Monday, November 29, 2010

rafaela week 17 - Nov 29

Hey Fam!

Wow. sounds like Thanksgiving was a blast. It's the best when all the family is together....well, almost everyone was together. It will be weird to have christmas here, but i'm way excited! Atleast Kris will get to be home though, and then i can talk to him in spanish over the phone! Maybe a little with Jodes too...if she's up for it.

This week was a little interesting. Monday we got to go to a ward was way fun. Then I was in Santa Fe for the conference thing all day Tuesday. We did tons of practices! I really dont like practices...but it wasn't too bad. We just had President sitting next to us while we did it, is all. But it was fun with Hna. Kusilek. I've been thinking a lot about transfers...i'm ready for a change. I think i might go to Villa Santa Tome where Hna. Kusilek is. Because i think she's going to be comp mayor this next transfer (senior comp). But we'll see. Transfers are next week which means i'll probably be writing on tues.

This week was interesting because we didn't work as much. Hna. Garcia has been having a lot of pain in her left foot the past 2 weeks, and this last week it got worse. So we went to the doctor, he says she has tendinitis...but i don't think it's permanent. So she rested a day...i did divisions...and we've just been walking really slow. So our numbers were super low this week.

Right now we have 2 awesome women who need to get baptized! Norma and Nora. Norma i talked about last week. But she is now saying that she is not ready to get baptized, that she needs more time. She is also moving about 2 hours away to live with her parents so that she can finsh up her career. It was great though, Sunday all the talks were perfect for her, i hope she got the message that she needs to be baptized!!! Because we are doing all we can.....And then there is Nora, who is about 60 years old. Her kids are older and she works next door to the Flia. Franco. She takes care of an older woman. And she has been to church 2 times now and loves it!! She has really progressed alot this last week. She's just a happy person, and she loves the peace that the members of the church have, and is beginning to feel that in her own life now.

Mateo is a little more difficult...hes hasn't really been reading, only praying. Sat he said he would come to church. We called him sun morning to wake him up...his mom put the phone to his ear, but he didn't want to get up, and therefore didn't come to church. We went over to his house sun after church to talk to him. He promises to come next Sunday...i think something happened and he's just not telling us....also....Gianella hasn't been to church for 3 weeks now. We went to go pick her up yesterday morning but no one answered the door. When we passed by again in the night, her mom came outside to tell us they had friends over and that it wasn't a good time. And Gianella will be with her dad next week and won't be able to come to church. (her parents are divorced).

But the work goes on.'s hard sometimes. That's about it for the week. I'm doing good. Excited to go and eat some vegetables that we bought this morning! I'm getting sick of the grease and oil. Jodi...what is your e-mail address so i can write to you? What are julie's and Sarah's also? All i have is kris's...but i laughed like the whole time i read jodi's letter. I love you jodi! That would be cool to get something from home...i don't even know what to ask for. I love you guys! Thanks for your love and support. Always!

Love, hna. Amundsen

rafaela week 16 - Nov 22

Hey family.
Thanks for your letters. You guys don't know how much i need your letters. It gives me a boost every week. Thanks. So how is the family room coming? It would be cool to see how it looks. Also, i never got to see the finished product of Jodi's room. How she painted it…

So this week for me…we had a couple really full days of working. It was really great. It makes me happy when we have to run from appt. to appt. We stay more focused and feel better about the work. My goal, is to have every day be like that. It was also a bummer because there were like 4 people that we just started teaching, that told us they really have no interest. It's good to know, because we really need to spend our time with those that are ready and willing. One of our investigators is Norma. She is the younger sister of Marta (marta and Luis who are still trying to get married…who come to church every Sunday and are living the commandments who are awesome!) Anyway, we are teaching her sister Norma who is about 31 years old and she has 2 beautiful daughters. She is legally married, but not living with her husband…she is going through a divorcement. But she is a golden investigator because she is so prepared and wants to learn so much! She is already sharing the gospel with her friends. I love our lessons with her. She always has a ton of questions. And everytime we come her daughters (Jasim – 4 or 5yrs., and Julieta-2 yrs.) run to us and hug us really tight and kiss us over and over again. And then the same thing when we leave. But it's been so great seeing the changes in Norma. When we first met her about 3 weeks ago she was a lot more unsure of herself and just worried about stuff. But the gospel is really changing her and she is seeing the changes in herself too. She is more calm, and happier, and she has purpose in her life. It's really been a blessing to know her.

