Monday, August 23, 2010

I'M BEING TRANSFERRED...... AGAIN!

You want to hear some exciting news?

I'M BEING TRANSFERRED...... AGAIN!

I was only here in Bariloche for one transfer (6 weeks), and now I've already got to go! When the elders called us they didn't say anything at first (maybe to get back at us for a trick we played on them the other day... our bad.), and then when they finally told us I thought it was a joke. For like 5 minutes I was like "Elder, stop kidding. It's not that funny anymore." He said "I'm not joking Hermana, you really are going."

AHHHHHH!!!!

The reason it's a bummer is that Hna. Smith and I have worked really hard to get this area up and running. We've worked really hard and have found 5 people willing to follow Christ and be baptized- 5 solid baptisms. And now I have to leave them all behind! Me mata! (It kills me!)

Hna. Smith is training this transfer. That is why I am leaving. She was told she was going to train and she's been waiting for the opportunity for a while. I just didn't think I'd get kicked out after one transfer!

I am going south. It's the farthest south that the Hna's go here. Se llama Caleta Olivia. It's a petroleo town, or like a place where they pump oil. They've got those giant oil pumping machines everywhere. I've been told it's even MORE cold and there's wind just like Zapala there. Yippee skippee! The comfort is that there's no snow because it's along the ocean. My new companion is a Latin. Hna. Aquino, and Argentine! I get an Argentine companion! I think this experience will go so much better than the last time I was with a Latin. Hna. Smith says that she's really nice, loves to laugh, and is kind of quiet, so I think we'll get along really well. Even though it's really hard to leave this area in Bariloche, I'm looking forward more to working and seeing the same miracles that we saw here. I want success, and if I work hard, success is what I'm going to get.

When the members found out I was leaving, I really realized that the members liked me more than I thought. I thought I was just some missionary in their ward, that I didn't really matter to them, but I really underestimated them. they are so loving- they LOVE their missionaries. They take care of them so well. They've seen how the missionary work has grown since we really started working here, and it was just really sweet, I'm not going to lie. Humbling too. Really made me take a step back and think about the calling I have.

My comp and I were really excited to have our birthdays here in the same transfer, but alas, we're not! She had been telling members that my birthday was coming up, and there was one Hermana in the ward that wanted to cook us dinner on my birthday. When she found out that I wasn't going to be there, she invited us over last night to eat dinner with her and her daughters. This is the same Hna. that gave be new boots and socks after she found out that my feet were soaked. Oh, wait, I didn't tell you that story!

It snrained here for about two days-ish and my boots were done for. I had tried gluing the sole back to the boot like three times, but the sole was coming off again, and then the zipper on the boot finally broke apart. I had to walk around with safety pins to keep them shut. One night we went by her house because I really needed to go to the bathroom. She asked us how we were doing with the snow and rain, and we said that yeah, my feet were kind of wet. Next thing I know she comes in, gives me a pair of boots (that I was totally NOT expecting) and when she saw how wet my feet and socks were gave be a fresh pair of fuzzy socks that kept my feet nice and dry. I was so grateful. She did me the service. It was hard to accept, but something said "she needs to do the service for you." So right now I have some really good boots and a sweet sweet friend here.

So we went to her house last night to find an asado (an Argentine bbq)! Que rico! It was so nice of her. She really is a special lady. And then next thing I know afterwards she comes out with a cake and a candle and starts singing happy birthday to me! It was so sweet. Although I'm going to be spending my birthday in a brand new area I really did feel like it's okay, she made it special enough. I can't get over how wonderful she is. I really am grateful. Even something silly like celebrating my b-day with me just really made so much more the difference. And keeping me feet safe, dry, and warm. The Flia Ponce really are special. I love the Hna. Ponce!

So that's some sweet stuff going on. We are really happy for the progress of our investigators here in Bariloche. Karen has been coming to church willingly (and even yesterday early!), Rafael and his niece Mikaela (our new baptismal candidate) have been reading the book of Mormon all by themselves, Ricardo stayed for all three hours of church, and Daiana, another bap. candidate, totally came and seemed to enjoy it. Even her inactive older sister came with her. I'm really happy for all of them and the progress their going to make. Very happy.

Thank you so much for your prayers and letters and stories!

Thank you so much mamma for writing me, I just feel very happy to hear from you all.

Tell Barrett THANK YOU! I can't write to him today, but tell him to try the online class. I think he can do it. Learn some diligence and push himself. I know he can do it.

Tell daddy thank you for the email and I love him!

Tell Adam and Micah I totally 100% love them too.

xoxo, Hna. Georgeson

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

But that's missionary work, right

This week has been one crazy hectic whirlwind. We've had some pretty sweet highs and some agonizing lows. But that's missionary work, right?

I don't really know what to say all that much this week. A lot of this week has been knocking doors that didn't open and running around from fallen appointment to fallen appointment. BUT I'm okay, I just don't have any super cool stories.

