Monday, August 23, 2010

rafaela week 3 - aug 23

Hola familia!
Thanks for your letters. Thank you Jodi, loved your letter! It´s just nice to hear how you are doing. And mom writing about you is just not enough, because you each have a distinctive way of writing, and it means more when its from you. so thank you! I CAN¨T BELIEVE BREANA IS MARRIED! Thanks for the pics mom! I wish i could have been there. That´s really hard, to have both Breana and Courtney get married while i was gone! 2 of my bestest friends! I hope you gave her a big hug for me, and told her that i love her. And the anouncements were super cute. And my comp and I both loved her dress, beautiful!

Well, this week…what did we do this week?…Well, we found out that Oscar is dying. We didn´t believe him at first when he told us. I guess when he fell, he broke a few more things in his body. He has been slowly dying for the last year, and the doctors think he´ll pass away in December. Something like his white blood cells are eating the red ones, and the oxygen is just not getting to his body, and so his heart will stop. And a couple days ago he was rushed to the hospital because he couldn´t breath, and the same thing the next night. So he couldn´t come to church. But the Elders came with us the other night to give him a blessing, and he was feeling better when we went to visit him yesterday. His baptism is this Saturday, so we will see. But it has been quite an experience being with him. He is not afraid to die. He knows the peace that he will have and he knows he won´t have to deal with the pain anymore. But it´s been amazing for me to see his faith, and to realize how truly thin the veil is, and that there isn´t much keeping us from the next life. It kinda puts things into perspective. I keep thinking about how we found him though. He is an old investigador. The other sisters dropped him though because i think they didn´t want to deal with him not being able to walk and what not. But i came across his sheet (every person we teach has a sheet of paper that talks about them and what they´ve been taught) because i was looking through all the antigo investigadores. And i just grabbed about 5 of them that were near each other because i knew we would be in that area. And when we met him he told us that first day that he wanted to get baptized. I know that i was led by the spirit to find his sheet. I didn’t know it at the time, but a lot of times that is how the Lord works. He just puts the thoughts in our minds.

I really love teaching people the gospel. I love this message, and have a hard time understanding why others don´t get it. It´s so pure, so simple, and so true. My testimony of the Book of Mormon continues to grow, it has the answers for everything!

Dad, the siesta kills everything here. So, we don´t leave the house in the morning til 11am, this week will be 10:30 because i only have to study the language for 30 min now. But everyone at this time is cooking. Cooking. Cooking. So all our contacts say, i´m cooking now, but you can come back later. Lunch is really big here, they don´t eat dinner because their lunches are so big. So, from 11-12:30 they are cooking. Then they eat. Then from 1-4pm all the stores are closed and everyone goes home and sleeps. So it´s really hard for us to teach because they don´t answer their doors. And then in the evening a lot of them are working. So ya. i´m not complaining, i just think it´s very silly.

Oh ya, and we have been finding quite a few cockroaches. We started giving them names. We have Phelps – short for Michael Phelps (we put him in some water and he started swimming, he has been holding his breath now for a few days. We think he´s trying to break the World record) then there is Chili (poor little guy didn´t even have a chance, he got squished) then there is Cigarillos (because he was slowly dying. the word Cigarillos means Cigarettes. We found him on his back, and they can´t get up when they are on their backs, so we just left him there. He died slowly for a few days). Then there is Gordo (we found him under our food shelf, he was on his back too, probably ate too much and then keeled over and couldn´t get back up). Then we have Lucha. He is a little fighter (luchar means “to fight”). But they are all dead now. I dreamed that there were cockroaches in my bed last night. But my comp and I are excited because we are going to clean the whole apartment because we are now the only 2 that live there. So we are going to toss all the stuff that every other missionary has left!
But as for questions. I fall asleep very fast at night. Ya, i´m alright though, mornings are not too bad. Heavenly Father is really blessing me with the energy i need. And hna. Hansen has a dog thing that makes a noise to keep them away. We are going to buy batteries. the dogs have only been that crazy a couple times though, and it´s because of the other dogs, not us. They do growl and bark at us a lot though. Tell julie congrats on her calling, that is awesome. And the P. blessing through dear elder would be good. I´d like that!

