Greetings from Hermana eStrong

 

Cass Flag???????????????????????????????

Hola Familia!

This week has been crazy, since I’ve been having to run the show since my companion doesn’t know the area.  BUT it’s been a good growing experience for me, since I can’t just rely on my trainer haha.

We had some strange experiences this week:  for instance we were walking to a lesson and I see this dog out of the corner of my eye.  I assume it’s doing its business so obviously I don’t look.  But then suddenly my companion gasps and says “ITS GIVING BIRTH”!  Next thing I know there’s a little puppy and I’m trying not to throw up hahaha.   ALSO I was walking down the street one evening, just as the sun is going down.  It’s all pretty and I’m just enjoying the moment when suddenly out of my peripherals I feel something fly at me.  I look and it looks like a baby alligator!!  I think “but I’m not even in Louisiana!” and then I realize it’s tied to a string and the little kids were just messing with me.  I almost peed my pants with that one haha.

On a more spiritual note, we reached our goal of church attendance.  The past few weeks we’ve had like 70 or 80 people.  But this week we broke A HUNDRED! 102!  WOOHOO!  We also got to watch the Women’s Conference last night.  I was mad because they only had it in spanish, BUT I actually was able to understand most of it!   I also was able to learn what it means to truly listen to what the spirit is telling you, because I probably got something totally different out of it than anyone else haha.

My companion is awesome and we’ve met a ton of new people this week!  We’ve already found that we have mutual friends (Cybill Pace HAHA) and we laugh all the time.  She actually thinks my jokes are funny (what a miracle! lol)

I also crack up here because people for some reason don’t know how to say ‘Strong’.  They always call me estrong, like there’s an E at the beginning.  It’s like they need a running start or something haha.  They can say everything else with an S just fine so I just can’t figure it out!

I learn so much every day.  The highlight of my day is my personal study:  reading the Book of Mormon is so awesome!  SO MUCH GOOD STUFF.  La iglesia es verdadera! Jesucristo conoce todos de nosotras y nos ama MUCHO!  No puedo esperar por el día cuando yo puedo ver Él otra vez!

Con mucho amor!

Hermana eStrong

 

Otoño en Argentina

Hermana Briggs Outside church building Eating Ice Cream

 

So just when I thought I was going to DIE from the heat, Autumn hit, and I can actually wear my cute cardigans around haha.  We had transfers this week, and I’m still here in Alberdi!  BUT Hermana Briggs got transferred and is now a capacitadora in Santa Fe.  My new companion is awesome though.  She’s not a Latina (which was like my biggest fear) and we have lots in common.  For instance, she’s from California, she went to BYU-Idaho, and she likes sports!  She’s also taller than me (pretty much the first person here who is) and has a bright red hair (which is also a rarity here, I can count the amount of gingers I’ve seen here on one hand lol).  Yesterday she got here, which meant I had to run the show since she doesn’t know the area or the people yet.  We had awesome lessons though, and I feel like my confidence in Spanish is growing everyday!

Sunday was awesome at church.  We’ve been working with this family ever since I got here, and only the daughters are members.  Their mom totally has a testimony, but can’t get baptized because she isn’t married to their dad.  BUT Sunday, right as they were passing the sacrament, we look up and see all 3 daughters, the mother,  AND THE DAD who we had never even taught before.  It was the best thing ever.
This week I’ve been studying a lot about how to really KNOW Christ on a personal level.  To me, we should think of Him as our friend.  We need to recognize His hand in our lives, notice the things that we can do through Him, feel the strength that comes from putting our trust in Him.  There’s so much hope in this gospel!  One of our investigators asked us yesterday, “why are you all so different?” and it’s because we have hope and faith that we can overcome all things, and have eternal life.  We have hope that we can become like Him.  Because we can!  What a beautiful thing!
Missions are hard.  Life is hard.  But everything becomes that much easier when we have Christ as the center of our lives!
Love you all so much, and thanks for all of the emails!
Con mucho amor,
Hermana Strong

