Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Week 26: Crazy Week: Unexpected Change

Wow this week was LOCO! On Friday night the assistentes of the president called us and said that they are closing Aldo Bonzi for hermanas. We were also informed that on Sunday Hermana Molinero and I are going to be transferred to Cañuelas and that Hermana Ortiz is going to Monte Grande. It is week 3 in the transfer and we have no idea why we had to leave our area in the middle of the transfer, but after a busy weekend of saying goodbye to the members and all of our investigators :( and packing we are now here in Cañuelas getting lost in a new area! I was so sad to leave Aldo Bonzi after just 2 months but I had no say in the situation.

The pictures are with members. I love them so much and cherish my short 2 months in Aldo Bonzi. Right when I was getting comfortable, knew the area pretty well, loved the members, and was at my peak of happiness in Aldo Bonzi I had to leave. I have never felt like I had such little control of my life. We had plans for my birthday and Christmas with people and now we had to cancel everything.

There are a lot more pictures but these computers are bad again like in San Vicente. Cañuelas is a small country town like San Vicente and I am feeling good in this new area. I didn't want to leave, but now I am here and have to make the best of the situation. I only had this morning to see the area but so far it is pretty and the people are generally more friendly than they were in Aldo Bonzi. It is a branch here and we are taking over an area that belonged to Elders that had to change areas too. They left the pench clean and organized with food and notes about 10 investigators.  Many of them have baptismal dates so it seems as if there is potencial for success here.

Before the call of the changes, the week was so good. One day we made divisions with a member Hna. Rossella who is a saint. She always gave us the best lunches and has a really special light and testimony. She joined the church about 9 years ago and now works in the Stake Relief Society. She has 3 kids and is so incredibly nice. She is one of my favorite people from Aldo Bonzi and I got a whole afternoon with her all to myself! I got to guide the area and we taught an investigator together and spoke to people in the street. And she bought me ice cream! That day is one of my favorites in the mission. Seriously I was loving my life in Aldo Bonzi.

We also were able to do service for two different member families, helping one move and helping another sand and paint their cement walls. We also taught 6 lessons and our investigadors were so good. The work was really progressing and I am so sad to leave our investigators. We didn't have time to say goodbye to a lot of them. There still are Elders but they already have a ton of work in their area and our investigators are all women so the Elders can´t teach them without another guy present and it is hard to find members to accompany the Elders.


Wow, it sounds like you had a great weekend in Philly! The temple is beautiful! I miss the temple so much on the mission and I cannot wait to go again. This was a great week to put my name on the prayer roll of the temple. This surprise change of areas is quite the experience and it is exhausting.

I am not worried about the package- I am excited to receive it but I am going to be so busy in Cañuelas meeting all the members and investigators and getting accustomed to the new area that I won't have a lot of time to think about it. Seriously the time is passing so fast! November flew by in record time! Oh and today marks one year until I come home! It really isn't that much time, right?

Thank you for the history of the church in South America.  It is so interesting and gives me more hope for the growth of the church here. 

Below are pictures of my district and my wonderful ward members and families in the Aldo Bonzi Ward. I'm sad to leave them but grateful for the blessing of getting to know them in my two short months in the ward:

Monday, November 21, 2016

Week 25: Trio Life, Faith & Action Difusses Conflict

This week was full of ups and downs too! Hermana Molinero and I were nervous, then excited about training. On Monday night, our neighbor Hermana Davis was in a trio with us because she is training too. Tuesday morning she curled my hair and we traveled to Banfield to be trained to be trainers.
Hermana Davis Curled my Hair!

Hermana Molinero & Hermana Davis waiting for Bus to Banfield

      The meeting was so good and I felt really humble to be with all the other trainers- all of whom except one had more time and experience in the mission than I. The assistants to the president told us that we are the leaders of the mission and that we have a big responsibility to teach the new missionaries correctly. At around 4:30 in the afternoon all the trainers sang "Called to Serve" (Llamados a Servir) as the new missionaries walked in the chapel. Then Pres. Calquin paired us up. There was such anticipacion and I remembered when I first met my trainer. We have Hermana Ortiz from Columbia! She is 20 years old, is serious, but has her sassy moments, and is the only active member of the church in her family. 

Hermana Ortiz from Columbia finds her bed had been Heart-Attacked

She was just reactivated in the church in January of this year and decided to leave for the mission. She has a lot of knowledge about the church and doesn't have problems talking to people in the streets. The first 3 days I had a hard time understanding her because she has a different accent and she talks sooo fast!

Hermana Molinero, Hermana McBride, Hermana Ortiz

On Thursday I had a good cry session. I felt inadequate to be a part trainer of Hna. Ortiz and felt frustrated with the language. Being the tall "Gringa" with two petite Latinas who already can speak perfectly wasn't easy. I felt like Hermana Ortiz didn't respect me because I couldn't express myself as well as them. At first Hna. Molinero and her got a long really well and I was kind of the odd one out. But I realized I need to stop comparing myself to them and just be me! I can only try my best and be an example to her of obedience. 

