Thursday, September 25, 2014

Pics From Week #4

Email From Week #4 - Argentina MTC

How are ya´ll?? Thanks for all the emails again and for all of the pictures! I love them ALL. You guys all look like you´re having a blast with what you´ve been doing and that makes me suuuper happy. And that´s weird that you didn´t get any letters from me this week... I actually wrote A TON. Hopefully they get there eventually. And I haven´t gotten any except for that very first one from you mama. So hopefully those come soon. Can you believe I´ve practically been here for a month?? It´s insane. I have like 9 days left here because I´ll leave at like four in the morning on Tuesday. Pretty crazy! All the Latinos left on Tuesday and we get new ones today. I´m pretty sad about that cause I loved them so much. Elder Paterina apparently told one of the elders that he was like in love with me and gave him a note to give me after I left. And then he asked me for my email and said bye to me and like almost teared up and it was the most adorable thing ever! I barely understand half of what he was saying though lol.
Can you believe conference is coming up? I´ve never been so excited in my entire life!! It´s gonna be great. But because of that, we can´t go proselyting that weekend... so that means only one more day left of proselyting!! Speaking of proselyting... This week went awesome! I get so excited to talk about it. so here we go:
It was such a good day of proselyting. Oh my goodness! Our numbers improved tremendously, but even better than that, I felt the spirit so much more this week and had a much stronger desire to be there. We worked really really hard and I had sooo much love for the people that we were teaching. The very first person that we talked to as soon as we got off of the bus was a cute, sweet young man named Cristian. He was super interested in what we had to say, so we taught him a ¨short lesson¨about the Book of Mormon and I bore my testimony about it like a champ. He took the book and said he was excited to read it so I was super happy. Then right after that some drunk guy came up and started yelling at us so we left that area haha. We talked to two more guys not long after that, Gabriel and Cristian, and those were both awesome as well. Gabriel said he would come to church at the chapel over there on Sunday and then Cristian took a Book of Mormon and said he´d read it. Cristian was the sweetest. He was outside of his house playing with his little boy and he was intrigued by our message about eternal families, and he´s stoked for the other missionaries to come. I feel like that´s a baptism in the bag lol. Oh and then we ran into Damian, who we gave a Book of Mormon to last week and he told me how he read a little bit and felt good about it, so I was pretty stoked! The Lord has definitely prepared him. Okay and seriously, these South Americans are so obsessed with my eyes. I´m pretty sure they´ve never seen eyes that aren´t brown before haha. One lady started talking to me and telling me how beautiful I was and stuff, so I was like well perfect... can we share a message with you about Jesus Christ? and she ran away sooo fast hahaha. We stopped and talked to a super cute old couple outside of their ¨house¨(moreso shack) and that´s when I realized how little spanish I knew. We talked to them for like 45 minutes and I maybe understood like 5 words... All i really got out of what she said was that her husband has been a reverend for their church for like 16 years... But she invited us to come over for food next week and we said we wouldn´t be there. BUT, they have us their info for the other missionaries to come teach them. So that was kinda crazy! After that, we had ANOTHER guy named