Saturday, January 17, 2015

Picture Overload

yep, finally at a computer where I can send pictures, so here it goes. 

don´t have too much to report on this week. I made banana pancakes and french toast this last week and felt like I was becoming quite the chef. then we had dinner with the other hermanas last night and they made a gourmet meal with meat, veggies and rice in like 30 minutes....yes I only have room for improvement. 


por favor click the link above and watch the short video clip. it has such a powerful message and is something that we have been trying to share with as many people as possible. put it on facebook, put the link on your instagram, every member a missionary, and this is one simple yet powerful way to serve.

I was reading the notes I took in the MTC while watching a talk by Elder Bednar "Character of Christ". He said that "We should be on an earthly pursuit to learn OF Him (Christ), not just ABOUT Him." To me that means that not only should we learn about His life on Earth and the miracles he performed, but we should try to live like Him, make decisions like He would, love others like He would. I hope that we can all can remember the true meaning of CHRISTmas as we celebrate the holiday this month.

Thank you for all the love and support. I am doing great and am so grateful for all of you back home. LOVE YOU ALL.

Con Amor, Hermana Blair



here is a picture of before the two baptisms last week. everyone in the picture is normal height and I actually have just grown a foot.

Tupungato, the best area ever!


 I realize its a blessing to able to be fed by the members, and its a blessing to be fed meat, but this is what I have eaten everday for lunch for the past 5 days. its tasty, but I fear that by the end of my mission I will come home one big chunk of meat. you are what you eat.

 we went to this tourist place called Manzano, again, last pday. Played some Uno and walked around. We seriously play Uno all the time. I liked it at first.....and now....

 I also really like the houses here. I don´t know why but this particular wall always makes me really happy...that sounds so sad but yep at least I am happy.

 more or less my area.


 my buddies from my MTC district

 we live behind and underneath the tall orange one. it just got painted orange, it used to be gray. yep that is where I live!
cute little girl, I can´t remember her name but her family calls her Bruja, which translates to Witch. its because of her hair, but it still seems sad to me.

 what we eat almost everyday. wooo! this was today, its at a park with these big things of concrete especially to make Asado. kind of like a park with fire pits, but not.

I always take pics of my comp while she is sleeping, she falls asleep all the time, this was her returning the favor. We had just eaten about half a cow for lunch with a member and I feel asleep after praying. I now know why Argentina has a Siesta for part of the day, digesting animals takes a lot of effort!

well that is my life, love you all!

Mish Photographs


these are old but here are some more pics for you to enjoy. the one in yellow is from brazil and a bit crazy and he wanted to take these pics. he always takes pics in the road too, idk, maybe it is something cool they do in brazil. 





First Baptism!

wow, I seriously feel like my last pday was yesterday, this week flew. I had my first baptism which was really cool. Ana Laura is 15 and is super funny and I love her. She pretty much found us and already had a testimony and desire to be baptized. We have been working with her for the past month and this last saturday we were finally able to get her baptized! I feel so bad because we spent all day filling the font, the elders came and helped us figure it all out and then we just waited hours for it to fill. when I went to check on it to see if it was close, I felt the water and it was ice cold. Somehow the water heater had turned off (i am actually starting to think that the elders never turned it on, but I will give them the benefit of the doubt) and all the water in the font was freezing. The climate here is a bit weird and after a days of extreme heat, saturday and sunday were very very chilly! but nonetheless Ana Laura kept her happy attitude and was baptized. I can´t send pictures, yet again, but will send some in the future. More than 50 people came and we had a little party afterwards and it was an awesome beautiful experience.
 
So that was the pretty happy part of the week.
 
