Tuesday, May 26, 2015

About rodents, houses and Tandil


[Last week Kate asked her Dad to identify an animal. This is the rest of the conversation:]
Dad: Off the top of my head, I'd say you ran into a Capybara - an animal that looks like it was born in Chernobyl as the love child of a Beaver and a Rabbit... You're on the southern end of it's range in South America. Here's a photo:
From the internet
Kate: Yes, yes, yes you IDed my new best friend!!! Woo-hooo!!!! I'm gonna try to find him again and take a picture. Capybara... I thought those were the stuff of legends. Speaking of stuff of legends, I learned something new here in Argentina- parrots really can talk! I though that was myth, but i've run into a few that talk for real. MY WHOLE LIFE IS A LIE!!!!!

[After hearing that our family is moving to Calgary, and I'm spending time house-hunting:]  As for houses, one thing I've learned is that we as people really don't need big houses. The people's houses here are so humble and people are so ok with that. My compa saw a picture inside our house on facebook the other day in the house of a member, and she couldn't believe it was our house. She thought it was a hotel or something. What's more important is that we have time with dad. I've seen a lot of families destroyed because they don't have enough time with their fathers. Please, please, please do not let us move into a nice big house at the cost of more time for dad out of the house. It's not worth it!!! Focus on the people of the family- close to dad's work, a good school and por favor CLOSE TO THE CHURCH!!! Another thing I've seen in the mission is that people who move to a house far away from the church are really, really susceptible to the natural man, and go inactive!! PLEASE DON'T LET US GIVE IN TO THE NATURAL MAN!!!!!! 

[After hearing that her siblings are applying to private schools with names like "Strathcona-Tweedsmuir:]  I love the picture of the schools!! Who names these things?!?! Stuffy British men! Tell Ben and CC that everyone in Argentina has to use uniforms- and a lot of the uniforms are labcoats! Anything is better than labcoats!

I can't send pictures this week, because i'm struggling with my camera, but i promise i'll send some stories this week, and stories with pictures next week!

[In response to the following by her father:

I want you to introduce ten codes into your mission. You know - 10-4, 10-20, etc. I challenge you start with these: (A) 10-10 (meaning: that guy is so cute (hence the "10", as in "perfect 10) he has to get baptized, (B) 10-666 (meaning: this discussion is going to a dark place. Investigator may be possessed).

I miss you so much "I've had all I can stands. I can't stands no more!" To quote one of my childhood comic heroes - Popeye the Sailor. 
I'm 99% sure that I'll be coming to visit you next week - incognito, of course (ie as an investigator named "Mauricio Fidele"). I imagined in my mind's eye what you and your companion might say to each other as you walked away from our discussion:
You: "Something seemed really, really odd about that guy."
Your compa: "Was it his video-game style plumber's pants, fake mustache, and goofy painter's hat?"
You: "No..."
Your compa: "Was it the way he teared-up when he saw you and wanted to hug you before we left?"
You: "No... That happens all the time."
Your compa: "Was it when he blurted 'Kate - your mother and I miss you desperately! For the love of all that is sacred, please come home now!!!'?"
You: "No... Not a big deal. I know what it was! It was his sketchy Iberian-Spanish accent! - I've heard that somewhere before. The case is closed!"]

Oh, you always crack me up!!! It's a little dangerous, because i'm in a public cyber- that's where people go to use computers from the 80s with internet.

Tandil is.. well, it's Tandil. It's not a pueblo, it's a city, but a small city. And half of the city is ridiculously rich and the other half really poor. Everyone is always working. Always. The people are kinda closed off. It's hard to get to know people. But when people do let us in, they are our new best friends. We're really struggling to find people. Talking to people in the calle and knocking doors is basically worthless. We have to talk to 20 personas to find 1 trucha investigador. We've started working more with the members. There's a kid, Santiago, who is 16 who's already prepping for his mission. He gave us a reference the other day, and he's one of the best investigators we've had in my whole time here. We're trying to work with the menos activos too, and this is actually a gold mine. The Elderes in Rama 2 already had 2 baptisms of kids of menos activos and the other Elderes had 1 but now he lives in our rama. The rama is struggling a little bit because we're on the edge of becoming a barrio and everyone is waiting to act, and I don't know if we're going to become a barrio if people don't start acting. We're doing all we can to help the rama, but it's not easy. I hope the estaca comes quickly!!!

Well, that's the news for this week. Thanks for your tips! I'll keep you posted on the progress of Tandil 2!!

