Monday, August 25, 2014

Argentina is the new Harney County! (8/25/14)

Hola hola queridos! Cant believe it is monday already! Time is just flying by!
I want to start by battling with Parker and Payden. I think that I eat more rice then them all! Every morning we each arroz con leche. With is a mexican thing I guess but it is like the rice form of cream of wheat. Then we have it in almost every lunch! Rice on rice on rice.  

Avellaneda is resembling Burns more and more everyday! (minus the millions of people). 4 days this week it was BLAZING hot but for the past two days, it is coldest it has been during all my time in Argentina! I am starting to believe that spring time here is just the same as at home! 
This week I recieved mail! Thanks Elder and Sister Podwus and Cragg and Fiona! Getting real mail is the best feeling ever! 

The girls started school today!! AHH where did the time go. It is crazy that a whole summer has went by. And Madison leaves for the big BYUH. I seriously am jealous. My year in hawaii was the best of my life, changed my life. As weird as it is, the thought of going back after my mission does cross my mind quite often! Enjoy Laie for me madison! Hale 7, Room 317 needs my love, but stay away from the cafeteria!!
This week was great! We had zone conference and it was WONDERFUL! All of us are having problems finding investigators so we brainstormed new ways to find investigators and how we can just share the gospel in little sentances! We also talked about how we can consecrate our missions to our heavenly father. Sometimes we get home and are exhausted but just because we are exhausted doesnt mean we are being successful. We need to be using every minute of each day to do exactly what christ would do in this area. It is a huge task, but I love it. Sometimes I just think about how insane this is. I have never worked so hard in my entire life but I am just so happy.

After zone conference we had an exchange! I was with Hermana Durrant. Shes from UT and so great. She has only 3 months left in her mission. We were in Avellaneda and Hermana Rodas went to Quilmes with Hermana Olsen. Since we were in my area, I had to lead. I found all the houses for our appointments without any problems and I had to start and lead in every lesson because these people didnt know Hermana Durrant. I was scared to death. But, EVERYONE understood me! We had real conversations and I felt so great at the end of the day. I am just so blessed. I have so far to go in this language but its coming! We then got back to the pench and Hermana started to speak in english. It was SOO weird! But we shared photos of our families and talked about our lives and it was so weird how easy it was to convey my thoughts! English is SO beautiful! haha 
Good news! My foot is getting so much better! Just had to walk it off... walked about 100 miles and then it decided to get better! 

This week we learned a great experience. We have a less active named Yuzzely that is always TOO busy to let us in but will talk with us for hours outside her house about nothing. So this week, I felt prompted so share a scripture in DyC 24 con her. So I just got out my scriptures, and said I have a scripture for you. We read it and everything changed. People have their priorities in many places. Sometimes we just need to help them see what is really important! 

This week Hermana Rodas celebrated her one year mark! She only has 6 months left. It is so weird! When she leaves I will have 9 months, half way!

We have an investigator that just hates to act. We felt prompted to have her read 2 Ne 31 last week about baptism. So she did. This week when we went back, we asked her how she felt and she was just complaining saying how she didnt have an answer for what she needs to do. So I said, Liliana, let´s pray right now together and you ask God if baptism is what you need. She agreed and prayed. After we asked her how she felt. She had recieved an answer that yes it was correct. Her description of her feelings was the spirit. She said how she gets this feeling everytime, but she thought she didnt have an answer. As we talked more, we realized that she didnt want her answer. She did not want to act and be baptised. How many times do we recieve answers and dont act on them? I am sure guilty of this. This woman is holding herself back from entering into a covenant with our heavenly father because she´s letting her natural man control her. 

GUESS WHAT! This weekend I will have my first baptism! The girlfriend of one of our (I really dont know how to say it in english, but someone who was baptized a little time ago) We have been teaching her for about a month and on Saturday is her baptism!! I am soo excited!

