Where to start? Well, I arrived safely! I am in an area called Zárate. It is about 1 1/2 hours from the mission home. We are the furthest district away (in the North of course). My companion is just so great. Her name is Hna Jones and she is from Washington. It´s kind of a relief that I got an English speaking companion or else I would be sooo lost. She´s my little mom here. I follow her around like a puppy. (There are tons of dogs everywhere here btw). She´s really funny and she takes care of me. It´s true that when you come here you wonder if you learned the right language haha. I understood Spanish in the MTC just wonderfully! But holy moly, the Argentine accent is tough. Let´s just say I nod and smile a lot. Hna Jones and I joke around that I´m just there for the looks and she does all the talking. No worries though, I WILL learn this language!
So we had our district meeting on Wednesday and each person had to get up and introduce themselves and tell of a miracle that happened during the week. Hna Jones talked about how we taught la flia Franco, a less active family (the first night I got there) and she had been thinking and studying a lot about what she should teach them. She felt like it should be about temples. Long story, but that is exactly what the family needed. Hna Franco even started to tear up a little. They came to church this week and it was awesome.
Want to hear my miracle? Well, remember how I was really excited when I found out that we don´t have to ride bikes in this mission? Guess which area got bikes only three weeks ago? You got it! When Hna Jones told me that, I just laughed and thought oh boy this will be an adventure. But the miracle is....I haven´t died yet! In fact, it´s kind of enjoyable. I find myself riding along thinking to myself ´wow, I am riding down the streets of Argentina on this beautiful day, teaching people about the gospel.´ It´s pretty cool. Remember how I didn´t bring any skirts that are good with bikes though? Haha don´t worry, I bought some spandex to wear but....I still look pretty funny. Pero........está bien! I did have one funny moment on my bike when I ran into the back of Hna Jones. It´s not my fault my breaks are mal! But don´t worry, the random guy driving past at the time got a good laugh out of it.
The people here are so great. Everyone is so loving and willing to listen. It didn´t take me very long to get used to the kiss on the cheek thing. Except sometimes the men don´t know they aren´t supposed to do it to missionaries and that can get a little awkward. Haha it has only happened once and I hurried and turned my head so he ended up kissing the back of my head. Once we were riding our bikes and a man came up next to us and saying stuff (that I couldn´t understand of course) but my companion later told me that he was saying how he knew we were spies from the American government. Hahahaha I look the furthest thing from a spy....
My apartment is.....well, you know. Haha it´s good. The only problem is that it kind of smells like an outhouse. We live right above a DELICIOUS bread shop, which smells super good, so the smells balance each other out :) I blew the fuse with my hair dryer on Sunday. Ooopths. Don´t worry, we figured out how to fix it after many attempts. It involved using brooms.
Speaking of bread, the food here is ohhhh so good. I am going to get muy gorda. Let me tell you what we eat...pizza, pasta, empanadas, bread, meat, fruit, ice cream. Need I go on? Pretty much all my favorite foods in one place! And the members feed us a ton. We have lunch with a member family every day. And lunch is a huge meal. We don´t really have dinner but a lot of times people will feed us cake or mostly this really good chocolate milk that I´m pretty sure they make with whole milk. Yum.
Right now we are trying to get a lot of less actives back to church. I guess there are technically about 1,000 members, but only like 30 cometo church. No bueno! We don´t have a ward mission leader or a gospel docterine teacher, so we do both those things. We have a lot of work to do, but the ward is getting more into missionary work and so far a lot of people have started to go back. It´s going to be good.
Let me tell you about a family we are teaching that I am really excited about....la flia Baldi. It is a family with three daughters, ages 9, 3, and a few months. The wife, Graciela, is a less active member but she wants to come back to church and have her husband and daughter get baptized. On Saturday we had a ´noche de hogar´ with them and a family in the ward. It was so great! I was able to talk about Joseph Smith a little and recite the first vision and then at the end, I committed the husband, Pablo, and daughter, Oriena to get baptized on September 25! They came to church on Sunday as a family and we are having another family night tonight with another family from the ward. They are such a cute family and I´m excited that they are progressing.
What else...? The weather is perfect right now...mmm. I wish it stayed like this forever. I haven´t bought rainboots but I got a coat. Hna Jones thinks I can get some boots from some other Hnas from our mission. My mission president and wife are SO NICE. She is learning Spanish too, so she can relate to us. They are both very loving and caring.
It sounds like you are all doing well! Tell McKenna I felt bad I couldn´t call her back :( Apparently it eats a ton of minues off my calling card to call from a pay phone. My 500 minutes was only like an hour. I tried calling her back but it told me I didn´t have enough minutes. Sounds like the shower was a lot of fun! I can´t wait to see the little guy. Thanks for your emails! This is probably the best way to communicate.
Well this is super long and I have to go, but know that I am just happy and content and learning and I love you!