Monday, March 30, 2015

This week in Tandil

Hola todos!

Hmmm, what can I say about this week... the weeks are getting shorter and shorter. I'm not really sure what happened this week. Oh, I went to Bahia Blanca, where the mission office is, to do "tramites". I have no idea how to say that in English. It's kinda like paperwork, but you have to do it in an office, to get your visa. It's kinda like getting your driver's license, but more waiting, with a bunch of loco, impatient Elders... very interesting. It's about 6 hours from here to Bahia, and we went in a bus in the middle of the night, spent the morning and most of the afternoon waiting, and waiting, doing "tramites", then I ate at SUBWAY (ya, that was weird...) then working in the area close to the mission office for a few hours with one of the Hermanas there, then 6 hours in a bus in the middle of the night back. It was an adventure!
Comp selfie!

Other than that, I'm not really sure what happend... I have to take better notes! Oh yeah, a first in the mission for me- we were teaching one of our investigators with her mom, a member, when we heard a thud out back. Turns out their nighbor (a grandma) was trying to get the cat to go out side, lost her balance, fell and bonked her mouth on a planter. We rushed out back, and she was face down in a lot of blood. Turns out she bit her tongue and the inside of her lip on the way down. She was fine, couldn't feel it, and was still worried about the cat getting in the house. We had to wake up her husband and call an ambulance. Then her husband was more concerned about the mess she'd made than the fact that she had fallen and was bleeding and all of that stuff. And then when the paramedics arrived, she greeted them like old friends- turns out this was not the first time this had happened- trying to get the cat inside, falling, hurting some part of her body, ambulance... yeah, that was interesting.

What else happened... our ward mission leader tried to convince one of the Elders that he'd eaten cat in his house... Elder Paternina was not happy about that! Then for the rest of the meeting everything was "con gato" (with cat) juice "con gato", cookies "con gato"... it was pretty funny.

Also, it is freezing stinkin' cold here. Not I'm-gonna-die cold, but I-think-I'm-gonna-wake-up-with-ice-feet or I'm-gonna-wear-3-shirts-and-a-sweater-and-a-scarf cold. And my poor body is really confused, because it's April, and my body is ready for spring and it's entering into fall and winter.
Our (ex) Zone Leader, who left us for Bahia Blanca... he's an ex-Jehova's Witness!!! Elder Rooommmmeeerrroooo!!!!!!!!

Well, that's all for this week. I'm gonna send a few fotos!
Hermana Long

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

A few fotos

Don't have a lot of time, but I wanted to send a few fotos:

I'm walking a ton in this area! It's like 2 miles to where we usually work, and then another 2 to 3 miles while we are contacting, and then another 2 miles back home! My feet are soooooo tired!

Most of the Zone of Tandil, on a bus, headed for a nearby town.
This last Sunday, we had a District conference, which is like a stake conference, but smaller. We got up at 5 in the morning, traveled for two hours on a bus to get there and two hours back. Four hours with really crazy Elders!!!!! I learned a lot about the Elders in my Zone on Sunday, very interesting.

That's all for this week! Write back soon!

Hermana Long
[Editor's note- some text added from Kate's personal email to her sister Christine]

Monday, March 16, 2015

Tandil, a place of Miracles

Hola todos,

When I found out I was going to Tandil, everyone told me that it was really, really pretty. What they didn't tell me is that it's a land of miracles!

Kate and her new companion Sis Lopez
When I arrived, things didn't look so good. A few investigators who weren't or couldn't progress. A bunch of people who didn't want anything. And a HUGE area. But then, a miracle happened. A ten year old kid who had been going to church for 2 years, and his mom, finally got the courage to talk to the dad to get permission for him to get baptized, and keep talking to him until the answer was yes. And so this happened on Saturday...
My compa, Juany, his mom, little sister, and me
It finally happened! My first baptism! And sweet little Juan is so happy, and his mom too. What a crazy week! We started with just about nothing, and then, boom! baptism.

That's the big news of this week. Other news- the branch here is sweet. It's small, but the people are nice. I already have a group of little girls that love me- they give me big hugs, wrote me notes during sacrement meeting. It was sweet.

