Saturday, January 28, 2012

hey everyone!!!

Its hard to believe its been another week! crazy. haha its been a crazy crazy week.

I feel like no one has really wanted to talk to us this week. its been really hard to find people and then we do find people and we go and teach lessons and they last a really REALLY long time. the people just dont be quiet sometimes. haha that sounds terrible but a lot of latins have a lot to say about everything so you say "and i know that joseph smith was a prophet" and they start talking for 5 minutes about something.... its funny sometimes. i usually dont understand what they say so i just smile and nod. but i love the people so much i am okay just sitting and smiling. But for example we had a family home evening last monday with a convert. and we invited another convert and her grandson and she had other people there and jorge came and brought a friend. and the plan was to watch the prophet of the Restoration video and then share a scripture about Joseph Smith (the one about he lived great and he died great..) to help strengthen their testimonies about Joseph Smith. And no one here really knows anything about church history. But so in Oran every now and again they shut of the power. to everywhere. and when we got there they had turned off the power in that subdivision (barrio in argentina) great. there goes the video plan.  So we turned to a lesson we were gonna give this convert about charity and love.  :) and about halfway through the power came back on so they turned on the video (which is like an hour and a half to 2 hours...) we left them while watching the video bec we had to get back to the pension.  yeah i felt bad about that one. but the friend of Jorge´s is now meeting with us. and it did strengthen their testimonies.

Oh mom!!! so im turning into you a little bit. :)  So we had a family home evening for the branch last night.  We have them every sunday for our investigators and converts but tomorrow one of our branch missionaries is leaving for his mission so the branch president wanted a big one for the ward. So we centered it on missionary work and Jorge gave a talk about the importance of missionary work. but i get frusterated sometimes bec i feel like our family home evenings are just another lecture time for these people. they just arent fun. i wouldnt go... so i decided to plan a little missionary activity for the branch. (we actually had a pretty good turnout which was exciting bec ive heard that here no one shows up to activities...)  but so my activity was i called them all on missions. I actually had little papers with missions on them i was gonna have them all open up and then leave on their mission but there werent enough people to make 10 papers for 5 different missions functionable.  so i numbered them off. and they moved to their missions. and then i paired them all off into companionships. then i gave them 2 minutes to get to know their companion. they were all confused for a little bit bec i still cant explain things very well.  but so then we had them practice. because in the mtc and in mission meetings we practice. and in our studies we practice. a lot. so i had them practice contacting someone on the street and bearing their testimony to them.  then i had 3 people come up and share what they learned. :) it was pretty exciting. and i thought "im becoming like my mom!!!" and had to smile because you always come up with stuff like that. But doing stuff like that at family home evenings is foreign to them and having food they all like having food but when we were planning it they looked at me like i was crazy when i said we should bring food and have a little activity. but they liked the idea of food. so it turned out really well and we had investigators there and got a new one too.

So that was probably the most exciting part of the week. IT was Hermana Callejas´ birthday this week though. wednesday she turned 23.  So the Cabana Family had us for lunch that day. and htey bought a cake for her. and so i ate all this food cause they always give you a lot of food here and then cake. and hermana callejas cut the first piece and i guess here the birthday person cuts the first piece then gives it ot the person they like the best. I didnt know this. so she cuts this ginormous piece and everyone closes their eyes nad she gives it to me and im like uhhhhh great.... a big  huge piece that i cant finish and everyone cheers. i felt a little bad and was so confused but i figured it out and gave her a big huge hug.  it was fun. but a lot of food.... everyone gave us food this week. and then we made food for another family whos birthday was the same day.and made food for the baptism we didnt end up having.

