Thursday, March 31, 2016

Feliz Pascua‏

What a week! I have been in Argentina for 3 weeks holy moly :) and I am more than halfway done wiht my MTC stay can you even believe it? Holy cow I don't know spanish but that is okay :) 

Actually my spanish is doing fine, I am learning lots and can pray really well in spanish and have called to serve in spanish memorized but it is just hard to remember the words I need in the moment I need them. And congugating verbs is the bane of my existence. But el don de lengues is a REAL THING!! Cuz I swear in my IPs I can remember thing so much faster and get the gist of what I am trying to say across which is awesome. My biggest problem right now with spanish is understanding what other people say to me. 

So saturday Hna. Myrick and I went proselyting in Buenos Aires, in an area called Móron. We were there for 5 hours. We talked to lots of people but most of the time we had no idea what they were saying to us, so we just said sí (yes) to everything. Once this lady asked my comp if she was aleman (german) And I knew that word in spanish but she didn't and she just said yes... and I just let the lady think we were german. So I am german apparently :) most people we talked to could tell we were from los Estados Unidos though :) The area we were in was basicall just a neighborhood. But there must not be a speed limit on residential streets holy moly those cars went FAST!!! 

The best part of this week was for sure Easter or PAscua here. I don't think I have ever had a better Easter! Here at the CCM we are focused on Christ all the time so to just take a day and extra focus on Him, basically the best day of my life. Presidente loves music so there were probably a dozen musicals numbers over the course of sunday and they were all amazing. They even got some of our Elders to cry which is a feat! I got to participate on both violin and piano in a bunch of musicals numbers which was awesome! I love president for finding me a violin to use! :) So basically Eater was the best day of my life. I felt so incredibly close to my Savior and when we got to walk around temple grounds on Sunday it was just the most beautiful day, and basically nothing could get me down for a whole 24 hours which was awesome!! We also got chocolate eggs which was awesoem! The Savior is awesome! And he really did die and then rise again. I know it. I know it. Yo sé. I pray everyone will turn to him in their hard times, He is there for you. :) 

Something kinda fun about the CCM, it is small. Really small. And we are all cramped a littel here, but if you pay attention if you sing a song or hear a song at the beginning of the day by the end of the day everyone in the CCM will be humming the same hymn, it just  gets passed from person to person unconsciously and it is funny. 

So just two days ago was a sad day her ebecause all the latinos and the 5 "old" americans went into the campo (the field) and so for 2 days here in the CCM it was just us two american districts and it was quiet. It was really hard to say goodbye to my old roommates and the friends I have made with the latin misionaries. They are so fun. But we got new latins today so no worries, the CCM is a bustling place once more. Some of them arrived at 630 in the morning", and so we woke up to our alarm, and then through the closed window a floor down we heard presidents laughin, he has this super loud distinct happy laugh and we just smiled and rolled our eyes at president. He is awesome though! He and Hna. Benton kinda seem oblivious to the fact they are in Argeninta. :) They just do their thing and their spanish and accents are actually pretty horrible but they speak in it all the time which is a great example because that's probably how I sound and I know I should be talking more. But they are just the happiest funniest people. I got to know president better this week after I passed out in the bathroom in the middle of the night. (I may have a minor concussion but it's all good really) He gave me a blessing the nest day with the help of a latin Elder passing by, it was cool I got anointed in Spanish and then blessed in  English. The preisthood is literally the best thing in the world. So many of us have been sick and relied on and been blessed by the priesthood here, it has really given me a new appreciation for the power of God on Earth. I am grateful that my father is a priesthood holder and that I grew up with that power in my home. 

Sadly today was also the last pday Ill get to go to the temple because it will be closed from now until I leave for cleaning. But on the bright side when I went today I understood the spanish that was said prett well so yay! :) 

​I wish I could explain how hard and wonderful it is being a missionary. Every day is incredibly hard, my head hurts from Spanish and it is hard to have a companion and I want to be the best missionary I can be so I put extra stress on myself. And I'm always tired, I always need more sleep. So being a missionary is really really really hard. But it is the best thing I have ever done. I know that I am being very very blessed as I serve. I feel the prayers of so many people with me, missionaries are the most prayed for people in the world. And the spirit is so close to me always. Ugh, I wish I could explain how wonderful it feels and how different I feel as a missionary, but the power isn't of this world, so the words probably aren't either :) I seriously love my life here so much. I am grateful for this past Easter and how close I was able to feel to my Savior.  I am so excited for general Conference this weekend, And I get to watch it is English! :) I am excited to hear from the prophets of the Lord as I am a servant of the Lord her in Buenos Aires. He lives. Yo sé El vive. En el nombre de Jesucristo amen. ​

​Hermana Walker ​

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Then Sings My Soul

Hello world!! :) 

So I am still down here in Buenos Aires and still loving it! This second week for sure went by faster that the first week! 

