Friday, April 15, 2011

la paz 6 - april 12

Dad. Mom. Kris. Julie. Jodi. Sarah.

Hey guys.

Welp. Ivan got baptized! It was a beautiful day. He is such a good kid, he just is strong, and knows it’s true. I expect great things from him…we’ll try working with his family, I don’t know how it will go…his dad was the first person we taught actually. Presidente Quintana baptized Ivan after church on Sunday. It was a quick service…but it went smoothly and I felt the spirit. Now we just gotta keep it up with him, and help him continue

to progress. The good thing is he already has friends that are members.

We had some interesting experiences with people this week, a few just walked away while we were talking to them…they didn’t say anything, just turned and walked away. It was really weird. People answering their door, and before we get a word out just started shaking their head and saying “no” over and over again…we were just wanting to ask if they knew where someone lived…Also a lesson where the people were totally distracted, it was like we weren’t even there…but then others that went really well.

We are teaching a mom right now named Cecilia. She is like 26 or 28… and has 3 kids. We talked to her about baptism this week. And at first she didn’t get it. So we explained again…the authority to baptize and the importance of Joseph Smith who received the priesthood. And then her mom walked in (who we are also teaching), and Cecilia turns to her mom and tells her we are inviting her to be baptized. And her mom was like, “and what did you say?” Cecilia-“I told them yes” (she had not told us “yes” yet…) and then her mom-“but Cecilia, you were already baptized and baptism is a one time thing…like marriage” Cecilia-“ya mom, it’s a one time thing, but you have to be baptized correctly the one time.” I sat there, and was just loving it. Cecilia wanted us to explain to her mom. We never got to finish though because we had to go. So we’ll see what happens with Cecilia…she is either married or living with someone, we met her "husband" though, and he was really nice, so hopefully we can help this family. The kids are awesome, we turned the corner the other day and they were outside playing with the neighborhood kids…and I looked up and they were all running toward us! Coming to say hi, and “watch what I can do!!” it was great. I love the little neighborhood kids.

Well, still in La Paz. Mom…another favor…could you get Courtney Facer’s address and Sarah Davis’s address…or where they will be in like a month…I’m writing them letters but don’t have their addresses, thanks. I hope the study group picks up, I’m sure it will. We are trying to get an activity started here that happens twice a month…the members here are difficult sometimes! I hope one day it will be thriving like you said. Patience and hard work. I love you guys a lot! I pray for you all the time. I look forward to talking to you guys in less than a month! I’ll be here in la paz. Until next week. The church is still true!

Love, kari

(Christmas Card from the Holmes family!)

la paz 5 - april 4

Hola. Que tal.

Bueno, esta semana…ayer era un día loco. So remember how I was talking about Ivan…well, we decided that we would baptize him during the conference on Sunday. Here in La Paz we don’t have a church building right now because they are reconstructing it, and so we have gone to a little town called Santa Elena the last 2 weeks for our meetings. We all meet up at the church building, get on a bus and all go over together. This means that we don’t have our own baptismal font right now…..hmmm… so we decided that since we would be in Santa Elena on Sunday, that we could just do the baptism in between the sessions.

We prepared everything. Ivan passed his interview, we got the parents signatures, we bought him a tie, the baptismal clothes are in a bag…we talked to him sat night and he was ready. Ivan usually comes to church the Flia. Ortiz, and we had attempted calling the Flia. Ortiz like 5 times to check and make sure they were going to bring Ivan, but we couldn’t get a hold of them. So we just figured that they would bring him like they always do because they knew that he was getting baptized.

So Saturday night we end planning…we have a list of people we are going to go by. We say the prayer to end planning. And I looked up at my comp...”we need to go by the flia. Ortiz tomorrow, just to make sure everything is alright. My comp said she felt the same. so we had a change of plans…so Sunday morning…we go running out to their house…literally running because we don’t have very much time before the bus leaves. We get to their house, Hna. Ortiz is there….”I’m not going” she says. And nobody else in their family either. Snap!!! So then we take off running to Ivan’s house. He is sitting outside with his parents. “I can’t go today!” he says as we approach the house. And lifts up his shirt. He's all cut up. Turns out he had a bicycle accident last night. Oh man. “we can do it next week” he says….”ya, we’ll have to do it next week.” I respond.

Such a bummer. But we didn’t have time to think too much about it. We took of running again. This time to Micaela’s house. We promised we would pick her up to go the conference…along with the Flia. Gamarra (less actives and recent converts). We made it to the church at the time the bus was scheduled to leave. Hopped on. Allll sweaty and gross. We had been running for a little over an hour….

But the conference was soooooo gooood. We got to watch it in English!!! But we only saw the Sunday sessions….it went by too fast. I loved every second of it! That’s cool you guys went to utah. Sounds like you guys had a blast. Grandpa’s birthday is coming up…he’s going to be 97 right?

Well this week we had some really spiritual moments….we taught a lesson to a girl the other day and we paused to ask her how she felt. “good” she said. We waited….and she continued. “I felt this sensation….i don’t know how to describe it.” I love when the spirit works through us and testifies of the truth, because that is what converts.

My time is out. I love you guys a ton. We have transfers next week. So I will write tues. I’m sure I’ll stay here. Mom, can you do me a favor….let me know what size shoe everyone wears, but in european sizes (kris too)????please, because I want to buy “alpargatas” for everyone (those are the toms shoes!)

Thanks for your letters.

Love, hna. Amundsen

la paz 4 - march 28

Hey! Hows it going?

