Monday, May 30, 2016

Abby's Photo This Week

Don't know why she sent this photo.  I asked her about it and she said that the caption would come with the two other photos, but the two other photos never came.

Abby's Weekly Email

SO I don't have oodles of time this week lo siento! But I will do my best to tell all :) 
So first off, I bought oranges because my health was a little under the wether and I had forgotten how much I love those and they remind me of home. Also my comp was sick for the first 2 days of this last week. And it was actually lkinda nice for me, I got some me time to study and read and I got to serve her a little bit. And the best way to grow to love someone is service so that was awesome :) 
Winter pretty much started this week in Argentina with rain. From what I can gather basicaly winter menas that for the next 3 months or so it will rain and mist daily. quite the change for this ARizona girl we belongs in the sun but kinda fun too. :) on the bright side I have an excuse to not do my hair everyday because it will be wet after an hour outside so yeah. But trying to dry our laundy is frustrating because.... a week later and nothing is dry and we are out of clothes.... so enjoy your drying machines people! But also it was raining yesterday right, so the assitance to the churhc was like 40 people. GRRR... I mean I completly unerstand these people live on dirt roads and when it rains they live on mud roads but I am walking in it you can too!!! Oh well! Most of the ward is inactive from what I can tell so lots of our day is trying to visit these families and get them to see the blessings of going to church. There are about 10 strong families in the ward and then a handful of solo people that come but those that are active are SUPER active. They are all in the capilla at least 3 times a week it is awesome! 
We have currently probably about 15 investigators but only about 2 that are going anywhere fast. Most of them are living with their pair and arent married and without they cant get baptized and when they arent members they dont have much motive to come to church on sunday so grr.... but its okay. I just want everyone to get married her and everyone at home to stop getting married but whatcha gonna do? #missionprobs
We have 2 investigators though who are awesome! Sergio and Graciela, they are a couple getting married in september and they are golden. Honestly every lesson we have with them is thes best. Saturday we taught them the 10 comandments and the only questions they had were over thou shlat not kill. seems like a weird one to have questions about but she is studying to be a police officer so yeah :) 

​My castellano is improving little by little so that is nice. This week was mothers day in Bolivia so my comp skyped home and while she was left alone I was basically left alone with the family whose computer we were using and I was able to hold my own and converse mas o menos for almost an hour so wooo hoo!! Also sometimes I answer the calls on our cell from other missionaries and it is kinda super weird to be talking with another american in spanish but what ya gonna do? :) 
Also I have 1 transfer down! Transfers are every 6 weeks and I have my first one in the field down! 11 more to go! BAsically I am still a baby but yeah :) babies grow up fast :)
This week I have been studying prayer and something I am relearning and remembering is that prayer is a conversation. I encourage you all to say yoour prayers and take pauses and moments to think and receive. Often we receive comfort, answers and counsel while still on our knees. God is our father and wants to talk to us, but too often we quickly him and ask him for a few things and then jump up without listening for his response. So treat your prayers more like a conversation and enjoy the blessings 

 Love you all! Enjoy your summer and sunshine while I enjoy my rain :) 


Monday, May 23, 2016

Photos for When the Door is Broken

Studying in the Street

Cookies in the Street

Scaling the Building ..... or trying to

My First French Fries

When the Door is Broken

So this week was pretty good and we had some interesting experiences her in Ezeiza. Sorry if I dont sound enthusiastic this week but the computer I am using is in Portugese and I dont know where the question mark or exclamation point is.... Argentina. 
So basically I am gonna talk about Thursday. In the morning I had tramites. I dont actaully know what that word means but basically I had to go to the office and then they bused us around so I could work on my visa paperwork. But it was fun because I was reunited with Hna Davis from the CCM and elder Maxwell tambien. Hna Davis and I talked the whole time about how we are adapting and how the language is coming and it was nice to just unload a little and chat with someone who is going through the same things. Also we got facturas which dont exist in the united states which makes my heart hurt. 

So then Thursday night after a morning of tramites where we had to wake up early to be at the office by 8. We had to take 2 trains for about an hour to get there. and an afternoon of biking around on dirt roads which is killer cuz it is up and down hills and bumps all day we were tired and excited to get back to the pench to study language then plan and go to bed.... but wouldnt you know it. We got back to the door and one of the exterior doors wouldnt open.... the lock mechanism is kinda busted so yeah... we kept trying and praying and trying some more to open the door but to no avail. So we just started having study in the street.... sketchy street too but whatca gonna do..... while we waited for someone to enter or exit the buiding and open the door. 

