Monday, October 31, 2016

Week 22: Trini's Baptism and Rededication to the Spanish Language

This week went by so fast, I am struggling to remember all that happened. I don´t know what to write...Sorry its not going to be very long.

We had to organize the baptism which ended up being really a nice experience for Trini! There were 30 people in attendance and a member made her a really nice cake. A lot of her family who are not members of the Church came to support her. 

   Me and My companion at Trini's Baptism

Other than that, we were just proselyting, clapping doors of old investigators or contacts (always 3 tries- once for their salvation, once for our salvation, and the last for a a good looking spouse), talking with people in the street, or meeting with less active members. I made progress in my confidence with talking to people in the street this week- we spoke to 25 people in 2 hours one day this week!

We had interviews with President Calquin and they went well! It was maybe 15 minutes and I really like him. I could feel his love and concern for me and he just showed pictures from his mission and told me to enjoy the mission, be obedient, and be humble. I felt like he trusted me as a good missionary so he didn't have much to say. 

    He just gave us a list of 17 new rules that pertain to our mission. I may not like a lot of them, but I need the Spirit!  Now we can only listen to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, Classical, or hymns that are in the Hymn book, so I am sad- I loved my EFY music. He also introduced a rule that we have to speak Spanish all the time. We can't speak English with the other Americans anymore, so I really have to let go of my English now. We didn't speak a lot before, but it was always nice for a bit. I am trying to change my studies into all Spanish, but I love reading in English so much more. I just have to embrace Spanish as my language for the next 13 months.

The Church really is the same all around the world. It was the primary program in my ward here too and it was cute! For the last song, they had invited us missionaries to sing the "Army of Helaman" with the primary and asked us to sing a chorus in English. Afterwards, a member who has a son serving in Utah right now (he was actually in the CCM the same time as me) was in tears and told us that we touched her heart. She reminded me of Mom and while we were talking about how much she missed her son, I started crying too. We were both crying and hugging and it was a bittersweet moment. I think seeing all the kids in the Program made me miss you guys and then her talking about missing her son just pùt me over the top. 

Gotta go, but I really do miss you guys!

Hugs and kisses!

Happy Halloween!

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Week 21: A Roaming Pig & Left Alone on Bus, but Growing Steadily

This week I started to love Aldo Bonzi! It took three weeks but I am finally feeling like I have a relationship with a few families in the Ward. I feel more comfortable with the área too. We have actually been having a lot of lunches with the members. The members here have more money so the meals are better and and we always have dessert unlike San Vicente.

 We are going to have a baptism next Saturday!! Her name is Trini and she is 13. We have been spending a lot of time with her and her family. They are a part-member family and are really poor. They have 5 kids in the family. They also have several aunts and a grandma that live nearby so there are always a lot of people when we come over. They live really messily and in a small shack- type house with a yard the size of 2 of our gardens. On this small plot they have 4 horses, ducks, dogs, chickens, cats, and a pig that all except for the horses just roam around. It is such a crazy environment and the door is often just left open so the animals just come in and roam around. I was sitting at the table and I felt something touch my leg and it was the pig!  It is moments like these that I think "Wow how my life has changed- how did I end up here!" But seriously, I love their family so much.

So our área is pretty big so we have to ride the bus a lot to get from one end of the area to the other. Last week, I had a traumatic experience where I was left alone on the bus! Hermana Molinero and I were both in the back but she wasn't sure where to get off, so she went to the front to ask the driver. I thought: the bus is kind of full and I don't feel like wading through a lot of people so I'm just going to stay in the back. The driver will open both the front and back doors if we need to get off sooner that my compi thought. I payed for my laziness when the bus stopped and my companion got off and the back door didn't open! I was mortified as it drove away and I saw my companion through the window outside standing on the sidewalk with a look of shock on her face. So I began to quickly make my way to the front of the bus begging perdón to the people in the aisles and shouting ¡Pare, pare! (Stop, Stop). I think the driver noticed I was a bit stressed and so he stopped. Luckily, I got off only about a block away from my companion. All the people in the bus probably thought it was funny and my compi was laughing like crazy as I ran to catch back up with her.

