October 27, 2013

Happy October!

First of all, yes mom, i have collected some clothes. jaja. Good thing though....and I still need to go buy some shirts so I don´t die in the summer heat. I have collected from my comps that went home and even last week we were helping a member move and she gave us a bunch of shirts and skirts. DI doesn't exist here, but I have collected a lot of things.

This week we traveled...again! jaja. suprise! But seriously....we traveled half the mission. First we went to Concordia for zone meeting. Literally 10 minutes before we left our apartment to go, we got a call from the office that we had tramites[paperwork] for my comps visa also. So we went to Concordia in the afternoon, had a meeting, attempted to sleep for 2 hours in the apartment of the hermanas there, had a bus ride in the middle of the night to Paraná, arrived and all 12 of us missionaries (attempted?) to sleep on the oh-so-comfy church benches for a little, then we had a training for all new people and leaders. Then that afternoon we took a bus to Rosario. We slept in the mission home that night, did the paperwork stuff, and took a bus back to Colón that night. Quite the time...it´s what we get for being in Entre Rios! 

The training with president was just lovely, it´s always good to hear him talk. A very powerful man. He spoke about the importance of the spirit. There is also some new program for all missionaries, about emotional health, that they introduced. I always figured yoga and ice cream solves the problems of stress and all....but it is to help all the new missionaries adjust to the missionary life. Paraná is a pretty big city, the bus terminal is full of gypsy ladies who rob your stuff and poor little kids that sell stuff and beg all day.

Then in Rosario, we went with the office elders to pick up a new hermana that had just arrived. The elder who was driving us in the mission van, was driving for the first time manual (out of the church parking lot...) Oh my goodness, I don´t know if I will be able to let my kids drive....it literally may have been one of the scariest moments of my life as we almost died about 5 times in the insane streets of Rosario.

We had a cool experience while my comp was doing tramites for visa. In this building it is very diverse, as the people there are from other countries. We were next to 2 guys from Haiti who are living here now. We talked for quite a while about the church and everything, but it was interesting as spanish is not their first language, they speak french and creole, a little english, I speak english and spanish...jaja. It was translating between 3 languages!

This week there was also a baptism for a kid in our branch. The dad, Martin, was the first missionary who left from Colón (and since then there has only been one other...). He is very much into sharing the gospel, the chuch was packed with people, their friends and non member families. It was a really good experience, we had numerous menos activos who went, and we even had the elders from our district come. The baptismal font....oh boy. Every possible thing seems to break loose before a baptism...We were able to get a new pileta (little swimming pool), as the old one made a lake covering the entire floor. The day before Martin went to fill it up, there was no water. At some point the water went back on during the night, and the handle thing was left on. The morning of a member found 6 inches of water covering the entire floor....but then there wasn´t water to fill it. It was quite the day, at one point we resorted to using a little hose and bucket to carry water from a spout close to the street. In the end we were able to get a longer hose, and we didn´t have to have a baptism in the river.

There was a socieded de socorro activity for mother´s day. Our investigador Antonela went with us, it was a lovely little time in the park with all the moms and their kids. And mate of course. 

We had a miracle this week with Antonela. While we were in Rosario we called her, and ended up talking to her husband, who is never there. He told us that they want to get married now so that she can be baptized, and not wait until March!!!! It was such happy news for us! (as we had been planning a hardcore law of chastity and marriage lesson. jaja) They completely changed! The next day we went to her house, and she told us that they decided it is more important to be married now than have a big fiesta!!! The sad news....that she went to the place to do the paperwork and all, and found out there are only civil marriages some semanas, and you have to sacar a turno (take a number??), and it is full until December! ugh. Now that they want to get married, there isn´t a day to do it!  We are praying for another miracle, that they will be able to get married. 

I got that dear elder mom, thanks! Those are great to send, if you can send copies of talks through dear elder that would be appreciated:)

Who are the girls landon´s age? Seriously, you have the best calling. 
Ethan, how was your vacay?
Thanks for the updates and everything! (mom...spud, the guy bald guy, is married! yep. And tricia is pregnant!!!!) I´m glad I could teach you some good FB skills!

Love you all!
hermana andrews

p.s. I chopped my hair. Well, my comp chopped it. I wasn´t sure if I should have more confidence in her or in finding some place here...but hey, ya fue! The ends were pretty nasty damaged, and hey it will all grow back. 
p.p.s. I saw some advertisment for a car wash, and it used the Utah licence plate in the background. Utah! with the arches and all! how random, huh. 
p.p.p.s This is the happy 9 months pic, taking a wild ride.

