Queridos Familia y Amigos,

I hope that you are all well in the states as I continue to work hard here in Ituzaingó. I miss you all dearly and I want to let you all know that I am thinking of you and missing all of my friends and family very much. Today was a real homesick week as I finally became infinitely aware how long it will be before I see my whole family together again… My brothers are in the “mish” too, y´know. (see their blogs to find out more. Elder Jared Tritsch and Elder Zack Tritsch)

But the thought of all of us doing the same thing at the same time gives my a little bit of comfort. I mean, I know they aren’t in trouble, smoking, drinking, or in jail… so I guess it could be worse.

Okay… back to Ituzaingó…

We had a VERY impromptu zone activity which was kind of a bust today. We wanted to go visit the Yacyreta, a dam that is co owned by Argentina and Paraguay with the Hermanas, but when we called the zone leaders to ask permission for the hermanas in Posadas to come here, he made us feel bad for not inviting the elders… soo… everyone is here. We did not get to go to the represa (dam) though. Because it is co-owned with Paraguay, technically we would go to Paraguay and needed our passports to go. We had certified photocopies of our passports, which we were misinformed would work to let us go to the represa. But when we got to the office, they told us that we needed our real passports to visit it. So… all of us gringos did not get a chance to visit the represa.

We actually catch a lot of flack for being American. It's not the first time that we got cut off for being from the United States (see the Ruinas of San Ignacio incident). We are getting rather sick of it, and many people won´t listen to us when we say that we are from the states. Hermana Kretchman and Hermana Borchart are starting to tell people that they are from Germany. Everyone thinks that they are because of their names. Everyone thinks I am Polish for the same reason… Although I don´t feel comfortable lying about it.

It's always been a little bit of a problem, but it has been worse in the past week or two… the tension, I mean… for all the Americans. Something must have happened. I don’t know what it was… I wish I did. Luckily I have a Chilena companion to vouch for me.

Back to the work…

So… having Brother Cabrera baptize his daughters is kinda a bust. He won´t even talk to us, let alone come back to church to prepare himself to do the baptism. But on the flipside, Hermana Cabrera, the mother, is listening to us more. Maybe we can activate her and it won’t be a complete and utter wipeout. If we can manage to reactivate her, we won´t have to ask permission of Presidente del Castillo to continue the baptism of Débora and Melina, their daughters.

We also had a charla franca (frank discussion) with Itati Acosta (una investigadora eterna [eternal investigator]) to find out what is preventing her from being baptized. She has been taught by the missionaries since forever… since before there was Hermanas in Ituzaingó, and has had more fechas bautismales (baptismal dates) than I can count. But we decided to work with her again because we were reading her teaching record, and the other missionaries that came before us said some fairly unfriendly things about her, saying that she was “trucha” and that we “shouldn´t waste our time” and Hermana Araya and I want to prove them wrong. The good news is that our risk paid off and we are going to work with her for baptism for the 26th of Diciembre [December].

Emilio and Griselda are still progressing rapidly… Normally we can only pass by los fines de semana [on the weekends] because she works in la Isla, a part of Ituzaingó we can’t go because we have to cross the water and the Isla is in Paraguayan waters. But Emilio nos permitó que podamos pasar y enseñarle [Emilio allows us to go and teach] during the week when she isn’t there. This is a good thing, because this means he is willing to listen to us independent of his pareja [partner]. If he accepts a baptismal date within the next week, we are going to move Griselda’s date to match up with his.

So… Theoretically we could have 5 baptisms in December… Achieving our goal of doubling the baptisms of the previous year. Its all coming down to the wire though… It might be that we have a massive baptism of everyone together on the 26th – the last Saturday to do baptisms in this year. I just hope I don´t get transferred before I can see the baptism.

Time´s up for this week.

Chao Chao, y les quiero muchisimo.
Hermana Sarah Tritsch

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