Tuesday, April 12, 2016

7 April 2016

Well, this week's news- Viedma. I'm excited to be here. It's compelety different from everything I've ever seen before in my mission. It's in a different provincia, and it's all a new adventure. I don't really know why im here, but I'm sure I'll find out. I like it. We've got a few investigadors. One is Diego. He's not a person who believes a lot, but he's learning and he always does his reading and gets really excited whenever we come. Then we have Luciana and Ursula. Mother and daughter. We're just starting to teach them. Then there's Valeria. She was an investigator of the elders for a long time, and now she's our investigator. I'll keep you updated on how the investigador search goes this week.

Also, I'm really happy to be with my companion. Hna Antuña is super cool. We're practicing English. She wants to be a "10"[at English]. Her english is really good, she just mixes up little things. Like he and she. Stuff like that. And I'm teaching her to dance in the morning. She can't dance as well as she can speak english. We work hard together, and we also laugh a lot together.

Well I'm running out of time, so I'll leave it there for this week. Hope you have an awesome week. And dont worry about me, my eating is going well. I don't have pain if I don't eat what I'm not supposed to. I've dropped 3 kilos, cause I was super bloated from the bad pancreas, but that went away, so all's good here in Viedma.

Hermana Long

Sunday, April 10, 2016

31 March 2016

Well, the big news.... transfers. I am not dying in Trenque Lauquen. Im dying (as the say) in Viedma. Its the most southern part of the mission. I went to the most south from the most north. It's been weird. But you'll never guess who my companion is... Hna Antuña. We came to argentina together, lived in Balcarce together, always talked about being companions, but thought it wasn't going to happen. So yeah. That was transfers. We're the only hermanas in our zone (again). We share the area with the zone leaders. They're a little distant, and have a lot of elder friends, cause they live 6 in the house, so it's very different from in Trenque. But they seem like good elders.

What else can i tell you about this week? We were super suprised by the transfers, cause they took the hermanas out and put in elders. That was weird. All the members are upset. They might storm the mission office. 

Marta got confirmed on Sunday. That was nice. It was Elder Perkins last and first confirmation (is that spelled right). "Last" because he was dying, first cause he'd never done one in his whole mission. Marta's husband, Delfin, came and says that he's gonna keep coming and listening to the charlas. 

Ummm, we're really excited for general conference. Hna Antuña wants to watch in english with me, but she's not sure she can. She speaks super good english but says that "church language" is hard. She put the goal to pray in english, but she's too scared to do it. She convinced me to pray in english last night, and it was a super humbling experience. I hadn't prayed in english since the MTC, and I realized just how much the way I've prayed has changed. It's not repetitive, it just comes from my heart. I ask differently, I thank differently, I end differently. The name of Jesus Christ has come to be something even more special in this time. I'm not one of those people who closes "nameajesuscrist" anymore. It was just a very interesting way to see my progress.

What else.... when we left, we showed up at the terminal and a whole bunch of people from the ward showed up, and the presidente de rama helped drive us and all our stuff to the terminal, and I just felt super loved. Marta and her husband showed up to wait with us for a while. Oh, and we had to say goodbye to our sweet neighbor and we could just see how much she loved us. It's amazing to see just how much so many different people can love us. I love the mission.

Guess what else? I finally feel like a skilled missionary. Last Saturday, we'd set up an appointment with a menos activa, and when we showed up, she started with "well wasn't it tomorrow, i have to work today" and didn't want to let us in. Did i give up? NO. i asked her what her work was, and she told me that she sells clothes from her house. So I asked to see her clothes. Then I started asking inspired questions (really inspired, cause I'm not a very good question maker on my own) and she started telling me about her conversion and her doubts and concerns, and it was just a really nice moment. And I felt like, wow, I really can do this missionary thing. It was a nice moment. Well, I'm about out of time for this letter, but I hope you have an awesome week and to hear from you soon. 

Hermana Long

24 March 2016

What can i tell you about this week?

1-Marta got baptized, and shes super happy.

A bunch of her family came and had a super spiritual experience. We're now friends with her granddaughter, who wants to go to church and take the charlas, so that's good. Our lider misional, Ignacio, the 18 year old kid, baptized her, and since then she's been calling him "mi padrino" or godfather. We tried to explain that that's just not it, but she's so happy that we gave up telling her. This Sunday in church she's gonna get confirmed, and she's super excited. And let me tell you about the font- it was super gross. For years, people never cleaned it, and now it's just a mess. It's got a gross layer of algae or moss or i dunno what on the bottom. We spent like 2 hours cleaning it out. And the drain is super bad so we had to use buckets, and dust pans and a mop and squeegies to get all the water out. But in the end it didnt smell too bad, and it was just enough to wash away her sins.

2- I GOT THE PACKAGES!!!! I feel so loved. i said to all the missionaries- my mom really does love me :) I was so happy. i especially liked the note with your testimony. i taped it in my little book where everyone writes notes so i cant loose it. 

