Monday, January 27, 2014

´Row, row, row your boat, gently down the street? . . .´

First off there are a few titles that can describe this week just perfectly. . .
1. the title, ´Row, row, row your boat, gently down the street...´
2. ´Im singing in the rain, just singing in the rain ...´
3. Ít´s raining frogs, haleluya, it´s raining frogs...´  
Your questions, my answers:
1.How has your week gone? 

A: This week went by super fast, with a LOT of rain. We had storms or at least clouds and wind almost everyday this week, with one day that we got about 4 months worth of rain in one day. Yea, and with a lot of prayer everytime we were outside the rain stopped, but when we entered a house or the church it started raining hard almost instantly...the problem wasn´t the rain so much the lightning. I guess storms like this are common here for this time of season, electrical storms. And that night as we were riding home (really really fast b/c another storm had just moved in and was building up) we were almost there when the lightning struck and lit up the ENTIRE SKY. It was brilliant and if I wasn´t outside with a bike of metal, I would have totally been taking pictures. Needless to say there was a lot of flooding in the streets and in some places the houses. This day was quite the adventure for us, that is for sure. 

We also had a bit of luck (haha there is no such thing as luck) riding around one day before our lunch appt with a member, we were doing ALB´s (its basically tracking, talking to everyone you see) when we passed by an older lady sitting in her window. We started talking to her and found out that she had the lessons before and had gone to church many times, but with the changes, the missionaries stopped coming by to visit and with other circumstances she wasn´t able to go to church for a long time. Wow golden, it is definitely true, God puts people in your path that are prepared to listen, you just have to be prepared to find them. She told us that she wanted to start going to church again and we scheduled an appt with her.  Sadly she wasn't at church but we stopped by yesterday and were able to talk to her, she said that she had just come from the clinic and she has been having problems with her health. She kept apologizing for not being able to make it to church. It was so sweet. 

2.  Has the branch been helping out any better? 

A: Not really, we keep asking for referrals and help with our investigators, but we are still in summer break and they either have work, have trips planned to go to La Costa or La Plata or other things to do. So for now, no we don´t have much help. This week  por suerte [luckily], we were able to have one lesson with a member present, and that is b/c we visited a less active and her sister was in the lesson too. 

3. The heat I can handle, and the humidity I am getting used to...slowly. haha

4. So, where do you do your laundry each week? 

A: We hand wash everything. We live about 10 min in bici away from town. Well away from practically anything. So we just use buckets and soap to wash and we have a line out back to hang the clothes. One good thing about the heat, when we put things out to dry within a couple hours they are dry. haha. Lets just say that my arms have a bit more muscle now. :P

5. Also, tell us more about what your meals are each day, what you eat, do you cook your own, do the members feed you ever? 
A: Meals, breakfast is cereal. Yes the members feed us, but only every other week. Why? b/c we split the area with the elders and we can´t have lunches together, so we switch off weeks. In the weeks we don´t have meals yes we cook. Rice and eggs, potatoes(they have a lot of those here :) sometimes milonesa, a type of thin meat that you can get in chicken or beef and cook it in oil on the stove. Pastas whatever we feel like making. And with the members it is the same, pastas, meat, potatoes, rice (rice is popular here too) 

So yea, that is what our meals are. As for dinner, we can have an hour for dinner in an hour that works best for us before basically we never get dinner. haha

Also, I got letters this week...hehe the Christmas cards from Tolman´s, Bartschi´s (I don´t remember how to spell their name, sorry) Paces and another one from your ward. A letter saying that the scouts were writing the missionaries. I was excited to get mail. And the pix turned out great of Tolman's. The pix of Dax were adorable! He is stinkin cute. But if you send one write the date you send it so we can see about how long it takes. okie dokie, 

Thanks for everything. Hope you are all doing well and not getting too sick. With the crazy bipolar weather down here (a lot like Utah) hot and cold days I happen to wake up with a cold the other day. que Bueno (that's nice). hehe

Anywho, hope you all have a great week. les quiero un montón!!!!! [I want to a lot]
peace out. 
Hna Snow

Monday, January 20, 2014

Q & A

Q: Did you know Elder Carlson got transferred to La Plata?