So we were supposed to have a baptism this week... that made it crazy. Because Marcelo is handicapped mentally. hes supposed to be 13 mentally but he seems so much younger a lot of times. younger than aubri (hes actually 35) but when he came to church for the first time he came up to us after sacrament meeting and said he wanted to be baptized. and weve really been working with him.  using pictures and drawing. the only thing he remembers constantly is the spirit. and he wants to have the gift of the spirit. He feels it so strong.  but when we say key words he remembers. he remembers quite a bit when you really work with him for the answer. but so we go to get his moms signature for permission and hermana callejas had to talk to her for forever to get her to sign and she said we had to talk to the sister first and get her signature too. okay so we figure out when shes gonna be there and come back at that time and shes sleeping and no one will wake her up.... for like 2 days so finally they say to come back in the morning. which is when we had the interview and so we double, triple checked to make sure they would both be there nad they all said yeah shell be there and he will. great. so we get there with the elders for the interview and they told us that everyone went to bolivia for hte day. and wont be back til night time. stuff like this went on until past the time for the baptism nad finally they told Facundo that they dont want him baptized and then we could find them. yeah... itw as crazy. and im a little sad but i am glad the family really cares about him.  They are very protective of him. i just want to help them understand that  this is a good thing.

so i guess this isnt a very uplifting letter. im sorry.

oh and if anyone has recipies for things we can make for baptisms nad activities and stuff like that could you please send them (cookies, brownies - they dont have box mixes.., anything) im getting tired of the carrot bread stuff hermana callejas makes and banana bread. or even a good recipe for banana bread would be great... thanks...

So ive been studying the last couple days about the destruction of hte nephites. its a little depressing to read. especially on days where you walk and walk and nobody really wants to talk to you. but it mormon 9 i found a few verses that i really really liked.  3 of the verses (21, 25, and 27 i think) say believe in Christ, never doubting.  that is what i needed to hear this week. never doubt. i do that a lot. i feel like i should do something and then i dont because im not sure if thats just me being crazy or not paying attention in lessons, or yeah lots of different reasons to doubt. but its important not to doubt. i was planning a family home evening for tonight and my mind kept going back to that and the verse in joseph smith history "i had seen a vision, i knew it, i knew that god knew it and i could not deny it" and how i need to be more firm in my convictions.  everyone needs to be. Joseph Smith was. He died for what he had seen because he didnt doubt and lots more people are examples of that. thats one thing that i learned this week.  i learn so much here.

but i love yall! its been a good week
les quiero!
hermana applegate

Monday, January 9, 2012

hey everyone!!!

this week was slow still but better than last week because it wasnt a holiday. (and it helped that i wasnt sitting around for 2 afternoons while my companion was sick :) that was only one day and that was bec i was sick but im better now!!)

But so today we went to this town called irigoyen.  We have a less active family weve been working with bec the kids are all non members and we are trying to get them baptized.  But the one daughter is married and a member but it is her birthday this week and the same day is my comps birthday. So we went to celebrate it was a pretty fun day but i now am all peopled out. really peopled out haha. Thats just me.

But while we were there we made empañadas which are probably my favorite argentine food. they are really good but so they are a little tortilla/bread type thing that you flatten and put in meat, potates cheese etc. theyre itty bitty and then you fold it over kinda like a calzone and fry it. i think some people bake them too i like those better but when you fold it over everyone folds it in a way that it looks like a little braid and i cant do it for the Life of me. Looking at them all before theyre cooked you can tell exactly which ones i made. the ugly ones but they tasted just as good! and then we had mango. Everyone has mango trees here. and ive eaten a lot of mangos. they are so good! but the first day i ate one i was there and they handed me a knife and a whole mango and i was like uhhhhh how do you eat this? finally Hermana Callejas took it and cut it open for me.  Every one just cuts a slice eats it. Manners here are so different. I feel bad at meals with families bec i am trying to hard to adjust to the culture and food and i concentrate on how to eat things so im afraid sometimes it looks like im not enjoying the food. Which is sad because it is always really good.

