Monday, September 29, 2014

5th Week in Parque Patricios

Hey all! This one is going to have to be quick, but hopefully enjoyable to read through as well:)
 (huge thanks to the wonderful people in Argentina who love taking photos of my daughter and sharing them with me so I can share on her blog!)

Brenda and I

Sept 22nd: For P-day we went to Once with Brenda, which is a collection of a lot of different vendors and stores. I got my own mate´
 A Mate' Gourd

for which I'm sure those who served in Argentina will appreciate;), (I asked if she meant she drank Mate and she said "of course not, that's against the rules,"  a soccer jersey, and an Argentine ring:) I also snacked with Brenda as we walked around;) I eat a lot of rice, empanadas, and a ton of meat. Meat at every meal almost. Chicken. We have lunch with the Montiel's almost every Sunday and the Pucheta's give us dinner every night, as people around here don't really eat dinner. Lunch is the big meal, and we eat that with various families throughout the week.

At the end of our shopping ventures we each got a dress; mine is blue with red floral designs. After going about and working we had Family Home Evening with the Puchetas's, all in all one of my favorite P^day's in the mission so far:)
Pictures of Once last P-day


in Argentina

Sept 23rd: My first time going on Divisions! I was companions with Hermana Henriquez of Chacabuco for the day. We met with one member to discuss various things. She works in a Paneria, and we got free facturas, which instantly made me a big fan of the woman;) It was extremely interesting to work with someone else, especially someone who's a native spanish speaker. My MTC teachers will be pleased to know that my HSI (Habla su idioma: Speak your language) was Perfect all day;) Especially as there was no alternative.

Sept 24th: Back in my beloved Parque Patricios! I didn't realize how much I appreciated my area until I had to leave it, and was glad to be back with the members and investigators that I know and love:) We visited with Milagros again in the afternoon and once again invited her to church. Unfortunately, once again she didn't make it... I'm not sure if she truly understands why going to church is so important.

I can honestly say I didn't know just how important it was until coming out here on the mission. It truly is the backbone for a lot of our spiritual strength and something we would all do well to improve in. If not attending, then getting more out of our attendance. 

We also visited with Zulma, my only convert as of yet:) Our last encounter of the day was Alice, an 80 something year old woman. We explained a little bit about what missionaries were and she wanted to offer us money and invite us over for treats... interesting of her, but kind none the less:)

Sept 25th: I finally got to do service for someone in the ward! We did a service project for a new family of the ward, the familia Jimenez.  

 At the Torres, outside of where they did service


 Beautiful view from the window of la familia

 It poured as we were working inside taking off a very scary shade of orange paint, and I was thankful to have a roof over my head. It felt good to work hard for someone else. The chances we have to do service for the members here is scarce, as they never want us to do anything for them! We're working on changing that though, and I hope we can find and create more opportunities for service in the future. We then went to the Pucheta's to meet up with Brenda and Fatima. 

As we had two members with us, we decided to split up and go on divisions, myself with Fatima. We went over to visit Anita and Domingo. Hermana Arnsten had planned on us teaching the law of chastity... fun, no? It was so interesting being the one¨´in charge´´. We talked about how their reading in the Book of Mormon had gone and explained how to better receive revelation through it.

We also taught the law of chastity. Fatima saved me a couple times, as I've never really taught this and it's a fun one even if you have taught it multiple times. However, during the lesson I felt the spirit, and I could tell they could to. When we asked them if they would live the law of chastity Anita bore testimony of why it was important to her and how she wanted to live and that she knew it would be a great blessing for their family. I would like nothing more than to see this cute couple in the temple, married for time and all eternity.

Sept 26th: Trametes! Or, in other words, beginning the process of being legal here in Argentina. That took up most of the morning, and afterwards we went over to the Capella (church)with the Pucheta's. We taught Zulma later, and as I was talking to her about 1 Nefi 8 and Lehi's vision she pointed out that she liked my butterfly ring. I asked her if she wanted it. She protested, telling me that it was my ring and she didn't want me to be without it, but I insisted, telling her that as long as she promised to keep it safe it was hers. I really felt like her and I bonded tonight as we talked about the picture I'm going to draw for her about 1 Nephi 8. I have a great love for her and hope she remains faithful to the church for the rest of her life, as it will be such a blessing for the generations that will follow. 

