Tuesday, October 22, 2013

2nd Week in Argentina...

Hola.

This week we did a ton of walking. and clapping at houses.  but we now have 11 new investigators.  and 4 of them have committed to a baptismal date! 3 of them are scheduled to be baptised on November 2nd, and the other investigator is scheduled for baptism on November 19th.  The people here are so humble & so nice!
Two of our investigators were found while we were on our way to teach a lesson to a potential investigator.  We were walking past some food markets, and my companion stopped by to buy an apple real quick.  And the man that worked at this little market we were at started a conversation with us - And he was so nice!!  Then his cute wife, who also works there, joined the conversation too.  We ended up giving them some pamphlets from the church, and he asked us, "how many pasos do these cost?" and we told him they were free, and he got really excited!
Later that night we came back to that little market, and he wanted us to come inside and have a lesson with him and his wife!  So we did, and then afterwards the wife wanted a picture of her and i, because i have blonde hair.  haha :)  Apparently there´s not a lot of blondes in Posadas.  So yeah, then her husband took a picture of us.
Oh Thursday night, we went to a cute little restaurant to eat dinner.  & the lady that worked there asked us what church we were from, and wanted us to come back to have a lesson with her.  So we came back on Saturday night, & her daughter was there too.  So we had a lesson with the lady and her daughter, and they both committed to being baptised on November 2nd :)  They are so cute and so nice!
Sunday was mother´s day for Argentina.  So after Sacrament meeting, all the women in the branch got together in the branch president´s office, & we watched a cute mormon message video about mother´s day.  One of the cutest quotes i heard from this video was this: "Life didn´t come with a manual, it came with a mother" :)
After church, we had lunch at a less-active´s house.  And they had a whole pig rosting over a fire in their backyeard!  Like, a whole pig!  So that´s what they fed us.  Along with bread & 7-up.  Afterwards i got my picture taken with the pig´s head.
After lunch it was a long walk home, & it was super hot outside, and my companion and i were exhausted. So we took a small nap.  And it was soooooo nice.  It was my first Sunday nap in months.
Later that evening we had a lesson with an investigator... & she committed to being baptised on November 19th :)
It´s starting to get really hot here in San Viente... but i have a cool tan line now! :)
Oh, & we have a huge cckroach hiding in our apartment somewhere.  When i found him, i tried to catch him and kill him, but he ran up the wall really fast, & hid in our ceiling... Now we can´t find him.
We have been working with the elders every day so far, & they are awesome!  We have so much fun with them.  One of them is a black elder from Equador, speaks only spanish, and he{s like a giant brown monkey with the biggest smile!  And he loves to cheer people up.  Right now his companion has been trying to teach him a little English.  And so far his favorite two things to say are, "Was´up bro??" & "Aw fetch!!"  He is so funny.  & his name is Elder Landires.
His companion, elder Burke, is from Orem, Utah.  & he´s helped me so much.  He´s pretty much the only person i can speak english to right now, and he{s helped a lot with translating everything for me.  And he´s a goof-ball.  We have had sooo much fun with him.  He´s hilarious.  And he kind of looks like Pter-Pan/Justin Bieber.  But yeah, they´re funny.

Oh, and i just found out that bubble-wrap packages can get here in less than a month!
& when you email me, you can write as much as you want.  Because i print all my emails off!

I love you all very very much :)

con amor,
hermana holmes

ps:  Oh, and there´s no such thing as dinner here.  They just have a huge lunch and that´s it.


Tuesday, October 15, 2013

1st Letter from Argentina

Sarah got her Visa right before conference weekend!  We got a phone call from a random number (and answered it) after the Sunday Session - it was Sister Holmes!  Her visa had been approved and she was flying out to Argentina this next week.  So many prayers were answered and she is going to Argentina.  She is so excited!

