Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Another week in Zapala

Ah, my recent convert's husband. It's my new companion's mission to get him baptized.

We have some great investigators right now. Zapala really is a land of miracles. We have one girl who just committed to being baptized May 8! Her sister got baptized right after I got here, and if the missionaries have anything to say about that, their whole family will be members in at the most a year. They're all really great. About a month-ish ago their dad just passed away, and that void has left room for the gospel to work miracles.

And that's my favorite part. Seeing the changes these people make.

Like one of our investigators who has stopped drinking since the death of his brother a year ago and LOVES everything about the gospel.

Or like another older couple we're teaching who at first were listening to us just to be nice, and after my new companion read 3 Nefi 11 with them magically agreed to go to church with us. Before they never would have done that. They didn't even want a Book of Mormon. But now they want us to come by and teach them. They're reading the BOM on their own. They LOVED the church.

That's my favorite. Ni importa that we are rejected all the time. I don't remember the rejections. These people make it all worth it.

Mamma, don't "worry" about my last companion. She wasn't stupid. She's actually really smart. Some people have worse memories than others. Hers was just worse.
And alas yes, I have a Latin companion. It's been difficult enough with the language barrier, but since she's arrived she's turned some of our investigators around on a track to baptism. She really has done a lot and handled some very difficult situations with grace and poise. She really is a challenging and testifying missionary.

The dogs and cats are nuts here. There are dogs por qualquier lado. I miss our well behaved nutters.

And mamma, I didn't know you were growing out your hair! Must send pictures!

Speaking of pictures, I can't send them online, but I'll make a CD soon and send them to you.

And tell Adam to keep his chin up.

Send Ann, Marti, Toni, the Parkes- Everyone my love!

Even Bethikins and Rianne and Jenn and Shanda and Mandy and... oh, everyone.

love love love, Hna.Georgeson

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Transfers today!

Mamma, don't worry about it. If you could send me stuff it would just be really sweet. It's not like I'm demanding it of you.... Or am I? I WANT IT NOW!!!!!!!
Ok, not really.

We have transfers today. I'm staying and my companion, Hna. Porter, is going to Roca, about an hour away from Neuquén capital. In two months with three companions! Hna. Porter has been here for the past six months, so it's really hard for the members to see her go, and really hard for me to be the one to come in after her. My new companion is Hna. Polasias? I don't really know how to spell her name, but we believe she's from Paraguay, and supposedly she's an awesome cook.

Dang. More delicious food to eat.

So yes, you heard me right, my first Latin companion. After only three weeks with my trainer, one transfer with my second companion, and now they want to give me a Latin. I'm gonna die!!! I won't be speaking English for a while now, so bear with me in my emails if my grammar starts going downhill.

In other recent news, we had two baptisms this weekend! A mother and her 8 yr old son. Rosa's husband first invited the missionaries to their home because he really wanted to change his life around, and Rosa wasn't really into it. The more they were taught her husband's interest kind of disappeared, but Rosa was like "Yeah, I'll go to church," and bada bing bada boom, she and her son are now members of the church. They've lived pretty rough lives. Her husband is unemployed and they live off of welfare so they're really poor. On top of that, Nestor, her husband, is home during the week, but on the weekends he leaves to go drinking and what not with his friends and doesn't come home till about Sunday night or Monday. Before Hna.Porter said sometimes they would come and Rosa would have bruises on her. I think, though, that having the gospel brought to their home has helped them. Not completely with him, but I've never seen bruises on her or their kids, and he seems a little bit more sober. Not in a "I'm-not-drunk" sense, but a bit more together. She doesn't always understand everything we teach, or what she reads in the Book of Mormon. She's only got a 6th grade education, but it goes to show the Lord can bless anyone with the knowledge of these things. She might not understand with her head, but she can feel something. I already know I'm going to be learning a lot from her. Her humility and patience and forbearance are amazing.

I'm not going to lie, I'm scared out of my wits about this transfer. Me cuesta tanto con mi Castellano. Trying to pick up where Hna.Porter left off freaks me out. I'm so afraid because Hna.Porter is such a loving person, and the investigators and members know her so much better than they know me because I don't talk. I'm just afraid they won't open up to me and they'll just stop listening. I'm afraid because I totally don't know the area. The roads and barrios are so confusing. I'm afraid because our area book is in bad shape and doesn't have the addresses or last names of most of the investigators, so it's up to me to recognize houses and update the book. The work here in Zapala is amazing. People are so willing to hear the gospel. But there's so much to fix right now, and it's me who has to lead the way because I've been with the area.

