaries plus Hermano and Hermana Chemin and their Son Gustavo and his wife Fernanda plus a baby girl. It was my first asada. In Argentina, people eat lots and lots of meat. An asada is essentially a huge barbecue...with LOTS of meat. Like...four or five courses of meat. It´s all really good, but eating meat sparingly is completely LOST on the Argentine people. Yowsers. Anyway, we ate lots and lots of meat yesterday with some potatoes and salad. The potatoes had hard-boiled eggs mixed in. Have I mentioned that they also put eggs on EVERYTHING? potatoes, salad, pizza, etc. Weird...

Welp, I can´t think of anything else at the moment. I try to remember the week but it´s really all a big blur. Oh, today we don´t get pday (besides email time) because we´re going to Punta Tombo on Thursday to see the penguins! We´re going with our zone (Trelew Sur) and Hermana Kuhn´s zone (Trelew Norte). I´m sooo excited!! I´ll take lots and lots of pictures!! :) Ah. I love Argentina. I never want to leave Rawson. Ever.

To answer some questions...

-yes, Trelew is a bigger city than Rawson. There´s more to do. More people. Rawson is very...I don´t want to say ghetto...but well ya.
-Yes, Hermano Chemin picked us up from the bus stop along with the zone leaders.
-do we meet in a church building? yes, indeed we do. In this part of Argentina we are lucky enough to have an actual church and a ward here. Farther south there are only districts and branches. We have probably around 200 members, but active only 80-90. One ward in Rawson. The stake extends into Trelew...and one or two other small towns like Rawson.
-no problems with dogs yet. they´re generally not vicious. just like to bark a lot. especially at night. sometimes I feel like I´m living in the movie 101 Dalmatians...especially that one scene in the night when all the dogs everywhere are barking? welcome to my life.
-yes, the houses here are small. like candy bars. we live in regular size candy bars...Bill Gates lives in a super size candy bar...and Argentines live in fun size candy bars.

Love you all!! I think about you every day and you´re always in my prayers. Keep being excellent people. As a companionship we made a little board called miracles in Rawson. Each night we come up with a miracle we witnessed during the day. There is always at least one!! God is good.

Anyway...I´ve gotta go, but it´s been a real slice. Come back next week at the same time to hear more about Amy´s Argentine Adventures. Okay, mind got stuck on 101 Dalmatians and that part where Horace and Jasper are watching that show on TV and it ends and it says something  like that... hahaha:)

Forever and Always,
Hermana Heath

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