Cristian give us his info (making 3 total Cristians for the day) weird the way they all spell it too. Then after that, things started to get a little lsower. It was siesta time so nobody was out anymore. All of the shops were closed and like nobody would answer their door. It´s hard too cause a lot of houses have gates cause it´s in the ghetto, so a lot of times instead ofknocking on the door, we just had to clap outide of the gate. But anyways... we knocked on some door and waited for a solid five minutes and nobody answered, so we started to walk away and felt a little discouraged. Then I told my companion that we should stop and say a prayer and ask our Heavenly Father for help and guidance. I wasn´t even finished with the prayer, when a guy opened the door that we had knocked on and he started talking to us. He was so accepting of our message! We asked him to go to church on Sunday and he was really excited about that. So we gave him the time and address and he gave us his number for the other missionaries. After that guy, we got three more references and like a million more contacts! One of them was really special. We met this man number Ruber at his house and we taught him the entire first lesson! He and his wife are catholic, but they wanted to know everything about our church. We gave him a Book of Mormon and he started reading it before we even left. Then he asked US when church was! We were like OMG OMG OMG! It´s at 9:30 this Sunday! and we gave him the address and I really don´t think I´ve ever been so happy and excited in my entire life. I have such a strong love for these people! I can´t even imagine how amazing the actual mission is going to be. It´s cool to be able to experience Argentina and Uruguay.
Seriously though, this week was a huge improvement from last. Our number of contacts nearly doubled! We went from 33 last week to 62 this week. So awesome. And we stopped by the tennis courts again and there were some really nice old guys playing there that would actually talk to us, so I was telling them how I played college, and they kept handing me their rackets to get me to play and I was like ahh I wish! I wanted to way bad... A little hard in a long skirt though. The area we were in is sooo interesting and so different than anything I know from the U.S. Graffiti is EVERYWHERE! convenience stores are all barred up. You just have to go up to a tiny window and tell them what you want and they´ll get it for you. Then random guys walk around with carts selling donuts and all sorts of pastries. And the whole clapping at the gate thing is frickin´weird. It´s such a humbling experience. I love it so much. We seriously have sooo much at home. I have only experienced two days out proselyting the the city and I already know that I will appreciate home a million times more. It just goes to show that you really don´t need much to be happy! Especially if you have an amazing family like mine:)
Anyways... Not much else exciting happens here the rest of the week. Same old classes and entire schedule. Physical activity is the highlight of my day usually! haha I run the perimeter which is tiny like a million times and then do some leg and ab workouts but it´s nothing compared to what I used to do... I miss working out so much. I´m hoping in the field it will be a little easier. And I won´t be eating so much out there. I have full on like ¨Sunday meals¨three times a day! It´s crazy.
But yeah, I´m hoping I have a little bit more time to respond to your personal emails today, so I´m gonna finish up with this!
Love you all! I´m gonna try to attach a picture of me by the tennis courts out proselyting too.
Have a good week! I´ll talk to ya next week (Last time emailing from here!!!!)