So today is my birthday! I don't want to be 22! 21 was perfect. Don’t have much of a choice though do i? anyway… so this week was cool. Literally. We got lots of rain. And here our area is mostly campo…so that means mud. The first day it rained we were on a dirt road…and the mud was a little different there, in that it just stuck and kept accumulating. So I started kicking with every step, so that a little dirt would fly off, so that my shoes didn’t become platforms. So I kicked…and off flew my shoe….and landed in the mud in front of me. My comp (who was behind me) immediately broke out in laughter. I turned and looked at her. She was laughing pretty hard. Luckily my shoe flew up higher rather than farther, so it landed only a few feet away, and I hopped over and put it back on; nearly falling into the mud. But I didn’t learn my lesson, because it happened again shortly after. I thought I could keep it on. I was wrong.

Well…so we are teaching this kid names Ivan Gomez. He is so rad! He is 11 years old, and loves to play soccer. We actually taught his dad (Carlos) last week, and at the end of the lesson carlos’s wife got home. And she was like…”my son has one of those books, he has been reading it, and wants to go to your church and be baptized” I looked at my comp…”we better talk to your son then!” and just then Ivan walks up. It turns out the other sister missionaries here before us had taught Ivan and his brothers once, and had left a Book of Mormon. So we have been teaching him.

He has come to church twice now, and when we go over to teach he is always super excited to learn. And one of his best friends is Rual Ortiz…who is a member of the church. But Raul’s parents are inactive, so Raul goes to church sometimes with his grandma, but not that often. It was so funny though…the other day we were teaching Ivan and Raul, and Ivan goes, “wait, so you have to always keep going to church?” and I nodded my head, “yup, that’s right” and Ivan immediately looks over at Raul, with that face like, you’re not doing what you are supposed to be doing. It was so funny. Raul was like, “what!” But Ivan will be a good influence on him.

Earlier this week we invited Ivan to pray about the church and promised him that he would receive an answer. The next time we passed by, Ivan was like, “I prayed!” he told us that he was in his room with his brothers and sisters, and the lights were off, getting ready to sleep, and so he turned to the wall and said a prayer, asking if the church was true. “and how did you feel?” I asked him. And he puts his hand over his heart and pats it a couple times, “I felt it right here, just like you said! It felt really good!”

Ahhh man. I have to go right now. Sorry I can’t keep writing. Pray that I can be strong, and have desires to serve the Lord and not be afraid to talk to people! Thanks for your letters and your birthday wishes. This morning at 7am we went to the elder’s pench…they had called us and told us to come over. And we got there and they had bought facturas! These yummy donut-like pastries. And then we had comp study all together where we got to share our favorite scripture and our favorite part out of preach my gospel. It was cool.

Anyway. I love you guys so much!!!! Dad, awesome job with the whole trial. Congratulations!!!! And I loved the stories from when I was little. They made me laugh. And I got your letter from last week. And the other pic mom. Thanks for being so great. I love hearing from you guys!

Todo mi amor,

hna. amundsen

rain brings mosquitos!


la paz 3 - march 21

Hey hey hey

Well, today has been a good day. we spent all morning clearing the pench…and sweated a little here and there. This week was a good week. I don’t really know where to begin…the flia. Miño didn’t come to church…we dropped by them this week and they weren’t home, and gave them a call…it turns out they were both super busy this week with work, Miguel got some work and so he was pretty stoked about that. But the people here walk pretty much everywhere. If you have a car it’s because you have money…most don’t have a car. They think it’s crazy that in the United States we drive everywhere we go. But everything is close here…everything is just little here…little stores and little houses, so it’s easy to walk.

But ya, I don’t know if it’s just Argentina, but people do have problems with commitments here. I am pretty sure it’s a cultural thing. It seems though, that where the church is a little bigger, the members take it a little more seriously. But what do you do? We are looking for people that are willing to make and keep commitments. Here, there have been quite a few baptisms recently, but they haven’t been coming to church. So we are trying to work with the new converts and look for new people.

I am getting better at contacting…that’s always been a struggle for me, talking to random people, but here i’ve been really trying to step it up. And I’m getting better. The other day we had district meeting and the zone leaders were like, “how many contacts have you done today?” well, we had had only 2 hours of work before the meeting and I was feeling super good about myself, we had contacted 8 people and taught a lesson…2 new people who we invited to be baptized. So I was like “we have 8! How many do you guys have?” ….”23”….what…how? so then I asked, “but you guys didn't teach this morning did you?” …they responded, “ya, we taught a lesson, 2 new people.”…and then comes the encouragement, “you can totally do 20 people in an hour hermana.” So here we go, “we got this” I keep thinking to myself (something I learned from Sarah Davis), “we can totally do this.” So far…we have not had 20 in an hour, but we are getting better. It’s kinda hard when your comp doesn’t contact though, i've gotta go double, but it forces me to learn. but our zone is pretty awesome, they do a lot of encouraging.

Nothing super exciting happened that I can think of. We found some cool people, the trouble is finding and teaching them again. But the Lord is blessing me a lot. I have learned so much on the mission I feel like. It’s a one of a kind experience for sure. But I love the gospel!

The photos look really fun. I loved mormon prom. Super cute dress jules. I am so stoked to have normal clothes when I come home…I think we'll be sharing a lot of clothes between us girls. Oh I hit 11 months in the mission today!!! Almost a year. Also, how is tandy over there in Japan? I don’t know if she is close, but have your guys heard anything? Anyway. I better go. I love you guys. Thanks for writing me!

Love, kari