Monday, August 29, 2016

2016.08.29 Week 13 - I have been called of God

This week we traveled again to Neuquén for the meeting for leaders. I´m not a leader so I was in the apartment with a brand new gringa (even more new than me) The sisters handed us a list before they left for the meeting and said, "Please visit these people, here is a map" QUE DIVERTIDO (how fun) two gringas that know nothing, wandering around in Neuquén. It was super fun and funny actually. It was fun to be the person that knows things. But also we got plenty of weird looks. Also, I learned more that I really need to try and help my companion out. This gringa didn´t really say anything (understandably) when we talked to people which was really hard for me because in reality, I don´t know any more Spanish than her. Overall it was fun to try a little more missionary work without my companion there to do every hard thing for me.

On Saturday we had a baptism for a little girl in our ward. It was really fun because it reminded me of Bekah and that it is her baptism this week!!!! Also, it was really horrible. It wasn´t our baptism because she´s not a convert but we were helping set it up because her Mom doesn´t really have any support. The ward really didn´t pull through for us. Only one priesthood holder showed up. Nobody from the primary was there. The people who were assigned talks didn´t come. Same with the person to lead the music and the prayers. QUE FEO (How ugly). The Bishop didn´t even come.

So after this disaster, my companion and I have made some goals to bajar la caña (drop the cane -Argentine phrase implying discipline) with the ward a little bit. This ward has a ton of potential that they are not reaching. So the goal for me this transfer is to try and help the ward to help itself a little more. I am so grateful that I could come from a ward of amazing examples. Because of this, I know how a ward should function, but a lot of people here don´t know. THANK YOU TO MY HOME WARD, YOU ARE ALL THE BEST!

Also, I thought a lot about how weird it is to be a missionary this week. I am literally 19 years old and know nothing, but everyday people tell me all about their problems and expect to receive answers to their questions. How is this possible? If I was nineteen at home I could not answer these questions and especially not in Spanish, but I know that it is because I have been called of God and am living worthily to have his spirit that I can respond to these questions with power. HOW COOL IS THAT, I actually have the power and authority of God as a missionary.

Hermana N., MTC friend.

Monday, August 22, 2016

2016.08.22 Week 12 - We are good friends, she understands me

It was translados (transfers) this week but I am still with my companion and in the same area. I'm super happy about that because she is the best and I also love my area. We spent another week traveling and went to San Martin. It was really pretty and I was super pumped to see my homie, Hermana Nokes again!

This week I was honored to eat more pastel de papas. NOT. Pastel de Papas is basically Shepherd´s Pie with a lot of meat and I think I ate it a thousand times recently. I love shepherd pie, just not every day. The good thing is that one family made us pizza that was SUPER YUM. It was just like the pizza at Pizzeria Limon, but it was never ending. SO GOOD.

Right now we have two investigators really close to baptism so I am super excited about that and hope to be able to send home pictures of their baptisms soon.

It feels like I write home every day because the time passes so quickly so I can never think of anything to say. But I love being on a mission, it's really hard but I can see blessings every day.

I didn't buy a sleeping bag here. The mission president's wife would not let me leave the mission home without one. They have a bunch there. I don't really need it, it's mostly nice because I travel a lot and need somewhere to sleep in other people's pensións (apartment). I could literally sleep naked it's so hot upstairs in our pension, but downstairs the heater is broken so I use the sleeping bag to study in because it's freezing. I'm really glad that I brought the blankets, I don't like using sleeping bags. 

We shop for food in "La Anonima" it's just a grocery store. But we buy bread in a bakery, fruit and vegetables in a verdulería, meat at the butcher, etc. It´s cheaper if you buy specific items in a store for those items.

Sidenote: I can never figure out how to flush toilets here. Usually there is just a hole in the wall and you have to find the exact thing to lift or push or pull to flush it. It´s embarrassing. Also, every house has one of those things that shoots water on your bum. No one uses them, they are just tp storage. 

Other Sidenote: I am teaching one family who is super awesome. They made the joke that since I'm staying in the area they need to buy a bigger fridge because I always eat a lot when we visit them. She always asks, "Does anyone want more?" If I don't respond she just stares at me until I do because she knows I want more. We are good friends, she understands me.

Monday, August 15, 2016

2016.08.15 Week 11 - it's really hard but I love it here

This week was really crazy and really long. My companion is an Hermana Leader so we had to do intercambios (exchanges) with some of the hermanas in different areas. So we went to Esquel early in the week and later we went to Bolsón. It was fun to travel a little bit but a lot of time spent on a bus. This week we will be visiting two more areas.

A little bit of drama started in Bolsón. I have only been here for one traslado (transfer), and an Hermana in Bolsón has been here for two. So the two gringas were together for a few hours. This was super fun and funny because neither of us can speak Spanish. So we went to lunch with a super awesome family and the food was really good and they were hilarious, but then they asked how long I had in Argentina and I told them. Then they proceeded to tell the other Hermana that my Spanish was much better than hers..... WHYYYYY....... I could tell this made her feel really bad because this is the one thing that she has really been working on. It was horrible. Also, she is mad because I am brand new but forced somewhat into a leadership position because my companion is in a leadership position. Oh well. Basically, I think she hates me.