But.

The Lord has put me in this pickle for a reason. Apparently He thinks I can handle it. So this is going to be a transfer of prayers and pleading. And please pray and plead for me.

I pray for all of you because, well, I LOVE YOU! And I want you to have what I have and more. I read in Moroni 2:13-14 this morning and it really struck me hard. Dice:

"But behold this my joy was vain, for their sorrowing was not unto repentance, because of the goodness of God; but it was rather the sorrowing of the damned, because the Lord would not always suffer them to take happiness in sin.

"And they did not come unto Jesus with broken hearts and contrite spirits, but they did curse God, and wish to die. Nevertheless they would struggle with the sword for their lives."

And that's how some people live out their lives. How awful is that? That's not life. That's nothing. I don't even want to imagine living a life like that. But lately we've been finding those for whom this is life. And that's why I'm here. To bring them life where they are dead.

And as an annoying tidbit that all missionaries tell you, but that's why you are all so important! We all know people who are dead, spiritually dead, but you have the means to bring them life. If you really love your friends and family, share what you have with them. Don't let them curse God and wish for death. Pluck up the courage and share.

I love you all so much and want to hear from you! Tell Adam it's just an email for heaven's sakes. He can read it. He doesn't have to email me back. It would be cool, but he doesn't have to. Just read the thing by gum.

Keep reading your scriptures and follow the counsel of the prophets! They will never guide you wrong.

Mamma, you don't have to worry about me losing things or anything like that. I've got it down. Really. Don't worry about it.

Oh crud, where'd my camera go?!??!?!

Just kidding!

love love love love, Hna. Georgeson

P.S. While I'm thinking about my last name, most people totally don't remember my name because it's so different for them, so now I just tell them they can call me Hna.Georgi, lovingly bestowed upon me by a crazy elder from Buenos Aires.

Entonces, amor amor amor amor, Hna. Georgi

Monday, April 12, 2010

First of all, before I forget, I didn´t say packages, but bubble envelopes. They don´t open manilla bubble envelopes, and the things you send in there shouldn´t be all that expensive. If you really really can, If you can send me some ibuprofen in a baggie or something mi cuerpo would absolutely appreciate it. I totally can´t handle the Argentine ibuprofen here, it´s awful. It´s so strong, it dopes me up! I'm like a drugged up wet noodle. So that would be so nice! Pretty please!

So this has been a wickedly hard and frustrating week. Although we've been working hard, our numbers don´t show it. According to our numbers we've hardly done anything. But at night we come home and we're just exhausted. We're honestly trying! My companion and I have really been looking forward to pday for a break from Zapala. We got permission to go to Neuquén to do my DNI, which are the papers I officially need to be in the country. That and Neuquén has a lot of cheap stuff, way cheaper than Zapala. Hooray for cheap!

Well, I my comp didn't tell me that I needed my passport, she said she didn´t think so after we had left the pension, so we got here after three hours on the collectivo only to find out I can't do anything today, so now I have to come back again during the next transfer and do all this stuff, and then my companion couldn't do any of her stuff because she didn't even know she had stuff to do! Afterward we went around, she bought a camera to replace the one she forgot on a collectivo a couple transfers ago (and in Argentina NOTHING is safe, you can't leave things left around for a second or else they're gone forever), and then we went to two stores to go shopping (explaining one purchase of a needed cardigan). In the second store when she went to go pay for her stuff she went to look for her wallet, which which was in the bag with her camera not in her backpack, only to realize it was gone. She left it in her dressing room and when she went to go look for it it was gone. Somebody totally jacked her stuff. Her license, her cards, her mission credit card, her cash, her everything. It was frusterating at first because losing things and forgetting things happens a lot with her, and a lot of the time I don't want to say anything to be bossy because I am junior companion. But alas, I figure this is a call to duty to help her out more and not to take the "the junior companion back seat."

Alas, just to boil it all down, this week has been a week of learning opportunities. I'm trying harder to open my mouth more and to be more proactive. Sometimes with some families I don't understand what they're saying, or what in the world I need to say, or it's just that I find them really intimidating. But I can listen more actively, I can pray more earnestly for the gift of tongues so that the Lord can fill my mouth with what I need to say, and these people find me as intimidating as I find them. To every excuse and fear I have, there's always something to deflect it. I just need to remember them!