Hermana Sanders

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Email from Week #3 - Argentina MTC

Hola Familia!
Another whole week already over... Time is FLYING! I can´t believe I have less than three weeks here now. It´s crazy. I feel so unprepared! We just barely got new Latinos last week and they´re already leaving on Tuesday. I looove all of the new Latinos. Especially the Hermanas i nour room I know a lot more Spanish now so I´ve been able to get a lot closer to them than the other ones. We sing a hymn every night before our "family prayer." and we also rock out to the one Taylor Swift song that they know in English haha. I sing A LOT here. It was awesome, the other night we had a Pitch Perfect style "riff off" with the elders through the door separating our hallways of bedrooms and it ended with us singing the "we´ll bring the world his truth" medley. It was actually way sweet! I feel like a nerd though lol. I get entertained wayy too easily here.
Oh and good news! I´m thinking that my flirt to convert theory is going to work well here, because the Latinos LOVE norte americano chicas. I figured taht out proselyting and here at the CCM. It was sooo funny-awkward the other night at dinner. Hermana Townley and I were stitting next to a bunch of Latino Elders and so we were doing the best we could to talk to them in Spanish. And this is kind of hard to explain in english and not as funny but I´ll try my best. So anyways, we were talking about random stuff and then Hermana Townley and I started whispering about how cute the elder from Uruguay was (Elder Sanches) but apparently edler Petrina understood what I said and he about died laughing and he called me to "arrepentimiento" hahaha. Then he asked if I had a Novio (Boyfriend) and I said no... And then he basically was like "Good! You can pick from any of us to get married in the temple tomorrow!" so I said "Todos ustedes!" (Basically, I choose all of you) and they thought it was HILARIOUS. I was crying from laughing so hard. Now everytime they see me they ask me to go to the temple with them haha. Missionary humor... This is sad lol.
Okay, Anyways... I have to tell you about proselyting! First off, I´ve never heard the word Hermoso so much in my entire life until waking around the streets of Argentina on Saturday. It was such a cool, humbling experience to do that. Our aread that we were asssigned to was super poor and we just hopped on a bus to get there and walked the streets for five hours. Not too far into the day, we came across a member and he started freaking out at us an told us it was too dangerous for us to be there! so... We didn´t go back to that particular area haha. We met some AMAZING people. Although, we did get ignored and rejected a lot too. One of the first people we talkedt to was a young boy about our age. His name was Damian. He said he´s Católica, but he was very interested in what we had to say. It was hard though, because mí compañera didn´t say a WORD to these people the whole time we were out. So that made it hard... I´m pretty sure Damian thought I was hitting on him or something and that´s the only reason he gave me his info... Because afterewards, he kissed me on the cheek and told me how pretty my eyes and smile were. It was funny! Hence, "flirt to convert." It really was such a cool experience to do this. It was hard though. I felt like I might as well have been on my own out there, but I just made sure to work my butt off and talk to as many people as I could. We ended up with 33 contacts and we got 4 people who commited to meet with the missionaries and gave us their info. Plus, we got a guy name Ñahual to take a Book of Mormon and he commited to read it! So it was successful. It was awesome, we came across two tennis courts just made of straight dirt. There were some teenage boys playing so I freaked out! I told them I played tennis in the US and they looked at me like I was loco haha. Oh and I almost forgot! We got a freaking Jehovah´s Witness to read a pamphlet about José Smith and take it with her. Then I bore my testimony to her about the truth of the Book of Mormon and she was actually very accepting of it. She hugged and kissed both of us, and told us that we are doing an amazing job. Kinda strange that that happened, but it was cool. THE CHURCH IS TRUE!
So yeah, it´s been great here! the only crappy part is that I´ve been sick. But hey, mama, mí compañera is obsessed with essential oils just like you so I´m all taken care of!
And to answer all your questions about the food... Like I said I eat a TON of meat. Every frickin´meal haha. And Dulce de leche is in EVERYTHING here. I don´t love it though... So that´s good cause it keeps me from eating the sweets so I don´t get fat haha. We had fish for the first time the other night and it was sooo good. I can´t remember what it was called but I had never heard of it before. It was some type of long gray fish. It was really good though. Here at the CCM, the food doesn´t get too crazy. There was blood sausage one day though and I about threw up at even the sight of it. They have some really good pasta sometimes! Nothing too exciting or crazy though.
We had an amazing devotional yesterday. Richard G. Scott spoke about prayer and the importance of it. He said talking about our Heavenly Father: "He will ALWAYS hear your prayers and he WILL answer in peaceful moments when the spirit can touch your heart." I know that no matter what you pray for, our Heavenly Father will answer in a manner in which he knows is best for us. And he will never abandon you!! I mean... He´s our FATHER! and he wants to hear from us always.
Well you guys... I still miss ya´ll more than you will ever know! Thank you so much for all of your prayers. I can feel them and it gets me through each and every day! I love you so much. Have a good week!!

Hermana Sanders

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Email from Week #2 - Argentina MTC