3- Elder Perkins is dying. Or rather, he's going home. All week we've been trying to make him feel happy, so he can go home happy. On Tuesday we had the reunion de distrito, and we threw him a going home party. It started out as a funeral- we all wore black, and had flowers and pretended to cry as e paternina told him a story about him dying and going to the final judgment, then it turned into a party. We threw glitter, we "danced" (mostly just pumped our fists in the air awkwardly) to the music from efy and threw confetti at him. And then the spiritual part- he shared his testimony with us. And it's so crazy, cause I've known him since the Olavarria days, like more than 6 months, and I've seen how much he's changed and grown. And then he threw the glitter at us and we just laughed and laughed.

4- The cold weather is coming in. Cold nights, cold mornings, cold days. And then hot again. Everyone is getting sick. And I never know what to wear. Today it was chilly, so I'm wearing my new sweatshirt, a beanie, jeans, and my cool argentine shoes.

5- Against my better judgment, I'm going to tell you about my health. Since i left Olavarria, I've been little by little having stomach problems. Not like digestive problems, like my liver and gall bladder. And as someone who had gall bladder problems you can tell me what to do. These days, whenever I eat, the top of my stomach hurts. And I've been eating super healthy these days. But whenever I eat anything it hurts, especially sugar, or starch. We've been talking about what it could be and we've got some candidates-
  1. celiac- the gluten intolerance. It explains the bad liver symptoms and why a little bit of bread killed me yesterday.
  2. gall stones- that would explain the pains that I get when I eat that go away pretty fast.
  3. thyroid- that's what a menos activa told me to explain the ridiculous hair loss I've been having. But I don't think it's highly likely.
  4. stress- all the members tell me its stress about going home. That's always a possibitlity.
Now, dont worry. Please don't freak out. It's nothing super bad. I can always walk and talk, it's just the consistency that has me worried. I just don't want it to get worse. But if you could tell me what your experience with the gall stones was like, I think it would help.

6- Pehuajo- thats where the reunion de distrito was. It's a little pueblo with a little casa capilla. And its super nice. It's nicer than every chapel I've ever been in in argentina. It's clean and well maintained and the bathroom doesn't smell bad. I really liked it.

I'm gonna share what president shared with us this week about prayer. We've been really focusing on praying with real intent, and this is something I really liked. Sometimes when we pray, we get in the routine of "please bless that this can happen, and "please bless that." He says that that's not the most worthwhile way to pray, it's better to pray like this (an example for me) "father, I'm gonna go out and contact. It's not easy, but I'm gonna go out and do it. Please help me that I can do what I have to do safely and that I can have your guide." Or a good example for [Mom]- "father, please help me to do my exercise and be good." Better- "Father, I'm going to bed now, and I'm setting the alarm so that I can wake up and work out. All that I ask you is that you can help me to be strong, that you can strengthen my good choices." That's real intent. Don't forget- jose smith didn't just go into the woods to find out what church is true, he went into the forest to know which church was true so that he could baptize himself in it. Pray like jose smith, with real intent.
Well, now that's all for this week. 
Love you bunches!
Hermana Long​

17 March 2016

Ok my notes from this week... 
number one... we've got a baptism this week. The abuela Marta is getting baptized on Friday. She's super excited. She already had her interview and we made invitations and she's already inviting everyone. She's just super excited and super converted. And her husband is progressing super well. He now sits in on the visits and prays when it's his turn. And we're now teaching her inactive brother and his wife who's not a member.

number two... my birthday... it started with an Elder R juice party- where you wake up at two in the morning to drink juice and go back to bed. So we did. And the theme was "21 birthday" there was really strong orange peach juice, red solo cups and 21 shots of the orange juice in the red solo cups. And party sunglasses and money napkins. Then my comp woke up early to make me breakfast and decorate the house in Happy Birthday stuff. Then we went to lunch at Marta's house with Marta, Delfin and the elders. We made invitaciones and helped a little with the lunch and my comp brought the cake- a strawberry pizza. It was awesome. Then the elders and our lider misional threw a suprise party... my comp was in on it... it was super well done, I had no idea. There was lying and code words and ballons with all our inside jokes and a super tasty cake. It was a win win for everyone.

also, number 3... we've started a game of donkey kong in real life. It's a list of kinds of street contacts we need to do with a point system. The elders are super excited. I really like being here in Trenque Lauquen... the elders have become our best friends, our lider misional helps us a lot, my comp is just the best... I really hope this doesn't change. But I've heard from the leaders that there's a lot of really big changes coming in a week. So I hope everything goes well in transfers in a week and a half.

Well, that's it for this week. I'll send more next week.
Hermana Long

Pretty sunrise from the balcony. Speaking of balcony, we've started eating the cilantro. It's a success.  Also, after 16 months of searching, I found some in a fruiteria. It was a really good day. I've been eating cilantro like a crazy woman.

A giant lollipop that my comp bought me for my birthday. i finished it in four days

My birthday asado

Marta's baptism day... I'm wearing the shirt she got me for my birthday.