Later on Thurday, we went on splits when a member agreed to come out with us and I was with Hna. Ortiz. In the hour and a half that we had together, we were able to find and teach 3 new investigators, and make an appointment to return with another lady. We had so much success! Now we have a better relationship and I know that she respects me.

Throughout the week I realized how needed I am in this trio because Hna. Molinero and Ortiz are both somewhat stubborn and had a few arguments. At one point we were walking silently in the street and they were both upset at each other and it was sooo uncomfortable. I prayed that I could know how to fix this situation. Afterwards I just started talking to every person in the street we saw about the church. After a few people, they started doing the same and after a time, the discomfort disappeared and we were we were laughing. I knew that had silently forgiven each other. That day I made a contact with a lady who is amazing and now a progressing investigator and I grew in my confidence in talking to people. I felt so good sharing my testimony with the people and even though most people rejected us, I knew I had done everything I could that day to share the gospel.

During the 3 months of training, we have to do 4 hours of studying a day which means less time in the heat! It wasn't too hot this week, but it will be nice to be able to study in the hottest parts of the day as the summer comes. Language study is one of my favorite parts of the day because they both want to learn English, so I am enjoying helping them in this aspect. I am the one that actually knows things!  We just have to be careful that I can study my Spanish too! 

The time is passing so fast- I reached a new level of happiness in the mission this week and I think it was because I was thinking about helping and caring for Hna. Ortiz in place of thinking about myself. 

I love you guys so much! Almost a month until Navidad! :)

[AUDREY included this post-script in Spanish]:
 Mucho besos! Tengo que ir ahora, pero les amo un munton! :) Estaba pensando que quizas debo escribir un poco mas en Español a ustedes para que pueden reconocer que eso es la unica tiempo en que estoy pensando en Ingles! En serio, mi cuesta a hablar en Ingles ahora! Es increible como la mente puede aprender y cambiar. Hace 5 meses yo no sabia nada de Español!

"Much love & kisses! I have to go now but I love you and Mom a TON! I was thinking that I wanted to write to you more in Spanish so that you could recognize that this is the only time of the week that I am thinking in English! Seriously, it is hard for me to speak Englsih now! It is incredible that the mind can learn and change. It's only been 5 months that I didn't know hardly anything in Spanish!

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Week 24: Changes Coming this Week

 The upcoming transfers are going to be crazy!!! We were so surprised when we heard what is going to happen in Aldo Bonzi!All week we were so nervous about what was going to happen and we thought we had evaluated all of our options, but we were dead wrong. 
 Hermana Ochoa (Cordoba, Argentina) & Hermana Davis (Nevada) 
They are so fun and it is so great to have them nearby.
It was the last week of the transfer so every night we went over to our neighboring hermanas house to chat in our hour of personal time before bed because we knew changes were coming.

Hermana Molinero and I are going to be together again... and we will be receiving a new missionary straight from the CCM and will be training her together as a trio!!! Crazy, right? The only trio in the mission. We have a training meeting tomorrow and will meet her tomorrow- we don't know who our new companion will be! At first I didn't like the idea, but now I am excited and I feel like I will learn a lot in the coming weeks!

So on Wednesday Hermana Davis called at 8:30am during personal study time to announce that Trump had won the election. A member in her ward had called her to keep her up to date. Every house we went to that day had the news on watching updates about the election. All this week, people in the street would stop me and ask what I thought about Trump. I guess it is pretty obvious that I am not from here. It was great- we contacted more people  and it helped us teach more people about Christ. 

A young single adult member brought a friend to church last week named Melody. She came to church again this week and we are teaching her. She is our only progressing investigator and we are hoping that she will be baptized in the next month! The other exciting thing that happened is that a less active member named Gisella (21 year old) accepted to accompany us and came with us for 4 hours in the afternoon. All of our appointments fell through so we were just walking and making contacts, but it is so great that she is opening up to us a little more. We have been visiting her a lot since her mom died from cancer a month ago and she is continually coming to church. It is a blessing to see her turn to the gospel and gain strength in this hard time of her life.

Yesterday we did service as we helped a member family clean a house that they are going to move into. We were so excited that somebody actually accepted our offer to serve and that we could help them out! They have to paint, pack, and move in a month so we will be helping them more in the coming weeks.

Thank you for writing me! I hope this week goes well for everyone! I pray for you guys every night!

Lots of love, 

Hermana McBride

We made Zone t-shirts. Pictured is my district leader (the taller one) and his companion 

My District

Dulce de Leche! :) 

To Mom: What a spiritual week you and Dad had! I wish I could go to the temple. For my mission we aren't permitted to go to the temple even though right now it is 20 minutes away from me. :( And yes, I will be able to Skype on Christmas. I will still be here in Aldo Bonzi and we have already arranged with a member family to use their computer.