I had a very humbling experience this week. We were in the house of Hermana Abachino and she asked to borrow my true to the faith in spanish to read. She read the whole book in like 2 days but the part about tithing really caught her attention. We started to teach about the blessings of tithing. She paid all of her tithing last month and now is seeing all the blessings. I listened to her and the things that happened during this month of how she put a little rice in a pan, washed clothes, came back and the pa n was full or how she found money in her BOM. During this we had a member with us and she shared her testimony of how her family has always been blessed with what they need when they pay tithing. I listened to the miracles that they have experienced. And then my companion shared her testimony of tithing. Her single mom would be able to feed all of her siblings when they had barely anything. During this I thought about my life. Never has my family gone without anything. Always have food, clothes, money to go on vacations and have cars. I was born in the US with SO many freedoms. I have the gospel. I have amazing friends. I had the opportunity to get an education in high school and then go to college. I just started to think, why, why me? Why do I have all of these blessings? I am convinced that I am the lucky one to be able to teach these people. I can learn so much from them. Yes, i have a testimony of tithing but it was never been a trial of my faith. When these people pay their tithing, they know that they dont have enough money to survive on, but they pay it anyway. How lucky are we.

Today we had our zone activity and went to the mall and went bowling! The Yankees (said like shankees) or Americans were against all the latinos. The americans obviously won! haha We then ate SUBWAY! i felt like I was back in the states. But I paid 75 pesos for a sandwich! a sandwich!! 

I have SO many pictures to send so I will send them in another email! 
Love you all! Thanks for your love and your prayers!

Con muchisimo amor, 

Hermana Root

 one: Hermana Flor bought us Messi Jerseys!
two: This is Camilla! She is Sayges age and such a sweetheart!
three: This is Loyda! She is 21 and like our best friend in the ward! She is so awesome! Reminds me so much of my red head bestie at home!

four: Hermana Durrant and I! Right after this we made PB&Js and talked about all the things we miss about America!
five: eating facturas to celebrate one year for Hermana!
six: Subway!
seven: Zone Bowling!!

Week 15! (8/18/14)

Hola hola familia y amigos! Sorry that it is so late, this day has been sooo crazy! We had a ward activity ALL day because today was a holiday so chau to my p-day! haha but oh well, its all part of the calling right?

Primero, feliz cumpleaños Shelby!!  Hope today rocked, enjoy america for me. 

This week was seriously FILLED with miracles. I dont know if you all could tell but last week I felt a little down about not being able to find any investigators and how we have not had any baptisms. Hermana Rodas and I have been praying and praying and fasting for new investigators but nothing was happening. We talked with everyone! Each day we would go to this giant plaza in the middle of the city and just talk to people but no success. Somehow, we stumbled upon this door. We thought that we were contacting one of our ALBs but this wasnt the correct house. The woman told us where this family lived and then we started to ask her about her life and her family. We told her that we were missionaries for the La Iglesia de Jesucristo de los santos de los ultimos dias. She told us how she used to believe in God but her 3 year old daughter randomly died in her sleep and how she doesnt believe. We shared a little with her about the plan of salvation and asked if we could come back. She AGREED! So we went back a few days later and seriously had the most amazing lesson in the world. We taught the whole plan of salvation and they way she can be with her daughter again. She has 4 other kids and they are insane, but one of them listened the whole time. She told us that the day that we knocked on her door. She said a little prayer in her heart for a way to find peace for her family, then we knocked on her door. When she shared this I was close to tears. I was able to be an instrument in the hands of God. This woman and her family needs this gospel and somehow we stumbled upon this random house. Her name is Giselle and her son Alexander accepted a baptism date for September 13th!! 

Not much time after, we were searching for a less active and knocked on this door. A 22 year old woman named Paola answered the door and she told us that this was the wrong house. We started to talk with her and she invited us in. She has a son that is 7 months old, is pregnant, doesnt know the father, has a 40 year old boyfriend, and most of her life has been suicidal and depressed. We were able to share with her a little about the atonement. The spirit was SO strong. All this woman needs is someone to take this pain away and that is Christ. She invited us to come back and we cannot wait!!

Also!! We talked with a woman in the plaza and she invited us to come to her house. She is a grandma from Peru (PS, PAYDEN HAS IT SO EASY! Peruvians are SOO easy to understand!!!!!!!!) We taught her the restoration and she asked us why there are so many churches. We were able to answer and talk about the apostacy and how everyone took a little part of the gospel but the real authority of God wasnt on the earth. We then shared the first vision and it touched this womans heart. It was the first time that I did it without any mistakes and at the perfect speed! She accepted a baptism date as well!!