Picture I drew for Zulma

Sept 27th: We headed over to the Capilla today and there  helped Zulma with her talk that she gave this Sunday and I also gave her a drawing I made her of Lehi's vision in Nephi 8. It turned out really well, better than I thought it would, and she loved it, which was what really mattered. We also visited Hermana Nelly and invited her and her family to the missionary farewell that was to take place the following day. We talked about the temple and I shared 1 Cor. 10:13, about God not giving us more than we can handle, and how he always gives us a way to overcome. One of these ways to overcome, I explained, was through going to the temple.
Missionary Farewell

Yesterday we had a delicious lunch before heading over to the missionary farewell. As I listened to the missionaries bearing their testimonies and watched the videos over Joseph's first vision and Christ's visit to the Americas I couldn't help but feel that the end of my mission is going to come so fast. I know I still have 16 some months, but how close that is already! And how much I've already changed! It's truly a miracle. On the long travel back I got to talk with Brenda. How cool to have a conversation, in another language, be understood, and to have the ability to respond! It is truly a miracle that the Lord has blessed me with.

I love this gospel and I love my Savior, and I am so excited for General Conference that is coming up this week! Do everything you can to see all of it, as I can personally testify that it can and will change your life.
Love you all so much!
Hermana Mallory Dickson:)

Monday, September 22, 2014

4th week in Parque Patricios Argentina

Querida Amigos y Familia, yo espero que todos tienen salud y sentir el amor yo tengo para cada uno de ustedes. Son en mis oraciones siempre.

La Capilla Abierta (the open house we did last week)

A lot to report on this week, and as usual not a lot of time to get it all down! That, and I write a lot, so bear with me. (We are so grateful that Mallory's job at the BYU faculty center last year increased her ability to type super fast so she is able to share so much with us in the little time she has to write!)
September 15th: This was the last Pday we had. After emailing we headed over to the church in Chacabuco and played soccer/volleyball and had some delicious taco pancake things. We also stopped by the Puchetas per the norm to get our fingernails painted. Hermana Pucheta decided a soft purple with white flowers would be perfect for me. I'm not one to go that girly, but it's cool to go over to their place every Monday and get our nails painted in different ways.

Beautiful nails and great milk shakes!

The Pucheta family is truly a second family to me, and I've really gotten to know the whole family really well! I'm certainly very thankful for them and all that they do for us, like keeping us fed and giving us dinner every night. (Her family is very grateful too!!!)
September 16th: We had Zone Conference today, which consisted of jumping in and out of the shower, scarfing down a bowl of cereal and catching the collectivo/subte to meet up with the other people in our Zone. When we got to Linears, where the conference would be, we had facturas (delicious donut like things) and juice before listening to a talk by Uchtdorf and listening to President and Hermana Ayres. Their focus was on the Book of Mormon, which instantly drew my attention, as it is through this book that I know Christ and have a testimony of Christ and this church. I know how important it is and how key it is to every person's conversion to Christ. After the meetings we were each given our own, individual pizza. I didn't make it through the whole thing, but I tried;)

Later we got to teach Miguel and his family for the first time, which was such a powerful and spiritual experience! He actually opened the door, and invited us in! This in itself was a momentous occasion. However, upon entering things only continued to improve. We talked about the Restoration of the Gospel, and I was priviledged to talk about Joseph Smith. I shared in the prophet's own words his experience: Vi una columna de luz, mas brillante que el sol, directamente arriba de mi cabeza. Y esta luz gradualmente descendio hasta descansar sobre me. Al reposar sobre mi la luz, vi en el aire arriba de mi a dos personayes, cuyo fulgor y gloria no admitten descripcion. Un de ellos me hablo, llamandome por me nombre, y dijo, senanlando al otro, Este es mi hijo amado. Eschuchalo! Much harder to type out than to say! The spirit was so strong as I shared this, and I could feel that Miguel and Monica could feel it as well. I also bore my testimony about the book of Mormon, especially the power of 3rd Nephi 11, and we invited him to read it and to pray about it. We ended the lesson with a kneeling prayer that Brenda Pucheta gave. It was such a beautiful experience, and seemed like a CCM lesson, everything worked out so well.