My compa is awesome! She's from Argentina, Mendoza. She helps me with my Spanish, and I help her with her English. We're the only two Hermanas in all of Tandil- there are like 14 elderes. We share this area with two Elders- and we are always finding them. In the street, in members' homes, sometimes they knock the doors of people we're teaching, while we're teaching. It's a bit awkward. I think there's only been one day so far where we didn't see them, but we contacted a person who said that she'd just talked to two chicos from the same church... Elderes. One is from Colombia and he's straight up crazy in a good way! The other one is from Argentina, and he's much more normal, but still fun. We are an underdog team here in Tandil- I just finished my training and just got here. My compa arrived after an emergency transfer three weeks before me. The Elder from Argentina is still in training. Elder Colombiano has 6 months, and arrived at the same time as me in Tandil. There's a lot of room for growth and experience here in Tandil. I bet we'll be here for a while.

Other news- it's my birthday today! We're celebrating by getting on a bus and visiting a huge rock. I'm excited! ADVENTURE IS OUT THERE!!! One of my old Zone Leaders, Elder Rascon, who was here for 8 months, told me that there is a lot of adventure to be had here, and that I had to go on an adventure every p-day, so I'm gonna try to do it!Funny story about the other Zone Leader, Elder Ratliff. When I was in Mar de Plata my last day, I wasn't wearing my normal shoes, and you could see my ridiculous tan lines. When Elder Ratliff saw my feet, he pointed, laughed, and told me I was a real missionary. It was really funny. And now me and my compa say that to each other all the time.

Well, that's all for this week!Hermana Long

Monday, March 9, 2015

This week of Transfers....

Hola Todos!

Bro and Sis Iannone are members in the branch in Balcarce.
Big news- I got transferred to a new area. The area is called Tandil. It's a small city about two hours away from Balcarce, my old area. It was an experience very loco getting out here, but I'm here now! 

My new compa is Hermana Lopez. She's from Argentina. I'm in a rama (branch) here, but it's a larger rama than some of the other ramas (here there are between 80 and 100 people and I talked to an Elder who served in a rama that had 6 every Sunday). There's a lot of Adventures to be had here, and everyone speaks really well of Tandil, so I'm hoping things will be awesome here.

My last week in Balcarce was very interesting. 
- The last p-day we watched 17 miracles, and ate facturas (which are kinda like donuts, but waaaaayyyyy better).
- We contacted casi EVERYBODY in Balcarce- a lot of walking and a lot of talking. We set up citas (or appointments) with several families for this coming week. 
- We played Ninja one morning for exercise. 
- We (I) captured a spider to be our pet... that was interesting. It was the idea of Hermana Gomez, but she was to scared to do everything (catch the spider, put him in his new home, catch food, etc.) When we first had him, it looked like he was dead- twice, but came back from the "dead" twice, so we call him Lázaro, Spanish for Lazarus, the man who died in the Bible and Cristo brought him back to life... yep, it was very interesting. 
- We cooked another "bomba", a very dangerous cake of tres leches... that was one of the best parts of the week!

I'll try to send more pictures next week- I have to find a new way to upload fotos without the adapter from Hna Eubanks.

That's all for this week! Everybody, feel free to write me!!! (
Hermana Long

Editor's note- At the last transfer, Sis Eubanks came to be Sis Antuña's companion, and those two were apartment mates with Kate and her companion, Sis Gomez. Sis Eubanks described Kate and her comp like this [taken from her great blog with permission]

Hna Long- she's from Texas, but was born in Utah, and she is like a fountain of knowledge. She just knows how to do a ton of things. She does yoga, Tai-chi, surfing, skateboarding, lives in Hawaii, dances, all forms of exercise, and seems to know about a lot of different cultures. She's very friendly and very funny and super outgoing. Her and my companion are homies, and they both have the same amount of time in the mission field. She's funny, too. 

Hna Gomez- Hna Gomez is from Utah, but her parents are from Venezuela  so she doesn't look like a Utahn. She is SUPER funny, and she has exactly the same amount of time in the mission as me. We were in the MTC together for the first 2 weeks, but because she already knew a bunch of Spanish she didn't stay for the 6 weeks like me. She teaches with the Spirit like a boss and really cares about her areas and the people. She also gives really good back massages and cooks really tasty food. 

Thanks Sis Eubanks!