ANOTHER MIRACLE! There is an 80 year old woman in our ward named Dolores and she lives alone and has no family in Avellaneda. She is less active and one day I just had the feeling that we needed to call her. So we did. She happened to be sick and needed medicine but couldnt leave her house. We went and bought her medicine and helped her do somethings and right as we were about to leave she told us that earlier in the day she was crying and praying and begging God to send someone to help her, right as she said amen, we called. The spirit is real. This whole week we didnt have huge GRAND promptings, just little feelings and we followed them. Most of them, we didnt even notice that we were following the spirit, but we found so many people that need this gospel and just needed some help and a friend. 

In the letter from my mission president last week he talked about something that really hit me. Sometimes it is hard to do hard things. There are so many commandments, things in life, situations that are difficult, but if we just do them, each time its a little easier. This is so true and it really helped me this week! 

Yes we had so many miracles and wonderful things but also so bad! We had a couple that was our investigators, Abel and Silvia and we taught them the Word of Wisdom. For the next week, they didnt answer their door. One day, they sent their son to the door and said that Mormons were them and not to come back. It was really hard. It is hard when everyday people slam the door in your face, and reject our message but that is when I think about Christ. Christ felt rejected too and since I am a representative of Christ, its okay if I feel the same way sometimes. 

Our ward is really really progressing! My first few weeks attendance in church was about 40. Now we are at about 65! Everyone is starting to share the gospel in little ways and it is helping so much. We had our activity today and so many people invited their friends! It is so great to see how much improvement this ward has seen. We are working so hard and it is starting to show some results! I really am feeling a part of this ward too. People actually talk to me now because I can talk back! haha

So, bad word of the week: CHANCO! (PAYDEN, Stay away from this!!) It is pork. But they cook it weird or something because yesterday we had some in the house of a member. I hated it but I ate it. (along with a bunch of tomatos, yes mom, I am eating tomatoes) Long story short, pretty sure Hermana Rodas and I got food poisioning. Our stomaches have been a MESS for about 24 hours. Its not fun! I NEVER WANT TO EAT CHANCO AGAIN! Also today, I got offered blood sausage, SICK! I declined! haha

I finally am a real argentinian! One of the Hermana´s in the ward bought hermana rodas, her son, and I matching Messi (for those who dont know, he is like the Soccer God in Argentina) jerseys! 

I also washed my sheets and sweaters for the first time in 8 weeks this week! haha this whole hand washing thing really sucks, lets be honest! haha but I am learning. Someday I will have my washing machine again!

Today in the ward activity, I learned how to play real soccer. It was rey fun! I loved it. We then played welts (pingpong) I taught all the youth how we played it all of high school. They loved it! Then, we had a talent show and Hermana Rodas and I sang! In english! I taught her the song and we sang. haha Everyone after asked what the song was about because no one understood! lol

This week was great and ready for another!

I love you all and if I dont reply to those who wrote me, it is because I am short on time! 

Con muchisimo amor! 
Hermana Root

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

3 Months Down Para Mi! (8/11/14)

Hola familia y amigos! 

Great to hear from you all! Glad to see the family reunion went well! All week I remembered the last one and how fun it was! Glad to hear we are doing it every other year now! I will sure be in attendance at the next one! 
But I wanna know who wrote my name in the family picture because that is like EXACTLY my handwriting, bien hecho whoever did that! Everyone looks so great, so tan, and everyone has long hair! I am PASTEY white, made the stupidest decision when I cut my hair, but I am great! hahah

This week was wonderful but trying. I learned a lot about the importance of obedience. Not only obedience in the big things, but mostly in the little things. The days when we were out of bed exactly at 6:30, in bed exactly at 10:30, used all of our time wisely, and did all that we needed to, the day was just better and I felt the spirit so much more. Obedience is so easy. If you do something, you recieve blessings. I NEED all the blessings I can get, so I need to be obedient! 

My foot still is doing its thing. I am not sure what´s wrong but I got a blessing on Tuesday from Elder Payne and it is a lot better but still not fixed. I´m hoping as it gets warmer and I just keep on walking, it will go away! 

