Hey all! Let's get down to business with this update shall we?
Wonderful Hermana Pucheta with my companion and I
14th de Octubre: I had divisiones with Hermana Hemi, the sister that replaced Hermana Henriquez, as she went home. This was a momentous occasion, as Hermana Arntsen went to the Chacabuco area, leaving me to guide Hermana Hemi in our area. I've never led in my area before, and was a little sick to my stomach with apprehension. Divisiones last 24 hours, and this was my second one. We started out by taking the Colectivo back to Parque Patricios. I had to really focus to remember where we needed to get off. While on the bus Hermana Hemi struck up a conversation with a man standing next to us. We got to know a little about him and invited him to church before getting off at San Juan. After dropping off our stuff at the apartment we grabbed lunch, namely empanadas and fruit, before heading off. Throughout the day I realized that I knew my area quite a bit better than I had thought. I also really enjoyed teaching with Hermana Hemi. She's from New Zealand, has a sick (meaning awesome!) accent, and a great love of the gospel. We stopped by to visit Nicolas, the son of Tanya, and taught him about the Restoration.
view from our pension
We also stopped by to visit Zulma G. and ended up finding both her and Cristian. They were on their way to the capella, which is where we needed to be next, so we walked with them. On the way as I talked with Zulma while Hermana Hemi talked with Cristian, teaching him about the Restoration. Cristian is a real puzzle. He's come to church by himself, without even being invited, and yet doesn't want to get baptized. If he had read the Book of Mormon and prayed about it as he's been invited to I think things would be different. However, al things will happen in their proper time, and the best we can do is invite him to learn and to experiment. As it turned to evening and we reached the capella we met up with Cristian Pucheta, who said he would accompany us as a member present for our lessons. He's only gone out with us once, and was a little apprehensive. However, as we visited the stops we had planned and talked with him I could tell that he was changing, that he was warming up to the idea and process. On the walk back to his place to get the dinner Hermana Pucheta always prepares for us he bought a 2 liter bottle of some sort of juice that we enjoyed on the way back. It was cool to see him involved in missionary work, and to have the beginning of a desire to go out with us more. When Hermana Hemi and I got back to the pension she died inside. For those of you who do not already know, we have a lot of roaches in our apartment. Hermana Hemi was not ready. Unfortunately, I've grown a little immune, and crushed them left and right on my way to my desk. They are nasty. She was horrified. It was not good. However, she made platones, which were delicious! A lot like potato fries.
Dragon I drew for Cristian
15th: In the morning after studies I got Hermana Arntsen back, and we went to have lunch with the Pucheta's. While there I gave Cristian the drawing of a dragon that he had asked for. Then after we had eaten and Hermana Pucheta was doing our nails I shared with him a lot of my favorite scriptures found in all of the standard works. Usually he doesn't seem interested in such things, but he kept asking me to show him another of my favorites. It was a really cool experience and a nice change. Later we visited with Hermana Nelly and helped her out with her English homework. I always find it entertaining, because it's British english, and they say things pretty strangely. No matter. We vanquished the homework and left with our litle chocolate milks, sipping triumphantly:)
16th: We had lunch with the Bishop and family and shared atonement scriptures with them:) Always lots of fun, although usually a little long as well. The fish we had was excellent:) Later that day we talked with Cristian, Zulma's brother. We had been hoping to find Marcos, the cousin of Zulma, but ended up talking with Cristian who had a little bit of free time. It was my first time teaching him, as usually I'm occupied with Zulma when he comes to the door. It was a really cool experience. I invited him to read the Book of Mormon with a question, and promised that if he did he would receive an answer. He had been telling us that he would get baptized, but that it would be in the future and that he needed to see how things went and learn more. I told him, very clearly, that the only way to know was to read and to ask. I have yet to know if he took my challenge, but I Know that it works. It has in my own life. I have always received an answer when I came with a question. It doesn't matter where in the Book of Mormon you read or ever how much you read. What matters is coming with an inspired question and Expecting to recieve revelation. It works. Every time.
Later, while with Guillermo he told us that I was the last missionary that he would be accompanying, as he feels caught in a never ending circle of befriending missionaries who then leave. I felt honored in a funny sort of way. He certainly has done a ton for us, and is always there when we need a member to accompany us or someone to walk us home to the pension at night. He does a lot and we're extremely grateful for him:)
17th: Hermana Arntsen and I played an interesting little game in the morning:) Namely, looking for all the different little flowers we could find. We found about 15 different types, all gorgeous and unique. It was fun and a good little bonding experience:) For lunch we went over to visit Hermana Nelly. After eating we helped her with some more English homework. As we finished up she started telling us that the day hadn't been very good for her. She started to cry, which really surprised me. Hermana Nelly is a tough, independent woman, and I had never seen her cry. But I understand exactly where she was coming from. Sometimes the build up of various things becomes too much and we just have to let it out. We were able to share a couple scriptures with her and help her feel a little better.
18th: I got to see Brenda! We hadn't seen in her in about 2 weeks and I was missing her like crazy! It was wonderful to catch up with her:) We also got to see Anita and talk with her which was wonderful. Ever since they've moved it's been hard to get ahold of them, but we managed to find her:) We also finally found Nicole, a less active member that we visited my first week here. We invited her to come to church before heading back to the Pension:)
Sunday Lunch with the Amazing Family Montiel
19th: Mother's day in Argentina:) During church I was able to give away a couple of my various drawings. One of them was a lion I had drawn for Guillermo. To be honest I don't think he liked it, but he appreciated that I'd put the time into it. After church we headed over to the Montiel's. Guillermo joined us for lunch there; it was hamburgers! Delicious. We also watched The Hope of God's Light, a mormon message, with them. Afterwards Mario Montiel shared a personal story about how he had been atheist until two sister missionaries had found him and taught him. He received all of the lessons in a week and was baptized. A couple years later he was on a mission. Such a cool experience. It also pricked his heart a little bit towards going to church. He hasn't been in a long time due to work, and we've been trying to get him to come. He has this sunday off, so we got him to pinkie promise with each of us that he would come this week. I really hope he does!
(for those who may be a little confused like I was: These are the members of the Pucheta family: Zulma (mom), Juan (dad), Brenda, Fatima, Cristian, and Carla. Hermana Montiel, who we have lunch with every Sunday, does our laundry. The family Pucheta are the ones that give us dinner every night. Zulma and Cristian gomez are siblings. Zulma Gomez is our convert. The flower creature was for Hermana Pucheta.--so there are 2 Zulma and 2 Cristians, no wonder I was confused!)
(Muchas gracias siempre to Guillermo, la familia Montiel, y la familia Puchesta por todo su amor y ayuda a mi hija!!!)
It's been a busy but good week:) I love all of you and hope every one is doing well!
Hermana Mallory Dickson