(At first I thought that only meant goodbye.. but people here respond by saying "ciao" to you when you say hi sometimes. At first I thought "well, that's not very friendly.." but I guess it works for both hi and bye... Argentina :))
Well hello everyone. Another week here in the South American continent. Things are going really well here in Olavarría. This past week things have unfortunately been a bit slow as far as the work, but I have seen a lot of personal progress in myself. Lately, and especially last week, I have just been in a bit of a wall/slump as far as having the desire to really work hard. Also my relationship with my Heavenly Father has just felt a bit distant and weak. So recently I read in Jesus the Christ (I will be paraphrasing pretty hard here..) where Christ finds His disciples with a bit of a problem where there was a man who's son was possessed and they couldn't cast out the demon. They were confused and frustrated because what they had done many times before was now something really difficult for them to accomplish. Pretty much they had hit a wall/slump. So Christ asks them "Did you try fasting and praying for the strength to do it?" His disciples said they had not, and Jesus had mercy on the man and his son and cast out the demon.This story really hit me as right now I am facing this "demon"/wall/slump in my mission that I can't quite seem to push past and overcome. So this past weekend I fasted and prayed much to my Heavenly Father asking for the spiritual strength to be able to press on and have those desires to work hard and change myself to be a better instrument in His hands. That was a great experience for me and this week I have felt a lot more desire to change myself, be more obedient, and have more faith and trust in my Savior. Obviously it hasn't been a black-to-white change, and I still have much to improve as always, but this life is about progress and that's what I've had this week so I feel happy.
Things are going really well as far as the new changes to the mission. I actually am loving everything about it haha. My budget so far is working smoothly as planned. I thought I would miss having free lunches with members, but this week I have discovered that (probably from watching/helping my amazing chef-mother cook all my life..) there's a section in my brain that knows how to cook! Like.. I cooked before the mission, but I never HAD to. Now that I do, all the sudden my brain turned on survival mode and I'm running my own version of food network down here. Haha that's an exaggeration.. but me and my comp have been getting pretty creative. So far we've had stuff like chicken pot pie, stir fry, Italian chicken pasta with sauted veggies, and today we had fajitas. "Top chef ya know?" (name that song... "i like my beat down low, down low"... sorry i'm done).
Things are going well with Nadia. We had that lesson last week with Rafael (Yanina couldn't come) and it went great. We talked with her about putting a goal for a baptism date. She gets a bit nervous whenever we talk about that but this time we asked her to think about it and make her own goal as she prays and included Heavenly Father. She said she would. We had a lesson yesterday with them but it fell through, so Saturday we are going by again to have pancakes with a little lesson and maybe watch the Testaments with them and we will see what she says. I am really hoping/praying that she feels the need to be baptized.
Funny experience: To start off you have to know that Argentines are always SO willing to help us/others if you have a question or something (but if you offer them salvation they aren't too interested.. it's weird). So this last week I wanted to make some popovers for some of our zone (just call me Paula Dean, seriously.. "buttah makes it bettah") but we don't have a muffin tin so we went to the store to look for one. We couldn't find one in the store looking around so we asked a customer service dude where to find it. There isn't really a word for muffin tin in Spanish so he was pretty confused. Then another service guy comes over and starts to help out... then an old lady hops in on the conversation... and before you know it we've literally got like 10 Argentines all in on the case. I wasn't even that desperate and after about 5 people, me and my comp just sat back and watched this giant debate go down. No one could explain or figure out what a muffin was. So finally I said "es como un.... cupcake." and the old lady yells "SI!! CUH-CAY! Eso es." Everyone was so content, then the guy said "ya we don't have that." Ha so after all that we went to another store and the guy there helped us find it right away. super :)
Well that's the weekly update. I love all of you. Hope you're all freezing your nalgas off in Utah...cause it's super hot here.
Ciao! (see what I mean)
Me and my comp Elder Jackson. Yes, I do have fat cheeks.
Photo from our dinner on New Year's Eve. Had some delicious steak with homemade fries and salad. Super good!
Not the best picture.. but we had the BIGGEST storm this last week. The clouds were pitch black and it looked soo cool. Luckily it didn't start to rain until we got in the house at the end of the day.