Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Week 15: Open House, Teaching, and Yummy Food!

This week was really busy and a little different than the others. We lost our studies in the morning a few days because we had tramites (I don´t know what it is in English) in Lomas de Zamora on Wednesday so we had to wake up at 5 am to take the bus and train to fill out paper work to make me legal in Argentina.

Then on Thursday we had to wake up at 5:30 am to travel to Glew for my first Zone Conference. It was all morning and the president of the mission, the assistants to the Pres. and the Zone leaders all spoke to us and I enjoyed it a lot. Apparently Pres. Calquin is more strict than the other, (no more disney music) but he has a lot of energy and excitement about the work. I really like him and overall I enjoyed the conference. This transfer there is another Elder from Pennsylvania in my zone so there are two of us representing Pennsylvania! Elder Jesson from the Erie area. We have a Zone Activity today in Glew and we were going to play volleyball and frisbee (the elders went crazy when they heard that I had one) but it is raining today so we will have to see what happens.

On Friday was a branch Family Home Evening and we had the lesson. We decided to focus on "The Family: A Proclamation to the World," and made a house out of the characteristics a family should have. The lesson went really well. 

Teaching Aid that We Made for our Lesson

Then on Saturday we had to get up at 5 again for a Capilla Abierta in Burzaco. Remember this is when 30ish missionaries come to one city and proselite all morning giving out invitations for the afternoon until 1 and then give tours of the church. We didn´t stay for the tour because there were enough missionaries already. We slept really well that night. The big "Libro de Mormon" was one of the props. (see photo) There is going to be a CA (Open Chapel) in San Vicente this Saturday so we are keeping busy preparing for this too. This should help us to find more people to teach.
Huge Book of Mormon we Made as a Prop for our Capilla Abierta

The members brought "factoras" for all the missionaries for breakfast at the Capilla Abierta. Delicioso! One thing that I have noticed is how many bakeries are here. I have counted 7 here in San Vicente. People love their cakes and bread here. For this reason the obesity epidemic is similar to that in the US. Maybe a little better, but there are a lot of people that struggle with weight. They only eat the French style bread, not sliced like in the US and they eat it for nearly every meal.  I am not complaining. It is so good!

Factoras- Incredibly Deliciosas!

Bread that Most Argentines eat with Nearly Every Meal

On Sunday, Hermana Abate Daga gave a talk and then we had to teach Relief Society. We weren´t very prepared for the lesson because of our busy week but nevertheless it went very well and by the end of it my companion had the whole class crying because the Spirit was so strong. She is a great teacher and I feel so blessed to have her as a companion. These last two weeks, we have been becoming more and more close. We can have more in depth conversations now and we are such good friends! We both don´t want to leave San Vicente- it is known as one of the best areas in the mission with one of the best penches (apartments) too. We are nervous for what is going to happen the next transfer and we don´t know who is going to stay or go because we both came into the area at the same time.

Sweet Message from my Companion's Family in Cordoba, Argentina. The sign reads: 
"Happy 3 Month Anniversary [in the mission] Hermana Macbride. With love, the Abate Daga family, [from] Oncativo, Cordoba, [Argentina]"

Also, yesterday was the mission farewell for two young men from our branch of San Vicente. One is going to serve a mission in Peru and the other in Bolivia. They are both leaving today. Last night was the going away activity and about 60 people came. It was held in the chapel and my companion and I organized a musical number with 10 members of the branch singing The Army of Helaman with me of the piano. First all the family members of the almost missionaries spoke as well as the stake president and president of the branch.. Then we all ate food in the gym and returned and everybody watched as the two missionaries were set apart. It was strange for me because there were friends and nonmembers in attendance so it wasn´t personal like mine was. Nevertheless, it was a great night focused on missionary work and I reflected on when I left on the mission 3 months ago. It seems like so much more time than that, seriously.

Apparently this mission is harder than other missions in Argentina and generally the church grows anywhere from 40-70 baptisms a month. Despite being a really good area, the missionary work in San Vicente is struggling. None of our investigadores are progressing and we are constantly trying to find people who want to listen to us. So, we have also been focusing on having lessons with less active members. We feel blessed that we had 4 lessons with less-active members this week and two people came to church!

P.S. I'm praying for Grandpa that he will be healed and fully recovered. Wow I am glad that you found a renter- I had been praying for that. I want a picture of the new van!

Oh and the whole food situation is fine. We were able to get money from the bank later last Monday and stock our cupboards!

Yes my boots are working out great but are already pretty worn because of all the walking. I am glad I brought two pairs because these won´t last another winter. My bike ripped one of my skirts already and I have had to sew a hole in one of my sweaters. The red rain shoes already broke too. But yes it is getting warmer. It is so weird one day it will be sunny and pretty hot and the next will be cold and rainy. It rained 3 days this week. 

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