Monday, February 22, 2010

Argentina: Week 1‏

BBAAAHHH!!! I'm here!!! And still getting used to the keyboard!

This week has been interesting. A)I can't speak Spanish! B) I have really bad allergies right now so I can't really hear anyone, let alone people speaking Spanish so I can try to understand them! C) Well, yeah. That's probably as bad as it gets. I can, though, do some contacts in the street. I did several yesterday with my companion. With my companion of course.

The flights took about 24 hrs total to get to Neuquén, with all the delays and everything. Muy largo, no? But meh, it didn't really bother me all that much. And can I just say, I LOVE FLYING!!!! Our Elder Johnson was so right.

Anyway, my mission president and his wife met me at the airport at around 8 Argentina time (we are 4 hrs ahead of mountain standard time), ate my first empeñadas, then went to bed. And it was so nice getting to Argentina because it's all nice and humid here! Me encanta (I love it)!!!!!! It's still summer here, so it's a nice break from cold Utah and Idaho (you can laugh at me in a couple of months, Winter really starts in June-ish).

The next morning they put me on a 11 hour (at least) bus ride to my area. I was all alone, on a bus surrounded by Spanish speakers, and I totally didn't know what they were saying most of the time! But I'm still alive, so it's all good :)

I met my companion at my first area, Puerto Madryn, which is about in the middle of the gulf south of the peninsula in the middle-ish of the country. I know the Peninsula has a name, but what it is, I don't remember. It's a decent size city, but it's pretty different. Argentina is very different from most South American country. We're right on the beach so there are a lot of tourists and those from cruise ships around. A LOT of people smoke around here. And as I said, Argentina is WAY different from any other South American country.

My trainer is Hna. LeGrow. It's a hoot because when I first got here, when I met the assistants to the President, they were like "Oh, you're in for a treat." She has a lovely reputation. They only said that out of love of course :) But ya know what, she's awesome. She's someone who'll tell someone how it is, which is a pretty good thing when it comes to being a missionary. She's been really patient because she has to take care of a gringa, and teach lessons, and work to accomplish all the mission goals by the end of the day. I really appreciate her. But she's also trying to get me to stretch, which has been hard. Yesterday at church it was really hard because she had all these other different responsibilities and I was left all alone going, "Ma- Eh- Wha-?" They were all talking, and I can't hear anything... Oy vey. But it's not to bad. Most of the time I do understand most of what they're saying. Sometimes I can understand all of it. Maybe it's only because I have my companion. She speaks way more clear than they do here, and It's way easier to understand what she's saying.

Hmmm... I don't really know what else to tell you, except that although it's been an interesting ride these past few days, I'm totally fine. Even the past two days where I was like " How can you people say no to this message! This is the word of God here!!!" I'm totally okay. I know why I'm here, and I promised God I would work my tuckahs off, so that's what I'm going to do. All the walking, all the talking, all the everything, doesn't really bother me. I know why I'm here. It's going to be a really hard, heart-breaking two years, but I know it's going to be worth it. Mi compañera said that the mission really is a test of fire and faith, and I believe it. But you don't get a diamond if you just let the coal sit on your counter.

Gotta go! Love all of you and pray for you often! Turn to the Lord, and He won't leave you. Please. Don't turn away from the God who gave you everything, including Christ- a way to eternal life. Please.

xoxoxo,
Hna. Georgeson

I have posted a copy of the letter she sent us via the mission president when she first arrived in Argentina at Emily's family web page. Also I have put up a letter with instructions for mailing to Argentina.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

She had arrived!!!

LA IGLESIA DE JESUCRISTO DE LOS SANTOS DE LOS ÚLTIMOS DÍAS
MISIÓN ARGENTINA NEUQUÉN
Zapla N° 24
8300 Neuquén
Neuquén – Argentina
Tel.:(0299) 443-2413

We are pleased to inform you your daughter Sister Emily Rose Georgeson has arrived safely in the Argentina Neuquén mission. We were excited to meet her on the 16th of February, as she arrived at the terminal here in Neuquén. Enclosed please find a picture that was taken during the mission orientation she was given on Wednesday.