In missionary news, we have two baptisms this week, a mother and son. We're going to have to make sure we work hard with them to make sure they understand this commitment and stay active. They haven't had too much education and need a little more help, but with the Lord we can do it! And we should be setting at least 3 more baptismal dates this week, three great people! And more if we can get away with it. We have some great investigators right now, so when you pray for me, pray for them too. They need it too. If not more than I do.

Love you all! Know that I think about you and pray for you often.

Follow the prophet, pray and read, and prepare :)

con amor, su Hna.Georgeson

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

As they say here in Argentina, Felices Pascuas!

Emily didn't write one big letter this week. She wrote a little to each member of the family. So here are bits and bytes of everyone's notes.

To Daddy:

I feel so cheated, Easter and Conference went by WAY too fast! It's so not fair! I did get to see all of them, but it still doesn't feel like enough! I can't wait till they come out and I get to keep them and read them.

It's funny to think you're still getting snow. Right now is the beginning of fall and it's muy linda afuera (very nice outside). But the other day it was so cold! Like Downey in the fall. Oh heavens, I can't wait for winter!

I'm almost done with my first full transfer here! Qué loco! I now have a full 6 or 7 weeks here. And I'm beginning to understand a lot more and talk a lot more. Slowly, oh so slowly, but surely, it's coming. All the latin missionaries we were with last week made me practice, curse them! But I could have conversations! And crack jokes! Now ain't your daughter so witty!

EARTHQUAKES! One of the things we talk about with people that helps us to get through to them is that these are the signs of the times, and we gotta prepare ourselves, just like what they warn us about in Conference. We can see it's so not a joke, but the real thing.

And I wasn't going to get a blessing, but alas, my nasal infection is returning, and so that just might be a good idea. Hee hee.

To Micah:
Yes, I'm always down with something, but by now I just think it's hilarious. I just got over my last illness only to realize today that my nasal infection is returning. Hip hip hooray! Really now, I'm just giggling just cuz it's so silly. But Satan should know that He can't get me down this way, and if it's the Lord challenging me, then it's not much of a challenge. Except for the fact that I can't hear people because of the preassure in my head. Ok. Maybe it is a challenge, but one that makes me giggle.

Alice in Wonderland! You are going to have to buy it so I can watch it in 13.5 more months. And if you liked it I know it's good. Other people are always like "I'll never watch it, it's creepy," yadayadayada, I think it looks wicked awesome! And it's sweet that all of you were able to go together. Did you watch conference? My companion and I noticed that there was a huge theme about the relationship between parents and children. If you don't remember them you should go online and read them or watch them, just a little bit everyday. It's what our Heavenly Father wants us to know right now, so that must mean it's rather important. And I think it fits that all of you went to the movies. Just doing sweet things together like that makes all the difference.

Oh Micah, the mission is crazy, the mission is hard, the mission is fun, the mission is something I'd never trade out- ever. Everyday I'm learning, easy lessons and lessons that break my heart, lessons like the Nephites being reminded of things that they already should know that they forget and ends up kicking their butt. But that part is my fault. Anyway, as difficult or sickly as it is, I couldn't be anywhere else.

To Mommy:
Oh mamma, I wrote all the boys and daddy back that now I only have five minutes! BAH! But this week has been SOOOO interesting!

Funny story of the week: My companion and I were molested by this giant horny dog. I think he just wanted the carmelos in my pocket. Pervert.

Other funny story: My companion lost the keys to our apartment so we can't really get in. We have to go through our neighbors house and sneak in the back way. We're getting the lock changed today so that we can leave. The other week we woke up early to go running, and my comp came out of the bathroom and said "gah! We can't go! We can't leave!" I can't help but giggle, it's all just so silly!

Conference was awesome! And way too short! What the crud! I feel so jipped! Easter and Conference went by way too fast! Read it and watch it again! I know there are tons of things that bog us down in life, but the Prophet and Apostles have told us what the Lord wants us to know to gain happiness. Who are we to say no and not do them? Who are we to not follow the counsel of a loving Heavenly Father?

I gotta go already! I think about you often and hope you're doing okay!

Mucho amor y ravioli (the popular main dish here), su Hna.Georgeson

P.S. Felices Pascuas!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!