After an hour or so we remembered we had cookies in the backpack so we enjoyed those and then we started getting creative yelling up at the apartments and trying to scale the door to get to the second floor balcony of our pench. Haha yeah that wasnt gonna work either. we called our nieghbors and rang their doorbells but no one was home. so about 850 we finally gave in and called for help. We are supposed to be in at 9 or 930 if we had a lesson. First we called the district leader who didnt know what to do so he called the zone leaders who called us and told us to call the missionaries in charge of the pensions. the pensionaros told us to wait while they called someone else. Then they called us and told us to wait in the chapel while they called someone to come jimmy the door. We got into the apartment at 1020 and for anyone who is familiar with missionary work... bedtime is 1030 so we literally changed our clothes said a prayer and slept..... it was a little rough.
Okay so this week in the what is weird in Argentina column... my milk comes in a bag, and everyone here has gates or walls with spikes right.... bt if you cant afford do that no worries, just break your glass bottles and plaster those on top of your wall and no one will want to scale it. haha gotta love this country. 

​Being a missionary is hard for sure. But I have already learned so much. From my companion, from the members, from the spirit. I know I am not perfect but everyday I am trying a little harder. Sometimes working with investigators is frustrating because 90 percent of them need to get married or divorced and then married to the other person but they dont seem to understand how important baptism is. Only through baptism can we enter the celestial kingdom, there is NO other way. I wish i could just wave a wand and make people understand that but alas... I am a mere mortal with a nametag. There are however my little rays of sunshine, we have 2 or 3 investigators who want the truth so bad. They work so hard and will do anything to be baptized and come to the truth. I love learling from their testimonies and being edified from their faith. ​The work is hard but good and that is what matters. Thanks for the support and prayers all. Love you.


Monday, May 16, 2016

Sergio's Baptism

Sergio with his eye problems

Sergio with family and us - I think this one really highlights how much I stand out everywhere

Sergio after being baptized

The hermanas of the zone

The Miracle(s) of Baptism

Hola everyone! 

This week I had the first baptism in the mission!! Wooohoo! His name is Sergio and he is 19 and has been taking the discussions for 4 months now and is great! I didn't do much of his teaching but that is okay :) But holy cow the fact the baptism went smoothly is a miracle! So first off, Monday of last week he got some sort of eye infection, not sure exactly what cuz I don't know that medical vocabulary but something bad..... miracle of miracles he was healed enough to be baptized Saturday! The water was cold though because the heater wasn't working and it is winter here so sorry Sergio! The next miracle is that people showed up to the baptism, the attendance was great, the ward and especially the yound adults really supported him. Another miracle was that we were able to prepare for his baptism, we needed to get back into our apartement before his baptism but one of the 3 keys we have to use to get to our apartment wasn't working .....!!! So we said a prayer and then 15 minutes later it finally worked! Hallelujah! And here is the biggest miracle of all... so all week we have been asking people if they would bring food to the service right? cookies, soda, the works. 2 minutes before the baptism we went to check on the room where the food was, and there was literally 1 bottle of soda. AHHHHH!!! we were in a panick!! we enlisted a few members to buy something while he was chaging after he was baptised and then we were literally sitting there praying for a miracle like when Jesus fed the 5000 with 2 fishes and 5 loaves of bread. And when the service ended we opened the curtain and the table was so beautifully arrayed I almost cried. I don't know where the food and drinks came from but they were there. It really helped incrase my testimony that the Lord cares about us and his hand is in the little things as well as the big things. I am so happy for Sergio and that he has entered into a beautiful covenant with the Lord. There are big things ahead for him. 

The language is coming along.... at least I think it is! No one asks me how long I have been in the country immediatly after I open my mouth so yeah :) 

As for what is weird in Argentina this week:
People burn their garbage in the street so I am constanly walking through smoke
People build their own homes, there are lots of homes we visit that only have half a roof, or we can't come in because the floor is freshly laid cement.

Also I know I am adjusting to argentina when we visited this week one of the houses I visited my first week that made my jaw drop because and I looked around it and thought it was actaully pretty nice! :) 

Ahhh yeah :) the mission and argentina is the best! Thanks for the support all! :) The church is true :) 


Monday, May 9, 2016

NEWS ALERT: Argentina is not the USA

So in case any of you who read my letters were wondering... Argentina is absolutly nothing like the good old Estados Unidos (The United States). SORPRESA!!! I know .... shocking. 

So where to start with this week... how about tuesday. :) 
So tuesday I had my first intercambios (exchanges) with the sister trainer leaders (basically the district or zone leaders but of hermanas). So I went to the area of Monte Grande for a full 24 hours with Hna Wilson. It was basically the best 24 hours of my life. So to start... Monte Grande is beautiful and paved and has beautiful trees turning fall colors and the weather was spectacular and so yes... it is super cheta there and I loved it. But what really made the day was Hna. Wilson. She is 22 and has 3 months left in the field and is from New Zealand. So we (obviously) both took advantage of each other and spoke english the entire time because sometimes just for your sanity's sake you need to be able to express yourself in your native tongue. So basically we didn't ever stop talking.... and I could listen to her awesome accent for days! It was great! Also we got a chance to talk about all the things that are just different in Argentina and I thought I would share some with the world:
so we clap at gates, we don't knock doors. and so the other night I woke up to clapping in the middle of the night and I wondered who was clapping outside.... after a few seconds I realized it was just a horse clomping by and I went back to sleep..... just not a normal thing in USA
there are dogs everywhere
the things they feed babies: I know that 1 year olds probs shouldn't drink soda but can't really tell that to people here when I see it can I?
People are openly breastfeeding everywhere.... the poor Elders,,,, 
....(perhaps mom you can add what I say in the voice recordings as well :) )

But all of these differences really make it a mission! and I love it! It has made me so incredibly grateful for the blessings and opportunities I have in my life. I probably never would have gone to Argentina without a mission so I am trying to enjoy every bit of it. 