4 Months in the Mission field:

Hola!
This week was CRAZY.  I am in culture shock.  I've never been so grateful for America in my life!  There is so much poverty here.  Streets are made up of orange-ish, red-ish dirt, there's tons of really cool birds & parrots flying everywhere, & it rains all the time.  And it´s hot here.
Lots of gross-looking dogs & chickens roam around in the streets.  And in the busier parts of the city, where there's a lot of traffic, women walk around with their babies & go up to each car asking for money.
The little kids here are adorable!!  I love playing with them!  The sad thing is - they're always really dirty & their clothes are ripping.  & their parents treat them really bad.  So when we come around, and treat them really nicely, they love us.  It's so cute but so sad at the same time.
The spanish here is really beautifl.  Buuuuut i have no idea what anybody's saying. & it's really frustrating because i really want to follow along with the conversations.  But the cool thing is - you can always tell when the spirit is there, because you can feel it, even if you don't know what they're saying.
One of the things that were a major culture shock for me, was the fact that women kiss each other on the cheeks instead of shaking hands or hugging.  That really freaked me out my first day here.  It made me uncomfortable.  Oh, the moms here are definitely not afraid to nurse their babies right infront of you.  On Friday, the elders took us with them to a lesson with one of their investigators, & the lady that we were teaching just started nursing her 2 yr old right infront of us, no privacy of anything.  The poor elders had to awkwardly look away.
So i pretty much spent all day Tuesday & all day Wednesday flying on airplaces, heading to Posadas.  Late wednesday night we arrived @ the mission president's home.  and that home was nice.  Thursday morning we each had interview w/ the mission president, and i loved my interview.  Then we had transfer meeting & met our new companions.  The rest of Thursday night was spent riding a bus to the area we're serving in.  We finally got to our apartment at 12:00 am, and there were no beds or furniture or anything.  But the elders brought over 2 mattresses.  After that, we crashed for the night.
All day Friday we went with the elders to meet some of the members of the branch, the less-actives, and 2 investigators.
All day Saturday the elders, us, and the young women hung out at the church doing a service project, making pastries to sell.
on Sunday we went to church.  & our branch is tiny!!  There's only 18 members in our branch, & the elders are the branch presidency!  & almost everyone in our branch is losing their teeth.   But they are very loving & humble people.
Yesterday was a holiday for Posadas.  So instead of having p-day yesterday, we had district meeting.  & that was crazy... it's a 3 hour bus ride just to get to the district meeting!  & then 3 hours back.  So it was an all day thing.
But yeah, the people here in Posadas need the Gospel & the spirit... BAD.  There are 13 year olds living with their 40 year old boyfriends, it smells like smoke everywhere, children look like they haven't had baths in weeks, & tortured dogs roam the streets.  It is the saddest thing.  Oh, there's garbage. everywhere.
Despite all the negative here, the culture here totally reminds me of the movie Nacho Libre.  Yeah, it's definitely Nacho Libre style here.  That, and pirates of the carribean.
Oh, and we have to do our laundry in buckets... I've never been so grateful for washers & dryers until now.
Oh, and we don't have a kitchen.
& instead of knocking on doors, people clap their hands a few yards away from the front door... & people place their dogs on the roofs of their houses.

The people are so humble here, & I love the kids here.  & everyone stares at us wherever we go.  It's so cool to be a representative of the Savior here!!!  It's so exciting to let your light shine here!  The little kids flock to us!  I'm allready buddies with the kids in the branch!  & the young women have allready been writing me cute lil notes :)
Oh, and my companion is awesome.  Her name is Hermana VillaReal. (Vee-zsha-rie-ell)  She's from Columbia, & speaks only spanish.  This companionship has been fun... Trying to get to know each other :)  haha.  But i love her.  She's kind of a quiet girl... but she's fun, really nice.
So yeah.. i'm excited for Posadas.  It's been hard though, i´ve been wanting to come home really badly at times.  But I feel like this really is where the Lord wants me to do missionary work right now.  When i met  my mission president here, and the other missionaries in this mission, i felt better.  This other sister missionary i met here was also a visa waiter, & she said she felt the same thing.
I love the Savior.  & I´m so grateful for prayer.  and the book of mormon is true.
Con amor,
Hermana Holmes