Archive | November, 2011

the week i turned 3 shades darker

28 Nov

Hello, Uruguayan summer.

CHANGE CALLS!!!

I’m staying in Castillos for another change. I will have 6 months in Castillos after this. I really wanted to leave, like really bad. I’m kind of over being here in Castillos, but I know I’m supposed to learn something else, so I’m excited to learn what that is. I’ve grown a LOT this last change, and so maybe I’m supposed to learn a little bit more before I go. But it was a pretty disappointing call. Next change calls I will be leaving, so that’s cool …

This week was crazy. We had intercambios, and I went to La Paloma with Hna Acosta from Honduras. She’s nice. I felt super trucho (like, slacker, disobedient) because we didn’t really do anything. It’s a very laid back area, but I felt like we could have done more. She gave up talking to people SOOO easily. I realized I’m super pushy and direct, but in a nice way, not in a jerk face way, so I like that about how I’ve changed. But Ruben, the artist with no legs came with us all day. I love him!! He painted me a BEAUTIFUL picture of a bay. It was amazing!!! I didn’t actually think he would make me one, but he was totally serious. I’m saving that for the rest of my life, seriously. and we had an amazing district activity in Rocha. All us hermanas sang. But he drew faces on our chins and laid upside down on the stage and sang really “fancy” like MoTab. It was pretty hilarious. Definitely embarrassing. Woooooorth it.

JULIO CESAR GOT BAPTIZED!!!!! I’m so happy for him. He’s amazing, and he was so worried that I was gonna leave from here, that he made us lunch yesterday.

Oh, I made amazing ghetto Guayan chicken. It turned out perfect. I cut it, and it was PERFECT. Chelsea, be proud of me!!!

Rubi is getting baptized this weekend. We had a mega long cane dropping lesson and he didn’t accept, so we had to cancel his baptism. But Sunday we had a cool experience. We were in a random barrio, and I got this huge, overwhelming feeling that we were not in the right place. So I told my comp, and she was like “What? Ok ..” and we took this random boonies road that led us close to Rubi’s house, and I was like “We have to go see him …” and he was like “I’ve been praying that you girls would come!” and he told us that he wants to get baptized, that he wants to live all the commandments. It was AMAZING.

But that’s something that I’ve noticed a lot this change, me being guided by the Spirit. I had struggled with that before I was senior comp, and Hermana Rodriguez told me that I was going to not have a problem with that anymore now that I’m leading the area, and she was right. I just have to learn how to listen. Heavenly Father knows where we want to be, and He’s more than willing to let us know where to go, we just have to listen. I love it.

Anyway. I have to go now. I have a cold. NOT COOL. It’s REALLLLLLY hot now. Summer time is here, and I’m basically melting. I’m going to be mega brown in like a week. I love you all!!

the week of MANY mind explosions

21 Nov

Oh man. OH MAN.

So my District Leader had crazy inspiration and revelation this week.

Well, 1st off. La Paloma is the most gorgeous place in the whole wide world. I’ll send pictures one day when I’m not super poor. Yay! But on Tuesday we all go to eat at a members house in Rocha, after district meeting, and last week we went as a zone (all 10 of us, no big deal) and it was adorable. This week is our last district meeting. Changes are next week. I’m kinda nervous, and I don’t know why. If I train ….. omg …. I don’t know … but that’s a really big possibility.

Anyway. Mind explosion moments. Elder Aleman called Wednesday night and he told us about how we NEED to read What Manner of Me and Women Ought Ye To Be, from April general Conference, by Elder Lynn G. Robbins. And I’ve read it like a billion times before, but he said to read it from a missionary perspective. OH MAN. MIND EXPLOSION. I love how Elder Robbins talked about the importance of not just doing, but BEING, if we do, but aren’t … we’re hypocrites, like, straight up. Heavenly Father has given us all that we need to one day return to Him, we have all the means to BECOME like Christ, why are we not taking advantage of that? It requires diligence and patience, but it works. We cant return to live in the presence of Heavenly Father if we aren’t like Christ, so obviously it’s achievable in this life. People are always like “I can’t be like Christ, I can’t be perfect”, but he has asked us so many times in the scriptures to be like Him, we might not be EXXACTLY like Him, but hey, I’m gonna do the best I can.

