Monday, October 28, 2013

Week #35 - A Spider in my Bed!

Yet again, my email is going to be short this week, ha ha :) Hopefully I'm not making this a pattern, but at least I have a good reason! I started typing my emails, then started talking to the man sitting next to me about the Book of Mormon, annnnnd, there went all my time, ha ha :) Ah well. Totally worth it! Know that I know you all the same, and am showing my love for all of you by SHARING THE BEST NEWS EVER!! Really, did you know missionary work is fun. Give it a shot - you`ll like it, I prooooomise :)

Couple fun facts of the week:

1) I went to the mission home in Rosario this week to do my paperwork for my VISA. Luckily, the pattern didn't continue from the last time I tried to do so, and no buildings blew up :) So, we were able to get it all done, I although I am still not entirely legal, I'm halfway there, ha ha! Best part? HNA GOODRICH WAS THERE! My sweet comp from the MTC happened to be doing her paperwork at the same time, and it was AMAZING to see her! I love that girl :)  

Mis Queridas Hermanas
2) This week, I found a spider in my bed. I'm not going to go into a whole lot more detail than that, because I still feel fairly scarred for life, ha ha. Needless to say, I am a whole lot more cautious when I sleep now!!

Thought of the week: Happiness doesn't come when the situation changes, but rather when the attitude of the person changes.
( Copyright of Hna Lake, haha :) Go put it on a mug or something.)
I truly believe that. Truly I do!! Know what else I believe? That this gospel is the ONLY way to find happiness! If you have ever wondered how to find peace in this world, swallow your pride and ask someone - more particularly, the someone of your friendly neighborhood missionary. I promise you will find peace. I promise you will find joy. There is hope. 

I love you all!!  

Hna Lake

Monday, October 21, 2013

Week #34 - Don't you quit - keep walking, keep trying!

Hello one, hello all!!  

Well, maybe not literally `all` (those quotations marks were really hard to find on this keyboard by the way, so I hope you appreciate them, ha ha) but certainly to all those I love :)

Making homemade pasta
Also, side note. In the past 2 weeks, I have gotten all sorts of reactions from people telling me that `wow, sounds like your Spanish is really coming along!` and I got to wondering.... is that just a nice way to tell me that my English stinks now? Ha ha, I think so :) Sorry for all my tangles! I'm all sorts of a mess now - I can't speak in English OR Spanish!  
Sitting down to yummy food!

For starters, summer is coming in! And by summer, I mean `still spring, but it's stinking hot and it hit about 95 this past week, and hoooo boy. I was feeling it. How so? Couple of different ways. 

1) I discovered that the greatest irony thus far for my mission... I seriously shower more than any other time of my life - we`re talking 3 showers a day sometimes - and simultaneously, have never smelled worse, ha ha :) It is so hot!  

2) suuuuunnnbuuuurnnn!! It's a bad one :) I had my hair in a french braid one day this last week, and the back of my neck got burned bad! But the best part is? According to Hna Nunja, my neck looks like the flag of Peru since it has a giant white stripe in the middle from my french braid, ha ha :) (feel free to google the Peruvian flag to check that out, because don't even know what it looks like :)  

3) Bugs, bugs, bugs. On the plus side, I've learned that the Argentine mosquitoes love on us white folks almost as much as the dogs do. Therefore, my legs are covered in mosquito bites, and I've even got two different spider bites to match (don't worry Mom - they`re not poisonous or anything, and I've been religiously using my lavender essential oil :)  

Another funny fact from this week that isn't actually related to the heat at all. I learned that although I am literally on the other side of the continent and no where near WA, I still have the same following conversation with the Argentine people here: 

Hna Lake - Yep, I'm from WA 

Arg - WA? Really? Have you ever been to Forks before? 

Hna Lake - `cue exasperate sigh` 

Yep, I still have people ask me about Twilight, even in Argentina, ha ha :) It makes me laugh every time, especially since this conversation occasionally takes place in RS or with the older Hnas in the ward, ha ha :) 

I've thought a lot about tribulation in our lives - not necessarily the power that tribulation has over us (because the opposite is true) but rather the power we have due to our agency, decisions, and attitudes. What seems unconquerable can be overcome through these mediums and nothing is more powerful than that. On that note, I rediscovered a quote that I had cut out of an Ensign while I was in TN that I love:   Every one of us has times when we need to know things will get better. My declaration is that this is precisely what the gospel of Jesus Christ offers us, especially in times of need. There is help. There is happiness.  4 To any who may be struggling to see that light and find that hope, I say: Hold on. Keep trying. God loves you. Things will improve. Christ comes to you in His “more excellent ministry” with a future of “better promises.” 

Don’t you quit. You keep walking. You keep trying. There is help and happiness ahead. It will be all right in the end. Trust God and believe in good things to come.” Some blessings come soon, some come late, and some don’t come until heaven; but for those who embrace the gospel of Jesus Christ, they come. 