Thank you for your willingness to share your daughter with us as a missionary and representative of the Savior, Jesus Christ. We know it is a sacrifice for you, but also know the Lord will bless you richly while Sister Georgeson is here in the mission field. We encourage you to write her every week with positive, encouraging news and comments. You should also receive a message from her every week.(P-day is Mondays.) Missionaries have a limited amount of time on preparation day. Therefore, they are only permitted to send and receive letters by email with their parents or guardians. You can then forward their emails to extended family and friends as you feel appropriate. All other communication to the missionary should be through normal mail channels. Instructions for mailing letters and packages to your missionary are included on the attached information sheet.

For your information, missionaries are permitted to call their family twice yearly for 30 to 40 minutes. These calls take place on Christmas Day and one other time (usually mother’s day). They should not call at any other time or for any other reason without permission of the mission president.

We were immediately impressed with the desire of Sister Georgeson to become involved in missionary work. On Wednesday morning, she left for her first assignment in the city of Puerto Madryn. We are confident Sister Georgeson will be a faithful, effective missionary as she applies what she learned in the Missionary Training Center.

May the blessings of the Lord be with you and your family as your daughter serves faithfully in this most sacred calling. Please feel free to communicate with us regarding any questions or concerns you may have.

With sincere best wishes,

President Peterson
Hermana Peterson

Friday, February 12, 2010

WISCONSIN!!!!‏

I don't even know how to spell Wisconsin, let alone even go there! Way too cold for me :)

I assume many of you heard about my crazy visa situation. But first let me tell you a little bit of what's been going on here en la CCM (MTC).

After my district left (my first district) I was companions with the two sisters that were left going stateside, who were leaving in two days. Everybody thought I would only be here for maybe an extra day or two. They were a good two days, I love Hna. Harris and Hna. Squires! But then those two left, and I was put in another district, our district A.

Let me explain district A: Nuts!!! But I love those elders, they are probably my most favorite out of the entire MTC! The only reason I can't say they're my absolute favorite is because they're tied with the elders from my district B. Anyway, after my two hermanas left I was the only sister in the Zone, and put in a district who have never had hermanas. But I gotta say, the members they're serving right now have got to think that they're so impressive. They treat sisters, well everyone, so well! Always taking my tray, opening doors (sometimes if I ran to get out of the rain they would run behind me yelling "Quick! She's running! Don't let her open that door!" *sigh* love those elders! What a hoot :) ), carrying my backpack for me, carrying my stuff for me without my backpack... they were just all around awesome. All in Long Beach,CA Spanish speaking. Long Beach did so not know what they got.

My Elders that I was assigned to were E. Yeaman (pronounced like Yay!man) and E. Jackson. I'm pretty sure if I really was a boy I would be just like Elder Yeaman. I'm also pretty sure if he had a twin his mamma would be insane in the membrane. He's so nuts, but that's why I love him. I always knew I could say whatever I want to him and he could just sling it right back. He's planning on going to BYUI when he comes home, so I totally have plans to hunt him down then. Literally hunt - him - down. And finally hug him because he's so awesome. He used to always tell me that the only reason I stayed behind was to help out their district, and that the day they left I would get my visa and go lickety split. Well, he was wrong. You'll see why.

E. Jackson is a Army man, and you can tell. His Spanish is... well, we cut him slack because he's a gringo. No, in all seriousness he had the heart to go behind his choppy Spanish. He also gave me a lot of flack, but for us, I think we definitely learned a lot of patience with each other.

And one day I'll have to describe all the other amazing elders from that district, because they hold such a special place in my heart. So special. Elder Sturdevant, Elder Wickam-Paulson, Elder Horton, Elder Rice, Elder Miner, Elder Starta. Love 'em all.

Everybody thought I would leave before them, but no. They left on Monday *tear*. But I'm sooooo wickedly happy for them. I'm now with another district, district C, who once again have never had an hermana. My Elders are E. Pottorff and E. Flake. We're still learning from each other. They're a good district, and I finally have one sister for a teacher! Yay! It's nice :)

My companion situation has been crazy. After Hnas Harris and Squires left I was put with 3 Brazilian sisters (going, not from Brazil). Sister Hanson was my companion. She was also a solo sister and we had class on the same floor and everything so it worked out really well, we could just escort each other everywhere we needed to go. But then after almost two weeks, all those sisters finally got their visas (Brazilian visas have been coming in really slow), so I had to move a fourth time into a whole different building, with the most sisters in it, the same day my district A was leaving. That was a heart wrenching day.