This was also my 2nd month anniversary in the mission! I had ice cream for my first time in Argentina to celebrate. We were with Guillermo and Brenda, and I can easily say that the ice cream in Argentina is just as good as that in America;)

 September 18th: For studies in the morning I decided to read over 3rd Nephi 11 in my Spanish book of Mormon, to refresh myself for when we would teach Miguel and Monica again. It was such a cool and different experience in a different language and with the view of a missionary! I highly recommend studying this chapter. Such powerful insights over the Holy Ghost and how we feel it, Baptism, and Missionary Work. And these are just a couple.

September 19th: Lot to report on from this day! First off we had lunch with the Bishop's wife and their kids. They were watching the Lego Movie in spanish, which brought back fond memories. As we were finishing up the food, which was spectacular, the daughter of the bishop came in with two of her friends. We were just about to share a spiritual message. I had had one scripture picked out, but changed in favor of the two nonmembers we now had. I shared 3rd Nephi 11: 10-11, and bore my testimony over it. It wasn't anything big or long, but as we left one of the girls thanked me. I think maybe the spirit had been given the opportunity to touch her heart. I hope so.
After this we visited Milagros, a less active member. We had the chance to hear a lot about her life, and then invited her to come to church. 

Then we had our appointment with Miguel and Monica! Brenda wasn't sure if they'd be there or open the door, as it had seemed too good to be true the first time, but Miguel was there and invited us into their living room. Monica wasn't there, and he explained that they were seperated and that he was taking care of most of the kids alone and working as well as managing the house. Talk about a hard working father. We talked about 3rd Nephi 11 and how his reading had went and then talked about baptism. We invited him to be baptized and set up a date of the 5th. As all of this was going on the spirit felt so strong. I invited him to read Alma 32 about experimenting on the faith, and we ended with a kneeling prayer that he offered. In it he prayed to know quickly and soon as to whether or not baptism was right for him and to recieve an answer as to whether this path was right, as he thought it was the right path for him. I'm sure I was glowing as he said that, the spirit was so warm and present.
To top off a great day we got milkshakes with Brenda. :) (Picture of milkshake above)

September 20th: One of the cool events of this day was visiting by Hermana Nelly. We've been by quite a few times, for lunch or just to talk, but this time her nonmember husband was there. We had met him at the Capilla Abierta and he had seemed really nice. Once again he seemed really nice, and talked with us. He takes his son to seminary every morning at 6am and listens to the lessons. I really hope that the spirit can touch his heart and that he can develop a desire to join the faith that his family has been a part of. I have faith that this is possible, as all things are possible with God. That night while we were at the Capilla Brenda talked to me about the mission. There wasn't a lot I could do to help, but I could listen and offer her a hug. She's working on her papers right now and Satan seems to be working just as hard on her, trying to disuade her. I hope she can push through and go on a mission. It would be such a blessing, not only for her and the people she would serve, but also for her wonderful family. I love her so much and pray for her.
Brenda is Wonderful!

September 21st: This morning we went on splits, I with Brenda and my companion with Fatima to pick up our various investigators for church. Brenda and I were going to look for Miguel and for Raquel. Both fell through for one reason or another, but when we got to church we saw that Domingo had made it. 

After church and a baptism of the Elders we went to the Montiel's, where we had a meal fit for kings as we usually do. They're another family that I really feel has taken me in here and I feel very comfortable and at home when I'm with them. 