This week in district meeting we talked about how we can serve our missions in a way that we give everything to the Lord. In DyC 4, it talks about serving with not only our physical strength, but our heart, our spiritual strength and all! I am giving all I have physically but I really want to improve on being tuned in always! There are days when I think about home or I am not really listening to my investigators and I need to work on that. I have learned that goals are wonderful. We all have so many faults and that is not a bad thing! We need to work everyday to become a little better!

We are having a really hard time finding investigators. REALLY hard time. Those who say that South American missions are the easiest, never came here. Its like being in Rome or Paris where NO one wants to listen because everyone is catholic. But, we are trying so hard. We talked with a family in a park one day and they gave us their address. We went to the street and found two little girls playing soccer. We asked them if they knew this chica and they said yes, follow us! They then led us into this compound. No lights, HUNDREDS of ¨houses¨ and millions of dogs. Seriously the sketchiest thing of my life. They were about Shaylee´s age and they asked us why were looking for this girl. We told them that we are missionaries and that we wanted to share a message with them. They asked us what our message was and we told them that they are daughters of our heavenly father! They asked us where our church was and if they could go. We asked if their mom or dad was home because we needed to talk with them first! Their mom had past away but they live with their grandma so we followed them through this crazy community and talked with their abuela. She was angry and told the girls that they couldnt go to church. They were catholic. It was so sad. I really feel like these girls felt the spirit. Children are so close to the spirit and because of the choices of another, they were withheld from a place that could give them hope and joy. The girls started to cry and we then left. I am so thankful that I have always had this in my life and have never had go without this joy!

My compañion this week has been sick and has absoluetly no voice! I have had to lead in the lessons, answer and TALK on the phone! (I HATE THIS!), and basically be the senior compañion. It has been such a growing experience for me. Last night, I was texting one of the members in spanish and I just stopped and thought about how weird it is that I am able to do this! haha

I HAVE 3 MONTHS IN THE MISSION! Wow, Que rapido! 15 more to go! like parker said in his email, the days, weeks, and months all run together. It does not feel like 3 months. The weeks pass so fast! 

We had an amazing experience this week. We were walking and felt prompted to talk to this woman. It was probably the strongest prompting I have had in my mission. I went up to her and started to talk with her. She started to tell us all of her problems. She has to beg for food, has went 15 days without lights, her husband is dead, and none of her children want anything to do with her. She cant find a job either. We asked her if she believed in God and she said yes, but where is he? She started to cry and just express how she is just depressed and doesnt know what to do. It was one of the hardest things I have ever seen. Watching this woman express all of her pains and sorrows and sincerely just did not know where to turn. I told her about the atonement and how Christ has felt everything she is feeling but that there is a plan for her and a way for her to feel better. We felt prompted to pray with her, right there in the middle of the city. So we did. Hermana Rodas and I felt so much love for this woman. At first, she did not want anything to do with us, but by the time we had finished the conversation she wanted to know where the church was and how she could know more. She is not in our area so we cant teach her but, it was an experience that honestly changed my life. First, I have so much. I have never felt these feelings. Really, I feel like I needed to serve here because I needed to be humbled. But mostly, the atonement is real. The love that God has for us is real. This woman didnt know that, but we did. How lucky are we to have this knowledge. When we walked away, we both started to cry. We literally felt her burden and we wanted to help her so much. 

Another ALB (random contact) was in the plaza. This woman was sitting on a bench and we felt prompted to talk with her. We started talking with her and started to share about the plan of salvation and how we can be with our family forever. She then started to cry and said, I have a question. I am adopted. I dont know my mom. How could my mom do this and put me in a family that isnt mine? Hermana Rodas didnt say a word. And I just started to talk. Most of the words that I said I dont remember. But I told about how I have 2 sisters that are adopted. How I know that yes they have a different mother, but they are my sisters and were meant to be my sisters. I said how God has a plan for her and how she is in the family that she is with for a reason. That they were meant to be here family. Her expression changed and she said how she had never thought of it that way. She of course doesnt live in our area, so I will never know what happens with her but it was a wonderful experience. 