A: Yes, I know he got transferred, but he got transferred to Florencia Varela, an area around the mission home. We had an activity in La Plata last week and he showed up at the terminal with all of his things. That is when they told us. 
Q: Are you enjoying the training?
A: yea, it's not bad. It is just difficult training in an area where I feel like all the rules are out the window.  I just hope I am doing a good job and that she is learning with the training and by example.
Q: How is your new companion?
A: She is good and just as accident prone as I am. . .haha but she has a fire and excitement to work, (as we figured out last night she hit one month in the mission yesterday) and she has the same sense of humor about Dolores as I do. haha its great.
Q: What kinds of things do you do for p-day outside of your laundry and so forth?
A:  P' Day consists of email in the morning followed by grocery shopping (b/c everything is closed from noon to 4:30 or 5 except the supermercado) then we go home to clean the house, do laundry, and whatever other things we need to do. Then about 4 if we want to or need to we go back to central (about 10-15 min by bici,) to shop for clothes and such. We have an activity de zone once a transfer in La Plata, which was last week. We had a water balloon fight, played volleyball and had burgers for lunch that were delicious. At the end of the transfer we have an activity de distrito here in Dolores. That is about it. It is definitely not like La Costa, b/c we are a million miles from anything.  

Once there was a snow(wo)man ...

I feel like this song is appropriate for there and here because you all have the snow, but here we are melting...haha. I guess this summer here has had the hottest temps on record since like 40 years ago... oh goodie.

Anywho, this week was a little bit better than last week, can´t believe that we are half way thru the transfer and in the fourth week. But there are still not a lot of people here in Dolores. They are all on vacation in La Costa or at the beach or in theirs pools or sleeping. haha and apparently they tell us that it will be this way until like the end of Febrero. Lets just say that we are getting a lot of practice at trying to find people. And the people we always seem to find are the very duro [hard] Evangelista's and Jehovah Witnesses. It is like hitting a brick wall trying to talk to them. And I always seem to feel like I don´t know anything when we leave. It is not a fun feeling. The rejection I can handle, but it is when they tear down everything you have when you try to just tell them what you believe that is exhausting and hurts a bit.  All we can do is testify of the things that we know and believe and if they listen great, a seed has been planted, if not that is their choice. The spirit can't be in a place where there is contention, making it hard to work thru the spirit.  That is one major thing that I have learned and keep finding, as members and especially as missionaries EVERYTHING we do is thru and by the spirit, if we don´t have the spirit with us we lose that third witness that can penetrate the hearts of the people and bear witness that we really do have the truth restored in these last days, that God has a plan for us to live again and that this life on the earth is just a small dot in this path of eternity.
When we are teaching, we can only do and say so much until the spirit takes over and testifies that these things are true.  If we don't have that, the things we say are just words with nothing to back them up. It is quite the powerful tool that we strive to have with us every moment of everyday. It is really hard to have the spirit in a lesson when the people we are talking to always meet us with something against our religion. You can definitely tell when the spirit is in a lesson b/c no matter the distractions things just flow together. As comps we can teach smoothly and the inv. are really listening and even with the distractions we are able to focus on the lesson.  So, it really is an incredible thing - The Spirit.  

Here is a funny quote from my comp this week. The story behind it, we were on the bus Tues. waiting to head back to Dolores when a guy came by selling snacks and stuff. The mini missionary that took the place of Elder Carlson asked us if we wanted anything, I saw a thing of Oreos and said those would be great. Well following that Hna Vasquez made this comment: "Hermana Snow es uno oreo, blanco por adentro, negro por afuera."  Translation:  Hna Snow is an oreo, white on the inside and black on the outside.  haha I don´t know if I was just tired but I thought it was hilarious so I wrote it down. [I think Hna. Vasquez is referring to Dani's tan]

Well, I hope things go well for you all this week and that you don´t get sick anymore. haha
Les Quiero muchisimo, [I want to a lot]
Hna Snow

PS We found out that we get to go to the temple to do a session as a zone on the 5th of Febrero!!! wahoo, I am stoked, I have been missing the temple A LOT, especially lately. But it will be interesting, as it is all in Spanish. I'm not worried about the videos or anything because I understand a lot, it is the speaking at the end that will be the interesting part. haha Woo!!!

Monday, January 13, 2014

The good, the dolor [pain] and the creepy...

First: Training. Training is going well, although things are still just complicated with a lot of drama. But Hna Vasquez knows the scriptures and how to explain things. Sometimes I forget that she is a greenie to the mission, and that she is still learning. Whoops, but things are going well. Things are slow and a bit difficult in this moment making training a little difficult, but we are definitely learning Christ like attributes. 

Second: The good. We found a family of investigators to teach last transfer that seemed really interested, pero [but] for now we are focusing on the mom.  She started out hard as a rock and not really receptive to anything. She believes (or believed, not sure if she still does) in the reincarnation and she would argue with us about prophets and revelation and the Priesthood.  A couple lessons ago, we were talking about the W.O.W and the addictive substances that are the five things we should not take into our bodies. When we mentioned tea, she stopped us a little surprised, and asked why tea was one of the substances. We explained that the herbal teas, that they have a lot of here, were okay. But that the black teas had substances that make you nervous and anxious.  She told us that every morning she has a cup of tea and that she felt nervous all the time.  Yup, turns out that is why the tea.  haha, see we learn new things everyday.  But all in all she is a lot more receptive and open to our messages. And not shooting questions against us anymore. Oh, the blessings of the gospel. I don´t know if she can see the change in herself but we can definitely see it. And she even told us that she wants to visit the church with day.

