Hola everyone! Hermana Araya and I are avidly preparing for my first and hopefully my only Navidad in Argentina... Never thought I would actually have a Christmas in the middle of the summer, but there you go... I fully intend to enjoy the sweltering heat of summer for Christmas, and I am so exited to be with La Chilena for a Chilean-Argentinian christmas. Especially because I really do not know If I will spend the next one here or in the States... The end of my final transfer is four days after Navidad. I guess I will not know until I get my trunky papers. (the paper that we get about 4-5 months before that outlines our travel plans)

The whole city is anxiously celebrating in the catholic kind of way... they have all sorts of fiestas and it makes it really hard to do street contacting because everyone is either going to or coming from mass or some sort of catholic ceremony or fiesta, and to contact them is rather insensitive. We made the mistake a few times and people got really mad at us. “can´t you see that I am busy worshiping mary and the baby jesus and how dare you tell me to stop going to my church when I am headed there now...” type of stuff.

Either that or they are plastered drunk.

In a completely unrelated note, Hermana Araya will go home to La Serena at the end of this transfer, and instead of slacking like some missionaries do, she has added desire to work fully until the end of her mission, and its her goal in life to be 100% obedient... Its hard to do, she just wants to know if she can or not. Its good, because she is keeping me 100% aware of everything I do, and keeping me on my toes.

Her going home at the end of this transfer pretty much solidifies that I will be in Ituzaingó por lo menos 7½ months, which is really long for a first area... make it 9 months, the longest I can stay in one place, and I will have spent more than half my mission in one area. Casi unheard of for my first area.

We were anxiously preparing for a baptism, a baptism of Débora Cabrera, a 13 year old daughter of menos activos. But the President of the Rama doesn´t think she is ready, even though we think she is more than ready. So we had to move her fecha for the 8th of January. Well, we don´t get our Christmas Baptism, but its okay... at least its still on, even if only for another weekend. We also got her little sister Melina to accept a baptismal challenge for that date. Hopefully she can get baptized with Débora too.

Griselda is our golden woman, and she is progressing fantastically. She will be baptized the 16th of January barring her marriage on the 11th of January. Its really fast, but we have confidence the marriage will go through, because it was their goal from before las Hermanas Misioneras were even part of the picture.

Anyway, time is short, like always when you are a missionary, so I gotta get back to work.

Love you tons, thanks for your letters, and Merry Christmas in whatever language you happen to speak.

Hermana Sarah Tritsch

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