While walking through the streets we talk with people and invite them to visit the Mormon web page. I went up to one lady and started speaking, introducing my companion and I, and continued to try and speak to her. She ended up talking more with my companion and then as she was leaving she stopped and asked if I could speak Quechua because she couldn´t understand one word of what I had said earlier. haha. Quechua is the language that indians use, some of the people here can speak it, but mostly its just the people that live in the uncivilized areas....Haha, me and my companion had a good laugh about that. Yes, my confidence was completely shot, but still, haha welcome to my life. If I didn´t explain that well enough the lady coudln´t understand my spanish and thought I was speaking a different language. haha, how sad.
 
Thanksgiving! I hope everyone had an awesome day. I as well had a great day. It was the most different Thanksgiving I have experienced yet but it was still good. It was actually just a normal day but I know my dad will laugh at what I ate (he would have LOVED the meal.....) We had a cake of swiss chard (what is that?), ham, hard boiled egg, tuna, and tomatoes. wasn´t bad, I think my taste buds dont work anymore so maybe thats why i enjoyed it. well I got to go, love you all!!!

Lil Lucho

Man the days kind of just seem to jumble together and I feel like the time is flying. I am having so much fun and I am extremely happy to be here in Argentina serving a mission. Goodness, yeah I am just really happy.

My favorite family here is Familia Gonzalez. The dad is the 2nd counselor is in District Presidency (like a stake presidency, but smaller because we dont have enough members for a stake here) and the mom is the District Relief Society President (like the a stake RS pres.). They have 3 sons, one on a mission in Paraguay, the next is 12 (Gaston), and the next is 7 (Lucho). We eat lunch at their house every Wednesday. They are converts of 14 years and have been feeding the missionaries every week for 12 years. She said she continues to feed them because in the beginning she only had a little bit of flour, with which she would mix with water to make little mounds of bread, and she would pray that somehow they wouldn´t run out and that she would have enough flour to be able to  feed the missionaries, and miraculously, she always did. 

Yesterday was the primary program, and it was so funny! There are about 12 kids, they sang, some gave a talk, and others bore their testimony. Like every other primary program, it was great and super fun to watch. But what stuck out to me the most was watching Little Lucho during the Sacrament.

I just want you to picture this. Lucho is the cutest, and the sweetest little boy ever. Yesterday he had his little suit on, his hair was combed, and he looks like the prime mini missionary. Anyway. So he is sitting up in the front in the middle of a bunch of rowdy kids. The deacon came around with the tray of bread and Lucho carefully took his piece. Then he closed in eyes and tried ever so hard to sit reverently while the other kids squirmed around, sometimes bumping him, reaching over him, some tried to talk to him. But what really struck me was that the whole time, he kept his eyes closed, and was concentrating so diligently on whatever his little 7 year old mind was trying to focus on. The same thing happened when the water came around. He took his cup, and then sat, "pondering" I guess (if 7 year olds can really ponder), but kept his eyes closed as if in fervent prayer the entire duration of the sacrament portion of the meeting.

This little boy is seriously MY FAVORITE. He has been from the beginning. I help him every week with his English homework and he  honestly has one of the sweetest souls. Watching him made me reevaluate the sacrament, what it means, and how I need to act during sacrament meeting. 

Today I was studying a talk from Cheryl A. Splin from this past General Conference. In her talk she said "The Sacrament gives us the opportunity to turn our hears and our will to God."

And with the Sacrament we need to "Remember Christs enabling power. It is part of the Atonement too."

I feel like I have always struggled with realizing just how much the Atonement can do for us. I´d known that through the Atonement we can be forgiven of our sins, but its taken time for me to realize that there is an enabling power that comes from it as well.

I really love the scripture in D&C 24:8 that says "Be patient in afflictions, for thou shalt have many; but endure them, for lo, I am with thee, even to the end of thy days."

Man, how important is it that we remember our Savior and Lord Jesus Christ. Remember his sacrifice, and realize that the atonement is a never ending gift for us to use, in every aspect, so we can improve our life and draw closer to him.

I want to try to be like Lucho. Focus on the words of the sacrament prayers and apply them to my life. I want to remember His sacrifice and utilize the atonement. I have a testimony that the Atonement is real, it works, and through it we can be forgiven, healed, and edified in every aspect of our lives.