It rained the first 3 days of the week this week so the work was slow and it was another one of those moments of "How did I end up here doing this?" We spent all afternoon walking the streets in the cold rain and knocking houses trying to contact people with little luck. But the other part of the week was a lot better and we actually taught a lot. Other than Trini, our investigators aren't progressing so we are going to discontinue teaching a lot of them. We'll just be searching for people to teach. There are a lot of less active members though so we spend time visiting them too.

We made divisions with another companionship in Banfield and I was with a Hermana Menezes from Brazil who has 10 months in the misión. I loved my time with her and got to see new ways to teach and find. I was amazed how she followed the Spirit as we contacted an old investigator. She was a lady maybe in her 60s and at first she didn't want anything to do with us. She was about to close the door but Hermana Menezes was persistent and asked if we could at least sing a hymn for her. She agreed and we sang "Nearer my God to Thee." It was amazing to see how the music invited the Spirit. Afterward, the lady's face changed completely and she was a lot nicer and actually let us in and we were able to teach a lesson. It was amazing that I had just met Hermana Menezes. She had no idea if I could sing and we had not planned to do that, but thanks to her quick thinking, we could teach someone a little more about God's plan for her and promised blessings that come from living the góspel of Jesús Christ.

Persistence is a trait I love in my companion too. I am learning that it is important to be direct when contacting people and in lessons too. Hermana Molinero is so direct and firm in her testimony and can teach with power and authority. I am not naturally super direct, so maybe that is one reason that I am with her so I can learn. She is super obedient and we get along fine...for the most part. :) Nah, shes great. She just has an attitude sometimes and is super sassy.  She has convinced herself that Aldo Bonzi is one of the hardest áreas in the misión. She got along really well with her last companion too, so she often misses her. This was hard with members too at first because everybody loved the sister that I replaced, but now I am gaining the trust and respect of more people.

Oh and I was able to meet two new Hermanas from the States this week that have 3 weeks in the field now. This was my first time meeting American hermanas that are younger than me in the misión. I felt so strange. I remember when I was like them. This helped me realize how much I have improved in the language and how much I have learned. They both went to the Provo MTC and got to sing in the missionary choir for General Conference! What an experience! I still feel like I am new, but now I am not the newest! I was able to promise them that the language does come with time and give them a little hope that the misión isn't so bad!  I could empathize with them- one of them was having a really hard time adjusting.

So yeah... I am enjoying the misión a lot more now and the weeks are passing quickly. I still struggle to express myself in Spanish in the form I would like sometimes, but the people are impressed when they hear I have been in the misión for 4 months and they all say I talk well, so that is comforting.

Love you guys!
Audrey's Friend Rehmat stopped by for a Visit to the McBride Home

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Week 20- Adapting to New Area & Exchanges with Hma. Walker

 I am still trying to get used to the change of area. This week wasn't as successful (5 lessons). I had been anxious about leading out in our area being so new here. Exchanges with Hermana Walker actually weren't so bad- we didn't get too lost! But it turns out we had been working a lot of the time in the area of the Elders. We had to give a lot of the people we found to them! Haha, oh well.  I didn't know that there were parts of their area on our map! I had only been here a week and a half and did not want to have to stay and guide the area already, but my companion really wanted to leave Aldo Bonzi for a day because she is frustrated with the area. Hermana Walker has a great excitement for sharing the gospel and gave me tips on how to work on my pronunciation. I am trying so hard to learn to talk like a native, but it is so hard! The r's, t's, d's, b's, e's, v's , and i's are all different than in English so I am going to try to work on one letter a week.