Thanks for all your love and support! Dad, i look forward to your letters too, it makes my week!
Todo mi amor,
Hna. amundsen

Monday, August 16, 2010

rafaela week 2 - aug 16

hi hi hi hi!
gracias por sus cartas! and sarah actually wrote to me. thanks! you are so funny, i was laughing, you´ll get used to the tan walls. i´m glad you are enjoying my room though. also sarah davis wrote to me! yes, i got your dear elders sarah. i got the one while i was in the MTC too. It´s just so hard to find time to write letters! literally, preparation day is loaded with things we have to do, and we aren´t allowed to write letters any other day. so i am super sorry for not writing but i love your letters!

this week was pretty amazing. the lord must love me or something, cuz he just kept giving me all this revelation on how we should be teaching, who we should be teaching, and also revelation on how to be a mom-weird i know. this week on like 4 or 5 different occasions i would have a thought that i should do something. then later i would read the general conference talks and the very thing that i had thought was written there. also some things were confirmed during zone conference that i had thought about that week. i can´t even explain it, but i just kept having thoughts and then they were re-inforced by something else later. it was like Heavenly Father was saying, "you need to do this!"...and then later, "you really need to do this!!!" so my comp and i have been applying these things and we are being blessed.

yesterday after church i was having a hard time, and so was my comp. we were just really tired and didn´t feel like working. and saturday we didn´t get into houses and all our citas fell through and we got ripped off for something. but of course we continued to work! and then last night we had 2 amazing lessons! where the spirit just took over and the Lord really used us. we walked out of that last one feeling so good. it´s always like that, when you are having a hard time, you know something good is going to happen soon! but ya, my testimony definitely continues to grow here.

we only had 2 people in church yesterday, we are really struggling with that right now. trying to figure out how to get to all the of them to wake them up to come to church. a man named oscar came with us yesterday. we went and picked him up in a taxi because he can´t walk. he fell off a building and one of his legs has no feeling in it. he had his walker with him though and used it to walk all the way from the taxi to the front doors of the church. we was sweating by the time he sat down. not a very long distance, but for him it was. but he loved church and wants to come back next week and to be baptized! so we are working with him. we found him in the antigo investigadores (people other missionaries had taught and then dropped for some reason).

i seriously love this gospel so much. I think the biggest thing i learned from my last area was the importance of the family and the little things. thank you mom and dad for always trying to teach us correctly. like the importance of going to church every sunday and keeping the sabbath day holy. also the importance of FHE and family prayer, and reading your scriptures and saying your prayers. soooooo important!!! i´ve seen families that don´t do it, and then they wonder why they are having problems. then we ask them if they are doing their family prayers, scripture study and FHE. they say they aren´t, and we say...that is the problem.

so kind of a cool story. my comp and I were outside at like 6:45 am doing our morning workouts. (we are trying to be 100% obedient which means we have to have 20 min of cardio everyday) i was running back and forth, while my comp was jump roping. anyway, this truck pulls up across the street, and all these guys dressed in camoflauge with these big old guns hop out. probably 8 or so of them. they look like the argentine FBI, swat team or something. and they start making their way down the street, like crawling kinda all sneaky like. so i look at my comp and we´re like,...we should probably go inside.... but before we went in we saw them go to the house on the corner, and one started kicking the door and yelling something. that´s all i know. but later when we actually went out to work, the guy that lived there was outside cleaning his car, totally normal like nothing weird had happened that morning. but the front door did have a dent in it where i imagine the swat team guys had kicked it. maybe it was the wrong house, or a drug dealer or something. who knows.

I also realized this week how viscious dogs are. they are terrible. the dogs in argentina are super territorial, and they have like neighborhood gangs. and when another dog from another neighborhood enters their territory...oooooh!! it´s scary. it happened last night. this is the second or third time i have seen it here in rafaela. this little puppy was following us last night (super cute!), and as we passed this one chain linked fence, the dog behind went crazy, barking, growling, barred teeth. and then i see in the distance by the railroad tracks 3 dogs sprinting at us full speed. they were barking and growling, and 2 sprinted right passed us and full on attacked the little puppy. the poor little thing went running the other way, but those other dogs were on top of it so fast,i´m sure they took a bite out of him. it was scary. and all the other dogs in the neighborhood we barking too. it gave me such a sick feeling. the other dog that had come around the corner was following my comp and i. growling, snarling, but not coming too close to us. they are a little scared of us, but i´m surprised i haven´t been bitten yet. it made me so mad though that they had attacked this little dog. those big bullies! i´ve never seen dogs fight like that.

anyways, i gotta go. i love you guys! thanks for your prayers and for you love, and for not forgetting about me in argentina!
todo mi amor,
hna. amundsen

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

rafaela week 1 - aug 9

hola familia!