Also! Mateo was confirmed this Sunday! He even came in a a white shirt and tie. He's doing really well. He started reading the B.O.M. and he reads a lot. And he really likes it! He says he is understanding more now. Also, Lucas Franco was able to bless the sacrament this last Sunday! Which was a big deal for him. He was practicing all week. His wife says he has changed completely with the gospel. I think she is falling in love with her husband all over again, which is really great because he has been sick for a long time and i know that has been really hard on their relationship.

We went to Rosario this last week. We traveled through the night and got about no sleep…then woke up early because I had to do some legal paper stuff. All the missionaries have to do it, it was just my turn this last week. I had to get my picture taken and have my thumb prints taken….so that was an adventure. We were exhausted when we returned
though. You never get to catch up on sleep here.

Tomorrow i have to travel to Santa Fe for a conference thing and i get to be Hna. Kusilek´s comp for the day! It´s my turn to learn the new Preach My Gospel stuff.

Can't believe Christmas is around the corner. I'm excited for Christmas…i heard it's crazy here…like the 4th of July but louder and bigger with the fireworks.

Well, i love you guys a lot. I thank Heavenly Father for you guys everyday and pray for you.
Until next week…

hna. amundsen

rafaela week 15 - Nov 15

Hola ¿como te va?

Thanks for the letters. I'm doing well this week. Not a ton of new things. Can't believe Stephen and Kashia are seems like Kashia just left. And Harry Potter 7! Oh man....the argentines know about it, but i doubt it will be coming here for a while. There's no thanksgiving here..sad huh? So we don't get to do anything special.Had some interesting adventures again this week...

We had a baptism! Yes! Mateo was baptized on Friday. He has been doing awesome with his smoking...hasn't smoked for a while. But....he didn't come to church on Sunday, so therfore we was not confirmed! We were kinda worried, so we called right after sacrament meeting to find out what happened. I guess he had some family problems...and woke up, and got dressed, but he was late and decided not to come. But we talked with him and he feels bad. He is going to come this Sunday for sure. He knows. He really is so great. He reads everything we leave for him to read! And is now reading the B.O.M. from the beginning. Our next goal is his brother...

Let me see. We had a zone conference this week. That was pretty cool. Our president and his wife spoke. Hna. Villalba called on me to read something and then afterwards asked me what it meant.... I hadn't really understood what i had read because it was in spanish. And so i stumbled as a tried to explain what i thought. She kinda looked at me funny and there was a long pause, then she asked me to read something else and i started to read the wrong thing....anyway, i struggled because i didn't understand what she was saying to me. And afterwards felt pretty terrible, super embarressed. Then Elder Aidukaitis spoke. The first hour i was terrified of him. I really felt uncomfortable in my chair. It was like we were terrible missionaries because we weren't reaching our goals. But we were fine. He changed his way of teaching and i felt a lot better. I learned a lot from him.

This week we cleaned out our drain...We have a hole in the ground where all the water goes when we shower, and there was a ton of hair in it. There have been missionaries in our house for about 15 years...and i don't think it's been cleaned for a looooong time. Well, we cleaned it. I think there was about 5 pounds of hair in that thing. And the smell....oh man. It was soooo bad!

Mom...can you do me a big favor....there is this member that makes scripture covers and bags out of leather and draws stuff on them. All the missionaries get stuff from him. And i'm trying to pick out images that i want, but i don't have very many resources...he draws just about anything. So, can you look up Simon Dewey and send me a bunch of his artwork through e-mail. Just google and send pictures. Pictures of the savior. With people, alone, with kids. Or any images that you really like from anyone really. Maybe i'll get you guys some stuff too. He can draw our family if he has a picture even.