We did try seeing Kristina this week, but she wasn't there the two times we tried setting the appointment. The last time she left us a note with her dad that says that we can come Tuesday. We're just so happy because she's still willing to see us! Really, anything that can happen in this mission is almost worth it because an investigator still wants to see us after all the obstacles that have fallen her way! We are so happy.

That's wonderful news about the priesthood in the ward! Right now we are really anticipating two of our baptisms because it means two more priesthood holders in the ward. Right now the ward is fighting to keep it's ward status because with a lot of members they either moved away to one of the other wards in the stake or they have gone inactive. A good relief society is 5 sisters without the missionaries. We had only one active member of Young Mens, but after Sept. 18th we're going to have two more for them.

One of them is Rafael. He's 12 years old and a great kid. At first when we met him he was putting on this tough guy attitude, and I remember thinking How in the world are we going to do this? But he's opened up a lot to us. Not like a whole heck of a lot, but a lot more. His first week in church was yesterday and everybody loved him. He's still got that tough guy thing going on, but he's willing to put it down every once in a while. My comp says that he's going to be a great missionary some day. I totally believe it. We just have to exhort his parents to come to church too!!!

So I've been studying this activity in Preach My Gospel in Chapter 4 about Moroni 10. The question is "What does Moroni exhort the reader of the Book of Mormon to do?" Well, you have to read Preach my Gospel to get the whole idea and the better-phrased question, but it really has helped me to open my eyes as to how to receive a witness of the Book of Mormon like Moroni promised. Read it. Do it. Love it. Please.

Love you all and thank you so much for all that you do!

xoxo, Hna. Georgeson

Almost half way there!!!‏

Before I got here, my companion spent EVERYDAY working with less actives and former investigators the last transfer. She's so ready to move on, and I trust her judgement. BUT we are trying our best to encourage the members and beg for service opportunities, and slowly but surely we get more references. Okay, references for less active members, but with children and husbands that are not members! Hey, we gotta start somewhere. And the visiting teaching idea is good, but that's not our job. We just don't have the time to do that! But we'll mention it as an idea to the RS president.

Members do feed us for most of the week, they're really good at taking care of the missionaries. Yesterday we ate with the Hna. Acuña, a crazy outspoken - offend everyone - super strong member. She's batty and I love it! She always takes care of us. And knits us sweaters. I have to send you a picture of the sweater of my companion. It's a gem.

We did not get to visit with Kristina this week. The day we went to our apt she was at the hospital. We went the next day and she told us that she lost her baby. She was going to the hospital again in the morning so that she would be home when we came in the afternoon. In a time like this she was rearranging her schedule so she could see us! We have another apt tomorrow morning. Wish us luck! More like the spirit. He's way better than luck.

Yeah, Internet is around, but I don't know to what extent is their audio equipment. He likes movies, not just the words. We're still looking into ordering more movies. Like the Joseph Smith Movie!!! I don't know if we can order it in the mission, but I will do almost anything to get it!
And if you haven't seen it, watch it. And of course they speak Spanish. Why wouldn't they? Nah, Bariloche is diverse, but not that diverse. There are more Brazilian tourists than anything else.

Next we've ran into A LOT of transvestites and people of whom we cannot distinguish a gender. Yes, Bariloche is also filled with weirdos and drunks and pot smokers. I just found one pot smoker thus far, but I've been told that there are more. Oh Bariloche, how I love thee so. People who see us try talking to us in their broken English that they've learned in elementary school, but I honestly feel like they're trying to harass us. It's just because we're blonde.

And we're going to stop seeing Juanita for a while. After our last apt, it's apparent that the missionaries should hold off for a while. It's a story that I'm not quite sure how to explain.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY ADAM YOU OLD FART!!!! I LOVE YOU!

And tell Daddy that about the deal, I think I've gotten a decent start. Yay!

Enjoy the fair!

And how did Sis. Hobson die? That is so crazy that you all didn't hear about it. Is Adam okay about it? She really was sweet.

And to leave you all, I copy my letter to my mission pres. love you all and thank you so much!!!!

"We put another fecha! It's the son of a menos activa family. That story was kind of a miracle. All of the sisters told us about this family who left off going to church more than ten years ago, and then one Saturday during their weekly knitting activity she showed up at the chapel, the mom, and told them that she wants her two sons baptized. We went and we realize that it's going to take some work and a lot of prayers and faith. The parents remember almost nothing about the church and it almost seems like the one son that we meet is doing it more to please his parents rather than because he wants to. BUT he chose his own fecha and was all smiley about it afterward. Something is going to happen here. I just know it.We also have found another investigator, Kristina, that is just amazing. I think the adversary is working really hard to make sure that we never can catch each other, but the Lord WILL conquer. Hna. Smith and I know that we will see some amazing miracles with her.

