¿Que Tal? Welp, you're all back in school...probably have been for a week now, but I still forget how quickly the time goes. Days turn into weeks, weeks turn into months...4 months on Saturday. Crazy. If you feel like it you can join me in praying for the time to slooooow down. :)
Well... there were quite a few exciting things this week, but all week I was a bit anxious for the phone call from our zone leaders on Saturday night. For transfers we do a huge conference call with the entire zone... then the zone leaders read off the changes painfully slow. So, at 10:15PM the phone call finally came through. This transfer there were changes in EVERY area in my zone. From my district, half of us go, and the other half stays. Care to make a guess about which group I'm in? First, I'll start off by saying that my district leader is leaving. Elder Elliz is going to Rio Grande to be a zone leader! He'll be great. Elder Acuña is leaving to Puerto Madryn. And...duhn duhn duhn... Hermana Heath is going to stay in Rawson for at least 6 more weeks! Hermana Cortes is going to Rio Gallegos. Everyone leaves today :( I'm super excited that I get to stay with these amazing people in Rawson, but that doesn't stop all the tears...only most of them. So, Elder Verges and Elder Scogin are staying here with me in the district of Rawson. Our companions come on Tuesday I believe. All I know is that my companion's name is Hermana Hundley. North American...super. Hahaa..I'm never gonna learn Spanish!! We're gonna find out just how disciplined I can be...I don't know how long she's been in the mission, but it's not more than two or three transfers more than me. Elder Verges is gonna be the new district leader...at least I think so.
So, this week we had more problems with the pension. Hermano Chemin saved us, as always. The love in my heart for him...don't even get me started. Also, last Monday we went to the going home party of Elder Holland and Hermana Hualpa. At the end of the day, they both shared their testimonies and thoughts about the mission. It was really sweet, but seriously the only thing going through my mind was that I never ever want to reach that point...the point of going home. There's no way I'll ever be ready to leave this amazing country. Would ya'll be really upset if I decided to move here? Because...it's a real possibility:)
On Saturday the Elders from Playa Union had a baptism (Elder Elliz and Elder Scogin). We made cookies again...in an oven that gets continually hotter. Try that one at home. Anyway, her name is Elsa Salamanca. She's sooo sweet and is a friend of the convert of Elder Verges and Elder Acuña. References are the BEST! Speaking of references, Nani Velazquez introduced us to his cousin this week. Her name is Mariela. She came to church last week with him...we talked, set up an appointment, and she's GREAT. She's getting baptized on February 1st...for SURE. She's so ready. She has an answer...now it's just teaching her everything she needs to know...but most importantly she needs to keep feeling that it's right. She came to the baptism on Saturday and felt really good. When we told her last night that Hermana Cortes is leaving today, the first thing she said was, "Pucha, you're not gonna be here for my baptism!" Missionaries dream come true...haha. She's soo good. She has a daughter who is 13 years old and often sits in on the lessons and they do the "homeworks" in the Book of Mormon together...in other words...we're gonna get a baptismal date for her as well:) Great family. Mariela's son Jonatan is also awesome, but rarely in the house. He's 19 years old and just had a little baby boy with his girlfriend in January. Super adorable.
This week, we went to take a card to Natalia to remind her that we're thinking about her and that we love her..she wasn't home, but the window was open. Well, naturally, we weren't just gonna leave...we're missionaries...we don't have time to "just drop by later" sooo...we used a stick we found on the ground (because windows here have bars, not screens) to pull the computer chair next to the window, left the chocolate and card on the chair, and then skillfully pushed the chair back to its original place. We went around 11:30AM so most likely everyone was sleeping...basically all those sneaking around skills when Ems and I were kids really payed off. It's time for me to go pro. We NAILED that undercover job. We later learned that she had found her chocolate and card:) Hahaha. Good times.