October 20, 2013

9 Months

9 months. Holy cow. Yep this is the half way mark this week.
As for the dog....it just so happens that I really did get bitten by a dog this week. The good thing is, it wasn´t completely wild, so I don´t think it had rabies or anything. Stupid thing was even on a leash. We had just contacted a house, which wasn´t even successful as the 15 year old kid was an atheist and his mom wouldn´t even come out to talk to us, when as we were walking away the dog just ran straight for me and bit. Don´t worry mom, it all turned out fine, there´s just a little scar now. The bear spray or taser is not needed But i will send you an email with other things that you can send.

And the washer story. One day we were eating lunch with the hermana dora. Wednesday is garment day, we use her washer during lunch. Well everything was behind schedule because she had been washing her clothes before and we had to wait, and I was getting impatient I guess. I was sitting there waiting for the washing to finish to take out my clothes. I went to open the thing, but it hadn´t finished all the way. Point is, the handle busted right off. She told me this isn´t the first time it has happened (it automatically locks until it completely finishes), so we would need to rip off the whole door and buy a new one. Aaahhh. jaja oops. Eventually we were able to get my clothes out. Later found out her washer is so old that she might not be able to buy just a door. She says the washer still works, just a little more complicated to open and shut. jaja.

This week were interviews with pres. giuliani. Those were just fine, he is a great guy. But when you want some feel good advice or compliment, he is a person will tell you to get on your knees and pray and then get out the door and work. jaja. We had a meeting with our president of rama. We are trying to change the culture of this ward, in terms of missionary work and everything. And I think it´s working...even if we are just the people who will be preparing the area to really grow in the future. But hey, someone has to sow the seeds. We set up activites every 2 weeks, something which has not been done in years. This week there is a relief society picnic (happy mothers day, sunday!) and a branch baptism. A good moment was when we were teaching the familia castro and the mom, who is not a member, said their house is always so peaceful after we leave. She just feels good, and just doesn´t know how to explain it. Thank you, holy ghost. We are also working to help the members have opportunities to share the gospel and know what to say, this week we introduced them to pass along cards to give to friends and family. Yesterday was one of the best testimony meetings I have been to.

Every person has some sort of problem. The challenge of a missionary is to know how to help with each unique challenge. One investigator likes the church and everything, but doesn´t think it´s possible to live the commandments, that times have changed since the times of Jesus, and that men will always be men. Another needs to get married, but wants to wait to have a big fancy shmancy wedding. The investigadores we have are progressing little by little. It doesn´t help that we have to travel so stinkin much.....this week we go to concordia and parana. But I know  God watches over our area, and he multiplies our efforts into more than what we can do.

Here´s some random facts: Nicuragua has it´s own money, cordobas, but also uses the american dollar. Crazy, huh, when I saw my comp with our money! Here some of the stoplights are backwards - the yellow means it is going to turn green. I have gotten used to lots of things, I don´t scream when I see the spiders and cockroaches. But, I did lose my appetite when I was sitting on the bus and watched as the attendent guy filled up the cups with coffee and juice to pass around....and reused and reused the same cups. No thank you.

Congrats on the new calling mom!!! yay! You know what this means?...girls camp. You lucky girl.
And megan is already leaving?! And danielle is back?! tell her hello for me.

I have been asked multiple times now, if I am from france or germany. Hmmm...still not sure where that comes from. My accent must be really bad.

My comp is learning english, so she wanted me to pray. Oh my goodnes...the most awkward prayer. I have not prayed in english in 8 months. I can talk (mostly just fine?) but the praying in english is a struggle. I am happy to say that my brain is being transformed to think in spanish. I know I am changing, but as a person and a missionary, as the language is not the top concern. I am able to more easily think about the people and all that they need, rather than my lack of abilities. Or maybe it the faith and confidence in God growing?

I love to see how God works, putting people in places in the right moment. One day we were on the bus, all 10 elders were sitting close to each other, but for some reason our tickets were for the back of the bus in china. Well there was a little family sitting next to us, that ended up contacting us. The dad had lots of questions and was interested in the church. It was a cool little experience to know that there are no coincidences in the gospel.

