Monday, July 26, 2010

Bariloche, Alto 1 ward

Bariloche, Alto 1 ward. My area is covered with hills. I'm so not kidding. We are so tired by the end of the day it's hard to climb up the stairs to get into our apartment at night. We both feel like we're just now opening the area. We've been doing lot of knocking on doors. Believe it or not, even though it's a touristy place, it's not that bad. We've found a lot of great people lately. It's the Lord blessing us for our diligence to walk up all of these hills! We can still feel the success that we're going to have here. We know we're going to turn this area around.

This past week we've meet a lot of people from other religions (some nicer than others... even a Buddhist! She was sweet). We had a guy threaten to call the cops on us. Qué mala onda (what bad attitude)! But alas, we finally merit the title of hard core according to our zone leader. oh yes. Hard core I am.

The other Elders are great here in Bariloche. We love our zone leaders. I've heard a lot of E.Jensen from my trainer. I've also heard he makes really good chili. I'm going to be talking to him about that. Also, E. Argueta from El Salvador is priceless. His laugh always makes you smile. He leaks pure joy. And he's really smart when it comes to gospel stuff. We always call him and ask him questions. And just talk about the good ol' work of the Lord.

My companion and I get along really well. We've decided that we're the same person, but one in a taller body. In all seriousness. We have the same preferences, the same dislikes, the same sense of humor. We even read each other's minds every once in a while. It's insane! No really, it's crazy how much we're alike.

Send my condolences to the Parkes. They really are good people and I hope they're doing okay, especially with his mom.

I still pray for all of you. Keep moving forward. Do the little things that make a big difference! Pray! Read your scriptures! Have family home evenings (you'd better still be having them)! Little things, I know, but I can't tell you from this side of the fence what an incredible difference it makes in the lives of the people that we serve.

I'm sending letters with pictures today, so keep a watchful eye!

Love you all so much!!!

xoxo, Hna. Georgeson

Monday, July 19, 2010

Bariloche

Yeah, well last pday was a different pday. I don't have normal pdays anymore. MAH! Just kidding! Kinda.

Anyway yes, yes I am here in Bariloche. My new companion is amazing. I love her! She's really funny, tall (6'4''!), and from California. She's like a taller version of me! She has about 3 more months than me on the mission, and she's ready and willing to work hard to find people, which is exactly what I want. The last transfer she opened up the area (they took out the elders in this ward and put in sisters) and was supposed to train a new companion. But her new companion never got here and she's had to work with mini missionaries and members, so the work has been REALLY slow since she's gotten here. We're both really looking forward to start knocking and start finding. It's going to be awesome. We know we're going to have success here.

But the thing is that this past week has been a barrier in the work. My companion, like right when I got here got really sick. This entire week we've been in our apartment. Needless to say, with all the extra time I got a lot of stuff done and did a lot of studying. But one week after getting here I still don't know anything about our area! Nah, I can't blame anybody, and especially not her. She's been dying because she wants to work, but every other moment she feels like she's going to puke.

So that is the mission Bariloche experience. Besides that, it's been nice here. It was really cold before I got here, but it warmed up while we were in the apartment all day. Now there are icky clouds looming amongst the mountains threatening rain and snow. There are mountains really close everywhere. It also feels like Rexburg in many aspects. Wind, cold, a little bit of snow here and there. Hills- Bariloche is just a land of hills. Definitely like Rexburg. It's going to be an adventure, right?

But it's all going good.

And Zapala. You can tell me whatever you want, but Zapala was... like a training grounds. Like not the real thing for me. But Bariloche is going to be a lot better. I know it is. I'm actually going to be a missionary here. And I totally get the soccer thing. Just because we never grew up fanatics of anything doesn't mean I don't get it. I actually do get it. A lot. That's why I wasn't egging him on or making fun of him. I felt bad because I know it means a lot to these people. And I understand the thing with Gabi's mom. I understand that she's depressed and so her brain is broken. Okay, maybe not so much like that, but I know she doesn't think normal... but that's what drove me insane! I can't keep in touch with my old companion, but she was just starting to understand when I left. I think she'll get it.

Tell Adam to keep his head up, and Micah to get up and do something more (refer to the hymnbook for more instructions on this subject)! And let everyone know I really do appreciate the love and support, and the letters they send. Des, Beth, everyone! I haven't forgotten about you! I will send letters ASAP!

Thanks so much for everything, and take care!!!

xoxo, Hna. Georgeson

July 12 Transfers!!!

Haha, you are my secretary! Ah, just kidding! I'm glad to hear from you because I got some exciting news... TRANSFERS!!!

I'm going to Bariloche!

Saturday night the new district leader in Zapala (our beloved E. Smoot from the MTC!) informed us that my poor companion that wanted to leave Zapala would stay, and I who wanted to stay would leave. It really really stinks. I feel like I did nothing in Zapala, like I helped nobody. That's the worst part. I feel like I leave with shame.

But what we always say is that the work is directed by the Lord, and He doesn't need me in Zapala anymore. He needs me in Bariloche!

Bariloche (bah-di-loh-chay) is a skiing place in the mountains. Therefore I shall see snow and a lot of coldness. Boo. I'm going to be working in the downtown area with Hna. Smith from the U.S., and she's the tallest sister here in the mission, well over six feet tall. And blonde. With blue eyes. Yeah, we won't stick out. Nah, because there are so many tourists there during the winter (for behold, here it's winter) we are going to find a lot of English speakers, so we won't stick out... too much.