I testify that there is no other way to true happiness, except through the Son of God, our Savior. You cannot do this on your own; He wants to help you. He is trying to help you. Please, please, please let him. It will all be alright in the end :)  

I love you all. Always choose to follow the light :)  

Love, Hna Lake

Monday, October 14, 2013

Week #33 - An impromtu poem

Okay, delayed apologies for the lack of an email last week. To convey my apologies a little more sincerely, I wrote you all a poem: 

Roses are red,
Violets are blue,
I'm actually making up this poem as a write,
And I clearly stink at impromptu :) 

Also, I totally forgot how to spell impromptu. Not sure if you have all noticed, but my spelling is getting HORRIBLE! I'd like to think it's a result from bad keyboards and rushed time, but in reality, I think Spanish is taking over my mind. Which is a good thing, right up until I try to write something in English :)  

And after all that effort, my poem didn't even have a thing to do with an apology, ha ha :) Ah well. I'm just going to abandon that effort, and move on with the week.  

The beautiful sunrise after 3 days of thunderstorms here in San Nicolas! Symbolic, and beautiful - what a bonus :)
It's been great here in San Nicolas!! Especially so because I ran the other morning with my sweet Hna Nunja  for the first time since I left TN, and I was in heaven :) Granted, my idea of heaven was rudely interrupted by the small posse of perros who started jogging alongside us. Poor Hna  Nunja - who has a serious phobia of all the dogs here, and based on what I've told you all about the ARG dogs, you can imagine how big of a problem that is - she was practically going into cardiac arrest, so I crossed the street, all the dog followed me, and when we arrived at out pension otra vez (again), I counted 8 different dogs in my wake. Well, at least I know I have some friends in San Nicolas, ha ha :)  

Also, we had dinner with my wonderful Bishop, Augustin Arancibia esta semana, and his wife, Camila, made us PANCAKES for desert. Seriously, I was - yet again - in heaven :) It is SO strange how quickly food asi can make my day. However, I loved the homemade pancakes, and thought of my Mom and her yummy whole wheat pancakes! Divine. 

Overall I think a theme of this past week for me, has really been pride. Not necessarily in other people, but in myself. For starters, on that note I'm going to officially apologize for the email that I sent out a few weeks ago when I first arrived. I cant remember exactly what it said, but something along the lines of how I thought the missionaries who had served here over the past few years had bad attitudes, and for that, the members thought the work was impossible, but Hna nunja and I were determined to change that and baptize a ton!!

Oh, please... 

Ha ha, looking back on that, I really have to laugh. Not because I believe that there is anything wrong to have an attitude and desire to work to accomplish such a goal as this, but I am honestly a little ashamed by how prideful that also sounds. During my mission, and also due to the examples of my parents and family, I have recently learned a principle of how we should regard other people. It is SO important to remember how important we are to our Heavenly Father, and how much He loves us - equally important is to remember that our Heavenly Father loves everyone else just as much :) Always remember that God loves her/him with the same love, has given her talents to work in areas that you perhaps cannot, and has filled her mind with inspiration in times when He has not done the same for you. You make such an impact on others - and so has she (previous missionaries) :)  

Do you see what I mean when I apologize for the attitude I had about the previous missionaries? May you never fall into the same trap - always remember how special YOU are - and how special `she` is as well :) `she` might be your friend - a neighbor - or a random person on a bus. Never forget how valuable you are, and have the courage to remind others of the same. We all need the comfort that comes from knowing that we are children of a Heavenly Father who loves us, and we love him :) May you have enough love to overcome your fears or hesitations to speak to others, open your mouths to share this reminder with those who need it most - those who may not have the truth just yet :)  

On that note, never forget how much I love you all!! I remember specific memories and lessons that I have learned from each one of you - something as simple as a YW lesson that you may have taught, or the time that you simply gave me a hug :) I love you all - and I hope YOU know that I think you are special :) 

And with that mushy love, I'm off to work yet again :) Onward, EVER onward!! May we never look back, and keep our eyes and lives focused on the only One who has power to save :) 

Love, Hna Lake

Monday, October 7, 2013

Week #32 - Well.... this is going to be short...

... and by short, I mean non existent :) Sorry, I used all my time emailing back my family -something that was desperately needed, and long over due!  

Know that I love you all!!  Ciao! 
Hna Lake

Hna Nunja made tortilla de espinaca - basically a spin off of crepes, but super delicious all the same! Also, her garlic rice? Amazing!

By the RIVER PARANA! Yep, I changed areas, and moved a few hours away, and am still on the river Parana :) I'd be happy if it stayed that way for my whole mission!! There is something homey about polluted and dirty river water... haha :) The best part? I don't know if you can really see it in this picture, but some farmer managed to bring his cows out to graze on a little island in the middle of the river. Were walking along when we heard mooing... on that note, can cows swim? No idea.