Monday, March 3, 2014

Welcome to Rio Grande!!

Hola Queridos,

First off...did ya'll know that I have the coolest little brother EVER?! Matthew...congrats on getting accepted to BYU!! I'm sooo excited for you:) Good work, bud. As they say in Argentina...CAPOOOOOO!!! :) mom had LOTS of questions this anyone even less surprised than me? for you Mama...

-I am staying fairly warm considering it's pretty cold here. Yesterday it rained. Rain + wind = miserable. Umbrella's don't work here...why did I even bring one??
-I have not used my sleeping bag yet. We've got a heater in our house so it stays warm...well...don't get me's an Argentine heater which means it's automatically sketchy...but it's better than nothing. I just sleep with my blanket...the orange one...remember? That blanket has been my best friend in the mission:) I do have to sleep with socks on piggies wiggies get cold:) We're still technically in summer here...which is still really cold! I'm not looking forward to winter...:/
-Hahaha...paved roads? That's a good joke mom. Yes, there are lots of paved roads...but only the main ones where all the stores are... Everything else is rocks and dirt.
-Yes...we continue to walk everywhere. There are buses (colectivos) that we can take but it's not worth it. My area is really small. Smaller than my area in Rawson I think.
-No...I did not meet Hermana Merkley...but yes I did see Hermana Cortes.
-Hermana Hundley is with Hermana Salgado. It's going to be a hard transfer for them...but Hermana Hundley will make the best of it:)

So, to make a REALLY long story kind of short...I arrived in Rio Grande on Friday. I left from Trelew at 4:30PM on Monday...traveled to Comodoro alone. That was bad news because it gave me lots and lots of time to think. It was a rough trip and I'm pretty sure the guy next to me thought I was crazy. Anyway, I got to Comodoro at about 9:00PM. We stopped for 10 minutes and then started our journey to Rio Gallegos since we were already almost two hours behind schedule. One Elder got on with me. He was traveling to Caleta Olivia which is about an hour away from that meant that I would be traveling the last 10 hours to Rio Gallegos alone. Awesome. Well... when we were about 10 minutes from the terminal in Caleta, traffic stopped... there was a protest...which isn't all that uncommon here in Argentina. We got stopped several times on our way to Trelew from Rawson and had to wait for a little bit. Anyway...Caleta Olivia hasn't had water in over 25 days. Of course the people are upset, right? Well...we waited until 3:00AM to be able to pass... just in case your math skills are out of practice...we waited for 5 hours on the colectivo to be able to pass. I didn't know Elder Benitez before the trip...but we're great friends now. It's sooo loud and impossible to sleep with the drums from the protest plus it just wasn't comfortable. We finally got to the terminal and lucky for me there was one Elder who was also traveling to Rio Grande, Elder Spackman. He was sitting really far back so it was a lonely ride.

We got to Rio Gallegos at 12:00 noon on other words...that was 20 hours on a colectivo when it only should have been gets better my friends. So, we get to Rio Gallegos...the zone liders were waiting for us there. Five minutes after I arrived, a group of about 8 Elders arrived. Wanna know where they came from? Trelew and Puerto Madryn. All the missionaries that I said goodbye to in the terminal. They left later that night but since I was stuck in traffic for 5 hours they got there the same time as me. So...I had to go all by myself instead of with a group of missionaries. Pucha, right? gets better. Elder Medina (the famous Elder who served in Rawson before me....the people NEVER stopped talking about him) asked me if I had my passport...I had been told by the missionaries in Comodoro that my passport should be in Gallegos with the zone leaders. Well...turns out it was still in TRELEW. In other words...I had to wait in Gallegos for my passport to come. My bus to Rio Grande was supposed to leave Wednesday morning at 8:30AM. Well...that meant that I got to stay with Hermana Cortes and her new companion Hermana Quispe until my passport arrived. That was the last thing in the world I wanted to do. Luckily for lider in Trelew sent my passport with a mini missionary to Comodoro and from there the new missionaries and their trainers brought it to Rio Gallegos. It was three EXTREMELY long days in Gallegos.