Exchanges with Sister Abby Walker (AZ) 

She's a "celebrity" of sorts in our family. We followed Sister Walker's blog for the months leading up to my mission

I was feeling stressed about my ability to teach this week and was struggling to enjoy Spanish. My companion has plans to live in the U.S after the mission and is working hard on her English. She wanted me to teach a lesson in English. Last night, in language study I taught her the Restoration in English and it felt so good! The words came easily and my companion was impressed and said I was a good teacher. It was so good for me to realize that yes, I do know the doctrine and have a good ability to teach, it is just harder in Spanish and I just need more patience.  I will be better with more time, practice, and experience. Afterward, Hermana Molinero tried to teach me in English. She got super frustrated and was amazed at how hard it was! Now she understands my situation a little better and now I know that my language struggles are not too out of the ordinary. After all, Spanish isn't my native language. I've decided that I am probably not going to be as good or smooth as the natives and that is just fine.

Sister Molinera and I with Sisters Ochoa and Davis 

The sisters in this picture live in the same apartment complex as us.
I was with Sister Ochoa (red shirt) in the CCM and so it has been fun talking to her. They are so fun! For district activity we played frisbee and chatted. My frisbee is really coming in handy! :)

Wow how exciting Mom. I'm so happy that you have this new job opportunity at the tennis club. And the tennis season is over already! Dad sent pictures and your hair is longer!  And just so you know, people here marvel at our family and always say how young and good-looking you and Dad are. I show pictures of the family to the members and investigators here if we are teaching about family history work or something.

Sorry its short this week- a lot of people wrote me! Love you guys!

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Week 19- Transferencias!

New Companion: Hermana Molinero (from Tucuman, Argentina)

I am now with my new companion Hermana Molinero! She has 7 months in the mission and is from Tucuman Argentina. We get along great! She is super sassy and funny and talks a lot and quickly too so I believe I am going to learn a lot of Spanish with her. While on the mission she has been having a lot of stomach problems and so far the doctors have said that now she is allergic to wheat, pototoes, onions, and milk. She isn't eating these things and is still having problems and has lost a ton of weight because of it. I am worried for her, but she is really strong and even though she often doesn't feel good, she still works really hard. She has a lot of new perspectives about the mission and I have already learned a lot from her.

As for Aldo Bonzi, I am not crazy about the area yet. I often missed San Vicente and how things used to be in my training. There are pretty parts, but then there are a few "villas" which are neighborhoods that are really poor and dangerous. Seriously it is so sad and the houses are even worse than what I saw in San Vicente. I have to be more alert and remember which parts of the area are dangerous especially at night which wasn't a problem in San Vicente. I wish I could take pictures, but it would not be very smart to take my camera out while we are out and about. Maybe you guys can look on Google maps to get a feel for how poor areas of Argentina are. This week I was trying to learn the area quickly because already on this coming Wednesday I have exchanges and I have to guide the area! I will be with Hermana Walker! Do you and dad still follow her blog?

Anyway, it is a ward here with about 70 active members, but they aren't as supportive of the missionaries. :( We only are fed lunch about half the time which is so frustrating for me we are really tight on money. I really don't want to use my personal money but I might have to this month.

As for the work, we are teaching a lot more than we ever did in San Vicente! People actually let us in. We taught 11 lessons this week and it's looking like we are going to have a person who wants to be baptized this month. This part was great and Hermana Molinero is a fantastic teacher. She knows the scriptures so well and is very clear and direct with the gospel principles in the lessons. 

Some of the lessons that stood out to me: 

We were teaching a 21 year-old less active member whose mother had died from cancer 2 days before. It was really powerful to testify about the Plan of Salvation and give her hope for the future. I couldn't imagine being in her situation. She now lives alone and doesn't have family nearby. Yet, she came to church as well as 2 of our other investigators. Another lesson was an old couple of 82 and 84 years old and the wife was in a wheel chair.  She wanted so badly to be able to walk again and I loved hearing my companion promise her that through the resurrection, her body would be perfect and that she will be able to walk again. 

Another lady was really really poor. She lived in a shack, didn't have light, electricity, or very many belongings and her work was cutting grass by hand. She said she often didn't have food and told us about her life and how difficult it was. Yet she still had so much faith and love for God and that things would be better in the next life. 