Okay so I think I need to tell you all about the super cool experience I had this week of LEAVING THE CCM!!! I left the little prison compound can you believe it? It is for sure the most beautiful little prison in the world, but it is still a little constricting. I know pretty much everyone here at the CCM very well. But anyway I left and went into the middle of Buenos Aires!! It was amazing! The city is biggest thing I have ever seen in my entire life. We literally drove for 20 minutes through city and in every direction you looked was city as far as the eye could see, you may think I am exaggerating but no, little for 20 miles in every direction were high rise apartment buildings and it is huge. No wonder there are 4 Buenos Aires missions!! 

​I think we went into the very very center of downtown though, it basically looked a lot like time square but with trees everywhere. Also there are some roads here that are like 12 lanes across. But we went downtown and on this one building somehow Evita's face was part of the building and there was a giant BA made out of grass letters and it was all very cool. We weren't there being tourists though, we were there to get out Visas! So it seems like I will officially be in Argentina for the next long while :) But holy cow the city is huge and awesome. It is kinda basically like a huge New York not constrained by an island so it got really big, but then 75% of everything is in Spanish and so yeah :) Pretty cool, although  very intimidating because well.... I don't really speak spanish! ​
​But apparently that isn't gonna stop us from doing the work because I am going proselyting for 6 hours, just me and my little Californian companion in the middle of a huge city trying to proselyte.... I'm kinda a little nervous but super excited too :)

Okay so the food here is still amazing, but I am definitely starting to miss spice in my life. Basically we eat potatoes, meat, pasta, and rice or some combination of those 4 things for lunch and dinner every day. So super yummy but not varied at all.  ​I was trying to ask my teacher and from what I can gather... cilantro and tortilla chips and just mexican food of any kind is not a thing here. One latin Elder overheard me comparing part of one of our dinners to the massa in tamales and he just had never heard of and couldn't imagine a tamale and it kinda really broke my heart. The dulce de leche almost makes up for the spice but not really :) Everyone this week, besides me so far, has been in need of serious pepto bismol, I don't know what's going around I just hope I don't get it :) 

My comp and I have been working better together which is super nice. Our lessons with our IPs have been going better and smoother and we are able to plan them better. Although it seems like half the time we prep a great lesson and learn all the Spanish grammar and language and then we get into the lesson and just get prompted to completely throw the lesson out the window and go a different direction but it is all good :) The best lesson we taught was on the Plan of Salvation and it was so cool because I could feel the presence of the holy Spirit so strong and I just wanted everyone to be with their family forever the way I know I will be with mine. 

I really want to tell a bit about my district. We are blessed enough to all get along SUPER well and it is awesome because it is like a little family. WE for sure get along better than the other NA district. So we have 3 elders and they are somehow all polar opposites of each other. Elder Maxwell, in last weeks picture on the far left, is just the goofy typical missionary, he gets way to stressed and is district leader so he carries the world on his shoulders and got himself sick. So some of our district has been asigned specific movie or show characters that the are the doppleganger for, so if you have seen Phineas and Ferb he acts and talks and looks like Doofensmirts.  Next to him is Elder Jensen, he is a dynamic personality and basicall just watch the movie Madagascar and he IS Alex the Lion. Super funny and makes us all laugh. Next to them is E. Vonasek, he keeps the other two from killing each other and can do the best voice impersonations of just about everyone. The front row from back to front is Hna. Bennett, super cute sweet gal, Hna. Barnes, kinda quiet but whenever she does say something we are all roaring with laughter for days. Then mi y mi companera. :)
The back row of Hnas fro back to front is Hna. Poulsen, you just tells dumb puns all day and makes us laugh more, and her comp. Hna. Vara, you know a joke is funny if you can get her to laugh :) Not that she is mean, she loves us all she just is that way :) and then Hna. Tinsley, a little bit ditsy (the poor thing is serving in Santa Fe which is basically farmland and all she brought was super cute clean TOMS) but she loves everyone so much you can't help but love her. And then Hna. Slade who is one of my favorites, just super sweet and sensitive and observant :) We get along super well. I don't honestly know what I would do without my district and if we all didn't get along cuz we literally spend 12+ a day together. :) 

So for an Easter message. I am so grateful for the Savior Jesus Christ, or as I have come to know in Argentina Jesucristo. He is my friend here and I rely on him to get me through every day. He really did live, and he really did die for us and then was resurrected. I know that with all my heart. I can't say that very well in spanish yet but this week my CCM president was able to get ahold of a violin for me and I have been able to bear my testimony through the power of music which has been amazing. I really feel like the words of How great thou art resonate with me this week. {Then sings my soul, my savior god to thee, how great thou art.}
Happy Easter everyone! :)

So yeah thats my update for the week! :) If you made it all the way through that you must really love me cuz its a lot. 