On Friday morning two Elders headed to my new zone in Rio Grande boarded the colectivo with me and we set off on another long journey. We crossed the border into Chile...everything went without a problem...then we got to the big boat and the Magellan Strait. It was soooo cool...and freezing...but super cool! Our colectivo just drove right up a ramp and onto the boat along with about 20 cars. Weirdest thing ever. We walked up onto the boat and went all the way up to the body was numb from the cold...but it was worth it! The ride across the strait was only about 20 minutes...but we saw taninos! ...they're like...dolphins and killer whales combined. They jump along side the was sweet! We got to the other side, the cars and colectivo drove off the boat and then we started our 7 hour journey to Rio Grande! We finally arrived at 7:00PM. My companion was with two other sisters in another area so I waited with Elder Julcahuanca and Elder ELLIZ (my new zone leaders) for an hour in the terminal. It was sooo good to see Elder Elliz again. It made me so happy. Elder Julcahuanca is from Peru and is finishing his mission after this transfer. He's great too. companion arrived around 8:00PM and we walked to our pension...of course the Elders carried all of the luggage:) Hermana Tumbaico is my new companion. She's awesome! She's starting her third transfer in the mission. She's from Ecuador! So far we're getting along great:) I'm excited for this transfer together! We're gonna work lots!!

Yesterday we had Church. We're in a branch here in Rio Grande. Assistance is about 60 people each week. Sooo small...and to make it worse the chapel is HUGE! Hahaha...bigger than the chapel in Rawson for sure. The members seem good though. I'm excited to be here I guess. It was really hard to leave Rawson though. My mind still wanders there a lot... It's hard starting from scratch again. I've gotta learn the area quick because after this transfer Hermana Tumbaico will leave 99% guaranteed and I already lost the first week in my area. Yikes! Pray for me people.

Yesterday in Sacrament Meeting I had a really cool experience. I was sitting there listening to the testimonies and I couldn't help but think back to my first Sunday in Rawson...I had to fight back some tears as I sat there. I said a prayer to Heavenly Father asking for help and comfort and immediately I got my answer. The Spirit testified to me that Heavenly Father knows where I am. He knows my feelings and my situation, and he sent me here to Rio Grande for a reason. It was a very much needed moment of peace, and a very nice reassurance that I'm not alone in this work. Now it's my job to humble myself and accept Heavenly Father's will for me and find out why he sent me here. God is so good. you want to hear about my pension? Okay...I'll tell you. My pension is sooo cute! It's clean, and new, and the shower is actually in the bathroom this time around! The toilet has a flush handle...I have a washing machine with a spin cycle so I don't have to wring out my clothes anymore. The kitchen isn't flooded with water in the mornings...I have a room dedicated to just studying...I'm living in a five star hotel friends. It's great. Hahaha:)

Hmmm...I can't think of anything else. My district is's gonna be different though...I haven't met the zone yet but I think we're doing an activity today together...which probably means we will play basketball in the church. Haha.

Last night I got sick again. I woke up at 2:00AM with a really bad stomach cramp and five minutes later threw up everything I had eaten during the day...which wasn't much...but it still wasn't a fun night. 6:30AM came around wayyy to early this morning.

Alright...I've got nothing else. Things are going good...but things are really hard! But I guess they're supposed to be so it's okay! It'll get easier. Have a fantastic week! Send some birthday wishes next door for Catherine please!! :) 19 years old it me or does it seem like yesterday when Catherine was skipping out on sunshine kids to watch the Even Stevens marathon...?? Hahaha...happy happy birthday Catherine! Hopefully the mission prep is coming along well! :)

Well family, my time is up. Until next week? I love you all so much and think about you often! Thank you so much for your prayers and support! You're the best. Keep being excellent and don't forget to say your prayers! Hugs and kisses for everyone!


Hermana Heath

Getting ready to cross the Magellan Strait to the island of
Tierra del Fuego...Land of Fire!

My new district in Rio Grande :)

remember when I told you my tan lines were bad? wasn't a joke.

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