Hermana Long

After the Temple Dedication


I don't have a lot of time, but I'll tell you a little about what happened yesterday... TEMPLO!!! Woo-hoo. We all went to the capilla en Rama 1, which is like the stake center here, even though we're not a stake yet, to watch the dedicación of the Temple in Córdoba. It was awesome!!! I loved it!! I wish you could have seen it. President Uchtdorf tried to speak in Spanish, there was a tiny choir, we used white handkerchiefs, it was awesome! I dunno if you've ever been part of a dedicación of a Temple, I don't remember if you went when they dedicated the Houston Temple or some other Temple, but it's an awesome experience.
Not my picture- from the internet

Also, Dad- I need your big brain and googling skills- we made a new friend last night. And animal of unknown origin. It looks like a nutria, but on steroids!!! It was huge. A good yard in length, and gordito!!! And it didn't have a tail. I was thinking wombat, but they don't have those outside of Australia, and i think he's a little bigger. Let me know.

Love you bunches,
Hermana Long 

Day after Mother's Day


Sorry we didn't get to talk yesterday- I got sick! Super sick! Aparently I have a virus, but it's almost run it's course. I puked outside of the chuch, went to the hospital (every one goes to the hospital for every little thing here- I miss Doctor Marlow), fainted trying to get in the car, slept all day, but today I feel a lot better. We're gonna try to skype today during the hour of the siesta- we're going over to the Ferrando's house at 3.00 today. I'll have Hermana Ferrando shoot you an e-mail when we get there. I hope I can talk to everyone!

Hermana Long

And then we talked!!!

After Grandmom's Passing


[After hearing about the passing of her grandmother, due to complications of Huntington's and Parkinson's diseases-] Wow, I don't even know where to begin! This is crazy, and awful, and sad... oh, man. It's true that she's in a better place now, but it's still sad that she's not here. We've been working with a menos activa in the rama this week- her name is Carmen, and she's a wonderful, wonderful lady, but her husband has Parkinson's and she can't leave him at home to go to church. I've been thinking a lot about Grandmom and Grandad this week. They've been in such a sad situation for so long, and now things are gonna change, but they're still gonna be hard and sad.

Kate's Grandmom and Grandad giving her a kiss after her patriarchal blessing

We've been reading a conference talk this week in the casa- it's an old, old talk from Spring 1995, and i dunno who it's by, but I'll give you the details better when we talk again. But it talks about the hard things in life, and why they happen, and the Atonement. I'm gonna be reading a lot more of this talk this week. It's been helping my compa a lot, because she recently lost her grandmother, too. 

Also, do you know what this Sunday is???? Dia de la madre!!!!! Mothers day!!! We're gonna get to Skype! Our district leader called and said that we're gonna call during the Siesta, so between 1.30 and 4 here in Argentina. I think we're gonna skype from the house of Lider Misional, and there's gonna be one computer for me and my compa, so I dunno exactly when it will be. I'll have Hermana Prioletto, the esposa de Lider Misional, shoot you an e-mail with more details when we get to her house.

I hope your week starts looking up. I know that times are tough right now, but here are a few scriptures to help you out-

D & C 8:My son, peace be unto thy soul; thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be but small moment;
 And then, if thou endure it well, God shall exalt thee on high; thou shalt triumph over all thy foes.
1 Nephi 4:6 And was led by the Spirit, not knowing beforehand thethings which should do.
Alma 7: 11-12 11 And he shall go forth, suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people.
12 And he will take upon him deaththat he may loose the bands of death which bind his people; and he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities.
I hope these scriptures help you get thru the week. Share them with everyone, read them, ponder them in your heart. Thanks for sending the news. I know it's not easy to send, but it's better for me to know than to not know. Keep me updated!

News from Kate


[On April 27, Kate's grandmother, this editor's mother, passed away. I've been busy with final arrangements, and am now getting back to updating Kate's blog. Sorry for the wait!]

From Kate- random answers to random questions:

I'm good. The work is exhausting. The people of Tandil are not very receptive. We work all week, and just about nobody (investigators) shows up for church. But it's all good- I have a theory that missionaries don't come to Tandil to baptize, but to learn, especially how to be humble. I've learned a lot about that.

I always feel the Spirit. Sometimes I don't realize it, and then I think about how I am now, the things I talk about and think about, and I realize the difference. Not that I was a bad kid before, but I thought about what I was gonna eat, when I could go out with my friends, what I was gonna watch on tv. Now I think about who I can help and what I can learn.

Yes, I'm eating. Apparently an hermano in the rama started a competition between me and an elder from colombia for who can eat the most (he barely won, with a lot of cheering on from the hermano). We eat just about everything. I don't have time to write you about all the things we're eating. I'll dedicate the next e-mail to food,

The apartment is tiny and smelly. There are a lot of horses, but they're just kinda in the way, I don't know anyone who has them.

The ward members here are awesome. There are less here, but they're buenísimos. I'll send you a few pictures of them in the weeks to come.
"The famous Hermanas- Lopez and Long"