Hna. Palacios gave me some Peruvian sweaters and thermals to wear because it's supposedly REALLY COLD.

Oh heavens.

So right now I'm writing in the bus terminal here in Neuquén capital, waiting another 50 minutes before my bus leaves. I think I'll arrive at about 10 or 11 at night.

My goodbyes from Zapala were interesting. I wasn't going to say anything in church so I could say goodbye to the people afterward visiting, but my companion told the bishop who had the first councilor assign me a talk without a topic 1 hour before sacrament meeting, who also told the ward at the end of the sacrament meeting. Thanks Hno. Villar! Nutter. I only say that with love.
So for right now that's where I am. This past week we've been having difficulty with our recent converts. Two of them, a couple, have decided to "help their marriage" they're not going to come to church. They got into a fight after the loss between Germany and Argentina because he was in a bad BAD mood. The fight was pretty ugly, the church came up (because we were at their house during the match- we made them lunch and my companion was treating the loss of Arg lightly which bugged him even more), and he decided that to help their marriage he's not going to come to church, and to keep the matrimonial unity she decided she's not going to go either. It's stupid. My companion felt awful because she felt like it was all her fault, but they were on this path for a long time. It's just that they've finally come to the point where they leave it all behind. It's sad, but they have their agency.

Another one of our amazing investigators isn't coming to church anymore either. It's Gabriela, whose dad recently died about four months ago. Her mom (who I officially now think is insane) is in a bad depression and is often alone, which makes it even worse. She guilts her children into leaving their lives behind to spend time with her. I can understand that she's hurting, but now her children are hurting too. Her two daughters that got baptized won't come to church until she's better. The thing is that she wants to be miserable. We visited her this past week and stayed with her because she was alone (and her daughters asked us to visit so that she wouldn't be alone), and we left her fine and dandy. The next day however we found her daughters in the street, the one saying "what did you say to my mom last night? What did you do?" When her daughter came to her mom's house about 15 minutes after we left, and her mom began yelling at her saying terrible things. This is why I think her mom is nuts. She went AWOL on her daughter, and now her daughter doesn't trust the missionaries- at least the sisters. And yet again Hna. Palacios felt awful because she tried to do what was right, but to her she made the situation even worse.

Okay, so I fumed for a moment there.

The thing is as missionaries we have to respect the agency of these people. As hard as it is to watch them make stupid decisions with their lives, we have to let them do it, because it's their lives. We work with them to help them, but in the end it's their decision.

But I have hope for the future, my future in Bariloche and my really tall companion. It's going to be good. I'm going to work hard to make sure I don't leave Bariloche like I left Zapala. Can you smell that? It smells like... MISSIONARY SUCCESS!

Send everyone my love!
xoxo, Hna. Georgeson

P.S. Mama, keep you eyes out on my email, I think Hna. Palacios might try to send my pics.
Thank you secretary! (Nah, just kidding! Thank you Mama for all that you do for me xo)

Friday, July 9, 2010

Happy fourth of July!

This past week I had what the members call a "liver attack". Basically I had the strong desire to puke and a super high fever. The members say that it happens because of the diet of grease and fats, red meats, red pasta sauce and pasta and bread. This is the second time this has happened. Let me just say I don't want a destroyed liver and therefore am going to take much better care of myself. It's that there's so much preassure to eat the food of the people- if you don't eat they ask "Why aren't you eating? Don't you like my food? EAT!!!" No more of this! I'm taking a stand for me and my health. There's a sister in the ward that asks me "Are you on a diet Sis. Georgeson? Are you on a diet?" No! I'm not on a diet! I don't want a liver transplant by the time I'm 32!!! Take a stand for you health!

Strawberries! How I miss them so!

Happy fourth of July! I wore red, white, and blue yesterday, but nobody noticed.

The loss of Argentina at the world cup was interesting. We didn't meet any hostile people, but we were with members during the match (we made tacos for them), and the husband got all mad and cranky, and we found out the next day that they got into a fight! My companion doesn't understand why these people would take a loss in soccer so hard, but the loss was embarassing. I can understand. Not the whole fight-with-my-spouse thing, but being bummed out, yes.

So this week has been really interesting. Today I'm in San Martín de los Andes. It's lovely! My companion and I had the highest numbers in our zone this transfer so we got to come here. We're going on a really expensive hike today. Expensive because this place is so touristicy. But I can see why. Cabins. Snow. Spas. It's green here! Much more different than Zapala, the desert land of dirt. We had to get up at 2 this morning to travel the four hours to get here, and we won't get back to Zapala until about 4 in the morning tomorrow. Yay!

I sent some pictures to mama last week, hope you all got them. My adventures in the crazy land of Argentina.

Our converts are doing great and they progress every time we visit them. It's wonderful.

If there's anything I can say to you as a missionary is that you help the missionaries. Not only with refferals, but with the courage to talk about God and the gospel. Not only that but visit less active members and invite them to church. Be a friend to investigators. Do your home and visiting teaching. Strengthen the stakes of Zion.

love you all, and send my love to everyone!

And thanks Daddy :)

xoxo, Hna.Georgeson