Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Week #24 Endure to the end ... it's not just a thought, it's a commandment!

Hey ya fam!

Well, this week was total nuts. Like, really. For starters, remember that trip in Rosario that I told you all about for my Tramites, or visa to stay in Argentina? Well, we were in the immigration building (waiting along with 200 other people who all decided to do the same thing that day. Shucks. On the plus side, I learned that there is an abnormally high amount of Chinese people in Argentina. Still haven't figured out why, since they don't speak English or Spanish that well :) I just laughed, and realized that`s probably how people feel talking to me! :). While we were waiting, suddenly the whole building started shaking, and the windows all rattled so much, I thought they were going to explode. Tons of people ran outside to see what was going on, and we saw a huge cloud of smoke - long story short, someone was working on a gas line in an apartment building, something went wrong, and there was a massive explosion. It all went down about 2 blocks away from us, and they made us evacuate the building. Sooooo, another road trip to Rosario in another week or so to finish up! :) Overall, it was really sad - last I heard, there were about 9 people who died. What a blessing that we were all protected! With the number of missionaries that were in that building, I´m sure there were all sorts of guardian angels staying busy! 

As always, short on time, so resort to lists! :) Fun facts of the week/Argentina!  

1) I tried some Argentina pizza this week - we`ve got two different varieties here. Pizza with cheese and hard boiled eggs on top, or pizza with cheese and slices of ham on top (imagine lunch meat slices). Surprisingly, its actually pretty good. Or maybe I'm just hungry. Probably both :)  

2) People here rarely wear helmets with their crazy motos, and whenever they do, they never actually wear the helmet ON their head. Rather, they perch it on top of their head, like a baseball cap. The first time I saw it, I just laughed and thought the person was nuts. Then the smile faded once I realized that literally about 95% of the people who actually wear helmets wear them this way. I really have no idea why, but its still hilarious every time I see it :) 

3) They put green olives inside and on everything. Super yummy, and way okay with me :)  

4) Seat belts. Never. I've been here a whole transfer now, and have yet to actually wear a seat belt. Not because I haven't tried - some cars don't even have them!  

5) Toilet paper/napkins. They´re the same thing round here :) Sometimes, even restaurants will plop a roll of toilet paper on your table for napkins. Totally socially acceptable here.  

6) I've started giving piano lessons! As always, its an adventure to try and communicate, but still a blast!  

7) This week, while we were teaching Hna Sosa, this pigeon popped into the window and started chilling in the lesson with us. We shooed it out, but he kept coming back in! We finally decided the Holy Ghost was making itself manifest as a pigeon, and kept teaching. Stay tuned on the first pigeon baptized in history :)  

8) EMPANADAS! I finally tried legit Argentina empanadas this week, and almost died of delight. Not really, but I seriously love them! Never fear - got the recipe, and will attempt to make them when I get home :)  

Overall, its been a good week! Adventurous, as always :) I've also been thinking a lot this past week about the phrase "perserverar until the end". Truthfully, this is so difficult sometimes, especially when there is often not an end in sight, and it takes so much energy to persevere! It is similar to keeping a muscle flexed, all the time. You can never relax, never give up, because that is when you start to slip. This can be ridiculously exhausting sometimes, but think of it this way - you'll end up being a seriously buff powerhouse by the time you`re done :) This is the trick to any trial - keeping a goal in mind, and always working towards that goal. Once you specifically define what it is you want to accomplish during this time of trial, you will suddenly find the situation transformed from a trial to a time of growth. Try it out - promise, it works :) 
The beautiful waterfall in Arroyo Seco! I loved the day with my Hermanas, and with the water - we had a good ole time, all of us :)

Love you all super much!! Tons of hugs and welcome homes to Mason, Grandma and Grandpa, all of whom will be returning from their missions this week! Also, loves to Eden and Brian for this wedding coming up this next week, and know I am thinking of you! Love you all - XOXO!  

Hna Lake

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