I am seriously so happy to have the opportunity to share this message with the people here in Argentina. I am having fun and seeing success which continually makes me ever more grateful for the love and support I get from back home. Thanks again, LOVE YOU ALL!

Con Amor,

Hermana Blair

Apostles and Popcorn

This week went by so fast and it was so much fun. We had transfers, I am still in Tupungato being trained and I love it here so that is good. The weather is warming up after a weird cold spell. I think I really liked the cold though.

This weekend we had a really cool experience. Elder Christofferson of the Quorum of the 12 came and spoke to my mission. We were at a stake center in Mendoza and the entire mission got to be there. We all got the opportunity to meet him and his wife. He asked us our names and where we were from, he informed me that "utah is still there" so that is good. The entire meeting was in spanish, both him and his wife are fluent, and gratefully I was able to understand almost all of it! He spoke about a lot of things but one thing that I will remember is how he is working on always having more gratitud in his life. It was interesting to me that that is what he wants to work on most, and really just solidifies the fact that gratitud is so important! I am so grateful for him and his service. It was a really fun and awesome experience. I feel so lucky and so grateful!! Elder Christofferson is now my favorite apostle, if I were to pick favorites.....

My first few weeks here the members would ask me if I was accostumed to Argentina or if I was settled in or whatever. I would tell them yes but in my head I was screaming the word no. And magically after 6 weeks I can finally say that I feel settled in and honestly I am loving my life here in Argentina. It has been SO MUCH FUN lately. I love the people here. Everyone is so different and it has been so fun to hear about peoples lives and learn their story. I feel so blessed to be here serving. I am loving being a missionary and I am learning so much. The spanish continues to come, slowly, but everyday I am learning more.

Last night me and my companion celebrated her 17 month and my almost 3 month mark. We walked so much yesterday trying to find people to talk to. Honestly it was hours and hours of walking. We kept passing popcorn stands and since it was Sunday, we didn´t stop to buy any. BUT. I am pretty sly and brought a couple packs of my favorite microwave popcorn from the states. We celebrated by having a bag of popcorn which was actually really funny because the fact that the popcorn came in a bag and was already pre buttered and salted completely blew my companions mind. She took pictures with it and just watched the bag as it sat in the microwave. She kept saying "how weird......how WEIRD." She wants to keep the bag haha. At first she thought the bag was edible, I think she was a bit disappointed when I let her know that it isn´t, America isn´t THAT weird.

But I am doing so swell. Riding the roller coaster of the mission. We have investigators that are progressing, mas o menos, life is good though. The Lord is blessing me more than I deserve. The country song "you´re gonna miss this" keeps running through my head daily and I am trying my best to live everyday to the fullest here. I am CONTINUALLY grateful for all of the love and support from friends and family. You are all in my prayers and I love each and everyone of you very very much!

CON AMOR, Hermana Blair

First Trimester

Wow, what a week, went by fast but it was good! So everyday we have lunch with a member. We go over to their house at around 1 pm and eat lunch with the family. We usually never eat dinner. At first it was really hard for me to adjust, but now it is just normal. We get fed so much at lunch that I usually never want dinner. 

Anyway, so one particular day I had this plastic cup with me in my bag because I had taken it with me on the bus earlier that day for breakfast. All morning I had been getting a lot of flack from the Elders, they just think I am weird. So anyway, just remember the cup.

So this day the member said she wasn´t going to be able to feed us in her house and we could come pick up the food and take it back to our pench. Well we got there, and she had us come in, then she had us sit down, then she started to set up plates, and me and my comp were really confused. The family had already eaten and I guess plans changed and she was able to feed us in her home. 

