Monday, June 23, 2014

Bienvendido! (6/23/14)

hola hola! I am alive and doing well. Argentina is INSANE! I am currently sitting in an internet cafe trying to hide that I am typing in English! English is a sin here! seriously!

Well, it has been forever so I will start from the beginning! i left the MTC on Monday at 6. My bag was overweight and I was companions with to elders going to my mission. We got to salt lake and I got to call my dad and it was the best! I was on cloud nine! You learn to treasure people voices, (especially in English!!) We then went to Georgia and we searched and searched for a payphone and none worked. As I was in tears because I just wanted to call my mom, my old companion Hermana Tidwell and I went and bought a 50 dollar tract phone with 100 minutes so we could call our families. Sorry if I didn't get to call you!!

We then got on the plane and I sat there as the sun was going down and thought to myself that this would be the last time n american soil for 16 months. I started to cry and seriously thought through my decision. But, i immediately knew that I am supposed to be in Argentina and we took off and 10 hours later, we landed in Buenos Aires! I said a tough tough goodbye to my district. Especially my companions Hermana Paulson and Tidwell. Those girls will be my friends forever. The elders were equally as difficult. We had become a family and I am so grateful for them. So of course, the first time I met my mission president, I WAS CRYING. typical me! But I soon got over it, and was so excited! We went to the mission home and went over rules and safety, then ate empanadas and pizza. WONDERFUL. I then had an interview with President Thurgood. He is an amazing man. He was raised on a ranch too! I told him that I knew how to work and that I would be obedient but my Spanish just isn't there yet. He had so much faith in me. It was just what I needed. Then, the trainers arrived and I was about to receive my companion. My biggest fear was to get a native Spanish speaker who didn't speak English, AND MY WORST FEAR CAME TRUE! haha I got placed with Hermana Rodas and she is literally an angel sent from Heaven. We are in a city called Avellaneda and it is New York but imagine complete Spanish, ghetto everywhere, and everyone has this sassy Italian accent! It is insane! Imagine being a missionary in New York in times square, THAT IS ME! I guess president thought the farm girl needed the city!

Well we went to our apartment and it is a treat. The toilet doesn't flush so you fill a bucket and dump water down it after every use. We have one of those butt washers that sounds like the word for a comforter, Our boiler leaks water and our kitchen floods every day, we only have a space heater and its freezing, and my laundry is done in a sink. By hand. I thought my life was over.... until I went to my investigators house.

I have realized that God sent me here to show me just how spoiled we ALL are. Things that I have taken for granted my entire life, people here couldn't even dream of having. Most of my investigators live in concrete huts. Their doors are sheets and you clap outside of houses because they don't have doorbells. They have no heaters, there are stray dogs EVERYWHERE and they are the happiest people i have ever seen. I have learned so much about humility and gratitude. I wish every person in the US could do this. It has changed me and it has only been a week.

I have been sick all week. My stomach has got the best of my and I have been in pain all week. On Friday, I woke up and just started to cry. I wondered why on earth I was here and doubted my ability to do this. Hermana Rodas was so comforting and she helped me so much. I read two quotes that changed my attitude completely. ¨When you think you can't do it, you're right. You can't. But Christ can.¨and ¨You can't go home, your journal is not full yet.¨ I realized that this work will be the hardest thing I will ever do. Physically, I can handle it no problem. We walk like 15 miles a day but emotionally is where I struggle. I find myself turning to how long it seems till I will be home but in reality, it is not long at all. I decided that I would turn all I have to Christ and I found strength. The adjustment is hard. This is a totally different world but I love it. I love the people. I love my calling.

Our first lesson was with a man named Raul. He has been taught by the missionaries for MONTHS but he will not commit to a baptismal date. I went in there with H. Rodas and we talked about faith and how we have to act on it. I bore my testimony to him that I knew that if he acted on his faith, Christ would ease his doubts. I compared it to me being in Argentina and how even though I knew nothing abut this place and this language, I came. And look at how much I have grown in 24 hours. I then asked him to be baptized the 5th of July AND HE SAID YES! That moment made me realize that there really are people here that only I can touch.

Later we went to Family Abachino´s house. It is a shack. The worst poverty I have ever seen. Her family is less active and in our mission that is our main focus is reactivating members. She told us how she read in the scriptures about humility and how she needs to be more humble. This woman, who literally has nothing, was telling me how she needed to be more humble. I just wanted to hug her. I realized just how ungrateful I am. I have SO much and I'm still ungrateful. She is such an example to me. Another less active is Hermana Flor. She has a son named Pedro. and he is MASON. He is insane! haha He speaks SOO fast and is always running away from his mom. I told her how Mason has gotten so much better and she had so much hope!

When people realize I am from the US they think two things. I am a spoiled brat, or I am the luckiest girl in the world. I have kind of refrained from telling people that I am from there but they always know haha. There is a little girl in the ward named Camilla and she is just like Sayge! She is so sweet. I showed her all the pictures of my family and she wants to come to the US so badly. I never realized how many opportunities we have.

So the world cup is happening. It is insane! When Argentina plays we have to go to our pension (apartment) because its not safe haha. When they scored a goal, the WHOLE building shook! Fireworks went off and it was insane! 
I avoided eating cow stomach yesterday. I was freaking out but there happened to be a bone in this soup and no I did not stuff the stomach pieces inside the bone. haha I was not about to do that lol.

I have also been kissed more than I have in my entire life. Every time to greet anyone, they kiss you on the cheek. We aren't allowed to let males so we get to stiff arm them haha its so fun. But Its so weird. People don't have personal space here lol

There are 4 elders in my zone from the US and Elder Payne, know Elder and Sister Podwus. We receive the same letter from them! haha.

Milk and yogurt here is in a bag. Its weird haha and you have to go to multiple stores to get things. There's vegetable, bread, pasta, fruit, etc. stores and its so time consuming!!

I am called Hermana Raiz because that is the translation for Root haha. The bishop thinks he is so funny.

I am doing great. My Spanish is improving, I can understand a lot and speak a lot better. I am happy and I love this work. It is hard, but I love it. I already feel the change in me. I am growing up and becoming who I am supposed to be. This has made me question moving to NYC though, I don't know if I wanna be this far from my family haha.

I love you all! Thanks for the prayers and the emails. I only get an hour to email and read so If i don't reply, know I read it and love you dearly!!
Con amor,

Chau Chau! (insert kisses here!)
Hermana Root

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