Well..i have more to write and no time, so i gotta go. But i love you guys a ton. I hope you know that. Families are so important. I really miss you guys, and am stoked to talk to you in less than 2 months! I'm learning and growing here in the mission a lot. The Lord continues to teach me lots of things. Thanks for your love and support. You guys are in my prayers too! Love ya!

hna. amundsen

Monday, November 8, 2010

more pics from Kari!

rafaela week 14 - Nov 8

Hi my family.

Thanks for your letters. crazy week for you mom, glad i could help you out a bit with the lesson. Sounds like Sarah is doing awesome in soccer! It would be fun to watch her play. Mom had a birthday! Cafe Rio...yummy. You would choose that. To tell you the truth i really miss any kind of rice and beans and tortillas. Non existent here. There isn't much variety with the food here...but it's pretty yummy. Also! I received a bunch of mail yesterday. So i was in happy land last night as i read my letters.

Well, this week was kinda crazy. I learned something new...there are buses that go around the city! Which is wonderful because it's only $1.50 (pesos) and our area is super huge. So the other day we had an appt. with Mateo at 2:30 and we found that we could take a bus from where we were (about 30 min walking) to his house! We were stoked. So we hopped on the bus at 1:45 thinking we could get there early and go contact a reference from a member!......45 min later(2:30)...we are still on the did not go to Mateo's house, in fact it went the other direction and took us farther away. The bus pulls into the terminal as one of it's stops (which is out of our area). We decide that we should just take a remis (which is a taxi) because it would be faster. But all i have is $ we took the Remis to our house first, grabbed some money, and then went to Mateo's house.

But on the way we hit almost every red light...and then the train decides to come by, so we stopped at that too. I started laughing in the car. I couldn't believe the situation. One of those, everything that can go wrong will go wrong. My comp turns to me, “it's not funny”...i'm still laughing. Luckily we were able to call Mateo and let him know we were on our way. We finally arrive! Only 30 min. Late! And as we are paying the Remis $19 for the ride...the bus drives by.....yup.

We laughed soooo hard. Oh...and a member was there at his house waiting for us too...but luckily her and Mateo found our story to be hilarious. They just laughed with us. more story....President Villalba told us to get our house fumigated because we were just having problems...a couple more scorpians and a tiny little snake...harmless, but still - a snake. So Saturday morning we had a guy come and fumigate. He first went around and sprayed outside. There are concrete slabs that cover the sewer's where all the cockraoches live apparently, because when he sprayed underneath them...all the cockroaches started running out! Big ones, little name it! We had to watch our feet, or the cockraoches would run up our legs. They all died from the smell...but they went kinda crazy first!

Luckily there were more outside than inside. And as they died we were sweeping them all into one big pile. (We wanted to take a picture!). But sadly we didn't get the chance because we had to go somewhere, and when we came back they were all gone. We think the lady in front swept them all up.....or the birds had a giant cockraoch feast. And then Saturday night i had the worst nightmare....i had a dream that all the cockroaches were coming out of the floor and the walls and into my bed! I was very tired the next day.

Well, other than that...we have the baptism of Mateo coming up! The only problem is he is still trying to quit smoking! He can do it, he wants to be baptized, and so i know he'll do's just when he's with other people that's hard for him to say no. But he hasn't smoked for a few days now, and he fasted on Sunday! He's so great. He's 19, and has a lot of potential. Just humble and willing to do stuff. He has a blonde mullet ....a lot of kids here have mullets..and he has tatoos...same thing with his 18 yr. old brother Mauro....we are going to work with him next. But Mateo is setting an awesome example for his family, and his dad is already a faithful member.

Keep up the game sarah...and yes dad, i do tell people my little sister is an awesome soccer player. I use it a lot when we talk about the sabbath day, and how sarah doesn't play on Sunday because she knows that Heavenly Father comes first. Anyways....gotta go. Thanks for your love and everything you do! Until next week!

Todo mi amor

hna. amundsen

Rafaela week 13 - Nov 1

Hey family family family….