LOVED the pictures! i love getting pics, so thanks! sounds like you guys had a fun week, Dad, i´m so sorry you got sick, that´s a bummer, maybe there is a lesson you are supposed to learn from it:) Maybe they´ll give you some extra days off. And Joe got! tell him congrats, cuz that is exciting!

My week has been pretty exciting too:) I love my new comp! Hna, Hansen is just super sweet, and we think very much alike. This is her first time being comp mayor, and she still struggles with speaking the language, so i actually get to talk alot more! But we are very much a team and have a lot of desires for this area. We really need progressing investigators right now, and i feel like the Lord has blessed us with finding a few great people this week! so we´ll see. I have a lot of drive to work right now! Hna. Hansen is from Utah, and comes from a family of 9. She is beautiful too, long brown hair and prefect skin:) but just super sweet.
Rafaela is different than Vendado Tuerto. It´s a little richer here i think. The houses are a little more spread out and the streets are a little cleaner. And there are some big parks. But i feel like our area is huge!

My comp told me how worried she was though about one of the families they had been teaching. the familia Garza. But hna. Davis (the missionary that was here before me) she is the one that found this family and had been with them for 4 months. And she went home, and the familia Garza is a little attatched to her and would talk with hna. Davis about her leaving and how they were going to miss her. So my comp was just praying for a comp that would get along well with this family. So the other day when we were over at the Garza´s house we were talking, and Ruben turns to Hna. Hansen and tells her that he was very content with me there. They say i am always smiling. But Hna. Hansen later told me how i was an answer to her prayers and how she was worried about that. Just another testimony to me that the Lord is aware of us and our needs.
But the people here have been super sweet. I bore my tesimony in church yesterday, they always ask the new missionaries to do that..but my comp and I had to teach 2 classes yesterday. We taught Gospel Principles and then we went to RS and they asked us to teach the lesson there too. So we just stood up and started teaching. haha. it went well i think. I still don´t understand anything the natives say. well, i can if it´s slow and if it's a common phrase. They say my accent is really good though when i talk, i just don´t know how to say very much. But i´m learning:) i know it will come. and hna. hansen can totally relate to me, because she really struggled in the begining and she recently just started understanding everything they say. (she has been out for 10 months though).
We live with 2 other sisters, both from Chile, and they don´t speak English. They are moving though because our pench (apartment) is far from their area. The pench here is bigger, but not nicer. The bathroom is kinda yucky, but it´s all good. It´s all part of the adventure! to flush the have to fill up a big bucket of water and dump it in the toilet, like 1.5- 2 gallons worth of water. And our shower, which is still the bucket shower, leaks a lot. So we fill it up all the way, and by the time the water is warm the water is half gone. So it takes a little longer for 2 people to shower. oh! and last night we had 2 surprise visitors. I was at the kitchen sink washing off a knife, when all the sudden, i see this giant cockraoch climbing up the wall in front of me. biggest cockraoch i have ever seen! so i start yelling to the others "GUYS! LOOK! THERE¨S A GIANT COCKROACH!" of course no one wants to kill it. I hate killing bugs. There´s just something about the crunchiness of it and snatching away it´s poor little life that gives me the heeeebie jeeebies. i´d rather drown it, than crunch it. So one of the Chileans takes off her shoe and starts smacking the wall. but she was too short to reach it. so we waited for it come back down a little lower where we could get a better shot at it. anyway...we got it! I think...we injured it at least. and then a few minutes later my comp. sees another one crawling up the window behind me! almost just as big as the first. But Hna. Alvarez got that one. It´s still lying dead on the floor. When our District leader called we told them what had happened. and then he says "there are never just 2, if there are 2 then there are more." well, i guess we´ll see. haha. i don´t mind them that much, i just don´t want them crawling in my bed or anything.
anyway! i love you guys so much! thanks for your love and support. I talk about you guys all the time. when the people here see my pictures they always say, "que linda!" which is like "how beautiful!" all the ladies here say that about you mom . "que linda mama tiene!" well really they say it about everyone. some of the argentine girls want me to indroduce them to Kris too...haha.they think he´s cute! heck, the men here think that we as missionaries here are just so beautiful. i can´t tell you how many times i´ve been told how beautiful i am by random men and boys in the street. ¨que amoroso que son." An old man winked at me the other day as he rode past me on his bike. don´t worry though...nothing super creepy! alright, gotta go! love ya!
todo mi amor,
hna. amundsen