On Thursday I had my last (and kinda first) interview with President Thurgood. He is just awesome though and I love him. Also I got a letter from my family and a letter from BRAD WILCOX which kinda made me feel like a celeb but its cool :) 

Friday we had a tormenta blanca.... which basically means all the missionaries from the stake descend on one ward and visit all the menos activo families. It was really productive and fun... also I am starting to make friends within the district and zone which is awesome because... friends!! Everyone needs em everywhere :) 

Saturday was amazing. We had a lesson with this engaged couple that was a refenece from a member and Holy cow the spirit was so strong during the lesson. Every single one of us there cried several times and I could feel the Holy Ghost giving me impressions of what to say and do. The spirit was so strong it felt almost like something very heavy was resting on my chest. It was the most amazing thing. Expereinces like that are why I am here sharing my testimony in a country that is not my own where nothing is familiar. It is hard to be a missionary but sometimes we reach out and really change the lives of people and that is incredible.
Talking with my family for Mother's day was incredible to and was a good reminder to me of why I am here. I came on a mission because I know that I can and am going to live with my family forever. Becuase I know this, everything is easier. I don't have to fear death because I willl see them again. I want others to have that same promise and reassurance in their lives. I am so grateful for temples and the promise they give us of forever families. That is why I am a missionary.  

The church is true and families can be together forever! :) I just want to shout it from the rooftops (in castellano of coarse). LOve you all!

​Hermana Walker ​

Brad Wilcox Letter!!

Also let it be known I got a letter in the mail from the one and only BRAD WILCOX. 
It kinda made my life just a little and I thought of my friend Dan who idolizes the man so yes :) 

Hna Medrano and I celebrated her 1 year in the mission with dulce de leche and bananas! 
It was fabulous! 

One of my favorite less active member families, the Lescano familia. The mom is inactive but her kids go mas o menos. But the mom is the sweetest lady in the world. Love her to pieces!  Also in the photo are some of the kids friends.. 

One of the nices streets in the area. And a typical view for me, she likes to walk that far ahead of me always..... dont ask me why but yes!  So that is what I look at all day :) 

Monday, May 2, 2016

Photos Week 2 in Campo

Who let the Dogs Out?‏

Hola from Buenos Aires!!
So where to start! Well to start every day gets a little bit easier and every day my castellano improves a little bit! But yeah culture shock. I still walk into houses and am stunned for a minute when I see how people live, wow. But they make do I guess. most everyone has a smart phone though and a very good speaker system in their house with a tin roof so yeah! Weird what comes first.
Last pday was fun. One of the Hnas in our zone had abirthday so we had a birthday party and ate delicous treats and hot chocolate and watched Toy story 3! it was nice to just unwind and get refreshed for the new week.
So the very exciting news of the week! We got new bicylcles and a new estufa!!! YEAH!!! Bikes is great because walking... eh. But my comp only has riden a bike 4 times so yeah that will be interesting! Also a new estufa or space heater is great because holy cow I am already freezing to death and it is only MAy! I am gonna be a popsicle in JUly holy moly. And also it is winter and not christmas which is throwing me off. I seriously am in more than one pair of tights daily and already wearing my big coat out tracting.... this Arizona girl is in for it. everyone here thinks I am use to it though cuz in the US there is snow and I have to explain that I live in the desierto!! I don't know how hot it gets in AZ in celsius or I would tell them.... 

OKay so have I mentioned how many dogs are here?  I don't know but it is worth mentioning again. WOW. Every home owns at least one usually three dogs and there are twice that many just raoming the streets. We yell chuhca at them all day long which I think is the word for doghouse?? I don't know but it has kept them away pretty well. Although Hna. Medrano tells me you aren't a real missionary without a dog scar! uh oh. Also the dogs bark all night and I literally pray nightly that WHEN I wake up in the night from the dogs I will be able to fall back asleep quickly. 

​The work is going good as far as I can tell. We have one baptism scheduled for 2 weeks from now and we are prayign that works out.​ What I have learned the last 2 weeks is that I am not perfect for as hard as I try. But if I am doing the best I and the Lord is pleased with me and will bless me. So I do the best I can to be exactly obdient and to have faith that one day I will be able to talk and teach and be the missionary I want to be and help the people the way I want to. I just keep pressing forward with a hope in Christ and somehow I make it through the day. Thanks for the prayers all!! A mission is hard but rewarding. HAve faith and hope in Christ.