My companion and I are also studying how to use power and authority when we teach, which comes from the Holy Ghost, which comes from diligent reading of the scriptures and obedience and repentance. I love that as a mission we´re studying repentance, it’s such a mind explosion. Basically, this week has been a spiritual high. I can feel the spirit working through me to teach our investigators, it’s so exciting. Today we read about light and truth, and we watched the DyC seminary DVD about it, and it ended and me and Hna. Bravo were like “Well …. looks like we all need to repent. No big deal.” Haha, it’s amazing. But yeah, this has been a great week. And tomorrow I am so excited for district meeting because we´re all gonna talk about this.

Julio Cesar and Rubi are getting baptized this weekend. JULIO CESAR!! FINALLY!!!!!! I love that guy; he is so excited. He has been through so much to finally get to this point. Been teaching him since August, he is solid. Rubi is kinda iffy, but he said that he loves this church, her FINALLY prayed to know if it’s true, and without fail, Heavenly Father answered. I love the power of prayer. Never ever fails. And yesterday Rubi teared up when I said that changes are soon and that I might leave. He always thanks us for being friends and teachers at the same time. Precioussssss.

Anyways. I love you all. Feast this Thanksgiving! Today I bought half a chicken. Guayan Thanksgiving, here I come.

Take pictures and send me some, please? That way i feel included! I love you all!

-xiomarrrrra

Nov 14 7 months down, 11 to go!

15 Nov

Less than a year!

Today was the best P-Day EVERRRRRRRRRRRRRR.

We went to La Paloma to have a barbeque with the elders and the hermanas out there and Ruben, the best person ever in the world. He’s an artist and amazing, and he has no legs, and he is basically the coolest person I have ever met. I wish I were in La Paloma. We went to a lighthouse, and we took random pictures and bought ice cream, and now my companion and I are stuck in Rocha ’til our bus leaves in like … 10 min. Oops. Um, but yeah. This week we´re baptizing Rubi, he’s pretty cool.

More details next week, I literally have to run now! I LOVE YOU!

Nov 7 the week I thought my recent convert killed a man…

15 Nov

Turns out he just got in a fight at a dance thing. He´s a beast. He sent us a text saying “I can’t ever come to church again, I did something horrible” and so we went to talk about repentance and he was like “Well, I just fought, I was defending my friend” and we were like “Oh … well, just remember the 6th commandment. Don’t kill!!” Heh.

I GET TO SKYPE WITH MY FAMILY FOR CHRISTMAS!!!!!! YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!

We went to the temple this Tuesday. We went to have a sleepever at La Paloma, and it was soooo pretty. I want to be in that area. We got lost trying to find their chapel, and we ended up on the beach and we were like “Best getting lost experience EVER.” It was lovely. What WASN’T lovely was the fact that we had to share tiny little bunk beds with the hermanas. I slept on the top bunk with Hna Lundskog, and I couldn’t sleep because I thought I was going to fall to my doom. Plus, we had to get up at 1 am. NOT FUN.

But we had a Halloween party with their rama that night.. I won the apple eating contest. It was hanging on a string. It was really hard. I am the champ. So cool. Haha. But yeah, I couldn’t sleep on the bus because the Maldonado Zone wouldn’t shut up at 3 am. What is there to talk about at 3 am? And why so loud???? But I didn’t fall asleep at the temple, which was nice.

But our district leader (Elder Aleman, who tells me to tell you all hi, like every week, and he said he´d verify this week if I did, haaa) didn’t tell us that we had Zone Conference after…. Luckily I had brought a notepad and my Book of Mormon. I saw some elders that I fly home with, and we all were like “ONE YEAR!!!” It was pretty trunktastic, especially for one Elder Oro (newbie) who is fresh on the mission. I gave him a high five for having 3 weeks down.