Congrats on your band competition ethan! And california??! whoah whoa, aren´t you like 10 years old? Is mom going with you? Good luck on your race this week landon!
Debbie is just adorable. I would tell you to save me some food....jaja.
The truth is, I had no idea that we are in the month of halloween. Enjoy fall! The weather here is turning from perfect to hott.

Thanks for remembering me down here in argentina! for the letters and all:)
Que tengan una buena semana!
love, hermana andrews

p.s. the pic is not the greatest...but us with cinnamon rolls and her ´Nica¨ food- rice, avacado, eggs, tomatos....mmmm. And the other, the package that traveled around the world, I got the easter candy right in time for spring here:)

October 13, 2013

Happy conference week!

I am actually sitting here listening to the talks, as I write this. (And try not to scream at the 20 little 10 year old boys who are playing computer games and screaming in the ciber. I miss the quiet of my own quiet room and laptop. jaja.) I saw the saturday morning session (actually afternoon here) in a members house. We couldn´t watch the second session, because we didn´t have an investigador. Sunday we watched it in the church. This is actually the first time this was possible, before the members had to travel to another city with a chapel. We watched it on a tv in black and white that was hooked up to the computer. Our investigador Ruben showed up! It was a little miracle that everything worked out, that the internet worked and everything. It still was quite the experience, as right as it was starting the daughter of the president flipped off all the power...jaja our president has so much patience, just like dad, and didn´t even say anything. But luckily that got all worked out and we were able to watch it. And then during it another little girl kept barfing. Jaja so it was quite the experience, but Ruben at least liked it. I don´t know how a person could watch a profet speak and not feel something! To answer someones question, yep it was in spanish. There were a few of the speakers who had prerecorded their talks, like elder scott. Other than that i miss listening to the real voices! Conference overlapped with a Boca-River soccer game....like if the superbowl was the same weekend. So that put a dent in attendence. Shows priorities.

Aaahhh conference weekend! I'm sad to miss the crepes and 2 solid days of delicious food.....We did make pizza. But there was no conference bingo and treaties. 

Between the sessions Sunday the members sat outside with their mate (of course). We went and contacted, and had a super great lesson. This week we have really been focusing on contacting and find the people that are prepared. There are a couple families we are teaching. One lady is SO prepared. She kept saying ¨I will never be able to know which of the churches is true¨, and had so many questions, all of which are directly answered in the lessons. There is a difference in just teaching people, or really trying to find the people who are prepared to accept the gospel in this time.

We are teaching a less active family, the dad is 23 and was super active, was preparing for a mission. Well he met a girl, and three years later, now, they have 2 kids and he is everything but active. He wants to return, but doesn´t want to leave his life of sin behind...jaja. But we are teaching them and his wife has interest, they really want their daughter to be baptized, so she does have a date for this month. We tried with the mom...but we are still working on that. A person needs their family to progress. 

Daniel, there´s an elder in my district from brasil! People here say the brazilians are harder to understand than us, when they are first learning spanish. 

This week we legit almost got attacked by a dog. It put it´s mouth on my ankle, I don´t know if hairy legs or the smell scared it off. Or maybe it was just blinded by the whiteness of my legs. My comp is terrified of dogs. Poor thing. 

One day we went searching for service. We wanted to help an old lady, or build a house, or something like that, but we just don´t know where to start or where to go. Well we got directed to some political and social acción place...after waiting forever and talking to way to many people (buearacracy??) we realized we were not in the right place. But it was so interesting! It´s a government agency that works with the poorest of poor to help them find education and learn social skills. Social work nerd. They were asking us what training we had and what kind of project we wanted to set up....jaja we just wanted an hour of service of every week!

Congrats on the running landon! wooohooo! Are you varsity captain? 

And good job ethan! Oh mom, you are just the perfect little PTA mom! jaja. 

Me and my comp have just been working, working. No one ever tells you how hard a mission is before...probably a good thing! Definitely very up and down. And as the comp with more time I have to always be positive and make decisions....forced learning! But I hope I am developing more into what Heavenly Father wants me to be. Some days you just have to get up and do everything with faith, knowing that you are not alone in this work. I am blessed to have the comp I have right now, to have her faith, enthusiasm, and testimony. And you probably won't belive this, but she eats more than me, and is always hungry. jaja. We have lots of fun together. :) We are trying to talk to every person we can, to testify and invite them to repent and change their lives. The mission and church is not about numbers and asistencia in the church, it is about the salvacion of every child of god. 