At the end of the day we walked over to John's to visit him. He seemed a little down. I felt inspired to share Doctrine and Covenants 6:10-11 with him, about our gifts and how they come from God. I told him that one of his spiritual gifts from Father was sharing the gospel with others and how he was an example to me of this. I felt the spirit and I hope he did too. He did seem in higher spirits when we left:)

Serving at the hospital last week
Mallory is front and center

The most significant thing that happened this week was a revelation of sorts, or an eyeopening thought. I realized that through these first two months on my mission how much I have changed. How much I have grown to know and have a personal relationship with Christ. This is something I never really understood until coming out here. Until having these experiences, meeting these people, having times of feeling so insufficient and lost. The church, the Savior, and the prophets have become so much more precious in my eyes. I wouldn't give this up for the world and I couldn't have found it any other way.

I love this church. I know without a doubt that it is true and that it is the church of Jesus Christ once again on the earth. I am as sure in this knowledge as I am in my knowledge of who I am, Mallory Lynn Dickson.

I love you all and pray for you. 
Hermana Dickson 

Monday, September 15, 2014

3rd Week in Parque Patricios, Argentina

Buenos Dias Familia, Amigos, y todos! Hopefully this week my grand email will be a little less scattered, although, never fear, as it will always be random;) 

(Since a missionary in Mallory's zone was robbed she is not feeling like it's a good idea to have her camera with her much so I have once again searched out some pictures that are either from the past or related to things she's mentioned or are of her area.)

On the 8th, last Preparation Day, we played futbol as a District. I'm not big on futbol, as in I'm not very talented like my brother, Reed, but I managed to block the talented people and only got smacked in the face with the ball once! I know, if you're jealous of my mad skills I understand. We played outside of the chapel in the courtyard and played on concrete. After PDay was over (ends at 6) we had to take the subte to pay the rent. The Subte, or the Subway, is all fine and dandy, if you don't mind being a literal sardine for 30 minutes or so. Personal bubble? Forget it. Trying to find some oxygen to breathe is a struggle enough. Hermana Arntsen and I barely made it on the Subte, and I was completely pressed up against the door when we took off. When we stopped a little while later to squeeze more people in somewhere I got pushed out of the train and had to fight my way back on. There was no way I was getting seperated from my comp, as she's my lifeline out here in every respect. I might have angered one lady, but I couldn't understand what she was saying anyway, and I was Getting on that train. After my couple subte experiences, I have to say I like the collectivo better, or the bus. Which is saying something. I trust my feet the most out of the transportation here.  
The Subte in Parque Patricios

 (What it looks like empty. Must have been taken before it was in service!)

September 9th: I woke up to a huge storm! It sounded like someone had opened our window and was throwing marbles at the closet door. Needless to say, I was very glad to be inside rather than tromping through it. We had a district meeting at the other chapel and discussed the four points. The first one really stuck out to me, How to build up the member's faith. They talked about the importance of working with the members to find and teach people. That really is the key, and I had no clue until I became a missionary. If the missionaries and the members all over the world would work more together we would have 10 times the sucess we have now and an incredible raise in retention rates. My companion and I are trying to think of more ways to work with the members, and yet build up their faith as well. I also thought a lot about how to leave my area better off than when I arrived. I know that people here have been prepared for me, and that I am in this exact area to make some kind of difference. Time will show what that difference is, and I may not see a lot of it in this next year and a half. I hope to make some big differences that I can see while I'm here and also plant a lot of seeds for future missionaries.
 Artwork near the subte
September 10th: At the end of the day my companion and I visited with a less active member named Cesar. He seemed to have faith in the church, and stated that it was the one true church and that he had a testimony of it. However, he's had a rough life and is around a lot of bad influences. A lot was keeping him down. I had the opportunity to share about the expiacion, or the atonement, of Christ, and that it is the only way we can have the strength and the ability to endure that we need in this life. As we talked to him tears came to him, and I wanted to give him a hug and comfort him. It was clear he wanted to change and to rise above his circumstances but that he didn't know how, and that he didn't have the strength on his own. He didn't need a hug from me, he needed a hug from the Savior. As I have been out here the thing I have learned the most about is the atonement of our Savior, Jesus Christ. What power it has! For ALL people, for all afflictions and trials and temptations and weaknesses. For all sorrow and sin. This atonement is for us. It's the only way to have peace. I know this because I have lived it! My first week in Argentina was rough. I felt alone and like I had no where to turn to at times. I felt fear and I didn't know how to overcome it or even why it was there. It was overpowering and I needed help. And This is what the atonement is for. Because we can't do it on our own. And we need constant help, everyday and in every instance. And this is the atonement. I wish I could do my feelings over this justice, but as I can't I can only state that the key to everything I hold dear and want is the atonement of Jesus Christ.