We all brought out the Distribution Center. the new DyC DVDs are awesome. We had a Rama Movie Night and watched Joseph Smith: Prophet of the Restoration, it was pretty awesome.

We have a baptism this weekend! Everyone in our zone does! We´re having an awesome Plan of Salvation activity and its going to be so fun, and we´re ending with 7 baptisms! WADDUP!!!

Also, this week members are feeding us, and we´re way too excited. Tomorrow we´re eating in Rocha with the Elders because they have a member who makes enough food to feed an impoverished nation. Awesooooome. Also, today I’m making chili. Hna Bowers and I always wanted chili … just a random fact. Next week I have 7 months! AAAHHH! Cool.

Anyways. I love you all. You´re all #1!!! *HIGH FIVE*!!!

– xiomara

Oct 31 the week I realized I speak castell(sha)no

15 Nov

Please don’t disown me. It just happened. I didn’t realize it ’til I was reading the Book of Mormon in spanish to myself and I was saying “sha” this and “sha” that. Someone punch me in the face.

— ELOISA GOT BAPTIZED!!!!!!!! Finally! She went to Maldonado for the weekend and came back completely different and she was like “I completely quit smoking, no big deal” and we were like “Omg, someone fill the font, NOW”. There were no fights, no fires, and there was actually water, so basically we had a perfect baptism. Except she’s kinda on the big side, and so we were trying to find a baptismal suit thing, but it had disappeared, and then a member came and he had a bag and he was like “Oh, i took this home to wash” and it was perfect for her. Mini miracle.

— We were put in charge of primary. It kind of killed my desire to one day be a mother. No big deal. We as missionaries aren’t allowed to be in charge of children, and they know that, but no one came to help. So we printed out a lotttt of Jesus drawings and had them color. That still didn’t calm them. It was loud.

— Did I ever tell you about demon spirit foot man? Well, there’s a man who says he has a demon in his foot and we invited him to come to church to get it taken out, and he totally came 2 Sundays ago. And he came yesterday, too. And today we saw him at the place where we send faxes and he was like “I’m coming again!” And so maybe now we should start teaching him, since he kinda thinks we´re cool and maybe we can baptize him. I don’t think he´s all there, though…

— Maxi hilariously told us of his night of repenting for drinking decaf coffee. He didn’t know that existed and so he was like “I thought my cousin was lying to me! But i repented anyways. I was gonna cry!” He´s so great.

— We go to the temple tomorrow. As in at like 2 am we have to catch a bus because our session is at 7 am. But we have NO details. Apparently we’re supposed to have a sleepover with the hermanas in La Paloma (google that town. It’s GORGEOUS. I’m determined to do an intercambio there) but our leaders have no idea what to do. Apparently the financers are bein’ lazy. Uh oooh.

— Not to be totally trunky, but in one year, I will be home. NO BIG DEAL. Haha. No worries, I’m not trunky. I just like countdowns. They make me happy.

Um, the only (consistent (lol)) mail i get is from Linnea (BFF4LYFE!!!) … write me? Please? Like, everyone. I miss everyone.

Oh, also, pray me and my comp find new investigators because we have now baptized everyone.
I love you all so much it hurts!!

– xiomara

Oct 24 the week I got bit by a dog

15 Nov

WEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEAAAAAAAAAAAAKKKKKKKKKKKKK.

It’s okay. It doesn’t hurt that much anymore. One tooth mark is kinda deep, but that’s okay.

I went over to Hna Normas when it happened and she healed meeee! She’s like our Guayan grandma. She’s adorable. She writes poetry. Cuuuute. She gave me some Guayan stuff to disinfect it. It probably made it worse. Gotta love Uruguay. But no worries, I just walk with a little limp. I’m so cool. Luckily its P-Day.