Sooo...trivia question for ya'll. First off, here's some background. Every morning in companionship study we practice introducing the Book of Mormon. One morning I said, "The Book of Mormon, like the Bible, contains the fullness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ." My companion stopped me and told me that wasn't true...huh? We got into a big discussion about this question... here it is...we all know that the Book of Mormon contains the fullness of the gospel...DOES THE BIBLE CONTAIN THE FULLNESS OF THE GOSPEL? What do you think? Yes or no? Well, pause and think for a minute. I argued yes, my companion argued no. The answer can be found in the opening paragraph of the Introduction to the Book of Mormon. YES, the Bible also contains the fullness of the gospel. In the Spanish Book of Mormon, the small little phrase that says "as does the bible" isn't translated at the end of the paragraph and doesn't imply that the Bible also contains the fullness of the gospel...although it doesn't imply that it doesn't either. Anyway, my companion was so sure that the Bible didn't have everything...then she started asking me why we have the Book of Mormon if the Bible has everything we need to know? Welp, as you can see this is heading in a bad direction... especially seeing as we're missionaries preaching to the people that the Book of Mormon is the keystone...the evidence of our message. I reminded her what I know about the Book of Mormon. What Joseph Smith said, that it's the most correct book of any on the earth and that we can grow closer to God by reading it than by any other. Then we talked about the two continents... European and American...of course God loves all his children and communicated with both continents equally. Hence, the Bible and the Book of Mormon. I even went so far as to read to her from Preach My Gospel where it says that the Bible and Book of Mormon complement each other. After a solid 15 minutes of wondering why we need the Book of Mormon, my dear companion seemed to finally remember her testimony of the truthfulness of the book and we were back on track:)
Yesterday the missionaries that are leaving bore their testimonies in Sacrament Meeting. I started crying... again. Pucha. Hahaha. After church we ate lunch with Gustavo and Fernanda Chemin and little Jasmin. What can I say, the little one still loves me. ADORABLE. One of these days I'll take a picture with her and send it to you. She's soooo cute. We're the best of friends. We also spent time writing in each others memory books...basically books we bought so the members can write to us and missionaries as well. Greatest idea ever:)
Anyway, that's all for this week. I'm running super low on sleep since Saturday night we went to bed around 1:30AM and woke up at 5:30AM Sunday morning. Last night was the same. Gotta get everything ready for Hermana Cortes to leave. Lots to do in very few hours. We're down to 4 hours until we head to Trelew. Elder Elliz leaves at 5:00PM and Hermana Cortes and Elder Acuña leave at 8:15PM.
Mom, Carlos is interested in the Church...in fact he's an investigator. An awesome one at that. We're working with him..but it's a slow process. Yesterday during our lesson Soledad and Carlos gave us ice cream...first because Hermana Cortes is leaving and second because yesterday was sooo hot. So much wind...but even the wind was hot. It was nastyyy. I had so much dirt on my face when I got to the pension at night. Every day we come home and grab a tissue to wipe our forehead which is always caked with dirt.... but last night was ridiculous. Tons of wind and dirt roads don't mix well. Hahaa. And I am feeling just great, no worries mother dearest. It was a really long process for my body to become accustomed to the food and everything else, but it's getting better. The first month was pretty much awful...but it's okay because only my body didn't feel good...my spirits were great and still are! Yes, President Rogers takes really good care of us...in our weekly letter we're always required to tell him about our health that week.
Okay, I lied, one more story. This week we got a text from Elder Elliz that said, "Hermana Heath. A package and like 5 letters came for you today." BEST DAY EVER!! Hahhaa...anyway, the next day I got them. The package was from the Peterson's! So sweet. They have always been such good neighbors. I love them. I really do. So thoughtful of them. Mom, please give them a BIG hug for me:) I got letters from Jenni Boyle, Miriam (love the Christmas picture...it screams Cottam family in my opinion. Classic.), and I got the Heath Family Christmas letter! I was soooo happy! Good job, mom! :)
Welp, have a fantastic week! You're always in my prayers and I think about you sooo much...maybe more than I should...but as long as it's not distracting me I don't see the harm. Mostly I just talk about you to everyone...we have some pretty great stories that deserve to be shared:)
I love you all soooo much!
Forever and Always,
Celebrating the farewell of Elder Holland
and Hermana Hualpa in Trelew
the fishing place in Playa Union...
sneaking a peek at the beach...Hermano and Hermana
Chemin :) Adorable, aren't they?
Chemin :) Adorable, aren't they?
Practicing our sneaking skills!
Hermana Cortes, member from Trelew, me,
Hermana Hualpa, Hermana Smith
Opening the package :)
learning how to make empanadas! (an Argentine FAVORITE!)
Mia and Agustina....my little One Direction fans :)
A park in Rawson :)