Hey Everyone!!! Lots to say and not a lot of time to say it. So here goes…

My Castellano improves daily, although I am still having a little trouble understanding people when they talk… Argentinians talk really fast… Although the people in Ituzaingó are really laid back about everything, and they are really patient with me… or they tease me about my mad language skills. Hermana Schmutz says I speak remarkably well for just being here for three weeks, and she jokes that I am actually training her, not the other way around, although I always beg to differ. I can hear the “vos” (the Argentinian form of tú) when people talk now, so I know for sure that I am improving.

In the midst of all the craziness of Argentina, I got my first baptism this weekend and I am tan contenta…. SO HAPPY! The baptism of Nora and Oscar Triay was sooo sweet. The spirit was really strong and there was so many people there! Three of our investigators came to witness the baptism, and I know for a fact they felt the spirit… even though they had to redo the baptisms. They first baptized them with the wrong hand, making both of them have to get into the font again… Nora joked later that means that she is ¨super-clean.” (aww… Mi Vida!) They fit very nicely into our kooky little rama and I am so happy they got baptized. I have no doubt that they will flourish as new members of Christ´s Church.

On Sunday, they received their confirmation, on Hermana Schmutz´s birthday, and she thought it was so awesome that the only birthday she had on a mission, God gave her a baptism and a confirmation. Hermana Mohor, the Branch President´s wife made her one of the sweetest cakes I have ever tasted in my life. She loves us sooo much and likes to call herself our “máma misionera.”

On another note, we are the only missionaries in Ituzaingó, but everyone knows who we are… Hermana Schmutz can walk down the street and tell everyone whom she has contacted/taught and what there stories are… there must be thousands of copies of the Book of Mormon floating around Ituzaingó. The closest missionaries to us are in Posadas, Misiones, where the stake center is. But everyone is way friendly with us… and always offers us the maté cup, which is a sign of friendship… although, as missionaries we can´t drink it. But it is always a good sign when someone offers us some.

We can´t drink maté because they drink it in a communal cup with a communal straw, and when people drink mate, they intend to sit around and talk for hours, which is contrary to our purpose. But the members drink it. The General authorities came out and said it was not against the Word of Wisdom.

Speaking of food and drink, new adventures in the world of food this week… I ate locro, the meat of the cow that comes from the cheek… or… I TRIED to eat locro… Hermana Sena, a woman in our ward who grew up in the campo, made it for us for almuerzo, and it was so disgusting my throat refused to swallow. The sad thing was that Hermana Sena saw that Hermana Schmutz was succeeding at choking it down quickly and assumed that she liked it, and offered my disgusting half to her… POBRECITA! It gave her really bad somach pains, and I told her that I owe her a life debt.

Then the next day, with familia Rodriguez, I kid you not, I ate an R.O.U.S. Its called a carpincho… and while I was able to swallow the carpincho, It was still very weird tasting. If I have to conquer Mondongo (cow stomach, a common delicacy here) in the next little bit, I am not sure what my poor digestive system will do.

There are two distinct flavors of food here. Argentinian Campo food, and Argentinian European food. I LOVE the Argentinian European food, and I am still getting used to the Campo food. But either way they put massive amounts of salt and mayonesa (mayonnaise) on everything… and I do not think I will see Yellow Mustard for the next 15 months.

They cook everything with their hands, and there really isn´t anything like a recipe here. Por ejemplo, on rainy days the food of choice is fried bread called torta frita, and if you ask someone how to make it, and another person is around to hear it, they will get into a little tiff because everyone has a different way and it can be a source of contention, if you let it. The only thing people can agree on is that you are to use your hands to mix it.

But I really love it here, regardless. Our small little rama of forty is so crazy and kooky and they love and support us very much. In fact, because the church in this town is very young, they look to us for advice and help more than the Branch President at times. We have a beautiful little chapel, that was built when the dam (represa) was under construction and there were more members here, but now that the represa is built, everyone went back to Buenos Aires, so we have 40-60 active members in a capilla (chapel) built for 250.

But people here are proud of our rama and capilla, and their membership in the church. The truly converted proclaim their membership everywhere and are very helpful with missionary work. Yes, there are many inactive members, but there really isn´t anything in between. Either you are, and you REALLY are or you are not and you are REALLY not.

But God blesses us with little miracles everyday, and everyday I am at awe at everything I get to see and do here. It really is quite amazing.

I love you all and I pray for you every day, Hermana Sarah Tritsch

These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • Sphinn
  • del.icio.us
  • Facebook
  • Mixx
  • Google
  • Furl
  • Reddit
  • Spurl
  • StumbleUpon
  • Technorati