Mi Familia! Hola! ¿Come está?
How is everyone? I freaking loved ALL of your emails! It makes me feel so good to be able to read them. Even if I don´t have enough time to respond to them... I hope this will do, and know that I really do love and appreciate every single one of them! I miss you guys A TON. All of you. But I am doing sooo amazing!! This last week has been a lot easier. It´s crazy that I could go from being so sad to being SO DANG HAPPY in such a short ammount of time. I´m so stoked to get out in the field and start serving, but I´m gonna be sad to leave this place. I mean it is kinda like a prison, but more like a... first class prison lol :)
It was so cool to go to the temple last Thursday. That is the highlight of my week, so I am reeeeaaally excited to go again today! I was surprised how much of the session I was able to understand even though it was completely in Spanish, and we didn´t have any cards to read off of or anything like that... But I felt the Spirit SO strong. It doesn´t matter what language it is in.
The first two weeks that I have been here, it has been JAM PACKED with tons of missionaries. More than theý´ve ever had. But a lot of them left on Tuesday morning, so we got to have a picture day with everyone, so Mom I'll send you more pics that you can put on my blog for anyone who wants to see them. We get a ton of new missionaries today! Seven new norteamericano hermanas and then the presidente told me that we´re getting too many latina hermanas for him to even count. haha So I´m excited. I was so sad to see them leave though... I got really close with two hermanas that had already been here for four weeks when I get here and they seriously brought so much comfort to me! One of them was the one that gave me that talk. Which is this by the way:"More than conquerers through Him that loved us" by Paul V. Johnson of the seventy. Seriously GO READ IT! It´s so good. and will make you feel better about absolutely anything. I was super sad to see my latina roomies leave too. As I started to be able to understand and speak more spanish, we became really close and I freaking love them. There were six of us hermanas in one room with ONE bathroom so that was interesting. But we made it work:)
My Spanish is actually coming along really well now! I mean everyone in my district that took four years before coming here are doing a lot better, but I´m super solid at praying and bearing my testimony now. AND I´m teaching like half hour lessons all in Spanish too, to fake investigators. Plus mí compañera doesn´t know squat about spanish so I basically have to do it all. It´s good for me though! We´ve now committed THREE "investigators" to baptism! And even though it´s fake, I can always feel the spirit so strongly in our lessons. It´s really cool! Oh yeah and Nick, I now have the ENTIRE Joseph Smith´s first vision memorized instead of the first line hahaha. I shared it in a lesson and the teacher/investigator legit teared up. I felt so good about it!
As confident as I am now, I am freaking terrified for Saturday! Idk how to spell it in English, but Saturday is our first proselitismo! Each companionship gets their own area, and we just take a bus out to that area and go start knocking on doors and contacting people and just teach them in español! kinda crazy. I´m excited though. It will be nice to get out and to be able to explor Buenos Aires! Knowing me, I´m gonna get really lost and it´s gonna be a disaster but it´s all good haha.
It will be fun with my companion too! I really do love her to death. She is seriously professional at braiding and doing hair so she does my hair every single morning, and it´s sooo nice! That part will suck without her. Oh and ya know how she´s from Lake Powell? Yeah, k so she told me that this summer just like a month ago, they shut down our mexican restaurant that we always go to because of health code! So no more mexican food for us in Powell... Sad huh??:(
My favorite part of the days here is still physical actividad. It´s so nice to be able to get out and move around after sitting all. freaking. day. Hermana Townley is da BOMB and we jog around the perimeter for half the time and then we do abs the other half. It´s PERFECT. So yeah, sorry I haven´t gotten fat quite yet hahaha. Sometimes for physical activity, we´ll play sports and other stuff though and that´s way fun too. I played ping pong, just me against two other elders (Elder Green and Elder Brown) and I kicked their butts. It was great. Haha and I also kick butt in basketball which is fun, except I swear the hoops here are cursed. Still fun tho:)
The food here... It´s good not great. Sometimes they have some amazing stuff though! And I´m defintely getting my protein in. I eat sooo much meat... like HOLY COW. ahaha get it? Cow?? yeah anyways... It´s a lot of food for every single meal, but I never finish it. And they weren´t kidding about dulce de leche. It´s on EVERYTHING. I´ve only had it like once though cause for some reason sweets haven´t sounded good to me at all. I think I´m still sick from all the treats at my farewell lol.
The weather here is fine. It just feels like early spring! I swear there has only been two days here so far that it hasn´t rained all through the night and morning. We had an insane thunder and lightning storm that shook this place all night. It was pretty legit. I just hope it´s nice weather on Saturday!
I have thee best district too. We have all become so close and I love it. We probably don´t study as much as we should cause we talk all the time, but it makes it more fun and that´s definitely important! Elder Wehrhahn and I have become super close too. He really is my best friend here. It´s like having another brother here, and he always makes me feel better! love him to death.
A typical day here isn´t too exciting. It goes by pretty fast though considering. We wake up at 6:30, go down to breakfast at 7, and then go up to our district classroom for personal study. And it depends on the day, but the rest of the day just consists of personal study for an hour, companion study, language study, teachers come in for like an hour at a time to help us with gospel stuff and then language stuff, we teach our investigators, physical activity, TALL (which is a computer language learning program) and then we "Plan" for the next day (AKA party in our classroom and talk about who knows what). It really is a blast here and I am LOVING it! I miss ya´ll so much though. I love you! And I will talk to ya´ll in una semana!
Hermana Sanders

Pics from Week #2 - Argentina MTC

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Pics from Week 1 - Argentina MTC