An experience I had with prayer was in my second transfer. The Hermanas from Cultural Co. came for a zone conference and we ended up doing splits that night. My being here for only about 7 weeksish in Argentina and not really understanding anything or where anybody lived, I got lost with the other Hna. Palacios from BsAs in the dark lonely streets of Zapala. We wandered around for about a half an hour until finally she suggested that we stop on the corner and pray because I really had no idea where we were. I prayed that we might be able to find the house, but if not then that we would be guided to someone ready to meet us. After about five more minutes of wandering around we gave up and began knocking at the first house we saw. The woman, Nora, let us in, and Hna. Palacios explained the restoration in a nutshell and about prayer, that we can pray to know the truth for ourselves. The next time we went to visit her she began crying because she had never been taught to pray like that. She knew that we were different. She prayed about Joseph Smith and felt this rush of calm. We left her a Book of Mormon, and the next time when we came back she told us that the book was different; it was special. But her husband was very much so catholic, and didn't want us coming back to teach her anymore. He even wanted her to return all the stuff we gave her. But she couldn't deny the answer to her prayers that it was good, that it was true. She kept the Book of Mormon and I never got to go back to her house. But I know that the Lord guided us to someone ready to hear. I don't think right now was the time, but the Lord will prepare the way for her to receive the gospel in its fullness. She is really special.I'm sorry that's so long, but it was such a special experience for her to tell us all that stuff. Moments like that remind me why I looked forward to serving on a mission."

xoxo, Hna. Georgeson

P.S. Mamma, can you email Jennifer Squires and let her know I have a couple of letters for her, I just need her address! Thank you!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Happy August!

Alas, another week has rolled away and you haven't written me! As I sit here in this booth I cry rivers of tears as the lost words of my sleeping mother are sent into the realm of dreams.
I think my companion has rubbed off on me. Or maybe that means I'm rubbing off on myself.
I love it when she reads me her journal entries. They sound a lot like that and then make me laugh.

Anyway, on to stuff that is a wee bit more important!

I officially declare that I've hit the point in my mission where I'm exhausted all the time. My companion says it happens to everyone. I'm just going to take it as a good sign as to the fact that I really do try to work hard. There are days better than others, but alas, I cannot slack! I would hate that.

The work here in Bariloche is picking up. The ward here is really small. Somebody told us that about ten years ago there were about 100 kids in the Primary in this ward. 100 kids! And not just one person said that, a couple! And now about 30ish people attend faithfully every week. They're small but faithful. Yesterday after church about 5 sisters from the ward ran up to us and asked us to visit Hna. so and so, a less active member. It's difficult as a missionary to handle this situation. We would love to go visit the less active members, but we also have to be missionaries! It is part of the responsability of the missionaries to visit less active members, but the majority of the responsability falls on the members. These members are a part of their fold- they are the ones that can stay and help them out, genuinely make them feel loved- not the missionaries! I'm sorry, I just had to get that out. This is why visiting teaching and home teaching are so important! The members are the ones that make the difference, not the missionaires. Therefore go out and do! Now! Don't wait for invitations. Go out and actively find! Oy vey.

That is one of the only things that makes us lose time every once in a while. We try to use these opportunities anyway to find investigators- friends and family- but it still gets us.

This week we had our first real lesson with Kristina, a girl that we found knocking doors last week. She's so amazing! Just down to earth and level headed. When we explained Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon, she asked us all the questions that she had without any kind of embarassment and then at the end said, "I think I really just want to study this all out and pray about it." My companion was like PLEASE DO!!! She didn't freak out or get all offensive or anything. She just took it all in stride and doesn't automatically rule it out over the miraculousness over it (if miraculousness is even a word. Don't laugh at my lack of communication skills). She just really wants to know the truth. We're so excited to see her again, but we fasted for her yesterday so that she would get an answer and be able to move forward to baptism. Because she's so great she's going to see a lot of opposition, but we want her so bad, and so does Heavenly Father. He won't let her fail and fall. He'll help her.

And on Saturday morning somebody let me iron for them! I was so happy! Drying machines don't exist here. Everything air dries and gets wrinkly, therefore everybody irons EVERTHING. Have you ever ironed a tshirt? I have.Have you ever ironed your sweaters? I have. These poor mothers here have TONS to iron, but never let us help! But an investigator, Juanita, let us iron for her because she just hates it so much. Juanita is lovely. A middle-aged mother who always takes care of us. She has two awesome kids: Natalia and Emilio. Emilio is a hoot, I love that kid. We've been building up this amistad and confianza (like friendship and trust) with them. They listen always, but understanding is another story. We've tried so many things to help them understand things like prophets and the apostacy, but Juanita just doesn't get it. Her kids do, they're really smart, even 11yr old Emilio who never seems like he's listening. If anybody has any suggestions, please do send.

Also suggestions for a Walter, who is married to a member. He just doesn't like reading. He's more of a visual learner kind of guy, but visuals like movies really aren't accesible here. How do we help him? He needs a testimony of the Book of Mormon, but how? Please send your suggestions to me pronto.

Okay, so you have until next monday.

Thank you so much for all that you do! Love and miss you all a lot.

xoxox, Hna.Georgeson

P.S. And tell Adam that I love him.