This week was fun! We had changes and I had to say bye to Hermana Bowers! It sucked!!!!! I miss her. I won’t see her for a year. Oh gosh. That’s a long time. But changes are always fun, except for when you have to say bye to your trainer. Lame. But I like the bus rides, we just all talk with everyone, it’s awesome. 2 elders I go home with next year are training! And I’m senior comp! Ah! It has been really cool, actually. but I can’t remember what else happened. It wasn’t too eventful. Life is good. I like the mission. The church is true!!!!

Also, for blog purposes. Say that I have some friends who I may or may not call Nathalabaster and Horchada, and that I can’t reply to their letter from June because I don’t have their address. Let’s make something work. Keep it classy!

Oct 10 the week i got swept off my feet

15 Nov

LITERALLY.

There was a CRAAAAAAAAAAAAAZY tropical storm thing that decided to mess with us this weekend. It was straight up insanity. So we were walking back from the chapel to go home, and we were like “Oh, the winds not that bad” … Yeah, we turned the corner and WHOOOOOSH. I literally got pulled into traffic by the wind. Hna Kirkham had to grab me. It was hilarious and awesome and terrifying all at the same time.

But so there was this storm Friday night, and it knocked out ALL the water in Castillos. Um, we had to fill the pileta for baptisms. So we go to the capilla and we turn on the water and for some MIRACULOUS reason, there was water. No where else was there water in Castillos, just there, it was awesome. Buttttt, there wasn’t enough to fill the pileta, so we had to leave it like a little below knee length (my knee, so, like ankle deep for all the tall jerks out there in the world), and we were like “Ah! baptism in like an hour!” And so we postponed the baptism by like 3 hours to see if the water would come back …. and it did … AS we were baptizing Alejandro. Haha. It was hilarious. So we had them SIT in the water, and dunked them like that. We called the District Prez to see if that was okay. It was funny. Alejandro and Ema didn’t mind, they´re amazing and I love them. Alejandro was SO happy. He didn’t show it very much, because hes kinda timid and quiet, but he was like “Thank you so much, soooo much” and I was like “AWWWWWWWWW!!! Feelings!!!”. Precious.

(The internet cafe man is blasting techo. I think I’m secretly in a club)

– I succesfully made lemon bars. I AM A DOMESTIC QUEEN. If I can make them in Uruguay in the ghettoness that is this “oven”, they will be amazing in the states. Yesssss. I also made peach cobbler. I wish the mission weren’t making me so domestic, but whateverrrrr.

– We´re starting English Classes this week. We´re gonna teach lessons like “How to meet a friend” and we´re gonna speak only english and have them learn some phrases and words. Immersion! Cool beans! Any ideas? I have no idea how to teach english.

– We had interviews with President this week! It was pretty fun. After my interview I talked with Hna DaSilva and she told me about how shes studying Psychology in Paraguay and how when Pres was a 70, he couldn’t help her study for tests (he’s WAY smart, hes an engineer!) because he would always have to travel somewhere when she had a test. It was cute. I basically want to be Hna DaSilva. Pres is having the whole mission read the BoM in the next 3 months and we have to mark every time God and Jesus Christ are mentioned and every time repentance is mentioned also. It’s awesome. My scriptures will be a rainbow of highlighted goodness.

– I know Im a missionary because Hna Bowers sent me the EFY 2011 CD and I got REALLY excited and looove it. Ugh. I used to hate EFY. But this cd isn’t brainwashy as usual, the music actually sounds like real music! Yaaaay!!

– Proud moment: I spelled Nebuchadnezzar right the 1st time in my notes for something. I was so proud of myself.

I HAVE 6 MONTHS ON THE MISSION (this Thursday) YAAAAAAAAAAY! We bought a cake. Its awesome.
I love you all. Keep it classy always.

Oct 17 6 months down only 12 (omg) to go

15 Nov

I’M GONNA BE SENIOR COMPANION!!!