Last Week of my First Transfer

Making Noquis

Making Noquis

Planning by candle light

Planning by candle light

Hi Family!
I literally feel like I  blinked and the week was over.  And of COURSE I can barely even remember what happened, haha.  Yesterday we made ñoquis with a member, which is this potato pasta stuff.  They were super good at the time, but I’ve been sick ever since.  Maybe that’s a sign that I shouldn’t be cooking.
We’ve been working really hard to find new people to teach, because almost all of our investigators are not progressing.  So the main focus is getting referrals.  Which has been super successful because we got 6 referrals from just two people.  WOOHOO.
We also had our first zone meeting, which I wasn’t too excited for just because I figured I wouldn’t understand much.  BUT I understand almost all of it!  I am gaining SUCH a testimony of the gift of tongues.  My spanish is really improving everyday.  My goal for the week has been to tell a joke or a story at every meal with members.  And since I don’t know any jokes in spanish (or in english, lol) I have to tell stories.  I’m gonna be such a good story teller by the time I get back haha.
I’ve gotten addicted to eating alfojores and drinking apple gatorade (yes that’s a thing here!!)  But we’ve also made it a goal to talk to 5 people before we allow ourselves to eat chocolate.  We will see how long that lasts haha.
I’m starting to love the mission more and more!  The people are really great here and even though it can be kind of a culture shock at times, I’m accepting it and loving it.  Thanks for everything!  The church is true!
Love,
Hermana Strong

Abide With Me

Martinelli Family ??????????

Familia,
I loved receiving all of your letters and hearing about the week. I really wish I could have been there to say goodbye, but I know that grandma is helping me here and that I’m where I need to be.  This experience is only helping my testimony even more, which will only allow me to help others more.
This week felt really long and I’m excited for my empanadas and nap that I’m going to have after I write this letter.  We had a lot of good, frustrating, surprising and exciting experiences, which is pretty much what every week is like.
President Zanni came to our area to talk with one of our investigators, who we can’t figure out why he won’t get baptized.  They were supposed to meet at the chapel, but Miguel never showed up.  So me, Hermana Briggs and Presdident Zanni drove to his house and surprised him.  Me and Hna. Briggs felt like little girls riding in the backseat of President’s car and he just chatted with us, I not knowing anything he was saying haha.  We showed up, they apparently had an AWESOME experience, but he STILL won’t get baptized.  This is probably one of the most frustrating parts of the mission haha.
A few things I can’t get used to about Argentina:
1. People water their sidewalks and I still haven’t been able to figure out why.
2. People ride around everywhere on their motos, without helmets, with their SMALL CHILDREN.  I’ve seen up to like 4 kids at a time with their dad.  Safety apparently isn’t a priority.
3. Instead of knocking on doors, we clap outside.  I’ve really been able to perfect my clap though.
4. NOBODY is married, which makes it hard to get people baptized.  Most of the time people aren’t married because one of them still isn’t divorced.  We have an investigator who has been with her pareja for 17 years and he still isn’t divorced. OK.
There’s a lot of other things that I’m sure I could come up with but maybe I’ll save that for another time.
I’m glad to hear you’re all doing well.  I’ve been praying for you a lot this week but I have total faith in the Plan of Salvation and can’t wait for the day when we can be with grandma again.  I’ve had Abide With Me stuck in my head ALL week, which is a constant reminder that she’s watching over us.
Love you all so much!
Sass

Ain’t No Party Like An Argentine Party

la familia Chavez
Monday, March 2, 2015
Hola Familia!
Well now that I’m 20 and all i feel a whole lot different.  And a whole lot fatter!!  By the end of this week, I had 6 cakes made for me.  Our fridge is FULL of cake.  All made with chocolate and dulce de leche and I don’t think I ever want to eat either ever again.  The people are awesome though and SO loving.  It was one of the first times I actually ENJOYED my birthday haha.
We  had my first asado for my birthday dinner, at a part member family’s house.  It was SO GOOD. I’m pretty sure I’ve gained like ten pounds but its all worth it.  I probably wont be thinking that once i get back though lol.
Its been raining here quite a bit this week too.  Yesterday it rained during church, which is not a good thing because people think that they’re like allergic to the rain or something because they use it as an excuse to skip church. We told one family that if they weren’t at church we were going to come and get them out of bed and get them. They thought we were kidding, but we weren’t.  Hermana Briggs and one of the other hermanas ran all the way in the pouring rain and got them to come.  They walked in right in time to take the sacrament, soaking wet.  It was awesome haha.
I’m starting to adjust to life here and the language is getting better everyday.  Everyone is surprised that I’ve only been here 3 weeks because apparently I speak really well.  ALL THANKS TO HEAVENLY FATHER.
This Book of Mormon is true!  If you read it every day miracles will happen!  You can find a miracle everyday if you look for it!
Thank you all for the birthday wishes!  I love you all so much!
Con mucho amor,
Sassy Bear
PS:  this is a picture of me on the via (train tracks). This is what part of our area looks like
Sass by the Railroad Tracks