September 12th: Today I got to see all of my district again! I just about died of happiness. Seeing my hermanas was certainly the highlight of the week. When I gave Hermana Johnson a hug I cried, I was just so happy to see her. It was such a relief and a blessing to see that they were all in good health and seemed to be adapting well. I certainly thanked Father for this great blessing. I had an amazing district in the MTC and I love them dearly, and I was so happy to see them and to see them in good health and spirits. So far a lot of us have been sick, two have been bitten by dogs, and one has gotten robbed, but the Lord has taken care of us. From my MTC district Elder Laudie is in my district and Elder Long is in my zone. It's really nice to be will some people I know let me tell you :)!
 We got to hear from President and Hermana Ayres, in which they talked about how the mission is like a mountain. In the MTC you can see the mountain, and you marvel at how beautiful it is. Then you enter the mission field and get on the mountain, and the top is no longer in sight. All you can see is a steep incline, rocks, and no end. And it is in this time where you struggle and grow the most. Lucky me, this is where I am currently:P However, at about 9 months for a sister missionary, when you are half way through your mission, you can see where you came from, and you can see down the other side of the mountain to the end, to the real world once more. And the view is beautiful and terrifying. After that the time flies by, just as the journey down the mountain is much quicker than the ascent. President explained all of this very animatedly and it was a fun little talk. We then had a wonderful lunch together of chicken, rice, and bread. I got to sit by Hermana Hawkins and we got to catch up. I also got to tell the story of the lost llaves to my Hermanas, which was a lot of fun. I felt a lot more like myself after talking and catching up with them. 
We also taught Adriana today. While we were talking about the Restauration I felt very strongly that I NEEDED to give her a Book of Mormon and invite her to read 3Nephi 11. So, I did. I asked her is she would be open to reading a chapter in the book of mormon, I then bore my testimony of the book and handed it to her. For those of you who don`t know, I don't speak a whole lot in lessons yet, so this was a big deal, and the spirit was very strong as I did so.
We also visited with John, a Recent Convert, and talked about the Atonement. Once again I felt how strong it was and how much I needed it, and every one else needs it. John then came with us as we went out to give out invitations to the Capilla Abierta. We had a lot of invitations and Hermana A wanted to give them all out that night, as the activity was the following day. I'm not very good at going up to random people and inviting them to come to things in a different language, but John had no fear. Every person, no lie, that we saw on the street, whether on a bike or in a car or with headphones, he invited to the Capilla Abierta. He gave away all of his invitations in about 5 minutes! I was inspired by his courage and his willingness to share and gave a lot of mine away as well, talking to almost every person we saw. Guillermo and my companion were a little shocked, as I don't say a lot, and don't usually take the lead in talking to people on the street. But I just couldn't help it. John had inspired me, and even though I was scared and didn't really know what I was saying or how to expain the Capilla Abierta I invited almost all I saw, and felt so good afterwards. 
The Subte at night 
September 13th¨We had a service project in the morning at a hospital. It felt nice to do service and I also got to see Hermana Johnson and Hawkins again! We helped strip paint and repaint, as well as
 sand down the walls.