Everyone here ALWAYS tells me how they want to switch eyes with me. Everyone has brown eyes and I stick out like a sore thumb with my bright blue eyes. The Tio to one of our less actives is from Peru and the other day he was trying to hit on me. In the mission, they are called snakes. People who try and get with missionaries. AVOID SNAKES AT ALL TIMES! hahah

Well, another week down and it was sure a great one. My spanish is improving so much. Everyone tells me how much better it is and cant believe I have only been here for 1 1/2 transfers. I guess I dont have that strong of an english accent! WHOO WHOO!

I love you all! 
Chau chau! 
Hermana Root

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Soy un verdadera Missionera! (8/4/14)

Hola hola mi querida familia y amigos! lets me honest, the hardest week of my ENTIRE life, but lets be honest, I have never been more happy! Lets start from last p-day!

So, we finished with ¨ciber¨ or emailing, and we were walking to walmart. It wasnt that far from the ciber so we decided to walk! We were just walking a long and I am not sure if I have mentioned that my left foot is close to broken, but we past a little perrito (baby dog). We really did not pay any attention to it because stray dogs are EVERYWHERE. It was on the side of Hermana Rodas and I was on the side next to the street. About 5 seconds later, a TERRIBLE pain in my left ankle. I look down, and the dog turned around, came after me, and BIT ME! I was in shock. I just said Hermana el perrito moriome! I had my tights on so we couldnt see how bad it was. I was so close to crying but I didn´t (be proud dad) and we kept walking. After 5 or so minutes, it was all good. It just happened to be in the foot that was already having so much pain so I forgot about it. It turned into a big joke and we went to Walmart! I found peanut butter and spent 53 pesos for peanut butter that tastes nothing like peanut butter.

That night, we got back to the pension and we planned for the next day and I started to get ready for bed. I had forgot that the dog had bit me and I took off my tights and my foot was HUGE. I had two teeth marks right above my heel. It wasn´t too bad so we washed it and put neosporin on it and went to bed. I woke up in the morning and it was still swollen. So we called the mission nurse and she told us to go to the hospital. It was about 8 in the morning and we had to take the train. Everyone was going to work so the train was PACKED! Hermana Rodas and I had to get on, hang on on the outside standing on the steps of the train, and rode the whole way outside! It was so sketchy. We couldnt help but laugh. I am this white girl, who barely speaks this language, hanging on the outside of this train with a huge foot because a baby dog decided to bite me for no reason! haha we went to the doctor and he said that I was fine and gave me amoxicillin and we went back to work! The next day in Reunion de Districto, everyone applauded me because I had finally become a real missionary! In this mission, you arent legit till you are bit or till you crash on your bike! 

Turns out, my problem wasnt the dog! Whatever is wrong with my foot, is making it swell up each morning when I wake up. It is close to one of the worst pains I have ever felt. An elder in my district has the same problem. The doctors told him it is a mix of the cold, humididty, and so much walking. He said it gets better when it gets warmer so I am just hoping for that. I literally walk so funny! I have a stupid limp and can only wear my crocs because my foot is so fat! I have rocked the crocs for a solid week. If only my fashion friends could see me, the Retro Renegade would be ashamed!

I realized this week that I just wasn´t doing enough. I am in Avellaneda representing Jesus Christ. I have to do the things here that Jesus Christ would do. We just are having a terrible time finding investigators that want to do things. Everyone will be so quick to tell you about how strong their faith is, but literally NEVER act! It is so hard. But, everyone has agency! Because we are having such a hard time finding investigators, we made a plan to work with the ward! My ward has 4 missionaries! Us and 2 elders. We made a paper that has questions about people ex. Do you know someone who has just had a baby or a death in the family? Do you know someone who is having a lot family problems? blah blah, we gave them these papers and asked them to think about their families and friends and to think of 5 people they could share the gospel with. For one week, think and pray about these names and on Sunday, we are going to ask to see who recieved people that would want to hear our message. We are hoping that this is just what we need. We try and talk with everyone but it is so hard. Everyone slams the door the moment we say - ¨Somos misioneras¨Chau! Door slammed, no more talking. haha 