So then she brings out the plates of food. It was milinesa and a big fat orange vegetable! I look at my comps face and she is just dying too. So we started eating, and I couldn´t figure out what this veggie was but it was terrible. We had that, milinesa, potatoes, and noodles. I was trying so hard to eat it with whatever else I could to drown the taste but it really was just so terrible. It was just the mom with us, she had already eaten, she didn´t even talk, she was just watching us eat. We were eating so slow, it was seriously so hard to get down. I just kept praying that maybe she would leave, and I still can´t believe it, but luckily she did!

I knew I only had a couple seconds, so remember the cup? I grabbed that out of my bag as quickly as I could and stuffed the veggie inside and then held the cup out for my comp so she could hide hers inside there too, but when I looked over at her, she was grabbing napkins and stuffing her milinesa inside. I think I just looked at her really confused, but it didn´t matter because the Mom started to walk back in so I threw the cup in my bag and continued eating.

We didn´t really think through the fact that she might notice that where there was once a big orange veggie there now is nothing, and the same with a big slab of meat. She looked at both of our plates but she didn´t say anything. But what was weird was my companion. She kept watching me eat, and she never does that. I couldnt figure out what she was doing, but seriously, as well as the mom, watched me eat every bite.

We continued to eat slowly because heaven forbid, I did not want seconds. We tried making more conversation, just anything to fill the time, and I already knew but I decided to ask how to make milinesa. I started by saying so you have the bread crumbs or whatever, and then you take the meat, and then she interrupted and both her and my companion said "well yes, but that wasn´t meat." I paused a little, and then remembered one Elder that had warned me about the terrible milinesa that some families serve.

I had just eaten a football sized milinesa of cow liver.

The veggie was terrible, I must say, but it then clicked to me why my companion was putting her milinesa in a napkin and not the vegetable. We continued to talk a little, I tried not to throw up, and then we hurridly left before she could ask to check our bags or something of the sort. 

So somehow I was able to eat cow liver, but not the vegetable, which was a gourd by the way. A nice big fat, plain, cooked gourd. But I am still alive and all is well. We have had some spiritual stuff happen this week too. Kind of I guess. Two of our main investigators moved so really we have just been walking. and walking. and walking. trying to find new people to teach.

It has been quite the experience living here in Argentina. I have completed 3 months of my mission and it is crazy how much I have already learned. I wouldn´t trade this experience for anything. I am learning so much about prayer and how to rely on the Savior. I know this church is true and that we are so blessed because of it. Thank you for all the love and support. I hope you will still be able to use your eyes after reading such a long letter.

I love each and everyone of you! 

xoxoxox

Hermana Blair

A BUNCH 'O' PICS

So Abbey had a lot of struggles sending us pictures, and then it finally worked! So here is a picture overload. 


First Trimester finished! Too bad this is probably what 6 months pregnant will look like, this is just after any normal ol day of getting fed to death.


 The Hermanas of Valle de Uco


 Mi compaƱera is the little one, and then two youth in the branch that wanted to take a picture with us. They are cool though.


The lovely bathrooms here. Haha, have fun trying to imagine how it all works because there wasn´t water.


oh and look who I found my first day in argentina. how cool right? she was in the MTC here, now she is in paraguay? I think. Hermana Porter, representin.




 all I can think of when I see this picture is the line from tangled when the mom says "getting kinda chubby". haha. 

 Some of these are old, but seriously, just check out those mountains!


on the mountain. did I write about how we played capture the flag up there? this was a long time ago. But yeah I have played capture the flag in a lot of random places, a mountain in argentina being one of them.


Hermana Keil y yo. She is from hurricane ut and was the other hermana in my zone, this is us after hiking a mountain for pday.


What the streets of my area look like. Dad wanted a picture, so I just took one.


way back when we went to a monestary. how we get around the dirt roads of argentina!



we saw this AFTER we had walked through. this was from our hour long field trip with the elders as they showed us where are lunch appointment was.


the milk here comes in bags, so i then have to transfer it to an old water bottle. I actually really don´t like the milk here. so thats been fun.