Service at the Hospital
Mallory is front and center

After the service project we were given sack lunches, which I happily devoured. We then took the collectivo back to our area, and I took a nap on the way. We then got fancied up for the Capilla Abierta. The Capilla Abierta was a great sucess! Basically, it's an activity where people, members and nonmembers alike, can get to know a little bit about the church and about our beliefs. We talked about prophets, the book of Mormon, the atonement of Christ, and how the gospel of Christ is meant to help families. We got 4 new investigators from it, a woman named Raquel and her three children. I taught the most than I have in all my time in Argentina at this event! We were in charge of teaching about life of Christ, Prophets, Book of Mormon, and how it blesses families, and probably went through it 6 or 7 times. I felt very inadequate, but I was thankful for the chance to teach and testify of the things we were sharing. The food was also good;)

At the Capilla Abierta

For yesterday we had Anita and Domingo, our investigators at church, and afterwards had lunch with the family Montiel as we always do:) We had hamburgers, and they were delicious! Here you eat your hambergers with the patty, the bread, a tomato, lettuce sometimes, and an egg. Actually extremely good. We then went out and spent a good 5 hours in the pouring rain. We were soaked through and it looked like I had just taken a shower my hair was so wet. Thankfully I like the rain, but it was cold. 
(A toilet that looks like a sink in Parque Patricios comparable to what Mallory described, a bidet?)
Love you all and hope this week was a little easier to follow! Praying for all of you:)
Hermana Dickson

Monday, September 8, 2014

My 2nd week in Buenos Aires Argentina!

Hola mi amigos y familia! Much love! So much has happened this week that I'm not really sure where to start. My photos wouldn't upload last week so the pictures this week will make up for that.
My MTC companion and I!

 My amazing MTC teachers!
Hermano Voss aka Oscar and Javier

Hermano Humbert aka Mario
Hermana Wilson
Hermano Roberts
Last day in America, Utah Mountains

The plane ride down to Argentina

First off, I'm finally starting to adapt to life here. Certainly still working on it at times, and the food difference has just recently hit me (not a fun experience, but that's what gatorade and medicine are for), but I feel more at peace and more at home. We had our first baptism this week! A 12 year old named Zulma was baptized and confirmed on Friday. As she got baptized I felt so much peace, and I knew that what she was doing was right, and was opening the door to so much more peace and direction in her life. However, with such a powerful, good spiritual experience the devil couldn't help but have a Little fun. We were on our way to catch the colectivo, or bus, when my companion realized she didn't have the keys. We went back to the chapel but had no luck in finding them. We asked Elder Garcia, our district leader, if he had them, as he had used them to open the font, but he said he'd given them to the Young Women's leader. We now tried to call her, sent the misión leader after her on his motorcycle, ect, but to no avail. At this point, at 10, my apprehension was starting to rise. I really just wanted to go to bed. The zone leaders then came in a taxi with a big bag of keys; naturally, none of the keys were ours. We ended up sleeping on the floor in the other sisters' apartment at about 11, 11:30. I was not a happy camper. However, as uncomfortable as the experience was, I know it was simply a test, and that I'm here to bring others peace and comfort, not myself.
Last day with Hermana Johnson in front of the Casa Rosada

 The Buenos Aires Temple
I also have started to talk and share during lessons! It's hard at times, as I don't always understand what they're saying, and I get nervous, but the Little I have shared I know has been inspired and from the Lord.
One big thing that has changed is my love for the members. I've started to get to know them better, and that has made all the difference. I feel like I have family and friends down here, and that has helped to become a lot more stable. Music also helps, as well as writing in my journal. 

View from my window

The greatest experience of the week was this Saturday, the day after the baptism and then the disaster with the keys. I needed something to boost my spirits. We were at the chapel, where all the members were gathering for their monthly temple trip. Brenda was one of them, of the family that makes us food every night and have become like a second family to me out here. We'd talked before about missions, and she had said she thought she could just stay home and be a member missionary. However, she told me that she had continued to think about it and now she wasn't sure. I told her that there was something different about being a misionary called of God, and that it was a powerful experience, and one I was thankful to be experiencing, even if it was hard at times. We continued to talk, and then she left for a Little while. When she returned she told me,
I've been praying and thinking about this for a year,  and I think you've helped me come to a conclusión. I want to serve a misión. I was overjoyed for her! I felt light and peace pierce my weary and frustrated heart and soul. Father knew just what I needed: I needed to feel like people here needed ME, my thoughts, experiences, and testimony. What a great experience. I know she'll be a great missionary and couldn't be more thrilled! 