Saturday, August 7, 2010

venado tuerto 6 - aug 3


so, i am in Rafaela! and my new companions is Hna. Hansen. crazy and totally unexpected. let me explain what happened...i figured i was staying in venado tuerto because we just white washed it. So sun night, me and hna. redfern took a 3 hr bus ride to rosario because i would be staying with them until we had transfers on wed. and she would be heading to the mission home. but as we are pulling up to rosario the assistants called and told me i had to take a bus back to venado to grab my stuff and that i would be heading up to rafaela. so, we met the other sisters in rosario and hung out in their apt for a few hours until i had to get back on the bus. At 4:15 am me and Hna. Kusilek went back to vendado tuerto. i grabbed my stuff and left at 10am to go back to rosario. it was kinda a bummer because we have a baptism this weekend and i won´t be there for it. once we got to rosario again, i then got on a bus to rafaela which was another 4 hr drive. and this one i was by myself. scary when you don´t know the language or what the place looks like that you are supposed to get off at. But i arrived last night here in rafaela. usually transfers don´t happen til tomorrow, but because hna. Hansen´s companion died with my comp, she was alone and i had to get to rafaela asap. so i traveled 13 hs. and didn´t sleep at all sunday night. that was fun. but i am good, and actually super excited to be here! and just so you know, in the future, transfers mean that pday is on tues that week.

But i feel like the Lord really blessed us this last week with hna redfern. a couple week ago we got a reference for this lady named isabel. when we went to visit her she said, ¨do not talk to me about God¨...we asked if we could ask what happened. she said her son was murdered when he was 19 yrs old, and she is just angry. but we talked for a second and asked if we could just share a scripture. she said to come back another time and that we could talk. wow. so we have been back twice now, and have been able to teach her and her daughter nicol. and it´s amazing to see the changes in the attitude of isabel. she really does believe in God, she is just angry with Him. But her daughter Nicol is seriously chosen. she is 10 yrs old and has read everything we have given her and when we ask about it she can tell us almost all that she read. then she just asks us these profound questions. they were supposed to come to church but had to go out of town. and now i won´t be able to see them! but i left a note for the new missionaries that go there.
also, we met this lady carina. she's awesome. hna redfern and i each said our separate prayers, and then each of us wrote down 10 street names. then we compared and we had one in common. we went and knocked doors. the fifth door was carina. we didn´t even introduce ourselves, she just invited us in. turns out she works at a kiosko we´ve been to a couple times and knew who we were. we didn´t get to talk to her much, but she is totally prepared for the gospel and really wanted us to return so we could talk. and she has lots of questions. she has 4 kids, 2 died right after her birth and the other 2 live with their dad because she can´t give her kids all the material things they want. but she is so strong. she says she just has to keep living her life and ask herself what she is supposed to learn from this because everything happens for a reason. she is just great, but we haven´t had a chance to go back and visit her.
holy smokes i love this gospel! my tesimony just continues to grow. we definitely had some challenges this week too. i was extra tired for some reason. and fell asleep filling out the carpeta de area one night. and then walking in the street i was just exhausted. the other morning our alarm goes off, and my body just feels super heavy and stiff, and hna. redfern says ¨"i can´t move!" and i was like, "me either!" but we keep going and the Lord blesses us.
One of our investigators, Ademar, doesn´t believe in God...or so he says. But he texted one of the members asking for hna. Redfern´s e-mail (since she is leaving) so that he could write to her when he got baptized! that´s what he said to us! by the way we had another baptism this last weekend. it was Julian (the older brother of diego) he is 13 and he was so excited to get baptized. He even gave Hna. Redfern his lip piercing after we talked to him about it.
so here i am. my second transfer in argentina. Venado Tuerto was great. in total we had 3 baptisms! not bad for a white wash. I learned a lot. i´m sad i didn´t have a chance to say goodbye to the ward i love so much, but hopefully i will be able to return some day. the Lord continues to bless me. my shin splints i think are gone, i don´t feel them, but i´m pretty sure they could come back easily if i am not careful (so continue to pray for me, and for the langauge´s coming but very slowly) But other wise i am fine. there are also 4 sisters in our apt now. i don´t know who the 2 others are yet because right now the others are leaving. One is actually going to venado tuerto to white wash again and to train a new latina comp.
i feel like so much is happening and my thoughts are always so scattered everytime that i write. it was so good to hear from you guys though. my new comp is from Lehi utah. she is super sweet, and this is her first time being comp mayor so she is a little nervous, but i think we will get along just fine:). well, i better write to the president. but i look forward to hearing from you next week. glad you got the pics! ok. gotta go! love you guys so much!!
todo mi amor,
hna. amundsen