Now I'm companions with Irmas Free and Heier. They are the sweetest sisters. I love them! They are so patient and so wonderful, I love it. They bring an excellent spirit, which I totally appreciate. Sometimes sisters don't do that because they're rather obnoxious. Anyway, yes, I'm really blessed. I like it. The Lord kept me here for a reason (Elder Yeaman!!!!!).

!So my visa! They were going to reassign me to go to Wisconsin, which nobody was going to tell me because they changed my reassignment at the last minute before I even knew about it, so that part is all good. They finally got my permiso on Monday-ish from Argentina, and the consulate was coming yesterday to sign all the visas. They changed all the forms so I had to get re-fingerprinted. I accidentally signed my name on the wrong line, and I guess when he saw he threw a fit (I guess he's really picky) and almost didn't take it. But alas, the Lord is on my side, and with a little talking with my travel agent lady sister, he accepted it, and so I leave Monday morning with a giant group going to Buenas Aires, leave here at 8, my flight leaving at 12:05, so Mom, keep phone lines open

Love you all, I only have thirty seconds left, but please make sure some of you are home so I can talk to you for a little bit!

xoxox

Friday, February 5, 2010

Leaving on a Jet Plane! Finally!

Hi all - Emily's Mom here.

I just got a phone call from my stake president. He was contacted by a mission president in Minneapolis who had been contacted by Emily's mission president in Argentina. He was told that until Emily's visa comes through, she will be sent to Minneapolis to start getting her missionary experiences. So she will be leaving the MTC on Monday. I'm waiting for Emily to call me with her big news. Now how do I pretend not to already know? Hmmmmm!

Lonely! I'm still lonely!‏

Okay, I'm really not that lonely. The elders I'm with love to sing me that song just to rub it in a little, because alas, I'm still the only Sister in my zone, the only spanish speaker left in my building (the dorms), and no tengo un companera! What is the world coming to???

So yes, I'm still here in the MTC, good ol' Provo. Don't think I'm complaining though. I'm not. I'm actually really okay with it, because I know the Lord doesn't just do things willy nilly. He always has a purpose. I'm still trying to find the purpose, the reason why I'm here, but I know there's one, and the Lord wants me to fulfill it.

The district of Elders that I'm with are all leaving Tuesday and Wednesday for the field. They think it would be all sorts of hilarious if I left after they did. Watch me laugh. haha. wow. I feel the enthusiasm.

No, in all seriousness, they don't REALLY want me to be stuck here longer, but they're trying to have a good sense of humor about it. The two elders that I teach with are Elder Yeaman and Elder Jackson. Sometimes- wait- most of the time they remind me of Adam, Micah, and Barrett. Mostly Adam though. Especially E.Yeaman. He's nuts:)

It's been an adjustment teaching, not only with someone who isn't my companion, but also Elders and in a trio at that. Sometimes their spanish isn't that good, so investigators in our lessons are like "Que en el mundo dice????" (como "What in the world are you saying???") So they don't litterally say that, but close enough. It's all about having patience right? I know that's one thing I need to learn from them. Sometimes I just want to take charge of the lesson and be like "let me explain this to you my way," but my way is so not the right way. I have to try and make this not only a good experience for the investigators and for the Elders. I can't tear them down or walk all over them. We've all got to learn together. Yeah, it'll take a while, but it's what we all need. I can wait for perfection.

The past few days when it has come to teaching have definitely been learning experiences. I've been trying to think of ways to not just sit there and never talk, and also to try to get to the people in spanish. English is one thing, spanish is another! I'm trying to pray for the gift of Charity, because we can't do anyting without it (1 Cor 13). Like being able to see others through Heavenly Father's eyes. I'm really trying to rely on the Lord so that I will know what to say, but not only what to say, but what they need. Heaven knows I don't know everything that these people need. The past two days we've been teaching a lot and I've been trying to actually be a useful tool in the Lord's hands, and I've felt the spirit so much like I'm actually doing some good! It's been so nice, especially since I've felt like I've been hitting a spiritual brick wall the past few weeks. I feel like an effective missionary again! Woo hoo!