Tacos with the zone last week!

 Jungle fruit;) (looks like a large avocado to me!)
Hopefully as I get more accustomed to things my emails will be a Little bit longer and not as random. I don't use my water bottle as often as I thought I would because there is limited access to finding bathrooms during the day. 

My desk
This experience so far has certainly been the hardest of my life, but I also know, from the few glimpses I've recieved, that it will be one of the very best. Of this I have faith. I know, very strongly, that my Redeemer lives. That Christ has suffered for my sins, my weaknesses, my fears, and that he has overcome them. When I rely on him, I Access the power to shatter them once more.  Everything we have or will go through Christ has ALREADY overcome. Think about that. Truly nothing is impossible with God.
Love you all!
Don't cry for me, Argentina;)
Hermana Dickson

Monday, September 1, 2014

First Week in Buenos Aires!

Hola friends and family!

 Si, after 6 months of waiting I am in Buenos Aires Norte, serving the Argentine people. I know everyone says that serving a mission is hard, but I didn´t really understand what that meant until I got here. Argentina is an entirely different world, with different customs, foods, language, and way of life. I think I can safely say I´ve experienced culture shock coming here. However, Argentina is a wonderful place, and I´ve already enjoyed being here. I´m serving in Parque Patricios right now, which is in the city.

(Mallory was unable to get the computer to upload her photos today so I have added stock photos of Parque Patricios from the internet of things she mentioned and the area there.)

 It´s a lot like New York in some respects. Looks of taxis, buses, people, and shops. Everything, clearly, is in Spanish, and although I learned Spanish for 6 weeks in the CCM I´m nowhere near fluent. Everyone who has heard me speak says that I speak very well, which I think is kind and somewhat generous. I can speak well enough to get my point across and bear my testimony about the gospel and about Christ, and that´s all for now. My ability to speak actually isn´t the concern: it´s understanding Argentine Spanish! Some accents are almost impossible for me to understand, while others I can understand good portions. Finding the courage to open my mouth and speak to strangers in the street in Spanish is also challenging for me. I´m not always the most outgoing person in English, but in a different country and different language I can sometimes be quite shy, although I´m working through that.

 There´s an interesting beauty and lure to the city. Some of the streets are paved like the ones back home, which others are cobble with tuffs of grass popping through. The buildings all have one thing in common: graffiti. There is no lack of human expression here. Thankfully I don´t know any cuss words or bad words in Spanish, so whatever is written I can´t understand:) The joys of being naiive;) The sidewalks are a mix of concrete and different styles of tile. In some places the tile is pretty badly broken and we have to work around it a little bit, while at other times the tiles move up when you step onto them. Buenos Aires always smells like a mix of frying food, smoke, and dog poop. Which I know, doesn´t sound terribly appealing, and at times isn´t, but it´s not too distracting.

My new companion is Hermana Megan Arnsten. She´s been on her mission for 15 months and sounds like a native, although she´s from Arizona and speaks perfect English. She´s been my lifeline as we go around the city, as I never have any idea where we are, when to get on or off the bus, or how to read any of the signs. Needless to say, I stick pretty close.

Speaking of buses, my first bus ride I have to admit I was a little terrified. Here people drive as though there isn´t a speed limit, and personally I don´t think there is one. If there is I haven´t seen signs of people knowing what it is, or an actual sign for that matter. People frequently weave around each other, and are constantly on each other´s tails as they use their horns. Meanwhile people are walking in front of and around and behind these racing cars and buses, texting and listening to music and somehow not getting ran over.  Perhaps this is just big-city life, but I wouldn´t know. It´s definitely new to me.

I live way up in an apartment overlooking the city. It already kind of feels a little like home, and I certainly love the time when I get to go to bed and curl up with my pillow pet Ammie. Best decision ever, bringing him along.
(Example of an apartment bldg. in Parque Patricios)  Mallory has been here and says it is called Torres.