First Email - Week 1 - 9/4/14

Hola mi familia!
Its FINALLY P Day holy crap! I have never been so happy. And dont judge my typing. This is a spanish keyboard and I cant find the apostrophe haha. AND I dont have all that much time... Oh my goodness I dont even know where to start. I wanna tell you every single detail about my life here and everything that has happened, but... "aint nobody got time for that!" So.... I love it here. I really do. I have had some good days and bad days, but all in all ive been doing really well. Its so hard to be away from you guys and not have you to comfort me when I have a hard day, but its okay. Im learning! and I have amazing friends. My best friend here is Herman Townley and she is amazing! Seriously. I dont know what I would do without her. Elder Wherhaun is one of my best friends too. we have become super close and we bond over the fact that we are like the only ones in our district that have no prior knowledge of spanish like at all. haha. Learning spanish is seriously like thee hardest thing i have ever had to do. It has been a BIG trial but I know that I will be blessed if I have faith. An Hermana that has been here for five weeks now, Hermana Boehmer, was telling me how hard it was for her here at first too, and she shared with me an amazing talk, but I left it in my journal and I cant remember who its by, so I will have to tell you next week because its an awesome talk and it can apply to yall too! I do remember kind of the idea of what it said though... he talked about how at times it may seem that our trials focus on areas of our lives that we seem to have the hardest time coping with... but since growing as a person and becoming stronger is the whole point of trials, it shouldnt even be a surprise that trials tend to be extremely personal- pretty much directed right to our particular needs or weaknesses.
So through this, i have come to find some major weaknesses of mine. M e being a perfectionist has made me prideful, and it makes learning a language that much harder and that much more frustrating. I am grateful for this trial and I just pray everyday for the Lordd to bless me with thte strength to learn this language.
My Spanish pretty much sucks, but my spanglish though... yeah its muy bien! Its insane. From the very first day, our lessons have been in spanish. Nobody really speaks English here so its really hard! We have our lessons in spanish about the Gospel, so it makes it hard to understand how to teach and to understand basically everything. But its getting so much better! I cant really speak very well yet but I can at least understand most of our lessons now. And I have to keep reminding myself that Ive only been here a week. My perfectionism does not help though. I just want to speak it perfectly already! I can at least pray in spanish and I can bear my testimony in spanish though, so thats cool!
Oh and ya know how I am awful at reading watches<¿ yeah... i am pro now! Even in military time or whatever cause that is what they use here. So if nothing else, I can finally read the time lol. Sorry this email is so scattered and random but I have like no time with so much that I want to say!!
Mi compañera... ahh. Well I started out having a really hard time with her. Just like me, she has no background knowledge of Spanish. And she has the attitude that is will just come so I cant really get her to practice with me or study with it. I was so frustrated and was wishing that Hermana Townley was my companion, but then I prayed.. and immediately after, I got this overwhelming love for my companion and I realized how much of a blessing she is for me. I am learning a lot from her and she is the right companion for me in order to learn this language and the Gospel. We get along a lot better too! She braided my hair today really cool and everyone says that it is muy bonita haha. She is from Page, AZ so we bond over talking about Lake Powell. She really is awesome!
Oh yeah, funny story. So.. Ya know how my suitcases are like super bright pink? Umm ya everyone else had either black, brown, or navy bags. All dark. When the guy came to pick us up from the airport and was loading our bags into van, he looked and my bag, looked at me, then said something in spanish and started laughing so hard. Come to find out... He called me Barbie. So that was my nickname from everyone the first day. Luckily it didnt stick haha.
Oh and Micadyn, you would be proud. I got the Hermanas to start doing handstand contests with me during physical activity, so that aint stopping anytime soon! haha.
Ok and this is super random but I heard the best joke this week. Its totally my kind of joke. What do you call a white man in the ocean?... A SALTINE CRACKER hahaha.
Anyways, I really am so happy here. I miss you so much though! I miss going to the temple with you. I get to go every Thursday now while I am here at the CCM (Centro de capitación misiónal) and so Im stoked for later today when I get to go.
This is certainly not perfect grammar at all, but heres a short testimony from me en español...
yo se que Dios restauró su Evangelio a través de Jose Smith. Yo se que el Libro de Mormon es verdadero y contiene la plenitud del Evangelio. El Evangelio de Jesucristo es verdadero. Yo se que esto es verdad al sentir el Espíritu Santo y al recibir bendiciones. Le amo Dios. Y yo se que Él me ama. Estoy agradecido por el EVangelio. el amor de nuestro Padre Celestial, ya las escrituras. Yo so que puedo reicibir bendiciones a través la fe en Jesucristo. En el nombre de Jesuscristo, Amen.
I love you guys so so so so much! And miss you like crazy.

-Hermana Sanders