Thirdly: The dolor [pain]...There is just drama drama drama in this Rama [Branch]. haha it is just like high school with the he did this and she said that. But that is part of our calling, to strengthen and help the members find their testimonies again and come back even stronger. But, on the bright side, yesterday we had the most less actives in church. Wahoo! Little by little.

Lastly: The creepy...So we found a new investigator the other day, chatted a little left him with a pamphlet of the Plan of Salvation to read and set up another appointment with him. Anyway, we went back to the appointment and started the lesson. Asked if he had any questions or anything...he started going off asking questions about what we did here, and if we could have boyfriends, stuff like that...yea, my first thoughts ´oh dear´ we answered the questions and started teaching. He listened but kept going off on the subject of boyfriends and such like that...the creepy part, during most of the lesson he kept looking at me, even while my comp was trying to teach gets worse, as we left he tried to go in for the traditional kiss on the cheek, I dodged it with a handshake, but he tried to insist with both of us explaining that while in the mission we have certain things that we can't do. It seems most of Dolores likes to question the rules we have and the things we can and can't do. Anyway we went back for our next appointment and he didn't want to see us. haha, he told one of the kids to tell us that he wasn't there. 

There are some stories for ya this week. Hope you all have a good week.
Hna Snow
"Pix for Kix"
Our Tree

My breakfast

My Dinner or well, I guess Christmas lunch

haha yup it is as high as it can go. 

The District reunited minus Hna Andreasen...for now
[I think this is her MTC District]

and the pix of my comp and I the first day
[I'm thinking along with Pres. & Hna Thurgood]

please send this to JoDean with a big thank you!
inside the pkg. from JoDean
 The Pres. of the Rama's garage...haha thought of Dalen and Jason.

Yes it is a javelina (not sure on spelling)
[Jason said it's a wild Boar]

Oreos, enough said!
 Oreos and milk. Yup, I am happy!

 My comp is just as accident prone as I am

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Feliz Año Nuevo! [Happy New Year!]

Still can´t believe that it is 2014...pero bueno [but good]. I hope you all had a great New Years. Sounds like you each had your own little parties to go to. We celebrated with fireworks and heat...okay, not really, but there were fireworks in the neighborhood, and they were really loud. We were in la casa [the house] sleeping until midnight, when Dolores blew up in celebration.  haha

As I wrote really fast last week, we had transfers, and I found out that I was training...yea, I was a little stressed out about that with being in Dolores where everything is just complicated. I can tell you that in the week before, I had the feeling that I would be training, so I prayed really hard that Heavenly Father to send me someone that could help us with this area. And I can tell you (not only from this experience but many others too) that He does answer prayers!! My new comp Hna Vasquez, is incredible. She is from Lima Peru, she is 22 (my first comp that is my age, jaja [haha]) she is a convert of 6 years and is the only member in her family.  She is straight from two weeks in the MTC here in ARG and knows this gospel, and can really relate to all.  After the first few days, my thoughts were, ´yea I can do this, I can train her to be a missionary and show her the ropes of the Mission Buenos Aires Sur [South], and I have feeling that I will learn a lot from her in this next transfer.  

Not much else happened this week, Dolores is still like a ghost town with practically no one here, as they are in La Costa for the holidays and their summer break. So the work is hard and painfully slow. Oh goody, what a great time to be training pressure or anything. haha jk. But really this week was slow with only a handful of lessons.  But, on the flip side, when looking thru our area book under the future and old investigators, trying to find people to visit, when we went looking for the names we actually found a few people home that agreed to set appointments with us this week.

Woo! So needless to say we have to be patient (it is useful that I have acquired a bit more patience with this area in the last transfer), and with diligence and perseverance we will be able to see the blessings and ¨fruits of our labors¨.  The other problem, other than the fact that there is not really anyone here, is that many people are die hard Roman Catholic. Catholic or Evangelists and have no desire to change religions, but always love to just chat with us. Awe gracias [thank you]...making it a little harder to find new investigators that will progress. We are going to have to get creative in our teaching and in using the Spirit as a guide as to what to do. 
We will have to see how this week goes. Hope you all have a great week. Until next week.
Chao, y mucho amor, [Chao and much love]

Hna Snow