Now, teaching here is nothing like teaching in the CCM. I don`t think we´ve had a sit-down, in the house lesson yet with an investigator. Very often it´s standing in their doorway, or standing in front of the house as they talk to us through the bars of their door. The lessons are always very quick and I don´t contribute a lot yet, as I really don´t understand a lot of what´s being said yet. I did bear my testimony in the street to a man, Hugo, who we ended up giving a Book of Mormon too. Since coming here it´s amazing how much closer I feel to my Father in heaven. I have been so humbled since coming here. I feel like a young child clinging to their parent´s hand. Not knowing the language, how to get anywhere, not having any close friends or basic knowledge of the world. Through it all, Christ has been so patient with me, holding my hand when a wave of homesickness hits and assuring me that I will be alright. The veil between myself and heaven feels very thin at these times, and anytime I bear my testimony I cry. I´m not a cryer, but here I can´t help it. I want so badly to share what I know, but am so limited in my ability to do so right now.

The members here are very loving and kind, although I don´t really understand what they´re saying, which kind of bugs some of them. In Argentina all the women greet you by giving you a hug and a kiss on the cheek. The guys give you a handshake or a variation of one. Something I´ve really liked is how we almost always have a member present when we teach a lesson. One of our most frequent members to come with us is Guillermo. He´s an RM and quite the sass at times.

My journey to Argentina itself was an adventure. On my last day in America (at least for a while), we got up at 4:30, as the bus came at 6. We frantically finished packing, throwing out the trash, cleaning, and getting our luggage down three flights of stairs down to the chapel where the bus would be. We then checked the weight of our luggage one more time. A white van then came, in which we loaded up our suitcases before boarding a bus and heading to the frontrunner, which certainly brought back memories of college. From there we went to the airport, where I nervously handed the man my luggage for him to weigh. 49 pounds and 50! Talk about close. We then grabbed some food and flew to Georgia, where we went in search of payphones. That itself was a mess. My first call wasn´t terribly successful, and frustrating, as I could barely hear my family on the other end of the line. 
However, Hermana Downs and I took the little subway to terminal C and found some payphones that worked. We then ran back to terminal F, where we boarded our international flight. The plane was huge! 2 seats on the left, 3 seats in the middle, and 2 on the right. The entire plane was mostly missionaries. 70 of us in total heading to Argentina. Sitting right behind Hermana Downs and myself was a lady and her two little boys. We ended up talking to her about the gospel and gave her a Book of Mormon with our testimonies inside of it. Talk about getting down to business! The flight went from 8 at night to 8 the next morning, or around that, and I tried to sleep, although I really wasn´t successful. Then we went through customs, got our luggage, and were greeted by President and Hermana Ayres! How nice it was to see Americans who spoke our language and knew their way around! They took us by the temple, the Casa Rosada (the Argentine version of the White House, but pink), and a beautiful Catholic cathedral. Then it was off to the mission home. There I got my new companion and said goodbye to three of my very best friends: Hermana Johnson, Downs, and Hawkins. I usually do ok during goodbyes, but I couldn´t help but be emotional. So much was new and everything that I was used to was gone or waving goodbye. One of the Hermanas was getting ready to leave to return to the states and was crying too. She said it was harder on her end, as she loved the people and didn´t want to leave them. Then we were literally off to put my bags in the apartment and go off and teach. The first day was very long and emotionally rough, and I couldn´t wait to take a shower and go to bed.

Life here is very different, and it´s going to take time for me to feel comfortable here, but know that I love you all and prayers would be much appreciated.
Much love,
Hermana Mallory Dickson

(I had asked Mallory some questions which she answered in her emails to me.)
(What is the bathroom like there?)  There are 2 toilets.  I use the one that looks like the kind we have there, there is also one that looks like a sink, I have not used that one.  (probably a bidet)
(Is it cold there?)  It was cold when I arrived and then warmed up, now it's cold again.  Don't worry they gave me blankets.  It is starting to be Spring here!