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:

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

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