What else to tell you... Oh yeah! Because I'm the only sister in our zone, I was called as the coordinating sister. Sometimes it feels kind of silly because I'm only coordinating myself, but a calling is a calling, and an opportunity to grow. I did get to teach the new elders we got this week with our zone leaders, and I hope that maybe I can be of some good influence. I don't want to be known as the annoying sister missionary who is a party pooper, or a downer, or a nagger. But I do want them to act like Elders called by God. I hope it's working. Just a little.

The new elders we have in our zone came to replace my district, District B, and although it's cool, it makes me miss my district! And it makes me feel so old! Holy moly! Mi vida es interestante, no?

I'm sorry if some of the stuff in here is a jumbled and crazy, I'm still trying to get all my thoughts together. But know that I love you all and pray for all the time, because alas, I love you!

Bethy poo, that goes for you too.

And Erin, WHY DIDN'T YOU TELL ME YOU WERE ENGAGED!!!!!!!! AAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! That was my AH! out of pure delight and excitement :)

xoxox

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Solo Sister

Yes! I've been delayed! For right now it's been an extra four days and they still don't know when I'll get my visa.

Everyone in my district left, so now I'm officially declared a solo sister, moved into another district in my zone, and in with three portuguese speaking sisters. I've been hearing the song "lonely, I'm still lonely, ain't got nobody to call my OOOWWWNNN!!!" a lot. Hmmm.

But it's not so bad. My attitude has changed around a lot since I last emailed you. That day just stunk hardcore. That was the day I found out about my delay. When they called me into the travel office that night I knew it was coming, why else would they really want me? When I officially heard the news I was like "Oh man, I'm going to bust out crying!" But I was okay. I actually laughing about it. Okay, maybe it was more the laugh of an exhausted person after a ridiculous day, but still, it's better than crying. I gave up on trying to control it all. And honestly, although it's still stressful, I know I'm okay.

The rest of my district going to Argentina left on Monday, the last two sisters going stateside left Wednesday morning, so I've been solo for two and a half days now. Or maybe two days. Whatever. Solo means that I don't have a companion in my district, or in other words my class, so I have to have two elders from my class be with me at all times. If there's an activity where it's just not that appropriate to be with elders, like laundry, the temple, etc., then I have a sister who is my "companion," a sister who is in another district and everything, but has the same schedule as me. My "companion" is Sister Hanson, who is ridiculously pretty, but very cool. She is awesome. She's a visa waiter too, but for Brazil. The brazilian missionaries are having a hard time getting their visas because Brazil is changing their visa acquiring system, so hardly any of them are leaving because the process is going so slow. So we're all in the same boat. Except for me it's only been four days, and for them it's more like four weeks.

I'm with the district that is now officially the oldest. Which is funny because they're all Micah's age. They're all so goofy, like 19 year old boys without a girl around for the past 7 weeks, but they're all so sweet. We always knew that they knew how to treat a sister right, but now I have proof! They remind me a lot of Adam, Micah, and Barrett, and it makes me wish they would all just come here right now and serve missions. Just because it's such an experience. If you love someone, you want them to come.

OOOOOOHHHHH!!!! I totally forgot! Wednesday, a few hours after our hermanas left, President Uchtdorf came to the gym and waved to everyone! It was so intense!!!! Okay, I never actually saw him, I was on the track upstairs running so I couldn't see him while he was there, but a few elders in my new district FREAKED OUT later. It was adorable. Although I didn't get to see him, you knew something amazing was happening, because all of the sudden the gym got super quiet and everybody stopped what they were doing and just staring in his general direction. Although I didn't get to see Pres.Uchtdorf, I did get to see the dumb founded missionaries staring in his general direction.

I only have about two minutes, but I just want to say to Bethalicious, I love you, and I hope you honestly know that. Sometimes I wish you could be here, because it's so amazing, and we are reminded that the gospel is one of healing all the time, and I know it's true. I love you bubby.

40 seconds! Just enough time to say I super love you all, and keep on truckin'! Even if you don't have a truck! Or keep on Car-ing!