Thanks for all the letters, and the pics. Last night as we were on our way home we saw a few kids out and i turned to hna. Garcia and was like, “oh my gosh! It's halloween!” we had totally forgotten. But the pumpkins look awesome, and i'm sure the girls enjoyed the dance…sarah's first. And also the pics of luke, i bet his family is so glad to have him home. I wish i could have been there to hear him speak, that would have been cool, but i know this is where the Lord needs me right now. Tell him not to worry about surfing, i'm sure it will come right back to him very soon, especially if Matt convinces him to go to Hawaii.

Wow. What a week. We had an amazing baptism! Lucas Franco, who is the father of our ward mission leader. He is 64, and he can't walk because of an illness. But this is one of the most humble men i have ever met. He only desires to do what the Lord wants of him, and is always extremely grateful and happy for what he has. I feel like as a missionary we are sent to certain areas to bless the lives of certain people, but i also feel like we are sent to certain areas because other people are to bless our lives. Lucas is one of those people that has blessed my life, and also his family. His son Guillermo is probably the best ward misión leader in the entire misión, and his wife Lorena is so sweet. Mom, you would love her because she just takes care of me… She washes our clothes, and irons them every week. The first week she threw away all my nylons with holes and bought me brand new ones! I lost my name tag and so she took her old one and put my name on it so that i would have one. She gives us treats to take home. The other day she gave us cold water bottles because it was hot outside. Then, she gave me her old bag that she used from the mission, because i've been using dave facer's old one and…sorry dave, but it's been repaired a few times already…anyway, she is so eager to serve, and just looks for opportunities to serve. And she is so humble, just wants to help.

I read a scripture this week that has kinda stuck with me.

It's Mosiah 16:5..."he that persists in his own carnal nature, and goes on in the ways of sin and rebellion against God, remaineth in his fallen state and the devil hath all power over him.”

I've been thinking a lot about humility. Humility is the willingness to submit to the will of the Lord. These people are truly examples of this, and I am trying to be more like that. Especially with a new comp…I feel like i have something new to learn from each comp. But dad, you're right, it is adjusting. I love hna. Garcia, i think she is such an awesome missionary, and we have been in the process of melding, because each missionary does things a little different. And for me, i have to be willing to try things a different way, because the way that i have done things in the past isn't always the best way. It's all about progressing, and trying new things, otherwise we will remain in our “fallen state”.

Mom, super stoked that you get to teach about missionary work because it is something i am passionate about! In response to your questions…

Everything that i have learned and am learning here has changed the way that i think about missionary work at home. I didn't realize the importance of it, and i wish i had before. You do not have to be a full time missionary to share the gospel, that's for sure. You just have to let people know you are mormon, and that they should be too! Really. The work right now is progressing here in Rafaela because the members are more envolved! But the work does not end when people are baptized, people constantly need nourishment, love, and friendship, and to have their testimony strengthened. Always, always, always. Like i told you mom in my last letter…you don't always know when people are struggling and might need an extra boost. Some of the most important missionary work is done through home and visiting teaching, and with the less actives members. We just need to put the Lord first in our lives, and think first about others and their needs. Look for opportunities to serve, don't wait for someone to give you an assignment; ask who the less actives are! And then go!!!

Lorena Franco shared with us that she read a talk about service and set a goal to do some kind of service (out of the ordinary) every single day! She said that when she put this goal, the Lord provided her with those opportunities. I know this is true. With Guillermo and his wife alone, i am seeing the impact that they have had on our ward, and they are only two people. If every member were like them, i can't even imagine the success of the church here.

Anyways. I definitely feel like i am learning a ton, and still have a lot more to learn. But i really do love this work. We've had some awesome experiences here. My comp is awesome! We have fun, and my spanish is improving…i'm kinda hoping all my other comps will be latina too just so that i will be able to understand and speak better. The weather here has been rather warm…not like summer yet. We had the weirdest day here though. Beautiful morning, crazy windy afternoon, and then a nice breezy evening. I love you guys a ton!


Until next week.

Love ya…hna. amundsen