We got change calls yesterday. I’m staying here in Castillos (yay?) and I’m gona be senior comp to Hna Bravo. A tiny little latina I said hi to at zone conference 3 months ago. Hna Kirkham is going to Melo!!! And Hna Bowers is going home! Ahhh! All the hermanas call each other on change calls day, and so I talked with Hna Bowers for like half an hour, I’m gonna miss her. We decided that one day we´re all (me, her, Hna Muir, who I LOVE) are all gonna be general authority wives (haha, the desires of our hearts) and so we were like “We need a name …. THE GADIANTON WIVES”. The mission has made me crazy. No big deal.This week was crazy.

On Tuesday we had District Meeting. That day was SOOO hard. Let me tell you what happened. I made the most delicious peach cobbler. Elder Aleman made us breakfast burritos. Elder Heaton made us cookies, me and Hna Kirkham FINALLY rapped the Level 3 rap, and it was amazing. But so then we were leaving and we MISSED OUR BUS. Why? We may or may not have gone into the catholic church because it looked really pretty from the outside. So then we ran into the elders and they were like “go eat here” and so we casually had lunch at an outdoor place. SHISHKABOBS (see pic!!) and it was amazing. It was so peaceful. And then I realized that being on a mission is HARD, but soooo worth it. I love it. And so then after that we caught our bus and it straight up TURNED AROUND, because it had forgotten people. It was hilarious. But it was the best, chill day ever.

Julio Cesar couldn’t get baptized this week because Elder Aleman felt like he shouldn’t sign the ficha. It was so beastly of him. He’s a great elder. Julio Cesar threw a FIT and yelled at us, and we were like “Um. ok … talk to you later???”. He´ll get baptized, I know it.

Hna Kirkham got supppperrrrr sick. So Saturday we didn’t do anything. Let me tell you what I did. Swept the apartment, mopped, made breadsticks AND pizza, 2 loads of laundry, 2 hours of awkward phone contacts, played with the random cat that comes to or porch, read a lot of the BoM, read some Jesus the Christ, gave myself a manicure, cleaned the bathroom, made FRESH SQUEEZED lemonade and daydreamed. It was legit. I felt like a housewife …… I was bored.

Anyway. Um, I’m senior comp now. Cool. If I train next, omg …. that would be insanity. PRAY FOR MEEEEEEEEE. For reals. I love you all. The church is trueeee!!!!

– xiomarrrrrrra

Pics: My fave district picture in Melo.
Me and a prize winning onion.
…. and I forgot what else i put in … dangit. Mein kampf.

Oct. 3 the week the drama train rolled in for conference weekend

15 Nov

DRAMA.

So we HAD a baptism planned for this past weekend but our branch prez threw a hissy fit and did everything possible to have it not happen. The APs told us to do it anyway, and DUH I’m gonna listen to the APs, they’re legit. And so the branch pres was like completely opposed and it was annoying. Ugh. I’m here to baptize, and if I have a baptism I expect support from the rama. GRRRR. So then we had the baptismal interview and everything Friday night and we were filling up the ghetto green bag (aka the pileta) and then I get a call from the Zone Leaders and Elder Calder is like “Hermanas, you are doing a great job, we are so proud of you butttttttttttttttttt your branch pres called and told the district pres to not have it and to avoid drama, we’re gonna do it next week” ………….. yeah. NOT COOL. And poor little blind Ema Vicente (she’s blind in one eye and spazzy, and ADORABLE) she overheard that Prez Lopez didnt want the baptism and she asked us and we were like “Nooo, it’s cause we didn’t know who was gonna fill the font, Oh, by the way .. um, we’re postponing your baptism”. Poor Ema. She didn’t come to Sunday session. If she’s offended by what the branch pres said/did I’m gonna punch someone in the face. Also, pres lopez gave us the SILENT treatment all week. He KNEW the baptism was cancelled when we started filling the font, he was THERE, and he didn’t tell us. Real mature, man. But he took us into his office along with 2 other members who are golden and was like “IIII have the keys, IIII am in authority” and he made them cry. DRAMA TRAIN.

But we have 3 baptisms this weekend. Yaaaaaaaaaay. So that’ll be amazing.