To JJ: I miss you too JJ! There is a girl in my ward here that reminds me of you and I miss you a lot whenever she walks by in her cute dresses just like you had. I am so glad you like school because there are a lot of years more that you have to study in school! You are so smart and beautiful and I am so glad you are my sister! BFFS forever! Literally- I teach people every week that families can be together forever and I believe it!

Monday, November 7, 2016

Week 23: Learning to Listen to the Spirit of the Lord

I feel very blessed that I haven´t been sick or anything. A lot of other hermanas have been getting sick or have back or feet problems. My compi still struggles with her stomach problems. We went to the doctor and they are going to do the thing where they put camera down her throat. She now can't eat wheat, milk, potatoes, tomatoes, or onions. Even without these things her stomach is almost always uneasy. She thinks it might be stress too. She has lost 25 pounds in the last 5 months and has to pin all of her skirts because they are too big. I feel so bad for her.

 My companion doesn't have a good steady home so I am continually grateful for mine. Her parents are divorced, and all are inactive in the Church. Her mom didn't want her to serve a mission and still doesn't talk to her. Her dad is really busy and hardly writes either. Hna Molinero and her 2 sisters and brother (she is the oldest) had to live for a time with her aunt, then with her grandma because her mom's house wasn't a steady or a happy place to live. How difficult! We will find out this upcoming Saturday in transfers if I will get a new comp. We are both anxious to hear what changes are going to happen! We had a good week together this week and are enjoying our time together now.

Hermana Molinero & I

We are having lunch with members everyday. Since Hermana Molinero can't eat many things, we are eating a lot of rice with chicken or beef with salad. Other popular foods are empanadas- I can´t think of how to describe it in English, milanaisa- a fried chicken patty type thing, pizza, lots of beef, pork, pastas, potatoes or chicken. A lot of the food is fried and people don't use seasonings other than salt here, so everything is pretty plain. I haven't tried anything weird yet, but the Elders in our ward ate cow stomach and intestines this week.

And yes I still have to wash my clothes by hand! See below:

Is it getting cold yet in PA? It got so hot here this week! Our apartment doesn't have an air conditioner or blinds and it is so miserable! The pench is so hot and it is hard to sleep. We only have one fan and I feel so gross all the time. My favorite thing right now is a cold shower. I am going to die in the summer here! The sun is so strong and piercing. I heard it got up to 34 degrees C here (about 93 degrees F.) 

This week we did two Family Home Evenings with two awesome families who are members of the ward. We had to make up fun lessons because they both had small kids. Both went so well and I love the families so much! I remember when the missionaries at home did fun object lessons and it is amazing that now this is my role!

I had "tramittes" (visa paperwork appointment) again this week and Hermana Molinero had a doctor´s appointment the day before. We stayed a night in the pench of the same Hermanas as a few weeks ago to minimize travel time. We made divisions again so I was with Hermana Menezes from Brazil. We only could work for 4 hours but we saw so many miracles! We had a goal to talk to younger people because a lot of times, we think it is easier to talk to the grandpas than the teenagers. We suppose that the teenagers aren't interested, when really the teenagers are more likely to change and we can teach their families too! Throughout the afternoon, we met 3 really nice teenagers who all gave us their address and telephone number and we made an appointment to come back to teach them.

 One time there was a young couple sitting in front of a house across the street from a future investigator. After we contacted him, we walked passed the couple and turned the corner. Hermana Menezes stopped me and said she felt really strongly that we needed to go talk to the couple but that she was scared. I said that this was more reason to go talk to them because the Adversary is working against us the hardest right before something good is about to happen. So after a deep breath, we turned the corner again, but the couple had disappeared! Afraid that we had missed our opportunity, we knocked on the door that they had been sitting in front of and a girl who was 15 years old answered and was so open to our message. She agreed for us to teach her a lesson right then and accepted to come to church as well as a baptismal date. She was so ready and loved our lesson. We were both so happy that we had followed the Spirit! 

Afterwards Hermana Menezes felt that she should visit a less active family that wasn't in the plans and was a 15 minute bus ride away. We went and were able to teach them and afterward we saw another less active member in the street. She invited us to come and teach her too! She had been having trouble with her spouse and I think we really helped her feel more peace and hope for the future and helped her remember her testimony. At the end of the day, we were amazed that we were able to teach 3 lessons and have such success. The key is to listen to the Spirit and then act!

Great news! There was a baptism this week of Nahuel & Nazareno Hermana in my previous area of San Vicente.  Hma. Abate Daga and I found them and were teaching them before I left! 

Nahuel & Nazareno along with Hma Abate Daga & her Companion
The parents also want to be baptized but will have to get married before they can proceed but both desire it!
Aww I am so happy!
Wonderful Cake for their Baptism!

To Family:
Wow Coleman is so tall- taller than you? And now Dean is taller than Mom? How tall are they both now? And mom is looking better than ever- so thin and gorgeous! You look handsome and tan as well Dad:) I am so proud of my family!

 Following Dean & Coleman's performance of Pride & Prejudice