Speaking of investigators, This one investigator that we have has been taught for about 5 months. She is interesting. Honestly, I have a very hard time loving her. We asked her to count her blessing for the week and she counted 2 blessings for the WHOLE week and then talked for 20 minutes about all the bad things that happened. We then taught about the commandments. She is breaking close to all of them and we taught them very direct. We asked her to pick one that she wanted to work on. She said ¨I am living the commandments, so I just want to keep on learning¨ So I explained how important it is that be become better everyday! I shared a scripture about never becoming comfortable and she got SO offended with me. She said, ¨YO NO SOY COMEDA HERMANA¨(I am not comfortable) and then told me about ALL of her problems. At the end of the lesson, Hermana Rodas and I just felt awful and were ready to leave. We didnt feel the spirit so we knew it was time to go. As we got up to leave she said how she thinks that I am a little fatter than when I first got here. I just looked at her and was like seriously. I just laughed. and said gracias liliana! and we left. I really had to remember who I was at this point. I am a representive of Jesus Christ. What would Christ do in this situation? I am learning to love all, because lets be honest, before my mission, I would not give this woman the time of day! But, I am learning, emphasis on the learning, to truly love all! 

On a brighter note, we have an investigator with a baptismal date for Agosto 23! WHOO! Shes great. Shes a girlfriend of one of our recent converts. Yesterday we gave the law of chastity lesson to both of them, together! Wow, that is my favorite thing to do! hahah not!

Also, we eat with the same family every saturday! Familia Beobide! They are AWESOME! The husband is sooo funny! He decided that it was our turn to cook them lunch. So we made real mexican tacos!! I know how to make real mexican tacos now! I am so thankful for my wonderful mexicana compañera!

Yesterday was an experience I dont think I will ever be able to forget. Every week we take turns teaching Gospel Principals in church. So that means every  4 weeks its my turn. They have skipped me for the first 2 rounds because I just wasnt ready, but at 10 pm on saturday, they thought it was time to inform me it was my turn to give the lesson. It was on honesty or honradez. I prepared and I felt pretty calm. I started to talk and the look on everyone´s face was awful. No one understood me. There was about 20 people. (mostly investigators and less actives) and they all understood NOTHING! Right in the middle of the lesson, about 15 minutes in, i broke down and started to cry. Somehow I made it through the class and finished and just went to the bathroom and lost it. I was so frustrated. This was the first time in Argentina that people did not understand anything. I just wanted to be able to speak like the other 3 missionaries in my ward (who are all  native speakers) I calmed down and all was well. We got home last night and I watched a mormon message that I want you all to watch! I think it is called How does the atonement apply to missionary work by Elder Holland. This defined my day. I realized that everyday I wear the name of Jesus Christ on my chest. I dont just wear this for fun, I am a real representitive. It is okay if sometimes I feel what he felt. Its okay if when I get home at night I literally cant walk, Its okay if I fall flat on my face while teaching a lesson. Failing is okay, I just have to keep trying. 

This morning we has a activity with my district. We sang each of our favorite 3 hyms and then we shared our testimony. I realized that I really needed this mission. I will have 3 months in a few days in the field, and I see the change in me already. I miss home, I miss everyone, but I wouldn´t trade this for anything. I know I am EXACTLY where I need to be. We then made milanesas! (best thing ever!) and watched Rio 2 in all spanish, and I understood a lot! Not only am I where I need to be, I am having the greatest experience of my life!

I want to thank Sayge for always praying for me to recieve the gift of tongues! I know that because of her (and everyone elses prayers) I am recieving it. Yeah, I am far from fluent, but I am getting better everyday! In about 3 sundays, Pray that I will be able to teach the class without crying! haha

I hope you all have a great time at the family reunion this week! I love you all! 

One quote that got me through the week: Just simply do what needs to be done. 

Another week down, 15 more fast sundays, and 15 more months to work hard and serve my Heavenly Father! 

Con amor, 
Chau Chau!
Hermana Root 

Our meal for Beobides
Cooking for District Activity

All my pictures have to do with food, but I promise, we eat like one meal a day! Food is not common! Mom, FEED THE MISSIONARIES! All of you, FEED THE MISSIONARIES! It sucks when we are hungry!