Anyway... So this week we had a lot to do so we had divisions where i went with one sister in the ward and Hermana Callejas went with another one and no one was home or wanted to talk to us. The one investigator that was home told us she didnt want to talk to us anymore. I was kinda really sad. But so finally we started to knock on doors and I found like 3 new investigators! by myself! im pretty excited about that. My spanish is getting better everyday. I actually understand whats going on in conversations now. but now sometimes i get so caught up in the excitement that i know whats going on, i forget to say something.... oops

So i learned something really cool I was reading in 3 Nephi (Love 3 nephi) but chapter 14 talks about how not everyone who says "look at all the good things ive done" will make it into heaven and it actually says that christ will say "i never knew you" and i thought that was a little harsh. they did good things in his name... but so i started to read the cross references. and the parable of the 10 virgins kept coming to mind. and in seminary (i think) we watched a video of it. and the 5 wicked virgins after trying to find oil went to the house of the bridegroom and he opens the door and they tell him that they are his friends and he says to hold up their lamps so he can see their faces to make sure and they couldnt so he sent them away.  So i think thats kinda what that scripture is saying (im not sure so dont hold me to that doctrinally) but just because weve done a couple good things doesnt mean weve done all that we can.  The 5 virgins had some oil in their lamps and they were waiting anxiously for their savior. but it wasnt enough. they didnt do everything they could to remove the darkness from thier faces so their savior would know without a doubt who they are. 

I think sometimes i catch myself doing this in my life. i justify the things that i dont do with the things i did do. And ive realized here that diligence is key for anything. If i want the results I have to do the work. All the work.  NOt just part of it. Not justify not having any lessons because we were doing service (service is good but it should be helping us further the work and plan better) not procrastinate. which has been one thing ive always done. yeah i learned Diligence this week.

And thank you everyone for your letters today. And ive had a couple people ask about care packages. And i am not opposed to care packages. but... Argentina has a tax on packages that come from other countries. and it is half of the dollar amount claimed on the items sent (i think) and then you multiply that time 4 for pesos. so a $50 package is a $25 tax and so its 100 pesos. and the mission has a rule that the missionaries pay the tax. and i have a budget and cant afford a whole lot of packages. soooo if youre going to im grateful. but keep it as inexpensive as possible or combine things with other people. yeah.... so thats my deal with packages.

but i am grateful for letters!!! i love letters and emails and they dont have a tax. i just need stamps to respond.

but thats about it for today!!! love yall

les quiero
hermana applegate

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

hey mom!!! and everyone else

I dont have as much time today which is okay because i dont have as much to write. 

This week was not too terribly exciting. My companion was sick... actually I was the only one in the Pensión who wasnt sick... and so we didnt get to work a whole lot.  I did a lot while she was sleeping. I worked out. i studied A LOT, and i made plans about food and such. Yeah it was fun for a little bit but id rather be working.

This weekend was pretty rough working too.  There is nobody to teach here in Oran for the holidays and most people are drunk all weekend.  We were very careful about the different places we are going.  and who we visit.  It was a little disheartening when none of our investigators came to  church (finally we got marcello there he has such a sweet spirit, he is handicapped.. im not sure his family is completely happy about him wanting to get baptized but he came up to us after his first sacrament and said he wanted to.).  Hermana Callejas is having a really hard time with it but im doing okay. Im looking forward to this next week with great anticipation. We can only improve from last week. :)

Soooo i have a cool story but im not sure youre gonna think it is that cool mom.. So im sorry. maybe i shouldnt share... But we were walking wednesday and we had tried to visit Ramon (a new investigator) earlier and he wasnt there so H. Callejas said lets go back to Ramons and i was like "uhhhh okay..." and as we were walking i felt like we should not go back to Ramóns and i wrote it off at first as me just being hot and tired and not wanting to bec H Callejas said so. I was a little irritated. But as we kept walking down the road it got stronger and stronger and I knew that we just needed to get out of there fast. So finally i got up my guts and told hermana Callejas. "We shouldnt go to Ramóns" and she got a little annoyed and asked where i wanted to go then and i said i dont know we just need to get out of here fast. So we turned down the next road and walked as fast as we could out of the area we were in. we didnt stop until we got to the pavement (it was 7 and an area we werent supposed to be in past   7 anyways) but as we were walking, Hermana Callejas was talking to Soledad Cabana and I saw 3  police men with their helmets and big vests and gear drive by us on motorcycles and then as we walked further i saw an ambulence with its lights on... So i dont know if something actually happened where we were walking or if it was just a coincidence. But I do know that the Lord protects his missionaries. :)

but thats all for now! love yall

love hermana applegate