Also, 2 temples in Provo????? I screamed a little bit. That’s going to be awesome. We’ve had a conference countdown on our board for a while and I kept chanting “Conference! Conference!” Like all week. Sister Elaine Dalton’s talk was AWESOME. So was Elder Carl B. Cooks. I basically want to BE Sister Dalton. New life goal. No big deal. I chuckled when Elder Ardern spoke. He’s the Kiwi. I kept thinking of Flight of the Concords, when the apple stand man HATESSS them, but it’s because he thought they were Aussie. And they were like “Our accents are so different. They’re like “Where’s the car?” and we’re like “Where’s the car?” … and they say it in the SAME way. Heh. I’m so mature.

But I’m glad I don’t get trunky … Like, at all, because all those shots of Utah were really pretty. It’ll make anyone from the states trunktastic. Good thing I have like, no feelings. Robot. Waddup. I can’t remember what else happened.

We had to console a member because she called us crying because someone said mean things to her. I’m awkward when people cry. So my goal for the week is to express love. Um, yay? In 2 weeks I have 6 months! Ahhhhhhh! Cool beans. Anyway. Um, you guys just keep on truckin’ … remember that the church is true! I love you!!

Sep. 26 the week we had a baptism WITHOUT a fire! (accomplishment!!!)

15 Nov

MAXI GOT BAPTIZED!!!!!!!!

I don’t think you understand all the pain and trouble and prayers this kid put us through, he is amazing, I am so unbelievably happy he got baptized. Our branch prezzie made us in charge of filling our font …. aka our huge plastic green bag that is way sketchy. It takes like 12 hours to fill … Yeah, we have to go and work. So we got Fernando Rocha, who is weird and moving to Mexico to marry someone he met on the internet to help. So at like 5 we both felt like we needed to pass by the chaple, and guess who WASN’T there and who had stopped filling the pileta halfway? Our BFF4eva Fernando. Jerk. So we had to crazy fast fill the rest of it. Eloisa, one of our investigators had an interview with Prez Lopez to help her quit smoking and he hadn’t shown up yet, and so I called a number in the phone that said “president” and …… turns out it was Pres DaSilva. He was like “Why do i have to come to Castillos?” and I was like “MY BAD” and he just laughed and was like “You have a baptism today don’t you?” …. when we have baptisms he´s less intimidating. I love it. But yes, no fire, just a baptism.

I was REAAAAAAAAAALLY sick this week, with a crazy cold. Like, i couldn’t do anything Tuesday, I had NO energy and had no idea what was going on. But we went out later at night because we had a lesson with Maxi, let me tell you how out of it I was. So, I am FASCINATED by John the Beloved and the 3 Nephites because I am a nerd and I love that they’re still alive (Byron and Linnea, we should start a Mormon version of Destination Truth) and so we were talking about priesthood and I was just sitting there, not knowing what the HECK was going on, and my comp started talking about John and I was like “He’s still alive ….” and she heard me and was like “Omg, i am NOT about to explain that” and I was like “He’s not dead …. he’s alive. That’s awesome” And i made her laugh and Maxi was confused. It was great. Moral of the story …… I go crazy when I’m sick … yay!!!

We also had a huge capacitacion about Level 3, where we´re going as a mission and how we need to get the members involved, and we and Hna K missed our bus and showed up RIGHT at 10 in Rocha when it was gonna start, and we thought it was just going to be our tiny tiny zone, but noooooooooo, the Chuy elders, and like 2 other areas were there from the other zone. Yeah. They were all waiting. It was really funny. And I was still way out of it and confused, but i took some notes, I should read over them, I’m pretty sure I at one point wrote “smother the members …. with love” ….

I’m excited for conference this weekend IF we get to watch. They’re trying to get all the technical stuff done here … it;s gonna be weird. I’m gonna miss being at conference.

I love you all. Remember that I love you and pray for you and that the church is true!!!!!

Keep it classsssssyyyyy.