Thank you for the updates! 

"doubt your doubts before you doubt your faith" -pres. uchtdorf.

Enjoy your week, and fall!!!

We are going to the beach today, and will be enjoying the summer:)

Love you all!
Hermana Andrews

nuestro distrito:

October 2, 2013

October 1, 2013

Ya Octubre!!!!

This week was....crazy!
Oh yes....I FINALLY RECEIVED THAT PACKAGE! hahaha with the ensign from conference and candy. Took 5 months, the reeces are literally like pancakes. But it made it! After being ripped open in Chile and all. 
Well to start off I left at 1am Wednesday morning to go to Rosario, and my mini comp went home. Living in Colón, there are not many bus options.  (don´t worry mom, the elders are just like you making me call and text to tell when i arrive) haha.  So I arrived that morning in Rosario. I had been told before to just take a taxi to the mission home as soon as I got there, so this is what I did. I was on the way there, when I realized there were probably other people in the terminal that I should have waited for, and I got a text from my zone leaders saying I shouldn´t be in the mission home for a few more hours. Well I was already on the way, so just kept going. As soon as we pulled up to the house, I saw a family from my first area in Venado just standing there.

 I GOT TO SEE THE FLIA RIVOIRA:) They just happened to be in the mission home to pick up their son who just returned from his mission in Chile. They had just arrived to, so I got to spend the morning with them. It was a little miracle, as if I had waited in the terminal during the morning I would not have seen them. We had lunch with all the trainers and new people. They are all latinas, except Hna. Sainsburry from my district in MTC. It was SO good to see her!

 Then we had a meeting where president and the assistants talked, and they revealed the companionships. (a bunch of the elders are 18....oh boy. Adorable little things) He said that there were 2 hermanas that weren´t going to arrive until the next day. They read off all the names....except one other hermana and mine. jaja. So I still didn´t have my comp. I stayed in the mission home that night, with another hermana who was waiting for her comp. We of course had not planned on this, and had nothing but the clothes on our back. Being in Argentina, they were not even worried if we had a toothbrush, but made sure we had plenty of food. jaja. (pizza with scrambled eggs on top anyone?!) The next morning we waited in the office....and were then told one hermana would be arriving in the night, and the other not until the next day. I put skills and time to use, an office elder asked for a haircut so I did that. jaja. The office elders cooked us fish tacos....we waited around more. Finally president said we could go to the area of the hermana who I was waiting with. They were kind enough to even give me a new pair of garments, and an elder found a toothbrush. :) Oh and this just happened to be a holiday where everything was closed, a weekly occurrence here. We left to the area, Canada de Gomez, 1 1/2 hours away . On the way the  colectivo broke down, so that delayed us. Finally we arrived and had just a little time to work. The next day we worked, while I was just thinking about my area in Colón and the appointments we were missing! That afternoon we received a call from the assistant, he thought we were already on our way back to Rosario.....oh my goodness I experienced the serious lack of communication....I don´t know if it is because they are all men or what! I explained no, we were working, and it would take time to return to rosario. So then we waited for a colectivo....it broke down, so that took time. Finally we arrived Friday night in Rosario. We had a dinner with president and the 2 new hermanas, one of which is Hna Rane (serving in DC south) from my district. He talked a little and then assigned comps. That night we had to stay in the mission home AGAIN....and finally went home Saturday morning. Hahahaha it was quite the week. They should have just reassigned me to be an office hermana!
My comp is Hna Cruz from Nicuragua! She is an adorable little thing, I am twice her size. She was waiting for her visa in Nicuragua before. Poor thing is ALWAYS cold...jaja I don´t know how she is going to survive winter here!! She has desires to work, and high expectations:) I don´t know that we will be baptizing 5 families a week like she is used to, jaja, but she has so much faith and a positive attitude. We have so much to do here, so many people to find. We are really focusing on finding families, my comp is a good example of talking to everyone in the street (jaja I was never a fan of chasing people down, but sometimes it works.), and we have some ideas of things to change in the branch. 
We didn´t get to work with investigadores much this week...as there was not much time to work. But it is conference this weekend!! woohooo!
No, we didn´t get to watch the RS thing. :( I hope you enjoyed a ´light´dinner. :)

I hope everyone is doing good! Thank you for your prayers and letters!
love, hna andrews
p.s. daniel i got your postcard:) gracias