Esquel was fun, it reminded me of Rockland (ID), very calm lots of mountains and nothing happening.

Bolsón was more like Bariloche, a little bit more of a city. 

Bariloche is really awesome and I like living in the city. I am always happy to come back to here.

This week our numbers were horrible because we were gone for most of the week. But we were able to commit one woman to baptism! We also had some really good lessons with members. The lessons are always so much better when a member can come.

I am really loving my mission, it's really hard but I love it here. Argentina is awesome and the members are really great. I learn more every day about the gospel!

Also remember how my hair is straight. Well it's not. Because I get rained on so much every day. When my hair is full of rain it's actually curly. Very strange. Also very wet, siempre (always).

Monday, August 8, 2016

2016.08.08 Week 10 - I think God protects us with dogs sometimes

I pretty much can´t remember anything that happened this week. So here are some random facts about my life.

1. There are dogs EVERYWHERE. Millions of dogs living in the street. I think God protects us with dogs sometimes. Randomly one dog will just walk with us all the way to an appointment. Or accompany us to church. I hope that they would actually protect us if there was a problem. I name every dog Alejandro and then me and my companion sing Lady Gaga. Overall they are annoying and gross, sometimes they block the road and we can´t get to appointments.

2. Graffiti on everything. It´s funny that people think they need to write their name on every single thing.

3. The food is soooooo good. Lots of pasta and meat. Also potatoes. And bread. And cake. And pudding. And pie. And fish. Basically just every good thing.

4. There was some strange drunk man following us this week. We ran away and all is well.

5. It´s really cold. Tons of rain. Tons of snow. Tons of mud. Rainboots are a miracle.

6. All of the members in my ward are really awesome. It´s like having 30 parents.

7. I wear tights every day. I hate them but it´s freezing. They are the same ones I brought. I´m not really sure why they said to buy tights here, I don´t even know where you would buy tights here.

8. The men here only harass me when they are drunk. There are quite a few borrachos (drunks) here. Mostly I walk past and then hear after "Que bonita" (So beautiful). It's pretty funny.

9. We have a clothes washer. It´s pretty junky but I am really grateful for it. My clothes always come out of it covered in gross hairballs. (We thought she would be "washing" her clothes in a bucket.)

Monday, August 1, 2016

2016.08.01 Week 9 - God is real


I can't really believe this, it´s gone by realllllllly fast.

This week was great, we had the baptism of Maia which took up most of the week but was really exciting.

Miracle of the Week:

I lost my name tag the first day in Bariloche because it wasn't hooked very well to my coat. It fell off on the bus that goes between Neuquen and Bariloche. This was 3 weeks ago. I prayed that I would find it but knew that it was gone and probably somewhere in Neuquen 9 hours away. So I planned on ordering a new one, but these take about 7 months to arrive. So this week we are walking and this random guy in the street goes "Hermana Farr, Hermana Farr" I say "That's me!" assuming he is just reading my tag or something, I don't know. Then he says, "I have your name tag" Literally this random guy finds me on the street 3 weeks after I lost my name tag on a bus in Neuquen and hands me my name tag. He said he found it in some stairs somewhere. MILAGROS PEOPLE (miracles). If this doesn't prove that God is real then I don't know what does. So I was super happy all week thanks to this. It was super crazy but I am really grateful to have my name tag again.

Other things that happened this week.......mostly just the usual, lots of teaching. We have a lot of people that are really close to baptism, so this is exciting. We just need to give them that last little push.

Another fun thing. I am teaching my companion how to play the piano. It is a very slow process but is also very fun!

Hope all is well in America, it's an amazing place. I know why it's amazing now (well obviously for lots of reasons) but reason number one; America is full of really hard workers. I can't believe how lazy the people are here. It's really convenient for the missionaries because people are always in their house, but people just don't do anything here, ever. People work, but for about three hours in the morning and then they take a siesta for half of the day. Whatever. This is probably why the houses are constructed out of trash. But there is always at least one wall that is strong enough to hold up the directTV. It's actually hilarious. Ciao!!!!

Answers to questions from mom and dad:
I write my e-mails in an internet cafe, I have 70 minutes and it costs about 25 pesos ($1.67 USD)

Mate is actually really good, I'm just sick of it because every house we go to, we have to drink it. Missionaries can only drink mate cocido which is basically herbal tea. We don't do the whole grass floating in a gourd thing.

I'm an almost pro at the beso (kiss on the cheek) greeting. It's not awkward anymore but I forget all the time and people get offended. Church is the worst. You have to greet EVERYONE in the beginning and before you leave. I always forget people, I'm sure they are all offended.

Ya it's pretty much freezing or pouring rain. But I finally bought rain boots today so that should be helpful.

Lots of people are inactive, TONS. 

Things are still going really well with my companion. She is really kind and does all she can to help me. 

The language is pretty good and gets better every day.

We eat lots of pasta, milonesa (basically breaded carne asada), salads, pizza, soup. It's very Italian, every meal has multiple courses. And I haven't had rice once, but they have bread with every meal. I really like all of the food but I think milonesa is my favorite.

I'm not really sure how to cook things in the oven here because you have to light it. I don't think you really have much control over the temperature.

I am warm. Some days are much colder than others, but overall it isn't too bad. I wear these boots every single day. They're not very cute, but oh well.