Another lesson was with a family that had 4 kids and one was a member so the 11 year old girl helped us teach her family. It was fun to teach the kids and get them excited about the Restoration of the gospel. It reminded me how much I love kids.

Note to Mom:
Okay mom, I talked to more missionaries here and they said that if you go to this link you can send me packages and that it works!  And for letters the address is

Buenos Aires South Mission
Quintana 447
1846 Adrogue
Buenos Aires Argentina

Here is a list of options I would LOVE to receive in a package from home! (I already bought a backpack this week)

Chocolate- a variety of Hersheys- the candy here is not the same!
Jif Peanut Butter
Exersize DVD- every pench has a DVD player.
a new outfit or two!
and last but now least I would love a CD or DVD of videos of the family or Dean and the other kids singing or something like that! :) If possible :):)

Monday, October 3, 2016

Week 18- General Conference and Transfers!

So Conference was so great wasn't it? We had to travel an hour by bus to the stake center to watch it and it was in English for the American missionaries for every session except for the Women's session. This made Conference a whole day event for two days. I couldn't understand the woman translator very well, but I could understand pretty well the male translator for President Uchtdorf. It didn't help that we watched this session on Saturday morning right before we found out transfers so I couldn't concentrate very well. 

For this next transfer I am leaving San Vicente and going to Aldo Bonzi with an Hermana Molinero from Argentina. In an hour I will be driven there and meet her and start all over in a new area! This area was Hermana Abate Daga's first area so she was able to tell me all about it and show me lots of pictures. It is all city, all walking, with a huge pench (apartment) and another pair of hermanas living in a neighboring apartment. At first I was sad to be leaving but now it feels right. This weekend was crazy with members and missionaries writing goodbye notes in my journal, packing, and conference. On Sunday after Conference we and the Elders from San Vicente ate dinner with the Campagna Family and then said goodbye to the Fernandez Family who had been baptized in August. Elder Perkins is leaving too and so we had to say our last words and everyone was in tears in both families. 

     The Spirit was so strong as we and the members testified about the blessings of the gospel and remembered the good times we had together. I was surprised how easily the words came for my speech and I was touched as they told me in their tears how much they loved me and appreciated my work and were going to miss me. Despite the language barrier and although I had often wondered if I had made a difference, I really had and they are sweet friends. They were such tender moments and I love them so much and it is so bittersweet to leave.

I am out of time. Aldo Bonzi here I come! 

To JJ:

Thank you so much JJ! It is so beautiful! I love it when I receive messages and pictures from you! When my companion, Hna. Abate Daga saw it, she was really impressed and said Wow Su hermana es una genia! which means Your sister is a a genius in English! Keep up the good work! Is 2nd grade harder than 1st grade? I love you and miss you!

To Aaron:
Thank you Aaron! My Spanish is coming along well and I am happy with my progress! I can speak without having to think so hard and people can understand me better! I have not gone to the temple since I was in the CCM but now I will live a 20 minute walk away from the temple! Woah I didnt realize that you are in 2nd grade! You are getting so big! How do you like school? Is it better or worse than 1st grade?

On Sun, Oct 2, 2016 at 11:50 PM, Aaron McBride <> wrote:

Hay audery I herd your partner is a butey quine.  But how is your Spanish going.have you gon to the temple.In secant grade my teacher is misis visacaro.                                                         

 So I was talking to Elder Perkins from Arizona and he said that his parents tried to send him a package and it was send back to them, so I don´t know if packages can be sent. Hermana Manner received one of those big yellow envelopes stuffed with letters, so that should work! Hermana Shepherd said that she knows of a guy who lives in Argentina who has a business of receiving American packages for missionaries and then forwards it to the mission home! I still haven}t received the name and address from her yet but maybe that will work! I don't need anything yet, but I would love vitamins and a backpack- we can use them after all. Ill try to think of more things. I could buy these things here if I take out money from my credit card from home.

                                         Goodbyes from San Vicente (Elder Perkins also being transferred)
 Hermana McBride and Hermana Shepherd