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Photos from First Week

 The three missionaries called to the BAS Mission at the Atlanta Airport
 The bus from the airport to the CCM
 Abby's District
 The CCM, the top floor with the very open window on left is my classroom
 The Temple

Abby and her companion going to the Temple

One week down in the CCM!‏

Hello Everybody!!! :) So I am in Argentina like what the heck!! I can't even believe it! Okay so first of all I apologize if my email is sporadic and has spelling errors but I am just trying to write as much as posible. So first off it is really hard to write this email in English because I have been speaking as much Spanish as is possible so some of the common words I want to type in spanish and it's a struggle. 

Okay so where to even start- so in Atlanta I got to the international terminal and then I saw about 20 other american missionaries on my flight and it felt so good! 16 sisters flew down to the CCM and 7 Elders so go Hermana power!! :) My district, basically who I spend all my time all day long in a classroom with, is 8 hermanas and 3 elderes. 

okay so my companion. Her name is Hermana MYrick and she is from California and she is super cute and a lot like me so that is great, we get along really well! Except we are both smart and strong headed so sometimes when planning lessons we but heads over what we want to teach and we are both strong willed so..... praying for patience and help :) sometimes I wish one of us was a senior companion so that the decision just kinda deferred to that person, but we both got here the same time so yeah! 

​OKay weather- so it is still summer here so it is pretty hot, I don't know how hot cuz it's all in celsius but that's fine! Also it is super super super humid here. And sometimes at night I wake up in the middle of the night and have to splash cold water on my face cuz it is so so hot!!! 

The food here though- holly molly I could spend this whole hour talking about the food! Literally the best comida I have ever had in my entire life all the time. And when it isn't meal time we can still walk through the cafeteria and eat pan or fruit all day long. In the past week I have probably had 6 peaches, 8 bananas, 5 plums, and 2 apples. LOTS of fruit! And there is this amazing juice all the time​ I have drunk a glass of juice with every. single. meal. So.... like more juice in one week than my entire life. 

The MTC is really small. Only 1 building with 3 floors. The bottom floor is sacrament rooms, kitchen, eating area and offices, the second floor is half hermana living area and half elder. The third floor is district classrooms and a few elders rooms. And that is the whole CCM, in the yard there is some basketball and soccer nets and volleyball nets and yeah. But it is so beautiful here at the CCM, my teacher Hermano Feller told us that compared to the rest of Argentina this is the Celestial Kingdom and I believe him. But we do get a little stir crazy here cuz we all literally life in this tiny building and we never ever leave. So my favorite part of every day is actually exercise at 2:00 because I get to go outside! I am already getting a tan from all the volleyball I play. But it is kinda fun that the CCM is so small and only has 70ish people cuz we always see Presidente and he is so funny! Today he sat at right next to me at lunch and talked with us. 

So I mentioned before when talking about my companion that we sometimes struggle with lesson plans, and so we basically struggle every day because we have had a lesson just about every single day here. Friday, Saturday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday.... it's kinda crazy. We are teaching our teacher Hermana Cristeche who is acting as her friend Briana and it is just super stressful cuz we never get a day off to study anything other than lessons for her. But we have gotten her committed to baptism and to come to church and a bunch of other stuff so yay!! 
Also time here moves at about a snails pace, I feel like I have been in the CCM for months not a week. 

Sunday we got to walk around the temple and today we got to go do a session. The temple grounds are literally the most beautiful thing I have ever seen, as close to heaven as it gets. I have been super stressed out this week and it has really been a struggle so when I went to the temple today I went asking for peace and relief, and even though the whole session was in spanish, I felt the spirit. And then when I got into the celestial room I was just sitting praying and suddenly it just felt like my Heavenly Father reached down and gave me the biggest old hug and I just broke down into tears, I was silently shaking and all my mascara was gone, but it felt so so so so good. I know my heavenly father loves me and that this is where I need to be. I kinda thought that once I was set apart as a missionary that suddenly I would become so other person but no- it's just me. It,s just me Lord and I nee your help. I love being a missionary. It is hard work and I feel like my brain is going to explode with Spanish all day long but thats okay! Being a missionary is awesome! 

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Abby's First Email Home - Thursday March 10

Hi everyone! I am at the Buenos Aires CCM and right outside the window where I am writing this email is the Buenos Aires temple!! HOLY GUACAMOLE!!! So far everything here has been good, 24 of us were on the flight down and we were quite a sight to see, all of us with our 3 pieces of luggage in suits and dresses. I am happy and full of good food, including some wonderful pink juice that maybe is guava or something?? I don´t know but it was wonderful. I am working on unpacking and can´t say too much morebut I am really tired and looking forward to sleeping tonight. I love and miss you all!! and Argentina is beautiful, very green and lush and very humid :) it reminds me of the rural parts of New York!! Okay I gotta go but I love you all and my pday is next Thursday! Can´t wait to hear from you then! 


Airport Goodbyes

Setting Apart Tuesday night with President Barker and Bishop Beck

Pre Mission Fun at the Musical Instrument Museum